November 2003 archives

November 2, 2003

Protein powder in a misty locker

Filed under: Workouts

Tired today with sore triceps to boot. The speed bench went quite well and felt fast, but the triceps dropped their payload on the stability ball benches resulting in non-explosive repping. Last week I did rope pulls (aka face pulls) seated, today standing in front of a lat pulldown. Had to brace myself with one foot on the seat to get enough staying power, lest I pull my face to the floor instead of the rope to the face… Apparently I need more fat around my waist so I can go heavy on these. Better start a 7000 kcal/day eating binge. “Hey, why are you suddenly so fat?”, people will ask me. “Why, because I need to pull heavy weights on the standing rope pull”. I think I will start with eating a grapefruit.

Got myself a locker at gym after getting tired of constantly forgetting my shampoo at home. Not only is my hair guaranteed to be shiny stepping out of the gym, but I also have a nice supply of protein powder, maltodextrin and a shaker to cover post-workout nutrition. Add in the grippers and the training shoes, and one cannot but roll one’s eyes in amazement over why I would slug all this equipment around four times a week via work. Well, I won’t anymore. Defiant to the core… as long as I can remember to bring clean underwear every day.

DE Bench, 2 November 2003

Speed bench; wide, medium, close: 9x3 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
Stability ball dumbell bench: 9,9 @ 28 kg/62 lbs
Pulldown, close-grip: 4x9 @ 95 kg/210 lbs
Seated dumbell power clean: 2x14 @ 8 kg/18 lbs
Standing rope pull: 2x10 @ 35 kg/66 lbs
Incline hammer curl: 7,6,6 @ 18 kg/40 lbs

Total training time: 55 min

November 3, 2003

Hey ho, up the deadlift go

Filed under: Workouts

Still had a stiff lower back, but since last Monday’s low box max workout went so well I decided to add deadlifts to the show. It has been a long while since I set my previous 140 kg/309 lbs max in mid-September. With the lower back starting to hassle me shortly thereafter, I have not been able to put in a lot of effort towards building up my deads since. Although I would have hoped to pull more I got to be satisfied with a new 145 kg/320 lbs max. No problem with the grip, but I lacked explosivity and rounded my back. I need to look into pulling the shoulders back and such to ensure that my back doesn’t go round and implodes or something.

Added 20 kg/44 lbs on the kneeling squat from last week for the same 10 reps. Needless to say, the hips are much fresher after deads than after low box squats…

Today we are changing our futon mattress back to an old softer one to see if that could have any bearing on my condition as manipulating training variables such as rest and reverse-hypers have not produced much effect.

ME Squat/Deadlift, 3 November 2003

2x8 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
3 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
3 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
3 @ 110 kg/243 lbs
1 @ 120 kg/265 lbs
1 @ 130 kg/287 lbs
1 @ 140 kg/309 lbs
1 @ 145 kg/320 lbs

Kneeling squat:
12 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
10 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
10 @ 120 kg/265 lbs
10 @ 130 kg/287 lbs

Spread-eagle sit-up: 12,12,8 @ 5 kg/11 lbs

Total training time: 50 min

November 5, 2003

Sailing in the power rack

Filed under: Workouts

This week the squatter finished his sets before I got to the rack; no need to take refuge in the powersmith today. After pyramiding up on rack lockouts (aka pin presses) my previous 120 kg/265 lbs max sailed up quite smoothly. To tell you the truth, I was only in the gym today for a 130 kg/287 lbs max and saw little point in doing 125 kg/276 lbs which I knew was a sure bet at this point. I laid down under the 130 kg bar and started pushing like crazy. At first nothing happened, then I felt the bar bending slightly and then suddenly lift-off. Slowly, slowly, ever so slowly, I inched it up to a complete lockout. Closer than close can be, but I had it. Happy.

