February 26, 2013

February 24, 2013 Conditioning

  • Monster Walks: 10 steps each direction
  • Broad Jumps: 7' 8", 7' 11" 8' 2", 9' 0.5" NEW PR!!! whoah.. 8' 3.5", 8' 7.5" would've been PR a minute earlier, 8' 4.5", 8' 3.5" 8' 3.5", 8' 3.5", 8' 2.5"
  • 31.5" ply box jumps: 15
  • 31.5" seated plyo box jumps: 15
  • 1000m row: 3:52 NEW PR!!

I didn't really think about it before, but since I'm taking the week off from lower body stuff there was no squats a couple days before this workout.  I didn't know how much of an effect it would have on things.  Started with broad jumps; got a few at the high 7' mark, one over 8, then I absolutely uncorked one.  I looked down and the tip of my feet were over 10'.  When I first started with the jumps I was measuring where my toes land, and thought about one day seeing them over 10'.   (I went back and adjusted all my distances to what they should have been, where my heal hit).  So yeah, I absolutely obliterated my previous record of 8' 5".   I think I'm more than capable of hitting 9'+ right now, even in a bulked state.  I need to be more disciplined and make sure my arms swing, I explode through my posterior chain, and jump high and forward enough and stab my feet forward as I land.  That 9' jump is the first time it felt 'right' in all those regards. Two jumps later I got what would've been a PR about a minute earlier, and the rest of the session was over 8'. I have to say that this is the first time I've actually felt sore in my posterior chain after jumping.  

Did my plyo jumps after, someone commented the seated jumps were impressive...I felt good, then I remembered there's videos of guys doing 51" jumps from a seated position.   Anyway, I decided to finish with some rowing, it went great!  New record on the 1000m row.  

February 24, 2013

February 21, 2013

  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*1 145*1 155*1
  • Standing Press: 135*1 165*1 185*1 195*X
  • Pullups: 15
23 minutes

Didn't really have any records I was going for on this day since I've been doing close grip incline and just started that recently.  Wanted to see how snatches went without having the deadlifting right before; went about the same.  I'll take tomorrow off since I already met my goal last week, and don't anticipate beating it this week. 

This bulk is coming to an end now; it's odd they just sort of go on and on and on, and then all of a sudden you realize there's only like 1 week left in it.  Every year it happens that way.  I'm not sure I'm going to take a full week off; I may just rest my lower body, I was pursuing two goals for it; the squatting & deadlifting.  My posterior chain is exhausted.  My chest/tris/delts/biceps however are doing just fine.

So I'll take tomorrow off, do a conditioning session on Sunday, and then see how I feel on Monday.  I'm going to keep the bulking diet going for one more week, before switching over to a cut.   I'm excited by this cut, going to go really intense with the macros.  I used to be afraid that if I skipped blueberries a couple days per week I'd die of cancer in a couple years.   Weird I know.  But I'm over that.  So my low-carb days will be actually low carb, and my high carb days will be high carb, low fat.   

February 20, 2013

February 19, 2013 Lower Body

  • Deadlifts: 405*10 NEW 10 Rep Record 350*10
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*1 145*1 155*1
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 185*1 195*1 - toasted
43 minutes

whoooooo! Good times!   I thought I could've gotten an 11th at 405 but didn't want to tempt anything.  I put 415 on the bar but thought the same.  I surprised myself with the powerlifting; all of those lifts were without chalk.  The 155 is my highest in a year.  Needless to say I was pumped up.  Great session, exhausting, but great.  Taking tomorrow off most likely after this one!

February 18, 2013

Thoughts on 2012 Bulk

I'm nearing the end of this bulk of 2012 (I always use the year it starts in) and thought I'd take a moment to comment on it.  

This is the 4th major bulking cycle I've done, and it was a bit different.  First I wasn't chasing some bench mark.  I felt a bit listless going into it, because I did not know what I was going after really.  That changed part way in when I decided I was burning out a bit on the 1-3 rep sets and decided to go for 10 rep records.  Still, I was not chasing a 300 lbs. bench, a 500 lbs. deadlift, or a 300 lbs. barbell row or anything like that.  I've hit records on dumbbell movements for chest & back with the 120s which is as high as my gym goes.  I just started really doing shoulder presses within the last few months so any PR I get there isn't going to be anywhere near to what I'm capable of.  This was the first bulk that I didn't have a real set plan for going into.  I knew I wanted to get bigger & stronger as always.  But my goals were more subjective this time; "keep rowing", "keep conditioning up", "add in unilateral stuff for legs", etc.   None of this is bad, it's just different from ones I've done in the past.  I don't know if I'll do it again, we'll have to see.  This cut I have very specific ideas in mind that I'll be posting soon.  

