Week 22 – 5/3/1 – Day 79

Cycle #6
Week 1 Day 3

Bench:  3x5xBar + 5×65, 3×80, 1×100 + 5×120, 5×135, 7×155

Forgot to tell my spotter to not help until I ask for it so he ended up carrying the bar slightly on the 7th and 8th rep.

BB Assistance:

DB Fly – 2x10x15lb
Tricep Pushdown – 2x10x35lb
DB Bench Press:  10x30lb + 10x35lb
Dips – 8/4

Conditioning:

3 x 30-30-30 Heavy Bag Drill – Basically doing 30 seconds of normal heavy bag practice followed by 30 seconds of high knees with non-stop speed punching and then 30 seconds of all knock punches.  I initially did just 10-10-10 to test it out and wasn’t bad except for the last segment when I was going all out- I got out of breath fairly quickly.  Afterwards, I did 3 sets of the 30-30-30.  My legs went out very quickly, doesn’t seem like I have much endurance when I punched and actively moved around the bag.  I’ll try to keep this up and work my way up on the number of sets- a set of 2 equates to a single round lasting 3:00 min.  I’d like to get comfortable up to 3 rounds of 3:00 minutes which should be 6 sets.

Week 22 – 5/3/1 – Day 78

Cycle #6
Week 1 Day 2

Warm-up:  foam roll, leg swings, box jumps

Foam rolled the legs, did leg swings for the first time in a long time and man were my legs tight.  After 3 sets of leg swings, I did 3 sets of 5 reps of box jumps.  I’m going to incorporate some light plyo, speed/power work before my workouts to get my CNS activated.  I can’t say if the box jumps helped me with my deadlifts, but I did feel much looser going into the lift.

Deadlift:  5×105, 3×135, 1×165 + 5×195, 5×225, 13×250 Rep PR

Top set was just awesomely beastly.  I cranked out the early reps like it was a warm-up.  Chalked up the hands a bit- the bar was slippery and of course I had my lever belt on.  I took an extra breath or two in the final reps.  Extremely happy about these, no lower back strain, wasn’t completely spent after them either, but I was definitely sucking in some air.

BB Assistance:

6/3/2 – Chin-ups: All of these were grinders.  My body felt heavy and my arms shut down quick.
3x15x35 – DB Rows:  Increased rep and weight made all the difference.  It was no top set PR squat attempt, but still pretty hard.  Gotta try me some kroc rows one of these days.
4×25 – Sit-ups:  Burned my abs pretty sufficiently.

Conditioning:

2x3min. – Heavy Bag:  3 minutes seemed like such a short amount of time to hit the bags. Boy was hilariously wrong.

Week 22 – 5/3/1 – Day 77

Cycle #6
Week 1 Day 1

5/3/1 Press:  5×45, 3×55, 1×70 + 5×80, 5×90, 5×105

Used a false grip and managed to crank out at least 5 reps on the top set.  I didn’t think of it at the time, but I completely forgot to go all out on the top set.  Also, the bar was rolling back into the top of my hand a bit too much causing a lot of strain on my wrists, mainly my right.  The descent of the bar needs to a bit more controlled because I can see myself seriously injuring my wrists if I just drop the weight down and the bar rolls back.  Even if I only managed to get 5 reps, it’s a vast improvement from the previous cycle’s 105 attempt at only 2 reps achieved so I’m definitely happy.

BB Assistance:

DB Military Press:  12x15lb + 3x12x20lb
Barbell Curl:  3x12x30lb
Side Laterals:  2x12x10lb
Rear Laterals:  2x12x10lb
Preacher Curl:  10×35 + 10×40 + 2x10x45

I went through these pretty quickly so my arms became jelly pretty quickly.  Didn’t realize I was supposed to do the DB military presses seated or at least that’s how the majority of people do it.  I lowered the weight on the side and rear laterals to 10lbs- 15lbs was way too heavy for me.  The BB curl weight remained static and I ramped the preacher curl weight until the 3rd set.

Conditioning:

0.5 mile walk

Week 21 – 5/3/1 – Day 75

Cycle #5
Week 4 Day 3

Bench:  3x5xBar + 5×70, 5×95, 5×105

Very light.  Locked in a good arch and spread my feet wide to tighten the glutes when pressing through the ground.  Grip was sufficient to get a semi-tuck of the elbows, but I flared them out a tiny bit because completely tucking caused me to lose perpendicular position between my forearm and the ground.

BB Assistance:

DB Fly – 4x10x15lb
Tricep Pushdown – 4x10x35lb
DB Bench Press:  2x10x30lb + 2x10x35lb
Dips – 10/10/5/5

Week 21 – 5/3/1 – Day 74

Cycle #5
Week 4 Day 2

Deadlift:  5×115, 5×145, 5×175

Pretty easy.  Going to do empty bar warm-ups before these next deload to get warmed up.

BB Assistance:

10×45 + 10×55 + 10×65 + 10×75 – Good Mornings:  Pretty easy, the bar slips up sometimes when going down and hurts a bit when it gets to behind my neck.
4x10x70lb – Lat Pull-downs:  Would give this weight about 7/10 difficulty.
4x10x30 – DB Rows:  Felt pretty light.  I might go for 35 or 40 next time.
10/8/6 – Ab Wheel Roll Out:  My low back buckles once my core fails.  These…suck a lot, haha.  Need a stronger core- stronger core translates to improvements in every other lift especially the squat.

