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?


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

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!!!

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
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?!?