I will check them out. I’m OK with my Levi’s for now though.
Monday, April 2 - Main bench day
375x1 - the weight is easy enough but I fucked up technically. My foot placement felt a bit off during my warmup sets, like I just couldn’t find the right spot, I didn’t give it much thought but on this set my ass came up off the bench. Also I set up too far up on the bench which caused me to hit the hooks, but that’s not a big deal. I had a problem in the past with my hips coming off the bench and I thought I fixed it, I didn’t even give it any though for quite a while. Now that I have a singlet on I see that it’s a problem once again. I know exactly what I need to do, basically put my feet out wider and pulled under me, it feels awkward but it won’t get me red lights.
405x1, 425x1 with 5 sec. hold
5 sec. isometric alternated with 285x3, 4 sets - I can see this is working, on the 375 single the bar didn’t slow at all in the mid range. It slowed right at the top, but I’m not too concerned. If lockout is an issue then the close grip 2 board presses should fix that.
335x5 singles, 2.5 min. rest - the last two were real hard
Flys w/ super mini band
Chin ups - neutral grip
Bench is moving up as it should, but the rising hip thing is a problem. I had intended to wear my singlet last Monday and forgot, too bad that I did.
Tuesday, March 3 - Main squat day
Squat w/ wraps
This was OK, strength is not the issue here. I tipped forward a little bit, which isn’t really big deal here but it could cause me to fail on a max attempt so I need to avoid that. Depth looks right about parallel or slightly high, the top of my knee is behind the rack post so it’s hard to really tell. Again, this is a WPC meet so I’m not expecting them to be to strict but I should aim for another two inches to be safe. I have this condition called Obsessive Squat Depth Disorder, it’s caused by competing in an IPF-affiliated fed. Anyway, at this point it looks like I should be capable of 560-570, I just need to sort out the minor details.
Walkout/10 sec. hold - 585 - this felt real heavy, maybe I should unrack something lighter before going onto the 10 sec. hold because 65lbs. is a big jump.
465x2x2 - this was light and easy, depth looks slightly better
Wraps off - 410x2x2 - the weight feels light but it feels weird when you get used to this big bounce out of the hole and suddenly you have none. Aside from that, these were well below parallel so at least I know that the depth issue is not due to flexibility or anything like that, it is 100% due to the wraps.
395x5 singles - starting to feel heavy. This feels like 90% glutes, which I imagine is a good thing.
RDL with bands around waist
So all I need to do is squat and inch or two deeper and keep my ass on the bench and I should total over 1500.
Damn Chris you’re a strong dude. Squats looked good, as did the bench yesterday.
When you do the walkout after the single, I suppose you unlock the knees but, do is it just unlocking or do you go to 1/10 of a squat or something ?
No, I just set up like I was going to squat and then count to 10 (slowly so it’s actually 10 sec.) and then rack it. I don’t know who came up with this idea originally, I first heard of it from Fred Hatfield and Josh Bryant also uses it with his lifters. If it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for me.
Thursday, March 5 - Bench assistance day
Close grip bench press
335x3,2 - The struggle here was more about keeping my ass on the bench than lifting the weight it seems. First set I tried putting my feet out as wide as possible and pulled under me, first rep looked OK, second I might have lifted my ass off the bench, third I definitely lifted my ass off. Second set I tried putting my feet more in front, not 100% sure that I didn’t lift my ass of but if I did it was like 1cm. I don’t like this setup though, less leg drive and less arch. I could have probably done 3 reps but I didn’t want to push my luck.
Close grip 2 board
365x2x2 - I tried setting up on my toes for this, it actually seems less awkward than the two previous setups and I get a better arch than usual it seems. I’m not 100% sure that my ass didn’t come up, I wouldn’t normally be worried but after that 375 bench on Monday with my ass an inch or more off the bench I don’t want to take any chances. This setup feels weird and not totally solid because I just haven’t done it before but it looks like my best bet at this point. I will practice my setup on off days too just to get used to it and work out any minor details.
240x3 - Only one set, I’m cutting down volume as the meet approaches
Floor pause tricep extension
Friday, March 6 - Light squat/deadlift day
Squat - transformer bar in back squat position
300x2x5 sets, 45 sec. rest, vertical jump after each set
530x1 - The bar came off the floor easier than I expected, I wasn’t pulling full force at all. In my head I was like “Oh shit, the bar is moving! Pull faster!”, it moved kind of slow but I was standing there with the bar in my hands before I knew what had happened. I think I need to apply more force sooner, I have been trying to ease the bar off the floor and then accelerate it once it’s moving but I’m not sure I’m doing it right. This could have been faster if I had done it differently. On the plus side there was no technique breakdown or shaky legs. Last warmup was 490x1, it was like an easy opener. However, my piece of shit camera didn’t record anything, I’m not sure if the memory card is full or what, I have the video on my other camera which I don’t have the cables for but it can rewind and fast forward. Don’t buy Polaroid digital cameras, they suck.
