October 24, 2012

October 24, 2012 Sprinting

  • 100m: 7 (fastest: 14.43)
  • 50m: 6
  • Total: 1000m

Well that was enjoyable. Stretched, did a couple sprints, not completely balls out though.  Rested, then did a couple more balls out.  Was pretty much warmed up after that.  Did one where I really focused on the chopping motion of my arms while, I could actually hear the sound of them cutting into the wind, was kind of neat.  I kept my head down and tilted forward better as well, ran a 14.43. Still not great obviously, but I haven't been training for fastest speed on these for a while.  Still, shaved .4 off my time from last week.  My ultimate goal is once I get my form down better on these (keeping my head down better, running with a forward tilt, etc.).  Also I found out Harvard has an indoor track, may try using that if there's snow on the outdoor one this winter! 

October 23, 2012 Lower Body

  • BB DL: 315*3 365*3 405*2
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 135*3 155*3 175*3 195*1
  • DB Bulgarian Split Squats: 25*10 25*10
  • Paloffs: 60*10 70*10

I realized that prior to getting injured I was lifting at about 95% of my 1RM on deadlifts for about a year straight, no wonder I got exhausted and hurt.  Going to take a 'wave' approach from here on out, hang out around 75-80% of my max for a few reps, and then every six weeks or so ramp up to a max pull.  Felt really tight here (in a good way) everything felt like it was firing in sync; my piriformis   , back, and sciatica felt better than they have in a while.  Sciatic nerve wasn't even bothering me really.  Going to stay at 25s on split squats next week, slowly building up here, got a little shaky at the end. Amazing how long it can take to truly correct imbalances.  Finished with Paloffs.  

October 22, 2012 Upper Body

  • Bench Press: 275*3 290*2 300*1
  • BB Rows: 225*5 245*5 265*3
  • Push Press: 225*1 - shoulders tired
  • Viking Quest: 200*0:37 400*1:28 800*3:11 400*1:24 200*0:37

I'm not sure when my next bulk is starting, may be next week, since Halloween parties are this weekend really.  If so, then I just clinched my first complete cut above 300 lbs. on benching!  Yay, etc.  Did regular BB rows for the first time in a while, no chalk, no wraps, no mixed grip. I'm happy with how it went. Was tired afterward, so I did one push press, then straight to the rowing!  Still at 37 seconds on the 200, and 1:24 on the 400, managed to shave off 5 seconds on the 800.  I like racing myself on these things, gives me something new to chase. 

October 21, 2012 conditioning

  • Viking Quest: 205*0:46 410*1:24 800*3:16 400*1:27 200*0:37
  • Plyo Bench Clap Pushups: 5, 5

whoooowheee.  This week I'm going to do the viking quest rowing each day I'm in the gym (except Tuesday).  Getting ready for Halloween, clamped down on my diet, want to make sure I"m as cut as possible for it.  I did a little twist on the rowing though, where you go back down.  Actually I just looked up the T-Nation Article that references them, apparently you're supposed to do 125-250-500-1000.  I like my round number version better. 

October 20, 2012 Lower

  • Squats: 300*2 320*2 335*1 345*1
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*3 145*X-tired 135*1
  • Hyper-Extensions: 100*8
  • DB Goblet Carries: 110*1:01

Did this one on a Saturday since I was indisposed on Friday.   I figured since I went early in the day I'd have more energy...actually found the opposite. Did a quick session and got out of there.  Excited my squatting strength is coming back.   Toying with an idea of doing squats, front squats, split squats on this day, turning it into basically a quad day, while putting deadliftings, hanging power snatches, and hanging power cleans on my other lower body day, making it a posterior chain/hamstring/glute day. 

