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  • #31
    12-Week Strength - Week 3:

    Friday, 1/4:
    Bodyweight = 214.8

    Reverse Hyphers:
    50x15x3

    Still taking it easy and not attempting pulls until I have my consult with Dr. Ray.

    CGBP:
    195x4 @ 7
    200x4 @ 8
    205x4 @ 9
    195x4x3 @ 8, 8, 8.5

    Much like last week, 205 felt like a 9, but the back off sets were pretty easy. I'm keeping my pause the same throughout and am not resting inappropriately long between sets. If I feel the same next week, I'll just try a little heavier than 205 and see how it goes.

    Belt Squat:
    135x10 @ 7
    140x10 @ 8
    145x10 @ 9
    140x10 @ 8.5

    Leg press has been kind of painful on my lower back, so I decided to switch to belt squat for the time being. Re: the leg press causing pain - I think I'm a little flexion intolerant right now, and I tend to lift my butt a little off the seat of the leg press when I take the sled to the bottom of the movement. This is something that could probably be remedied with a lightening of the load or a shortening of the ROM, but instead of tinkering with that and worrying about keeping my butt flat on the seat for every rep, I decided to use the belt squat machine that my gym has (which I've been wanting to try out for a while anyway). This was total weight added to the machine, I did not account for any weight that the machine might have been. Was much harder than I anticipated.

    Saturday, 1/5:
    Bodyweight = N/A

    Chins:
    41 reps in 7 mins

    Ab Wheel Rollouts:
    61 reps in 7 mins

    Realized that I've been doing these somewhat sloppy for a while. Filmed myself for the first time ever and saw that I'm letting my core relax as I fully extend, then using too much hips to return to the starting position. This time, I focused on keeping my abs engaged and back flat throughout the movement, and keeping my hips out of it as much as possible. As a result, they felt a little harder and I didn't do as many as I usually do.

    DB Curls:
    40s x 12x2 @ 8, 9
    35s x 12 @ 8

    Cable Rope Triceps Extensions:
    110 x 12x2 @ 8, 9
    100 x 13 @ 8

    Rear Delt Flys:
    50x15x3 @ 8

    LISS Cardio:
    25 mins treadmill - 3.5mph, 10% incline

    Comment


    • #32
      12-Week Strength - Week 4:

      Monday, 1/7:
      Bodyweight = 211.4

      Squat:
      355x1 @ 8
      295x4x5

      Single was a little slow, but felt like I had two more reps in me. Considered rating it an 8.5, so it was close, but I was fairly confident in a hypothetical third rep.

      Seated OHP:
      160x1 @ 8.5
      130x4x5

      Frustrated with how 160 has gone the last couple of weeks. My last warmup (145) felt good both weeks, so I'm surprised that 160 has gone so poorly twice now. I guess a 3 lb jump with the press is relatively significant, so maybe I'm just not quite there yet.

      Bent Over Rows:
      135x10 @ 7
      145x10 @ 8
      155x10 @ 9
      145x10 @ 8

      Per Dr. Ray's advice, I am avoiding the dynamic movement involved in a Pendlay row for the time being and switching to a bodybuilder style bent over row. Felt it in my lower back, so I only bent over to the point where the barbell was level with my knees at the bottom of the movement to reduce that moment arm as much as possible.
      Last edited by Nate B; 01-08-2019, 03:13 PM.

      Comment


      • #33
        12-Week Strength - Week 4:

        Tuesday, 1/8/19:
        Bodyweight = 213.8

        303 Deadlift Rehab:
        95x6
        135x6
        185x6
        225x6x3 @ 6

        Dr. Ray has prescribed a progression of tempo deadlifts at increasing intensities & decreasing tempos over the next several weeks until I get back to baseline. Today was 6 total sets up to RPE 6, and if I hit RPE 6 before the 6th set, I had the option to finish out the 6 sets with sets across @ 6. My back felt a lot more solid than I anticipated going in. 225 was probably not a true RPE 6, but was close enough that I didn't want to push myself too soon. I'm a lot more optimistic about my recovery after today.

