IGX "...overflowing with foulmouthed ignorance."

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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:45 pm 
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Missed last Thurs and Fri at the gym. My car was in the shop Thurs; my stepD's was in the shop Friday, and I lent her mine so she could go to her doc appt and then take her friend out for lunch. Drawbacks of not having a home gym. If I were motivated or had some foresight, I would have done some calisthenics or FlowFit or something at home. Nope.

Then had to miss judo Saturday, for a long drive to/from a funeral. So, 5 days since I've done anything remotely athletic. Eager to get back to it.


Mon 6/5

Deadlift — 225# for 1x5 <-- pretty easy
Back squat — 145# for 1x5 deep
Bench — 135# for 1x5
Lat Pulldown — underhand 160# for 1x5
BTN Press — 55# for 1x5 <-- way too light
Seated Dips — 160# for 1x5


Fucked up on the Deads, they were supposed to be 235# but I forgot and loaded the wrong weight.


Switched from Military to Behind the Neck for Overhead Presses. I don't know if this is "permanent"; but I flat-out LIKE wide-grip BTN presses more than Military. I do Military out of a sense of duty: everyone says they're good for me, Pavel writes about it being an old-timey strongman standard, Rippetoe has them in his program, they feel like they ought to have some decent carry-over to the Bench. But the BTN hits me right where I feel I need some work: high between the shoulder blades. A place where other exercises don't hit. It feels like good posture work. It reminds me of kettlebell pressing, which is more fun than Military for some reason. The angle also reminds me of Arnolds to a certain extent.

Anyway: I went super-light for this first set after a long layoff. I need to remember how to get in position to start this lift. Today I ducked under the bar in the squat rack, got it in sort of back-squat position, then ducked lower so the bar would be higher off my back, and stood up. Maybe that's the right way to do it, I'm not sure.


I forgot that I had graduated to negatives of real dips, until I was already seated at the dip machine. Decided fuck it, proceded with what I was doing.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:39 pm 
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My audition is THIS afternoon, toward the end of the work day.

I'm surprised how tense I am. I didn't fully realize it until about 1am last night, while tossing and turning. Blew off the gym yesterday, out of a combo of nerves and not-feeling-it. Will skip today too; though hopefully not Judo tonight. Having trouble focusing on work.

Bought the Christopher Norton Microjazz book, in a moment of looking ahead to other things I can start to play after this audition. Might also pick up Bartók's Mikrokosmos.



Wed 6/6

Piano Lesson!
#18

Last get together before my audition/exam, so we just did a quick run-thru of my stuff. Started with the cadences and the scales. I have them; but it would be smart to do the cadences left-hand first for the judge. The LH is a little more intuitive for me, and will reinforce the correct way to do it before I do the RH. There's a mistake or two that are easy for me to make in the RH: LH-first would sidestep that.

Then played my pieces. Big issue that I'm wrestling with this week, and I mentioned this to teacher at the outset, is that I want to hurry everything. Yesterday I did a good job in practice of taking the tempo that I "wanted" to do the pieces at, and backing off a step or two, to a more "deliberate" tempo that still does justice to the piece, but that I can play accurately & musically. I didn't do a good job of that in my lesson today. Frankly I'm trying not to play much today, or with too much "attention", before the thing. My playing was very rough on the Minuet; better on the other pieces. I probably played The Entertainer as cleanly as I ever have. We spent a couple mins discussing the right tempo for the Russian Folk Song; turns out I was playing it about 20bpm faster than I meant to! That's what getting hyped up does to you. That's the fastest piece, and the one most likely to trip me up with speed. Might be a good idea to hum that tune along with the correct beat on the metronome, while driving to the thing.

I'm ready.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:09 am 
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Later Wed 6/6

I passed my piano "exam" or audition. So I am now a member of The National Fraternity of Student Musicians. Teacher put me up for Elementary E. Here are the levels:

  • Pre-School
  • Elementary A thru F
  • Intermediate A thru F
  • Preparatory A thru D (prep like prep school aka high school, I think)
  • High School Diploma (like a proficiency milestone exam?)
  • Collegiate A thru D
  • beyond college: Young Artist Diploma

So "E" is toward the end of the "Elementary" levels. If I do this next year, I would be trying an Intermediate level.
(I should say, intermediate by this system. That's not the same as other systems like RCM or ABRSM. I think on those, I'm not yet at Grade 1; I would likely be examining for Grade 1 next year. I'm not sure what to compare my level to. Maybe yellow belt? Like I just got my Yellow Belt in piano.)

