Tuesday, November 14, 2017

November 10-11, 2017 – Strongman Corporation National Championships

I had written off 2017. And that was last year. This time last year I was still in the middle of physical therapy and on my second cycle of corticosteroids to deal with the inflammation. I was thinking of 2018 or 2019 as when I would be back to competing. But somehow that confidence came back over the months of recovery and proper training. I was surprised to get back to competition shape and place second at a level 2 show. I had qualified for Nationals in my first contest back. Never an easy feat for me to qualify. I was still tentative with competing at that level as I just got back to local level strength but I had a good support system and I went all in.

Nationals was in Las Vegas this year. This meant a lot of firsts. First contest where I had to fly to it, first contest on the west coast. While not firsts, I hadn’t been in PST since I was born (military brat) and the last time I was on a plane, I didn’t have to take my shoes off to board. It was tricky figuring out what I could and couldn’t bring with me as this was never an issue when driving out to contests. My dad felt it would be good experience if I ever compete internationally (still the dream). Early morning to drive out to the airport. Traffic was bad getting to BWI which it usually is as you get closer. I was originally planning to go solo but my dad was able to come and I’m thankful that he did as I was screwing up everything with the baggage stuff. I was hot and uncomfortable on the flight and to add insult to injury, the head flight attendant started singing “L.O.V.E.” once we landed. At that point, I would rather have been beaten and dragged off instead. Exiting the plane, I knew I was in Las Vegas as there were slot machines in the airport. Took a shuttle bus to the hotel (where the contest was as well as where we were staying). It was midday but still a lot of glitz and glam.

The rules meeting was at 7:00 Thursday night and was mandatory. I kept my phone for the local time but kept my watch at EST so that I wouldn’t lose sense of what time my body thought it was. I had worn pants into Las Vegas but I apparently ripped them on the flight so there was a portion of the day where I was having my ass hang out and no one told me. Changed into something comfortable to check in. I weighed in at 277.8lbs so about 13lbs more than two years ago. Meant I would be going against the under 300lbs class. Would probably mean that my weaknesses would be more glaring but my strengths may stack up more favorably. Still had a lot of time to kill so had lunch, crashed in the hotel room for a few hours and then had dinner (my dad was set on going to “Flavortown” at Guy Fieri’s). Spent a little bit of time walking around the casino/hotel before heading up for the rules meeting. A lot more competitors this time but nothing out of the ordinary as far as the rules or events. However, we needed to get yoke heights and the yokes weren’t there yet. Very reminiscent of my first nationals in 2012. Got to catch up with people I had only seen online for the first time. I was dragging as it was really getting close to when I normally was asleep. Went to bed as soon as I got out of there to get ready for the following day.

Uncharacteristically, I wasn’t a nervous ball of energy upon waking. Possibly because I was restless and felt that I was in a timeless void with everything looking the same unless a window was open. Jet lag really hit me hard I guess. The air conditioning wasn’t really working and no microwave so just used a hot water bath in the sink to heat up my breakfast. Had to go up numerous escalators to the venue. Too many people and it was starting to look like the chocolate factory conveyor belt scene from “I Love Lucy” but with bodies. Hefty division had 54 competitors vying for the elusive Pro Card. A big change has been having it be top 3 overall that would get one. I knew I was nowhere near contention but would do my best, hopefully hit some contest PRs and possibly get an Arnold Invite. Fever dreams I’d say if you asked me this time in 2016.

I setup camp in the far back to be near the restrooms, have access to the outside balcony and to be near the scores and have less people near me. I also got to finally meet my strength coach, Mike Westerling, in person as well as his wife Jolene. Reception wasn’t the best here so messages and videos weren’t sending or loading well. Another first being a contest where people were asking me how I was doing who weren’t there and weren’t family. I had told people there was a live stream but most balked at the price tag. With how these kinds of shows run with so many competitors, it can get frustrating letting people know that it is still going on and you haven’t gone yet. There is really no way to train for this with the warm-ups and waiting for hours. It is mentally fatiguing.

