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jen's training log


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with some encouragement I suppose I will start a log here. I just finally was able to get video of my form in hopes of some critique, which I posted on the veganfitness board.. so I guess as a first post I'll just throw this entire week in here.. copy and paste! maybe in a few months I'll look back at these videos and laugh..

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7/10

-squats: 5x120, 5x155, 5x165, 5x165, 5x165

-stiff leg deadlift: 2x7x175lbs

-2x10 lunges with 25lb dumbbells in hand

-seated calf machine, 2x10 @ +230lbs

-abs, lower abs, obliques (seated machine @ 120lbs)

25 mins cardio

 

I also got video of myself squatting, at 125 lbs and 165 lbs. kind of depressing, really, to see my technique, finally. there are no mirrors in the gym so I've had a hard time really keeping track of myself and my form.

I always thought I was going lower than I am. oh well. have to back track and work on that. I also feel weaker than a month or so ago, since I've had so much time off from the gym. This is a decent wake up call to get my ass back in gear.

I also think my quads are a bit disproportionally stronger than the other muscles at play, so I've always felt much stronger/confident with a narrower stance and seem to be able to get down to parallel without much problem in that case; however, I've been working on using a wider stance, and in improving on a wider stance, I have felt like I have a much harder time just getting my ass down where it needs to be. For my height I have a longer torso and shorter legs and quads and it feels really difficult for me to get below parallel. Even when just standing without any weight, I have a hard time squatting ass to floor.. maybe this is an issue of flexibility as much as strength? Who knows.

 

I'm sorry the videos are kind of crappy, my cameraman wasn't 100% sure of what angle to shoot from and the gym is kind of cramped so it was hard for him to find somewhere to stand to get a good shot.. and also I am sorry I cannot figure out a way to get the video loaded vertically in youtube.. I rotated them on my own computer but they uploaded in their original form for some reason..

 

Anyway, if you can get past all that to actually watch the videos, I'd like to know what you think of my form and what I should work on.. maybe I will post these in the other forum to get more responses..

 

This is 5 reps at 125 lbs, which is what I am doing my first "warm up" set at these days, not a huge struggle but still takes some real effort.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIsrdmsZh0M

 

This is 5 reps at 165 lbs, and I am definitely not getting low enough.. which sucks. I will probably take the weights down a notch for a while and work on getting below parallel. I also had no idea my knees wobbled that way.. I've never noticed.. they don't feel uneasy at all, but I'm not happy with the way they look in this video.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i57sWF_aZE

 

I like near the end when the narrator says "go down lower." Thanks, cameraman.

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7/12

-bench press: 5x70, 5x80, 5x85, 5x85

-dumbbell bench press: 7x35(each)

-dumbbell shoulder press: 5x20, 5x25, 5x25, 5x25, 3x30

-assisted dips: 10x#7, 10x#6, 7x#5

-upright barbell row: 2x10x55

-overhead triceps extension: 2x10x25

-3x10 shrugs with 45lb. dumbbells

25 mins cardio

 

I have video of my bench press.. I don't feel quite as uncertain about my benching form but I'd be glad to take constructive critcism if there's something I could change to get better at it..

 

both videos are 5 reps at 85 lbs.. the first video is with a more narrow grip, and the second is a wider grip.. I'm still trying to figure out where I am most comfortable in terms of positioning. with the narrower grip I feel like I'm working the muscles more, but the wider grip decreases the range of motion and feels a little more stable, but also more awkward at the same time.. are there pros/cons to one over the other?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XGI18L61WM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQkl8zyIpXY

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7/14

-deadlift: 5x135, 5x185, 5x205, 5x205,5x205

-lat pulldowns: 3x10x#7

-assisted pullups: 3x10x#9

-barbell rows: 3x10x45

-2x10 curls with 15lb dumbbells

-2x10 back hypers (+10lbs)

25 mins cardio

 

here are two videos of me deadlifting 5x205lbs. they're practically the same. I had to adjust my grip on the last rep of the second set because it was slipping.

when I do sets like this, should I be going all the way down, stopping completely, then coming back up after a brief pause? or more like I am doing here- which is going down until the bar definitely rests on the ground, then coming back up, no pause? does it matter? I never even considered the difference until I watched this and thought, gee, I'm not even pausing between reps..

 

comments welcome- am I bending my knees enough? sometimes I do more, sometimes less..

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0ZRRX38z-8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixeSRkUBVH0

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well, I've got a lot of work to do. I decided to try to widen my squatting stance even more, which is really tough for some reason. short legs. I don't know. I also have this funny thing about my legs- when I stand straight, my toes point outward instead of forward. I walk like that too. like a duck. kind of like someone put my feet on a little rotated, compared to most people. so finding an appropriate angle to point my toes at a wider stance that works with my hip movement is a bit challenging for me.

