Thursday, November 29, 2007

Training Log: Entry 505

ME upper day

230x1 (5lb PR)

Notes: Bad week for MEs. Hit a PR, but missed a bunch of attempts.  Leg drive was non-existant.  Had to take 2 attempts at everything to get it right.  Right side much stronger than left.  Was able to get the right side up high and lose the left side in an attempt to even them out.  Need more shoulder strength.  Going to ditch the lateral raises and sub in some bradford presses.  Thinking it's about time to start up some RE work too, and just start eating some more.

Olympic bar skull crushers of 105

Notes: Nothing worthwhile here.

Shrugs of 315 w/straps

Notes: Used straps because I get enough grip work, and my lower body day is later this week.  Nice change of pace.

Kelso lat shrugs of 135

Notes: Numbers might be off.  Was using smaller plates, so had to lean over further to get the weight.  Altered things a little bit, but got a good burn in the rear delts.

Pull-ups of bodyweight

Notes: Messed up the order, forgot to do pull-ups before everything else, so numbers got messed up.  Oh well, it was an off day.  I blame it on the break beforehand.


Need more food.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Training Log: Entry 504

ME lower day

Powerlifting squats
400x1 (new PR)
405x1 (new PR)

Notes: Another bad squat day, but finally met my goal of a 400lb squat.  The walkout was killing me, shaking and buckling and all that crap.  It wasn't a strength issue, it was balance.  I'd get past the halfway point up, then fall foward and dump the weight.  Quads are weak.  Now that I got my 3-4-5, I'm just going to double up on the front squats while alternating good mornings and deadlifts.

Pull throughs of 160

Notes: Dumping the weight pissed me off enough to blast this exercise.  Maybe time to switch soon, but it works so well.

DB side bends of 110

Notes: Much better than last time.  Better ROM on this.

Training Log: Entry 503

DE lower day

Speed bench of 175

Notes: Speed was kinda off today, but form was good.  Remember to squeeze the hell out of the bar.

CG bench of 245

Notes:  A little heavier than I expected, but getting back into the movement.  Once I get my dip belt, I think I'll get back into weighted dips for assistance.

Lateral raises of 30

Notes: Numbers might be off, don't really remember, but form was good.

DB rows of 105

Notes: Numbers might be off on this as well.  First time doing this movement in years.  Used to give me lower back pain, now it just taxes my cardio.  Don't quite feel the pull in my lats, but I'm pulling with my elbows, so that's good.  Just remember to squeeze the shoulder blades together.

Unilateral DB hammer curls of 45

Notes: Making good progress, less clicking on my shoulder.

Grip work: Able to close the 2.5 with the right hand for more than 1 rep at a time, making progress with the overcrush/negatives approach.  The 3 isn't out of reach anymore. 

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Personal Entry

Don't really know to call this training per se, but went to the firing range for the first time since Field Training back in the Summer of 05.  Amazingly, marksmanship has improved leaps and bounds over the last time.  Tight groupings, everything on target where I was aiming, the whole 9 yards.  Fired .22, .38, .357 magnum, 9mm and 380.  Grip strength was a major factor in keeping the weapon straight and on sight, along with trigger squeezing instead of pulling.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Training Log: Entry 502

ME lower day

490x1 (New PR)
500x1 (New PR)
505x1 (New PR)

Notes: Crushed my goal of a 500lb deadlift before New Years.  Good warm-up, pulle 490 like it was nothing, so just kept climbing up.  No problem breaking the weight off the floor anymore, would tend to make it fly 3-4 inches off the ground and hit a sticking point halfway up.  Hitched a little on the 505, prolly woulda triple red lighted, but it woulda passed strongman.  Got incredible leg drive as opposed to last deadlift session, and my pulls were way faster now that I didn't have to SLDL the entire thing.  Might bee time to work some rack pulling to get past my sticking point.

Cable pull throughs of 145

Notes: Wasn't as gassed doing these as I typically am. Maybe my conditioning is improving?

DB side bends of 110

Notes: Jumped the weight up a little too fast, but might be time to switch anyway.  Perhaps some cable woodchops or saxon side bends.


Might be taking the rest of the week off with thanksgiving.  Might try to squeeze in an ME upper day using one of my brother's gym passes.  Need to work neck and grip more, I've been slacking. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Training Log: Entry 501

DE upper day

Speed bench of 175

Notes: Speed was good, nothing really spectacular.

