Monday, December 31, 2007

Entry #548

Started in the afternoon with two five-minute, hard rounds on the heavy bag.

Stretched for thirty minutes a number of hours later.

Went to the track at about 7:30 PM and ran two miles, sprinting the last straightaway. I'll do three next time. I wasn't breathing hard in the least from this. Followed that up with shadowboxing before walking home. There, I ate a quick meal of two raw eggs, some peanuts, orange juice, and milk. Not exactly a gourmet meal, but it had everything I needed. Played Super Castlevania for SNES while I waited for that to settle in, and then did more shadowboxing in front of the mirror.

Roll the shoulder and project into a straight line. Some weird waverings before I got warmed-up.

Rear hand didn't drop. I've rectified this completely, by this point.

Hook - shoulder precedes the arm. Weight transfers to rear leg, although I've been doing this more forcefully.

Useful combos:

Where 1 = jab, 2 = cross, and so on for lead and rear hook (*singular* hook for lead only, although thrown from the rear may work as a looping throw - it'd pretty much have to be a stroke of luck for something that wide to connect in any but the most perfect openings on that side) and uppercuts.

Using those to approach combinations more deliberately and with intent, rather than just improvising and throwing stuff together. I'll be recording them from now on.

I'm thinking about doing one traditional jogging session like the above once a month, increasing the distance by half a mile successively until I'm up to 15. That way, I won't suffer any drawbacks in strength. I'll still maintain conditioning through interval cardio, of course.

Was talking to an old AIM contact, and he asked if I want to do an all-night training session tonight, if he drove down here from San Francisco. Eventually decided on meeting up tomorrow at the track, so we won't have to work in the dark. He's smaller, at 5'7 and 140, but it'll be a good opportunity to spar, regardless. I was thinking I shouldn't in-fight against him with the peek-a-boo, but stay away so I can't outmuscle him, but that then gives me the reach advantage. Since it's just sparring, we can experiment with whatever. We used to exchange shadowboxing videos and critique one another's clips, and he's quite good (and experienced). I'm going to call George tomorrow to invite him to it, but I don't see him coming, if I were to predict that.

Also, I ordered a digital camera to have before the throwdown on January 19th. There will be blood.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Entry #547

Speed bench:
8 x 3     185 lbs.
> Adopted a wider grip. I've been holding the bar too narrowly.

4 x 8     50 lb. dumbbells

Cable pressdowns:
4 x 8     150 lbs.
> Good pump. I still think this is a wussy exercise, though. And 150 lbs. (the entire stack) here is about equal to 80 lbs. on the machine at the old gym.

Weighted chin-ups:
4 x 8     35 lbs.
> No difficulty. Up to 45 lbs. next week.

Hammer curls:
2 x 8     40 lb. dumbbells
1 x 6     40 lb. dumbbells
> No alternation here. Each arm got 8 (and 6) full, strict reps.

Stretching for thirty minutes every night.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Entry #546

DE lower-body

Box squats:
10 x 2   225 lbs.
> Sat down for about three seconds on the platform before driving back up. Felt like a vacation.

Pronated grip Romanian deadlifts:
3 x 8     265 lbs.
> The overhand grip was a struggle by the last set, but I held through. Once I get to an even 275, I'll probably stick to that for a number of weeks to let my holding ability catch up. The weight itself otherwise feels pretty light, even for a high-rep assistance lift. Zero struggle on my back. Can't wait to test my standard deadlift.

Full-contact twists:
4 x 8     55 lbs.
> Lowered the weight to focus on form.

Hise shrugs:
3 x 10   225 lbs.

I was weaving and shadowboxing under the barbell between sets of Hise shrugs and I smashed my head into all 225 lbs. of it. My brain felt like it was about to explode (which would have ruled), but I ignored it pretty easily. I can't wait to test my recuperative abilities in the ring. The last time I got hit hard was when I fought Julian. I like to think that I won't ever get K.O.'d as a pro, like George Chuvalo (never knocked down, let alone out, even against opponents like Frazier, Foreman, and Ali) and Muhammad Ali (knocked down three separate times in 20 years, and immediately got up after each), but I'm sure that everyone thinks that of themselves, regardless of what will actually ensue.

