Monthly Archives: March 2015

Squat Monday: More Than 230 x 3

I SAY MORE, because tonight was so much more than a new squat PR for me. I look around and I see people training Strongman. There is a rising interest in the upcoming novice comp… so much so, we’ve added an under 85 kilo weight division. I fielded a lot of questions related to the events in store, and gave a couple of people technique tips on axle press.

I’m hoping for more people at this weekend’s SM clinic. I can get Axle Squat 1 zoomthese under 85’s in a little better condition in the month we have before the comp.

25 kgs x 8
80 kgs x 5
130 kgs x 5
180 kgs x 3
230 kgs x 3 PR

Overhand Bent-over BB rows:
110 kgs x 10
130 kgs x 10
140 kgs x 8 PR

DB front raises:
10 kgs x 10
12.5 kgs x 10
15 kgs x 10

Pull Thursday: Positive Energy

320 kilo deadlift high res wideI HAVE to admit, I am relishing pulling at the moment. My back is tight and my glutes are knotted – I need some serious needling done sharpish – but regardless, I’m hitting my numbers and recovering well enough. Squatting fortnightly in place of weekly is a contributing factor, along with a raft of other improvements to my diet and lifestyle which have been effected over the last several months. It’s all coming together, and it’s occasions like this where I can appreciate that fact.

I forgot to belt up for the first money set: this was supposed to simply read four by three (with a three by three of 272.5 kgs programmed for next week!), but nothing was lost.

I also took the opportunity to test my grip strength with 240. Twenty kilos heavier than I have previously been able to pull double overhand. I held it for a couple of seconds, till I could feel my grip slipping, before putting it down.

Events training this Saturday will kick off at 1PM with Farmers walk.

70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 3
200 kgs x 1
240 kgs x 1 – TPR double overhand, no straps, no belt
265 kgs x 3 – no belt
265 kgs x 3s x 3r

Underhand bent-over BB rows:
110 kgs x 10 TPR
130 kgs x 10 TPR

DB forward raises:
left & right
12.5 kgs x 10
15 kgs x 10
17.6 kgs x 10

Press Monday: A Better Showing

STRONGMANFINALI COULDN’T press during week 1 thanks to my bullshit right elbow, and since I’m supposed to be squatting fortnightly only, I decided tonight to do the pressing I should have done last Wednesday. And things held up just enough to complete all sets.

For variety, and coz I maxed out my incline pressing at 140 kilos for a triple, at the end of my last program, I swapped in some axle OHP afterwards, and here’s the thing… it seemed to fix my elbow. Or at least, not aggravate it further. The movement felt more comfortable. I will develop a better set and rep scheme and make it a regular thing, I reckon.

Before I left I had a chat to a couple of PTC members about log clean-press technique. PTC is developing a little Strong/wo/man community. It’s exciting to see.

Bench press:
20 kgs x 5
70 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 3
125 kgs x 1
145 kgs x 5s x 4r

OHP w/axle:
15 kgs x 5
60 kgs x 5
90 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 5

10 kgs x 20
12.5 kgs x 20
15 kgs x 20

Pull Thursday: CAPO Prep Week 1

PRESS Wednesday was a disaster. My right elbow played up and the first rep of my money sets was excruciating. I was effectively disabled for the night. But my knees, jeebus bless ’em, have been holding up great since Monday’s squatting. So tonight I had to get shit started properly.

And I did, but it hurt. I dropped the bent-over rows because my back was already taxed, and I needed it to be relatively fresh for Saturday’s clinic.

70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 3
220 kgs x 1
257.5 kgs x 5s x 3r TPR

DB forward raises:
10 kgs x 10
12.5 kgs x 10
15 kgs x 10

Squat Monday: A Little Axle Work

I AM very pleased to report that I had no knee complaints at all tonight. Nothing was rushed, and nothing was ground-breaking for me. But I chose the axle and walked it out of the rack, for a little added challenge. I worked up to triple of 185 before putting on my knee sleeves – a positive development, even though it was not intentional (I have previously always tried to sleeve-up with anything over 150) – and then singled 205 and 225… five kilos below my comp record of 230. But man, it felt good. Better than any squat has felt in a while.

My new program rolls out next session.