Wide grip pause bench of 245

Notes: It's a great movement, but I think I need to stop it for now.  My right shoulder would click 3 times on every decent, and it felt like the capsule inside was shifting.  It's been great for chest work, but I'm wondering if the full ROM is killing me.  Maybe some board pressing with a wide grip would work better?

Lateral raises of 25lbs

Notes: Nice to be back to this movement, form was tight and got good recruitment of the target areas.

Bent over BB rows of 205

Notes: Probably time to switch, been going good for now but it's been a long time.  Maybe I'll get a handle to do some t-bar rows.

Hammer curls of 40lbs

Notes: Little longer rest between 2nd and 3rd set so I could run my Pug to the training pad before it peed in the garage.  Still gonna move up.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Training Log: Entry 500

DE lower day

Box squats of 205

Notes: Speed was running well today, not much worth note.

DB lunges of 95

Notes: Better job of looking forward and keeping my chest out, to keep from leaning forward.

SLDLs of 315

Notes: Time to switch these out.  Between the pull-throughs, DB lunges and DLs, I'm frying out my pulling and prolly not working enough squat oriented accessory/supplemental work.  Grip was getting tough today.


Neck, grip and ab stuff tomorrow.

Got a dog today.  14 week old male Pug named Kirby.  Prolly gonna get more cardio just from walking the thing and chasing it around the house.  Pics to come.


Happy 500th post to me.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Training Log: Entry 499

ME upper day

Flat bench
345x1 (+10 New PR)

Notes: Prolly had enough in me for 350, but my set-up for the first set of 345 was really bad (right hand spacing was in, left hand was out), so wanted to try it again to get a feel for the weight.  By that point, was pretty exhausted.  Don't want to fail on ME day, want to keep the "training, not testing" mentality strong.  Gripped the hell out of the bar, kept tight, didn't bounce off the chest.  Still pushing the majority with my triceps, shoulders and chest a little weak, maybe some incline work is in order.

Olympic bar skull crushers of 95

Notes: Much easier on my elbows this time by keeping my elbows tucked in.

Pull-ups of bodyweight

Notes: Should probably invest in a weight belt, the high numbers aren't really doing anything for me.  Felt a big pump in my arms and forearms, not so much in my lats.

Kelso lat shrugs of 135

Notes: Still don't quite know how I feel about this exercise. Lots of different angles and positions, would be better if I could do it from an incline bench.  Definitely gets my lats pretty strong, not so much my upper back.  Might try some conventional shrugs next week with some bent over lateral raises thrown in.

Unilateral hammer curls of 40

Notes: Think I'm training biceps too frequently, not really seeing any progress here.  Maybe cut down to once a week, or do a barbell movement one day and a DB movement the next.  Just hate the clicking feeling I get in my shoulder when I do these.  Always afraid I'm grinding away my tissue.


Did some overcrushes with the 2 and negatives with the 2.5 yesterday.  Grip has gotten weak, not managing full sets, but should be strong again soon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Training Log: Entry 498

ME lower day

Front squats

Notes: First time ever performing this exercise, still learning the movement.  Feels easier to go low on front squats compared to back squats for some reason.  Never really was in doubt of my ability to lift the weight, just my ability to hold onto it.  Did the bodybuilding style arms folded in front of chest style.  Tried the clean grip once, wasn't gonna happen.  I'm not trying to be an olympic lifter, so the arms folded will work for now.  Blasted the quads, and even my glutes, this is a keeper.

Pull throughs of 130

Notes: Really taxes my grip on the rope.  Massive lower back pump.  Better job of squeezing glutes at the top of the movement.  Back always feels numb during the exercise.

DB side bends of 100

Notes: Great ROM today.  Was using the gym, so had full mirrors and smaller diameter DBs.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Training Log: Entry 497

DE upper day

Speed bench of 170

Notes: Method of alternating between touch and go vs. pause was a bust.  Too much time anticipating the touch and go, pause actually ended up being far more explosive.  Live and learn.  Was getting a good arch today.  Back was really sticking to the bench.

