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Posts posted by VeganEssentials

  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 -


    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. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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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