Monday, April 30, 2012

Another week, begin to taper for RKC-II

I haven't posted in two weeks. I will try to catch up and explain my absence as well. First, let's catch up with 2 weeks ago:

 Mon 16 April 2012 The Plan: Mon = easy KB FSQ, heavy BP, volume DL, KB snatch test

 24/24: KB FSQ x 5 - felt pretty solid

 BP: guesstimating weights, 135 x 3, 155 x 2, 170 x 2, 2, 2 - 170 felt about right, not much left in the tank on 2nd rep

 DL: on 3.5" platform, 225 x 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 20:

snatch, 100 reps in 7:30

Tue 17 April 2012 warmup - rolling, splits/cossacks, etc.

16: getups, 2-3 per side, back and forth a few times. Still sore from yesterday, decided not to try 24 kg. All to hand or elbow.

24: windmill, lf, 3 - pretty good

a few hours later: 20: swing, 35L+35R - decided to go for this instead of fewer reps w/ heavier today.

Wed 18 April 2012 

FSQ: franken x bar x 5, 135 x 2 - let's call those warmup, they sure felt lousy, 135 x 3 - much better, 145 x 2, 155 x fail - sat with it for a few seconds at the bottom - quite comfortably, actually, then dumped it in front, 155 x 1 - deep but didn't let the bottom collapse, which I'm able to do with lighter - and decided not to be a pig about it, so stopping here

 BP: all paused, bar x 5, 135 x 3, 3, 4 - lats sure help, 5 - enough for today

 24: 1-leg contralateral DL, lf, 1, 1

Thu 19 April 2012 walk 2 mi. getting ready for RKC-II as well as having a variety day forgot to kb press yesterday - oops

getups - partial and full w/ 24, 20, 16 kg - broken rib place still hurts, made doctor's appt for first week of May.

24/24: jerk, 1 - pressed out, tired, took a rest

 20/20: jerk, 5 - pretty easy

 20: push press, 5 - OK, I think

 28: press/pu: 1 20:

snatch, 70 reps in 4:20

Fri 20 April 2012 weird day, muscle cramps in left lat and tricep while doing nothing qigong on the front porch, short walk

Sat 21 April 2012 taper in earnest for RKC-II warmup - walk 2 mi, cossack sequence

28: press/pu, 1, 2, 2

Sun 22 April 2012 walk, stretching, no lifting in anticipation of RKC-II

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Plan - After One Week

It's been a good week - last Saturday, I figured out, with help from Master RKC Mark Reifkind, the outlines of a training plan that will let me focus on powerlifting while still keeping my RKC skill level high.

I owe you, dear readers, the past week's training plus "The Plan", and I'll start with the plan and then get into what I did this week just finished. I have been analytical here, and I'm going to give The Plan in brief, medium and detailed versions.

The Plan in 1 sentence: Surovetsky DL for FSQ, BP & DL plus twice a week kb press/pu and kb snatch. (If you want to read more about the Surovetsky DL cycle, look in your copy of "Power To The People Professional"

The Plan in 4 sentences:

1. For FSQ, BP, and DL, follow the Surovetsky model of a low-volume, heavy day and a high-volume, lighter day - FSQ Heavy/Light on Wed/Sat; BP Heavy/Light on Mon/Wed; DL Heavy/Light on Sat/Mon. (Put another way, Mon = Heavy BP and Volume DL; Wed = Heavy FSQ and Volume BP; Sat = Heavy DL and volume FSQ. It's Heavy, Light, off for my 3-day rotation on each lift.)

2. Keep some KB press/pu work in there w/ a 28 kg twice a week, just a few on Wed and aim for 5 sets and/or 10 total reps on Sat - don't like going lighter on these, will simply vary the volume.

3. Keep KB snatch work - 100 reps @ 20 kg on Mon, swings @ 28 kg on Tue, 100+ reps @ 20 kg on Thu.

4. Keep skill work, low volume and mostly light to moderate weight, on Tue/Fri - getups, windmills, bent presses, jerks.

The Plan in Detail - The Schedule:

Mon = easy KB FSQ, heavy BP, volume DL, KB snatch test

Tue = KB getup, windmill, bent press, jerk for skill, KB swing w/ heavier weight

Wed = heavy SQ, volume BP, easy 1-leg KB DL or other DL variation

Thu = volume KB snatch

Fri = getup, windmill, bent press, jerk

Sat = heavy kb press/pu , volume SQ, easy BP, easy KB FSQ, heavy DL

Sun = off

NB: I am doing all of my deadlifts off a 3-1/2" (8 cm) platform for now - it feels right, and I'm weak off the floor. I know from past experience that this will help.

