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Showing posts from November, 2012

2 weeks out, squat and bench accessory

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This was my last squat session with significant volume.  I felt a little slow and had to work around a small spasm in the piriformis/sciatic nerve area.  Got in some good work though and will be looking forward to the last week of training and meet week to get strong and fast.  Next week volume on my heavy squat day will be singles only and on meet week, I'll get in the gym early in the week to get in about 4-5 singles in the 90-95% range.

Hit some new volume numbers on bar dips, makes a big difference when I'm not pre-fatigued from bench pressing first.  The dips took their toll on the rolling dumbbell tricep extensions though. One more hard deadlift workout later this week.

Squats:  135x10, 225x10, 275x5, add belt, 315x3, add wrist wraps, 365x3, 405x2, 435x1, 405x3, 405x3, 405x2, 365x5

Bar Dips:  15, 15, 11

Superset:
Rolling dumbbell tricep extensions:  52.5x 5, 52.5x5, 52.5x7
DB curls:  52.5x5, 52.5x5, 52.5x5

I've been told I resemble Grumpy Cat.  I'm not sure I se…

2 weeks out, bench press and squat accessory

Had the opportunity to get to the gym today instead of tomorow so I decided to start my "2 weeks out" training a day early.  Banking an extra day of recovery should help since the meet is coming up soon.  I lowered the intensity of my volume work a little bit to serve as a very slight un-load before the final push to the meet.

Squat assistance work was pretty tough since I had deadlifted pretty hard only two days before.  Speed and tightness in the hole was dramatically affected so I kept the weights light on the sumo deadlifts and really tried to concentrate on form.  Lower back is still highly pumped so even the 60% intensity level was more than enough.

Bench Press:  135x10, 185x10, 225x5, 255x3, add wrist wraps, 275x2, 295x2, add belt, 315x2, just wrist wraps, 275x6, 275x5, 275x4

High Bar Squats:  135x10, 225x10, 225x10

Sumo deadlifts:  315x5, 315x5, 315x5


3 weeks out, deadlift and bench accessory

It was a good idea to go easier on the deadlift volume and intensity the past couple of weeks because I felt fresh and the pulls were fast.  This session was the last "easy" session, next week will be the last "heavy" session and then just maintenance pulls until the meet.

I was scheduled for 3 sets of 3 with 495, roughly 85% of my gym max.  The first two triples felt excellent so I decided to do an AMRAP set for the last.  Nearest that I can remember my rep max for 495 was 6 so my goal was at least 5 and giv'r for 7 if I was feeling it.  I was able to make it to 6 but was too shaky to try for a new all-time rep PR.  Still, considering I rarely do more than 5 reps with work weights, it was a good set and a good sign that things are shaping up nicely for December 16th.

Bench accessory was three work sets with 225.  The first two sets I did "hypertrophy" style, short ROM pump reps from the chest to about 4" above the chest.  Every 5th rep, I presse…

3 weeks out, Squat day and new lifting shoes

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The Adidas Canada site had a nice sale on some older models of weightlifting shoes and with free shipping and $15 off for signing up for their newsletter, it was too good a deal to turn down on a new pair of Adidas Power Perfect 2 weightlifting shoes. My current pair of lifting shoes, Kanama weightlifting shoes, had been in use for over 3 years and had gotten a little loose.  I originally bought them to use with some orthotic insoles but I stopped using them because the insoles didn't meet the IPF equipment requirements for removeable insoles.  From the IPF technical rule book section on shoes:

  "Loose inner soles that are not part of the manufactured shoe shall be limited to one centimeter thickness"

My orthotic inserts were more than a centimeter thick at the heel.  After taking them out of my lifting shoes, because they had already broken in to fit my foot with the orthotics inside,  my shoes always felt a little too loose.  It was a very minor issue but when the opp…

3 weeks out, bench press and squat accessory

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Felt a little creaky in the shoulders so decided to skip the negative reps today.  Worked up to a top, paused single with 330 and it felt good.  Based on my single with 315 and 330 done paused and without a lift-off, I should be good for a 142.5 kg opener and a 150 kg second attempt on the 16th.  If I were planning on cutting weight I'd probably have to be a little more conservative but since I'm not, I'm confident that the meet attempts with a lift-off, on a competition bench, and with an IPF-spec bar will be easier than my gym lifts.  Depending on how the 150 kg attempt goes, my third will be either 152.5 kg or 155 kgs.  155 kgs would be an all-time PR so naturally I'm focused on that number unless I'm feeling terrible on meet day.

Squat accessory work today included more sumo deadlift reps.  I was tempted again to go heavier but that would defeat the purpose of doing them for squat accessory work.  I'm definitely going to spend some quality time with the sum…

4 weeks out, squats and bench assistance

Squat workout, pre-flu edition...at least it feels like I'm trying to fight off the flu that's had Vivian in bed the last two days.  I don't feel sick, just super tired.  At least I didn't feel weak too, that might've led to me skipping the workout altogether.  The goal was to hit some reps in the 90%+ range and then do my bench assistance work that I normally would've done tomorrow.

