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  • Thursday, 12/26:

    Pin Squat:
    355x1 @ 8
    345x3 @ 9
    325x3x2 @ 7.5, 8

    Sloppy second rep in the 345x3 set made it feel like @9.5. Barspeed was @9 though, so no worries.

    TnG Bench:
    285x1 @ 8
    270x3 @ 8.5
    255x3x2 @ 7.5, 8

    I was very conflicted on what to rate 285x1. Felt and looked right between an 8 and 8.5 (are 0.25 RPE ratings a thing??) so I bumped the [email protected] set down to 270 from 275 to play it a little safe. Ended up being too light, so I guess 285x1 was more of a true 8!

    WGBP:
    225x4 @ 6.5
    235x4 @ 8
    245x4 @ 9
    225x4x2 @ 7, 7

    These were supposed to be done with a 2ct pause, but I messed up and just did them with my normal 1ct competition pause.

    DB Rows:
    90x48 reps in 8 mins

    Comment


    • Sunday, 12/29:

      Squat:
      390x1 @ 7
      410x1 @ 8.5
      375x4 @ 9
      355x4x3 @ 7.5, 7.5, 8

      After 390 flew up I knew this was going to be a good squat session - definitely my best squatting performance to date. 410x1 was legit @8.5, and I was close to rating 375x4 @8.5 too based on bar speed, but it in terms of RIR I was only really confident in one more, two would've been an all out grind if it came up at all. Sank all of these reps too. Backing off the volume a bit recently has really allowed me to realize some awesome gains. If I was still programming for myself I'd be worried about peaking too early, but since I've been working with Leah for about 5 months now I trust that I'll be good with all the data she has on me as a lifter and her experience as a coach and lifter herself. I'm excited to see just how much more I'll have in me on meet day.

      CGBP:
      255x1 @ 7.5
      235x3x5 @ 7, 7.5, 7.5, 8, 8

      I've been experiencing this pain sensation right around my left biceps insertion near my pec in the eccentric portion of my bench for a few weeks now. It usually gets better the more I get warmed up, but it caused me to be a little cautious and not take a stab at 260 for the top single @8. In hindsight, it was there. Better to not push the assistance lifts too hard, though.

      RDL:
      335x5 @ 7
      355x5 @ 8
      365x5 @ 8.5
      345x5x2 @ 7, 7

      After I pushed these a little too hard last week, I experienced some low back discomfort after doing my comp deadlifts the following day for about 36 hours, so I played it safe this week. Like I said above, better to not push the assistance lifts too hard and accumulate unnecessary fatigue - load and fatigue management is the name of the game.

      Comment


      • Tuesday, 12/31:

        Sumo Deadlift:
        475x1 @ 8
        485x1 @ 8.5
        445x4 @ 9
        420x4x3 @ 7.5, 7.5, 8

        475x1 a little slower than last week, true 8 instead of target 7.5, so wasn't able to throw 5 plates on the bar with confidence for the target 8.5 single I had next. I was letting the bar drift away from me a little bit on the singles and it was making the reps slower/more difficult than they should've been. Corrected it for the set of [email protected] and percent backoffs. I need to get my shins more vertical and set my lats better in my setup. A good setup is obviously a very crucial part of any lift, but I've found that my sumo deads really depend on it a bit more than my other lifts. It's often the difference between a smooth rep that snaps right off the floor or a meh rep that takes its time off the floor.

        Bench:
        285x1 @ 8
        225x4x2
        260x3x3 @ 8.5, 8, 8

        Really happy with my bench over the past month or so! 285 is the most weight I've ever benched with a pause, regardless of RPE, and it was a really nice RPE 8. Not quite as much pop off the chest as I would've liked, but the rep was decently smooth overall. The backoff triples with 260 scared me at first, but I had just started supersetting them with the SSB squats, and I basically went straight from the squat rack to the bench and was breathing a little heavy. Made sure to rest a bit longer and catch my breath for the next two sets and they were right where they needed to be.

        SSB Squat:
        255x6 @ 6
        265x6 @ 7
        275x6x2 @ 7.5, 8, 8

        Supersetted these with my bench backoffs, so I took it a little easy with the load so I could cut down on rest time. Just trying to get some extra squat work in with these, so no sense in pushing it too hard.

        Comment


        • Thursday, 1/2:

          Pin Squat:
          355x1 @ 8
          345x3 @ 8.5
          330x3x2 @ 7.5, 7.5

          355x1 maybe felt a little easier than a true @8, and that showed in 345x3 (which was supposed to be @9). Rounded up the percent backoffs.

