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Old 03-14-2011, 01:12 PM   #31
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Monday, week 4

Good day all things considered. Had trouble sleeping last night, cursed daylight savings time, and woke up with a head cold that was troublesome to say the least. Still, no chance I was letting Bill Starr off that easy. Also, I started the day still 186, but using the very last hole on my belt buckle and looking pretty thin for me, so not worried on the diet front.

ANyway,
Squats:
5x 65 Front squat
5x 125 Front squat (PR for front squatting for sure)
5x 145
5x 165
8x 175

Just totally gassed, breathing like a freight train from being a bit sick, but still decent progress. Going to normal progression on these. No extra sets anymore, I don't think.

Cleans:
5x bar
5x 75
5x 85
5x 95
8x 105

Learned a huge lesson in the front squats by moving my hands out wider, more like a snatch position, and really raising my chest higher which helped both my elbows get higher and made my shrug way more powerful too, and it made a huge difference especially with snapping the bar much higher on these cleans. Which made it easier to get it on my shoulders, almost like I had a beat to line up and rack it. Very promising. Still clanged my shoulders a couple times, and my timing is a bit screwed up now, so the bar sails away from my body a bit sometimes now, but I'm more optimistic about this whole lift now for sure. We'll see. More practice, then see if we can raise this weight some, then I'll know. Going to normal progression on this lift though, hence the final 8 rep set.

Bench:
5x 65
5x 135
5x 165
5x 175
5x 185
5x 195 (-1 rep)
1x 10x 165

Was just totally tired by the end of this, sweating, slobbering and puffing like a steam engine. Frankly, just happy to have got through all the reps.

Stiff Deadlifts:
1x10x 155

Pretty good day all in all. If I'm sick tomorrow morning though, no cardio or much of anything really.

When I couldn't sleep I started Dan John's book last night, fascinating read.
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:40 PM   #32
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Great job dude. Training with a head cold is NO fun. Thanks for the insights on the cleans. I want to begin working on those soon.
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:53 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamazav View Post
Great job dude. Training with a head cold is NO fun. Thanks for the insights on the cleans. I want to begin working on those soon.
Thanks. It's just a normal cold though, no aches or fever or anything, so the rest of the week should be better. Going to bail on any cardio today beyond playing with the kids in the park, though.

Good that the insights might be helpful. I'm a great teacher! Just make note of all my mistakes and don't do them!
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:54 PM   #34
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I've been just fascinated by the book Never Let Go so my mind kept wandering into thinking about it while doing my "workout" today.

Tuesday, week 4

Cardio:
15 min slow but intense quad work bracing a wagon full of my kids against my butt while walking mostly downhill to the lake about a mile away.
15 min rest watching a turtle
5-10 min light rotator cuff stretching tossing rocks into lake (must have been shoulder day for the kids, as they worked this activity much more intensely)

30 min easy walking around lake, with light pulling of an empty wagon while children ran along path frightening local waterfowl.

After a brief rest period, short intense bursts of activity keeping frisbee from being blown into lake interspersed with long rest periods monitoring frisbee usage by the children, and thinking about materials and cost of building a lifting platform in my garage so I can learn the snatch without having to catch the bar on the way down.

30 minute extremely slow but intense hamstring workout dragging loaded wagon of "tired" children mostly uphill back towards house, with quads refusing to do their fair share of the work despite the near constant hectoring from the peanut gallery to go "faster".
5 min cool down walking last steep part of hill unfettered, as oldest and loudest offspring dragged wagon.

Core:
Seemingly endless shuttle runs and "swing presses" alternating between a 45 pound child and a 25 pounder keeping them swinging in constant motion, all the while pondering how I could engineer a chinning bar between the swingset and a nearby tree in the backyard.

All in all, good workout. Might have to work this into the regular rotation now that the weather is getting nice again finally.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:25 PM   #35
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Congrats on the Front squat PR!! Good sessions
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:01 PM   #36
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Thanks Swede! Paid for those Front Squats, though.

Wednesday, week 4

Very erratic workout, which maybe isn't surprising given I haven't been eating or sleeping well with this cold, but I'm actually suspecting something else. We'll see. I also have some weird pains in my upper back right through to my chest, which I thought might have been from the wagon pulling yesterday, but now I think was actually from the front squatting.

Cleans 90%:
5x bar
5x 75
5x 95
5x 105
5x115

Fought this the whole way. Had trouble getting my chest and elbows up, racking the bar cleanly, etc. So still working on form obviously.

Squat 80%:
5x bar front squat
4x 95!!! front squat
5x 125
5x 135
5x 145

Back squats, no trouble. Front squats all kinds of trouble, upper back hurt, couldn't get chest up or stay balanced. Went back to Rippitoe and seems upper back pain is a problem sometimes with learning front squats, so I'm going to back off of these a bit and see if that's actually what's going on. I think this weird back/chest pain hosed up my Cleans too.

