Saturday, August 19, 2017

August 19, 2017 – Week 1, Day 3

5 Minutes Concept 2 Rower

Leaning Calf Raises
BWx15

One Leg Leaning Calf Raises
BWx15/15

Regular Box Touches (12” Box)
BWx15

Sumo Box Touches (12” Box)
BWx15

Squat Therapy (16” Box)
BWx15

Hip Airplanes (supported)
BWx7/7

Band Rows w/Biceps Stretch
MMBx20/20 seconds
MMBx20/20 seconds

Push-ups
BWx15

Yoke (drops at 60’)
185x120’ in 16.86 seconds
300x60’ in 7.22 seconds
400x60’ in 7.87 seconds
500x60’ in 8.57 seconds
600x120’ in 23.53 seconds

Sandbag Rows
150x5
175x5
200x5

H-Stone Carry (off 24” box, turns at 60’)
300x250’10”
350x197’4”

Stretching

Comments: First event workout of this cycle. Didn’t look so bad on paper but that was before I had started this week of training. It had been humid this week and I was to train in Lancaster so I packed a towel and three shirts to be on the safe side. Lower back was a little tense but I think it was just from sitting in the car as it went away as soon as I walked in the gym. It was humid and I was worrying that one towel wasn’t going to be enough haha. Warmed up on the rower. No issues with my arms or upper back. Calf work easy and the box touches for both styles were good. Squat therapy was the best it has been all week. Hip airplanes felt great and this was the best I felt them for the hips on the stronger side so far. Band rows and stretching followed. Easy and not nearly as much tightness in the shoulders. Set of push-ups to finish things up. Again, tougher than I would like but it will improve. First item of the day was yoke. Goal being to work up to a run of 120’ with a drop at 60’. Idea being to work the medley while not working the medley for now. I did the empty yoke for the distance and thought “oh screw this”. It felt further than 60’ each way haha. Working up sets went well with speed and how the weight felt on my back both feeling good. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect with the slight break and the planned top weight being the second to last weight I hit during last training cycle. I think my biggest worry was that I would mess up my breathing and drop yoke from blacking out. That did not happen. The yoke was sliding quite a bit on the straight runs so I had to anticipate things for the longer set with the drop. Yoke felt comfortable and I felt in control the whole time. Still need to add a bit of weight to this but it is a good start. Up next was sandbag rows. These seemed to help me last training cycle so good to see that they are hanging around. Plan was just to do two sets with a light set and a medium set. These ok. I ended up doing an extra set as I thought I had the 200lbs sandbag for that second set but it wasn’t. Too light to end on as after that first set, it felt easier than the light set did. This lead to the last thing for the session; h-stone carry. I’m generally pretty good at this one. I’ve placed second at the two shows this has been contested since I’ve been competing and I was 9th at Nationals in 2012. I feel this is a strong one for me but I wasn’t sure as I haven’t trained it seriously in about five years. Sweat was not my friend today. I ended up switching my shirt and wrapping athletic tape on my forearms to keep from slipping. I forgot how the tape can make hands swell if it is too tight. With this humidity, I’m probably going to have to use tape to keep the training sessions progressing. This was going to be the first time I’ve used receiver gloves and tape on this so it was going to be something. First set felt a little awkward at the pick as I like to adjust the thing sideways to get a staggered grip. Bottom hand is always the one to go first. Not bad. Next set with more weight was a bit tougher. I got about what I expected, surviving three turns and just shy of 200’. This is a good start here. If I can keep up the distance with the weight, this will be good. I may have to adjust things for next time as I believe the implement we will be using is shorter than the one I used today. Took my time putting weights away and stretching. Noticed I was bleeding from my leg from the h-stone. Just a nick, no issues there.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

August 17, 2017 – Week 1, Day 2

5 Minutes Percor AMT

Leaning Calf Raises
BWx15

One Leg Leaning Calf Raises
BWx15/15

Regular Box Touches (12” Box)
BWx15

Sumo Box Touches (12” Box)
BWx15

Squat Therapy (16” Box)
BWx15

Hip Airplanes (supported)
BWx7/7

Band Rows w/Biceps Stretch
MMBx20/20 seconds
MMBx20/20 seconds

16” Front Box Squats
45x10
95x5
135x2
185x3
185x3
185x3

Makeshift Frame Deadlifts
11” Pick Height
72x15
15” Pick Height
162x5
252x5
342x5
432x5
Added Straps
522x5

