2015-02-10 training log

Sometimes it’s less about the weight on the bar, and more about the lessons from being under the bar.

Today was one of those days. Nothing deep here, but just some insights.

First, I do believe the Chris Duffin squat technique/cues are responsible for my elbow/arm pain. Even if they aren’t the cause, they make it worse and every squat session since I’ve ended the squatting with my arm in pain. That said, I’m still not willing to give it up because it makes an obvious difference. Reps within the same set I’ll try using the technique and not, and without question I do better with it. So what to do? Well, a thought that crossed my mind was my grip width. I grip where I do because of past efforts where “narrow grip” leads to “tight(er) back”. Is that so necessary any more with this approach? While my arms aren’t huge, it does feel like there may be the “levering” or pressure of forearm against biceps that may be involved. I thought about that while doing stiff-legs and intended to go back and do some checks on the bar but totally forgot to. But the intent is next time, let’s try with a wider grip and see what difference that makes, if any.

Second, another thing I’ve been thinking/working as I squat is coming out of the hole. Everyone has an opinion on how you have to squat: break at the knees first, break at the hips first… as soon as someone says one thing, there’s someone else that says another. And coming out of the hole, exactly what should drive first? While I was trying to do a lot with my head/back to ensure I didn’t fall forward (or hips rise and everything else doesn’t), I did that first for that notion itself but then also because it’d put more focus on my quads on the drive. Well… I’ve been finding myself wanting to go back to Mark Rippetoe’s approach of using the hips to drive out. When I did dthat in the past, all too often I wouldn’t bring everything else up with it, or the hips would get too high and then I’m good-morninging the weight. Well, I’ve been going back to that, and with some better technique with the rest of my torso, the hip drive is actually more solid now and working a lot better. I wish I could describe it, but I’m liking where this is going. Basically when I get into the hole, reversing starts with the hips going up… lifting my ass upwards, basically. But basically that’s what STARTS the motion — it can’t BE the (only) motion. Almost immediately after starting the hips upward, everything else has to go up too… the legs drive, the torso remaining straight, driving the head up/back if I need to, whatever. That is a refinement, and it felt a lot better. Again, I’d change it up during reps of the same set and every rep where I did it this way was a better rep.

Third, I really wonder about my weights and my strength. I shouldn’t because Defattening. But I can’t help it. I mean, I can look at the weights I was using when I started Base Building program and Defattening back in August, and for sure my weights have gone up since then. But man, every time I do that 285, it feels tough… like if I put 315 on the bar I’d get stapled… and supposedly my working weight (every day max) right now is like 332.5 lb. Doing the 1RM calculations, my 1RM is like 375 or something — you gotta be kidding me! Have I actually gotten weaker? The progression since August says no, but the way that 285 goes up says yes, but then the 200 5×5 feels so “right where it should be” and thus the math says yes. So I really don’t know right now.

But it does reinforce my current line of thinking that once I’m done with the Defattening, the best approach for me is to stay on a Base Building-styled program for 6-12 weeks while I eat well again. After that, a Strong-15 short cycle to really see where my numbers are, and the program from there. I have even thought about going back to 5/3/1, because there’s more volume there and more potential for some mass building (along with a good linear strength progression). But I don’t know… I haven’t been able to give Paul’s programs enough of a fair shake since a lot of it was done on the diet. But that’s still months off, so I’ll figure it out later.

Based upon Paul Carter’s Basebuilding

  • Squats (model 1)
    • bar x 5
    • bar x 5
    • 165 x 5
    • 190 x 4
    • 225 x 3
    • 250 x 2
    • 285 x 1
    • 200 x 5
    • 200 x 5
    • 200 x 5
    • 200 x 5
    • 200 x 5
  • Stiff-Legged Deadlift
    • 215 x 8
    • 215 x 8
    • 215 x 8
    • 215 x 8
    • 215 x 8
  • Leg Press
    • 135 x 12
    • 135 x 12
    • 135 x 12
    • 135 x 12
  • Standing Calf Raises
    • 65 x 12
    • 65 x 12
    • 65 x 12
    • 65 x 12
    • 65 x 12
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