Monthly Archives: May 2014

So today was good minus STILL not getting all the slack out of the bar before pulling deadlifts. Only doing it on my top sets. I HAVE to figure it out if I want to move heavy weight. Also failed to lock out my top sets with my hips. All my accessories revolved around firing the glutes and hamstrings to help my lockout.

-Max Deads with chains 2×2: (545+2 chains) (545+ 4 chain)
-Dimmel Deads: 3×20
– Banded GHR: 3×20
– bailed on trunk work

http://youtu.be/yx008sBPfnY

Seated Box Jumps 8×3
ME NCL Deadlift x5 (sumo Deadlifts 135,225,315,405,455,+60,+120)
Single Arm DB Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat 2-3 warm ups, 1×4 drop sets 8-12 per set (60,50,40,30)
Front Squat harness squat 2-3 warm ups, 8×8 (60 sec break) (205)
Backwards Sled Walks 300 yards (135)
Standing Machine Calf Raises 3×10 (3 count pause and contraction) (70 each side)

A1: Scap Shrugs w/pause 4×12 (50)
A2: 1 arm barbell rows 4×8 (60)
Stretchers 2-3 warm up, 4×12 (130)
Barbell Shrugs 3×12 w/pause, rest pause (265)
Straight bar scap row/row, 2-3 warm ups, 3×10,rest pause (110)

http://youtu.be/yFbwjA56E_4

Today sucked bad!!! I was in a ton of forearm pain even while warming up. it just got worse as the weight got heavier, 300 + 4 chains is all I could muster up. Checking back from last cycle, this is the same amount of weight I was able to push so I am basically on track to keep my bench the same. With the variable of my injured arm I feel that is the best case scenario I can be in.

– Competition Bench w/ Chain
– Strict Press 6×6
– Shoulder Shrugs 5×15
– Tate Press 3x Failure
– Front, Side, Rear delt 1.5’s 3×10 per direction

ME Bench NCL x5 (squat bar floor press 55,145,195,235,255,275,285)
A1: Rope Pressdowns w/pause 3×10 (120)
A2: Single Arm Chain Extensions 1.5 reps 3×10 (1.5)
Tricep Hell (1,2,3,4 board) 5 reps each till failure (135,185,205,225×3 on 4 board)
B1: Cross Body Hammer Curls 3×10 (40)
B2: EZ Curl Bar 1.5 reps 3×10 (17.5 each side)
Fat Grip EZ Curl Bar Preacher Curls 2-3 warm ups, 4 drop sets (30,20,10 each side)

Had a solid session again yesterday. Not feeling too terrible overall, albeit a bit sore. Cleaning every rep on the log is kicking my ass, but it’s going to make me a hell of a lot stronger on the press and clean. Weights I used to struggle with just pressing every rep are getting easier and I’m adding the difficulty of cleaning each one.

I’m also retooling my nutrition a smidge since I have a grill now, so I can prep more food at once instead of only using the oven (which irritates me). Nothing really changing in the way of macros, since I’m sitting around 231-2 every time I weigh in, just cleaning up the food types a bit to make sure I stay healthy.

As for the training, I cut the reps down a bit on the accessories for biceps and triceps because my elbows were feeling a bit crummy. Not a big deal yet, I just know I’m prone to tendonosis in those areas so I don’t want it to get back before I address it. Here’s what went down though:

Log Clean and Press (clean every rep)

Log x8
135×3
175×2
195x3x5

Front Squats

135×3
185×2
225×1
255x3x5

Pendlay Row

185x3x5

Cable Straight Bar Curls

50x2x25

OH Band Extensions

Avg x2x25

KB Swings

36kg x2x15

Side Bridge

2x30s each side

DONE.

Back Thursday for deadlifts.

Incline Hamstring Curls 2-3 warm ups 3×10, 1xmax w/partials (30, dropped to 20)
RDLs against bands no lockout 2-3 warm ups 3×15, 2-3 rest pause sets (225)
Reverse Hypers 2-3 warm ups, 3×10 (2 each side)

Today we started out Transmutation phase in our “concurrent – block” hybrid training routine. We introduced wraps and chains to our competition lift, you can tell I have not used my wraps in awhile as I am all over the place trying to find my “path”. All things considered it was a good day. I got a 15lb training best with this particular set up from last cycle, best top set today 510 +6 chains

-squat with chains 2×2: (500 + 4chain) (510 + 6chain)
-paused SSB Banded Squats (awful) 5×8: (1×150) (4×240)
-45 Deg. DB Deadlift Hypers 4×10: (35lb DB)

I was smoked by this point and bailed on trunk work. I will make up for that tomorrow.

http://youtu.be/PGliygBbtw4

The Yoke. My eternal nemesis. I swear, every time I start getting stronger and faster at this thing and think I’m ready for a heavy PR, I get reminded that >750 lbs is still really damn heavy. 780 today felt godawful, and I kept trying to accelerate with no dice. That said, I don’t think I’ve walked more than 800 for any considerable distance, so the fact that I was pissed about being slow today is probably a good sign. The heat was definitely a factor too, and trying to do medleys when it’s hot is turrible. All in all, a solid workout though, and I’m looking forward to the next week of training. Here’s what went down

Yoke Walk

400×50′
490×50′
600×50′ (under 10 s for this run, much improved)
690×20′
780×20′

Sandbag/Keg Medley (80′ course, max runs in 10 mins this date)

125 SB/230 Keg 4 runs of 80′ each. Death.

DONE.

Would have liked to get in my speed stones today, but my low back is just not feeling fantastic and I’m not willing to put myself in the hole right now for a few light stone reps. Back stronger next week for sure.

