January 28, 2014

January 22, 2014 Dodgeball!

  • Dodgeball: 75 minutes
Pretty good, hand felt a little better, still bracing the pinky though.  Tomorrow I go for a doctor's visit to see what's up with it. The swelling hasn't subsided any in the last week+ at this point. So it's down like 70% but still too puffy for my liking.  Guess we'll find out what's up. 

January 27, 2014

January 21, 2014 Upper / Heavyish

  • Bench Press: 285*1 305*1
  • T-Bar Rows: 160*4 170*2.5
  • Push Press: 225*1 245*1 255*1 Ties PR

There was a storm hitting us, and I gave a coworker a ride home. Ended up taking forever, so I got to the gym late, and was starting to get hungry. So I put in a quick session, maybe 15 minutes here, and then went home. Still not bad.  Really getting close to a PP record that I've been chasing for ages, tied the record here. 

January 20, 2014 Lower / Heavy

  • Squats: 365*1 385*1 410*X - can't believe I missed that
  • Rack Squats: 315*1
  • Front Squats: 265*1 285*1 300*1
  • Good Mornings: 250*1 275*1 285*1 NEW PR!!
  • Reverse Hypers: 25*10 25*10
35 minutes

Can't believe I missed 410. I was halfway up and just got completely stuck.  I've NEVER missed a rep on squatting that I got that far up.  F bombs dropped all over the place after that.  Rest of session went fine; the 300 on front squats wasn't as clean as I'd have liked it. But I got a PR on good mornings; I think I was still running on fury from missing the 410 on squats still at that point; I had to do something. Good stuff

January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014 Melatonin review

So this past summer I had mentioned that I was having trouble with waking up at night and then tossing and turning for a while.  I decided to try melatonin to see if it had any effect.  Here's a link to Examine.com and their aggregate interpretations of the studies that have been done on the supplement.

I think my experiences with melatonin highlight an important question when trying to evaluate a supplement's effectiveness:  Is there evidence in existence that the supplement helps with an issue you're having. It sounds silly to say, but it's often not considered.  So with melatonin, many people think that it helps you sleep, which is true, but they don't know what it does to help.  Basically it helps to regulate your circadian rhythm, and decrease the time it takes you to fall asleep when you first go to bed.  I didn't have those problems. I fell asleep within a few minutes, and when I would toss & turn I was never fully awake, and it did not appear to be a disturbance to my circadian rhythm causing the issue.  So the melatonin didn't really make a difference for me. That's not saying it's not a worthwhile supplement, it just doesn't aid much in the area that I was experiencing issues with.

Another brief thought to take with you: Supplements should be just that, supplements.  They don't replace a good diet, getting enough fruit/vegetables/etc. or anything else.  They should be used when you're not getting enough of something through those means.  Fish oil is a great example; since this country eats so much factory farm raised red meat there is a horrible omega-6 to omega-3 imbalance.  This is one of the ways that fish oil helps people lose fat; by increasing the omega-3s in their diet the rebalancing actually helps your body shed fat.  I don't actually eat red meat (I just prefer chicken) so it didn't have a huge effect on my body fat, I actually noticed no difference.  Now there are a TON of other reasons to take fish oil, and I take plenty of it, but if I was just taking it for fat loss, I would have been foolish, because I didn't pay attention to what the supplement does to achieve it's effect. 

January 20, 2014 Bulking diet

So I finally caught up on posting! yaaaay.  Now here are my goals for this bulk, and the diet I've been using.

I set out hoping to replicate my 2010 bulk, where I went from 187 to 231.  I figured I wouldn't go that extreme, but hoped to come close to 230.  I hashed out my base diet, which you can see in the screen shot here: 

I also add in pasta/tortelini/bread/pbj/tuna/avocados/etc. at will, so I'm closer to about 4500 calories per day.  It's also been frigid / snowing every Wednesday recently, so no sprinting, although dodgeball gets my blood pumping.  So the results so far? Mixed.  I hit 210 lbs and then just sort of...stayed there.  I've been 210 for about 4 weeks now, give or take a pound.   It's different than a few years ago because I have so much more muscle on me when I'm starting...heck I cut at about 2700-2800 calories this past summer.  My baseline for metabolism is just so much higher than it was a few years ago, and the weights I'm pushing are so much higher. Plus I'm doing olympic lifting, etc.  All those things jack up your metabolism.  My strength is clearly going up, but if I want to hit 230 I may have to add in tuna sandwiches daily or something, maybe switch from high carb to a high fat bulk.   

