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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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by clutch » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:54 am

Thanks Jack. Forgot about Bulgarian squats - great suggestion. I've done goblet squats in the past - can't hurt to toss those in. I've done those hip mobility drills with bands. Mixed results. The PT's theory (and I'm not convinced) is that my psoas is tightening up to encourage my body to be in a position of semi-flexion, to keep the vertebral joints in the lumbar spine open in the back as much as possible, thereby relieving pressure on the nerve. He said to skip any and all stretching until such time as we get the cortisone blockers, and can really get core strength improved.

Like I said, I'm not convinced. There's a whole lot of theory being thrown my way, I'm still trying to sort stuff out.

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Deload Week

Post by clutch » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:57 am

Measured my calves. Right is 17-1/2", left is 17". Atrophy, anybody?

Need this deload break more for mental reasons than anything. Need to wrap my mind around some facts, and get some things done.

Out this morning for a short hike with the pups, about 1-1/2 miles. Just trying to focus on proper movement of the left leg.

This afternoon, played around with some "core" stuff: planks, ab wheel, standing ab crunches, that sort of thing. Then did some shoulder prehab stuff, and was done.

Need to dig in and find some resolve to continue training this high-rep, no odd-object shit.

Only other thought: I should emphasize step-ups a lot more going forward.

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Week 4, Deload 2

Post by clutch » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:22 pm

Today I wanted to play around a bit, so:


Step ups: 1x15xbw;bw + SSB; bw + 125

Steadied myself with hands on the power cage uprights for the last set; not pulling myself up, but just making sure I didn't lose balance and wipe out. Left side noticeably weaker, and it _seems_ like the real weakness stems from the adductor group.


Monster Strap DL: 1x10x155,205

Starting to learn this motion a bit. It's a bitch.


That was it - I was sweating nice, the left leg was pretty trashed out, and I got some good back / core work.


And I learned a bit.

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Week 4: Deload

Post by clutch » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:22 pm

Warmed up with step-ups, barefoot. Didn't do too badly, although I'm not as fast as I'd like. But felt fairly confident of my balance, so - good.



Decided to just do a couple things off the top of my head.



RDL: 1x10x135,185,225;1x21x225

Wanted to see where my failure point was with 225. I noticed that probably around rep 15, I started to favor the left side a bit, in that I was not lowering the bar evenly - left side was lagging by a couple inches. Really had to force myself to slow down and watch that. Probably had 5-10 more reps left in me before total failure, but a combination of Metamucil and a laxative last evening was bringing on some leakage that felt like it had good pressure behind it; by rep 21, I felt like my priorities were quickly getting established, and they did not involve a bar in my hands.



After a quick run-and-explode session...



Stone Squats: 1x10x190lb.



Stone Picks: 1x10x190lb.

Since the pick is my weak spot, I decided to focus on that; pick the stone to just where I'd drop back down to lap it, and instead just drop it to the floor and repeat. A few reps in, and I was already feeling a bit more confident on the picks.



I think these two exercises, done as a superset, could be a nice little mixer. I took a little too long a break today to call it a superset.



Seated Military: 1xnxbar;1x10x95;1x15x135/10

Not sure how this compares to past performance, but rep 15 was definitely a 10 - no more left in the tank. Very minimal rest between sets - just long enough to swap plates.


That was it. Plenty more left overall, which is how I wanted to feel after this session.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by The Crawdaddy » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:28 pm

Bob:

How do you feel about seated MP vs SP? Looks like my new place may have my gym in the basement, with relatively low ceilings for my tall self. I can take that stuff outside in decent weather and C&P for sets, but in bad weather, I was considering seated MP as an alternative to bouncing the plates of the drywall ceiling.
Blaidd Drwg wrote:90% of the people lifting in gyms are doing it on "feel" and what they really "feel" like is being a lazy fuck.
"A good man always knows his limitations..." -- "Dirty" Harry Callahan

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by clutch » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:01 pm

The Crawdaddy wrote:Bob:

How do you feel about seated MP vs SP? Looks like my new place may have my gym in the basement, with relatively low ceilings for my tall self. I can take that stuff outside in decent weather and C&P for sets, but in bad weather, I was considering seated MP as an alternative to bouncing the plates of the drywall ceiling.
Just like everything - it depends. It's a great tool to use if you need it.

Seated takes certain loading off the core and spinal cord. Many find that they can press more seated. It's great for "isolating" the shoulders, tris, and upper back - I added substantial shoulder size from seated pressing. I try to carefully mimic the bar path of a standing press, because I'm looking for the most carryover to standing I can get. This has helped me learn to press "back" instead of just "up", really engaging the upper back muscles to take over and drive the weight.

