Friday, Dec. 9th, 2011. Got started early, right around 5:00 am. Probably had about one hour less sleep than I needed. I think that hurt me on the squats (see below).
C2 1250 meters easy pace (about 5:22 total time)
Hips, Hams, Quads, Calves, Ankles, Shoulders, Forearms, Wrists
squat 2 x 5 x 45 / 5 x 145 / 3 x 185 / 1 x 215 / 1 x 225 / 2 x 5 x 225 / 1 x 5 x 225, f on 6. These felt so freaking heavy. Near impossible heavy. I don’t understand, since I was doing work sets with 242.5 not too long ago. They were so bad, on the second set of 5 with 225 I almost failed rep 5. I originally intended to do a set of max reps with 225 on the last set. But I got down with and just couldn’t stand out of the hole with the sixth rep on the last set. This weight felt so shitty I may do it again on Monday before increasing to 227.5. In any case the way I feel now it makes me want to swtich to about +2.5 per week in a linear progression. But, unless I get sick or injured, I am not going down in weight again. Period. F**k squats.
power clean 3 x 25 kg / 3 x 3 x 40 kg (88 lbs). These are still totally manageable. Next time: 45kg.
Some of these exercises got tucked in between sets of squats and power cleans. The rest were squeezed in between coaching the various athletes who came in at 6:00 am. Unfortunately, my elbows, forearms, and shoulders feel like crap. Like I have 100% tendonitis from my rotator cuff down to my finger tips. I keep mobilizing but I’m not sure it’s helping. But the only options I can think of are to HTFU or step off completely. You know what I chose.
wrist curls, pronated and supinated, 10 lbs fatgripz: 5, 5, 5
push-up: 6, 6, 5
pull-up (fat bar orange band): 5, 5, 5
lying triceps extensions, 35 lb DBs: 5, 4, 5. These are TOUGH. On the second set I failed on the 5th rep, on the left side of course. Gonna stay at this weight until I can do these fast and hard.
I did these while teaching Melody and Erin:
turkish sit ups, 15 lb KB, 5 each side
turkish get ups, 15 lb KB, 5 each side
Not so much “conditioning” as “finishing.” Long session today.
Part A: 5 rounds: KB Hand to Hand Swings, aka DARC swings, 35 lb KB, 20 reps (10 per arm), 30s rest
Part B: basically a 3 round circuit of two: hammer curls 20 lbs DBs fatgripz, 5, 5, 5, alternating sets with jump rope single unders 3 x 100.
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
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.
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!
Week XI, Workout A
Warm-Up: 1000m row, easy pace, 22 s/m, res 3. About 4:23. I forgot to note exact time.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Actually Saturday was a great day, full of activity. Fun. Here’s a summary of it.
Woke up, worked on shoulder and forearm mobility. Boxing/Karate shadow boxing. Hamstring flexibility. Shoulder work with 5 & 10 lb plates: high-pulls, rotations, presses, T3s, all x12-20. Push-Ups (10).
Then: working out with my Jump Rope in the back yard, 15 minute timed session. Result: I got sweaty!.
After: Weighted Dead Hang Pull Ups (1x +10, 2x +5); weighted Ring Dips (1x +10, 1x +5).
Later: meeting of the Asheville Barbell Club in Brian’s driveway. It was lightly raining, off and on, and humid, with patches of bright sun. Hot. The driveway is not level. It is not smooth. It is not safe for snatching. We did so anyway. My intention was to do full snatches, but the conditions were not ideal. I resorted to some ugly form and found power snatching easier on the uneven, unlevel, unfinished surface.
Asheville Barbell Club workout:
450 meter warm-up run
Snatch Balance 5×45
Hang Power Snatch 5×45
Snatch 1x : 45, 65, 65, 75, 75, 85, 85, 85, 95, 95, f x 105, ps 1x 105, s 105, ps 1x 115, 1 x 115 (ugly!), f x 115, ps (ugly) 125 (technical PR but not happy about it), f x125, f x 125
Front Squat 1 x 8 x 130. (A set done just for fun).
This was all followed by the customary beer.
Previous PR in snatch and power snatch seems to have been 120 x 2 power snatch, 115 x 1 snatch. I need to do some volume in the snatch at 85-90% of my 1rm full snatch (115lbs, i.e. 95-105 lbs). Next snatch workout: warm-up, then 20-25 full snatch reps at 95 lbs.
Later: more mobility work.
Stayed up so late, being bad, on Thursday, that I missed my customary 6:00 am CFA workout. Instead I did several short workouts over the course of the day.
Am warm-up: one mile run 80% RPE
Later at the YMCA: 500 meter row (8 resistance, 26 spm, 1:56 time)
Pushups, 2 sets (10, 10)
Seated Behind The Neck Press 20lb bar, x10
Shoulder rotations, 5 lb db , x12 e.a.
45 degree hand position db shoulder press w/ 15 lb DBS x 12
T3 deltoid raises, 10 lb db x 12 e.a.
High pull 42 lb fat grip bar x 12
Deadlift 5 x 135 / 3 x 5 x 225; volume: 4,050. Yes I was very careful about neck position. No I didn’t worry too much about tempo. I went down in a slow and controlled manner, and up as fast as I could, with an overhand grip, and really good set and position.
Back Squat 5 x 45 / 5 x 135 / 3 x 5 x 180; volume: 3,600. These were not as strong as I would have liked. I did do them closer to high bar style, ftr.
Later, back at home: Weighted Dead Hang C2B Pull-Ups (1, 1 x +5). Weighted Ring Dips (1, 1 x +5)
AM early: mobility work! on shoulder and forearms; shadow karate/boxing punches.
Afternoon: 10 minutes of playing around with jumprope; pushups (10); weighted +5 pull ups (2); weighted +5 ring dip (1).
Later: Watched two mobility WOD videos.
Evening: hamstring stretches; foam rolling; wooden ball rolling on shoulder and arms; ring dips (2); squat mobility.
Purpose of day: active rest and mobility; gradual introduction of additional training volume.