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

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Thanks, Adena!


I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the diagnostics prior to surgery will come back clear again, and if so, it means that I can train as hard as I'd like to for the foreseeable future. If there's no new blood vessel growth, then I can stretch my treatments out to 6 months and have more confidence in training really heavy again. First time I'm looking forward to going in for one of these things - any good news will be VERY good this time around!

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Quick chest/triceps workout last night, still a bit fried from the long days at work, still tired from the workout two days before, but had to get it done.


Close-grip flat BB bench -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 225

3x2 @ 245, not feeling great with benching, bumped up weight slightly for singles

3x1 @ 255, felt weak as can be, had to cut it for heavy at that point

1x15 @ 185, done as 13 reps, rest 10 seconds, 2 to finish

1x18 @ 175, done as 14 reps, rest 20 seconds, 4 to finish, quickly fading away

2x20 @ 135


Wrapped up with some extremely light JM presses, 3x10 @ 95 lbs. and that was it. Too dead, trying to conserve a bit for tomorrow's deadlift day with Kirk prior to surgery. Hope I feel better rested tomorrow!

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Thanks, Rutroh - keeping my fingers crossed that the diagnostics show no change, if that's the case, let even heavier training commence soon!


Last pre-surgery training with Kirk today -


Rack deadlifts, starting at 18" and lowering down every set or two -


225x5 @ 18"

315x4 @ 18"

365x3 @ 15"

405x2 @ 15"

455x1 @ 12"

475x1 @ 12"

Tried to do it again, just couldn't get it moving, definitely worn out today. Still, that's my sticking point at about 3" off the floor, so getting 475 through it fairly well was a good show considering the lack of sleep and food lately.


Stone lifting -

3x1 @ 240 lb. stone to about 50"

3x3 " "

1x10 rows @ 240 lb.

1x5 rows " "

2x5 pull to lap " "


That was it, pretty quick, but a good day. Now off to rake leaves for the next 3 hours even though I'm exhausted, but gotta get all my stuff done before I'm on rest for the remainder of the week!

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Good news, diagnostics came back excellent, so let the heavy training commence once again!


time off from Wed. through Sunday post-surgery to avoid potential infection risk, got back to training today for upper back and chest/triceps -


Close-grip flat bench -

2x3 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

10x3 @ 225, done as first rep 1 second pause on chest, 2nd rep 3 second pause, 3rd rep 5 second pause so there was no rebound on any rep, all done from dead stop

2x20 @ 135, triceps screaming at me after the last set


BB rows, torso near parallel to floor, each rep starting and ending dead stop on floor -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 225

3x5 @ 275, didn't feel great going heavy, dropped down a bit

2x10 @ 225


Wide-grip pulldowns -

2x20 @ 225 lbs.


Cable face pulls -

2x20 @ 175 lbs.


Single arm DB cross-body hammer curls with some swinging -

1x15 each arm @ 65 lb. DB


That was it, totally fried today after the break and weeks of stress, but looking forward to getting back on track!

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Thanks, Lobsteriffic! It was good to hear only positive news after months of heavier training, so that's a great sign for the future.


Trained with Kirk today for more lower back stuff -


Rack deadlifts from 14" -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 225

1x4 @ 315

1x3 @ 365

1x2 @ 405

2x1 @ 425

2x1 @ 445

1x1 @ 465

1x1 @ 475

Fail @ 485 on two attempts, lack of sleep and food combined with stress finally caught up to me.


Stone lifting -

1x5 to 52" @ 170 lb. stone

1x5 " " @ 240

1x4 " " @ 240

2x2 " " @ 270

Failed with 300 to get it more than an inch off the floor on two attempts. The larger diameter threw me off a bit (I think that the 300 is 20" vs. the 18" size on the 200s). Tacky only on hands (not arms), may have needed more due to my lack of strength with heavier stones right now. Was their tester for the new Spider Tacky for stone lifting, stuff was sticky as hell for the first few seconds, then wore off immediately. Lots of people saying it's great, but I didn't like it much. Only benefit was that it doesn't get all over the place and leavy black sticky crap on everything you come in contact with.


