Monthly Archives: August 2014

Press Wednesday & Muscle Tear Monday

I HAD a scare which put a premature end to Pull Monday and made for a shitty start to the week. I wasn’t sufficiently warm and limber going into my money set. Working up to 245 kilos for 4 sets of 4; while completing the first set, something in my right leg popped just behind the knee. Of course I feared the worst and took off to see if Dominique, my physiotherapist, was still in her office. Fortunately she was, and gave me a thorough assessment. Turns out it wasn’t a hamstring or a tendon but a massive cramp which caused a small muscle tear. I had to quit the session but I’m feeling like it will be 100% again by the weekend.

So things generally haven’t been going well when it comes to events training. I’ve missed a couple of sessions now, which means I really have to pull my finger out and hit as many events as I can this saturday. One thing is certain; my lower back is fully recovered… and my legs need some serious training. I haven’t squatted jack shit in weeks. Some heavy sled drags should be beneficial.

Getting on with tonight’s session, I had another brief visit with Dom just to make sure all was good, and then set up the log in the rack for more strict OHP. I made some more decent progress in reps, but I won’t be testing my 1RM at all till State finals.

I even added some delt exercises at the end, and spoke to another Dom (young Dominic Leah) about other, specifically front deltoid movements I can also employ.

Log strict OHP from rack
65 kgs x 5
85 kgs x 3
95 kgs x 1
105 kgs x 5 TPR

Bench press
100 kgs x 3
120 kgs x 1
130 kgs x 9 PR

Axle OHP (strict)
*20 reps sets*
60 kgs x 20
70 kgs x 14 TPR

Tri-pushdown
114 kgs x 24 equal to best, 14, 10

Press Wednesday: Log Strict Press & Bigger Benching

TONIGHT I tried something I’ve never actually done before, and set up the log for strict-pressing in a rack. The isolated press with the log in this way was weird, but it did allow me to work on my max effort strict overhead press, and make some legit progress.

Things felt clunky to start with, but I managed some new records across the board tonight. After my log work I managed a new PR on bench press, but dropped a plate on my foot just prior to the money set, which may have robbed me of a fourth. Hurt like a sumbitch… nothing broken though. In reality, I didn’t need that many reps warmup and my setup was looser than it should have been. The pain in my foot didn’t really factor much at all. Hehehe.

There will be more log work on Saturday.

OHP w/Log (strict)
65 kgs x 5
85 kgs x 3
105 kgs x 2
115 kgs x 1 TPR
110 kgs x 4 TPR
110 kgs x 2

Bench press (close grip, flat)
100 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 1
135 kgs x 1
150 kgs x 3 PR

OHP w/Axle (strict)
*high rep sets*
60 kgs x 20
65 kgs x 15
65 kgs x 12

Pull Monday: Good Time

I HAVE BEEN in a shitty mood since my knees packed it in on me again, two weeks ago, and in addition to other commitments in the real world, I’ve missed another events sessioncropped-axle-deadlift...-warmup.jpg last Saturday. Plus I needed to squeeze in a training session before my physio appointment tonight, so I decided to strip it back to just the deadlift, and get some comp-specific pulls in there as well.

And my program called for 235 kilograms to be the top load used, but I literally couldn’t find any 2.5 plates in the High Performance Zone, so I moved on to 240 and made that my bitch pretty good. My pulls felt stronger and, while I know each day I walk in to lift, I *could* pull 300-odd, I don’t.

All in good time.

Deadlifts
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 3
200 kgs x 1
240 kgs x 3s x 4r beltless PR
240 kgs x 3 belted

Axle Deadlifts
*16 inch pull height*
255 kgs x 3
260 kgs x 3
265 kgs x 3

Press Wednesday: Log Work

ANOTHER decent pressing session tonight, with no new records or injuries to speak of. The OHP volume is something I always have to be careful programming, especially now that I’m going to be log pressing twice a week up until State Finals. On saturday, with just the log on the agenda (when it comes to pressingAxle PC still copy, that is) I will attempt either more weight or more reps, and begin a slow build-up to something competitive… I hope. I know I’ve said this before.