        Bench:
        245x1 @ 8
        205x4x5

        Got into the gym late today. Wasn't able to eat beforehand and was feeling a little tired and lightheaded from all the breathing and bracing after the 303 deadlifts, so I kept the load for the single @ 8 the same as last week. Still went smooth. Backoff sets were fine.

        303 SSB Squat:
        185x10 @ 7
        195x10 @ 8
        205x10 @ 9
        195x10 @ 8

        Comment


        • #34
          Good log man, subscribed.

          Dealing with some back issues myself. Frustrating as hell but gotta keep at it.

          Comment


          • Nate B
            Nate B commented
            Editing a comment
            Appreciate it, man.

            Definitely frustrating, but just trying to feel a little better each day. I'm in it for the long haul, so I'm trying to think "big picture" as much as possible re: the rehab process and not try to rush back into heavy pulls too quickly. Good luck with your recovery!

        • #35
          12-Week Strength - Week 4:

          Thursday, 1/10:
          Bodyweight = 213

          Beltless Squat:
          265x4 @ 7
          275x4 @ 8
          285x4 @ 9
          270x4x2 @ 8.5, 9

          I want to eventually get my beltless squat a little closer to my belted squat than it currently is. Happy to add 5 lbs to the bar.

          Slingshot Bench:
          225x4 @ 7
          235x4 @ 8
          250x4 @ 9
          235x4x3 @ 8, 8.5, 9

          Think I'm finally getting used to the slingshot. 235 felt great, borderline 7.5, so made the jump to 250 for my set @ 9. I'm a little bummed that the program calls for other supplemental bench movements going forward. It's definitely a tool that I'll use in the future.

          Incline CGBP:
          130x10 @ 7
          135x10 @ 8
          140x10 @ 9
          135x10 @ 8.5

          DB Curls:
          40s x 12x3 @ 8, 8, 9
          35s x 12 @ 8

          Cable V-Bar Triceps Extensions:
          110x12x4 @ 8

          Rear Delt Fly Machine:
          50x14x4 @ 8

          Friday, 1/11:
          Bodyweight = 212.8

          303 Rack Pull Rehab:
          95x6
          135x6
          185x6
          225x6
          255x6x2 @ 6

          Back felt okay, about the same as earlier in the week. Definitely doesn't feel strong (yet) but feels solid and relatively painless. At this point, it honestly hurts the most when I sit for too long, so that's sort of a positive, I guess? Hopefully that starts to go away soon.

          CGBP:
          195x4 @ 7
          205x4 @ 8.5
          210x4 @ 9
          200x4x3 @ 8, 8.5, 9

          205 felt pretty easy, so I made the jump to 210, which went well.

          Belt Squat:
          135x10 @ 7
          140x10 @ 8
          145x10 @ 9
          140x10 @ 8.5

          This still feels a little awkward, but at least it doesn't hurt. Very humbling piece of equipment.

          Saturday, 1/12:
          Bodyweight = 212.6

          Chins:
          45 reps in 8 mins

          Ab Wheel Rollouts:
          67 reps in 8 mins

          BB Curls:
          70 x 12x4 @ 8

          Cable Rope Triceps Extensions:
          100 x 12x4 @ 8

          Rear Delt Flys:
          50x15x4 @ 8

          LISS Cardio:
          30 mins treadmill - 3.5mph, 10% incline

          Comment


          • #36
            12-Week Strength - Week 5:

            Monday, 1/14:
            Bodyweight = 212

            Squat:
            355x1 @ 9
            285x4x5

            My last warmup at 320 felt right, so I chalked this one up to just a misgroove - may have relaxed a little in the hole trying to take advantage of the bounce. I adjusted my backoff sets accordingly, based off of what a single @ 8 would've been (340) based off of 355 feeling like @ 9.

            Seated OHP:
            157x1 @ 8
            130x4x5

            Did a much better job of selecting a load for the single @ 8 than the last couple weeks. I think I neglected how big of a difference a few pounds is for a lift like the press.