Wide grip pause bench of 255

Notes: Using Alex's advice and switching out my CG bench work with Wide grip bench.  My tricep strength is fine, and my lockout isn't suffereing, whereas my chest is weak and I tend to stall early in the bench rather than the end, so this should be of a greater benefit to my training.  Wrist was a little sore from this, practice of form should help.  Index finger on the ring/slightly outside.

Overhead press of 135

Notes: Push pressed the last rep of the last set.  Think I'm gonna take Lance's advice and perform some raises in place of pressing.  Already have 2 pressing movements, and with a wider grip bench, my shoulders are already going to get obliterated.

Bent over BB rows of 185

Notes: First few reps were a little off, but after that, very good series.  Didn't cheat on form, but had the mental image of using leg drive to get more power into the row and reduce arm recruitment.  Visualization really helps.  Keep pulling with those elbows to my waist.

Unilateral DB hammer curls of 40lbs

Notes: Remembered last time with contracting my glutes and squeezing the crap out of the DB.  Tried to pressurize my abs as well.  Getting a lot better results from this movement than the EZ bar curls from before.


Walking around now at about 207 give or take.  Curious to see how high I can get.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Training Log: Entry 496

Grip work

5x1 (forced reps) w/2.5

Notes: Taking it easy for one last week, then gonna get full bore into this.  Thinking some overcrushes and negatives with the 2 and 2.5 respectively

Ab wheel
Jackknife of 5,6
From knees 10,10

Side wrestling bridges

Notes: Used hands for assistance.  Being heavier makes this a little tough.  Good range of motion at least.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Training Log: Entry 495

DE lower day

Speed box squat of 185

Notes: Speed was really on today.  Pushing with the blade of my foot and my heels, and getting good explosiveness from the bottom.

Lunges of 90lbs

Notes: Might be going a little too heavy on the accessory stuff.  Lost my grip on the last rep of the second set.  Might just cut this down to 2 sets for future workouts.

SLDL of 315

Notes: Second set was amatuerish.  Lots of rounding of the lowerback.  Killed my set short.  Psyhed myself up too much, lost focus on good form.  Last set was textbook.  Remember to look up the entire time, and you'll hit the lift much easier.


If I have any more energy, I'll do some ab wheel tonight, otherwise I'll just save it for tomorrow along with neck and grip.


I retract my previous statement about being unable to gain past 203.  Guess I was just in a little rut for a week or so.  Weight is coming back on at a respectable pace again.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

 Training Log: Entry 494

ME upper day

Close grip bench

Notes: Wasn't even really tapping into my potential here on CG.  If I kept going, most likely could have hit 335, which woulda been the same as my regular grip bench.  That's plain retarded.  My push press was pretty strong, which makes me think my shoulders are fine, and my triceps seem to be carrying my bench, which leads me to think I somehow have a weak chest.  Complete opposite problem of so many other gym goers.  Need to rectify this.  Thinking of going Ruskie and doing some isometric holds in the power rack at 3 inches off the chest on my next ME day, and switching out CG bench on my DE day with incline DB press.  DE day has been working well, bar was moving ridiculously fast.

Olympic bar skull crushers of 95lbs

Notes: Experimenting between tucking and flaring the elbows.  Flaring kills the joints, keep them tucked next time.

Pull-ups of bw

Notes: Decided to just try for as many as I can.  The numbers really weren't that different in the later sets, so screw holding off for more.  Maybe time to add some weight.

Kelso lat shrugs of 105lbs

Notes: Much better ROM compared to last time.  Keep those arms flexed and locked.  Really blasted my lats, upper back got some recruitment as well, not much in the actual upper traps.  Might try this for a week before switching to more conventional shrugs and some rear delt work thrown in.

Unilateral DB hammer curls of 35

Notes: Tried a technique I've been neglecting of irradiation (or however you spell it).  Squeezed the hell out of the DB, squeezed my glutes, compressed my abs, kept the whole body tight.  Much better results than before.  Totally blasted the movement where I would normally fail.  Need to use this concept in all aspects of lifting.


Hovering around 203lbs of bodyweight.  Real hard to put on anymore.  Drinking around half a gallon of milk a day, lots of diary, lots of peanut butter, big dinners and lunches, lots of snacking.  Might invest in a weight gainer.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Training Log: Entry 493

Grip work

Did some DE work with the trainer.  5x3.  Got challenged by some guys to see how far I could go on the 3.  Ego got the best of me.  Got about halfway there after my DE work on a deload week, not my best performance.

