Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dumbbells and Fences 6/22-6/27/15

It was another great week of paying my oblations to Fe.

We skipped Saturday conditioning for the third week in a row, but this time we had a better excuse than "it is raining" and "we're tired/sore/injured."  My workout partner (along with my brother-in-law and father-in-law) was gracious enough to help us (start to) put up a fence!  We made great progress and got some good physical labor in, so it wasn't a total loss.

We're back to exclusively squatting with the safety bar, which makes me exceedingly unhappy.  Everything else seems to be going swimmingly, however, so I am dealing with it.  I did a small reset to work on getting my knee form back on point.  I have virtually always had an issue with knee caving, and it needs to stop so I don't cause permanent injury - which, based on how I have been feeling, can't be too far away.

The elbow is constantly threatening to be problematic, but it didn't prevent me from completing any reps.

The second week of 12 rep DLs was Glorious!  I feel amazing for hours afterwards due to the psychological and hormonal benefits of compounding lifting heavy(ish) weights for several reps.

Press progress has finally slowed to the point where I feel like I am done with 5x5 and will move back to 3x5 with the occasional back-off set or two afterwards.  I may get a dip station and do some dips after Press on days when I don't do back-off sets.  We did some back-off sets this week, and I was disappointed in how few reps I could do on them.  I subtracted 20 pounds and only gained 3 reps on the first set, and subsequently unloaded an additional 20 pounds and only gained 3 more reps for the final set.

Chins are still progressing - I can't put into words how encouraging it is that I am improving with chins.  I added weight for the work-sets on Friday and am doing the slow descent where the first eccentric movement takes as long in seconds as there are reps in the set.  The second eccentric takes one fewer second, and so forth.  For example: Friday, I did 5 sets of 5 reps.  I do a chin-up, and then slowly lower my body back down for a count of 5 seconds.  I then perform another chin-up, and slowly lower my body back down for a count of 4 seconds... and so on until the final chin-up is followed by a one second eccentric.

When I came back to the Iron near the beginning of this year, I got a 1RM of 225 on the Bench Press.  This week, I got a set of 225x5.  I am VERY pleased with this.  Next week, 3x5@225 should go in the books.

My favorite part of this week was the introduction of dumbbell bench press.  I got my hands on some used 80lb dumbbells for pretty cheap, and we cut our barbell bench sets to 2x5 so we could have a little extra time to do 2xFail on dumbbell bench.  I could really feel a pump in my boobies, and it was pretty sore yesterday and today.  Yay for hypertrophy!


Squat 250x5; 270x5,5
Bench 2x2@235; 217.5x5,5,6
Rows 190x5,5,6
Chins BWx11,9,9; +10x5


DL 375x5; 315x12
Press 155x5,5,5; 135x8; 115x11
Chins BWx10,10,10; +10x5


Squat 3x5@275
Bench 240x2; 250x1; 220x6; 225x5
D.Bell Bench 80s x 10,8
Rows 3x5@192.5
Chins +5x5,5,5,5,5

Saturday, June 20, 2015

PRs and Elbow Pain 6/15 - 6/20/15

My elbow really hurts... like, a LOT!

This week saw another gigantic step towards a 405lb Squat!  I set a new Personal Record 1 Rep Max Squat @ 390lbs!!!  I have had major elbow pain ever since, but HEY!  Who cares??!  Right?  Well, maybe I care, a little.

From the caption of the video:
"I was feeling stupid... I mean strong, so I went for some higher weight after doing my first work set at 280. When the first rep of 315 went up so easily, I popped out 3 more without racking it. My fate was sealed at that point -- I was going for a 1RM Test!365 went up a TON more easily than I expected, so I thought I might as well go for a PR. My knees caved in big time, especially my left knee, and it hurts like the dickens even as I type this, but it went up so easily, I know I could have gotten 405... but I don't want to snap my legs in half, so I won't be doing that any time soon - gotta perfect my form first.This is so exciting for me... I have been chasing 405 for half a bloody decade!"
I also tried replacing the second Deadlift work-set of 5 reps with a 12 rep set (lighter weight, obviously).  I really liked it.  I will continue for now.

My left elbow hurt really badly during Bench, not as much during Press, but I got most of the planned reps.  Chins are still increasing nicely, which makes me happy.  For the first time in, who knows how long, I had a set of 10 strict-ish Chin-ups!!

