This was a rough session altogether - I was feeling pretty fresh and well-recovered after the extra rest day over the weekend, but that did not translate into a much better performance…
Pushups were tough and I barely got an extra rep on the first and last set. Every set felt like it was the most I could do without form going down the drain. Reverse flyes felt tougher than before as well, although I dd get extra reps across the board here.
Kept the reps the same for the pec flyes and face pulls but upped the weight, which went OK although I felt like my left pec/shoulder connection was close to straining.
Conversely my right shoulder was playing up a bit on the warmup sets for the DB OHP, but that seemed to pass by the working sets. I managed an extra rep on the first set here, but then it took everything I had to match the reps from last time out on sets 2 and 3, and then I failed going for the 9th rep on the last set. I did manage extra reps on the lateral raises but they were pretty painful.
Finally, I originally looked back to 2 weeks ago for the triceps exts as that was the most sets/reps I’d done previously, but once again got nowhere close - first set was OK but then it just went off a cliff and I only managed to match the 2nd set reps from last time out, and barely got an extra rep on the 3rd set (but still less than I’d managed 2 weeks ago). I cut this short at 3 sets again rather than pushing for a 4th as it felt done by that point.
Also worth a mention that I was already over the time I allot myself for these workouts before starting the triceps exts which is pretty annoying…
NG banded pullups - 7, 6, 5, 5 @ purple band
Inc. DB rows - 22, 16, @ 13s
DB pullovers - 15? @ 13
BB curls - 9, 7, 6, 6 @ 23.75
Pretty good session on the whole. Felt strong on the rows at the beginning, and could have done more on the top set but later sets were hard and I couldn’t increase reps on the final set. The back-off sets were tough too (after the pullups) but I did still manage to increase reps on both sets there compared to last time.
Pullups felt much better than last time, using a NG which is still moderately wide, outside shoulder-width, but not as wide as I was going before. Also didn’t use any added weight and only went for same reps as last time but I do feel I can build on this a bit.
The pullovers were OK too - still a bit awkward on the shoulder mobility but I do some decent mind-muscle connection. I did lose count however so I may well have done more than 15 in the end…
Curls were fine too, with weight increased compared to last time out. I dropped the reps by 1 to compensate, plus I felt like my arms had done a fair bit of work in the earlier exercises. On the last set however I felt like I had more in me so I went for the same as the one before just to push it a tad.
This was a real struggle - super tired when I got up this morning, really lethargic, and hungry to boot (which has happened the past couple of days). Got through the workout but was feeling rough throughout (not ill or hungover or anything, just tired and unwilling).
I did manage extra reps on the leg curls and split squats which was good, but it took a real effort to hit them. Went for same reps as last time on the RDLs but increased the weight. Those went OK, but my legs were shaking as I unloaded the bar at the end.
Sissy squats were mega-tough once again, but I felt like I could make it to 14 (to beat last time). In the end though I completely lost count, and in the end was finished when I got to what I thought was 12 although I may well have done more than that.
I might give that a look - I got a blood test done about 18 months ago and everything came back within normal ranges so I didn’t bother to repeat it.
I think this is just being brought on by the combination of volume and intensity I’m working with at the moment; I think I’ll bring forward the deload (i.e. after this week, rather than doing one more before it) and see how I feel at the end of that.
No training done yesterday as I just felt strung out, and after the leg day I didn’t think running was going to do much good so I had a day off instead. Looking ahead I then realised that if I wanted to do the 10k swing challenge I would need to start mid-next week to not mess up the end by going away in April, so the deload starts now.
The idea of this session was just to get moving - I set the time for 20 minutes and then just completed whatever round I got to once the time ran out (in this case round number 10). I wasn’t rushing through it but didn’t have any set rest times either; I just moved from one movement to the next and then rested as needed between rounds. If I was pushing it I think I could have got round 10 done within the 20 minutes and moved onto round 11, but that wasn’t the goal here.
Rows felt pretty decent and were done unbroken, with only a couple of slow reps on the last couple of rounds. Pushups were the real issue throughout, needed to be broken up from round 7 (14 reps). Air squats were OK despite glutes and hamstrings still being pretty stiff and sore from Wednesday’s session, but I got through OK but just keeping the movement going and not stopping for more than a second or two when needed (on the last few rounds).
One-arm press - 10 @ 5 (plate), 5 @ 12 (KB), 15.5 (DB, seated) ea arm
KB swings - 10, 15, 25, 50 @ 16
Chinups - 1, 2, 3
KB swings - 10, 15, 25, 30/20 @ 20
Dips - 3, 4, 5
KB swings - 10, 15, 25 @ 24
Goblet squats - 5 @ 16, 20, 24
This was a test-run of sorts for the 10k swing challenge, as I haven’t done many swings recently, to see what I could handle and also figure out how the extra movements would go. I wasn’t hurrying through, and also didn’t time anything.
I’m feeling less keen on the challenge now however as I’ve not done high-rep swings with these KBs before (I reckon only a set of 20 max, and probably mostly 10 reps or less) and I found here that I was really having to squeeze my hands up against each other to grab the handle, which is pretty uncomfortable and leaves my little fingers getting awkwardly pressed against the uprights, especially for the sets of 25 and 50. I also managed to tear off a callus on my right hand which doesn’t bode well.
