Saturday, May 31, 2008

MGC6 - 15 of 23

I decided to make this one a morning session, to leave the rest of my day free. Motivation was lacking:

Deadlifts: 5 x 60k, 80k; 3 x 100k, 100k; 5 x 90k, 80k (band for form on 100k, 90k)
Overhead Press: 5 x 45lbs, 65, 85, 85, 85, 85
Split Squats: 5/5 x 12k, 16k, 16k, 16k, 20k
Pinch Barbell: 5 x Empty, 50lbs; 3 x 80, 90, 90, 90

Performance was ok, but I had no energy. As a result, I dropped my renegade rows and 2" v-bar.

Yesterday I decided I am spending too much time on the internet. I am going to relegate lifting related message boards to Sunday mornings only. I think that will be a good thing.

Wednesday I did go for a bike ride. The awesome news is a Chipotle opened within 6 miles of my house.

This week I began the transition towards my nutrition template for the next training cycle. Tuesday through Friday I only ate out once, which is a significant improvement over the past month. My is feeling much better. I think I have an unrealistic volume of food planned my traning days, however.

I did figure out that I can down 24 grams of protein in 160 calories if I mix my powder with a cup of Gatorade and a half cup of water. It goes down quick and easy, so I may work that in to my template.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

MGC6 - 14 of 23

Yesterday I had a deep soreness in my hands and posterior chain. Today it persists, so I made my session an easy one:

Warm Up - 45 minutes of stretching and mobility work
One Arm Swings - 12/12 x 12k, 16k
Kettlebell Snatch - 5/5 x 16k, 20k; 7x5/5x24k, one set per minute; 6/6 x 24k

This gave me a whopping 2 rep PR on my 10 minute snatch test. My conditioning is holding me back here, big time. I need to learn to switch hands on the backswing of the snatch as well. I lose a lot of time and momentum setting the weight down between hands.

I'll probably ride my bike somewhere this afternoon. The weather is awesome.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Chicago Grip Association - May Videos

2" FBBC V-bar videos from this weekend's grip together:

Paul - 148lbs -
Matt - 148lbs -
Scott - 153lbs -
Mike - 183lbs -
Steve - 228lbs -

I also put Steve's 81lb FBBC Bomb lift on his video. Just a sample of the fun we have.

MGC6 - 13 of 23

This morning I woke up early and finished some contract work that is due tomorrow. It left me a little tired, but it also kept my day open to enjoy the holiday. My wife and I saw the new Narnia movie, went to Subway, and got ice cream. Upon returning home, I took a short nap, used the internet, and then hit the garage:

Deadlifts (band for form): 5 x 40k, 60k, 90k, 100k, 100k, 70k (no band)
Renegade Rows (feet elevated 11"): 5/5 x 16k, 20k, 20k, 20k
Overhead Press: 5 x 45, 65, 85lbs; 3 x 95lbs; 5 x 85lbs
Split Squats: 5/5 x 12k, 16k, 16k, 16k

Grippers: A bunch of sets of 5 with the #1 between exercises
Block Deadlifts: 3/3 x 25, 27.5, 30, 30; 3/3 Attempts x 32.5, 32.5

1. I am going to start removing the band from my deadlift warm up sets in addition to the back off set
2. I need to hold renegade rows at the current weight and improve the quality of my movement
3. Same deal with split squats. I need to get consistent with foot placement as well.
4. Overhead press is climbing back up to prior levels at a decent pace. I am pleased.
5. I will increase grippers to the BBSA next, BBM the following week, a max the final week
6. Blocks are still down from PR levels, but should build quickly
7. My final grip workout before the contest will consist of singles on all of the major events

Overall a fine session. The heat took far more out of me than I expected. I need to acclimate fast, because it was only 78 degrees this evening. Summer weather may require my sessions to move into the morning and will provide strong motivation to clean up my diet.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Nutrition Baseline

Today I walked around 3 miles. More importantly, I invested time planning for my next training cycle.
Leaning out will be my next focus, with an emphasis on manipulating nutritional variables to stay healthy and minimize strength losses. Dropping weight without getting sick seems to be an impossible task for me lately. Based on past experience, I am going to tweak the approach I used leading up to the fitness conference:

