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


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Even at what you're calling "rehab" levels, I am in awe of your strength!

 

I practically spat out the water I was drinking when I read 380 lbs on the incline press machine. You are a freaking tank! I can't wait to see your progress in this log. I hope you stave off those injuries for good!

 

Oh, and PS - 700 lb squat at 230? Sounds like he's giving you some pretty solid advice there.

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Even at what you're calling "rehab" levels, I am in awe of your strength!

 

I practically spat out the water I was drinking when I read 380 lbs on the incline press machine. You are a freaking tank! I can't wait to see your progress in this log. I hope you stave off those injuries for good!

 

Oh, and PS - 700 lb squat at 230? Sounds like he's giving you some pretty solid advice there.

 

Thanks, Medman! I'm just glad that I've always managed to keep my upper back strength so I feel like I haven't lost my baseline across the board, giving me hope to come back everywhere else The incline press machine, unfortunately, probably won't carry over much to a real incline bench, but it's the one machine that keeps my weird shoulder in place, so it's what I use. The other part is, I can't position in it to where it would be a full press - to have the right height, the handles are about 4" off the upper chest, so it's also like doing a 3/4 full ROM bench. Still, feels good to do it, so if anything, at least I can have some machine strength in the bench since my free weight bench has always been terrible!

 

Yep, Kirk is a machine for powerlifting. He uses all the equipment (squat suit, bench shirt, knee wraps, etc.) so it does add to the overall poundage lifted, but he's probably good for about 600 in a raw squat, which is no joke no matter what you weigh. He's keeping me on point, so I'm not going to blow it - what he says goes, so we'll see what he can do with my numbers again once the next few months of lower back and cocked shoulder rehabbing are over with!

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I have trouble believing that the shoulder press machine wouldn't help at least partially preserve your strength in the "real" lifts. I look forward to seeing what you can do when your shoulder is better!

 

It's awesome to have a guy like Kirk in your corner...the next year will be very interesting to watch unfold!

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Thanks, Lobsteriffic and Medman! I'm hoping that there'll be some decent carryover with the machines later - if I can correct the imbalance and have a solid bench that doesn't make my elbow flare out, then I think things will be good. We shall see by fall how well it all works out!

 

3+ hours of hard yard work on Monday digging up roots in the backyard with a pickaxe, skateboarding for about 90 minutes last night, lower back stuff for rehabbing today -

 

Tire step-ups to warm up as usual, 3 rounds of 3 minutes at a good clip, 60 seconds rest between sets

 

Face down on incline bench DB raises for bad lat activation, 3x20 @ 5 lbs. each hand

 

Deadlifts off of 2" box, 60-90 seconds max rest between sets -

1x10 @ 135 lbs.

1x8 @ 225 lbs.

1x6, 4, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 @ 245 lbs.

Looks like weight will be added weekly now, looking forward to getting my strength up again for deadlifts! Each set feeling easier, starting to find my form flaws such as losing my core tightness re-setting each rep and letting my chest fall down a bit, when I stay solid everything feels much better!

 

Wrapped up with some work to play around with the 170 lb. stone they have, just to re-learn how to pick one up properly again -

 

Loads from floor to lap -

2x10

 

Stone rows from floor to chest, torso bent to 90 degrees -

1x10

1x15

 

Once I started to feel comfortable with the grip again it felt natural, but of course, that wasn't until my last set, but at least it's coming back to me. At some point soon, I'll be going in on Saturday mornings to do more event work for stones, tire flipping, etc., so as my lower back keeps getting better, I'll be much more capable of hitting the hard stuff on a regular basis.

 

Should be doing some upper back and shoulder work tomorrow if all goes according to plan!

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As an addendum, I'd completely forgotten how much handling awkward objects like stones really taxes parts you never even think about. My entire midsection aches from the top of my abs all the way to my waist fully around my body, like I'm wearing a big belt of ache that circles me completely. Didn't feel it for a while, but I can say that I'm not moving around very quickly this evening. Can't wait to keep getting back into training strongman events regularly again!

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Upper back and shoulders tonight -

 

Standing 1-arm overhead DB presses -

1x5 @ 25 lbs. each arm

1x5 @ 50 lbs. " "

3x12 @ 80 lbs. " "

1x20 @ 60 lbs. " "

 

Pull-ups, parallel grip medium width -

2x2 @ bodyweight

1x2 @ 45 lbs. added

3x3 @ 80 lbs. added, done as singles with 20 seconds rest between each

2x8 @ 50 lbs. added, done as singles with 5-10 seconds between each rep

1x20 @ bodyweight, done as 12, rest 30 seconds, 8 to finish

 

Behind the neck standing overhead press -

1x10 @ 185 lbs. push press

1x12 @ 135 lbs. semi-strict

1x20 @ 100 lbs. strict for first 15, then a tiny bit of leg drive on the final 5 reps

 

Wide-grip pulldowns, lighter, focusing on really squeezing the lats only -

3x20 @ 200 lbs.

