End of Cycle III Workouts (Oct. 29 to Nov. 16)

I still use this blog, just to track my workouts. But seriously, it’s a pain these days just to find the time to record my workouts here. That’s how busy I am. I’ve been keeping a workout log for years now. I’m over the thrill of it. I do this because consistency pays off and persistence pays off. When I have time again, I’ll be posting good stuff, useful to the public. In the meantime, if you stumble in here and wonder why I bother, don’t; don’t wonder and don’t bother. This is for me.

Cycle III/IV, Weeks III–V, Oct. 29th to Nov. 16

Things were getting rough in this period, the 13th to 15th weeks of my 19 week Bijesse-led experiment in Bulgarian lifting technique. It started to feel better right at the end of it. But I had some dark days starting near the end of October.

Cycle III, Week III, Oct. 29th to Nov. 2nd

Monday, Oct. 29th

Warm-Up: 3 rounds, push-ups x 4, chin-ups x 1, KB swings 25 x 35 lbs / Stretching and Mobility.

Press: 10 x 20 kg / 3 x 40 kg / 2 x 50 kg / 1 x 55, 58, 60 / f x 62 / 3 x 2 x 55

Complex — Clean and Front Squat: 50 kg, 55, 57, 59, 61, 63, 65, 67, 69

Complex — Power Clean and Front Squat: 71 kg, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81

Power Clean: 83 kg / f x 85. Out of time!

Romanian Deadlift: 10 x 85 kg

Wednesday, Oct. 31st

Warm-Up: 3 rounds, push-ups x 4, chin-ups x 1, KB swings 15 x 50 lbs / Stretching and Mobility

Press: 12 x 20 kg / 7 x 30 / 3 x 40 / 1 x 45, 50, 55, 59, 61 / f x 62 / 3 x 2 x 56

Complex — Clean and Front Squat: 50, 55, 60, 65

Complext — Power Clean and Front Squat: 70, 72, 74, 76, 78, 80, 82

Power Clean: 84 / f x 86

Romanian Deadlift: 3 x 5 x 86

Friday, Nov. 2nd

Warm-Up: Movement / then 3 rounds: Push Ups x 4, Chin-Ups x 1, KB Swings 15 x 50 lbs / Stretching and Mobility

Squat: 2 x 5 x 20 kg / 3 x 60 kg / 2 x 70 kg / 1 x 80, 90, 100, 110, 120 (PR! = 264 lbs) / f x 110 / 5 x 60, 65, 70

Clean: 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75

Power Clean: 75 / f x 77. WTF? DONE.

Cycle III, Week IV, Nov. 5th to 9th

Monday, Nov. 5th

Warm-Up: Floor Work / Stretching / 3 rounds: 100 single unders, Push-Ups x 4, Chin-Ups (2, 1, 1)

Complex – Clean + Front Squat x 2: 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 73 / f x 76 (WTF?) / f x 70 (F**K) / no time!

Power Clean: 70, 70

Press: 10 x 20 kg / 5 x 30 kg / 3 x 40 kg / 2 x 50 kg / 1 x 55, 57, 59 / f x 61

Note to self: “most f**ked workout in a long time.”

Wednesday, Nov. 7th

Skipped Workout. This was the first workout I had skipped in months. I was JUST NOT CAPABLE.

Friday, Nov. 9th

Warm-Up: Floor Work / 3 rounds: KB Swing 10 x 28 kg, Push-Ups x 4 / Stretching

Squat: 2 x 5 x 20 kg / 1 x 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, 116 / f x 121. No time for extra volume.

Press: 10 x 30 kg / 1 x 40, 50, 55, 57, 59, 61, 62 (= 136.4 lbs) / f x 63

Out of time.

Cycle III, Week V, Nov. 12th to 16th

Mon, Nov. 12th

Warm-Up: Box Step Ups / Jump Rope Single Unders / Rowing Machine 2 min / 3 rounds: 20 single unders, push-ups x 4

Press: 10 x 20 kg / 3 x 40 kg / 2 x 50 kg / 1 x 55, 57, 59 / f x 61 / 3 x 2 x 54

Complex – Power Clean + Front Squat: 2 x 50, 55 / 1 x 60, 65, 70, 73, 76, 79, 81 / f x 83

Romanian Deadlift: 2 x 6 x 90

Complex – Power Clean + Front Squat x 3: 70, 72, 74

Wednesday, Nov. 14th

Warm-Up: “Violence, Vengeance, Death” (Pandora Station) / 3 rounds: 100 single unders, 10 box step ups, push-ups x 4

Squat: 5 x 20 kg / 2 x 60 kg / 1 x 70 kg, 80, 90, 100, 110, 116, 121 (PR), 123 (PR = 270.6) / f x 125 (darn)

Press: 10 x 20 kg / 2 x 40 kg / 1 x 50, 55, 57, 59 / f x 61 (arrgh) / 2 x 2 x 57 / 3 x 5 x 30

Deadlift: 2 x 70 / 1 x 90, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150 ( = 330 lbs ) / f x 160 / 2 x 2 x 140 ( = 308 lbs )

Felt like a solid workout. Happy for the HBBS PR, finally bested my old LBBS PR from January!

