squats

Training Plan: Dec-Jan 7th 2012

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I thought I’d let everyone know what I’m doing for my training over the next month.  Initially I planned on moving straight into another 16 weeks of the Jugg Method but I found out yesterday the gym I train at is going to have a push/pull meet on January 7th.  Since I left a lot on the platform during my deadlift at the last competition I’m going do the push/pull meet and skip the push portion.  My right wrist has been bothering me the last month or two and the last week and a half has been the worst of it so far.  I think it’s a combo of some tendonitis and an imbalance between flexor/extensor sleep in my wrist.  To take care of this I’m doing a “No Push December”.  I’m cutting out all pressing to give my wrists a break and bring my back size and strength up to par.  Here is what my training template is looking like for the next 5 weeks.

Monday- Horizontal Pull/Tricep Ext/Unilateral Carry
Tuesday- Squat/Posterior Chain/Abs/Biceps
Thursday- Vertical Pull/Shoulders/Abs
Friday- Deadlift/Single Leg/Bilateral Carry/Abs

Here is what yesterday and todays training sessions ended up being.

Monday-
Barbell Row- 135# x 5 x 10
Dumbbell Row- 80# x 3 x 5
Dumbbell Tricep Extension- 25# x 3 x 10
Face Pulls- 60# x 12, 70# x 12, 12
Suitcase Carry- 65# x 20 yards x 2 trips

Tuesday-
Squat- 200# x 5 x 6
Deadstop RDL- 135 x 8, 185 x 8, 8, 8
Barbell Rollout- 3 x 10
Reverse BB Curl- 75 x 8, 8, 8

The squat and deadlift I have planned numbers I’m going to use but the Monday and Thursday workouts will be more by feel. I’m aiming for a 460# deadlift in January so I have to work on what I suck at. Namely that’s lower body and posterior chain strength so I’m going to hit those like a madman. I’ll let you know in January how it went.

2011 NASA Regionals

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Back in March I started my journey into powerlifting by competing in the NASA Kansas State Meet.  I only found out about it 2 months prior to the meet but I went for it anyway.  I ended up with a 957 total (341 Squat, 220 Bench, 396 DL) at a body weight of 200.

The following months I bought and followed the Juggernaut Training Manual from Elitefts.com.  It’s a 16 week program that’s geared towards powerlifting.  Chad wrote a hell of a book and the program is great.  I really had to take a step back and evaluate where I really was with my lifting strength.  I ended up finishing the program 4 weeks prior to the meet I competed in this last weekend.

Throughout the Jugg Method program I utilized a Modified Warrior Diet and was able to really grow into my body weight versus dropping a bunch of weight or gaining a bunch.  My recovery was great, I got stronger, added muscle and didn’t move my body weight 1 pound.  I didn’t weigh and measure any of my food so my macro’s were always changing.  The one thing that stayed consistent was that my lifting days were higher carb, off days were very low carb, and my underfeeding meals were kept very small and spaced 3-4 hours apart.

The last 4 weeks prior to the meet I added creatine monohydrate to my workouts (5g pre/5g post) and just 5g on off days.  As for my training the last few weeks I subbed some fat bar chain lockouts for military pressing.  I didn’t work off of any percentages or anything I just went by feel.  All of my sets were kept to 5 reps and under for the lockouts, squats, bench, and deadlift.  To be honest I only deadlifted twice in those weeks because of a hectic travel schedule.  The week prior to the meet I set my openers and did minimal assistance work, a little cardio, and rested.  The Monday prior to the meet I did some easy benching and squatting and that was it.

The end result was a 991 total (347 squat, 231 bench, 413 deadlift).  Those are 10-15# PR’s on each lift so I’m pretty happy.  I’ll be doing another cycle of the Jugg Method this winter and possibly competing again in March.

Squat

Bench

Deadlift

There are  two things that I did not mention that I believe helped greatly.  The first is that I dropped caffeine two weeks prior to the meet.  I was developing some cortisol and dependency issues that I needed to address.  Aside from a little green and black tea I had zero caffeine.  Needless to say what I was setting my openers that week they felt heavy as hell.  To help get the ship back to an even keel when I dropped the caffeine I added in 500 mg of ALCAR first thing in the morning and before lunch for both weeks.  In retrospect I should have went with a higher dose but even that low dose helped.  If I had it to do over again I would have went for about 1-2 grams at each dose.  The reason for the ALCAR is because it helps to balance out cortisol levels.  If they are low and should be up (such as in the morning), ACLAR will bring them up.  If they are high and need to come down (afternoon/evening) ALCAR will bring them down.  Since it interacts with the brain and elevates acetyl choline production it can have a mild stimulatory effect so don’t take it right before bed.

