Week 5 – Madcow5x5 – Day 13B

Squats:

5 x 125
5 x 155
5 x 190
5 x 190

These were really easy.  Not much to point out.

Press:

5 x 55
5 x 65
5 x 75
5 x 85

Not bad.  A bit difficult.  Right triceps were working a bit harder again.

Deadlift:

5 x 155
5 x 185
5 x 215
5 x 245

Not bad.  Did touch and go on the first set.  Banged my shin up in the process, so that’s a no go.  Back was a bit more strained than last week.  I think I rushed it a bit.

Accessories:

Sit-ups – 33/13/11:  Used a 20lb dumbbell counterweight.  Actually worked quite nicely.  Feels as though my lower abs are being focused more than my upper abs.  Can’t complain.

HIIT – 4-7-4-8-4-7:  Legs were feeling tired.

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Week 4 – Madcow5x5 – Day 11C

Squats:

5 x 120
5 x 150
5 x 180
5 x 210
3 x 250
8 x 180

Not bad.  Didn’t use the belt again.  Found myself leaning forward a bit on the 8 repper- felt it in the back afterwards.

Bench:

5 x 65
5 x 80
5 x 100
5 x 115
3 x 130
8 x 100

Still unstable on the lift.  Right side was working harder than the left on a few.  Nailed the lift on a few others.  One thing I changed up was to shrug and engage my traps.  This helped me tighten my lats immensely.  The hard part about pressing that I seem to keep messing up on is that when I try to squeeze my shoulder blades together, on the way up on the press, I seem to disengage the tightness in my right lat.

Rows:

5 x 65
5 x 85
5 x 100
5 x 115
3 x 130
8 x 100

Seemingly harder than before.  I’ve reduced my hip jerking movement so I can isolate the work to my upper back and biceps.  Controlled pull up, I think, is the best way to get the most out of this lift for what it’s intended for.  Jerking the bar up to my chest seemed to take away from the lift.  This definitely made it a bit harder.  I also focused on squeezing my shoulder blades together.

Accessories:

Dips – 3x8xBW:  These were considerably easier than before.  No pain in the shoulders afterwards also.  As opposed to going straight down and up, I instead followed my shoulders down.  So, from the side I would lower myself until I reached about 90 degrees between my forearm and upperarm then press myself back up.

Barbell Curls – 2x8x40, 8×50:  Easier than the previous week’s curls.  I think I might go ahead and do 40/50/50 next time.  Glad I’m progressing.  Woot big biceps!

Tricep Extensions – 8×35, 8×40, 8×45:  Easier than the previous week’s extensions.  I’m going to up the weights on this as well and do 40/45/50 the next heavy day.

HIIT – 4-7-4-8-4-7-4-8 @ 1min:30sec. intervals:  I think the intervals I was doing before involved 1.5min:1min. intervals instead.

Week 4 – Madcow5x5 – Day 10B

Squats:

5 x 120
5 x 140
5 x 180
5 x 180

Not bad.  Was noticing again that my left side was dropping down a bit lower than my right side and the weight was rolling forward a bit.  I think this has to do with not shoving my knees out evenly with my right leg.  Mental cue once reaching the bottom should be “split the floor apart and drive your ass up”.

Press:

5 x 50
5 x 60
5 x 70
5 x 80

Tried going for a more natural grip and widened it a bit.  Felt better.  Made me have a bit more control and felt like my shoulders were working evenly.

Deadlifts:

5 x 145
5 x 175
5 x 205
5 x 235

These felt great today.  Noticed that I was shrugging and rolling my shoulders back at the top.  Not sure if this is good or not, but felt natural to me in order to lock out the weight.

Accessories:

Situps – 30/15/16:  Did these until “failure”.  I think next time I might change it so that I have to do as many situps as possible within a predetermined amount of time.  Doing this exercise to “failure” seems a bit ambiguous and form definitely begins to deteriorate rapidly once my abs get tired, aka my lower back starts to round lordotically.

HIIT – 3-7-8-3-7:  Legs were pretty beat by the end of these intervals.  I felt a cramp coming along on my right calf.

Week 4 – Madcow5x5 – Day 9A

Squats:

5 x 115
5 x 140
5 x 180
5 x 210
5 x 240

Was a bit hopped up on the pre-workout.  Decided not to use the belt on the last set.  Butt rose a bit faster than shoulders on the last few reps of the top set.  Raising chest and driving hips really helps with cranking the weight up once I get out of the hole.

Bench:

5 x 65
5 x 85
5 x 105
5 x 115
4 x 130 Stall

Disappointed to say the least.  I don’t know what the deal is with my bench.  Over at ironstrong, I’ve found another individual, johnnyboy, who seems to be exhibiting similar problems as I am on the bench.  The feeling I get when I lower the bar to my chest is that the bar shifts to the right, in turn, causing my right elbow to go down farther than it has to thereby causing my right arm to exert more effort to press the bar back up.

