another week another deadlift PR

Early AM at ASC. Got off to a later start. A bit weird around my head but otherwise fine. Plenty of sleep. Had a pretty nice strict fast from 6:30 the previous evening. Weighed in at 204.5 this morning.

Warm-Up: a bit of jump rope, floor work, rowing machine, mobility.

Deadlift: 10 x 45 / 5 x 160 / 3 x 245 / 1 x 300 / 5 x 315 (PR). Yawn. Another deadlift PR. +5 lbs from last week. Got my “three wheels” on the bar. This is starting to feel heavy.

Sort of supersetted:

Press: 10 x 45 / 5 x 65 / 3 x 85 / 1 x 95 / 3 x 5 x 100. +5 lbs from last week. Felt pretty good. This was a post broken arm psychological PR from me.

Back Squat: 5 x 45 / 4 x 8 x 110. +5 lbs from last week.

Jump-Rope: 5 x 100 single unders.

case of mondays

Oh things were hard this morning again. Not sure what’s the deal with my lifting. It’s not going well right now. My arms, from the shoulders to the triceps to the elbows to the forearms, on both sides… they feel so screwed up. Simply put. They are sore and constantly complaining when I’m in the gym. Double epicondylitis, cracking and popping ripped up tore to shit shoulders (especially my right side). Forearms complaining. Left wrist barely functional. And my squats… they feel ugly. Form so bad. Barely able to get through them. The arms start to hurt during the squats. Then, after I’m done, I go right into the power cleans. But they feel sloppy, uncoordinated, difficult. Not sure what I’ll do about all this, but I’ll tell you, dear reader, if things don’t improve soon then I may just have to change things up very drastically.

Maybe, though, it’s just a case of the mondays.

Here’s what I did, what the hey:

Monday, Dec 12th, 2011.

Warm-up: 5 min on Airdyne.

Mobility: Hips, Hams, Quads, Calves, Ankles, Forearms, Shoulders, Wrists.


squats: 2 x 5 x 45 / 5 x 145 / 3 x 185 / 2 x 215 / 1 x 225 / 3 x 5 x 227.5. I was barely able to get through these. But I got through. Good morninging out of the hole on a lot of reps. My form is atrocious. My control is weak. It doesn’t feel like I was squatting 15 lbs more than this only a month ago. Why is that?

power clean: 3 x 25 kg / 3 x 35 kg / 3 x 3 x 45 kg (99 lbs). I could pull these off, but it seems like I’m going to run into a wall soon. This weight, and what I had to do to lift it, was quite startling to my left arm. I really haven’t worked it like this since July, and it’s noticing! Not in a good way.


wrist curls, prontated and supinated: 10 lbs DBs with FatGripz, 3 x 7. Gradually increasing volume here. These seem to help my left wrist. But I wonder.

Bent over rows: 5 x 45 / 3 x 5 x 85 lbs. These didn’t hurt as much as you might think. They were the only thing I did all morning that felt remotely easy.

I had more planned, but felt discouraged and beat down. So I decided to give it a rest. I did what I had to in order to keep after my goals. I skipped the various additional auxiliary things I had planned, including chin ups push ups curls and conditioning… Given the complaints of my elbows and shoulders I think I am just going to skip Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, and Curls entirely this week. Maybe next week too.

monday PR

Workout, Monday, November 14th, 2011

Monday, about 5:10 am, I rolled into Asheville Strength and Conditioning. Great session. New squat PR. And I even have it on video! See below.

If you have USEFUL comments on my form, please share them. Do be aware, though, that I already know that I basically suck … that I need to control the eccentric portion of the lift… and keep my chest up, and my weight in the mid foot… hell yes I am aware of those things already.


5 minutes on Concept II ergometer, easy pace


Hips, Hams, Quads, Calves, Ankles, Shoulders, Forearms, Wrists



2 x 5 x 45 / 5 x 135 / 3 x 195 / 2 x 225 / 1 x 235 / 1 x 240, F on 2 / 3 x 5 x 240 (PR).

The initial, aborted set contained an epic failed rep, in which I did a power slide out from under the bar. I was shaken by that, but got back under the bar anyway. The second rep of the second work set was probably the funniest and worst rep I’ve ever done, or ever seen done. I really shouldn’t share this stuff publicly but I’m hoping I might learn something useful from a friend who wants to share insights. See video, below.


