Thursday, March 31, 2005

Wk2: Prilepin Bench/Back

Lunchtime: Stairmaster Elliptical, 45 minutes, Level 4, Hill


Gym 1: Hoist Neutral Grip Chinup: 160 lbs assist for 15 reps, 150 assist x 12 reps x 2 sets, 140 assist x 10 reps. Then I got on the highest step on that platform and did 4 sets of 6 pushups.

Gym #2:

Hammer Strength IsoLateral Row (115 per arm): 25x4, 35x4, 45x4, 55x4, 65x4, 75x4x5

Hammer Strength IsoLateral Wide Bench (115 per arm): 25x4, 35x4, 45x4, 55x4, 65x4, 75x4x5

Hammer Strength IsoLateral Front Pulldown: 25x4, 35x4, 45x4, 55x4, 65x4, 70x4x5

10" Incline Pushups: 4 sets to failure.

Seated Laterals (17): 8x12, 10x10x3

Barbell 21s: 40x21x2

Trap Bar Shrugs (194): 94x12, 105x10x2, 114x10

Running Intervals: 3 sets of 9 minutes walking/1 minute running.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Wk2: Prilepin Squat/DL

Lunchtime: Stairmaster Elliptical, 45 Minutes, Level 4, Hill.

Arched Back Good Mornings (280): 65x4, 85x4, 105x4, 135x4, 155x4, 165x4x5.

Lying Leg Curls (167): 40x4, 50x4, 65x4, 80x4, 95x4, 110x4x5.

Did 4 sets of 2 trips up the stairs, skipped 2 steps each stride.

Standing Calf Raises (125): 45x4x3, 55x4, 65x4, 82.5x4x5

Weighted Ball Crunch (45): 20x15, 25x12x2, 30x10

Lying Leg Thrusts: 4 sets to failure.

Runninig Interval: 3 sets of 9 minutes walking/1 minute running.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Nappy, Nap, Nap!!!

I did 45 minutes on the Stairmaster Elliptical, Hill setting, level 4 at lunchtime. Screw Dinner . . . . good night!!!

Monday, March 28, 2005

If Your Ass is There, The mind has no choice!!!

I arrived at Naval Station Norfolk, VA yesterday and felt so jet lagged today that every plan to work out was met with a good excuse to get some sleep. Including the ever popular and usually effective "take a two hour nap first!" But I dragged myself kicking and screaming to the big gym with the indoor track (Q80), and proceeded to test on a few of the machines I would be using:

Hammer Strength IsoLateral Row: worked up to 115 lbs per lever arm.

Hammer Strength IsoLateral Front Pulldown: worked up to 115 lbs per lever arm.

Bodymaster Lying Leg Curl: worked up to 6 reps at 145 lbs and a 160 lbs double. Will use 167 lbs 1RM.

Hammer Strength IsoLateral Wide Bench: worked up to 115 lbs per lever arm.

Pull-throughs: worked up to a 120 lbs max.

Took a bath, and hit the sack!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2005


I had to get some stuff for the computer before I leave for Norfolk. I was at Bangor Base and decided to test T-bar Rows real quick since, as I indicated in an earlier blog, the Smith Barbell Rows sucked. I loaded 145 on the bar using 35s and a 5er and pulled 6 fast reps (PR). That was so easy, I waited 3 minutes and loaded 160 lbs which Ipulled for 2 good reps and nearly finishing the 3rd. WooHoo!!! A regain of 17 lbs over what I started the Prilepin cycle with previously.

Tried seated cable rows with a V-handle for 145 and also got six reps. Sweet!!!

Wk 1: Prilepin Back/Bench #2

Nautilus Laterals (120): 55x15, 60x12x2, 70x10. Movements like this are what machines are made for. The burn was intense.

Smith Machine Barbell Rows (115): 45x4x3, 55x4, 65x4, 80x4x5. This move did jack shit for me - - - I didn't feel it. So I went back to my old standby, the T-Bar Row (There ain't much for rowing stuff at Bangor, and the other Nautilus rowing machine doesn't do anything for me.). I adjujsted the seat downward so that , at the top, my arms were at 90 degrees. I then pulled 105 lbs for 11 reps and I felt the pump right in my traps and upper back. So, , back to the T-Bar.

18" Incline Pushups: 8 sets of 3.

