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MadCow Week 3

200, 200, 100 jump rope w/ 3x5 pullups

 

Squat

5x45 lbs

5x115

5x165

5x205, slow descent w/ pause at bottom

5x205, speed set 1 breath

 

OHP

5x75

5x100

5x120

5x140

 

Deadlift

5x135 slow, hook

5x205 hook

5x265 hook

5x325 over/under

5x380 over/under, chalk

 

Cleaned the bar for each set of OHP. I like cleans, even more so power cleans. Next go-round with 5/3/1 is going to have some power cleans in it! Need to work on my form a bit though, I'm sure. For whatever reason, didn't have a whole lot of confidence going into the heavy deadlift set. The first rep seemed really heavy to start with, but by the time I got to the top, I was kicking myself for being an idiot and banged out the rest of the set without issue.

 

Hang holds have actually gotten a little better lately. I am easily able to do 60 seconds (at ~200 lbs clothed bodyweight at lifting time), whereas previously it was only on a good day I would get that high. On Monday I actually hit 70 seconds before the grip gave out. I think the farmer's walks I've been doing on Fridays have helped with the grip strength.

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I went back into my MadCow spreadsheet and had a look at the progression again. I decided to change to only 5 lbs increments on all the major lifts and 5 lbs per 2 weeks for OHP rather than 2.5% per week, as I think it may be a bit ambitious otherwise. I might be able to do it, but I'd rather take the progression a little more slowly and make sure my form doesn't break down trying to go too heavy too fast.

 

As it was with the original 2.5% increments, the 12th-week goal for squats was 3x380lbs, and deadlifts was 3x470 lbs! Maybe I could do it, but I don't mind a slightly slower progression. With the revision, my new goals for the 12th week are squats 5x340/3x345 and deadlifts 5x420/3x425. My previous bests are: parallel squats 5x330 lbs (from last May) and deadlift 2x405 (December)/5x390 (May).

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MadCow Week 3

 

200, 200 jump rope w/ 2x5 pullups

 

lower body mobility drills

 

Squat

5x45 lbs, slow

5x120

5x165

5x210

5x255

3x300

8(?)x210

 

Bench

5x85

5x115

5x145

5x180

3x210

8(?)x145

 

BB Rows

5x75

5x100

5x130

5x155

3x185

8x135

 

Farmer's walk, with dumbells

50m x 80 lbs each hand

45m x 80

2x35m x 85

 

Ran out of time so had to cut the grip work short. I started including hip/leg mobility drills into my warmups on Wednesday, continued today. Doing some of DeFranco's Agile 8, skipping the foam rolling for now. I'm not getting any muscle soreness or tightness, so I'm probably OK to skip the foam rolling as part of the warmup. I really just want to increase my hip mobility a bit, although I think it's pretty good already. Concentrated on keeping my knees pushed out a bit wider (to the correct position) on the heavier squat sets, as they tend to nudge in a bit coming up out of the hole, and I noticed the other day I wasn't paying as much attention to form as I used to. I'm pretty sure something helped, as my depth and hip drive was great today. I'll probably be a little sore in the groin tomorrow, but worth it!

 

I think I actually did 9 reps instead of 8 on the final squat and bench sets, as I somewhat lost count in the middle, so I assumed I had done one less than the number I was thinking of as I counted out the set.

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Thanks, guys!

 

MadCow Week 4

 

200, 200, 10 jump rope w/ 3x5 pullups

 

forgot to do mobility drills, was too eager to get into the squat rack

 

Squats

5x45 lbs slow

5x120

5x165

5x210

5x255

5x300

 

Bench

5x85

5x115

5x145

5x180

5x210

 

BB Rows

5x75

5x100

5x130

5x155

5x185

 

The heavy set on squats was tougher than I thought it should be, had a bit of effort getting it up for the last few reps. Form was a bit wonky. I don't think my depth was as far as it should have been, but I was below parallel. Bench asked for a bit of leg drive on the last rep of the heavy set, which I obliged and finished. Rows went well. OK session, would have been great save for the last squat set.

