Saturday, October 31, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1969

Axle Mat Pulls (7)
6x405 (deadstop)
5x405 (touch and go)
8x405 (deadstop)

Notes: First time doing any sort of pulls in like 2 months due to various injuries. Continuing on my trend of not following old movements, went axle, deadstop and multiple sets. It's way different from what I've been doing in the past, which is a positive. Breaks terribly off the mats, zero flex, bar is way out in front of me. Had more in me on each set, but trying to avoid straining to prevent the knee from getting too messed up. Think this is going to be a big part of my training when I get back from injury.

(5) Box Squats stripset (only resting to change weight)
15x bar+chains
20x bar

Notes: This felt more like what I'm used to. Was good to really be able to push myself, even if the weight is light. I keep increasing the ROM each week along with everything else.

May try to get in some reverse hypers and ab work later today.

General notes: Woke up at 188.8 this morning. Cheat meal today was 5 slices of thin crust Papa John's pizza with lots of meat and pineapple chased with a carnivore protein brownie. The latter was ok. Texture was great, flavor needed a little work.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1968


DB curl/hammer curl superset
1x10/10 of 35lbs
3x10/10 of 30lbs

Notes: Really focusing on contracting the bicep through the movement and not just moving the weight.

Average band pushdown superset to lightband overhead extension

Notes: Program deviation.  This was supposed to be done with a cable, but I was training at home and my rig won't support this type of movement.  The bands did an awesome job though.

Axle seated curl to standing curl superset 45lbs

Notes: Program deviation as per usual: axle used instead of barbell.  With the seated curl, I assumed the point was the let the axle run into my legs to limit ROM, so that's what I did.

Axle skull crusher to closegrip bench (chains only)

Notes: Program deviation with the axle again.  Chains were actually part of the program, and they worked well.  Didn't need any additional weight, and my triceps were destroyed by the end.  Even got my pecs in a little bit.

General notes: Woke up at 189.2 this morning.  Was 188.8 yesterday after my cheatmeal, which was pretty awesome.  Knee keeps gradually getting more ROM and I can do more and more stuff with it.  Going to try some axle deads and some heavy-ish squatting tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1967



Seated DB power cleans 20lbs

Notes: With 2 warm-up sets, this got pretty brutal. Program said to not stop moving for the entire set, just keep pumping the arms up and down. Really focused on moving the weight with the rear delts.

Seated bent over lateral 20lbs

Seated DB shoulder press

Notes: Programmed called for a slow work-up to 6. My powerblocks only go up to 50, so I broke out the old adjustable DB handles to go higher. These things absolutely suck to get into place, since the collars extend so far beyond the plate that it's difficult to kick the bell up to the shoulder. Basically have to do a full body hammer curl. Still, once things got up there, this finally felt like a challenge, and it was nice to really push my seated press. May get some power hooks to make things easier.

DB shrugs 105

General notes: Woke up at 189.4 today. It's my 30th Birthday, and my wife surprised me with a Prowler 2 from Elitefts. I have an amazing wife. It shipped yesterday, so hopefully it'll be here soon. That's going to be a boon for my knee rehab, since there is no eccentric to deal with.

Planned to just have a massive cheatday today, but really just not feeling that. I'm going to have nachos for lunch, and slightly more low carb pizza than usual for dinner tonight, but otherwise I just don't like cheat food as much as I like being in shape and feeling good. I'm hearing from the Ortho today about my options, and maybe if I can still train heavy and hard I might finally go push the bodyweight up a touch. Planning on doing the 5/3/1 "Building the Monolith" template for that.


Tabata slam ball slams

Injury update: Met with the Ortho today. Apparently, my ACL is just plain gone (can't find it on the MRI), my meniscus has a radial tear, and I have a small fracture where my knee meets my tibia. Looking at surgical reconstruction via harvesting my hamstring to make a new ACL. Going to wait a few weeks to let the fracture heal. Given 6-9 months recovery time post surgery. Things are looking up, as I finally have a way forward. Excited to get repaired and get back to the game.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1966


Kroc rows 135

Notes: Busted out the old adjustable olympic handles for this.  Missed these heavy rows, glad to see them back in the rotation.  Got a great pump from just the 1 set.

Chins (rotating grip: wide grip overhand, parallel grip, v-handle close grip)

Wide grip cable rows 140

Notes: Actually have the equipment for this amazingly.  Used a lat pulldown bar and gripped as wide as I could.  Really tried to focus on the lat contraction.