October 18, 2012

October 18, 2012 Upper Body

  • Incline Bench Press: 245*3 255*2 265*2
  • Pullups: 80*3 80*3 80*3 80*2 80*2
  • Pullups Giant-Set: 10, 2...ok that wasn't a bright idea
  • Standing Press: 135*7 155*3
  • Ab-Wheel: 10, 10

Great session really; moved up the weight a tad on the incline press and it didn't feel that heavy.  Pullups went well. Decided to try a giant set where I did as many as I could, dropped off the bar, took a few breaths, and then tried to bang out some more. Didn't go well.  Was too exhausted for the 2nd batch.   Standing press was nice, got 155*3 which is cool I guess. Ab-wheeled after.  Then to finish off I did a ton of pigeon stretching for the left leg/piriformis/IT-Band/sciatica.  Actually I foam rolled it for a while, stretched for a bit, and then got into the pigeon stretch which is the most taxing, so it makes sense to warm up for it so to speak.  The good news is that I did it until the nerve or whatever felt relaxed. When I got up it was the first time in about 6 weeks that I haven't felt something odd in that leg from the nerve.  As I write this now the tingling/pain has been almost non-existent.  If anything the calf just feels tight, not painful.  I'm sure it'll be shitty again in the morning, but I'm going to keep stretching and hopefully it'll help over time!  Yaay, etc. 

October 17, 2012 Conditioning (Sprinting)

  • 100m: 5 14.82 fastest
  • 50m: 10 7.4 fastest
  • total: 1000m
Didn't sprint last week, but I did bring my new stopwatch so I could time myself.   First 100m I ran took 15.57.  Not good.  I don't really warm-up though other than stretching some, so I gradually get fast as I go.  5th sprint I got 14.82, so I shaved 3/4 of a second off by that point.  Which is nice. I want sub 13 seconds though.  Air was really dry and cold, which you think would be nice for sprinting, but it's not.  Makes it harder to breathe really, at least for me.  Was actually somewhat gassed after the 5th 100, so I decided to do some 50s.  I'll be interested in seeing if next week I get faster. 

October 16, 2012 Lower Body

  • Deadlifting: 405*2 425*1 450*1
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 135*5 155*5 175*4
  • Reverse Hypers: 100*8
  • one-arm alternating planks: 5, 5

Still working on deadlifting; it's getting close but it still feels so weird in my hamstrings. It's like they need to be built up more from years of not firing them as much as I should when deadlifting.  They're constantly sore the last few weeks, and feel fatigued. When I foam roll them it feels like there's rocks in them from all the knots. I also feel hunched over too far on the highest weight sets each week, but I really don't want to reduce the weight, I still feel like a piece of garbage candyass for getting hurt in the first place.  I'll focus on the form when I get back near to 500 on a pull.   

Hanging power cleans went ok, another thing I just realized: since I'm using a lot more hamstring deadlifting now it's effected my power clean.  Previously before getting hurt my hamstrings weren't as decimated after deadlifting and I could 'pop' more on the cleans. Now they're so fatigued I've lost that pop.  I'm still not putting them first, I love deadlifting too much.  Reverse hypers went well, could REALLY feel the sciatica on the left with them.  Finished with alternating planks, putting out one arm in front of me, really enjoyed these. 

October 15, 2012 Upper Body

  • Bench Press: 275*3 290*2 300*1
  • Unilateral bb t-bar rows: 145*7 155*4 160*2
  • Push Press: 225*1 235*1

Good session, kept it short & sweet.  The t-bar rows are also a great core movement, really have to clamp down on them.  A couple more sessions at 300 on bench press and I'll have completed my first cut having maintained 300 the whole time.  It actually felt easier today, may go to 305 or even try 310 by the end of the cut. We'll see.  I'm still not completely comfortable arching on account of the sciatica/whatever.  It's diminishing, but slowly. I'm sure if I took some time off and just stretched it intensively for a week it'd heal faster, but the first week of November I'm going to go light to start the bulking cycle.  Probably just bench, deadlift, squat, and pullup for a few sets that week; so I'll just do one exercise for the entire workout.  May even combine deads & pullups and squats & benching and go to the gym twice.  

