Hi everyone I have posted an introduction in the general chat. I am currently 11 weeks out from my first comp in November in Bournemouth, England where I will be lifting as a junior in the raw 125kg class. I follow a very basic westside conjugate program of training right now and I am going through a plateau with bench and deadlift. Any advice is welcome.
This is what my training so far this week has consisted of.
ME Deadlift (3rd September)
I was hoping my injured hand I got from heavy grip training would not be too troublesome today. This was probably the worst lift I could have chosen for today but my lockout is suffering so it is perfect
Rack Pull (Below knees)
Warmed up quickly just using light weights and low reps on this lift. Got up to 220kg and done an easy double (This is actually a big PR for this lift without straps, which proves how weak my grip was). I loaded the bar to 260kg and my hand was already bleeding again and starting to rip so I could not grab the bar tight to get started.
I put on straps and done a messy double as pulling this way is so different and feels horrible now.Had to leave it there as could not use my left hand at all today now.
7x Front squat: 100x4, then 6 doubles with 120kg. This was not heavy but I was in a foul mood after the rack pulls and could not get 100% committed to it so ended up doing 120kg (75%) over and over for deep sets without pushing it or adding weight. I also got a tweak in my upper back.
Had to scrap ultra wide sumo for obvious reasons....I really need to use heavy grip training sparingly as it can really screw up a whole cycle
Abs Accessory work
Db side bend: 45x12/47.5x8/50x6/40x13
Decline sit-ups: 30x20/40x8-10+drop set
Reverse pulldown abs: 2x sets 8-12 reps
I did not need to rely on my hands for this so pushed it hard and there is still great progress being made weekly with trunk strength.
ME Bench (5th September)
Incline Bench Press (Max legal width).....Back In February I maxed out with 145kg using a medium grip (My worst grip)
I worked up today trying to beat that and when I got to my first lift over 90% with 130kg I had to struggle for a sloppy single. I feel very unstable on the bench and my triceps still feel weak, weaker than what they were. My biceps are hurting when I press also. I moved onto light weight and practicing form.
Overhead Press: 75x6/80x4/70x3-4+60x5-6
Db Incline Hammer: 4x sets....i struggled getting reps with the 80lb Db's.
Db elbows out ext: 4x sets with the 45lb'ers
Chin up: BWx10,5,3
Wide Pulldown: 2x 8
3x high rep machine inverse fly
I have hit a plateau obviously and I am clearly going backwards. I need to figure out what I have being doing so wrong that is causing both the deadlift and bench press to drop off
GPP session (5th Sep)
10+ mins foam rolling quads, back and biceps
3x Db hammer curl: Needed straps with 26s and 28s just because of left hand injury and does not feel as good but just glad to stimulate biceps again
4-5 supersets of pushdown and face pull
some extra sets on machine inverse fly
GPP (6th Sep)
Done some more extra work for the priority bench press groups, lats and triceps
Kept it light…4x wide Pulldowns, 4x tate presses, 3x rope pushdown
Not much work. My work capacity is not that good yet if I am being honest.
DE Squat (7th September)
20 minutes of upper mobility, bench press technique work and lower mobility.
"10.5" Box Squat (Max Width/Low bar)
10x2 all with 120kg and -1 min rest intervals........Big improvement from last week in that I increased the volume and kept the weight constant and was able to push my feet all the way out to the sides of the rack and keep them pretty straight despite using my lowest box height.
Speed improved with each and every set as did form. Only problem was setting up under the bar and keeping it steady.
NO TENDON AND JOINT PAIN THIS WEEK!!
Tried to do speed pulls but cannot grab the bar tight with my torn up left hand. This is a lesson being learned here about overdoing the grip work.
5x4 Suspended GM: 100/110/115/120/125kg...........I had to round my mid to upper back but feels alright. I am starting these very deep and am using a straight elieko bar so think it is acceptable.
Erectors and Abs work
3x Seated GM: 60x10/65x8/70x6
3x Decline sit up: 30x21/40x10/40x8
3x Pulldown Abs: pin 10 x 10,10,10
Done everything after warm up in roughly 1hr on empty stomach.
DE Bench (8th September)
5 minute shoulder pre-hab warm up.
Incline Bench Press
80kg*2 (All warm up sets with pinkies on power ring)
100kgx3x3 (Thumb from smooth: Much faster, felt great)
100kgx3x1 (index on smooth: The big range made the reps too slow)
90kgx3x2 (Index on smooth paused for 2 seconds: Better speed)
50kg*8...............I used lighter weight than the past as my delt dominance messes up form when I go heavier
Db Incline Hammer press
30s*6-8............I am weak with Db presses right now.
