T Nation

Novaeer's Training Log

Figured that I would go ahead and post my training right here. I do all of my training in my garage so exercise choices are obviously going to have to be more ‘basic’. I am currently training for an APA meet next month. The plan is to compete in the 220 weight class. My current PRs are:

Squat: 625
Bench: 455
Deadlift: 525

All of these were done in an IPA meet back in February. The only change I have incorporated is that I will be using a suit alone instead of a suit/brief combo. However, the suit is a fairly tight Ace Squatter and it’s pretty stout to say the least. The old combo was a loose Pro suit over snug Viking briefs.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

Here’s my first training post. This is from Friday.

6/20/08

ME Bench

Warm-up: shoulder circuit

Floor press w/ chains

bar x 10
135 x 5
185 x 5
225 x 3
+1 chain/side x 1
+2 “” x 1
+3 “” x 1
+4 “” x 1
+5 “” x 1 (+1 chain PR)
+6 “” x 1 (+2 chain PR)

Shirted bench
315 x 3
405 x 1
455 x 2 (+10 lb rep PR)

Band pulls to abs
3x15

Band OH extensions
3x until triceps were on fire

Concentration curls
2x10

-Pretty good PR on the floor press w/ chains. I knew that as easy as the 4 chains per side went up that I would be able to get at least 5 per side. That also was easy, so 6 per side was a definite possibility. I don’t normally get amped up before lifts, but I did (a little bit) on this one and ended up blasting it.

Too bad I ran out of chains or I might have tried 7/side. Used my meet shirt tonight, and have been experimenting with twisting the sleeves.

Doing so creates a shit-ton of tension and left some nice marks on my arms. I got the first rep @ 455 smooth and easy; misgrooved a bit on the 2nd and made it a little sloppy (though I still got it).

6/21/08

Summer Solstice Squat Day

Free squat

bar x 5
105 x 5
145 x 3
235 x 2
-added 3 chains per side
235 x 3 (had to do over; previous set just felt crappy)
-added suit bottoms
285 x 2
325 x 2
375 x 1
415 x 1
465 x 1
505 x 1
-straps up
555 x 1 (crushed it)

Box pulls w/ 4 chains (total)
225 x 2
275 x 1
315 x 1
365 x 1
405 x 1 (DL suit straps up)
455 x 1
495 x miss
-couldn’t get shoulders behind the bar, plus fried from squats

-Today was the first time using the straps on my squat suit. They are really thick and made finding the sweet spot a little tougher. Using the chains was a nice way to overload the top part of the lift.

Depth was good, but a secondary concern right now since I just wanted to make sure the straps didn’t f’ me up too bad. Hopefully next week I can squat out of my friend’s monolift next week. I’d like to get at least something between 650 and 675 at the meet next month.

Pulls were kind of shitty because I was shot from squatting. Next week I will pull from the floor with the suit on, probably working up to no more than my planned opener for a few singles. And that will probably be it for the rest of the way aside from a few light sets.

6/23/08

Assistance/Recovery type stuff

High pulls
a few sets of 135 for 3

Hang cleans
a few sets of 185 for 3

Barbell shrugs
225x3x20 (double overhand, slow reps)

Purple band lat pulldowns (a band in each hand)
3x15

KB rows
20kg x 3 x 15

Blast strap rear delt flyes
3x8

Blue band good mornings
2x20

-Nothing too fancy here. Just getting a little pump going in the back and blood flowing. Still feeling it a bit from Saturday’s session so the wise choice was to just take it easy, but after everything was over I felt pretty good.

