Saturday, August 22, 2015

Banded DLs are Evil... I Love Banded DLs. 8/17 - 8/21/15

The countdown has begun until I lose my workout partner.  We've made a LOT of progress this Summer, and I don't want it to end.

I have been pushing the limits with DL (including an 18.5 pound jump from one week to the next, hitting a PR, and then setting another +2 pound PR the following week), so I wanted to do a small deload, but - as always - I can't commit to anything for very long.

I originally wanted to go back down to 415 (what I was planning on when I jumped up to 428.5) but decided I wanted to try something new.

I tried banded DLs last year, but it was with light(ish) weight, and I only did it a few times.  This time, I banded up 405 pounds, and it was a much different story.

Banded DLs are possibly the hardest thing I have ever done. In the past, if I get past my usual sticking point (about 4-6 inches above the floor) then it is smooth sailing the rest of the way. Since bands make it progressively harder the whole way up, it was like trying to push through one giant sticking point. It made the whole rep feel the same as the first six inches of an unbanded repetition. Whoa.

I haven't decided if I am going to do them again this week or not.  Right now, the tentative plan is to add weight to banded DLs each week until I get back to 430 banded, and then take the bands off and see what I am capable of.  Who knows?  We will see how I feel on Wednesday if I actually keep the bands on.

Squats are still progressing, adding 5 pounds a week has not proved to be too much, yet.

The cumulative tick-tack injuries are ebbing and flowing, but seem to be steadily improving, on the whole.


Squat 3x5@320
Bench 232.5x5,6
DB Bench 14,12 w/80s
Chins +32.5x4; +25x5; BWx7


Squat 3x275
DL (Banded) 405x5
Press 2x10@110
SS 25/12
Chins BWx10; +15x7; +25x4


Squat 5x325
Bench 323.5x5,5,6
Rows 205x5,5,7
Chins BWx10; +25x5,4; BWx7

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Year-to-Date Progress Report & 8/10 - 8/15/15

I wanted to do a little recap for myself... and I am going subject you to it by including it in a blog post.

I came back to the iron back near the beginning of the year after injuries dating back to August of last year.  I had also been inconsistent for most of the rest of 2014.

Starting back in March, I was Squatting 200 pounds for a set of five.
I Squatted 320 pounds for five reps yesterday.

I was Deadlifting 255 pounds for a set of five.
I Deadlifted 430 pounds for five reps yesterday.

I was Benching 145 pounds for three sets of five reps.
I Benched 230 for three by five on Monday.

I was doing three sets of five Chin-ups with no weight added to a 230 pound frame.
Yesterday I did three sets of five Chin-ups with 30 pounds added to a 245 pound body.

I was Pressing five reps of 130 pounds.
I Pressed three sets of five at 165 pounds at the beginning of July.  I am taking it easy with Press right now, as you know, so I don't re-injure myself.

Especially at the beginning, a healthy portion of this improvement should be attributed to  muscle memory and CNS adaptation - the body remembering how to do these things and figuring out just how strong it really is - not actual strength gains, per se; but I am nevertheless pleased and excited about the improvements since coming back to the iron last Spring.

This week was only a two workout week, but it was still a great week.  I did a 3x5 with three big wheels on Squat, performed a heavy single during OWU on Bench that was only 5 pounds less than my all-time 1RM PR, and set a +32oz 5RM PR on DL.

If all goes according to plan, I will tie my 5RM PR on Squat this coming Friday.  Since I jumped from 410 to 428.5 last week on DL, and today my low back was quite tired and sore from 5x430.5 yesterday, I am going to do a 15 pound deload to give my back a wee bit of a break.  430.5 went up much more quickly than 428.5, but I don't want to burn out or force a stall, so I'll just do a deload down to the weight I SHOULD have done last week, and then continue my 5# weekly increases.  Setting PRs every week is nice, but I don't want to push it.

I didn't end up doing any rows this week, but I don't mind too much.


Squat 3x5@315
Bench 270x1; 3x5@230
Chins BW+0 x 10,9,8


Squat 5x320
DL 5x430.5
Press 2x10@105
Shoulder Shocker 25/12
Chins BW+30 x 5,5,5
Shrugs 10x135, 185, 215, 220

Saturday, August 8, 2015

2nd DL PR In As Many Weeks! 8/3 - 8/8/15

Don't worry - no painful encore of JooseVlog.

I threw some Presses back into the mix this week, just to see how they felt.  I did 2 sets of 10 light reps before doing 2 sets of Shoulder Shocker on Monday and Saturday.  The injury felt iffy during and after Monday's workout, but I was feeling brave and tried again today, and it felt much better.  Hopefully this will continue as I really miss the Press; PLUS the Shoulder Shocker is really supposed to be a "finisher," not a core exercise unto itself.

DL had a planned work-set of 415 (+5lbs from last week), but I was feeling really strong (and REALLY crazy) so I went for a 5RM +3.5lb PR.  I had to take a quick breather between reps 4 and 5, so some of you may not count it, but I felt like it was a major victory (especially since just last week I said I wouldn't consider myself stronger than pre-injury strength as I hadn't matched my 5x425 yet) and I am counting it.  Judge for yourself - comments welcome:

So, after watching it again, it looks like the "quick breather" was 20 seconds long.  Oops.  Oh well - this is still, quite possibly, stronger than I have ever been.  Online 1RM calculators put my 1RM around 482... 500 pounds is right around the corner, I hope.

I did 5 reps at 315lbs for a single set of Squats today.  It felt surprisingly light!  I am looking forward to 3x5 at that weight on Monday.


Squat 5x310
Press 2x10@95
Shoulder Shocker 2x25/15s
Chins +27.5x5,5,5; +35x3
Shrugs 2x10@205


DL 428.5
Bench 2x5@230
DB Bench 80s x 15,12
Chins +35x5,4,3
Push-ups 30


Squat 315x5
Press 2x10@100
Shoulder Shocker 2x35/15s
Chins +35x4,4; +25x5
Shrugs 2x10@210