Shrugs 365

Notes: Felt a pop in my middle back on the 7th rep of the first set.  Might be a slight sprain or something.  No issues finishing the workout.


Notes: 30 second rest between sets, made it a nice finisher.

General notes: Woke up at 189.8.  Knee continues to get better.  Got a bunch of supplement samples the other day, to include a ton of BCAAs.  Keep meaning to take them before the workout to see the magic they hold, but keep forgetting.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1965


Low incline axle press 230

Notes: Supposed to be 4x6, but hit the j-hooks on the third set and it threw things off pretty hard. Threw in an extra set at the end just to get in all my reps. Still, really felt this hammering the chest today, getting a better emphasis on the contraction.

Flat DB press
8x105+reactive slingshot
7x105+reactive slingshot

Notes: Supposed to be 5x10, but I hit the intent at least. Got a little creative with my toys. I have a metal catapult too that my wife stole for assisted push-ups, I should bring it back into the garage. Really just need to hunker down and get some 75-80lb DBs just to have a nice middleground. On the final set, really focused on contracting the chest, and it seemed to drive the point home.

Feet elevated wide grip push-ups

Notes: Put my feet up on a keg. As long as I put the right foot up first, the knee doesn't mind. Left knee is still death otherwise.

General notes: Woke up at 189.0. Knee continues to improve, slowly but surely. ROM is significantly better, and I can perform most of my everyday functions without thinking about them. Still hitting an occasional twinge, but otherwise sound. Getting my MRI report/images today, going to get an unofficial diagnosis from my father-in-law, and then the official one on Wed. Got a little Juggernaut action figure hanging out at my desk at work now to be my rehab motivator. He looks pretty pissed off. Also, like me, his knee can twist in all sorts of crazy directions.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1964


Box squats (box+6 mats)

Worked up to 280+light bands for 3

Notes: Just wanted to get a feel for my knee stability. Strength is still there, and I felt like I had an easy 400 in me, but knee was slipping around a little on these so I decided to cap it. Used bands because I felt like they'd act as an artifical stabilizing device for my knee (based on the observation Westside barbell had in regards to certain lifters using band tension too often and LACKING the ability to stabilize when it came time to free squat. Felt I could use that to my advantage).

Reverse hyper 50lbs
3 minutes

Notes: This is still viable for the most part. Have to be cautious about letting my left foot run into the heel of my right on the concentric, as that gets my knee to flare.


Notes: This wasn't very knee friendly. I gutted through it, but I'm going to have to find a different movement next time, or try it next week and if it doesn't fly, switch. Maybe kettlebell swings.

Massive box squat dropset (only resting long enough to change plates)

5x280+chains and lightband
5x230+chains and lightband
5x190+chains and lightband
5x140+chains and lightband
5xbar+chains and lightband
5xbar (free squat)

Notes: Trying to create as much intensity as possible with as much weight as I can safely handle, so throwing in just about everything here. Made a conscious effort to not plop onto the box for any reps, which really kept the tension high with the bands and chains. This still wasn't quite the intensity I've put out in the past, but it's not bad for 2 weeks post injury. I am really hoping I don't need surgery, not due to a fear of surgery, but more so that this time spent healing hasn't been wasted.

General notes: Woke up at 190.0. Knee felt a little more swollen than normal 1 day post being without a brace, but also has way better ROM, and I was able to sleep without being conscious of my knee position through out the night. Thing going without the brace was the right call.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1963


Blast strap fallouts

Notes: 5 second hold on very last rep, really getting a tight contraction on these.

GHR sit-ups

Notes: Really happy I can do these again. Going unwegihted, very slow, focusing on squeezing the abs.

Neck harness 45lbs



DB bicep curl dropset (all one big dropset)

Notes: I should really start lower on these and make smaller jumps, as my technique isn't as conducive as I'd like. Getting more delt involved on the heavier sets.

V-bar pushdown dropset (all one set)

Cable curls (45 second rest between sets)

DB extensions on flat bench (45 second rest between sets)

EZ bar reverse curl (45 second rest between sets)

Notes: That's assuming a 15lb EZ curl bar.

