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 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.

Week 18 – 5/3/1 – Day 64

Cycle #5

Press:  3×80, 3×95, 6×105 Rep PR

These felt pretty good.  Used a false grip on first and second sets, regular grip on the last set.  I think it’s much easier to roll back the bar into the wrists with a regular grip.  Maintaining the bar at the base of my palm required a lot of forearm work.  Going back down, I made sure not to drop the weight- usually when I do this I end up losing my tight grip and having the bar roll back into my wrists.  Overall, pretty happy about the lift.  I’d really like to get it up to 10×105.

BBB Press:  5x10x60

Much easier than the previous press day.  Last press day I was all over the place.

Chin-ups:  6/4/3/3/3

The last couple of sets were grinders.  I did them right after doing a set of BBB press.

BB Assistance:

DB Military Press – 4 x12 x 10lbs
Side Laterals – 4 x12 x 10lbs
Barbell Curls – 4 x12 x 30lbs
Preacher Curls – 4 x10 x 35lbs

Performed some very light additional assistance work.

Week 17 – 5/3/1 – Day 63

Cycle #5

Bench:  3x5xBar + 5×115, 5×135, 10×150 Rep PR

Well snap.  I was pretty surprised at myself for cranking out that many.  The gains I’ve made on the bench seems too good to be true.  Driving my feet into the ground really helped stabilize my core and in turn keep my upper back rigid.  I think my form was pretty good- didn’t feel like my right or left side was working more than the other.  Having a solid arch really helped engage my upper back and lats as well.

Dips:  10/5/5/4 + Dumbbell Fly:  4x12x15lb + Tricep Pushdown:  5x20x25lb + Push-ups: 10/11/10/6

Bodybuilder style accessories.  The dips were pretty difficult- my triceps got gassed pretty quickly.

Conditioning:

1mile 3.0spd @ 10% incline

Week 17 – 5/3/1 – Day 62

Cycle #5

Deadlift:  5×100, 5×140, 3×160 + 5×190, 5×225, 11×250 Rep PR

Crushed the deadlifts today.  Looks like I’m back into the swing of things.  Yesterday’s press day was definitely off- my head wasn’t in the right place.  Alternating grip on the last set.

BBB Deadlift:  5x10x145

Felt relatively light.  I also used the belt on every set here.  I touch and go’ed all the sets.  The latter sets I would do a quick 5-rep, pause, then finish the set.  The one thing I don’t like about doing touch and go is that I end up performing more of a straight legged deadlift as opposed to a regular deadlift.  I tried to quickly drop my butt after each rep so that I was engaging my hamstrings each time and not pulling with a straight leg.

Core:

10 x BW + 10 x 10lb Weighted Sit-ups
25 x 25lb Side Bends
10 x Lying Leg Raises
6 x Kneeling Ab-Wheel Roll Outs

My core was pretty shot from the deadlifting.  I could barely keep my body rigid on the ab wheel roll outs- my back would just buckle in.  Weighted sit-ups don’t feel as terrible anymore compared to the first few times I did them.

Conditioning:

3min. 2.5 spd warm-up @ 10% incline
4 x 1min. 5.0 spd sprints with 1min. rests @ 10% incline
7.0 spd sprint to 1 mile mark @ no incline

Left knee was feeling scarily unstable.  Felt better later.