2016-08-19 training log

Another day, another PR. But the good wasn’t without some bad.

Press has been the hardest movement for me to progress on, but I am making progress. I hit 150 for 8 reps today, which is a 8RM PR. And with a lifetime 1RM of 165, I feel pretty confident I could exceed that right now. So I’m getting stronger, which makes me happy (positive progress towards my goals). It’s also interesting for me to reflect on how during my big defatting project, I lost a lot of strength in my squat and deadlift, but only a little in my pressing (bench or overhead). And my pressing strength has come back faster. Not entirely sure what to attribute it to, but here we are.

I think that I may be finding a better setup approach. So that whole dizzy/light-headed thing while pressing, I tried it again today that just before I unrack the bar I take a mostly-full breath and go from there. I also found if I exhale on the press (after about halfway up), that helped a lot too. Breathe at the top, and kinda just let my body do what it needs to do — instead of pure Valsalva, allow myself to breathe as I press. For sure this is helping. I still think I can refine it, e.g. maybe I take a full breath but let it out as I press. Because for certain, the less-than-full-breath doesn’t allow me to start off as strong as I need to. But I’ll take a little less strong over passing out. 🙂 Anyways, this is a good sign so far, but I’ll have to keep playing with it.

As for the bad….

Something in my back is hurting. I can’t say exactly what, but it seems my Teres Major or thereabouts. It happens when I do pull-ups (or chin-ups, whatever). That first set, that first rep, it just hurts. After I do a few, after I get warm, no real issues. But it remains pretty sore. It was pretty bad today, so much that I only did like 3 reps per set and even dropped the last set entirely. I also cut my back work in half, just something to get a little work, a little pump/blood in the area, but not to stress anything.

I am pretty sure the problem is because I hit it with the pull-ups pretty cold. That’s 200+ lb. to suddenly pull, and it just has grown to hate it. I say this because it’s always on the first rep, first set, and over the sets things feel better.

What to do about it? I’m not sure.

My current thinking is next week no pull-ups at all — just do more band pull-aparts (to keep with a pulling movement between each set of pressing; and that doesn’t really stress the teres major much). Just give things a rest. See how I feel at the end of next week. If I need it, do this rest/deload on it another week. Just take it as it comes.

But then when I get back to it, my thinking is that I want to try a way of warming-up to it. It’s hard to do warm-ups with bodyweight like that. So my thinkinng is to do the same movement in pulldown form. So like if I’m doing pull-ups, take that same overhand grip, hands same distance apart. During my main movement sets, warm up, maybe pyramiding up — like first set is 100×10, then second is 120×10, third is 140×10 or something. Start light, ease into it, but work up to a little heavier to get used to that. Then during my big-assistance pressing, do actual pull-ups. I’d be curious to see if that might help me — a warm-up into it.

If that doesn’t do it then well, I’ll assess with that new information and go from there. Who knows. I may just have to drop “ups” for a while until things feel better, and do other back work instead.

Anyways, happy for the PR, and will be seeing how things go for my back.

Oh — and the music choice today was spinning the new Metallica track, “Hardwired”, like 10 times in a row. I’m digging it.

5/3/1 Simplest Strength Template

  • Press
    • bar x whatever
    • 65 x 5 (warmup sets superset with band pull-aparts)
    • 80 x 5
    • 95 x 3
    • 120 x 5 (work sets superset with pull-ups)
    • 135 x 3
    • 150 x 8 (8RM PR)
  • Close-Grip Bench Press
    • 140 x 5 (sets superset with pull-ups)
    • 160 x 5
    • 185 x 5
  • V-Bar Pulldowns
    • 110 x 10
    • 110 x 10
    • 110 x 10
  • Face Pulls
    • 90 x 10
    • 90 x 10
    • 90 x 10
  • Lying Triceps Extensions (superset with curls)
    • 60 x 20
    • 60 x 18
    • 60 x 14
  • Close-grip EZ-bar Curls
    • 55 x 20
    • 55 x 18
    • 55 x 12