1. Instead of counting nutrients, I'll work off meal templates
2. Meal design will emphasize a high fiber diet
3. I'll eat extra food on my training days
3. Cardio sessions will be limited to one per week
5. I will set a nutritional baseline prior to starting the program

Since I want to start the program in 4 weeks, I need to develop the nutritional baseline now. This week I will transition towards the template below, using food I have on hand. Starting with my next grocery shopping, I'll make the full switch over, but allow for extra food and eating out as my hunger dictates. Assuming all goes well, I will move into the program strictly starting June 23rd.

Standard Daily Meals - Around 2000 calories / 100g protein per day
1. 06am - Breakfast - Whole Grain Cereal w/ Milk and Baby Carrots (500/20)
2. 10am - Snack - Balance Bar (200/15) or Fruit and Nuts (300/8)
3. 12am - Lunch - Whole Grain Pasta w/ Broccoli and Cheese (625/30)
4. 6pm  - Dinner - Canned Beans w/ Bread and Frozen veg (700/30)

Training Day Food Additions - 630 calories / 43g protein
1. Yogurt pre-workout
2. 16oz Gatorade during workout
3. Protein shake post-workout

Expected Weekly Food Cost - $91
2lbs Whole Grain Pasta ($7)
2 boxes cereal ($10)
7 cans prepared beans ($18)
2 10oz bags broccoli ($4)
2lb carrots ($5)
2 8oz bags cheese ($6)
1 gallon milk ($6)
4 yogurts ($5)
4 bags frozen vegs ($8)
1 bottle Gatorade ($3)
1/2 gallon choc soy milk ($4)
1 taco shells ($2)
1 loaf bread ($3)
4 balance bars ($7)
1 Salsa ($3)

The expense comes from buying prepared foods through Peapod.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Chicago Grip Association - May 08

Today we held a late spring meet up of the Chicago Grip Association. Paul, Mike, Matt, and Steve were able to make it. We had a great time, and I am amazed how much was covered. The training broke out like this:

Matt came very close on several of the #2's that were floating around. Steve closed Paul's hard #2, which means he is dominant over just about any #2 he will encounter. I believe Paul was very close on my hard #2, but I am not sure if he closed it. Mike hit several grippers around the #2 level and came very close on my Super Master. The heaviest gripper I closed was a 1.5. We covered some excellent material on getting the most out of setting a gripper, which I think will lead to Matt dominating #2’s in the near future.

It was excellent to try the wide range of grippers available. Mike brought a Vulcan gripper replica he made, along with one of his ring and pinky trainers. Having tried the Vulcan style gripper, I can now appreciate why someone would prefer it over an array of standard torsion spring grippers. The lack of spring skew makes for a very stable close and removes the need for a knurled handle. The ring and pinky trainer was also very cool, offering the combined advantages of a Vulcan gripper and a Tug. Anyone who is serious about grippers should be looking into one.

Mike and I stepped back when it came time to bend. The other guys more than made up for it. Paul brought over his bending trainer from David Horne. That is a sweet piece of kit. He has the easy spring, and on the easy setting, it's still too hard for me! Very cool design though. We tried putting a Vice Gripper spring on there, but it was still too much.

I saw several solid bends. I know for sure Matt hit a standard 60d, as well as a piece of 7"x1/4" FBBC hex. I think Steve got a 60d of mine that he failed on last year. His bending has come a long way. I think Paul took down a 12" spike, and I know he was giving Steve pointers on the mid-length bending as well. I saw Steve working on a 12" spike, not sure exactly how far he got it. Paul took down a couple nice short bends as well, I'm not sure exactly what. I want to say there was a 5.5” Grade 8 he took a good run at.

