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

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Not much news for training in some time. Trained maybe 3x in all of March, finally getting back to normal again this month, but just having fun with lifting for the summer, not going to be taking things too seriously for a stretch. So much going on these days - warm weather just around the corner, new employee coming on board soon (going to be doing some great new things for our business!), and the potential to invest in a training facility in my area are going to be keeping me more than busy for the next few months. Main goal for the next few months is to just make sure I lift moderately a few times per week, eat well, and have fun. Putting too much pressure on myself didn't make things any better this winter, so the plan has changed, but I'll be back to posting much more regularly by August again!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks, Medman and MoshxDeLaney! Just training a bit right now (had to take a week off after eye surgery again last week) But the good news is that I'm in as a partner in the new training facility, and having all the powerlifting and strongman equipment I need just 5 minutes from work will be great. I'll have 24 hour access and plenty of motivated people around me to keep me from slacking, so hopefully I'll be in top form to actually comete again next year, since I'm definitely not ready for a return this year.


Quick upper back and chest workout last night after another week-long break -


Pull-ups -

2x5 @ bodyweight (238 lbs. clothed tonight)

1x5 @ 25 lbs. strapped on

3x5 @ 45 lbs. strapped on, definitely not easy tonight, but that's what happens when I lose focus for 2 months...


Flat BB close grip bench -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

10x2 @ 225, long 4-5 second pause on chest each rep just to feel that weight sit there for a bit as punishment.


Straight bar cable rows to just below sternum -

5x20 @ 220 lbs., been sucking too much wind lately, need to rebuild that endurance factor.


Hammer Strength plate-loaded incline press -

3x20 @ 200 lbs. (plate weight only), last set was 15, rest 10 seconds then finish.


Cable w/rope face pulls -

3x20 @ 120 lbs.


That was it, should do some light deadlifting tomorrow!

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That's awesome, I wish I lived closer to a strongman facility. I also wish I had a training partner


If you're in NJ, I guarantee that you could find a training group that's within a reasonable distance from where you're at. I strongly suggest going to www.marunde-muscle.com and visit the forum - lots of people post about where to find strongman and powerlifting groups who have all the good stuff for training, and almost overwhelmingly, people will be inviting to offer for you to train with them if you're nearby. There are tons of small "facilities" that range from big gyms down to garage setups, and as the east coast is a hotbed for strongman activity, I have the feeling you'll get lucky if you post around asking about training groups!

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That's awesome, I wish I lived closer to a strongman facility. I also wish I had a training partner


If you're in NJ, I guarantee that you could find a training group that's within a reasonable distance from where you're at. I strongly suggest going to http://www.marunde-muscle.com and visit the forum - lots of people post about where to find strongman and powerlifting groups who have all the good stuff for training, and almost overwhelmingly, people will be inviting to offer for you to train with them if you're nearby. There are tons of small "facilities" that range from big gyms down to garage setups, and as the east coast is a hotbed for strongman activity, I have the feeling you'll get lucky if you post around asking about training groups!

Thanks man, I'll check it out. I've looked for powerlifting gyms on the powerlifting watch site, but they're all in north jersey. I'll give Marunde's site a try though

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Quick training last night -


Deadlifts -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 275

1x2 @ 315

1x1 @ 335

1x1 @ 365

3x5 @ 370

Felt okay after a bit of a layoff, back was feeling good but legs were tired quickly for some reason, seemed to be on my toes too much rather than heels on a few pulls.


Light good mornings to about 60 degree forward lean, bar REALLY low on back to keep from winging out -

1x25 @ 185 lbs.

1x25 @ 195

1x25 @ 205

Eventually I'll get the chance to use a safety squat bar for these, which will prevent my right shoulder from cocking out on them, can't wait for that day to come.


Back extension machine -

3x30 @ 175 lbs.


Reverse shrugs from a pull-up hang -

2x30 @ bodyweight (238 clothed)

1x20 @ 45 lbs. added


Wrapped up with some light biceps work for injury prevention, 1-arm hammer curls -

1x20 @ 45 lb. DB each arm (did 17 strict, cheated on last 3)

1x18 " " (15 strict, 3 cheat)

1x15 " " (12 strict, 3 cheat)


That was it, in and out in an hour, shoulder stuff coming soon!

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  • 3 weeks later...

No lifting for the past 2 weeks, just taking some time off to get things done, but the new training facility is coming along nicely and training shall resume with regularity now.


