Bench, Squat & Pull-Ups: what else is there?

Tuesday lifting session at the Y, about 10:30 am. JZ put up with Child Watch. Thank you Jesus.

Better sleep? Not really but I tried. Definitely got my fast in the past two days and am feeling better about the diet.

Warm-Up: about 50 seconds on the Ergometer at full blast. Dislocates. Mobility. 15 push ups (full range, moving hand position on each rep). Deep squat hold. KB swings 53 lbs x 15.

Bench Press: 6 x 95 / 3 x 145 / 1 x 150 / 1 x 155 / 1 x 160 / 1 x 165 / 3 x 170 (1 rep PR, not 3 rep PR, since I got help from a spotter on reps 2-3).

Squat: 135 x 5 then 12 x 2 x 180 lbs @ 120s

Pull-Ups: on rounds 7-12 of the squat, I did max rep deadhang pull-ups (various grips): 6, 4, 3, 3, 2, 3; total: 21 (+4 from last Tue).

Feeling the love?

press pull

Tuesday afternoon at the YMCA. A quickie:

Warm up agility sprint 1/4 mile at 5:39 pace dislocates push ups 10 chin ups 2

Bench: 45×10 / 3×135 / 3×145 / 3×155 (PR) / 3×160 (PR) / 3×160 (PR)

Deadhang pull ups: 5 sets @ ~2 min intervals: 5-5-2-3-2 (17, +3 from Sat), total elapsed pull-up time: about 9:30.

the latest yokeage

Taking training day by day. Today (Tuesday morning) I found 40 minutes or so at the YMCA. JZ did “ok” in Child Watch there (meaning, he cried most of the time). I felt kinda guilty. We’ll keep trying.

Plan today was to follow up last Tuesday’s bench press session, work on Pull-Ups, and skip the squat, since I had back squatted last Tuesday and Saturday, plus did Front Squats and Overheads on Monday.

Warm up sprint 400m at 5:45 pace

Dislocates and stretches

Bench 5×95 / 3×135 / 6×145 (PR) / 5 x150 (PR) / 5 x 135

KB swings: 15x53lbs

Dead Hang Pull ups (4 diff grips): 7 sets at 60s intervals: 3-3-2-1-1-1-1 (about 6:30 total time; volume: 12 reps; +2 from Saturday).

Squat and Press at the Y

Tuesday morning I had an awesome little visit to my local YMCA to take advantage of their recent acquisition: a squat cage. Mind you: not a Smith machine, those things blow. A proper cage integrating an adjustable squat rack with safety bars (that can safely be ignored, but that’s another story). Anyway, training and routine demand I get back into the weekly squatting (at a minimum) and, common sense dictates that I need to go heavier if I plan to get stronger. Which I do. So I did. I also benched. Again. It’s like, getting to be a damn habit!


12 x 2 x 160 lbs @ 60s intervals. Total volume: 3,840. Compare to my most recent squat session where I did the same thing but at 155 lbs (last month) for about 120 lbs less volume.

Nothing to complain about here. 160 lbs is almost 85% of my current 5 RM. I tried to move quickly out of the bottom, but in general, I am just trying to move as much weight as possible and focusing on hip drive and keeping my knees out.


12 x 2 x 145 lbs @ ~ 1-2 min intervals. Total volume: 3,480. Compare to my most recent bench press sessions, at the Mac, last month.

145 lbs is about 97% of my current 3 RM and about 88% of my current 1 RM on the Bench Press. This was a good session, giving me a boatload of volume at a high percentage of my max. I will retest my 1 RM next time I bench (probably next week).

Feels good to hit the gym and lift some weights. Maybe the YMCA is good for something after all.

more fun at the MAC

I spent another morning with my dad at the Multnomah Athletic Club today.

While I was warming up, I discovered, to my joy/embarrassment, that they do indeed have squat racks. They are tucked away in another corner of the huge fitness center room. I was super pleased and immediately changed my plans from working on clean and jerk to working on the straight up clean, and doing dynamic work sets in the squat.


Lunges, Inchworms, Karaoke high and low, butt kicks, bear crawl. Double under practice (about 3 minutes). Shoulder dislocates; hip mobility. Overhead Squats w/ 15 lb bar (10); pull-ups dead hang w/ red band (10); push-ups (10); GHD extensions (10).


New “paper” 5 RM today. Previous 5 RM was ridiculously low (105 lbs) due to a simple error in training, and due to the fact that I rarely work the full clean especially in the 5 rep range (this low PR has stood since September).

