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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:19 pm 
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Gorilla
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Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
I'm repeating the weights/percentages from my last cycle. Last year I did a significant deload coming off the winter holiday and changing my program. Sticking with 5/3/1, at least until the summer. I've had a look at Smolov Jr and I think I might try it to up my bench into proportion with my other lifts. I'll do a couple more 5/3/1 cycles and then have a look at how to fit it in. The Smolov 4-week schedules call for M/W/F/S lifts, which I can't do so it would have to be M/T/Th/F just like I currently do. Not sure how that will affect the recovery.

5/3/1 Cycle 8 Week 1 recap

Monday:
OHP - 8@138#, 5x10@83
Chinups - 5x3
Shoulder started to tweak at the end of the heavy set. Only feel it at the lockout. Towards the end of each of my volume sets I tried to stop the reps just short of lockout to spare the strain a bit. Seemed to work a bit but my shoulder was still sore afterwards.

Tuesday:
Deadlift - 7@370#
Snatch grip deadlift - 5x10@185
Back raise - 18, 17, 16
I can definitely go heavier on the snatch grip deadlifts. These came up super easy. My traps were super sore the next day, so they definitely got worked! I think I'll stick with these for a while. Made sure to squeeze my glutes hard on the back raise. My hams and glutes were sore the next day as well!

Thursday:
Bench - 7@200#
Close grip bench - 5@95, 5@105, 5@115, 5@125, 5@135
DB rows - 7@110, 5x10@70
Shoulder started to hurt on the last few reps of the heavy bench set. Also towards the end of each of the close-grip sets. I tried the just-short-of-lockout trick again and that helped. I thought close-grip bench was supposed to work the triceps more, but I didn't really notice it. The shoulder seems to be OK until I work it with higher reps.

Friday:
Squat - 8@295#
Squat, low bar, ATG - 5x10@185
Leg raise - 5x10
Hang clean into front squat - 3x5@95
Killed my legs on this one. I could have hit more reps on the heavy set but held back. ATG sets burned me out. I could have easily gone heavier. Overall I'm happy with my progress on squats. They have been getting steadily stronger, and I like it!

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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: Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:56 am 
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Batman
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Location: Isle of Wight, England
Wahey! 5/3/1! I'm gonna be using it for my squats and deadlifts :)
Killing benching dude, what's this lockout trick you mentioned?
Hope everything's cool where you are dude? And not too cold ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:36 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Sacramento, CA
You're killin it brah. I'm a big fan of the snatch grip deads as well. I wonder what could be going on with your shoulder--do you feel like maybe your technique is breaking down a bit as you get fatigued from the higher reps?

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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:24 pm 
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Gorilla
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Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
Thanks guys.

Ross - the lockout trick is actually not locking out. I find that if I stop just before lockout I don't get as much pain in my shoulder. I don't think it affects my strength development much because at that point the muscles are practically in their final position anyway.

VSP - I'm sure my form starts to break down a little, but I don't think it would be enough to cause the strain. One day a few months back I woke up from sleeping on my right shoulder and it hurt. Ever since then I've had this issue. I'm not sure if it's an impingement problem or just a chronic inflammation issue or what. I can't sleep on it anymore, and I used to sleep on my right side all the time. Next time I'm at the doctor's I'll ask for a referral to have it looked at, but since it hasn't really affected my day-to-day life or my max strength I'm not in a real rush.

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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 Jan 22, 2014 1:50 pm 
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Gorilla
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Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
Since I had a Holiday on Monday I squeezed OHP and Deadlift into yesterday's workout. Instead of trying to rep max on the final heavy set as usual I went for 2 sets of 3 reps on each lift (it's the /3 week on 5/3/1). On OHP I also stopped just short of lockout (not squeezing at the top for lockout) and brought the bar back down immediately instead of a slight pause. No shoulder pain! I did start to feel a bit of strain on the last couple reps of my last two shoulder volume sets, so I may have to adjust my methods on those. On my future heavy sets I may have to substitute multiple sets with short rest instead of going for max reps to keep my shoulder happy.

