Long week, new pull up bar, and grip

Wow, this week was a full week. Only managed one workout, on Monday, and todays workout will hopefully close the week out with a PR. Mentally exhausted is a good way to describe how I felt during most of the week.

Being mentally exhausted does not mean i didn’t enjoy it though. To be out in the field training Soldiers on their basic skills, and tasks is what I enjoy doing the most. With the position I now hold, most of my time is spent on administrative duties and paperwork, so a chance to get out there in the woods and move around is always welcome. Training the next generation of troops, is what keeps me feeling young.

Anyway, here is mondays workout. This was a light workout, and i finally got to use my new pull up bar in the garage.

  1. 4 rounds of 25 overhead squats with the bar only
  2. 4 rounds of: 5 ring pull ups, 5 eagle loop pull ups, 5 thick bar chin ups, 5 chin ups, 5 pull ups.
  3. 5 rounds of 10 24kg KB snatches (5ea hand)
  4. Finished with 100 band pull aparts

I am going to start working on my grip again. That was something i always enjoyed doing before, but for the last year I let it slide. My grip toys have been lonely, and collecting dust.

  • Right hand: 5 credit card set closes (CCS) with Ironmind #2; then 5 credit card set closes with my filed down #1
  • Left hand: 10 parallel set closes with the filed down Ironmind #1
  • Did all the closes without chalk.

The #2 I used for the right hand is a newer model I bought in 2008. It is a lot easier then my older #2 I bought back in 2004. My current goal is to get multiple CCS closes with my older filed down #2. My long term goal is to finally get a CCS with my Beef Builder Super Master. I can still close the super master with a parallel set.

I’ll post again later today, till then take care and good lifting



Garage pull up station

Garage pull up station

Found a great deal at the local Sports Authority. This pull up station was on marked down from $200.00 all the way down to $99.00. On top of that there was another discount as well, and the thing ended up costing around $85.
It’s stable, and after using it tonight, i like it. Now i just need a power rack, and i’ll never go to the gym again (ok, not never, but just not as often)

Week 4 recap pt2

I am feeling pretty sore today, so despite wanting to get a workout in, I decided to take it easy and focused on stretching, eating, and sleeping. The long week ahead was a big factor in the decision.

Here is yesterday’s workout. Saturday:

  1. Warm up- “the chain” from 20lbs to 80lbs by 5lb increments.
  2. 5/4/3/2/1 one hand dumbbell push press/jerks all with the 100lb dumbbell ( my left hand was a little weaker, only able to get the following reps 3/3/2/2/1)
  3. Bench Press – 10×165/ 8×195/ 6×235 all good and in good form
  4. Squats – 135×5/ 165×4/ 195×3/ 225×2/ 255×1/ 290×10 ( my hip area, was feeling very good today, and the doc couldn’t find any signs of a hernia earlier in the week, so i thought today was the day. All the reps were smooth, the weight was in the groove, and my confidence was up. Damn it, if i felt the twinge in the hip again. Oh well, its gone now, and no harm done, but i bailed on the set. Ugh, i hate set backs. )
  5. Seated Calves raise – 3x20x95

I am really feeling the overhead work from yesterday. Felt great despite the miss on the squats.

Take care, and good lifting


Week 4 recap pt1

This was another long week for work. I really don’t know where it went it flew by so fast. Monday:
I was really dragging ass, and just mentally tired, but went to the gym anyway. In the end i am glad that I did. Felt great afterwards and refreshed.

  1. Warm up: 1/2 mile run
  2. 4 rounds as fast as possible
  • 10 pull ups
  • 10 overhead presses with 20kg kettle bells followed by 10 pushups
  • 30 crunches
  • 40 air squats
  • 50 swings with a 20kg KB

I got all the exercises unbroken, and between rounds took minimal time to catch my breath before starting the next round. Total time including the warm up run was 32:26. Good workout, and in and out of the gym with a quickness.

