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


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It should be pretty fun, Adena! I still don't have any idea if it's going to be a tiny group showing up or if they're going to have a large turnout (the person in charge of organizing it isn't saying anything about the response to it), so we'll see how it goes. If nothing else, it'll be a reunion of all the guys I've trained strongman with over the past half decade, most of who I haven't run into for a few years. I have the feeling that more than a few people are going to spend themselves practicing for the beer shotgunning challenge and won't get much more done than that

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Ah, it didn't go as I'd expected it to, partly due to two factors:

 

1. A friend opened his new bar this week and I stopped in the night before for what was supposed to be a drink or two, which ended up to be quite a few more than that, and

 

2. It didn't turn out to be much of a "contest", rather, ended up mostly as a fundraiser above all else. Where I'd expected a bunch of people to end up competing, most were content to chat, have a beer, and play the bean bag toss game for hours on end. The only strength stuff that really went on was one woman was filiming a qualifier for women's nationals, but other than that, nobody felt much like training or competing. Considering my sorry state, that was okay by me

 

The only thing I did compete in was a bodyweight hold for time on a thick rope slung over the chin-up bar. The mark had been set at 55 seconds for the men, I held on as long as I could and fell in a heap on the ground at 60 seconds exactly. Then, one of the women grabbed on and held tight for nearly 2 minutes while smiling the entire time. So, a victory in the men's battle, but beaten twice over time-wise by the only woman who wanted to compete

 

Feeling much better today, will be getting in some leg work tonight!

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Upper back and chest/triceps day! Too worn out tonight for leg stuff, should be getting that in tomorrow.

 

Alternating sets of weighted pull-ups with flat BB close-grip benching (hands about 18" apart)

 

Pull-ups -

2x2 @ bodyweight (235 lbs. clothed)

8x5 @ 35 lbs. added, all sets done from full hang, no feet on floor like I often do.

 

Close-grip bench - (started this off first, had a few extra warm-ups in there beyond what I did for pull-ups)

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 225

1x2 @ 235

1x1 @ 250

2x2 @ 235

2x2 @ 240

2x2 @ 245

1x6 @ 225

1x10 @ 205

1x15 @ 185

Definitely happy with this one today, getting a fairly easy 6 with 225 after some heavier doubles was a nice treat. Aiming for a single with 280+ by early November and to be able to hit a set of 10+ with 225 again.

 

Seated row machine -

2x12 @ 270 lbs.

 

Inverted row -

2x30 @ bodyweight

 

Close-grip incline bench, about 30 degrees -

1x12 @ 135 lbs.

1x8 @ 150

1x20 @ 115

Triceps dead by this point, called it a day.

 

Legs tomorrow, probably will keep it fairly easy as I've felt pretty run down this past week (even without Saturday's mild hangover), don't want to go to Boston this week feeling like I'm going to fall over dead any moment. Have to get a session in with Robert, so light legs this week, lower back, and then I catch my flight on out!

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Leaving for Boston sooner than I thought (I was thinking Wed. night, turns out I have to board before 1 PM), no training with Kirk, had to make do tonight in between prep work for heading out tomorrow.

 

Only have 315 lbs. in total weight at the office, did some deadlift warm-ups, then 2x15 @ 315 lbs. just to get something in. Done in about 18 minutes, not really much of a workout, but better than leaving with unfinished business.

 

Hopefully I'll get to train with Robert once while we're both in town together, things will return to normal next week!

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Had a week off with travel to Boston, finally got back to training again tonight, just a quick chest/triceps session so as to not wear myself out for tomorrow's deadlift day -

 

Close-grip flat bench, hands 16-18" apart -

2x3 @ 135 lbs.

1x2 @ 185

1x2 @ 225

1x1 @ 245

1x1 @ 270 - wasn't a bad rep, probably would have been good for 5-10 lbs more.