Power racks expected to be arriving in 1-2 days which will be nice (I'm not fond of squatting without safety pins), benches are in and set, racks for overhead pressing in place, two stone platforms with stones to 425 lbs., two glute/ham machines, setup for resistance bands for deadlifting are in place, yoke is there now and more to come every few days. May need to drive to Iowa City with Kirk soon as there's 1200 lbs. of bumper plates and some awesome olympic lifting bars waiting there for us when we can make it down. Should have two tires (600ish and 800ish) arriving this weekend which will be nice, plus more fun things are on the way. Really excited to be helping get it established, Kirk is psyched to have his own place, except for the fact that his current business partner told him to take a hike two weeks before origially planned, so he's under the gun to get it running sooner than the June 1st plan. Looks like I'll be spending more than my original 4-8 hours/week helping him get things in place now that he needs to be open in one week, so it's going to be crazy. I will get some pics posted soon of how things are coming along!


Little bit of light benching and deadlifting tonight just to test things out, both for my lazy self and to see how the new equipment feels -


Flat BB bench -

3x20 wide grip @ 135 lbs.

2x20 close grip @ 135


Deadlift with resistance bands, two mini black bands, two mini reds, something like 80-100 lbs. of extra resistance at lockout -

1x10 @ 155 lbs. + bands

1x10 @ 205 + bands

3x10 @ 265 + bands


Just a short session to see how things felt, looking forward to getting back to training again now that I will soon have my ideal facility just 5 minutes from work and 10 minutes from home. Of course, anyone passing through SE Wisconsin is welcome to come train if you're ever in the area, and I'm looking forward to actually enjoying lifting again, something that I haven't done since last fall!

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No training today, spent the day getting supplies and fixtures for the office area for the training facility. Saw that the new bench rack was installed (basically a bench built into a power rack, equipped for all sorts of band/chain training that can be done solo if necessary), which was pretty cool. Power racks may still be a few more days, but I guess Kirk is heading to Iowa City Thursday to bring back the 4 olympic lifting stations, which will put us close to being fully equipped. Can't wait to see what it will look like in a week or two once it is all set up, definitely going to motivate me to get to training consistently with zero excuses.


Should be lifting tomorrow, getting some upper back and maybe light stone lifting in again to test things, will post once done!

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No training for the past days, just too busy trying to keep on top of usual business for VeganEssentials and helping with the final gym setup over at Winner's Edge. Stopped in today at the facility, saw that the new power racks were put in, and a bunch of fun strongman toys just arrived. There's a gigantic steel loadable Husafell stone (photos to come soon) that's something like 235 lbs. empty, and a huge freakin' circus dumbbell with a 3" diameter handle and loadable ends that are about 13-14" in diameter, weighing in at 120 lbs. empty. I managed to deadlift it a few times with each hand, which surprised me as my grip hasn't been that strong in a while and the handle is so damned big, you can barely get your fingers underneath it. I guess they'll be used in the Battle at the Beach Strongman comp in Milwaukee next month, so I expect to see lots of people coming around to get a shot at testing it out before the contest so they'll know how to handle such a beastly creation. Still waiting on the big tires to arrive, hopefully by next weekend we'll have those suckers out back of the facility.


Soon, training as usual will commence. Just been so overwhelmed with time constraints lately, the few moments I've had to do things other than work have left me just wanting to lay in front of the TV here and there. Look for the log to resume shortly, hopefully by Tuesday!

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Adena - the circus DB is fun, but tricky as hell to handle. It took me 4 tries to double-handed clean it to my shoulder, then it kept falling off and I couldn't get into position to press it. Definitely interesting to play around with, and I can't wait to see it in action at the contest next month!


Finally got my ass in to train last night, just some moderate upper back and shoulder work -


DB rows -

1x10 @ 100 lb. DB each arm

1x10 @ 160 " "

1x10 @ 170 " "

1x8 @ 180 " " - pretty sloppy on the last few, need to start slower again and work my way back up. Next time, I'll keep it around 130-140 lbs. for high reps.

1x25 @ 100 lb. DB each arm


Standing overhead BB press -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 145 lbs. (didn't realize it was a 55 lb. bar until I was done lifting)

1x3 @ 195 - felt like I was going to break in half on these, first time in ages my overhead has suffered this much from time off, dropped back down

3x10 @ 145

2x6 @ 145 done wide grip behind the neck, bar starting and ending on traps each rep

Final shoulder work was one set of single-arm presses w/40 lb. DB, alternating arms and dropping reps as 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2 with no rest between


BB shrugs -

2x50 @ 235 lbs., done 50 in front, then 50 behind the back, just doing them light for the first time in a while.


