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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Exercise In Futility

Further improvements on the injury. I can now foam roll the piriformis, hurts like hell but it makes the pain go away afterwards. I have also added high-volume back raises (bodyweight only) and my back feels a lot better (except now it's a bit sore, so I can't really tell how much of the pain is due to injury and how much to muscle soreness). Will continue to do these next week, try to work up to 100-150 reps per workout or so.

I don't consider myself superstitious, but I was recently reading Lift-Run-Bang's post on goal setting and I realized that the first part (telling people about your goals preventing you from reaching them) has proven eerily true for me. Over the past few years have publicly stated (several times) that one of my goals is to bench press 405, and I have failed to reach this goal year after year. Then recently I listed a 550 squat and deadlift as my goals, and less than a month later I'm barely able to leg press light weights and high squat 185. So from now on, no talking/writing about goals.


16 February 2015

Bench press:

325 lbs. x 5 singles, w. reactive SlingShot 345x3
295 lbs. 3s x 2
265 lbs. 2s x 5

Seated cable row 1s x 10, then 4s x 6 heavy

Seated DB press 4s x 6

Dips 3s x 10

Preacher BB curl 6s x 6-8


17 February 2015

High bar squat to high box 135x10, 185 2s x 10, 205x5 - very little to no pain on these.

Glute-ham raise 3s x 6

Leg press - around 7 sets of 8-10 working up to 5.5 plates per side, then 5 plates x 10

These also felt good, no pain.

Hack squats 2s x 10

Leg curl 3s x 8

Leg extension 3s x 10

Abductor/adductor machine 2 sets each

Glute machine (first time using this) 3s x 8


18 February 2015

Incline bench 225 lbs. x 5, 230 lbs. 3s x 5

Pulldowns 4s x 6, had to take the weight down a bit from last time due to soreness

Cable fly 3s x 8

DB tricep extension 3s x 12

DB concentration curl 6s x 6

EZ bar reverse curl w. FatGripz 4s x 6-8

20 minutes cycling


22 February 2015

Everything felt super light today.

Bench press 290 lbs. 5s x 3

Neutral-grip pullups 8s x 5 - these feel super easy now that I weigh less, so I did more sets.

Seated front press 145 lbs. x 6, 155 lbs. 2s x 6, 1s x 4

These felt really easy too, so I added a short extra set.

Pushdowns 4s x 10-12

Incline bench DB curls 4s x 10

25 minutes cycling

Back complex:

Back raise on glute bench 3s x 15

Kettlebell swings 4s x 10-15

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Back Pain PR

So my back/glute pain is coming and going, but overall it hurts way less than last week, which I guess is a PR. Also now it feels more muscular, i.e. not like ground glass in my spine but more like an extreme case of muscle soreness. Could be the muscles tightening up due to the injury. I've also been doing a morning mobility circuit and foam rolling a bit, which I feel has helped.

I'll try some light squats next week. It's now been almost 3 weeks since my back injury, and I'm planning to wait up to six weeks for it to resolve itself. If it doesn't, off to the doctor for an MRI, I guess.


10 February 2015

Bench press 320 lbs. x 5 singles, w. SlingShot 340x3
Back-off sets 290 lbs. 2s x 3, 260 lbs. 2s x 5

Seated cable row 1 set warmup, then 4s x 6 heavy

Seated DB press 4s x 6

Preacher curl 6s x 6

Dips 2s x 10


11 February 2015

Leg extension 4s x 10

Leg curl 3s x 8-10

Split squat 4s x 6-8 with progressively heavier DBs

Glute-ham raise 4s x 6

Hack squat 3s x 10

20 minutes cycling


12 February 2015

Bench press 235 lbs. 4s x 5

Pulldowns 4s x 6

Cable fly 3s x 8

DB tricep extensions 3s x 10-12

DB concentration curl 5s x 6

20 minutes cycling


13 February 2015

Split squat 4s x 6-8

Glute-ham raise 4s x 6

Hack squat 3s x 8-10

Leg curl 3s x 10

Machine squat (Freemotion) 2s x 8, 1s x 20

20 minutes cycling


14 February 2015

Bench press 285 lbs. 5s x 3

Neutral-grip pullups 5x5

Seated front press 135 lbs. 1s x 6, 145 lbs. 3s x 6

Pushdowns 3s x 10

Incline DB curl 3s x AMAP

15 minutes cycling

Sunday, February 8, 2015

More Rehab Training

2 February 2015


Abductor/adductor machine 3 sets each, 12-15 reps

Seated cable row 6s x 6, pretty heavy

Close stance box squat, 95 lbs. x 15

Wide stance box squat, 95 lbs. x 2s x 15

Mid-shin deadlift, bar x 2s x 15

Hack squat 4s x 8-10

Leg extension 3s x 10

Leg curl 3s x 8

Tried leg pressing, but back felt tweaked.


3 February 2015

Bench press 300 lbs. 2s x 6, 1s x 8

SlingShot bench press 330 lbs. x 5

Still needs more leg drive.

