Sunday, December 17, 2006

Total Body Training: Week 8 in 3 days

All Notation: Weight x Reps x Sets. Rest periods: 2 minutes on Day one and 3. 60 seconds on Day two.

I wanted to get this over with, and I don't want to work out while in New Jersey. So I committed myself to the daunting task of finishing this up in three days time. Barring Friday, where I did intervals in the morning, there will be no aerobics. Also since the weekend was here, I slept a lot more,and did a bit more. Here's how it went:

Day One (Friday night)(Supersets are paired up):

Hammer Front Pulldown (Weight is per movement arm): 35x12, 45x12, 55x12x3
DB Lateral Raises: 8x12x5

DB Shoulder Presses: 25x12, 30x12, 35x12x3
Barbell Curls: 35x12, 45x12, 60x12x3

Decline Twisting Situps: Repped Out at 18, 14, 12, 11, 10 reps
Cybex Donkey Calf Raise: 80x12, 100x12, 120x12

Sumo Deadlift: 135x12, 155x12, 175x12x3
Close Grip Pushups: Repped Out at 14, 12, 11, 10, 9 reps

A portent of things to come, I was so exhausted when it was all done. Question for myself at the end of the night was whether I would be able to pull again the next day.

Day Two(Saturday Afternoon)(Supersets are paired up):

DB Rows (Elbows Out): 25x8, 35x8, 40x8x3
DB Lateral Raises: 12x8x5

DB Bench Press: 35x8, 45x8, 55x8x3
DB Preacher Curls: 15x8, 20x8, 25x8x3

Decline Twisting Situp: Repped Out at 18, 16, 14, 11, 10 reps
Cybex Donkey Calf Raise: 100x8, 120x8, 150x8x3

Snatch Grip Deadlift: 135x8, 155x8, 185x8x3

Hammer ISO Shoulder Press: 45x8, 55x8, 65x8x3

A little easier on because it was lower reps and more dumbbell work. The Snatch Grip DL was the coupe de grace here. After this and a shower, I refueled at Chili's with an order of Southwestern Egg Rolls, a full rack of ribs, and a lot of Coca Cola. The I went to sleep late because my wife called, and The Matrix was on the TV. My back still has a pump, and squats are tomorrow. Great!?!

Day Three (Sunday Afternoon)(Supersets are paired up):

Weighed myself before I began, no shoes and no shirt: 232 lbs. about a 4 lbs drop in two weeks. I'm thrilled. I'm within striking distance of the 220s. But I'm so weak right now it's hardly a motivator. Should have gone to Starbucks. On paper, the pushups and squats will be the killer. Since my back did not feel up to the task, I did my squats on the Hammer V-Squat (Beginning resistance is 54lbs) machine.

Hammer ISO Low Row: 35x18, 45x18, 50x18x3
DB Lateral Raises: 6x18x5

Hammer V-Squat: 139x18, 159x18, 179x18x3

Pushups: Repped Out at 23, 18, 15, 13, 11 reps
BB Preacher Curls: 30x18, 35x18, 40x18x3

Decline Twisting Situp: Repped Out at 19, 17, 15, 12, 10 reps
45 Degree Hyper: Repped Out at 16, 14, 11, 10, 10 reps
Cybex Donkey Calf Raise: 80x18, 100x18, 110x18x3

So, with a whimper and a crawl, it was over. It was a good cycle. I could almost see why in his new book, Chad Waterbury takes out the last 4 weeks: it felt like cardio only worse. But I would do it again, it jacked my metabolism up. I'm back to a 225 bench, while barely benching because of all the DB, Blast Strap, and pushup work. My squat is back and with a faster launch, partly because of the GHR and all the front squats. I went from being able to do 2-3 reps on the GHR to now being able to do 8 reps. My waist is a little smaller but my back, arms, shoulders, and calves are thicker. I also have increased grip strength and more endurance. Triple Total Training is next after the break.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Workouts 06Dec12-06Dec14

Today, I am doing nothing but relaxing. With morning PT and the workouts themselves, the only thing keeping me sane is an added nap from 4:30PM to 6:30PM on most days. That and, since I want to finish TBT, I will finish it Sunday so that will be 3 workouts in a row. I don't want to workout while I'm in NJ next week.

06Dec12 (All Notation: weight x reps x sets):
Speed Intervals: 5 intervals of 2 minutes running at 7.3 MPH and 1 minute walking at 3.8 MPH. Heart rate did not hit 180+ until the last interval. That's great. I'll probably step it up on Friday.

Close Grip Pulldown w/V-Handle: 70x8, 85x8, 105x8x3

Hammer Pullover: 65x8, 80x8, 100x8x3

DB Lateral Raises: 6x18x3, 8x12x3

Seated Row: 70x8, 85x8, 105x8x3

Hammer ISO Low Row: 45x8, 55x8, 65x8x3

Decline Twisting Situps: 3 sets of 14 reps
Leg Lowering: 3 sets of 3
Birddogs: 3 sets of 20 seconds each
45 degree Hyper: 3 sets of 14
20 minutes on the elliptical as a cooldown. This took so long, and some of the movements do nothing for me. Considering that I deadlift twice a week, I'll move the Hammer low row to day 3 and only do the abs and laterals on the off day. That, and burnout is creeping up on me.

06Dec13 (All Notation: weight x reps x sets):
Since Monday's morning run was stopped due to rain, we all paid for it today with a longer run. The weather was colder, too. When I was done, it looked like steam was coming out of my wet clothes.

TBT Week 7 Workout 3:

Pushups: Repped Out at 22, 16, 12 reps.

12" Box Squat: 100x18, 125x18x3. The original goal was 135x18x3. 125 brought me down to earth. I performed 14 reps on my first set, took a 10 second breather at the top, then did the other four. Second set: 12 reps, rest 5 seconds, 3 reps, rest 5 seconds, 3 reps. Last set, 10 reps, then 4 reps, then 3 reps, then 1. Slept like a baby . . . . . had a hard time getting up this morning.

Preacher Curl: 30x18, 35x18, 40x18x3.

Hammer ISO Low Row: 35x18, 45x18, 50x18x3.

45 degree Hyper: Repped Out at 16, 14, 12, 10 reps.

Cybex 45 degree Donkey Calf Raise: 80x18, 100x18, 110x18x3.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Total Body Training: Week 7 Workout 2

Ran with the group this morning and got rained on while doing it. No worries, it was actually warm today. The cold snap is gone for now.

Evening Workout (All Notation: weight x reps x sets):

DB Bench Press: 35x8, 45x8, 55x8x3

DB Rows (Elbows Out): 25x8, 35x8, 40x8x3

Bulgarian Split Squat: 10x8, 20x8, 30x8x3

Hammer ISO Shoulder Press: 45x8, 55x8, 65x8x3

DB Preacher Curls: Worked up to a 25 lbs 8RM, then a 30 lbs 5RM, then did a set of 25x8.

Snatch Grip DL: Was going to test an RM but decided for future workouts to just play it safe and take a guess at a 1RM. I guessed 265 and calculated from there: 145x8, 165x8, 195x8x3.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Just Aerobics

45 minutes on the elliptical. Went to Barnes and Noble and bought The New Rules of Lifting; so far a great read. I might try that Metabolic Overload for a few of my aerobic days to lean out quicker. Ate sushi and hibachi fillet mignon chunks for lunch, and a big coffee and cookie at the bookstore. Not exactly bringing balance to the Force, but I had to have it and it was DELICIOUS!!!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Extra Back Work

Speed Intervals: 5 intervals of 2 minutes running at 7.3 MPH and 1 minute walking at 3.8 MPH

Close Grip Pulldown w/V-Handle: 55x18, 70x18, 75x18
Hammer Pullover: 50x18, 60x18, 70x18
LifeFitness Lateral Raise: 50x18, 60x18, 70x18
Seated Row: 55x18, 70x18, 75x18
Hammer ISO Low Row: 35x18, 45x18, 50x18
Decline Twisting Situps: 3 sets of 14 reps
Leg Lowering: 3 sets of 3
Birddogs: 3 sets of 20 seconds each
45 degree Hyper: 3 sets of 14

20 minutes on the elliptical as a cooldown.

Friday, December 08, 2006


After Wednesday's test on Squat and yesterday's test on Sumo DL, today I felt edgy and burned out. So no weights today. Heck, I didn't want to run with the group this morning but you know how the military is. How's that for motivation?!?

I did 30 minutes on the elliptical in the evening, and went to bed early. Thank god for the weekend!!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Total Body Training: Week 7 Workout 1

All Notation: weight x reps x sets. Got up at the ungodly hour of 5:45AM to do 45 minutes on the elliptical machine and enjoy the free continental breakfast before reporting to work at 7:30AM.

Evening Workout:

Hammer ISO Front Pulldown (Weight per movement arm): 40x12, 50x12, 60x12x3

DB Shoulder Press: 25x12, 30x12, 35x12x3

DB Lateral Step Ups: 10x12, 15x12, 20x12x3

Close Grip Pushups (Arms Tucked): Repped out to 14, 14, 13 reps

Sumo DL: 135x12, 155x12, 175x12, 195x9, 225x6, 245x4, 265x2, 285x1. Started out trying to test out my 12RM. After 3 minutes of catching my breath after set 4, I went for the 1RM.

Barbell Curls: 35x12, 45x12, 55x12x3

Cybex Seated Calf: 40x12, 50x12, 60x12x3

All in all, a great workout that left me fiending for some sleep:)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Testing in Tennessee

Spent my Tuesday sleeping off jet lag and 3 days of little sleep. Today, I ran 1.5 miles in the morning with the unit I'm working for, and I went to the gym to see what they had and maybe test it. A lot of old Hammer machines (Great), some Lifefitness machines (not so great, save for the side lateral), and the free weights were enough. Surprisingly, they had a wide assortment of bars, some boards up to a 3-board, a step up box. Then I beamed when I saw a 12" box constructed out of 1 inch thick boards almost like Jenga. So I tested out on the back movements (at least 5-10 lbs stronger than I was a month ago), DB Bench Press of 70 lbs each arm, and a 245 double on 12" Box Squat. I've gained pretty good on this program, and all the GHR and squat rep work has made for a stronger squat out of the bottom. It's all in the exercise choices.

Now I'm beat, time for more sleep.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Total Body Training: Week 6 Workout 3

On to Week 7. Not a moment too soon, either. I at least wanted to do this before my trip to Tennessee next week. Don't know what equipment I will have to work with there.

Arched Back GMs: 115x12, 135x12, 150x12x2
Squats: 135x12, 155x12, 170x12x2.
Pullups (Green Band): 4 sets of 8. I cannot break 8 reps with these yet.
Bar Pushups (Feet Elevated): 4 sets of 12.
GHR (Purple Band): 4 sets of 12
Barbell Curls: 75x5, 85x3, 90x1 (5 lbs PR), 60x8x3

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Total Body Training: Week 6 Workout 2

All notation: weight x reps x sets. Antogonist supersets for week 6. Rest was 60 seconds between sets.

Conventional Deadlift: 145x8, 175x8, 205x8x2. Better than last week's effort. Both faster and easier.

GHR (Monster Mini Band): BWTx8x4. Last time, I needed a light band to do these, so I'm happy.

Barbell Upright Rows: 30x8, 40x8, 50x8x2. Much prefer these with dumbbells, I could feel why the barbell version gets a bad rap. Not that hurt too much but it didn't feel totally right.

Barbell Incline Bench Press: 85x8, 115x8, 145x8x2.

Skullcrushers: 30x8, 40x8, 50x8x2

Incline DB Curls: 15x8, 20x8, 25x8x2

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Total Body Training: Week 6 Workout 1

All notation: weight x reps x sets. Antogonist supersets for week 6. Rest was 120 seconds between sets.