Also I didn't gain very much weight this bulk; I keep vacillating between 206 and 208; after having started around 193.  About 7 lbs. of that came from water weight after I started taking creatine again.  The low weight gain vexed me for the last month or so, I couldn't figure out why.  Then I realized today; my volume is so much higher now.  I was doing 1-3 rep sets for a vast majority of the exercises I was doing.  Let's say I deadlift 410, 455, and 475 for 2-1-1.  That's about 1700 lbs. I move.  Now let's say I do 355*10, 365*10, and 385*10. That's 11050 lbs I'll have moved.  Now apply that to every single exercise I did this bulk, and the amount of calories I must have been burning is astronomical.  I'm at about 3850 per day, and I'm maintaining at 207.   Last year I was around 3300 per day and peaked around 212 lbs.   Another factor is that through the years I've added more and more muscle, which takes calories to maintain.  So each year my baseline of what I need just to break even keeps getting higher. Which is good.  It just goes into planning for future bulks/cuts when considering volume and rep schemes, so I learned something. Which is what I hope to do with every bulk/cut/maintenance/workout/set/rep. I hope to learn something new I can apply to help myself in the  future and to help others.   

I also have started thinking recently about when I'll start experiencing age-related decline in lifts, but I'll write about pondering when my peak will come at another date.  

February 18, 2013 Upper Body

  • Bench Press: 250*10 10-Rep Record! 240*9 230*10
  • BB Rows: 245*10 255*10
  • Push Press: 225*1 235*1-clipped chin a bit 240*X
  • Neutral-Grip Pullups: 20*10 20*8
  • DB Incline: 100*7
44 minutes

Got it.  Barely, but I got it. Did a couple more sets after the 250*10, then went to BB rows...again don't want to tax my back too hard since I'm going for the 405*10 tomorrow on deadlifting.  On push pressing got the 235 but I grazed my chin. Kind of threw me off when I went for 240.  Rest of session went well, almost had an 8th at 100 on the incline.  So far I've hit 2 of my goals, going for the other big one tomorrow.  Next week I may take off, or go for PRs on o-lifts perhaps and other miscellaneous exercises perhaps? 

February 17, 2013

February 17, 2013 Conditioning

  • Broad Jumps: 7' 8",  7' 10",  7' 11.5" , 8' 1.5", 7' 11.5", 8' 0.5", 8' 1", 8' 5" NEW PR!!
  • 31" Plyo Box Jumps: 15
  • Plyo bench clap pushups: 5, 5
  • wood-choppers: 20*10 45*10
  • Knee-down mb push 1/2 court sprints: 5 per knee
33 minutes

Happy with the jumps; got further and further as I warmed up, all consistently in the high 7s or low 8s....then on the last one I absolutely sold out, thought I was going to face plant with how hard I jumped.  Maybe I need to do it like that every time, because I set a new record for myself.  Was really pumped up for this workout, felt great.  Tried wood choppers (where you take a cable station, set it to a high point, and then go diagonally down and across your body then back up), may throw them in again at some point.  Finished with sprints.  I'm getting hyped for this cut that's coming up, thinking of trying keto at the start, or maybe end of it.   Or at the very least I'm thinking of finally having a 'high carb' and 'low carb' day that makes sense, as opposed to just swapping a couple foods like I've done in the past.  Not that there's anything wrong with it, but I always felt like the low carb days were half-assed. Not only that but I was doing them on days when I sprinted, which makes no sense.  If anything I should be doing them on upper-body workout days, and my sunday light conditioning days.   We shall see!   

February 15, 2013 Lower Body

  • Squats: 300*10 10 Rep Record! 250*10
  • Pin Squats: 280*1 280*1
  • Split Squats: 165*3 185*3
  • Cable Straight Leg Kickbacks: 70*10
47 minutes

GOT IT!  Did a couple warmup sets then just went straight for the 300.  I don't believe I could've even gotten 301 for 10 here, I have no doubt this was my absolute max.  I almost stopped at 7 because I thought I was going to die, just absolutely grinded/gutted out the last 3 reps.  Then fell down and laid on the floor for several minutes. Put 250 on the bar did that, and was done with squatting for the day.  Could barely do split squats my legs/glutes were so exhausted.  Feels great, and hit my first goal of this bulk, Monday I go for 250*10 on bench, then Tuesday is the big one; 405*10 on deadlifts. 

