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


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Leg day today with some quality PRs!

 

Started with squats -

1x5 @ empty bar

1x8 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

1x2 @ 405

1x1 @ 455

1x1 @ 475

1x1 @ 525 for a new PR!

The 525 went up pretty easily, and I was coaxed into going up to 545. Went down, came up about 8-10" but stopped cold. Give me 2 months and it'll happen. Wound down with one more set of 3 @ 475 and regular squats were done.

 

Did a few front squats at the end to finally get a heavier one set. I've never made more than 285 before because my form is crap, but I'm going to start front squatting regularly since they need a lot of work and I'd like to be hitting 405 for reps in a few months. Tonight I just did 2 singles @ 315, but the 2nd one went pretty well (first one was kind of ugly) so there may be hope for me here yet.

 

Time was up, headed home happy to have hit 2 new PRs for leg day.

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Bad day today - nothing went well all afternoon, and in the evening I end up getting into a squabble with a semi-well-known person in the vegan community that turned out to be kind of a jerk (which confirmed my suspicions that I've had for some time), but at least I made it to the gym for some deadlifts.

 

Warmed up with some 1-handed barbell deadlifts, 1-arm cleans and a few power snatches first, then hit the good old deadlifts. I've lost a lot of strength in these, but there's no better time to get back into doing them!

 

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

3x5 @ 405

1x2, followed by 2 singles @ 455

 

I originally just planned on doing the sets @ 405, but I heard the 455 calling out to me so I had to do a few more with that weight. A year ago I'd have been knocking out sets of 6-8 with 455, but now I'm starting from the ground up again. A few monts of consistent work and it'll come back to me!

 

That was it - I only had around 35 minutes to lift before closing time so I didn't get to bench as I'd expected. Tomorrow is rest day, strongman event training on Saturday will follow!

 

Ryan

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Thanks, Phoenix!

 

 

Got to meet up with the gang for some strongman event training yesterday, had a lot of fun and I hurt all over today, so I must have been doing something right.

 

Started with log presses, which was a bit tougher for me since the ceiling of the basement we were training in was just low enough that I had to lean back a bit and still couldn't completely lock out my reps:

1x8 @ 110 (or something close to it)

1x6 @ 160

2x6 @ 210

Reps were done with as little push as possible, trying to be fairly strict with each one.

 

Next, did some thick handled farmer's holds (handles slightly over 2"). My hands are too weak right now in that they're soft and don't take well to hard work, which I really need to fix. I preferred it much more when my hands were tough as leather and didn't feel a thing. Nothing very heavy here, just some timed holds for a short bit working up to around 200 per hand for a 30 count.

 

Moved to stones next, but my head wasn't it in when we started. It took me a bit to get going, but ended up fairly well:

1 load to around 52" with 250

1 " " @ 280

Attempted 340, failed to move it.

Went to the oversized 300, and I was way off. Went at it 3 times and failed, had to get angry with myself, then I finally made it and lost a crapload of flesh in the process (that sucker was rough!) There's a nice red stain on the stone now where I had to make my blood sacrifice, but eventually it went up on the platform and all was well.

Then I went back to the 340 a few minutes later, it went up easier than the 300 did now that I was back in action. The 340 here humbled me last time I tried it a few months ago, but this time it was all mine.

Wrapped up the stone work with a few sets of rows, doing doubles with the 280. Every time I went for a 3rd rep I'd lose my grip and drop it, but that was fine for the day.

 

Ended up doing some complexes, first with the log @ 110 doing the following in succession - 10 strict presses, 10 cleans from waist to shoulders, then 10 rows. Kirk and I alternated 3 sets each with no rest between and I was surprised my endurance wasn't worse - the only time I had to pause between any reps was on the last few for the rows on the last set, just enough to catch my breath once and that was it.

 

One last set of tricep pushdowns followed by BB curls (bar only) for 10 each and that was it.

 

Haven't touched stones in a month and now I feel like someone kicked me in the ribs, but that only makes me want to go after them harder next time and finally get 375 loaded in the next month.

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Long, tough week here at work means little lifting, but I managed to get out tonight for a bit to squat and overhead press.

 

Started with push presses in the rack -

1x8 with empty bar

1x5 @ 135 (strict press)

1x3 @ 185 (strict press)

1x3 @ 225 (push)

1x2 @ 255 (push)

1x2 @ 275 (push), failed on 3rd rep as I have before. Can't figure out why it was so tough, but I practically suffered a nervous breakdown yesterday due to stress so I didn't expect miracles today in the gym. So much for it being easier after the holiday rush is over...

