whistle's training log

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by whistledixie, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. whistledixie

    whistledixie New Member


    Warm up: power clean w/empty bar, warm up sets of back squat

    Back Squat - 150# x5, 160# x3, 170# x3, 180# x1, 190# x3
    Good Morning - 65# x5, 75# x3, 85# x3
    Front Squat - 85# x5, 95# x3, 100# x3

    Hack Squat - 95# x8, x8, x8
    Burpee Pullup - BW x10, x10, x10

    Cooldown - static holds & stretches

    Don't know whether to consider this a stalemate or a gain. I felt super weak on squats after the flu and have struggled with them every session. Today I hit my previous 3RM, so I'd say I either didn't make any progress or I gained back what I lost from the flu.

    Burpee pullups... that was apparently my reward for the pullup/dip competition the other day. It's not that they were hard, but they had my heart rate maxed out. I was sweating like a pig today.
  2. whistledixie

    whistledixie New Member

    Yesterday - April 10:

    Warm up: shoulder rotations, pushups, 65# power cleans

    Incline DB Press - 90# x10; 100# x8, x8; 90# x15
    DB Row - 100# x10; 120# x8, x8; 110# x25
    DB Curl - 60# x8, x8; 50# x8
    Explosive Pushup - BW x8, x8, x8
    Upright Row - 70# x8, x8
    Cable Row - 120# x8, x8
    Knees-to-elbows - BW x10, x10, x10

    (all DB weights totalled)

    Cooldown - testing strength w/floor press, 10 min walk

    Good session, I was smoked.
  3. whistledixie

    whistledixie New Member

    Yesterday, April 11:

    Warm up: mobility stretching, 5 min bike sprint, warm up sets of DL

    Deadlift - 185# x5; 200# x3; 220# x2; 240# x1; 240# x5!!!
    DB Split Squat - 70# x8, x8, x8
    Suitcase DL - 130# x8, x8, x8
    Hammerstrength Shrug - 180# x15
    Machine Crunches - 80# x15, x15, x15

    Cooldown - hook grip practice on 95# DL, empty bar cleans, 1 mile uphill walks

    I was excited to see what I could do with deadlifts. 240lbs for 5 means my estimated 1RM is 270 - a 20lb increase in just a month!

    Hook grip practice was a b!tch. I don't know how long its gonna take to get used to it but I'm supposed to practice between now and next week because we have to use hook grip on certain lifts from here on out. Hope it doesn't screw with my drumming.
  4. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Nice Dead Lifting Dix! Are you scheduled to test your maxes any time soon or is that not part of the program?
  5. whistledixie

    whistledixie New Member

    I guess it could change, but I'm under the impression we're doing something different for the next phase and then the final phase will be similar to what we just completed, but with olympic lifts and pushing for some new PBs on the BIG 4 compounds.

    I just got my plan for the next phase and it has me doing box squats instead of regular squats, floor press instead of bench press, and it calls for lighter load clean, snatch, and top to bottom deadlifts with a hook grip - The hook grip stuff will be lighter this phase so I can get used to the grip and work on lifting explosively. The box squats and floor press is supposed to help me with sticking points on my squat and bench.

    The past 4 weeks we've all been doing the same stuff - but this next phase is designed particularly for the individual to help overcome weak links.

    I have to assume that the assistance work will be tested in the final phase or else we wouldn't know if it helped. Coach knows my goals and getting my squat and dead numbers up were a priori - so I bet we'll be hitting them again hard in the final weeks.
  6. whistledixie

    whistledixie New Member

    This week is 'active rest'. No programmed stuff. The prescription is to do 'stuff we don't normally do' - fitness-related (obv).

    I had a hard time making up my mind on what I might do. I thought about doing some long distance biking, which I may still do, maybe run a 5k just to see where I am right now, maybe even do the Fight Gone Bad CrossFit circuit to see if I can fare better than I did last year.

    A couple of those might still be in the cards, but this morning I took a huge step outside of my comfort zone and attended an aerobics class! My coworker does this all the time and she loves it. It was called Total Body Bootcamp and boy was it interesting! It didn't exactly win me, there was a whole lot of stepping side to side and imaginary rope skipping, and strange balancing movements that seemed visually like they might hit the core hard, but I didn't feel anything.

    What I did like was the resistance band exercises. Those and the air squats and lunges and pushups were pretty intense at times because the instructor just made up keep going and going on them until we hit like 50+ reps each.