EZ bar incline skullcrushers (45 second rest between sets)

General notes: Woke up at 188.6. This arm day was much faster than last week, and more within my wheelhouse. Big fan of dropsets and short rest periods, and by the end I had a pretty decent pump going. Really focusing on contracting the muscles rather than just moving the weight. Trying today without my knee brace to see how it goes. I feel like all the limping is just reinforcing bad walking mechanics and as a result my left calf muscle feels shortened (standing on my heel really stretches it out and burns). I'm getting itchy about healing this damn thing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1962


Leaning lateral raises 20lbs

Band pull aparts

Notes: Really focused on squeezing the contraction at the end here. Normally, I pump out pull aparts with pretty minimal ROM, just hitting the end over and over again, but this time I made sure to return my hands in front of me for each rep and drive really hard to the end. Made a difference.

Axle strict press

Notes: This was supposed to be a military press where I slowly work up to a 6 rep max, with at least 4 sets being work sets. Switched to the axle, and then hung around a little bit after hitting the 3rm, just trying to get in a little more volume. Suppose I could work up a little more gradually next time, but I honestly had no idea what I was going to put up, between the shoulder work beforehand and the bum knee. I still can't fully straighten it, so it's like trying to balance on one leg, which makes stability with overhead work a little tricky. I think the forced time off of push presses are going to be a good thing though, as my strict press needs some work. Bodyweight for 3 on an axle after all the work beforehand isn't terrible, but I used to have a lot more in me.

Barbell shrugs 335

Notes: Biggest factor is that I'm still not able to really heavily load the left leg. Can still get a decent trap workout, but I'd really like to see more weight on these movements. I'm hoping that, if nothing else, I can get a knee immobilizer at my next appointment so that I can start loading up.

General notes: Woke up at 188.6. Lightest I've been in a long time. I can actually feel some pain in the front and outside of the knee at times, which is honestly probably a positive sign, as it's means the swelling is reducing enough to get to properly diagnose what the hell is going on. The bruising on my foot/toes is reducing. ROM is improving and the speed of my limp is increasing. I was able to carry the 100lb plates around the gym today without much concern, and I've actually moved my yoke a few times without the knee buckling. It's as good as can be.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1961


Meadows rows

Notes: Again, not counting warm-ups. Always been a big fan of these. Really focused on contracting the lat hard at the top.

Wide grip lat pulldown 140

Notes: Weight is light, but this is a plate loaded lat pulldown, so not sure how much weight is actually being moved.

Chest supported barbell rows 135

Notes: Don't have a chest supported row apparatus, so had to get creative. I set myself up in my glute ham raise so that the pad was on my stomach/chest and rowed a barbell off the floor from there. Steve Pulcinella demonstrated a similar movement in his Ironsport Method book, but for his you set-up like a normal back extension to really hammer the errectors. This "worked", but like ever other time I try chest supported rows, the limiting factor was that the chest pad was crushing my diaphragm and making it harder to breathe. Still got a decent contraction. Got a couple other work-around ideas I might try in the future.

DB shrugs 105

General notes: Woke up at 189.8 (scale was fighting between that and .6). Still have more of the workout to do, but ran out of time this morning, will finish it later (3x20 hyperextensions against bands. Funny note, there is a typo in the program that says to perform 30 sets of 20 reps...god I hope that is a typo). Gaining a lot more mobility and stability in the knee. If I didn't have an MRI scheduled and a meeting with an Ortho, I'd honestly be training the damn thing by now. I am hoping this is the sign of just a partial tear.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1960



Reverse band axle bench 350+normal short bands

Notes: I always forget how much reverse band stuff sneaks up on you. Everything would feel fine, and alluva sudden I'd be out of gas in the middle of the ROM. Had it set up so that the bands stopped providing assistance at the very top. Really tried to focus on getting the chest versus the triceps in on this. The axle was a program deviation of my choosing, going to try to use that whenever possible so that I don't lose the feel of the implement.

Low incline DB press 105

Notes: Supposed to be 4x10, but was running low on time so cut rest periods short, and only have the 105s to work with. I'm not listing all of my warm-ups on these exercises, but I'm doing quite a bit to get in some volume.

2x10 w/20lbs

1x10 w/20
1x5 w/10
1x5 w/BW

Notes: The dropset at the end was supposed to be 3x10, but I just had nothing left in the tank. This type of training is definitely challenging, not used to hitting the same muscle for so many movements in a row. Hard to see such low numbers, but it means I'm getting stronger.

