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  • #46
    12-Week Strength - Week 8:

    Tuesday, 2/5:
    Bodyweight = 215.8

    Deadlift Rehab:
    135x6
    185x6
    225x6
    255x6
    275x6
    295x6 @ 7

    Back felt okay. Not great, but okay. More load related than the speed of the movement without a tempo. I'll continue to keep an eye on my loading while my back still isn't 100%.

    Bench:
    252x1 @ 8
    220x3x5

    Felt very strong in warmups. Smoked 252, may have been a 7.5, but also might've started the press off the chest a little quick. Had control of the bar on my chest on video, but it probably would've been a bit of a quick press command in a competition. Wish I had gone for 255+ based on how easy 252 felt.

    Beltless Squat:
    225x8 @ 6
    235x8 @ 7
    250x8x3 @ 8, 8, 8.5

    No shoulder/arm pain or numbness this week. Increased the load by 5 lbs.

    Comment


    • #47
      12-Week Strength - Week 8:

      Thursday, 2/7:
      Bodyweight = 213.6

      2ct Pause Squat:
      290x1 @ 8
      280x3 @ 9
      265x3x2 @ 8, 8

      My internal count must've been a little quick, because most of these reps were 1.5 count. Must've subconsciously been speeding up because I knew the load was a little heavier than last week. Probably didn't influence things all that much to be honest.

      Floor Press:
      255x1 @ 8
      245x3 @ 9
      230x3x2 @ 7.5, 8

      I don't know if I'm doing something wrong, but I have the hardest time unracking the bar off the J-hooks. Considering getting someone to lift off for me, but that seems silly.

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

      DB Curls:
      35s x 15x4 @ 8
      35s x 14 @ 8

      Cable V-bar Triceps Extensions:
      120x15x5 @ 8
      Last edited by Nate B; 02-08-2019, 07:54 PM. Reason: copy/paste issues

      Comment


      • #48
        12-Week Strength - Week 8:

        Friday, 2/8:
        Bodyweight = 214.2

        2ct Pause Deadlift Rehab:
        135x6x2
        185x6
        225x6
        265x6x2 @ 7

        Felt pretty good during the movement - tightened up a little afterward. Was able to work out the tightness during warmups for RDLs later on.

        TnG Bench:
        260x1 @ 8
        250x3 @ 9
        235x3 @ 8, 8.5

        Closed out a pretty great week of pressing gains.

        RDL:
        215x8 @ 6
        225x8 @ 7
        235x8x3 @ 8

        Like I stated in my pause deadlifts notes, I was a little tight at the beginning of these. By the time I got to 235, though, I felt pretty good again.

        Saturday, 2/9:
        Bodyweight = 213.6

        Chins:
        45 reps in 8 mins

        Ab Wheel Rollouts:
        67 reps in 8 mins

        DB Curls:
        35s x 15x4 @ 8
        35s x 13 @ 8

        Cable V-Bar Triceps Extensions:
        120x15x5 @ 8

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

        Comment


        • #49
          12-Week Strength - Week 9:

          Monday, 2/11:
          Bodyweight = 213.6

          Squat:
          355x1 @ 8.5
          365x1 @ 9.5
          315x4x3 @ 8, 8.5, 8.5

          355 still a little slow. Misgrooved on 365x1 which made it feel harder than it should've. Been racking up a lot of not so good competition squat sessions recently. I'm still having trouble maintaining technique under 90%+ loads, which I thought I'd be better at by now in my training. I figure my tight back has to be playing a role in my stalled progress. After I compete in about a month I'm going to take a few weeks to really focus on getting the tightness/pain to completely go away. I'm still getting better each week, but I'm still not all the way better yet.

          TnG Bench:
          260x1 @ 8.5
          265x1 @ 9
          230x4x3 @ 8

          Lost tightness on the single @ 8, which may have caused me to undershoot RPE for the single @ 9. Backoff work was pretty easy.