February 14, 2013 Valentine's Day Upper Body

  • Close Grip Incline Bench: 175*10 195*8 185*8
  • Pullups: 20*10 20*8 BW*8
  • Standing Press: 130*10 140*8 140*6
  • DB Flat Bench: 110*5
40 minutes

I really want to get 200*10 on close-grip before the end of this bulk.  Used the 20 for an extra set on pullups here.  Standing press is progressing well.  I'm squatting tomorrow so I skipped the sets of rows that I would normally do here.  Even though they're more for the upper back there's still a heavy component of stabilization done by the lower back and I don't want it taxed at all when I go for 300*10 tomorrow.  The fact that I didn't have any rest between standing press & db flat bench actually hurt my numbers a bit, as usually my tris/delts/chest have time to recover while rowing.  

February 13, 2013 Conditioning

  • Broad Jumps: 7' 6", 7' 8", 8' 1", 7' 10", 7' 11", 7' 10", 8' 0.5", 7' 11"
  • Side-Plank Cable Rows: 60*10 80*10
  • Viking Quest: 200*0:40 400*1:24 TIED PR 800*3:15
34 minutes

I didn't expect much out of the jumping, as I went in yesterday on the deadlifting.  Still cracked 8 feet a couple times and hung around the high 7s for most of the rest.  Did some side-plank cable rowing, basically get in a side plank, facing a cable machine with the handle set to the bottom, then reach out and row it, while keeping your body perpendicular to the floor.  Hadn't rowed in a while so did some...machine felt weird, the one I usually use had a dead battery, so I used the other.  Had it set to the same difficulty that I always use (10; the most resistance) but it didn't feel as hard, but conversely each pull didn't get me as many meters.  Still, tied my 400m record which I wasn't expecting at all.  Good times! 

February 12, 2013 Lower Body

  • Deadlift: 355*10 395*10
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*1 145*1 155*X
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 185*1 205*X 185*1
35 minutes

Gearing up for the 405 attempt next week. The 395*10 beat the heck out of me.  I completely ran out of steam on the last two reps, had to grit em out.  I knew I wouldn't get very high on the o lifts after the deadlifting, but I barely missed 155, I was about a half inch from locking out. On the cleans just couldn't get under it enough, if I was doing regular hanging cleans I would've had it.   Was thoroughly beat so I skipped core work for the day. 

February 11, 2013

February 11, 2013 Upper Body

  • Bench Press: 250*9 240*10 230*9
  • BB Rows: 245*10 255*10 265*10
  • Push Press: 225*1 230*1 235*1
  • Neutral Grip Pullups: 20*10 20*7
  • DB Incline Bench: 95*8
45 minutes

Good session, I ate too soon beforehand though.  I'll go for 10 on 250 next week.  BB Rows were making me nauseous for some reason, so cut it at 3 sets.  Push press went well, didn't try 240 this time, although I think I would have gotten it had I tried.  Added weight on the neutral grip pullups, they're getting too easy with just body weight.  Finished with incline bench.  Not a bad session. 

February 10, 2013

February 8, 2013 Lower Body, Snowpocalypse

  • Squats: 280*10 290*10
  • Pin Squats: 275*2 285*1
  • Split Squats: 135*5 185*5
  • Straight-Leg Cable Kickbacks: 60*10 70*10
45 minutes

Terrible storm is bearing down on New England, it was already starting to snow when I went, much earlier than usual, around 11:30AM.  Wasn't sure if it would throw me off.  I liked to have more calories in me before working out, but this turned out ok.  I truncated the 3 sets of squats to 2.  So the 280 was hard, but the 290 almost killed me I think.  Was laying on the floor afterward for about 4 minutes.  I go for 300 this coming week. I'm thinking I may lead off with 300, or go 280-300.  On split squats I did better this week; I brought my body closer to the bench behind me instead of reaching back 2.5' with my leg. Works much better.  

February 7, 2013 Upper Body

  • Close-Grip Incline Bench: 165*10 185*10 195*6
  • Pullups: 20*10 BW*10 BW*9
  • Standing Press: 125*10 135*8 135*5
  • BB Unilateral Rows: 135*10 135*10
  • DB Flat Bench: 105*10 110*6
43 minutes

Plowed through this workout...feels good.  I like the incline benching with the close grip...not sure I'm really targeting my triceps any more than usual. I mean I must be doing something because the weights I'm pushing are lower.   Added some weight on to the first set of pullups; they were getting too easy.  May add weight on to second set next week too.  Standing press to the front and touching the top of my chest is something I'm still getting used to.  Love unilateral rows, time to up the weight. Ripped off 10 @ 105 on the db benching, felt good. 