I found an hour break in the morning, and went and got another quick workout in. I had seen the bench press/ pull up scheme before as a Crossfit workout somewhere before, and with the time constraint decided to try it.

  1. 5 rounds in 10 minutes of max reps bench press at body weight, and pull ups. The bar was loaded to 195lbs. Here are the numbers by round- 1) 20BP, 20PU; 2) 10BP, 14PU; 3) 6BP, 15PU; 4). 4BP, 8PU; 5) 2BP, 4PU. Total of 42 bw bench presses, and 61 pull ups in ten minutes.
  2. 30 second plank, followed by 30 second handstand (against a wall). Did 9 minutes of this, rotating front and side planks every set.
  3. 5 rounds of 40 step ups to a 18″ box, and 5 burpee pull ups in 20 minutes. I finished 3 of the last five burpee pullups when the timer sounded.

I usually do not try and hit total muscle failure on most exercises when I work out, but I am thankful for the saving pins of the power rack during the bench presses. From the third round on, the bar was left on the pins, due to failure, and after hitting the pull ups, picking the bar back up to the rack was not enjoyable while eating into what little rest I had between sets.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were all work and no play. I did get to the gym yesterday, and I have a quick workout planned for today, but I’ll post those this afternoon. Gotta run,

Take care, and good lifting


Last workout of week three (a miss on 20 rep goal)

The last workout of week 3. This week was a very busy week in regards to work. If it wasn’t training, it was meeting after meeting, paperwork catch up, more meetings, and finally looming over it all was the possibility of being called in to be a notification officer. To top it off, Friday was spent tending to one of the family dogs that had surgery and came home needing extra attention. Thankfully she came out of it doing fine.Saturday:
Warm up: 3 rounds
10 hindu push ups
10 military presses
10 rear delt flies
6 cossack squats each way
10 step ups 18″ box
3 pvc shoulder dislocates

Squat work

  1. 2 reps per weight, with breaks of 2 minutes between sets. Increased weight in 30lb increments till i hit 285.
  2. Loaded the bar to 290, and with no belt, went for 20 reps. I got 12 reps at parallel, but had to rack the bar after a failed 13th rep. My weight shifted squarely onto my right side and i again felt discretion was the better part of valor. During the whole warm up, and the squats leading up to the 20rep attempt, i made sure that the weight was even on both hips/ legs, and that the drive up to lockout was even. Everything went well until that 13th rep, and my focus shifted off of form, and so did the weight. With this weeks miss, 300×20 will be the goal for the six week cycle, that is if i make the reps and 5lb increase every week till then.
  3. Dumbbell pull overs at 40lbs for 20 reps
  4. Calve raises, seated 3×20 at 90 lbs of plates.

For a finisher, I grabbed the 20kg kettle bells, and set the clock for 10minutes. I was able to get 67 clean and presses in the 10 minutes. These were presses, and not push presses, or jerks. Not sure how this compares, because this is the first time i have done these for time, so i will compare future attempts to this.

Following the kettle bells, I did five minutes of Burpee Pull ups. I only managed 20 of these in the time allotted, but it felt good, and I believe my next 20 minute max rep attempt will yield higher numbers. 77 was my last total, and 100 in 20 min is my next goal.

Till next time, take care and good lifting


This week so far

This week has been a long one. Lots of stuff going on at work, and not much free time on the calendar for anything. I was able to fit some pretty good workouts in there, but this shuffling of the schedule is getting old, and a nagging injury has made me slightly gun shy while under the bar. Here are the workouts from this week so far…

Stamina focused-
10 down to 1 pull ups, with 25 reps of different ab exercises between sets.

5×5 of ankles to bar, with 25 reps of push ups between sets.

Bench press, and kb swing super set-
3 rounds with the rep scheme of 30-20-10
Barbell @ 155 lbs
KB @ 32kg

Whole workout took 45 minutes.