I did not worry about whether the new PR would really establish a “max” in terms of my current neuro-muscular capabilities (with a 3 rep front squat of 185, a 5 rep front squat of 165, a 1 rep max clean and jerk of 165, I ought to have a higher 5 rep clean number than I do even after today). Instead, working with the long view, I just wanted to push myself to somewhere I’ve never really been before.

Result: 5 x 45 / 5 x 65 / 3 x 88 / 1 x 110 / 5 x 125 (PR). Volume: 1,369.


I hadn’t really thought about where my 135 x 5 x 5 from Monday was taking me with my training. The volume of that workout (and the time-frame too) was similar to a 70% x 12 x 2 @ 60s. So doing a 60% x 12 x 2 or a 70% x 12 x 2 didn’t make much sense to me. Instead, I broke with Corey’s protocol and attempted to do a dynamic effort 80% x 12 x 2. The trick would be still to move that higher weight using the prescribed slow descent and fast press (x131) movements that distinguishes a dynamic effort session from a normal session. Anyway, I think it worked, so I think this bodes well for my next PR attempt in back squat.

Result: 155 lbs x 12 x 2 @ 60s. Volume: 3,720

Bench Press

I had a few minutes left in my hour, so I thought I would add some bench press in there. I decided to use a slightly higher rep range today than on Monday, which seemed reasonable since I had just discovered a tentative 1 RM.

Result: 3 x 135 / 3 x 145 / 3 x 150 (PR) / 5 x 140 (PR) / 5 x 135. Volume: 2,665.

These are more “paper” PRs, the result of never training the bench press. I think I’m going to bench more or less once a week this spring and see what I can do with it. Just for kicks and the sake of variety. (And yes, for further Yokeage, P.B.)

Bench and Row. PUC Skipped Day.

My trip to London has been great. I bought a one week membership at a little gym right on Belsize Park Gardens, about 2 blocks from Gadi and Mimi’s place. They have Concept II rowers and some crappy olympic weights, so I decided to do the WOD from the mainsite that was posted for Monday:

For time:
Row 500 meters
Body weight Bench press, 30 reps
Row 1000 meters
Body weight Bench press, 20 reps
Row 2000 meters
Body weight Bench press, 10 reps
Post time to comments.


So, I arrived at the gym about 6:45 am. There wasn’t a good place to do warm-ups, so I just did a few squats, push-ups, and sit-ups. I should have done some pull-ups too, but I figured I might get them in for the challenge, later. But now it looks like I have to skip the challenge today. Details below.

Bench and Row

I didn’t have a chance to check the main site, so I had the details backwards. I did bench first, then the row.

I did a few warm up sets with the bench. It’s been a long time since I did this awkward, no fun movement. It hurt my right shoulder. Also, I quikly realized that there was no way I was going to do 60 reps of a full body-weight bench. I did: 20 kg x 10; 40 kg x 5; 50 kg x 5; 60 kg x 3; and then attemted 80 kg, and failed. So, I started my workout at 60 kg. 13 reps into the 30, I backed it down to 50 kg. Then I did my second set with 50 kg. My last set I did 55 kg. Also, the erg was on a totally different floor, so I had to walk through this facility, and up a staircase, to switch stations in the circuit. That slowed me down some of course. And my first set of bench presses was insanely slow.

Results: 47 minutes. First set of Benches: 13 reps x 60 kg; 17 reps x 50 kg; First Row: 500 meters in 1:43; Second set of benches: 20 reps x 50 kg; Second Row: 1000 meters in 3:53; Third set of benches: 10 reps x 55 kg; Third Row: 2000 meters in 7:53.

I got a good sweat going. Had a steam, shave, dressed, and now I am out and about biking through London.


Yesterday I probably rode 10 miles on my bike. I have similar plans for today. I am out and about, fully clothed, fighting London traffic. The insane taxi drivers, white van drivers, and bus drivers are a serious threat to my life. And the occasional bouts of severe rain (!) are more funny than anything else. I am seeing the city in the best possible way. Convinced of it!

Pull Up Challenge Day 15

Well, I found out where to DO pull-ups: the very cool “Trim Trail” at the base of Primrose Hill Park, just north of Regent’s Park. They have everything for the body-weight only workout crowd there. I saw some truly burly dudes doing pull ups there yesterday. Only trouble is, my schedule today won’t permit me to find the time to work in my 15 pulls. What I’ll have to do is go super early there tomorrow, and do 31 pulls. It’ll probably take me the better part of an hour and a half. That may be my whole workout for the day, that and bicycle riding. So, with that promise to myself, I sign off, no pull-ups today.