Next week I think I will go for a 4 pin max, which should give a good indication of whether I have a new bench max in me. I think I do within 2-3 weeks, but the question is can I break the 100 kg/221 lbs barrier or will I have to go via 95 kg/210 lbs before I get there. With things going well, I am getting spoiled by 10 kg/22 lbs increases. I like getting spoiled for the right reasons. Give me more!

The rest of the workout was roughly the same as last week with heavier weights or more reps.

ME Bench, 5 November 2003

Close-grip rack lockouts, 5th pin:
5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
5 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
3 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
3 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
1 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
1 @ 110 kg/243 lbs
1 @ 120 kg/265 lbs
1 @ 130 kg/287 lbs

Floor dumbell triceps extension: 5,4,4 @ 18 kg/40 lbs
Seated cable row, reverse grip: 4x15 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
Dumbell front raise, alternate: 12,11 @ 16 kg/35 lbs
Dumbell side raise: 12,11 @ 14 kg/31 lbs
Pressdown: 11 @ 40 kg/88 lbs

Total training time: 60 min

November 7, 2003

Final day of first squat cycle

Filed under: Workouts

Finished the five-week squat cycle. To recap, the last day called for 3 sets of two reps at 80-90% of box max (105 kg/232 lbs), i.e. 85 to 95 kg/188 to 210 lbs. A well-conditioned explosive lifter should be able to uphold the same speed as with lighter weights (something Simmons makes very clear on the Westside Barbell squatting video). As a relative beginner, my speed drops somewhat with these weights for which reason I decided to settle for 90 kg/199 lbs. I could easily have made the sets with 95 kg/210 lbs too, but after all, this is supposed to be speed squatting. Besides, the time and place for a new box max is just around the corner (either of the following two Mondays).

After doing some light sets of stiff-legged deads, side-bends and pull-throughs a nauseous feeling befell me. No calves. No guilt.

DE Squat/Deadlift, 7 November 2003

Speed box squat, 13″: 3x2 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
Stiff-legged deadlift: 2x14 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
Standing side-bends: 3x6 @ 42 kg/92 lbs
Pull-through, bent legged: 2x12 @ 90 kg/199 lbs

Total training time: 42 min

November 9, 2003

Wanna join our shiny club?

Filed under: Workouts

Today is the day we celebrate Father’s day in Finland. With two fathers and one grandfather to congratulate, plus the fact that I spent most of the night working on a translation project, it was to become a loooong day for Sanna and me. With the opportunities for training thus relegated to the wee hours of the morning (i.e. 10-11 am), I had no choice but head over to the gym with my breakfast still on its merry way down my digestive system. Once there I was utterly horrified to notice that the gym was still locked… yikes, forgot they open at noon on Sundays!

With less than two hours on my hands, I had little choice but head up to the neighboring gym. Catering for early morning fitness buffs, this gym had already been open a couple of hours. Stepping out of the elevator the guy behind the counter looked at the credit card I waived in greeting strangely. “A single workout, please”, I said. “Oh, so you’re not a member?”. “Nope, just dropping in because my gym next door opens at noon on Sundays”. Instead of just accepting my best effort at paying, I was promptly given a form to fill out for a free try-out. Honesty being a virtue and all, I confessed to having trained there occasionally before when they still had the hardcore former Gold’s gym equipment now at my current gym. “No problem, we have a new concept now and we can give you a very competitive offer”. When I had filled out the form, being careful to check the box that forbids them to use my info in marketing, I was told that the sales representative was not in yet. Made a quick exit to the changing rooms before further attempts were made to get me to join their club system.

Luckily for me, the gym had a tiny free-weight area with a bench and a few plates. In addition to some dumbells and a smith machine, the rest of the gym is a your archetypal machine gym. Did my speed benches and JM presses to the beat of some girl group singing in chorus. Then plunged into the sea of machines.

With my shaker and protein powder safely locked away in my new locker at the still locked gym, I went to the counter to get me some needed postworkout nutrition. Had to settle for two Gainomax recovery drinks as that was the only thing they had that was not either just protein or just carbs. Naturally, I had to pay the steep price (5 euro) for them on account of not being a club member. Nice taste though, at half the price of the waived entrance fee. Fathers next.

