Great week, and a new challenge attempted

What a week! Work was unusually busy, but it worked out in my favor, it was a good recovery week. A regular meal schedule, several short low intensity workouts in the mornings to get the muscles and joints back in order, and at a minimum 6 hours of sleep a night all made the week worthwhile.

Last weekend

This past weekend I had two very long heavy lifting sessions in the gym, but they were very enjoyable and the bulk of the work was focused on low reps, and heavy weights. The squat day on Saturday was a catch up day, and i combined the two squat workouts from last week into one and hit both goals for the week: 265×3 on my fifth set, 225×20 after a quick breather, and 16×5 swings with the 48kg bell.

Monday was a day off from work, and got to shake things up a bit with Goerner’s “the chain”, mixed with some kettlebell work and some odd lifts with the barbell. With the squat racks occupied, I switched my plan of partial dead lifts from the pins, to one hand dead lifts with the cambered bar. Using the bar with a camber allows for one handed lifts without the worry of the bar rotating out of the fingers while lifting it like happens when using the straight oly bar. My last attempt on these about 3+ years ago I topped out at 305 right hand. This time I got 275 to lockout with both left and right hands, but 305 only got halfway up before my grip gave out with both hands. I did get further with the right hand though. Finished up the day with heavy squat lockouts in the rack taking 4 steps forward, and backward with the weight on the back as yoke walk practice.

End of the week competition

For morning PT session friday, my unit had a competition planned between several of the sections. It went pretty well, but the judging of the events turned out to be pretty loose when it came to standards on pull ups, dead lifts, and burpees. The pull up was where the biggest discrepancy was. Kipping guys kipped, strict guys did their thing, and some even did jumping pull ups. Lesson learned, and this will be explained better I hope next time to the judges. Overall it was a good workout, and several guys found out that they needed some work on their weak areas.

After the competition was dome, we got to split up and do our own workouts for the remaining hour or so of PT. With the kettlebells available, I decided to give the WKC’s Kettlebell Pentathlon a whirl.

Here is the link to their site for the details:

http://worldkettlebellclub.com/pentathlon/

I had only just read about this the day before, and was hooked on giving this a shot. It is well worth a try. It is setup so that anyone can do it. The weights used f or each exercise are up to you, and the Site also has all the information on technique etc for kettlebell lifting that one could ask for.

The weights are variable, but six minutes is six minutes, and those six minutes of exercise seem a lot longer than six minutes should. I was cussing my buddy out several times, thinking he was screwing with me while calling off times.

It being my first go at this event, I picked the 24kg bell. I kept it loaded at 24kg for all the exercises except for the Half Snatches, for these I went with the 20kg bell. My palms thanked me this morning, and my callouses are are still intact.
Below are my totals and overall score:

  1. 106= 318
  2. 56=168
  3. 86=258
  4. 82=205 (20kg)
  5. 65=195
  6. 318+168+258+205+195 = 1144

Next time I will increase the loads on the cleans, and half snatches.

Give it a shot, you may be surprised at how well you like it. I am definitely going to give this many more attempts in the future.

Till next time, take care and good lifting,

Tim

Back to basics, and changing the way I think

edit: 265×20 will be my max attempt at the end of my 20 rep squats this cycle, barring any injuries. I did not scoll down far enough on the list of weeks when writing this post.

One unexpected carry over from the SealFit experience was the change in my approach to working out. All of the two a days, WOD’s, and high rep marathon sessions were awesome at the time, but switching gears back to a strength focused regimen has been harder than I thought.

I have set the goals for the year, and they are focused on hitting several heavy weights on the three main lifts. To get to those goals will require lower reps, a lot more recovery time between sessions, and a focus on basic exercises with progressive weight increases. Overall I need to calm down and focus on the work at hand and less on how much I am doing.

So far, it has been difficult. I have to stop myself each time I finish the planned workout from going and doing more. I know I did enough work, but that exhausted feeling I was getting from longer workouts with minimal rest had become my new measuring stick for what was a good w orkout. I can’t afford to be exhausted, I need to be able to recover, and build.