If I do go ahead with it I’ll probably start off with the 20kg KB and look to progress to the 24kg one once I can do the sets of 50 in one go for all rounds. I think I’ll also use the movements above (24kg KB for the goblet squats) and use 2/3/5 reps for everything except the chinups which would be 1/2/3 reps.
No training today (07/03), just mobility work and the extra stuff from NNM that I gave up on a while back but thought might be good to bring back in on my off days for the 10k swing challenge.
On that note, I did some googling yesterday about the hand-placement issue on KBs and the consensus seems to be to either just do them one-handed (which I don’t want to do) or otherwise let your little finger hang loose rather than trying to squeeze them in as well, so I’ll give that a go and hope it’s not too weird.
This session was a bust - started off on 10k swing challenge, doing 10/15/25/30+20 swings @ 20kg KB, and first round was OK but from the start of the second round my hand was getting more painful again from where I tore the callus last time and I ended up calling it halfway through the set of 50 on the second round.
Just to note I’d also been doing 2/3/5 one-arm OHP with 15.5kg DB on the first round but realised that was a tad heavy and dropped it to 13kg for round 2.
With the 10k swing challenge off the table I’m back in no man’s land, so I just did something random for this session. I had an idea before about doing a conjugate setup, similar to what I’ve done in the past but spread over more sessions to cut down time per session for these mornings but I’m not sure if I can make it work or if it would be like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole…
Went for ring dips as the main movement just for something a bit different. His went OK but my shoulder was a little unhappy by the end so I opted to move onto assistance work at the end rather than doing back-off sets or any other ‘big’ movement.
Didn’t workout at all over the weekend as had other things on. Weighed in Sunday morning @ 13st 9.8lbs, which surprised given the lack of training and the poor food choices made during the week. Didn’t measure my waist though so can’t corroborate the effects.
13/03 (Early AM)
Was meant to start off on a new program (Neversate minimalist program) and starting ramping up on deadlifts but my head wasn’t in it and I felt like I could feel something in my low back/spine which had me worried - probably just the effect of having not picked up anything particularly heavy since hurting my back at the start of the year but it spooked me enough to stop there.
Spent some time sitting on the bench feeling sorry for myself, and then messed around trying to figure out a way to do banded leg curls.
I don’t think this counts as training in any shape or form, but I’m just logging it anyways for completeness really…
The idea was to do 3 sets each of the rows and presses, and then go on to do a few sets of biceps/triceps as another superset, but I’d somehow already run out of time after just doing the warmup sets as above. Pretty annoyed by that, and clearly I’d have to make a lot of changes to the what I’d planned to get fit it all in.
Front squats - 10 @ bar, 5 @ 30, 40, 50, 60, 1 @ 70, 4 @ 65
DB rows (L/R) - 10/10 @ 13, 18, 23, 28
So I’m thinking I’m going to go back to 5/3/1 Limited Time template, which served me well when I first switched to AM workouts, and should hopefully get me back to being consistent with training and building back towards something.
OHP felt OK although my right shoulder was a bit buggy at the top-half of each rep. Not enough to mess up the lift but just a bit bothersome. The 4th rep on the set of 45 is where the bar started to slow so I called it there. That’ll give a starting 85% TM of 42.5
The first set of front squats felt really off, and like I was really struggling to get the right positioning/stay upright enough. I tried elevating my heels (about 1") and that made a world of difference, with the remaining sets feeling much smoother. I’m thinking that’s just down to a lack of ankle mobility, probably due to doing heels-elevated squats over the past few months. I’ll need to work on that, and maybe think about investing in some proper squatting shoes.
70 felt super heavy when I unracked it so I just did the one rep (though not a true 1RM or anything). I was going to call it there but then figured I should try 65 and the set of 60 had worked OK, and that turned out to be a good decision. 65 still felt a bit heavy but not terrible, and the bar only slowed on the 4th rep again. Using an 80% TM (thinking of going 5x5/3/1 for front squats) comes out as 57.5.
I’d forgotten what weights I’d been using for Kroc rows last time I ran this and surprised myself by getting to 28 because I’d thought it was a lot lighter. Looking back now it was 33, but this is still a decent starting point. The rows here were being done strict, with a slight pause at the top.
To explain the low reps, the idea here is I’m doing these movements as strict as possible (full ROM, controlled concentric + eccentric, pause at top and bottom), and doing as many reps as I feel I can comfortably hit without straining etc. The idea is I’ll do this same sequence for both assistance days each week and just add a rep per exercise per session (maybe more if I’m finding them particularly easy) and really gradually increasing the volume that way. I feel this matches the 5/3/1 principle of progress slowly and should also give me something I can more easily progress as I lose weight (which is my intention).
Pullups were OK, although I’m not used to doing them strictly like this which was more challenging. Dips were tougher than expected as well - I opted for ring dips because I find my parallel bar dips a bit awkward, but I’m thinking now that might be the better option to begin with, and look to progress to ring dips later on down the line.
Pistols felt fine - I’m using the safeties in my rack as the ‘box’ to squat down to, and I’ll be looking to drop this until I can do full ROM without assistance.
The second giant set was fine, although in the interests of starting light I may well knock a rep off the pushups and rows just to being with. I’ll get back to these reps within a few sessions anyways so it’s not that big of a set-back.
For the swings I’m comfortable just pushing the reps from here, and as 24kg is the heaviest kettlebell I have right now and 12kg is the lightest, I’ll probably progress to one-handed swings at some point.