A couple guys tried to figure out horseshoe bending with a Diamond 0 I had, but none of us know how to do it. I gave it to Steve to work on, since he kept out lifting the rest of us. I get a feeling that shoe won't be safe for long. Paul was generous with the bending stock, handing out a bunch of 70d's to Steve and I. I'll need to talk Rick into coming over at some point so these get bent

FBBC 2" V-bar
We worked through the 2" V-bar in a rising bar fashion. I got all the lifts on video, which I'll process and put online for certs. I think everyone hit PRs on this lift. Consensus was the FBBC 2" V-bar is nicer than the homemade bars guys have been training on. This is a solid exercise, and it goes over much better than the 1" version. Steve made a big showing here, breaking the 225lb barrier. We also spent some time comparing the best way to grip and lift the 2” v-bar, which was helpful.

Block Weights / Wide Pinch
For the most part, I avoided the block weight work, saving myself for a 2 hand pinch PR attempt. As a result, I am not sure exactly what was lifted. I do know everyone else put a big hurt on the blocks though. Paul brought over an awesome 37.5lb hex block that was narrower than most hexes. I managed to lift that righty, I think everyone else did it with both hands. He also had a length of coat hanger cut for adding weight to the blocks. A very simple idea, but it worked great and is the best method I have seen for loading blocks.

Paul and Steve played around a little with pinching 10lb plates. I think Paul got 4 with a loading pin through them, Steve got 5 with a loading pin through. Removing the loading pin made a huge difference, sticking the plates to the floor for both of them. There was also some interesting conversation on the impact hand spread has vs. hand size when lifting a block.

Steve demonstrated some impressive pinching of the block weights by the face. I told him that sort of thing makes my thumb feel like it will rip off. He indicates he got the feeling at first as well and was able to train it away. Perhaps I am capable of wider pinching than I thought.

Two Hand Pinch (FBBC Big Squeeze)
We took this one up to 110lbs in plates. I am sure Steve, Mike, and I got it. I think Matt might have, but cannot remember. Mike and Steve had more left for sure, but stopped there on my pet lift, preserving my ego Mike's observation last year was there are certain tools that work better without chalk. This barbell is definitely one of them.

We played around with static front levers on the 6lb sledge. Mike and Steve were very close to the end of the handle. I think Paul was as well. I am still stuck near the middle. Discussion came up about getting ready for the Michigan contest. It sounds like there is a chance Steve is going to come out for it, and I encouraged him to. I think he will make a solid middle of the pack showing if he competes.

We spent some time playing with my different kettlebells. Paul and Steve both cleaned my 40k kettlebell. Steve even put it overhead. That is a big kettlebell! Matt, Paul, and Steve played around with bottoms up presses. I am sure Matt got the 16k and 20k, not sure about the 24k. Paul and Steve did the 24k, but I don't think anyone got the 28k overhead bottoms up.

We also spent some time talking about getting the most out of a two handed swing. The distinction between thrusting the hips out vs. up was covered, as well as the need to use the hips instead of the upper body when doing a swing. None of us are experts on this stuff, but I find it helpful to talk about it with others in person. It was also refreshing that we were all prepared to admit the limits of our expertise.

Mobility Work
We spent some time talking about bodyweight training and mobility work. Matt gave some excellent advice and demonstrations on how one works up to doing a muscle up. He showed us a false grip like one would use on the rings, but did it on my heavily knurled chin bar. He was doing pull ups like that, which must of hurt. He also touched on how one is supposed to work up to a muscle up on a chin bar. None of us are there, but I think both he and Steve have definite potential for one.

We also touched on the user of trigger point therapy and myofascial release for managing back pain. I showed Matt how to hit the ITB band and deep hip extensors on a foam roller. I also encouraged him to look into a foam ball for doing the same ( Mike talked about using a knobber type device to dig into trigger points. Matt also showed us a good mobility exercise for opening up the hips. I was surprised to see how easily Mike dropped into the deep squat for it. There is something to this training stuff!

Other Equipment
Matt's moving and brought over a few things for us. Mike made off with a couple block weights, I got a military duffle bag for a sandbag and the head for a 10lb sledge. Totally sweet. Matt got the first edition of Starting Strength and a copy of Brad Johnson's body weight training book. I think he'll definitely be able to make better use of it than I could. Matt also gave me some good advice on the best way to fill the duffle bag so I can train with it, without sand going everywhere. Very cool.