Currently, I have the next 34 weeks of squats planned out. The squat work is a rebuilding of my base, and then a very slow build up to my longtime goal of 400lbs. I am working on the dead lift progression for later next month, but the dead lifts are secondary to the squat work right now. I will add the dead lifts in when my body is ready. If I can get to the squat of 400lbs, then my dead lift will have gone up as well is my reasoning.

Reps are mainly following a 5×5, 5×3, or singles. The 20 rep work is for now, a secondary goal, and I will attack that one again later this year. For the next 6weeks or so I will continue to do 20 reps, but my top weight, barring any injuries will be 265×20, not the 290 I was wanting to do. 300×20 by years end is totally doable.

Having cut back on the volume, an d sticking to the plan has paid off. Last week with weighted dips, I could only muster one single with 135lbs. Yesterday I hit 2 good singles with 135. They were hard to get, but one single gained is closer to getting reps with the same weight. Tomorrow I see if I get another rep with bench press at 225. If I do awesome, if not oh well, slow progression takes time, food and recovery.

I never thought going back to 5×5, or 3×10 style work would be so difficult, or that the high volume workouts would change my thinking so much. The lessons learned from stepping outside the box and trying new things have continued to roll in.

Till next time, never stop learning,
Tim

Getting back on track

Another busy week is out of the way, the next is already started.

Hopefully everyone got to enjoy the Super Bowl yesterday, and I’m really happy it was a good game the whole way through. I had no favorites in this one, but decided to root for the Ravens to win. What a great game.

Friday
During the week we had several good workouts with the injured guys. They hit the workouts hard and are actually excited for the morning workouts. The most common statement from those who have been working with me for the last week or so is ” I actually look forward to coming to PT in the morning now”.

Last Friday though I had to take my APFT. It is still the old basic test consisting of 2min of Push ups, 2min of sit ups, and a 2 mile run. The morning of, I felt like ass, but did better than I have in a while on it. The run was what I was most happy about. 15: 14. Not blazing fast, but much faster than I have been in a looooonnng time. I wish I had pushed it a little harder on the run to break into the 14 minute time bracket, but I’ll take what I got for now.

Following the PT test, a few buddies and I hit the kettlebells to finish things off. They are trying to get the technique for the snatch and swing down so we did the following:

  • 5+5×5 snatches at 24kg ( I went ahead and did a 10min test at 50% effort hitting 97 reps while coaching form.)
  • 5 rounds of 25 swings, and 5 pull ups

Saturday

This was the end of week one of my 20 rep squat routine. To end the week the focus was on low reps, technique, and building up my base for the following work weeks. Pretty easy workout, with plenty of recovery between efforts.

  • Warm up-
  • 3x 5 squats
  • 3x 5 swings 28kg
  • 3×5 blast strap push ups
  • 5x 5 burpee pull ups

5×3 weighted dips- 45/70/90/115/135×1 and almost got a second rep/135-missed
5×3 weighted pull ups- 45/70/90/90×2/90×1
5 x 3 squats- 135/165/195/225/255
5×5 kb swings with 48kg bell

Monday

Today I had a day off from work, so i was able to get wk two started off on the right foot.

  • WARM UP foam roll 5x 5 burpee pull ups- really focused on rolling out the lower body and upper back. I would do a set of the burpee pull ups and then do several shoulder dislocates with the pvc, then roll out the muscles. Felt great after this warm up.
  • Barbell bench press 3 x10- 165/195/225×8 racked weight after eigth rep (got one more rep than last week. All very strict)
  • Barbell bent over rows 2×15- 145/145
  • Back squats 4x 3 wu, then 215×20
  • Kettlebell swings 10×3 with 48kg bell
  • Dumbell pull over s 1x 20
  • Kettlebell carries- using two 24kg kettlebells, and down and back the length of a basketball court as one lap I did the following carries:
  • Rack position one lap, no rest going into
  • Farmers carry, then into
  • Waiters carry with right arm up going down, and left arm up coming back.

Took a quick break and then did one lap of:

  • Right kb in rack position, left overhead down, and right overhead and left in rack position back.

Stretched out

Feel great after today, and feel a lot more confident with the squats.

Till next time, take care and good lifting

Tim