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


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xphilx - no luck yet on the video clips, updated software still didn't work and I can't find my camera guide to get more info. I'll keep looking and HOPEFULLY get what I need this week.

 

Gone for 2 days for a reunion for my wife's family which was stressful, came back and heard that my aunt's stomach cancer has returned and it's not looking great for her and she's got emergency surgery Monday or Tuesday depending on how soon they can get her in condition to go in for it. Lots of frustration in me right now, headed to the gym for chest and back to work some if it out.

 

DB flat bench -

1x10 @ 50s

1x10 @ 75s

1x15 @ 100s for a PR on reps

1x20 @ 75s

1x25 @ 75s, done as 18, rest 15-20 seconds, did 7 more to get the total count

1x55 @ 55s, done as 35, rest 20-25 seconds, 12, rest 20-25 seconds, 8 more to finish

 

Plate-loaded pulldowns -

1x10 @ 270

1x10 @ 360

1x10 @ 380

1x10 @ 410

 

Plate-loaded incline press (weight in plates, not counting handle weight) -

1x12 @ 275

2x20 @ 225, done as 18 on first set, rest 10 seconds, finish last 2, 2nd set as 15, rest 15 seconds, 5 reps to complete

 

Ultra-wide grip pulldowns -

1x12 @ 250

2x20 @ 220

 

1-arm standing cable Yates row -

2x20 @ 150 lbs.

 

Came home, still fired up and crabby, went to the basement for some last-minute arm work -

 

Standing EZ bar curls -

2x20 @ 80 lbs. mostly strict

 

EZ bar JM presses -

2x20 @ 80 lbs.

 

Wrapped up with my thick handled DB @ 29 lbs. total weight for some pyramid sets of 1-arm hammer curls alternating arms each time it went up or down -

Started with 10 reps down to 1 rep, then back up to 5 each side for a total of 69 reps each arm, would have done one more rep for each if I'd known it would have put me at 70 Took about 2 minutes total time for that set, dripping with sweat afterward, called it a night. Felt strong and used my anger positively, but it's no fun when life kicks you and that's the one way you get fired up.

 

Stuffed myself afterward, got some work to do then off to bed as the sun comes up. Feel like I've got a tenuous hold on my sanity right now, here's to hoping next week is better...

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Thanks, Joe - just been one of those starts to a month that I'd gladly wipe off the record books if I could. Trip to Vegas was kind of a bust for my footwear research purposes (though I did sulk and sweat a lot ), an issue with an employee who told me Friday she's jumping ship on us to move too far away to keep working at our store, and now these things. It'll get better, of course, but sometimes you just want to bang your head on the wall when everything seems to go wrong at once.

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Felt terrible for the start of the day (got a 2nd wind at 5 AM, had to take a tranquilizer to get to sleep or else stay up for 24 hours straight), felt sluggish and depressed all day, but made sure that squat day still happened.

 

Warm-up - 5 minute power walk, roll-out on foam roller, 24" box jumps, squat doubles and triples to 315, single at 365, then time for work

 

Deep BB squats - 5x5 @ 315 - all sets felt good for 1-3 more reps each, but just trying to re-build my confidence after bad last few weeks for leg work, all reps well below parallel.

 

Box squats to bench at parallel height - 3x8 @ 275, all reps paused and sat back with explosive rise out of the hole

 

Horizontal leg press for burning out all remaining energy - 2x50 @ 150 lbs. (done as 35, rest 20 seconds, 15 more reps to finish

 

Seated leg curl - 2x30 @ 125

 

Fell on the ground afterward, legs were jelly, could barely move. All non-warm up work done in 52 minutes, kept the pace faster with less rest, feeling good now that I had a decent workout even with a crappy start to the day.

 

Checking out a tradeshow tomorrow so I might get some walking in, skateboarding Thursday, will get upper back and shoulders Friday if all goes according to plan! Also, building a mini-skatepark in the warehouse to have some fun with and get some extra cardio - getting ready to construct a few things later this month, should give a nice diversion come winter when I can't get out to walk and don't feel like driving to the skatepark.

