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Still On The Right Side Of The Grass

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  • 9/10/22

    3rd Cycle / Week Two - rep/sets

    Squat -
    Paused Low Bar singles at 100/110kg; LBS 100kg 4*3; Temp Down Belt Squats 140lbs 10*3. Some single arm rows and pulldowns, along with single leg holds.
    Reasonably good Squats for having a cranky knee.

    Bench -
    Temp Down Larsen singles at 70/77.5kg; T&G at 70kg 4*3; single arm Temp Down Incline Bench at 45lbs 7*3. Blowed up the arms as is required on Bench day.
    Still performing all the Bench work with a close grip.

    Deadlift -
    Paused singles at 157.5/167.5kg; Deads at 152.5kg 4*3
    Tempo Down 3 Count Paused Bench at 72.5kg 1*4. Dumbbell Hip Thrust at 100lbs 10*3, some upper back work, along with single leg holds (switched out the Banded hamstring curls for the glute/ham roller to hit the hammy's).
    Today I actually felt like my old self, lot's of "pop" in the pulls.

    SBD Saturday -
    Tempo Paused SSB at 95kg 6*2; Larsen Bench at 67kg 8*3; Big Wheel Pulls at 173kg 1*3; Double Rack Goblet Squats at 36kg 10*3. Lot's of shoulder and upper back successories.

    Got up at the ass crack of dawn (for me) to get this session in, before heading over to Rochester to watch a trio of strong young men compete in the early afternoon. I'm still fishing for words to descibe the effort and results these kids put up this afternoon. Titanic efforts to complete 3rd attempt Squats, 3rd Attempt Benches that looked like openers, 2nd attempt Deads to qualify for Nationals and NY Primetime...and a 3rd attempt of 320kg at a bodyweight of 109.1kg to claim the Mustache Gym record. I've never seen as many of our men put up such a magnificent performance...I'm so proud of them.

    Hell, I'm even claiming a PR today: I trained, drove an hour and a half both ways, spent 4 1/2 hours cheering my damn fool head off, and I'm still going strong. I haven't been able to put in a full day like this in years. Not to get top far out over my skis, but I think the Thyroid medication is working...finally.

    This next week the RPE steps up to 7, and it should be a reasonably good indicator as to whether I am on the road back. I sure hope so...​


    • 9/17/22

      3rd Cycle / Week Three reps/sets

      Squat - Tempo Pause singles at 110/117.5kg; Low Bar at 105kg 4*3; Tempo Down Belt Squats at 160lbs 10*3. Single arm successories, and single leg sets.
      Squats felt great, and still beltless

      Bench - Tempo Pause Larsen singles at 75/80kg; T&G at 73kg 4*3; 5 Count Spoto at 61kg 7*2. Successories were Tempo Down single arm Incline bench dumbbell sets, and lots of Bi's and Tri' arms are starting to show the work being put in.
      Finished this session in the blink of an eye. Everything moved really well, and fast too.

      Deadlift -
      Paused singles at 170/180kg; down sets at 160kg 4*3. Tempo Down 3 Count Bench sets at 75kg 1*4. Some dumbbell Hip Thrust, Flys and Rows, along with regular single leg work, add is some Dead Bugs and Copenhagen Plank Hip Dips.
      Lot's of "pop" in the legs today. I really pushed the weights up from previous sessions, but everything still felt like an RPE 6, as opposed to the RPE 7 that was called for.

      SBD Saturday -
      Tempo Pause SSB sets at 97.5kg 6*3, Larsen Bench sets at 67kg 8*3, Big Wheel Pull singles at 183kg *3. Successories featured Double Rack Goblet Squats at 40kg 10*3, a shit load of shoulder work.
      Still fiddling around with my Squat Stance. It appears that my left tibia is just a bit longer then my right, so I used a 1.25kg plate as a shim for my right foot. I felt a difference, but I need to play with it a bit more before I commit to shimming my shoe. Bench moved lightening fast. BWP continue to feel strong. Those 2X Racked Goblet Squats are of the devil...damn CrossFit shit. Blowing up the shoulders to follow-up the gun show of Thursday.

      This was the first week since 2019 where I felt "normal" all four days. I'm pretty sure the thyroid medication is having an effect. I tried to push the PCP to move up the next round of blood tests...but no dice, I'll have to wait until October.

      Additionally, I felt good enough to accept an invitation to play a full 18 holes of golf on Tuesday. I haven't been able to complete a full round since the 15th hole my legs have been crapping out, so I've been constrained to playing 9 hole rounds...which I fucking hate.
      Anyway, I made it through all 18 holes in fine style, though it was in a cart. Back before everything went south, I was able to play and carry my bag for 36 while I'm better, I'm not fully back to where I feel I should be.

      All that said, it does appear that we're on the right track, so YAY!