Wrist/Forearm Rehab: pronated and supinated wrist curls, 10 lbs DBs x 5 x 8

Upper Body Aux: 20 lbs DBs w/ FatGrips x Bent Over Row, Press & Curls, 3 x 8.

Push-ups: 5, 4, 4, 4, 4

Pull-Up: 4, 4, 3, 3, 3

Noticing not at all pleasant nagging shoulder pain in right shoulder (on the front).


Additional lacrosse ball and foam roller work and stretching on forearms shoulders and thoracic spine, upper back.

The Video!

new cycle

Week I, Workout A

Warm-Up: 1000 m row, mellow pace.

Mobility: Hip, Ham, Quad, Calf, Ankle, Shoulder, Forearm, Wrist

Squat: 2 x 5 x 45 / 5 x 115 / 3 x 155 / 3 x 5 x 185.

Wrist/Forearm Rehab: pronated and supinated wrist curls, 5 x 5 x 10 lbs DBs.

Upper Body Aux: 3 x 5 x 20 lbs DBs w/ FatGrips. Bent Over Row, Press & Curls (supersets)

Push-Ups: 4, 4, 4, 3, 3

Chin-Ups (Orange or Green Band, Fat Bar): 3, 3, 3, 3, 2

Turkish Get Ups w/ 15 lb. KB: 2 x 5 x each side.


4 x 100 m farmer’s carry w 20 lbs Fat Gripz DBs; in between rounds:

Plank Holds: 90 sec, 90 sec, 120 sec.

That 120 second plank hold was an incredible mind-freak. Physically difficult, yes, but the last 30 seconds was all about making myself do it.


As per my most recent post, this week begins a new cycle for me. Last week, being as sick as I was, I completely abandoned the gym on Mon and Wed mornings, in favor of sleep. Since my usual workout time is early early morning, on those times when I am sick, it’s hard to get into the gym even for light work, since my sick body so clearly needs additional sleep more than it needs motion. But after I finished up my antibiotics on Sunday, I was feeling probably 85% better. So I swung back into action as of this morning early.

Restarting the count of weeks. What does it mean? The main issue, besides the missed workouts, was the long period that elapsed from my last squat workout until this one. Ten full days. So I reset my squat numbers… a purely temporary situation, to be quickly remedied. This wasn’t a reset due to failure or form issues, so I’ll quickly step it back up. 185 today. Add 30 lbs for this Friday taking me to 215. Add 15 lbs for next Monday taking me to 230. And then 10 lbs for next Friday for a new +5 lb PR, putting me back on course with my earlier Linear Progression. But 19 days behind the previous “schedule.” I’ll have to see how those feel. They may feel great. In which case, I’ll stick to +5 lbs per session. But my instincts are telling me to switch now to +2.5 lbs per session, aka +5 lbs per week.

Over the longer term, what does this signify? For my squats, I mean? After hitting 240 on Nov. 18th, doing +5 lbs per week would put me at 250 lbs on Dec. 2nd, and at 260 by Dec. 16th. At which point Christmas break may interrupt. Or it may not! We’ll see. If I can swing it, I can possibly get away with doing pared down squat and deadlift only sessions Dec. 18th to Jan 3rd; I’ll need to get at least 5 sessions in: two the week of the 19th to the 23rd, two the week of the 26th to the 30th, and one on the first of the year. If I can continue to hit a +2.5 lbs per session, that would bring me up to 265 before Christmas, and 270 before New Years, and 275 on my birthday on Jan. 6th.

Is that possible? I believe it.

awesome friday

Week XI, Workout C

Friday morning, dark and early at Asheville Strength and Conditioning. The temperatures are falling now, with the leaves, and the world seems more hushed and uncertain. Especially at 5:00 am. I enjoy this time of year with all my senses. But I have a terrible cold — bronchitis symptoms and laryngitis! — and so am not happy about how I feel. Squats, however, are consistently rewarding. So here I am. I enjoy in spite of myself.

Warm-Up: Airdyne Cycle, about 3 minutes; single under jump roping: 200 revolutions.

Mobility work: shoulders, hips, hams, quads, calves, wrists & forearms, ankles.

