A Top 40 Weightlifting Blog

Thursday, March 30, 2006

AM Speed Squat / Deadlift

Once again I did my work out before work. I was able to get up and to the gym for 0600 hrs. Here is what I did.

Speed Squats - 10 sets 2 reps 225lbs
Speed Deadlifts - 6 sets 1 reps 365lbs
Good Mornings - 6 sets 6 reps 225lbs

It was short and sweet. I only had time for a 45 min work out because I had to wait for the rack. It makes me laugh to see people using the rack that have no idea what they are doing. I could, and should, write a book about all the funny things I've seen in the weight room. Here are some examples.

- This morning the guy in the rack doing squats. He had 95lbs on and was only going to 45 degree leg bend. My 4 year old daughter squats deeper than that.

- A while back I whitnessed a guy doing leg extensions without bending his legs. He stood up in the machine and would throw himself back in the seat with straight legs. I am not exagerating. I had to stop my work out to watch.

- An older gent sat down at the side lateral machine and proceeded to do squats while doing the side lateral movement.

- A guy doing weighted dips loaded up his belt with about 135lbs of weight. I thought "wow this is going to be impressive". He could bearly get up to the starting position. Once he managed to get his arms straight he proceeded to do what I would call "negative shrugs". All the movement was in his shoulders his arms stayed straight the entire time.

I am no expert on technique but some of these exercises are down right dangerous. I'm sure everyone has seen their share of goof balls. If I can get some comments maybe you can share some of your funny expieriences.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

AM Speed Bench

Today I did my work out in the early AM. I managed to get myself organized and made it to the gym for opening at 0600 hrs. I usually don't work out so early but I figured I'd try something new. Here is how things went.

Speed Bench - 10 sets 3 reps 205lbs 55 sec rest
Inclined Dumbbell Press - 3 sets 6 reps 80-100lbs
Dips - 3 sets 6 reps 50lbs assistance
Chin Ups - 4 sets 6 reps 130lbs assistance
Seated Military Press - 3 sets 6 reps 135-155lbs

I am still having problems with my chins. Because of this I do my reps slow and controlled. One day I may be doing my chins with "ME". Speed bench was done with 55 sec rest. At 205lbs I liked the sets with 60 sec rest. Going down to 55 sec makes a huge difference. It's much harder. Dips feel good. I think I'll go up next work out. I had to do seated military press today because the rack was occupied. Seated presses felt great. I didn't miss any reps this work out.


Friday, March 24, 2006

Max Effort Bench

Nothing to say today so lets get to it.

Bike - 10min
Rack Bench Press - worked up to 3 sets 3 reps 275lbs (explosive press)
Flat Bench Dumbbell Press - 3 sets 6 reps 80-100lbs
Close Grip Bench - 4 sets 6 reps 225lbs
Barbell Rows - 4 sets 6 reps 185-245lbs
Seated Dumbbell Press - 3 sets 6 reps 60-80lbs

The only problem I had was durring close grip bench. I failed to make 6 reps on all the sets except the 3rd set. There is nothing like going to failure (Ouch!).


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Speed Squat / Deadlift Day

Yesterday I did my first modified speed squat / deadlift work out. I am finding that these work outs are indeed better. By doing more heavy compound movements I am sure to make quicker gains. Here is how it went.

Bike - 10min

Speed Squats - 10 sets 2 reps 225lbs 60 sec time intervals
Speed Deadlifts - 6 sets 1 rep 365lbs 60 sec time intervals
Good Mornings - 5 sets 6 reps 225lbs
Leg Raises - 4 sets 20 reps
Dumbbell Side Bends - 3 sets 10 reps 45-65lbs

I had to work that night and my obliques were tight and sore. Even today my whole core feels well worked. Obviously I'm working a weak point. I don't have much to say today so I'll end it here.


PS: Here is the link to those articles on Speed Work and Max Effort Work by Westside Barbell.



Saturday, March 18, 2006

Speed Bench Press Day

Friday I did speed bench. I have modified my original work outs to suit what was told to me by my friends regarding powerlifting training. I have removed all cable movements and do mostly heavy compound movements. Here is what I did.

Bike - 10min

Speed Bench - 8 sets 3 reps 205lbs
Inclined Dumbbell Press - 3 sets 6 reps 80-110lbs
Dips - 3 sets 6 reps 90-40lbs assistance
Chin Ups - 4 sets 6 reps 130lbs assistance
Standing Military Press - 3 sets 6 reps 135-145lbs

Durring the Chin ups I was completely spent. I think it was because of the ME squat / deadlift work out the day before. I was only able to do 3 sets and had to do pull downs on my last set. I still managed 8 reps with 195lbs. The work out was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted heavy compound movents that tax what I'm targeting that day. Now I have to work on crafting my other three days. My work is never done.


Friday, March 17, 2006

ME Squat / Deadlift

On Monday I went over to a friends place to work on my good mornings and squat technique. Turns out I going way to deep on my good mornings. I should only be bending to a 45 degree angle instead of the 90 degrees I'm currently going to. My friend is a powerlifting judge and coach. He says that my squats are much better. About 3 months ago I started narrowing my stance. Now I squat 6-8 inches narrower than I used to. I find this helps me to make depth. Durring our training session I worked up to a single at 185kg or 407lbs. This is only 5kgs less than I have competition squated. It felt great, much easier than any squat I have done before over 400lbs.
Today I did max effort squat / deadlift. here is how things went.

Bike - 10min
Good Mornings - Worked up to 3 sets of 3 reps 315lbs
Partial Deadlifts - Singles 405, 495, 585, 675, 705.

