Old & In The Way

Post your training journals here if you like. I'll make back-ups to avoid losing your data.

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Old & In The Way

Post by clutch » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:22 pm

Cross-posting here. I'm on Week 4 of a new macrocycle Mike T put together for me after finally making it over whatever was going on with hips. There's still some limits to what I can do, but I'm hoping that everything holds together and I can train with some intensity going forward. I'm hoping to compete this summer - knock on wood.

If you want to see what weeks 1-3 were all about, that's posted at http://thethinkingstrongman.blogspot.com . But there's really not much to see there that you won't see here going forward.

Notation: 1x5x135/9

This means 1 set, 5 reps, 135 lbs, at an RPE of 9. I generally only note the RPE's of the top set for the day. Mike prescribes training up to a certain RPE, typically 9 or 10 for me, and I progress through the weights using the same prescribed reps until that top set.

Mike also specifies fatigue work, or drop sets. In my training for the week, he'll note to load drop by 4-6%, or whatever.

After I complete the top set, I then knock off the prescribed weight, and do drop sets until I hit same RPE that the top set was at. Typically, that's only 1 or 2 sets.

With all that said, here's the first day of week 4:

Not in the greatest place for training today, but still looked forward to it and was eager to hop in. More on that later...warmed up with dynamic stretching (lunges, walking hammie stretches), some band dislocates, and some general moving stuff around in the gheyrage. Did some log presses, and cleans, getting more specific warm ups going. These really didn't feel all that great, but, hopped in.


Log Clean & Press (each rep from floor): 1x3x120,170,170,190,190/9,180/9
I know, weird progression: my technique sucked. I was all over the place, lacking stability, timing of the drive was off. This was ugly. 170 was so ugly I did another set at that weight. 190 was so ugly, and getting close to a 9RPE, that I figured just stay there. 180 was better, and might have been just shy of a 9, but was good enough for today.

Notation note: you'll see I dropped off 10lbs after the top set, and did one fatigue set at the lighter weight, at shich point I hit an RPE of 9.

Zercher Pulls: 1x10x135,singles,1x10x225; bunch of singles after that.
Well, a little better: did 225 without a belt and without the Rehband belly band, and that helped withthe weird pain in the lumbar region. Felt that pain a bit at 135, so I played around with singles trying to find the best way to minimize that pain. Still felt it enough by rep 10 with 225 that I stopped there. Ditto with the singles after the top set. I need to go back to old videos and get an idea of my foot placement. Today, it seemed like the wider I placed my feet, the more pain I encountered in the back, but I was better able to utilize my hips. Anyhow, some improvement over past weeks.


Arnold Presses: 1xlotsx15;1x6x40,45,50/9,45/9Meh. Shoulders were achy, just happy to get these done.

So, not a great session, but not terrible, and about what I expected, honestly. Spending much of last week in the truck driving didn't do me any favors in terms of readiness; however, it was deload week, and I got to spend time with people important to me, so well worth it.

On Wednesday of last week, I drove to Chicago for a business meeting, and then hung out with Matt & Julia Ladewski for a bit. Matt critiqued my deadlift form, comparing my sumo form to "humping a football" - ouch - and offering up numerous suggestions on how to change my conventional form to get better pulling levers. My thinking is that this is the time to do it, since I'm essentially learning the deadlift from scratch after not pulling from the floor for so long. I'm going to start to incorporate Matt's advice this week. Thanks for helping me, Matt - I'm grateful.

That was the sole training I did, but it was enough; didn't keep track, but did quite a few singles at 315 and 405, and one at 497. Next day, I drove from Chicago to Fargo, ND, and then Friday was back to Cokato, MN, and then Saturday back to Chicago, and finally back home on Sunday. The drive from Chicago to Fargo was 12 hours of road time, and there was a pretty heavy snowstorm in Wisconsin. I was driving in tough conditions basically through that whole state - saw many cars off the road, and was thankful for the 4 wheel drive Tundra.

Oh, and if anybody would've told me that I'd be training with the doors up, in shorts and a tank, on Jan 17, I'd have said you're nuts. But that's what I did today.
Last edited by clutch on Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by Beer Jew » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:25 pm

Awesome.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by clutch » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:59 pm

Beer Jew wrote:Awesome.
LOL. "So far from awesome that it redefines the word" is the kindest I would give it.

