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

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Yeah, my weight is increasing so even as I get stronger they don't get much easier I do deadlifts and rows so I have some solid back exercises, so I'll just keep plugging away at pullups. I do alternate them with chinups though, but I do these exercises to help with other lifts and not just for their own sake, so I gotta remember that. I may have to try the standing start pullups some time, maybe as some PU assistance work. There is such a bar in my gym. Cheers

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Yeah, it's not any easier with pull-ups as you gain weight. I learned that the hard way - it was a humbling experience when I'd thought I'd knock out easy reps, only to feel like I was doing them for the first time and was terrible with them when I weighed in the 270s.


I started with band-assisted pull-ups and heavy pulldowns (a little leaning back never hurt anyone ) and built it from there. When I could do 3x5 @ bodyweight, I started added weight for singles and doubles until things got easier. And, a little trick that always works well for me - doing a single with the heaviest weight added that I can manage before doing bodyweight ones will ALWAYS make the bodyweight sets feel like a breeze. After dropping the belt with 75+ lbs. on it, I feel like it's no problem to do bodyweight ones, so maybe give that a try, even if you can only get a partial rep with weight added before the bodyweight sets. I had success years ago with squats in that same regard - work to a heavy single at around 95% max, then drop down for the moderate to higher rep work and I felt like it was WAY easier to manage.

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Monday, did a 30 minute power walk keeping heart rate at 65% max.


Tuesday, 60 minutes at the same heart rate.


Today, shouders and leg assistance work.


Standing strict overhead presses -

1x20 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 95 lbs.

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185 lbs.

1x1 @ 205 lbs.

2x5 @ 185 lbs.

1x5 @ 190 lbs.

1x4 @ 195 lbs. missed the 5th rep, peeled off weight down to 135 lbs. and did 6 more with no break as punishment


Warmed up with squat singles as deep as possible just to 195 lbs., then went to the plate-loaded squat machine, faced inward, and did a few sets -

1x5 @ 450, 540, 630, 720 and 810 lbs.

Lower back was being touchy so I didn't do more, just wanted to get a few in after not doing legs for 2 weeks.


1-arm standing DB presses, slight lean to side, each rep starting resting on shoulder -

2x12 @ 75 lbs. each arm


Lying leg curls -

2x15 @ 180 lbs.


Lean-away cable lateral raises -

1x20 @ 25 lbs.

1x25 @ 15 lbs.


Came home, did 5x20 glute/ham raises, and that was all for today. Head cold was kicking in a bit tonight so I felt off my game, but nothing I could do except get lifting over with so next time can be better


Hoping to get some upper back and arm stuff in tomorrow if possible, deadlifts on Saturday!

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Lower back was still touchy yesterday, didn't feel like deadlifting yet (I'll wait until the weekend), did some chest and upper back stuff today -


Pull-ups -

2x2 @ bodyweight (232 lbs.)

1x2 @ 25 lbs. added

1x1 @ 45 lbs. added

3x2 @ 70 lbs. added (done as one rep, rest 5-10 seconds, 2nd rep)

2x8 @ 25 lbs. added done ultra-wide grip, which I suck at and need to work on.


BB flat bench -

Decided to give it a try again after serious neglect. Wasn't pretty...

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 185

1x3 @ 205

3x3 @ 225

1x1 @ 250

1x1 @ 260

1xfail @ 270

3x10 @ 185

2x20 @ 135


Wide-grip pulldowns -

3x12 @ 270 lbs.


Seated cable row, medium grip -

2x20 @ 220 lbs.


That was it, kept it short and simple since the benching killed me after so much time off.


Tomorrow and Tuesday will be crazy, probably can't get time to lift, should be squatting Wednesday!

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Leg day with some biceps work thrown in for fun -


Squats -

1x5 @ 135 lbs

1x3 @ 185

1x3 @ 225

1x2 @ 225

1x1 @ 315

1x1 @ 335

1x1 @ 355

1x1 @ 375 - came out better than expected

5x6 @ 300


Box squats to parallel, sit back and pause each rep at bottom -

1x15 @ 225


1-legged RDL with DB in opposite side hand -

2x20 each leg @ 55 lbs.


Seated DB hammer curls, strict -

3x12 @ 45 lb. DBs, then immediately do 8 reps @ 25 lb. DBs to finish


Came home, did 3x20 glute/ham raises and that was it!