Friday, Nov. 16th

On the road… skipped workout. Gonna skip Monday’s workout too! Anyway, I need time to recover from those deadlifts on Wednesday.

That’s It for Cycle III

I promised Zach 19 weeks, and it’s been 15 weeks. He gets 4 more weeks. Then I am switching up the training pattern. I need a change.

cycle II week 4 (Sep 30 to Oct 6)

Cycle II (Sep 9th–Oct 6th), Week IV (Sep 30th to Oct. 6th), Workouts I, II, III.

Monday, 10/1 (Workout I)

Warm-Up: various
Squat: 3 x 5 x 45 / 3 x 135 / 2 x 185 / 1 x 215, 230, 245, 260 (PR), 245 (oops) / f x 265.
Press: 15 x 45 / 5 x 95 / 1 x 115, 130 / f x 140 / 3 x 120 (no stretch reflex)
OUT OF TIME

Wednesday, 10/3 (Workout II)

Warm-Up: Jump Rope, KB Swings 28 kg 1 x 10.
Cleans (KGs): from boxes, at the hip: 40, 50, 55, 58, 61, 64, f x 67 / from boxes, above the knee: 64, 67, 69, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, f x 83 / from boxes, below the knee: f x 80
OUT OF TIME
Buy-Out: KB Swings, 28 kg, 3 sets x 21 reps

Friday, 10/5 (Workout III)

Warm-Up: Jump Rope, Stretching, KB Swings 28 kg 1 x 12
Squat: 2 x 5 x 45 / 3 x 135 / 1 x 205, 230, 250 / f x 265
Press: 2 x 12 x 45 / 3 x 75 / 2 x 95 / 1 x 110, 120, 128.5 / f x 133.5 / 7 x 2 x 120
Power Cleans (KG): 60, 65, 68, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79, f x 81, 81, f x 83.
OUT OF TIME

Back was not as painful this week. I won’t complain about my performance here. I did get one PR during the week. I’ll take one PR a week.

Although my original plan was to group my training into 4 week cycles with “play” weeks, since Zach doesn’t recognize my periodization, expect that the play week following cycle II (next week) will be more or less more of the same. A week from Sunday (on the first day of cycle III) I will post some charts illustrating my progress or lack thereof in the various lifts over the past two cycles.

monday new squat pr

Warm-Up: Airdyne, 5 min or so, floor work of various kinds (high knees, mountain climbers, deadlift walk, karaoke, power skip, bounding), then stretching hips, hams, quads, calves, mobilizing shoulders, forearms, wrists, etc.

Squat: 4 x 45 / 5 x 155 / 3 x 225 / 1 x 235 / 1 x 245 / 5 x 245 (PR). Kinda ugly but real.

Power Clean: 5 x 30 kg / 5 x 1 x 55 kg / 2 x 3 x 65 kg / 2 x 65 kg, f on 3 / 3 x 65 kg / 5 x 1 x 50 kg.

Bent Over Barbell Row w/ FatGripz (from floor): 3 x 5 x 107.5.

One Arm Kettlebell Swings: 3 x 15 x each arm x 35 lb KB (90 reps total). Rested about 1 minute between rounds.

fasted training

Friday morning at the gym I was in a very fasted state, running at about 19 hours (10:30 am to 5:30 am) when I got to work. Of course I drank some BCAAs before I began.

Strength

Warm Up karaoke, Airdyne for 5, floor work, bear crawl, knee raises, ballistic legs, mountain clmbers, stretching hips, shoulders, hams, quads, calves, forearms.

Squat: 5 x 45 / 5 x 155 / 3 x 205 / 1 x 220 / 8 x 3 x 225 lbs @ 180s. This is a volume PR at 225. {Next Friday: 5 x 3 x 230 lbs @ 180s.}

Power Clean: hang x 3 x 20 kg / 3 x 25 kg / 3 x 50 kg / 1 x 60 kg / 3 x 3 x 62.5 kg. {On Monday do 4 x 3 x 55, 2 x 3 x 65.}

Deadlift, with Fat Bar: 3 x 5 x 170 lbs. Working on grip strength. 175 next Friday.

