T Nation

Hard Work


#21

Deadlifts:

135 x 8
195 x 6
255 x 3
255 x 3
225 x 6

Had intended to do 5 reps of the 255, but was too tough. At this rate, no way I can make 300 by April. Not really surprising. It took 3 yrs to take my DL from 225 to 255.

Chin x 6 x 5 x 3

Not getting any stronger in chins. Working them really hard, taking them to near failure. Then again, I work everything hard.

My job contract is expiring in 6 weeks. Starting looking for another job, not going well. Applied for a perm with the place I'm doing the contract, but they won't tell me if I got it.


#22

It's bench day:

45 x 15
75 x 12
115 x 5
125 x 5
125 x 5 almost hit failure on this one
115 x 5
115 x 5

Overhead press:

45 x 10
65 x 8
90 x 1 hit failure on the 2nd rep for some weird reason, couldn't even rerack the bar. Fortunately, another guy was close enough to grab it. What happened? On the theory that my form was off, I continued.

90 x 4
90 x 4
75 x 6
75 x 6

Another session of hard, hard work. No heart palpitations, so either my conditioning's good or the medication is kicking in.

On the T-Nation home page there's a terrific article on genetics. It's one of the best explanations I've seen on why I've had such a screamingly difficult time building any strength at all. It certainly runs in my family. Compared to the other men in my family, I'm the Hercules. My brother is thin, my nephew is thin, my dad was horribly frail. I wonder if I've maxed out all the gains I'll ever get.


#23

We can only be our personal best. You're working hard. And that will pay off in the future in terms of not being frail. Stay the course.


#24

what the snapper said! When my father was diagonosed with Parkinson's, I did some looking around and muscle mass/strength is one of the best preventative measures for a multitude of ailments assosicated with ageing. That was one of the triggers that got me into the sport.


#25

Spot on, snapper. Soldog, sorry about your dad. Is he still around or has he passed away?

I'm still training for one simple reason: the alternative sucks. I know what awaits if I turn into a couch potatoe. No way. I'll go into my grave holding a barbell.

Last night pigged out at Golden Corral - BBQ brisket, all you can eat. Got a whopper night's sleep - almost 12 hours, totally zonked out. Felt so refreshed, couldn't wait to get to the gym for squats.

115 x 10
155 x 8
205 x 5
225 x 5
225 x 5
205 x 5
185 x 5

OK, so the 225s were a bit high, but still a PR and felt good. Actually, at our age, any squat where nothing between the shoulders goes snap, crackle, or pop is a good squat.

Cybex Leg Curl

5 x 12
7 x 10
9 x 6
9 x 5
9 x 5
9 x 6
9 x 6

Rowr!! Haven't worked this intensely in ages. Now excuse me while I go eat the refrigerator.


#26

My Dad passed in early May last year.

good work and get vids up!


#27

I'll see what I can do about videos. I don't have a camera, used to know a lot of guys in the tv/film business, but not since I moved to Pittsburgh.

Bad day at work - boss hinted I wasn't getting the perm job I want so badly. Hopefully read it wrong, but very sensitive to it, given the problems I've had before with jobs. Went to gym really depressed, and lost strength in the process.

Deadlifts
135 x 8
185 x 6 lost grip on this one, bad sign
245 x 2 expected to get 5
245 x 3 really straining
245 x 0 hit failure
205 x 5
205 x 5
205 x 5

Very tough, struggling like crazy

Chins x3 x3 x1 x2 x1

Actually lost strength on chins in the past 3 months - Oct I could do 4 or 5 reps full range and 8 or 9 halfway up. Now can barely make one full rep. Bodyweight only increased 5 lbs during that time.


#28

I'm sorry for the bad day. I sense you're pretty down. About work and training. Hang in there. The tide will turn. I suspect you probably haven't lost strength but are just experiencing mental drain spilling over into the physical realm.


#29

Thanks, snapper. Yeah, I'm down - guess the shirt tearing and screaming was a giveaway. Seriously, I've had to fight this a lot in my life. As mentioned, I've been diagnosed with depression (on meds for it). I don't like feeling sorry for myself, would rather be proud of accomplishments.

Taking deep breaths, calming down, focusing on success. Then bench:

45 x 12
75 x 10
115 x 5
115 x 5
135 x 4 harder than expected
155 x 3 only half down and hit failure anyway
115 x 5
115 x 5

Overhead press:
45 x 12
65 x 7
85 x 4 very hard
75 x 5
75 x 5
75 x 5
75 x 5
75 x 5


#30

Been there with the depression, hang in there and just keep on keepin' on - it WILL get better!


#31

Don't say that! I'm genetically "stunted" too, but we can't ever accept that as a reason to do less than everything!! You're already the Hercules of your family, which is proof already that we can rise WAY above our genetics. OK, we can't all be thunderously massive like Steely D (have you SEEN his avatar?!?!) but we can be AWESOME if we're willing to invest the sweat.

