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Chris_ottawa's Training Log


I was going to go to a meet in Montreal next month but this training cycle got a bit messed up with moving so I changed my mind, it looks like I have some good momentum going with my deadlift and squat is making some gains too (although hitting depth in wraps is an issue at the moment) so I will just keep that going. I gave up on IPF/CPU so the next meet in Ottawa is going to be in the spring.


Good luck!


Maybe elbow positioning then? Like tucking and flaring the right amount at the right time. I hear people flaring too early a lot and there’s no where to go. Maybe with heavy weight or slower reps it throws off your tuck and flare timing so you end up all triceps in an awkward spot?


Maybe I should post a video just so you can see, where I’m getting stuck is right about where I have the hooks set, like 5 inches from lockout. The only explanation that makes sense is what Josh Bryant said about the biceps inhibiting your triceps, I have never had an issue with the lockout before but I was also not as strong at the bottom.

As far as elbow positioning, the general idea is that you should have your arms around 45 degrees and wrist right over the elbow when the bar is on your chest, too much tucking is not good unless you are wearing a bench shirt. There won’t be a ton of flaring because you’re not really tucked to begin with. I have tried tucking my elbows more and it doesn’t help at all, but having your elbows too far out at the bottom is hard on your shoulder as well so it’s about just finding that right spot.


What angle are your arms at when you are near lockout? A vid would be nice but I don’t have anymore ideas. Weird to stick up there and frustrating probably because so close


If your biceps are afraid to let your arms straighten out, can you exercise the biceps through a full ROM for awhile to Teach them it is OK to stretch and allow your arms to straighten all the way?

I was searching for lockout tips last week and found an article by Charles Poliquin (Bench Press Lockout: A Solution) It had weeks of different bench lock-outs and pin presses and tricep extensions. But each of those lifts was paired up with a different bicep curl. Poliquin said that Maybe you get better activation of the tris when you work the antagonist right before.

Also, what about adding some bands to get more Tricep Oommph at the top. Like the opposite of using the Sling Shot. The same Poliquin article had skullcrushers, weight + band tension or bench press with weight + band tension. I’ve seen Bryant (in videos) use bands on dumbbell inclines.


Maybe like a 25-30 degree angle. Look at posts from April or earlier and you can find videos, I was using the same exact technique (minus ass coming off the bench).


Well, I don’t do any direct bicep work but I do chin ups, face pulls, and rows and allow my arms to get fully stretched on each rep. It’s not like I can’t straighten my arms, the way Josh Bryant explains it is that it’s a protective mechanism that works against you in the bench press, antagonist muscles provide stability but at some point they can inhibit the agonist muscle form functioning properly.

I have heard of stretching antagonist muscles for the same reason, there was an excerpt from a seminar a year or two ago with Matt Wenning and Poliquin where they said that stretching hip flexors before a max deadlift can help. I tried it and it didn’t do anything, but maybe it works for some people. The thing is that if it was so simple then a lot more people would be doing it.

I don’t really see bands as the opposite of the slingshot, they basically do the same thing just in opposite ways. I was thinking of doing some close grip bench with bands but right now my close grip bench is making progress so I figured I would just keep doing it the way I’m doing it and use a closer grip for my comp. bench. I’m also going to do rest pause singles for my heavy benching, I think it will help give me more technique practice with heavy weights and is supposed to be useful in itself.


You should read Josh Bryant’s book “Bench Press: The Science”. There’s a reason why he has so many of the top benchers. What he says to do in my situation where I can dead bench almost my 1rm is CAT bench, plyometrics, and try to improve technique.


Tuesday, September 4 - Main squat day -deload

Squat w/ wraps
465x2 - Tried using the red slingshot wraps again, depth was almost there. However, my last two warmups were 385 in sleeves and 435 with wraps, both looked exactly the same so I can’t blame the wraps. I think the two problems (aside from wraps themselves) are tight hips and trying to descend too quick.