I was disappointed with my performance. I felt I made a TON of mistakes; had that bummer feeling of not having performed like I was capable of performing. HOWEVER, the judge gave me a glowing report card. A ton of compliments, an excellent score of 21 "commendations" against only 2 "needs attention" marks. Also a very nice note, along the lines of "Bravo for learning an instrument and tackling Guild, best wishes, hope you find much much satisfaction & enjoyment in piano." The judge absolutely could not have been nicer or more encouraging.

(She was also surprisingly hot. A piano teacher from out of town, somewhere between mid-30s to maybe early-40s. Petite and stylish. When I first looked at her I went "Whoa.")

Of course, as with any "exam" process like this, the important part is the improvement you force yourself to make in prepping for it. The external grade is much less important than the personal improvement, esp in that last stretch right before the exam. I'm very hype about that aspect. These are four legit pieces of real music; and I can PLAY them. Perhaps not as well as I thought; at least not on-demand, as shown by the exam. But I have them, they're mine. And the lessons learned about eye placement and targeting, tempo, feel, timing, syncopation, ritardando: those are mine too. I could stand to improve in "flow", performing & executing under nerves. But that's a lesson too; and regardless, my knowledge & musicianship is growing.

At this rate, this time next year I'll be a piano player! Not a "beginner", but a piano player. Exciting.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:21 am 
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Missed two days of lifting to piano stuff. Also blew off Judo last night: drained, just wanted to hang out with the fam.


Thu 6/7

Deadlift — 235# for 1x5
Back squat — 145# for 1x5 deep
Bench — 135# for 1x5
Lat Pulldown — underhand 160# for 1x5
BTN Press — 65# for 1x7
Incl DB Row — [email protected]# for 1x5

Did 7 reps of behind-the-neck by accident. I unracked the weight with arms half extended, and locked out, planning to start the first rep with the negative from the top. But instead of counting that first lockout as "rep zero", I started counting zero on the negative, which means I was 1 rep behind in my count. While I tried to figure it out I got up to "6", which of course was the seventh actual rep. I was actually really enjoying the set; was tempted to go on for a few more. This lift feels good to do.

I think I found the correct width for my grip on the BTN: ring finger on the little "ring" of smooth toward the collars. That puts the outside of my hands about 3 fingers from the rack pins. That felt right.


There was a chick at the gym doing floor presses with fairly light dumbbells. Here's what was interesting: she had one of those fat foam-rollers under her spine. She was lying on that, from between her shoulder blades down to her butt; and that extra space from the floor gave her elbows greater range of motion in in the negative of the floor press. Her elbows could go "behind" her, but still be supported by the floor. I thought that was pretty smart.

I guess it depends on your goals. If one reason to do floor presses is to reduce stress on your shoulders, than maybe a deeper negative is not what you're looking for. Hmm. Unless she was doing them as a mobility exercise? And that's why her weights seemed so light? (Seriously she might have been using 10# bells, though I wasn't close enough to see for sure.)

Interesting.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:25 pm 
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Fri 6/8

Deadlift — 235# for 1x5 <-- hard today
Back squat — 145# for 1x5 deep
Bench — 135# for 1x5
Lat Pulldown — underhand 160# for 1x5
BTN Press — 70# for 1x6
Real Dips — various partials for 5-ish or maybe 7 or so


My initial idea for "real" dips, that I could do positives up from the footrests and negatives to the bottom, then reset and go again, doesn't really work that well. On the negative I can't really find the footrests; and I descend past them anyway; and I'm afraid for my shoulders during the descent. Today I wound up doing a bunch of spastic partials, that I think ultimately won't do much for me. Maybe the right thing to do is, one set of partials at the dip station, and then finish with a set at the Seated Dip machine with a full ROM on the negative. Possibly as 2 sets of 3? One "free" and one at the seated machine?

The problem is that Dips aren't really one of my upper body priorities. My first upper body priority is I want to get my bench numbers up. Second priority is I want to be able to do some real pull-ups. Dips might not even be third, because I'd also like to be prouder of my overhead press than I am. I haven't decided exactly what that means yet; but probably it involves sets of 3 to 5 at over 100#, consistently.