Leg Raises
BWx25

Crunches
BWx25

One Arm Barbell Holds
(L)185x31.81
(R)185x29.38

Stretching

Comments: Hot and humid out today. Body sore from the previous workout but not as much as the day before after a good walk. Warmed up on the AMT. Heart rate got up to 157bpm. I checked my heart rate every minute just to pass the time and see how that worked. Might do it from now on. Calf raise work after that. Good and easy. Didn’t notice any issues between the sides so that is good. Box touches with both styles felt good. Got the order right this time haha. On to squat therapy. Quads were feeling quite sore doing these. Surprising how much soreness can happen from just taking a little time off to peak and recover. Knee issue wasn’t nearly as much of an issue this time. Maybe I was sitting back better. Hip airplanes were good on my injured side. Not as confident on the uninjured side but was able to keep my balance so no do-overs needed. Band rows and biceps stretch combo after that. This felt good. Then the lifting. A bit different in that with the previous cycles coming back from injury, most of the weights and jumps were preset. Now I have about the same freedom as upper body stuff. However, goal was to do light front box squats and pick a weight that I felt was about 50% of what I could hit today. Front box squat can be tricky to gauge. I was debating between 175lbs and 185lbs and just went with the heavier weight. Quads were definitely feeling even the light warm-up stuff. Three triples (I did EOMOM for the rest) and trying to control the eccentric and explode up on the concentric. First set was a little slow feeling to me but the other two sets were just right. Then I had to beat feet home to do the big exercise of the day. Originally, the plan was to do trap bar pulls off blocks but that was when the pick height for the frame for Nats was 19”. But with the change to 16”, that meant I had to add a lot more to my pull to get even a single at the contest weight of 820lbs. So makeshift frame attachments made in haste so that I can play around with a frame during the week and figure out the best way to put myself in the best leverages. I forgot how miserable outside training can be after work. So humid, just sweating through my shirt and constantly having to chalk my hands and use a towel. Setup is a bit unstable but it will have to do. Plan being to take plate jumps up to a set of five that feels about 90% of what I could do for these reps. I started out with my empty setup for a higher rep set, altering hand position every five reps. I’ve done in the center and towards the back before but never towards the front. I saw someone using that style and figured I’d try it out. The though had never occurred to me to try as I usually look into how I can move with the weight when it comes to frame and farmer’s walk. Things got awkward when I had an odd number of plates so I will have to balance the sides out to keep the frame rigid. I got up to the weight I wanted to hit but as always, I wish it felt easier so that I could keep going. First three reps felt pretty easy but got tough for those last two reps. As before, pulling explosively and then taking a big breath and lowering under control (when I remember to haha). I was pretty beat from the frame stuff so inside to do a light ab work before heading back out to do a grip and core exercise. Leg raises (wrong order, oops) were tough after the break. Feeling them stretching my lower back and SI joint. Crunches were super easy. Now the next exercise was a new one for me. Supposed to do these in a power rack but I don’t have one at home and it didn’t make sense to drive back out to the gym. I figured the cinder blocks were pretty high and sturdy so I used that to pick the weight off of. I had too much weight at first so I lowered it. Goal was to get between 30-60 seconds. Weight I picked, I barely got over 30 seconds with my left hand. I ended up smashing one of the cinder blocks trying to gently put the barbell down. I had to improvise for the other side. I didn’t feel like my grip was giving but the one end kept going down as time went on so I ended to stop it short. Really surprised how tough this was when I’ve done holds with over 125lbs more for longer times on farmer’s handles. Put away the weights and inside to stretch and eat. Got to keep putting the work in.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August 15, 2017 – Week 1, Day 1


5 Minutes Percor AMT

Leaning Calf Raises
BWx15

One Leg Leaning Calf Raises
BWx15/15

Regular Box Touches (12” Box)
BWx15

Squat Therapy (16” Box)
BWx15

Sumo Box Touches (12” Box)
BWx15

Hip Airplanes (supported)
BWx7/7

Band Rows w/Biceps Stretch
MMBx20/20 seconds
MMBx20/20 seconds

Push-ups
BWx15

12” Log Clean and Jerks
90x5 (one clean)
90x5 (one clean)
125x1
150x1
175x1
200x1
225x1
225x1
225x1
225x1
225x1
225x1
225x1
225x1
225x1
225x1

