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

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Glad to hear you're aiming to compete in 2011 ryan


Are you in the middle of cutting just now, or you just about to start losing fat?


Yes, competing again sounds fun, and it's far more realistic for me to bring my weight down and aim to be a solid 230 lbs. than to think I'll be competitive against guys outweighing me by 80+ lbs. Not only that, but I do feel a bit better at a lighter weight, so I'll give it a shot for a year or two and see what I can do.


I've been slowly cutting for the last year, still aiming for about 12-15 lbs. more fat loss, then it's time to start working on a GOOD program to regain lean mass. This time, I plan to do it without adding a ton of fat, where in the past, I didn't care as long as I was getting stronger.

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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!)

That is love right there! For some reason I am chicken shit when I think about even loading up 600lbs. I'm gonna give squats a break this month and come in at 600lbs after a proper stretch and warm up.

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That is love right there! For some reason I am chicken shit when I think about even loading up 600lbs. I'm gonna give squats a break this month and come in at 600lbs after a proper stretch and warm up.


600 lbs. on a bar would break me right now, but on the plate-loaded squat setup, it's not so bad Best of success in getting that 600 yourself soon enough!


Quick chest/upper back stuff tonight, not too serious as I'm pretty drained after a long weekend of staying up too late.


Pull-ups -

2x3 @ bodyweight

Worked up to a single with 75 lbs. in 25 lb. increments of added weight, then

2x7 @ 35 lbs. added

2x15 @ bodyweight (done as 11-12 reps, rest 10 seconds, finish set)


Wanted to do some DB flat benching, but my right shoulder was tender for some reason, decided against it. Set up the plate-loaded incline press, did the following instead:

5x12 @ 300 lbs.


Seated cable row, changing handles each set -

4x15 @ 250 lbs. (one set V handle, one set rope, one set narrow straight grip, one set wide neutral grip)


Dips -

3x10 @ bodyweight (no idea today, but probably about 235ish, feeling bloated so it's not going to be the 232 I came in at last Thursday )


Seated concentration curls, one ladder set with 35 lb. DB (done as 10 reps, change arm, 9 reps, change arm, repeat down to one rep on last set)


That was it, just a quick day to get back in there, will get to feeling normal tomorrow again, then lower back stuff on Tuesday!

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Few days off to get lots of work done, lower back and triceps assistance today!


High pulls in the rack from just over knee height, shrugging up to sternum at top -

1x10 @ 135 lbs.

3x10 @ 185 lbs.


Close-grip flat bench lockouts, about 6" ROM -

1x12 @ 225

1x12 @ 275

3x15 @ 225


Deadlift from floor -

5x5 @ 330 lbs., all reps re-set from floor, no touch-and-go

Finally starting to see my major form flaws I've developed from years of deadlift slacking. I usually fail to pull back enough, which puts the strain on my lower back and makes me quit early and stop just after breaking off the floor. None of that tonight, pulling back properly on all reps, just continuing to work on re-learning how to deadlift properly all over again


Panora pressdowns w/rope on cable stack -

3x15 @ 100 lbs.


Came home, did 3x25 bodyweight reverse hypers, felt great afterward. I NEED to just keep up deadlifting and not find ways to slack so that I can keep my form solid and not be discouraged over and over again. I KNOW my numbers will jump up when I finally get things locked in the right way, so now it's just about squatting and deadlifting regularly until I get things in line again and actually get strong like I used to be


Tomorrow may be skateboarding, Friday is getaway day, will be back to train shoulders and upper back on Saturday!

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Hey Ryan!


Got a letter in the mail from VE today! Thanks!


Shipped you some stuff too.


Looking forward to having Vega on Sale at www.veganessentials.com !!!!


Also.....you'll be proud (I think).....lately I'm ONLY doing power exercises! I actually just pick 2, sometimes 3 exercises to do in each workout.


Lots of Power Cleans, Overhead Presses, Pulls, Rows, Presses, etc.