          2ct Pause Bench:
          200x4 @ 7
          205x4 @ 7.5
          215x4 @ 9
          205x4 @ 8

          Rear Delt Fly Machine:
          60x13x5 @ 8

          DB Curls:
          35s x 15x4 @ 8
          35s x 13 @ 8

          Tuesday, 2/12:
          Bodyweight = 213.6

          Deadlift Rehab:
          135x5x2
          185x5
          225x5
          255x5
          275x5 @ 7

          Back felt more painful than usual today, so I took it a little easy. For comparison, I did 295x6 @ 7 last week. Weight moved very smoothly, but just didn't want to push it. Not too concerned.

          Bench:
          255x1 @ 8
          265x1 @ 9
          235x3x3 @ 8.5, 8.5, 9

          Had a guy give me commands for the two singles, and I plan to continue with this leading up to my meet. He may have been a little quick with the press command, but the bar was at rest and under control on my chest when I watched the video back. I think the length of the pause will really depend on the judge, but I just wanted to get used to starting, pressing, and racking on someone else's command rather than in my head.

          2ct Pause Squat:
          255x4 @ 7
          265x4 @ 8
          275x4 @ 9
          255x4 @ 7.5

          Cable V-bar Triceps Extensions:
          130x12x5 @ 8

          Comment


          • #50
            12-Week Strength - Week 9:

            Friday, 2/15:
            Bodyweight = 213.6

            Pin Squat
            295x1 @ 8
            285x3 @ 9
            270x3x2 @ 7, 8

            These help to continue to expose a flaw in my squat technique that might be playing a role in my stall. I don't want to over analyze this, especially so close to a meet, but I start a little too in my heels in the descent, then tip forward right before I reach depth and when coming out of the hole, putting the bar in front of midfoot. It's most evident when I get back up to the top and my weight shifts back from my toes to my heels, and the barbell actually rocks back a bit. Using a motion tracking software to watch my videos (filmed from the side) has helped expose the inefficiencies in my bar path. Other than the master cue (being very conscious of keeping the barbell over my midfoot), I'm trying to set my knees earlier in the descent as well as actually trying to mentally raise my chest before my hips on the ascent. Obviously, this doesn't actually happen, but it keeps me from raising my elbows & hips too fast out of the hole. I'm also experimenting with fixing my gaze a couple feet farther out in front of where I was previously looking. We'll see how it goes.

            Pin Bench:
            245x1 @ 8
            235x3 @ 9
            225x3x2 @ 7, 8

            I'm pretty happy with where my bench is right now. Hopefully this peaking phase goes well and translates into some good lifts in a few weeks down the road at my meet. Bench is really the only lift I feel confident in right now, with my squat being stalled and my deadlift really being N/A right now.

            2" Deficit Deadlift:
            265x5 @ 6
            275x5 @ 7
            285x5 @ 8
            275x5 @ 7

            Surprisingly, these did not give my back any trouble at all. I think being adequately warmed up really helps how my back feels. I'll have to keep this in mind and spend considerably more time warming up on "deadlift days" when I'm doing deadlifts as my first lift of the day. It's still about a month away, but I'm considering attempting deadlifts at my meet if I'm feeling good after the three squat attempts. Obviously won't be trying to set any PRs, but I may see where I'm at regarding a single @ 8 and use that as my target third attempt for the day.

            Saturday, 2/16:
            Bodyweight = 213.6 <--- bodyweight has been very constant for the last week. Might see if I can pull a "Starting Strength" move and eat past my squat stall in this final month leading up to the meet haha.

            Chins:
            44 reps in 8 mins

            Somewhat disappointed that my chins performance has been going down a little bit. Chins aren't a competition lift, obviously, but I still care about them because banging out a bunch of bodyweight chins is pretty badass.

