Friday, December 21, 2007

RE Lower Body

Lunchtime:
Cybex ArcTrainer Elliptical: 30 minutes at Level 4

Evening:
Hoist Composite Motion Leg Press: 335x10x4

Arched Back Good Morning: 145x10x4

Cybex Leg Curl: 80x10x4

22" Step Ups: BWTx10x4

Hanging Leg Raises: 4 sets of 5

Incline Twisting Situps: 4 sets of 10

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Best Laid Plans II

The why's would be a little much to get into here, but my orders have changed. Instead of Bahrain, I am now headed to Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. Also, instead of leaving in May, it's now the first week of February. Instead of extending in the Reserves like I've been doing for PRT purposes, they are letting me reenlist if I could pass my third PRT in a row - - - On January 29th. Good thing a message came out allowing me to automatically be on the Chief's board without taking an exam, a one-time perk if one is in, leaving, or going to Iraq, Afghanistan, or the Horn of Africa - - - I have a lot to do in even less time than before. All while also taking my son to basketball practices and working on his game, since his season has begun.

That busy-ness is why I haven't blogged much but I'm trying. I've basically been experimenting with different weightlifting approaches, even the lactic acid stuff. I am using the Cybex ArcTrainer elliptical on my off days, since it's more challenging. And I've been playing a lot of basketball scrimmage games. My weight is down to 232 lbs (Morning Weight), and my conditioning is coming along. I've decided to just stay with the heavy stuff, and twice (each) squatting and deadlifting since that has always worked best in a pinch - - - last time I lost too much mass for so little gain that I don't want to go through that again.

This was today's workout.

Lunchtime:
LifeFitness Treadmill: 4 rounds of 1 minute running at 8.0 MPH and 2 minutes walking at 3.8 MPH, using a 1.5 degree incline. When I started Afterburn (modified), running at 7.7 MPH had me at a heart rate of 170. I had to up the speed to 8.0 to get close to the same effect.

Evening (ME Upper):
Close Grip Triceps Death (No Board, 2 thru 5 boards, no rest) 3 sets to failure. 2 minutes rest between sets.

Snatch Grip Deadlift: Worked up to a 275 4RM.

T-Bar Row: 115x5x5

Hoist Assisted Neutral Grip Chinup (BWT 237): 117x5x5

Biceps Death: 3 sets to failure. Essentially, 1 rep with 90 lbs then failure with 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20 lbs. Rest two minutes each set.

Grace's Big Squat Day


Two days ago, my wife Grace asked what was on the menu for Leg Day. I told her to "get Gung Ho" because we were going to test her on the free squat. I also told her that it would be filmed for training purposes. She also asked me to post it on my blog, since she does not want to post it on her Myspace page. Feel free to comment.

A few notes. I tried to dial in her depth, even going so far as to do the second rep touch and go from a 14" box. She hated it, because it tempted her to relax upon touching it. Her descent is pretty fast, and I didn't teach her that. Her speed is noteworthy, probably from those huge hams she inherited from her dad. Will have to do some work on depth and her lower back but I think before I leave, she may be ready for 225.

And I'm still trying to persuade her to do a Virtual Meet, Kris:)






video

Monday, November 26, 2007

ME Upper Body

Lunchtime:
LifeFitness Treadmill: 3 rounds of 1.5 minutes at 7.7 MPH and 1.5 minutes at 3.8 MPH, at a 1.5 incline. This was definitely tougher: at this speed, 30 extra seconds was long.

Evening:
Incline Bench Press: 75x3, 95x3, 115x3, 135x3, 155x3, 175x2. Not my best bench day, but there's next time.

Assisted Pullups (Monster Mini/Light Band): 5 sets of 5

Close Grip Triceps Death (2, 3, 4, 5 Board Progression): 2 sets with 125 lbs. Basically, 15 reps with the 2-Board, quickly continue to failure with the 3-Board, then keep failing up all the way up to the 5-board.

Superset:
DB Rows (Elbows In): 45x10x4
Band Pullaparts w/Monster Mini: 4 sets to failure (4 sets of 5)

Trap Bar Shrugs: Worked my way up to a 204 triple.

DB Curls: 25x8x4

Saturday, November 24, 2007

ME Lower Body

Lunchtime:
LifeFitness Treadmill: 3 rounds of 1 minute at 7.7 MPH and 2 minutes at 3.8 MPH, at a 1.5 incline.

Evening:
Arched Back Good Morning: 95x5, 120x5, 145x5, 170x5, 195x5, 205x5

22" Step Ups: 4 sets of 10

Cybex Leg Curls: 115x5x5

Ab Circuit (4 sets): Plank, Lying Leg Thrusts, Woodchopper (Downward), Situps, Woodchopper (Upward), 45-degree Hyper.

That was Friday. Next day was spent playing basketball and walking around with 54 lbs for a few laps.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The New Cardio

I took my son to the gym for two hours so that we can practice basketball. For me, this is a great way to work out without the monotony. I get to run, jump, move laterally, change direction a lot, everything. What I also did today was that every 15 minutes, I jumped rope for 1.5 minutes at a good clip. Then I grabbed two weighted bars like the ones they use for aerobics and walked around for 5 laps around the court holding them behind my back, in front, and overhead: I used a 30 lbs and a 24 lbs bar, for a total of 54 lbs. Then I put down the bars and ran around the court for 3 laps as fast as I could stand. I did 5 of those.

The bars didn't feel heavy, per se. But walking around at a brisk pace with the extra weight really taxed my breathing, and the runs just finished me off. Makes me wonder how much better off I would feel at a much lighter weight. I'll be doing these on my off days when I'm in the gym, maybe even on the track.

I had my son run with a Jump Stretch green ("average")band around his waist, both forward and backward, to improve his running speed and push off. Basically he ran for dear life while I trailed behind him at a much slower rate of speed. He loved that so much (hard as it was) he wanted to see me do it. I thought what's one more killer thing (you should have seen his face turn beet red). Problem was, he couldn't hold me back or the band for long, so I got smacked across the back real good when the band snapped right into me. He wants to try this with the sled, so expect to see me doing those real soon, too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

RE Upper Body

Lunchtime:
LifeFitness Elliptical: Hill profile at level 7 for 30 minutes.

Evening:
Incline Close Grip Pushup (Feet Raised 12"): Failure at 9, 8, 7 reps.

Superset:
Hoist Neutral Grip Chinup (Bwt 240 lbs): 80x12x2, 80x10x2
T-Bar Rows: 80x12x2, 80x10x2

DB Lateral Raises: 10x10x4

Superset:
DB Shrugs: 55x10x3
Hammer Curls: 25x10x3

Wrist Roller: 3 sets of 3

5-Board Press: 145x3, 170x3, 195x3, 220x3.

Monday, November 19, 2007

RE/DE Lower Body

Lunchtime:
Treadmill: 3 3-minute rounds of 1 minute at 7.7 MPH and 2 minutes at 3.8 MPH.

Evening:
14" SSB Box Squats: 75x5, 105x5, 135x5, 165x5, 195x5, 225x5, 255x1. I was going to stop at 225 but just had to know how close was the formula to actual 1RM. The predicted max (Brzycki) was 253 and I got 255.

16" Lateral Step Ups: BWTx10x3

Sumo DL: 175x1x10. Strictly speed work.

GHR: 31 reps in 4 sets (10, 10, 6, 5 reps)

DB Side Raises: 35x10x4

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Best Laid Plans

Lest anyone think that I have been lazy, It's been quite the few weeks.

I got my synthesizer back repaired after a long time of not using it and I've been messing around with a program made by Steinberg called Sequel (A loop based music program that can also record MIDI and instrument sounds). I feel like a music hobbyist again.

The biggest thing for me right now is that I am being recalled to the Middle East next year for a while. This alters some plans. About a month of that is to be spent in South Carolina training Army style which means a lot of running and moving around with an extra 50-60 lbs of gear. I've been messing around with the Westside for Skinny Bastards 3 program, Afterburn for fat loss (I'm at 236 lbs right now, so I've dropped some weight from the last PRT) but now, aside from March's Virtual Meet and PRT 3 weks later, I have to prepare my body for that, too (a lot of people come back from the Middle East with shoulder or knee problems because of the added weight of bulletproof gear, weapons, and other flotsam). Lastly, I have to get things in order so my family has little to worry about while I'm gone - - - my to-do list is being drafted.

But since this is a training blog, not a life blog, let's talk training. I love this template and plan to keep it but since I've changed a few things in it, I'll just blog the workout with no name for the template. The Elite Beginners Manual and WS4SB3 are so similar that I've been using a bit of both, essentially bastardizing them.

The first thing to go will be any sort of speed days. I feel that I've done speed work for so long but my squat and bench should be bigger than it is. I think I've gotten as fast as I could get at my existing level of strength that more speed won't make me stronger. So I will be doing more repetition work on those days.

Second, I feel like my squat should be a lot bigger than it is and even with a big deadlift, my back got humbled with 340 at the bottom. So I'm putting more effort into GMs and front squats and sled work. The repetition days for squats will be done exclusively with 14-inch SSB Squats with a different rep scheme each week, some high and some low. I will do speed work for deadlift, like the Elite manual, but using the sumo, which is my weakest deadlift. Historically, 14" has been best for my overall squats - - - thus the choice.

In the bench, and in particular my shoulders, I'll keep a 3 weeks bench variation/3 weeks shoulder press rotation. The past few weeks, I've been using a DB shoulder press/assisted pullup superset along with some trap work and incline benching on rep days and my shoulders have gotten thicker and been pain free. I will also be using pushup variations on rep days.

As for the fat loss, I'm going to keep NROL's Afterburn setup but will use running instead. I had planned on that 5 days a week using an elliptical AND running in the evenings but I could see where that was headed. I'll just start gradually. If I'm in shape, running at at my usual pace wouldn't be my biggest worry, it's when I start turning to my lactic acid system. I found that a 1.5 incline, and 7.6 MPH speed was a good beginning challenge for me, as was dropping the rest period and increasing the running period each week. On days where I don't run, I'll probably do the elliptical for 30 minutes or go for a long walk. I'll also keep using the heavy bag and jump rope for any other GPP work.

As for milestones or goals, we'll see:)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Westside 4 Skinny Bastards 3: DE Lower

Lunchtime:
LifeFitness Elliptical: 3 rounds of 1 minute at Level 20 and 2 minutes at Level 10

Evening:
14" SSB Box Squat w/80 lbs of Chain: Barx2, 105x2, 135x2, 165x2, 195x2x8. Westside recommends 60 lbs of chain for squats under 400 lbs but with what I have it's either 40 or 80 lbs. I experimented with this setup before PRT: the chains are almost off the ground when I rack the bar. My experiment? I worked up to a 255 2RM and it felt like my head was gonna pop off. I then took the chains worked up to a very fast 325 single - - - the weight felt easy. I know the program calls for jumps but I don't have jump platforms at home. As for the 14" box height, I'm going back to using that as parallel instead of 15", because depth was an issue for me at the virtual meet using 15" for training.

Bulgarian Split Squat w/Front Foot Elevated: BWTx7x3.

GHR: 30 reps in 6 sets. I can't do 10 reps at the moment, and I don't want to use bands, so I borrowed this setup from the EFS Beginners Manual. The goal is to gradually increase the reps but decrease the sets.

DB Side Bends: 30x12x4

Monday, October 29, 2007

Westside 4 Skinny Bastards 3: ME Upper

Lunchtime:
LifeFitness Elliptical: 3 rounds of 1 minute at Level 20 and 2 minutes at Level 10

Evening:
Assisted Pullups:
(Green Bands - Warmup): 2 sets of 6
(Monster Mini/Light Band): 5 sets of 4

DB Shoulder Press: 2 sets of 15 @ 25 lbs

Superset:
DB Rows (Elbows In): 4 sets of 9 @ 35 lbs
Band Pull Aparts (Monster Mini): 4 sets to failure

Trap Bar Deadlifts: 4 sets of 11 @ 94 lbs

DB Curls: 4 sets of 8 @ 20 lbs

Saturday, October 06, 2007

PRT Don'ts

I passed the PRT this past Friday, with a Good-Low instead of a Good-Medium. I'm calling this my DON'T because of what I had to do to get out of failing and ending my Navy career on a bad note.

