2014-04-18 training log

Based upon Paul Carter’s LRB-365 and Base Building

  • BB Rows
    • 140 x 8
    • 140 x 8
    • 140 x 8
    • 140 x 8
    • 140 x 7
  • Seated Cable Rows
    • 95 x 15
    • 95 x 15
    • 95 x 13
  • Shrugs
    • 155 x 20
    • 155 x 20
    • 155 x 16
    • 155 x 15
  • Wide, Neutral-grip Pulldowns
    • 95 x 15
    • 95 x 15
    • 95 x 15
    • 95 x 15
    • 95 x 13
  • BB Curls
    • 30 x 27/12/8 (rest-pause)
  • Today was an 80% day.

    I only got a few hours of sleep too, which didn’t help. But you just get up and keep going. I should be able to rest alright this weekend.

    Still trying to focus a lot on being slow and controlled in the movements, really feeling the muscle, letting it work, focus on the negative, etc.. It’s such a different way to lift.

    Have a reason

    I know.

    “It’s cool.”

    But so what? What does it really gain you? What true purpose does it serve?

    In his book, Strength, Life, Legacy, Paul Carter writes about having a reason for everything:

    Every movement, set, rep, volume, frequency, everything you do, you should know WHY you are doing it. Are you doing this because someone said you should, or are you doing it because someone said you should be doing it? If they did, did they tell you why you should be doing it?

    When you sit down to write out your routine and your programming, everything should have a reason for being on that piece of paper. And it shouldn’t be vague, like “I do this because I wanna get jacked.” That’s not really a clear cut reason.

    I bench press because I need to build my bench for competition. I do inclines after that because I have found that inclines help my bench press very much. I get very good carryover from it.

    I do pause squats to build my bottom position strength.

    I do block deadlifts and shrugs because block deads have helped me off the floor as do shrugs (yes shrugs have helped me off the floor). This is where I am weak in the deadlift.

    I do some curls because it helps keep my elbows feeling good.

    I do ab work because I compete beltless, and I know my abs need to be very strong.

    That’s basically my whole competition routine breakdown. Everything I do has a very particular reason for being in there. If you have movements in your routine, have a reason for each one being in there. Otherwise why is it in there?

    Always ask yourself these kinds of questions in order to help make yourself a better programmer and planner.

    Yeah, it’s about powerlifting, but it applies to anything in life.  If you are doing something, you should have a specific, known, and articulable reason for it.

    I’m going to apply it to firearms.

    During classes at KR Training, we see all sorts of equipment selection, we see people that come from having other training backgrounds. We question people as to why they have this equipment, or why they do some skill in some way. This isn’t to prove that our way is right and theirs is wrong, it’s about ensuring there is a solid reason. I can think of two illustrations.

    I remember we had a student that had a lot of training from another school. At that school, they taught to always rack the slide. Yes, this often meant they ejected a good round. We asked why he did what he did; “because it’s what I was taught”. Of course, but why? “To ensure there’s always a round in the chamber.” So far, so good, but didn’t you know there was one? “Yes, but it doesn’t matter because always doing it eliminates the need and time consumed doing a diagnostic check.” Fair enough. He understood the trade-off of losing the round (and being “down by 1″), and he knew that in a more administrative situation to just do things like press-checking. But when he was “in the fight”, it was a far simpler mode of operation to just always rack it and ingrain that motor habit, instead of having diagnostic branching and decision making. That’s not how we do it, but he knew what he was doing, why he was doing it, the trade-offs, was willing to accept the trade-offs, and basically had a thoughtful decision instead of blindly following tacticool dogma. No problem there, man.

    We have seen various types of equipment, including those ultra-minimal holsters that are nothing more than a clip of kydex that covers the trigger guard, with a string attached so the kydex breaks away when you draw the gun. OK, why do you use this equipment? What does it gain you? What are you losing? Is this the best equipment for a class (you’ll be drawing and reholstering numerous times; is this going to facilitate or inhibit class)? Outside of class, how do you expect to reholster? If you did have to draw your gun in self-defense, how much fiddle-farting are you going to have to do to reholster that gun (because you will need to)? and do you think you’ll always have a nice, calm opportunity to do so? Let’s not get into the SERPA holster either…

    In the end, there’s not always One True Right Answer to things. Those little clips may wind up being the right answer given your particular daily circumstances. Me, I don’t like carrying really small guns, nor do I like changing my carry gun to match my pursue or the weather. But time to time it happens that circumstances force me to make choices I wouldn’t normally make. At least I can explain and articulate my choices and reasons.

    Don’t take this as a dis on your personal choices. In fact, don’t let ego get involved in the first place. Make sure you have solid, articulable reasons for your decisions and choices. Make sure they are helping you achieve your goals.

    2014-04-16 training log

    Wow. I haven’t worked this hard in a while.

