December 29, 2011

December 29, 2011 Lower / Light

  • Squats: 290*4 300*2 315*1
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 100*3 120*3 140*3 150*3 160*2
  • Trap-Bar Jump Deads: 225*3 245*3
  • Kneeling Paloff Presses: 30*3 40*3

I just don't get squatting any more.   I was warmed up, foam rolled before hand, etc.  First set I thought my left IT band was going to snap and my lower back stung all over.  Second and third sets IT band was better but my lower back is just extremely fatigued right now.  Regardless I wouldn't have gotten much more than I did anyway.  My 1RM for deadlifting right now is probably a shade over 500 meaning I can deadlift almost 200 lbs. more than I can squat.  I have no explanation for this whatsoever.  I am prioritizing my deadlift this bulk, so I didn't expect my squat to go up a ton, but it's actually gone down some.  The power-snatches went well, added 5 lbs. to them, almost had a 3rd at 160 but dropped it on the back of my neck.  Note to self: don't do that again.   Did some trap-bar jump deadlifting which I love and haven't done in ages.  Finished with kneeling paloff presses...holy crap I think I like these more than the standing version.

December 27, 2011

December 27, 2011 Upper / Heavy

  • Flat Bench: 235*3 255*3 265*3 275*3 285*3
  • Pullups: 75*3 75*2 75*2 55*4 55*3
  • Push Press: 190*3 200*3 210*3 220*2 NEW PR!!
  • Dips: 13, 10 
Progression, etc.   Got an extra rep at 285 on the flat benching. Decided to drop the weight on the last two sets of pullups in order to get the extra reps in. New PR on Push Press.  I'm really dialing in on it lately.  I think I'm cutting it back to 3-4 sets from 5, and focusing on moving up the weight quicker. So next week I'll go 200, 210, 220, 225 probably or 205, 215, 225 who knows. By the time all this was over I was pretty beat, so I did dips with just my bodyweight and got out. Whole session was about 55 minutes.

December 26, 2011

December 26, 2011 How I started lifting

I was 17 years old, it was February 1999.  I had left high school after my sophomore year to attend college via a dual-enrollment program in Massachusetts.  Basically the state paid for me to go to college and take courses which would obviously count for college credit, but also high school credit as well.  Most people took one or two courses at the local college per semester.  Not me; as soon as I heard about this program I knew I was doing it full time.  Not only that, but I had amassed enough credit that I could graduate from high school after spending that junior year of it taking classes at the local college.  I think I took 5 my first semester, 2 over winter break, and 6 second semester.  But I digress.  The only requirement I couldn't fill was my gym requirement at my high school.  I looked at a few classes on volleyball, swimming, and the like, but none fit with my schedule.  I actually enjoyed both of those activities, but never did them extnsively, and was basically Austchwitz-mode at this point. After talking it over with the administration they decided that if I worked out at the colleges gym a few times per week and had a trainer sign off on it they would consider the gym requirement fulfilled.

I'll never forget the fitness assessment they do.   The trainer took me into the room and weighed me , I think I was 130 lbs @ 5' 10".  Then he put like 95 lbs. on a bar and had me attempt to bench it.  I basically dropped the thing on my chest, I could barely even unrack it.  He tried 75 or 65, same thing.  If /fit/ existed back then spaghetti would've started pouring out of my pockets (note: 90% of the people reading this won't get that).  They set me up on a program, pretty much only machines.  I liked the leg press the best.   Oddly, despite being weak as dirt I enjoyed going there.  It just felt natural.  Granted I barely gained any weight (by September of 1999 I was only up to 138 lbs.), but I was enjoying myself. Maybe it's because my dad had lifted and I grew up around it, I dunno.  Anyway, I started to get somewhat stronger, and eventually after graduating early I joined a local gym.    The rest is a story for another time.  Looking back though it's hard to believe that after my bulk this year I was 231 lbs., over 100 lbs. heavier than when I started

December 26, 2011 Lower / Heavy

  • Deadlift: 405*3 430*3 440*3
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 185*3 195*3 205*2
  • Trap-Bar Deadlifts: 315*3 405*3 495*1 545*X

