Friday, May 9, 2014

Last Day of "Week" 2

Today was the first day I'd worked out this week, and it is Squat Day--the last day in week 2.  Obviously it took me longer than a week to do "week" 2, but it has been a bit crazy around here.

Added more weight to the sled, and it ended up being enough that I was wiped to the point where the sled lost momentum and I couldn't push through.  About ¾ of the way through the heaviest sprint, the sled just STOPPED.  I had a personal victory, though: I didn't quit.  I took a deep breath and kept at it, finishing the sprint.

Not sure if it was my imagination, but my gut felt less obstructive when I was doing sit-ups.


Squat 3x207.5, 235, 265
Rows 3x5@210
Cleans 135x2; 155x3, 3, 3
20 Sit-Ups, +25# Weighted Sled Sprint, 10 Toes to Bars,
+125# Weighted Sled Sprint, 20 Sit-Ups, +80# Weighted Sled Sprint

Keeping strict on my diet is getting harder--not easier.  I am more tempted to eat poorly and drink soda than I was a week ago.  Hopefully the cravings stop soon.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Another Late Night Bench Session

Another workout that spanned two calendar days.

Bench felt weak because it was so late and I was quite tired.  I didn't get out of work until 02:30 the night (morning) before, and had a 9½ hour shift that started at 09:45.  In my weary delirium I ended up making a math mistake that added 10 pounds to the bar on my last set, which was relief since I only got three reps, which was disappointing considering what I thought the weight was.  Coincidentally the weight I benched three times is next week's planned 1 rep set, so there is that.

I also did some Chins which turned out well.


Bench 3x165, 187.5, 212.5, 222.5
Chins BWx6; +13.75#x5, 5, 6 (followed immediately by 5 reps using the two red bands as assistance)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Week 2, Day 2

DLs felt great.  I banded all sets again, and it was tough.

Did some token squats.  Nothing big.

I found out that the sled weighs about 103 pounds.  Good to know.

Abs were much better this time around.


DL (Banded) 3x265, 305; 5x342.5
Squat 2x3@202.5
20 Sit-Ups, +10# Sled Sprint, 10 Toes-to-Bars, +110# Sled Sprint
20 Sit-Ups, +110# Sled Sprint, 10 Toes-to-Bars, +55# Sled Sprint
20 Sit-Ups, +10# Sled Sprint, 10 Lying Leg Raises

I have eliminated soda, reduced sugar, stopped eating the more cholesterol laden items at work, added more water, vegetables, vitamins and omega 3s.  Hopefully with the conditioning, my body fat and cholesterol will go down.  I really need to avoid statins.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

5/3/1 Week 2, Day 1

For my first two sets, I forgot I was supposed to be doing 3s.  Oh well.  More is better, right?

I am really starting to like the conditioning portions of my workout.  Lots of push-ups and sled sprints have been tough, but I can see how people get addicted to conditioning.

I got all the push-ups in with sets of 20, which is a huge improvement on last week.  For good measure, I did one more set of 10.

I increased sled weight, too.  On two runs my boys decided they wanted to take turns riding on the sled so that added more weight.


Press 5x115, 5x132.5, 6x147.5
Curls 10x25, 45; 5x65, 85, 95
20 Push-Ups, +10lb Sled Sprint, 20 Push-Ups, +110lb Sled Sprint
20 Push-Ups, +110lb* Sled Sprint, 20 Push-Ups, +75lb* Sled Sprint
20 Push-Ups, +10lb Sled Sprint, 10 Push-Ups

*Half Way through the sprint, my 30ish pound son hopped on.

I felt really good after the workout.  Heart rate got up to 170 during the sprints.

Monday, April 28, 2014

"Cleaning" Up

Well, it was getting late and I was watching the boys while my wife was at work, so I played with them a bit so I didn't have time to do sled work--it was dark and I am not interested in pissing off the neighbors.  Unfortunately, it has become more important than ever that I do my conditioning.  I just found out that my LDL is at 144 (High is 99, says my doc's nurse).  So, no more McD's burgers for a while.

