Saturday, May 30, 2015

Just Don't Call it Cardio! ...Plus a New Exercise

Active Recovery?  Love it.  Resistance Conditioning?  Bring it on.


...Maybe just a little?, but seriously - If you aren't training for a sport, and you don't have a weight attached to you somehow - whether in your hand(s), on your back, or strapped to you in some way - and you're doing cardio, you're doing it wrong.

This week was the first time - that I can remember - that I got all three heavy lifting days in before Saturday, so I could do my conditioning/active recover day!  AND. IT. WAS. A. BLAST!!

We did two sets of Sled Push and Pulls; two sets of Farmer Walks, and three sets of a new exercise: the Overhead Carry (OHC).


I put a 45# plate on the Sled, pushed it 90', clipped a 100' rope to the Sled, jogged back to the beginning, and pulled it hand-over-hand back to the starting point.
I added a 25# plate and did it again.
I did 2 sets of 180' Farmer Walks with 100# in each hand (this felt easier than last week - we will be going up in weight next Saturday).
Then, I took a 95# bar, Muscle Snatched it from a hang, and walked 90'.  Then I lowered it to a hang again, turned around, Muscle Snatched it again, and walked back.
I repeated with 115#, and then performed a third set with 125#.

I feel great, and I am totally stoked to do it again next week.  We'll probably add a third set of Sled.

Pushing the sled did not feel awesome on my wrist.  I used my wrist wraps for OHC, and felt only slight discomfort.  There was also some complaining coming from my left elbow.

Friday, May 29, 2015


Well, I was able to Press on Wednesday and Bench today, with moderately tolerable pain.  I think I am healing... I hope I am not putting too much stress on it that it won't get better.

        (wrong wrist)

Same Stuff, Different Day: I still hate the safety squat, but I am still killing it.  I am doing well with Bench. Rows are easy, and Chins are crawling.  In order to save some time, I have dropped the 10 rep sets with Squats and Bench.  I dropped curls, too.

I went up five pounds on my second OWU set with Bench, which felt good.


Squat 3x5@260
Bench 1x235, 240; 205x5,5,7
Rows 175x5,5,7
Chins BW+5x5,5,5

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


My right wrist hurts really badly, I think there may be a stress fracture - but instead of being smart and skipping Press, I bought some Wrist Wraps.  I tried the bar as a warm-up without the wraps, and it killed like mad!  Adding the wraps afterward made a world of difference.  Great purchase!

Deadlift was awesome - when is it not, amiright??  I was too lazy to do lots of plate loading/unloading/reloading between my work-sets and my partner's - we're at different places with our DLs - so I went up 5 lbs on my work-sets to make for less plate movement.  It worked out just fine.

Chins sucked, as always.


Deadlift 2x5@335
Press 5x5@135
Chins BW+3.75x5,5,5

Monday, May 25, 2015

I LOATH the Safety Squat Bar.

With my elbow issues, it has become necessary to continue to use the Safety Squat Bar for the foreseeable future.
I may try to go back to a regular bar on Monday, and just push my grip out to the collars, but I am not optimistic that it will be painless.

With how much more difficult it is to keep my upper back tight and my lower back arched or even neutral, and with how much more upright the SS Bar forces me to lift, the squat is MUCH more difficult.  I have never loved the Squat, but now I downright hate it.  I am going to keep doing it because refraining from squatting is NOT an option... but man oh man am I sick of tendinitis's effect on my workouts.

Everything went swimmingly - except maybe Chins.  I got every planned rep, but I am so sick of how slow (or non-existent) my progress is on that exercise.  It shouldn't be as hard as it was today.  I know I am always bloody exhausted by the time I get to chins, but the apparent complete lack of progress is ridiculously and incredibly frustrating.

High Pulls were hard - both because Saturday's workout was insane re: traps, and because I went up ten pounds rather than 5.  We'll probably stay at the same weight for next week.

The elbow feels about as close to painless as can be expected, but my right wrist started having some pain issues during the Bench.  Otherwise, I am pleased with the Bench workout - or, rather, I am as pleased as I can be considering how much strength I have lost over the last year and a half.