The first event of the day was log clean and press. 320lbs for as many reps as possible in a 60 seconds time period. Log has gotten better and I have been consistently hitting 300lbs or more every heavy session. I managed to improve my all-time best in training by 10lbs to match this weight. However, this can be troublesome as the contest weight being your max any little thing could disrupt it. The log was also somewhat new to the strongman scene. Very dense and bottom heavy. Warm-ups felt good with the more standard and balanced log. I hit my easiest 290lbs ever. However, the singles I did with just the empty competition log felt heavy and awful. I had Mr. Westerling observe some of the singles with the comp log. It was great to have instant feedback like that. I had decided to go with my grip shirt under my contest shirt for the contest for the extra gripping power. I was in one of the later heats and got called out. Had to wait a bit for blood to get cleaned off one of the logs. Aim was just one. Log felt heavy on the pick and it felt like it was crushing me once I got it to my chest. If I had not been doing those static rack holds in training, I’m certain I would have passed out. It felt way heavier than I was expecting. I had to lean back to have it on my chest and went for the drive but it didn’t really go anywhere. I tried to control the log back to the ground and that was not good. My right hand hit the inside of the log when it bounced up slightly. Adrenaline was high so not feeling any major issues yet. I took my time and waited to give it one more shot. While video says it looked just a strong a clean as the first one, it felt infinity pounds heavier. I tried to get myself under control with it on my shoulders but it was too much and I barely got it off my chest. It wasn’t happening today so I ended things there. I knew this was a possibility. Tied with about half the field for last place.

It takes a moment for the hyped up feeling to calm down and that is when you start to notice things like pain. My shins were bloody from the log but my right hand was starting swell as was throbbing. Not good. I was 2,374 miles from home and flight didn’t leave until Sunday. I’ve never withdrawn from a contest that I’ve started and I wasn’t going to start now. Prepared with first aid kit supplies. My dad and Mr. Westerling both got ice and I wrapped up my hand and wrist. This was definitely going to be a new challenge. There was also event changes. The yoke and farmer’s walk medley was going to be the following day so the next event was going to be the frame deadlift followed by the husafel carry. Not sure why but the rumor was that it was damaging the floor and disrupting a poker game downstairs. A bit of a blessing in that I doubt I could finish the farmer’s walk with my hand as it was but it also could effect how I do on my best events.

Up next was a frame deadlift. This event had a few changes leading up to the contest and had some even on the fly. Originally, it was going to be from 19” with 820lbs. Then dropped to 16”. That drop put the weight from possible to near impossible at the start of the training cycle. A lot work went into building up my weakest event. The goal being to shoot for the moon and even if you miss you’ll be among the stars. And then eventually die from lack of oxygen. Depends on the day where I stop the analogy haha. 60 second time limit and straps in own time. If this was a light weight for me, I would have practiced that part of it but since this was going to a max single I just focused on getting everything tight before going. The handles ended up being 17” and while billed as 790lbs (not enough metal plates) it was closer to 770lbs. All changes in my favor. Mr. Westerling suggested that I try to pull in the handles before lifting but I found with my style with the figure eight straps and setting in my fingertips, I wasn’t able to do that and pull with the back muscles. They were more of a supporting role. My wrist did not appreciate warming up for this event. I really had only one shot at this. Pain wouldn’t stop me. I strapped in and gave it a tug. It budged a little but no more. I tried to adjust my foot placement and gave another attempt but no go. In desperation I adjusted my grip to the front of the implement to just see if that worked but no dice here as well. Another zero and tied with a few people with last place here. No pain in my back at least. More ice and Motrin before the next event.

Final event of the Day 1 was the husafel carry. 400lbs with turns at 60’. Shot loaded so should be fairly balanced and bottom heavy. Which is good for picking up. Normally, I’m confident in my abilities with a carry event like this but my hand was my anchor hand with how I normally carry this kind of implement. While the mechanics of switching sides should be the same, it could throw me off and I really wanted to see how it felt to determine if I could do it or if just out in front using my wrists was best. No tape or anything on the arms or hands due to the rubberized coating of the implement so I couldn’t wrap my hand. I asked if I could work in with the women classes with the empty implement and I was told no as there would be time to warm-up for the men. This did not end up happening. Since I was in last place essentially, I was in one of the first heats for the event. I was worried I wouldn’t get it off the platform into my lap. It didn’t help matters that the competitor in front of me fell trying to get it off the platform. My time to go. I wanted this day to be done. I had 15 seconds to get moving. I got it off the platform of bumper plates and my first thoughts were “shit, shit, shit!” as I felt off balance. I was struggling to figure out the geometry of the implement with the switched grip (the thing is the same width as length) that eventually I just said “screw it” and started moving. I didn’t feel secure with my grip at all and I wasn’t sure I could make it down one length. But I did and I made the turn and somehow got back. I made another turn and saw there was only one other person left in my heat. He went down shortly after and saw Mr. Westerling at the other end and felt that I could get one more length. Got that and then turned and made it a little further before my grip went. I finished with a distance of 188’3” for 10th place here. Finally something went well and I felt a sense of relief.

