2016-11-01 training log

New sleeves, and I think they’ll be better for me.

I picked up some elbow sleeves and new knee sleeves from HowMuchYaBench – Mark Bell/SuperTraining. Why from here? They seem well-regarded, Mark provides a lot of useful content, it’s a way of supporting/thanking for that content and information, and at least the sleeves seem to be approved gear in most all powerlifting feds so when I do compete I won’t have to buy yet another set of gear.

Why sleeves? I’ve worn knee sleeves (EliteFTS brand) for a while and they do seem to help my knees remain happy. I’ve read a bunch saying elbow sleeves can help with my tendonitis problems — both recovering and ensuring it doesn’t happen again, so why not.

They came in yesterday’s mail. Cool thing? I ordered direct from Mark Bell. Order was filled within 1-2 hours, shipped out the next day, here quickly. That’s some great service. Tried them on. They were quite comfortable. I don’t know what the EliteFTS knee sleeves are made from, but the feel here is different — the ST stuff is “fluffy”, neoprene. The knee sleeves are quite comfortable, fit well (size XL), never rode up or down, stayed in place. Even tho today was benching, I wanted to wear the knee sleeves to get the feel for them. I like.

The elbow sleeves were a little more snug (size XL), and the seam irritates me a bit. I’m not going to call the seam a problem really, because I tend to be rather sensitive to things like seams, tags, and so on. Note that it’s just the feeling/sensation, I saw no marks or other issues on my skin. Otherwise they feel pretty good, stay in place, a slight restriction of my range of motion but I don’t really notice it under load.

The biggest thing? Warmth.

Oh my my. A couple minutes after putting them on I felt warmer around my knees and elbows. I wore them from the house to the gym to get used to them. Then a couple minutes into lifting, whoa! Things started to feel HOT under the sleeves. Not painful or anything, but enough that at times my brain was like “can we please take them off to relieve some of this heat?” Crazy. But I actually dug it because yeah, for sure warmth — never felt this level of warmth from the EliteFTS sleeves. After taking them off my skin was red — not from irritation, just from the increased blood flow. Plus massively sweaty under there. 🙂 I wore them the entire lifting session and everything was pretty groovy.

All in all, I’m kinda digging it. I’ll get a better feel for the sleeves as I go along — I’ll wear knee when squatting and deadlifting, and the elbow for almost everything except deadlifting. But initial impressions are positive.

As for the session itself….

Again, deloading, so it was a good time for playing with the sleeves. I did change things up a little bit to try to avoid arm pain. When I play around a bit, it does feel like my forearms are a larger part of my problem, so I changed to do exercises that focus on other things, e.g. I did underhand pulldowns instead of overhead, I did DB curls instead of hammer curls. There was a little biceps annoyance when I’d start a movement, but then it would go away and things felt pretty good.

I am happy to be adding in some additional warmup and stretching exercises for my shoulders and arms, trying to really get muscles in my forearms, my biceps, my pecs, delts, whatever I can throughout that area to stretch. Something that I just have to work on every day.

But all in all, things went well. I don’t feel any aggravation of the area, and I am hoping that with some improved blood flow, massage, drinking lots of water, stretching, modification of exercises, etc. that things will be alright.

My own massing template, based upon 5/3/1 SST and some Paul Carter principles

  • Bench Press
    • bar x whatever
    • 100 x 5 (warmup sets superset with band pull-aparts)
    • 100 x 5
    • 125 x 5
    • 125 x 5 (work sets superset with band pull-aparts)
    • 155 x 5
    • 155 x 5
  • Incline Press
    • 135 x 10 (sets superset with curl-grip pulldowns)
    • 135 x 10
  • Cable Rows
    • 120 x 12
    • 120 x 12
  • Shrugs
    • 195 x 12
    • 195 x 12
  • Rope-handle pressdowns (superset with curls)
    • 60 x 12
    • 60 x 12
  • DB Curls Curls
    • 35e x 10
    • 35e x 10