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Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:23 am
by VeganEssentials
Leg day today, but not a great one. Stresses have had me all over the place lately, so it was mediocre at best.

Warmed up with a few sets of power snatches and overhead squats

Front squats -
1x5 @ 135
1x3 @ 225
1x1 @ 275
1x1 @ 315 - much easier than last time I made this weight. Started racking with my knuckles pushing the bar into my neck to keep it more stable than with hands in a clean position, which definitely helped. A few more sessions of these and I should be able to get to around 350ish without much difficulty.

Regular squats -
1x3 @ 225
1x3 @ 315
1x2 @ 405
1x1 @ 455
2x3 @ 405
1x1 @ 455
1x1 @ 475
1xfail @ 500
I haven't missed 500 in months, so that's not a great sign as to how I'm faring these days. Like I said, lots of stress means bad training.

Did a few more front squats -
1x3 @ 225
1x1 @ 275
1x1 @ 315, this time it took a bit of fight.

Finished with overhead squats -
1x8 @ 135
1x5 @ 155, felt a bit of pain under my left kneecap on the last 2 reps, not good.
1xfail @ 175, came down fine but let it drop on the pins at bottom of the squat position

Now the knee is sore and strength is down in general, so lifting isn't quite as fun as normal. I'm considering taking a month or two for a layoff to recover and get the rest of my life in order enough to where I don't keep freaking out about everything and worrying constantly, which might be for the best. It may mean missing my Chicago comp in 5 weeks, but if I can come back refreshed and be in good form again it'll be worth it. We'll see how I feel when I get back from Anaheim next week since I'm headed out to the Natural Products Expo on Thursday and probably wouldn't get to train before then anyhow. Need time to think about this one...

Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:50 pm
by VeganEssentials
First day back in the gym after nearly a week off, and it was a mixed day of good and bad. Sensless met me as I was about halfway through benching so we got to lift together for the first time in a while.

First, the good - did a bit of benching and hit some PRs to make for a good session on that part. Started with close grip (hands about 18" apart) -
1x8 @ 135
2x3 @ 225, 2 second pause on chest with each rep
1x3 @ 255, 1 second pause on chest with each rep
1x4 @ 275 touch and go
1x3 @ 290 touch and go - only expected a double, made all 3 fairly easily
Decided to see if I could finally hit 315 on regular grip bench just so I could feel 3 plates per side, and after an ugly 10 second battle I succeeded. However, just as I was about to lock it out I twisted my torso slightly and felt a twinge in my lower back. Not a good thing.

Was supposed to do DLs next, but after warming up with 4 sets and getting ready to work speed with doubles at a light 405 I felt a sharp pain when I'd start the pull and had to quit right away. I rested a bit, stretched out, and gave it another shot but it hurt again and I realized I must have done a bit of damage on that stupid bench. So, I missed out on the DLs and GMs that I'd planned on getting in, and if the back turns out to be sore for a while I may have to bail on my comp at the end of April. If I can get a full recovery in the next week I'll be sure to keep training for it, but I ache every time I stand up or sit down, so lifting will be out of the question for a few days minimum. Heading to the chiro on Friday to get some X-rays and therapy for it and I'll know more at that time if it is just a minor strain or something worse.

Let's just say that I don't plan on benching with a wide grip again for quite some time....

Posted: Mon May 22, 2006 10:38 pm
by VeganEssentials
Okay, I realized today that I have a contest in less than 2 weeks and I've barely been training lately, so I should probably get my arse in gear and start being serious for a bit!

The glorious 30 minute workout is all I had time for tonight, so I made the most of it -

Overhead pressing -
1x8 @ empty bar single-arm
1x5 strict press @ 135
1x3 strict press @ 185
1x3 push press @ 225
1x3 push press @ 255
2x8 push press @ 225
1x7 push press @ 225 - attempted 8, died out after the 7th. Even rested about 20 seconds, unracked again and tried, but the bar barely cleared the top of my head. Close to meeting a new goal, though...

6 minutes left, hit the Hammer Strength shoulder press since I can close-grip it and work my triceps more. Shoulders were already on fire, did 2x10 @ 200 lbs. which nearly killed me even though it isn't very heavy. Time was up, that was it for the day, should be doing rows and DLs tomorrow.

Haven't had my shoulders actually feel like they're on fire in a long, long time. Almost forgot how damned painful it actually can be!

Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:01 pm
by VeganEssentials
Back on the plan again, last weekend's contest has given me a new sense of purpose for lifting again, so I decided to test the old legs last night to see how they're holding up on squats and find where I was at for my maxes -

Warmed up first with 4 sets of various lifts with a light 135, doing 1x4 power snatches, 1x5 overhead squats, 1x5 front squats and 1x5 jerks behind the neck. Then it was into the rack to hit the real squat workout!

