Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Years to All

Spent today at the car dealer getting the radio and center console replaced (free, it's a recall item), so I'm on the computer a bit to pass my 2.5 hours. Am also watching a lot of Brent Mikesell videos, studying his technique to see where my squat problem lies. I'm going to do a few unhealthy things tonight but will be off the road, as should everyone else. Cheers!!!

Friday, December 30, 2005

The Adventures of Sledboy and Ding

I actually got off work today at 10:30AM . . . . whoopee!!! Time enough to get my son's meds - - - doctor called to say his throat culture tested positive for strep - - - and take the sled out for a spin. Watched the Parisi Warm-up DVD, ate, then we were on our way. My son called dibs on dragging the sled to the clubhouse.

I was lazy and did not not want to take two trips up the stairs so I loaded the sled with a 45, 25, and two 5s and carried it down the stairs. Oh, those sharp edges. Right thigh got slashed. I tell my son to just hold the straps over the shoulder and pull. After a couple of misteps, he pulls it to the clubhouse slowly but surely. All 110 lbs of it (sled's about 30 lbs). Huffing and puffing, he says that he'll go swim. I take everything (sled, weights, ankle straps, and basketball) and get ready to run drills and drag. In case you're wondering, it was not hardwood but a surface similar to what's in weightrooms.

I first do a lap much as my son did, with 110 lbs, and realize that it was not hitting the right spots. So I choked the straps and stepped in them, then cinched it to my waist and dragged it for six laps. That was more like it. I have never felt my hips being drilled that directly before, and my backside was getting worked. Much like Louie Simmons wrote, you take long, forceful strides. Then, I did the same thing but walking backwards. After 3 laps, my quads were singed. I took off 35 lbs and continued. Could my weaker VMO be holding my squat back a bit? Hmmmmmm. I even did some drags with the ankle straps, doing forward/backwards/sideways drags with the sled only; did pullthroughs, front/rear raises, and hand over hand pulling for my back. In between all this, I did laps and suicides, sideways runs, backwards runs, skipping, and some of the mobility work I saw on the video. I will use less weight in the future, and I really love this thing. A good workout. Squat workout was next in a few hours.

Took my son to Bangor gym so he could shoot hoop and I could squat. Due to all the sled experimenting, I just did the meat and potatoes of todays workout.

DE Parallel Box Squat: 95x3, 115x3, 135x3, 165x2x10. Had decent speed but little pop. Too much sled work? Sure. But I've come to realize that I sit too far back in the box squat and my form out of the hole needs work. Otherwise, I descend fine. I spread my groin as I go down and push my knees out (kind of like Brent Mikesell recommends), but it seems I'm not totally sure what to do from the bottom. Should I bring my knees in a bit then spread the floor as I come up or what? Advice, anyone? Oh, on one of my sets I realized what John McDonald meant when I was holding the bar with my hands out too far and I trapped my right pinky for a split second against the j-hook, cutting it and splitting the nail. That smarted.

Supersetted speed deadlifts (205x1x10) and trap bar shrugs (164x3x10). Will I pay for that? Already am, my traps are crispy. Had to keep wiping my pinky after each dead, too.

Finished up by joining my son for some baskets. Tuesday, I'll do the lighter leg stuff that should have finished this workout.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

All I Want for X-Mas

X-mas was pretty good to me. Among the things my wife got me was some essential gear: a sled pack, two and 3 board, and the Parisi Warm-up DVD from EliteFTS. The only thing I had to get myself was carabiners (4 of them), and 3 plates (45, 35, 25 lbs, my kid wants to give it a go). Any suggestions on dragging workouts that have worked for others would be very welcome. I will probably watch the DVD tonight and start getting conditioning tips from that, which I will also blog. One thing I do want to do, since I'm out to improve my 1.5 mile run, is to attempt to do a walking sled drag through the course they use on Bangor base to slowly condition myself for it. Stupid? Maybe. But depending on how it goes with a light weight, it might be a good thing. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Friday, December 23, 2005

ME Bench

All notation: lbs x reps x sets.

Nautilus Nitro Vertical Bench: 95x6, 110x5, 125x4, 140x3, 155x3, 170x6, 200x1, 180x6, 210x0, 120x15. The 200 pounder went up twice as quick as last time, about a 5 second rep. The 210er moved an inch then would not move any further. The 15 rep set took 3 pauses after the 7th and 11th rep. To push from the bottom with no leg drive means I better push it hard and fast, or it won't happen. The Nautilus is very draining.

Tri-set for 3 sets of 20 reps:
Dumbbell Front Raises: 8 lbs
Dumbbell Side Raises: 8 lbs
Hoist Rear Delt Machine: 15 lbs.

Inverted Rows: 10 sets of 3. Better with a good pause and a deeper pull.
Standing Reverse Curls: 10 sets of 3 with 50 lbs
Seated External Rotations: 20 reps with 2, 3, and 4 lbs; 18 reps with 5 and 6 lbs; 15 reps with 8 and 10 lbs; 2 sets of 12 reps with 12 lbs; and 10 reps with 15 lbs.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Yesterday's aerobics was for me to run basketball drills while my son swam in the pool. Basketball for me is a great way to get lean and in shape because of all the short sprints, body movements, and jumping. That, and I suck wind early in games, and this is more fun than running on a treadmill.

1.) Jogged four laps around the court, dribbling with my right hand.
2.) Played one-handed Around The World, including the three point range.
3.) Jogged four laps around the court in the opposite direction, dribbling with my left hand.
4.) Played one-handed Around The World on the opposite end of the court, including the three point range. Got this done faster, shot was now tuned up.
5.) Ran Suicides from both ends of the court. I want to say that the prior day's squat workout bled me dry, but would rather admit that my endurance needs lots of work. I tried my best to be fast, but felt the burns early.
6.) 25 pushups with feet elevated.
7.) 30 situps
8.) Ran Cariocas back and forth.
9.) 10 band pushups, feet elevated.
10.) 10 leg thrusts.
11.) Backwards shuffles, feet spread arms out (defensive position), back and forth.
12.) Planks
13.) Alternating Supermans. My abs were so tired. Hell, I was spent!!!
14.) Toe taps until my tibia burned.
15.) Rapid jumps using only the calves.
16.) Side shuffles in a criss-cross pattern.

Gave myself a fast shower, then jumped in the pool to play. Hot tub and sauna felt great.

Added today: Lifefitness Elliptical Trainer: 25 minutes, level 5, 2.71 miles, steady state. Can't always train hard circuits, and I do some steady low intensity stuff at times. Left feeling loose and limber.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

ME Squat/DL

Squats: 135x5, 155x4, 175x3, 195x1, 225x3x5. I notice that I have a little more oomph and balance from the bottom, so I'm gonna give credit to the split squats for that one. Not too demanding until the end.

Arched Back Good Mornings: 135x3, 155x3, 185x3, 205x3x5. Rather than rest a bit from the squats, I just rested a minute or so like any other set. The result? The weights felt really light because my body still thought I had 225 on the bar.

Band Assisted GHR on a Resist-A-Roll Ball: 40 reps in 10 sets. Towards the end, I had to push myself up a bit just for more assistance, but my hams were toast so it barely mattered.

Trap Bar Shrugs/Hoist Calf Press superset: 10 sets of 3 with 164 lbs (shrugs) and 70 lbs (calves).

Hadn't worked out in a while except for HIIT aerobics and running basketball drills with my sun. My metabolism is creeping up. That last bench session aggravated my hand so I took a break. The cut had been healing but I still had a knot underneath it about the size of a quarter that would flare up and throb if I grabbed anything. It's gone now, but I squatted with the Manta Ray, just in case.

In case the holidays keep me out of the gym the rest of the week. I wanted to wish you all a Merry X-mas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/"fill in the blank" and a safe and happy New Year. And if you must drink, push the car home for GPP!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

DE Bench

This workout happened yesterday. As I would learn yesterday and this past weekend, my hand may take a bit to heal. The wound is closing up but underneath it it's still a little tender and bruised. Right now, it's a little sore from yesterday's bench session.

Hammer MTS Front Pullsown: 70x3x8, 80x2, 90x1

Flat Bench Press: 95x5, 115x4, 135x3, 145x3x8, 165x2, 205x1, 250x0. All sets done with the wider grip (long finger on rings). I tried the 250 just to get a feel for it. I racked it and brought it down under control in solid form, but that was it.

Dumbbell Shoulder Presses: 50x3x3. Shoulders were beat from Mondays squat session, and I didn't have much speed. I had tried the behind the neck press but it just didn't feel right.

Supersetted YTWLs (10 sets of 5-8 reps with 3 lbs) and Preacher Curls (50x3x10)

Monday, December 12, 2005

DE Squat - Sort Of

Intervals on a Lifefitness Elliptical machine: 4 intervals (1 min fast, 1 min slow). My warmup was to walk to the gym and back up a lot of stairs to get back to work. 4 intervals was all I could handle. But would I go back to steady state? No. This is the best way for me to get lean, so I will be patient.

Hammer MTS ISO Incline Bench (all weights per movement arm): 25x10, 35x8, 45x6, 55x4, 65x2, 75x1, 85x1, 95x1. What else was going to do for that extra time left?


Parallel Box Squat: 95x3, 115x3, 135x3, 150x2x10.

Speed Deadlifts: 185x1x10. Speed was good on everything. All speed work done beltless.

Bulgarian Split Squats: BWTx10, 20x10, 20x9. These torched my quads and backside. I want to take this as a sign of quad weakness, but what I will settle for is the question of why I waited this long to do them.

One Armed Dumbbell Overhead Squats: Lifted right out of the No Curls program by Alwyn Cosgrove, I decided to do these instead of side bends to get more bang for my training buck. 10 lbs was used as the overhead weight, and 20 was used for the squat weight. 3 sets of 10 and these really hammered me. Not just because of all the leg work before, but my abs were really engaged, and I had to work hard to balance the overhead weight (I think some more shoulder flexibility would be nice here, too). I just had an epiphany: it was also hard because, accounting for the arm switch each set, that's 60 reps!!!

Supersetted Seated Calf Raises (65x3x10) and Pullthroughs (20x10, 30x10, 40x10, 50x8, 60x8, 70x6, 80x4, 90x2, 100x1, 110x1). It was only gonna do pullthroughs for 3 sets of 10, but I felt frisky;-)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

ME Bench - Friday

All notation: lbs x reps x sets.

Nautilus Nitro Vertical Bench: 90x6, 105x5, 120x4, 135x3, 150x3, 160x6, 190x1, 170x6, 200x1, 115x15. The 200 lbs took me 10 seconds to complete but I was going to get it, damnit!!! After that, 115 lbs felt just like 180 lbs - - - it took me two rest pauses to get the 15 reps.

Tri-set for 3 sets of 20 reps:
Dumbbell Front Raises: 5 lbs
Dumbbell Side Raises: 5 lbs
Hoist Rear Delt Mchine: 10 lbs. What a burn. I never could get the hang of doing rear delts with a dumbbell, so I substituted the Hoist.

Inverted Rows: BWTx3x10. Set the bar on the Smith, lay on your back beneath it, then pull yourself up. This was more about quality: while I did get myself up pretty high, I felt as if I could do better if I was stronger. So I worked on my pull steadiness and my one second pause at the top.

