52 Weeks To My 1st USAPL Raw Nationals as a Masters 1 (age 40-49) Lifter 52 Weeks To My 1st USAPL Raw Nationals as a Masters 1 (age 40-49) Lifter - Page 6

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Thread: 52 Weeks To My 1st USAPL Raw Nationals as a Masters 1 (age 40-49) Lifter

  1. #51
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    Default End of Last Week

    • phoenix arizona seminar date
    • texas seminar date
    Sunday morning weight check: 212.8 lbs. That's the same weight 2 weeks in a row.

    I'm exhausted, and have been for a few days. I can't even pinpoint why. I'm not any more sleep deprived than normal, so I don't know what the reason is. Regardless, that's primarily why I haven't trained since Friday. But hopefully, I'll get back in there tomorrow some time after work. Meanwhile, thank you in advance for reading Friday's log entry:

    Fri. 5/3/19

    Alternated sets of 1-3

    1. Double Handed Lawn Mowers - wrapped a band around the bottom of the rack, and pulled up fast like an exaggerated lawn mower start

    12 right + 12 left
    12 left + 12 right
    12 right
    12 left

    2. Bench Press
    115/6
    165/6
    215/6 @8 RPE
    215/6 @7
    215/6 @6

    Finding my groove and fixing my foot placement made these get easier as I went along.

    3. Snatch Grip RDL
    135/12
    185/6 + 6 - I had to sit the bar down for a few moments because my grip was struggling.
    225/12 x 3 sets, all @7, used Versa Gripps on these

    Alternated sets of 4-6

    4. Pec Deck
    90/12
    110/12 x 2 sets

    5. Rear Delt Machine
    35/12 x 3 sets

    6. Curl Machine - I probably haven't used one of these in 12 years, but I tried this on a whim and liked it.
    30/12
    45/12 x 2 sets

  2. #52
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    Default How Could I Forget?

    Somehow, I managed to forget to prepare for training in Ramadan, which began on Monday. For those who may not be familiar with it, Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, and one of the primary observances is to abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset every day during the month. Full disclosure: when the month falls in the spring and summer, I usually drink during the day when I work. I'm a mailman, and perhaps I'm not as pious or zealous as I should be, but I've tried going dry through a work day and I don't think what I experienced is what the fast is supposed to produce.

    Going without food that long (14-14.5 hours per day this time of year) still presents difficult challenges. Among them, obviously, is how to train effectively within those parameters. Most years, I've gone into the month with a game plan. I just got caught slipping this year. So after training last Friday, I didn't end up training again until Tuesday. For now, my thought is to try these adjustments:

    * When possible, start training sessions an hour or so before sunset.
    * If I can't do that, then train at night but eat a little before training, then eat a lot afterwards.
    * Keep the core lifts on my 3x6 format, but reduce the number of work sets on everything else.
    * Take 2 rest days after each training session.

    We'll see how it goes over the next 26 days. Here's how the most recent session went...

    Tue. 5/7/19, 7:48-8:43 pm

    Alternated sets of 1 & 2.

    1. Squat

    135/6
    225/6
    285/6
    335/6 @6 RPE - hit the safety on the 3rd reps
    335/6 @7 - heard a slight "pop" in the hole on rep 2. Not sure if was a string in my shorts, underwear, or adductor. Jury is still out.
    335/6 @7.5 - more tired than usual at this point... not surprised

    2. Decline Sit-up

    12 reps each with BW, 10, 20 and 25 x 3 sets

    Alternated sets of 3-5.

    3. DB Inclines

    50's/15
    60's/15 @7.5

    4. Chest Supported Row

    100/8 overhand + 8 neutral
    140/10 overhand + 7 neutral

    I wanted 10 + 10 on the work set. Got caught a bit off guard. Might have been able to squeeze out an 8th rep.

    5. Kettlebell Swing

    35/20
    45/20

  3. #53
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by K.Diesel View Post
    For now, my thought is to try these adjustments:

    * When possible, start training sessions an hour or so before sunset.
    * If I can't do that, then train at night but eat a little before training, then eat a lot afterwards.
    * Keep the core lifts on my 3x6 format, but reduce the number of work sets on everything else.
    * Take 2 rest days after each training session.