Exercise

3 rounds: hang clean, static hold in front squat / clean bottom position, about 30 seconds, 5 front squats, all with 25 kgs. 27.5 kgs next Friday.

Chin Ups in squat rack, assisted by Rippetoe band set up, one hole down from Monday: 3 x 12.

Turkish Get Ups: 25 lb KB, switching hands each rep, 5 min continuous.

Kettlebell Swings: 3 x each arm x 12 reps x 35 lbs KB.

This felt awesome. I finished up, had more BCAAs, and continued fasting until 11:00 am (24 1/2 hours).

I have set a couple new PRs in the past 13 days, while simultaneously dropping 10 pounds of bloat. No complaints.

Fasted training is really not a big deal. Warm up properly, have some caffeine and water, BCAAs, and ybf.

I am nothing if not persistent

Persistence is the key. You can say it’s hard work. But the harder thing is to persist. You can say it is talent. But just showing up is more important. Getting in reps. I keep showing up. For some reason I keep showing up, and doing work, and slowly but surely, I’ll attain my goals.

Friday AM early, at Asheville Strength and Conditioning.

Warm-Up: some agility drills, then about 5 minutes on the Airdyne.

Mobility work: shoulders, quads, hams, calves, ankles.

Squat: 2 x 5 x 45 / 5 x 145 / 3 x 195 / 1 x 215 / inordinately long break / 1 x 215 / 9 x 2 x 225, done on 2-3 minute intervals. The emphasis here was on having a very controlled descent, finding the full depth of the bottom, and then driving out of the hole while keeping the lumbar in extension. I found I had to correct my knees on a couple of reps, and out of the 18 reps there were probably 2 where I lost back extension. But mostly, they were really great. This cheered me up a lot.

Power Clean: 2 x 3 x 25 kg / 1 x 3 x 40 kg / 3 x 3 x 50 kg (110 lbs). These are starting to be a little less ugly. I did the power cleans between sets of squats, so I had a light sweat going most of the time.

Wrist Curls: 1 x 7 x 10 lbs fat grips, pronated and supinated. I had a little bit of wrist pain from these so I decided to can them today.

Turkish Get Ups: 1 x 5 x each arm x 25 lb KB.

Kettlebell Swings: 3 x 21 x 24 kg (52.8 lbs). Why? Why do I love KB Swings? The damn KBs are growing on me, that’s for sure.

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

“Conditioning”

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.

monday at CFA

Monday AM at 6:00 I dragged myself to the old standby workout session at CrossFit Asheville, a workout combining push-press, box jumps, kettlebell swings, and finishing with a high-rep barbell metcon including hang power cleans, front squats, and push presses again.

Push-Press: 4 x 45 / 4 x 75 / 4 x 95 / 4 x 115 / 4 x 125 / 4 x 145

Box Jumps 5 x 24″ / 5 x 28″ / 5 x 30″ / 5 x 32″ / 5 x 34″ / 5 x 36″

Kettlebell Swings (American style with 3 second pause at top): 2 x 5 x 24kg / 1 x 5 x 28kg / 1 x 5 x 32 kg

7 rounds of: 3 hang power cleans, 3 front squats, 3 push press x 115 lbs, with 30 second rest between rounds. Unsure of total time. Somewhere in the middle, not last. Does the actual time matter?

friday fun at ASC

Friday afternoon workout, at ASC, with Brian Cohen:

Warm Up

500 meter row 1:55
Double unders practice; best set was 7 DUs.
200 meter run
Shoulder mobility and dumbbell calisthenics
Leg stretches
Some heavy bag

Strength

Front squat: 10 x 45 / 5 x 115 / 3 x 145 / 1 x 160 / 5 x 170 (PR); volume: 2,470.
Snatch Balance: 4 x 100, fail on 5 / 5 x 100 / 5 x 100 / 4 x 100, fail on 5 / 5 x 100 (PR); volume: 2,300.
Snatch: 7 x 1 x 105 (10 attempts, 3 fails, 7 successful). Volume: 735. 105 lbs is 91.3% of my current 1 RM in Snatch. So, this ought to have been a good stimulus for me.

Analysis of snatch training progress: Obviously, with the OHS work during the past couple of weeks, and the snatch balance work, and the dynamic effort, low volume snatch work I’ve been doing, I am chasing bigger numbers on the snatch. And I am going to get them. I have not just been trying to max out all the time with it, but rather, have been more concerned about speed, aggression, range of motion, and execution. I am trying to get better at the lift, without much help in the form of coaching. While I am improving, I also worry that I’m cementing bad habits I can’t observe. Brian saw me trying to snatch without bringing the bar close enough to my body. After he cue’d me to keep the bar closer, I slowed myself down in the 1st pull, focused on it, and ultimately could feel a world of difference.