All barbell or dumbbell, no machines or cables other than warming up, and low volume, high intensity and as heavy as I can


See ya!


Keep in touch this week.


Lots of ideas floating around as I explore more social media avenues.

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Didn't get to go skate last Thursday, moved it to Tuesday and HOPEFULLY it'll finally work out this time


Upper back and chest tonight -


Pull-ups -

1x3 @ bodyweight

1x2 @ 35 lbs. added (270 lbs. total weight)

3x5 @ 50 lbs. added (285 lbs. total weight)

First set, excellent. 2nd set, had to rest a few seconds after reps 3 and 4. Last set did 2, then 5-10 seconds between each rep to finish, got totally killed on these tonight.


DB flat bench -

3x25 @ 75s, done as 20s, rest 15-20 seconds, 5 reps to finish rest-pause style. Right shoulder still a bit touchy, don't plan on going heavy for a few more weeks, just light stuff for fun and maintenance now.


1-arm machine rows -

3x15 @ 175 lbs. each arm


Plate loaded incline bench machine -

3x8 @ 320 lbs.

2x20 @ 180 lbs.

1x50 @ 90 lbs., done with no rest, constant tension


1-arm pulldowns on plate-loaded machine -

2x15 @ 160 lbs. each arm

1x25 @ 135 lbs. each arm


That was it, tried to keep it simple, will do leg day Tuesday if I don't get to skate, otherwise, it'll be on Wednesday!

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Nice workout! Hope you're skating soon! I used to in high school but haven't since so I doubt I'm any good at all.......especially since I wasn't any good at it in high school!


Good workout man...I'm doing more heavy stuff and enjoying it. I'm still small though. Always a work in progress!


Have a great week!

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Thanks, Robert & Hilary!


I did get to skate last Tuesday, but that was the only day I did anything physical. It was a long work week, and I felt like I was battling something that was fatiguing the hell out of me, so I opted to focus on work and save the lifting until the weekend. Got out Sunday night for some chest/upper back work (I wanted to squat, but opted to save that for Tuesday since I still felt a bit run down today), and it went well enough -


DB flat bench -

Warm up to 5s with 100s

1x20 @ 85s

1x19 @ 85s

1x17 @ 85s

Wanted 3x20, but couldn't manage it tonight. Still, not too bad overall.


Pull-ups -

1x2 @ bodyweight (236 lbs, ate crap last week and am totally bloated)

1x1 @ 50 lbs. added

1x1 @ 75 lbs. added, was fairly easy, may have to go for 90 lbs. added soon

3x10 @ 25 lbs. added - 1st set was 8 straight, rest 10 seconds, 2 more. 2nd set was 7 straight, then 3 singles with 5-8 seconds rest between each. Last set was the same, but with 10 seconds between each of the last reps


Plate-loaded incline bench -

3x12 @ 270 lbs.


Seated cable row, medium overhand grip -

1x15 @ 230

1x15 @ 240

1x15 @ 250 lbs.


Cable flyes to stretch out -

3x20 @ 50 lbs. each stack, done low, medium and high position


Wide-grip pulldowns to top of chest w/slight lean back -

1x18 @ 230 lbs.

1x15 @ 250 lbs.

1x25 @ 200 lbs.


Cable face pulls -

3x20 @ 150 lbs.


Panora cable pressdowns -

3x20 @ 100 lbs.


That's it for the day, rest tomorrow, then finally back to squatting on Tuesday!

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Hey Ryan!


Thanks for doing the Vega Sale with Vegan Essentials! It helps me shine in my last month as a rep! Looking forward to training with you again.


You said you scheduled extra days for Anaheim this year right? It's always a hectic and busy week. This will be my 5th Expo West!


Have a great week. Get caught up on rest if possible. Have fun skating, working, training, etc.




PS I just read online where someone posted that "Ryan from the VBB Profiles is their Idol" I was pretty pumped to read that! Lots of us look up to you man! I wish more people had the chance to meet you in person. If we ever get the Vegan Vacation back up and running, you gotta make it out!

