Sunday Metal – The Surprising Origins of the Death Growl

For today’s Sunday Metal, a departure from the music and concerts and instead a look into where the “growling” vocals signature to some genres of metal came from.

While it’s truly hard to pinpoint where it all came from, Polyphonic’s examination of this was pretty cool. Even if you don’t dig this style of vocals, it’s worth the time to explore this bit of music history and evolution.

2018-12-20 training log

Today wasn’t training – today was fun.

I’ve long wanted to do some lifting challenges, but never could find the right way to work it into my greater programming and goals. But everything converged well to make this week a fun week.

Two days ago, I hit a nice milestone of bench pressing 300 lb.

View this post on Instagram

Bench Press. 300 lb. PR. . Bar x 10, 95×5, 135×5, 185×3, 225×3, 250×1, 275×1, 300×1, 135×20. . Superset facepulls during bench warmup. Wide-grip pulldowns after. . One step closer to my “3” goal for Bench Press. 3 would be “3 wheels” – 315# – but “300” is a “3” milestone along the road. And a pretty cool one. Very happy with this PR, especially given all the injury and hurdles to get here. I learned a lot along this road. . Again, it’s just a fun week and this was one of the fun. So simply did 135×20 for giggles, then some lat pulldowns and 10 minutes on the bike for my knees. . . . #gym #benchpress #pr #ignitefitnez #liftlocal #wendler531 #531 #300poundsisalways300pounds

A post shared by John Daub (@hsoisauce) on

And then today I opted to try the Half-Hour Deadlift Challenge (from Dan John over at T-Nation). Basically, deadlift 315 60 times in 30 minutes. A number of ways to approach it, and I took the “1 rep every 30 seconds” approach.

View this post on Instagram

Deadlift. 315×60. Yes, 60 reps. . 135×5, 225×3, 315×60. . This week is a fun week. For sometime I’ve wanted to do some lifting challenges, and Dan John’s Half-Hour Deadlift Challenge seemed like it would be fun. Deadlift 315 lb 60 times in 30 minutes. I opted for the “1-rep every 30 seconds” variation. . I expected to die, but I didn’t. Sure I’m going to be sore tomorrow, but it really wasn’t too bad. The mental of staying in the zone for 30 minutes was the tougher part. . That was a lot of fun. Happy I did it. . It was also an excuse to try out time-lapse video. A bit a bit disappointed, since it looks like I’m just standing around the whole time. But it makes sense given the lift itself only took a couple seconds. Oh well. . . . #gym #deadlift #ignitefitnez #liftlocal #wendler531 #531 #timelapse #halfhourdeadliftchallenge #danjohn #tnation

A post shared by John Daub (@hsoisauce) on

(the time-lapse video didn’t turn out as illustrative as I wanted… but still fun)

I’m pretty sure I’ll be sore as hell tomorrow (and Saturday), but it really wasn’t that bad. Oh sure, I started to feel it maybe 10 minutes in, and close to the end I was getting a little tired, but I could have kept going for a while. It was more the mental, the “have to be in the zone for 30 minutes” that was the tougher part. But about 20 minutes in, it all went auto-pilot.

One thing I got out of it is the joy of singles, which I already was exploring with squats. It’s just different than going for reps. It can’t be all the program is about, but there’s quite the place for it.

Anyways, it was a lot of fun. I’m glad I did it.

Sunday Metal – Motörhead

Because we miss Lemmy.

He may be gone, but it’s still so bad, baby.

Sunday Metal – Bolt Thrower

The mighty Bolt Thrower “Cenotaph”

2018-12-06 training log

500 lb deadlift. PR. Major milestone achieved.

That is all. 🙂

Opted to just do that and end there. I’m at the end of all the cycles and all the things, so felt no reason to beat myself up.

  • Deadlift
    • 135 x 5
    • 200 x 5
    • 245 x 5
    • 295 x 3
    • 370 x 5
    • 420 x 3
    • 470 x 4 (rep PR)
    • 500 x 1 (PR)
  • Stationary Bike
    • 10 min.