Squats: 115x18x2. Better than last week and still just as hard. After this, I'm not looking forward to weeks 7 & 8: First day is 3 sets of 18!!!

GHR (Green/Black Bands): BWTx18x2. Used to need a green and purple band to do 15 reps, so this is an improvement for me.

DB Rows (elbows out): tested to a 55 lbs 1RM, then did 25x18x2. Did not have access to the Hammer ISO Row here at home, so this did the trick.

Pushups: Repped out at 22 and 18 reps. Done at a medium pace.

Lateral Step Ups: BWTx18x2. Truly beating the dead horse.

Barbell 21s: 50x21x2

Single Leg Calf Raises: BWTx7x5

Thursday, November 23, 2006


God, I haven't blogged in a while and so much built up that it's almost discouraging. I have to get better about this. It's been busy, in between training myself and my wife. So I'm gonna summarize short and sweet, then start tomorrow with my first workout of Total Body Training week 6. And I'll get back to seeing what everyone else is doing.

When I started in October, I was up to 245 lbs because of a lot of inactivity partially due to a broken rib. I am now down to 236 lbs but more solid. Last week, week 5 got away from sets of 5, 8, and 15 reps and introduced sets of 18, 8, and 12 reps. 18 rep sets of squats were pure torture but it broke my weight plateau of 238.

My changes to this program reflect my goal of a better PRT in April, since I was medically waived from the fall one and I want to impress the Navy. I've done nothing but pushup variations instead of benches, and lots of Blast Strap ones When I started back up in October, my bench had dropped to 205: it's back up to 225 but with more control. My squat is 275 and climbing, but I now have more depth and faster liftoff from the bottom. The program has two single joint movements every workout that are supposed to address the weakest bodyparts so I do a bicep movement and GHRs for those days, using various band combinations to allow me to hit all the rep ranges. Now I can do 6 reps on the GHR with no bands instead of 3 (Still no Kris, 20 something more reps before I can give him a go) and with all the front squats, that's what has probably helped my squat. All the dumbbell work and chinning has had an unplanned training effect on my grip: I can now do a 275 deadlift double overhand.

On the running front, I pulled a calf on week three of my running program and was almost ready to bag it when I read on a Navy running program used for people preparing for the SEALS that week 3 is for biking or swimming because a large number of BUD/S trainees injured themselves running in the third week. That kept me in it. So I walked the rest of that week, and started up again with no problem. I also changed my goal: I will work up to a 20 minute goal only but will train for 30 minutes next PRT. Last week was 4 circuits of 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking at 7.3 MPH (8 minutes running volume)and that was tough but the third day was good. This week is 6 circuits of 1.5 minutes running and 1 minute walking (9 minutes running volume) Since the run time dropped, I increased the speed to 7.5 MPH. I expect when I do next week's 5 circuits of 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking at 7.3 MPH, it will take less out of me because of that.

I have not done the elliptical on off days as planned. Instead, I have used those two days on the weekdays at lunchtime to do abs for 30 minutes. I'm still getting leaner, but now my midsection is getting stronger. I will start using the elliptical next week when I get home, starting at level one.

My wife recently had her checkup and her blood sugar is holding steady at normal, as is her blood pressure, and she's still progressing downward weight wise. She was able to do a 15 inch box squat with 115 for 8 reps last week, 185 for 3 sets of 5 on trap bar deadlifts, 35 lbs dumbell incline benches for 3 sets of 5. My goals for the near future for her is her first set of wheels for the bench (135 lbs) and 2 sets of wheels (225 lbs) for regular squat. I'm not telling her that, though: it's a surprise;)

BTW, I'm missing the Prilepin and Westside workouts but I think when their turn comes I will be better at it. This has been a good change.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My Running Program for April 2007 PRT

The following program is the one I'm currently following in preparation for the April 2007 Navy Physical Readiness Test (PRT). It is a combination of two 10-week beginners programs from Runners World, one designed to get you to 20 minutes of continuous running and one for 30 minutes. A program like this was what I used to drop my 1.5 mile running time from 15:22 (10/2005) to 12:54 (06/2006). Because of how that went, I changed things up a lot. Thanks to Kris at for hosting the file. I have also included a race calculator from Santa Clarita Runners club to assist.

A few explanations are in order, to explain my rationale for this programs structure. There are 3 running days on this program, vice 4. The other 2 or 3 days are spent on the elliptical and could even be walking days but it must be at least 30 minutes. Last time, I tried 4 days of running while I was lifting and ended up with banged up knees. 3 days did the job for me. Since I was doing intervals to build up my run time, I found that I need at least two sessions where I was doing 30 minutes of continuous work so that my steady distance running wouldn't suffer. The elliptical work filled the bill: it gets harder as the weeks go but tapers off towards the end, and it took the shock out of training. I'm training at running speeds between 7.3 and 6.9 MPH, but mostly at 7.3 MPH. I'm gunning for a Good-High on the run, so I need to hit a 12:23 time and the 7.3 MPH is a bit below that. I always run the first half below 6:40 (last run I ran it in 6:32) without stopping, so I calculated my low end speed off of that. I will run 7.3 MPH at all times until fatigue forces me to switch (so far, it hasn't), and then I'll adjust as I see fit. When I ran like this before, I was able to run longer before I had to walk.

The one other thing you will notice is that total run volume per session is included for each week. When I began training last time, the workouts were torture: the first week was 10 minutes of total running in 2 minute shots, and I was not in shape for either. It took me a long time to be able to run longer than 3 minutes, and it took even longer to improve that. Before beginning this program, walk for two weeks (I did more than that, thanks to a broken rib). Running volume for the 1st week is 6 minutes (since I can usually maintain good speed for a little longer than that without fail) and slowly builds up from there. The reason for the length of this program is that there is a more gradual buildup of run volume. After peaking at 20 minutes in Week 16, you get a short reprieve: the volume stays close to 20 minutes for 3 weeks but you're back to intervals vice one long run. The week before last, 29 minutes total run volume, is almost like running the course twice.

I am posting this as opposed to writing what I do each day for aerobics. But mainly I do this to show a progression and a plan. In most Navy PT that I have seen, people just run with no real purpose other than to last 1.5 miles or do the bare minimum, or with no rhyme or reason or quantifiable goal. This is my attempt. I will tweak it as I go and hopefully it will get better. As for why I'm not running continuously until the events, I don't need to except when I peak. I pound myself enough with the iron, too, and most sports don't require 3 miles of continuous running constantly. Now, if running a 5/10K, that would be different. Lastly, for weight loss, this works better for me because of the intensity.

BTW, I am on Week 3, 8 minutes total run volume per session. And I'm doing fine.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I'm trying to keep up but it's been tough. Not only have I been training but I have to manage around training my wife, too. We don't train on the same days: on her workout days I always make sure all the weights are ready and planned out, and that a full dinner is prepared so that after she's done working out, she doesn't have to wait to eat. She is ready to wrap up week 2 of Chad Waterbury's Total Body Training and so far, I think she is ready to surpass her old goals. We also got her down under 240 lbs, and her blood sugar profile has improved a lot. Yesterday's workout for her, BTW, looked like this

Antagonistic Pairings (Weight x reps x sets):
Flat Bench Press: 85x5x3
Dumbbell Rows (Elbows Out): 30x5x3
15" SSB Box Squat: 130x5x3.
Romanian Deadlift: 115x5x3
Lying Tricep Extensions: 35x5x3
DB Hammer Curls: 25x3, 25x4, 25x3

I will try to be more current. Try.

Friday, October 06, 2006

TBT Week 1 Workout 2

Lunchtime Run:
LifeFitness Treadmill, 1.0 Incline: 6 intervals of 1 minute walking at 3.8 MPH and 1 minute running at 7.3 MPH

Evening (The rest periods were 90 seconds between sets.)
Incline DB Bench Press: 45x8x3
DB Upright Rows: 15x8x3
15" Front Box Squat: 125x8x3
Arched Back Good Mornings (Wide Stance): 145x8x3
Assisted GHR (Green Bands): BWTx8x3
Hammer Curls: 25x8x3

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Lunchtime Aerobics

LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 1 Hill: 30 Minutes

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Lunchtime Run

LifeFitness Treadmill, 1.0 Incline: 6 intervals of 1 minute walking at 3.8 MPH and 1 minute running at 7.3 MPH

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Lunchtime Aerobics

LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 1 Hill: 30 Minutes

Monday, October 02, 2006

TBT Week 1 Workout 1

Lunchtime Run:
LifeFitness Treadmill, 1.0 Incline: 6 intervals of 1 minute walking at 3.8 MPH and 1 minute running at 7.3 MPH. Tough, but not bad.

Evening (Now that I have an idea of weights to use, I just started over):
Blast Strap Pushups: BWTx5x3.
DB Rows (Elbows Out): 40x5x3
15" SSB Box Squat: Worked up to a 225 5Rm and a 235 4Rm.
Sumo DL: 215x5x3.
Assisted Dips (Purple Band): BWTx5x3
Barbell Curls: 60x5x3

Thursday, September 28, 2006

TBT Week 1 Workout 2

Past three Lunches: 30 Minutes of Walking.

Evening (The rest periods were 90 seconds between sets.)
Incline DB Bench Press: Worked up to a 45 lbs 8RM
DB Upright Rows: Worked up to a 20 lbs 8RM
13" Box Front Squat: Worked up to 105 lbs 8RM, 125 lbs 5RM
Arched Back Good Mornings (Wide Stance): Worked up to a 135 lbs 8RM, 155 lbs 5RM.
BB Bicep Curls: Worked up to a 55 lbs 8RM
Band-Assisted Dips: Green Band x 15, Purple Bandx8, Monster-Mini x 3, Purple Band x 8

This workout left me tired, but I am starting to adjust. After all this time of low rep heavy work, the high reps are draining.

Next week, the running begins. I'll post something on that later.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Once Again, It's On

Today, I start Chad Waterbury's Total Body Training. My plan is to do that for 8 weeks, followed by 10x3 For Fat Loss, Triple Total Training, Quattro Dynamo, then SOB Training. A total of 26 weeks, which leaves me with 2 weeks to push up my pushups and situps and a week to deload. The programs are all full body, and the last program has a lot of high rep work: PRT is 29 weeks away and while I will accept a Good-High Grade (Last PRT was a Good-Medium), I might gun for an Excellent - - - my 1.5 mile run would have to hit 11:23. If you want the spreadsheets with all the programs, here's the link: Save to Desktop.

Yesterday, I spent recovering from a cold but I did train my wife - - - she's doing the Total Body Training, too. She was down 2 lbs from a 3 weeks ago, and her blood work was better. I think she should get her own blog, but we'll see. Her number's yesterday were:

Flat BB Bench Press: 3 sets of 5 with a last set of 80 4RM.
DB Rows: 3 sets of 5 with 25 lbs.
14" SSB Box Squats: 3 sets of 5 with a top set of 115 5RM.
Romanian Deadlift: 3 sets of 5 with 85 lbs.
DB Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 5 with 20 lbs.
Single Leg Calf Raises: 3 sets of 5 with BWT, to get a hang of the movement.

These are my numbers today. Since I've been out of the game for a while. I'm just working to the max recommended RMs for the first week, then calculate a 1RM and continue to week two. The odd weeks (1, 3, so on) are straight sets; the even weeks are antogonistic supersets.

Flat BB Bench Press: Worked up to a 175 5RM, then repeated.
Barbell Rows: 95x5x3
15" SSB Box Squats: Worked up to a 225 5RM, then repeated.
Sumo DL: Worked up to a 235 5RM, then barely repeated it. SSB's fault.
DB Preacher Curls: 25x5x3.
Single Leg Calf Raises: BWTx5x3.

