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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:53 pm 
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Gorilla
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Location: O.C. California
Thanks dude. Not too happy with my squatting performance as of late. Thought I had my form down but I still seem to lose it a little on the heavy sets. I also noticed a grinding noise in my right knee over the weekend when showing my wife how to squat full depth. It was only a bodyweight squat, and the grinding occurs only when I'm at the very bottom of a deep squat - past parallel. I need to make an appointment to see my doctor for a yearly checkup anyway, I'll ask about it.

With the hams, I thought it was just DOMS, but they felt more like I had cramped both of them (the right one more severely) as they were super tight and difficult and painful to stretch out. They're both back to normal now - I'll take it a little easier with the hamstring assistance exercises to make sure I don't overdo it again.

5/3/1 Cycle 2 Week 1

I only have 3 gym days this week due to the holiday, so I combined OHP and Deadlift today.

jump rope and mobility drills

OHP
5@80#
5@90
5@100
5@115
5@130
8@145

Deadlift
5@175 hook
5@215 hook
5@255 hook
5@290 hook
5@335 hook
7@380 switch

Pullups - 5xmax effort, 90 seconds rest
10, 7, 6, 5, 4

Called it a day after this. I gave a little bump on the last rep of OHP from my toes to get it started. The bar shifted out a bit in front of me and I had to reposition myself to get under the bar and push it up. Might have had another rep if not for that, but happy with 8 anyway. Forgot my chalk today for the deadlift. After rep 6 the bar was in my fingers so I could only pull out one more before my grip gave way. Definitely could have done at least one more if I had the chalk. Pullups are getting better each week. Maybe I can hit 11 on the first set next week.

Bodyweight was a little low today according to the gym scale - down a couple # from where it was a month ago.

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vegan_rossco, the ghost hunter wrote:
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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:18 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Location: Waukesha, WI
Sometimes knee clicks and pops are just a fact of life, hopefully that's the case. My knees sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies when I squat (no damage that has ever been found, no real injuries to them, they're just noisy as hell), so that may just be the way things are for you as well if you haven't had any injuries to them, but it never hurts to get checked out just to be safe.

As a suggestion for getting heavy squat confidence as something to try when you're in between programs down the line, don't underestimate the power of heavy half squats as well as paused rock-bottom squats for working through weak points. I credit both with getting my to 500+ back in my prime - the overloaded 1/2 to 1/4 squats built great lockout power and gave much more confidence when using normal weights, and the rock-bottom paused squats made sure that I had built good explosive power out of the hole. Spend 3-5 seconds down there with the bar just an inch above the pins in case you can't get back up for any reason, heavy singles, doubles and triples can work wonders!

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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:48 pm 
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Gorilla
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Location: O.C. California
Thanks much for the insight, VE! My knees otherwise feel fine and the only injury I've ever had was to my left knee when I was a kid and ran into something that left a nice scar below my knee cap. Over the past 2.5 years since I've started lifting again I haven't really had any pain or trouble with my knees outside of a little soreness between workouts when I tried going with a wide stance for a couple weeks and my knees weren't tracking properly. I guess the "grinding" does actually sound a bit like rice krispies!

At some point I will have to try the overloaded partials. I could use a bit of confidence when I get up to max weight on the bar.

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Mini Forklift Ⓥ wrote:
That's 200 solid ass-pounds! Good work buddy.
vegan_rossco, the ghost hunter wrote:
I can see how some people might mistake this as paranormal when really its just an example of your brain being an asshole


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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:51 pm 
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Gorilla
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Location: O.C. California
5/3/1 Cycle 2 Week 1

jump rope, pullups, shoulder dislocations, squat-2-stands

Bench
5@95#
5@120
5@140
5@160
5@180
6@205

DB Rows
5x10@85#

Pullups, Pyramid
1, 10 secs rest, 2, 20 s rest, 3, 30 s rest, 4, 40 s rest, 4

Not a lot of energy today. I might have been able to get another on the bench, but rep 6 was tough and I didn't have a spotter. Rows sucked, barely able to get 10 reps on each set. Pullups were worse than last week's pyramid, although last week I didn't do the pyramid after DB rows!

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My strength log
Mini Forklift Ⓥ wrote:
That's 200 solid ass-pounds! Good work buddy.
vegan_rossco, the ghost hunter wrote:
I can see how some people might mistake this as paranormal when really its just an example of your brain being an asshole


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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:12 pm 
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Gorilla
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 1:13 pm
Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
5/3/1 Cycle 2 Week 1

jump rope, pullups, mobility drills

Squats
5@45#
5@145
5@175
5@205
5@235
5@270
5@305
superset with Pullups, rotating sets through wide, normal, supinated grips, 60 secs rest between sets
9x4
That was a bad idea.

