Felt pretty weak again today :-/
Bench (paused) worked up to 375x1, 385x1, 395x1, 335x4, touch and go 315x5
Breathing paused squats (no belt, 4 second pauses, flat soles, wide stance) - worked up to 295x5x4 sets
Pull-ups - bw x 10
BW 229 (finally got a new scale)
Standing behind the neck press - 115x16, 135x8
Incline bench - 185x12, 205x6
Sumo deadlift (no belt) - worked up to 415 for 20 singles with about 20-30 seconds rest between each rep. First 11 reps were hook grip, no chalk (forgot to bring it). On the 11th rep I tore some skin off my thumb and swtiched to straps.
Bent over row with leg/hip drive -255x20 (new 20RM)
Deficit stiff legged deadlift - 345x8
Goblet 1&1/4 squat - 70x8x2 sets
Been very busy this past 3 weeks with my psychiatry clerkship and I can tell my lifts are suffering from not training enough. The positive part is that the nagging injuries I have seem to be doing better. My knee is still not 100% but feeling like I can start pushing it again soon, and today was the first day in a couple months that I didn't feel the knot in my right pec. 3 more weeks of this clerkship and then I can get back to a regular schedule.
Bench (paused) - worked up to 365x1 (easy)
Touch and go with short rests, going for speed - 275x5x6 sets with different grips
Breathing paused squats (no belt, 4 second pauses, flat soles, wide stance) - 295x5x3 sets, 305x5x2 sets ... These have definitely been helping my hip flexibility. I take an extra wide stance and during the pause sink down as far as I can while pushing my knees out.
Standing behind the neck press - 115x18, 135x8
Incline Bench - 185x13, 205x7
Sumo deadlift (no belt) - worked up to 440 for 20 singles in 6.5 minutes (20 sec rests between sets)
Bench (paused) - worked up to 365x1, 375x1, 385x1
Touch and go with short rests, going for speed - 275x5x5 sets with different grips
Sumo deadlift (no belt, hook grip) - worked up to 505x1, 525x1
Parallel grip chins - 8 + 18 rest pause reps = 26 total reps in 3 minutes
Standing behind the neck press - 115x19, 135x10
Bent over row w/ hip drive - 265x20 (PR)
Deficit stiff leg deadlift standing on 4" blocks (straps, no belt) - 355x8
Incline bench - 185x16, 205x8
Bench (paused) - worked up to 365x1, 385x1, 395x1
Speed bench - 275x5x5 sets with different grips
Breathing paused squats (no belt, 4 second pauses, flat soles, wide stance) - 315x5x3 sets
My knee is still a bit messed up and has not been improving much recently. I tried foam rolling IT band and quad muscles and they are all super tight and tender on that side. Furthermore my hip flexor on that side is tight and tender (may rectus femoris is tight!?). The knee felt quite a bit better after rolling. I think I really need to focus on doing soft tissue work on it if I want it to get back to 100% any time soon.
the volume on your deads and bent over rows has been impressive...the last Stuart McGill seminar I went to he stressed how we cannot ignore tissue work as athletes.
what program are you following now?
how interesting is the psychiatry clerkship and what is it?
I'm not following a particular program right now, just trying to do the best I can right now with what I've got. In general I only have time for 1 to 3 training sessions per week, each one being about 1-1.5 hours and I spend a good deal of that time helping Sammy (she's been going every session and doing mostly squats, bench, deadlift, bent over rows and assistance work ... making GAINS). This is basically how I break things down:
Squat - since my knee is screwed up I do wide stance paused squats with no belt and blow out all my air during the pause. The idea here is to make the movement as difficult as possible while minimizing stress on my knee. The reason for blowing out my air during the pause is to take away the extra support I get from intra-abdominal pressure and make the core muscles do more work. I've also been trying to do goblet squats (been slacking lately) as these seem to hit my quads without stressing my knee.
Deadlift - 24 hour fitness has those annoying polygonal plates, so pulling singles is a lot more comfortable than having the bar move all over the place between reps. I've been focusing on sumo as it puts less strain on my back, and going beltless again to make it so I can get a good workout with less weight. The sumo deads actually aggravate my knee slightly but it's not terrible. I'm working on my hook grip because with the current weights I'm using it's not a limiting factor and if I can get it strong enough I won't have to worry as much about blowing out a bicep one day. For extra back work I try to at least once per week do a set of bent over rows, a set of stiff leg deadlifts off a deficit, and a rest pause set of pull-ups. I focus on high reps as this seems easier for me to make progress, and I end up getting a decent amount of volume in a limited amount of time.