Squat: 2 x 5 x 45 / 5 x 145 / 3 x 195 / 2 x 230 / 3 x 5 x 235.

As shitty as I feel, this session had me high all day. On May 27th, 2011, I set my all time squat 1 rep PR at 235. I haven’t squatted that number since then. Today, that was my five rep workset. A new PR for 5 reps, and… obviously the old PR is blown away, as in a typhoon.

Wrist and Forearm Rehab: unfortunately, my epicondylitis symptoms have been returning after the past couple of sessions. They actually START to hurt with the squats. Which makes a certain amount of sense, and, wouldn’t you know that KStar lists back squats as a cause of forearm pain in his MWod Post on Forearm Pain. Anyway, this is what I did: pronated and supinated wrist curls: 5 x 20 x 8 lbs DBs; then, 3 x 12 x 15 lbs FatGrips DBs: curls and presses; bent over rows and benches.

Push-Ups: 4, 4, 3, 3, 3

Pull-Ups: 3, 3, 3, 2, 2

Time ran short, and I cancelled my conditioning. Feeling like hell anyway, it didn’t recommend itself to me.

Planning Notes Regarding Forearm/Wrist Rehab

Going to start switching up my forearm / wrist rehab now. While what I’m doing has clearly been “working” to get my arms used to holding weights (and it’s even having an effect on my physique), my forarms are getting burned out, painful, and grody. It’s too much work now and not enough rehab. So it’s a good time to change things. I’m scheduled to switch to 20 lbs DBs on Monday, and I have only one month left until it’s going to be time for me to start going overhead with barbells. OH YEAH. At that point I’m going to start actually doing real weightlifting, and this “rehab” shit will mean less. Nevertheless, I’ll probably continue doing it just to see what happens.

I’m going to keep the rep schemes more consistent, slow down the progression, and break up the exercises to give myself a better chance of recovery day to day.

All days: pronated and supinated wrist curls

Mondays: Bent Over Row & Press; Curls.

Wednesdays: High Pulls & Bench; Reverse Curls.

Fridays: Reverse Flyes & Triceps Extensions; Hammer Curls.

Rep scheme and weights as follows.

For the pronated and supinated wrist curls, start with 10 lbs and increase once per month. Week 1: 5 x 5; Week 2: 5 x 8; Week 3: 5 x 10; Week 4: 5 x 12.

For the rest, start with 20 lbs DBs w/ FatGrips and increase once per month. Week 1: 5 x 3. Week 2: 3 x 5. Week 3: 3 x 8. Week 4: 3 x 10.

Plus: 2x per day 2 minutes forearm tissue massage w/ lacrosse balls, per the K-Star Mobility Wod linked above. First time: AM or after workout. Second time: PM (before dinner). Gotta deal with these tissues now!

monday pushing the envelope

Week XI, Workout A

Warm-Up: 1000m row, easy pace, 22 s/m, res 3. About 4:23. I forgot to note exact time.

Quad/Ham/Hip/Calf Mobility

Shoulder Mobility

Wrist and Forearm Mobility

Wrist/Forearm Rehab: (a) 5 x 15 x 8 lbs, pronated wrist curls & supinated wrist curls; (b) 3 x 8 x 15 lbs FatGripz DBs: ; reverse curls; curls; presses; bent over rows; bench. These are interspersed with squat sets. See below.

Squats: 2 x 5 x 45 / 5 x 145 / 3 x 195 / 2 x 220 / 3 x 5 x 230 (PR). T-Bone observed these, and cued me several times to keep my chest up on the way down, which helps, but also adds some challenge. Not on every rep, but on many of them, my weight is pitching forward onto the balls of my feet (out of mid-foot), causing my heels to lift slightly, and/or causing me to have to “good morning” the lift out of the hole. I.E. my back is too horizontal. But I’m not resetting until I actually fail to stand up a lift.

