November 30, 2014

Key to Success

If you're a pancake flippin motherfucker you have to be obsessed with being the best pancake flippin motherfucker. 

November 28, 2014 Upper Body

  • Incline Bench Press: 225*1 240*1 255*1 265*1
  • Pullups: 70*2 70*1 70*1
  • Seated Press: 135*3 155*3 175*1 185*1
  • Cable Rows: 180*3 200*3
  • Suitcase Carries: 70*30 70*25

Ramping up on incline benching, felt good so far!  Did some weighted pullups, haven't done those in a while, also felt good.  Upped weight on suitcase carries, not sure if I liked it better or not, I feel like they're something you have to have perfect form on, or there's not really a point. There's very few exercises I feel like that about, this is one of them.  The whole point is to lock your hips/obliques/entire core and not tilt at all, if you do then  you're not really hitting what you're supposed to with them.  

November 26, 2014 Lower Body / Posterior Chain

  • Snatch-Grip Deadlift: 385*1 415*1 435*1 445*1
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*3 140*2 150*1
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 165*1-exhausted 165*2
  • Ab-Wheel: 10

Carrying on with snatch grip deadlifting.  Enjoying it quite a bit, you have to get so much lower than you do on a regular deadlift.  I'm really exhausted after doing them.  

November 25, 2014 Upper Body

  • Bench Press, no arch, paused reps: 225*1 245*1 255*1 270*1
  • T-Bar Rows: 160*3 160*2 160*2
  • Push Press: 225*1 225*1
  • Sternum Pullups: 7, 5, 3
  • Reverse Flyes: 20*7 30*4

I realized I hadn't done t-bar rows in a while, didn't mean to get away from them at all.  Push pressing went well, going to build that back up now that my shoulder is fine. Going to probably do one more week of benching with no arch and paused reps, and then week after max out on benching. 

November 24, 2014 Lower Body

  • Squats: 315*1 350*1 370*1 390*1
  • Front Squats: 245*1 270*1 290*1
  • Good Mornings: 185*1 215*1 235*1
  • Standing Calf Press 2-1-2 Tempo: 180*5 120*7
  • Dead Bugs: 10, 10

Good stuff, really like keeping good mornings lighter like this and locking down my form.  Also rotating in calf presses, I want to work on them this bulk. 

November 23, 2014 Sprinting

  • 110m: 2
  • 100m: 13.08, 12.91, 13.20
  • 100m: 2 - RACE!
  • Total: 720m
Great time! I was wearing winter gear; tights, compression long sleeve shirt.  I doubt it limited my times that much, the air was just reeeally dry & cold. I hate running in that.  Still sub-13 though, which is good.  For the last 2, there was a high school runner from Texas visiting family, we decided to race. He won, by about .3 and .15;  apparently he's trying to go to Stanford on a track scholarship, I hope he gets there.  Those last 2 100m sprints may have been my fastest ever, I love having someone to race against. 

November 21, 2014 Upper Body

  • Incline Bench Press: 225*1 235*1 245*1
  • Unilateral BB T-Bar Rows: 145*3 155*3 165*3
  • Landmine Laterals: 65*2 55*4
  • 1.5 Pullups: 4, 4
  • Wide-Stance Anti-Rotational Chops: 70*8 80*5
Good session, I really want to go for 300 on incline benching. Going to start ramping up. Also did some landmine laterals, got away from them when my shoulder was sore a couple months back, want to bring them back in. 

November 21, 2014

November 21, 2014 Leucine...REALLY works.

So here is my promised Leucine post. I'll try and keep it as brief as possible, starting with the actual results I've experienced, and then talk briefly about the science behind it.  Part of my research about fitness type stuff is about supplements. I'm notoriously skeptical, and this bears out in practice, as probably 85% of things I've tried have no discernible effect.  This also makes sense since 85% of supplements are complete hog-wash with no actual science to back them up.  While researching my last cut and deciding what I wanted to do for it, while looking at the ECAY stack I did, I also read quite a bit about leucine, and it seemed like there was actual research to back up the claims.  I didn't want to try too many new things at once, so I deferred the leucine til after this cut was over.  I've been taking it for just under 3 weeks now, and the results: wow.

