Friday, June 29, 2012

5/3/1 OHP. 3+ Day

I wore my beret today because I'm not balding at all. 
Today was okay. I would have liked to have performed some cleaner reps and done one more rep than I ended up with on my final set, but 180x9 is what I expected after last week's 170x11 (I can usually subtract 1 rep for every 5lbs added to the bar when predicting my performance). My assistance work was better in that I was able to do a pretty clean 225lb overhead press (PR) and then speedy, clean sets at 135lbs for 5 sets of 10 reps. So in the grand scheme of things, my OHP seems to be improving. Although, I'm not sure doing the heavy reps after my main set is going to be effective for OHP like it is has been for my bench. Ill see how next cycle goes before making any judgments.

Goals for today:




For assistance I did weighted chins and the ab wheel.

I've sort of lost track where I am on OHP since I've deloaded and changed my form so many times. But in january I did 180x4 bounced reps. So whatever the case may be, I'm right on track for my progress.

Video of workout below:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

5/3/1 Deadlifts. 5+ Day. Week 1 Cycle 13.

At least my hammies look good. Hook grip practice with deficit deads. 

My deadlift appears to be stalled. I'm not sure if it's due to the lack of deadlifting for the past month, if today was a bad day, or if I'm genuinely weaker at the lift. I seem to be slower than I once was after I get past the knees. I'll see how next session goes and I'll decide from there if I need to deload. No big deal. After deadlifts today I did some deficits with hook grip up to 495lbs (singles). I tried a PR with hook grip (still at a deficit) at 525, but once I got it above my knees I stalled. After that I did front squats and chins (front squat PR of 315x5).

Goals for today:



475x9 (wanted 10)

Progress over the last 13 cycles:

  • Cycle 1: 355x13
  • Cycle 2: 365x12
  • Cycle 3 :370x14
  • Cycle 4: 380x15
  • Cycle 5: 385x15
  • Cycle 6: 395x15 
  • Cycle 7: 400x17
  • Cycle 8: 405x15 (out of town)
  • Cycle 9: 425x5 (just hitting prescribed reps) (also change in form to deadstop, all previous weeks were touch-and-go)
  • Cycle 10: 435 x 11
  • Cycle 11: 455x10
  • Cycle 12: 465x10
  • Cycle 13: 475x9

Video comparison of deadlifts from today and from two months ago below:

Monday, June 25, 2012

5/3/1 Close Grip Bench. Cycle 1 Week 1.

First time repping 300. Ez Pz. Also, the new shoes are super sticky, I like.

Bench felt amazing today. The bar during warm ups felt like I was having to pull it down to keep it from flying up! That's a good feeling. And my working sets and assistance work felt the effects of this. My final 5/3/1 set was 240lbs and the last time I repped near 240lbs I think I only got 8 reps. Today was much different. And for assistance work I will continue to do heavier doubles and triples as this seems to be working for both OHP and bench. Keep in mind, the heavier sets are not to failure nor are they max attempts, as I think that would be counter-productive.  I tried to do some dumbbell bench work after the close grip benching, but my left shoulder wasn't having any of that. All bench sets supersetted with unweighted chins (this helps with lat activation on the bench sets).

Sorry I don't have much info on bench progress as it's been slow. Also because I only hit prescribed reps for so many cycles after stalling on bench about 6 months ago. Things are moving again now, though. For comparison, the last time I hit 12 reps it was a struggle with 215lbs.

Goals for today:




Video of workout below:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Squats - Cycle 14 Week 1

I picked up today where I left off on 5/3/1 before starting Smolov. And today I did my 5+ day for squats two days after my max attempt day which was pretty dumb. My warm ups felt like doo doo and I considered just doing the prescribed reps for my final set. I did not do that. I did a difficult PR of 410lbs x 12 reps (last cycle 405x12, but with shittier depth). I'll take it! I finished this set and was happy to remember I only have to kill myself like this once a week now. Woooo! I did some front squat singles at 315lbs after this, but was pretty nauseous and went home.

Goals for today:




Week 1 progress over the last 14 cycles:
Video of squats below:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Back to 5/3/1

Starting this week I'll be picking up where I last left off with 5/3/1. Here are the numbers for my upcoming cycle. I had to alter the deadlift numbers a bit because of the usual problem with fitting the weights on the bar.

I already did the first day of OHP and I got 11 reps with 170lbs with one or two left in the tank (165x10 last OHP cycle). I'll be squatting tomorrow, so I'll be back with a vid and write up then.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Smolov Max Test Day

The usual ups and downs for me on max testing day.

