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Chest and upper back day, more short rest period work for conditioning -


Flat bottoms-up bench to warm up using 55 lb. axle, starting on pins just touching chest -

1x5 @ 145

1x2 @ 195

1x1 @ 235

3x1 @ 255

1xfail @ 275, got halfway up then right shoulder lost stability, been sleeping face-down with my arm bent weird again this past month, starting to mess with my mobility again. Right shoulder tight and cocking out a bit near the end, moved to lighter work today.


Flat bench w/axle instead of regular bar -

1x5 @ 145 lbs.

1x5 @ 195

5x5 @ 215, just 45 seconds rest between sets


Concrete block rows with 170 lb. rectangualr block (used normally for our gym's strongman competitors to do overhead pressing with, this one's the lightest of the bunch!)

8x5 @ 170 lb. block, 45 seconds rest between sets

Felt good with these, hit my middle and upper back differently than traditional rows due to having to grip the block with hands about 22" wide (also gives a great fingertip strengthening workout, too), planning to add 10 lbs. to these every other week when I throw them in for a while.


Wide grip pull-ups (228 lbs. clothed today) -

6x6 @ bodyweight, 45 seconds rest between sets


DB flat bench -

4x8 @ 80 lb. DBs, 45 seconds rest between sets


V-handle pulldowns with Elite FTS blue monster band looped over top of tallest power rack, pulling to navel and hard 1 second squeeze each rep, about 130 lbs. tension at start and around 170 lbs. at finish -

4x20, 1 minute rest between sets


Dips -

3x12 @ bodyweight, 1 minute rest between sets


Wrapped up with some "fun" stuff, first was a shrugged farmer's walk set with 65 lb. handles - not at all heavy, but try walking for a full minute in a shrugged position, that's where the challenge is! 2 walks @ 1 minute each, tough on those last 5-10 seconds!


Last thing done was a set of 1-arm shrugs, using orange Elite FTS mini band looped over foot and holding other end of band in fingers, about 70 lbs. tension at bottom position and around 90 lbs. at top -

1x30 each arm, no rest, then drop straight to sets of 25, 20, 15, 10 and 5 all done in a row with no break, and that was it. 105 reps with each arm with good tension done in about 2 minutes = sore traps tomorrow.


Taking a walk tomorrow, then it's squat day on Tuesday!

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A few extra days off due to late work nights, got back in for squatting tonight.


Front squats to warm up, all sets doubles with a two second pause in the hole

1x2 @ 135 lbs

1x2 @ 155

1x2 @ 175

1x2 @ 185


Back Squats as usual -

1x5 @ 135 lbs

1x5 @ 185

1x3 @ 225

1x2 @ 275

1x2 @ 315

3x5 @ 350, all sets easy and felt good for 7+ every set

1x12 @ 275


Front squats again -

1x2 @ 195

1x2 @ 205

1x2 @ 215

1x2 @ 225


Leg presses -

1x20 @ 180 plus red bands (around 100 lbs added tension at lockout)

1x20 @ 270 " "

1x20 @ 360 " "

1x20 @ 450 " "


Back to back sets of lying leg curls 3x20 @ 125 lbs. With cable/rope crunches 3x15 @ 120 lbs. And that was it.


Upper back and shoulders tomorrow!

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Thanks, Faux!


I'm still working my way back up after 7 years of constantly being hurt over and over again (lesson learned as I'm closing in on 40 years old, train smarter and take your time!), I'm getting that itch to possibly get back to trying powerlifting again next year so I'm trying to rebuild everything to the old strength. Goal is to hit the numbers I did at 275 lbs. bodyweight but to do it at around 225 lbs. this time around, got a lot of work ahead of me this year but I think that by next April, I should hopefully be 95% of the way there. Just got to keep from doing anything stupid that will put me out again and I hope to make it happen!

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Upper back day done with conditioning-style shorter rest periods, shoulder work in there as well -


Barbell rows, underhand grip, 45 seconds rest between sets -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 185 lbs.

8x5 @ 230 lbs.


Overhead press with a tiny bit of leg drive (not proper push press), 1 minute rest between sets -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 150 lbs.

8x5 @ 170 lbs.

Didn't feel great with these, even though it wasn't heavy I find I need about 2 minutes between sets to not feel burned out early on with overhead pressing. I have realized that the plan for shorter rest periods for shoulders and chest just don't work well for me, so I'm dumping that part of the plan and just keeping with shorter rest on other things for now.