6/25/08

ME Bench

Warm-up: shoulder raise complex

Raw 4-board bench

bar x 10
95 x 10
135 x 5
185 x 5
225 x 5
275 x 3
-add 4-board
315 x 3
365 x 1
405 x 1
435 x 1
465 x 1 (10-lb PR)

Shirted bench (paused)
465 x 1 (10-lb PR)
415 x 2

Triceps death (work boards down, then back up)
work down: 155x5 (5-board), 155x5 (4-board), 155x5 (3-board), 155x5 (2-board), 155x5 (1-board), 155x5 (to chest)
back up: 155x5 (1-board), 155x5 (2-board), 10 second rest, 155x5 (3-board), 155x5 (4-board), 155x3 (5-board)

-Don’t normally do the 4-board as main movement, but since it correlates pretty well with my full range shirted bench I like to keep track of what I can handle. The last single with 465 wasn’t a grinder, and in all seriousness a 2nd rep would’ve been doable. Should’ve dropped to a lower weight for 1st shirt set and worked back up to 465 as it was a bit of shock to the system. Weight went up strong, though, so I’m happy with the effort. Also, I didn’t toss the bar back toward the rack like I usually do on my heaviest attempts when the collar is pulled down.

Tried triceps death for the first time – I can see why it gets its name. By the time I got down to my chest my arms were like jello. Had to take a quick break at the 2 board on way back up and although it sounds ridiculous I had nothing left for the last two reps. Next time I’ll finish the whole thing without a break.

6/28/08

The Great Squat Debacle

Free squat

bar x 10
“” (+2 pair of chains) x 8
105 x 5
145 x 5
235 x 3 (suit, straps down)
285 x 3
325 x 1
375 x 1

-Then, this is where the debacle began. On one of my training partner’s heavy squat attempts he got forward too much and lost it. He had to put it down into the safety straps. Well, when we went to put it back up on the rack I stepped on a 10-lb plate and the weight shifted on me. I felt a twinge in my lower back on the left side and let’s just say that squatting was not gonna happen.

Needless to say, I was finished for the day and I may not get the chance to do full power at next month’s comp. Heck, competing at all is a question mark. 'll just take it easy for the next couple of weeks before I try moving any weight again. Geez, I feel like a retard.

6/30/08

ME Bench

Foam press

bar x 10
95 x 8
135 x 8
185 x 5
225 x 5
275 x 3 (added manpon)
315 x 3
365 x 2 (baseline)
315 x 6

Superset:

Blast strap push ups
BWx3x12

Purple band pulldowns
3x15

Purple band pull-aparts
2x15

Piston presses
2x20

Standing lat pulls to abs
3x15

Notes: Bill couldn’t make it today, so no lift-off. How do those of you who don’t have a lift off do it? It wasn’t a big deal at all with 315, but staying tight w/ 365 was not easy. I probably could’ve gotten another rep with 365, but I’ll save it for next time. Six reps on the last set wasn’t to failure either, though I was pretty tired by that point. No lockout work today since shoulders were already feeling a tad beat-up and no lift off would’ve made anything heavy unworkable. Assistance work made shoulders feel better and got a good pump going in the upper back and triceps.

I bought a new foam roller to try and work the kinks out of my lower back and it did a pretty damn good job. There’s still some tightness there, but it is definitely feeling better. I’m going to steer clear of squatting and pulling until next week just to be on the safe side.

[quote]novaeer wrote:
6/30/08

ME Bench

Foam press

bar x 10
95 x 8
135 x 8
185 x 5
225 x 5
275 x 3 (added manpon)
315 x 3
365 x 2 (baseline)
315 x 6

Superset:

Blast strap push ups
BWx3x12

Purple band pulldowns
3x15

Purple band pull-aparts
2x15

Piston presses
2x20

Standing lat pulls to abs
3x15

Notes: Bill couldn’t make it today, so no lift-off. How do those of you who don’t have a lift off do it? It wasn’t a big deal at all with 315, but staying tight w/ 365 was not easy. I probably could’ve gotten another rep with 365, but I’ll save it for next time. Six reps on the last set wasn’t to failure either, though I was pretty tired by that point. No lockout work today since shoulders were already feeling a tad beat-up and no lift off would’ve made anything heavy unworkable. Assistance work made shoulders feel better and got a good pump going in the upper back and triceps.

I bought a new foam roller to try and work the kinks out of my lower back and it did a pretty damn good job. There’s still some tightness there, but it is definitely feeling better. I’m going to steer clear of squatting and pulling until next week just to be on the safe side.
[/quote]

Nice work novaeer! I can’t handle any weight above 275 w/out a handoff b/c I have a beat up shoulder, so I know what you mean. How do you like those manpon presses???