Seated External Rotations: 8x15, 10x12x2, 12x10. 4 weeks of high rep work to get my cuffs prepared, followed by 4 weeks of 6-8 rep work, then repeat. That's the plan.

Standing Reverse Curls: Worked up to a 60lbs 1RM, then did 7 sets of 3 with 50 lbs.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Deload to Reload

Read this on the Elite FTS site, written by Jim Wendler. A must read, especially if preparing for a meet, it has different methods of deloading from a cycle.

ME Squat/DL

Wife has been sick the last couple of days and I had to set up the game systems Wednesday. So this workout was split over two days. I decided to do the Prilepin cycle for the squat for three weeks so that I could squat more, using squats as my heavy movement and arched back good mornings for the light movement - - - on the same day. Throw in the shrug work and the deadlift is practically covered, too. I don't expect a major weight jump from this but I expect a better squat and more SPP.

Wednesday Lunchtime:

Squats: 135x5, 155x4, 175x3, 195x0 (got down to the bottom and the bar started to roll off, I lost my concentration and could not come up. Worse yet, I set the pins too low. So after falling on my ass carefully, I had to get the bar off me and I rolled it on my left hand. Ouch!!! Cut my palm, blood starts to drip. I sprayed some disinfectant on a towel, wiped my hand up. Now, I'm pissed), 195x3, 225x3, 245x2x3. As of today, the hand is just a little sore but at least I didn't break anything. The skin stayed on so it should heal up quick. My upper back and neck muscles were sore from trying to roll the bar off - - - because of my position at the time, I could not dump the bar.

Weighted Situps: 5 sets of 10 with a 25 lbs plate. My abs are so sore right now!!!


Arched Back Good Mornings: 95x6, 115x5, 135x4, 155x3, 175x3, 195x3x5. Pretty good, just a lot of work.

Band Assisted GHR on a Resist-A-Roll Ball: 30 reps in 8 sets. In case I didn't describe it before, here's the setup. The ball is almost oval, with a rougher texture so that it stays put. Went to the room that had the metal bars on the wall. Attached the bands to upper bars (level with my shoulders), put my feet inside lower bars to hold them to the wall, put an arm in each band, and got on the ball. These feel a lot more natural than my old setup. Harder, too: you get help at the bottom, less as you come back up, none a few inches short of the top.

Trap Bar Shrugs/Hoist Calf Press superset: 10 sets of 3 with 154 lbs (shrugs) and 65 lbs (calves).

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

DE Bench

I had to drive myself to work yesterday, so I worked out at the gym here in Bremerton rather than waste time driving to the other base. Felt good to be back, getting back into the habit of things.

Flat Bench Press: 115x3, 135x3, 145x3x8, 185x2, 205x1, 225x0. I stuck with one grip today, which was a little wider than normal (longest finger on the rings). Still had really good speed but it did take a little more work to stabilize the bar. It also made heavier weights harder, thus the 225 failure. I also noticed that on the last inch ot two, my speed slows a bit - - - time to either use 3-4 boards, rack lockouts, or heavy band benches. Or I could blame the wider grip and feel really good about myself!

Hammer MTS ISO Front Pulldown: Worked up to 85x2 per arm, then did 65x3x10. Very similar to a chinup done with a slight arch toward the top. Very effective.

Hammer ISO Behind The Neck Presss: 70x3x3 per arm.

YTWLs: 4 sets with 5 lbs. Just did as many as I could, these are so fucking hard. I know that the point is not to hurl up a ton of weight but, man, this is ridiculous. Evil exercise!!!

Preacher Curls: 50x3x10.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Price of Being Cheap

After a year in Puerto Rico, I arrived back in the United States in 1977. From 1977 to 1986, I moved about 9 times as my mom not only had some problems with greedy landlords and small apartments but also wanted bigger and better places for our family of 6 kids. We never had the luxury of movers, we were it. As you could imagine, it was always quick with that much help.

We tried to move cheap from our home to the apartment, so we opted to move all the smaller things and let the movers take the bigger things. Simple, right?

Where are your weightlifting bloggers when you need them:) If you have never lived in a home, it's easy to move. If you are moving from a home into an apartment, it's murder. Our house was not overly decorated or furnished and yet after the movers were done, we spent another week cleaning up and moving all of our shit. Some of our stuff went into storage. We still have to get the outdoor basketball hoop. And our apartment, though it's getting organized, still looks "just moved into." Painful lesson. Surprisingly, my wife and I didn't kill each other but we were getting really grouchy.

I've eaten like shit for a week, and have moved so many things up and down stairs and walked so much my knees ached. This weekend was for rest and I feel good enough to start working out again tonight. And I got my computer hooked up this Saturday. Next time, the movers are gonna move EVERYTHING!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Short 3

Flat Bench Press w/feet up and 1 second pause: 165x3x10. I was really tired from moving and my lower back was so tired that I could barely hold an arch, so this was a relief. Rep speed was steady but not as fast as feet on the floor (of course) and I was good and stable. I had to put a little more into these but I like 'em.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Short 2

I will do these short workouts until the week after next - - - I should be settled in by then. I will just be doing 10x3, and only two lifts. Today, I did it with 60% of 1RM in both lifts; next week will be a session at 70%, then one at 80%.

Flat Bench Press: 145x3x10. Did these with a 1-second pause at the bottom. I remember when THIS was heavy. My goal on the third workout is 190x3x10.

Squat: 165x3x10. Not a killer, but a challenge. My goal for these is 220x3x10 which I know will kick my ass but also means that I might be in better shape to do an Ian King wave with these when I start my program back up.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


We are slowly moving into our new apartment (Our house won't be complete until April 2006)and will be completely out the 28th. My son's parent-teacher conference was today, and we sign our house title paperwork tomorrow. Then, there's Thanksgiving. Not much time for my full workout until maybe the middle of next week, if not the beginning of the following week. So, I figured that I could do one or two lifts here and there. Just the very basics.

Conventional Deadlift: 135x3, 155x3, 185x3, 205x3, 225x2, 245x2, 275x1, 295x1, 315x1, 335x1. I had to test this lift for the program, and I wanted a lot of bang for my buck. My form was actually pretty good.

My favorite spotter was there doing his bench press workout. He asked me to spot and I asked to jump in. Did 225 for a 2RM, then 225 for a single. I loaded up 240 and lowered it inadvertently to a spot lower than normal but my elbows might have been tucked a little more because it launched faster and I just flared the elbows a bit towards the top for a strong lockout. We then finished with a 135 lbs rep out. He got 15 reps; I got 15 and was going for 16 but the burn was too much and I only got it halfway up. It was a fun workout, makes me wish for a partner sometimes.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Wk1: ME Bench

Nautilus Vertical Bench (set deep on #4): 45x6, 60x5, 75x4, 90x3, 105x3, 120x3, 135x3, 150x3, 160x6, 190x1 (Grind), 170x6, 200x0 (Barely moved an inch, then I strained for dear life hoping it would move some more), 115x15 (Rest paused twice). Yesterday's impromptu workout probably took a chunk out of me, but I managed all but the 200 I really wanted. I'll incorporate some of yesterday's in my regular plans and leave lunchtime for fat loss stuff. I noticed that this machine has a 245 lbs stack plus 10 lbs extra in 5 lbs increments. Hmmmmmmmmmm . . . . . . .

3-Way Shoulder Raises: 4lbs for 20 reps, 5 lbs for 20 reps, 6 lbs for 20 reps. This gave my shoulders a wicked burn, but I feel like such a wuss. But this lets me know my shoulders themselves need to be brought up from my triceps' shadow.

Hoist Wide Pullups (BWT 244.5): 84.5x3, 94.5x3, 104.5x3, 114.5x3, 94.5x3x5. Yeah, yesterday's back work made this tough, too.

Seated External Rotations: 5x8, 8x8, 10x8, 12x8, 15x8, 20x8.

Standing Reverse Curls: 20x10, 30x10, 40x10.

Rage for The Machines

Had to be thrown in for good measure, especially with the debates on my blog pro and con. In short, the right machine can be a great tool in our quest to get bigger and stronger and faster - - - as long as it doesn't become the toolbox. That, and some people just want only better health and no hassle - - - yes, not everyone wants a huge squat/DL/bench/total or legs to fill out those retarded ultra baggy pants! Thus the popularity of places like Curves, and all your chrome palaces that pass for gyms. My question to everyone is: which machines do you find of great value to your training goals, and which are some of the worst you have ever used? Keep in mind what Jim Wendler says in this article, there are some machines that are really benches (Like GHRs). No one will think of you any less for admitting that they use them, especially me (I use some for assistance work and some occasional gonzo workouts).

Also, what would the male version of Curves be called?

Oh yeah, and I'm one of the guys that wants the huge squat/DL/bench/total!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2005


A disclaimer: today was intended to be a rest day. And it still was . . . . sort of.

I went to check out the gym at the new base where I work, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, WA. While I love the gym over at Bangor, I have to car pool it over to home, then jump in my car, drive there, then I have to work out with no fooling around. So I'm considering options for some days. It's a 5 minute walk from my office each way, all upstairs coming back, which left me winded. Not as hardcore as Bangor's: not enough squat or bench press racks. Not as many machines, but that's fine. It's smaller. But it had something Bangor does not: a shitload of Hammer Strength machines, including the MTS line (selectorized iso-lateral machines). All back and chest angles covered - - - Oh boy!!!

I did the following circuit for three trips, worked up to 10 reps each. I left the gym with a crazy pump, my back especially.

Hammer MTS Front Pulldown: 30x10, 40x10, 50x10
Hammer MTS High Row: 30x10, 40x10, 50x10
Hammer MTS Bench Press: 30x10, 40x10, 50x10
Hammer MTS Row: 30x10, 40x10, 50x10
Hammer MTS Incline Bench: 30x10, 40x10, 50x10

Wk1: ME Squat/DL

Two days ago, I was emailing John McDonald and I said two things that made me think real hard about the ME movement to kick off this cycle. One, that I should just squat to get my confidence back and because I've been doing boxes too much over a long stretch of time. The other thing I said was that one should work what they are not good at in order to get better.

Squats: 105x6, 125x5, 145x4, 165x3, 185x3, 205x3, 225x3, 245x3 (3RM). I was gonna wave train this but thought it best to just do a 3RM (per the Manual) to regain my skill and build myself back up. Good call. On the 245, that just about killed me - - - I was seeing stars on the last rep, I thought of that chick trying to crawl out of well in THE RING!!!! Today, I feel beat up. This will pay off, I know, just may want to do things to increase my GPP and aerobic capacity. After a long while without squatting or deadlifting, I knew I was gonna be sucking wind.

Bulgarian Split Squats: 3 sets of 8. I did these only with bodyweight because I've never done them and my balance was an issue. Tough enough for a newbie, even tougher after squats.

Arched Back Good Morning: 3 sets of 10 at 115, 125, and 135. Squats took it out of my lower back, too, but these weren't too bad because I was not holding the bar in my hand.

Trap Bar Shrugs: 94x10, 114x10, 124x10, 144x7.

Hoist Calf Press: 35x10, 45x10, 55x10, 65x8.

Lying Leg Thrusts: 3 sets of 8.

