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Training 10/25-10/30

I need to be better about updating this more frequently. It gets absurd with even just a few days of not keeping it current.

10/30

  • Bench: bar x20, 140 x6, 170 x6, 185 5×6
  • Overhead Press: bar x10, 95 x6, 135 5×6
  • Upright Rows: 75 4×20

Tired today and cut it at that. Deadlifts and squats tomorrow so I want to keep my energy for that.

10/29

  • Squat: 285 4×3, 325 2×3, 365 x3, 405 3×2
  • CAT Squats: 365 4×3
  • Pause Squats: 325 2×6
  • Front Squats: 285 2×6
  • Snatch Grip Stiff Leg Deadlift (from deficit): 135 x8, 185 x8, 225 x8, 275 x6, 315 5×6
  • Chest Supported Rows: 4×10
  • BB Curls: 55 x10, 85 x5, 115 x10

10/28

  • Bench: bar x20, 140 x5 170 x4, 195 2×3, 225 6×3
  • DB Bench: 85 x8,8,6,6,6
  • Upright Rows: 125 4×12
  • BNP: 100 3×20
  • Pushdowns x a ton
  • Cable Curls: 90 x10, 130 x8, 170 x8, 80 x 15
  • Pulldowns: 6×20
  • Dips: 100 total

10/26

  • Deadlift: up to 455 x4
  • Block Pulls: 500 x1, 540 x3
  • Deadlift: 420 5×3
  • Deficit Dead: 380 x8
  • Squat: bar x20, 205 x5, 270 4×3, 310 x6, 350 x4, 390 5×2
  • CAT Squats: 350 3×4
  • Pause Squat: 310 3×6
  • Front Squat: 270 3×6

I was pretty much done by this point. This is an unusual amount of work/volume but I had to make up for not training Thursday. I was tired by the end, luckily this was the night of our Halloween party so I didn’t have time to think about how tired I was. I made doughnuts for the party and ate my fair share.

10/25

  • Bench: bar x20, 140 x8, 155 x7, 170 x6, 185 x5, 195 x4, 210 2×3, 225 2×2, 240 2×1, 225 2×2, 210 2×3, 195 x4, 185 x6, 170 x8, 155 x10, 140 x12

10/24

Took the day off.  I was feeling very beat up and needed the rest. I’m glad I took it.

This weeks training so far

WEDNESDAY 10/23

  • Squat: bar x8, 135×8, 205×5, 270 4×3, 310 2×3, 350 2×3, 390 3×2,
  • CAT Squats: 350 3×3
  • Front Squat: bar x5, 95×5, 135×3, 185×3, 225×2, 275×2, 315×2, 335×2, 315 2×3
  • Pause Squat: 310 2×6
  • Front Squat: 270 2×6
  • Speed Deads: 320 10×1 resting 2 seconds between reps

Decent session. I was a bit tired and it felt like it took a while to get things going.

TUESDAY 10/22

  • Bench: bar x20, 95×20, 140×5, 170×4, 195 2×3, 225 6×3
  • Incline: 95×15, 115×12, 135×10, 160×8, 185×6, 205×4, 225×2, 185×9, 125×20
  • Upright Rows w/EZ bar: 115 5×10
  • Pushdowns x a ton

I wanted 10 on the 185 but decided not to push that last rep and risk hurting myself since I don’t have a spotter. It’s not actually that I’ll get pinned by the weight, it’s putting it back since the incline bench at my gym is oddly built.

MONDAY 10/21

  • Squat: bar x8, 135 x8, 205 x5, 270 2×3, 310 2×3, 350 x3, 390 2×2,
  • CAT Squats: 350 2×3
  • Front Squat: 95×2, 135×2, 185×2, 225×2, 275×2, 315 4×2
  • Pause Squat: 310×6, 270
  • High Bar Pause Squat: 2×6

Had to cut it there. From some reason I woke up with a monster of a headache that just got progressively worse as the day wore on. This made squatting a bit tougher than I would have liked so I cut it there.

Training 8/19: Deload week

I haven’t posted my training in a while but I decided that I would start again. Having a daily jump off point to post daily gets me in the habit of posting more interesting things.

  • Bench – up to 225 x 1, 165 2×5
  • Floor Press – 3×3 135
  • Close Grips against 50 pounds of chains – 135 + chains 2×6
  • Seated DB Military Press – 2×8 40’s
  • Facepulls – 3×15 70
  • Kaz Press on Smith Machine – 3×6 120

My travels to Mexico netted me a nice 9 day stint with an intestinal parasite. Thanks to this, my strength took a BIG hit. Thankfully it is starting to come back. It still isnt 100% what it was but it should be in a week or 2. I’m hoping that it is because I’d like to do another competition in about a month.