DE Bench, 9 November 2003

Speed bench; wide, medium, close: 9x3 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
JM press: 3x6 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
Pulldowns, wide-grip: 4x9 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
Seated cable power clean: 2x14 @ 7/35 (whatever that means)
Lying L-flye: 2x8 @ 8 kg/18 lbs
Icarian preacher curl machine:
3 @ 32 ks/70 lbs
6 @ 27 kg/60 lbs
9 @ 23 kg/50 lbs

Total training time: 58 min

November 10, 2003

Back finally welcomes good mornings again

Filed under: Workouts

For the first time in many moons, my lower back felt close to great walking into the gym on a ME Squat/Dead day. In contrast, the hams, obliques and friends were tired from the heavy speed squats, stiff-legged deads, side bends and other friends who took part in the Friday party. Definitively time for some good mornings in preparation for the much talked about 13″ box squat max next week.

After watching the Westside deadlift video, I came to understand that good mornings are done with pushing the glutes back and slightly bending the legs instead of just going down like a jack knife with straight legs. It sure feels about 5% less dangerous to do them the former way… For a nice demonstration of arched back good mornings see this video courtesy of Joe Skopec. I went down to parallel or very close for 5 reps with 5 kg/11 lbs more than the previous time I did them for a triple in mid-September. Felt good even while going tomato (i.e. red faced) on the last two sets. Mirrors straight in front of the rack are fun.

Worked up close to a five rep max on the Zercher squat after hitting a 100 kg/221 lbs good morning. Had my friend who works at the gym check out the angle of my shins and he reported they were vertical. Seems like I am starting to get a hang of how to squat (check this Skopec link for “perfect” squat form - see how he sits back and the bar travels straight up and down). Zerchers are nice and the first thing I felt after racking the bar was my abs. Holding the bar is less nice; might need to start wrapping it once I go heavier. Might even do them as a ME exercise, perhaps starting from the bottom position (i.e. off the pins)

Nice workout!

ME Squat/Deadlift, 10 November 2003

Arched-back good morning:
10 @ 40 kg/88 lbs
5 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
5 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
5 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
5 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
5 @ 100 kg/221 lbs

Zercher squat:
5 @ 40 kg/88 lbs
5 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
5 @ 70 kg/155 lbs

Lying cable leg raise: 10,7,7 @ 20 kg/44 lbs
Spread eagle sit-up:
5 @ 7.5 kg/17 lbs
7 @ 5 kg/11 lbs

Total training time: 62 min

November 12, 2003

Dead zombie lockouts

Filed under: Workouts

… is not a name of a little know Westside Barbell exercise, but a description of how I felt strolling into the gym today after getting off work at 8 pm with an increasing number of missing hours on the pillow behind me. I am a night owl and can handle cutting down on sleep severely for several days without loosing it; the longest I ever did was three days straight without going to bed while working on my Tibetan software. Although I gladly confess to having taken some pride in telling others in the past about how little sleep I have been getting during the last X days, I am finally coming around to the realization that it is more fun to sleep (especially when you have a beautiful woman waiting for you like I do). Give me some more time and I might even shake the geekiness totally out of it, and admit that not sleeping for three days is a pretty foolish thing to do. As is maxing out on the floor press after three hours of sleep.

Today was the first time during my time on the Westside Barbell protocol that I took any form of stimulants prior to my workout. I am not a coffee drinker, so caffeine by itself is pretty efficient at getting the buzz going. Grabbed a bottle of ABB Adrenaline Stack as soon as I got to the gym and started sipping on that. With 200 mg of caffeine, yohimbe, tyrosine and stuff, this was guaranteed to give me some boost. Did not for a second consider the more potent ma huang containing ABB Speed Stack (or was it Nitro Speed?). I haven’t touched ma huang/ephedrine since Sanna told me that every time I took it (stacked with caffeine and aspirin, i.e. the ECA stack), I would twitch during sleep. Not only do I not want to hit my lovely life partner while sleeping (or awake for that matter), but the twitching seems to tell me that these substances affect my nervous system long after the workout is finished. Caffeine is enough kicks for me, thank you very much!