          TnG Bench:
          290x1 @ 8.5
          275x3 @ 8.5
          260x3x2 @ 7.5, 8

          Briefly tried to pause the top single on my chest based on instinct, then remembered it was supposed to be TnG and tried to press it before I was really mentally ready. Ended up throwing off my bar path and got stuck just a bit. Rounded down to 275 instead of 280 for the [email protected] target set and it ended up being a little easier than it should've been, so it seems that 290x1 @8 would've been there had it not been for that. Still happy with bench.

          WGBP, 2ct Pause:
          225x4 @ 7
          235x4 @ 8.5
          240x4 @ 9
          220x4x2 @ 7, 7

          The 2ct ended up not making a huge difference compared to the 1ct comp pause from last week, so that's somewhat promising in case I get long press commands at the meet.
          Last edited by Nate B; 01-03-2020, 02:56 PM.

          Comment


          • When I went to copy paste last week’s Friday/day 4 session, I realized there wasn’t one. Not sure what happened to it or if I just forgot to post it.

            Friday, 1/3:

            2ct Pause Sumo DL:

            455x1 @ 8
            440x3 @ 9
            415x3x2 @ 7.5, 8

            Paused these at mid shin - about 2-3” off the floor. Did better than I thought it would. Still had a lot of speed coming out of the pause.

            Blue Slingshot Bench:
            315x1 @ 8.5
            300x3 @ 9
            285x3x2 @ 7.5, 8

            Incline:
            185x4 @ 6.5
            195x4 @ 8
            205x4 @ 9
            190x4x2 @ 7, 7.5

            Saturday, 1/4:

            Did these and some cardio on Saturday. Cut out the triceps work and chins this week to help manage some fatigue now that I’m just a couple weeks out.

            DB Hammer Curls:
            45s x12x4

            DB Rows:
            90x49 in 8 mins

            Comment


            • Sunday, 1/5:

              Squat:
              395x1 @ 8.5
              410x1 @ 9.5
              385x2 @ 8.5
              375x2 @ 8
              340x4 @ 7
              320x4

              Missed a lot of my RPE targets - not great. My quads might've been a little more fatigued than usual because my dumbass decided mixing up my cardio two weeks out wasn't a bad idea and I did one of those attack bikes the day before, which I felt in my quads more than my usual incline treadmill walk. I also really lacked focus today for whatever reason, which is weird because I'm usually extra focused on the weekends when the gym isn't very crowded. I thought I loaded 400 on the bar for the first single, so I thought 410 would've been the right load for @9, but after it was a grinder, I looked at the video again, counted the plates, and realized I never put a 2.5 on the ends. Went somewhat conservative for the [email protected] set and ended up hitting it at more of @8.5, but my depth on the first of the two reps was also questionable. Stark contrast in confidence after squats compared to my great session last week. Need to refocus and rebound.

              CGBP:
              255x1 @ 8
              265x1 @ fail
              245x2 @ 9.5
              235x2 @ 7
              235x3 @ 8
              215x3

              Absolute mess. Technique was all over the place. I was supposed to hit 235x2x2 but after feeling how easy the first set was, I pounded out an extra rep because I was so frustrated with myself up to that point and wanted to prove to myself the fucked up sets before were due to lack of focus and technique, not strength. Slim pickings at the gym for a spotter on a Sunday and the one I had was very distracting. No excuses, though. I should've stuck to my guns and been conservative with my assistance lifts like I have been doing the past few weeks. I need to be better than this, especially being just two weeks out.

              RDL:
              345x6x3 @ 7, 7.5, 7.5

              These were supposed to be @8, but after the disaster of a session to this point I just wanted to take it easy and not push anything.
              Last edited by Nate B; 01-06-2020, 03:14 PM.

              Comment


              • Monday, 1/6:

                Today was much better than Sunday. Definitely feel like I was able to refocus and get back on track.

                Sumo Deadlift:
                485x1 @ 8
                500x1 @ 9
                475x2 @ 9.5
                460x2 @ 7
                415x4 @ 7
                395x4

                485 and 500 moved well for their respective RPE. Pulling 500 was pretty cool. Bumped down about 10 lbs for the double @ target RPE 9 because I could tell I was feeling a bit fatigued from the two heavy singles. I thought my hips might've been a little low at the start of the two singles, so I thought "high hips" for the double - ended up being too high and I essentially stiff legged the first rep up (almost didn't get it off the floor). The rep was basically all back and hamstrings, and I feel like I'm lucky I didn't hurt myself because they were definitely way overloaded - would've never attempted that weight for a stiff leg deadlift. Corrected the second rep and got it up faster than the first. Definitely won't cue "high hips" again haha!

