Deadlifts, Diet….Doing Cardio? – June 17

Well, looks like I was mostly right about Game 6.  All except the Kevin Love thing, which was the biggest risk I took in making the wild predictions that I made yesterday.  Still feel pretty good about it though.  Had a pretty solid deadlift training session and managed to catch some of the game with the familia.  I’m still trying to figure out what I am going to do with the training max numbers for the next cycle; these numbers are pretty dependent on what I am going to decide to do with my diet.  Right now I am pretty heavy, and when I say pretty heavy, I mean big and fat.  My body weight is between 215 and 220, and that is about ten or fifteen pounds heavier than where I THINK I want to be.  But I know that if I cut, I am going to have to drop some volume and intensity, which is no fun.  It’s a fine line.  Yesterday’s work:

1 Deadlift
425 lbs x 2 reps
425 lbs x 2 reps
425 lbs x 2 reps
425 lbs x 2 reps
425 lbs x 6 reps – that’s a 6RM PR (if there is such a thing?)
415 lbs x 3 reps || Deficit: 3 ins
415 lbs x 3 reps || Deficit: 3 ins
415 lbs x 3 reps || Deficit: 3 ins
2 Sumo Deadlift
405 lbs x 1 reps
485 lbs x 3 reps – definitely a pretty solid PR
3 High-bar Squat
285 lbs x 5 reps
285 lbs x 5 reps
285 lbs x 5 reps
285 lbs x 5 reps
285 lbs x 5 reps
4 Pull-Up
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 Pendlay Row
185 lbs x 6 reps
185 lbs x 6 reps
185 lbs x 6 reps
185 lbs x 6 reps
185 lbs x 6 reps

As far as diet, I have been pretty much eating everything in sight, and it has worked.  Bodyweight? Growing.  Strength gains? Growing.

Inability to move around easily?  Growing.

That being said, here are a few snaps of what I have been noshing on.

A 'healthy' breakfast.
A ‘healthy’ breakfast.
Burritos. Always in the mix, obviously.
Burritos. Always in the mix, obviously.
Homemade bulkfest plate.
Homemade bulkfest plate.

So.  Things are going to clean up I think after Father’s Day.  I may even put some CARDIO (barf) in the programming a couple times a week, maybe two HITT sessions like hill sprints and at least two long walks.  MAybe even some sled work, which I think makes my back and legs (basically my whole posterior chain) feel better.

One last heavy day in the cycle for overhead work.

Don’t Bogut the Love; Fence-Sitting, Silver Suspensions, and Seven Games

Andrew Bogut’s chips are cashed in.  Kevin Love has had three days to have everyone in the Cleveland take a stab at restoring his confidence.  The pundits won’t pick sides, Adam Silver has extended the series through suspension, and everybody just ‘wants it to go seven games.’

Those are the reasons that the Cavs win tonight at home in Cleveland, and the series will come down to a Game Seven showdown back in Oakland.

It’s because no Bogut.  It’s because Love finally has a game.  It’s because seemingly every sports media personality just wants to ‘selfishly see seven games.’ It’s because Adam Silver and the Shadow Bosses managing the NBA (and suspensions) want and need seven.  How much more do you need?

You won't want to go yet if you have a big game tonight, Kev.
You won’t want to go yet if you have a big game tonight, Kev.

Draymond Green has had one good game this series (28-7-5, 1TO in Game 2) and is now returning after basically a 6-day layoff.  There is always the argument that rest is good, but six days may be too much time for ‘rest’ but just enough time for ‘rust’ to set in.  We’ll see tonight.  The fact of the matter is that the Warriors do a great job of moving around all their pieces (I think Steve Kerr played 11 different guys in the first quarter the other night), but when resources are limited and Coach Kerr does not have all of his ponies in the stable, things can get a little wonky- especially when guys like Festus Ezeli or Shaun Livingston are not playing that well.  Draymond’s return will be a big lift for the Dubs, but ADJUSTING to the absence of Bogut is going to be more difficult than people anticipate.  As the Warriors sole legit rim protector and slick-passing big man, Bogut plays a bigger role (especially defensively) for the champs than people think.

GSW fans assuming the return of Draymond means victory? Nope.
GSW fans assuming the return of Draymond means victory? Nope.

After a few days of bashing Kevin Love, of bashing Tyronn Lue’s use of Love, of bashing LeBron for not bringing Love into the game, I think we are all going to be reminded what kind of player Love was and still could be.  After the explosion by Kyrie Irving and James on Monday and Love’s sycophantic press conferences all this week, it would make sense that he will turn the series on its ear with a big game tonight.  I hate to say it…. but I’d love to see it.