After the first day, I was in 43rd place overall. Lower than I was expecting but zeroing two events isn’t a way to get points. The possibility of it was definitely something that had crossed my mind. Before I left for the night, I told Mr. Westerling that I appreciated everything he was doing for me. It wouldn’t be genuine of me if just smiled and shook his hand as I had been a dark place mentally most of last year. And while day one had not gone as I wanted to, I wasn’t dead (as one of my friends/competitors told me). Spent a bit more time walking around the outside of the casino this night as well and got some more good food. Sleep again felt weird. I did get a video of my nephew wishing me good luck for the following day. I also made the decision to not wear wrist wraps for the following day as I didn’t want people treating my differently due to the injury like I felt the day before. The craziness getting up to the contest wasn’t present this time.

First event of the day was to be a medley of yoke followed by farmer’s walk. However, the farmer’s walk part of it got scrapped. Came to find the yokes had carpet feet on them now. The billed event was 840lbs for 60’ in 60 seconds. But appears that it was closer to 856lbs. One drop allowed so that made things interesting. I had been training for that so wasn’t that big an issue. I wanted to make sure I got some warm-ups in and I managed to get two light runs and one pick before they started going. Unfortunately, I was in the last heat so I had a lot of down time between my last pick and time to go. However, this was still one of the better warm-ups I’ve managed to get on yoke. I always seem to have an issue with yoke come contest time. I’m doing well in training. Weight moves relatively fast, I rarely have any drops and sometimes I’m doing more than contest weight. But come show time, I’m struggling. I either have multiple drops or I go at a snail’s pace and never pick up speed. I don’t have this issue with farmer’s walk or frame carries. But I felt good and hoped today wouldn’t be like that. I’m happy that I was able to time my pick just right with the commands as sometimes that is an issue for me. I felt like I could move with the weight but then it felt unstable. Like any misstep was going to cause it to get me off balance and drop it. I couldn’t afford that and I slowed down more and more. This felt like the pace I could go and not drop it. I’m sure a lot of people thought I wouldn’t finish the course with how slow I was going but I know from my years of training that slow and steady still works and I got plenty of grit to grind out things that shouldn’t need to be grinded out. I had told my judge that I knew he didn’t have a sundial but would appreciate it if he got my time. Ended up getting the course done in 32.25 seconds. This was not the slowest time of someone who finished the course. This was enough for 38th.

The final event was one I had been looking forward to. At least when I didn’t have a bum hand. Stone of steel over bar. 360lbs over 52” with 60 seconds time limit. I saw some people say it was 5lbs heavier than billed but I don’t know. I was just ready for this contest to be over and would have been fine with a single. But really, I wasn’t going to be fine with a single as I’m competitive and I wanted all the reps. I was in the second heat as I was near the bottom of the overall placings. This is a good event for me so it was possible that I could move up a bit in the standings and I could have the number the beat for a little bit. This ended up being just like the husafel carry in that the men didn’t get a chance to warm-up. I had to make sure that my hand would hold up and fit into my receiver gloves. Luckily someone in the back put PVC pipe through some bumper plates so I was able to do some bear hug plate rows. Everything felt fine. Then it was time to go. Timer went and I attacked. My first attempt my gloves slipped right off the stone of steel like grease. Never had that happen before. I’ve had it where it felt lose but that was when I started using it with 300lbs for the first time. I wasn’t going to let that stop me. So I got one rep easy. Then I went for another the gloves were slipping again and I caught that one barely into my lap. Got it set and another easy load. The loads were easy, just having issues getting the stone of steel into my lap nice and secured. I could hear someone yelling at me the whole time and I wasn’t too sure who it was but I think it was Mr. Westerling. I had 15 seconds left after I got the fifth lift. I went for another and got it too my lap but the thing was too far forward and I lost my balance and fell backwards. I feel that I left at least two reps on this but I still did well. Good enough for a tie at 13th.

