Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mat pulls (8)
550 x 10

SSB squats
240 x 15, 15, 17

Reverse crunches

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bench press
275 x 5
315 x 3
352.5 x 1
Everything felt like a ton. I think I'll feel better after a deload.

225 x 10, 10, 10, 10

15, 15
45 x 10, 10
90 x 8

Park press
50s x 15, 15

Keg curls
160 x 20

Dumbbell curls
50s x 10, 10

Working some pretty long hours. No off day this week, but normally I have Sunday off. I have a lot of autonomy in the office so it's not bad. Today I did yoga at work and then got ready to train with my pre-workout meal and coffee. Got to lifting right after coming home.

Friday, August 26, 2016

380 x 5
430 x 3
480 x 1

325 x 8, 8, 10

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Strict press
205 x 5
227.5 x 2
255 x 0
Weak day, but a good test of my new training approach. A maximum of two attempts just in case the first was a fluke and then move on, blasting through assistance work and getting a good pump.

175 x 8, 8, 8
155 x 10

Neutral-grip pull-ups

Lying dumbbell rows
8, 10, 12, 12

Decline push-ups

Keg curls
160 x 15, 12

Gonna change up this day for next cycle since I've failed two 255 attempts now. Not sure exactly, but I'm thinking I'll try push press. The heavier load has worked before for my strict press when I got stuck.

Finished this session in 75 minutes. That's crazy for me, especially with two max attempts.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Slightly sick. Woke up yesterday morning with a sore throat and stomach pain. I believe the latter is from some chicken wings the night before. This grocery store always sells bad chicken, even when eaten before the expiration.

Wasn't feeling it yesterday but ended up doing a good job.

Mat pulls (9)
550 x 10

SSB squats
240 x 15, 15, 15

Reverse crunches

Starting this work morning now with some ginger green tea.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Did a round of easy bag work yesterday, followed by 3 hill sprints and a short jog. Managed to fit this in after work before going out to catch UFC 202 at Buffalo Wild Wings with workmates, Briana and Bobby the plumber. Even though they invited me, I'm a bigger MMA fan and I should have remembered that you need to get there super early instead of 9:00. We had to stand outside with a huge crowd watching the outdoor TVs. To make up for the lack of booze and food we went to Hooters afterwards and ate some amazing wings and beer.

At a night club we went to afterwards I got two different guys complimenting my "Come with me if you want to lift" shirt. Arnold lines were traded. This happens everytime I go out, it's pretty awesome. 

I got pretty hammered but I never get hangovers. Maybe something to do with my drinking infrequency and how I treat it like a special event. I was able to train just fine today.

Bench press
260 x 3
295 x 3
332.5 x 3
295 felt incredibly heavy, while the final set was easy. Shoulder has been really holding up. No pain for weeks.

225 x 10, 10, 10, 10

15, 15
45 x 10, 10
90 x 9

Reg Park press
50s x 12, 10

Dumbbell curls
50s x 8, 8
Strict form, maximal stretch and squeeze.

Kettlebell preacher curls
50 x 10

Friday, August 19, 2016

355 x 3
405 x 3
455 x 3 (PR)
Christ, everything felt heavy today and my right knee had spurts of minor pain if I'd do something like get up from sitting wrong. No pain on the heavy sets, though. Did what needed to be done and it didn't dawn on me that this was uncharted rep territory until I opened my training log.

325 x 8, 8, 10

Band leg curls

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Strict press
187.5 x 3
215 x 3
240 x 3

175 x 3 x 8
155 x 10

Lying dumbbell rows
125s x 5 x 8-12

Dumbbell press, push-ups, curls

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Failed to deadlift 620. After 3 attempts I accepted that it just wasn't happening, as badly as I wanted it. I believe I have the strength but my back had been bothering me and mentally I couldn't pull the trigger to really rip the bar off the ground.

The next day I did my maintenance work. SSB squats of 240x3x15 and crunches.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Bench press
230 x 5
277.5 x 5
315 x 5
I'm using the 5/3/1 protocol with benching again now that my shoulder is feeling better. This felt really heavy on the work-up sets and I thought about doing 305, but 315 felt fine.

225 x 10, 10, 10, 10

Incline heavy band rows
15, 18, 18, 18, 18

25-second pull-up


Dumbbell curls

Tried to do some behind-the-neck pressing with 135 and it's hurting something laterally on both shoulders. Went down to 95 and did much better before going back up to 135 for normal pressing.

