July 29, 2011

July 29, 2011 Lower/Heavy (400*10 Deadlift!)

  • BB DL: 400*10 425*1 435*1 315*5
  • Hanging Snatch Jumps: 135*4
  • Hang Cleans: 135*4
  • Rope Slams: 30, 25

Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!  So when I hit the 8th rep at 400 I thought I was done, but I pushed for a 9th, and then got the 10th with what was probably hideous form, but I don't care.  I got 400 for 10 at a bodyweight of 200 lbs.  I was a puddle of jelly after that set, but decided to try and keep going with the workout, so I did a couple more heavy sets of deads, one of which I will post a video of here (NEVER EVER USE THE FORM I DID HERE):


So yeah I was exhausted.  If you ever find yourself deadlifting and this is what it looks like, lower the weight.  Probably should not have done the extra deadlift work here, but whatever.  The 315 for 5 was done with shoulders back, dragging the bar up the shin, etc.  Basically I hate having my last set be with shitty form, so I did 315 with perfect form.   Hanging Snatch Jumps were fun....but they hurt my knees, again I was exhausted.  Tried hanging cleans afterward, and honestly my hips were having none of that. Here's a video of the snatch jumps:




Finished off with some rope slams. Trying to use KBs to hold the rope down.  I used the TRX frame that you can see the past couple months but it jumps all over the place when I do rope work. Here's another video:

video





 

July 28, 2011

July 28, 2011

  • BB Incline Bench / Pullup Superset: 235*4/ 10 245*3/ 9 245*2/ 8
  • Unilateral DB Flat Bench: 90*6 100*5
  • Cable Rows: 140*10 160*7
  • BB Standing Press: 145*4 150*4 155*2
  • Doubled-Up Banded Bench Press: 135*6 185*5 205*4
Good session, felt a bit long though.  The pullups went very well, I was pretty jacked up all workout.  I think I have the timing of the rice pre workout down.  I did it about a half hour earlier than usual and it worked MUCH Better than eating it right before going.  I think I may move the unilateral DB bench to my other upper day, it would fit in better there.  Progressing on standing press, really getting the hang of exploding off the bottom.  On banded bench I need to use a heavier db like last week to anchor the bands. I used the 90s this week and they rolled a bit.  Here's a video of the unilateral bench set, for my left arm, with the 100 lbs. db:


 A couple of pointers if you try these:
  1. These will tax your core and stabilizer muscles to a ridiculous extent, do not let your body slide off the bench or 'slump' to one side, stay nice and straight on the bench
  2. Keep your legs on the ground.  If the leg on the opposite side of your body that is moving the weight comes off the ground it's time to end the set, or use less weight.
  3. The narrower you place your feet the more challenging it is to keep balanced, and the more intense the contraction of your core muscles. 
  4. Do not grab onto the bench with your free hand, leave it in the air or off to the side.
  5. Don't hold a DB in the other hand as this offsets the load and makes it much easier on your core and stabilizing muscles, which get absolutely torched doing these.

July 27, 2011

July 27, 2011 Conditioning

  • 200m Sprints: 2
  • 210m Sprint:1
  • 100m Sprints: 4

200 meters is getting easier.  That first 200m sprint could have been a 300 I realized after I was done.  Also, the final 200 I realized I started 10 meters before the starting line on accident. There's lines all over the track so it gets confusing sometimes.  So technically I sprinted 1010 meters today.  Good stuff!  Was much cooler out today, made a huge difference.  

July 26, 2011

July 26, 2011 Lower/Light

  • BB Squats: 275*9 285*5 295*3 315*1
  • BB Front Squats: 205*3 225*2 245*1
  • Lateral Battling Ropes: 25, 20, 30

Decent day.  I'm feeling fuller during workouts on account of the rice, so hopefully it's giving me energy when I work out.  Little disappointed with the squat numbers.  Wanted an extra rep on each of the first 3 sets.  Honestly I miss heavy squatting, I think I may go back to that next week.  I have some videos for everyone.  First is a warmup set on squats with 225, I took this more as a form check:


Next I have a couple of Front Squat videos.  The first is from the side, and the other is from the back, I think I may be flaring my knees too much on these, need to focus more on my drive when doing them and pushing through the floor while holding my knees in.

 
Finally here's some lateral battling ropes, this was my final set I believe.  Completely exhausted at this point.


July 26, 2011 Conditioning

  • Incline Walking: 30 minutes / 2.8mph


My legs weren't fatigued in the least yesterday afternoon, so I figured I'd try some walking this morning, and see if it effects my squatting tonight at all.  Again after I did the walking my hips and IT bands felt very relaxed and loose.  As will be the case with each time I do this, I woke up and went to the gym fasted. 