Neck work

Neck Harness raises of 45lbs supersetted with neck crunches of 45lbs

Notes: Did the supersets to save time.  Form on the front raise is really coming together.  Contemplating using more sets.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Training Log: Entry 492

ME lower day

Good mornings
285x1 (new PR)

Notes: Did this with a sweatshirt on, because it's cold as hell in my garage and I wanted to keep my muscles warm.  Had my wife watching form.  A little bit of upper back rounding and a knee bend on the max effort sets, but every set went the right distance, including the last set stopping on the pins before I picked it back up again.  Got the "training, not testing" mentality going strong.  Kept at my new PR rather than trying to find more.

Cable pull throughs of 135lbs

Notes: Had to go back to the old gym for these.  So glad I left, walked in right away and everything started pissing me off.  These were just murder on my lowerback, a great pump and the inability to walk.  Remember to squeeze the glutes at the top, just like finishing off a deadlift.

DB side bends of 85lbs

Notes: Right weight this week, still made progress.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Training Log: Entry 491

DE upper

Speed bench of 170

Notes: Real rough time getting acceleration off of the first 2 sets.  I get a much better starting speed if I do this touch and go, might try mixing every other rep with rest pause and touch and go just for the benefits.  When I squeezed the hell out of the bar, I was getting some better acceleration, and towards the end I was finally pinching my shoulder blades together enough to really start firing again.

CG bench of 225

Notes: Contemplating throwing out that last set, as it's the one that always seems to bomb.  I'm making strength gains every week though, so it might be worth keeping in. Need to monitor my progress.

Overhead press of 135

Notes: Overhead movement after all the benching is murder, specifically on the lockout part.  Gonna try this movement for 2 more weeks, then maybe transition to bradford presses or just not extend it to lockout.  Or, I might just go crazy and do some lateral raises.

Bent over BB rows of 155

Notes: Every week this movement becomes more natural and stronger.  Finding the proper hand spacing was key.  I still don't quite have the shoulder blades pulled back together, but I'm hitting my lats enough that I think I'll be fine. Keep pulling with the elbows, right into the lower abs/where the hips connect.

Unilateral DB hammer curls of 35lbs

Notes: Much better job of hitting my biceps compared to EZ bar curls.  Better ROM, and didn't get that clicking feeling I normally do in my shoulder.  These will become a staple.


Yesterday did some grip work with the 2.5.  Did 5 sets of forced singles.  Think it's time to deload.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Training Log: Entry 490

DE lower

Speed box squats of 245

Notes: Used my squat weight percentage instead of box squat weight percentage on this, kinda a dumb move, but didn't lose too much strength after the first two sets.  Need to get a better box than my bench, too high.

DB lunges of 80lbs

Notes: Used straps on the last set.  The handles of my DBs are too thick for me to wrap my hands around, so the sets really fry my grip.  Straps really didn't even help that much.  Recovered from these a lot better than last time.

SLDLs of 295

Notes: Really focused on pulling shoulders back and locking out each deadlift.  I've been letting form get sloppy recently, so it was good to get back to basics.  No touch and gos, just fast reps with weight coming to full stop.  Wasn't as close to puking this time as last time.


Will do Ab roller later tonight from knees, neck and grip work tomorrow.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Training Log: Entry 489

ME upper

Push presses
225x1 (new PR)

Notes: Man, this was a total shock.  Last time I push pressed in June, 200 was a massive struggle.  225 went up like nothing.  Strength wasn't the issue, only balance.  Feet were stumbling around a little while I attempted to complete the lift.  Did a few lighter sets at the end to avoid tweaking my shoulder/falling down on the cement, but feel like I coulda hit a few more, maybe even a little more weight. 

Olympic bar skull crushers of 90lbs

Notes: Remember to pinch those elbows in, don't let them flare.

Pull-ups w/bodyweight

Notes: Got greedy again, slow increases are key.  Widened my grip a little bit.  Don't really like shoulder width grip pull-ups.

Kelso lat shrugs w/135

Notes: Pulled this out of Kelso's shrug book.  Very akward form.  Lighter weight next time, work on perfecting form.  Right side was pulling more than left.

EZ bar curls of 85

Notes: Done with these, hate them so much.  Hammer curls ahoy.