PM workout

Tabata slam ball slams

Notes: Been racking my brain for conditioning work I can do and re-stumbled upon this gem. Trick is to bend at the waist versus the knee to grab the slamball. First rep or so was a little tricky, but after that I fell into a good groove. Think I'm going to end up getting pretty good at these. Got a birthday coming up as well and may treat myself to a prowler that I can pull arm over arm with a rope.

General notes: Woke up at 191.4. Once I get a diagnosis on my knee, I'll be more willing to commit to a diet 1 way or the other. I'd like to see 186 on the scale, as that should mean that I'm walking around at 7% bodyfat, but at the same time I am really missing the quantity of food I used to eat. I don't even care about eating junk food, I just want to eat bigger. Knee is getting better every day. Now, even it's moments of instability are more stable than before. I'll feel the knee shift slightly, but it won't give way. I've been able to get away with more movement now, although the ROM is still terrible. My legs are actually a little sore from my workout on Saturday, so that's a positive.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1959


High box squats (box+7 mats) w/buffalo bar

Notes: Height is just at the level where knee wants to give out. Focusing on not locking out and keeping tension on the quads. Amazingly, the right quad fatigued before the left. I imagine it's been taking on more of the work with my limp.

Buffalo bar good mornings

Notes: Didn't bother my knee, but since I couldn't fully straighten it, a little harder to get tension on my hamstrings.

General notes: Woke up at 189.6. Knee continues to improve, limp is getting more fluid. Psuedo cheat meal today of a 6" wrap with turkey, roast beef and heavy mayo, along with a quarter of a low carb pizza and a quest bar.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1958


Blast strap fallouts

Notes: Like the ab wheel, but less stress on the knee joint, since I remain more upright.

Seated band crunches w/average band

Notes: As much as it's popular to bag on Louie Simmons these days, I'm so thankful for all the time I spent reading Westside Barbell/Elitefts stuff, because I know of a million different exercises that I can do. As much as I love the GHR sit-ups, these were pretty slick.

2 minutes


Arm day (I've become everything that I hate)

Down the rack barbell curls (no rest between sets)

Notes: Used the commercial gym by my house for this. Thought it would have preset barbells, but no such luck, so I was curling a texas power bar in a squat rack for this. Wasn't strict form, used a little English, but still blew the arms up something fierce.

DB curl/hammer curl superset
2x10/10 of 20lbs
1x10/10 of 25lbs
1x10/10 of 30lbs

Notes: Perform all reps with one arm, then the other. Biceps were torched from the BB curls at first, and got better as I went along.

Hammer strength preacher curl reverse grip/normal grip superset
4x10/10 w/45lb plate

Notes: Next time, use straps for reverse curl. Puts too much stress on the thumb. Thought the gym would have a normal preacher curl station, but this did the trick.

Tricep rope pushdown/overhead extension superset
1x15/15 of 30lbs
3x15/15 of 20lbs

Notes: Weights are embarrassingly low, but my triceps were getting fried from these.

Dumbbell overhead extension/bench dip superset
4x15/15 with 30lb dumbbell

Notes: That feeling when you grab a weight that you think is going to be a warm-up and it turns into a working set. I was supposed to do 20 reps on the bench dips, but had no chance. Feet were on the floor versus on a bench.

Down the rack skull crusher (no rest between sets)

Notes: Performed with a straight bar on a flat bench. Needed a slightly wider grip to not destroy my elbows.

General notes: Woke up at 189.8. With a little smoke and mirrors, I saw a full on 6 pack in the mirror today. After this workout, it's clear to me that my arms are weak, and as much as it's killing my soul, the arm day is probably going to be a positive thing for me. I may do some of them in my home gym when I can get away with it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1957


D-ring chain lateral raises

Notes: Amazingly, this isn't my modification. The program calls for chain laterals. Really focused on not shrugging with the weight.

Seated dumbbell rear lateral raise 10lb per hand

Seated dumbbell press

Notes: Programmed called for a slow build up to 4x6, but equipment limited me. I should've used the 105s, but I'm still a little nervous about getting them into position with my knee. If I do this again, I'll slide a resistance band under the bench and put either end in my hand. Still, the set of 17 was a pretty decent grinder.

