A Case Of The Mondays

I wound up going to the gym where the light duties were. I did a hard, short interval on the elliptical. 20 minutes,  peaking out at hr=189 bpm and staying around 160-170 the whole time. Got about 315 kcal.

A Case Of The Mondays

Saturday Night Cardio

I wasn’t going to go to the gym today on account of waking up late but my gal wanted to go have an xbox dance party so I figured I would drop her off at her friend’s place and use this opportunity to do something productive.

My foot has still been bothering me and I was cutting it close on the gym closing so I acquiesced and used the elliptical. I wound up doing an interval type workout, alternating between level 14 and 16 at various tempos. I don’t trust the calorie counter as an absolute measure, but I use it as a proxy for power output. My goal was 600 kcal in 40 minutes and I made it. My heartrate was a lot higher than I typically go for (~170 most of the time, peaking at 190 on the hardest interval) but I felt good and my stamina held out so I’ll take it.

Before I hopped on I did a single set of pullups, 14 reps at a bodyweight around 240. Not bad for a 80-90% effort. I probably could have gutted out 2-3 more reps.

Afterwards I had just enough time to do the bare minimum stretching/recovery work. I did the half-kneeling paddle for my hip flexors, standing quad stretch (really trying to extend and adduct the hip so I get a little TFL in there too) and stretch/relax butterfly stretch for the adductors. Every time I do that stretch, somewhere deep in my hip makes an audible crack and palpably releases on the first stretch phase. It’s kind of distressing and satisfying at the same time.

My diet has been on point today, I’m proud to say. I’m taking today and tomorrow especially strict and getting into a “normal” routine on Monday.

Saturday Night Cardio

Another Better Than Nothing Day

Well, I should have known today wasn’t going to be a strong day. No wonder, when I checked my log my last full recorded session was almost a month ago. With all the bullshit in  between and this odd week it’s no wonder I wasn’t on my game. At least I got some meaningful work in and I’ll be in a better position to drop back a wave or two and start over next week. (Trying to stay optimistic.)

medium grip bench (MGBP, pinkies touching rings): 45×5, 95×3, 135×2, 185×2, 225×1, 275×1, 295×1, 305×5,5,5 The last recorded workout I got 5,5,7 here so I thought I would be fine repeating those weights for this wave, maybe even getting 8-10. I was wrong. These were tough and I barely got 5 on my last set.

close grip bench press (CGBP, pinkies 1/2″ inside rings) I took one rep with 235. It felt horrible so I stopped, which I’ve never done before. I should have been good for 3-5×10 here.

conventional stance deadlift: 315×1, 365×1, 405 x 1 (switched from double over to mixed grip), 455×0 (added belt) This is where things got really cruddy. I didn’t feel right on any of my warm-ups and to make matters worse I left my good Inzer belt at home so I was using the shitty loner belts at the gym. (Sidenote: why do those things even exist? Who designed those things and what are they good for? They’re a single ply of leather softer than my normal dress belt and they’re about 1 1/2 inches wide in the front and 4 in the back. It’s like an uncomfortable and stupid looking variant to not wearing a belt at all.)

At any rate, I went to pull 455, broke it off the ground and got about 6″ off the deck when I just said fuck it and set it down. I could tell it wasn’t right and if I had pushed the issue that day I would have hurt myself. The only thing more demoralizing than having to miss a deadlift is missing a deadlift with a weight you should be getting 10 times. I had to just turn my music up a little, avert my eyes a little more to avoid talking to/contacting anyone and just tried to go about the rest of my workout. At least I’m proud I didn’t just give up and leave or cut my planned ancillary work short. One of my goals is to do what my old partner Scoops would make me: do what’s on the paper and if it really doesn’t work or feel right, change it for next time.

2/1 concentric/eccentric cable row: 45 x 2 x 10 L-R These are something I’m playing with. I use a single handle on the cable row and use both hands for the concentric and then lower with one hand, doing all the whole side for one side then switching. This was also confirmation I did the right thing backing off the deadlift because my back gave me some twinges just setting up for this.

I supersetted these with 1-leg hip extensions off the bench for the cable rows. bw x 2 x 10 L-R. These felt pretty good and I got a pretty decent glute pump so I don’t feel like I accomplished nothing for my pulling muscles. Next week I’m going to do 1-2 sets of pullups before I get to these.

I finished with some ab and lower back work.

back extension on the 45° bench. bw x 2 x10 At the top of each movement I do essentially a reverse fly with my arms in a neutral 45° adducted position. I squeeze the top as hard as I can, trying to get my mid and lower traps. (I call these “Titanics” in my log, like the I’m King of The World Pose.) At the same time I squeeze my glutes even harder so as to counter the natural lordosis that comes with the upper back extension.

supersetted these with weighted prestretcher crunches 75 x 2 x10 I used to do these with a rolled up yoga mat but I didn’t have anything like that and I don’t know if I want to buy one just for this movement. A half foam roll would work great but they don’t have one and I don’t want to mutilate my good one. I tried an “Ab Mat” which sucked and I tried a whole foam roll which was better but a little too aggressive. I could take the sleeping mat that I was issued, (which has been unrolled once since I hit the fleet) but I would look like a dork carrying that in and besides it’s big and unwieldy. I’ll have to raid the linen closet and see if I have a big not-so-nice towel I can steal.


Another Better Than Nothing Day

My Move-Fast Day

Session from 12-31-2013

I hate calling it “dynamic effort” work or “speed work”. I’m just going to call it my move fast day.

power clean from hang: 175 x 8 x 3 (weight x sets x reps) 2:00 rest

I hate my clean. These sets were really easy because I wanted to make sure I was starting out very conservatively. Especially with this many sets I wanted to make sure that in a few weeks as I increase weight that I’ll be able to get all my reps.

box squat: 155 x 6 x 5 1:00 rest, medium height box plus a 45 plate – done as explosively as possible.

