Saturday, August 30, 2014

Training Log: Entry 1709

(4) Chain suspended bench press 360

Notes: Went up faster than usual.  Can feel my butt lifting off the bench, but not enough to DQ a meet.  Will lie, cheat and steal each week on this if I got to.

200 total

Reverse band bench 370

Notes: Experiencing lockout issues on the last few reps.  Can't get lazy with this, as locking out is the whole point.

Swiss bar press 145

Log curls

Pull aparts/lateral raises

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Training Log: Entry 1708

(15) Chain supported squat 495

Notes: Time to change.  Haven't had a decent squat workout in a month.  My right hand feels like it's going to rip in half whenever I grab the bar, and I think proprioception is making it so that I am unable to really engage my full strength here.  My legs feel shot.

When I first started chain supported squats, it was because my torso was my weak point, while my legs were my strength.  I feel like now my torso is plenty strong and my legs are my weak point, so I am going to switch to the safety squat bar, start the weights low and build up to something heavy.  I may remove the powerlifting squat entirely from my workouts for the future to try to overcome this.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Training Log: Entry 1707

DE Log Push Press 125

Notes: Lord help me I'm doing DE work again.  Really trying to focus on making the drop for the push faster so that I can get some more speed on the way up.  Toward about set 5 it started clicking better.


Log push press 170

Log rows 170

Swiss bar floor press 240

Pull aparts/pressdowns/chest work

Monday, August 25, 2014

Training Log: Entry 1706

Ran a 5k for PT

Speed was slow, but didn't stop.  Passed a few regular runners.  Felt like I was hit by a truck afterwards.  Worried I may have the flu.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Training Log: Entry 1705

(5) Mat Pulls 590

Notes: Hamstrings have been tight for days, so this was a great showing.  So pleased with this cycle.

KB swings

Reverse hyper 320

Ab wheel
2x6 standing
1x20 from knees

Notes: Cut it at this.  Fatigue hitting hard.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Training Log: Entry 1704

(5) Chain suspended bench 360

Notes: Just going to keep grinding weekly singles at this point and see what happens.

5 minutes of chins, 45lbs

Reverse band bench 365 (23 pin)

Notes: Focusing on moving as fast as I can.

Swiss bar press 145

Axle curls 50lbs

Pull aparts/lateral raises/rows

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Training Log: Entry 1703

(13) Chain Suspended Front Squats 365

Notes: This cycle has been terrible.  I'm going to start again at 15 links and do some acclimatization for a few weeks before starting again.

Reverse hyper 320

Ab work

Notes: Abs are killing me, still going light.

Front squats 245+chains

Notes: Easing back in with this protocol.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Training Log: Entry 1702

Axle push press

Notes:  Still don't have coordination figured out, but strength is building.


Axle push press 155

Swiss bar floor press 230

DB handle rows 100

Pull aparts/chest work/curls/extensions

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Training Log: Entry 1701

(6) Mat Pulls 590

Notes: Weight moved easily again.  Only 1 rest pause.  I did 2 other workouts over the week, but this was the first one where I felt like my strength was back 100%.  Hand held out.

Reverse hyper 320

Ab wheel
2x6 standing
1x20 from knees

Cut out the rest.  Still recovering.

On the topic of my other workouts, I am continuously disappointed with the quality of Mark Bell's products.  The elbow cuffs I bought are warped and loose after 3 months of use, and my brand new reactive sling shot is already warping at the sleeves and the elastic is ruptured in several parts after 1 use.  In terms of benefit, I think I am simply not built for these bench press quasi shirts, because with the slingshot and the catapult, my bench drops when I use it rather than increases.  Weight that I can easily hit without becomes impossible when I use it.  I think I'm just going to stick with reverse bands.

Oh yeah, also, a pic of my hand to give scale to how big the ripped callus was.  Sadly, it doesn't really capture the depth of it.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Training Log: Entry 1700

Log Clean and Push Press (Clean once) 195

Notes: Still fried from the comp, so taking things easy for now.  Hand is still recovering, so used a strap on it to allow me to keep my grip.


Log clean and push press (clean once) 160

Notes: Technique was getting better as things went on, but my cardio with this is still dildos.  Sweating like a whore in church.

Swiss bar floor press 225

Notes: Need to go back to my roots and cut the rep off once it's no longer hitting my chest.  Use the push press for lockout work.

Log rows 160

Pull aparts


I have completed my third strongman competition, a level II NAS comp in Reno.  I placed around 6 of 11 competitors, which was not where I was hoping to end up.  It was an excellent opportunity to learn some lessons and grow in the sport.

I woke up exactly at 196.0, which I called from 2 months out when I started cutting which.  I was pretty proud of that, and was able to eat and drink well before I got to the weigh in, and then really up the cals before the contest.

Event 1: 200lb Axle Clean and Press (Clean once and press away).

I was excited when I saw this event, because the clean has always been the weak point in my clean and press, so with a chance to clean only once, I thought I was in a good place.  I had trained my push press for the 6 weeks before the comp, and finally managed to make some breakthroughs in technique.  Going into this, I had hit 11 reps frequently in training, with one day where I managed 13, and honestly thought 14 was going to come my way.  I did not train my axle clean at all, since I only had to do it once, and doing it training tends to torque my left wrist.