Barbell 21s: 3 sets at 40 lbs. Didn't get much out of the hammer curls on Monday, decided to do barbell movements for biceps from now on for this cycle.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Structural Balance for 280

Last bench cycle, this was what I used as a guide for my bench. It's written in Excel, I just plug in a value for the Flat Bench Press. The addition of the Nautilus Bench (3 is the seat height S and 4 is the setting to push the back rest forward D for more depth) and Incline Bench is because those two movements I currently finding the most challenging in the bottom position, my weakness right now. As you can see, the supinated chinups need a lot of work as do the preacher curls - - - I also say that because the chin is tough to increase. My mindset is that my back work would finally break the 200 lbs barrier only when my bicep strength greatly increases, like my bench barriers broke with the addition of heavy triceps movements. My off the chest movements require work, no doubt, but not as much as one would think. That's only because I use my lats and upper back to help launch the weight from the bottom, as well as speed work. Once I get that weight 3 inches off my chest, my 2 board strength takes over. At some point, I will do behind the neck press just to stay in line but getting a 26 pound gain in that lift in 15 weeks won't be a problem. The goals for external rotations won't be a problem either, but I'm not stopping there. I might gun for the same goal in YTWLs, just because they made me eat humble pie. Close Grips are doable but I may have to do forearm work so that I can hold that much with a close grip. I think all the deadlifting will help there.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Wk1: DE Bench

Flat Bench Press w/3 different grips: 55x3, 75x3, 95x3, 115x3, 145x3x8. Used pinkies on first ring for first set, then second ring on second set, then a little wider than that, etc. Speed was good but since I haven't benched much in two weeks (Time off is great, even if filled with stress), my stability didn't kick in until the 4th set.

2-Board Press: 165x3, 185x3, 215x3, 225x3. That last set was almost an ego booster if it wasn't so hard. If I'm not going to do direct tricep work, this will do. At some point, I want to handle big weight and this will be the way.

Hoist Neutral Grip Chinups (BWT 241 lbs): 131x3x10. I was going to do this for biceps, the 10x3, since on the structured balance list they are the most glaring weakness. But I figured that I should hammer the shit out of my back this way, then see where biceps are at the end.

YTWLs: 3 sets of 5 with 5 lbs. A Mark Verstegen favorite, and you can see it on a recent article by Alwyn Cosgrove for T-nation. These are humbling, to say the least. Very different stuff for RC work.

Reverse Incline Hammer Curls: 25x8x3.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Mission Complete!!!

Slept through Friday and enjoyed the day off. Had Navy drill this weekend. At 3 PM, I wrapped up my work and went to PT.

I want to start the EFS beginners program this week. Maybe, I was tired of putting so much on the bench and want the squat and deadlift numbers I know I was meant for. I also wanted a change. I also thought of the goals I reached: 200+ band bench, 200+ incline, 220 close grip, and 20x8 for external rotations. Yeah, my last bench session pounded me to a pulp but with a week's rest, it had to be worth something. Right?

I walked over to the bench, loaded up 240 on the bar (I'm sure Dave Tate and Jim Wendler would have a heart attack at any suggestion of the use of 5s and 2.5 lbs disks!!!). At first, my goal was just to get a feel for it, how close to it I can get. Cold.

I took a 26" wide grip (pinkies on the second ring). The spotter gave me a lift off, and I told him to not touch the bar unless I told him to. And that's when I went from a testing mindset to one where I was going to get it. It felt as light as that 225 lift a week or so ago. Felt that way going down, too. The weight was just one steady push to the top. Goal reached.

I have not decided on goals for the 12 week program yet. Might be more fun to try to hit PRs each week a la Westside and see where that goes. But since the whole structural balance thing worked well for me for this cycle, I will probably start looking at what it will take to hit a 280 bench at the end of this cycle. That, and I will start looking for a meet at the end of it.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


It just had to happen. Last workout, I turned the intensity up on my triceps work on heavy day plus the 10x3 on back. On paper, I should have known: the inclines had 8 reps over 90% 1RM including one at 100% and one over 100%, and so was dips. Then 25 reps over 90% for DB push press . . .

The results? I will be OK tomorrow, which will be Wednesday's leg day that I didn't do. But I was so overtrained that I haven't slept well in three days. My back recovered the fastest, so the 10x3 is fine. I think all the box lifting and carting stuff back and forth for my job move has kept my shoulders limber so I'll be ready for Monday's DE bench session. But my CNS was crispy fried, and the added stress from my job relocation only added to it. A lot of naps have helped, and I might just get some sleep tonight. Stupid, eh? I want the 240 bad, but not this bad!!!

On a related side note, I received Elite FTS Beginners Training Manual in the mail yesterday and have to say it is a lot more logical and effective layout than Dave's 9 week plan of old. You can definitely see Jim Wendler's touch on some of it. There is no Good Mornings as a max effort movement, and some of the heavy triceps accessory movements are now 4 to 5 board presses. I might use some of this for my current 3 weeks, especially the 3 way shoulder raises instead of push presses, and one of the arrangements for legs. For now, I'll keep the dips and close grips for triceps but use the wave I had before (only one rep above 90%, total). I'll keep the 10x3 for back. I can't wait to start it!!!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Wk6: ME Bench

Trick or treat, ya'll!

I got off early today just because we no longer have desks or computers in the office - - - the contractors started taking everything apart today. I just have a phone. Tomorrow is my last day at the old building. So, this workout went at a leisurely pace.

Incline Bench Press: 90x6, 105x5, 120x4, 135x3, 155x2, 165x6,195x1, 175x6, 205x1, 115x10+5 (Thanks to Christian D. for the rest pause notation). The sets of 6 at 165 and 175 I have never done before, so they were very tough after the 3rd rep. I was smart to make my top set 205 for this week. 205 might be easy cold, but after the other sets I had to pour it on.

90 degree External Rotations: 8x10, 12x10, 15x8, 20x8, 20x4. I hit my goal under the Structural Balance template with the 20 lbs for 8 reps. These were supersetted with band pull aparts, arm rotations, and shoulder stretches.

Dumbbell Push Press: 60x5x3, 60x4, 60x3. My goal was 57 lbs for 5x5 but, well, you know . . . . I'm gonna switch over to the Nautilus Shoulder Press for the last two weeks, especially since my triceps pressing will be more intense.

T-Bar Rows: 127.5x3x10.

Hoist Assisted Dips: 208x6, 245x1, 220x6, 257x1, 147x11+4. This just handed my ass to me, especially after the rest of the workout.

Some changes. I switched back exercise days, will switch one shoulder exercise, will increase the intensity on the dips and close grip benches, and may switch to band chinups vice wide pullups for the duration. Maybe' I'll hit on something, however small.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Triceps Test

Took my son to the gym to play basketball and shoot some hoops myself. Gotta do something fun and non-PL related, eh?

Ok, I did three singles in three lifts. That's it. Cold. Had to see where triceps were headed into the tail end of this cycle.

Flat Bench Press: 225 never felt easier, or went up quicker. Not "15 lbs more" quicker, but I have a month.

Close Grip Bench Press: 220 lbs. Aside from surprising carryover from the bands, my wrists stayed straighter. Remember, 225 is my target.

Dips: No Hoist Assist here, just a regular dip apparatus. I haven't done bodyweight in a long time and it was smooth and easy. That was the good news. The bad news is that, when I checked the scale to see where I was, it read 245 lbs. So, I've put on more muscle than I planned . . . . . .

. . . . . . and I better start running!!!

Plan for Incline Bench/Last 3 Weeks

Incline Bench Progression (Percentage of 1RM x number of reps): 47%x5, 55%x4, 63%x3, 71%x2, 79%x1, 85%x6, 100%x1, 90%x6, 105%x1, 60%x15. Even though I hit 205 this week, I will end with 205 next week for the set at 105%. I want to get my form down first. Second week will use the 205 for 1RM for calculations. If all goes well, I hope to hit 215 that second week, then go 225 the week afterwards. The progression is the same I've been using (A rapid wave, per Ian King's Wave Manifesto), and will have the same support work. With one exception: all back work will be done 10x3 style, and the arm work will be dropped. RC work will stay the same until I hit 20 lbs for 8 reps, and the speed work will remain banded (3 weeks left at 8 sets of 3 at 60%, 65%, and 70% 1RM) . After a weeks rest, I will gun for 240 flat bench.

Ambitious? Maybe. But the stats might bear it out. On October 7, I hit 185 on the one board with a light band, pinkies on the ring; October 14, 175 w/bands and no boards with a wider grip; October 19, 190 w/bands and no boards, and 200 on October 26. I've already lifted 225 flat, and have held more than that in my hands. I just have to avoid overtraining, and hope that I haven't peaked out.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

DE/ME Bench-Band Max

The past couple of days have been not only stressful but tiring. We were told that we have to move from our present building to a building about 15 minutes away on Bremerton Base - - - and take our 6000+ records with us. So it has been two days of non-stop lifting and carting records back and forth between our office to a room in the building where our stuff will be picked up in a few days. I was doing a lot of that, so I shortened today's workout to bench only. Since I also want to do a new bench movement next week, I decided to make this a DE and ME day.

DE Flat Bench Press w/Light Bands : 50x6, 70x6, 85x4, 105x3, 125x3x8. I had to put a lot into this to keep it fast. Partly, because I was beat but also I used 4 100 lbs dumbells and I think the choke was pretty spread out, giving me a little more tension at the bottom. Speed was good, though, I was just psyched. I was going to go for 200 lbs today and was anticipating all day. Rested for 4 minutes.

ME Flat Bench Press w/Light Bands: 160x1, 190x1 (smooth), 170x1. I then loaded up 200 on the bar, got a spotter to help me rack it, and gave it a go. It felt heavy as fuck at the top, I tightened up big time, lowered it to my chest, and sounded like something out of Drangonball Z screaming as I slowly shoved it up to lockout. Got it!!!

I was going to deload but I ran the question past the folks at Elite FTS. I always wondered why some people don't deload at all for a goal weight. Donnie Thompson answered "Don't worry about deloading. Just change up your next exercise for ME day for two to three weeks. Maybe go chains or floor presses. Bar weight is good too! You don't need to deload at this time in your lifting career. " So, incline presses it is. And barring meet preparation, I won't worry too much about deloading.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Wk5: ME Squat

18" Side Step-Ups: 4 sets of 12. I am trying to use these as a warmup.

Incline Bench: 135x1, 155x1, 175x1, 195x1 (5 lbs PR), 205x1 (15 lbs PR). I will be starting these next week for thre weeks with no bands and I am really tired of my current squat workout, so I indulged the urge. I was happy with how fast the weights went up, 205 was steady and gradual enough that I think this was enough. Couldn't come too soon: I need get stability back in my bench from all the band use.

Squats: 135x3, 155x3, 175x3, 195x3, 225x3, 250x3, 275x3. For the next three weeks, I'm just gonna do 5 sets of front and side step-ups. My squat feels stale, and more squatting ain't gonna fix it. This might.

Seated Rows: 130x3x10. As a break from heavy wave loading is this setup from Chad Waterbury. I'll probably do these just for back (to push up my bench) and GHRs.

My favorite spotter was about to do 165 for inclines because he had no spotter. I told him that I would be glad to spot him but only if he took the fives and tens off and slapped on 25s instead. I showed him how to grip and pull apart the bar, and he got his 185 before moving on. As did I, to go home and mow the lawn. We're selling out house to buy a bigger home, and I have to make the house look pretty. And the GPP work was good, too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Wk5: ME Bench/Back

Workout was a little different today. Less Triples and a greater focus on max singles. I was pumped to see where I really stood.