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MadCow Week 4

200, 200, 100 jump rope w/ 3x5 pullups

 

mobility drills

 

Squats

5x45 lbs slow

5x120

5x165

5x210 slow w/ pause at bottom

5x210 speed set 1 breath

 

OHP

5x80

5x100

5x125

4x145 +2 push-press slow negative

 

Deadlift

5x135 slow hook

5x210 hook

5x270 hook

5x325 over/under

5x385 over/under, chalk

 

I've had a bit of discomfort (wouldn't call it pain, really) in my knees yesterday and today. I think it is from squatting on Monday, pushing my knees out a bit too far. I don't notice it when I'm walking around or even sitting, only sometimes when I'm standing still. Didn't feel it at all while lifting. Going to pay attention to it and be even more careful with my form for the next few sessions until I'm back into the proper groove.

 

Everything went well today. Would have been nice to get 5x145 on OHP, but I'm fine with 4 reps. I'll get 5 next week. I've programmed a 5-lbs increase every two weeks on my current schedule, so I'm on track anyway. Deadlift was almost easy.

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MadCow Week 4

 

200, 200, 100 jump rope w/ 3x5 pullups

 

mobility drills

unloaded squats

box jumps

 

Squats

5x50 lbs

5x110

5x170

5x215

5x260

3x305

8x215

 

Bench

5x85

5x120

5x150

5x185

3x215 PB

8x150

 

BB Row

5x75

5x105

5x135

5x160

3x190

8x135

 

Knees were feeling a little better yesterday and felt fine today - until I did some box jumps. Afterwards my knees were not feeling happy, but only when I was standing around, not while I was squatting. After moving on to the bench I didn't notice any pain or discomfort anymore. I'll see how I feel tomorrow.

 

Squats are going well. I've adjusted my form so that I consistently get below parallel and have gotten used to it. The squats are slightly harder but I'm happy with the adjustment and will continue with this form. I had previously stated that I was going to stick to parallel squats while I was doing 5/3/1 last year, but I've pretty much figured out the form and am comfortable with it now. Bench and rows are also coming along nicely. I realized that the 5x210 lbs I hit on Monday is actually a PB for me on bench. I'm happy to see they are improving. When I hit 5x200 on the rows (with good form this time) that will be a PB for me there. I'm getting close to PBs in all the major lifts. 5x150 on OHP and 5x395 on Deadlift will both be PBs (coming up soon!), but I'm not sure where to call my PB on squats. I've done 5x330 lbs at parallel before back in May of 2012. Since I am now going full depth (or at least as far as I can go with my hams on my calves), I am going to call 5x315 a PB.

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Came down with the flu this Sunday. Feeling OK today, other than a bit of a cough and some occasional sniffles. Well enough to go to the gym today, but as I'm still probably contagious and I don't want to extend my recovery time from illness I won't be lifting this week, no matter how good I feel on Friday.

 

Dude - healthy vegan diet and I kicked the flu in 4 days. Bam!

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Thanks guys.

 

So last Friday I was feeling fine and couldn't keep myself out of the gym. I basically repeated what I had done the previous Friday. Even though I was feeling well, all the lifts were difficult. Dammit Jim, I'm a weightlifter, not a doctor! (That's actually phrased backwards from the Star Trek reference, but if you get it you get it either way) That was both bad and good. Bad because I ended up with a cold this weekend (which i am still on the tail end of). Good because it prepped me for lifting today, and today was a good workout.