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Tired from leg day, but that didn't stop me from getting back in to lift tonight.

 

Planned on upper back and shoulders, ditched shoulders to be more focused and keep things simple.

 

Plate-loaded Hammer Strength low row -

1x10 @ 180, 230, 270, 320

3x20 @ 350 lbs.

 

1-arm DB rows using EZ bar (dbs only to 100 lbs, not enough!)

3x10 each arm @ 150 lbs.

 

Dual cable stack straight bar rows to sternum -

3x25 @ 180 lbs.

 

1-arm BB shrugs in rack -

3x25 @ 170 lbs.

 

Cable w/rope face pulls -

3x20 @ 80 lbs.

 

1-arm cable stack shrugs at varying angles -

3x25 @ 150

 

Barbell scapular shrugs forward (locked out bench, shrug up above chest)

3x25 @ 225, done on floor w/pad under back to allow better scapular extension and retraction

 

That was it, done hard and quickly. Skateboarding tomorrow, rest day Friday, should be in for lower back on Saturday!

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Yesterday pretty well sucked, no training, but got in some shoulders and light lower back work today -

 

Standing strict overhead BB press -

2x8 @ 95

2x3 @ 135

1x1 @ 185

1x1 @ 205

1x1 @ 220

Felt a bit weak from not having done much overhead work lately, dropped the weight a bit lower than usual and upped the reps -

3x8 @ 175 lbs.

1x14 @ 135 lbs.

 

Rack deadlifts -

1x12 @ 315 lbs., done with plates set from 6" off floor

1x12 @ 335 lbs., done from 9" off floor

Lower back was not feeling game for much today, did some light good mornings to 80 degrees forward lean -

3x20 @ 225

 

Did some Viking-press style overheads on the plate-loaded squat machine, 3x12 @ 10 plates (felt more like 175ish or so in hand), 1x30 @ 6 plates (probably closer to 100 lbs. actual weight)

 

Behind-the-neck power jerks, wide grip -

3x6 @ 205 lbs.

 

That was it, nothing special as I was completely wiped out today. Should be back for upper back work tomorrow or Tuesday at latest!

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Needed Monday off to recover, it paid off well enough today for chest and upper back -

 

Pull-ups, parallel grip about 18" apart -

2x3 @ bodyweight (came in a bit bloated at 249.5 today)

1x6 w/ 35 lbs. added (done as 3 in a row, then singles with 2 seconds rest betweeen each)

1x6 w/ 40 lbs. added (done same as above)

1x5 w/ 45 lbs. added (done all as singles with 5 seconds between each, 6th rep was a complete failure, moved about 2" upward)

Still, a good day for weighted pull-up work!

 

DB flat bench -

1x10 @ 40s

1x5 @ 80s

1x5 @ 100s

2x20 @ 85s (1st set done as 19, rest 5 seconds, finish last rep, 2nd set as 17, rest 10 seconds, finish last 3 reps)

 

Nautilus plate-loaded pulldowns -

2x20 @ 300 lbs.

 

DB incline bench, about 25 degree incline -

2x12 @ 85s

2x20 @ 65s

All sets a struggle on these, getting fried now

 

V-Bar pulldowns -

6x15 @ 190 lbs.

Just doing some high-volume work here, nothing too tough or fancy

 

Plate-loaded incline press -

2x40 @ 100 lbs. to burn out, done as 30 reps, rest 10 seconds, last 10 reps to complete on each set

 

Wanted to do some shrugging, but I was completely spent after that one. Good enough for today, will be skateboarding tomorrow and Thursday, leg day on Friday!

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How ya feeling?

 

Not so great today, VLV

 

Skating on Thursday wrecked me pretty good. Fell on my thigh on a nice narrow steel bar with all my weight, now I've got a big lump there and have had to hobble around for two days. Looks like no leg work for a few more days, but I will probably get to another shoulders/upper back day this evening to make do. Better than not training, that's for sure!