Squats felt pretty good but I ate too much today at lunch/afternoon snack/afternoon snack and my belly was still super full tonight at the gym.  Since I refuse to adjust my lever belt buckle any looser--just because I'm not going to make 105's doesn't mean I'm bloating up to the top of the next class--the combination of a too full belly and a too tight belt actually made me short of breath during my multi-rep sets.

I had hoped to double 455 if I felt good but it ended up being a tough single.  At least I bracketed it with some triples with 405 that moved very well. …

4 weeks out Bench press and leg accessory

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Knowing this is my last competition for about 9 months has changed how I'm looking at it.  Back in January of 2011, after a year and a half of competing in gear (with the goal of making it to Nationals achieved), I decided to simplify things and compete raw.  I was also nursing an injured shoulder so it was a pretty easy decision to train without the overloads required of equipped lifting.

In that first meet back as a raw lifter, I weighed in at 113.6 kgs and squat/bench press/deadlifted 205 kg/140kg/272.5 kg for a 617.5 kg total.  The weight class limits back then were 110 kgs and 125 kgs but because there was no raw or "classic" divisions, I didn't try to cut weight to make the 110 kg class.  There was no point in jockeying for a placing when in all likelihood, I would be lifting against a lifter in equipment.  Lifting raw and without cutting weight was about as stress-free as one will ever find in competition and I liked it.  That was the last time I simply "…

5 weeks out, sore-backed deadlifts

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I finally got a chance to make it out to the T-Rex garage to join the team for a workout.  While it was awesome catching up and training with a group, my plans on deadlifting with some volume and intensity were scuttled as soon as a decently heavy weight revealed my sore back was also a slow back.

Interestingly, after the last meet, I anticipated this training period would lead to a new deadlift PR and I looked forward to lots of heavy pulling.  What I didn't plan for was improving my squat groove and being able to train without any shoulder pain.  I've always been a terrible bench presser and a bad squatter and the relative improvements I've been seeing in the past few months have greatly increased my enthusiasm for those training sessions.  Since I've never liked the deadlift anyways, it's been easy to push it to the background while I make up ground with my two, much poorer, lifts.

As it stands now, I'm looking forward to meeting or exceeding my old squat n…

squat deload, 5 weeks out

I've been feeling pretty good about my squat form improvements and have been chomping at the bit to test it.    The only reason I've been holding back is because I felt like I peaked too early for previous meets and I wanted to leave the real testing for the meet.  That being said, I still decided to work up to a heavy-ish single today.  I also decided to shift my deadlift session to later in the week so I could spend some time on it without being pre-exhausted from squatting.

Since I split up my session, I figured this was a good opportunity to deload some volume and get things rested for the final 4 weeks of pushing to the meet.  My plan was to work up to a single with 455 and then hit a single work set at 385.  My warmups felt very good and my last warm up single with 405 felt like I could've done it for 5.  The single at 455 was very smooth, probably could've doubled it if I had put it in my mind to do it for two instead of one.  The squat form improvements I'v…

5 weeks out, bench press session

Good bench press session tonight.  Nothing fancy, just straight weight and a couple fatigue stops after my top work sets.  Elbows and my lower back didn't appreciate the light, high-bar squats done afterwards though.  As my bench press has come back, my shoulders have tightened up some and my elbows are the focus point of the strain when I back squat.

Belting up during my heavy bench press sets to provide some lower back support during hard leg drive seems to help but my lower back still fires up pretty good afterwards.  I think I'll have to do some leg presses after bench pressing in the coming weeks.  While I'd like to get in a second day of squatting each week, until I get my shoulders loosened up again, it's not worth irritating the elbows and forfeiting the bench press gains that I've recovered.  Feels good to be able to handle 315 for doubles, if I can progress that to triples in the next 4 weeks, I should be in good shape to attempt an all-time PR in the ben…

6 weeks out, Squats and Deadlifts

For some reason this has been a tiring week.  Didn't feel like training today but skipping the session wasn't an  option.  I'm not hurt or beat up so getting a session was all about getting my body to react and adapt.  I was scheduled for 'easy' squats and hard deadlifts but I felt like I needed some extra work with heavier weights to speed up the learning curve for my squat groove.

I decided to do my work sets at 405 for doubles instead of speed triples with 365.  I think this was a good plan as I was able to get in 8 good repetitions with 89% of my previous 1 RM.

Hitting the extra intensity with the squats took some of the steam out of my deadlifts but my single with 545 moved fast enough even if it felt like I didn't have any fight in me. The big muscles felt good enough but I could tell there was enough fatigue in the supporting muscle groups that I decided to shut it down.  I did some leg pressing instead and found that it actually fatigued my lower back i…