So potentially Dips are just be a distraction. They're tantalizing in that they're low-hanging fruit that I can ALMOST get to, so it seems that a little push is appropriate; but maybe they don't really advance me toward my goals. Unless dips will help with bench; that would justify investing some effort into them. But as I understand it, that's hit or miss. Anyway my problems in bench seem to mostly come on the lock-out. So dip carry-over seems even more questionable.

Dunno.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:49 am 
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Do this instead: I'd prefer the load to hang from the chest, but you get the idea.



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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:24 pm 
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Sat 6/9

Judo class.

Tag drill, kuzushi drill, then a little ne-waza. Worked on pin transitions while keeping pressure on uke. Kesa variant with your top arm underhooking uke's shoulder, rather than around head: put pressure on uke's rib cage to whoosh the air out of their lungs. Then transition to side-control while maintaining the same lung pressure. That was nice to work on "explicitly", because Tall Young Black Belt does that to me ALL THE TIME when he puts me in kesa. It was nice to examine the mechanism. Finished up with some kumi kata (grip-fighting).

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:03 pm 
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Mon 6/11

Deadlift — 245# for 1x5
Back squat — 155# for 1x5
Bench — 135# for 1x5
Lat Pulldown — underhand 160# for 1x5
BTN Press — 75# for 1x6
Barbell Row — 115# for 1x5
Standing One-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension — 25# for 1x5 ea side


That 2+ weeks of going lighter in the back squat, to increase my depth, was time well spent. Back to 155# today, but with much better form and depth than I had before. None of this barely legal / almost legal nonsense, these were good & solid.

Been thinking about switching to barbell rows, from the bench rows, because I'm starting to feel a little dumb using heavy-ish dumbbells (50# or 55#) on a supported exercise. These I did from the hang, not the Rippetoes-endorsed version from the floor. I tried to do the same scap-pinch and pause at the top, that I use on the bench rows. Not sure how well I succeeded.

Decided to add in some assistance work for the bench. Holy shit my triceps are weak.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:22 pm 
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Tue 6/12

Deadlift — 245# for 1 rep; 265# for 1x5 <-- PR
Back squat — 155# for 1x5
Bench — 135# for 1x5 <-- tough
Lat Pulldown — neutral 160# for 1x5
BTN Press — 85# for 1x5 <-- heavy
Dips — Real partials for 1x3 ; Seated 160# for 1x3


The BTN Press was close to as heavy as I can manage. It's the same weight I was doing Military with last week; which is nice, because I used to feel significantly weaker in BTN than in Military. Not even in the same ballpark. I still feel this 85# is a higher %age of my 1RM in the BTN, than it was in the Military — that is to say, I still think I'm stronger in the MP — but it's much closer now than it was approx a year ago.

This was also the first time that I felt that doing the overhead work first, took it out of me a little bit for the Bench.

Worked in at the Lat Pulldown station with a guy who had that narrow neutral-grip attachment on the cable:
Image
So I went ahead and used that. I like neutral grip for pull-ups; but this attachment was too narrow. Didn't feel as natural.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:03 pm 
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Wed 6/13

Piano Lesson
#19

Discussed my glowing report card; and some mechanics of the test. Discussed the level we would be shooting for if I audition next year, and what kind of pieces would be appropriate. (Intermediate A, he said, which surprised me: I thought I would be shooting more for the middle of the Intermediate levels, not the first.) That occupied most of the lesson time, like 20 mins. It probably wasn't the most productive use of time; but I hadn't seen the signed certificate before, and we hadn't had a chance to rehash the test and related thoughts yet. Also I haven't yet gotten tired of gazing at the glowing report card.

With just a little bit of lesson time left, I showed him the Christopher Norton Microjazz book, and played the first piece for him. He had me work on the last measure: to the point of actually counting it out. I had the rhythm wrong (the last two notes are off the beat). Then I let him thumb thru the book himself. He played several of the pieces, said a few times that the book was "cool", and finally said that he was going to have to buy it.

We also looked ahead in the Method book, to the next couple pieces.

So for now, we'll work in the Norton book and in the Method book. Put the Repertoire book aside for a couple weeks. Back to the routine, I guess.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:34 pm 
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Wed 6/13

Variety Day

Clean — 85# for 1x5
Ab Wheel — from knees for 1x5
Dumbbell Skullcrushers — 40# for 1x5
Face Pulls — 70# for 1x5 <-- too heavy
Calf Raise — +160# for 1x5 (+ tib pulls)
Adduct/Abduct — 150# for 1x5


Improvised an ab wheel out of a short bar and two 2.5# plates. It didn't roll /quite/ as smoothly as a real one would've; and I think it provided a lot more stability than a wobbly ab wheel would. These were easier than I expected, and I think lack of side-to-side wobble was part of the reason why.