Squats felt good, I guess.  I felt weak, actually, but I got them all.  I am not sure if I did 6 or 7 on set three because I lost count focusing on form.

Rows were easy.

I did Power Cleans for the first time in a very very long time.  I kept it light.  Felt good.  With the tight quarters in the garage, it may never be safe for me to push cleans very much, but I am glad I can do them pain-free (so far).

Abs were weird.  I felt like I was going to do more than last time easily, and my first set of sit-ups I did 5 more.  Then I went to do toes-to-bars and did half of what I did last time.  I felt weak all of a sudden.

So, adding cleans, focusing on conditioning, and cleaning up my diet will hopefully keep me off Statin AND keep me alive.


Squats 192.5x5; 222.5x5; 250x6
Rows 3x5@207
P.Cleans 3x65, 95, 115, 135, 145
Sit-ups 15, 10
Toes-to-bars 5, 5

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Late Night Workout

I wanted to spend time with the boys and my bride, so I postponed my workout until after bedtime.  It is nice to just walk out into the garage and workout whenever I please.  What was that?  Your gym close 10 minutes ago?  I know that feel, bro.

Since it was late, though, the more loud stuff had to be withheld, such as heavy shrugs not being plunked back down on the pins.  Also, the lateness, combined with working a 9 hour shift that started at 06:30, I didn't feel very strong in the Bench.  I only got six reps on the final set--should've gotten more.

I just did Bench and Chins, but I feel good about the workout nonetheless.

Chins went better than expected.  I added some band assisted reps as a burn-out at the end of the last set.  Gotta get my money's worth from the bands, right?  (Apologies to all you economics freaks out there: please ignore my quasi sunk-cost fallacy.)


Bench 152.5x5; 177.5x5; 200x6
Chins BWx5; +10#x5,5,5; -2Red Bands x 5
(The 5 reps with the bands came right after the last +10# set--no rest.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Banded DLs and Abzzz

With the exception of DLs, I am okay with the low starting weights and slow progression of Wendler's 5/3/1.  But I don't want to start too high on DLs, either.  So, I decided on a compromise: Banded DLs.  I finished bolting my platform to the floor so I could add bands.  I am going small, just adding a little tension at the top with one red band from Rogue on each side.

Abs sucked pretty badly.  I knew I had more fat around my belly than before, but nothing brings it home just how MUCH more like doing sit-ups after not working the abs for a couple of years and having a big gut full of fat in the way of completing full ROM.  HAHA!   Tried some toes-to-bars as well.  Abs were already sore, probably from core stabilization from doing so many push-ups on Monday (my chesticles are likewise very sore).

Sled was already easier than Monday; I was able to add 44 pounds to the last sprint, but my quads were on fire by the time I was done.  Very exciting.  No threat of vomit this time, but I am still just as tired.


DL (Plus 2 Red Bands) 5x247.5, 285; 6x322.5
Squat 200x5, 5
10 Sit-ups
Unloaded Sled Sprint
10 Toes-to Bars
+88lbs Sled Sprint
10 Sit-ups
+44lb Sled Sprint
5 Toes-to-Bars
5 Sit-ups
+44lb Sled Sprint

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Day of Firsts

Today was my first official workout in my new home gym.
It was awesome.  I loved the feeling of being able to go at my own pace, finish the sets, and not worry about anything else.

Today was my first workout of 5/3/1.
I think I am going to enjoy this.  Having more time and energy for assistance movements and conditioning is really nice.  I am glad I am not doing SS linear progressions right now because I really need to focus on what will best prepare me for the firefighting test.

Today was my first time curling in the squat rack.  [wink]
There was some wrist pain.  I will have to look into an EZ Curl bar.

Today was my first real sled workout.
While I tried it out a little a week ago, today was the first real programmed, loaded sled session.  I almost threw up!  HAHA!