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Not-so-great lower back day. Leg was still killing me every time I bent down, so deadlifts did not go too well -

 

Power cleans to warm up, 3x3 @ 135

 

Deadlift -

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

1x1 @ 365

1x1 @ 385

10x1 @ 375

Just too painful to do more than that, just a bunch of singles to get some work in.

 

Goofed with some chest stuff in between -

BB flat bench -

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 185

1x5 @ 205

1x3 @ 225

1x3 @ 245

1x2 @ 255

1x1 @ 265

1x1 @ 275

2x10 @ 205

1x20 @ 165

That was it, haven't done BB benching for a long time, figured I may as well have some fun with it.

 

Nothing more than that, a bit dejected at not being able to do any lower body stuff, called it a day in a short span. Tomorrow off, Tuesday is back and shoulder work!

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I must be a magnet for bad luck these days

 

Upper back day was planned, didn't go too well. Started with assisted pull-ups, varying grips each set -

3x12 w/ yellow band, gives about 20 lbs. assistance at bottom, 5 lbs. at top

1x10 w/ red band, gives about 5-10 lbs. assistance at bottom, nothing at top

 

In between, I did some barbell Hise shrugs -

1x20 @ 315, 385, 455, 505

On the last rep of the last set, I felt a ping in my lower back, never a good sign. Limped over to stretch it out for about 5 minutes, realized it wasn't TOO bad, but still, not good.

 

So, had to call it a day, to some extent. Came back to the warehouse, did 10x5 pull-ups in back and some hangs for 60 seconds each to stretch out, feeling a bit better but I expect to have this haunt me for anywhere from 4-8 days as per usual.

 

This puts me in a tough spot, but I think I'm going to do what's necessary - I'm taking the rest of the month off, and might just take off for September as well. Training lately hasn't been a great de-stressor, rather, most days have made me feel more stressed, which is telling me I need a nice long break. The battles with occasional injuries, eye surgeries, not getting my strength back quickly, all have added up to my not enjoying training like I used to. A layoff might be just what the doctor ordered, so here's to a nice upcoming break and hopefully the rediscovery of my love for lifting, which has been absent for the past month or so minus one or two decent sessions. I'll keep skateboarding during this time, taking a few walks and eating pretty well, but I think I need some time away from the iron to find myself again as far as why I train. I'm not going to be what I used to be, and as I've always found, once I don't consider myself to be "good" at something any more, my interest wanes and I get burnout (which is why I didn't skate for the greater part of a decade - I just couldn't keep up!) So, off to do a bit of soul searching regarding why I'm still training and what I need to accomplish from it, will resume posting once I get back in the swing of things in any number of weeks.

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It sounds like you’ve been having a tough time. I’m really sorry to hear that.

 

Hopefully taking a break will help you relax and reprioritize. But maybe your passion for training will be renewed soon enough. You’re definitely an inspiration to me!

 

I hope you get a lot of good skateboarding in during your downtime.

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Ryan,

 

Your log is very inspirational. I know I always read it when you update it.

 

I also like how you have been commenting on your life situation in your blog. I love the honesty. I crave it in myself and others, it is so meaningful to me. My life has both been totally shitty and awesome in the last couple of months, so I know where you are coming from.

 

@ finding the passion in lifting: For me it has been something that has waxed and waned, and transformed itself and it's purpose over the last couple of years. I was getting tired of my bodybuilding routine in the last couple of months, and now I am working with an olympic lifting coach, and finding so much joy and interest in that right now. I'm not looking to compete in oly lifting or anything, I've never been that strong, but this style of training is fun and will also build up my physique, and so I am very passionate about it. In time I'm sure you will find your next big passion and run with it.

 

Josh

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Thanks, DAVegan and xveganjoshx!

