Monthly Archives: June 2014

This week was going great until today’s training. I attempted to start a circa max prior to deadlifting today which was an interesting experience. Unfortunately my hips were worked after and by the time I got to my second attempt I felt super weak (but enough excuses). I have been told my hips are weak, I am not getting my shoulders back, and that I am not taking enough slack (tension) out of the bar with my legs prior to pulling. This why I am having trouble exploding off the floor, I also can not for the life of me slow myself down (anxious) prior to pulling and set up properly. Hope next week is better because a miss load and a miss all in the same day has gotten under my skin. Trials of overcoming failure.

Incline Bench 6×6 (225)
Single Arm DB Rows 4×8 (80)
Single Arm Pulldowns 3×12 (60)
Facepulls 3×15 (60)
Seated Alternating Curls 6×8 (30)

Struggled again today. I really just need to catch up on sleep, which I plan to do after I get my wife’s car retread in tires that hopefully won’t explode. Felt like 10 lbs of fecal matter in a 2 lb bag all session. Just couldn’t seem to shake the funk. Kept kicking my own ass as best I could to at least make the suckfest worth something. And wouldn’t you know, I ended up with a PR stone load to 52″. And subsequently strained my L bicep. Such is life haha. Anyways, I’ll hopefully heal up and be back after it for the next ME lower day. And I’ll play nice and try not to hurt it with the bodybuilding day tomorrow.

My order wasn’t exactly what was prescribed, but it was raining and trying to squeeze events outside in between downpours gets tricky. But I managed to make it happen.

Here’s what went down though.

Static Farmers Holds

200x15s
250x15s
270x15s back felt like crap.

Zercher Carry for Distance

400×75′
400×60′ blacked out here. Suck.

Stone over 52″ Bar

230×1
260×1
300×1
330×1 PR

Was supposed to do down sets here but would have possibly injured the left biceps worse so I called it here. Better safe than operated on at this point.

Sometimes you press the log, and then sometimes the log tries to kill you. Yesterday was one of the latter. I didn’t even get video because I was expecting two more jumps before I would top out. Ended up not working out that way. Oh well.

Main thing is that I manage to make it to Refuge and show up with all systems firing. I’d rather get the bad days out of the way on the front end. Here’s to that. As for the day, here’s what went down.

Log Press from Rack

175×3
205×3
235×3 @9

225×3 @8
225×3@9

Log Press from High Pins (1/2 ROM)

175×3@8
195×3
215×3 @9

205×3
205×3 @ 9

Dumbbell Bench 60 second Timed Sets

50×27 in 60 seconds
50×20
50×13

HS Machine Row

45×15
60×15
60×15

Band pull aparts

Micro mini x50

Band push downs

Grey x2x25

Alternating DB Curls

20×25
20×15
20×15

Done.

Back in Saturday morning for events fun.

Have I mentioned how much I hate front squats?
Thursday (quads, calves, abs)

Single Arm DB Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat 2-3 warm ups, 1×4 drop sets 8-12 per set WU 15,20. Work 30, drop 25,20,15,10

Front Squats 2-3 warm ups, 8×8 (45 sec break) WU bar,55,60,65

Backwards Sled Walks 300 yards 70 lbs

Standing Machine Calf Raises 3×10 (3 count pause and contraction) 90 total

10×10 Planks

At least the fans drown out my groaning. It sounds like a sweat shop. Oh wait, it IS a sweat shop.

http://youtu.be/Dreq5vG-rUs

If you ask my grandma, “bodybuilder” and “powerlifter” are synonyms. We all lift weights and wear spandex and eat food.  Tomato, tomahto.

Yeah, I know, she’s wrong.  I know she’s wrong because I have recently taken a little time out from powerlifting to pursue a little time in physique sports.  Over the past six months or so, I have grown to really appreciate the other side of iron sports.  The two sports are so different that I have learned drastically different lessons along the way.

Things I didn’t expect to learn powerlifting

Programming is everything:  I have ran lots of different programming methods in the past, and have done a LOT of stupid stuff.  The perpetual newb in me wants to max out EVERY SINGLE DAY ALWAYS AND FOREVER.  Hell, there was a point in time where I vehemently defended my stance that to get strong and lift heavy, you need to lift heavy always.  Luckily, I had more successful powerlifters around me that sat me down, and convinced me to start using a little more grey matter.

Enjoy the journey:  Real progress is SLOW.  It can get frustrating to set life-time goals and realize how far you are from them.  However, as time passes, you have two options: take steps towards your goals or don’t.  Some of the best experiences I have had as a human being have been during less-than-stunning training days. Slow down, enjoy each step along the way, and love the ride you are on.

Value your peers: There are exceptions, but for the most part, I think the powerlifting comradery is of the best in iron sports.  Granted everyone thinks they have the best friends, but the kindness I have received from complete strangers at powerlifting meets and clinics is really incredible.  Further, some of the advice I have received from veteran lifters have been game changers!  The genuine desire to improve other lifters is undeniable.

Eat:  Umm..this seems like such a no-brainer, but I AM a female.  I have wanted to be leaner, smaller, lighter, etc.  The tendency to shy away from eating in fear of weight gain has absolutely plagued me. However, your body punishes you for such a mentality after any amount of time.  The easy remedy is to eat and eat and eat!  However, there’s really no need to gain extra adipose.  Fuel yourself for activity, enjoy life a bit, and give yourself the proper nutrients.  Your body composition will work itself out.

Appreciate your body for what it is:  This is a hard one and maybe one I would have never learned without powerlifting.  In a society where we are directly or indirectly made to feel as though we should look a certain way, its hard to opt out of self criticism.  Powerlifting passively taught me to appreciate my body for what it can do.  As cliche as it sounds, I love my body for what it is and what life experiences I’ve been able to have because of it.

Things I didn’t expect to learn from competitive physique sports

Give it 100%:  In theory, dieting for a show with the help of a prep coach is easy.  They tell you what/how much to eat, when to eat it, and you just execute.  Its FAR from easy though.  The minute details all add up.  They all matter.  If your coach says no diet soda, guess what?  You dont get to drink diet soda.  If your coach says to drink 2 gallons of water, you better get every ounce in.  Any decent prep coach will have a reason for each stipulation.  Aside from following the master plan, do it because it strengthens you as a human.  Anything worth having is worth going all out for.  Take pride in yourself and this sport if you want to compete in it.  Theres never an excuse for not working hard.

Very few people matter:  Physique sports are very subjective sports.  It can mold interesting characters.  When you put your body out in the open to be criticized, it will be.  Trust me.  Some of the things said might hurt your feelings. If you can handle it as constructive, then do so.  If someone is just being a mean person, recognize that.  Realize this: people that are negative towards you dont matter. Remember who is important, appreciate them, and let them have the best of you.

Enjoy the journey:  Yeah, this again.  When I mentioned it with powerlifting, it was easy to imagine:  hitting PRs, eating lots of food, resting.  However, with dieting, its kind of hard to paint a pretty picture.  Yeah, I’m not always jumping out of bed to eat a can of tuna and head off for my first workout of the day, but theres some beauty in doing it anyway.  You learn a lot about yourself in depleted states and you learn a lot about how you feel about things going on around you.  I have said this before, but theres a stream of consciousness that I think only occurs in dieted states that makes you extremely aware.  Plus, the week-by-week changes are incredible.  Just as in anything, celebrate your small steps, and dont worry about the end result.

Do not get caught up in winning:  If you are doing all you can, you are personally successful in this sport.  You dont know who is going to step on stage the day you get there.  At some point, Nicole Wilkins competed at a state level show…and someone lost to her.  Are they big failures? Absolutely not!  Its fun to imagine the glory, but it distracts from what’s really going on:  you are accomplishing a personal goal and promise to yourself.  That is far more important than winning a trophy.

