friday being there

Warm Up 5 min on airdyne, floor work, shoulder mobility, Burpees 5 x 3 @ 60s.

SSB Squats: 5 x 70 / 5 x 120 / 3 x 140 / 1 x 150 / 5 x 5 x 155

Deadlifts: 5 x 135 / 3 x 185 / 1 x 225 / 2 x 5 x 245. Have video will post it here later. To me these felt great. But the video shows a return of a slight relaxation of the lumbar spine on the pull. (See below.) It’s subtle; not pronounced at all. But not ideal. Got to stay on this!

Shoulder Rehab: Pectoral Flyes 3 x 10 x 8 lb DBs; Press: 3 x 6 x 25 lb KBs.

Clean and Press: 10 x 1 x 38 kg @ 30s.

Chin-Ups: 5, 4

Conditioning: 5 minutes of rounds of 75 jumprope single unders and kettlebell swings 20 x 35 lbs.

The Deadlifts

on plan

Recovery/Dietary Issues

Wednesday morning. Not the best sleep. And tired from an unplanned and long uphill walk with a double stroller yesterday. But there. Recovered from Monday but a bit more beat down than I want to be. At least I’ve been eating well. Weigh in at 197.00 this morning, which is +2 lbs over my desired average, and +0.5 lbs over this week’s average weigh in. Something’s not quite right in my gut. But I will survive!

More importantly: I did my plan as planned.

Training/Exercise

Warm-Up: 5 minutes easy pace on the C2 Rower (1070 meters). Floor work of various types. Shoulder mobility. Then burpees, 5 x 3 @ 60s.

Squats: 5 x 70 / 5 x 140 / 3 x 160 / 1 x 180 / 3 x 5 x 185. These were, ahem, harder than they should have been. (+5 lbs from last week).

Shoulder Rehab: External Rotations: 3 x 10 x 10 lb DBs; Press: 3 x 6 x 25 lb KBs.

Romanian Deadlifts: 4 x 10 x 87.5 lbs (+2.5 lbs from last week).

Lying Triceps Extensions: 4 x 10 x 47.5/50/52.5/55 lbs (+2.5 lbs from base of last week, but same peak).

Conditioning:

5 rounds of 3 minutes each:

Complete 200 meter run, 10 “farmer’s” box step ups carrying 2×25 lb DBs, 5 burpees, rest remainder of round.

Total time: around 14:05. Most rounds were completed with 1:05 to rest.

some more monday

Monday morning at ASC, can’t complain. My dad was with me again (older guy in the background of my deadlift video) which was fun.

Warm-Up: 5 min on Airdyne, followed by karaoke, shoulder mobility, and burpees, 5 x 3 @ 60 sec. Burpees are feeling good. Welcome back burpees!

Shoulder Rehab: Y/T/I 3 x 10 x 8 lbs DBs x each position / Shoulder Press 3 x 6 x 25 lbs KBs. Going to add volume at 50 lbs total on shoulder press now over the next 7 weeks (+1 rep per set per week). I worked in these three sets in the opening rounds of the following supersets:

Superset @ 4-7 min intervals:

Deadlift: 5 x 135 / 3 x 175 / 1 x 185 / 5 x 5 x 195 (see video) (+10 from last week).

SSB Squats: 5 x 70 / 3 x 120 / 1 x 150 / 5 x 5 x 155 (+5 from last week).

Barbell Bent Over Row w/ FatGripz: 4 x 10 x 77.5/82.5/87.5/90 (+2.5 from last week).

Clean and Press: 10 x 1 x 38 kg @ 30 sec. Some of these were… ahem… awkward? lol.

Conditioning: Pushing the Prowler! Prowler Pushes 8 x 40 meters x sled+90 lbs @ 90 sec. intervals (about 10:45 total time). Love this.

good week (week 1 wrap)

So, my second training cycle of 2012 began this past week and I feel great. I just finished the first week of eight planned weeks and I’m optimistic about making tangible progress towards all my goals during the next seven weeks.