A good variant for seated is "tempo" pressing: 3 seconds to press the bar, immediate turnaround at lockout, 3 seconds to lower the bar, immediate turnaround at bottom position. This really helped raise my awareness of where and how I need to be explosive if I want to move more weight.

Mix that in with standard pressing technique, where you explode up as fast as you can initially. I've really learned how to be a lot more explosive in this movement.

I think it's a great tool, and if I was coaching somebody, I'd include it at some point as the "main" shoulder movement.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by The Crawdaddy » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:13 pm

Thanks for the insight. I'll keep that in mind.
Blaidd Drwg wrote:90% of the people lifting in gyms are doing it on "feel" and what they really "feel" like is being a lazy fuck.
"A good man always knows his limitations..." -- "Dirty" Harry Callahan

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Week 5, Day 1

Post by clutch » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:00 pm

Long day; eyes all twitchy by the time I got home. Love working with computers. Just love it.


Got a late start, so just hopped in doing some light pressing, bar only, getting the blood flowing to the shoulders, elbows, etc.


Seated Military + Chain: 1x14x45,45,65,95,135;1x7x145/fail;1x9x135/fail

Well, eyes a little too big, and overshot my strength - should have jumped from 135 to 140, that would have been nearly perfect. Still, felt like I got some decent work done here.


Pulldowns, supinated grip: 1x12x135,170,230/9,220/9

Mega Pump


Elbow out extensions: 1x10x20,25,30;1x7x35(R),10x35(L);1x10x30/9


Ab Wheel: 1x20


Meh.

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Week 5, day 2

Post by clutch » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:35 pm

This was...interesting. Lots of extraneous stress in life right now. Didn't let that get in the way; home from a long day, napped for 30 minutes, and dug in.


Leg Press: 1x19x315,315,405,495,585,675/10;585/10

Oh. My. Overshot programmed RPE (9), but not too worried about that - decided that I probably could've done 625 or so at RPE9, so dropped to 585 for the fatigue set, again, just overshooting. I will say this: 19 rep leg presses, done at a reasonable weight, are challenging.


18" DL: 1x12x135,225,315/9,295/9

Oh, these were the icing on the cake; legs were cramping from the pressing; I was pretty winded & fatigue. Nonetheless, complete reset on each rep. No belt. Much measured, controlled breathing in between sets as I really struggled not to explosively puke up all my Monster across the garage.


Single leg press: 1x12x225,225(each leg)

At this point, I was basically just hanging onto reality by my fingernails, trying not to puke.


Band Leg Curl: 2x12, left leg only


Lat machine ab crunches: 3x12

Just trying to learn this.


Total training time: right around 90 minutes.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:56 pm

I like the way bulgarian split squats make my knees and hips feel...really more of a hip flexor loosening tool after heavy squatting and deadlifting for me.

I have some instability in my L knee that derives from not doing hamstring curls, your log reminded me to get back to it.

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Week 5, Day 3 and some PT notes

Post by clutch » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:24 pm

Hurting today; nonetheless, made it out for an hour long walk at a decent clip with the family this morning. Two highlights: one, a family of turkeys, including quite the large tom, and back near the "trailhead", a dove down with a bum wing. Kira and Shina were on it like...well, like two malamutes with a high prey drive. Bye-bye birdie.


Upper work today, thankfully. I couldn't have done anything more with lower. Warmed up with some chest supported rows and incline log pressing done in a superset fashion, then started.


Chest Supported Row: 1x12x135,335/9,315/9

Probably should have included a jump to 225 or so on the run up. I'll have to compare next time out and see if there's any substantial difference in intensity.


Incline Log Press: 1x12x120,170,190,200/9,190/9

These felt pretty solid, although I had to be careful and aware of path.


db preacher curl: 1x10x25,30,35,40/9,37.5/9

Nice pump.


Ass up plank: 1x2min

Just getting used to this, and really trying to pay attention to maintaining neutral spine position. Left hip flexor was complaining a bit at the 2 minute mark.


Well, so, yeah - I was hurting today, and yesterday was just as bad if not worse, but I think I'm starting to get a couple things figured out. First, I was so fatigued from Thursday's training that I quickly demonstrated left-leg failure on key movements - good thing. I think that most of my hip pain is caused by my inability to walk properly move the left leg, and I compensate by using way too much hip. PT's comment: "Crap, I don't know how your hip has help up to this. You must be in agony."


Seems like I have two problems: the first is an inability to control the foot. I end walking flatfooted pretty quickly when I'm fatigued. The second is a weakness in the hip flexor: it fatigues, and I have difficulty picking up my leg. All kinds of compensatory movement takes place, most involving the hip.