I really do NOT want to switch away from Low Bar Back Squat, but I am obviously in quite a bit of pain to the point where my body won't let me lift as heavy as I'd like in other lifts such as Bench and Press.  I am going to try some new ways of holding the bar when I come back to LBBS, but for now I'll have to take a week or so off from LBBS and exclusively squat with the safety bar - then maybe I'll do LBBS on Mondays and Safety Squat on Fridays... who knows.

My knee is also bothering me, so I may deload both types of squats to work on form - I am letting my knee cave a bit too much.

We skipped today's (Saturday's) workout because my body desperately needs an extra rest day.


LBBS 280x5; 315x4; 335x1; 365x1; 390x1!!!
Press 150x5,6,5,5,6
Chins BWx9,8,8; +10x4


DL 5x365; 12x300
Bench 2x225, 235; 3x5@215
Rows 3x5@187.5
Chins BWx10,9,8; +10x3


Safety Squat 280x5; 290x4; 280x5
Press 152.5x5,5,4,7,6
Chins BWx10,8,9; +10x4


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Broken Equipment, Missed Reps and Rain-outs 6/8 - 6/13/15

It has been an interesting, adventurous week.  The lever on my squat belt broke while I was in the hole of the 2nd rep of my third set on Monday.  It hurt... not that the belt hurt me, but the sudden release of tension in my back hurt quite a bit.  I was using the safety squat bar, so I was able to let go of the bar and shed the belt.  I successfully attempted the third rep, sans belt, but decided not to push my luck further.

Friday's squat sets were performed with my DL belt, and I did low bar for kicks and giggles... so far, no elbow pain.

Bench on Friday saw my first failed rep (in the Big Four - obviously I fail reps on Chins all the time) since coming back to the iron.

I missed my first OWU single at 255, so I went down to 245 for my second.

Today, it was raining pretty hard and I wasn't about to take my iron sled and iron plates outside, so we just did some high pulls and shrugs and called it a day.

All things considered it was a pretty great week - because any week where there is progress is a great week.  Oh, and I got a 425lb 1RM on Deadlift!  Only 32.5 more pounds to go until I tie my all-time PR!!


Squat 275x5,5,3
Bench 2x1@252.5; 210x5,5,6
Rows 182.5x5,5,6
Chins BWx6,6,6,7


DL 1x425; 6x355
Press 142.5x6,6,6,6,6
Chins BWx7,7,7; +10x5


LBBS 275x5,5,6
Bench 255x0; 245x1; 212.5x5,5,6
Rows 185x5,5,6
Chins BWx8,8,7; +10x3


High Pulls 2x3@95; 3x125
Shrugs 10x135; 5x185, 225, 275, 315, 335

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Lazy Loading & Double Dosing 6/1 - 6/6

This is my first week-wrap-up blog post.  I had a great week.  On DL day, I was too lazy to do a lot of loading and unloading between my sets and my partner's sets; so, to make it easier, I went up 10 pounds from last week rather than 5.  This makes two weeks in a row I increased the previous workouts weight by 10 on DL day, and this is the second week that I killed it.  I am very excited by how quickly my DL is returning to my previous strength levels.

On Friday I did an early morning workout, so I doubled up on my Pre-Workout drink, and I felt AMAZING!  It was neither wise nor prudent, but it worked!

Today was spectacular!  I am really enjoying Saturday Conditioning Days.  We added shrugs at the end for kicks and giggles.  I should know tomorrow or Monday if I am going to pay for it or not.
I guess I should start calling Saturday Conditioning & Yoke Day, since Farmer Walks, Overhead Carries AND Shrugs all get you yoked!


Squat 3x5@265
Press 5x5@137.5
Chins BW+7.5x5,5,5
High Pulls 3x3@140


DL 345x5,7
Bench 1x245,250; 207.5x5,5,6
Rows 3x5@180
Chins BW+10x5,5,5ish


Squat 3x5@270
Press 140x5,5,5,5,8
Chins BW+12.5x5,5,4½


Sled Push/Pull 145# for 180'
Sled Push/Pull 170# for 180'
Sled Push/Drag 180# for 180'
Farmer Walks 2x180' w/102.5X ea. hand
Overhead Carries 180' with 100#, 125#, #130
Shrugs 135x10; 225x5; 275x5; 315x5