 

I also took the weight all the way down to 145lbs to really concentrate on getting as low as possible. I also decided that my quads are my strength and if I'm going to squat wider, I probably need to focus less on them and focus on helping my hips and hamstrings, which might need a little support at first.. so l figured I'd drop the lunges (even though I really like them) and do some hip flexor and ab/dductor excercises. (I also realized today that right about when I stopped using the hip ab/dductor machine a few months ago seems to be when my squat started to suffer a little. maybe the extra excercise on those muscles was actually helping, despite me thinking it was mostly useless. eh.)

 

 

7/17

-squats: 5x120, 5x145, 5x145, 5x145, 5x145

-stiff leg deadlift: 2x7x175lbs

-1x10 lunges with 25lb dumbbells in hand

-hip abductor/adductor machine, 2x10x#10

-seated calf machine, 2x10 @ +230lbs

-abs, obliques (seated machine @ 120lbs),

25 mins cardio

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I've always felt much stronger/confident with a narrower stance and seem to be able to get down to parallel without much problem in that case; however, I've been working on using a wider stance, and in improving on a wider stance, I have felt like I have a much harder time just getting my ass down where it needs to be. For my height I have a longer torso and shorter legs and quads and it feels really difficult for me to get below parallel. Even when just standing without any weight, I have a hard time squatting ass to floor.. maybe this is an issue of flexibility as much as strength? Who knows.

I don't see any problems with your form on that first set. It sounds to me like you're trying to go for deep squats, and are dissapointed with the depth you've been hitting.

 

Personally, I think going any deeper than parallel or just beyond parallel is a bad idea (IMO). I think it puts way too much strain on your knees. I did notice on that second set, however, that your knees tend to bend inward a bit on the up-stroke. This is usually harder to control, the wider your stance, but you might consider dropping back on the poundages and concentrate on keeping your knees dead aligned.

 

The depth looks fine to me. This is the same range of motion I've been using for squats and still seeing phenominal strength increases. You've got to taylor the lift to your body type

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Vegpeep- thanks for the input. I agree, my first set doesn't look bad, but that's a relatively lighter weight for me- it's the heavier weights that look kind of sketchy. I'm not looking to go super deep, but I need to at least feel comfortable going at least to parallel. I also wanted a wider stance because even thought it's a bit uncomfortable now and my physique makes it hard for me to get my hips low, I feel like a wider stance uses a more effective balance of muscles, compared to when I depend mostly on my quads... thanks for the encouragement!

 

 

7/18

-bench press: 5x70, 5x80, 5x85, 4x90

-dumbbell bench press: 7x35(each hand)

-dumbbell shoulder press: 5x20, 5x25, 5x25, 5x25, 3x30

-assisted dips: 10x#6, 10x#6, 7x#5

-upright barbell row: 2x10x55

-overhead triceps extension: 2x10x25

-3x10 shrugs with 45lb. dumbbells

25 mins cardio

 

something clicked when benching today- I figured out how to use my whole body a bit more. so I got brave and threw on an extra 5 lbs since it's been a while since I progressed, and was happy to make 4 really solid reps at 90 lbs.

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7/20

-deadlift: 5x135, 5x185, 5x195, 5x195,5x195

-lat pulldowns: 3x10x#7

-assisted pullups: 3x10x#9

-barbell rows: 3x10x50

-2x10 curls with 15lb dumbbells

-2x10 back hypers (+10lbs)

25 mins cardio

 

I scaled back on the weight for deadlifts to work on keeping my hips lower and back straighter (more vertical), and also because I had less rest time between squatting and deadlift this week. Still not sure how to improve form- seems like I can keep my back more vertical and straigher just by reminding myself to look upward.. but I just can't get my hips to start lower or I'll fall over backwards.. maybe a wider grip would help.. or, maybe I should try sumo style..

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  • 2 weeks later...

