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Posts posted by VeganEssentials

  1. Okay, this has been my first chest workout since...well...March, but I finally must get myself doing them regularly. Sensless (from the VF board) finally took his bench from his folks' place and moved it to his aparatment, so we set it up in his garage and had at it.


    It wasn't a spectacular re-entry to benching, but it could have been worse! Did the following sets:


    1x6 @ 165

    1x5 @ 225

    3x3 @ 250 (had one assisted rep on the last set since my shoulder cocked and I needed a bit of help)

    1x6 @ 225

    1x4 close grip at @ 225

    Dropped down to 165 again and did 2 last sets of close grip work - one with hands about 14" apart, one about 10" apart, slow 5 seconds down and power back up as fast as possible. I think they were both just 4 reps each since I was now quite worn out - not benching for 6 months will do such things.


    Came home, did 3 quick sets of 10 push-ups that felt like hell since I was already fried, but I still did them anyhow. Goal is to bench every week and get to 300 before the meet since that's what holds me back the most, aiming to get to 350 in the next year with some really hard work.


    Tomorrow is grip day, Tuesday will be squats and overhead presses. Back to report soon!



  2. I'll give the rack lockouts a try again in the next week or so when I can squeeze them in. My old PR was 855 lbs., for a 3 reps of a quick 1 second lockout for each one. This was all that could be fit on the bars at my old gym - not sure if the bars at my new gym will allow for any more room to add more plate (or if I can hang on to that much weight any longer since it has been so long), but we'll see once I try again!


    Keep working those grippers - we need more vegans on the list for closing the #3. All I know is, I've been trying off and on, and I can never get that last 1/8" to finish, so it definitely is a lot harder than I'd thought it would be!



  3. Pete is on the mark that the Ivanko gripper is great as well - there are dozens of strengths you can set it at, so you'll never get bored with it and probably fewer than 10 people have closed it on the hardest setting. The only thing is, it doesn't exactly mimic the true feel of standard grippers, so the crossover strength won't be completely equal. The general motion is very similar, but the angle of the handles and handle sizes aren't quite the same, so there will be a different feel in changing from this gripper to other models. One thing I'd suggest is that if you get one and can afford to shell out a little extra money, PDA now makes custom handles for the Ivanko gripper that are idential to how the IM gripper handles are - I think it is about $20 more or something similar (making the gripper cost about $40-45 rather than $25 for the standard model), but if you want the feel of how other grippers are handle-wise, it is the way to go. However, you can't get more variety in strengths for your money, so it is a great recommendation!



  4. Ironmind is the standard weapon of choice for most in grippers because they tend to be pretty well standardized for strengths - however, no two grippers will ever be exactly the same, so as many have found out, if you try someone's IM #1, for example, it may be slightly harder or easier than one you purchase.


    Best bet is probably to go with the IronMind ones, starting with a Trainer and #1 gripper - most people get stopped by the #1 the first time they try it, even if they think that they have a strong grip. The #2 is something that very, very few have closed their first try, and the #3 is definitely not worth ordering from the start unless you have an aspiration to eventually be a grip champ. The pair of #3 grippers I own have never quite been closed without an assist from the other hand (1/6" from completely shut at best with a single hand when I've trained hard with them), and I'm not one to say that my grip is on the weaker side


    Once you've had time to play around with what is the standard for grippers, I can definintely fill you in on where to go next for the levels up from there!



  5. Took care of two things at once this session, shoulder and back work -


    Started with barbell clean and push presses. Did the following:

    1x8 w/ empty bar

    1x5 @ 135

    1x3 @ 185

    1x2 @ 225

    1x3 @ 245 (nearing my old max of 3 reps at 250!)


    Moved next to 2x3 reps for a few high pulls from the floor, first with a clean grip (double overhand, deadlift width) to neck height, 2nd set to mid chest height with a wide snatch grip (about 4" from the bar sleeves).


    Tried some power snatches next, but I didn't rest long and didn't fare too well. 1x3 from the hang position first @ 135, then 160 from the floor went easily. Thought I could make 185 with no problem, got it to about neck height but didn't dip under it enough and lost it at the last moment. Need to work on these all over again, for sure, since I hope to make 200 by year's end.


