T Nation

Westside Barbell Style Training Log

Hi everyone,

I’ve been keeping a log elsewhere for a few months now, I’m going to start putting it up on here as well from now on. Here’s a little bit of background:

  • I’m 21, a university student in the UK

  • I’m a powerlifter. I coach part of my university powerlifting team as well as competing myself.

  • At the moment I weigh about 105kg, I have been as high as 112kg in the past (I was quite a bit fatter), and would like to get back to the top end of the 110kg class over the coming months.

  • Over the last two years I’ve made two trips out to Westside Barbell. I’ve picked up a lot of knowledge from Louie and the other guys out there, and so I follow a Westside style regime as closely as possible.

I would greatly appreciate any comments / suggestions that anyone has as I go along. My powerlifting training sessions are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and Saturday mornings. I will do my best to post within a few hours of my sessions.

I also do intermittent cardio / GPP sessions, details of which I will also put on here.

Matt

Looks like you know your stuff, welcome aboard.

[quote]hammer_man wrote:
Looks like you know your stuff, welcome aboard.[/quote]

Thanks, I hope people find it interesting.

Unfortunately last nights training session had to be cancelled, our gym was closed because of the snow. It’s closed today as well, so it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to make up for the missed session. Hopefully I’ll be able to post something tomorrow.

07/02/09 (AM) - Dynamic / Repetition Lower Body

The gym was, thankfully, open this morning. It took me about twice as long as usual to cycle there over the ice (a fairly terrifying experience), but in spite of that it was a pretty good session.

  • Band Box Squats

This is the second week of a three week cycle, using purple bands which provide about 60kg of tension at the top of the squat. The first two weeks of any 3 week cycle we do 12 doubles. The final week we only do 10. The weight increases throughout the cycle, but the

Last week was the ‘dynamic’ part of the cycle, focusing more on speed than on heavy weights. I had 130kg bar weight last week. This week is heavier, and we are less focused on the speed of the movement. In the third week there is no concern over speed at all, we go for the heaviest weight we can complete 10 sets of 2 on.

Worked up to 140kg this week and did all 12 doubles on this weight. Felt much, much stronger than I did this time last week. The last couple were pretty slow but my form stayed good on all but a couple of reps.

  • Deficit Deadlifts

Back to conventional stance. We have about a 5 - 6" platform that we stand on to do deficit work. I do want to spend some time training sumo for a while to work on my weaknesses, but with my next meet in 4 weeks this probably isn’t the best time to be doing it. I pull conventional in competition.

180kg for 8 singles. The first few were really quick and easy. They slowed down in the middle and then became really fast again as we got near the end and I could see the end approaching.

  • High Decline GHR’s

Raised the back of the machine 14" today. This was a lot harder than I was expecting. My reps over 4 sets were

2, 3, 3, 3

Not hugely impressive, but I like the fact that it makes GHRs a challenge again. Some of the guys I train with didn’t seem too phased by the incline, and were still able to get sets of 8.

  • Concentric Zerchers

This was supposed to be a relatively light finishing movement. Unfortunately one of my training partners was extremely good at them, and I couldn’t resist taking on the challenge. I lost.

All sets of 6.

Started on 60kg to warm up.
Did working sets on 100kg, 120kg, 140kg.

I actually only got 5 on 140kg. The guy I was ‘competing’ against did 140kg for 2 sets of 6. Not much of a competition. For all the people who read this log and know my training group, it was Rob.

  • Straight Leg Situps on GHR

Just standard. 3 sets of 12 holding a 10kg plate.

09/02/09

I should say that’s it’s pretty rare for me to miss workouts, and I seem to have started this log at exactly the wrong time. I had a class this evening which ran right through my usual training time, so I haven’t trained. I’ll hopefully make up for it some time soon.

10/02/09 (PM) - Max Effort Lower Body

  • Rack Pulls

We did rack pulls from about mid-shin, with no accommodating resistance. Obviously this can depend slightly on your build, but I know that a lot of people find this the hardest place to pull from. My lift is usually pretty similar at this height as it is off the floor.