July 25, 2011

July 25, 2011 PM Upper Body

  • BB Flat Bench: 230*11 235*10 240*8
  • BB Rows: 240*6 245*5 250*3
  • BB Push Press: 185*2 185*2 205*1
  • Rope Pullups: 6, 5, 4
  • P.U.P.P.: 2:00

Apparently my current 10 rep max on benching is 235.  Next week I'll try for 240.  BB Rows felt good, although again the squat rack was taken so I did them in the power cage.  I have NO idea what happened on push pressing.  I could barely lock out on any of the reps.  I thought I had loaded 225 on instead of 185 those first 2 sets.  Rope pullups were ok, pissed my grip gave out so quickly.  In positive news I hit 2:00 on Push-Up Position Planks!  I set the stopwatch on my cellphone since I already had it out for the videos of rope pullups that I took below.  I just stared straight down at it and waited to hit 2 minutes. Talk about excruciating, but I did it! At the end I thought my abs were going to cramp on me.

 

 

July 25, 2011 Current Routine

So here's what I'm doing currently.  As always, remember this: What works for me might not work for you.  Also when you look at what someone is doing remember that may not be how they got to where they are, it's just what they're doing now.  Although in this case a heavy/light upper/lower split is largely what got me where I am.  Previously I was doing another conditioning session consisting of tabatas, jumps, and rope work on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings.  I replaced that with incline walking Monday & Thursday mornings, and take Tuesday mornings off possibly.  So here's my current incarnation of the routine:

Sunday (Conditioning)
Tabata (KB Swing Usually)
Plyometric Box Jumps: 30
Seated Box Jumps: 20ish
Paloff Presses
Ab Wheel

Monday (A.M. Conditioning)
Incline Walking: 30 minutes

Monday (P.M. Upper/Heavy)
BB Flat Bench: 4 sets, 3-5 reps*
BB Rows: 4 sets, 3-5 reps
BB Push Press: 3 sets, 1-3 reps
Pullup Variation: 3 sets high rep, low rep, whatever
Metabolic Movement (swings, rope slams, battling ropes, etc.).  

Tuesday (Lower/Light)
Squats: 3 sets, 10 reps
Front Squats: 3 sets, 1-3 reps
Core Movement (P.U.P.P., Plank Variation, Paloffs, Fallouts, Ab Wheel, etc.).

Wednesday (Conditioning)
Sprinting: 800-1200m (still building towards 1200 now)

Thursday (A.M. Conditioning)
Incline Walking: 30 minutes

Thursday (P.M. Upper/Light)
BB Incline Bench: 3 sets, 8-10 reps**
Pullup Variation: 3 sets
BB Standing Press: 3 sets, 5-8 reps
Metabolic Movement (swings, rope slams, battling ropes, etc.).  

Friday (P.M. Lower/Heavy)
Deadlifts: 3 sets, 1-3 reps***
DB Jump Deads: 3 sets, 3-5 reps
Pullup Variation: 3 sets, 3-5 reps

Saturday (Not A Thing)
Rest



*Currently for the next couple of weeks I am going to be trying to see how high I can get my 10 rep max. 
**Currently since I'm going lighter on flat I'm doing low reps here for the next couple weeks.
 ***Currently going for 400*10, at 400*9 right now, when I hit 10 I will switch back to doing 1-3 rep sets and take a run at 500 lbs.

July 25, 2011 Conditioning

  • 10% Incline Walking: 30 minutes / 2.72 MPH Average


I'm loathe to call incline walking conditioning, but whatever.  I felt pretty good after this actually, my hips felt looser than usual, and my IT bands weren't tight at all. Interesting. 

July 24, 2011

July 24, 2011 How I'm Eating

Alright, so here's how I'm eating for the next couple of weeks.  My days where I just do conditioning is staying the same.  My training days I've added in 4 oz (raw) of brown rice as a pre-workout fuel source.  I've moved the fruit to post workout since it's quicker digesting.  By doing this 71% of my net carbs on workout days will be centered around my workouts, with another 22% of them coming at breakfast.  I'll also be doing incline walking fasted in the mornings of my upper-body days.  Here's a shot of my meals, with caloric breakdown for the day, it's the most detailed I think I've ever posted online. 




July 24, 2011 Conditioning

  • 28kg KB Swing Tabata: 13,13,13,13,12,12,12,13
  • 34.5" Plyometric Box Jumps: 30
  • 35.5" Seated Plyometric Box Jumps: 20
  • Paloff Presses: 50*3
  • Ab-Wheel: 6

Good session, feels good to get back into it!  Started putting plates under the box legs to up the height.  I briefly thought about attempting to try jumps onto a medium box stacked on the tall, which would put me at 39.5".  When I jump straight up my feet actually clear the top by about .5", but the risk is pretty high right now, I'm going to build up over the next couple weeks. I need to find a way to raise the boxes that's safer than putting them on weight plates and putting the legs of the boxes on the hole in the middle.  Seated jumps went well too.  Good session, video of seated box jumps below!