            3ct Pause Bench:
            155x10 @ 7
            160x10 @ 8
            165x10 @ 9
            155x10 @ 8.5

            Nothing significant to report here.

            Comment


            • #37
              12-Week Strength - Week 5:

              Tuesday, 1/16:
              Bodyweight = 212.6

              303 Deadlift Rehab:
              95x6
              135x6
              185x6
              225x6
              235x6x2 @ 7

              Another solid rehab deadlift session in the books. I feel like a weakling with 2 measly plates on the bar, but at least I'm deadlifting virtually pain free! The back is definitely still tender and I still feel some pain when I sit too long or occasionally when I flex my back too much, but I'm in a better place than I was two weeks ago.

              Bench:
              247x1 @ 8
              205x4x6

              The modest increase for the single @ 8 went well. Might've had the full 5 lbs jump up to 250 in me, but I'll save that for another time. Glad to be slowly but surely bringing my poverty bench up.

              530 SSB Squat:
              155x10 @ 7
              165x10 @ 8
              175x10 @ 9
              165x10 @ 8

              Had to sit down for a few minutes after these were finished haha. I'm going to stick with the SSB for the 10 rep sets, but will use my normal low bar position for the sets of 4 coming up later this week.

              Comment


              • #38
                12-Week Strength - Week 5:

                Thursday, 1/17:
                Bodyweight = 213.6

                530 Squat:
                205x4 @ 7
                215x4 @ 7.5
                230x4 @ 9
                220 @ 8, 9

                These are really hard to judge. Locking these out is always pretty easy, so I have to really focus only on how difficult it is to start the ascent immediately after the pause, not the speed out of the hole + the ascent overall.

                Board Press:
                215x4 @ 7
                225x4 @ 8
                235x4 @ 9
                225x4x3 @ 8, 9

                Program calls for floor press, but both power racks were occupied, so I just used one of the boards my gym has (2-board). Had to put my hoodie on and stuff the board under it to keep it somewhat in place. Hopefully there'll be a power rack open next week.

                Incline CGBP:
                130x10 @ 7
                135x10 @ 8
                140x10 @ 9
                135x10 @ 8.5

                DB Curls:
                40s x 12x3 @ 8, 8, 9
                35s x 13 @ 8

                Cable Rope Triceps Extensions:
                100x12x2 @ 8
                90x12x2 @ 8

                Was supersetting these with rear delt flys and wasn't really resting, so I went lighter than usual.

                Rear Delt Fly Machine:
                50x12x3 @ 8
                40x13 @ 8

                Comment


                • #39
                  12-Week Strength - Week 5:

                  Friday, 1/18:
                  Bodyweight = N/A

                  2ct Pause 303 Deadlift Rehab:
                  45x6
                  95x6
                  135x6
                  185x6
                  225x6x2 @ 7

                  My back keeps feeling better and better, and my outlook continues to improve as well. Tempo was definitely more like a 203 (body was in a bit of a hurry to get the bar moving after the pause), but it didn't seem to negatively affect anything. Might be a sign my back is already healing up nice and quickly. I'm still going to stick with the rehab prescription, obviously, but I just don't feel like I have to baby it as much.

                  TnG Bench:
                  215x4 @ 7
                  225x4 @ 8
                  235x4 @ 8.5
                  225x4x3 @ 8, 8, 8.5

                  235 moved very well, but I didn't feel like putting another 2-5 lbs on the bar just to get to RPE 9. If I feel good, I'll definitely see if something like 240 is more appropriate.

                  RDL:
                  165x10 @ 6
                  175x10 @ 7
                  165x10 @ 6

                  No tempo for these, but instead of working up to RPE 9 and doing another set at -5%, I worked up to RPE 7 and backed off to another set at my RPE 6 weight. I probably could've gone heavier with these, and I'll definitely push myself a little more in the coming weeks, but I performed them right after 2ct paused deads and just wanted to ease into them.