    And the warm up was pretty killer. Wish I could devote the time to really warm up like that every session.

    I guess it did something because I was sweaty at the end - 52 minutes of non stop movement will do that, I reckon.
  7. whistledixie

    whistledixie New Member

    Saturday I went to the gym and messed around with cleans and snatches with the hook grip. I had a bit of an epiphany with the hook grip when coach told me its not about squeezing/crushing your thumb against the bar, but rather using your thumb and the palm of the hand to squeeze the bar, then wrapping your fingers over. I read some stuff online that seemed to suggest the grip was all about crushing your thumb and getting numb to the pain was part of developing that grip. Big shocker that the internet was a poor source of info on weightlifting technique. :-/

    I worked on some lifts to see what I could do. I also did some circuit workout called "Spartacus", so named because of the Showtime series. It was in Men's Health and my bro was talking about it a lot so I tried it out. It was intense, as long as you go as hard as you can. In my opinion it was too long a circuit. The whole thing takes over 45 minutes to complete. It is 10 stations and you use DBs for the whole thing. I can't remember all the movements, but it had goblet squats, pushup rows, split squat jumps, push presses, rows among others. I was pretty smoked after 1 round and it is 3 rounds total. The 3rd round was pretty pathetic. I just don't like metcon stuff that lasts over 20 minutes. I can go balls to the wall for about 15 or 20 minutes, but that's about it.

    Then I biked the Silver Comet Trail on yesterday, Sunday. I went about 48 miles total. It was a really nice day after lunch.

    Starting the next phase of my program on Tuesday. A week off was too long.
  8. OzMullet

    OzMullet New Member

    whats on for next week? please tell me you gonna hit the weights again and bulk? i'm gonna do my SD next week then start another round of HST. we should have a contest!
  9. whistledixie

    whistledixie New Member

    Oh boy, I love a challenge! Too bad I'm still knee deep in this Olympic Lifting program. Next week we're starting the 2nd phase and focusing on speed work, like Power Cleans and Power Snatch. I don't know if I'm going to be looking to bulk again until after I run my community 5K this fall. I'm potentially retiring from road races after this one so I want to hit a big PB.

    Enjoy your SD and happy birthday to ya, young fella!
  10. OzMullet

    OzMullet New Member

    ok no worries, well keep it in mind anyway. thanks for the birthday wishes, although not that young!
  11. whistledixie

    whistledixie New Member

    Yesterday, April 19:

    Warm up: shoulder rotations, loaded stretch, warm up sets of incline bench and bent over BB row

    Incline BB Bench - 85# x5; 95# x5; 110# x10; 110# x6
    Bent Over BB Row - 100# x1; 85# x10, x10, x10
    Close Grip BP - 80# x10, x10, x10; 65# x25
    BB Curls - 50# x10, x10, x10

    Cooldown: 25# weighted shoulder rotations; bicycle kicks; 2 mile walk

    I didn't care for the Pendlay rows programmed, so I opted to just do regular bent over bb rows. Coach said I was still doing the pendlay row movement except I wasn't setting the bar down every rep so he's cool with the modification. I felt like the hips were playing too much with the Pendlay. He wants me to focus on the final 1 - 2 inches of ROM and make sure I kind of shrug it back to my chest so my shoulder blades come together. That's what I feel most right now, actually - so it must've worked.

    We were instructed not to count reps, but to just focus on the controlled, moderately slow eccentric/explosive concentric movement. He's big on autoregulation. And he believes counting reps compromises the quality of the reps. If you are just trying to get to 10 reps, but the weight feels heavy you'll speed up the tempo (knowingly or not) to try and make the set number. So, my partner counted reps while I lifted and vice versa - but I couldn't help counting my own anyways for some reason.