            Ab Wheel Rollouts:
            66 reps in 8 mins

            DB Curls:
            35s x 15x4 @ 8
            35s x 13 @ 8

            Cable Rope Triceps Extensions:
            110x14x4 @ 8
            110x13 @ 8

            LISS Cardio:
            30 mins treadmill - 3.7mph, 10% incline
            Last edited by Nate B; 02-20-2019, 01:58 PM.

            Comment


            • #51
              12-Week Strength - Week 10:

              Monday, 2/18:
              Bodyweight = 213.8

              Squat:
              355x1 @ 8.5
              365x1 @ 9.5
              325x3x2 @ 8, 8.5

              Feel like I've just been beating my head against the same wall for the past several weeks. I really need to figure out my shitty bar path - bar drifts forward from midfoot in the bottom 1/3 of the movement, both on the ascent and the descent. It could be losing tightness in my upper back, letting my knees get too far forward, leaning forward too much, or likely a combination of all three and possibly more. Ever since using the motion tracking software, I've come to realize how bad it really is - my sticking point makes so much sense now...of course it's getting exposed with 90%+ work, it's a lot harder to good-morning grind 350+ out of the hole than high 200s. On the plus side, I think fixing this deficiency in my technique is the only thing that's between me and continuing squat progress, so I just have to do it. I remember that something clicking with my deadlift form is what helped my deadlift shoot up during the Bridge, and more recently getting more accustomed to paused benches has helped me stay in the groove and has kept my 1RM climbing up. I'll start looking around for some cues and/or drills to help with my squat, as well as just being very conscious of the master cue. Hopefully I can kill some bad habits and reinforce some good ones before meet day and put up some respectable numbers.

              TnG Bench:
              260x1 @ 8
              270x1 @ 10
              235x3x2 @ 8, 8.5

              Completely fucked up what was supposed to be the single @ 9 and ended up with a grinder. Lost my bracing breath off the chest, lost all tightness, and had to do my best to just muscle the bar back up. Ugly.

              2ct Pause Bench:
              205x4 @ 7
              210x4 @ 8
              215x4 @ 9
              205x4 @ 8

              Was starting to feel pretty fatigued at this point.

              Rear Delt Fly Machine:
              60x13x5 @ 8
              Last edited by Nate B; 02-20-2019, 02:19 PM.

              Comment


              • #52
                12-Week Strength - Week 10:

                Wednesday, 2/20:
                Bodyweight = 213.8

                Deadlift Rehab:
                135x5x2
                185x5
                225x5
                275x5
                305x5 @ 7
                315x5 @ 8

                My back has felt fantastic for the last few days, and these deadlifts felt great. Very pleased.

                Bench:
                255x1 @ 8
                265x1 @ 9
                235x3x4 @ 7.5, 8, 8, 8

                Had someone give me commands again. They were a little slower than the guy last week, and the weight moved about the same, so I was pretty happy about that. May be contacting the bar a smidge too low on my chest, I'll keep an eye on it.

                2ct Pause Squat:
                255x4 @ 7
                265x4 @ 8
                275x4 @ 9
                255x4x2 @ 7.5, 8

                I over-corrected a little bit on my descent and stayed too far in my heels. Evident by the bar path and some slight twinkle toes. Did a better job of setting my knees and staying in my quads a little more. Some reps I drove the bar up in a straight line, others I fell back into letting my hips take over early and raising them a little quicker than my chest, causing me to shift my weight onto my toes. I realize that not only is this a fairly well ingrained habit, but an overly hip-dominant squat is also my strongest position at the moment, so it'll take some time for my quads to adjust. I will probably have to lower the weight at some point, but I'm going to keep plugging along until my meet day is in the rear view. Also, if I was rocking my weight back too far onto my heels on the descent, then my natural tendency would be to shift forward on the ascent, so if I clean this up it might not be as bad next time. I understand this is going to be a process, but it's important to improve my technique so I can keep making progress in the long run. Post meet, I'll try to keep working on good technique and developing my quad strength so I'm not so hip dominant. I'm already planning on incorporating some more SSB squats - from what I understand, they should force me to keep my upper back locked in as well as develop quad strength, while also not forcing me to be too upright or get my knees too far forward, like a front squat would do. For the time being, though, I'm just going to correct my form on the fly without deloading so close to meet day.