                  Per Dr. Ray's advice, I'm doing RDLs instead of SLDLs while my back heals up. Given my flexion intolerance ATM, the RDL is just the better option - I can do them with less lumbar flexion than a SLDL and it's more difficult to accidentally load the bar up too heavy. I also have a bit of a personal preference to the RDL and a bit of a "fear" of the SLDL. I associate the SLDL with when I started to feel back pain during the GPP/Hypertrophy program. I think I have a tendency to load them up too heavy as well, and try to muscle up the lift with my back rather than properly loading my hamstrings. It's a bit of kinesiophobia issue toward the SLDL, and I'll try to work to get rid of this fear, but in the meantime I agree with Dr. Ray that I'll have an easier time rehabbing with the RDL.

                  Saturday, 1/19:
                  Bodyweight = N/A <-- need to remember to weight myself first thing in the morning.

                  Chins:
                  46 reps in 8 mins

                  Ab Wheel Rollouts:
                  66 reps in 8 mins

                  BB Curls:
                  75x12x2 @ 8
                  70x12x2 @ 8

                  Cable Rope Triceps Extensions:
                  100 x 13x4 @ 8

                  LISS Cardio:
                  30 mins treadmill - 3.7mph, 10% incline

                  Comment


                  • #40
                    12-Week Strength - Week 6:

                    Monday, 1/21:
                    Bodyweight = 212.2

                    Squat:
                    350x1 @ 8.5
                    295x4x2

                    Frustrating last couple of weeks with the squat. Progress feels stuck or even moving backwards. I guess that comes with the territory the more advanced you get. The single and the backoff sets felt slow. Technique is breaking down with stuff 90%+ work -- sliding into knees and lifting chest out of the hole. Very demotivating. Need to stay focused, make sure my recovery variables are in check, and keep working hard.

                    Seated OHP:
                    160x1 @ 8
                    135x4x2

                    At least I still seem to be making progress with my pressing movements. 160x1 felt great and moved smooth.

                    3ct Pause Bench:
                    165x8 @ 7
                    170x8 @ 8
                    175x8 @ 9

                    Comment


                    • #41
                      12-Week Strength - Week 6:

                      Tuesday, 1/22:
                      Bodyweight = 215

                      303 Deadlift Rehab:
                      95x6
                      135x6
                      185x6
                      225x6
                      255x6x2 @ 8

                      Feeling stronger. This training session was the first time in a while that I've felt zero tightness or pain while doing anything. Promising.

                      Bench:
                      250x1 @ 8.5
                      210x4x2

                      The speed of the single with 250 was there, but my technique broke down (elbows flared) and I wasn't confident in another two reps. I'll try to reattempt next week.

                      Beltless Squat:
                      235x8 @ 7
                      245x8 @ 8
                      255x8 @ 9

                      255 may have been @ 8.5. Beltless squat continues to get stronger. Hopefully this translates to my stuck competition squat.

                      DB Curls:
                      35s x 14x2 @ 8, 8.5
                      35s x 13x2 @ 8, 9

                      Cable V-Bar Triceps Extensions:
                      120 x 14x4 @ 8

                      Comment


                      • #42
                        12-Week Strength - Week 6:

                        Thursday, 1/24:
                        Bodyweight = 213

                        2ct Pause Squat:
                        285x1 @ 8
                        275x3 @ 9

                        I have recently come to the realization that maybe part of the reason I am having trouble with my competition squat is because of some inefficient technique breakdown. Right as I reach depth, I slide into my knees, which shifts the bar a little forward of midfoot and makes me tip over slightly. This causes me to do a slight goodmorning out of the hole, and then raise my chest to get the bar back over midfoot. The way I've described it somewhat exaggerates how bad it is, but as the weights get heavier good, efficient technique matters even more. I'll see if I can correct this with both mental cues and assistance squats like pause and pin squats, but if not, I may experiment with placing a block of wood or a foam roller just past my toes where I want my knees to stop.

                        Floor Press:
                        260x1 @ 9
                        240x3 @ 9

                        I now see that doing floor press last week for 4s instead of board press would've been beneficial. Did not anticipate 260 being as hard as it was and overshot RPE. I didn't really like floor press compared to board press - somewhat hurt my shoulders, elbows, and biceps oddly enough. Hopefully its just a matter of getting used to the exercise.

