hump day follies

Wed. Nov. 16th, 2011

Warm-Up: AirDyne

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

Deadlifts (w/ fat grip bar): 5 x 70 / 5 x 110 / 3 x 140 / 2 x 160 / 1 x 180 / 3 x 200, F on 4 / 8 x 2 x 160 lbs. This was a setback for me, since I had so far been able to complete my 1 x 5 with the fat bar using a 20 lbs per week jump. I will reset the fat bar deadlift LP and go with a 5 lb per week increase, and use a 3 x 5 protocol until it actually gets heavy. Starting over next week with 165 lbs. But I will also do what I ended up doing today, which was to add a set of 5 with a regular bar after I was done with the fat bar. For now I’ll continue on the +20 lbs per week LP.

Thus, after the Fat Bar work was done I did:

Deadlift: 1 x 5 x 200 lbs (regular bar, overhand hook grip).

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

Upper Body Aux: 20 lbs DBs w/ FatGrips. High Pulls, Bench & Reverse Curls x 3 x 8.

Push-Ups: 5, 5, 4, 4, 4

Chin-Ups (green band, fat bar): 4, 4, 4, 3, 3

Coaching Notes

Starting at about 5:55 am, I had five clients show up to join me: Erin, Matt S, Mike, Melody, and Lauren. That was a thrill. It got a little hectic because I had not handled that many athletes at once before. But I did it, no problem. One issue that it raises is that I need to get my work done earlier; if I have that many clients on a regular basis, it means I will really need to get there before 5:00 am to get my work done first! I’ll shoot to leave the house at 4:40 am. That ought to do it. Really need to observe my bedtime.

creeping back up

Went to ASC early this morning, about 5:10 am, and got my squat on! After a brief hiatus, and a little reset, now the weight is starting to creep back up.

Sleep is a problem lately, because the kids are sick. Heck, I am sick. As of today it’s been three weeks of coughing, hacking, weakness. I’m through with it! But apparently, it’s not through with me. JZ was up at 3:00 am, and I had to contend with only about 4.5 hours total sleep today. No fun.


1000 meter row, easy pace


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


Squat: 2 x 5 x 45 / 5 x 135 / 3 x 185 / 2 x 205 / 3 x 5 x 215


Wrist/Forearm: pronated and supinated wrist curls, 10 lbs DBs x 5 x 5
Upper Body Aux: 20 lbs DBs w/ FatGripz. Reverse Flyes, Lying Triceps Extensions & Hammer Curls x 3 x 5.
Push-Ups: 4, 4, 4, 4, 4
Chin-Ups (fat bar, green band): 4, 3, 3, 3, 3


10 rounds:
Jumping Jacks x 15
Goblet Squats x 5 x 15 lbs
After rounds 2, 4, 6, and 8, do: 100 meter Farmer’s Carry w/ 20 lbs DBs FatGripz.

the second goal

In recent months, it’s always the same. Wednesdays are my deadlifting days. And now, having just yesterday settled some issues with help from Andrew G — who convinced me that I really have only two goals: first squat 300 and second deadlift 400 — it seems that Wednesday deadlift days are a fundamental part of my pursuit of my second most important goal.

I am on a journey here. I love the deadlift and have missed doing truly heavy deadlifts during this period while I let my broken arm recover. It’s been 15 weeks today; three more weeks and I’ll be good to pull with all my might. But I’m not yet at the point where I’m doing serious deadlift work.

Instead, I’ve been gradually stressing the bones in my forearm — lifting heavier and heavier weights over the past 4 weeks — and working on my grip. As a part of forearm and wrist rehab, I’ve been doing a lot of auxiliary grip work, including light deadlifts with the fat bar. All the wrist and forearm work I’ve been doing needs to be understood as a part of the larger goal of getting that 400 lb deadlift. (I envision myself doing it with solid form and gas left in the tank for more.) Grip and forearm strength has always been a weakness of mine, whether with respect to deadlifts or pull-ups. And I suspect that I might not have busted my forearm … if only I were built more like Popeye. Hence, FatGripz, Fat Bar work, and chins and pull-ups on the fat bar.

Anyway, enough philosophizing. Here’s what I did today.

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 8th, 2011

Week I, Workout B.

Warm-Up: about 5 min on Airdyne.

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

Deadlifts: 5 x 70 / 3 x 120 / 3 x 140 / 1 x 160 / 5 x 180 (w/ fat bar). It’s one of the more difficult things I do, to complete these sets of 5 with the fat bar!