I supersetted these with a set of two deadhang pullups with a long pause on bottom of each rep (~6 seconds) My hip is still touch and go on squatting. It’s the bottom position that aggravates it and I had to raise the box height for my last two sets. I know someboyd is going to pull up some old West Side template or reference Prilepin and tell me that I’m doing too many reps. Well, my speed is still good and my help is sort of the limiting factor so I’ll take the volume wherever I can get it. Even with this weight at this tempo I was pouring sweat.

oly bar curl: 65 x 3 x 10 with long pause at bottom, done as explosively as possible.

Finished with a 2000m test on the Concept 2. It was horrific. I finished in 8:08.2 I really think I could have smashed that but my hip flexors were smoked. Getting such a pump in my unilateral hip flexors was a novel experience and I’m thinking now that weakness in my psoas might be what’s bothering my hip. Great conditioning and maybe even rehabbing my hip at the same time! Awesome.

Normally I wouldn’t have done a thorough cooldone but I felt wobbly enough on my feet that I walked for about 5 minutes on the treadmill.

Today my abs, all the way from somewhere deep down by my pubis, all the way up to my pubis are smoked. That’s another new sensation.

My Move-Fast Day

Squatting I Can Feel Good About

I was going to add an exclamation point to the title, but I’m not actually that enthusiastic about it. I can feel just good about it, not great. Also, I had to get all my training done, in and out the door, in two hours tonight which is a rush for me. I know, everyone on the internet only train for an hour to optimize hormone levels but it is what it is.

bench press: worked up to 320 x 3 x 3 This setup felt weird but I got my required number of reps so I’m okay with it.

floor press: 135xsome, 185 x 3 x 12 I don’t really like floor press. It’s a weak movement for me, it doesn’t feel right and it seems to bother my wrists, especially with a fat bar. I used a regular Texas power bar for these tonight.

pullup: bw x 3 x 12 Kept these simple. I supersetted them in with my floor press and squat warmups.

close grip Conor press against double mini bands: quarter per side x 15 reps

safety bar squat to just above parallel box: worked up to 330×3,3,12 I think this was a PR with the safety bar. I don’t know if it’s because my waist is back up or what but since my hip has been healed up my squatting has felt much stronger.

Just a reminder:  I almost always warm up with an empty bar, if even for a few reps. It’s always better to be more cautious in your warmup if in doubt. This doesn’t mean you need to take a bazillion sets and reps, in fact I would advise the opposite. I would reccomend keeping the reps low and adding sets. In fact, I notice we often warm up with 1-3 reps so a warmup to 315 on the bench would typically look like this:

45×5, 95×3, 135×1, 185×1, 225×1, 275×1, 295×1, 315×5

This accomplishes several things. It maintains the same movement you want to use for your heavy weights, it doesn’t tire you out, it lets you feel heavier weights in a progressive fashion, and it gives you an opportunity to add in “speed work” if you make sure and do your warmups as explosively as possible.

My conditioning work after the break.

Continue reading “Squatting I Can Feel Good About”

Squatting I Can Feel Good About

No Weights Means No Real Training

Wednesday AM

Did an easy set of 12 pullups and a dismal mile and a half run.

Wednesday Afternoon

pulled the growler with two plates on the street for 10 minutes cumulatively. Jake got bored just walking along side so for the last round or two so while one of us pulled, one of us rested and one carried a 50 pound sandbag any way.

No Weights Means No Real Training

An Update!

Monday AM

ran a mile or something

Monday PM

military press: 115×10

conventional deadlift: 465×5,

speed safety bar box squat to above parallel: one plate per side against heavy bands 15×2 and real fast

conventional deadlift: 225x3x15

pullup: bw + 35 x 5,5,8.5

some random arm work including a pointless dropset

My back and abs were both fried from all those pathetically light reps.

Tuesday AM

ran two miles or something

Tuesday PM

military press: worked up to 175×5, 4

barbell curl: 95 x 5,5,10 I’ve decided I’m going to start doing these 5/3/1 style

close grip tricep pushup things to a box with feet suspended: 3 sets of 20

some other random arm work including a pointless drop set I don’t remember what exactly I did but it totalled about 100 reps

Wednesday AM

Did nothing because I’m a lazy POS

Wednesday PM

military press: 115 x 10

safety squat bar squat to parallelish box: worked up to 350×5, 310×5,8 That first set was real hard and a misload

safety squat bar squat to parallelish box, reverse heavy bands: 350×12?, added thin bumper and banged out a few more reps. I like the term “mechanical dropset” for these.

stiff leg to blocks: 115 x 3 x 15

neutral grip chins: bw + 25 x 10,10,9
random arm work including a drop set

Thursday AM

ran a couple miles

Thursday PM ( trained especially late)

bench press: worked up to 315×4

conor press (leg press chest press): two plates per side x 5 x 15 superset with

machine row: 100 x 5 x 10

california press on leg press: worked up to 35 per side plus double mini bands x 2 x 12

scoops press on leg press: 35 per side x 10?, empty sled x 15,5,5 rest-pause

lean away single arm dumbbell curl: 30×10, 35x2x10, 35×10,30×10?25×6? (drop sets) I really like this movement…

trap III raises: 8 pounds x 10

horizontal scap shrug-row: 75 x 10

trap III raise: bw x 15

One of my priorities on this wave is getting arms that look like I actually lift weights so I’m trying to add a total of 200-300 reps of arm work per week.

An Update!