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

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Two sessions to log -


Lower back and chest/triceps a few days ago -


Deadlift doubles -

1x2 @ 135 lbs.

1x2 @ 225

1x2 @ 275

1x2 @ 315

5x2 @ 335

Then, did 2x12 @ 275 to rep out with an easy enough weight just to see how it went. Need to re-work on form again, when I was remembering to push my knees out really hard, the reps were like an empty bar, when I forgot, it was all lower back pulling with no leg assistance.


Close-grip flat bench press -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 225

Put on Slingshot for triceps focus -

3x8 @ 245 lbs.

3x20 @ 165 lbs.


That was it for Friday training, had a good stretch off last week due to long work days and being way too exhausted but am back on it again. Hit upper back and some random event work tonight -


500ish tire flips -

3x10 flips, first set great, 2nd set sucked as I got every bad hand-hold on the treads I could manage, 3rd set good but starting to suck wind half way though and needed a few seconds between each flip.


Weighted pull-ups -

2x2 @ bodyweight (240 lbs. clothed)

1x2 @ 22 lbs. added (262 lbs. total)

3x5 @ 47 lbs. added (287 lbs. total), most reps done well, last one on last set just missed it but I'm calling it good nonetheless.


DB rows -

1x5 @ 110 lbs. each arm

3x12 @ 160 lbs. each arm


Weighted sled rows -

1x20 @ 500 lbs.

1x20 @ 550

1x15 @ 600

1x12 @ 650

1x30 @ 400

Lats didn't seem to activate as well this time, guess I feel better when these are done earlier and not after I'm half-exhauseted.


Farmer's handle shrugs -

3x30 @ 170 lbs. each hand (340 lbs. total)


Stone rows to chest -

3x20 @ 170 lb. stone


Called it a day, planning on hitting legs and shoulders on Tuesday!

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So you have a tendon strain as well? I think that is what happened to my right shoulder, trap or something under the clavicle. Hard to pinpoint. Doc told me to take 3-4 off completely! Only cardio, then come back light. Man, I and I was hitting new highs in strangth and muscle.


Doc said it can take 6-12 months to heal a tear! I hope it's not that! I guess it is a grade one strains because there is no bruising or swelling and I can still work out heavy if I want, but with pain.


You? lots of pain?

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I'm not really sure what I did to my knee, boardn10, other than the likelihood that I replicated last year's injury of a mild hyperextension (if that's not it, then there's something else brewing in the joint that might get worse one day, but hopefully not!). It was pretty swollen and tight for about 10 days, but I've used a knee wrap when squatting since the injury and it has kept things feeling good. Matter of fact, last year when I injured it, I couldn't feel good about squatting for about 2 months, this time I was back in action only a few days later and it healed MUCH more quickly. That's always a good sign, so long as I don't keep re-injuring this spot! Hope that your injury heals up sooner than later, but if you need to take time off, just keep that protein up and do any light work you can to work around it, a month won't destroy you so long as you keep your body ready for when you can make a comeback!


Leg day last night, tried to get some shoulder work in but gave up on it early into the workout, triceps are still tender from benching days ago so I need a bit more time.


Squats to 15" box, light touch-and-go reps hitting box -

1x5 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 225

1x2 @ 275

1x1 @ 315

1x1 @ 335

1x1 @ 365

7x6 @ 315

1x8 @ 315, was originally intended to be 8x6 @ 315, but I figured a few more reps on the final set to make 50 reps total would be better


Standing overhead 10" diameter log press, starting from rack so I didn't have to clean the log each time -

3x5 @ 165 lbs.

It was after this I realized that my triceps were in no shape to keep pressing, that was it for overhead work


Glute/ham raises -

3x20 @ bodyweight


That was it, kept it simple tonight, should be training tomorrow night for some more upper back stuff, maybe chest if the triceps are feeling better!

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Upper back and chest yesterday -


Flat benching with both close and medium grip, alternating periodically -

1x5 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 225

10x1 @ 250, just some singles to see how easily that weight can go up, all sets nice and fast with no stalling

5x3 @ 225, touch-and-go on all reps, but all sets pretty easy

2x15 @ 185, all touch-and-go reps, definitely more triceps power showing

Wanted to originally do more benching with the Slingshot, but the 3XL size vanished from the gym, and I can't even fit my hands through the XL ones, so looks like I need to order one soon...


Weighted pull-ups -

2x2 @ bodyweight (243 lbs. clothed today, getting heavier!)

