Monday, December 31, 2012

Week 4, Day 1, FSQ 165 x 5, DB BP 45's x 5

Lots going on here, Dec 31, lots of people around, lift at 4 PM


bar x 5 - exhale and explode up

95 x 3 - exhale and try to explode up, didn't feel terribly explosive

135 x 1

155 x 1

165 x 5

For comparison, here is FSQ 165 x 5 from 4 months ago, Sept. 5, 2012.  I think you'll notice the difference in depth.

The plan calls for FSQ ATG 170 x 5 on Thursday then - Hallelujah! - switch to triples for the next 4 weeks, covering 175 to 210.  Now that I think about it, 210 for a triple doesn't exactly sound like fun, either. :)


25's x 5 - 3 or more breaths per rep

45's x 5 - 2-sec pause but no exhale - these are now heavy for me.

HLR - 1

Onward and Upward

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Weekend - Off, then Swings

Saturday - walk, stretch.

Sunday - stretch

Handstand PU - wall-supported, starting at the bottom, only got an inch or two off the ground but that's OK.  Also did some headstands.

Try a new format for swings:

0:00 - 48 kg 2-hand swing x 5
0:30 - 32 kg left-hand swing x 5
1:00 - 48 kg 2-hand swing x 5
1:30 - 32 kg right-hand swing x 5

Repeat the above, total of 4 minutes, like this format and will try to use it again.

Onward and Upward

Friday, December 28, 2012

Week 3, Day 4 - 24 kg KB C&P, 28 kg Weighted PU, 100 lb. Incline BP, Frog DL 240 x 5

warmup - stretch a little, walk

24 kg:

c&p ladder 1-2-3

PU: 28 kg on left foot x 1, right foot x 1 on short rest

Incline BP:

bar x 8,

100 x 7, 6

DL: Frog

135 x 5

Switch to Okie bar and

225 x 2

240 x 2 - lost balance, took short rest and tried again, 240 x 5 - video of both

Notes - 2nd set of DL's, first rep not as good as first set's first rep.  Also started losing grip in right hand on second set of DL's

Onward and Upward

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Week 3, Day 3, FSQ 160 x 5, BP 155 x 5

warmup - floor work, OHS and shoulder dislocates w/ stick, a few light sumo DL's while demo'ing for my wife


bar x 4

95 x 3

135 x 2

160 x 5 ATG - video


DB DB 25's x 8 paused and exhaled

bar x 8

105 x 5

135 x 2

155 x 5 - getting tough, also new bench isn't quite the right height for the hooks.

HLR: 2

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas - Week 3, Day 2, Incline BP 95 x 8, Frog DL 235 x 5

Day 1 of Week 3 happened on Sunday because we traveled to see family for an early Christmas but we're home now.  Yesterday did some splits works after cossack sequence and also some headstands poolside at the hotel.

Today is Week 3, Day 2 - overhead press and deadlift.

Warmup - walk a couple of miles w/ my wife, a little of the usual stretching.

OHP - we will substitute, per Marty, the steep incline barbell "bench" press for the usual kettlebell presses, but we'll keep the kb press in there a little, just to stay fresh at it.  We'll switch to the 1-arm version:

24 kg clean & press ladder, lf, 1-2-3

IBP (Incline BP):

bar x 3

95 x 8 - work set

This was the perfect weight for a set of 8, last rep a struggle but got it, and a perfect start to IBP for me - this is my first work set ever of these.  Overall solid, which the first try at these last week was certainly not.

Backoff sets and to demo for my son: DB BP 25's x 5 - felt great, as they always do.

DL: Frog

135 x 3

205 x 2

235 x 5 - double overhand grip, just wasn't ready to concede this weight to this grip, glad I got this.  Took a wide enough grip that I had my entire hand on the knurling, albeit just barely.

Notes - tough on the dear abbies to lower that slowly.  Also considering switching to conventional at a 3" deficit for 2nd DL day of the week, will decide on or before Friday.

32: Contralateral 1-leg DL, lf, 1 - tough, need to do these more, but got a single each side.

