Archive for January, 2015


Jan 30

 

Climbing back on the horse.

I went to my trainer’s studio. Roads were shite, I got there late. So we skipped the measurements and just banged out some quick and dirty sets. Not even heavy really, but I am still a little fried from this week to be honest. so higher rep lots of sets, a look ahead to my next workout plan, methinks.

Squats:
115 x 12
155 x 10
185 x 10
205 x 10
205 x 10

Bent Over Rows:
95 x 10
115 x 10
135 x 10
135 x 10
155 x 10

Backstep Lunges: 4 sets of 10 per leg

What cut?

Took stock tonight and realized I have fallen off the wagon a bit.  For the past month now, I have been using the Cut word, but have I really carried through with it??

At Xmas, I ate a bit of junk, but kept up my workouts.  It wasn’t too bad.  Then I went on vacation.  Couldn’t do the workouts I wanted to do, so stopped doing workouts.  Ate pretty clean though, was just lazy.

After coming back from vacation, I needed to make time in my life for my job, and had to start spending evenings catching up.  So I made a conscious decision to skip workouts so I could get through the “hell week” mentality.  But as soon as I skipped workouts, I started really missing that “good feeling” I get.  So I started filling it with food.

So I have been skipping workouts, drinking more energy drinks than water, working late hours… and now stuffing in junk food.

Trainer told me the other day she could see the fluff building up on me.

I feel bad, not only for losing sight of my priorities, but also for claiming something on this journal that wasn’t – “Cut Day XX” was a big joke.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say “I’m Sorry”, because I made conscious decisions; but each of those conscious decisions was allowed to build up, and I waited too long to counteract them.  I deferred my fitness until it was convenient, and now it feels like I have backslid a bit.  I don’t want anyone reading to think I am pretending something that I am not.  So I am coming clean about what I HAVEN’T been writing in this journal.  I have been living in denial about truly reporting on my fitness journey, and not holding myself accountable.

But!  Moving forward.  I meet with the PT tomorrow to take stock of all the damage, and to start over again and start moving back in a positive direction.

Cut Day 58

tried to cram a 2 hour workout into 1 hour… with less than stellar results. But it was an interesting experiment.

warm-up: nada

High Bar Squats (Romaleos, SBDs)

80 x 5 (narrow stance, ATG, minimal rest)
135 x 5
185 x 3
215 x 2 (switch to medium stance and parallel)
240 x 1 (belt on, rest hovered between 30-60 seconds)

265 x 6 @RPE8

255 x 6 @RPE8
255 x 6 @RPE8.5
255 x 4 @RPE9

notes: It was so weird, the weight started to feel uneven. I checked and it was not, but it still felt MAD uneven. I haven’t felt that at this gym before (it was my PT’s gym), so it wasn’t the weights, but damn, left side was dipping a bit.

Bench Press

55 x 5 (minimal rest, change weight and go again, Spoto)
95 x 5
135 x 3
155 x 2
170 x 1

190 x 6 @RPE9 (sleeves on, change to paused reps, rest hoevered b/w 30-60s)

175 x 6 @RPE8.5
175 x 6 @RPE9

notes: Shoulder started doing wonky stuff, so I stopped when the form was lagging.

Deadlift (barefoot)

100 x 5 (minimal rest, conventional grip)
170 x 5
235 x 3
270 x 2 (change to crossgrip)
300 x 1 (belt on, rest hovered b/w 30-60s)

335 x 3 @RPE9

notes: This set just got nasty. When I picked the bar up for my top set, my left side was dipping more than 6 inches below my right side! I tried a few reps, then said screw it and put it down. By this point an hour had passed in the workout, so I had to call it there anyways.

Oh well, they can’t all be winners. It was a nice experiment. With 2 hours instead of 1, I could probably have grinded more good reps out.

Cut Day 55

3rd day in a row on my first week back. feeling generally beat up. trainer decided to give me some light back work.

warm-up: nada

This was a fairly low stress workout. I didn’t even track the weights really. I just did what looked heavy, and if it wasn’t, I went heavier on the next set.

widegrip pulldowns: 4 sets – 15, 15, 12, 10
closegrip rows: 4 sets – 12, 12, 12, 12
1 arm DB rows: 3 sets of 12
straight arm pulldowns with the cables on the incline bench: a set of 15 and a burnout set of… I don’t know, 25? 30? lost count, I went into a trance until my trainer told me to snap out of it.
cross-arm cable pulldowns: 2 sets of 15

on the way back home, my back felt pumped! especially the low back. 5 min after that, I got tired as hell. The way I usually do when I get DOMS in my back. No surprise, I hadn’t deadlifted in 2 weeks, then did some extra back work the very next day after DLs. I will enjoy sleeping in lots tomorrow morning