                DB Curls:
                40s x 12x3 @ 8
                Last edited by Nate B; 02-21-2019, 05:12 PM.

                Comment


                • #53
                  12-Week Strength - Week 10:

                  Thursday, 2/21:
                  Bodyweight = N/A

                  Chins:
                  42 reps in 7 mins

                  Ab Wheel Rollouts:
                  59 reps in 7 mins

                  Cable Rope Triceps Extensions:
                  110x14x3 @ 8

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

                  Friday, 2/22:
                  Bodyweight = 214

                  Pin Squat
                  295x1 @ 7.5
                  285x3 @ 9

                  Single @ 8 was a good rep. Reps 1 & 3 of the 3 @ 9 were good, but I let rep to drift forward. Overall, bar path was better, but I assume I won't be able to get it where I'd like without addressing my likely weak quads.

                  Pin Bench:
                  245x1 @ 7.5
                  240x3 @ 9

                  245 was butter, so I only dropped down to 240 for the set of 3 @ 9. Good call.

                  2" Deficit Deadlift:
                  265x5 @ 6
                  275x5 @ 7
                  285x5 @ 8
                  275x5 @ 7

                  My back felt good again for these. My strength is still pretty low, but I'm very encouraged by the number of good deadlift sessions I've been racking up lately.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    12-Week Strength - Week 11:

                    Monday, 2/25:
                    Bodyweight = 214.6

                    Squat:
                    355x1 @ 8.5
                    365x1 @ 9
                    335x3x3 @ 9, 9.5, 9

                    365 went better than 355. There was still grind, but the bar never came close to a stop in the sticking point - more of a slow yet constant upward path. It's easier to force myself not to raise my hips on a pause or pin squat, since there's no bounce, but I think that the slight good morning has gotten so ingrained in my form that it's become apart of my bounce. In addition to some quad specific work, I think doing some relatively light volume work with proper technique after my meet is done with will help break this habit. I might be looking forward to this more than the meet itself, since my squat has been so frustrating.

                    TnG Bench:
                    260x1 @ 8
                    270x1 @ 9.5
                    245x3x3 @ 9, 9, 9.5

                    Technique broke down a few inches off the chest on the single @ 9. I needed to do a better job with the cue of throwing the bar back over my head on the way up - I got stuck pushing the bar pretty much straight up off my chest, then was able to finish the lift once I got back on the right path. Couldn't rate it @ 9, but not nearly as bad as last week. Nothing noteworthy about the triples @ 9.

                    2ct Pause Bench:
                    205x4 @ 7
                    210x4 @ 7.5
                    220x4 @ 9
                    210x4 @ 8

                    Felt stronger than last week. I did TnG first, then squat, so I was able to give my benching muscles a bit more of a rest before the 2ct pause work.

                    Rear Delt Fly Machine:
                    60x13x3 @ 8

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Wednesday, 2/27:
                      Bodyweight = 214.2

                      I'm out of town in Louisville for a work trade show/conference for the rest of the week, so I lifted at an unfamiliar gym. Old school hole in the wall gym - nice environment, but some pretty subpar equipment. Mismatched, rusty old plates and only one decent bar (Ohio Power Bar, which I hogged to myself). At least they had barbells and racks, and it's decently close to my hotel so I'll probably lift there again on Friday.

                      Deadlift Rehab:
                      135x5
                      185x5
                      225x5
                      275x5
                      305x5 @ 7
                      315x5 @ 7.5
                      [email protected] 8.5

                      My back went into some flexion on the last set with 325. Overshot the RPE a bit, but was very encouraged with how my back held up under flexion. Looking forward to making some progress again.

