Monday, December 29, 2014

Breaking in the Metal Jack squat suit 12/28

November was a tough month for me, tweaking both my Pec and my Hamstring within a week of each other.. but like I said last month, I got them both out of the way same week :)

Anyhow, if you have been following along you will know I made the best of it - and an important part of training is learning how to adapt and train around your injuries. I spent about 6 weeks working with the Safety Squat Bar in a linear progression with light weights off a low (12") box.. adding bands at the end. 

I was really excited to get back under some heavy weight this morning.. it felt like a meet day.. couldnt even sleep a lot haha! It was going to be especially fun because it would be my first session in my new multi-ply Metal Jack Squat suit. I had purchased a metal multiply suit almost a year ago, as well as a set of briefs - but the timing hasn't been right to actually break them out and train in them until now. Using multiply gear, it is near impossible to walk out a squat safely, so I needed to be able to train on a monolift. Right off the bat when looking at the gear, you can really tell the difference between the Metal multiply stuff and the Titan Super Centurion single ply stuff I have been using the last few years.. the material is much, much thicker. But honestly? The suit is not quite as tight/binding as the single ply. It seems like in order for the single ply to work, it must be skin-hugging tight.. where as with the multiply it relies more on its thickness/stretch to work.

I sized the Metal Jack squat suit with the help of Brian Carroll and Jo Jordan from EliteFTS and went with a 56. Its a little loose in the legs, but I figured it would be just right once I add the metal jack briefs in. (Next cycle, not this one) For this meet cycle, I just want to get the squat suit broken in and make sure I can get to depth. We can add the briefs in later. :)
Under the advice of Brian Carroll, I like to get in my gear early in the warm ups - when the weight is light. Gear makes things different, so you want to be able to get used the gear in weight you can throw around, rather than getting in the gear at near/above maximal weights.

I based my session percentages on a 700lb Training Max. Some critiques are I need to stay tight and upright in the hole with my arch locked in, and not force the depth quite yet. The depth will come as the suit breaks in and the weight goes up.

Squat: (No knee wraps, just sleeves)
315x2 (squat suit, bottoms only no straps)
500x2 x 3 sets    (70%)
565x2 Light Reverse band   (80%)


Rolling Planks:

Band Leg Extensions

In closing, I want to say the 6 weeks I spent rehabbing my Pec/Hamstring by using the Safety Squat bar definitely did not go to waste. Last week, I pulled 500x3 faster than I ever pulled before.. This week, just by watching the vids I can say my squats have gotten faster with improved hip strength. The SSB raw off a low-box is a great tool.. it doesn't teach you to squat - but it makes you stronger to squat..

Stay tuned for Wednesday when I break out the Metal Jack Bench Shirt for the first time.... like a kid on Christmas morning!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Benching with the EliteFTS Swiss Press Bar...

Received a shiny new EliteFTS Swiss Press Bar for Christmas.. and couldn't wait to try it out! :)

Tweaked pec feeling good, but didnt feel good enough to stretch it all the way to the chest quite yet.. Wanted to keep the stress on the tris for now.. This bar is also killer for nose breakers, JM Presses, and barbell rows.

Swiss Press Bar
Bar x 20
95 x 20
135 x 20
185 x 15
225 x 10 x 4

95 x 15 x 4

Hi-Rep Barbell Rows (Wide grip to hit rear Delts..bodybuilder style) with a squeeze!
95 x 25 x 4

Band Flyes
100 Reps - 25x4 No Rest

Friday, December 19, 2014

Some Squat and Accessory Work

Tonight we had a good crew of guys and girls show up here at Lakeville Powerlifting!
Dylan worked some raw squats for doubles and speed pulls with chains, while the rest of us used today as an accessory fluff-and-buff day.

Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
50lbs x 20 x 4 sets

Hammer Curls
40lbs x 20 x 4 sets

Reverse Flyes
12lbs x 20 x 4 sets

Chest Supported Rows
100lbs x 20 x 4 sets

Kettlebell Swings
26lbs x 10 x 4 sets

This was a good bodybuilder-style day as a break from our heavy squat and bench days on monday and wednesday.. looking forward to getting back under our Safety Squat bar on monday for the last time in this cycle!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Louie Simmons on Trophys, PRs, and Progress...

"When I hear someone tell me what place he got in a meet rather than what his numbers were, or if he got a PR, I know his ego will hold him back. The real contest is with yourself. A trophy proves only what you have done, but has no bearing on what will happen next. You must always do better and better. That's the real world. You can be the greatest powerlifter in the world, but the day you retire, you're forgotten. If you quit one time, you're a quitter. You may go for a year or two without progress before coming out of a slump. Powerlifting is a tough sport. No one said it wasn't. As far as training partners go, if you run with the lame, you will develop a limp. Everyone can't be a world champ, but we all can be better." - Louie Simmons

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Offseason Speed deadlifts & Rack pulls

At this point, I'm about 5-6 weeks into a slight hamstring strain rehab cycle. As a refresher, I tweaked my hamstring doing sprints back in the beginning of November. Not a bad strain, but a strain nonetheless.

The biggest problem with people is we try to ignore the fact we injured the body and get back into the heavy stuff too soon- and BAM we re-injure it in this self-destructive cycle.. and keep re-injuring it.

In summary, I got off the heavy stuff and started box squatting, and cycling sumo and conventional pulls for 5x5 sets of light weight. I started at just 225 and worked my way this week up to 315. This week I added in some heavier rack pulls as a finisher, just to see how my hamstrings would hold up. Seems good so far. After the 5x5 Speed pulls, I was pretty cooked - so the rack pulls were a great finisher for my lower back/lockout.

Next week we go back to sumo.

Speed pulls:
315x5 x 5 (Working Sets)

Rackpulls just below/at knee:

Kettlebell swings w/35lb kettlebell
3 sets of 15

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Getting some training in while on vacation..

Up in New Hampshire with the family on vacation.. I was able to get some work in...
Stayed at Nordic Village in Jackson/Conway NH.. They had a pretty nice fitness center.. granted no monolift or bench, but I was surprised to find 120lb dumbbells there! I can make this work...

I decided this was going to be a 2nd pec rehab training session this week, and work on my weakness/opportunity in my tweaked pec, and left lat/delt...

Here's how I adapted what I had to work with-

I started with the 35lb dumbbells, and decided to work all the way up to the 120s, in 10lb increments and superset flat dumbbell presses with strict dumbbell rows for matching reps.

If I pressed 35lb dumbbells for 20, I would row them for 20, and so on and so on.

Flat Dumbbell Press supersetted w/Strict Dumbbell Rows

Everything felt good and fast.. got my work in.. mission accomplished! Back to vacation!