 

Today:

 

MadCow Week 5

 

skipped warmup, but did mobility drills

 

Squats:

5x60 lbs

5x120

5x170

5x215

5x260

5x305

 

Bench:

5x85

5x120

5x150

5x185

5x215 PB

 

BB Rows:

5x75

5x105

5x135

5x160

5x190

 

Squats were tough, tougher than they should have been but probably due to my illness break last week and being a bit sick still today. My depth wasn't great on the first rep (still a bit below parallel though), but better for the last 4. I had a good spotter for bench, finally. I explained that I was going for 5 reps and that the last one was going to be an all-out effort, and only save me if I was going to crush my face. It looked like he had his fingers under the bar at the end of rep 5, but told me that he didn't have any lift on it at all. I'm happy with the PB on that one. Rows were tough and I ended up with a bit of hip drive to get it off the floor, but I was able to keep it to a bare minimum and still pull with my back for the reps.

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MadCow Week 5

Quick bike and pullup warmup

mobility drills

 

Squat:

5x135 lbs

5x175

5x215, slow negative, pause, explosive up

5x215, speed set 1 breath

 

OHP:

5x80

5x100

5x125

5x145

 

Deadlift:

5x135, hook grip, slow for form

5x215, hook

5x275, hook

5x330, hook

5x390, over/under, chalk

 

Great workout today. Felt great after squats. Power rack was being used for squats after I was done with my set so I cleaned the bar for OHP sets. 125 lbs went up quickly for a set of 5, so I knew I could hit 5x145 today, which I did handily. Feeling good about myself I went into my deadlift sets and other than the first warmup set, the bar just flew up off the floor. The final heavy set was easy and quick, although it was more touch and go than I normally do. I just got into a zone and was amazed at how easy the pulls seemed so I raced through it.

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Didn't get the chance to log on Friday

 

MadCow Week 5, Friday Feb 22

 

jump rope and pullups warmup

forgot to do mobility drills

 

Squat:

10x50 lbs slow

5x125

5x170

5x215

5x265

3x310

8x215

 

Bench:

5x90

5x120

5x155

5x185

3x220 PB

8x155

 

BB Row:

5x80

5x105

5x135

5x165

3x195

8x135

 

Squats went well, good depth and form. Trucking right along with those and looking forward to personal bests a week from today. Bench was good also, happy with my progress. 5th PB in a row on bench. I should make my 5x220 on bench Monday and then I'll be going for a triple 225 on Friday. Finally going to hit 4 big plates for reps. Everything about this workout was good. Looking forward to big Monday in Week 6.

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MadCow Week 6

 

bike/jump rope/pullups warmup

mobility drills

 

Squats

5x45 lbs slow

5x125

5x170

5x215

5x265

5x310

 

Bench

5x90

5x120

5x155

5x185

4x220 PB

 

BB Row

5x80

5x105

5x135

5x165

5x195

 

Sick with a cold today. Really annoying trying to lift with a cold but I didn't want to skip the day. Felt fine otherwise, but still a little off my game. Lost a couple lbs of BW since Friday as well. Lifts sucked today. Hit the squats but my depth was awful. Barely made parallel on them. I think it was my subconscious response to feeling shitty that I automatically stopped at where I felt safe from all my previous parallel squatting. Bench was going alright, but on the 185# set I wasn't feeling strong, and normally I can bang out that second to final set without pause. Had another decent spotter today, kept the hands completely off the bar until the 5th rep when I knew it wasn't going up and told him I needed the help. Still a personal best, though. I'll go for 4 reps of 220# on Friday and then try to hit 5x220# again next Monday. Rows were tough, but I got them. They were actually the easiest lift of the day.

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Cold's gone.

 

MadCow Week 6

 

jump rope and pullups warmup

forgot to do mobility drills, dammit

 

Squat

the only rack was in use and I wasn't able to work in, and all the bench press barbells were also in use

used a fixed bar for 5x50 lbs slow squat warmups, then did a couple hack squat machine sets - 5x 4 plates, 5x 6 plates.

