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Showing posts from March, 2013

Good Friday training session, OHP, squats, BP

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Nine days in a row of staying on my eating plan.  Tomorrow is a family dinner, combination Easter supper and Vivian's mother's birthday.  So, there will be foods I normally wouldn't eat but after 9 days I'm due for a little reality so it'll be a good day to reset things and start the process again.  The past 9 days have gotten rid of the bloat and I feel a bit weaker but that's all in my head and I expect things to get back to normal after a week or so.

My third session of the week is usually overhead press and then reduced volume and intensity squats and bench presses.  I decided that I'll start bumping up the volume and intensity since my shoulders seem to be tolerating the workloads so far.

I trained overhead presses to 6 sets of 3 with 185.  These felt heavy and the sets that didn't feel heavy still felt difficult.  Lifting things overhead is definitely not a movement pattern that I can do with efficiency yet.  Every rep, whether feeling light or h…

Bench press with fail video and deadlift assistance

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Seven days in a row of staying on my eating plan.  Decided that I'd work up to a gym max since I expect my bench press will take a bit of a hit during  the initial stages of de-fulking.  My single at 335 was fairly smooth but felt heavy at the chest.

335x1
Figured I'd give 355 a try for a touch and go PR.  At least I got a good negative out of it.  I didn't give it much of a ride up at all.

355x0
After that I did three paused triples at 295 and four paused triples at 275.  For the next three weeks I'm going to dial back the load and reps and do 8 sets of 3 with between 265 and 285 pounds.  On the fourth week, I'll work back to a heavy single and then do some overload work with the Titan Ram.

After bench presses, since this week is a "no deadlift" week (week 4 of my rotation), I did barbell rows and snatch grip stiff legged deadlifts.  The snatch grip SLDL's were tough.  My hamstrings are going to be pretty angry with me for a few days but it felt go…

Squats and back assistance

Five days in a row of hitting my eating goals, one day at a time.  Lifting belt is starting to feel a little looser so the bloat from a full gut is gone.  Will use Easter dinner at the in-laws on Saturday as a chance to stock up on some carbs.  Right now, I'm avoiding them except post-workout because they're my 'danger' foods.  So far so good.

Worked on my squat form tonight, tried to concentrate on keeping my hips under the bar instead of letting them go back and turning my squat into a squat-morning.  Keeping my hips under the bar also keeps my weight from getting forward towards the ball of my foot.  I could really feel my glutes working again but it was tough work.  A weight that I was handling pretty easily with sloppier form was quite challenging tonight. I'll take a couple steps back for three steps forwards though.  On the plus side, there was no aggravation of my back/SI joint area from tonight's session so keeping the hip angle from getting too acute …

Overhead press and pause squat depth check

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So in the fit to fulk to fit again process, I'm now had three days in a row of eating to meet my goals.  One day at at time...

Today's session was overhead presses, pause squats, bench press, and barbell rows.  I was originally going to do leg presses, pull ups and kirk shrugs but changed those three to barbell rows because I was out of time and out of gas.

I had planned on attempting a new 1 RM of 255 to finally get that 1xBW+ press out of the way but my first attempt at 245 failed.  It wasn't because I wasn't strong enough, it was because I choked.  Literally.   When I unracked the bar and stepped back, I took a breath to set my chest and inadvertently inhaled some spit.  I tried to ignore it but not surprisingly, when your core decides to do it's own thing (coughing up spit gone down the wrong tube) near max press attempts do not go well.  The bar got to the top of my head and stalled.

I rested 90 seconds or so and attempted it again, being mindful not to aspira…

Bench Press, Deadlifts, and Fit to Fulk

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Decided to take a bit of a break on bench presses tonight and instead of doing paused reps with 295/285, I used 275 and did all the reps touch and go.  Basically I wanted to keep the volume up but reduce the intensity as a form of working deload.  That plan worked out pretty well, I was able to get in some good volume and a good number of repetitions.

This week was week 3 of a 4 week deadlift rotation where week 1 is based on 3-5 singles with something 90-95% of my gym 1 RM, week 2 is 3-5 sets of 5 reps with 85-90% of my gym 1 RM, and week 3 is 3 singles using the hook grip.  Week 4 is a no deadlift week and then the cycle resets starting with week 1 loads.

My goal for tonight's deadlift session was to work up to one heavyish single.  Sort of like a mock meet but at a much, much lower intensity.  The real goal is to start conditioning my thumbs for the hook grip while giving my back a bit of a rest going into the non-deadlifting week.  Tonight I worked up to two beltless singles w…

Squatting and video review

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After last week's good squat session, I was prepared to do a reduced workload today since I was due for a recovery session.  However, I also figured I'd see how things went and decide on the fly.  Turns out, my intuition was correct as my groove was off and my first set with 405 was terrible.

Since the gym was very quiet for a Tuesday, I was able to use a bench and some 10's to prop up my camera for video of my work set.  I hadn't expected the set to go as poorly as it did so I was glad I could do a post-mortem on the set while I recovered.

These were slow and out of the groove.  Upon review, it's clear that I was letting my weight get forward, thus folding me up and keeping me from getting as deep as I wanted.  After reviewing the video, I did another set of 3 with 405 but it felt heavy and refused to move fast.

Since I still needed to get some work in and it was clear my squat groove needed re-discovering, I decided to do pause squats with 365.  I proceeded to do…

Overhead Press rep PRs and pause squat depth check

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After hitting a new 1 RM PR of 245 lbs in the overhead press on Feb 28th, I figured I was good for a 225x3 but didn't attempt it until today.  I got it for a new rep PR with 225 lbs.  I then hit a rep PR with a 185x7 on the next back-off set.  Overall a good volume day for overhead presses.