October 14, 2012 Conditioning

  • 34.5" Plyo Box Jumps: 5
  • 31.5" plyo Box Jumps: 15
  • 31.5" seated plyo box jumps: 15
  • Battling Rope - Rope Slam S.S.: 40-15 40-20
  • 10 lbs. plate transfer planks: 4*1 4*1

Got 5 jumps at 34.5 before psyching myself out.  Finished with the 31.5 jumps.  I may try to just add one jump onto the 34.5" each week, or at least try to get myself to before chickening out, until I'm at 15-20 again.   Did some rope work, then plate transfer planks; forgot how hard these are, since your forearm crosses over the midpoint of your body while planking. 

October 14, 2012

October 12, 2012 Lower Body

  • Squats: 300*2 320*1 330*1 340*1
  • Hanging Power Snatch: 135*5 150*2 - starving
  • Wide-Stance Anti-Rotational Chops: 50*10

Continued to add weight onto my squat.  Can't wait for my next bulking cycle, I want over 400 again, that's part of the reason I'm doing the hypers on my other day because I want a stronger lower back for it.   I was starving here, didn't eat at my usual time for lunch, ate earlier.  So I couldn't stay as long. 

October 11, 2012 Upper Body

  • Incline Bench / Pullup Superset: 240*3-80*3 250*3-80*3 260*2-80*2
  • Standing Press: 135*7 145*3
  • Unilateral Pullups: -14*2 -17*4
  • Bird Dogs: 10, 10

Supersets went good, felt like the pullups went well. Standing press went ok.  I'm still on the fence about whether or not to put it first this coming bulking cycle and see how high I can get it or not.  I really like incline benching though.  Tried unilateral pullups on the pullup assist machine, I had the idea that I could slowly build up to a bodyweight one arm pullup by using decreasing assistance each week. But honestly I don't like how the one arm pullups feel on my shoulder joints.  Probably going to ditch that plan. 

October 10, 2012 Conditioning

  • tiny-short-medium over box jump - broad jump s.s.: 10, 10
  • Viking Quest: 216*0:45, 400*1:31, 610*2:16
  • PUPP: 1:00 1:00
  • Small medicine ball roll-out: 1

Pouring out so I couldn't sprint, did this instead. Gym got a tiny box that's only a few inches tall, used that to extend the over-box-jump series by one.  New record on the viking quest; 610 meters on that last leg. Was going to go for 800 but by the time I got to 600 I was toast.  Good session! 

October 9, 2012

  • Snatch Grip Rack Pull: 405*1
  • Rack Pull: 455*1
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 160*3 185*2 195*1
  • Hyper Extensions: 50*8 100*6
  • DB Bulgarian Split Squats: 20*10 20*10
Taking it easy since I had 5 straight heavy deadlifting sessions.  I toyed with going heavy on the rack pulls but decided against it since that defeats the purpose.  Did hypers holding a db, going to work in more of them from now on to help strengthen my lower back.  

October 8, 2012 Upper

  • Bench Press: 275*3 290*2 300*1
  • Unilateral T-Bar Rows: 135*8 145*6 155*3
  • DB Seated Press: 70*6 80*5 90*2 NEW PR!!
I was pressed for time here, got to the gym a bit later than usual. Both racks were taken that I usually do standing presses in.  If I had known I was going to set a PR here I would've ramped up for a shot at the 100s.  Good session overall though, just maintaining through the end of this maintenance phase before the first week of November and the start of the bulk.  Good times!  Weight on T-Bar rows went up as well. 

October 10, 2012

October 7, 2012 Conditioning

  • 34.5" plyo box jumps: 2 - psyched self out after the 2nd
  • 31.5" plyo box jumps: 20
  • 31.5" seated plyo box jumps: 15
  • 7kg mb slam tabata: 21, 20, 21, 18, 18, 17, 20, 18

I have no idea why I keep psyching myself out on those box jumps.  I crouch back to jump and I just freeze, I think about what if I don't make it, how do I even jump, what should the form look like, I forget how to even jump properly. It's weird.  Because the 31.5" jumps is just a slightly smaller box on top of the tall box, and when I'm at my peak for those before coming down onto the box I'm literally 10" over the box sometimes.  I wish my gym had 'softer' boxes instead of those metal framed ones, I'd probably be fine then.  