Weighted pull-ups, 45 seconds rest between sets again -

5x5 @ shoulder width grip w/ 25 lbs. added on, last set tough due to short rest period catching up with me.


Overhead log press in the rack, rolling log out and back into position between each rep, done as drop rep sets as follows:

1x10 @ 125 lbs., rest 90 seconds

1x9 " ", rest 90 seconds

1x8 " ", rest 75 seconds

1x7 " ", rest 75 seconds

1x6 " ", rest 60 seconds

1x5 " ", rest 60 seconds

1x4 " ", rest 30 seconds

1x3 " ", rest 20 seconds

1x2 " ", rest 15 seconds

1x1 @ 125 lbs.


170 lb. concrete block bent over rows -

3x10, 2 minutes rest between sets (needed it with these)


Barbell shrugs -

4x25 @ 315 lbs., 60 seconds rest between sets


Wrapped up with 3 circuits of trapezius and assistance lifts -

Band pull-aparts for 20 reps, move to

Dip shrugs - 25 reps @ bodyweight, move to

Hanging from pull-up position lat shrugs - 30 reps @ bodyweight, move to

Face down on incline bench DB front raises - 15 reps @ 25 lb. DBs


Wiped out afterward, will keep altering the conditioning plan to suit how I best work with it, deadlifting tomorrow night and aiming for 3x8 @ 405!

Edited by VeganEssentials
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awesome training mate! what the axle you use quite alot? is it a thicker than a normal bar? im guessing it turns if the discs turn too?


We've got a 2" diameter axle at our facility, so the whole thing is the same size as the sleeve where the plates go on with a regular bar. Basically a big 7' long thick bar that's the same 2" thickness from one end to the other with no rotating sleeves so that adds to the challenge on some things as well. Personally, I prefer the axle for benching (keeps me in a better position using the bulk of the palm to hold the bar vs. a normal bar), fun for overhead work as well but it's ideal to leave a tiny gap so the plates can rotate a bit vs. being locked into place (which, if the bar moves out of alignment, having it all solid with plates not rotating can throw things off quickly). Great for deadlifts and other stuff, too, really adds to the grip work on any rowing/pulling movement!


Even though I'm not competing this summer, I'm looking forward to playing around with more strongman stuff soon - the guys at our facility brought in a batch of natural stones from around 200 to 350 lbs. and created a makeshift platform outdoors with some tires for loading. I used to love natural stone lifting, so it's going to be fun once it warms up a bit as it's a cold, sloppy mess outside still! As you can see below, it's still sweatshirt weather here, but they're getting in all the training they can as our big strongman comp in Milwaukee comes up in just over 2 months! 58868_635593189788182_2045391698_n.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Haven't posted all workouts lately, missed a few sessions, but here's an update for the last few:


Legs and chest yesterday -


Squats -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 275

1x2 @ 315

1x2 @ 335

1x2 @ 365

1x2 @ 370

1x2 @ 375

5x5 @ 365

Wasn't originally going to try to hit the 5x5 for a few more weeks, but was feeling good so it seemed like the right time. Aiming to be able to get 5x5 @ 380 sometime at the start of June, then it won't be long until I can get my working sets going in the 400s regularly again.


Flat barbell bench -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 185

1x3 @ 225

1x2 @ 245

1x1 @ 265, shoulder that's been cocking out sideways gave me trouble at this point, had to cut short. As soon as it gets out of the groove, I lose all power in that side, not sure what happened to bring the old problem back, but I'll have to get it under control again with some work so my bench doesn't turn to complete crap.

Put slingshot on for a few bench sets -

3x10 @ 225, triceps getting tired now, took slingshot off, did paused doubles, 2 seconds on chest, press as fast off as possible -

10x2 @ 200 lbs.


Safety bar squats -

3x8 @ 225


Lying plate-loaded leg curl machine -

2x20 @ 100 lbs.


Gotta get that wacky shoulder back in line so I can work on making some bench progress again and so I don't end up twisting my torso to compensate, which can mess my old back problems up again in a hurry.




Went in today for light upper back and strongman event work for fun -


I-beam pull-ups on upper level support beam (done on end of beam so it's like a close-grip fingertip pull-up)

4x10 @ bodyweight, came in at a light 220 this morning, fat loss still coming along nicely.