Chest Supported Rows
100x10
150x10
190x10
240x10
280x10

Band Resisted Push-ups
No Bands
BWx15
Add Bands
ABx10
SBx14

Band Triceps Pressdowns
SBx30
SBx30

Stretching

Comments: I’m apparently still recovering from the contest. Every day since I got back I’ve been going on a 2 mile walk with some light hamstring mobility stretches. Last three cycles I had dubbed Operation: Don’t Call it a Comeback I was Never There but leading into a possible Nationals bid in Las Vegas, this training will be Operation: Road to Lost Wages. This workout showed I was still pretty out of it. Warmed up on the AMT. Heart rate got up to 166bpm but dropped to 157bpm. Usually only this high if I’m stressed in some way. Calf raise work after that. Good, pretty easy. Glad that didn’t feel tough. No circuit like previous weeks. Box touches for some reps (felt good) and I was supposed to go right into a second set with wide stance but went on to squat therapy instead. Knees ached on these. I messed up the first rep as I thought I was deep enough to the box but I wasn’t so I reset and made sure I was good each rep. Not sure if it was my form or just knees beat from hard lifting and then the rest and coming back to it again. Hip airplanes were good. Felt good. No missed reps due to balance issues here. Slight change with the band rows and biceps stretch. Lower reps but I accidently grabbed a higher tension band but it felt good so I will stick with it. Longer stretches for the biceps. Definitely needed that for the arms and shoulders. A set of push-ups to finish off the light stuff. Harder than I was expected to be honest. But I haven’t been doing full ROM on bench stuff besides incline so it is a bit of a shock. Different but same principle. I figure this will help with log with getting the chest muscle back into it. Then the lifting. Log clean and jerks with the plan being 10x1 with 75% of my best single last cycle done EMOM style. On my own for the warm-ups. First set with the empty log was garbage. I felt lightheaded and off balance. So I did another set and that felt better. Worked up in singles to the working weight. Had some balance issues. Not sure if it is from being so used to having a sturdy base to press from for viper presses and push presses vs the jerks or if I’m still beat. I was getting quite a sweat from these. I was lapping some of the log lifts higher than usual and I had to get comfortable with being lower so that I could get the log to roll up the body well. No issues with the clean to the shoulders. Some reps definitely felt like they weren’t jerks and were more push presses. Hopefully with more practice I will get better consistency. Again, balance just felt off sometimes. Chest supported rows after that. Plan being to work up over five sets of ten reps to a decent set of ten. Started with a plate on each side and just kept going up quarter, plate, quarter. Only really felt like work on the last set so I knew that was a good one to stop on. Glad this didn’t irritate my biceps. Think my upper back appreciated the reps. A new one for me after the rows. Push-ups with bands. Another set of 15 with no resistance as a warm-up. I’ve done band push-ups but those were with a band in my hands and wrapped around my back. These were with dumbbells and a power rack to anchor the bands. No band pegs and not bolted down so I used the heaviest dumbbells to make sure it didn’t lift them up. Band placed behind my neck and started for a set of ten with an average band. Not bad, felt both chest and triceps (mostly triceps) working. I felt I was good for a decent set of reps with a strong band so I anchored that down. Got a few pretty quick then started to grind. Stopped at 14. Feel good but boy is it awkward to get under the band or out from under it haha. Last thing for the day was some more band work for the triceps. Band pressdowns with the rep range of 20-30. I tested the strong band and it felt good so I used that. Got 30 both times but it was much harder the second set. Home to stretch. Got to get my legs under me quick to get back on track to compete again at a higher level.

