Week 5 – Madcow5x5 – Day 12A

Squats:

5 x 125
5 x 155
5 x 190
5 x 210
5 x 250

These weren’t bad, definitely heavy though.  Decided to use the belt.  My grip width was a bit narrower today, really had a very tight upper back.  Instead of hyperextending my back into a lordotic position, I instead, adjusted my torso posture so that it was leaning forward a bit while keeping the weight centered over my feet.  I felt this engaged my core much more.  Despite the fact I’m doing a semi good morning, I think I’m going to perform squats in this manner from now on.  Putting my lower back into a hyperlordotic arch isn’t doing wonders on my back.  I just have to make sure that I don’t lean too far forward and end up rounding my back.  Weight on heels, lift toes up and chest up should be good enough preventative measures to keep me balance and squatting with decent form.

Bench:

5 x 65
5 x 85
5 x 100
5 x 115
5 x 130

These felt great today.  Shrugging and engaging my traps and lats helped create a very stable and firm platform to press from.  Didn’t feel wobbly like my previous bench sessions.  I think I realized the problem with my right arm doing too much work.  I noticed that when I press, sometimes my right trap relaxes causing my right shoulder to drop more than I want to.  Keeping a tight upper back prevents this from happening.

Rows:

5 x 65
5 x 85
5 x 100
5 x 115
5 x 130

Not too bad.  Felt a bit heavier.  Noticed I was lifting the bar a bit faster on the left side on a few reps.  Grip width felt a bit more awkward than usual.

Accessories:

Weighted back hyperextensions – 10xBW, 10x10lbs, 8x15lbs:  Put the weight behind my head.  Made this feel a bit more difficult than usual.  And as always, these were killing my knees.

Weighted sit-ups – 10xBW, 10x5lbs, 8x10lbs:  Used the decline bench and set it to the lowest decline angle (I wanted it to be flat, but it wouldn’t it unfortunately didn’t go down all the way).  I think I’m going to stick with situps from the floor.  Noticed I was arching my back when doing these on the decline.

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 2 – Madcow5x5 – Day 3A

Squats:

5 x 115
5 x 140
5 x 170
5 x 195
5 x 230

These were pretty hard.  I felt some soreness pain from my quads near my knees when going heavy on the last set.

Bench:

5 x 65
5 x 75
5 x 90
5 x 115
5 x 125

These were alright.  Felt like I was, again, using my right arm more than my left.  Felt the burn in the right triceps.

Rows:

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

These were particularly easy.  Again, made sure that I slowly lifted bar off ground and then exploded upwards to my chest.

Accessories:

Weighted Sit-ups:

12 x BW
12 x BW + 5

Second set was difficult.  Was cheating a little when sitting up by using momentum.

Weighted Hyperextensions:

12 x BW
12 x BW + 25
10 x BW
10 x BW

Not bad, my knees were hurting when doing them with weight.