When I cleaned the weight at the comp, I saw stars for a second which took me a little while to clean before I could start pressing.  Pulled a real amateur move on the first rep and dropped it before I got the “down” command, but the judge was cool and gave me the rep anyway.  During the comp, my focus was gone for the push press technique, but upon reviewing the video, I actually was getting some decent leg drive, so I am proud of that.  That said, once I hit 10 reps, I was done, and approaching that point I kept feeling like I was going to vomit.  Upon review, I think the elevation change was the biggest factor, as I went from sea level to 4400 feet, and even at sea level my cardio seemed to be what kept going out in the push press.  I’m going to keep that lift in the rotation now, and have mapped out my training already, but in all, this event didn’t go as well as I wanted, but it wasn’t terrible.  I ended up taking 4th or 5th out of 11.

Event 2:  500lb 16” tire deadlift for reps

This should have been my event, and is where I am most disappointed in my performance.  I am certain I had the highest deadlift in the 200lb class based on my performance versus others, and after watching everyone before me struggle through this event, I knew that I needed to move fast to make the most of my ability, because it wasn’t going to be a question of IF I could make it for the full 60 seconds, but just how many reps I could get in at that time.  I noticed when I was setting up that the outer knurling of the bar was much closer to the center than bars I normally used, and so I set my grip out a bit wider than the edge of the knurling, but still close, like my stance.

Every time I would complete a rep, the tires would bounce the bar laterally.  I was trying to move fast, so instead of setting up for each new rep, I just pulled the weight where it landed.  I was strong enough that I could pull the reps even with the bar well off center, and was starting to look like a lawn sprinkler, since my feet stayed planted and my torso would rotate with the bar.  We had an “up” command that we needed to wait on, and to me it seemed like the judge kept talking before each “up” command, which was just burning precious seconds, so I kept tuning out everything except for the words “up”.  In most cases, it was form advice or encouragement being offered, and I didn’t really want either.  Well, this bit me in the ass, because at one point he was telling me that my knee was now outside my right hand due to how the bar landed, and he wasn’t going to give me an up command until I fixed it. I waited for about 12 seconds before I realized I just wasn’t going to get an up command until I listened to him, and even then it took me a while to figure out what he was talking about.  I was way too in the zone.

Once I figured it out and addressed things, I was behind the 8 ball.  I only had 6 reps in and about 20 seconds left, so I cranked out about 10 of the fastest reps I ever managed.  I should have easily gotten the win on this one, as I wasn’t even experiencing fatigue after rep 16, but instead ended up taking 3rd behind one guy who got 20 reps and one who got 17.  This was a real heart breaker, and on top of things, because I pulled so fast and sloppy for those last 10 reps, I tore a callus off on my left ring finger.  With the next 3 events being farmers, a truck pull and stones, I hung up my hopes of placing and decided I was just in this for fun and experience.

Event 3: 230lb 2” farmers per hand, 80’ course

Filled my callus with hand santizier and super glue and got ready for this event.  My hands were a second skin of super glue, and I couldn’t get chalk to stick to them, but ultimately my downfall was grabbing the implements like an idiot.  All through out my training, I used a thumbless grip where I choked way up on the front of the implement and it worked fine.  On comp day, I grabbed the farmers with a full grip, in the hopes of keeping my callus safe.  Made it a few feet, re-opened the callus, said f**k it, grabbed it the way I knew worked, and actually made it with some decent speed.  Still finished around 8th due to the initial drop, but the recovery was decent.  Training paid off, was just an idiot.

Event 4: Semi-truck towing a pickup truck pull, 75’

Filled my callus with hand sanitizer and superglue again.  Never did this before, and trained by PUSHING my minivan up a hill, so really had no experience.  Had the right shoes at least, which really paid off.  Upon video review, I was too upright and my feet were all over the place, but I at least finished the course.  I know I wasn’t dead last, but placing wasn’t great.  Re-opened the callus at the end.

Event 5: 240lb Atlas stone over 52” bar

Last time I did stones was a year ago, but it went really well, so I came into this WAY too confident.  Goal was to one shot every stone and really make up some points here.  Tried out my new Spartan sleeves, which is also a really dumb move to try new equipment in a comp, and I paid the price for it.  Went to grab the stone, it was way slicker than my previous one, and it ripped the sleeves right off my forearm.  I now had almost no tacky aside from whatever was on the stone and what was on my hands.  Thankfully, Robert Oberst was recording my video and gave me some great tips on what to do in this situation, which was get my hands under the stone and work from there.  When I COULD pick up the stone, I could one shot it, but it was just a disaster.  Mechanical failure paired with non functioning hands and just a crummy day, and at the end, I opened up a new callus on a finger tip along with the one on my ring finger.