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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 Jan 24, 2014 7:48 pm 
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Gorilla
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 1:13 pm
Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
I've modified my diet a bit. I had been following an IF protocol for the past 6 months or so, but it really hasn't done anything positive for me. If anything, I think I've put on a bit of extra fat. I also found it really hard to squeeze 4000 kcal into an 8 hour window, and didn't like the feeling of stuffing myself to get it all in. As of this past weekend I've dropped the IF and reduced my caloric intake and I've already lost a pound. I'm going to stick on a reduced intake for a while to drop some weight, then slowly up the calories again.

5/3/1 Cycle 8 Week 2 Recap

Tuesday:
OHP - 8@138#, 5x10@83
Deadlift - 7@370#
Snatch grip deadlift - 5x10@195
Felt good on OHP, used the no-lockout trick and no shoulder pain! Started to feel a little strain towards the end of the volume sets, but really minor. Second heavy deadlift set was tough, felt the form go a bit. Volume snatch grips wore me out again! Love it!

Thursday:
Bench - 2x3@210#
Close grip bench - 5x10@125
1-Arm BB row - 2x3@bar+75#
DB rows - 5x10@75
Used the no-lockout trick on the heavy bench, no shoulder pain. However, I could feel a bit of strain every time I unracked the bar. Towards the end of the volume bench sets my shoulder started to hurt. I'm going to have to rethink/rework how I do these so that I take it easy on the shoulder. Maybe figure out different assistance work. I didn't feel any pain during the rows, but I could tell that my should was making the rows a bit more difficult. Or maybe it was all in my head.

Friday:
Squat - 2x3@315#
Squat, low bar, ATG - 5x10@185
Leg raise - 5x10
Hang clean into front squat - 3x5@98 (15kg bar)
Everything felt good today. Squats felt a little heavier than I would have liked, but I think I could have put up 5 or 6 reps for a single set without much fuss. The volume sets are killer. I did the first three olympic style, the last two as low-bar ATG. My hang clean is getting better.

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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: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:55 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:36 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Sacramento, CA
Have you ever seen anybody about your shoulder? Did you injure it at some point/do you know what's causing the pain?

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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:57 am 
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand.
Nice squats buddy, take it easy with the shoulder. Maybe you could get it looked at just to be on the safe side?

Hope you had a good weekend MF.

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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:04 pm 
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Gorilla
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 1:13 pm
Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
I still haven't gotten around to seeing a doctor about the shoulder, but I've found ways to work it that don't stress it too much. This week actually went off without much shoulder strain at all!

5/3/1 Cycle 8 Week 4 recap

Monday:
OHP - 4@155#, 5x10@90
Chinups - 5x5, superset with
Hang cleans - 5x5@115
The hang cleans were pretty easy, I can probably keep increasing the weight each week for a little while. I didn't squeeze the lockout or pause at the top on any of the OHP reps and my shoulders felt fine afterwards - happy! I also didn't push for the extra rep or two, which actually leaves my rep total for 155# down a couple from last cycle - not particularly happy about that but no shoulder pain makes up for it.

Tuesday:
Deadlift - 4@415#
Snatch grip deadlift - 5x10@195
Back raise - 5x10, superset with
Hang cleans - 5x5@115
Form went to shit on the last rep of deadlifts, but I was able to get it anyway.

Thursday:
Bench - 4@220#
DB slight incline bench - 10@50# (each arm)
Bench - 4x10@130
1-hand BB row - 4@~125
DB row - 5x10@75
I had the spotter help with the liftoff on the heavy bench, which definitely spared my should some abuse. I might actually start asking for liftoffs on the set prior to the heavy set as well, just to keep my shoulder happy. I can usually feel a little strain when moving the bar into position from the rack, but once I am over my chest it is fine. Here again I made sure not to squeeze the lockout, but I found that pausing slightly at the top didn't cause any pain. I also paid attention to my lockout position - I think part of my trouble is my form going to shit and lifting with my shoulders instead of keeping them down. I tried the DB incline bench to see if it would be easier on my shoulder, but it was not. I went back to flat BB bench and had no issues.

Friday:
Squat - 5@330#
Squat, low bar, ATG - 5x10@190
Leg raise - 5x10, superset with
Hang clean into front squat - 3x5@115
Not much to say here, other than another good squat workout. These have been consistently good and draining, especially the hang clean into front squat sets at the end.