As for goals? I wanted to set a new PR on deadlifts, squats, and come close on benching.  I also want a pr on hanging power snatches...250 maybe on power cleans...and I'd also like to add some mass to my delts.   Obviously as of this writing I've already gotten the squat PR, so now I'd like 455 (why not aim high), and I'm 5 lbs. off an HPS pr.  No idea on the power cleans since my hand is hampering that at least for the next week or so.  Deadlifting I'm also close to a PR.  Going to gradually build up loading over the next few weeks and see what I get. 

I need to post some progress pics at some point here, I'm definitely looking meaty across my chest/back and my legs are absolutely titanic at this point.  I'm sitting here in 36" waist jeans even though my waist is about 33" at this point.  

January 19, 2014 Conditioning

  • 31" Plyo Box jumps: 15
  • 31" Seated Plyo Box Jumps: 10 (short box for seat)
  • Broad Jumps:  8' 5", 8' 6", 8' 5", 8' 5", 8' 2", 8' 6", 8' 5", 8' 5.5", 8' 2", 8' 5", 8' 6", 8' 8", 8' 8"
NO idea why I stopped doing broad jumps; just sort of forgot about them.  Obviously I'm heavier now, so I'm happy here. Again, bracing core and transferring power from ground through the jump.  Figured I'd keep it all lower-body here since my hand is healing still, or trying to anyway. Feels pretty good today actually, I can make a fist without it hurting, thought it's still slightly swollen. 

January 17, 2014 Lower / Heavy

  • Deadlifts: 405*1 455*1 490*1 505-thought about it, decided not to
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 145*1 145*2 155*1 160*1
  • Pull-Throughs: 120*10 150*7
39 minutes

My hand was feeling good; I'm noticing a pattern, it feels fine, I go to the gym, it feels fine..but afterward it swells up a tad. Probably not a good thing. I'll go the doctor this coming week.   Deadlifting went well, hand was actually getting a tad sore though after the 490, decided to take it easy. I actually can't do cleans right now since the catch would require bending my pinky,and I still can't do that comfortably. The snatches though...wow.  What a difference bracing my abs makes; I know I keep mentioning it, but it's been like the missing link in my training.

January 15, 2014 Dodgeball!

  • Dodgeball: 90 minutes
Good times; braced pinky by crossing it beneath ring finger and that took care of any pain from throwing the ball...still a bit tender afterward.  It's actually getting somewhat better, may hold off on Dr. til this coming week, if it's still swollen at all. 

January 14, 2014 Upper / Light

  • Bench Press: 240*10 255*6
  • Unilateral BB T-Bar Rows: 155*7 155*5
  • Push Press: 185*5 185*7
  • Cable Rows: 180*10 180*7
  • Landmine Lateral: 50*7
32 minutes

Had to stay a bit late at work, was pretty tired by the time I got here; just did a couple sets on each movement instead of the usual 3-4.  Happy with the 7 at 185 on PP. Was beat after that.  Also, hand was feeling better, then I rolled over onto it last night while sleeping, and must have done so at an odd angle or something. I woke up almost screaming it hurt so bad, and couldn't get back to sleep for about a half hour from the throbbing pain.  It's swollen up a bit again...what a pain in the ass. 

January 19, 2014

January 13, 2014 Lower / Light

  • Olympic Squats: 250*3 275*3 300*3 315*3 340*2
  • Front Squats: 225*3 245*3 225*3
  • Good Mornings: 135*5-yeah hamstrings are done.
  • Paloffs: 80*10
26 minutes

Blew through this workout...barely any rest time. LOVE olympic squats, haven't done them in a while though.  May do them on my 'lighter' squat days. I can't believe I got 340 on them. I've improved so much these past 6 months on squatting.   Front squats went well too. Had nothing left in the tank by the time I got to the good mornings, the Olympics really drained me. Can't wait to do them again.  Also, hand is feeling a tad better, swelling down, and I can curl my pinky all the way when making a fist with much less pain. 

