A Weightlifter Who Benches (p 6 NSFW)

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A Weightlifter Who Benches (p 6 NSFW)

Post by Gary » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:18 am

180-185 lbs at between 5'9" and 5'10". Started this journey at an adult weight out of college of just under 130 lbs. After a decade of not getting big and strong even though I was squatting deep, I got a bodyweight snatch at 150 lbs a few years ago and could deadlift a little more than double bodyweight. Focused on deads and chins and stopped squatting. At my best I did two one-arm chins with my right hand and one with my left.

Worked really hard on upping my squat in 2008 with a Smolov and then started competing in the USAPL Raw division in 2009. First two meets were in the 75 kg class. Best squat there was 369 and best pull was a sumo with 440 and a close miss with around 470. One meet so far in the 82.5 kg class with a 418 SQ, 506 DL (sumo) and a lackluster 231 BP which was also my best BP as a 75 kg.

Another meet coming up in a couple of days and I'll easily bench at least 20 lbs more, but I drove my squat and deadlift into the ground. I did manage to get my a personal best on the conventional deadlift of 490 lbs at a little over 180 in the gym, but since then I've gotten much weaker. Tried another Smolov base phase to peak for this meet and ended up losing 50 lbs off my squat and pull.

I had a damaged ligament in the right knee that led to an effusion that I drained myself for half of 2009 till it went away and my right leg muscles started growing again. Had a slight effusion in the left knee from sheer overuse that I just got to stop coming back with a few weeks of draining. 18 months of high volume and poor cycling left me unable to jump and with stiff knees. Recently got a lot of my quad flexibility back and have rested up so that I got back my ability to leap (best vertical about 24").

Going into this meet to register a better bench before I leave the 82.5 kg class, but will make a very bad showing on the SQ and DL. I hit 365 on the squat today, which is really, really bad. The best I can hope for at this meet is to squat 385 so at least I have the three big 25 kilo reds on each side when I go for my third attempt.

After this I will go through a week of novice progression, then advanced novice, then do an intermediate linear progression with one weekly heavy/volume day that I hope leads me to 405 x5 x3 in time to squat 450+ in a September 25 meet as a light 90 kilo.

M) 255x5x5 W) 275x5x4 F) 295x5x3
M) 315x5x3 W) --------- F) 335x5x3
M) 355x5x3
M) 365x5x3
etc till I have to make 5-lb jumps instead. 405 x5 x3 is a minimum goal; 425 x5 x3 would be ideal and would mean a single around 500.

Will be jumping and/or sprinting on Wednesdays just so I don't lose these abilities again like last time when all I did was squat. Fridays will usually be speed/unloading/practice so I don't lose squat form even though I'll only be squatting heavy once per week. Every other week or two I may do a max set of squats and pulls on Fridays instead of light work.

After Sep 25, I'll have just enough time for the ol' Russian Squat Routine to peak for a meet in December. Unlike fucking Smolov, the RSR has never failed to give me the promised gains. 5% each time I've tried it.
Last edited by Gary on Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:16 pm

Ammonia caps arrived in the mail just now. Just in time for the meet tomorrow!

Knees are feeling good. I'm weighing about 182 on the home scale, which probably means less than 180 on the meet scale.

Heading into a meet significantly weaker at the same weight gives one pause. I have to do things differently from now on. I've already resolved to cut way back on volume and frequency--just one heavy session per week with squat and bench and one light session of each--and to include mobility, jumping and running in my week. I'll also cycle so that at different times of the year I'm doing a lot less barbel stuff and a lot more general movement.

But my concern right now is that I'm weaker. From 150 to 165 I brought my squat from 245 (no belt back then) to 369 with a belt in a meet. I believe I'd pulled 405 sumo at 150, too, and got 440 twice in a meet at 165 with close failed attempt with ~470. I squatted 405 at 170 and then 418 at 179 in a meet. Pulled 506 then, too. I was getting much less bang for the buck in terms of added bodyweight. I got as heavy as 189, but was really not getting stronger and now I've lost a lot of strength because of improper programming. Tomorrow I'm just aiming for 385 on the squat and 474 on the deadlift.

I really believe I could be a lot stronger at 180. I already have been. Hell, I was stronger at 170-175 than I am now. I think my problem came from trying to bulk up too much after I left the 75 kg. Yeah, 180 at 5'9"/5'10" is still light, but for me this is intermediate territory and I can't expect to put on 20 lbs to my frame and 100 lbs on my squat in a couple of months.

I don't think I'd be doing my harm in dropping 10 lbs and working back up more slowly. My squat is only 365-375 right now anyway. I could probably keep that strength down to ~170 lbs bodyweight. I'd like to hit the 180's again with a squat in the high 400's, maybe even do my next meet as a 181 and squat close to 500. I just have to be more patient this time and a little more careful with the nutrition.

In other news I found my old pair of Chucks (with the hole in the bottom of the left one) and was reminded why people love to lift in this brand. Flat and grippy with toes that turn up with a bit of wear. They feel awesome in the squat.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:23 pm

Just went to weigh at the gym scale and work up to my bench opener; it's been nearly a week since I benched and today was the very first time I practiced the pause. Weighed 179.5 (that digital scale only reads out in 0.5 lb increments). Paused benched 225, 235 and 245. Attempts will be 100 kg, 110 kg, 115 kg. If I'm feeling especially spry tomorrow, I"ll go for 117.5 kg on my last instead of 115. The second attempt of 110 will mean I beat my old meet best in this weight class (and the weight class before that, too!).

I think a lot of the weight I've put on since 170 has been useless blubber. I wouldn't mind the blubber if it had come with another 50 lbs on the squat, but it didn't. I'd like to get back over a 405 squat again, but I want to do it while weighing 175 or less. I don't think that's too much to ask. I first squatted 395 at a spindly 169 lbs and 405 at 174 or so. The key to my progress now is accepting smaller increases on the bar and on my bodyweight at a time. I'm not going to get to 200 as quickly as I first anticipated, but when I do get there, I may also be close to a triple bodyweight squat raw and still on the lean side.

I'm supposed to take a week off after the meet and then maybe another week off since I'll be traveling on business. I'd rather get right back to squatting and have a light planned for my first week back (255, 275 and 295 all for x5x3), but maybe I ought to avoid weights for a while. When I do get back, I could try something high frequency/low volume like PTTP so I could maximize strength while not gaining weight (actually losing a little weight), except that I'm very afraid of thrashing my knees again.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:46 am

Meet Report.

Nine for nine. Weighed in at 181.9. Best SQ 180/396, best BP 115/253, best DL 225/495.