2x7 @ 225

2x10 @ 205

 

Close-grip floor presses on Smith machine (couldn't get things in line in the power rack to get in the proper position with the higher bottom pin setting) -

2x20 @ 135 lbs., not counting bar weight

 

Triceps pressdowns -

2x20 @ 100 lbs.

 

That was it, kept it short, deadlifting in the morning!

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Deadlift and event training today!

 

Warm-up of rolling out, then bodyweight squats in 3 rounds, 120 seconds, 90 seconds and 60 seconds each with about 1 minutes rest between sets. Then, on to deadlifting!

 

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 225

1x5 @ 275

1x5 @ 315

1x5 @ 365

1x2 @ 385

1x2 @ 405

2x1 @ 425

Kirk wanted to see how my form is progressing with singles again, said that my speed off the floor is getting much better, the 425s were quite easy. Good stuff!

 

Farmer's walks -

2x100 feet @ 50 feet, turn and back) @ 200 lbs. per hand

1xfail @ 250 lbs. per hand - got about 6 steps, tough new belt they loaned me jabbed under my ribcage and cramped me up, dumped it. Did a pick off the ground and held it for 10 seconds afterward, but the belt was giving me trouble so we cut those short

 

Stone lifting -

1x3 rows @ 240 lb. stone

1x3 to lap " "

10 lifts to 52", trying to get it on the damned 54" platform but my technique needs work on the extension to get it over the lip of the platform better. Still, had a tough time getting this one to the lap just a few months ago, couldn't get it near the platform just a few weeks back, now I can crank it up there close but am just missing loading it fully. Got the first 3/4 of the lift down great on technique again, now I just need to work that last little bit....

 

All in all, a good session, looking forward to heading back there on Friday to do more event training!

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Shoulders and upper back work tonight, pulled muscle under the rear of my ribcage prevented me from feeling like doing event training, gotta hold off for a few more days.

 

Wide-grip pulldowns, 45 degree lean back on reps -

1x5 @ 180 lbs.

1x5 @ 225

1x5 @ 255

1x12 @ 280

1x10 @ 300

1x20 @ 260

 

Standing strict BB overhead press -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 205

1x2 @ 215

1x2 @ 220

1x2 @ 225, about a 2" dip on each rep, not quite a push press but not completely strict

1x10 @ 175

1x15 @ 135

 

Hammer Strength plate loaded low row -

1x15 @ 360 lbs.

1x15 @ 410 lbs.

1x25 @ 270 lbs.

 

Hammer Strength plate loaded shoulder press -

2x10 @ 180 lbs.

1x30 @ 90 lbs.

 

Cable face pulls -

3x20 @ 160 lbs.

 

Cable lean away lateral raises -

2x15 @ 25 lbs. each arm

 

That was it, felt great today, looking forward to getting a leg day in again on Sunday!

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Hey, VLV! Yeah, I guess that my rear delts are pretty big, but since I never really get to see them, I don't really pay attention to them much

 

Leg day on Sunday night -

 

BB squats, shoulder width stance -

1x5 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

1x3 @ 225

1x2 @ 275

1x2 @ 315

1x2 @ 335

10x2 @ 350

A few reps kicked me in the butt, after not squatting for 3 weeks I was a bit off but got it all done.

 

BB box squats, wide stance to 16" box -

1x12 @ 315 lbs.

1x10 @ 315

1x20 @ 225

 

Ballistic horizontal leg press, jumping about 3-4" off platform on each rep -

2x20 @ 135 lbs.

 

Seated leg curl -

2x25 @ 150 lbs.

 

That was it, should be in for some light upper back and chest/triceps stuff tonight!

