November 29, 2012

November 28, 2012 Sprinting / Conditioning

  • 100m: 10
  • Total: 1000m

Was a bit chilly so I threw an extra long sleeve shirt on.  I feel like in the cold weather my 3rd-7th sprints are fine, but that the last few I'm just sucking wind.  Need to time myself again next time the temperature is decent and I don't feel like I'm inhaling pure carbon dioxide. 

November 27, 2012

November 27, 2012 Lower Body

  • Deadlift: 315*3 365*3 410*3
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*3 140*3 145*3
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 155*3 175*3 195*X 185*1
  • BB Front Loaded Reverse Lunges: 45*5 95*5
  • Ab-Wheel: 10, 10
  • Medicine-Ball Wall Throws: 16*10 16*10
45 Minutes

Good session, getting stronger on deadlifting.  Last week I was exhausted after this session, this time I got it done easily.  Grip wasn't as exhausted, traps felt good. Felt more powerful throughout the whole thing.  Probably should've done 185 for 3rd set on cleans. Next week. Tried front loaded reverse lunges...interesting. Mocha Bear is big on them, may have to try them the next couple weeks. Remembered that the ab-wheel exists so that went well, then finished with some wall throws.  Weighed in at 194 after the session was over. 

November 27, 2012 2012 New(ish) Bulking Routine

o Box Jumps, or jump series. (Lower Body Plyo Variant of some sort)
o Rope Slams, Plyo Pushups (Upper Body Plyo Variant of some sort)
o Viking Quest, or  some other sprint variant (Lower body Sprinting Variant of some sort)

o Flat Bench (4x3-5)
o Rows (4x3-5)
o Push Press (4x1-3)
o Pullup Variant (3x-2-5)
o DB Incline Bench (2x6-8)

o Deadlifts (3x3)
o Hanging Power Cleans (3x3)
o Hanging Power Snatches (3x3)
o Paloffs, some core variant (2)
o Conditioning if I’m not wiped out

o Sprinting: 1000-1200 meters, consisting of mostly 200ms & 100ms.

o Incline Bench  (3x3-5)
o Pullups (5x3-5)
o Standing Press (3x5)
o DB Rows: (2x6-8)
o DB Flat (2x6-8)

o Squats (4x3-5)
o Squats From Pins (2x1-3)
o Bulgarian Split Squats: (2x10)
o Reverse Hyper Extensions (2xwhatever)
o Wide-Stance Anti-Rotational Chops, some core variant (2)
o Conditioning: Viking Quest or something

o   Off

So I've added more volume in here, which is one of my goals. I'm also adding in more work for my back, and continuing to hit my delts more. I also have a tendency to not do some sort of bb/db/t-bar rowing enough.  I'll do it on a bulk, or a cut, but then when I switch to the other I drop them a lot of times. Not doing that here.   Also importantly I've added in DB work as well, as higher rep work, which accomplishes two of my goals for this bulk, and going forward.  I'm also hitting my core on set days now, as well as throwing in some extra optional conditioning.   

November 26, 2012 Upper Body

  • Bench Press: 225*5 250*5 265*5 285*3
  • BB Underhand Rows: 225*6 235*5 245*5 255*2-grip failed
  • Push Press: 185*3 205*3 215*1
  • Neutral-Grip Pullups: 65*4 65*3 65*2
  • DB Incline Bench: 80*10 85*6
46 Minutes

Great session; I feel like the strength bump from the bulk is finally taking over.  Did BB Underhand rows. Still can't decide what kind of row I want to be doing.  I do DB rows on Thursdays so I'd like this to be some sort of bb row or t-bar variant.  Push pressing went well, felt a lot better on the 205 set, still don't have the pop I did a few months ago on it, bu tit's coming along.  Added some volume in with an extra set of neutral grip pullups & the db incline bench. 

I'm considering upping the protein a tad; I know I said I wanted to leave it where it was, and then raise it when cutting, but I feel like the lowered protein levels may be inhibiting me somewhat.  Not going to increase them drastically, maybe just a couple extra ounces of chicken when I eat that twice per day. 

