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Ryan's "Hope to compete again in 2014" log

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yea seriously, great to hear you've resumed training!!!!! Thank you so much for your support as well; it's awesome to have people like yourself in our corner.


I remember you talking of skateboarding. I've always wanted to try it. I got on one recently as well as a longboard but only for a couple of minutes.


Don't forget about your desire to diet down; I know you can do it, you have that fire in your belly to make it happen

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It's great to be back, no question about it. However, one more stumbling block in the path...


Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, in our office got a nasty cold while I was gone. But, not just here, everyone in both my and my wife's family got sick as well, so it was only a matter of time before we caught it as well. I'd hoped to get my lower back day in yesterday, but I just wasn't feeling great, so I opted to walk a bit instead and just work on diet stuff. Well, today I wake up and my nose is blocked up, my chest is congested, and I have zero energy, so the illness finally made its way to me Nothing I can do but keep eating well, rest plenty, and chug EmerGen-C drinks like there's no tomorrow and hope it passes by the end of the week. Oh well, it won't kill me to spend a few days really getting my eating dialed in properly again, so there's still work to be done!

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Oh well, it won't kill me to spend a few days really getting my eating dialed in properly again, so there's still work to be done!


That's what i'm saying! Make it happen VeganEssentials. Fell better too! The damn flu knocked the crap out of myself and then I passed it on to Dani to welcome the new year. Set me back a bit but i'm going strong now and nothing is standing in the way. I know the same will emerge from you after a bit of rest and recovery

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Well, I'm a week deep and the cold is gone about 90%, so that's enough for me to have gotten back to training again.


Two days back-to-back, which I don't do often, but I've been too hyped on getting back to training to put more rest in between


Yesterday was shoulders and a little upper back work -


Standing barbell strict presses -

1x20 @ empty bar

1x10 @ 95 lbs.

1x5 @ 135

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 205

1x1 @ 225

1x1 @ 235 - this is my test weight to make sure I'm not backsliding, and it went up well enough to know that I'm still able to strict press around 240ish, which is fine by me.

Did one set of push presses next, just 5 @ 225 since I haven't done them in ages. Wrapped up the main shoulder work with 2x12 @ 135 behind the neck wide grip presses and that was it for those.


In between, I was doing some pulldowns for a minor working on upper back stuff.

1x10 @ 200

1x10 @ 225

1x10 @ 255

1x8 @ 275

1x6 @ 290

1x20 @ 200


Next, some overhead shrugs on the Smith machine (nothing wrong with using it for a movement with a 3" ROM!)

2x20 @ 270 lbs. (not including counterbalanced bar weight)


Seated 1-arm cable rows next -

2x20 each arm @ 130 lbs.


Finally, wrapped up with one big set of light Hammer Strength plate-loaded shoulder presses. Just a 45 on each side to keep it light, but worked through 45 reps total done as 25, 20 second rest, 15, 20 second rest, 5 more to finish.


That was it for Saturday, Sunday was lower back day.


Warmed up with some bar-only hang power and squat snatches, then some 1-arm snatches afterward. Then, time for business.


Dual cable stack w/ bar deadlift setup, done from defeceit so bar was touching top of my shoes on each rep -

1x10 @ 150

1x10 @ 230

3x15 @ 350 lbs.

I do have to say, the weight feels mighty close to actual bar weight with this setup, so hopefully when I get back to regular deadlifts in March it'll have some good carryover. Aiming to get to 385 for sets of 15 by then, which hopefully will carry over to sets of 10 (or better) with a barbell again.


Seated Good Mornings, done to about 55-60 degree forward lean -

1x20 @ 135

1x20 @ 225

3x20 @ 275 lbs.

Felt well enough, but my screwed up wrists did not like it a whole lot. Tried to just drape my arms wide over the bar (to avoid crushing my hands when I'd tap the bar on the pins), but it kept rolling downward so I had to hold on and deal with it.