Upright T-bar Row
using 1 arm 32kg*8
Increased Tricep volume as I need to make them my strongest pressing muscle for bench press and they are right now very weak and lagging behind deltoids.
I like that, first impressions are great
GPP work (9th September)
Close grip steep incline press
200*9 (Failed on 10th rep. This exercise was tough but did not expect this!)
Wide grip Pulldown
Stability ball Db hammer press
26's*12............Did not really go heavy as it's a new exercise. My upper back was on fire from these probably because its working so hard to stabilize me when pressing.
Done high reps with very light loads on upper back and deltoid movements to help with recovery. Need to do this more.
Db hammer curl
Finished in roughly 60 minutes with more recovery type stuff. Sometimes I don't care about training for over 1 hour as I just want to work hard and also my conditioning is a work in progress.
I really tried to focus on building the triceps today so did not give as much attention to lat work. I have not given them enough volume over the weeks and thought 8-10 sets of floor press and Db work would build them up but they are both presses so my dominant deltoids and pecs get a lot of the work and I dropped extensions for so long, which is no good. From now on I will do pressing and extensions on ME and DE but also try and do sessions like this with priority given to working the triceps hard so the overall volume goes way up and this should raise my bench!
ME Squat (10th September)
Only needed less than 10 minutes of mobility work as I am much more flexible now and could squat max width (feet against rack) to my lowest box height).
"10.5" Box Squat
Goal today was a 20kg PR of 180kg. Got 160kg 6 weeks prior.
Bar/60/100/120/130kg........Warm up sets. 2-3 reps explosive but sitting far back for 1 second count.
90%+: 145x1/155x1/165x1/175x1(Lost my form and left knee came in but weight felt light)/180x1 (Not too much grinding)
I will now start adding plates to the box again and break current PR's at each height up to my highest box of "15".
Ultra wide sumo
170kgx2....Still a grip issue from torn left hand
add chalk: 170x2
180x2...............Very difficult sets with no belt and a very bad lift for me.
100kgx2,3,4,5.......Only 60% of my max but hips were gone at this point and got some decent work.
Had to wait lengthy periods today for equipment in my gym. Left accessory work for later today.
PM........Triceps and active recovery
Decided to do triceps work for 2nd day in a row to kind of shock them a bit and then let them recover for ME bench on Wed. Will do abs training probably tomorrow as can recover from that easily enough.
4x Ez extension on decline
2x flat ez extension
3x Db hammer press (stability ball)
3x rope pushdown: 10-12
Done a exercise used at westside I think, a medicine ball press on assisted chin up machine changing grip for tricep rehab using light weight high reps, also face pulls for recovery of upper back and shoulders.
Weighed in at 260lbs tonight so I am maintaining my weight well right now on lower calorie diet.
Abs and recovery stuff 9/11/12
Done a circuit of high rep light weight isolation movements for the pressing muscles and felt much looser for it.
Then onto the heavy Abs work I left out yesterday.
Db side bend
3x Pulldown Abs: 12-15 reps
3x Rope kneeling crunch: 10-12 reps
40kgx10 w/drop set
ME Bench (9/12/12)
Close grip Floor press (Index on smooth) Previous PR was 150kg touch and go months ago.
142x1 (Well a slight finger up and a slightly uneven lockout: These are the lifts that need recorded)
I am not too surprised by this. My bench has definitely got a bit backward. This felt like a pure triceps movement and that is where I am struggling right now. I also hope my wide pressing improves soon.
82kgx3-4-3(10) Could not lock this weight out at the top for some reason so were half reps
60kgx5 full range
Db hammer press
Tate press....the only thing I felt strong on all night but I try to go heavy on ME accessories and loosened the form a bit
Lat bar seated row
Machine Inverse fly
3x heavy sets of 8
3x heavy sets (about 10 reps)
GPP (13th September)
Some extra work for the triceps,lats and upper back with active recovery for upper body today
Ez bar Jm press
Wide grip pulldown
Volume and intensity were very good today and so went longer than a standard extra workout apparently should as I took longer rest between rowing sets. This is still progress in my GPP and strength.
DE Squat+Deadlift (09/14/12)
Done only lower body mobility today to get ready for the low box. I did not have problems with setting up bar placement so upper mobility must be better.
"10" Box Squat: 12x2 w/122kg (roughly 60%) and -1 minute rests.
I brought a tape measure and this box height was just under 10 inches so my lowest box to date. This was in a different gym where I have never squatted or pulled before and the rack is more narrow forcing me to use a closer stance but still quite wide. I am pretty sure this closer stance boosted my speed as I was moving very fast and sitting back and for at least 1 second on the box.
Conventional Pull: 12 singles w/30 second intervals..no chalk or belt
165x4/185x4/195x1 (decelerating at lockout so no good)/185x3..........This was a good return to decent deadlifting now that my left hand is fully healed. Was also using a thick cheap bar.