Front squats -
1x5 @ 225
1x2 @ 275
1x1 @ 315
These felt easier than they used to, didn't get the urge to toss the bar forward, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Back squats, medium stance -
1x5 @ 225
1x3 @ 315
1x2 @ 405
1x1 @ 455
1x1 @ 475
1x1 @ 500
Had to fight for the 500 a bit, but it worked out and now I know my strength is still close to where it was before my back was reinjured in April. May have been good for 510, but probably no more than that, still down from the PR of 525 around late January but not too far off.

1/3 squats -
1x3 @ 585
1x3 @ 655
Back was getting a little tender since I haven't had much weight on my shoulders in some weeks, so I cut it short for squats at that point.

Still, found that maxes were all at where I'd hoped they'd be, now it's time to get back to getting stronger again instead of spinning my wheels as I've done for the past few months!

Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:46 pm
by VeganEssentials
Event training today, but ended up getting hurt early on -

Started with farmer's deadlifts (no walking), did the following
195 per hand x 3
" " x 4
Bumped up to a PR weight of 285 lbs. per hand, made it with relative ease, could have probably gotten about 300 per hand. Held for about 10 seconds just to keep it up for a bit.

Rested a few minutes, went back to try and rep the 285 lb. handles a few times, felt my injury in my back return as I broke the handles off the ground, now I'm hurting pretty well again.

Still, played with the 260 stone tacky-free and did a set of 2 loads to 54", then 4 loads, then 5 lifts to lap in quick succession and I figured it was time to call it a day. A week of easy lifting will get me back to feeling good again, but it sucks to know that I can wind up re-spraining my back so easily. Gotta find a way to keep it from happening too often.

Anyway, no training until Tuesday, will have a light back/overhead day at that point, steering clear of deadlift movements for another 2 weeks to heal up.

Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:00 am
by VeganEssentials
I thought that I was going to be out of lifting for at least a week or two with the back being re-injured, but today I found that I was about 75% better once I started moving around so I popped ibuprofen like it was going out of style and decided that a light day in the gym would be good. Didn't decide on it until around 9 PM so I had a short time to get some work in, but it was still a good day, much better than sitting around waiting to feel well enough to lift heavy again.

Strict overhead presses -
1x10 @ empty bar
1x10 @ 135
1x10 @ 155
1x8 @ 175
1x6 @ 155
1x6 @ 135
I'd wanted to get 10s all the way around, but that was asking a lot. I've never done more than 6 with 185, so expecting 10 with only 10 lbs. less and not much practice strict pressing lately was a bit much. The last 2 sets dropping the weight were tough because my triceps were fried - when 135 hurts by the 3rd rep, things go downhill in a hurry. Still, some higher rep stuff (for me, anyway) and work on strict pressing makes for good times.

Light shrugs next, being my most neglected lift -
3x25 @ 225
Last set I did 5s with varting grips - shoulder width, midway between shoulders and snatch grip, snatch grip and back in again. My traps suck for shrugging - they can support well enough for deadlifts and such, but I could be the worst shrugger out there, so this was a much needed kick in the arse.

Back extension machine -
3x20 @ full stack, varying the height of the back pad
Tested the waters on the back for this, didn't have an ounce of pain on any of the sets. What I found hurts is weight bearing down straight on my spine that inflames the sprain (I find I sit at an angle in my seat while driving or at work and tense my ass and abs unintentionally to ease the pain), but extensions didn't bother it a bit. If I feel better next week, maybe some high-rep GMs for 3x20 @ 225 or something of that sort will get the rehab moving well.

Cable side shrugs -
2x20 @ full stack plus 20 lbs. added on

45 minutes later I felt like a new man, pain-free and all, so I headed out and figured that a week or two of light training will be a good aid in recovery.

Might get to lift Thursday or Friday (will be busy the next few days), will do some light back and chest work when I get the chance, may do some light event stuff this weekend for log work and light stones for reps.

Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:57 am
by VeganEssentials
Continuing week 2 of back injury rehab training -

Overhead strict presses -
1x5 @ empty bar
1x8 @ 135
1x3 @ 175
1x3 @ 205
1x3 @ 210
1x3 @ 215
1x3 @ 220
1x1 @ 235 - PR for strict pressing
1x19 @ 135 - wanted 20, on the last rep I stopped cold about 8" from lockout, triceps just flat out quit on me and wouldn't let the rep finish. Still, better than the 15 I managed last time I went for high reps on 135. Goal is to push the total to 1x20 @ 175 sometime in September.