January 12, 2014 Conditioning

  • Rowing: 200*0:31 TIES PR!!
  • 31" Seated Box Jumps: 15
  • Unilateral kb swings: 56lbs*10
Didn't deadlift friday, wanted to give my hand some time to feel better...The swelling is still there unfortunately, but it's down by about 50%.  Going to give it a few more days and see if that trend continues.  Tied PR on rowing...was exhausted after.  Again, the pulls at the end of each row are huge in tacking on meters to each row. In retrospect probably shouldn't have done the kb swings, conditioning should probably be all lower-body for now. 

January 9, 2014 Upper / Heavy

  • Incline Bench Press: 225*1 255*1 265*1
  • Pullups: 95*1 95*1
  • Seated Press: 135*2 155*2 165*2 175*1
  • Cable Rows: 200*2 210*3
31 minutes

Right hand is still swollen on the right side.  I iced it all day at work, that seemed to help.  Wasn't sure what I'd be able to do here, it wasn't as bad. If you're gripping a bar your hand isn't in a completely closed fist, so that made it easier, plus for benching/pullups/etc it's not like my pinky is integral to the grip.  The hand swole up a tad after the session. It looks pretty bad still, going to give it a couple more days.  Incline benching went well actually; 265 isn't too shabby.  Cable rows too...I don't know if I've ever hit that high.  When I get hurt I kind of set out the next day to prove that it won't limit me so I try and push harder than I ordinarily would.  I remember August of 2012 when I hurt my back, the next day I went out and sprinted my ass off. Same concept here. 

January 8, 2014 Dodgeball!

  • Dodgeball: 90 minutes

Well....at the beginning of games all the balls are in the middle of the court and you have to rush to them and try to get them before the other team. One of the other guys slipped and basically elbow dropped onto my right hand.  It looked like a bear-paw it was so swollen.  If I make a fist, my pinky can't be curled in because it's excruciating, and the knuckle on my hand below the pinky is just..sort of..gone.  I think it's because of the swelling. Area between the ring finger & pinky hurts like a motherfucker as well. It's on my right hand as well, which royally sucks.  I can barely move the pinky; went home and put some frozen peas on it. We'll see what happens, but I'm about 90% certain something is torn or fractured in the hand itself.  I still had a fun time though, here are some pictures:

January 13, 2014

January 7, 2013 Upper / Heavy

  • Bench Press: 265*1 285*1 305*1 315*1
  • T-Bar Rows: 160*3 170*3 170*3
  • Push Press: 225*1 240*1 250*1
  • Unilateral BB T-Bar Rows: 205*1 180*2 -forgot to add bars weight in..again
  • Landmine Laterals: 70*2
45 minutes

Good session, bracing my core really helps on push presses.  I just started really focusing on it to aid my squat, but I wanted to see how much it carried over to other exercises. I was quite surprised, apparently my bracing had not been very good before this.  Definitely something to look into for others out there reading this; your ability to transfer power through the floor is a key component on any lift, and if your core is allowed to go slack then the force you generate from the floor ends there pretty much.  

Also, how on Earth do I keep forgetting to add the weight of the bar in on the unilateral rows...I meant to start with 160 and didn't realize til after what I had done...again...for the 5th time. 

January 6, 2013 Lower / Heavy

  • Squats: 365*1 385*1 405*1 NEW PR!! 415*X-shitty bracing
  • Front Squats: 265*1 285*1 305*1 TIES PR
  • Good Mornings: 225*1 250*1 275*1 NEW PR!!
  • Lumberjack Squats: 180*3 205*3 225*3
43 minutes

Well that went well....Finally got through the 400 barrier on squats. Bracing wasn't done well enough on 415 so I missed that. Came back and tied my pr on front squats...then crushed my PR on good mornings. I thought my previous pr was 280...nope..260.  Would have gone for 255 on lumberjack squats, but I wasn't sure what my PR there was.   Such a great session, just felt like an absolute animal here. 

