OK, I'm still alive and kicking. Going to be starting a raw block program in a few weeks. Just laying off and doing gpp/conditioning work to get ready for the volume. Been on the treadmill, walking, foam rolling, and doing some dumbell complexes.
I have been sticking to my backloading plan for nutrition. I have been a little easy on myself in a few ways. I have taken a few scoops of protein out of my day and have been lenient in my evening meals. Not going wild, but just giving myself a little break before I get serious. I took about 4-5 lbs of bloat off. I was 289 this morning. I'd like to be around 280 by January and then slowly strip off the last 5 lbs by the end of March for my meet.
TPS Seminar Wrap up
Arrived in the Boston area, Everett to be exact, late afternoon on Friday. My first thought when I saw the new TPS is, this place is huge. It's not common to see a place that promotes strength athletics to be this big. These types of gyms are usually relegated to dungeon types of facilities. TPS has all the regular trimmings of a gym and then every piece of strength equipment you could want: monolifts, logs, competition benches, yoke bars, fat bars, etc. So if you are within driving distance you should be training there on a regular basis.
So I met up with Rhodes, he was starting to train with Steve and Kevin, great guys I must say, although it hurts to say it. I spent some time with Murph. I was actually giving him deadlifting advice. He later came back to thank me for it. Glad I still remember a thing or two about those other unimportant lifts.
We all caught up later for a few adult beverages. My old college buddy Pooler even made an appearance. Being a bit more mature, in age, not behavior, I was hoping to get home at a decent hour. Vinci needs his beauty sleep. We ate, drank, and hung out, it was an excellent time. Other than the fact that Murph, the filthy animal and Chad, with his piercing blue eyes, were tickling the crap out of me. It's not normal male behavior. But as my wife says, I'm loved my women, men, and beasts. Murph and Chad cover all three of those, but they can figure that out.
Saturday was the seminar. I have to apologize to the attendees. We were 7 minutes late in arriving. I always try to be punctual when people are paying for my time. I have been to seminars where people are egregiously late and I find that shameful. Although it was just a few minutes, it was still unprofessional. That being said, I was very well prepared to present. The group was focused and asked great questions. I learned a few things from listening to Chad and Rhodes. I don't think you can ever have too much information on a topic. However, you can perseverate over that information, and that's a bad thing. Example, living on the East Coast, I can get to California by taking a left. It may not be the best way to get there, but through sheer determination, I will. Whereas, if I spend all my time planning the best route, how fast I should drive for the best mileage, etc I may never leave my house.
The hands on portion is always my favorite. This group was very coachable. I was really impressed with how many people I saw have that "Aha!" moment when I was able to show them how to drive with their legs while benching. A lot of people commented about my enthusiasm. I really appreciate that because I have a great enthusiasm for what I do. I take it very seriously. I'm highly ranked and glad to feel highly regarded. I want to keep it that way.
Thanks to everyone who came out including both attendees and those who helped. I felt like it was a huge success. If you have interest in getting me for a seminar, let me know.
Dumbell complex 15 lb dumbells 3x10 with 2.5 minute rest between each complex
Alt bent over rows
Pushups (doing them from knees, too much pressure on my shoulder otherwise)
Alt overhead presses
These are all super easy as they should be with 15 lb dumbells. Although I must say the burpees kick my a$$. I am just working on conditioning and gpp for a few weeks so I am not worried about strength.
I have a confession to make. I have become one of them. I got myself a pair of vibram five fingers. I spend as much time in my life barefoot as I can. I also have minimalist shoes for work and I must say my back and joints feel great. So, I took the plunge. The vibrams are a bit odd at first, but I have really enjoyed training in them for a few sessions. I would never squat in them and I don't know that I would do my heavy bench work in them (gonna try them out to see), but I could not imagine there's a better shoe to deadlift in. Lastly, the reverse lunges and burpees were much easier than the last time I did them in sneakers. It was really nice having the flexibility with my toes for those exercises. If you like being barefoot, you should give them a try. By the way, I followed the sizing instruction on their site, and my pair fit perfectly right out of the box.
Wed - ART
Went for ART on my shoulder/pec and my snapping hip. The Dr. noticed the remnants of a massive bruise I had on my inner thigh. It came about a few weeks ago. I thought I had been banging my inner thigh while doing kettle bell swings. It did not seem likely with it's sheer size, but I turned a blind eye to it. The doc is confident I tore something. It certainly would explain the bruise better. I guess I'll live. Good thing I am not beginning squatting and deadlifting for another ten days. I remember this happening to my tricep some years back. I never noticed anything happened and then I had a big bruise on my tricep. Turned out to be a partial tear. Healed up quickly and never really bothered me. I guess some tears are worse than others.