                      Bench:
                      255x1 @ 8
                      265x1 @ 9
                      245x2x3 @ 8.5, 9, 9

                      265x1 was basically touch and go. The guy I had spot me was very distracting - he hovered his hands an inch from the bar on the descent, and I he didn't understand that I was pausing my reps for 1ct, so he touched the bar after I paused it for literally a millisecond, thinking I was failing the lift. Backoffs were harder than I expected. I think I was a little fatigued from setting up the trade show booth earlier in the day (had to unload and set up some heavy equipment all by myself for about 3 hours).

                      2ct Pause Squat:
                      255x4 @ 7
                      265x4 @ 8
                      275x4 @ 9
                      255x4x2 @ 8, 8.5

                      Very tired by the end of these. Poor ventilation in the gym, so it was hot, and I just felt done for the day.

                      DB Curls:
                      35s x14x3 @ 8

                      Cable Rope Triceps Extensions:
                      110x15x3 @ 8

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        I went to bed on Wednesday feeling physically tired, but not in pain. However, when I woke up Thursday morning I couldn't bend over to put on my socks or tie my shoes without experiencing sharp pain in my lower back. I tried to do some GPP and cardio after breakfast, and couldn't do ab wheel rollouts because the pain in my back was too severe after I got to about halfway extended. The pain was the worst it's been since I started doing my rehab work.

                        In hindsight, I should've played it a little more safe on Wednesday. That day, I spent my morning driving a truck full of equipment down to Louisville for three hours (driving makes my back tighten up), then spent another 4 hours setting up said equipment - some of which was heavy, but regardless it involved a lot of bending and lifting. After all this, I trained at normal intensity with normal loads. I should've known that I might've been pushing it too hard, because halfway through my training session, I was getting very fatigued. I probably would've rated the session RPE @ 9. My back didn't hurt, but I just felt exhausted overall.

                        I ended up not training on Friday, due partly to being busy all day with work, but also because I knew that I would have to load all the equipment back up and drive three hours back to the office the next day, and didn't want to feel that shitty all over again. My back ended up feeling fine by Friday morning, but I didn't want to risk it. At first, I panicked thinking that I had suffered a major setback and was going to have to start this rehab process all over again. However, I told myself to not freak out and that it was probably just some inflammation due to overuse from my physically demanding day on Wednesday. Ended up being right, because I was able to load up and drive back home on Saturday with little pain, and got through my training fine on Monday.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          12-Week Strength - Week 12:

                          Monday, 3/4:
                          Bodyweight = 215

                          Squat:
                          350x1 @ 8
                          365x1 @ 9
                          340x3 @ 9.5
                          335x3 @ 9

                          Didn't even mess around with 355 today. Figured it would be better for my confidence in my technique if I hit smooth reps vs trying to increase my 1RM at the moment. Not shooting my hips up out of the hole and staying in my quads definitely makes some reps move slower, but they feel less grindy. The "hips shooting up" technique feels like I'm moving faster because my hips are rising quick, but the BARSPEED is about the same because instead of getting to the sticking point fast, the bar coming close to a stop, then fighting to get the bar back to midfoot, I'm slowly moving the bar (relatively) over midfoot. Still not perfect, but getting better. I'm sure once my quads get stronger and my improved technique becomes more ingrained, it won't move quite as slow.

                          TnG Bench:
                          260x1 @ 8
                          270x1 @ 9
                          250x3x2 @ 9, 9

                          All these reps were smooth this week. Didn't have any form breakdowns like last week. Feeling confident in my bench going into this meet.

