2018-09-06 training log

A good day. 5+ “light” week, with a rep PR of 395×9. This is solid progression.

Dialed back the belt squats a bit. Again, trying to reduce some of the inflammation to my knees. Plus, a couple changes. Trying to stay more upright to put more quad emphasis. And I’m trying to move slower, because of my knee issues — I need a little warm up, so I do some bodyweight, then the first couple reps are much slower as my body adjusts to the stress. Just how it goes.

Dialed back reverse hypers just a bit too, for the work reduction factor. I did try using 2 legs today, but it was still a no-go. Sigh. Someday.

Upright rows went well. I was wary because of the elbow, but it was feeling good. Didn’t push crazy, but did some work. And the curls I opted to drop back on this as well. Lower the weight, up the reps, drop down the rest period (1 minute). Again, just trying to get some blood flow to the area, but not kill myself.

Not a bad day.

5/3/1 (5th cycle, leader-1, 5/3/1+PR sets)

  • Deadlift (superset with band pullaparts)
    • 185 x 5
    • 230 x 5
    • 280 x 3
    • 300 x 5
    • 350 x 5
    • 395 x 9 (rep PR)
  • Belt Squat
    • bw x 10
    • 135 x 10
    • 180 x 10
    • 225 x 10
  • 1-Leg Reverse Hypers
    • 90 x 20e
    • 90 x 20e
    • 90 x 20e
  • Upright rows
    • 45 x 10
    • 95 x 5
    • 135 x 10
    • 135 x 8
    • 135 x 8
    • 135 x 8
    • 135 x 8
  • 1-Arm Cable Curls
    • 35 x 20e
    • 35 x 12e
    • 35 x 12e

2018-09-04 training log

Today was solid.

Worked up to 235×9, which is a rep PR. Bench is going well, and I’m happy about that. Technique feels good, still working on little things with it, but all in all very happy.

Supplemental work is what it is. Lat raises are fine. DB rows feel good. Extra bench work is giving me more opportunity for technique work. Pulldowns with 1 minute rest. But then, a small change.

I was doing rope-pushdowns superset with hammer curls. Well, given my growing elbow tendinitis, I need to change up a bit. Biggest thing is doing less work just so I don’t inflame it more. But I also want to do things to bring more blood flow to the area. So:

  • 1-hand reverse grip “push”-downs. The supinated hand should be a better position.
  • Light weight, more reps. Just work for pump/blood-flow.
  • Don’t go to failure or go too much; just get some pump
  • Restrain myself – just 2 sets of higher reps is enough.
  • No superset, so things don’t get as stressed.

It felt good.

Despite my desire for arm (esp. biceps) work every gym session, I am going to drop such work from my squat and deadlift days, just to alleviate the work/irritation.

Makes me start to think back to the notion of how little work can you do and still make progress…

5/3/1 (5th cycle, leader-1, 5/3/1+PR sets)

  • Bench Press
    • bar x 10
    • 110 x 5
    • 140 x 5
    • 165 x 3
    • 180 x 5
    • 205 x 5
    • 235 x 9 (rep PR)
    • 160 x 10
    • 160 x 10
    • 160 x 10
    • 160 x 8
  • Bent-over Lateral Raises (superset with bench warm-up sets)
    • 25e x 10
    • 25e x 10
    • 25e x 10
    • 25e x 10
  • DB Rows (superset with bench work sets)
    • 95 x 10e
    • 95 x 10e
    • 95 x 10e
  • Curl-Grip Pulldowns
    • 90 x 10
    • 120 x 15
    • 120 x 14
    • 120 x 11
    • 120 x 8
  • 1-Hand Reverse Grip Pushdowns
    • 30 x 30e
    • 30 x 20e
  • Cross-Body Alternating DB Curls
    • 25e x 15e
    • 25e x 15e

2018-09-03 training log

Well, today was a lot of suck and fail.

First, I should have hit 5 reps on the top set and only got 4. It’s simple – confidence shaken.

Second, no question I’m getting tennis elbow on my left elbow. I tried to start reverse curls and just couldn’t due to the pain. It’s been slowly setting in over the course of weeks, and today was just too much.

Sigh.

So, I have to make changes.