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Quick session tonight -

 

Pull-ups -

2x12, 2x11, 1x10 @ bodyweight (240 lbs. clothed today), done from a full hang (I always come up a few reps shorter when I don't set my feet down and don't take a few breaths when I start to fizzle out), 2 sets wide grip, 1 medium, 1 narrow, 1 medium pull-up grip

 

Close grip BB flat bench -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x2 @ 185

1x2 @ 225

5x2 @ 235, pause each rep on chest for 1-2 seconds

3x3 @ 230, had a misload, thought I had 220 lbs. on there, then I was wondering why it felt heavier than it should have

1x10 @ 185

1x20 @ 135

 

1-arm BB shrugs -

1x15 each arm @ 185 lbs.

1x15 " " @ 205

1x12 " " @ 225

1x50 " " @ 115

 

1-arm Hammer Strength plate-loaded preacher curls machine -

1x15 each arm @ 45 lbs.

1x20 " " @ 35 lbs.

 

That was it, kept it short and simple today, tomorrow is rest before Wednesday's deadlifting!

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Hey, Robert! Things are definitely well, training is going nicely, and I can't complain about anything else! Hope that things are getting settled in down in Orlando and that you're enjoying the weather there.

 

Trained with Kirk today, new twist, he had me lift in a pair of Metal deadlift briefs which were interesting to wear, to say the least.

 

Warm up - roll out for a few minutes, 2 rounds of 3 minutes of bodyweight squats followed by 2 rounds of 50 rep leg curls with a light 25 lbs. plus a small black band.

 

Deadlifting next -

1x8 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 225, then the briefs went on and changed to sumo stance

1x5 @ 225

1x5 @ 315

1x5 @ 365

8x1 @ 405 to work on starting speed and form improvement

 

Monolift squats to 16" box, ultra wide stance -

2x2 with blue bands (est. weight 100 lbs. at top for max tension)

1x2 @ 135 + bands

1x2 @ 225 + bands

1x2 @ 315 + bands

2x2 @ 365 + bands

Still figuring out how to stay as stable as necessary with the bands that keep pulling down and back, but it's getting better

 

Played around with stones for a bit afterward -

1x2 rows @ 240 lb. stone

1x2 to lap @ 240

2x2 lifts to 52" @ 240

1x2 rows @ 270 lb. stone

1x2 to lap @ 270

2x2 lifts to 52" @ 270

Was too lazy to bring the 300 down from the platform, so I tried the 330 stone, didn't move more than a fraction of an inch. Only put a tiny bit of tacky on my hands so I didn't have an exceptional grip, none on forearms, so it just kept sliding out. Give me a month or two, it'll be going up just like the rest of 'em.

 

That was it, good session today, upper back and shoulders again on Friday.

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Overhead day with a small amount of upper back stuff thrown in for good measure -

 

Standing strict overhead BB press -

1x8 @ 85 lbs.

1x4 @ 135

1x2 @ 185

1x5 @ 205

2x2 @ 225

1x8 @ 185

1x7 @ 185, last rep stalled over my head, just dropped it behing the neck and that was it.

2x10 @ 135 for snatch-grip width behind the neck strict presses

 

1-arm rows -

1x5 @ 120 lb. DB each arm, set up EZ curl bar with more weight, then

1x10, 1x8 @ 175 lbs. each arm

Just wasn't feeling it for much back work tonight, not to mention I get in 2 upper back sessions weekly so it's no big thing to cut it short today

 

Standing partial overhead presses in the power rack (about 4-5" ROM to lockout) -

1x5 @ 225 lbs.

1x5 @ 275

1x5 @ 315, was a bit tough with this one today

1x20 @ 250, done as 15 reps, 10 second rest, 5 to finish

1x30 @ 185 lbs., done as 22 reps, 10 second rest, 8 to finish

 

Cable straight bar curls -

2x25 @ 110 lbs.

 

Enough for today, leg work on Sunday again!

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Lots of work covering double-duty, had to take some time off training with every day since Saturday being 12-15 hours of non-stop chaos at the office. Finally got back to the gym today, lower back and shoulders sounded like the way to go -

 

Standing overhead press -

1x10 strict to front @ 85 lbs.

