May 2006 archives

May 6, 2006

Week 17: Sore, tired, but somewhat enlightened

Filed under: Workouts

Thursday, 27 April 2006: Bench weakpoint day

Nothing like pumping the hell out of thight biceps. I did the standard barbell curls and dumbell benches with bands, even got a nice increase on them, then left the guns alone. Worked light on the accessories; realized that sitting down on the plate raises makes the exercise MUCH harder. Not that I have been swaying around doing them standing, but there’s a world of difference between a little well intended momentum and none at all.

4 supersets:
          Standing barbell curl: 5,5,5,6 @ 42.5 kg/94 lbs
          Dumbell bench:
                6,5,6 @ 28.5 kg/63 lbs + light band
                5 @ 36 kg/80 lbs
Seated plate raise: 3x10 @ 15 kg/33 lbs
Incline rear delt dumbell raise: 3x12 @ 5 kg/11 lbs
Pressdown in lat pulley: 9 @ 8th

Saturday, 29 April 2006: DE Squat

jiaoyiThis session almost buried me. I had a feeling I was not quite recovered, but only realized how sluggish my legs were when the speed box squat felt like near max work. The idea was to work on unracking the bar cleanly with the legs insted of partially picking the weight off the rack with the back (for reference, see how I set up my squat with NO leg movement whatsoever on the recent high-box video). I don’t think I have a serious problem there, but the NASA video made me aware of this tendency that usually results in the lifter being slightly bent over when the attempt begins. In a meet, this could result in red lights, especially if the knees are not properly straightened. Stubbornly finished the [low]speed work, then did some light pumping accessories. Still, they killed me some more.

Contrary to what one might expect given the aforementioned dire circumstances, this workout expanded my powerlifting mind. A guy, whose path I have never crossed at this very late hour at Metal Gym, was in there working up towards a new PR on the squat. It was his final session after a brutal high-volume squat program done together with one of the gym’s elite squatters and he was looking to smash his 160 kg/354 lbs personal best. Once he was up at 170 kg/376 lbs he asked if I could spot him. Truth be told, I haven’t done a lot of spotting on the squat, but I do know how it is done. He made the lift unassisted and then loaded up for 180 kg/398 lbs. The lift was a bit high, but, save for some help in getting the bar back into the rack, he got it by himself. Next, he dropped the weight back to 160 kg/354 lbs for a double. During the lift I was keeping a close eye on the bar since it is a good indicator of how the lift is going. Some straining, but he got the first rep. On the second rep, the bar rolled down a good bit which in turn pushed him forward into a nosedive. Right then and there, even before my arms left his chest and the bar was back where it started, I realized that I had just seen an aspect of the squat that I had never thought about. And I had seen it from the best perspective possible, merely inches away. Limited as my experience may be, I am now convinced that one of the best ways of observing the mechanics of a squat and what can go wrong is to spot plenty of squats. Breathe up the neck of a squatter if you will. It would be a folly to think that the best gains and insights are made when training in solitude. Think about it, what would you learn more from: a) observing just clips of your own lifts or b) also being part of a lifting collective that includes spotting, observing the lifts of a small horde of lifters every week and casual gym discussions about technique? As much as I enjoy the moonlight sessions together with Måns, I have decided to reschedule at least some of my weekly sessions in the autumn to coincide with the time when the gym is full of life. I will be home with Rufus full-time beginning September 1st; this means Sanna can relieve me after she comes home from work.

I learned two important things today, namely that the education of a powerlifter is a social endevour and that having the bar roll down your back can kill you in a really bad way.

Speed box squat: 7x2 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
GHR, narrow: 2x15
Standing cable crunch with stability ball: 3x10 @ 8th (40 kg/88 lbs?)
Reverse hyper: 12 @ 40 kg/88 lbs

May 10, 2006

PLDNH (Plate Loadable Dark Neck Helmet)…

Filed under: General

Hardcore home made neck harness

May 15, 2006

The Powerlifting Relative Strength Calculator

Filed under: General

It took a few nights of work, but it is time to proudly unveil the Powerlifting Relative Strength Calculator and hope that no major bugs are lurking in the shadows. Here’s where you, dear reader, come in… test it and let me know if it is squirming. In a nutshell, this calculator computes relative strength by all common formulas (Wilks, Reshel, Glossbrenner, NASA, Siff and Schwartz/Malone) for one or more lifters. If this is unfamiliar territory for you, the calculator also comes with a fairly thorough introduction.