Pulldowns - don't aggravate the lower back, so did 2x15 @ 190

Seated v-bar rows - no pain in the back, did 2x20 @ 145 with these

Won't be tackling any deadlifts or barbell rows for around 2 more weeks to continue the back rehab, will know the extent of the damage once I see the specialist in the first week of July. If by any chance I did herniate a disc, I may bite and invest in a reverse hyper machine for rehab work and blow about 2 years' budget of lifting-related expense in doing so. If it can help me get back to normal it'll be well worth it, so we'll see where I stand once I hear the diagnosis on the 6th!

Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 1:38 am
by sensless
I assume you'll just be cheering me on at Summerfest due to the back? That sucks, it is two years in a row!

I think I have an outside shot of accidentally coming in over 220 (fully clothed) and being put into the heavy class for that competition. I think that would actually give me a better chance at placing in the clean and jerk, though I'd likely still not have much shot in the deadlift.

Want to come over to train a bit on Tuesday?


Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 2:50 am
by VeganEssentials
Haven't posted in ages for my log, about time I get back on it again!

Quick back workout today -

Barbell rows -
1x8 @ 135
1x5 @ 225
1x12 @ 250
1x10 @ 275 - had to take a 10 second rest after 7, finished the last 3 off after that

Barbell shrugs -
1x10 @ 225
1x10 @ 315
1x10 @ 365
1x8 @ 405 - wanted to go heavier, just felt too wiped out today
1x100 @ 135
Yep, 100 reps with a light weight just for the fun of it. Did 50 reps, stopped to take 3 deep breaths, did 50 more to finish off. I'm aiming to eventually get this many with 225 (done 1x50 but that's it so far), and I wanted to see how long it'd take for the final goal. Tiring stuff, that's for sure!

Pulldowns -
2x18 @ 165 - Tired and grip was fading fast after the shrugs so that's all I could muster

Still having fun with some higher rep stuff while I ease my back into heavier lifting, though this will change over the next few weeks as I get back into doing more deadlifting and heavy squats again.

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 3:45 am
by robert
I'm surprised you even have time to train with your busy schedule! I'm still following some of your bench programs and I had one of my best bench lifts ever earlier this week. I put up 245 for a few reps and it didn't even seem that hard. I'm only weighing in the 170's so it still feels heavy to me!

See you in a few weeks.....hey, wanna train in D.C. at the Hilton? Get a couple of good sessions in while we're there?

Keep on rockin man, you are da man!

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:51 pm
by VeganEssentials
Hey, Robert!

We definitely need to train at the hotel a few times - I always feel the need to get at least one or two sessions in even though I'm totally wiped out at the end of the day from being behind our tables. Nevertheless, we'll have to put it to the weights while we're there!

Today was leg day, and finally I feel like I'm coming to life again after the last back injury. Starting to get back to about 90% of where I was, hit the squats with everything I had today.

Squats, Rehband knee sleeves only
1x5 @ empty bar
1x5 @ 135
1x5 @ 225
2x3 @ 315
2,2,3,3,3,3,4 @ 425 for 20 reps total over all sets
I think I'd gotten to this rep scheme with about 440 or so before getting hurt, shouldn't be more than another 6 weeks before I'm back to full capacity again.

1/3 squats (about 14" ROM)
2x8, 1x10 @ 605
First 2 sets were 3 dead stop reps at bottom on pins then 5 quick reps tapping the pins at bottom. Last set was all just tapping the pins at bottom, no stopping else I'd have never gotten back up again. I haven't felt like puking from a leg session in ages, and oddly enough, it feels good to feel sick all over again.

Going to start deadlifting again on Thursday, just light doubles with something like 405 to get used to pulling again and test the lower back to make sure it's good to go!

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 3:03 am
by VeganEssentials
Goof-off day today, had wanted a serious day for shoulders but just had fun as I'm still wiped out from leg day (taking a lot longer to recover due to the layoffs!).

Overhead pressing -
1x10 @ empty bar
1x6 @ 135
1x3 @ 185
1x3 @ 225 (slight push), felt really weak
1x2 @ 245 (decent push, still feeling very weak)
1x1 @ 255, felt terrible, decided no need to go heavy today

Behind the neck power jerk -
3x4 @ 225
Feeling solid with these again, soon I'll have to push them to get over 275 which is where I stopped last time

Barbell shrugs -
1x10 @ 135
1x10 @ 225
1x10 @ 315
1x10 @ 365
1x8 @ 405 - hook grip hurt like hell today, didn't push more on reps with heavier weights
1x55 @ 225 - added 5 reps to make it one step closer to the goal of seeing if I can do a set of 100. Much less winded than I was last time at 50 may have been able to get 5 more if I'd have pushed it

Smith machine overhead shrugs -
1x30 @ 180 (not counting crappy counterbalanced bar)
1x15 @ 250

Kicked out due to lack of time, went home, decided to have a bit more fun.

