2016-11-25 training log

Lifetime PR set!

Pressed (overhead) 170 lb. for 3 reps today. My previous best was 165… some time ago for 1 rep, then 2, and about a month ago I did it for 5 reps. So all PR’s in and of themselves, but 170 makes for a place I’ve never been before. And extra cool I did it for 3 reps.

I wonder if I could have gotten 4. A couple problems. First, I was very excited. I knew as I put up 135 then 155 that 170 was going to happen easily. Good confidence going in. But then as I pressed, I just got happy and excited and lost focus. 🙂 So second, my bar path was not very efficient. I doubt I’d have gotten more than a 4th rep, and I might have even been able to grind out the 4th. But, this isn’t about grinding.

All in all, felt quite happy. Press is one of the hardest movements for me to progress on, so moving ahead like this really makes me happy.

What was extra nice was my arm/shoulder pain not being much of an issue. It’s there, but didn’t get in the way nor get all that bad today. One thing I wonder about is I was watching a video:

Start around 6:45. All those arm/shoulder things. No WAY am I as flexible as Meg, but it’s good stuff and I’m working it into my warmup. And I’m not sure if it was in that video or some other one, but basically a weighted stretch. Think about standing up, then letting your back “curl” down (i.e. not a flat back), towards touching toes. Then I just held an empty bar in my hands and let it dangle. Basically it’s opening up my lower back and pulling my shoulders forward some, with just a little bit of tension. I would just dangle like this, then maybe “roll” up my spine into a fully-upright position (still letting the bar just hang), then roll down and hang there. Boy, I really felt stretch in my rotator cuff muscles like you wouldn’t believe. REALLY good stuff. I’ve done various stretches that “pull” my arms and shoulders out, but for some reason this particular movement hit things differently and in a really good way. I did this in between every set of pressing today and well, don’t know if it helped with the pains, but it sure feels like a great thing to adopt.


So Pressing was awesome.

Arnold Presses took a different approach too. Think about this. When you think the Arnold Press you think about the “untwisting”. And so when you twist something like that, where do you think you initiate the movement from? The forearm/wrist, right? Well, when I started to do Arnold’s again a few weeks ago, I took a cue from exrx.net to instead think about shoulder abduction instead of forearm pronation. Great thing, and if you focus that way it makes a difference. Today I added another change: to think about pressing upwards not by “pressing” – which will involve a lot of triceps – but instead think about lifting up by “rotating” from the shoulder. So in that bottom position it’s just anterior deltoid and upper back muscles contracting. Letting THAT be what raises the upper arm, kinda like a crane. Don’t think about actually pressing, y’know? Makes a big difference.

Chest-supported DB rows continue to be cool. As long as I keep it light and really work the back — again, I’m not pulling, I’m contracting the back, shoulder muscles, etc. moving from the elbows, etc.. Huge difference.

All in all, good stuff today. Just felt great. +10% day.

Thank you Thankgiving Apple Pie. 😉

That all said, I am going to break from the 6-week pattern and take next week as a deload for the sake of my shoulders/arms. I will still hit the gym, just going light and reduced. Then 1 more cycle, 1RM testing with hopefully some new lifetime PR’s, and then… cutting.

5/3/1-based program

  • Press
    • bar x whatever
    • 70 x 5
    • 90 x 5
    • 110 x 3
    • 135 x 5
    • 155 x 3
    • 170 x 3 (3RM PR – lifetime best)
  • Arnold Press
    • 40e x 10
    • 40e x 10
    • 40e x 10
    • 40e x 10
    • 40e x 6
  • Chest-supported DB Row
    • 45e x 12
    • 45e x 12
    • 45e x 12
    • 45e x 12
    • 45e x 10
  • Straight-arm Lat Pulldowns
    • 60 x 12
    • 60 x 12
    • 60 x 10
  • Cable Lateral Raises
    • 20 x 15
    • 20 x 12
    • 20 x 10
  • Machine triceps Press
    • 85 x 15
    • 85 x 15
    • 85 x 12
  • DB Curls (alternate, neutral-to-supinated hand while curling)
    • 35e x 12
    • 35e x 11
    • 35e x 8

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