Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Final Workout of 2013

I am getting tired.  Tired of training.  Tired of the pain.  Tired of this blog.  The year didn't end nearly as well as I had hoped.


LBBS 3x335
Press 3x180; 3x5@165; 4x135
Rows 3x5@212.5

Low back hurt during squats--which were all Good Morning'd--I am deloading AGAIN to try AGAIN to correct the form issues.

Press was all grinders so I did a quick set at 135 for some volume after only waiting a minute or two after the final set at 165.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Holidays: Great, Except for Training

Haven't been consistent at all.  Hopefully, I am back in the saddle.  Two workouts need to be posted.  I wish it were more, but I haven't been in the gym much at all, and I can feel the effect it is having on my strength.


LBBS 3x277.5; 3x10@230
Press 3x177.5; 135x I don't remember, and apparently I didn't write it down.  Oops!


DL 3x410; 3x355  Oof!
Bench 3x240; 185x10,10,10, 15 sec, 2; 135x20
(Except for the 20 rep set, all had better pauses than last time.)
Chins 3x8@BW

We'll see what the next few weeks have in store, but I am hoping to be more consistent.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

High Reps: Day 2

DL and Bench were too easy.  I low balled it on my attempts to get a good 10 rep set scheme for both exercises.  It was okay, though, since I only had 45 minutes to do them in.  As such, I had to skip chins.


DL 3x405; 10x350
Bench 3x245; 3x10@185

Sorry, not a very exciting post: It is 1 AM and I am going to bed.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Change of Pace

With elbow pain not really abating much at all, I am lowering the weight.  I am not sure for how long--I'll start with a week or two and move on from there.  This isn't a small decrease, but enough where I hope to do three sets of ten across.

I tried some test weights to see where I am at for now, with these being the results:


Press 3x175; 135x10, 9, 7
Squat 3x275; 225x10, 10, 10
Rows 3x5@210

I did some lateral raises, too, but they hurt my elbow.  I may throw in some sprints of some kind, and I think I may begin IIFYM--or I'll just stop eating like a pig and see what happens.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pain and PRs!

Well, with a set back in DL and Bench (2.5# deload on DL and still had to pause between reps 4 and 5; 2.5# deload on Bench OWU and only got 1--I got 2 at this weight before), I felt the need to do something crazy (even though my left elbow already was showing signs it was going to be in pain).  I tested my 1RM on Squat.  It was at the end of a workout that included heavy DLs, so I am hoping I can actually do more, but as it stands, 2.5 was the number of the day: I got a 2½ pound 1RM PR on Squat for 387.5!!  

To Recap--PRs set since my return from hiatus:
Press: 200x1
DL: 457.5x1
Squat: 3x5@325
Squat: 387.5x1! 

Very exciting.  According to most 1RM calculators this falls over 10 pounds short of where I could/should be, but it is still a PR!  I am quite stoked!

I put 365 on the bar, and since all my dumps have come from being a bit too far forward, I sat a touch farther back than normal--and wouldn't you know it, I failed and was forced to dump backwards.  Since I have never done it, and I was barely out of the hole when it happened, I couldn't get out from under the bar and ended up just sitting down and falling backwards, pinning my arm between the rack and the 365# bar.  Quite painful--not to mention it wrenched my left elbow quite painfully.  I was able to wriggle out and unload the bar.  If I was smart, I would have just racked the weights.  Dumping 20# less than my previous PR meant no records were being set today, and with the amount of pain my elbow was in, it surely would be only foolishness to even try.  So, of course, I put 365 right back on the bar!  The second attempt was successful--although it felt a bit high--so I put 385 on it.  I had just dumped 365 a moment ago, so I decided I'd only try this once.  So, why not go for a PR?  I got out my micro-loading plates and got under the bar before I could change my mind.  The mid point stuck and I felt like I was there for an eternity.  My elbow was on fire and I could feel my form was atrocious--practically Good Morning-ing the whole dang thing.  But mercifully it started to move, and I didn't even stand all the way up before my body involuntarily moved to the rack--I just needed the weight off of my back.  It would have been red lit for sure, but I did it!

I picked up my phone to text my brother, friend, and wife (three different people, haha!) and my left arm was in so much pain I couldn't hold the phone, let alone text.  I put the phone in my lap and did it with one hand. It was super stupid--but sooo awesome!


DL 427.5x4, 30 sec, 1
Bench 267.5x1; 230x5,5,6
Squat 387.5x1
Chins 8,8,10

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Renovation Set-Backs

As previously mentioned, I have been ripping up floors, knocking down walls, demolishing bricks, and hauling debris a lot lately and combine that with inadequate rest, and you have no workouts for 11 days.  Well, I got back to it today.

I got all my squat reps.  Warm-up actually felt amazing--I was able to keep knee cave-in to almost nil.  It came back during my work-sets with a vengeance.

Press was where you could really see some back-sliding from my time off.  Squat took a ton out of me, but I was still pretty lame on Press, even without the excuses.

I did two sets of 10 reps on chins, and called it good.


Squat 3x5@325
Press 197.5x2; 175x4,3,0; 135x5
Chins 10, 10

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Goals Revisited

The very first post of this blog--which I have not actually looked at in over a year--is quite laughable now.  My lack of achievement is depressing.  Back on June 9th, 2012, I said my goals were thus:

My goals for 2012: 
*1200 PL total--s/b/dl in pounds (400/300/500)

2013 goals:
*1500 PL total--(500/400/600)
*Get blood pressure and cholesterol under control
*Six pack

2014 goals:
*Cycle a century in under 6 hours

Obviously, due to myriad circumstances, I am staring down the barrel of 2013's conclusion, having yet to achieve 2012's goals.

I am throwing out the Century--not because the idea of riding another century isn't appealing, I just don't have a time-table for it anymore... I am not too keen on it any time soon.

As for adding ANOTHER 100 pounds to my PL total AND losing enough fat to have washboard abs, that is just nuts.

As anyone who is reading this is aware, my goal for 5 weeks from now is the 1200 PL total.  It is going to be close, and I am not optimistic, but we're barreling on through.  Once I have that in the bag, THEN I'll decide what my next goals are.

Slow and Steady

Well, I don't know if I am the tortoise, allowing myself to go slowly by occasionally deloading, or if I am the hare, sprinting ahead (adding weight every workout) until I have to rest (deload).  I only got 1 rep on Bench OWU and I had to rest thirty seconds (AGAIN!) between reps 4 and 5 on DL!  Quite frustrating--I am probably the hare.

Squat went up easily enough, although my left knee was caving (even more than usual) and my mid to lower back hurt for the rest of the workout.  Curse my left elbow, necessitating my HBBS swap-ins every other workout.  (Speaking of my elbow, I have had a bit of pain in it for a few days now--fleeting, but there nonetheless.  It was fine during my workout, but I did take 800mg of Vitamin I, AND an Aleve before some vigorous flossing before my workout.  Whoa--that was quite the lengthy parenthetical.)  I miss doing Low Bar every single workout.

Bench felt like it was going to be awesome, but then 225x3 and 245x2 went up super slowly during warm-ups.  I only got 270x1, and failed quite miserably on the attempted 2nd rep.  For someone with an all-time Bench 1RM PR of 275, this was quite vexing.  "I am terribly vexed."  I am so close to beating my PR, that any setback is disheartening.

DL also felt AMAZING until, well really until rep 2 of the work-set.  Even my last warm-up of 405x1 felt promising.  Rep 4 was enough of a grinder that I knew 5 was going to be bad, so I rested 30 seconds before trying again.  It was the right decision--rep 5 ended up having better form than rep 4!

It wasn't a bad workout, but it could have been better.  I had been running around moving stuff and tearing up sub-flooring earlier (we're moving into a new house--OUR new house... we're going to HOME OWNERS!!!) so I could blame it on that... maybe?  There will probably be several sub-par, or even MISSED workouts in the near future, due to moving/"fixer-upper-ing" but c'est la vie.