The good news: the squat was just 10 kilos less than my last meet best and the pull was just 10 kilos less than my last meet best. New bench PR and all time paused bench PR.

The bad news: the squat was 10 kilos less than my last meet best and the pull was 10 kilos less than my last meet best. My all time best meet bench is 253 lbs.

I came in second to a young guy I really ought to have beaten and whom I would have beaten had I trained properly instead of running my squat and pull into the goddamn ground. Not that winning matters in this case. I would have gladly lost if I'd just have put up more weight this time than last time.

But on the bright side, I was completely surprised at how close I came to my old numbers considering how incredibly in the hole I was just a few weeks ago. I was hurting and even as late as last night I wondered if I'd get more than 160 kg on the squat or 210 kg on the pull.

I just posted in the training forum about how 2-3 times per week with assistance and speed work were doing great things for my bench (added 20 lbs to it in just a few weeks) and how I want to keep using that sort of intermediate programming. Now I can confidently apply it to the squat and pull, too, instead of pussyfooting around with very light daily work.

M)
Bench x5x3
Squat x5x3
Weighted Dip x5x2

W)
light bench
light squat
Overhead Press x5x3
Weighted Chin x5x3

F)
Bench x5x1
Squat x5x1/DL x5x1
Incline bench x5x1

Or something like this.
Last edited by Gary on Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:15 pm

@182
BP 227.5 x5 x3
SQ 315 x5 x3
Dip +65x5, +70x5

Had the 1.25 plates in my backpack and used them just to get a little over 225 on the bar. Last set felt the easiest.

Squats got harder than I would have liked at this weight. Last rep was really tough and I lost tightness in the upper back and grip as I shoved traps against the bar with everything I had. Reps moved fairly fast for all of that overall. I missed depth a couple of times because I was trying to pop out of the hole as soon as I hit it. Didn't lose back angle on any of them that I remember, but it was still tough. Back off sets with 225, 135, and the bar to move quickly under lighter load. Light quad and ham stretches at home.

PR sets on Saturdays for squats. Starting with five reps and working to a single in five weeks. 355x5 to 415 or 425 x1. Then do an RSR based on that single to peak at at least 200 kg on Sep 25.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:44 am

@182
BP 235 x5, x4, 230 x4
SQ 245 x3 x2

Horrible session today, but hours later I've come up with some good ideas because of it.

That was a stupid jump on the bench press and I don't know why I did it. My best before the meet was 235 x5, x5, x4 so this is pretty far short of that. Reset to 230 and continue with linear progression and assistance work (chins, dips, overheads). I was supposed to do chins today, but like a dumbass I'd only had coffee by midday and no gas in the tank.

I decided to keep the squats light and fast. I managed to be neither with just 245 on my back. I was thinking about doing intermediate progression with squats, too, but now I really want to do the RSR which has always always always worked for me as planned. I've always gotten 20-25 lbs from the RSR. It's so simple. Accumulate volume with waves down to keep from burning out. Then systematically drop volume and up intensity to a new max. It has never failed me, unlike Smolov base phase.

I have exactly enough time for a full RSR for the Sep 25 meet and then another RSR for a Dec meet. What I would do differently is a nod to the Masters' version which cuts the frequency down to twice a week. That means that one day is always the 80%x2x6 day even as either volume or intensity rises on the other day.

Some say to be wary of possible over-reaching with this routine, but the RSR is really a plain ol' vanilla protocol. It's honestly not that bad and it's as straightforward as PPST intermediate programming: a heavy day with linear increase (volume then intensity) and a light day.

Based on a recent 395 third attempt at a meet (and considering the max at the previous meet was 418):

325 x2x6 up to x6x6
345 x5x5
365 x4x4
385 x3x3
405 x2x2
425 x1, 435 x1?

A week off and then start over based on ~430:

345 x2x6 up to x6x6
365 x5x5
385 x4x4
405 x3x3
425 x2x2
445 x1, 455 x1?

These numbers are pretty rosy, but I've done the first set of them before. I hope I can do it again and stay under 190; hit ~435 as a 181 belt only in comp. Maybe ~450 in that weight class too later on, but I doubt it.

70-80% double and triple pulls on the light squat days (345-405) in competition style (sumo); maybe use conventional for the first cycle (and adjust weight accordingly) and sumo for the second.

Linear progression on the bench with assistance work. I'll probably quickly end up having a light and heavy bench day to match the squat heavy and bench day. Second cycle I may just end up doing the RSR for the bench too.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:52 am

I've been in Vancouver all week and took the opportunity to rest. My knees are feeling better than ever and I can jump and run again. Turns out I had quadriceps tendonitis, which is exactly the sort of thing one can expect after squatting multiple times per week with ~80% 1RM for many sets for months on end.

Now I'm back in the gym, but I am very leery of squats and of doing too much volume. So I decided to focus on pulling for a cycle or two. I will pull heavy one day and then maybe BOX SQUAT light another. Why the box squat? Because it takes the stress off the knees at the bottom of the squat. No matter how you slice it, hips and knees take a bit of a beating when you bounce out the bottom of a squat. Correct programming keeps the connective tissue from accumulating damage faster than it can be repaired, but right now I'm just not sure my knees can handle squatting stress at all. So the pull's the thing for now.

I'm combining some different ideas right now, mostly from Prilepin and Sheiko. I'm concerned about maintaining good bar speed and form. I would like to concentrate more on actual power instead of grinding out reps with deteriorating form. To this end, I'm dialing back belt use on squats for a while and also dialing back the weights so I maintain back angle even on the last reps. The belt allows for those grinding reps with hip shooting. Also, I'm going to be keeping the reps a little lower on squats and making it up by doing a couple more sets. Form maintenance and power/strength-speed is the new focus there.

I like the idea of squatting twice per week, deadlifting once and benching thrice. But for right now, I'm not squatting at all. If I do squat, it will be onto a box so as to save my knees till they feel even more solid. The benching will probably follow a medium/volume, heavy/intensity, light/speed/active recovery format. Today I did benches with ~70% for 5x5 with some heavier attempts to see where my strength is (hint: 225 and 235 were too heavy for work sets today). Normally I would have followed that up with squats around the same percentage and volume, but today I just dicked around with t-bar and db rows (both of which I am discovering that I hate) and then did weighted dips and bodyweight pull ups.

@182
BP 135x5, 155x3, 175x3, 188x5, 225x1, 235x1, 188x5 x4
Dip +45x5, +75x5, +80x5
Pull Ups x5, x5

Really did notice bar speed staying high until I reached the prescribed limits (30 total reps at this weight). Also noticed that my right side seemed to give out entirely on the "heavy" reps. Some weird neurological thing going on there. Also noticed a slightly different feel on each side during heavy dips. Will see if this gets sorted out with practice.