The Week That Was:


Planned Heavy Bench - since we don't know a 1RM, we'll go 54321 - and Volume DL

AAU apparently doesn't allow thumbless BP, so switched back to normal grip

BP: 135 x 5, 145 x 4, 155 x 3, 165 x 2, 175 x 2 - second rep @ 175 was slow but didn't stop, bodes well for a bit more weight next Monday when we'll have another heavy BP day

No kb pressing or pullups today - with all we're doing, I think these are going to go on a Wed and Sat rotation.

FSQ: with a 28 kg kb, 3L + 3R, set on floor briefly between - just didn't feel like another barbell lift today with 5 x 5 DL's coming up

DL: 225 x 5 reps x 5 sets

1 hour later:

20 kg snatch - 100 reps in 11:00 as 20/15/10/5 with about 2:00 rests

Not great, but not bad after all those DL's, either.


Start with short walk, qigong on the front porch, rolling

16 kg getups and windmills

20/20: jerk, 3

28: swing, 20L+20R - need to keep right shoulder down more but overall, not bad.


Planned Heavy FSQ + Volume BP

Again, took 54321 approach to FSQ just to see where we're at in 1RM terms

FSQ: franken x bar x 3, bar x 3

FSQ: 100 x 5, 110 x 4, 120 x 3, 130 x 2, 140 x 3 - too light for heavy day but this was our first try at heavy squat day.

BP: 140 x 5, 5, 5, 5 - too heavy, didn't do planned 5th set, did a new set about every 2:30 or on about 1:30 rest

28: mil press/pu superset: 1 - that's it, too tired, have to figure out where to get in more of these.

20: 1-leg DL, rf, 1, 2 - already feeling it in glutes, left leg works better than right, as expected.


20 kg snatch: 108 reps in 10:45, a bit better than Monday


getups w/ 16 and 24 kg, bw-only windmills


Planned Heavy DL and Volume FSQ

28: kb press/pu x 1, 2, 2, 2, 1

* a week ago, I did (1,2) x 2, 6 reps total. Decided that the singles are a waste of time in my current program and will stick with mostly doubles except as today, warmup and cooldown. 8 reps total is an improvement in 28kg press/pu volume in a single workout and that's what I want, will aim for about 10 lifts each saturday.

FSQ - bar x franken x 3, 135 (damned if I'm going to FSQ less than 135 today) x (reps below)

1 - feels heavy

1 - narrower grip, sink it even deeper, feel same as previous rep but deeper so good

2 - keeping narrower grip, really driving elbows forward, really opening at hips, starting to feel lighter, crunches near broken rib on 1st rep only

3 - finding form, still crunches near broken rib on 1st rep only

3 - deep, paused, still slightly different form on every rep but improving overall, and no crunch on the way down this time.

3 - about the same as the last set, up to 13 reps total, videotaped

3 - about the same again, videotaped at a different angle but camera was slightly mispointed. 16 reps total, not the 25 we'd hope for but not bad after the way it started.

BP: 135 x 4, 5 - just to do it a little today

KB FSQ: 20/20 x 5 - just to do this a little today, too.

DL: 3.5" platform
This week's plan
245 x 3, 255 x 2, 265 x 2, 2, 2

* Misread and did
245 x 2 (oops), 255 x 4 (gotta make up for it but misread again and ended up doing 2 extra instead of 1 ), 265 x 2, 2, 2

Onward and Upward!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The New Plan - Max Bench, Sorta ...

Saturday was Surovetsky (sp?) max DL day, so I decided that today, Monday, would be max BP day. I elected, since my BP is just ramping up, to do a little more volume than a true max day and use the 5-4-3-2-1 format. First of all

Sunday, 8 April 2012 - Variety

Walked 2 miles with my wife, coffee stop in the middle.

Did a nice stretching session on the front porch including my best MA (martial arts) and side splits in a while.

Walked 4 more miles with my wife and a friend, another coffee stop in the middle.

Monday, 9 April 2012 - Volume DL, Max Bench

135 x 5
145 x 4
155 x 3
165 x 2
175 x 2

I just had to do the extra rep @ 175, which wasn't planned. It was slow but never stopped. Bodes well for future increases in weight, would just love to get a 225 single, something I've never done. In fact, I've never gotten a 200 lb. single.

FSQ: Needed a change of pace so did

28 kg kettlebell, 3L + 3R - haven't done these in a while, nice

No kb pressing or pullups today - with all we're doing, I think these are going to go on a Wed and Sat rotation.

