Week 26 – 5/3/1 – Day 93

Cycle #7
Week 1 Day 4

5/3/1 Deadlift:  5×115, 5×135, 3×155 + 5×195, 5×225, 12×255 Rep PR

Unfortunately lost my nice little notepad to jot my workout weights on and wifi wasn’t working in the gym so I couldn’t pull up my numbers from the spreadsheet stored on my Google drive.  Thinking now, I think I would have wanted to get to 15 reps on the 255.  I definitely think I could have, but my form would most likely have been pretty terrible at that point.  Nonetheless, I still managed to get a rep PR.  The last time I lifted 255 was during the 2nd week of the 3rd cycle.  And numbers shows that I only pulled for 4 reps!  Pretty drastic improvement.  This lift is definitely my favorite right now because of pulling for such high volume and the fact that I know I won’t be stalling on it any time soon.

Aside from now incorporating high volume dips to get my shoulder strength and tricep strength up.  I’m also going to be incorporating more mid-section abdominal strengthening.  I found another nice article on overhead presses and specifically how to train the common weakpoints.  Also, the article mentioned performing bar hangs to help decompress the lumbar spine and increase my low back flexibility.  Sitting around for 8+ hours in the office, I think it’ll be beneficial incorporating these into my warm-ups and cooldowns.

http://www.bodybuilding.net/training-articles/improving-the-overhead-press-3112.html

Week 26 – 5/3/1 – Day 92

Cycle #7
Week 1 Day 3

Bench:  3x5xBar, 5×75, 5×95, 3×115 + 5×135, 3×135, 7×160 Rep PR

135s feel fairly light now.  Form was comfortable, no signs of tucking too much on the right side, etc.  Used a powerlifter arch on the top set.  First 5 reps were pretty solid.  6th was a semi grinder.  7th was all grind from halfway point up.  I tweaked my lower right back a bit when I was grinding it out.  Was scared that I may have given myself a hernia.  Need to make sure I drive my feet into the ground to avoid losing arch stability.

Dips:  15/7/6

Haven’t done these in a long, long time.  Decided to start doing them again because of the significant amount of strength carry over to the bench AND the overhead press.  Made sure to look straight ahead when I was dipping.  Kept my body pretty straight instead of bending slightly at the hips.  My goal is to get my strength up to 4 sets of 20 reps.  It’s my hope that once I reach this strength goal that my overhead pressing will have vastly improved from where I am right now.

Incline Bench Press:  5x10x65

Didn’t really know where I was going with my workout.  I was thinking along the lines of following Boring But Big assistances, but I didn’t want to be gassed by the time I got around to doing dips so I did those first.  Afterwards, I indulged a bit more and decided to do some light incline bench presses instead of regular flat bench.

Week 26 – 5/3/1 – Day 90

Cycle #7
Week 1 Day 1

5/3/1 Press:  5×80, 5×95, 4×105

Couldn’t crank out the last 5th rep on the top set.  Bar placement in my hands were pretty perfect.  The bar didn’t roll back so my wrists felt pretty good.

BBB Press:  10/10/6/7/6 x 65

Really felt the fatigue in my lats and my triceps.  Noticed right elbow is flaring out more than left which would probably explain why my right triceps felt much more fatigued.

Chin-ups:  5/4/4/3/2.5

Haven’t done these in a while.  Noticed that I’m sort of using a little bit of hip swing when I pull myself up.  Last set was a bit better when I focused on getting my chest up to the bar. A bit of my skin on my palm near my pinky on the left hand was getting pinched.  Hurt like a mother.

Conditioning:

15 min. treadmill @ 3.0 spd + 5% incline

Week 25 – 5/3/1 – Day 89

Cycle #6
Week 4 Day 4

Been very lackadaisical with posting my workouts.  This will have to change for the next cycle.  I felt invigorated to get stuff done today and wasn’t too happy about passing off doing the deadlifts this past Friday.  I’ve come to grips with the fact that consistency is an ongoing struggle that I’ll probably be butting heads with for a long, long time.  It’s a matter of training myself to get the better of it one day at a time.

5/3/1 Deadlift:  5×120, 5×150, 5×180
BBB Deadlift:  3x10x150
Sit-ups:  40/30/25

Learned a lot of stuff today from some older and significantly wiser men.  Knowledge and theory are wonderful foods for thought, but has no effect on your own or anyone else’s life without it’s appropriate application.  I have a ton of reading to do.

Week 25 – 5/3/1 – Day 87

Cycle #6
Week 4 Day 1

5/3/1 Press:  5×50, 5×65, 5×75

Fairly easy.  Focused on form.  While perusing the net, I found this nifty article by Bill Starr on the overhead press.  http://startingstrength.com/articles/stronger_press_starr.pdf  Surprised me when he mentioned that dips is king when talking about developing overhead pressing strength.  I think…I might switch up the assistance between bench and press day.

BB Assistance:

DB Military Press:  10×30 + 10×35 + 10×40 + 9×45
Barbell Curl:  2x10x30lb + 2x10x40lb
Side Laterals:  2x10x10lb
Rear Laterals:  2x10x10lb
Preacher Curl:  4x10x45lb

Conditioning:

15 min. treadmill @ 3.0 spd

Week 24 – 5/3/1 – Day 86

Cycle #6
Week 3 Day 4

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

Box jumps are pretty easy now.  Still am a bit hesitant that I’ll totally wipe out on the first jump.  Worked up a decent sweat doing this warm-up.