 

Josh - I'm glad to know that someone actually bothers to read the other bits I put in my log besides training. I like to keep a record of any weird swings going on in my mental state during my training, as I can usually find a strong connection between feeling shitty and training not going as well. I can fully relate to the "totally shitty yet totally awesome" part - I feel like I've got it all yet don't have much at the same time, which isn't always easy to work through.

 

re: training, it's been such an up and down thing this past few years, and the lack of consistency just keeps getting to me. With the eye stuff, lower back issues that pop up now and again, I have to pretty well realize that I'm not meant to get back to powerlifting or strongman any time soon. I keep telling myself "Maybe next year", but I don't think it would be for quite a bit longer than that. It's frustrating, but when I don't train for a while I feel like something's missing, so I need to re-evaluate my strategy and get a bit of a layoff until the fire comes back. Could be a week, could be 2-3 weeks, but I know in due time it'll be calling out to me. I just need to get a new plan of attack that I can be happy with so that I don't keep ending up in this situation over and over again. It'll work out, but for now, I just need to collect myself and figure out what's going to make me love training consistently again so I can find my focus!

 

Congrats on getting into olympic lifting - I always wanted to, but I was too lazy to get up to meet the local group at 10 AM on Saturdays to learn proper technique (so I'm stuck with my "brute-it-up-any-way-I-can" style that I've always had). Hope you have a lot of fun with it!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, took some time off and re-thought my priorities a bit, and in the end, it was a good thing. Needed a break without worrying about training for a few weeks, hit the gym yesterday to get in some chest and upper back work -

 

Plate-loaded Nautilus pulldown machine -

1x10 @ 90 lbs.

1x10 @ 180

1x10 @ 270

1x5 @ 360

1x8 @ 380

1x8 @ 410

1x5 @ 450

1x18 @ 360

Hit a PR for reps with the 360, battled that one out for a bit (got 15 reps, had to rest for about 15 seconds before hitting the last 3), and it was good.

 

DB flat bench -

1x10 @ 45s

1x5 @ 75s

5x12 @ 100s

Finally feeling things click a bit more with DB benching. Keeping elbows in more and using a bit extra triceps power has definitely helped.

 

Seated row, V handle -

4x15 @ 250 lbs.

 

Plate-loaded flat bench machine -

1x12 @ 250 lbs.

1x10 @ 275 lbs.

1x8 @ 310 lbs.

1x5 @ 330 lbs.

1x20 @ 180 lbs.

 

Cable face pulls -

3x20 @ 130 lbs.

 

Incline DB flyes -

2x20 @ 45s

 

That was it, kept it simple and the rest helped pay off for me. No feeling of obligation, just went in thinking to keep it fun and feel like I was working hard, and it was worth it.

 

Might only still lift sporadically for a few weeks, but plan on getting back full-bore late month. Eye surgery again in 2 weeks which will monkeywrench things as usual, but after that I've got until Dec. 30th before the next round, so I have just over 3 months before my return trip, which is nice.

 

Should do a bit of lower back work and overhead pressing soon, will update once I get back lifting!

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Thanks, LocalBrada!

 

Keeping in tune with the philosophy of "train when I feel like it" through the rest of this month, I did a light upper back/shoulder workout 3 days ago (forgot to log it, can't remember most of it), but did get in a quick leg workout tonight.

 

Warm-up -

5 min. power walk.

2 sets of hip abductor/adductors to stretch out

Roll out on foam roller

 

BB Squats, done well below parallel -

1x5 @ 135

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 225

1x2 @ 275

1x1 @ 315

1x1 @ 345

1x1 @ 365

1x1 @ 375

1x5 @ 320

1x5 @ 325

1x5 @ 330

3x8 @ 275

Haven't squatted in a while (again!) so I just wanted to test the waters. The sets of 5 went pretty easily, but by the time I dropped down to the 8s with less weight, I could feel myself getting worn out quickly due to no leg work in a while.

