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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Pulled something in my lower back or left glute while deadlifting, and it doesn't feel good. I'm about to take 3 weeks off lifting anyway, so it's not like it matters.

Before that I had a nice stretch of 4 consecutive lifting days, which may have contributed to the strain. Bench presses on Monday felt really good too. I am virtually back to my normal pressing weights, only with a closer grip, and less shoulder pain.

Squat 440x5, paused 375x3 - ramped up the weight over 5 sets and got some nice volume going here.

Bench press 325x5, SlingShot 360x1

Deadlift 460x3 - this was accidental, I thought I had 440 on the bar. Snapped my back next workout with 425x4.

Standing BTN press - 185x5, then 190x3

Seated BTN press - 200x2, 210x2

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Nothing Of Note

Squat 465x3, 375x3 paused

Bench press 330x5, then 330x4

Deadlift 465x2, 455x3

Behind the neck press 165x5 standing

Current weekly goal in the bench press is 4-5 sets of 5 with a weight higher than 315 lbs. I have been hitting this regularly. Then one day of incline and dumbbell shoulder presses, sometimes followed by a few triples with the SlingShot. Shoulders are tired from the extra bench pressing and the overhead press is stalling. I'm also doing these with a closer grip than usual, so that might be the reason.

On inclines, I'm shooting for higher reps and low weight. I have always sucked at incline pressing, so there's nowhere to go but up. It's a difficult lift to program. E.g. I'll pick a weight and do 8-10 reps easily, but then I add 10 lbs. on the next set and barely eke out 3-4 reps, which is not my experience with any other lift. Someday I'd like to work up to a 315-lb. incline press. That day seems very far now.

On squats and deadlifts, I'm working up to whatever feels like a reasonable triple on any given day. Sometimes it's only a double. That's fine, as there are no real goals right now, just maintenance training.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Master of None

Best lifts in the past couple of weeks:

Deadlift 460x3

Squat 460x3, 365x3 paused

Bench press 330x5, 320x4sx5, with SlingShot 360x3

Not sure if 330x5 is a legitimate personal best, but it's a PR with this closer grip. SlingShot press was again done after pre-exhausting with inclines and DB overhead presses.

Press behind neck 190x3 seated, 145x3sx8 standing. Did not go heavy on overhead presses these past couple of weeks.

I've started doing weighted dips. I do them on dip bars, but stay upright to hit the triceps. Not sure how much they're helping anything, but they are fun, and they don't strain my shoulders like normal dips do. You can add a ton of volume without overtraining.

Also I'm already stalling on the seated DB press. My gym doesn't have 75-pound dumbbells. 70s are no longer challenging (I do sets of 6), but 80s seem way too heavy. #firstworldproblems

Push presses are something I'd like to get back into, but have neither the time nor the energy.

Dropped some fat too and am now between 215 and 220 on most days.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Get a Grip

In highlights this week:

Bench press - 315x5 followed by 325x5, then 330x4

Deadlift - 455x3

Standing BTN press - 165x5, followed by 155x5

SlingShot bench press - 340x6

Squat - 445x3 and 455x3

Moving my grip closer doesn't seem to have affected my bench press much. I guess I'll see a difference if I work up to decently heavy weights. Shoulders feel better, but recovery is slow.

Deadlifts were flying up this week - I didn't use a belt on any of the sets. 455x3 might be a beltless PR. That probably doesn't count for anything since I can't remember ever trying 455 without a belt before. Wanted to try 465x3, but I also want to leave some room for progression next week.

Had a decent SlingShot workout. 340x6 is a goal I've probably hit before, but this time I pre-exhausted with incline bench presses. I hate inclines with a passion and suck at them. The plus side is that I can increase the weight or reps every time I do them, so I can trick myself into believing it's progress. I moved my grip in on all pressing exercises and it feels fine, although sometimes I don't feel as solid under the weight as I used to be.

I should probably also move the bar a bit higher on squats to spare the shoulders.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Don't Stop Believing

Yet another lifting restart. The plan right now is to make some time for regular training from May to maybe September. The rest of the year is 100% up in the air - literally.

Bench press 325x5, 340x2 - wanted a triple there, but this is okay

BTN press, seated - 185x5, followed by 175x2sx5

Deadlift - 455x2 - could have done a third rep, but my hip was twinging and I decided to cut it short.

Squat - 445x2, preceded by 420x5

A while ago I swore a pact with myself not to deadlift from the floor ever again. That lasted about a month, after which I went right back to full-range pulls, which have led to injuries countless times before. Because, you know, full-range movements are important, brah. Never mind that "full range" for this particular lift was determined by plate manufacturer's convention, not one's own leverages (like in the bench press and squat). So I guess I'll keep pulling from the floor until injured again.

After years of wide grip benching, the weights are starting to stall. Part of it is due to a lack of regular training, which is to be expected - no one sets PRs by lifting 3 weeks on - 2 weeks off. Part of it is due to shoulder pain (AC joint), which I've read about often but never experienced before. I think switching to a closer grip for a while (middle finger on ring, so not really close) will help me get rid of the pain and strengthen my triceps, so when I'm able to train regularly and widen my grip again I will see some gainz. Sets of five only until I can get some continuous training in.

Another thing I'll do is SlingShot press every other week instead of every week. SlingShot reps aren't "raw", but they still add up to a considerable amount of very heavy volume on a weekly basis. Also done with a wide grip, which equals more stretching of the shoulders with weights over my max. The SlingShot is a great tool and has done good things for my bench press, but it is possible to overdo it, especially when training irregularly.

Or maybe I'm just old and run down and my bench press is doomed no matter what. But I still haven't raw benched four plates, so I have to keep believing.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Lifting in the Time of Cholera

I came down with a nasty bug right after New Year's, so didn't do much lifting. Only managed to squeeze in two sessions between starting to feel human again and my departure.

Squat 455x3, paused 365x3

Bench press 345x2x2, 325x5 in same workout

Standing BTN press 175x5

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Medical Leave

A few lifts in the new year:

Squat 475x3, paused 380x3

Bench press 350x2, 330x4, SlingShot 365x4, 360x4

Deadlift 465x3

Seated BTN press 195x5

Looks like I've caught some sort of nasty virus to ring in the new year. About to travel for work through January and February, so no lifting.