I took 4 days off after my last failure of a day on Smolov  and my body was feeling okay so I decided to test my maxes today. I wasn't expecting anything really, especially since I sputtered out so spectacularly at the end of both Smolov and Smolov Jr. I was prepared to come in and just call it an early day if need be. Anyway I started with squats and my legs felt very fresh, but my back still had some deep, dull soreness and my shoulder and ankle were still a little achey. No matter, I warmed up with a final set of 455 and put 500lbs on the bar. 515 was my previous max, and I would have liked to have tried for more than that today, but because of the ridiculous size of the plates at my gym my options after 515 are 545, 565, and 585, none of which leaves room for clips. So the only safe thing I could think of was to see if I could triple 500lbs. I got it --  a new PR, yay.

For bench I wanted to finally hit 3 plates, a 10lb PR, and I was able to do this. Im clearly strong off the bottom, but I need to work on my lockout strength.

Lastly, it's been a month since my last deadlift sessions in which I also attempted 585. Today I messed up in that I shouldn't have done my final warm up of 545. I probably wore myself out, and I got to exactly the same spot as last time (basically a micrometer away from lockout) when my grip failed. Oh well, not too bad.

Overall today went fine. I give it a B+.

Video of the lifts below:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Final day of Smolov

11/11 squat sessions without a missed rep, but today's sessions was beyond what I was capable of doing. I wish I had the mind of a champion, but I happily and readily welcomed my defeat today. I am just very clearly done. And, yes, I know the internet will be happy to let me know that I'm stupid for trying 3 runs at Smolov in a 6 month time period, but sometimes you just have to figure these things out for yourself. I'm very much looking forward to my rest week and I just hope that these past three weeks were not totally wasteful. I may test my maxes after the week off or just go back into a deloaded 5/3/1 cycle. I'll see how the weights feel once I return to the gym. See ya soon.

Some advice on Smolov: the base cycle should be challenging, but not bringing you near to failure like it was for me. That is all. Video below.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Smolov Jr day 4 week 3

assuming the position
Totally defeated today. Bench went from my easy day of stress free lifting to shit show in two workouts. I can maybe blame my left shoulder (since my left arm kept collapsing under the weight) or maybe the three weeks of benching was just too much for me. In week two I completed the 275x3 for 10 sets with ease and was even able to pause the final rep for each set. Today was just sloppy, slow, and ugly and I failed to complete the last reps of sets 8 and 10. Not a great way to end the three weeks. Look away; I'm hideous.

Video of poo below (one positive: I've never repped 280lbs before):

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Smolov (and Jr) Day 3 Week 3

rawr, imma eat u.

One more fucking day to go. Today's squats showed me that I'm unequivocally stronger than I was at the start of the program. In day 4 of week 1 I really struggled to complete my 3 rep sets with 440lbs. Today I struggled far less to complete that same weight for 5 reps. Depth was good for almost all of the reps, too.  I also benched today (didn't video) and was a moron and did the wrong weight (275x4 for 8 sets instead of 265x4). No wonder benching today was much harder. Plus I really had no power or energy after the squats and was into hour 3 of lifting by the time I was finished. Okay I'm done crying.

Today: 440x5 for 7 sets.

Video of squats below (no bench video today, was lazy).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Smolov (and Jr) Day 2 Week 4

Nearly defeated.

Sorry for not posting the last few days, I was out of town then needed to take an extra day off because my body was basically broken. I'm feeling very good now, no pain in the legs or lower back (ankle, knee, and hip issues seem to have gone away). The new issue is my left shoulder, which I tweaked squatting with an uneven bar (it's length was uneven). This came into play during my final two sets on squats today where I pussied out and just couldn't take the strain. I had to let my shoulder stay loose and my back was loose as a result. I lost all tightness on the final rep of the final set. My thought process: really!? you're gonna fail the last god-damned rep of the day!? fak that. Grinndddddddd. I made it, but now I'm shaken up and full of self-doubt concerning the next workout.

415x7 for 5 sets today. Rocked good depth.

Despite all the shoulder nonsense, depth was very good today (best depth since week 1, in fact) for most reps on most sets, aside from the final set where my back just quit as I mentioned above. Anyway, I benched after squats today, which I was hesitant to do because my shoulder was on fire. But the pain seems to only be affected by the extreme rotation it undergoes on my squat. And my bench sets are moving ridiculously easily, which is nice, because the squats are fucking killing me. Two more days!!

Video of today's workout below:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Smolov Day 4 Week 2

Plz kill me.