 

July 22, 2011 Day Off

I decided that today I am going to take off, since I've been so beat lately with the 2 a daysPlus I've lifted at my 10 rep max on deadlifting for 3 straight weeks, so I'm going to let my lowerback & CNS recuperate, and then next Friday bag 400*10. 

July 21, 2011

July 21, 2011 Progress Pics!

WHEEEE.  To celebrate 200 here's some pics.  First of all, I am absolutely soaked in these, it was post workout, my room didn't have AC running in it all day...yeah. So here we go!

The following two are both back shots.  I can never keep my lats flared for them...I promise they're about 1.5" wider on both sides, but I just suck at posing.  These shots came out pretty good actually, the muscles in my mid and upper back are absolutely beastly looking here, really happy with these, probably the best back shots I've ever had.


Next here's a red-hawt abbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbz shot; a 3/4 profile pic



Finally, here's an arm/delt/trap shot.  


Overall I'm thoroughly happy with how I look right now, just gotta get rid of those last 3 lbs or so of fat, which I will do as soon as I'm done with the brief maintenance phase I'm about to do. 

July 21, 2011 P.M. Upper

  • Incline Bench Press: 235*4 245*2 255*1 265*1
  • Pullups: 25*6 25*5 25*5
  • Doubled-Up Mini-Band Bench Press: 135*3 185*5 135*10
  • Standing Press: 135*6 145*3 145*4 155*3

Absolutely sweltering in Boston right now.  Haven't been able to cool down since this workout, but I've got a couple exciting developments, the first: VIDEOS!  This first one is of the setup I'm using for the bands, and the second is my first ever attempt.   I thoroughly enjoyed doing them.  On the incline benching I just wanted to see where my 1 rep max was. Not too bad, my record is 275 @ 231 lbs, I'm 200 now, so 265 is good.   Also, on standing presses I think I'm getting more into the groove on them.  Instead of stopping at the bottom for a couple seconds I'm just banging out reps now.  Great workout!


 

Maintenance Phase Time?

I'm down to 200 lbs!  Which is nice, but I also feel like I'm starting to risk losing muscle, plus I still want to lose about 3 or 4 more lbs. of fat.  I wanted to be about 205, but right now it's looking like I'd have to be about 196 if I continue at this rate.  This is also the 5th month I've been cutting.  I think I need to take a few weeks and retool my program before continuing a cut.  Fortunately it only takes a few tweaks, so here's what I'm going to do:
  • A.M. conditioning work will now be something like fasted incline treadmill walking.  I like doing the explosive conditioning and will keep doing it but putting it in the morning when fasted (even after a water & protein shake) is a bit much for my system to take given that I'm already in a caloric deficit. 
  • I also will probably only do the two-adays on Monday & Thursdays (and may sneak a Saturday in there), which are upper body days.  Doing the morning explosive workouts on Tuesdays, before squatting in the PM was just too much. 
  • For the 4 days per week on which I do weighted workouts I'm going to add in some post-workout carbs.  I was already doing this Tuesdays after squatting, but will start doing it on Monday (Upper), Thursday (Upper) and Friday (Lower).  I'm probably going to add in between 50 and 70g of carbs probably from brown rice, to go with my post workout chicken.  You can cut for a while, but at some point it starts to effect levels of thyroid and other hormones.  I need to take a few weeks and restore levels back to normal, and restore some glycogen.
  • I am pleased with my results largely, but I still want to lose a few extra lbs. of fat, and sometimes in order to take a few steps forward you need to take a step back, or in this case stand still since I don't anticipate really putting on any weight really, and certainly no fat.


July 21, 2011 A.M. Conditioning

  • Double mini-banded KB Swings: 28kg*20 28kg*20 28kg*20
  • Mini-Banded Broad Jumps: 5
  • Double-Mini Banded Broad Jumps: 5
  • Lateral High Box Jumps: 15

Did the kb swings I video-linked to in yesterdays post. Wow....the resistance at the top 1/4 is intense, and then the acceleration down from there is explosive.  DEFINITELY felt some crazy hamstring stuff afterward, kind of like I had been jumping as high as I could for 5 straight minutes.  Tried attached bands to my feet for vertical jumping....did not end well.   Trainer suggested broad jumping anchored to the TRX. Ended much better.   Great session!

July 20, 2011

A little courage wolf for you.





July 20, 2011 Bands Arrived!

So these are mini bands; I'm super excited about them.  I'm already planning what to use them for.  They got here just in time; tomorrow morning I'm doing these:

 

 then tomorrow PM workout after my incline bench work and lat work I'm going to try some explosive dynamic benching with these.  Can't wait!