Onward and Upward

Sunday, December 23, 2012

FSQ 155 x 5, DB BP 40's x 6, 6

The Plan

FSQ 155 x 5 ATG

DB BP - 35's or 40's for 8's

Doing this on Sunday instead of the usual Monday because we're traveling later today

Warmup: Cossack sequence, shoulder dislocates and OHS w/ stick, OHS w/ empty bar and pause/exhale

FSQ: bar x 1, safeties were too high, really stupid on my part, feels like I got punched in the bottom of the throat.  Reset safeties then

bar x 3

95 x 3

115 x 1

135 x 1

155 x 5 -


20's x 8 - paused and exhaled

40's x 6, 6 - paused and exhaled, vid of second set

Onward and Upward!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Variety - Getups, Incline Press, Swings

TGU: singles each side @ bw, 12, 16 kg, 24 kg x 2 singles each side alternating

Incline Press: first tries, played with setup, ended with an unevenly loaded (my wife - thanks, honey!) 95 lbs. one side missing the 5 lb. plate to make it 100 lbs.  6 reps

48: 2-hand swing, 7, 7 on the :60

Not doing more today because I have to do with 1 day's less rest, doing Monday's planned workout on Sunday due to travel.

Onward and Upward

Friday, December 21, 2012

Week 2, Day 4 - OHP, PU, DL

warmup - cossack sequence, egyptians

Press  2 x 24 kg: see-saw mil press, lf, 6 each side or 12 total

PU: 28 kg right x 1, left x 1
CU: 28 kg right x 1, left x 1

DL: frog style, trying to incorporate points from both Marty and Pavel after my last effort.  Also, since the second and subsequent reps are different and important, I will ramp up with doubles and not singles

135 x 2, 2

205 x 2

235 x 4 - not used to holding onto the bar this long, 4 was it for my grip, on unknurled part of bar.  Let's try it again:

235 x 3 - tried wider grip to get some knurling, both sets on single video below

Onward and Upward!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Week 2, Day 3 - FSQ and BP, both 150 lbs.

Because we're going up 10 lb a week in the FSQ and only 5 in the BP, today my numbers meet and my working weight set will be 5 reps at 150 lb for both.

Warmup - shoulder dislocates and OHS w/ stick, OHS w/ empty bar and pause/breath at the bottom x 2

FSQ: Plan is to sink everything to absolute rock-bottom today - we'll see how it goes

bar x 3

95 x 3

115 x 1

135 x 2 - one ATG and one deep but not rock-bottom, video-taped, will ask Marty's opinion

150 x 5 ATG

OK, ATG it will be unless Marty says otherwise - really works the abs much more than not going quite as deep.

Warmup - DB BP: 20's x 10 - just felt good to keep doing these.

BP: new bench today, York adjustable flat/incline/decline

bar x 5

115 x 5

150 x 5 - rack height isn't quite perfect but it was close enough.

Onward and Upward!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Week 2, Variety Wednesday - Getups and Swings

Today is Variety Day on my Mon/Tue Thu/Fri lifting schedule.

Haven't been doing many getups lately, so:

Getups singles to hand @ bw, 12, 16 kg.  24 kg to half-kneeling.  At the risk of stating the obvious, I should do these more and, eventually, heavier, could really feel the up shoulder working w/ 24 kg.

48: 2-hand swings, 6 sets of 5 on the :60 - better than last time, I think, especially the last 3 sets

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Week 2, Day 2 - OHP 24 kg x 3 x 3, DL 225 x 5

A crazy day before lifting midday - went to jury duty, got excused, went to a rescheduled doctor's appointment, did some shopping, and lifted at about 2:30 PM.  (I taught at 9 AM and will teach again from 3:30 to 8:30 PM.)


2 x 24 kg, mil press, 3, 3, 3 - excellent, up from 2, 2, 3 a week ago

DL (Frog): 135 x 5, 185 x 2, 205 x 1, 225 x 5 - _way_ better than last time, still clean grip

Was going to do swings, but was short on time, and still not feeling 100%, so we'll let those go another day or two.