Anyhow, I'm hoping that with this work, I can get cleared by the insurance company for an MRI, and then we can figure out some root causes.

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Week 6, Day 1

Post by clutch » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:33 pm

Not much good to say about today's session, so, I'll start by avoiding it and mention that I got out with the family last evening for a 1-1/2 mile hike, and that went OK. Noticed that I'm still having plenty of problems with the left leg, but managed to not be completely miserable. Got home, hit the percussive massager - the left calf was, as it has been, quite tender and sore. Been that way since the EMG, or thereabouts.


This morning, noticed a decent amount of bruising down by the heel. Just great. Something got strained / torn at some point.


Warmed up with walking lunges, which went a lot better than I expected (that is, I didn't fall on my ass in the gravel), and then walking hammie stretches.


SSB Squat: 1x10x165,215,255/9

Went to do fatigue work, but was in too much pain (back, left leg) to even begin. So, moved on...


Monster Strap DL: 1x12x155/10

Right over the edge; managed to gut out the set, but left leg was in quite a high amount of pain. Back was not feeling great either.


Decided to cut the session right there. I had step-ups and core work (McGill's Stir the pot) left, so I'm just hoping to get those in tomorrow.


Popped 2 vicodin, 4 ibuprofen, and still have quite a bit of pain, but don't care nearly as much.


Disappointed. But, trying to just forget about it, let it go, and look forward to the next session.

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Week 6, Day 2

Post by clutch » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:26 pm

Yesterday was pretty much just pain all day, to the point where I don't really remember anything else with clarity. Today started off with quite a bit of pain, but then the leg mysteriously dialed it down a notch something around the noon hour - low back is still plenty tight. Anyhow, pretty tired, and pretty tired of it all.


Warmed up with some plate halos, band dislocates, empty bar pressing, and stir the pot, then hopped in:


Seated military: 1x15x45,45,95,115,135/9,125/fail

Huh - maybe didn't take enough rest after the top set? But, made it to rep 15, got it almost but not quite locked out.


Pulldowns: 1x15x90,115,160,185/9,175/9

The last couple reps are rough, that's certain.


Pushdowns: 1x12x90,115,125/9,120/9


Hammer Curls: 1x10x55,60/9,57.5/9


Stir the pot

Decided to work on learning these, since I skipped them on Tuesday. Provided I'm able, I'll hit some ab wheel and other core work tomorrow. By the way, they're hard as fuck.


Met with the chiro yesterday, and reviewed case notes and got a quick SI adjustment. He agrees that there's some kind of damage to the left calf (pretty hard to disagree with the swelling & bleeding), and said he's never, ever heard of an EMG causing that. I honestly remember that immediately after the EMG the calf was extremely painful, and I don't remember any other event which made it suddenly worse.


It looks like, based on testing 14 months ago compared to now, that the nerve in both the left and right leg are not firing as well as they did. Just did some simple reflex testing, standard knee (some reflex) and achilles (no reflex).

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Week 6, Day 3

Post by clutch » Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:09 pm

Well, something is changing / has changed: left hamstring is not nearly as painful. Left calf is still an enigma, painful, yada yada. Low back / hips were problematic yesterday, really bad by the end of the day.


Even though the pain has let up - and I'm not complaining - I'm pretty wiped out from it. There's something about that level of pain, nearly every waking moment, that just drains me. Hopefully, the pain continues to recede, and I'll start to feel recovered within a week.



Today, got started with a 1-1/2 mile hike with the grrlz, and managed to keep a decent pace. Still can't control the left foot, especially noticeable on downhills, where I'm hitting the ground flatfooted. But, the pain was pretty minimal.



Back to the gheyrage, and did an RDL/Sumo/Conventional set to get some specific warm-up under my belt.



DL: 1x12x135,225,315/8

Supposed to do fatigue work; dropped to 297, got 3-4 reps, and low back / left leg didn't feel so great, so, decided that I would skip fatigue work.


Hack Squat: 1x15x225,275,315/9

Skipped fatigue work again; low back still complaining, and I knew what was coming. Nonetheless, I'm starting to move some weight here - enough that my quads were cramping.


Good mornings: 1x12x135,185/8,135/fail

Back held together for the work set, but was done. I knew there was no way to do programmed fatigued work with a 5% drop, so I peeled back to 135, but even that was painful as soon as I started the movement. I'm torn on this: it really felt like I was able to get tighter in the upper back than ever before, actually. Felt like I'm getting a really solid platform for the bar. Even with this improvement, something in my mid or low back is weaker than ever before.