Flat Bench Press w/Light Bands (Wider Grip): 90x5, 105x4, 120x3, 140x2, 155x1, 170x1, 185x1 (Didn't get it last week, so I was happy it went up smooth), 200x0 (I couldn't rack it and nearly strained my wrist trying. Have to remember that with this grip, my tris can't help), 175x1, 190x1 (racked it with a little push, had full control and it went up slow but steady). All in all, I was happy. Next week is my last max effort bench day, then I will deload for two weeks. My goal for next week is 200 lbs with the bands.

DB Push Press: 55x5x5. Huff!!! Puff!!!

Knee External Rotations: 8x10, 12x10, 15x10 (a grind), 20x4. Could not do another set of twenty lbs, will do these the lunchtime preceding the workout from now on.

Hoist Assisted Wide Pullup (BWT was 238): 98x6, 118x1, 108x6, 128x1, 78x15 (rest paused after the 8th rep and the 13th). These were supersetted with dips to make time for the hammer curls.

Hoist Assisted Dip: 178x6, 208x1, 188x6, 218x1, 148x15 (rest paused after the 10th rep)

Hammer Curls: 30x6, 35x1, 35x6, 40x1, 25x15.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Wk4: DE Squat/DL Day

Speed Squats w/Light Bands: 45x6 (not enough tension at the bottom, so I got two dumbbells to spread the choke and redid the setup), 45x6 (lots better), 65x6, 85x4, 105x2, 125x2, 135x2, 155x2x9. Finally, I got everything right. Speed was good but I had to turn it up the last two sets to keep my speed up. My fear of being taken backward was not realized. Actually, once I racked the bar, the bands locked me in place and all I needed for a walkout was one step back. I could see why I can't use 24 total reps with these like I do for speed benches, I was dripping with sweat, it was so demanding!

Power Cleans: 115x1x6. I remember what Jim Wendler said in an article on the EliteFTS site about pulling to a point just below the knees then trying to jump while shrugging. My arms aren't sore at all, and I felt like I could have pulled some more.

Snatch: 115x1x6. These were tougher technique wise so I'll stick with the power cleans. Some overhead squats are in my future. The pulls really left me beat.

T-Bar Rows: 125x6, 150x1, 135x6, 160x1, 105x15. My back was wacked from the pulls. I had to reach deep to pull the 160, and the 15 rep set (rest paused at the 7th and 12th reps) almost made my stomach turn.

Triset of the following exercises was done for two sets (barely)because the squatting took up more time than I planned: Band GHR (two sets of 5 reps), situps (2 sets of 21 reps), and 24" step ups (2 sets of 8).

Friday, October 14, 2005

Wk4: DE Bench - Sort Of . . . .

Last Night, I did band chinups with my son again: 2 sets of 4, 3 sets of 3.

Flat Bench Press w/Light Bands: 50x6, 70x4, 85x3, 105x3, 115x3x8. First 6 sets were pretty quick. Last two sets were quick but I had to watch my tightness. Then, I started to do singles: 135x1, 155x1 (blast), 175x1 (steady quick), 185x0 (couldn't budge at the bottom). Then, I took the bands off and widened my grip (instead of pinkies on the rings, I moved over one finger): 185x1 (blast), 205x1 (steady quick). I then loaded the bar to 225, got one of my gym buddies to spot, and gave it a go. He said I took the bar down under control, touched the chest, popped it an inch where it got stuck, he touched it a tad, then it blasted up. So, I was either tapped out, or it was the grip change, or my sticking point has moved lower. Hmmmmm. . . . .

90 degree External Rotations: 8x10, 12x10, 15x8x3. These were supersetted with band pull aparts (5 sets of 3), and shoulder stretches.

Nautilus Pullovers: 105x6, 125x1, 115x6, 130x1, 85x15.

Nautilus Laterals: 105x6, 125x1, 115x6, 130x1, 85x15. These left my shoulders with a crazy pump. It's probably the reason, too, why my shoulders feel pretty good right now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Wk4: Prilepin Squat/DL Day 1

Arched Back Good Mornings: tested very gradually up to a 240 single. When my squat was 290, I had a 255 good morning and this was right in line. These felt really good.

Squats: 130x4, 150x3, 175x3, 195x3, 215x3, 245x2x3. My form was really good on these, as was my depth. I was originally gonna do leg presses but decided that I should work on my problem . . . squats themselves. I even tried to do trap bar deads off a 3" block a la Westside for Skinny Bastards but it felt too small (or my ass is too big). So, squats it is. My lower back didn't do too bad and maybe it was the conditioning.

Cybex Leg Curls: 125x6, 150x1, 135x6, 160x1, 100x15. Hard, I think because of the arched back GMs.

Seated Rows: 120x6, 140x1, 130x6, 150x1, 100x15. Easier than last time, but it's always that 15 rep set that buries me.

No time for abs due to all the testing. But it was a good session. I'll have my squats even better than last time.

Friday, October 07, 2005


Farmers Walk: walked with a 100 lbs dumbbell in each hand from one end of the gym to the other. Not on purpose, mind you, but to get the DBs over to the bench.

1 Board Press w/Light Bands: Should have called this the Phone Book Press. Did not have a board but I grabbed a 1.5 inch thick phone book from work, strapped it to my chest using Dr. Squat's Back Raise Harness (If he only knew . . . ), and went at it. 45x3, 65x3, 85x3, 105x3, 125x3. Thought I needed a little more tension at the bottom and the wrapping the band around the dumbbell was becoming a pain, so . . . . .

Farmers Walk: walked with a 115 lbs dumbbell in each hand from one end of the gym to the other. Not on purpose, mind you, but to get the DBs over to the bench to spread out the choke.

1 Board Press w/Light Bands: 135x2, 155x1, 185x1, 195x0. Now, I think I had too much tension at the bottom. 185 made me huff and puff. 195, ergo, was no go. After that, though, I felt really inspired. So, I took the bands and the phone book off.

Flat Bench Press: 205x2 (My tightness wasn't there on the first rep but I found it on the second). I rested for 3 minutes, I loaded 225 on the bar, and went through all the steps in my head. Including my leg drive which was too loose on the first rep of 205 but found on that second rep. I racked it and it felt easy. Once I got it down I turned it on: Sure enough, once I got that bar a few inches off the chest I was able to drive it up. Not fast, but steady. 2 big boy wheels down. Now, will I get my 240 goal?

Since setup issues consumed my time, and we have Monday off for Columbus Day, I'll do the rest of my workout on Tuesday, but use the Nautilus Bench for higher reps vice the regular bench as my main movement, and do legs Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Wk3: Squat Day - - - Humbled

Out of curiosity, partly because of a question John McDonald asked and partly out of suspicion that my squat workouts were stale, I skipped speed day and just tested squat. I worked up to a slow 275, and failed at 295 (I'm normally good for a 330 single). It was depressing but rather than mope, I analyzed the situation.

The guy who spotted me said that I got below parallel depth on 275 and slowly came up out of the hole but the lift was solid. At 295, I hit depth and he said that my legs looked game but the weight looked stuck. After getting him to explain, he confirmed my suspicion that my lower back had gotten weak: at the bottom, I could not drive the bar back and I had a hard time staying straight. How could this have happened?

At the core of my best and strongest squat periods were two full range erector movements: RDL and arched back good mornings. Last cycle, I did none of these and though I was deadlifting twice a week, it was partial range movements: ultrawide sumos (back was nearly erect) and rack pulls (back was at 45 degrees). Doing two box squats meant one day of not doing heavy weights, and there was no heavy back movement. My hams are no problem, but my lower back has become a liability I have to fix. Fast - - - I'm on it!!!

90 degree External Rotations (Done between squat sets):2x20x2, 4x15, 6x12, 8x12, 10x15, 12x12x2, 15x10, 20x4. Since I benched Monday, I did these today. 4 more reps at 20 lbs and I will have reached my target of 8 reps with 20 lbs.

Band GHR: 4 sets of 6.

T-Bar Rows: 120x6, 140x1, 130x6, 150x1, 95x15.

To Train A Boy

Band Chinup Day Yesterday. My son did not want to try the first set with one band because he felt like he didn't have it in him for a single, but he did the other 5 sets with two bands. He finally nailed seven reps with an underhand grip, on set 3. I had told him that he was resting in the bottom position too long (the pause at the top was fine) and that it was ok to not get a rep but that he could surprise himself if he tried. Sure enough, he surprised himself.

I got my one rep with one band with an underhand grip, then nailed 4 reps on every set but the last one - - - a one rep increase per those sets. Woo hoo!!!

I then taught my son how to do Bulgarian split squats on the park bench to build his legs, and he found out that they were not as easy as he thought they were (he wants strong legs for "jumps"). We got a late start and with homework and shower still to be done for him, wrapped it up. Ok, I tried something quick. I had him put a band over each shoulder and try to run for three sets of 3 while I held the bands. Of course, he couldn't - - - I kept telling him to dig in and push. Then, I took the bands off and asked him to sprint and he took off much to his surprise.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Casual Bench

I skipped Friday's DE squats because I had Navy PRT this past weekend. Maybe, if I was in better shape, I wouldn't have had to worry. My pushups improved to 41 because I used a closer grip, and I almost got 42 but lactic acid stopped me - - - I pushed for 10 seconds, then plopped on the floor in defeat. I had 56 situps, which was decent. But my run was the worst it had ever been at 15:20, which along with bodyfat killed me. I just don't run and it showed. I was run/ walking and had still coveredhalf of the 1.5 mile course in 6.5 minutes, so I knew I was already running it too fast. I walked a lot of the second half just exhausted, then sprinted like hell twice after the 1/4 mile mark, for naught. I'll start training the run very slowly until the spring time - - - enough of just getting by. I should be training that as hard as anything else I do. Shame on me.

Monday, I was paying for it. The sprints left my whole backside sore and tired (surprisingly, my quads weren't as bad.). I decided to just play with some bench ideas for 45 minutes instead. First, I set up the bands for the bench press and grabbed the pseudo two board. I opted to work up to a max using the bands vice sets of 3 or speedwork. Worked up to 215 bar weight. I will probably stay away from boards until this cycle is over, but I'm happy with the increased stability with heavy weight I now have. With the bands, its about 255-265 at the top and 235-245 when it hit the boards. This seems more useful than overloads, where I just hold it, but it's more work. Any ideas?

I worked up to 190 lbs on the Nautilus Bench Press, for the bottom. With my existing setup, the weight barely budges (very barely) and I have to push like hell to get it to go. One thought is to use these instead of the bench press to bring my bottom up. The other in consideration is to use the incline bench press, which really works the chest but I also want to push that lift over the 200 lbs barrier, a great motivator.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wk3: Prilepin Bench Day 2

Skipped dumbbell push press today, since I did benching yesterday.

Flat Bench Press w/Light Bands: 45x3, 65x3, 85x3, 105x3. Speed was good, form got a little sloppy on the seventh set but regained on the eighth set.

Close Grip Bench Press: 160x6, 190x1, 170x6 (last rep was tough), 200x0 (had nothing left at the bottom after the weight moved a little. I didn't expect to get it.), 130x15 (did 11 reps first, then rest paused 4 reps - - - triceps were on fire).