Whoo...good times. Probably could've done 450 here for a 3rd set. If I ramped up properly I could hit 500 right now I believe. But I'm going to keep adding poundage instead. I actually wanted to do some trap-bar deadlifting so I only did 3 sets of deadlifts, and 3 sets of hang cleans. The hang cleans went great, I'm really getting forceful with the jump and my catches are improving. Last week I got 200 for 3, but the 3rd was a really bad catch. If I had used that same form I could've gotten a 3rd at 205 but I didn't want to torque my spine again, so I just dropped it instead. The two that I got at 205 were solid. I need to start using chalk though, my grip is shot by the end of these. So the trap-bar deads went great, I was pretty tired but got 315 and 405 for easy triples. Decided to try 495 for a single, and if it went easy go for 515. I got 495 easily. I decided though that since 515 was my old record why not go for something a bit more challenging. Threw 545 on there, with my cellphone recording. I got it 2" off the ground and was just too tired to finish the rep (my sticking point is actually about 2" off the ground, unlike breaking it off the floor for most people), I've actually never failed to complete a pull that I've gotten past that 2" point. I think if I went 315 405 and 495 for singles I might've had a better chance. I deleted the video, but I regret it now, I haven't posted one in a while. Not all my videos need to be successful lifts. I'll try trap-barring again in a few weeks, see if I can get 545. 

note:  I've been doing hanging power cleans, I need to go back and correct this in previous entries.  

December 23, 2011 Upper/Light

  • BB Incline: 240*5 230*4
  • T-Bar Rows: 135*5 150*5
  • Standing Press: 165*4 155*3
  • Incline DB Curls: 30*9

Was in a bit of a hurry here but still wanted to put in some reps.   I've noticed as my benching numbers improve my standing press/push press is becoming more difficult, probably on account of fatigue in secondary and tertiary movers on those movements are primary movers on the shoulder exercises.  Decided to throw some rows in here because people spew soda out their mouths in shock/indignation when they see my usual routine doesn't have any rows in it.

December 22, 2011 Lower / Light

  • Squats: 290*5 300*4 310*2
  • Hang Snatches: 95*3 115*3 135*3 145*3 155*2
  • Front Squats: 185*5 205*5 225*5

I don't get squatting.  I just don't.    I've heard people say to 'sit down between your hips' or something like that for squatting.  I feel like I am, but it makes no difference.  I get to parallel and it's like my hips, hamstrings, glutes, and quads just go limp for lack of a better word.  It's like they're "empty" or something, like that part of my body is just completely missing, as though there's nothing there to flex.  I actually can do almost the same weight going Olympic ATG on squats.  I get that momentum of starting from the floor, so that when I get close to parallel and all the power evaporates, I've still got enough speed to carry me through to the top of the rep. The weird thing is, If you told me, "Matt go find your 1RM, I could do singles til the cows come home.   I can get out of the hole with a heavy weight once, but anything more than that is asking too much. I also accept that my numbers may be effected by the fact that for the last month I've broken my 3 rep record on deadlifting.  But still this problem predates that by a good ways.  Other stuff went well here, hang snatches got 2 at 155! I did more lighter sets first today to get there.  Good stuff!

December 21, 2011 Conditioning

  • 34.5" Plyo Box Jumps: 30
  • Side Rope Slams: 13, 15, 15

Was feeling particularly depressed again today.  I have no idea why.  Got an interview for a great job on Friday, I should be excited. I am, but I'm still feeling 'dark' overall.  I decided to go to the gym and jump on boxes, since that usually cheers me up.  It did a little.   Went over to Wendy's after this workout, and felt much better.  Still not up to where I should be though. You can see the alternating rope slams (side rope slams) in the beginning of the following video.  I'm not actually in the video or anything, it's just the only example I could fine easily on youtube.  I'm obviously doing them with much more violent force.  

December 21, 2011

December 20, 2011 Upper / Heavy

  • Flat Bench: 235*3 255*3 265*3 275*3 285*2
  • Pullups: 75*3 75*2 75*2 75*2 75*2
  • Push Press: 185*3 195*3 205*3 210*2
  • Dips: 12, 8
Good session, bench is moving up gradually, pullups have been kind of higher as well.  As my weights are moving up on those first two push pressing is getting harder, I run out of steam on them.  Dips are bodyweight at this point, just tired after the benching and pullups. 

December 19, 2011

December 19, 2011 Lower / Heavy

  • Deadlift: 325*3 285*3 405*3 425*3 435*3
  • Hang Cleans: 170*3 180*3 190*3 200*3 NEW PR!! 180*3

not gonna lie bros (&sisses) this workout beat the piss out of me.  Was absolutely exhausted at the end.  Feels good man.  Keeping up with the deadlifting, still focusing on tearing it off the floor as violently as possible.   Hang cleans went good, that 3rd catch at 200 was somewhat garbage though.  I got it, but I don't want to be using piss poor form like that often, or even rarely. Was leaning forward too much when I caught it.  

December 18, 2011

December 18, 2011 Progress Pics

Couple of progress shots, I'm back over 190. I'm 194 in these pictures, gaining about 1.5 lbs. per week.  Going much cleaner this time around than last year.  I think the olympic movements that I've thrown in are keeping my metabolism higher.  Plus not eating 5000 calories like a slob helps.