_________________
--
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: Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:07 pm 
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Gorilla
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 1:13 pm
Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
It's been a while.

On Friday Jan 31st I came down with a what I believe to be the flu, or a very nasty cold at least. I ended up staying home from work sick the entire following week, so needless to say I missed the gym as well. Last week I wasn't feeling up to lifting until Wednesday and hit the gym for a light OHP/DL session. My bodyweight was down 7# since the 31st, and I felt weak on all my lifts. I had planned to hit Bench and Squats on Friday 2/14, but I thought I was having an allergic reaction to something so I skipped the gym. After eating my first lunch I became extremely flushed, turning red all over. It dissipated about an hour later, but I was feeling off for the rest of the afternoon. After some research, I think it was a niacin flush, as I took a b-complex vitamin with that meal.

So then comes this week. I weighed in at 203.5# on Monday, down 9.5# since 1/31.

5/3/1 Cycle 9 Week 1 recap

Monday:
OHP - 6@145#, 5x10@90
Chins - 3x5@203.5#

Tuesday:
Deadlift - 6@380#, done as singles
Hang cleans - 5@95, 5@115, 5@135, 5@155, 5@175

Thursday:
Didn't go in to work, so no workout today.

Friday:
Squat - 6@305#, 3x10@190
Bench - 6@200#, 3x10@135

Monday went well, even though I'm feeling a little weaker. Was fully expecting to get 5 reps at best on OHP, but got an easy 6 and could have hit at least one more. I switched to the thumbless grip to see if it would protect my shoulders a bit from the strain I've been having. It worked, no strain! The problem probably has a bit to do with my form, flaring my elbows a bit when I press. Although my right shoulder still hurts a bit if I sleep on my right side, so it's not entirely a form issue. I was getting a bit jerky while doing the chins though, and started to feel it in my shoulder, so I stopped at 3 sets.

Felt weak on deadlifts. All reps on all sets were done as singles. That might be why my deadlift weights have seemed lower as of late, as I used to do all touch-n-go sets which probably inflated my rep counts.

Felt weak on both squats and bench. Considered doing a "jack shit" workout but decided to throw in a few volume sets to get me back into the groove. I was done after 3 sets on both. I was barely able to get the 6th rep in on the heavy sets as well.

_________________
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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: Fri Feb 28, 2014 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 9 Week 2 recap

Monday:
OHP - 4@150#, 3x10@95
Chins - 3x5 (these are getting easy)
Lateral raise - 5/4/3x20#, 5/4/3x15#, static hold for 5 seconds between rep groups
Hang cleans - 5@125
1-hand DB clean and press - 2x5@60#

Thumbless grip is working great! No shoulder pain. I guess this means that I am having a form issue that causes the pain, probably due to flaring elbows on pressing movements. Need to start adding more sets/reps on chins. Tried the lateral raises as something different to do for shoulder accessory work. Only bar available for hang cleans had a broken collar so it wouldn't spin. Made the cleans really awkward so left it at 1 set. Wanted to do something else so tried 1-hand DB clean and press - could have definitely gone much heavier on these, they were easy.

Tuesday:
Deadlift - 4@405#, done as singles
Power cleans, from just below the knee - 5@95, 3@135, 3@155, 3@175

Form went to shit on the last deadlift rep. I didn't check my previous cleans before setting these numbers - I should have gone a little heavier this week.

Friday:
Squat - 4@320#
Bench - 4@215#

Today was a jack shit day. Needed to get in and out of the gym as quickly as possible. Also missed Thursday, so did bench today. Weights felt heavy, but I had other things on my mind so my focus was shit.

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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 Mar 05, 2014 2:57 am 
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Posts: 3840
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand.
Nice deadlifting man, big weight for reps there.

You really do need to sort out your avatar someday lol.

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 Post subject: Re: Asparagus Strength Journey
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 7:40 pm 
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Gorilla
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Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
Hey everyone - I've been busy with personal things and haven't really had the time or motivation to check in here lately. Lots of good stuff lately but I've been out of the gym the majority of the past 3 months. I've lost a little bit of weight and some strength, just started back on my program last week. Looking forward to getting back up to big lifts and breaking some PRs.

