Monthly Archives: January 2015

Recap: Lets Make a List

TOMORROW I have a physio appointment. I doubt I will get everything sorted in the one session; my average needling time per quad, for example, is 30 minutes, and I need both of them done badly. I also need my back cracked, as the nerve issue I sometimes get has been bugging me all week. I need to get my forearms looked at (they’re both giving me grief at the moment) and find out why my right knee is hyperextending. If I get the all clear, I will have my last squat session before states this Saturday afternoon. But that 250 I was hopeful of reaching a few weeks ago is now looking like a pipe dream.

My training has not been on point this last week. Things just seem to want to break on me all of a sudden. I pulled on Wednesday instead of Monday, I missed one bench session, and the routines I have done have been cut short as a consequence. I am hoping I can get two more bench sessions in and still be fresh for next Sunday. It would be pushing it, and reliant on my forearms behaving, which presently they are not. More needles. That’s the ticket.

I am well and truly underprepared for this comp. But it should be a fun experience, and if I can beat my previous lifts from the Perth cup last year, I will be happy enough with that.

Wednesday 28th January

Deadlifts w/barbell:
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 3
220 kgs x 1 double overhand, no belt, no straps
260 kgs x 1
295 kgs x 1

Thursday 29th January

Bench press (paused):
20 kgs x 5
60 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 1
120 kgs x 1
142.5 kgs x 4 TPR
120 kgs (rep-out) x 8 TPR

Incline press:
60 kgs x 5
80 kgs x 2
100 kgs x 1
120 kgs x 5 PR

Sick & Injured Saturday: 2 Steps back

AND I’D just been thinking to myself last week that I was on a role. No illness or significant injury for several months to hold me back, my programming was more or less on point, and I was feeling strong again. Then, half way through the week I got a man cold and began coughing and wheezing. Thursday my voice was that of a mutant frog-child with a goitre. I had been planning to get some time in under a regulation bar at PTC this week, but feeling contagious and nauseated, I knew it would be a doubly bad idea. So I stayed home and bombarded myself with cough syrup, Strepsils, and garlic and horseradish pills. If this didn’t work after a few days, then (knowing my respiratory system) I’d likely have an infection on my hands and need to step it up with some antibiotics.

But I was lucky: the medicine and down time were fighting it off, and by Saturday morning I was feeling almost 100% again, and looking forward to today’s session. This time I thought I’d begin with some events, since bench press was not very taxing, and I’d set myself the goal of a 405 kilogram, twenty meter yoke walk sometime in the next three months.

I worked up to 385, my left forearm getting more and more painful with each run. My shoulders felt good, my setup was tight, my orthotics were in and presumably doing their job (my knees were and are still in good shape)… everything was on point. But I put that yoke down and it suddenly felt like the tendon was going to pop. Later, as I was unloading, I could barely grasp the 25s.

Benching in this condition would have been a dumb idea, as would picking something which does not involve my arms too much, and which I would otherwise be doing next week in my regular programming. Skipping ahead, doubling up on, or generally overdoing exercises by ‘winging it’ this close to a comp is just not advisable. So, a little pissed, I went back home again to ice and pressure wrap my shit, and wait till Monday.

This shit better be healed by Monday. I need to pull.

Yoke walk
135 kgs x 20 meters
235 kgs x 20 meters
335 kgs x 20 meters
385 kgs x 10 meters

Press Wednesday: 3 Sessions Left

THERE have been some growing pains with this twice-a-week benching thing, and I don’t just mean finding a wide enough bench. Both my shoulders have had niggling aches and pains, and while they are feeling pretty much alright now, the dumbbell raises I’ve been incorporating would just damage them further, and so I’ve dropped them in the lead up to this comp. I’ve also become more reliant on people to assist me with lift-outs (especially for incline, now it’s getting up there) and ensuring I restrain my rep ranges to avoid failure. But it appears to be working. My assistance work is also coming along well, and I’m hoping it translates to a decent PR on bench.

Squats tomorrow night. My squats have been so hit-and-miss… let’s see how I handle another session using knee wraps.

Bench press (paused)
20 kgs x 5
60 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 1
120 kgs x 1
135 kgs x 4
110 kgs x 11 (rep-out) TPR

Incline press
60 kgs x 5
80 kgs x 2
100 kgs x 1
115 kgs x 7 PR

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

Pull Monday: Good…

LAST WEEK I pulled 275 kilos for a triple. Nothing special – I tripled 285 almost a year ago, and I was pulling 270 for three by three at the end of a program back in June – so I tried for a fourth. I didn’t get it. That mistake has weighed on my mind, to the point where I was doubting my ability to do what I had programmed for tonight. But I was pleasantly surprised when the first rep flew up, and the second felt just as easy. I knew – knew – I had a third tonight, but I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again. Even if I’d gotten it, I’d be blowing my programming (which I do too often in the first place) and risking premature burnout. I put it down with a smile on my face, and immediately began thinking about next week, and my final deadlift session before the comp.

All the same… it’s really tempting to aim for a legit PR with my last pull. But again, it wouldn’t really achieve anything in terms of a training response.

Deadlift w/barbell:
70 kgs 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 3
220 kgs x 1
260 kgs x 1
287.5 kgs x 2 TPR

Hack squats:
110 kgs x 10 TPR
130 kgs x 10 TPR
150 kgs x 10 PR

Bent-over BB rows (underhand):
100 kgs x 10
120 kgs x 10
125 kgs x 8

Saturday Press Plus: 4 Sessions Left

BENCHING twice a week has offered a new challenge. Today I made a very simple alteration to the way I do things when I’m pressing at Genesis, and it appears to have fixed the problem I’d been having fitting both my lats flat on their very narrow benches. I just turned the bench around, so my head is resting on where people typically sit their sweaty crotches (fortunately I always bring a towel), and the bottom section of the bench is actually wider than the top, so I can just fit myself on there comfortably. I know, right?! So simple.