Squat form needs work - I've got the same issue as with my deadlift, my butt is coming up for some reason when I try to go well past parallel, which is thowing everything off. Looks like I'll have to get a diagnosis when I train with the guys who know their stuff this weekend...

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Quick upper back/shoulder day yesterday -


Hammer Strength plate-loaded medium height row -

1x15 @ 270 lbs.

1x15 @ 360 lbs.

4x15 @ 450 lbs. done 2 sets narrow neutral grip, 2 sets medium overhand grip


Behind the neck power jerks -

1x3 @ 135

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 205

1x1 @ 215

1x1 @ 225

Hurt too much when the bar would come down on my traps that were still raw from squatting the day before. Opted to change things up instead of going on with these.

Behind the neck wide-grip standing strict presses -

3x10 @ 135 lbs., bar touching upper back lightly on each rep to start, none of this "stop at the ears" stuff


Dual cable stack w/straight bar seated row -

2x15 @ 240 lbs. medium grip

2x15 @ 250 lbs. narrow grip


Rubber cable w/handles overhead press (using both blue and yellow cable)

3x12, no idea what the weight was, probably 50ish lbs. at bottom, close to 100 lbs. resistance at top, tried to make these tough.


1-arm shrugs on cable stack -

3x25 each arm @ full stack (around 180 lbs.)


Cable stack lean-away lateral raises -

1x20 @ 20 lbs. each arm


That was it, kept it simple, hoping to get to deadlift tomorrow morning, Sunday at latest!

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Yea, good luck.

Squat form needs work - I've got the same issue as with my deadlift, my butt is coming up for some reason when I try to go well past parallel, which is thowing everything off. Looks like I'll have to get a diagnosis when I train with the guys who know their stuff this weekend...
What did you find out?
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Thanks, Medman & VLV!


Unfortunately, didn't get to train with the guys this weekend. Was up until 5 AM Saturday morning, no way I could sleep for 4 hours and do it with how run down I've been lately. It'll have to wait for another time, I guess.


Went in to train tonight, it turned into one of those "Why do I even bother?" kind of nights.


Flat BB benching -

worked up to 245, then go pinned on my 2nd rep on my 2nd set of doubles. That set a bad tone from the start. Noticed that my right shoulder is cocking WAY out now, something just ain't right with that side, anything but narrow grip benching is off the program for what may be permanent unless I can fix that issue. As far as I can tell, it's only going to get worse if I don't find someone who can help me fix that imbalance, and I'd prefer not to blow out my right shoulder any time soon.


Wanted to make up for not deadlifting yesterday, warmed up to 315 and it felt heavy as hell, just knew it was going to be a bad day. Gave up on that as well, felt like punching myself in the face out of anger, so I needed to cool down and just paced around for a bit (glad I was the only person there tonight!)


Just screwed around with light low-rep chest stuff for about 30 minutes after that, called it a day. Haven't had a really shitty time in the gym like this in months, it might note to me that I need a break for a few days to collect myself (not that I don't end up with a short break every other week for some excuse or other, but this one may be needed to maintain my sanity )


Sucky training, shitty mood now, but oh well, here's to hoping next time is better!

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Crappy week over, back to normal again


Getting closer to resolving our issue with getting our walk-in freezer, re-negotiating our lease to take over more space in the adjacent warehouse, etc. that's been bugging the hell out of me, now it's just time to train, tie up loose ends and enjoy my upcoming week in California (even if it is for business!)


Easy chest and upper back day today -


Pull-ups -

2x2 @ bodyweight (235 lbs.)

1x2 @ 25 lbs. added

5x5 @ 50 lbs. added - some sets were less than beautiful, took some breaks between reps on the last 3 but got them all done


DB flat bench -

5x10 @ 100 lb. DBs

Shoulder cocking out more again, gotta get someone to help me fix that before I do something stupid and blow it out completely one day.


Wide-grip pulldowns, slight lean back -

3x12 @ 260 lbs.

2x20 @ 210 lbs.


Plate-loaded incline bench machine -

3x10 @ 270 lbs.

2x20 @ 180 lbs.


Cable face pulls -

3x20 @ 180 lbs.