One of the criteria I use for evaluating supplements is how large the effect of it is, since I'm just a single person, and a slight effect could just be random chance.  The results here were not small.  Let me give you an example: Let's say you usually squat on Mondays, and you're sore Tuesday and somewhat Wednesday.  Every now and then for whatever reason you end up still ever so slightly sore on Thursday. For whatever reason, you didn't recover as fast that week.  You know those weeks. Here's the thing.  Since I started taking leucine, the sorest I've been the day after a workout is the equivalent of those random extra days of recovery where you can barely even tell. Barely noticeable.  I haven't taken more than one day to recover from anything.  There have been days where after a particularly brutal workout I am not even sore, and I'll try and remember if I actually got my workout in the previous day. It's that big of a difference. I'm sitting here right now, and if you whacked me on the head and erased my memory I couldn't even tell you that I deadlifted yesterday, I'm not even sore in the slightest. I could alternate squatting and deadlifting every single day for a week at this point, and I doubt I'd even be that sore by the end.  It's that good.

About a month ago I played in a football game, and posted here about how I could barely move the next few days.  I played again about 10 days ago, and actually played more this time. I was dreading the next morning, especially since I had to get up early and wouldn't be able to get a full 8 hours sleep.  The next morning I could barely tell I had basically done 40 sprints the night before. I played dodgeball the next day and didn't notice a thing.  I've run 1100m sprinting workouts, which I haven't done at all this year really.  I wasn't even sore/fatigued the next day.  I've been hammering myself for the last week to really try and test it, and I haven't accumulated any muscle soreness or fatigue at all.  I'm not even taking a ton.  5G post workout with my usual carb influx (I also take 5 before sprinting as well, since it's so brutal, so 10G that day).  That's it.

So what's the science behind it?  As always, if you want to check it out for yourself, Examine is a great go-to source for a scientific research aggregator.  So Leucine is one of the essential amino-acids, meaning you have to get it from your diet.  An amino-acid is just something that protein gets broken down into once in your body. Basically it boils down to three main points.  First is that Leucine stimulates protein synthesis more than any other amino acid. Protein synthesis basically means protein is being put to 'work' on building/repairing muscle. Here's a quote from a research article by Jeff Volek

When a complete protein (one that contains all the amino acids) was consumed, protein synthesis increased. When just essential amino acids were consumed without non-essential amino acids, the same increase was noted indicating non-essential amino acids are not required to stimulate protein synthesis. When only BCAAs were consumed, there was again the same increase in protein synthesis. Finally when just leucine was consumed, protein synthesis still increased to the same magnitude. These findings provided strong evidence that leucine was the driving force behind the ability of dietary protein to stimulate protein synthesis.

The second important fact is that Leucine activates mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin). MTOR is basically an activator that turns on your body's ability to make muscle.  In other words, it's not only an important factor in muscle, it's also critical to increasing the  process by which this occurs.  Third, leucine helps stimulate the secretion of insulin, about as much as Yohimbine, which may be why there are studies showing supplementation with leucine while dieting results in up to 25% greater fat loss, while also being associated with simultaneous greater retention of muscle mass.  The great thing with leucine, is that even in those eating sources of it, supplementation is still shown to have a great effect.

Alright this ended up being way longer than I intended, but seriously, you have to try this stuff if you're seriously pursuing athletics.  Maybe your results won't be as dramatic as mine, maybe they'll be even more dramatic, but the bottom line is: it works. It works very very well. 

November 20, 2014 Lower / Olympic Lifts

  • Snatch-Grip Deadlifts: 365*1 405*1 425*1 435*1
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 115*3 135*3 135*1 -exhausted from SG Deadlifts
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 135*3 155*2 -same
  • Suitcase Carries: 65*40 65*40
I realize that with benching I'm doing harder variants for a few weeks, then retesting my max on it with an actual arch, and not paused.  I kept my max at 300 for the whole cut this time by doing that. No idea why I didn't think of doing that sooner for deadlifts. I'm going to try snatch-gripping for a few weeks, then seeing what regular deadlifting feels like.  If it works out like benching my regular deadlift should go up appreciably. 

November 19, 2014 Dodgeball!

  • Dodgeball: 90 minutes

Felt great...loving Leucine, need to write about this soon. 

November 18, 2014 Upper Body

  • Bench Press, Paused, No Arch: 225*1 240*1 250*1 265*1
  • Pendlay Rows: 135*3 185*3 205*2
  • Seated Press: 135*3 155*3 175*2
  • Sternum Pullups: 25*3 25*2 25*2
  • DB Reverse Flyes: 25*6 25*5
Great session, benching felt good.  Threw in some Pendlay rows as well.  Going to go back to Push Presses now that my shoulder feels much better than it did about 5 weeks ago. 