HBBS 3x5@290
Bench 270x1; 227.5x6,6,6
DL 430x4, 30 sec, 1

So, as I was saying about deloads and slow and steady winning races, I'll probably deload a couple pounds on Bench OWU and also deload 2.5 pounds on DL and start micro-loading the deadlift.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Grinders... Grinders Everywhere

No.  Not that kind.

Squat started pretty slowly--I thought I was for sure going to fail a rep or two, but I ended up getting 6 on set three, so it was all good.

Press was all grinders.  Rep 3 of the OWU, and the fifth rep of all three sets were ALL grinders.  

Chins I got 9,8,9 at BW.

Rows I did one set of five at 215 and then had to leave.

Good day considering how tired I was.


LBBS 320x5,5,6
Press 195x3; 3x5@172.5
Chins BWx9,8,9
Rows 5x215

A 195 triple on Press??!  AWESOME!  I am guessing I will have a 200 triple by December 12th at the latest!  CRAZY!  It looks like 225x1 by Jan 1st will be a stretch, but it will be close.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Another Short Workout

With the wife working, I walked to the gym, pushing the boys in a stroller, and had a quick workout.  I skipped HBBS and just did DL and a portion of a Bench workout.  I didn't want to waste the whole night when I could be spending time with my boys, so I did just the work set (no heavy double) on DL, then the OWU and 2 of 3 work-sets on Bench.

I think I will probably forego the heavy double on DL for good--I may be pushing it a bit too hard.  I did all 5 reps of the work-set without pausing (I paused between reps 4 and 5 on my last DL session) but today's fifth rep's form was atrocious... or at least it felt atrocious.


DL 425x5
Bench 262.5x2; 227.5x6,6

I will go up on OWU for bench, but I'll probably stay at 227.5 since I didn't technically finish.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sick? Psh--Can't Stop, Won't Stop!

Sore throat, head ache, light headed, body aches--no big deal.  Only missed rep in the entire workout being the final chin-up?  Priceless.

Small deload on Squat had mixed results.  Being sick and getting 6 reps on the last set was awesome!  Still GMing the reps pretty badly--not so awesome.

Press I got all planned reps--waited 30 seconds after the final rep and did one more just for good measure.

Chins were good--the final rep on the final set required a pretty hefty legs kick, only to fall an inch or two short of a good rep.

Rows were a breeze.


LBBS 315x5,5,6
Press 192.5x3; 170x5,5,5, 30 sec, 1
Chins BWx9,8,7.5
Rows 207.5x5,5,6

Pretty great day.  I am feeling it now, and may regret it later, (and will owe my wife the opportunity to day "I told you so") but I am pleased with the workout nevertheless.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Recovery Meal



You know what tastes really good with a tuna sandwich? Outback Bloomin' Onion dipping sauce.

Don't have one nearby or don't want to go get some? Here is my close approximation recipe:

 ½ cup mayonnaise
1 Tbl Spoon ketchup
3 Tbl Spoons horseradish
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp salt
1 dash black pepper
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 dash Onion powder
1 tsp yellow Mustard

 This makes enough for about 4-6 sandwiches--depending on how much you use per sandwich.

You're welcome.

[insert clever title here]

HBBS was pretty easy, although I can tell my back doesn't like the more upright posture (as compared to LB).

I was pretty tight on time, so I basically did Bench and DL at the same time, which taxed me hardcore doing two different lifts' warm-ups and work-sets at the same time.  Not quite super-sets, but pretty close.  I missed my last rep on Bench and had to rest 30 seconds before completing my last rep on my DL set.  My form broke down pretty hardcore on my heavy double on DL, too.  But I did all the work sets of each lift, and impressed myself in the process.

But my first two sets of Bench went up like a dream!  I was really surprised how easy they went up.  I am pretty sure if I had enough time to rest between sets, and didn't have to double up lifts, then I may have gotten 7 on set three!


HBBS 3x5x285
Bench 260x2; 225x6,6,5
DL 420x4, 30 sec, 1; 440x2

Pretty good day, all things considered.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Just... ugh

Well, early morning workouts are better than no workout, right?  Ugh, maybe.  Squats weren't too bad, but Press was just miserable and I skipped Rows due to time constraints.

I was just exhausted--and surprised myself that I was even able to drag myself out of bed... barely.  Squats were tough--and I knew after rep 4 of set three I was just done.  I didn't have any more in me, so I racked it.  I had been practically doing Good Mornings on every rep and my lower back was so fatigued I didn't have any business even trying to get the final rep.

Because of all the GM'd reps, I will deload to 315.  2 failed LB days in a row, due to fatigue of one part of the form or another, call for it, I think.  If I run into this again, I will consider micro-loading.  I know I am so close to my goal of 405 by Jan 1st, but I don't want to be FORCED to deload because I injure myself.  I must be patient.  If it takes a few extra weeks to hit 405, but my form is good, I'll be happy.

By the time I tried my OWU on Press, there was precious little gas left in the tank (I had taken a pre-workout AND an extra strength 5-Hour Energy, and was still barely this side of zombie-status) and I only got 2 reps.  Then I did the first work-set of 5, and was just done.  For the sake of not giving up (any more than I already had) I tried set 2, but only got 2 pitiful reps in.  I will repeat the OWU until I get three, and I will deload to 170 for my next work-sets.

I did 3x8@BW on Chins and called it a day.

I weight in at 237 today.


LBBS 330x5,5,4
Press 192.5x2; 172.5x5,2
Chins BWx8,8,8

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

DL Single PR

HBBS felt good.  Bench felt REALLY strong.  But DEADLIFT WAS AMAZING!!

The whole time I was warming up, I was debating between a post work-set heavy double (my normal routine) or a crazy PR single attempt.  This whole time I have been balancing between "Stay safe and healthy" and "Get back to where I left off at all costs!!"  I decided to just stick with my plan and do the heavy double... UNTIL I KILLED MY WORK-SET!  415x5 FLEW off the floor like someone turned down the gravity in the gym!  So, I added 2.5# to my all time 1RM PR, and pulled it--and it was EASY!

I tell you, the temptation to add more and go again was IMMENSE!  But, I restrained myself.


HBBS 5x255, 270, 280
Bench 2x257.5; 222.5x6,6,7
DL 415x5; 457.5x1

I am just oozing excitement right now.  After all this time scraping to get back to where I was a year ago, I have now got my Press AND my DL STRONGER than pre-hiatus strength levels!  I know Bench and Squat are just about there, but I don't want to test them yet--I'll wait until the end of the year.  I really shouldn't have gone for it on DL today, but my training A.D.D. just kicked in too powerfully to overcome.

I should mention that switching between LB and HB, with joint flossing, still seems to be doing the trick.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Squat Fail and Press Trip

I failed on my Squat today, and it wasn't totally because of weakness in the legs or lower back.  As I descended on my final rep, my shoulders and upper back lost tightness.  The (very small) added forward/downward momentum was just enough to put me forward on my toes, off my heels and passed the balls of my feet.  I lost my balance.  I had done this once already on rep 4 of set 2, and had a prolonged, involuntary pause at the bottom, but I was able to recover and finish the set.  Rep 5 of set 3 was no such luck.  I was just too far forward/too tired, and I had to dump it.  Actually it kind of dumped itself.  I didn't really have any choice/volition.  I wasn't too upset.  All in all, the three sets were easier than 320 last LBBS day.  I felt stronger and all around better than last time.  I just need to focus a bit more on the peripheral aspects of form.  Even though I technically failed, I think I will probably still move up next LBBS day--I got only 4ish hours of sleep and was bloody exhausted, but still felt strong.

I tripled 190 on the Press, which I am SUPER stoked about!  Four more Press days and I should be Pressing 200 for THREE!  It was easier than 187.5.  The work-sets were easier than last time, too.  I almost went for a 6th rep on set 3, but decided not to.

Chins and Rows were fine.