Cut Day 54

Slowly easing back into it. Volume not a priority, just upping the frequency, a bunch of workout days in a row, as I warm back up. Repeating my last PL day.

warm-up: nada

High Bar Squats (Romaleos, SBDs)

80 x 5 (narrow stance, ATG, minimal rest)
135 x 5
185 x 3
215 x 2 (switch to medium stance and parallel)
240 x 1 (belt on, increase rest to 3 min)

264 x 6 @RPE9

250 x 6 @RPE8
250 x 6 @RPE9

notes: I could still feel front squats from yesterday. I kept folding forward more than I would like, as if my core was tired. So I called it after the second backoff set.

Bench Press

bar x 5
55 x 5 (minimal rest, change weight and go again, Spoto)
95 x 3 (accidentally did too few reps)
130 x 3
150 x 2
165 x 1

185 x 6 @RPE8.5 (sleeves on, change to paused reps, increased rest to 3 min)

170 x 6 @RPE8
170 x 6 @RPE8
170 x 6 @RPE8

notes: My shoulders felt tired from yesterday as well. By the 3rd backoff set, I could feel my shoulder doing weird things as I pressed it, like one shoulder getting higher than the other. So I called it there too.

Deadlift (barefoot)

100 x 5 (minimal rest, conventional grip)
165 x 5
235 x 3
265 x 2 (change to crossgrip)
295 x 1 (belt on, rest went up to 3 min)

332.5 x 6 @RPE9

322.5 @RPE8
322.5 @RPE9

notes: The top set felt awkward, as did the backoff set. Eventually I realized I had loaded the bar wrong – a 5 lb plate on one side and a 2.5 lb plate on the other. When I saw that, I got frustrated and said fukitall and called it after the second backoff set and went home.

Not a bad session, I just need to build up more momentum. Doing it right after my Assist Day was not the best idea, but I am compressing the frequency to toughen me up again.

Cut Day 53

I am back!  Traveled for a bit.  Hit the gym a few times, nothing too serious.

I didn’t end up working out much actually. Tried one gym I found, they were on me in about 5 seconds for taking off my shoes and putting chalk on. Plus no squat rack. I was sad. And kicked out.

So I ended up spending more time with my elderly mother at her fitness classes: her tai chi group, her seniors aquacize classes, just walking outside… I went pretty catabolic over these past few weeks. I think should maybe reset my weights, but I am still so close to the start that I will just say F it and redo my last workout and start over from that point. No resets, just a quick do over session or two.
Back at it today, the first day back is always the most lacklustre.

Light day, just the main exercises, redo my workout from before I left, just ease back into it.

warm-up: nada

Superset Overhead Press and Assisted Pullups (pullups assisted for 1/3 BW, minimal rest)

45 x 5 / 5 hammergrip
65 x 5 / 5
95 x 3 / 5
105 x 2 / 5
120 x 1 / 5

move to straight sets of OHP, elbow sleeves on, increase rest to 3 min

132.5 x 6 @RPE8
132.5 x 6 @RPE8
132.5 x 6 @RPE8
132.5 x 6 @RPE8.5

notes: Got tired quick, definitely a lot of cobwebs built up over 2 weeks!

Front Squats (Romaleos, SBDs, minimal rest)

45 x 5
65 x 5
90 x 3
100 x 2
115 x 1

increase rest to 3 min

125 x 6 @RPE8
125 x 6 @RPE8.5
125 x 6 @RPE8.5

notes: Got tired even faster on this one. I should have stopped on set 2 but I was stubborn, and pushed ahead one more set.

And that was that! Packed up my poop and came home. Back at it again tomorrow as I ramp back up.

Cut Day 40

BUUHHHHHHH………. getting more sick! Can’t shake this cold. I bet it would go away faster if I would just stop working out lol. Too bad glutamine is worthless… I used to use it when I was working out and fighting off a bug at the same time on a cut… until the forums told me it did nothing and now I have no placebo to protect me.  /sarcasm

I went to work, and people were looking at me funny all day. I guess I looked like three handfuls of hammered ****, all pale and glassy-eyed. After work, I thought about it for a few minutes, then I tightened my big boy belt and went down to the gym for a minimum volume workout. Just do one top set and one backoff set, then call it a day.

warm-up: nada

High Bar Squats (Romaleos, SBDs)

80 x 5 (narrow stance, ATG, minimal rest)
130 x 5
185 x 3
210 x 2 (switch to medium stance and parallel)
240 x 1 (belt on, increase rest to 3 min)

264 x 6 @RPE9.5

250 x 6 @RPE8.5

notes: The top set felt heavy right away, I was not feeling too good. Even by rep 3 I could feel wobbly. I probably should have stopped at rep 5 and called that RPE9, but I was a stubborn ass and went for a 6th rep, and had a major hitch halfway up and had to grind it out. At least now I can say with certainty that rep 5 with the minor grind was a 9, because rep 6 almost failed, and was a 9.5. Still learning this RPE stuff, and sometimes you need to go past a 9 to be sure what a 9 really is. Make sense?