Sometimes my knees also aggravate me while cleaning the log, but tonight they were good. I’m really not looking forward to tomorrow night’s squat session though. If I can’t squat, I got no business training legs; pretty much any variation on, or substitute for, the squat produces the same pain.

warmup & band stretch
Pinwheelz: 20 kgs x 8
Axle press: 16 kgs x 8

Log clean-press
75 kgs x 3
95 kgs x 3
105 kgs x 3

Bench press
100 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 1
140 kgs x 6

Axle OHP
56 kgs x 20, 20, 14

Tri-pushdown
114 kgs x 20, 14, 10

Pull Monday: Volume Control

THERE’S enough vitriol been brewing over the last few days to make (another) post about my goddamn knees worth writing; I squatted thursday night, and the pain was too much for me. I quit after repping 120. What followed was a combined hour and a half of dry needling to my quads (and traps, since they needed it also) and another suggestion, from my current physiotherapist this time, that I get some orthotics. Events training on the weekend was not do-able.

But once the pain subsides enough for me to not notice it all the time, I forget about it and go about my day. It’s like that, so much so in fact that, when Asha asked me why I didn’t train on the weekend, it took me several seconds to remember.

Anyway, more on that shit later. Tonight I got to pull again. My programming was over-exuberant; it originally called for five sets of the money set… way too much volume for this weight. After the 3 sets, I pulled a single and knew more would be a bad idea.

And it appears I’m getting worse on glut-ham raises. How about that. Lucky everything else tonight was winning.

Deadlifts
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 3
200 kgs x 1
230 kgs x 3 sets x 5 reps + 1 PR (no belt)

Overhand BB bent over rows
100 kgs x 8
120 kgs x 8
125 kgs x 8 TPR

Glute-ham raises
5, 5

Seated rows
left: 77 kgs x 10
right: 77 kgs x 10
114 kgs x 10 (no rest) TPR

Press Wednesday: Better than Busted

I SWAPPED the order in which I performed my axle overhead and bench press today. I had no spotter as it was around lunch time (and one of the few occasions I’ve found the gym almost empty) so I used higher than average rep ranges on bench instead of my usual near-maximal loading stuff. My tendons appreciated the change-up. On that subject, I’m making myself take note of the additional warmup exercises I do prior to pressing. Whether it truly means something nor not is another question, but today everything held together fine, and I’ll take that as enough of an indication that what I did this time around was beneficial to some extent for my forearms.

I do not yet have confirmation on the deltoid assistance exercises I will be incorporating into the program, I only know there will be some, at some stage. Whatever will help make my press stronger. Speaking of; today I actually had a decent innings with the log. Nothing spectacular, but today is a good base from which to micro-load (virtually) to 120 kilograms and beyond, using triples and sets of five only.

The 20 rep sets on axle OHP I’ve been falling back on as they helped me to build a little more pressing strength when I employed them late last year. If I can bust out twenty reps of, say, 75 kilograms, I can predict a stronger strict press… how much, I won’t speculate on, as I know it doesn’t work like that (especially for me and my press) but based on past experience, I anticipate good things.

Warmup
w/Pinwheelz 20 kgs x 8
& axle strict press 20 kgs x 8

Log clean-press
65 kgs x 3
85 kgs x 3
105 kgs x 3
110 kgs x 1, 1, FAIL

Axle OHP (strict)
*20 rep sets*
60 kgs x 20
65 kgs x 15 TPR

CGBP
100 kgs x 10, 10

Klokov press
20 kgs x 20, 20

Triceps pushdown
114 kgs x 25 PR

Pull Monday: Easy Reps

ONLY WORKING up to 250 tonight as my axle deads on the weekend have taxed me. Still a solid session, incorporating glute-ham raises again (which I fucking suck at) and I managed a new record with bent-over rows, but really, I should have just done another set at 120.