The bands came with a laminated copy of the resistance levels  plus an autographed copy of Dave Tate's book.  Good stuff! Thanks elitefts.com

July 20, 2011: Sprinting

  • 200m sprints: 1
  • 100m sprints: 6
  • 50m sprints: 2
Great session, feel much better leading off with the 200s,although I just did one today.  Upped my total to 900 meters.  The 50s at the end felt great.   It was pretty warm out, almost 85 by the time I finished.  Going to be a hot one today!

July 19, 2011

July 19, 2011 PM Legs

  • BB Squats: 270*10 280*7 290*5
  • BB Front Squats: 225*2 245*1 265*1 280*1 NEW PR!!
  • DB Bulgarian Split Squats: 80*1...seriously.
  • One-Arm KB Plank Drag: 28*1
  • P.U.P.P.: 1:25
It may be time to go back to low-rep higher weights on squats.  Honestly I'm just beat with the two-adays conditioning-wise.  On the squats it's not so much the weight that gets to me; it's the fact that my heart is about to explode by the last reps on the sets.   Also: NEW FRONT SQUAT PR.  Very happy with that, considering the previous record of 275 was when I was 231 lbs. the last week in February.  I'm 205 now so that was a major accomplishment.  I tried split-squatting which I want to get back into, but honestly I was just beat at that point so I did some kb plank drags, with less weight to make sure my form was solid, and then a push up plank press at the end.  Great stuff. 

July 19, 2011 AM Conditioning

  • Plyo Bench Pushups: 6,5,5
  • Battling Ropes: 40, 35,30
  • 7KG MB Slams: 100(!!)
I'm taking it easy on the core this session; last week as I noted, I ended up basically doing a 300 lbs. good morning on a couple squatting reps in the PM on account of my core being exhausted.  Not good times.  This workout here however was definitely good times.  Felt a good pop on the plyo bench pushpus.  Finished with ball slams, got to 50, decided on 75, and then just kept going. Was toasted after that!

July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011 PM Workout: Upper Body

  • BB Flat Bench: 225*12 230*10 235*10
  • BB Rows: 235*10 245*5 255*5
  • Push Press: 185*3 205*1 135*8
  • Narrow-Grip Pullups: 9,8,5
  • Shoulder-Touch Planks: 0:23 0:20

Since I've never consistently done flat benching for higher reps consistently in the past I've decided to try it for the next few weeks and see how high I can get my 10 rep max.  Rows sucked today, I was doing them over a bench, since the racks were all occupied.   Future generations of scientists and historians will recount my 205 rep on push press as the worst rep ever in push press history.  I dipped too much and was awkward as hell locking out. I managed to tweak both knees, my lower back, both shoulders, and even scraped my nose on the way down. Tried narrow-grip pullups today; not sure I ever have done them before.  I enjoyed them.  Good planks today too.

How Did You Start?

I left high school after my sophomore year, and started attending a local college full-time.  The credits I earned there counted towards high school as well, and I would have enough to graduate with my h.s. diploma after that year in college.   However, our h.s. had a gym requirement.  I had thought about lifting before, even tinkered a few times with the plates my dad had in the cellar; my dad had been lifting or exercising in some form since his late teens.  However since I was a teenager myself I didn't want to be just like him and never actually tried lifting.  It's too bad because I missed out on that mid-teens T-Spike, but I digress.

I decided that the easiest way to fulfill my gym requirement would be to go a couple times per week at the college's gym, and have a trainer sign off on it.  I'll never forget my first fitness test.  The trainer put like 65 lbs. on the bar and had me try benching it. 0 reps.   Thing was pinned to my chest.  I was embarrassed, but despite that, after my first workout ever I was hooked and immediately started going 5 times per week.  I got credit for the gym time and graduated early. Fortunately I didn't become a bench jockey I focused on my lower body for like the first two years of training, actually to the detriment of my upper body strength.  It took several years before that imbalance actually evened out. 

It's nice that my dad had always been active, so I had someone to talk to about my workouts pretty much whenever I wanted, and still do to this day 12 years later.

July 18, 2011 Conditioning

  • 28KG KB Swings (1 minute rest between): 35, 35, 35
  • 34" Plyo Box Jumps: 30
  • 34" Seated Plyo Box Jumps: 18
  • Paloffs: 50*3
  • Ab Wheel: 9

Still feel a little flat from roasting at the beach yesterday, but kept at it anyway!  The problem with doing KB swing tabatas is that the 28kg one is the heaviest at my gym; so I'm only doing like 12 or so swings before I take 10 seconds off. I decided to try mixing it up a little.  By the third set of swings I was tired, but I think I could've gone 50, 40, 35.   Added a few reps to the plyo seated jumps.  I thoroughly enjoy them, really trying to concentrate on making it all one fluid movement as opposed to standing up off the box and then jumping. 

July 17, 2011

July 17, 2011 Day Off!