    We'll see how it goes over the next 26 days.
    Since this post, it hasn't gone exactly as I'd planned. Work has made it impossible to get in the gym before sunset, so my last 2 sessions have been late-nighters again. Also, I ended up taking 4 days between sessions. These aren't even the 2 sessions I had planned, but more like one planned session that got cut short and then resumed 4 days later. But at least something is getting done, and hopefully the long term plan is working. Here's what I've been doing...

    Sat. 5/11/19, 11:50 pm - 12:35 am

    Did these like a circuit:

    1. Kettlebell Snatch - I guess these are actually hang snatches, since I didn't do each rep from the floor (?)

    20/10 left + 10 right
    25/10 left + 10 right
    25/12 left + 12 right x 3 sets

    2. Overhead Press

    95/6
    120/6 x 4 sets - all felt like @6 or @7 RPE

    3. Pullups

    BW/10 wide overhand
    BW/12 medium overhand
    BW/12 underhand
    BW/12 neutral

    Wed. 5/15/19, 11:41 pm - 12:39 am

    Alternated sets of 1 & 2

    1. Deadlift

    135/6
    235/6
    325/3 + 3 - staggered grip with no chalk or grips, so I stopped and switched the OH/UH halfway through
    375/6 x 3 sets - used Versa Gripps on these.

    The works sets felt like @6 or maybe @7 RPE. On sets 2 & 3, I made sure to pause in the bottom and reset for each rep. That actually felt easier than going touch and go. I suspect it's because I'm used to doing singles on deadlifts, and maybe most significantly, I was in a better starting position for each rep.

    2. Banded Lawn Mowers - I'm going to have to figure out what these are really called. It's like starting a lawn mower by twisting while holding a band.

    red band (no clue on resistance) x 15 reps x 6 sets (3 left, 3 right, 45 total reps per side)

    Alternated sets of 3 & 4

    3. Biceps Curl Machine

    35/12-15 (lost count)
    45/15
    50/12 @8.5 - pretty tough

    4. Triceps Dip Machine

    90/15
    130/15
    170/20

    The reps on that last set were very deliberate, and this still felt pretty easy. I like the feel of this machine, but it tops out at 200 lbs. If I'm going to continue to use it, then I'll probably have to use one arm at a time.

  4. #54
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    Default Should Be Back To Normal

    I haven't been slacking on posting. I've been slacking on getting to the gym, which is why I haven't been posting. However, I'm typing this recap as the fast of Ramadan comes to a close, so hopefully, I'll be eating and training more starting tomorrow.

    At the same time, there are other real life things putting some restrictions on my time, so I need to try to be more economical with my gym time. After a lot of reading and watching stuff from Dorian Yates and Dante Trudel among others, I'm going to try a more high intensity training approach. I started off last week with 2 sessions following the DoggCrapp (DC) Training split. I haven't incorporated any of its signature rest-pause sets yet, mostly because I've been running a significant calorie deficit during Ramadan and haven't felt as energetic. I'm starting with straight sets to failure my first time through. Plus, I've been avoiding sets to failure for years. I probably need some time to make a mental adjustment to that. There's more explanation in the video, which also includes some clips from the last 2 sessions:



    For those who haven't heard of DC Training before, the split involves two workouts (A & B) that get alternated over the course of 3 weekly sessions. So week 1 would be A-B-A, week 2 would be B-A-B and so on. The muscle groups are split like this:

    A - chest, shoulders, triceps, back width, back thickness
    B - biceps, forearms, calves, hamstrings, quads

    Everything is supposed to be worked in the order listed as well. I'll probably switch that from time to time, but generally I don't have a strong objection to it. Here's how it looked in the last 2 sessions...

    Thu. May 30

    1. Bench Press

    95/10
    135/6
    175/4
    210/11.5 @10 - could not lock out the 12th rep. Racked it on the low pin. Also, I don't like the flat bench at the new gym. It's too narrow.

    2. Seated DB OHP - neutral grip

    30's/12
    40's/8
    50's/10 @9.5

    3. Cable Pressdown - used V-handle

    35/15
    50/23 @9 - felt a tinge of nausea, or something that reminded me of it. I definitely undershot the weight. I don't think I want to go past 15 on a straight set for these. But I'm still feeling my way through this.