Wednesday I will bench in the 80-89% range with the appropriate volume and then sumo pull 75 or 80% for sets of doubles. Maybe some isolation upper body work like flies, extensions and curls. Friday it's back down to 60-69% with speed and some supplemental overhead pressing and fairly heavy chinning. If I were squatting right now, I'd do light squats on Friday: after pressing, but before chinning.

To be exact: bench week I) 70-80-60, week II) 76-86-66, week III) 79-89-69. A moderate jump for each day, then half that in week III. Dip +90 next time, then +95. Just add sets for pull ups. Not sure which way to go for weighted chin ups.

The idea right now is to use the three weeks I have left in Orlando to get my bench moving and to let my knees finish healing. The break from squats is also a good time to get in some focus on the deadlift.

Edit: Weekly schedule...

Su- BP
M- Rest
Tu- DL
W- Rest
Th- BP
F- light/box SQ, light DL

Gives me something fun to do on Sunday and lets me avoid the other rats on M and W. Bench thrice medium/heavy/light, pull twice heavy/light. Rest days appropriately spaced. When I start squatting again, it will look very Sheiko-ish...

Su- SQ, BP, SQ, BP assist
M- Rest
Tu- BP, DL, BP, BP assist
W- Rest
Th- SQ, BP, SQ, BP assist
F- Rest
Sa- Rest

Three BP, Two SQ, One DL, lots of BP assistance in the form of other upper body compound movements and isolations stuff. No SQ assist in the form of the good morning because my low bar squat has a very strong good morning element. Deadlifting with a belt has been the hardest ab work I've every done.
Last edited by Gary on Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by powerlifter54 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:02 pm

Gary,

Interesting stuff. As a skinny master you can't beat yourself in all three lifts and expect progress and no issues. i strongly advise doing board presses in your BP program. Close grip or wider grips, the overload they provide is what you need in a limited weight gain situation.

Good luck
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:18 am

powerlifter54 wrote:Gary,

Interesting stuff. As a skinny master you can't beat yourself in all three lifts and expect progress and no issues. i strongly advise doing board presses in your BP program. Close grip or wider grips, the overload they provide is what you need in a limited weight gain situation.

Good luck
Thanks, Jack. I'm still going to try an RSR-ish progression for my unbelted squats when I get back to squatting, but it will be bounded by Prilepin's guidelines, stopping at 5x5 instead of 6x6 and just twice per week with the accumulating volume day as the heavy day and the the down volume day as the light day. Also thinking of inserting a back off week between the three weeks of twice weekly volume accumulation and the three weeks of accumulating intensity.

Thanks for the BP advice. I could implement that immediately because tomorrow is heavy bench day. Just a set or two w/ the board out of the five or six doubles and triples at 80% I have planned. I'd up the weight a bit for the board work, obviously. I have VERY long Negro arms with distal elongation (forearms relatively long for my humeri which are relatively long for my torso) and short torso that makes for a loooooong bench stroke. I imagine a board will make quite the difference.

Also I implemented an idea you mentioned in one of your articles: wetsuit top for bench training. The guys at Orlando Barbell bust my chops over it ("Is that an IPF thing?"), but it works like a charm. I trained through a mild pec strain with no problem thanks to that shirt. It works the same magic for the shoulders and pecs that the neoprene sleeves work for the knees.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:51 pm

Things are falling into place now that I've accepted I'm not going to get to 500/300/600 on linear progression. Some guys get to a 315 BP just by adding weight every other day and then every week. I got to 225 that way and it's going to take some thoughtful programming to get to 300.

@180
BP
135 x5
185 x3
205 x1
215 x3, x2

(Added one-board.)
225 x3
245 x3 (Third rep slowed.)
235 x2

(No board.)
215 x2

DL (sumo, hook grip, no belt)
315 x3
355 x2 (felt lighter, moved faster)
405 x2 x5

BP Assist

On the advice of PL54 Jack Reape and in imitation of raw super-bencher "Fat" Brett, I added a board to a few of the heavy sets. Felt good, but I'm a little sad that my "heavy board work" is pretty near what my top sets were a few weeks ago. I'd stalled a couple of times with 230x5x2; today my heavy work before the boards was 215 for a triple and a double. Of course, this type of weakness is supposed to happen after a peak and it's normal for the first week back.

As I've mentioned, I'm paying a great deal of attention to bar speed these days. When bar speed slows down, I start backing off. I was hoping to get a triple with that 245 1-board and I did, but the third rep was half the speed of the second. So I backed down by 10 lbs and one rep for the last set on the board. One more set with just 215 to get a tiny bit more volume. Total volume in the 80-89% range: 15 reps. Optimal according to Prilepin. The board complicates things a bit, but I'm sure that the weights I used were still 80%-89% of my "board 1RM". 245 is actually about 92% of my board-less 1RM and that's close enough for government work.

DLs were the rare pleasant surprise in the gym. I worked in with someone as they hit 315. I've never gotten any benefit from warming up really light in the deadlift, though I acknowledge that this may change as I get older and stronger. This was the first time I'd pulled since the meet two weeks ago and I was a little slow with the 315 and worried that my plan to stay at 405 was misguided. But 355 felt lighter and moved faster than 315 had. I put on the belt for 405, but then decided to see how 405 felt without it. Felt great. Kept the belt off for all five sets of doubles.

Now I have much less worries about the deadlift altering my pull form than I do the belt altering my squat form. The belt aids the squat more and the tendency to go too heavy and sacrifice form getting prescribed reps is great. Less so with the deadlift where the difference between a max with and without a belt is less than 20 lbs. The belt can make a huge difference as the volume mounts and back extensor fatigue sets in, and I will use it without hesitation when I go for those last sets on x4x5 day.

Very last set started with a slower rep, but the second was fast and strong. Jo said I wasn't bringing my hips low enough, but I will always maintain that that's a function of my daddy long legs anthropometry. My sumo may have my hips high, but it very much a leg movement for me that I don't feel in my back at all.

Finished up with some "scapular shrugs" on the seated, supported row machine, though I did them while holding the wrong handles, supersetted with hammer curls dragged across the body (40-lb db's x6 x3). Biceps were feeling a little achy after bench presses (remember, they assist in humeral adduction) and I figured a little direct work would count as bench prehab and assistance.

Sumos did not aggravate my quadriceps tendons at all, but I felt I got a decent leg workout anyway. Very encouraging and makes me confident in using the sumo to keep some stress on the legs without having to squat. Plus it's how I pull in competition and a little concentration on them can't hurt.