November 25, 2012 Conditioning

  • Unilateral Medium Box Jumps: 10, 10
  • Battling Rope - Rope Slam S.S.: 30-10
  • Kneeling start 1/2 court sprints: 5 per leg
  • Viking Quest: 200*0:39 400*1:27 800*3:41
30 minutes

The unilateral jumps are particularly taxing, may move up to the large box next time.  Good session, was tired by the end of it; my legs are still dead from that workout on Friday. 

November 25, 2012

November 23, 2012 Lower Body

  • Squats: 230*5 280*5 305*4 315*3 325*1
  • Squats From Pins: 225*5 245*3
  • Bulgarian Split Squats: 35*10 40*10
  • Reverse Hypers (3 second hold at top): 100*4 100*3
  • Kneeling start 1/2 court sprints: 5 per leg
  • Bird-Dogs: 5...can't lift legs
46 Minutes

This might've been the most exhausted my body was after a workout.  I was in a foul mood, just angry, which usually actually messes with my concentration. This time though it just made me get violent with the weights.  The squatting felt great, feels good to be moving back up not just on the weight, but on the reps as well.  Just felt solid pushing up out of the bottom of the movement.  I think the pin squats helped.  Really went in on the pin squats, I love them.  It almost feels like the squat version of a deadlift, since each rep starts from a dead stop.  Was sucking wind after them.  Went to split squats and decimated my quads & ass some more.  I needed to take a couple minutes after each set because I was drained at this point.  I knelt down to record the numbers for the set in my pad and could barely get up.   Did some reverse hypers with a hold at the top, and could barely hold it.  I figure holding at the top of the movement is good because it should help me fight the urge to crunch forward when squatting.  We'll see.  Regardless after that I thought I was going to collapse.  Still went and did some sprints after.  Hardest sprints I've ever had to do. Tried doing some bird dogs after, but literally could not lift my legs or hold them straight out behind me. Collapsed on the mat for a few minutes and rested instead.  Great session. 

November 21, 2012 Sprinting

  • 100m: 10
  • Total: 1000m

Nothing extraordinary here, just sprinted.  I feel like the 1/2 court sprints from a kneel I'm going to be doing may help with my start here on these sprints.  My first 20 meters are woefully slow right now  in the 100m.  Hopefully that remedies the issue.  I felt good running here, wasn't too exhausted by it.  Not much else to say, just a good sprint session. Went home and took an epsom salt soak.  I can't tell if they do anything, but I'm definitely sleepy after doing it. May wait until right before bed to do it next week. 

November 20, 2012 Lower Body

  • Deadlift: 315*3 365*3 405*3
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*3 140*3 135*3
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 155*3 175*3 165*3
  • Glute Bridges: 135*9..PIRIFORMIS! 
  • P.U.P.P.: 1:00, 0:30
45 minutes

YES!!! It worked.  Putting snatches & cleans on this day definitely fits.  Hits the whole posterior chain as primary movers, and all my work for the week that will hit my grip, forearms, and traps, all in one session. This is exactly what I was hoping for. It's going to take a couple weeks to get used to, my grip on the snatches wasn't great, hence the final set being at 135. Plus I'm not used to deadlifting before snatches.   Deadlifted over 400 again, felt great.     The piriformis thing is about 80% healed at this point.  I don't get tingling in my foot very often, and the pain in my calf is only about once per day, and is much fainter.  However, I still find it excruciating to try and do things like glute bridges or leg pressing. Maybe if I did some pigeon stretches beforehand? Who knows. Going to give it some more time to heal, it's doing well on its own.   Good session.    I was absolutely exhausted after this one. I usually stay up until 11:30 or so at night; I could've gone to bed at 7 after this session. 