This was not in the program, but on my son's insistence I gave it a go and liked the idea no matter how sick it made me feel:)

Trap Bar Farmer's Walk: 160 lbs for 1 block (one end of the street to the other, put down 2 times)

I'm pretty out of shape. It is what it is. But if this workout was any indication, it's gonna be a welcome change. I felt thoroughly worked out and sweaty. It's on!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


It's great to be back!!!

First off, a primer. Last drill weekend, a Navy doctor waived me from the October/November Physical Readiness Test because while he told me that I could resume training at the beginning of October, it would not be enough time to get ready for the test. So I have about 29 weeks to prepare for the spring one. Good for me, because I'm out of shape. I 'm back at 242 lbs: while it wasn't major weight gain, I've lost some muscle and conditioning and I feel a little rusty.

Of course, this also made ponder my direction as far as weightlifting goes. My right shoulder is now loose and pain free again, as are some of my other aches and pains. What made me think was my weight: there really ain't much room for error or anything else. At this weight, my energy levels ain't as good and I snore more. I'm pretty sure my knees would ache less, too. After every PRT, my legs are hammered. I've always said my best bodyweight was around 196-206. I would like to be at a point where I'm always in great shape, not just when Navy physicals are happening. At a lighter weight, this layoff might have not been as bad.

But the other thing that made me think was my wife. She was recently diagnosed as the kind of diabetic that didn't need insulin shots but needed to watch it. She was getting close to me in weight (in good shape, she would be around 170) and after years of trying to get her back on the wagon, this was the motivation she needed to push her over the edge. Now, I'm training her and her body is starting to respond. I don't want that for myself, either.

My rib is about 95% better. I still feel a slight twinge when I turn to look behind me pulling out of a parking spot, but it's tiny. I can sleep on my left again and I was able to do 10 reps of Blast Strap pushups with no pain. I've spent this week doing level 1 on the elliptical and treadmill to start building towards a 12:23 - 12:00 1.5 mile run (sub-12 min if I can) to start out, and that's kicking my ass. I also started to test my lifts. Right now, since I want to get leaner, I'm leaning towards hypertrophy more than straight power. I also want to do something different. I have a spreadsheet of Chad Waterbury's programs that I'm looking at since a lot of his programs are full body, have variety, and cycle in heavy weights enough that I won't lose strength (heck, I might gain some). So after 4 weeks of 10-15 rep stuff to get my body up to speed, the Total Body Training cycle will be first.

BTW, I'm still doing Kris' virtual meet in February. That would be a great test of strength for me. The timing couldn't be better. And if ther's one last thing I learned from all this, the chicken and the trampoline, I will be smarter with my risk taking:)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Season of My Discontent

I was gonna call this "Things 240 lbs People Should Not Do", but I digress if only for a moment!

First was the bad chicken. Now, while on my vacation of all things, an accident involving hubris and a water trampoline. August has not been my month.

The day after we arrive in Lake Chelan, WA, I was on an Aqua Jump (a big floating trampoline). Mind you, I can do a front flip on these things. Well, I gave a back flip a try. Got enough height. Got my tuck. Not enough rotation speed. I landed right on my head.

This story could have obviously ended much, much worse. But it didn't. I tightened up everything just in time. But I knew something was wrong the minute I tried to swim back to shore and something was moving around in my chest. I didn't go to a doc at that moment because I didn't want to ruin my family's vacation on the account of my stupidity. But yesterday, my first morning back home and my 36th birthday, was spent at my doctor getting a battery of tests done and x-rays. The good news was that there was no damage to my neck or vertebrae. But my suspicions were confirmed when they found left rib #5 fractured (I landed while still tucked).

I didn't get the Vicodin as prescribed: I'm iffy about anything that strong, and I can deal with the pain. It is, however, very annoying and inconvenient. I've been told to avoid vigorous activity for a month: no running, nothing that would involve my lifting my left arm, nothing that will cause me to twist or jostle, no jumping. I tried floor presses today and it was ok for a moment until I felt my rib starting to move. I tried SSB bar squats,too (since it keeps my arms close), and learned just as fast how much load the ribs bear even from above (most of the pain was in the bottom position). Dragging sled won't be a problem (belt around the waist), neither will walking. I can't sleep on my left side: I did and when I woke up the rib settled into place and made me double over. Damn if I sneeze or cough, can't laugh too hard. Since it was not caused by severe blunt trauma, the rib was still in one piece and should heal without surgery.

I could take the gung-ho route and train with it. But one month is a small price to pay compared to what could have been, or a badly healed bone. I won't sit still, but I will be smart about it.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Know Your Chicken:)

I came home Wednesday evening at 4:30 just hungry but knew I would have dinner in 2 hours. And I didn't want a protein shake. So I raided the fridge and found a juicy piece of chicken breast: smelled good, looked good, tasted great with some ketchup on it - - - just that. I always have a rule that anything one week old in the fridge gets tossed: my wife would tell me that evening that it had been in the fridge since I left for Virginia, which would have made it about 3 weeks old. To make a long story short and spare the graphics, I'm just now slowly getting over a bad case of food poisoning. 5 lbs and a lot of Gatorade and Imodium later. So, my training week will really begin when I get back from my one week vacation.

I did bench only today, since I have to get ready for vacation and didn't want to push my luck. Worked up to a 205 single with chains attached (a 10 lbs PR), then 15 reps with 135 lbs bar weight only.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

DE Bench

Running Intervals (3.8 MPH walking, 7.2 MPH running on a 1.0 incline): 7 intervals of 1 minute walking and 1 minute running. My goal for this PRT is a 12:23 1.5 mile run, so this running speed should help get me there.

Flat Bench Press w/80 lbs of chain (half on the floor at lockout): 45x3, 65x3, 90x3x8. One day, I will experiment less and work out more:) Anyways, while in Virginia on military business, I at least get 3 sessions of benching in and I noticed that while I could hit 240 (however slow and drawn out), I could not triple 225. I also found that I could do 20 lbs more than my max on the 3 board, and I'm sure more than that for 4 or 5. I also wanted to make my program shorter for a while: PRT's coming, I slacked off on aerobics for a little too long. So I dusted off Ryan Kennelly's program that helped me get 240 the first time but added the chains and started off at 40% of a 225 1RM (At week 13, the goal is a 225 triple with chains). The ME days will not be for benching, but for shoulder pressing.

Blast Strap Pushups: 30 reps in 6 sets
Inverse Rows: 24 reps in 6 sets. 4 reps per set was all I could manage with the inverse rows, feet raised by 2 45s. I got 5 reps per set on the pushups, a 1 rep improvement per set. My goal is to do more in less sets over time.

Chinups w/Lt Bands: Failure at 3, 3, 2, 2, 2 reps
External Rotations: 3x15, 5x15, 8x12x2, 10x10

Jump Rope: 10 minutes of jumping. A little something I picked up from Chad Waterbury's 10x3 For Fat Loss, something to push my metabolism up. You could just tell I was a beginner:)

Addendum: I never did get to do the meet. My transfer to my new Navy Reserve unit was completed just before I left for Norfolk, and I learned that they do not drill on the same schedule as the rest of the Reserve Center. They drill on the second weekend of a month, and sometimes the third, instead of the first weekend. So I had to pass on the meet since I had drill that weekend.

Friday, July 21, 2006

SSB Yoke Bar Review Update

I saw this posted on Elite FTS, by Jim Wendler as an answer on the Q&A. The question was in regards to the weight of the SSB Yoke Bar with the optional handles attached. The answer was 75 lbs. So now we know. That, and my speed work was miscalculated and my max test was, too:)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Totally Gonzo DE Bench:)

I was looking at Kris' blog when I read a routine called the Press-centric Raw Bench Routine. Intrigued, I tried a few things like doing the speed movement after the heavy movement, and flyes.

Bench Press with 80 lbs of chain (1/2 on the floor at lockout, deloaded at the bottom, all weights indicated is bar weight): 55x10, 70x8, 95x6, 115x4, 140x3, 165x2, 195x1. I'm seeing why Louie Simmons recommends 1 par of chains only for someone at my level of benching. With the lead chain included, I'm locking out an extra 50 lbs, and the nature of chains made every set a job. It took a bit for me to unrack the bar at 195 and since the chains move, my wrists were feeling it. 195 came down fast, but I was tight enough to send it right back up. Note to self: get wrist wraps.

Bench Press w/Light Bands: 120x3x8. As Kris mentioned, doing DE after a max should result in faster DE work. Sure enough, it was almost too fast. The first two sets were sloppy, so I had to adjust my tightness and slow the descent a bit.

Incline Flyes: 10x10, 15x10, 20x10, 25x10, 30x8.

GHR DB Preacher Curls: 20x10x4
Band Pull-aparts w/Light Band: 4 sets of 2-4 reps.
Band Pull-aparts w/Monster Minis: 4 sets of 2-4 reps

Physioball "Y": 3x12, 5x10, 8x7, 10x5, 12x2.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

ME Squat

So, why not DE Bench? The answer is that I decided that my last workout before the contest will be DE Bench, so I just scheduled all my workouts backwards from there.

Sumo Deadlift: 135x5, 155x5, 175x5, 205x5, 225x5, 245x5. Not much speed, but really good form. I think while I'm gone I'll do those for speed day, too, instead of squats. The sumo has played second-fiddle to my conventional DL for way too long.
Blast Strap Pushups: 5 sets of 3, 1 set of 4. Ok, how do I go from being able to do 56 pushups tops to this?!? The handles were very close to the floor. I had to bust ass to keep my arms from wanting to spread out, and I was very shaky. The set of 4 was a case of me contracting my back harder and tucking a little better, but that only improved things by one rep. My stabilizers, evidently, need work.

GHR: 5 sets of 2. I'm not Kris:) The last two sets were done with a pair of monster minis. I'll get there.

Light Band Pullthroughs: 4 sets of 10

Situps: 4 sets of 50

Single Leg Calf Raises: 5 sets of 5. Humbled again, these are hard for me, too.

I lay exposed;(

Monday, July 17, 2006

Short Review: SSB Yoke Bar

The SSB bar is little longer than the Texas Power Bar (maybe a little longer) and weighs in at 60 lbs. The original SSB had a capacity of 1500 lbs and I'll gander a guess and say this one is close to the same capacity. It has a gussett that helps provide strength and stability to the sleeve and the bar. It has a strong, sturdy feel and is rackable. I bought mine with the extended handles since I felt it would provide easier balance and stability when using the bar, and allow me to put my hands lower to really give my shoulders a break. If you do barbell lunges or step ups, the handles are worth the extra $30US.

First thing I noticed when unracking the bar was that it took more effort to do so. That's because, as you all have read, the bars forward camber forces the weight (and the person) forward. If you've ever read Fred Hatfield's "POWER" and seen the picture of someone using an SSB while holding on to the rack, it is to that extent. It tried to force me forward even more than the Manta Ray, which also places the bar higher, does. As you can tell from the video, this bar practically humbled me. For all the back work I do, and I got thrown over at the bottom. I might have to learn this squat variation from the beginning as if it were different, rather than treating it like a squat with a different bar. Should be fun. That said, the bar is very comfortable: ample padding, and the bar stays put.

One flub in this video: I set the j-hooks a tad high. Thus, the tip-toeing to unrack it:)

Friday, July 14, 2006

DE Squat (+ Bench test)

Lunchtime (Weight is per movement arm):

Hammer MTS High Rows: 45x10, 55x8, 65x6, 75x6, 90x1, 80x6, 95x1
Hammer ISO Rows: 50x10, 60x8, 70x6, 85x6, 100x3, 90x6, 105x2.