3x8 @ 35 lbs. added (278 lbs. total weight), felt good for 10 on the first 2 sets but didn't want to push too hard early on


Seated v-handle cable low row -

2x12 @ 240 lbs.

1x12 @ 250 lbs.


1-arm weighted sled rows in back of facility -

1x25 @ 225 lbs. each arm

1x25 @ 250 lbs. " "

1x20 @ 275 lbs. " "

1x15 @ 300 lbs. " "


Cable w/handles pull-aparts for rear delt work -



That was it, came back in tonight for a quick 45 minute lower back session -

Deadlifts -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 275

1x2 @ 315

1x1 @ 335

5x10 @ 285, just working on endurance with lower weight to get back on form again


Thick band good mornings, band under feet and looped around behind neck -

3x20 @ black band


That was it, kept it simple tonight, should be hitting upper back and shoulders on Wednesday!

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I have DLs tomorrow, but dont think ill be coming anywhere near your numbers. Keep it strong


Thanks, Octo! I still feel like a kid starting all over again, all I can do is reminisce about the days I used to stroll in for deadlifts and start my warm-ups with 315 before moving on up (not that it was a smart approach, but it worked at the time! ) Hope you've got a good session coming up for deadlifting!

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Took a few extra rest days (just was way too burned out this past week to be training much), went in to squat on Friday night, but came into some knee issues early on. Warmed up with about 4 sets of squats, moved on to what was supposed to be a ton of doubles with 335 lbs. for low box squats, out of nowhere I get a really sharp and not-good pain just underneath my left kneecap (the one that's given me a bit of trouble since mid August when I hyperextended my knee a bit). Had to cut after the 2nd set of squats, I was working on hitting a lot of overhead strict pressing between the squat sets (goal was 20x3 @ 175 lbs., got through 7 sets and the pain was just too much after that just to be standing with weight for overheads). So, not sure what I've done to myself now, but I plan to meet with Kirk next week and have him work on getting me into some rehab training for the knee for a few weeks to see what I can do to help it get stronger. Looks like squats will have to take a few weeks off again, but I hope to be able to deadlift still starting later in the week. Upper back work to come on Monday, just a few more days to rest and hope that things will be on the mend!

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Quick upper body workout tonight, took a few more days off to let the knee heal a bit, doesn't bother me with regular movement now, but will have to watch it for lower body work for a bit.


Barbell rows -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 185

1x5 @ 225

3x5 @ 245

1x20 @ 185


Flat barbell bench, medium width grip -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 225

2x1 @ 260

2x1 @ 265

1x1 @ 270, struggled to lock it out for a spot as form was bad on that rep, dropped the weight -

3x5 @ 225


1-arm pulldowns on cable tower -

2x15 @ 120 lbs. each arm

1x20 @ 100 lbs. each arm


Incline 10" diameter steel log press in the power rack -

3x15 @ 150 lbs.


Band w/handles looped around power rack, used for some rear delt rows and flyes -

2x40, standing back far for 10 rows, move up a step for 10 more rows, move up another step for 10 flyes, and one more to complete for 40 reps each set.


Wrapped it up after that, felt decent tonight but rather tired, will be taking it a bit easy this week to keep that knee safe!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great seeing you again as well, Robert! Sorry that both times we were able to meet up were when you had to rush, but always good to see you even if it is just for a bit!


Had nearly two weeks off training due to nasty end-of-summer cold and travel, planning on hitting things up tonight to get back on track!

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Got my butt in the training facility tonight, went very well despite being in the last stages of a crappy summer cold, having just gotten home from a flight, and having eaten perhaps 2000 calories/day max for 4 days straight. Squats to test the knee and flat benching tonight -


Squats, no more box work, all reps ATG to rock-bottom, couldn't go lower if I'd wanted to -

1x2 @ 135 lbs.

1x2 @ 185

1x2 @ 225

1x2 @ 275, 280, 285, 290, 295, 300, 305, 310, 315, 320

Knee felt great, not an ounce of pain, maybe I had some bad form on the box that was aggravating it, so now it's just deep for a while to get back in the game.


Flat BB bench, close and medium (about 2" out from torso width) grips -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

1x1 @ 225

Put on Slingshot for some off-the-chest assistance -

1x1 @ 255

1x1 @ 275

1x1 @ 285

1x1 @ 300, felt good to get to that mark again, now to get the strength back up to do it without the Slingshot in a few months!

5x3 @ 275

2x12 @ 225

1x20 @ 185

1x30 @ 135


Glute/ham raises -

1x20 w/ 15 lb. bumper plate held to chest

1x25 @ bodyweight


That was it, didn't do anything complicated, but once I got in the car, I felt my cold whip my ass one last time, like it was telling me "I let you have that one today, consider yourself lucky!" and that was it.