Skullcrushers awkward. I grabbed one DB, and held by each side — each "bell" I guess; that makes me the "dumb". Now I understand why people use a curl bar. Well, it was my first time. If I do this again with dumbbells, I'll just grab two light ones. Holy shit my tri's are weak.

I could DO the Face Pulls, but I didn't have complete freedom to do them the way I wanted to, and really emphasize scap squeeze. These should be lighter for my purposes.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:33 pm 
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Skipped Judo last night. Wife wanted to go car shopping; we went and did a test drive.

Hamstrings and abs very sore today, from yesterday's workout. Those cleans weren't "heavy", but they did a number on me. Maybe "warming up" would be a decent idea before doing a weighted explosive move. Really didn't feel like going to the gym.


Thu 6/14

Deadlift — 235# for 1x5
Back squat — 155# for 1x5
Bench — 135# for 1x5
Lat Pulldown — underhand 160# for 1x5
BTN Press — 75# for 1x6
Incl DB Row — [email protected]# for 1x5
DB skullcrusher — [email protected]# for 1x6

Made sure to supinate my right hand in DL. First time in months. Felt fine.

Holy shit my tri's are weak.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:44 am 
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Does all the heavy lifting interfere in any way with your "piano fingers"?


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:26 am 
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Quote:
Does all the heavy lifting interfere in any way with your "piano fingers"?
No.

In fact there was one week where the light movements of piano practice seemed like a nice active recovery for the muscles around my strained elbow: felt like I had a restorative blood flow and less soreness in that arm when I stood up, than I had when I sat down. But mostly I notice no impact either way. The 5x5x5 workouts are not such that they leave me totally drained, arms trembling. Even when I had more volume per workout, in Jan/Feb with sets of 3x5, there wasn't any impact on touch & feel at the keyboard.

A tough lifting workout, or an intense Judo class, might leave me too wiped to practice at all: I could feel too tired to walk into the other room where the piano is, or even to get my ass off the couch. I have fallen asleep after workouts. But if I do go in and sit down at the piano, I don't really notice any impact from lifting.
(Barring obvious things like mashing my finger re-racking a dumbbell, or the stupid injury I did to my hand on Mother's Day, etc.)

You might expect that after slinging a heavy load, meathead lifter would be all "HULK SMASH!" at the keyboard. I've noticed no such thing. Of course it's worth pointing out that I don't exactly have the refined skills & feathery touch of Liberace or Horowitz or whoever. I'm still a beginner. Maybe I'm always pretty much "Hulk Smash" at the keyboard, so any weightlifting effect is muted. One thing I do notice, when I've done lifts that have a positive impact on my shoulder posture, like BTN Press or the Incline Bench Row, then I feel great when I sit down at the keyboard. I wiggle my shoulders and futz with my posture, just feeling my muscles move. But that's not the kind of thing you're asking about (I think).

Maybe an instrument like guitar? Which requires a particular grip on the neck and finger strength to press and hold the strings at the frets? If you've fried your grip with deads and pull-ups and suitcase carries, maybe that would fuck up your playing later that day? But piano doesn't require much finger strength (at least not yet for me). It requires placement & accuracy and timing (tempo): but not strength/power.

I have been tempted to add some wrist curls, dorsal and ventral, to see if they have any effect on my finger dexterity. But that hasn't progressed past the "I wonder" stage.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:32 am 
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Focus change!

It occurred to me that if my upper body priorities really are bench and pull-up(down), then that ought to be clear from looking at the exercises I'm doing. But then why so much focus on Dips and Overhead Presses? Answer: because I'm looking for carry-over to the bench. The unintended consequence is that instead of doing 5 exercises per workout, I'm doing 7 or even 8. And this is on a 5-days-a-week program. Dissipation of effort.

