Friday, May 31, 2013


A few months ago I went to a sleep study to determine how bad my sleep apnea was.

Well, they determined it was bad enough to get a CPAP machine.

Hopefully this will put a dent in my near constant weariness.  As this is a training log, I suppose I should put it into lifting terms how this will benefit me--but I am assuming the few people who read this can draw the obvious conclusions without my help.


Due to Memorial Day, I combined Monday's and Wednesday's workouts on Tuesday.  I pushed myself too hard (read: got the lifts at all costs with no regard for form) on squat, failed miserably on Press (I am deloading and sticking with micro-loading) and as a result have been in quite a bit of pain for the last few days.  I will be skipping going to the gym tomorrow (Friday) and doing an easy watered-down combination of Friday's and Saturday's on Saturday (well, the "friday" portion will be lighter and watered-down... I won't be skimping on the Bench at all).  I may switch to two or three sets of 8-12 on Squats, and probably sets of 8-12 on DL too.  Just to give my body a break for a while.  I pushed it hard the last few months, trying to get back to pre-hiatus strength levels.  I am not there, yet, but a deload might be good for me, anyway.

At first, during warm-ups for the squat, the weight felt super light.  I thought the day was going to be a breeze.  Then, during the work sets, I just felt awful... but I pushed through it--for which I have been paying the price ever since.

After one failed set at working weight for the press, I lost all my gas.  I was exhausted.  I did a back-off set and some chins and got the heck out of the gym.  Ugh.  Terrible day.

Hip Mobility work w/light stretching
Squat OWU 1x310
Squat 3x5@290
Press OWU 1x172.5
Press 162.5x4; 155x5
Chins BWx10; +25x5

I really need to work on my hip mobility, hamstring flexibility, and keeping good, tight form on all my lifts.  I really don't need an excuse to be out of the gym again--especially not a painful one.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pre-Workout Blues

I am cycling off my pre-workout to give my kidneys (and my wallet) a break.  When I got to my Bench OWU I thought "oh crap, this is heavier than it should be."  I was certain that no pre-workout (and insufficient sleep--the guys who set me up with a CPAP left out an essential piece of equipment, and I can't get in touch with them until after the holiday weekend--and a worthless breakfast) was going to do me in for the work sets.  I was wrong, but I did tire out more quickly later in the session.

I ended up killing the work sets, with the exception of my "move up" set at the end.  Press was a disaster, though--and I didn't even attempt my Farmer Walks.  Ugh.

I am stuck between not wanting to be reliant on supplements, and wanting to have explosively successful days in the gym as often as possible.  We'll see what happens while I am off of them.


Bench OWU 225
Bench 210x5,5,7; 215x4 (I was expecting at least one more)
DB Press 5 w/50s, 60s (this was a grinder, considering I did 6 w/65s last week); 1 w/70s (WHAT??  Only ONE??!)

Bench went up, which is my Saturday focus, so I am pleased.  Tired, but pleased.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Pushing Through the Pain

Well, more accurately put would be "Pulling through the pain."  During my warm-up on Deadlift, I felt something tweak in my neck and upper back just on the right side of my spine.  It was (and still is) quite painful.  I struggled with continuing, but eventually decided to keep going.  My next warm-up was excruciating, but my final warm-up, the OWU, wasn't so bad pain wise, however 375 felt heavier than 405 did last week.  Also, my work sets felt really heavy--going from 405x1 and 345x8 last week to 375x1 and only 350x5 this week was totally lame.

Squats started slowly, and felt heavy--like I was squatting through sludge rather than good ol' fashioned air.  I thought about throwing in the towel, but when work set no. 1 hit the planned 6 reps, I was committed.  I lost tension in my lower back on rep 5 of set 2, so I didn't try for a 6th rep, but I got 6 reps on set three with ease.  I probably could have gotten 7 or 8, but thought I'd pushed myself enough for the day.  I consider this redemption for my dump on Monday, and will be moving up next week as planned.

In the end, I was glad I pushed through it... but I don't know how smart it was.  The story'd be very different had I hurt myself more by continuing.  This "ends justifying the means" training mentality, when I am not a competitive athlete, probably isn't very bright.