Its more than a 16 week prep:  I wish I could scream this from the roof tops.  Every competitor talks about what they are going to eat post-contest.  Im guilty of it myself (bacon cheeseburger, btw).  However, post contest is a very critical time to practice diligence in reverse dieting.  Im not sure why this is debatable, but i’m going to break it down how I see it: post contest, you are prone to be a FAT STORING MACHINE.  You have been at bodyfat levels that your body DOES NOT want to be at, DOES NOT function well at, and FIGHTS to get out of.  With that, hormonal responses will trigger hunger and even binging.  You have been at some sort of caloric deficit for a considerable amount of time.  Have your post show lottery, but get to reversing pretty quick and rehabbing your metabolism.  Hell, reversing is an article subject all its own.

Kind of a short one…Didnt have a ton of time today.

Bench: worked up to 135 for my set of 5+, got 10.  Then did 135x4x2.  During this set, I destroyed a set of wrist wraps, which im counting into my work load.

rep work: 115×8/105×8/95x5x10

Band pull aparts/Dips

 

I am absolutely the worlds worst bench presser.  I have primate-like arms.  Long and worthless.  Christian and someone else were talking about bench set up, so today I tried squeezing the bench with my adductors..it really did keep my butt down.  I will be working on this over time.  I think the best thing I can do for my bench at this point is to just spend more time with it.  Thus, my accessory work will be a lot of lighter bench press where I focus on the little things I tend to neglect…primarily, lat tension and foot drive.

 

I used to have lower back pain after house cleaning or yard work or just sitting a lot. I have not had nearly the pain that I used to since I have been weight-lifting. (Yes, it could be because I don’t do as much house or yard work, but I am sticking with my story.)
I also try to be very conscious of my posture now (should have listened to my mother) and practice ‘chest out and shoulders back’. I moved my computer monitors to eye level to make sure I don’t slump all day.
If back and shoulder pain are a problem for you then strengthen your back so it can serve you well for life.

Wednesday, June 25
A1: Scap Shrugs w/pause 4×8 15 lbs 
A2: 1 arm barbell rows 4×12 bar on land mine attachment, 10 lbs
Stretchers 2-3 warm up, 4×12, drop, drop 50,drop to 40 only
Barbell Shrugs 3×12 w/pause, rest pause 75,85,95,work 115 
Straight bar scap row/row, 2-3 warm ups, 3×10,rest pause 50,60,work 70

Bench training had pros and cons today, the pros definitely outweighed the cons. I have been rehabbing my triceps for MONTHS! I was able to bench with minimal pain (more of an annoying pinch) and also hit may last bench PR as my 2nd attempt! the cons were that my butt rose during all my presses today. So how is one to go about correcting this, we had a lifters “pow-wow” and came up with ideas for me to try the next two weeks to fix this. Our ideas consisted of a few things to try:
-Turn Heels out, point toes in
-Set up with feet planted first
-Lessen thoracic arc and focus on arching lumbar more
-Squeeze bench with knees (get more mobile)
-compared feet and leg setup to last meet and saw I may need to untuck my feet, by a few feet (did you get that?)

These ideas will hopefully allow me to put together a bench PR for me (which I was not planning on). Great training with Brian and having the rest of the team around for the support as well, Especially when head coach David is there to cue me! Things are looking good after a rough training cycle.

Bench: barx5 – 95×5 – 135×5 – 185×5 – 225×3 – 275×3 – 315×1 – 345×1 – 360×1 (all singles done with commands “press” and rack”)
extended pause bench: 2×3 @300
Seated behind the neck tricep ext.: to relieve tricep tightness/”pain”

ME NCL Bench x2 raw w/chains (95,135,185,+40,+80,+120,+160,+180×1)
Close Grip Floor Press 60 reps (185)
Overhead V Bar Tricep Extensions 3×10 (140)
Elbow Out Incline Tricep Extensions 6×6 (40)
Single Arm Cable Pressdowns 3×15 (50)
Band Pull a Part Super Series 3×10 each

http://youtu.be/yNhxA-Lv3H4

Today I did cardio..and thats it.  Nothing really exciting to talk about there, so I thought I would go over some things that I think are VERY IMPORTANT when coming off a contest prep.  We have all seen the competitors that blow up post contest.  Some people will muster up some crap about it being necessary for growth and blah blah blah.  While its true that you cant really be in a deficit and add size, I think its wildly insulting to pass that off as the reason someone is gaining an excessive amount of weight in the months post show.  Give.me.a.break.

I am going to assume that in prep, the following were utilized to lose weight:

1. Cardio

2. caloric deficits/macro manipulation

3. fat burners of some sort/stimulants

—Anything outside of this will also require attention..however, I am NOT well versed enough to talk hormonal manipulation.  If you take this route, I highly advice prioritizing your hormonal recovery.——

Its tempting to have a big ole week of binge eating, cut your hours of cardio, and taper off your stimulants.  Hell, some people will try and tell you there’s this magical anabolic nature post contest that is PRIME for building muscle.  However, make no mistake: you are a fat storing machine post contest.  You have been in a deficit, your metabolic capacity is absolutely lower, and as a system that strives for homeostasis, your body is accounting for a large activity load and a lessened caloric intake. You cannot flood the system the calories and rest and think that nothing is going to happen.  Further, if you decide to be lazy in this aspect, you can find yourself in the world worst position: a very low BMR and a very HIGH bf %.  Suddenly, you are dieting in the off season, wasting time.  So…here’s what I would/am do..

1. Ditch your stims.  Im not saying you cant have your coffee/monster energy drink/etc…but this is a good time to really cut back or eliminate fat burners.  They are probably responsible for the least of your weight loss.  Adjust to this.

2.  Get back to your diet that you had right before show day.  Consider this your baseline.  You are going to reverse from here.  This is a safe spot to start.  Keep your water intake high.  The best diuretic is water itself.

3.  Cut your cardio back, but not out.  I dont know how much cardio every person does, but cut back A LITTLE.  If you were doing an hour, maybe do 50 minutes.

—Assess…weigh yourself..see what these changes are doing to your body.  The goal here isnt to stay at stage weight, but its to minimize fat accumulation.  If you are putting on bodyfat at an alarming rate, then you probably need smaller adjustments.  If you are stage ready again, you probably will be fine to increase calories a bit more, drop cardio a bit more, or maybe even both.–

If that went well, add 50-100 calories/day on week two.  Again, really small additions.  You need to be as diligent with your diet as you had been during pre-contest.

Reduce cardio again..not by a lot, but a little. I would say about a 10% reduction in cardio a week is probably reasonable until you are doing a cardio schedule that is comparable to GPP.

—Assess..weigh yourself..look in the mirror…take measurements..be accountable for changes into your body.–

Continue as necessary.  I think the “off season” should be about recovering and building a SOLID base.  You cannot continue to push the envelope year after year when your health is in the gutter.  It also just makes more sense that the person who has the metabolic capacity of 3,000 calories is going to have an easier prep in the future than the person who is living on 1500 calories.

 

Be smart.  Be diligent.  Reversing is time well spent.  You can have cake and ice cream and donuts and pancakes and whatnot, but you dont have to have it all at once.

 

Holy. Shit. Today was brutal. We are starting to specialize a bit more since I’m 6 weeks out from Refuge at this point. Working on becoming a total hauling machine. Carrying events are my strength, so I might as well make it a point to win those events.

Anyways, had a rough work day so I wasn’t motivated to get in today. Glad I went in though. Here’s what went down:

Warmups with agility and jumps

Farmers Walk

200×70′ in 12 s
230×70′ in 12s
230×70′ in 12s
230×70′ in 11s
230×70′ in 14s

Zercher Squats

135×3
225×3
255×3 @9

Drop sets on 13″ box
225×3
225×3@9

Front Squats

135×5
185×5
225×5
275×5 @9

Front Squat Holds

345x20s
345x20s
345x15s

Done.