Enough. Let's pare down and focus a little:


Fri 6/15

Deadlift — 235# for 1x5
Ab Wheel — from knees for 1x5 <-- limited ROM
Back squat — 155# for 1x5
Bench — 135# for 1x5
Pull Ups — Real, partial and negative for 1x3; Seated Pulldown underhand 160# for 1x3
Triangle pushups — for 1x5


Found a real Ab Wheel in the gym, so didn't have to improvise with a bar and some plates. And it was MUCH more difficult than the bar was on Wednesday. The stability made a huge difference; or maybe it was just that this rolled more freely than the bar did. Whatever, I did 4 reps pretty "high", only partial, and then lowered myself to the floor on the negative of the last one. It crushed me.

Tonight felt like my best squat depth ever at that weight. Really felt under control in the hole. Lifting every day makes small improvements visible; you can notice progress even when the weight stays the same. With this lift I clearly see the logic of taking the time to get perfect at one weight, over many workouts, before slapping a couple more nickels on the bar and starting again.

For the "real" pull-ups, I brought a box over to the station that has the grips that are halfway between neutral and underhand. On the box, my arms were like at 3/4 extension. I did the positive partial up from there, then a couple spastic smaller movements ("partials"), and then a negative as slow as I could. Counted that as 3, then went to the Lat Pulldown station for a set of 3 with full ROM. This is the same split tactic I had planned to use to get my "real" Dips up to form. We'll see if it's as good an idea as I think it is.

A muscle (tendon?) in my left elbow really sang out during the "real" pull-ups. Underside at the hinge corner, a wrist flexor I think. I finished my set(s); but this may be my life now.

Triangle push-ups as a bench assistance exercise, to shore up my weak tri's. I'll probly rotate these with kickbacks and maybe skullcrushers. Probably NOT Dips, even though they're a fantastic triceps exercise. Dips take too much focus & effort away from my current primary focus lifts. The deep "strain" I felt on the ab wheel showed up again when I assumed plank position for these: maybe mostly kickbacks until I get used to doing the wheel again.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:12 pm 
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Mon 6/18

Deadlift — 245# for 1x5
Back squat — 160# for 1x5 <-- hard
Bench — 135# for 1x5
Pull Ups — Real: partial or negative for 1x3; Seated Pulldown: underhand 160# for 1x3
Triceps Kickbacks — 20# for 1x5 ea side <-- Heavy!
Ab Wheel — from knees for 1x5


I might have to reduce the weight in the kickbacks, from 20# to 15#. Holy shit my triceps are weak.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:44 pm 
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Assisted at a kids karate class last night, but didn't really do a thing. C the instructor ran it mostly as a group class. Nevertheless was real draggy today, stiff and sore. Was yest too, before the workout, and have been wondering if I've been lifting a little too "heavy" relative to my maxes, for recovery. Resolved to lift a little lighter today.


Tues 6/19

Deadlift — 235# for 1x5
Back squat — 145# for 1x5
Bench — 125# for 1x5
Pull Ups — Real: partial or negative for 1x3; Seated Pulldown: underhand 160# for 1x3
Side Bend — 45# for 1x5 ea side
Triceps Kickbacks — 17.5# for 1x6 ea side

Subbed side bends for ab wheel. Planning to assist at a karate class again tonight, and might stay for the adult class. Instructor B runs a good workout; I don't want to pre-fry my abs. "Dumbbell side bends", except I just grabbed a plate by the handle instead of a DB.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:16 pm 
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Wed 6/20

Piano Lesson
#20

Told teacher that I was wasting his time this week, I didn't really practice at all this past wk. Once my excuse-making was out of the way, we had a very productive lesson, looking at the next couple pieces in the Method book: a basic blues progression, and a Wynton Marsalis tune. He helped me a lot with learning them, getting them in my ears & fingers — drastically shortened the learning process, I think. I also ran thru the first Microjazz piece (he had a fingering correction); and he played the second for me at my request, so I could hear it. I'll work on all 4 this coming week.

Objectively this is an exciting stretch for me, after the heavy classical focus of the last couplefew months. Whole new idiom. That same-but-different reset is useful, cuz I've had a post-exam letdown.



Will skip lifting today. Wall to wall meetings first half of the day; we're sitting a neighbor kid this afternoon/evening, my son's friend (and the son of my best man). Judo might be in jeopardy; would be the third consec class I've missed.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:48 pm
Posts: 1354
How in the FUCK am I only just now learning the term "biacromial width"??