  • Jack Shit: 1*1

Took the day entirely off and went to the beach in Gloucester.   Last week before we left for Gloucester I did my regular conditioning day.  Honestly though this week I feel like I need a break for the day. As I noted a couple posts earlier my core is exhausted, and my knees & legs are sore and tired especially after that 400*9 on Friday.  So I took the day off to recharge.  Still kept my diet intact though.  I actually do feel better.  One bad thing though, it was about 95 and no clouds in the sky so the sand was super hot. At one point I went to get some plastic silverware from the snack shack so I could eat my chicken, and the sand was so hot I got a giant blister on the bottom of my right big toe. Hopefully this doesn't interfere with my A.M. workout tomorrow, which will actually be my regular Sunday one.  Also! I bought two mini bands from elitefts, can't wait til they come. Hope everyone had a nice day, and here's a video of the beach:



July 15, 2011

July 15, 2011 Deadlifting!

  • 400*9 410*4 420*2
  • DB Jump Deads: 60*7
  • Rope Pullups: 5,5

Wow.....so close.  That last rep literally took everything I had on the 400.  I'm hoping that by doing heavier sets afterward I can build a tad bit of strength going in to next week and get that final rep at 400.  I did NOT feel like doing anything else after that, so just did a few sets of accessory stuff. Went home and actually passed out in bed for about 20 minutes.  

July 14, 2011

July 14, 2011: Videos?

Just a note, since I have an "HD" camcorder on my phone now, I may start posting some of the stuff I do.  I'll try a test run with box jumps this Sunday probably.

July 14, 2011 P.M.: Upper/Light

  • BB Incline Bench: 220*8 220*8 210*9
  • Pullups: 25*6 25*5 20*5
  • DB Incline Bench: 90*7 90*6 85*7
  • Standing Military Presses: 135*4 140*3 145*2


Good session, I accidentally left 220 on for my 2nd set of incline. It's funny what your mind can do as far as lifting, or anything else for that matter. I thought I was pressing 210. As I did it I thought it felt slightly heavier than it should, but still finished the 8 reps I was "supposed" to. When I got up I glanced at the bar and realized I had left the 5 on each side. Added a rep on the pullups, enjoyed some incline benching, and then did some military presses. I'm still working on my strength there, I have literally never done them consistently and I look forward to my next bulk when I can hopefully start adding some serious weight onto them.

Quick Note:

I may need to give my core a rest at some point soon. On my Paloff Presses on Sunday 50 lbs. was actually twisting me and pulling me back towards the weight stack so hard that I had to take a much wider stance than normal. Then on squatting on Tuesday a couple of the reps actually folded me over, it was like my abdominal wall just gave out almost. I still completed the reps since it happened earlier in the set, but my core is definitely exhausted at this point. I'm probably going to give it time to rest this PM workout, tomorrow, Saturday, and then possibly Sunday too.

July 14, 2011 A.M.: Rope Extravaganza

  • Battling Ropes: 50, 50, 30
  • Lateral Battling Ropes: 30, 35
  • Rope Slams: 20, 25
  • Plate Transfer Planks (2.5,5,10,10): 2
 Rope Fest 2K11 was fun.  Never really done any rope work fresh, I usually do it at the end of my workouts.   On the 2nd set of battling ropes I looked like a wind-up toy running out of steam; I started out so fast and ended up moving in slow motion as the lactic acid built up.  Did some more rope work after that too, had fun.  Plate Transfer Planks (from Lee Boyce) are a LOT harder than I thought they would be, the side to side weighted movement of the arms really adds a degree of difficulty.




July 13, 2011

New link between mother's pregnancy diet and offspring's chances of obesity found

Here's a study from the UK showing the importance of prenatal diet in mothers.  Note that even in mothers who were NOT obese, a poor diet still can cause epigenetic changes in their children that lead them to a great proclivity for fat gain.                 

Fish Oil

Just wanted to pass along this link to an article on the benefits of fish oil.  If you could only take one supplement it should be this.  Even people not doing anything else to lose weight take this and lose weight. Here's the article:  Fish Oil and Fat Loss.

June 13, 2011 Sprinting to IMMORTALITY

  • 100m sprints: 2
  • 200m sprints: 2
  • 100m sprints: 2

wow.....So we've got a 'heatwave' in Boston right now.  Basically it's above 90 for a few days, aka the only few days we'll have real nice summer weather in New England and give everyone an opportunity to bitch about the heat.  Personally I love it. I'm more comfortable when it's 95 and humid as a jungle than when it's 75 and dry.  It was about 83 this morning when I went to sprint.  I've found that since I started doing the 200s the last couple weeks the 100s have gotten MUCH easier.  I take maybe 45 seconds between those first 2.  The 200s still kill me, but then at the end today I'm standing by my shoes that I use to walk over in and my water bottle, and figured what the hell, and ran another 100m down the track, took a minute then decided to run the 100m back to where all my stuff was.  The lactic acid hit on that final 100m to round out my first ever 800m day was unbelievable.  May start sprinting Saturdays too.  I'm loving it.