I hate deloads. I know they are necessary and result in greater gains but I still hate them.

Fired up!

Training this week, frankly the last two weeks, hasn’t been so great. I’m not letting it get me down and I feel awesome. I’m fired up.

Sometimes we need a little external influence to reignite that spark. For me this video does it:

This shit makes me want to punch babies and kick puppies. Since I love puppies and babies and society would look down on me for doing that, even if I were just standing my ground, I’m going to kill some mother effin PR’s.

Good Job Modern Society…

I happened to be reading an article about the new Hercules movie that the Rock is working on (in case you haven’t heard, the Rock will be playing Hercules in a new film slated to be released sometime in 2014) when I came across this comment from a reader:

“Sorry, but that’s just to much muscle for me. It will feel like sleeping on a big pile rocks. I like the rock but that’s to much.”

Emphasis placed by me.

So much win.

What’s so wrong with being strong?

Why is a six pack viewed as so great? Why do people revere someone simply because they have the discipline to diet for 8, 12 or 20 weeks? Why don’t we share the same respect for someone who has the discipline to train hard and consistently for 8, 12 or 20 YEARS?

It’s saddens and sickens me how little respect for strength our society has today. People could care less that you might have a world record if you didn’t do it while being shredded to the bone. For the majority of human history, strength was something that inspired awe and envy. When did this change?

If you tell someone you are training to be as strong as humanly possible they laugh at you. If you tell them you are trying to get “shredded” for summer or to look good at a high school reunion they applaud your effort. I say fuck that.

I’m not arguing people should become obese slobs in their pursuit of strength. Rather, we should view the dedication that strength, true strength, takes as much more laudable than being kinda hungry for a few weeks.

The Last Week

As I stated in my previous post a week or so ago, I started training with Josh Bryant and completed my first week last week. I won’t be posting my training in great detail as that would be disrespectful to Josh and all the great work that he does (for a very reasonable price, I might add). However, I will give some of my thoughts into various aspects of the training.

The biggest change and hardest part, mentally, has been the change to 4 days per week training as opposed to my usual 6. I’ve been good and resisted the temptation to add anything. I’m using that time to try and catch up on some of the reading that I’ve wanted to do and really hone in on my programming. I want to go over 3 aspects of the program that I view as unique. Or at least different for usual. As an example:

Dead Bench Press –

Josh has written about this exercise in few articles and people rave about it. I can see why. EXCEPT that I really struggled with it. I was well below my max…like 30 pounds below. Mentally that is tough for me. However I can see how improving on these could carry over to my regular bench. I find that this is kind of an awkward movement and I have a hard time getting into my proper pressing groove. I read this to mean I don’t actually know my pressing groove or, at the very least, am not efficient with it.

3 Board Press –

I’ve never done any kind of board pressing or, for that matter, short(er) ROM training for bench. Though I should be able to use a substantial amount more than my current max, that was not quite the case. I attempted 10 pounds, a mere 3%, more than my max and was able to get it for a single. After one rep and my shoulder tightness was out the window and my left arm was flaring to an obscene amount. I know this is partly shoulder issues but also weak triceps. I knew that this was an issue but I had no idea that it was at this extent.

Speed Work –

I’ve done speed work in the past and didn’t think much of it. The difference with Josh is the weight. He uses percents that are much higher than what is typically called for in “traditional” speed work protocols. In this way, I can see how it would be a better system. Even though the weight may not feel like it’s moving “fast,” the intent is certainly there. This idea of intent is something that Chad Waterbury has talked about for a long time. Fred Hatfield, the progenitor of CAT/speed work, said similar things in his original concepts. I tend to agree with both of these guys. I’m excited to see how this translates to my maxes.

Overall, I’m liking it and plan to stick to it for the long haul. I have some very concrete goals that I want to hit by December and I know that Josh can help me get there. Especially by making my triceps stronger.

Update and BIG news

Today was official photo shoot day and it’s now in the bag. I got my (spray) tan on, shaved myself into prepubescence, and totally rocked it. Or so I imagine. I have yet to see any of the photos but will post some as soon as I have them. In the mean time anyone dying to get a look at my Herculean physique can check out the photos from last year. At bodbot.com or the mobile app of course (pale skin warning!).

I weighed an appallingly low 174 this morning. That’s utter insanity. I new my weight was down as a result of dieting for the shoot but holy hell. That’s low. I hadn’t weighed myself since the day of weigh-in’s for the meet but that involved me cutting water so it doesn’t really count, nor did I hold that for longer than about 2 hours. Considering my weight, carb and calorie levels, I’m quite happy with where my strength has been the last two weeks of training.Which brings me to my exciting BIG news.