                          2ct Pause Bench:
                          210x4 @ 7.5
                          210x4 @ 8
                          220x4 @ 9
                          210x4 @ 8

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            12-Week Strength - Week 12:

                            Wednesday, 3/6:
                            Bodyweight = 214.2

                            Deadlift:
                            345x3 @ 8.5
                            315x5x2 @ 7.5, 8

                            Decided to give a heavy-ish triple a try to get a better idea of what I'll pull at the meet next weekend, if I pull at all. Overshot my target @ 8 RPE a little bit, as I'm fairly detrained with heavy pulls. Did backoff work with 2 sets of 5 @ 8, and I intentionally tried to undershoot a little bit. I'm writing this log entry on Friday afternoon and my back feels fine, so I feel pretty good about at least doing a deadlift opener at the meet, unless something changes.

                            Bench:
                            255x1 @ 8.5
                            265x1 @ 9.5
                            245x2x3 @ 9, 9, 9

                            Had a pretty experienced powerlifter give me commands for the singles. He intentionally waited a few seconds long before giving the "start" command for the single @ 8 and waited a beat longer than I thought he would before giving the "press" command for the single @ 9. He said that it really depends on the judge as to how quick the commands are given and isn't always as dependent on how well you control the bar, which I knew was the case but had never had someone wait a little longer to give the commands in training. Reminded me to pick a very conservative opener at the meet - something that I could triple for a 2ct pause bench - in case I get a judge that really makes you pause it on your chest or wait to start, etc.

                            2ct Pause Squat:
                            255x4 @ 7.5
                            265x4 @ 8
                            275x4 @ 9
                            255x4x2 @ 8.5

                            My technique is improving, but I shift my weight too far onto my heels in the descent now to accomplish the correct position at the bottom. I'm definitely close enough to the meet where I just have to squat with the technique I've got that day, so I need to spend next week making sure I don't have too many cues going through my head at once and throw myself off on meet day.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              12-Week Strength - Week 12:

                              Friday, 3/8:
                              Bodyweight = 214.8

                              Pin Squat
                              300x1 @ 8
                              300x2 @ 9.5
                              290x2x2 @ 9, 9

                              Single @ 8 went well, lost it on 300 a bit. Really looking forward to getting my technique cleaned up.

                              Pin Bench:
                              250x1 @ 8
                              250x2 @ 9
                              235x2x2 @ 8.5, 9

                              Went fine, added 5 lbs from last week. I think I've realized my bench strength that I built earlier in the program, so I'm excited to compete next weekend.

                              2" Deficit Deadlift:
                              265x4 @ 6
                              275x4 @ 7
                              285x4 @ 7.5
                              275x4 @ 7

                              Difficult to rate these RPEs. I'm still a little wary of pushing a deficit deadlift before my meet with my lower back still not feeling great.

                              Saturday, 3/9:
                              Bodyweight = 215

                              Chins:
                              34 reps in 5 mins

                              Ab Wheel Rollouts:
                              45 reps in 5 mins

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

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                12-Week Strength - Week 13:

                                Monday, 3/11:
                                Bodyweight = 215

                                Worked up to my openers today. The template calls for singles @ 8, but since this is my first meet I'm being very conservative with my openers and going with basically singles @ 7.

                                Squat:
                                340x1 @ 7

                                Felt understandably easy, with some slowdown in the familiar spot a few inches out of the hole. Hips still rose first out of the bottom, even at this manageable of a load. I've conceded to just see how much I can squat with this form on Saturday. Goal third attempt is 172.5 kg (380 lbs).

                                Bench:
                                245x1 @ 7

                                Got what I felt like was a bit of a slow count from my spotter, so I feel pretty good about this as an opener on Saturday. Goal third attempt is 125 kg (275 lbs).

                                Deadlift:
                                355x1 @ 7

                                Got this up very easily. Felt a bit of a strain on the lower back, but I think that's just because it's still the weak link in the lift. I'm still going to play my deadlift attempts by ear on meet day, based on how my back is feeling after three heavy squat attempts, but if I can comfortably deadlift something around 175-180 kg (385-396 lbs) I'll be pretty satisfied.

                                Comment

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