July 2003 archives

July 1, 2003

Captains of Crush arrive

Filed under: General

Ordered my Captains of Crush grippers directly from the US manufacturer Ironmind on 21 June. Today they suddenly broke into my flat via the mail box.

As you might know, I live in Finland. Therefore it was natural to first check the Finnish powerlifting web store Voimaharjoittelu.net, where they sell for 29 euros/33 dollars a piece. As they were out of the number ones, I also looked at the Swedish lifting mag B&K Sports Magazine webshop. They had all of them in stock, but at a price of 398 SEK/43 euro/49 dollars! What a rip-off! Not surprisingly, I settled for the 19.95 dollars/17 euro ones directly from Ironmind.

The States are still cheap for us Europeans; complete with air mail shipping a trainer and number one gripper cost me a total of 56.90 dollars/50 euro, which is 18 dollars/16 euro cheaper than Voimaharjoittelu.net. I do admire the latter site though, for keeping the prices very decent and not shamelessly ripping everyone off like B&K webshop seems to. If they had the number one in stock I would not have hesitated to support them as they sell some darn good equipment.

Plan to start on the grippers tomorrow. Hopefully they will help me hold on to those pulldowns and deadlifts!

More reading material

The final installment of Tate’s The eight keys is out. A great summary with stuff on GPP and recovery. In light of the example routines given it seems like, contrary to my earlier impression, that Tate does not recommend doing speed deadlifts every DE Squat/Dead workout.

July 2, 2003

‘Powersmith’ floor presses plus deadlift video analysis

Filed under: Workouts

Watched Monday’s taped deadlift session. The reps did indeed look pretty much like stiff-legs owing to my adductor soreness; by the time the bar was halfway up my shin my legs had already finished their push and the lift from there was strictly lower back. Might go for another deadlift session next week to see what happens when I don’t have sore legs.

As I’m still waiting for a proper power rack I opted for doing floor presses in the powersmith. With a powersmith I am referring to a smith machine that has a bar that can also move sideways since the pipes along which the bar travels are also on a pipe at the top and the bottom. Consequently, it does not lock you into the straight up-and-down plane of motion a normal smith does. Hope you understand what I’m getting at; please e-mail me if you know the proper name for this kind of smith.

I don’t know how much the empty bar in the powersmith weighs. I guestimated it at 35 kg/77 lbs since it is basically a normal bar with heavy duty attachments that attaches it to the pipes. I guess it could also be 5 kg/11 lbs lighter or heavier. On the last set with 95 kg/210 lbs my training partner had his fingers on the bar, which might have contributed slightly. He is my training partner in the sense that we train together although using completely different routines (he bodybuilds, I powerlift); if he needs assistance with his sets I help him out and vice versa. It is indeed good to have a spotter handy and someone who can give instant feedback on my form. Not to mention someone who owns a video camera…

Once I got to the inclines I felt like breaking the mold a little and do a little heavier inclines to test my strength. After doing a triple with 70 kg/155 lbs I switched to singles. Got 75 kg, which is decent for me, although still a little short of my bodybuilding best.

Did a first short session on the Captains of Crush grippers I received yesterday. Cranked out as many as I got with the Trainer (45 kg/100 lb), next time I’ll see how many I get with the number one. Great grippers, with great handles.

ME Bench, 2 July 2003

Powersmith floor press *:
3 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
3 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
3 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
1 @ 75 kg/166 lbs
1 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
1 @ 85 kg/188 lbs
1 @ 90 kg/199 lbs (possibly slight assistance)

Incline bench, 30 degrees:
3 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
3 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
3 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
1 @ 75 kg/166 lbs
0 @ 77.5 kg/171 lbs

T-bar rows, chest supported: 4x7 @ 55 kg/122 lbs
Teca Side-delt machine: 2x8 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
Lying One-handed French press (aka extensions): 2x6 @ 16 kg/35 lbs
Captains of Crush gripper:
right: 19 @ Trainer (45 kg/100 lbs)
left: 17 @ Trainer

Total training time: 59 min

* Powersmith weights corrected to proper weight (30 kg bar)

July 4, 2003

DE Squat/Dead

Filed under: Workouts

Think I set the box height correctly this time. Will need to start carrying a measuring tape to make sure the height is indeed consistent and at the height I state in this blog. I sure miss my own 13 inch box.