    Based upon Paul Carter’s LRB-365 and Base Building

    • Squat
      • BW x 10
      • BW x 10
      • bar x 5
      • bar x 5
      • 155 x 5
      • 185 x 4
      • 215 x 3
      • 245 x 2
      • 275 x 1
      • 185 x 15
      • 185 x 6
    • Stiff Leg Deadlift
      • 205 x 8
      • 205 x 8
      • 205 x 6
    • Leg Press
      • 160 x 20
      • 160 x 17
      • 160 x 17
      • 160 x 15
    • Standing Calf Raises
      • 40 x 12
      • 40 x 12
      • 40 x 12
      • 40 x 12

    Wow. Today kicked my ass.

    I continue to go up in weight and reps, trying to find my place again. I’m getting there tho.

    I opted to wear a belt again. I haven’t worn a belt in many many months. I wore it on my 2 and 1 sets, and forgot how tight to pull it. When I was in the hole with the 275, I’m pressing out with my abs and was like “where’s the damn belt?”. It was tight, but not tight enough. One more notch would have done it, and I did that on the 185′s. In most respects, this was a “remembering” effort on using the belt.

    That said, I felt wickedly worked after this session. I skipped lunges because I was wiped. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have, but too late now.

    One thing I’m thinking about is what to do next. I’ve been running Paul’s program for about 10 weeks straight, but it’s not been an exhausting 10 weeks since it started out as ankle rehab. I do think I’m finding my weights — like I probably will go up to 285 next week (with belt), but keep the reps at 185. I did play with Paul’s percentages and I’m way off his numbers — mostly because I started out just picking numbers, and have done simple +5 or +10 increases to keep things simple while I found my way back.

    So, I think I’ll go another 2 weeks (end of April) and find where my weights should be. Just stay the course, minor changes just to try to settle in. Take a week off. Then come back and start on more formal application of Paul’s protocols. I’m not 100% sure how I’ll do it, but I might do something like another 6 weeks of Big-15-style work, then maybe do 9 weeks of Strong-15. I dunno, we’ll see. Still thinking through stuff, but I think that I can call “rehab” done, and that I should be finding my way back. There’s no question I’m adding muscle mass, which I like. But I do want to get some strength back because I lost a bunch.

    2014-04-14 training log

    Based upon Paul Carter’s LRB-365 and Base Building

    • Incline Press
      • 45 x 5
      • 45 x 5
      • 110 x 5
      • 130 x 4
      • 150 x 3
      • 180 x 2
      • 200 x 1
      • 155 x 14
      • 155 x 4
    • DB Bench Press
      • 60e x 10
      • 60e x 8
      • 60e x 7
      • 60e x 6
      • 60e x 6
    • Behind the Neck Press
      • 90 x 8
      • 90 x 8
      • 90 x 7
    • BB Upright Row
      • 55 x 15
      • 55 x 15
      • 55 x 15
      • 55 x 12
      • 55 x 11
    • Tricep Punchdowns
      • 70 x 40 (each arm)

    A solid enough day.

    I did try plowing through the reps… so close to 15. I actually went for a 15th rep but as soon as the bar was on my chest it was evident it was not coming back up. I thought I had it in me, I thought wrong. :-) So it was a big heave-fest getting it up. I did get it up, took a bunch of effort, and that took a lot out of me as you can see by the later weights. I was cleanly set to go up to 60′s on the DB bench pressing, but I think I lost a bit due to pushing it too far on the inclines. Oh well, I don’t feel bad about it, but I won’t count the 15th rep.

    That all said, I think that all my injuries are fading pretty well. Ankle feels really good, shoulder feels good. I think my chest and back days are both settling in well, and just my squat/leg day needs to still come up some, to find really where my work weight is at. I don’t think I’m too far off from finding it, just not there yet.

    I’ve been flipping through Paul’s 3 books working to absorb more of his philosophy. I have started thinking about longer-term plans now, as I emerge from this transition period. Yes, I really like Paul’s stuff. I loved 5/3/1, it really did a lot for me, but I cannot deny I felt more beat-up on the program — it’s a lot of lower-rep heavier lifting. It doesn’t have to be that way, of course, but that’s just me. Still, I love 5/3/1 and recommend it highly because it’s solid and well-rounded (principles, protocols, programs… all levels can use it, it’s just good stuff and it works if you do). It’s been fun switching to Paul’s work tho. Many same philosophies and principles as 5/3/1 (stands to reason, given Jim and Paul are friends and talk often about such matters), but certainly a different approach. And since I’m not in a pure strength-building mode, well… yeah, Paul’s stuff is fun to explore right now.

    I’m thinking that once I get my weights where they need to be, I will take a trip on Paul’s specific programs, probably based around his basebuilding approach. I will readjust all my weights to match his programmed percentages, then try the 6 weeks of mass building, 1 off, 6 weeks of mas building, 1 off, then 5 weeks (or whatever it is) of basebuilding, then 1 off, then a “strength peaking cycle”, and well…. just see how it all goes. See how Paul’s protocols work out for me overall.

    If nothing else so far I can say, I feel a lot less beat up. I do feel strong, but can’t really comment where my strength lies since 1. I’m not lifting apples to apples compared to what I did before (before it was all flat bench, now it’s all incline bench), 2. I’m still coming back up on things (e.g. squat). I can say I’m getting bigger. It’s quite obvious in the mirror that things are growing (huzzah, traps!). This is all good.

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