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.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

October 21, 2017 – Week 10, 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/I-Beam Farmer’s Walk Medleys
y-300x100’ in 11.40 seconds
500x30’/112xDNF (Rogue handles, weights fell off)
500x30’/122x30’ in 10.53 seconds
600x30’/200x30’ in 11.89 seconds
700x30’/265x30’ in 14.45 seconds
y-800xpick
850x60’/332x60’ in 38.09 seconds

Sandbag Rows
150x5
225x5
285x5 PR+10lbs

H-Stone Carry (off platform)
Turns at 30’
300x60’
350x60’
Turns at 60’
400x207’4”
400x182’5”

Sled Drags
445x147’1” in 75 seconds

Stretching

Comments: It was hard getting sleep this week. I’d get distracted upon getting home from work or the gym and the hours would disappear. Things at least calmed down a little by Friday with work but I’m sure it will be hectic Monday again and start all over. I was nervous thinking about this workout. Last time I’d touch some of these events before Nationals. Out to Lancaster to training event work. It has gotten cooler out so I wore my long sleeve warm-ups but there was no cloud cover so it got quite warm. Good thing I had the extra shirts and towel. Quite a few people in today training for different upcoming shows. Warmed up on the rower. Keeping an eye on the right biceps. Didn’t wear the sleeve at the start to see how things felt. Row felt good, although my hips felt pretty tight afterwards. Calf work was okay and the box touches for both styles were good. Squat therapy I was little achy but still pretty good. Best it has felt this week. Hip airplanes were pretty good as well. Band rows and stretching followed. Easy on rows. Biceps were really tight so this was good on the stretch. Set of push-ups to finish things up. Felt pretty easy this time. First up was medley work for Nationals with yoke and farmer’s walks. The first set warm-up stayed the same. I felt I was moving well but it turns out this was the slowest I’ve done this so far this training cycle. Not the best start to the day (luckily I don’t know my exact times until I get home to edit video). Then setup half distance course again with both implements. At least I tried to. Initially, the I-beam handles were in use for another competitor doing frame picks for WSM under 80kgs, Guy Fulton. I didn’t have my good clamps for the other handles but I tried to make do. I really wanted to use the I-beam handles to finish off the training cycle. I setup the run with the other handles with the tightest clips I could find (that weren’t in use) and set off. Didn’t go well. Yoke was fine but the weights fell off the handles on the left side almost immediately. Weight was light though (grip feels so much better than the other handles) but I tossed the empty handle to the side and then dropped the other handle a short bit after that. This wasn’t going to work. Can’t risk the weights falling off and getting an injury. So I waited until the other handles were available and reset the course. Much better that time haha. The working up sets were the same as last time with the only change being the second to last set of farmer’s walk was a little bit heavier. Each run was faster than the last time I did this so that was good. Pick was done for the yoke and it felt easy compared to last time. Enough so that I had confidence in finishing the yoke no problem. Then came the moment of truth. Yoke and farmer’s walk slightly above contest weight. This weight would be 200lbs more than what I had done on yoke last training cycle. Had Brian, Guy and George out shouting at me as I did this run. I heard noise but only bits and pieces get through when I’m focused. Pick was good and I was a little slow off the start but I felt I was doing well until about halfway. I felt myself start to falter but kept going and slowed down. I was not going to have any drops. I just knew that this was going to make my legs tired for the farmer’s walk. I finished the yoke and took my time to get to the handles. I knew that this was going to be hard and I had one shot at the pick. This was one of the slowest picks I’ve had on these farmer’s handles. I think I accidentally had some of my right foot on the bottom of the one implement (shouldn’t be an issue with the implements at Nationals) so that might have added some additional resistance. The effort meant that if I dropped these, I wasn’t getting them back up. I was definitely moving slow. Video it looks like I was walking all over the place. About halfway through this run, I felt the handles settle lower in my hand. I heard someone yell don’t drop them. It was a weird sensation as all I could feel was weight in my hands, like no other awareness of my body. But I finished the course. I was just dead and after that (but still enough presence of mind to flip double middle fingers). Then on to sandbag rows. Same as last time, three sets of five up to a 5rm with up to 10lbs more than last time. I put on the copper sleeve for this and kept it on the rest of the day. Biceps still a bit tender so keeping an eye on it as I did these. These felt better compared to last time and I was using more weight on the two heavier sets. Not happy that the biceps is still tender but happy that the weight was feeling better. Husafel stone again. I guess I shouldn’t say again as there was a big change here as I was using a different husafel stone. The previous weekend, I had brought my BiggDoggStrongg husafel out my garage to the gym (this was pain to do in the morning by myself). The dimensions are closer to the competition one and it is chain loaded so the weight is at the bottom. I wanted to try and mimic contest conditions since no gloves or tape on forearms allowed. My only concern was if there was going to be enough chains to get to contest weight. If not, then I’d mess around with the thinner one with sharp edges. As luck would have it, there was enough chain to get with 30lbs of what I needed for the top set and there were enough tiny plates that would fit to reach the quota. Plan same as last time except I was to do the contest weight for two runs this time. Chalked up my forearms and hands and got to work. First set I did front carry style. I was expecting to but I picked it off the platform and it felt so comfortable that I just did it. Right biceps didn’t particular care for this style so I made sure to do staggered the next set. That went smoothly as well. I really didn’t know what to expect with this husafel stone so I was happy it felt comfortable. Then on to the top sets. I was planning for anything from dropping it right at the start to walking to the next county. My grip felt pretty secured on that first set. I just told myself that as long as I made two lengths on both sets, it would be a job well done. But I got a third and ended up almost halfway down for a fourth. I wasn’t expecting this after how the last two sessions have gone at this weight. Second best distance I’ve done with this weight. Any distance on the second set was going to be just gravy for total time and distance with the stone. Grinded out three lengths and dropped it on the turn. So good work here going into Nationals. Definitely some confidence restored. Last item of the day was a max distance sled drag. I had all these weights out from the farmer’s walk earlier so I just put those on minus a pair of 25lbs plates. This added 40lbs to the sled from last time. Don’t know what I was thinking but I got set and started the slow and steady set. Just kept telling myself to keep moving over and over until the timer went. Put away all the stuff I had out which took about 20 minutes before driving home to stretch and recover. One more hard week to go.