Next: Light/fast bench, overhead work, heavy chins and lots of light flies for recovery.

Edit: Further I think that I may need to try a 2-board. My bench stroke is very long and 1-board may not make enough of a difference.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:41 pm

Searched the site for stuff on box squats (since I'm subbing them in for a while next cycle) and found this bit from Jim Wendler in a post from Megafauna:
TM: If you had to choose between the free squat and the box squat, what would you choose?

My no BS, non-PC answer is this: free squats will trump anything in the weight room for sports. The recovery time is slower than box squats, but that should tell you something- it's a harder movement and requires more muscle, coordination, strength, etc.

This is easily seen by leg (quad and hamstring) and glute development of a free squatter vs. a box squatter. Box squatters usually have comparatively poor leg development. Some people will argue that you can make up for it with lunges, step-ups, or something similar. But all this tells me is that you could kill two birds with one stone simply by squatting without a box. (Remember training economy? You should, it's important).

Also, remember that teaching a free squat and having athletes do it correctly isn't as hard as you're probably making it. They DO NOT have to be 100% correct with their form; I'm not even close to what most people will say is perfect squat form, but I still get a lot out of it.

I believe that it's easier to teach box squats, but most of the problems that people have squatting (besides being scared or whatever) stems from lacking the proper mobility. To me, training for sports is two things: 1) Having the mobility to get into the proper position for sporting performance, and 2) Having the strength to maintain the position or move from the position.

That's really it. If someone can perform a free squat correctly, or at least fairly correct, that tells me that they're probably mobile enough to do most anything on the court, ice, or field. (Not always, mind you, but it's a good indicator.) So perhaps those guys who absolutely suck at free squats need their training to address the other problems that they're having.

I also think that three to four workouts to "find" their squat form is fine. You can use these weeks for some lower volume/less intensity work and have them build from there.

But I'm not entirely convinced that one needs to throw away the box squat either as it does have great applications, especially for those with knee problems. And some people are just awful free squatters...AWFUL. For these people, the box is fine.

Just remember that you have to treat the box squat as a separate exercise. Many lifters make the mistake of getting good at box squats, thinking that there is a carryover to free squats; it's only when they go out to free squat and shit themselves miserably that they realize that the carryover is limited at best.

That brings me to something that I've learned the hard way- the box squat transfers better to a geared free squat than to a raw free squat. I've seen this in my own training and countless others. Remember, a squat suit will stop you in the hole, much like a box would. And the suit/briefs will rocket you out of the hole, too.

So getting back to whether to choose a free squat or a box squat, the real question you have to ask is this: is it important to be good at the free squat, or is it just important that you (or your athletes) perform a squatting movement of some type i.e. box, free, Zercher, belt, etc?

You have to determine that for yourself, but in a perfect world, the free squat would be the number one squatting exercise for me.
Great stuff. Just wanted to have it within easy reach so I posted it here.

I have a very specific reason for wanting to box squat next cycle. It's mainly because I think I need another few weeks to let this Q tendonitis completely die down. Box squats seem to carryover very well to my competition deadlifts, too (sumo). I tried a few unweighted box squats to a 14" stool (about an inch below parallel for me) at home today and they felt really, really good. Not quite ready to do them with weight as part of the protocol yet, but I definitely will next cycle. So much more forgiving on the knees.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:18 am

@182+

BP
135 x4
165 x3, x4, x4, x4
135 x4

Press (overhead)
95 x5
115 x4
125 x3
135 x2, x2
115 x4

Chin Up
+25 x4
+35 x4
+45 x3
+55 x3
+25 x4

Bench: Bar moved slowly on first reps because I didn't realize how important it was to pull the bar down quickly before reversing direction. These were NOT bounced, but that speed on the way down was crucial to getting speed on the way up. Jack wrote about this before and now I really get it.

Press: All sets were preceded by a clean and a 2-second pause. The clean definitely stores tension in the muscles and the weight is easier to move even after a few seconds pausing (It takes a while for tension to dissipate enough for it not to help). I could have done a third rep with the first set with 135, but I was trying to keep bar speed reasonably high. Bar speed slowed on second set so I called it quits at that weight even though I'd wanted to get at least three sets of doubles (This is EXACTLY the kind of discipline I mean to keep enforcing).

Chin Up: +25 moved very quickly and I gingerly increased the intensity much like I did with presses. Slowed on third rep with 55 so dropped the weight back to 25 to get a little more volume.

Did some jumping between sets of chins and was pleased to find I was getting 22-24". Back still hurting a bit from all the hard arching I'm doing on the bench. Refining split thus...

BP: heavy/medium bench press, pull up, weighted dip
SQ: heavy/medium squat

BP: light (fast) bench press, overhead press, weighted chin up
SQ: light (fast) squat, heavy/medium deadlift

Right now I'm not squatting so squats will be replaced with deadlifts: heavy day and a light day.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:07 pm

The RSR and Smolov base phase have given me just about all my squat gains. The RSR has been the most consistent (three for three) while the Smolov has been more productive but less reliable (it's only worked 1/3 of the times I've used it).

It should be obvious that these programs are too much as they're written to be done over and over. I found that out the hard way when my lifts started going down and finally crashed while I developed a case of quadriceps tendonitis that prevented me from running and jumping. But the progressions make sense. The frequency just needs a little tweaking I think. Instead of doing all that volume and intensity three and four times per week, one is plenty and an easy second squat day to a) aid recovery, b) practice form and c) prevent soreness is well advised.

Not to seem like too much of a crybaby, but the intensity and volume could use a tiny bit of tweaking too. These numbers are based on the stuff from the Russian Squat Routine, Smolov and Feduleyev, but within the boundaries espoused by Prilepin and stretched out over months instead of weeks.

The other stipulations:
-Squat just twice per week, one medium-heavy day, one light. The light days are not listed, but will usually be 65% for 6-8 sets of triples.
-Three weeks up, one week down

The routines always go slightly over the edge of the Prilepin boundaries toward the end, but I'm supposed to be a little bit stronger by that point so the percentages as written should be 2% over my actual strength (and actual percentages being used).

I have the RSR-based routine top out at 5x5 instead of 6x6, but up the baseline intensity to 85% instead of 80%. I bring down average intensity by adding the light-n-fast day with 65% (average intensity a little less than 75%, depending on the total volume on the light day).

