Saturday, August 30, 2008

Still Recovering

This afternoon I trained but was tired. I did the following:

Warm Up - 10/10 Swings x 12k
Deadlift - 5 x 50k, 70k, 90k, 90k, 90k
One Arm Press - 5/5 x 12k, 16k; 4/4 x 20k, 20k
Box Squats - 5 x BW, 16k, 24k, 32k, 32k, 32k
Kettlebell Snatches - 5 x 16k, 20k, 24k
Vertical Jumps

The vertical jumps were amusing. There is a park about a block from my house with a swing set. The support bar for the swing set is probably 2.5" diameter and about 14" above the tips of my fingers if I reach as high as I can. I was trying to jump up and grab it so I could climb around and stress my grip. Sadly, I have no hops and can just barely brush the bar with my finger tips. Getting ahold of that thing is a short term goal for me.

While my strength is coming back quickly, my endurance continues to wane. Hopefully it returns without cardio.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to Lifting

Today I hit my first training session since getting sick. Nice and light:

Warm Up - 10/10 Swings x 12k
Deadlifts - 5 x 50k, 70k, 80k, 80k, 80k
Kettlebell Press - 5/5 x 12k, 16k, 16k, 16k
Box Squats - 5 x BW, 16k, 24k, 32k, 32k, 32k
Renegade Rows - 5/5 x 16k, 16k, 16k

This took quite a bit out of me, but also felt very good. My mood and appetite have spiked back up to normal levels after just the one workout. Hopefully this lasts through tomorrow.

I plan on training full body, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday for the next few weeks.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Still Sick

My plan for extra rest and accelerated recovery on Wednesday was cut short by CONSTRUCTION ON THE ROOF OF MY TOWNHOUSE!!! Instead of sleeping, I spent my day in the basement hiding from noise. Thursday and Friday I gave up hope of resting during the day and just went to work sick.

Needless to say, I am still not training. As of this afternoon my health is on the upswing, but the earliest I will be lifting is Tuesday. I've been doing my best to eat enough calories and am hovering around 159, but I can visually see the loss of progress. For the past week I've been getting winded while eating, let alone walking across a room.

Hopefully it all comes back quick. I am not looking forward to the soreness that will welcome me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Sunday I went for a four mile walk with my Dad. Towards the end of it my voice was getting extremely hoarse. By Monday morning I could feel a cold coming on, Tuesday at work I was drained, and today I am home sick.

Training while I am sick just prolongs the recovery process, so I will be out of the gym until at least Friday. Hopefully I will be able to do some light lifting by then.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Upper at Home

Another good one at my home gym. I was tired, but it didn't matter:

Warm Up with 12k Kettlebell - 10/10 Swings, 5/5 Presses
Snatches - 5/5 x 16k, 20k, 24k, 24k, 24k
Overhead Press - 5 x 45, 65, 85, 85, 85; 4 x 85
Renegade Rows - 5/5 x 16k, 16k, 16k, 16k
L-sit on Kettlebells - 10s, 10s, 10s
Finger Tip Strengthening

This session is weak compared to what I was doing before I started working again, but felt significantly harder than anything I've done at the 5 Seasons. Training at home motivates me.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lower at HOME

I am back to lifting at home in my garage. The 5 Seasons sucks. At $40 bucks a month I'll keep the membership current for bad weather, but no more suffering through a poor training environment morning after morning.

This afternoon I did the following:

Warm Up - It was hot
Deadlifts - 5 x 60k, 80k, 90k, 90k, 90k
Front Squats - 5 x BW, 12k, 20k, 40k, 50k, 50k

My right glute was cramping up pretty hard at this point, so I decided to call it a day. This is where I belong.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Upper at 5 Seasons

Tired today, but I had no intention of working hard:

Warm Up - 5 Minutes Elliptical
Overhead Press - 5 x 45, 65, 85; 4 x 85, 85, 85
Seated Rows - 5 x 70, 90, 110, 110, 90
Pulldowns - 5 x 50, 55, 60, 60
Ab Board - 10 x BW, BW
Doubles and Singles on BBSA between sets
Foam Roller and Stretch