 

Squats next up -

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

1x2 @ 405

1x2 @ 455

1x1 @ 475

1x2 @ 495

1x1 @ 505

Squats were much better - wanted to hit 'em heavier today so next week I can drop to 405 and aim for 3x8 to hit more volume.

 

Front squats for a few sets -

1x3 @ 225

1x2 @ 275

Failed at 320, entire body too beat up by this point.

 

DB curls next -

1x5 @ 65 lbs. each arm

1x5 @ 70 lbs. " "

 

Hit one set on some lame shoulder press machine on the way to the locker room and that was it.

 

Probably won't lift until the weekend, hope to get more event training in then!

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Phoenix - glad to hear that the ART might be something that helps out! Keep me posted how it goes and hopefully it'll be useful in recovering from whatever is ailing your rotator cuff.

 

Saturday, got to lift for 25 minutes since I got to the gym later than I ever have. May as well do some chest stuff with no time left, so....

 

Close-grip benching (hands about 16" apart"

1x8 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x5 @ 265

1x4 @ 265

 

Close-grip half presses in the power rack (about a 12" press to lockout)

2x3 @ 315

1x4 @ 315

 

That's all time would allow for, so I need to get my ass in gear this week and not get swamped with everything that prevents me from lifting as much as necessary!

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Squats and overhead work again today, trying to change my schedule a bit and get them in on Mondays if possible.

 

Push presses -

1x8 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135

1x3 @ 225

1x3 @ 265

2x2 @ 275

Trying to get to doing more doubles and triples with heavier weights. Was going to go lighter and hit more reps, but I can tell early on when my endurance sucks and it sucked hard today. Heavy low reps were the only way to get things done.

 

Squats next -

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

1x3 @ 405

1x3 @ 455

1x3 @ 475

1x1 @ 485

Wanted to get a triple with 485, hit the pins well below parallel and came up uneven, stopped there. Next time it'll work.

1x20 @ 225

Did a 20 rep set to finish off, no rest between reps, just one after another to get some cardio-ish work in. Probably could have hit 30 or more without much problem if I'd decided to top out, but I just wanted to see if I could get 20 without needing to catch my breath between reps.

 

Wrapped up with 2x10 @ 225 for some light Good Mornings and that was it. May get some back work in tomorrow, DLs coming on Wednesday or Thursday.

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Back workout today!

 

Barbell rows -

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

5x5 @ 275

 

Hise Shrugs in the rack

3x10 @ 405

 

Hammer Strength plate-loaded 1-arm pulldowns

2x8 @ 150 each arm

 

Power Cleans

2x5 @ 185

3rd set whacked myself nicely - bounced the pull off my crotch, jeans I was wearing bunched up in the front and the bar slammed the hard zipper area right into my groin, causing me to shout because it freakin' hurt a LOT. Stopped on that 3rd rep and called it quits.

 

Headed home, hit the basement to wrap things up once I was done being mad at my stupidity.

 

Eagle Loop shrugs with weight on loading pin -

5x20 @ 125 lbs. each arm

 

Ironmind Heavy Hammer wrist levering - used 7.5 lbs. and did a few sets of 15 in various directions

 

Formulator wrist curls - did 3 sets, 2 with palms up, 1 with palms down

 

That was it for today, should be deadlifting on Thursday or Friday.

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I was smiling to myself this evening as I was doing some shrugs and realized that this was also an exercise that required a little forethought in order to make sure the "boys" stay safe.

 

I went to the chiropractor again this am. Holy #[email protected]^ does he know how to find the most painful areas. I asked how he knew exactly where to work and he said he can actually feel the scar tissue and then just digs in to break it up. I must be a little off as I relished the pain knowing it was going to make me stronger again. It feels much better already.

 

I'm continuing to lift but with great focus and good form although he said not to. But it's hard to convince myself to stop especially when it doesn't really hurt that much.

Anyway, sorry about the hijack here.

 

Lift on.......

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No worries about the ART talk, Phoenix - I'm just happy to hear that it may be doing some good for you!

 

Got a bit of event work in yesterday, but I was pretty beat from only getting about 5 hours of sleep and my mind just wansn't in it 100%. Still had fun and got some good lifting in.

 

Started with DLs in the rack from what I'd guess to have been about 8" or so higher than a pull from the floor. Worked up to 495, got stopped at 545. My DL sucks right now after so long of not doing them and will be my main focus for improvement.