1-arm cable shrugs -

5x25 @ 200 lbs. per hand (400 lbs. total) from varying angles


That was it, got it over quickly and felt much better. Will get one last leg or deadlift workout in this week before I leave Thursday early afternoon, looking forward to getting to train with Robert sometime this weekend!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Haven't trained in a while, didn't have much chance in Anaheim this past week (sorry we didn't get to go to the gym, Robert!) but now that I'm back, I'm going to get on things again even if I have to improvise.


Basically, I'll know this weekend as to what the diagnosis is on how I can start to work to correct this shoulder positioning imbalance. I was told via email from my description that they think it may be related to a rotator cuff issue, I'm not completely sold on it, but we'll see when I go in Saturday for a form check.


For now, I'm resolved for the next 3 months to just getting back to working on fat loss above all else - my training is going to be less than optimal with lots of long days and nights of constant work ahead of me, so if I have to do bodyweight stuff to keep on top of it, that's what I'll do. For today, it's training in the warehouse for some easy stuff that's not complicated - neutral grip torso-width pull-ups and push-ups (hands pointing outward away from each other, left wrist still sore from injuring it 2 weeks ago), so here's what I did:


Pull-ups @ bodyweight (237 lbs. clothed)



Push-ups @ bodyweight



Nothing more than that, just kept it simple to make sure I get back on course.


I hope to get a light lower back or leg day in Thursday - if nothing works according to plan for hitting the gym, I'm going to get some sawhorses and do light (225 lb.) sets of squats here in the warehouse so I won't have any excuses. I'll post again when I'm done with the next session!


*edit* for two things -


1. I ended up doing 3 sets of 40 lb. dog kibble bag curls for 50 reps each set to throw in some bicep work as well. Make the most of what you've got around you!


2. For Robert - I found out just after checkout yesterday that the Hilton I stay at in Anaheim actually has a decent gym down in the basement. Saw a full power rack, plenty of free weights, and tons of machines. If it ever gets tough for getting to 24-Hour Fitness, we can always train at my hotel if we're in a time crunch! I wish I'd known about it sooner, but I'm so used to terribly gyms at hotels I never bothered to look. I guess California is different in that regard, too - they don't consider a row of 3 treadmills to be "adequate" for everyone who trains!

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Great to see you in Anaheim...we didn't even get a single photo this time! We'll have to next time.


Will you be coming to DC for AR conference this year?


To exhibit or simply to check it out and hang out?


Should be our biggest VBB gathering of the year.


Have a great week!


Thanks for all the support with VEGA too!

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Hey, Robert!


Not sure about AR - I wanted to exhibit, but we've got so many other big projects to complete between now and August I have the feeling I'll miss out. If I do go, it'll just be as an attendee (for the first time!), and if I can swing it, I'll keep you posted!


Shoulders/lower back day today to get back on track -


Tried to do some barbell overhead pressing, but sprained wrist didn't like how they felt. Another week or two will be needed to heal up, so I went for 1-arm strict DB presses -

4x12 @ 65 lb. DB for each arm


Deadlift from floor -

Warmed up to a single @ 345, then did

5x10 @ 275 lbs.

I'm dropping the weight and going for higher reps for a while. Didn't feel hard on my back at all, but I need to work on my form again and build up my endurance, so for the next few weeks, it's just adding 10 lbs. each week and keeping the reps at 10 or more for each set until I feel comfortable


Blue 2-handled cable overhead presses (felt like about 25 lbs. at bottom, 50ish at top)



Back extension machine -

4x20 @ 200 lbs.


DB seated hammer curls, pretty strict -

3x15 @ 45 lbs. DBs

1st set done all the way through, 2nd set had to take a few breaths before completing the last rep, last set was done as 12, drop DBs, take 5 quick breaths and finish


Just a light, easy day to get back into things again. I usually make the mistake of aiming too high after a layoff, then I get mad when it goes poorly, so I'd rather start slowly and build up properly instead of failing to do things right again.


Hoping for some assistance leg and upper back work Tuesday, will post once it's done!

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Never got to train with the guys who were supposed to diagnose my shoulder issue this past weekend, family emergency prevented me from doing much all weekend. Quick upper back and chest/triceps last night -


Straight-bar seated cable rows -

1x20 @ 220 lbs.

" " @ 240

" " @ 250

" " @ 260


Close-grip flat BB bench -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

" " @ 185

" " @ 205

1x3 @ 225 lbs., paused for 3 second dead stop on chest each rep

1x10 @ 185 lbs. " "

1x20 @ 135 lbs. " "


Bodyweight inverted rows on pull-up station -



Plate-loaded Hammer Strength incline press -

3x20 @ 180 lbs.


