T Nation

Velvet's Lifting and Other Fun Stuff Log

t-ransformation2018

#1

I have a nasty habit of losing and/or destroying notebooks so I’m going to start a log here. There’s also the added benefit of the community here, so feel free to join in with advice, experiences, and witty banter!

I thought about writing a background but it’d be way too long since I’m a detail freak. Short version instead: I was wicked skinny when I was younger (6’, 150lbs when I graduated college and got into lifting). I have a lot of hobbies that’ll probably make their way into this thread with the lifting stuff.

Now that’s over, current stats and lift personal bests:

Age - 27
Height - 6’ still
Weight - 175lbs
Squat - 265x1 or 260x2
Deadlift - 345x1
Bench - 195x1
Press - 115x1
Power Clean - 175x1 (both from the floor and hanging)
Snatch Grip High Pull - 155x1 (from the hang and blocks)
Pull-ups - 14 body-weight, 1 with 35lbs added

Short term goals:

  1. Hit my personal bests for triples
  2. PR at a meet in any lift when my powerlifting neighbor/good friend returns from his clinical rotation
  3. Start climbing consistently again
  4. Stop ignoring conditioning so much
  5. Relearn how to salsa dance

Long term goals:

  1. Get strong enough to partake in strongman meets
  2. Sport climb 5.11
  3. Actually be good at salsa and maybe some other kinds of dancing
  4. Press an 88lb kettlebell (both sides)
  5. Don’t get fat

Let the good times roll!


#2

I pretty much spent the whole summer freelancing workouts but now I’m following a Christian Thibaudeau program, or at least my version of it. It’s the Optimal Strength Training for Natural Athletes program on his ThibArmy site. Essentially a low volume PPL split. Here’s what I’ve done so far (condensed for space):

Legs
A. Squat: 45x10, 135x5, 155x5, 190x3x3
B. Front squat: 145x5x3
C. Lunge: 95x3x8 (left) 95x8-6-6 (right)
D1. EZ curl: 45x10, 55x8, 55x6 w/ slow eccentric
D2. Medicine ball rollouts: 3x5 way harder than using a barbell

Push
A. Bench: 45x10, 115x5, 135x5, 150x3x3
B. Wide grip bench: 135x5x3
C1. Lateral raise: 10x10, 12.5x8, 12.5x4 w/ slow eccentric + 2 cheat reps
C2. Skull crusher: 45x8, 55x6, 55x6 w/ slow eccentric
D1. Band lateral raise: "30"x10-10-8 w/ pause at top
D2. Band pushdown: "65"x10-10-8 w/ pause at bottom

Pull
A. Dead: 45x10, 135x5, 185x5, 225x5, 255x3x3
B1. RDL: 185x5x3
B2: Pull ups: 4x5, 1x6 BW
C1. DB row: 45x10, 45x10, 45x11
C2. Hex bar shrugs: 135x10, 135x10, 135x8 - pause at top

Legs
A. Squat: 45x10, 135x5, 155x5, 190x3x3
B. Hi bar squat: 160x5x3
C. Zercher squat from pins: 135x5x3
D1. Hammer curl: 25x3x8 - way too heavy lol
D2. EZ bar rollouts: 1x8, 1x6, 1x4 - suck at these

Push
A. Bench: 45x10, 115x5, 135x5, 150x3x3
B. Press: 65x3x8 - I can do these in my basement sort of!
C1. Front raise: 30x2x10, 1x5 w/ slow eccentric
C2. Band pushdown: "65"x2x10, 1x8 w/ slow eccentric
D1. Band fly: "35"x2x10, 1x8 w/ slow eccentric
D2. 1 arm band tri extension: "15"x3x10

Pull
A. Dead: 45x10, 135x5, 185x5, 225x5, 255x3x3
B. Pendlay row: 135x4x5, 1x7
C1. Chin up: 2x8, 1x6+2 rest pause BW
C2. Hamstring curls: 2x10, 1x5 BW
D. Zercher holds: 225x10 seconds, 245x10, 275x10, 275x10