I had to keep the work out short because I was really short on time. After my rack pulls I had to check my log history to see what my previous PB rack pull was. I was surprised to see that I pulled 70lbs above my PB. Holy Shit! I can't believe it. 70lbs! Yikes!Obviously I must be doing something right because my strength gains over the last couple of weeks have been scary. Maybe I'll be looking at that 600lbs deadlift sometime this year instead of later on in my life. Sounds good to me.

You're just pretending if the bar ain't bending.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Speed Squat / Deadlift

Yesterday I did speed squats and deadlifts. I'm still having problems with my foot position for squats. My first 3 sets seemed awkward because my stance was way too wide. I used to squat with a wide stance but now I'm finding if I bring my feet in aprox. 6 inches and point my toes more forward it seems to feel more comfortable at the bottom portion of the squat movement. I also find it's easier to "spread the floor". I read about this term from Westside Barbell. It pertains to spreading one's knees at the bottom of the squat in order to make depth. Another informative Westside Barbell article. Here is how the work out went.

Bike - 10min warm up
Squat - 10 sets 2 reps 245lbs (last 2 sets 315lbs)
Deadlifts - 6 sets 1 rep 335lbs
Seated Good Mornings - 5 sets 10 reps 110lbs
Declined Bench Sit Ups - 4 sets 12 reps
Trunk Twists - 3 sets 25 twists 40lbs bar

Cardio - Treadmill Speed Walk 20min

Both the Squats and Deadlifts were done with an explosive upwards motion as speed day is for. I've never done seated good mornings before so the movement seemed awkward. I could really feel how this exercises brings together the hamstrings from the squat and the back from the deadlift. This routine really taxes the whole posterior chain. I also had problems with the declined bench sit ups. On my last set I had a pain shoot though my lower back, signaling me to call it quits for the day. I don't think it's a big problem. I just did too much. I don't like to wear a belt but I guess as my weights go up I should start wearing one. The cardio at the end of the work out was well needed. I'm sure most powerlifters don't like cardio but we could all use a good dose once and a while. My next work out should be Monday. See you then.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Speed Bench

Yesterday was another speed bench day. Seeing as I benched 305lbs last week I decided to go up in weight here is how it went.

Bike - 10min warm up
Bench Press - 8 sets 3 reps 205lbs (explosive press)
Inclined Dumbbell Press - 4 sets 6 reps 80-110lbs (110lbs for 4 reps)
Cable Extensions - 3 sets 10 reps 195lbs (the stack)
Cable Pull Downs - 3 sets 8 reps 160-195lbs (slow and controlled)
Side Laterals - 3 sets 10 reps 20-35lbs

After my work out I had some time to jibber-jabber with some fellow lifters at the gym. It's fun to discuss what we're doing with our training. One of the guys went to Yellow Knife where he won the flour walk. He explained that they have a frame work that they load down with a weighed amount of flour. Then the individual must walk as far as they can with the weight on his / her back. Sounds like fun. My friend walked 50 ft with 585lbs on his back and 20 ft with 620lbs. Not bad for a guy who weighs under 200lbs.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Home Sweet Home

I'm finally back home. After enduring a 36 hour transit from start to finish a couple of days off to recuperate were in order. Today was my first day back in the gym since returning home so I decided to start my new routine over again and start at day one. Max Effort Squat / Deadlift.

Bike - 10min
Good Mornings - Worked up to 3 sets 3 reps 225lbs (about 6 sets total)
Sumo Deadlifts - 5 sets 8 reps 225lbs (explosive pull)
Declined Bench Sit Ups - 4 sets 10 reps
Dumbbell Side Bends - 3 sets 12 reps / side 50-60lbs
Trunk Twists - 2 sets 24 twists 40lbs bar
Elypse Cardio - 15min

All in all a good work out. It's nice to be home. The power rack felt like an old friend and all the weights felt light. There is something to be said for changing one's training. Weather it's the exercises, the number of sets or reps, or something as simple as changing your work out environment. It all helps to make improvements. I can't count the number of different gyms I've worked out in. Each of them gave me something different to make my training better. One of my best experiences was working out at, then, Gold's Gym in London Ont. There was a novice bodybuilder there by the name of Scott Milne. If you know bodybuilding in Canada that name will most certainly ring a bell. To say the guy was huge is an understatement. At about 6'4" he weighed about 300lbs under 15% body fat. He made Gregg Kovacs look small. I was lucky enough to speak regularly with Scott about training and to spot him on his heavy sets. To this day I still get motivation from having seen him lift and the advice he gave me. On the other side of the coin I had a few months in my youth when I worked out with nothing but an iron bar and a dozen or so cinder blocks. It made for some very interesting work outs as you can imagine. So take my advise and take every experience you have in the gym, good or bad, and make it work for your current training.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

305Lbs Bench!!!

Seeing as I am going home tomorrow and I won't be in the gym for a few days I figured that I would stray from my regular work out and try for a new 1RM on the bench. 305lbs for a single! I am sure that this new style of training is a direct result. This lift was totally a legal lift. I took the bar waited, deep breath in. Lowered it till it touched my chest for a pause then blasted it up. The press was slow and steady and felt great. One of the smoothest reps I've ever done. As you can tell this lift really made my day. Here is how the whole work out went.

Bike - 10min warm up
Speed Bench - 4 sets 3 reps 185lbs, 3 reps 225lbs, 1 rep 275lbs, 1 rep 295lbs, 1 rep 305lbs.
Inclined Bench Press - 4 sets 6 reps 205-225lbs
Cable Extensions - 3 sets 10 reps 195-205lbs
Lat Pull Downs - 3 sets 8 reps 180-190lbs
Side Laterals - 2 sets 10 reps 20-30lbs

I found that by doing the lighter weights with an explosive press is giving me the tools I require to attain my goals. Thanks Brock for the encouragement. See you when I get back.


PS: Dear I'm coming home. I'll phone on Thursday night LATE.