George's mom commented that I look skinnier, probably intended as a compliment. I need to eat more. In actuality, I've gained weight and am at an even 200 lbs.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Entry #545

Walked to the track at night and did more shadowboxing drills. I'd do one round in slow-motion to focus on form, and proceed it with the same principles applied with speed. Made a significant difference in weight disposition. It's easy to gloss over the intricacies of that, normally. Slowing it down allowed more exaggeration of foot placement and transfer of power.

Cycled this in and out with jump-roping. It was fantastic how empty everywhere was because of Christmas. I kept raising my hand and shouting "WAAAR!"

Monday, December 24, 2007

Entry #544

Walked to the gym to use their bag, but it was closed for Christmas Eve, so I spent the next hour shadowboxing at the track. Had also brought my jump-rope, but I spent a lot of time being particular about little nuances in form, and the session went by too quickly. Good emphasis on head movement.
Entry #543

I've began putting together the preliminary design of my website:

As the antithesis to, say, T-Nation, I want the layout simple and straightforward. Content will be the focus, not flash. I favor the light text on black layout because it's easier on the eyes, especially at night, but I might change that. I also have a larger-than-average computer monitor, so I have to check on different screens if everything is the right size.

It's not going to have forums or anything like that. The success of that would depend on community, and I want to lean away from that. My approach is that even if I were the only person to ever visit this, it would be worth putting up for the references. It's essentially an oversized FAQ, backed by gathered links and sources.

No ads. If FreeWebs adds any, I'll find a new host.

Still have a lot of info to compile for articles.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Entry #542

Speed push-press:
4 x 3     145 lbs.
Clean and press:
3 x 3     145 lbs.
> Switched around for the sake of it.

Tate presses:
4 x 8     45 lb. dumbbells

Cable extensions:
3 x 8     150 lbs.

Weighted pull-ups:
2 x 8     35 lbs.
1 x 6     35 lbs.
1 x 4     35 lbs.
> Short rests to finish before closing time, hence the discrepancy.

Dumbbell curls:
1 x 12   35 lb. dumbbells.
1 x 6     35 lb. dumbbells.
> I had about 30 seconds between these two sets. Get to the gym earlier.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Entry #541

DE lower-body

Box squats:
10 x 2   225 lbs.
> Warmed up by doing bodyweight squats on the low stool (one plate lower than regular range). Made all the difference.  First set was as fast as the tenth. Hip flexor and psoas flexibility is essential.

3 x 8     45 lbs.
> Back was feeling stiff, so I opted for these less strenuous alternatives to good mornings.

Full-contact twists:
4 x 8     70 lbs.

Neck crunches:
3 x 8     45 lbs.

Gripper #1:
3 x 5

George was over yesterday, but we didn't spar.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Entry #540

A few hours later. My sternum is better, so it seems like it was a short-term thing. I can move my arms ably, so training won't be affected, other than today's session being cut short. Still hurts to breathe deep, but not nearly as much as before.

Shame. Dips are my most successful assistance work for tris, except for maybe close-grip bench.
Entry #539

Benched 275, and then stupidly did weighted dips, even though my sternum still hurt from last week. Thought I could get by with leaning back and relieving pressure off of my chest, but that didn't work. Now, I can hardly breathe or move my arms to any substantial degree.

On a quick note, I met an old middle school acquaintance who's into powerlifting comps now. Exchanged numbers for further follow-up.

My dad came into my room and asked me what would happen if he attacked me now, in my injured, defenseless state. I promptly slid out a katana from the shelf next to me and welcomed him to try.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Entry #538

Good mornings:
5 x 3     95, 135, 155, 185, 195 lbs.
4 x 1     210 lbs.

Romanian deadlifts:
3 x 8     255 lbs.

Janda sit-ups:
3 x 8

Bent-over dumbbell rows:
4 x 8     100 lb. dumbbells

Practiced some shadowboxing later in the evening.