Good morning
2x10@135#

Was really short on time so I decided to superset the squats with the pullups. In retrospect, I shouldn't have done so because with the 60 seconds rest between pullups sets my HR was a bit high on the heavier squat sets and I had trouble getting in the groove. The set at 270 was a lot harder than it normally would be, so I decided to finish the rest of the pullups and then give myself a few minutes before the final set. The damage was done though, and I was not in top form for the 305# set. Managed to get 5 at parallel, didn't have anything left in the tank.

In the 5/3/1 book Wendler says not to mess with the main lift, and I broke the rule. The squats (that I only do once a week) are much more important than the pullups I do 4 times a week. I should have focused on the squats and then supersetted pullups with the good mornings and to hell with it if I didn't finish the 9 sets. Oh well, live and learn.

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Mini Forklift Ⓥ wrote:
That's 200 solid ass-pounds! Good work buddy.
vegan_rossco, the ghost hunter wrote:
I can see how some people might mistake this as paranormal when really its just an example of your brain being an asshole


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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:23 pm 
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Gorilla
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 1:13 pm
Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
Monday - 5/3/1 Cycle 2 Week 2

brief warmup

OHP
5@70#
5@85
5@100
3@120
3@140
5@155

Pullups, 5 sets max effort, 90 seconds rest
11, 6, 6, 6, 6

Didn't have much time in the gym today, so cut my warmup short and dropped all the rest of the assistance. Everything felt good, my goal was to hit 5 reps on the heavy set, which I did. I noticed my left side lagging a bit on the final press, but I was able to complete the rep.

Today - 5/3/1 Cycle 2 Week 2

jump rope and pullups (only 2 of them, though), mobility drills

Deadlift
5@175# hook
5@215 hook
5@265 hook
3@315 hook
3@360 hook
6@405 switch, chalk

Pullups, pyramid starting at 1, #reps x 10 seconds rest between sets, until failure
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 4 (failure), 4

Hanging leg raise
3, 2, 2, 1, 4 knee raise

Back raise
5x10

Deadlifts felt great today. Had a killer headache going in - jump rope was NOT fun. Started to subside a bit while deadlifting, dissipated completely by the end of the hanging leg raise. Only planned to hit 5 reps on the heavy set, but felt great so I went for another and got it without much fuss.

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Mini Forklift Ⓥ wrote:
That's 200 solid ass-pounds! Good work buddy.
vegan_rossco, the ghost hunter wrote:
I can see how some people might mistake this as paranormal when really its just an example of your brain being an asshole


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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:34 am 
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Batman
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Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 6:15 am
Posts: 1493
Location: Isle of Wight, England
Aw man, reading this makes me miss 5/3/1 haha.
"Sometimes knee clicks and pops are just a fact of life, hopefully that's the case. My knees sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies when I squat (no damage that has ever been found, no real injuries to them, they're just noisy as hell), so that may just be the way things are for you as well if you haven't had any injuries to them, but it never hurts to get checked out just to be safe." Agreed, my feet/ankles sound the a bowl of rice crispies when I walk down the stairs hahaha

Anyway How's is everything your side of the water mate?

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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:38 am 
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VBB Moderator Powerlifter & Ultrarunner
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand.
Good work in continuing with the training, headaches are a real killer. Good for you man.

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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:10 pm 
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Gorilla
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 1:13 pm
Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
Hey guys - thanks for stopping by. Everything's great here, other than a somewhat high relative humidity lately (high for southern California, definitely not the worst I've experienced) and no air conditioning in my car or at work. I've ordered an air conditioner to be installed in my office window next week, which I am very munch looking forward to!

5/3/1 Cycle 2 Week 2

Bench
5@45#
5@95
5@120
5@140
3@170
3@195
5@220 (was actually 6 reps but my spotter was giving a bit too much help so I'm calling it at 5)

DB Rows, 60 seconds rest between sets, 120 seconds before last set
4x10@85#, 20@85#

Pullups, rotating sets through normal, wide, supinated grips, 60 seconds rest between sets
9x4

Dips, 60 seconds rest between sets, 120 seconds before last set
10, 10, 10, 10, 9

Had a pretty good session today. My bench spotter was giving assist starting on rep 3, even though I didn't call for it nor need it. I know I could have bagged 5 reps without trouble and was going to go for 6 depending on how I felt. Oh well. The relatively easy bench lifts probably kept me fresher on the assistance. I hit my DB row goal easily. The last wave of normal and wide grip pullups were tough, I had to pause (dead hang) before the last rep both times. Almost made the 5x10 dips. Made it halfway up on rep 10 on the last set. I'd say next week for sure but next week is a heavy week - going for 5@230# on bench, and by the time I get to dips I'll probably be spent.