Pulldowns 5s x 6, heavy

Cable fly 5s x 6, heavy

Preacher curls with EZ bar, wide grip 6s x 6-8

Dips 3s x 10


5 February 2015

Bulgarian split squats, bodyweight and light dumbbells, 5s x 8-12

Leg extension 4s x 10

Leg curl 4s x 10

25 minutes cycling.


6 February 2015

Bench press 275x3, 315x3, 325x3, 345x3, SlingShot (Reactive) 365x2

Starting to get a little sore from all this pressing.

Seated cable row 1 set warmup, then 5s x 6, heavy

Seated DB press 6x6, light

Cable fly 3s x 8-10

Fat Gripz hammer curls 6x6

Tricep extension, DB, 3s x 10-12


8 February 2015

Split squats with light dumbbells 4s x 8

Single-leg press 6-7 sets of 8 reps - back felt OK

Pulldown 6x6, heavy

Seated front military press from pins, 135x5, 155x2, 175x1, then 185 lbs. for 5 singles

Tough exercise.

Rear delt fly 3s x 10

Leg extension 3s x 10, last set heavy

Leg curl 3s x 8-12

Monday, February 2, 2015

Beast Mode... Not

I haven't stopped training completely while trying to see what happens with my back. There was intense pain for 2 days, then almost nothing for another two days, then some of the pain returned. But now it no longer feels like I have splinters in my spine, more like an extreme case of DOMS. So I'm not completely discounting a visit to the doctor and an MRI.

In the meantime I am getting some training done, mostly bench press and light machine work for the legs. Will probably update once per week.

30 January 2015

I did a bunch of Smith machine presses - flat, incline, overhead - at the gym at work. Also some biceps exercises (preacher bench). I never understood why people claim that Smith machine bench pressing is easier than barbell pressing, I always have to use far less weight on the Smith.


31 January 2015

Abductor machine 3s x 12-15

Adductor machine 3s x 12-15

Box squats - with bar, close stance 15 reps, wide stance 1 reps, 65 lbs. wide stance 15 reps

These don't seem to hurt my back. I'll keep doing them (light) to retain some squat range of motion.

Leg press 3 sets x 10 with extended negatives - used 3 plates, as this exercise did seem to bother my back a little

Hack squat 4s x 8-10 - again, extended negatives

Leg extension 3s x 10 - all extended negatives

Leg curl 3s x 8 - all extended negatives

Chest-supported row 4s x 8-10


1 February 2015

Bench press 300 lbs. 3s x 6, SlingShot 320 lbs. x 5

Pressing is pretty hard with no leg drive.

Lat pulldown 5s x 6 - went kinda heavy on these

Cable pec fly 5s x 8

DB skullcrushers 5s x 8-10

Shoulder machine press 5s x 8 - didn't want to risk doing standing presses

Concentration curl 6s x 6

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

RIP Back

28 January 2015


I tried squatting and deadlifting today and disaster ensued. My back held out fine on the squats, although I didn't push the weight or reps, but I felt a pop in my left piriformis as soon as I tried deadlifting, accompanied by the type of sharp, rolling pain similar to being kicked in the balls. I'll wait a few days for the pain to subside, then go see a doctor if it doesn't get better. In the meantime, bench press specialization and light leg work, I guess.

Back squat 135x8, 225x3, 275x3, 315x5, 335x3, 365x3, 375x2

Sumo deadlift - 135 and 275 felt fine, my back seized up halfway up with 345

I'll go back to doing machine leg work and no lower back for the time being. Something like 2 days upper body lifting, 2 days light lower body lifting. This totally sucks, but it could be a lot worse - I could have a spinal injury. I hope that's not what it is.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Light Pressing

26 January 2015


Straight-arm pulldown 3s x 8

Reverse fly 3s x 10-12

Bench press 270 lbs. 3s x 5

Military front press 150 lbs. 3s x 5

Cable fly 3s x 10

Close-grip bench press up to 285x4 with SlingShot

Dips 3s x 10

Tricep pushdown 3s x 10-12

Back Rehab Day 2

25 January 2015


Abductor machine 4 sets x 12-15

Adductor machine 3 sets x 12-15

Leg press 20-15-12-10-8, pyramiding up in weight

Hack squat 4 sets x 8, same as above

Barbell shrug - worked up to 600 lbs. x 3, much better form than last time

Seated cable row 12-10-8-8, pyramiding up in weight

Pulldown 15-10-8-6, as above

Leg extension 4 sets x 10, increasing weight each set

Leg curl 4 sets x 8, same as above

Ab machine 3 sets x 10

Fat Gripz hammer curls 3 sets x 6-8, regular hammer curls 1 set x 8

DB preacher curls 4 sets x 6-8

Fat Gripz EZ bar curls 4 sets x 6-8

30 minutes cycling

Will experiment with adding back some squats and deadlifts next week, very light and controlled.