      Looking forward to Week Four...​


      • 9/24/22

        3rd Cycle - Week Four rep/sets

        Squat -
        Tempo Pause Low bar singles at 120/127.5kg; down sets at 112.5kg 4*3;Tempo Down Belt Squats 140lbs 10*4. Single Arm Pulldowns and Cable rows, as well as single leg work for successories.
        This is an RPE 9 week, and to be honest I think the singles were closer to 8. Had a little issue with my left lower leg...just a bit of a bite at the top of the peroneal longus.

        Bench -
        Larsen singles at 85/90kg; T&G sets at 78kg 4*3; 5 Count Spoto sets at 65kg 7*2. Some single arm tempo down dumbbell sets, and the usual blow up the arms Bi's and Tri's.
        The top single was a closer to RPE 9.5. In fact, the whole day was hard. I had to widen the grip on the Spoto sets, and I missed a set of LTEs due to fatigue. The only legit work at 9 were the T&G sets. It happens...

        Deadlift -
        Paused singles at 182.5/195kg *1; down sets at 175kh 4*3; Tempo Down 3 Count Bench singles at 77.5kg 1*4. Some dumbbell hip thrusts, Mod Rows and Revs Flys, as well as single leg extensions and Copenhagen Planks Hip Dips.
        !82.5kg was solid, but 195kg was all a back pull...hips shot up and there was no leg drive...very sad. That said, the down sets were solid, and in fact I did the last set dead stop re-sets and it was really strong.

        SBD Saturday -
        Tempo Down SSB 100kg 6*2; Larsen Bench 70kg 8*3; Big Wheel Pulls 193kg 1*3. Successories were those damn Double Rack Goblet Squats, Front and Back Flys, Shoulder Clusters and Cable Hi Rows.
        Pretty solid day four week four...knee felt reasonably good, but the lower back was a little tight.

        It looks like this program continues on RPE 4 / 5.5 / 7.5 / 9 for the next cycle. Seeing as the next round of blood tests don't happen for another week or two, I suppose it's appropriate to continue on as we have been.

        My weight is holding in the 203/206lbs range. My energy levels are much improved (but still not fully back to normal). My knee has been responding reasonably well to the increased demands I'm placing on it. Squash season is upon us...that will be the real test. It is in the back of my mind that if I can't handle Court time, Lifting, and some GPP, I may have to look into a knee replacement (fingers crossed that's no the case).

        All in all, I think this has been a successful cycle. My Squat is still a ways away from where I'd like, but I've been working on box squats for the past few cycles, and I don't really know how they'll translate to a regular back squat. My Bench is also not where I'd like, but I'm not as concerned as I'm girthier through the shoulders than I have been in the past. That should translate into a stronger Bench once I get the meds dialed in. I'm having a harder time determining where my Deadlift is, relative to days past. I'm starting to get into the proper weight and rep range that equate to a pull in the mid 210s...I'm OK with that at the moment.
        Last edited by gymdad150; 09-24-2022, 10:31 PM.


        • 4th Cycle - Week One reps/sets

          Squat -
          Tempo Low Bar singles at 100/110kg; LBS at 105kg 3*3; 3 Count Larsen at 66kg 5*3. Split Squats, Pulldowns and Leg Ext for successories. Starting a week of RPE 4 work. Hate the Split Squats, yes I do!

          Bench -
          Tempo Pause Larsen singles at 72.5/77.5kg; T&G at 72.5kg 3*3; 4 Count Bench at 62.5kg 4*3. Successories were Cable Fly, Tri's and Bi's, and Planks. Again, it's RPE 4 so not much to report. Changing the grip to narrow / medium / wide

          Deadlift -
          Paused Deadlift singles at 160/170kg *1; Down sets at 155kg 3*3; Tempo Down Bench singles at 80kg *3. Successories were Single Leg RDLs, Rows, Flys and Single Leg Ext. Everything felt it should.

          SBD Saturday -
          An honest to god SBD Saturday, SSB sets at 90kg 8*3; Larsen Bench 70kg 6*3; Deadlift singles at 180kg *3. Successories were Flys and Rows, Shoulder work, as well as Single Leg sets. Gotta admit I was surprised at the rep scheme for today. Sets of 8 on the Squats...I wasn't expecting that at all. Got 'em done, and at a legit RPE 4, Bench was RPE 5, and Deads RPE 6. A lesson learned to expect the unexpected...

          Next round of blood tests to check the Thyroid levels is this week (as soon as I contact Quest). I fully expect one more bump in the dosage. As I've said before, I'm feeling better...but not fully "normal" for what I would call "normal" The doctor may disagree...and probably will. Hopefully I get a new prescription and it kicks in quickly ass I need to let my coach know if I'm able to commit to signing up for a meet in February (he's been holding a spot open for me


          • 10/7/22

            4th Cycle / Week Twee - rep/sets

            Squat -
            Tempo Low Bar singles at 110/120kg; LBS 112.5kg 3*3; 4 Count Bench at 67.5kg 4*3. Split Squats, Pulldowns, and single leg work for successories. Pretty solid Squats....

