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


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Hey, L&G! Floor presses are definitely fun, but not so fun after knocking out 100 reps total with those heavy DBs beforehand

 

Robert - you can be sure we'll get to train at the Expo again in March. Going to get there a day early and stay a day longer, shouldn't be any problem for getting to lift together again this time around. Hopefully I won't feel so worn down from a full day at the show like last time, so we'll see how it goes. I can't believe that we're only 3.5 months away from it again - it feels like I was just there!

 

No lifting last night or tonight, LONG days at work getting all the last stuff out for everyone's vegan Thanksgiving feasts, time to rest tonight, deadlifting tomorrow!

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  • 2 weeks later...

No lifting the past week, 12-14 hour work days and 6 lbs. lost without trying, all due to the wonders of the holidays. Finally got to lift tonight, figured I'd just do some upper body fun stuff for a bit, worked out better than planned.

 

Weighted pull-ups -

2x2 @ bodyweight (237 lbs., an all time low!)

1x2 @ 25 lbs. added

1x1 @ 50 lbs. added

2x3 @ 65 lbs. added, done as singles with 5 seconds rest between each with feet on floor

1x2 " ", failed to get more than halfway up on 3rd rep.

 

DB flat bench -

1x5 @ 50s

1x5 @ 75s

5x12 @ 100s, all sets done perfectly except last set, did 14, had to set DBs down for 10 seconds, did final rep to finish.

 

1-arm seated row -

1x10 @ 220 lbs. each arm

1x8 @ 235 lbs. each arm

1x6 @ 250 lbs. each arm

Felt nice to max the whole thing out for single-arm work Looks like my rowing is still my strongest point. Note regarding this machine, I do lean back a fair amount with going this heavy, so it's not like I'm doing perfectly upright body rowing, more like a 45 degree lean-back and the finish of the pull more Yates-row style. No way in hell I'd be doing rows with a 250 lb. dumbbell right now! Still, a good machine for it!

 

Dips -

3x10 @ bodyweight

Never do these, and it shows. Hard as hell to make all 3 sets!

 

Wide-grip pulldowns -

2x15 @ 250 lbs.

 

Plate-loaded incline press machine -

1x12 @ 270 lbs.

1x20 @ 180 lbs.

 

Medium width grip seated row w/ short straight bar -

2x20 @ 220 lbs.

 

Cable face pulls -

3x20 @ 150 lbs.

 

Fried, tomorrow is a getaway day after no days off in a full week, hope to get back to deadlifting on Saturday barring any need to spend my whole weekend at the office again!

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Mini-getaway yesterday, treated myself to a good massage, felt like a new man all over again after the rough week leading up to it. Opted to go do some lower back work tonight -

 

Warm-up with 5 minute run, 2 sets light back extensions, deadlift singles to 365 lbs., then working deadlift sets -

 

20x3 @ 330 lbs., done with 40-60 seconds rest between sets, done in 30 minutes total. Would pull a set, walk a lap, repeat. Barley any rest time, but I made the mistake of thinking of doing a few sets of sumo deadlifts (which I haven't done in years), and almost passed out on the first rep from a bad setup. Had to sit for about 2 minutes after that one, but all others were quick with minimal rest.

 

Next, did 2x20 @ 315 lbs. for deadlift lockouts from mid kneecap height.

 

Pulled out the heavy-duty bands I always forget about at that gym, did some speed double deadlifts with the lighter red band, just 135 lbs. on the bar, but with the band looped over, it felt like double that at the top. Just 5 quick sets of doubles with 60 seconds rest between.

 

Finally, some high-rep light lower back stuff to cool down. Would take the red thick rubber band, loop it behind my neck, put the other end beneath my shoes, and did sets consisting of 15 reps of makeshift lower back extensions (lying on bench with feet up at 90 degrees, lower legs (keeping them straight) down to increase band tension to body being fully prone, return up for each rep), then would go straight to 15 reps of good mornings with the band behind the base of my neck. Burned out with those for 3 sets, called it a day, done in 75 minutes including 15 minutes warm-up time.

 

Feeling guilty that I've neglected my deadlift and squat for the past 2 months, gotta get that fixed. I can get excited about upper body stuff easily now, but because I go to war when I squat and deadlift, I've had a hard time getting hyped on doing them because it's not fun, just brutal. Gotta do what I gotta do, so tomorrow or Monday is upper back/shoulders, then legs two days later!