Lots of anxiety going in to today's workout. On the last 10 set day, at 440lbs, I barely finished the workout, with each set being absolutely painful and slow. Seeing as today called for a 20lb jump, I had my reservations that I'd actually be able to finish. Anyway, I took my ibuprofen and an extra scoop of jack3d and was feeling pretty good during warm-ups. Still, my hips and low back were fighting me on most of early sets today, refusing to feel strong in the hole and giving me some good pain between sets. I cut a lot of reps high as result. For some reason on set 8 I felt great and two out of the three reps were actually pretty good. I was pushing on my heels the entire time, too. I think this was a combination of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the workout being nearly over and of just correctly unracking the weight and setting my feet properly. Either way, today was far better than last week and I'm feeling good in both mind and body. One more week...

Today: 460x3 for 10 sets

Video of the workout below. Almost all first reps were high and sets 5 and 6 were absolute shit and where I hit the wall. Set 8 was pretty good, though! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Smolov Jr Day 4 Week 2

Lots of shitty reps today, but still easy. 

Today was 275x3 for 10 sets. The last time I tried Smolov Jr I had this weight as my final workout for the program and failed to complete all 10 sets, with each set being a sloppy, bouncy struggle and with about 5-10 minutes taken between each set (I had set my max far too high last time). Today was much different. This time I'm using close grip and aside from handful of misgrooved reps, particularly on the first set, today's reps were fast and easy while I took just 2-3 minutes rest between sets.

275x3 for 10 sets of close grip bench.

Video of workout below. Half way through the reps really start to move.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Smolov Day 3 Week 2

Where my chalk at?

Today was pretty good. 800mg of Ibuprofen before my workout and I had minimal pain in my hip and ankles. I didn't feel very winded between sets and rep speed was okay, too. Tomorrow will be the real test since my last 10 set day kicked my ass and this time it will be 20lbs more. Not much else to say other than that I'm pushing entirely with my heels for my squats. I don't know what I'm doing differently, but it feels great. Oh, the trainer at my gym said not to take too much ibuprofen as it can negate the training session by limiting your body's ability to adapt after a workout. Is this true?

430x5 for 7 sets today.

I benched yesterday as well (260x4 for 8 sets - Day 3 week 2), but didn't record. I'll be back recording bench tomorrow, though - A session I'm looking forward to: 275x3 for 10 sets. Last time I tried Smolov Jr I couldn't complete this day. I'd like to breeze through it this time.

 Video of today's workout below. Hit the wall on set 5. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Smolov Day 2 Week 2 | Smolov Jr Day 2 Week 2

RIP my fav shorts =[
Today marks the midway point of Smolov and Smolov Jr. Today was also the first time I took ibuprofen before my workout (800mg), as well as the first time doing static stretching prior to the workout. Two things: I had no pain for 80% of my squats. Only before the final set did I begin to feel my left hip and knee starting to act up. The ibuprofen also made me dizzier between sets and I also noticed that it was much harder to get my adrenaline to flow (as in my mental tricks to psych myself up didn't do much). Still, the lack of pain was worth it. As for the squats themselves, I brought in my stance a few inches to try and help reduce the strain on my hips. This helped a lot and also made hitting depth much easier. I like it. Oh, and 405x8 was my PR back in March.
405x7 for 5 sets. Pretty easy. 5 to 10 min rest between sets. 

After squats I did bench today too since I missed my last session due to travelling. For some reason doing bench after squats makes my entire body feel recovered. And today's benching was extremely easy. I'm happy with how fast I'm moving these reps. I also did hook grip for the first time. It makes me squeeze the bar much harder and I feel a lot more stable.

245x5 for 7 sets. Extremely easy. 2 min rest between sets. 

Video of workout below. I ripped my favorite shorts on my first set of squats. I think you can hear them ripping on pretty much every rep. Everyone got to see my balls for the rest of the workout. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Smolov Day 4 Week 1, Day 1 Week 2, and Smolov Jr Day 1 Week 2

Okay, back from my trip! Travelling and working out usually blow, and this was no exception. The squat rack in this gym was atrocious. Every time I unracked the weight for squats, some part of the rack would catch the plates and put me off balance. My body was a wreck, too. When not on your normal schedule, recovery and nutrition tend to go to shit. In sum, these workouts were rough.

Final set of squats in that rack. Fuck you, rack. 
Ibuprofen is magical. 
Squats completed thus far. 
Bench completed thus far.

At the moment, both my ankles, my hip, my left knee, my right wrist, and my left pec are all whack. I'm icing, stretching, and taking ibuprofen. All of which take me from a cripple to where I feel normal again in about an hour.

Anyway, taking today off as I was travelling most of the day. I'm going to do Day 2 week 2 of both squat and bench tomorrow.

Video of squats from over vacation below. It's long, prepare to be bored. Although some guy almost ass rapes me on my 3rd set, I think.