Anyway, brought back the tabatas.  Holy moly. I knew it'd suck since I haven't done one in ages. Yup. it sucked.  Decimated me, which is why I do them!  Good times. 

October 5, 2012 Lower Body

  • Squats: 300*2 315*2 325*1 335*1
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*3 145*3 150*1
  • Ab-Wheel: 10, 10
  • High Box Jumps: 30 - as quickly as possible. 

Well that went well.  Not sure what was different here. That's what's so frustrating about squatting. Last week I barely got 315 for one, I'm not even sure I hit parallel.  This time I got 335.  I was really focusing on keeping my posterior chain tight & flexed throughout the movement, maybe that made a difference?  Plus I just decided I was going to see what I could get for a 1RM without really training for it.  Maybe I'll just do that every week.  Worked well for my deadlift...

Anyway rest of the session went well. REALLY enjoying snatches now that the trainer at my gym pointed out I was coming out too far in front when throwing the weight up.  That nice tight to the body snap and flip over the head feels perfect. I actually like the snatches more than hanging power cleans at this point.  I feel like my form on the cleans still isn't perfect.  Also, I'm recording this a few days after the fact, and the ab-wheel stuff really left my abs/core very sore.   Finished with some box jumps done as quickly as possible.  I like to keep my conditioning work grouped with the body parts I already worked; so things like box jumps with squats/deadlifts, rope slams after benching, etc.  I feel like that keeps the parts you'll hit next workout fresh. 

October 4, 2012 Happy Birthday Dad

Before I was born my dad was an aspiring runner, but never went professional or anything like that. When I was young he began working out with weights. He was really into it, but I get the feeling he jumped around from routine to routine a bit, and his diet was never super tight. But he loved it; squatting/leg day was always his favorite. He collected a weight set from odds & ends and bought a bench & rack from a friend and put it in the cellar. I remember one time he wanted to make a cable cross, so he drilled holes in the basement rafters and ran a cable through it. When he would use it the whole apartment would shake and the cats would scream and go running for cover.

Anyway, as I got older I did the whole teen not wanting to be like his parents thing. My dad kept working out, now at a gym, and he would walk/run at a local track in the evening sometimes. I didn't want to be like him at the time though so I never went to the gym or ran with him. He'd always try to get me to shoot hoops with him, and that usually worked. But other than that we never exercised together; again doing the whole teenager thing.

Then came the day I wanted to graduate a couple years early from high school. But I needed a gym course to finish off, so I started working out at the college's gym and having the trainer sign off on my workouts. It was brutal at first. I was 5 10 133 lbs., and couldn’t bench press 95 lbs., in fact I could barely push 65. But I still remember my first workout. I was always worried if I worked out I'd be 'just like my dad' which of course went directly against my teen-oppositional attitude. The thing was with my VERY first set on my very first workout...I just FELT awesome. It was on a chest press machine actually, I remember wondering how high I could get on the weight stack. So much of life can be effected by others, here's something that is 100% you, and something you can improve on from only your efforts. The thing was it was deeper than that, working out just felt right.

So anyway I continued on through highschool and college working out. My dad was so enthusiastic about it; we started talking about it a lot, and overall talking more. He had over a decade of ideas and knowledge he had been waiting to share with me. We ended up talking about Arnold, squats, deadlifting, anything you could name with regards to fitness. Every time we spoke he would ask how my workouts were going. As the years went by and I got to my mid-twenties and got my diet together I eventually passed most of his personal records. He never really went for one rep maxes or things of that nature; he seemed to keep things mostly in the 5-10 rep range, whereas if I’m doing 5 reps on something I start getting antsy. Instead of being wistful he encouraged me and spurred me on. Last year I benched more than he had squatted. He laughed his ass off. That’s a dad for ya.