Hoist Wide Pullups (134: gym weight 240.7, added 2.5 lbs plate in my pocket): 83.2 x 3 x 8. Decided to treat these like a dynamic effort movement, which I hope will improve my pull. The trick with using assistance on a machine is that you can't do it so fast that the assistance is not gradual the whole way through.

Leaning Dumbell Shrugs (65): 25x15, 30x12x2, 35x10

Bicep 21s (EZ Bar): 40x21x2

Friday, March 25, 2005

Wk 1: Prilepin Squat/DL #2


Seated Calf Raises (125): 27.5x4, 37.5x4, 47.5x4, 57.5x4, 67.5x4, 77.5x4x5.


10" Low Box Front Squats (245): Thanks to Tom Jenkins on, I now know that the box is 2 inches high and the risers that push 'em up are, too. So this was a 10" low box front squat (aerobic step + 4 risers each side). 55x4, 75x4, 95x4, 115x4, 135x2, 150x2x11. Funny, my stance could go a little wider with the box than without. I decided to do these touch and go since my time is limited. These went up pretty quick, and my hips were really loaded on this one.

GHR w/80 lbs assist: 4 sets of 5. Easier than last session. My feet were anchored a lot better. When I got home, I was almost hobbling - - - I had nailed 'em that good. It still wasn't a cakewalk, though, so we'll see if I can do 6 reps next week.

Incline Situps: Failure at 14, 6, 6, 6 reps. Not great. I might have to do these first in my workout; I noticed that my hip flexors were giving out before my abs (probably hammered from the GHRs and box squats.).

Lying leg kicks: 4 sets to failure. Same hip flexor bullshit. I may just stick with lying leg thrusts and maybe weighted ball crunches - - - I could feel those a lot better.

Back Extensions w/3 kg ball: failure at 12, 10, 8, 8 reps.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Wk 1: Prilepin Bench/Back #1

Right now, everything hurts. Abs, hams, ass. My back doesn't but it's tired, even though I didn't row yesterday.


Nautilus Nitro Pulldown (Pronated Grip)(140): 35x6, 45x4, 55x4, 65x4, 75x4, 85x4x5.


18" Incline Pushups w/Pushup Bars: 4 sets of 6.

Hoist Neutral Grip Chinup (153: Today's bodyweight:239.7): 79.7x4, 89.7x4, 99.7x4, 109.7x4x5.

Trap Bar Shrugs (194): 84x15, 94x12x2, 114x10.

Nautilus Laterals (120): 55x15, 60x12x2, 70x10.

Bicep 21s: 40x21x2. First set was lower half, upper half, full range; second set was the reverse. Hard, considering all the prior back work.

No aerobics today. It is our 3rd wedding anniversary so after the workout I ran home, got flowers for the Missus, got a sitter, and went to dinner.

Wk 1: Prilepin Squat/DL #1

Today, my body feels toasted. . . . . really exhausted. My first leg workout under this new setup and it was hard. Now, let's see why before I write it down: for the good mornings, compared to a last cycle at about 73%, the total number of reps are the same (40) and total tonnage is close (this workout was 6080 lbs at 69%1RM, the other one would have been 6150 for the same weight). The kicker, I deduced, was the number of reps per set: 4 for this cycle, 3 for the last, so my time under tension is longer. Also, at the working set, the reps were greater (20 reps versus 18)

Standing Calf Raises (125): 45x4x3, 55x4, 55x4, 65x4, 85x4x5

Arched Back Good Mornings (280): 65x4, 85x4, 105x4, 135x4, 155x4, 195x4x5. Let the torture begin, this left me a bit winded. As said above, 4 reps is something I will have to get used to.

Assisted GHR w/80 lbs assist: 4 sets of 5. A real grind, since I haven't done them in a while. For that same reason, it took me the third set before I had my groove back and it was still hard.

Step-Ups on a 24" box: 4 sets of 10. Someone was really Bogarting that 18" box, so I had to go in the Spinning room and do these. I might keep them: the first set, and every other one after that, left me panting because the depth of the steps and the effort I had to put up to step that high (with one leg on the floor, it looked like a below parallel single leg squat for the other leg). Ladies, if you want to kill your backside, this is the movement!!!

Weighted Ball Crunch (45): 20x15, 25x12x2, 30x10. Not much left for these, I had to rest pause the last two sets.

Lying Leg Thrusts: failure at 8, 8, 8, 6 reps.