I was fortunate that Vivian was able to video my first set of 3 with 315 in the pause squat.  I felt like I was sitting deep in the hole but the video shows I was barely there if at all.  Strange because when I hit 474 in my meet in December, it felt like I cut it 2" high but it was clearly deep enough, 3 white lights.

These felt deep but weren't
In any case, after reviewing the video, I dropped my next two sets deeper just to be safe.  I don't have any issues with depth in competitions but I guess it's better to be safe than sorry, especially on a targeted accessory movement like pause squats.

After pause squats, I hit some paused bench presses.  I upped the weight to 245 lbs …

Bench rep PR and a sad goodbye to our foster bunnies

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About few months ago Vivian answered an ad placed by the local Humane Society in need of foster homes for some rescued rabbits.  We never got a call for one of those as the response had been very strong however we were called in about a month later to foster some rabbit babies born to some of the rescued rabbits that had been pregnant.  We got two rabbits, sisters from the same litter about 4 weeks old.

Vivian named them Rosie and Molly.  Never having had rabbits as pets we didn't know what to expect but they were definitely cute.  Since they're basically silent and sit still when you pet them, they're very relaxing pets.  I can definitely see why Lennie Small dreamt of tending to and petting rabbits.


Our job as foster parents was to care for and socialize these rabbits until they were old enough to be spayed.  We expected we'd have them for about 4 weeks but it ended up being 6.  The time flew by and when it came time to return them to the shelter, it seemed like we…

Squat rep PR, everything felt good for once

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My hamstrings weren't sore, my back felt much better and I felt good.  So finally I hit a squat rep PR with 455.  Granted I only did 2 reps but that's double my previous rep PR with that weight.  I had to turn my music way up because there was one douchey guy there jabbering loudly between his loudly dropped 365 lb deadlifts.  This guy was like a real life Dom Mazzetti except he wasn't funny as hell.  He was the 'douche-horn'  described at 2:57 of the following video:


Anyways, as much as I tried to block out the sound of his futility, I couldn't help but notice that he went to talk to the one woman in the gym trying to have a serious training session.  It was painful.  He threw some bro-speak at her and after she heisman'd him the first time, he persisted.  Knowing that if she responded to him at all, he would be stuck on her like a booger that refuses to flick off a finger, she just packed up her stuff and left.

This all took place in between my work sets …

Overhead pressing and accessory work

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After last week's overhead press 1 RM PR, I decided to get in some repetitions in.  Also, my traps and middle back were still sore from Thursday's deadlifting so I didn't think it would be a good day to hit anything heavy over my head.

I decided to video my top set just to check on my form.  They're not the prettiest reps but they look about what  I'd figure they would look like.  Since I had to lean my phone in the window sill, I was forced to shoot the video from the perfect angle to show the double chin that I've been trying to disguise with a little goatee.  In addition, the afternoon sun coming in the window ended up being the perfect lighting to highlight my completely-devoid-of-muscular-separation-or-definition arms.  While the plates aren't visible, it was a set of 205x5 which happens to be a rep PR so I got that going for me.

205x5
After overhead presses, I did pause squats.  My lower back felt pretty good despite the deadlifts two days prior.  I f…

Bench Press PR and some pulling

On Feb 13th, I hit an all-time touch and go bench press PR of 350 lbs.  Since that time I've had some very good bench press sessions, hitting new highs in work repetitions and total poundage lifted.  I hadn't originally planned on hitting heavy singles tonight but I thought we would be short for time since we had to run some errands prior to getting to the gym.  In lieu of volume, I would increase the average intensity.

I've been feeling pretty good in the upper body lately so I thought I'd be able to get in some good work.  I used an abbreviated warm-up schedule, one that is similar to what I'd use at a meet.  All my reps with weights above 225 were paused since today was really a hybrid between getting in work repetitions and doing a little testing.  In a meet I'd normally never do more than 1 rep with weights 275 or above but since I wanted to work a little, I doubled 275 and 315.  To be honest, I'd never doubled 315 with a pause before so I knew things …

Squatting with sore hammies

The last two days my hamstrings have been very sore from the accessory work done in the previous "recovery day" workout.  Because I rarely do seated leg curls or back extensions, I guess my hamstrings decided to get all DOMS'd up.  I didn't think the soreness would affect my squat session that much, I really expected the first few sets of squats would loosen things up and all would be well.  Since I didn't load up the hamstring work two days ago, I figured the soreness was superficial and wouldn't result in reduced activation.

Turns out that was some wrong figuring.  My warm ups felt fine but my first workset with 405 was terrible.  I ground out a measly 4 reps because my hamstrings had nothing in the hole.  They just didn't want to contribute.  To salvage the situation, I did 3 sets of 2 with 405 with short rest.  I figured I'd try to treat the sets like form work and try to get two fast reps.  Those went pretty well, the last set of 2 felt pretty go…

Active recovery day

My lower back still isn't 100% right for taking on some load so I changed things up today and trained mostly muscles not movements.  I'm still planning on squatting on Tuesday so I wanted to keep the blood flowing today and also start doing those split squats I keep telling myself to do.

With the exception of pull-ups, every other movement I did today was either a single joint movement or a compound joint movement in a different angle.  I'm thinking I probably need to integrate more balance into my sessions between movement specific training and muscle specific training because today's session was far harder than I remember from previous 'bodybuilding' style workouts from years ago.

Leg Extensions:  110x10x3 sets
Seated Leg Curls:  95x10x3 sets

Back Extensions, 15, 10, 10

Incline DB press:  60x15, 75x15, 90x10, 100x12, 100x8

Pull-ups:  5, 5, 5

DB bulgarian split squat: 25x8, 25x8    These were expectedly horrible, rectus femoris and psoas are so tight.  Definit…