Fence-Sitting sucks worse than working at Sears.
Fence-Sitting sucks worse than working at Sears.

Everything I read or hear or watch has the world of sports journalism begging for seven games.  The punditry sucks, and I wish they could hop off the fence and pick a winner.  They haven’t, and the boring mantra of ‘I just want seven games’ echoes across the air waves everywhere.  The tedium is mind-numbing.  Pick a side and pick a game when your side wins it all.  I think Chuck may have done it, but that was a month ago and he picked OKC so that’s on the scrap heap.  Fence-sitting is for suckers.
You will play SEVEN.

Adam Silver and his NBA Illuminati managed to force a Game 6 by handicapping the Warriors with a retrospective suspension on Green in Game 5, sending us back to Cleveland.  I really can’t believe the Masters would have done that  without being assured of a Cleveland victory in Game 6.  If you are an NBA conspiracy theorist of any type, it is a basic deduction.  Bogut’s injury only makes a GSW defeat on the road tonight more likely.  The NBA’s Shadow Commission lurks in the darkness, pulling the strings towards a Game 7 – on Father’s Day, no less!  I love it when a plan comes together.

Seven Games.  Full Extension.  Maximum Effort.  Maximum Exposure.  Maximum Advertising.  All roads lead to Rome, or to a seven-game series.  These are the reasons why.

Weak Banch Weak Banch – June 14

Pretty happy with how things have progressed during the heavy week here at the end of the cycle.  My Bench is slowly getting a little stronger, despite my weird wonky shoulder, which has not really acted too much lately.  My bodyweight keeps creeping up; at this point it’s getting to be a little much, but it certainly helps with this specific lift.  I think I can maintain some progress with my bench while cutting weight, but I may have to manipulate the frequency a little bit.  The 225x2x5+ tier 1 work went really well this week, and I am going to have to figure out what to do with the next cycle’s training weight.  At any rate, I am stoked with the 225×5 rep-out and I think that five sets of doubles at 225 is probably, yep, you guessed it, a volume PR.

VOLUME PRs are cool too!
VOLUME PRs are cool too!

 
1 Bench Press
225 lbs x 2 reps
225 lbs x 2 reps
225 lbs x 2 reps
225 lbs x 2 reps
225 lbs x 5 reps – 3RM, 4RM, 5RM

SlingShot Bench
250 lbs x 2 reps
245 lbs x 3 reps
240 lbs x 3 reps
235 lbs x 3 reps
230 lbs x 3 reps
2 Close Grip Bench Press
185 lbs x 5 reps
185 lbs x 5 reps
185 lbs x 5 reps
185 lbs x 5 reps
185 lbs x 5 reps
3 Dumbbell Bench Press
70 lbs x 12 reps
70 lbs x 12 reps
70 lbs x 12 reps
4 Pull-Up
6 reps
6 reps
6 reps
6 reps
6 reps
6 reps
5 Bodyweight Dip
12 reps
12 reps
12 reps

It’s funny because an hour before I started training I really didn’t feel up to it; just tired and unmotivated.  Got in, started working and started to feel better.  Not great, just a little bit better.  I have really reduced some of the accessory work on certain days depending on how I feel; I’m not sure that has anything to do with my performance during my work sets, but it certainly hasn’t hurt it.  I am not too sure how much the SlingShot work has helped, but like the rest of the accessory stuff, it’s presence certainly has not hurt anything.  I feel like too much lifting gear is overrated for a 40 year-old guy who is training for himself, and not for any type of competition.

A whole bunch of boards and chains and wraps.  More gear more better?
A whole bunch of boards and chains and wraps. More gear more better?

Some ‘heavy-ish’ deadlifts coming in the next training session.  We’ll see how it goes.

End the Cycle – Squatting Heavy – Sumo PRs! – June 13

So we are wrapping up the first 4 week cycle and things feel pretty good.  Technically speaking, this is the second (really third) mesocycle of the original GZCL Method , but for the sake of this dubious blogging attempt, we will refer to this current cycle as the first one.  This week I’ll be handling ~95% of my training max for about 5 doubles each, with a ‘pretty heavy’ 5×5 seconday movement.  Last week I ruined my sumo deadlift personal best (405×1—>455×3) when I went off the rails during my deadlift day and strayed from conventional.  Now, a week later, after five work sets of back squats and five more pretty heavy sets of front squats, I decided to do some more sumo pulling and *gasp*, another 20-pound PR.  It’s curious too, because I wasn’t really rested, had been sleeping in a weird bed all weekend while vacationing with my wife, and just did not feel super good going into it.  Whatever.  Still a nice surprise.