While I think I set a legit new personal record or two today, not everything went to plan. I felt like I had another rep of my money set on bench but didn’t want to fail again like last session. I’ve said it before and it bears repeating: training to failure trains your body to fail. And my right glute played up during yoke walk. I’m gonna have to get that needled well before states, as it will be holding back my squat, just as the tension in my shoulders and traps was messing with my bench last week.

Bench press
20 kgs x 8
60 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 1
127.5 kgs paused x 5 TPR
100 kgs rep-out x 14 PR?

Incline press
60 kgs x 3
90 kgs x 1
110 kgs x 6 PR?

Yoke walk
135 kgs x 10 meters
235 kgs x 10 meters
285 kgs x 20 meters
335 kgs x 10 meters

Squat Thursday: Not Wrapped

FIRST TIME for a long time using knee wraps tonight, and things didn’t go as planned… I need to get more familiar with them, I guess. I’m using my Gripped wraps as I really can’t be assed dealing with suppliers of lifting equipment. Some Inzers would be nice, but last time I placed an order for an Inzer product it took several months to arrive. I don’t have that kind of time.

I had wanted to squat something around 220, but I didn’t really program right for it, so when I decided to test a single of 210, I was nice and deep, but I felt a little unsteady; again, growing pains thanks to the wraps. I was in the hole for a couple of seconds, and when I came up it was painfully slow, to my recollection (Rory may be a better judge); my adductors didn’t feel like they were activating properly. Even a single of 220 was not happening tonight.

It’s really noticeable how much more comfortable my SBD knee sleeves are compared with wraps. But I will get used to it. I also think a couple of sessions in a Monolift wouldn’t go astray either…

Squats w/axle
20 kgs x 8
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 3
170 kgs x 1
200 kgs x 1 – w/wraps
210 kgs x 1 – w/wraps

Overhand BB bent-over rows
100 kgs x 10
120 kgs x 10
120 kgs x 8

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

Wednesday Press: This Isn’t Genesis…

THERE’S something weird about this place. Nobody is Facebooking. Nobody is doing pointless drop-sets with 5 kilo kettle bells, having conniption fits on crossbars, curling in squat racks, or spending 45 minutes doing set after set of lateral pulldowns with their three mates (who, between sets, are Facebooking). Nobody is staring at themselves in the mirror… wait, there are no mirrors!! Anywhere!! What the… everyone’s using equipment properly!

AND THE MUSIC IS NOT TERRIBLE. Where the hell am I??!

Bench press:
20 kgs x 5
60 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 1
120 kgs x 7 – paused (failed on the 8th) TPR
90 kgs x 14 rep-out TPR

Bench press (45 incline):
60 kgs x 5
80 kgs x 2
100 kgs x 1
120 kgs x 1 – hit safety bar, lost tension… not happy
100 kgs x 3

Skull crushers:
50 kgs x 10
60 kgs x 8 PR
55 kgs x 8

Pinwheels:
high-rep sets
20 kgs x 20
20 kgs x 20
17.5 kgs x 10

Pull Monday: 4 Weeks Out

I SHOULD not have attempted that fourth rep.

I’m dropping the periodisation and just building to a heavy triple each session, so I don’t exhaust myself before the comp. I’m also going to try and bench twice a week… and that’s going to present some new challenges. The benches at my gym are currently not good. They are too narrow and I can only rest one or the other lat on it while I bench. In short, they just won’t do. So I have two choices; either drive to Genesis Kelmscott (which has recently been kitted out with a couple of Awesome As benches), or to PTC Perth, where I’ll be able to train with the bench we’ll be using in the comp.

This week I’ve got doctor and physio appointments; getting myself checked out, some stitches removed from my back, and a thorough needling to my shoulders and quads. I’m back to squatting Thursday nights again too, and looking forward to it. I’m still taking things slowly here, but will squat weekly for the next three weeks in the lead up to the comp. Once it’s over I’ll probably return to squatting fortnightly.

Deadlifts w/barbell:
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 3
220 kgs x 1
250 kgs x 1
275 kgs x 3

Hack squats:
100 kgs x 10
120 kgs x 10
140 kgs x 10 PR

BB Bent-over rows (underhand):
100 kgs x 10
120 kgs x 2s x 8r

DB forward raises:
left & right
20 kgs x 2s x 10r
17.5 kgs x 10

Squat Saturday

SQUATS took precedent today as I’m running out of time to get myself sufficiently comp-ready for February. I’m still very lucky to have functioning knees and I’m not looking to jeopardise that for the sake of GPC states; on the day, if I don’t get that 250 squat, I won’t mind so much. As long as I walk away from the event without injury. Unlike the outcome of the first Perth Cup I entered last year.

I was happy enough with what I achieved today. All money sets were sans belt, and all were nice and deep. When I do squat, depth has always been a focus for me. I don’t want to half-ass any aspect of my training, and while at least one of my coaches has previously advised that I squat shallow to save my knees, I wouldn’t take this option and have instead been steadily squatting lower and lower with heavier and heavier weight. My surprise triple of 210 was deeper than I’ve ever gone before with anything around the 200 kilogram mark. Whatever I do on the day should get three white lights.

Squats w/Axle
70 kgs x 8
120 kgs x 5
150 kgs x 3
170 kgs x 4s x 4r PR

Bent-over BB rows (underhand)
100 kgs x 10
120 kgs x 10
120 kgs x 5

DB forward raises
left & right
20 kgs x 10
17.5 kgs x 10
15 kgs x 10