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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Not An Update

No updates because there is nothing to update. I have been having some shoulder pain, which turned out to be upper back (subscapular) pain. Looks like training the upper back five days a week leads to overtraining - who knew. So I'll dial that back to three days and only do light band pullaparts on other days.

Decided I need to do less shoulder training too. It got to the point where I was overhead pressing 2-3 times per week, on top of regular, close-grip and incline bench presses.

I've lowered the weights on my heavy bench press day and am doing more volume. This was in part due to the shoulder issue and in part due to the reps getting sloppy as the weights got heavier. Doing 330x6 would be nice, but not if I'm just getting more efficient at cheating the weight up.

Deadlift - I'm keeping volume high, 405x5 and then triples as I go 10 lbs. up in weight. Usually up to 455 or 465 lbs.

Squats - more or less the same weights as above, plus a few sets of paused reps (up to 375-385x3 or so). I'll keep doing this until the end of summer and test some maxes.

Pullups are getting super easy and so are dips. Not sure why because I haven't lost any bodyweight. But I can now crank out tons of sets and reps without elbow pain.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Losing Ground

My last post in the year usually summarizes best lifts, things that I tried out, what worked and what didn't. Given that 2018 had exactly zero training highlights, I won't spend much time on going over that. But I did hit:

Deadlift - (fatigued) single at 525 lbs., which ties my best ever (non-fatigued) single.

My worst lift is the only lift in which I have not lost strength over the past few years.

Squat - 480 lbs. x 3 may be the best I've done this year.

I have not tried a max squat single in 2018 and I don't think I will any time soon.

Bench Press - 380 lbs. x 1

This is not great, but it's also not that far off my best bench press ever. Still looking for that magical solution to 405.

Overhead Press - military press (standing) 205 lbs. x 2, behind-the-neck (seated) 205 lbs. x 3.

These are not a priority, and my military press is but a shadow of its former self.

More recently, I bench pressed 330 lbs. for 5 reps in two separate workouts, but was too cowardly to attempt a sixth rep each time (no spotter). Did some heavy triples in the squat and deadlift, focusing more on getting a bunch of reps in. A tentative goal for now is 30 reps per big lift per workout, counting only reps above 80% of 1RM.

Some things that I tried and that worked:

  • Close-grip bench presses and incline presses,
  • Shrugs 1-2 times per week, back work more or less every training day,
  • Rest-pause sets on assistance work (minus most barbell lifts),
  • Mashing sore pecs and traps with a Back Buddy stick,
  • Band pull-aparts.
What didn't work:
  • Bench press against bands (great exercise, but shoulders didn't like it),
  • Regular-grip pullups (will never do these again - neutral-grip all the way).
What I need to do more:
  • Hang from a pullup bar after every workout to stretch the chest/shoulders,
  • Shoulder dislocations with a rope,
  • Soft tissue work around the elbows.