Monthly Archives: December 2014

Pull Saturday: 6 Weeks Out

I REALLY don’t want to give the impression that I am now focussing on Powerlifting. I am not… I am taking a year off Strongman for the purpose of getting more competitive. But in the mean time, I want to have things to work towards and push/pull comps were initially my target. However, as long as my knees continue to behave, I see no reason why I shouldn’t do a full comp like the GPC states in February. But I am not going to be annoyed if I don’t hit everything I intend to hit on the day. As stated; this is a development period for me, as a Strongman.

Deadlifts (barbell)
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 3
220 kgs x 1
250 kgs x 1
262.5 kgs x 2s x 4r PR but still FAIL. Program req’d 4×4

Hack squats
100 kgs x 10
120 kgs x 10
130 kgs x 10 PR

Bent over BB rows (underhand)
100 kgs x 10
110 kgs x 10

DB front raises
left & right
20 kgs x 2s x 10r PR
17.5 kgs x 10

Pull Thursday: Back to the Bar

EVEN though I took time off to heal, tonight was rough. Owing to the fact that I’m now preparing for the GPC state championships in early February, I’ve returned to barbell deadlifts. I used my belt for all the money sets. And then I went the fuck home to nurse myself.

I have brought this on myself, you see, as I was supposed to stay with 240 kilos and pull 5 by 5 tonight. But I made the choice to skip ahead two weeks in the program, to align it with my comp prep. We will see if I can stick with it over the holidays. I know I should be squatting this coming Monday…

In other – good – news, my knees have been feeling really good lately. I normally experience pain and discomfort to some degree when having to drive a car or sit at a certain angle for any length of time. This tendency has, for the past several days, almost completely gone abated. I am taking this as further evidence my fortnightly squatting approach is heading in the right direction. Who knows? I may be able to return to weekly squatting in the future, with the use of my orthotics and, of course, regular massage and needling to my quads.

Deadlifts
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 3
220 kgs x 1
255 kgs x 4s x 4r PR

Press Tuesday: Nudged & Stapled

I failed on my last rep of my last set of incline bench tonight. I managed to get the attention of Leroy, who made a move to come and assist, but he was beaten to the mark by a fellow whose name I never got. I see him around all the time, doing olympic lifts mostly. But we’ve never spoken.

I also officially met another regular gym-goer this evening when I nudged his new four wheel drive with my just as new caddy. Not good. Not good. But the damage was so minor not even paintwork was scratched on either car, and my bumper popped back in place with some gentle persuasion. He was cool about everything. I gave him the option of billing me if he found anything actually damaged which needed fixing. Mine will also be good as new with some TLC. But jeebus. Way to go me.

Bench press
20 kgs x 5
60 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 3
120 kgs x 1
140 kgs x 4s x 3r PR

Incline bench
60 kgs x 5
90 kgs x 3
110 kgs x 4s x 5r failed on final rep

Skull crushers
55 kgs x 10
55 kgs x 8
50 kgs x 9

Pinwheelz
*20 reps sets*
20 kgs x 2s x 20r TPR
17.5 kgs x 10r

Bench, ah, Thursday: 8 Weeks Out

TOO RUINED from previous sessions and pressed for time (it’s the season for it) I missed benching on Wednesday and so swapped it with pull tonight. I’m going to have to change my bench routine again, as I won’t have enough time to hit the numbers I want before February 7th, which is my next competition.

I have decided to enter the GPC state titles; a Powerlifting event. Right now my strength with the squat and the press is definitely sub-par for my weight division (which is going to have to be the under 140s this year), but with smart programming I hope to hit something like 250/175/310. I’m high-balling squat and bench, and being conservative with my dead. I could try for 315 or more on the day…

Bench press
20 kgs x 5
60 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 3
120 kgs x 1
135 kgs x 5s x 3r PR

Incline bench press
60 kgs x 5
90 kgs x 3
105 kgs x 5s x 4r TPR

Squat Monday: So Far So Good

WITH my lower posterior still pretty sore from the beatings I’ve given it lately, tonight I had to scrap my plan to rep out 200 kilos and be content with 3 by 3 of 170. I belted up for the second set but, much like my last set of deadlifts, the belt felt unnecessary and I dropped it for the third. I’m pretty sure I felt my pants rip a little with the first set, which is a testament to their depth. I kept them deep, and concentrated on not aggravating the tear in my right hip’s labrum. Fortunately I did not, which is a real victory for me; when I assessed the damage after my squat session last fortnight I feared the worst, as I do.