Squat focused-
Thick bar work
Over head press strict- 3×12 at 85lbs
Bent over row- 2×15 at 105lbs
Curls- 2×10 at 85lbs

Olympic bar bench press-
In between sets I performed 2 reps of squats working up by 10lb increments until it was time for the 20 rep attempt at 290. Now I had hernia repairs about 4 years ago, and they have never felt right since the repair. It has always been a mental block for me when ever I go for either max weights or effort. A week or so ago I tweaked something in my lower abs/hip flexor area, and I worry that it may be a recurrence. Time will tell. On the 20 rep attempt, I found my self shifting more of the weight over to my right side, like I was avoiding the injury. After 5 reps I racked the bar and called it a day. Shifting to one side every rep was not going to be good for anything other than hurting something. Oh well.

5 minutes max reps of KB snatches at 24kg – 90reps

Max reps of pushups before having to stop- 55 in 45 seconds

Max situps before having to catch my breath- 56 in 1 minute 10 seconds

1/2 mile run- 4 minutes (this sucks as a time btw, and I know I was dragging ass, but didn’t think it was this bad)

Finished with max reps of chin ups before loss of form- 26

Took me about 26 minutes including rests between exercises to complete.

I will post again this evening with todays workout. At least I am caught up. For now, take care, and good lifting.


Friday and today

Friday:The focus was on stamina, and moving constantly. I made a few adjustments to one of my old workouts, but kept the same scheme and was surprised at how fast i moved through it.

The only changes i made to my previously posted Stamina workout was the substitution of kettle bell clean and presses in place of the Mr. Spectacular exercise. I also replaced the windshield wipers with “ankles to bar”. This is still a count down work out with 5 rounds, trying to keep it all under 40 minutes.

  1. Warm up- i went to the weight room and did some shoulder raises- front, side, and rear; then hit several sets of machine rows and band pull aparts. After some cossack squats and lite jogging, the timer started.
  2. 1/2 mile run then
  3. Kettle bell clean and press with 20kg kettle bells. Reps per round were 10/ 8/ 6/ 4/ 2.
  4. Concept 2 rower set at 6 – tried to keep a 1:50 500m pace every round. Distance per rounds were 500/400/300/200/100
  5. Ankles to bar- 5/ 4/ 3/ 2/ 1
  6. Run 2 laps around the gym (10 laps = 1 mile)

Total time ended up being 32:29. I did find that my legs were a bit stiff while running, and i definitely need to work on my form again in order to lengthen my stride.

Today was over head and deadlift focused.

  1. Warm up- lap around the gym running, then sprinting the length of the basketball court 2 times between laps. Did this five times
  2. “the chain” with dumbbells. Worked up from 20lbs to a strict 80lbs by 10’s
  3. Barbell clean and jerk – worked up from 135 to 195 in 10lb increments. I went for a PR of 205, but had problems with getting it cleaned, so it wasn’t happening today.
  4. Dead lifts – 4×5 at 275
  5. Kettle bell farmers carry at 24kg bells for 500m

Felt good today, but i could feels the rowing in my back during the dead lifts. my cleans today were ugly, and the technique was just not there. I will say, the weight was going overhead very easily. I think another 5-10 pounds on top of my current 200lb PR was likely, if i could only get it to the rack postion.

This week was nowhere near structured, and i had to drop 2 workouts due to work requirements, but i think i made the best of it, and was able to attack the workouts harder knowing that i was not going at it all 5 days this week.

Till next time, take care and good lifting


Wednesday started on the right foot

Wednesday started off on the right foot indeed. Monday and tuesdays workouts did not happen due to work, and other time restrictions. So wednesday morning, after all the morning business was done, I found an hour and a half free, so off to the gym for the monday scheduled workout.

Thick Bar Work (2″ axle)-
Over head press 3×12 at 75lbs
Bench press 3×10 at 135/ 165/ 195
Bent over rows 2×15 at 135lbs
Curls 2×10 at 75lbs

Regular Barbell
Squats 1×20 today’s load was 285lbs
Dumb bell pullovers 1×20 at 50lbs

I tried something different this time. Immediately following every set of thick bar exercises I did 3 3eps of squats, adding weight to the bar 20lbs at a time till it was time for the 20 reps set. This really seemed to work out great as it added more intensity to the work, cut down on training time, and by the time I hit the squats I was thoroughly warmed up.