I have hardly done any training at all. Have not really done much as far as conditioning either. It's funny, my shoulder feels great, but the rest of my body feels like crap from the inactivity. I am just not motivated if I am not training for anything. I know I should be doing gpp work to get ready for the first accumulation block of my next program, but I just can't bring myself to it. We'll see if all my time under the bar has me prepared, if not, it's going to be a struggle.
I am very excited about the program Brian Holloway wrote up for me. Brian is an athletic trainer with his CSCS. He's also working on nutritional certification. He really asked for a lot of input when putting my program together. It is very comprehensive. We have banged ideas off one another for quite some time, I respect his opinion greatly.
I decided I wanted to try a block training program for my next raw bench meet. I have not worked reps for as long as I can remember. It has a brutal simplicity I am looking forward to. I am hoping with my nutrition dialed in, the work will assist me in getting down and training between 275-279 lbs.
Lastly, I'd like to leave off with my time at the Southen CT Special Olympics Powerlifting meet from this past weekend. Josh, Drew, Brian, and Jessica made the trip to help. Thanks to all. They ran two platforms and the lifting was spectacular. The crowd was bigger than normal and the energy was great. There was not a single bomb in the meet. We had to throw some reds which is heartbreaking, but this is a competition. The athletes and coaches are well aware of what their competition is lifting. Also, this qualifies some lifters to go to bigger meets, so they have to be ready for tough judging.
This is the best meet I attend every year. I'd rather volunteer at this meet, than compete at my own. That says a lot becuase I can be pretty selfish. These are the coolest athletes in the world. If you hear of a sp olympics meet in your area please go out and support the athletes. I will be doing a Penguin Plunge to raise money for the Special Olympics, so keep an eye out. I'll be looking for some donations. Thanks.
Stupid Seven Dynamic Warmup
Band ab pulldowns 3x15
Band gm's 3x15
SSB squats 65/115/155/180/205/6
Trap bar dl 135/160/185x6
Yes, this was stupid light. I have not squatted in some time. My snapping hip still bothers me, but I had to get under the bar. I must say I was nervous about every rep, even as light as they were. I don't know whether it wsa physical, psychological, or a combination of both. I am just going to take small jumps each week and see what happens.
Friday - Bench Pre accumulation
Significat Six B-Holl Personalized Warmup
Bench 330 5x5
Seated pulldowns 120 3x12
Band pullaparts 20 seconds x3
Dumbbell curls 25 3x15
I just could not take another week of not benching. Brian game me a pre accumulation bench session. Kind of just giving me a taste of what's to come.
Yes, this was all very light. However, Brian the sadist had me doing everything "bodybuilder style" slow and controlled. This was awful. I am so used to lifting explosively. I had this weird feeling of a "pump." I was close to ripping off my shirt and oiling up. Thankfully for those around me, that feeling subsided.
I am quite sore from this stupidity, most of all my pecs. I did not even know I had them. Seriously, pecs are used in the bench? Go figure. Anyway, this is just a taste of what's to come.
Bodyweight is 290. The goal is to be under 285 by the end of December and then under 280 by the end of January. This way I'll basically be competition weight for two months before my next meet.
Make sure to check out the Just Big show tomorrow night. We're having Jason Pegg on. This should be fun.
Monday 11/28/11 - Cardiac/recovery
Treadmill, 20 minutes at heart rate 120
Foam roll upper and lower
Diet is squared away. Training is squared away. Body is pretty healthy. Time to make hay mf'ers!
Tuesday 11/29/11 - Accumulation I week 1 upper assistance
Seated overhead press 240 3x4
Rolling dumbbell tri ext 40 5x10
Blast strap inverted rows 3x10, 6x5 (60 total rep goal)
Face pull 50 3x12
Alternate dumbbell hammer curls 20 4x16
Dumbbell 3-way Shoulder(F/S/R) 10 1x20 each
OK, I did not warm up today. I will not make a habit of this. I have been extremely successful using a warmup as of late and have been much healthier as a result. For various reasons I did not train until the evening which is not my normal schedule.
It was good to do OHP again. I have not done them in sometime. Perhaps that could be partially responsible for some of my shoulder issues. Anway, used a slow and controlled motion to complete all of the reps. 2 minute rests between sets.