Rows:

5 x 65
5 x 85
5 x 95
5 x 115
5 x 130

Still fairly easy.  Definitely felt my shoulders and biceps working a bit harder when I kept my hips static.  I did this by lifting the bar without acceleration.  I noticed that when pulled the bar off the ground too quickly that I was actually using a bit of hip drive and momentum- this shortchanges the amount of work my shoulders get.

Accessories:

Weighted Situps – 12xBW, 12×10, 12×10, 12×15:  A bit easier than the previous situp session.  Was pretty fatigued 2/3 of the way into the last set though.  Abs got pretty sore an hour later once coming home.

Weighted hyperextensions – 10xBW, 10×10, 10×15:  Not bad, again this bothers my knees quite a bit.

HIIT – 9min, 2 sets:  Was pretty spent after 2 sets.

Week 3 – Madcow5x5 – Day 6A

Squats:

5 x 120
5 x 145
5 x 175
5 x 205
5 x 235

Not too bad, definitely took my time between the heavier sets.  I’ve gotten lazy with recording myself, but I think it’s about time I start doing so.  I felt fairly comfortable with my form today, no lower back pain at all.

Bench:

5 x 65
5 x 85
5 x 95
5 x 115
5 x 125

Felt more comfortable with my form today.  I didn’t tuck my elbows in as much.  My left elbow flared a bit much on one of the reps.  But other than that, the weight still feels relatively light.  Can’t wait to get that plate up there again.

Rows:

5 x 65
5 x 85
5 x 95
5 x 115
5 x 125

These were still pretty easy.   As usual, lift off ground and accelerate towards chest.

Accessories:

Weighted Situps: 10xBW, 10×7.5, 10×10, 10×10 – Not bad, felt the burn more in my hip flexors.  I think I need to curl into my knees.

Weighted Hyperextensions: 10xBW, 10×10, 10×15 – Pretty easy, but my knees were killing me.  Felt like they would snap backwards from the counter-balancing.

HIIT: 10 minutes – Feeling sluggish on the HIIT.  My peak heart rate was at 189 bpm, definitely out of running shape.

Week 29 – Day 80A

Forgot that today should have been a B session.  Woops.

Squats:

2 x 5 x Bar
5 x 145
3 x 175
2 x 205
1 x 235
3 x 270

Actually did 4, but I definitely did more of a good morning than a squat on the 4th rep.  Felt extremely heavy.  Left knee feels very unstable when locked out.

Bench:

2 x 5 x Bar
5 x 75
3 x 95
2 x 115
1 x 135
5 x 160 PR

Felt pretty easy.  I had someone spot me just in case.

Power Clean:

5 x Bar x Clean shrugs
5 x 65 x Clean shrugs
5 x Bar x Front squats
5 x 65 x Front squats

2 x 6 x 65 x Power Clean

I recorded myself doing the cleans and I quickly noticed I was doing them wrong.  I was using my arms to clean instead of shrugging.

Accessories:

9/3/2 x BW + 15 lbs – Last 2 sets were extremely difficult.  Felt like I was very fatigued.  Could have rested more.

4/7/4/8/4/7/4/8 spd HIIT – Felt pretty easy.  My heart rate dropped back down recovered pretty quickly.  High intensity interval heart bpm was around 180.  Recovery heart bpm dropped back down to around 155-165 within the 1.5 minute rest.  Recovering faster than before.

Week 27 – Day 76B

Squats:

2 x 5 x Bar
5 x 135
3 x 165
2 x 195
1 x 225
5 x 255 PR

Hit another PR.  I recorded all my lifts and from the looks of it, it seems like I’m reaching parallel on each rep.  15 more pounds and I’m going to hit the magic number:  1.5 x BW.

Press:

5 x Bar
5 x 65
5 x 90

Getting heavy.  Noticed that the reps were a bit easier when the load rested on my wrists (ouch!) rather than at the base of my hands.

Deadlift:

5 x 155
3 x 185
2 x 215
5 x 240

Still fairly easy, form looked decent on the recorded video.  Used an underhand-overhand grip.  Made the lift much easier.  Made the extended lockout hold very painful.  The bar I was using already had pretty sharp knurling so the extra grip the chalk provided really made holding the bar pretty agonizing.

Accessories:

5/3/3 x BW x Pull-ups – A bit easier than the previous pull-up session.  Probably could have cranked another rep on the first or second set.

3 x 45 sec x Prone bridge – Didn’t burn as much.  Right shoulder was burning more than the left though.  Need to make sure I’m distributing my weight equally between each arm to avoid this.

4/7/4/8/4/7/4/8 1.5:1 HIIT – Pretty easy.  Using longer strides makes the work interval much easier.