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

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Quick leg/chest night tonight!


Squats -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 225

1x2 @ 275

1x1 @ 295

1x1 @ 315

1x1 @ 335

1x1 @ 355

Tested to see how it felt putting a bit of weight on the bar again, felt like I'd be good for close to 400, but that's not good enough, time to rebuild!

5x5 @ 275

2x12 @ 225


Started to do axle benching in the rack, worked through 2 reps @ 305 with the Slingshot, but it didn't feel right tonight going heavy. Got rid of the axle, put the 10" diameter log in the rack and did some pressing with it instead -

1x5 @ 210 lbs.

1x5 @ 220

1x5 @ 230

1x5 @ 240

1x5 @ 250, last rep a battle to complete

3x12 @ 190

These are great for triceps, pretty much like doing palms facing in DB presses with about 2" less ROM due to the handles being set inside the log.


Wrapped up with some light revese hypers to stretch out the lower back, 3x20 @ 60 lbs. and in between, used the new plate loaded hip/lower back machine for 3x20 @ 100 lbs. to call it a day.


Should be doing some light upper back work Tuesday, lower back and overhead pressing Wednesday!

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Hope you can get one of those belts soon, VS - they look great, and I always hear awesome things about the quality!


Upper back night, a bit worn down so I went light with high rep stuff just for the sake of getting a session in before I lost my steam -


Pull-ups -

3x12 @ bodyweight (248 lbs. clothed)


Plate-loaded seated row -

3x15 @ 250 lbs.


Hammer Strength plate loaded pulldowns -

3x18 @ 220 lbs.


1-arm standing cable low rows -

3x20 @ 110 lbs. each arm


Cable face pulls -

3x20 @ 120 lbs.

Superset with rear delt band pull-aparts, 3x20 w/ green band


Wrapped up with shrug-ups, 2x35 reps @ bodyweight and that was it.


Taking tomorrow off to rest, skateboarding on Thursday, lower back and overhead pressing on Friday!

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Thanks, MattSxvx!


VS - Yeah, if you have problems staying in position on the bench, chalk can make a world of difference. Same with squats, I sweat a LOT when I train hard, so I usually chalk the hell out of my upper back, sure as hell keeps the bar in place much better that way!


Got in a quick shoulder/lower back session last night, nothing big, but made sure to get it in before I slacked -


Standing overhead axle press -

1x10 @ empty axle (55 lbs.)

1x3 @ 145 lbs.

1x2 @ 175

1x1 @ 195

1x1 @ 205

1x1 @ 215, felt terrible going heavier, dropped weight down -

8x5 @ 180 lbs.


Alternated the overheads with light as heck deadlifts just to get the feel back again after missing out on them for a few weeks post-illness. Increased sets, dropped reps, I need to work on my setup most of all again, no need to rep out until I'm exhausted -

10x5 @ 235 lbs., still light for fast pulls with optimal form to get comfortable


Overhead log presses in the rack, short half-ROM to lockout, about 10" ROM -

1x15 @ 165 lbs.

1x12 @ 195

1x20 @ 165


Plate-loaded hip/lower back extension machine -

1x20 @ 90 lbs.

1x20 @ 110

1x20 @ 130


DB lateral raises -

2x20 @ 20 lb. DB each arm


Reverse hyperextension machine -

2x20 @ 70 lbs.

2x20 @ 100 lbs. (hard to keep machine from tipping above 100 lbs., wish we could bolt it down!)

1x40 @ 50 lbs.


That was good enough, getting back in for legs and maybe some upper back work tomorrow!

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My form on bench is maybe one of my best but having the bar chalked just seemed to of helped...maybe it was just a mental thing but I have some liquid stuff on my wish list for my order this wk:)


I also never fail to be impressed when VE logs a workout. Most definitely, for me the most inspirational person on here & someone I look up to. Strong as an ox & a gentlemen to boot. Also I'm jealous of VE OHP! One day big man

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Hey, VS!


Yeah, without chalk I slid around a lot, UNLESS I use the Slingshot, for some reason whenever I use it and have myself in near-perfect form as I get into position, I seem to stay locked in (even though it never comes in contact with the bench, not sure exactly how it works out!) Thanks for the kind words, and just keep up with that OHP (don't forget my general rule - overloaded partial presses, push presses, and 1-arm heavy DB presses will do the trick over time!), it'll get there one day!