90 Degree External Rotations: 5x15, 8x12, 12x10, 15x8, 15x10x2. The intention was to do 20x5x2, but the twenty's were taken, so I repped out the last two sets with 15 lbs. The extra warmups made for a better performance.

Did not do lats until the evening. It was my son's day to do band chinups tonight, so I joined in. He is improving, and is noticing the harder biceps and "wings".
Eric: 1 rep with 1 light band (OH grip); add another band and did 5 sets of 7 reps (OH), 7 reps (OH), 5 reps (Underhand), 5 reps (UH), 3 reps (OH).

Me: 1 rep with 1 light band (underhand grip), and 5 sets of 3 reps with 2 bands and an underhand grip.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I begin this by saying that I am not giving away anything classified here. Heck, you can see it on Discovery Channel, or Google it. That said, I had an epiphany after today's experiment with a two board press.

When a submarine fires a missile, the tube opens and surrounded by cold gas, it's surface reacts with the sea water and floats it up to the surface quickly where after it breaks the surface and pops up a bit, gyros sense this and sends data for the rockets to fire.

Yesterday, I worked up to 240 lbs on the two board press, which is about 3" off the chest. All my rotator, shoulder, and overload work is paying off: I had near complete control of the weight coming and going - - - it was a tad wobbly. It also moved at a good rate. I have always said that 3-4 inches above the chest is where I get stuck, but that's the "1/2 dozen of the other" analysis. In reality, I need more "ploomp".

In an overload, I bench shrug the bar off the j hook with nearly locked arms, so I know from experience that the action of my lats/upper back at the bottom of the bench will move the weight between 1-1.5 inches just from that action itself. That's my modus operandi for pounding my upper back and lats with two exercises each.

The triceps have to kick in at that point, and that is one of my crutches, thus the use of dips and close grip benches as tricep movements. I have to increase my tricep strength enough to get 240 lbs to that 3-4 inch point so I can be in the clear. Remember, I don't use a bench shirt so I don't have rebound helping me here.

My other experiment was on the Nautilus Nitro Bench, where I worked up to a 190 single. The back rest was set to 4, so that my arms were in the same position at the bottom as my bench. I had no pop this way, since there is also no leg drive. The first rep has no stretch reflex, since the start position is at the chest. That needs work, too.

The last part of that equation, hopefully, is speed. 60% of 240 would be 144 lbs if doing speed work. Without better force production, that 3-4 inch point would be like a wall (or the slight dip of the missile just before the rockets engage) - - - so I have to bust it. The bands are at least starting to help. The only downside, and I hope the other work takes care of this, is that band work helps at the expense of bottom-end power (due to reduced bar weight).

As Ricky Dale Crain says, don't always work at or above the sticking point, work below it.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Wk3: Prilepin Squat/DL Day 1

My brother went home Friday night. Since my workout schedule had been off so as to enjoy the time with him, I went to the gym on Sunday to satisfy the itch for the iron.

Squat Overloads: 365x3 (10 second holds). Need more good mornings, because 365 gave me the shakes it was so damn heavy!!!

12" Box Squat (285): 135x3, 155x3, 175x3, 200x3, 225x3, 245x3x5. Maybe all of last week's cardio and that really hilly bike ride that nearly made me puke on Wednesday was not for naught, because I walked away from the squats fresh instead of winded!

Cybex Leg Curls: 130x6, 155x1, 140x6, 160x3, 105x15. Death to the hams!!! As always, it's that 15-rep set that does it.

Straight Leg Pullthroughs: 100x6, 115x1, 105x6, 120x1, 80x15.

Lateral Step Ups: 4 sets of 11.

Leg Lifts: Done between sets of three exercises. Top set was 5 reps, low set was 3 reps.

Seated Rows: 120x6, 140x1, 130x6, 150x1, 100x15.

On the website for Diablo Barbell ( is a squat cycle calculator that calculates for several different cycles (straight weight, circa max, speed-strength, strength speed, lactic acid tolerance) and accounts for the number of bands and chains used. Very handy, and can be downloaded in Excel format.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Wk3: Prilepin Bench - Evening

Hoist Wide Pullups (BWT 241.9): 101.9x6, 114.4x1, 104.4x6, 121.9x1, 81.9x15 (rest paused after 8 reps).

Seated External Rotations (20): 10x10, 12x8, 15x8x2. Both of the sets of 15 were 8'ers, improvement. Will drop using 10 lbs weights now, too bad they don't have an 18 lbs dumbbell.

Dumbbell Push Press: 60x2 (Will start using 60 lbs as my max vice seventy, which was merely a guess. I could barely control the first rep, and the second rep was very sloppy.), 50x5 (These were tons better).

Hoist Dips (BWT 241.9): 171.9x6, 201.9x1, 181.9x6, 211.9x1, 141.9x15 (rest paused after 8 reps.)

Preacher Curls: 50x6, 60x1, 55x6, 65x1, 40x15.

Wk3: Prilepin Bench - Lunchtime Workout

Flat Bench Press (220): 245x3 (Overloads), 105x3, 120x3, 140x3, 155x3, 175x3, 190x3x5. It's too early to credit the band work, but my first two sets of 190 flew up! After that, though, rep 3 was harder on the third set, slow on the 4th set, and on the last set I was ready to call a spotter but gutted it out. I guess the more muscle you can recruit, the more of a drain it is.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

GPP Kind of Weekend

Saturday, my brother and I went for a walk so I could show him around Bremerton. We shot the shit and thought of good times and the days when we had to live in bad apartments, climb over fences to play baseball in somebody's parking lot, and playing hide n' seek in abandoned buildings - - - we were raised in the inner city, so the burbs are a big change. 2.5 hours later, we had walked so far that I had to call my wife to come get us:) About 5 or 6 miles.

Today, we went to Hurricane Ridge and with sore legs from yesterday, took a long hike. Ever see a mountain from a distance? Hurricane Ridge is like almost being there? That's him in the shot.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Wk2: Prilepin Squat/DL Day 2

My brother came for a visit on Thursday night from Newark, New Jersey on a very reduced fair, standby flight. Flight was late and construction was going on the addition to the Tacoma Narrows bridge, so I picked him up around 12:30 AM and didn't get home until 2 AM. My brother is a Newark cop, so I expected to be asked to run the next morning.

But at 10:30???

I took him to the base and we ran a 1.5 mile trail. Actually, he took ME running! I've gots to run more, I hung in there but he wanted to go around it again. So I took him to the gym and showed him the track, and told him to meet me in the weight room. My favorite squat rack was being used so I did GHRs first.

Band Assisted GHR: sets of 6, 6, 5, 3, 2. It was the running or the setup but my hams worked so hard that the burn was intense.

Parallel Box Squats w/light bands (Based on free squat max): barx3, 65x3, 95x3, 130x2x12. The squat rack was open, so I did these here. It is really harder than without bands, but my reps were fast. The only trouble is that for a conventional rack , you have to leave room to walk out so once I racked the bar, I had to be tight as a drum or get pulled backwards. I guess that's what a Monolift is for, eh?

Situps: 12 sets, done between sets of squats, at various inclines with a twist. My brother was doing them, and I felt that competitive streak, so . . . .

T-Bar Rows (155): 117.5x6, 137.5x1, 125x6, 145x1, 95x15. My brother wanted to go to the pool, so I knocked these out. Almost made me sick, 30 second rest periods!!! I'll do power cleans Monday, got to play with my bro.

We swam for thirty minutes, and I did 8 trips of walking lunges in the pull all the way from the 3.5' end to the 5' end. Then we shot the shit in the sauna. I hate to admit it, maybe a training partner would be a good thing: I did more than normal, and I feel pretty good today. Wish it could be my brother, but powerlifting is not his thing - - - general strength and endurance is.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Wk2: Prilepin Bench Day 2

Close Grip Bench Press (205): 95x3, 115x3, 130x3, 155x3, 175x3x5, 205x3(overloads, 10 seconds each).

Nautilus Lateral: 100x6, 115x1, 105x6, 120x1, 80x15 (rest paused). Each rep had a 2 second hold at the top, since I felt really strong on the movement today. Should have remembered that there would be a 15 rep set at the end: After 6 reps, I had to take 2 10-second rests to complete 15.

90 Degree External Rotations (20): 10x10, 12x8, 12x10, 15x6. The first two sets were hard because of the lactic acid in my delt, but the 3rd was easier and my set of 15 gained a rep.

Hoist Dips (214, BWT was 239.9): 169.9x6, 199.9x1, 179.9x6, 209.9x1, 134.9x15. Last set was clean no pause, I'm gaining strength fast on this movement and, since my shoulders were really warmed up, it was painless.

Nautilus Pullovers (130): 100x6, 115x1, 105x6, 120x1, 80x15

Standing Reverse Curls (60): 45x6, 50x1, 50x6, 55x1,35x15.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Wk2: Prilepin Squat/DL Day 1

After Thursday's squat session, Saturday's spinning session and Sunday's 1.5 mile run (I had Navy drill this weekend, so no choice on PT), my legs weren't in much shape to squat heavy again. So, with bands in hand, I decided to experiment with dynamic benches.

Hoist Dips (test): 214x3 (226 predicted max per Brzycki's formula)

Flat Bench Press (220): I worked up to 95 lbs for 8 sets of 3. Setup? Grabbed two 100 lbs hex dumbbells, put the bar on the low j-hooks, pulled the bands taut, wrapped them around the dumbbells twice and looped it around the hex. Then I put the bar on the top sets of j-hooks. Setup was very stable, and the reps were very explosive with a fast eccentric. I have decided that after this last session on close grip benches, I will be replacing decline tricep extensions with close grip bench presses and do speed benches for 8 sets of 3, adding 10 lbs a week until at week 5, I can hit 145 lbs - - - 60 percent of 240. Then take off the bands and reduce the load for the two week deload.

Cybex Leg Curls (170): 130x6, 145x1, 135x6, 155x1, 100x15.

Band Glute Ham Raises: 4 sets of 7. Now that I have the bands, I used a setup that I once saw Kris do at I went to a room that had the punching bag and the bars on the wall, grabbed an oval exercise ball called an Resit-a-Slide so it would stay put, choked the bands on the bar, put my feet through the bars, grabbed the bands, and cranked them out. A keeper: the bands helped me less as I went along, the wall made an excellent foot plate for the most solid setup I have ever had, and the ball made an excellent fulcrum. My hamstrings were toast.

Seated Rows (150): 110x6, 130x1, 120x6, 140x1, 90x15.

Straight Leg Pullthroughs (120): 90x6, 100x1, 110x6, 120x1, 70x15.

Leg Lifts: Done betwees sets of seated rows and pullthroughs. Top set of 6 reps and low set was 4.

Lateral Step Ups: 4 sets of 12.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Wk2: Prilepin Bench Day 1

Flat Bench Press w/Light Bands: 45x3, 55x3, 65x3, 95x3, 115x3, 135x3, 155x2, 185x1. To Stinn and Christian (LOL!!!), these were not done on a Smith! I used a standard bench, grabbed 2 125 lbs dumbbells, and set them up so that I could have some pressure at the chest with no arch (so that I would have a little more with an arch). 185 scared the bejeesus out of me: a 1-second negative and I had to turn it on fast, and it went up slow.

Flat Bench Press (220): 175x3x5. Not easy but I wanted to keep my scheduled workout. After the bands, my push was better. I'll just not do extensions today.