Bench Press

55 x 5 (minimal rest, change weight and go again, Spoto)
95 x 5
130 x 3
150 x 2
165 x 1

185 x 6 @RPE<8 (sleeves on, change to paused reps, increased rest to 3 min)

170 x 6 @RPE<8

notes: Had to fight with a guy for the bench.

Deadlift (barefoot)

100 x 5 (minimal rest, conventional grip)
165 x 5
230 x 3
260 x 2 (change to crossgrip)
295 x 1 (belt on, rest went up to 3 min)

330 x 6 @RPE8

320 x 6 @RPE8

notes: I messed up on the 260 set. It was supposed to be 265, but I loaded a 5 lb plate on one side and a 10 lb plate on the other. You would think I wouldn’t notice it, but it immediately felt like my grip was off centre, and I thought I was holding it wrong until I stripped the plates and noticed my mistake. I am like the Princess and the Pea, I notice every little imbalance on the bar.

Like I said, I did minimal volume to save my energy to fight off this bug, got my shit done and went home.

Cut Day 38

No more hiding out in my home, sick. Time to get shit done. Off to work I went.

Throat was still a bit sore at work today, but I was determined to get in a bit of volume that I had been missing from the past few workouts.

warm-up: nada

Damn, the gym was full of nice ladies today! Good looking ladies with muscle tone with great focus and form… and dudes who went as heavy as possible with poor form. Ain’t that always the way.

Superset Overhead Press and Assisted Pullups (pullups assisted for 1/3 BW, minimal rest)

45 x 5 / 5 hammergrip
65 x 5 / 5
95 x 3 / 5
105 x 2 / 5
120 x 1 / 5

move to straight sets of OHP, elbow sleeves on, increase rest to 3 min

132.5 x 6 @RPE8
132.5 x 6 @RPE8
132.5 x 6 @RPE8
132.5 x 6 @RPE8
132.5 x 6 @RPE8.5

notes: Everything felt good today. No concerns. Bit of a hitch on Set 5, so I stopped it there.

Front Squats (Romaleos, SBDs, minimal rest)

45 x 5
65 x 5
90 x 3
100 x 2
115 x 1

increase rest to 3 min

125 x 6 @RPE8
125 x 6 @RPE8
125 x 6 @RPE8
125 x 6 @RPE8
125 x 6 @RPE8.5

notes: Again, everything felt really good. Most comfortable session learning how to front squat yet! One day, decent weights will be mine. Not in a rush though, slowly building.

Glute Bridges (60 sec rest)

135 x 12
135 x 12
135 x 12

notes: at risk to my masculinity, I did a bum exercise. That’s ok, ladies like man bums. My reasoning being I wanted to make sure my hams and glutes got in some work this week. Weight wasn’t heavy, but I really tried to focus on a hard contraction at the top. Like I’m trying to open a pickle jar with my butt. It also set me up for the next exercise.

After the bridges, I did some low-back releases: supported Waterfall, prone spinal twists. Low back was tight.

Glute-Ham Raises (60 sec rest)

10, 8, 6

notes: Have been much more tight with my GHR form lately, and consequently they have gotten much harder, lol. These got real hard real quick.

Again, after the GHR I did more low-back releases. Low back felt pumped after all those twists! Lots of fresh blood.

Hex Bar Shrugs (thick grip, up and back on every rep, 90s rest)

330 x 12
330 x 12
330 x 10

notes: Did a little better this week. I could have probably pumped out 12 on the last set, but I wanted good quality reps.

Low back was still mighty stiff, so I nixed the ab exercises and headed off to the locker room to see if my traps had a pump, lol.

Sadly, there was an Asian dude occupying the mirror the whole time, making sure his dress shirt was perfectly tucked in, so I decided to let him occupy top douchebag spot rather than trying to stare at my traps in the mirror.

Good workout! Felt good to work out as if I wasn’t sick. Even though I am still a little messed up.

Cut Day 36

Yup, it happened – I have been fighting off a bug all weekend. Lots of sleep, Neo-Citran, warmth. Hiding from Ottawa’s snowstorm. Looks like it will be a deep freeze around the country this week.

