Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pulls and presses

Ah today's training went rather well.

Started off with Hand and Thigh lifts, starting out at 315 and quickly working up to 405 for 5-7 singles, then bumping it up to 435 for another 6 singles. Oddly demanding exercise, I'm only lifting the bar a few inches, yet its so extremely heavy that my hands get wrenched every time I do it. Considering I am still nursing an injured ring finger, I can't push myself as far on this exercise as I would like to, but even so, I am just focusing on getting more reps off at the low 400s and just holding on to the bar long enough to force my hands to get tougher. I need this strength to start crossing over into actual dead lifting, and just spending more time holding onto 400+ pounds, the better.

After this I did some isometric deadlifts by setting the bar between two sets of pins and lifting it up against the top pin and just pulling with good intensity for anywhere between 10-40 seconds at a time. After a few holds I would lower the pins so as to change the exact angle I'm pulling from. Over all, I was surprised just how tiring this was, as it was really rough on my legs and back. I feel I need to look into these isometrics a bit more thoroughly.

Then I went off and did Dumbbell Clean and Presses with a pair of dumbbells. I was able to work up to 65 pounders for three sets of four, and that felt pretty damn hard. While I can put up 85 pounds in the single arm press, the pair of 65s felt like a lot of hard work, especially having to clean them with each rep. If I can get to pressing a pair of 75s or higher, I'll be happy.

I took a break after this as I was distrated by the hunger I felt. So I gorged myself senseless, took a prolonged walk, and then returned to the gym.

There I did some sandbag work, I lightened the bag to about 120 lbs. of sand, and did Turkish Get ups with it, for two sets of three on each side. This proved to be bloody murder on my entire body, but I am curious to see what will happen if I stick with it. It was a harsh, brutal affair, and I feel that continued practice of it will give me some sort of mutant strength in my torso. One can hope at least.

Also to my surprise I found out today that I have apparently gained 5 pounds. Of those 5 pounds, I'm not sure how much of it is muscle, as admittedly I have been eating like a pig the past week or so, but even so, it is encouraging to see the scale go up at long last. Will do plenty of conditioning work soon to make sure that its all steel hard muscle and nothing else.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Another mixed day. Decent training day, ended up doing

Squat 4 x 9 - 255 most of the way
Bench Press - 3 x 5 to warm up, 4 x 4-3 with 205
Curl - 5 x 5 - 105

And that went rather well. The squats, as per usual, were the absolute hardest part of the day's training. But at the moment I've not my usual enthusiasm for describing the homeric struggle they presented.

I still just haven't made up my mind about the place I find myself in. Things are starting to come off the ground, people are recognizing me and being more positive towards me, but at the same time I am growing tired of the whole process. Whats the point in teaching those who don't want to be taught? To struggle for those who resent the struggle? And why put faith in those who would abuse that faith?

Currently waging a battle against conformity and I am determined to win it, but at the same time I wonder in the back of my head if the bastards are even worth it. Well, not only is it battling against conformity but its getting respect. As it is, sticking to my morals and principles has gotten me only derision and hatred, but I refuse to bend on matters so important to me, so I just plod forward along a path with no apparent reward and with mainly the scorn of others to keep me company. I knew this was going to happen, the great masters wrote of it constantly, I just didn't realize how true that segment of their writings were.

In the end, this quest isn't about them, its about me. I am trying to further myself spiritually, and the journey of my spirit is currently heavily tied in with my training. Whether or not anyone else gets it is inconsequential, I get it, and I am pursuing it no matter what.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Well today was a decent day of training. Carrying on my current program of a half-Smolov squatting routine with the other power lifts.

Today was 4 sets of 9 squats with 245. This set up is deceptive, considering that its only four sets, but the high volume on each set inadvertantly kills me. The first two sets weren't that bad, but the last two were quite challenging. In particular, for some reason on the third set, I had to miss the last repetition because I had to adjust my arm midway through the set and when I reset my hand on the bar, I must have been at an odd angle because my shoulder was in great pain towards the end of the set. That being said, I managed all of the other squats to parallel, though on the last set I had to really dig within myself to find the strength to complete it all.

After this was bench press, which I believe I did upwards of 7 sets of. As per usual, I got sidetracked by some of the gym members as I was benching, but I was able to grind out 195-205 (was using a different bar that seemed heavier than normal) for about 4-5 of those sets for 3-4 repetitions. I think what I need to do is focus on decent volume with these lifts in order to progress them.

Which leads me to an issue I've been having. I feel I'm getting stronger yet I've not the numbers to show for it yet. I think what is happening is that I am hitting a decent top set but not staying there long enough. After looking into the Doug Hepburn course I got recently, I see that Doug would often work up to a heavy poundage he could handle for 1-3 in a way similar to me, but he would then take that heavy poundage out for another five sets of 1-3 after finding it. This is something I haven't done, but probably should, as I think the more time I spend in the higher state of strength, the better I'm going to get.