 

Did some 12" log pressing next, pretty cold outside with just a light sweatshirt. I'm not too good with the big logs yet, but I managed to get one single and a double with 230 which is better than my getting stopped cold with 210 the last time I tried a log that large. Just gotta keep working that form because the strength is there but the technique is still pretty sloppy since I tend to push off my toes instead of my heels with log pressing.

 

Some quick thick-handled farmer's holds next, did up to 245 or something like that for a quick 8-10 second hold, didn't move the 300ish weight at all so nothing extremely heavy.

 

Wrapped up with stones, but I had to leave early into them so I didn't get as much work here as I'd hoped for. Some loads up to 300, attempted to move the new beast which was estimated between 375 and 400 but didn't budge it. Two last sets were some ass-kickers, done with the 280. First set was pull to knee height, set it down, step back and do it again for 5, then lap it on the last pull and do 5 reps to platform height, loading the last one. Final set for me was 5 reps of taking the 280 from the lap, setting it to just an inch above ground, then re-lap again. Almost lost my grip a few times but held on for all I had and got it done.

 

Only complaint today is that my back sprain from summer is acting up a little, but it usually goes away after a day or two. Other than that, everything training-wise has been quite good!

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Leg and shoulder day today -

 

Started with push presses in the rack -

1x5 @ empty bar with each arm

1x5 @ 135

1x3 @ 185

1x3 @ 225

1x3 @ 265

1x1 @ 285

Wanted to go above 275 again and it went up easy despite lifting in a new gym with bad equipment today. 305 will only be a few weeks away!

 

Squats next -

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

1x3 @ 405

1x1 @ 455

1x1 @ 475

1x1 @ 495

2x1 @ 515

1x10 @ 405

Going heavy often with the squats has really been keeping the progress up - soon I'll start to slow down on the constantly heavy work, but hitting only 10 lbs. less than my PR for 2 relatively easy singles was a good sign. The 405x10 nearly freaking killed me - I'm dead serious about that. Just wanted to wrap up with 5, 5 was easy so I figured 8 would be good, then I decided to hit a PR for reps with 9, and once 9 came up, 10 had to happen. I spent about 5 minutes on the ground lying in a pool of sweat and gasping for air afterward, but it was worth it!

 

Kind of goofed off for the rest of the session and did the following random stuff -

 

1-arm DB clean and press -

1x10 @ 100 each arm, strict with slight side bend right side, less bend but a bit of push left side

 

1-arm BB snatch -

1x2 with each arm @ 115

 

Seated BB wrist curls -

1x10

 

That was good enough for today, should be getting some DL work in on Thursday. My DL sucks lately (primarily because of neglect), so I'm going to hit up a quality training facility that's got a good reputation for improving the powerlifts for clients. I figure 10 once-weekly DL sessions should boost me back up to the mid-500s pretty easily once someone slaps good form into me again, so that'll be my motivation since I need to get better at 'em for the summer contests.

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Back and chest day today!

 

Less than an hour to get both in meant a quick workout with little rest, but it worked out fairly well -

 

Barbell rows -

1x8 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x5 @ 275

1x5 @ 295

1x5 @ 305

1x3 @ 315

 

Close-grip benching (hand about 15-16" apart)

1x8 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 255

1x3 @ 275

1x2 @ 285 for a PR with close grip

Getting better with these, but elbows felt a bit of tendonitis afterward for about 30 minutes.

 

DB hammer curls -

1x5 @ 60

2x5 @ 65

 

DB Rows

1x20 each arm @ 100 lbs. (racks were full at temporary new gym, had to waste a few minutes)

 

Hise Shrugs

1x10 @ 315

1x10 @ 405

1x10 @ 495

 

Wrapped everything up in just about 52 minutes and that was all.

 

Family obligations will screw me over for Saturday training, but I'll get some fun with the log and other things in on Sunday instead!

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Shoulders and deadlift day today, but not a great one. Felt worn out from a weekend of bad sleeping habits (5 hours one day, nearly 11 the next) and I've just felt off since I woke up. Wanted to lift in the garage today for some log pressing, but there was ice on the floor since it got quite cold last night which kind of ruled that one out. So, off to the gym I went.

 

Presses in the rack -

1x8 @ 135 (strict)

1x4 @ 185 (strict)

1x3 @ 225 (push)

5x3 @ 255 (push)

Wrapped up with 3 quick sets doing 1 strict press @ 185, drop behind the neck, do a push jerk back up, rest one minute and repeat. Just wanted to work on getting more sets in and making 255 go up like with how 225 did a year ago, getting better overall with this.

