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.

so there wednesday

Didn’t get the sleep or rest I needed Tuesday, for coming into Wednesday. Tuesday I did a probably 4 mile walk and then the kids were up all night, it seems, including from 3:00 am on, until I rose at 4:45. I was not grumpy, however. I hit my small goal (did my burpees, presses, chin-ups and dips) and I deadlifted more than last week. My chin-ups were weaker, but my dips were stronger. I even did “conditioning” although it was not a particularly challenging session.

Warm-Up: burpees 5 x 8 @ 2 min intervals. Plus static and dynamic movement and mobility during rest.

Deadlift: 5 x 135, 3 x 155, 3 x 185, 3 x 225, 3 x 245, 1 x 265, 1 x 285, 1 x 305, 1 x 325, 3 x 1 x 295.
Analysis: this week’s total volume was 5170 lbs, in 24 reps, 215 lbs/rep on average.

Shoulder Press: 3 x 7 x 35 lbs KBs

Shoulder Rehab: External Rotations 1 x 15 x each arm x 8 lbs

Dips and Chin-Ups
Dips: 4, 3, 3
Chins: 3, 2, 2 (feeling weak today here)

10 rounds of 1 minute: Double Kettlebell Swings 6 x 35 lbs KBs in 30 second interval, and push ups x 3 in 30 second interval.

monday after monday

Got up early arrived early did a bunch of stuff that on paper doesn’t read like much. Warmed up for a few minutes on the airdyne, did just a bit of additional stretching, and then proceeded to try to go heavy. Didn’t go entirely as planned.

Most of these sets were done interspersed with one another, with long rests between sets.

Squat: 5 x 45 / 5 x 160 / 3 x 215 / 1 x 255 / 1 x 260 (was going to go for 5 and knew it couldn’t happen; decided to rack it and rest; afterwards decided to do singles, which didn’t go well) / f x 265 (bailed on this one; that was over; I went down) / 3 x 225 / 7 x 205 (PR, technically) / 10 x 185.

Bent Over Row with FatGripz: 15 x 45 / 10 x 75 / 3 x 95 / 1 x 115 / 5 x 115 / 3 x 5 x 125.

Push-Ups: 3 x 12. Face chest and thighs to the floor.

Kettlebell Presses: 3 x 10 x 35 lbs KBs

After Squats and BOR were done…

Romanian Deadlift with FatGripz: 10 x 45 / 3 x 5 x 145. This was an intense forearm blast.

In fact, between all the grip challenging exercises, my forearms were very painful afterward. But they felt better later on.

Later, in the evening, in the dark, after the kids went down, I went on a walk with Mike Peterson. About 4 miles. Haven’t done something like that in a long while. I’ll probably pay for it later.

also work fridays

I have a head cold. But show up at 5:15 am at ASC anyway. I warmed up for about 20 minutes. Then

Squats: 5 x 45 / 5 x 157.5 / 3 x 205 / 1 x 225 / 7 x 3 x 230.

Romanian Deadlift: 10 x 45 / 3 x 10 x 145. Overhand no hook.

Bent Over Row (Pendlay) Barbell with FatGripz: 3 x 5 x 115 / 15 x 45.

Push-Ups: 3 x 10.

Note: Push-ups hurt my right shoulder. My shoulder hurt for two days after Monday’s push-ups. External rotation helps but doesn’t eliminate the pain during the exercise. But although they were a bit more painful than they should be today, they hurt less than they did on Monday; and I am less sore afterward. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

there’s no creative name for just another workout

Wednesday afternoon my dad took me with him to the MAC again. I love this old club for no good reason.

CrossFitters only pretend they are “eleeet” athletes. At this club they live “eleeet,” though not in an athletic sense. I think they imagine themselves the elite of Portland’s social life. The only elite level athletes in there yesterday were 19-22 year old college-level athletes home for Christmas break, most likely footballers and lacrosse players. Oh and I saw a couple of others too… there was a visiting lonely CrossFitter (tattooed arms, big and ripped, Vibram five fingers, getting ready to deadlift… had to be one, right?)… and an older, fit guy, wearing a Stanford Rowing t-shirt.

