2016-06-06 training log

Nothing like matching your lifetime PR on a lift you haven’t done in a year.

I haven’t done the Press (overhead press, standing press, military press — whatever you want to call it; I’m using Mark Rippetoe’s definition of “Press”) in about a year. I’ve pressed overhead in other forms here and there, but there’s something cool and different about Pressing.

I have no idea where I am with it, so my thought was to just go in and work up to a true max and find out. I knew my all time best was 165, so with that in mind and a desire to still do the 5/4/3/2/1 work-up-rep-scheme I figured start with the empty bar, then 20# jumps followed by singles should be just fine for spacing. Two minutes rest between sets, and let’s just see where it goes.

When 125 went up easily I knew I’d do more. 145 was a little shakey — mostly I could feel that my form was really rusty, but strength was fine. I started to think I should just do 155 but nah — what have I got to lose? I felt the strength margin was still there, just rusty form. Sure enough, the 165 went up mostly fine: again, I my form wavered because I’m rusty, but it was mostly a matter of groove and balance. I did remember the most important thing was to be tight from head to toe. Truly everything. The quads are locked, my butt is clenched hard, I’m squeezing the hell out of the bar (trying to make the bar ooze out from between my fingers), and just tight tight tight. Then explode the weight up. And sure enough it was ok. Again, I have that groove issue with my breathing and Valsalva on the Press, and that came out hard on the 165 — thus I wavered a bit. But it never went down, kept pressing, and boom.

So, it’s cool to tie your lifetime PR on a lift you haven’t done in ages. I looked back at my records and I set that PR back in 2013!! Anything since has been somewhat of decline, due to the Defattening. It’s been really interesting to observe how throughout Defattening my leg strength has vanished but my upper-body strength has increased slightly. Not sure what to make of that, but here we are.

Anyways, that went well. Very happy there.

Dips were dips. I keep reminding myself how not too long ago I couldn’t do 1, but here I am cranking out 25 reps. I did note some work in my chest but not much pump — but I got a lot of pump in my triceps. Something to file away.

I was supposed to do chin-ups (supinated grip), but that’s just a lot of torque on my joints. I’ve been wanting to go back to the close, neutral-grip “v-bar” pullups for a while, so sure why not. I did them from a dead hang and man, that was enlightening. There’s a lot more mid-back work here because there’s a lot more scapular retraction than during say normal pull-/chin-ups (or pulldowns). I didn’t get as many reps, so I did more sets (still 350-Method style); still not 350-rep ranges, but it was good work for what I can do.

DB Rows continue to manifest to me that while I may not care for DB work as much as BB work, DB’s put me through a range of motion and give my muscles work I can’t get any other way. It is good work for me.

But this also makes me feel like this GMM program doesn’t quite give me the volume I need — but I have to temper that. Yes, per session it’s not a lot of work, but over the weeks how does it add up? We’ll see.

Finally, instead of plain DB curls I did them as hammer curls, across the body, alternating. It’s something I got from Joh Meadows — across the body, does it do anything? It did feel a little less stressful on my joints, and I did find I got a good brachialis pump. I think I could get more out of this if 1. I picked a heavier weight (called it bad), 2. gave a really good squeeze at the top.

Anyways, all in all a fine day. Really happy about the Press.

Based on Paul Carter’s “Guaranteed Muscle Mass” article.

  • Overhead Press
    • bar x 5
    • 65 x 5
    • 85 x 4
    • 105 x 3
    • 125 x 2
    • 145 x 1
    • 165 x 1
    • 125 x 8 (AMRAP)
    • 125 x 4 (50%)
  • Dips (350 Method)
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 11
    • BW x 9
  • V-Bar Pull-Ups
    • BW x 5
    • BW x 5
    • BW x 3
    • BW x 3
    • BW x 3
    • BW x 3
  • DB Rows (350 Method)
    • 55 x 22
    • 55 x 15
    • 55 x 11
  • Alternating, cross-body Hammer Curls (350 Method)
    • 15e x 40
    • 15e x 20
    • 15e x 20