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Quick shoulders/upper back night!

 

Weighted pull-ups -

2x2 @ bodyweight

5x5 @ 45 lbs. added, total weight 285 lbs., each rep with 1-2 seconds rest between, but no cheating of any sort, all reps clean

 

Standing overhead strict barbell press -

1x8 @ 75 lbs.

1x5 @ 135

1x3 @ 185

1x1 @ 205

3x5 @ 195 lbs.

Didn't feel great on these, but it could have been worse!

 

Seated cable row, changing handles each set -

3x10 @ 280 lbs., one with straight bar, one V handle, one medium width neutral grip

 

Behind the neck standing overhead presses -

1x10 @ 185 lbs., done as slight push presses

1x8 @ 150, done strict

1x4 @ 175, done strict

Working to get the behind the neck stuff going back stronger again. Always wanted to do a 200 lb. strict press off the traps, wide grip and no leg drive. We'll see how long it takes to get there.

 

Inverted rows on power rack, feet slung over bar out in front, torso parallel to floor at top of each pull -

3x20 @ bodyweight

 

Wrapped up with some arm stuff, just 3x15 @ 95 lbs. on the EZ bar preacher setup, something I normally avoid but it looked fun tonight since it was something different.

 

Tomorrow will be hectic, no training, but back in for leg stuff on Wednesday if all goes well!

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Weighted pull-ups -

5x5 @ 45 lbs. added, total weight 285 lbs., each rep with 1-2 seconds rest between, but no cheating of any sort, all reps clean

 

damn, this is pretty good!

 

It's getting there For a guy who could barely get 3 band-assisted pull-ups a few years back, I'd say that there's been a lot of improvement. Pull-ups are just like anything else, I guess - when I realized how much I sucked at doing them, I just kept making sure to do them until they weren't so bad. When the day comes that I can do a clean single with 100 lbs. strapped on, it'll be a day to celebrate!

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Weighted pull-ups -

5x5 @ 45 lbs. added, total weight 285 lbs., each rep with 1-2 seconds rest between, but no cheating of any sort, all reps clean

 

damn, this is pretty good!

 

It's getting there For a guy who could barely get 3 band-assisted pull-ups a few years back, I'd say that there's been a lot of improvement. Pull-ups are just like anything else, I guess - when I realized how much I sucked at doing them, I just kept making sure to do them until they weren't so bad. When the day comes that I can do a clean single with 100 lbs. strapped on, it'll be a day to celebrate!

 

I agree, awesome stuff! I have been working on weighted chins and pull-ups myself quite a bit.

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I agree, awesome stuff! I have been working on weighted chins and pull-ups myself quite a bit.

 

They are fun, aren't they?

 

I think part of my aptitude for them is due to two things - first, I can train upper back all day long hard and heavy and still recover easily, and also, I'm still prone to doing well with heavier, low-rep stuff like this on some lifts. I find it harder for me to do a set of 12 pull-ups at bodyweight than a half dozen with 45 lbs. added on, which seems a bit odd but that's just how my body works. I'll be trying for a single with a PR of 90 lbs. done clean in the next few weeks, hoping for 100 lbs. before spring!

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I agree, awesome stuff! I have been working on weighted chins and pull-ups myself quite a bit.

 

They are fun, aren't they?

 

I think part of my aptitude for them is due to two things - first, I can train upper back all day long hard and heavy and still recover easily, and also, I'm still prone to doing well with heavier, low-rep stuff like this on some lifts. I find it harder for me to do a set of 12 pull-ups at bodyweight than a half dozen with 45 lbs. added on, which seems a bit odd but that's just how my body works. I'll be trying for a single with a PR of 90 lbs. done clean in the next few weeks, hoping for 100 lbs. before spring!

 

My body is the exact same way with them. I find it hard to progress on body weight chins and pull-ups, but have no issues increasing the weight or reps on weighted ones.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wow, it's been a while!

 

I spent an average of 12-14 hours/day at work, then would come home, sleep, and do it all over again for the bulk of December. No time or energy left for training, and then as things slowed down a bit around Xmas, my cold started to kick in which kept me from training again for a few days more. FINALLY I was able to get out tonight, just a light back and shoulders workout to get the feel of training back under my belt again -

 

Pull-ups -

2x2 @ bodyweight (237 lbs.)