Legs
A. Squat: 45x10, 135x5, 155x5, 190x3x4
B. Front squat: 145x5x3 w/ 2 second pause
C. Lunge: 95x3x8 (left) 95x3x8 (right)
D1. EZ curl: 45x10, 55x8, 65x6+3+2 double rest pause
D2. Weird ab thing I’m not going to do again with a medicine ball

Push
A. Bench: 45x10, 115x5, 135x5, 150x3x4
B. Wide grip bench: 135x5x3 w/ 2 second pause
C1. Bradford press: 55x2x6, 1x7+3+2 double rest pause
C2. Skull crusher: 45x8, 55x6, 55x5+3+3 double rest pause
D1. Lateral raise: 10x2x10, 1x13+5 cheat reps
D2. Unilateral band pushdown: "20"x2x10, 1x12

Pull
A. Dead: 45x10, 135x5, 185x5, 225x5, 255x3x4
B1. RDL: 185x5x3 w/ 2 second pause
B2: Pull ups: 2x5 w/ 10lbs, 2x5, 1x6 BW
C1. DB row: 45x8, 45x8, 45x13 (clips fell off on first set so stopped at 8 for both)
C2. Hex bar shrugs: 135x8, 135x8, 135x10 - pause at top

Legs
A. Squat: 45x10, 135x5, 155x5, 190x3x4
B. Hi bar squat: 160x5x3 w/ 2 second pause
C. Zercher squat from pins: 140x5x3
D1. Hammer curl: 15x2x8, 1x11
D2. EZ bar rollouts: 1x7, 1x6, 1x5

Some notes:
The band poundage are all in quotes because I’m not certain what kind of weight I’m actually moving. The bands I have are kinda funky so the numbers just represent the combos I use to get a good training effect. Going to use them more sparingly.

I was trying some intensification methods on the assistance work as outlined in some of CT’s articles, but I think I’m good on that stuff for now. Might revisit it later if I need to change things up but the 2x6-8 1xAMRAP scheme is where I’m going to get my work in.

I’m going to add pauses and slower eccentrics to some lifts before adding weight to make them more challenging. Will have to keep track of how this impacts training.


#3

9/11/17 (My condolences to the first responders, victims, families, and all affected by the tragedies in NY, DC, and PA - always a tough day)

Push
Warmup: 3 rounds
5 kettlebell squat jumps
5 plyo-push ups
10 pull aparts

A. Bench
45x10
115x5
135x5
150x4
150x4
150x4

B. Press
45x10
65x5
70x4
70x4
70x4
70x9

C1. Front raise (I use an EZ bar)
35x8
35x8
35x7+3 cheat reps

C2. Close grip bench lockouts (pins set to just below 90*)
115x8
115x8
115x10

D1. Band crossover
"60"x8
"60"x8
"60"x11

D2. French press
45x8
45x8
45x11

Today was pretty sweet. I have low ceilings in my basement (newish place) so my pressing this summer was usually done sitting (hate it) or kneeling (not awful). I found out I can get away with standing if I position myself so 10lb plates go between floor joists :joy: I don’t think 25’s will fit so I may need to invest in some extra 10’s as the months go by. Should be fine for a while though. Had to relearn how to brace and balance properly, today felt good.


#4

9/12/17

Pull

Warmup: 3 rounds
5 broad jumps
3 kettlebell snatches (per side)
10 straight arm pulldowns

Snatch grip high pull (hang)
45x5
95x3
115x2
115x2
115x2

A. Deadlift
45x10
135x5
185x5
225x5
255x4
255x4
255x4

B. Dead stop BB row
45x10
135x5
135x5
135x5
135x5
135x8

C1. Chin up
BWx8
BWx8
BWx6+2+1 (double rest pause)

C2. Sliding hamstring curls
BWx8
BWx8
BWx8 - barely got 8, these are painful!