    All the loads were for the session were very manageable. I still felt like I worked out, my heartrate was up and I was sweaty, but I look forward to this day next week when I get under a little heavier weight. :)
  12. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    I agree with your coach that counting reps can have a huge effect on their quality. That’s why I find doing M-Time reps so productive since each rep is done by itself. Now that I’m doing Myo-reps I’ve found that taking 2 and a half deep breaths as I lower the weight gives me the same amount eccentric time on each rep w/o having to think about the actually speed of the bar. I’ve caught myself occasionally speeding up my breaths but that’s easy to notice and correct. Another thing I found to watch for is speeding up the hard part of the eccentric movement while slowing down the easy part. Rep time works out right but it’s still a cheat to make the rep easier.
  13. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Reading your post(s) got me thinking: does counting reps really pose that much of a problem? People have been doing so successfully for quite a while now. ;)

    How about this as a solution to worrying about cadence/tempo issues: go as fast as you can while maintaining good form! :)

    When the load is heavy you just can't move as quickly; when it's lighter you can go faster. TUT per rep will gradually increase as the loads get heavier. This tends to be a good thing, especially if you can't do as many total reps when the loads are heavy. Personally, I'd rather lift a light weight more quickly to increase my power output and to help me get used to training explosively. If you are concerned about relying on too much stretch-reflex from faster reps (why?) then include a pause at the turnaround point. Even one second works really well.

    Making a rep seem easier—assuming we are using the same load and ROM—has to be a good thing, doesn't it? It means you are being more efficient in your lifting and will, therefore, be able to do more work. It will also allow you to move higher loads. Back in the 80's it was all the rage to use techniques to attempt to make a light load 'feel' heavy, with the mistaken view that this was as effective as using a load which was actually heavy.

    I'm not convinced that breathing while lowering a heavy weight is a good idea. You often need to take—and hold—a deep breath for maximum torso stability during a heavy rep. Eg. If I was to try to breath during the eccentric portion of a bench press or squat I would totally lose my core stability and tightness and probably fail the rep.

    Like to know your thoughts on this.
  14. whistledixie

    whistledixie New Member

    Well stated, as always Lol - I definitely see your point.

    I think the overall concept is not only to teach us how to go from very controlled to very explosive movement and/or vice versa so we can apply that later on in the oly-lifts - but also to make us focus on the movement of our body rather than external factors such as reps and sets.

    The class is called Strength/Core Conditioning & O-Lift Intro, but it is really sort of a novice program and I'm actually the strongest in the bunch = everyone else is really green. We are covering a lot of training philosophies, principles, theories, etc. in our discussions. We haven't been taught to ignore rep counting as a hard and fast rule. In fact, the programming has rep ranges listed for every workout.

    I think yesterday was an exercise in a particular strategy for overcoming mental interference like counting seconds or counting reps or thinking about pretty much anything other than the movement.
  15. whistledixie

    whistledixie New Member

    Well, I usually don't post my sessions until the next morning because I like to stay off the computer in the evenings and just chill with my family, but I thought I'd post Coach's response to Lol's post from earlier today while the topic is still hot. I don't like putting words in anyone's mouth, so I asked him what he would say in response.

    He said I was pretty true to his thoughts on the subject and I was heading the right direction, but he added that the main reason he wanted us to ignore the reps and sets and just focus on the movement is because at least a couple of the lifts are new to us. He deliberately sought out unfamiliar (to us) movements that fit with the overall goals of this phase of the program. And its true, I've never done barbell rows, box squats, floor presses, barbell incline press, rarely do chinups or close grip bench (not to mention snatch and cleans).

    He reminded me that the same 'ignore the reps' sort of approach was taken the 1st week of class and I think I even mentioned something about it in this log - for the same reasons, to keep us focused on form and how the movement feels.

    He said that he goes by feel when he trains, doesn't count reps, and only really knows his approximate 1RM on most lifts (not his 5RM, 10RM, etc) and thinks that linear progression works well for beginners up to early intermediate stages, but that the conjugate method is best for more advanced trainees. I don't know enough to argue for or against the conjugate method, so I'll leave that one alone.

    Anywho - today's session:

    Warm up: Complex - 8 reps each w/empty bar of hang clean, front squat, push press, back squat, behind the neck press, sldl

    Low Box Squat - 115# x2 (8 sets)
    Front Squat - 95# x5, 105# x3, 110# x3
    Hack Squat - 125# x3, x3, x3
    Hyperextensions - BW x10, x10

    I didn't think this was going to make me sweat as much as I did. The low box squats weren't 'hard', but I've got a feeling I'm going to be sore from them.
  16. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Note that I’m not advocating a particular way to do reps for everyone but I think some things work better for different people also depending on their goals. The rep cadence I’m using now, explosive concentric slow (2-3 sec) eccentric, is what I read as recommended for Myo-reps.
    That would be my normal tempo if doing straight sets/reps. However, some research has shown the negative portion of the rep can contribute more to hypertrophy AFAIK others have not. Alternatively some have shown that doing just the concentric, like pushing a sled, can help build strength while minimizing fatigue by allowing more volume. One of the reasons I stuck with the suggested Myo-rep tempo was simply to give it a try and see if I feel it makes a difference for me.