But we'll see. Its all theory at the moment.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In between

Well as always, I come back to my blog realizing that months have gone by and I haven't updated it. But increasingly I'm finding it harder and harder to have a place to put my thoughts without public scrutiny. Facebook isn't really safe, considering all the people I am trying to tip-toe around are on there. So after all, I finally might be bringing this blog back to life as I intended. While probably most of the posts will be just a training diary, I do want to practice writing about the ins and outs of what I'm doing for the sake of having articles available.

But as it is, its hard for me to quantify all of my thoughts on the subject. I've never sat down and tried to codify the rules of what I do, let alone really specify just how I push myself through adversity in the training hall. But yet, there IS something there, something that is guiding me through it, I just have yet to really spell it out. But increasingly I am finding that I need to have a more concise plan as far as indoctrinating others into my way of life considering thats more or less what personal training is really about, changing people's lifestyles. Not that they have to live exactly as I do, but if I can at least instill virtues of self discipline, confidence, and restraint in this age of decadence and greed, then I guess I'll have truely done what I set out to do in the first place: make the world just a tiny bit nicer.

So we'll see. I'm hoping I can keep to it this time.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Training 5/21/10

Lack of recent training posting due to an interruption in my training. Work had this retarded mandatory 5k thing that I was making a vague attempt at training for, and this naturally disrupted my lifting. Ended up being all for naught though considering that me and my co-workers were complete assholes about the 5k itself, but fuck it. We weren't paid to be there, it was an early morning after a long night, and the boss, who's been having this huge hard on for the event for so fucking long didn't even participate.

But in the end, maybe it wasn't so bad, as it gave me time to re-examine my training. Namely, I felt I needed something different but I couldn't settle on just how and what, but I seemed to have stumbled upon it. Again, Brooks Kubik's work proves to be an utter inspiration to me in my darkest training hours.

Started things off with Squats off the rack, with the pins set such that I start around parallel (which is about the hardest point in the squat) and push the bar up off the pins. This is grueling work and can't be done with my full squat poundage, but even with lighter weights, its absolutely PUNISHING. I worked up to about 265 for 3 on my 3rd set, and I didn't realize just how big of a drain that was on my physically because when I went back in for my 4th set, I literally couldn't lift the bar more than an inch or so, which was a stinging blow to me. So I took it down to 255 and even then, I had to push as though I was fighting for dear life and even then I only managed one proper rep that felt like absolute hell. I've had some hard fought reps before, but that REALLY sucked. Can't wait until I've put in more time into this kind of training so I'm yet mightier at it.

Next was Snatch Grip Deadlift, which is a really weird case for me. My primary deadlift muscles are strong enough to handle pretty decent poundages, but holding on to the bar with the wide grip really screws with the mechanics of the lift because all of a sudden my upper back has to do way more work (and the bar rests uncomfortably against me when I try to lock it out, but discomfort isn't really out of place in my training anyway). However, I feel that my upper back is kind of a weak point in my deadlift so despite the fact that I'm working with lower poundages, I feel this is doing good for me. I worked this one up to about 285 which i feel is pretty good having just started with it, and not being accustomed to the grip. Brooks recommended using a hook grip on this but as of yet I can't manage it at the poundages I'm pulling as it REALLY fucks with my thumbs. I probably should man up to it though.

Next up was one arm dumbbell cleans and presses, which I feel went reasonably well. I worked up to pressing a 70 for about 3 clean reps and 1 rep with help from the legs, which is an improvement already. I am TRYING so hard to get my pressing power up and for some reason I am having trouble doing this with a barbell, yet I seem to be able to do it more readily with a single dumbbell. Shouldn't question it so much, I AM increasing my pressing power, even if its not in the form I'd have preferred.

Next was Axle Curls. These used to cause intense pain to run down the length of my forearm, but for some reason lately that hasn't really been happening so much, even when I push to 108 pounds (which I did). This is a huge relief because I can hopefully push into heavier weights.

Last was Eagle Claw holds. I was supporting about 50-55 pounds (50 in plates, plus however much the rig weighs) from my finger tips, first starting off with all four then going down to just my primary two fingers. Once I got down to just two, the weight proved to be quite excruciating and I could only hold on to it for a little over 10 seconds, but thats probably because its been a while since I've really used the loops. Felt good in the end.

Decent training day though I can definately tell that these alternative lifts are messing with me as I really had to fight tooth and nail the whole time today. Nothing was easy, I felt outright defeated by one of the sets of squats, yet I perservered. I need to find a way of maintaining my deadlifting power though while I am doing this alternative training though, but otherwise I'm excited.

Monday, May 10, 2010

5/10/10 Training

Today was sort of a mixed day on training.

On the clean and press, I got to 160 pounds, which I believe is 10 pounds up from what I did last week. But my problem is, it seems once I cross the 140 pound mark I will just start using my legs to jerk the weight and I'm not sure if thats what I really want to do or not. I feel if I'm going to jerk it, I could go heavier, but I have some nervous twitch where I can't force myself to grind out a solid press once the weight gets to a certain level. The problem is, the exercise is so challenging to perform, technically, that I get all hyped up just after performing a solid clean that I don't want to 'fuck it up' by failing the press, so I jerk it because I know I'll succeed. not that I'm even using my legs a whole lot, but still, its not 'strict form'.