This article is great reading: https://exrx.net/Kinesiology/BenchPress

Summary on grip:
Quote:
For most fitness goals including general muscular strength and development, a standard bench press grip of 1.5 to 1.7 times the biacromial width can be used for those who follow adaptation criteria with healthy shoulders and no risk factors. This grip width achieves a suitable balanced between the ability to use heavy weights, ideal muscular involvement, fuller range of motion, and safety. This grip width affords a slight emphasis on the sternal head of the Pectoralis major with moderate involvement from the clavicular head, anterior deltoid, and triceps.

Grip widths variations (either slightly closer or wider) can supplement the standard grip width in training for either strength gains or muscular development. Grip widths approaching 2 times the biacromial width and upper arm positions of approximately 70º can be performed by individuals with healthy shoulders as long as certain precautions referenced in this article and site are followed...

A bench press grip with 1.5 times the biacromial width may be utilized for various reasons. In addition to placing slightly more emphasis on the triceps, this slightly narrower grip also involves both upper and lower chest more evenly, potentially useful when attempting to perform as few exercises as possible (eg: a full body workout). Both the 1.5 times biacromial grip width and 45º upper arm placement guidelines can serve as a beginning point for beginners who do not have sufficient body awareness or weight training experience. It can offer a conservative positioning for beginners who may not be aware of possible orthopedic weaknesses or inflexibilities at such an early stage.

ALL of these are wider than what I've been doing. I am gripping at about biacromial width, maybe a smidge wider (less than a thumb length). Even their most conservative 1.5x width is wider than what I've been doing. And of course my bench has been stalled forever.

God DAMN it. This question of grip width and elbow path and upper-arm angle has been vexing me since day one of my lifting. To have such a detailed & objective examination of the issue right here at my fingertips, but unseen for so long, is annoying as fuck.

I cannot WAIT to get into the gym and try this. I guess at around 1.5x first, to see what's what.

Although there is one confusing question. It makes sense that my bench is limited, since my triceps are so weak and the style of benching I've been using depends more heavily on the triceps than the standard grip. Except it DOESN'T make sense: if I've been accidentally emphasizing the triceps in my bench, then why are they so weak? WTF? Chicken, egg? Well whatever. Now I have multiple avenues to pursue to improve my bench: triceps assistance work, and widening my grip.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:48 pm
Posts: 1354
Thur 6/21

Deadlift — 245# for 1x5
Back squat — 155# for 1x5
Bench — 125# "wide" for 1x5 <-- EASY
Pull Ups — Real: partial or negative for 1x3; Seated Pulldown: neutral grip 160# for 1x3
Ab Weel — from knees for 1x5
Triceps Kickbacks — 15# on incline bench for 1x6 ea side


Stood with my back against the wall to measure my width acromion-to-acromion. (My wife had already left for work, else I would have asked her to do it.) I got 20 inches on the first measurement, a little over 19 (maybe 19-1/4?) on the second. Close enough for government work. Although that seems large, compared to what I'm seeing on the internet: 17in seems to be the 95th percentile, at least according to one site I was on. But whatever.

Assuming 20in, 1.5x would be 30in, 1.6x would be 32in. Which is confusing, right? 32in is the widest legal bench grip for competition. I'm not nearly so huge that I should be at the outer limit of any of these rules. But anyway, I wrapped my index finger around the power rings, and built my grip from there. Depending on how accurate my biacromial measurement was, my grip was somewhere between 1.55x to 1.63x. Perfect.

And it was easy. Felt great.

So I've been benching wrong this whole time. A year and a half of stalled gains due to ignorance of proper form. Fuck! Though that's also oddly reassuring. Suggests that I don't have some inability to gain strength; I've just been doing the lift wrong. That's something I can fix; doesn't require a chemical intervention or whatever.

I'll probly play around with this a little. Ring-finger on the ring is my preferred grip for BTN press: it'd be nice to use just one standard grip. Maybe pinky-on-the-ring for both. Whatever.

Wow.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:48 pm
Posts: 1354
Fri 6/22

Deadlift — 245# for 1x5
Back squat — 155# for 1x5
Bench — 135# "wide" for 1x5
Pull Ups — Real: partial or negative for 1x3; Seated Pulldown: underhand 160# for 1x3
Ab Weel — from knees for 1x5
Triceps Kickbacks — 17.5# on incline bench for 1x6 ea side

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:48 pm
Posts: 1354
Mon 6/25

Deadlift — 275# for 1x3 <-- PR! grip fail
Back squat — 160# for 1x5
Bench — 140# "wide" for 1x5
Lat Pulldown — underhand 160# for 1x5
Ab Wheel — from knees for 1x5
Triceps Kickbacks — [email protected]# on incline bench for 1x6


I was in the middle squat rack / DL platform. Guy to the left of me was doing 375#; guy on the right was doing #245. I've been thinking idly about making a try at 275 for a couple weeks. Wasn't planning to do it today. But on a whim I put 25s on the bar instead of 10s, after I loaded the 45s. Thought to myself, it's going to be embarrassing if this doesn't budge. But it budged.