I’m all shaky and tore up now. Working on packing in food and trying to recover before I’m back at work in the morning. I’m adapting though and feeling faster all the time.

Back in on Thursday.

My hips are tighter than banjo strings and I haven’t gotten a chance to stretch them the last couple days. So I decide to kill them on my raw week and use the soft pad. Basically you sit down until you feel the pad underneath you and slowly sit down into it until you bottom out on the box. This exercise was pretty tough and definitely wore my hips out. I wish I had done another set. I definitely felt like I had one more left in me but I had a time constraint and wanted to get all my accessory work in too.

ME NCL Squat x2 raw w/chains 95,135,225,275,315,365,405,455,495 (545), 545 + 80 in chains

2 count Paused Front Squat 3×8 (185(

Round Back Hypers on GHR 3×15 (BW)

Heels Together toes out reverse hypers 3×15 (45 each side)

DB Shrugs 4×20 (70)

Seated Band Curls 3×1 min (1 min break) (light band)

 

 

So..I have been thinking it over and uhh…Im done with figure.  I was on the fence and feasibly could have enjoyed another four weeks of prep into the Mo State, but theres a chance I would get pretty burned out.  I am ready to get back to powerlifting.  Today I jumped back in the saddle. I have been talking a lot with other lifters lately and realize that a huuuuuge mistake I make time and time again is a lack of conservative lifting.  The forever-newb in me wants to go heavy all the time, all the time.  I know this is stupid and wreckless.  Thus, I am resolving to build strength as opposed to constantly testing it.

And it went a little somethin’ like this…

Deadlifts

5×135

5×170

3×205

5×225

5×255

5+ x 290 (got nine)

Squats

5×10 @165

Walking Lunges/Goodmornings

5×20@65lbs/5×12@95lbs

GHD Raises

4×10

 

WALA!  Easy peasy.  I’ll write a little more tomorrow about my tips for not becoming a fatty in “off season.”

This was a great training session for me. I was able to get extra time warming up due to a client cancelling their appointment, Tanner from Purdue Barbell was a huge help running the monolift and helping me with small stuff like wrap rolling ect.
My last meet was November of 2013 and my best squat was 550 and I missed 570 (which I was chasing all year). After numerous injuries and aches this meet was looking like a battle just to make it through. However, I made a plan of attack with the healthcare providers at NBS fitness and stuck with it to rehab myself back to a position where I can stay a float and have the potential to put together a good meet.

Squats: 420 – 470 – 510 – 550 – 570
Paused Squats: 330×4 – 380×4
reverse hyper swings (rehab): 4×20 @ 90lbs

Incline DB Bench 6×6 (110)
Neutral Chest Supported Rows 6×6 (90)
Pullup series 3 of each (1 min break till can’t go anymore) (5 rounds)
Laying T’s 3×15 (15)
Swiss Bar Curls 6×8 (85)
Grenade Ball Straight Back Extensions 3×12 (60)
Blast Strap Tricep Extensions 3×15

Well, summer time is a hard time to be a strongman. The heat and humidity in old Sunny Memphis TN is brutal. Even starting at 8am, it’s still 95 by 11. It’s tough no matter how hydrated I stay. My body just struggles with heat, and always has. Even so, I have to put in work. So here’s what went down.

Warmup/jumps/agility

Deadlift

135×5
225x 3
315×1
365×1
405×1 @8

365×12, one rep every 15 seconds till failure. Ouch.

Farmers Walk

200×50′
250×50′
270×75′ x1. Failed second attempt. Also mis loaded weight. Oops

200×80′. Shit. Was trying to go further, but grip was shot.

Atlas Stone Series

200, 230, 265 x21 seconds.

200, 230, 265 x18 seconds. Left hand shot numb so I stopped here.

Now I’m eating and cleaning the house. So I can cook more meat and eat more tonight. Back tomorrow for some bodybuilding work.

Depth Drops into box jump 6×2
ME NCL Deadlift x3 raw/chains (3 pad sumo Deadlifts 135,225,315,405, suit on 495, 545, straps up 585, 635, lifting straps +40 chains, +80 chains
Wall Squats onto box with band around knees 10×5 (140)
Keg Holds 3×45 (150)
Round Back Hypers on 45 degree Hyper 3×20 (25)
X-Band Walk with squat 3×20 (monster)

http://youtu.be/XTKyxvgaREk

First time doing log from blocks today. My low back definitely enjoyed it more, and I felt less terrible by the time the workout was done. I’m not sure where this puts me for refuge, but I should be able to hit a few reps on the 250 log and not lose too much ground I think. I believe my previous log PR is around 265, and had my 3rd rep with 245 gone better today I would have chanced it.

Oh well. Also battle ropes are surprisingly terrible. I knew they would be but tonight just proved it. And I didn’t spontaneously combust from doing it similar to a crossfit WOD. The two sports can coexist. Robert Oberst, one of the premier WSM competitors now, wrote and article that received tons of negative commentary. One knucklehead even mentioned the author “must be a crossfitter”. OB’s basic point was that the iron sports are varied so everyone can play. You pick what you like and you do it, just so long as you DO SOMETHING.

The fact that there’s so much unfounded hatred astounds me. Yes there are dumb coaches out there doing dumb things. There’s also dumb powerlifters, strongmen, runners, foot coaches, basketball coaches, you name it. If it gets people moving and doing, why do you care? Plus, strongman as a sport is swinging back to more conditioning oriented medleys. Strength will always be important but we need to know how to MOVE. We shall see how many figure this out. Time to adapt or get left behind.

Anyways, rant over. Didn’t get good video today, but here’s what went down.

Warmup, box jumps, jump rope, throws etc

Log Clean and Press from Block

Log x10
135×5
175×3
205×3
225×3
245×3

Close Grip Bench

Bar x10
135×5
165×5
195×5 @8
185x3x5

One Arm DB Press

40×10
55×8

DB Row, Strict, No Straps

75x3x12

Band Pull Aparts

Monster Mini x2x25

Band Punch Downs

Grey x2x25

Alt DB Curls

25×15
25×15
25×12
25×8

Battle Ropes (had a partner so rests were his work period)

20s on, 20 s off
30 s on
40 s on
50 s on
60 s on
50 s on
40 s on
30 s on
20 s on. Fin.

Done.

Had an interesting time washing my hair. Back on Saturday for events!

20140620-073028-27028551.jpg

AM conditioning

prowler sprint x 2 with just sled (down with high handles, low at lowest handles)

prowler sprint +20lbs

prowler sprint +40lbs

prowler sprint + 50lbs

prowler sprint + 70lbs

prowler sprint + 90lbs

prowler sprint +110lbs

prowler sprint +140lbs x 2

prowler sprint + 110

prowler sprint + 90lbs

prowler sprint + 70lbs

prowler sprint +50lbs

prowler sprint + 40lbs

prowler sprint + 20lbs

empty prowler x 2.

finisher: three minutes non stop with prowler for three minutes, as many trips as possible.

 

PM: Strict Press + shoulders

OH press, standing: worked up to 95×5

Rear Delt Machine Flys 4×35 reps

Meadows rear delt destroyer (chest supported rear delt “swings” for 30, cut weight in half for 30 more, then 5 with iso-tension)

super set: plate raises/lateral raises

meadows style 6-ways (seated, DBs start at side, then lateral raise to front raise, to overhead and reverse.