I’m really not sure yet how I’m going to program conventional and axle deads each week but for now I’m taking it easy with the loading on Monday nights, with the intention of repping 300 plus on the axle during events training. My knees were actually feeing pretty good, so I didn’t bother with my knee wraps… my elbows, however, are being difficult and I can see the log work I have to do is going to be challenging. I may have to look into a sturdier pair of elbow sleeves. Not that the Rehbands are no good, I just know there are other products on the market which may assist me further.

Yes, Wednesday night we press. Let’s see what I can do…

Deadlifts
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 3
220 kgs x 1
250 kgs x 3s x 3r

Overhand BB bent-over rows
100 kgs x 8
120 kgs x 8
125 kgs x 8 PR but shit form

Glute-ham raises
6,5

Seated rows
left: 77 kgs x 10
right: 77 kgs x 10
114 kgs x 10, 10

Recap: The Week After Qualifiers

OBVIOUSLY the week after Nat. Quals. was not long enough to completely recover from the event; I could tell I was still fried as my pulling got heavier on Monday night. I just didn’t have the power off the floor when I got above the 250 mark, which didn’t bode well for the rest of if. My programming originally called for doubles of 290, but that was definitely not going to happen.

Things didn’t improve with my pressing or squatting either. I came in and did what I could, but my tendons and knees were just bitching and moaning throughout. I pussed out on my money sets coz everything just felt wrong. I’m not even going to bother recording what little I did do (the only thing possibly worth mentioning was a new PR on Leg press… yeah, never mind).

Events training Saturday was an altogether better day.

Events Training: Back on Track

MUCH better performances generally today, compared with the week’s earlier sessions. I even managed a legit PR for reps on the axle deadlift. I didn’t walk with anything at comp weight today, coz I know when not to push it. But in the coming weeks I intend to work up to a 150 kilo p/hand farmers and, hopefully, a 415 kilo yoke walk for at least 15 meters.

The farmers picks I used today were the Aussie Strength variety, to save time (disassembling the Awesome As yoke is decidedly inconvenient when it’s just me training by myself), and they are a much lower pick to what’s used in competition. Doing 150 p/hand with these is going to be extra challenging.

There was a little energy wasted when, in a moment of innovative thinking (which for me, while gym-braining, doesn’t often happen) I set up a squat rack to pull my axle deads from. I later realised that the rack arms were not going to handle loading beyond 250 or so, so I had to dismantle it and resume pulling from blocks, like I had been doing during previous sessions.

My tendinitis flared up again today and put paid to any heavy overhead pressing I might have otherwise done. It’s log at the state finals, which I’m about as good at pressing with as the axle (that’s not very good) and I really need to focus more time on more intelligent programming for this aspect of my game. Conventional stuff which works almost everywhere else is not doing it for my press, and I could do with more intensive coaching, to get more familiar with the explosive and push aspects of the press. And I need to not bugger my elbows every time I rep something reasOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAonably heavy. It’s really fucking frustrating.

But, yes, on the whole today was positive. Soon I’ll be hitting new records on all events. And the plan will be to perform all the events that we will be doing at state finals, each afternoon. In some cases, especially as I adapt to the increased workload, not all 6 events will be done, or done to near-maximal ranges. Again, smart programming is needed so I don’t actually fry my CNS before the comp and blow my chances before October arrives.

And on that subject, heavy deadlifts this coming Monday might just be a bad idea. Of course, for specificity I could just train axle deads each time I pull, but I like to train my conventional deadlift because, well, the full movement is a better thing to train consistently than the partial movement. But I will ask my coaches and see what they have to say.

Yoke walk
135 kgs x 20 mtrs
235 kgs x 20 mtrs
335 kgs x 20 mtrs
435 kgs x 2 static holds 15 seconds each

Farmers walk
113 kgs x 20 mtrs
133 kgs x 20 mtrs

Axle deadlift
170 kgs x 5
220 kgs x 3
270 kgs x 1
300 kgs x 1
300 kgs x 3 PR

Axle OHP (strict)
60 kgs x 3s x 10r