DB shrugs 105

General notes: Woke up at 189.6. My diet hasn't changed too dramatically, I just cut out what little junk there was (basically an extra quest bar in the afternoon and a fiber one pumpkin bar in the morning). I think I'm just going to let my weight naturally free fall until it settles and go from there. Still going to try to maintain as much muscle mass as possible, to include training the right leg as hard as I can, but getting a little smaller and leaner won't be the worst thing in the world. Conditioning is going to be a little tricky to figure out.

On the injury front, the swelling has reduced enough that I can actually see my kneecap again and feel some of the muscle surrounding the knee. Before, all I could feel was fluid. As a result of the reducing swelling, the knee actually feels less stable. Still no pain, and fewer instances of feeling like it's going to slide out.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1956

Back Day

DB rows

Worked up to

Notes: There were supposed to be Kroc rows, but I'm still a little iffy about anything ballistic with my leg being unstable, so the form was pretty strict.

Chins (rotating grip per set: wide grip overhand, neutral grip, close grip with v-handle)

Notes: Goal was 100 in as few sets as possible without doing less than 10 per set. I thought I'd knock this out quick, but doing them after the DB rows was a shock. Really focused on using the lats, trying to take the arms out.

T-bar rows

Worked up to 4 plates for 10

Notes: Was working up a plate each set, but next time I might use a 25/plate alternating scheme for more volume. Once again, leg was the limiting factor, didn't want to drive too hard.

Barbell shrugs

Notes: Haven't done a straight up barbell shrug in forever. Took this easy-ish, but next time it rolls around I'll be excited to really put some weight on it.

General notes: Woke up at 190.0. Back was definitely pumped from this workout. I can easily see this being my favorite day in the split. Knee is getting more stable, and I was able to walk up a flight of stairs with my hands full this morning. Trained in shoes too. This type of training is really unrewarding, but it's also nice to have completely turned the keys over to someone else. I've been strict with my rest times, using a stopwatch and everything.

For the situational awareness of my readers, this is how the current split is written


With off days as needed.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1955

Chest day (that feels weird to write)

DB twist press
2x10x50lbs w/light band
2x10x50lbs w/miniband

Notes: Execution starts like a normal dumbbell press, but at the top you twist the bells and touch them against each other.  I don't have heavy enough DBs to do this with straight weight, so added some bands.  Seemed to work out decently.  I have access to a full gym not far from my house, so if push comes to shove, I can get out there sometime.

Low incline axle press 205

Notes: Still bringing a little strongman into this with the axle.  This was a solid weight, decent enough struggle.

Ladder push-ups (3 heights)
3 sets

Notes: Solid pump from this. I used to use these as a finisher, so I'm familiar with the execution.

General notes: Woke up at 191.8.  Performed the entire workout in flip flops, as getting in shoes is still a little tricky.  Meant my ability to drive with my legs was non-existent, but most likely for the best.  Solid chest pump for sure.  Injury is getting significantly better by the hour.  I can "walk" on the leg without support, and with a brace I can move at a solid clip.  I've abandoned the cane for now.  I even found out I can run a few steps when a quick emergency popped up inside the house.  Getting it looked at tomorrow, hopefully a diagnosis to come.


This marks my 8th strongman competition.  This one provided a series of unique challenges.  Not only did I not actually train with my partner for the competition (he lives about 3.5 hours away from me: we just knew each other from previous contests) but I also got pretty seriously injured training FOR the contest, and had to put training on the backburner while I healed.  And then, to top THAT all off, I got even more seriously injured DURING the contest.  But I don't want to spoil anything for you, look onward for details!


I have a recurring lowerback/glute injury.  First happened in 2008, and flares up about 1-2 times a year.  It hit about 3 weeks out from the contest, very minor twinge during a set of mat pulls.  I took it light for the week, went to do some speed farmer’s after 6 days, and then REALLY f**ked it.  I got pissed off after that, and did 3 sets of 3 minutes of reverse hypers later that day to try to aggressively heal the glute.  The next morning, I literally couldn’t walk.  It was like the glute had fallen asleep, but instead of being numb, it sent a wave of fire down my leg with every step. 

I could train my upperbody fine for the most part, but no vertical pressing, only horizontal.  Lower body was pretty FUBAR.  All I could do was rehab exercises for a week (pretty much just leg raises) while sitting on a heating pad 8 hours a day and popping Naproxen.  However, the week of the contest, I felt about 98%.  I’d still wake up stiff in the morning, but after an hour or 2 I had full mobility.  I knew it just meant I was going to have to warm up more.