                        Seated OHP:
                        120x8 @ 7
                        125x8 @ 8
                        130x8 @ 9

                        Really didn't want to go back to standing press.

                        Friday, 1/25:
                        Bodyweight = 212.8

                        2ct Pause 303 Deadlift Rehab:
                        95x6
                        135x6
                        185x6
                        225x6
                        245x6x2 @ 8

                        Back felt tight at first, but loosened up as I kept adding weight to the bar. Slowly but surely getting back to baseline.

                        TnG Bench:
                        255x1 @ 8
                        245x3 @ 9

                        RDL:
                        175x8 @ 6
                        185x8 @ 7
                        195x8 @ 7.5
                        205x8 @ 8

                        My back must really be feeling much better, because I was having a hard time getting to an RPE 8. I was able to go much heavier than last week. 205 probably wasn't even really a true @ 8, but I wasn't really resting more than a minute, maybe two, between sets.

                        Sunday, 1/27:
                        Bodyweight = 214.8

                        Chins:
                        50 reps in 9 mins

                        Ab Wheel Rollouts:
                        74 reps in 9 mins

                        DB Curls:
                        40sx12x3 @ 8, 8, 9
                        35sx13 @ 8

                        Cable Rope Triceps Extensions:
                        100x13x4 @ 8

                        Rear Delt Flys Machine:
                        50x12x4

                        LISS Cardio:
                        30 mins treadmill - 3.7mph, 10% incline

                        Comment


                        • #43
                          12-Week Strength - Week 7:

                          Tuesday, 1/29:
                          Bodyweight = 214.2

                          Life got in the way, so I was unable to get in the gym on Monday. I've adjusted my schedule this week to Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat.

                          Squat:
                          350x1 @ 8
                          295x4x4

                          Top single went much better this week. I have tweaked my form a little bit - focusing on getting knees set early, keeping them set at the bottom, and staying in my posterior chain. Actually experienced some very mild DOMS in my glutes the next day. Got to practice technique with the backoff sets, which went fine.

                          Seated OHP:
                          162x1 @ 9
                          135x4x4

                          Got stuck momentarily halfway up on the single. Backoff work went fine.

                          2ct Pause Bench:
                          165x8 @ 6
                          175x8 @ 7
                          185x8 @ 8, 8.5, 9

                          Gassed somewhat fast. Right anterior delt was feeling a little funny. I'll keep an eye on it.

                          DB Curls:
                          35s x 14x3 @ 8, 8, 9
                          35s x 13x2 @ 8, 8

                          Cable V-Bar Triceps Extensions:
                          120x14x4 @ 8, 8, 8, 9
                          120x13 @ 8

                          Wednesday, 1/30:
                          Bodyweight = 214.6

                          202 Deadlift Rehab:
                          95x6
                          135x6
                          185x6
                          225x6
                          255x6
                          275x6 @ 8

                          Somewhat discouraged with how my back felt for the top set. Might have loaded a little too heavy. I need to remember to factor pain into my RPE rating. Hopefully just an off day and not a setback in my recovery.

                          Bench:
                          250x1 @ 8.5
                          210x4x2

                          Single went about the same as last week. Flared elbows at sticking point to keep the bar moving. Hopefully the backoff volume will help keep moving the weight up. If I've learned one thing from this program, it's that my bench strength is very dependent on volume.

                          Beltless Squat:
                          225x8 @ 6
                          235x8 @ 7
                          245x8x3 @ 8, 8, 8

                          For some reason, these were killing my shoulders and biceps. Discomfort got worse about halfway through each set. On video, it didn't look like I was lifting my elbows out of the hole (something that has caused this kind of pain while low bar squatting in the past) but I don't know what else may have caused it. Possibly racking the bar too low on my back?