On that high rep grind again. I hate rep deadlifts with a fiery passion, but since many deadlift events in strongman are reps for time, I need to get my ass in gear and get my motor up to speed on this stuff. The progressive deadlift in KY is going to be brutal if I’m not prepared. I struggled with the axle for reps today too, but I know it’s making my shoulders stronger and will bring me a better press come competition day. Anyways, here’s what went down today (plus photobombs):

Deadlifts

135×5
225×3
275×3
315×1
325x3x10

Axle, from Rack

85×5
125×4
175×2
195x3x10 <-- may need to decrease jumps on warmups. Stretchers, a la Meadows 50x10 70x10 90x2x10 Ab Wheel BWx3x5 DONE. Skipped shrugs today because my back was already toast from earlier in the week and I wanted to have the best possible chance at a max yoke this weekend. Worked ok in hindsight, but I don't need to get in the habit of skipping exercises. In Saturday for events and stuff.

Explosive Pushups onto boxes 8×3 (45+pad)
A1: DB Bench flys Pronated to supinated 2-3 warm ups, 3×10 (40)
A2: Incline Hammer Bench 2-3 warm ups, 3 count pause and contraction 3×8 (65 each side)
Seated Side Raises 2-3 warmups, 3×10, w/max partials (30)
Seated DB Cleans 2-3 warm ups, 3 drop sets (20x3x10,15×7,10×10)
Laying DB Single Arm Cross Body Extensions 2 count contraction 3×10 (35)
Incline EZ Bar Skullies 2-3 warm ups, 3×12, drop set (37.5/25 each side)

Seated Box Jumps 8×3
ME NCL Deadlift x1 (135,225,315,405,455,495,545,585,605)
Single Arm DB Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat 2-3 warm ups, 1×4 drop sets 8-12 per set (25,35,45,55)
Front Squats 2-3 warm ups, 8×8 (45 sec break) (205)

I drank a monster rehab prior to training today and that was a big mistake. I don’t normally take any caffeine or stimulants so it hit me big time. After doing the front squats my heart rate was through the roof and I couldn’t get it to come down. Lesson learned.

http://youtu.be/7WWUc8cn5Oo

A1: Scap Shrugs w/pause 4×12 (45)
A2: 1 arm barbell rows 4×8 (55)
Stretchers 2-3 warm up, 4×12 (120)
Barbell Shrugs 3×12 w/pause, rest pause (245)
Straight bar scap row/row, 2-3 warm ups, 3×10,rest pause (100)

There are a multitude of forms of massage available to choose from: Swedish, Thai, Hot Stones, etc. While most people know the most common massage style (Swedish), sometimes referred to as relaxation massage, the style I find most beneficial to my clients (both athletes and non-athletes) is therapeutic massage. During a therapeutic massage session the Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) works to alleviate their client’s major area of concern, within the time allotted. They can use various massage techniques depending on how the client’s muscles respond. In addition the therapist may choose to incorporate lotions like Bio Freeze or Cryoderm, or massage tools like hot/cold stones, hot packs, and special therapy balls to relieve tension as well as increase blood flow to the area worked. Therapeutic massage can be performed in 20 minute, 60 minute, or longer sessions depending on the client’s need and the areas to be addressed.

During a 20 minute session focus is generally limited to one or two smaller areas, i.e. neck and shoulder girdle, low back and glutes, forearms, post workout stretching, etc. Therapeutic massage is generally started with a medium pressure to palpate the condition of the muscle tissue to be worked. From there the therapist can use deeper more directed pressure to break up knots found and loosen tight muscles, perform various stretches, or simply continue with moderate pressure if it is obtaining the desired result.

60 minute massage sessions can be full body or concentrated on specific areas of concern which are significant problem areas requiring more detailed work. The areas to be worked are always discussed before the massage begins in order to make sure the needs of the client are addressed. There is never a set “pattern” followed because one area may need more or less work than the same area on the other side of the client’s body.

Longer sessions are very useful with clients who train heavy or have significantly more muscle mass than the general population, i.e. power lifters, body builders, distance athletes, etc. The longer session allows more time to do full body massage, and generally allows for extra concentrated work in one specific area.

Communication is the most important thing remember when getting a massage of any type. Discuss your goals with your therapist. We can tell when muscles are tight, but you may not be as bothered by one area as you are with another. Be open about massage pressure during the massage whether you would like more pressure, or less pressure. A good therapist looks for signs that the pressure is adequate, but that does not mean it is what the client wants.

Therapeutic massage is optimal for non-athletes and athletes alike because it can be tailored to the specific needs and time requirements of each client. Whether it is a specific area that is keeping you from performing your daily routine, decreased range of motion preventing you from hitting a major lift, or just overall recovery from the stresses you put on your body. Therapeutic massage is just another “tool” in the arsenal available to get you living optimally.

Well it is bench day at NBS Fitness which is the scariest day for me since I never know how my triceps are going to hold up. Today they barely did just that, “hold up”. we decided to use the new EliteFTS Football bar and it really tested my injury. Since this bar keeps your shoulders in extension it automatically puts the majority of the load on the triceps similar to a close grip bench. Well it just so happens my injury is in that area. I stopped at 315lbs, as you can see by the video the weight moved well but my muscles in that region were not having it and I did not want to fail 2 weeks in a row so I took what they gave me and ended my max effort work.