Sunday's weighted walks definitely impacted today's session, as one might expect. I have no complaints.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lower at 5 Seasons

Muscle soreness and low energy levels had me questioning the wisdom of this morning's session. In the end, habits won out:

Warm Up - 5 Minutes Elliptical
Front Squats - 5 x 45, 65, 95, 95, 95
Deadlifts - 5 x 135, 185, 185, 185
Hanging Knee Raises - 5, 5, 5
45 Degree Back Extensions - 8, 8, 8x10lbs
Foam Roller and Stretch

Working weights were intentionally kept light. I have brought the knee raises in to support my attempts at an L-sit. Twice a week for the next two weeks may let me bridge the gap, as I am very weak on these.

Tomorrow I will do an upper workout at a similar level of intensity. I expect to work harder during the latter half of the week.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Grip and Conditioning

This morning I had an hour to train and motivation:

Warm Up on Grippers and Kettlebell Swings
25lb Block Weight Cleans and Deadlifts between sets of walks
6lb Sledge Overhead Levers at 18-20"
6lb Sledge Front Levers at 10-12"

Weighted walks: Out / Back
16k Overhead / 16k Overhead
16k's Racked / 16k's Farmers
20k Overhead / 20k Overhead
20k's Racked / 20k's Farmers
16k Bottoms Up / 16k Bottoms Up
16k's Overhead / 16k's Overhead

Grip. Stability. Conditioning. Today's session was everything the 5 Seasons is not. I enjoyed it.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Test Day

Saturday my body weight hit 158 as planned. I went for my test day:

1. 1/3 BW Kettlebell Press - Got it, but it felt hard
2. 1/3 BW Bottoms Up Press - Missed it many times, irritating
3. 1/3 BW Double Front Squat - Got it for a double, relatively easy
4. 1/2 BW Snatch - Did not test, decided I was too weak today
5. L-sit - Still cannot do one on the floor, can do it on a pair of kettlebells
6. Pistol - Not even close
7. Handstand - I can kick up there, but promptly lose it

In all, I missed 2 out of my 4 planned goals for the day. The press and squat were anti-climatic, as I have been capable of the weights for a long time. The bottoms up press really ticked me off, as that has been relatively easy in the past. I was looking forward to the snatch, but my strength was waaay down today. I had no business trying to put 80lbs overhead.

The body weight exercises were interesting. I am the lightest I have been since winter of 2001, and am down 90lbs from my peak weight. Still, I missed all three goals. I think the L-sit is relatively close and will come with a few weeks of focused training. The pistol seems as far away as ever. I have no idea how long the handstand will take, but suspect it is a practice rather than strength issue.

Overall I am not terribly pleased with the results of my nutritional approach for the last two weeks. I tanked out last week, got extremely sore, missed workouts, and lost a significant amount of strength.  All of that points to insufficient recovery, which makes me think I need to eat more and cut less aggressively. I dropped 4-5lbs and an inch off my waist in the two week time span. More than 1lb per week is excessive for me at this point.

Rather than throw everything out, I am going to tweak the plan. Here's what worked and what needs to change:

1. The core food plan is solid, I just need more of it. I will add a granola bar to my work food and shift the lettuce I usually eat at work to dinner time, where I can add shredded cheese to it. This should net me an extra 400 calories a day.

2. I am going to continue bringing my own food to our twice weekly work lunches, eating only the free salads. We get the same food from the same four places every week. Sure for free food it's great, but I would never go out to lunch for a vegetable sandwich, chips, and a giant cookie. The key here is to remember my food!

3. A gourmet salad (spring mix, berries, nuts, crumbled cheese, roll) with an iced tea costs 8-10 bucks at most places. I had a mental barrier over the price, but have managed to get over it. Doing so allows me to eat out as frequently as I like, without the negatives for my training goals. I'll keep this one long term, I am sure.