Then, it was time to do some work to bring up my bad side for some self-diagnosis work. I think that it's possible that I have a rotator cuff issue with my right shoulder, but I can tell for 100% certain that the shoulder blade on that side definitely is not in alignment, so there's going to need to be some work to even things out and get it back to proper form.


1-arm face pulls w/rope and cable stack -

3x20 @ 50 lbs. with right arm only (pulling slightly below neck height, felt like it was the proper angle to keep that shoulder blade in position)


1-arm cable shrugs

3x20 @ 80 lbs. right arm only, pulling slightly back each rep


Nothing to work that side hard, but concentrating on the proper feel for it being in alignment with the "good" side, going to take some time and extra work, but it'll get fixed eventually.


Today is off for family stuff (my Dad's b-day), tomorrow is leg day!

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Had to take a few days off, overworked and felt like I had zero energy, didn't feel that a bad day or two in the gym was going to make things any better. Told myself today that my only priority was to train as normal, so did some upper back and chest stuff because...welll...I didn't feel like doing lower body stuff today. Total cop-out, but I preferred to do a longer endurance workout than hit it short and hard today. Still, was decent -


Flat DB bench -

1x10 @ 35s

1x5 @ 50s

1x5 @ 75s

3x12 @ 100s, working to keep right shoulder in place, fared better than usual

2x20 @ 75s


Weighted pull-ups -

2x3 @ bodyweight (235 lbs. today)

1x2 @ 25 lbs. added

1x1 @ 50 lbs. added

1x1 @ 75 lbs. added

3x5 @ 55 lbs. added - all sets, first 4 reps were decent, last rep ugly every time. Set feet on ground between each rep, took 2 quick breaths, so they were done kind of like singles with minimal rest.


Wide-grip pulldowns -

3x12 @ 270 lbs.


Plate-loaded incline press -

3x20 @ 200 lbs.


Seated cable row to sternum, focusing on an even pull -

2x20 @ 230 lbs. medium grip

2x20 @ 200 lbs. wide grip


Cable face pull, pulling slightly lower to top of clavicles, working on feeling to keep my shoulder blades in line -

3x20 @ 170 lbs.


Stretched out with some light DB flyes for 3x20 @ 30s and that was it.


Going to take a nice long walk tomorrow after work, skateboarding Tuesday, deadlifts or squats on Wednesday!

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Missed posting a few workouts, but I may not be consistent about logging everything for a bit. Some days, I may just do a few sets of push ups/pull ups for fun, other days will be serious, all depending on how I feel. Just working on feeling good about training right now and re-tuning my diet (which sucked for the greater part of the last 2 months, no real damage done, but no progress either), trying to have fun again instead of beating myself up for not attaining all the goals I've set as quickly as I'd like to have.


1 hour yard work for light cardio, 20 minute walk in the afternoon, then the gym tonight for shoulders/upper back day today -


1-arm standing DB overhead presses, slight side lean (not much, but slight nonetheless) -

1x10 @ 35 lbs. each arm

1x10 @ 50

5x12 @ 70 lbs. each arm


Plate-loaded 1-arm pulldowns -

1x10 @ 90 lbs. each arm

1x10 @ 135 " "

4x12 @ 180 " "

1x25 @ 135 " "


Machine overhead press from about 4" off shoulder height -

3x20 @ 160 lbs.


Seated cable row, V handle -

3x15 @ 240 lbs.


Cable face pulls, high cable position, pulling to clavicle -

3x20 @ 170 lbs.


Lean-away cable lateral raises -

1x20 @ 25 lbs.


That was it, simple and not too bad except my endurance was sucking it tonight.


Not sure if I'll train tomorrow, we'll see how I feel, skateboarding for sure Tuesday, deadlifting Wednesday as long as I don't wreck my wrist again skating (it's been healing for 3 weeks, but one good fall will make everything really painful again!)

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Took part of the week off last week (went on a few walks, ate well, but no weight training through Friday), went skating on Tuesday and didn't get hurt for once, went in Saturday for lower back work on only 3.5 hours of sleep, had to get it done -


Warmed up with power snatches just to an ugly single @ 135 lbs.