    Time for back work! Still starting off slow with back exercises again so not to re-sprain everything all over again, so I went as follows:


    Barbell Hise Shrugs in the power rack (bar high on traps in squat position, shrug upward) for the following sets:

    1x10 @ 315

    1x8 @ 405

    1x6 @ 495

    1x15 @ 315


    Next, hit some DB rows - they only go up to 120 where I lift now, so I have to make do with what they have. Popped out 2 quick sets of 10 with 120 lbs. (endurance gives out before the back does) and moved on.


    Next, did some Hammer Strength pulldowns. The machine in my new gym isn't as comfortable as the old place, but still, one of those rare machines that I don't hate since I try to avoid them as much as humanly possible. Did the following sets:

    1x8 @ 270 lbs. (135 on each side, arms move independently)

    1x5 @ 320 lbs. (160 each side)

    2x1 @ 390 lbs. (195 right arm for full reps, left side got stuck at forehead height so they weren't full reps)

    1x5 @ 320 lbs. again


    Finally, wrapped up with a cooldown 20 rep endurance set of cable low rows (machine again - definitely not normal!) with 105. Not heavy, but no rest between reps, constant tension, no backward lean to cheat them out. Got a drink, came back, tossed out 10 more at the same weight about 30 seconds later and I was done.


    Got home, didn't intend to lift, but saw my 2.5" thick handle DB and had to get one last set of rows in. Just tossed on a light 80 lbs. total and did 1x20 reps with each arm and that was it.


    Next week I'll try to smuggle my thick handled DBs into the gym and hopefully they won't be cranky about it. If so, I can actually load more weight than 120 lbs. on and have at it, so we'll see how it works.


    I'll get in some benching and deadlifting this weekend and probably some bending tomorrow, details to follow when done!



  6. Thanks, Daywalker! I'm working as hard as I can to push some new PRs in case I decide to commit to a PL meet in early November, and the only way to progress is to push beyond normal limitations.


    Today was pinch grip day, setting new PRs across the board.


    Did a ton of work with both plate pinching and the blobs (sawed off halves of old York dumbbells - I'll get a good pic of one here soon) and made a lot of new goals come to reality. I can't remember how many sets of pinch work I did over the course of 45 minutes, but highlights included:


    Pinching a 42.5 lb. blob in one hand and a pair of 35 lb. plates in the other simultaneously (see http://www.gripboard.com/index.php?act=module&module=gallery&cmd=si&img=3070 for the video clip)


    Pinching and passing a pair of 35 lb. plates around my body 5 times without setting them down (see http://www.gripboard.com/index.php?act=module&module=gallery&cmd=si&img=3069 for the clip)


    2-finger pinching with the 42.5 lb. blob with each hand instead of full-hand pinching


    Finally lifting the 45 lb. blob to full lockout at waist height


    I don't know what clicked today, but I was on fire from the get-go and never stopped until I was fried. Pinching is fun stuff, definitely underrated (probably the most valuable or 2nd most valuable grip work anyone can do) and is something I intend to master in time. One day I'll get the 50 lb. blob off the ground and a pair of 45 lb. plates pinched and lifted clear on up - it is only a matter of time until it happens.


    Finished with a quick 10 minute bike ride to the store and back, legs still incredibly sore from yesterday. Tomorrow is back and shoulders day, I'll report when done!



  7. Oh, such tough things to come up with a 10 best list, but if I had to go on what I think at the moment...


    Songs (in no particular order) -


    Descendants - Coolidge

    Archers of Loaf - Web In Front

    David Bowie - You've Been Around (Jack Dangers Remix)

    Misfits - Astro Zombies

    Built To Spill - The Weather

    Aesop Rock - Commencement at the Obedience Academy

    Sugar - And You Tell Me

    Dinosaur Jr. - The Wagon

    Clutch - Mercury

    u-Ziq - Midwinter Log

    Versus - Blade of Grass

    Superchunk - Detroit Has a Skyline


    I know it's 12, and I had to struggle to cut it at that.


    Movies are just as hard, if not harder. I'll have to get to that later.



  8. Sticking with the program to get my squat to 500 in the next 60 days, I went in for an endurance squat day that went really, really well.