Came home and did 3x30 bodyweight reverse hypers to finish, not the greatest day, but next time will be better. No training for 2 days due to holiday and Black Friday madness that'll keep me at the shop all weekend, but I'm planning to squat this weekend for sure.

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Thanks, Imprint!


Quick upper back and shoulders work tonight -


Pull-ups -

2x2 @ bodyweight (238 lbs. clothed)

5x10 @ bodyweight


Standing strict overhead barbell press -

1x10 @ empty bar

5x10 @ 135 lbs.


Seated cable row, straight bar -

1x20 @ 240 lbs. narrow grip

" " medium grip

" " wide grip


Behind the neck wide grip standing strict presses -

1x10 @ 135 lbs.

1x9 " "

1x8 " "


V-handle pulldown "stretchers" to loosen shoulders and get some high-rep light wrap-up work in -

2x30 @ 150 lbs.


That's it, light and easy today as I'm still running in fumes after the long last few days, should be hitting legs tomorrow or Monday!

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Thanks for the purchase, Adena! Hope that the ushers love the gifts, and if you're needing anything else soon, let me know and I'll throw a discount code your way


Quick leg session tonight, tomorrow is going to be hell for trying to get the boatload of Black Friday orders packed and shipped before 8 PM. No way I could train tomorrow, I'll be working 15 hours straight, so it was squat day today -


1x5 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs. w/ 3 second rock-bottom pause each rep

1x3 @ 225 " "

1x2 @ 275 " "

1x1 @ 315 " "

Belt on at this point, no more paused bottom reps

1x1 @ 365 lbs.

1x2 @ 385

1x2 @ 390

1x2 @ 395, 2nd rep a bit tough, dropped weight for some rep work -

1x8 @ 315

1x8 @ 325, definitely easy, could have probably hit a dozen if I felt like getting really winded, maybe next time


Half squats in the power rack, starting from bottom position on up (about 11-12" ROM)

1x3 @ 500 lbs.

1x3 @ 550

1x5 @ 585, bar slid down a bit after 2nd rep, last 3 were probably only about 8-9" ROM to lockout. Still, definitely felt good, would like to get over 700 again for half squats in the coming months. When my partials are strong, everything else gets strong, too!


Ballistic leg presses on horizontal leg press machine, jumping about 12" off platform each rep -

1x10 @ 120 lbs.

1x10 @ 140 lbs.


Lying leg curls -

2x15 @ 150 lbs.


That was it, done in an hour, good quick session and feel even better afterward. Hope to finally be able to hit a good full squat in the mid 400s again in a month or two, 500 will fall again next summer!

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Off day today, all the past weeks of 12-15 hour days are finally catching up to me -


Trained with Kirk for deadlifts, not the best today -


Warmed up with 3, 2, 1 minute rounds of bodyweight squats followed by 20 crunches after each set, then 2x20 leg curls @ 50 lbs. plus a light band, then deadlifts from floor -


1x10 @ 135 lbs.

1x8 @ 225

1x6 @ 315

1x2 @ 405

3x1 @ 425, form was crappy today, he didn't want me to go heavier and was trying to help me analyze technique issues (biggest one today being, bar would get about 1-2" away from my shins on the start of the pull, putting me in a bad place to complete each lift)

3x1 @ 405


Blue band around ankles, sideways walking for hip flexor strength -

1x3 minutes, walking about 50 feet, then change direction to other leg, did about 4 rounds before time was called


1-legged partial squats on standing plate-loaded squat machine, 4x20 each leg @ 100 lbs., short ROM of about 5"


That was it, he realized that my holiday schedule isn't lending well to making much progress for the next few weeks, may take some time off from heavy training for 2 weeks until things get back to normal and I'm not putting in 60-80 hours/week.


Not great today, but could have been worse, we'll see if he recommends a break or not for next week.