 

Cable lean-away lateral raises -

1x20 each arm @ 30 lbs.

 

Seated DB hammer curls -

2x20 @ 40 lbs. per hand

 

V-handle triceps pressdowns -

2x20 @ 140 lbs.

 

That was it, just kept it simple, probably doing some event training on Saturday!

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Wrapped up with some work to play around with the 170 lb. stone they have, just to re-learn how to pick one up properly again -

 

Loads from floor to lap -

2x10

 

Stone rows from floor to chest, torso bent to 90 degrees -

1x10

1x15

 

Once I started to feel comfortable with the grip again it felt natural, but of course, that wasn't until my last set, but at least it's coming back to me. At some point soon, I'll be going in on Saturday mornings to do more event work for stones, tire flipping, etc., so as my lower back keeps getting better, I'll be much more capable of hitting the hard stuff on a regular basis.

 

 

That sounds like so much fun!

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It is, Adena - you should try it some time I know that there are a handful of strongman training groups around the Iowa City area, so eventually you could find someone with the equipment and give it a go. It's addicting, to say the least!

 

Two days off to get things done, seems that Friday/Saturday usually get left in the dust with all the yard work and catching up on chores, but we'll fix that in time Legs/chest today, continuing with maintenance leg work. I'm looking forward to eventually squatting again, but I feel that I probably still have about 2 months before Kirk will want be back that direction. Gotta fix that lower back weakness first, you know!

 

Plate-loaded incline press machine, different from the one I usually use -

3x10 @ 270 lbs., then would go straight to the flat bench and press a pair of 60 lb. DBs with a narrow parallel grip for 10 reps afterward. This incline machine puts me in a position where when I get weak at the end of the set, my elbow starts to flare out so I can't try to force out reps much, but this time was MUCH better than previous sessions for keeping it in line. Things are moving forward for working out the shoulder imbalance after all!

 

Horizontal leg press machine -

1x20 @ 330 lbs.

1x20 @ 340

1x20 @ 350

1x20 @ 370

Then, 1x20 single-leg presses down to the lowest point @ 120 lbs. each leg.

Getting to where a few more sessions and I'll have this thing maxed out easily. Even when I squatted nice and heavy, I was weak on leg pressing on it, so I guess I'm gaining strength somewhere even if the squats are on the back burner for now

 

Just goofed on some other chest machine stuff for a bit since I was pretty tired tonight, didn't mark down what I did but had about 4 more sets in there. Wrapped up with some light leg stuff, doing 3 sets back to back for light extensions and seated leg curls and that was it.

 

Weight has gone up about 2 lbs. to hold me steady at 234 lbs. for the past two weeks, but I'm seeing more fat loss and noticing a bit more definition, so eating a bit more and putting more effort into most of my sessions has obviously been taking things back in a good direction. I'm sure my body was done with my undereating, so I've been keeping calories about 3000-3200 on lifting days and about 2600 on non-lifting days, so far so good. Just aiming to try and put on about 5-6 lbs. of lean mass by year's end (which shouldn't be hard once I can deadlift and squat heavy again), and get another 1-2 lbs. of fat trimmed off each month by cutting out the crap foods, just having fun with it to see where I can get over the rest of the year.

 

Upper back and arm work tomorrow, if I'm not too fried. I won't get more than about 4 hours' sleep tonight, have to help someone move our new commercial freezers into the warehouse in the morning. Not going to be fun, but I'll be glad when they're in because I've got a list of about 50 new frozen foods to bring in this summer, and I'll finally have the space for them!

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It is, Adena - you should try it some time I know that there are a handful of strongman training groups around the Iowa City area, so eventually you could find someone with the equipment and give it a go. It's addicting, to say the least!

 

Plate-loaded incline press machine, different from the one I usually use -

3x10 @ 270 lbs., then would go straight to the flat bench and press a pair of 60 lb. DBs with a narrow parallel grip for 10 reps afterward. This incline machine puts me in a position where when I get weak at the end of the set, my elbow starts to flare out so I can't try to force out reps much, but this time was MUCH better than previous sessions for keeping it in line. Things are moving forward for working out the shoulder imbalance after all!