LBBS 325x5,5,4
Press 190x3; 3x5@170
Chins BWx7,7,8
Rows 205x5,5,6

I did have quite a bit of elbow pain and shoulder pain during Squats, but it was gone as soon as I was done.  I am just barely squeeking by to stay on pace to put up 225x1 on Press by January 1st.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Had an amazing workout.  Had someone ask to work in on Squats.  I wanted to go Leonidas on him, but since there isn't an insanely wide and deep well next to the squat rack, I spared him and let him join me.  He ended up doing weights pretty close to my plan so I went with his weights, which ended up being 235, 255(+10), 275(+10).  Still feels a bit weird to be doing HBBS, but not nearly as much as I thought it might.  I am a touch worried about form once it really starts to get heavy.

Bench OWU hurt my left elbow and right shoulder, and was quite the grinder.  My work sets were peachy--even getting 7(+1) on set three.

DL was AMAZING!  Warm-up felt easy.  I got all 5 reps of the work-set (form broke down a touch on rep 5, but it was a huge improvement over last week) and I got the heavy double with relative ease!


HBBS 5x235, 255, 275
Bench 2x255; 220x6,6,7
DL 410x5; 430x2

[sigh] this wrap-up rah-rah paragraph is probably getting repetitive for anyone who ever reads this, but it is therapeutic for me, sorry.  Bench is barely on track for 300 for the year, DL is only slightly worse off with for a 500.  Squat, though clearly slowing down, is the surprising favorite for a 400.  We shall see.  If I keep doing these 2 workouts a week like the last few weeks, I'll never make any of them.  Three has just been too dang hard to make.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Blast (of cold) From the Past

Today's workout had the toughest Squat session I have had in a long time--certainly in well over a year, even.  For a long time now, when I have a rep that makes me doubt my ability to hit the next one, I have just racked it.  Today, rep 4 on every set made me feel that way, and for the first time in who knows how long, I have gone for it anyway.  I got all three sets of five, and just about wanted to die afterward.  I did it though!  It seriously makes me doubt I'll be able to continue 5lb jumps for much longer, however.
Set one was really hard.  Set two, I practically "Good Morning'd" the last rep.  Set three was absolute hell!  Silver lining: practically imperceptible elbow pain!  Swapping HB and LB with joint flossing may be doing the trick??

Press was a good workout.  Rep three of the OWU was a grinder, and I think I must've leaned back more than usual because my abs on the left side hurt after the set.  A little elbow complaint on set one, but after that, nothing of note.

Chins and Rows were business as usual.


Squat 3x5@320
Press 3x187.5; 167.5x5,5,5, 30 sec, 1
Chins BWx7,7,7
Rows 3x5@202.5

After the Squat workout from Hades, my wife's and my schedule necessitated one of us ride a bike home from work.  I didn't want her riding in the cold and dark, so I volunteered.  (I work farther away and later into the following morning.  You can say I am an amazing Husband--I won't correct you.)  I've done lots of biking in my day--even a Century a few years back, so it made sense.  Also, I thought it might be nice to see where I stand compared to years ago.   It was only 6ish miles at 2 A.M. (1 A.M. if you count the time change) in 33°F weather--but that was more than I have done in years--AND after a pretty difficult Squat session.  My elbow has finally decided to complain, my quads are wobbly and tight, and I can tell I'll be sore.  But I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It made me miss biking.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

High Bar Experiment

Thanks to a tip from an E-Friend, I decided to do something I haven't done in like 2 years: High Bar Back Squat.  The intention right now is to see if alternating between Low Bar and High Bar will help my elbow recover enough to be able to still Squat every workout.  If it doesn't work, I'll go to alternating LBBS and Front Squat.  If that doesn't work, I'll switch to HBBS full time, and finally if that fails, I'll alternate HBBS and Front.  Hopefully it doesn't get that far, because I don't know what the next step would be and don't want to think about it.  But, so far so good.  Too early to tell, really, since I went pretty light on HBBS so that I could focus on form and not falling over considering how long it has been since I have done HB.  My traps hurt a little since they are no longer used to it.  Almost no elbow pain, even through the Bench.  I feel it a tiny bit as I am typing now, but nothing really noteworthy.

Bench was alright.  OWU was a grinder on rep 2.  I decided to opt for 3x6 rather than 3x7 since I was tired and OWU was so hard.  I barely got rep 6 up for both sets 1 and 2, but I got 7 on set 3.  Go figure?!

Deadlift was a bit disappointing.  I had to rest 30 seconds between reps 3 and 4, and 4 and 5.  I ended up going for the big double anyway, but also rested 30 seconds between.  Got 'em all, but with all the rest, I am not sure I should go up next workout.  I was pretty tired, but I don't know how much of a role that played.


FBBS 5x225, 235, 245
Bench 2x252.5; 217.5x6,6,7
DL 405x3, 30 sec, 1, 30 sec, 1; 425x1, 30 sec, 1

Saturday, October 26, 2013

More Pain

While my elbow didn't pop out, Hungarian style, it sure hurt a lot.  Maybe putting Squats back in for ALL workouts was a bit premature.  Maybe I'll try Front Squats on DL days from now on?  Who knows?  I did a quick flossing on both my elbow and knee before my workout, and my knee still feels great, but 3x5@315 on the squat really did my elbow in, and it really affected me on Press.  I only got 2 on the OWU and only did one set for 4 before calling it a day.  No Chins or Rows.

Now that I am flossing, my elbow is continuing to not feel the persistent throbbing pain for hours after my workout like it used to--and considering just how much it hurt today, I am EXTREMELY relieved that this is the case.  I do feel some discomfort, but normally, pre-VooDoo Floss, the amount of pain I felt during my session meant hours if not days of pain.  Not so anymore!

...Did I mention I got 3x5@315 on Squat??  I am not sure if I have ever done that before.  I can't remember, and am sure not going to look right now.  I know I have done 3x3, but I don't know about 3x5.  It felt really heavy, and set two felt ugly, too.  But, all in all, I am pleased.  


Squat 3x5@315
Press 2x187.5; 4x167.5

Today was another quick workout with major time constraints.  Also, I didn't sleep well last night.  Hopefully I can blame my lame Press on pain, fatigue and weariness.  I don't want to deload AGAIN on Press.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"Eyes" On the Prize

Didn't even feel like 6 days away.  :-)

VooDoo Flossed my Elbow and Knee last night, and then again (plus my shoulder) before my workout today.  Felt AMAZING!  I don't know how much was placebo or mind over matter (I suppose that is a bit redundant--or at least some over-lap) but I definitely felt a difference.  Strangely, when I got to my work-sets on Squat and Bench, I had MORE acute pain in my elbow than I usually do, but it dissipated more quickly and didn't persist like it normally does.  I'll take it!

Worked out with my bride today.  Good to have her back in the gym with me.  She remarked on how red my face gets when I squat heavy, and we also noticed some real red spots (popped vessels?) in my eyes afterwards.  She was nervous--and I admit I have been a touch uneasy about it too--but until my research points me to a real problem, hitting my goal is where I'll be keeping my gaze--red as it may be.

I did better (not great, but there was improvement) with pushing my knees out on the squat, today.  Hopefully that translates (with flossing) to less knee pain.

I forgot my micro-plates on the bench, which upset me, but I noticed before my third set and still got 7, so there is that.  I'll still repeat this weight, though.  

Rep 5 on DL was the hardest it has been in some time.  I am hoping it won't be a problem to get 405 next week--I am not ready to start micro-loading yet.  I got 2 reps on the heavy follow-up set of 420, though.  I have a chance (albeit slim) of hitting 470x2 by the end of the year.  This has a theoretical 1RM of 500, which is the goal.  I am really surprised by this.  I'll need to increase my food intake substantially if I am going to achieve it, which I can't really afford to do right now, but with 10 weeks left in the year, adding 5 pounds each week is doable since I average 1.5 DL sessions per week for those 10 weeks.  If I added 5 pounds to every one, I'd add 75 pounds.  Since that is HIGHLY unlikely, I guessed just 50 pounds--which will still be a stretch--and I think I am okay saying it is still a viable goal.  My theoretical 1RM after today is 445, which is--if I remember correctly--only 10lbs. under my all time PR.  Very exciting!


