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.