Hoist Wide Chinups (118, BWT 242.8): 92.8c6, 107.8x1, 97.8x6, 115.3x1, 82.8x15 (rest paused after 8 reps).

Knee External Rotations (20): 10x10, 12x8, 12x10, 15x6. These are getting easier.

Dumbbell Push Press (70): 55x5x5. First two sets were explosive. The heavy benching made all the other sets hard.

Hammer curls: 30x6, 35x1, 30x6, 40x1, 25x15 (rest paused after 10 reps)

Thank god for the weekend. At least my shoulders think so!!!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Wk1: Prilepin Squat/DL Day 2

Smith Machine Squats w/purple (light) band: 45x3, 65x3, 95x3, 115x3, 135x3, 155x3, 185x2, 205x1, 225x1, 245x1 (All bar weight). I love these things!!! It didn't take much to set it up, and I could see this even being of value as a maximum effort movement. There's the overload once the bar is racked: with 95 lbs of band pressure at the top, I had 340 lbs on my back, and a very fast eccentric. I went below parallel and once I started coming up, the bands engaged and it was really tough because I had to push all the way. This was my experiment, we'll see what happens next week.

Power clean: 95x3x8. 5 sets were really good, 3 were so-so. Maybe, I should have done these first!!!

Weighted sit-ups: Done between sets of power cleans, all to failure. Top set was 15 reps, low set was 9 reps.

T-Bar Rows (155): 117.5x6, 137.5x1, 125x6, 145x1, 95x15. Not easy after power cleans. Especially, that set of 15 - - - first 8 reps, then 3, then 4 rest paused.

I'll do the GHRs and step ups tomorrow for lunch.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New Toys

My first set of bands came today from Elite FTS (Along with some free goodies). They're the light ones, purple colored. I checked a pressure chart on the Jump Stretch site: the light band is rated at 50 lbs of pressure when used for the bench press, and about 95 lbs for the squat for a 5'10" person (me!). I got it more for my squats than my benches, but will also figure out how to incorporate them into my bench training should I also decide to go that route. Especially, considering that they are a little stronger than a doubled monster-mini.

Tomorrow, since it's my parallel box squat test, I'm gonna take them for a spin. Friday, I will do flat benches with them and get a true feel for them. One idea I'm thinking is to work up to a max single on the parallel box squat, then use the same percentage of the Prilepin program based on what I have on the bar with the bands. The other is just to do very light work with them just to get acclimated only, and keep the same workout. Or use them for accessory work only until I switch to a Westside-style cycle, since I want to see if my cycle works on its own merits.

Decisions, decisions!!!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Wk1:Prilepin Bench #2

Since I had other plans after work (I'm going to start enjoying this three day weekend early), I had to drag myself out of bed to work out early in the morning. Ugh!!! Actually, after 30 minutes, I felt invigorated and once I got to work and ate some breakfast and drank some coffee (twice), I felt ready to take on the day. Next time, however, I'll just wait til the next workout day - - - 5 AM is an ungodly hour for me!

Overloads (Close Grip Bench Press): 205x3 (10 second holds)

Close Grip Bench Press (205): 95x3, 110x3, 130x3, 145x3, 170x3x5. My shoulders were still slightly sore from Monday, but I think it was the reason I had a little more pop on the CGBP. The 15 reps at 170 took it out of me a bit, though, since it's more than I'm used to. One thing about the Prilepin program: you will pay for the first 3 weeks but week 4, which is a percentage point above week 1 with the same rep scheme, is easier and the last two weeks are done with an emphasis on more speed.

Nautilus Laterals (130): 95x6, 110x1, 105x6, 120x1, 75x15. A welcome break from pressing. Held each rep at the top for a second.

Nautilus Pullovers (130): 95x6, 110x1, 105x6, 120x1, 75x15. When done right, it really works the lats differently. I already have a chinning movement, a close grip movement, and a wide grip row, so this movement was different enough to use. The trick to making a pullover work? At the stretch, tense the lats hard and quickly reverse the motion by pushing down on the movement arm with the elbows, not the hands (don't grip the bar). Don't hold the stretch position. Also, contract hard and hold it in the contracted position. Ok, enough, I sound like M&F!!!

90 degree External Rotation (20): 10x10, 12x8, 15x5x2. Done with the elbows on the headrest of a bench like the kind you might use for shoulder presses.

Hoist Dips (215, BWT was 240): 160x6, 190x1, 170x6, 200x1, 125x15. Oh, boy!!! After the close grips, these were fucking hard.

Standing Reverse Curls (60): 45x6, 50x1, 50x6, 55x1, 35x15. Used a barbell for these.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Wk1: Prilepin Squat/DL Day - One

Since I had done a heavy squat last week, I decided to do today's squat workout as a speed day. On my next squat day, I will be using the arched back GM or RDL instead of another squat. Redundancy could be one reason or it could be that I can't see myself doing squat overloads twice a week - - - the GM/RDL also makes the weight feel lighter because of the increased back strength, plus more.

Squat Overloads: 330x3 (10 seconds each)

Parallel Box Squat (300): 145x2x12. Really fast and smooth. 45 second rest periods made for an energizing session.

Cybex Leg Curls (170): 130x6, 150x1, 135x6, 160x1, 100x15. Really good go on these, the set of 15 set my hams on fire!!!

18" Lateral Step Ups: 4 sets of 10. I love these. First time doing them, and I felt it low on the glutes, on my hips, and a little on the inside.

Seated Rows (150): 110x6, 130x1, 120x6, 140x1, 90x15.

Straight Leg Pullthroughs (120): 90x6, 100x1, 100x6, 110x1, 70x15. 15 reps is tough on these: first I did 10 reps, rested a couple of seconds, did three, rested a few more seconds, the did two.

Leg Raises: 3 sets of 4, 2 sets of 3. Pathetic. Should have done these first in the workout, though the result of that wouldn't have been much better.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Wk1: Prilepin Bench Heavy

Movement Prep: Everything for 4 reps, I'm going to build up slowly.

Hoist Wide Pullups (123, tested today for 120x2, BWT 240 lbs): 90x6, 100x1, 100x6, 110x1, 80x15 (would have been 70 lbs if the machine didn't max out at 160 lbs of assistance. I rest paused the last 3 reps).

Dumbbell Push Press (70): 50x5x5. Didn't really get the hang of these until the last three sets. I like these better than the barbell ones, but it's a balancing act for me - - - I could barely do 60 lbs seated for a single, so you can imagine.

Knee External Rotations (20): 10x10, 12x8, 15x6, 15x5. The first time ever I have directly worked the rotator cuffs, and it was tough. My conditioning in that region was apparent - - - not too great. Once the lactic acid set in earlier than I liked, I had to rest pause a few reps (like the last 2). But after feeling the burn really good, I know where they are and why my bench has had a tough time.

Decline Triceps Extensions (80): 60x6, 70x1, 60x6, 70x1, 40x15. Used the pre-loaded bars, so I couldn't do any sets that ended in zero. But that set of 15 was cake, so I guess the wave worked just the same.

Preacher Curls (65): 50x6, 60x1, 50x6, 60x1, 30x15.

Wk1: Prilepin Bench Heavy-Lunchtime

Flat Bench Press (220): 225x3x10 seconds each (Overloads), 105x3, 120x3, 135x3, 155x3, 170x3, 195x2x3. Pretty good, been out of practice . . . heh! Heh! On the last two sets, the last rep did not go as fast as the first but it went. I switched this to the heavy movement since, aside from the close grip bench presses, I have two other tricep movements being done with a heavy rapid wave.


Spent last week nursing a strained right oblique, incurred from Monday's squat workout. Forgot to mention it, here's an intro.

We are all creatures of habit. We do something that has worked in the past, and we do it over and over again, enough to not have to think about it. I am always safety conscious, especially since I lift alone. I always make sure that the collars are on, safety's are set, etc.

Well, I loaded up the bar with 345 lbs for a squat overload, from my least favorite rack: position is too low, j-hooks deep, squats only rack (you've probably seen them). I took the weight, and all the sudden I feel the right side getting lighter fast. I had the presence of mind to drop down so that the bar wouldn't go very far, and I tightened up my back muscles so I wouldn't pull anything. You guessed it, I forgot to check for the collars and I dumped the bar SIDEWAYS!!! Luckily, no one was next to me in either direction, because I didn't put the collars on both sides. The gym attendant asked if I was OK, then gave me the appropriate talking to - - - which I deserved. Next day, my right oblique was really sore, enough to make every movement smart. So, I took some time off except to stretch it out and take a massager to it. Today, it's good enough to lift: I'm beginning this cycle with the bench, though, just in case.

I basically took my habit for granted, and got caught sleeping (so to speak), with near disasterous results. Next time, I will make it a habit of not always trusting that which I have always done.

Monday, August 22, 2005

A Day of Reckoning

Movement Prep:

Hip Crossover: 6 per side
Scorpion: 6 per side
Calf Stretch: 6 per calf
Hand Walk: 6 trips
Inverted Hamstring: 6 per leg
Forward Lunge/Forearm-to-Instep: 6 per side
Backward Lunge w/Twist: 6 per side
Drop Lunge: 6 per side
Lateral Lunge: 6 per side
Sumo Squat to Stand: 6 per side

My first use of the preliminary core workout from Mark Verstegen's book "Core Performance". I got my ass handed to me by THIS!!! Designed to activate small muscles that are barely/rarely used and to stretch muscles through movement, I was left panting, sweating, and with a lactic acid burn in the core and legs and shoulders. And just think, I had weights to do!?!

Squat Overloads: 345 x 3 (10 second holds)

12" Box Squats (285): 135x3, 155x3, 175x3, 205x3, 225x3, 255x2x3. The overloads made the weights seem light. This workout was tough. . . my legs were already toast from the stretches. I notice that without the Manta Ray, my upper back has to work a lot harder to hold up the weight and my lower back is even more involved. Which brings us to . . . .

Romanian Deadlift (300): 225x6, 270x1 . . . . My back had nothing left to give.

I think week one can start Wednesday. I've got some modifications to make. This squat cycle will make a man out of me but if I'm gonna do power cleans on one day, then that squat should probably be a Manta Ray squat. Back work for the 12" squat day should probably be something lighter but effective, like pull throughs. And I might use flat benches instead of Nautilus. If I learned anything today, heavy weights give me confidence.

As for the movement prep, it's a keeper. It could only get better. Maybe, this was a lesson best learned early.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Too many exercises and drills to count, tons of them, from the athletic program for the University of California-San Diego.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Prilepin Heavy Cycle

A week with rest has been just what I needed. Got a lot of reading done, too. And next week, it's time for that which I have been working hard towards: the Prilepin heavy cycle. Some of my inspiration for this cycle was also derived from the Wave Loading Manifesto by Ian King, the Structural Balance article by Charles Poliquin, and Increase Your Vertical Jump by Fred Hatfield II. Since I'm after raw strength, I decided to not do dynamic effort work for this cycle.

