Sunday, January 27, 2008

Getting Closer

Yesterday, I was on the platform again, as I am every Saturday. I felt particularly good warming up and needed little mobility work.

The loading ended up being very close to what I was doing almost 10 years ago at my prime.

A. Power Snatch, AK: 60kg/3, 70/3. 80/3, 90/3, 100/3, (100/2-X-1)2; approx. 2 mins rest.

The "2-X-1" indicates 2 completed attempts, followed by one miss, followed by another completed attempt. When I was in my prime, I could easily hit 100kg/5 from this position. I am close, very close.

B. Clean Pull, AK: 150kg/5 x3; 2 minutes rest.

Didn't actually feel like performing cleans. So I subbed them out with some pulls. I had to focus on pushing through my whole foot as my old pattern of rolling off the lateral side of my foot and aggravating my knee, was starting to show up.

I am noticing that my old patterns must be continually destroyed and replaced each time I venture into heavier loading zones. Every rep requires the utmost concentration and I can no longer just blow through each set like I [thought] could when I was younger.

I am contemplating my next program. I think I will forget about forced rest periods and just focus on the load and eating my way up into the Supers. I think...

Thursday, January 24, 2008


That was the RPE of my squat session yesterday. I hadn't hit a true 9+ in a long, long time. Quite frankly, I don't remember having hit that since I've been back on the platform.

Five weeks ago to the day yesterday, I hit 405lbs/3 on the BSQ. Again, nothing to write home about, but the fact that I'd been able to do it since re-mobilizing myself seemed almost miraculous. I skipped my training on Tuesday due to very poor sleep on Sunday and Monday nights. So, Wednesday, I headed over to my pay-gym and hit the squat rack. I ended up with 11 total reps with 405lbs: 405/1, 405/2 x5 with 2 minutes of rest between each set. Admittedly, I probably shouldn't have taken that last double--barely stood up with the second rep--but there was nowhere to hide. Interestingly, my body reverted back to its old neck position--cervical hyperextension and I mildly strained my neck. No worries though.

I also didn't get full use out of my right leg--perhaps my body was naturally protecting itself. Overall, I probably shouldn't have lifted that heavy, but I had the energy so I went for it. No negative ramifications today other than my left leg is more sore than my right.

The rest of the session was as follows:

B. Isometric Holds: Back Squat: 495/12s x3; 60s rest
These were interesting. They felt good. The last set I actually walked out and set up my squat and lengthed up into the load. I may incorporate these more frequently.

C. Military Press: 135/3, 185/3, 195/3, 205/3, 215/2; 90s rest

D. Chins: Bdwt/4, Bdwt +25lbs/4 x2; 60s rest

After the squats, I just felt like fooling around. However, I was interested to see that my military press was up. I did a similar session 5 weeks ago with 5 minutes of rest between sets.

I guess Progressive Overload still works for me. Again.

As I type, I'm trying to decide what I'll do tonite--perhaps a similar session with lighter loads or just some kettlebell work and reload the volume work next week.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Finding the Groove

I haven't been posting much due to work--training clients and opening a new business just doesn't allow you to be on the internet much at all. However, I've still been training and it's going well.

My weight is a constant 220lbs with very little fluctuation--a sure sign that the "weight" I'm putting on is just more than water and stored glycogen. My shoulders, upper back, and legs are all thickening up, a sure sign that the weight is high quality.

My training, has fallen into the pattern I noticed on my last cycle: Over a 14 day period, I train 7 days, Sa-Su-Tu-Th-Sa-Su-T-Off for 3 days. This just happened on the last 2 week cycle and I'm feeling great. Yesterday, after working out some kinks, I worked up to 90kg/2 x3 on the Power Snatch Above Knee. Not particularly impressive, but very easy and definitely an indicator that things are moving in the direction they should. When I can hit 10 doubles here, I'm definitely back in business.

Speaking of being back in business, my legs and back are rapidly regaining the strength they once had. I am only a matter of months from squatting 405/5 x5--perhaps as little as two, but certainly no more than six. And I'm getting VERY hungry to move some of the bigger weights, also a sure sign that my strength (and confidence) is returning. The interesting thing here is that my positions are all very different than they were pre-Z. My starting position on the pulls has much more leg than it used to--more back. My grip has returned to it's origins--when I first started the lifts, and I'm moving faster than I have in years. I am really starting to feel like I am moving at the same speed I was ten years ago.

