Thursday, September 27, 2012

Squat and BP - 2 new PR's

OHS - wide grip, bar x 1


bar x 2 - paused, deep, and exhaled

95 x 2 -  paused, deep, and exhaled

135 x 3 - competition style and for the rest as well

155 x 1 - easy

170 x 1 - noticed the weight but still no sweat

185 x 3 - not all that difficult, and if anything, felt easier than 175 x 3 last week


DB - 20's x 3 paused and exhaled

95 x 3 - paused and exhaled

135 x 3 - paused

150 x 1 - slower than I would have liked

170 x 3 - not sure the pauses were long enough to be legal but they did touch

No swings today, will do plenty at the Philly RKC.

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Off/Easy - Light Dumbbell Bench Press

Have a big couple of days starting in a few minutes - travel, performance, perform again all day Wed, drive home late Wednesday night.

Today, stretching, walk, a few 20 lb. dumbbell bench presses because my left shoulder got in a funny place yesterday and was kind of sore after deadlifting - need to focus more on keeping it firmly packed while DL'ing.  DB BP felt _great_.

Wednesday - that's tomorrow but I won't lift, just some stretching when I can, maybe a little bw-only work like headstands and wall-supported handstands if I have time.

Will lift again Thursday, SQ and BP.  Until then:

Onward and Upward

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Weekend and Monday KB Press and DL 305 x 3

The weekend - a very busy one, with my wife's father's funeral on Saturday plus a 4-hour rehearsal on Sunday.

No lifting Saturday, ate a lot after the funeral for the rest of the day and went to sleep early, both of which felt very good to do.

Sunday, a bit of stretching and bodyweight exercise, all moderately.

Monday: bodyweight 153.6 lbs., good after a weekend away.

Warmup - stretch, short walk.  Lower back sore from all the sitting, driving, conducting, etc.


20 kg x 5L + 5R,

24 kg x 1L+1R,

28 kg x 2 - don't know why I was thinking I'd want to raise this rep count w/ a meet coming up - 28 kg x 2 is plenty for now


225 x 3 overhand

285 x 1 right under

305 x 3 left under

Swing: 32 kg, 3 swings, 1 breath, 6 swings, 2 breaths, 9 swings, out of time so that'll be it for today.  Swings felt good, tried to throw bell back, felt explosive.

Onward and Upward

Friday, September 21, 2012

Squat and Bench Press on Fewer Recovery Days

My normal routine going forward will be SQ/BP, rest 2-3 days, OH Press/DL, rest 2-3 days, repeat, typically lifting Mon-Thu, Wed-Sat, or some other combination that facilitates this.

Today is Friday and I did OH Press and DL on Wednesday - that's what my schedule allows this week, so that's what I'm doing.

Warmup - cossack sequence, neck rotations, shoulder Egyptians then dislocates and OHS w/ a stick.

FSQ bar x 1, SQ bar x 1

FSQ 95 x 1, SQ 95 x 5

SQ:  135 x 5

155 x 1, 175 x 3 -

DB BP: 20's x 5

BP: bar x 3, 95 x 5 - first 2 paused and exhaled, last 3 regular paused

135 x 1, quickly to 155 x 1, brief rest, 175 x 2 - second rep was definitely (failure minus one) - perhaps I needed a bit more rest before final set.

40 kg 2-handed swing breathing ladder


Onward and Upward

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Tired Thursday

After my first kettlebell presses in a few months, and after deadlifting 295 lbs. x 3, which qualifies as my first serious deadlifting session in months, I am a tired, tired camper today.  I walked a couple of miles and managed a little stretching.  I dropped and broke a coffee cup in the kitchen sink today - I'm that tired.

Bodyweight down another pound from yesterday to 151.8, which is my new normal bodyweight.  Would love to see it creep down even further - 148-9 would be great in terms of making weight for meets and I think 142-145 is the absolute limit in terms of what I can weigh with this amount of muscle on my frame.  If I see 145, I will certainly embark on a program to put a little more muscle on my frame.

Tomorrow, Squat and Bench Press, followed by a drive to PA at 7 PM or so.

Onward and Upward.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Refining The Plan: Kettlebell Presses Again

Tuesday - nothing, dog tired from all the goings on yesterday and over the weekend.  Bodyweight, thanks to a Philly cheesesteak on the way home and a couple of dinners out over the weekend, was 154.0 lbs.