Friday, October 20, 2017

October 19, 2017 – Week 10, 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
95x8
135x5
185x3
225x2
275x1
315x3
315x3
315x3

12” Log Quarter Squats
180x3
230x3
270x3
320x3
360x3 (37.38 seconds hold on last rep)

Weighted Plank
BW+100x30 seconds
BW+100x30 seconds

Side Plank
BWx60/60 seconds

Stretching

Comments: This workout was going to be considered a light day on paper before adjustments made. Work stress and not getting as much sleep as I need. Need to take a moment to get back on track and relax. Warmed up on the AMT. Heart rate up to 155bpm. Calf raise work after that. Felt tight and I was worried it would be a tough day but the tightness didn’t mean the exercise was harder than usual. Still pretty easy. Box touches with both styles felt good. I had expected some hip aches but nothing today. On to squat therapy. Knees were achy but not as bad as I was expecting. Hip airplanes were ok. I felt like my balance at the start might be bad but no issues. Band rows and biceps stretch combo after that. Rows felt alright okay and stretch was pretty good for the arms and shoulders. Still dealing with the somewhat tender biceps. Constantly watching them. On to the weights. Plan for today was working up to 60% of what I feel I could do for a top single now for some speed triples. I figured I was good for three plates based off of the last session of heavy box squats. Did a few more reps warming up to make sure I was good and ready as I didn’t want to overdo it or not be sufficiently warm for the sets. Weight felt light but knees were achy. Not sure what that was all about. Did three sets with EOMOM style rest. Then on to a new one for this cycle; log quarter squats. I’ve done these in the past with both reps and holds but ROM had been greater as I was using the top of the tiered squat rack. Making adjustments to the log to emphasize push press and not have as deep of a dip to get lower body drive. Plan here to do sets of three up to a set about 25-50lbs over my best log press. I wasn’t sure how this would go as when I was messing around with just the empty log last week figuring out how to setup in the squat rack, that felt cumbersome and crushing. I did fairly big jumps on this exercise to get to the top weight. I don’t feel like I got the form to pick up the first rep on point until the second to last set. Setup was odd with the rack hole spacing as I had to stand on a plate to get what I felt was the right ROM. I put a second plate down so that my stance didn’t have to be so narrow. Top set was where things got interesting as I was to hold the last rep at the top for max time but not to exceed a minute. As going to be tough. It was tough at 5 seconds in. I felt I had succeeded when I got over 30 seconds. Upper body was convulsing and midsection was just violently quivering. Shoulders felt so sore after that set. On to abdominal work. Weighted planks followed by unweighted side planks. Kept the weight the same for the weighted planks with just the one heavy plate and tried to get the weight lower down on my back so that it was tougher. I think that worked this time. Weaker side with the side planks just wants to feel like it is going to cramp up but still good on those. Home to stretch and eat and hopefully sleep.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October 17, 2017 – Week 10, 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 (one clean)
90x5
120x3
150x1
175x1
200x1
225x1
250x1
275x1