Squat 3x5@310
Bench 2x250; 2x5@215; 5x217.5
DL 5x400; 2x420

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Speedy Workout

Well, I was sick of having too little time to workout, and needing to cut things out to accommodate, so I thought I would try to just bust through it with less rest and by doing warm-ups in between work-sets.  I have done these things before to one extent or another, but I usually am also cutting certain things out.  This time, I did not miss a single planned set, and did what usually is a 90-120 min workout in 70 minutes.  I am still exhausted from it all.

I did end up cutting my Press work-sets down to sets of 5, but that was all the real cutting I ended up doing.
Squat felt great, but since I use the same cage for Press, I warmed up with dumbbells for the Press in between squat sets.

Press I finally got 185x3.  It is a good thing I lowered my work-sets to 5s because sets 2 and 3 barely got 5 I was so wiped from going at the pace I was.

I pushed Chins, Curls and Rows all together, and by the last set of Rows, my arms were Jell-O®.

It was satisfying to get it all done, but I will probably regret making it public that I can do this long workout in under 90 minutes--my wife subscribes to my blog.  HAHA!


Squat 3x5x305
Press 3x185; 3x5@165
Chins BWx10; +15x5,4
Rows 3x6@200

Chins are not advancing very quickly.  It is kind of disheartening.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Quick Push/Pull Day

With elbow pain and a really short amount of time, I decided to skip squats, and warm up my DL and Bench together, then do DL work-sets, then Bench work-sets, and call it a day.  By the time I finished my (awesome feeling) DL sets, I had precious little time.  So, I switched from a 3x7 with 5 min rest between sets to 3x5 with 2.5 min between them.  I barely made it home in time for my first-born-in-the-wilderness to make his pre-school bus, and had to sprint half the way, pushing a double stroller to boot.  Good times.

I got the Level 1 Captains of Crush from my brother, and can already close it.  HAHA!  The left hand is still covered in leprosy (read "warts") so I have been unable to work as hard on that hand, but I still closed it on that one too.


DL 5x395; 1x415
Bench 2x247.5; 3x5@217.5

I will repeat 217.5 so I can try for the 3x7, but I will go up on the OWU to keep pushing high end strength.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Birthday Pain

Elbow pain is back.  Happy Bloody Birthday to me!  Skipped third set of Squats and had an okay Press workout, but didn't do anything else so I wouldn't be in pain all day for my birthday.  Will be getting myself some VooDoo Floss--Review forthcoming.

Squats felt okay except for the elbow pain.  Press was a little painful, and I think it was a bit weak because it was so early (I didn't sleep more than 5½ hours).  I did a heavy-ish 4th workset just for good measure.  OWU was only for 2, so I am repeating it--I really want 200 for a triple, so OWU will not move up unless I hit three each time.


Squats 305x5,5,0
Press 185x2; 162.5x6,5,5; 175x2

Now, to Valley Fair with my wonderful wife!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


I have been eating about $10 worth of McDonald's food five days a week for months now.  I think it has a lot to do with the steady progress I have been enjoying.  Today's being no exception.

Squat was a little tough, but besides a little looseness in my upper and lower back, I felt strong through all three sets.

Bench went pretty well, but I failed my last rep without a spotter so I had to call for help.  Oops!

DL was amazing, as it has consistently been lately.  Due to time constraints I made bigger jumps with less rest during warm-up and still killed the work-set.  And, with even LESS rest, I jumped up and did 410x1.  Felt super great!


Squat 3x5@300
Bench 2x245; 215x7,7,6
DL 5x390; 1x410

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Uplifting Presses

Well, actually, the third set was de"pressing," not up"lifting."  I got one less rep at this weight than the last time I did 160# on press.  But, I got 182.5x3, which was pretty awesome.  It was a grinder, and probably wasted me for set three, but I am still on pace for 200 for a double or even triple by the end of the first week of November!

Squat felt pretty great, with still some form issues with lower back tightness.  I should really stop adding weight until I get it straightened out, but I am having too much fun.  Oh well.  I'll regret it later, but I never learn my lessons--why start now?

Chins/Curls/Rows easy as usual.  I find it difficult to care about these after heavy squats and presses.  They are progressing, so I am okay with them not being a big deal and not pushing them harder.

Elbow pain was rearing its ugly head, again.  Oh goodie!


Squat 3x5@295
Press 182.5x3; 160x7,7,5
Chins BWx6,6,6
Rows 3x6@197.5

Next workout I will be back to 300# on squats.  I am pleased with the results of this last deload.  Everything is moving swimmingly.  It appears that my DLing every 4th workout was too much time off, and my crazy sets for 12 weren't doing me any favors.  The old SS stand-by is helping me along with all three (four) core lifts again.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

DL Singles--For Fun

Great day.  Even with a less than stellar bench performance, the Squat and Deadlift felt so great, it has left me on a high all day long.  I felt really strong until my last rep of Squat, where form just feel apart.  And with DL, I finished my work-set and followed it up with a 405# single--FOR FUN!  Good day, indeed.

I don't know how much my darling wife's early birthday present (a 60 minute deep tissue massage the day before) had anything to do with it, but I felt great the whole workout.  Thanks baby!!


Squat 3x5@290
Bench 2x242.5; 212.5x8,7,6
DL 5x385; 1x405

Depending on how I feel, I may throw them out from time to time, but I am going to start programming in heavy singles after my DL work-set from now on.  I am excited about it.

I will squat (assuming I hit 3 every week) 36 more times this year.  I am increasing by 5s right now, but even if I only average 2.5# for the rest of the year, I could be doing 3x5@380 by the end of the year!!  (This is my all time 1RM PR, for perspective.)  Crazy!  That COULD put my Squat 1RM at over 450 lbs!  I think I am getting WAY ahead of myself, but it is nice to think about.  I doubt my remaining linear progress will take me that far, but it is nice to dream.  I will need those extra 50 pounds because I don't think my DL will be even close to making it to 500, so if I am going to make my 1200 PL Total goal, Squat will have to make up the difference.  Bench will be a close call on 300, I am sure.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

...and more pain

... since coming home from my workout and posting about it, those aches and pains have gotten worse--especially my left arm and shoulder.  Boo.  Unexpected.  If I had to guess the source, though it didn't hurt much at the time, so I am not sure, but I think it happened when I used a bit of momentum coming up out of the hole of a squat to readjust the 285 lbs worth of iron's position on my back/shoulder.


Through the Pain

Some moderate pain in my neck, both elbows, knees, etc... just lots of nagging little aches and pains.  I don't think it affected me too much, though.

I killed squats.  I was tempted to try for a 6th rep on set three, but I really don't need to push it right now.

I did a triple instead of a double on OWU for Press, and as usual it cost me in the work sets--but I am okay with it.  Adding work on the high end is beneficial.  I did the same work sets today as the last time I tried the same weight.  A little disappointing not making progress, but I don't know how much my elbow pain or heavy OWU played a role.

Chins, Curls and Rows were pretty run-of-the-mill.


Squats 3x5@285
Press 180x3; 157.5x7,6,6
Chins BWx10; +10x5,5
Rows 3x6@195

AHHHH! I can't believe it is October!!  Crazy!  I will have been at my new job for a year in a few days, and I will be 31 years old in 11 days!  C to the Razy!

Saturday, September 28, 2013


It drives me crazy how bi-polar I am in the gym (not to trivialize people who actually have bi-polar or manic/depressive disorders).  The slightest shift in how well I am doing/progressing can set me off spiraling into depressed frustration or lift me up into elated validation.  It is short lived, and I don't think I take it with me out of the gym, but for those 90-145 minutes, I am unbearably moody.