1x2 @ 25 lbs. added

1x2 @ 50 lbs. added

5x3 @ 60 lbs. added

First two sets decent, then the rest were all kind of cruddy. Would need to take about 5-10 seconds between reps on the last 2 sets, making it more like a sequence of singles with the last rep on each set being ugly as hell. Oh well, first time back, not much more I can do after 2.5 weeks of no activity.

 

Standing BB overhead press -

1x5 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 95

1x5 @ 135

1x2 @ 185 - felt WAY too heavy tonight, decided to go lighter just to get some work in

1x12 @ 135

1x12 @ 140

1x12 @ 145

1x12 @ 150

 

Inverted bodyweight rows on pull-up grips on power rack, varying grips each set -

5x20 @ bodyweight

These went easily enough, no problem there.

 

Red giant band 1-arm overhead presses -

3x10 each arm (about 40 lbs. resistance at bottom, around 80 lbs. at top)

Would put one foot through the bottom of the band, hand through the top, and press. Nothing complex, just something different

 

Cable lean-away lateral raises -

2x15 each arm @ 25 lbs.

 

That was it, in and out in an hour. Not the greatest workout, but felt decent enough, should be back in the swing of things JUST IN TIME for my next eye surgery on Jan. 6th. Oh well, I don't expect training to be normal during the holidays, so be it. Will try to get a good handful of sessions in before I take my next short break!

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Hey Ryan!

 

I'm doing a lot of overhead presses these days....in fact, it's my favorite thing to do at the moment.

 

Just thought I'd let you know. See you in March! We'll press on then!

 

Hey, Robert!

 

No doubt about it, we'll get some training in this March. I can't believe it's so close, I feel like we just were at the Expo only a few months ago. Keep up the training, and I'll see you in 2.5 months!

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Okay, working on some ideas for training post-surgery once I can finally get back to things as normal. Focus is on NOT slacking on my lower body stuff, which has been a bad point for me this fall/winter so far. Part of the plan is that I'm considering joining the new Gold's Gym that opened nearby this past fall, as it's the closest gym to home/work and has the heavy DBs that I've been aching to have access to regularly. Here's my tenative plan:

 

Day 1 - Upper Back/Chest

Weighted pull-ups, 3-5 working sets of 3-8 reps

DB flat benching, 3-5 working sets of 5-10 reps

Heavy 1-arm DB rows, 3 working sets of 8-12 reps

Close-grip BB benching, 3 working sets of 8-12 reps

Cable face pulls, 3 working sets of 12-15 reps

 

Day 2 - Rest or light cardio

 

Day 3 - Legs/arms

Squats, 4-8 working sets of 3-6 reps (alternating weeks with plate-loaded squat machine to keep lower back from being fried with deadlifting, plate-loaded squats will be avg. 8-12 reps/set)

1/4 squats (to overload and get used to supporting heavy weight again), 3 working sets of 5-10 reps for short-range work

Leg Curls, 3 working sets of 10-12 reps

1-legged RDL or Glute/Ham raises, 2-3 working sets of 10-15 reps

Arm work as I feel like doing on that day, probably going with some DB hammer curls and Panora pressdowns or something similar

 

Day 4 - Rest or light cardio

 

Day 5 - Light High-Rep Upper back/Shoulders

Pulldowns to 45 degree angle or inverted rows (depending where I train that day), 4-6 working sets of 15-20 reps

BB shrugs, 3-4 working sets of 12-15 reps

Standing strict overhead barbell press in front, 4-6 working sets of 5-8 reps

Seated cable row , 3-4 working sets of 12-20 reps

Standing overhead press lockouts (6-12" ROM), 3-4 working sets of 5-8 reps

Inverted dips (shrugging upward on dip station), 3-4 working sets of 15-20 reps

May do some lean-away lateral raises if I feel like it, but not mandatory

 

Day 6 - rest

 

Day 7 - Lower back/Misc. work

Week 1 program:

Deadlift from floor, either 5-10 working sets of 3-6 reps, or, 3-5 working sets of 8-12 reps depending on whether or not my lower back is feeling 100% that day)

Deadlift lockouts in power rack at knee height, 2-3 working sets of 15-20 reps

Bodyweight reverse hypers, 3 working sets of 20-25 reps

 

Alternating Week 2 lower back program:

Seated Good Mornings, 4-6 working sets of 8-12 reps

Cable pull-throughs, 3 working sets of 10-15 reps

Deadlift lockout static holds, 2-3 sets timed for 30 seconds or longer with 150% or more of my max DL weight

 

Either workout, I may add in some heavy ab work or anything else that sounds good, providing I have the energy to get through it

 

Day 8 - rest

 

Day 9 - Start over again!