Today, Wednesday, we launch a six-week program leading up to the WNPF World's on November 4th.   Bodyweight this morning was 152.8 lbs.

The plan is simple - each week, two lifting days:

Squat and Bench Press

Overhead Press and Deadlift

Couldn't be much simpler than that.  I am going to use the kettlebell clean and press, and I'm making this up a bit as I go along - no doubt Marty will yell at me for something but, equally without doubt, I'll learn something in the process.

With a barbell press, the reps stays the same for a few weeks at a time while the weight creeps upwards for a single, heavy set.

With a kettlebell, the reps creep upwards for a single, heavy set while the weight stays the same - no other way that I can see to preserve the essence of what Marty is advocating.

And I'll superset pullups because, well, because I can - one set of presses followed by one set of weighted pullups for about the same rep range.

Warmup - walk, stretch: short one-arm bar hangs, cossack sequence and that was it


NB: I haven't done these at all lately and not much over the last few months, and most recent max I remember is 28 kg x 1, sometimes 2 each side on a good day.

Note also - a clean before each press since, if there is a competition form for this, it's one clean and then the heaviest press single you've got, so might as well get used to one clean + one press again..

20 kg x 5L, 5R - easy, solid

24 kg x 1L, 1R - easy, solid

28 kg x 2L, 2R, followed immediately by

Pullup @ bw + 28 kg on right foot x 1

Haven't lost a thing on this one, feel completely buzzed/psyched by this performance.  2nd press rep each side wasn't quite as nice as the first, but I'll try for 3 reps next week.  I want to be in the 6-8 rep range with this weight then move up to 32 kg.

Barbell DL:

225 x 3 overhand

275 x 1 right hand under, left over (my weaker grip, I think) - video

295 x 3 left under (my stronger grip, I think) - video

Finish with kb swing breathing ladder, 2-handed, 40 kg - skewed towards the anaerobic.

5 reps, 1 breath
10 reps, 2 breaths
15 reps and done

Onward and Upward

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Weekend

Sun 16 Sep - a few L-Sit pullups, legs higher than parallel, 3 hour rehearsal

Mon 17 Sep - off, 5 hour service/performance

NB: Marty is not happy with my Saturday choices for weights, sets and reps - will revise going forward. More about this in a future blog post.

Onward and Upward

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Squat, Bench Press - 3's

Not much time to lift today, walked a couple of miles, a little bit of rolling and stretching, then:


bar x 3,

95 x 2 (phone range), 5 - deep, just needed to sink a squat, will try for more competition depth as we get heavier

135 x 4

155 x 3

165 x 3, 3, 3 - middle set felt better but looked shallower, final set looked arguably too deep but felt solid

DB BP: 20's x 7


95 x 5

135 x 3

155 x 3, 3

That's all we've got time for today.

Onward and Upward!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Off Day Then a Fun Day

Yesterday, Thursday - off

Today, Friday, walked maybe 3 miles doing errands around town, focused on relaxing.

Later in the day, kept reading about "stupid human tricks" to do on RKC FaceBook group, so I did a few:

L-Sit on the ground, first on palms and then on fingertips

24 kg pullup, bell on foot, index and middle fingers of each hand, 2 singles, video of second one:

Hopefully I don't get any more bright idea during the rest of the day today.

Onward and Upward!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Yesterday, Tuesday, some stretching and qigong and a short walk.

Today, per Marty Gallagher, I am going to have my own one-person powerlifting meet.

NB: Posting this blog entry now with 2 video links, more video links will be added later.

Bodyweight - a new low since the July 8 meet - 151.4 lbs.  Not dieting, just eating clean for the most part but not starving myself, e.g., yesterday I had almond butter and bananas at breakfast time, ricotta, almonds, and maple syrup at noon, a 4-egg omlette with some of yesterday's leftover sausage and pepper plus a ton of cheese, and then had an iced latte (homemade) with half-and-half and two handfuls of chocolate chips for dessert.

Warmup - walk, cossack sequence, dislocates and OHS w/ stick

This is the plan and the execution:

SQ - first time doing these in 4 months or so

Side view back squat, try for just below parallel - all reps, even warmups

FSQ: bar x 5, SQ: bar x 5

FSQ: 95 x 3, SQ: 95 x 3

FSQ: 135 x 1, SQ 135 x 5 - videotaped, looked too high, will tape the rest as well

SQ: 135 x 3 - looked good to me, maybe too deep, though

155 x 2 - looked OK

175 x 2 - maybe a little high, starting to feel a bit nervous about the weight

195 x (failure - 1) - got only 1 rep, just not used to the weight on my back, didn't feel comfortable

BP - Marty says to try staying wide

Trying ring fingers on rings for now - this is wider than I'd been doing.