                Bench:
                285x1 @ 8
                225x4x2
                260x3x3 @ 8, 8.5, 8.5

                These all went well. The triples with 260 started to get a little harder than I anticipated, but I always tend to gas a little fast on bench for some reason. Had my spotter give start-press-rack commands for the first time this cycle. I feel like I got the press command a little quick, but the bar was motionless on my chest on video review. Even if it was a generous command, I've found that getting yourself accustomed to pressing on someone else's command rather than your own internal one makes a significant enough difference on meet day.

                SSB Squat:
                255x6 @ 6
                265x6 @ 7
                275x6x3 @ 7.5, 7.5, 8

                I benched first and deadlifted second today because the deadlift platforms were occupied when I got to the gym, so I did these immediately after deads. Quads were really feeling it. Decided to just take it easy with the load again and shoot for anything in the @7-8 range.

                Comment


                • Wednesday, 1/8:

                  Pin Squat:
                  325x3 @ 7
                  335x3 @ 8
                  345x3 @ 9
                  335x3x2 @ 8.5, 9

                  Got into the gym fairly late in the evening and I just don't think I was able to lift with the same intensity or energy as I usually do. Was able to handle more or less the same loads as last week, but things felt about 0.5 RPE more difficult.

                  TnG Bench:
                  295x1 @ 8
                  260x4x4 @ 8, 8, 8.5, 9

                  Last warmups were 255 and 275 (I try to take small jumps with my bench warmups). I expected 275 to be somewhere around @6.5 to 7 and it flew up like a true 6. Went for 295 and it was there. Aside from the CGBP hiccup earlier in the week, I've been benching really well recently. Benching 3 plates unassisted at some point soon would be pretty sweet.

                  WGBP, 2ct Pause:
                  225x4 @ 7
                  235x4 @ 8.5
                  240x4 @ 9
                  220x4x2 @ 7, 7

                  Shortened my rest times and rushed through these a bit, so even though I was feeling a bit stronger than last week, the loads used and outcomes were pretty much identical.

                  Comment


                  • Thursday, 1/9:

                    2ct Pause Sumo DL:

                    405x3 @ 6.5
                    430x3 @ 8
                    445x3 @ 9
                    [email protected] 8, 8.5

                    Did these all with straps - grip has never been an issue for me and I'm trying to protect my hands for meet day.

                    Blue Slingshot Bench:
                    315x1 @ 8
                    275x4x4 @ 7.5, 7.5, 8, 8

                    Incline:
                    185x4 @ 7
                    195x4 @ 8
                    205x4 @ 9
                    190x4x2 @ 7.5, 8

                    Comment


                    • Monday, 1/13:

                      Meet week. I got my attempts card from Leah and everything looks good. I would've liked to have been a bit more aggressive with my "option A" thirds, but as they stand they look like numbers I have a great chance at hitting on a good day. I know there's strategy involved, too, and I want to focus on building a good total rather than trying to squeeze every last kg out of all three lifts. I've obviously got the green light to go hard on my third deadlift attempt if I'm feeling it. If I'm feeling exceptionally well and my second attempts move crazy fast for squat and bench, then I've also got the green light to go "off script" a little there too. I'd have to feel very confident, though.

                      Today, I worked up to a single @ 8 followed by 2-3 backoff sets for both squat and bench. For deadlift, I just went through my warmups. On Wednesday, I'll hit my openers for just squat and bench, which are intentionally a good bit lower than my recent singles @ 8. Just need to get on the board.

                      Squat:
                      395x1 @ 8
                      355x2x2

                      Bench:
                      280x1 @ 8
                      265x1x3

                      Sumo Deadlift:
                      435x1

                      Comment


                      • Wednesday, 1/15:

                        Last training day before the meet. Did my openers for squat and bench, followed by doubles @ 8. I feel ready!

                        Squat:
                        375x1 @ 6.5
                        375x2 @ 7.5

                        Jesus, that was smoked. When your opener feels like a warmup >>>

                        Bench:
                        265x1 @ 7
                        265x2x2 @ 7.5, 8

                        Not quite as smoked as the squat opener, but still speedy.

