Monthly Archives: March 2016

Prod, Pin & Press

YESTERDAY the pain in my quad and the ache in my knees had kept me up most of the night. I had an hour booked with my regular physiotherapist late that afternoon. Dominique put a lot of needles into both my legs and my left shoulder, just to be certain that was as loose as it could be. My right VMO got most of the attention, of course. Dom recommended I take one or two weeks off… I think I replied that I had states in three and so that wasn’t really an option right now (and not till early May, to be realistic –  I’d like to at least do a strongman qualifier this year also), but I would try and take it easy till it felt better… or something vague like that.

Dom has been treating me for years now, and has become very proficient in attacking me with needles. It’s sad for me to see her disappear to Kelmscott, where bigger and better things await her but which is just too far from me to be viable for regular treatment. The good news, of course, is that Dan Rucci is freshly qualified to hurt people with long pointy things and then charge them for it. From here on out, my traps, quads and glutes are his territory. I know he’s as excited about this as I am.

Cardio: HIIT 45 seconds x 2 @ 80 rpm, reminder 40 rpm, 7 minutes total
DB s/set supinated curls & rotators: 4 kgs x 2 of each x 10
DB bench press: 15 kgs x 15

Bench press (paused… mostly):
60 kgs x 8
90 kgs x 8
110 kgs x 4 TPR
75 kgs x 10

DB s/set supinated curls & pinwheels:
PW: 20 kgs x 3 x 10
SC: 10 kgs x 3 x 10

1-arm Triceps pushdowns:
Left: plate 10 x 11, 12, 12
Right: plate 10 x 15, 15, 15

TRYING a couple of new things tonight when it comes to rehab and conditioning. This is my first attempt at HIIT and I’m pretty sure I could have done it better, but it’s a start. I need to continue my regular cardio sessions and make sure they’re as effective as possible, and this has been recommended to me by a couple of people now whose opinions I trust. I’m also, as you can see, doing more curling.

Yes. This is stuff I haven’t done since I was training at home in, like 2010/11. But it’s the most effective thing I can find for targeting my weak left arm; I feel the tendon through the shoulder joint getting stronger and more accustomed to being used. My benching is also slowly getting easier and stronger. I am uncertain now how GPC states is going to go down for me, but I’m committed to doing it so I may as well suck it up and deal. even if I don’t hit new numbers, that’s not the point. The point is that I’m able to do it at all.

Pull Thursday: Needing A Needling

WELL THAT sucked. My program called for a triple of 295 tonight. I couldn’t manage more than two. I tried again after a few moments but it just wasn’ coming up. This damages my comp prep, but it’s not completely unexpected. At the start of the week a co-worker asked me if I was limping. I feel like I’m always kinda shambling and limping so it’s not something I really notice. Not until it came time to pull did I have to acknowledge the discomfort and tightness deep in my right quad. As the weight went up, the imbalance became more noticeable. I was clearly underpowered and, in addition to having a pretty sparse diet currently (I’m back to maintaining a calorie deficit in a further effort to shed the fat I put on over the holidays), these things combined to fuck with my money set.

Everything was feeling a little rotten tonight actually; the bent-over rows decided to aggravate my impinged nerve, which makes things like getting out of the car post-training a lot of fun. I’m currently doped up on Tramadol and Naproxen, and looking for a physiotherapist who can get this quad needled as a matter of urgency.

75 kgs x 8
125 kgs x 5
175 kgs x 3
225 kgs x 2
265 kgs x 1
295 kgs x 2 FAIL

Bent-over BB rows (underhand):
100 kgs x 2 x 10
100 kgs x 5

Seated rows:
110 kgs x 3 x 10

Press Wednesday: a 140 bench

I HAVE not benched more than 100 kilograms since mid-September last year, when I repped 140 for nine, touch and go, for a new personal record. Well, tonight I pause-pressed that number. It was painful, but it went up. This is ten kilos off my predicted opener of 150, which is still well off my best one-rep-max in training (177.5) and 175 at CAPO last year. But I can’t expect to hit new PRs so soon after rehab.

Staying uninjured is priority one. Err, no, sorry; competing in April is priority one… staying uninjured comes second to that. Wrong again. Pulling at least 340 would be priority two. Pulling 350, priority three. Then making sure I’m as strong and as lean as possible. Then… yeah, let’s slot ‘staying uninjured’ in behind all those more important things. Still pretty important though. I guess I’m a little stoic about it.

After that single I worked on technique with some sets at 90, and a little input from PTC’s resident Rain Man, Dale. Dale looks (to me, at least) like a young, bespectacled Ed Coan, and occasionally produces some genuinely sage advice. With a change of perspective, my rep work was feeling less pained. On the whole I should feel pretty good about tonight.

DB super-set rotators & supinated curls: 4 kgs x 2 x 10
DB bench press: 15 kgs x 10

Bench press (paused):
60 kgs x 8
100 kgs x 3
140 kgs x 1 TPR
90 kgs x 8, 3, 3

EZ bar curls:
40 kgs x 10, 10, 8 TPR

DB front raise static holds:
50 seconds each arm PR

1-arm Tri-pushdowns:
left: plate 9 x 15
right: plate 9 x 15
left: plate 10 x 12 PR
right: plate 10 x 15 PR

PTC Strongman 1 Year Anniversary

TODAY marks the one year anniversary of these clinics being conducted at PTC Perth. The sport and I, and all my trainees owe PTC and the Rucci brothers a debt; without their willingness to host these sessions and invest in the right equipment, there would be no PTC Strongman in this state. It was an awesome day; all trainees pushed themselves to their limits in what were, for most of them, new apparatus. The log and axle rising bar clean-press medley – an event at last year’s WASM qualifiers and something we practiced leading up to the comp – was a new experience for everyone apart f10498269_10206279640369582_1309978662936654429_orom Adrain and Ryan, so they took the lead when it came to loading.

