Wrist/Forearm/Shoulder Rehab: Wrist Curls: 3 x 20 x 10 lbs DBs; external rotations 3 x 10 x 10 lb DBs; Y/T/Is 3 x 10 x 10 lbs DBs (one 3 and one 5 missing? Tamara? Brian?); shoulder presses: 3 x 10 x 15 lbs KBs.
SSB Squats: 5 x 70 / 5 x 120 / 3 x 160 / 1 x 185 / 3 x 5 x 192.5. Not feeling strong today.
Chin-Ups: 5, 4, 3. +2 reps from last week. Stoked to have gotten my set of five!
Clean and Press: 10 x 1 x 36 kg @ 30 sec. Same as Monday. Both right and left shoulders not exactly happy with me. Mainly right. But actually it’s been getting better and these seem to be doing good.
Wednesday AM had a fun workout, but on reviewing the deadlift tapes I’m not totally pleased with my form. I see a lot of issues, from loss of extension, to craning my neck, to unnecessary layback and shrugging. I’m going to take my deadlifts back further and get this right (per suggestion by Andrew G).
Warm-Up and Mobility: Various.
Shoulder/Wrist/Forearm Rehab: 3 rounds: wrist curls pronated supinated x 20 x 10 lb DBs; Y/T/I exercises on an inclined bench x 10 x each position x 5 lb DBs; shoulder press x 10 x 15 lbs KBs.
Deadlifts: 5 x 135 / 3 x 225 / 1 x 250 / 2 x 5 x 255 (+10 from last week). First set felt tooo soft in the back. Second set felt better, and I had good advice from Matt S (ala “Quads are part of your leg” from Steve Hill). But, as I said above… well here’s the video:
Safety Squat Bar Squats: 3 x 5 x 142.5 (+5 from last week). Light but solid.
Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension: 15 x 20s / 3 x 10 x 25s / and then a couple of completely pathetic attempts at 35 lb DBs: 2 x 1 (f on 2). My right shoulder was failing me with pain on the heavier weight. Actually was a bit tender in the light sets too. Damn shoulder.
We have fun anyway. (I’ll discuss my next steps on Sunday.)
Monday AM at ASC, after a TERRIBLE night of sleep. Ack. I am reminded of the way things were back in 2010. I need to get a grip.
But the workout was solid. So. There. Insomnia.
Warm-Up and Mobility: dynamic stuff only.
SSB Squats: 5 x 70 / 5 x 160 / 3 x 200 / 1 x 215 / 3 x 5 x 220 (+10 lbs from last week). These weren’t as awesome as they should have been. I do believe I’ll either go up much less next week or repeat these numbers just to be sure I’m rocking them and really and truly earning my next increase.
Wrist and Shoulder Rehab. Wrist curls, pronated and supinated, 3 x 20 x 10 lbs DBs. External rotations, left and right sides: 3 x 10 x 10 lbs DBs. Y/T/I exercises: 3 x 3 x 10 x 5 lb DBs. Kettlebell Presses: 3 x 10 x 15 lbs KBs. I love kettlebell presses. I changed it up here a bit, and went +6 lbs total on the press weight.
Barbell Bent Over Rows w/ FatGripz: 15 x 70 / 3 x 10 x 100 / 5 x 135 (+5 from last week on all sets).
Clean and Press: 10 x 1 x 36 kg @ 30 sec. intervals. (+1 kg from last week’s number).
Week eleven of twelve brought some positive developments, and some areas of stagnation. Basically, I really got back on track with my body recomposition goals, but my training kinda faltered, in that I also reset my deadlifts, with the result that I am far away from PR territory now, in both my target lifts. But I am shoring up the foundations and plan on making great progress through the next training cycle, however long that is.
Training: as I said, no new PRs. Just working on the basics. I did, however, reach a post surgical PR in the chin up, getting a set of 4 on Friday. So that’s something.
Body Recomposition: the numbers look good. Encouraged by my buddy Tamara, I gave up drinking this week (and will continue not drinking next week) in an effort to help me avoid cheating and overeating and not following my plan. It worked. I weighed in on Saturday at my lowest point in the cycle, 196.5, down 2 pounds over last Saturday. My average weight was actually down by even more than that (2.35 lbs) over last week’s average weight: 198.29 vs. 200.64. My average waist measure was down to 36.73, breaking the 37″ mark for the first week and my average skinfold was down 2mm over the previous couple of weeks, to 11. So that was really good. I kept to my eating window all week long, didn’t drink, and didn’t ever go off plan… until today, Saturday. I didn’t drink or really eat desserts but I ate a lot of food and late into the night tonight. So, it’ll probably take a few days to get the numbers back down to where the average for the week is lower. It’s unlikely that this next week’s average will be at my target weight. But it could be close, and my target will be achieved soon. It is definitely within sight!
Something about this morning was awesome. Glorious. I was riding the clouds of glory. In spite of the fact that I got absolutely LOUSY sleep last night. So, what was it? A great lecture event at work last night? maybe the birds I heard outside, at 5 am, after the alarm woke me? maybe the Jack3d that I imbibed before hitting the gym? maybe my best morning weigh-in and body measurements since I started tracking at the start of the year? maybe the weather, which was warm and humid enough to open up the garage doors? maybe the fact that my shoulder pain in the right shoulder was a little less than it has been lately? or all of the above? Whatever it was I was hooting and hollering with joy during my warm up and set. Totally energized. Sets were fast, powerful, deliberate, strong. And I kicked ass on Chin-Ups, setting a post surgery PR for max reps and total volume.
Wrist, Forearm, Shoulder Rehab. 3 rounds of: 10 lb DBs, wrist curls pronated and supinated x 20; dangling rotations x 10 each direction; bent over reverse flyes x 10; external rotations each arm x 10; 12 lb DBs, Press x 10.