Because of the way I calculate volume, it is about the same volume as before. Ok, more so because all the 1RMs have gone up. For the main lifts, most of the lifts are between 80-90%1RM, with 18 lifts tops and 6 reps at least. I also tried a lot of different lifts but kept a few from before. If you haven't already seen this template on the Tsampa.Org site, here it is:

Prilepin Heavy Day: Wk1 (3 sets of 2@89%), Wk2 (5x3@80%), Wk3 (5x3@86%), Wk4 (3x2@90%), Wk5 (5x3@80%), Wk6 (5x3@86%)

Prilepin Light Day: Wk1 (5 sets of 3@82%), Wk2 (5x3@85%), Wk3 (6x3@73%), Wk4 (5 sets of 3@82%), Wk5 (5x3@85%), Wk6 (6x3@73%)

Prilepin Squat/DL Heavy movement selection: 12" Box Squat, Arched Back GM, Lateral Step Up, GHR w'80 lbs Assist, Leg Raises, Seated Rows.

Prilepin Squat/DL Light movement selection: 14" Box Squat, Power Clean,24" Step Up, GHR w/70 lbs Assist, Weighted Sit Ups, T-Bar Rows.

Prilepin Bench Heavy movement selection: Nautilus Bench Press, Push Press, Hoist Wide Pullups, External Rotations (On the knee), Decline Tricep Extensions, Preacher Curls.

Prilepin Bench Light movement selection: Close Grip Bench Press, Nautilus Laterals, Nautilus Pullovers, 90 degree External Rotations, Hoist Assisted Dips, Standing Reverse Curls.

For squats, I wanted more power at parallel and slightly below, and I used 12" since I did front squat work at that height and knew I could bring that quad power to bear (When I tested, 275 flew up very fast I slowly got 285. Coincidence?!?). In the bench, I wanted to work straight bench with no leg drive but hated the instability I had on the bench. The Nautilus worked great for my speed work last cycle, and I think the accomodating resistance could help me push big numbers. I kept the close grip bench because I wanted something free weight, and because I'm still refining my bench technique and found this movement to do just that. A lot of the exercises for structural balance in the bench are there: since I won't be doing the free weight bench, then I'm working its components. This includes a lot of lat and upper back work. There will also be some overload use, especially for squats.

The arched back GM will be worked using the same Prilepin cycle as the Development cycle, since I did them last with lots of reps at weights below 70% 1RM. When I go on a full Westside cycle, I'll be doing them using Prilepin Heavy template, so this will be good prep. It will also maintain my deadlift while improving my squat.

The push press and power clean was decided on after reading that article by Hatfield. Since the front squat is an assistance exercise for both lifts, I could translate my previous cycle's work into more power on those lifts, and build up the explosive components of my bench and deadlift as well as my vertical jump. These I will do by feel to learn them, so expect 3-5 sets of 5 reps at a weight that will allow good, fast, powerful work. I might also throw in 3 sets of 6 of box jumps right after squats, to that end (Jump onto the box, but step down).

A lot of the assistance movements will be done using a small wave. Normally, I just do sets of 6-8 reps, but I wanted to get stronger on these without working to failure on each set. Thus this wave: 75% 1RM x 6, 88% 1RM x 1, 80% 1RM x 6, 93% 1RM x 1, 60% 1RM x 15. The heavier sets will make for more performance on the lighter ones. I kept one of the sets of singles just below 90%, just so I don't really push my CNS, and to maintain good form. I'll think of a wave for external rotations, however, that will use more reps and no singles.

Of course, I might adjust as I go if the work proves too much. Unlike last cycle, I will not push the 1RMs up midway but will just try to push the weight faster instead. I'm also not going to worry about a specific weight goal, I'm just gonna see where this ends.

Update: For the main bench press movements, I decided to switch it so that close grip benches are on the heavy day and Nautilus benches are on the light day. If I could bring that up to the 220s and up, I know from experience it will carryover to the flat bench.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Box Squat Test

I had a bowl of spaghetti and a strong cup of coffee this morning, with this day in mind. After I dropped my son off at the basketball clinic, I got to the gym, grabbed enough steps and risers, and went to work. All squats were done belt only, no Manta Ray, bar close to rear delts.

14" (Parallel) Box Squat (3 min rest between sets, 3 second pause): 135x3, 155x3, 185x3, 225x2, 245x1, 275x1, 300x1.

12" Box Squat (3 min rest between sets, 3 second pause): 275x1 (smoke show), 285x1.

I have to get used to squatting this way, but it felt great. I don't do touch and go with heavy weights, just so I can teach myself to turn it on without a stretch reflex. This should make for a stronger squat. I had thought of using a 16" box instead of parallel, but I'm more concerned with parallel and slightly below (the hole).

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Tests for Next Cycle

Maxes predicted using Brzycki's formula then rounded up to a 5 lbs increment.

T-Bar Row: 150x2 (155)
Seated Rows w/V-Handle: 140x3 (150)
Nautilus Bench Press w/seat adjustment set to "4" for a deeper bench: 185x5 (210)
Nautilus Pullover: 110x7 (130)
Nautilus Lateral Raise: 110x6 (130)
External Rotations: 20x1
Hoist Neutral Grip Chinups: 159.4x3 (170)
Incline Dumbbell Lateral: 20x1

Monday, August 08, 2005

Front Squat Test

As soon as I can edit this and get it to Kris, I'll post a video of today's test.

After a steady warmup, I loaded 275 on the bar. If this would have gone up fast, 300 would have been my next target. As it was, it felt good when I racked it, but halfway it felt so heavy that I dropped fast and had to reverse quickly once I broke parallel. Halfway, I was having trouble locking it out for a split second before I remembered to drive my traps into the bar, then it was complete. So, 275 it is. My son videotaped it best he could (missed some of the bottom). He also asked me if I was going for 300 like I said I might. I played back the video for him, and said no. But I did attempt 285 after 4 minutes rest, and you'll see the video of that - - - fucker buried me!!!

Saturday, August 06, 2005


I'm drilling (Navy Reserve work this weekend) and my commander tells us to go PT at 3:30PM to 4:30PM. And I felt really good today, so I decided today that 225 was going to go. Kept my cool, though: didn't want to get nervous.

Warmups: barx10, 65x8, 95x6, 125x4, 155x2, 190x1

Loaded the bar to 225, had the spotter rack it for me, lowered it with ease (never slow, never drop, just right), then exploded from the bottom. Spotter said the weight moved about 4 inches, then stalled. I told him I couldn't dial up enough tricep to push it past midpoint. Fuck!

After 2 of his sets, since he was borrowed (remember, I generally train alone), I gave 225 another go. Wondering if I wasn't tight enough since I hadn't racked it myself, I took this one myself with the same result. The spotter tells me that 225 ain't gonna happen if I attempted a third lift, but suggests 220 might make all the difference.

Frustrated but curious, I took him up on it. My technique wasn't at fault, and I had enough to push 225 as far as I did. But I didn't have enough force to finish the job, so I figured 5 lbs less might do the trick. I racked 220, got myself even more pissed, pushed just hard enough to get it just past mid and slowly lock it out. Woo Hoo!!! It ain't 225 but I'll take the 5 lbs PR, especially after 2 heavier attempts (maybe because I was pushing like it was 225). On April 29, I started out at 185 and here I am now, from lifting not too heavy but with a lot of volume. I think it could only get better handling the big stuff.

After 10 minutes shooting baskets, tested on the Hoist Assisted Dip. Bodyweight was 238.8 lbs so after 60 lbs of assist, I did 7 reps with 178.8 lbs (about 214 projected max).

Christian, it's your turn to try. Go get ya some!!!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A Lifter's Dilemma

Next week is a max week for me not only for three big lifts but the beginning of testing for my next cycle's lifts. In "Absolute Beginners", I laid out a prospective cycle that I was planning. I have a few different lifts in mind different than the original plan, but all else is the same.

Except, I'm a bit conflicted. My original plan was a Westside style workout with a Prilepin style progression for ME day and a gradual 7-week build up from 40-70% 1Rm for speed day for 24 reps all the way. Trying to bench heavy weight has not only made me wonder if I need to handle heavy weight more often, but also if a speed day would be much help since I've handled light weight in the 50-80% range for reps for about 7 months now. For example, 50% of 225 is 112.5 lbs and 60% is 135 lbs, weight that I've already handled for 24 reps. So I'm reconsidering the same style of Prilepin workout that I've been doing but with different lifts but also in the 80-90% 1RM range on both days, the second day being a little lighter than the other (like on's Patrick Nyman template.). After 6 "weeks" of working on raw strength in the squat and bench and back, I'll go full Westside with new found strength I can turn into speed with weight I haven't handled. How much speed will I sacrifice if I decide to do this? I'm not sure. If I do it this way, the DL will be the only lift I do for speed since my squat is what I want greatly improved; the good morning will be an assistance lift only. Also, I might make the exercise selection smaller since it will demand more from my CNS.

I'm open to all thoughts on this.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Wk7 Deload:Squat

Felt really frisky today, so I did this for my squat workout for lunch: have to watch "Constantine" tonight or incur a late fee, have to take my son and his friend to a movie on Thursday, am chilling out Friday. As I only have 30 minutes lunch, rest periods were 30 seconds long. May as well had gone running, I was drenched and panting afterwards but my speed was good for all but the last two sets, and then it was OK. I think the first 6 sets primed my muscles up. Deload is done!!!

16" Front Box Squat: 65x2, 90x2, 115x2, 150x2x6
12" Front Box Squat: 130x2x6
8" Front Box Squat: 110x2x6

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Deadlift Challenge

On Brent Mikesell's site (, a deadlift challenge has been issued for anyone to do 405x20 in the deadlift. Read it here, there are even videos because that is one of the challenge's requirements. One Fin even pulls 405x25 . . . . sick!!!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Wk7 Deload: Prilepin Bench/Back

Nautilus Nitro Bench Press (215): 50x3, 65x3, 80x3, 100x3, 110x3x8.

Hoist Neutral Grip Chins (165: BW was 238 flat): 78x10, 108x8, 118x8, 108x10

Nautilus Nitro Overhead Press (140): 60x15, 70x12x2, 85x10.

Decline Tricep Extensions (80): 30x15, 40x12x2, 50x10. A grind after the overhead presses.

Rack Pulls 2" Below the Knees (385): 90x3, 125x3, 150x3, 195x3x8. Cranked these out at top speed and it felt GREAT. Deadlifts and benches for this cycle are a done deal, just one more squat day.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Wk7 Deload: Prilepin Squat/DL


12" Front Box Squats (265): 60x2, 80x2, 100x2, 125x2, 130x2x12.

24" Step Ups: 4 sets of 12 (each leg)

GHR w/70 lbs of assist: Failure at 7, 7,6,6 reps.

Straight Leg Pull Through (115): 60x10, 70x8, 80x8, 70x10.

Ab Circuit for 2 set

Spent 6 hours today in the hot sun doing a lot of lawn and garden work with my wife. We are both bushed, brown, and very thirsty. So there was my GPP work for the weekend:)

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Yesterday, I saw two guys challenging each other with a 475 lbs squat. I was a little impressed. I didn't see the whole thing: I was too busy doing lying tricep extensions and focusing on the bar over my face to notice anthing more.

When I went to do the speed sumo's, I saw everything on my rest periods. The bar was set high enough that it was not even a quarter squat . . . . huh? He barely racked it, almost immediately started going down with it and after an inch of controlled descent, rounded his back and went down forcefully . . . almost dumping the bar. Huh? One of his friends walks over and asks him if he could even lift it and he dares to try. I could have told him he wouldn't and I'm sure he could have, too: the bar didn't even budge, and his back was REALLY rounded. This went on a few more times. Needless to say, I will never spot this guy.