I pretty much knew that I had not done well enough for an Arnold invite and it would be very impressive if I improved my placing over last time. I spent the rest of my time walking the strip with my dad. One of the oddest 3 miles I’ve ever experienced. Just trying to walk to a movie theatre lead to many odd sites such as a man dressed as Spiderman wearing a tinfoil hat with a sign saying “flat earth”. I could write pages about that experience alone. While the food was good there, Las Vegas is not for me. Every corner with a hustle. I felt like I needed real life ad-blocker. All the glitz and glam, a simulacrum of paradise. I was too beat to go to the banquet as that was going to be late and I had to catch and early flight home the following morning so it took a few days to find out my placings. It appears I was 37th out of 54 in the overall and 15th out of 19 in the under 300lbs weight class. The competition was draining with how long it took. Perhaps this year was an overreach but I think I can improve and get even better as long as I stay healthy. Two weeks off was already the plan but with my hand in a splint and having possibly the flu, that two weeks is mandatory. I’m not sure what the next step is but I will be taking it.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

November 4, 2017 – Week 12, 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

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

Sled Drags/Prowler Pushes
205x100’/205x100’
205x100’/205x100’
205x100’/205x100’
205x100’/205x100’
205x100’/205x100’

Stretching

Comments: At home for training this time. I was looking forward to not having to wake up to an alarm after this week at work and not having to drive out for training in the morning. Really wanted to sleep in. Of course I slept well but woke up feeling seasonal allergies acting up. Oh well. Warm-up with the sled drag around the block. Been a while. Last time I used it I think was the very end of last training cycle for Refuge Barbell. Felt good, little bit of a lower back pump on the left side. Calf work after that. Felt tight but hardly noticeable disparity between the two sides. Then on to box touches. These felt really good on my hamstring today. Squat therapy was modified a bit. I don’t think I’ve ever done them at home before. I didn’t have anything that was at 16” so I had to stand on some plywood. This was inside and my ceilings are low (for me) so I had to bend my arms so I didn’t keep hitting the ceiling. But still good, knees felt alright. Hip airplanes didn’t start off well. I lost my balance immediately on the first rep. First time this entire cycle. Serves me right trying to do them on a slanted driveway. No issues after that first oopsie. No knee clicking on the right side but still feel something. Again no pain, just observing. Band rows and biceps stretches felt good. No issues with the biceps. Push-ups were ok as well. 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. Same exact workout to end the last training cycle. Allergies acting up so I just added a little bit of weight to the last time I did it as I remember I was overconfident the last time and this is a bit of a lung burner. I also didn’t have to deal with leaf piles and sticks in the road last time either. I felt a little slow at the start but that tends to be the case with these kinds of workouts. My times improved with the third set being my fastest. Then I got slower the following two sets. Sweating quite a bit after this workout despite the short duration. I didn’t think I would be back to competing at this level of competition so soon after the injury with essentially one competition under my belt since coming back. I’ve put in the work these past 12 weeks and I just have to put it all out there in six days.

Friday, November 3, 2017

November 2, 2017 – Week 12, 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” Box Squats
45x10
95x5
145x3
185x2
225x1
262x3
262x3
262x3
262x3
262x3

12” Log Quarter Squats
200x3
250x3
290x3
340x3
380x3 (30.62 seconds hold on last rep)

Stretching

Comments: Had a deep tissue massage the day before. I try to get these the week of the contest but scheduling wasn’t going to work this time. Felt good and got a lot of tension out of my upper back and neck. Right side (leg and hip) were really tight. Warmed up on the AMT. Heart rate only up to 148bpm. Calf raise work after that. Tight but felt good. I was expecting them to be not so good with how tight the calves felt. Box touches with both styles felt good as well. On to squat therapy. Sucked for my knees. But a lot better compared to the previous session this week. Hip airplanes were pretty good. No clicking with the right knee this time. I think the massage helped with that. Band rows and biceps stretch followed. Trying to get the biceps to relax. Rows I got to feel better than last session. Then on to the weights. Essentially the same setup as last cycle of training for box squats. Work up to 50% for five sets of three with two minutes rest. My squat was stronger so the weight went up this time. Knees were achy on the unracking of weights but felt good doing the actual squat. No support gear on these. Got my upper body tight (actively rather than passively) on the last two sets. Then on to log quarter squats. Same idea as last week, working up in big jumps to a top set with a hold on the last rep. 10lbs more over last week. This time, felt in between of the first and second week of these as far as feel. Knees didn’t feel so crappy but didn’t feel super-duper awesome. Trying to be consistent and methodical with these and get the first rep just right so that the other reps are crisp. Definitely feeling the weight on the top two sets. Upper abdominals on the right side were cramping up right before the second to last set. Didn’t lose my air like last week and feel pass-outty this time. Hard to stay stable and upright with this kind of weight. I pretty much stopped at 30 seconds as I didn’t want to have this be an all-out set and I was struggling to keep tight. Home to stretch and eat. One and done.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