SSB Squat: 5 x 70 / 5 x 120 / 3 x 160 / 1 x 180 / 3 x 5 x 187.5. Great finish to my third week using the SSB.
Deadlift: 5 x 95 / 3 x 190 / 2 x 5 x 245. Not perfect. Extension is a bitch. Following Steve Hill’s advice here, I have reset my deadlift to 245. Thinking about a 10 lb a week increase. For the time being, to make up for taking weight off the bar, I have doubled the volume of my heaviest set, to 2 x 5. I will be videoing my deadlifts so I can study my own form issues every week until further notice. If you have good advice, please share.
The following exercises were all done concurrently with the deadlifts and each other, more or less:
Shoulder/wrist Rehab, 3 rounds (sets of each):
10 lb weights: Wrist curls pronated and supinated x 20; Hanging shoulder rotations x 10 each direction; External rotations x 10 each side; Bent over reverse flyes x 10. 12 lb weights, Presses x 10.
SSB Squats: 5 x 70 / 3 x 5 x 140
Lying Triceps Extensions: 15 x 20 lbs DBs / 2 x 10 x 25 lbs DBs / 2 x 3 x 35s / 5 x 35s / 14 x 25s. I didn’t quite follow the plan I laid out last week, but this worked out ok. Next week this is the plan: one high rep set with 20, two high rep sets with 25, five low rep sets with 35s. Period.
Ooof I had a lousy sleep Sunday to Monday. Barely clocked any shut eye at all. Got a late, slow minded start at the gym, too.
Squat w/ Safety Squat Bar: 5 x 70 / 5 x 160 / 3 x 200 / 1 x 205 / 3 x 5 x 210. These felt ok. Only +5 lbs from last week. I didn’t want to push it after the pulling camp, and didn’t feel like I could accomplish what I really wanted to do, which was 225.
Concurrently with the squats:
Shoulder and Wrist Rehab: 10 lb DBs — 3 sets — wrist curls pronated and supinated, x 20-25 reps; hanging arm rotations x 10 reps; bent over reverse flyes x 10 reps; side-lying external rotations x 10 reps. 12 lb DBs — shoulder press 3 x 10.
Bent Over Barbell Row with FatGripz: 15 x 65 / 3 x 10 x 95 / 5 x 130.
Clean and Press: 10 x 1 x 35 kg @ 30 sec. I am going to very slowly work my way back up into some more heavy cleans and power cleans. I like the motion of the full clean, and I like to throw in a press there. I am going to test this out and see, over time, what I can both clean and press in a time scheme set up like this, and when I find a weight where I start failing the press, I’ll see where I’m at. I still have lots of shoulder pain and discomfort (in the right side, the past few days, as well as the left), but for some reason I seem to tolerate some pressing. We’ll see.
Sunday, I spent all day out at the gym with Tamara, Matt, Miriam, Ed, David, Brian, John, Pat and Steve “I have a knife” Hill for a great Starting Strength Pulling Camp, where we worked on technique in the deadlift and power clean. This is my second camp with Steve, who is a very knowledgeable instructor and a darn nice guy too. I had fun, and more to the point, I got in a workout. Which I’ll record here.
Warm-Up: 500 meter row, plus, whatever I had to do to stay warm for like, 7 hours of lifting and instruction.
Deadlift: 5 x 95 / 5 x 135 / 5 x 225 / 5 x 280 / 5 x 315. Steve flagged me for rounding my back on the heavy set, and gave me “permission” (more like, an order) to reset my deadlifts, concentrate on form, and up the volume for a while. I will do this.
Power Clean: sets of 3-5 at 30 kg, 35 kg, 40 kg, 45 kg, 50 kg. These were fun but they don’t really agree with my shoulders, forearm, or wrist. I was a little jealous of the guys doing heavier power cleans but I’m just not up to it, mechanically. Still, I learned a lot about how to pull and I will continue to work on it, slowly, very slowly, increasing volume and intensity. Very slowly.
After ten weeks of my twelve week training cycle, I’m looking at a bit of a plateau in the body recomposition, and I’m trying to decide whether I have a stall, a setback, or a normal epicycle in my training. I think only time will tell.
Training: I did hit one new PR this week, taking me closer to one of my two training goals. DL 5 x 340. But it wasn’t like what I want. More on that later. Squatting, all I can say is, it’s been two full training weeks since I switched to the safety squat bar, and I love it. But maybe only because I took weight off the bar. Monday is still my heavy day, and although my workout on Monday the 12th was way below my 5 rep max, it was up 20 lbs over the previous week and my total volume is way up. I’m making progress but not like what I’d like.
Body Recomposition: if there is one, the real plateau is in my body recomposition efforts. Basically, not to crunch too many numbers here, I’m doing somewhere between ‘flat’ and ‘ok.’ I had a decent, low weigh in on Saturday morning of week ten, in fact, the lowest on record. But my average weight for the week was actually up from week nine. Yet… the truth is that my average weight has been in a tight range of 200.2 to 200.8 for a month. In other words, flat. There’s no statistically significant change in my weight over the past month. On the other hand, my average waist measurement is down by 1/2 inch in that same one month period (from 37.55 to 37.05). Which seems great, until you realize that my average skinfold measure is totally flat too, where it’s been stuck at 13 for three weeks. I’ll choose to be encouraged by the low Saturday weigh in and the smaller waist measurement to think that all the numbers are going to improve more soon. Especially if I make an effort to tighten up my eating schedule and my diet. Which I’m going to do. Short time… two weeks to go on my 12 week cycle.
Of course, when 12 weeks are up, it just starts again, with new goals… or maybe with the same goals.