June 12, 2011 P.M. Lower Body

  • BB Squats: 265*10 275*8 285*6
  • BB Good Mornings: 135*6 145*6
  • BB Front Squats: 225*3 245*1
  • Neutral Grip Pullups: 11, 9

Back in the groove with squats.  Next week I start with 275, hopefully hit it for 10 and then get 285 for 8 and 295 for 6.    I'm going to keep up with the front squats.   On the pullups what makes me stop is that my arms actually get fatigued from gripping the bars for so long.  I may use wrist wraps next time and see how many I can get. Or not.

July 12, 2011

July 12, 2011 A.M. Conditioning

  • Plyo Bench Pushups: 6,6,6
  • Side-Plank Cable Rows: 45*10 60*10
  • Ab-Wheel: 9,9
  • 7KG MB Slams: 50
  • P.U.P.P: 1:40

Decided doing high reps on plyo pushups makes no sense; if I'm using enough explosive force on them I shouldn't be able to get much past 6 reps.   For the metabolic work I did some ball slams, never done them in non-tabata form before, it was kind of fun.   Side-Plank Cable Rows are a new one, got them from a Lee Boyce article  here on page 2, see the picture below.  I need to focus on keeping my body in a straight line, I have a tendency to stick my rear back a bit. 

July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011 P.M. Workout, Upper Body

  • BB Flat Bench: 275*3 265*5 265*4
  • BB Rows: 225*10 245*8 255*6
  • Push Press: 135*1 185*1 205*1 225*X 225*X
  • DB Flat Bench-50 reps: 85*14 85*10 85*8 85*6 85*7 85*6 (51)
  • Wide-Grip Rope Pullups: 4, 3
So before this one I decided I was going to try 225 again on push pressing, and also go for 50 reps in as few sets as possible on db benching.  As such I kept a little in the tank on flat benching and the bb rows. Though I will say on the rows I'm getting back into the groove.   Anyhoo, missed both attempts at 225 on push pressing.  I think I need to get better technique wise on them and make the dip and pop at the bottom transition more fluidly into the actual press.  I may work on this with light weights on Thursday.  DB Benching went well too...thought it was going to be a walk in the park after that first set, but the lactic acid hit killed me. 

July 11, 2011 A.M. Workout, Conditioning

  • Medium Box Depth Jumps (For Distance): 5
  • Low>Medium over box series jumps: 10, 10
  • Lateral Battling Ropes: 45, 40, 30
Good session, I need to wear my regular sneakers for depth jumps though. Wore the Vibrams and my knees hurt afterwards.  Feels great to be getting back to two-adays.  I actually look forward to them on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays now. 

July 10, 2011 Conditioning

  • Double KB Swings: 20kgs*25,20,15
  • 34" Plyo Box Jumps: 30
  • 34" Seated Plyo Box Jumps: 15
  • Palloff Presses: 50*3
  • Ab Wheel: 6

Didn't have a whole lot of time here, was heading to the beach right afterward.  So this was all done with virtually no breaks between.  Given that this turned out to be a good session.  The Palloff's were interesting, on the 3rd rep for each side the weight actually started to turn me pretty bad, I really had to fight, guess I was just tired.  Ab-Wheeling went good as well, really zeroing on these lately. 

July 8, 2011

July 8, 2011 Closing in on 400*10 Deadlift

  • BB Deadlift: 390*8 400*7 400*4
  • Reverse Hypers: 80*7 80*7
  • One-Arm KB Plank Drag: 32kg*2
  • PUPP: 2:00

Feeling great, cut is going well, probably within about 2-3 lbs. of where I want to be.  Deadlift went greeeeat.  Next week I'll lead off with 400, and actually go to 405 and 410 for 2nd and 3rd sets.  Need to make 400 feel lighter in the coming weeks.  Was pretty much toast after but did some hypers and core work. 

 

July 7, 2011

July 7, 2011 Upper Body

  • BB Incline Bench: 220*7 210*8 205*5
  • Wide-Grip Pullups: 6, 5, 5
  • BB Standing Militaries: 135*5 140*3 140*3
  • Cable Rows: 130*10
  • Medicine Ball Pushups: Right: 15 Left: 15
  • P.U.P.P.: 1:45
  • Rope Slams: 25, 25

Really eclectic workout here!  I need to get back into turning this day into my more light/explosive workout.  I want reps in the 6-10 range.  Might start doing rack-lockouts again.  Did very wide grip pullups today.  They're harder, and they hurt my shoulders.  Continuing to dive back into military presses.  I want to be able to hit 185*1 by August 1.    Wish I had done more sets of cable rows.   Metabolic/core work was the usual. Almost got back to 2:00 on the PUPP!  Hadn't done rope slams in about 10 days so threw them in at the end.  Great workout.    

