Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Entry #882

I have every reason to change gyms.

A non-commercial facility will have better equipment, while a cheap commercial gym like Crunch will save me money at only $10 a month. The former choice will probably be better for health as well. Reading my last entry made me realize how much of a sour mood I'm put in every time I step into the gym. I get my work done no matter what, but the atmosphere is just terrible and it incites me to have a crotchety superiority-complex when I'm there. To be fair, one can only take people occupying the only mobile bench to use for Smith machine overhead press so many times. Seriously, WHY is that so popular?

I neither train late anymore nor use the swim and hot tub facilities so the only perks 24 Hour had is gone.

Right now I'm browsing around for a powerlifting spot to lift at. It's an exciting prospect.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Entry #881


Deadlift video.

Huge old dude came up at the squat rack next to me to do shrugs with 365. He was using straps. Really? I mean this guy's arms were gigantic and even I did 405 shrugs with a mixed grip back in the day.

He points to a 45 and goes "You using this?"
"Nah, go ahead."
"You're not going to 500?"
"I am but there are plenty of others."

We get to talking. He goes over how he gets testosterone prescribed to him and that it completely turned his life around. Ah, that explains it. After reading anabolic forums a while ago I came to the conclusion that drugs can be a great asset if employed intelligently but that too many people use them as a substitute for old-fashioned intellect and training theory. This guy, who's 50, didn't know what a safety squat bar was. And Jesus, all he did was traps. 9 sets of barbell shrugs because he can't squat or deadlift anymore. Said his back hurt just looking at me.

Entry #880

ME lower

Reverse-band deadlifts
225 x 3
315 x 3
405 x 3
455 x 3
495 x 3
515 x 3

RDLs with Fat Gripz:
235 x 8
225 x 6
225 x 5
> Grip fail.

x 12

60 sec, 60, 30, 30, 30

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Entry #879

ME upper

Westside ME upper yesterday:

2-board press:
135 x 3
185 x 3
225 x 3
275 x 3
315 x 3
320 x 1
325 x 1
> Really easy, but had no safety bars so didn't want to risk failure. Benched on super low pins instead of the usual power rack so last set was awful for form, yet it still felt light. Wrists were bent, back was flat, had to do practically an extra rep just to unrack, etc.

CG bench press:
225 x 9
230 x 6
230 x 5

Dumbbell rows:
115 x 8
115 x 8
115 x 6
115 x 5
115 x 5

No curls because I went over my hour limit.

Haven't been feeling motivation to update. If this is a slump then I'm doing good for one, at least. Strength is being maintained if not improved, and weight loss keeps coming.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Entry #878

RE upper

60 sec rests

Incline crazy plates:
155 x 12
155 x 8
155 x 6
135 x 10

5 x 5

12, 10, 8, 6, 5
> Zero rest-pauses.

Dumbbell curls:
50 x 8, 6

Dumbbell shrugs:
125 x 15

Have been doing a lot of cardio I haven't been logging. Today did a circuit of shadowboxing, mountain climbers and burpees.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Entry #877

Well, I ran out of creatine. Looks like my training has come to an end. I had a great run and I'm gonna miss it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Entry #876

ME lower yesterday

Reverse-band deadlifts
225 x 3
315 x 3
405 x 3
455 x 3
495 x 3
515 x 1
> Lower the bands by set 4 for much less slack. The fact that this was all still easy makes me think I should be more than good for 500 on deadlifts.
> Using very strong Iron Woodys, don't remember the exact number. Noticed some material deterioration in one of them, probably from moisture being in the trunk of my car.

RDLs with Fat Gripz:
225 x 8, 2 sets
225 x 5
> Grip was the only limiting factor from using the Gripz with a pronated grip, this weight was air otherwise.

x 10

60 seconds

Rushed out to take care of some business so didn't finish doing abs.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Entry #875

Westside ME upper from Friday:

2-board press:
135 x 3
185 x 3
225 x 3
275 x 3
315 x 2
320 x 2
> Way lower than my bench, but that's okay. Really sunk in deep and basically did pause presses.
> Shoulder started to hurt by the last set and it's been persisting mildly ever since. Might not be tucking back scapulae enough. Harder to keep tight on this because of the board, but I need to just ignore it and lift.

CG bench press:
225 x 8
225 x 8
225 x 6

Kroc rows:
110 x 5, 5 sets
> Strict, no torso twisting. Used a thumbless grip. Very good lat isolation.