                        Comment


                        • Saturday, 1/18:

                          Meet Day. Three hour drive up to Cleveland and the roads were a mess pretty much the whole way due to steady rain and sleet. I left early to account for this and still made it to the venue on time - I was in the afternoon session thankfully, so didn't have to wake up too early regardless. The meet ended up being about an hour delayed because of it, so there was a good bit of waiting around before the morning session wrapped up. Weighed in, pounded a couple Chick-fil-a sandwiches, 64 oz of Gatorade, and 200 mg of caffeine.

                          My wife had to work, and I didn't want to ask my brother or any of my gym friends to accompany me on a three hour drive and sit through a boring meet, so I was flying solo. Luckily, I ended up befriending a junior lifter from the University of Pittsburgh who was also a -105 and had fairly similar openers and identical rack heights to mine. He also had a friend from Pitt's powerlifting team handling him. So, we warmed up together for all three lifts since we were using similar warmup weights and had our squat and bench J-hooks at the same heights (we were two of the taller competitors at the meet, go figure) and since we were opening at most three spots apart from each other, I was able to get a good idea of how to pace my warmups with his handler keeping him on track. His handler was very generous and accommodating and basically ended up partially handling me haha - he did little things for me like chalking my back, letting me know how far out I was from being on deck, in the hole, etc. and they both took some stress out of the whole process. If you ever read this, thanks Michael and Peter, and congrats on qualifying for college nats haha.

                          Squat:
                          170 (374) / 182.5 (402) / 190 (418) -- 3/3, 9 whites

                          Squats felt really good in warmups. RPE for the opener of 170 was @ lol. 182.5 was @ 8. This was probably the strongest my squat felt this entire meet prep cycle. I was SINKING these, too, so I know I was really feeling strong. I squatted way too deep in my first meet, too. I guess I'm subconsciously (or maybe a little consciously) afraid of getting red lighted on depth. I'm very confident that 195 (maybe even 197.5) was there if I wanted it, but I stuck to the plan that Leah and I laid out and did 190 for my third, which ended up being about @ 9. I'd rather take the relatively sure thing of 190, lay a foundation for a solid total, and save some energy for bench and deadlift.

                          Bench:
                          120 (264) / 127.5 (281) / 132.5 (292) -- 3/3, 9 whites

                          Opener didn't feel quite as much of a joke as the squat opener, but still pretty easy - solid RPE 7. Press commands were a little slower than I was pausing in training by just by a fraction of a second, so pretty reasonable and about what I expected. Hit 127.5 @ 8.5 for the second attempt, so I was reasonably confident that 132.5 would be there. It was a hard rep, but I got it up at about RPE 9.5. I might've had 135 in me, but nothing more.

                          Deadlift:
                          212.5 (468) / 225 (495) / -237.5 (-523) -- 2/3, 6 whites, 3 reds

                          I was starting to feel a little fatigued by the end of benches. While I remembered to eat, my dumb caffeine addicted ass forgot to take another 200mg caffeine pill immediately after benches like I had planned, so that definitely didn't help. I hit my planned opener of 212.5 @ 7.5. Leah had given me "plan A" and a "plan B" second and third attempt suggestions based off of how the opener moved. Plan A 2nd attempt was 227.5 and plan B was 220. This was definitely the slowest opener of the day, but I felt like it didn't move slow enough to warrant plan B. I also didn't feel like it moved fast enough to warrant plan A, so I was in a bit of a predicament. I was running up against the 60 second clock to get my attempt in, so I wrote down 225. It took a little while to break the floor, but once it did I locked it out relatively quickly. This is typically how a single @ 9 will move for me - takes a bit of effort to get it started, but once it does it moves with pretty good bar speed from mid shin to lockout. If I trusted myself that 225 was an RPE 9, I would've put in 232.5 for my third attempt - MAYBE 235 if I was feeling frisky. However, I started to second guess my RPE 9 rating after not one but two different people remarked to me how fast I locked my second attempt out after I walked off the platform. I thought "you know, maybe that was really @ 8.5" and talked myself into 237.5 (my plan A attempt) for my third. In hindsight, this was a pretty big jump from a 2nd to 3rd attempt, even if it had been @ 8.5, so there was some inherent risk here. I fought it for a few seconds but it didn't budge off the floor. Oh well.