Deadlifts -

1x5 @ 225 lbs.

1x5 @ 275

5x5 @ 315

Gassed like nothing else, felt like dying from no sleep and no energy, but had to get 'em over with.


Seated barbell good mornings -

2x20 @ 225 lbs. to about 65 degree forward lean


Blue thick band good mornings -



1-arm shrugs on plate-loaded incline bench machine, standing on seat -

4x25 each arm @ 205 lbs.


That was it for Saturday, couldn't muster any more than that.


Got 10 hours of sleep last night, figured I'd get upper back/chest in today because I know I'll be tied up for Monday and won't get any time to train.


Pull-ups -

2x2 @ bodyweight (232 lbs.) to warm up

1x1 @ 45 lbs. added

2x3 @ 70 lbs. added (done as singles w/ about 3-5 seconds between each one)

2x8 @ 35 lbs. added (done as 4, then singles with 3-6 seconds between each)

1x20 @ bodyweight (done as 12, then 2x4 with 20 seconds rest between each part)


Plate-loaded incline bench -

1x5 @ 180 lbs.

1x5 @ 270 lbs.

3x12 @ 320 lbs.

1x18 @ 270 lbs.

1x22 @ 230 lbs. (wanted 25, too fried to finish)


Bodyweight inverted rows, neutral grip torso width 1st set, narrow grip 2nd set



Incline DB flyes -

2x20 @ 35 lb. DBs


Seated V handle cable row -

2x20 @ 230 lbs.


Floor flyes (arms straight, done to crucifix position on floor completely flat each rep, no arm bend)

2x25 @ 20 lb. DBs


Keeping it simple, feeling good for now, skating Tuesday, leg stuff Wednesday!

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Thanks, Medman - you don't know how badly I wanted to skip out, but I've let myself slack too much lately, can't let it get any worse!


Leg and shoulder day today, didn't get to skate, so it seemed like a good time to get back in.


Standing strict overhead barbell press -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x3 @ 115 lbs.

1x3 @ 135

3x6 @ 185 - surprised that it went as easily as it did, I guess those 1-arm DB overheads are working!

1x12 @ 135


Icarian plate-loaded squat machine, facing away for quad-dominant work -

1x5 @ 180 lbs.

1x5 @ 270 lbs.

1x5 @ 360 lbs.

1x12 @ 450 lbs.

1x12 @ 470 lbs.

1x12 @ 500 lbs.

1x20 @ 360 lbs.

Felt decent enough after not doing them for a while, will try to get to these at least every other leg day.


Hammer Strength plate-loaded shoulder press -

2x12 @ 200 lbs.

1x30 @ 90 lbs.


1-legged leg press, off heels, wide stance, knee touching side on each rep at bottom to go deep -

3x15 @ 180 lbs. each leg


In and out in 50 mintues including warm-up, totally wiped out from minimal rest, but it was a good day


Came home, went to the basement and did 4x25 glute/ham raises and that was it.


Tomorrow is a rest day, maybe take a nice long walk if it's nearly 80 degrees out as they're predicting, back workout again on Thursday!

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Had a few days off, did some chest/upper back work last night -


Pull-ups to warm up -

2x2 @ bodyweight

1x1 @ 45 lbs. added

1x1 @ 70 lbs. added

1xfail @ 90 lbs. added, didn't quite make it, opted to change to 1-arm pulldowns instead on the plate-loaded machine -

3x10 each arm @ 205 lbs.

2x18 each arm @ 160 lbs.


Plate-loaded incline press (still steering clear of DB presses until my shoulder imbalance gets better) -

1x5 @ 160 lbs.

1x5 @ 270 lbs.

1x8 @ 360 lbs.

1x7 @ 360 lbs

1x5 @ 380 lbs.

2x15 @ 270 lbs.

2x25 @ 180 lbs.


Pulldowns -

2x20 @ 230 lbs. w/ V handle

2x20 @ 230 lbs. w/ wide grip straight bar


DB hammer curls -

2x10 @ 55 lb. DBs


EZ bar preacher curls -

2x20 @ 75 lbs.


That was it, keeping it simple still, should FINALLY get a shoulder diagnosis this week as I pre-paid for a session with the guy who will help me out, ensuring I won't have an excuse not to go as I have in the past. Hoping to go skate today, should get to lifting again tomorrow!

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