As far as foam rolling goes, make sure you hit your glutes too, and with a tennis/lacrosse/baseball, that’ll help out big time too. I find that when my lower back is cranked usually my glutes are tight too. Try and keep working on loosening up your whole posterior chain and you’ll be good to go.

7/7/08

DE Squat/DL

Box squat (14", w/ 3 chains per side)

bar x 10
+chains x 10
145 x 5
195 x 3
235 x 3 (old Viking briefs)
285 x 2
325 x 3 x 2
345 x 3 x 2

Sumo pulls (left briefs on)
275 x 2 x 3
315 x 2 x 3
365 x 2 x 3

-just working on form more than anything

Green band ab pulldowns
3x15

-Back is now at 100%, but being that it’s my first real squat session in 3 weeks I figured I would take it easy. On top of that I haven’t box squatted in well over a month so it felt a little awkward the whole time. Form was fine and speed was good, but just seemed a little weird - gotta get re-acclimated I guess. I’ll probably work DE in the mix every fourth week to keep in tune.

Sumo pulls were thrown in for practice, just to try and get comfortable with the right setup. I don’t like doing sumo pulls wearing the Chucks as I feel like I’m going to slide. My form was surprisingly pretty good on every rep of every set, but who gives a shit since 365 was the heaviest weight I used. Anybody can pull sumo with light weights. Where it was so hot in the garage my abs cramped up a little on the ab pulldowns. Ended it there. Not a bad day.

[quote]scubasteve2105 wrote:

Nice work novaeer! I can’t handle any weight above 275 w/out a handoff b/c I have a beat up shoulder, so I know what you mean. How do you like those manpon presses???

As far as foam rolling goes, make sure you hit your glutes too, and with a tennis/lacrosse/baseball, that’ll help out big time too. I find that when my lower back is cranked usually my glutes are tight too. Try and keep working on loosening up your whole posterior chain and you’ll be good to go.[/quote]

Sorry, but I just saw this. I really like the manpon presses and they seem to be carrying over to my full range than a 2-board would. They are now a mainstay in the ME rotation. You should really give them a try.

I did do a bunch of foam rolling on the whole p-chain and it helped a bunch. And you were, the glutes were tight as hell (that just sounds bad, haha) as was the IT band area. Made a hell of a difference as the back gave me no trouble squatting today. Thanks for the advice.

[quote]novaeer wrote:

Sorry, but I just saw this. I really like the manpon presses and they seem to be carrying over to my full range than a 2-board would. They are now a mainstay in the ME rotation. You should really give them a try.

I did do a bunch of foam rolling on the whole p-chain and it helped a bunch. And you were, the glutes were tight as hell (that just sounds bad, haha) as was the IT band area. Made a hell of a difference as the back gave me no trouble squatting today. Thanks for the advice.[/quote]

Don’t apologize, glad the foam rolling worked out for you. Sometimes the little things that take 5mins make all the difference in the world, I’ve learned that lesson myself and try to be consistent with it. Will definitely try the manpon press out soon. Gotta get a half roll, but if it’s that good then it’s worth the 5 bucks. Keep it up.

[quote]scubasteve2105 wrote:
Don’t apologize, glad the foam rolling worked out for you. Sometimes the little things that take 5mins make all the difference in the world, I’ve learned that lesson myself and try to be consistent with it. Will definitely try the manpon press out soon. Gotta get a half roll, but if it’s that good then it’s worth the 5 bucks. Keep it up.[/quote]

I just took my old worn-out foam roller and just cut it in half. It worked perfect. If your gym has an old one just see if they’ll let you ‘borrow’ it.

7/9/08

ME Bench

Raw 3-board bench

bar x 10
135 x 8
185 x 5
225 x 3
265 x 3
315 x 2
-added board
345 x 3
365 x 3
395 x 3 (10-lb triple PR)

Stability bench (plates dangling off minis)
3 x 12

Superset:
Purple band pulldowns 2x20
Piston pushdowns 2x20

-Notes: Was going to test my raw bench today, but just wasn’t feeling right on warm-ups so I decided to hit some triples on the 3-board - my bane. The first two reps off the board went pretty easy, but I stalled at my usual spot on the third. This time, however, I was able to muscle it up the rest of the way. Tried out the stability bench and it was cool, really makes you focus on staying tight because those dangling plates will force the bar all over the place. Might give these another try next week. Pretty decent session.

