A Really Good Squat Day

Tonight I had a training session that almost took me back to the good ol’ days in the dungeon gym in Beyer Hall with the ISU Weight Club. I spent some time today going through back issues of the Attack and I’m not sure whether that motivated my workout or my workout fueled my nostalgia. Either way, I’ll take it.

Safety bar box squat, to the highest setting on adjustable box: bar x 3, 25’sx2, plate x 1, plate + 25 x 1, 2 plates x 1, 2 plates + 10 x 5,5,7 This box height is between two and three finger widths high.

reverse band safety bar box squat, blue EFS bands to one hole shorter box than above: 2 plates x 20 These were hard. Definitely a gut check like I was looking for here. The reverse band death-sets I used to do back in the day are some of the training I look back on most fondly. I didn’t wear a belt for these.

Also, I’ve found that wearing my Chuck’s makes a big difference in my squatting. I’d really like to work some more overtime so I can buy a pair of actual squat shoes. Anyone care to make a recommendation?

reverse hyper: 45 x 10-12 These are just some extra/prehab/whatever you want to call it for my back.

pullup: bw x 2 x 3

prowler push: 2 plates x 1 three lines in the cement, ~ 30 feet?) , 2 25’s x three lines

These freakin’ killed me. I’m so out of shape and the concrete is so uneven I found myself having a hard time getting the prowler even moving for the return trip with 2 plates, so I had to drop it down to quarters.

anti-rotation sled drag (ARSD): 45 x 3 consecutive lengths of the parking lot aka a trip and a half

I don’t know if it’s a standard nomenclature (I also don’t care) but I refer to a down and back as a trip and I consider a trip two lengths (the down and the back). Anyway, I digress.

Tonight definitely kicked my ass and I feel like I’m finally on the road to making progress again.

I also didn’t go bananas with my post-workout nutrition and use it for an excuse to eat a pig trough of junk food. I had a kaiser roll with a 93% lean turkey burger and a little bbq sauce and then about 80 grams (uncooked) of sweet rice with another turkey patty and a dollop of cheese dip (

A Really Good Squat Day

Sled Drag March 31, 2015

My main effort was a bunch of sled dragging this session for about half an hour. That anti-rotation sled drag (ARSD) really seems to be doing something.

I did the ARSD, rows, facepulls, curls, tricep extensions and belt drags.

I’ve also been experimenting with doing a couple sets of reverse hypers, just for it’s purported restorative effect on the back. I only use a plate or two on the Rogue with the short strap my gym has.

Sled Drag March 31, 2015

It’s Funny Because It’s True!

I found this link today on EliteFTS and this was my favorite part, because you can replace “strength and conditioning” and “personal training” with almost anything and it’s still true:

The problem I have lies in the lack of respect for the strength and conditioning industry and its pioneers. Everyone wants a quick fix—a special program, but that just doesn’t exist. So, once they determine that there are too many people who know more, and too many resources to read, they must find something new to latch on to. Insert the latest and greatest workout—we must reinvent the wheel if we can’t quite understand the wheel. In my opinion, it’s all just marketing to a generation who needs to be told what is good, bad, cool, popular, healthy, etc. Invent a new program, link with Reebok or Nike, pay some celebs to endorse it, air it on TV, kinesieo tape your face, and Boom! There it is. Because the general public knows so little, it’s quite easy to impress them. They hear so much bullshit on TV, radio, Facebook, and from personal trainers that they will believe anything you say as long as you 1) Say it with authority, 2) Have some stupid letters by your name, and 3) Use words they are unfamiliar with. The best part is NOBODY EVER ASKS WHY. Whenever I have a client do something, I tell them why. However, if I didn’t, they wouldn’t ask. I could tell someone to take his shirt off and scream when doing bench because it increases neural drive by 15 percent, and before you know it, his shirt would be off and he’d be yelling like Christen Bale’s rant on the set of Terminator Salvation.