November 19, 2012 Upper Body

  • Bench Press: 225*5 245*5 265*4 280*3
  • Unilateral BB T-Bar Rows: 135*8 150*5 140*5
  • Push Press: 185*3 205*2 215*1
  • Neutral Grip Pullups: 65*4 65*3
41 minutes

I need to figure out what kind of row I want to make a staple here; I love the unilateral t-bar rows, but I also love underhand BB rows, and db rows as well.    Push Press has been odd for me lately.  I get no pop on it the last few weeks; I may be overthinking it.  It's not like I'm doing more sets before getting to it, I just don't feel like it's coming off my shoulders as fast as it was before.   Finished with some neutral grip pullups, weighted. I really enjoy them.  Need to add some more volume in here, extra row sets I believe.  

November 21, 2012

November 18, 2012 Conditioning

  • Unilateral Plyo Box Jumps: 16.75" (medium box)*10 16.75"*10
  • Kneeling start 1/2 court sprints: 5 per leg
  • Viking Quest: 200*0:42 400*1:27 800*3:10 NEW PR!
  • 28kg kb swings: 30

Good session, mixed it up a little after seeing this video on Joe Defranco's youtube:

absolutely unreal. I wish my gym had those soft boxes, I'd attempt much higher box jumps.  All we have are those metal frames you see to the side in these videos. Good for gashing open shins if you miss your I decided to try these for the first time after watching that video. I need to work on my landings.  My foot tends to land towards the center of my body, which I guess is a natural motion, but it's not healthy; my knee is still under the my hip, but my foot lands several inches inside of that line, putting stress on several ligaments. Will try to work that out.   Also, you land much harder on these on account of only having one foot absorbing the landing.  Here's a video of my first ever attempts at these:

Next I decided to mix it up some; since I like doing sprinting decided to add in some sprints, but only half court ones, maybe 10 yards, starting with one knee on the ground. I'm definitely faster inside on a basketball court than on a track, but I guess everyone is.  Felt good.  Chopped a second off my 800 meter time in the row, and then went back to kettlebell swings.  Going to start adding those in for conditioning at the end of workouts, they're a great way to finish things.  

November 19, 2012

November 16, 2012

  • Squats: 225*5 275*5 305*2 315*1
  • Squats From Pins: 245*3 265*1
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*3 140*3 145*1
  • Front Squats: 185*3 205*3 
  • Paloffs: 60*10 70*10
  • 16 lbs. medicine ball wall throw: 10, 10
44 minutes

Too much stuff!  I think all of that is too much for my lower back, it's going to get overloaded.  The squats went well, banged out a couple extra at 275 & upped 3rd set to 305 from 300.  I need to add in some hypers here I think, or maybe on deadlifting day.  Love squatting from the pins; going to drop the weight some and really bang out some reps.  Front squats I was slumped forward badly, my lower back was exhausted.  Tried to pin my core but it was tired. Rest of the session went well. 

So here's the leg days are sort of muddled; one is hamstring based with quad work in it, and the other vice-versa.  Fridays I'm hitting quads with squatting, glutes/hams with the power snatches, and glutes/hams/back with the reverse-hypers I do here occasionally.  Tuesdays I'm hitting my posterior chain with deadlifts, and the glute bridges I'm going to be adding back in...but then bulgarian split squats are very quad centered for me.  So here's what I'm going to do:

Deadlift x 3
Hanging Power Snatches x 3
Hanging Power Cleans x 3
Reverse Hypers (or glute bridges) x 3
Core x 2
Conditioning perhaps

Squats (or Front Squats) x 5
Squats from Pins x 3
Bulgarian Split Squats x 2
Core x 2

This way I'm hitting my posterior chain really hard on Tuesdays, and my quads more on Fridays.  I high bar squat anyway, so it always hits my quads more. PLUS this gives me a way to put both of my main o-lifts on the same day, since I had tinkered with giving them their own day in the past.  This should allow my CNS to recover more, since I'm not doing anything explosive on Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays now.  I'm really excited for this! 