I started doing rack lockouts after having waited some 20 minutes for the system to make first contact with the shake. Went one pin lower than last workout. With caffeine-induced optimism I pyramided up in 10 kg/22 lbs jumps. My previous max from mid-September, 90 kg/199 lbs, was paper. The following 100 kg/221 lbs was solid but heavy. Got the bar to hover about two millimeters off the pins with 105 kg/232 lbs for something like 1 second, then silence.

A new PR! As lockouts off the 4th pin seem quite indicative of my bench max, I think I have good grounds for expecting a 100 kg/221 lbs bench next Wednesday. Provided I get enough snoring time that is. Today I am going to take a break off night-time translation, and spend six-hours in Dreamland. As a result, I might have to skip the night tomorrow to finish the translation. That necessary evil is somewhat alleviated by the fact that we plan to put the resulting money towards buying a new bed. Getting up might then be trickier than getting into bed on time…

ME Bench, 12 November 2003

Close-grip rack lockouts, 4th pin:
10 @ 40 kg/88 lbs
5 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
3 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
1 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
1 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
1 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
0 @ 105 kg/232 lbs

Lying dumbell triceps extension: 9,8,8 @ 18 kg/40 lbs
T-bar row, chest supported: 4x5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
Cable front raise: 2x9 @ 40 kg/88 lbs
One-handed cable side raise: 2x14 @ 15 kg/33 lbs
Lying Tate press: 9 @ 16 kg/35 lbs

Total training time: 63 min

November 14, 2003

Falkenbach, Scandinavian metal and the same ole box

Filed under: Workouts, Music

Tired lower body and tired mind. The former was let off the hook easily by a hefty drop in weight on the box squats, the latter by another ABB Adrenaline Stack drink pre-workout… and by Falkenbach’s Magni Blandinn Ok Megintiri record (see the album on Amazon for music samples and reviews). First heard about this album in the Viking Metal genre through a French guy at work who is very much into everything related to Norse mythology. Melodic with heavy use of keyboards, this album was just about metal enough to be played at the gym today without scaring mainstream music listeners off (AC/DC, Metallica and Limp Bizkit being the daily norm). It alternates between nice raw screaming and lighter singing; in short, a great workout album for people who like very melodic metal without the maniac blood stains.

I would consider myself a mainstreamish metal listener: Metallica, Rammstein and Nightwish are all standard ear nutrients. The recent foray outside the chart bands have caused me to open my eyes for Scandinavian metal. From the Norwegian Einherjer to all the great Finnish bands released under the Spinefarm records label, there is a lot of potentially great metal here. In fact, I currently have the Finnish band Kalmah’s Swampsong record (2003) on auto repeat (album at Amazon). I especially love the track Heroes to Us, which is just plain mighty. An mp3 sample is available here, but it doesn’t really do justice to the track as it cuts off after the intro riffs before the going gets rough (to hear how vocalist Pekka Kokko sounds you need to check out another of the available samples). After a few listenings, the album is starting to sound alarmingly normal. I don’t know what is so normal about this kind of screaming, but I like it. If I transfer this to my portable MiniDisc player I won’t fall asleep anymore on the bus before my workouts… if I do, I know that I should not be going to the gym but straight home to bed. Period.

The workout was pretty light, which was great since my lower body is still tired from the Zercher squats on Monday and I plan to go for a box squat max on Monday. My lower back is now feeling great, seems like it actually was the combination of heavy erector work with a too hard bed that caused it as my problem has slowly vanished after ditching the futon mattress. May I remain injury free for a long time to come!