And kudos for doing the meet. You've got bigger stones than I.


#32

Soldog, have you fought depression all your life or did it start with some event?

Canada, yes, I've seen Steely D's avatar. It's been my goal for years to be that big and strong. No idea how close I'll get, though. I gained 25 lbs of bodyweight in the past year, most of it new muscle I never had, so maybe there's a fighting chance. Take it one day at a time.

By the way, why don't you do a powerlifting or bodybuilding meet? You lift a little more than I do, and definitely look better in spandex. Of course, you'll have to deal with the young screaming girls rushing the stage to grab you, but other than that, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Squats today. Made a point of getting deep, so numbers dropped a tad:
115 x 8
135 x 8
185 x 5
185 x 5
205 x 5
205 x 5
185 x 5

Only one rep missed parallel, all the others felt low.

Cybex Leg Curl
5 x 12
7 x 10
9.5 x 4
9.5 x 3
9.5 x 4
9.5 x 3
9.5 x 3
9.4 x 4


#33

Looking back I took a many year long decline into depression and then a whole bunch of shit happened all at once that brought it to a head. Fortunately, I responded well to some therapy and Welbutrin and am now off the anti-depressants. Maintaining pretty well for the last 3 months even with the crap my son continues to throw my way.


#34

It just sucks ass what your kid's done. I'm not a dad, but I've spent time with friends' sons and most kids are the sweetest thing once you toss a little respect at them. My nephew was named after me, so I have a soft spot for him, and he turned out great.


#35

Back to the gym. Last workout was really exhausting, even more so than usual. Realized it'd been quite a while since I took a week off, so doing a deload week. Just did a bunch of easy stuff, mostly machines, got a good sweat going.

Two months to the contest. I'm thinking of training hard, then taking it easy the week before to make sure I'm rested. Anyone have good success backing off before a meet?


#36

I usually do my last heavy DL ten days out. I back off on everything five days out. Everyone has different philosophies on this.


#37

Sounds good, snapper, pretty much what I had in mind.

Whew! It got all the way up to 38 today!! Snow was melting, I could see the ground. Gonna have to get some sunblock!

More deload training. Just going around, doing whatever struck my fancy. Some very light squats, very light stiff legged deads. Machine work, some light benching, etc.

Annoying - discovering some aches and pains didn't know I had. Left shoulder acting up. What caused that? I've been pushing overhead presses hard, but haven't hurt from that. Need to figure this out.


#38

Major suck. Just found out I didn't get the perm job at work. Contract's up in one month and then it's Hasta La Vista, Baby. Really pissed about that - it's a good place to work. Don't know what to do now.

OK, check this out. Shoulder pain suddenly went away. No Advil, cocaine, nada. Other aches vanished. It happened right after lunch, munching on chicken wings. I like to gnaw on the bones. Hypothesis: the calcium and collegen were a badly needed nutrient for healing. Am I crazy, or has anyone else seen the same thing?

Another deload day. Lots of miscellaneous exercises, nothing too tough.

Been following a hardgainer's program the past few months, few exercises other than squat, deadlift and bench. Didn't seem to get much good out of it. Strange, I consider myself a hardgainer, yet the hardgainer programs have never seemed to do much for me. I'm going to start adding more assistance stuff, just to get the volume up. Steely D says he added a lot of arm exercises to his routine. My arms are pretty thin, sounds like a good idea. Stop me if I'm wrong, Steely.

Boy, do I work in a hardcore gym. Saw one guy, small but chilseled like crazy, doing stiff leg deads with 360 lbs, lots of reps. Meanwhile, my friend got another guy to hand him 100 lb dumbs so he could do overhead presses. After knocking off a half dozen reps, he drops the weights and is unhappy because he grimaced a bit at the end.


#39

OK, folks, got me a video camera. Once I figure out how it works, will be posting vids, so standby.

Blood pressure dropped to normal, maybe it was the week of deload.

Felt crappy because of the job problem, but had a good workout and wiped out the depression - at least for the moment. Feeling darn good right now.

Deadlifts 135x7 185x5 215x3 245x3 255x2
machine row 70x14 70x12 80x8 80x8
bicep curl 55x8 55x10 55x10 55x10
pulldown 60x12 70x10 80x10 80x8

Deadlifts felt great, must be rested up. Following the advice of the trainer at the gym, who recommended doing triples prior to the contest. That's first Sunday in Apr... less than 2 months.


#40

This is great news. Video is a great training tool. It's also, umm, a bit humbling at times.

I do triples until about a month out. Then drop to doubles and meet attempts for the last three weeks of training.

Your meet is right around the corner!