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VeganEssentials

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  1. Deadlift rep test day and assistance/event work thrown in for good measure! Deadlifts - 1x5 @ 135 lbs. 1x5 @ 225 1x3 @ 315 1x2 @ 365 1x10 @ 405 - that was the goal, every rep fast and smooth, no stalling, no needing to catch my breath, so it worked out well. Felt like I could have squeaked out 12-13 if I'd taken some breaths at that point, but the goal was just to make sure 10 went easily, next time it'll be 420x10 in about 4 weeks to test a nice 15 lb. bump. 3x10 @ 315 done as speed doubles, would do a set, then 20 red band pull-aparts until all sets were done. Tire flips with 650 lb. tire - 2x5, haven't done these in some time, pretty rusty with tire flipping right now but it'll get better once I start putting in more work Barbell hip thrusts - 1x10 @ 225 lbs. 1x8 @ 275 1x8 @ 315 Alternated with Elite FTS Yoke SS Bar Hise shrugs - 1x40 @ 315 lbs. 1x40 @ 340 1x40 @ 365 Wrapped up with stone lifting work (again!), can't seem to get enough of this lately, and it seems to really be helping my middle back weakness in deadlifting, so it's a nice assistance lift - 3x3 @ 190 lb. loads done one motion (straight from floor heaved to platform, not set in lap first) 2x2 @ 250 lb. stone, tacky applied before lifting 2x1 @ 270 lb. stone, tacky reapplied between sets 2xfail @ 330 lb. stone, got it off the ground abotu 4-6" each time, but lacking in the strength to really get it heaved up into my lap. Pretty much same point where my deadlift is the worst, the 2nd quarter of the lift from mid shin to knee is definitely where I need improvement. 2x5 @ 250 lb. stone, quick loads, no catching my breath, done easily Felt great afterward, planning on getting in for some chest/back work on Wednesday, got my next round of eye surgery this week (doesn't seem like 6.5 months have passed already, time sure does go fast!), will get one more day of training in, then Wed-Saturday will be resting up and healing before I get back on it again. Squatting next Sunday if all goes on schedule!
  2. 1. Lose more overall bodyfat, if you aren't lean enough, even the biggest abs won't show (I'm a prime example of that). 2. Never hurts to work your abs at least semi-regularly, but if you do lots of heavy squats/deadlifts/standing overhead presses, you'll get a lot of indirect ab work that will help as well. They say great abs are built in the kitchen, there's a lot of truth to it!
  3. Thanks, mrbear666! Had a quick shoulder/upper back day on Wednesday, forgot to log it until now - Barbell rows - 1x5 @ 95 lbs. 1x5 @ 145 1x5 @ 195 1x10 @ 235, done Pendlay row style 1x10 @ 240, done half Pendlay, half traditional 1x10 @ 245, " " 2x20 @ 200, one set Pendlay style, one set traditional with 45 degree torso bend Overhead axle strict press - 1x10 @ empty 55 lb. axle 1x5 @ 145 lbs. 1x3 @ 165 1x2 @ 185 10x2 @ 200 Seated row with Elite FTS blue band tied around support pillar - 2x20 with V handle (about 130 lbs. starting tension, about 190-200 at finish of pull) 2x20 with straight bar Lean-away lateral raises with handled cable tied around squat rack base - 4x20 each arm Cable face pulls - 3x20 Superset with dip shrugs - 1x50 @ bodyweight, 1x30 w/ 35 lbs. added, 1x25 w/ 70 lbs. added Wrapped up with some light stone loading work again, been having fun with these lately, may as well keep at it! 3x10 @ 170 lb. stone, chalk only, 2 minutes rest between sets That was it, taking a few days off as I've been pretty run down this week, should be deadlifting tomorrow!
  4. 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!
  5. 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!
  6. "Toning" is done through fat loss, and as no exercise can specifically reduce fat in one area, the only solution is to lose general bodyfat and lift to gain additional muscle.
  7. 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!