November 18, 2012

November 15, 2012 Upper Body

  • Incline Bench Press: 225*5 245*2 255*1
  • Pullups: 80*3 80*3 80*2
  • Rope Pullups: 7, 6
  • Standing Press: 95*5 115*5 135*5 145*2
  • DB Flat Bench: 85*9 95*6
  • DB Rows: 110*10 110*10
45 minutes

Felt a little flat at the start here, I think I ate too soon before, body was probably still digesting all the brown rice.   I'll survive.  Returned to rope pullups, not sure how I forgot about these.  For standing press I made sure to bring the bar down to a level below the bottom of my ear lobe. I have a tendency  (as does everyone I suppose) to not bring the bar down far enough.  All these reps were deep.   Don't know why I hit a wall at 145.   Also, db bench shot up this week, I think last week I was just gassed since I'm still getting used to doing these workouts about 20 minutes quicker than I used to.  Good session

November 14, 2012 Sprinting

  • 100m: 2
  • 200m: 1
  • 100m: 6
  • Total: 1000m

Good session; much nicer weather this week as opposed to last; no wind and wasn't as bitter.  Plus I wore a long sleeve shirt under my regular shirt.   Still chilly out though. I hate the cold air, I feel like my body has to warm it up after I breathe it in, and for some reason that just costs me more energy...or...something. I don't know.  What I'm saying is the cold air just saps my energy. I love running when it's 90 degrees and 75% humidity.  I hate running when it's 45 degrees and 15% humidity. 

November 13, 2012 Lower

  • Deadlift: 315*3 355*3 385*3
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 135*3 155*3 175*3 185*1
  • DB Bulgarian Split Squats: 35*10 35*10
  • Wide-Stance Anti-Rotational Chop: 60*10 70*10
  • Viking Quest: 200*0:39 400*1:24 800*3:26
45 minutes

Good session; as previously noted I'm not going to keep hammering at 95%+ of my 1RM each week on deadlifts, and instead build up gradually.   This coming week I'll probably do a high set of 405 or so.  I really feel like I'm getting them a lot smoother now; it used to be I broke off the floor, and then I'd straighten up my back slightly ahead of my hips lifting and coming forward. Now it's all one motion.  It's easier actually that way.  Still not really throwing up bigger weigh on the power cleans. Not sure why. Hit 225 at the end of my last bulk, and then dropped back to focus on form, since then I can't get past 185 to save my life. Not sure why.  I'll look into it this coming week. 

November 14, 2012

November 12, 2012 Upper

  • Bench Press: 225*5 245*4 265*3 280*2
  • BB Underhand Rows: 225*5 245*5 265*4
  • BB Push Press: 185*1 205*1 225*1
  • Neutral Grip Pullups: 65*5 65*3
38 minutes

Benching felt good, as I noted previously I'm doing more work under 90% of my maxes, and only ramping up every 6 weeks or so.   Underhand rows went good, want to do more DB rowing, and the 1-arm bb t-bar rowing.  Push pressing has been off for a couple weeks now. I get no pop on it.  Not sure what's going on.  Finished off with weighted neutral grip pullups. May try 100 lbs. next time just for fun, since they're easier. 

November 12, 2012

November 11, 2012 2012 Bulking Nutrition

So this is pretty self explanatory.  I really need to make sure I'm getting in the chicken  & cottage cheese, since I'm not doing a ton of protein this time around.  I've been good about it so far. We'll see what happens. Then when I cut again I'll up the protein (for the first time ever while cutting, usually it gets cut with my other macros) slightly while cutting carbs and a ton of the fat.  As I noted, starting at 191 lbs, let's see what happens!

November 11, 2012 Conditioning

  • 31.5" plyometric box jumps / 31.5" seated plyometric box jump superset:  15-15
  • Evil 7 Complex: 95*1
26 minutes

Figured I do some jumps, a complex, then rowing...yeah right.  Maybe after a couple more sessions of this I'll be able to.  If you check out this T-Nation Article on Complexes, and scroll down you'll see one listed entitled Cosgrove's Evil 8.  I take out the goodmornings because frankly by the time I would get to them in the order I was already shot and my form goes to crap on them.  This session did exactly what I wanted it to; it kicked my ass. 