-Footbal Bar (3×2): 295-305-315
-Single Arm Standing OH Press (6×6): 70lbs
-Laying Skull Crushers 4 chains (5×10): 65lbs
-DB Flys (3×20): 30lbs (to much weight)
-Rolling Tricep Ext. (3×20): 25lbs
-Banded Tricep Pushdowns (100)

Finally made it back in the gym. I’ve been sick pretty much since last week, and then ended up straining my back attempting to transfer a patient when I was working over the weekend. Not my finest 7 days for sure. It also means I missed doing heavy yoke and some other rep ranges that I think would really help me get stronger. Thus, I’m re-doing the same week of training. It obviously served me well, seeing as I hit some decent reps with the same weights, but I struggled with my wind, mainly from congestion and stuff. Here’s what went down though:

Log Clean and Press, Clean every rep

Log x8
135×3
175×2
205×1
225×3
225×3
225×5

Front Squat

135×3
185×3
225×3
255×1
285×3
285×3
285×6

Chest Supported Rows

35×8
45×8
45×8

OH Band Extensions

Avg x4x25

Rope Hammer Curl

60x3x25

Various Ab Things.

DONE.

Overall I’m feeling better. Sore as hell today, but that’s mainly from a week of inactivity I think. Higher rep work is coming tomorrow, with some serious insanity this weekend. Hoping for a yoke PR on the horizon.

Wednesday (arms)
ME Bench NCL x1 (3 board 95,135,185,225,275,315,335,355,365,375,385)
A1: Rope Pressdowns w/pause 3×10 (110)
A2: Single Arm Chain Extensions 1.5 reps 3×10 (2 chains)
Tricep Hell (1,2,3,4 board) 5 reps each till failure (135,155,175,195,215×1 on 4 board)
B1: Cross Body Hammer Curls 3×10 (35)
B2: EZ Curl Bar 1.5 reps 3×10 (15 each side, big bar)
Fat Grip EZ Curl Bar Preacher Curls 2-3 warm ups, 4 drop sets (25,15,10,5)
Forearm Curls (alternate Supinated and pronated) 4xfailure

http://youtu.be/ZNFC37T_5P0

This is the current diet program that I follow. I am not insanely strict about it. Sometimes I will substitute different meals or if I just can’t eat I’ll skip one. I usually go out to eat 1 or two times over the week and will throw in rice krispie treats as I feel like it (I love those things).

Phase 4
Protein: 75 g per meal
Carbs: 40 g per meal
Fat: 35 g per meal
Total Calories: 4555+

Meal 1 (shake)
Whey Isolate 2.5 Scoops
White Rice Flower 1/3 Cup
2.5 TBSP Olive Oil
1/2 cup fruit
1/2 cup spinach
1 Cup Almond Milk

Meal 2
9.5 oz lean protein
¾ Cup White Rice, 8 oz red potatoes, 6.5 oz white or sweet potatoes (I choose one of these)
3.2 TBSP Butter, 1/2 cup nuts, 2.5 TBSP Coconut Oil (I choose one of these)

Meal 3 (shake)
Whey Isolate 2.5 Scoops
White Rice Flower 1/3 Cup
2.5 TBSP Olive Oil
1/2 cup fruit
1/2 cup spinach
1 Cup Almond Milk

Meal 4
9.5 oz lean protein
¾ Cup White Rice, 8 oz red potatoes, 6.5 oz white or sweet potatoes
3.2 TBSP Butter, 1/2 cup nuts, 2.5 TBSP Coconut Oil

Meal 5
7 Whole Eggs
1 2/3 Cup Egg Whites
Cereal
1 quart Gatorade

Peri-Workout
120 grams Cyclic Dextrin
50 grams Hydro Whey
Citruline Malate
Beta Alanine
Creatine

Today did not go quite as Well as I had hoped. The my last 2 working sets of max effort squats were close but high, and I felt as though I could not open my hips and keep my knees out defending not ascending during squats today. I made up for it by killing myself on accessories.

-Buffalo Bar – 6 chains 3×2: 405(no vid)-435-455
-SSB Seated GM 6×6: 230
-SSB Close Stance Squats 5×10: 230
-Sandbag Carries 4x100yrds
-BD Glute Bridges 100: 30lbs

http://youtu.be/iSqL48H0KhI

ME Squat NCL x1 (buffalo bar 135,225,275,315,365,405,456,495,525)
Incline Hamstring Curls 2-3 warm ups 3×10, 1xmax w/partials (30 each side/drop to 20)
RDLs against bands no lockout 2-3 warm ups 3×15, 2-3 rest pause sets (215)
Reverse Hypers 2-3 warm ups, 4 drop sets, 1xmax partials (2×2,2×1.25,1.25×1.25,1.25×1)
Leg Press Calf Raises 3×1 min max (2.25 each side)
V Bar Heavy Press downs no lockout 2-3 warm ups 3×10, 1xmax partials (150)

Sunday (chest, shoulders, triceps, grip)
Explosive Pushups onto boxes 8×3 (45 plates)
A1: DB Bench flys 2-3 warm ups, 3×10 (30,35,40)
A2: Incline Hammer Bench 2-3 warm ups, 3 count pause and contraction 3×8 (55,60,65)
Seated Side Raises 2-3 warmups, 3×10, w/max partials (25)
Seated DB Cleans 2-3 warm ups, 3 drop sets (15/12/10)
Laying DB Single Arm Cross Body Extensions 2 count contraction 3×10 (30)
Incline EZ Bar Skullies 2-3 warm ups, 3×12, drop set (35/20)
Plate Pinch Holds, warm ups, 3xMax (25/35/45)

http://youtu.be/tIT9DZo-gAI

2nd Bench day. I am replacing my speed bench day with another “max effort day” but keeping it lighter to work on movement patterns. last week I stayed at 225 lbs this week is 236lbs

– Drop down Pushups from 45lb bumper plates (pain with this in triceps. will not be doing again) 5×5
– bench 3×5: 235
– High rows – reverse grip – push out on handles 6×8: 70lbs a side
– JM press 8×10: 65lbs (pain with this as well)
– DB shrugs 3x failure: 80lbsx30 – 100lbsx20 – 100lbsx16
– Grenade ball bicep cable curls 100
– Standing behind the neck rope tricep ext. 100: 20lbsx50 – 30lbsx50

speed squats and speed deads went pretty well today. I have been staying out late do to festivals in the area and was not expecting to feel as good as I did during this training session. 90% of my speed squats were to depth and it was with the highest percent in the wave so that was good. I am still beltless and not hurting very much in the lumbar region of my spine which is a good sign. Speed deads went better than expected as well, I am getting my positioning down for taking slack out of the bar with my legs and shoulders that has been an issue the past several months.