Onward and Upward

Monday, December 17, 2012

Week 2, Day 1 - FSQ 145 x 5, DB BP 35's x 8

Monday so Front Squat and Dumbbell Bench Press

Still have what's left of cold/flu/whatever, voice has mostly returned.

Shoulder dislocates and OHS w/ stick


bar x 3
105 x 3 - deep, paused and exhaled
145 x 5 - deep, no pause


20's x 8 - paused and exhale

35's x 5, 8 - paused but not exhaled.

Notes:  only took short rest before 1st set, 8 is good on long rest.  This feels like a good working weight.  Also noticed that I wasn't completely locking out left side, fixed that for final reps

No swings today - still tired and not 100%, glad to have done this much lifting and won't be a pig about it.

Onward and Upward

Friday, December 14, 2012

Week 1, Day 4 - OHP, PU, DL

For my second overhead press day of the week, I'm going to try a single set of see-saw presses followed by a few weighted pullups, then DL's.


2 x 24 kg: see-saw mil press, lf, 6 each side or 12 total - best set of these in a while.  Setup tension while standing before bending down for the clean - good setup yielded good clean yielded good presses.


Plan was:

PU: bw + 16 kg on right foot x 5
CU: bw + 20 kg on left foot x 4
PU: bw + 24 kg on right foot x 3
CU: bw + 28 kg on left foot x 2
PU: bw + 32 kg on right foot x 1


PU: bw + 16 kg on right foot x 5 - as planned
CU: bw + 20 kg on left foot x 4 - as planned
PU: bw + 24 kg on right foot x 2 - 1 fewer than planned
CU: bw + 28 kg on left foot x 1 - 1 fewer than planned

32 kg will wait until next week - haven't done this many pullups in a single workout in a _long_ time - this was a fine effort for today.  If I'm smarter next time, I'll go for fewer reps at the lower weight, e.g., maybe 3 x bw + 12, and then singles at higher weights up to a heavy single for the day.  In retrospect, a poor plan but it could have been a lot worse.


I'll have to ask Marty about whether I should pull frog style 2x/week or do once frog and once conventional.  My gut says to stick with frog for 13 weeks and then switch to conventional but we'll see what Marty's got to say.

Frog DL: 135 x 3, 205 x 1, 215 x 3 - lost my grip on the bar, 215 x 5

Skipping the 2-hand swings - I realize now I probably have a tired grip from the weighted pullup work before barbell DL's, and heavy swings would be too much today.

Onward and Upward

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Week 1, Day 3 - FSQ and BP

Yesterday, Wednesday, just stretching - walked, worked on my splits and cossack stretches, did a bit of headstand practice.  Have a little cold, have lost my voice, trying to stay rested, took a nap mid-morning.

Today, Thursday, FSQ and BP.

Warmup:  Shoulder dislocates w/ stick, OHS w/ stick, OHS w/ empty Oly bar x 2

FSQ: bar x 1, 105 x 5 paused and exhaled, 140 x 5 - deep but bounced.  We're going +5 lbs. twice a week on FSQ.

We're doing BP once a week, will start at 145, +5 lb per week, end with 205 x 1, which would be a lifetime PR

BP cycle plan

Week 1 - 145 x 5
Week 2 - 150 x 5
Week 3 - 155 x 5
Week 4 - 160 x 5

Week 5 - 165 x 3
Week 6 - 170 x 3
Week 7 - 175 x 3
Week 8 - 180 x 3

Week 9 - 185 x 2
Week 10 - 190 x 2 - would be a recent PR
Week 11 - 195 x 1 - would be a lifetime PR
Week 12 - 200 x 1 - would be another lifetime PR

Week 13 - 205 x 1 - would be yet another lifetime PR

DB BP 20's x 2, long pauses, felt great - phone rang.  Felt that I'd done 30's on Tue and that I'm improving at DB BP

BP: bar x 2, 100 x 5 paused, 145 x 5 paused.  Was a little nervous about 145 x 5 but it was solid.