Monday, August 7, 2017

August 5, 2017 – Refuge Barbell Strongman

I’m really not sure where to start. I generally have a good idea on what I want to talk about after a contest with my write-ups. I feel like talking purely about the contest without context of the preceding events won’t adequately illustrate my mindset and feelings. This one had a lot more riding on it comparatively with any other contest or competition (across all activities I’ve participated in) and I don’t mean in a monetary sense. My last competition was almost 18 months ago. I had ended that competition on a high note and was looking forward to the rest of the year. This was going to be my best year. But two months later, following stupid programming, I ended up injuring my back with light weight in my garage. I’ve had injuries before like this and usually a month would be needed for me to get back to normal. But it wasn’t getting better. It impacted my life to where all I could do was go to work, watch tv, eat and sleep. It hurt to stand for a few minutes. If something fell on the floor, I had to decide if it was important enough to pick up. I was able to read a lot of books and watch a lot of tv shows. This is not to say I didn’t try to come back to training in some capacity. But my attempts seemed to reinjure, even when it was upper body work only. My lack of progress resulted in my previous strength coach dropping me without warning. Medications to reduce the swelling in my spine (along with nerve medication) only provided temporary relief. The nerve medication made me sleepy but provided no relief. I got misinformation with my MRI. I was told it would be available within 24hrs. That ended up being about 3 weeks with daily calls. I was initially told there was no issue and that it might be in my head (over the phone) and then I got to see the doctor and was told it was bulged disc. I was told there was nothing but rest and I may not be back to normal in a year or so. I cried in the office (as they shooed me out for the next patient) and got depressed (more so than usual). Had a lot of dark thoughts. Listening to the same song on repeat for days at a time. Falling into destructive habits to try and grasp some kind of control of my life. Really thinking about what was important. Standing at my brother’s wedding as one of the groomsman was one of the most painful experiences I’ve had. Just standing hurt me. I couldn’t hold my 18 month old nephew or pick up our cat. I had to have family do my yard work for me. I got two injections in my spine and that did help a little but not fully. I finally got a second opinion and was given an injection in my shoulder (I had ended up doing something from my attempts to come back plus my inactivity) and prescribed physical therapy (no one before would approve it). This seemed to help a lot. But it wasn’t without pitfalls as I relapsed once. Then the insurance wouldn’t cover it and the PT didn’t want me to be released until I was completely pain free. I saw the doctor one more time and he approved me to go back to training light. This lead me to get back to training that finally lead up the contest. Over 33 weeks of training to get back. Makes sense when you consider it was almost 7 months of nothing before that.

So why this show? Why Kentucky? It just lined up with everything. It was announced well in advance. I was honestly looking at every contest east of the Mississippi River. Talking it over with my folks and looking at each contest with pros and cons. For my first contest back, I probably would have preferred something more local but that wasn’t an issue for me. Two weeks out, I was playing the events over in my head when I went for a walk and right before I went to sleep. Every ache gave me pause. One false move mindset was there as I knew I wasn’t invulnerable and pushing it could lead to something giving. I was finding inspiration and motivation in ordinary things to keep going. Read something in the news and see a new way of thinking about an issue. Even watching television and movies (from House of Cards to Cars 3) I was thinking about how to rethink my outlook. Trying to get it so that I wasn’t overly nervous and anxious leading up to the contest. The biggest help/distraction was reading a manga called “Hajime no Ippo” which is about boxing. It was enough to get my mind right and I didn’t feel stressed out like I usually do leading up a contest. Left work Thursday with my dad and the long trip to Kentucky began. Lots of interesting folks at the few stops made along the way.

Showed up the day before at the venue to weigh-in. Derek Stone, the promoter was setting things up and I talked his ear off. Had seen him in person since he won his LW pro card. I weighed in at 284lbs. Definitely the most I’ve weighed for a contest. This was after about five fish filets, mac and cheese, grits and vegetables so I’m probably a little lighter on an empty stomach. I walked around the venue and looked at the equipment and asked my usual questions. I was told there were to be at least five heavyweights competing so that meant top two would qualify for Nats. I had been worried when the number had dropped and then no one was signing up. It didn’t matter how many showed up, I was still going to put in my best effort. Hung out at the hotel a bit when my nephew video called me. He wanted to know if I would pull a truck tomorrow. I told him no, that I would hopefully be lifting one. He then showed me how to pull a truck with a toy dump truck. He didn’t have a harness so it wasn’t really moving anywhere so he eventually sat on it and pushed with his legs. That is certainly one way to do it. Definitely helped me relax a bit. At BBQ and went to bed.