Coming up on eye surgery day again (I almost forgot I go in on Wednesday already!), so squeezing in what I can while I have the time, upper back and light chest work tonight -


Hammer Strength plate-loaded pulldowns -

3x10 @ 300 lbs.


Speed bench doubles -

10x2 @ 195 lbs., quick 45-60 second rest between sets


T-Bar chest supported row (new piece of used equipment that just came in, but something in the arm joint is not working well, cocks off to one side a bit) -

1x10 @ 220 lbs.

1x12 @ 200 lbs.

1x15 @ 180 lbs.

Didn't like the feel on this one much, not to mention I mistakenly put on bumper plates, those massive 45s made the leverages worse than expected.


Slingshot speed bench doubles -

10x2 @ 230 lbs.


V-handle pulldown "stretchers" -

2x20 @ 150 lbs.


DB Spoon Presses (tried something new, basically a palms-in DB flat bench press where the DBs are in constant contact with each other, making it an odd close-grip style press) -

1x25 @ 55s

2x20 @ 55s


Reverse row with bar suspended by bands from top of power rack, row down into chest -

1x20 @ black bands plus orange bands

1x40 @ black bands


Enough for the day, might go in later to do some light complexes or something, squat day tomorrow!

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Lost most of last week due to usual eye surgery and 4 days of recovery, but came back to action last night to get started up again, upper back and shoulders -


Weighted pull-ups -

1x3 @ bodyweight (241 in boxers today, 246 clothed)

1x3 @ 25 lbs. added

3x5 @ 60 lbs. added, feet just touching floor and two quick breaths between each rep, got them all done well enough


Standing overhead strict press w/ axle -

1x10 @ empty axle

1x5 @ 145 lbs.

1x2 @ 175

1x1 @ 195

1x1 @ 215

5x3 @ 205

Felt decent enough on these tonight.


Plate-loaded Hammer Strength high row -

3x10 @ 520 lbs., done single-arm style, so I guess it's more like 260 lbs. each arm in this case


Standing 1/3 press overhead axle lockouts in the rack (about 8" ROM) -

3x5 @ 290 lbs., tough as hell tonight, triceps just didn't have much for going heavier

2x15 @ 235 lbs.

1x35 @ 195 lbs.


Wide grip pulldowns to sternum, slight lean back -

3x12 @ 260 lbs.


1-arm sled rows on astroturf area -

1x20 each arm @ 275 lbs., rest 30 seconds, put it to

1x20 " " @ 300, rest 30 seconds again, added weight to

1x20 " " @ 325


Wrapped up with 3x20 for cable face pulls @ 120 lbs. and that was plenty.


Resting up today, planning on leg day tomorrow!

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Hey, VS!


It's similar, but being the plate-loaded model, it looks more like this one:




Hammer Strength makes some of the only machines I've ever liked or felt comfortable on. They've got some good upper back back, incline chest (forget the decline press and the 6" ROM that comes with it), and shoulder stuff I've used over the years, almost all of which I've been a fan of. I'm glad we have a few pieces from them in our facility, I just keep my fingers crossed for one of their plate-loaded shoulder press machines to come our way, that one was my absolute favorite (and really helped me with my overhead strength at times when I needed to get away from barbell pressing for a bit), hopefully one day I'll have one of my own

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Ah yes we have one of those also, in all fairness I think 95% of machines  in the gym are hammer strength. 

I'd rather barbell row but as my backs complaining I need to work round it. Have to agree, HS stuff just feels so much better. I tried a fitness gym & though I dodge the machines as much as possible the ones they have we're pretty bad, nowhere near the quality of HS.


We have a plate loadable press, HS. Has two options as to where the load goes. Been a while since I have used it....


My belts been shipped btw

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Yeah, if it weren't for my back issues, I'd be focusing a LOT more on heavy barbell rows and such as well. The Hammer Strength machines let me keep things maintained without the lower back stress, so they have their place, but of course, if I was pain-free, you can be sure all my time would be back to strictly barbell / DB stuff again with not much else!

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I find dumbbells rows incredibly awkward. I'm pretty strong on them. It's the position on my legs/feet that never feel truly right, no matter what I've tried. Stood up bent over resting on the db rack was good for a while but if I use a bench, no matter where I position my leg/foot it feels awkward.


I miss underhand barbell rowing, last time I hit them was about the 100kg mark. I'd dread to think what you'd be rowing if it wasn't for your back....we sound like old men complaining of bad backs hahaha my other half pointed out 1 grey hair in my newly grown beard, I haven't recovered yet! 