D. Zercher holds
225x10sec
245x10sec
275x10sec
275x10sec
275x4sec

My traps cramped up on me real bad in my neck during the last set of rows and I couldn’t really push the rest of the session too hard, super uncomfortable. I gotta figure out what I’m doing in my sleep, been waking up with neck discomfort from sleeping funky once or twice a week for a while now.

The lowest pin setting on my rack raises the plates about 8" off the ground. A bit easier on the low back and I get a better contraction, going to stick with these over Pendlays for a while.

Almost messed my pants during the zercher holds, glad I didn’t.

Time to relax with some frozen tater tots on the neck and see if I can get comfy. Luckily tomorrow is an off day.


#5

9/13/17

Didn’t do much yesterday - neck was bothering me. Hit about 100 pull aparts throughout the day and walked for about 2 miles.

9/14/17

Legs

Warmup: 3 rounds
5 vertical jumps
5 KB clean and push press
10 facepulls

A. Squat
45x10
135x5
155x5
190x4
190x4
190x4
190x4

B. Front squat w/ slow eccentic
145x3
145x3
145x3
145x3
145x3

C. Lunges
95x8
95x8
95x8

D1. Standing EZ curl
45x8
45x8
45x17

D2. Landmine twists
10lbs on bar x 20 seconds
10 x 15sec
10 x 15sec

Managed to not aggravate the neck which is nice. Squats flew up today, maybe the fastest reps I’ve done.

Slow eccentrics on the front squats lit up my core something fierce. The landmine twists for time are way better than reps.

I suck at lunges but I finally started feeling good about them my last set. May have cracked the code.


#6

9/15/17

Push

Warmup: 3 rounds
KB squat jump
Plyo-push up
Pull apart

A. Bench
45x10
115x5
135x5
160x4
160x4
150x4
150x4

B. Wide grip bench w/ slow eccentics
135x3
135x3
135x3
135x3
135x3

C1. Bradford press
55x6
55x6
55x7

C2. Skull crusher
45x8
45x8
45x12

D1. Lateral raise
10x8
10x8
10x13+3 cheat reps

D2. Band pushdowns
"65"x8
"65"x8
"65"x8+9 cheat reps (hands together)

I thought I was having an off day today, bench seemed heavier than it should’ve and I was moving slower than I thought I would. I figured since I was lifting a few hours earlier than usual that may have something to do with it. After my second set I noticed I had some extra weight on there. No biggie, pretty silly.

The slow eccentrics on the wide grip made my head feel like it was going to pop. Big time pressure.

Happy Friday y’all


#7

I was supposed to get a pull day in this weekend but wound up going for a pretty epic bike ride from Portland to Quebec City and back. 700 or so miles in 2 days on a street-fighter is no joke, was feeling it towards the end yesterday. Saw a Lettuce concert Friday and played a couple pickup games of 3v3 basketball before I took off Saturday, got plenty of good steps in.

I think part of staying consistent with strength training is realizing it’s not your only hobby (especially when it’s not the one you’re best at!) and to take time for other things.

For those that aren’t familiar with Lettuce:

And one of the few photos I grabbed from that ride:


#8

9/18/17

Pull

Warmup: 3 rounds
5 Broad jumps
5 KB cleans
10 straight arm pulldowns

Power clean (hang)
45x5
95x3
95x3
115x2
115x2
135x1
135x1

A. Deadlift
45x10
135x5
185x5
225x5
255x4
255x4
255x4
255x4

B1. Romanian DL w/slow eccentric
185x3
185x3
185x3
185x3
185x3

B2. Pullups
+10x5
+10x5
BWx5
BWx5
BWx6

C1. Deadstop plate row
45x8
45x8
45x12

C2. Plank
3 sets to failure

Feeling those 700 miles in my back during the lift today! Weight went up fast and strong though, felt like I was bracing better due to the fatigue.