Bench - For a while I was spending 3-5 hours per week doing crazy volume on bench and maxing every day, but I don't have time for that now. My strength actually stayed pretty good for a while with much less volume, I think because I was in a caloric surplus and slowly ballooning up to a chubby 250 lbs. Now that I'm trying to lean out the strength has been dropping. My current strategy is to max at least once a week and then do some volume after, and to alternate bench day with behind the neck press and incline bench. My shoulders and incline have always been lagging so I figure this is a good time to focus on them. Also I started to irritate my right pec at some point a couple months ago but that seems to be getting better now that I'm doing less flat bench.
I have pretty much dropped all direct arm work, core work, and other assistance work like face pulls, band pull throughs, etc. If I had more time to train I would definitely add in more assistance work, but I just feel like right now I barely have enough time to get in my core lifts and big compound assistance work. I only have one week left of my psychiatry clerkship and then for the next 3-5 years will be working in the lab on my PhD. I'll be working a lot but I can decide my own schedule, and I'm planning on reserving more time for the gym.
Even though I've been bitching about how little free time I've had recently, the psychiatry clerkship has actually been really cool. Basically I go interview patients in the hospital as if I were actually a psychiatrist, I write down all the important information I get and make an assessment and plan for that patient, then I check everything with a real psychiatrist who is part of my team. At that point the psychiatrist will usually go see the patient again on their own or invite me to come along with them while they interview the patient, and afterwards we'll talk about the patient and what should be done next. A lot of times they agree with my initial assessment and plan but often they see things a bit differently and they teach me about how I could do things better. The first 3 weeks I was doing a consult and liaison psychiatry, which involved seeing a lot of very psychotic people who were brought into the emergency room by police or ambulance for being a danger to themselves or danger to others, and the goal was to decide what to do with them (e.g. see if they need to be admitted to inpatient psychiatry for a while and given medications until they are stable). The last two weeks and this upcoming week I'm mostly working with elderly patients who have dementia, depression and other psychiatric problems. On this service I follow the same few patients day after day and try to make changes with the goal of getting them to improve enough so that they can leave the hospital and get back to a more normal life. It's been pretty cool and I've seen lots of crazy stuff!
Standing behind the neck press - 115x20, 135x9
Incline bench - 185x15, 205x9
Sumo deadlift (no belt, straps) - worked up to 455x1x12 sets, 1 set per 20 seconds (a little under 4 minutes total) ... Was planning on doing 20 at this pace but my stomach started to get pretty upset ... gotta remember not to each a bunch of fatty spicy food before deadlifts lol.
Rested a few minutes and switched to hook grip - 485x1, 505x1, 535x1, 555x1 (hook grip PR)
Bench (paused) - worked up to 375x1, 395x1, 405x1
Volume work (paused first rep only then touch and go reps, trying to move bar as fast as possible) - 295x5x4 sets ... Not fast enough to call speed work but these were done with relatively short rests and good bar speed through 3-4 reps
Bent over row w/ hip and leg drive- worked up to 275x20 (PR)... getting pretty sloppy towards the end, but the sloppy form seems to hit my lats even better. Right after the set was over they started aching lol.
Deficit stiff-legged deadlifts standing on a 4" platform (no belt) - 365x8
quick extra workout
Goblet 1&1/4 squats, used 2 dumbbells with short heavy bands attached so I could hold them like kettlebells, kinda - 70x10x2 sets
Split squats (just bodyweight!) - bw x 12 x 2 sets ... my quads were actually pretty shot at the end of these.
Psychiatry clerkship is officially over! The test was pretty difficult but I think I did ok. Taking a week off and then back to the lab for several years.
Behind the neck press - 115x20, 135x11
Incline bench - 185x16, 205x10 ... I've been in a caloric surplus for the past few days while studying for my psych exam and I definitely felt stronger today on pressing.
Breathing paused squats (no belt, 4 second pauses, flat soles, wide stance) - 315x5x4 sets ... brutal. I've gotten a lot better at engaging my lats to couple my upper and lower back. When I feel like I'm starting to round over I just pull the bar down as hard as I can and the weight starts moving again. I'm taking a slightly wider grip than I was before (index on ring instead of ring finger on ring), which I feel allows me to engage the lats better.