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It was, Robert - thanks much!


Didn't get to lift at all last week with being out of town and coming back to more work than I knew what to do with, finally was able to train tonight for the first time in a week for upper back and chest -


Pull-ups -

1x4 @ bodyweight (248 lbs. clothed)

1x2 @ 45 lbs. added

3x2 @ 80 lbs. added

1x8 @ 45 lbs. added (feet on floor and a quick breath between each rep)

1x15 @ bodyweight (did as 10 with no break, rest 10 seconds, 5 reps to finish)


Axle bench press -

1x5 @ 145 lbs.

1x2 @ 195

1x1 @ 235

1x1 @ 265

Put on Slingshot

1x1 @ 310 lbs.

1x1 @ 320

Wasn't feeling it for going heavier, dropped the weight a bit -

1x5 @ 285

1x8 @ 265

Took off Slingshot, did some close grip high rep work -

3x20 @ 150 lbs.


Pulldowns -

3x10 @ 280 lbs., changing grip position each set from wide to medium to semi-narrow


Hammer Strength plate-loaded high row -

2x15 @ 410 lbs.


Circuit of plate-loaded seated row (180 lbs. x 25 reps) / side handle deadlift machine shrugs (20 reps @ 350 lbs.) / cable face pulls (20 reps @ 120 lbs.), 30 seconds rest between each set then repeat x3. Totally out of breath by the end, almost threw up, called it a day.


Legs tomorrow or Wednesday whenever I can get them in!

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Planning on skateboarding tomorrow, so I put leg day back to Sunday, did some light deadlifts and some light strongman event work to make the most of the evening -


Deadlifts -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

10x5 @ 245 lbs, only 45-60 seconds max rest between sets


500ish lb. tire flips -

3x8 flips (wanted more, tire was filled with water, so I had to flip it with water splashing out every time which made it much more difficult to get a grip)


Prowler pulls with IronMind hip belt, walking forward with sled behind me -

1x200 feet @ 250 lbs.

1x200 feet @ 375 lbs.

1x200 feet @ 500 lbs.

Last set REALLY tough, had to take two quick breaks on the 2nd half to catch my breath


Stone lifting -

1x5 lifts from ground to 48" tall platform w/ 170 lb. stone

1x5 " " w/190 lb. stone

1x1 " " w/230 lb. stone, feeling worn out now for going heavier, dropped down again

2x8 " " w/170


Wrapped up with a circuit, 3 rounds with no rest in order as follows:

20 rep reverse hyperextensions @ 100 lbs.

20 rep wrist curls with Formulator wrist device @ 35 lbs.

20 rep behind-the-back band pull-aparts


That was it, had a fun session of doing something different, so I may try to keep mid week my light event training time for now, since it was pretty enjoyable going back to stuff I haven't done in quite some time.


Skateboarding tomorrow, hoping to get back for upper back and shoulder work on Friday!

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Looks like a solid workout, Ryan!


I like the obstacle of avoiding the splashing water from the tire in order to get a grip and lift it! I can visualize that. Sounds like an obstacle course.


I'll be checking out your back and shoulder workout on Friday. I'm attempting to set some personal best lifts for those muscle groups on Saturday. I'm resting today and Friday in preparation


Have a great time skateboarding today. Lift big on Friday!

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Hey, Robert!


It was fun, but my shirt was ruined from the tire water (no idea how long it had been in there, but it was pretty dark and funky smelling), it took all I could muster to hang on for flipping it with wet hands, but that just addded to the challenge


Didn't skate much yesterday, extremely tired from previous night's training, so I just goofed for about 30 minutes and called it a night. Back to the gym tonight for upper back and shoulder work!


Pull-ups -

1x3 @ bodyweight (246 lbs. clothed, weight coming down slightly)

3x8 @ 45 lbs. added on (292 lbs. total with belt and attachment), done as 6 reps with a quick breath between each and feet barely touching ground, rest about 10-15 seconds, 2 to finish. Final rep on final set was pretty questionable, barely got eyes up to the bar, but I'll just say it's good and leave it at that


Standing strict overhead press w/ axle -

1x5 @ 145 lbs., not feeling strong, so didn't want to go too heavy tonight

1x2 @ 175

3x5 @ 195, not as bad as I'd thought, but probably couldn't have done more than 1-2 more reps on a set if my life depended on it.