Since April, I focused a lot on strength and ignored all cardio and even a consistent eating habit. When the Virtual Meet came around, I weighed in at 240 lbs and I barely pass bodyfat at 229 lbs/20% BF by Navy measurement. And I had less than a month to get there. I had made some changes after the Virtual Meet: I started to run a few times a week. I started to lift heavy to keep my neck but then switched to Westside For Skinny Bastards III. I started to hit the heavy bag more. In my last week, I ditched the running and started doing lunchtime sessions on the elliptical trainer cranked up to level 15. My back seemed to be getting thicker, and the workouts were great.

On October 3, I woke up and weighed in at 239.5 lbs - - - measurement was on the morning of the 4th. Panic!!! I had a real strong cup of coffee that morning for my only drink, and didn't eat at all. I did 35 minutes on the elliptical at level 15 for lunch and a 1 hour session in the evening at level 7. I weighed in at a surprising 233.5 just before bed. The morning of the 4th, I woke up and weighed in at 232.5 lbs. I drank nothing and attempted to do a 1-hr elliptical session at level 15 but after 30 minutes I felt like I was beginning to bonk - - - I shortened it to 45 minutes. Then I did my two 20-minute sessions in the sauna. I took a shower and felt like a small child was sitting on my chest, and that worried me.

All that, and for what? I came in at 230 lbs but barely passed at the 22% borderline the Navy specifies - - - worse than last time. My neck dropped to 16.5 inches and my waist was 38 inches. Someday, I will remember that when the water goes the muscles go flat. And I had overdone the aerobics. And I felt like crap, with the run to be on the next day.

I started drinking a 50/50 mix of Gatorade and water to put all of my fluids back and by 3 PM, I was at 242.5 lbs. But I felt like my belly was going to pop from that and the big breakfast I had after the weigh-in, because until my water levels were back to normal, I couldn't pee or poop. That evening, I was talking to my wife after dinner and she suggested I have a strong cup of coffee. I did that, and started downing a lot of apple juice since a lot of it has a mild laxative effect. That did it, too well: my stomach finally calmed down at about 2:30 in the morning.

On the morning of the 5th, I weighed in at 237 then headed to the Reserve Center to run and do the pushups and situps. I told the trainer that I hate running by myself because I couldn't pace off of someone (boy, when you're not a consistent runner, this is what happens) and he mentioned that I was allowed to use the treadmill as an alternative. That was a godsend: the LifeFitness pro models have Fit Test programs for the Armed Forces: it sets a 1% incline and you tell it what armed force, how much you weigh, your gender and speed, and you're set. I set it at 6.5 MPH and just used the last 30 seconds to sprint - - - I never had to walk at all. It didn't go so bad, the running work I had done had worked well , I wondered why my dumbass hadn't done it sooner.

On Monday, I will be on a consistent AND sensible program of weights, fat loss, and running. This was the last time I would use extraordinary means like this to pass. I put my body through a lot for very little gain, and at great risk.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Results from The Virtual Meet, September 7

Well the results came out today, and I was pretty happy. Not just because my numbers were better, but I seriously thought I had bombed out.

I took the day off that day unlike the last time when I had to do it after work. Of course, this meant that I had no camera person, and that was just the beginning of my troubles. I did not ensure that my camera batteries were charged and I had no loose AAs, either. After I found a DC plug and a long enough extension cord, I had to set up everything using a garbage can and recycle bins and make sure the lighting worked against a really sunny day. I also had two caffeinated drinks and spent about six rest periods in a bathroom, sick to my stomach. Lastly, I had a perfect layout of what my attempts should be based on a setup by Eric Talmant on the EliteFTS site, and I followed it only on my bench press.

My first squat attempt was 295 and it was red-lighted for lack of depth. Oh, I kept looking over my own video, so that spooked me out. I got two whites on the 315, which I thought would be close (No PR that day). The Eric Talmant setup had me taking a 330 third-attempt and I should have done that. Instead I went for broke with 340, and broke was what I got. Remember how it has been a long time since I had a weight on my bare back? At the bottom, I turned my head to the left to check my depth, lost my tightness, lost control of the bar and it swayed forward on the left, and I couldn't recover so I dumped it. 330 might have been a go. At that moment, I thought I was done but the show must go on.

My benches went well. My attempts stuck to the plan. I got three whites on my first attempt of 215. I got one red light on my second attempt of 225 for insufficient pause. I thought I might have not nailed my third attempt of 240 for the same reason, but I got three whites and a 25 lbs meet PR. Gotta start doing more pause work prior to competition.

Come deadlift time, I was spent and super edgy, so I totally didn't follow the plan. I went for 405 not 365, and nailed it. At that point, I decided on 415 and not taking the 3rd attempt. I got it with nothing to spare, and a 50 pound PR. I didn't total 1000 like I wanted to but I got close (970). I think I worried too much about that grand, though, and took the wrong chances; at this stage, I should worry more about consistency than numbers. BTW, Jon (from Powerlifting Watch), I read your email and totally agree, that shrugging shit at the top has to go!

After that, I took a couple of Imodium and a bath and went with my wife to visit some friends of hers, drank some wine and ate a lot. Next meet should be better, 9 for 9 perhaps. Definitely a grand.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Yesterday's Last Heavy Workout Before VirtualMeet/Today's Deadlifts

1-Board BenchPress: 75x3, 95x3, 115x3, 135x3, 155x3, 175x3, 195x3, 215x3, 235x1. In all likelyhood, 235 will be attempt number two. Then we will see about 240-245. I did this with a grip that was 1 finger closer than normal (ring fingers on the rings) and though this increased my pressing distance it gave me more pop.



Parallel Box Squat: 155x3, 190x3, 225x3, 255x3, 285x3, 315x2. Good for 330-340 squat.



Todays Deadlift: 225x3, 265x3, 305x3, 345x3, 385x2, 405x1. I had to use 35s and 10s for the other 45 pounds. Question is, can I hit that after squats and benches? And on what attempt?






video

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

NROL: Fat Loss III

Read Christian Thibaudeau's article "Destroying Fat" and you'll see what I am trying to do. I have the Virtual Meet to think about, so I can't go completely light. And I have the PRT in 5 weeks. I was once measured at 20% BF at 234 but just about the same at 229. So, unlike the last time, I want to lift differently but not overdo the aerobics. This sounded like the way to go . . . . . . . . .

First Giant set with 60 seconds rest after the final exercise:

One round of boxing each set
Front Squat: 135x10x4
Assisted Chinup (Green Band): 4 sets of 8
Lateral Step up: 15x12x4
DB Neutral Push Press: 35x12x4. This left me so winded, but it wasn't over yet.

Second Giant Set with 60 seconds rest after the final exercise:
Squat: 135x20x2
Prisoner Face Pull (Monster Mini): 2 sets of 20. Uses the ankle cuffs on the wrist, less bicep.
Lateral Step Up: BWTx20x2
DB Shoulder Press: 20x20x2

Swiss Ball Crunch: 10x10x2

. . . . . . . . and after the 30 minutes of steady state aerobics on the elliptical at the end, I still think it may be just what I need. But this was the hardest workout I have ever done. I was soaking wet, and even the steady state stuff was spent at 160BPM because my heart rate was already up. I suppose 5 weeks of this . . . . .

Monday, August 27, 2007

NROL: Hypertrophy I

Scheme: 5x5, 90 seconds rest, Superset with full rest.

Dumbell Incline Bench Press: 35x5, 45x5, 55x5, 60x5x4
DB Rows (Elbows In): 35x5, 45x5, 55x5, 60x5x4

DB Neutral Shoulder Press: 50x5x5
Assisted Wide Grip Lat Pulldown (Green Band): 5 sets of 5

Barbell Close Grip Bench Press: 165x5x5
Snatch Grip Deadlift: Worked up to a 255 3-RM, then did 225x5.

Swiss Ball Crunch: 3 sets of 15

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Yesterday's Mobility/Energy Systems Work

Lunchtime:
1.5 - 2 mile walk. Why kill myself when I would do that in the evening? That, and right now, even walking leaves me sweaty and tired. Ok, it was hot out!!!



Evening:
Dynamic Warmup Phase (@ means reps each side):
Forward Sled Walking w/45 lbs plate
Hip Crossover (10@)
Scorpions (6@)
Prisoner Squats (10 reps)
Jumping Jacks (15 reps)
Seal Jumping Jacks (15 reps)
Front Skips (20 yards down and back)
Backward Sled Drag w/45 lbs plate
Calf Stretch (6@)
Inchworm (6 times)
Stationary Side Lunge (8@)
Side Suffle (20 yards down and back)
Stationary Leg Swings (10 reps, front to back)
Stationary Leg Swings (10 reps, side to side)
60% Sprint (arm& posture focus)(20 yards down and back)
Ankle Sled Drags w/Sled Only
Inverted Hamstring (6@)
Forward Lunge/Forearm to Instep (6@)
Lunge Walk (10 steps down and back)
Backpedal (20 yards down and back)
Sled Pullthrough w/45lbs plate
Backward Lunge with a Twist (6@)
Drop Lunge (6@)
Sumo Squat to Stand (6@)
Squat Jumps (5)
75% Build Up Sprint (Knee Drive)(20 Yards Down and back)


Ground Based Mobility:
Back Bridges (10)
Iron Cross (Basically, a Scorpion done while on your back)(10@)
Rollovers into V-Sits (10)
Birddogs (10@)
Fire Hydrant Circles (10@, forward and backward)
Arm Circles
Scapular Wall Slides
Mountain Climbers (10@)
Groiners (10@)

Frequency Phase:
Low Pogo Jumps: 3 sets of 20 seconds
High Pogo Jumps: 3 sets of 20 seconds
Cariocas: 20 yards down and back
Sideways Running: 20 yards down and back
85% Sprint: 40 yards
Suicides (2 versions)(Forward and backwards)

Either I have to shorten this, or do it faster. Regardless, I will think about this the next time I let myself go like this, it kicked my ass royally. I was very tight all over, so I will have to pay for a while just to get better. I did sleep like a baby last night, though, and while I'm still sore from Monday I feel a bit looser so that's good.

Monday, August 13, 2007

TBT/NROL: Week 1 Workout 1

Bodyweight this morning: 241. So, I have to drop 12 pounds in 7 weeks.

Lunchtime Aerobics: Intervals on an Elliptical (6 rounds) - 1 minute hard at Level 13 and 2 minutes easy in reverse at Level 6.

Evening (60 minutes rest at the end of the superset):
16" Front Box Squat: 115x5, 140x5, 165x5, 190x5, 215x3 (3RM), 200x5.
Band Assisted Pullup (Light/Monster Mini): 6 sets of 5

Sumo Deadlift: 170x5, 205x5, 240x5, 275x5, 310x1, 275x1
One Armed Neutral DB Press: 25x5, 30x5, 35x5, 40x5, 45x5, 50x5, 55x5 (5RM)

16" Lateral Step Ups: BWTx5, 15x5, 20x5, 25x5, 30x5 (Hard), 30x5
Rounds on the Punching Bag: 6 (Latest addition to the home gym:)

Some lifts I haven't done in the longest, so I tried to work up to a 5RM in 6 sets. I guessed right on nearly everything but the sumo DL, which is why I did 275 for 5 the first time but only one rep the next - - - I overestimated my max at 340.