Chest Supported Rows (1 second holds)
150x5
190x5
240x5
280x5
320x5

Bench Presses
45x10
95x3
135x3
170x2
205x2
245x2
280x2
320x2
Narrow Grip
2305x5

Band Triceps Pressdowns
SBx30
SBx30

Stretching

Comments: Wasn’t feel too beat from event work on Saturday other than my biceps feeling a little tender still. Day of training was a different story. Just felt aches in the old injury sights. Might be due to the weather changing from almost Summer conditions to cold enough the night before for frost to form. Just guessing really. Warmed up on the AMT. Topped out at 153bpm. Calf raise work after that. Felt alright, no real issues. Easier than it felt all last week. Box touches were alright as well. Some knee tenderness in the right knee but only on the first few reps of the regular style. I was expecting my hip to ache on the these but they didn’t so that was good. Knees ached a bit on the squat therapy but got better as the set went on. Just kept working the form until everything felt good. Hip airplanes were alright. Felt like my balance was a little off at the start but no issues with any of the reps. Band rows and biceps stretch after that. Rows were easy, trying to get the back ready for work to come. Biceps definitely needed the stretch. A set of push-ups to finish off the light stuff. Less effort required than Saturday so that is good. Much like Saturday’s workout, some changes made. Initially this was going to be work up to a top double on bench with supplemental work but determination was more log focus is needed for the show (will also show up in later workouts). So another week of log work. Plan being to work up to a very conservative 1rm on clean and push press. My jerk gets ugly over 250lbs and I get the log too far forward and end up pressing out anyways. So trying to see if push press does the trick. I did a few more reps than I have been doing to warm-up before taking the planned jumps in weight. Wanted to make sure the form was there today. I got a little lightheaded on the last rep with 120lbs so I lost my balance. Not sure what happened there but just got to shake it off and keep pushing forward. Also trying to be conscious of not over doing the initial dip for lower body drive as that is where I get the issue of the log going away from me ever so slightly. The cleans today were not the best. I think the heavy frame and stone of steel may have contributed to that. Perhaps I was pulling as hard into my body due to the biceps as well. I bobbled 250lbs on the dip and it went out in front of me a bit. I really didn’t want to end it there as that is not much more than my conservative strict press from this cycle. I knew if I got the form right with the next jump, it should go up easier. Clean felt harder but the press was cake (other than that crushing sensation on my chest). Hopefully that is something to consider a very conservative max (had to pump the breaks). Granted the most of purely push pressed this cycle on log (and all-time I guess) is 300lbs but I know I good for a lot more. On to static hold chest supported rows. 5rm for this time. Plate-quarter-plate jumps again as I wanted to try for 20lbs more than last time and to match contest weight for log. I was very cautious on the start of each set to make sure it didn’t bother the biceps. Didn’t want to tweak something this close. Thankfully, no issues. But man was that top weight hard to do the holds with. Toughest thing with this style of row. Then on to bench pressing. Warmed up before going for the set percentages for doubles. Not a max double like originally planned a decent weight. Moved pretty quick through these up until the second to last double. Felt a little slower than the rest so I made sure I had a spotter for the last set just in case. If everything was fine, I shouldn’t need one but better to be safe than sorry. First rep was a little slow but the second rep felt like a speed rep. So happy with that rep haha. Then took a plate off each side for the closer grip work. Controlled eccentric with a fast concentric. Finished up with band triceps. Had to rig something up as the power rack was in use so I did the barbell on top of the cable station setup again. These felt good after the other work. Home to stretch and eat.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

October 14, 2017 – Week 9, 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 (15”)
95x10
195x5
Frame (16”)
280x1
370x1
460x1
550x1
Added Straps
640x1
Frame (19”)
700x1
740x1
780x1

Stone of Steel Over Bar (57”)
138x1
176x1
201x1
225x1
247x1
265.5x1
284.5x1
355x5

Vehicle Push
2,693lbs + 1 person + 262lbs in trunkx225’7” in 75 seconds

Stretching

Comments: Another one of those workouts where I was both excited and nervous. More heavy frame deadlift and stone of steel on the agenda. Spirit willing but uncertain about the body holding up. Knees were aching like crazy during the previous workout this week. Body really just plain beat from that all-out effort on log press. Right biceps still tender from being stupid lazy with the sandbags from last weekend. I also had an interesting morning trying to load a husafel stone into my trunk by myself. I wore a copper infused (have no idea if that even does anything) compression sleeve on my right arm to keep it warm. Out to Lancaster for training. Warmed up on the rower. Didn’t realize until about a minute in that the timer wasn’t going (battery not working) so I had time from my watch haha. I may or may not have been distracted seeing George get the top of the yoke caught on the doorway taking it outside. Calf work was better than it had been the rest of this week. Box touches were pretty good. Squat therapy was good too. No knee aches but hips and lower back felt tight. Hip airplanes felt great too. Band rows and stretching followed. Arms pretty tight for the stretching, really needed to make sure the biceps were good to go. Set of push-ups to finish things up. More effort than I would have liked but it happens. Then frame deadlifts. Trap bar and the I-beam handles were in use so I had to make some changes. I used the other farmer’s walk handles with light bumper plates and the connectors. Back of the handles grip right from the start. Felt ok. Then had to wait a little bit to use the actual frame setup. Plan had been changed after last session. Originally the goal was a top single from the contest height. But I kind of did that last time and I’m still a ways off from contest weight. So adjustment made with the goal to start being up to 90% of my best and then have a little “fun” from there. Every lift felt slow and heavy working up. Felt like it was 50lbs heavier than it actually was. That last single from the floor might have been my last single for the day with how I was feeling. But the workout wasn’t done with the frame. Raised the frame up 3” more and then the goal here was a top single, aiming for 1-3 singles. With how heavy my last single from the contest height felt, I went for a lighter weight than I had been planning/ fantasizing. I went with 700lbs for that first single as I think that was the minimum I would accept without going home and crying myself to sleep haha. The extra height in the pull certainly had me trying to figure out how to get my position right and figuring out the slack in the straps. It felt stupid heavy but I knew that not everything was right and I probably had a little more in the tank. So I added weight to get it about 90% of contest weight. A bit slower but I felt like I had good power and felt fine at lockout. George said I looked like I was hesitating. I told him that I was just slow off the floor and that is my struggle. I wanted to try one more. I was thinking 30lbs but decided on another 40lbs jump so that I have the option to go for 800lbs next time if I got this single. Got everything tight (body, straps and belt) and pulled. A lot effort but it went up. This was the only set of the day where I felt everything clicked and was on point. I think if I felt like this from the start, 800lbs would have gone. Stone of steel after that. Same as last time with the working up in weight. No grip aids of any kind up to a decent single and then contest gear for the big heavy set. Right biceps I had to keep an eye on that so I wasn’t trying to go full bore as I was monitoring how things felt on every rep. I didn’t feel like making a big jump from last time with the “naked” lift so I had some in-between lifts. Brought my scale to weigh things as I didn’t know how these plate combinations would turnout. I definitely feel good for more without grip support so that is good. Then on to the top set. My choice of 10-25lbs more than last time and aiming for only a set of five. Of course, even with the biceps acting up, I was going heaviest option. Of course, getting really nervous and amped for that set. First rep dictates the set and my mental state. Felt heavy but doable and I was happy with how easy it went up and over. I knew I had the reps as long as I didn’t get an injury. Even with the sore and tight lower back. Took my time, no rush. This weight is a bear to roll back by myself as it really sinks into the crash mat. But it’s good for me. I got three reps in under a minute taking my time so that is good. Definitely was getting hard to get that extension with this weight. Last set I maybe didn’t get as strong as a grip picking in up off the ground as my one hand felt like it was going to slip but it didn’t. Again, happy with this. Put away all the weights and then home to push my car with weights in the trunk. I added more weights and I had more gas in the tank this time (it was almost empty last time). It had rained the night before and was still damp so there were spots where it was hard to gain purchase of the road with my shoes. I had the most issues with the start and at the end with about 15 seconds left. Still a good effort. Stretched out well and then out to dinner for good food with family and then home to take ibuprofen so my knees would shut up and get some sleep.