November 09, 2012 Lower Body

  • BB Squats: 225*5 275*3 300*2 315*1
  • Squats From Pins: 225*3 245*2
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*3 140*3 145*2
  • DB Goblet Carries: 110*1:05
  • Paloffs: 60*10 70*10
46 Minutes

Not used to doing squats more than a couple reps per set; by the time I got to 315 I was tired!  I'm sure those numbers will rapidly improve.  Going to start doing squats from pins after regular squatting, should help me getting out of the hole on full squats.  The goblet carry almost killed me. Haven't done them in over a months, can't wait to add them in regularly again, starting this week. Thought about rowing but the session was getting long and I was gassed at that point. Good session though. 

November 08, 2012 Upper Body

  • Incline Bench: 225*3 245*3 255*2
  • Pullups: 85*2 85*2 80*2 75*3 75*2
  • Standing Press: 95*8 115*5 135*5 145*3
  • DB Bench Press: 85*6 85*6
  • DB Rows: 100*9 100*8

43 minutes

Increasing the volume as per my plan.  Didn't notice much of a dropoff in strength, first time inclining in a couple weeks on account of last week being an off week.  May have dipped a bit on the pullups.  I'm also going to be staying more in the 3-5 rep range from here on out with less testing of my 1 rep maxes, or even doubles.  I don't want to wear down my CNS as I've felt that's been happening over the last 6 months or so.  I always do a lot of low rep work but I've been going hog-wild with it as of the last 6 or even 7 months. I'll test 1 rep maxes every month or so.  It's going to take a few sessions to get used to timing all of these workouts and getting everything in over such a quick period.  I was gassed by the time I got to the DB work at the end.   Can't wait to try this again this coming week. 

Gradually ramping up calories this week, 

November 10, 2012

November 7, 2012 Conditioning

  • 100m: 6
  • Total: 600m
  • Long Jumps: 4

So it was about 40 degrees out and a nor'easter was blowing in so the winds were about 35 mph.  Who thought it would be a good idea to go running in this with a short sleeve shirt and shorts on? This guy right here.  Awful.  By the 6th sprint my hands were literally claws from the blood flowing out of them.  Went over to the long jump area which I just noticed (I think they only put it in recently) did some half-hearted long jumps and got the F out of there, back home for a nice Epsom salt bath.  Good times.  Except the opposite. 

November 8, 2012

November 6, 2012 Lower Body

  • Deadlifts: 315*3 345*3 365*3
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 135*3 155*3 175*3 185*1
  • DB Bulgarian Split Squats: 25*10 30*10
  • TRX Strap Fallouts: 5, 5
  • Viking Quest: 200*0:35 NEW PR!! 400*1:24 800*3:24
44 minutes

So as I noted, I'm timing these workouts, it really helps me move between sets faster, and adds a conditioning component to the workouts on account of the shorter rest times.   Also, I've started completely dead stopping between deadlift reps.  Previously I would touch & go between reps. Now I'm completely stopping, pausing for a second, then repulling.  Definitely like that.   Split squats were nice again.  Did some strap fallouts which were harder on my core than I thought they'd be. Will put them in regular rotation.  Was beat by the time I rowed, but I stuck with it. 

November 5, 2012

November 5, 2012 Bulk 2012 Goals

Alright, so this bulk is going to be a bit different; I suppose they all are in some ways, here are my goals/plans. 