The boxing was my way of finishing myself off good cardio-wise while getting in trunk rotation work in a more dynamic and fun way. Each round consisted of 10 of the following punches per hand: jab, long punch, bodyshot, uppercut. Then they were combined into 2 minutes of combinations done hard and fast. After that, I felt spent and exhausted in a good way.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Next 8 Weeks

The next 8 weeks will be the TBT setup by Chad Waterbury but arranged like Fat Loss I and II from Alwyn Cosgrove's THE NEW RULES OF LIFTING. So rather than 4 multi-joint movements followed 2 single-joint movements, it will be a movement for each of the 6 basic ones: Squat, Deadlift, Lunge, Push, Pull, Twist. No extra movements for arms or anything else. And the rest periods will be short or declining as the weeks wear on. The exception is the heavy days in the first four weeks: sets of 5 but the rest periods will be 60 seconds at all times. That makes for 3 superset pairs, with the exercises set very far apart. So, for example, this:

3 sets of 5 (Straight Sets):
Flat BB Bench Press
Seated Cable Rows
Squats
Sumo-Style Deadlift
DB Hammer Curls
Standing Calf Raises

Now looks like this (Especially because I don't want to bench for two weeks):

Deficit Sumo-Style Deadlift, followed by
One Arm Neutral DB Press (Rest 60 seconds)

16" Box Front Squat, followed by
Pullups (rest 60 seconds)

Bulgarian Split Squat, followed by
Weighted Twisting Situps

The first 4 weeks are sets of 5, 8, and 15. The last 4 weeks are sets of 18, 8, and 12.

There will be 2 days for GPP (Off days), Afterburn at lunch using the elliptical (like the last time), and some running since I learned last PRT (The hard way) that I can't get good at running without running. And I will try to eat more sensibly. Goal is to get in the 220s and below 20%BF. The first 4 weeks have a heavy day to support my other goal: a 1000 lbs total at the Virtual Meet (Last Meet I had an 895 total [315-215-365]).

OK, let's do this!!!

Friday, August 03, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 12 Deadlift Test

Chris D. (Strengthnews) told me today that I should have just stepped up to the 250 in the bench vice 245. Something I kept in mind today all the way home from work, Slayer cranked up in the car, as I tried to decide between deadlifting 405 for the PR or 415 for the PR and a grand total of . . . well. . . . . a grand:)

Conventional Deadlift: 135x1, 175x1, 215x1, 255x1, 295x1, 335x1, 375x1, 415x1.

50 lbs PR over the Virtual Meet held February 9th, and my first 1000 lbs. Now, I have to do it in competition. Call it a "training grand!"

That deadlift was ugly. I know it would have passed: no downward motion, no pause, no hitch, full lockout, and I held it at lockout for a few seconds. This whole session, I tried to drill in my head that for something that heavy, I should engage hip drive from the start so that my butt wouldn't rise too soon. Well, I did that. Still, the weight did not fly out of the bottom, it was slow to the knees, and I still got bent over a bit more than I would have liked. Once past the knees, I lockout it out with what I had left. I think all that work with the SSB, once again, helped since the bottom of an SSB squat is just like the ascent on the deadlift. The rack pulls showed their worth at the top. My weak point is the bottom, so in all likelihood the next time I run through this program I will be doing variations of the sumo DL to hammer it, and lower squats plus more good mornings.

So, what's my assessment of the EFS Beginners Program? It is very effective, and a very well designed program. Everything got better, and I gained more control with heavier weights. I especially like what it did for my bench: I handled more heavy weight than any program I've used (mostly because of the board work) and it showed. For the most part, any adjustments I made to it were mostly due to my shoulder. It is also very demanding, so if one's idea of a beginner's program is something out of a magazine a gut check will be in order. And some shoulder prehab worked in is recommended (even though my shoulder problem was stupidity inflicted), since your shoulders will take a pounding. One could even build mass with this program as is, I'm noticeably thicker,
So, what would I have done different?

1.) I learned that parallel for me in the squat is actually 15 inches, not 14, so I should have been doing 17 inches for the high box squat and 13" for the low. It may have made a difference, since I would have handled heavier weight.

2.) I will probably never do rack lockouts again. It was a jarring movement, and it was tough recreating my bench groove with it. I like the boards better.

3.) When doing the deficit pulls, I will use the exact same deadlift style. While the snatch grip deadlifts always help my deadlift, I could have held more with a conventional grip. I will have to build a box to stand on.

4.) I will find a place for the Blast Straps, probably at the end.

5.) Eat better. I ate like crap, and now have to whittle the belly fat away.

6.) Use the prehab stuff BEFORE disaster strikes.

I will probably do this program again in the winter, so we will see if the changes help. Now I want a 400 sumo (which will also help my conventional DL), and my next targets will be a 275 bench and as close to a 400 squat as I could get.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 12 Bench Test

Bench Press: 70x8, 95x6, 120x4, 145x2, 170x1, 195x1, 220x1, 245x1 (PR), 250x0 (I let the pins catch it).

About a year or so ago, I had a 240 lift COLD, no warmups. I started this cycle at 215 (What I benched at the Virtual Meet), and gained 30 pounds on the bench and hit it after warmups and a 220 attempt. I'm pretty happy with it. Now if I can competition-pause it and get it at the next Virtual Meet, I'll be thrilled.

One thing for anyone else who tries the EFS Beginners Program after this: when they say test bench on on day 4, and squat/DL on day 5 . . . . . DO IT. The weights moved faster for me last week, and my right forearm was making itself known. All this because I took a max squat attempt on Monday with a healing shoulder. Should have used a Manta Ray!

Oh, and believe me, I'm second guessing this lift, too. Anyone else out there think I should have gone for 250 vice 245? It's OK if anyone does: part of me does, too. Even though the 245 moved gradually enough to rule out another 5 pounds, who knows!?!

Tomorrow, is the deadlift test, the last test of this program. I'm psyched and not just because that 405 original target beckons me but because I just thought of another target: my first 1000 pound total. With my current total of 585, that would mean I would have to hit a clean 415 deadlift. Hmmmm . . . . . . should I go for 415 or 405?!?

Monday, July 30, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 12 Squat Test

Squat warmup using a 14" Box to rehearse depth, touch and go: 135x5, 170x3, 205x2, 240x2.
Squat: 275x1, 310x1, 340x1 (25 lbs PR).

I'll sum everything up on Friday since it's late. First time in the longest I've squatted with a straight bar and nothing else. Hopefully, my shoulder won't remind me of it. My forearms are, though: they feel pumped. My original goal was 330, and 3 weeks ago my 16" SSB Box Squat was 315x2, so I felt safe going 10 pounds over my goal. I even managed to pause at the bottom to check my depth. The SSB bar works: I had a strong arch all the way and never got bent over at the bottom. Bench on Thursday, Deadlifts on Friday.

Friday, July 27, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 11 DE Squat/DL

Last day, a deload, and almost the end. Next week is test week. Next week I'll have to put on an entirely different game face. Attitude-wise, I'm excited but nervous: those 4 plates in the deadlift beckon me, 250 in the bench seems so close. As always, the squat has me the most concerned - - - always does.



SSB Parallel Box Squat: 75x2, 105x2, 135x2, 165x2, 195x2x6.



Speed DL: 225x1x8



Reverse Hyper: 3 sets of 7



Lying Leg Raises: 3 sets of 10

Thursday, July 26, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 11 ME Bench

2-Board Press: 65x3, 85x3, 105x3, 125x3, 145x3, 165x3, 185x3, 205x3. Per the manual, worked up to 80% of last week's total. Or, should I have done 205x1? Whoops!?!

Assisted Pull-ups (Green Band): 4 sets of 7.

Hammer Curls: 30x10x4.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 11 ME Squat/DL

Rack Pulls (2" Below The Knees): 165x6, 205x4, 245x2, 285x1, 325x1, 365x1, 405x1(PR). Goal reached. I was only to pull what my target was for next week's deadlift. A little scary, because I was holding on for dear life with the 405. So barring my grip getting a little stronger, I'm gonna have to pull this one fast. Or about as fast as I can; )

Weighted Situps: 20x10x3

Monday, July 23, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 11 DE Bench

Oh, yeah!!! Last week before test week.

Dynamic Bench Press: 65x3, 85x3, 105x3, 125x3, 145x3x8.

3-Board Press: 155x3, 175x3, 200x3. Per the manual, worked up only to 80% of last week's PR in that lift as a deload.

DB Bench Press: 55x10x3. Could have done a little more, but didn't. My shoulder's feeling pretty good and I didn't want to jinx it.

DB Rows (Elbows In): 55x10x3.

Friday, July 20, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 10 DE Squat/DL

Parallel SSB Box Squat DL: 125x2, 155x2, 185x2, 200x2x8. Deload begins.

Speed DL: 235x1x8

Reverse Hyper: 5 sets of 7 with a Monster Mini Band

DB Side Bends: 40x10x3

Slow Leg Lowers: 3 sets of 10

Thursday, July 19, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 10 ME Bench

2-Board Bench Press: 65x3, 85x3, 105x3, 125x3, 145x3, 165x3, 185x3, 205x2, 230x1, 255x1. Target reached.

Assisted Pullups (Green Band): 6 sets of 7

Triceps Extensions (Straight Bar): 55x10x4

Hammer Curls: 25x10x4

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 10 ME Squat/DL

Rack Pulls (2" Below The Knees): 175x3, 215x3, 255x3, 295x3, 335x3, 370x3 (PR). I was originally thinking of just tripling my max of 365, so I figured 5 more pounds couldn't hurt much. I'm on track for next week, when I'm supposed to pull my full deadlift target max of 405.

Manta Ray Barbell Lunges: 105x10x3.

Arched Back Good Mornings: 145x10x3

Weighted Situps: 20x10x4

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 10 DE Bench

I just received my new computer last week. It was a Velocity Micro PC: I was able to pick everything from the motherboard to what software went in it. The good part was that since it came with no software beyond the OS, I was able to install what I wanted to and avoid the garbage (bloatware) that usually comes with a PC. The bad part was that I had to install it all. So there went last week.

This weekend, I did my Navy weekend, and put in some PT time in the gym - - - as soon as I step out of the office, there's the basketball court and the gym is to the left (The Marines drill there, too.). Saturday, I worked up to a 245 lbs 2RM on the 2-board press, then did shoulder work and stretches the next day.

Today's Workout:

Speed Benches: 55x3, 75x3, 95x3, 115x3, 145x3x8.

3-Board Press: 165x3, 195x3, 225x3, 255x0, 250x3. Don't know what happened with the 255: I wasn't tight, legs weren't planted . . . . weight was fucking heavy. Once it touched the boards, it stayed there. I rested, dropped the weight a bit, then got it. Why push my luck with a weight I'm not attempting in the end.

DB Bench Press: 65x10. DB Rows (Elbows In): 65x5. Very wobbly. I've been babying my shoulders so much that I've become weak with the dumbbell movements. I'll deal with it in a couple of weeks.

Close Grip Bench Press: 135x10x4. My effective substitute for the DB benches (and the band pushdowns). Since I just got done with these on week 9, I knew what to lift and figures it would only help me to do them as an RE movement.

Barbell Curls: 55x10x4.

Monday, July 09, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 9 DE Squat/DL

Parallel SSB Box Squat DL: 125x2, 155x2, 185x2, 210x2x8, 235x2, 265x1, 300x1.

Speed DL: 235x1x8, 275x1, 315x1, 345x1

Reverse Hyper: 5 sets of 7 with a Monster Mini Band

DB Side Bends: 40x10x4

Slow Leg Lowers: 4 sets of 10

Calf Lifts: 1 sets for each set of squats, to failure

Bring on Week 10!!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 9 ME Bench

Close Grip Bench Press: 55x3, 75x3, 95x3, 115x3, 135x3, 155x3, 175x3, 195x3, 215x3. Reached last weeks goal . . . LOL!!!