Dead tired. If I didn't have to eat, I would be long asleep by now.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Entry #537

Hit the bag, raised Hell, etc.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Entry #536

Speed push-press:
8 x 3     135 lbs.
> Warm-up more. Shoulders hurt at the beginning.

Tate press:
4 x 8     40 lb. dumbbells

Cable pushdowns:
4 x 8     150 lbs.

Weighted pull-ups:
1 x 8     35 lbs.
1 x 7     35 lbs.
1 x 6     35 lbs.
1 x 5     35 lbs.

Dumbbell curls:
1 x 12   35 lb. dumbbells
1 x 10   35 lb. dumbbells
1 x 8     35 lb. dumbbells

Ever since those weighted dips, my sternum has been hurting again. I need to get to the root of this.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Entry #535

Box squats:
10 x 2   225 lbs.
> First set hurt. Extreme depth. Warm-up more next time. My hip flexors payed for this. Speed was excellent in the later sets.

Good mornings:
3 x 8     155 lbs.

Full-contact twists:
4 x 10   70 lbs.
> Was a challenge to diminish leg drive here.

Neck crunches:
3 x 10   45 lbs.
> Feh, I need to find a better contraption. The rope wasn't staying put.

Gripper #1:
3 x 5

I was supposed to be moving next month, but my roommate, whom I've known since middle school, is cause for concern. When I point out that neither of us have steady jobs yet (although I'm going to Ace this week for an application), his response is, "We'll figure something out." Doesn't cut it for me. If it pulls through, there'll be some good training opportunities, since we'll be sharing a car.

Also, George expressed interest in sparring. It's about time.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Entry #534

Bench press:
4 x 3     135, 185, 225, 245 lbs.
3 x 1     265 lbs.

Weighted dips:
3 x 8     70 lbs.

Tricep pressdowns:
3 x 8     Entire stack

Bent-over dumbbell flyes:
3 x 12   40 lb. dumbbells

Seated cable rows:
4 x 10   Entire stack

Barbell curls:
1 x 8     V 95 lbs.
1 x 7
1 x 4    

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Entry #533

Ate like a savage today, and it's only going to go up from here. Began loading on creatine.

Good mornings:
65 x 3
115 x 3
135 x 3
155 x 3
185 x 3
205 x 1
205 x 1
205 x 1
205 x 1
> First time maxing out on this, and I was paying heed to my back. Pinching back the shoulders made a difference.

Romanian deadlifts:
245 x 8
245 x 8 
245 x 8
> Kept my head turned towards the mirror. Form was flawless.

Jandas sit-ups:
x 8
x 8
x 8
x 4
> This simple set-up was the most taxing ab movement I've ever done./

Lying dumbbell rows:
150 x 8
150 x 8
150 x 8
150 x 8

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Entry #532

To recap: Sunday, I woke up with excruciating back pain. However, it was within my upper-back muscles, not my spine, so it wasn't a continuation of previous issues. I had had a pretty violent dream (fighting demons from Hell again; won't they ever learn?) the night before, and I probably wrenched a muscle from moving in my sleep. I could barely raise my arms, at first.

Monday, the pain persisted in the morning, but by the afternoon, I felt completely fine, so I lifted.

Squats (ATG):
295 x 5
295 x 4
295 x 4
295 x 3
295 x 2

So it went up, but stamina remains a problem. Moreover, I failed under only 225 lbs. on bench press. First three reps were easy, and then my arms just collapsed on the fourth. A guy ran over to help, and I snarled, "Get away" out of anger. He backed off, but kept his eye on me. I could see that he had good intentions, so I joked, "I'm gonna get this rep even if it kills me!"  I lay there for several minutes with the bar on my chest, waiting for my strength to return. However, keeping that amount in that position demanded a fair share of deltoid flexibility, and I couldn't really recover like that. I rolled the bar onto the bench's safety mechanisms, which were about a centimeter over my neck, so my head was trapped. I had to roll under and onto the floor so I could rerack. Even if there were no safety contraptions, though, I would have just tilted the whole thing onto one side, like I've done before.