Upper back and maybe some stone lifting tomorrow!

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Back in for upper back stuff tonight!


Pull-ups (bodyweight 241 lbs. clothed, drained out from the time off and lack of proper eating...)

1x3 @ bodyweight

1x2 @ 25 lbs. added

3x8 @ 45 lbs. added, feet touching floor between each rep, take 1-2 breaths, then repeat for full sets.


Barbell rows -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

3x12 @ 225 lbs.


Seated v-handle cable rows -

3x12 @ 260 lbs.

2x20 @ 200 lbs.


Barbell shrugs (done between sets of v-handle rows, no rest between)

3x25 @ 315 lbs. in the front

2x25 @ 365 lbs. behind the back


Bench shrugs (hold bar at lockout as if benching, shrug forward with shoulder blades about 2-3" upward)

1x30 @ 225 lbs.

1x25 @ 255

1x20 @ 285

1x50 @ 225


Need to get back on the shrug and deadlift deal big-time - my middle back has been feeling super-weak, those are what always brings things back up to speed over time.


Resting tomorrow, deadlifts and possibly overhead pressing Wednesday!

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Thanks, Nicholas - just keep at it, things get better and you'll keep getting stronger in due time!


Quick "greasing the groove" doubles day for shoulders and lower back work -


Deadlifts - 25x2 @ 315 lbs.


Standing strict overhead BB press - 20x2 @ 190 lbs.


Warmed up with a few light sets first, then alternated lifts with no more than 30-60 seconds max rest between sets, done in 60 minutes exact once the working doubles sets started up (which was the goal). Wanted to play around with some new starting pull positions for the DL, found that I was feeling better going wide again, so I may stay that route for a while to work on it a bit. Overhead pressing was easy until set 18 when I was just starting to fatigue a bit, hoping that by early November I can hit the same volume with 200 on the bar, which means I'll definitely be back in the game for overhead strength (will test max strict press around that time, hoping for 230 or so!)


Wrapped up with 3 sets of back extensions @ 25 per set, then did some seated overhead press lockouts in the rack, bar starting 1" above top of head height -

1x2 @ 205

1x2 @ 255

1x2 @ 285

3x15 @ 205


That was it, felt good, in and out in 1:15 which is pretty short for my usual time training. Want to do a bit of event training and upper back stuff tomorrow or Saturday, weather will decide which day I get back to the gym!

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Got in with the plan to do legs and chest tonight, QL was feeling pretty tight so I opted to do chest/back and will do legs Monday or Tuesday instead. Was a good day, though, even with the change!


Kirk finally opened the wall up to the new half of the facility, so I got to play around with the Hammer Strength plate-loaded stuff that he acquired, which was a nice diversion. Decided to make it mostly vertical pulling for upper back day today -


Hammer Strength plate-loaded 45 degree pulldown machine -

1x10 @ 230 lbs.

1x10 @ 280

1x10 @ 320

1x10 @ 370

3x8 @ 420 lbs., realized that with the leverages, it was really easy to pile on the weight for this one!


Hammer Strength plate-loaded pulldown (nearly vertical plane for pulldowns) -

3x15 @ 140 lbs. plus thick orange bands for added resistance, start of pull would be fast but resistance kicks in big-time after the first 6-10" of ROM, then the weight feels like it nearly triples instantly.


Sled rows out in alley -

1x20 each arm @ 250 lbs.

" " @ 275

" " @ 300


Medium grip flat BB bench with 2" diameter axle (55 lb. empty weight) instead of standard bar -

1x5 @ 165 lbs.

1x2 @ 215

1x1 @ 255

Felt better than when I bench with a normal bar, put on the Slingshot and had a go at it -

3x8 @ 260 lbs. - was hoping for 6s, but 8 felt like it was no problem. I then realized that the axle really keeps my bad shoulder from cocking out sideways, as you NEED to have your hands perfectly set with the axle on the wrists just right or you'll never get a decent rep with it. This helped a lot, so I decided to push it a bit more -

1x1 @ 285, smoked it like it was nothing

1x1 @ 305, figured I'd break last week's 300, went up fast with no stalling

1x1 @ 320, wanted to see if I could break my PR of 315 for a close-grip (still using the Slingshot, but felt nice to hold that much weight), another pretty easy rep

1x1 @ 330 lbs., finally hit a rep where I stuck about 3" from lockout, but pressed it out to completion for a nice PR with the Slingshot. This means that I could probably hit a raw 300 touch-and-go with the axle on a good day, which gives me some nice confidence. Shooting to get to 350+ with the Slingshot before year's end, which should put me at 315+ for a raw bench again. Took off the Slingshot, went for some normal reps to wrap up -

2x10 @ 215 lbs.