Parallel grip chins - 8 + 15 rest pause reps = 23 reps total in 3 minutes.
Bench (paused) - worked up to 365x1, 385x1, 395x1
Volume work (paused first rep only) - 295x5x5 sets ... good speed
Sumo deadlift (no belt, hook grip) - worked up to 455x1x20 singles with about 20-30 seconds rest between each. Switched to straps around rep 7 after my callouses started to tear
Think my last workout may not have posted ... anyway 8/4 I worked up to 395x1 on paused bench then did 295x5x5 for volume work, then did beltless sumo deadlift 455x1x20 singles in about 10 minutes
Standing behind the neck press - 120x20, 140x7
Incline bench - 195x14, 215x7 + 2 rest pause reps
Bent over rows - 275x20 ... forgot that I did this last time! Otherwise I would have tried 280 or 285x20
Deficit stiff-legged deadlifts standing on a 4" platform (no belt) - 380x8 (PR)
Today was kind of an extra workout. I should have done assistance work instead...
Bench (paused) - worked up to 365x1, 385x1, 365x3
Squat (wide stance, no belt) - worked up to 365x2x2 sets ... This was my first time doing regular (no pause) squats in a while. My low back was pretty shot still from yesterday, but the weight still moved pretty well just felt heavy. My plan will be to continue progressing on the paused squats for as long as I can.
Today I planned on doing goblet squats and split squats, as well as some back and direct arm work. After warming up I decided it would be fun to work up to a relatively heavy weight on squats first, and ended up straining my intercostal muscle pretty badly :-(
Squat (no belt) - worked up to 365x2, 385x2, 405x1 ... felt stabbing pain on left side of the ribs. I'm not sure what keeps possessing me to deviate from my training plan and do squat or bench instead, but I really need to cut that crap out. Hopefully this won't be too much of a setback.
Some good news: I've been pretty aggressive with foam rolling and other soft tissue work and my knee is feeling much better. It doesn't bother me during the day at all any more (used to occasionally give out randomly) and I barely notice it during lifting. The range of motion is still not completely back to normal but it's getting better. My hip flexors on the right side still feel a bit tight and I'm continuing to work on those.
So after my last post I took 600 mg of ibuprofen, iced my ribcage for a bit and then went out on my motorcycle to run some errands. When I got back home my intercoastal felt about 80% better! Not sure if it was just the ibuprofen (maybe the vibrations from the motorcycle!?!?!) or what but in the past when I've strained something this bad it almost always continues to get worse no matter what I do for at least another day or two. Anyway, I was feeling so good I decided to go to my complex gym and do most the stuff that I intended to do this morning. Really hoping I don't wake up feeling much worse tomorrow ... I'm supposed to go kayaking around La Jolla cove and Sammy's gonna pissed if she has to do all the paddling.
Goblet 1&1/4 squat (used short heavy bands as handles on the dumbbells to mimic holding two kettlebells) - 40x10, 60x10, 70x10, 80x10
Split squats - bw x 12, 12 ... I pause at the bottom when the rear knee touches the floor and push my hips forward to really try to stretch the hip flexor at the bottom
Chin ups - bw x 10 x 3 sets
Feeling better today. I was able to go kayaking this morning no problem.
Bench (paused) - worked up to 375x1, 395x1, 405x1
Volume work (paused first rep only) - 315x5x5 sets
Parallel grip chins - bw x 10 + 19 rest pause reps = 29 total reps over 3 minutes
Reverse curls - 65x10x3 sets
Superset with lying triceps extensions - 65x20, 15, 12
Incline curls - 25 x 8, 7, 6
Behind the neck press - 120x20, 140x10
Incline bench - 195x16, 215x9
Parallel grip chins - 10 + 20 rest pause reps = 30 total reps over 3 minutes
Intercostal seems to be almost back to normal. I may give squatting a try tomorrow.
Breathing paused squats (no belt, 4 second pauses, flat soles, wide stance) - 315x5x3 sets ... intercostal held up fine
Goblet 1&1/4 squats - 50x10x2 sets
Split squats - bw x14,12
45 degree hypers (held contraction at top) 35 x 12, 8
Bench (paused) - worked up to 370x1, 390x1, 405x1
Volume work (paused first rep only) - 325x5x2 sets, 315x5, 305x5, 295x5
EZ bar reverse curls w/ hold at top - 70x10x3 sets
EZ bar lying triceps extensions - 70x20, 20, 15
Superset with incline curls - 25x10x3 sets