Training and Exercise: training wise, I started a new pattern of lifts that I will stick with for the entire 8 weeks of the cycle. I have committed as well to doing 3x per week conditioning. I will likely not be setting any new PRs in squat or deadlift during this entire time, which, at first, would not seem to be bringing me closer to my long term goal of 300 lb squat and 400 lb deadlift. But that appearance would be false. I have reset the deadlifts in order to fix ongoing problems with lower back extension, and I am already making progress in correcting my form. At the end of 8 weeks, if I can stay “on target” with my plans I will be moving a lot of weight and getting ready to do some more serious, PR territory lifting in my next cycle. And in the area of my squats, I had to change everything about how I do them when my right shoulder pain became so bad that Low Bar Back Squat turned impossible. So, it’s the Safety Squat Bar for me, which I love. But it’s different. Problems with extension have always held back my squat as well, so I have dialed back my squat as well and am working on being more strict with myself about how I do the reps. I’ve also bumped up squat volume AGAIN, bringing me to 65 work-set reps a week. I anticipate being much stronger at the end of the period. I don’t anticipate having much to report, week to week, on training during this cycle. So this will be the longest note (unless, as might be inevitable, the unforeseen happens and I have to explain changes) until my final week’s report, at which point I will do some comparisons in all the areas of training and exercise I’ve been doing, by comparing weights and reps in week 1 to week 8. All I hope to report is that I am on track and doing my plan, week after week.

Body Recomposition: my body recomposition goals are simple. And this week, I didn’t experience any measurable changes one way or the other. So, I guess you could say we wait and see. I am about 1.5 lbs above my target weight (avg. weight in week 1 was 196.57 lbs, .3 lbs down from last week), average circumference was very slightly up (very slightly, as in 1/16″ of an inch or so… 0.06″… to 36.56″), and my skinfold in mm was flat (at 10 mm). So, to move towards my goal of establishing an average weight of 195 and to improve measures of leanness, I still have to be careful about overeating. I’m close enough to my target weight that a few days of tight eating and clean IF during the coming week and I’ll probably reach it. And then the question becomes: how I can get leaner while maintaining weight? It’ll be interesting to try.

good friday

sleep/recovery

I had a pretty good sleep the past two nights, and have certainly eaten well. But I drank last night (long weekend with Good Friday holiday… and my folks are in town). Weigh in this morning was 196.

training/exercise

Good workout to finish up training during my week 1 of 8 in the current cycle.

Warm-Up: 5 min on Airdyne, Karaokes and floor-work, Burpees, 5 x 2 @ 60 sec (sets of 2 on the minute for five minutes).

Supersets of Squats and Deadlifts, on 5 min intervals:

SSB Squat: 5 x 70 / 3 x 120 / 5 x 5 x 150.

Deadlift: 5 x 135 / 3 x 185 / 1 x 225 / 2 x 5 x 235. Darn it! I forgot my camera. These felt good though. I will certainly video my work sets on Monday.

Shoulder Rehab: Shoulder Press: 3 x 12 x 15 lbs KBs; Side Delt Raise: 3 x 10 x 8 lbs DBs. The latter really hurts my right shoulder!

Chin-Ups: 4, 4, 5, 4. I was bummed when I didn’t get five on my first set. Then surprised to get it on my third! Overall, a higher average reps/set (4.25 vs. 4 last week) and +5 reps over last week.

Clean and Press: 10 x 1 x 37 kg @ 60 sec intervals. These were done after the first set of chin-ups.