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Week 4, Prehab / Accessory 1

Post by clutch » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:33 pm

Crappy sleep last night; woke up after 2 hours, stayed up for a while, ended up running on 5 hours sleep today. Stressful day as well. Soon, the stress will be much more controllable.


45 minute nap pre-training.


Reverse Hyper: 2x20x250lb


Standing ab crunches, 1x40

db Flye Stretches - way too tight

Band forearm / bicep stretches

Internal RC stretching

Shoulder horn: 1x30x5lb - right RC was quite painful today, just trying to get some blood flowing.


15 minutes or so.


The plan is to get everybody out on a hike after dark, we have a little snow down finally, should be a nice evening hike. We'll do the standard 2-1/2 miles, and I'll count this as conditioning work.

EDIT: hike done. Gorgeous evening, clear, upper teens, light coating of snow. Had a great time.

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Week 4, Day 2

Post by clutch » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:29 pm

Intensity / stress is creeping up in the template; so far, so good. Other areas of life are slowly coming under better control - either that or I've quit caring.

Stayed pretty warm all day, wearing tights, jeans, a capilene base shirt, and a heavy sweater while working from home. Figured I'd keep a little sweat going to keep the joints happy. Hit the gheyrage, and did some barbell hip complex stuff, then hit it.

DL: 1x3x135,135,225,315,405,500/9,475/9

Well, as much as I hate to be relearning and starting from scratch on this lift, I will grudgingly admit that I'm fortunate to be doing just this. All sets done with a complete hands-off reset between reps. Top set pointed out the left side weakness a bit, but, the bar came up ok.


Axle Press (from rack, +minis): 1x3x75,75,125;1x3x145/fail;1x3x140/9;1x3x130,130/9

Took a little time to do some band dislocates, and various reps with no bands prior to hopping in, trying to give the shoulders a fighting chance. The bands added about 8lbs of resistance at the top, the gheyrage was a little colder, and the bands stiffer than normal.

Farmers Shrugs: 1x12x135,185/9

No fatigue work; I was just so wiped at this point, and the left sciatic nerve was starting to act up, that I just cut it. If I just didn't have to pick them up off the floor, more sets would have been mine!

All in all, I'm OK with this session. Pulling 500 for a triple was nice. Axle work is doing OK.

Finally getting some snow. Of course, it's going up to 40 degrees or some such shit on Sunday, so it's not like January in Cleveland...wait a minute.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by newguy » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:47 pm

I agree with bj....awesome. Thanks for putting the log here.

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Week 4, Day 3

Post by clutch » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:02 pm

Whew - skipped everything yesterday, I was just wiped out, completely. Am getting back into the nightly routine of hitting the percussive massager just before bed, trying to get things to let go, so that's good. Part of the reason I skipped yesterday was knowing what today would bring: overnight, 6" of snow. So, 3 hours of shovelling first thing this morning; then, out for the standard 2-1/2 mile hike with the grrlz, and finally training - by which time I was pretty fatigued, but nothing that 2 Monsters couldn't help overcome, at least temporarily.


Warmed up with some curls, band stretching for forearms and biceps, and bodyweight squats. Then hit the 210lb 21" stone for a set of 6 reps of stone squats.


Stones (48"): 1x3x275,310/9,275/9
Good news: I'm slinging more weight earlier in the year than ever before. Bad news: technique sucks, and I'm slow. Really need to work on my cues - I figured this out on the last rep, when I remembered the cue to lock my scaps back (not that I can move that much, but it's something), and the stone flew over the bar.


Pulldowns: 1x12x135,185,225/9,215/9

Well, not terrible. Have a feeling I'm going to hurt tomorrow.


Curls: 1x10x45,45(barbell);1x10x60,80,100/9,95/9(EZ curl)

Thought I was tearing my right wrist apart using the straight bar; I realize it's only a pinched nerve or something, but the level of pain was too high to block, so switched to the EZ curl bar. Even there, I had to wrap the wrist tightly to block pain.


I see that there's another qualified (at least on paper) ART practitioner about 45 minutes from me. I'm thinking about getting some time with him, see if he can help me out with these nagging shoulder pains and wrist pain. It's starting to get in the way just a bit too much.