Taylor was as surprised as I was that I PR'ed.
Taylor was as surprised as I was that I PR’ed.

The main thing(s) I am going to have to figure out going forward is where to set my training maxes for the cycle.  As long as these numbers need no downward adjustment, I guess it is a good problem to have, especially as an old natty man.

1 Squat
365 lbs x 2 reps
365 lbs x 2 reps
365 lbs x 2 reps
365 lbs x 2 reps
365 lbs x 5 reps
2 Front Squat
260 lbs x 5 reps
265 lbs x 5 reps
270 lbs x 5 reps
275 lbs x 5 reps
280 lbs x 5 reps
3 Sumo Deadlift
405 lbs x 1 reps
475 lbs x 3 reps – 1RM, 2RM, 3RM
4 Romanian Deadlift
225 lbs x 10 reps
225 lbs x 10 reps
225 lbs x 10 reps
225 lbs x 10 reps
225 lbs x 10 reps
5 Pull-Up
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps

I also did some curls here at the end, just to keep my elbows from exploding.  Will start to figure out the numbers and template for the next cycle, but I know that slow progress is steady progress, which is good progress.  IT doen’t have to be too heavy.

He ain't heavy, he's my brother.
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

 

Overhead Pressing Volume to 11 – June 10

I think I mentioned last week that I was considering some minimalist training, at least when it came to increasing my overhead press strength.  We are continuing the theme this week.  Not only that, but as I get to the end of the training week, I constantly find that other stuff demands my time;  stuff like marriage, kids, work, social stuff.   Just life.  So this type of training really fits.  I get my tier 1 work in, my tier 2 work, and then I just start banging out back-off sets using the main movement and superset it with some kind of pull, which is usually chins or pull-ups.  I may look boring, but it is actually pretty fun.  And it ends up being a ton of volume with a movement I really am no good at.  Has to help.  After all, Nigel Tufnel was a huge believer in volume, and if it’s good enough for Nige, it’s good enough for me.  Am starting to really feel weighted dips again, too.  Probably bump up to 60 next week, which would be a (you guessed it) VOLUME PR.

Turn that thing up.
Turn that thing up.

 1 Overhead Press
145 lbs x 3 reps
145 lbs x 3 reps
145 lbs x 3 reps
145 lbs x 6 reps – thought this may have been a PR.  NAH.
135 lbs x 3 reps
135 lbs x 3 reps
135 lbs x 3 reps
135 lbs x 3 reps
135 lbs x 3 reps
135 lbs x 3 reps
135 lbs x 3 reps
135 lbs x 3 reps
135 lbs x 3 reps
135 lbs x 3 reps
2 Weighted Dip
55 lbs x 5 reps
55 lbs x 5 reps
55 lbs x 5 reps
55 lbs x 5 reps
55 lbs x 5 reps
3 Pull-Up
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
4 Bodyweight Dip
10 reps
10 reps
10 reps

Weighted Dips. Awesome and Awkward.
Weighted Dips. Awesome and Awkward.

Cheating, Feelings, Sumo Switches – June 9

Usually I like pulling, and days like today are the reason.  We are now into the third microcycle of the second mesocycle, so things are getting heavier.  Next week I’ll be handling about 95% of my training max, so week 3 is kind of a transition week to bigger weights.  And to be honest, when I went in today I did not feel too great, but as things started to move, I realized I was going to have chance to shoot for a couple PRs.  I did not even realize the paused squat triple was a personal best (still not sure it is); I just felt strong and mobile so I wanted to start with a couple of squats just to get things firing.  It worked.

1 Paused Squat
315 lbs x 1 reps
345 lbs x 3 reps – 3RM
2 Deadlift
405 lbs x 3 reps
405 lbs x 3 reps
405 lbs x 3 reps
405 lbs x 8 reps – 8RM

I think the only time that I have tried to rep-out 405 I got 5, maybe 6, so that is a tidy little 8RM.  I was pretty happy with it, and hadn’t pulled sumo for a while, so I decided to spread it out and give a couple tugs.  It went well.  Not sure I have ever touched anything above 405, so 455×3 felt darn good.  Sometime next week I am going to pull sumo again, and see what’s up.  I don’t care if it’s cheating.

Some people say Sumo is cheating. You're probably right.
Some people say Sumo is cheating. You’re probably right.