The slow eccentrics on the RDL hit my lats pretty hard, could feel the fatigue during my pullup sets but managed the same performance as last workout so that’s cool.

My upper traps started getting pretty tight on me again, still feeling the effects of whatever happened last week. Decided to change up the last superset to prevent any additional flareup. Probably going to drop shrugs completely until this is sorted out, I think I’m pretty trap dominant in my upper back anyway so they probably don’t need the work right now.

The plate rows were kinda funky but I liked being able to set the plate to the floor and start every rep from a dead stop. My 45’s have the 3 handles and the floor is just at the end of my range of motion. It does alter the pulling pattern so it has a different feel than using a dumbbell, I’ll try these again and see if I can get as good a contraction.


#9

9/19/17

Hit 100 or so pull aparts today, different grips and angles throughout the day.

Couple rounds of mobility work for the hips and T-spine, some hamstring stretching.

Rainy day today and feeling pretty lazy so did some lazy indoor conditioning.

4 rounds:
10 BW dead walk (per leg)
10 BW walking lunge (per leg)
10 BW squat
10 frog pump
Pushup iso hold (10 sec at 90*)
Pullup iso hold (10 sec at 90* + legs at 90*)

Nothing too wild but built up a sweat and got the heart rate elevated for a bit. Helped loosen me up from the lift yesterday too.


#10

9/20/17

Legs

Warmup: 3 rounds

Vertical jumps
Face pulls

A. Squat
45x10
135x5
155x5
190x4
190x4
190x4
190x4

B. Hi bar squat w/ slow eccentric
160x3
160x3
160x3
160x3
160x3

C. Zercher squat from pins
155x3
155x3
155x3
155x3
155x3

D1. Band curls (1 arm)
"30"x8
"30"x8
"30"x12

D2. EZ bar rollout
10
9
7

Workout felt great today. Concentric portion of each squat was like lightning, crazy what a little consistency will do! The slow eccentrics on the compound movements are wicked though.

The zerchers are feeling more and more natural each time I do them, I could probably up the weight quite a bit on these. I had my pins set at 8, might try 7 next time for a little more ROM.


#11

9/21/17

Pull

Warmup: 3 rounds

5 KB jump squat
10 Pullaparts

A. Bench
45x10
115x5
135x5
150x4
150x4
150x4
150x4

B. Press
45x10
65x5
75x4
75x4
75x4
75x8

C1. EZ front raise
35x8
35x8
35x8+3 cheat reps (8th rep was kind of a cheat, no control over the eccentric lol)

C2. Close grip lockouts (pins at 8)
120x8
120x5
95x11

D. Pushups
50 reps - too many sets to get there

Couldn’t really get my head in the game today. Slept like shit and neighborhood drama was bugging me today (the cause of poor sleep). People need to get some friggin hobbies.

Bench felt pretty good, press not too bad despite yawning between sets. By the time I got to assistance stuff I was cooked, decided to scrap the second superset I’d usually do and just bang out some pushups. Haven’t done them in forever and forgot how great they are - best pec pump money can’t buy.

While I was writing this my roommates dog was on the couch chewing on his foot being adorable so I cuddled with him for a minute and then we went outside and played in the yard for a few. In a much better mood now.

Edit: I think I need to mark my mats for my pressing stance. I was off by like an inch on my 2nd or 3rd set and push the weight right into the floor joist. Pain in the ass lol


#12

9/22/17

Pull

Warmup: 3 rounds

5 Broad jumps
5 Med ball chest throws
10 Straight arm pulldowns

SG high pull (hang)
45x5
95x3
95x3
115x2
115x2
135x1
135x1

A. Deadlift
45x10
135x5
185x5
225x5
255x4
255x4
255x4
255x4

B. Deadstop BB row (pins at 1)
45x10
145x5
145x5
145x5
145x5
145x7

C1. Chinup
BWx8
BWx8
BWx7+2+2 - double rest/pause

C2. Hamstring curls
BWx8
BWx8
BWx10

D. Zercher holds (pins at 14)
225x10sec
245x10
275x10
275x10ish
275x5
225x15ish

Today was way better than yesterday, I think upper body days are just harder for me to get up for. Don’t dislike that.