This was a major breakthrough in my rehabilitation of my triceps. This max effort bench session is the first time in near 4-6 months I have pressed with ZERO pain. I have been working with Gym Resident PT: Taylor, Gym Resident Chiropractor: Jason, and Gym Resident Massage therapist: Yvonna trying to heal this ongoing painful injury.
A short session of electro stim. applied early in the day irritated the triceps extremely badly to the point I was unable to go into full flexion without pain. I attempted to grab and pull my trciep to one side and move through my ROM. Oddly enough I did with zero pain. I go to the gym early and started hammering shoulder mobility and asked yvonna to try a new “rock tape” job. My theory was correct in that I needed tension pulling my tricep out of the way.
Several months ago Taylor thought my nerve was being impinged by soft tissue, this tape job supports his theory. My bench session today went to well, I hit the most amount of weight throughout this training cycle and it was done with no pain. My form was locked in and I was not sloppy, I need to stay healthy for 3 more weeks and then it is game time. I am attempting to put 100lbs on my total from last meet which was roughly 8 months ago. I have dropped out of 2 since due to tricep pain.

-ME Bench w/ chains top 2×1: 225×3 275×2 300×1 315×1 315+2 chainsx1 315+4 chainsx1 315 + 6 chainsx1 (I got excited on this one, video cuts off my excitement… barely)
The way we had the chains setthey were only about 10-15 lbs at lockout. in video I estimated down to 10lbs
-Floor Press 4×6: 225×1 275×3
-pendlay Rows: 3×4: 225 (probably too light)
-seated behind the neck rope tricep extensions 3×20

ME NCL Bench x3 (3 board 45,95,135,185,225,275,315, shirt on 405,455 3×3)
DB Bench 60 reps (90×20,35,49,60)
Seated Overhead Rope Extensions 2-3 warm ups 3×10 (90)
Single Arm DB skullies 6×6 (30)
Reverse Single Arm Cable Pressdowns 3×15 (40)
YTWI 3×10 each (5)

http://youtu.be/MFPnDkbYTLI

I havent had a deadlift day in way too long.  Everything felt great, so today I got back in the saddle.

A)Deads: 135×10, 155×10, 185×10, 225×8, 245×8, 275×5, 315×5, 335×5, 365×3, 385×3, 405x3x1  (WHOOT!) Not an all time PR, but im back at 138lbs, so its a PR at this bodyweight. TRIPLE BODYWEIGHT DEADLIFT!!!

B1) SSB Goodmornings 4×15

B2) Barbell Walking Lunges 4×20 steps

C1) Hip Thrusts 4×15

C2) Glute/Ham Developers  4×10

D1) Monster walks

D2) KBS 3×20

E1) Leg extension triple drop set

F1) Ham Curl triple drop set

Yes, you saw that right. An ME day. Programming switched up to hit the gas leading into my meets this fall. Have adjusted up a day to 4 days a week. Training ME Lower on Tuesday, ME Upper on Thursday, Events Saturday, with a Bodybuilding Day on Sunday to hit whatever needs to be hit. Will likely be going in on Sunday afternoons because I can’t miss church, but such is life.

Programming has taken a unique turn as well. We’ve decided to approach strongman more from a sport/athletic standpoint rather than a “powerlifting that walks” standpoint. My strength is in my speed, and I will never be super strong in the deadlift or press quickly. All those gains will take years and years. In the meantime, if I can keep bringing those up but win every moving event, I’ve got a shot.

All that said, it kicked my butt yesterday. Here’s what went down:

Warmup/Agility incl box jumps and jump ropes etc

Axle Deadlift

135×5
225×3
315×3
365×3
405×3 possible PR
435×3 PR

SSB Squat

175×5
225×5
275×5
315×5 tweaked my back here so skipped down sets

Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats

40x2x8 my balance sucks

McGill Plank

10s/5s x5/4/3/2/1

45′ Scap Shrugs

45x2x12

Prowler Work

1) 20s work/60s rest
2) 30s work/45s rest
3) 40s work/30s rest
4) 50s work/15s rest
5) 60s work

Death.

Prowler didn’t suck at first, but the last two rounds were pure hell. Barely lived. But it’s going to make keeping my breathing controlled for medleys a joke.

Back on Thursday.

Tuesday -arms

A1: Rope Pressdowns w/pause 3×10 -40,50,50

A2: Single Arm Chain Extensions 1.5 reps 3×10 -single ch w/ ball

Tricep Hell (1,2,3,4 board) 5 reps each till failure- 65,70,75 finish

B1: Cross Body Hammer Curls 3×10 – 15 DB

B2: EZ Curl Bar 1.5 reps 3×10 -15 lb total

Fat Grip EZ Curl Bar Preacher Curls 2-3 warm ups, 4 drop sets -WU bar,15 total,drop 10,5,bar last hold against resistance

Forearm Curls (alternate Supinated and pronated) 4xfailure – 35 lb bar

http://youtu.be/pkodPOYpyLQ

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Okay…this is delayed, but better late than never.

This past week, I competed at my first national level show.  It was a pretty wild ride.

We flew from St. Louis to Chicago, which is a really short flight.  However, I came to find out there is no such thing.  Let me be clear, I am all about airport security.  TSA checkpoints are a small price to pay for the safety.  That said, I have never been through one as an adult and not been extensively checked. This time they went STRAIGHT for the crotch.  Cool.

Chicago was beautiful.  Got in, saw a lot of friends from when I lived there.  That was great.  Got checked in, which took a grand total of 4 minutes.  Jr. Nationals ran smooth as butter from start to finish.  I cannot say enough good things about the promoters/expediters/etc. Went back to the hotel, slept like a brick until the next morning.

Day of show 1:  Woke up to an AMAZING hair day.  Got my tan applied super early in the AM as opposed to the night before, which I prefer.  No touch up needed before stage time.  Make up next, which was amazing.  Then it was stage time….

Probably the most nervous I have ever been on stage.  There were 35ish other girls in my class and every.last.one. was lights out.  I knew one other girl in my class, which was nice.  She was experienced at this level and made sure I didn’t miss a cue.  We were on stage for approximately five minutes, which felt like forever.  We did group quarter turns, individual presentations, and call outs.  While this isn’t where they announce placing, this is where you get an idea of where you stand.

Day 2:  Day 2 was short lived, and at night.  We were on stage for about 1 minute, hit one post, and filed off with the exception of the top 5.  I was way less nervous, and had a lot of fun getting to know people.

I didn’t place for the first time in anything in my entire iron sport career.  AND: I completely agree with it.  There was something very calming about it.  It was my first time on THAT big of a stage with THAT many people looking at me.  I have a few take-aways

1.  Bring the look YOU want to bring, don’t worry about the rest.  Im not good at moderation.  If I am going to be lean, I want to be REALLY lean.  I was a little more moderate as a judge suggested last October after my Ottawa show. Not that I wasn’t happy with my look, but now I am going to do another show to really nail my conditioning how *I* want.

2.  This should be fun.  I feel like anytime you are partaking in a HOBBY, it should be fun.  For a lot of people backstage, it really wasn’t.  I was cool as a cucumber, but noted a surprising number of women having what looked like the worst time of their entire life.  Geesh.

3.  Train how you want to train, and worry about your category later.  The day of competition is 1 day of the year.  You are in the gym training 364 days otherwise.  Your training style should be whatever you enjoy, regardless of its impact on your aesthetics.  I heard one girl lamenting that her coach had her stop doing squats and how she really missed them.  I hope our 5 minutes on stage was worth “almost crying because she missed the squat rack so bad” ever leg day.  I hope that was an exaggeration.

4.  The people that follow you on social media actually do exist.  I met them.  Lots of them.  Who woulda thunk.

5.  You learn a hellova lot more losing than winning.  Its hard to see your downfalls when you are winning.  This weekend brought to light a lot of things I can work on, and that’s exciting for me.  I will likely switch to physique, and took note of what it takes to be on their level as well.

