Showing posts from July, 2014

17 weeks out, Day 2 bench press PR and sumo deadlifts

Since this week was a deload of sorts, I decided I would work up to a heavy single in the bench press and then do some back off sets.  I decided I would work up to a top weight of 355.  I picked 355 because I had done 350 before (just once, on Feb 13, 2013) and I figured I might as well shoot for a new PR.  I had no idea if I could do it but my workouts this month had gone very well and I had set a new paused 2RM PR with 320.

Warm ups felt fine and my last two paused singles with 315 and 335 were easy.  I've never doubled 335 before but I felt like I could've given it a good run today.  Nevertheless, my goal was to lift 355 so I loaded it up.  I also usually don't video my lifts since the gym has a fairly well enforced, no-video policy but the gym was empty so I decided I might as well.  I already have video of my getting pinned with 355 back on March 27, 2013 so I figured that if I were to lift it, I wanted to have proof.

Missed 355 back on March 27, 2013
Got 355 pretty…

Indochino suit review, Pt III, remake #2 arrives, Third time's the charm?

See Pt 1 here: Chronic iron overload presents a challenge

See Pt 2 here:  The remade suit arrives

Despite the improved fit with the first remake, the suit jacket was still off enough that they agreed to remake the suit jacket again since the remake wasn't fixable within the confines of the Indochino $75 alteration credit and because even if it was, there wasn't enough extra fabric in the jacket sleeves to let them out enough to fit properly.

Since the suit pants from the first remake fit properly, they only needed to remake the jacket.  I assume they must have a large amount of the charcoal wool fabric from the same batch since the remade jacket matches the formerly remade pants exactly.

The remade jacket arrived yesterday after about 3 weeks.  I was excited to try it on and see what changes were implemented so I took it straight out of the box and took pictures to review the fit.  Despite being a little wrinkled in the sleeves, I could tell right away that it was a huge impro…

17 weeks out, Day 1, high bar squats and bench press

Since my left elbow and hips are a little creaky, this week will be a bit of a work around week.  To try to lessen the stress on my elbow, I started with some front squats but remembered why I hate them.  Actually they were pretty hard even though I didn't go very heavy.  I'll probably have to keep them in the rotation just because they feel so bad.  It probably says something about my squat form if I have a hard time keeping my torso upright enough to hold the bar on my front delts.

I used the light but difficult front squats as a warm up for high bar squats.  I also did sets of dislocations with a mini-band in between squat sets to try to loosen up my shoulders and reduce stress on my elbow.  It seemed to help a little but my elbow was still irritated a little from the high bar squats.

Touch and go bench presses weren't pushed to the point the final reps on each set grinded.  Since this week is supposed to be a deload of sorts, I tried to reduce either volume or intensi…

18 weeks out, Day 3, high bar squats, bench press, sumo deadlift

Left elbow is pretty fired up and my back is sore (from golf yesterday) so today's session was a bit of a work-around.  Normally I would've just skipped the session and let everything rest up but I figured I'd try to get through another week before I dial things down and let the achy parts stop aching a little.

To lessen the strain on the left elbow, I did high bar squats.  Because my back was sore, I also lowered the weight.  I'll have to high bar squat again on Tuesday so I'll use higher work weights during that session.  I tried to make sure each repetition was identical and as fast as possible so the lower intensity work was actually still pretty challenging.

Bench presses were pretty normal, of all the bodyparts involved in my training, my shoulders feel the best by far.

Sumo deadlifts were cut short from my intended 3 sets of 5 with 405.  My first set of 5 turned into a difficult set of 3 because of a sore back that was also migrating into my hips.  I figure…

18 weeks out, Day 2, bench press, sumo deadlifts

It was a pretty good session today.  Hit a new rep PR with 320 in the bench press and increased my volume on my sumo deadlifts (along with hitting a rep PR with 455).  The sumo deadlift groove is slowly becoming more and more comfortable and I'm getting better at starting the lift with my legs.  So far the process is moving along nicely.

Bench Press:  all reps paused, 135x5, 205x5, 245x5, add wrist wraps, 285x3, 315x2, 320x2 (rep PR), 315x2, 285x4, 285x3, 285x3, 285x3

Sumo Deadlift:  225x5, 315x5, 405x5, 455x5 (rep PR), 455x3, 455x3

Leg Extensions:  140x10, 150x10, 150x10

New study shows many overweight or obese kids think they're normal, or does it?

Many news outlets picked up this study recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The conclusions that the media reported included:

—About 30 per cent mis-perceived their weight status, and a large majority were heavier kids who thought they were normal weight. —Nearly half of obese boys and more than a third of obese girls consider themselves to be about the right weight. —About 34 per cent of black and Mexican-American kids mis-perceived how heavy they were. About 28 per cent of white kids did. —This kind of misconception was more common among children in lower-income families than those in households with more money.
The study's findings that a surprisingly high percentage of children (aged 8-15) mis-perceived their weight status is troubling and articles raised questions of the role of cultural, educational, or family environment on the perceptions. However, the study's definitions of weight status were based on BMI percentiles taken from CDC grow…

18 weeks out, day 1, squats and bench press

As opposed to last Tuesday when I felt really good and squats felt very light, tonight, I felt like crap and the squats did not want to move fast at all.  My left elbow was also just about at the end of its rope and definitely did not like the low bar hold at all.  I had hoped it might cool down some by switching out low bar squats on my second squat day for high bar but the break wasn't long enough.  I think I'm going to need to stick to high bar and front squats for a few weeks while doing some extra mobility work so I stop irritating my elbow when I low bar squat.