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Bit of a slow week, was feeling really run down and under the weather so I didn't train for a few days to get some added recovery in. Wanted to squat tonight but couldn't find my gym bag with my knee sleeves, so I figured I'll get to that soon and did some upper back/shoulders work tonight instead -


Standing strict BB overhead press -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 95 lbs.

1x3 @ 135

1x2 @ 185

1x1 @ 205

1x1 @ 225

5x5 @ 185


Standing wide-grip behind the neck strict presses -

3x8 @ 135 lbs.


Pull-ups -

3x10 @ bodyweight (239 lbs. clothed, fed and bloated tonight)

1x4 @ 50 lbs. added


Seated V-handle low cable row -

3 sets, 10 reps first @ 250 lbs, drop weight and re-strap (about 15 seconds to do), then 10 reps @ 180 lbs. to finish each set


V-handle pulldown stretchers to loosen shoulders out and do some light wrap-up work for upper back -

2x20 @ 170 lbs.


That was it, quick in and out in 50 minutes, legs or lower back coming in a day or two (taking this week off from going heavy with Kirk until I feel better, will likely do lots of sets @ a medium weight)

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Quick chest/triceps and light misc. work tonight in 45 minutes -


Close-grip flat BB bench -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 225

10x2 @ 240, pause each rep for 2-4 seconds on chest for a dead stop

2x10 @ 185 touch-and-go


BB Good Mornings to just about 70 degree forward lean in the rack -

1x10 @ 135

1x10 @ 225

1x10 @ 275

Just a light round this week, not ready for heavy lower back stuff yet


Rope tricep Panora pressdowns -

2x20 @ 120 lbs.


BB Hise Shrugs in the rack -

1x10 @ 315

1x10 @ 365

1x10 @ 405

1x10 @ 455

1x10 @ 495

1x20 @ 315


That was it, kept things moving quickly to get it all in during the short stretch I was training, looking forward to maybe getting some squats in on Friday!

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Decided on a quick lower back day since I was feeling slightly more energetic and didn't consider 3 light sets of good mornings to be adequate from a few days ago


Rack deadlifts from 13" -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 225

1x5 @ 315

1x5 @ 365, then the belt goes on

1x5 @ 405

2x5 @ 455

1x8 @ 405

1x20 @ 315

Could tell I'm still not feeling up to par strength-wise, but glad I got in for a bit to get this done.


Back extension machine -

2x50 @ full stack (250 lbs.)


Seated strict DB hammer curls -

2x15 @ 45 lb. DBs for bicep care


That's it, in and out in 45 minutes, hope to maybe get a leg day in this weekend!

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I can't imagine pausing for four seconds with 240 pounds resting on my chest... hehe


It's not always fun, I will say that


I usually am putting SOME resistance on the bar even at rest, so it feels more like 180ish instead of the full 240. However, I get a much better "pop" off the chest with a fast start if I completely deload at the dead stop, but then you get the full weight bearing down on you for a while, which isn't much of a treat

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Decent shoulders/upper back/arm stuff tonight, got a pass to a different gym so I was a bit more motivated than usual to make do with different toys for the night -


Behind the neck power jerks -

1x3 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 205

1x1 @ 225

1x1 @ 235

1x20 @ 135


Standing strict overhead press -

3x7 @ 185 lbs.


Pull-ups -

1x5 @ bodyweight (238 lbs. fed and clothed tonight)

2x5 @ 45 lbs. added, full hang each rep

2x4 @ 70 lbs. added, feet on floor between each rep but zero cheat, very nice for those tonight


1-arm EZ bar rows -

2x10 each arm @ 175 lbs.


V-handle pulldown stretchers -

1x15 @ 170 lbs.


DB cross-body hammer curls, slight cheat -

1x5 @ 55 lbs. each arm

1x5 @ 65 lbs. each arm

1x5 @ 75 lbs. each arm


Seated DB hammer curls, strict -

1x20 @ 40 lbs. each arm


Panora pressdowns w/ rope on cable stack -

2x20 @ 120 lbs.