                          I haven't been rating session RPE since all my sessions seem to go about as expected as far as overall effort goes, but for whatever reason I felt beat by the end of this one. This was weird because it wasn't like I did anything particularly heavy today, and didn't do anything above RPE 8 for the day (except for my last set of 2ct bench). I have been under a little more stress outside of the gym than usual recently, so I guess I'll chalk it up to that, but this inspired me to keep an eye on my session RPE going forward.
                          Last edited by Nate B; 02-04-2019, 03:11 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #44
                            12-Week Strength - Week 7:

                            Friday, 2/1:
                            Bodyweight = 215

                            2ct Pause Squat:
                            285x1 @ 8
                            275x3 @ 9
                            260x3x3 @ 8, 8, 9

                            Position in bottom of squat has been better, in general, this week. I'm breaking at the knees a little earlier than hips in order to get them set early, but it's helping with my knee slide. The knees breaking before hips feels more dramatic than it looks on video, but eventually I hope keeping my knees set as I continue to descend becomes second nature and I can drop this cue.

                            Floor Press:
                            255x1 @ 8
                            245x3 @ 9
                            230x3x2 @ 8, 8

                            Did a better job of picking a load this week.

                            Seated OHP:
                            115x8 @ 6
                            120x8 @ 7
                            125x8x3 @ 8, 8, 8.5

                            Saturday, 2/2:
                            Bodyweight = 213.6

                            2ct Pause 202 Deadlift Rehab:
                            95x6
                            135x6
                            185x6
                            225x6
                            250x6x2 @ 8

                            These really target my weakness - just off the floor - in both my back and the movement in general. Mild tightness but not really any pain to speak of. Better than deadlift session earlier in the week. As my pain has subsided, I've been able to localize it better. Definitely feels like an SI issue more than a disc issue now. I'll continue with my normal rehab process regardless.

                            TnG Bench:
                            255x1 @ 8.5
                            240x3 @ 9
                            230x3x3 @ 8, 8.5, 9

                            Locked out the single a little slower than an 8. If I feel pretty confident in 2 reps in reserve, but the bar speed doesn't match this model, I rate it @ 8.5.

                            RDL:
                            205x8 @ 6
                            215x8 @ 7
                            225x8x3 @ 8

                            I still feel like I can go heavier with these. I assume that since I stop a few inches from the weights touching the floor, I'm missing that bottom portion of the deadlift that gives my back trouble. Hope this helps to strengthen my posterior chain while giving my tight back/SI region a break.

                            DB Curls:
                            35s x 14x5 @ 8, 8, 8, 8, 9

                            Cable V-bar Triceps Extensions:
                            100x14x5 @ 8, 8, 8, 8, 9

                            Sunday, 2/3:
                            Bodyweight = N/A

                            Chins:
                            49 reps in 9 mins

                            Ab Wheel Rollouts:
                            69 reps in 9 mins

                            LISS Cardio:
                            30 mins treadmill - 3.7mph, 10% incline
                            Last edited by Nate B; 02-08-2019, 08:51 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #45
                              12-Week Strength - Week 8:

                              Monday, 2/4:
                              Bodyweight = 214.8

                              Squat:
                              355x1 @ 8.5
                              300x4x4

                              355 bar speed was okay, but still not confident in another two reps in reserve. Increasing my squat has been a struggle for the last couple months, but getting my technique a little more dialed in and getting my backoff and assistance work in should yield some progress sooner or later. I'm sure the SI tweak has played some role in this struggle, physically and mentally. I'll admit it shook my confidence in the bottom of the squat for a while.

                              Seated OHP:
                              162x1 @ 8
                              137x4x4

                              Knew after my last warmup (145x1) that I was feeling pretty strong today. 162 was night and day in terms of bar speed compared to last week, when it felt like @ 9. Blasted through the sticking point. Almost rated it @ 7.5. Backoff work was also smooth. Hopefully this is indicative of some bench progress to come, but regardless felt nice to dominate what was a difficult rep last week.

                              2ct Pause Bench:
                              165x8 @ 6
                              175x8 @ 7
                              185x8x3 @ 8, 8, 8.5

                              It's sometimes a struggle to keep the pause consistent during these relatively high rep sets. Some reps are more like a 1ct pause, some are like a 3ct.

                              Rear Delt Fly Machine:
                              50x15x5 @ 8

                              Comment

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