BB Curls:


100 Push-ups broken up by sled sprints:

20 Push-ups
Unloaded Sled Sprint
20 Push-ups
+88lb. Sled Sprint
20 Push-ups
+44lb Sled Sprint
15 Push-ups
Unloaded Sled Sprint
15 Push-ups
10 Push-ups

Before my final sprint, I remembered that I bought a HR Monitor.  So I strapped that on, and before my last sprint it read 133 bpm, and at the end of the sprint it was at 158.  Just a little extra info for ya.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Home Gym!!

I finally finished putting in all the home gym equipment.  I am very excited about this!
I will start 5/3/1 on Monday, and am very excited about that, as well.  It will be grand to finally be able to workout whenever I want with little to no effect on my family (I can watch the kids between sets, not need to only workout when the gym had babysitting hours, etc).  I am excited to be adding conditioning to my programming, as well.

Here are some fun videos of it all coming together:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Home Gym, etc.

I installed the first part of a home gym today (the DL platform--pics forthcoming) and will be acquiring the squat rack, plates and a bar in the next couple of weeks (I also have a sled and a DL jack).  I am very excited.  About half of it is used equipment, the other half is from Rogue.  I have already canceled my membership with my gym, so I am 'all-in.'

I haven't been great at A, getting to the gym; or B, posting the workouts I HAVE completed.  I have been taking it easy and going light.  Here are the two most recent:


Squat 3x5@245
Press 3x5@145
Rows 3x5@210


DL 2x5@335
Bench 5x5@200
Chins 5x5

I am adding in Sled work to lose some excess fat and get my conditioning up in preparation for the Firefighter Physical Agility Test.  As a result, I am going to switch to Wendler's 5/3/1.  It was a quick read, and I think it was worth the $10 for the Kindle edition.  I also have looked into IIFYM for a diet plan, but I am not sure I am ready to pull the trigger on THAT much work just to watch what I eat.  I'll play it by ear and see how it goes with the sled work and 5/3/1.

All in all, I have a lot to be excited about.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Took my first day off in some time.  I have enjoyed some pretty decent consistency for several weeks, now.  I am coming down with something, my last workout is still making itself known via my low back (it was not 100% at the beginning, and I went with the programmed DLs anyway), and the family was home from a couple of days out of town while I stayed home and worked, so it seemed like a good day to take it easy.

As for the aforementioned last workout, it was pretty good.  I would've liked a few more minutes rest between sets of chins, but as it stood, it was a good night.


DL 2x5@360
Bench 185x10, 10, 12
Chins 8, 8, 4

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Paddy's Day Workout

I wish I had a kilt.  I don't.  So I wore my Boston Celtics shirt in which to workout.  I only had 45 minutes, but I got everything in.  It was a good day.


LBBS 5x5@245
Press 150x5, 5, 6, 6, 6
Rows 3x5@205

The sets of all exercises were all mixed together.  Rows sets 2 and 3 had only a minute of rest between them.  Good for the heart.  Haha!

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Good day.  I actually got some time in the gym.  I took my time, rested between sets, even did 5 sets of chins and sat in the hot tub afterward!

DLs felt funky.  My form was all over the place.  I was trying a new approach to the bar, as well as trying to get my breathing down with the belt.  It just felt weird and I was moving all over the place.  Still got all planned reps, which shows how easy it is right now.  I mean, it isn't EASY, but considering how much weight I was doing only two and a half months ago, it is "easy."

Bench was amazing.  I got ten reps on set 5!  It came out of NOWHERE!

Chins were a bit depressing.  With rest and no rush, I still struggled with how many I could do.  I weighed myself after the workout, thinking maybe I am just getting fat, but the scale was bouncing all over the place.  I couldn't be sure, but I think it was saying I am under 230 lbs, which surprised me.

Pain is still persisting in my right shoulder during bench and chins.