  1. Keep conditioning up.  In previous bulks conditioning work was either eliminated completely, or cut back.  Last year I did fairly frequent Sunday conditioning sessions, involving jumping and the like, but did no sprinting, that will change (see point #2).  I'm also adding in rowing, I really enjoy those viking quests that I was doing pre-Halloween.  I'm thinking twice per week, once on Sundays with other conditioning, and once on Tuesdays or Thursdays.  I'm also thinking I may reintroduce complexes into my Sunday conditioning days.  So I'd lead off with some jumping work, do a short complex, and then finish with some rowing.  Quick and brutal conditioning workout. 
  2. This year I will be sprinting straight through the winter.  Harvard has an indoor track I may use if the outdoor one is covered in snow.    I'd like to shave my 100m time to below 14 seconds.  I'm at 14.43 after not really training it (was more of a 200m runner this spring/summer), so maybe even 13 flat if I really work at it.  
  3. Higher volume.  I like taking long breaks between my sets, and I still will between heavy compound movements, especially the ones I lead off with in the workout (deadlifts, squats, bench press).  I'm going to start timing my time off between those sets, trying to limit it to two minutes between working sets.  I'm thinking one to one and a half minutes between sets of other movements.  This will let me work in more overall sets in the time I have, and more movements.  
  4. I'm going to incorporate more DB work in, I've gotten away from it in recent years using it more as a changeup during a workout.   I want to get back to using it more; I have in recent weeks with the split squats, but I want to end workouts with some db bench work, db rows, and db pressing as well.  They're great for hammering out imbalances, etc. and I shouldn't have gotten away from them for so long.  Even a couple sets at the end of a workout should do me good. 
  5. More work below 90% of my maxes.  I realized after hurting my piriformis/back deadlifting that for pretty much one straight year I was pulling at 95% of my max pretty much every week.  My work from here on out, whether bulking or cutting is going to be more 'wave like'.  So a couple weeks around 70%, at higher reps, a couple peaking at 80%, a week or so at 90% with reps obviously declining along the way, and then maybe a PR attempt after that.  I do that with all my compound lifts, and while you can get away with it more on other lifts (the deadlift is so taxing on the CNS that what I was doing was physiological suicide), I'm not going to anymore.  I'm not going to back off on my other lifts, I'm just going to tweak the work, so that I have more of a wave like pattern with them as well. This will let me incorporate bar speed work more into benching on days when I'm closer to the 70% mark, and really focus on banging out tons of reps on squatting as well. 
  6. Nutrition wise I'm aiming for about 3800 calories per day, we'll see if I actually hit that consistently, it's going to incorporate a couple new foods.  I'll post a screen shot of a plan in a day or two once I hash it out.  This week I'm around 3200, just so I don't immediately vomit by going from 2500-3800 in a day.   
  7. Usually when I bulk I up the fat/carbs/protein, this time I'm actually upper carbs & fat and lowering protein.  I figure I don't need as much protein when I'm bulking because (in theory) my protein absorption is better on a bulk on account of the higher carbs / insulin spikes.  That previous sentence may have been complete bro-science horse-shit, but I'll give it a shot. I'm not going super low or anything.   Also this way when I switch back to cutting, I'll actually be ingesting more protein.  Previously I was cutting all 3 macros when I cut.  I'm thinking this way my body will hold on to gains even better since I'm upping my protein intake for the cut.  
  8. Weight goal: 215.  If all goes well, 220.  Starting at 190.5 

November 5, 2012 Upper

  • Bench Press: 225*4 245*1 265*1 275*3 290*2 300*1
  • BB Underhand Rows: 225*5 245*5 265*2 - grip failed
  • Push Press: 185*1 205*1 215*1 225*X
Back at it! Didn't seem to really have a dip in strength.  I did a ton of warmup sets on bench pressing to assess where my strength was, felt like my bar speed was actually slightly better.   Grip strength was a tad off, probably from not deadlifting in almost two weeks at this point.  Lacked a bit of explosiveness on push pressing, I'll work on that.  Overall a good session; never been this strong at the start of a bulk before. Can't wait to see where it goes.   Starting weight: 190.5

I'm going to make a post after this talking about this bulk and my goals for it. 

October 25, 2012 Upper

  • Incline Bench Press: 245*3 255*2 265*1
  • Pullups: 85*3 85*2 85*2 85*2 85*2
  • DB Seated Press: 75*7 85*4 95*1 NEW PR!!
  • Viking Quest: 200*0:37 400*1:26 800*3:21 400*1:36 200*0:36 NEW PR!!

Last workout before I take this coming week off, eager to see how the sciatica clears up, if at all.  Also I'm exhausted, my CNS needs a recharge!  Can't wait. I haven't taken a full week off in about 8 months.  This will be about 10 days I'm taking off, probably my longest break ever.    This session went good, I've never been stronger at the end of a cut. Set a new record