Cycle IV, Weeks I & II

November 18th to Dec. 1st, 2012
Cycle IV, Weeks I & II.

This period of my program was interrupted by a conference, and Thanksgiving holiday, and by family responsibilities. With the upshot being that there were only five workouts, only two of which were crap, and three of which were mediocre.

Cycle IV, Week I, Workouts II & III.

I missed Monday’s workout due to a conference. I missed Friday’s workout due to “Black Friday” (day after Thanksgiving). I got in a squat session on Saturday, which hardly felt like a full workout, but at least I had the true benefit of working directly with Zach on my atrocious Squat form.

Wednesday, Nov. 21st, 2012.
Warm-Up: Jump Rope, Stretching; 3 rounds: Push-Ups x 4, Box Step Ups x 10.
Squat: 3 x 20kg, form fail!
Front Squat: 2 x 5 x 20 kg
Squat: 2 x 5 x 20 kg / 2 x 70 kg / 1 x 90, 95, 100, f x 105. WTF? I’ll blame the long weekend in Chicago including two 12+ hour drives, and the missed workouts Friday and Monday / 2 x 2 x 90 / 5 x 50, 55, 60
Press: 15 x 20 kg / 1 x 40, 50, 53, 56, 59 / 2 x 2 x 54 / 5 x 50, 51 / 4 x 50 (f on 5)

Saturday, Nov. 24th, 2012.
Warm-Up: Squat 2 x 10 x 20 kg / 3 x 5 w/ pause, chest up knees and hips forward position exercise / Press 10 x 20 kg / Front Squat 10 x 20 kg
Squat: 5 x 20kg / 3 x 40 / 2 x 50, 60 / 1 x 70, 80, 90, 100, 110 form breakdown miss / 3 x 70, 74, 76, 78, 80

Cycle IV, Week II, Workouts I, II & III

Monday, Nov. 26th, 2012.
Warm-Up: 500 meter row / 3 rounds: KB Swing 28 kg x 10, Push-Ups 5 / Stretching lower extremities
Squat: (rx to 116) 4 x 8 x 20 kg (& positions) / 1 x 56, 66, 76, 86, 96, 106, f x 116
Press: (rx to 60) 12 x 20 kg / 1 x 50, 55, 60 / f x 65 (these were done after power cleans, 3rd sets, see below)
Power Clean: (rx to 80) 3 x 1 x 50 / 3 x 1 x 55 / 3 x 1 x 60 / 3 x 1 x 65 / 68, 71, 74, 77, 80.

Wednesday, Nov. 28th, 2012.
Warm-Up: 3 rounds 150 single unders, 5 push-ups / Stretching
Squat: 3 x 5 x 20 kg / 1 x 70, 80, 90, 96, 101, 106, 111 / f x 116
Press: 12 x 20 kg / 1 x 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 / f x 63 / f x 63
Power Clean: 10 x 1 x 63 kg. Just working form. Totally off the reservation on this day. I think Zach forgot to send me a workout? Or I ignored his instructions.

Friday, Nov. 30th, 2012.
Warm-Up: 3 rounds Russian Box Step Ups x 10 (24″ box), Push-Ups x 5 / Stretching and Movement
Squat: 3 x 6 x 20 kg / 2 x 40, 50, 60, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100 — called that a form ‘miss’ / 3 x 5 x 75
Power Clean and Press “complex”: 40, 40, 45, 45, 50, 53, 56, 59, 62 (f on press) / then … 3 sets: 55 & Press x 3.

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I’ll be straightforward and say the following. Plusses of the current regime: I’m sort of stronger and bigger. I’ve gained weight and muscle mass. I’ve definitely been pressing more and I hit a new all time squat PR shortly before thanksgiving. Minuses: I’m out of practice with a lot of things I value doing and being able to do, I’m deconditioned, and it’s doubtful that I’m actually stronger or bigger than I would have otherwise been, after 17 weeks, had I been doing something different. I’ve worked hard but it’s been monotonous and I’ve run out of motivation to keep maxing out on basically three lifts all the time. My programming coach is also just as burned out on my bullshit as I am, and … well, all things considered it’s time for something different. I don’t have to sell myself on that. I just need to get started. But I promised ZB 19 weeks and he’ll have every last one of them, which means at this point, just five more workouts (since I can’t workout on Monday the 3rd).

So, this program feels “over,” and I’m counting down the last two weeks. After that, I’m starting Jim Wendler’s 5-3-1 training program fairly seriously in an effort to restore some balance.

Let me know what you think...