    4. Pull-ups - angled, underhand, shoulder width

    6 bodyweight negatives after jumping to the bar for each rep
    BW/12 @9.5

    5. Seated Cable Row

    70/10
    130/16 @9.5 - undershot again here

    Fri. 5/31

    1. Standing Barbell Curls - Olympic bar

    bar/12
    65/8
    85/11 @9.5

    2. Seated BB Wrist Curls - if I've ever done these, I can't remember

    warmed up by trying a set of reverse curls with the EZ bar
    65/20 @9

    3. Calf Press on Leg Press

    45/10-12 normal reps
    100/12 modified DC style reps - press as hard/high off the toes as possible, then a 5 second negative, followed by a 5 second stretch in the bottom position. I used a watch to time them. This one set took 3 minutes.

    4. Standing Cable Leg Curl - not sure I like them

    20/12 left + 12 right
    30/15 left + 15 right

    5. Leg Press

    270/10
    450/6
    540/13 @9

  5. #55
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    Default Resolving Stomach Problems, Refining a High Intensity Approach

    June has been an interesting month. Once Ramadan ended, I started ramping up my caloric intake. I also increased my training frequency. Granted, that was only up to 2 times per week, and some of those sessions were very late, but that's an improvement. I've also been tinkering with my workout template, and think I've settled on something that I believe I can stick with for the next 8 weeks, at which time I'll be forced to deload while on a family trip to Disney World. However, until this week, nothing has felt quite right with my stomach since some time in May.

    After some experimentation with what might be causing the gas and bloating I'd been dealing with, I realized that it was a staple of my diet: milk. Not all dairy foods... just milk itself. This was quite a shock because I've been chugging milk for decades with no problems, or at least none that I ever attributed to milk. I started taking those lactose pills, and sure enough, the gas I'd started experiencing and treating with gas pills after the fact went away. However, something even worse started happening with my stomach. I'm not even sure how to explain it succinctly, but suffice it to say, I wasn't feeling good. I was more tired than normal, and became convinced that I wasn't digesting much of what I was eating properly. I didn't think that could be from milk, since the lactose pills seemed to eliminate the worst symptom. But sure enough, I cut out milk a few days ago and all of the problems went away. So sadly, my lifelong love affair with milk may be over. I haven't yet figured out how I'm going to compensate for the lost calories (I frequently used milk as the base of shakes), but I feel much better. So much so, that this week may be the first week in over a month in which I train 3 times.

    Enough of all of that. Here's how I'm doing this high intensity experiment. I previously mentioned that I'm following the DoggCrapp (DC) Training split, with A & B workouts.
    A: chest, shoulders, triceps, back width and thickness
    B: biceps, forearms, calves, hamstrings and quads
    You're supposed to do the lifts in that order, but since I'm not actually doing DC, I've decided that my top priority strength lift is getting done first. So that means squats, deads, benches and OHPs will be first, and everything else after that on the respective days. I'm not doing the rest-pause method on everything prescribed either. For now, I want to see how I respond to straight sets taken to failure. Also, DC says you should have 3 exercises per bodypart and rotate them through your workouts, giving you A1-A3, B1-B3. Because of the limited equipment at my new gym, I'm just going with 2 lifts for now, so my workouts rotate with A1, B1, A2, B2, repeat. The goal is to train 3 times per week.

    Workout A1 - Tue. 6/25/19, 9:08-10:08 pm (including 5 minutes of stretching at the end)

    1. Bench Press

    Warmup
    95/8
    135/6
    175/4
    215/4
    235/2 - added elbow sleeves
    Work
    250/5 @10 - added mouth guard. This is +5 lbs and +1 rep from last BP (11 days)
    225/7 @10 - I'm just starting to add a backoff on the main lift only, so no comparison to the last session.

    2. Standing DB OHP - neutral grip

    Warmup
    40's/8
    50's/8
    Work
    60's/7 @10 + 1 push press @10 - didn't put the weights down. The end snuck up on me, so I cheated another rep. Didn't lock it all the way. Didn't do these standing last time, but sitting was 50's/10 @9.5 on 5/30

    3. Cable Pressdown - rope attachment

    Warmup
    40/13
    Work
    60/13 @9.5 - added mouth guard. For some reason, I didn't write down exactly what I did last time (8 days)

    4. Chest Supported Row - Overhand grip. I do these with my feet in a staggered stance, so I don't cheat, but my chest isn't crushed against the pad.