Safety Squat 1x300; 3x5@255; 10x215
Bench 2x1@230; 202.5x5,5,7; 10x170
Rows 170x5,5,6
Chins BW+2.5x5,5,5
High Pulls 3x3@145

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Baby Cobra

I missed yesterday, so I did High Pulls & Farmer Walks today.  My Traps feel like gelatin - really painful gelatin.  Growing a cobra hood is going to be hard work... haha - as if the rest of this isn't, right?

It was a long workout - too long - since we crammed all of Friday's and some of Saturday's workout on the same day.  I used some pre-workout powder - I haven't done that in a long time - and the beta-alanine made my skin hot and tingly, which was exceedingly unpleasant.

Because of my elbow tendinitis, I used the Safety Squat bar today.  The high-bar type posture and the heavier, more awkward bar made squats a bear.  I was trying to be a hero by pretending the bar weighed the same as a standard 45lb bar, and got to "285" (really 300) and did a double which almost killed me (my planned OWU was 295x1).  I played the same game with the work-sets, (but only did 2, skipping the third) and the 10 rep set. I'll move the OWU and 10 repper up 5lbs for next workout, but I'll keep the work set the same since I didn't do three sets today.

Press went swimmingly, but my elbow started complaining by set 5.  Chins reset to BW+0, and that also went swimmingly.  I added in a couple sets of curls for good bicep measure.

We did 3x3@135 for High-pulls, which felt fine.  I need to start dropping the weight rather than catching it because it hurts my shoulders and aggravates my elbow.

Farmer Walks went much better than last time - I only had to stop on the way back on trip three.


Safety Squat 2x300; 2x5@275; 10x210
Press 132.5x5,5,5,5,6
Chins BW+0#x5,5,6
High Pulls 3x3@135
Farmer Walks 3x200' w/100# ea. hand

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Elbow Tendinitis is back in full force, and this is how I feel about it:

My left elbow was on fire throughout the whole workout, especially (obviously) during Bench.  I did get all the planned reps, though.  It felt good to keep strict form on Rows.  I'll probably reset Chins to just body weight - I have been kicking and squirming a lot to get those last few inches on too many reps.

Otherwise, I had a decent workout.  Too tired to really blog about it further, so here are the numbers:


DL 325x5,6
Bench 2x1@225; 200x5,5,6; 165x10
Rows 165x6,6,6
Chins BW+12.5#x5,5,5

Monday, May 18, 2015

Positive and Negative

The Good:
I had a great workout. I felt strong, I got most of my planned weights, and have that "post-workout-high" feeling I love so much.
Squats: I got a good strong pause at the bottom of my OWU, knocked out my work-sets, and easily cleaned up with my 10 rep finale.  Press 5x5 felt a bit harder than I expected, but with a workout partner I don't rest between sets as much - sitting around suddenly feels awkward when I am not alone.  I went back down to 10lbs for Chins, but still barely got 3x5.  It is weird (read "irritating") how mercurial my chin-ups are.

I got my workout partner back for the rest of the Summer!  My former co-worker is back from school, and after not having a consistent workout partner for 2½ years, he is back and it feels like we have been working out together the whole time.

I tried a new exercise.  I did some light High Pulls to see how I like 'em.  Still too soon to tell, but if all the hype is even somewhat accurate, I am going to like how these beef up my yoke and shoulders.  I started with snatch grip, but that irritated my elbow so I narrowed to clean grip.  It was too light to really get a pump, but I am taking it slowly with the new exercise.  I don't really need it, I am just being vain, wanting to get a yoke going, so there is no real reason to push it faster than I am.  I'll add some more weight next week.  I'll probably just do them on Mondays.

The Bad:
In injured my wrist.  Last night, it just started hurting.  I don't remember what I did, but it hurts a lot.  I was afraid it'd hold me back from completing my workout, but I wasn't going to punk out on my first workout with a partner in forever, so I sucked it up.  Luckily, it didn't affect my performance to any really noticeable degree, but it still hurts a lot.