2x20 @ 165

Totally fried after that, wrapped up with some Hammer Strength plate-loaded shrug machine work -

1x25 @ 340

1x20 @ 390

1x15 @ 430

1x50 @ 290


Did 3 quick sets of rear delt band pull-aparts with the rubber cables and that was good for now.


I never liked benching, but perhaps I will finally take the time to learn how to do it properly and see where it takes me. Who knows, maybe I'll play around with a single-ply bench shirt next year and see if I can hit 400 in a comp - if the Slingshot and axle work can bump me up another 25-35 lbs. so I'm over 350, I'm sure learning a shirt could get me to 400 in no time. We'll see!

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Leg day last night!


ATG squats, short 90 second to 2 min. max rest time between sets -

1x5 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 225

10x5 @ 275, just focusing on going as deep as possible and keeping all reps in perfect form.


Stone lifting to 48" tall platform -

4 singles @ 170 lb. stone with 60 seconds between each rep

4 singles @ 230 lb. stone w/ 60 seconds between each rep

1 attempt @ 270 lb. stone, arms shredded, lost it due to feeling like I lost all my forearm skin

Arms torn to shreds, the 230 stone just arrived a few weeks ago and is rough as hell, arms were bleeding after the first lift. Gotta get some sleeves for stone lifting for now, the skin just isn't happy with being torn up so much.


1-legged RDLs -

3x20 each leg @ 50 lb. DB


Glute/ham raises -

2x15 w/ 15 lb. plate held in front of face

1x20 @ bodyweight


That was it, in and out pretty quick (squats were done in 30 minutes flat), sore as hell today, but should be hitting some overhead work tomorrow!

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Moderate intensity upper back and shoulder work last night -


Standing strict barbell overhead press -

1x5 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 165 lbs.

10x5 @ 175 lbs.

All sets fairly easy until final set, probably could have squeezed out 2-3 sets more before it would have been impossible to keep the same rep scheme.


Got in a new chest supported row setup where it's like a T-bar row, except you can rack a bar on the pins underneath the chest pad vs. using a machine-type setup. Grabbed the cambered bar so that I could get a full ROM on the rows and tried it out -

3x12 @ 200 lbs.

Had to grab extra wide, hands about 3 feet apart because I couldn't grab the camber part of the bar, and the racking pins are quite widely set. Still, felt good, no lower back strain, but also, no way to cheat on those reps, so everything had to be perfect.


After the rows with the cambered bar, I took a regular bar and set it in the rowing rack, looped some bands around it, and did some speed rows with it -

2x15 @ empty bar plus bands (felt like about 100 lbs. total weight at bottom position, around 150-160 at top)

1x15 @ 50 lbs. added (felt like around 150 at bottom position, around 200ish at top)


Hammer Strength 45 degree angle plate-loaded pulldown machine -

3x20 @ 320 lbs.


Set the 2" diameter axle in the rack at nose height, did some last sets of seated strict pressing -

3x15 @ 150 lbs., shaved the first 5-6" ROM off starting at nose height instead of at clavicles


Wrapped up with some band pull-aparts, 3x25 with narrow black band and that was it.


Today is rest, should be getting in some lower back work tomorrow!

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Were you lifting those Brewer's Beers last night in celebration?


Hope all is well. Get some of those new Vega sports products in to keep rocking those late night workouts!


Nice seeing you in Baltimore and catch up next time around. I won't be at Expo West for the first time ever since Vega started going to those shows because I'll be on the vegan cruise, but whenever the next time is.


Hit it hard!

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Hey, Robert!


No celebrating the Brewers' win for me, spent the day running errands before heading to a wedding so I never had the chance. Hopefully we'll be celebrating victory in the World Series soon enough! New Vega stuff is in, should be online by Tuesday or Wed. at latest, then we'll be rocking the promo for lots of free stuff to give away!


Chest and deadlift night tonight, definitely not bad at all.


2" diameter axle flat benching in the rack -

1x5 @ 145 lbs. (axle is 55 lbs.)

1x3 @ 195

1x2 @ 235

Put on Slingshot at this point

1x1 @ 265

3x3 @ 295

3x2 @ 305

Wanted to hit some low rep sets just below and just above 300, felt decent, but triceps were a little worn out from the overhead work a few days ago. Next week, I'll be lower back down to around 275 for 8s if I feel up to it!