Band Bench Press w/Light Bands (test): 45x10, 70x8, 95x6, 120x4, 135x2, 155x1, 175x1, 195x1. As I'm 4 weeks out from the meet, I decided to use the same speed day setup I used to help me get my 240 bench the first time. Only now, my setup was a finger wider (now middle finger on the rings). 190 was my best before with a closer grip. Not only was this a 5 pound best but I could feel a big diffrence with all my prior work. I had a tighter setup, a faster launch from the bottom, the weight never felt as if it was gonna get stuck, and my lockout was good despite the bands. My planned speed days look like this: 50%1RM (based on a 240 bench) for 8 sets of 3 with light bands, rest 3 minutes, then [based on best band bench]85% for 6 reps, 100% for 1 rep, 90% for 6 reps, 105% for 1 rep, then 15 reps with 60%. I'm gunning for a 105% single of 225 lbs, with bands, on week 4.

SSB Box squats w/80 lbs of chain: 45x10, 75x8, 105x6, 135x4, 165x2, 180x2x8. A misnomer, since the last 5 sets were not very fast at all. The bar and chains changed everything: I had to fight to stay upright, and the chains pretty much exposed my lack of speed. Less bar weight next time.

Speed Deadlifts: 200x1x10.

Sled Pullthroughs: 5 trips with 50 lbs.

Sled Backwards walk: 5 trips around the neighborhood is 2 miles, I walked one of those and just about crashed to the grass.

Abs: just mixed up some movements in a circuit 4 times.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Enclosed is the picture of my home gym setup. The rack just needs to be mounted, and I need to get a bar holder, but it is essentially complete. It's an Elite R2 Rack and GHR for the main pieces. I have a curl bar, a Trap Bar, Texas Deadlift Bar, and an SSB Yoke Bar. Some things, like the weights, Elliptical, rubber flooring, and dumbbells were bought at a Busy Body fitness store in Tacoma. I have 80 lbs of chain and bands up to an average band, 1-5 boards, Blast Straps, and whatever I had before all this like a Manta Ray and a Sting Ray, a forearm bar, pushup bars, exercise ball, sled. Anything else will be very small like posters and a dry erase board. Place needs a boom box - - - that's upstairs.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

ME Bench

I assembled the gym yesterday, the rack just needs to be mounted to wood. So I just got started using it today. I'll be working out for the next 4 days straight to get caught up, then be back at it Monday. These next two weeks will be experimental, with bands and chains. Then, the next two weeks in Norfolk, VA will be mostly straight weight, bands only for speed bench and squat. The Monday prior to the meet (August 7), I'll work up to a 3RM on the 2-board and do light accessory work. Whatever I get on the 2-board will be my second attempt, and I'll figure out from there what my 3rd attempt will be. I'm nervous, but excited. I'll get pictures up tonight.

Close Grip Pause Bench w/80 lbs of chain (numbers are bar weight): barx10, 65x8, 85x5, 105x5, 135x5, 165x1. An explanation: half of the chain is on the floor at lockout, so I was locking out an extra 40 lbs at lockout (maybe more with the lead chain, but I won't count that). I counted "one-two" at the bottom, then pressed. I was thinking of doing this with 40 lbs of chain only (20 lbs additional at lockout), but I thought "I can 3-board 20 more pounds than my max." My first time benching with chains, and it was demanding. I also finally got my leg drive figured out so my benching was solid.

Close Grip Pause Bench (Straight Weight): 165x3, 185x1. I attempted a second rep at 185 and got stapled. The 185 single was slow but I was happy to nail it.

5-board Press: 185x3, 215x3, 245x3. I could have done more but just wanted to establish a baseline.

Wide Grip Pullup w/Light Bands: 7 sets of 2.

Straight Bar Extensions: 45x10, 50x10, 55x10, 60x6.

3-Way Shoulder (Front raise/lateral raise/band pull-aparts): 4 sets with 5, 8, 10, 8 lbs. The pull aparts were done first with a light band to exhaustion, the switched to the monster minis and did the same. This smoked my delts.

Hammer Curls: worked up to 35 lbs 5RM, then 40x1.

Physioball "T": 5x8, 8x6, 10x4, 12x2, 8x4, 5x7

Friday, July 07, 2006

DE Squat

Manta Ray Parallel Box Squat: 45x8, 75x6, 105x6, 135x2, 165x2, 195x2x8, 225x1, 255x1, 285x1. I was supposed to stop at 255 but since I didn't squat on Monday, I wanted to end it on a better note. The 285 was smooth.

Speed DL (Conventional): 230x1x8, 265x1, 300x1. The 300 was smooth but after all the squatting, it was also a drain.

Back Extensions: 25x10x4.

Birddogs: 6 sets each side.

Weighted Ball Crunches: 25x8x4.

Seated Calf Raises: 60x10, 70x8, 80x8, 80x8.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

ME Bench

Legs Up Pause Bench Press: 45x10, 70x8, 95x5, 115x5, 145x5, 165x5, 190x4 (4RM). The foure reps were real strong, but I had nothing for the 5th one.

3-Board Bench Press: 195x3, 225x3, 245x2. I could blame it on the prior heavy work, or I could have gone lighter on the prior two sets. I'm a little bummed that I didn't get the third rep but I have to remember that in the Elite Beginners Manual, there will be waves where the 2 and 3 boards are used as ME movements all their own. So, I'll be happy:)

Hoist Assisted Wide Pullups (BWT 240.3 lbs): 90.3x10, 100.3x8, 110.3x6, 120.3x4. Decided that everytime I hit 10 reps with a level of assistance, I wont use it the next workout. I did more reps today.

DB Overhead Press: 25x15x3

Reverse Curls: 30x15x3

Physioball "W": 5x8, 8x8, 10x6, 10x5.

I'm thinking of my next bench cycle, and it will have more full range movements. My main ME movement will be close grip pause bench presses with chains, and my DE movement will be arched bench press with bands. As such, I won't have to do boards or rack lockouts. I'll figure something out soon. Like a goal.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Extra Back Work

Hammer MTS Row: 40x10, 50x8, 60x6, 70x6, 85x1, 75x6, 90x1, 50x15

Hammer ISO Row: 70x6x3

Hammer MTS High Row: 55x10x4

Friday, June 30, 2006

DE Bench

Arched Bench Presses: 45x10, 70x8, 95x6, 115x4, 135x3x8, 155x2, 180x1.

2-Board Press: 180x3, 210x3, 240x3. The last 240 was painfully slow.

Hoist T-Bar Row: Worked up to a 155 lbs 1RM. I was at Bangor gym, no Hammer Strength stuff there and I felt charged up for back.

Nautilus Shoulder Press: 90x10x4

DB Preacher Curls: 20x10x4.
External Rotations: 8x15, 10x12x2, 12x10

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Extra Work:Lats

Close Grip Chinups: 5 attempts. I can get to the point where my upper arms are parallel to the floor. That's it.

Band Chinups w/Lt. Band: 7 sets of 2

Hammer Pullover: Worked up to a 130 lbs single.

Hammer MTS Front Pulldown: 40x15x3

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

DE Squat

Manta Ray Parallel Box Squat: 45x8, 75x6, 105x6, 135x2, 165x2, 180x2x10.

Speed DL (Conventional): 215x1x10.

Back Extensions: 10x10x4.

Birddogs: 6 sets each side.

Weighted Ball Crunches: 25x8x4.

Seated Calf Raises: 55x10, 70x8, 80x8, 80x6

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Extra Work:Back

Until the meet, and especially to insure that my starting strength is where it needs to be for the meet, I'll be doing an extra workout for two lunches each week for back.

Hammer MTS Row: 40x10, 50x8, 60x6, 70x6, 80x1, 75x6, 85x1, 50x15

Hammer ISO Row: 65x5x4

Hammer MTS High Row: 65x5x5

Monday, June 26, 2006

ME Bench

Legs Up Pause Bench Press: 45x10, 70x8, 95x5, 115x5, 145x5, 165x5, 185x5 (5RM),

3-Board Bench Press: 195x3, 215x3, 245x2. Next week, I'm just gonna play it safe and try 245x3.

Hoist Assisted Wide Pullups (BWT 240 lbs): 90x9, 100x6, 110x4, 120x3. Forgot my bands, again.

DB Overhead Press: 35x10x4

Reverse Curls: 40x10x4

Physioball "W": 3x8, 5x8, 8x8, 10x3.

Friday, June 23, 2006

ME Squat

14" (Parallel) Manta Ray Box Squat: 95x5, 125x5, 155x5, 185x5, 215x5, 235x5, 265x5. I got my 5 reps with 265 but it was a struggle. I think I'm starting to get burned out on squats. My gains are slowing down, and it's draining me more. Time to switch up soon.

Arched Back Good Morning: 135x3, 165x3, 195x5, 225x3. I actually dropped 10 lbs over last week. Time to ditch this one, too. One more week. Could also be the harder squat workout. The Manta Ray really hammers your lower back because of how high it places the bar.

Bulgarian Split Squats: 20x10, 30x8x2.

Cable Woodchoppers (Bottom to top): 20x10, 30x10, 40x10
Cable Woodchoppers (Top to Bottom): 20x10, 30x10, 40x10. Felt too beat to even think of more weight.

Standing Calf Raises: 55x10, 70x10, 80x8x2

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

DE Bench

Arched Bench Presses: 45x10, 65x8, 95x6, 115x4, 135x3x8, 155x2. Weights were flying but must go faster.

2-Board Press: 185x3, 210x3, 235x2. I could blame a few things for not getting that third rep at 235 but I just didn't have it. On that second rep, I nearly lost my arch and had to really drive my feet into the floor to squeeze that rep out. Next time, I'll either do 235 again and try to get a third rep with good speed, or go for broke with 240.

Hammer Iso Row: 55x8, 65x8, 75x8, 85x8

Hammer Behind the Neck Press: 45x8, 55x8, 65x8, 75x4.

DB Preacher Curls: 15x15x3.
External Rotations: 10x15x3.

Rope Pushdowns: 20x12x4. Pathetic but I got a nice pump out of it.

Monday, June 19, 2006

DE Squat

Parallel Box Squat: 45x8, 65x8, 95x6, 115x4, 135x23, 155x2, 175x2x10. It was god speed, not fast. But the DE percentages and weights are relatively constant throughout the program so while my feet didn't leave the ground now, I should be flying out of the box in the end.

Speed DL (Conventional): 195x1x10. These were pretty quick.

Back Extensions: BWTx10x4. Good for a pump.

Birddogs: 5 sets each side.

Weighted Ball Crunches: 25x8x4.

Seated Calf Raises: 50x10, 65x8, 70x8x2.

Friday, June 16, 2006

ME Bench

All benches were done legs up and no arch. That also goes for the boards. Let's see where this goes.

Legs Up Pause Bench: 45x10, 65x8, 85x5, 115x, 135x5, 155x5, 175x5 (5RM), 195x2. I felt like trying a last one to see where I was. About a 200 lbs calculated 1RM, something I could compare to my current arched bench of 225. Got to stop testing and stick to the workouts.

Legs Up 3-Board Bench: 195x3, 215x3, 235x2. If not for the 195x2 in the regular bench, 235 might have gone up a third time. It went up a bit, just couldn't finish the job.

Hoist Assisted Wide Pullups (BWT 243 lbs): 83x10, 93x7, 103x5, 113x3. Forgot my bands.

DB Overhead Press: 30x10, 40x8, 45x8, 45x6

Reverse Curls: 30x10, 40x8, 50x8, 50x6

Physioball "W": 3x8, 4x8, 5x8, 8x6.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

ME Squat

14" (Parallel) Manta Ray Box Squat: 95x5, 125x5, 155x5, 185x5, 215x5, 235x5, 265x3. Since I want to improve my squat the most, I made this my ME movement. The 265 was good but the third rep was all I had.

Arched Back Good Morning: 135x3, 165x3, 195x5, 225x3, 235x3.

Bulgarian Split Squats: BWTx10, 20x10x2. As hard as I remember them to be, should have never stopped working on them.