CAT squat
350x3x3 - I slowed down the descent just slightly and hit depth no problem. I think part of my issue here has to do with trying do drop too quick, I need to allow the muscles in my hips to relax and if I go down too fast I catch the stretch reflex too fast. So moderate speed on the descent and full speed as soon as I hit depth. When I squatted 480 in sleeves last year in a meet (which was easy, by the way) I was descending a lot slower than I do now and I hit depth no problem.

Pause squat
285x3x2 sets - First time in a while with this, starting off nice and light. Maybe I should have been doing these instead of dead squats, I wouldn’t be whining about depth.

Snatch grip RDL

Ab wheel

Right now I’m frustrated with the knee wrap business, the Signature Golds are broken in now but it seems like I get less rebound from them, the elastic feels softer and easier to stretch (it was real tough at first) but now it’s like a thick, stiff wrap that barely has any elasticity. If I wrap the slingshots too tight then I can’t hit depth but if I leave some room from them to stretch then they seem alright and give me some decent rebound. I have Pioneer Guardians and a 2m pair of Inzer Grippers, both are pretty similar except for the rubber on the grippers. They don’t really give much rebound or much support but its easy to hit depth in them. I heard people talking a lot of shit about grippers but right now there are two guys in Ottawa, Paul Oneid and Dylan Polo, who are using them and both squat around 800. They are both about my size and have similar squat technique (except they actually hit depth) so maybe those wraps aren’t so bad after all. Anyway, I think I will try to work with the slingshots and just not wrap them too tight, I squat with a lot of knee flexion which should allow me to get more rebound from wraps but I need them to be able to stretch. If they are stretched to the max when I wrap my knees then I wont be able to bend my legs much.


Rest/Pause sounds like a good idea. Closer grip too. I’ll be following along.


Thursday, September 9 - Bench assistance day - deload

Close grip bench

Close grip 2 board
310x3 - only one set

Military press

JM press

Face pulls
light band x25x2

Nothing exciting at all. Close grip bench feels strong though.


Friday, September 7 - Light squat/deadlift day - deload

Squat - transformer bar in back squat position
315x2x6 - 45 sec rest - I controlled the descent more, focusing on building tension in my quads as I descend, depth was better and it felt like the weight moved faster too. I have a good feeling about this adjustment. I was relying a lot on the bounce out of the hole, wraps or not, which can work but this way should make depth more consistent and it doesn’t feel like I’m sacrificing speed out of the hole either. We will see.


CAT singles
420x5 singles - 1 min. rest

Deficit DL

Barbell row
340x6, 8 - was supposed to be 2 sets of 6 but I got carried away on the 2nd set. No big deal.

No overhand holds, deloaded grip work makes no sense.

I feel anxious to lift some heavy weights again. Deloads are boring, but necessary.


"Barbell row
340x6, 8 - was supposed to be 2 sets of 6 but I got carried away "
“I feel anxious to lift some heavy weights again”
LOL! I guess the rest of us aren’t even lifting


Monday, September 10 - Main bench day

Bench press - paused
Rest pause singles - 340x1x6 - 15 sec. rest + reset between singles, basically rack the bar, sit up and watch 15 sec. on the clock, then setup and do another single. So closer to 30 sec. between sets. I failed the 7th single, the last couple were a bit slow but I thought I could manage another. The idea is to keep going until I either fail or have a grinding single where I know I can’t do another.

Plyo pushups
3x5 - 45 sec. between sets

CAT bench
265x3x6 - reduced the weight to really focus on moving it fast, and I did.

Slingshot bench
375x3, 3 - maybe another rep on each set, maybe not.

Floor pause DB flys
45’s x13, 12, 11

Chin ups - supinated - paused at the top
bw +50x5x3, bw drop set: 3 reps - I had nothing left at the end. Sometimes I hate doing chin ups, this was one of those days.