Time zone difference was a little disorientating. Kept my watch at EST. Felt like I was a time traveler. Managed to get my breakfast down without dry heaving which is a PR for me day of contest haha. Contest venue was buzzing. As the place was essentially a metal box, no cell reception inside so you had to go outside to update. Real time scoring was going to be posted throughout the day. They also advised they would be moving quick, expecting things to be done in less than five hours. Three lanes going at a time. Did some measuring of equipment (I have a problem) and tested out the lanes to see how my traction would be. Walked around the building at brisk pace for 5 minutes to warm-up and then did a few of the mobility drills to get warm. Rules were explained for the events and short prayer was given before the event. Six heavyweights in total for this show. Time to put up or shut up.

The first event was a loading race. 75 seconds to carry and load three implements. Had a 250lbs keg, 250lbs power keg and a 250lbs stone of steel. All had to be carried 40’ and loaded over a 48” bar. Most shows start with a press event but the promoter wanted to have things start with a medley like WSM usually does. I had only practiced the medley twice but had been building the parts up slowly over the training cycle. I had no doubts I would finish this one and I was expecting to be pushing for first. I had been working on my footwork and transitions after seeing how sluggish I looked at my last contest on the medley. While waiting to go, another heavy weight competitor asked me if I was a heavy weight. Guess I’m not as imposing a figure as I thought. I ended up being second to last to go and I saw quite a few guys fly with them. I was getting nervous. Pressure was on. Horn went and I pulled the keg up explosively. My rehband belt came undone and I bolted with the keg too far out in front of me. And down it went. While it only lasted a second or two, it didn’t feel like it to me. It felt like 33 weeks. Had to shove all those doubts back in and get that keg back up. It felt three times heavier now with my momentum gone. My breathing was off and I felt like I was going to pass out by the time I chucked it over the bar. I ran back to the next implement. I never had a chance to mess around with the power keg before. I figured it was a keg so it wouldn’t be tricky. Maybe it was the drop but it felt tougher than I would have liked picking it up off the ground into my arms. Just felt off, like thinking you’re about to bite into an apple and it turns out it is a potato. But once in my arms, it felt fine and I ran with it and tossed it over. Last one, stone of steel. This was the one giving some people trouble. With how the scoring was, no distance was being given, you had to finish the implements to get time (split times given). I was a little shook from the first keg still so I was little hesitant grabbing a hold of the stone of steel. But I got it secure and “power walked” (no other way to describe it) and loaded that over the bar. Judge told me I was in second with 36.00 seconds. That time held up. I was about 3.5 seconds slower than first place but .10 seconds faster than third. Definitely thinking about how things could have been different. But I have to say the guys ahead of me pressured me to gun it. But off to a good start with a second place.

Up next was the circus dumbbell clean and press. 180lbs implement and a 60 second time limit. I had been training this and working on getting my issues that cost me points last time (feet not in line). I was expecting five going into this from training but I had doubts. My legs were still shaking from the medley as I warmed up. I had also been expecting these to be longer dumbbells but they ended up being shorted with big bells. I did singles to warm-up with the lighter dumbbells and did the pause and hold style like I’ve been doing. Last warm-up was the contest weight for a single clean to the shoulder to get the feel. Felt off but pressable. Getting 2nd in the loading race, I got to see a couple people go. When it was my turn, five was the number to beat. The commands were given and I went to work. I popped the first one up quick and just about beat the down signal for a warning. It was more from jitters than anything. Went touch and go for the next rep and it felt a little off but still went up. Another touch and go and it just felt off again and I ended up launching it too far out from my center of gravity and had to bail. After that, I just calmed down and did singles. I had thought I only had four when I finished but I was told I got five. I didn’t believe them and asked for the camera to review. I didn’t want that one that I didn’t have any control of to count. But the call was right, I had made six attempts and got five lifts. So that meant I had equaled first with the other two. Also a PR by one rep. The guy that got first on the medley had some issues on the dumbbell and managed only four. If I hadn’t kept forcing the touch and go, I think I could have gotten six for the outright win. The judge stated he was very impressed with my performance as he wasn’t expecting what I did with how long my arms are. This placing had me in first, which was not a spot I was expecting to be in today.