 

OHP, cleaned from floor on each set

5x85

5x105

5x130

5x150 PB

 

Deadlift

5x135, hook grip, slow for form

5x215, hook

5x275, hook

5x335, hook

5x395, switch, chalk, PB

 

Pissed about missing mobility drills and not starting off with some good squats to get me in the mood. I would have had to wait about 20 minutes to get into the squat rack, so I had to deal with it. Form was terrible in the hack squat machine. I don't think that thing is meant for full depth squatting; at least I couldn't figure it out. I got pissed and moved onto OHP.

 

At this point one of the benches opened up so I grabbed the bar. Cleaned all the sets from the floor. Surprised myself by completing 5x150 on my first go at it. My previous best was 4x150. I did have a bit of left-over momentum on the bar at the start of the first rep from the end of the clean movement, but it was minor. Actually, I think the last few weeks I've been cleaning the bar for OHP, and I think I like it. I'll probably keep doing so.

 

Deadlifts went well as expected. I've been getting a bit more touch-n-go that I should on the heavy sets, so I made sure to slow down the bar at the bottom, let the slack out of the bar when the plates hit the floor, then pull again (the way I used to do it). It wasn't as easy as last week's more touch-n-go set, but still no trouble. I had a hankering to try it with hook grip, as my thumbs were feeling OK, but decided against it. My hook grip is starting to feel a bit better.

 

At the rate I'm going, I'm going to hit most of my year-end (December 2013!) goals in about 2 months! Possibly also strict OHP 200 lbs!

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Yeah, I know the way I should be doing them, but in the heat of the moment I sometimes forget what I should be doing and just zone in on getting all the reps as fast as I can.

 

My Mom's in town for the weekend, so just family stuff for me this weekend. Will be taking Monday off of work for a nice long weekend though. It will mess with my lifting schedule a bit, but that doesn't bother me.

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MadCow Week 6

 

jump rope and pullups warmup

got distracted and forgot mobility drills AGAIN

 

Squat

8x45 lbs slow - took me a few extra reps to get the groove

5x125

5x175

5x220

5x270

3x315 PB

8x225

 

Bench

5x90

5x125

5x160

5x190

4x220

8x160

 

BB Row

5x80

5x110

5x140

5x170

3x200

9x140 - one extra for the hell of it

 

EDIT - Forgot to record farmers walks. 4x33m, normal walking pace (for me), 100# db each hand.

 

Good workout today - hit everything as planned. Form was good on the squats, got full depth.

 

Thinking about taking next week as a deload week, do some light power cleans and such, then come back to the gym full force the following Monday. I'm taking Monday off of work, and possibly Friday as well, which would give me a max of 2 days in the gym this week (Tues/Thurs) and throw off my schedule. Probably better just to do a deload week, but I'll see how I feel come next Tuesday.

 

Edited by asparagus
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Today was not a deload day...

 

MadCow Week 7

 

jump rope and pullups

mobility drills

 

Squat

8x45# slow for form

5x125

5x175

5x220

5x270

5x315 PB

 

Bench

5x90

5x120

5x155

5x185

5x220 PB

 

BB Row

5x80

5x110

5x140

5x170

5x200

 

Looked back at my schedule and realized that I'm only 6 weeks in, and had a 1/2 week break when I was sick a couple weeks back, so I shouldn't need a deload just yet. I probably won't be able to hit the next 5 rep bench and row weights, but I might be able to power through the next 5 rep squat weight next Monday. I'll just shoot for 3 reps on bench and rows monday, then go for 4 on Friday, and finish with 5 reps on week 9 Monday.

 

Squats were heavy today. Took max effort to get out 5 reps. Form was OK, I only got parallel, but my knees tracked out over my toes a bit so there was more ankle flex than usual and my hams hit my calves before I pushed back up. If my shins were more vertical then it would have been well past parallel, but my leverage today was a bit off.

 

Happy to get bench finally. Looking forward to a triple 225# for my next set! Rows were tough, needed a bit of leg drive to finish the set. I'll see what happens next week.

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