Friday, October 13, 2017

October 12, 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)
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
185x2
225x1
265x3
265x3
265x3

Crunches
BWx30

Leg Raises
BWx30

Stretching

Comments: Probably the least intense workout of the training cycle besides maybe the deload week stuff. I didn’t feel to beat up last time I did this workout but I certainly did this time. I put a lot into getting that log press last workout. Triceps beat from the session still. Right biceps still a little tender from trying to move that sandbag last weekend. Lower back tense and sore. Warmed up on the AMT. Heart rate up to 153bpm. Calf raise work after that. Tougher than last session. Box touches with both styles felt good. On to squat therapy. Pretty good on the knees. Felt though to get the upper back to stay in the best position but I expected it a little after the log press and row stuff. Hip airplanes were pretty good too on both sides. Band rows and biceps stretch followed. Trying to get the biceps to relax. Only exercise with weights for today was front squat box squats as has been the case past few trainings. 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. Not the best session. All my joints ached and everything felt heavy. Definitely caught myself lowering some reps too fast on warm-ups. Everything felt tight. Felt slow off the box with the heavier sets. Thankfully only three triples this time. Still doing EOMOM for the rest. 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.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October 10, 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

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 Press
Clean + Push Press + Jerk
110x1+1
140x1+1
170x1+1
200x1+1
230x1+1
Clean and Jerks
260x1
290x1
320x0
320x1 PR+10lbs
Clean and Jerks (one clean)
255x4

Chest Supported Rows
200x5
250x5
300x5
350x5
400x5 PR+20lbs

Band Resisted Push-ups
No Bands
BWx15
Add Bands & Chains
SB+11cx16
SB+11cx14
SB+11cx10

Band Triceps Pressdowns
SBx30
SBx30

Stretching

Comments: Event training on Saturday wrecked me. I slept until almost noon on Sunday and ended up going to bed before 10 without dinner. Very happy that I had Monday off to readjust to normal hours again haha. Lower back was tight and knees ached. New bruises as well. Felt stressed all day, not sure if work or just thinking about going for a heavy log press max. Warmed up on the AMT. Heart rate peaked at 159bpm. Trying to get my strides per minute up. Calf raise work after that. Best these have felt in a while. Box touches felt good both styles. Some hip joint ache on the regular style, nothing on the wide. Squat therapy went well. No knee aches here. Hip air planes were also good. No real balance issues. Band rows felt good. Biceps were still feeling the effort from the sandbag rows so made sure I got a good stretch. Push-ups to finish off the stuff before the weights. Tougher than they felt on Saturday but still ok. On to log work. Plan for this workout being to work up to a top single. Still not certain if push press or jerk. So plan was to do both for a bit and then go with the one that felt best today. 30lbs jumps between sets so I had to pick what I wanted to hit at the end of the session and go backwards from there. The contingency on the two part overhead was up to 250lbs. I was debating on going for just 5lbs or 10lbs. I eventually went for 10lbs to try for 320lbs as the top set as the numbers worked out better overall. Honestly, both styles felt good and I only went with jerks after that point with it feeling slightly faster. I put on belt and other support gear earlier than I usually would to make sure I got used to the breathing and seeing how it affecting my lift. 290lbs felt hard but didn’t look that bad on video. I could always just go for 315lbs. But I’m stubborn so I just went for 320lbs. Clean felt good but I missed the press. I was actually surprised that I missed it with how it felt on my shoulders. My body just doesn’t want to cooperate. I sat down for a while after that attempt and contemplated everything. If I should still go to Nationals, if I should keep doing strongman. A lot of effort into that missed attempt. I was sweating profusely (arms, face, legs) and had to wipe it off. But stubbornness prevailed. I decided, hey, that didn’t feel so heavy on the chest and I already got a miss out of the way so no worries. Probably not a smart decision but I went with it. Clean felt just as good but this time the weight didn’t come crashing back down. Barely got the lift. Left side was locked out, right side soft lockout. If it was a contest, I wouldn’t give it to myself. I was so fatigued mentally that I didn’t even show any excitement getting the lift. I was mostly disgusted (and light heated, had to grab the nearby power rack to recover). I don’t think I will be happy with it until I get it clean. Almost like a spotter on bench touching it. But it is great that I’ve hit a lifetime PR on log after dealing with this injury but I still have a long way to go. Down set with 80% of that single. This sucked. Plan was 3-5 reps. I had nothing left. I’m notoriously terrible at reps from the chest on log. I don’t even know if these were jerks or just me trying to walk under the log with some heaving involved. Just dead. Managed four ugly, ugly reps. Couldn’t be happier moving on to chest supported rows. It was already going to be a late night and I had already decided I was just getting burritos for dinner. Continuing with the theme of working up over five sets to a top set. This session being a 5rm. I wanted 400lbs and I was going to get it. 50lbs jumps so the math was easy. Still watching the biceps and no issues there. Good, explosive reps up to 350lbs. Slowed down a bit there. Then Band push-ups after that. Forgot the average band so I had to jump right into the heavy stuff after a light refresher set of regular push-ups. This time three max rep sets. Strong band plus a chain around my neck. Chain kept ringing in my ears but good effort here. Just obliterated my chest. Ended the day with band pressdowns. Finally figured out how to do these without the excess band hitting me in the junk. Not saying I deserved a MacArthur Genius Grant for it but I’d welcome it haha. Both sets were good. I was beat and don’t want to think about lifting for a while. Home to stretch and eat recovery burritos.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