7/31

-squats: 5x120, 5x135, 5x150, 5x150, 5x150

-stiff leg deadlift: 2x7x175lbs

-1x10 lunges with 25lb dumbbells in hand

-hip abductor/adductor machine, 2x10x#11

-seated calf machine, 2x10 @ +230lbs

-abs, obliques (seated machine @ 120lbs),

25 mins cardio

 

8/2

-bench press: 5x70, 5x80, 5x85, 2x90, 2x90

-dumbbell bench press: 7x35(each hand)

-dumbbell shoulder press: 5x20, 5x25, 5x25, 5x25, 5x25

-assisted dips: 10x#6, 10x#6, 7x#5

-upright barbell row: 2x10x55

-overhead triceps extension: 2x10x25

-3x10 shrugs with 45lb. dumbbells

25 mins cardio

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8/10

-deadlift: 5x135, 5x185, 5x200, 5x195,5x195

-lat pulldowns: 3x10x#7

-assisted pullups: 1x10x#9, 2x10x#8

-barbell rows: 3x10x50

-2x10 curls with 15lb dumbbells

-3x10 back hypers (+10lbs)

25 mins cardio

 

still working on deadlift form. tried sumo style, didn't like it. went back to conventional, and tried a wider grip, which feels a little funny but I think might help me to keep my back straighter. holder it wider seems to force my torso down lower and allow me to hold the bar without it pulling my shoulders forward as much. I don't know. still working on this.

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8/21

-squats: 5x120, 5x135, 5x160, 5x160, 5x160

-stiff leg deadlift: 2x8x175lbs

-1x10 lunges with 25lb dumbbells in hand

-hip abductor/adductor machine, 2x10x#11

-seated calf machine, 2x10 @ +230lbs

-abs, obliques (seated machine @ 120lbs),

25 mins cardio

 

all but the very last rep of squats were perfect form. I'm feeling pretty good today. it's a lot easier when you have someone saying "lower!" while you squat.

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your form on the bench press is pretty good. I would recommend trying to pinch your shoulder blades real tight together and try to arch your back as far as you can as long as you keep your bum on the bench. The wider grip is also hits the chest muscles more and eventually you will be stronger with the wider grip. I like your elbow angles keep it 45 degrees from your body like you have. all in all great form.

 

boliver

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sorry jonathan- it's nothing personal.. I just happened upon this board and then had full intentions of keeping up logs on both sites.. then I found myself reading both of them less and less (getting busy as the school year approaches- I'm a high school teacher).. and only updating this one since this one seems to get less posting it's easier to find my thread on the front page..

 

I'll update my log on the other site for you.. unfortunately I don't have much exciting progress... and I've signed up for a "learn to play ice hockey" clinic and am working on my ice skating skills.. I'm really excited for that and it's kind of taken a lead ahead of lifting for my enthusiasim for the fall.. but I am determined to keep improving my form and make some progress when I try for some new PR's in several weeks..

 

8/23

-bench press: 5x70, 5x80, 5x85, 2x90, 1x90

-dumbbell bench press: 7x35(each hand)

-dumbbell shoulder press: 5x20, 5x25, 5x25, 5x25, 5x25

-assisted dips: 10x#6, 8x#5, 6x#5

-upright barbell row: 2x10x55

-overhead triceps extension: 2x10x25

-3x10 shrugs with 50lb. dumbbells

25 mins cardio

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8/30

-bench press: 5x70, 5x80, 5x85, 3x90, 1x90

-dumbbell bench press: 7x35(each hand)

-dumbbell shoulder press: 5x20, 5x25, 5x25, 5x25, 3x30

-assisted dips: 10x#6, 10x#5, 8x#5

-lateral db raises: 2x10x15

-overhead triceps extension: 2x10x25

-3x10 shrugs with 50lb. dumbbells

25 mins cardio

 

9/1

-deadlift: 5x135, 5x185, 5x200, 5x200,5x200

-lat pulldowns: 3x10x#7

-assisted pullups: 1x10x#9, 2x10x#8

-seated rows: 3x10x#5

-2x10 curls with 15lb dumbbells

-good mornings 3x10x35lbs e-z curl. wasn't sure what weight to start at since I've never done these before. bar alone was way too easy so I just stuck with +10 lbs this week. still too light but next week I'll try more.

25 mins cardio

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9/5

-squats: 5x120, 5x135, 5x160, 5x160, 5x160

-stiff leg deadlift: 2x8x175lbs

-1x10 lunges with 25lb dumbbells in hand

-hip abductor/adductor machine, 2x10x#11

-seated calf machine, 2x10 @ +230lbs

-abs, obliques (seated machine @ 120lbs),

25 mins cardio

 

9/6

-bench press: 5x70, 5x80, 5x85, 3x90

-dumbbell bench press: 7x35(each hand)

-dumbbell shoulder press: 5x20, 5x25, 5x25, 5x25, 2x30

-assisted dips: 10x#6, 10x#5, 8x#5

-dumbbell upright row: 2x10x20

-overhead triceps extension: 2x10x25

-3x10 shrugs with 50lb. dumbbells

25 mins cardio

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