The third event was the car deadlift. 12” pick height on a front bar attachment with a 60 second time limit. I doubted I needed the full minute to get what I could. Hard to figure what the weight is going to be at contests so I always have to error on the side of heavy for me. This was going to be the event that I felt would sink me. It was already a weakness before the injury and I’m still coming back to my former strength on deadlifts and squats. I thankfully had the opportunity to train this so that I could get used to the lift and know what I could grind out. The car we lifted was a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. I wanted to get some warm-up in. People were using the lightest setup as seats (ATV) so I went for the next one over, the large pick-up truck. No hard belt on, that felt hard. Enough that I knew I didn’t want to attempt budging our car until it was time to go. The Chevy was the same weight for the 175lbs on up and thankfully no more weight was added. I couldn’t afford to bomb an event. I went last since I was in first so I knew what to expect. I had no illusions of getting first (13 reps) or second (9 reps). My goal was to get more than 0. I got set and pulled. It moved but I wasn’t in the right groove. I readjusted my stance and got up a hard rep. One down. Goal achieved. But I had another one in me. Another rep and another loud grunt/bark. I took a longer rest and put everything into on more pull. This one was a grinder. Loud grunt to lockout. Eye sight was like pinholes, just waiting for the down command. I was done and I had to kind of collapse to try and get the straps off. Someone told me to go for four for points and I shouted back that four would put me in the hospital. Turns out it was Derek and he said that wouldn’t be a good idea as it isn’t a very good one. My effort was enough to tie for 3rd and keep me a float. Weakest event out of the way and only off 2nd place by .5pts. Had to have my traps massaged immediately afterwards to get them to relax for the next event.

The next event for the day was farmer’s walk. 335bs for 65’ with a 60 second time limit. I had been confident in this one leading up to the show. That was until my testing day where I failed to complete the course. I just had to get over it by telling myself it was from the cumulative fatigue from the hard training and from the extreme heat and humidity that day. I can usually hold on to anything once I get it off the ground. But the specter of doubt was still very much present. Pick wasn’t as low as the handles I was training on but with how much the deadlift took out of me, it was possible that this was going to be a struggle to even get the weights off the ground. I had two light warm-ups (tried to simulate training) to get ready for the run. The guy who bombed the car deadlift finished the course in about the time that I would do it. I figured that would happen. The next two couldn’t get the handles off the ground. Not a good sign. These handles were solid pieces of metal so you felt the full weight, no flex or nothing. It was a slow pick and I started moving. I wasn’t certain my grip would hold until I was about half way down the course and once I knew I was good, I was able to pick up speed. And as I usually do, I held the handles for a few seconds at the finish and lowered them slowly to the ground. Ended up getting 13.25 seconds. Most bigger shows have had higher pick farmer’s so this was actually a PR over my training times from the lower pick heights. Another nod of approval from the judge as he was surprised with my footwork for my build. First place blistered the course in 9.28 seconds. Another second place for me and back in second place.

The final event was the stone of steel. 300lbs over 50” with a time limit of 60 seconds. I started with the empty stone of steel and worked my way up from there during my recovery. This is actually the exercise I was doing in my garage that my back went on all those months ago so I had to prove a point. I’d been beating this thing up in training regularly. Only time I had doubts was when it came to that darn testing day where I was a sweaty mess and got just four lifts with the contest weight. I was beat by this point. Still willing to do what needed to be done. Midsection and lower back wanted to cramp up so I kept my rehband belt on to keep them warm. There was cushioned chair that was out in the competitor’s area and I just sat in it until it was close to go time. Like a boxer waiting in the corner, waiting for the final round to start. Waiting for the bell. I got to see everyone but 1st place go before me. When I was up, the number to beat was six. It didn’t matter if the number to beat was one, I was going all in. Conditions were perfect and I had no issues lifting it. Just the right amount of effort used so that I could control it up and over for the helper to return it quickly. I doubt I could really extend much higher with the fatigue. I got eight reps to beat the number my training partner had gotten at his contest earlier this year. The rep had bobbled a little so I really slowed it down to get one more for nine. I definitely could have gone up another gear if needed. Lettering on the stone of steel peeled off on my arms and looked like it was saying “FU”. Guy in first, Nick, managed to get eight for second. This was a big PR as he had never gotten that weight before in contest for one. A first place for me.