DL 2x5@355
Bench 195x5, 5, 6, 6, 10
Chins 6, 6, 6, 5, 5

Friday, March 14, 2014

More Squat 20s

I feel kinda lame.  I keep wussing out on set three of 20 Rep Squats.  Twice now I have hit 12 and think "I could do more, but the pain needs to stop."  After doing 2 sets of 20, I feel justified since I don't want to sabotage the rest of my workout, but when I then hit +1 and +2 reps on my last two sets of Presses and NAIL my three sets of Rows in under 8 minutes, I really should be going for it.  Then IF I bomb from exhaustion, let myself "justify" things.  It was a great workout though, really.  I feel good about it.  But I shouldn't chicken out so easily on set three anymore.

Right shoulder pain not really subsiding.  Can't tell if it is getting worse.


Squat 160x20, 20, 12
Press 145x5, 5, 5, 6, 7
Rows 3x5@200

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I am still really liking the double volume DL scheme I have been running.  Doing 2x5 rather than 1x5 has felt really good.  Of course, I have yet to get close to the weights I was doing the last time I ran a 1x5, so we will see where that lands me, but so far, so good.

I am in the same "liking more volume but not doing enough weight to know for sure" boat with squats, doing 5x5 vs. 3x5.

My left groin area was hurting a bit during and after my workout.  My knees are still in mild to moderate pain most of the time, but not as badly as it was when I took my last "break."

Bench didn't hurt my right shoulder too much, but it still isn't 100%.  Chin-ups did hurt it a bit more at the bottom.  Slight twinge of left elbow pain reminiscent of recent tendinitis issues.

Still not getting enough time in the gym to finish my chins.


DL 2x5@350
Bench 165x10, 10, 12
Chins 5, 5

Sunday, March 9, 2014


With the weather warming a bit, the melting snow created a lake in the parking lot at my work.  There was so much ice that none of the drains were open.  So, I volunteered to help break up and move some (ended up being like 90%) of the ice.

I was feeling it already before I was even ¼ of the way done with the job, but of course, I worked out after work anyway.  My back is screaming at me now, but I'll be alright.

I only had time to do two sets of Rows before the gym closed, but everything else was great.


LBBS 240x5, 5, 5, 6; 245x6
Press 142.5x5, 5 ,6 ,6 ,6
Rows 200x5, 5

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Through the Pain

Benched through some shoulder pain.  I actually had a really good bench day, pain notwithstanding.  I think the pain might be stemming from the 20 rep sets, so I am going to switch 20 rep bench days to 10 rep bench days with more pause and less Touch 'n' Go.

DLs felt great.

Chins still suck.  I need to find a different plan with those.  I didn't have time to try my "Sets of Five until I can't do Five anymore.  When I can do at least 4 sets at n, move to n+1 next time."  I need to come up with a better name.  Haha!


DL 2x5@345
Bench 190x5, 5, 5, 6, 8
Chins 8, 8, 7

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Repeated the same weight as the last 20 rep squats and had improvement.  I could have done more on set three, but I was gassed (no time, pushing limits of minimum rest between sets) and wanted to keep a little in the tank for Press and Rows.

Got 7 on fifth set on Press and got all my rows even though I wanted to pass out.  Good day.


LBBS 155x20,20,12
Press 140x5,5,5,5,7
Rows 3x5@195

Sunday, March 2, 2014

In Like a Lion

Let's hope March sees me come in like a lion and out like a bear--or something.  Today's workout was pretty good.  Bench 20s are still wicked easy.  DL was pretty easy too.  It feels like my belt is getting broken in, because I know I am not losing weight.  HA!

I got called in to work so it was another short workout.  I only had time for two sets of chins between other sets.  I am going to try something new I came up with:  Sets of 5 until I can only do 4.  Once I can do at least 5x5 with chins, then I go to sets of 6.  Etc.  This, of course, assumes I have time.


Bench 140x20,20,21
DL 2x5@340
Chins 9,7

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Two More

I have been pleasantly consistent, but also I have been rushing through my workouts due to time constraints.  It is a trade off, I guess, but this deload/restart feels better than any I have done before.  I feel like I am content to be where I am and take my time.