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

Upper Body Auxiliary: 20 lbs DBs w/ FatGrips — High Pulls, Bench & Reverse Curls x 3 x 5.

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

Pull-Ups (fat bar, green band): 3, 3, 3, 3, 3


10 rounds:
8 Kettlebell Swings w/ 15 lb KB
100 single unders w/ Jump Rope

After the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th rounds I took some active rest doing
100 meter DB Waiter’s Walk (w/ 20 lbs DBs, Fat Gripz)

Super light KB was easy to handle. My jump rope skills are getting much smoother; I had very few stalls while doing 1000 single unders. The Waiter’s Walk was like an active recovery phase, but it was a great stressor on the shoulder girdle and spinal erectors. I’ll be feeling that later.

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.

back at ASC

Friday morning I made it to ASC just at 6:00 am. No plans to squat. Still feeling like crap. The antibiotics are helping but not so much that, as I discovered quickly, a little effort causes me to break out in an unpleasant cold sweat (in my imagination, this has a grey green color and makes me look like a Zombie). But I did something.

Warm-Up: 3 minutes on the Rowing Ergometer. Stats not important (did it light).

Mobility: Hip, Ham, Quad, Calf, Ankle, Shoulder.

Forearm/Wrist Rehab: 10 lb DBs, pronated and supinated wrist curls: 5 x 3.

Deadlift, with Silverback Athletics Fat Bar: 5 x 50 lbs / 3 x 100 lbs / 3 x 120 lbs / 3 x 140 lbs / 5 x 160 lbs. This was actually starting to get hard! The slick, non-knurled fat bar is a grip challenge.

Upper Body Auxiliary Work: 20 lbs DBs with FatGrips: 3 x 5 x curls, presses, bent over rows (supersets).

Attempted “conditioning”, bailed after 1 round: 200 jump rope single unders, 5 push-ups.

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!

fat wednesday

Workout Wednesday Oct 26th 2011

Week XI, Workout B

Warm-Up: 1000 meters easy on rower; 20-22 s/m, resistance 3.

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

Deadlift w/ Fat Bar: 3 x 40 lbs / 3 x 80 / 3 x 100 / 3 x 120 / 5 x 140.

Wrist/Forearm Rehab (worked in as needed with above and below):

(a) pronated and supinated wrist curls: 5 x 20 x 8 lbs.

(b) 3 x 10 x 15lbs FatGripz: curls & press; bench & reverse delt flye; reverse curls & triceps extension; high-pulls & front delt raises.

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

Chin-Ups (fat bar orange band): 3, 3, 2, 2, 2


200m Farmer’s Carry w/ 15 lbs FatGrips DBs
500 jump rope single unders
200m Farmer’s Carry w/ 15 lbs FatGrips DBs
500 jump rope single unders
200m Farmer’s Carry w/ 15 lbs FatGrips DBs

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.

wednesdays are my deadlifting day

Week X, Workout B.

After spending weeks without deadlifting because of my damn broken arm, it feels great to be doing them again. I love deadlifts. And I love Wednesdays, because it has become my day for deads.

Warm-Up: 5 min on Airdyne cycle, 4 min easy / 1 min hard; power skip, 2 rounds back and forth in the gym; jump-rope 100 single unders, continuous. Hip/Ankle/Calf/Quad/Ham/Shoulder mobility work.

Deadlift w/ Silverback Equipment Fat Bar: 3 x 40 lbs / 3 x 60 / 3 x 80 / 3 x 100 / 5 x 120. Post injury PR; +20 lbs from last week. Feeling solid, maybe even easy, even with the fat grip. +20 again next week!

Wrist/Forearm Rehab: (a) pronated wrist curls: 6 x 15 x 5 lbs; 3 x 2 x 12lbs FatGripz; (b) supinated wrist curls; press; bench; curls; bent over rows: 3 x 10 x 12 lbs FatGripz.

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

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

5 min on Airdyne cycle

1000 meter row, 3:48.5 (avg. split 1:54.3), resistance 7, s/m about 27 during first 500 meters, about 17 during second. That wasn’t intentional. This particular sortie on the erometer was a piece of dung, even if the end result was comparable to previous efforts.

Hang Clean: 5 x 5 x 10 kg. These felt solid. I was trying to practice Nick Horton’s cues from his recent article except I was doing the full clean.

Waiter’s Walk: 4 x 100 m w/ 12 lbs FatGripz DBs; these were alternated with the Hang Cleans.

Jump Rope: 100 s.u., continuous.

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.