October 7, 2017 – Week 8, 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/I-Beam Farmer’s Walk Medleys
y-300x100’ in 10.79 seconds
500x30’/122x30’ in 11.26 seconds
600x30’/200x30’ in 12.28 seconds
700x30’/260x30’ in 14.57 seconds
y-750xpick
800x60’/320x60’ in 31.30 seconds

Sandbag Rows
150x5
200x5
275x6 PR+10lbs

H-Stone Carry (off platform)
Turns at 30’
303x60’
353x60’
Turns at 60’
403x166’10”

Sled Drags
405x192’4” in 75 seconds

Stretching

Comments: Definitely feeling the heavy box squats and lack of sleep upon waking. Work stress with current and future demands leaving little time to think when not at home. Lots of things to get thru today so no time to waste. Out to Lancaster to training event work. Apparently cool enough at the gym that they didn’t have the big industrial fan on. Meant I was going to be a sweaty mess so good thing I packed a towel and three shirts. George Pearson was there training for Master’s World’s Strongest Man in December. Haven’t seen him since May 2015 at the Kumite show. Warmed up on the rower. Felt pretty easy at the start but then got back to normal difficulty about halfway thru haha. Calf work was okay and the box touches for both styles were good. Squat therapy I was little achy but still pretty good. Hip airplanes were pretty good as well. Band rows and stretching followed. Easy one rows. Biceps were really tight so this was good on the stretch. Set of push-ups to finish things up. Felt pretty easy this time. Upper back on the left side was feeling sore and tight. A little worried with how heavy event work would feel. Medley work for Nationals with yoke and farmer’s walks. As I found out last week after weighing the implements, I found the farmer’s walk handles were 2.5lbs lighter than I thought they were and the yoke was 3lbs more than the lightest I thought it was. So I had to make some adjustments. The first set warm-up stayed the same. Fastest I’ve done it so far so that was good sign. No issues with the upper back but goodness was my lower body feeling like someone took a hammer to it. Lower back and hips were feeling it haha. Then setup half distance course again with both implements. Weight increased by 100lbs on the yoke compared to the last two times while farmer’s stayed about the same. I felt pretty good on the speed with the yoke despite the jump in weight. Times were at most a second slower compared to last time but again, yoke much heavier on each warm-up set. The second to last set of farmer’s walk, I rushed the setup as I gripped on handle in the middle while the other was towards the back. Felt weird but I powered thru it. Before the last set, another change made. Pick with a weight in-between the previous set and last set. It felt heavy. I was a little worried going into this last set. Brian I think said something about this is big time weights and I said something like I have to do it first. George then said that there should be no doubt and just do it. Helped me get my head on straight. Pick with 800lbs felt better than the previous weight and I felt I was movng pretty well until about halfway. Better transition into the farmer’s walk handles. These were a bear to pick up. Those handles rotating in my hands just suck. Much like yoke, once I was up and moving it was going well but again, I slowed down about halfway as I was trying to keep my grip secure. But I finished with no drops. About 3 seconds slower compared to last time but still good. I was pretty wiped from that but I still had a lot to go through still. Sandbag rows after that. Slight change in that the warm-ups to the top set were all sets of five so I could go a little heavier on those sets. The sandbags were all in a pile and the one I wanted for the first set was near the back. I tried to pull it out but that ended up being more of a hassle and my right biceps started to not like that. So I ended up being a little tentative with my reps on those first two sets. Last set, I wanted to go for another big increase. Compared to last time, just felt heavy and awkward. I should have re-read my training plan for today as I was only supposed to do five but did six. I’ll make sure I go for just five next time. Soft belt popped off one of the straps mid-set. And that was going to end up being a theme the rest of the day. Husafel stone again. A fairly big change on this one. Previously all sets were for max distance. This time, the two work up set were just for 60’ with turns at 30’ and only the last set being a max distance run. Working on the peak at this point. Hopefully a changeup that will lead to further improvements. I had gotten some more clarification on the husafel carry for Nats in that no grip aids (gloves, sleeves or tape) will be allowed as it is rubberized. Brian also had a chance to try one with very little weight in it and he said that my staggered grip might not work with how the lead shot shifts. I’ve trained with lead shot loaded husafel before so I don’t think it will be a factor but I figured it would be worth a shot to try this stuff out now rather than day of. Husafel came out 3lbs more than I had been using but it wasn’t worth it trying to get the exact weight so just did it with the extra 3lbs as I have been doing this whole cycle. First set I did front carry style. Yeah, that sucked. I was slow and felt like it was going to drop the entire time. Looking at the video, I probably should have bumped it up my body more so that I could a get a better grip. The next set, I went back to my stagger style grip. This thing is still pretty slick so I still moved much quicker compared to the previous set I didn’t feel as secured as I usually do. For the last set, I wrapped up with tape on the forearms and gloves. They won’t be allowed at the show but to get the most out of training on this one, I feel they are necessary. I’m certain I will get a pretty good grip with the rubber coating and chalk. Tape also keeps the bruising down on my forearm that gets painful. I felt like everything would go well for this last set but it did not. I was moving well but I felt my grip on my bottom hand already feeling compromised before I made it down one length. Well short of my best and even of my worst this training cycle. My forearms and grip had been feeling good after the deep tissue massage earlier this week. Felt disgusted with it but no time to dwell on it. Needed to finish up the session. Last item of the day was a max distance sled drag. I could’ve kept the weight the same as last time and just tried to get more distance but I wanted to do more weight. A lot more. Maybe I was pissed off about the husafel set. Added 40lbs to the sled and got set. Started slow and I worried I had made a mistake. But I kept going. Kept telling myself to keep the feet moving. There were several times where I was concerned with hitting a divot in the road made by either dropping the husafel or farmer’s walk handles. But I pushed on and got a better distance than last time with the increased weight. It ended up being like another exercise putting away all the equipment I had out. Decided I’d rather go home to stretch than stay at the gym. Stretched and then again had to cool off with an ice back on my neck. Really need to refuel and get some good, quality sleep this weekend.