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For kicks, this was my post show reefed(24 hours):

-2 slices Genos Deep Dish Meat Lovers Pizza

-IHOP Cinnamon Raisen French toast + ice cream

-Brownies/cookies

-Swedish Fish

-Oreos

-Chicken Fajitas, chips salsa, diet soda

-Medium James Brown Concrete from Andys Frozen Custard

-Some cookie with icing in the middle

-8 truffles

My body wasn’t feeling too awesome after spending a lot of the weekend in a car and sitting in a theater and on top of that I learned I had to teach bootcamp about 15 minutes before it started so I had to cut my workout short. When shit like this happens, kick ass as best you can and don’t get caught up in what you can’t do.

ME NCL Squat x3 raw w/chains (buffalo bar 135,225,275,315,365,405,455,495,545, +80 chains, +160 chains
Wall Squats onto box with band around knees 10×5 (100 vest and chains, 5 breaths in between)
10×20 yard prowler sprints

http://youtu.be/dci5eJPkAho

I had a really good training session. Squatted in Metal Jack Briefs and wraps.
795×3, 825×2, 850×1

http://youtu.be/SGLebRxABFg

After sharing a photo of Jennifer Bean in her physique competition one of the comments posted was admiration for her dedication. That’s a great word to describe what it takes to compete at this level. It’s hard to explain this kind of motivation and perseverance to people who are not gym rats. Although you are competing against others the true competition is against yourself, pushing past wanting to quit, the hunger and the disapproval of some.
I am so very proud of Jennifer and happy that we were able to be there to support her.

Monday, June 16 (hamstrings,calves, triceps)

Incline Hamstring Curls 2-3 warm ups 3×10, 1xmax w/partials- 5 lb plates

RDLs against bands no lockout 2-3 warm ups 3×15, 2-3 rest pause sets -WU bar,65,95 (3sets, pause,then max- lost grip so had stop)

Reverse Hypers 2-3 warm ups, 4 drop sets, 1xmax partials -25,50,75,100, for max 75,50,25

Leg Press 3×1 min max (1 min break) single -45 plate

The Battle Of Wounded Elbow: A Case Study of Sorts

Taylor Weglicki, PT, DPT

I decided to take a bit of a different direction with this month’s article. I’ve had an interesting time lately working with some folks on elbow rehab, and beyond the typical “tendonitis” kind of stuff you hear about most frequently. One lifter in particular at NBS has had a hell of a time trying to get everything healed up, and it’s his path to healing that I’ve decided to make the focus of this article. Our outcome is not yet complete, as he’s not completely back to normal yet, but we’re heading that direction. Rehab is often an x+y=z path, but not everyone’s path is. As such, I think it is important to illustrate that when faced with a particularly difficult rehab, the most important thing is to keep trying to move forward. I want to provide a bit of history on the lifter (I have his permission, don’t worry), just to show how every case is not the same, and how important it is to start simple before you get to complex diagnoses (and attempt to major in the minors).

A History of Where He’s Been

The lifter in question competes in powerlifting. He’s competed in a few weight classes at this point, and in multiple meets to boot. He first approached me a few months ago with complaints of elbow pain when squatting. He wasn’t noticing it terribly when pressing, but squats were definitely a trigger for him. Luckily, he is body aware enough that he was able to determine that he was holding the bar more on his wrists than across his back, and subsequently increasing stress on his elbows. Doing a quick assessment, I noticed his external rotation was borderline nonexistent. In a range where you’d expect 90 degrees as “normal” he had maybe 30 degrees without substituting with thoracic extension to gain range. So, we started him on a generalized shoulder mobility program to address this. Should fix the problem right? Wrong.

A Look at Where He’s Heading

So this is when things got interesting. We made huge gains in shoulder mobility, achieving closer to 60 degrees of external rotation cold, as well as improving overhead mobility. All things pointed to his pain should be improving. However, he continued to report pain with pressing. That seemed odd to me, so I began looking for soft tissue entrapment. Yvonna, our resident massage therapist, took up the challenge and began mashing all around shoulder and elbow to hit our typical compression points at the thoracic outlet of the brachial plexus, and also along the radial nerve through the tricep and proximal to the elbow. Upon palpation, our lifter had a band of tissue that seemed to be compressing the radial nerve along the proximal radial tunnel at the olecranon process. He continued with his shoulder mobility programming, and began reporting decreased pain when squatting, but it still remained when pressing. Interesting, right?

Thus, we began getting a little more aggressive. Our Lifter began getting dry needling done along parts of the tricep in an effort to release any of the tissues likely to be causing any source of compression. He began reporting relief of 2-3 days at this point, but then the symptoms and pain would come back. Not exactly the kind of result we were hoping for at this juncture. We tried a few more sessions but the result was the same. It was at this point that I began to sit down at the drawing board, so to speak, and take a look at the big picture at what really could be going on. What I concluded is less than exciting, but, once addressed, will hopefully give us a better look at what the depth of the injury actually is.

An Insight Into What Is To Come

From a neurologic standpoint, our Lifter has not experienced any loss of motor or sensory function in either arm. This would rule out any axonotmesis or neurotmesis type injuries. At this point, my thought is that when he squatted without the shoulder mobility he now has, that maintaining upwards of 500 lbs with regular frequency on both elbows, he experienced some traction injury to the radial nerve. This would make sense, as the flexed position you maintain when squatting is more of an open packed position for that joint (compared with lockout on the bench, for example). I’d classify the type of injury as likely a neuropraxia, which is the most mild form of nerve injury that luckily allows for full healing. It can take up to 6-9 week for full function to return from initial onset of injury, but therein lies our problem: our Lifter may have injured the radial nerve on both elbows MULTIPLE times before we discovered the issue. Thus, we currently can’t determine the exact healing time on the injury because of the lack of a definite initial onset.

As such, I’ve realized we might be beyond conservative measures that I as a PT can provide (along with my fellow therapists from different fields). Currently, I’m hoping to get this Lifter in to get a nerve conduction study to determine what the depth of the injury actually is. Thus, we could determine our time until we reach healing, and possibly get him back to functional levels faster than if we just continue on our current path. The key to success as a physical therapist is being able to understand differential diagnoses of a particular problem or injury, and know when to refer out for treatment. Hopefully we can get this Lifter to see a neurologist with a good understanding of sport related nerve injuries, and get him on the path to wellness.
That said, he will continue to maintain his mobility to prevent any further loss of function. That’s a given.

If you have questions, concerns, comments, or cries of outrage, let me know in the comments.

Stay Strong,

Taylor Weglicki, PT, DPT

Incline DB Bench 6×6 (105 2 min break)
Neutral Chest Supported Rows 6×6 (85 1 min break)
Laying T’s 3×15 (12)
Football Bar Curls 6×8 (75)
Grenade Ball Straight Back Extensions 3×12 (55)
Blast Strap Tricep Extensions 3×15

Up in Chattanooga supporting Jennifer in her first figure comeptition. After riding in the car the last couple days, walking around town, and lack of sleep, today’s goal was just to get in and get some deadlift work done in the briefs. This was the first time I had worked back into gear since hurting my back at my last comp. I was pleased with today’s lifting. I got out of position a decent amount but that’s to be expected with this being my first time back at it. Started having some hamstring pain in my left leg and cut the last set short.

Sumo Deadlifts max 3 135,225,315,briefs on 405,495,545,585,635×2

http://youtu.be/kVywtp-9Ysg

So I’m about 7 weeks out from Refuge and about 12 weeks out from Tennessee’s Strongest Man at this point. Coming off a week off to try and get my fire back and catch up on life stuff. I didn’t really accomplish that, but I’m revamping my training to hear up for the last few weeks before this show. Hoping to go to 4 days per week and see what it gets me. My deadlift is on the cusp of a huge breakthrough I think, and my moving events are improving.

