Monthly Archives: May 2014

Events at GENESIS: No Yoke Bloke

THE YOKE still hasn’t arrived, unfortunately. Should be there next week. I trained around this… I wasn’t really feeling it today, and my knee is giving me schtick, but nonetheless I did the pressing I was supposed to do Wednesday and worked on my events conditioning. For the record, my events conditioning sucks right now.

Leading up to the medley, the 110 axle was messy; I continental cleaned it and hitched it up instead of the full power clean I was trying for… still not explosive enough at that weight. And this might have cost me when it came time for the actual medley.

The medley was a trial run, and it sucked. I was aiming for a fast time, but I guess I psyched myself out. I couldn’t both keep steady and lock out the log, and the axle was barely a complete press if I’m being brutally honest. Mad, I decided to punish myself with the farmers and tyre flip combo… we need a heavier tyre. Even after a reasonably heavy farmers walk, 175 kilos just isn’t enough to challenge me.

I weighed the picks; 13 each. An odd number to program with, much like my 16 kilo axle. But at least I now know exactly how much I’m moving.

Warmup
Barbell strict press 30 kgs x 10
Log clean press 65 kgs x 5, 85 kgs x 3
Dumbbell clean press 50 kgs x 1
Axle power clean press 110 kgs x 1

Clean-press medley
50 kgs DB
100 kgs axle
105 kgs log

Axle power clean press
96 kgs x 2

Farmers walk
93 kgs p/h x 20 meters
113 kgs p/h x 20 meters

Farmers & Tyre medley
133 kgs p/h x 20 meters
175 kgs tyre x 20 meters

Bench press
60 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 4
120 kgs x 7 TPR

Triceps pushdowns
114 kgs x 20, 12, 10

Squat Thursday: Another Mixed Bag

Axle Squat 1 zoomBOTH GOOD news and bad news tonight; slow, steady progress was made bringing my squat back up to form; I hit really good depth on all reps, no dipping into a GM as the fatigue set in. I could have pushed for 2 more reps of the money set… I didn’t. Probably a good thing.

When I unwrapped my knees, the right one started throbbing as soon as the blood returned to it, and the patella was all soft and painful… hooray. This is some bullshit right here; the thing is fine after a few days, but as soon as I squat it fucks up again. I’m getting my legs treated regularly too… if I can’t fix this with some more needing, or orthotics, or fucking something… I might have to just quit squatting. Or squatting below parallel, at least. God, I’d hate to have to do weaksauce half-squats and be like virtually everybody else I see in the racks at my gym.

So hack squats were out, again, and I also decided to scrap the GMs so my lower back is nice and fresh for events training this saturday; it’s going to be the first time I do all my events at Genesis, now that the Awesome As yoke is arriving at the end of the week! The third chapter of WA Strongman will officially be operational.

As a matter of fact, there’s a bunch of awesome stuff happening in the world of WA Strongman… a lot of it I can’t reveal just yet. But I CAN confirm that the next national qualifying round will be held Saturday July 19th at Coventry Square Gardens in Morley. This venue played host to the GPC Perth Cup at the start of the year, where I pulled my 295 with two busted knees… the competition was well run, spectators numbered over one hundred a day by my estimate, and it was pretty momentous for all concerned. Let’s hope we can create that kind of atmosphere for our comp.

Also – and this is even bigger, better news – the state finals are going off at this year’s Perth Royal Show! October 4th, Day 4 of the show, WA Strongman will be centre stage.

Exciting times ahead. I’d better get my goddamn knees fixed ASAP.

Squats w/axle
20 kgs x 8
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
150 kgs x 3
180 kgs x 6 TPR

Tyre flips
175 kgs x 8

Underhand BB bent over rows
70 kgs x 10
100 kgs x 10
105 kgs x 6 TPR

Pinwheelz
20 kgs x 20
17.5 kgs x 20
15 kgs x 20 TPR

Pull Monday: So… I Know I Said

1957895_10203370447241572_898808368_oI WOULD keep it below 200 for my money set and rep out. But screw that, I thought as I walked into Genesis tonight. I was feeling good and wanted to lift something heavyish, without busting a gut and ruining my new program, which I begin next week. I only used my belt for the double of 270, and there was no point doing a third. Stiff-legged and spasming hammies on the second told me it would be a wasted effort.

My traps are in bad shape right now; during events training on saturday I was getting light-headed while I ran yoke… and as a matter of fact, I was feeling the same light-headedness after my 20-rep pinwheels last week. These are sure signs I need my traps needled. But I can’t see my guy till Wednesday, which is press night. I hope I will still be able to train effectively afterwards… I had some fun axle work in store, which I was going to vid for the good people at Fat Gripz.

Sunday was the CAPO state finals, and I was there to see one of the biggest turnouts to an event at the Pit since maybe 2011. The winner of the under 90s class was a young bloke called Dominic who trains at Genesis. With the numbers he’s putting up at just eighteen (his squat and bench are on par with my own… if not a little stronger!), he’ll be formidable in a couple more years, I expect.