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Hey, Robert & Jimi!


Skating went well enough, hurt my right foot a bit so I'm taking this week off, but hope to be back out again next week. Like squatting, if I take much time off it's always tough getting in the groove again, but consistency is key!


The Vega sale is going well - not that it doesn't move like crazy all other times, but of course, when it's at a discount, people go nuts over it and stock up big-time. Good stuff! I did schedule an extra day after the show, we tried to get 2 days but it didn't work out, but at least we don't have to take off on the final day and race back. I'm still trying to figure out if this is my 6th or 7th show - after all these years, it's easy to lose track Thanks for the "idol" quote you found - that definitely makes my day If VV does start back up, I promise that this time, I'll make it out!


Squats last night, nearly killed me with my first time back, but I got 'em done.


Warm up with 5 minute power walk, rolling out, stretching and box jumps. Then worked up to 315 for a single, and got to the working sets:


5x5 @ 315, all done about 3-4" below parallel.


Sets without my Rehband back support were not great, so I used it on the last 3 sets. It barely offers any support, but it keeps my lower back arch perfect, so while I'm re-acclimating, I'll keep using it. I hate belts, but this thing makes sure I keep tight, which is all I need. What used to be weight I could do with ease if you woke me out of a sound sleep is now tough, but it's just re-adaptation going on. As long as I don't make excuses for not squatting, there's no reason it won't come back well soon enough.


Afterward, did back-to-back sets of horizontal leg presses (1x20 @ 200, 220, 260) supersetted with 3x20 @ 150 on the seated leg curl.


That was it, a simple session in and out in about 50 minutes including 10 minutes of warming up, just needed to get that first squat session back again. I'm going to keep it simple for now with 5x5s on squats and deadlifts every other week until I feel confident, then I'll change things up in a month or two.


Might do some light cardio tonight and go for a walk, upper back and shoulders tomorrow!

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Shoulders and upper back day yesterday!


Pull-ups -

2x2 @ bodyweight

1x2 @ 35 lbs. added

2x3 @ 70 lbs. added (somewhat of a PR, but I'll explain below)

2x2 @ 90 lbs. added (again, PR territory, with some caveats)

2x12 @ bodyweight

I was at a different gym tonight, and the pull-up station there is a bit lower than usual. When I reach up to grab the handles, I've got about 3-4" more reach above the handles, which puts me at what feels like an easier starting point as I like to start off the tips of my toes rather than a dead hang. It just seems way more difficult with added weight if I can barely reach the handles, but when I can start with my feet flat or on my toes vs. a full hang, for some reason the reps just seem like they're a breeze. I don't know why it truthfully feels any different, but I did still start each rep from 98% of a full hang, but with the rubber coated handles and the positioning, everything just feels much easier there. I'm sure it wouldn't have worked as well at my other gyms, but at this one, tossing on a crapload of added weight didn't phase me for knocking out some relatively easy reps on these. Now, on to go for 100 lbs. next time!


Standing strict overhead press -

1x20 @ empty bar

2x3 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 185

1x5 @ 190

1x5 @ 195

Felt harder than usual, probably because I've neglected to train overheads for 2 weeks.


1-arm seated cable row -

1x15 @ 150 lbs. each arm

1x12 @ 170 " "

1x25 @ 110 " "


Standing strict behind the neck press, very wide grip, starting and ending on upper traps with each rep -

1x10 @ 135 lbs.

1x8 @ 155

1x5 @ 175


Behind-the-back barbell shrugs -

3x25 @ 315 lbs.


Cable lateral raises -

2x20 @ 20 lbs. each side


Cable face pulls -

2x20 @ 120 lbs.


That was it, kept it pretty short and simple, looking forward to some lower back stuff this weekend!

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Lower back assistance day with some biceps stuff thrown in for good measure.


Snatch-grip high pulls to mid-chest in the power rack, starting mid kneecap height -

1x10 @ 135 lbs.

1x10 @ 185

1x10 @ 195

1x10 @ 205


Good mornings, standing -

1x10 @ 225 lbs.