Started on 100kg and 140kg for sets of 5 to warm up. All singles after this. Weights were:

Made 20kg jumps up to 220kg.
Made 10kg jumps to 240kg.

Tried 250kg but failed. I was a bit annoyed not to get this, and to be honest I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to fight it. Still it’s a reasonable weight, I want to pull over 240kg at my next meet in about 3 and a half weeks time so I think I’m on for that.

  • Weighted GHR’s

Going for sets of 8. I did one set of 8 with bodyweight only, then did 4 sets holding a 10kg plate. Reps were:

8, 8, 6, 5

  • Decline Hyperextensions (aka Nutcrushers)

I do these on a GHR machine. Raise the back of the machine about 6" (using plates or anything that can support it). Then get onto the machine and just do a hyperextension, up to or slightly beyond the point where your body is in a straight line.

You’ll be able to hold plenty of weight for this and I find it really works my hamstrings and lower back.

I did 4 sets of 6 holding 50kg.

  • Straight Leg Situps on Declined GHR

4 sets of 12 holding a 10kg plate.

  • Wide Stance Good Mornings

I decided to try higher reps today. If there’d been anything in my stomach I would have thrown up after the last set. This was extremely demanding, and I’m still feeling the effects all down my posterior chain. However it’s a new way to push myself and I think I’ll see some good improvements as a result.

I went for sets of 10, which I got for all sets (I’ve never done even a light set of 10 on GM’s before). My weights were:

100kg, 120kg, 130kg, 140kg.

After this there was no way I was going to do anything else. As soon as I could walk again I went home.

12/02/09 (PM) - Max Effort Bench

The good mornings from Tuesday were coming back to haunt me today, my lower back was very stiff and it was quite difficult to get a decent arch. I’m still quite pleased with how it went, I probably only would have got slightly more on a good day.

  • Reverse Band Bench

Green bands attached to the top of the rack. They take off about 50kg at the bottom of the bench and probably about 10kg at the top. All the weights below are bar weights only. We warmed up separately without the band tension, just worked up to 60kg for reps. All the following were singles with the bands.

100kg, 140kg, 160kg, 170kg, 180kg, 185kg (PR)

Set a small (5kg) PR on the 185kg. Quite pleased with this, although it definitely wasn’t pretty. My bench is making slow progress, but I benched 137.5kg at my last meet and would like to hit 145kg at the next one.

  • Close Grip Bench Press

Went for relatively high reps today. Decided to do sets of 10 with increasing weight until I couldn’t complete a set. Weights were

60kg, 70kg, 80kg, 90kg.

I didn’t quite manage to finish the set on 90kg (only got 7) and so left it here.

  • Pullups

As always, I’m rubbish at these, but for the first time today they felt good. I did have someone hold my feet and give some help further into the sets. I also lowered myself as slowly as possible and without any assistance, which I felt a lot more in my upper back than I usually do.

Reps were:

6, 6, 5, 4

  • Decline Neutral Grip Press

Standard exercise and we’ve done it before. Going for 4 sets of 6.

Started on 35kg dumbbells for 6.
Did 2 sets of 6 with 40kg dumbbells.
Did a set of 4 with 45kg dumbbells.

  • Machine Row with Band

Wrapped a light (green) jump stretch band around the machine to provide increasing tension throughout the movement. Used the 17th (out of 20) pin on the rack.

4 sets of 6.

  • Shoulder ‘Circuit’

Just came up with this idea today, but it seems to work really well and I plan to do it again. Works best with three people, one person can be Exercise 1, the next Exercise 2 and the third person resting. Then when you’ve finished the person doing Ex 1 starts Ex 2, the person doing Ex 2 rests… I think you see where this is going.

You need a light (purple) jumpstretch band or equivalent and a light plate.

Ex 1:

Standing External Rotations with plate. This is the one where your arm is abducted and you rotate the plate up and down.

Do a set of 12 reps on each arm. Pick a reasonable weight. We used a 5kg plate.