ALSO:  I weighed my chicken after I cooked it today, 7.9 raw - 7.5 cooked. So I may have over-estimated just how off my original calculations were earlier today. 

July 7, 2011 MAJOR miscalculations in diet....

So I was doing some calculations today for macros/caloric intake for after my cut is done, and it dawned on me.....when I use Fitday I always select cooked meat, but the weight I enter is the raw amount. So for instance for my dinner, I select "Chicken Breast, Skin Not Eaten, Broiled" and then for amount I put 8 oz. The problem is that I wasn't eating 8 oz. of broiled chicken breast, I had weighed out 8 oz of raw chicken, which loses significant weight after cooking.   What I needed to select was Chicken Breast, Skin Not Eaten, Raw (Yield when Cooked).   The difference is significant. When eating one pound of chicken per day 262 less calories, 6 less grams of fat, and 49 less grams of protein. I've also been doing the same for steak. Fuck.  The same applies to steak which I was eating like a pound of per day on the bulk. I was probably taking in about 500 calories less per day on the bulk than I thought I was before. 


So for instance on the last stage of this cut I thought my macros were at 2341 calories, 69f/144c(33f)/290p.  They were actually: 2013 62f/144c(33f)/229p. That protein number HURTS. But on the plus side as long as I've been calculating I've been overestimating how much protein I'm taking in. So all the records I broke on this recent bulk were with way less calories, and way less protein than I thought I was taking in. Now I can see what I can do when I actually take in the amount I think I am.

I also just realized I have to recalibrate how much calories/fat/protein I need when bulking and cutting, because I was under the impression that I was taking in about 15% more of each than I actually was for the last several years. I KNOW how my body reacts to 16 oz. of raw chicken that has been broiled. Just kind of fucks with my macros/calorie calculations since I was under the impression that I knew how much I needed to cut/gain, and I follow some templates for carb cycling, and all that goes out the window now.  What I may do is cook my chicken breast after weighing out 8 oz. of it for dinner tonight.  I'll then see what it weighs after I cook it and then change the numbers I had been using for the Broiled Chicken entries on my diet.  I don't cook meat as thoroughly as others, so the generic yield after cooking numbers in fit day may not apply to me, the drop they put in may be more drastic, so I'm going to have to see. 

I just wanted to post this as a cautionary tale for anyone else using Fitday, or anything else for calculations in your diet. Make sure you are using yields when cooked, or making sure you select raw if that's how you weigh your meat.

July 7, 2011 Conditioning

  • med to low over box jump series: 10, 10, 10
  • Ab Wheel: 10, 10

Apparently I was more tired than I realized after yesterday's sprinting session, as I slept laaaaate today.  Only had time for a briefer session here.  Otherwise I would've done a complex first.   Felt good.  Cut going well, abs becoming much more visible over the last couple weeks. 

July 6, 2011

July 6, 2011: Sprinting

  • 100m Sprint: 2
  • 200m Sprint: 2


It was already about 85 by the time I got to the track this morning...gonna be a nice hot day outside. Wish I was out in it playing football or something.  Air was thick, and they were mowing near the track too.  Still had fun, did a couple 100s, then tried my hand at a 200 again.  Went MUCH better than last week.  Still need to get a bit more conditioned as the last 20m or so I started to slow down, but I had enough in the tank to run a 2nd 200.  Absolutely drenched after this one.  Felt great! 

July 5, 2011

Thoughts

As this cut progresses I'm noticing some changes in myself, not just in the gym.  I'm speaking more in the sense of personality makeup; not just the obvious physical changes.  I've never been one to back down from challenges when they're presented to me, but recently I've noticed that instead of meeting those challenges that come into my life, I'm actively seeking them out.  

Like a lot of the changes I'm noticing in life, this one seemed to start at the gym.  I decided towards the end of this cut that I was going to try low-carbing it. Now I've done that in the past to the tune of 80 net per day, but in this case I was going to try something I had never done before, less than 20g net.  I'll never forget that first day of trying it.  I was expecting to feel foggy, out of it, weak...but I got none of that.  I felt fine, and it was like this mental barrier crumbled like an old cinder block wall.  After that I started to think about more challenges I could undertake, and realized I already was exposing myself to a couple of others, like with my conditioning work.  

 I decided on this cut to not use steady state cardio, and instead entirely employ more explosive powerful conditioning work (rope slams, tabatas, jump work).  The more of it I did the more successful at it I became;I was trying things (30 consecutive plyo box jumps onto a 34" stack for instance) that I had never done, and did not think I would be able to master as rapidly as I have. Somewhere in there I started becoming less intimidated by new ideas.   My workouts have become more and more based on one planned exercise (usually a compound movement such as squatting, deadlifting, benching, or pullups for example) and then the rest is explosive accessory work, and a metabolic component that I never have planned for that day.  Maybe the biggest change, and something I never saw myself doing, is how I am beating the holy hell out of my core muscles on a regular basis multiple times per week, and actually thriving on this.  