 

Wrapped up with 3 quick light circuits, no rest between stations, 60 sec. rest between circuits -

BB squat position static hold (bar on back as if squatting, just stand and hold for time)

30 sec. each set @ 455 lbs., just to get used to holding some weight again, followed by

Horizontal leg press - 20 @ 180 lbs., followed by

Seated leg curl, 20 @ 130 lbs.

 

Worn out, but not wanting to get my legs totally fried until I can get my body up to speed again. Lower back held up well enough with some weight on it, a good sign, so I'll ditch the Hise shrugs for a long time so I don't get hurt again any time soon.

 

Should get back to lifting again later this week!

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Haven't squatted in a while (again!) so I just wanted to test the waters. The sets of 5 went pretty easily, but by the time I dropped down to the 8s with less weight, I could feel myself getting worn out quickly due to no leg work in a while.

 

i always feel that way. as soon as i lower the weight on squats and go for more reps than 5 it starts to feel really heavy.

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Haven't squatted in a while (again!) so I just wanted to test the waters. The sets of 5 went pretty easily, but by the time I dropped down to the 8s with less weight, I could feel myself getting worn out quickly due to no leg work in a while.

 

i always feel that way. as soon as i lower the weight on squats and go for more reps than 5 it starts to feel really heavy.

 

Any leg exercise feels so heavy at reps beyond the pure strength range. Funny how less weight can do that.

 

Glad to hear you are moving back into things well, VE.

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Yeah, for the most part almost all my leg workouts are to where even cutting a significant amount of weight doesn't make higher reps any easier. Only on two occasions have I had good success with upping the reps on squats, otherwise, 6 reps or less is optimal for me. You'd think that peeling off nearly 20% of the weight would allow just a few more reps to go easily, but it just doesn't always go like that. As a side note on squatting, I used my Rehband back support to help keep my arch really tight (and protect my lower back a bit with a first session squatting since getting hurt again), and it definitely helped. I don't like belts, but that support is easy to put on and off, and it keeps my arch solid on heavier sets so it was an asset for sure.

 

Things are definitely feeling better as I'm just winging it for a bit. Come October I'll have a new plan in effect, but for the next 2 weeks, it's just training when I get the urge, skateboarding other days, and occasionally taking it easy, something I haven't done in far too long. Here's to a renewed comeback next month!

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Quick chest/back workout tonight -

 

Pulldowns, wide grip -

1x10 @ 130

1x10 @ 200

1x8 @ 285

1x8 @ 300

1x15 @ 250

 

DB flat bench -

1x5 @ 65s

1x5 @ 90s

1x5 @ 110s

1x5 @ 120s

1x20 @ 90s (done rest-pause as 16, 3, 1)

 

T-Bar row machine -

2x10 @ 200

Felt totally awkward, cut it short

 

Hammer Strength plate-loaded incline press -

1x8 @ 275

1x8 @ 295

1x6 @ 325

1x20 @ 180

1x40 @ 90

All weights in plate totals, not counting handles

 

Seated cable row, parallel handle bar

3x20 @ 180 lbs.

 

That was it, in and out in 50 minutes including warm-up time, called it a day.

 

Day or two off for skateboarding and rest, lower back day again this weekend for sure!

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Super-quick lower back and arm workout last night -

 

Seated good mornings to about 60 degrees -

1x10 @ 135

1x10 @ 225

5x15 @ 275

 

Strict DB hammer curls -

1x4 @ 55, 60, 65, 70

 

Seated Zercher lifts - first time ever trying them seated, very difficult! Just went light for 3x10 @ 135 and that was enough.

 

Seated strict DB hammer curls -

1x20 @ 35, 40

 

Close-grip flat BB bench, done from about 6" off chest to lockout -

2x10 @ 225

1x25 @ 135

 

That was it, just having fun using a free pass to a different gym in town, which wasn't great bit it was a different change for the night.

 

Today is off, tomorrow should be more upper back again!

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