November 17, 2014 Lower Body

  • Sumo Squats: 315*1 345*1 365*1 380*1
  • Front Squats: 225*1 245*1 265*1 275*1
  • Good Mornings: 185*2 205*1 225*1
  • Dead Bugs: 10, 10
Great session. Good depth on stuff, felt really great. Kept good mornings a bit lighter and really locked down form on them. Felt great. 

November 20, 2014

November 16, 2014 Sprinting

  • 110m: 10
  • Total: 1100m

Great session, wanted to put some good work in. Have tights to wear on my legs finally after 3 years so I can sprint in colder weather. 

November 14, 2014 Basketball

  • Basketball: 30 minutes
Played some basketball for my MBA program tournament. Good times. I haven't played in ages. I think I may buy a ball and start playing some on Saturdays.  I miss it. 

November 13, 2014 Upper

  • Incline Bench Press: 225*1 235*1 245*1
  • Sternum Pullups: 8, 6, 5
  • Seated Press: 135*3 155*3 165*2
Quick session, wanted to just keep everything awake. 

November 12, 2014 Dodgeball

  • Dodgeball: 90 minutes

Not even vaguely sore after yesterday. I love leucine. 

November 11, 2014 Fooootball!

  • Football: 60 minutes

Tired.  Played Corner / O-Line the whole time pretty much.  I wish I had started playing earlier this year. May see if people want to get a spring league going. 

November 7, 2014 Lower / Olympic Lifting

  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*2 115*3 135*3 145*3 150*3 155*2
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 185*2 185*1
  • Romanian Deadlifts: 315*2 315*2
Got a football game coming up on Tuesday of this coming week, want to conserve energy here. Plus it's between bulking/cutting. I should be taking the week off technically. I'll just take the next 5 days off.  Also, have progress pics I need to post soon. 

November 5, 2014 Dodgeball!

  • Dodgeball: 90 minutes
Right shoulder was a bit sore after again. Going to probably take tomorrow off so I don't re-aggravate this thing

November 4, 2014 Lower

  • Squats: 315*1 350*1 370*1 380*1
  • Front Squats: 225*1 250*1 270*1
  • Good Mornings: 225*1 250*1 270*1
  • Dead Bugs: 10, 10

Usual stuff.  I'm going to be posting a bulk diet soon, as well as leucine.  Spoilers: Take leucine. Seriously.  I'm recording this session on the 20th of November, I've been taking it about 3 weeks, I'll post thoughts on it after I catch up on these posts. 

November 3, 2014 Upper Body

  • Bench Press: 225*1 250*1 265*1 280*1 290*1 300*1
  • Unilateral BB T-Bar Rows: 160*3 160*3 160*3
  • Seated Press: 135*3 155*2 165*2
  • Rope Pullups: 4, 4
  • Suitcase Carries: 60*40 60*40

November 2, 2104 Sprinting

  • 110m: 4
Sleet/ice/rain/snow. Not good times. 

November 9, 2014

October 31, 2014 Haunted Posterior Chain / Ghoulish Lower / Spooky Upper

  • BB DL: 405*1 430*1 445*1 460*1
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*3 145*1
  • BB Incline: 225*1 235*1 250*1
  • Sternum Pullups: 7, 7
  • Dead Bugs: 10, 10
Feeling better after the day off. I actually went yesterday, stretched, then chilled in the sauna. 

October 29, 2014 Dodgeball

  • Dodgeball: 90 minutes

Ugh.  Still sore, this just made it worse.  Taking tomorrow off. 

October 27, 2014 Upper

  • BB Flat (Paused/No Arch): 225*1 245*1 255*1
  • Sternum Pullups: 6, 6
  • Seated Press: 135*3 155*3
  • Cable Rows: 180*5
  • Dead Bugs: 10

Remember when I didn't have a blown-out CNS?  Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Ugh.  Can barely move.  Taking tomorrow off.  My legs have never been this sore in my life. 

October 26, 2014 Football (PM)

  • Football: 60 minutes

sooooooooooo sore. Can barely walk.  Should not have sprinted beforehand.  Won the game, championship soon.  Need to go stretch, do yoga, then curl up in a ball. 

October 26, 2014 Sprinting (A.M.)