The Smolov is similarly tamed by minusing one from the set and rep column at a given intensity (6x6 becomes 5x5, 5x7 becomes 4x6, etc.) The 4% and 2% jumps seem kind of fussy, but I wanted to keep them slightly under 5% and 2.5%. I'm shaving off a set or rep or both in the top end sets from all the Feduleyev prescriptions. The light day goes down from 65% to 60% as the intensity climbs from 70% to 85%. 55% to 65% as Feduleyev takes it up to 90%.

Intro after Lay-off, 4 weeks/1 month
Work up to 80%: 65% x8 x3, 70% x5, 75% x2 x2, 80%
Work up to 90%: 70% x5 x4, 75% x3, 80% x2 x2, 90%
Work up to 95%: 75% x , 80% x , 85% , 95%
Back off. Test easy, "training" max.
RSR-inspired, 9 weeks/2 months
85% x3 x5
85% x4 x5
85% x5 x5
Back off

90% x4 x4
95% x3 x3
100% x2x2
Back off

Test Max ~105% x1
Smolov-inspired, 13 weeks/3 months
70% x5 x5
75% x4 x6
80% x3 x7
85% x2 x9
Back off

74% x5 x5
79% x4 x6
84% x3 x7
89% x2 x9
Back off

76% x5 x5
81% x4 x6
86% x3 x7
91% x2 x9
Back off

Test New 1RM. Test New 1RM w/ Belt
Feduleyev-inspired, 16 weeks/4 months
Add belt

65% x3, 75% x4, 85% x4 x3, 85% x4
60% x3, 70% x3, 80% x4, 90% x3, 85% x4 x2
65% x4, 70% x4, 80% x4 x4
Back off

60% x4, 70% x4, 80% x4, 90% x3, 90% x2 x2
65% x3, 75% x3, 85% x3, 90% x3 x2, 95% x2
65% x3, 75% x3, 85% x4, 90% x4 x4
Back off

60% x3, 70% x3, 80% x3, 90% x4 x4
60% x3, 70% x3, 80% x3, 95% x2 x2
65% x3, 75% x3, 85% x3, 95% x2 x4
Back off

70% x3, 80% x4, 90% x4 x5
70% x3, 80% x3, 95% x2 x4
75% x3, 90% x4, 80% x4 x3
Back off

Test 1RM w/ belt.
Break from Squats: sub Sumo Deadlifts (which I'm doing right now). My deadlift follows my squat almost lockstep. But a month off from squats followed by a month of easy or box squatting while focusing on the deadlift seems like a very good idea.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:41 am

@182+
Power Snatch 95x3
Power Clean 135x3, 165x2

Deadlift (conventional, no belt, hook grip)
315 x1
365 x1 x2
315 x1
315 x2 x5

Used the power movements as a warm up but also as a check. So depressed about how much I have not improved on these. I suspect that I'm not ever going to get to get a 315 clean. While I don't have any Olympic aspirations, I'd hoped that one day I'd be strong enough to get a 225 for reps on this movement. But ~185 feels as hard as it ever did.

Warmed up with 315 on the conventional pull with the intention of doing very quick reps with 365. 365 didn't move as quickly as I would have liked so I dropped it to 315 and ended up doing fairly fast sets of doubles with that weight. This is just over 60% of my best 490 conventional with a belt. Hours later lats feeling full and a little achy.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:19 pm

This whole "knees not working" thing has been a good thing because it forced me to pay attention to my upper body again. I've also discovered the power of heavy partial work (not too "partial"). I want to use both high and parallel boxes for squatting when I get back to it

BP
130 x5
180 x5
200 x4 x2 (~78%)
2-Board 240 x2
2-Board 270 x3, x3 (Last rep really slow)
2-Board 250 x3
200 x3
210 x3

Pull Up x5 x4

Dip
+0 x5
+45 x3
+90 x2 1/2, x1

Used the 38-lb bar today, but rounded it up to 40 because it's easier for me to look at and compare numbers ending in 0 than those ending in 3 and 8. The first set w/ 200 moved like a speed set. The second set was a little slower. Added a 2-board this time and 240 felt easy so I jumped to 270. First set fine, but second set was a real grinder on the last rep. Dropped it to 250 and kept the bar moving quickly. 200 without the board felt much lighter and faster after holding 250-270.

Pull ups were no problem, but really failed on dips. My pressors were more exhausted than I realized. Need to start treating dip as a volume finisher instead of a max effort movement, especially if I'm going to be doing heavier top end work with the boards. I probably would have been better off with prone DB extensions or higher-rep partial dips for triceps hypertrophy today.

Still plenty of energy left at the end of the session. Had to load bags of salt in the trunk and then carry them around back when I got home. No wheelbarrow means I got some GPP. Tomorrow rest, then the next day triples with ~82% on the sumo deadlift. I was just going to add a rep to each set each week, but now I want to add a little weight each time too (2% then another 1% next week).
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:06 am

Just before midnight...

DL (sumo, no belt, hook grip)
315 x3
365 x1
405 x1
425 x2, x3, x3, x3, x3, x3

Warmed up by practicing box squat experimentation. I used the bar for a few from different heights and then 135 just for a rep or two just below parallel. Tried very wide stances and sitting so far back that my knees went behind my ankles. I really doubt now that I'd get much from these in terms of regular squatting, but they will definitely help my sumo pull! They're a sumo pull with the bar on the back.

Deadlifts went very well, but on the first set I forgot that this was triples, not doubles. All reps moved very quickly, but on the fourth set my legs started to quiver a bit. The second rep of the last set I lost my balance a bit and nearly fell backward. Last rep was fast and clean. I'm really amazed at how fast I managed to keep moving. That last set was just so I could say I got five sets of triples. I would have gotten the target volume by doing just a single, but I really wanted five triples.

Some chalk had built up on my quads from where my hands finished just above my knees. This caused friction on the last reps and it took me a while to figure out why. The skin there is a little ripped up on both legs now. Did foam roller on back and it felt great on my lower back. Stretched a bit with a side split and bend-overs. Lots of rest between sets (5-10 minutes) as I gabbed with another lifter and made sure I was recovered for each set. Thumbs felt like they were going to separate from my body after the last couple of sets.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:09 am

BP light
45 x5
135 x5
175 x3 x4

Box Squat to just below parallel
135 x5
225 x5
275 x3
295 x2
Very loose briefs (44)
315 x2 x2
335 x2
365 x1
Reverse bands, light
365 x2
Belt 405 x2
Belt 405 x1 x2
No Belt 405 x1
No Belt 315 x3 back off

Standing Press preceded by one clean
90 x5
110 x4
130 x2
140 x2 x5

Chin Up
+0 x5
+25 x4
+45 x3
+60 x2
+70 x1 x2
+45 x2

I was initially going to put the box squats off till tomorrow, but was really eager to try them out tonight. From now on, put squats on separate days from presses and chins. Chins suffered a bit because I was just tired by the time I got to them.