The elbow is the easy part. I’m just going to cut back on things that affect it. For example, front plate raises are out. I may have to drop upright rows, or maybe just modify them. Probably going to cut back on the direct arm work too to some extent. For example, I may drop direct triceps work (given all the pressing I already do) and change biceps work to much higher rep work to get a lot of blood flow into the area. I may change slightly too, like instead of those things add some DB presses instead. TBD, much to think about.

As for the squats.

My present thinking this morning is to take squats away from the 5/3/1 program for now and just work to get myself going again.

One thing is more warm-up work. I find that when I’m about half-way through the pause squats I finally start to feel good and loose. I also think I just need more reps. More time working on ensuring my technique is where it needs to be, on building back confidence.

So, I’m going to just go “free” for a while. That is, I’ll start with an empty bar. Do as many sets as I feel of that until I feel good. Then put 135 on the bar and do at least 1 set of 8, maybe a second if I feel I need it. Then go up say 30# and keep going. As the weight gets heavier, fewer reps. And I do want to let it get heavy, maybe even working in some singles. And who knows, maybe I’ll get to a heavish single and take a few singles. Then do some back-off sets to get in some work. I really don’t know what I will do nor how I will do it. But the intention is to try to find what I do need. Would a few more warm-up sets and a bit more elongated work-up help me out? Hitting some singles should help confidence. Plus I won’t have a prescribed approach yet — if this feels like I can only get 3 reps (instead of a prescribed 5 or whatever), then I do that. I’d rather hit 3 solid reps because that’s what I truly could do, than strive for 5 and blow it. I have to be careful to not wimp out tho – I have to ensure to push myself.

And the rest of the squat session then will probably be simple. I see no reason for pause squats. I may drop the leg presses. I might start doing some good mornings. Maybe then some simple calf and ab work. I dunno. But basically squat day needs to go off program so I can figure my shit out.

5/3/1 (5th cycle, leader-1, 5/3/1+PR sets)

  • Squat (superset with band pullaparts)
    • bar x 10
    • 140 x 5
    • 175 x 5
    • 215 x 3
    • 230 x 5
    • 265 x 5
    • 300 x 4 (fail)
  • Pause Squats
    • 230 x 3
    • 230 x 3
    • 230 x 3
    • 230 x 3
  • 1-Leg Leg Press
    • sled x 20e
    • sled x 20e
    • sled x 20e
  • Front Plate Raises (all the way overhead)
    • 25 x 10
    • 45 x 15
    • 45 x 12
    • 45 x 10

Sunday Metal – Kvelertak

Kvelertak  with “Evig Vandrar”

 

2018-08-31 training log

Press for 180×5 – which is an all time rep PR, but it wasn’t what I wanted.

I really wanted to get 6 today, but it wasn’t to be. Still, 5 is a PR and solid progress. I’ll take it.

Down sets felt really solid. Constant progress here too.

Rows, happy to keep upping the weight there. I could have done more but I stopped at 8 because I didn’t want to exhaust myself for the top Press set.

Still loving the wide-grip pulldowns – I get such a lat squeeze.

JM Press I continue to dial in the technique on that. I remember a cue, I think from Dave Tate, to treat it like you were in the Smith Machine, with the bar riding up and down that fixed plane.

And the 100 rep curls? I used to love it, now I hate it. I keep wanting to skip it… but I keep doing it, and will keep doing it.

Next week starts cycle 5. I’ll up the weights, going to decrease some supplemental work just a bit (e.g. instead of 5×10 will be 4×10), but otherwise keep things where they are. I expect progress will be good, and I’m happy next week is a 5’s week — especially for squat — as an opportunity for lighter weights and more opportunities to dial in technique.

5/3/1 (4th cycle, leader-1, 5/3/1+PR sets)

  • Press
    • bar x 10
    • 75 x 5
    • 95 x 5
    • 115 x 3
    • 140 x 5
    • 160 x 3
    • 180 x 5 (rep PR)
    • 115 x 10
    • 115 x 10
    • 115 x 10
    • 115 x 9
    • 115 x 8
  • Bent-over Lateral Raises (superset with press warm-up sets)
    • 20e x 15
    • 20e x 15
    • 20e x 15
    • 20e x 15
  • Barbell Rows (superset with press work sets)
    • 185 x 8
    • 185 x 8
    • 185 x 8
  • Wide-grip Pulldowns
    • 105 x 10
    • 145 x 10
    • 145 x 10
    • 145 x 10
    • 145 x 8
  • JM Press
    • 95 x 10
    • 95 x 10
    • 95 x 10
    • 95 x 10
  • BB Curl (100 rep protocol)
    • 45 x 100

2018-08-30 training log

Nice deadlift rep PR: 430×6.

