Max effort leg day. Had a really long warmup of various things; did a fair amount of the usual such as knee raises, bunny hops, bodyweight squats and lunges, as well as things like side to side lunges, stretch kicks, and various footwork drills. Always barefoot.
Power Cleans: To Max. Hit 155lbs raw, and then 175lbs with belt and chalk. Really surprised and happy about this. 175lbs is pretty respectable, I think. Definitely got me sweatin' real good, and damn if I wasn't feeling it after that 175 rep.
Front Squats: 1x3 @ 135lbs raw, 3x3 @ 155lbs with belt. I'm really sad to say that I felt these. I'm just not a good front squatter. I guess for only having a 175lb front squat max, repping 155 is somewhat acceptable. Still. I was only supposed to do 3x3, but after the first set raw, I felt as if the biggest setback was abdominal tension. So I threw on a belt so I could go heavier to work my quads harder. Afterall, I was only doing front squats as an assistance lift/refresher for back squats.
Deadlifts: 3x1/3x1. Because I've only got 300lbs in olympic weight, I had to get creative. I tossed a bucket on each end of the barbell and put 20lbs (25lbs/bucket for the second 3x1) in each bucket. I then set up two resistance bands. The bands were set up in such a way that their range of motion was shortened, meaning that their total resistance was higher. What it comes down to though is that I basically did deadlifts with progressive resistance. 300lbs at the bottom, 400lbs at the top. Weight was going up pretty easily, although lockout at the very top was a little awkward. Form felt good. No belt, just chalk. I'm really happy about this.
Leg Curls: 3x6 @ 90lbs. Not much to say. I was pleased with myself that I could get these sets/reps at that weight after maxing on power cleans and then hitting some heavy ass deads.
30" Box Jumps: 3x10 @ bodyweight. 30" is an estimation. I was using a landing on my staircase as a "box". I like doing box jumps, these are fun.
All in all, I'm really happy with this session. Hit some heavy ass weight that I didn't know I could hit.
Max effort upperbody. I did a very light warmup, nothing special. I was without a spotter, so I decided that this was as good a time as ever to get in upper body dumbbell work, which I had been neglecting.
DB Shoulder Press: 3x6 @ 40lbs/DB. Had I warmed up, these may've gone easier. That's not to say they were difficult, but they're weren't as smooth as a measly 40lb/DB should be.
DB Incline Bench: 3x6 @ 40lbs/DB. I have sincere issues with incline bench. I don't know why. It's not a form or technique issue, I don't think. I just struggle with it for some reason. None the less, I should've increased the weight or done more reps.
DB Decline Bench: 3x6 @ 40lbs/DB. I've basically never done a Decline Bench and had really kind of been meaning to - then I saw a video by Lee Hayward talking about how to use the decline bench to stimulate more growth in the chest. So that sealed the deal for me, and I decided to hit the decline db bench. This was really fun. Awkward as hell, but fun. The weight was probably appropriate, but maybe next time I'll do it earlier in the session so I can be fresh and increase the weight.
Lat Pullovers: 3x6 @ 46lbs. This was an increase in weight over last week by 10lbs. I kind of enjoy these, but I don't feel them that much in my lats which is disappointing, seeing as how much lat work I could use. I felt a strain in my tricep doing these, not sure if it was actually working the tricep or just that my tri's are tight. I probably won't do these again for a while, I'll just bring them back out when I need to freshen up my routine.
Shoulder Shrugs: 5x5 @ 135lbs. I probably could've increased the weight, but this was still solid. Not much to say. I love shrugs, they're super simple and I'm pretty ok at them.
Hand over Hand Sled Pull: I rigged a rope around an old tire and dragged it. Tire weighs probably 40lbs (-60lbs), filled it with small weights weighing 45lbs total, and then put a 45lb plate on top for a total weight of about 130-150lbs. Because of spacial constraints, I could only pull it about 10ft before I had to move around. So I did 1x40ft, or 4x10ft, depending upon how you look at it. I like this, though. I like using strongman concepts. I felt this functionally in my grip and biceps, as well as back. Only problem was that I started feeling it in my lower back/hamstrings (from having a strong base while pulling), too much so for an upper body day.
All in all, it was a good session. Basically just lots of assistance or complimentary work. Things that I don't normally get in.
Leg Day! I did a fairly long warmup, but was still feeling tight. I'm not happy with being tight like that, but it's something to work on. This session wasn't really planned, I kind of just threw it together as I went and did what felt doable and comfortable. I've taken to always lifting barefoot.
Back Squat: 4x5 @ 185lbs. This was supposed to be a 5x5 but I got lazy. Depth was decent - about parallel exact. Nothing much to report, it just was what it was.
Zercher Squat: My legs already being warmed up, I decided to skip warmup/leadup sets and just start hitting it heavy. Did maybe one or two reps at around 200, then hit 255lbs as a max rep. My legs could've handled higher, but my arms really couldn't. Not being happy with the impact on my legs (even though that was a 10lb PR for Zerchers), I decided to switch back to back squats...
