Saturday, April 09, 2011

Mentally, on the rise

Since I have a few minutes to digest my last meal, I can note some good things on the lifting front this past week. Consistency in my workouts lends to keeping my mood even as well as seeing some progress in my lifts, most notably my squat and deadlift. I also began experimenting with some orange bands in my bench press to see the impact on the lift... makes my lockout a bit more difficult. Also (somewhat) new to the party are Pendlay rows at a lower weight to help me concentrate on different muscle contractions in my back, and Anderson Good Mornings - a barbell loaded on the bails in the power rack meant to be good morning'd (?) up from a dead stop.

Saturday workout (April 2) - Mishmash. Jump rope, chest, shoulders.
Shoulder press (Arnold style) with DB have been agitating my tight right shoulder and right lat. 
Superset with Anterior raise on left side only. Left side muscles seem rather lagged compared to right.
10x10, 5x10
Hanging leg raises
10x10x3, 15x1
Hang clean... just to do hang clean.
45x5, 85x5, 95x5
Flat Bench BB, not including warmup sets... bands used.
125x2, 125x1

Sunday workout (April 3)   - Jump rope, shoulder press DB, Pendlay row
Only thing to really note in this workout was starting Pendlay rows. Close to horizontal back in form.

Tuesday workout - Jump rope, Legs
Remember that twang in my knee from the other week? It's not always there, but I'm trying to keep it from creeping into my mind. That said, I didn't feel lethargic or anything... Squat time.

Squat (back).
45x5, 95x5, 135x5, 175x3, 185x5 spot on elbows, 195x2
Pull Throughs (cables)
130x15, 150x12x3
Squat (Zercher) - Not too thrilled with the bar I was using. Was it a squat bar? Possibly.
45x5, 95x8, 115x8.
Romanian DL
115x8, 135x6, 145x5, 95x8?
Hamstring Curl, single leg slow negatives
20x6 superset 15x6, times 2
Jackknife V-Up crunch on bench
Jackknife V-Up on ball

Wednesday workout - Back
So while I got excited because my squat seemed to stay on track, I was in for a surprise on Wednesday.

Hang clean - felt crappy on the wrists today. 5 sets up to
Deadlift (sumo)
135x8, 185x5, 235x5 mixed grip, 255x5 mixed grip & belt, 185x5 double OH grip, 205x2 double OH grip
I couldn't believe how AWESOME I felt when deciding the next weight to pull. Very proud of the poundage jumps, they were comfortable to pull and I felt like I could've done 275#(!), my PR... I loaded it on the bar but I didn't set up properly because I thought, "if I use straps, this will be no problem, I got this!" ...but I fudged up and the moment passed me by. Should have just gone strapless! Haha... Decided not to get too greedy and dropped the weight to pull a couple more times with a double overhand grip. Still comfortable. Unfortunately I didn't care what happened to the rest of my workout after this.
8 reps x 4 sets after a crappy weighted set 25#x4
Anderson Good Morning - Testing weights, 4 sets up to
Pendlay Row, Pronated/Supinated - 3 sets leading up to
Hanging Leg Raises - Back was feeling really good!
Hammer and concentrated curls to finish.

I think I've used enough time to digest and get this out. Next time I hope I remember to discuss some thoughts on the documentaries I watched on Netflix last weekend. I love Netflix! :)

Friday, April 01, 2011

Week recap and slowly making my way back up...

Settling down to blog, finally. I'm ready with a cup of green tea and... leftover rice krispy treats? Odd combo? Me and the boyfriend (Chester) made some homemade bananas foster fondue since we were craving dessert, complete with strawberries, bananas, marshmallows and homemade rice krispy treats. Well, one thing's for sure... I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I eat all perfect and count everything. In a perfect world, yes. If I was a bit more disciplined, yes. That's not to say that I eat what I want when I want - I do try to make better choices, especially when I'm out. Chicken breast, hold the mayo, sauce on the side, reduce some of the bread. It can be difficult to go out to eat with friends at a restaurant when I know I'm in the minority when it comes to getting my food like that. When Chester is along, I'm thankful that we can just split some of our food if we crave something really bad. I've learned how to eat "just a taste" of something that way. However, if it's something rare or very "once in awhile," you better believe I'm going all out. :) It's nice to enjoy full fat things once in awhile!


Phew, this week flew by. I'll admit to having a pretty rough week to start, training-wise. I took to benching with dumbbells on Monday and it sucked, bad. I managed to work up to 70x3 for one set, but I felt no confidence in it... I dropped back down to a set of 65s, but that workout was rather short, even including my jump rope. I saw my chiropractor that day but I was more focused on getting ART on other parts of my body (back, arm, hands). My deltoid didn't bother me as much earlier! Note to get that and my left tricep looked at next week.

Tuesday Night Workout: Legs
Tuesday showed much more promise though, even though my knee started spazzing out before and after jumping rope; straighten the knee, the ligaments and the muscles would seize up, like a cramp or worse. You'd think I would've forgone Leg day, yes? I have before, but I felt good about it that day... I slipped on the knee sleeves and felt a bit better... uh, hope I don't forget to ask Dr. Cris about the knee as well. :)

-Squats maxed out at 200x1, was really feeling the groove. The downside was that the power rack is right next to the heavy bag... and it was Tuesday, so everyone and their mother was at the gym, using the heavy bag, deadlifting behind me, walking near the barbell... just felt so stuffy, it was hard to concentrate.
-A little short on the pounds for OHSQ (85x6) due to reoccurring knee shakiness, so I let it go.

-Pull throughs 150x12, and that's the cable stack... should I do them slower, or for more reps?
-Hanging leg raises 15,10,10
-Zercher Squats due to my own curiosity of its "practical" application. I mean, I could carry people on my back, but they're likely to slip off, right? What if I could carry them in my arms, for real? Either way, it was this or front squats to try... made it up to 115x8, not bad.

Thursday Night Workout: - Focus on back.
-Started off deadlifting conventional, 135x8, 175x5.
Got a surge of energy and resumed DL sumo, 175x5, 205x5 switched from overhand to mixed grip halfway through, then mixed 225x3.
I thought to myself - I'm pissed off that I've been squatting more than I've been DLing! That isn't right! Even though my back pain seemed to affect my DL more, it really leaves me unsettled! I did 205x5. 225 is more than I'd been able to lift in the last two months due to recuperating, so I'm just hoping I can maintain this level of strength and not slip so much.
-Weighted pull-ups (neutral) 25x6, 25x5, 25x6
-Back extension, 25x15x3
-Good Mornings, 60x8x3
-OHSQ 65x8, 90x8. I tend to do a bunch of these because I can feel the focus on my mid-back (rhomboids, lower trap fibers) get sore... and it's pretty weak and undeveloped there. Pseudo-rehab, for now I guess. The thing is that if I lack concentration and strength, these are too dangerous to do! Hence, why there are only two sets here.
-Some concentrated curls... misc.

On the way back home from the gym today, I was contemplating about future goals for my lifts. What is realistic, around how much should I be able to gain up to while at this weight? How do I not get discouraged when the weights feel like they're going up and down due to being periodically injured or imbalanced (shoulder, back, knee)? I harp on my form since I know that more injuries will depress me and set me back, but who doesn't like to SEE the progress in numbers on their lifts? For example, my squat and deadlift numbers were on the higher end this week. Will they be like that next week? Depends... but if they aren't even close, it's difficult to not get discouraged. I try not to get down, but how do you overcome those mental humps, especially if you've handled more weight before?