Left elbow Tendinitis is back!  It hurts, and I can tell it will only get worse if I don't get ahead of it.  It didn't hold me back today, but it seems like I am going to have to break out the safety squat bar, and/or move my hand position back out to the plates, and/or start joint flossing again.  I hate this crap!!


Squats 1x290; 3x5@245; 10x185
Press 130x5,5,5,5,6
Chins BW+10#x5,5,5
High Pulls 3x45, 75, 95, 115

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Like Sands Through the Hourglass...

Last night's workout:

I was tired, it was late, and I don't care that hardcore people are shaking their heads at me for being a wuss - that is I wouldn't care if hardcore people actually read my blog.

I nailed squats, killed the bench press and then skipped everything else so I could spend some time with my bride.  My left shoulder, elbow, and wrist are hating me today, and I am a little concerned about how tomorrow's Press workout is going to go as a result, but my workout partner is back in town and there is no way I am missing our first session together in 2½ years!


Squats 1x290; 3x5@245; 10x185
Bench 2x1@227.5; 197.5x5,5,6; 10x160

Thursday, May 14, 2015

"Slow and Steady..." or some such nonsense

(This is the only turtle/tortoise I want to emulate!)

YAY!  It is Deadlift Day!!

There is only one thing I tire of saying how much I love it less than Deadlifts, and that is my wife.  I am sure it is boring and inane for the 2 people who actually read my blog - but I can't stop saying it.

I continued with my foray into TWO work-sets each DL session.  This is my second set of 5+ @320lbs on the deadlift:

It still pains me inside that this much weight is so bloody heavy - but nothing can bring me down BECAUSE IT IS DEADLIFT DAY!!!!

The upper right side of my back is thankfully still not troubling me, but my left elbow started to have some discomfort, which I am exceedingly unhappy about.

I failed on Chins at 20lbs. again, but got closer.  I really want to get super strong on Chins because when I eventually build a Salmon Ladder, I don't want to embarrass myself on it.

I threw in some Curls and COG at the end for good measure.


DL 320x5,6
Press 127.5x5,5,5,5,6
Chins BW+20#x5,5,4,2; BWx5

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Feeling Strong

I felt great today.  I took my time, and enjoyed my workout.  I felt too tired to workout last night, which is a weak excuse, but I really am concerned about how my form breaks down when I am tired, and I decided that an extra day's rest was better than adjusting the weight to match my level of weariness.  I am glad I did because today's workout was AMAZING!

I wanted to get a video of my squat depth because I was off for so long that I forgot what correct depth "felt" like, so I wasn't sure if I was hitting it.  I always buried my squats (not quite ATG) so I don't know what I was worried about, but I needed the reassurance/confirmation anyway.

Since I had the camera out, I thought "why not film something worth filming?" and decided on a really "heavy" (at least for me right now) single. I chose 315 as a good high point, and went for it.
I neglected to film my first work-set at 235, but I got the next two.  I did not film my final set.

Bench felt pretty good.  Rows felt fine, but I feel like I am not doing them strictly enough - too much hip and back movement - so next session of Rows will be a substantial reset to work on form.

I put 20lbs on my dip belt and did chin-ups.  My plan is to go for 3x5, and if I fail (which I did, today), to finish the 15 reps in as many sets as it takes, then lower the weight until I can hit 25 total reps.  If I fail at the 3x15, then I repeat the weight the next chin-up session.


Squat 315x1; 3x5@235; 170x10
Bench 2x1@225; 3x5@195; 155x10
Rows 3x5@210
Chins BW+20#x5,4,4,1,1; BW+10#x4,3; BWx5

I also added some COG work at the end.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sled Work gets an Upgrade!

Well, not that kind of dog sled.  THIS kind of dog sled.  I went online and bought 100 feet of rope, dug deep into my almost two decade old scout training and braided an eyelet into it, and made myself a pulling rope to add to the end of my sled work.  Me Gusta!