Nothing special on benches, but I'm very happy that I got to 335 for doubles (maybe a triple or two, don't remember) and at least one set (maybe more, don't remember) without a belt and to a half inch below parallel with a full stop and 1-2 second pause. I THINK I hit 365 without the bands once before adding them. Knees felt fine during and after. I'm not sure what to make of the reps with 405 because they had the light reverse bands on them, but they felt strong.

The other lifters were giving me shit for looking down (even though it felt stronger) and I looked up for the last couple of singles with 405. I like looking down better, but can't say that among lifters who look at the ceiling as they do very wide monolift squats. They were somewhat mollified by the fact that I was using bands and wearing loose briefs for the heavy sets.

I was a bit surprised that I managed to get so many sets with 135-140 with the presses. I was using the 38-lb bar actually had 138 on there; counting it as 140 with the collars. I actually lost count, but I know it was at least five doubles, maybe six.

Chins suffered. The singles with 70 @~180+ are almost as heavy as that max I did with 100 @165, and they moved much faster and I was a lot more tired. So I'm guessing I'm stronger, but won't know for a fact till I max out when fresh.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:27 am

Been feeling kinda upset lately about not being able to snatch or clean very much weight. So I went to the gym to kick some tires, tell some lies and to test out the ol' snatch.

I had a notion to tack on Broz/Bulgarian style daily training to my more Westside-ish approach to benches and deads this cycle. This was not a good notion. I lost a lot of enthusiasm as I approached my limits in the snatch today.

I did nothing but singles. With the lighter weights I did these singles with little rest between them. I got up to what I thought was 135. I didn't realize till later that I had on the 25, 15 and 10 bumpers for a total of 145. I got a good single with that weight and then added 10 lbs where I failed three times. In between my attempts Brett and Sam took cracks at it. Brett got it clean while Sam did something that looked like a front raise to overhead lockout. It was Sam who later realized that I had 155 on the bar, not 145.

My full squat snatches became power snatches as the weight increased. I like to think that if I were to devote time to learning to full squat snatch heavy, I could get bodyweight right now. It sort of irks me that I've pulled just under 500 lbs conventionally (with a belt), but have trouble cleaning more than 185. Of course, that just reflects the fact that I consistently powerlift and don't weightlift. It also reflects my average vertical jump/athletic ability and proportions heavily skewed toward the first pull over the second.

I tried to clean after the snatch, but my left wrist said "nyet!" I also got the weightlifting bug out of my system. I have to admit, I'm much happier overall making deadlift PRs than clean or snatch PRs. The deadlift is just purer and more primal to me. I'd also like to see some of my squat/deadlift improvements show up in my snatch numbers, but what can ya' do?

I've been thinking about my expectations. I need to bring them in line with reality so I'm not disappointed. I think I've used up my easy gains and probably went a little overboard and am now carrying a little too much fat overall (plus I've been getting 75% of my calories from beer this week). So 200 lbs is a fine goal to accomplish over the next couple of years. And I won't be "eating big" for it because my strength gains are bound to come but slowly at this stage.

A lean 200-lb body capable of 500-550 SQ, 300-350 BP, 550-600 DL, 200-225 Press, 250-275 Power Clean and 175-200 Power Snatch: this seems reasonable and worthwhile. Not enough to win anything important, but enough to feel strong and to intimidate the guys at the local spa gym before I get kicked out for deadlifting. I'm not making money from this and I don't really need all that extra strength in my life so I have to take my pleasures where I can.

Tomorrow is a real session: 2-board press with 275 for doubles. Maybe bench press triples with 225 and 235. Pull ups and light dips for reps. So excited! But I really don't have any bench PRs planned for this coming week. The PR will be on light bench day in the press in which I hope to get a bunch of doubles w/ 145. The most I've ever clean and pressed is about 155, so doubles with 94% of that would be good.

Then the next day (or day after that depending on how I feel): attempting sumos with 445 x4 x5, no belt. The idea is for next cycle to have 30-lb (6% 1RM) jumps as volume decreases: 475 x3 x4, 505 x2 x3, 535 x1 x2, then rest a week and pull 550x1 with a belt. Ideally this would coincide with a meet, but I don't know in which state I'll be living in a month.

Beyond that new PR in the sumo, I want to get back to free squatting, but break back in slowly. I was thinking box squats on Tuesdays and then alternating free low bar squats with sumo pulls on Fridays. I want to go for 450/275/550 @ 181 in a raw meet. That's 2.5x bodyweight SQ and 3x bodyweight DL and 1.5x bodyweight BP, which are significant milestones for me.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by powerlifter54 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:50 pm

Gary,

Get the original Rehband knee sleeves. Your knees will be glad you did.

http://www.jackalsgym.com/

Click on "store" .
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:25 pm

powerlifter54 wrote:Gary,

Get the original Rehband knee sleeves. Your knees will be glad you did.

http://www.jackalsgym.com/

Click on "store" .
Jack,

Bought 'em back in summer of 2008! Got two sizes, expecting that I'd grow into the bigger one. I sorta did, but found that the smaller size felt even better when my legs got bigger. Recently gave away my large Rehbands to a 250-lb APF/APA lifter at the gym because he started training more raw and I just wasn't using them at all.

Back when my right knee was really, really bad, I would double up on the Rehbands for it, putting the large over the mediums. That allowed me to keep training as I rehabbed the knee and had to drain it of excess fluid several times daily (for eight months!).

I even wrote an article about the spectrum of gear usage in which I highly praised neoprene for the joints, and Rehbands in particular for the knees. I have had several people on that forum report that they are ecstatic with their Rehbands.

I am still amazed by what a little warmth and compression does for the joints and for performance in general. The sleeves instantly transform creaky and sore knees into well-oiled pistons. When things are really bad for my knees, I just slip those bad boys on and can function in my life outside the gym much closer to 100%. I will forgo shoes and squat barefoot, forgo a belt and just use less weight, but I would never give up my knee sleeves. I like to do the occasional set or even entire session without them, but I think they should be used more often than not to prolong the lifting life of the knees.