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Mini Forklift Ⓥ wrote:
That's 200 solid ass-pounds! Good work buddy.
vegan_rossco, the ghost hunter wrote:
I can see how some people might mistake this as paranormal when really its just an example of your brain being an asshole


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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:19 pm 
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VBB Moderator Powerlifter & Ultrarunner
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Posts: 3840
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand.
Thanks for the message, I was actually thinking of moving some of those threads into a new section. I need to have a play around and see if I can get something set up. Thanks for the suggestion.

Good training too, did you do 9 sets of pullups ?!

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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:40 pm 
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Gorilla
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Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
Cool, thanks. Yeah I did 9 sets of pullups. That's the number of sets I will be doing every Thursday, the reps per set will increase over time. I did a lot more today! :)

5/3/1 Cycle 2 Week 2

standard warmup

Squat
5@45#
5@135
5@185
5@215
3@250
3@285
5@320

Good morning
5x10@135#
superset with
Pullups, rotating sets through normal, wide, supinated grips, 60 seconds rest
14x4, 1x5

Hanging Leg/knee raise
0/4, 3/0, 2/1, 1/3, 0/3
(except for the first set, I did leg raise to failure and then knee raise)

Not happy about my squatting. The first rep on the heavy set was slightly above parallel, the rest were to parallel but felt awful. Paused for a few seconds before each of the last two reps. More on squatting after the recap. Went 3 sets more on pullups than usual for a Friday, just for the hell of it. By the time I got to hanging raises I was pretty much done. I think I'm doing them wrong. I'll have to check some youtube videos and see if I can fix them.

I recently bought a copy of Rippetoe's Starting Strength book (the latest edition). It reads like a textbook so it's slow going. I'm still on the squat chapter (Ch. 2) and there is a lot of information in there. I did a bit of analysis of my own squatting and realized that my technique has gotten worse and gone to shit on the heavy sets. I've been lax in consciously maintaining my form, assuming that I had it down to where my body would automatically set up correctly. I was wrong. A lot of what he discusses in the book I have heard read time and time again and tried to put into action, but for whatever reason it doesn't stick. It's worse on 5/3/1 as I'm only squatting once a week so any corrections I try to make are harder to enforce consecutively.

The solution: I'm going to squat twice a week, but most of the volume will be at 50% max. I may or may not continue to do heavy sets on Fridays for the time being, probably not until I am confident that I've got a decent form again. With the lighter weights and volume, it should be easier to work on my technique and hopefully get some of this stuff to stick.

I'd love to get a coach to help me out, but due to my current workout limitations (I can only lift on my lunchbreaks at work - I have no free time otherwise and can't afford to get a separate gym membership just for an hour or two on the weekend) I'm somewhat stuck in that regard. I lift in a general college gym. The athletes have their own gym, so I lift with the bench bros and curl dudes. In the 2.5 years I've been lifting there, I've only seen 2 people squat correctly, and I never see them anymore. There are personal trainers available, but I've never seen any of them have someone in the squat rack so I am reluctant to even bother with them. So for the near future I will be doing my best to fix myself. I wanted to go for a 395# squat at the end of August, but that doesn't seem like a good idea anymore.

Back to squat school!

_________________
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My strength log
Mini Forklift Ⓥ wrote:
That's 200 solid ass-pounds! Good work buddy.
vegan_rossco, the ghost hunter wrote:
I can see how some people might mistake this as paranormal when really its just an example of your brain being an asshole


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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:23 pm 
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Gorilla
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 1:13 pm
Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
Aaahh, it's been a bit, but I've still been in the gym. Recap:

Monday 7/15
OHP
4@165# +2 push press
Pullups
12, 7, 6, 6, 6
DB Press
2x10@45#, 2x10@40#, 1x10@35# very hard to finish these

Tuesday 7/16
Deadlift day
Skipped due to work schedule, couldn't get to the gym

Thursday 7/18
Bench
5@230#
DB Row
5x10@90#
Pullups
9x4, 60 seconds rest between sets
Dips
4x10, 4-2-2-2-2 10 seconds rest between each