48: 2-handed swing, on the :60: 5, 10, 6, 9 - felt like mixing up the reps today.  Form feels better, will try to videotape tomorrow

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Week 1, Day 2 - OHP and DL

Tuesday: Overhead Press and Deadlift


2 x 24 kg mil press: 2, 2, 3 - up 1 total rep from last time, same # of sets.  Maybe we'll work up to 10 reps and then work on fewer sets, or something along those lines

DL: Frog/Inaba style

135 x 1, 205 x 5

48: 2-hand swing on the :60: 5, 8, 8 - better

HLR: 1

Onward and Upward

Monday, December 10, 2012

Week 1 of 13, Day 1

I'm considering a Mon/Tue, Thu/Fri program where I'd squat and press on Mon/Thu and overhead press and DL on Tue/Fri.   My minimum is once a week per lift.  If I squat twice, they'll all be front squats; if I bench press twice, one will be barbell and the other dumbbell; if I deadlift twice, once will be frog and once will be conventional, I think - not sure about that one.  And for overhead pressing, that remains to be seen - could be one press day and one pullup day, e.g..

OHS: stick x 8, empty bar x 3

Read Pavel's blog on the Zercher Squat and had to try them:
ZSQ: 135 x 2, 2 w/ DL start/finish - ugh, these are not fun

Main work of the day: FSQ and DB BP

bar x 3
95 x 8
135 x 5 - paused, felt rock solid

20's x 5 - 3-breath exhales

30's x 8, 8 - paused, most exhaled (if the groove doesn't feel right, I'll just press it back up again without a long pause or exhale)

48: 2-hand swings, single set of 9 reps experimenting with form, rooting, hip angle, etc.

Onward and Upward

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Another Variety Day

Still taking it wasy from the meet, but in ramp-up mode as the training week in earnest starts tomorrow or Monday.  I was able to pick up a pair of 25 lb. dumbbells yesterday from craigslist and use them today.

DB BP: 25's x 7 - paused and exhaled but not quite the brutally long pauses of a couple of days ago.  Wow, this is _such_ a good stretch.  Each and every time I do these, the first few reps don't feel good on my left shoulder, and each and every time I do them, by the time the set is over, my left shoulder feels fantastic.  Nice to have 25's - they're the right weight for me to start with - 20's are too light.

16: windmill, lf, 3 - haven't done these with weight in a while, should do them more often.  Don't I always say that every time I do weighted windmills?

16: bent press, lf, 1 - hey, these are better, t-spine works better, had a nice pop/click on each side as I did these, form was basically OK.

20: bent press, lf, 1, left side was better, right side form sloppy somehow although not quite sure how.

24: bent press, lf, 1, left side was good, right not so good although it did go up - that's backwards from how my bent presses usually are.  Think I wasn't really resting on my lat at the start.

That'll do it for now.

Onward and Upward

Friday, December 7, 2012

Overhead Press and Sumo DL

Some floor work to stretch out today.  Have a long day ahead and this is still recovery week so will take it easy today.

2 x 24 kg: mil press, 1 - long overhead hold, looking for good elbow lockout and t-spine extension.

2 x 24 kg: mil press, 2 - solid pause at lockout after first rep, long pause (~10 sec) after second.

It's important for me to remember that bench pressing isn't going to help my overhead press but my overhead press will help my bench press - so I need to keep overhead pressing.  These are harder than they ought to be, right at the sticking point, and I need double kb work more often.  Let's do one more set:

2 x 24 kg: mil press, 3 - as above, long pause on last one.  Thought about clean and press format but my good press stance is narrower than my clean stance and I want the press to be the focus.

The down side to double kb work on DL day is that it's tiring to the lower back, even with a solid glute lockout. Perhaps we'll do double kb work at the beginning of this 13-week cycle and switch to single kb work as the DL's get heavier.

Inaba style or "frog" DL, now with Marty's set protocol - touch and go

135 x 8 - left over, 185 x 6 - right over, 205 x 3 x 3, alternating grips, and relatively short 1-2 min rests between.