Ex 2:

Take a light jumpstretch band, and hold it with both hands. Your hands should be as close together as you can while still performing the following exercises.

Overhead Band Pull-Aparts: Hold the band overhead with your arms straight. Keeping your arms straight pull the band apart and lower it down until it touches the back of your neck, then reverse and repeat. Do a set of 12.

Front Band Pull-Aparts: Same idea, only this time start with the band in front of you and pull it apart until it touches your chest. Another set of 12.

You should be able to have you all complete 4 sets of each of the above in a reasonably short period of time (make the cycle continuous, there’s a rest period built it). Your shoulders, particularly rear delts and rotator cuffs, should be fried. If not, you need to pick a heavier plate and move your hands together on the band.

14/02/09 (AM) - Dynamic / Repetition Lower Body

  • Box Squats

The third week of the cycle with purple bands, and so we only do 10 doubles this week. Worked up to 150kg bar weight, again no suit. No concern at all this week for speed, it just has to be a weight that we can complete all 10 doubles on without failing.

I got all 10 sets of 2 on 150kg. Some of these were really incredibly slow reps, I think one must have taken about 5s just to do the concentric part of the movement. Still that’s the point of using bands, the time under maximal tension is huge.

Really pleased with the weight and they all felt good. The band add 50 - 60kg at the top, and combined with the fact that these are off a box I’m pretty confident I can beat my 185kg squat at my next meet.

  • Deficit Deadlifts

We did the same here as we did last week. Technically this should be the final week of a cycle, but I didn’t want the final week of the squats and the deadlifts to coincide, so we held this back for one more week and will reach the peak of the cycle next week.

Going for 8 singles on 180kg from about a 5" deficit. I did the first 6 on 180kg, and then decided to increase the weight to 190kg and did my final 2 here.

These felt really good, I should be able to do all 8 singles on 210kg which would be great, considering that my best deadlift in competition is 232.5kg.

  • GHRs

Left the machine flat today, we were going for slightly higher reps than usual and really focusing on form, I was filming for the video I posted this morning, please watch it and post comments here or on youtube!

Anyway, just did 4 sets of 10.

  • Concentric Zercher Squats

Anyone who has a weakness near lockout, like I do, should be doing Zercher’s. They’re a fantastic movement. For anyone not familiar with them, you pick up the bar in the crook of your elbows and squat. There’s a video of a guy from DeFranco’s gym doing one here:

We tend not to go quite as low, as we’re using it as a way to train the lockout in particular. For the concentric version start with the bar resting on the pins in the rack at the bottom of the movement, do a rep, put it back down and start again. This is very different to just ‘touch-and-go’s’ off the pins, the bar must actually rest on the pins between reps. I’ll try to make a video soon…

I decided to do these on 140kg, although I didn’t have as much energy as I might have like. I wanted to get sets of 6, but my reps were

3, 4, 5

This really took it out of me, but I think this is really going to help me lockout some heavy deadlifts.

One of the guys I train with got 180kg for 4!

  • Straight Leg Situps on GHR

Nothing fancy here. 4 sets of 12 holding a 10kg plate.

16/02/09 (PM) - Dynamic Bench Press

Sorry for the delay in posting this workout and the one that follows it. I’m having a really bad week for work, haven’t had much time to do this. Anyway here it is now.

This workout was not a good one for me, I don’t really know what was wrong but I was a long way off form.

  • Band Bench Press

Monster mini bands doubled up at each end, plus 72.5kg of bar weight. Did the usual, 9 sets of 3 with 3 different grips. Last week this felt pretty easy and was nice and quick. This week it really wasn’t, to the point where I actually had to lower the weight to 70kg when I got to close grip to avoid failing.

  • Neutral Grip Dumbbell Press

Nothing special. 40kg dumbbells, I was going for 4 sets of 6. Again this should have been easy and really wasn’t. My reps were:

5, 6, 5, 5

  • One Arm Rows

We now do these by putting the end of a bar in one corner of the room, and then putting weight plates on the other end and rowing with that end of the bar. I prefer dumbbell rows as a movement since the range of motion is significantly greater, but we’ve only got up to 45kg dumbbells so we have to find an alternative.