December 18, 2011 Conditioning

  • Weighted 34.5" Plyo Box Jumps / Seated Plyo 34.5" Box Jump Giant Set: 6kg*15-BW*15
  • Plyo Bench Clap Pushups: 8, 7, 6
  • P.U.P.P.: 1:00

Basic session.  I feel the clap pushups a bit more than the regular bench pushups.   PUPP was not to failure, just something to keep my core awake.  

December 16, 2011 Upper / Light

  • Incline Bench: 235*5 230*5 220*5
  • Pullups: 13, 9,6
  • Standing Press: 155*5 160*5 165*4
  • Hammer Curls: 50*8 55*3

I actually do better on the pullups supersetting them with incline benching.  Probably on account of that first set of pullups would only be preceded by one set of incline benching, as opposed to the 3 that came before them today. Come to think of it I may put pullups first here on this day.  Standing Press went well, added 5 more pounds. Hammer curls. I did them.  

December 15, 2011

December 15, 2011 Lower / Light

  • BB Squats: 290*5 300*4 310*2
  • Hang Snatches: 135*3 145*3 155*X
  • Front Squats: 225*3

OOOF. Weights felt like they were made of lead today.   I think I'm fatigued a bit from my Monday deadlifting/clean session.  Plus I didn't sleep well last night. Stayed up a bit too late drinking.  Need to get back on a regular sleep schedule.  I've been staying up too late lately.  That ends now. 

December 13, 2011 Upper / Heavy

  • Bench Press: 230*3 25*3 260*3 275*2 280*2
  • Pullups: 75*3 75*2 70*3 70*2 70*2+1
  • Push Press: 195*3 205*1 - exhausted
  • Dips: 60*5 60*5 BW*12

whew. Solid workout. Took a bit less time between sets.  Caught up with me on the push pressing though.  I was absolutely exhausted.  I don't think I could've push pressed 135 after that 1st rep at 205.  Took a bit of a break, came back and got a couple sets of dips and realized I was still pretty fatigued, so switched to body weight.  You know it's a good session when you've got nothing left in the tank at the end.  Enjoyed this one. 

December 12, 2011

December 12, 2011 Lower, Heavy

  • Deadlifts: 320*3 380*3 400*3 420*3 430*3
  • Hang Cleans: 170*3 180*3 190*3 200*2 180*3
  • Weighted 34.5" Plyo Box Jumps / 34.5" plyo Box Jumps Giant Set: 15*15 - BW*15
  • Shoulder Touch Planks:12, 10

Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice session.  I'm focusing on really tearing the bar off the ground, really helps when you start getting to higher weights.  Considering a month ago I was at 405*2 I'm happy with today's results. I'm actually thinking that the 420 and 430 are 3 rep records for me.  Hang cleans went well. I need to get some chalk though.  I'll be looking for a 3rd at 200 next week.  Need to keep practicing form before hand as well.  That giant set I did afterward destroyed me.  I literally did 30 jumps to 34.5" in less than 90 seconds.  

December 11, 2011

December 11, 2011 Sunday Conditioning

  • 7kg MB Ball Slams: 60, 50
  • 34.5" Plyo Box Jumps: 15
  • 34.5" Plyo Seated Box Jumps: 15
  • Paloffs: 50*1 60*2

good session, ball slams got my heart pumping.  jumps went well, as did the paloffs. 

December 9, 2011 Upper / Heavy

  • BB Flat: 225*3 245*3 255*3 270*3 250*4
  • Pullups: 65*3 75*3 75*2 70*3 70*2
  • Push Press: 195*3 205*3 210*3 215*1
  • Dips: 60*5 60*5 60*5
Good session, will be moving up bench weights by 5 lbs. next workout.  Pullups went well, tried fiddling with order I did the weights in, got an extra rep on that first set of 75.  Push Pressing went well, was getting tired by that point though so kept it to 4 sets, really had no pop left.   Dips went well, didn't hurt my collarbones or anything.  So this coming week I'm going to try doing my two heavy workouts back to back, so Tuesday I'll be doing upper/heavy again.  I figure that makes more sense since it's earlier in the week, and maybe I'll be less drained for this session if I move it to Tuesdays. We shall see.

December 8, 2011

December 8, 2011 Lower / Light

  • BB Squats: 280*5 290*5 300*5
  • Hang Snatches: 135*3 140*3 145*3 150*3
  • Front Squats: 225*5 225*3

Good session, weights moved up.  I was actually gassed by the time I got to front squats.  Probably going to go 205, 215, 225 in some order next time, just so I can get the full 3 sets in and not be sucking wind the way I was today.  Next week I'll start squats at 290 probably, and the snatches at 140.  