4. The exercises I do at the gym lack balance, and the environment sucks. A blend of kettlebells, barbells, and grip work is just better than barbells alone. The integrity of my joints, my conditioning, my posture, and my intensity have all suffered since I started at the 5 Seasons. The obvious solution is to return to training at home, but it would need to be after work, making compliance much harder. I lack an answer, but the problem is noted.

5. I am going to eat out twice per weekend, instead of once.

I plan to test again on 8/23. My goal is to weigh 158 and hit at least 2 of the 5 tests I missed.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Upper at 5 Seasons

This morning I was well rested and my music enabled a high level of
intensity. My lifts were not any heavier, but it is hard to judge
performance given that I am dropping weight. I did the following:

Warm Up: Elliptical for 5 minutes
Overhead Press: 5 x 45, 75; 4 x 95; 3 x 95, 95, 95
Seated Row: 5 x 70, 100, 110, 110, 110
Pulldown: 8 x 50, 8 x 55, 6 x 55, 55
Incline Dumbell Press: 5 x 35, 45, 50
Turkish Get Up: 2/2 x 40
Foam Roller and Stretch

Overall a fine training session. My nutrition is on track as well.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Last night I made the decision to let our foster cat have free run of
the house. Chaos ensued. At midnight I finally gave in and locked her
up. Given the impending lack of sleep, I opted to push my upper workout
another day to Thursday.

Yesterday's training session has me rather sore today. The weights and
reps are nothing new, so it must be a byproduct of my ongoing caloric

Body weight was 160.1 this morning. 158 is the goal for Saturday.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lower at 5 Seasons

This morning I felt more rested going into my training session. I also brought my mp3 player. It helped. The workout went like this:


Warm Up - 5 Minutes on Elliptical
Front Squats - 5 x 45, 65, 95; 4 x 115; 3 x 115, 115, 115
Deadlifts - 5 x 135, 185, 205, 205
High Step Ups - 5/5 x BW, 15, 20, 20
Ab Board - 10 x BW, BW, BW
Foam Roller and Stretch


The music made a huge difference in my intensity levels, though I am struggling with headphone placement on the front squats. I did not intend to go hard on the deadlifts, it just happened.

Monday, August 4, 2008

False Start

This morning I felt run down but went to the gym anyways. It didn't work. I did a 5 minute warm up, hit my 3 warm up sets on front squats, stretched, and called it a day. I'll push today's session to tomorrow.

The training environment at this club in the morning is very poor. I doubt I would have walked away from the workout anywhere else, even in my home gym. I will try bringing my mp3 player tomorrow, to see if it helps.

My nutrition is moving along just fine. Now that I've established a pattern for the work week, holding it is easy.

Remote Blogging Test

If this appears, I'll start posting my workouts in the morning, via email.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Grip Together

Today I had Mike and Steve over for a grip together. My training went like this:

Warm Up - Assorted swings, snatches, and presses with 12k and 16k kettlebells
Plate Curl - Singles through 20lbs
Block Weights - Lots of singles with 27.5 and 30, attempts with 32.5
Axle Deadlift - 1 x 161, 211

It seems like I should have done more, but I guess not. My body weight was 159.2lbs this morning. The nutritional approach I have chosen is working. I expect to test for a few of my goals next Saturday.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Upper at 5 Seasons

Last night I did not sleep well, despite going to bed on time. Fortunately, my training session was not adversely impacted:

Warm Up - Elliptical for 5 Minutes
Overhead Press - 5 x 45, 75; 4 x 95, 95; 3 x 95, 95
Seated Row - 5 x 70, 90, 110, 110, 110
Pulldown - 5 x 50, 55, 55, 55
Incline Dumbbell Press - 5 x 35, 45; 4 x 55; 5 x 50
Turkish Get Ups - 2/2 x 35lbs

Overall a fine session, with a little new territory in the pressing. Given the poor sleep, I was surprised. Even more confusing is the fact that true hunger has now set in from my restricted diet. I expected that to bring an immediate reduction in strength that has yet to appear.

From here on out, I expect to be hungry all the time. It sucks, but I think it will be effective.