October 31, 2017 – Week 12, Day 1

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

Push-ups
BWx15

12” Log Clean and Jerks (one clean)
90x5
120x3
150x3
180x1
200x1
220x1
244x1
266x1
286x1

Stretching

Comments: The deload week is upon us. Definitely in need of it. Despite the heavy lifting on Saturday, I wasn’t as sore as I was expecting to be, not even two days later. However, my right knee has been feeling weird so I had taken some ibuprofen the day before. Warmed up on the AMT. A little hesitant with the knee so not as vigorous on this as I usually am. Heart rate only got up to about 142bpm. Calf raise work after that. These felt fine, just little tension in my right quad. Box touches felt good both styles. Nice hamstring stretch. Knee ached a little bit on squat therapy but not nearly as much as I was expecting so still good. Felt better as I did them. Hip air planes were good on the left side. Right side ok with the hip but knee was “clicking” slightly. Not painful in any way, just noticing it. Band rows felt good. Really trying to not pull with the biceps and thinking that my hands are hooks and that the point of focus with the pull is pulling with the elbows. Seemed to work well. Stretching felt good too. Push-ups to finish off the stuff before the weights. First rep didn’t feel great so I moved my hands in slightly and it felt perfect. Plan for this workout just a top single on log clean and jerks at about 90%. Not usually what one thinks for deload but compared to previous sessions I guess it is haha. Back to jerks. Despite being ugly, the drive I get on these appears to be enough to get past the sticking point I have with push press that will allow me to grind out a lockout. Something to fix during the off season I guess. I have to go with the style that will get me a lift come contest day so need to grease the groove after the last two weeks of push press. Empty log felt good. Next jump not so great as I kept going forward each rep. Better after that set though. 200lbs felt really crisp and easy. I was keeping an eye on the biceps. Definitely noticed it was harder on the clean (pulling the weight into my body to get to the shoulders, picking off the floor to the lap) once I got to the point where I had the hard belt on. Those points in the lift where I go from the leg drive to the lockout feel like an eternity but video suggests it is only a fraction of second. Second to last lift, I felt like I rowed the log up with my biceps. I knew I had to fix that for the next set. Can’t be putting so much stress when they are beat and already stressed from this training cycle. Too close to have a costly mistake. Better on the last set for the pull to the lap but the clean to the shoulders took more effort than I would have liked. Again, felt slow on the lockout but video says otherwise. Two more workouts left. Home to stretch and eat.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

October 28, 2017 – Week 11, 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

I-Beam Frame Deadlifts
Farmer’s Handles (6”)
54x10
Farmer’s Handles (15”)
135x1
225x1
Frame (16”)
315x1
405x1
495x1
585x1
Added Straps
675x1
Frame (19”)
750x1
800x1
Frame (22”)
855x1

Stone of Steel Over Bar (57”)
138x1
176x1
201x1
225x1
249x1
275.5x1
300x1
364.5x0,0
364.5x1
384x1
403x1