But my plan seems to be working. My knees healed enough in the fortnight to punish them again tonight, the injury behaved itself and I managed some reasonably heavy squats. I know I’m going to have to step it up in the New Year, but this is, so far, very promising. The orthotics and my new post-training regimen are clearly doing their jobs.

Squats w/Axle
20 kgs x 8
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 3s x 3r

Overhand bent-over BB rows
100 kgs x 3s x 10r

DB front raises
left: 20 kgs x 8
right: 20 kgs x 8
left: 17.5 kgs x 8
right: 17.5 kgs x 8
left: 15 kgs x 8
right: 15 kgs x 8

Events Saturday: Refried Beans

I woke this morning full of beans. My CPAP machine has taken a little fine tuning, but is now working well for me; over the past week I’ve experienced better quality sleep than I’ve had in many months. But while my mind feels refreshed and my focus has returned, the beating my lower posterior chain has taken lately proved too great to train through today. I did what I could under the yoke and tested out the new farmers picks from Awesome As, but even 335 felt stupid heavy after I picked it up, so I just held it for a little while.

Utterly fried, my training was over in 45 minutes. I limped back to my vehicle and drove home to load up on anti-inflammatories and relax in my spa.

Yoke walk
135 kgs x 15 meters
235 kgs x 20 meters
285 kgs x 20 meters
335 kgs x 10 second hold

Farmers walk
72 kgs p/h x 20 meters
102 kgs p/h x 20 meters
122 kgs p/h x 10 second hold

I really hope I’m in good enough shape to squat heavy on Monday…

Pull Thursday: 240 4×4

I MET a couple of young lifters tonight who were keen to get stronger. I answered their questions and told them about the events training I do on weekends. They both sounded keen to learn more about the sport.

I’m continuing deadlifting with the axle, from the floor, and increasing my volume at 240 kilograms. Last week it was three by three, tonight four by four… next week, five by five. And presto! I will be able to resume my previous program, if I wish. Periodisation appears to be working well for me here.

My belt was actually more of a hindrance than anything, and I removed it after attempting a single rep in the second set. Having to loop my straps around the axle while belted tight was an irritation, and I didn’t really feel it helping, so I dispensed with it. All the same, I will be avoiding deadlift this weekend, as my lower back is now properly hammered..

Yeah, I’ll just do yoke and farmers walk instead. That’ll rest it.

Deadlifts w/Axle
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 1 no straps
170 kgs x 3
220 kgs x 1
240 kgs x 4s x 4r PR all belt-less

Hack squats
100 kgs x 10
110 kgs x 10
120 kgs x 10

Underhand bent over BB rows
100 kgs x 8
120 kgs x 5
125 kgs x 6

Press Wednesday: Switching Focus

TAKING a year off competing in strongman is allowing me to reassess my goals and face some facts. Facts like how my overhead press is woeful, and my bench press has more potential. Another fact is that strengthening my bench will assist, to a certain extent, my overhead press. Ergo, I’ve decided to focus more on bench while continuing my strongman training, to prepare for a push/pull comp in 2015.

I’ve also decided to squat fortnightly, to maintain strength while not destroying my knees. That means Monday next week I’m going to try for high reps of 200 kilos as my money set.

I have dropped overhead from my Monday night press routine as of now (I will still do overhead press on Saturdays, along with other strongman events, as per usual), and begun a periodisation program focussing on bench press. I originally programmed four by four, but after the fifth set of 130, I honestly felt like I could do two more… same with the inclines. I’m going to increase the weight by 2.5 kilos a week and try and stick to a four by four or five by five for as long as possible. In twelve weeks time, if I can bench 160 kilograms for a triple or more, I’ll be on track. Ideally I’d like a 1RM of somewhere approaching 200 by the end of next year. Lofty ambition for just 12 months, I know, but it’s always good to aim high.

Bench press
20 kgs x 5
60 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 3
120 kgs x 1
130 kgs x 5s x 4r TPR

Incline bench press
60 kgs x 5
80 kgs x 3
100 kgs x 5s x 4r TPR

Skull crushers
55 kgs x 10
55 kgs x 10 TPR
50 kgs x 9

DB front raises
*drop sets*
left: 20 kgs x 8
right: 20 kgs x 8
left: 17.5 kgs x 6
right: 17.5 kgs x 6
left: 15 kgs x 5
right: 15 kgs x 5