The second thing I did was to add in a Neural Charge workout the 5 days prior to the meet.  I picked up the Neural Charge stuff from Christian Thibaudeau over at T-Nation.  To be honest I wasn’t a huge fan of the T-Nation in the past and I still make this recommendation with a few caveats.  The content they’ve been putting out has been much better but it’s still loaded with ads for their BioTest products which I don’t believe to be bad products, just over priced.  I have not, however, actually used any of their stuff so take what I say with a grain of salt.  Now, the premise of the Neural Charge training is to excite and stimulate the nervous system early in the day, or at least preworkout, in order to enhance performance.  The workouts are short and focus on explosive exercises like jumps, med ball throws, and med ball slams.  This isn’t a workout you perform for tons of reps and work until you are worn out.  Once your performance begins to decrease you either drop reps or drop the exercise.  You should feel better at the end of the workout than you did at the beginning.  Here are what my workouts looked like:

Elevated Plyo Push Ups x 5
Med Ball Slams x 5
Broad Jump x 5

I did a few rounds and dropped reps when I felt I couldn’t perform the next rep as well as the previous.  Between these workouts, the extra rest, and the ALCAR I felt great Saturday morning.

Meet day I took this prior to warm ups for each lift:

5g Creatine Mono
2g ALCAR
Sipped on Sugar Free Monster

See you guys in 2012.

Accumulation 3s- Squat

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Box Jump-
36 inch box x 3 sets x 2 jumps

Squat-
225 x 7 sets x 3

BB Reverse Lunge- (clean grip)
95 x 5/leg
105 x 5/leg
115 x 5/leg

BB Hip Thrust- (bench supported)
135 x 3 sets x 3

EZ Bar Curl-
115 x 2, 2, 2, 2, 6

I’m going to be working the hip thrusts and try to get damn strong at those. It was a great glute/hamstring exercise that put zero pressure on my lower back. Didn’t get any video but I’ll try to get some benching and deadlifting later this week. Off to the gym for some sled dragging and cardio!

Training Update

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Don’t have the details in front of me but I hit all my reps on bench and deads last week.  My back, however, wasn’t really agreeing with the deads.  I was sore then I helped move my grandmother in-law move on Saturday and I was crazy stiff all weekend. Got into the chiropractor Monday and got it put back in but I’m not going to be squatting or deadlifting this week.  The military pressing went great Monday night (hit 140 for 8 reps) then did some machine work for back then some random stuff for shoulders.  I attempted to squat yesterday but I was still feeling my back a bit so I called it am just taking it easy.  I’ll be sled dragging today and Friday and possibly Saturday in order to make up for it.  I will be benching tomorrow and hopefully get some video. I’ll also have some updated pictures and measurements to post Saturday morning.

Accumulation 5- Squat

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Squat-
210 x 5 x 6 sets

RDL-
185 x 5 (no belt)
185 x 5 (no belt)
225 x 6 (added belt)

Slider Leg Curls-
BW x 10 x 2 sets

Hanging Leg Raise-
BW x 7 reps total

Foam Roll/Stretch

I tried some bicep exercises but my wrists have been bugging me a bit so I skipped it. I’m going to start training my grip a couple times per week so my wrists should feel much better in a week or two.

R8 aka PR Time!

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Military Press-
130 x 9

Squat-
230 x 10

Bench-
185 x 10

Deadlift-
290 x 10

Those are just the highlights for this week. Aside from my deadlift all my rep maxes give me an estimated max that is well over what I lifted at the meet in March. Deadlifts are coming in a little lower but since I switched from sumo to conventional I started with a really low training max. I’ve pulled 405 with a conventional stance before so I know I can pull well over that. I just don’t want to go to nuts and jump my training max to high. It’s steadily moving up and getting more comfortable so I’m happy. Aside from my bench press all the lifts this week were rep PR’s.

I8 Update

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Last week was my Intensification 8 wave.  Since I only posted my MP day and I’m 3/4 of the way through my Realization 8 wave I though it might be time to fill you in on how the rest of last week went.

Squat-
175 x 3
195 x 3
210 x 8, 8, 8

RDL-
225 x 4, 4, 4

Bench-
140 x 3
155 x 3
170 x 8, 8, 8

Guillotine Press-
140 x 8, 8, 8

DB Lateral ss. Shoulder Dislocates
15# ss. 10 dislocates
20# ss. 10 dislocates
25# ss. 10 dislocates

Deadlifts-
220 x 3
245 x 3
265 x 8, 8, 8

DB Split Squat- (DB’s in rack position)
40 x 8/leg
45 x 8/leg
50 x 8/leg

There was some ab and bicep work in there too but I once again don’t have my log book in front of me.