2018-12-04 training log

PR of 295×1.

300 is just around the corner.

Today was pretty solid. The work up went well. Technique generally felt good. Focused on being tight, so much it hurt. Not rushing. Settle. All that good stuff.

Top work set of 275×4 was a rep PR. I remember when I hit 275 for a single and it was my all-time PR, and I’m sure it was kinda sketchy. Now 275 is just working weight, and I’m doing more. In fact, the 295 moved pretty well that I am certain 300 will be just fine.

View this post on Instagram

Bench Press. 295×1. Top set. PR. . Bar x 10, 115×5, 145×5, 175×3, 215×5, 245×3, 275×4, 295×1. . Superset facepulls, DB rows. Paused Bench Press. Close-grip pulldowns. . 1+ week & Joker. Good day! Top work set of 275×4 was a rep PR. Then 295×1 went up easier than expected. Like yesterday’s squat, not an ideal bar path, but I’ll take it. Sets a lifetime PR. . 300 should be cake. . I found another reason I like the pause bench: descent. Note on the 295 a “twitch” during the descent? There’s a weak point (for lack of a better descriptor) there. I noticed on my pause benches, since the descent is very controlled, a little something happened at that point. I reckon this sort of lighter, more deliberately controlled descent work ought to help those stabilizers. . Anyways, good day. . . . #gym #benchpress #pr #ignitefitnez #liftlocal #wendler531 #531

A post shared by John Daub (@hsoisauce) on

I also found another reason to like the pause benches. If you watch the 295, you’ll see a little… I don’t know what to call it, but on the descent a little “hitch”? weak point? stumble? Whatever it’s called, something wasn’t too stable. I noticed while pause benching that, because of the exaggeratedly slow descent, that when I hit that same point there was “something” there. I reckon maybe there’s some sort of muscle weakness at that point? Can’t say for sure, but it’s interesting to me. So, I hope that the pause benching, because of the descent work, should provide some additional improvements beyond the “no momentum to get out of the hole” work.

Anyways, happy day.

5/3/1 (8th cycle, 3+/5/1+PR, Joker)

  • Bench Press
    • bar x 10
    • 115 x 5
    • 145 x 5
    • 175 x 3
    • 215 x 5
    • 245 x 3
    • 275 x 4 (rep PR)
    • 295 x 1 (PR)
  • Face Pulls (superset with bench warm-up sets)
    • 90 x 15
    • 90 x 15
    • 90 x 15
    • 90 x 15
  • DB Rows (superset with bench work sets)
    • 105 x 10e
    • 105 x 10e
    • 105 x 10e
  • Pause Bench Press
    • 185 x 5
    • 185 x 5
    • 185 x 5
  • Narrow-Grip Pulldowns
    • 90 x 10
    • 125 x 12
    • 125 x 12
    • 125 x 10

2018-12-03 training log

That was alright!

Through the summer and into the fall, my squats were horrible. Biggest things were confidence, which then affected my ability to hit depth. Plus all the knee issues and such, and in the end I opted to take a couple steps back. I lowered the weight, changed from a 5/3/1-base to a Strong-15 base. That has helped. The reduction in volume has been good because I can still progress yet it’s not putting as much wear-and-tear on my body – and that’s a good thing to do: to see how little work you can do and still make progress.

So today hitting 350 was not a PR (355 is my all time best) but it was solid progress.

I’ve been a little uncertain about things lately because sessions have been poor and lifts feeling so heavy. But I told myself today to just be focused, in the moment, and (shut-up-and-) lift. And BE TIGHT. I will either make the lift or I won’t, and life will go on. And the 350? I don’t even remember it. I was so into the lift, just being there and doing it and not necessarily trying to remember or process it – just put it on my back, settle, get tight, let things sink down (i.e. don’t fret about depth, just do what feels normal — which these days IS hitting depth), then power up.