I crammed a lot into my workout today, doing a bit of a hybrid of a Friday and a Saturday workout.  I did all of Fridays and some of Saturdays.  It was great, but I have a feeling I am going to be dead tonight and tomorrow.  I am still not 100% over the illness I have been fighting for nigh on 2 weeks now.

I am still not certain how I am going to handle the 3 vs 4 day weeks... I guess the deciding factor will be what my workout partner can do with our schedules.  I am back to thinking I will do Squats, Bench, Rows and Chins Mondays and Fridays of every week, with DLs, Presses, Chins and Curls every Wednesday.

I jumped a bit up in weight and added an extra set to DLs, and it felt AMAZING.

Have I mentioned I love Deadlifts before?  Haha!  Yes??  WELL - I DO!!

I did a 5x5 on Press that felt fine.  Chins and Curls also felt fine.

I did 2 sets of Sled Pushes, following up each push immediately by Sled Rope Pulls.  Like I said: Me Gusta!

I ended my workout with some Farmer Walks.  I did 100lbs in each hand and had to put it down at the end of the sidewalk, half way on the return trip, and again with maybe 15 feet left.  I'll go down to 95 next time - looks like a ten pound jump while adding rope work was a bit too much since I want to be doing three trips and couldn't finish one without stopping.


DL 2x5@315
Press 5x5@125
Chins 3x15@BW+15#
Sled(103lbs) Push 100ft +45lbs Iron+30lbs kid
Sled(103lbs) Rope Pull 100ft +45lbs Iron+30lbs kid
Sled(103lbs) Push 100ft +45lbs Iron+40lbs kid
Sled(103lbs) Rope Pull 100ft +45lbs Iron+40lbs kid
Farmer Walks 200ft w/100lbs ea. hand (with three 5 second rests during set)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

May the Fourth be with you - 2 days late.

Well, I didn't get to workout on Monday, so I didn't get to use this awesome pic from T-Nation's facebook page, but this is my blog, so I will use it anyway because #IDoWhatIWant.

I had a great workout today, and I feel great.  I haven't enjoyed a squat workout this much in quite some time.

Bench, rows and chins all felt pretty good, too.

I am changing up how I do chin-ups: I am adding weight and going for 3x5.  If I get 3x5 then I will add weight the next session.  If I do not get 3x5, I will keep doing sets until I hit 20 total reps and stay at that weight for the next workout.  Also, I am doing chins every workout (except Saturdays, obviously) rather than every other.


Squat 1x250; 2x5@230; 2x10@165
Bench 2x1@222.5; 2x5@192.5; 1x12@145
Rows 3x5@205
Chins 3x5@BW+10

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Post 184: Saturday Wrap-up

Well, I worked out yesterday, so I should log it.
I did some sled push-sprints and sled drags; I did 3 50 yard farmer walks with 90# in each hand (1 more 50yd trip than last week); and some crunches, leg raises, and stability ball plank pikes for abs.


Sled(103lbs) Push 100ft +90lbs of iron+30lbs of child
Backward Sled(103lbs) Drag 100ft +90lbs of iron+30lbs of child
Sled(103lbs) Push 200ft +90lbs of iron+40lbs of child
Farmer Walk 200ft w/90lbs ea. hand
Farmer Walk 200ft w/90lbs ea. hand
Farmer Walk 200feet w/90lbs ea. hand
20 Crunches
10 Leg Raises with 5 second static hold at the end
(no rest after leg raises)
5 Plank to Pike on a stability ball

Because of the sickness that pushed Wednesdays' workout to Thursday, I had to choose if I wanted to skip Sled/FW day and do Friday's workout.  The problem with that would be that, since I have chosen to do Bench every Monday and Friday so I am only doing Press once a week (until I am confident I am out of the woods with my injury), I would be benching Saturday and Monday with only one day's rest in between.

Perhaps it is not a good idea that I am doing this bench twice every week thing... it is inevitable that I will miss workouts here and there.  Perhaps, on weeks where I Press twice a week, I can just go light on one of the days, that way I can avoid this conundrum in the future...?  Who knows.