Trainer partner looked pretty good on the bench tonight and should be set to hit 3 bills and change at the meet next Saturday.

7/12/08

ME Squat (Deload/Transition)

Free squat

bar x 8
145 x 5
195 x 3
235 x 3
285 x 2
325 x 1
375 x 1 (belt)
425 x 1 (very light knee wrap)

-Did a couple of grip exercises, then played around with the kettlebells

Green band ab pulldowns
3x20

Notes: Nothing too crazy today. This day was more of the last opportunity to get my training partner ready for his meet next week. I’ll be cranking up the intensity next week so I just decided to stay (mostly) raw and work up to a moderately heavy weight on the squat. Also, moved my stance in a hair - worked OK, but I still prefer going wider. Wrapped my own knees on the last set with my two-year-old severely stretched out wraps. They’re basically like thick ace bandages at this point. Plus kept 'em very loose because I detest tight knee wraps more than any other piece of equipment. Weight went up easy, so I figure it was somewhere in the range of 85%. Kind of pathetic I know, but I haven’t free squatted raw with anything more than 325 in over a year so I’ll take it.

7/14/08

Raw bench/assistance

2-board bench (pinky on rings)

bar x 10
95 x 8
135 x 5
185 x 5
225 x 5
275 x 5
-added 2 board
315x3x5
-some kind of set/rep combo PR, but what the hell

Blast strap push-ups
BWx3x12

Superset:
Purple band lat pulldowns 3x15
OH triceps extensions 2x20,1x15

Curls w/ purple band
3x12

Notes: I’m switching up my weekly set-up back to a raw bench day on Mondays, where I focus on low boards for rep work w/ moderately heavy weight and follow it up with assistance work. Every third or fourth week I’ll do a traditional 6x3 for speed as a deload when I’ll be going heavy in my new shirt. I haven’t used a 2-board for anything since the beginning of the year so it was a nice change of pace.

The only rep that was difficult was the 5th rep on the third set, which is a big improvement since I used to struggle to get three. By the end of the workout my chest, shoulders, triceps, and to a lesser extent my lats, were on fire. Good stuff.

7/15/08

Deadlift assistance

Zercher squats from pins (1" or so above parallel)

bar x 10
105 x 5
145 x 5
195 x 5
235 x 3
285 x 3
325 x 1
355 x 1
375 x 1
385 x 1 (60-lb PR) (misload)
405 x 0000000

-got it about 3 inches off the pins, but right arm couldn’t hold it

KB swings
20kg x 3 x 10

Zerchers from da flo’
145x3x5

Blue band good mornings
2x20

Spread-eagle situps
BWx3x10

Grip work: CoC #2, and heavy gripper

Notes: I’ve never gone for a max single on Zerchers from the pins so anything over 325 was a PR. The set with 385 was supposed to be 395. Regardless, I hit it pretty easy. On my attempts with 405 I broke it off the pins but my freakin’ right arm just couldn’t handle the pressure and had to let it go.

Tried it again - same outcome. If I had used a board to cradle it I would have gotten it pretty easy. Guess I need to rub some Vagisil on my arms. For some crazy reason I did Zerchers from the floor. Shit, those are hard. This stuff will put hair on your chest and back (as if I needed more). Good session.

7/17/08

ME Bench

Bench w/ dbl light bands

bar x 5
95 x 5
135 x 3
185 x 2
225 x 1
245 x 1
255 x 1
265 x 1 (baseline)
275 x 0

-added 4 board
275 x 3
315 x 3 (baseline)

Chucky V pulldowns to ripped abs w/ purple band
3x20

Shoulder raise circuit
1x15

Notes: No training partner today so I had to ask my neighbor to lift off for me. I had no idea what my limits were on this so I made smaller jumps once I got up to 225. I lifted off myself up to 245 and that wasn’t easy - basically a shit-ton of tension (probably ~180 at lockout).