This workout will probably push my GPP up in 6 weeks. Around week 4, it'll probably feel easier. At that moment, though, I felt humbled and tired. With the aerobics I'll be doing at the same time, I don't see the squat cycle being done just yet. Someday.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Squat Test

The last time I squatted conventional was January 14, 2005. I had just started this blog, had failed a squat test miserably days before, and barely squatted 325 in not-so-prize-winning form. Since then, I had been on a Prilepin program using good mornings and front squats and GHRs with good success. I have been considering using the 1974 USSR Weightlifting Yearbook squat program, but scrapped the idea for deadlifts because I need my squats to be where my deadlifts are now. So, with my Manta Ray and belt in tow, I made a detour to the gym en route to the post office.

No warmup, folks, just 315 lbs. I got under it, racked it (it felt light), then proceeded to do two good reps with it (almost the depth of my front squats) - - - a PR, since the most I had previously done for that weight was one rep. How I know about the depth was also a problem: I caught myself pausing a bit more at the bottom so I could check it. NSCA formula predicts a 330 1RM, so I loaded that up on the bar. This time, I waited til I was past parallel, took a fast glance, then quickly reversed it up in about three seconds.

One might expect more than a 5 lbs PR, considering the prior work. But I look at it like this: my depth was better, reps were faster, back was straighter, rebound from the bottom was more explosive, the weight felt lighter and with more control on the eccentric and concentric portions of the lift. I got a 2 rep PR, had enough for a fast single 1RM, and could have done a full workout after that, since my legs still felt fresh. Successes, in my book. I do need to conventional squat more than I have in the past year and a half, and that's why I'm considering this.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Deadlift Test

I was considering using the 1974 USSR Weighlifting Yearbook routine once outlined by John McDonald on his blog, only for the deadlift, to jump start my metabolism and, since part of the Navy's bodyfat testing hinges on neck thickness, to thicken my back further. So today, I tested for the deadlift instead of my regularly scheduled workout:

Conventional Deadlift (365): 145x6, 185x4, 245x2, 295x1, 325x1, 365x1 (Alright), 400 (I was stiff from bowling yesterday. Oh, I got it, but I was on all cylinders to get it and it was slow!!!)

3 jumps onto a 24", 30", and a 36" box. I'll need more jump height to land in the center of that 36" box: I currently have to tuck so much on that jump that my knees nearly hit my chest.

Mowed the lawn for an hour, pushing it up some incline grades. Also, swept and cleaned up. That was my aerobics and GPP for the day.

After much thought, I'll skip that plan. Right now, I'll trust my extra trap work to do the job. Plus, with the extra aerobic work and my current volume of work, I'm just asking for trouble.

I'll be in Norfolk, Virginia soon on Navy business for a couple of weeks. I called the gym and found out that they have boot camp aerobics and a load of Hammer and Nautilus machines. Like last time, I'll use the Hammer back machines as extra back work.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Wk1: Prilepin Calves

Yes, you heard right. I've always done them with lots of reps, so I thought I'd try something different.

First, I had to test for a new max. Nailed 125 lbs on the standing calf raise on a Smith machine, a 15 lbs PR. Ok, now calves aren't necessarily on a powerlifter's short list of exercises. But since I like basketball and jumping and running and don't want "Pipe Cleaners" to go with big quads, they will always be a part of my leg routine.

Standing Calf Raises (125): 45x6, 45x4x2, 55x4, 65x4, 75x4x5.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Wk1: Prilepin Bench/Lats Day 1

18" Incline Pushups w/Pushup Bars: 4 sets of 6. The last two sets were hard. I thought of doing this in sets of 4 but I want it this hard. Maybe, too, the 30 seconds rest between sets was too little.

Hoist Neutral Grip Chinup (153: Today's bodyweight:240.1): 80.1x4, 90.1x4, 100.1x4, 110.1x4x5.

Trap Bar Shrugs (194): 84x15, 94x12x2, 114x10. I haven't done direct trap work in years and it felt like it. Broke a sweat, breathed harder.

Nautilus Laterals (120): 55x15, 60x12x2, 70x10. Grueling. Should have never done traps before this, had to rest-pause to get the job done.

Bicep 21s: 40x21x2. First set was lower half, upper half, full range; second set was the reverse.

Stairmaster Stepmill: 30 minutes at Level 4. The one aerobic machine, besides the Stepper, no one wants to use. And that's because it's tough. But it has an excellent carryover to running endurance (from experience), so I'll be using this puppy to get lean.