Prowler Pushes
475x162’3” in 75 seconds

Stretching

Comments: Last heavy workout. I wasn’t feeling that this would go so well with how achy my knees were on the previous workout. Got some eye twitching going on the past week or so haha. Right biceps still somewhat sore. Didn’t wrap it or wear the sleeve but still keeping an eye on that. But I felt good waking up today so I hoped that would mean good things. Out to Lancaster for training. Warmed up on the rower. Felt good. Calf work and box touches were pretty good. Squat therapy was good too. No real aching in my knees. Hip airplanes were good. Had some balance issues with my one side but stayed steady and got my reps with no do-overs. Band rows and stretching followed. Stretch was good, cautious with the band rows. First set felt better than the second. Then frame deadlifts. Warmed up with the farmer’s walk handles with connectors for a light set. Back of the handle grip and tried to move my feet forward a little bit more to be in line with my grip and get better hip drive. Original plan from a few weeks out had been to just do a moderately heavy single but the new plan for more frame work made this the heaviest session so far. Starting things off was singles up to 95%. First two singles were with the farmer’s walk setup before getting to a heavy enough weight for the I-beams. No knee aching and weight felt like it was moving reasonably well so I felt like I could hit my goals. Foot position I had to play around with as sometimes it felt like it made me off balance (too far forward). Last single from contest height was pretty tough but probably could do a tough double. Felt a little easier than 640lbs felt last time. Raised the frame up 3” more. Plan here was to beat my best single from last time anywhere from 10-20lbs. I really wanted that 20lbs. Going right for that weight wouldn’t be smart with how the form is a little different raised up so I took an in-between lift. That felt pretty heavy but it looked like it moved well. Don’t know if it moved “800lbs was going to happen” well but it was enough for me to go for broke. 800lbs was slow going but I got it. No pain. Then another 3” added. One more single with even more weight. I really wanted to do another 50lbs jump but I decided to just put plates on each side to get to 855lbs. It was a gamble as those other lifts were a lot of effort. If I got it, it would be the most weight I’ve lifted in a deadlift type fashion (not counting yoke). It was a short range of motion but it was definitely a long pull. That weight did not want to be lifted. Happy to get that weight up too. I took my time breaking down the frame and putting away weights. I wanted my lower back to recover some and I had to wait to use the stone of steel. Plan for this session was to work up to top single with no grip aids of any kind and then a top single with whatever on. Not max singles but still good. Conservative maxes (I swear I will get it right one day). My one training partner got 384lbs today so I had a goal to shoot for, though I was already entertaining 400lbs or so. I started light as usual with somewhat small jumps. Biceps didn’t like it if I ripped and gripped it or got too overzealous with extension using my arms. The more I did sets, the better I felt though. Got 300lbs with room to spare on the no grip assist single. Definitely good for a lot more just moderate increases each time. Then it was go time with the gloves and the tacky towel. Or so I thought. I put the weight at 364.5lbs and thought it was going to be easy. It was not. I messed up my extension and I brought it back down too soon and totally missed it. I then rolled it back and gave it another shot. Same result. Ok, now I’m pissed. I reset the setup and took a minute or so to collect my thoughts and came back and crushed it (I proceeded to give it two middle fingers). Confidence for more, not sure. I really didn’t want to leave things there. If Brian hadn’t lifted heavier that same day, I probably would have called it there. So I loaded up his weight and got that convincingly. Well lets go up another level. Over 400lbs. I should have this. Lower back was starting to feel the fatigue of the heavy frame deadlifts and the missed attempts from before. But I got it in my lap and extended. Good. Definitely more there. Getting close to maxing out this darn thing haha. Last thing for the day was max distance prowler push. Same as before, 75 seconds. Put a little more weight than last time. Just kept pushing. It was slow going and I hit spots where it almost stopped me twice. But I kept at it the whole time. Glutes and legs were beat from that. Home to stretch and then eat lots of beef tenderloin.

Friday, October 27, 2017

October 26, 2017 – Week 11, 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
145x3
195x2
245x1
285x2
285x2

12” Log Quarter Squats
190x3
240x3
280x3
330x3
370x3 (7.89 seconds hold on last rep)
370x1 (32.66 seconds hold)

Crunches
BWx30

Leg Raises
BWx30

Stretching

Comments: Definitely in that tensed, stressed and fatigued state. Ready to deload. Keeping eye on the right biceps still. Warmed up on the AMT. Heart rate only up to 149bpm. Calf raise work after that. Tight but felt good. Box touches with both styles felt good as well. On to squat therapy. Sucked for my knees. Achy the whole time. Hip airplanes were pretty good. I felt like I was having some balance issues at the start but felt fine doing the exercise. Band rows and biceps stretch followed. Trying to get the biceps to relax. This workout was going to just be front box squats and light abs but some log stuff has been added. On to the front squat box squats. Knees were feeling okay on these. Still working on theoretical maxes on how I feel on the day. Just easier to keep adding 20lbs each time as it feels to be doing well based off of what an expected max would be. Advised to use a hard belt over 275lbs. Upper body tight as I felt that my mobility to hold the rack position with the bar wasn’t as easy as it usually is. Weights felt heavy on my chest but I feel I moved better on the sets. I wasn’t rushing the descent on any lifts. Top weight for two doubles. I didn’t do set time for the rests as I wanted to make sure the reps were good and I was rested. I didn’t want a repeat of last time. It does feel tough to breathe on these but they went well. Then on to log quarter squats. Same idea as last week, working up in big jumps to a top set with a hold on the last rep. Did not feel as good this week. Knees were aching like crazy, even with the light weight. Perhaps I was getting lift wrong breaking off the pins or something as far as feeling comfortable with the weight on my sternum. Became very apparent on the last set where I was to do the hold. I felt like I was going to black-out right away and put it down at about seven seconds. I took about a minute to clear my head and adjust the position of the log in the rack slightly in hopes it would rest on the shoulders better. Success. I didn’t want to go for an all-out effort this time and I tried to gauge where my form was starting to falter to end the hold. I think I got closer to that this time. Went right into the easy abdominal stuff. Crunches felt good and so did the leg raises. Perhaps not as much relief as I would have liked with the lower back but it will have to do for now. Home to stretch and eat. One more hard workout to go.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October 24, 2017 – Week 11, Day 1