Suspended GM (Pins set at mid-belly)
140x2............much better depth for GM's
GM (to pins)
Db side bend
It looks like I will be able to add some chains and bands to my training now as have access to them so hopefully no more straight weight on DE day.
DE Bench Day (15th September)
Bench Press w/40kg of chain
8x3 w/60kg bar weight, 30 sec intervals.........First time training with accommodating resistance so obviously the sets were inconsistent as I got used to the feel of the chains de-loading and loading and swinging. When I moved the descent as fast as I could under control it felt great and now I can understood why the chains work.
Jm press (off pins)
70x5.......Did not enjoy this at all. Probably worth chucking this exercise away as any exercise where you collide with pins seems to be nothing but a joint destroyer. Will just have to do regular Jm press and try and keep the deltoids out of it more.
5x Face pull
4x Tate press
20kg's x 10-15 reps
2x Kroc rows (w/straps)
60kg x 15 and 12.........Felt light
4x Db rolling ext.
20kg's x 8-12 reps
ME Squat Day (17th September)
Began with 25-30 minutes of mobility work including rotator pre-hab, upper body dynamic, hip pnf, arching on stability ball and air squats to different box heights.
"11" Box Squat with 50kg of chains(Medium stance/Low bar)
140kgx1 (First heavy set but still kind of easy)
170kgx1 (220kg top of lift/Chains did not fully deload so about 190kg on the box)
140kgx1.....Counting this as a 4th heavy lift but was quite easy
Full Ft Squat
120kg x 3 singles
100kgx2 (Ass touching the ground, trying to be explosive)..........Still shit at these mainly an upper back weakness as it is hard to stabilize using the crossed arms technique
Ultra wide sumo
140kg + 50kg chain x 3-4 triples..........Feet were almost touching plates so chains did not overload lockout too much
Decline sit up
40kg x 2 sets of 12
Db side bend
50kg x 10
2 x sets of 10
Arms training (09/18/12)
Ez Jm press
50x12..........Kept rest down to 30 seconds
Db hammer press
x5.....Poor choice. I cant really use my triceps on this and is always delts and pec taking over. Think this is why I am so weak with a close hammer grip on Db's.
Tate press + Db rolling ext super-set
2x sets with 20kg's 8-12 reps
DB Hammer curl
3x sets high reps w/40kg for forearms
ME Bench (09/19/12)
20 minutes dedicated to bench specific mobility work
Bench press w/50kg chains (approx 40kg at top/20kg at chest)
(all sets thumb from smooth)
bar w/chains for 3 sets of 5
Add slingshot: 130x3 (150/170)....This was very easy. Feel I could have got a single raw if I moved faster in the bottom.
I have only used chains 3 sessions now twice for bench and already love them. I think they can help mentally in the bottom of a lift as well as physically as they teach me to use much more force.
Jm press (Revised form)
60x8.......Kept in a straight line with hands behind elbow so not a full extension like I was doing. Should build strength in arms faster now
Db rolling extensions
add straps: 70kg x9
Machine inverse flys
3 x heavy sets
3x heavy sets
This was the best bench press session I have had in a long time. Felt strong and explosive on the bench. My set up is improving as I force an arch and upper back tightness, just need to learn to drive with legs more and stretch the bar.
DE Squat+Deadlift (09/21/12)
"11" Box Squat (For some stupid reason I did not bother with adding extra resistance)
125kg 2x2....This was not speed work
110kg 8x2....This was better, around 60%
I see now why straight weight does not really make since for DE as you will just decelerate anyway and that is not any form of speed work.
Conventional pull w/50kg chain
10x singles 140, 160, 170kg.....Probably only 20-30kg of chain at lockout but felt very explosive.
Done 4 sets of pulldown abs back to back, was very frustrated today and everything just felt hard. Deadlifting is feeling better though as I get used to the extra body-weight.
DE Bench (22nd September)
Before benching I went through specific mobility work for the bench again and feel it is making a difference as I am setting up my back and legs better and feel more solid.
Bench Press w/50kg of chains
8 sets of 3 w/75kg, 30 sec rest
3 close, 3 narrow, 2 wide
After the speed work I done high rep work for recovery using Db's and an empty bar. Joints were hurting from bench and this tactic seems quite popular.
Vbar Seated row
Machine inverse fly
2x sets of 12
ME Deadlift (09/24/12)
I was supposed to do something specific to deadlift lockout today and take a break from box squatting on Monday every week.
I do not have any mats or blocks so tried pulling from the power rack pins just below the knee and it was a disaster. Tried this some weeks ago in another gym with a torn hand and done better then. Even with 140kg warm up set I struggled for 3 reps. Eventually worked up to a grinder with 220kg, which I had to give 2 attempts and then missed 240kg. I have done 260kg for reps on this lift before though and a 280kg max!