The rest of the crew caught on fast and soon the event was running like an oiled machine. I had seven trainees this weekend, and spoke to more people before and after the session who were interested in joinin12764441_10208696521710105_354069350125995145_og us down the track. With GPC states coming up, many people are already invested in and focussed on that. I am also trying to keep my training regimented leading up to the comp… so I pretty much just fooled around today when I wasn’t capturing pics and movies of the boys’ efforts; something I really should do more often so other people can witness the feats of strength going on in quiet little Malaga each Saturday afternoo12829143_10208696520750081_5319298989266574530_on.

As I might have mentioned, no date has been confirmed as yet for WA Strongman’s next qualifying round but it’s anticipated to be late April – early May. I am keen to learn the events so my group can be more specific in their training and I can better structure what they do each week. It will also mean clinics may run in excess of two hours, to ensure all (or as many as possible) comp events are covered. I know several of the guys are keen to compete this year, and I’ll do what I can to get them as prepared as possible. PTC Strongman will have a team in 2016.

What little training I did do was as follows:

Log & Axle medley: 50 to 100 kgs
Axle deadlift: 4 x 160 kgs (grip test)
Farmers walk: 60 kgs, 100 kgs, 110 kgs p/hand for 20 meters



The Birthday Week That Was

THIS WEEK has seen some highlights. I back squatted 230 and pulled 265 for 6 with no belts or straps. I also turned 36. The GPC state championships are now just a month away, and I’ve finally (with some assistance from Dan Rucci) gotten back under a regular barbell. So I should be able to at least match my previous best of 250. With my shoulder the way it is, I wouldn’t give myself more than a 150 kilogram bench. But I want a new personal best deadlift. 350 would be nice. But I could be being overly optimistic, in which case a new competition best of 340 would suffice. Anything less than this, I will be pissed.

Squat Monday

Cardio: Assault bike 5 minutes @ 60 rpm

Regular old straight bar Squats:
25 kgs x 3, 5, 8
65 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 3
130 kgs x 3
160 kgs x 1
190 kgs x 1
210 kgs x 1
230 kgs x 1 – nice and deep – much better than my effort with the SSB last week

Super-set Leg ext / Hamstring curls:
HC 45 kgs x 3 x 10
LE 40 kgs x 3 x 10

DB front raises:
10 kgs x 10
12.5 kgs x 2 x 10

15 kgs x 10
17.5 kgs x 10

Pull Thursday

75 kgs x 8
125 kgs x 5
175 kgs x 3
225 kgs x 1
265 kgs x 6 – no straps, no belts

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

Seated rows:
100 kgs x 10
120 kgs x 10
130 kgs x 10

Events Saturday: Full House

12764402_10208640792756916_63655281086220030_oUNPREPARED could be the buzz word for this session. I was unprepared for the awesomeness I was soon to witness, and I was unprepared when the thought struck me that I should be recording this amazing stuff. Unprepared describes where I’m at right now, actually, so there’s a recurrent theme here. But one session at a time… I’ll tie it all in at the end. Hopefully.

PTC Strongman had six trainees today. The original duo, Ryan and Adrian, were joined by Matthew, Andrew, Alex and newcomer Stephan. Stephan has been a member for some time now; I’ve gas bagged with him over the last several months, and most recently he competed in a novice PL comp and hit 230/150/270 I believe. I am eager to see what he can do if he sticks with strongman for a year.

First up: log clean-press. Ryan threw himself into the event with vigour. While I don’t expect he broke any records, having just come back from holidays, he followed the template learned over the last year of diligent training and pushed himself to a near vomitus state, enjoying himself immensely.

Alex has begun a simple max effort template with his deadlift, and this week we used the same approach for his log work. Building to 70 kilograms, he then clean-pressed it fifteen times.  Fifteen goddamn times. He’ll have a 120+ one-rep-max way sooner than I’d originally estimated, I have no doubt of this now. Absolutely brilliant effort from the soon-to-be Western Australian under-105 Strongman champion. Hopefully.

IMG_0575I was unprepared for how ruined I would still be feeling from the week’s routine, so I decided to focus on the class rather than myself. I was kept busy as everyone had stuff they wanted to work on. Andrew and Matthew are improving in their technique and Matt in particular is beginning to reach some heavy weight on the log, yoke and deadlift. Adrian has just finished rehabbing a hamstring injury and was back to basics with his pulling.

Stephan and Alex were both set the task of pulling 210 kilograms for as many reps as possible, with suitable form. That last point was emphasised when Stephan reached about eight and wasn’t able to lock his shoulders back and fully follow through with his hips. Alex managed five, which was also a brilliant effort as he was no doubt still a little buggered from his log work.

We finished with Farmers walk, and all the crew were made to upgrade to something approaching heavy; 80 kilos per hand, working up to 100 a hand for those brave enough to give it a shot. Grip strength is something I might look at working back into training with axle deadlifts in addition to more regular farmers walk.

My camera was at home and my iPhone was unprepared for the awesomeness of this Saturday afternoon; it ran out of disc space before I could record anything. Lesson learned. I can’t wait for the next one!