January 12, 2014

January 5, 2013 Conditioning

  • Rowing: 250m (untimed) 200*0:32 200*0:31 NEW PR!!
  • Battling Ropes: 50
Well then....Just a few weeks ago I was writing that I didn't think I could break 32 any time soon.  I figured I'd be slower here since I'm gaining weight, but actually the extra strength more than made up for that.  At the end of each row I really violently pulled back.  I had the power metrics on the screen pinned to the top on each pull.  I not only got 31, I narrowly missed 30, this was probably about 31.1.  If I was just a tad fresher and hadn't done that first 200 I may have hit it.   Great times!  Finished with some battling ropes.  

Just realized, first PR of the new year!

January 3, 2013 Lower / Heavy

  • Deadlift: 405*1 445*1 475*1 500*1
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*2 145*1 150*1 150*1
  • Power Cleans: 155*1 185*1 205*1
  • Reverse Hypers: 45*7 45*7
40 minutes

Good times, back over 500 on deadlifting, form was really good on the first 3, on 500 my hips shot up too fast.  Going to try doing snatches 2nd for a while.  Hopefully I remember next week...

January 9, 2014

December 31, 2013 Upper / Light

  • Bench Press: 230*10 240*10 250*7
  • Cable Rows: 170*10 170*10 170*7
  • Seated Press: 135*8 135*6
  • 1.5 Pullups: 4, 2 yeah pretty much exhausted.
  • DB Incline: 90*6 - aaand I'm done
31 minutes

Got out of work early so it sort of threw my rhythm off; I'm used to having a certain amount of food/time since eating when I work out. Didn't have that here.  

And another year is in the books, it's been a good one, got into best shape of my life this summer, and I'm making some sick size gains here.  I'm about 210 lbs. right now, and gaining!  Strength is going through the roof, I'm a happy camper.  See you in 2014!

December 30, 2013 Lower / Light

  • Squats: 315*5 335*5 345*4
  • Front Squats: 225*4 225*4 225*3
  • Good Mornings: 135*5 155*5
25 minutes!!

Tried to do this one rapidly as possible.  Considering there's several minutes of warm up in that 25 I think I did a good job.  On the front squats I hit a massive O2 wall; I was just spent.  Felt great! 

December 29, 2013 Conditioning

  • knee-down mb push 1/2 court sprints: 4 per knee
  • rowing: 500*1:40 NEW PR!!
  • Rope Slams: 20
17 minutes

PR on rowwing, but wasn't really going all out. I don't have much of a baseline for that distance. 

December 27, 2013 Lower / Light

  • DL: 405*1 405*1 425*1
  • Power Cleans: 135*5 165*5 185*5 185*2
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*5 145*2 135*5
  • Pull-Throughs: 100*10
On power cleans I need to do better at exploding up, sort of like standing up fast, and not snapping my spine back, I feel like I have a tendency to do that and sort of catapult the weight up. 

January 7, 2014

December 26, 2013 Upper / Heavy

  • Incline Bench Press: 225*1 250*1 265*1 275*1
  • Pullups: 90*1 90*1 90*1
  • Seated Press: 135*5 155*5 135*7
  • T-Bar Rows: 160*3 170*2 160*3.5
  • DB Flat: 105*5 115*3
42 minutes

wheeeee..10 lbs off of an incline record...didn't even realize that until now.  I'd LOVE to hit 300 on that. Rest of session went well, loving seated press still. Haven't done flat dumbbell press in a while, so it was nice to have those at the end. 

Note: ALMOST caught up. I fell behind by like a month, now I only have like 10 days worth to enter to be all caught up on these things!