  • 110m: 2
  • 100m: 12.72, 12.67(!!)
  • Total: 420m

So this was supposed to be a 'take it easy' session as I have football in the PM.  I can't help myself though.  Missed PR by .02, good times, literally. 

October 24, 2014 Lower, Upper

  • Deadlifts: 405*1 425*1 445*1
  • HPC: 135*3 165*3 185*1-hit self in throat. 
  • BB Incline: 205*1 225*1 225*1
  • Sternum Pullups: 7

Kept things light, have a football playoff game for school on Sunday. 

October 22, 2014 Dodgeball!

  • Dodgeball: 85 minutes
Good times!  

October 21, 2014 Lower

  • Squats: 315*1 340*1 365*1 380*1
  • Front Squats: 225*1 250*1 270*1
  • Good Mornings: 185*1 225*1
  • Dead Bugs: 10, 10 

Took yesterday off after the sprint session Sunday..could barely walk, felt great!  Back to work here though, solid session overall. 

October 19, 2014 Sprinting

  • 110m: 2
  • 100m: 12.65 NEW PR!! 12.88
  • 110m: 3
  • Total: 750m

Well that went well.  Friday I didn't do regular squats; I was trying to save my posterior chain for a sprint session and a record attempt. It worked!  Feels awesome.  Although I will say I'm absolutely gassed after this. 

November 3, 2014

October 17, 2014 Lower

  • Front Squats: 225*1 245*1 265*1 275*1 285*1 295*1
  • Suitcase Carries: 65*45 65*45
Want to see if I can hit a PR sprinting on sunday, so I laid off posterior chain stuff. Hopefully it pays off. 

October 15, 2014 Dodgeballl!

  • Dodgeball: 80 minutes
good times...good times. 

October 14, 2014 Lower - PM Session

  • BB DL: 405*1 425*1 445*1 455*1
  • HPS: 135*3 145*2 155*1
  • HPC: 185*2 185*1 - exhausted
  • Dead Bugs: 10, 10
Didn't have a ton of energy here

October 14, 2014 Walking - A.M. Session

  • 10% incline Walk: 30 minutes, 1.66miles

Had some time this morning to do some incline walking on the treadmill.  Good stuff. 

October 13, 2014 Upper

  • Guillotine Press: 185*3 205*3 225*2 235*1
  • Pullups: 75*2 75*2 75*2
  • Push Press: 225*1 235*1
  • T-Bar Rows: 160*3 170*3 180*2
  • Face Pulls: 30*8 45*8
Threw facepulls in.  Man I love guillotine presses. Also threw in some weighted pullups here. Went well

October 12, 2014 Sprinting

  • 110m: 2
  • 100m: 13.09, 12.90, 13.05
  • 110m: 3
  • Total: 850m
Didn't know how fast I'd be here, with the cramps on Wednesday my right calf was still a bit tender. Things went well though. 12.90 is nothing to sneeze at.  Focused mainly on 110s though. 

It's tempting when you're close to a record to keep pounding at it every session, but it's important to focus on keeping that base there. That goes for weighted stuff, sprinting, jumps, whatever.  I don't want to focus only on 100s and lose the benefit of the 110s. 

October 9, 2014 Upper

  • Incline Bench Press: 225*1 235*1 245*1 255*1 260*1
  • Sternum Pullups: 9, 7, 5
  • Seated Press: 75*3 80*4 85*3
  • Cable Rows: 140*5 170*5 190*5 220*2
  • DB Reverse Flyes: 35*3
  • Suitcase Carries: 60*40 60*40
Good times, glad incline bench is still that high. I think this bulk I'm going to try and get 300 on it. 

October 8, 2014 Dodgeball!

  • Dodgeball: 90 minutes
MONSTER calf cramps first on one leg, then the other.  What a pain in the ass.  Also back cramped up too.  Not sure why, I felt fully hydrated. 

October 7, 2014 Lower

  • Sumo Squats: 315*1 340*1 365*1 385*X<--breathing wrong, almost blacked out 
  • Squats from Pins: 315*1
  • Front Squats: 250*1 265*1 285*1
  • BB Bulgarian Split Squats: 135*2..meh
  • BB Lunges: 135*4
  • Dead Bugs: 10, 10
Good times. Messed up breathing on 385 attempt, lucky I didn't black out. Decided to throw some split stance stuff was ok I guess. I'm never entirely comfortable with those exercises for some reason.