Push Press Max:
5x bar
5x 95
5x 115
5x 125
4x 135 (-1 rep)
1x10x 95 BNP

More chest and back pain getting deep breaths and locking out at top, so just bailed on that last set. BNP was no trouble though. Don't know why.

AMAP Pullups: 5, 5
AMAP Chinups 6, 7 (+1!)
1x12x 130 Lat pulldown, (should have done 145, but set pin wrong.)

Weird that I felt absolutely great on the chins and for the first time ever got near the top, stalled, and was able to just grind out another rep. That felt cool!

Anyway, maybe the cold is the problem, or maybe the front squats screwed things up a bit, but I'm seriously considering taking Friday off. For sure if weird back and chest pains continue, I will obviously take the day off given the heavy cleans and rows, etc. looming that day.

But, beyond that I also just feel a little burned out. The thought of skipping out on Friday was in my head all through this workout today, and I've never felt that way before. Then again, maybe today was just a tough day, and I'll feel great on Friday.

We'll see.

Last edited by MikeM; 03-16-2011 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:31 PM   #37
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Thursday, week 4

Was going to skip today's cardio, but the kids wanted to go to the gym, so I figured what the heck. Cold is fading and I do feel a lot better. I took it easy anyway though.

Cardio:
Elliptical 45 minutes medium hard

Core:
1x 1 min Plank
3x 8 sec. x 3 sets of horizontal paused situps on an incline. (Improving on these!)

Still don't know about tomorrow. If I do go, I know I'm not doing any cleans, that's for certain! I need a break from those, no question.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:36 PM   #38
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Once I had decided to take a day off doing cleans, I started looking forward to working out today. I was going to do my squats, and replace cleans with some deadlifts, which I've been itching to get back to.

Anyway, should not even have bothered. Back was way too tight even after a long warmup, so I only tried a couple easy sets of squats, but stopped after 5x 115. Then I tried 1 rep of 135 on the deadlift, and knew I should not be doing anything today, so I walked on the treadmill for 40 minutes, as that always seems to help my back, and rolled out of there.

I can really see where doing the same exercises repeatedly is so taxing on the system! The cold I got, the back problems out of nowhere, etc. My body was just screaming for time off all week, didn't mattter what my brain was saying. Interesting.

Still, this has been an amazing four weeks. I learned to squat and am making solid progress at that foundamental strength move. I'm maybe 50% towards learning the power clean, which is probably the hardest to do properly of all the power moves, I have been just ripping up some pressing until this week, and even made a break through with chinups. Pretty good in the grand scheme of things. One day off isn't going to mean a thing in the long run.

See you all next week.
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Old 03-21-2011, 04:24 PM   #39
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Power surge fried my laptop, so not going to be online much this week until it's fixed/replaced. I got insurance for it, so shouldn't be too long, but have to steal the wife's computer when she's not looking, so that'll definitly cut down my playing around on the web. Sigh.

Anyway,
Monday, week 5

Squats:
5x bar
5x 135
5x 145
5x 165
8x 175

Felt good. I'm going back to basics on this move though. Really working on going slow and properly, keeping chest up, back tight, etc. Still felt good though, definitly making progress with these.

Cleans 80%:
5x bar
5x 75
5x 85
5x 95
5x 105

Much better. I've gone to really working on racking properly to the expense of everything else. Re-learning this from the top down as that seems to be the way to go. So, the weights went up very nice today and got some really good catches right on the shoulder perfectly. Still a work in progress obviously. More on this later though.

Bench:
5x 65
5x 135
5x 165
5x 185
7x 195 (+1 rep, almost locked out 8 reps, but spotter had to help, oh well)
1x 8x 165 (-2 reps) Didn't want to risk failing on these, so bailed out early.

Stiff Deadlift:
1x10x155

Good day, making progress.

I'm thinking cleans are going to be a slow process and working them 3 times a week is maybe not the best idea for right now. So, I'm mulling over dropping them from Wednesday and replacing them with deadlifts, I'm also thinking of dropping inclines and going to behind the neck press instead (moving benches to Wednesday), and dropping seated rows in favor of bent barbell rows, all of which might help me work on keeping my back arched properly, as well as be a more well rounded program overall.

So, I'd be doing Squats 100%, Cleans 80%, BNP, and a stiff deadlift on Mon.
Then Squats 80%, Deadlifts, Bench, Pullups, Chinups, and Lats pulls on Wed.
Then Squats 90%, Cleans 100%, Push Press, BB rows, T-Rows, Inv.rows Fri.

Just a thought for now. Not going to make changes yet, but I'm thinking that I might be better off going in that direction. We'll see how it goes the next couple weeks.
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:57 PM   #40
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Solid session right there! The rack-part of the clean is something i have to work on too, it takes some time to work up flexibility it seems LOL :P
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