-Speed Squats 55% 8×2: 330 + 6 chains
-Speed Deads: 405 progression: 405-2chains-4chains-6chains x 5 (video only has chains and 6 chain sets shown)
-straight leg deads (con) 6×8: 225
-Hip thrusters 8×8: 185
-weighted vest 45 deg. round back hypers: 10×10

http://youtu.be/wkSuR7-wYp8

So teammate Austin loves tot rain back on a day all by itself. Now that we are planning on hitting the platform on the same time I cam able to train with him much more often. Sorry but no video today! However we did a new workout I am just going to call Austin rows, I will get video of this next week.

– Standing Lat Pullovers w/ V-bar 4×10
– Austin Rows: 8×10, on 8th set as many as possible including half reps – at failure strip weight and iso hold bar for max time
– Lat pulldowns: 4×12, after last set of 12 reps pause (15 sec) then cluster set (as many as you can) repeat 3 times
– rear delt bent over flys: 4×20 (single arm)
– seated strict facepulls: 4×12 then same at lat pulldowns 3 cluster sets with 10sec rest pause

Seated Box Jumps 8×3
ME NCL Deadlift x3 (pin pulls off 34 135,225,315,405,455,495,545,585,605,625×2)
Single Arm DB Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat 2-3 warm ups, 1×4 drop sets 8-12 per set (50,40,30,20)
Front Squats 2-3 warm ups, 8×8 (45 sec break) (185)
Backwards Sled Walks 300 yards (115)
Standing Machine Calf Raises 3×10 (3 count pause and contraction) (45,55,65 each side)

It is Max Effort Upper again today and for me that means hoping that all my band work, massages, dry needling and warm ups keep me pain free throughout my pressing. I had teammate and massage therapist Yvonna use rock tape on my arms to relieve the some tension and it proved extremely useful to me. I was able to finish all my main movement sets pain free which allowed me to finish my training and not have to “slack off” on accessory work.

-Incline Press w/ chains: 8 chains (bar-95-135×2-185×2-205-215×2)
– Single Arm Standing DB Press 6×6: 70lbs
– Seated Behind the Neck Cable Rope Tri. Ext.: 3×12@70lbs – 3 cluster sets with 15 sec rest pause (brutal)
– Incline DB Flys 3×20: 30lbs
– 100 banded press downs

Thursday (Back)
A1: Scap Shrugs w/pause 4×8 (30,30,35,40)
A2: 1 arm barbell rows 4×12 (35)
Stretchers 2-3 warm up, 4×12 (110)
Barbell Shrugs 3×12 w/pause (225)
Straight bar scap row/row, 2-3 warm ups, 3×10 (90)

 

A Treatise Against Foam Rolling

Taylor Weglicki, PT, DPT

For some time now, mobility has been taking the fitness industry by storm. Everyone is too tight, we sit like crap, we move like crap, and only the foam roller and mobility workouts of the day can fix it. Now before everyone jumps down my throat about this, remember: it’s only a tool for the tool box. The way you hear some people bandy about on the internet, foam rolling/mwod could cure cancer.

I’m not saying that neither of these options is useful. Quite the opposite really: they can be amazingly useful, but only if done right. Mobilizing every day is useful for the absurdly tight with terrible movement patterns, and I often use this with my own patients – but only in 1-2 week intervals. Mobilize everything, everyday, and soon you’ll be dumping torque and tightness left and right. Literally.

My goal for this article is to discuss foam rolling in particular: why it’s good, why it’s bad, and why you should honestly think about why the hell you’re using it. This process in my own training resulted in a complete revolution in my warmup, and subsequently considerably less pain before, during, and after training. I’m hoping this article can help do the same for you.  Now let’s get down to it.

Look at him. So supple. I bet he foam rolls every day.

(http://www.korduroy.tv/wp-content/uploads/legacy-uploads/uploads/image/image/655/Kord-exercise.jpg)

Get Your Learn On

First thing’s first. The Science. Yeah, we fancy, huh? So, the scientific term for foam rolling is SMR, or self myofascial release. It’s a nifty style of soft tissue work often used by chiropractors, massage therapists, and physical therapists for a particular purpose: INHIBITION. You read correctly folks, inhibition. So what about all those minutes of foam rolling you’re doing before your workout? That work is essentially turning off the muscle groups through a concept known as autogenic inhibition(1). Many people have experienced this in a different way. Everyone knows the feeling of going for a max effort attempt, and then suddenly it seems like your body simply shuts off. That right there, folks, is the activation of the autogenic inhibition reflex from the Golgi tendon organ to prevent muscle tearing, thus inhibiting the muscle and “saving” it.

The development of high tension is the key. Therapist will often use focal point tension on trigger points to elicit the same effect. Trigger point work feels like hell (as can foam rolling, but it’s highly effective when used properly. It can be therapeutic, but can also be detrimental to your performance. You do something similar when you foam roll at length. That’s why those nasty spots that feel so bad when you’re rolling suddenly seem to relax and feel better. You’ve inhibited the tissue and caused it to ease up on its focal point contraction.