December 6, 2011

December 6, 2011 Workout from 4 Years Ago

Was just flipping back through the log book I use and came across a workout from almost exactly 4 years ago.  Check out these beastly numbers.   I probably weighed around 167 or so for this workout:

  • BB Sumo Squats: 185*2 225*2 245*2 265*1
  • Good Mornings: 95*10 115*10
  • Nautilus Leg Extensions: 125*10 155*10 
  • Nautilus Leg Curl: 65*3 -hamstrings shot
  • Hoist Leg Press Calf-Press: 8*10 10*12 15*10 21*10

Good to see how much things have improved.  It's funny flipping back through this thing, on December 8th, 2007 I did 5 pullups with 25 lbs. added on, so that's 192 lbs. I was pulling up.  That's my bodyweight now and I can do 14 dead hang, those 5 I did 4 years ago may have had a slight cheat on them.  My 5 rep max now is probably 192 lbs + 55, so 247 lbs.  Not too shabby.  It's good to look back and see if you're making progress, one of the good things about keeping a log book, and backing it up somewhere. 

Even better, I just found one from December 12, 2001.  On that day I quarter squatted the hell out of 3 sets of squats:

  • BB Squats: 225*12 175*12 315*6
  • Leg Extensions: 11*11 12*11
  • Leg Curls: 10*10 10*10
  • Calf Press: 395*10 395*10 395*10 395*10
Wow...a decade ago.  

December 6, 2011 Upper / Light

  • DB Incline: 100*5 105*5 100*5
  • DB Rows: 120*5 120*5 120*5
  • Standing Press: 155*5 160*4 150*5
  • Hammer Curls: 45*8 50*5
 Not bad, swapped in DB Incline for this workout, and did some DB rows instead of pullups.  Got an extra rep at 160 on Standing Press. 

December 5, 2011 Lower / Heavy

  • BB DL: 315*3 375*3 395*3 415*3 425*3
  • Hang Cleans: 165*3 175*3 185*3 190*3 175*3
  • 34.5" Plyo Box Jumps: 30
  • P.U.P.P.: 3:00!!! whoah where did that come from NEW PR!!
Deadlifting went well, steadily moving up there.  Hang cleans as well.  I need to work on the synchronization of the pull & jump on the movement though.  I still mistime it a few times per session and I barely catch the weight.  Was absolutely brutalized after those two exercises, did some plyo work after, which is something I'm going to try and work in a bit more.  Then ended with a PUPP.  I think I could've gotten to about 3:05...but still 3:00 is my new record by far.  I got to 2 minutes and figured 2:30 was my record and beat it, then I figured I was almost to 3 so if I could hold out a little longer I could bag that.  Good times.

December 3, 2011

December 2, 2011 Upper / Heavy

  • BB Flat: 225*3 245*3 255*2? 270*2 245*3
  • Pullups: 65*3 70*3 70*3 75*2 75*2
  • Push Press: 185*3 190*3 195*3 205*3 210*3
  • Dips: BW* 13 BW*13
It's weird not prioritizing bench press.  For so many years I was so deficient  in it that I had to put it first on the day after my day off.  Now that it's at the end of the week I don't progress as fast at it.  I don't mind though.  The rest of the workout here went well. Pullups went good, added a rep at 205 & 210 on push press. Amazing what an actual 1/4 squat on Push Presses does...also went BW on dips and just repped out. Feels good man.  2nd day of not having a job...actually feels good.

December 1, 2011 Lower / Light

  • Squats: 275*5 285*5 295*5
  • Hanging Snatches: 135*3 145*3 135*3 135*3
  • Front Squats: 225*4 205*5 205*3 
  • Snatch Grip Deadlifts: 225*5 225*5 225*5

Good stuff.....may put a 2nd session of hang cleans instead of snatches for now while I work up on the weight.  Not sure.  Front squats were harder this week, with 2 exercises behind them, instead of leading off with them.  Snatch-Grip deadlifts are pretty difficult but worked out as well.  I actually slept good last night after getting fired. I actually feel better after being done with the jackasses where I worked.  Relieved.  

November 29, 2011 Upper / Light

  • BB Incline / Pullup S.S.: 230*5-BW*14 235*3-BW*11 220*5-BW*10 
  • BB Standing Press: 155*5 160*3 140*6
  • Standing Cambered Curls: 75*10 85*8 75*7
  • Ab-Wheel: 12, 10

Good stuff.  DESTROYED the pullups.  35 over 3 sets.  Can't believe how well that went.  Standing press is going well too.  Not sure my biceps look any different, but I'll keep on with the direct arm work any how.  It's actually kind of fun.  

November 28, 2011 Lower Body, Heavy

  • BB DL: 315*3 365*3 385*3 405*3 415*3
  • Hang Cleans: 185*3 175*3 175*3 175*3 175*3
  • Shoulder-Touch Planks: 10

Well I'm still alive.  Deadlifting went well.  Very well actually.  Clean volume went way up, so that's good. Up by several hundred pounds.  Finished off with some planks.  not bad...not bad