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

Push-ups
BWx15

12” Log Clean and Push Presses
90x1
120x1
150x1
180x1
210x1
240x1
270x1
300x1
325x0
Clean and Jerks (one clean)
255x6

Chest Supported Rows
160x5
200x5
240x5
280x5
320x5

Band Resisted Push-ups
No Bands
BWx15
Add Bands
ABx10
Add Bands & Chains
SB+33cx5
SB+33cx5
SB+33cx5

Band Triceps Pressdowns
SBx30
SBx30

Stretching

Comments: Last really heavy week. Been keeping an eye on the right biceps, wrapping in an ace bandage to keep warm and provide a little compression when I get home from work. Hoping it will help with recovery as things are not going to get easier. Plan for this session was heavy log and then somewhat lighter duty assistance work. Lower body was pretty beat from Saturday. Warmed up on the AMT. Heart rate peaked at 156bpm. Calf raise work after that. Pretty good here. Not having any super tight and difficult days like I have had on these sometimes. Box touches felt good both styles. Squat therapy was just so-so as my knees were bit achy. Hip airplanes were also good. Band rows felt good. Definitely needed the stretch for biceps this session. Push-ups to finish off the stuff before the weights. Felt really good. On to log work. I put on my copper infused compression sleeve for the rest of the workout then. Don’t want to take any chances this close. Same as last time in that the plan was to work up to a top single with 30lbs jumps. Aiming for push press so no hesitation with jerk or not to jerk. I picked the weight jumps so that I would hit 300lbs on my second to last attempt and then have the option if feeling good to go for 325lbs or 330lbs. Push press felt good today. I did change things up a little using metal plates as I wanted to see how these felt with denser concentration near the end of the log. My log is essentially hollow so I’m wanted to see if I could get it to feel like a denser log. The plates moving I think just made the clean tougher I think. 270lbs went up pretty good so I thought a PR may happen. Reality came back on 300lbs as I got pretty lighted headed after finishing the lift so I knew even attempting 315lbs would have been tough. But I gave it my best shot. I got it off my shoulders but couldn’t get past my sticking point. It will eventually happen, just not today. I haven’t missed any weights 310lbs and under since I first hit 300lbs so the consistency to hit that kind of weight any given session seems to be a good sign at least. So then on to the down set. 85% for 3-5 reps was the plan. Missed the top single I wanted so the most weight successfully lifted was what I based things off of. Ended up being the same weight as last time. Push press was much better compared to jerks. I however still suck with press away on log. I got three pretty easy reps but I got light headed on the third rep and put down the log. I wasn’t sure how many reps I did so I recleaned the log and did three more. Other than getting lightheaded and having to do another clean, pretty good. I feel sturdier on the push press but I got to get my breathing right. Then on to chest supported rows. Not a heavy session of rows per se as the plan was my 10rm as the top set but only doing sets of five. Keeping an eye on the biceps at the start of each set so that I started off well. Good, explosive reps was the name of the game here. Felt good on the upper back. I noticed that my blood blister on the left hand (darn farmer’s walk handles) had opened so that wasn’t fun. Then on to band push-ups . I had all my bands this time so warm-ups were just right. Heavier resistance for the working sets but only doing sets of five, even though I could do more. Three times as much chain weight. That felt weird haha. Finished up with band triceps work. Felt pretty good. Didn’t feel completely wrecked after this session. Would have been nice to get another log PR. Home to stretch and eat recovery burritos.