My left hand immediately couldn't maintain the grip. Rep #2 probably shouldn't count: my hand started to come open as I was trying to lock out, so I started back down. Alternated grips for rep #3, and tried to reinforce with my thumb, but that didn't seem to help. Didn't attempt a 4th rep.

The rest of my body was capable of the lift, just the grip on one side was the limiting factor. So that's interesting.

In the excitement, I forgot I was mixing "real" chin-ups along with the pulldowns.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:48 pm
Posts: 1354
Tues 6/26

Deadlift — 225# for 1x5
Back squat — 165# for 1x5
Bench — 145# "wide" for 1x5 <--- milestone
Pull Ups — Real: partial or negative for 1x3; Seated Pulldown: underhand 160# for 1x3
Hang — double overhand grip for 10 secs
Ab Weel — from knees for 1x5
Triceps Kickbacks — 17.5# on incline bench for 1x6 ea side


Reduced weight in the dead, to work the double-overhand grip. Not enough, I still couldn't hold it double-O. But later I hanged from the pull-up bar with a tight grip for 10 secs; that's close to the same weight. So I dunno. But I have to improve my grip strength / stamina before I can progress in the Deadlift. Some combo of hangs & holds? Grip is a factor in Judo too; they have some specialized drills for grip, eg throw a gi over a pull-up bar and grab it to do pull-ups. Yikes. Maybe it's time to buy a Captains of Crush thingie (a light one).


Five bench reps at 145# is a milestone for me. I've been trying to get 5 reps at 140+ for a long time now. Over a year, I think. 140 was a target because on the strength standards it's the "untrained" number for adult males in my weight class. Yay! After a year-and-a-half of lifting, I've worked myself all the way up to "untrained"!

Actually, now that I'm 52 (and a half!), it probably makes sense that I should use the "over 50" chart. On Rippetoe's chart, 140# is the "novice" number for over-50 males in my weight class. Kilgore's novice figure is 147#; I'm basically there. Also it's worth mentioning that all of these figures are for 1RM. I never pay attention to my own 1RM; I don't feel I can really lift something unless I can do it for 3+ reps. My goal for every lift is 5 reps at the target weight. I don't want it to be "questionable" when I claim a target; don't want it to be something where some days I can hit that max, but other days I can't. I want to be able to lift that weight reliably, any time. So I guess I'm a little stronger than the "standard" indicates; fine.

Taking stock of my performance against the over-50 novice standards:

  • I blow away the Deadlift number, lifting 30# or 40# over (depending on whether Rippetoe's or Kilgore's chart)
  • I'm right at the Bench target
  • I'm behind the Squat target (but pretty close; the 1RM calculators say I can probably hit it now)
  • I'm well behind the Power Clean target

This suggests a new routine, to realign around the goals and address weaknesses:
  • squat, clean, pull-up, some kind of push, grip work
I could do that while still using Pavel's 5x5x5 template, which I enjoy.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


Last edited by JimZipCode on Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:48 pm
Posts: 1354
Later Tues 6/26

Karate class. Taught beginner kids; then wife picked up The Boy, and I was able to stay for the adult class. Yoga warmup, basic motion, one-step drills, then a very little bit of fighting (worked with a purple belt on some questions he was having). Then I basically cooled off for the last 10-15 mins of class; watched, gave some input here & there. Stood around in the parking lot with everyone after class; fun, welcoming environment, I really enjoyed it.

Very stiff overnight.

_________________
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman


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 Post subject: Re: Zip It Up
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 5:01 pm
Posts: 1689
Quote:
a new routine, to realign around the goals and address weaknesses:
  • squat, clean, pull-up, some kind of push, grip work
I could do that while still using Pavel's 5x5x5 template, which I enjoy.
Using a single ladder of (1,2,3) Monday to Friday might work too.

And doing snatch grip deadlifts and front squats for a couple of cycles wouldn't be the worst idea either.


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