Liftoffs weren’t very good when my neighbor helped me, but oh well; 255 was pretty easy, 265 not so much. Decided to try 275 - made it off my chest a couple inches then blam-o. Decided to give the 4-board a shot with all this tension. Triple with 275 was easy, lockout on third rep of 315 took a good 2 or 3 seconds. Got it though. I was bushed after this, so I just did some high rep pulldowns to the gut and some shoulder raises.

7/20/08

Squat day

Warm-up: Foam roller and a little dynamic stretching

Suspended chain squats

bar x 2 x 5
145 x 3
195 x 3
235 x 2
-add briefs
285 x 3
325 x 3
375 x 3
415 x 3
-suit, straps down
505 x 3 (chain 3" above parallel)
465 x 2 x 3 (chains set at parallel)

Step-ups w/ KB
20kg x 3 x 10

Green band ab pulldowns
4x15

Notes: Giving a squat program developed by Chris Clark from EFS, involves squatting down to chains suspended at various heights. I’m going to focus more on developing my DL and bench this cycle, so I’ll treat this as more of a maintenance for my squat. Also, I’ve decided to tweak it a bit since the original plan has you squatting to 6" above parallel; I don’t like the idea of cutting it that high so I’m moving the suggested heights down 2" or so.

I put my suit on too early, but I did it just to see how I could handle it with the extra layer of cheating. Shot up easy and felt stable. The loose briefs made getting all the way down w/ 465 easier than I thought, but those last couuple of inches took a little patience.

I got out of the groove on the second rep on the last set, but the weight was light enough that I was able to muscle it back up and finish out the set. I’ll stick to the plan next week. Everything was easy today, but will ramp up gradually over the next 9 weeks.

[quote]novaeer wrote:
7/20/08

Squat day

Warm-up: Foam roller and a little dynamic stretching

Suspended chain squats

bar x 2 x 5
145 x 3
195 x 3
235 x 2
-add briefs
285 x 3
325 x 3
375 x 3
415 x 3
-suit, straps down
505 x 3 (chain 3" above parallel)
465 x 2 x 3 (chains set at parallel)

Step-ups w/ KB
20kg x 3 x 10

Green band ab pulldowns
4x15

Notes: Giving a squat program developed by Chris Clark from EFS, involves squatting down to chains suspended at various heights. I’m going to focus more on developing my DL and bench this cycle, so I’ll treat this as more of a maintenance for my squat.

Also, I’ve decided to tweak it a bit since the original plan has you squatting to 6" above parallel; I don’t like the idea of cutting it that high so I’m moving the suggested heights down 2" or so.

I put my suit on too early, but I did it just to see how I could handle it with the extra layer of cheating. Shot up easy and felt stable. The loose briefs made getting all the way down w/ 465 easier than I thought, but those last couuple of inches took a little patience.

I got out of the groove on the second rep on the last set, but the weight was light enough that I was able to muscle it back up and finish out the set. I’ll stick to the plan next week. Everything was easy today, but will ramp up gradually over the next 9 weeks.[/quote]

It’s funny how viral these things are. As I understand it, Chirs Clark developed that program from a suspended chain plan that Phil Harrington used to use a few years ago. Phil got it from a friend of mine, Jon Groves. Hell if I know where Jon got it from- probably from some other lifter.

It’s a cool program. The main beef I had with it though was I hate how the bar touches the chains uneven. The tetter-totter of the bar on the chains tended to throw me off a bit.

[quote]Pinto wrote:

It’s funny how viral these things are. As I understand it, Chirs Clark developed that program from a suspended chain plan that Phil Harrington used to use a few years ago. Phil got it from a friend of mine, Jon Groves. Hell if I know where Jon got it from- probably from some other lifter.

It’s a cool program. The main beef I had with it though was I hate how the bar touches the chains uneven. The tetter-totter of the bar on the chains tended to throw me off a bit.
[/quote]

I had actually heard about it even before he penned the article. One of my old training partners is friends with Travis Mash, Ox Mason and Chris Clark, and he got it from them at one point or another. My other former training partner used to lift with Jon several years ago and is still really good friends with Tommy Fannon.

I also noticed the teeter totter issue. I will definitely have to keep it in mind.