2x20 @ 80 lbs.


That was it, still been really drained lately but not quite as bad as the past 3 weeks right now. Hope to feel back to normal soon, not sure if it's just from being overworked, the sudden change to freezing cold in mid Nov., or what, but energy reserves are at an all time low. Gotta eat more, get more rest, deadlifting on Wednesday again!

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Thanks, Robert!


Trained with Kirk today after a bit of time off from working out under his guidance, today was spent on form analysis and reality set in about my handful of imbalances that need correction.


Warm-up with bodyweight squats for 3 minutes followed by 20 crunches, done twice with 60 seconds rest between rounds.


Deadlift from floor -

1x8 @ 135 lbs.

1x6 @ 225

1x4 @ 315

1x2 @ 365

10x1 @ 365, working on analyzing weak spots in form

6x1 @ 385, same thing


No more deadlifting, just did 1 set of alternating leg walking lunges with a light 10 lb. bar on my back for 3 minutes, felt like passing out afterward, but got it done.


Apparently, I'm getting worse both in my right knee collapsing inward on narrow stance deadlifts (where I'm stronger, as I'm not as good with wider stance) and the issue with my right side upper back imbalance. Basically, two major changes - first, I have to look at some custom orthotics because my right ankle is pronating outward so badly, it's screwing with my knee on that side, and second, it is likely that my sleeping position (face down on the bed, right arm tucked over my head and extended outward in a weird manner) is screwing with my rhomboids and is possibly starting to make my shoulder separate more than it should. This would explain why that shoulder can drift back further than the other and why when I squat, the bar doesn't sit evenly, so a big-ass body pillow was purchased today. Can't sleep on my back for long, so it's the next best thing to get me out of that bad position.


So, it comes back to my statement from this spring once again - just as things get better, weird crap pops up that changes the gameplan. We'll be working on this so that it doesn't get worse, even if I have to keep weights lower for a bit until things are in check. Sucks, but nothing I can do other than accept it and look forward to a day when my body isn't so out of whack.


Other than that, starting to feel slightly more energetic again, should be fairly normal in a week or so, just got to get through the holidays and life can return to normal again


Upper back and chest stuff on Friday, will post afterward!

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Blah last few weeks, I blame the freezing cold for part of it, but my diet has sucked lately and that's not helping any. Gotta clean things up ASAP, mediocre workout tonight. Wanted to do legs, went to a different gym, squat rack was on a downhill slope, that killed it for me right there, just did chest and upper back instead -


Close-grip flat BB bench -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 225

1x1 @ 245

2x10 @ 205

1x9 @ 205, triceps crapped out on last rep

2x20 @ 135


Pull-ups -

1x5 @ bodyweight (239 lbs. clothed tonight)

1x5 @ 45 lbs. added

1x3 @ 70 lbs. added

1x2 @ 80 lbs. added, not great on the 2nd rep, enough for weighted pull-ups


Close grip half bench in the downward sloping rack -

1x10 @ 225

1x6 @ 250

1x4 @ 275

1x10 @ 225


1-arm machine row machine -

3x20 each arm @ full stack (said 240, felt like 140)


BB Shrugs -

1x20 @ 315 behind the back

1x20 @ 365 " "

1x12 @ 435 " " , tipped forward on the 13th rep with the sloping floor, no more heavier shrugs after cutting that set short

1x100 @ 225 lbs., done as 50 behind the back, change to front, 50 more to finish (about 15 seconds to change back to front, small rest period)


DB preacher curls for the heck of it -

1x12 each arm @ 40 lb. DB

1x20 " " @ 30 lb. DB


That was it, nothing great, need to clean up my eating again as 2 huge meals with a few snacks isn't giving me any energy these days, so back to 5-6 smaller meals again it is.


No training for a few days, may scratch deadlifts this week and squat Wed. instead, we shall see how things look tomorrow!

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