Training

Thursday, May 29

Max Effort Bench

The big movement on Thursday was two board press vs doubled light bands for max one. I worked up to 355 for a single. I don’t know how much the bands added at the top, but I do know that I first used 50 lb dumbbells to anchor the bands, and they picked up a little and bounced on my first rep, which I immediately racked. I can say that 355 with the bands felt heavier than 405 at the top. It was heavy. I felt really good about that lift.

After that I did singles of 315 for a long pause. It’s not what Jesse had programmed for me, but I felt like I really needed to work on some pauses for the meet I’m doing on June 7.

See-saw presses followed, and that went well. In fact, all of my accessory work went well. It was just a really good day. I want to remember that feeling when things don’t go well.

Tuesday, May 27

Max Effort Squat

So, I screwed up when I was looking at my program. I started out doing my dynamic day. That was a bunch of squatting with a safety squat bar with no hands. After I finished I went to see what was next, and I realized my mistake. There was nothing to do but do the right training.

I did deficit deadlifts against light bands. After I got hurt in February my deadlift dropped by almost 150 pounds. I seriously couldn’t believe how much strength I had lost. Deadlift has been the slowest lift to come up for me, and I spent a good bit of time angry when I realized how much I had slid back. I went from pulling close to 600 to struggling with 450, so it was a big deal when I pulled 495 from a deficit against a band today. A really big deal. I kicked the platform away afterward, slapped a couple of 10s on the bar, and pulled 515. I won’t lie and say it was easy, but it came up. That’s huge for me right now. I feel pretty sure I could pull 535 if I weren’t dead from a full squat session already, and that gives me hope that I’ll actually get up over 550 at the meet. I really want that number. It also gives me hope that I’ll be up to 600 by the end of the year. The strength is a little slow coming back, but it is coming back.

I followed up with stiff-legged sumo deadlifts, but that was it. I was just out of time, and I had to get home to shower before I met my next client.

Even though I screwed up, it was a good day for me. 515 is hardly some great number, but a month ago I could barely pull 60 pounds less, and that makes me think I have another 20 or 30 pounds I can get back in the month I have left, and when your numbers are this low, you need every extra pound possible.

Monday, May 26

Dynamic Effort Bench

bar biteToday’s main movement was push press. It was 60% for 15 sets of 3. That put me at 155, which was pretty easy. Everything flew up with lots of force. In fact, it came up a little too fast. On set 14 I slammed the bar into my chin. Hard. Really hard. Rattled my teeth. That was on rep two. I finished my last rep, racked the bar, and stretched out my jaw. My entire head hurt, but there was nothing to do about it but keep going, so I did.

Once I finished the push presses I did 200 reps of rows and 100 reps of shrugs. I was supposed to do hammer curls (have I mentioned that Jesse loves hammer curls?), but the gym was closing early today, so I had to get out of there.

In other news, I got my SBD knee sleeves in, but I think I’m going to send them back for a smaller size. I got the XXLs, and they fit snugly, but I think I could squeeze on a size down, and I want to get the most benefit out of them. Really, I’m not sure. I’d like to try a pair of XLs on, but I don’t know anyone who owns a pair. I’m still undecided. I need to figure it out quick, though, because I want to make sure everything is in well before the meet on July 12.

Sunday, May 25

Dynamic Effort Squat

The first thing I did was box squats with average bands. I did 10 sets for 2 at with 315 on the bar. I measured the bands, and I’m tWP_20140525_10_53_24_Prohey added about 150 lbs at the top. All of that came up fast and easy. Then I added another 50 pounds for the last two sets. It made a huge difference. I went from coming up fast to just grinding it out. I wouldn’t have believed I would go that slow with only 50 more pounds, but there it is. Still, that’s somewhere around 515-525 at the top, so I guess that’s not so bad.

Afterward, I did speed deads with 345 and monster mini short bands. The gym I was at has these plates with flat sides on them, and I hate deadlifting with them, so I used bumper plates. The thing about bumper plates is that with 345 on the bar it just looks ridiculous. I laughed every time I stepped up to the bar. But everything came up fast and easy, so I felt really good about my pulls. Honestly, I felt better about the pulls than I did the squats.

 

I’m still pretty tired. I don’t know what’s going on there. I can’t seem to get enough rest. I know I’m not sleeping well, but that’s nothing new. Maybe it’s just because I’m old. Regardless, I’ve never been this tired, and I’d like to shake it off.

Friday, May 23

Max Effort Bench Day

This thing will kill you if you let itI’m still trying to shake off this deep and abiding exhaustion I’ve had since I got sick. The cold has passed, and most of my congestion has disappeared, but, damn, I am just beat. Still, nothing to do but push through it and grind it out.