 

It's similar to what I've been doing, but I'm going to be eliminating a lot of the super high-rep/high volume stuff and go moderate for a bit to change things up. Then, around March/April, it'll change again to push the lower back and leg work closer together, eliminating one upper back workout during the week and combining shoulders with either legs or lower back. All in due time, but this is what I'm looking to start with around Jan. 10th or so once I'm back up and healed again.

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Hey, Joe, it's only EIGHT days a week, then I start over - I need that extra day to fit in all the crap I need to get done!

 

Did my first return to squatting workout last night, and boy, was that a shock. Started off okay, but I fried fast just using lighter weight for low reps -

 

Warm up w/ 5 minute walk, light stretching, rolling out on foam roller, and doing 24" box jumps

 

Then, off to squatting -

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 185

1x3 @ 225

1x2 @ 275

1x2 @ 315

1x1 @ 340

1x1 @ 365 - felt okay, but not as stable as I'd liked it to have been, still re-working form

5x2 @ 315

5x1 @ 315

Just working to "grease the groove" to get back to finding my form again. Tried some different things that didn't work out well, felt like one foot was always slightly off position (cursed problem with depth perception and my left eye - I may have to get a chalk line from a hardware store so I can give myself a proper line to toe each set). One time I did try a really narrow stance, which made my left quad feel like it was about to tear right off, so that fried my abilities on the singles near the end.

 

Just did some light work on machines to keep going and get my legs back to being used again. I think that the combination of accidental starvation during December from forgetting to eat every day along with a lack of leg work has really put me back at a low starting point, so it's just a matter of re-adaptation. 3x15 @ full stack on the hoizontal leg press, 3x15 seated leg curls, and an ultra-light 3x15 on leg extensions, since going anything over marginal weights makes my knee ache.

 

In and out in an hour, was REALLY sore which I expected for my first time back with squatting in a long time. I don't want to screw up and slack on them - I've got someone who wants to get me back to powerlifting again who thinks we can work around my eye condition, so I'm being tempted to go back to the dark side and work on strength being top priority soon. That won't happen ASAP, but in Feb/March, it's entirely possible!

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Yep, VLV, once I get back to forcing myself to squat regularly, the chalk line will come into play to help me get around the vision problems affecting my alignment!

 

Had a few cruddy days of light training, was coping with some old frustrations that brought back a bout of depression with a side order of rage (which is NOT how I ever normally feel, but there's some stuff buried that comes out every so often which makes me a scary guy to be around when it rears its head). Two days of feeling like I was losing my sanity, then I'm woken up at 4:30 AM on Saturday to hear that my mother-in-law was rushed to the ER from a seizure and possibly a stroke. Let's just say, I've had one hell of a shift in attitude since that time, and my perspective on what's really important has overcome the petty BS that's affected my mental state as of late. Good news, it wasn't terribly serious from anything they could find, but we won't know for sure until tomorrow when the radiologist can give a thorough review of all her tests run over the weekend. Here's to hoping that whatever caused it is something that she can get through well enough!

 

So, today is family time, may get in some light lifting tonight. The new year brings new revelations that didn't sink in like they should have earlier. Don't spend time worrying about stupid crap that doesn't mean a thing in the end, holding on to old grudges is a waste of time and energy, and cherissh and appreciate who/what you've got for those that really mean something. I'm done wasting time on being mad at the past, time to move forward, ditch the old baggage, and be better in 2010 than I was in 2009!

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Thanks, Joe!

 

Did get to train tonight, a new outlook made a world of difference on my performance and things were coming back to normal -

 

DB flat bench -

1x10 @ 35s

1x5 @ 55s

1x3 @ 75s

3x12 @ 100s

 

Plate-loaded pulldown -

1x10 @ 180

1x10 @ 270

1x12 @ 360, 380, 400

1x20 @ 270

 

Plate-loaded incline bench machine -

2x10 @ 300 lbs.

1x25 @ 200 lbs.

 

Seated cable row, medium grip -

3x15 @ 270 lbs.