 

16" deadlifts in the rack - this is where it got crappy.

1x3 @ 315

1x3 @ 405

1x2 @ 500 (totally felt off, stopped before 3rd rep)

1x1 @ 500 - super mad at how bad these were going, quit before it got worse. No idea why my DL is still going downhill even with starting to get back into working on them, but something's gotta get better here.

 

Hammer Strength plate-loaded shoulder press -

1x9 @ 270

1x8 @ 270, had to rest for a bit before the last 2 reps. Getting tired

 

Barbell shrugs - my arch nemesis, the most uncomfortable feeling movement I know of. Don't know why my body hates shrugging with a barbell, but I never feel right doing them. Just did 2 sets of 10 @ 315 with a mixed grip (hands one way, then switched) then two sets of 20 overhand @ 225 just to force myself to keep doing them and try to get comfortable. Even when my DL was better and I was pulling 500 for a few reps my shrugs sucked, so it's about damn time I finally force myself to get used to them and get them up nicely.

 

Gotta get my sleep back to normal again, ready in time for squatting on Tuesday. Going for 455 for 25 reps total in the workout, need to be ready for that one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Barely any lifting this past week due to illness, recovery workout today for my final time before vacation (where I probably won't get to use anything but a few crappy machines if I get the urge...)

 

Overhead pressing in the rack -

1x5 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 (strict)

1x3 @ 185 (strict)

1x3 @ 225 (push)

1x2 @ 255

1x1 @ 280

1x1 @ 285

Was contemplating 290 for a single, just didn't feel I had it in me since the 285 took some work to lock out.

1x4 @ 205 (strict - PR on reps)

1x4 @ 185 (strict), dropped it behind the neck, did 4 push jerks afterward

 

Kind of wiped out and only 15 minutes left, hit the Hammer Strength plate-loaded Ground Base machine to simulate some farmer's holds. Kind of sucked, handles were angled and didn't really feel that much like it on the initial lift off until you'd hit lockout. Worked up 4 sets to 675 lbs (had to sling a bar across the plate stack and add more weight - why the heck does it only hold 5 per side?!?) ending with about an 8 second hold on the last set. Felt like it was probably down about the high 500s/low 600s for actual weight held at the top, but it was better than nothing.

 

Leaving for Cancun in 32 hours to get my first vacation in a few years, which is very well needed. Back next Monday, should be in the gym again on Tuesday to report on training!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Vacation is over, stuff is back in line and I'm finally ready to get to training seriously again. Had one workout this week on Tuesday that pretty well stunk, a bad shoulder/leg day, but today I hit the garage since it was nice out and just focused on log work since the Chicago comp is only about 7 weeks out and I've done nothing to get ready for it.

 

First things first, I was told that my log would weigh about 90 lbs. give or take a few when I first ordered it from Brute Strength last year. I always guessed it was light and probably about 85, but when I finally tossed it on my scale today you can imagine my surprise when I found it was only 75 lbs. So, time to work harder than before to make up for what I used to think my lifts were on it.

 

Warmp up - 10 curls followed by 10 presses empty

 

Getting to business...

 

- Clean, 4 presses @ 165

- Clean and press each rep, 3 @ 165

- Clean and press, 1 @ 220

- Clean 3 times @ 220

- Clean, 2 presses @ 220

- Clean, 2 presses @ 220

- Clean, 3 presses @ 220

- Clean and press each rep, 2 sets of 2 reps @ 220, followed by one set of 3 @ 220

- 4 cleans @ 220

- Clean and press each rep, 6 reps @ 165

- Complex set, 10 strict presses @ 125, 10 cleans afterward

 

Had to bust myself since I've had lots of log neglect and need to sorely make up for it. My push press on a bar is about 300 right now, but my log is lacking and a max is probably 240-250 due to crappy technique. I figure that practice makes perfect, so I'll be trying to hit the log twice weekly and build some form and get some much-needed endurance built as well. My clean is getting better as I'm finally starting to get the wrists snapped under, but when lowering the log for reps on cleans, I keep letting it tilt forward and I'm smacking the crap out of my forearms right on the bone. Gotta watch that more.

 

Otherwise, a fair start into hitting some log work again. Goal in 5 weeks is to make at least 6 full clean and presses in 60 seconds, and I aim to make it.

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Chest and deadlift day today -

 

Haven't been confident on the DLs, but with contest time only 7 weeks out I need to bust my arse and get going on them and try to get back to the power of the old days when DLs were fun and I didn't suck too miserably at them.