 

Knowing Is Half the Battle

How many of you go attempt a max deadlift after a massage session? Or get under the bar for a record setting squat after being adjusted by the chiropractor? Hopefully at this point the NBS team has taught you better than that. You shouldn’t do it. If you go attempt to straight in to heavy work after inhibiting primary structures, something is going to fail. Could be muscular, could be ligamentous, but something will fail. On a similar note, then, why do you foam roll before a heavy workout? Why?

My major point here is this: THINK about why you’re warming up. Are you doing a particular thing for a purpose? Or because you read it was useful somewhere on the internet? Inhibition can serve to help us in certain circumstances, but gone (should be) are the days of foam rolling from head to toe for 20 minutes prior to training. It doesn’t make sense. So stop it, and attack your warm-up from a different angle. David and I both have options that should work pretty well. Feel free to come talk to us and ask. Or read any of David’s articles really.

But I Love It, and Can’t “Let It Go”

She can let it go. But does she even lift?

(http://www.alexisdelchiaro.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Disney-Frozen-Let-It-Go-4.jpg)

I’m not saying you have to give up your precious foam rolling completely. Not at all. I’m just saying use that noggin’ of yours and make sure you’re doing it with a purpose. On training days? Use it only to inhibit that which needs inhibiting. In most lifters, you’re looking at IT Bands, maybe adductors, and maybe calves. That’s it. Don’t stretch your back over the roller, don’t pop your midback on the roller before a workout. Just don’t. Mobilize intelligently and with a purpose. Best times to go all in on the foam roller are after meets, during deloads, or on off days. Feel free to roll the snot out of everything after you can after a rough ME day. Just be smart about what you’re doing on the days that you train. Your body will feel better, and you’ll perform better as a result.

 

Now get in there and lift heavy.

 

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Cries of Outrage? Leave them in the comments section below!

Wednesday (back)

Pulldowns 1.5 reps Max 10 reps 70 lb, 70 lb (started too heavy)

Neutral Pullups Max 6

Single Arm Rows 1-2-3 max sets 8 reps 20 lb DB, 25 lb DB

Hammer High Rows 8×8 (30 second break) 30 total

Neutral Wide Cable Rows 15,12,10,8,6 – 40,50,60,70,80

http://youtu.be/zs8rREncxDk

ME Bench NCL x3 (95,135,185,205,225,245,255,265,270×1)
A1: Rope Pressdowns w/pause 3×10 (100)
A2: Single Arm Chain Extensions 1.5 reps 3×10 (1.5 chains)
Tricep Hell (1,2,3,4 board) 5 reps each till failure (95,135,165,185)
B1: Cross Body Hammer Curls 3×10 (30)
B2: EZ Curl Bar 1.5 reps 3×10 (big bar 10 each side)
Fat Grip EZ Curl Bar Preacher Curls 2-3 warm ups, 4 drop sets (20,15,1,5)
Forearm Curls (alternate Supinated and pronated) 4xfailure (55/45)
Abs

Originally I wanted to do this whole block using specialty bars and no box. I felt that I needed to make an extreme change since I have yet to utilize all the chains in the gym. I decided to go for a lot of chains today and add straight weight to the chains instead of adding chains to the straight weight.

 

-40% of 1rm in chains (roughly 240lbs at lockout) to a box 3×2: 380 – 400 – 420

– Seated SSB GM to pins 6×6: 200

– Narrow Stance SSB Squats 5×10: 200

– DB Farmer Walks: 50 yards 3x

– Hamstring Curls: 100 reps

Good session all around today, even though I felt like crap by the time I got off work. I think one of the kiddos I work with finally got me sick again. I’ve got all kinds of congestion crap kicking me in the teeth, and its just simply not fun. Since tomorrow should be storming when I get off work, I just plan to sleep it off tomorrow afternoon.

As far as training is concerned, I irritated/strained my left bicep doing log today. One the 3rd rep of my 1st work set I lost footing and held the log in a rowed position while my feet adjusted, and I think that’s what did it. Just feels bruised though, and there’s no gapping or nastiness going on so we shall see.

Front squats went super fast today. Could have likely reset a new max, but due to constraints and not wanting to get more sickly than I already feel, I called it after the work sets. Felt good though. Here’s what went down:

 

Log Clean and Press (clean every rep)

Log x8

135×5

175×3

205×1

225x3x3

 

Front Squats

135×5

185×3

225×3

280x3x3

 

Pendlay Rows

155x3x8

 

Rope Pushdowns

90×25

90×25

70×25

70×25

 

Cable Curls

60x4x25

 

Rope Crunches

100x2x15

 

DONE.

 

Going to try and keep resting up and hope this bicep works itself out. Fingers crossed. Back Wednesday for more. Would love to push it back , but I have to work this weekend which will hamper any chance at events I’d have. Such is life. Adapt and overcome.

 

 

 

Finally got back up to some decent raw squat weight. Today felt good and I feel like I definitely could’ve done 600.

Monday (hamstrings,calves, triceps)
ME Squat NCL x3 (Spider Bar, box at 2 black pad, 135,225,275,315,365,405,455,495,545 (585) )
Incline Hamstring Curls 2-3 warm ups 3×10, 1xmax w/partials (25 each side)
RDLs against bands no lockout 2-3 warm ups 3×15, 2-3 rest pause sets (185)
Reverse Hypers 2-3 warm ups, 4 drop sets, 1xmax partials (165,140,115,90,90)
Leg Press Calf Raises 3×1 min max (2 each side)
V Bar Heavy Press downs no lockout 2-3 warm ups 3×10, 1xmax partials (140)

http://youtu.be/KCAmdX5D9oY

Still getting used to this new-fangled electronic stuff!!

