Sunday, July 31, 2016

Lessons I Have to Keep Learning

Fast lifts done right make me feel younger, stronger, and more athletic the longer I keep them in my stable.

Decent short term strength and size peaking is possible and (kind of) easy. The intensity and volume used to extract these peaks is not sustainable and will lead to staleness if used over a long period of time.

If your routine takes a spreadsheet to remember or is hard to read, it's too fucking complicated. Your progression should not read like a Java script.

If your goal is not sport or task specific, keep to powerbuilding.

Limit the number of main movements in your stable at any given time. Strive to increase the low and high rep maximums of these movements for as long as possible, then swap them out when you stall out.

An addendum to the above. 1-2 weeks of bad workouts is not stalling out. Focus on quality and quantity of both your rest and nutrition before making a call to change gears.

On the other hand, small bodyparts lifted exclusively for volume and the pump may swap out movements anytime.

Neglect abdominal work and conditioning at your peril. They are the glue that tie your effort into strength.

Speaking of conditioning...kettlebell swings are vastly underrated. For incredibly low risk, you can perform a useful form conditioning that brings blood to muscles that are apt to shut off or get extremely tight.

Practice all rep ranges. There should not be a point where you can not put up a decent 10rm in a movement you regularly practice.

I generally classify movements to keep myself honest. Every movement is a ratio between these categories, but there is always a focus on one or the other.
- moving weight
- feeling weight
- getting an extreme stretch and contraction with a pump as a goal
- isometric contractions and partials

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Injured Training: July 2016

On July 3rd, I blew most of the skin off my right hand with fireworks. Guess what, lifting weights and second degree burns don't really get along. Who fucking knew?

With the exception of herniating a disc in my back, I've never stopped lifting because of an injury (even then, I only took a few weeks off), and this time is no different. I really just needed to see what movements are in and which movements are out until my hand is better.

1. Rack pulls and shrugs
Any heavy pressure on my hand causes blood to well and splash out of the open burns (no fooling...I bled all over the bar). Although I can still hit ~600 rack pulls, the pressure is pretty unbearable to the point where volume is more a test of pain than it is training. Although I'm doing shrugs a bit lighter (425-500#), the bottom of each rep also hurts something wicked.

2. Sumo deadlifts
Same reason as rack pulls and shrugs. However, I may be taking an indefinite hiatus from heavy deadlifting. Before I got injured I was working up my 10 rep max on these, and actually hit my first long term goal of 405x10. The size increases that went along with this was pretty awesome, but the price I had to pay with the rest of my training isn't really worth it. I've found I get better size in my traps and better strength gains to my squat if I stick with Olympic variations instead of heavier deadlifts. I'm not a fuck it.

Other than's pretty much business as per usual. I'm revisiting an old Hepburn routine for everything except my Oly lifts (which I go for a PR on every time I'm in the gym) with some added assistance for my weak points.

As a side note...I prefer floor press over bench press for a few reasons.
- I fucking hate asking a random for a spot
- I've yet to find a bench grip or width that's easy on my shoulders
- Bracing against the ground with a flat back feels WAY better than bracing my feet/hips against the ground

Front Squat 5x2-3, 3x6-8+
- ~2min rest in between sets
- Add one rep for the power and pump sets each workout. Increase weight when you hit 5x3 or 3x8
Overhead Press 5x2-3, 3x6-8+
- ~1min rest in between sets
- Add one rep for the power and pump sets each workout. Increase weight when you hit 5x3 or 3x8
- super set with weighted ab wheel rollouts
Assistance work
- Handstand pushups
- Lateral raises (drop set until failure. bent over, partial range of motion to avoid trap activation)

Powerclean or Snatch High Pull 1x5, 5x3-5
- ~1min rest in between sets
- increase the weight when you hit the max reps indicated
Floor Press 5x2-3, 3x6-8+
- ~1min rest in between sets
- Add one rep for the power and pump sets each workout. Increase weight when you hit 5x3 or 3x8
- super set with weighted chinups (same rep/set scheme)
Romanian Deadlift 1x10, 350 method
- ~2min rest in between sets
- the 350 method refers to completing 50 reps in 3 sets (i.e. you would hit your top set of 1x10, then the next sets would strive to hit 50 reps between the sum of all reps completed in the final 3 sets)
- super set with hammer curls (1x10 of cheat reps, 3x10)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

This is not even my final form: July 4th weekend

To summarize...I had a hell of a weekend.

- 1st car accident
- Blew off most of the skin on my right hand operating fireworks
- Partied under a bridge at an impromptu rave

On one hand, this kinda sucks. On the other, I'm happy weird shit like this still happens. I plan on lifting later with my half hand to see how far I can push myself.

Good times. Gooooooood times.