Tuesday, September 11 - Main squat day

Squat w/ wraps
525x1, 1 - the plan was to do a triple, I did one rep in the slingshot wraps and it felt hard, I doubt I could have done more than a double, so I racked it and assumed that it was probably due to the wraps since I haven’t squatted anything heavy in the slingshots in a while. So I put on the Sig. Golds and went for another shot at it, it was even slower. I can’t blame the wraps, I guess I just don’t have it today. I think the weather might have something to do with it, it was nice and warm until some time last week and now it’s cold and rainy, I feel like I could sleep all day.

Volume work (in wraps)
475x3x3 - I thought I would try the Pioneer guardians just to compare, I used them on the first set and they suck. They don’t really provide any support, assume that they must have some rebound but they basically feel like uncomfortable knee sleeves. I did the next two sets in the slingshots, that went much better. Depth is still fucked up today, borderline or an inch or two above, but I’m getting there. The slingshots seem to have better rebound than the Sig golds now that they (sig golds) are broken in, I guess I will stick with the slingshots after all.

Pause Squat
325x4x3 sets - first couple reps were right at parallel, slightly better after but it still looks like my hips are tight. This wasn’t a problem until about a month ago, I think it might have something to do with the dead squats. I had this issue in the past, dead squats make you tighten up your hips at the bottom (which is above parallel) and I think that is a factor here. I have used them several times with good results, but I have noticed that they do fuck with my depth.

Snatch grip RDL
465x6x2 - this felt heavy. I was considering doing 3 sets but this was enough, I’m exhausted.

Not too happy with my squatting today, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Regarding wraps, from what I have seen in some recent raw w/ wraps meets like BOB and the US Open it looks like the most popular wraps are Pioneer Phantoms, Pioneer Lilliebridges, and Slingshots, so those are as good as it gets. The slingshots used to be the Lilliebrdge wraps and apparently the Pioneer version is quite similar. Phantoms are way thicker and stiffer, I don’t think they would work for me. I also see a lot of people in some black wraps, probably different brands but Iron Rebel seems to be popular and the Outlaws are plain black. Those sound like they could be good but it’s a pain in the ass to order from the US, I will just stick with my slingshots for now because they seem to be about as good as it gets. If I can’t hit depth I only have myself to blame.


Thursday, September 13 - Bench assistance day

Close grip bench
325x4, 3 - not sure if 5 would have gone up on the 1st set, 4 would have been a grind on the 2nd so I cut it there. Not bad at all.

Close grip 2 board
350x3, 3 - a couple hard triples

Military press
230x3, 3 - first one maybe had another, 2nd was all out. Reps are dropping off here, it seems like when I get past a certain point on this every 5lb increase makes a significant difference.

JM press
195x8x3, 9

Face pulls
light band x25, 25, 23, 21 - biceps feel this more than anything.


Friday, September 14 - Light squat/deadlift day

Squat - transformer bar in back squat position
320x2x6 - 45 sec. rest

535x3 - last rep was hard, not sure if I had another in me but could do more for 3 still. This puts my estimated 1rm at around 590, I should be pulling 600+ soon.

CAT deadlift
475x8 singles - 1 min. rest - these got hard by the end

Deficit deadlift
475x2 - the plan was 2 sets of 3-4 reps, I did a double and cut it there. It was hard to stay tight and this didn’t feel like it was going to be productive so I thought it would be better to end it. I’m going to switch this to something else, I think standing hip thrust aka RDL with a band around my waist is a good idea. In any case, it seems like I’m faster off the floor these days.

Barbell row
380x6x3 - sets of 6 instead of 8, trying to minimize sloppiness. Cheat rows are one thing, but once you start using leg drive and turning it into some sort of full body convulsion I don’t see the point.

Overhand hold
325x15 sec. x2 - I held on for the full time, although I started shaking by the end of the 2nd one.


I’m curious, how long do your workouts usually take?
You do quite a bit of volume at pretty heavy weight.


About 2 hours. Thursdays are usually more like an hour and a half.