Today was a great day.  Except for the few short minutes after I missed my last Bench rep, I was UP the whole time.  Squat was easy, and DL was so smooth I went for a sixth rep (but I didn't push through it when it was apparent it'd be a grinder--just don't want to push DL too hard anymore--especially since I am DLing every other workout again).


Squat 5x265,280,285
Bench 2x240; 210x8,8,7
DL 5x380

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Good Squats

I know I just said this squat deload is boring me, but today I really felt good doing my best to keep proper form.  I felt strong, even though the weight was deloaded weight.  I am glad I did it.

Press felt great, too.  The last time my work sets were at 155, I got 7, 6, and 6.  This time I got 7s across (barely--set 3, rep 7 was a grinder).  Improvement is expected, but it is nice to see it come to fruition since the last time was almost 2 months ago.

Chins were a breeze.  I pushed Curls a bit farther than usual, and I could really feel it when I got to Rows.  Rows felt pretty heavy.


Squat 5x255, 265, 270
Press 2x175; 155x7,7,7
Chins BWx5,5,8
Rows 192.5x6,6,6

With my OWU on Press leveling out at 2s, I am projected to get 200x2 by the first week of December.  I doubt I will be close to 225x1 like I had originally hoped, but I will do a couple 1RM tests in December to see how close I can get.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2 for 1


Squats were easy.  Did more than I planned on OWU for Press, which I think robbed me on the work-sets, but I am not too bummed about it.

Chins, as always, lost a lot of strength really quickly.


Squats 5x235, 245, 250
Press 4x172.5; 152.5x7,7,5, 25 sec rest, 0
Chins BWx10; +20x3; +10x4
Rows 190x6,6,10


Squats were easy, again.  Some minor form break down from laziness and lack of concentration.

Bench was good, but I failed on the final rep with no spotter so I had to wait for someone to come help me.

DL was mostly easy with the last rep being a touch slow.


Squats 5x245, 255, 260
Bench 2x237.5; 207.5x8,8,7
DL 375x5

I hate how quickly strength can leave you.  I am also getting bored with this squat deload, but I know it is probably one of the most essential deloads I have done.  Time will only tell, but I think some of my goals may have been pushed out to 2014.  *sad face*

Friday, September 20, 2013


I created a new audio file to play as my alarm ringtone on my phone.  It yells "You have two choices: you can sleep, or you can meet your goals."  Guess how many times this has actually worked... well since it has been 15 days since an update, I assume you guessed correctly: ZILCH.

I hit the gym today, largely in part by my excellent wife's motivation, and it wasn't too bad, although I took a long time to shake the weariness from my bones, and I was exhausted the rest of the day.

Since I was more than 2 weeks absent, I deloaded.  Everything was easy except for DLs.  DLs were hard, and my form was atrocious.  But I am back in the saddle again.  Hopefully to stay.  School and work have been ridiculously stressful, but I think I am turning a corner.


Squat 5x225, 235, 240
Bench 2x235; 205x8.8.8
DL 2x405

Here is to finishing the year strongly, and to "meet[ing] [my] goals."

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Squat Deload, Day 1

Squat deload was easy, although there are some balance issues with the eccentric being so "slow."

Press was a touch disappointing.  I pushed for a 180xF rather than just stop at 2.  The third was a super tough grinder, which I think spoiled my work sets.

Chins, Curls and Rows were relatively easy.  A tiny bit of discomfort on curls tells me I probably will have issues on that again, soon.


Squat 3x5@225
Press 180x3; 162.5x6,5,4, 30 sec., 1
Chins (with light curls in between sets) BWx7,7,8
Rows 190x6,6,10

I will repeat the Press set, with a lower OWU.  I will start at 172.5x2 and work my way up to a 200 double!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Massive(ly depressing) Squat Deload

I have been getting a pain in my right tibia and fibula from bouncing my butt off of my legs to get out of the hole, which clearly is bad form and injurious, so I tried to have a more controlled descent with only going a touch below parallel and it proved much MUCH more difficult.  With all my nonsense bouncing, the muscles necessary for a controlled ascent out of the hole are not nearly developed enough for the weights I am using.

I tried 3x5@315 and reps 1-3 of the first set were difficult, but I had decent form.  The fourth rep form broke down, and rep 5 was quite possibly the worst rep I have ever squatted.  So, I went down to 275 and felt über wobbly after 3 reps so I racked it and went down to 225 which was STILL somewhat difficult.  I will be deloading for 3x5@225, and going up 10lbs each workout.  I am hoping that will be enough to build strength deep in the hole.  With that, I am going to split up my DLs and do heavy 3s and middle 12s on different days, rather than the same day, and I will be DLing every other workout to compensate for lighter squats.  Hopefully that won't be too much DLing.

On Bench I failed my OWU @ 270x1.  Worksets were 7, a grinding 7, and then a disappointing 5.

DL was a monster with 400x3 and 350x12 (with rests of 20 seconds dispersed throughout).


Squat 315x5; 275x3; 225x5.
Bench 245x2; 270x0; 220x7,7,5.
DL 405x2, 20 sec. rest, 1; 350x6, 20s, 3, 20s, 3.

I worked a 12 hour shift and got inadequate sleep beforehand, but excuses don't make me feel better... I took way too long between workouts and I am just beat-up after today.  Work has been working me hard, and I am back in school.  I don't know how I am going to keep it up in the gym and be a good father/husband with all of this going on.  I guess I will just never sleep... I wish my gym was 24/7.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

200 Pound Press 1RM PR!!

Well, I have finally done it!  I think I have had it in me for a couple of weeks now, but I didn't mind taking my time.  I didn't have time to do much else--I went through the motions of a Squat warm-up, but didn't go very far.  Then I nailed the 200x1 1RM PR on the Press, followed up by a 160x7,6,6.  The third set was really 5 with 20 seconds rest and a follow-up single.


Press 200x1; 160x7,6,6

Now I have to decide what my next goal is.  2 wheels (225#) is very doable by the end of the year, but it still may stretch me.  But more of a challenge will be a body-weight press.  Currently I weigh in at 230--but that is certain to go up before December 31st.  I think I will make it official: New year end goal for Press is a body-weight Press 1RM.

Friday, August 23, 2013

No Excuses

I have had some pretty nasty wounds (self inflicted in a near psychotic, practically deranged attempt at ridding myself of some warts) on my hands but that did not stop me from deadlifting like a champ!
"Deadlifting?" you ask?  "Isn't today Bench Day?" you inquire?  Yes.  I have switched things up... AGAIN.

Leg Pressing on one day, and Squatting AND Deadlifting on another seemed to be incongruent.  So, DLs accompany Leg Presses now.  This, I believe, will even out attention paid to the Posterior Chain.  Likewise, Rows and Chins have been moved to Press days; Dips are on hold indefinitely (don't wanna give the elbow and shoulder tendinitis an excuse to come back), and Shrugs will move to alternating Bench days with the DL.

Leg Press went smoothly, but was difficult.  Bench was slightly disappointing--I got my OWU, but only got 7,5,6 on the work sets.  I felt very tired--but decided to do DLs anyway.  I got all planned reps (with some protracted rests between reps 6 and 7, 8 and 9, and 10 and 11).  395x3 felt easier than 390x3, though.  That was nice.  I was wiped for a couple of hours afterwards, though.  My workout really kicked my butt today.


Leg Press 2x10@425; 15x360
Bench 1x267.5; 217.5x7,5,6
DL 3x395; 12x345

At this rate, I will tie my all time Bench PR 1RM at 275 by the end of the first week of September!!  I could be breaking the 300 barrier by the end of October!!!  315 by Dec 31st is a real possibility!!!!  At this rate (which I admit is not sustainable, but a guy can dream!) 315 will be low-balling it!!!!!  Exciting times!

I will be starting an EMT class this coming Monday, so I don't know how much that will interrupt my workouts, but if I can DL with a hand that looks like THIS:

Then there should be NO excuses if I don't make it in to the gym to at least do the main lifts.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Punny Workout

Didn't have a lot of time--the daycare was closing sooner than I'd have liked--so my Press work-sets suffered from inadequate rest, but I am okay with it.  My OWU and first set exceeded the last time I tried these weights (the OWU was easier than last time, and the 1st work-set was 1 more rep than last time), so I count it as a win.  Being "pressed" for time sucks.