Squats w/Axle:
20 kgs x 8
60 kgs x 8
105 kgs x 5
145 kgs x 5
185 kgs x 3 – belt, no sleeves
205 kgs x 1
225 kgs x 1

PTC Strongman: The First Session

TODAY was a great success. I was actually relieved to be starting with a small number of people; it makes instruction a lot easier, and I can assess them at a more comfortable pace. I had a pair of trainees who were sensible, attentive, and surprisingly strong considering their relative training levels. Ryan is a tall and gangly 103 kilograms, and required the second-highest setting on the yoke. He worked up to a ten meter walk of 255 kilograms, with a couple of drops. And Adrian, who has been training PL for about a year at PTC, worked up to the same weight and same distance, for a relatively smooth run. Both impressed me with their efforts.

We moved on to axle deadlifts, and as I could not find the appropriate blocks to achieve a 40 cm pull height, we used bumper plates and pulled from the floor. I made the mistake of using the silver axle, which is an odd weight (it’s more than 25 but less than 30, from memory), and so until I can go back and weigh it, the numbers we hit today will likely all be off a little. But I had them both work up in heavy triples till they were near failure.

This, combined with the impact the yoke has on a fresh young spine, was enough for the newbies for one day, so I decided we would perform some strict axle pressing from the racks instead of clean and press. Again, I had them work up in heavy triples. When they were around 75% of their 1RM, they did reps to near failure for the final set. This will assist me in building a better program for them both… press is something that, for me at least, requires more attention to detail. Things like yoke walk are simpler to program for a novice: they either move it, or they don’t. So long as they don’t keep trying to do it, one too many times. It’s important to know when to quit.

One of the various other things we discussed during training today was the importance of grip strength. I advised certain methods that I find effective for improving grip, such as going without using straps on axle deads for as long as possible. Train the grip – it will fail before the back, every time – then train the lift. Only in rare cases (such as Leroy, one of my trainees at Genesis) will a person’s grip exceed their pulling strength.

It’s all fun and games till they have their first heavy Farmers walk. That will drive home just how essential grip strength is.

This was a pretty much two hour session, which will become more like three or even four hours duration as more people attend and the older members become more conditioned. As I’m not competing in SM this year, I will be using these sessions to compliment my weekday PL programming, and not hittiThe 1st PTC Strongman traning session 1ng anything too hard (at least to start with) while focussing on the trainees.

I realise now that a near-300 kilo yoke walk for 20 meters with no belt is not taking it easy. Not for me, at least. I know plenty of Strongmen who do that to warm up for something actually heavy. But being my first SM events session in a while I could have started lighter. Now I have to do the same distance with something like 315, next time I yoke.

Yoke walk:
135 kgs x 20 meters
215 kgs x 20 meters
295 kgs x 20 meters (no belt)

Axle Deadlifts from floor:
65? kgs x 5
105? kgs x 5
145? kgs x 3
185? kgs x 1 PR (no straps)
185? kgs x 2
225? kgs x 3

Pull Thursday: Bombastic

TONIGHT I attempted 340 kilos, and failed. It moved maybe two inches from the floor… maybe two inches is being generous. I had Tim take a video, but was too unimpressed with myself at the time to remember to ask him if I could keep it for analytical purposes. Nothing felt really off, but I know I didn’t take a deep enough breath before the pull… that’s maybe the only fault. The bar was so close to my shins I could feel it scraping on my socks. Scraping, but not rising. It moved no higher.

70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 5
170 kgs x 3
220 kgs x 1
270 kgs x 1
300 kgs x 1
340 kgs x FAIL

Underhand bent-over BB rows:
100 kgs x 10
120 kgs x 8
130 kgs x 8

DB forward raises:
Left and right
10 kgs x 10
15 kgs x 10
17.5 kgs x 10

Press Wednesday: Last M.E. till May

SKIPPING ahead to bench, as all my talk about the possibility of a 250 squat on Monday came to naught when I found my gym was not open when I wanted it to be. One of the realities of not training at a commercial 24 hour gym is that other people enjoy their public holidays, too.

Despite feeling initially kinda flat, my list of new personal records tells a different story. This is the last time I’ll hit one rep maxes on bench. My program calls for heavy singles in the last four weeks, and nothing really challenging for the first four. So I relished this opportunity to go even heavier than three reds per side, paused. The grind was long, and proved 172.5 was the right increment to peak at.

As soon as I racked that bastard, my whole back cramped from the prolonged tension. But the tendinitis was only a real factor during skull crushers. I thought it best not to keep hitting them and moved on to pinwheels to finish the routine.

Goddamn. Tomorrow night I’m pulling 340.

Bench press (paused):
20 kgs x 5
70 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 3
130 kgs x 1
150 kgs x 1
172.5 kgs x 1 PR

45 Incline press:
60 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 2
120 kgs x 1
140 kgs x 3 PR

Skull crushers:
70 kgs x 8 PR

20 kgs x 2 sets x 20 reps