Monday (shoulder, triceps, calves)
Seated DB Cleans 4×12 (45 sec break) (5 lb,7 lb)
Hammer Shoulder Press 1.5 reps Max 10 (15 lb each side)
Seated Side Raises 3xMax 1 min (1 min break) (5)
Fat Grip EZ Bar Skullies 1.5 reps Max 10 (5 lb each side)
Single Arm Reverse Handle Pressdowns 8×8 (no break) (20 lb)
Pushups 3xMax (30 sec break) (22,12,11)

-Bench 3×8: 225 (pain started)
-incline DB press 3×8: 75-85-75
-A1: banded shoulder work 3×10
-A2: grenade ball Tri. Ext. 3×10
– 1.5 front/side/rear delts 2×7: 7.5lbs
– seated cable rows 3×10: 65
– Tate Press 3×10: I did super light weight and did 3×20 for hurting triceps

When I first started training at the age of 14 in 1999, I would go up into my family’s “play” room and do all the exercises in a book my dad had given me from when he was a kid (from the 1960’s). I had no clue what I was doing and just looked at the pictures in the book and tried to mimic them as best I could. At the time, there was no social media, no camera phones, and no fitness fashion trends. I just went into the room and worked out for 3 hours or more. Was most of it stupid? Of course!

At some point I found a Flex magazine and started doing whatever program I could find out of there. I would still lock myself in our play room and do a million exercises I had no clue how to do. I even convinced my parents to buy me some supplements. The protein powder tasted horrible and the creatine made my stomach cramp up horribly. I didn’t have anyone giving me nutrition advice so I had to go by whatever the ads said. At some point, I got a gym membership and went there for 3 hours and did a bunch of stupid stuff. Still though, there was no facebook, no selfies, and no Lulu Lemon.

I probably trained for about 8 years doing dumb stuff before I received any quality information from anyone half knowledgeable. In today’s world, anyone at any level of fitness has direct access to the best information possible. So looking back, would I have changed what I did? Do I wis  I had the access that people today have? The answer is no.

My answer is no because I got the opportunity to learn and to develop, to think on my own and to grow in my own training. I got the opportunity to learn what was most important when it came to training and nutrition and life. I got the opportunity to set the habits in place early on without having to deal with all the fluff.

The fluff is all the bullshit that comes along with working out in today’s culture. People today don’t just train anymore. They have to have the right clothing, they have to make sure they’re matching, they have make sure their hair is done so they look good for their selfies, they have to make sure they have the right instagram filter on, they have to make sure they get a lot of likes on the pictures they post of their food, they have to make sure they have cool tattoos, they have to make sure everyone knows they’re hardcore, they have to make sure they post awesome gym memes showing everyone how special they are, they have to perfect their keyboard argument skills so everyone knows how much smarter they are than everyone else, and all the other bullshit that I see going on constantly. And on top of all this, people are becoming horribly impatient. They look at people who have been training for 10+ years and expect to reach their level in 1 or 2 years. They don’t want to put in the long hours, the hard training sessions or deal with the pain, the social pressure, and all the other steps you must go through to reach a high level. The same can be said for fitness professionals. No one wants to show up and put in the hard work and long hours. They don’t want to learn the training skills, the business skills, or the sales skills that take years to develop. They all want to be millionaires yesterday.

As someone who is in the fitness business, I’ve gotten caught up in all this fluff as well at times. I have to learn to live the fine line of using all the positive aspects of today’s social media and technology to grow my business and share knowledge with others without falling into the trap of majoring in the minor. I define majoring in the minor as letting your focus drift from the daily grind to that which does not actually make you better. Posting a food selfie doesn’t make you stronger, healthier, or leaner, staying on your nutrition plan even when you’re struggling does. Posting a video of your deadlift PR doesn’t make you a better deadlifter, still showing up to train after a long day of work does. There is nothing wrong with the minor. In fact, it helps others see the proper way to train and learn the proper way to eat and it helps them see what the possibilities are and what it truly takes to be great. Be careful not to let that become the focus of your daily routine. Be sure to focus your energy into that what will make you better. Forget the fluff and major in the major.

A day late catching up on my log, but I’m doing better with consistency here. Chilling on the couch on Mother’s Day fixing to do some mobility work after I write this thing up, because yesterday’s work has me all out of sorts. Nothing necessarily hurts, I’m just stiff and sore and need to get moving better. I suppose such is to be expected after the work I did, but hey, such is the curse of training hard.

I’m still having some struggles sleeping well, so I’m looking into options to help settle that down. I know of a few reputable supplement companies with safe and non habit forming options to facilitate better sleep. I already do a good job of trying to limit screen time and stims in the evening, as well as try to wind down for a while before I crash, but lately I’m still struggling to get to sleep and stay asleep.

One big potential culprit is stress. I’ve been blessed to be able to limit stress at home with the help of my wonderful wife, but unfortunately work is chaotic and looks to remain that way for the forseeable future. I’m trying to find ways to get stress down at work, but that’s proving easier said than done. Hoping to make a dent soon, but we shall see.

In the meantime, training continues, and we soldier on. Here’s what went down:

Keg Carry (40′ runs)

230×8.6 s

230×6.7 s

230×6.9 s

230×7.1 s

230×6.9 s

 

Atlas Stones (48″ bar)

230×3

265×2

300x4x3 (4 sets of 3)

 

Prowler, Max Distance in 10′

4 plates x640′ <– PR

 

DONE.

 

Well spent after this one. Been trying to eat and rehydrate since yesterday and I’m still struggling. Gains cometh, however.

Also, stayed tuned to the articles section this week. My monthly mobility/prehab/rehab spot starts this week. Keep an eye out each month, as I’ll be addressing topics from questions asked in the gym as well as providing ideas for mobility and prehab stuff to prevent injuries in the first place.