Mike made me an excellent short box for box squats. I told him it would need to hold 400lbs at most, I bet this thing would hold twice that. It is super heavy duty and makes a great addition to my gym. I am slowly assembling the equipment needed to make a solid run at the Westside beginner's program.

The other custom stuff Mike has built was very cool. I touched on the ring and pinky trainer earlier. He has a real talent for bringing stuff like this together. We also showed the rolling handle he made me last year to Matt. He'd never seen one. The topic of hook gripping it came up, none of us are even close.

Steve and I hit the FBBC bomb at the very end of the session. He learned how to perform the lift for a contest setting and worked up to 70lbs in plates, plus the 8lb implement and loading pin. I’d guess the total was around 82lbs. I got this one on video.

I had an excellent time, and I am very happy everyone was able to make it. Whenever we have one of these events, I am always struck by how genuinely nice the people are. There is nothing but encouragement, generosity, and good will. It creates an extremely constructive environment that leads to PRs all around.

Without fail, the guys humble me with their performances. It is refreshing to train with people stronger me, especially when they share the work it took to develop that strength.. The advice handed out was top notch and will help my training long term without question. One of the things I find most interesting is the fact that everyone is working around some sort of injury or issue. They all deal with it and get stronger anyway.

I intend to host a few more events this summer and highly encourage lifters in the Chicago area to attend. We cover more over a few hours in the gym than you will get in months training alone and posting on the internet.

MGC6 - 12 of 23

Today I hosted a meet up for the Chicago Grip Association. Four guys came out and it was a blast. I'll write that up later, but here is how my test day went:

Grippers - Worked up to a #1.5 no set, righty. #1 lefty
2" V-bar - 156 righty, and possibly lefty, for a 5lb PR.
Pinch Barbell - 110lbs after several attempts, for a 10lb PR
Overhead Lever - I settled for a 6lb sledge and did not go heavier
Blocks - I dragged my 35lb blob around the floor after everyone left
FBBC Bomb - I worked up to 60lbs in plates plus the loading pin

Overall I am happy with the results. My contest prep is working. I decided to skip my full body workout for the day, since I really wanted PRs on v-bar and pinch.

Further investigation indicates Lyle's Ultimate Diet V2.0 is not appropriate for me. I know, because I asked him, and he replied honestly. Additionally, my review of his message forum suggests I do not need such a severe approach to leaning out. I am around 20% body fat, not the 15% I'd guessed. Basic protocols and patience are all I really need, it seems.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Riding Around

Today I biked around 15 miles. Most of it was in the forest preserve. I also discovered a massive corporate park about 2 miles from my house. That should prove helpful in my job search.

Post grip contest, I am considering taking a serious run at Lyle McDonald's Ultimate Diet: 

I wonder if I have what it takes to reach a single digit body fat percentage. While I've been able to get lighter than I am right now, I've never had much luck getting leaner. I am very curious if the problems I have encountered in the past resulted from my approach, opposed to will power.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

MGC6 - 11 of 23

Yesterday I had an interview that went quite well. Unfortunately, it gave me a lot to think about, which caused my sleep to suffer. This morning I decided my workout better be early and focused. I am sure I will gas out by early afternoon. This is what I did:

Warm Up - One Arm Swing: 12/12 x 12k, 16k
Front Squat - 5 x 45lbs, 45, 65, 85, 115 (PR), 115, 115
Power Cleans - 3 x 40k, 40k, 50k, 50k; 10 x 1 x 60k (once per minute)
Overhead Press - 5 x 45lbs, 65, 85, 85, 85
Renegade Rows (feet elevated 11") - 5/5 x 16k, 20k, 20k, 20k

Gripper singles up to missed attempts on BBM, during presses
Pinch Barbell - 5 x Empty, 50lbs, 80, 80, 85
8lb Overhead Lever - 5/5 x 12", 16"; 5/3 x 20"; 5/2 x 20";
6lb Front Lever Hold - 10s @ 10", 12", 14", 16"

1. I increased the front squats to 115. They went even better than I expected. It must have to do with learning to use that muscle in my right hip. A bodyweight front squat may be closer than I thought

2. Power cleans and overhead press were kind of sloppy. I just need practice.

3. Happy to see renegade rows getting heavier. Those sets with the 20k's were hard.

4. My 2 hand pinch keeps going up. I think I hit upon a form tweak that will help me.

5. I held back on the overhead levers lefty. My wrist is not super happy with them.

Overall an excellent workout, especially given my energy levels. I may bike later today.