Put 40kg on the end of the bar and did 5 sets of 6. Decided not to go at all heavy because of the way the session was going, which I guess negates the benefit of using a bar instead of dumbbells.

  • Tricep Pushdowns with Band

As normal, doubled up a monster mini band over the cable arrangement and then passed it over the handle. I did this on the 9th hole on the cable setup, which is pretty much what I normally do, and got 4 sets of 8. This makes me think that maybe it’s my shoulders that are the problem today, maybe I’ve been over doing it with the rear delt work and they’re too tired?

  • Face Pulls

Just because I think my rear delts might be tired doesn’t mean I’m going to stop working them, it just means they need to be stronger.

Used the rope attachment. 12th hole on the cable setup. 3 sets of 15.

17/02/09 (PM) - Max Effort Lower Body

Definitely back on form today, I made a real effort to eat properly and get loads of water in, which probably helped a lot.

  • Narrow Stance Box Squats

This is quite an interesting training movement, really hits my quads which are a lot stronger than I realised (I guess that’s the conventional deadlifts). Also hits the lower back quite hard, but all the good mornings have prepared me nicely for that. When I say close stance, my feet were less than shoulder width apart.

Started on 60kg and worked up to 100kg. These were my warmup sets, so I was doing sets of 5. After this they were all singles.

Made 20kg jumps from here up to 160kg. Put my belt on for 140kg.

Made 10kg jumps all the way to 200kg. I haven’t had this sort of weight on a box squat for a while, and to get it narrow stance is a particularly big achievement I think. In all honesty the last one turned into basically a good morning, I find it a lot harder to keep good form with this stance, but I’m pleased with the weight.

  • Declined GHRs

I’ve been told that I should be calling these Inclined GHRs. I don’t know which is right, but by decline I mean that we’ve raised the back of the machine, making the movement harder.

I just did bodyweight here, I was pretty tired from the squats. 4 sets of 8.

  • Wide Stance Good Mornings

Did narrow stance to hit the muscles that had missed out during the narrow stance squats. All sets of 6, weights were:

100kg, 120kg, 140kg, 140kg, 140kg.

In fact on that last set of 140kg I failed the final rep. This was a huge surprise, I’ve never failed a good morning before. I also remember reading an article by Dave Tate who said he only knew 2 people who were ever able to fail good mornings, because you naturally stop yourself going any lower if you won’t be able to come back up. Don’t know if that’s true, or if I’m remembering it exactly right, but it was definitely a shock.

  • Straight Leg Situps on GHR

Nothing special. 4 sets of 12. The weight I was holding for each set was:

15kg, 15kg, 20kg, 25kg.

22/02/09 (AM) - Dynamic / Repetition Lower Body

  • Box Squats

In the build up to the next competition we’ve removed the band tension, so now we just have regular box squats. As usual though we did 12 sets of 2. This is the beginning of the cycle and so we’re focusing more on speed this week.

I started on 140kg for the first 5 sets of 2. These were all quick and pretty easy, so I decided to go up to 145kg for the 6th set and then did the last 6 sets on 150kg.

I’m pleased with the weight today, all my sets felt very good. I think I’m on for getting more than 200kg at my next meet in two weeks time.

Based on the narrow stance work we did this week I’ve brought my stance in very slightly (I’m still a wide stance squatter) but it allows me to make more use of my lower back which is really strong thanks to all the Good Mornings.

  • Deficit Deadlifts

This is now at the the end of the 3 week cycle, and so we’re doing the heaviest weights. As usual we stand on a 5" platform and do 8 singles. I did all 8 on 200kg. I was hoping to be able to increase the weight slightly towards the end but I wasn’t quite up to it today, and some of these were extremely slow reps near lockout. Still I got them all, and it was significantly easier than the last time I did this.