1x10 @ 275

Both sets to torso nearly parallel with floor


Good mornings, seated -

1x10 @ 275 lbs.

1x10 @ 295

Both sets with about 60 degree forward lean


In between all good morning sets, I'd take the wide, thick blue band, loop though my feet and around my neck and do sets of 10 band GMs with it immediately after the barbells sets.


Cable pull-throughs, wide stance -

2x15 @ 100 lbs.


Barbell shrugs, behind the back -

1x10 @ 315 lbs.

1x10 @ 365

1x10 @ 405

1x10 @ 455

One set of shrugs in front for good measure, 1x50 @ 225 done quickly.


DB tabeltop curls from parallel (arm on 3" foam pad) to just shy of vertical -

1x10 @ 55 lbs. each arm

1x10 @ 60 lbs. each arm

1x10 @ 65 lbs. each arm

1x25 @ 45 lbs. each arm


1-arm overhead shrugs on Smith machine (one of those rare valid uses for trying something different )

2x20 @ 125 lbs. each arm, weight not including counterbalanced bar


That was it, just a quick hour-long workout done with minimal rest to get in a healthy dose of lower back work without deadlifting again too soon, will be doing upper back and chest on Tuesday or Wednesday!

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It's getting back up there, Joe! Once it's in the mid 500's, I'll feel happy about it again


Chest and upper back last night after a few extra days off -


DB flat bench -

1x5 @ 50s

1x5 @ 75s

3x12 @ 100s

2x20 @ 75s

1x40 @ 50s (done as 35, rest 20 seconds, 5 reps to finish)


Weighted pull-ups -

1x2 @ bodyweight

1x1 @ 35 lbs. added

1x1 @ 70 " "

2xfail @ 100 lbs. added. Just didn't have it in me today. Got halfway up on the first try, stalled and failed. Waited 60 sec., tried again, got 2/3 of the way up, still just not enough. Next time it'll happen!

2x6 @ 45 lbs. added, done as singles with feet on floor for 1-2 sec. between each rep

2x10 @ 25 lbs. added, done as above


1/3 ROM flat BB bench lockouts (about 8" ROM total) in the power rack -

1x6 @ 275 lbs.

1x15 @ 225

1x25 @ 185


Wide-grip pulldowns -

1x15 @ 230 lbs.

1x15 @ 240

1x15 @ 250


High position cable flyes to stretch out -

3x20 @ 50 lb. stacks


Cable face pulls -

3x20 @ 150 lbs.


That's it, today is rest, going to get in a morning deadlift session tomorrow, which is going to kick me pretty hard since I never normally train before 9 PM. I'll post afteward!

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Quick deadlift session this morning, working on form again with some supervision to get critique. Let's say, there was a LOT of critique, so I've got my work cut out for me on fixing all the things I've let slide form-wise over the years


1x5 @ 185 lbs.

1x5 @ 275

1x3 @ 315

1x5 @ 315

1x3 @ 365

1x12 @ 295

1x8 @ 275

1x6 @ 275


That was it, just lots of hammering down technique and hearing that I'm not keeping my abs tight enough and that I'm breating into my chest too much vs. into my belly, so I've got my work cut out for me on fixing those issues. Going to have to hammer it home hard now - I'm considering an early summer strongman contest, and I'm going to need to get my strength way up again if I'm going to make it happen. We shall see if I can do it in time, otherwise, hopefully later in the year I'll be good to go!

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Last upper back workout before Wednesday's round of surgery, made it a day of no-free-weight-stuff just to see if I could make it fun enough -


Plate-loaded row machine, 1 arm at a time -

1x20 @ 180lbs. each arm

1x20 @ 205 lbs. " "

1x20 @ 225 lbs. " " (done as 15, rest 20 seconds, finish last 5 reps)


Cable stack low rows -

1x20 @ 125 lbs. each arm

1x20 @ 130 lbs.

1x20 @ 135 lbs.