I’m hoping the addition of the box jumps and later some agility work will help with event transitions and allow me to bring my best package to the show. Then, it’s just time to compete.

Here’s what went down today.

Box Jumps

48″ x4x3

Keg/Farmers/Duck Walk Medley

220/200/210 x32 seconds

220/220/300 x35 seconds. Too slow on transitions here. :-/

Axle Deadlift

135×5
315×3
395×1
325×10

Done.

A good amount of work without completely destroying myself today. Back on Monday to finish this prep with earnest.

the past 12 weeks has been lonely when it comes to training. This is due to my school and client scheduling, I have not had many opportunities to train with many of the team members. Today was an exception and it was fun to be around the team members that did show up (even though it was like 1/8 of the team). I’m calling all you punks out… where were you? I know 3 had a valid reason for not showing up.

-speed squats 300 + chains (was suppose to add bands but I miss read program
-max effort deads 2×1: 545+ 80 in chains (4) – 575+ 80 in chains (4)
I choked the chains up a good bit so one link was left on floor. I am short so when I don’t do this I am barely getting links up
-sumo deads 4×6: 405
-shrugs 5×8: 315

then I ate pizza, lots of pizza

Dreaded bench day again for me. I was in a ton of pain today when we got up to our chain work. I grinded through it and I am on track to hit the same bench I did in the NBS meet last November which is the best outcome I can hope for. I hate a hate hate relationship with bench.

2×1 with chains: 225+4 chains – 275+4 chains – 300+4 chains – 300+6 chains
seated behind next cable tricep ext. 3×20 (only way to relieve pain)
Incline DB Bench: 3×20 (added to pain later)

so last week Monday I strained my back and could not walk. I took it very easy and I felt good today warming up so I went for my ME work. my last set in this video was not my planned last set, I decided to do “the wobble” while squatting and it was due to me being special ED and narrowing my stance for some reason. I moved the weight at a decent speed but shut it down so I would not strain anything again.

2×1 w/ chains: 540 +2 chains – 540 +4 chains
banded SSB Squats 5×6
Reverse Hypers 5×10


Had to skip Monday workout because I did enough lifting heavy stuff getting ready for Jennifer & David’s BBQ party.
Why do I come to the gym every weekday morning at 6 am and push myself hard every morning when none of the other women my age do this? Maybe it is because none of the other women my age do this. I like doing things that others are not willing to do. I like pushing myself to see just what I can accomplish. It’s given more self-confidence than I ever had before (along with being old enough to think ‘screw it, I don’t care what you think).
Other than being out of town I rarely miss a workout. Why? Although sometimes I am tempted sleep in, I always am glad after the work out that I did not miss. I can’t really say that about the times that I skipped a workout to go into work early.
Lastly, and most importantly, I love to spend that time with people who energize me. My partners (and my trainer) are encouraging, dedicated, funny and they keep me feeling young.

Tuesday (arms,abs)

A1: Rope Pressdowns w/pause 3×10 40

A2: Single Arm Chain Extensions 1.5 reps 3×10 Ball/ chain on bench

Tricep Hell (1,2,3,4 board) 5 reps each till failure 65, 70, 75

B1: Cross Body Hammer Curls 3×10 15 DB

B2: EZ Curl Bar 1.5 reps 3×10 10 total

Fat Grip EZ Curl Bar Preacher Curls 2-3 warm ups, 4 drop sets WU bar, 5 total, 10

Forearm Curls (alternate Supinated and pronated) 4xfailure

Wednesday (Back)

A1: Scap Shrugs w/pause 4×8 5 lbs on row machine

A2: 1 arm barbell rows 4×12 bar (on land mine bracket)

Stretchers 2-3 warm up, 4×12, drop, drop. 50 drop 10 lbs each time

Barbell Shrugs 3×12 w/pause, rest pause 10,20,20,25

Straight bar scap row/full row, 2-3 warm ups, 3×10,rest pause. 40,50,60

Thursday (quads, calves, abs)

Single Arm DB Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat 2-3 warm ups, 1×4 drop sets 8-12 per set. 25, drop 20,15,10

Front Squats 2-3 warm ups, 8×8 (45 sec break) WU bar,55,60

Backwards Sled Walks 300 yards. 80 lbs

Standing Machine Calf Raises 3×10 (3 count pause and contraction). 35

10×10 Plank (skip)

ME NCL Bench x3 raw w/chains (slingshot 3 board 350,350 + 1chains each side,+1.5 chains, +2 chains)
DB Bench 60 reps (85×20,35,49,60)
Seated Overhead Rope Extensions 2-3 warm ups 3×10 (80)
Single Arm DB skullies 6×6 (25)
Reverse Single Arm Cable Pressdowns 3×15 (40)
YTWI 3×10 each (5)

http://youtu.be/-vx9UNV7OBg

Nutrition is a lot like religion and politics. Uneducated people looking for answers hear something that they like and hold onto to that one particular idea without question and vehemently attack anyone or anything that so much as challenges that idea. In a society of fatties looking to a fitness and health industry that is predominantly bogus, how can the average person or even the fitness enthusiast compare and grade one nutritional method against another? Well, hopefully this article will give some insight and knowledge to those and create some higher level understanding and thinking amongst those who are interested.

My background in nutrition is really quite simple. Being skinny my entire childhood and prepubescent years, I searched for methods to gain weight. This lead to reading the traditional muscle magazines, purchasing books, and eventually taking multiple nutrition classes in college (I was on a path to double major in nutrition until I got in an argument with my overweight type II diabetic nutrition teacher). The most influential teacher over that time period was experience. I’ve been skinny, fat, weak, strong, lean, fast, athletic, slow, and probably everything else in between in pursuit of high school and college athletics, bodybuilding, strongman, Olympic lifting, endurance races, and powerlifting. I’ve gotten the chance now to learn and be on a team with the best nutrition coaches on the planet as well as work with hundreds of clients myself since I got into the training industry. If I had to describe my nutrition methods I would say simple and individual. I approach every client differently and am big on compliance. The best nutrition plan isn’t worth anything if the client won’t follow it. Therefore, I will present to you the five components of nutrition that everyone needs to be aware of. I will also give examples of nutrition protocols that focus on only that one particular component.

1. Calories

Your body is a biological machine that is bound by the same physics that apply to other machines in the world. A calorie is a measurement of energy and therefore the more work being performed by your body, the more calories needed to maintain its current mass (Energy=Mass, thank you Einstein). If you intake less calories than the amount of work you are performing, your body will be forced to find another energy source. It finds this energy source within itself and ends up converting its own mass (tissue) into energy and the end result is that you lose weight (along with whatever tissue your body decided to utilize, ideally body fat). The opposite is true as well, that if you intake more calories than you require for the work being done your body will convert that extra food into body mass and you will gain weight. Weight Watchers is a perfect example of a nutrition plan that focuses only on caloric intake. It gives a certain amount of points (calories) that you are allowed to eat and lets you choose the foods that make up those points. The down side to this is that your body isn’t a closed system and is constantly regulating itself. The amount of energy being consumed and converted is constantly varying based on many factors like activity, consumption of food, and hormones.  Also, not every calorie is treatd the same in the body. That brings us to macronutrients.