FG curls:
90 x 8
90 x 5

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Entry #874

Now that I'm done with 5/3/1, my thoughts:

It's a great program, but I'll be honest in that I wouldn't think so without having made the adjustments to it that I did after the first cycle of 4 weeks, which constitutes half of my stay on it. In the 8 weeks that I was on it I couldn't get around how <i>light</i> it has you going. You're supposed to calculate your numbers using only 90% of your max. I didn't freak out about this or anything like Wendler predicted some might, but it became apparent that this was the element holding it back for me.

On a day that has you doing 3 sets of 3, for example, you're actually allowed to take your final, heaviest set and do as many reps as possible. It's listed as 3+ to indicate this. Well, what's the point in even mentioning the 3 or calling it a 5/<b>3</b>/1 if I never get anywhere near 3 reps? Usually it's something like 11 reps. I wouldn't have any problem with that (high rep deadlifts were the breakthrough I needed to get my form down) but that's throughout the <i>entire program</i>. If my bench max is 335 I'm lifting 286 lbs on my heaviest day of the entire 4 weeks. That 286 is supposed to be for 1+ rep. I'd end up hitting that for 8. And remember, that's the heaviest week. Everything else is even higher. I'm rarely ever lifting anything less than 10 reps by sticking with 90% and then doing 65%-95% of that 90%.

Wendler goes out of his way to insult meatlings who tinker with it (which is awesome) but even he acknowledges what I said by way of his new version "5/3/1 for Powerlifting".

In my opinion, it's very viable for novices to intermediates who still need to get the grooves down but I had better success ignoring the 90% limit and doing lower reps in all but the first of the weeks.

At the start of doing it, my stats were:
Overhead press: 175 x 5
Deadlift: 365
Bench press: 305 x 2
Squat: 375 x 3

After 8 weeks:
Overhead press: 205 x 2
Deadlift: 475
Bench press: 335
Squat: 415 (deeper, as well)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Entry #873

Structuring my carb load days to surround where ME will be.

Friday: ME upper, cheat day
Saturday: cheat day, rest
Sunday: ME lower, rest of the weak clean
Monday: rest
Tuesday: DE upper
Wednesday: DE lower
Thursday: rest

Cardio accordingly.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Entry #872

Yesterday went well, but I've decided I want to switch.

Overhead press:
132.5 x 5
152.5 x 5
172.5 x 8
> Like a 1 lb improvement. Considering that this has been my slowest lift to progress on and that I'm still in the midst of decreasing calorie intake while losing weight, I'll chalk this up as a success.

Dumbbell military press:
70 x 5
70 x 5
70 x 4
60 x 5
50 x 8
> Holy crap, way harder than sitting down. I can power up the 90s relatively easily for 8, but standing with dumbbells is far different (though I've never OHP'd after doing OHP, either).

NG pull-ups:
10, 9, 6, 4, 3
> Being strict with myself and discounting any partial reps.

Fat Gripz dumbbell curls:
32.5 x 14, 12, 12
> Overstimated these. FG really aren't super hard to hold or anything, people just don't do enough functional grip work so when they try these they're blown the hell away.

Walking around at 227. Overall a 10 lb loss in 4 weeks. I'm very happy with this. Slow is the way to go for me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Entry #871

Going to do something today I call a transitionary session by doing the first day of the week as normal. This is to avoid breaking training consistency by moving to a different routine. I ended my deload with squats so starting Westside with another day of squats will make it four days of not doing any upper body effort. This is critical because frequency is absolute key to maintaining gains on a cut, I've discovered. I can skip meals and not suffer from it but not with lifting. This is what killed my last cut. Training is clearly much more important than diet.

While I'm on the subject, another essentiality is not doing hypertrophy movements like any kind of tricep extensions, high rep curls, etc. I'm seeing success sticking to dumbbell press, push-ups, dips, and heavier curls for accessory work.

And perhaps an even more important point is to keep every session an hour or less. This has been the first time I don't go over an hour and a half, let alone one hour, and I'm profiting astoundingly.

With all that said, I'm not set on moving on just yet. If my OHP today, my weakest lift at the moment, hasn't improved and I feel stale doing another of these workouts I'll make the switch. If I feel strong then I'll keep going for another four weeks before reevaluating.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Entry #870

Had an awesome cheat day on the weekend that I never mentioned. Went to the mall and engorged on cheap Indian food (lamb, rice and yogurt) at the food court and then had Cinnabon for dessert. As I sit here eating low fat cottage cheese before bed my mouth is watering.