The biggest thing I could have had going for me was either a coach or at least a team mate.  Basically, if I had a voice I was specifically listening for in the second event, I could have fixed the issue within the span of 1 rep versus 5 or 6, and having someone with experience/access for the truck pull and stones would have given me a better placing.  I also learned to just be at peace with the stone hickies I get without the sleeves, because it’s a question of minor inconvenience versus performance.  If I DO use the sleeves again, I’m going to zip tie them rather than use laces, as I saw someone else use that strategy and it seemed successful.  Push press is coming along though, and my deadlift is still a boon.  I am also happy that I was still able to complete the contest after ripping open my hand, and will be training again in the near future with just a few minor adjustments to account for it.

I am contemplating doing another powerlifting meet before my next strongman comp, just to see how well my total has improved since my last one, but I am not at all done with strongman.  I am still enjoying every contest.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014



200 partial chins

A1. Push Press
-Rotate between ME and RE work
-Rotate between axle and log (axle for ME work, log for RE work)
-ME always done from rack, RE from floor
--Idea: For ME axle press, work up to heaviest strict press weight, then push press for reps

A2. Pull aparts
-Always 20 reps per set
-Performed between warm up sets

B1. Push press 3x10
-Utilize implement used in exercise A1

B2. Rows 3x6-15
-If movement for A1 was log, use log for rows
-If movement for A1 was axle, use single arm row variant

B3. Pull aparts

C1.  Horizontal press 3x6
-Consider using swiss bar in all instances to protect shoulders
--If using swiss bar in all instances, modify exercise via grip width, incline height, going to floor, using fat gripz, chains, or exercise ball
-Possibly use dips as well for shoulder saving benefit

C2.  Rows 2x6-15
-Same movement as B2

D1. Band pressdowns 1x50
D2. Curls 1x50
D3. Chest circuit


Warm up
5 minutes of weighted chins

A1. ROM progression bench

A2.  Pull aparts
Performed between warm up sets

B1.  Slingshot bench 3x10-Reverse band and catapult acceptable alternatives

B2.  Curls 3x10

B3.  Pull aparts

C1.  Strict press 3x6
Consider using swiss bar/log for shoulder saving

C2.  Curls 2x10
Same as movement B2

C3.  Lateral delt work 3x8-20

D.  Kroc rows 1x20

Monday, August 4, 2014


Am presently deloading for my upcoming comp, but have come up with an idea for how I want to program my assistance work.

Problem: Despite going into it kicking and screaming, I really like how I am starting to gain a handle on how to push press, and I want to keep this skillset drilled for future competitions.  That said, strict pressing is what helped me build a solid foundation to push press with, and I want to be able to continue to grind out reps as necessary.

Solution: I will train pressing twice a week.  One day will be a push press with a variety of bars, and the other day will be a strict press with a variety of bars.  As of yet, I am undecided on if I will do my push pressing on my heavy press day or my heavy bench day.

Problem:  With this approach, I will be neglecting benching/horizontal pressing, and as of this moment I am not comfortable with giving up on powerlifting, especially since, after many years, I am finally making progress on bench.

Solution:  I will also bench twice a week for assistance work.  Following a similar approach to the above, armed with my new reactive slingshot (and my old metal catapult/reverse bands if needed), I will have one day where I overload the bench with a reversing mechanism and one day where the emphasis is on strict pressing.  I may even consider making the other day a pause bench day to really emphasize the point, but in general, not making use of external equipment is the intent there.

Problem:  Volume/time considerations.

Solution:  I will abandon my presently effective 5x10 approach for a 3x6-10 approach for each movement, meaning a total of 6 sets of assistance pressing each workout, similar to what I was performing before.  This will possibly result in slightly more time in the gym, but I think the end net positive will be worthwhile.  Remembering lessons's learned from Dogg Crapp, I think my bench will actually do better with so much variety, and this fits in with the Cube Method for Strongman's assistance approach as well.

Considerations: Programming the rest of the assistance work that day.  Primarily, lats, rear delts, triceps and biceps, with POSSIBLY lateral delt work as well.

-To make up for more time spent changing around implements/plates for pressing, I should pick movements that require minimal set-up for everything else.  Chins are easy, as are band pull aparts.  A pin selected machine would honestly be a boon here, may be something work looking into.

-May simply move assistance work to a grease the groove style approach to save time where possible.

-Can always save time by making my assistance work simply be a lighter version of the heavier work for the day, ala BBB.  Will save time in set up.

-Consider leaving some stations pre-set in the garage ready to go and never changing them.  Instead of setting weight PRs, keep the weight the same and go for time based or rep PRs.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Training Log: Entry 1699

(7) Mat Pulls 590

Notes: Definitely made the right decision to reset weight.  This was comically easy, and I had way more left in me.  Managed 11 before the first put down, with an easy 1 and possibly 2 more left in me.  Managed 4 on the first rest pause, with 1 more available.  Did not hit a second rest pause.  Only thing keeping me from going all out is my looming comp, but otherwise, this cycle is going to be insane.

KB swings

Reverse hyper 315

Ab wheel
2x6 standing
1x20 on knees

SSB squats

Notes: Took the rest of it light.  Should be my last heavy day before comp.

Bodyweight: 198.2.  Right about where I want to be.