Friday, October 6, 2017

October 5, 2017 – Week 8, 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
95x2
145x2
195x2
245x2
295x2
345x2
395x2
445x2
495x2

Weighted Plank
BW+100x30 seconds
BW+155x30 seconds

Side Plank
BWx60/60 seconds

Stretching

Comments: Not much to this workout as the focus remains on the heavy pressing work on Day 1 and event stuff Day 3. But still putting full effort into everything. Warmed up on the AMT. Heart rate 146bpm so that was good. Calf raise work after that. Some difference between the two sides but not a drastic issue. Box touches with both styles felt good. Good stretch in hamstrings. On to squat therapy. Knees were achy but not as bad as I was expecting. Hip airplanes were good. Good for the hips and back. Band rows and biceps stretch combo after that. Rows felt alright okay and stretch was pretty good for the arms and shoulders. On to the weights. Plan for today was to work up to a conservative top double on box squat, going up in sets of two. I think I’m getting used to box/regular squatting again. For some reason, I felt I had a big lift in me (compared to what I’ve been doing) even though this was just one rep less than last time. I made jumps in 50lbs so that I would have a good margin of error if things went sideways as I warmed up and could adjust the top set. When I first had thought of this workout, I was planning on doing plate-quarter-plate jumps up to four plates and then doing 40lbs jumps. Knees felt better as I went up in weight. I had some concerns with the lower weights. Camera was saying I was moving fairly well on the bar speed even as the weight kept climbing. Weight was feeling heavy on the second to last set. I felt like I almost stumbled walking the weight out. Was debating on going for that last jump up to five plates. Watched the video of the last set a twice and felt that I had this. Not backing out of it now so another 50lbs on the bar. Took a bit for me to get my mind right and calm my breathing down so I wasn’t burping. Walkout felt better this set and I got one rep pretty good and then went for the second. A little tougher at the midpoint but still solid. Probably had another rep there. Happy to get this one what is basically the last heavy squat workout this cycle. Hoping this carries over to my deadlift off the floor. Left side of lower back was a little tender after that set but felt alright. On to abdominal work. Weighted planks followed by unweighted side planks. Plan had been to do the same as I’ve done the last two workouts. First set was good and pretty easy, I just was sweaty. Second set had a hiccup as the kettlebell fell off my back. Didn’t want to chance that so I just had about the same weight in bumper plates added. Side planks I felt like my abs would cramp up. But held strong. Home to stretch and eat. Need to make sure I’m rested for the next workout.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October 3, 2017 – Week 8, 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

Bench Presses
45x10
95x3
145x3
185x3
225x3
265x3
305x3
345x3
Narrow Grip
285x5

Chest Supported Rows (1 second holds)
100x6
150x6
200x6
250x6
300x6

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
15’sx15
35’sx8
45’sx8
55’sx8
65’sx8
75’sx8
85’sx8