Felt the equipment played some part as this was probably the cheapest bar and plates you can find. I am also struggling with getting enough food and have no energy and my deadlift has felt weird since bulking up from 240-260lb in a short space of time especially the lockout.
I done some ultra wide sumo pulls and then decided just to stop and leave.
Ez bar extensions
Rolling Db Extensions
20kg's x 10
22.5's x 10
3x heavy sets of 12
50kg x 30 (Rep PR)
60kg x 15 w/straps.........This felt like intense cardio for me, I had to lie down between switching sides let alone sets, which felt pathetic
Chest supported row
40kg x 12
The electric gym scale weighs me at 264lbs now, it has to be wrong as I am eating less than half the calories it took to get me this heavy. It could be because of a lowered metabolism or something. Starting to feel fat though.
ME Bench Day (27th September)
10 minutes working on specific mobility drills to help me on the bench. My set up was the best it has ever been this week.
Close Grip Bench w/50kg of chains
120xMiss.....Seemed to loose my form all together on this set. Bar came behind my elbows slightly and my wrist wraps unraveled
115x1....About 125kg on chest and 150kg at lockout. Should have been able to get 120kg though.
Db rolling Ext
Straight bar pushdown
3x heavy sets of 12
70kg x 12 w/straps using quite strict form
Chest supported row
DE Squat+Deadlift (7 weeks out)
A lot of mobility work needed today for the hips, erectors, arms, shoulders and upper back as they were tight from bench yesterday.
"11" Box Squat w/50kg of chains
3 x doubles with 104kg
7 x doubles with 115kg..........After getting warmed up these sets were excellent compared to last weeks's awful squats. The speed was much better and felt so light throughout the whole lift.
3x singles w/155kg
7x singles w/175kg
I then tested my power with what was supposed to be heavy singles using 197kg bar plus 40kg chain at the top. Done 3 and was almost fast and easy enough to be speed work, no belt. This was roughly 240kg at the top and felt nice so I really should get a 240kg+ in meet conditions.
125kg x 6
138 x 4
145 x 3
104 x 8.............This was good progress strength wise
Finished with 6 sets of heavy Abs work
Pulls were done from the standard height this week as have used weird small plates previously making it a deficit pull. I expect to improve my deadlift further when I start training with a powerlifting belt and power bar prior to my competition.
Squat has been going very well for past 7 weeks but need to practice actual free squats very soon and that leaves bench press, which needs some big progress over the next 7 weeks particularly technique wise.
Chain Bench Press
8 x triples w/80kg using 3 grips. 120kg at the top.
3 x sets of 10
Vbar seated row
80kg x 12
Chest supported row
Machine inverse fly
2 x sets of 10
Sumo pull with Chains
70kg x 3 sets 5
add 50kg of chain: x 3 sets 5 changing resistance at top
All sets with 25kg of chain at lockout
124kg x 3
150 x 2
Add belt:176 x 1
Add chalk: 188 x 1
195 x 1
202 x Miss (Could not squeeze past sticking point when total weight got close to 230kg)
No belt: 176 x 2
183 x 1....Needed more work and got about 5 sets over 90%
My poor sumo pull is mostly down to poor technique. This is obvious when I use my first warm up set as I make it look heavy when it is not.
136kg x 6
148 x 4
160 x 3
136 x 3
104 x 6....The heavier sets were with messy form but I really need to push these
Also done 7 sets of heavy Abs work
Some extra accessory stuff for bench tonight
60kg x 12
50 x 12......Only done a little bit as this exercise is draining and no point being fatigued tomorrow
Chest supported rows
50kg x 12
60 x 12
70 x 10
2 x 20,15
Machine inverse fly
2 x 12
I just like to work and feel that on both Bench days I use most of my energy on the main lift and Triceps work so only done pulling muscles tonight
Fat Bar Bench Press w/chains (Wide Grip)
(Around 40kg of chain @lockout)
bar x 8
+chains x 6
62kg x 5
84 x 5
96 x 4
103 x 3
108 x 2
115 x 2
120 x 2
132 x 1 (170+kg @top)...Big PR with chains
139 x miss (180ish @top)....Stalled just short of lockout
86 x 7
93 x 4
Db rolling ext
22.5's x 8
25's x 6
27.5's x 6
30's x 4
Fat grip pushdown
3 heavy sets: 10,8,8
More Bench Press Accessory work
4x Incline bar extensions
4x Vbar pulldowns
4x Chest supported rows
3x Db curl
30 mins including long warm up. Holding back in these sessions deliberately to feel better for the main work days.