With my consistency, I was able to get 2nd place. Too many mistakes for first and I need to keep working on my deadlift strength. I got what I wanted out of this contest and more. I completed the show with no injuries and no return of pain. I grinded out heavy deadlifts and farmer’s walk without form breaking. I lifted a weight on the stone of steel that was almost 60lbs heavier than the weight that I injured myself for nine reps with some in the tank. I put in the effort and qualified for Nationals. That was something I wasn’t expecting. I was hoping it would be the case but you never know. Some rust still needs to come off and I will be on top of my game. I think as long as I still can “make excuses” for why I’m not done or reached my peak, I still have the drive to keep going forward. I also got to compete again and it is a different feeling. I missed it. But now, I need to get some rest. A week off will do me some good.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 29, 2017 – Week 9, Day 3


5 Minutes Sled Drag (55lbs for .25 miles)

Leaning Calf Raises
BWx15

One Leg Leaning Calf Raises
BWx15/15

Regular Box Touches (12” Box)
BWx15

Band Rows w/Biceps Stretch
MBx25/10 seconds

Sumo Box Touches (12” Box)
BWx15

Band Rows w/Biceps Stretch
MBx25/10 seconds

Hip Airplanes (supported)
BWx7/7

Sled Drags/Prowler Pushes
200x100’/200x100’
200x100’/200x100’
200x100’/200x100’
200x100’/200x100’
200x100’/200x100’

Stretching

Comments: At home for training this time. Deload week and the workout was something I could do at home. No need of the extra stress of driving. Good thing as I couldn’t fall asleep until after midnight and didn’t wake up until after noon. Warm-up with the sled drag around the block. Been a while. Had to clean spiders off my sled it’s been so long haha. Felt good, little bit of a lower back pump on the injured side. Calf work after that. Still a disparity between the two sides as far as ease of movement but it is still the uninjured side that has the issues keeping up. Then on to box touches, band rows and biceps stretch. Only thing that felt off was my shoulders on the stretch with the left side feeling tighter this time. The box touches and rows felt great. Hip airplanes were better than last workout. I did stand and balance before the actual set to make sure my balance was good. I’ve been forgoing it the past few weeks but it seemed to help this time as no issues with any reps after that. Only exercise with weight on the agenda for today was a drag and push medley. Plan being to do five sets supersetted for 100’ each way and then resting a minute between sets. I did a workout similar to this on Christmas Eve last year. I figured I was stronger and better conditioned than I was then so I added weight. I didn’t realize at the time that the rest period had been cut in half between sets. I was a little cocky thinking I didn’t even need to rest. I was wrong. I wasn’t breathing heavy at first but my legs were starting to get fatigued and cramping up. I forgot how much that sucks. Breathing heavy came near the end. Throat felt raw going into that last set. But I finished and times were pretty close on all sets. I think the third set was my fastest. Took a bit too cool down. I didn’t start sweating until I went inside to stretch so that was another thing to deal with. Last workout before the contest. 33 weeks straight of training to get back to this point. Time to put it to the test.