  • GHR’s

We went for relatively high reps today. Bodyweight only, I was going for 4 sets of 12 followed by one set to failure. My actual reps were:

12, 12, 12, 11, 8

That last one was definitely to failure. It seems I’ve become so accustomed to doing 4 sets of everything that the 5th set was really difficult. We’d also already done a lot of work by this point.

  • Wide Stance Good Mornings

After the squats and the deadlifts I definitely wasn’t in any state to push these today. Just did 3 sets of 6. Weights were

100kg, 120kg, 120kg.

  • Weighted Situps on GHR

The normal arrangement. I did 2 sets of 12 holding a 25kg plate, and then 2 sets of 10 holding a 30kg dumbbell. The dumbbell is a lot more difficult than the small increase in weight might suggest, because it sits much higher up on your chest. I think I’ll be doing this weight for a little while. I’m now getting to the point where these are feeling like a genuine power movement, which is definitely a good sign.

23/02/09 (PM) - Dynamic / Repetition Upper Body

  • Bench Press

In the build up to the competition, which is now in less than 2 weeks time, we’ve removed the band tension from this movement. Other than that it pretty much stays the same. So we do 9 sets of 3, with the 3 different grips progressively moving for wide to narrow grip.

For the 3 wide (little finger on ring) sets, my weights were: 100kg, 105kg, 115kg
For the 3 medium (thumbs length from smooth) sets, my weights were: 105kg, 110kg, 110kg
For the 3 narrow (index finger touching smooth) sets, I did all 3 sets on 100kg.

Felt pretty strong on this today. All the sets were relatively fast and easy. I didn’t push it too hard because we’re testing our bench on Thursday for the meet.

  • Incline Dumbbell Press

Standard exercise here, but I’m quite pleased with the way it went. Weights and sets were:

30kg dumbbells for 8
35kg dumbbells for 8
40kg dumbbells for 8
45kg dumbbells for 6

This last set was to failure, something I plan to do a little bit more often in training.

  • Lat Pulldowns (Close Neutral Grip Handle)

Again pretty standard exercise. I used 11 plates on our machine, which in theory is 55kg. This is the only machine I’ve ever been on where the weight actually feels heavier than it says, I think they need to oil it or something.

Anyway, did 4 sets. Reps were:

12, 10, 12, 12

Something weird happened to my shoulder on that second set, but it didn’t seem to affect the other sets.

  • Tricep Pushdowns

I didn’t have my smaller bands this week, so we just did it with straight weight. We use the straight bar handle.

I used the whole stack, and was going for 4 sets of 8. My reps were

8, 5, 6, 6

  • Machine Rows with Green Band

Exactly the same as I did last week. I love this exercise, it’s definitely the best way to train my back that we have available in this gym (there are better things I’ve done elsewhere). The 17th (out of 20) pin on the machine. 4 sets of 6.

  • Reverse Flyes

I wanted to do these to finish off and get some rear delt / rotator cuff work in. Unfortunately it seemed like a lot of my energy suddenly disappeared at this point.

I just did 3 sets of 10 with the 10th pin on the machine. Normally I would use the 12th or 13th.

Apologies to anyone who takes the time to read this log. I was really busy last week, and my internet connection was down for a lot of the weekend which meant that I couldn’t update it. I’ll do my best to remember the sessions from last week, and will back to my normal posting from now on.

24/02/09 (PM) - Max Effort Lower Body

  • Deadlifts

This was our chance to test our deadlifts before the upcoming meet. So this was just normal deadlifting today.

Started on 60kg and 100kg for sets of 5 to warm up.
Then made 20kg jumps up to 220kg.
Finally made a 5kg jump to 225kg.

This wasn’t my best day, so I decided not to push it too hard. My competition max is 232.5kg so I’ll be pleased if I can open at around 225kg.

  • GHRs

Did these declined with about a 6" block behind the back of the machine.

4 sets of 6. Just bodyweight.

  • Nutcrushers

I don’t know how much longer we’re going to be able to do these. We were holding 60kg of plates today, which was pretty hard but I don’t think we’re going to be able to hold much more weight.