3 Sumo Deadlift
405 lbs x 1 reps
455 lbs x 3 reps -1RM/2RM/3RM
4 Paused High-bar Squat
275 lbs x 5 reps
275 lbs x 5 reps
275 lbs x 5 reps
275 lbs x 5 reps
275 lbs x 5 reps
275 lbs x 5 reps
5 Pull-Up
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
6 Row
145 lbs x 10 reps
145 lbs x 10 reps
145 lbs x 10 reps
145 lbs x 10 reps
145 lbs x 10 reps

Thank you Sumo!

Sumo rules.  This way to the buffet.
Sumo rules. This way to the buffet.

8RM Bench PR – Size and Food – June 7

I have covered how much my bench press sucks.  There are tons of reasons for this, including, but not limited to, leverages (genetics), lack of practice, lack of interest in practicing the movement, lack of food (see image below).

One thing I have really noticed is that as bodyweight goes up, so does your bench (and overhead press).  It is an exercise that will respond directly to weight gain, more than any other lift.  And now that I am fat, I am hitting bench Personal Records both rep maxes and volume PRs pretty often.

med_1438296920_image
Eating Food and Lifting has made these Russian gentlemen teeny. I mean, they’re eating so hard they took off their shirts.

C1W3D2

1 Bench Press
210 lbs x 3 reps
210 lbs x 3 reps
210 lbs x 3 reps
210 lbs x 8 reps – 8RM
2 Close Grip Bench Press
175 lbs x 6 reps
175 lbs x 6 reps
175 lbs x 6 reps
175 lbs x 6 reps
175 lbs x 6 reps
3 Dumbbell Bench Press
70 lbs x 15 reps
70 lbs x 15 reps
70 lbs x 15 reps
4 Pull-Up
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 Bodyweight Dip
10 reps
10 reps
10 reps
6 Alternating Dumbbell Hammer Curl
35 lbs x 10 reps
35 lbs x 10 reps
35 lbs x 10 reps

Pre-Bench burrito, Taco SideCar
Pre-Bench burrito, Taco SideCar.  These guys came from Calienete on 17th Street in Newport Beach, brah.

Sadly, the wife thinks I am ‘BIG.’  Having to choose between the Gainz Train and the wife is tough, but the choice is obvious.

Squats, Volume Adaptations, CheeseBURGER – June 6

I’ve been running GZCL on 5 week mesocycles, where generally each microcycle is a week of training (~hopefully 5 sessions) at a slowly increasing intensity level.  Through a five week meso, the percentages will increase- 80%, 85%, 90%, 95% and then a test week or a rep-out at 100% of our training max.  This is the third week of the second cycle, so we are going to do some triples at around 90% of our TM.  If you read the last post, you will remember that I indicated that I wanted to try to put some more auto-regulated volume into my current GZCL method program while also cutting out some of the extracurricular activity that may not really help the main lift.  I find it is pretty difficult at times for me to not do a bunch of ‘unnecessary’ assistance work.  I am working on that, but everybody wants to do everything all of the time.  Also, I had a great lunch.

Husky Boy, Husky Burger.
Husky Boy, Husky Burger.

Today’s work sets were supposed to be 345x3x4+, but instead of the repping out the fourth set of triples, I just opted to  do an extra set of triples at 345, then do 365×3, then see how many I could get with 385, which is my working training max for this cycle.  Hmmmmm.  Interesting.

1 Squat
345 lbs x 3 reps
345 lbs x 3 reps
345 lbs x 3 reps
345 lbs x 3 reps
345 lbs x 3 reps
365 lbs x 3 reps
385 lbs x 2 reps
2 Paused High-bar Squat
295 lbs x 3 reps
295 lbs x 3 reps
295 lbs x 3 reps
3 Front Squat
240 lbs x 6 reps
240 lbs x 6 reps
240 lbs x 6 reps
240 lbs x 6 reps
240 lbs x 6 reps
4 Pull-Up
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 Romanian Deadlift
225 lbs x 10 reps
225 lbs x 10 reps
225 lbs x 10 reps
225 lbs x 10 reps
225 lbs x 10 reps
6 Yates Row
185 lbs x 8 reps
185 lbs x 8 reps
185 lbs x 8 reps

I felt pretty good about today’s work, but I feel like it may be time to do a widowmaker soon.  We will see.  The burger was from the Burger Lounge, the Husky with Bacon.  It was tasty, but cost a pretty penny.

Finally got back onto a decent training schedule.  Tomorrow, some triples on the bench.  I think I probably will train at home…don’t know how much time I will have left to do that.  😐

Finding the Essential- June 5

I’d like to say something, briefly, about minimalism and training.

