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.