Almost pooped myself during the zerchers again. Guess that’s how you know they’re working!

Happy Friday y’all


#13

Didn’t have the healthiest weekend. Helped my mom move a bunch of stuff Saturday so I guess that’s a little conditioning, more so a test of patience :joy: lifting a snowblower into a pickup bed is no ones idea of a good time. Mostly drank beer, ate tacos, and hung with friends Sunday watching football.

9/25/17

Legs

Warmup: 3 rounds

5 Vertical jumps
5 Medball chest passes
10 Facepulls

A. Squat
45x10
135x5
155x5
185x5
200x2
200x2
200x2

B. Front squat
135x5
145x4
155x3
165x2
175x1
135x6 (with straps)

C. Lunges
95x8
95x8
95x11

D1. EZ curl narrow grip
45x8
45x8
45x14

D2. Landmine twists (10lbs on bar)
20sec
20sec
20sec (maybe a little shy on this one)

Felt good to workout today despite it being hot as balls in my basement from the windows being open. I figured I’d hit more than 6 on the last set of front squats since the straps take the pressure off my wrists. Had trouble keeping the bar in place though so it made the set harder than anticipated.

I’m getting the balancing thing down with the lunges finally. These were a real struggle when I first started doing them but I’m pretty happy now. I think if I was using DB’s or KB’s hanging to the sides it’d be way easier.


#14

Do you do your Lunges with a barbell?


#15

Yep, sure do. Definitely why the balance hasn’t been up to par - it’s been good though. Helping to reinforce stability and pressure throughout the chain.


#16

I actually prefer them with the barbell. I usually hold it in the front rack position though. Gives the core a bit more to think about.


#17

Nice, font rack probably hits the quads a little harder too I’d imagine. They’ll make it into my rotation at some point, along with zerchers too. I’m a big fan of zercher anything.


#18

Yes me to! Zercher Rack Pulls gave my mid back some much needed mass a few months back. It’s tough work but it pays off.


#19

9/26/17

Push

Warmup: 3 rounds

5 KB jump squats
5 Medball chest pass
10 Pullaparts

A. Bench
45x10
115x5
135x5
160x2
160x2
160x2

B. Wide grip bench
125x5
135x4
145x3
155x2
165x1
125x8

C1. Landmine press (weight doesn’t include whatever % of the bar)
20x8
20x8
20x16

C2. Band pressdown
"65"x8
"65"x8
"65"x7+7 w/hands together

D1. Lateral raise
10x8
10x8
10x14+3 cheats

D2. Skullcrusher
45x8
45x8
45x12+4 cali press

Haven’t tried the landmine press in a while but I can feel it a lot more in my shoulders now. Sweet! I did them with my feet squared up instead of staggered. Not sure if that helped with the shoulders but it made me keep the midsection active which is always a plus.


#20

9/27/17

Pull

Warmup: 3 rounds

5 Broad jumps
5 Medball underhand toss
10 Straight-arm pulldowns

Power clean (from pins)
45x5
95x3
95x3
115x2
115x2
135x1
135x1

A. Deadlift
45x10
135x5
185x5
225x5
275x2
275x2
275x2

B1. RDL
185x5
195x4
205x3
215x2
225x1

B2. Pullups
+10x5
+10x5
BWx5
BWx5
BWx7

C1. Plate rows
45x8
45x8
45x13

C2. RKC plank
15sec
15sec
10sec

Right bicep has been bothering me since moving that snowblower, felt it today during pullups but got through the workout. Nothing a little rest won’t fix.

Plate rows are pretty cool after all, nice contraction in the lower part of the lat.