Also, I picked up some Rehband warm-up pants to keep the area warm/supported.


Up until the injury training was going very well.  This contest came up quick on my radar and I only ended up with 5 weeks to train, many of them spent rehabbing an injury.  I was able to train for every event (axle clean and press, farmer’s, front carry, yoke and deadlift), and got up to a 750lb yoke walk for 32’, very fast foot speed on the farmer’s, good pick-ups on the front carry, and decent for the clean and press.  Still couldn’t master the continental in time for the contest, so something to work on in the future.


I ended up moving up a weight class since there was no one else but my partner and I in the lightweights.  The only area I saw this being a real issue was for the axle clean and press.

EVENT 1: Axle clean and press (Clean each rep, 245lbs, 90 seconds)

We were told we’d be using the Ironmind axle, so that’s what I warmed up with.  I was having my partner help me with the continental, since I had never done one in contest before, but the damndest thing kept happening: everytime I tried to catch the bar on my stomach, it was ending up on my shoulders.  Even at 233lbs in warm-ups, I was catching the bar.  I figured I’d be good for a few reps at 245 at that rate.

Then, as we were setting up for the event, the promoter had us set up for the Rogue axle.  As soon as I grabbed it I realized there was zero play in the axle, whereas the Ironmind one still had some.  I was completely hosed.  I kept catching the bar high on my stomach/chest, but couldn’t get it turned over.  I tried a bunch of times before tagging my partner in, who managed 2 reps on his own.  First time I ever zeroed an event.  However, Kalle Beck was able to give me a great tip about how I was holding the axle (in my fingertips versus my palm), which was why I wasn’t turning it over any.  Once I’m able to practice the axle again, that’s going to be huge.  Once again why I find competition so valuable: you learn a ton.

Event 2: Farmer’s walks (245 per hand, 25meters)

Was training with 185 for this, because that was the lightweight weight, but wasn’t worried about 245.  We were told we’d be using some blue tank handles, which bonked your shins something fierce and had some sharpass knurling.  Then, when it was time to go for the event, we were using Rogue handles.  Once again, the old switcheroo.

The Rogue handles we were using were old, the powder coating had all worn off, and the remnants of tape around the handle meant to give it some grip just slid around a bunch.  I dropped the handles twice over the course of 25m, whereas I have never dropped a farmer’s in my life beforehand.   I made sure to get some quick pick ups to eliminate wasted time, just to watch my partner (and pretty much everyone else) drop the handles 2 or 3 times.  We made it before time ran out, but came in 4th here.  At least we were all getting screwed with the equipment changes.

Event 3: Max weight yoke (775lbs for us) 60’ total (30’ forward, 30’ back)

This was the event I was looking forward to the most, as I’m slow and love heavy stuff. I just practiced pick ups for the warm-up, wasn’t interested in the movement portion, since it was going to be slow.

Event started, I got set up, and was amazed at how light the weight felt on my back.  When I bought my yoke, the guy who built it said it was 120lbs, but I’m starting to think it was heavier, because I hit 750 in training and it felt much heavier.  However, my foot placement was much more wobbly, and someone pointed out to me that this was most likely because we were in a parking lot with uneven flooring.  I dropped the yoke twice, and focused on quick pick-ups each time.  The weight felt so light that I figured I’d much up for lost time just by moving quickly with it.

On the second pick-up, I felt my knee bend the wrong way and heard a pop and some grinding.  I immediately let out several “FUCK!”s and then had the good sense to grab the uprights to slowly let myself fall down to the floor.  I was mobbed by some fellow competitors who quickly got my knee sleeve off, put me in a chair, got me some ice, and offered me all manner of alcoholic beverage.

Thankfully, they suspended our time, and my partner finished the event.  We actually ended up with the second heaviest yoke of the middle weight class, which put us in second for this event.

Events 4 and 5: Stone carry and 495lb deadlift for reps

You’ll forgive me for being brief, but it’s no longer my story at this point.  My partner, by himself, beat out one team on the stone carry and 2 teams on the deadlift.  Dude was a beast, and I was upset since I felt like I was holding him back in the first 2 events and would’ve contributed on these final ones, but we still took 3rd out of 4th while both giving up 75lbs.  Truly a warrior’s day.