I felt a little better by Sunday afternoon, so I decided to risk it and try to do a workout. Stumbled through the unshovelled sidewalks and went down to the gym.

warm-up: nada

High Bar Squats (Romaleos, SBDs)

80 x 5 (narrow stance, ATG, minimal rest)
130 x 5
180 x 3
210 x 2 (switch to medium stance and parallel)
235 x 1 (belt on, increase rest to 3 min)

261.5 x 6 @RPE9

250 x 6 @RPE8.5
250 x 6 @RPE9

notes: not a good set of squats, I kept tipping forward. core not holding up today.

Bench Press

bar x 5 (minimal rest, change weight and go again, Spoto)
55 x 5
90 x 5
130 x 3
145 x 2
165 x 1

182.5 x 6 @RPE<8 (sleeves on, change to paused reps, increased rest to 3 min)

170 x 6 @RPE<8
170 x 6 @RPE<8
170 x 6 @RPE8.5

notes: things were cruising along… and then my health started to tank – my throat got sore and I got the chills. I decided to cut the bench sets right there and move on to deads before I crashed.

Deadlift (barefoot)

100 x 5 (minimal rest, conventional grip)
165 x 5
230 x 3
260 x 2 (change to crossgrip)
295 x 1 (belt on, rest went up to 3 min)

327.5 x 6 @RPE8

320 x 6 @RPE9

notes: felt worse as the deadlifts went on, so after one backoff set I packed up my stuff and came back home.

Kind of a shitty workout, but I got my work in.  Now to sleep.

I missed the Thursday workout and needed to catch up, so I did my compound work at Noon, and then some shoulder health work at 4:30 PM.

To accommodate the fact I was working out twice, I dropped the volume to a minimum on the Noon workout, just one top set and one backoff set.

Noon Powerlifting

warm-up: nada

High Bar Squats (Romaleos, SBDs)

80 x 5 (narrow stance, ATG, 3 minimal rest)
130 x 5
180 x 3
205 x 2 (switch to medium stance and parallel)
235 x 1 (belt on, increase rest to 3 min)

259 x 6 @RPE9

245 x 6 @RPE8

Bench Press

bar x 5 (minimal rest, change weight and go again, Spoto)
55 x 5
90 x 5
125 x 3
145 x 2
160 x 1

180 x 6 @RPE<8 (sleeves on, change to paused reps, increased rest to 3 min)

165 x 6 @RPE<8

Deadlift (barefoot)

100 x 5 (minimal rest, conventional grip)
165 x 5
225 x 3
260 x 2 (change to crossgrip)
295 x 1 (belt on, rest went up to 3 min)

325 x 6 @RPE8

315 x 6 @RPE8

It was a good thing I minimized the volume – I was pretty short on time and had to take off. There was no work today but I had to run errands before the late afternoon workout.

As well, one side effect of having such irregular sleep over the holidays meant that my low back had not fully recharged – it got pretty sore during the workout. What I really need are really long marathon sleeps in my bed, not catnaps throughout the day.

Also, squats kinda hurt because I had cut up my heel a bit – I build up excess dead skin and scrub it off and went too deep so my heel was bleeding. Putting pressure on it while I walked was no fun, and it was also distracting during the squats.

PM Shoulder Health Workout

Same workout as last week, just a little more compressed for time.

Superset Scapula Stretch Pulldowns and Rotator Cuff Warmup (no real rest b/w sets, back and forth)

12 plates x 8 / 15 lb DB taken through ROM 15 times per arm
13 plates x 8 / ROTO
14 plates x 8 / ROTO

Stretched Rows (30 sec rest)

12 plates x 8
14 plates x 8
16 plates x 8

Superset Minor Chest Dips and DB Rear Delt Flyes (60s rest)

10 dips / 10s x 20
10 dips / 10s x 20
10 dips / 10s x 20
10 dips / 10s x 20

Superset DB Hex Press and Band Pullaparts (60s rest; flex each pullapart at peak contraction for 1 second)

45s x 10 / 15 pullaparts
45s x 10 / 15 pullaparts
45s x 10 / 15 pullaparts

notes: Used a heavier resistance band than last time.

Superset DB 6-Way and Band Over&Backs (60 s rest)

10s x 10 / 20 O&Bs
10s x 10 / 20 O&Bs
10s x 10 / 20 O&Bs

Prone Leg Raises (straight legs, 30s rest)

25, 25, 25, 25

Planks (30s rest)

30 sec
30 sec
30 sec
30 sec

Ugh, my throat is sore and I feel shaky. Hope I am not fighting off a bug. 2 workouts in one day might have been ill-advised.