Friday, July 28, 2017

July 27, 2017 – Week 9, Day 2


5 Minutes Percor AMT

Leaning Calf Raises
BWx15

One Leg Leaning Calf Raises
BWx15/15

Regular Box Touches (12” Box)
BWx25

Band Rows w/Biceps Stretch
MBx25/10 seconds

Squat Therapy (16” Box)
BWx25

Sumo Box Touches (12” Box)
BWx25

Band Rows w/Biceps Stretch
MBx25/10 seconds

Hip Airplanes (supported)
BWx7/7

16” Box Squats
45x10
100x5
150x3
200x1
250x3
250x3
250x3
250x3
250x3

Stretching

Comments: Lower intensity sessions for the rest of this week. Still got to keep the focus. Visualizing the events when I go for my walks. Daily light massages to help with recovery. Want to make sure I’m on point day of show. Some aches but not anywhere close to what I was feeling last week. Started out with the AMT. Heart rate topped out at 155bpm. Felt good. Calf raises were ok. Right side felt a little off but still somewhat easy resp. Regular box touches were good. Almost lost count so means they felt easy. Band rows were good too. Aiming for good movement. Biceps stretch was good but right shoulder felt tighter than the left. Squat therapy was alright. Minimal knee achiness. Trying to get my form right and trying to think of hips then knees rather than both at the same time. Hard to get it down pat. Maybe I’m overthinking it. Second run through of box touches (sumo style), band rows and biceps stretch was good. Hip airplanes were tough again. Kept losing my balance on both sides so it took some time to get all the quality reps I needed. Not sure what that was about. No pain so going well. On to weights. Only exercise was box squats. Working up to what I feel is about 50% of what I can do for a max single and then doing triples. Timed rest of two minutes. Trying to work on form. I wasn’t too sure on warm-ups as I didn’t want to overdo it but also didn’t want to be cold for the working sets. I feel like 500lbs is a conservative top single at this time so I went based off of that. First set felt a little heavier than I would have liked. But it felt fine for the other sets. Trying to focus on my form with the hips back and slow decent, staying tight, etc;. Maybe I’m chasing too many rabbits at once. No set really felt like the second set last week which made my knees ache so I think that was good. I did end up rushing the fourth set as I had unracked the weight and someone dropped a deadlift right behind me. Startled me a bit haha. Still priming. One more workout for this cycle. Home to stretch, eat, watch a bad movie, massage and sleep.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 25, 2017 – Week 9, Day 1


5 Minutes Percor AMT

Leaning Calf Raises
BWx15

One Leg Leaning Calf Raises
BWx15/15

Regular Box Touches (12” Box)
BWx15

Band Rows w/Biceps Stretch
MBx25/10 seconds

Sumo Box Touches (12” Box)
BWx15

Band Rows w/Biceps Stretch
MBx25/10 seconds

Hip Airplanes (supported)
BWx7/7

Circus Dumbbell Clean and Presses
Plate Loaded Dumbbell with Fat Gripz Extreme
(3 stage 2 second pauses)
37x1 R
37x1 L
67x1 R
67x1 L
87x1 R
87x1 L
97x1 R
97x1 L
107x1 R
107x1 L
122x1 R
122x1 L
Circus Dumbbell
132x1 R
132x1 L
142x1 R
142x1 L
152x1 R PR+2lbs
152x1 L PR+2lbs
(competition style)
162x1 R
162x1 L
162x1 R
162x1 L
162x1 R
162x1 L
162x1 R
162x1 L
162x1 R
162x1 L

Stretching

Comments: The home stretch. Went to the chiropractor on Monday to try and get whatever was going on with my upper back to stop. I was nervous (I notice I say that or something similar a lot) as last time it made my SI stuff worse. But at the time, I didn’t know what was wrong. Neck was very tight. Felt some immediate relief in both my SI joint and upper back. So, on to the workout. Last one that is going to have any real intensity to it. Warmed up as per usual on the AMT. Heart rate got to 154bpm. Easy calf work and then into box touches and band rows with biceps stretch again. Shoulders felt good with the stretch. Hamstrings felt tight but no issues with my upper back touching the box this time. Hip airplanes went well, didn’t lose my balance on any reps. Then on to the only weighted exercise of the session. The plan from the start had been circus dumbbell but with what was going on with my upper back, there was a back-up plan to do incline press. Wasn’t sure until I finished everything beforehand if I was doing the dumbbell or incline. Plan for the session was to work up on the pause version and then do five singles on each side done EMOM style, alternating sides each rep. Monitoring everything each lift to see if everything is still good. I didn’t realize until I was at the jump before getting to the bell that I had been 5lbs lighter than I thought I had. On the bell, I couldn’t hold the weight at lockout on my right side as it was bothering my thumb too much. I ended up wrapping my wrist a different way the next set and it flew up with no issues. Managed a small PR on the pause, hold and push press style with little effort. The working weight was set at 90% competition weight. The original plan had been competition weight but my difficulty with my right side on consistently getting that weight required a slight decrease in intensity. I had hoped to use my interval timer but the battery was dead so stop watch it was. No issues with the left side with having the wrist wrap on but I had to keep undoing the right side so that my hand didn’t swell and lose feeling. But I managed to get the work done. Definitely going to need to rest up. Home to eat and stretch. Scheduled another chiro session for next Monday and deep tissue massage Tuesday. Just two more light workouts until the real thing.