60kg for 4 sets of 6.

  • Situps on GHR

Did these holding on to a 30kg dumbbell. I definitely felt these hit my abs harder than any other movement I’ve done.

3 sets of 10.

Our workouts are a little bit shorter at the moment so that we can be fully recovered for our competition.

26/02/09 (PM) - Max Effort Upper Body

  • Bench

This was our chance to test our benches. So this was just normal benching today.

Started on 60kg for reps to warm up.
Triple on 80kg. Then all singles, weights were
100kg, 110kg, 120kg, 130kg.

Left it here. My competition max is 137.5kg so it would be good to open at around 130kg.

  • Dumbbell Floor Press

Neutral grip. 40kg dumbbells. I was going for 4 sets of 6. Got the first 3 sets and then only got a set 5. These are weaker than they have been, I think some of my tricep strength has gone (I don’t know exactly why). Hopefully the few days off I’m taking before the competition will help.

  • Lat Pulldowns

I didn’t do these too heavy, I’m not all that good at vertical pull stuff and my form goes if I try to take it too heavy.

5 sets of 8 on the 11th hole in the machine (supposedly 55kg).

  • The Rear Delt / Rotator Cuff

See one of my earlier post for details of what this actually includes. I think it’s really helping my shoulder strength and I would recommend it to anyone.

Did 4 circuits. We used a 5kg dumbbell for the rotations and a purple band for the pull-aparts.

28/02/09 (PM) - Dynamic / Repetition Lower Body

  • Box Squats

Did these touch-and-go today in the transition to the upcoming competition. No band tension.

I worked up to 160kg bar weight. This should have been really easy for 10 sets of 2, but my balance was really off today. I fell backwards on the second reps of two of my sets (thank goodness for good spotters and a good rack). Other than that though the weight was really easy, as it should have been. I think actually the box puts me off when we don’t do proper box squats and so I don’t think I’ll do these again.

  • Speed Deadlifts

This is the first time we’ve been able to do genuine speed work, it’s amazingly difficult to get people to work fast enough for speed work.

We do 8 singles. The rest period between sets should be about 60 seconds.

My first two sets were with 160kg and then did 6 singles on 170kg. These were really, really fast which is good, and finally the rest periods were short enough.

  • GHRs

We used a big decline this week, we raised the back of the machine about 12 - 13". Using bodyweight only.

I was going for 4 sets of 6. Got the first 3 sets and then only did 3 reps on the last set.

This incline hit my hamstrings harder than any version of these we’ve done before. We’ll be doing them on this sort of incline a lot more often.

  • Pull Throughs

We managed to set these up with both weight from the cable stack and a green band. This properly allows this movement to progress again, although it does make it very hard to hold both the band and the weight.

I stayed on about the 14th plate in the stack (of 20, 5kg per plate) for 4 sets. My reps were fairly inconsistent because the band kept slipping out of my hands. I think I did:

10, 7, 9, 6

Another really good movement that we’ll be doing more often now that we’ve found a way to progress again.

  • Hip Abductor Movement

A doubled up mini band around your knees which you then push out against. I found that the lower you sit to the floor the harder this is, so I did it sat on an aerobics step. It’s worth sitting lower as you get better at these, but make sure you start below parallel.

3 sets of 12,

  • Situps on GHR

With a 30kg dumbbell. 3 sets of 12.

02/03/09 (PM) - Dynamic / Repetition Bench

Right, this is the workout I did today so I can remember it more accurately than the last few.

  • Bench

This has moved from dynamic work more towards repetition work. So we do the usual 9 sets of 3 with 3 different grips, but without the band tension.

Warmed up with 60kg, 80kg, and 100kg.

Started my wide grip on 110kg for the first set, then did the next two on 115kg.

Then did all the rest of my sets on 110kg.

  • Incline Dumbbell Press

Going for sets of 6. My weights were

35kg, 40kg, 45kg, 45kg, 45kg.