    You may only have been talking about standard reps/set but another time where one would follow a different rep cadence might be Peak Contraction Exercises which I’ve read are done with a very slow concentric and fast eccentric. Though, these are clearly a special case.

    I prefer not to hold my breath while doing core lifts, a break with conventional wisdom, because of a personal experience while doing high rep Squats on a nautilus machine. I was doing the normal breath holding during and breathing between reps when I passed out. Luckily I wasn’t using barbells. Our Rugby coach suggested I stop holding my breath but inhale on the eccentric and exhale through pursed lips on the concentric. So that’s what I’ve done ever since then. I will admit that on occasion I’ve caught myself holding my breath through the sticking point on a heavy 1RM Squat. I realize experience isn’t scientific just anecdotal but I don’t think I’ve ever had any core stability problems from not holding my breath. Just a slight loss of max strength on the Squat but, no other lift that I have noticed.

    I think rep counting is fine for a disciplined somewhat experience lifter. However, I think many if not most people get caught up on getting their target reps and sets and in doing so compromise their technique to reach that goal. I think by not counting reps it might help people learn to focus on each rep and not the whole set(s). Similarly when I run I never carry a watch unless I have to be done at a certain time. I picked that up from a statement by Paavo Nurmi, a Finish long distance runner who said he never timed his runs because his body told him how fast it could run at any particular time. I find I run much better by listening to my body rather than what a clock is telling me I should be doing.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  17. whistledixie

    whistledixie New Member


    Warm up: shoulder dislocates; kneeling snatch practice w/pvc pipe; behind the neck press to overhead squat w/empty bar

    Hang Snatch - 65#, 75# x? (did quiite a few reps overall, but didn't keep count)
    Push Press - 85# x10, x10

    Floor Press - 95# x5; 125# x5, x5; 95# x20
    Chinup - BW x5, x5, x5, x5, x15

    Dip - BW x10, x10, x10


    Had a hard time today.
  18. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    Yep - you're going to have that when you're learning the Olympic lifts. They are very hard to master - but make no mistake, once you do, they pay HUGE dividends in your conventional lifts.

    Keep on keepin' on, dub-d.
  19. whistledixie

    whistledixie New Member

    Yesterday, April 24:

    Warm up: jump shrugs & air squats (w/elbows up, front rack position)

    Hang Clean - 85#, 95#, 105# (worked my way up as I exhibited good form, don't know rep count - all singles)

    DB Swing - 35# x20, x20

    Deadlift (top-to-bottom, hook grip) - 110# x5; 135# x5; 155# x3; 165# x3; 175# x9
    Superset w/:
    Burpee pullup - BW x5, x3, x9

    Cooldown: Reverse hyper; toes-to-bar slow controlled raising and lowering w/straight legs together, toes pointed

    Didn't have time the other day to elaborate, but I had a really hard time with the snatch. I wasn't allowed to add any weight after the first few (rightly so, I guess) because I never again hit it right. It wasn't a flexibility issue or strength, I think it was mental - the reps where I looked better were the ones where I just threw it without thinking. When I would think about it, I wouldn't put the bar back far enough and would stumble forward - completely unstable. I worked on it more at home that evening and think I'll do better next session.

    I did great with the cleans, though. I guess I have more experience with them. Before I made my homemade squat stands, I used to have to clean the bar to do squats and overhead presses. I'm sure I'll be able to clean >135# this phase, which is pretty sweet for me.

    The hook grip is gettting easier, as long as the weight isn't too heavy. The deadlift stuff was hard on my grip - the weight wasn't a problem. I could only get 9 reps on that last set before my grip was fried.
  20. whistledixie

    whistledixie New Member

    Yesterday, April 26:

    Warm up: shoulder rotations; handstand practice; warm up sets of incline bench and row

    Incline Bench Press - 105# x5, 115# x5, x8, x6
    Bent Over BB Row - 95# x10, x10, x10, x6
    Close Grip Bench Press - 85# x10, x10, x16, x6
    Barbell Curl - 55# x10, x10, x10

    Cooldown - superset: 3 sets of 10 - weighted shoulder rotations, jack knives; 2 mile walk

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