Core Work

Decided to spend some time here: ab wheel, stir the pot, standing ab crunches. Felt like I got some decent work in. Stir the pot is still quite difficult, but a little bit easier today.


Closed out the session with rolling thunder play. All I will say about this is I need to work it if I don't want to be embarrassed by the numbers I can do.

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Weak 6: Wrap Up Comments

Post by clutch » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:31 pm

Well, 6 weeks of moving away from strength training and event work...I feel like I should have a handle on what this is all about, but I don't. I think the big problem I've had is that the past 25 days or so carried pretty high levels of pain; that's made gauging any of this pretty hard, and has honestly left me pretty wiped out.

The good news is that I woke up today, and again, the pain has largely receded. I was able to get out for an hour long hike, with one decent hill, and it was great. Going uphill is obviously work, but I'm fine with it, and suprised that I've maintained as much fitness as I have. Uneven terriain still challenges, as does downhill. But for the entire hour, the pain level was minimal, like a 1 or a 2. I was actually able to enjoy myself - to enjoy some of the sounds, sights, and smells.

I'm thinking that it might be time to start dialing up the intensity a little bit. I like the idea of introducing a bit of event work, keeping it lighter, higher volume for now, relatively speaking.

If the pain stays at bay, I think one of my problems will be holding back.

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Week 7, Day 1

Post by clutch » Tue May 01, 2012 8:50 pm

Little bit of pain, and hitting both legs now. Nothing too terrible, more of a psychological toll than anything.


Warmed up with some band crunches. I swear I'm gaining some thoracic mobility, it seems like I can "crunch" much more effectively than a year ago. Of course, the real problem is the other direction, but...then did some seated military, with just the bar, probably 50 reps or so.


Seated Military(chains): 1x10x45,65,86,105,125,135/9,127/9


Supinated grip pulldowns: 1x10x115,160,185,210,220/9,210/9


Elbows Out extesions: 1x10x25,20

These were difficult; first set, I was really letting my elbows drift, making the exercise easier; saw this on video, so next set with 30lb, I corrected - and could get only 2 reps. So, dropped to 20lbs, kept nice strict form, and got a good set in.


Stir the pot: 2x10

Starting to get the hang of this.


Well, a so-so day of training. Got it done, didn't feel terrible, didn't feel great, didn't set any PR's.

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Week 7, Day 3 and a recap

Post by clutch » Sat May 05, 2012 9:43 pm

So, it's not been a great few days; managed to do upper on Tuesday, but was in quite a bit of pain, and it just got worse. This time, the pain starts from the low part of the back, and radiates down both legs to mid-calf; on a scale of 1-10, it comes in around a 9 - I'm sure there's worse pain possible, but honest to god, this pain is so bad I'm just going to stand here, leaning against a wall, and cry.




So, needless to say, the world can't stop, so I'm breaking out the heavy duty pain meds, which take the edge off the pain to the point where I can function.




Thursday was so bad that I didn't even attempt to train lower. Even with drugs, there was too much pain.




I decided today that I would try to train upper, and see how far I got. Drank a 24 oz monster during the process, and really did better than I thought.




Chest Supported Row: 1x12x135,135,225,315/9,295/9

Felt good, expect for the pain in the low back / leg, especially right leg. I don't know if it's because I'm moving a certain way, or it's the muscles contracting, or if it's just sitting in that position, but the pain comes on pretty hard.




Incline Log: 1x12x120,140,170,210/9,200/9

Again, pain while I'm pressing; I'm careful to not arch, to not let my butt leave the bench, to not use too much leg, I'm obviously supported from behind, but...still, plenty of pain.




db Preacher Curl: 1x8x25,30,35,40,45...

Way too much pain on this; again, don't know if it's posture, the pain meds wearing off, or something I'm missing, but I after the last set, I stood up, and leaned against the preacher bench, and just closed my eyes and tried to calm down from the pain, and I spent probably 5-7 minutes like that, with the pain just rolling through me and erasing everything else. Decided I just couldn't do any more today.




Took more pain meds, showered up, and while the pain is still there, it's somewhat controlled, and I can carry on other activities OK.




So, anyhow, in the past when I have this type of pain pay a visit, it's usually only hung around for 7-10 days before moving on it's way. I'm hopeful that by this time next week, this unwelcome houseguest will be on the road again.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by clutch » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:55 am

OK, haven't updated this log in ages...no excuse other than laziness and boredom, I figured this would happen, I post at my blog location and on Big Mike's site, and by the time I do that, I've kind of lost interest in the whole process.

Anyhow, I might have something of note to report.