Band Triceps Pressdowns
SBx30
SBx30

Stretching

Comments: Body had been tense after Saturday’s workout. Luckily I had a deep tissue massage scheduled for Monday. Definitely needed it. Crazy to think that I’m using hundreds of pounds more compared to last cycle for just about every lift week in and week out. Forearms, neck and the muscles around my knee and shoulder joints needed it. Almost feels like a workout after a session. So I felt pretty good going into this workout. Warmed up on the AMT. Topped out at 153bpm. Calf raise work after that. Felt alright, no real issues. Just harder on the strong side. That side was apparently much tighter than my left side in the hamstrings. Box touches were alright as well. Some knee tenderness but I think that is less from joint ache and more from the bruise on my right knee from trying to “pinch” the stone of steel on that one attempt at shortchanging the pick and lap. Knees ached a bit on the squat therapy but that is kind of expected this first session of the week. Hip airplanes were good. They felt good on the hips as they have been this cycle. Band rows and biceps stretch after that. Stretch still feeling good and band rows felt easy. A set of push-ups to finish off the light stuff. More effort than I would like but still good. Started things off with bench press. Working up in sets of three to a 3rm. I had an idea of what I wanted to hit on this but it would come down to how I felt after the second to last set. The first reps on some sets felt a little off but then subsequent reps were good. Chest did feel a little tight from the massage but no issues. Second to last set of triples felt a little heavy but the bar speed was great so I went with my optimistic jump for the last set. I figured this weight was doable with how the reps with three plates went last time. First rep was a little tough but the second rep was much better. I ended up misgrooving the third rep and pushing too much toward my face too early. This ended up being an ugly rep that I had to maneuver around the pins to get back in the rack. I was not missing this rep. I had thought this was my old 5rm but looking at my records, this appears to have matched my 3rm. Granted there is only 5lbs difference between those two benchmarks, this is a good sign and was unexpected. Then moved the grip in for the last set. I didn’t respect the weight on that first rep as when I unracked the bar, it felt really heavy and it was more of a controlled drop than a conscious descent haha. Those were some tough reps but got the five and was ready to move on to the next exercise. On to static hold chest supported rows. 6rm for this time. Just went with 50lbs jumps on this to what I knew would be a hard top set. I took pretty short rests on these up until the last two sets when the weight got pretty serious. While this is my lighter and stricter day with the pauses/holds, still no less tough. Those holds are a bear as the weight definitely wants to pull me forward. Body feels like a furnace after the top two sets. A bit of change in the next exercise. Focus being on the peaking of my log for Nats so no circus dumbbell pressing for now. Old exercise from my first training cycle; seated dumbbell presses. Plan was to do a light warm-up and then do 4-5 sets up to a medium difficulty set of eight. I was aiming for more sets and reps for this session. I based off what I thought I’d be able to do with enough ease off what I hit that first training cycle. I treated every set like it was a heavy lift by just cleaning on dumbbell to the shoulders at a time. Left shoulder was certainly the more achy one on these but no pain. My expected top set was too easy so I ended up having to do another one. I wasn’t expecting that, otherwise I would have brought my dumbbell collars as the pair of 85lbs is mismatched (one is loose plates with thick handle and the other is longer with hex style bells). That was still pretty good and well within the level of effort for this set. Definitely have to rethink what I will use for next time. Finished up with band triceps. Had to rig something up as the power rack was in use. There was a barbell on top of the cable towers so I used that. I thought it would maybe roll around but it stayed put. Felt pretty good. Home to stretch and eat.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

September 30, 2017 – Week 7, 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
Trap Bar (16”)
80x11 (miscounted)
170x5
Frame
260x2
350x2
440x2
530x2
Added Straps
620x2
710x1
660x2