Unfortunately over the years he started to get away more from working out; an injury here, a knee scoping there, nothing major, but he'd take time off, and every time he'd start it'd be harder to get back into it. Currently in the cellar of the house he has with his girlfriend there's an elliptical machine, and a squat rack. He uses them occasionally, but nothing like he used to. He's always worked in autobody & mechanic type of jobs, so that's physically demanding, but I feel bad he doesn't work out more. I've been starting to spur him on lately the way he used to with me. I've encouraged him to eat better, talk to his girlfriend about cutting back on the piles of salt, white rice, and butter that she puts on everything. He's eating better, taking fish oil, and finally getting a hernia repaired that he’s had for years. After that I'm going to be on his ass to start hitting the weights for rehab, and past that. I’d like to see him back close to where he used to be. Heck, studies have shown even 80 year olds can gain muscle mass, there’s no reason someone more than 25 years younger than that can’t do it, especially with the knowledge he has.

I'm so lucky he always encouraged me; I said at the beginning that the gym is somewhere that's 100% you, and I believe that. But sometimes it helps to have someone else enabling you to give that 100%, to encourage you, to help you set goals. And just like he did that for me in my late teens, early twenties, I hope to be doing that for him in his mid-50s. Just telling him flat out, if you want to have more energy, look better, feel better, DO this. I always leave little hints here and there on my blog for him, since I know he reads it, about prehab/rehab/mentioning him. Still to this day, every time he calls he mentions seeing a video I had posted, or a workout I had posted and we talk. I know this really wasn't on topic, but I love my dad and I owe so much of what I've accomplished in and out of the gym to him, I wanted to immortalized it on the internet somewhere.

As a post script: One record of his I never beat, and don't think I ever will: seated cable rows with the full stack for sets of 10. Apparently he made that motion over and over and over at work all day long, and it translated well to the rowing.

October 4, 2012 Upper Body

  • Incline Bench Press / Pullup Supserset: 240*3-80*3 250*3-80*2 260*2-80*2
  • Pullup Iso-Hold: 23 seconds
  • Standing Press: 135*7 145*4
  • Paloffs: 50*10 60*10

Good session, I think I may try a muscle up next week. We'll see how that goes. Paloffs still bring out the strain/whatever in my piriformis/lower back.  All core/ab work does.  Doesn't stop me from going in on it though.  

October 4, 2012

October 3, 2012 Sprinting

  • 300m: 2(!!)
  • 200m: 1
  • 100m: 2
  • Total: 1000m, 28 minutes

wow....so the conditions were great; it was cool with a nice cool breeze, and overcast.  It was raining earlier so I wasn't sure if the track would be dry.  It was slightly damp but nothing big.  That first 300 went easily. Wasn't even sure what I'd be doing, was going to just play it by ear.  The first 100m I felt fine, by 200m I was just starting to get winded, so I went to 300, actually thought about going to 350, but decided to save something in the tank.  Lined up again a few minutes later figuring I'd pull a 200, got to 200, was sucking wind, but gutted out a second 300m!  First time ever; didn't think I'd ever do that. Finished this whole thing in 28 minutes.  Last time took me 26 minutes, but that was all 100 meter sprints.  The degree of difficulty here was much higher and only took 2 minutes.  Feels great!

October 2, 2012 Lower Body

  • Deadlifts: 315*3 405*1 425*1 445*1 
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 135*3 160*3 185*2 170*3
  • DB Bulgarian Split Squats: 15*10 15*10
  • Wall-Ball Throws: 16*10 16*10
Wheeee getting deadlifting strength back.  I think that's 5 straight weeks now of deadlifting so I'll probably go easy on it this coming week, we'll see how I feel.  Tried to keep my form on hanging power cleans better; last week I discovered my arms were coming too far in front of me on snatches.  They were on cleans as well, but not as bad.  Hopefully staying tight near my body lets me pack the weight back on the bar here. 

I highly recommend the split squats for people with hip mobility/imbalances.  My hips are usually a bit stiff and I have to get them warmed up before deadlifting/squatting.  I notice the help from the Bulgarian Split Squats as well;  I also notice that the imbalance can lead to instability of my knee i.e. it caves in sometimes when squatting.  The split squats help with that, especially concentrating on keeping everything in line.  I'm taking it slow on these, I could use the 100s probably at this point for a couple reps, but my form would be terrible. I'm going to keep everything light here for now and really pattern in the proper form on the movement. 