1x3 " " @ 135

1x2 " " @ 185

1x1 " " @ 225

1x5 behind the neck power jerks @ 225

1x3 " " @ 235

1x1 " " @ 250

1x8 " " @ 205

1x20 " " @ 135

 

Seated good mornings, about 75 degree forward lean -

1x20 @ 135

1x10 @ 225

1x10 @ 275

Don't want to do these too often or too many sets, they tend to make my trap imbalance worse if I make them a staple. Now they're relegated to a warm-up for other stuff.

 

Rack pulls from 19" -

1x5 @ 315 lbs.

1x5 @ 405

1x5 @ 495

1x5 @ 545, belted up tight after that set

1x3 @ 585

1x2 @ 635, took a lot out of me on 2nd rep

1xfail @ 675, moved an inch but I just didn't have it in me to lock it out. Not bad for first time doing rack pulls in about 3-4 years, I suppose.

 

That was it, only had about 55 minutes to lift, so it was quick. May do some upper back tomorrow, otherwise Saturday!

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Thanks, Ruhtroh! It's coming back, I think this is the first time I've gotten to where I can actually strict press bodyweight (even my best of 250 a few years back as at a bodyweight of 262 lbs. at the time). I know I can hit 230 lbs. any given day based on how easy 225 has felt lately. And, the power jerks are coming along well again, too - my best overhead of 295 lbs. was done in that manner (best push press in front was 290), so I'm going to chase the elusive 300 lb. barrier by summer again if things stay the course!

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Quick chest/upper back day, felt good except would get queasy periodically, sort of that "burning ulcer turned nausea" sensation that's never any fun and started to kick in big-time during training -

 

Close-grip flat bench -

1x5 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 225

1x1 @ 245

1x1 @ 275 - finally hit it again after a long break, working back up to 300+!

1x8 @ 225

1x7 @ 225

1x6 @ 225

 

Pull-ups -

1x5 @ bodyweight to warm up

3x12 @ bodyweight

 

Incline close-grip bench, about 30-35 degree incline, touching base of neck on each rep -

1x8 @ 175 lbs.

1x12 @ 155

1x15 @ 135

 

Seated narrow grip row w/straight bar -

3x20 @ 250 lbs.

 

Close grip BB floor presses -

1x12 @ 165 lbs.

1x40 @ 100 lbs. to burn out for the day

 

Cable face pulls w/rope handle -

2x20 @ 155 lbs.

 

That was it, had hoped to do a bit more but the stomach just wasn't having any of it. Day started off a bit rough, feeling more than a bit misanthropic due to some experiences with really crappy people today, probably didn't help things any. Oh well. Should get some leg work in tomorrow!

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Do you only do close-grip bench? If so, why? Big numbers regardless lol!

 

Two main reasons I only do close-grip bench -

 

1. Close-grip will hit the triceps more and has a better carryover to overhead pressing. Since I'm aiming to get back to competing in strongman rather than try powerlifting again, close-grip has a better application, so that's where all my focus is.

 

2. I have a weird trapezius imbalance on the right side, which really messes with me on wider grip benching. It pulls my right shoulder slightly forward and causes that shoulder to cock out to the side a bit with a wide grip once the press gets about halfway up, then the shoulder starts to raise off the bench, and it has lead to me tweaking my lower back in the past. I figure that until the day comes where things get into better balance, it's a good idea to stay away from wide grip benching in order to reduce chance of injury.

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Leg day!

 

Squats to parallel -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 225

1x2 @ 275

1x1 @ 315, put belt on afterward

1x1 @ 365

1x1 @ 385

1x1 @ 405, didn't feel too bad after a few weeks of missing squat sessions.

1x3 @ 365

1x4 @ 365

1x5 @ 365

1x4 @ 365

1x3 @ 365

1x10 @ 300

Was contemplating a 20 rep set @ 250 just for kicks, but I was pretty spent today.