Pulldowns -

3x10 @ 270 lbs., one set wide grip, one just about shoulder width, one with V handle


Log press in the rack, set at height where I just need to roll it into position and press -

3x8 @ 160 lbs., these were REALLY tough, kept over-rolling the log and whacking myself in the chin (I now have a nice little knot under my chin, looks like I won't be shaving the beard off this week )

3x20 @ 100 lbs, rather than do something else, I just went for light weight high rep pressing to get more work in.


Meadows rows w/ barbell wedged into corner -

2x15 each arm @ 125 lbs. plus bar weight (never sure what to call it in this case, maybe 20-25 lbs?)


Sled rows outside now that it was dry -

1x20 each arm @ 280 lbs.

1x20 " " @ 330 lbs.

Used Prowler sled instead of usual one, didn't like it as much as the front would tip up on each row, couldn't feel as comfortable with that. Prowler is much better suited to pushing or dragging, rowing not so much.


Wrapped up with a quick shrug circuit -

50 reps of front squat harness shrugs @ 240 lbs (225 lbs. barbell plus 15 lb. harness)

50 reps hanging lat shrugs from pull-up position

Done twice, 30 seconds rest between each set


Was done, but while carrying the log back to the corner spot, I stopped to hit one set of log curls, 20 reps @ 70 lbs. done hammer curl style due to handle position, called it a day after that.


Feeling much better with training again, looking forward to keeping my focus on the summer goal of trying to shake off a few lbs. of fat while keeping strength from any noticeable decrease. Currently eating 3300-3500 calories on training days (high protein, moderate carbs and fat) and about 2400-2600 max on non-training days, high protein and fat, moderate carbs on those. So far, so good, goal is to try and take off about 10 lbs. by August without really doing much of any direct cardio and no rough dieting, about 2 lbs. of fat gone so far in 2-3 weeks, so things are on course!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last week was freakin' crazy for work, had our main customer service and billing person gone, so I had to double-duty it all week and didn't get out with fewer than 13 straight hours logged in at the office each day/night. No time to train, but this only happens once or twice per year, nothing I could do to get around it except stay locked in!


Trained upper back and chest yesterday -


Weighted pull-ups -

1x4 @ bodyweight (245 lbs. clothed, still coming in about 239 in the mornings),

1x2 @ 25 lbs. added (270 lbs. total weight)

3x10 @ 45 lbs. added (290 lbs. total weight), done as 8 fast singles with just a breath or two between each, toes just touching floor to slightly deload at bottom before each pull, last two reps on each set required abotu 5-10 seconds rest between each as I've never tried to do more than 8 in a set with 45 lbs. added on


Flat bench press w/ axle -

1x5 @ 145

1x3 @ 195

1x2 @ 235

1x1 @ 265

Put on Slingshot

1x3 @ 295

1x1 @ 315

1x1 @ 330, felt like it almost killed me to get the rep, dropped weight down

1x10 @ 265, done as 8, rack bar, rest 10 seconds, unrack to finish last 2 reps

Wasn't feeling great with the axle tonight or for chest in general, changed gears at this point.


Wide grip pulldowns -

3x12 @ 260 lbs., pulling to sternum with slight lean back


Barbell floor press in the power rack -

1x5 @ 235 lbs., triceps were already beat up

2x12 @ 195 lbs.


1-arm DB rows -

2x15 @ 150 lb. DB each arm


Horzontal bench machine w/bands, two orange one purple -

3x20, changing grips each set


1-arm sled rows -

2x20 @ 300 lbs. each earm

1x30 @ 250 lbs. " "


Decent back/chest after a break, came back tonight for leg day -


Squats -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x3 @ 185

1x3 @ 225

1x2 @ 275

12x2 @ 300, was originally going to do 25x2 and do "greasing the groove" workout to rework form after too much time off, but right knee (my good one) started giving me fits right after the 12th set of doubles. Might have been that I was going too quickly for sets, I would only get about 45-60 seconds max rest, but patellar tendon was crabby with me so no more squats tonight, next week I will drop the weight and just up the reps again.


45 degree leg press w/thick black bands -

1x30 @ 90 + bands (add about 50 lbs. tension at bottom, about 125-150 est. added resistance at top)

1x20 @ 180 + bands

1x20 @ 270 + bands

5x20 @ 360 + bands


Glute/ham raises -

4x25 @ bodyweight


Reverse hyperextensions -

3x25 @ 100 lbs.

1x25 @ 50 lbs. done slow with no swing, a hard glute squeeze each time


Lower body fried at this point, called it a night. Back in the gym Tuesday again for upper back/shoulders if the legs are still sore, deadlifts and some light event work if the lower body has recovered!