Conditioning:

Rowing Ergometer, max meters in five minutes: 1311. This works out to an average split of 1:54.4, which was right in line for my goal today. I will re-test this on Friday of week 8, if I can. I used an average stroke/min of about 21-22 and had the dampers set at 4.

good wednesday to you

sleep/recovery

I was super sore, and dragging on Tuesday. Most pain felt RIGHT; upper back pulling muscles. Tried to maximize sleep Tuesday to Wednesday, with some success, although my sleep for whatever reason was not unbroken. Diet wise I was in good shape; plenty of protein for past two days, and was at about 11.5 hours fasted at 6:00 am when the workout really got underway. Weigh in this morning was 196.

training/exercise

Warm-Up: 5 min on Airdyne, then 2 burpees on the minute for 5 minutes (10 total, actually 11, as I did 3 one set by accident). Plus shoulder mobility, hamstring mobility, karaoke. I like the simplicity of my new warm-up, which took about 12 minutes total.

Safety Bar Squats: 5 x 70 / 5 x 140 / 3 x 170 / 3 x 5 x 180. No problem.

Super Sets of Romanian Deadlift and Lying Triceps Extension:

RDL: 4 x 10 x 85 lbs.

Lying Triceps Exension: 4 x 10 x 45/50/55/50 lbs.

Conditioning: 5 x 3 minute rounds; each round: 200 meter run / 10 x Overhead Barbell (OHS grip) Box Step Ups (alternating legs) w/ 45 lbs bar / rest remainder of round. (Total time about 13:55).

Shoulder Rehab: Shoulder Press 3 x 12 x 15 lbs KBs / Standing Deltoid Front Raises 3 x 10 x each arm x 10 lb DBs.

Shoulders feeling a bit better than usual today! That made me happy.

my first day of spring

Last post I talked about my new 8 week training cycle. Today was day one.

Sleep/Diet/Recovery

Came into the day on target in terms of sleep and diet. A little bit heavy (198) after two days of higher carb refeeding, and a return to alcohol on Saturday.

Training/Exercise

Warm-Up: Airdyne for 5 min, then 2 burpees on the minute for 5 minutes, shoulder mobility in between, some karaokes.

Shoulder Rehab (sets interspersed with following squat deadlift supersets): “D” swing (bent over diagonal shoulder raise) 3 x 10 x 10 lbs DBs; Kettlebell Shoulder Press 3 x 12 x 15 lbs KBs.

Squat / Deadlift Superset (gymboss timer set at 5:00 rounds)

DL: 5 x 95 / 5 x 155 / 3 x 180 / 5 x 5 x 185

S: 5 x 70 / 5 x 120 / 3 x 140 / 5 x 5 x 150

On all of these I tried to maintain back extension with a rigid and flat lumbar spine. As the video demonstrates, I had only mixed success with this. My back is flat but compared to the natural lumbar curve of some I have seen, has a very slight curve to its flatness. I will not go lower but I will be taking it slow and working on this. The squats, too I did every rep without collapsing, etc.

Barbell Bent Over Row w/ FatGripz: 4 x 10 x 75/80/85/87.5.

The focus here was on extension of the back and full contraction of each pull, hamstring tension, and little to no push-off.

Clean and Press: 10 x 1 x 37 kg @ 30 sec.

Conditioning: Farmer’s Runs: 10 x 50 meter x 45 lbs DBs ( = +90 lbs ) @ 60 sec.

Great workout. Everything felt good.

eight week training cycle for spring

Sunday, April 1st begins a new, eight week training cycle for me. I choose an 8 week cycle of monitoring and reporting this time around because I live and operate on an academic schedule, and I’m more likely to get through the next 8 weeks uninterrupted than I am to get through a 10 or 12 week period without having to disrupt training because of vacation or something. The next cycle after this one will have to take into account the fact that, wherever I am, I’m going to want to be surfing. But I get ahead of myself.