Squats were awfully disappointing.  340x1 was a grinder, so 3x3 at that weight was out of the question.  went down to 315 to just get it out of the way, and it was fairly easy, although there was some form breakdown on at least one rep of all three sets.  I was just not concentrating.  Boo on me.


Squats 340x1; 315x3,3,3
Press 175x4; 160x7,5,3

175x4 is what I did last time, but it went up easier and faster than last time.  160x3 is clearly a step down, but 160x7 was a step up, and sets 2 and 3 were done hastily, and without sufficient rest.  I will stay at 160 for next time just on principle (and because I am really curious to see if I can squeak out a 3x7, or at least a 7,6,6 like usual), but I count today's press session as a win.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Good Day

'Twas a great day.  I was able to complete the whole workout at my pace, and got every single planned rep, and then some.

Leg Press was enjoyable.  Yes.  I enjoyed it.  I killed 'em, so how could I not??

Bench moved up.  Started new ... no idea what I was going to write there.  Wow.  "Started new..."  Yup, no idea.

My Bench moved up, which is nice.  Everything is moving these days--except for the squat, of course.  But AAAnyway.  I didn't go with the cambered bar for warm-ups today.  245x3 felt easier than a week ago, and 265x1 went up easier than 262.5 or 260.  Set three felt harder than 1 or 2 on work-sets for the first time in a long time.

I am tired, and clearly not in my right mind, so here are the day's numbers.

OH YEAH!  "Started new:" I am doing a new thing for Chin-ups on "C" Days: I am doing sets across with the third set to fail rather than three sets to fail.  I started at 6s.  Got 8 on set three.  Tried some light curls again to see if my forearm could handle it, and so far, so good.


Leg Press 415x8,10; 350x15
Bench 265x1; 215x7,7,7
Chins BWx6,6,8
Rows 187.5x6,6,8

Very little elbow pain during bench, and virtually none since my workout.  I am very pleased.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Power ADHD

Well, on a whim, I foolishly decided to test my 1RM on the Squat--without even knowing if I was going to be ABLE to squat.  I got to 365, felt at least 370 in me, but decided to cool it.  Whims shouldn't be followed--but I never learn that.  I need to FOLLOW MY PLAN!

Elbows were fine all the way through Squat, DL, and Press.  During my car ride to work, I started doing a little Captains of Crush work, and my elbow started to feel uncomfortable.  By the end of my work shift, I needed some Vitamin I and Equi-Block on both my left elbow and shoulder.  I am not too worried, but if this persists after my next squat/press day, we'll have to reevaluate how much recovery time I am giving myself.
During squats I focused (as always) on tight back and no weight on the wrists--but this time, per the suggestion of a friend, I tried tucking my pinkie under the bar to change the forearm angle.  We'll see if this helps long term, but my squat was pain-free today!

DL was tough.  390x3 was a huge grinder--I have probably never completed a rep that ground as much as rep three did.  I had to pause quite a lot between several reps before getting all 12 of my work set, too.  Tough tough DL day.  Is this from a lack of squatting?  Is the Leg Press coming back to bite me?

Set another Press 1RM PR with 197.5!  200 is just 10ish days away!  Since I was going back down to grab a works set (or three) at 157.5, I was fully expecting 7s across.  In stead, I got the same as I have been getting lately: 7, 6, 6.  It is okay, though, because next press day should be an improvement over last week's 160x6, 5, 5.


Squat 1x365
DL 390x3; 340x12
Press 1x197.5; 157.5x7, 6, 6.

Dips are on hold indefinitely.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Leg Press Not So Bad??

Paradigms may be shifting, but I reserve final judgement for when I get back to squatting and see how much, if at all, my squat has improved, suffered, or stagnated.  But initial thoughts are that Leg Press isn't so bad.  Of course, I already knew that since I was doing the Leg Press back when my elbow went bad on me last time.  I had very significant improvement from my first Leg Press workout to my second.

Bench went swimmingly.  I tried warming up with the cambered bar to increase range of motion--the theory being if my bottom is lower, then it will eliminate, or at least significantly mitigate, low sticking points.  I could really feel a difference at 185 (it was much harder), and 225 for 2 was surprisingly difficult.  I went back to a straight bar for 245x2 and for the OWU at 262.5.  262.5 went up like a dream, keeping the hope alive for 3 wheels before January 1st.  My third work set felt easier than my third set from my last Bench session.

Chins weren't awful, and Rows were fine.  Nothing really noteworthy there.


Leg Press 2x8@408; 15x335
Bench 1x262.5; 3x7@212.5
Chins 10@BW; 2x5@+20#
Rows 2x5@185; 6x190

I will be trying to squat on Tuesday before DLs and Presses.  I am going to try 3x3@330.  I missed 3x3@340 with the cambered bar on 8/1, so we'll see if this is too ambitious... but I am thinking it won't be a problem.  Whether or not my elbow cooperates is totally another story, and it could go either way.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sumo Sucks, too.

I tried Sumo DLs and didn't like them one bit.  I was under the impression that I would be able to lift more with Sumo--I was misled.  That aside, I could only do 365 for one.  385 didn't budge.  I skipped Squats due to time constraints AND fear that my elbow, in reality, was not quite ready.  I haven't decided if I'll stick with Sumo or just do light conventional DLs opposite regular DL days--but hopefully my elbow will allow me to squat soon so the question will be moot.

I only did Presses after that, which were exciting and depressing at the same time.  I got 175x4, which was pretty satisfying (Force Factor computes this as a 195 1RM, which we already knew--I use the Bench to calculate it since, of the offered exercises, it is most like the Press), but then I only got 6,5,5 on my work sets.  Now, I forgot my 1.25# micro-loading plates, so I had to do 160, but I got 3x4@162.5 back in MAY!  With this deload, I should have improved more, don't you think?  Perhaps the 175x4 kinda took something away from the work sets (around the same time I was doing 3x4@162.5, I was also only able to do 180x1--but just did 175x4, so I suppose there IS that), but I am still incredulous.  I will go back down to 157.5 next workout (and try for 197.5 1RM PR) just to do it and see if I can get 7.  Then, hopefully, my NEXT attempt at 160 will be more gratifying and up to par with expectations.

No matter how I cut it, my Bench and Press are entering exciting territory.  I should try to remain positive about days like this.  I can't stop feeling like I want more all the time, but clearly my body is telling me to be more patient.


Sumo DL 1x365; 0x385
Press 175x4; 160x6,5,5

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Leg Squats and Wintergreen

Well, I buckled down and did leg-press.  I was not going to be able to handle another sub-par Bench workout today, and so squatting with a regular bar was out of the question.  I have been suffering from some major shoulder pain since (I am guessing since I can't think of anything else that may be the cause) the camber was a touch too narrow on the cambered bar squats I did, so those were out too.

I am planning on trying some low-bar squats with a regular straight bar next workout, to see if my elbow has recovered enough to do so.  The plan is to do Leg Press on Bench days and Squats on Press days, until my elbow fully recovers.  Hopefully DLing will prevent too much loss of core strength vis-a-vis squat progress.

Leg Press wasn't too bad--I hate it on principle and on the premise that my squat will suffer, not because I inherently don't like the exercise (although it does make my left knee a bit more touchy than does the squat).  I could definitely feel a difference in my quads: it is much more quad dominant than low-bar squatting.  This is only feeding my fears re: loss of squat strength.  As a result. I will have to do a bit more in the Deadlifting to compensate for loss of attention to the posterior chain.  I have already planned some heavy Sumo DLs for next workout, so I will be doing SOME form of DLs every other workout, instead of every fourth workout like I have been.