2. Macronutrients

Macronutrient is the term used to describe those nutrients (food components) that provide your body with energy. They are broken down into three categories: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.  Proteins are the building blocks of your body. They are what your muscles, skin, organs, some hormones, and other body parts are made out of. Your body can use protein for energy but it prefers to use it to make things. Carbohydrates arethe body’s preferred source of energy for most physical activities. Your body does not make anything out of carbohydrates so if it can’t use it for current activity, it will store is as either glycogen (stored glucose) in the muscles or liver, or it will convert it into bodyfat (your body isn’t a fan of wasting good energy). Finally fat is what your nervous system, certain hormones, and other body parts are made of. It is also the primary source of energy for longer duration activity and while at rest. As you can see, different macronutrients are utilized differently in the body. A common nutrition plan called ‘If it fits your macros” focuses only on macronutrient amounts. Again, you are allowed to choose whatever foods you like as long as they fit within the boundaries of the macronutrient amounts you have been asigned. The down side of this is that different foods have different effects on the body outside of just their calories and macronutrient makeup.

3. Food Choice

Different macronutrients have different effects on the body but the source of those macronutrients plays a role as well. For example, although a sweet potato, an apple, and a jolly rancher all provide you with the same end product (sugar), the body’s response to all three will be significantly different. Also, the micronutrient makeup of different foods can play a role in overall health and function. Micronutrients are nutritional components that don’t provide you with calories (vitamins, minerals, electrolytes). These play major roles in basic body functions and depending on your food choices, you may or may not be getting the amounts of each that you need. For example, a sweet potato is more nutritionally dense than a white potato which is more nutritionally dense than French fries from a bag. Other factors can be seen in the difference between grain fed and grass fed beef. Grain fed beef has higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids compared to grass fed which has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids have been shown to increase inflammation while omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease it.  A popular diet that focuses only on food choice is the Paleo diet. While food choices are very important, when you eat those foods makes a difference as well.

4. Timing

Timing plays a major factor in how your body will utilizes different nutrients that you intake. For example, during and post workout, your body is in need of easily accessible energy for work and for recovery. During this window your body will process any carbs you take in much differently than if you ate them at another point during the day. Different macronutrients have been shown to affect the way you sleep as well. Another factor that comes into play is the combination of foods eaten together. Liquid foods will digest much faster than solids and proteins and fats will slow down the digestion of carbohydrates if eaten together. A popular diet amongst many powerlifters and strength athletes that focuses primarily on timing is carb back loading. While timing is important, there is one final component to consider.

5.Individuality

This is the most diverse and dynamic component to nutrition. It takes into account the physical, mental, emotional, and social differences amongst everyone person. Some people physically can’t eat certain foods due to allergies like lactose intolerance or Crohn’s disease. Others have a mental barrier that makes it tough for them to stay on a specific dietary plan or who may have some type of eating disorder that they have to work through or aren’t even aware of. The emotional connection to food is extremely strong and is another challenge many people face when trying to change their diet. Finally, many people have social struggles like specific work and time requirements or even being in a social group that centers around eating and drinking. The genetic makeup of everyone is different and therefore the potential for different responses to different diets, food choices, etc is high. A diet that tries to focus primarily on individuality is the blood type diet. While individuality plays a huge role, it is still just one component of nutrition. 

 You can see that nutrition can be a bit more complicated than just jumping on the latest fad diet (even if it isn’t mainstream and is just amongst strength athletes). What can you take away from all this? Well, if you don’t focus on any of these when it comes to nutrition, then focusing on just one will probably yield some results. Because of the individuality component, these results will vary from person to person which is why not everyone who goes on weight watchers gets skinny and why not everyone who carb back loads gets huge and shredded (but they’re really good at selling you on the idea that you will). Also, look at any nutrition plan you see with a grain of salt and an ounce of education. Does it makes sense or does it just play into your desire to keep eating bad foods? I’m surprised by how many people get sucked into a diet because it tells them they can keep eating shit foods and still reach their goals. Finally, understand that if your progress has stalled or if you are looking to take it to another level, you will either need to do a significant amount of research and testing on yourself or hire someone with experience who can help you reach those goals.

I hope this has opened your eyes a bit to the fact that nutrition isn’t quite as cut and dry as many would have you believe. Much like training, it can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make. In either case, having the knowledge of what to do and the will power to do so are still the two components that are always a factor.

1.5 days until prejudging!  Jr. Nats is a two day event, unlike most shows that run AM and PM.  So, the pros: I get a little recovery time to relax between showing.  cons: I have to try and peak twice.  Oh well.  Today was another depletion workout.  The goal here is to just move, pretty much and use up some glycogen.  Im still pretty full and watery from my refeed, but thats expected and welcomed.  Anyway, FAT GIRL hit the gym!  Looked a little somethin’ somethin’ like this:

A1) Incline press 3×15

A2) Dips 3×20, squeeze at top, no lockout

A3)  HLR 3×20

B1) Lat Pull downs 3×15, hard squeeze at bottom

B2) KB rear delt swings 3xfailure

B3) Plank x1 minute

C1) Seated Cable Rows 3×15

C2) Tricep Pull downs 3×20

C3) Pushups 3xfailure

ended with 10 rounds of battle rope slams, 15 seconds on/45 seconds off.

 

Note: as my legs tend to get pretty watery after i trash them, I am leaving them alone until monday.  Monday I will do some cool stuff!

Well, it finally happened. I went about 3 cycles without a deload before I finally crashed out. Everything was feeling good so I wanted to ride the wave and see where it got me. I made solid gains in strength again, and have gotten significantly more proficient at cleaning every rep on the log. All good things.

However, I reached zombie status where everything was irritating me, I wasn’t sleeping well no matter what, and my appetite started to dwindle. For anyone that doesn’t know me, my appetite had been borderline legendary since high school. When it takes a hit is always my immediate sign to back down and rest.

As such, this became a deload week. It ends up working out ok because my wife is going on a mission trip to Nicaragua starting Sunday and will be gone around 8 days, so there’s a lot to do to get her ready to travel and make sure I’ve got the week at home covered.

As for training, I have deloads where I continue to train and deloads where I pretty much drop everything to recover. This is the latter. My primary focus is mainly mobility for the week , with core stabilization training and some sprinting/jumping thrown in, but nothing crazy. The goal is RECOVER.

On a programming note, we may make a few tweaks leading up to the Refuge Barbell Classic, mainly just to accommodate to events and plan for me taking a family vacation in July prior to the contest. And then we will turn around and try to get ready for Tennessee’s Strongest Man in September. Busy fall , but such is the nature of the sport. Time to grind it out and qualify for Reno!

ME NCL Squat x3 raw w/chains (135,225,315,365,405,455,495,545 (585), +4 chains,+8 chains (plus an extra on the right side, oops!)
Wall Squats onto box with band around knees 10×5 (80 lb vest)
Keg holds 4×30 sec (150 keg)
Round Back Hypers on 45 degree Hyper 3×20 (25)
X-Band Walk with squat 3×20 (monster)

http://youtu.be/t8DOFyAKOuU

anies win

(that’s  me in the middle with my Ax up…I don’t know what to do in pictures)

I’m jumping in on this a little late, so for the next few weeks my training log will be a little crazy.

Currently I am about four days out from NPC Jr. Nationals.  I just finished a warm up show this weekend, learned a ton, and am grateful for the short existence in figure that I’ve had so far.  That said, my heart is in the iron and I cant wait to get back to it.

I had a giant refeed yesterday (400g carbs!) and am finishing up some depletion workouts for the week.

A) Squats 225×15 (whoa, homie…breathing like a dragon.)

B1) Wide Grip Pull ups x 12,10,10

B2) Handstand pushups x 15,15,15

B3) 24 inch box jump x 20,20 20

C1) 1 arm DB rows x 15,15,15 (80lb DB)

C2) Pushups x failure x 3

C3) Plyo Lunges 30,30,30

D1) Pullovers x 15,15,15

D2) Dips x 15, 15, 15

D3) Squat Jumps x 20, 20, 20 (bar only)

10 minutes HIIT afterward 15 seconds sprint, 45 seconds jog.