    Warmup
    100/10
    150/7 - added mouth guard
    Work
    195/8 @9.5 - used Versa Gripps. +5 lbs, +2 reps (11 days)

    5. Pullups - Neutral grip.

    Warmup
    BW/6 negative-only reps - jumped to top of the movement, and lowered myself under control
    Work
    BW/10 @10 - added mouthguard

    Workout B1 - Wed., 6/26/19, 9:25-10:19 pm

    1. Squat

    Warmup
    135/8
    225/6
    285/4
    335/3 - added mouth guard
    380/2 - switched things up and added belt here. Normally would add wrist wraps here and the belt on the next set.
    Work
    410/5 @10 - added wrist wraps. +5 lbs, +1 rep (11 days). I'm rating this @10 by default. I lost my balance on the last rep, as in my heels rose off the floor and everything shifted onto the balls of my feet and toes. If that has ever happened to me, it has been a long time.
    365/6 @9 - I know I had one more, but after the near-debacle on 410, I didn't want to grind out an @10 rep here.

    Exercises 2-5 were done as a circuit.

    2. Machine Curl - I figured out that with the swivel handle, I can make this a combo forearm-to-bicep curl by flexing my wrists.

    Warmup
    40/10
    Work
    60/9 - since I did the heavy back stuff the day before, I didn't want to go @10 on my still-tired biceps the next day

    3. Seated Leg Curl

    Warmup
    90/12
    Work
    130/13 @9.5 - added mouth guard. +10 lbs, same reps (19 days)

    4. Calf Press - on leg press

    Warmup
    115/13
    Work
    205/13 @9.5

    5. Decline Sit-ups

    Work
    BW/20, 20

  6. #56
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    Default Recap Video & 2 More Workouts

    Here's a recap video with the top sets of my 3 workouts last week. On commentary, I respond to a friend on Facebook who asked me to do a video addressing how to add variety in your workouts. I hope you'll take a few minutes to check it out. Thanks in advance!



    For the set by set record, here it is:

    Workout A2 - Sun. 6/30/19 5:00-5:55 am*

    * I don't know what was wrong with me. At the time I started my first warm-up set, I had been up for almost 23 hours, which included a 10 hour work day delivering mail in 90+ degree heat.

    1. Overhead Press

    Warmup
    bar/10
    85/8
    115/6
    135/4

    Rest-Pause Work Set - added mouth guard
    155/5 + 2 + 2 push press

    Last time (6/17) I did 6 reps followed by 2 push press. I chalked up the decline on the front end to fatigue.

    2. DB Incline Bench

    Warmup
    60's/10
    Work Set
    80's/10 @10 (same weight, +2 reps)

    3. Pulldowns (Overhand)

    Warmup
    100/10
    135/8
    170/6
    Work Set - added mouth guard and Versa Gripps
    195/12 @10 (same weight, +3 reps)

    4. Seated Row

    Warmup
    110/10
    Work Set - added mouth guard and Versa Gripps
    155/15 @10 (+5 lbs, +4 reps)

    5. Total Gym Core Trainer

    I just found this in a corner of the gym that I never go to. It seemed like a cool way to get some ab work in. It's like being in a plank, and you bring your knees into your chest. I did 2 sets of 20.

    Weird - after a slight decline in performance on the initial set of OHP (-1 rep), I managed to make improvements on all of the other exercises from the last time I did them. Either I wasn't pushing myself hard enough last time, or the OHP woke me up and kicked me into another gear. I hope I'm not up all night any time soon to find out.