Pulled out the small 170 lb. stone for a last bit of fun for the night -

2x5 one-motion lifts to 48" platform as fast as possible

2x15 rows w/ stone


That was it, planning on deadlifting tomorrow and maybe some close-grip bench work, then will be playing around with some light event training on Friday!

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Is 195 OHP more than your BW? It's really impressive either way. 60 lbs more than I can do for a 1RM.


Our crossfit gym recently got some boulders which made me think of your atlas stone training. I wonder if it will be similar.

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Bodyweight is still at about 230 on any given day, so it's not that close to my weight, but enough to challenge me after a long period of slacking.


Do the stones at your gym happen to look anything like this?





Here's a few photos of the rest of the facility -


Circus dumbbell compared to 100 lb. hex dumbbell




Yoke, sled, steel Husafell "stone" for carrying, and IronMind pulling harness




Wall of benches and bumper plates (first two benches are normal, one at far back has spotting pins in a partial rack and band attachments)




Power racks, glute/hams and log rack




There's also a Prowler sled around somewhere, and up front there's a power rack with lat pulldown attachment and a plate-loaded squat machine, we're looking at bringing in a few more machines to put up front soon and some tires for out back and we'll be good to go!

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Thanks, Chewy - it's coming along nicely, can't wait to actually get my arse back in gear again since now I have zero excuse to ever train hard.


I should have gotten a better shot of the bar collection against the back door (you can see them behind the stone platform on the left). There are two axles, cambered bars, safety squat bars, 55 lb. competition power bars, some quality olympic bars with plenty of whip to them, and even one of the fabled Okie deadlift bars. Lots of good stuff, should be even better by the end of June once the last things are in and put into place!

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Rob - lifting natural stones is fun, for sure. Been meaning to go out and lift some natural stones again one of these days, once my "strongman" stone lifting strength gets back to the 330 lb.+ mark down the line.


Trained some chest and random stuff a few days ago, just some light flat benching for 5x6 @ 215 and 3x12 @ 215 for half-presses in the bench rack, then flipped the 500ish tire for 3 sets of 8 flips, some light tricep work to finish. Just a quick day there, leg work last night as follows:


Squats to 14" box, butt flat on each rep but done touch-and-go, no pause -

1x10 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 225

1x5 @ 275

1x5 @ 285

1x5 @ 295

1x5 @ 305

1x5 @ 315

1x10 @ 225

Been ages since I've squatted, but it felt good. We've got a great squat bar with razor-sharp knurling in the center, that thing never slipped off my sweat-covered back even once.


Yoke picks (1/4 squat to standing at lockout) -

3x20 second holds @ 500 lb. yoke

2x15 quick lifts to lockout @ 500 lb. afterward


Finished with 3x15 glute/ham raises, called it a day.



Then, actually made it back today for some light uppwer back and shoulder work -


Seated half presses in the rack (too much condensation on the floor in the racks from 93 degree heat today, would have killed myself if I'd have slipped doing standing presses). Bar started at less than 1" from top of head height on pins -

1x20 @ 135 lbs.

3x12 @ 185

1x30 @ 135 (done as 25, rest 5 seconds, 5 to finish)


Pull-ups -

3x12 @ bodyweight (something like 237 today w/shoes on)


Seated row -

3x20 @ 200 lbs., not a fan of the old cable setup we've got, that'll get replaced in due time


Machine shoulder press -

3x15 @ 130 lbs.


Light pulldowns -

2x30 @ 120 lbs.


BB shrugs -

2x30 @ 275 lbs., one set in front, one behind


Rear delt flyes w/ cable wrapped around support on squat rack -



Looking forward to maybe coming back to do some more tire flips, light farmer's walks and sled drags tomorrow or Wednesday. Finally getting that feeling back of wanting to train often, let's see if I can keep it up this time and not fall victim to overworking and excessive stress....

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Nice to see you rocking it out man!


I really hope to visit this summer again! I'll be traveling by car and after Chicago VegFest I'll have about 2 days before I need to fly back to OR for a wedding. If I get a day before VegFest I'll swing by.


Motel 6 just down the street!