For the rest of the work I maintained only 1 minute of rest between everything. My forearms were so crazy pumped from squeezing everything so tightly, having to incorporate that bodybuilding style of lifting. It was funny, I almost failed on my last rep of rolling dumbbell tri extensions. I have not had that feeling with light weight in as long as I can remember. The curls were stupid light, but my arms were killing me. Lastly, even though the side raises were only 10 lb dumbbells I had to do a little swinging to finish them. 60 reps on a set is not exactly in my comfort zone.
Could hypertrophy be kicking in already? I have gained 4 lbs since Friday's session. I have been eating quite a bit after these sessions. My body is just spent and craving fuel. Especially yesterday where no carbs were consumed until after training around 8:30 ish.
Upon the completion of the week, I will look over the results and adjust my nutrition plan accordingly.
Amost ready for the Pumping Iron Sequel biatches!
Wednesday 11/30/11 - Accumulation I week 1 lower assistance
Band stomps 3x12
Step downs 3x12
Plate drags 3x12
Standing band stiff leg gm's 3x12
These exercises were done with no rest between any of the sets. I superset the gm's and situps as to not do one long set of each considering the rest of my work was unilateral. One leg got to rest while the other worked. Brian wants me to keep a 4th day of training in during the accumulation phase of my training. We will evaluate after each block.
Considering my hip seems to be improving I wanted to do more functional and corrective work. The unilateral exercises are hitting a lot of left out muscles in my training, as my lower work consists solely of squats and deadlifts. Also, I do not want this to be a taxing day as far as weights. I want to keep fresh for my Friday bench sessions. This is just a day for some volume. I definitely felt like I worked and did something productive.
Thursday 12/1/11 - Cardiac/recovery
Treadmill, 20 minutes @ heart rate 120
Foam roll upper and lower
Wow, the body is feeling good. After more or less taking 3 weeks off after my meet, the body was just not in good working order. I had aches and pains I don't normally have.
With one week of solid work things that might normally aggrevate my body are no longer. Things such as putting my socks on, getting down and up off the floor for foam rolling, bending over to get things off the floor can be arduous. This may sound a little nuts, but being 5'7" 290 lbs and training heavy for decades takes a toll. There was a time when I never put my own socks and shoes on. I'd just leave stuff on the floor because it was too difficult or painful to pick it up.
This might sound completely crazy to most, but there are some of you out there who get this. For those of you who are living with this, it can change. Proper nutrition, recovery, conditioning, and a sound well thought out
Friday 12/2/11 - Accumulation I week 1 Bench
Sensual Seven super special warmup
Bench 330 3x6
Dumbbell incline 50/60/70/80/90x10
D-Rows 150 5x10
Incline YTW 5 3x10
Band Pushdowns 2 light bands 25/20/15
Dumbbell Hammer Curls 30 3x15
More bb style work. The last rep on the 360 was a close one. Looking ahead to my next two accumulation weeks I wondered if I'd be able to finish the work. Spoke to Brian about this, he told me I can adjust my tempo in order to finish my reps.
This accumulation stuff is pretty brutal. I'm used to using force instead of squeezing out reps on every set of every exercise. The nice thing is, you can make almost any weight feel heavy rather than having to lift enormous loads of weight.
This style of training is so different than what I am used to. I have to say it is not confidence building, however, that's not the point. I'll be interested to see how the intensification block feels. This is an etertaining science experiment on my body.
What you are doing is great, stepping outside the box and taking a different approach will do wonders.
Sounds like a super project.
Sunday 12/4/11 - Sq/dl
Seated ssb gm's 4x10
Kneeling band ab pulldowns 4x10
SSB squats 295 3x6
Trap bar dl 275 3x6
I sound like a broken record, but this was another light day. I think it's only been my second week back squatting in over 4 months. It's beyond pathetic that I am using heavier weights to bench than squat and dl. However, to use and already overused term, it is what it is.
Fortunately I did not feel any give in my bad hip so the plan will be to jump up to 3 plates next week. The saddest thing is how unbelievably sore my legs are today.
Lastly, my form was awful on the dl for the first two sets. It was as if I stiff legged them. On the last round I reset at the bottom instead of touching and going. It made a huge difference. Guess I have kind of forgotten how to do this stuff it's been so long.