DE Squat/Deadlift, 14 November 2003

Speed box squat, 13″: 8x2 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
Pull-through, stiff legged: 3x10 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
One-handed deadlift: 5 @ 52 kg/115 lbs
Ball crunch: 3x15 @ 15 kg/33 lbs
Seated calf raise: 4x7 @ 85 kg/188 lbs

Total training time: 57 min

November 15, 2003

Spambot-safe commenting

Filed under: General

Finally took the couple of minutes required to remove the requirement to supply an e-mail address when posting comments. This in recognition of the fact that it is not much fun to have one’s e-mail dangling about the web begging to be added to spamlists by ever ravaging spambots. Having my own e-mail at the bottom of every page as a picture to prevent spambots from getting at it, it seems unreasonably cruel to then damn my dear commenters to the eternal fire of Spamhell. While at it, I even removed the opportunity for supplying an address as I don’t see any particular reason for collecting this info. Homepage urls are naturally welcome.

I can well live with monologuing, but if anyone wants to say something it should now come at a much lower cost. Peace.

November 17, 2003

Clear nights, foggy days

Filed under: Workouts

Seems like there is always something to blog nag about. As soon as my lower back problems went up in smoke after switching to a softer bed, I got this sleep thing, or lack of it, going. I really hope to put in some quality hours tonight as I only got three hours last night. Sanna tells me I sat up with a determined look in the middle of it, but that’s another story.

But then, there is always the dominating positive trend of progress that keeps ducking and weaving through all back problems and sleep deficits. Seems like almost every time I go for a new max I can add 10 kg/22 lbs more to the bar, something I wouldn’t have dreamed of before embarking on this Westside experiment. Still, I try not to think too hard about this as I don’t want to start feeling too content… Inevitably things will slow down, but as far as I’m concerned this will never happen. I will save bands and weight releasers for the eventuality that the unthinkable happens…

Despite the foggy feeling induced by the lack of sleep I raised my previous 105 kg/232 lbs 13″ box max to 115 kg/254 lbs today, as expected. The last set was quite an adventure. The descent went fine and easy, but as I blasted off the box I felt my body lean towards the right. While restoring harmony I totally lost the drive and my upper body dipped forward, but I did get up. Turns out the reason for my disturbed balance was that the plates on the right slid out a bit making that side heavier. It wasn’t pretty, but I got it. Next time I’m going to use spring collars as the bar is smooth and prone to plate gliding.

Decided to go for a five rep max on rack pulls (aka partial deadlifts in power rack) from just above the knee. I did not expect to get as high as 190 kg/420 lbs, and as a result ended up doing a whopping eleven sets. Even more surprising, my grip did not show any signs of fatigue even at these weights! Progress, progress…

On Wednesday I plan to test for a new bench max hoping for 100 kg/221 lbs.

PS. Skipped the Sunday DE Bench workout since I really wanted some sleep.

ME Squat/Deadlift, 17 November 2003

Box squat, 13″:
5 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
3 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
3 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
2 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
1 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
1 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
1 @ 110 kg/243 lbs
1 @ 115 kg/254 lbs

Rack pull, 2nd pin (just above knee):
5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
5 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
5 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
5 @ 120 kg/265 lbs
5 @ 130 kg/287 lbs
5 @ 140 kg/309 lbs
5 @ 150 kg/332 lbs
5 @ 160 kg/354 lbs
5 @ 170 kg/376 lbs
5 @ 180 kg/398 lbs
5 @ 190 kg/420 lbs

Kneeling cable crunch: 4x7 @ 100 kg/221 lbs

Total training time: 74 min

November 19, 2003

Unlikely equation

Filed under: Workouts

With my best troops being in the ranks of the Three-hour Snoring Battalion, I did not have much to put up against the evil Sleep Deficit terrorism squad today before my attempt at a strategic maximum bench assault. Thought some napalm would be in order, so flushed down the now standard Adrenalin stack. I did quite easily retake the previous 90 kg/199 lbs max, but then made a foolhardy charge all the way to a 100 kg/221 lbs which was left on the chest (ain’t no chest sticking point, just plain too heavy). Retreated to 95 kg/210 lbs, which went up about half way. Not being one to raise the white flag so easily, I attempted 92.5 kg/204 lbs. Aaaalmost! But not.