Deadlifts, working on new technique again, felt MUCH better today. Almost zero lower back strain with the wider stance (I'm trying to start the pull with my feet about shoulder width where I squat), torso stays upright better, more work on glutes/hams than making it a 90% lower back effort -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 225

5x10 @ 295, all sets easy as cake, endurance the only thing that will be holding me back.

Felt very good, I think it's better for me now that I pull belted as when I widen my stance, the belt doesn't cut off my belly full of air, so I feel more stable on the start of the pull. Will continue to increase slowly until I get to 315 or so for sets of 10, then may bump up and cut down to 5x5 for a bit.


Incline (about 30 degree) bench with axle in the rack -

5x2 @ 200, 1-2 second pause on chest each rep

2x1 @ 220, 1-2 second pause on chest

1x1 @ 225, 230, 235 touch-and-go

3x15 @ 145 lbs., touch-and-go each rep


Finally seeing more progress with chest/triceps strength, which should help keep that overhead press to get better.


Tomorrow is rest, upper back stuff on Tuesday!

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Upper back work last night -


Barbell rows on chest-supported row bench -

1x10 @ empty bar + bands (80ish lbs. bottom tension, 130ish at top)

1x10 @ 30 lbs. + bands (110/160 lbs)

1x10 @ 60 + bands (140/190)

1x10 @ 90 + bands (170/220)

1x8 @ 120 + bands (200/250)

3x5 @ 140 + bands (220/270)

Last set was really tough, start of row wasn't bad feeling around 220 lbs., but every few inches the tension increases on the pull, it was definitely the upper 200s at the full ROM.


10" diameter steel log rows -

1x10 @ 210 lbs.

1x10 @ 220

1x10 @ 230


Hammer Strength plate-loaded 45 degree pulldown -

3x12 @ 380 lbs.


Barbell shrugs -

1x25 @ 330 lbs.

1x25 @ 340

1x25 @ 350

1x50 @ 225


Shoulder/lat DB raises, lying face down on incline bench set at about 35 degree incline -

1x12 @ 15 lb. DBs

1x12 @ 25

1x12 @ 30


That was it, keeping things simple still, leg day tomorrow!

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Leg and shoulder day today!


ATG squats, deep as I can go -

1x5 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 225

11x5 @ 285 (plan for next three squat days is 12x5 @ 295, 13x5 @ 305, 14x5 @ 315, 15x5 @ 325, then a change to higher weight for doubles for a month). I feel MUCH better squatting rock-bottom than I do cutting squats short, no more knee pain, lower back feels great, so screw the box squats and all that crap for a while, I'm going back to my roots! Once I complet this cycle, I aim to reverse the volume while increasing weight - if things go well for this run, plan is to start up in mid November going 15x2 @ 350, adding 10 lbs. weekly while dropping a set off the total count down to 10 sets total. Providing the body keeps liking how things are going, I'm aiming to be able to knock out 400+ for plenty of doubles by year's end, then the quest for 500 is back on again!


Standing overhead strict barbell press -

1x5 @ empty bar

1x3 @ 135 lbs.

1x2 @ 165

1x2 @ 185

1x3 @ 200 - original plan was 10x3 @ 200, but was still a bit fried from the chest work (triceps not fully recovered, front delts still a touch sore), changed plans a bit at this point -

4x2 @ 210 lbs.

4x10 @ 150 lbs. using 2" diameter axle

Good on endurance today, bad on overall brute strength for overhead work. Next time, I'll leave another day or two in there between sessions, sometimes I need 4-5 days between shoulders/chest if I'm hitting both of them hard and heavy.


Wrapped up with 4x20 glute/ham raises @ bodyweight and I called it a day.


Definitely seeing progress from eating considerably more - now that I'm consciously getting more calories during the day prior to training (instead of eating most of my food at night afterward), I'm better recovered and feel much better in the gym. Been consistently staying between 3700-4200 cal/day on lifting days and around 3000 on rest days (will be cutting that back to about 2700 soon to help ward off fat gain as well as cutting carbs down on rest days to a more moderate level), looking to keep gaining strength and a bit more size until year's end. I'm back up to 239-240 now in the morning, so I've managed to put on about 8 lbs. in the past 2.5 months, not too bad. Once I get to about 245, that'll be where I want to cap out for a while, so then it'll be a plan to cut down slightly to keep around 240ish.


Will be training back and maybe getting some tire flipping in this weekend, depending on the weather!

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