Cable Woodchoppers (Bottom to top): 20x10, 30x10, 40x10

Cable Woodchoppers (Top to Bottom): 20x10, 30x10, 40x10

Standing Calf Raises: 55x10, 65x10, 75x10, 85x8

Monday, June 12, 2006

DE Bench

Yesterday, I was teaching my son how to curl and do deadlifts with a straight bar, then the Trap Bar. During the Trap Bar deadlifts, he wondered if one could walk with the bar. I then told him about the Farmer's Walk, and he wanted to give that a go. So I put a dime on each end (74 lbs total) and I walked with him about 100 feet before he had to put down the bar and catch his breath. He said he had no idea it would be that hard, but he liked it. Then he walked back. He then asked if I could do it, so I loaded a 45 on each side (144 lbs) and did the walk without stopping. My grip barely held on, and it felt like a sprint.

Today, my traps and mid-back voiced their displeasure. . . . . very sore. I might have to do these more often, just not the day before bench. I was at the gym I rarely frequent these days, the one on Bremerton base.

Bench Press: 45x10, 65x8, 95x5, 115x4, 135x3x8. Pretty good. Except the bench design made unracking the weight harder and the bench was a tad high so I had less leg drive. I almost feel like I got a calf workout!!!

2-Board Press: 145x3, 175x3, 205x3, 225x3. I forgot my band to hold it with so I borrowed an extra large weight belt to strap it on. I used up the first set of holes and it was so tight I could barely arch or flex my lats.

Hammer Iso Row: 45x8, 55x8, 65x8, 75x6, 85x5.

Hammer Behind-The-Neck Press: 25x8, 35x8, 45x8, 55x8, 65x6

DB Preacher Curls: 15x6, 20x6, 25x6, 30x6. Both curl bars were being used.

External Rotations: 3x8, 5x8, 8x8, 10x8, 12x8, 15x8, 20x3. Immediate goal is 20x8, then 25x8 thereafter.

Tested the floor press at home with the bar only, just to see what press I can compare it to for depth. When my triceps touch the floor, you can slide a 2-board under the bar.

A productive day.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Test Week Day 2

This was done at lunch.

Reverse Barbell Curl: Worked up to a 65 lbs single.

DB Shoulder Presses: Worked up to a 45 lbs 8RM and a 50 lbs 6RM. For structural balance, I'm about 15 lbs shy of where I need to be for a 225 bencher.

Conventional Deadlifts: 355 pulled cold. A little slow from the bottom but once I cracked the floor it flowed smoothly and felt good in my hands. The speed pulls will help, as is more box squatting. Lockout was very strong.

So far, the first three weeks will look like this, and any suggestions are welcome. Goal is a stronger squat, and to not only get my bench back up to 240 but maybe a little more.

DE Bench:
Bench Press: 8 sets of 3 at or below 60% 1RM
2-Board Press: 3 sets of 3
DB Rows: 5 sets of 8
Hammer Behind the Neck Press: 3 sets of 8
Preacher Curls: 3 sets of 6
Seated External Rotations: 4 sets of 8

ME Squat:
Parallel Box Squat to 5RM
Arched Back GM: 4 sets of 3
Band GHR w/Monster Minis: 5 sets
Scissor Kicks: 5 sets to Failure
Cable Woodchops: 5 sets of 10
Standing Calf Raises: 4 sets of 10

ME Bench:
Legs Up Pause Bench to 5RM
3-Board Press: 3 sets of 3
Band Pullups w/Average Bands: 5 sets to failure
DB OH Press: 3 sets of 8
Reverse Curls: 3 sets of 6
Physioball "W": 4 sets of 8

DE Squat:
Parallel Box Squat: 10 sets of 2 at or below 60% 1RM
Speed DL: 10 singles at or below 60% 1RM
Back Extensions: 4 sets of 10
Birddogs: 5 sets
Weighted Crunches: 5 sets of 8
Seated Calf Raises: 4 sets of 10

Monday, June 05, 2006

Test Week Day one: Bench

I will still do the meet, but my training will not be bench only as I once thought. I still want to be a complete powerlifter, and the idea of training squat/DL once a week won't cut it. The Elite Beginners thingy is still on with the addition of bicep work and rotator stuff. And an extra three weeks: after doing all sorts of stuff but the bench, the first three weeks will bring it back.

A quick note about this meet: 190 lbs and above is the Heavyweight division, and it is not drug tested. I'm not out to score a victory, but I have to start somewhere. By August 12th, I should have accomplished a lot bench-wise.

Flat Bench Press (with Arch): 95x6, 115x5, 135x4, 155x3, 185x3, 205x1, 225x1 (the fastest 225 I've ever done, with a less than 2-second concentric), 240x0 (it came down very fast, I had nothing left to lift it.). I Don't think I'm fully recovered from Saturday but I'm happy that I have more power from below now. This did not take as much out of me, either.

3-Board Press: 195x3, 225x3, 240x2. As suspected, my lockout needs work, no speed here.

Wide Grip Pullup w/Average band: Failure at 7, 5, 4, 4, 3 reps.

Rope Pushdown: 40x12, 50x8, 60x6,70x3

Preacher Curls: tested to a 70 lbs 2RM.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Navy PRT

I got home about an hour ago and took a long, very hot shower. I feel like some Margaritas and a steak tonight, I hope my wife does not want sushi!!!


I reached my goals in the pushups (56, a 15 pushup improvement and in only one minute vice the 2 the Navy gives you) and situps (70, a 17 situp improvement I used all two minutes for), both Good-High per Navy regulations. I was looking for high 13s in the 1.5 mile run but surprised myself by running a sub 13 for the first time in over 7 years (12:54 minutes, a Good-Medium). I'm thrilled, because this is the first PRT I actually trained for and it payed off big time. I now have a base for the future I can build on, and I start that on Monday for the next 17 weeks. I learned a lot that I will be carrying into my next cycle.

I rested this week, except for walking twice a day and total rest on Friday. I also ate what a wanted within reason.

Thanks to all of you for your support. Thanks to Yeoman 1st Class Becky Work, who paced me and talked me through it. And a big thanks to my wife, who put up with me and my occasional grouchiness knowing how important this was. She told me I'd be fine, and I kept that in mind.

And now, I have a bench meet to prepare for Aug 12!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

SE/RE Squat/DL

LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 13 Hill (Random): 30 minutes.

Hoist Leg Press w/2-second pause: 325x6, 375x6, 425x6, 475x6, 525x6, 575x6, 625x6 (3RM).

Nautilus Nitro Abduction: 100x10, 110x10, 120x10
Nautilus Nitro Adduction: 90x10, 100x10, 105x10

Pushups: 10 sets of 25 reps
Incline Situps: 10 sets of 18 reps

That's it until PRT. I'll just walk everyday, take Friday completely off, and not set foot in a gym.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

ME Back/Bench

LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 13 Hill: 30 Minutes

Arched Back Good Morning: 95x5, 115x5, 135x5, 155x3, 185x3, 215x3, 245x3 (3RM). Oh yeah, I'm happy. 255x3 is my goal.

Pullups w/Average Band: Failure at, 5, 4, 3, 3, 2 reps. I forgot a band. Maybe, I'll find out next time what a difference it may have made.

Chinups w/Average Band: Failure at 4, 3, 3, 2, 2 reps.

Superset (no pyramids):
Pushups: Failure at 42, 32, 22, 20, 18, 21, 20, 18, 15, 12 reps (220 reps)
Incline Situps: Failure at 22, 18, 16, 15, 14, 14, 13, 13, 12, 11 (138 reps). Today convinced me that Friday will be my last workout until the PRT. I walked away from the gym beat up and so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open on the road. Of course, I'm sure doing heavy back work prior to that didn't help, nor did not being fully recovered from Monday's session.

Monday, May 22, 2006

ME Squat/DL

LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 13 Hill (Around The World): 30 minutes. Oh, this was hard enough that towards the end it was hard to keep my speed above 6.4 MPH. But it's my last week before PRT, so I've gotta gun it!!!

Hoist Leg Press w/2-second pause: 300x6, 350x4, 400x3, 450x3, 510x3, 570x3, 615x3 (3RM).

Nautilus Nitro Abduction: 100x10, 110x10, 120x10
Nautilus Nitro Adduction: 90x10, 100x10, 105x8

Pushups: Failure at 56, 42, 30, 20, 12, 15, 15, 13, 12, 11 (226 reps).
Situps: Failure at 34, 25, 18, 15, 15, 13, 13, 13, 12, 12 (170 reps). First 5 sets were done using reverse pyramids for the pushups. T0day, I reaped the fruits of my labor: I got the pushup total I wanted, now to make it better and faster. The abs were a littler better, considering that the pushups also work the abs.

Friday, May 19, 2006

SE/RE Back/Bench

LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 12 Hill (Cascade): 30 Minutes

Arched Back Good Mornings: 95x5, 115x5, 135x5, 155x5, 180x5x4.

Hoist Wide Pullups (BWT 237.3): Worked up to a 127.3 lbs 2RM. Forgot the bands, so I had to do these, and . . . . .

Hoist Neutral Grip Chinups (BWT 237.3): Worked up to a 147.3 lbs 3RM.

Superset:Pushups: Failure at 42, 30, 20, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 8, 8 (168 reps).
Situps: Failure at 34, 23, 15, 13, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10 (145 reps). Maybe it was all the back work, but I feel tapped out. I think I'll just take the weekend off, do this all of next week, then rest up until the PRT. Maybe do some mobility work to keep loose and some basketball.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

PRT Training-Easy Day

Lunchtime Superset:
Pushups: 5 sets of 18
Situps: 5 sets of 18
1.5 mile run, 6.5 MPH, 1.0 Incline: 9 Minutes. I'm finding it hard to crack this barrier.

Evening Superset:
Pushups: 5 sets of 18
Situps: 5 sets of 18. Done throughout the night.

SE/RE Squat

LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 11 Hill (Kilimanjaro): 30 minutes.

Hoist Leg Press w/2-second pause: 300x6, 350x6, 400x6, 450x6, 500x6, 550x6. After reading this from Marc Bartley's article on deadlifting, I wanted to give this a try and spare my shoulders for a bit. These are hard and they burn - - - I've done nearly 700 lbs for the same reps without a pause. I think I might do these on heavy day, too, but for a 3RM.

Nautilus Nitro Abduction: 95x10, 105x10, 115x10
Nautilus Nitro Adduction: 85x10, 95x10, 105x6

Pushups: Failure at 42, 30, 20, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 8, 0 (160 reps).
Situps: Failure at 33, 18, 13, 13, 10, 11, 10, 10, 10, 10 (138 reps).

First 4 sets were done using reverse pyramids (thus the higher numbers). Example, the first set: 1 rep, pause 1 second, 2 reps, pause one second, 3 reps, pause one second, 4 reps, pause one second, 5 reps, pause one second, 6 reps, pause one second, 6 reps, pause one second, 5 reps, pause one second, 4 reps, pause one second, 3 reps, pause one second, 2 reps, pause one second, 1 rep. The pauses are held at the top of the pushup position. This would be a pyramid of 6; my goal is a pyramid of 7, or 56 pushups. I could do more pushups like this but it takes more out of me. On my last set, I couldn't do a pushup on my knees, either.

Volume is up, so that's great.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

PRT training

Yesterday was my OFF day for pushups and situps. My goal was 10 sets of 16 for each, sprinkled throughout the day. After something I said in my last entry, I came up with an idea for my lunchtime aerobics. Whenever I run the Navy PRT, the pushups and situps seem to take a chunk out of me before I even get to the run. So I did 5 sets at lunch, then I jumped on the treadmill. The LifeFitness treadmills have a Fit Test setting that lets you set it for Navy PRT, and I set it for 6.5 miles per hour so as to get an under-14 min 1.5 mile run. In this fashion, I lasted 9 minutes. My breathing wasn't too bad, but I was just beat. It could have been the previous day's workout, or the new demands on my body, or motivation. By the 30th (my last aerobic workout), my goal is 14-15 minutes running.