  8. It all depends on how your body responds and what you're eating. I've gotten excessively fat on a vegan diet in the past by eating whatever I wanted and because I didn't pay attention to food quality or calories taken in, so there's really no single diet where you CAN'T have things go that route if you aren't careful. But, if you're eating whole foods with tons of good vegetables and minimal processed foods, there's a lot less chance of putting on excess fat on a vegan diet. Being as there are still a thousand vegan junk foods out there, not to mention the quick high calorie foods like rice, pasta, etc. it's definitely possible to get plenty of fat on you if you eat the wrong things and too much of them. I've been vegan for about 13 years and have been counting calories for the greater part of 18 years now, and probably will continue to do so for a long time. I need to keep things in check, otherwise, they get out of hand quickly. I don't keep a log, rather, after all these years I just have become adept at being able to know the calories of what I eat within about 5% margin of error, and it's easy enough to keep a running tab in my head, so you may not need to be overly meticulous, but it doesn't hurt to keep track of things for a while just to make sure you keep going in the direction you're hoping for.
  9. Making the two farmer's walks with 210 lbs. per hand for 135 feet was nice to manage again after so long, not to mention getting that 250 lb. stone loaded to the 48" platform a handful of times, feels good to be doing some of the old stuff again even if it's not as heavy as I used to be able to manage
  10. 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!
  11. 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!
  12. 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!
  13. 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!
  14. Upper back and some event training tonight. Pull-ups 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!
  15. I'm in the same boat, trying to get a little bit of each good thing at the same time. I can now say after many years of trial and error, it IS possible, just that getting the most in overall results takes longer to accomplish and sometimes the results seem to come painfully slowly at times. I use a mix of compound lifts with a handful of isolation assistance lifts and work rep ranges from occasional max singles and lots of sets in the 2-5 rep range all the way through sets that could be 50 reps or more. By always keeping things balanced on all ends and by neither focusing strictly on strength, endurance or appearance, it has allowed me to become a jack of all trades, but I don't excel at any of them...yet. I have only lost about 10 lbs bodyweight the past 6 months or so, but my strength has gone up in just about everything except my chest, but that's due to a shoulder issue I'm correcting right now before it gets worse. And, I keep seeing improvements in the mirror, and after decades of battling to hope to one day see the great abs that have been hidden by crud, I believe that in 5-6 months it will finally happen. Just as well, my back problems are gone for now, I train with the smarts to no longer keep getting hurt, and have hope to get back to try my hand at powerlifting again in a year, something I'd hoped to do again when I turn 40. I credit a lot of what I've accomplished this past year to training to be good at everything vs trying to be exceptional in just one area. Sure, maybe I could have stuck with the difficult diet I was testing earlier this month and maybe I'd be close to seeing abs by now, but I'd probably have lost a good portion of lean mass and I certainly wouldn't be getting stronger by the week. At this point, I'll take slow, steady progress that is consistent vs jumping all over the place as I used to, so far it has been a good ride.
  16. 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!
  17. 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!
  18. Yep! Just turned 39 yesterday, so a good training session was my gift to myself Hope all is going well with your training, Jesse!
  19. 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. ...and 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!
  20. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71umk27fq7A http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llG3J6Trd_M http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3YtvuZ2-I0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWHplp10kQM
  21. 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 - 2x8 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!
  22. Played at full volume over and over again today to suit my mood - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieE2XEGfLHk
  23. It's like anything else - doing presses frequently will make you better at them for a while as your body becomes more efficient and used to the movement, but sooner or later, it's going to stall out and you won't see much happen for strength or size gains unless you change things up. That, and shoulders are a smaller muscle group that for me at least, tends to take a few days to recover if I train them with any real effort. I've never known anyone to make continual progress training the same body part daily (again, you might see progress for a few weeks, but it isn't like you can realistically expect to always add weight or add a rep every week and never see things get stagnant). All depends on what you're hoping for - if you just want to be able to get yourself to be able to, say, press your dumbbells for sets of 10 any time you want, doing them more often certainly will get you there. But, if you aim to eventually press 90 lb. dumbbells or be able to press those 45s for sets of 30, then you're going to have to eventually get creative and do something other than just press them for x number of reps every day.
  24. 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!
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