 

 

 

I'm really glad to hear your shoulder is doing better! The other injuries will heal when they heal, I guess. I'm glad you're showing some restraint and not trying to do heavy squats for now, or something. I know how annoying it is to hold back because of an injury.

 

I guess some people at my gym have a few things behind the gym for caveman drills, like tires for flipping, sledgehammers, and sleds. Some Saturday morning when I'm bored maybe I'll drop by. I always think people won't have stuff to scale, though.....I like that sort of thing, but I'm kind of a wee little mighty mite, at least for now.

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Definitely give it a shot some time, Adena - you'll be hooked, and most people who have equipment tend to have some lighter things for those who are learning, so you might just find a place that has everything you need.

 

Upper back/biceps tonight -

 

BB rows -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 185

1x12 @ 225

1x12 @ 235

1x12 @ 245, done as 9 reps, rest 15 seconds, 3 more to finish

Endurance is showing that it's picked up quite a bit since last fall when I was trying to get back to rows again. 12 reps at 245 would have put me on the floor exhausted, even with a break in the reps, but this time it wasn't so bad. Good things are happening!

 

Inverted rows in power rack, one set overhand grip, one parallel grip, 10 lb. plate stuck in my belt to add some weight

3x25 reps

 

Straight bar cable rows to just below sternum -

3x20 @ 230 lbs.

 

1-arm shrugs in Smith machine -

1x25 @ 135 lbs. each arm (120 lbs. weight, 15 lb. counterbalanced bar)

1x35 " "

1x50 " "

I know I'm supposed to focus on right-side only shrugs, but today I couldn't resist going off course a bit

 

1-arm (right arm only) 45 degree angle shrugs with cable stack @ 150 lbs. -

2x20

 

Table-top DB curls -

2x20 @ 55 lb. DB each arm

 

Preacher curl machine -

Drop rep mega-set, 130 lbs., done as 20 reps, 20 second rest, 15 reps, 20 second rest, 10 reps, 20 second rest, 5 reps to finish

 

That was it today, felt good again, skateboarding will probably happen tomorrow if I'm up for it!

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No skateboarding yesterday, just too tired to do much of anything, but lower back rehab training went on today as usual -

 

Tire step-ups to warm up, 3 rounds of 3 minutes with 60 seconds rest between sets

 

Face down on incline bench flyes for bad trapezius - 3x18 @ 10 lbs. per hand (much harder than the light 5 lbs. was!)

 

Now they have a nice big 2" axle at the facility, they moved me from defeceit deadlifts to axle deadlifts from the floor for now, so things are changing again -

1x10 @ 135 lbs.

1x8 @ 185 lbs.

1x6 @ 225 lbs.

1x4 @ 245 lbs.

1x2 @ 265 lbs.

3x1 @ 275 lbs.

3x5 @ 225 lbs.

All sets 60-75 seconds max rest between reps. Took a few extra seconds here and there to re-chalk constantly (they had me do almost all sets double-overhand grip, and on a fat bar with no knurling in 90 degree heat, chalk is essential!)

 

Light farmer's shrug walks for about 100 feet - I think it was 105 lbs. per hand, I had to carry them in a full upright shrug position for each set at a moderate walking pace. Not hard, but the trapezius is a bit sore from shrugs on Sunday, so this got me a bit having to hold that position.

 

Helped coach a guy who's trying to learn proper stone lifting technique, he almost made the 170 lb. stone to the 52" platform, which was pretty cool since he's about 50some years old and never trained for anything like that before.

 

Going to try and make Fridays my event training day since weekends are tough, should be doing some log press, stones and other stuff in 2 days!

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Helped coach a guy who's trying to learn proper stone lifting technique, he almost made the 170 lb. stone to the 52" platform, which was pretty cool since he's about 50some years old and never trained for anything like that before.

 

Going to try and make Fridays my event training day since weekends are tough, should be doing some log press, stones and other stuff in 2 days!

 

Yes! Awesome!

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Thanks, everyone!

 

Took a few days off, last week was SUPER stressful, and I ended up with a bit of a warm-season cold since my body was fried by the weekend. Made it in for a bit of training tonight, kept it simple -

 

Pull-ups -

1x3 @ bodyweight (234 lbs.)

1x1 @ 45 lbs. added

1x4 @ 75 lbs. added, 20 seconds between reps, done as singles

1x6 @ 65 lbs. added, 20 seconds between reps

1x8 @ 50 lbs. added, 5 seconds between reps

2x8, 2x6 @ bodyweight, with 30-40 seconds between sets

 

Uncomfortable plate-loaded incline bench press machine -

1x10 @ 100 lbs.