And in other news, on the grapevine a picked up a rumour that a US powerlifter-cum-internet celebrity may be running seminars in Australia in a few months. The jury is still out on whether or not he’ll make it to the West coast (we tend to get skipped coz of our remoteness compared with the rest of Australia’s civilisation, over East) but fingers crossed. I’ve so far had the pleasure of watching Malanichev lift, and I’ve had dinner with and attended a (very informative) seminar by Brandon Lilly. So meeting this guy would be another notch on my lifting groupie bedpost.

Deadlifts
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 3
220 kgs x 3
250 kgs x 1
270 kgs x 2 belted

Overhand BB bent over rows
70 kgs x 10
90 kgs x 8
100 kgs x 8 TPR

Glute-ham raises
8, 6

1-arm Seated rows
left: 91 kgs x 10 PR
right:91 kgs x 8 PR
Seated rows
114 kgs x 15 PR, 10

Squat Thursday: Rain Check

FUCK, Fuckity fuck fuck, my right knee didn’t like me today (I suspect I strained it during log press last night) and I couldn’t do shit tonight without exacerbating it. I wrapped up for everything from 120, but I knew pushing for more would do me no good. Likewise, hack squats were off the table. If it doesn’t come good by monday I’ll be making a physio appointment.

That’s why I was there; when it comes to training, everything else is incidental, really. But I did have a play with one of the gym’s most recent acquisitions; a truck tyre. A friend of Asha’s donated it… it proved to be too light for me, but I pushed it around until it was bored.

Squats w/axle
20 kgs x 8
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
160 kgs x 3

Good mornings w/axle
70 kgs x 5s x 10r

Tyre flips
175 kgs (approx) x 6

Underhand BB bent over rows
70 kgs x 10
90 kgs x 10
95 kgs x 8 TPR

Pinwheelz
20 kgs x 20
17.5 kgs x 20
15 kgs x 12

Press Wednesday: Log & Axle

NOTHING ground-breaking tonight, but solid work in general with the log and axle, and no tendon strain, which is more important right now than PRs. I am feeling confident about attempting the 120 log again soon, and I’m pretty sure I have the pinwheels to at least partially thank for that, and props to trainer McCaughan for the addition to my program (amongst many others).

While training I had a chat to Gabor about the benefit of hack squats, which I’m going to integrate into my legs routine. I’ll trial them tomorrow night after axle squats. He also brought my attention to my limp right arm; unless I focus specifically on driving the press with my right, it lags and the bar drops a little on that side. This is another example of my extremely dominant left side. Ever since my shoulder injury (which is a while ago now… over two years, in fact) the left has done the majority of the work and the right has been babied along as I rehabbed it. And it now appears, on a mental level, to be less engaged generally. I need to correct this.

I should mention that I didn’t do any monster dumbbell work tonight because it looks as though someone at my gym took the Fat Gripz off my dumbbell handles and absconded with them: Fat Gripz with my name engraved on them. So once the dudes in charge have reviewed all the video footage, we will find out which (soon-to-be ex) member I need to have a chat to.

Log clean-press
65 kgs x 4
85 kgs x 3
95 kgs x 2
105 kgs x 1
110 kgs x 1

Axle OHP (strict)
90 kgs x 8

Bench press (close grip)
60 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 3
120 kgs x 6

Triceps pushdowns
114 kgs x 20, 12, 7

Pull Monday: More Beltless Deads

STICKING to the program but keeping everything belt-less is really not working my legs as the weight goes up. My hamstrings were complaining a little with the volume and were fried by the time I got to the accursed glute-ham raise machine.

Rather than doing a triple of 270 next week, I’m instead going to top out sub-200 and do several sets of 5. But my deadlift will get stronger as my squat gets stronger, and now that I’ve pegged my loading and rep ranges, I can wrap up this interim programming and start pushing for PRs.

The next Strongman national qualifying round is two months away. I intend to pull a 310 deadlift, and attempt a 150 p/hand farmers walk, amongst other things. My yoke will suck, as it generally sucks, but even so, a 400 kilo yoke walk for the full distance is achievable, and not too shabby for me.

My press is my biggest worry though. I’m going to try for a 120 log (or axle) in about a month and a 70 kilo strict DB clean-press. I feel more confidant about the dumbbell than the log.

Deadlift
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 5
210 kgs x 3
240 kgs x 3s x 3r

Overhand BB bent-over rows
70 kgs x 10
90 kgs x 10 TPR

Glute/ham raises
8, 8

Seated rows
left 91 kgs x 5
right 91 kgs x 5
114 kgs x 10, 10
105 kgs x 8

Squat Thursday: Revisiting the 200 Club

SINGLES don’t build strength. I know this. This squat was almost an ego lift… almost, not quite. Or not completely. As I’ve mentioned, the cambered bar I’ve used in the past for squatting is different from any straight bar. The axle is a different animal again; I find it more comfortable to rest on my back, but then I’m accustomed to the yoke. I guess if I trained every day with a standard barbell I’d find that more comfortable but, as I’ve discovered time and again, I don’t fit a standard barbell anyway. My arms are too long and inflexible. The balance and abdominal rigidity required make it more challenging.