445x2x4 sets - 2.5 min. rest
435x2x3 sets - This is 20lbs. over last week, I was planning to do triples but these were kind of hard, like 8.5rpe, no use in grinding ugly reps so doubles it is.
Chest supported row
Any particular reasoning behind this?
It’s just a warmup, Josh Bryant said he uses box jumps or vertical jumps between light squat sets as a warmup for deadlifts and it has gotten his lifters good results. I’m not really sure if it’s doing anything for me but it certainly didn’t make me weaker and it takes about 2 seconds per jump. There are a few studies out there taking about alternating squats and deadlifts with jumps for post-activation potentiation, I believe that is where he got the idea.
Monday, April 9 - Main bench day
As I mentioned before, I recently realized that my hips are coming off the bench slightly. Today I tried benching on my toes, I made smaller jumps to my planned weight so that in case things didn’t go well (and it didn’t) the whole day wouldn’t be a waste.
So 340x1 and 360x1 went up just fine, I’m not 100% sure that my hips stayed on the bench though, maybe only the side is coming off and part is still touching, it’s hard to tell because I can’t get a video directly from the side.
After that I tried 380 and failed both times. On the 2nd attempt my ass definitely came up. So I’m weaker benching on my toes and my hips are still coming up, no good at all.
I skipped the two singles with the slingshot because I didn’t want to fail anything else and I sort of did some overload work anyway.
295x2x4 sets - I tried different foot positions here, it looks like if I just use my previous setup but arch my back hard I can keep my hips down. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one. However, in the last week I have been doing a bit of thoracic spine mobility work and it’s likely that I have increased my arch slightly. This whole problem here could be a result of decreasing t-spine mobility, I do absolutely no upper body mobility work on a regular basis because I didn’t think I needed it. I guess I was wrong.
345x4 singles - my hips might have come off on the 3rd one, not sure though. The rest were good. If I can do 345 on dead bench after all the other stuff I’m sure I can get at least 385 in the meet.
Flys w/super mini band
Chin ups - neutral grip
I’m pissed off at myself for messing around with benching on my toes. Last week it looked like I couldn’t keep my hips down with flat feet no matter what, but now its working again. It feels like a wasted session, hopefully next week will go better. I wish I had known about this hip thing a few months in advance, I had the same thing a while back and fixed it but it started up again.
No expert here, but I think, those things comes and goes.
When you’re not thinking about it, the body tends do go the easy way.
But as long as you are aware, when you bench, you’ll catch it before it gets a habit. If you have clues, make that one of the clues.
Just to let you guys know, my camera is officially dead. I have another one that can’t connect to my computer (I was recording on both so I could upload videos), I will try to find the cables. DO NOT buy Polaroid digital cameras, they are fucking garbage.
Tuesday, April 10 - Main squat day
Squat with wraps
Last warmup - 495x1 - depth looked good, moved easier than I expected, this looks like a safe opener.
530x1 - Something went wrong on the descent, it looked like I tried to sit straight down instead of pushing my hips back and it was a bit shaky as a result. Depth looks approximately parallel, I would personally give myself a red light, but it’s due to a technical mistake. The weight still went up, I think I could manage another 30- 40lbs. Something like 495-530-560 sounds about right.
On a side note, I tried wrapping my knees a different way. As I mentioned before I was concerned about squat depth, I had been wrapping my knees in the basic spiral style which puts a lot of wrap behind the knees. What I’m doing now is rather than 7 revolutions in a spiral I do 4 then an X over the kneecap and another revolution at the top, I got this from one of Sheiko’s article.
Next: walkout/10 sec. hold with 605 - this is the first time I had 600+ on my back. It felt really heavy at first but I think it’s partly psychological, after about 4-5 seconds it didn’t feel so bad.
475x2x2 - 475 never felt so light and easy before. These were good, all reps to depth. This new wrap method seems to give less “stopping power”, or at least it doesn’t kick in as soon, and the rebound seems to be the same.
No wraps - 420x2x2
410x4 singles - these were hard. The heavier you go the more crucial foot placement is, I set my feet too far forward on one rep and it was basically a good morning.
RDL with band around waist
mini+super mini+370x6x2 set - cut a set from last week. When you go heavy on these it starts to feel harder on your back than a regular RDL for some reason, I have done RDLs with over 400 and for higher reps and I feel this in my lower back more.
I found the camera cable here is 495 and 530 from yesterday:
Thursday, April 12 - Bench assistance day
Close grip bench
First set was good except I hit the hooks on the last rep. Second set my ass definitely came up on the last rep, I think I touched the bar too low or something and it threw me off, that rep was a slow grind. On all other reps I’m quite certain that my hips stayed on the bench, which is a good sign.
Close grip 2 board
I focused on keeping my hips down on the bench the whole time, I felt them touching so I’m 100% certain that they didn’t come off. The video doesn’t really prove anything one way or another, my hips rise but I can’t see whether or not part is still touching but I know it was touching.