Bodyweight inverted rows on pull-up station with feet slung out over top bar in front (straps to keep me safe in case grip went down - I didn't want to fall 6 feet flat on to my back )

3x25 @ bodyweight (which was 235 lbs. as of this morning)


1-arm shrug on Smith machine -

3x20 @ 185 lbs. each arm (weight including 15 lb. counterbalanced bar)


1-arm shrugs on Hammer Strength incline press machine (standing on seat facing into it)

1x25 @ 180 lbs. each arm

1x20 @ 205 lbs. " "

1x40 @ 135 lbs. " "


That was it, hoping to get one last leg/shoulder day in tonight, but we're about to get slammed with the incoming blizzard, so I don't know if I'll get the chance. Hopefully so, but if not, I'll be back training in about 6 days, will post again then!

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Hey Ryan, have you been skating lately? Where do you skate during winter when it's wet outside?


I've been thinking of getting myself a longboard and trying some downhill skating. Not sure if I want the full-on speedboard type. I think I'd prefer something I can carve on but still use for bombing the occasional hill.

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Hey, Sam!


Haven't gotten to skate as much as I'd like to - my weird schedule has prevented me from getting out much, but when I do find the time, here's my place of choice:




It's owned and run by a guy I used to skate with a lot about 15 years ago, so I bring him a case of beer from time to time as my tribute and can go whenever I like


Looks like no leg day today - I'm going to be spending my evening plowing out my driveway and sidewalks every few hours because of the storm (curse me for buying a home on a corner lot...) but I may do some improv in my basement by doing some 1 legged RDLs and Glute/Ham raises just so I get something in. May as well not waste my last night before I have to take a few days off!

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Didn't get any leg work in earlier, so it got bumped to Tuesday instead. Eye surgery was very smooth, but got a nasty chest cold for a few days afterward. Moved to my sinuses last night, figured it was time to get back to training, so had a light day today -


Pull-ups -

1x2 @ bodyweight (234 lbs. today)

1x2 @ 35 lbs. added

1x1 @ 55 lbs. added

1x1 @ 75 lbs. added

1xfail @ 90 lbs. added, just didn't have it in me

4x12 @ bodyweight, last set was ugly with a few breaks after rep 7, but it got done


DB flat bench -

1x5 @ 50, 70, 90 lbs.

1x20 @ 90 lbs. (done as 18, rest 15 seconds, 2 to complete)

1x21 @ 80 lbs. (done as 20, rest 5 seconds, one more for good measure)

1x25 @ 70 lbs. done all without pause


Wide-grip pulldowns -

3x12 @ 270 lbs., slight lean back


Close-grip flat BB bench -

1x20, 19, 17 @ 135 lbs.

Triceps were not doing so well after the DB benching, these were a battle


Cable/rope face pulls -

1x20 @ 180 lbs.

1x20 @ 200 lbs.

1x12 @ 220 lbs.

Stack seemed really light until that 220, then it kicked my butt hard.


Light DB flyes, lying on floor, arms extended straight out crucifix-style -

2x20 @ 25 lbs. to stretch out


That's it, didn't have a lot in me today, called it a day so I can get my leg and shoulder work in Tuesday if I'm feeling better (already 80% normal, so I'm slamming sambucol tablets like Tic-Tacs to beat out what's left!)

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I think that my success with pull-ups has been in part to making sure I do them (or some sort of really heavy pulldown) every week for over a year now. Combine that with a drop in bodyweight, and it becomes easier with practice I still remember struggling to do 3 reps with a band to assist at the bottom, so with pull-ups, consistency is definitely key! And, I've been training my upper back hard and heavy religiously for a long time, so that certainly hasn't hurt things any


And, like I note on some sets, I often will use bars that are exactly at my fully stretched height, so occasionally I'll set my feet down on a rep rather than stay at a full hang in order to preserve my grip. So, all reps will be from a full ROM, but sometimes it's a bit easier starting off the feet than from a full hang. Though, I think a full hang is easier for me on parallel handles for some reason, not sure why that one is.

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