Friday 7/19
Squat
3@340#
5x10@135#
Pullups
9x5, 60 seconds rest between sets
Good morning
3x10@135#
- I really focused on my form here. I was initially hesitant to go for the programmed 5/3/1 weight for this week, but I was feeling good after my warmups so I went for it. First rep was slightly above, second was parallel, third was again slightly above. On the volume sets I tried out some changes to improve my squats: a slightly narrower bar grip, a slightly wider stance, toes at a bit more of an angle, torso a bit lower for a smaller hip angle and larger knee angle, and neutral head position in relation to the spine. These are all cues that I got out of the Squat chapter in Rippetoe's book. It took me a while to get comfortable with some of the changes, but by the end of the third set I was feeling really good. I noticed an improved hip drive and better knee and hip angles. It was really difficult to keep my head neutral as I found myself constantly looking into the mirror to check my form (which is how I normally squat). It was a bit awkward at first to have my legs spread out as much as I did, but once I got in the groove and my gut sat nicely between my upper quads it felt pretty good. My knees were tracking properly, which is something I've had trouble with all along. By the end of the 5th set most of the changes I tried were sticking. :)

Monday 7/22
OHP deload
Pullups
12, 8, 6, 7, 6
Hang cleans
10@45#, 10@75#, 10@105#

Tuesday 7/23
Deadlift
5@335#
3@380
2@425
470 fail
455 fail
Pullups
Pyramid 1-7, 6, 4
Squats
3x10@135#
Hanging leg raise, toes to eye level
3x10
Just couldn't get focused for my max attempt. Was distracted throughout the warmups as well, should have known better and just gone for a max rep set at 425. The 2 reps at 425 were easy enough though, so I though I had it. My balance was off - once the bar left the floor it shifted forward and my hips shot up setting all the weight on my lower back. I got the bar to the bottom of my knees then realized what was going on and dropped it. Took a bit of a rest then went back to try it slightly lighter but I was done. Couldn't even get the 455 off the floor. My lower back is still a little tight from it two days later.

Thursday 7/25
Bench deload
DB rows
3x10@50#
Pullups
9x4, 60 seconds rest between sets
Dips
5x5@BW (200-ish)
Nothing really to note today.

I'm looking forward to trying my [hopefully] improved squat form with slightly heavier weights tomorrow. It's a squat deload day, but I'll still be lifting 180# and then 215#.

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Mini Forklift Ⓥ wrote:
That's 200 solid ass-pounds! Good work buddy.
vegan_rossco, the ghost hunter wrote:
I can see how some people might mistake this as paranormal when really its just an example of your brain being an asshole


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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:37 pm 
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Gorilla
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 1:13 pm
Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
5/3/1 Cycle 2 Week 4 Deload

Squat
5@45#
5@95
5@115
5@145
5@180
5@215
5x5@135
Superset with Pullups
9x3, strict, slow, pause at bottom

Good morning
3x5@135

Kept up the form work. Paid attention and tried to maintain all the changes I put in. Keeping my head neutral was a little easier, but I had some trouble bringing my torso down enough - I kept falling back into a more upright position. I noticed it happening each time over the first few sets and was able to correct it for the subsequent reps. By the third set I had it dialed in. After the second set I felt a little twinge in my right shoulder so I moved my grip back out to my normal position (index finger on the stripe in the knurling) and I felt fine after that. I did fine with the heavier weight, but it still remains to be seen how I handle the regular work weights (on non-deload weeks) with the new form.

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Mini Forklift Ⓥ wrote:
That's 200 solid ass-pounds! Good work buddy.
vegan_rossco, the ghost hunter wrote:
I can see how some people might mistake this as paranormal when really its just an example of your brain being an asshole


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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:33 am 
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VBB Moderator Powerlifter & Ultrarunner
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Posts: 3840
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand.
Great work bud, I think form/technique days are a great idea to implement during deload weeks.

That's a lot of work with the squats, hats off to you.

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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:10 pm 
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Gorilla
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Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
Well, I'm actually going to keep up the squat volume during my regular weeks as well. I need to hammer it in until I'm used to it. The extra volume at low intensity isn't going to mess with my progress much, it will probably only make my legs bigger. :wink:

5/3/1 Cycle 3 Week 1

OHP
5@45#
5@75
5@95
5@115
5@135
5@150+2 push press

Pullups, max effort sets, 90 seconds rest
11, 6, 6, 5, 5

Called it a day after that.

I just didn't have the strength on OHP today. 7 weeks ago I hit 7x150#. I was hoping for at least the same, if not 8 reps today. Had a poor weekend of not eating enough (probably <2000 cals per day) and a lot of sitting on the couch or at my computer, so that may have something to do with it. My right shoulder was feeling a little weird after the sets, but didn't bother me while lifting. Curious to see how deadlifts turn out tomorrow.

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My strength log
Mini Forklift Ⓥ wrote:
That's 200 solid ass-pounds! Good work buddy.
vegan_rossco, the ghost hunter wrote:
I can see how some people might mistake this as paranormal when really its just an example of your brain being an asshole


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