Monday, May 19, 2008

MGC6 - 10 of 23

The light blocking curtains are spectacular. I went to bed at 8pm last night and slept until 6:30am this morning. That is the most rest I have gotten in weeks. My motivation and energy are through the roof.

Unfortunately, the town home association did a lawn spray this morning that really stunk. I decided it is best to breathe as little of the fumes as possible.  I adjusted my workout to compensate:

Warm Up - Put air in my bike tires and oil the chain / gear shift
Bike 14 miles, aggressively, with a break at mile 7 to refuel at Panera
Overhead Press: 5 x 45, 65, 85, 85, 85lbs
Play with grippers, nothing of note
One Arm Snatch 5/5 x 16k, 20k; 6 x 5/5 x 24k (one set per minute, on the minute)
Block Deadlifts: 5/5 x 25lbs, 27.5lbs; exhaust hands with 30lb block

1. My bike ride was much, much easier than Friday's. I probably double the tire pressure. That plus the freshly oiled chain had 12th gear feeling like 6th. I should have tuned the bike earlier.

2. This is my best overhead pressing so far this cycle. I'm still a bit off of peak strength, but improvements exist.

3. My grip was absolutely fried from the bike ride. Not much I could do about it.

4. The snatches were timed to hit 100 reps in 10 minutes, but I gassed out after minute 6. I might have been able to will it, but the intensity required would have derailed my current training cycle. I played it smart and will build over time. I was firing the muscles in my right hip that were previously inactive.

I am very, very happy I made the time to get new curtains. It was not expensive (about $75, split with my wife). I expect recovery to improve significantly over recent months. I would have preferred if the lawn had not been sprayed, but the bike ride was a lot of fun, and the weather was excellent.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

MGC6 - 09 of 23

Today's workout was completely devoid of any aggression, anger, or drive. The upcoming grip contest is the only reason I trained:

Deadlifts (band for form) - 5 x 20k, 60k, 70k, 90k, 90k, 100k; 60k (no band)
Overhead Press - 5 x 45lbs, 65lbs; 4x85lbs; 5x85lbs; 4x85lbs
Renegade Rows (feet elevated 11") - 5/5 x 16k, 20k, 16k, 20k
Split Squat - 5/5 x 12k, 16k, 16k, 16k

Thin Pinch - 5 x Empty, 50lbs, 80lbs, 80lbs, 80lbs
2" Vertical Bar - 1/1 x 71, 96, 96, 121, 121, 121, 131, 131, 141 (PR), 141, 141; 1/Fail x 151 (PR), 151

1. I added weight to several exercises. I did it on nerve. The contest is coming and I have no choice.

2. It is time to return to deadlifting without the form cue. Today's back down set starts the process.

3. I picked up a form trick on the 2" V-bar that added 13lbs to my PR. Awesome!

4. Today we got light blocking curtains for the bedroom. I expect my recovery to improve as a result.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Great Day!

To celebrate a variety of things going very well, I rode my bike on a 14 mile round trip to the mall for lunch. The weather is perfect, my food was excellent, and the ride was awesome.

I am going to include more general activity in my current training cycle. The benefits I anticipated from dropping it have failed to materialize. If anything, my recovery has been worse! Go figure.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

MGC6 - 08 of 23

I missed Monday's session due to poor recovery. In general, my focus on sleeping and eating well over the last week has been lacking. I need to fix it and have started acting on the problem.