Farmer's Walks - haven't done these with any weight in ages, was just to test again and see how they felt -

1x40 foot walk, turn and come back @ 155 lb. in each hand

" " @ 175

" " @ 195

" " @ 215

" " @ 235

Almost lost my grip on the last set, took almost 10 seconds to turn with the weight so that it wouldn't shift sideways, but lower back felt great, will do 250-260 in each hand next time


1-arm seated row w/ D handle attached to white Elite FTS band looped around squat rack base pillar, about 100 lbs. starting tension, about 160 at finish of pull -

4x20 each arm


Wrapped up with some stone lifting, just light rep work with the 170 lb. stone, chalk only no tacky on hands or arms -


1x15, done as 8, walk 40 feet down and back, 4 reps, walk down and back, 3 to finish


Felt good to mix it up tonight, tomorrow is rest day, leaving for a pre-birthday getaway on Tuesday, but will be in the gym on Wednesday to get some deadlifting in!

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Shoulders & lower back tonight.


Barbell overhead press -

1x5 @ 135 lbs

1x3 @ 155

1x3 @ 175

5x5 @ 190

Bad shoulder not as bad as last time, hopefully it'll be good again in a few weeks.


Deadlifts off 6" boxes -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

2x5 @ 225

2x3 @ 315

1x3 @ 365

1x3 @ 385

1x10 @ 405

1x10 @ 425

1x8 @ 445

Wanted 10 on the last set, but lost my groove and dumped it after 8.


Went back to overhead pressing, light sets to work on shoulder rehab -

10x5 @ 155 lbs., done 2 sets with 90 seconds rest between each, then alternated with

Snatch grip dead lifts off 6" boxes -

3x8 @ 365 lbs.




Stone loads to 48" platform, chalk only

4x5 @ 190 lb stone

1x15 @ 190 lb stone, done as sets of 5 with only 30 seconds rest between each.


Wrapped up with band lateral raises -

3x20 each am with red cable w/handle.


That was it, happy with everything, made for a good birthday training session. Looking forward to lifting again on Friday!

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Thanks much, mrbear666!


Upper back and chest tonight -


Chest work kept simple - bench only, low reps, lots of sets to work on getting bad shoulder better.

Flat barbell bench press -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 185

20x2 @ 225, 2 second pause on chest each rep, change between narrow, medium an wide each set

1x10, rest 15 seconds, 8, rest 15 sec., 6, rest 15 sec., 4, rest 10 sec., 2 @ 135 lbs.


The 20 bench sets were done with the first 5 @ 2 minutes rest between each, then done between my upper back work.


Weighted pull-ups -

1x5 @ bodyweight (223 clothed today)

1x5 @ 45 lbs added, full hang for 3 seconds at bottom

1x3 @ 70 " "

5x2 @ 90 " "

2x15 @ bodyweight, one set wide grip, one set narrow grip


Seated V handle row w/ black band tied around support pillar -

4x20, about 120 lbs tension at start of pull, about 170 lbs at finish


Hise shrugs with safet squat bar -

4x25 @ 315 lbs.


That was it, quickly done in 55 minutes, leg day on Sunday!

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Great leg day today, seems that I'm finally getting my groove again, definitely nice.


Barbell squats, all to parallel or slightly lower -

1x5 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs

1x3 @ 225

1x2 @ 275

1x2 @ 315

1x1 @ 335

1x1 @ 355

1x1 @ 375

1x2 @ 385

1x2 @ 390

1x2 @ 395

1x2 @ 400

1x2 @ 405

Original plan was for 5x2 @ 385, but when the first set was so easy, I figured I may as well push things, and it was a good day to do it. Kept going a bit -

1x1 @ 425, easy

1x1 @ 440, slow rep up but no stalling, kept moving the whole time

Happy to get there testing today, might have been good for 10-15 lbs more but figured it will have to wait until late June when I will give 455 or more a good scare.


Did some speed doubles to rock bottom for some lighter work and to do some checking on technique -

10x2 @ 315, 90 seconds rest between sets


Wrapped up with some circuits of assistance work -

25 reps on leg press 270 lbs plus red bands for about 300 lbs starting tension and about 350 at finish, then

12 reps with ab wheel roll outs from knees, then

15 reps each leg for single leg lying curls w/ 60 lbs

Did this circuit 3 times with no rest


That was it, kept it simple again, will do some upper back work and light strongman event stuff again on Tuesday!

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Upper back and some event training tonight.