16" deadlifts in the rack, done from mid-kneecap height to lockout -

2x20 @ 365 lbs.


Cable pull-throughs, sumo stance -

2x20 @ 85 lbs.


Cooldown was one set of 50 back extensions with moderate weight, felt good for a lot more but that was enough.


Tomorrow is rest, Tuesday should be chest and upper back again, then finally back to leg day on Thursday!

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Quick workout tonight, completely exhausted but got the necessities in -


DB flat bench -

1x20 @ 35s

1x10 @ 65s

5x10 @ 95s

Last set sucked, did 8, had to rest for about 20 seconds before I got the last 2 reps. That set the standard for knowing I was worn out.


BB shrugs behind the back -

1x20 @ 135 lbs.

1x20 @ 225

1x40 @ 315

1x35 @ 365

1x35 @ 385

1x50 @ 315


Cable w/rope face pulls -

3x20 @ 130 lbs.


Cable w/rope Panora pressdowns (standard pressdown for triceps but only the last half of the movement)

3x25 @ 130 lbs.


1-arm cable concentration curls (done lying flat on my back, curling in toward me)

3x20 @ 40 lbs. each arm


Dip station reverse shrugs -

3x20 w/ 25 lb. plate added for extra weight


Just a bit of random stuff since I didn't have it in me to do another big upper back workout so soon. Leg day on Thursday, tomorrow is time to rest!

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Damn i feel so disco when I read this journal. Hope you get better soon and can go back to the exercises that matters


With mention of disco, I can only assume you're also a member at the VF board as well?


I'm definitely looking forward to eventually getting back to serious training with going back to my roots of compound movements only. That may still be a way off, but hopefully before the end of the year if my eye treatments keep holding out. But, for the next season or two, it's all about losing fat and improving overall endurance, which at least helps me keep my sanity. So far, endurance is way up, but the fat loss...well...it's been better. Being around as many vegan snacks as I am, it isn't always easy to keep on track

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Had a not-so-great shoulders training day on Friday, nothing noteworthy as I was run down and just didn't have it in me to be doing much. Worked up to a pretty easy push press @ 245 lbs., but didn't feel like going higher, so that was where it peaked. Moved next to behind the neck power jerks, did sets of 5 with 205, 215 and 225 before calling it quits on those since I was feeling too worn out to go heavy. Ended with some decent strict 1-arm standing overhead DB presses, though, which was a decent ending, sets went as follows:

1x5 each arm @ 100 lb.

1x15 each arm @ 75 lb.

1x10 each arm @ 100 lb.

1x25 each arm @ 50 lb.

Was a short day, maybe 40 minutes total, so I opted to just go with shoulders only and left it at that.


Today was going to be legs and upper back, but not enough time, so I just went with legs and tossed in some biceps work...well...because that's all I felt like fitting in


Squats -

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

2x3 @ 315, done with 5 second pause at rock bottom on each one

1x1 @ 365

1x1 @ 385

1x1 @ 405

1x5 @ 315, done again with 5 second pause on each rep at rock bottom

Wasn't too bad, first squat workout since early December so I didn't know what to expect, but I didn't feel as awkward as expected so I left it at that and figured it was a good re-introduction for next week.


Plate-loaded squat machine, facing into machine and sticking my arse back to do more work to push through with my hips -

5x10 @ 650 lbs.


Seated leg curl -

3x20 @ 140 lbs.


DB hammer curls -

1x5 @ 55 lbs.

1x5 @ 60

1x5 @ 65

2x20 @ 40


That was it, just a quick re-entry to leg day. Tuesday will be chest and upper back!

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Hi Ryan, it's great reading your log. Glad you're back into it!

Just wanted to say thank you for the Vegan Power Training article on the main site. That's what I'm following at the moment and I'm seeing some good results!

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Hi Ryan, it's great reading your log. Glad you're back into it!

Just wanted to say thank you for the Vegan Power Training article on the main site. That's what I'm following at the moment and I'm seeing some good results!