Watching how things have been going, I’m getting excited at the prospect of hitting some cool 1RM’s by the end of the year. Things continue to go up and go well.

I did skip belt squats today – my knees have felt a little irritated. Just trying to keep this managed, so I figured no reason to put them under more load today; let them rest.

The reverse hyper tho continues to be cool. I’m getting a better flow of technique, plus finding a good way to do it 1-leg at a time without stability issues or the other leg getting too involved. And when I do it right, oh man — my butt and lower back — it’s really killer! It doesn’t feel like it when you’re doing the work, but afterwards, it’s rather worked. It’s pretty cool. I also am wondering if soon I may be able to attempt 2 legs! It used to be with the 1-leg that I could even feel that twinge of pain, but I’m not feeling it. I’m not going to rush it, but I’m getting excited at the prospect.

Anyways, good day.

Thinking about next cycle starting next week. I’m going to basically keep things as they are, tho work/volume will decrease slightly: instead of 5 suppplemental, going to 4 sets..

5/3/1 (4th cycle, leader-1, 5/3/1+PR sets)

  • Deadlift (superset with band pullaparts)
    • 185 x 5
    • 225 x 5
    • 275 x 3
    • 340 x 5
    • 385 x 3
    • 430 x 6 (rep PR)
  • Belt Squat
    • skipped
  • 1-Leg Reverse Hypers
    • 90 x 20e
    • 90 x 20e
    • 90 x 20e
    • 90 x 20e
  • Upright rows
    • 45 x 10
    • 95 x 5
    • 135 x 9
    • 135 x 8
    • 135 x 8
    • 135 x 8
  • 1-Arm Cable Curls
    • 45 x 12e
    • 45 x 12e
    • 45 x 12e
    • 45 x 12e

2018-08-28 training log

Bench Press 255×6 – rep PR. I’ll take it.

Pretty good day, really. Benching is going well. I am finding some improvement in my setup, in part because of the grippier bench pad — you can really get AND STAY in position.

Things moved well. And hitting 255 for 6 for a top set is a rep PR and demonstration that strength continues to go up and progress is good. I had 1 in the tank for sure, but that’s fine to leave it. 6 was my goal.

Then just lots more benching. Even that went well – more reps. But it obviously sapped me since stuff afterwards went down a bit. Could also be the supplemental creatine starting to work out of my system.

Which reminds me: as I start the next cycle, I will slightly reduce supplemental and assistance work. So instead of 5×10 benching I’ll go to 4×10. As the intensities ramp up, I want to bring the volume down a bit to try to balance recovery.

It’s weird. I generally hate DB rows, but I’m actually kinda enjoying them this time around for whatever reason. Don’t know why, but here I am.

The narrow grip pulldowns are nice too – they become more about the upper arm being pulled back, which is a good lat activator.

All in all, a good day.

5/3/1 (4th cycle, leader-1, 5/3/1+PR sets)

  • Bench Press
    • bar x 10
    • 110 x 5
    • 135 x 5
    • 165 x 3
    • 200 x 5
    • 230 x 3
    • 255 x 6 (rep PR)
    • 155 x 10
    • 155 x 10
    • 155 x 10
    • 155 x 9
    • 155 x 8
  • Bent-over Lateral Raises (superset with bench warm-up sets)
    • 20e x 15
    • 20e x 15
    • 20e x 15
    • 20e x 15
  • DB Rows (superset with bench work sets)
    • 90 x 12e
    • 90 x 12e
    • 90 x 12e
  • Narrow-Grip Pulldowns
    • 90 x 10
    • 120 x 15
    • 120 x 13
    • 120 x 10
    • 120 x 8
  • Rope-Handle Pushdowns (superset with curls)
    • 100 x 20
    • 100 x 20
    • 100 x 20
    • 100 x 13
  • Cross-Body Alternating DB Curls
    • 35e x 12e
    • 35e x 12e
    • 35e x 10e
    • 35e x 10e

2018-08-27 training log

It wasn’t great, but at least I feel back on track.