I have neoprene compression shorts that I use a lot less than the knee sleeves and a wetsuit short-sleeved top that I use very rarely but will start using more on full-range bench press days. That top helped me train through a mild strain in my right pec (an idea I got from something you wrote in an article). Neoprene is fine for regular squatting and pulling, but for box squats, a pair of briefs/squat suit is even better. The neoprene does make getting briefs/suit on a lot easier though!
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by powerlifter54 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:46 pm

Gary wrote:
powerlifter54 wrote:Gary,

Get the original Rehband knee sleeves. Your knees will be glad you did.

http://www.jackalsgym.com/

Click on "store" .
Jack,

Bought 'em back in summer of 2008! Got two sizes, expecting that I'd grow into the bigger one. I sorta did, but found that the smaller size felt even better when my legs got bigger. Recently gave away my large Rehbands to a 250-lb APF/APA lifter at the gym because he started training more raw and I just wasn't using them at all.

Back when my right knee was really, really bad, I would double up on the Rehbands for it, putting the large over the mediums. That allowed me to keep training as I rehabbed the knee and had to drain it of excess fluid several times daily (for eight months!).

I even wrote an article about the spectrum of gear usage in which I highly praised neoprene for the joints, and Rehbands in particular for the knees. I have had several people on that forum report that they are ecstatic with their Rehbands.

I am still amazed by what a little warmth and compression does for the joints and for performance in general. The sleeves instantly transform creaky and sore knees into well-oiled pistons. When things are really bad for my knees, I just slip those bad boys on and can function in my life outside the gym much closer to 100%. I will forgo shoes and squat barefoot, forgo a belt and just use less weight, but I would never give up my knee sleeves. I like to do the occasional set or even entire session without them, but I think they should be used more often than not to prolong the lifting life of the knees.

I have neoprene compression shorts that I use a lot less than the knee sleeves and a wetsuit short-sleeved top that I use very rarely but will start using more on full-range bench press days. That top helped me train through a mild strain in my right pec (an idea I got from something you wrote in an article). Neoprene is fine for regular squatting and pulling, but for box squats, a pair of briefs/squat suit is even better. The neoprene does make getting briefs/suit on a lot easier though!

Gary,

Glad to hear it! Glad the shorty worked for you. i used my compression shorts under my loose breifs to box squat too in the past, and live on Rehband knee slleves and may upgrade to those for elbows. i cuurently use nike football sleeves. Do you Train at Orlando barbell?

Jack
"Start slowly, then ease off". Tortuga Golden Striders Running Club, Pensacola 1984.

"But even snake wrestling beats life in the cube, for me at least. In measured doses."-Lex

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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:12 pm

powerlifter54 wrote:
Gary wrote:
powerlifter54 wrote:Gary,

Get the original Rehband knee sleeves. Your knees will be glad you did.

http://www.jackalsgym.com/

Click on "store" .
Jack,

Bought 'em back in summer of 2008! Got two sizes, expecting that I'd grow into the bigger one. I sorta did, but found that the smaller size felt even better when my legs got bigger. Recently gave away my large Rehbands to a 250-lb APF/APA lifter at the gym because he started training more raw and I just wasn't using them at all.

Back when my right knee was really, really bad, I would double up on the Rehbands for it, putting the large over the mediums. That allowed me to keep training as I rehabbed the knee and had to drain it of excess fluid several times daily (for eight months!).

I even wrote an article about the spectrum of gear usage in which I highly praised neoprene for the joints, and Rehbands in particular for the knees. I have had several people on that forum report that they are ecstatic with their Rehbands.

I am still amazed by what a little warmth and compression does for the joints and for performance in general. The sleeves instantly transform creaky and sore knees into well-oiled pistons. When things are really bad for my knees, I just slip those bad boys on and can function in my life outside the gym much closer to 100%. I will forgo shoes and squat barefoot, forgo a belt and just use less weight, but I would never give up my knee sleeves. I like to do the occasional set or even entire session without them, but I think they should be used more often than not to prolong the lifting life of the knees.

I have neoprene compression shorts that I use a lot less than the knee sleeves and a wetsuit short-sleeved top that I use very rarely but will start using more on full-range bench press days. That top helped me train through a mild strain in my right pec (an idea I got from something you wrote in an article). Neoprene is fine for regular squatting and pulling, but for box squats, a pair of briefs/squat suit is even better. The neoprene does make getting briefs/suit on a lot easier though!

Gary,

Glad to hear it! Glad the shorty worked for you. i used my compression shorts under my loose breifs to box squat too in the past, and live on Rehband knee slleves and may upgrade to those for elbows. i cuurently use nike football sleeves. Do you Train at Orlando barbell?

Jack
Yup. It took a while for those guys to trust a raw USAPL lifter. It was like a Japanese pilot walking into a Hawaiian bar in 1942. But we all get along great now.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:35 pm

BP
45 x10
135 x5
185 x3
225 x3
245 x1
4-board 275
4-board 315 (flared elbows too much)
3-board 295 (failed/brought bar low, but still didn't tuck properly)
3-board 295
2-board 295 or 275 (can't remember)
235 x4
225 x5

Pull Up x6 x3

Dip +0x5, +25x5, +45x3, +75x1, +90x5

Pull Up x6 x3

Played around with board presses today, but got frustrated. The plan was to work up to an easy non-board single and then go straight to a 4-board and work down to a 2-board, then finish with some no-board work. Got 245 as a no-board single, but had some slight uneven extension there and it was a bit slow. Still not too bad for 97% of my paused meet best and maybe 93% of my very best projected touch and go effort.

275 was so incredibly easy with the 4-board that I jumped straight to 315 on which I kept my arms flared. I don't remember what exactly happened next because there was a lot of critiquing and demonstration following. I missed when I tried to tuck with a lighter weight, but then got that weight when I tucked a bit better on the next. I forget whether I was using 275 or 295 and with which board. I think that I got 295 off the 2-board at some point because I was pretty thrilled by that, but it might have been just 275. I'll be able to recall better when I'm more comfortable with the board work in general.

There were a couple comments about how my arm length made my 4-board the equivalent of everyone else's 2-board. Heh. Next time around I'm just going to focus on one board thickness at a time and that will likely be 2-board. I can move about 10% more than way and it's still pretty close to my full range bench. I can work down to 1.5, 1 or 0.5 with a given weight over many cycles. Floor press will serve well for more overload with less ROM.

I was also thrilled that I was able to get 235 for four despite being a bit shot. Then 225 for five after that! Not exactly records, but a shock when the level of fatigue was factored in.

Did bodyweight-only pull ups next. First set felt so strong and fast that I decided mid-stream to tack on an extra rep to each set as well as an extra set. BUT I also decided to break it up with weighted dips so I wouldn't compromise my dip performance today. It seems to have worked. Last week I failed to get three dips w/ 90 pounds. This week I worked up to a relatively easy set of five. The fifth rep slowed, but the set was pretty easy up to the fourth. I doubt I'm that much stronger this week; I'm just wasn't as tired. I asked Brett "to call depth" and he verified that all the heavy reps had my shoulders a good three inches below my elbows.