After the smoke and sweat stains had cleared, I knew that I would live to see sunrise. Not only was my propaganda translation work nearly done, but my fellow commander Sanna and I bought a new state-of-the art BodyForm bed consisting of separate mattresses with a filthy expensive non-bacterial anti-twitching something something overlay on top. Backed by a foam pillow worth 80 euro, the whole thing came with a price tag of just slightly above 2,000 euro (~ 2,400 US dollars), my part being financed by the translation job. The short of it is: more troops and better training around the corner. Then a new bench assault.

Victory is nothing but assured.

ME Bench, 19 November 2003

5 @ 40 kg/88 lbs
5 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
3 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
1 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
1 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
0 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
0 @ 95 kg/210 lbs
0 @ 92.5 kg/204 lbs

Close-grip bench:
3,4,3 @ 80 kg/177 lbs

T-bar row: 4x6 @ 65 kg/144 lbs
Cable front raise: a few sluggish reps with 40 kg/88 lbs

Total training time: 60 min

November 22, 2003

New scripts section

Filed under: General

I have been thinking for a while about creating a script for generating the five-week DE box squat cycle I used recently. So I did. Wrote the script in such a way that it permits direct linking to the results; here’s my next cycle based on my recent 115 kg/254 lbs max. I plan to write more useful Westside related scripts as I need them.

Speaking of which, I skipped DE Squat day on Friday to get some sleep after I finally finished that time-consuming translation. Will be nice to speed bench on Sunday without a sleep deficit for once…

November 23, 2003

Another Westside blog by the Waypath

Filed under: General

Looked at my web logs and found a hit by the waypath spider. Being totally unfamiliar with this particular spider, I headed over to and discovered that it

[…] makes use of Think Tank 23’s unique information retrieval platform, Nav4, which automatically analyzes content, such as weblogs, and links documents that share common topics. Using Nav4, Waypath provides both keyword search and contextual navigation of individual weblog posts.

Not having found any other Westside blogs (pure logs are another matter, among the notable ones are of course the ones over at and that of Ano Turtiainen), I promptly fed ‘westside barbell’ into the weblog keywords search. In addition to five hits from my own blog, there was also a reference to Chris McClinch’s Training Log began on 1 October 2003.

This blog will track my training. Exercises, reps, sets, and weights will be listed, as will occasional thoughts on my training philosophy. Right now, it’s based on Westside Barbell protocols, albeit tweaked somewhat to optimize physique as well as strength.

Sounds pretty familiar, eh? He is stronger than me but the difference is not so great that I can’t relate (great rhyme there in case you didn’t notice) and he claims to be drug-free. You got yourself another reader, Chris.

If anyone knows of any other similar blogs, please comment. Now let’s see what the waypath search gives for powerlifting.

Only naughty boys max out on DE day

Filed under: Workouts

… guess I am one then. After a pretty good nine sets of speed benching I went on for a five rep max on the incline bench. My previous max was 75 kg/166 lbs on both the powersmith and with a barbell, so it was only natural that I would attempt to break new ground after doing a fiver with 70 kg/155 lbs. After an easy rep with 80 kg/177 lbs, I had the second rep jam a bit off my chest. Tried 85 kg/188 lbs, but same deal for the first rep. Might want to do these as my first ME exercise in the near future without the tiring five-reppers to see if I could not nail that one. I haven’t precisely done a lot of incline work of late anyway.