The weight room is labelled the “exercise and conditioning” room… the vast bulk of it is cardio machines of course. But they do have a lone olympic platform and ancient bumper plates, two squat racks, and a bad-ass selection of dumbbells and pre-loaded barbells; it’s an old-school club.

Anyway, I did an abbreviated, vacation version of my normal Wednesday workout. Here it is:

Warm-Up: 5 minutes on the Airdyne.

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

Deadlift: 10 x 45 / 5 x 135 / 3 x 225 / 1 x 260 / 1 x 275 / 5 x 280. My body put out an unbelievable quantity of adrenaline during this session. More than enough to finish my set. I did these on the Oly Platform. Which at this club has a ridiculous sign warning people not to drop weights from above the knees. All the bench press stations and their inclined and declined variants surround the oly platform. And the MAC patrons, well, the college athletes anyway, were applying thier chiseled triceps to the bench press, moving their 135s and 185s and so on. I tried to console myself that I may be doughy and old, but at least I’m moving more weight than anyone else in here. (And yes, John Duncan, I know I deadlift at the level of an infant mouse with Parkinson’s disease.)

Supersets of Squat and Press: next I went to the squat rack and set up for some light, higher volume squats. With these, I am trying to grease the groove for better form in my heavy squats. I moved quickly between the pre-loaded barbells in the free-weights area and the squat rack to super-set squats and press.

Squats: 5 x 8 x 95 lbs (cf. last Wed., 4 x 8).

Press: 5 x 45 lbs / 3 x 5 x 65 lbs (cf. last Wed. 3 x 5 x 60).

So the supersets started and ended with squat, and I pressed in-between sets.

Whew! That was almost a conditioning workout! I actually sweated.

Then, I grabbed my dad’s jumprope and set out to do an ambitious conditioning session, which I aborted after only a couple of rounds, because I hadn’t slept the night before, and yada yada yada, anyway I was already feeling spent:

3 rounds: 100 single unders, 6 push-ups.

Cool down.

At the MAC they have a very hot, thick-as-pea-soup steam-room, and an outstanding Norwegian Sauna. They also supply Osage Rub at the sinks. This stuff is marketed as an after-shave cooler; but I use it on my elbows, shoulders, and knee. It’s like liquid Icy-Hot. It starts out as nothing and then a few minutes later feels like you have a painted-on icepack. If you haven’t tried that after a workout… I recommend it. It’s a miracle.

friday fry

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.

dead wed

I overcame a vicious night of caring for small sick JZ, to show up at 5:00 am for my regular workout. My left shoulder is killing me! Killing me. From Yoga on Monday. Damn yoga. Between that and my lack of sleep I had my excuse for skipping conditioning today.

My 20 lbs per week linear progression in deadlift is starting to get hard, even though I am still about 4 weeks out from beating my book 5 RM (300 lbs). Breaking my left arm 19 weeks has drastically reduced my capacity in the pulls and upper body presses! Damn. Also, I am just beginning to press seriously again. So I feel like a little girl. Today’s efforts felt, well, easy, yet not so much. Decent. Strangely challenging.

Workout Wednesday, Dec. 7th

Warm Up Airdyne, 5 minutes.

Mobility, the usual.



Regular Bar 5 x 135 / 3 x 185 / 1 x 225 / 5 x 240

Fat Bar 3 x 5 x 155


5 x 45 / 3 x 5 x 55


Performed as a circuit:
Reverse Curl 3 x 5 x 15 lbs DBs w/ Fat Grips
Chin-Up 5, 5, 4
Push-Up 6, 5, 5
Dips 1, 1, 1. Yes, I was actually able to do body weight dips. (For the record, I weighed in at 202 this morning). Such was not guaranteed! Going to gradually build volume back up, here.

Then… my substitute for “conditioning”…

KB Swings w/ 35 lbs: 5 x 21, 60s rest between rounds.

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.