In the meantime, I did hit today's session, albeit with reduced volume:

Kettlebell Snatches: 5/5 x 16k, 20k, 24k, 28k, 28k
Front Squats: 5 x 45, 45, 65, 85, 105, 105lbs
Overhead Press: 5 x 65lbs; 4 x 85, 85lbs; 3 x85lbs
Overhead Levers (8lb sledge): 5/5 x 12", 15", 18", 18"
Static Front Levers (6lb sledge): 10s x 12", 15", 15", 15"
Block Weight Deadlifts: 5/5 x 25, 27.5, 30, 30lbs

Not my best training session, but at least I got something in. Hopefully I am much better rested and fed on Saturday. Body weight was 161 this morning, so my weight is trending down. A diet of frosted mini wheats and frozen pizzas does that, I suppose.

I had a very pleasant job interview yesterday. It is possible I may have overcomplicated the search process. We'll see if I am called back for a second interview.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

MGC6 - 06 of 23

My Wife - "What were you doing out there, it's been like two hours???"
Me - "I dunno, I just lift till I get tired. It always takes that long..."

I guess my workouts stretch longer than the planned hour. I have fun though! Here's what I did:

Warm Up
Change the garage light bulb (that's been out since winter)

Deadlift w/ Band for Form - 5 x 50k, 70k, 90k, 90k, 90k
Turkish Get Up - 1/1 x 16k, 20k, 24k, 28k (PR), 60lbs
Split Squat - 5/5 x 12k , 16k, 16k, 16k
Renegade Row (11" Foot Elevation) - 5/5 x 16k, 16k, 16k 16k

Conditioning w/ 16k Kettlebells - 1 minute work, 20 seconds rest, done twice
1. Walk with weights Overhead
2. Farmers Walk
3. Rack Walk
4. Farmers Walk

Pinch Barbell - 5 x Empty, 50lbs, 75lbs, 75lbs, 75lbs
2" Vertical Bar - 1/1 x 71, 96, 121, 131, 121, 121, 121, 131, 131

1. I've seen multiple videos of women doing turkish get ups with the 32k or 40k kettlebell, I couldn't stand the though of my PR still being only the 24k kettlebell, so today I finally got the 28k. I am very happy about that. I attribute the PR to motivation, as well as the recent stability focus of my training.

2. Deadlifts and split squats are both rising quickly. The weak muscles in my right hip are getting slaughtered every workout, and it is paying off in a big way. I tried elevating my front foot on the split squats, but I lack a good platform for it. A case of bottled water does not work, btw.

3. I upped the platform height on my renegade rows. It makes a big difference in the difficulty of the exercise. I had to widen my foot placement to compensate and will bring it back in over the next few workouts.

4. Grip was hard after all those farmers walks. I got it done though. V-bar is a fickle beast.

Today I reserved my hotel and train ticket for the grip contest. All I have to do now is show up!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

MGC6 - 05 of 23

Last night I failed to get enough sleep. This morning after mobility work and stretching, I went out to eat instead of lifting. By the time I trained, I was exhausted. I opted to focus on stability and got video:

Click for Video of My Exercises

Deadlifts - 5 x 50k, 70k, 80k, 80k, 80k
Renegade Rows - 6/6 x 16k, 16k, 16k, 16k
Split Squats - 5/5 x BW, 12k, 16k, 16k
Overhead Press - 5 x 45, 65, 85lbs; 4 x 85; 3 x 85

Pinch Barbell - 5 x Empty, 50, 70, 75lbs; 6 x 75lbs
Overhead Lever with 8lbs - 5/5 @ 15", 18", 21"
Static Front Lever with 6lbs - 1/1 @ 15", 17"; Righty @ 20" (fail Lefty)

1. Conditioning work was dropped due to the lack of sleep.

2. Despite my lack of energy, all lifts felt stronger than last time.

3. I will train again on Saturday. It makes more sense given the contest date.

4. I will try elevating my lower foot on the split squats next time.

5. I planned to do another set of levers, but my left wrist started hurting.

Monday, May 5, 2008

MGC6 - 04 of 23

Today's workout was pushed to the afternoon. This week looks like it will be a heavy one for consulting work, which will impact my training times and rest. Here is what I did:

