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.