Had a tough day at work today and was worn out and exhausted by the time I made it in to the gym. One of those days where I’m glad I dragged myself in, but damn was it a struggle to get there. Ended up eating a bit too much before I went in I think, which crashed me even more. I’ll definitely be more careful next time. Anyways, here’s what went down:

Deadlifts, from the floor

135×5

225×3

275×3

315×3

370x3x5 (3 sets of 5)

 

Axle Press, from Rack

Axle x8

85×5

125×5

175×2

215x3x5 (3 sets of 5) <– wrist finally feeling better. Upper back is worn out though

 

Chins

BW x3x12, with negatives thrown in when I couldn’t do 12 straight reps

 

Shrugs

225×30, 30, 40 (100 total reps, AFSAP)

 

Palloff Press

50x3x10 <– I added these back in because I feel like my yoke and farmers progress really fast when I’m doing anti-movements (anti flexion, anti extension, anti rotation) for trunk strengthening. So, I figured what better time to add them back in? Plus, I struggle with these, especially to maintain a tight trunk and not substitute anything.

DONE.

 

Overall, very good session. Deads felt light and fast. The new form is doing wonders for me, and I’m feeling glutes engage with every rep and the weight is flying off the floor. I’m just glad to have my hips engaged finally. Axle felt sluggish and kind of heavy, but I toasted my upper back on Tuesday so that’s to be expected.

I’m also enjoying the new switch to Tues/Thurs/Saturdays. I get to sleep in a bit the days after these workouts because I’m not scheduled at work until 9 am. Originally this was because I was training in the morning. But now? I feel 100x better training later at night and am continuing to make gains. It does suck timing wise with my wife though, because she often wakes up early to train, so she’s nearly falling asleep by the time I get home. We’ll find a way to work it out though.

Back Saturday for events and prowler hell.

Thursday (legs and calves)

Glute Ham Raises 8×8 (30 second break) -8lb DB

1.5 Squats heavy 6 -bar, 65,85,105,115

DB Step Ups 8×8 (30 second break) -30 lb DB

Goblet Squats 3xfailure -35 lb DB,40,40

Single Leg DB Calf Raises 10×10 (no break between legs) -30 lb DB

It was hot in the gym today, even at 6:30 am. It’s been cool so long I guess we’re just not used to it. Whole lotta sweating going on!
Having grown children has a whole new set of trials. Their issues bring a more complex set of challenges and require even more thought behind how to respond. Keeps this old girl on her toes, though!

 

 

Today do not go quite as I had planned to. I had both arms rock taped to relieve some of the tension that I was having due to my still unknown injury. This tape was the only thing that kept me going in this max effort session today.
My best set on bench today was video bombed by David Allen’s back side. In my final set, that I was convinced to do, ended in failure as I could not lock out my last rep due to being overly protective of my triceps.
Best set of the day 345×3

-2 board bench 3×3: 335-345-355 miss
-Overhead strict press 6×8: 115×1 – 135×5
-bent over rows 6×8: 185×4 205×2
-pull ups pyramid: 1-10
-meadows rows 8×8: 25
-neutral tricep DB press 8×8: 80lbs
-bicep curls 60
-banded tricep extensions 100

http://youtu.be/CZrduJnNo6c

Wednesday (back biceps abs)

Incline Reverse Crunches 4×15

Pullups Pyramid (30 sec break) blk mon mini 5

Neutral Chest Supported Rows 8×8 (30 sec break) WU 20,25, 30

Bent DB Rows (palms Supinated) 15,12,10,8,6 20,25,30,35,40

EZ Bar Cable Rows 2-3 warm up sets 4×15 (45 sec break) 70

If events day is the best day, rep day suuuucks. I know it’s all part of the bigger plan, and reps will build the muscle to make me stronger, but damn it sucks doing 10 reps of ANYTHING. Without giving too much away, my programming is set up with oscillating days of 10’s, 5’s and 3’s. How and how much they wave is not for me to say, but safe to say, it’s working. I’m getting stronger on this plan, feel less beat up, and am generally excited to see how far it takes me. I’ll be running the plan in its current stage until we get closer to my August show, then we’ll probably adjust the events to more contest specific ones. Otherwise, I like where things are going currently.

As for today, here’s what went down:

 

Log Clean and Press (clean every other rep)

Log x8

135×5

175x3x10 ( 3 sets of 10. Turrible) Actually got lightheaded on these.

 

Front Squats

135×5

185×3

225x3x10 <– had trouble getting my breath on these. Weird.

 

Pendlay Rows

135x3x10

 

Reverse Hypers

90x2x15

 

DONE.

 

It was a good session overall. I weighed in at 231, so my weight is holding steady on slightly reduced cals, and significantly cleaner calories as well. Glad to see my body is adjusting to the change in macros without significant issue. As for the training, cleaning every other rep is a ploy to get me used to lapping the log frequently. In essence, as I get tired, I have to remain explosive in the clean. There’s always the chance a press could go wrong and you have to ditch it. In which case, being able to clean efficiently when you feel like steaming fecal matter mid contest is a useful trait. Hopefully it pays off.

Back thursday for deads and axle.

So I’m having issues with YouTube. but finally got a video to load.
Today I tried a suggestion that coach David Allen made a couple months ago. It was to move the hand position on the cambered bar to the cross member piece allowing the bar to swing more. It did just that making this very difficult.