Kettlebell Snatch: 5/5 x 16k, 20k, 24k; 8/8 x 24k, 24k
Front Squat: 5 x 45lbs, 65, 85, 85, 85
Power Clean: 5 x 50k, 50k, 50k; 1 x 55k, 60k, 60k, 60k
Overhead Press: 5 x 45lbs, 65, 75, 75, 75

Conditioning - 1 minute work, 20 seconds rest, done twice
Alternating Lunges, 12k Overhead Lefty
Alternating Lunges, 12k Overhead Righty
Push Up Stability on Medicine Ball
Side Bridges (alternate sides at 30s)

Grippers: 5/5 x T, 1/1 x #1 No Set, 5/5 x #1, BBSA, BBSA (righty) / #1 (lefty)
Block Weights: 5/5 x 25lbs, 27.5lbs, 27.5, 27.5

1. Kettlebell snatches have lost a lot ground from being sick, but are slowly building up.

2. I can feel the previously unused muscles in my right hip firing during front squats. I am not pushing the weight up in order to hang on to that feeling.

3. Power cleans felt good, I still need to learn to do them with proper form.

4. Overhead Press was better than last workout, still waaay down

5. Conditioning work was hard, due to the warm, sunny weather today. I trained in shorts.

6. My left hand is much weaker than the right on grippers. I usually make the reps small to compensate, but it made sense to drop down to the #1 today.

7. I switched from the pinch barbell with a wide grip to block weights. Two handed wide pinching felt like it was going to strain my thumbs, and there are block weights in the medley at the grip contest.

Overall a decent workout. It stretched longer than I expected, but sessions like this on a beautiful spring day are one of the primary benefits of not working full time. I am very happy with my garage gym!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

MGC6 - 03 of 23

Yesterday I decided to push my workout off a day. I felt exhausted and did not think training was smart. Fortunately, last night I got a full 8 hours of sleep and woke up this morning feeling excellent. My training session reflected this:

Warm Up
Walk dog around block (he's back...)
Soft tissue work
Mobility work

Full Body
Deadlifts (band pulling right knee in): 5 x 50k, 70k, 80k, 80k, 80k
Renegade Rows (feet elevated): 6/6 x 16k, 16k, 16k, 16k
Split Squats: 5/5 x BW, 12k, 12k, 12k
Overhead Barbell Press: 5 x 45, 65; 3x85; 4x75, 75

Conditioning Circuit - 60 seconds work plus 20 seconds rest per set, done twice
Rack Walk with 16k's
Farmers Walk with 16k's
Walk with 12k overhead lefty
Walk with 12k overhead righty

Pinch Barbell: 5 x Empty, 50, 70, 70, 70
2" V-bar: 1/1 x 71, 96, 121, 121, 121, 121, 121, 131

Workout Summary
Overall my session went great. The soft tissue and mobility work really helped to activate my weak right hip during the deadlifts and split squats. I intentionally held back on the weight and focused on my form. I think this will pay off in a big way.

Renegade rows felt good as usual. I am surprised how much I have lost on the barbell overhead press. I thought single arm pressing coupled with my stability work would keep it moving up. I was wrong.

I've moved my conditioning work over to time based sets. I really think this is the best way for me to go about things. I am looking for 8 minutes of conditioning work per session. Light weights become very humbling over time.

Grip training is on track for June's contest. I am interested to see where 2" V-bar will end up with 6 more weekly training sessions. With 1" V-bar, I need to train it almost daily to see real progress. I think 2" may be more forgiving.

Job Search Summary
I can rack up a few good progress notes for this week's job search. I did the following:

- Renewed my CPR certification
- Put an offer in on a car
- Bought a printer / scanner
- Created my skills and values lists
- Identified the jobs most closely matched to my skill set
- Found resumes matching my skill set that make me want to hire the author
- Determined my printed resume is vastly flawed and created an outline for fixing it

I have been struggling with making the search a full time effort. I knew my resume had problems, but was not sure why. Now that I have a better idea of what to do with it, I think things will move better.