Pullups: 6 sets of 8

EZ Bar Extensions: 55x10x5

Preacher Curls: 55x10x5

External Rotations: Repped out at 5, 8, 10, 12, and 15 lbs
Band Pull Aparts: 5 sets of 7
Scapular Wall Slide: 5 sets
Band Traction Work

EFS Beginners Program: Week 9 ME Squat/DL

Friday, I Skipped the lunges and good mornings (last week's shoulder aggravator), and took a risk testing out Week 10's ME Squat/DL movement instead. The risk paid off: my shoulder feels no ill effects, and I have a good idea on what I'm capable of. Of course, I won't be doing them after SSb squats so I may do even better. I think for next week's speed work I will switch to a straight bar with the Manta Ray. For one, I think my shoulder's ready and I found that halfway through the squats my back was getting taxed, instead of towards the end, a sign that I'm starting to overtrain with the SSB Bar.

On Saturday, I felt so exhausted, and all my back muscles were lit. My shoulders were just fine. Actually, I find deadlifts sometimes helps my shoulder. Jim Wendler once joked about the power of the rack pulls as a cure all for everything, maybe he wasn't kidding.

16" SSB Box Squat: 135x3, 165x3, 195x3, 225x3, 255x3, 285x3, 315x2. 305 was my original goal here, but I felt I could do more after the 285 set. I got two controlled but very slow and hard reps, and that was enough to discourage me from the third rep. Still a PR, and I'll take it.

Rested 10 minutes.

Rack Pulls (2" Below The Knees): 235x3, 265x3, 295x3, 325x3, 355x3, 395x0. Yeah, like I've mentioned before, the top part of my deadlift feels slower than the bottom. And 395 felt like a ton, it wouldn't even budge from the rack. I know, the SSB squats probably took a proper chunk out of me, so I'll wait until Week 10 before I make an assessment.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 9 DE Bench

Hey, it was the holidays, so I'm a few days late. What's four straight days of workouts gonna hurt:)

Shoulder is feeling even better, just have to keep babying it. After this, I have two more weeks of this, then 1 week to test on the 3 powerlifts. The light at the end is getting bigger and brighter.

Dynamic Bench Press: 55x3, 75x3, 95x3, 115x3, 145x3x6, 170x2, 190x1, 215x1. Last three sets were 70%, 80%, and 90%1RM.

3-Board Press: 195x3, 225x3, 245x3. My goal 1RM for next week is 260, so this puts me on track.

Standing DB Military Press (Neutral): 40x10x5. Easier than last week's 4 sets.

Preacher Curls: tested out to an 85 lbs 2RM. As my shoulder gets better, this becomes easier to do.

External Rotations: Rep-outs with 5, 8, 10, 12, and 15 lbs dumbbells.
Band Pull Aparts: 5 sets of 7 with a monster-mini band
Band Traction Work with a purple band. This shoulder "trio" replaces the seated DB power cleans that are part of the program. I'm sure that the power cleans would be great, but I didn't want something jarring my shoulder on top of everything else right now. This has really helped my shoulder get better.

Friday, June 29, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 8 DE Squat/DL

Parallel SSB Box Squat DL: 125x2, 155x2, 190x2x10

Speed DL: 220x1x10

Reverse Hyper: 4 sets of 7 with a Monster Mini Band

DB Side Bends: 40x10x3

Slow Leg Lowers: 3 sets of 10

Calf Lifts: 1 sets for each set of squats, to failure

4 more weeks of this, then I could start to get lean for the PRT.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 8 ME Bench

Right shoulder sore, should have known the barbell lunges and good mornings would be trouble. So today's session was short: no pullups, preacher curls, seated DB power cleans. Just close grip benches done to a 1RM and the same exercise done as SE work, since this exercise is very easy on the shoulder for me. About two minues rest in between sets, and all the shoulder work was done first:

External Rotations: Rep Outs with 3, 5, 8, 10, 12 lbs dumbbells
Scapular Wall Slides: 5 sets
Band Pull Aparts: 5 sets of 8
Shoulder Rotations and Band Traction Work

Close Grip Bench Presses: 45x3, 55x3, 75x3, 95x3, 115x3, 135x3, 155x3, 175x1, 200x1, 225x1 (5 lbs PR over all time best), 230x0. No pain, no trouble, and I'm fucking stoked. At my best bench of 240, I was able to close grip 220, so 250 is close. I brought down 230 under control and got it up maybe 2 inches but just had nothing left.

Close Grip Bench Press (SE): 135x4x5. Easy. Just used it to make up for everything else, and to rehearse my form.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 8 ME Squat/DL

16" SSB Box Squat: 115x3, 145x3, 175x3, 205x3, 235x3, 265x3, 295x3

Barbell Lunges: Worked up to a 105 lbs 10RM. The whole balancing thing can't be too good for my shoulder.

Arched Back Good Morning: 145x10x3

Weighted Situps: 20x8x3

Monday, June 25, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 8 DE Bench

This workout was the same as last week's.

Sort of.

I did this last week with the 5-board press topping out at 245x3, and once again my shoulder was in pain afterwards. So I stopped everything for the week, even squats and deads and rested the shoulders. This week, I replaced the 5-board press with the 3-board press, and threw in shoulder rehab work. The 3-board was chosen because I'm supposed to do a 1RM on week 10 and deload it the week after, so why not build up to it and use less weight than the 5 board?

Dynamic Bench Press: 55x3, 75x3, 95x3, 115x3, 140x3x8

3-Board Press: 175x3, 200x3, 225x3

Standing DB Military Press (Neutral): 40x10x4

Preacher Curls: tested out to a 80 lbs 1RM. I could do 75x5 normally, so this is proof that I'm better with reps on this than strength.

External Rotations: Rep-outs with 3, 5, 8, 10, and 12 lbs dumbbells.

Band Pull Aparts: 4 sets of 7 with a monster-mini band

Scapular Wall Slides: 4 sets. My shoulders are tight: I could feel them wanting to drift forward. Didn't take long for me to get a pump from this.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 7 DE Squat/DL

SSB Parallel Box Squat: 110x2, 140x2, 170x2x10. This time, I tried to stick to the prescription of a 2-second pause at the bottom. I had a lot of pop today, maybe this is my breakthrough.

Speed Deadlifts: 205x1x10, 255x1, 295x1, 325x1, 365x1. The last three was for test purposes and not part of the program: I had a question to answer for myself. Even though I have been feeling as if I was just spinning my wheels with the speed deads, I had a lot more pop out of the bottom with these today than I've had the past 6 weeks. So, much like the speed squats, I think I have hit that breakthrough moment and should just be patient. My question was answered with the 365: it was slow from the knees only. I now know why weeks 10 and 11 are heavy pin pulls: this is where I focus all my effort on the top and get that back. Will it be enough for my 405 target? We'll see.

Arched Back Good Morning: 145x10x4. Probably should nave have done these, though it went without a hitch. I grew weary of the reverse hyper on the GHR: maybe the GHR made it uncomfortable, or the bands were too strong, or it was never as good as the real thing. So I went back to my old standby, and I'm doing it twice a week using undulating periodization. Maybe this will be a difference maker for my squats and deads.

DB Side Bends: 35x10x2

Slow Leg Lowers: 2 sets of 10

Friday, June 15, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 7 ME Bench

Close Grip Bench Press: 65x3, 85x3, 105x3, 125x3, 145x3, 165x3, 185x3, 205x3.

Band Pullups: 5 sets of 8.

Preacher Curls: 45x15x3

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 7 ME Squat/DL

16" SSB Box Squat: Barx3, 105x3, 135x3, 165x3, 195x3, 225x3, 255x3, 285x3. I expected more, but was glad to know that I have to conquer heavy reps if my squat is to go somewhere (I've never tripled 285). I also have to remember that the bar just makes things harder overall.

Arched Back Good Mornings: 125x15x3.

Weighted Decline Situps: 20x10x3

Two Legged Calf Raises: 7 sets of 13

Monday, June 11, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 7 DE Bench

I spent the better part of last week doing shoulder rehab, nothing serious but I learned the hard way that I shouldn't have been doing heavy rack lockouts in a sleepy haze while stiff. I tried some of the band traction stuff that Dave Tate once wrote about along with external/internal rotations and mobility work. So my left shoulder is back and my right one is almost there. I did do some lifting, mostly testing. I tested out at a 205 lbs 5RM and a 225 1RM in the arched back good morning and a 80 lbs 1RM in the decline tricep extension. I did do the ME Bench and DE bench portions of my workout (to a point) and managed a triple with 205 lbs in the close grip bench press.

Today, I am back in the game. I am entering the Naval Base Kitsap Raw Bench Press Comp on July 4th, so the close grip work couldn't have come at a better time. If in 3 weeks I can get my close grip bench press up to 225x3, the 250s may be within striking distance. But, I'm not going to deviate from this program to get there.

DE Bench: 55x3, 75x3, 95x3, 115x3, 140x3x8

5-Board Bench Press: 175x3, 205x3, 235x3

DB Rear Laterals: 8x12x3

Wide Grip Preacher Curls: 65x5x5

Friday, June 01, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 6 DE Squat/DL

All I did today was squats, and they were all done with the Safety Squat Bar for my shoulder's sake. I did not want to push my luck with deadlifts or holding heavy things in my hands. I hope by Monday my shoulder is better.

Parallel Box Squat: 95x2, 115x2, 135x2, 155x2, 175x2, 205x2x8, 235x1, 265x1, 295x1, 315x1. Since I wasn't deadlifting, I added one rep at 100% of my 1RM. 315 felt like a ton: I get to the bottom position and I could not muster the strength to drive my traps into the bar and was nearly bent over (Pins were set). This mad it harder for me launch it out, making for one very excrutiatingly long rep.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 6 ME Bench

Floor Press: 45x3, 55x3, 75x3, 95x3, 115x3, 135x3, 155x3, 185x3, 215x2. My shoulder was still sore from Monday, so I took more time to warmup and more care to lift. My goal was 215x3 but I will take 215x2 for the PR, and not get greedy.

Band Pullups: 7 sets of 6.

DB Front Raises: 12x10x5.

DB Extensions (Elbows Out): 25x10x5.

DB Hammer Curls: 30x10x5. Last 3 sets were rest paused after the 7th rep.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 6 ME Squat/DL

Snatch Grip Deadlift: 155x3, 185x3, 215x3, 245x3, 275x3. Previous PR for this lift was a 265 lbs double so this made me giddy.

16" Step Ups: 50x10x5.

GHR: 5 sets of 12 with a purple band. I was just spent and I wanted at least 10 reps a set. Call me driven. Thank God I won't be doing any GHRs for the NEXT THREE WEEKS!!!
45 degree Hyperextension: 10x10x5

Weighted Situps on a Slant Board: 15x10x5

Single Legged Calf Raises: 6 sets of 9

Monday, May 28, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 6 DE Bench

DE Bench: 75x3, 95x3, 115x3, 135x3x8, 155x1, 180x1, 205x1.

Rack Lockouts (4" range of motion): 205x3, 245x3, 255x3. That last set was a grinder, maybe I should have just stayed at 245.

DB Incline Bench Press: 60x10x5.

Hammer ISO Rows: 90x10x5

Band Pushdowns (Purple): 5 sets of 12

DB Curls: 30x10x5. First two sets were ten consecutive. The others were rest paused.

Friday, May 25, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 5 DE Squat/DL

Parallel Box Squat: 95x2, 115x2, 135x2, 155x2, 175x2, 195x2x10

Deadlifts: 215x1x10

Band Reverse Hyper: 6 sets of 7

DB Side Bends: 35x10x3

Slow Leg Lowers: 3 sets of 10

Single Calf Raises: Supersetted a set for every set of squats, did them all to failure.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 5 ME Bench

Floor Press: 80x3, 105x3, 130x3, 155x3, 180x3, 205x3, 215x1. A PR, and the 205 felt so sure that I thought 215x3 would be mine, too. But on the second rep, I had nothing left.

Band Pullups (Purple/MM Band): 6 sets of 6.

DB Front Raises: 12x10x4.

DB Extensions (Elbows Out): 25x10x4. Last two reps of each set were the toughest but I got them.