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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 Aug 01, 2014 8:30 pm 
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Gorilla
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 1:13 pm
Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
Still at it. I've been in the gym steadily all summer and my lifts are looking good. I'm just about back to where I was last December, although my deadlifts are better and my bench is slightly lower.

My bodyweight is up again, fluctuating between 206 and 209#.

My heavy sets at the end of this last 5/3/1 cycle are:
OHP 4@160# strict
Deadlift 5@415#
Bench 5@215#
Squat 5@330#

I'm still doing the boring but big template, however I have switched the days so that I am doing bench 5x10 on OHP day, squat 5x10 on deadlift day, and OHP 5x10 on bench day. I am not doing deadlift 5x10 on squat day - instead I am doing front squat 5x3 and increasing the weight each week to get my front squat up. I have also been doing hang cleans as a warmup before each workout and heavy hang/power cleans on deadlift days, increasing the weight each week. I think the hang cleans have helped my deadlift along by strengthening my upper/mid back.

I am going to pull 500# this year. I'll probably wait until December to test my maxes again, but I will do it.

For the past month I have been experimenting with a peri-workout nutrition protocol. I am mixing up a sweet fruit juice and protein powder shake, drinking 1 third of it 15 minutes before the workout, 1 third of it during the workout, and the last third of it after the workout. (Source: http://www.t-nation.com/training/8-reasons-youre-still-weak-or-fat, number 3). I'm not going to use their chemical cocktail, but the basis of this is sugar and protein, which I can easily do. My observations:
1. I don't know if it has helped me increase muscle mass more so than my standard procedure (lifting/eating). I have maintained the same average weight all month. I weighed 204 when I first got back to lifting at the end of May, so 2-5 lbs increase since then - not much.
2. I haven't noticed any "extra" energy in the gym. I feel just the same when I'm lifting as I did before.
3. My recovery has improved. I can still feel the muscle soreness, as I still beat the shit out of myself in the gym. However, previously I would get home from work and have no energy and be practically falling asleep by 20:30. Now I have plenty of energy and can play with my son until late at night or do chores or whatever. Even if this is the only benefit, it is worth it to me.

Sunday I have my first workout at a (somewhat) local strongman training facility. I'm going to look into integrating strongman training once per month or so, probably at the start of my 5/3/1 deload week.

_________________
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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: Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:19 pm 
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Gorilla
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 1:13 pm
Posts: 584
Location: O.C. California
So I'm going to do strongman now. I worked out with a local strongman team on Sunday (yesterday) and got my first test on some of the events. I can honestly say I want to do this.

Started out with axle clean and press. Much different than how I am used to pressing. Between the thickness of the axle and the wobbly bumper plates it was tough. Worked my way up to a max single. I was only able to lock out 205#, whereas I have push-jerked 225# from pins. As the axle got to about 75% of max I was doing continental cleans, which was also new. I definitely need to work on my cleans and presses!

After that, there was a bit of setup going on and a bit of a break, then they had me do their rookie test medley - 8 tire flips and then a 30ft (might have been 40ft? I'm not sure) chain drag in a 90 second limit. Since I'm not that strong they gave me the medium tire - ~650#, and the chain was 300#. I finished it in 96 seconds. My time sucked, but damn that was awesome.

Then the team was setting up for some medley event testing and while they were doing that I did some 40ft farmers walks. I started light and then did a set that was either 205# or 225#, I don't know for sure. It wasn't timed, but I was able to move pretty well with it. That was also pretty cool since that is close to my deadlift max and I wasn't sure that my grip would last on the smooth handles but it was solid the whole way!

The team did a bunch of medley tests and then we set up for atlas stones. They were low on tacky so I went without. The stone was 18"/240# and the bar was set at 54". I tried out the basic movement on a couple test singles, then a few of the others guys had their timed test runs. Then I went again and did three reps. There was a bit of tacky on the stone at this point so I had a better grip. I probably could have done one more.

I didn't put on enough sunscreen and burned my arms up pretty well. But totally worth it. I felt great afterwards, probably riding an endorphin high, although today I am feeling a little worked over. I need to buy some decent shoes before my next session.

_________________
--
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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