Current injury status:

I’m fairly certain I tore some ligaments in my knee.  I am in zero pain, but the knee has no stability whatsoever.  It is presently swollen to about twice it’s normal size, but with a brace on it I can move almost at a normal speed.  I’m keeping positive, using the power of positive thinking to aid the healing process.

Moving forward: I’ve been wanting an off season for a while and now it’s been given to me.  I’m going to invest myself full tilt into a bodybuilding program for my upper body, and do whatever I can get away with for my lower body.  I bought Matt Kroc’s “Insane Training” book, and it has a completely laid out bodybuilding program in it that I’m going to try to copy with my home gym.  If nothing else, I’m stealing the split and the principles behind each day.  Going to clean up my diet a touch to shave off the slight amount of fat I accumulated in this training cycle, and then start adding some quality calories to make the most of this increased volume.  Once I get an actual diagnosis on the knee, I’ll know where I am going from there.

I’m not done yet.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1954


Continental clean practice w/axle

Notes: The good news is that I can press overhead with minimal pain to the injury site. The bad news is that I wasn't able to continental any decent amount of weight. I managed 148lbs with zero issues, but once I got to 198 it would just get stapled to my stomach. I know intellectually what needs to happen, but can't quite get my body to figure it out. My hope is that I'll get to compete in my weight class, where I can just muscle clean 185lbs all day with no issues, but if I move up and have to work with 245, I'm just going to use nose tork and sheer force of will to move the damn thing.


superset w/

Pull ups

Notes: I REALLY like this. Gets a real solid upper body pump with minimal equipment/time. Going to have to keep this going in some capacity after the contest.

Axle curls

Notes: Had to rest during this, but kept with the protocol of never letting the axle out of my hands. Massive forearm pump.

Average band pushdowns

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Band pull aparts

General notes: Woke up at 190.2 (not sure of what came after the decimal. Something like that at least). Got to use my new rehband warm-up pants. They definitely do a great job of keeping everything warm and are plenty tight. I was hoping for just a little more support, but worse comes to worse I can always just layer the compression shorts. Still hanging around 98% in regards to injury. Eccentrics on deads/cleans seem to be my weak point. Probably just going to do some controlled drops at the contest. May even have to abandon my precious touch and go for a bit when everything is said and done.

Last heavy training day until the contest. May do some speed farmer's tonight just to see if all systems are go, as that's what injured me in the first place. Trying to find the balance of eating bigger prepping for the contest without eating garbage.


So I lied.  My wife had a 2 a day for running today, so I decided to join her in the garage.

Tried to continental again.  Still couldn't get it.  Muscle cleaned 198 with zero issue and got 238 just about a few times.  I think if I was fresh from not trying to continental, I'd have a shot.

Sandbag 205lbs

Farmer's walks 60'ish

Notes: Just a confidence booster, wanted to see how I'd handle it.  Once again, the big issue seems to be psychological.  I was moving very slow off the pick up on the sandbag, and would pick up speed later.  After a few attempts, I managed to get over it, and the farmer's had zero issues as a result.  Think I just need more of a warm-up than usual come contest day.

Also, one of the prongs on my lever belt broke off.  Belt still functions, but that's just awesome.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1953

Yoke Pick Ups
1x770 w/13 second hold
1x803 w/10 second hold

Notes: Legs felt completely hammered and I wanted to get under a heavy yoke one more time before the contest, so this seemed like a good compromise. Got to test out my new Crossfit Lite TRs on this as well, but I don't plan to wear them to this contest because I haven't had a real chance to train in them.

Trained angry again. Being realistic with myself, I am most likely experiencing fear that is being channeled into rage. My mind is apprehensive about getting under heavy weights so soon after an injury, and I'm overcoming it by just going berserk. I'm at peace with this though. I want to come into this contest angry. I want to just be a white hot laser beam of wrath and melt things in my path. It's been a long time since I've tapped into this part of me (I'd say 2012, on my first 600lb pull in competition), and I think it needs to come back once more.

Kind of funny how it happens when I'm at my leanest. Maybe I'm just hungry, haha.

Considering I got this first thing in the morning, off of a bowl of blueberries and honey with legs too sore to stand up in general, I've got no concerns for my comp. Additionally, I'm going to remember this movement on squat day mornings when my legs are too sore for any sort of ROM, as this was a great wake to still get under something heavy and feel accomplished.

Long entry, holy crap.

GHR sit ups

Notes: Focused on keeping tension in the abs the entire time.