Good session. Definitely brought some intensity to the platform today - noticed that on stones. No hip / lumbar / sciatic issues at all, so that area is starting to rebound nicely.


Wish I could say that I was just lounging tomorrow, but I somehow got involved with a 5 mile hike, so at least I'm getting some conditioning work this weekend.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by tough old man » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:25 am

Wish I could pull a 310 stone X 9. I cant even imagine. Tough work Bob.
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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by clutch » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:01 am

tough old man wrote:Wish I could pull a 310 stone X 9. I cant even imagine. Tough work Bob.
Heh. Me too. My notation is weird.

1x3x275,310

means 1 set of 3 reps at 275 and 1 set of 3 reps at 310.

/9 means an RPE of 9 - that is, I had 1-2 reps left in the tank.

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Sunday Random Noise

Post by clutch » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:56 pm

Slept well last night, thankfully - 8 solid hours. I was quite dehyrdated by yesterday evening, as I drank 3/4 gallon of water with dinner, and only got up to pee 1 time during the night. Happens even in winter. Am leading a group on a 5 mile hike later today.


I look back to 1 year ago: I was unable to be on my feet for more than 1 hour at a time without taking heavy duty pain meds. The pinched nerve was just debilitating. I was unable to walk effectively; I was just swinging the left leg from the hip, and planting it, and hoping for the best. I was in so much pain after hiking or training that I couldn't do anything else.


Here I am today, after being fairly active yesterday - hiking, shovelling snow, training stones hard - and after hitting 500x3 on pulling just a couple days ago, ready to lead a group hike.


All this after driving 2300 miles in 5 days a week ago.


As hard as this past year has been, with all the setbacks, this is good, solid, measureable, progress. Progress that I can feel. Progress in those areas which matter to me.


Don't let go. Keep pushing. Listen to your body. Listen to your heart.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by tough old man » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:22 pm

Well its still damn impressive!
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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by clutch » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:08 pm

^^^Thanks TOM.

Got out for a 5 mile hike today, great conditioning - HR probably averaged 130-ish, with a couple peaks around 150. Feeling pretty good, albeit exhausted, as I write this.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by Holland Oates » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:49 pm

Progress is good.

Keep grinding away.
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Week 5, Day 1: Specialization Block

Post by clutch » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:22 am

^^^Thanks EZ.

Not much sleep last night, and virtually none of it quality sleep; not sure what the problem was, as I felt exhausted at 8PM, but couldn't get into a deep sleep state. Finally gave up at 10:30, got up, and caught up with some email until 12:30AM, then tried again, was up at 2:30, wide awake, and then when I had to get up at 5:30, felt like death, sunny-side up. Not a great predictor for success in the gheyrage, but, dragged myself out, and got to it, Monster in hand, and capsaicin cream on shoulders.


Warmed up with band dislocates, dynamic stretching for hip flexors and hammies, and then did some various log cleans and pressing.


Log C&P:(each rep from floor):somexlotsx120;1x2x170,190,210/9,200,200/9

Not terrible. Really paid strict attention to my cues and form; felt much better than last week. Introduced a slight twist in breathing, and I think it will pay off. Again, that old adage from motorcycle days pays off: don't worry about fast, worry about smooth, and you'll be fast.


Snatch Grip RDL: 1x10x135,225/9,225/9

These hit the back hard, and I decided to just stay at 225 rather than try to move more weight. I think keeping these in the program for a while might be a good idea.


Arnold Presses: 1x5x20,20,25,35,45,55,70/9-10,65/9-10

Pretty much toast by this time, and the shoulders felt like burning toast.


Finished up with a 2 mile hike. Kept a decent pace, pretty nice evening, upper 20's.

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Week 5, Prehab 1

Post by clutch » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:13 pm

Meh, felt like shit today. Probably too much stress. Need to kill somebody soon, I think - in a messy way, like just gut them while they stand in a lot. I think seeing certain people cradling their intestines in their arms would do me a world of good.

Anyhow: shoulder focus today.

Did some standing ab crunches to get moving, then

Band pull aparts, dislocates, flye stretches, doorway stretches, shoulder horn, and RC stretching.

Done. Might get out for a hike later on. I should, the grrlz want to go.