 

DB flyes -

1x20 @ 20s, done with 5 seconds lowering, fast back up

 

Cable face pulls -

2x20 @ 160 lbs.

 

Dip shrugs -

3x20 @ bodyweight

 

Mixed news on my mother-in-law, turns out it's quite likely that her lifetime of 2 packs a day of smoking and lack of proper care for her health have likely lead severe hypertension which caused a series of small strokes over the past year, which is how things ended up the way they did. My mission now is to FINALLY convince her to stop smoking, if not just for herself, for the many people who depend on her, including my disabled sister-in-law. It's not going to be easy - she considers anything related to quitting smoking to be some sort of assault on her freedoms and liberties, she still carries that old attitude that it just can't be that bad for you. Oh well, here's to an uphill battle....

 

Now that my mind is clearing up and I'm regaining focus, there are new missions to be tackled -

 

1. I WILL compete in strongman again in 2011. However, this time I plan to work my way into competing as a lightweight of all things (231 lbs. and under is lightweight in strongman ) I'm going to continue a slow and steady fat loss program for a few months and this spring, change things back around more to regaining strength WITHOUT getting too much fat again. Fully drained of water, I came in at 233 lbs. this morning, so with about 12-15 lbs. more fat loss and a regaining of more lean mass, I'm hoping to come in around 228-230 in a bit over a year when things are done. I need to rebuild a lot of strength, but I'll have around a year to do so before next summer's competition season starts up, so there's no rush. I've had people trying to get me back to it this year, but there's too much else I need to accomplish in the meantime, and I don't want to rush as that ALWAYS leads to things not working out the way I'd like. Slow and steady, slow and steady....

 

2. I've had it on my mind for a while to finally create a site for people who share my same vision-related disease. Laziness has prevented it so far, but my goal is to get something done and working this summer or fall at latest. There's a sincere lack of information out there for people who have it, other than a lot of scary-sounding clinical stuff that terrifies most people and provides little information on living with it. I wish I'd had something to refer to when I was first diagnosed, so hopefully I can help out others by working to build a resource that shows it isn't the end of the world, and you can get through it and live normally.

 

3. New business ideas are in the works - I've spent the greater part of the last decade working to help the animals, now I'd like to help people as well. A few ideas are being kicked around, nothing is set in stone, but in the next year I hope to have something else in the works. This may be the longest in-the-works project of my goals, but it will be done in time.

 

And here I talk about making no resolutions just a week ago, and I've got more on my plate than ever. Strange how stuff works out, eh?

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I was supposed to have my eye surgery Wednesday, but things didn't work out (in a good way!)

 

Got properly tranquilized, went in, had the diagnostics done, and the good news is, no change at all after going back to a 3-month stretch. Doc said that he thought it'd be a good time to try extending again, so he scheduled me for Feb. 10th, so I've got another month off. As long as I don't notice any vision changes, it'll be a great thing - it would mean that next year, I can likely get away with only 2 treatments, 3 at most, which would be fantastic. I'm used to them after a dozen injections, but let's say, the fewer the better is quite fine by me So, more time to train, braved the storm to get in a little time at Bally's tonight.

 

Shoulders and assistance work leg day -

 

Standing strict overhead press -

1x20 @ empty bar, speed reps as fast as possible

1x3 @ 135 lbs.

1x2 @ 185

1x1 @ 205

1x1 @ 220

3x5 @ 185

2x12 @ 135

 

Squats to rock bottom with 3 second pause, done up to 315 for a single to warm up legs, then to Icarian plate-loaded squat machine. Sets done facing in, emphasis on glute/ham/hip work all sets -

1x8 @ 630 lbs.

1x8 @ 720 lbs.

1x8 @ 770 lbs.

1x8 @ 810 lbs.

Wanted to do more and go as close to 900 as I could, but time was too short (sets for pressing below were done between leg work sets, not much time!)

 

Hammer Strength plate-loaded shoulder press -

2x15 @ 180 lbs.

1x40 @ 90 lbs., done as 32, rest 15 seconds, 8 reps to finish

 

Didn't have much time, got to the gym with 45 minutes due to snowstorm slamming us, came home to finish -

 

Glute/ham raises -

4x20 @ bodyweight

 

Pulled out the Formulator wrist curl device, did 4 sets @ 20 lbs. (3 w/palms up, 1 palms down), and that was it.

 

Tradeshow to look for new footwear tomorrow, upper back and arm stuff this weekend!

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