On the deadlift I got to 380 for one, though it was oddly hard. I hit 375 right before the 380, and I ended up doing two reps at 375, so I feel like I got 3 heavy reps in, since 380 and 375 are close enough. Still, I don't know if I was just weak today or if 360+ lbs deadlifts are just always going to beat the shit out of me. Perhaps I shouldn't worry too much. I remember having the same problem with the high 200s and low 300s just a few months ago and now those weights are mostly easy. Perhaps this will change once my upper levels of strength grow to the point I can handle closer to 500.

I also did a ring handle lift of up to 170 pounds though this was super hard on my hands. I didn't realize just how hard that damn ring digs into your finger bones, its extreme. Will have to see if this is something I can train or what. I WANT to one arm deadlift, but I don't want it to rip my fingers off. Perhaps I need to just suck it up and deal with the Rolling Thunder handle, difficult though it may be.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Training 5/7/10

Well today's training session went rather well. I began the session later in the day after a TGIF party a friend of mine was hosting (well, the party was still going but I had a timetable I had to reach for my training and I was trying to avoid one of their friends so I left early) so I was mostly fresh but I had just recently eaten, but it didn't seem to affect me too much.

Started off with breathing squats, which I took to 255 for the requisite 20 repetitions. My first round of 20 went off well, ground out to 7 before having to really pause, then when in groups of three until I hit 16, where I had to get the last few out 2 at a time. Was feeling pretty well hammered, but I managed to get off 15 pullovers with 30 pounds after that to stretch my ribs. I then rested and paced for a few minutes before trying out for a second set.

The second set went mostly well, I struggled my way to 16 before I felt like I was losing too much circulation in my arms and my legs were just in extreme pain. So I set the bar down for a moment and waited until my arms had their feeling back before getting the last 4 squats in, making sure that these last 4 were as deep as my exhausted legs could muster.

It took some time to recover to say the least, I was sweating and breathing heavily and I was very tired. But I moved on to the Bench Press. I quickly moved up to 215 pounds, where I sort of stalled. Not having a spotter I couldn't be too daring, so I got out two sets at that weight, one for 2 reps, and another for just 1. Without a spotter I didn't feel safe going for more yet.

Somewhat frustrated, I was going to set in to do my heavy curls but one of the wanker kids at the gym wanted to use the normal barbell, so I ended up having to use the Apollon's Axle for my curls, which ordinarily wouldn't be a problem its just that it cuts into my top poundages. Still, I put up 103 for sets of 4 on my top sets on the axle, which I figure is pretty good. Whenever I do axle curls though, I feel this twinge running down my forearm that is mildly concerning, unsure if its a pain that will go away with training or get worse, but I suppose theres one way to find out.

Anyway, I feel I did well. I'm more concerned with whether or not I ate enough today to sustain myself. But we'll see.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Starting again

Alright, I had my old blog which I was going to use as some sort of platform for hoity toity fitness articles and not much else, but frankly I'd like to discuss and record my own training and write down my current theories/ideas as I get them, and be less formal about this whole thing. This is a freaking workout blog, not the end all be all of my career.

So on from that, as of this writing I'm currently coming off of a long training program focused rather heavily on strength via powerlifts. I am keeping up with the power lifts on a less frequent basis and trying to get in more conditioning work so as to focus on what I currently feel are weak points in my training. My current set up is as follows

Monday - Clean and Press; Deadlift; assistance exercises (which vary week to week)

Tuesday - Conditioning

Wednesday - Variety (would like to switch this to an olympic lifting day or a strongman day once I start focusing more on heavy strength again)

Thursday - Conditioning

Friday - Squat, Bench Press, Curl, and assistance exercises (varies)

Saturday - Rest, or light conditioning

My current records are

Deadlift - 405 pounds

Squat - 305 x 5, I'm limited to 305 as a max for now since the weak equipment I am currently stuck with can't handle much more. Currently working on improving my squat via the 20 squat regimen, which is currently working very well.

Bench Press - 225, though this is currently on the rise and will soon change

Overhead Press - 155, also currently rising

Axle Press - 143

One Arm Press - 80

Rolling Thunder - 110

Single Arm Ring Deadlift - 150 (brand new lift as of the day of this writing, will hopefully change very soon)

And I'm working on closing the #2 CoC gripper.

Goals for the future, as of this writing, would be to work on tendon and ligament training, work on assistance exercises to build up the support muscles for each of the primary lifts, to continue to practice on olympic lifting, and to learn additional physical skills outside of just weight training so as to have another application for all the strength and skill I feel I am developing. Currently thinking on things like martial arts, tumbling/gymnastics, and perhaps some form of dance. Something different so I can diversify myself.

Hoping to have future posts to follow this up with. But even if I take a while to post, rest assured I am training as hard as I can.