Reverse hypers -
1x10 @ no added weight
1x10 @ 20 lbs.
1x10 @ 30 lbs.
1x10 @ 50 lbs.
Still terrible with these, but getting more comfortable. My machine isn't very good, so one day in a month or two I hope to try a real Elite brand reverse hyper and find out if having a quality one to use will make a bigger difference in the weight I can move.

EZ bar curls (yikes!)
3x20 @ 75, had to cheat a bit on the last 5-6 reps of the 2nd and 3rd sets, but just mildly with no excessive swinging.
1x10 strict @ 75 for a final set of reverse curls and that was all

Hoping to meet with Sensless on Saturday to do some deadlifting and stone heaving, should be fun!

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:27 am
by VeganEssentials
Quick back and shoulder 35 minute workout tonight -

Barbell rows -
1x8 @ 135
1x5 @ 225
2x6 @ 300
1x10 wide grip @ 225

Overhead press lockouts (about 6" ROM in power rack)
1x8 @ 225
1x6 @ 300
1x2, 1x3 @ 350
1x6 @ 300
1x12 @ 225
Went fairly well, failed to do more with the 350 because it rolled behind me on both sets and I couldn't get re-set quickly to do more.

Seated cable row with IronMind Eagle Loops - done single arm style
1x20 each arm @ 105
1x5 " " @ 155
1x5 " " @ 185
Felt strong, but those loops hurt like hell after not using them for a while!

Pulldowns - widest grip possible
1x20 @ 135 cooldown set

Wrapped up in the nick of time, should get a leg day in on Thursday and 1-2 more short workouts before leaving for AR next Wednesday!

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:00 am
by sensless
What are you going to do for the leg day? I'd be happy to hit with you if you want. I haven't back squatted or heavy squatted in eons.


Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:31 am
by VeganEssentials
Been a terrible month for training, but I'm feeling a good new sense of purpose after all the pitfalls this spring and summer have brought. Now that injuries are pretty well healed and I don't have to travel any longer I need to devote 100% to training again, and there's no excuse not to. Going to Big Tony's strongman comp to spectate really got me fired up again, so today I headed in for some overhead work to see how it would go with a good attitude.

Last week I went in, almost hit a PR in the behind the neck jerk with 295, but lost it behind and held on too long and felt my shoulders stretch back a bit more than they should have. I narrowly avoided screwing both shoulders up simultaneously, so I considered that good fortunte to not screw up again and be as cautious as ever for all overhead work from now on.

Strict standing overhead press -
2x4 @ 135
1x3 @ 185
1x2 @ 205
1x1 @ 215
1x1 @ 225
1x1 @ 235
1x1 @ 245 - PR
1x1 @ 250 - PR
The 250 put met at a 15 lb. strict press PR, and it didn't even feel like a max. Felt good for more, but rather than gamble until I lose, I called it a good day and moved on.

Shrugs -
4x15 @ 315
Just doing some medium rep stuff since I haven't done any shrugs again in a month and I still suck at them.

Standing overhead lockouts in the rack - 8" ROM
1x6 @ 275
1x6 @ 295
Shoulders felt a bit off from last week's mishap with heavy supports overhead, so I didn't want to go any higher on that one and felt it was good enough for today.

Only had 40 minutes in the gym before closing, went home and tossed in a bit of fun work to cap the night off -

EZ bar curls -
3x20 @ 85
I suck at curling big-time, but my biceps need a bit of strengthening so I may as well do a bit for them

Roman sit-ups -
My abs can support well enough, but I haven't done any sit-ups or crunches in so long that if I do 20 reps or more I cramp up afterward. Starting slow, adding 5 per week.

Kneeling (too low of a ceiling to stand) overhead EZ bar triceps extentions -
3x20 @ 85
Super easy, felt good for a lot more on every set. Haven't done them in years, but felt like doing a few sets to goof around for triceps work

Horizontal bodyweight back extentions -
Back feels better, no aches any longer, going to keep rehabbing twice weekly and will start with DLs again next week for the first time in ages.

Despite lots of stress and lack of lifting bodyweight is hanging in at 275 even, which seems to be my level that I stay at pretty well all the time. Looking to finally crack the 280 mark this winter and move up a bit, and now I've got the drive to do it!