DB Hammer Curls: 30x10x4.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 5 ME Squat/DL

Snatch Grip Deadlift: 145x3, 175x3, 205x3, 235x3, 265x3. The first two were really strong but I had trouble locking out the third one. May have to work the abs harder, or maybe I was just beat.

16" Step Ups: 40x10x4.

GHR: 40 reps in 3 sets (10, 9, 6, 6, 6, 3 reps): I felt weak in this today. The snatch grip deadlifts pretty much take a chunk out of me. Next time I do the 40 reps, I might use a monster mini and just do 4 sets of 10 and gradually build myself back up again.

45 degree Hyperextension: 10x10x4

Weighted Situps on a Slant Board: 15x10x4

2-Legged Calf Lifts: BWTx13x6

Monday, May 21, 2007

EFS Beginner Program: Week 5 DE Bench

DE Bench: 75x3, 95x3, 115x3, 135x3x8.

Rack Lockouts (4" range of motion): 175x3, 205x3, 235x3. The 235 was so surprisingly easy, that I should have gone for a fourth set but the programs only calls for 3 sets of 3. Fine. Next week, 245 will be my second attempt, and I'll let that decided what my third attempt will be.

DB Incline Bench Press: 60x10x4.

Hammer ISO Rows: 90x10x4

Band Pushdowns (Purple): 4 sets of 12

DB Curls: 30x10x4. Only the first set was ten consecutive. The others were rest paused.

Friday, May 18, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 4 DE Squat/DL

Parallel Box Squat: 95x2, 115x2, 135x2, 155x2, 175x2x10, 205x1, 235x1, 265x1, 295x1.

Deadlifts: 200x1x10, 255x1, 315x1. I did the wrong workout last week. It was supposed to follow up the speed sets with 1 rep at 70% 1RM and another rep at 85% 1RM. Instead, I just did the speed sets. So I made it up this week for the squat and deadlift. And then some.

Band Reverse Hyper: 30 reps in 5 sets (7, 7, 7, 5, 4 reps)

DB Side Bends: 30x10x3

Slow Leg Lowers: 3 sets of 10

Single Calf Raises: 6 sets of 8

Thursday, May 17, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 4 ME Bench

Floor Press: 45x3, 70x3, 95x3, 120x3, 145x3, 170x3, 195x3. This movement actually turned out better than I planned - - - I was betting on a 185 triple. I had more stability at the bottom position than I thought I would, and more power.

Band Pullups (Purple/MM Band): 5 sets of 6.

DB Front Raises: 8x10, 10x10, 12x10, 15x6.

DB Extensions (Elbows Out): 20x10x3. The first set was done two arms at a time but I switched to one arm at a time, using the other arm to keep the movement arm stable. That was better for me.

DB Hammer Curls: 30x10x3.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 4 ME Squat/DL

Snatch Grip Deadlift: 135x3, 165x3, 195x3, 225x3, 255x3. The program calls for a deficit deadlift (off of 3" blocks or equivalent in plates.) to a 3RM. I chose this lift for various reasons besides wanting a PR in it. I don't have blocks, and the plates kept shifting as I lifted. The 255 triple was demanding and the last rep was tough to lock out.

16" Step Ups: 20x10, 30x10, 40x10.

GHR: 30 reps in 3 sets (13, 9, 8 reps): The first set really took a proper chunk out of me. Maybe it just wasn't my day, or the deadlifts weakened me.

Back Raises: 3 sets of 5 with a 3 second hold each rep. Not stellar, part of the blame goes to not finding a comfortable position on the GHR to do these.

Weighted Situps on a Slant Board: 15x10x3.

2-Legged Calf Lifts: 5 sets of 14. Just bodyweight. My single leg calf raises were stalled, so I thought these might help.

Monday, May 14, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 4 DE Bench

DE Bench: 75x3, 95x3, 115x3, 135x3x8. Better than last week.

Rack Lockouts (4" range of motion): 135x3, 165x3, 195x3, 225x3. Ok, I was just one set overzealous:)

DB Incline Bench Press: 60x10x3.

Hammer ISO Rows: 75x10, 85x10, 95x10

Band Pushdowns (Purple): 4 sets of 12

DB Curls: 25x10x4

Friday, May 11, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 3 DE Squat/DL

Parallel Box Squat: 135x2, 165x2, 195x2, 205x2x10.

Speed Deadlifts: 235x1x10.

Reverse Hyper: 40 reps in 6 sets (sets of 8,7,7,6,6,6 reps).

Side Bends w/Dumbbells: 30x10x3

Lying Leg Raises: BWTx10x4

Single Leg Calf Raises: 6 sets of 8

Thursday, May 10, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 3 ME Bench

First block of the EFS program is almost done, and not a moment too soon. I hit all my goals, so I'm obviously happy. Considering that I've worked out with more volume than this, I was starting to feel worn down a bit this week. Time to change movements, or I need to eat better. CNS wise, this whacked me more than the volume stuff.

2-Board Bench Press: 65x5, 90x5, 115x5, 140x5, 165x5, 190x5, 215x5. Done with pinkies on the rings. I had to dig in for the last two reps but it was all good.

Pullups (Purple Band/Monster Mini): 7 sets of 5

3-Way Shoulder Raises: 8x20x3.

Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 25x8x5. Since 10 reps was too easy last week, I upped the weight and tried for 10. Just a bit short. The book recommends 5 sets of 10. I think next time, I'll just stick to the prescription and not try to set too many records.

Reverse Curls: 45x10x5.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 3 ME Squat/DL

Close Stance 12" SSB Box Squat: 105x5, 135x5, 165x5, 195x5, 230x5. I owned my first week's max of 225, plus 5, for 5 reps. Deadlifts next three weeks!!!

Glute Ham Raises: 4 sets to failure (sets of 12, 11, 10, 9 reps)

DB Lunges: 35x10x3

45 degree Back Raises: BWTx15x3

Weighted Situps on a Slant Board: 10x10x3.

Single Leg Calf Raises: 6 sets of 8

Monday, May 07, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 3 DE Bench

Lunchtime:
LifeFitness Treadmill, 1.0 degree incline: 7 Intervals of 3.8 MPH walking (1 minute) and 5.5 MPH running (1 minute). Am running a different program, will be running distances and gradually increasing speed and distance. Right now, I'm starting to build up, in 8 weeks I will start running 2 miles straight at this speed. Left feeling like I got a workout but not like I was going to die.

Evening:
Dynamic Bench Press: 135x3x8, 150x2, 170x1. 8 sets of 3 done at 60% 1RM of 215 lbs, plus a set of 2 reps done at 70% 1RM and a set of 1 rep at 80%. I jumped the gun by about a week and did 5 pounds more for my dynamic work and was rewarded with reps that were just as fast. My lockout is getting better, too: I noticed that at 170.

4-Board Press: 175x3, 200x3, 225x3. Done with pinkies on the rings.

DB Bench Press: 55x10x5.

DB Rows (Elbows In): 55x10x5. I noticed over breakfast that I had to do an extra set of this and DB benches, so I didn't increase the weight. Just as well, because 5 sets killed me. Partly, too, because it was 78 degrees outside and even hotter in the garage.

Superset:
Band Triceps Pushdowns: 4 sets of 12. Choked the loop a bit for more resistance.
Preacher Curls: 60x8, 60x7, 60x6, 60x5. I noticed at the end I did 5 lbs more than I really should have. Stupid me.

Friday, May 04, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 2 DE Squat/DL

Parallel Box Squat: 115x2, 135x2, 155x2, 190x2x10.

Speed Deadlifts: 220x1x10.

Reverse Hyper: 40 reps in 6 sets (sets of 8,7,7,6,6,6 reps).

Side Bends w/Dumbbells: 30x10x3

Lying Leg Raises: BWTx10x4

Single Leg Calf Raises: 6 sets of 8

EFS Beginners Program: Week 2 ME Bench

2-Board Bench Press: 55x5, 80x5, 105x5, 130x5, 155x5, 180x5, 205x5. Done with pinkies on the ring, read the book this time and got it right. About the only time it seems I'm to use my regular grip is during DE Bench days.

Pullups (Purple Band/Monster Mini): 6 sets of 5

3-Way Shoulder Raises: 5x20x3.

Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 20x10x4

Reverse Curls: 45x9x4. Since 40 lbs was so easy last week, I'm upping the weight. When I could do 4 sets of 10 with this, I will move it on up.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Elite FTS Beginners Program: Week 2 ME Squat/DL

Close Stance 12" SSB Box Squat: 95x5, 120x5, 145x5, 170x5, 195x5, 215x5. 15 lbs PR over last week. F*** yeah!!! Next week I plan to own my first week's max of 225 for 5 reps.

Glute Ham Raises: BWT for 40 reps (sets of 11, 10, 9, 10 reps)

DB Lunges: 35x10x3

45 degree Back Raises: BWTx15x3

Weighted Situps on a Slant Board: 10x10x3.

Single Leg Calf Raises: 6 sets of 8

Monday, April 30, 2007

Elite FTS Beginners Program: Week 2 DE Bench

Dynamic Bench Press: 130x3x8, 150x2. 8 sets of 3 done at 60% 1RM of 215 lbs, plus a set of 2 reps done at 70% 1RM. Was tempted to add chains to keep the bar from getting squirelly at the top, but I will stick to the program as written.

4-Board Press: 155x6, 185x3, 215x3. Done with pinkies on the rings. 10 lbs more than last time with more stability, so my wrists are beginning to get stronger, too.

DB Bench Press: 55x10x4.

DB Rows (Elbows In): 55x10x4.

Superset:
Band Triceps Pushdowns: 4 sets of 12. Got all the reps here. No where to go from here but up, because I don't stand a chance against the green band.
Preacher Curls: 50x10x4. So easy this week, I'm gonna give 55 lbs a go next week.

Friday, April 27, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 1 DE Squat/DL

Parallel Box Squat: 115x2, 135x2, 155x2, 175x2x10.

Speed Deadlifts: 195x1x10.

Reverse Hyper: 30 reps in 5 sets (5 sets of 6 reps).

Side Bends w/Dumbbells: 30x10x3

Lying Leg Raises: BWTx10x4

Single Leg Calf Raises: 6 sets of 7

Thursday, April 26, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 1 ME Bench

2-Board Bench Press: 45x5, 70x5, 95x5, 120x5, 145x5, 170x5, 195x5. Put on the wrist wraps for the last set, my wrists some work. The reps were smooth, the last one at 195 was slow.

Pullups (Purple Band/Monster Mini): Tested out to a 9 rep max, divided that by half, then did 5 sets of 5.

3-Way Shoulder Raises: 5x20x3. I had to rest pause after 15 reps of the side raises in the first set, and had to rest pause a bit in the later sets. My shoulders felt very puffy after that.

Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 12x10, 15x10, 20x10, 25x7. Was supposed to do 3 sets of 10 but I wanted to know what my 10 rep max was.

Reverse Curls: Tested out to a 65 rep 1RM since it's been a long time since I've done this movement, then did 40x10x4. This exercise may get my wrists back on track.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

EFS Beginners Program: Week 1 ME Squat/DL

Close Stance 12" SSB Box Squat: Bar (75 lbs)x5, 100x5, 125x5, 150x5, 175x5, 200x5, 225x1.

Glute Ham Raises: BWT for 30 reps (sets of 12, 10, 8 reps)

DB Lunges: 30x10x3.

45 degree Back Raises: BWTx15x3

Weighted Situps on a Slant Board: 10x10x3.

This is exactly like the manual, sort of. It does not specify a particular bar. I wanted to start working the heavy stuff with the SSB. I found myself having to focus more with heavier weight, especially from the bottom. The lunges killed me after squats.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Elite FTS Beginners Program: Week 1 DE Bench

After a week off that I should have taken first, I decided to start over but this time, I am not warming up to it, training for it, or changing much beyond adding biceps work. If there is a substitution, I'll indicate it but my plan is to follow it to the letter for twelve weeks.