May 20, 2006

Siff’s Bodymass Adjustment Formula

Filed under: General

Unlike the Powerlifting Relative Strength Calculator, the Siff’s Bodymass Adjustment Formula operates on any combination of squat, bench, deadlift and total results. As usual, this one can also rank up to thirty lifters at a go. If anyone needs more, it can easily be arranged.

Feedback welcome. :-)

May 23, 2006

Andreas Thorkildsen’s blog is something else

Filed under: General

180 kg back jerk in progressA raw bench press of 180 kg/398 lbs and a near miss at the same weight in the back jerk. If it weren’t for the gymnastics (try the push up to dip combination on for size…), incredible depth jumping, weird specialty exercises and a lot of javelins flowing all over the place, you’d think that would be the work of a decently strong powerlifter. Think again. Thorkildsen is one of the top names in javelin with a personal best of 90.13m and a gold metal from the Olympic Games in Athens 2004. His blog is well worth a read for anyone who is interested in seeing how a top athlete works the weights for sport specificity (the bounce on the bench reminds me of the clip I once linked to, since gone, where shotputter Manuel Martinez bounced 300 kg/663 lbs off pads on his chest). I actually find myself quite interested in the javelin stuff too, perhaps it’s because I’ve entertained thoughts of picking up shotputting for fun to accompany the powerlifting stuff for some time now.

May 26, 2006

Week 18: Mud racing

Filed under: Workouts

Thursday, 4 May 2006: ME Bench

Press launched into orbitLast week was lethargic, this was a bit worse. It could be the increasingly hectic pace at work as we are nearing the end of the school year or just creeping death (also known as overtraining), but the fact remains… I thought I was capable of a bit more, but bumped up my PR on the seated pin press to 75 kg/166 lbs (VIDEO, 618K) and then went bodybuilding for a good pump.

Seated pin press, chin height:
                10 @ 30 kg/66 lbs
                5 @ 40 kg/88 lbs
                5 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
                1 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
                1 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
                1 @ 75 kg/166 lbs (PR)
Metal iso-lateral shoulder press: 2x15 @ 20 kg/44 lbs per side
Parallel grip pulldown: 2x15 @ 12th (60 kg/133 lbs?)
Lying L-flye: 2x15 @ 5 kg/11 lbs
Standing alternate dumbell curl: 10 @ 16 kg/35 lbs

Saturday, 6 May 2006: ME Squat

Sluggishness aside, I figured I’d improve on my 13″ box squat PR a bit. Didn’t get good drive off the box and paid the price in forward lean. 135 kg/298 lbs went straight into the pins. That’s it, deload week next.

Box squat, 13″:
                5 @ 40 kg/88 lbs
                3 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
                3 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
                2 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
                2 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
                1 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
                1 @ 100 kg/221 lbs (belt on)
                1 @ 115 kg/254 lbs
                1 @ 125 kg/276 lbs
                0 @ 135 kg/298 lbs
                0 @ 132.5 kg/293 lbs
Standing cable crunch with stability ball: 8 @ 9th (45 kg/99 lbs?)

May 27, 2006

Week 19: Deload fun with max reps

Filed under: Workouts

Wednesday, 10 May 2006 (?): Bench deload

Set out to shatter the stability ball dumbell bench rep max I set during the previous deload. Got 29 reps with the 23.5 kg/52 lbs then, now raised the bar for the next deload with 22 reps with the 26 kg/57 lbs bells. We are pleased.

Dumbell bench on stability ball: worked up to 22 @ 26 kg/57 lbs (PR)
Dumbell flye on stability ball: 2x15 @ 11 kg/24 lbs
Metal iso-lateral seated row: 2x15 @ 25 kg/55 lbs per side
Cable crossover lying rear delt flye: 12 @ 15 kg/33 lbs (per side)
Lying cable curl:
                8 @ 55 kg/122 lbs
                12 @ 45 kg/99 lbs
Pressdown in lat pulley: 20 @ 5th (25 kg/55 lbs?)

Friday, 12 May 2006: Squat deload

Grinding out glute ham raisesUp and down, up and down, up and down… before I knew it, I had pumped out 31 reps on the GHR. That’s a four rep gain over the previous rep max. Caught it on video (3.5M) this time, critique welcome as usual. Wrapped up with a few light sets of reverse hypers, then off into a looooong shower.

GHR, narrow: 31 reps @ bodyweight (PR)
Reverse hyper:
                15 @ 20 kg/44 lbs
                2x15 @ 30 kg/66 lbs