1x5 @ bodyweight

3x10 @ 45 lbs added, done with a few breaths between most reps

2x5 w/ white heavy band placed under 150 lb dumbbell on the floor, other end attached to hip belt, added about 25 lbs tension at start, about 60 lbs at top of pull. All reps pulled for max speed.


Dumbbell rows, done both arms at once lying face down on incline bench to support chest, much harder than normal db rows!

3x15 @ 85 lb dumbbells in each hand


Farmers walks

1x50 feet @ 155 lbs each hand

" " @ 175

" " @ 195

" " @ 225

" " @ 245

" " @ 260 lbs each hand, used straps though as callus was feeling like it was close to tearing off, didn't need a bad hand for a week while it heals.


V handle cable seated rows

3x15 @ 190 lbs.


Cable/rope handle face pulls

3x20 @ 150 lbs


Quick 3 set circuit of back to back sets of dip shrugs @ 30 reps with hanging lat shrugs with a wide grip @ 30 reps per set


When those were done, I grabbed the farmers handles and did one 50 rep shrug set @ 155 lbs in each hand, and that was it.


Deadlifts in two days!

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Sick plus terrible allergies all week means no lifting, feeling 80% better tonight so I got back to business as usual, deadlifts and a little overhead pressing


Deadlifts off 6" boxes -

1x10 @ 135 lbs

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

Added belt

1x2 @ 365

1x1 @ 405

4x3 @ 455

2x20 @ 315


Overhead standing strict press -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135 lbs

1x3 @ 165

1x2 @ 185

5x2 @ 200


Red cable tied to power rack base lateral raises -

3x20 each arm


That was it, short on time and energy, kept it simple.


Upper back work on Tuesday!

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Still wiped out post-sickness from last week (and weighed in this morning at a really low 216.5 lbs., no idea how I dropped 3.5 lbs. so fast while still eating plenty for the past few days!), but got in a really light upper back and chest day. Just played around for a while, nothing heavy, just focusing on technique and having fun.


Pendlay rows -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 185

3x10 @ 225, tough to keep form solid on these, instinct to raise my torso up a bit is tough to get past!

1x18 @ 185

1x30 @ 135


Incline BB bench, just working on form to keep moving forward with goofy shoulder issue -

15x10 @ 135 lbs.

Just kept it really light, focusing on keeping my right shoulder in check, felt great until the last set, last rep I came up crooked when should cocked out, barely locked it out but that was all I'd planned anyway.


1-arm standing cable rows to navel, about 45 degree angle on rows -

5x15 @ 130 lbs. each arm


Barbell floor presses, close grip, pause at bottom -

3x15 @ 135 lbs., triceps already tired before I started


1-arm standing cable shrugs -

5x30 @ 150 lbs. each arm


DB rear delt flyes -

3x20 @ 20 lb. DBs, superset with

DB front raises lying face down on incline bench

3x20 @ 20 lb. DBs


Wrapped up with 2 sets for arm work (a rare treat), Panora pressdowns with rope handle for 2x20 @ 100 lbs. superset with seated DB strict hammer curls, 2x20 @ 30 lb. DBs and that was it.


Tomorrow is rest, should be squatting on Tuesday as long as I feel 100% better!

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Still not feeling 100% yet, but needed to get back in despite a bit of my cold that's still hanging on in my lungs. Chest and legs tonight -


Flat bench with axle -

1x5 @ 145 lbs (axle with collars weighs 55 lbs)

1x3 @ 195

1x2 @ 235

1x1 @ 260 with 2 second pause on chest

1x1 @ 270 with 1 second pause on chest

5x2 @ 250, done as one rep with 2 second pause, rack, sit up and do 20 band pull-a parts, then lie down and do second rep with pause as well.

1x8, 4x5 @ 220 touch and go

1x20 @ 150


Squats -

1x5 @ 135 lbs

1x3 @ 225

1x2 @ 275

1x2 @ 315

1x1 @ 365

1x1 @ 395

4x10 @ 315


Barbell hip thrusts off front of flat bench -

1x10 @ 135 lbs

3x10 @ 225

Haven't done these in ages, definitely need to start light!


1-leg RDLs with dumbbell held in opposite hand -

2x20 @ 65 lb dumbbell


Lying leg curls -

2x20 @ 100


Called it a day, upper back work on Saturday!

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Upper back and event work today!


Pendlay rows -

1x5 @ 95 lbs

1x5 @ 145

1x5 @ 195

3x10 @ 235

Did one final high rep set of 25 reps @ 195 lbs done as 8 Pendlay style rows, 8 reps 45 degree torso bodybuilder style rows, then 9 reps of power rows with a fast snap off the floor.