I'm a fan of negatives and partials, but control is always a prerequisite. That was just an injury waiting to happen. I laughed on the inside, but felt really sorry for him.

For a second . . . .

Wk7 De-load: Prilepin Bench/Back

Close Grip Bench Press (200): 45x3, 60x3, 75x3, 95x3, 100x3x8. Done at lunchtime.

Nautilus Nitro Overhead Press (140): 70x10, 90x8, 100x8, 90x10.

T-Bar Rows (157): 75x10, 100x8, 115x8, 100x10.

Decline Tricep Extensions (80): 40x8, 50x8, 60x8, 50x10.

Ultra Wide Sumo Deadlift (315): 135x2, 155x2x12.

After the workout, I felt great. Not dead tired, but raring to go for even a game of basketball or a jog (I shot some hoop when I got home.). Refreshing . . . just what the doctor ordered. I kept my exercise selection simple, and my speed on the main movements was good and crisp.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Wk6: Prilepin Squat/DL

8" Front Box Squat (225): 50x6, 70x5, 85x5, 105x5, 125x5, 140x5, 170x6x3. Bring on week 7 . . . . that's how I spell relief.

24" Step-Ups: 4 sets of 10 for each leg. Burn, burn, burn!!!

Straight Leg Pull Throughs (115): 50x10, 70x8, 80x8, 70x10.

GHR w/70 lbs assist: Failure at 7, 7, 6, 6, reps.

Ab circuit for two runs.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Wk6: Prilepin Bench/DL Light

Yesterday, I spent time trying to straighten out the backboard on my sons basketball hoop, and tightening up all the bolts. Today, my thumb ached and my hand was sore. Didn't get any sleep, either, because of the Allegra I took for seasonal allergies. But I dutifully dragged myself into the gym.

Flat Bench Press (215): Three 10 second overloads with 225 lbs (60 seconds rest between them)

Nautilus Nitro Bench Press (215): 50x3, 65x3, 80x3, 100x3, 115x3x8.

Hoist Neutral Grip Chins (165: BW was 239.2 lbs today, used 2.5 lbs weights to get close to target weights): 81.7x10, 109.2x8, 121.7x8, 109.2x10. Fuck the Add 50 program, went with higher reps this time. I'se said it before, as you get great at limit strength, strength endurance suffers.

T-Bar Rows (157): 75x10, 100x8, 110x8, 100x10.

Nautilus Nitro Overhead Press: the two sets of 30s and 35s on the dumbbells were being used, so I went to this for a try. Not bad. 35x15, 50x12, 65x10, 80x10, 95x8, 110x6, 125x4, 140x1

Rack Pulls 2" Below the Knees (385): 90x6, 120x5, 150x5, 180x5, 210x5, 240x5x5. Good workout but because of the sore hand, the last three sets were done with a staggered grip. The reps were solid, just left me tired. Next week, 50 less lbs and 1 less rep on the total for deload.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Wk6: Prilepin Squat/DL Light

Yesterday's workout:

12" Front Box Squats (265): 60x2, 80x2, 100x2, 125x2, 145x2x12.

Hoist Seated Leg Curls (115): 115x5x2, 120x3x2, 125x3x1.

GHR w/70 lbs of assist: Failure at 7, 6,6,6 reps. I could never get my footing figured out on this setup. Can't wait for the day to get a real one.

Straight Leg Pull Through (115): 60x10, 70x8, 80x8, 70x10.

Ab Circuit for 2 set: Plank (5 10 second holds), lying leg thrusts, cable lifts (like a woodchopper from the bottom), ball crunches, cable woodchoppers, alternating supermans, side bridges, incline situps.

Will probably replace leg curls on my next workout with the 24" step up. Whatever will push up my front squat some more. Oh, and for Jon, you had a question on a triceps workout: Monday's workout left my triceps so sore I could barely wash my own back last night even with a scrubber . . . LOL!!!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Wk6: Prilepin Bench/DL

Week 6 is finally here . . . . woohoo!!! Deload is next week, time for new exercises and a break. You just don't know. . . . I'm craving a change.

Close Grip Bench Press (200): 45x6, 60x5, 75x5, 95x5, 110x5, 110x5, 125, 150x6x3. Felt great, good control, and cadence.

Hoist Neutral Grip Chinup (165: BWT 238.2): 148.2x5x2, 158.2x3x2, 168.2x2. I don't move up in weight this week, this was the last rep out week.

T-Bar Rows (157): 75x10, 100x8, 115x8, 100x10. This was hard after heavy chins; the last three sets were all rest-paused.

Seated Dumbbell Press (60): 25x15, 30x12,2, 35x10. With close grip benches being done heavy, I decided to do a couple of exercises for high reps. This burned my shoulders so much it HURT!

Decline Tricep Extensions (80): 30x15, 40x12x2, 50x10. Same story, different exercise.

Ultra Wide Sumo Deadlift (315): 145x5, 175x5, 205x5, 240x6x3. John Yeo said that rows are a bitch after DL. Well, DL after everything else was no picnic, either. Grip was a struggle, lockout at the top was, too. Done after a couple of high rep movements don't help, either. But deload is next week, so all my suffering was for a good cause.

Friday, July 15, 2005

My Turn, Guys!!!

I see that Charles Poliquin's article got curiosities up with Stinn, the two Johns (Yeo and McDonald), Scott, and Jon sharing their measurements. So I cut short my Prilepin week 5 leg day just a tad to measure and put my 2 cents in.

Close Grip Bench Press: 95x5, 115x5, 135x4, 170x5, 190x1, 175x4, 200x1 (I tested CGBP at 160 on April 29, a 40 lbs increase in 2.5 months), 180x2 (this was the beginning of a third wave where my target was to be 205, but the second rep was a strain and my right elbow was beginning to buckle so that was it), 125x10, 105x15. Could I have gone for 205? No. My goal was a perfect rep with no flair using a 14 inch grip (pinkies on the first rings) and I got it with a little extra concentration.

All of these were done before the CGBP:

Incline Bench Press: Target was 166 lbs, I got 185 for 2 reps.

Hoist Supinated Chinups: Bodyweight was 239.2 lbs, target was 162, I got 159.2 for two reps.

Behind the Neck Press: Target was 128 lbs, I got 125.

Preacher (Scott) Curls: Target was 92 lbs, I got 60 lbs for two reps. I got my work cut out for me.

Standing Reverse Curls: Target was 60 lbs, and that's what I got.

External Rotations: Target was 18 lbs for 8 reps. I barely got 8 reps with 10 lbs. Pathetic!!! That's what I get for not doing any RC work. That will change next cycle.

8" Front Box Squat (225): 50x6, 70x5, 85x5, 105x5, 125x5, 140x5, 155x5x4.

Assisted GHR with 70 Lbs Assistance: Failure at 8, 7, 6, 6 reps.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Found an Idea . . . . . .

Maximum Effort, Dynamic Effort, and Repetition Method Pull Up and Dip Training is the article by James Smith of I got it from his website I'm intrigued. Enjoy!

Wk5: Prilepin Bench/Back

Nautilus Nitro Bench Press (215): 50x3, 65x3, 80x3, 100x3, 125x3x8. Good speed on these. Like I said before, since I don't have chains or bands to accomodate resistance, this will do nicely.

Hoist Neutral Grip Chins (165: BW was 242.5 lbs today): 165x3x2, 180x2x2, 180x1. The 165 was tough. The first set of 180 was alright but not as high as I would want, the second I only got one rep. The last 180 was a drag. I'm no longer using the Add 50 program after this. I've gotten stronger, but the gains are slowing and my explosiveness is non-existent. Fatal flaw! Need to think of something for next cycle, but I have ideas.

Rack Pulls 2" Below the Knees (385): 90x6, 120x5, 150x5, 180x5, 210x5, 240x5, 290x5x3. Used a double overhand grip until I started the 290s. On the first set, I got wussy and put on gloves: I struggled to hold on to the bar with a staggered grip, the gloves felt unnatural so I took them off for the next two sets. This workout went solid. I worked really hard but I didn't feel that drained afterwards. It's all lighter weight from here.

T-Bar Rows (157): 75x10, 105x3, 115x5x2. Tough because the rack pulls took it out of me.

Since I had done the heavy benches yesterday and speed benches today, I did no tricep extensions or dumbbell shoulder presses.

This is for All You Benchers

I read this article by Charles Poliquin on the T-Nation website called Achieving Structural Balance, and here is the link to it. In particular, it demonstrates the relationship between external rotations and the close grip bench, and how deficiencies in certain movements can slow progress. A great read!

Achieving Structural Balance

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Was reading "The Wave Manifesto" by Ian King on the T-nation site and was really intrigued. At the same time, I was reading Westside's article on Angelo Beradinelli, and it got me thinking. I have lifted as much as 185 for 5 reps, a 208 projected max, and 215 on the Nautilus Nitro Bench Press. Question was if I could generate enough speed to bust 215 and maybe 225 on the real deal. No amount of number crunching could tell me that. Neither can any machine, with their varying resistance curves. So, despite being scheduled for a light bench workout tomorrow, I decided to do a wave workout today based on that projected 208 max, and start deloading tomorrow.

Flat Bench Press: 105x5, 125x5, 145x4, 175x5, 210x1 (5 lbs PR over my best ever, a 3 second rep from chest to lockout), 185x4, 215x1 (10 lbs PR over my best ever, a 4 second rep from chest to lockout), 190x3, 135x10, 105x15.

When I racked 210, it felt so light in my hands that I got giddy, I knew this was mine but I didn't let myself get cocky. I tried harder to spread the bar apart and my lats flexed. It felt easy going down and when I squeezed my lats harder, the weight shot up about an inch and my arms took over. Smoke show!!! 215 felt about the same but it took me a second longer to get it. I was so happy but I didn't want to let out a whoop!!!

The overloads helped. The Nautilus Nitro helped, because I had a better "push" - - - I felt like I was pushing the whole way with no letup. I'm sure all the lat work isn't hurting any, and all the volume has conditioned me pretty good - - - one look at this workout will tell you that it was a doozy. So now, the thought turns to getting enough speed to break 225. I will drop the pushups and the barbell curls and replace them with t-bar rows and decline barbell extensions. To be honest, 225 might be mine now. I want a guarantee. That's all.

We'll see!!!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Wk5: Prilepin Squat/DL-Light

12" Front Box Squats (265): 65x2, 85x2, 105x2, 125x2, 155x2x12. First week of the deload. My goal was to go so fast that the weight wanted to fly off. It was that fast for the first 7 sets. After that, it was merely quick. 45 seconds rest between sets insured that I was sweating and breathing hard when it was all over.

Hoist Seated Leg Curls (115): 110x5x2, 115x3x2, 120x5x1. I did the rep out first, actually, so up to 120 I go.

GHR w/70 lbs of assist: Failure at 7, 7 reps.
GHR w/80 lbs of assist: Failure at 7, 7 reps. Much better with no negatives to do on leg curls.

Straight Leg Pull Through (115): 60x10, 70x8, 80x8x2.

Ab Circuit for 2 set: Plank (5 10 second holds), lying leg thrusts, cable lifts (like a woodchopper from the bottom), ball crunches, cable woodchoppers, alternating supermans, side bridges, incline situps. I will find another way to work calves, I want to put a lot of effort into my core from now on. Abs must die!!!