Week 4 – 5/3/1 – Day 14

Cycle #1

Treadmill walk 5min + Agile 8  It got pretty hot today.  I was sweating a lot during the agile 8.  Didn’t get around to doing DeFranco’s set of upper body dynamic stretches.

Deadlift:  5×110, 5×135, 5×165

These felt heavier than I expected them to be.  Really felt the burn when I squeezed everything hard at the top.  A little bit of lower back strain felt.

Boring But Big 50%

Squat: 5x10x135

As usual, deadlift+squat days suck…a lot.  I’m simply not accustomed to the high intensity squatting.  First 2 sets were easy, but cardiovascularly, I was pretty spent.  Took ample rest between each set afterwards.  I also didn’t eat before lifting- I had left work early and wanted to hit the gym early so I could find a parking spot when I got back home.

Ab Wheel:  10/10/8/5/2

I was pretty much spent by the time I got to these.  Fatigue set in and I couldn’t keep a rigid lower back.  I felt my lower back buckling and entering an unfavorable lordotic position.  I’ve already had issues with this in the past and so I chose not to exert myself too much.  Nonetheless, still got a fairly good core workout.

Additional Notes:

Did not eat my 4th meal prior to the exercise.

Week 4 – 5/3/1 – Day 13

Cycle #1

Treadmill walk 5min + Agile 8 + DeFranco’s Upperbody Stretches

Press:  5×40, 5×50, 5×60

Very easy.  Used a thumbless grip on all sets.  Exploded from the rack position.  Slow controlled descent.

Boring But Big 50%

Bench Press: 2x10xBar + 5x10x85

Pretty easy now.  Made sure not to lockout to avoid protracting my shoulder blades.

Lat Pulldown:  5x10x40

Up’ed the weight 5 lbs.  I think I might increase assistance work weight every cycle.  Noticed that when pulling the bar to my chest that sometimes I would lean back.  Not sure what the proper technique for doing a lat pulldown is, but I think leaning back is considered cheating a bit.  I tried, instead, to maintain a fairly upright torso position on contraction to put work emphasis on the upper back traps and lats.

Curls:  3x10x30 + Tricep pushdown:  3x10x30 + Face pull:  2x10x30

Pretty easy now.  I’ve gotten used to the extra assistance work.  Love the pumped feeling. Bro statement.

Treadmill walk 1 mile @ 3.0 speed

Week 3 – 5/3/1 – Day 12

Cycle #1

Treadmill 5min. walk + Agile 8  

Squat:  5×120, 3×145, 2×175 + 5×200, 3×230, 1×255

Boring But Big 50%

Deadlift:  5x10x135

These were considerably much easier than the previous week’s.  These definitely get me gassed pretty hardcore though.  Realized that holding lockout position actually fatigued me more than I needed.  Narrowing grip also eliminated any source of lower back pain- instead really felt the work being done in my hamstrings and legs.

Hanging Leg Raises:  5×10

These weren’t as bad as the previous week’s.  I actually did all 5 sets this time, resting amply between sets.  Grip strength also got worked a bit, forearms were burning in the latter sets.  I reset myself by touching my feet to the ground and stabilizing myself to a standstill before each rep.  I slightly bring my legs back before each rep- probably will eventually lead to me swinging my legs up instead of using a controlled form.

Week 3 – 5/3/1 – Day 10

Cycle #1

Treadmill walk 5min + Agile 8  Hips are noticeably more flexible.  The mountain climbers are much easier; this dynamic stretch along with the groiners still gets me sweating and breathing quickly, but definitely not as exhausting compared to when I first started doing them.

Deadlift:  5×125, 3×150, 2×175 + 5×205, 3×230, 1×260

I got my numbers right this time, woohoo!  I banged up my left shin good pulling the bar against them.  Important technique change that helped alleviate a lot of lower back stress was narrowing my grip width.  I noticed that having my grip width about 2 inches wider was causing me to pull un-perpendicular to the floor.  Narrowing my grip helped to reduce strain on my lower back and actually got me to lift much more efficiently.

Boring But Big 50%

Squat: 5x10x135

First 3 sets got me tired.  I rested a bit longer prior to my 4th and 5th sets.  Noticed that the bar was, again, rolling up on my lower back.  Eventually on the last few reps, the bar is almost in high bar position and part of the bar ends up resting on my right trap.  I feel as though I’m using more of my left trap and not enough of my right.  Right shoulder injury may be causing me to lose flexibility in the right arm- I really don’t know…

Ab Wheel:  10/7/7

Felt much stronger on these today than previous ab wheel sessions.  Also…forgot to do two additional sets, doh!

Treadmill 1 mile @ 3.0

Week 3 – 5/3/1 – Day 9

Cycle #1

Treadmill walk 5min + Agile 8  Tennis ball rolling wasn’t as bad as in previous sessions.

Press:  5×40, 3×50, 2×60 + 1×70, 3×80, 1×90

Wasn’t paying attention until I dropped the weight, but for some odd reason, I only thought to do 1 rep for the first set.  Brain fart for focusing too much.

Boring But Big 50%

Bench Press: 10xBar + 5x10x80

Right upper shoulder / traps were burning after the first 2 sets.  One thing I noticed is that I was tucking my right elbow while my left elbow would flare out.  I somewhat alleviated the problem by flaring my right elbow out a bit more.  What this introduced though, is stress on my anterior delts.  I think retracting the shoulder blades would alleviate this problem.  Only issue I have with this (as I was already doing this beforehand), is that when pressing back up, my shoulder blades eventually protract.  I think I need to fix this by not pressing all the way up to lockout.

Lat Pulldown:  5x10x35

Pretty easy.  Noticed that it’s easy to jerk the bar to my chest.  Controlled contraction is important to avoid “cheating” on the lift.

Curls:  3x10x30 + Tricep pushdown:  3x10x30 + Face pull:  2x10x30

Pretty easy now.  I’ve gotten used to the extra assistance work.

Treadmill walk 1 mile @ 3.0 speed

Week 2 – 5/3/1 – Day 7

Cycle #1

Treadmill 5min. walk + Agile 8  Wasn’t as gassed today.  I did cut the number of reps for mountain climbers in half; I was running a bit late- Knicks vs. Magic game was on and…we won!

Bench Press:  2x10xBar, 5×65, 5×75, 5×95 + 3×115, 3×125, 3×140

The work sets felt heavy.  I need a better way of warming up my arms/chest so my CNS can kick in and stabilize the lift.  I feel way too wobbly when I press.  More warm-up reps, I think, would benefit my predicament.

Boring But Big 50%

Press:  5x10x50 + DB Row:  5x10x35 

Narrow grip worked my forearm a lot.  Noticed that the weight would roll back away from the base of my palm, causing unnecessary strain on the wrists.  This appears to happen in conjunction with me resetting my elbows forward the bar because my forearm ends up being in a sloped position when looking at me from a side view.  Noticed that my right side was much more fatigued than my left when performing the DB Rows.

Curls:  3x10x30 + Tricep pushdown:  3x10x30 + Face pull:  3x10x30

Pretty easy work.  Kept the weight 30lbs across all three exercises to make it easy to remember.  My ego quietly whispers in my ears constantly, to up the weights, but as Wendler said…these accessory exercises don’t matter.