Dynamic Bench Press: 130x3x8. 8 sets of 3 done at 60% 1RM of 215 lbs.

4-Board Press: 135x6, 165x3, 195x3. Done starting from my dynamic bench weight. This week was to done to establish a base line for the next two weeks, not to PR. Done with pinkies on the ring.

DB Bench Press: 55x10, 55x9x2. I tried for the recommended 3 sets of 10 but couldn't.

DB Rows (Elbows In): 55x10x3. No style was specified in the manual, so I chose this one.

Triceps Pushdowns: 4 sets of 12, 11, 10, 9 reps. I don't have a machine so I used purple bands (one for each hand) looped over the top of the rack so that I would have tension at the top position. The goal was 4 sets of 12, but this exercise smoked my triceps something fierce.

Preacher Curls: 50x10, 50x9x2, 50x8. Goal was 4 sets of 10. Maybe next time.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Week 2: DE Bench

Dynamic Bench Press (60 seconds rest): 130x3x8, 150x2.

2-Board Bench Press (60 seconds rest): 155x3, 175x3, 205x3. Next week, I go for 215x3 (Whatever I can triple off of a 2 board, I can single)

Incline Blast Strap Pushups: 40 reps in 5 sets (11, 9, 8, 6, 6 reps). I talked to my oldest brother today. I recommended the Blast Straps to him in December and since then he is now up to 35 reps for pushups. I'm jealous.

DB Rows (Elbows In): 50x10x4.

Superset:
Nosebreakers: 40x15x3
Preacher Curls: 40x15x3

Friday, April 06, 2007

Week 1: DE Squat/DL

SSB Parallel Box Squat: 115x2, 135x2, 155x2, 175x2x10. On these, I went wider than I normally do and tried to be as quick out of the hole as possible. My speed was good but not stellar, I'll get there.

Speed Deadlifts: 195x1x10. Same.

Reverse Hyper: 30 reps in 6 sets (6, 5, 5, 5, 5, 4 reps). These felt really good. For these, I hooked monster mini bands to the bottom rear of the GHR and the other ends to carabiners hooked on to ankle straps. Then I faced the unit backwards and held on to the footplate. There was enough tension at the beginning of the movement so as to get that feeling at the bottom as if your feet were being pulled under.

16" Lateral Step Ups: 20x10x4

Lying Leg Raises: BWTx10x4

Week one is over and it wasn't bad. A relief from the volume of the past. Or because of it.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Week One: ME Bench

All Notation: Weight x Reps x Sets

Hoist Assisted Neutral Grip Chinup: 80x3, 100x3, 120x3, 130x3, 140x3, 150x3, 160x2. Could not get the third by a mile. Maybe next time.

Hammer MTS High Row: 50x10x4

Hammer Shrug: 140x10x3

DB Lateral Raises: 5x10, 8x10, 10x10, 12x10

Hoist Assisted Dips: 210x2 test, then 170x5x5

DB Curls: 20x10x4

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Week One: ME Squat/DL

Arched Back Good Morning: 75x3, 95x3, 115x3, 135x3, 155x3, 175x3, 195x3, 205x3 (3RM). I expected a little more but I will take it. It's been a while. The 205 took all the control and focus I had.

GHR: 30 reps in 4 sets (12, 7, 6, 5 reps)

DB Lunges: 30x10, 40x10, 30x10. The 20 lbs dumbbells were a bit too much so I went back to the 15s.

45-degree Back Raises: 4 sets of 12.

Roman Chair Situps: 3 sets of 10. Did these on the GHR. Never again: didn't feel them in my abs, felt them more in my hip flexors.

Single leg calf raises were done in between sets. When I couldn't do anymore, I switched to two feet, no weight, for reps.

Monday, April 02, 2007

EliteFTS Beginners Program - Sort Of:)

After Spring 2006 PRT, I took too long a layoff, got demotivated, got food poisoning, the cracked a rib. Not a good beginning.

This time, still sore from the run, my layoff was just the weekend. Good thing the first day of this program is Dynamic Bench Day, so the legs get a break.

I've had the EliteFTS' Beginners Manual for a while now and am just now using it. Normally, it is 12 weeks long, but I added 6 more. After a long time of 2-3 squat and deadlift days a week for months, I didn't want to start out with either. Plus I had some unfinished business. So, the ME days for the first 6 weeks are back movements, not benches: Hoist Neutral Grip Chinups and Hammer ISO Rows, and then I will be where I want to be back wise. The ME days for squat/DL will be arched back good mornings and 13" front box squats: I want my good morning at least to be 260 lbs single/255 lbs triple, and my front squat to be 85% of my best box back at the same height. Everything else is pretty much like the book. Which means no accomodating resistance (chains/bands), 3x3 of heavy boards/rack lockouts after dynamic bench, and a good volume of accessory work. I've jury rigged a reverse hyper using a GHR and bands, so I'll be using that. The only thing I've added is bicep work on bench days, and calf work on leg days. My goals are a 250 lbs bench, a 365 lbs squat, and a 405 lbs deadlift. Right now, I'm starting with my PRs from the Virtual Meet (315 SQ, 215 BP, 365 DL).

My reasons for this program is mainly because a lot of the repetition work I've done utilizes weights I've done before for the most part. Though I obviously do get stronger, I want a radical shift in strength to push the rep work to new heights. That, and I want numbers I've never had before.

I'll get the running stuff figured out soon enough. Until then, let's go. As always, all notation is weight x reps x sets.



Dynamic Bench Press (60 seconds rest): 130x3x8. My form got better midway. It's been a while, so my speed benches are a bit sloppy.

2-Board Bench Press (60 seconds rest): 135x3, 165x3, 195x3. Done just to establish a baseline. Did not go to failure. The weight felt heavy at the end, my body has got to get used to lifting heavy.

Incline Blast Strap Pushups: 30 reps in 5 sets (9, 7, 6, 5, 3 reps).

DB Rows (Elbows In): 50x10x3

Superset:
Nosebreakers: 40x12x4
Preacher Curls: 40x12x4

This workout felt like a relief. Not very draining at all. Especially after the last few weeks.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Lessons Learned From This PRT

1.) The intervals prescribed by Alwyn Cosgrove in New Rules of Lifting was my biggest change aerobically, and the difference maker for getting lean. That, and lifting with a lot of volume, supersets, and giant sets.

2.) That said, if I want to get better at running, intervals with an elliptical will not do it. It (and the weight training) did help me cope with the lactic acid buildup better, but that's it. Gotta run.

3.) For deadlifting and squatting, twice a week for me is optimal. Especially since I do a lot of cardio now. In both, I have to vary rep schemes and volume to make it work. Having done SOB then the heavy portion of TBT was not smart with the same exercises.

4.) Front Squats are a big help for back squats. The posterior chain may be important, but the quads are no slouch. That said, if you have access to a GHR, use it.

5.) No long layoffs this time. Some easy work, sure, but no layoff. When I was cleared by Navy doctors to PT in October, I was told that if I were in better shape before the injury, I wouldn't have had a bodyfat problem post-injury. That was a lot of crow to swallow.

6.) Leave backflips to those who can do them WITHOUT A TRAMPOLINE!!!

7.) Total Body Training by Chad Waterbury was a big fixer upper for me. Brought my structural balance up big time. Coupled with the right aerobics plan, I would probaby use it before every PRT. My biggest modification to it was the superset structure from NROL, for lactic acid work.

8.) My running program failed because even with a gradual buildup, my pace was faster than my body could handle for long periods. This last run hammered that in me: After 2 laps (3 minutes at a pace for a 12 minute 1.5 mile run), I was starting to lose it. So, I will probably run it easier and peak later.

9.) For future reference, I know that can drop 5-6 lbs in just under 1.5 hours: 45 minutes on the elliptical at Level 14 and two 20 minute sessions in the sauna. But a gallon of Gatorade to put it back was a bad choice, because of the salt content. Water would have been better, or Propel, or Pedialyte.

10.) After 2 days on a low carb diet, I don't see how people can do it for months or for life. Didn't do much for me but make me very irritable.

Preparations for the Navy PRT/PFA End Extra Sweet

A background story to set this up, if I may.

Before I passed last April's PRT, I had three failures. What made that PRT different was that I had trained for it like an event, months before even to the point of doing a 2-week load cycle for the pushups and situps. After feeling so banged up from that, I took a longer layoff than I should have, got a bad bout of food poisoning, then topped it all off with a broken rib that sidelined me for two months. While I did get a medical waiver because of the injury, it did not waive me from the bodyfat measurement - - - which I failed. Per the Navy's instruction, if I failed this PRT then my Navy career was through. To add to that, my unit's PRT was to be run in May, the end of my contract was on April 6 and my next drill was April 13-14 (can't drill with no contract). So I told the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) here at Bangor that I wanted to do my PRT early - - - in March. Pressure!?!

Fast forward to this week. While I could see visual improvement, I didn't want to leave anything to chance. I was recovering from a week of being overtrained: last week, I had two sessions that my lower back no longer recovered quickly from, and this Monday was no different: deadlifting and squatting three times a week plus using an SSB had caught up to me.
I did a 10 set of 3 workout on Wednesday for three movements(Hammer ISO Rows, Hoist Neutral Grip Chinups, and trap bar shrugs) since I wanted to make sure my neck would stay large. Tuesday and Wednesday, I went low carb and the HIIT aerobics on the elliptical was still a go. Thursday morning, the morning of the measurement, I took some time off of work. Weighed in the bathroom at 232.5 lbs nude. Drank some very strong coffee (no sugar) and some Motrin (my erectors still felt puffy), took my son to the bus stop and headed to the gym. Without shoes, weighed in at 235.1. After 45 minutes on the elliptical, weighed in at 233.1. Headed to the dry sauna and did two 20-minute sessions. Afterwards, had to go to the bathroom bad, because I forgot that Motrin on an empty stomach is not good. After a shower, I weighed in at 230.1 lbs. Went to the NOSC to get measured but the Corpsman who was going to do it was administering the PRT to a few people at the gym. When I got there, she wasn't there. So I waited for a while, hungry and thristy. When she showed up, I got measured and passed with my lowest bodyweight in 4 years (229), lowest waist measurement (37.5), and lowest BF (20% by Navy standard). So, that was out of the way. to put it in some kind of perspective, I was 7 lbs lighter than April 2006 but had only lost one lbs of lean mass.

Yesterday was the exercise portion, which I was most nervous about mainly because of the run: I hadn't run since mid-December 2006. That, and the pressure. Oh, and I was running this by myself with noone to pace me. My goal was a Good-Medium (44 pushups, 55 situps, 13:23 1.5 mile run time) because that's what I got last time and I didn't want to look like I had slacked off. I got it. The run was better only in that I had to walk and sprint less of it, but it sucked because I had no practice and no pacing. I was running a 12:00 pace the first two laps, than started to slow down a bit and was winded by the 5th lap of 8. I ran a 13:10, 16 seconds slower than April 2006 but I'll take it.

I reenlist April 5th. I'll do a lessons learned later.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

TBT Week 3 Workout 1

All Notation: Weights x reps x sets

Week 3 and 4 is 4 working sets of everything except for the high rep workout on the third day of each week, which is 3 sets of 15. After today, I can't wait until week 4 is over. Could be the extra set, the extra back work, the deadlifts catching up to me, or trying to do all of this while on a diet (somewhat . . . wink . . . wink) but after the triset, I was dreading the thought of doing the sumos. After that superset, I almost bagged the last two movements. I think the word I had in mind was OPPRESSIVE!!!

The good news is that I'm down 1.5 lbs from last week. The 220s are in sight.