Got an epidural cortisone injection about 2 weeks ago; left side of the spine, between L5-S1. Within 5 days, I noticed much better control and strength in the left leg. Still have plenty of back pain and tightness, but I was warned that this would be the case. I'm able to walk up and down stairs normally now, and my gait while walking is close to normal, and walking is much easier.

Still plugging along with the high rep stuff, and laying out another 12 week macrocycle for the same, but will start to make two key changes: dropping the upper/lower split and moving to full body sessions, and phasing in implement work.

At the end of this upcoming 12 weeks - so, in October - I should be ready to start an actual strongman oriented cycle.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by Holland Oates » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:01 am

BobW wrote:OK, haven't updated this log in ages...no excuse other than laziness and boredom, I figured this would happen, I post at my blog location and on Big Mike's site, and by the time I do that, I've kind of lost interest in the whole process.

Anyhow, I might have something of note to report.

Got an epidural cortisone injection about 2 weeks ago; left side of the spine, between L5-S1. Within 5 days, I noticed much better control and strength in the left leg. Still have plenty of back pain and tightness, but I was warned that this would be the case. I'm able to walk up and down stairs normally now, and my gait while walking is close to normal, and walking is much easier.

Still plugging along with the high rep stuff, and laying out another 12 week macrocycle for the same, but will start to make two key changes: dropping the upper/lower split and moving to full body sessions, and phasing in implement work.

At the end of this upcoming 12 weeks - so, in October - I should be ready to start an actual strongman oriented cycle.
Damn that sounds good.

I'm trying to cross post my log to one other place and it's a pain in the ass. I can't imagine trying to do it at 3 places.
Southern Hospitality Is Aggressive Hospitality

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by clutch » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:45 pm

Ed Zachary wrote: Damn that sounds good.

I'm trying to cross post my log to one other place and it's a pain in the ass. I can't imagine trying to do it at 3 places.
Thanks. I'll be getting more cortisone as well, but, fuck - anything to keep it going at this point.

Yeah, the crossposting gets old. I have to crosspost to Mike's site, that's how he tracks my training, he won't look at my blog. I like using blogspot, because I can export the data and back it up, and I can search just my blog.

I probably need to get better about tracking all this shit, and get a database set up. Everytime the geek in me thinks that, the meathead in me slaps the geek down, though.

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Still alive

Post by clutch » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:38 pm

I played around last week. Here's a couple videos:





Highlights from this week - I'll get a video of something put together - include trap bar DL 15x405 in about 35 seconds. For the first time in quite a while, I can say that I'm happy with my performance. There was no pain, just good old exertion. High rep squatting didn't go as well, but it went. It was nice to feel posterior chain soreness the next day, instead of crippling pain.

Managed to hike decently this week as well: one evening, did a trail that included a steep hill both up and down, as well as some technically challenging terrain in terms of footing. I was able to control the left leg pretty well.

I'm still having problems with the left lower leg: calf is locked up, bleeding, heel hurts, foot falls asleep, yada yada. Still not out of the woods quite yet.

Today, I showed a couple new guys how do some strongman events, I hit another 210 log press, a 250 log clean, and did some decent work on medleys: kept things reasonably light, but it was still pretty challenging from a conditioning standpoint. I moved pretty well under load, too, which is promising.

Anyhow, that's kind of summary. If you want to see details, and poundages, go to my main blog, linked in my sig. But there's really nothing in terms of poundages that I'd want to see - definitely still treading water.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by clutch » Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:12 am

Fucked up week, but aren't they all?

Half-assed trained all week. Heat, stress, and being a pussy all colluded to keep me from doing more.

Another round of epidural cortisone on Tuesday. Wednesday I managed to pull an easy 405x8. Yippee.

Thinking about taking on a career challenge which will probably preclude training for the near-term future. Fuckity-fuck, at least I know what I was so afraid about in getting aggressive in my self-marketing. Here it is, up close and in my face.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by clutch » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:06 pm

A couple highlights. I'm happy with the pulling. Form isn't as far off as it felt.


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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by clutch » Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:02 am

Did a strongman event day on Sunday - 3 hours during peak heat. Fingals Finger, Hussafel, Farmers, Incline Log, Keg Loads, Rolling Thunder. Pretty wiped Mon + Tue, and then stayed up late Tue, so did nothing Wed. Oh well, programmed deload weeks are for fucking around and having some fun.

Got a few hikes in there as well - nothing really long / hard, but starting to feel more confident with footing.

Definitely have that itchy feeling. Trying to figure out how to scratch it. Thinking a big stone session tomorrow.

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Re: Old & In The Way

Post by Holland Oates » Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:17 am

Nice work Bob.

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