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.

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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.

USAPL Women’s Nationals

Priscilla Ribic pulling 518 lbs for a Masters I National Record

The USAPL Women’s Nationals are going on this weekend. I came to Baton Rouge for most of Saturday’s and Sunday’s sessions. The women did not disappoint. Impressive numbers came up over and over. Several records were broken. In fact, there were so many records that it seemed that every other lift was a new one. It was nuts.
This video is Priscilla Ribic with her third deadlift at 518 pounds. This was a Masters I National Record. Ribic ended up taking first in her weight class with a total of something like 100 lbs over second place.
I’ve never used any supportive gear in my lifting, and every time I go to a meet and watch the geared lifters I bad want to do it. I’ll be lifting raw at this meet in July, but I’m strongly considering getting a suit and shirt and trying it out. I think there’s only one guy around here who lifts in gear, and I don’t think I can train with him, so I’ll really be trying to figure most of this out by myself. That’s a pretty significant issue, but this is just how things are, so, if I want to do geared lifting, I’m going to have to just figure it out. I’m pretty motivated for it, so I’m hoping it will work. If I make the move to geared lifting I’ll still do most of my training raw, but it would give me the chance to lift more weight and compete in other meets.
I still have a bad cold, and right now all I can think about is how much I want to deadlift.

Saturday, May 17

Dynamic Effort Squat

My cold is in full effect today. It was rough yesterday, and I had hoped that it wouldn’t be so bad this morning. It was. Still, I didn’t want to miss a training day, so I got up and went.

My main movement today was box squats with 60% + average bands. I was trying to move quickly, but I don’t think there was much “dynamic” about anything I did today. But my goal was really just to push through it, so I did. Even though the weight didn’t fly up, it still wasn’t heavy, and I’m feeling pretty good about hitting my old numbers by July.

Speed deadlifts with bands followed. Again, they weren’t the speediest pulls, but they came up easy enough. I finished with hypers and abs. I didn’t do the number of sets I normally would on the accessory work, but I think that’s reasonable given that I’m pretty sick.

I haven’t eaten a lot the past couple of days. The cold has just killed my appetite. But that’s no excuse, so my plan today is to eat as much as possible. I plan on being uncomfortably full from here on out. Good times.

Thursday, May 15

Max Effort Bench

The source of my defeatI’m suffering from a pretty bad cold, so I was worried that today was going to suck before I even went to the gym. Nailed it.

Today was pin presses for max three. When I did 315 I knew I was in trouble. It was heavy, and it shouldn’t have been. In February, before I got hurt, I was doing this same exercise for 385. I didn’t expect to hit that since I’m still working back up, but I did expect to get to 345 at the very least. That didn’t happen. I hit the wall at 325. I got the third rep up to lockout, but barely. I tried 330, but all I got up was two. The entire time my head was screaming. It was hurting from congestion already, but all the pushing just elevated the headache to a new level.

Disappointed, I moved on to my other exercises. See-saw presses went ok with 50s, but that’s still lame. I was supposed to do pulldowns, but two kids were alternating between sorta using the pulldown machine and just sitting there talking. I didn’t feel like messing with them, so I went to the assisted pullup machine and offset my weight by 100 lbs. I did not get my specified 300 reps. I churned out 100. By then my head just wouldn’t let up even when I finished a set. I called it a day after that and came home.

This is the first time since I’ve started working with Jesse Burdick that I just quit in the middle of my training session. I feel pretty crappy about it. At the same time, just sitting here looking at this screen makes my head hurt, so I guess it makes sense. It still sucks, though.

Man, what a shitty day.

Tuesday, May 13

Max Effort Squat

My main movement for today was Anderson squats. I was supposed to use chains up to a one rep max, but I only have about 50 pounds of chains. Instead I used short Average bands from EliteFTS and kept adding weight. This was only the second time I had ever done Anderson squats. The first time was worse than embarrassing. I maxed out at 335. I just couldn’t figure out how to get set up at the bottom of the squat. I could easily set up at the top and come down, rest the bar on the pins, then squat back up, but starting off at the bottom was just killing me. I guess I got better because I worked up to 425 + bands for this session. Better, though not great. Even so, I was exhausted by the time I finished.

The accessory work was sumo stiff-legged deads, low back extensions, and abs. I’ll admit that I half-assed the abs. I was just beat by the time I was finished. By the end of the day my entire body was sore. Seriously, I’ve never been so sore from any kind of squat. I take that to mean I’m doing something right.

Monday, May 12

This marks the beginning of my second month working with Jesse Burdick as I prepare for my first competition on July 12. Today was dynamic bench day. I did 200 pushups for the main movement. The idea was to do them in as few reps as possible.
The first 50 were easy. I just repped those out with little issue. Then I got 25. Then another 25. That got through the first 100 pretty quick. Then, though, things started slowing down. I got two sets of 20, then it was a maximum of 15 to the end, and those weren’t the easiest.
Next was three sets of rolling triceps extension for 25 reps. You’re probably getting the idea now that Jesse is into volume. Then it was 200 reps of dumbbell rows. This sucked. It wasn’t the weight. It was the endless pulling. I started at 25 reps with the 100s. After two sets I moved to the 70s, but it didn’t make any difference, so I moved back up to the 100s. Like I said, it wasn’t really the weight as much as it was the sheer volume. By the end of the eighth set I was pretty miserable.
After this I moved to 100 reps of shrugs. Honestly, I was grateful. At one time I was regularly doing really high reps dumbbell shrugs, so this wasn’t an issue. I did 50 with the 120s, then 30, then finished with the last 20.
The last thing to do was hammer curls. Jesse loves these. I’ve never done so many hammer curls in my life as I have since he became my coach. I did 80-100. Honestly, I lost count.
So went Monday.