    Workout B2 - Wed. 7/3/19 9:17-10:36 pm

    1. Barbell Curls

    Warmup
    bar/7, 8
    70/8
    Work Set - started with a negative after cheating the weight up to the contracted position
    90/10 + 1 cheat rep with slow negative

    2. Lying Triceps Extension - with EZ bar

    Warmup
    bar/several sets on 2 different benches - wasn't sure which I wanted to use
    +40/10
    +55/10
    Work Set
    +70/11 @10

    3. Calf Press - on leg press, slow eccentric and concentric with a brief hold in the top and bottom of each rep

    Warmup
    110/10
    Work Set
    210/12 (+5 lbs, -1 rep)

    4. Leg Extensions

    Warmup
    70/10
    Work Set
    110/16 @9? - not sure how to rate this RPE. I'm pretty sure my ROM was decreasing, but I could have done at least one more partial rep.

    5. Deadlift

    Warmup
    135/8
    225/5
    315/4 - added Versa Gripps
    395/3 - added mouth guard
    Work Set - added belt
    455/1 x 8 sets, completed in 7:21 (end of the 1st single to the end of the 8th).

    The gym is open tomorrow. Since I don't have to work, I might try to get in there tomorrow for Workout A1 (upper). But we have a few family plans too, so it might have to wait until Friday. We'll see.

  7. #57
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    Default The Heat Is On

    I'm happy with my first 2 sessions this week, especially considering that before the gym, I've been delivering mail in 90+ degree heat, with humidity over 90% and dew points of 75 degrees. It hasn't been pleasant. Wednesday's workout was in my last entry, so here is last night's.

    Workout A1 - Fri. 7/5/19, 9:40-10:40 pm

    1. Bench Press

    Warmups
    95/8
    155/6
    205/4 - realized I didn't have my Oly shoes on before this set, so I switched to them.
    230/2 - added elbow sleeves here

    Work sets - added mouth guard
    250/6 @10 (same weight, +1 rep) - will go up to 255 on my next A1 day, and shoot for at least 4 reps. Once I hit 6 reps, I'll go to 260.
    Rest-pause: 225/7@10 + 3@10 with a slow negative to the pins after the 3rd rep. Maybe 60 second break after the 7 reps.

    2. Chest Supported Row

    Warmups
    100/10
    155/7-8 (lost count)

    Work set - added mouth guard & Versa Gripps
    195/10 @10 with static hold on the 10th (same weight, +2 reps) - ROM was getting shorter

    3. Standing DB OHP - Neutral grip

    Warmups
    40's/8 - lats felt crazy from the CSRs
    50's/6

    Work set - added mouth guard
    60's/9 @10 (same weight, +2 reps)

    4. Pullups - Neutral grip

    Warmup
    BW/8 partial negatives after jumping to bar

    Work set - added mouth guard and Versa Gripps
    BW/12 @10 - (same weight, +2 reps) jumped to bar and started first rep w/a negative, slow negative after the last rep

    5. Total Gym Core Trainer

    20, 15, 15 - much more deliberate reps that the first time I used this.

    It's like being in a plank, and you draw your knees into your chest on a sled.


    I'm stoked that I went up in reps on everything since doing workout A1 on 6/25. Next time, I'm going to increase the weight up on BP and CSR. I'll stick with the same weight and shoot for more reps on DB OHP, and might do a rest pause with it. Same for pullups.

  8. #58
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    Default Some Amendments to High Intensity

    In the last few weeks, I've been feeling some lower back pain. It's not severe, but it's there, or at least it was. My doctor told me several months ago that I might have some degree of sciatica, but it had largely gone away until the last few weeks. I may need to change my shoes for work. But I've also decided to amend my "HIT" protocol, and not get close to failure on squats, deadlifts from the floor, and overhead presses. Those 3 strain my lower back more than anything else that I do, so my thought is to stay away from lifting my way into a predicament that puts undue stress on it. I'll be doing various things for those lifts. My first experiment is with cluster sets.

    Woke up weighing 210.8 lbs this morning. My numbers in the gym are going up, but the numbers on the scale are not. Ultimately, I think the latter needs to happen, even if I'm pulling off some miraculous body recomposition. I don't think that's what is happening. But I'll take whatever signs of progress I can get, especially after last week. Working in that heat wave wiped me out. I trained one and a half times, with the "half session" meaning that I quit during warmups for squats. In the 2 sessions I've done so far this week (I hope the third is tonight), I picked up where I left off from that aborted session...