I’ve always been pretty fascinated by strictly minimalist training protocols.  The idea of hacking away the unessential, a la Bruce Lee, is a very attractive one.  And, especially in strength-driven fitness communities, there is a strong wariness of the dreaded practice of ‘majoring in the minors.’  People who can’t bench their bodyweight are worried about which triceps exercise variation is the best.  Dudes who can’t do five strict pull-ups the the gym for ‘back day-‘ except they do four different cable pulls and no deadlifts.

9TE66wc

It’s madness.

I decided today to make sure I got in all of my T1 work (and a bunch of added OHP volume) and all of my T2 work, but after that, I was just going to do one accessory.  Here was the catch -and I stole this idea from a strong guy I pay attention to online . I was just going to do a ton of OHP and superset it pull-ups until I either broke or ran out of time.

1 Overhead Press
135 lbs x 2 reps
155 lbs x 1 reps
165 lbs x 1 reps
175 lbs x 0 reps
155 lbs x 2 reps
150 lbs x 2 reps
145 lbs x 2 reps
140 lbs x 2 reps
135 lbs x 4 reps
135 lbs x 4 reps
135 lbs x 4 reps
135 lbs x 4 reps
135 lbs x 4 reps
135 lbs x 4 reps
135 lbs x 4 reps
135 lbs x 4 reps
Just did a bunch a volume with pull-ups and some dips mixed in. Weird day, family stuff going on, boys have a luau at school, house is being shown, etc.

2 Weighted Dip
45 lbs x 5 reps
45 lbs x 5 reps
45 lbs x 5 reps
45 lbs x 5 reps
45 lbs x 5 reps

3 Pull-Up
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps

Gabe Malone and John Phung are two guys that espouse this kind of minimalist training, although each utilizes a unique approach to the frequency with which they utilize this kind of training.  I like their style.

I may try to implement more of this style of minimalist work into Cody Lefever’s original GZCL programming, just using Cody’s volume percentages and a guide line for the MINIMAL amount of T1 and T2 work for the day (the main lift and main accessory movement), and then after that, just pick one or two exercises and hammer them.  I am not sure at all if this experiment will be nearly as effective as the original GZCL volume protocols, but I certainly am excited about running some programming like this.  It may make sessions a bit shorter, but maybe I can up my frequency a little.  It ill be an exercise to see how well I can handle autoregulation.

I'm gonna end up doing a lot of pull-ups.
I’m gonna end up doing a lot of pull-ups.

Maybe for squats on Monday?  We’ll see.

Doing Dumb Things and then Deadlifting – June 4

Well, things have gone sideways this week.  After pushing Monday’s squatting to Wednesday and doing some benching on Thursday, my second lower body session of the week came pretty quickly on Friday.  Usually I like to get at least three nights’ sleep between squatting and pulling days.

Not so much this week.

And to compound extra misery upon what  was already going to be a bit miserable, I had a social engagement the night before that was basically a large cocktail party that we didn’t get home from until fairly late.  I didn’t eat any dinner, and drank more than I should have if I wanted to train.  So bottom line, this session was awful.  From hitting 475 straight up and 445 for a paused double, this session just sucked outright.

The paused 365 squat single was a small, stupid guttering light in the otherwise sludge-like deadlift session.  And that squat was NOT IN THE PROGRAM.  Ayyyyyye stupidity.

As for the rest of the pulling, it was supposed to be 385x4x3+ and I did THE BARE MINIMUM with NO BACK-OFF work.  Worst training for deads in a while.

No Smart Moves Here.

This pull session was sketchy, a little scared, and ultimately ended up bloody-nosed.
This pull session was sketchy, a little scared, and ultimately ended up bloody-nosed.

1 Deadlift
385 lbs x 4 reps
385 lbs x 4 reps
385 lbs x 4 reps
2 Squat
250 lbs x 8 reps
250 lbs x 8 reps
250 lbs x 8 reps
250 lbs x 8 reps
3 Paused Squat
315 lbs x 1 reps
345 lbs x 1 reps
365 lbs x 1 reps
4 Pull-Up
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 reps
5 Yates Row
145 lbs x 10 reps
145 lbs x 10 reps
145 lbs x 10 reps
145 lbs x 10 reps
145 lbs x 10 reps
6 Alternating Dumbbell Hammer Curl
40 lbs x 10 reps
40 lbs x 10 reps
40 lbs x 10 reps
Workout notes:
All the stuff at the end went in a circuit kinda

NO CAPTION NECESSARY
NO CAPTION NECESSARY

All in all just irresponsible behavior lead to a garbage workout wherein I was lucky to not become injured in some way, shape, or form.  Nah Good.