DE Bench, 23 November 2003

Speed bench; wide, medium, close: 9x3 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
Incline bench, 30 degrees:
5 @ 40 kg/88 lbs
5 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
5 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
1 (failure on second rep) @ 80 kg/177 lbs
0 @ 85 kg/188 lbs

Kraftwerk Iso-lateral Front Pulldown: 4x8 @ 60 kg/133 lbs per side
Standing rope pull: 2x8 @ 40 kg/88 lbs
Seated cable L-flye: 15, 14 @ 10 kg/22 lbs
Standing EZ-bar preacher curl:
4 @ 38 kg/84 lbs*
6 @ 33 kg/73 lbs

Total training time: 69 min

* EZ bar estimated at 8 kg/18 lbs, had 15 kg/33 lbs and 12.5 kg/28 lbs per side respectively

November 24, 2003

Rack pull max off first pin

Filed under: Workouts

First go at rack pulls (i.e. partial deadlifts) from the first pin. As the rack is of the kind with very thick pins, the only conceivable heights for rack pulls are the first and second pins. Makes it simple.

Last week I did pulls off the second pin after maxing out on the box, to my surprise resulting in a fiver with 190 kg/420 lbs. With a current max deadlift of 145 kg/320 lbs, I clearly had the reference values set. Pulled a hard 155 kg/343 lbs and then failed to get lift-off with 160 kg/354 lbs. Decent.

Added 5 kg/11 lbs to my recent max 10 on kneeling squats very barely making it. Also felt like pounding the abs with a little heavier weights and put a total of 20 kg/44 lbs behind my neck for ball crunches. Needless to say, I did this with my feet supported to prevent myself from making a stunning descent through the floor.

ME Squat/Deadlift, 24 November 2003

Rack pull, 1st pin (just below knee):
5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
5 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
5 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
5 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
5 @ 110 kg/243 lbs
3 @ 120 kg/265 lbs
3 @ 130 kg/287 lbs
1 @ 140 kg/309 lbs
1 @ 150 kg/332 lbs
1 @ 155 kg/343 lbs
0 @ 160 kg/354 lbs

Kneeling squat:
2x5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
10 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
10 @ 110 kg/243 lbs
10 @ 125 kg/276 lbs
10 @ 135 kg/298 lbs

Ball crunch: 3x7 @ 20 kg/44 lbs

Total training time: 65 min

November 25, 2003

Out of commission

Filed under: Music

Came down with a flu resulting in three-days of sick leave. Tomorrow I will be benching in my dreams, but there is a slight chance that I will be in shape for Friday as I, for once, am nipping this in the bud. Realistically speaking, I have my eyes set on Sunday.

After seeing the required nurse, I popped into a music store to buy Finnish band Charon’s The Dying Daylights album to take this coughing opportunity to continue my education in Scandinavian metal post-Kalmah. With its goth inspired soft metal sound a little reminiscent of H.I.M., Charon is a lot lighter and less rough around the edges than Kalmah (read: more commercially attractive). As I found an excellent, albeit a little more optimistic than my opinion, review of the album I will refrain from attempting to write a comprehensive review bound to trip over itself. Another good review is to be found over at Let me just say that the In Trust of No One track is suitable for auto-repeat (music samples here). I presume the rest of the album will follow suit once I get to listen through it a few times, like St. Anger before it. That’s the way my ears work.

November 30, 2003

Back on the bench

Filed under: Workouts

The patient has recovered. Nothing revolutionary here, but made some good gains on the stability ball dumbell bench and added a few reps here and there compared to last week’s workout.

Did forward-incline dumbell curls for the biceps, which involves standing and leaning forward against a bench that has been inclined a little (about two notches from vertical). Curling from this position gives very little room for cheating and changes the angles a little. I don’t know how standard this exercise is, I remember coming up with it in the early bodybuilding days. Needless to say, I don’t consider myself its [evil] genius inventor as people around the world have no doubt been curling away in this position for years.

DE Bench, 30 November 2003

Speed bench; wide, medium, close: 9x3 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
Stability ball dumbell bench: 8,8,7 @ 30 kg/66 lbs
Kraftwerk Iso-lateral Front Pulldown: 4x9 @ 60 kg/133 lbs per side
Standing rope pull: 2x9 @ 40 kg/88 lbs
Seated cable L-flye: 15, 12 @ 10 kg/22 lbs
Forward-incline dumbell curl: 8,6,6 @ 16 kg/35 lbs

Total training time: 59 min