                          I ended up going 8/9 for a 547.5 kg (1,205 lbs) total. I was disappointed with the number at first because I was obviously coming fresh off the missed deadlift, but all in all I'm happy with the result. My main goal when I signed up for this meet was to total 1,200+ lbs and I ended up doing that even while leaving some weight on the platform, so I'm satisfied with that. However, I only hit 1/3 on my individual lift goals of 400/300/500 squat bench deadlift respectively. I knew 300 bench wasn't going to happen since it wasn't even a plan A third attempt, but I figured squat and deadlift would be pretty easy since I had hit both already in training. Got the squat with ease and I know that a 500+ deadlift was there had I handled my attempts a little differently. I'll get 'em next time.
                          Last edited by Nate B; 01-21-2020, 03:31 PM.

                          Comment


                          • Monday, 1/20:

                            Back at it. Offseason work has officially been initiated. I'm taking a bit of a break from competition movements and focusing on less specific variations, neglected movements/ROM, and GPP for a while.

                            SSB Squat:
                            245x8 @ 6
                            255x8 @ 7
                            265x8x2 @ 8, 8

                            I underestimated how sensitive I'd be to volume coming back from a taper/peak. Breathing started to get pretty heavy and legs started to burn a bit by rep 6.

                            Feet Up Bench:
                            185x8 @ 6
                            195x8 @ 6.5
                            210x8x2 @ 8, 8.5

                            Done with a slight pause, like everything unless otherwise noted. For reps higher than 5, though, the pause isn't nearly as long as a comp pause, just not a TnG.

                            Pendlay Row:
                            165x11 @ 6
                            175x11 @ 7
                            185x11x2 @ 8, 8.5

                            Decently strict with these. I supersetted them with feet up bench and wow I was embarrassingly gassed - like legitimately short of breath. I need to get my work capacity back up.

                            DB Lateral Raises:
                            20s x12x3

                            DB Curls:
                            35s x14x2
                            35s x12

                            Was doing all the dumbbell accessory work in a little circuit. Got gassed and and had to bump the reps down for 35 lb dumbbell biceps curls. Shame.

                            Unilateral Cable Rope Triceps Extensions:
                            50x14x3
                            Last edited by Nate B; 01-21-2020, 03:57 PM.

                            Comment


                            • Tuesday, 1/21:

                              Trap Bar DL, low handles:
                              345x8 @ 6
                              365x8 @ 7.5
                              375x8x2 @ 8, 8.5

                              I hadn't done trap bar deadlifts in a while and I still am not a big fan of them. I know a lot of people prefer them to straight bar and think they feel more "natural," but they've just never felt right for me. Even when I use the low handles and try to keep my knees back and hinge at the hips, it still feels awkward and not totally like a deadlift. Felt some decent glute and back activation, though, and am feeling some DOMS in those spots a day later, so I must have done a good enough job with them.

                              TnG Bench:
                              215x8 @ 6
                              225x8 @ 7
                              235x8x2 @ 8, 9

                              Just was getting a little tired by the last set of 8, so a bit of an overshoot.

                              DB Step Ups:
                              120x8x3 @ 8-ish?

                              This was my first time doing these since high school basketball pre-season strength and conditioning, so a solid 10 years. To be honest, I've always somewhat avoided doing these since then because they remind me of something a bunch of older women would do in a step aerobics class, so I was slightly embarrassed doing them in a gym with multi-ply powerlifters, but it wasn't too bad.

                              Low Row Machine:
                              +180x15x3

                              Comment


                              • Wednesday, 1/22:

                                Hatfield Squat:
                                325x8 @ 6
                                335x8 @ 6.5
                                355x8x2 @ 8, 8

                                Ended up having a lot of fun with this variation. It sort of overloads your legs and glutes because since you can use your arms to pull yourself a little bit out of the hole to blow through what would be a sticking point, you can use a decent amount more weight than you otherwise would be able to. The SSB felt more stable and balanced on my back than I thought it would.

                                OHP:
                                105x8 @ 6
                                115x8 @ 7.5
                                120x8x2 @ 8, 8.5

                                Absolutely pathetic amount of weight used here - utterly humiliating lol. I was hoping to get at least get a plate on each side, but quickly realized that wasn't gonna happen. In my defense, these were pretty strict presses, mostly because the movement felt really foreign and I couldn't time up a slight layback with a press that didn't end up out in front of me. I can't remember the last time I trained standing barbell OHP (probably been at least a year) so it's not too surprising that I'm pretty weak at it.

                                Spoto Press:
                                185x8 @ 6
                                195x8 @ 7
                                205x8x2 @ 8, 8.5

                                Low Row Machine:
                                +180x15x3

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