1x5 @ 200 lbs.

1x10 @ 300 lbs, then move to 1x10 flat DB bench with 65 lb. DBs, palms in close grip position

1x8 " "

1x15 @ 200 lbs, " "

Just wasn't feeling it for going heavier today with this one, my good shoulder was making lots of popping sounds, decided not to work it too much more.

 

Wide-grip straight-bar pulldowns -

2x20 @ 200 lbs.

 

Flat BB bench -

2x12 @ 185 lbs.

 

That was it, just a short one, will be doing a few cardio days early this week but won't lift again until Wednesday for lower back stuff. Need a bit more time to let the body recover, then it's back on again!

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Cold still hasn't gone away, been extremely dehydrated this past few days as well. Weighed myself this morning, came in at 228 lbs., meaning I'm completely drained out (especially considering I was coming in around 234-235 late last week). Trying to keep my fluid intake high, lots of work here at the office and running around the warehouse doing double-duty with someone on vacation, but I hope to feel up to training lower back tomorrow. We shall see!

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I'm trying, FH, but these 13-14 hour work-while-I'm-sick days aren't making things any easier

 

Forced myself to get lower back work in today -

 

Warmed up with Prowler pushes as fast as possible, 100 feet down and back, with 50 lbs. added on. 3 sets with 90 seconds rest between, I was sucking wind like crazy. I'd always heard that Prowler work was pretty brutal, and even light weight can make you hurt all over!

 

Face-down on incline bench DB raises for trapezius work, then on to deadlifts. This time, it was just regular bar from normal floor height, moving up in weight -

 

1x10 @ 135 lbs.

1x8 @ 225 lbs.

1x6 @ 315 lbs.

1x4 @ 335 lbs.

5x2 @ 355 lbs.

Lower back is definitely feeling stronger, form is getting better by the week, shouldn't be long before I'm pulling in the 400s again.

 

Wrapped up with some one-motion stone loads with the 170 lb. stone, 3 sets of 6. Rather than pull the stone to the lap and re-grip, each rep was just one pull from the floor straight to the chest, stand up and heave it. Was definitely tough on me, I was pretty taxed from the deadlifts being sick and living on 5 hours' sleep, but they got done. It's making my weak areas show through, though - lower abs were on fire from stabilizing during the final heave to the top, so it's going to take some work to bring those smaller areas back up. But, as much as I didn't think I'd live through the workout, I made it, so it was a good day!

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Thanks, Adena!

 

Took Thursday/Friday off as the last of my cold was kicking my butt, combined with too much work it left me with zero energy. Got back to business on Saturday with upper back/shoulder work -

 

Pull-ups -

2x2 @ bodyweight (234 lbs.)

1x1 @ 45 lbs. added

1x1 @ 70 lbs. added

2x3 @ 90 lbs. added, done as singles with 20-30 seconds rest between each rep, none were spectacular, just trying to acclimate to having lots of weight strapped on. First rep would be 95% complete, 2nd rep an inch or two less to completion, same for the 3rd one. Hoping to get this summer to where 90 lbs. can be relatively easy for a clean single, we'll see how it goes.

2x12 @ 35 lbs. added on, done as 4 reps, rest 15-20 seconds, repeat three times

 

Standing 1-arm DB overhead press, strict -

1x5 each arm @ 50 lb.

1x5 " " @ 70 lb.

3x12 " " @ 85 lb., jumped up nicely

1x20 " " @ 60 lb.

 

Seated cable row -

1x15 @ 240 lbs. w/narrow V-handle

1x20 @ 220 w/wide V-handle

1x25 @ 200 " "

 

Cable lean-away lateral raises -

2x25 each arm @ 25 lbs.

 

Wide-grip pulldowns -

2x20 @ 200 lbs.

 

That was it, kept it simple and short. Leg day with some shrugging mixed in today to keep on track -

 

Plate-loaded squat machine, all sets done facing away from machine, legs in narrow stance far out front -

1x5 @ 270 lbs.

1x5 @ 360

1x12 @ 450

1x12 @ 540

1x12 @ 600

3x15 @ 450

1x20 @ 360

 

BB shrugs, alternating sets in front and behind-the-back -

4x25 @ 315 lbs.

 

Lying hamstring curls -

3x15 @ 170 lbs.

 

Dip shrugs -

3x25 @ bodyweight

 

1-legged leg presses -

1x25 @ 140 lbs. each leg, every rep deep with a full stretch

 

That was it, in and out in 50 minutes, two days of yard work and maybe getting to skate, then lower back on Wednesday again!

