close grip bench: 225×1, 275×5,12 I think 275×12 is my best rep performance on the close grip.
pushups: 55 in one minute. Not bad for a fat guy. (bodyweight = 262)
free squat: 315×1, 365×1, 405x15x1 I didn’t do 25 sets because I wasn’t feeling it.
snatch grip dead: 340×8
log press: 180×7 Not bad for me for a strict press.
GHR, back elevated 30″ or so (tall side of large box): bwx4,3 These were super tough and kind of dangerous. I had the guys sit on the back so it didn’t flop over and kill me.
Okay, so it wasn’t that bad, but somewhat disheartening, if I’d let it be. Which I don’t, because I dominate, but I digress.
I did a couple random reps on the bench press, decided I didn’t want to bench alone and did some log press, 8 reps with 170 or so.
Moving on to the deadlift, I didn’t feel very good and it showed, as I worked up to 455 without a belt and 505 for one shitty feeling single with my gut wrapped in cowhide.
This wasn’t the feeling I had a couple weeks ago when I skipped deadlift day wholesale. That day it felt like I couldn’t get into position and my entire back from armpits to hip bones was sore and stiff when I pulled the slack out to start my pull.
This time my lower back just didn’t feel “right”. I’m pretty sure the cause of this is my sleeping in to late. I’m a firm believer in not loading the lower back until you’ve had some time for your intervertebral disk spacing to return to normal after sleeping. I don’t know exactly how long this takes, and it’s probably dependent on several things, but they amount of time I took wasn’t enough. Combine this with the fact that the only good lifting gym on campus closes at 6pm on Saturday and you’ve got a recipe for mediocre pulling on weekends at ISU.
Going back to the week I skipped, I almost think it would be better to just plan on skipping every other week of pulling. If I do that I’m probably going to switch to narrow conventional deadlift stance high box safety box safety bar box squat (DSHBSSBBS). On the other hand, on normal training weeks I get in a lot more volume, but I don’t hit PR’s in bot hthe squat and bench. Come to think of it I also did some foam rolling on my lower back while I was benching, which I never do, so maybe that was a confounding factor. Whatever, I’m definitely pulling next weekend, we;ll just have to wait and see what happens the week after.
DSHBSSBBS: worked up to 260 for 8 sets of three as fast as I could. I tried to take a long pause on the box and keep my weight planted on my heels even on the box, which is hard when your feet are 6 inches apart. I also used a one minute rest period, which is rough.
pullups: bw (260) x 4, bw+12.5 x 6,6
incline dumbbell shrug: 85x2x10
I haven’t updated in a while, but I’ve hit a couple big PR’s.
Tuesday in the squat I just worked up to a heavy single and hit a speedy 465, exceeding my best meet PR. Then I did some random accessory work.
Today I worked up to singles at 315, 325, 345, 355 and 365 on the bench. I attempted 375 but missed it. Not sure why, because I smoked 365.
Oh, and I did three pullups with 25 pounds on my belt, and then a couple singles at 35.
I’m on track for a big day in April!
reverse curl: 105x2x5
competition grip bench: 285x24x1, 9
front squat: 285×5
log press: 170x2x5
snatch grip deadlift: 285×12
GHR: bwx8,7 I really slowed down the reps on my second set. I tried to do this on all my second sets of accessory work, actually.
random side bends on GHR against light bands
YTWL on incline: 5×10 I don’t know why these are so ridiculously hard. The girls we train with did hella reps of these just fine and make me look pathetic.
I have conflicting feelings about this program. On the one side, I think the volume/intensity really isn’t severe if you think about it in terms of 25 singles with a weight I can do more than 10 times. On the other, I also know I’m adding weight every week, and after that first week my conditioning has improved dramatically; these workouts are no longer killing me. I think this is the right thing to do, based on what I know about myself, how I’ve trained and hit PR’s in the past and on my current qualification level. Focusing in form, frequency and repition for a few weeks a year can’t be all bad and I’m certainly not getting any weaker.
In my earlier installment, I talked about an archetype that seems to be very common, and becoming more so, the couch potato. This type is characterized by low muscle tone, moderate to high amounts of fat, poor carb tolerance, low work capacity and generally a low training status. I relate to this type as I’m one and I have a lot of advice for them. Our next type is my polar opposite, and one I have little personal experience to relate to.