February 6, 2013

February 06, 2013 Eating Healthy on a Budget

I made a new video!  Eating healthy does not have to be a bank-breaking proposition and I go over a sample day, and talk about weekly costs of eating healthy. I also talk about the myth that processed foods are cheaper.  Have a look!

February 5, 2013 Lower Body

  • Deadlifts: 345*10 385*10
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*1 145*1 145*1
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 185*1 195*1
  • Wide-Stance Anti-Rotational Chops: 60*10
39 minutes

CNS is really tired still from Saturday.  After the deadlifting I decided to take it a bit easy on the o-lifts.  My bar speed was awful on the o-lifts.  Going to take tomorrow off and just eeeeat and rest.  Up to 385 though on DLs...hopefully just two weeks away from a new 10 rep record (405).  We shall see

February 4, 2013

February 4, 2013 Upper Body

  • Bench Press: 245*10 250*8 230*10
  • BB Rows: 240*10 250*10 260*10 270*9
  • Push Press: 225*1 235*1 240*X
  • Neutral Grip Pullups: 11, 10
  • DB Incline: 95*8
45 minutes

My bar speed on the benching is somewhere between glacial and molasses...unusually slow molasses. I'm not sore at all from the Saturday session, but those ultra high rep sets sapped my CNS pretty obviously.  The bar was moving literally 40% slower than usual on benching. Even push pressing it felt slow.  My back is also sore, I think from the inverted rows.  Neutral grip pullups went nicely though....Next week I'll be leading off with 250, we'll see what I get then!  

February 3, 2013 Conditioning

  • Broad Jump: 8', 7' 8", 7' 10.5", 7' 11.5", 7' 9", 8' 0.5", 7' 8", 8' 1.5", 7' 10.5"
  • 31" Plyo Box Jumps: 15
  • PUPP: 1:00 1:00
22 minutes

Just a quick session here, pretty beat from yesterday.  Just wanted to get a quick burn and then go about my day. 

February 2, 2013 Challenges

  • Inverted Rows: 78 in 3 minutes
  • Bench Press: 135*63 in 3 minutes
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 30 in 3 minutes

Gym was having a final day to try and do some of the challenges.  On the inverted rows I wish I had hung my head back more, I was flexing my neck and holding my chest back which actually extended the range of motion.  If I had led off with bench I think I would've gotten to 70, would've had 2nd place overall.  Some guy had 104.  Figured I'd finish off taking a stab at the hanging power cleans again, but honestly I was exhausted by then.  We'll see how it effects the rest of my workouts this week, I don't think it'll have an effect, since the weights were so light. In retrospect I should have broken it up into smaller chunks within each set, instead of going until lactic acid stopped me on each one.  Next time.....

February 1, 2013 Lower BOdy

  • Squats: 270*10 280*10 290*8
  • Pin Squats: 275*2 285*1
  • Split Squats: 135*5 185*1
  • Straight-Leg Kickbacks: 50*10 60*10
  • Paloffs: 110*10
46 minutes

280 & 290 on squats absolutely decimated me.  I think I'm going to start having my 2nd set of squatting as the heaviest set.   By the time I get to the third set I'm already pretty beat.  Next week I'll try 280-290-270 I think.  I was exhausted after these 3 sets, I think I took about 6 minutes after the 2nd set.  On split squats I really didn't have much left in the tank at that point, just did a rep with 185 and called it a day on those.  I'm liking kickbacks a lot more as I get used to them.  Finished with paloffs; would have done two sets but I was beat!

January 31, 2013 Upper

  • Close-Grip Incline Bench: 155*10 175*10 185*8
  • Pullups: 28 in 3 minutes (15 first set)
  • Standing Press: 120*10 130*9 130*7
  • Unilateral BB Row:135*9 135*9
  • DB Flat: 100*10 105*5 
45 minutes

Second week of doing the incline bench.  After that did another one of the challenges they have going in the gym.  Some guy got 43 in the 3 minutes. They were clever though, they would do 2, then drop off the bar, wait a few seconds, get back on, then do 2 more.  Much smarter, you don't get that lactic acid hit then.  Went to standing press afterward.  Not bad.  Unilateral bb rows I did without my knee on a bench this time.  Finished with db flat.