Thanks, Sosso (and John V, too!) Glad that my log still gets checked out from time to time - I felt bad about not being able to update for a stretch, but barring any bad luck, hopefully I'll be able to keep updating regularly for a long time Hope that the article I wrote keeps giving you some great returns for a while - it definitely was the breakthrough that helped me get to putting on a lot more size during that time!


Back to lifting today, upper back and chest -


BB rows -

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x5 @ 245

1x5 @ 265

1x5 @ 285

1x10 @ 225

Just testing these after a long layoff from them. Felt decent working up to 285, but my lower back is still a bit fried from leg day so I didn't want to go much beyond that for the time being. I'm thinking that I'll incorporate BB rows back in every other back workout for a while as they always help my deadlift go up quickly, and since I plan to start DLs again in a few weeks, now's the time to get back on those rows!


Pulldowns -

2x5 @ 295 + 2x5 @ 210

Did 5 reps at 295, then would drop it down to 210 and do 5 more. Those rows took a lot out of me - I was expecting to hit some 8s on the 290, but I was just too beat down to get 'em, so dropping weight and kicking out a few more reps seemed the way to go.


Behind-the-back BB shrugs -

1x10 @ 315

1x10 @ 405

1x10 @ 455

1x7 @ 505 - strap slipped off on the 7th while lowering, didn't finish the last 3 reps

1x50 @ 315, no rest during set

Stupid straps were letting me down tonight - don't know why they felt slick, but one popped loose on that 505 and that was the end of going heavy. Oh well, next time...


DB flat bench -

1x10 @ 50s

1x10 @ 75s

1x5 @ 100s

1x5 @ 110s

1x20 @ 75s

1x40 @ 50s, done as 30, rest 15 seconds, 7, rest 15 seconds, last 3 reps to finish

Felt good, didn't want to do as much heavy work as I was getting pretty tired, but it was nice to know that the set of 5 with the 110s wasn't all that difficult, so I'll keep working my way up again. Had to complain to the staff at the gym that one of the 115s has been gone for months (even they don't know where it went), so hopefully it'll pop back one day so I don't have to jump straight to 120s in a few weeks.


Seated Icarian row, neutral grip -

2x15 @ 200

Way too tired now, knew that it was time to go, so I called it quits.


Rest day tomorrow, then it'll be some more makeshift defeceit deadlifts on Thursday to round out some lower back work.

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Lower back day last night, decided to test a re-entry to deadlifts after not doing them for the past 2.5 months after getting hurt -


Warmed up with back extension machine for 3 sets of light weight for 30 reps and some cable/rope handle trunk twists for 3 light sets of 10 as well. Grabbed the bar and tested the waters again.


1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x5 @ 315

1x5 @ 365

1x5 @ 385 - felt okay, but back was giving me the hint to take it slow, so I dropped down

3x10 @ 315

Wow, even with doing seated good mornings and my makeshift defeceit deadlift setup, my body told me in a big way that it doesn't matter what you do, NOTHING feels like a deadlift, and I'm paying for it today. Lots of soreness, but in the good way. As usual, it'll be a long road ahead, but I'll keep plugging away to get those numbers back up again.


Didn't feel good for any more lower back work after that, so I goofed around for the rest of my time. Lesson learned, I need to split things up better with squats, rows and deadlifts as there's just no way for me to do all of them in one week and be fresh for each session. So, then it was just some random fun to finish -


Table-top 1-arm DB curls -

1x10 @ 55 each arm

1x10 @ 65 each arm

1x6 @ 75 each arm

1x25 @ 45 each arm


Shovel lift (inspired courtesy of the other thread where it was brought up), done with standard olympic bar and a 45 lb. plate on one end, grabbing at the first ring on the plate side and the furthest part of the bar on the other side -

3x10 lifts to head height each side

Definitely made me feel it in places that don't usually get much work!