It’s Funny Because It’s True!

Training March 30, 2015

military press: 45×3, 95×1, 135×1,1, 155×5,5,5 (+1 push jerk) superset with

pullup: bw x 5,5,5

red band lateral raise x 2 x 15. Done with a 45 degree abduction and neutral grip

reverse hyper: 25 x 10, 45 x 10

I found an exercise on the Diesel website that I think will help me get my back defrazzled. It’s the anti-rotation sled drag (ARSD) and I noticed a big side-to-side difference, which leads me to believe I’m on the right track.

ARSD: 2 plates x two trips down and back per side

Plus a ton of other stuff, pretty much everything I could think to do with the sled; face pulls, rows, pull throughs, curls, tricep extensions, etc etc

Training March 30, 2015

Small Victories, Victories None-the-less

One of the things I like about training is that you can chalk up every little advance as a win. As long as you keep going for weeks and months you’ll wind up better off than you are today. It’s that kaizen principle I’ve blogged about before (although the link eludes me).

With that said, today wasn’t great but I got some things done that I really needed to. My deadlift has always been my pet lift and in the past has remained pretty decent even when the rest of my training goes to hell. Ever since my big cross-country move my back has been touchy and my deadlift has suffered. The last time I tried to pull I basically couldn’t even complete the movement without pain. I needed to take a few steps back along the progression but I wasn’t willing to do it. Now, going back in with a clean slate I came in with the same plan I would take with a brand new client and I got through the session without any pain.

Instead of warming up with a single rep at 315 and then jumping up by 50 pounds until I got to my working set, I started out with 225. I also started pulling off a fairly tall block (maybe 5 inches?) and added a 1/2 inch rubber mat under my feet until I got to a block height that allowed me to get the most range of motion I could without pain. That wound up being 3 mats.

block pull: 225×1 (no mats), x1 (1 mat), x1 (2 mats), x1 (3 mats), 275 x 1, 5,5,5

invert rows on rings bw x 3 x 10 superset with

1LRDL 3 x 10 L and R

I got to reading Eric Cressey’s blog and found some stuff by the Posture Restoration Institute about being stuck in “right stance”. I wanted to test and see if I was capable of standing on my left foot and pulling a band across my body from right to left. Turns out I really can’t, so that’s a movement I’m going to start working on.

After those pulls and the weird band work, my torso musculature feels all stretched out and tired. I’m definitely shaking something loose, so to speak, and I hope my back/deadlift yield dividends because of it.

Small Victories, Victories None-the-less

Training Updates

Well, I’ve started a new life in a new place in balmy Eastern Iowa. I’ve hooked up with a great local powerlifting gym and I’ve been training again (mostly pain free!).


Friday, 2/27/15

worked up to 275×3, 295×3 and 315×3 on the bench and did a bunch of accesory work. I’ve been doing some kind of upper body pull or row on every session, either ring pullups, straight bar pullups, ring rows, invert rows on a bar, ring face pulls or band pull aparts. Sometimes the whole lot.


Sunday, 3/1/15

military press: up to 155 x 5,5,6

log press 10’sx3x12

worked up to 405 x 1,1,1 on the deadlift. My significant other and I moved 7700 pounds of household goods into a truck, drove from North Carolina and unloaded it into my new house and my back hasn’t been quite the same since. Something on that left side down by the SI joint is all touchy now.

Then I did a bunch of accessory work, bw x ? x 12 on elevated GHR,

Tuesday, 3/3/15

Arm work

Wednesday, 3/4/15

safety bar box squat, highest box setting on adj. box: 25’sx2, 45’sx2, 45+25×2, 2 plates x 5,5,6

“”    “” plus one plate on box: 1 plates x 10,10, 15


one random set of hip thrust

GHR on all three risers: bw x 12,12,15

band pull aparts

bar pullups bw x 3 x 6 mixed in there



Training Updates