Push-Ups: 3, 3, 3, 3, 3

Pull-Ups: 3, 2, 2, 2, 2

Plank Holds 90s, 90s, 90s

3 rounds of:
50 meter Prowler Push (+20 lbs); 10 deep breaths through nose then immediately,
50 meter Prowler Push; then immediately 100 jump rope single unders
Rest 1 minute between rounds

Total Time: 9:06

It was nice to be able to do the prowler… for the first time! My arm held up well. I will add 5-10 lbs for my next prowler workout.

monday on and on

Week X, Workout A

I’ve been plodding along, making progress in the gym. Today, ho hum, another linear progression induced PR. So boring… NOT.

Warm-Up: about 1 minute jumping rope.

Shoulder mobility and hip, ankle, ham, quad, calf mobility.

Squats: 2 x 5 x 45 / 5 x 135 / 3 x 185 / 2 x 210 / 3 x 5 x 220. New PR! And three sets of it.

Wrist/Forearm Rehab: (a) pronated wrist curls, 5 x 15 x 5 lbs; 5 x 1 x 12 lbs FatGripz. (b) 3 x 8 x 12 lbs FatGripz DBs of: supinated wrist curls; press; reverse curls; bench; triceps extension; curls; side delt raises; high pulls.

Push-Ups: 3, 3, 2, 2, 2

Chins (Fat Bar, Orange Band): 2, 2, 2, 1, 1

Plank Holds: 60s, 90s, 90s

Hang Snatch: 5 x 5 x 10 kg.

friday squat PR and three sets of it

Week IX, Workout C

Unbelievable. That is, I mean I understand it, I get why it works, but I still find myself unable to believe that linear progression can let you approach an existing PR, and then surpass it so easily. Yet it works. It really works.

Warm-Up: Riding the Schwinn Airdyne Bike: 3:00 min.

Hip Mobility

Shoulder Mobility

Squat: 2 x 5 x 45 / 5 x 135 / 3 x 185 / 2 x 210 / 3 x 5 x 215. This smashed my previous PR of 210 lbs set in March, and gave me three sets at a new 5 rep PR. I’ve been watching this day come for the past few sessions. I anticipated it, but didn’t think it could be real. It’s real.

Forearm/Wrist Rehab: (a) pronated Wrist Curls: 10 x 5 / 10 x 8 / 12 x 10 lbs F.G. DBs / 5 x 15 x 5. (b) 3 x 12 x 10 lb FatGrips DBs: supinated wrist curls; press; curls; bent over row; reverse curls; bench press.

Push-Ups w/ 3 point PVC contact: 3, 2, 2, 2, 2

Pull-Ups (pronated grip; fat bar; orange band): 2, 2, 1, 1, 1

Hang Clean: 3 x 5 x 10 kgs

squat progress

Friday I showed up early and got in a decent workout. I’m having a bit of a hard time pacing myself effectively through my available training window; I am often supervising (or at least consulting about) the training of two other trainees during my period. Be that as it may, I’ve been making progress with the squat, am enjoying being able to row again, and in general doing the best I can given the limitations that have been imposed on me by recovery from a broken left forearm! It’s been 8 weeks. I anticipate another 10 weeks before I return to a “normal” training routine, and then, I suppose I will have to work my way back up to actually using heavy weights on anything involving pulling or pushing with my left arm.

Week VI, Workout C

Warm-Up: Row 500m Res 7 S/M 21-23 Time: 2:10. 210 single unders w/ jumprope, in one continuous set. Shoulder mobility.

Bilateral Forearm/Wrist Rehab Work: 3 x 10 x 5 lb FatGripz dumbbells: supinated & pronated wrist curls; hammer curls and bent over rows; curls and high pulls and shrugs; shoulder press and deltoid reverse flyes; bench press and side delt raises; forearm pronation and supination.

Back Squat w/ One Arm (Right): 10 x 45, 3 x 135; 2 x 5 x 185; 1 x 10 x 185 (PR). This was awesome. Very hard. It left me feeling quite spent afterwards! One of those on-line “theoretical one rep max calculators” told me later that this corresponds to a theoretical one rep max of 247. But I have no intention of testing my 1 RM until mid December. I’ll be going back to using both hands and I will CRUSH this number.

One Arm (Right) DB Press: 3 x 5 x 35.

One Arm (Right) DB Bench Press: 3 x 5 x 55.

“Conditioning”: Row 1000m, Res 7, S/M 23, Time: 3:50. Corresponding to a 500m split of 1:55, and a several second improvement over last time. I am loving rowing again.