Neck extensions w/ Ironmind harness and cable setup -

2x50 (25 front, 25 rear) w/ 25 lbs. on weight stack


DB reverse curl to hold for time at 90 degrees (another arm-wrestling inspired arm movement)

2x12 seconds @ 45 lb. DBs

1x30 seconds @ 25 lb. DBs


That was it, today is rest, tomorrow is light endurance work for upper back and moderate weight shoulders work!

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Lower back day last night, decided to test a re-entry to deadlifts after not doing them for the past 2.5 months after getting hurt -

Welcome back to the darkside, VE


Strong workout, looking forward to following your progress.

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Ralst - I'm happy to be back to deadlifting, but I tell you, I haven't been this sore in my lower back since starting to deadlift seriously about 6 years ago It's a nice kind of sore, but always a real kick in the pants getting used to it all over again.


Robert - I don't have a dip belt on hand, but I'm sure I could get one. I believe that Valeo makes some that are relatively inexpensive and are vegan (one of the gyms I go to has one), but otherwise, IronMind makes primarily non-leather gear, and their stuff holds up better than anything else. I'll see if I can track down one of the Valeo brand dip belts, but if I can't find anything, check out www.ironmind.com for their product catalog and you'll find their vegan dip belt in there as well. It's a bit pricey from them, but you'll be able to pass it down to your grandchildren 50 years from now and it'll work as well as the day you bought it

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Hit the gym up yesterday for what was to be shoulders and upper back work, but it was a disaster. My CNS is shot right now from deadlifting - I forgot that, after a re-entry, it takes me quite a few days to fully recover from my first DL workout so I've been spent.


Started off with some strict overhead presses to a single at 225, then was going to do push presses but it wasn't meant to be. Unracked 245, sore wrist felt a sharp pain and the bar rolled out and smacked me in the windpipe nicely. That threw me off, missed the lift, and was in a bad mental state from there on out. Just goofed with some lighter overhead work for a bit, then did some more shoulder work in the way of 1-arm overhead DB presses for light sets, toss in some behind-the-back shrugs going up to sets of 10 @ 455 lbs. and I was over it. I toughed out a bad day, but it was less than remarkable since my body did not want to cooperate. So, today is rest, will do my light upper back (sans shrugs) work tomorrow and perhaps some light chest work as well. Wednesday is back to fun with my next eye injection, so no real liftting from then until Sunday. But, once I'm recovered I'll be back at it, so look for one more post this week coming soon!

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Quick chest and upper back workout tonight before the 'ol poke in the eye that comes in 11 hours.


DB rows -

1x10 each arm @ 100 lbs.

3x20 " " @ 120 lbs.


DB flat bench -

1x10 @ 60s

1x10 @ 80s

3x10 @ 100s

1x15 @ 75s

Wanted 20 with those 75s, but the chest just didn't want to cooperate, so 15 was it.


Hammer Iso Plate Loaded Low Row -

2x20 @ 320 lbs.


DB incline flyes, just for the heck of it -

2x20 @ 40s


Seated 1-arm row machine -

1x15 @ 150 lbs. each arm

1x30 @ 100 lbs. each arm


Panora pressdowns w/ 2 handled rope and cable -

2x25 @ 100 lbs.


Plate-loaded pulldown machine -

1x10 @ 360 lbs.

1x20 @ 270 lbs.


That was it - a much better day than last time, and a fine way to end off the next 4 days of no training. Sunday will be a light leg and shoulder day, then one random workout before I head to Anaheim, where I'll finally get the chance to train with Robert after all these times of failing to connect at the gym Definitely looking forward to it, and I'll be back to post once I'm recovered.

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First day back after recovering for 4 days, felt good, had some fun tonight. Almost waited another day as my lower back was tweaked a bit from falling asleep on the couch in a bad position last night, but it got better as I started lifting.


Started off at gym #1 -

Standing strict overhead presses -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 95 lbs.