Stone of Steel Over Bar (57”)
138x1
176x1
201x1
225x1
249x1
275.5x1
326x8

Prowler Pushes
555x112’6” in 50 seconds
465x170’7” in 75 seconds

Stretching

Comments: I was kind of looking forward to and also somewhat dreading this workout. Heavy frame deadlift and stone of steel on the agenda. Work had been fast paced all week and dealing with odd stuff. The night before, ended up eating four entrees at dinner and pretty much was ready for bed immediately. I felt rested getting up and hoped this would mean good things. Out to Lancaster for training. Windy and felt like Fall in the northeast today. Very big contrast from the blazing heat last week. The two extra shirts felt unnecessary today. Warmed up on the rower. Felt nice, smooth and rhythmic. Calf work was better than it had been the rest of this week as well as last week. Box touches were pretty good. Squat therapy was good too. Hip airplanes felt great. Just what I needed. Band rows and stretching followed. Easy for the back on rows. Arms pretty tight for the stretching. Set of push-ups to finish things up. Still require effort but it is quite the difference from when I first started this training cycle. First item of the day was frame deadlift. Plan being a top set of double but not a max. I weighed a lot of the equipment to make sure the numbers I was doing were close/right. Turns out the I-beam handles were lighter than I had thought they were by a little bit. Warmed up with an elevated trap bar for higher reps. I miscounted the first set and did an extra rep. Knee wasn’t acting weird like last time so that was good. Started with the empty frame after the trap bar stuff. Well not completely empty as I had to add a little bit to get it back to the weight I thought I had been using last time. Every set I gripped the back of the handles. Working up it didn’t feel so bad. I definitely had to play around the figure 8 straps get them to be the right position for me to pull. Hand is forced to be in the handle more gripped in the back versus the front. After the first set with the straps, I knew the next jump was going to be tough. I’d missed 5lbs less two weeks ago getting a single lift. Still 110lbs under contest weight. I spent go bit of time pacing and trying to talk myself up that I was going to get it. Deadlifting still a pain for me. I strapped in and gave it everything. With the way the first rep went up, I thought a tough double was there. But no, it was pretty much stuck after that. I was already off road as far as the plan with that stunt so I figured I’d get more lost and take some weight off to get my double. Didn’t feel right leaving it at 620lbs. Didn’t really rest, just however long it took me to take weights off and put them away. Definitely noticed this being tough. Felt my soul wanting to leave my body on the second rep. I rationalized with myself that I would be getting a 90 minute deep tissue massage after work on Monday to help with recovery. I really do hate being so far behind on this lift. Granted this is the most I’ve lifted off the ground since my injury. Nationals weight was a high bar even when I was healthy for me. Shooting for the moon as it were. Took a bit of time putting away all the weights. Hoped it would give a chance for my back to cooldown a bit from the effort I put on it. Then on to the stone of steel. Goal for the session was similar to last time. Work up to a comfortable single without any grip aids with more than last time to start and then do a top set of 5-10 reps with contest gear. No issues with the forearm feeling pressure so that is a good sign. I just did somewhat small jumps with weight combinations that I knew. I did the same weights I did for the first week plus the working weight from that week for an easy single. A bit more than I probably was supposed to with the weight increase from last time but it felt easy. I loaded up the stone of steel for my working set and that was when I got nervous. The nerves seem to help with this event it seems. My training partner got this weight for three doubles last week so I knew I had to put the work in. That first one gives me an idea of what I’m in for. Really, I wanted to beat the reps I got last time with this weight as I felt that I stopped early due to the thing spinning in my forearms. First rep definitely felt heavy. Not baby weight here. I took a somewhat slow and measured pace and got four before I had a mistake. I didn’t go high enough with my fifth attempt and I hit the crossbar and I stubbornly didn’t want to lose the lift and pushed forward. Of course the yoke wasn’t weighed down so I just kept shoving it away. Took a bit to get my focus back and commit. Big breathes between reps. I got two more reps before I tried to short change the pick on one and it went back down to the ground. I recovered and managed to get two more reps before I had enough. Good performance and work put in here. Kind of helped alleviate some of the sting from my deadlifting woes. Last item for the day was a max distance for time effort. I was debating going home to use my car loaded up with weights again but figured I should just load up a prowler and do that. The tricky thing was trying to figure out how much weight to use to hit the goal of working the entire 75 seconds. I went too heavy on my first set. Hit a rough patch and the thing wouldn’t move anymore. 25 seconds short. Not good enough. So I reset the course and took 90lbs off to try it again. Success this time but man does this get tough. Stretched and then headed home to rest and recoup. Six weeks until show time.

Friday, September 29, 2017

September 28, 2017 – Week 7, 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
195x1
245x3
245x3
245x3
245x3
245x3

Crunches
BWx30

Leg Raises
BWx30

One Arm Barbell Holds
(L)185x48.80 PR+3.55 seconds
(R)185x45.24 PR+4.71 seconds
(L)185x48.12
(R)185x31.78

Stretching

Comments: One of the easier sessions this cycle as the march towards Nationals continues. I was expecting to feel more beat up coming into this workout but feeling pretty good. Warmed up on the AMT. Heart rate got up to just 146bpm. Definitely one of the lower readings I’ve had. Calf raise work after that. Not as stiff in the hips and legs but definitely tough on my “strong side” this time. Easy with both legs and my “weak side”. Box touches with both styles felt good. Wide stance style I felt like I was anticipating the aching feeling I sometimes get in the left hip but it never materialized. On to squat therapy. Pretty good on the knees. Still adjusting my stance slightly during the set to get it to feel just right for my knees. I think trying to treat it like the actual box at the gym in Lancaster is helping a lot. Hip airplanes were pretty good too on both sides. Got close to losing my balance on the very last rep but kept stable. Band rows and biceps stretch followed. Upper back felt a little tight but had loosened up a good deal before even getting to these. I got into an angle from the stretch that allowed me to get a stretch into my forearms which I think helped there too. Weights next. Front squat box squats as has been the case past few trainings. Still working on theoretical maxes on how I feel on the day. But hard to tell really until I’m warmed up and if I’m in to it. I can feel like absolute crap and still for no reason actually be strong on a movement or lift. So for ease of things, 20lbs more from last time for five triples. Jumps up to that weight by quarters. The larger number of plates to get to this weight probably made the weight a little tougher than if I had used less plates to get to the weight. But I felt it was a good training. I will say that every time I unracked the weight, I kept thinking about that guy from three weeks back that had to go to the hospital after going for a max front squat (he ended up fully tearing 3 out of 4 muscles in the quad and needed stuff reattached). Just something that gives you pause. No muscle issues (despite the bruising from husafel stuff still) but knees can sometimes be achy. Definitely felt tougher than last time with less weight. I feel like the last set was the best as I think I finally realized I should be bracing even harder and my core stability felt better on that set. Light ab work (felt really good this time) and then home to finish up grip stuff in my garage. I had a slight break in training as my 2.5yr old nephew video called me and wanted to let me know he had a T-rex on his shirt and that he was going to be Batman for Halloween. Good to know. Used the same weight as last time for the barbell holds with the plan being two sets a side. I switched to having my left side go first after last time with it being much weaker from the previous session. I was worried that the husafel stone stuff with all the pressure on my left forearm from holding it was causing issues to the muscles in my arm and hands. No messing around today. I managed to improve my top set time with both hands. Forearms were cramping and fingers were forming “the claw”. Almost matched my time on the second set with the left (I was taking my time with the rest sets) but was far short on my second set with the right side. Maybe I had a bad grip on that one but still got some good work in here. Finished up with stretching and ate pot roast.