I have started training with Josh Bryant.

Yes, the MetroFlex Mad Man himself. I’m stoked to start and already have my program set up waiting for me to start it Monday. In looking over the program I can tell there are things that will be a challenge but over all, for week 1 anyway, the hardest part will be training only 4 days per week. I’m so used to 6 that I won’t know what to do with myself those 2 extra days. Maybe I’ll take up horseshoes.

This also means that I am back in eating mode! Gain train, brah. It should be fun. I’m hoping to add some nice lean mass, and a little love fluff, up to around 195/200 and settle there for a while. This will allow me to continue competing as a 181 and redeem myself from last meets misses.

TRAINING TODAY

Despite spending 3 hours keeping a pump and demonstrating numerous exercises, I was feeling a bit rummy after the photo shoot so I went in and did this:

  • Incline Bench: 95 x 20, 135 x 12, 165 x 10, 185 x 6, 205 x 2, 215 x 1 , 225 x 1, 175 x 13 (rest 60) 6
  • Front Squat: warm up to 225 x 5, 275 x 3, 315 x 2
  • Squat: 185 x 28…at which point I ripped the ass out of my shorts
  • Face Pulls/Pushdowns: 5 x 15

Not sure why but the 315 double felt incredibly easy. Considering my weight and level of depletion I couldn’t have asked for more. I wanted to try for 50 on the squats – cause why not? – but had to stop due to the aforementioned wardrobe malfunction. I didn’t have a plan here since I’m starting on Josh’s Monday so this was just a whatever happens happens type of training.

It’s pizza night. I won’t be cooking, however, because it’s too damn hot in the city and a 650 degree oven in a small apartment doesn’t go well with that. Instead we are going to try a place I’ve been interested in for some time so hopefully I won’t be disappointed like usual. Time to EAT.

Yesterday

Squats and bench today. It went well. I feel really strong and powerful at the moment, which is a bit weird considering my diet which will end this week! Thank the lord. The photo shoot is Friday and I hope to come in looking better than last time, even if the time frame was much smaller.

It’s hard to describe but these last few sessions have been very taxing on a mental level. Even though I feel strong I have lost some weight and, thus, have to make the muscles work harder when doing anything instead of relying on body weight for stability and leverage.

  • Squat – bar x 15; 95 x 10; 135 x 10; 185 x 5; 215 x 5; 265 x 4; 305 x 3; 345 x 2; 365 x 1; 390 x 1,1; 345 x 2,2,2,2,2,2,2,2,2,2 (10)
  • Pause bench – bar x 20; 115 x 5; 165 x 5; 205 x 1; 220 x 5,5,4,4,4
  • 3-5 second pause squats – 155 x 5; 225 x 5; 305 x 5,5,4,4,4,
  • Incline DB Bench – 80 x 8,8,8,6,7
  • Close Grip Bench: 5 x 7 185
  • Russian Leg Curls – 2 x 5

As stated, everything felt pretty good but just took more deliberate effort than usual.  I’m going to start hitting these Russian leg curls every day for a few sets. I SUCK at them and can only assume that if I get stronger with them my other lifts will, hopefully, go up with it.

Last Weeks Training

I only got around to posting Monday’s stuff so here is the rest of the week.

4/24

  • Wide Grip Bench: 5 x 6 205

-superset-

  • Hack squats: 5×6 4 plates per side
  • Reverse Grip Bench Press: 5 x 6 185

– superset-

  • Russian Leg Curls: 5 x 5 BW (these are stupid hard)
  • Glute Bridges: 5 x 6 425

-superset-

  • Dips and triceps: x a bunch

4/26

  • 3 second pause bench: bar x 20,20; 125×5; 155×4; 175×3; 205×2; 225×1; 240×1; 250×1; 220 x 5,4,4,4,4
  • Pause squats: 305 x 5,4,4,4,4
  • Incline Press: 5 x 6 185

4/27

  • Block Pulls (stacked on 5 plates): 360×3; 420×3; 480×2; 510 8×2
  • Snatch Grip Deadlift: 325 x 5,4,4,4,4
  • Snatch Grip High Pulls: 225 x 5,5,5
  • Press: 165 x 3,3,3; 155 x 3,3,3,3,3

I’m not including the extra back/biceps/shoulder work I do on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays. It isn’t very interesting. Just basic bodybuilding shit.

Some days, such as Friday, I didn’t do all of my planned accessory stuff but did manage to get all the important stuff in. This diet isn’t too bad and my energy for the main lifts is fine. What I’ve noticed, rather than a drop in strength, is a lack of session endurance. Not totally unexpected I suppose.