Went to see Combichrist live last night and it sucked due to three hours of shitty opening bands. Got some NEPA in from metaling out. Today I did HIIT.

So I'm done my deload and I'm still on the fence about where to go moving forward. More Wendler or Westside? I'm making such good gains, but I really want to put my bands and boards to use.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Entry #869

Went out at 12:30am to train by pushing my 2001 Civic around a lot. Stopped after about 5 minutes because it was easy and I didn't feel taxed in any way by it. Doing forced treadmill runs is way harder.

Might give it a go again when I feel like doing it for half an hour straight or something.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Entry #868

Ugh, it's 3:00 right now because I stayed up watching Bigger, Stronger, Faster. Highly recommended.

Entry #867

Weighing in at 229. 8 lbs lost in total, yet my arms measured 17 inches - .5 more than last time.

185 x 5
237.5 x 5
285 x 5
> Holy crap, could barely muster 1 rep of 285 with the Fat Gripz on. Had to rip them off to finish.

Good mornings:
135 x 12, 5 sets
> Using a slightly wider stance that makes me feel like I'm getting a better stretch. Gym was full of turbodouches curling in the power racks so on the first set I had to clean and press it into position.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Entry #866


85 x 5
105 x 5
125 x 5

Diamond push-ups:
22, 12, 10, 8, 8

Dumbbell rows:
80 x 8
60 x 10, 10, 10, 10
> Used Fat Gripz and could barely maintain grip, so I had to lower the weight.

Preacher curls:
60 x 15, 10, 8

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Entry #865

Video of squat from yesterday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MndRxaDLz-8

I'd like depth to be x-treme deep and my form to be sitting back more but I did okay.

Did HIIT today for 12 minutes.

Also returned whey I bought from GNC yesterday for another flavor. For some reason "Extreme Milk Chocolate" has sucralose and a shitload of other additives while "Double Rich Chocolate" doesn't. Got Vanilla instead. I was kind of hoping the cashier would be a pest and try to sell me shit like yesterday but the guy was a quiet one today. By the way, here's what yesterday's exchange went like:

GNC dude: "You try Wheybolic Xtreme?"
Me: "No, what's that?"
GNC: "Here, I'll show you. Right here. It's got carnitine in it, which really helps with recovery, and..."
Me scrutinizing the ingredients: "It has fructose in it..."
GNC: "Fructose what?"
Me: "Uh, fructose. The sugar. Specifically high fructose corn syrup. Are you serious? I don't want that shit in my whey."
GNC: "Well..."
Me: "Fructose is very anti-insulinotropic. It decreases insulin sensitivity, and it actually makes it harder for glucose to go through the GI tract."
GNC: "Uh huh..."
Me: "Thanks anyway."

Like, I don't just go around starting debates with people, but the guy brought it up.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Entry #864

315 x 5
365 x 3
405 x 1 (PR)
415 x 1 (PR)

Front squats (clean grip):
225 x 5, 5 sets

Ab wheel rollouts:
12 reps, 5 sets

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Entry #863

So much for Monday. Went in today and benched 335. I actually blacked out during the ascent. I woke up a few seconds later and realized I was holding it up. I had to shake my head to make sure I had actually just done the rep.

I weigh an even 230. Losing weight slowly but smartly.

Bench press:
225 x 5
275 x 3
335 x 1 (PR)

Dumbbell press:
105 dumbbells x 10, 8, 7, 6, 6

45 x 8, 7, 6, 6, 5

So fucking tired. Considering I'm slightly sick and was running on 6 hours of sleep I had a great day.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Entry #862

Went in to bench heavy tonight, but I stopped at 275. My arms felt like lead and I'm too tired. I'll try again on Monday.

I didn't fail the 275, I repped it with no problem, but I knew I'd get stapled at my anticipated 335.

Don't lift this fucking late.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Entry #861

Burnt out from so much lifting and cardio. Took it easy and ate a lot today. Digiorno pizza, dark chocolate, ramen, red wine, fatty cuts of pork...I feel resatiated.

Still couldn't stay away from training, though. Did five three minute rounds of shadowboxing in the dark.

This is for 5/6, by the way. It's 2:53 AM right now.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Entry #859

Did squats last week for 372.5 x 3. Could have done more but these were ATG.

Did OHP for 205 x 2. Not where I want it to be at right now.

And today: did deadlifts up to a max of 475 x 1(PR). Failed a first attempt due to grip because my hands were sweaty, but the second try went up easy.

Been doing so, so much cardio.