1x5 @ 135

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 205

1x1 @ 225

1x5 @ 205

1x8 @ 185

Finished these with 1x20 behind-the-neck wide grip presses with a slight push (only about 2-3" bend at the knees)


Pulldowns -

1x10 @ 225

1x8 @ 275

1x5 @ 295

1x15 @ 225


Standing partial overhead presses in the rack, done from about 2" above head to lockout -

1x10 @ 205

1x10 @ 225

1x8 @ 255

1x2 @ 275 - too fried to go on with heavy work

1x10 @ 205


Seated row, V-handle -

1x15 @ 225

1x10 @ 250

1x20 @ 205


Time ran out, off to gym #2 that's just 2-3 miles down the road -


Plate-loaded pulldown machine -

1x20 @ 300 lbs.

1x6 @ 410


Plate-loaded pulldown reverse shrugs -

2x20 @ 360 lbs.


Reverse dips (shrugging up) on the dip station -

1x20 @ bodyweight

1x20 @ 25 lbs. added

1x15 @ 45 lbs. added - slipped and fell off the station at 15, dumped the weight and did 10 more right away @ bodyweight


1-arm cable overhead presses, having some fun -

2x25 @ 70 lbs. each arm (done as 20, rest 10 seconds, finish last 5)


1-arm cable shrugs, snatch grip angle -

2x30 each arm @ 180 lbs.


That was it, just some fun upper back and shoulders work, will get some light lower back stuff done Tuesday before heading to Anaheim on Thursday. Looking forward to getting to train with Robert this weekend!

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Lower back and chest work today!


Good mornings in the power rack, done to about 75 degrees just short of torso parallel to floor -

1x10 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x5 @ 275

1x5 @ 315

1x5 @ 335

2x12 @ 315

1x18 @ 315

Working back up quickly with my first heavier standing GM day in quite a while. Once I get to knocking out sets with 405+ I'll be pleased, but I don't expect it to be too long!


DB flat bench -

1x10 @ 60s

1x5 @ 80s

1x5 @ 100s

1x3 @ 120s - went for it just to see, was hoping for at least 2, and came up with an extra to be just short of my best with 4 reps at that weight. Looks like the high-rep work does have good carryover on chest stuff for me, which is nice! Last rep was a bit ugly - left arm locked out fast and clean, right shoulder cocked out a bit and made me struggle, but still got it.

1x20 @ 80s for a 20-rep PR on weight, here's to making it with 90s in a few months

1x55 @ 50s - done as 35 straight, rest 15 seconds, 10, rest 15 seconds, 10 more to finish, triceps too fried to go on


Cable w/2 handled rope pull-throughs -

1x20 @ 150, 160, 170, 180, 200 for 5 sets total


JM presses lying on floor at home with EZ bar -

3x20 @ 80 lbs.

Similar to skull crushers, except that you bring the bar back into your neck and triceps press it out from there


Bodyweight reverse hypers -



That was it - just kept it short and sweet tonight, no extra crap, just good stuff but still doing some higher rep work. Hoping that I'll be able to get to going heavier low-rep again in a few months, but still going to take it easy for a bit and keep tabs on the vision since it's been doing really well this past 14 months and I'd hate to make it worse just because I want to lift heavy again. Nevertheless, feeling good, weight back down to 251 now so fat is still coming off slowly. Two days off now to prep for heading to Anaheim, will post my workouts there once they're done!

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So great training with you Ryan!!!! I will be in touch about other stuff soon too! I'm having too much fun training in Southern California! I can barely bring myself to get online during daylight hours...in fact I haven't been online during daylight the entire time I've been here aside from 5 minutes earlier today just before my workout to make a quick update on my journal.


Anyway, hope Anaheim was great for you and for Vegan Essentials.


I look forward to totally awesome things for both of us in the future...........I look forward to training with you when you are 100%. Even at less than 100% you were a beast in the gym. I can't wait to train more!


All the best!

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