I am making game time decisions with my 20 rep sets with Press and DL.  I feel like I won't benefit as much from those as much as from sets of 5.  Squats, I think, will be good to keep at the high rep sets, and bench will be good to keep light more often since I have shoulder issues from time to time.  I was already exhausted when I started my last workout and so the thought of DL 20s made me want to curl up and sleep.  I just did 2x5.  Bench sets were rushed.  With no real rest between sets, I only got 3 reps on the fifth set.
Today, Press 20s didn't sound exciting or motivating, so I did a 5x5.  Squat 5x5 felt amazing today.


DL 2x5@335
Bench 190x5,5,5,5,3
Chins 8,8,7


LBBS 235x5,5,5,5,6
Press 5x5@137.5
Rows 195x5,5,6

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Squat 20(s)

Only had like 40 minutes, so hardly any rest between sets, and I worked in warm-ups for all three exercises at the same time.

Did a set of 20 squats at 155, but the next set was much lower so I went down to 135 for my third set, and still fell short.  My legs were rubbery for the rest of the night.

Press I only did three sets due to time crunch.

Rows I only did one set.


Squat 155x20,12; 135x16
Press 3x5@140
Rows 195x5

Will go down to 135 for the next 3x20 on squats and move on from there.  Need to repeat Press and Rows.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Three and Four

I have been trying to keep my social media footprint a little smaller day by day.  I need to focus on getting ready for the St. Paul firefighter exams and am too easily distracted.  EMT class is obviously my focus right now, but getting strong is also up there on the list.  So, for now, my blog will still be periodically updated and shared.

I feel good.  This deload has been good for me.  The belt and knee sleeves are helping, too.  High rep sets FEEL good, but I am afraid that will mean they don't DO any good.  "No pain...," as they say.

Still not sure if my belt is dialed in as far as what notch to use, and how to adjust my form, but I still feel good using it.

My first 20 Reps Press Sets were not successful, but I just over-estimated my abilities.
Bench 20s were the opposite: too easy on the first two sets, and just a touch easy on set three..  Friday will be Squat 20s.  Oh boy!

I am not sure if this high rep scheme will pay off, but I am mostly concerned with taking my time, keeping consistent, and staying injury free.


LBBS 5x5@230
Press 95x15; 85x16, 14
Rows 3x5@190


DL 2x5@330
Bench 3x20@135
Chins 8,8,7

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Aaaaand the Second.

40 plus days later, and I got my second workout of 2014 in.  Ugh.  Moving job locations and moving LIVING locations has proven to be detrimental to--well, everything.  Bought a new house.  Car died.  Bought a new car.  Ugh.  Been an eventful several weeks.

I got a belt and knee sleeves.  Jury is still out on if I like them (or if I am even wearing them correctly).  I found it HARDER to keep my back set with the belt on.  I loosened it one notch and it just felt like it was in the way.  I don't know if I just need to get used to it.

I am switching to more 5x5s and sets of 20 to get my endurance/fat burning up.  Firefighter Physical Agility Testing will be here before I know it, so I really need to get into the RIGHT kind of shape.

I am sore as heck right now--had two workouts last week (Thursday and Saturday) and DOMS are here with a vengeance.  I started low, too.


LBBS 5x5@225
Press 5x5@135
Rows 3x5@185


DL 2x5@325
Bench 3x225; 4x5@185
Chins 7, 8

I can't care about my 1200 goal right now.  That kind of strain on my body will just keep me in pain and not progressing towards the goals that will allow me to support my family.  When the snow is gone, I'll be adding stair runs to my DL days, too.

Friday, January 10, 2014

First Workout of 2014

I am still tired and in pain.  My elbow, my back, my knees.  I need to deload AGAIN to fix all my issues.  I haven't workout for a week.  I got my knee sleeves in the mail today, and ordered a weight belt.  I guess my days of 100% raw are over.

I will be getting PPST soon on pre-order.  I will hopefully try out my knee sleeves tomorrow.  I am thinking of going to a 5x5.  I am thinking a lot about how I can change things up/improve.  I don't know.

Here is the workout I did last week and have yet to post:


DL 2x5@355
Bench 3x242.5; 3x10@190