Wk1: Prilepin Midback Day 1


Nautilus Nitro Pulldown (Pronated Grip)(140): 35x6, 45x4, 55x4, 65x4, 75x4, 85x4x5. I would like to say that it was hard, but that's not the intention of this cycle. The movement felt different than other rows I have done and that's what I wanted. 30 seconds rest between sets was about right.

Friday, March 11, 2005

RDL Test

Romanian Deadlift: 110x6, 155x4, 195x2, 235x1, 285x3. Brzycki formula says 301 lbs, which felt about right. NSCA says 322 lbs, and that's way off. My first two reps were strong and my third was enough of a strain that a fourth rep would have been no go. This would be a PR for me. I've never done 285 in the RDL, much less tripled it. My only gripe is that since I haven't deadlifted a whole lot of late, my grip wasn't as strong (I RDL with a double overhand grip) and I had to use straps for assistance. Maybe instead of arm work, I might do grip work.


I stopped my heavy Prilepin cycle early so as to start this one. Not bad for 4 weeks. I would have finished it but my Navy PRT is on May 8 and with my son's basketball games on my schedule, I want to finish a light cycle a week before so I can taper off. Also, considering that I had done a short, heavy cycle in December, I was mentally ready to move on.

I took the Prilepin cycle and adjusted it for a 53-69% 1RM range (24 reps optimal). The heavy day uses sets of 4 reps except for the 18" incline pushups, which will use sets of 6. The light day will be set up as a speed day, with sets of 2 for the front squat and sets of 3 for the 18" incline pushups. All the assistance exercises will be using 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps at 45-60% 1RM. Rest periods will be short, 30-45 seconds. My goal is base building and also endurance, since I'll also be doing more running to get lean and for the running portion of the PRT. The cycle looks like this (Notation is %1RM x reps x sets):

a.) Prilepin Heavy Day: 69% x 4 x 5 (wk 1), 60% x 4 x 5 (wk 2), 66% x 4 x 5 (wk 3), 70% x 4 x 5 (wk 4), 60% x 4 x 5 (wk 5), 66% x 4 x 5 (wk 6). One of my warmup sets is 4 reps at 55% 1RM, so there are the other 4 reps. As noted, 18" incline pushups will be 4 sets of 6 reps.

b.) Prilepin Light Day for Front Squat: 62% x 2 x 11(wk 1), 65% x 2 x 10 (wk 2), 53% x 2 x 12(wk 3), 62% 2 x 11 (wk 4), 65% x 2 x 10 (wk 5), 53% x 2 x 12 (wk 6). Prilepin Light Day for 18" Incline Pushup: 8 sets of 3 reps, with emphasis on speed.

I've spent this week resting on various movements. A lot of them are different, since I don't wan't to accomodate. The Romanian Deadlifts will sub for good mornings and will now be a heavy day movement, while a low box front squat will be done on the light day for speed in an isometric/explosive fashion (from a dead stop, no stretch reflex) so I can teach myself to generate more power out of the hole. My lat movements stay the same, they just switch days. My upper back movements will be the Nautilus Nitro Pulldown done with an overhand grip and pulled like a row, and a barbell row pulled high. GHRs stay and progress the same, but the assist weight drops to 80 lbs. I'll be shrugging with a trap bar and with dumbbells on an incline bench, to build trap strength. No calf work on machines, time to whip out the Strength Shoes. 21s for biceps; Nautilus Nitro Laterals and incline dumbbell laterals for shoulders. This is still a work in progress, since I'm going to test on the Romanian Deadlift and Nautilus Nitro Bicep machine today.

While this is light work, I've gained some strength doing activation, since at light weight the muscles do almost all the work and form improves. Bring it on!

Monday, March 07, 2005

18, 24, 30, 36

I had Reserve drill and my son's basketball game this weekend so not much time to workout this weekend. My unit played Walleyball Sunday afternoon for PT (kind of like a hybrid of racketball and volleyball). I warmed up first, then saw in the Spinning room that they had some new platforms kind of like the ones that I do pushups on, but taller. I went to the front and got the ruler and measured each platform (Thus, the title), then proceeded to test my jump in the same fashion I taught my son to.

The 30" jump surprised me, just because I have never really tested my jump in a formal manner. It looked like a lot, but I had good acceleration and toe push-off at the bottom to land it in the center of the platform.