I think I know what was at the root of my squat problems the past couple weeks. First, the equipment change threw me because safety. Safety bars (face savers, whatever you want to call them) just were there but not solid — not attached. I could have them workable if say I was in the hole and gently set down, but beyond that, not really. I spoke with the gym owner and she got the safety racks bolted onto one of the racks — so now everything is properly and fully bolted down (there were reasons why it wasn’t, legit reasons — I’m not going to fault the gym for why things were as they were; and I am going to credit them for listening — don’t get bent out of shape over it, because I’m not). But that helped — I now feel I can squat in the new equipment with the same confidence as the old power racks. That helped.

The other thing was some technique change. I had been watching some videos of Swede coaching the squat, and the cues were good cues. However, it was causing me to change how I moved. As well, when I started adding my knee rehab exercises in, for whatever reason I stopped doing bodyweight squats in my warmup — don’t know why I did, but I did. Well, I added them back in. That was a big help because that was simply natural movement — this is how my body moves. And how does my body move? I bend at the waist/hips a bit more than some, I just don’t stay as upright. And so what? Look at Steve Goggins. The new cues put me too upright, and so I try to get down to the hole and suddenly everything’s MUCH heavier. And so…

So today? I’ve got more solid safety equipment. I have added bodyweight squats back into my warmup to get my body mechanics ready. I keep the cue but allow myself to bend. And lo – things were better.

I only got 3 reps, and rep #3 was a bit of a strain, but fine. I wasn’t totally into it — still a little nervous about things. But I’m happy I got what I got. It’s not a glorious bit of work, but at least I felt back on track.

Pauses are good for me. More opportunity to work technique. Plus confidence, because I’m hitting them for more weight than I normally would.

Leg press I ditched today because tired.

Then the plate raises and curls were just light work. On curls, couldn’t find the EZ bar so I used one of the smaller 15kg bars with 40# of plates on it (2 20’s per side). I actually liked that better than the EZ bar as I felt my forearms were much more involved. I may stick with the straight bar (since my wrists didn’t argue).

Anyways, I’m good with today. I’ll get my shit together one of these days. 🙂

5/3/1 (4th cycle, leader-1, 5/3/1+PR sets)

  • Squat (superset with band pullaparts)
    • bar x 10
    • 140 x 5
    • 175 x 5
    • 205 x 3
    • 260 x 5
    • 295 x 3
    • 330 x 3
  • Pause Squats
    • 260 x 3
    • 260 x 3
    • 260 x 3
    • 260 x 3
    • 260 x 3
  • 1-Leg Leg Press
    • didn’t
  • Front Plate Raises (all the way overhead)
    • 25 x 10
    • 45 x 12
    • 45 x 12
    • 45 x 12
  • Reverse Curls
    • 15kg x 10
    • 73 x 8
    • 73 x 8
    • 73 x 8

Sunday Metal – Conan

Conan with “Throne of Fire”

2018-08-24 training log

Press was solid today – another rep PR. Apart from my squat falling apart, it’s been a good week.

Pressing was really good. I’m working to take my time more during setup, which is especially important to help with the dizzy factor. I want to rush because I don’t want to sit there forever holding and getting tired, but I have to keep telling myself it’s only a few more seconds — and if that’s going to kill my strength well, let it, and in time I’ll just get stronger. It pays off.

Back work is feeling strong and good. Crazy thing is, I feel like I’m not getting enough back work. I guess I like back work more than I thought.

JM Press – lowered the weight. I want to get better on technique. I keep watching JM’s video to ensure I’m doing it right.

Anyways, pretty good day.

Next week is 1+ week. Gonna make it a good one.

5/3/1 (4th cycle, leader-1, 5/3/1+PR sets)

  • Press
    • bar x 10
    • 75 x 5
    • 95 x 5
    • 115 x 3
    • 135 x 3
    • 150 x 3
    • 170 x 7 (rep PR)
    • 115 x 10
    • 115 x 10
    • 115 x 10
    • 115 x 7
    • 115 x 6
  • Bent-over Lateral Raises (superset with press warm-up sets)
    • 20e x 15
    • 20e x 15
    • 20e x 15
    • 20e x 15
  • Barbell Rows (superset with press work sets)
    • 175 x 10
    • 175 x 10
    • 175 x 10
  • Wide-grip Pulldowns
    • 105 x 10
    • 145 x 10
    • 145 x 10
    • 145 x 9
    • 145 x 8
  • JM Press
    • 115 x 10
    • 115 x 8
    • 95 x 8
    • 95 x 8
  • BB Curl (100 rep protocol)
    • 45 x 100