Pull-ups increased a bit, and I decided to do a bit of abs before calling it a day.


DL OWU 375
DL 5x350
Squats 285x6,5,6
Pull-Ups BWx9.5; +10#x6,5
Sit-Ups 2x10
Leg raised 1x10

I have not been weighing myself, so I am not sure how much my Pull-ups are being influenced by possible weight-loss.  Hopefully the opposite is true.
"n.5" means I did a little leg kick to finish the last rep so I gave myself credit for only half a pull-up.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Press Failure

Micro-loaded the press but still failed miserably.  Dips went up again, though.  I don't really care about assistance exercises so much, but it is nice to know I am at least getting stronger and not just spinning my wheels.


Press OWU 172.5
Press 162.5x4,4,4
Dips BWx10; +30x7,7
Push-ups 30, 15

I skipped sled work so I could spend some more time with the wife.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weary Squats

I don't think I was completely recovered from Friday's DL craziness, plus my sleep and work schedule has been awful.  Anyway, on set three, rep three of squats, I had to dump.  I didn't think I was failing, in fact I felt strong, but my lower back didn't stay tight and my center of gravity moved forward and I lost my balance.  I felt good, and I contemplated reloading the bar and trying again, but I decided to listen to my body and just call it good.  Bummer.  I will show Gravity, The Iron, and 285 pounds who is control on Friday by going 3x6+ for good measure.


Squat OWU 305
Squat 285x5,5,2
Pull-Ups BWx10; +15x7,6
Rows 180x5,5,8

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bench 1RM

I decided to make my OWU into a 1RM test on the Bench.  About a month and a half ago it was 225, which was exceedingly depressing.  Today I increased by 30 pounds!  Today's bench exceeds my Powerlifting Meet Bench last year about this time.  I am very please with that.

But then, since I tested my 1RM for OWU, I wasn't convinced my planned work sets would be successful.  Thankfully, my fears were unfounded.  OWU is really paying off in the bench!


Bench 1RM: 255
Bench 215x5,5,6
Farmer Walks w/90s, 105s, 115s
DB Press 5 w/50s, 60s; 6 w/65s

Skipped Car pushes today.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Deadlift Crazy! 5.17.13

My wife asked me what my 1RM DL PR was, and so it got me wondering what my CURRENT 1RM is.  I decided I'd be lucky if I got 405 since I only got 385 a month ago.  I was so wrong--405 jumped off the floor!  I decided to be happy with it, though, since I really did want to do my planned 345xF, so instead I just treated the 405 as an OWU--which everyone says NOT to do on DL, HAHA!

I screwed up squats, though.  I had programmed 3x5+@285, but forgot and did 280.  Dang.


DL OWU: 405
DL 345x8
Squats 280x5,5,6
Pull-Ups BWx9; +10x6
Chins +10x7

Overall, a great day.  Not the end of the world to repeat a squat DL workout--but I am still upset with myself.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

3rd Time's a Charm -- 5.15.13

Well, I had decided to deload on the press (just 2.5#) but my pride required me to give 160 one last try.  I made it!  I had a protracted rest between sets 2 and 3 (8 min) and I had a bit more hip thrust and lean back than I usually do, but I got rep 5 on set 3!  My back off set of 135 to failure was 2 less reps this week, though.

Dips are roaring back.  Interesting.
Push-ups are stagnating.
Car pushes were brutal.


Press OWU 170x1
Press 160x5,5,5; 135x6
Dips BWx10; +25#x10,8
Push-ups 25,20
Car Pushes

Not excited to be back to the grueling grind of trying to get my Press to increase.  I want to hit 200 soooo badly!

Monday, May 13, 2013


Killed some heavy squats.  I set the OWU 5# lower than last week (even though I moved up 5# in my work sets) in hopes to be less gassed for Power Cleans, but it didn't work.  I got my butt kicked by P.Cleans, and also hurt my arm a bit doing them, so I will take a few weeks off and then deload to 155.

Chins are getting stronger.