 

Woof.

Current macros are sitting at
140p/310c/44f

 

 

Incline DB Bench 6×6 (100 2 min break)
Neutral Chest Supported Rows 6×6 (80 1 min break)
Pullup series 3 of each (1 min break till can’t go anymore) (3 of each)
Laying T’s 3×15 palms down (10)
Football Bar Curls 6×8 (65 30 sec break)
Grenade Ball Straight Back Extensions 3×12 (50)
Blast Strap Tricep Extensions 3×15 (BW)

Thursday (day 3) I felt better and was able to walk with minor pain. The reverse hyper was painful to get onto and In position but once I was warmed up it was good.
Today was great and has my hopes high to be back on track for nationals. I was pain-free all day today with no need of painkillers. Stuff in the morning after waking up but the more I moved the better I felt.
By the end of the day I was able to use the reverse hyper with 25 pounds, and able to squat the bar below parallel all pain free.
I will be adding weight in small increments to the reverse hyper and the squat bar every day from now until the end of next week (skipping 1 ME squat day, which is a big deal).

Sleeping was still painful last night and again I relied on pain medication. I also needed pain medication prior to class since sitting in one spot was very uncomfortable for long periods of time.
I got adjusted again today which was helpful as well. I started messing around with machines at the gym and I found that the 45° hyper was very helpful and stretching my hamstrings, but my number one go to machine is definitely the reverse hyper with the traction it created in my spine along with the stretch it gave my spinal erectors. David came over and actively pushed my legs through a greater range of motion which hurt but felt amazing. This was the most pain relief I have had yet, but the muscles seem to lock up 10 minutes after using the reverse hyper. Needless to say I was over at that machine about four times in an hour.

After the injury Monday I need pain pills to sleep at night and I also needed pain pills to function during the day after. I still had to fulfill my duties as a student and attend summer school classes.
I canceled all of my personal training clients today and met with a well-known chiropractor in the area. After getting adjusted I instantly felt a ton of relief. Hamstring stretches also offered some relief but there is a lot of pain getting into a hamstring stretch. I can however touch my feet today if move slow enough.

Sorry I’m a little late on updating my training log. This week was pretty bad from the view of any competing athlete. During my first top set of two, during squats today, I over arched my spine and believe I did some minor damage to the muscles overly straining them. There was no immediate pain from the set, but as I finished my second rep of my second top set my back completely locked up.
I immediately stopped training and tried to relax.
I had three clients after this incident that I did not want to cancel on which was probably a bad idea. I was unable to walk very well by the end of the night and needed my lifting belt on and clamped down for support.

http://youtu.be/CNY9gymcAZ4

ME NCL Deadlift x3 raw/chains (pin pulls off 34, 135,225,315,405,495,585,+1 chain, +2 chains, + 3 chains, +4 chains
Wall Squats onto box with band around knees 10×5 (20 lbs vest
Rack Position Sand Bag Carries 3×100 yards (punching bag, punching bag +20 lb vest)
Round Back Hypers on 45 degree Hyper 3×20 (20 lb DB)
X-Band Walk with squat 3×20 (monster)

ME NCL Bench x3 raw w/chains (football bar 95,135,185,225,275, + 1 chain, +1.5 chains, +1.5 chains, +1.5 chains)
DB Bench 60 reps (80 x18,35,56,60)
Seated Overhead Rope Extensions 2-3 warm ups 3×10 (70)
Single Arm DB skullies 6×6 (20)
Reverse Single Arm Cable Pressdowns 3×15 (30)
YTWI 2×10 each (5)

http://youtu.be/lPFWsqWNtZ4

No video from today because, well, the weights aren’t that impressive really. Plus it takes a while to clean every other rep on the log, and its a bit of a boring video as a result. Anyways, was feeling kinda spent coming into today’s session, but went in and tried to get it done anyways. Ended up surviving, but it was brutal.

As an aside, I’ve made mention to numerous people in the industry how I’ve been feeling slow and sluggish with all my events lately. I just don’t seem to have the speed with stuff that I used to, even though my strength is continuing to improve. David suggested I try incorporating some jumps back into my routine, just to see if that helps wake everything back up and get me feeling snappy again. I figure since we have those sweet new jumping boxes at NBS, I might as well give it a shot. I’ll likely start incorporating some simple agility drills in as well just to help with foot speed with transitions between events when doing medleys. I’ll be interested to see the results.

As for today, here’s what went down:

Log Clean and Press (clean every other rep)

Log x8
135×5
165×2
175x3x10 <--- these suuuucckkkeed today. Kicked my butt Front Squat 135x3 185x2 225x3x10 Chest Supported Rows 55x3x10 DONE. Totally blown out after these. Was just struggling and tired, but hey, that happens. I haven't been sleeping super well so that's to be expected. Back Thursday for more fun.

ME NCL Squat x3 raw w/chains (cambered bar box squats 135,185,225,275,315,365,405,455 (475), +4 chains, +8 chains, +12 chains
Wall Squats onto box with band around knees 10×5
Rack Position Sand Bag Carries 3×100 yards (punching bag)
Round Back Hypers on 45 degree Hyper 3×20 (BW)
X-Band Walk with squat 3×20

http://youtu.be/BjfoVSwkTBE

Events day was a bit of a shambles today. I deviated from the plan because I had something to prove and didn’t feel like doing speed yokes. Which is shit excuse, but you know, sometimes you just have to have a PR day. Went HAM on some farmers, and hit a nice PR thanks to some well timed shamecasting. I’ve got work to do so, yeah, it’s time I do it. I was tripping over my own feet on the run with 250, which was irritating, but I will get better. Here’s what went down:

Farmers Walks

110×30′
160×50′
200×80′
250×80′
290×25′ <-- PR! Axle 18" Deadlift 315x5 405x4 <-- low back felt rough so I stopped here. DONE. Going to continue to ride this program for a while until the progression fails and then reassess. Still weighing right at 230, but feeling sluggish, and I'm not sure if it's sleep/health related, but regardless, I don't feel like I'm moving well. May be adjusting a bit to increase my athleticism a bit, as I think it's grossly undervalued in strongman today, and the most athletic folks are who are winning shows now. Not just the strongest guys.

So, today was a bit of an eye opener. First time since I don’t know when that I’ve legitimately felt my glutes and hamstrings firing hard when deadlifting. Often I’ve felt mostly my back working, but not in a good way. I’m hoping that while my progress may stall a bit as I continue to work on newfound weakpoints, I will ultimately emerge stronger and faster on the tail end of things. Anyways, here’s what went down:

Deadlift, from the floor

135×5
225×3
275×3
315×2
365×1
405×1
420x3x3
465×1
500×0 <--- one day. soon. Axle Press, from rack 125x5 155x2 185x2 215x2 245x2+1 cleaned from floor 245x2x3 <--- that's better. McGill Planks 2 rounds of 10x10 seconds DONE. Wiped out doing ab work like this. Look for a possible write up coming soon.

The final week of a workout series is always brutal. David made me do big boy push ups. They look pretty pitiful. Thanks to Jeff Mason for creating a little distraction. 

Monday (shoulders & triceps)
Seated DB Cleans 4×12 (45 sec break) 8 lb DB
Hammer Shoulder Press 1.5 reps Max 10 20,30,35,40
Seated Side Raises 3xMax 1 min (1 min break) 8 lb DB
Fat Grip EZ Bar Skullies 1.5 reps Max 10 bar, 5,10,15, 20 fail at 8
Single Arm Reverse Handle Pressdowns 8×8 (no break) 22.5 
Pushups 3xMax (30 sec break) 11,7,4 Hello, Jeff!

http://youtu.be/CpOqQf80bao