-Cambered bar – Wide stance – “swing grip” 3×3
– SSB Standing round back extensions 4×8
– paused RDL’s 6×8
– 45 Deg. Hypers (Glute activation, straight back) 4×15
– banded hamstring curls 100
– planks 4 x 1 min (30 sec rest)

http://youtu.be/JzyLD7OwlCg

so today failed yet again attempting to do speed bench. I go tto about my fourth set and gave it up due to increasing tricep pain. After training I had about a 2 hour rest period then got my triceps dry needled, my gosh that was painful. but totally worth it, I feel better now. Check out Dr. Martinez at NXT Level Chiropractic.

– close grip bench 5×10

– tate press’ 3 x 1min

– low rows 10×10

– plate raises  max w/ 45lbs – max w/ 35lbs – max w/ 25lbs

– DB Bicep Hammer curls 100

– banded punch downs 100

As I sit here watching the Ninja Turtles, I’m realizing through the brain fog how much events can take out of me. It’s that “need to nap to replenish” tired though, not that “i’m probably going to die” feeling. Just another sign that my diet adjustments and training are on point again. I haven’t had the best nights’ sleeping the past week so I’m pleased to be able to turn out a session like today.

Based on the AMRAP block pulls, I can honestly say my cardiovascular strength is improving as well. I managed to do two 1 minute AMRAP’s without dying, which is an improvement, I think. My yoke runs were smooth and fast after the initial suck of the first one. I probably could have kept going, but for the sake of my spine I figured I’d limit it to 5 runs today. Good news is that each run was faster than the last, so I’m getting better. Looks like I’m still leaning a little too far forward towards the end of the run as I’m trying to pick up speed. Need to work on my thoracic erector strength a bit and see if that helps me stabilize.

Here’s what went down though:

 

Warmup

Tire Flips

450×3

650x6x3 <–little sluggish on my transitions

 

Yoke Walk

400×50′

600×50′ in 18 s

600×50′ in 13.2 s

600×50′ in 13.0 s

600×50′ in 12.2 seconds (video)

 

18″ Deadlifts

225×3

315×20 in 60s

315×20 in 60s

 

DONE.

 

Working with David on some more writing opportunities for the NBS site soon. Should be interesting to see what all he comes up with for the roll out, and it will bring some great information to the site (and hopefully spread the reach a bit).  We keep having technical difficulties filming the Hip Mobility video. One of these days we’ll get it right and bring the learn and the pain.

This was my first time deadlifting heavy after my back went pop at my last competition. Felt good and didn’t have any pain or discomfort. I can tell my body isn’t used to the heavy stuff yet bet it’s adjusting. The leg were smoked after all the crazy stuff afterwards.

Box Jumps 8×3 
NCL Deadlift Heavy 1(no belt conventional 455+200 chains)
Leg Extension 1-2-3 max sets 10 reps (30 sec break) (55 each side x4 sets)
Lunges 100 each leg (20 lb chain)
Leg Press 10 reps, add weight, no breaks (1-9 plates each side)
Standing Calf Raises 1 min Max Reps x3 (110 total)
V Touches 4×20

http://youtu.be/aQYeykPBmNE

Speed everything

-Squats (8×2): 300 + 6 chains (no belt)
-Deads (6×1): 315 + chain progression each set (2 chains each set)
-Dimmel RDL’s (3×10)
– seated banded hamstring pulls
– rev. Hyper (3×15)
– round back 45 Deg hypers (3×15)
– banded good mornings 100

Wednesday (shoulders and triceps)
NCL Bench Heavy 1 (Close Grip 2 board 315,325,335,345,355,365 miss)
Side Raises w/pause 8×8 (30 second break) (20)
Hammer Shoulder press 1.5 reps Max 10 reps (85 each side x10)
Rope Pressdowns press/pause/pulse 5, 3-4 sets of 8 (60,70,80,80)
DB French Press 4×15 (45 sec break) (60×4, 13 reps on 4th set)
Max Push-ups x3 (30 sec break) (42,14,12)
http://youtu.be/b9VdqfCP6ps

Pulldowns 1.5 reps Max 10 reps (80,100,120,130,140)
Neutral Pullups Max 6 (BWx5 sets)
Meadows Rows 1-2-3 max sets 8 reps (25,35,45,50,55)
Hammer High Rows 8×8 (30 second break) (70 each side)
Neutral Wide Cable Rows 15,12,10,8,6 (100,120140,160,170


)

Just counted. I’m 13 weeks out from the Refuge Barbell Classic. It’s going to be my first meet of the contest season and promises to be a doozy. Generally the people that show up to Derek’s contest are the strongest and fastest in the area, so that’s exactly why I want to go : to find out where I stand with some of the best. We never achieve greatness by hanging around the same folks all the time. We must be tested to truly find out what we are.

That said, I had a solid session today. Deadlift felt amazin, axle felt like fecal matter. Oh well. Here’s what went down:

 

 

Deadlift, from the floor

135×5

225×3

275×3

315×3

365×2

Add Belt

410x3x3 <– felt solid and good. Awesome!

 

Axle Press, from Rack

85×5

125×5

175×3

215×2

240x3x3 <– R wrist still feels like crap. Don’t know what’s going on, but may have to limit pressing soon if it doesn’t improve.

 

Chin-ups

BW x3x8

 

Shrugs

Skipped these because the traction on my wrist doing pullups didn’t feel great

 

GHR Med Ball Twists

12x2x20 <— these were new, and nasty.

 

DONE.

 

Other than my right wrist, everything is feeling solid. I’ve been doing some reading on what Stuart McGill (the back genius PT) did for Brian Carroll and realize the sensibility of it. Movement must be perfect throughout the day to avoid further stressing injured tissues. I think this may be a solution for my back pain that seems to be bothering me at work. Of course, I tend not to be in good positions when I bend over to treat my shorter kiddos, so I need to find a way to remedy this. Will be back Saturday for more events and fun.