I start bulking tomorrow. My losses have gotten out of hand.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Entry #531

Although the volume is far less than Monday, this is the most difficult day of squats because of everything else in the week preceding this session.

Quads were sore, but no cramps.

135 x 5
185 x 5
225 x 5
275 x 5
295 x 3
> Could not come up for the fourth rep. Failing on squats is nothing. I'll never need a spotter again. As if I even use one.
Warming-up with Muay Thai knees before squats is prime.

Incline bench press:
195 x 4
195 x 5
195 x 4
195 x 4
195 x 3
> Light weight, awkward movement. Haven't done this lift in years. I used to do 205 for 6, but not for a full ROM. The bar touched my chest on every rep here. Sticking point is definitely at the very bottom. Maybe I'll try something new and do a bench variation for that span only, later. Then again, I could probably just incorporate a lot of partials in the bodybuilding routine I'll be doing when I bulk.

Seated cable rows:
5 x 5     Entire stack

Cable tricep pressdowns:
3 x 8     Entire stack

Janda sit-ups:
2 x 5
> Finally have the perfect set-up to nail the movement. Set an Olympic bar low in the power rack, wrap the tampon around it (finally, a use for it!), and feel the pain. Simply repping up is easy; slow, contractive, deliberate reps are elusive.

Grip Trainer:
5 x 5     5 second holds on second to last set, 10 second holds on last set
> Use the #1 next time.

Hit the bag bare-knuckle at night. Drilled Muay Thai stance with arms more overhead and weight on back foot. Mixed in kicks and knees. First two knuckles took the damage, which is good.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Entry #530

Bag work in the afternoon. Three five minute rounds.

Went to the track at night and ran a little over two miles in the rain, circuited with jumproping and shadowboxing afterwards.

All my supplements arrived today. I'm not going to use them until I bulk, which will be in January.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Entry #529

Snatch-grip front squats (ATG):
3x5     135 lbs.
2x5     155 lbs.
> Balance wasn't an issue, like I thought it would be. What's difficult is holding the bar up. I'm basically doing a static military press hold. On the last set, I went in with the intent of pulling the bar into my chest instead of holding it up, but that didn't work without it slipping down. I suppose comfort isn't the point of it.

Military press:
3x5     155 lbs.
1x4     155 lbs.
1x3     155 lbs.
> The prior movement had some affect here.

Deadlift form practice:
1x3     45 lbs.
2x5     65 lbs.
1x1     330 lbs.
1x2     330 lbs.
> I used the mirror to scrutinize. My back isn't rounded, but it's definitely not as arched as it should be with the heavy loads. I'll practice these everyday, from now on.

Weighted pull-ups:
3x5     35 lbs.

Some kid came up to me between one of my sets and asked me to what benefit is there of me training in a sweatshirt. I told him it makes me uncomfortable. He just gave me a blank stare. Amusing.
Also, we got on the subject of boxing, and he expressed interest in doing it, and asked me for the address to Dreamland gym. I should have exchanged contact info in the interest of a future sparring partner, since George and Jeff are MIA.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Entry #528

On Friday, my quadriceps cramped up after just one set of warm-up squats. I barely managed 275 for one rep before reracking.

Today, the same circumstance arose, except that this session didn't entail building up sets, so instead of only one final, heavy set, there were five. I felt my quads tighten up after the first rep of 285, but rather than stop there, I willed out five ATG reps, albeit shaky ones. The weight felt light and I had exceptional drive from the bottom position, but the pain inhibited stabilization. I did another set, and got 5. On the third, only 3 before I reracked. It's extraordinary the difference that mental capacity makes, evident by Friday and today.

As for the cramps, I can't pinpoint a particular reason. I'll spend tomorrow stretching and walking to keep blood flowing in the region.

I've been coming short of these squat sessions lately, but the first thought to pass through my mind when walking away is, "I can't wait to try that again" (probably moreso now because such a trivial obstacle hindered my performance).