Should be an amazing summer and I hope to get the chance to train with you a year after you helped me get right back in the game!


All the best Ryan!

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Thanks, Robert - hopefully we can get a few days in to meet up, you're going to love training at the new facility!


Stopped in to lift tonight, decided that rather than focus on deadlifts, I'm going to try and make Wednesdays my event work and focus on improving my crappy endurance while re-acclimating to strongman events again. Not starting out heavy, just working to get used to things, session went as follows:


Prowler pushes w/ 50 lbs. loaded on, 75 feet down, turn and back again, max speed at all times for 3 sets to warm up


500-550ish lb. tire flips - 3x10, covered about 80 feet each run down for 10 flips. Not too hard to flip when I get a good hand-hold, but after about 8-9 reps, I'm sucking wind big-time. Then, pulled out the bigger tire to test it, flipped it once, probably about 700-750 lbs. on that one. Not a lot harder to lift up to flipping height, except for the fact that the top height lying on its side is about 2 feet off the ground, so it's tough to get hands under it without having your chin nearly resting on top. Not going to focus on it much until July once I get to making my lighter sets to about 14-15 reps without feeling like dying. Give it a few weeks, I should get there


Sled drags, using IronMind harness to pull sled behind me -

210 lbs., 75 feet and back, slow jogging pace

260 lbs., 75 feet and back, fast walking pace one way, rest 30 seconds, slow walking pace back

310 lbs., 75 feet and back, decent walking pace on the mild uphill, but the downhill was a killer. Kept stopping on sticky asphalt patch spots which made it nearly impossible to get moving again, had to take 3 quick rests on the way back, but made it in about 90 seconds


Used the safety squat bar for some seated good mornings, it rides high so the leverages are different from normal where I usually have a very low-bar position on my back. It felt like I was doing as much work on my middle back as my lower back, so I kept it really light to test -

1x20 @ 105 lbs. (bar is 55 lbs. + a pair of 25s)

1x20 @ 125

1x20 @ 150

Those weights are easy with a regular bar held low on my upper back, with the SS bar, definitely much harder due to the work keeping my middle back tight between the shoulder blades!


Wrapped up with some stone work -

1x5 rows @ 170 lb. stone

1x6 one-motion lifts to edge of platform @ 170

1x6 full loads to top of 52" platform @ 170

2x3 rows @ 270 lb. stone

1x3 pulls to lap @ 270

Tried twice to shoulder the 170, but I was spent. A good re-introduction to my old favorite training, now it's just a matter of consistency, not getting injured being stupid, and not getting discouraged by needing a slow re-start to get back to being strong again!

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Thursday and Friday were rest days, trained Saturday for lower back and chest -


Power cleans to warm up -

2x10 @ 95 lbs.

1x5 @ 135


Flat BB bench, alternating close grip with medium grip sets -

1x5 @ 135 lbs

1x5 @ 185

6x5 @ 225, alternating grips each set

2x10 @ 185, " "

2x20 @ 135, " "


Trap bar deadlift, still avoiding conventional heavy deadlifts for a month or two -

1x5 @ 255 lbs.

1x5 @ 325

1x5 @ 335

1x5 @ 345

3x15 @ 255, touch-and-go style each rep, much easier with a trap bar than a barbell


Hyperextensions for 2x25 @ bodyweight and that was it for the day, gym was really hot, felt like passing out near the end.


Rested today on Sunday, tomorrow will be squat day!

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Two days off as my body was REALLY beat up from my reintroduction to regular training, did some squatting last night but was way too overheated to get much in (temperatures here were mid-90s and humid, and the facility was still really hot even at 11 PM) -


Warm up with step-ups, rolling out and some light safety squat bar squats w/ 95 lbs. Then, on to squats in the rack to a 14" box -

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 245 (had 55s on by accident, didn't realize it until much later)

1x2 @ 275

1x1 @ 315

4x8 @ 285 to the box, touch-and-go style but all at great depth


Wanted to do a bit of extra triceps work as I really want to get the bench numbers up again, did some partial presses in the bench rack, ROM just a bit over halfway from about 8" off chest for starting point -

3x12 @ 205

1x30 @ 135


Started getting a bit dizzy from the heat at this point, wanted to do some more light squatting but it wasn't in the cards. Wrapped up with 3x20 glute/ham raises and that was it.


Just planning on a nice walk tonight, should be getting some upper back work in tomorrow!

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