I had a hard time getting up this morning, just like yesterday. Considering that I'm not deadlifting as much and I've adjusted the weights downward a bit to allow me to do this program, it's the pushups and situps volume that's doing it. In a few days, my body should get over the shock of it all and start adapting to the increased volume.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Yesterday's ME Back/Bench

LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 11 Hill (Kilimanjaro): 30 minutes. I think I've found the most difficult hill program I could use up until PRT. Hard enough that I had to work to maintain an above-7.0 MPH pace and was just pooped before it was finished.

Arched Back Good Mornings: 95x5, 115x5, 135x5, 155x5, 185x3, 215x3, 235x3 (3RM). I wanted to know what my 3RM was so that I could estimate a max for GMs on SE/RE day, so I did this day vice a squat day. I had the pins set up for safety, but also when the bar touched the pins I paused slightly then began each rep. On the 235 set, my descent was too fast for the first inch or so and I had to slow it down carefully, then I maintained my tightness for the other two reps. Brzycki's formula estimates a 248 LBS 1RM, I'll take 250. Note to self: use a belt next time!!!

Nautilus Nitro Laterals: 70x5, 80x5, 90x5, 110x5x5.

DB Rows: 30x5, 35x5, 40x5, 45x5x5.

Pushups: Failure at 30, 14, 10, 8, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10 reps (122 reps)
Situps: Failure at 32, 17, 10, 10, 11, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10 reps (130 reps).

Note on the superset: could not do the farmers walk or the inverted rows because this took a long time, so I will be making changes to my workout like taking out the farmers walk and the Nautilus Laterals and just doing 5 sets of each row to a max RM range. Besides, the pushups killed my delts.

This is a bootcamp setup. On the ON days (weight days), the sets are done to failure. On the OFF days (days I don't do weights), a similar total is done throughout the day and not to failure. After two weeks, stop. On PRTs, the situps and pushups would always take it out of me before the run. Now it won't: for GPP, this was murder. It's nice to find more ways in which I am still out of shape!!!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wave 3

Before I start the Elite Beginners Program, this will be my last wave. After deadlifting as much as I have for the last two waves, this will almost be like a welcome break. There's no deadlifting at all. There are two days of GMs to take their place, so I could have a better DL without holding a weight in my hands and get that 295x5 squat and more at the end. Also, since I want an increased pushup/situp total for the PRT, I've dropped some movements to allow me to train them more often and with more volume. No calf movements, no biceps, and no bench pressing movements. OK, where the biceps movements once were I've replaced them with bodyweight back movements.

I will do my last workout of week two on May 28, so I'm recovered for the PRT next weekend. As for aerobics, I'll be tapering off that week by walking. After PRT, I'll finish this wave, take a week completely off, then test squat, DL, and bench 1RM.

I am doing a raw bench press meet on August 12 at Submarine Base Bangor, WA. I'm not training for it, since I'll be on a program, but this will be a way to get my feet wet. As for planned attempts, we'll see when I'm two weeks away.

Wave 3

ME Squat/DL
1.) Parallel Box squat (Manta Ray) up to 5RM
2.) Bulgarian Split Squat (3 sets of 10 steps each leg)
3.) Band GHR for 20-40 rep count
4.) Nautilus Nitro Leg Adduction (3 sets of 10)
5.) Nautilus Nitro Leg Abduction (3 sets of 10)
6.) Sit-ups (200 reps using regular situps)
Pushups (200 reps using regular and on the knees pushups)

SE/RE Squat/DL
1.) Hoist Leg Presses w/2 second pause 6RM
2.) Lateral Step Ups (3 sets of 10 steps each leg)
3.) Band GHR for 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps
4.) Nautilus Nitro Leg Adduction (3 sets of 10)
5.) Nautilus Nitro Leg Abduction (3 sets of 10)
6.) Sit-ups (200 reps using regular situps)
Pushups (200 reps using regular and on the knees pushups)

ME Back/Bench
1.) Arched Back GM from Pins up to 5RM
2.) Pullups: 8 sets of 2 w/Light Bands
3.) Sit-ups (200 reps using regular situps)
Pushups (200 reps using regular and on the knees pushups)
4.) DB Shrugs (4 sets of 6)
5.) Nautilus Nitro Laterals 5x5 (Wk1: 75%1RM, Wk2: 80%1RM, Wk3: 85% 1RM)
6.) Chinups w/Average Bands (4 sets to failure)

SE/RE Back Bench
1.) Arched Back GM
Wk1: 72% 1rm for 4 sets of 5
Wk2: 75% 1rm for 3 sets of 6
Wk3: 63% 1rm for 5 sets of 5
2.) DB Rows 5x5 (Wk1: 75%1RM, Wk2: 80%1RM, Wk3: 85% 1RM)
3.) Sit-ups (200 reps using regular situps)
Pushups (200 reps using regular and on the knees pushups)
4.) Farmers Walk: 3 trips of 100 ft each
5.) Nautilus Nitro Laterals
Wk1: 105 lbs for 4 sets of 5
Wk2: 110 lbs for 3 sets of 6
Wk3: 095 lbs for 5 sets of 5
6.) Inverted Rows (4 sets to failure)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wave 2 Over

LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 11 Hill (Around The World): 30 minutes. I tried this level out because, being that the exercise portion of the PRT is a month away, I wanted to push harder. This did it: my heart rate was up to 150 in less than 4 minutes and was between 160-178 BPM for most of the time.

One Armed Braced DB Press: 15x5, 20x5, 25x5, 30x5, 35x5, 45x5x5. Easier than last time.

Nautilus Nitro Pullover: 65x5, 75x5, 85x5, 95x5, 115x5x5.

Hoist Neutral Grip Chins (BWT 236.6): 96.6x10, 106.6x8, 116.6x6, 116.6x5. Better. I skipped the 150 lbs of assistance, since I did 10 reps with it last week.

Rack Pulls 2" Below the Knees: (Double OH grip, no belt)165x5, 195x5, 225x5 ; (Right Hand Over, Left Hand Under)255x5, 285x5; (Right Hand Under, Left Hand over, added belt)325x5 (5RM). I chalked up heavily, and pulled like my life depended on it. The last rep took it all out of me. I'm gonna sleep like a baby tonight!

18" Incline Pushups: failure at 17, 11, 7, 4 reps
Barbell Curls: 60x6x2, 60x5; (Descending set)90x1 (1RM), 80x1, 70x1, 60x1, 50x1, 40x2, 30x1, 20x1. Maybe it was because it was done immediately after the rack pulls but my first set of pushups were too easy, blasted up most of the way. But I paid for it on the last 3 sets.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

SE/RE Squat/DL

LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 10 Hill (Cascade): 30 minutes

This is for yesterday's workout. You'll notice that I did the assistance work before the squats. That's because when I went to the rack, some idiot was doing heavy curls in the rack with a spotter in front - - - WTF!?! Second time around, upright rows. There should be rules against this!!!

Nautilus Nitro Abduction: 85x10, 95x10, 105x10
Nautilus Nitro Adduction: 75x10, 85x10, 95x6

Nautilus Nitro Leg Extensions: 75x10, 85x10, 95x10, 105x10

Band GHR: 4 sets of 6. Did not try to fail - - - I still had to squat.

Parallel Box Squat w/2-Second Pause: 115x5, 135x5, 155x5, 185x5, 215x5, 245x4 (4Rm). Better than last week as far as form and an increase in reps but still slow. My shoulders were tight until the 3rd set, and they were tight this morning. Did 30-minutes of upper body sled work this evening and my shoulders felt awesome again. For my next wave, I've decided to do Manta Ray box squats for my ME movement and will do leg presses with a 2-second pause at the bottom for the other day (I read that Marc Bartley article with great interest). I need to give my shoulders a break from holding the bar up.

Incline Situps: Failure at 25, 18, 15, 13, 9 reps.
Standing Calf Raises: 65x10, 75x10, 85x8, 95x8, 105x6

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Passed (Part 1)

Measurement was yesterday. In June, I will do the run and pushups and situps.

I weighed in at 236 in the morning (no shoes, in uniform) at a height of 5 ft 9.5 in. I dropped 1/2 inch on the waist (from 39.5 inches to 39.0 inches) and gained 1/2 inch on the neck (from 17.5 to 18.0 inches). By Navy instruction, that put me at 21% BF so I passed that.

As always, deadlifting twice a week plus high-volume back work did the trick, especially while also trying to get lean. In that regard, the pressure is off and I can focus on my run instead of pounding myself into the ground some more.

And I'm not done. I would like to get it where I never have to worry about it again, the tens. Perspective: when I left the Navy in January 1999, I was 22% BF at 196 - - - the most weight allowed for my height is 191, but I could choose to measure if I don't pass weight.

Friday, May 05, 2006

How to Design Strength Training Programs using Prilepin's Table

How to Design Strength Training Programs using Prilepin's Table? Author: Hristo Hristov, Published: 2004-02-10 Article Category: Strength Training Routines and Articles

During the sixties and seventies of the 20th century, Soviet sports scientist A.S.Prilepin collected data from the training logs of more than 1000 World, Olympic, National and European weightlifting champions. Prilepin synthesized his findings in a very simple table named after himself. Prilepin's table gives time tested workout guidelines as to how did elite weightlifters train. Now, I am talking about training guidelines for pure maximal strength. Here's the table:

Intensity Reps per Set Optimal Total Range
70% and below 3-6 24 18-30
70-80% 3-6 18 12-24
80-89% 2-4 15 10-20
90% and above 1-2 7 4-10

Have in mind, that this table is based on a study of weightlifters. However, it is quite applicable to powerlifting and strength training. Prilepin's guidelines are widely used in the powerlifting circles, and that's simply because they work. If you are looking for ways to refine your strength training workouts, Prilepin's table is the answer.
Let's first define intensity. Intensity is defined as the % of the maximal weight one can do for one rep(1RM). If you can lift 100 pounds one time for a given exercise, then lifting 70 pounds is defined as 70% intensity.
Upon initial examination of the table, you will notice, that sets of more than 6 reps are not performed. They induce too much fatigue, and obviously are counter-productive for strength gains, especially in super technical lifts such as the Olympic lifts.
To understand the table, consider designing a workout, where you will lift 75% of your 1RM. The table suggests that when training with 75% of your 1RM (Intensity Zone 70%-80%):

1.) You perform sets of 3 to 6 reps
2.) The total reps should be in the range of 12-24
3.) The optimal total is 18 reps
4.) If you do less than 12 total reps, the training stimulus would be too weak to elicit positive strength adaptation
5.) If you perform more than 24 reps, you are going to slow down, and fatigue too much

There is one major problem with the table. It gives guidelines for a specific intensity zone. If you want to use 65%, 70%, 75%, and 80% of your 1RM in one workout, these weights fall into three different intensity zones. The rep ranges still rule, but what about the total number of lifts? If you add the guidelines for each intensity zone, you will end up with a grossly overestimated number of lifts (in this case, the optimal number of lifts will be 24+18+15=57 lifts!). You will either tire yourself out, or more probably, won't be able to finish the workout at all.
In this article, I propose a way to get over this shortcoming. I'll give you a strategy to find the optimal number of lifts when designing strength training routines using weights from different intensity zones.
My first idea is to introduce, what I will call the Prilepin Number of Lifts Score (PNLS). PNLS is a measure of how the performed repetitions in a given intensity zone, relate to repetitions performed in the other intensity zones.
Let's assign a PNLS of 1, to the upper range of number of lifts for each intensity zone. Look at this table:

Prilepin Number of Lifts Score

Intensity Upper Total Limit PNLS
70% and below 30 1
70-80% 24 1
80-89% 20 1
90% and above 10 1

When you perform the upper limit of reps in a given intensity zone, this yields a PNLS of 1. The PNLS for a given zone, will be calculated as (Number Of Performed Lifts in Zone)/(Upper Total Limit). If you do 2 sets of 6 reps = 12 total reps with 60%1RM, the PNLS for these two sets is 12/30 = 0.4 (12 reps over 30 upper limit reps).
Now if you target a PNLS of 1 for the whole workout, you can add more sets in a different intensity zone. If you add 5 sets of 3 reps = 15 total with 75%1RM, the PNLS of these 5 sets will be 15/24 = 0.625
So if your workout is like this:
Bench Press - 2x6x60%, 5x3x75%
The total PNLS for the Bench Press will be 12/30 + 15/24 = 1.025. A PNLS of 1 is the upper limit according to Prilepin's table. For most intensity zones, the optimal PNLS falls between 0.7 and 0.8. Remember, that PNLS is exercise specific, so if your workout consists of 5 different exercises, each exercise will have its own PNLS.
This was my first idea of measuring the relation between intensity and the number of lifts. I quickly discovered a problem in this scheme. Consider these two workouts:
Workout #1: 6 sets x 4 reps = 24 reps at 72%1RM (ZONE 70-80%)
Workout #2: 6 sets x 4 reps = 24 reps at 77%1RM (ZONE 70-80%)

Both workouts have a PNLS of 24/24 = 1, but workout #2 is harder. Now we need to devise a formula that further refines the correlation between the number of lifts and intensity. The formula should also fall within Prilepin's table guidelines.