The main movement today was floor presses against bands for a three max. I set up my Monster Mini short bands so that they had right at 80 lbs of tension at the top. I actually took the trouble to get a scale and find out how much tension they added. I worked up to 325 for three. I barely got up the third rep. Honestly, I was a little worried at the very top. I didn’t have a spotter, and the pins were set below chest level, so it would have sucked pretty hard to get stuck like that with bands pulling the bar down. But I powered through the last rep. so all was well. After that I took off the bands to do as many reps as possible with 325. I got six reps. 325 + 80 from the bands for three reps: I’m pretty happy with that.

The accessory work wasn’t so bad except for the three hundred reps of pulldowns. Dude, Jesse loves that volume work. At 250 reps of 180 I was blown. I went ahead and moved on to the straight bar curls. Now I feel stupid and weak for not grinding out the last 50, but I know at the time I was just tired and hurting. I can’t do that crap again, though. No one gets better without doing the work, and I have age and genetics working against me. All I have is my willingness to work harder than the guys competing against me. If I don’t do the work I don’t have anything.

Oh, in other news I ripped another pair of shorts today. Powerlifter problems.

Wednesday, May 21

Max Effort Squat Day

I was supposed to train yesterday, but I was too tired. I guess it’s the end of this bad cold I’ve had. Regardless, I could barely keep my eyes open, and I knew that any training I did would be more than half-assed, so I took the day off. I’m still pretty tired today, but it’s better than yesterday.

My main movement was safety squat bar good mornings for a max 3. I worked up to 285. My problem with heavy good mornings is that I feel like I start to cheat by dropping my hips so I turn it into a half squat. It’s hard to fight that urge. I see other people struggle and hitch and curve their back a lot. That’s not my problem. It feels weird. Anyway, my form felt like it was breaking really bad at 285, so I stopped there.

Then I had to do 80% for as many reps as possible. I don’t know how many reps I did. I just lost count. 12? 15? Something like that. I stopped more because I felt my form breaking bad again. This was followed by one good morning and one squat for as many reps as possible at 50%. I think I did something like 25 for 145. Honestly, it wasn’t my form or legs or back that was giving out. I just couldn’t breathe. Congestion, exhaustion, and simply shitty conditioning all came together to wipe me out.

The rest of my accessory work was mostly fine. Stiff-legged sumo deadlifts got hard after 10 reps. Again, I was just running out of steam and had a hard time catching my breath. 275 never seemed that bad for the weight itself. Everything else was ok, though I was mostly going through the motions at that point.

Overall, I don’t think it was a bad day. I’m just tired. I think the heavy good mornings were decent.  I should be back to 100% after the weekend.

Monday, May 19

Dynamic Effort Bench

Today’s big movement was speedy bench with light bands. Jesse had programmed 40% + bands. Somehow, even while I had it written right in front of me, I read 60%. I’m using 405 as my base number, so I did 245 + light bands doubled for three reps for ten sets. I’ve had a cold for several days, and I’m exhausted, so I wasn’t hoping for much. I ended up killing it. 245 flew up, even with the bands which added about 50-60 pounds at the top. I know this because I used 55 lb dumbbells at first, and they picked up on my warmup set, so I had to go to 100s. After my less-than-dynamic dynamic squat day on Saturday, I was glad to finally have something go right.

One thing I changed today was my setup. USAPL requires that your heel stays on the ground during the lift. I’ve been on my toes so my feet could get underneath my hips. I was able to get decent leg drive like that without pushing my hips off the bench. Changing my setup was kinda tough. The result, though, was that I was even tighter than usual. My hips and lower back started cramping, and right now they have a steady dull ache going on. Still, I found a good position, and I might even be getting more leg drive than I was before.

The rest of the workout was fine, though I just felt crazy tired when it was all over. I had a headache, and I was light-headed. At the end I was doing hammer curls with these dumbbells that have a chrome cap. My head started feeling really weird, and I got this floaty feeling, and I realized the shine from the lights on the cap was messing with me. That was weird. I got worried I was going to pass out at one point and had to sit down. I moved to a different set of dumbbells, and it was better, but my head has been hurting ever since, and when I got hit by the sunlight reflecting off water later on, I got the same feeling. I don’t know what that’s all about. I’m chalking it up to being so tired from being sick for the last several days.

Basically, I feel like crap, but everything went better than I expected, and that’s all that matters. With any luck a good night’s sleep will clear up what’s left of this sickness. Or not. As long I keep lifting like today, I’m cool with feeling like shit.