DB BP: 25 lb. plates x 5

bar x 5, 95 x 5, 135 x 5

150 x 2 - start video, looks good

165 x 1 - felt better

180 x 1 - slow but looked better than it felt

185 x fail - 180 felt like what I had today, and I guess it was - got it off my chest but stalled shortly thereafter.  I really, really, really, really, really hate missing a lift.

DL 275 x (failure - 1)

Haven't DL'ed since meet on July 8.

225 x 5 warmup, double overhand grip, videod this and the rest.  Here's the clip

275 x 6, alternated which hand was over/under, started left under - this probably was more like failure - 2 but it felt like enough.

Monday, September 10, 2012

3 days - L-Sit Pullups and Swings

Had to drive to Philly unexpectedly Friday night.  Saturday, nothing other than stretching.  Sunday, 2 sets of 5 L-Sit pullups, paused solid at both ends, a bit less than 90 degrees but still not bad.

Monday, again very limited time: 24 kg, swing, (7L+7R) x 3 non-stop in 1:00 even.  A great use of sixty seconds - right elbow sore but only upon finishing, not during.

Onward and Upward

Friday, September 7, 2012

Variety Day again - 1-arm pushup

I have a big weekend coming up - leave the house at 8 AM, drive 2-1/2 hours, rehearse for 6 hours, stay overnight, 4 hour rehearsal the next day.  I'm going to skip my usual Saturday lifting as this weekend will tire me out more than that would, anyway.

Today, played around with variations on 1-arm pushups.  Used a 12" or so box, tried isometric holds at the bottom but I'm not there yet.  Tried partial ROM on the box, felt pretty good, still not ready to go all the way to the bottom, even on the box.  Switch to a table that's about mid-thigh high - these felt like an appropriate challenge, did several sets of one-arm, two-legged pushups this way.  Like the full range of motion, even if it's a _lot_ easier than the real deal on the floor.

Onward and Upward.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Variety/BW day

Did qigong on the front porch including 2 crane pistols each side.  Focusing on maximally dorsiflexing at left ankle helps.

Assisted 1-arm pushup using furniture slider - 6 left, 6 right - ugh, 6 is a lot and a long time to really keep the abs fired and the glutes tight.  I think I need a harder variation and fewer reps.

Had a great telephone conversation with Marty Gallagher - will do a mini-meet next week with specific warmups and goal weights to feel out, will be our first back squat workout, will video tape and send to Marty who will help me figure out numbers to aim for at the WNPF World meet on November 4.

Onward and Upward.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

FSQ - 165 lb x 5 = PR

Tuesday - qigong including one crane pistol each side



bar x 1 paused and exhaled

95 x 2 paused and exhaled

135 x 3

165 x 5 - PR, video

Elected to do only 1 set today to give a little time to ...

BP 135 x 5, 6 - excellent form especially on second set - tight, shoulder felt 100%

HLR: straight ahead x 4 - ugh, no easier just because they're straight ahead.  Had considered holding a light weight between my feet, glad I didn't.

Onward and Upward.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lesson Learned

The Weekend

Saturday, 6 furniture-slider-assisted 1-arm pushups each side - a small improvement.

Then driving.

Then more driving on Sunday.

Marty emailed - told me I looked burned out on my last FSQ day, Friday, and that I should have skipped it, and I agreed, offering that being disciplined did not give me license to be stupid.  Lesson learned, I hope, and I'll do squats again on Wednesday, a full 5 days rest from that lift instead of the 2 days I had before Friday.

The plan is to get 165 x 5 on the FSQ this Wednesday, I will miss Saturday for out of town rehearsals, and then likely switch to back squats since it'll be about 8 weeks out from the meet on Nov. 4


Qigong on the front porch including a single crane pistol each side.

Swings - decided I'm burned out on snatches, swing do some swings today.

0:00 - 5L + 5R
1:00 - 5R + 5L
2:00 - 7L + 7R
3:00 - 7R + 7L
4:00 - 10L + 10R
5:00 - 10R + 10L

Enough for a first swing day - 24 kg feels good, 5's too few, 7s or 8's about right, 10's too much for on the minute for now.

Onward and Upward