Yesterday started another two week cycle, although honestly, I'm not sure how this one is going to play out. It may just be a continuation of the H-M-L, with a tweak in loading parameters--dropping reps and really pushing the strength parameters and backing down the next cycle. We'll have to see how I feel once I get to the platform.

Yesterday's training:

A. Power Snatch from above knee: 60kg/3 x3, 70/3 x2, 80/3 x3, 90/2 x3; rest--approx 2 minutes rest.

My right knee was not happy at first and it took quite a bit of I-Phase to cool it off--hence the multiple sets at each weight. By the time I got past 60kg it seemed just fine. No residuals today.

B. Power Clean from above knee: 100kg/5 x5; approx 2 minutes rest.

Just "felt" the need to do some volume work here on the clean. Probably will continue in the same vein for awhile. If my memory serves me correctly, Medvedyev states that one of the issues holding back strength is lack of strength-endurance. I'll have to check again on that--but I really need to push the clean back up to pre-injury status of 170kg. I'll go back and see what the good doctor has to say about this and apply it to my training.

Overall, I am incredibly pleased with the pace of my training. I'm growing and gaining strength without overtraining or getting injured--firsts in many, many years. This is the type of training Alfonso tried to get me to do 10 years ago but I just insisted on going hard and heavy all the time. The old axiom is true: Youth is wasted on the young.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

It's Amazing What Can Happen In As Little As Two Months

Just got back from the platform. Right now I'm engaged in a H-M-L strength cycle as that's all my schedule will allow. Two months ago, I went to Palm Beach and started my training session with 315/5 x5 with 2 minutes rest on the Back Squat. That was new "re-mobility" territory. It was a heavy day.

Today, I hit 140kg/5x5, with 2 mins rest (essentially the same weight) as the "light" part of the training session, after Snatch Grip DLs and Military Presses. And it felt even easier and faster than it did 2 months ago, despite being last in the rotation.

I was just thinking today that I was at my strongest between ages 21 and 25--then things started to break. Now, being "re-mobilized," I feel like I'm about 4-6 months away from reaching those peak strength levels. This truly excites me.

Today's session:

A. Snatch-grip DL: (140kg/3, 150/3, 160/3, 170/3) x2; 2 mins rest
RPE= 8 maybe at the 170kg. Plenty of room left here.

B. Military Press: 80kg/4 x6; 2 mins rest.
RPE= 7-ish. Also plenty of room here.

C. BSQ: 140kg/5 x5; 2 mins rest.
RPE= 7. Fast and easy.

Tomorrow, Z and possibly some 2H KB Swings.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Back Online And the New Year's Good

Been offline since Christmas Day because I just opened a new business and it has consumed almost every waking hour that I wasn't training clients, eating, training myself, or sleeping.

Training has been going very well. In fact, it hasn't gone this well in years. The downside is that my metabolism has cranked up again from all the stress (good stress--been lots of fun) of the business and training that I'm having a hard time keeping weight on. Strength is still going up.

I just finished the first week of my new cycle. Started one two weeks ago, but it was interrupted by opening the business. So I started another one. I've decided that 5s and front squats don't mix well for me. This one is a H-M-L rotation of 3s, 4s, and 5s with the corresponding previous intensity.

Here's how today's session played out:

A. Front Squat: 8x3; (120kg/3, 125/3, 130/3, 135/3) x2; 2 mins rest

B. Snatch Grip DL: 6x4, 1 DL followed by 3 paused 1 inch off floor at mid-shin: 120kg/4 x5; 2 mins rest. Just felt like doing something different to increase the tension on the P-Chain. Weight was too light but hadn't done anything like this in years--needed to take it easy

C. Military Press: 5x5; 70kg/5 x5; 2 mins rest

Overall, a very easy week. I played it conservatively and next week I'll push the intensity much higher on all lifts. This particular cycle will probably last 4 weeks: 2 Accumulation and 2 Intensification. We'll see how it goes. This week made me very hungry for next week. That's always a good sign.