Squats OWU 300
Squats 280x5,5,6
Chins BWx10; +10#x8; +15#x6
Rows 3x5@175
P.Cleans 177.5x3,2; 155x3

Feeling good about squats, but P.Cleans are disappointing.  Feeling badly notwithstanding, P.Cleans are more of an accessory exercise so I don't feel badly holding off on them for a while since Squats are doing so well.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

5.11.13 Sq, DL, Bench

What a great Bench Day!!  I knocked my planned DL and Squats out of the park (even after helping a neighbor move some heavy furniture--including a cast-iron wood burning stove), and then killed my bench!

Friday was crazy, so I combined the most important parts of Fri and Sat workout.


DL 340x6
Squat 275x5,5,6
Bench OWU 1x215
Bench 200x5,5,8; 210x6!?!?  AWESOME!
DB Press 5w/50s, 60s; 4w/65s
Pull-ups and Curls

I'll be testing my Bench 1RM next week: the goal is 245, which will be +20#s from April 1st.

I applied to the Waterloo, IA fire department.  Will keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Press Day -- 5.8.13

This was my second attempt at 3x5@160 on the Press, and it was my second failure, although I did improve over the last time (which includes doing OWU on the Press this time).  Last time I got 4, 4, and 3 reps--this time I got 5, 4, and 4.  It looks like I am pretty much back to where I was before the hiatus, at least on the Press--but not back to my all time highest strength in the Press.  Looks like Microloading is in order; I'll try 157.5 next time.

Dips were impressively stronger than they have been in a long time, especially after doing what I did on Press--however Push-ups clearly suffered as a result, which I don't really care about.

All in all, 'twas a pretty good day.  We drove to a parking lot and pushed the car around in lieu of a sled--it is a VW Golf, so it is pretty light... for a car.


Press OWU 170x1
Press 160x5,4,4; 135x8
Dips BWx10; +15#x10; +25#x7
Push-ups 20, 20

Monday, May 6, 2013


Trying a new thing called "Over-Warm-ups (OWU)" or "Primer Singles."  I work my way past my work sets on Squats, Bench and Press, by doing a heavy single and then going back down to the work sets.  I am hoping it will stimulate some additional growth considering I used to be able to do so much more weight.

I underestimated my first bench OWU, and ended up doing a triple of even more weight after my work sets. Squat OWU left me feeling a bit gassed, which ended up making my work sets a bit of a grind and that really affected my Power Cleans at the end of the workout.  I am going to keep doing the OWUs, though.  I like the idea.

Power Cleans ended up being a mixture of Power and Full Cleans.  I went way below parallel on several of the reps because I was too tired to get the bar high enough to get under it without going really low to do so.  I was dead tired, and my form was awful.  My last set of these, last week, was at 175, and it was easy.  Today, every set at 175 felt like a lot more than 175.


Bench OWU: 205x1
Bench 195x5,5,7; 210x3
DB Farmer Walks with 85s, 95s, and 105s.
DB Press 5 w/45s, 55s, 65s.
Shrugs 10x335


Squat OWU: 1x305
Squat 3x5@270
Chins BWx10; +10#x6,6
Rows 3x5@170
P.Cleans 5x3@175

Friday, May 3, 2013


DLs felt good.  After 2 warm-up sets at squat, I was a bit worried that I had spent too much on them to do the squats I was planning on, but I got those too--plus one rep for good measure.


DL 335x6
Squat 265x5,5,6
Pull-Ups (BW) 6,6,5

I am still riding the line between being basically re-addicted to going to the gym, but still furiously frustrated with not being as strong as I was.  I will probably not get over that until one of my lifts returns to pre-hiatus levels of strength.  I am guessing the Press will be the first to set a new PR.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Press 1RM

I tested my Press 1RM tonight and got 180.  Over a year ago, I got 190.  Kinda depressing, but the Press has always been a pain for me.  I lost a lot last year when I got really bad tendinitis in my left elbow, and then after making a small come-back, my recent hiatus set me back again.


Press 135x2, 155x1, 175x1, 180x1, 182.5x0, 162.5x3
DB Press 3 w/65s

Short workout.