Car deadlift simulator
Worked up to a 9 plate attempt.

Notes: Wasn't able to break the weight off the floor, but my body was game for it. Got a lot of flex on the implements, and may have been able to do it if I was willing to be really stupid. After the contest, this will be the next thing I crush.

General notes: Woke up at 191.4. Legs still incredibly sore, slight recurrence of pain at injury location, most likely the result of altered walking mechanics due to soreness placing stress at odd angles. I get my rehband warm up pants today, excited about that.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1952

Squats w/buffalo bar

Notes: Incredible DOMs already, just getting in my feeder workout so I can move.

DB bench 105
22 reps

Notes: 1 rep progress from last time. Still using the ironmind bench. Very unforgiving.

Shoulder circuit
3 rounds

Chain suspended bench lockouts 225+mini shortbands
14 reps

Notes: Last week I used micro minis, this week was minis (or maybe last week it was minis, this week monster minis, either way it was a stronger band). I really like these. Despite being a little tricky to set up, they totally nail the lockout. As soon as my speed slips, I suffer for it, and have to grind the ever loving crap out of the rep. Having the bar suspended means that I can start every rep from a dead stop and that I can also really give it my all with zero fear of failure. Rotating them in every 3 weeks should keep my elbows safe. Hoping to see some big progress with this movement.

Chins (3 different grips)

DB rows 105

Band pull aparts

Notes: Back is feeling healthy, but don't want to push it at this point. Close to the contest and freshly healed. Once this show is over, I'm going to engage in an aggressive campaign to bulletproof my back.

General notes: Woke up at 191.4. I am insanely sore from squats but not at all in pain. Was even able to sleep with the memory foam topper back on the bed with zero issues. Diet is getting a little looser this week as I get closer to the show and care less about my weight. Traditionally, I deload the week of the show, but since I've had about 2 light weeks in a row I plan to take this week like a pretty normal training week.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1951

GHR sit up/GHR super set

Squat Stripset (minimal rest between sets, just enough to change plates)

Notes: I'll let the numbers speak for the state of my injury. I don't like to train angry, and prefer to be calm. However, once I got under the bar for my very first warm up set I could feel this deep, dark anger just start welling up inside me. Every set after that it just kept growing, and I just kept falling deeper and deeper into the pit. I was just mad at everything: at getting hurt, at being injured, at taking so long to heal, at being weak, at how many times up until this point I got under the bar with the same weight and had to shut it down, at feeling betrayed by my own body. I wanted to melt steel with my eyes and breathe fire. I wanted to get this all out of me in one workout, a punishment for my body for getting injured and redemption as well.

The first set's double was a tough effort, but not maximal. Nice to see no real strength lost. After that, just going on autopilot. And that's the story of how you do 110 reps in one workout.

Bodyweight was 190.0 this morning. Hip was a little stiff, but that's about it. That might just be a forever thing at this point, but I can cope. Cheat meal was 2 servings of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Ice Cream (500 calories, 60 grams of sugar) with a quest bar broken up over it. Next time, just going to eat the quest bar separate, the ice cream doesn't need any help.

I can't be killed.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Training Log: Entry 1950



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Notes: Tried some overhead work with the axle, and I'm far more stable, but still somewhat painful. Dips did a great job pumping up the upper body. Goal here was just get in some quick work and flush the body with blood.

Band pull aparts

DB curls
10x45 hammer curls
10x40 curls


2.6 Mile Run

Notes: First few steps were a little stiff, but after that fell into a decent rhythm. After felt pretty quick, and seemed to finish around my normal time. Considering I couldn't even walk on Tuesday, this was a massive victory.

General notes: Woke up at 190.2 (I think, forgot what came after the decimal). Got out of bed with minimal difficulty and am feeling more stiff than injured. Still taking things slow, but today is the first day where I've chosen to forgo the heating pad at work. I've been forgetting to take my Naproxen, which is a good sign, as it means the pain is really less debilitating. I've also switched to wearing my shoes more often, as I was wearing flip flops after work and it seemed to be aggravating my injury.

Contestwise, myself and my partner are currently the only 2 lightweights signed up for the show. If I'm feeling healthy next week, I may bump up a weight class. I don't want to do that, but the challenge would be nice, if I can get my body to hold together. My only concern is really just the axle clean and press, as I've not been training my continental clean at all.