    Workout B1 - Wed. 7/24/19

    1. Squat
    bar/6, 6
    135/6
    3 reps each at 185, 235, 285, 335 (added mouth guard), and 375 (added wrist wraps)
    added belt
    405/3 x 5 sets, completed in 11:00 (end of 1st set to end of 5th)

    As for RPE, I rated the work sets @6, @6.5, @7.5, @8.5 and @9

    2. Seated Leg Curl
    90/10
    rest-pause: 140/11 + 6.5 (ROM was short on the 7th rep)

    3. Leg Extension
    100/5
    140/16 @10 (ROM got short and couldn't hold contraction at the top)

    4. Machine Curls - added elbow sleeves
    40/10
    70/11 @10

    5. Lying Triceps Extensions w/EZ bar
    bar/10
    +50/10
    +80/10 @9.5

    6. Calf Press
    120/10
    210/18 @9.5

    Workout A2 - Fri. 7/26/19

    1. Overhead Press
    bar/8-10
    95/10
    115/4
    135/3
    added mouth guard
    155/3, 3, 3, 3 (added belt for 4th set), 2, 2

    Work sets completed in 8:20 (end of 1st set to end of 6th)

    2. Pulldowns
    80/10
    130/8
    170/7 - added mouth guard here
    200/12.5 @10 (couldn't complete full ROM on 13th rep) - used Versa Gripps for work set

    3. DB Incline Press
    60's/6, 6 - changed bench position from hole 3 to hole 2 (lower)
    80's/6
    added mouth guard
    drop set: 90's/8 @9.5 + 80's/3 @10

    Those 90's are the heaviest dumbbells in this gym. I'm not sure how much longer I'll be doing this exercise.

    4. Seated Row
    150/10
    added mouth guard and Versa Gripps
    210/13.5 @10 (couldn't finish ROM on 14th)

    5. Cable Pressdowns w/rope attachment
    35/5
    65/16 @9.5

  9. #59
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    Default Lower Back Pain Strikes Again

    starting strength nutrition camp
    Workout B2 - Mon. 7/29/19, 8:50-9:47pm

    1. Deadlift

    135/8
    225/4
    315/3 - started using Versa Gripps here
    385/1, 1 - put mouth guard in here
    425/1, 1
    added belt
    465/1 x 10 - all 10 singles were completed in approximately 28 minutes.

    Now for the interesting part...

    I was ecstatic that I was able to squat last Wednesday (7/24) without any lower back pain, which has become more common for me lately. I think it has much more to do with 7-10 miles per day of urban hiking for work than it has to do with lifting. It might be our mattress, but that's less than a year old so I doubt it. Anyway, I don't remember feeling any lower back pain in the last week to 10 days, which is around the time I replaced my work shoes. All of that changed on my first belted single.

    Looking at the video (which I need to upload), I didn't see any glaring technical flaw. But once the bar got about halfway up, I felt a sharp pain in my lower back. It was most prominent on the right side, under and just above the belt, but started there and wrapped around my spine to the left side of my back. I put the bar down, discouraged and disgusted. My original plan was to do these singles on the clock like I normally do, and try to get 8-12 singles done with 60-90 seconds rest between each one. At this point, I was debating myself on whether or not to quit and go home, or try to get some more lifting done. Stubborn frustration won, and after a few minutes, I did a second single. That one hurt too, but not quite as bad. I waited a few more minutes and pulled it again. This one hurt much less, and the pain seemed to be confined to the right side at that point, but the weight felt ridiculously heavy and moved a lot slower than that weight should move for a 3rd single with plenty of rest. But at this point, I was cautiously optimistic that I could get my planned workload done without things getting worse.

    I took a lot more time pulling these than I planned, but my theory seemed to pan out, and the pain didn't get worse. However, Tuesday morning called, and I could get out of bed and move but I felt stiff, old and tired (more than normal). Muscle relaxers have helped over the last few days, and at this moment for the first time since my last warmup on Monday night, my lower back doesn't hurt. If I don't work overtime tomorrow and feel decent at the end of my shift, then I'll probably go to the gym for the next workout in the rotation, which would be bench, dumbbell overhead press, chins, chest supported row and something else. The "something else" will not be abs unless I just do a few timed planks. Fingers crossed...

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