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Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in the Rearview

29 December 2015

SlingShot bench press 370 lbs. x 2, 355 lbs. 2x2

Pulldowns 30 total reps

Standing BTN press 135x5, 155 2s x 5

Barbell curl 30 total reps

Cable fly 2s x 10

Bodyweight was at 210 after the holiday week, which I was happy about (zero to insignificant weight gain). Pressing was hard but doable, which I'm also happy about.

30 December 2015

Squat 435 lbs. 3s x 2

Had to use the shitty rack with weird hooks, which I haven't used in a while and which felt super awkward. On my last warmup set I misstepped and rammed the bar against one of the hooks (instead of over it) and had to do a shuffle dance with 405 on my back. This did not feel good at all. My injured knee hurt and squat depth was questionable on one of the sets (I think 3).

Bench press 310 lbs. x 3, 295 lbs. x 3

Only did one back-off set, as I was pretty fried from the awful squat workout.

Leg extension 3s x AMAP

Leg curl 3s x AMAP

Pushdowns 3s x AMAP

Usually a do an end-of-the-year post in which I summarize any improvements in my lifts over the year, exercises and programs that I experimented with, what worked and what didn't, etc. 2015 can be summed up as: I got hurt, worked around one injury after another, made zero progress on the big lifts. On the plus side, I kept lifting even though the weights and workouts were unmotivating and disappointing, so I was able to maintain some continuity.

I also saw some modest improvements physique-wise, mostly via lost bodyfat. It has taken me a while to let go of my bigorexia and permabulk dreams (not easy for a former skinny person who struggled to gain weight for years), but I'm pretty sure my "eat big lift mediocre" days are over.

In 2016 I'll keep rehabbing and I plan to get back on the Texas Method - inspired routine that served me well in 2013 and 2014. I'm probably too detrained to hit a new PR in the squat in the next 12 months, but getting back to around 5 plates would be nice. Here's to best wishes for the future and lessons learned, etc., etc.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Touching Holiday Story

14 December 2015

SlingShot bench press (R) 330 lbs. x 6, 300 lbs. x 2s x 6

Used the Reactive instead of the Original again, only this time it worked.

15 December 2015

Bench press 315 lbs. x 2, 300 lbs. x 2s x 2 - fatigued from pressing the previous day, but this was still easy.

Standing BTN press 135x5, 150 x2s x5

Barbell curl 30 total reps

Dips x 15, x 15, x 12 - not sure what possessed me to do these.

17 December 2015

Paused bench press 275 lbs. x 3, then 265 lbs. 3x3

Very easy. Shoulder/scapula was acting up, possibly due to dips on Tuesday.

Rear delt raise x20, x20, x15

DB curl 4s x 8-10

Pushdowns 3s x AMAP

Cable fly 2s x 8-10

19 December 2015

Squat 425 lbs. x2, x3, x2

Pull 475 lbs. x 3 singles, 455 lbs. x 3 singles

Dropped the weight down so I could get all the reps. For some reason, I really felt these pulls in my upper back, especially between the scaps.

A story for the holidays: there were two guys deadlifting in the rack today. I snickered inwardly and thought about Swede giving them the death look. But then one of them (the tall and skinny one who didn't look like he lifted at all) pulled 500 pounds like it was 315. His form was terrible and inefficient and one could tell that he only deadlifts when he feels like it, as an afterthought to his real workout. I would bet good money that he'd pull 600+ with minimal proper training. Moral of the story - you can program like a tryhard nerd and train until your spine cracks and your hands bleed, but the guy who does half squats and curls in the rack will still out-pull you with minimal effort. This is why the deadlift is like life.

Then I set up to do overhead presses, but some guy was waiting for the rack to do squats. I always feel very guilty about pressing in the rack (to me it's on par with curling in the rack), so I gave it up, in the spirit of the holidays, and went to press in the shitty Crossfit rack. Hit 135x4, then 155x3, then failed 175 twice (not even getting a single rep). Moral of the story - no good deed goes unpunished.

Hope everyone enjoys the holidays. I'm taking a week off, and my wish for the new year is that it will be stronger than 2015, because 2015 sure sucked elephant balls when it came to lifting. But everything else went great, so no complaints overall.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Getting There

8 December 2015

SlingShot (R) bench press 365 lbs. x 2, 335x3, x1, 315 2s x 3

Was supposed to get 3 reps with 365, but no way. I realized that I screwed up the weights, because I based the percentages on my max with the Original SS (significant boost), but for some unknown reason am still using the Reactive (little to no boost) on my SS days. Which is a surefire recipe for... not-success. So, red or Original SS it is until the end of the cycle.

In addition to the above, I was only supposed to do 360x3, but decided to bump it up to 365 so as to not be a pussy. Obviously that went well.

Pulldowns 30 total reps

Standing BTN press 135x5, 150 lbs. 2s x 5

One-arm machine preacher curls 30 total reps per arm

10 December 2015

Bench press 300 lbs. x 4, 285 lbs. 3s x 4

Lately I've been having some shoulder issues when pressing, but today everything felt fine. So I did an extra back-off set.

Seated cable row 30 total reps

Standing BTN press 140 lbs. 3s x 6

Barbell curl 30 total reps

I kinda sorta curled in the squat rack today. Not really in it, but I leaned against one of the rack posts while curling (there was no space available to do wall curls). Imagined Lyfta making angry eyes at me from across the weight room.

Cable fly 2s x 10 - speaking of Lyfta.

11 December 2015

Paused bench press 285 lbs. x 2, 275 lbs. x 2

275 didn't feel heavy at all, but 285 felt more like 315 for whatever reason.

DB curl 3s x 8-10

Rear delt raise on incline bench, 2s x 20, 1s x 15

Pushdowns 3s x AMAP

Leg curl 4 sets

Leg extension 4 sets

Because it makes sense to bench press and then do leg isolation exercises.

12 December 2015

Squat 415 lbs. 3s x 2

Warmed up like this: 135x5, 225x3, 275x3, 315x2, 335x2, 365x2. This is significant because I only had 20 minutes to complete the whole workout. Squats were easy enough, but I definitely felt some lower back and hamstring soreness the next day.

13 December 2015

Mid-shin block pull 475 lbs. x 4 singles

Was supposed to do 5, but back was sore and now I'm super cautious about that sort of thing.

Pulldowns 30 total reps

Leg curl 4s x 8

Standing BTN press 135x3, 155x3, 165x3, 170x3 - at least this went well.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Nothing to See Here

6 December 2015

First gym workout back.

Squat 405 lbs. 3x3 - easy, but knee is still tweaked.

Pull 450 lbs. x 6 singles - program called for 8, but this was all I had

Standing BTN press 115x4, 135x3, 155x3, 170x3