245x2 - maybe could have done 3 but it doesn’t seem like it’s worth it at this point
Band pushdown - my left elbow has been feeling a bit sore after benching so I did this instead of the usual extensions. I think it has something to do with tight muscles in my forearm and not the triceps. The last thing I want to do is fuck up my elbow right now.
Super mini bandX10x3 sets - this was harder than it sounds, believe it or not
So anyway, it looks like the rising hips problem is taken care of. I was getting stressed over it and my bench session on Monday was fucked up as a result (failed 380). At this point I’m not really confident that I can get 400, my best bench is 365 (or approximate kg equivalent) in competition and 375 in training (at least once was with hips off the bench) so realistically if I can get 370-385 I can consider this training cycle a success. I definitely did get stronger but I have a major technical error so it’s hard to say what’s what. I had to submit my openers in advance, of course I can change them at the meet but I went with 225/155/227.5 - that’s only a 341 bench, which sounds really easy and is 2.5kg less than I opened with at the last meet. I still have another comp. bench workout on Monday and I will work up to my opener on the week of the meet, based on how things go I might have to increase my opener but I definitely don’t want to bomb out
FRIDAY THE 13TH - light squat/DEADlift day
I never bought into all the superstitious bullshit, but this is one Friday the 13th that lived up to its reputation, in and out of the weight room.
Squat with transformer bar in back squat position
300x2x5 sets, 45. sec rest, vertical jump after each set
500x1 - easy, although I think I pulled this faster about a month ago.
540xFAIL - This is what I’m pissed off about, based on how things were going recently this should have definitely gone up. I got it about 2 inches off the ground, got stuck for a second and dropped it. No technique breakdown, I just didn’t pull hard enough. Whether it’s because I didn’t have the strength or just didn’t put enough effort is the question, I pulled 540 almost a year ago on a stiff bar so I don’t understand what happened here. Looking at the video it almost seems like I didn’t even try hard enough, like I just got stuck and gave up. This wasn’t a max attempt or even a PR, and I’m not overreaching and I have been sleeping well. I blame Friday the 13th. Will post video later.
455x6 singles - 90 sec. rest - switching to singles for the last two weeks to really practice my setup. These were easy.
445x2x3 sets - these were hard. I get the impression that I’m not properly engaging my glutes when I pull from the floor, deficit pulls force me to or it would be a SLDL. Now if I can do the same thing when I pull from the floor it should make a difference. Still doesn’t explain why I failed 540 though.
Chest supported row
Monday, April 16 - Main bench day
The plan here was to do 345x1 and 365x1, and then based on how that went maybe a heavier single as well. 345 was easy, hips stayed down, same on 365. I thought 15lbs more was nothing, but I was wrong. I got stuck in the same damn spot I’m doing isometrics in. Part of the problem is the different setup (obviously), but I get the impression that I must have done something else wrong because 365 went up easily. I’m not really even upset, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep my hips down on anything heavy and obviously I can. So my 3rd attempt will be in the range of 370-380 depending on how the 2nd attempt goes, and I plan to err on the side of caution.
415x1+5 sec hold
355x3 singles - now I really wonder how the hell I missed 380, anyone who has ever done these would know that they are way harder than a regular bench press. I want to upload a video but youtube is fucking around right now, maybe later. Based on my 365x1 and this I should be able to bench 390-400.
Dumbbell flys w/ super mini band
Neutral grip chin ups
This is probably the most frustrating peaking phase I have ever had, but at least my squat is looking good and I know not to do anything stupid on my bench and deadlift. Tomorrow I’m going to squat 505, if that goes good then I will do 540. I’m still far from good as far as powerlifting goes, after this meet I’m going to spend a couple months getting less fat and more muscular, that should make a big difference.
Tuesday, April 17 - Main squat day
Squat with wraps
505x1 - Technique was just about perfect, good depth, slowed slightly at the sticking point on the way up but zero technique breakdown. Could have done this for a triple. I had given myself the option of squatting 540 after this but I wasn’t feeling as energetic as usual and I didn’t want to grind out a near-max squat or even worse, fail it. I figured it’s better to leave the last heavy squat session on a positive note, I squatted 530 with plenty in the tank last week and I’m sure I’m good for more than 550 at the meet. The goal for my third attempt is 555-565.
Walkout/10 sec. hold: 615
485x2x2 - this felt harder than 475 last week, but still only about @8 rpe.
425x3 singles - Don’t let the light weight fool you, these were hard. It’s hard to get the weight moving off the pins but a couple inches up you hit another sticking point and have to struggle to stay upright.
RDL with band around waist
Awesome squat man, looked so easy.
You just came here to check out mens’ bodies? I never said I was slim, but when I arch it looks like I have a bigger belly. Maybe you should learn to arch, add a few pounds to your bench press.