The 20 reps were done again with a loose belt to help with breathing. I had no issues with my hamstring, and despite some next day soreness, I felt great.

Wednesday, even though it started out on the right foot, ended up being a really long day. work started at the normal 0550, finished at 1800, but I ended up having to go back into work at 2130 to deal with an issue that came up and did not go back home until 0200 thursday. 2 1/2 hours of sleep and back to work at 0550 for the long slog through thursday knocked out my workout for that day. Friday I will do 2 workouts to catch up.

Until next time

Take care and good lifting,


Trap bars, and Farmers handles

Here are Fridays and Saturdays workouts, both being less than 50 minutes each. Nice to be in and out of the gym for a change.


Friday evening I was feeling very good. it was the end of the work week, I had passed the course i was attending for work and just ready to hit the weights again.

  1. I warmed up with some light calisthenics, and stretching, and finished with “the chain” working from 20lbs by 5’s to a strict 75lbs each arm.
  2. Trap bar dead lifts – I did several singles with increasing weight to 290. With 290 it was 20 reps. I did not get this unbroken, and it ended up being done in 5 rep increments. There was no long rests, just enough to shake the hands out, and re chalk before continuing the set. My hands were feeling a little beat up from the kettle bell work the day before.
  3. Dumbell pull overs – 1×20 reps with a 40lb dumbbell
  4. Finished off with 60 calve raises on plate loaded seated calve machine.

I was scheduled to finish up with some heavy farmers walks, but my hands were fried, so I put the farmers off till saturday.

Saturday – this was an unscheduled session, but i am glad i did it.
Warmed up with some stretching and moved into progressively faster 50m sprints until i felt sufficiently warm and loose.

  1. The only exercise was farmers carries.
  1. 115 for 2×75 meters
  2. 165 each hand for 1x 75 meters, and 1×50 meters (this is where my left hand gave out on me and i wasn’t able to hold on anymore even with a 2 minute rest.) I dropped the weight and then finished with
  3. 115 each hand x 25 meters

Slightly disappointed in my farmers walk, but it will improve. A co-worker and I did the farmers walk last year at the local Highland Games. 173 per hand. I got 5th place, and really want to win this year. For now, I am going to focus on the program at hand. But come the spring, farmers carries are going to occupy more and more of my attention. I now realize my grip strength has gone down some.

Until next time, take care and good lifting,


The Last Two Days

Tuesday had me worried, but today my hamstring is feeling much better. I shuffled two of the workouts around and did some swapping of exercises, but yesterday and today were good workouts. I feel like I am back on track for a good squat session on Monday.

Wednesday- pulled one of my old favorite favorites out of the trunk.

  1. 10 down to 1 pull ups, with 20 reps of push ups between sets of pull ups
  2. 10 down to 6 ankles to bar with 20 reps of ab exercises between sets
  3. Finished with some neck machine and 200 meters of farmers walk with 70lb dbs

I felt slow on the pull ups. I have been doing so many burpee pull ups, where the momentum helps get me to the top, that the strict full range movement feels slow and “out of the groove”.

Today- I was supposed go go snow shoeing, but decided the goal for this week was to make sure I was able to do the squats on monday, so I did a gym based session.

  1. Warm up 5×10 each arm of 24kg. Kettle bell snatches. After doing both arms, I did 20 band pull aparts.
  2. Concept 2 rower- 1000m, 1000m, 500m, 500m, 500m

The kettle bells feel like the pull ups from the other day. Slow and I was not able to get into the groove until the last set. Need to get my technique back.

Tomorrow is a quick but heavy weight day. Hopefully the leg feels as good as it does today.

Till next time, take care and good lifting