 

Wrapped up with a circuit of assistance stuff, single leg curls (20 reps per leg @ 90 lbs. each), Hip abductor/adductor (both 20 reps @ 230 lbs) then repeat 3 times. Nice to see my heart rate kept with no higher than 130bpm while checking after each circuit during my 30 second break, I used to go above that just climbing a flight of stairs!

 

That was it, just keeping on with not putting a ton of work into legs while I keep focus on the deadlift for the remainder of the year. Should be back doing sets @ 400+ a bit after the holidays if I don't lose my gains due to long stressful days coming up soon!

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Leg day!

 

Squats to parallel -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 225

1x2 @ 275

1x1 @ 315, put belt on afterward

1x1 @ 365

1x1 @ 385

1x1 @ 405, didn't feel too bad after a few weeks of missing squat sessions.

1x3 @ 365

1x4 @ 365

1x5 @ 365

1x4 @ 365

1x3 @ 365

1x10 @ 300

 

I'm interested in this routine. Why are you doing lower weights and more reps after you did your maximum set? Thanks!

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Vege -

 

I've always trained instinctively for legs and never followed a linear progression program, and it has always been best for me. In the past, I focused almost exclusively on low rep (5 or less) for squats, but as I'm trying to keep my conditioning up a bit better than in the past, I'm occasionally adding some higher rep stuff or some moderate circuit work at the end to finish.

 

The plan for the day started with the idea of [email protected] (last squat session, 350 was a bit tough on me for some reason so I didn't want to jump up much but I was well rested so I didn't want to take it too easily), but once I hit the 405 fairly easily, I figured I could push ahead a bit more and upped the reps slightly but cut the sets from 10 to 5. So, I started with the intention of 5x3, first set went easily, so I figured I may as well pyramid up to 5 and down to 3 again. It makes little sense to most people, but by basing the difficulty of my training based on how well my warm-ups go, I usually find that I have the most success and can occasionally make really big jumps in progress along the way.

 

The 300x10 was just a bit more for conditioning and mental preparation - if I'd just gone for 300x10 early and didn't go heavy first, it would have felt heavier to me even being far less exhaused from going heavier. So, I threw it in just to make sure I could do it, and there you have it, a typical VE squat session that's never the same twice! One thing that you'll see commonly is that I'll work up to a single with 90-95% of my max before doing my work sets - it tends to make everything feel easier for doing stuff with more reps, so that's always been my plan of attack!

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Long, long week, didn't get to deadlift Wednesday, lots of days and nights at the office but got to train a bit tonight for upper back and shoulders -

 

Wide grip pulldowns -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 195

1x5 @ 255

3x15 @ 270, leaning back about 30 degrees most reps

 

V-Handle pulldowns -

3x15 @ 180 lbs.

Done "stretcher" style as in this clip, except I was seated rather than standing back from the seat. Let a 1-2 second stretch at top, really did loosen the shoulders up as well:

 

Cable face pulls -

2x20 @ 140 lbs.

 

Standing presses & behind the neck power jerks -

1x10 press @ empty bar

1x3 press @ 135 lbs.

1x3 power jerks @ " "

1x2 press @ 185

1x2 power jerks @ " "

1x2 press @ 205

1x2 power jerks @ " "

1x1 press @ 225

1x1 power jerks @ 225

1x1 power jerk @ 245

2x4 presses @ 205

3x15 presses @ 135, first set easier than expected, 2nd set tough, 3rd set had to catch lots of breaths between the final 4 reps, felt like passing out, all strict presses

 

Viking press setup on Icarian squat machine -

1x20 @ 4 plates per side

1x15 @ 5 plates per side

 

That was it, fried from lack of sleep and long work days, bodyweight dropped to 227 again from stress and lack of food but strength hasn't suffered so I guess that's not too bad

 

Kirk has plans to destroy me soon for making me work harder than ever, so I get one session on Tuesday before eye surgery and then we'll see what he has in store once I'm back in action the following week!

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