1-arm dumbbell rows -

3x8 @ 175 lbs


V-handle pulldowns at 45 degree angle -

3x20 w/ black Elite FTS band looped over power rack


Farmers walks -

2x135 feet w/ 210 lbs per hand


Stone loads to 48" tall platform -

1x5 @ 170 lb stone

5x1 @ 250 lb stone, 45 seconds between each loading

1x3 @ 250 lb stone, no rest between loadings


Completely exhausted after that, resting tomorrow, deadlifting and overhead work on Monday!

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Holy crap, I didn't realize how much the barbell hip thrusts and 1-legged RDLs were going to wreck my glutes for a full week, they were hurting as soon as I started deadlifting tonight for my shoulders/lower back session!


Standing overhead strict press with axle -

1x10 @ 55 lb. empty axle

1x5 @ 145 lbs.

1x3 @ 165

10x3 @ 185

3x8 @ 145


Deadlifts -

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

10x5 @ 380

Had a tough time with getting the first pull to be smooth, but every rep on every set afterward was awesome, still working on some starting pull issues that need to get resolved so I can actually get over 450 soon!


Found that someone set up a car/giant tire deadlift apparatus, moved the tire further down the setup to lighten it a bit (had a 650ish lb. tire on it, and I was pretty fried), did 1 rep to test (felt like about 440 lbs. if done as a farmer's deadlift as it's a side-handle apparatus), then 1x5, lower back told me it had enough of my crap after that, and that it would prefer I call it a day for deadlifting


Wrapped up with two last assistance lifts, first were red band lean-away lateral raises, band tied to squat rack base for 3x20 each arm (about 20-25 lbs. resistance at top of lift)


Other final lift was Hise shrugs in the power rack using the new Elite FTS Yoke Safety Squat Bar, sets as follows:

1x20 @ 315 lbs.

1x20 @ 365

1x20 @ 405

1x20 @ 455

1x12 @ 525

1x50 @ 315


Completely wiped out after that, called it a day, will be doing upper back tomorrow or Thursday!

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Light chest and upper back work tonight.


Pull-ups -

1x4 @ bodyweight 220 lbs clothed)

1x3 @ 25 lbs added

1x2 @ 45 lbs added

3x3 @ 90 lbs added, 3 seconds rest with feet on floor between each rep

2x15 @ bodyweight wide grip


Flat bench with axle -

1x5 @ 145 lgs

1x3 @ 195

1X2 @ 235

1x1 @ 265

Put on Slingshot, found that with my reduced size, I now only get about 20-25 lbs. Assistance from it compared to the 35 or so I used to when heavier.

5x3 @ 275 lbs, 2 second pause on chest each rep


Inverted rows -

4x25 @ bodywieght


Banded axle flat bench -

3x10 @ 105 lbs plus doubled red mini bands (about 100 lbs added at lockout)


That was it, tired and low on motivation, will be squatting on Sunday!

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Quick leg day today. Bodyweight still lowering slowly, came in at 216.5 today.


Safety squat bar squats to warm up -

1x5 @ 135 lbs

1x3 @185

1x2 @ 225

1x2 @ 245

1x2 @ 265


Barbell squats -

1x5 @135 lbs

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 275

1x2 @ 315

1x1 @ 355

4x5 @ 380 - was supposed to get 5x5, but felt a bit of a groin pull on the 4th rep, confirmedit was not my imagination on the 5th rep when it hurt a bit again at bottom position, cut it one set short, but was confident I would have gotten the last set barring the minor injury.


Back to safety squats to test how the pull felt when going liter, was much better, just did 5x2 @ 275 lbs with 45 seconds between sets.


Wrapped up with some stone loading to the 48" tall platform -

2x3 @ 170 lb stone, no chalk or tacky used

2x5 @ 250 lb stone, tacky used

2x1, 1x2 @ 280 lb stone

Was quite happy with stone work, last time I tried the 280 I was barely getting it into my lap, this time it was no problem to lap and load it afterward, definitely getting my technique and strength back, looking forward to giving the 300 lb stone a good try in 2-3 weeks.


Still working down to the goal of being 210 with single digit body fat, not too far off (should get there slow-and-steady style in about 2 months), then it will be all about getting back over 220 slow-and-steady without adding the fat back. Going to be an interesting summer!

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