Bench was great!  Hitting Leg-Press actually paid off!  I got 260 for a single (almost a double) and so tying my all-time 1RM PR of 275 shouldn't be too far off.  (If I had been doing a 1RM test, I'd have probably successfully gotten 265 or more--that is how good 260x1 felt.)  Work sets were all 7s, barely getting the last rep on set three.  Some elbow discomfort, but nothing too worrisome.

Chins were disappointing, but not surprising considering I haven't finished a whole workout in a while.  Rows were easy considering those are on a deload right now.

All in all, this was a very satisfying workout.


Leg Press 405x8; 315x15
Bench 245x3; 260x1; 210x7,7,7
Chins (BW) 10,6,6
Rows 3x5@182.5

In other news, methyl salicylate--the main ingredient in many liniments and topical analgesics (including two of the three I use) can apparently be fatal if not used wisely.  I suppose I will have to be a touch more prudent in my consumption of these products.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Leg Press Sucks; And a New PR!

Well, I just couldn't bring myself to do the leg press--so I did Cambered Squats.  The leverages are a bit too different for me to successfully complete my work-sets, but I certainly got a good workout.

Deadlifts were a bit harder than normal--but I don't know if that is because I was a bit too tired from squats or if my progressing is just slowing.

I got a new all-time PR 1RM on Press!!  Just five pounds away from my goal!!  :-)
I think I had a bit more leanback than I usually on my work-sets.

I had almost zero pain during Squats and only a very little bit more during the Press.  Dips were a different matter--but even then it was comparatively little pain as far as the last few workouts are concerned.


Cambered Squats 340x3,1; 315x2
DL 3x385; 12x335
Press 195x1; 155x7,6,6
Dips BWx10; +55x3

Pretty stoked with having a workout with little pain, and still having progress in the Press--oh, and not leg-pressing was pretty stellar.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Should've Stayed in Bed

I said I was going to take a few days off.  I said I was going to let my body rest and hope the tendons in my left shoulder and elbow would heal up.  Then my wife left with the kids to go play with their cousins and I was left with chores to do... hmm, Gym?  SURE!

I biked to the gym (not far, no biggie).  I got my squat sets, and was in a lot of pain because of it.  A liberal application of Blue Heat AND Tiger Balm,  1000mg of IB, 440mg of Aleve, and half a tab of of the wife's 4 year old post natal Oxycodone later, and I was still in quite a bit of pain.  Didn't get Bench OWU, and got one work set and was done.  Blech.

I will have to try the cambered bar--and if that doesn't work, I'll have to [glances around to make sure no one is listening] do the leg press!  I know, I know... I don't like it any more than you do--but I am doing so well that I don't want to back slide, and if I don't get this pain under control, I won't be able to finish a single bloody workout... Actually, I think I will move directly to the Leg Press, give it a week or two, then try a regular bar.  If that doesn't work, I'll go to Cambered.  Wish me luck.

I can't be too upset--I mean I did squat 2 sets of 10 at 270 pounds... that is pretty awesome in itself.  But Having that ruin the rest of my workout was a bit bogus.


Squat 3x305; 2x10@270
Bench 225x1; 210x6
No Chins
No Rows

I think I will continue to bike to the gym as time and energy permit.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Press is Officially BACK!

Well, I finally tied my all time 1RM PR in the Press @ 190#!!  It went up much easier than last time (which was in Feb of 2012!)

My elbow tendinitis wasn't very bad (it was worse when I helped my sister-in-law move some furniture), but I had also put lots of Blue Heat and Equi-Block on it over the last 18 hours (and had 600mg IB and 440mg of Aleve in my bloodstream).  Squats went well.  Warm-up felt great (I love working out on my day off!) but the first set was a bit heavy with some major form wonkiness.  Second set went better with form issues on only the last rep.  Third set was about the same.

Skipped Dips and Sumo DLs, but did my Shrugs... (oh yeah, by the way, did I mention that I decided to add light sumo DLs on Shrug days as assistance?)


Squats 3x3x335
Press 175x3; 190x1; 152.5x7,6,6
Shrugs 10x135,225; 315x5; [added wrist straps] 365x10

So stoked that I could hit (tie) a Press PR in the midst of elbow pain!  PRs for the other lifts should be around the corner (with maybe an exception for DL.  I am purposely taking that one nice and easy).  If I average 2.5 lbs/week for the rest of the year, I will add 55 more pounds to that total!  (I have the potential to get 7.5 every 2 weeks, but even 2.5/week is going to be hard to maintain.) I could hit a 1RM of 245 pounds by the end of the year!  That is probably pretty ambitious, but cool to think about.

If I add 55 to my Bench, I'll be just 2.5 pounds short of 3 wheels!  Less ambitious is to add just the 55 to my Squat and DL*, which would put me at 3x390 (which would effectively put a 405 1RM in the bag) and 2x435 (which would put me far short of my 500 DL goal for 2013).  This would put my theoretical PL Total at 440/312.5/460:  1212.5!!  So, even though I will most likely not get 500 DL, a 1200 total is possible!  I will have to remain consistent and injury free [knock on wood] (and add a pinch of luck) but this is exciting to see it as a real possibility!

*Blogger's note: Current programming dictates that I only DL heavy and conventional once every 4th workout so 55 pounds is more unlikely.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Tendinitis started bothering me almost right away during warm-ups.  I got through squats but they felt heavy and focusing on form issues that might alleviate my elbow pain only made them feel harder.  Pretty cool that 300lbs is now my "light" triple for OWU!  [*grin*]

Bench was tough on the elbow, but I got through it without missing a rep, surprisingly--although there was no (+) on set three.

Chins and Rows got two sets each--as always I was exhausted from no sleep and pressed for time.


Squats 3x300; 2x10@265
Bench 1x257.5; 3x7x207.5
Chins BWx10, 8
Rows 180x5, 5

I am excited with all the success I have had, and I will be immensely and exceedingly bummed if my elbow halts that in any way.  I have PRs around the corner for most of my lifts, and don't want all of that to go Amtrak.  I got some Blue Heat and Equi-Block.  I hope these work!

Friday, July 19, 2013

"Who needs sleep? No you're never gonna get it."

Well, I have a Dr's appointment tomorrow, before work, so I knew I had to workout today and I was EXHAUSTED.  Brought the kids to the zoo yesterday and walked around in the sun and heat and didn't get to sleep until after 1 AM last night.  At the gym by 930 this morning, it was destined to be a poor showing, but I was still surprised at how heavy 330 felt on 3x3 squats.  I also had to rest for about 10 seconds between rep 7 and 8 on DL 12s.  I failed all OWU on Presses and time constraints forced me to skip Dips entirely.

Oh, and Hey there Mr. L. Bow Tendinitis, it has been a such a long time that I had forgotten all about you!  You know, I can't say I am really all that excited to see you again.


Squat 3x3@330
DL 2x380; 12x330
Press 180x0; 190 (skipped); 150x7,6,6
Dips skipped.

I was grateful to still get 7,6,6 on Press considering my monumental failure on OWU.  OWU really bugged me since I wanted so badly to tie my all-time PR 1RM on Press.  I couldn't even get 180 up!!  Boo!  Oh well.  There is always next week... assuming I get more sleep.

But, who really needs sleep anyway?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Accessories Step Back

Haven't been consistent at ALL with my accessory work for quite a while now, and I really noticed the effects today.  Chins and Rows need a deload since I haven't worked them well for some time.  I wasn't able to complete a real set at the original planned weights.

Squats and Bench both felt a touch heavier than expected--I may not be warming up sufficiently well.  If that is true, I am screwed, because I already take way too long in the gym.  I got all my work sets just fine, but they were more of a grind than I'd hoped.


Squats 3x295; 2x10x260
Bench 1x255; 205x7,7,9
Chins BWx10; +35x4,3
Rows 3x5x185

My 2x10 Squats have finally moved up to what I foolishly thought I COULD do when I first started the new program on June 3rd.