DL: On a 3.5" platform

225 x 5 reps x 5 sets

1 hour later, 20 kg snatch

0:00 - 20L+20R in about 2:00
2:00 - rest 2:00
4:00 - 15L+15R in about 1:30
5:30 - rest 2:30
8:00 - 10L+10R in :45
8:45 - 1:45
10:30 - 5L+5R in :30
11:00 - finished

Not great, but not bad after all those DL's, either.

The plan is taking shape - looks like a 3-day rotation, Mon-Wed-Sat, with heavy DL on one day, heavy SQ on another, and heavy BP on a third. The training day following heavy day on each will be light and volume on the same lift, and the third day will be off except for BP, where I'll go with two light days and one heavy day. The off FSQ day will get a few kb fsq's instead.

Not completely sure where kb pressing/pullups will fit in. Windmills and getups on Tue-Thu-Fri-Sun as it feels good, also need to get swings and snatches in somewhere.

Onward and Upward

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The New Plan - Taking Shape

Thursday, 5 April 2012 - Variety

A short walk, then 16 kg getups to hand or elbow, done in 2's per side. I finally figured out one thing that's been giving me grief when my left elbow is down - I "learned" from noticing what I did on the other side.

BP: 135 x 5, 5 - light day here

FSQ: bar x 5, 95 x 5 - in Chuck Taylors, just looking for form

DL: 225 x 5, then a single "rep" of moving the bar just off the floor and up and down over a few inches - mid-shin to just below knee or something like that.

Friday, 6 April 2012 - Variety

Warmup - some neck work, cossack sequence

BP: bar x 4, 135 x 6, 155 x 4, 2 - close to PTTP idea of 5-3-2

More neck work


18: snatch, 20L+20R in 1:49.

Saturday, the old Heavy Day, decided to do all three main lifts plus KB press/pu supersets w/ 28 kg

BP: 135 x 5, switched to thumbless, 4, 5, 4

FrankenSquat 105 x 1

FSQ 105 x 1, 2, 3 - looking for good form, slow, paused, full rest between sets

MP/PU superset: 28 kg: (1, 2) x 2 - better as they went

Surovetsky DL cycle after reading about Pavel's father's PR, guesstimating a 1RM of 300 lbs.

On a 3.5" platform:

DL: 245 x 3, 255 x 2, 265 x 1, 1, 1 - that was the plan and that's what I did. Felt good, weights moved a little slower as they got heavier and I got more tired but still pretty good by the last rep.

Onward and Upward!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Change of Program

1. I've been through the Rite of Passage before.

2. I've just gotten to 3 x (1-2-3-4-5) + 2 x (1-2-3-4) using a 24 kg for presses and a 24 kg on my foot for pullups.

3. I'll be at the RKC Level II in a few weeks.

4. I'm going to Marty Gallagher's June 2-3 workshop.

5. I need to do more snatches in my training to be ready for my snatch test.

6. I've decided I want a change in my program. I want my good barbell deadlift back, I think the barbell bench press has things to offer my shoulders - more about that in a future blog but bench pressing can be _good_ for your shoulders - and I want to try out an approach to the squat focused on the barbell front squat.

So last Saturday was it for my ROP.

Sunday - walked 4 or 5 miles with my wife on a lovely day with a coffee stop in the middle. Some light lifting when I got home - 16 kg getups, 24 kg windmills, and 32 kg one-handed swings.

Monday - barbell bench press, hereafter BP: 135 x 2, 1, 4 - just remembering how to do this. Uncomfortable due to tightness in my left shoulder, but that felt _better_ afterwards, a very good sign. Technique will be focused on classic powerlifter bench press - pull bar down, pull bar apart, arch back, keep shoulders low, bring bar to top of abs, not chest, pause at bottom, flare lats to start the bar back up, push bar straight up.

Also on Monday, after BP: 24 kg press/pu ladder 1-2, 28 kg press x 2, 24 kg pu x 3

Barbell DL: 175 lbs. (what was on the bar at the time) x 3

18 kg snatch: 20/20/15/15 - no breaks in about 3:20 - video taped, didn't especially care for many of the reps.

18 kg snatch: 10/10 - wait about 5:00 after previous set, tried to be more solid at the top and punch over in both directions, but didn't video tape


full getups w/ 16 kg then 24 kg, just a single each weight and each side

BP: 135 x 2, 2 - about the same as yesterday

18 kg snatches: 15L+15R, rest, 20L in :45, rest, 20R in :45


BP: 135 x 5, 4, 145 x 4, 155 x 3 - all felt great.

28 kg press ladder w/ 28 kg for pullups: (1-2)x 2

20 kg snatch: 10L+10R

Planned for Thursday - some barbell front squat (hereafter FSQ) and barbell DL

Onward and Upward!