Wednesday, February 25, 2015

6 Weeks out - Deload Bench, Raw Bench to 420 at 165lbs

This week was a deload week for me, but a good opportunity for other lifters to do some heavy work.

Tom Priest joined us for some benching, working up to a good 405lb bench at 165lbs.. and near misses at 420lbs.. Fred Mackinnon touched with 405lbs in his Titan Katana shirt.

All in all - a great week of good training with a good team!

Bench Deload:
Bar x 5
95 x 5
135 x 5
185 x 5
225 x 5
275 x 1  x 5 Singles

Incline Dumbbell Bench:
70lbs x 10 reps x 3 sets

Band Flyes:
100 Reps

Tricep Band Presses:
100 Reps

Sunday, February 22, 2015

6 weeks out - Deadlifts to 500.. time to man up

After I injured my back (QL muscle) in 2012, quite honestly I'm guilty of not pushing my deadlift in training. For 2015, its time to change that. In 2014 I really worked on improving my hamstring strength and posterior chain for the benefit of my squat.. Looking back, I feel I went too easy on my lower back work for the last couple of years out of lack of confidence.

Since 2012 each meet I've done, I've went for small PRs each meet which I hit.. 530lbs, 545lbs.. my next plan is to hit 550lbs next meet. I usually open with 500lbs, then go for a small PR on my 2nd.

My goal for 2015 is to push my deadlift PR to 600+. To do this I am going to need to grow a set, and raise the intensity of my deadlift training and focus on my lower back. I've hammered my hamstrings last year, and my deadlift speed off the floor has definitely improved, and my opportunity is to strengthen my lock out.

Examples of some good lower back work for my weakness - (Which may or may not be yours..)

  • 6" Block Pulls for Reps 2-4
  • Reverse Band Deadlift Work/Pulling against Bands or Chains
  • Romanian Deadlifts 15-20 Reps
  • Heavy Good mornings w/Safety Squat Bar
  • Narrow Stance Safety Squat Bar work
  • Kettlebell Swings

135 x 3
225 x 3
315 x 3
405 x 1
455 x 1
500 x 1
500 x 1

6" Block Pulls:
455 x 2
500 x 2
510 x 2

McGill Chins:
16 Singles

Barbell Rack Row:
225 x 6 x 3 sets

DOH Shrugs:
405 x 10 Reps x 3 Sets

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

6 Weeks out - Bench to 520x1

Worked up to a new PR tonight .. 520 off a 1 bd.
The week after next will be the true test when we finally go for the touch in this Metal Jack shirt.. but right now, 500 feels really good and confident as an opener.

Some things I am trying to focus on is setting up high on the traps, and making sure I stay up/belly up into the shirt and bar on the way down.. losing the arch is disaster.

This week I felt the best and strongest I've ever felt.. after we did the 500, and we went for the 520 - I was a little second guessing myself - I've never benched, or let alone held 520 over my face before.. but sometimes you just have man up and go for it - and trust your training.

Needless to say, 520 moved well. Real happy.. at this point.. thinking 500 opener/520 2nd att/530 3rd att

Bar x 5
95 x 5
135 x5
185 x 5
225 x 5
275 x 1
315 x 1
405 x 1 (2 bd, Shirt)
455 x 1 (2 bd)
500 x 1 (1 bd)
520 x 1 (PR)

Medium Grip - Reverse band 2 bd
315 x 3
365 x 3
385 x 3

Band Tricep Press Down
100 Reps

Band Flyes
100 Reps

Thursday, February 12, 2015

7 Weeks out - Bench to 500x2

We've been working in the new Metal Jack Bench Shirt by dropping board heights each week, and getting closer to a touch.. next week we go for the touch and from there on in - there are essentially 5 training weeks left plus 2 deload weeks, I will be touching 4 out 5 weeks and focusing on making my 1st and 2nd Bench attempts reliable.

At this point, I'm looking at opening somewhere around 500lbs, and going for 520 as a 2nd attempt.. we will know more as the touch weeks come up, this may change up or down, but right now, I think thats pretty accurate.

405x1 off 3 bd (Shirt)
475x2 off 1.5 bd
500x2 off 2 bd

Medium Grip Bench w/Reverse bands off 2bd:

Dumbell Military Press:
60x10 x 3

Band Tricep Press Downs:
100 Reps

Band Chest Flyes:
100 Reps

Sunday, February 8, 2015

7 Weeks out - Squats to 615 w/RB

Today was the first time going straps-up in my new Metal Jack squat suit... I'm actually pretty happy with the results. The key I've found is to set your arch hard, and drive those knees out. Lock the upper body in position.. break at the hips..and drive the knees out.

All my squats were a little high, but I have 7 weeks to dial it in.. again being the first day putting the straps up - I'll take it.

All my sets were done with knee sleeves only, but I threw on the knee wraps for the last set of 615.
Felt great. At this point I'm looking at a 600lb opener, and we will see where we go from there.

I try not to be overly optimistic in my thinking. :)

315x3 Straps down
405x2 Straps down
455x1 Straps up
500x1 Straps up
565x1 Straps up
615x1 RB Straps up, Knee Wraps

Narrow Stance Squats:
225x6 x 3

225x6 x 3

Up and Down Planks:
3x15 reps

Saturday, February 7, 2015

8wks out- Deadlifts to 77% / 455lbs + bands

Friday night deadlifts!

Worked up to 77% of an estimated 600lb training max.. 455lbs plus monster mini bands to build explosiveness at lockout.

Adding bands to pull against probably only adds 50-60lbs to the bar, but its the way the bands hit and load the tension at lock that really makes them work. You are forced to accelerate into the bands and build speed and explosiveness. Typically if I fail a deadlift, its at the transition-to-lockout point.. by pulling against bands I am working to build on my weakness. When deadlifting speed helps break thru sticking points.

Deadlifts against bands:

Rackpulls at knee:

Double Overhand Shrugs:

Hanging Leg Raises:
15 Reps x 3 Sets