Hello again T-Nation, I’m a nearly 20-year reader with some forum contributions around the 2006-8 era (I’ve been subscribed to and reading T-Nation articles on my RSS feed this entire time though). I’ve maintained an online training log consistently for about that same span of time, but I miss trading ideas and learning from strong people on good ol’ messageboards. At 36, I’m still grinding away in my attempt to be a well-rounded powerlifter, strongman competitor, and martial artist (Muay Thai and boxing).
Currently running my own programming that’s adaptable to my needs (I have a fussy lower back that I have to manage), with plans to run Deep Water soon by way of @T3hPwnisher introducing me to it. I still squat and deadlift heavy on the regular but it’s dependable on how my back feels, especially the latter. If it’s not a good back-feeling day, I find other ways to reach a good session that’s just lighter on the lumbar-loading.
1-board press: 280 lbs x 6, 7, 7 reps
T-bar rows: 5 45 lb plates + 10 lbs x 10, 12, 12 reps
Swiss bar bench press: 205 lbs x 10, 12, 10 reps
T-bar rows: 5 plates + 10 lbs x 12, 15, 15 reps
The set of 6 was a tough, sleepy grind, while the sets of 7 after when I felt awakened were powerful and explosive.
Very last Swiss bar rep was a real fight, which I love ending on.
Hit 320x20 again, which was a cool milestone from earlier this year that slipped away after I lost progress from contracting COVID last month and lost a bunch of weight. But more importantly, my back held up and felt great today when I had to terminate my barbell squat session last Wednesday because of pain and do goblet squats and leg extensions instead (no shame in that though, goblet squats rule).
Hell yeah, thanks for that. And yep, I’ve struggled with back pain for about 16 years now but weightlifting doesn’t seem to make it worse unless I’m already in pain and can’t support the load. If I’m proactive with stretches that open up my hips and using the reverse-hyper machine I can usually squat and deadlift just fine.
Did yoga last night and also pushed 2 laps with the Rogue Slice sled. Then got ready to go for a nighttime swim but on the way I stopped by my reverse hyper machine and did 2x10 with 225. Ended up not swimming due to how late it was and just relaxed on the seat drinking a sparkling water while I enjoyed the atmosphere before going back in.
Woke-up this morning and did 50 push-ups before work. My legs are just devastated and I’m walking like a mummy, which was a predictable outcome, but my rear delts and traps are very sore today too. I have a back massager at my office that I can use on my upper-back area if I slump into it.
New job is going well. Health insurance starts in October, the first time I’ve ever had it as an adult. After my bicep tear in 2017 I told myself I wouldn’t compete in strongman until I get healthcare, soooo now I’m on the lookout for comps, although I’m open to more powerlifting meets too.
Smashed the Thai bag yesterday evening. 3 3-minute rounds. Only reason I called it there was because I got hungry and I’m trying to gain weight.
Really making an effort to polish up my hooks lately and to keep my elbow more level. Everything was beginning to turn into a shovel hook before this correction.
This morning before work I hit 40 burpees.
My back has been KILLING me this week. Yesterday, however, was a good day for reversing some of the damage. Ample hip stretches, a set on the reverse-hyper, and did the McGill 3 before bed. Gotta do the McGill 3 every evening, it helps quite a bit. Going to replace my mattress soon, too. Memory foam just isn’t for my body.
295 x 3
385 x 3
475 x 2 + 10 shrugs
525 x 1 + 10 shrugs
525 x 3
Immediately after deadlifts:
50 goblet squats with 50 lb kettlebell
30 stiff-legged deadlifts with two 50 lb kettlebells, shrugging with each rep
Farmer’s walk with said kettlebells around the yard
That’s plenty for this evening. Of any day, this is the most I back-off and leave extra fuel in the tank for the sake of my back. As I mentioned in my last entry, it felt horrible for most of this week, showed signs of improving yesterday, and was a little better yet today. It’s possible I’ll wake up with pain from the session tomorrow so I’ll have to see if this was a handable amount of work for me or not, but as of right now I’m very pleased.
Sumo deadlifts are such a hack for pulling heavy with a pissy back. I only started doing them a few months ago. I’m not saying bye to conventional pulling but I’m over forcing them when my body just won’t have it.
Woke-up this morning and hit 50 burpees before work. Something else to note is that I’m making a point to walk more! I already run several times a week, but simply going on walks has been drastically reduced since eating now takes so much time. Been going on 15-minute walks after dinner the last two nights. Also did the McGill 3 exercises for back health about 20 minutes before bed. And finally, I flipped over my mattress to the soft side, which I usually don’t prefer but the other night I woke-up feeling like my back was sleeping on a friggin’ rock. Back feels about the same today, which is an improvement from 2 days ago. Not great, but the deadlift session definitely did not make it worse, and if anything I felt better immediately after.
Also, I’m no clean master except when it comes to polishing off an order of Cinnabon but those were the best cleans I’ve ever done in my life. The “snap” of doing them really clicked by the time I hit 205.
My first competition ever was actually a power clean contest in 2011 without ever having done cleans before. Because I was the only lifter over 200 lbs in a room full of really wiry CrossFit trainees, I stayed competitive just by brute-lifting the weight up with absolutely terrible form. It definitely made me respect how much technique goes into excelling at them.