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Very nice shipment you received there, VS! I'm envious of the tires in particular, we have three, but the treads are narrow and far apart on the 500ish lb. one (my favorite for higer-rep flip sets), making it a pain in the ass to work with. The others are in the 700ish lb. range, one with slightly better treads but it's about 2.5 feet tall, I can barely get my hands under it with my arms fully stretched. The 3rd is nice but the treatds are really worn, seems we can't find a solid tire to get for our facility!


Got in for some lower back work with overhead pressing tonight, been a stressful start to the week, father-in-law had to get two stents in his arteries this morning as he was 90% blocked in one and 70% in another, both ones that go straight to the heart, would have only been a matter of time before he'd have had his 2nd heart attack (he's already got a quadruple bypass under his belt from 17 years ago, last thing he needs is to push his luck as he's nearing 80 years old!) Trying to keep my mind off things by staying on point with training, wasn't too bad tonight -


Standing overhead strict axle press -

1x10 @ empty axle

1x5 @ 145 lbs.

1x2 @ 175

1x2 @ 205

1x2 @ 210

1x2 @ 215

1x2 @ 220

3x8 @ 180

1x12 @ 145

Really worn out by the end, but technique is improving again, starting to really remember to "get my head through" as the axle clears it, once you start to press it slightly behind as the head comes forward, it really locks out much more easily.


Continuing with my light "rehab" deadlifts -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 225 lbs.

10x5 @ 255 lbs., just 60 seconds rest between sets


Hip/low back extension machine -

3x20 @ 120 lbs.


Safety squat bar Hise shrugs -

1x20 @ 225 lbs.

1x20 @ 275

1x20 @ 315

All sets done slow with a squeeze at top and slow lowering, can't afford the compression damage of having the weight come down fast any longer.


Reverse hyperextensions -

2x35 @ 50 lbs.


Hanging lat shrug-ups from a medium grip pull-up position -

2x35 @ 45 lbs. strapped on (290 lbs. total weight cloted with added weight)


Nothing too tough tonight, just wanted to get through everything, should get to doing some upper back work and maybe some light event training on Friday!

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Had a few chaotic nights where I didn't get time to train, but was in last night for some upper back/chest work -


Weighted pull-ups -

1x3 @ bodyweight (244 clothed, weight starting to come down slightly, currently 238 in the morning)

5x5 @ 62.5 lbs. added, done with feet just barely touching floor and a quick breath or two between each rep. First 3 sets easy, 4th had one ugly rep, last set required about 10 seconds between the last 2 reps to get them done.


Flat bench press, using power bar (55 lbs., slightly thicker diameter) instead of axle to start -

1x5 @ 145 lbs.

1x3 @ 195

1x2 @ 235

5x2 @ 265, first rep would be touch-and-go, 2nd rep had one second pause on chest

Changed over to axle at that point -

3x6 @ 235 lbs.


Plate-loaded seated row -

1x12 @ 280 lbs.

2x12 @ 290


Incline DB press -

3x20 @ 65s


Wide-grip pulldowns -

3x15 @ 220 lbs., pulled to sternum, barely any lean back


1-arm seated row using "D" handle attached to orange band that was wrapped around one base of the main power rack -

2x25 each arm, tension unknown but felt like 50ish lbs. in hand at start, maybe close to 100 lbs. at finish of each row


That was it, today is lots of yard work, tomorrow will be deadlifting and some light event work.

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Lower back and some assistance work tonight!


Light "rehab" deadlifts continue -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 225

10x5 @ 265, only 60 seconds rest between each set, done in 15 minutes total time including rest periods.


700 lb. tire flips -

3 sets of 5 flips, this one's heavy, gets off the ground easily but the midpoint transition to the flip is pretty tough. MUCH harder than the 500ish tire, that's for sure.


Good Mornings with safety squat bar -

3x20 @ 145 lbs., just getting used to them again, keeping light.


Glute/ham raises alternated with barbell shrugs -

4x25 Glute/ham raises, doing 4x50 shrugs @ 235 lbs. in between the GHR sets (two sets in front, two behind the back)


Wrapped up with 3x20 @ 120 lbs. for reverse hypers, called it a day. Taking a nice long walk tomorrow and doing yard work, skateboarding Thursday, should get in some light leg work Friday if the knee feels better, will definitely do some overhead pressing then!

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