I created a table that includes for each intensity of 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, the upper limit number of lifts (NOL) according to the Prilepin's table and the sum of the two. Here's what I came up with:

Intensity Upper NOL Intensity + NOL
60% 30 90
70% 24 94
80% 20 100
90% 10 100

Now you see that if we sum the intensity and the number of lifts (the upper NOL limit from Prilepin's table), we end with a number of around 100.

Here's how I created my modified PNLS formula. Because the formula gives a relation between the Intensity(weight) and the number of lifts(NOL), I will call it INOL.

INOL of a set = Number of Lifts(NOL) at a given intensity / (100 - intensity)

If we run the formula with the previous examples we get:

Bench Press - 2x6x60%, 5x3x75%
INOL(Bench Press) = 2x6/(100-60) + 5x3/(100-75) = 12/40 + 15/25 = 0.3 + 0.6 = 0.9
Workout #1: 6 sets x 4 reps = 24 reps at 72%1RMINOL(#1) = 24/(100-72) = 0.86
Workout #2: 6 sets x 4 reps = 24 reps at 77%1RMINOL(#2) = 24/(100-77) = 1.04

The INOL formula favors a greater number of lifts at a lower intensity, and a smaller number of lifts at a higher intensity. This is good, because, very heavy lifts (above 90%1RM) fry the Central Nervous System and induce a lot of fatigue. At the same time trainees are able to perform more total lifts than the Prilepin's table guidelines at lower intensities. Prilepin's guidelines for Reps per Set remain rock-solid. INOL will only influence the total number of lifts.

Now, what is the difference between 5x2x80% and 2x5x80%? They both have INOL of 10/20 = 0.5. But if you calculate the INOL as the sum of the INOLs for each set, you will get an idea of which is tougher:
5 sets x 2 reps x 80%
INOL = 5 x (2/20) = 0.1 + 0.1 + 0.1 + 0.1 + 0.12
2 sets x 5 reps x 80%
INOL = 2 x (5/20) = 0.25 + 0.25

In the first case, each set gave a 0.1 INOL (fatigue), while in the second case each set added a 0.25 INOL (fatigue). In the first example, the workout was easier because the total fatigue(INOL) was fragmented into smaller parts. Now you can design your workouts, by both looking at the total INOL, and the INOL distribution among the sets.
INOL is a good measure of fatigue, that takes into account the weight(intensity) and the number of reps performed.
When you design strength training workouts, using mixed intensity zones, you can calculate the INOL for each exercise and follow these guidelines. You can track and modify them to suit your body for best results. By spreading the INOL among more weekly sessions you will be less fatigued, compared to concentrating all work sets in less sessions. It is my view, that very frequent workouts, with workout INOLs of 0.6-1 work best for most people. The only problem is that for most people it is too impractical to lift very frequently.

Total WEEKLY INOL of a single exercise:

Weekly INOL Guidelines
less than 2 easy, doable, good to do after more tiring weeks and prepeaking
between 2 and 3 tough but doable, good for loading phases
between 3 and 4 brutal, lots of fatigue, good for a limited time and shock microcycles
above 4 Are you out of your mind??

Single Workout INOL of a single exercise:

Workout INOL Guidelines
less than 0.4 too few reps, not enough stimulus?
between 0.4 and 1 fresh, quite doable and optimal if you are not accumulating fatigue
between 1 and 2 tough, but good for loading phases
above 2 brutal

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Did my thirty minutes on the elliptical trainer today, then went to the deadlift platform to test on the snatch grip deads - - - I wanted to know how much I had improved from when I started them. I warmed up with 225 for 5 then, since I topped out at 235 lbs 5RM last month, I loaded 245 on the bar. I got 5RM: after the second rep touched the floor, I switched hands on the staggered grip because my right hand couldn't hold on anymore in the overhand position. This calculates out to a 275 max (Brzycki's formula) so after 4 minutes rest to get rid of the forearm burn, I decided to test it with my left hand over/right hand under. Even with chalk, and maybe because of yesterday's workout, my left hand couldn't hold on so I put the straps on and slooooooooowly pulled it up.

This exercise is everything they say it is. It's a tough pull that slams the upper back and I'm sure it will improve my regular deads . . . . the pull distance is long with these. From Feb 28 to today, I went from a 205 5RM to a 245 5RM so I'm happy about that. But I will have to throw lots of grip work to perform them heavier next time because it puts my hands and wrists at a disadvantage.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

SE/RE Back/Bench

Ahhhhh, this wave is now 2 workouts from being over. I'm so beat. I think the two days a week of deadlifting is catching up to me, and rack pulls are on Monday. That, and doing deadlifts last when all my other muscles have been pounded has been pushing me to my limit. My next wave will be easier than this one: no deadlifts, just arched back GMs done for 5 RM one day and submax effort the next. On paper, a parallel box squat for 295x5 would calculate to a 330 1Rm on that same lift so, considering that my arched back GM is 82-87.9% of my squat, I'm working towards a 270-290 lbs GM 1RM. The most I've done is 255 lbs for a single, when my squat was 325 (05Jan14).

Walked 30 minutes at lunch. Beautiful day, too beautiful to be indoors.

Nautilus Nitro Laterals: 135x4 (Testing for my next wave, thought I had 125 loaded but forgot about the pin on the 10 lbs increment), 65x5, 75x5, 85x5, 95x5, 115x5x4.

T-Bar Rows: 65x5, 75x5, 85x5, 95x5, 115x5x5.

Nautilus Nitro Compund Rows: 95x6, 110x6, 125x6, 140x4.

Spotted Desi on his first free squats in 7 months, the joined him on a rep-out with 225 lbs. He got 10, I got 8 - - - I had more depth and longer range of motion. Who am I kidding? After all his other sets (Including a good rep out of two with 335), I should have matched him at least.

18" Incline Bar Pushups: Failure at 16, 11, 8, 6.
Hammer Curls: 25x10x2, 30x5, 30x3. Pushups killed me. Funny, I felt the burn in the places I had worked before (biceps, back, delts, upper forearm).

Snatch Grip Deadlifts: 135x5, 155x5, 165x5x5. On submax days, this is my 63% 1RM week, usually an easy day. Except today. Oh, my form was great. It just felt like running a marathon.

Ate a lot of sushi for dinner afterwards. I was so tired and hungry, I barely talked to the wife while eating.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Tuesday's Aerobics

LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 9 Hill (Around the World): 30 minutes.

Last Few Days

April 27 & 28:
LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 8 Hill (Random): 30 minutes

Lunchtime: LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 9 Hill (Around The World): 30 minutes.

Today's Workout was abbreviated down to two exercises. I had to run home to change into cleaner gear (My aerobics gear was dirty from last Friday) and we were going to be busy with the house today.

16" Box Squat: 145x5, 175x5, 205x5, 235x5, 265x5, 295x5. I forgot my belt at home and was too into the set to go get one. Desi spotted me on this one. On what should have been my first rep, the weight hit the pins before my butt hit the box - - - pins too high, I was so mad. Should have taken a moment and reset but I was afraid of being spooked on what was my goal. So I lifted this back to the rack, reset the pins, and immediately started the set again with even more focus. I almost got stuck on the last rep but held on long enough at my sticking point to break it. So, I'm happy. Next week, the box drops 2 inches to 14".

Incline Situps: Failure at 23, 18, 15, 13 reps. More reps than my best week.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

ME Back/Bench

One Armed Braced Dumbbell Press: 15x5, 20x5, 25x5, 30x5, 35x5, 45x5x5. I did these first as a shoulder warmup for everything else. That, and I was gonna try something different: I was gonna do deadlifts LAST. I figured if I worked everything hard first, the deadlifts would really finish my muscles off better.

Nautilus Nitro Pullover: 60x5, 70x5, 80x5, 90x5, 105x5x5

Hoist Neutral Grip Chinup (BWT 238.3): 88.3x10, 98.3x8, 108.3x7, 108.3x6

18" Incline Bar Pushups: Failure at 15, 11, 8, 7 reps. Same as last time, and it was grueling. My back wasn't helping much, and I forgot that pullovers work your triceps hard, too.
Barbell Curls: 50x10x2, 60x5; (Descending set) 70x2, 60x3, 50x4, 40x3, 30x3, 20x3
Planks: 6 30-second holds

Rack Pulls Below the Knees: 165x5, 195x5, 225x5, 255x5, 275x5, 305x5, 325x2. The rack I usually use was taken. This one was like a half rack with 2 fixed bars on the side behind the squat area, and these gave me 3-4" depth below the knees. 305 was just brutally hard work! Since I had 315 for 4 last week, I went for broke and added 10 anyway. 325 took everything out of me. I did try to budge 325 for a third rep (twice) but I couldn't even do a sloppy rep if I tried.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

SE/RE Squat

Well, I'm finally moved into my house. And what a mess it is - - - we are slowly putting everything in its place. So, I'm trying hard to manage training, arranging, and blogging - - - the computer in our house is not up yet.

On top of that, I've been nursing a sore left knee for a week. So, I'm modifying a few things to keep training and maybe not beat that knee up before June's PRT. So no running for a while. no deep knee movements, no conventional squats.

LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 8 Hill, Around The World Profile: 30 minutes

Nautilus Nitro Leg Extensions: Worked up to an 80 lbs 10RM. I might work on these for my quads until my third wave is over. Paused for a second at the top of each rep, nothing fast for knee's sake. Got a good burn on these, a good warmup for the box squats.

14" Parallel Box Squat (2-second pause): 135x6, 155x6, 175x6, 205x6, 225x5, 245x2. My substitute for the regular squat. These were hard and not very fast, especially with the pause. I'm hoping this will improve my regular squat out of the hole. My knee approved. I'll use this as my submax effort movement.

Nautilus Nitro Abduction: 85x10, 95x10, 100x10
Nautilus Nitro Adduction: 70x10, 80x10, 90x6

Incline Situps: Failure at 19, 16, 13, 10 reps.
Standing Calf Raises: 65x10, 75x10, 95x10, 95x8

Band GHR: 4 sets of 5 reps

Monday, April 17, 2006

SE/RE Back/Bench

LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 8 Hill (Around the World): 30 minutes

T-Bar Rows: 60x5, 70x5, 80x5, 90x5, 105x5x5

Nautilus Nitro Lateral: 60x5, 70x5, 80x5, 90x5, 105x5x5

Nautilus Nitro Compound Row: 90x6, 100x6, 110x6, 125x3 (could not get the fourth rep past 3/4 mark.)