DE Squat/Deadlift, 4 July 2003

Speed box squat, 13″: 8x2 @ 65 kg/144 lbs
Speed deadlift: 8x1 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
Lying Cable Leg Raise: 10,10,8 @ 10 kg/22 lbs
Kneeling Cable Crunch: 3x15 @ 75 kg/166 lbs

Total training time: 46 min

July 6, 2003

Close-grip inclines and face pulls

Filed under: Workouts

Tried close-grip inclines for the first time (i.e. with elbows tucked in). Used a fairly steep incline and felt a little weak, but a nice exercise it is.

Another first timer was face pulls. Did them in a lat pulley sitting down on the floor (on a step board actually, as the weights hit the top otherwise).

DE Bench, 6 July 2003

Speed bench; close, medium, wide: 9x3 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
Incline close-grip bench:
3 @ 65 kg/144 lbs
2x5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
Reverse-grip pulldowns: 4x10 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
Face pulls, sitting: 2x10 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
Seated upright L-flyes (elbow on bench): 2x12 @ 10 kg/22 lbs
Standing barbell curls: 3x6 @ 45 kg/100 lbs

Total training time: 68 min

July 7, 2003

Another go at deadlifts

Filed under: Workouts

Set out to improve last week’s 130 kg/287 lbs deadlift. My legs were in much better shape today and it didn’t hurt to squat down deep enough (i.e. legs slightly above parallel with the floor). Managed to pull 135 kg/298 lbs without straps to full lockout (no belt or other gear as usual). Still 15 kg/33 lbs short of my best ever dead, but I am getting there.

Like last week, I spent a little too much time fiddling with the deadlifts and ended up getting in a hurry. When I failed to produce a good setup for reverse-hypers using whatever straps I could find lying around I settled for a single set of pull-throughs. Still, 70 minutes is pushing it. No calves today either.

Now for the punch line: a nice video of Matt Smith deadlifting 825 lbs/373 kg conventional style with picture perfect form (my eyes) at the IPA Nationals in Columbus, Ohio 17 November 2001 courtesy of Monster Muscle.

ME Squat/Deadlift, 7 July 2003

5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
3 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
3 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
3 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
1 @ 110 kg/243 lbs
1 @ 120 kg/265 lbs
1 @ 130 kg/287 lbs
1 @ 135 kg/298 lbs
0 @ 140 kg/309 lbs

Stiff-legged deadlift (bar to toes): 2x8 @ 105 kg/232 lbs
Lying Cable Leg Raise: 12,12,10 @ 10 kg/22 lbs
Pull-through: 15 @ 65 kg
Captains of Crush gripper:
right: 8,5 @ I, 11 @ Trainer
left: 5,4 @ I, 9 @ Trainer

Total training time: 70 min

July 9, 2003

Man leaves for China with grippers after experiencing foggy workout

Filed under: Workouts

I had only slept three hours before this workout and felt a little foggy; after good gains in the Powersmith floor press the rest of the workout was nothing to write home about (naturally, the web is another story…).

The lack of sleep is explained by a lot of things that had to be done before leaving for China tomorrow. From a lifting standpoint it is a little sad to have to cut this cycle short as I was just getting up to speed with Westside, but a sinologist has to do what a sinologist has to do. No complaints there! The grand scheme is to take this opportunity to work the grippers hard for a month to improve ye olde grip, and possibly catch a workout or two with the locals. It might take up to a month for the next installment, until then, I bid you zaijian!

ME Bench, 9 July 2003

Powersmith Floor Press *:
3 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
3 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
3 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
2 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
1 @ 92.5 kg/204 lbs (ass off floor)

Dumbell Press: 5,3 @ 30 kg/66 lbs
T-bar rows, chest supported: 8,7,7 @ 55 kg/122 lbs
Seated Side Delt Flyes: 15,12 @ 14 kg/31 lbs
Lying One-handed French Press: 12 @ 14 kg/31 lbs

Total training time: 38 min

* Powersmith weights corrected to proper weight (30 kg bar)