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Week 5, Day 2: Specialization Block

Post by clutch » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:47 pm

Lots of lessons today. First was out of the gym: lots of leg cramps this morning, just walking around the office and computer room. Left leg especially, and plenty of weird twitching going on as I was sitting. Had eaten my normal no-carb breakfast. 30 minutes after I ate a big lunch, including plenty of carbs, the cramping ceased. Not sure what to make of this. I'm well-hydrated. Doubt that it's an electrolyte imbalance - especially when eating lunch fixes the issue within such a short time.




Finally made it home, stress levels unbelievably high. Got out to the gheyrage, and warmed up by slamming a green Monster and reciting my custom RPE chart in one big, long, tasty belch. Hopped in.




Conv DL: 1x20x135,1x10x135,1x3x225,315,405,515/9-10,475/9-ish

Lady deadlift opened the kimono a bit today, but I'm not quite sure what I saw. 515: first rep was a bit ugly, some leg shake; rep 2 was much better; rep 3 - well, it got grindy, and as I got mid-thigh, I started to twist, the bar got way out in front of me on the left side, my hips were all uneven and confused. Stupid me - I should have dropped the bar, but I locked it out, and held it for a few seconds to restore calm to the universe.




Not sure if this is a strength issue, a proprioception issue, or a combination. Not sure what the best way is to address it. I decided to drop a little over my prescribed fatigue percent, to 475, just to be safe. These reps felt nice and clean.




Then warmed up with some pressing to get the shoulders mobile; tried an Olympic bar, but it felt all weird, so I just went with the axle, wrist be damned.




Axle Press (rack, w/minis): 1x2x75,75,125,145,165/10,155/10

Well, completely screwed the pooch on either RPE estimate (don't think so) or technique (yep), on the initial drive and force transfer off the racked position. In any event, I'm pretty happy with these numbers.


Farmer's Shrugs: 1x10x185,225/10,225/9

Too lazy to change weights after the first set at 225, honestly. The shrugging itself wasn't a 10, but rather, I lost trunk stability around rep 8, and was fighting to maintain a stable position. Second set at 225 I really focused on stability from the get-go, and it went much, much better.


Pretty good session - and a fooler, as I would have sworn it would suck coming into it. I was tired, I was stressed to the point of distraction, and everything was pointing to a terrible time training. Just goes to show you, I guess, that you never know until you try.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:56 pm

515-530 is a break point for me too...some days it's feel like a set of 5 woudl be NBD, other days it's all twisty and shakey. good focus coming back and getting in the press work.
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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by clutch » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:03 am

^^^Thanks. These sessions are getting easier, so I'm definitely progressing.

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Week 5, Prehab 2

Post by clutch » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:28 pm

Feeling amazingly good after yesterday's training; figured I'd be a lot more tired / sore. The only things really bugging me are shoulders, the usual RC aches, and a little upper back & traps. So, I geared today's session towards that:


Band Pull Aparts

Band Dislocates

Light Chest Supported Rows

Internal and External Band RC Extensions

Band Forearm and Bicep stretching

Doorway stretches

Lat Stretches


Done. Kept everything high (40-50) reps, just trying to get loosened up and encourage blood flow. Don't know if we'll hike tonight; we're back to rain, and inches of mud. Really pretty disgusting around here this winter.

EDIT: got out for the 2 miler down by the river. Kept up a fast pace. Nice, damp, foggy night with clear skies overhead. Weird for January.

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Week 5, Day 3

Post by clutch » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:55 pm

Tired today, quite tired. Couldn't seem to get out of first gear. Finally, after much procrastination, forced myself to train at 4PM. Warmed up with band stretching for forearms and biceps, did some bodyweight squats, and then hit the 210lb stone. Did 3 sets of 5-7 reps of squats; these felt pretty darned good, to be honest - good pop out of the hole, nice consistent drive, and a good roll up the chest at the end. Decided to hop in...


Stones (48"): 1x3x310/Fail;1x3x275/Fail

Well, this was a fiasco. Tacky froze; arm sleeves pulled off, you name it, it went south in a hurry. Got 2 solid reps at each weight, but missed the 3rd on each set.