Conditioning

3 rounds at “moderate” pace (75% or so):
6 double unders,
8 box jumps (24″)
10 KB Swings (50 lbs) (Russian swings)
200 meter run

monday: hang power cleans and much more

Monday, what a full day.

AM at CFA

At 6:00 am I went to the CFA workout. Which was as follows:

A. Hang power snatch 8 sets of 2-4 reps w/2 minutes rest b/w sets for emphasis on mobility
B. Complete 4 rounds of B1/B2:
B1. Barbell Reverse lunge @ 20×1; 6-8/leg No rest b/w legs. 30s rest b/f B2.
B2. Wide grip supinated chin-ups @ 41X2; 4-6 reps. Rest 60s before returning to B1.
C. In 60s complete:
12 Russian swings
Max reps box jumps (low box NTE 20/16″.) Focus on quick rebound off ground.
1 minute rest. Complete 5 total rounds.
Post KB#, box height & total reps.

A. Hang Power Snatch: 5 x 45 / 1 x 95 / 4 x 65 / 4 x 95 / 4 x 105 (PR) / 1 x 110

I’m not recording this weird PR because this particular session was ugly and sucked.

B. I did not do 4 rounds of reverse barbell lunge or wide grip pull ups. I totally farted around. I did not follow the tempo on the lunges. I only did two rounds of chin ups, though I did follow the tempo. These fried my forearms! Holy cow golfer’s elbow sucks ass.

C. I rocked this part out. Used the 32 kg kettlebell (70 lbs), and a 12 inch box. 187 box jumps. Yes!

Working on the Living Room

Next came a couple of hours of “going overhead” in my living room. I’m replastering the ceiling. Fracking dirty job.

Yardwork, Double Unders, Chins and Dips

In the afternoon I did seven 3-minute rounds of double-under practice in the back yard. These were alternated with 5-minute rounds of “lumberjacking” (machete, axe, sledgehammer and splitting wedge, pitchfork, hauling stuff). They were preceded and followed by rounds of weighted chins and dips.

Supinated grip dead hang weighted pull-ups: 2 x 2 x +15 lbs; ring dips: 2 x 1 x +15 lbs.

I do seem to be gradually building capacity in these difficult movements!

At the end of this day I was exhausted. Too exhausted. To make matters worse, I had a lousy dinner (Chinese food) that seemed to break all the rules I have about food and diet simultaneously. And during dinner I could feel myself coming down with something. I proceeded to eat and drink too much. I guess I was trying to do something about the impending cold, but it was the wrong strategy. By bedtime, I had a sore throat. Bummer.

return to the fitness challenge

Friday morning I set a new personal record for the Overhead Squat and then established some new numbers for the Carolina Fitness Challenge final WOD, which I first did back on Dec. 11th., 2010, at the CFC.

Overhead Squat: 12 x 45 in warm up / 5 x 45 / 2 x 95 / 2 x 105 / 2 x 115 / 2 x 125 / 2 x 130 (PR)

I ran out of time. I suspect I might have had 135 in me today as well. I already have 125 x 5, but had never done overhead squats with more than 125 for any number. I am proud of myself for doing more than I’ve ever done, but am also conscious of the fact that my pal T-Bone recently did 1 x 148 … and she’s “a girl.” I got some work to do. Of course, for me, this new PR represents a neuromuscular achievement. But also it is only a temporary stepping stone on the way towards more impressive numbers. PROMISE.

CFC final WOD / New Year’s Day 2011 WOD

2 minutes max reps / 1 min rest of: Double Unders, Deadlifts w/ 225 lbs, 24″ box jumps, 53 lb kettlebell swings.

Result: 14 (that’s right, 14, I suck at DUs), 23, 34, 42.

My double unders have actually DEGRADED of late. Time to get serious about them. I’m tired of being embarrassed by my DUs.

Comparing my numbers from Dec. 11th to today:

DU’s: 36 vs. 14. I suck much worse now versus then!

Deadlifts: 21 vs 23. Improvement!

Box Jumps: 38 vs 34. Not a lot worse, but worse.

KB Swings: 30 vs. 42. Great improvement.

There is actually a problem with the results page… I’m not sure whether the results are listed in the right place. It is possible that my original box jump number was 30, vs. today’s 34, and my original KB swing number was 38 vs. today’s 42. That would make more sense to me. In that case, I got better in 3/4 of the events.