Video of 205 x 3 x 3:


48 kg 2-hand swings, 6 on the minute for 7 min, video:

Onward and Upward

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Post-Meet FSQ and DB BP - Easy but Ramping Up

FSQ: bar x 1, 95 lb x 5 deep, 115 x 5 deep, 135 x 4 deep and paused

DB BP: 20's x 6 exhaled

That's it for today

Onward and Upward

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

4 Days Post-Meet: Getups

Cossack sequence to warmup.

Getups - alternating singles to half-kneeling, starting with weight in left arm: bw-only, 10 kg, 14 kg, 20 kg,    Floor press on left side didn't feel particularly good, but w/ weight in right, stability on left was improved from what I remember - good.  Should try to get these in at least once a week - it's a great exercise.  Also felt the restricted movement in my neck looking to the right, much as I do when doing windmills with the weight in my right hand.  ROM is barely acceptable and needs to improve.  After these, left shoulder seems to have gotten a much-needed stretch - feels "lit up" in a good way, blood flowing, relaxed.

Good feedback from Marty this morning in email about my first attempts at frog DL - will try to implement next time I do these although I'm not sure if that will be before the end of next week.

Still in "relax, play, restore" mode after the meet.  Will not exercise further, have a long day ahead, will try to get a long hot shower in before I have to leave the house.  Two days in a row of swings - enough, rest day today.

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

3 Days Post-Meet

I thought I posted yesterday but I can't find it.

Sunday, 1 day post-meet, no exercise, eat everything in sight.

Monday, 2 days post-meet, some overhead squats with a stick and an empty Oly bar, plus some barbell FSQ with 95 lbs. Finished with 48 kg 2-hand swings, 3 sets of 5 on the :60.  Felt great.  Again, ate a lot.

Tuesday, today:

16 kg kettlebell - 5 bottoms-up clean-and-presses each side, alternating sides.  Felt great.  An interesting observation - if the weight is light enough, the exercise is what it should be, about grip and not about balance.  I noticed that, as I started, I wasn't locking my knees - I fixed that by reminding myself that the bell would be where it needed to be by virtue of my strong grip, not my swaying underneath it like a snake charmer - problem solved.

PU: bw + 24 kg bell on belt, 3 singles - used false grip on Oly bar on rack

DL: Tried Inaba "frog" style, 3 "sets" of 2 singles @ 225, video

48 kg: 2-hand swings, 5 sets of 5 on the :45.  Balance was a little iffy on 3rd and 4th set as I experimented with stance.

Onward and Upward

Saturday, December 1, 2012

USAPL Meet Report

My deadlift went up 7 lbs. and felt easier than the lower weight did 13 days ago.  Squat and BP were a wash, not awful, not great.  Details:

SQ:  1st attempt was about 200 lbs. - meet was in kilos which I found hard to keep track of.  I made it, 3 white lights.  2nd attempt failed on depth - if it wasn't deep enough, it was close, IMHO.  Third attempt found me having a "senior moment" and I forgot to wait for the start command so no lift.

BP:  First attempt 77.5 kg, about 175 lbs., good.  Second attempt 82.5 kg, about 183 lbs., also good but left shoulder didn't feel great during the press and it was slow so I elected to skip my third attempt.

DL:  First attempt 142.5 kg, 314 lbs. good - had warmed up with singles to 300 lbs.  Second attempt, which I planned to be my last, went for 155 kg or 342 lbs. and got it - it was surprising in that I clearly had more left in me but I didn't want to be a pig about things and my wife and I had family to visit on the way home, so that was it - packed up and left.


Food and weigh-in:  weighed in a 67.1 kg or 147.9 lbs., good as the limit was 67.5 kg or 148.7 lbs.  Was plenty hungry and thirsty, so had hotel breakfast enough for 2-3 people: 3 omlettes, bacon, potatoes, lots of water, lots of coffee.

Support:  My wife came with me, and Phil Scarito was there with his girlfriend, a friend of hers, and even Phil's father was there for some of it.  It was great to have them all around, and I felt like I was able to be of some help to Phil, which I was very glad to do.

Notes - bench press was OK, my technique is solidifying.  Squatting find me still pretty clueless - looking forward to a solid 13 weeks of front squats starting next week.  Deadlift - video

DL 2nd:

Onward and Upward