Training Goals: my training goals remain the same. 300 lbs (1.5 x B.W.) squat and 400 lbs (2.0 x B.W.) deadlift. But my training emphasis shifts slightly during this eight week cycle, from striving for pure strength gains to prioritizing form improvement in both deadlift and squat, and recovery for my painful right shoulder. I also add a goal of preparing myself for summer surfing (next cycle), which requires a higher level of conditioning than I’ve been maintaining. My deadlifts have been hampered by a form problem: lumbar rounding during lifts. So I have drastically reset the lift to a lighter weight, to work on extension, and have increased volume dramatically, and plan to include RDLs and supermans as a regular part of working out as well. I will continue to use the SSB for squatting, hoping my right shoulder continues to benefit from the break from LBBS and also that I can use the unique form issues involved in the lift to supplement my quest for control of “extension” in the lower back. I have rewritten my program to put more emphasis on the deadlift and to make room for conditioning. That will become evident as I march through the program over the next few weeks.

Body Recomposition: I still have body recomposition goals, so this is a recomposition cycle. So far, in week I of the new cycle my average weight is a few pounds above my goal weight of 195. So in terms of quantitative measures, my goal for the 8 week period is to reach and then maintain an AVERAGE daily weigh-in of 195 lbs. I have to bring down the average weigh-in somewhat, between 1.86 and 2.75 lbs, to reach that goal. The method is the same I’ve been using: 12-14 hours of IF daily, periodic, ad hoc longer fasting, and generally “clean” eating (= more or less paleo, + limited dairy, alcohol, cleaner grains, and occasional “cheats.”) I made good progress in the last two weeks of my most recent training cycle by cutting out all alcohol for two weeks. So I feel strongly that alcohol needs to be limited to weekends only in this new cycle. I will, however, make exceptions for drinking out with colleagues if invited, on a Mon or Wed evening only. If at any point during the cycle my average weight drops below 195, I will add in a planned weekly cheat evening, most likely Saturdays. Before that time, I will avoid deliberate cheating and try to stay out of the kitchen after dinner. Once I hit and maintain 195, my goal is to continue to see improvement in my waist measure and skinfold measure. If the most recent average measure was 36.4″, I’d like to see that at 35.4″ at the end of week 8. And if my recent average skinfold measure was 10 mm, I’d like to see it at 8mm by the end of the period.

This training cycle runs from April 1st, 2012, to May 26th, 2012. The next cycle after that will be “Summer 2012.” I will write up a weekly report on my progress towards the goals I have laid out here.

week twelve wrap up

I ended my twelve week training and body recomposition cycle in an ambiguous place. On the one hand, I had nominally reached my body recomposition goals (though the average weight, which counts more, still has a few pounds to move). On the other hand, being set back by my injured shoulder in the squat and by needing to correct form in the deadlift has meant that I haven’t set a new squat or deadlift PR in a few weeks. I definitely made progress towards my training goals during the twelve week cycle but it’s difficult to measure just how much stronger I am now than I was at the start of the period.

In terms of training, during the last week I actually reached a point of frustration with the deadlift that will have me moving back even further and switching to a two day a week program in the next (8 week) cycle. I will continue with the SSB squats, and move to a differently ordered three day a week program. But at least for the next cycle, I am going to worry less about pushing the SSB squats back into squat PR territory and worry more about perfecting form.

In terms of body recomposition, on Saturday I actually weighed in, for the second time, at my target weight of 195. Which seemed cause for celebration. So I had a higher carb (not high sugar…) high calorie, long eating window day on Saturday and allowed myself a few drinks too. The average weight for week 12 was 196.86, almost 2 pounds above target, but down 1.5 lbs from the previous week’s average and 3 lbs from the average of two weeks ago. This positive trend has been driven by a stricter practice of IF and restrictions on alcohol over the past two weeks. So I will continue to be stricter in these areas, but with greater flexibility to meet a colleague or friend for a drink if I should need to. The average waist for week 12 was 36.4″, down about .23″ from the previous week and 2.2″ from week 1. The average skinfold was 10 mm, down 1 mm from week 11 and 3 mm from week 5, when I started taking the measure. I declare success for my body recomposition goals but will continue to try to make progress in the next cycle.