Well, I guess that wasn't lastly. I am home sick as a dog today, but I will do everything in my power to get into the studio for an hour tonight for the Just Big show with none other than Donnie Thompson. Tune in to www.ftns.co at 8:00 pm est to catch it.
I'm so sick it's miserable. No cardiac or recovery work. Well I guess maybe tons of sleep and over the counter meds can count as recovery.
At least I lost 4 lbs. It's a good start to my diet down to 275.
Not to forget my legs are crazy sore from light weight squats. I'm such a weenie.
I blame Brian. He is a sabotuer.
Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220
Friday 12/8/11 - Friday - Accumulation I week 2 Bench and my early thoughts on Block
Optimum Eight Warmup
Bench 390 3x6
Dumbbell incline 80 5x10
D-Rows 150 5x12
Incline YTW 5 3x10
Band Pushdowns 2 light bands 21/14/12
Dumbbell concentration curls 20 3x15
So, I have been rather sick for almost a solid week now. I have not gotten any work in during the week. In addition I have lost about 8 lbs. I felt well enough to train, but did not think I'd be well enough to push the pace of my training as I am supposed to during this block.
I got my warmup done pretty much by the time the other guys started warming up so I jumped on the bench. The warmup did not leave me wheezing, as this was a concern considering I am asthmatic and I was sick. This being so promising I got on the bench quickly in hopes of finishing before the rest of the crew got started. Amazingly the weight felt fine. I was probably close to the 2 minute rest mark because Eric and Drew jumped on with me and we kept a constant rotation with no wasted time.
Now I know I have really only had three sessions of this block type bench, but I have a very good feeling about it (FYI, it says I am only on week 2, but I had a pre accumulation week as well). The first week felt like crap with the bodybuilding style reps this block requires. This especially sucks for me because I rely on being explosive to move the weights I do. As a result, last week with just 360 for 3x6 I thought I might not even get my last rep in. That's when I asked Brian if I could up the tempo of my bench if necessary to finish reps. He said yes. However, even being sick and lighter this week, the 390 felt like cake and I did not have to up the tempo at all.
Hmmmmmmmmm, perhaps my body is adapting. Being an old dog, I was not certain I could learn any new tricks. I must say, I was very intrigued at the last EliteFTS seminar when I listened to Frey present on Block Periodization. I have great respect for Jeremy as a lifter and as a coach. He is technically flawless and strong as $hit. However, block seemed like more work than I was prepared for. That being the physical work and the mental preparation of the plan. Fortunately my training partner/physio Brian Holloway has taken the mental part out for me. Hey, I call him a physio becuause he likes being called that, he's kind of fancy, plus he wrote my current program (sorry Brian, I can't control myself sometimes).
After the pre accumulation week I looked ahead at my numbers and I thought there would be no way I could squeeze out 3x5 with 420 in such a tight and controlled manner. Now, I have no concerns. I am very much looking forward to my first intensification block in a few weeks when I can blast weight up like I'm used to. I'm anticipating there will be some carry over from the accumulation work. It's starting to make sense. I now look at this block program as a cresdendo of benching. Again, it is very early in this plan to be so excited. Let me just say, I am cautiously optimistic.
Holloway will either be the hero or the goat depending on the end of this story.
Sunday 12/10/11 - Sq/Dl
Fabulous Five simple lower body warmup
Seated band gm's 4x10
SSB squats 115/155/205/245/295x6 335 3x6
Trap bar dl 315 3x6
Felt a twinge in my left thigh. Pretty sure it's the IT Band issue. I have been moving up either quarters or fortyfives each week with my sq/dl. That is not a well thought out plan. There's really no science behind it. So I am going to start using 5/3/1 for my squat and dl numbers again. I am going to use 400 for both numbers. With 5/3/1 the numbers will be around the weights I have been using. Plus, if I am not feeling it, I can just do the numbers. When I'm feeling good I'll bust out extra reps on my last set like prescribed in the program. I'll run it for a month then reassess. Just adding weight every week hoping the leg holds up was not a solid plan.
I love the way you analyze everything, Vin. Really shows the amount of thought that goes into serious lifting.
Add me on Facebook: Gaz Pengelly
Best Lifts: | Goals:
SQ167.5(368.5) | 180(396)
BE112.5(247.5) | 120(265)
DL205(451) | 220(484)
Good Morning Vin,
I've been follow you new training. What is the theory behind " accumulation " blocks. What has it helped you most in ? On another note, great interview with Donnie Thompson the other night. Hope you keep getting people of his caliber to interview. Good luck with the training.