Then the idea of two-adays came to me.  I don't have to go into work until 11 A.M. right now, and who knows how long that opportunity will last.  So I started splitting up workouts; metabolic work in the mornings, weighted workouts (and some metabolic work) in the evenings.  Again, same thing as with the low carb approach. I figured I'd be toast after the A.M. workout, and instead my afternoon work didn't take a hit at all.   That experience galvanized my growing belief that whatever challenge I throw at myself physically, whatever demand I make of myself, whatever level of discipline I seek, I will be successful. 

What's next? I'm not sure, I'm thinking about some other way to challenge myself.  I'm closing in on a 10 rep max of 400 lbs. on deadlifting, a 40" vertical, and a body weight military press, all goals I thought would take longer to reach.  I wrote a while back that I've stopped using comparisons that others use in the gym to gauge their progress.  I don't look at what my peers are doing, I'm looking towards NFL, NHL, and Track Athletes, especially on conditioning work to see where I rate, and also to get new ideas.  

At the start of this rather rambling post (I didn't mean it to be) I said that I'm noticing changes in my personality outside of the gym, and they look like parallel changes to what I see in my training.  I'm not intimidated by prospects of getting a job that fits to what I want.  In fact career/employment decisions don't even give me a moment's pause.  I don't even think about most of my peers having families at this point, to be honest it doesn't even vaguely interest me right now.  I could go on at length, but won't.  Basically, the questions I find myself asking are no longer "I wonder if I can get....[whatever]"  it's becoming "How do I get [whatever] in the quickest way possible".   I feel so much more aggressive in seeking out what I want, (as well as more aggressive personality-wise in general) taking action in situations quicker than I ever would have before, and honestly I have never been happier with who I am, or where I'm going in life than I am right now. 

July 5, 2011 Legs

  • Squats: 245*10 255*10 265*10 275*7
  • Good Mornings: 135*6 145*5
  • Front Squats: 185*3 205*2 225*2
  • Battling Ropes (Latera): 35, 40, 40
  • Rope Pullups: 6, 6
 First time I've done the 10 rep sets on squatting in over a month!  Whoops...been doing lower rep stuff last few weeks, thought it had only been like 3 weeks.  Started lower just to make sure I could hack it.  I was torched by the 4th set, I'll start at 265 next week and see how that goes.  Adding in Good Mornings here; need to bring my lower back strength and stability up.   Front squatted after, this is shaping up to be an exhausting leg day if I leave those first 3 exercises together.   For the battling ropes, go to 0:45 of the video below.   Realized I hadn't done rope pullups in last 6 days, so I did them to finish off.



July 4, 2011 Star-Spangled Upper Body

  • Flat Bench: 270*2 -hit the f*cking post 275*2 280*1....f*ck
  • Neutral Grip Pullups: 11,8,7
  • Unilateral DB Flat: 85*9 95*6
  • BB Rows: 225*8 245*5
  • BB Push Press: 185*1 205*1 215*1 NEW PR!! 225*X


Well, hit the post on the rack on 2nd rep at 270. I HATE when I do that, it jams that shoulder & tricep and screws up my mechanics the rest of the benching sets.   Did well on Neutral-Grips. For the unilateral db flat just take one db off the rack, lay on the bench, start benching. Leave your off hand free, don't grip the bench or anything.  You'll find out how strong your core is really fast using those.  Went back to BB rows, I need to do more high reps BB Rows.   New PR on push pressing, I think if I hadn't done so much before I would have had 225; I was about 4" from locking out on it as is.

July 3, 2011 Conditioning

Double KB Swings: 18kg*25,25,25,25
High+Low (34") Plyo Box Jumps: 30
Seated Plyo Box Jumps (34"): 15
Paloff Presses: 50*3
Ab Wheel: 8
Shoulder-Touch Planks: 0:39, 0:32
Plank: 0:30


Well that was an intense conditioning session.  The double kb swings were nuts; had an 18kg in each hand.  Good stuff.  After the usual core stuff did some plank work.  There's a video of shoulder-touch planks below:



July 1, 2011 Lower

  • BB Deadlifts: 380*10 390*6 400*5
  • DB Jump Deads: 60*6
  • Agility Ladder: 5

My pursuit of 400*10 on deadlifting continues, actually breaking into the 400s now after weeks of buildup.  It was exxxxhausting, but still after that 5th rep at 400 I set the weight down and realized I could've had a 6th.  So next time, this coming Friday probably, I'm going to attempt 400*7.   Also attempted to use the agility ladder...still don't get that thing.