Finished up the session here by throwing a large ball up a wall as high as I could. 

October 1, 2012

October 1, 2012 Upper

  • Bench Press: 285*3 305*1 275*3
  • Unilateral BB T-Bar Rows: 125*10 135*7 145*5
  • Push Press: 225*1 235*1 - exhausted
  • Weighted Box Pushups: 25*10 25*10

Excited...if I can hang on to 300 for 4 more workouts I'll have finished my first ever cut above 300 lbs. on bench. Gives me a great base to go from.  Saw an uptick in strength on the unilateral t-bar rows.  Push press...I was exhausted.  I saw this video on Joe Defranco's youtube

Gave me the idea for the weighted box pushups.  You can see it at the start of the video.  Not sure I really felt anything in my core.  I probably need to use much heavier weight.  Will try next week. 

September 30, 2012 Conditioning

  • 34.5" Plyo Box Jumps: 5
  • 31.5" Plyo Box Jumps: 15, 15
  • 31.5" Seated  Plyo Box Jumps: 15
  • Plyo Bench Clap Pushups: 6, 5, 5
  • Battling Rope - Rope Slam Superset: 60-10, 50-15
Wheeee. First Sunday conditioning session in a couple months.  Back/whatever injury kept me from doing jump stuff, plus summer day trips. Back at it now.  Did some tall+short (34.5") box jumps.  Honestly I still have the same problem. I do several, and then start over thinking the motion, and how to do it, and what if I catch my shins, etc.  Then my body just locks up. No idea why.  On the 31.5" jumps when I land on the box it's pretty forceful because I'm like 7" over the top at my peak, minimum.  Still had fun here. Did some clap pushups, liked them a lot, need to work more plyo bench stuff in to work on bar speed.   Love my jumps though. Missed them greatly.  

September 28, 2012 Lower Body

  • Squats: 275*3 300*2 315*1 250*3
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 95*3 115*3 135*3 140*3 125*7
  • P.U.P.P.: 1:30, 1:30

Really getting frustrated with squatting.  I can barely make depth, and it's like I get no 'push' when at parallel.  I don't get it.  Plus I get folded over by anything about 225, which is odd because my back must be strong if I can pull 500+.  No idea what's going on.  I think I forget to keep my hamstrings/posterior chain tight when going down to parallel, and then try and engage it at the bottom, which doesn't work.  Back to the drawing board.  

In good news, a trainer noticed that on my snatches I was basically throwing the weight up in front of me, so that my arms were fully extended out in front of me like some sort of front raise, which just happened to go up over my head.  I tried a few sample reps and he was right.  So I did the rest of the sets focusing on keeping the weight tight up near my body and snapping it over my head.  MUCH easier, and feels like it must've been the missing link in my snatch.  Probably cleans too.  Cannot wait  to try this next week as well.   Push up planks went well, got 3:00 total. 

Also, been absolutely ravenous lately, not really getting chubby/soft/etc. either, so my body's using it for fuel apparently. 

September 27, 2012 Upper Body

  • Incline Bench Press: 245*2 255*1 245*1 - still burnt out from 9/25 chest workout
  • Pullup Giant Sets: 80*2-BW*10 80*1-BW*9 - weight belt broken
  • Standing Press: 115*10 135*6 145*4
  • Viking Quest: 0:40 (215) 1:25 (411)

OK, so I'm an idiot. I thought by putting my leg workouts on Monday & Friday, and sprinting on Wednesday that would make things easier on my legs.  But I forgot that'd mean I was benching Tuesday & Thursday.  Yeah not good times.  Also weight belt was broken so I had to hold the DB between my feet for those pullups. Not good times either.  Standing presses went fine.  Can't wait for next bulk.  May just put them first for the heck of it on this day. I  want this day to be distinctly different from my other upper body day, and right now it doesn't have that feel.   Did some rowing after the weighted stuff was over. Lungs were on fire after that 400m portion.