    Goal was 20 reps total at 405, doing them in sets of whatever I could manage so long as I got there. In the end, I did 21 just to toss one extra rep in, going as follows:


    1x8 @ empty bar

    1x3 @ 225. rock bottom pause for 10 sec. each rep

    1x3 @ 315, resting pause on pins at bottom of each rep

    1x1 @ 405

    4x3 @ 405

    4x2 @ 405


    All this was done in 30 minutes, so there were no extended rest times past 2 minutes per set. I didn't get beat too badly until rep 19, then the last set was a struggle. Getting under the bar for 10 sets and setting up each time is just as draining as doing more reps in fewer sets, but the goal was to not exhaust myself until the end and power through as much as I could while keeping endurance up. Went far better than the last time I'd done a 20 rep day with 405, where I never got more than 3 reps after the second set.


    In between some of these sets, I started doing seated barbell wrist curls (forearms up, resting on thighs, hands hanging off knees). Did the following sets with these:


    1x10 @ 135

    1x8 @ 155

    1x5 @ 175

    Attempted 195, couldn't get bar past parallel to full contraction (next time!)

    1x3 @ 175

    1x7 @ 155

    1x8 @ 135


    I never used to do these until recently when I opted to toss them in weekly to help with steel bending. So far, seems to be a help in getting those wrists stronger (don't care about forearm size - they're big enough as it is!)


    Finally, in the last 5 minutes I'd planned to do a 20 rep death set of stiff legged deadlifts off a box with 225, but my energy was cashed in and I couldn't get it. Did 1x10, could barely breathe, got a drink of water and tried to finish up 45 seconds later. Got 6 more, almost passed out, then called it a day. Good stuff!


    Came home, pulled out the grippers and had at it (they always fare better after squatting for some reason).

    1x5 slammed shut with loud click with IM Trainer

    2x3 each hand with PDA SOS262 Gripper


    Grippers are getting better again - maybe it is finally time to get serious about certifying on the IM#3?


    Thursday will be a quick switch for lifts - I'll be doing back and shoulder work then and deadlifting on Sunday instead, and I'll report back afterward!



  9. Tired as hell from one long weekend at a wedding, but got some grip and bending work in this evening for about 45 minutes so there was at least some redemption.


    Mixed it up with pinch grip work (which I've been neglecting lately) and bending (which I have also let slide for too long) and came back better than last time I'd gone after both. Not really structured today, but did some of the following things:


    Blob lifts (half of old York dumbbell cut off, tough to grip!)

    10-15 second lifts with the 35 lb. blob

    A few pulls to near waist high with the 42.5 lb. blob


    Need to get back on these as I still want to eventually master the 50 lb. beast, but that'll take a LOT of hard work to get there!


    Did some bending after last time where I was extremely unhappy with how much I regressed with it, this time it was better:

    (5) 1/4" x 6" round pieces

    (2) 1/4" x 6" G5 bolts

    (1) 3/8" x 6" G2 bolt

    (1) 3/8" x 5.5" G2 bolt

    (1) 1/4" x 6" G8 bolt

    (1) 1/4" x 5.5" G8 bolt

    (1) 1/4" x 6.5" square stock


    The 5.5" G8 beat my hands up nicely, so after making the square piece I called it a day for bending. Better than last time where I was stopped at the G8s!


    Wrapped up with some plate pinching. Did a bunch of 15-20 second holds with a pair of 25 lb. plates, then hit the 35s and did some pulls to waist high. Too weak by this time to do any timed holds, but it is getting better as I can get them off the ground again.


    Tomorrow is squat day, aiming for 20 reps total at 405 no matter how many sets it takes to get there. Done it before, let's see how it goes tomorrow!



  10. Today was deadlift day! Afterward, I realize that the heavy squats only 2 days ago have left me not quite ready for heavy DLs, as I used to give 3 full days' rest between the two sessions and not just one. Oh well, I'll have to tweak my routine more over the next month....


    Started with conventional stance deadlifts as follows:


    1x5 @ 225

    1x3 @ 315

    1x1 @ 405

    1x1 @ 455

    Tried for 500, broke it a foot off the ground but lost all my steam then. I know that my form is off from only deadlifting around 5 times in 10 months, so I've got to start slowly again to get to where I was before.


