Showing posts from February, 2015

Week 9, back in the gym and the return of an old foe

After 12 days away from the gym, I finally made it back in this morning.  I expected some de-conditioning so I didn't push things too hard.  Even still, the workout felt pretty tough.  I expect things will snap back fairly quickly although it is still a bit of a bummer to give up 20 lbs on my work sets after only 2 weeks off.

During the 12 days away from the gym, I realized I was dealing with an old foe that I haven't seen in about 8 years.  8 years ago at the height of my unhealthfulness, highest bodyweight, and lots of stress both at home and at work, I had a difficult bout with depression.  I think it's something that always lurked in the background but was made worse because I was unhealthy and I was dealing with plenty of external stresses.  I was fortunate that I was able to mitigate the symptoms with medication but it took a couple years before I felt confident enough to wean myself off the anti-depressants.

The past 12 days brought back memories of the feelings and…

Week 7 and Week 8, no training

I trained once in Week 7 on Feb 12th in the AM.  Since that session, I haven't been back to the gym save for a deadlift seminar given by Mark Giffin on the evening of the 12th.  The deadlift seminar was excellent.  Even though attendees ranged from beginners to experienced competitors, Mark dispensed the kind of information only a veteran with 30 yrs of competitive experience at the highest level could offer.  I picked up some good information on how to best perform accessory movements as well as becoming more diligent and disciplined with my deadlift set up.

Despite the excellent seminar, I have been in a period of low motivation the past couple of weeks so I decided to stay away from the gym to "recharge the batteries", so to speak.  A fortunate side effect of this rather extended hiatus from the gym is a much reduced appetite.  I've been able to keep my average caloric intake at 2500 calories a day quite easily, something that is monumentally more difficult when I…

Week 6, 3 sessions, Week 7 first 2 sessions

Last week I got in three training sessions.  I had planned to train more but my back was sore and I was pretty beat so I spent more days recovering than training.  I think it worked out well because the first two training sessions this week have felt great and I'm not sleepy at the end of the day.

The 6th training week of the new year started well.  I was able to progress my bench press waves past the point where I failed the previous week.  My next training session based around a highbar squat wave didn't go as well.  I started the first wave of 7/5/3 reps too ambitiously and the top set of 385x3 was as close to a RPE 10 as I can remember.  I wasn't too disappointed because my best ever high bar triple is 405 and that was with knee sleeves and during an evening training session.  I'm pretty okay with a first thing in the morning, knee sleeveless 385x3.  It was, however, too high an effort for what I'm trying to do.

Rather than drop down and do the second wave with…

Week 5, sessions 4 and 5 and January recap

Sessions 4 and 5 of last week on Thursday and Friday morning wrapped up January's training.  I had planned on getting in one last session for some deadlifts but my back was not feeling great so I decided to rest.  That turned out well from a pragmatic standpoint because we got a dumpload of snow on Sunday and Monday and I had to do a lot of snow shoveling.  Shoveling 5 times in two days with a sore back would've been pretty crappy.  Especially since I ended up with a sore back anyways.

Thursday AM:  

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

Stiff legged deadlift:  225x10, 315x10, 365x10

Thumbless barbell shrugs:  275x8, 275x5

Friday AM:  

Overhead press:  45x10, 95x5, 135x5, 165x5, 185x4, 185x4

Behind the neck press:  45x10, 45x10, 45x10

Bench press:  all reps touch and go, 135x10, 225x10, 255x6, 255x6

Wide grip chins:  5, 5, 5, 5, 5

Pulldowns:  150x10, 150x10, 150x8

Behind the neck pulldowns:  90x10, 100x10, 100x10

I decided to work in s…