I had originally planned on testing my 1RM on Bench when my OWU passed my last 1RM test (which it will on my next bench day) but I think I am content to just continue with my OWU as is and let my 1RM continue to grow in the background.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Decent Day

Squats felt a lot heavier than I anticipated--even though I got a fair amount of sleep compared to what I usually get--and form broke down pretty badly, but I would be darned if I was going to dump the bar.
Press didn't move up AS much as I hoped, but I am still well on my way to setting some serious PRs soon.  I am only 2.5lbs away from tying my all time Press 1RM PR.  I was hoping for sets of 7 across, but I only got 6 on set 3.
Did some light DLs because I don't like only DLing every 4th workout.  Dips were strong and Shrugs were okay.


Squats 3x3x325
Press 3x177.5; 1x187.5; 147.5x7,7,6
DL 2x3x275
Dips BWx10; +50x5,5
Shrugs 355x10

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Happy 7/11!  No 711 convenience stores around me (that I know of) so no free Slurpee for Joose.

Squat and Bench were good, but too much chatting with the bros made for quick (and lame) chins and rows.

Didn't repeat the 10 reps on set three, but 9 was still acceptable.


Squat 3x290; 2x10x255
Bench 252.5x1; 202.5x7,7,9

Monday, July 8, 2013

First Full Day Back

Hit the gym today, with a minor re-deload on Press.  It was a pretty good day, and made up for the disaster which was my last press day.  I can never be mad when I get to do DL 12s!


Squat 3x3x320
DL 2x375; 12x325
Press 175x3; 185x1; 145x7,7,8
Dips BWx10; +45#x5,5

Just another day in the gym.  I am glad my 2 weeks off and my vacation didn't throw me off much at all.

Friday, July 5, 2013

California Benchin'

Worked out with my brother (the person who got me on SS in the first place) for the first time in like 16 or 17 years!  AND we got to do it in the OC!  This was my first day of the Bench Deload, and I feel like it was a success.  I am getting a lot of volume in with the deload, and that should reap benefits in the long run.

Squat 10s moved up according to plan, even though it has been weeks since I have squatted.  That was a pleasant surprise.

I skipped chins and rows in the interest of time--I was on vacation, after all.


Squat 3x285; 2x10x250
Bench 1x250; 200x7,7,10

TEN REPS on set three!! I was very pleased.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Bleh... Press

Took like two weeks off (not because I wanted to, just had no bloody time) and only had time to do the Press before I had to catch a plane to California for our family reunion.  It was awful!!  I didn't have a very good session at all, so I am deloading again to make sure I get back into the swing a things quickly.  It will be a small deload, though.


Press 175x1 (I failed at 185x1, which was the planned OWU); 155x5,4,4.

Absolute rubbish.  I was tired, in a rush, and hadn't worked out in two weeks, but to go from 182.5x2 and 152.5x6,6 and 7 to THIS is totally lame.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Had a half hour before I needed to shower and get ready for work... so I did Squats and Bench concurrently and skipped everything else.  Yup--no need to re-read that.  I said "CONCURRENTLY!"  I would do a warm-up set of one, then go do a warm-up of the other... and kept going until I was doing work-sets of each.  And, since on Bench days I am doing squat 10s, Bench suffers.  I think I need to deload more because I BARELY got my 3x6 on this deload.  OWU was only 7.5# short of my last 1RM test.

I was exhausted and sweating like nuts for the rest of the day.  Squats 10s are really starting to hurt as the weight increases... but they hurt so good, you know?  My first attempt at a set of 10 was at 260, when I first started this new program, and I only got 5.  260 is now only 1 week away if my progress stays constant!


Squats 3x280; 2x10@245
Bench 1x247.5; 3x6@215

I am going to deload further to 200 lbs. on Bench.  As long as my OWU keeps going up, my ego will be able to absorb the big deload--a la Presses right now.  Combined with micro-loading and heavy OWUs, I am hoping a drastic deload of this magnitude will really kick-start some good progress.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Press 2RM

It was a short workout today with family plans starting early.  It was only long enough for Squats and Presses, but that was enough for a great workout!

Squats were supposed to be 3x3@310, but being so close, I couldn't resist going with three wheels.  Got 3x3--piece of cake.

Press 1RM of 180, with a failure at 182.5, was set back on May 1st.  Last week I did 180x3 and today I got 182.5x2!  I am very pleased!  I wanted to get 7 on my third work-set with press, like I have the last several Press sessions, but I barely got 6 up.  I was not satisfied so I waited 10 seconds and hit a single, then waited another 10 seconds and hit another single.
That made me feel a bit better.

No Dips or Shrugs, but that doesn't bother me--I had a great workout and a great day with my family.


Squats 3x3@315
Press 182.5x2; 152.5x6,6,6 (10 sec pause) 1 (10 sec pause) 1

So, if I am not mistaken, and no injuries or other unforseeables get in the way of me getting in every workout, July 22nd will see two very big PRs for me on Press: a 200 lbs. 1+RM, and 3x5@170 lbs.  I hope I did not just jinx it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bench Failure

I was exhausted after Squat and totally bombed on Bench.  Barely got my OWU up, and went 4,3,3 on work-sets.  I failed on rep 4 of set three without a spotter, so I had to lower it to my chest and wait for a couple of seconds for someone to run over.  My chest has been in pain ever since... not sure if it is superficial or internal... I am a bit nervous--and apparently an idiot.

I will deload bench and move to micro-loading.  We'll see how that goes.  As with the Press, I will continue to increase my OWU--no deload for that.  Next Bench workout will be 247.5xF and 3x6+@215


Squat 3x275; 240x10,10
Bench 1x245; 230x4,3,3
Chins BWx10,10,8
Rows 200x6,6,8

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Today I felt AMAZING!  It was day 2 on C4 pre-workout supplements, and that may have had an effect, but whatever it was, I felt Über awesome.

Squats were pretty easy, although I kept the third set to three reps this time.

DLs felt great!  A heavy set of 12s on deadlift is the best feeling in the WORLD!

I got THREE reps on Press OWU (which was my 1RM only 45ish days ago!) and still got my (lately) traditional 6,6,7 on my work sets!  I can't express how vital my OWU going up has been to me not jumping ahead of my planned deload.  At this pace, 3x5@170 will be the middle of July and will fall with ease!  And in the same workout 200x1 will likewise be in the books!!  CRAZY!  I'll be pressing my BW in no time!!  AGH!  I am super excited about how smoothly things are going!

I can't express how good this felt.  All day afterwards, until about 10PM, I was just going going going.... then I just CRASHED at 10PM.  I am dead tired and going to bed.


Squat 3x3@305
DL 1x375; 12x320
Press 180x3; 150x6,6,7
Dips BWx12; +40#x6,6

I am really enjoying this new program.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Starting Strength -- Strength Standards Tables... Where do you fall?

Here are Mark Rippetoe's 1 Rep Max Strength Standards Tables.  He has all sorts of disclaimers about them (some useful, others meaningless) but if just for fun, check them out and see where you stand.

If anyone out there actually both reads my blog and does these lifts, post a comment where you fall on the tables.  Then set a goal for where you'll be in 6 months!

At the 220 weight class (I am a little bit heavier than that, but not by much) I am, in order of Press, Bench, Squat, DL, and Power Clean, Categories IV, III, III, III, and III.

Press: I JUST squeaked into Cat IV, so making Cat V in six months would be quite a feat... maybe I could make it a goal to get down to 198# class?  I dunno... just thinking "out load."

Bench: Making Cat IV would be AWESOME!!

Squat: Squatting over 400# has been my goal for a loooooong time.  It is the MAN squat.  I think it is definitely doable by the end of the year.

DL: Likewise, DLing over 500# is the year-end goal, so Cat IV is very doable.

Power Cleans:  I am not going to set a goal, I think.  I have not cleaned in a while, and have no intentions of doing so for some time to come.  Oh well.

So, Goal Recap: be at the 198 pound class and be at Cats V, IV, IV, IV, and Who Knows (for P.Cleans)?