    Had a brief intermission and did 2 quick sets of dips, just 2x10 at bodyweight.


    Decided that to work form and feel again I'd do a punishment day for deadlifts, so in the last 24 minutes I did 10 sets of 5 reps @ 315 with just 90 seconds rest between sets. I was already winded after the first 4, but I forced all sets out and did the last one just a minute before they closed the gym down at 10 PM. I could barely make it to the car afterward and I'm sore as can be, but it was good for me to do this!


    Preceeding this day I had a quality squat session on Tuesday working up to a few heavy singles at 435 lbs. (did one rep with 455 lbs the week before but barely made it!), so the squats are going well and I aim to hit 475 again before the end of this month. The DLs will be a bit slower in the process, but since they used to be totally natural for me to throw them down it is only a matter of weeks until I can start hitting some heavy poundages again. Gotta focus on these two things in September in anticipation of the Hudson Open meet in November. One of these days I'll finally start benching, too....


    Heading to a wedding out of town for a few days so no lifting until Sunday or Monday, but I'll be back after the next session is through!



  11. Yes, benching is something I definitely need to do more. I just always get sick of it just as I start to head to new PRs and I bail out on it quickly. As Sensless from the VF board tells me, I would probably be making 350 or better if I'd actually do it for a year solid, so perhaps it's time to get on it. There is something wrong when my overhead press is tied with my bench, that's for sure!



  12. Last fall all my PRs were as follows:


    Squat - 475 lbs.


    Bench - 280 lbs. (I bench about 3 weeks out of the year, if even that much)


    Deadlift - 545 lbs.


    All lifts are done raw, usually in jeans or cargo pants or whatever I'm wearing when I get off work. Don't use straps, belts, suits or anything else of that nature either. Totals are a bit lower now from being ill and injured for a good portion of the past 8 months, but since I'll be competing again in November I've got to work it back up to better numbers. I'll start posting my training logs here one of these days to keep record!



  13. Pete,


    You're right on with the point that it isn't how the old-time strongmen actually trained - I think it is always a misconception that it was the basis of their training, but I think that the only things they really have in common are the shared simplicity and intensity and that's about it. Some of the old timers would train one lift each day, some would train singles on a dozen lifts, others were different yet....everyone was doing what worked for them, and I think that it does frequently get confused that the book is an actual program that was commonly used. Still, I think that the main point of the book is that we often get too lost in complex routines and fancy machines and what-not, and sometimes all it takes to make great advancements it to simplify and work harder than ever to acheive results. That advice alone is well worth it!




    I think this type of training works for a lot of people, my one gripe is when people always say it's what the old time strongmen did. It isn't. They were all vaudeville/musichall performers. They did there acts daily, & more at weekends, they also trained besides that. All the oldtimers had to do that just to make a living. After they'd become strong/famous then they may have cut there routines down & focused of mail order courses etc (i.e. Thomas Inch, Maxalding et al), but to gain their strength they worked out 6 times a week at least!

    Not that I recommend that as they were genetic freaks, but just to put the record straight.

    Even if this isn't how the old timers trained I do still like it as a training system.

  14. Dinosaur Training is a fantastic book - the article I wrote for this site around 2 years ago was based off of my experiences training after I'd read it. I think that people often lose sight of the simple factors in training and get too involved in doing excessive quantities of exercises, and the book definitely puts that into perspective. For example, the first 2 years I lifted, my back workouts would consist of around 12-15 sets total of 4-5 different exercises, yet I'd made minimal progress after quite some time. Enter Dinosaur training years down the road - I'd made more progress up to this point, but I was still not getting far until after I applied the principles I'd read. Dropped to 1 or 2 exercises per body part per session, 2 warmups and 3 all-out work sets, and somehow everything jumped to great levels after only a few months. I definitely credit it with changing my views on lifting, and since then I've only been getting stronger!



  15. Strong, most definitely.


    I've never been ripped (lowest I've weighed in 2 decades is 192 lbs. and I still couldn't see more than an outline of my abs), but the way I see it, a nice looking physique is great but it won't help you move heavy furniture any better


    Not to say that I would want to be big and strong but morbidly obese, but I'll take a little pudge in the gut to be able to squat a few hundred pounds more!



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