The 36" jump scared me, since it was just above my waistline. My first attempt, maybe it was my fear or just inexperience, but I barely missed it and ended up scraping my right shin pretty good and falling on my ass. Ouch! On the second attempt, I might have looked as if my knees were approaching my chest and I barely landed it - - - my feet were close to the edge of the platform and I held it a little to make sure I didn't fall back. I then took another leap and landed that one, too, but in the same spot. More work needed but I was happy. This might be a good test of my explosiveness, or a way to boost it. I'll have to figure out how to work this in to my current routine, and what other movements to do for assistance. I plan to do some video for this during the week.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Wk 5: Prilepin Squat/DL Heavy

Front Squat (215): 50x6, 65x4, 85x3, 100x3, 115x3, 135x3, 150x3, 170x3x4. This was much easier than the first time I did it on week 2. Note that I only did 4 sets of 3 - - - that's because I tripled and maxed yesterday. I was also very solid and fast coming out of the bottom, and credit for that may be because of the step ups on an 18" platform, the most recent addition to my workouts.

Assisted GHR (90 lbs assist): 4 sets of 10. The first set was easy, the second became challenging at 8 reps, the third at 7 reps, and I failed at 9 on the last but got the tenth after a 5-second pause.

Seated Calf Raises (110): 55x10, 75x8, 82.5x6x2.

Standing Calf Raises (110): 55x10, 75x8, 82.5x6

Back Extensions w/2 kg ball: failure at 12, 11, 10, 9 reps. My endurance was better once again but I'm noticing that my hams start to burn earlier than my back does. Maybe, I should have done these before GHRs.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Jump Around

I spent part of my evening last night trying to teach my son how to jump. In basketball, he'll sometimes go for the long shot and come up short, even when his elbow is high enough for a good arc. I thought teaching him to jump might help.

I had him jump from a standstill onto an 18" box, which he did but with slighly sloppy form. Then I took him to a room with some metal bars to hang from, some mats, and with a 2kg, 3kg, and 5 kg medicine balls. I had him try to jump and touch this one bar, but he was about two inches short, which frustrated him. I showed him that a few inches above the 18" box he had jumped on earlier would gt him close. I then demonstrated a rudimentary snatch/throw using the 5 kg ball, which he then found to heavy to toss up. I then showed him the same toss in 3 steps, starting with the 2 kg ball. First, I had him get in a position like an RDL and execute it until he reported a stretch in the hams: I then told him once he felt that, that he has less than a second to jump. Second, I taught him the first pull, only to the knees. Third, the second pull: shrugging the shoulders hard, thrusting the hips forward, and jumping using only the calves so as force the ball to swing upward a bit. Than I had him do put it all together and toss the ball straight up high as fast as he could. I took him a while to get the hang of it but once he did, he was surprised how much lighter the 5 kg ball was when he got to it. I then had him do dribble drills for a while, as a break.

I stacked up some mats until they were higher than an 18 inch box, and pointed to the goal height I predicted he should reach if he wanted to touch the bar. I had to sit on them to keep it stable: the soft mats would cushion his landings. I then told him to jump using what I had taught him (I even demonstrated with a very explosive jump). Sure enough, he shocked himself with being able to reach it. Then I kept stacking the mats gradually, and he kept surprising himself with how high he could jump but he failed within an inch of the mark. Just as well, though: enough for the night, he was stoked.

Today, I thought of that whole explosion business as I decided to test on front squats before bowling. Note: Timberlands make great squat shoes! I loaded 225 on the bar (215 is my max) and proceeded to triple that (NSCA formula: 254 lbs Brzycki formula: 238 lbs). I then rested 3 minutes and attempted a 245 lift. That came up gradually but strong enough that I went for a second rep but could not come out of the hole. Maybe, it was yesterday's jumps. Maybe, I should have gone for the 254. But I'm very satisfied. I can't wait to apply the Prilepin Program to bench presses.

Tomorrow, Week 5 Prilepin Squat/DL.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Wk4: Prilepin Bench/Lats

Bodyweight Monday: 239.7 lbs

18" Incline Pushups: 6 sets of 3

Hoist Assisted Neutral Grip Chinup (142.5): 79.7x6, 89.7x6, 99.7x6, 109.7x4, 119.7x3x5

Nautilus Nitro Laterals: Ran the rack up to 120x1

Barbell 21s: 40x21x2. First set was lower half, then upper half, then full range. Second set was done in reverse. Some people squeeze their biceps after a set: I couldn't if I wanted to!

Lying Leg Thrusts: Failure at 10, 9, 7, 7 reps

Incline Situps: Set it very steep, failed at 8, 7, 6, 6 reps.