Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ME Squat Week 1

Hammer Strength Smith Machine Squats (20 pounds starting resistance): I started at 30x3 and kept adding 30 pounds until I had a 230-lbs 3Rm and a 260-lbs single.  Unlike the Hoist Smith that this machine replaced, the track is slanted which makes for a better groove.  I would have done the low box squats but thought trying to relearn regular squats would be a better first move.  Felt a little rusty: was going below parallel cleanly, but was slow coming up.

LifeFitness Seated Calf Raises: Worked up to 70x4 in 10-lbs increments.

LifeFitness Row:  Started at 45x5, and kept adding 15 pounds per side until I hit a 150-lbs 5RM and a 165-lbs single.  This machine looks like a Hammer Iso-Lateral Row with an automotive candy-apple red paint job.  I know, this isn't a leg movement. 

Hoist Roc-It Leg Curls: Worked up to a 230-lbs 5RM in 25-lbs increments.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Don't Drink The Kool Aid

I don't think I have ever taken a hiatus from blogging quite like this one.  To be honest, I almost gave it up.  Not because I gave up lifting.  Never that.  It took this Navy Physical Fitness Test and an email from Kristoffer Lindqvist at to make me see why I needed to keep it going - - - and myself.

My last entry was on August 27, but I continued to train.  I didn't blog about it because I was experimenting more than I was training, and thought that I should see what the results would be before writing about it.  This really runs contrary to why people keep workout blogs: it is about the process as much, and sometimes more than, the results.  Maybe, too, I wasn't exactly thrilled by the process. Anyone ever read and seen the slogan "You work out, I TRAIN."  That was me.

Mind you, once I'm in the gym, It's all business and I put in my best effort. 

Let's start from the end.  I passed the Navy physical, of course.  Failure is simply not an option for me.  I had the same bodyfat level (23%) as last time but with 7 more pounds (234 vice 227) on my frame.  This time, I didn't diet hard at all.  Nor did I do anything extraordinary to lose a few pounds, or to carb up afterwards.  I was back over 180 pounds lean, which made me happy.  I only gained one pound of fat.  I had continued to do a lot of rep work with the weights and I did get a little stronger.  My squats improved due to all the single leg work I was doing, and my benching is starting to come back.  I can now do a pullup and a chinup without assistance.  I did less of the long endurance stuff after I got back from Hawaii and started doing running intervals, circuits, and Jacobs Ladder to keep my metabolism up, and when I started running for longer times and at faster speeds it helped me last longer.

And then I tossed out that Kool Aid.

I was the same bodyfat level (23%) as last time, at the same weight I have been hovering at for over a year that I'm tired of. 

I did not PRT until November, due to various delays beyond my control.  I was measured on November 10, and ran on November 18 at 8AM . . . . . ugh.  I had eased up a bit on the aerobics and, wanting to avoid second guessing myself on the run, ran 4 practice runs the week of which was NOT smart.  I was happy because I could last at least 10 minutes at 6.3 MPH on a 1.5 incline but nervous because that was 4 minutes short of what I needed to last to score a GOOD.  So, day of the run we find out that it would be on the treadmill (they use the Navy Fit Test program on the LifeFitness treadmills, set at a 1.0 incline) which was great because it was cold and raining cats and dogs outside.  But 10 minutes in and I'm bonking.  I lasted another 4.16 minutes, though, just out of principle.  It didn't matter to me that I passed or that I ran this one all the way without a sprint at the end or without any walking.  It was pretty much the same as the last time,.

When we were warming up, planks was one of the movements.  I couldn't hold one for 15 seconds without shaking.  Gut check.

I looked back at my blog going pack to every PRT I have done since 2005, and found that my best numbers were when I was training at my heaviest and running intervals 3x a week.  My best neck measurement, 18 inches, was when I had a 415 lbs deadlift.  My best measurement, 19%, was at 315/415/240 for my powerlifting numbers in 2007, and even lower in Africa when lifting just as heavy but with more running and sprint work thrown in (the Army loves to run).  I have been going about this the wrong way, even worse since I have done the right way before.  I might have gotten good at things, but I have had the same strength levels for a long time now.

The week of the PRT, Kris sends me an email.  We hadn't spoken in the longest, and it was nice to hear from him.  One of the reasons he emailed me was for permission to use a picture of me from the Gathering in 2009: it showed me pulling with a snarl on my face and angry eyes.  He thought it made a great mission statement for his site.  Of course, I gave it my blessing.  And, I told Kris, he had inadvertently brought me out of "retirement".  I missed that.  I know that I have to stay within standards but Kris made me think that I had sucked the fun right out of my training.  Silly, the proof was right before me that it was really the best way to go.  So, a big thanks to him.

So enough of work geared either towards fat loss exclusively or in preparation to get strong.  I just want to make strength training my thing, and make the support work smarter.  And as soon as Kris gets next year's schedule up for Virtualmeet, time to play again.

SO . . . . . .

Dynamic Effort Bench Day (Week 1)(Notation: Weight x Reps x Sets):

Speed Bench (60% of 200): 60x3, 90x3, 120x3x8

4-Board Bench Press: 120x3, 145x3, 170x3.  Am using the EliteFTS Beginners Manual: first week with this movement starts at the weight used for the 8 sets of DE Bench and is just to establish a baseline.  170 felt heavy: have to get used to more volume, and while my low end work got better these past few months the lockout has suffered.

Assisted Chinups (Light/Monster Mini Bands): sets of 5, 4, 3, 3, 2 reps.

Reverse Curls: 40x8, 7, 7, 6 reps

Overhead Shrugs: 55x5, 75x5, 95x5, 115x5, 135x4

Captains of Crush Gripper (Trainer): sets of 3, 3, 2, 2, 1 reps each hand

Planks: 4 holds, 20 seconds was my best hold and SHAKY

Finisher: Jacobs Ladder for 7 intervals of 1 minute on and 1 minute off.