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Hey Ryan,

 

Keep me updated about my proposed trip up to WI! I'm coming up for sure! Already planning events along the way in AZ and TX as I move east first, then North. Already told my buddy Jordan in Madison I'm coming too.

 

I have only missed one workout in weeks so I'm back on track and looking forward to training with you! My first stint in WI before VSF (VegetarianSummerFest) may only be a few days as I think it will take me longer from TX to WI as I'll likely take my time, stop in more places, but then I'm open to stay in WI for a a week or more after my events in DC in July and I'll be there for Chicago VegFest August 7th and 8th too.

 

My schedule is wide open. I'm here to help out, hang out, train, etc. and I'll I have to do is sell 2 books a day to afford a cheap motel, and I'm always above that average, so I'm cool

 

Keep me posted on your interest/availability to have me come by the office for a few days or longer while I'm in town. Maybe I'll try my hands (feet) at skateboarding again too. I used to back in high school.

 

See ya!

 

Robert

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Back to training today!

 

Lower back work -

 

3 sets of Prowler pushes for speed again, 100 feet down and back at full clip, 50 lbs. added on. Quads and glutes on fire from this already and it's only a warm-up.

 

Face down on incline bench DB raises -

3x20 @ 10 lbs. per hand

 

Deadlifts -

1x5 @ 135

1x4 @ 185

1x3 @ 225

1x2 @ 275

1x1 @ 325

3x1 @ 375

 

Wrapped up with 1-motion stone lifts to load height, 3x10 with the 175 lb. stone, upping reps to work the endurance and get used to the motion again.

 

That was it, in and out quickly, upper back and chest stuff coming in a few days!

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Upper back and shoulders last night -

 

Standing overhead strict BB press -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 95 lbs.

1x2 @ 135

1x1 @ 185

1x1 @ 205

3x6 @ 185

1x10 @ 135 lbs. (behind the neck, wide grip for this set)

Just didn't feel strong on the overheads today, had hoped for it to go a bit better.

 

Wide-grip pulldowns -

1x5 @ 120 lbs.

1x5 @ 200

1x8 @ 270

1x6 @ 285

1x4 @ 300

2x20 @ 210

Hadn't used the pulldown machine at this place in a while (the only one above 250 lbs. I have access to is at Ballys), forgot that with my lower bodyweight, it was a pain it the arse to actually get myself into position as it kept trying to pull me out from the set

 

Hammer Strength plate-loaded overhead press -

1x8 @ 230 lbs.

1x12 @ 200 lbs.

1x40 @ 90 lbs.

 

Seated cable row -

2x12 @ 260 lbs., one set V handle, one set narrow grip straight bar

 

Close-grip flat BB bench -

3x15 @ 135 lbs. for some extra tricep work

 

Seated DB hammer curls, semi-strict -

3x15 @ 45 lbs., a little swing on the last few reps

 

That was it, should get to leg work tomorrow or Sunday!

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Leg and chest day today, with the return of squats!

 

Nothing remotely heavy for at least a few months - just working to fine-tune my form and keep my right shoulder from cocking outward. I found that as long as I keep an ultra-narrow grip on the bar, I can keep things in place, so my arms are REALLY tucked in along my torso, which I'm not used to (I normally squat with my arms out near the bar collars). But, if it allows me to resume squatting again, I'm all for adapting until I finally get that shoulder imbalance under control!

 

Squats to parallel -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 185

1x3 @ 225

1x4 @ 225

5x5 @ 225

All sets very easy, just adapting to the form change for hand positioning.

 

1/2 squats, about 14" ROM, just to get used to supporting more weight -

1x10 @ 315 lbs.

1x10 @ 335

 

Even though it wasn't heavy today, I was still totally worked over by squatting again after such a long break. I need to keep myself leashed in from not going overboard, though, so it's going to be kept simple for a bit - just add 10 lbs. to the 5x5 each week to rebuild, do some of those 1/2 squats here and there to get used to supporting more weight (adding 10-20 lbs. to those each week as well), and see where it goes!

 

Flat BB bench, working on keeping shoulder in place -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 185

1x5 @ 200

1x5 @ 210

1x5 @ 220

3x15 @ 165

1x25 @ 115

Didn't feel bad today, might just go to doing more close-grip again soon to push things. When my close-grip benching is strong, my overhead pressing and regular width bench is strong, so that might be where I move toward to start working those close-grips heavy soon.

 

Wrapped up with 3x20 seated single leg curls @ 75 lbs. per leg, and that was it.

 

Feeling good, will be getting some upper back and arm work in tomorrow!

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