Mr Hawt Abz
Mr. Abz (MHA) was probably a stud in high school, playing at least one sport, often to a high level or at least being naturally lean enough to pull tail. MHA has always had abs, or at least needs very little training to get them back. MHA eats a lot, stays relatively lean and may drop weight precipitously if they diet or do a ton of conditioning work.
Again, as in The Couch Potato, Mr. Hawt Abz probably has both environmental and genetic factors behind their physique. Until we become more advanced in gene therapy, all we can worry about is the environment, so this is what we work on.]
Ways to tell you’re MHA:
- You have abs, or can get them very quickly.
- You played a lot of sports in school, possibly to a high level (high school starter, state champ, played a college sport).
- You were always and/or continue to be very physically active.
- You’ve never dieted to maintain a lean physique.
I think these probably apply for both sexes, but again, I haven’t had a large base of observation for the ladies.
What you need to do:
You’re the classical “hardgainer” that the muscle magazines always admonish to be lazy on their off days. They’re intention is right on the money, as your tolerance to volume is not going to be terribly high. It’s almost as if you can’t eat enough to sustain that much physical activity. I don’t condone doing nothing, but their intent is right. You need to reduce your volume and increase your intensity and you may need to rotate exercises more quickly as well. This is based on the idea that you’re, either due to activity and/or genetic predisposition, more “athletic”. You simply don’t need as much volume to get the job done. You also need to be creative in finding ways to get more calories in and making them “stick”. Bear in mind I’m extrapolating this info from the opposite of my recommendations for the Couch ‘Taters and from what I know other people have had to do and from athletes such as sumo wrestlers.
- Keep your volume down. You may also be more successful with classic bodypart splits. Sometimes in your training cycle, you may need to increase volume for the sake of repetition and gaining technical proficiency (As we are right now) but even then, work to control volume.
- Don’t go nuts with recuding your rest intervals.
- No need to do high intensity conditioning work as I recommended the Couch Potato do once a week. If anything, rep out on your last set of the big exercises or do some sled dragging/prowler/car push at the end of your strength sessions, but don’t go nuts with it.
- Do some active recovery work on your off days, but make it less strenuous than I recommended for the Couch Potato. Try walking for various distances or doing gentle cardio for 15-30 minutes. This would also be a good time to do specific drills, like foam rolling and mobility work. I would also recommend you use a normal post-workout carbohydrate meal or beverage like you would during a strength session.
- Try eating at least one big gorging meal a day. If you have to, just force down a town of liquid/slurry nutrition with one meal a day.
- Try consuming lots of liquid calories in general.
- Eating something not satiating and sugary between regular meals will disrupt your insulin metabolism and make you hungrier at mealtimes. Try candy bars, toaster pastries or regular full sugar soft drinks.
- Don’t go to bed on an empty stomach.
- Try getting your fruits and vegetables in juice or powder form.
- Flaxseeds, chia seeds, nuts, walnut oil, heavy cream, coconut oil, canola oil and olive oil are your friends. Get cold processed, extra virgin and organic if you can.
- I’ve heard from the guys at the Dogg Pound in the Intense Muscle Forums that adding some morning cardio, paradoxically, can add weight by increasing appetite. If it works for you, it’s a good way to add more food and increase your work capacity at the same time.
close grip bench: 225×1, 275×5,10 This was a close grip rep PR I think. Maybe a bench rep PR in general.
random curl BS.
free squat: 225×1, 315×1, 395x25x1 I had a couple bad reps in there, but the were all to depth or very close. Just some problems with getting my weight back.
pullups: bwx9 I tried hard for 10 but just couldn’t get it. I weigh more than last week, so this is still a PR. 9 reps at 268 bruthas!
We had a couple new girls train with us that did 3 and 5 pullups respectively. Hosses! Honestly, that’s ridiculous.
log press: 125×8 strict press on these
snatch grip dead: 330×10 It’s funny that I snatch grip for 10 more than some unnamed people in our gym pull for one.
GHR: back elevated 12″: 12 reps with bodyweight, boosh!
face pull: 10×15
prestretcher abs: 90×10
random ez bar curl: 135×10
I did not feel good after all this. My body will be messed up tomorrow, but I feel strong as a house. On a couple of those squats my weight got too far forward, but my torso feels so strong I just good morning/ pushed the weight back into the groove with no problems.
Big weights come meet day!