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 lighter weights, I decided to move to stiff legged deadlifts but I was out of gas.  I basically went through the motions and did "deload" type work.

The third session of the week was upper body assistance work.  I decided to not bench press but instead did overhead presses and weighted dips in addition to chins and pulldowns.  I think that plan worked out well because I had a great bench press session today.

The 7th training week did not start as well.  Yesterday my back was still feeling pretty fried so I had planned on doing front squats.  I pulled my "sting-ray" front squat harness out of storage and decided to try them again.  Immediately I remembered why I gave up on them after one session 5 or 6 years ago when I originally bought them.  They just don't sit on my shoulders properly and the edge digs into my arm.  I was going to just do the front squats with a cross grip but my back really didn't like the posture so I switched to high bar squats instead.

the "sting ray" just doesn't work for me
Because I had planned to do front squats, I didn't bring my belt.  I decided to use that as an opportunity to work on my high bar technique.  Since the high bar squat is supposed to be more quad dominant, I decided to really try to work the quads rather than just squat the weight up any old way.  Since I'm a chronic squat-morninger, concentrating on the quads really illuminated how weak my quads are relative to my hamstrings and lower back.  I started feeling my quads dial out of the movement when I did a set of 315x5 so I dropped back down to 225 for sets of 10.  I did the reps with a controlled tempo and tried to feel the quads all the way down and all the way up.  Doing them that way and not allowing my back and hamstrings to work created fatigue in the quads that I rarely feel.  Three finishing sets of leg extensions and stairs the rest of the day were memorable.

I didn't have much in the way of expectations for this morning's bench press workout since I had only bench pressed once last week but it went much better than I thought it would.  I was pressed for time as I only had 45 minutes so I decided to super-set wide grip chins with my bench press sets.  While I had read of supersetting antagonistic muscle groups many times, I rarely did it.  Even though the two movements weren't in the same plane of motion, they did complement each other very well. I think I'll continue to do it for the next little while.  It certainly didn't negatively impact my bench pressing and the chins actually felt better too.

Week 6

2/3/2015 Tuesday AM:

Bench Press:  all reps touch and go, 135x5, 135x5, 225x5, 250x7, 270x5, 290x3, 255x7, 275x5, 295x3, 315x1

Wide grip chins:  5 sets of 5 reps

Behind the neck press:  45x10x3

2/5/2015 Thursday AM:

Highbar squats:  135x5. 135x5. 225x5. 315x5. 335x7. 360x5, 385x3

Stiff legged deadlifts:  225x10, 315x5, 365x5, 365x5

thumbless barbell shrugs:  275x8, 275x5

2/6/2015 Friday AM:

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

Weighted dips:  bwt x 8, 45x8, 90x4, 45x7

Wide grip chins:  3 sets of 5 reps

Behind the neck press:  45x10x3 sets

Pulldowns:  150x10x3 sets

Behind the neck pulldowns:  110x10x3 sets

Incline DB curls:  45x4, 45x4, 35x8, 35x7

Week 7

2/9/2015 Monday AM:

Highbar squats:  135x5, 135x5, 225x5, 275x5, 315x5, 225x10, 225x10, 225x10

Leg extensions:  140x7, 120x10, 120x8

2/10/2015 Tuesday AM:

Bench Press: all reps touch and go, 135x5, 135x5, 225x5, 255x7, 275x5, 295x3, 260x7, 280x5, 300x3, 320x1

Wide grip chins:  supersetted with bench press work sets, 7 sets of 5 reps

Incline DB curls: 45x6, 45x6, 45x4, 40x8



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