It was a little messy (watch the bar path) as on the way up I felt a bit of hips rise and back remain down. But there we go. Did it and it felt pretty good.

View this post on Instagram

Squat. 350×1 top set. . Bar x 10, 135×8, 190×5, 220×4, 255×3, 280×2, 330×1, 340×1, 350×1. . 280×3. pause squats. No leg press, no bike; taking it easy. . Wow! First, feeling so much better than last week. Then today? Kinda surprised. Things have felt so heavy I was unsure how today would go. But I told myself it will or it won’t; just stay in the moment and lift. Oh – BE TIGHT! My cue for the day. 340 hit the sticking point. 😬 For 350? I was so into the lift I don’t remember doing it. 😄 It felt so easy, I wondered if I must have cut depth. Nope! Hooray for video. . While it’s not a great number and it wasn’t too pretty, it’s good progress for me. I’m more confident under the bar, depth happens. My knees feel better, my body feels better. I’m glad I took 2 steps back to work on my squat. Still a ways to go tho. . . . #gym #squat #pausesquats #🍑 #ignitefitnez #liftlocal #wendler531 #531 #strong15 #liftrunbang

A post shared by John Daub (@hsoisauce) on

All in all, I’m happy with how things are going.

Part of me wants to keep going because I’m so close, but this is time to call it and reset. In fact, this is the last heavy week I’m doing for a while. Next week will be a deload. The week after I’m going to just lift to have some fun (e.g. thinking about doing things like the Half-Hour Deadlift Challenge), then totally off for Christmas. When I come back, going to do a 6-week-ish cut and some hypertrophy-style lifting (planning that out now). After that, the plan is to resume 5/3/1 (and likely Strong-15 for squats) with a reset of weights and continue forward.

Anyways, tomorrow – bench!

7th cycle, fixing my squat; modeled after Strong-15

  • Squat (superset with band pullaparts)
    • bar x 10
    • 135 x 8
    • 190 x 5
    • 220 x 4
    • 255 x 3
    • 280 x 2
    • 330 x 1
    • 340 x 1
    • 350 x 1
  • Pause Squats
    • 280 x 3

Sunday Metal – Igorrr

Igorrr with “Opus Brain”

Sunday Metal – All That Remains

I’ve known about All That Remains for years, but never got into them. But recently read some articles and listened to some podcasts with singer Phil Labonte. I dig the guy and gave their music another chance. It’s growing on me.

“What If I Was Nothing”

2018-11-20 training log

Good bench day.

Starting a new 3/5/1 cycle, with Jokers. And this Joker logically works up to the top Joker I did last session. What I like about it is as I’m hitting PRs there, which are generally touch-and-go, making this repeat be paused. It’s a good progression. The 290 felt good, heavy, close to my max. But hitting 295 at the end of this cycle seems do-able. And yes, 300 does as well.

I opted to not do just 3×10 supplemental bench work, instead changing to do pause benches (not Spoto Press, but full on rest on the chest, hold it there for 1-2 seconds, then go). It’s not so much working that bottom position, as it is just getting more comfortable with the pause.

Anyways, a pretty good day.

5/3/1 (8th cycle, 3+/5/1+PR, Joker)

  • Bench Press
    • bar x 10
    • 115 x 5
    • 145 x 5
    • 175 x 3
    • 205 x 3
    • 230 x 3
    • 260 x 6 (rep PR tie)
    • 280 x 1 (Joker)
    • 290 x 1 (PR tie)
  • Face Pulls (superset with bench warm-up sets)
    • 90 x 15
    • 90 x 15
    • 90 x 15
    • 90 x 15
  • DB Rows (superset with bench work sets)
    • 105 x 10e
    • 105 x 10e
    • 105 x 10e
  • Pause Bench Press
    • 185 x 5
    • 185 x 5
    • 185 x 5
  • Narrow-Grip Pulldowns
    • 90 x 10
    • 125 x 12
    • 125 x 12
    • 125 x 12