December 24, 2013 Upper / Heavy

  • Bench Press: 250*1 275*1 300*1 310*1 320*1
  • Pendlay Rows: 185*3 205*3 225*3
  • Push Press: 225*1 235*1 245*1
  • Unilateral BB T-Bar Rows: 160*3 170*1
  • Landmine Laterals: 55*7 55*7
44 minutes

Ab bracing everywhere!  It even helps on benching in transferring power from ground to bar.  Was VERY happy with 320, kind of a 'everything clicked' lift.  Rotated in Pendlays, I like them more on heavier days than light ones. I'm starting to find that a lot of exercises are better suited to me personally on either light or heavy days; t-bar rows on heavy, cable rows on light for instance.  Maybe go the opposite every now and then to shock my body, but by and large certain things just fit.  Threw some unilateral bb t-bar rows in since I've been neglecting them.  

December 23, 2013 Lower / Heavy

  • Squats: 315*2 355*1 380*1 400*1 TIES PR 410*X
  • Front Squats: 250*1 275*1 295*1-blacked out doing it haha
  • Good Mornings: 225*1 240*1 255*1
  • Lumberjack Squats: 180*6 205*4
46 minutes

Felt great, tied PR on squats, went for 410, missed at bottom.  I'm doing so much better with bracing my abs, but it's still a work in progress, on the 410 completely lost the brace at the bottom, pretty much worst place to lose it as far as effect on completing the rep goes.  Front squats went great, although I should have breathed a little better on 295, I actually blacked out as I locked it out. Apparently 255 is only 5 off my record on good mornings.  Also, I'm so happy to be doing lumberjack squats again.  They're a great exercise for getting depth if any of you reading this have trouble with that. It's almost like a heavier goblet squat in a way. I don't have issues with depth, they're just a fun exercise.  Here's a post with videos of me doing them a couple years ago. 

Here's a guy taking it literally:

And another video, this time a lady doing them:

December 20, 2013 Upper / Light

  • Incline Bench Press: 205*10 215*8
  • Cable Rows: 160*10 160*10 160*8
  • Seated Press: 125*10 135*8 125*8
  • Pullups: 8, 6 meh
  • Paloffs: 100*8
38 minutes

light light.  LOVE seated presses; one of my goals this bulk is to work on my shoulders, and I definitely feel seated presses more in my delts than I do with the standing cousin of this movement.  Pullups were...meh. Chest/back was already tired, and I hate high rep pullups. 

December 19, 2013 Lower / Heavy

  • Sumo Deadlifts: 405*1 455*1 475*meh. Got it, but not nice.
  • Power Cleans: 165*5 185*3 205*2 225*X 185*5
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*3 150*1 145*1-tired
  • PUPP: 1:05
42 minutes

Meh, just one of those tired days.  Tired tired. 

December 18, 2013 Dodgeball!

  • Dodgeball: 90 minutes
Last game of 2013, next two weeks will be off for Christmas & New Years.  Here's a couple videos

Then some pics, click for larger versions

December 17, 2013 Upper / Heavy

  • Bench Press: 250*3 265*3 275*3
  • T-Bar Rows: 160*3 170*3 180*2
  • Push Press: 225*1 235*1
  • Neutral Grip Pullups: 90*2 90*1 90*1
  • Landmine Laterals: 65*3 65*2
  • DB Incline: 100*4
40 minutes

Not every heavy session has to involve 1 rep maxes...good stuff here.  Push Press is going well, adding strength there quite well.  

December 16, 2013 Lower / light & heavy

  • Trap-Bar DL: 405*1 455*1 495*1 525*1 545*X-gassed 525*1
  • Front Squats: 225*3 250*3 275*2
  • Good Mornings: 135*10 
  • Reverse Hypers: 25*10 25*10
49 minutes

Hard to resist the temptation of loading up the hex bar..went for a PR, missed it, my hips were tired, probably should have gone 405-475-515-545 or something. Rest of session went well, gaining strength. 

December 15, 2013 Conditioning

  • Rowing: 250*0:43 200*0:33
  • Battling Ropes: 40, 40
quick conditioning

December 13, 2013 Lower Body / Light

  • Deadlifts: 315*3 335*3 345*3
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 155*3 175*2 185*1
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*3 145*2
26 minutes

Quick & light session, deads all done double overhand no straps.