Back Squat: I hit one rep at 205lbs, which I had hit before. My previous one rep max being, I believe, 210lbs. I then tossed on some more weight and hit one rep at 225lbs. The 225lb rep felt smoother than the 205lb rep, so I wish I had kept going. But I stopped there, being content with a 15lb PR. I am now officially able to one rep max my bodyweight, which makes me happy. Just wish I had tried for heavier.
Deadlifts: 5x3 @ 295lbs. The first three sets were at a traditional mixed grip (right over, left under). Fourth set I did overhand. Fifth set I did opposite mixed (left over, right under). Just trying to mix things up and work my grip a little differently. These felt ok. As I recall, no belt, just chalk.
I was just really feeling lazy and kind of sick, so while I should've worked it harder and with more intensity, I called it there. I'm happy with my PRs on squats, unhappy with lack of completion of sets/reps.
Flat Bench. Worked to max. Hit 195lbs, and made a failed attempt at 205lbs. Have to wonder if I could've tossed on the two and a half plates and joined the 200 club. Or if I could've skipped the 195 rep and made a straight jump to 205. Ah, well. Probably just dreaming. I'm happy setting a 10lb PR, for now.
Dumbbell Incline Bench Press. 2x6, 1x2. 40lbs/DB on the first set. 50lbs/DB on the second set. 60lbs/DB on the last set. I can live with that. I did just finish a max flat bench run, so it's cool. I really just wanted to get in some dumbbell work, and why not get it in on an incline bench.
Barbell Bicep Curls. 3x10 @ 65lbs. Measly weight, but it's whatever. I'm not really into having big biceps, but I won't risk muscle imbalance again, so if I'm going to keep working my triceps, I got to do my biceps. Not to mention, bicep strength has its own benefits.
Skullcrushers. 3x10 @ 56lbs. Used my tricep bar. Pretty good. I think I might've actually missed the last rep of the last set, but I can't quite remember. This is up from last week, where I did 36lbs on the first set before doing 56 on the second and third.
I-don't-know-its-name. 3x10 @ 36lbs. Basically like sewer caps while laying on the bench. Hits the lats, and I felt it in the rear delt. Felt it in the triceps too, but I think that was tightness not actual muscle activation, but I don't know for sure. Really cool. Will be doing these again. My lats need serious work.
Close Grip Bench. 1x10, 1x15. 76lbs. I just wanted to burn out on something to make sure I fully emptied my tank. I feel I can safely say that I did.
I began with some stretching, general stuff like toe touches and butterflys. I moved into some low jumps and hopping, as well as bodyweight squats and lunges. I did some "stretch kicks", and some "forced" stretches. All lifts were done barefoot and without wraps.
Good Mornings. Taking a page out of the Westside book, I decided to do Good Mornings as my first lift of the session, and do them to max, really working that posterior chain. I don't remember all the weights/rep I did, but I hit 175lbs once, 200lbs once, and then failed at a second 200lb attempt. Very pleased with a 200lb good morning. I did these off pins. I tossed a belt on for the 200 rep(s).
Standing Calf Raises. 3x12 @ 135lbs. I feel like I need to decide if I want to jack up the weight and do these explosively, or keep the weight low and do them slowly to focus on the muscle contraction. Right now I'm somewhere in between.
Squats.a) I failed on squats, repeatedly. I don't know what it was, but I just couldn't for the life of me hit any decent weight. I definitely recognized that the biggest problem was flexibility. I was able to -almost- hit parallel, but I normally hit parallel with ease and then blow past it. But everytime I even got near parallel I felt like I was going to split myself in half. My warmup was solid, and I had done a session earlier in the day of purely stretching. I'm not sure what weight/reps I hit when and how, exactly, but I'll take a crack at it. I hit maybe one set of back squats followed by another (but incomplete) set of back squats at MAYBE a measly 135lb or so. Hit a short set of front squats (1x6, anyone?) at I believe 135lb. I tossed the bar on lower pins and tried to hit some zerchers, but my first attempt didn't even see a squat. I took the bar off the pins and it felt heavy on my arms, and painful on my joints, so I racked it. Tossed some nylon joint sleeves over my elbows and made another attempt, getting maybe a couple reps before bailing for fear of tearing a muscle (inflexibility, like I said). No gear.
Squats. b) Finally feeling that good form squats weren't going to happen, I decided to go for partials. I ramped up the weight to 205lb. Hit maybe one set of 8 at that weight, stopping just a bit above parallel. I then upped the weight to 255lbs, hit a set of 8-10 stopping about halfway to parallel. Finally, bumped it to 295lbs, and just did a set of slight bends, basically just getting under it and taking it off the pins and repeating that. When I started burning out, I started just doing iso holds, standing there with 295 on my shoulders. Felt like part of my problem with back squatting is that I have trouble keeping tight throughout the lift, so I thought (and I think so now, after doing it) that doing the bar holds helped me to kind of get use to having the bar on my shoulders while still trying to keep tight. No gear.
Deadlifts. Hit two sets of five reps at 295lbs. Just wanted to keep my lower back fresh and burn out my hamstrings a bit. Decent little lift. Maybe should've gone for a third set, but I was feeling kind of sick. No regrets. Used a belt for both sets. Used straps on the second set (much to my dismay).