I must admit that my Gripped Hard Core knee wraps not only save my knees, they also made squatting 200 feel a little easier than I remember it being. And I haven’t had to use it in a while, but my lever belt didn’t fail me.

I’m looking forward to repping 200+ and getting back to my previous squat strength. I want that 250 1RM in the next couple of months.

The calf raise machine proved to not be my friend tonight; I cramped up in both calves immediately and had to scrap them. I am taking plenty of taurine, but I guess they’ve just been taxed lately. Or maybe I should avoid the stupid calf raise machine altogether and flip a tyre or something… If we had one heavy enough to flip, that might actually be a good conditioning exercise to throw in.

Squats w/axle
20 kgs x 10
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
160 kgs x 3
180 kgs x 3
200 kgs x 1 TPR

Good mornings w/axle
70 kgs x 5s x 10

Underhand BB bent-over rows
70 kgs x 10
80 kgs x 10
85 kgs x 6

Pinwheelz
20 kgs x 20
17.5 kgs x 15

Press Wednesday: Fat Gripz Monster DB Trial 1

Fat Gripz Monster DB 1https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTgUHCZVh5Q

I AM definitely going to have to source my own 10 kilo plates to make this dumbbell work, and I will likely have to tape them together to reduce movement – it wants to roll off my shoulder. And, as I’ve said, the diameter of these plates is too great. Even so, I had fun playing around with my new creation… I didn’t hit any new PRs, and in fact was pressing well below my potential as I struggled with the sliding plates.

My Fat Gripz were exactly where I left them; wrapped around my Oly-spec dumbbell handles, on the floor in the serious training room. Someone had attempted to make something out of one and a pair of 15 kilogram Olympic bumper plates… I found that mildly amusing; if nothing else, at least they’re being used. Kinda.

Tomorrow night I intend to squat 200 kilos with my axle for a triple. That will be nice, if (again) far from my previous strength levels… but not that far. It will be good to get another session in with my Gripped Hard Core knee wraps too.

DB OHP (strict)
45 kgs x 3
55 kgs x 1

OHP w/axle (strict)
60 kgs x 5
80 kgs x 3
100 kgs x 2

Close grip bench press
60 kgs x 6
100 kgs x 3
120 kgs x 5

Triceps pushdowns
114 kgs x 15, 12, 9

Good Lifting with Gripped Australia

gripped logoOne of the challenges faced by aspiring lifters in Oz is finding good quality equipment at a decent price. Thanks to our geography, some of the big names in lifting gear can be difficult to deal with, and not many will ship what you need when you need it. And then there’s the costs involved with international postage.
When I got on to Gripped, I had none of these headaches. But I did have an odd thing happen the first time I made a purchase through their website; I was charged a delivery fee… and not a small one. Being the occasionally vocal critic I am, I shot off a Facebook message to the Gripped page, advising them of the fact that I’d been charged shipping for something that should have been free, or at least much less than the amount applied.
I had a response almost immediately. Dave – who has been my go-to guy ever since – apologised for the site glitch and refunded my money. He even gave me a free shipping promo code, to ensure it didn’t happen again. From here, a real dialogue began, and soon enough I found myself doing some freelance Research and Development for Gripped.
They are a young business, so Dave and his associates have been keen to work with athletes and serious lifters to make their products better wherever possible. I was only too happy to offer advice where I felt it was appropriate. Things like removing the velcro from the knee wraps in Gripped’s Hard Core range (velcro is not permitted in Powerlfting federations), as well as suggestions on their selection of straps, and stress-testing the mechanism in their lever belt when it first hit the market.
By providing genuine products at great prices, Gripped have done well by me, and by their customers Australia-wide. I look forward to seeing what they have in store for the future.

Pull Monday: Gripz Testing

I AM looking forward to Wednesday night, when I will again build and clean-press the monster dumbbell; this time it will be my main pressing exercise for the evening. Tonight I made the mistake of leaving my Kroc rows for after my other pulling. Predictably, my monster DB became a real challenge with the Fat Grip attached, and as a consequence I did not get as much benefit out of the few rows I did do. So, just to smash the grip a little bit more (in a new and interesting way), I did some heavy 1-arm seated rows to finish off.

Deadlifts
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 5
210 kgs x 4s x 4r

Glute-ham raises
3s x 8r

Overhand BB bent over rows
70 kgs x 10
80 kgs x 10

Kroc rows w/monster DB
65 kgs x 3
75 kgs x 1

1-arm seated rows
100 kgs x 3
73 kgs x 5