Week 21 – 5/3/1 – Day 73

Cycle #5
Week 4 Day 1

It’s deload week so workouts are quick and light.  Always enjoy deload week as I get to hone lift form and technique and do some reflection on the last month- kind of like grading myself.  I was also, however, contemplating about skipping the deload.  Sometimes, the monthly progression gets to me, “This is too damn slow, I want to be faster, stronger, bigger…now.”  And it can be difficult sometimes to dial myself back and to really appreciate that the “slow”, hard work I’m putting in now will be realized months and years from now and not tomorrow.  This is a daily constant reminder, not just in lifting, but in other aspects of everyday life.

5/3/1 Press:  5×45, 5×60, 5×70

Used a false grip.  Pretty easy- I played around with my grip width, pinky vs ring finger on the finger guide.

BB Assistance:

DB Military Press:  12x20lb + 12x15lb + 2x12x10lb
Barbell Curl:  12x40lb + 3x12x30lb
Side Laterals:  2x10x10lb
Rear Laterals:  2x10x10lb
Preacher Curl:  10x45lb + 3x10x25lb

Conditioning:

3 min. 3.0 spd 10% incline
3 min. 2.5 spd 5% incline

Calves were still a bit sore from the past weekend’s hiking so I didn’t get to doing any sprints- probably should have to get the blood flowing.

Week 20 – 5/3/1 – Day 72

Cycle #5
Week 3 Day 3

Bench:  3x5xBar + 5×80, 3×95, 1×115 + 5×130, 3×150, 5×170 Rep PR

I went for a 6th rep, but got stuck halfway up.  I think I could have grinded that one out, but spotter took it from me too soon.  I had a pretty big arch and I felt it in my low back when I pressed back up.  Also, my right shoulder got strained somewhat.

BBB Press:  10/8/6/6 x 60lb

My right shoulder wasn’t liking the additional work after the bench.

BB Assistance:

Dips – 10/6/4/3
DB Fly – 4x10x15lb
Tricep Pushdown – 5x20x20lb
Push-ups – 10/8/6/5

Week 20 – 5/3/1 – Day 71

Cycle #5
Week 3 Day 2

Deadlift:  5×135, 3×150, 1×190 + 5×225, 3×250, 10×275 Rep PR

Deadlifts were significantly better today.  Extremely minimal lower back stress.  One thing I did differently was starting with a slightly more upright torso, but not dropping my butt too much.  Some reps almost looked like a straight legged deadlift.  Top set, I used chalk, belt and alternating (left palm down, right palm up).  Last 5 reps were grinders, but I cranked them out.  Looking back at the previous cycle and this one, I really think I’ve made some great gains on the lift.  Every top set, I’ve been shooting for at least 10 reps and I think this has made a vast improvement on my performance.  I said it before and I’ll say it again.  Coming into a lift with a prescribed goal in mind really helps you mentally prepare for that lift and to achieve that goal, however daunting it may be.

BB Assistance:

4x10x24lb – Good Mornings:  Used a fairly light weight and used the foam wrapped bars to make it a bit more comfortable behind the neck.  I went lighter because I had to press the bar up and bring it behind my neck.  I’ve injured my shoulder before when I’ve done this so I wanted to avoid injuring it again.
6/4/2/2xBW – Chin-ups:  Did chin-ups the day before so my biceps may have been a bit more fatigued.  I wasn’t pulling straight up either so I was exerting more energy than needed to pull myself up.
4x10x80 – Bent Over Rows:  Used the preset bars.  Haven’t done these in a while and I do miss doing them a bit.  Form looked pretty good from glancing at a side mirror during a rep.
3x10xBW – Hanging Knee Raise:  Not bad at all.  A few grinders on the latter reps of the last set.

Conditioning:

1.5min. x 2.5spd warm-up 10% incline
3 x 1min. 5.0 spd sprints, 1min. 2.5spd rest
1 x 1min. 7.0 spd sprint, 1 min. rest, no incline
1 x 1min. 8.0 spd sprint, 1 min. rest, no incline
2.5spd remainder until 1.0 mile

Week 19 – 5/3/1 – Day 69 + Day 70

Cycle #5
Week 3 Day 4 + Week 4 Day 1

Falling a bit behind on the log.  Doing some catch-up.

Friday, 8/10 (Squat Day):  3×200, 3×230, 2×260 Rep Failure + 10/8/6/5 x 145

Up until that Friday, I had missed my previous 2 squat sessions.  It definitely took it’s toll as I had an extremely difficult time getting the 260 up with a belt on.  The Boring But Big set wasn’t any prettier.  Not sure if I should dial the weight back down or not.  1 step back, 2 steps forward?  We’ll see how the weight feels this coming Friday.

Monday, 8/13 (Press Day):  5×85, 3×100, 3×110 Rep PR + BBB Bench:  5x10x100 + Chin-ups:  6/4/4 + BBRows:  2x10x70lbs

I wasn’t too excited about doing presses yesterday.  I re-injured my right shoulder the past weekend and it wasn’t feeling wonderful.  I sucked it up and did the presses anyway.  Used a false grip and really engaged my lats.  I had read earlier in the day that using the lats as a shelf really helps with the lift and indeed it did.  The press definitely feels much better with a false grip compared to a regular grip- significantly less wrist strain which in turn provides a much more stable pressing foundation at the bottom of the lift.