Triset:
13" Front Box Squats: 100x5, 140x5, 180x5x4.
Assisted Wide Grip Pullups (Purple/Monster Mini Bands): BWTx5x6
GHR: (BWT+10)x5x6

Superset:
Sumo Deadlift: 145x5, 195x5, 245x5x4
DB Shoulder Presses: 35x5, 50x5, 55x5x4

Superset:
Bulgarian Split Squats: BWTx5, 20x5, 30x5x4
Preacher Curls: 65x5x4, 55x5, 40x5

Lunchtime aerobics was 30 minutes on the rowing machine.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Back Workout

All Notation: Weights x reps x sets
Hoist Assisted Neutral Grip Chinup: 78x20x3
Hammer ISO Row: 75x20x3

Aerobics was the elliptical for 30 minutes.

TBT Week 2 Workout 3

Yesterday's workout - - - All Notation: Weight x reps x sets.
Lunchtime:
Hoist Assisted Neutral Grip Chinup: 97.5x10x6
Hammer ISO Row: 90x10x6

Evening (Giant set, 2 min rest after each set):
Conventional DL: 200x15x2
Assisted Dips (Purple Band): BWTx15x2
Assisted GHR (Purple Bands):BWTx15x2
Static Lunge: BWTx15x2
Assisted Chinups (Green Bands): BWTx8x2
Incline Curls: 15x15x2
30 minutes, Elliptical, Level 13.

This should have been Friday's workout. But Thursday's workout left my erectors sore and exhausted until Sunday, probably because the snatch grip deads left my back exhausted and the SSB squats finished the job (note to self: squats before deads!!!). I think I've found a nice way to get the fat off and teach my body to tolerate more lactic acid: because I was already exhausted from the giant sets, I spent most of my aerobic session above 170BPM and sucked wind.

This morning, I weighed in at 231. Hooray!!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

TBT Week 2 Workout 2

Since I had to train my son yesterday, I split this workout up and did part of it at lunch. Since I did deadlifts without doing squats first, I loaded 5 more pounds on the bar than planned and pulled it solidly (If Bzycki's formula is to be believed, I'm within 15 lbs of a 300 lbs snatch grip deadlift). I was also able to do DB Presses with 60 lbs for 8, which was one of my goals structurally for a bigger bench - - - the weight felt easy, even though my grip was fried from the deadlifting. Barbell curls were also up, since now I'm doing the worksets first (Biceps should be warm from the deads, right?!?). The squats were right on. Today is a break for me, my lower back muscles are fried.

Oh, I forgot to mention one of my little side projects. After doing dumbbell rows for the longest time, I switched to Hammer ISO Rows and The Hoist Assisted Neutral Grip Chinup since I wanted to lift bigger weight. My plan was to begin with Ian King's 6-1-6-1-10-15 rep wave then follow it up with sessions of 6 sets of 10, 10 sets of 3, 3 sets of 20, 5 sets of 12, 2 sets of 30, then 4 sets of 15 before starting over. The DB work had pushed up my Hammer Row from 115 to 130 and in two weeks of doing the heavy work I've pushed it up to 147.5 lbs. The Neutral Grip Chin work has also gone up, from 152 lbs to 162.5 lbs. The one good side effect of this is that two weeks ago, I was doing DB Rows for a 70 lbs single and now, I can do a 75 lbs triple.

Lunchtime:
Superset:
Snatch Grip Deadlift: 145x8, 185x8, 215x8x3
Incline DB Bench Press: 40x8, 50x8, 60x8x3

Superset:
16" Step Up: 20x8, 30x8, 40x8x3
Barbell Curls: 70x8x3, 60x8, 45x8


Evening:
Triset:
12" SSB Box Squat: 125x8, 145x8, 185x8x3
DB Upright Rows: 15x8, 20x8, 25x8x3
GHR: BWTx8x3. Added Monster Minis for the last two sets because I could only do 5 otherwise: 2 sets of 8.

Monday, March 12, 2007

TBT Week 2 Workout 1

All Notation: Weight x Reps x Sets. No rest until the end of the set, then it is 60 seconds rest.

Triset:
13" Front Box Squats: 100x5, 140x5, 175x5x3. Just a 2.5% increase over last week.
Assisted Wide Grip Pullups (Purple/Monster Mini Band): BWTx5x5
GHR: BWTx5x5

Superset:
Sumo Deadlift: 145x5, 195x5, 240x5x3
Incline Blast Strap Pushups (Paused): BWTx6x5. The 240 felt easier than last week's 235. I always run out of steam on the last two sets and have to psych myself up to finish. Call me a masochist but there's a reason why I do sumos after the triset of front squats/pull/GHR: I want my hips to reach deep when all else is gone. Then my deadlift will go up.

Superset:
15" Lateral Step Up: 15x5, 20x5, 30x5x3
DB Hammer Curls: 35x5x3, 25x5, 20x5. Last time, it was hard to complete the heaviest sets at the end for the hammer curls, so I did the heaviest ones first.

Friday, March 09, 2007

TBT Week 1 Workout 3

This workout was done as two giant sets, with 2 minutes rest after each one. Arched back good mornings was to be the next to last exercise, but high rep deadlifts killed that idea fast. I was going to do the chinups to 15 reps using rest pause but after 8 reps (and the deadlifts), I had no pull left.

Conventional DL: 195x15x2
Assisted Dips (Purple Band): BWTx15x2
Assisted GHR (Purple+Monster Mini Bands):BWTx15x2
Static Lunge: BWTx15x2
Assisted Chinups (Green Bands): BWTx8x2
Incline Curls: 15x15x2

Thursday, March 08, 2007

TBT Week 1 Workout 2

TRISET:
12" SSB Box Squat: 120x8, 145x8, 180x8x3
DB Upright Rows: 15x8, 20x8, 25x8x3
Assisted GHR (Monster Mini Band): 5 sets of 8 (75 seconds rest)

SUPERSET:
Snatch Grip Deadlift: 135x8, 165x8, 205x8x3
Incline DB Bench Press: 35x8, 45x8, 55x8x3 (75 seconds rest)

SUPERSET:
16" Step Up: 12x8, 25x8, 35x8x3
Barbell Curls: 45x8, 55x8, 65x8 (75 seconds rest)

Am trying to get the first 4 weeks done by March 27, which would be 2 days before I measure and gives me rest time until the PRT. That's a workout every other day. We'll see how that goes, considering how demanding this setup is right now. Surprises: 55 lbs DBs felt light for the incline presses, and the snatch grip deadlifts felt ok - - - I think the squats warmed me up. AS for the squats, what I need most from that depth is pop: Once I turn my muscles on, it's more like a gradual launch. Something I could fix with speed work and accomodating resistance, but that'll be later.

Monday, March 05, 2007

TBT Week1 Workout 1

My past two weeks have been spent still doing HIIT aerobics, testing on a lot of lifts, and just trying to find out what I wanted to do. Originally, I wanted to do a fat burning program but because of the way the Navy does bodyfat mesurements (which benefits those with a big neck), I didn't want to risk losing any mass. So I chose TBT again. Having accomplished a lot of my structural balance goals (Except biceps: for a 215 bench, my preacher curl should be 92 lbs but I'm now only 12 lbs away), I'm throwing my effort into getting my front squat as close to 85% of my back squat (I'm close, but not close enough), improving my pushups and biceps, and my low end deadlift. No ab work, so they can shrink. I learned from the error of my last great front squat work and the last TBT that I must do hip GHR work to keep my back squat strong, so I'm doing a lot of sumo DL work with a lot of weight, GHRs/unilateral leg work three times a week, and 12" box squat work once a week to maintain. To help me get leaner quicker, most of the workouts will be done in superset pairs, with no rest until after the last exercise of that pair. That might be a plateau buster for me: I'm stuck at 232.5 lbs. Right now, I have a 17.25 inch neck and a 41 inch waist so I either need an 18 inch neck with a 40 inch waist or a 17.5 inch neck with a 39 inch waist. The last might be more realistic.

TRISET:
13" Front Box Squat: 95x5, 135x5, 170x5x3
Band Assisted Wide Grip Pullup (Green Band): 5 sets of 5
GHR: BWT x 8 x 5 (60 seconds rest)

SUPERSET:
Sumo Deadlift: 145x5, 195x5, 235x5x3
Blast Strap Pushups (Feet raised 6"): 5 sets of 5 (60 seconds rest)

SUPERSET:
15" Lateral Step Up: 15x5, 20x5, 25x5x3
DB Hammer Curls: 15x5, 25x5, 35x5x3 (60 seconds rest)

This workout was just plain hard. Not so much the weight in itself but the cardio portion it turned into. Didn't help that the first triset took all my important DL muscles out, either: the second superset left me winded. On the plus side, this may be what I need - - - the better I get at clearing the lactic acid out, the better shape I will be in for the hard and easy stuff. Until I do, however, I have to swallow 7 more weeks of this!!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

2007 Virtual Meet: February 09

I had military work on the 10th and 11th so the only real day available to me was the 9th. After work and making sure the family was fed, that meant starting the lifting at about 9:30 PM Pacific Time. Since I have no real friends nearby and my wife was manning the camera, I had to make sure the pins were set on the rack. But despite all this, I was hyped and ready to go. What I will write will get revised when the results get published on Virtualmeet.net: I know about some of the lifts passing and am waiting on the others.

I warmed up with a 5-3-1-1 rep progression for a warmup, using a 13" box touch and go to get my depth dialed in the squat and 5 minute rest periods. After a final warmup set at 255, I went for a 295 opener and sunk it. The 315 went, too, but was tougher as I might have held it at the bottom too long to 1.) make sure I got depth and 2.) to make sure I didn't hit the pins. I bombed on my final attempt at 330 lbs, I just couldn't rise with it. No surprise there, really: with a 30 lbs carryover, my 14" box squat the Saturday prior hinted at a 315 max. I'm back to where I was and can now build from there.

I went 1 for 3 on the bench. My first attempt at 215 was well controlled, paused, and pressed ( I was happy, since I haven't been training with a pause.). I had nothing left to lift 225 on my second attempt. The third attempt was disqualified for two reasons: 1.) I had gone down in weight to 220, and I was told you can't go down on an attempt (that had never occurred to me) and 2.) the bar hit the left pin because I couldn't fully control the descent. In retrospect, I should have set my attempts at 210, 220, and 225 but now I know.

I'm gonna guess and say that I went 3 for 3 on deadlifts, since Kris told me that my deadlifts were smooth. I decided to pull conventional since I can pull more this way, and felt that the snatch grip deadlift/front squat work I have been doing would lend itself to a better conventional deadlift. Since I haven't been training this way, I based my first attempt on my squat and opened with 315, and that was easy. 345 also went up quickly. My wife (cameraperson) wanted to get to bed and I had to get up early in the morning to drive to work so I took my 365 third attempt 2 miinutes after my 2nd attempt. I put my all into this one, and got it: the most I have ever deadlifted is 400 super slow, and this was my fastest 365 ever. I think I've found what works for me for the DL: lots of GHRs and upper back work, twice a week deadlifting, snatch grip work, and front squats.

I'll post the videos as soon as Kris gives me the final word and a link. This was lots of fun and I can't wait for the next one.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

SOB Training/Perfect 10

Perfect 10 (Week 2 Workout 1):
DB Shoulder Presses: 55x3x7
DB Rows (Elbows Out): 55x3x7
Preacher Curls: 65x3x7
GHR (Monster Minis on front hooks for resistance): 4 sets of 3
GHR (BWT+10 lbs): 2 sets of 3
GHR (BWT only): 1 set of 3

SOB Training (Day11):
14" SSB Box Squat: 115x15, 145x15, 155x15, 130x15.
Seated Cable Rows: 80x15x4
Close Grip Pause Pushups" BWTx15x4
Lateral Step Ups: BWTx15, 10x15,15x15, 20x15

Whether this cycle is finished in February or not (I will try to finish it), I will wrap it up on February 28 so as to throw myself into a fat burning weightlifting cycle. My next lifting day is the Virtual Meet.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

SOB Training: Workout 5

All Notation: Weights x reps x sets.

Last heavy workout before the Virtual Meet. My goal, aside from the workout, was to test squat and get an idea for attempts. I do educated guesses most of the time but felt like this time I wanted to go and see where I really stood.