Snatch Grip DL: 135x6, 155x6, 175x6, 205x6x3.

18" Incline Pushups w/bars: failure at 14, 11, 8, 7 reps.
Hammer Curls: 20x10x2, 25x8, 25x6

Planks: 6 30-second holds.

Friday, April 14, 2006

ME Squat/DL

Lunchtime: LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 8 Hill: 30 Minutes. I'll be back to running next week, my shin splints are gone. I'll probably just run three times a week and do the elliptical the other two. 5 times a week was killing my shins.

This week was tough. The squatting was tough enough but the rack pulls took it out of me, too. That, and all the testing this week, left me feeling just beat up and tired but my last day of this cycle is scheduled to be May 29 and I want to keep it that way - - - PRT is June 3.

16" Box Squats: 150x5, 175x5, 200x5, 225x5, 250x5, 285x5 (5RM). My back felt so stiff that every set but the last was done with the Manta Ray - - - my back muscles were warmed up enough on the last set to go bare-bar. Out of the rack, the weight felt easy with very little lean, so as far as that goes this program is paying dividends. On the last set Desi (I finally got his name, the Filipino guy I use for spots) showed up, I set the pins, had him stand behind me, tightened the belt as tight as I could get it, and got my 5RM with 285. Notice the pattern: 295 is next. When I drop down to a 14" box, it will be the same progression: 275, 285, 295. When I start The EliteFTS beginners program, the first wave is a low box squat for an ME movement, and I may try the same progression there, too.

24" Step-ups: 3 sets of 10 with BWT

Nautilus Nitro Abduction: 85x10, 95x10, 100x7
Nautilus Nitro Adduction: 65x10, 75x10, 80x10

Superset: Incline Situps: Failure at 22, 16, 12, 11 reps.
Seated Calf Raises: 50x10, 55x10, 60x10, 65x8

Band GHR: Failure at 6, 6, 5, 5 reps. I put the bands a little higher for more help, I was dead legged at the end.

Our house closed today. We got the keys. I'm fucking happy. It will be busy the next few weeks but I'm staying on course. Can't wait to get the home gym set up.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

ME Back/Bench

Rack Pulls 2" Below the Knees: 135x5, 175x5, 215x5, 255x5, 295x5, 315x4. I tried to do these at knee level but with the rack spacing, it was so above the knees that all it would work is maybe 2-3" of lockout, and I needed something more demanding for my purposes. I tried a 5th rep at 315 and was too spent to budge it from the pins.

Nautilus Pullover: tested to a 115 lbs 5RM.

Hoist Neutral Grip Chinup (BWT 240.3): 90.3x10, 100.3x8, 110.3x6, 110.3x5.

One Armed Braced Dumbbell Press: tested to 45 lbs 5RM
Barbell Curls: 80x1, 70x3, 60x5, 50x8; (Descending set)40x8, 30x7, 20x5.

18" Inclined Bar Pushups: Failure at 12, 8, 6, 6 reps.

Planks: 6 30-second holds

Monday, April 10, 2006

SE/RE Squat/DL

LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 8 Hill: 30 Minutes


Squats: 145z5, 175x5, 205x5, 220x4x5. Grueling, not just because of the reps but because I lack pop out of the bottom. Can't wait to start doing heavy bottom-end box squats.

Lateral Walking Lunges: 3 sets of 10 with bodyweight

Nautilus Nitro Abduction: 80x10, 85x10, 95x10

Nautilus Nitro Adduction: 65x10, 75x10, 80x7

Incline Situps: Failure at 21, 16, 11, 10 reps. Getting better.
Standing Calf Raises: Worked up to a 135 lbs single.

Band GHR: Failure at 7, 4, 4, 3 reps. Funny, the first set was great but I had little left for the rest. Maybe the squats were responsible.

Had McDonalds for dinner:) I'm a little piggy . . . oink! oink! oink!

Friday, April 07, 2006

SE/RE Back/Bench

LifeFitness Elliptical, Level 7 Hill: 30 minutes.

Nautilus Nitro Lateral Raise: 45x5, 70x5, 95x5x5.

Nautilus Nitro Compound Row: Worked up to a 110 lbs 6 RM.

T-Bar Row: 45x5, 70x5, 95x5x5.

18" Incline Bar Pushups: failure at 11, 8, 5, 5 reps

Snatch Grip Deadlifts: 135x5, 155x5, 175x5, 190x5x4. Considering I went heavy with these on Monday, these were cake. But I really hate the grip on these because of the angle it creates with the wrist. My back felt real tired after these.

Hammer Curls: 35x2, 30x3, 25x5, 20x8, 15x10, 10x12
Planks: six 30-second holds.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wave 2 Begins

LifeFitness Treadmill (Walking speed 3.8 MPH, Running Speed 7.0 MPH): 5 intervals of 3 minutes running/3 minutes walking. Very hard but I was motivated to finish.

Evening (ME Squat/DL):
I think of each new wave much like a new toy to play with. Since my mission is an 18" or greater neck by May with more fat loss, my deadlifting will be tougher. The snatch grip deads become a sub-max movement for reps, and the ME movement brings out the big dog: rack pulls 2" below the knees - - - I might just get my inch!!! Wave 3 will be my respite from all of this.

16" Box Squat: 145x5, 175x5, 205x5, 235x5 (felt a bit hard out of the rack, I think I was not tight enough), 265x5 (Put on a belt as tight as it would go, got me a spotter, and got tight.), 275x5 (I felt brave but I was extra careful with these - - - very exhausting.).

Nautilus Nitro Abduction: tested to a 125 4RM. Thanks, Jon, for the kick in the ass. No more guess work.

Nautilus Nitro Adduction: tested to a 110 2RM.

Band GHR: Failure at 6, 5, 4, 4 reps. I lowered the band to the next bar behind me so I would have less rebound and the band would go slack sooner. I must step it up for the bigger squat and DL I want.

24" Box step-up: BWT for 3 sets of 10. If you can imagine a below parallel step-up, you've got the right idea. Hard enough without weight, so I kept it that way. That's 230+ pounds of me I have to lift (sort of), anyways.

Incline Sit-ups: Failure at 19, 14, 10, 8 reps.

Seated Calf Raises: Worked up to a 90 lbs 2RM.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Lunchtime Run

LifeFitness Treadmill (Walking speed 3.8 MPH, Running Speed 6.3 MPH): 5 intervals of 3 minutes running/3 minutes walking.

Monday, April 03, 2006

ME Back/Bench

We ran a mock Navy PRT April 3. I had 41 pushups and 54 situps. When it came time to run the 8 lap, 1.5 mile course I wimped out after the 3 lap, walked the 4th, then ran the other 4 in disgust. It was a 14:55 run: I was told by the lady who ran the show that running it would have shaved about 45 seconds off the time. On the one hand, I'm happy because the last time I ran it I only did so for 2 laps so it was an improvement. But, come on, I shouldn't have let my motivation slip.

Did not run at lunch, since I ran yesterday and did not want to run 6 straight days. Today ended the first of three waves I wanted to run before June's PRT. Looking back it went great but it seemed like it would never end (since I was sick). This next one will be fun: though my PRT is in June, I want to pass the bodyfat in May so I don't have that pressure on my back. An 18" neck and 39" waist is what I would need, but I'm gunning for more than that.

T-Bar Rows: Worked up to a 115 lbs 5RM.

Incline Bench Press: My original intention was 5x5 with 160 lbs but 3 reps into the first set, I knew I wouldn't be able to complete it in good form. So I did 10 sets of 3 reps with 160 lbs and that went better.

Snatch Grip Deadlifts: 145x5, 165x5, 185x5, 205x5, 235x5 (5RM).

DB Preacher Curls: 20x10, 25x10, 30x8, 15x12
DB Lateral Raises: 12x10, 15x10, 15x7, 10x10

Hammer Shrug: 100x5, 120x5, 140x5, 160x5

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Today's Measurement on Drill Weekend

My wife's mom took us out to dinner last night at her favorite Chinese buffet. Those of you who have read Chris D's travails of said nature know how this ends up. I was weighed in this morning (clothed) at 240 lbs - - - 4 more pounds than last month!!! My waist size only dropped by .5 inches (to 39.5 inches) - - - since I was sick half of March, I didn't expect to lose anything but I'll take the 1/2 inch. But my neck measurement went up 1 inch to 17.5 inches, which drove my bodyfat percentage down 3 points to 23% - - - so I should be in the clear next month.

Friday, March 31, 2006

SE/RE Squat

LifeFitness Treadmill, 1.0 incline, 7.0 MPH run speed/3.8 MPH walk speed: 5 intervals of 2 minutes running and 4 minutes walking.

Squats: 145x5, 165x5, 185x5x5.

Nautilus Nitro Leg Adduction: 60x10, 70x10, 80x10
Nautilus Nitro Leg Abduction: 60x10, 70x10, 80x10

Superset: Band GHR: 4 sets of 7
Incline Situps: Failure at 16, 13, 10, 8 reps

18” Lateral Step Up (LBS x reps per leg): 10x10, 15x10, 20x8.
Short pogo jumps (weight x reps): 10x20, 15x17, 20x14.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Lunchtime Run

Lunchtime: LifeFitness Treadmill (Walking speed 3.8 MPH, Running Speed 6.3 MPH): 5 intervals of 3 minutes running/3 minutes walking.

SE/RE Back/Bench

Lunchtime: LifeFitness Treadmill (Walking speed 3.8 MPH, Running Speed 7.0 MPH): 5 intervals of 2 minutes running/4 minutes walking.

Band Chinups: 3 sets of 3, 2 sets of 2. When I couldn't do good sets of 3, I switched to 2s.

Conventional Deadlifts: 155x5, 185x5, 215x5x5.

Hoist Assisted Dips (BWT 237.1): 117.1x5, 127.1x5, 147.1x5, 167.1x5, 197x5x5.

Reverse Curls: 40x10, 45x10, 50x10
DB Lateral Raises: 8x10, 1x10, 12x10, 5x12
Pushups: 25, 20, 17, 14 reps
Farmers Walks: 2 90-second walks with 60 lbs.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Lunchtime Run

Lunchtime: LifeFitness Treadmill (Walking speed 3.8 MPH, Running Speed 6.3 MPH): 5 intervals of 3 minutes running/3 minutes walking.

Monday, March 27, 2006

ME Squat/DL

If one really thinks about it, I spent the first half of March sick. With the family OK and my illnesses gone, I felt a little rusty going into today's workout. So, I started the third week of this wave conservative: not out to set PRs, content to even get what I got on week 2.

LifeFitness Treadmill (Walking speed 3.8 MPH, Running Speed 7.0 MPH): 5 intervals of 2 minutes running/4 minutes walking.

18" Box Squats: 145x5, 175x5, 205x5, 235x5, 265x5, 295x5 (5RM). Since I got 4 reps with 295 last time, I went for my fifth and stopped there. Good, because all 5 reps at 295 was tougher this time around.

Nautilus Nitro Leg Abduction: 60x10, 70x10, 80x7
Nautilus Nitro Leg Adduction: 55x10, 65x10, 80x10

Band GHR: 4 sets of 6
Situps: Failure at 24, 17, 13, 13 reps. A little better than before.

DB Walking Lunges (Sum of DBs x reps per leg): 50x10, 60x10
Ankle Jumps: 15 lbs for 17 reps, 25 lbs for 13 reps. No third set, just didn't have it.

Friday, March 17, 2006


Yep, turns out the reasons for this weeks struggles with how I feel at the gym, my use of an inhaler to help me breathe when I have a coughing fit, and not getting past anything is not only a sinus infection but the beginning of Strep A. Well, my family's better but I've told my wife and kid to keep their distance, and I stayed away from work and the gym.