Finished off with some horizontal shrugs on the rear delt machine.

This cycle is just about over for benches. Next bench day is a very light day on which I'll be attempting PRs for the overhead doubles. Based on how strong pull ups felt today, I suspect I may get a PR of some sort on weighted chin ups.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a PR attempt on sumo deadlifts, but I did those snatches yesterday and may need an extra day of rest and so do sumos on Tuesday instead. Supposed to do 445 x4 x5 w/o a belt to finish this cycle. If I get this, I'm confident I can hit 550 x1 with a belt after the end of the next cycle.

An observation: I believe that I've come to the point that both bodyweight gains and bar gains are going to come much more slowly. I also can't help but notice that I'm getting a bit dunlap-ish (my gut done lapped over m'belt) despite not eating very much and eating a lot meat without bread. I guess my diet is still too high in carbs and I'm going to have to start to address that. I think I could be a few pounds more muscular and a helluva lot stronger at 182 than I am right now.
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:02 am

Power Clean for warm up
135 x3
155 x2
165 x1 x2
175 x1
185 x1
195 x0

Sumo DL (no belt, hook grip)
315 x3
405 x1
425 x1
445 x4 x2
335 x5

Warmed up with power cleans. First couple sucked and Brett commented that I was separating the two pulls way too much. Charlie noted that I was catching the bar on the lower chest and bumping it up to the rack position. My left wrist also hurt. I tried melding the pulls together on the second attempt with 165 and the bar FLEW up into the rack position and nestled there gently with no pain to the wrist. I'd finally done it right. 185 was feeling good too and I was surprised that I missed 195, but didn't try again because I was near my max and I had plenty of deadlifting to do.

I was supposed to get five sets with that 445 x4 tonight. Ha! I'd been doing dual progression, adding 20 lbs and an extra rep each week. I got 425 x3 x5 last week. But an extra 20 lbs (4% 1RM) and an extra rep meant that two sets was all she wrote. Brett noted that not having the belt to push against meant I was forced to go slowly as my abs got tired so my hips wouldn't rise faster than the bar and cause back rounding. If I'd had the belt on, I could have kept rocketing up without worrying about losing energy through a rounding back.

I've pulled 445 x5 conventionally, but that was with a belt. A belt gives me about 10 kilos/20-25 lbs on my deadlift perhaps a little bit more with conventional because I'm more bent over in that style. I'm guessing I could have done a max set of 465 x5 sumo style with a belt.

Either way, now I box squat on Thursday and then take a week off of pulling and squatting. Next cycle I put the belt on and try to hit a triple with 485 or 495, a double with 515 or 525 (my old meet best was 506) and then a single with 535 or 545. 545 would be triple bodyweight.

In other news, my knees feel like fucking oiled steel. Taking a break from squats has allowed the tendonitis to die down while the deadlifting and box squatting has kept enough tension on them to keep them strong.

Later reflection...

There's no reason I can't or shouldn't extend the ramp up to a single for a couple of cycles. I could just pull heavy twice in a three-week cycle: triples in one cycle, doubles in another and then a couple of singles. Or something like that.

I read that Bob Peoples would switch his focus from deadlift to squat and back as each lift went stale. That ain't a bad idea at all. If I had done this sort of thing months ago, I wouldn't have fucked my knees up so badly. Three or four months of deadlift and box squat focus probably is a good thing for long-term progress. A month or tow or three out of the year of field movement--sprinting and jumping--in place of any squatting or pulling also probably isn't a bad idea. An in-season athlete with an actual sport (not that powerlifting is not a sport, but let's face it, the raw stuff looks a lot like general strength training for a sport) would do take a few months off. A couple months out of the year to focus on keeping the ability to run and jump while recovering from constant lifting of heavy loads = smart.
I'm 'a fuck you till you love me, white boy.

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Gary
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Re: Lifting and Locquaciousness

Post by Gary » Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:22 am

Even later reflection...

I just realized that 445 x4 x2 means that 445 is probably my 5RM. That yields a 1RM of ~500 lbs. When I was able to deadlift 445 x5 conventionally with a belt, I got 490 x1 with a belt. So my 1RM sumo sans belt is probably 495 right now. My best ever sumo with a belt was 506 in competition. A belt gives me about about 20 lbs on the sumo pull. I estimate that I'm significantly stronger on the sumo, maybe capable of 515 or even 520 with a belt right now (with a few days of rest from this last effort) and I haven't even peaked. I really wonder how far I could push things over another three cycles. I wonder how much I need to incorporate things like reverse bands or chains.

I'm "built to pull" and I don't know if I need to do much else besides squat, box squat and pull to get improvements. My short back feels no pain from even intense deadlift sessions, while my long fingers easily wrap around my thumbs for support in the hook grip. My long arms make the pull very short and it's even shorter when I go sumo. The bar is about an inch above my kneecaps at lockout. Generally, as long as my legs get stronger and I put in some practice time with the actual movement, my deadlift improves.

I can't detect any weaknesses that need to be addressed by special work. With sumo, I build up tension and the bar breaks relatively slowly off the floor and accelerates through the midpoint; if I can get it an inch off the floor, I can get it to lockout as long as I don't panic and slow down. With conventional, the bar pops off the floor and as long as it's not too effin heavy, I can lock it out. I find the belt makes a bit more a difference getting through the sticking point with conventional.

The only thing I can think of that would strengthen my sumo further outside of just getting a bigger squat, is doing deficit pulls to get really strong at the bottom. But my experience with deficit conventional deadlifts is that they just don't carry over to the actual movement. In my case, it altered the starting position too much. But box squats could come in really handy here. Box squats are essentially pulls to me. There's no stretch reflex and I can use almost as much weight as I deadlift in the wide stance version. My box squat is essentially a sumo deadlift with a little more range and with the bar on my back instead of in my hands.

After back off week, light squat on Day B, but A Day will contain...

Week 1) Sumo DL w/belt: warm up to 465, then either 475 or 485 x3 x1
Week 2) Box SQ
Week 3) Sumo DL w/belt: warm up to 495, then either 505 or 515 x2 x1
Week 4) Back off

Week 5) Box SQ
Week 6) Sumo DL w/belt: work up to training max of 525 or 535
Week 7) Back off
Week 8) Sumo DL w/belt in meet if possible: 245 kg or 250 kg
I'm 'a fuck you till you love me, white boy.

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