Pulldowns: worked up to 1x10x215/9, and called it done


EZ bar curls: worked up to 1x7x115/9, called it done


I was completely spent and frustrated after stones, combined with being tired, and really couldn't bring myself to add any more stress to my body today. It felt good to get out of the gheyrage, and shower up.

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Week 5: Sunday

Post by clutch » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:41 pm

6 mile hike, up on the east path from Boston to 303 and back. Ledges were nice. Dogs had fun. Big meal afterwards, then napped out for an hour or so.

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Week 6, Day 1

Post by clutch » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:52 pm

Achy shoulders today. Lots of liniment. Tired. Lots of Green Monster. Warmed up with band pull aparts, band dislocates, dynamic stretching, and lots of log pressing with the bare log, using no leg drive.


Log Clean & Press: 1x1x120,170,190,210,230,240/fail,210/10,210,210,210,210/10-ish

Yeah, another weird progression. 230 was slow, but not grindy slow, and really felt like I had another 10 in me...but I lost it on the clean, ended up unstable while racked. So, rather than drop 5lbs, I decided to go with 230 as my top set. First single at 210 was ugly, slow, grindy...and all because of crappy technique, and getting a stable platform. So, I decided to hit it again, and turns out if I use decent technique, 210 is a reasonably light weight. I think this was a wise decision, as it felt good to reinforce cues and technique with this much weight.


Zercher Pulls: 1x8x135,185;1x1x225,225

Again - 225 felt like it was tearing my spine apart, while 185 was light, not even a 7 RPE. I tried moving back to 185, but too much pain. I think I might have this figured out, however...more on that later.


Arnold Presses: 1x6x35,50,60,70/9-10,65/9-10


Zercher Pulls: 1x8x185,205/9

Gave the back a chance to calm down, and hit these again, paying close attention to what my body was doing. I think the problem stems from the left side; I've noticed that my left hammie is always tight / sore these days, and I think what happens is that when I get under the weight to lift it, the hammie is tight enough that it's pulling the left back side of the pelvis down, and I'm hitting that nerve hard with something. I could feel that start to happen with 205, but was able to keep the lumbar muscles activated enough to keep the pelvis locked in place.


Anyhow.


Overall, a decent session. Learned something about log pressing today, which is good, and have a much better chance of making headway with my new cues. Arnold pressing is starting to click.

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Week 6: Skipped

Post by clutch » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:40 am

Combo of stress levels + no sleep really nailed me today; I was pretty much a basket case by the time I got home after working 11 hours, and not eating since 04:30 (a glass of water with whey). Rather than push it, I just tried to chill for a bit. Ate a good size burger with some bacon.

Back at it tomorrow.

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Week 6, Day 2

Post by clutch » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:50 am

Well, not a great day by any measure; but, not a terrible day. Unfortunately, contra Goldilocks, that doesn't make it just right. Think that everything that went wrong today can be traced back to three things: not enough sleep, especially Tueday night; being so fatigued on Wednesday that I had no appetite and didn't eat; and stress levels. I've noticed that it's what I eat the day before lifting that makes the most difference in my performance - on training day, I can eat very low calories, and still perform just fine, provided I ate enough the day before. Today reinforced that lesson.


Monster to get things started after a long day at work. Had on plenty of warm gear, and just hopped in with conventional deadlifts as my warmup, nailing a bunch of reps at 135 until I felt like I was moving with some "snap".


DL: 1x5x135,227,317,407,497/10

Low back was extremely fatigued at this point, so I skipped drop sets. Fatigued enough that there was plenty of sciatic pain, and I just did not want to fight through that. Took some time to stretch out the low back a bit.


Axle Press (rack, +minis): 1x5x75;1x3x75,125,145/9,135,135/9

Warmed up with some band pull aparts and axle pressing no bands. This wasn't a great performance - I'll blame the sciatic nerve and inability to get a solid setup - but not too sucky.


Farmers Shrugs: 1x12x135,225/9

Skipped fatigue work just because I didn't want to do any picks. Low back was calming down, but still pretty touchy.


Grabbed dinner, and then hit a 2 mile hike, decent pace. Glad I did this; the low back started to recover a bit, moving seemed to help.


Shot some video. It's late, I'll get it edited and posted later on.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:58 am

Ohhhh, whenever I feel like slacking, I look at bobw's logggg...that bad ass motherfucker would lift stones in a bogg.....

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