Flat Bench Press w/1 pair of chains: 105x5, 125x5, 145x5, 165x5x6. The first 3 sets were hard, then it got easier. Part of that was getting my leg drive down pat, the other I don't know. I might train this way until SOB is over. SOB has one leave a few in the tank rather than go to failure; I'm gonna fill the tank with a little chain.

14" SSB Bar Squat: 135x5, 165x5, 195x5, 225x5, 255x5, 285x1 (PR), 215x5x3. Considering that I have a 30 lbs carryover from box to free bar, I might be looking at a 315 final attempt. But 285 almost felt like it was gonna crush me. Of course, that's the SSB bar at work. But I know that I'm gonna have to hold this one up with nothing, not even a Manta Ray, for the meet. I'm hoping all the deadlifts and back work make for a nice little shelf.

Chinups (Green Band): 6 sets of 5.

Snatch Grip DL: 215x5x6. With all the squatting, I skipped the warmups and added 10 pounds to the bar. Supersetted the SGDL and chinups so I could hurry and shower and catch the Super Bowl. That, and I was just beat. I'll probably pull conventional for the meet, and I'll probably wing it. I don't know my carryover from the SGDL to conventional. Since I can pull a 265 double with a snatch grip, I'll probably open with 295 and go from there.

After dinner nutrition consisted of Kentucky Fried Chicken and beer. Yummy!!!!

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Week in Review

This was a chaotic week for working out, too many things popping up at odd times. But it was a good week.

Sunday:
This was all I had time for, or my lazy ass should have gotten up. I tested up to a 205 double and a 215 single, 5 lbs better than last time. Needed to pause the 215 longer, though, for this meet. I might take 205 for a second attempt at the Virtual Meet. I want to go for broke at 225 but we will see.

Monday:
Perfect 10 for lunch:
DB Shoulder Press: 45x10x3
DB Rows (Elbows Out): 45x10x3
Preacher Curls: 50x10x3
GHR in the evening(Purple Band): 3 sets of 10
Tested the Snatch Grip DL at lunch: 135x3, 160x3, 185x3, 215x3, 245x3, 265x2 (PR). Last two sets were done with an alternating grip. Then I did 7 sets of 3 at 230 lbs in the evening. I may have myself a 300 lbs SGDL at the end of SOB.

Tuesday:
Did nothing. With the overtraining tightrope I'm walking just doing SOB, I should have known testing two lifts in two days would be a disaster. I'm so edgy and headachey right now.

Wednesday (SOB Training: Workout 3)
RDL: 115x30x2. No puking here. My hands were the first things to go: after the 22nd rep, my forearms were on fire and I could not hold on to the bar. Then my lower back and hams followed. Rest paused the rest using 5 second breaks.

Static Lunge: BWTx30x2. I should have done these sooner, I think they will definitely add something to my squat. I felt these in all the right places.

DB Rows (Elbows Out): 25x30x2.

Pushups: BWTx30x2. Hard at the end, especially with my back tired.

Thursday (SOB Training: Workout 4): Have a car service appointment on Friday in Tacoma (between the drive back and forth and waiting in traffic to cross the bridge, I bagged Fridays workout) and I want my last heavy day before the meet to be Sunday, so I moved Perfect 10 to Saturday and did workout 4.

14" Front Box Squat: 95x3, 115x3, 135x3, 155x3, 175x3, 195x2 (PR), then did 170x3x6.

Wide Grip Pullups (Green Band): 10 sets of 3

Dips (Monster Mini-Black Band): 10 sets of 3

Standing Barbell Curl: 75x3x10.

GHR (Tested band combinations):
BWT only: 8 reps
Black Bands: 10 reps
Purple Bands: 12 reps
Purple/Black Bands: 16 reps
Green Bands: 18 reps
Green/Black Bands: 22 reps
Green/Purple Bands: 25 reps
Green/Green Bands: 5 reps. I had nothing left at this point even with the band tension.

Today:
Who was I kidding with the excuses. Got up early and knocked out Perfect 10 minus the GHRs:
DB Shoulder Press: 55x5x5
DB Rows (Elbows Out): 55x5x5
Preacher Curls: 60x5x5

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Perfect 10: Week 1 Workout 2

All notation: weights x reps x sets

DB Shoulder Presses: 40x10x3
DB Rows (Elbows Out): 40x10x3
GHR (Purple Band): BWTx10x3
Preacher Curls: 45x10x3

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

SOB Training: Week 1 Workout 2

I patterned the exercises after a setup in The New Rules of Lifting, since I'm doing a few exercises in Perfect 10 that were supposed to be done this workout. Still sore from Monday and stressed from today's workday, I was still raring to go.

All notation: weights x reps x sets (180 seconds rest between sets)

Barbell Squats: 115x30x2. Did I do 30 straight? Hell no. On set 1, I got to 20, took 5 seconds rest, got 5, then another 5 seconds, then got the last 5. I have never done a 30 rep set of squats: After 20, I was so out of breath it felt like the bar wouldn't let me breathe any more. I puked after both sets, I think I've discovered a new mortal enemy!!!

Seated Cable Rows: 60x30x2.

Close Grip Pushups: BWTx30x2

Supine Hip Extension: BWTx30x2

Lateral Step-ups: BWTx30x2. A lot easier than 30 rep squats, at least on my stomach. My ass and hips were hammered.

Twisting Situps: BWTx30x2

Was gonna do HIIT, but had my son's basketball game to go to. Though, I would have needed major motivation for that.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Perfect 10: Week 1 Workout 1

All notation: weights x reps x sets

DB Shoulder Presses: 55x3x6
DB Rows (Elbows Out): 55x3x6
GHR: (BWT+10)x3x6
Preacher Curls: 65x3x6

Monday, January 22, 2007

SOB Training: Week 1 Workout 1

Yesterday, I abandoned TBT and decided instead on Chad Waterbury's SOB Training program. The reasons for this? I had already done this program and just could not get motivated to do this again. Also, I was plateaued at 233 lbs and felt I need a "buster". Lastly, after emails from Kris and John McDonald, I realized that I also had a jones for big weight and lots of it. As much as I have to train for PRTs, I have weightlifting goals (like a 300 bench) that I can't keep abandoning.

This program combines two elements and is trained every other day for 32 days. 2 out of every 4 lifting days are heavy with high volume (10x3, 12x2, 6x5 at 5-8RM) and the other two are low weight and high rep (4x15, 3x20, 2x30, 1x50 at 18-50RM). Since there is no room for much else and I've been putting in a lot of GHR work, I'm restarting Perfect 10 and am adding GHRs as a third movement, since I can do those a lot without feeling drained.

Here goes.

Lunchtime:
HIIT Aerobics (Elliptical: Level 18 for work sets a,d Level 9 for active rest): 4 rounds

Evening:

Flat Bench Press: 105x3, 145x3, 175x3x10. Reps weren't very explosive but good and steady. Felt good even mentally to have something heavy in my hands, to strain.

Chinups (Green Band): 10 sets of 3

14" SSB Box Squat: Tested first to 195x3 and 225x3 then a 2RM at 255. After converting that to a 262 1RM (Brzycki's Formula), did 225x3x8 to get my 10 sets at 85% 1RM.

Snatch Grip Deadlifts: warmed up from the SSB squats, I loaded up the bar to 245 lbs and pulled a 2 RM with it. Converted that to a 252 1RM, then pulled 215x3x9.

I'm seriously motivated after this.

Week 2 of Perfect 10

07JAN14: Day 1 (70 seconds rest between sets)(weight x reps x sets):

DB Rows (Elbows Out): 50x3x7
DB Shoulder Presses: 50x3x7. Like torture at the end. Come to think of it, heavy reps were always this way in the past so this may be exactly what I needed.

07JAN15: Day 2 (180 seconds rest between sets)

DB Rows (Elbows Out): 25x25x2
DB Shoulder Presses: 25x25x2. I barely made the first set, it burned. The second set: Made 16 reps, rested 5 seconds, did 5 reps, rested 5 seconds, did, 4 reps.

07JAN16: Day 3 (120 seconds rest between sets)

Was at the gym at Bangor because my son wanted to get some basketball practice in. My friend Desi was there so with the Virtual Meet on the horizon, I decided to test my bench using a one second pause, a spotter, and him watching my body.

Flat Bench Press: Worked up to a 175 for 5 reps, rested for 5 minutes.
1st attempt: 210. Got it slow but steady and clean. 5 minutes rest.
2nd attempt: 225. Desi called me on it. Ass came off the bench slightly and couldn't lock it at the top. Rested 5 minutes.
3rd attempt: 225. Ass came off again and I was too gassed to get it past the halfway point. I have my work cut out for me. Maybe, TBT might not be the thing to do. Need to handle the heavy stuff more often.

T-Bar Row: Worked up to a 140 triple.

Then I did the Perfect 10 thing:
DB Rows (Elbows Out): 35x10x4
DB Shoulder Presses: 35x10x4. It could be the program, or having gotten my CNS amped. But this was easier than last week. Maybe, I could have done 40x10x4!!!


07JAN18: Day 4 (90 seconds rest between sets)

DB Rows (Elbows Out): 45x5x6
DB Shoulder Presses: 45x5x6. This day, too, felt easier. I'm really digging the high frequency stuff for hypertrophy.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Perfect 10: Week 1 Workout 3

HIIT Aerobics (Elliptical): 3 hard rounds

DB Shoulder Presses: 45x5x5
DB Rows (Elbows Out): 45x5x5

Week 2 of both starts tomorrow: I'm practically recovered and am raring to go. I'm also back at 232.5 lbs from 3 weeks ago. My goal at the end of this and TBT in 8 weeks is mid 220s bodyweight, 240 bench, 285 snatch grip DL, 260 front squat.

Friday, January 12, 2007

TBT: Week 1 Workout 3

HIIT Aerobics (Elliptical): 3 hard rounds

Close Grip Pushups: BWTx15x2

GHR (Green Bands): 2 sets of 15

Reverse Curls: 35x15x2

Snatch Grip DL: 125x15x2. As if the high reps weren't hard enough, the 35s made for an even longer pull.

14" Front Box Squat: 90x15x2.

My wife, son, his best friend and I went to the gym on Bangor base. While they played basketball, I supervised my wife's workout and jumped in a few times on some stuff.

15 minutes steady state aerobics.

Hoist Assisted Neutral Grip Chinup (BWT 237.4): 77.4x15, 87.4x11, 97.4x10, 107.4x8, 77.4x15.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Last Two Days

All Notation: Weights x reps x sets

TBT: Week 1 Workout 2 (07JAN10)

HIIT Aerobics (Elliptical): 3 rounds hard

Dips (Test RMs): 15 reps with a green band, 8 with a purple band, 3 with a black band.
Dips (Work sets): 2 sets of 8 with a purple band

14" Front Box Squat: 85x8, 115x8, 135x8. Not easy.

Snatch Grip DL: 135x8, 155x8, 175x8x3. The last set had to be paused at the 5th rep due to my grip giving out. I love what these do for my back and grip, and I suppose my regular deadlift will be like cake afterwards. But this really is one looooong-ass pull!!!

GHR (Test RMs): 15 reps with a green band, 9 with a purple band, 6 with a black band.
GHR (Work sets): 2 sets of 8 with a purple band

Chinups (Green Band): 5x5. We did not get to the gym as we would have wanted because of snow and icy roads so instead of 3 sets of 8 on the Hoist, I got my 24+ reps this way.

Barbell Curls: 65x8x3.

For every workout Chins, GHR, 14" Front Box Squat, and Snatch Grip DL will stay the same except for the rep schemes. My GHR and biceps got better last time I did this so I'm hoping for the same this way. Should get me pretty lean, too, and conditioned. We'll see the results in 8 weeks.

Perfect 10: Week 1 Workout 2 (07JAN11)

DB Shoulder Presses: 35x10x3
DB Rows (Elbows Out): 35x10x3