T Nation

MarkKO's Training Log


I’m glad you were able to finish the meet and get a couple PRs in! Are you heading right back to work, or will you take a day off for your back?

For the activation stuff I really like to start laying on my back, feet on the wall, femur straight up, shins parallel to the floor (90/90). At first you can just try to relax and let hip flexors/midle back and groin unclench.

From there kinda squeeze your hamstrings like a leg curl and flex your lower abs like a McGill curl up (but keep your feet in the same spot). Hopefully you can hold this position and let your lower back un-kink and relax. And then squeeze more abs and hamstrings.

After that you can start trying to get your arms over your head (on to the floor). If you’re too tight go 1 arm at a time first. If you can get your traps and deep hip flexors to chill out you should be able to get scapulas loose your lats working.

After a few minutes working/breathing in the 90/90 position you can squeeze a pillow or foam roller between your knees to see what’s up with your groin and adductors. Sometimes mine really feel like shit and I almost get a cramp from this. If your SI is jacked up or crooked sometimes this is enough to “reset” it. It feels real good if that happens.

If all of this stuff is too easy you’ve got clamshells, dead bugs and glute bridge/pelvic tilt moves as almost "opposites"of McGill 3. But sometimes it’s hard to move around much with your back tight so I like to start easy.


Congrats Mark, that was one hell of a squat!


Woke at 255.5 lbs, looking similar to yesterday. Back seems to be considerably better: it’s moved from really fucking touchy to just fucking stiff. Good times.

@FlatsFarmer thanks heaps. I’m going to try this right now before work.


@FlatsFarmer you are a certified genius


I got your back. Hey-Oh!


Well done Mark and great write up! As you have said a few weeks ago you can trust your program and set PRs in your upcoming meets!


Woke at 253.3 lbs, looking less bloated again. Ita amazing how quickly that bloat just disappears with just a few days of not forcing food.

Also, yes, I’ve decided to take the hypertrophy phase as an opportunity to drop down a little so I can get a good runup at 275 lbs. I figure as I haven’t managed to pass 256/7 for a while that’s my best bet. It’ll also let me clean up my diet a little, which over the peak had gotten not too terrible but not as good as I’m comfortable with. The most I’ll allow myself to go is about 230 lbs, probably no less than 242 lbs.

Back is stiff but much more work stiff than hurt stiff. Day at work yesterday seems to have helped.

I’m still sick though. I felt ok yesterday until I got home and then I crashed hard. Decided to stay home today when I got up and realised I really don’t feel so crash hot.


I’m going to preface the drivel with what Greg said about the meet:

‘It was a good meet. Bad luck happens. Do some core activation stuff’

That should be enough for me. If Greg says something is good, it’s good.

Look, I’m just going through the usual post meet stuff, and being sick isn’t helping. Missing my second dead makes me forget all about the squat and bench PRs. I’m not even worried about missing my third bench. No matter what I did it wasn’t going. Maybe if I’d strained at that pull till I blacked out I’d feel better.

What I need to do is put it in perspective, starting with this: I missed my third bench and only got my deadlift opener AND TOTALLED 16 LBS OFF MY ALL TIME BEST TOTAL. That’s even before remembering I was sick and hurt my back. I think because I’m not bedridden and my back has come good quite fast my head jumps to the conclusion that neither could have been bad enough on the day to justify the misses.


When these things happen we all go through a roller coaster of emotions and thoughts about what we could or couldn’t have done different. But what it comes down to is, it’s in the past. What is, is. You can’t change it but you can learn from it and move forward. It doesn’t matter if we all tell you or Greg tells you it was good. You need to make peace with yourself and push forward to the next one.


Woke at 252.2 lbs, but looking a tad more bloated than yesterday (maybe, not sure). I’m over this cold, it can fuck off now.

@simo74 nail on the head


Back is continuing to improve. Been doing @FlatsFarmer 90/90 and Greg’s brace and holds daily for a few minutes. Cold is doing its thing as well, gradually fucking off.

I’m enjoying having the week off, but I’m also looking forward to getting into the hypertrophy phase. It’ll suck horribly, but finishing will feel amazing. Then three or four cycles and peak again.


Inspiration for my meet prep right there. Good job brother


Woke at 253.7 lbs, looking more bloated than the last few days. That’s a mixture of salt and a kebab roll from yesterday just sitting there.


I’m glad, but don’t actually copy me and tweak your back, just get it back to ok, get sick the day before and tweak your back again because 0/10 would not recommend.


I think a 600+ squat is no problem for you at this point. Not only were you sick and your back was messed up, but that looked like RPE 9 at most. Speed was good and you didn’t slow at any point on the way up. Just stay healthy next time and you should hit some big numbers.


Thanks man. Yeah, that’s the trick. Well, October isn’t too far away.


Almost ready to train again. Work and stuff means I’m tired and all that jazz, but my body feels rested. I haven’t felt this way in a while.

Been a good boy too, doing my core activation daily. It’s either been about five minutes of 90/90 as described by @FlatsFarmer, around 10-15 five second brace and holds or both.

Also quite enjoying being hungry again and not constantly feeling full. Haven’t had to really cut much down, just being a lot more mindful of what I’m eating.


Woke at 250.9 lbs, looking similar to yesterday. Not quite as bloated though.


Woke at 250.2 lbs, definitely the least bloated I’ve looked in months. Long sleep will have helped with that.


Woke at 253 lbs, looking noticeably more bloated. I can only explain that as salt. Definitely didn’t eat more yesterday but dinner was stir fry with a bunch of rice and soy sauce, so there’s the salt.