 

Started with close-grip benching -

1x5 @ 135

3x8 @ 225

 

DLs from floor

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

1x3 @ 405

3x3 @ 455

First set easy, 2nd set the last rep was a bit of a fight, 3rd set was no fun at all. I sucked with endurance even when I DL'ed a lot, so I've got to get a lot better for strength and endurance together in a short time. Aiming for 6 reps @ 475, hopefully a hard-fought time training until the comp can get me there.

 

Benching in the rack off pins, starting about 5" from chest level at bottom -

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 295

1x2 @ 315

1xfailure @ 335

I was working these in between the DL sets and had to go for the 335 about 30 seconds after finishing the last DL round, so I was still wiped out when I went to the rack while they were trying to kick everyone out for the night. Moved it about an inch off the pins, but no go for lockout. Next time...

 

Trying to come up with a sensible DL program for the next 6 weeks, hopefully I can find a way to work myself back into shape on them and get out of the crappy form and weak lower back rut I've been in for a long time.

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Shoulders and shrug-type workout today -

 

BB clean and press -

1x8 @ 135

1x4 @ 185, went behind the neck, did 4 push jerks

1x4 @ 225

Haven't cleaned from the floor in some time with a bar, felt better than expected (probably because it's a lot damned easier than handling a log!)

 

Push press in the rack -

1x3 @ 250

1x1 @ 275

Attempted a PR of 300, got a bit over head height, lost steam and came back down.

 

Strict presses in the rack -

1x5 @ 210 - PR for reps at that weight

1x4 @ 210

1x6 @ 185

 

Push jerks behind neck in the rack -

2x10 @ 185

Felt good, endurance died at rep 7 on the 2nd set, had to pause between the last reps. Only problem is near the end of the set my shoulders tire out and the bar comes down on my traps a bit faster than I'd like. With 185 it isn't bad, but when I start going over 200 I need to have better control.

 

BB shrugs -

3x10 @ 335, hook gripped to get thumbs used to pain again. Still suck at shrugs, but if I actually work them for a bit they should come along.

 

Cable side shrugs ala Kelso - 2x20 @ full stack, leaning about 45 degrees away from the pulley

 

Endurance is getting better, and I've got a lot more energy since starting the Dr. Natura cleansing program that my wife got me into once she saw Bigbwii's cleansing info on here. Hopefully the better sleep and improved focus will keep with my as I head into comp time and I'll keep progressing well.

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Saturday - event training day at Kirk's place.

 

First, dragged a sled with a 200ish stone on it for about 75 feet, turned and came back, then it was truck-pulling time. Pulled one truck first like everyone else, then it was time to try for two trucks connected together. Got the pair maybe something like 30 or some feet up a very slight uphill, but once they stopped moving that was the end and they didn't budge after that.

 

Next up was log work since it was still nice out, worked up to a 12" log PR with 240 - fought the lockout for a second, but considering it took 2 tries to hit 230 on the log last time it was still a step in the right direction. Have to try to max out with my 10" log one of these days and see if I can hit 260 on it yet. Started to rain, moved indoors, did a couple DL singles up to 315 with a pair of purple bands looped over it. By no means a max effort, but I stopped there since I'm going to be DLing either Monday or Tuesday.

 

Stones were at the finish. Did a few warm-ups with light ones, followed by a series of 3 with 250, 280 and the oversized 300, went for the 340 right after that but didn't get it off the ground. Rested for a few, went back and made the 340, but it took a lot more work than last time. My recent slacking and lack of dedication showed strong on that one. End of event training day.

 

Today on Sunday - Back and chest quick workout day (38 minutes total time before gym closed)

 

BB rows -

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

3x4 @ 295 - went easier than expected, should have done 315 looking back to hit some PRs for reps

 

Close-grip bench -

1x5 @ 135

1x5 w/2-count pause on chest each rep @ 225

2x3 @ 275

1x1 @ 295 to hit a close-grip PR, 300 would have been easy.

1x9 w/2-count pause on each rep @ 225

Since my close-grip bench isn't sucking as badly as it previously had I'm actually enjoying some form of bench movement for the first time ever. Not that I'm strong at it, but sure beats strugging to hit a set of 5 touch-and-go only a few months back.

 

Shrugs -

1x8 @ 225

2x10 @ 365 (one hook grip, one reverse grip)

1x10 @ 315

Still terrible at shrugs, but if I keep working them eventually they've got to come around.

 

That was it, rushed out and lifting was done. DLs and overhead work coming soon!

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