Since I didn't do as much squat volume today, I managed to set a new rep PR with 255 in the touch and go bench press.  I wasn't real confident while warming up since my left elbow was still barking whenever I unracked the bar and held it at arm's length.  By the time I got to my 255 lb work sets, it had settled down enough that it didn't affect my pressing.

Squats:  135x5, 225x5, 275x5, add belt, l…

19 weeks out, day 3, sumo deadlifts, bench overloads, high bar squats

I was able to make it out for a team training session today.  The Toronto Rex Powerlifting team gym  (the Boyle's garage) was very busy today but it was great seeing everyone again and meeting Chris and Amy.

Because I would be training with spotters in a proper power rack, I brought my super katana bench shirt to see if I could get any closer to touching a weight with it.  Sumo deadlift technique work and high bar squats went pretty well but I was really looking forward to seeing how the bench shirt work would go.

I worked up to a raw single with 315 and then put on the shirt.  As expected, I couldn't touch 365 to a 3-board.  405 touched the 3-board but that was a struggle.  455 barely touched a 2-board so I decided to try 495 to a 1-board.  I had never held 495 at arm's length before so I didn't know if it would touch, if I could lock it out if I did, or if it would tweak my shoulder.  It didn't feel too heavy at lift off although it took a couple extra seconds to…

19 weeks out, Day 2, bench press and sumo deadlifts

Today was heavy bench press and sumo deadlifts.  Since I'm still learning the sumo deadlift groove, I don't really have heavy or light days yet.  However since I'm not pre-fatigued from squatting, I try to push the weights a little higher on my Day 2 session.

Bench presses went well, I did what I expected to do.  With the sumo deadlifts, it feels like I'm starting to find my groove.  I still I have a lot of strengthening of the glutes and hamstrings as well as improving my mobility (and ideal start position) but I'm starting to feel like I'm getting my hips into the lift off the ground.

My original top set of 455x3 moved well so I moved up to 475 for a triple.  I got the triple but my form reverted back to a wide stance pull so I backed down to 405 for two more sets of 5.  These moved well and my glutes and hamstrings felt pretty worked.  Overall, it's nice to notice progress week to week.

Bench Press:  all reps paused, 135x5, 185x5, 225x5, 255x3, add wrist…

19 weeks out, Day 1, squats and bench press

I might be imagining it but it seems like the work I've been doing with sumo deadlifts is carrying over to my squats.  Since today is supposed to be the heavier of my two weekly squat sessions, I decided to ramp 5 sets of 5.  All sets except my top set of 405x5 moved as fast as I can remember.  Even the set of 405x5 was quicker than the last time I repped 405 for 5. I also increased the weight for the wide stance squats from 315 to 335.  The final 3 sets of 5 with 335 were pretty tough, especially after the 5x5 earlier.

The squat work was pretty tiring and I didn't have much left in the tank for 'light' bench press day. My repetition volume with my work weight of 255 was down significantly although bar speed was good for the reps that I did.

In my competition history to date, my best squat/deadlift sub-total is 505 kgs.  The goal with the sumo deadlift work is to match and eventually exceed this sub-total.  I'm not sure if it'll happen by November but I'm …

20 weeks out, Day 1 squats, bench press, sumo deadlifts

I never got in to do the Day 3 workout last week because I had the first bad gallstone attack since last October.  Unlike that attack, instead of losing 12 pounds and being out of action for a full week, this time I only lost 7 pounds (from not being able to eat) and only lost 3 days to bed rest.  I did take the rest of the week off while I recovered and managed to regain about half the weight I lost.

I wasn't sure what to expect from today's session but the week off seemed to actually benefit my squat.  Vivian and I played golf yesterday so my back was sore but the weight moved very well.  I did notice some weakness with the bench press but only had to take a 10 lb step backward on my work weights.

I ran out of time and had to cut my sumo deadlift work short because the gym was closing.  Instead of doing 3x3 with 405 for my technique work, I ended up just doing one set of 5.  The first 4 reps were pretty good but the fifth rep was a wide-stance stiff legged deadlift so I'…

21 weeks out, Day 2, bench press, sumo deadlifts

I had an excellent bench press session and I'm making progress on learning how to sumo deadlift.  I decided to move my 'heavy' bench press session to Day 2 instead of Day 3.  So, as it stands now, the main lifts will be Day 1: heavy squat, light bench press, Day 2: heavy bench press, heavy sumo deadlift, Day 3: light squat, medium bench press, light sumo deadlift.  The descriptions "heavy, medium and light" refers more to relative intensities and RPE than actual weight used.  For now, my heavy squat and sumo deadlift days aren't heavy in terms of % of my 1 RM but they're the days when I work harder and to higher volumes.

For my heavy bench press day, I hit 305 for three paused triples.  I'm pretty sure that's the most volume I've ever hit with that work weight.  After the three triples, I hit a set of 5 and a set of 4 with 275, also good workloads considering the accumulated fatigue from the sets with 305.  Overall, the bench press has been m…

21 weeks out, Day 1, squats and bench press

I was tired and my back was sore from playing golf on Canada Day but I figured I'd benefit more from getting into the gym than skipping it.

I got in some good work so I'm hopeful I ended up making the correct decision.

Squats:  135x5, 225x5, 275x5, add belt, low bar, 315x5, add wrist wraps, 365x5, 365x5, 365x5

Wide stance squats:  315x5, 315x5, 315x5

Bench Press:  touch and go reps, 135x8, 185x8, 225x8, 255x8, 255x6, 255x6