Deadlift:  5×120, 5×150, 3×180 + 5×225, 3×250, 10×280 Rep PR

Got a rep PR, but not sure I did it without some not so great form.  The first rep, right off the bat, felt like a straight legged deadlift.  Not sure if I was rounding much.  Used alternating grip on the last set and the 3 rep set; left hand pronated, right hand supinated.  The bar I was using didn’t have a very good grip on the knurling section.

BB Assistance:

6/4/3/2 – Chin-ups: Felt fresh when doing these.  Haven’t done them in a while.
10×30 + 10×35 + 10×35 + 10×40 – DB Rows:  Felt easier than when I did them last.
10×45 + 10×55 + 10×65 + 10×75 – Good Mornings:  Not bad.  Had a significantly wider grip. Made sure the bar didn’t roll into my neck.  Had pretty much a slightly low bar placement to keep locked against my anterior delts.
5/5/5 x Ab Wheel:  Back buckled very easily when getting fatigued and was giving me some lower back pain so I eased back off them.  Think I may need to increase core strength before doing these.

Conditioning:

10min. x Treadmill:  Haven’t ran in a while.  Felt very sluggish.  My cardio stamina diminishes very quickly if I don’t keep at it.

Week 24 – 5/3/1 – Day 85

Cycle #6
Week 3 Day 1

Just did week’s day 1 lift.  Was pretty busy Monday and Tuesday night.  Playing catch-up sucks a lot- it throws you off your rhythm.  But, on that same note, you have to learn to adapt and cope with the slight change.  Consistency is king when it comes to lifting and wanting to get results.

5/3/1 Press:  5×50, 3×70 + 5×90, 3×105, 2×115 Rep PR

A few reps were a bit scary.  I dropped the weight a bit too quickly on a few reps and bent my wrists back too much.  I remember hitting this weight eons ago…probably sophomore year of college when I first started doing Stronglifts.

BB Assistance:

DB Military Press:  4x12x35lb
Barbell Curl:  3x10x30lb + 10x40lb
Side Laterals:  2x12x10lb
Rear Laterals:  2x12x10lb
Preacher Curl:  4x10x30lb

Upperback and biceps were burning and had that pumped sensation.  Side laterals and rear laterals were very taxing even though they were only 10lbs in each hand.  Dumbbell military press felt much more stable compared to the first time doing them.  I made sure to try and keep my elbows and forearms at right angles and making sure not to go too low to avoid stress on the shoulder joints.  Preacher curls felt light- I used preset bars, not ones to load plates on.  The barbell curl was easy, but taxing endurance-wise.

Conditioning:

6min. treadmill jog

Getting back to doing some cardio.

Week 23 – 5/3/1 – Day 84

Cycle #6
Week 2 Day 4

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

Foam rolling was torture today.  Insanely painful from the really sore legs from Tuesday squats.  Had to do them to get rid of the soreness and get my legs back into shape quicker.  Box jumps were pretty easy; a lot more confident with them compared to Tuesday where I had a minor slip up.

Deadlift:  5×120, 3×150, 1×80 + 3×210, 3×235, 10×265

No belt.  Managed to crank out 10 reps on the last set.  This matched my previous effort at 265.  Probably could have done more with a belt.

BB Assistance:

6/3/2 – Chin-ups: Pretty difficult as my grip was shot from the deadlifts.
3x15x40 – DB Rows:  Difficult after the chin-ups and deads.

Week 23 – 5/3/1 – Day 83

Cycle #6
Week 2 Day 3

Bench:  3x5xBar + 5×75, 3×100, 1×115 + 3×125, 3×145, 5×165 Rep PR

Got to the gym late tonight so no one to spot me.  I decided to go ahead anyway and make an attempt on the top set.  Used a tight power lifter arch, took a deep breath and squeezed my shoulder blades together.  I would push my feet through the ground at the beginning of each rep to really keep a tight upper back.  Managed to bang out 5 reps which I was ecstatic about at the time.
From this point forward, I’m looking at pretty new poundage territory.  I’ve been consistently and slowly gaining on my bench numbers and it’s gotten to the point where next cycle’s first week poundages are PR numbers I broke just some few weeks ago.  It’s funny.  When I’m gaining and not stalling and everything is dandy, I don’t really notice how much weight I’m pressing or pulling.  But, when I’m really grinding that last rep out…only then do I realize how far I’ve actually come and what gains I’ve achieved to reach that point of 100% maximal effort.

BB Assistance:

DB Fly – 3x10x15lb:  Pretty easy.  Right shoulder bothered me on negative to positive phase of the lift.  Doing the exercise slower and with more control I think is key to making sure I don’t strain my shoulder.
Tricep Extension – 10x30lb + 10x35lb + 10x40lb:  Decided to do these in place of pushdowns.  I haven’t done them since I was doing Madcow about six to nine months ago.
DB Bench Press – 10x30lb + 2x10x35lb:  Not sure whether or not to tuck elbows or flare them out for these.
Dips – 8/4/4:  Always hard as hell with fatigue build up from the other exercises.