            Bench -
            Tempo Pause Larsen singles at 77.5/82.5kg; T&G at 77.5kg 3*3; 3 Count Larsen at 67.5kg 5*3. Regular complement of Bi's and Tri's work. Another good session...

            Deadlift -
            Paused singles at 170/187.5kg; Deads at 175kg 3*3; Temp Pause Bench 83kg n/m/w grip *3. Some Rows and Flys for successories. Everything felt good...

            SBD ***Friday***
            SSB 100kg 8*3; Larsen Bench 72.5kg 6*3; Deadlift 182.5kg 1*3. Revs Flys /Flys, Cable Rows, IYT, single leg successories. An outstanding session, especially considering that today is the 3rd of back to back to back session...and right after Deadlift day. I'm really happy with the Squats, volume on short rest (4 minutes).

            I'm going on the road the week after next, and that necessitated that we combine weeks two and three (=Twee). Really we just went right to Week Three RPE of 7.5, and damn if it didn't go really well. Because the gym is closed for a competition tomorrow, we did the SBD work today. The RPE was set for Squats at 8, Bench at 7, and Deads at 6. Frankly, I may have undershot the Squats and Bench. I'm really shocked at how well I felt after yesterday's Deads, and how well I was able to attack the Squats ( my knee is usually a little cranky after Deadlift day, but not today ). Things are, for this week at least, looking up.

            Not competing tomorrow, but I am the commentator on the You Tube Live Feed...are you ready sports fans!!! Speaking of competition, regardless of where we are with the Thyroid Drama, I'm signing up for our Mustache Mayhem in February. I should be "better" by the then.

            Back at it Monday for a Week Four that should shed some light on just how far I am from being "back to normal". Fingers crossed...​


            • 10/15/22

              4th Cycle / week Four - reps/sets

              Squat -
              Tempo low bar singles at 122.5/130kg; Low Bar Squats at 117.5kg 3*3; 3 Count Larsen at 72.5kg 5*3; Front Rack BSS 24kg 8*3...and some pulldowns. Finally the weight isn't feeling funny as that sounds. This weeks RPE was 9, and I think all the reps were around that number or lower.

              Bench -
              Larsen singles at 85/90kg; T&G at 85kg 3*3; 4 Count Bench at 70kg 4*3. Gunshow for the usual, I got all my LTE sets at 40kg 10*3...that hasn't happened in YEARS. Again, the RPE was supposed to be 9. I think the reps were 9.5, but I maintained strength throughout the session.

              Deadlift -
              Paused singles at 187.5/197.5kg; down sets were a no go...I was fried. Tempo Down Bench singles at 90kg. Tired successories...

              SBD Saturday -
              SSB at 105kg 8*3; Larsen Bench at 75kg 6*3; Deadlift at 175kg 1*3. Lots of successories: Flys / Rows / Shoulder work. I felt tired coming into the gym, and thought I was gonna have a day like Thursday. Fortunately I handled the SSB sets really well...only the cardio aspect of doing sets of 8 held me back. Bench was strong as well. Deadlift was still fried...***sigh***. Stuck around to do the successories...I'm such an adult.

              And now the big news:

              Went in for the most recent round of blood tests on Tuesday, and the results show a precipitous drop in my TSH to low 1's (my t-3, free t-3, t-4 are all in the mid range of "normal")...and I was wondering why I had been feeling so much better. Looks like the Synthroid dosage will stay at 50mcg for the foreseeable future.

              Funny, I noticed sometime around Sunday, that I could actually walk up and down stairs with no pain. Actually I knew something was up when I was able to go W/T/F/S of last week and not be crippled. Understand that for the last 2 1/2 years I haven't been able to properly walk up and down stairs due to constant pain in my left knee...and here I was using both legs equally. That was the tip off that something had changed...finally!

              Mondays Squat session confirmed to me that I'm on the mend...for realz. No pain accepting the drop onto the box, no pain coming off the box...and no swelling to speak of. I can actually see the structure of my knee for the first time in 2 1/2 years. I was able to use as much leg drive as I could muster on bench...with no pain. And even though I was dead on my feet for Deads, I had no pain setting up, and no pain initiating the drive off the floor with my legs as opposed to my back.

              Anyway, I'm feeling good enough about where things stand, that I signed up for a local meet in February.​


              • Just stopping in to wish all y'all a Merry Christmas.

                Life and lifting continue...just working on figuring things out.



                • And a cool Yule to you, Chas! Hope we can meet somewhere in the coming year.


                  • Just keep lifting!