Finished in about 90 minutes, which is the max amount of time I want to be lifting.

Friday, August 12, 2016

327.5 x 5
380 x 5
430 x 5

325 x 8, 8, 9

Banded leg curls

I'm going to revamp how I train and drastically cut down my workout duration. I've been getting way too lazy between sets at times. Moreover, I'm no longer to make the max set as big of a deal as I have been, which has added to how long my "prep time" before has been. That means no extra long rest before the money set, especially, and no more 3 attempts for the same lift. If it doesn't come the second time it's not happening. That was a lot of wasted time last cycle trying to press 255 overhead. I want to hit my workouts hard and fast.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

175 x 5
205 x 5
227.7 x 5
Matched last cycle's PR.

175 x 8, 8
155 x 10, 12
Everything felt heavy today so I figured I'd back off here a little bit.

Lying dumbbell rows
125s x 5 x 8-12

Incline dumbbell press
50s x 25

Keg curls, band pull-aparts

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Finally, some down time to write about my first powerlifting meet that took place on Sunday.

I got about 2 and a half hours of sleep the night before but I woke up feeling amped. I had a small, quick breakfast of leftover steak, tabouli, walnuts, and a Quest bar. My friend Briana met me at about 5:45 AM and we drove the 1 hour to Concord. Everything was easy to find. I got in the right room at the hotel and weighed in at 215 before nabbing some seats. Pretty soon there was a children's hip-hop dance troupe that came on to open the show and it was actually pretty nice to be able to stand up and move around to get myself limber.

The women squatted first. I warmed up about 20 minutes before I was set to go, opening with 425. My work-up sets in the warm-up area felt kind of heavy, but the bar felt like nothing on-stage. However, I made the most predictable rookie mistake ever by missing the squat command. I didn't forget, though. What happened was that I unracked and then looked at the official for what I thought was a long time with the bar on my back but she didn't do anything, so I thought I must have missed something and I need to just go. I got red lighted.

So things got weird here. I went up to the judges to tell them what my next attempt would be. The organizer said most people would try to repeat the weight they missed, so I said I'll just do that. Once I had some time to think, though, I wondered why I should try to waste my second lift on something that wasn't challenging the first time. My thinking was that I want a smoother progression up to my max for my own performance benefit and knee health instead of doing 425 twice and then leaping up to a PR. I asked for some advice from a coach who was there with his guy and got some input that convinced me to move up, so I asked the judges if this was feasible or not. The female judge got real pissy at this and snapped, "OK, so what do you want then?!" I was taken aback and go, "Oh, I was just asking, I don't want it to be an inconvenience" and she shoots, "Well, it is! So what do you want??" The head organizer just leans in and says to change it to what I wanted, 450, and she did it while sighing heavily. This monumental task involved erasing the old penciled-in number and writing 450. At this point I just want to interact with her as little as possible for both of our sakes so I thank them and leave. Even if what I did was annoying, I was merely asking.

Anyway, 450 went up as easily as 425 and this time I got all the commands right. My final squat was 501, a massive PR for me. It wasn't a walk in the park but it was less of a struggle than I expected.

There was mucho downtime after this so my comrade and I walked to Trader Joe's and basically prepared a feast in the hotel lobby.

The bench press was up next. I opened with 325, but 352? That was kind of hard. Was NOT expecting to smoke the squat and have trouble with the bench press - the exact opposite, actually. Anyway, I went for 373 next and charged up on food and a Rockstar. This didn't get captured on video, coincidentally enough, or else I would have shown my failure, but yeah, I couldn't lock out the lift. It was stuck midway up. Valiant effort and I'm OK with 350.

It was 11 hours into the meet when I stepped up to deadlift. I opened with 525 and seconded with 560, both easy. I wanted to end on a sure success so I chose 606 instead of chancing 620. I should have done the latter because 600 felt like nothing. My backyard deadlift training, with the unevenness of the patio tiles on the dirt and the inability to roll the bar like I did here, really paid off. Train in tough conditions and make the battlefield feel like luxury. It felt SO nice to be able to have a rolling start, haha.

Oh, and I haven't pulled without straps in almost 2 years but had no issue with my grip.

Come the awards ceremony and I end up getting first in the 220 open, which I wasn't expecting. Ending the day with burgers at Super Duper Burgers was a good finish. All in all, I had a great time and it felt amazing to actually be at a show doing the lifts I've done the most.