  • Flat Dumbbell Press

The dumbbell work was feeling pretty good today, so I continued with some neutral grip presses on a flat bench. 35kg dumbbells. My reps were:

6, 6, 6, 5

My triceps were pretty tired at this point, but I thought I’d do one more movement.

  • Tate Presses

There is now a proper video of these on youtube, I hope everyone’s seen it.

Just did 20kg dumbbells for 4 sets of 12. I really wasn’t pushing these too hard today.

This was the final upper body workout before the competition on Sunday. A bit shorter than usual just to make sure we’re all fully recovered. Everything’s feeling pretty good, we’ll just see how things go on the day.

08/03/09 - Varsity Match against Cambridge

This is the competition that I’ve been building up to over the last couple of weeks. I’m really pleased with my numbers, which were:

  • Squat

180kg, 190kg (PR), 200kg (PR).

My previous competition max was 185kg.

  • Bench

130kg, 137.5kg (equal PR), 142.5kg (PR)

My previous competition max was 137.5kg.

  • Deadlift

225kg, 235kg (PR), 240kg (PR)

My previous competition max was 232.5kg.

I’m really pleased with how this competition went. All the previous maxes are from a competition about 6 weeks ago so I feel like I’ve made really good progress in that time.

Thanks to everyone involved in organising this competition. I know that some of the guys who helped to load/spot read this log so thanks again to them.

I’ll be back to training on Tuesday.

10/03/09 (PM) - Max Effort Lower Body

For obvious reasons I wasn’t expecting anything too spectacular today, and I must admit I’d originally planned to have a relatively light session. I’m not good at doing that, and today I felt like I had the energy to do a lot of stuff. Definitely wasn’t quite as strong as usual, but given how close this was to my meet I’m pleased with the session.

  • Reverse Band Deadlifts

We actually took the time to measure this today. We use green bands choked at about head height on the rack. They take off 50kg at the bottom and 20kg at the top. It should be linear in between.

Started on 100kg and 140kg for sets of 8 to warm up. Then everything was singles.

Made 20kg jumps up to 240kg.
Made a 10kg jump to 250kg.
Finally tried 260kg. I got it just above my knees, but couldn’t lock it out.

My old max is 260kg, and I didn’t expect to get this close to it today. My lower back was really sore, which didn’t help with locking out the weight.

  • Declined GHR’s

Raised the back of the machine about 10". Wanted to do 4 sets of 6, but could only manage 4 sets of 4. Again I felt it was actually my lower back which was limiting me, as this does play a role in the decline version of the movement. As you’ll see later in the session I did some sets with the machine flat and they seemed unaffected.

  • Front Box Squats

I decided to just do sets of 6, increasing the weight until I couldn’t get all 6. My previous best for a set of 6 was 90kg (I’m not good at front squats).

Started on 60kg. Made 10kg jumps to 100kg.
Made a 5kg jump to 105kg.

All these were sets of 6. I tried a set of 6 on 110kg but only got 4 so left it there. I might have got the final two if I hadn’t done so many sets building up to it. I’m definitely pleased with the improvement.

  • Straight Leg Situps on GHR

Holding a 25kg dumbbell. 3 sets of 12.

  • Box Jumps

I’m not sure if this is the right name for these. Basically I started sat on a 14" box, just like I would be at the bottom of a box squat. Raised my feet off the floor about an inch, and then slammed them into the ground and jumped up onto another 14" box in front of me (this is the biggest box we have, I’d prefer one slightly higher).

I did sets of 6. Started with just bodyweight for one set, then held onto a weight plate. The weights for my sets were:

5kg, 10kg, 15kg, 15kg, 15kg

I wasn’t expecting these to be as tiring as they were, and I definitely feel like they’re going to increase my explosive power at the bottom of a squat. From what I’ve read you can’t do this sort of thing too often or it’ll burn you out, which is a shame.

  • GHR’s

Left the machine flat this time. I did 5 sets of 10. These were relatively easy. The decline ones weren’t great, I was limited by my lower back and didn’t really get to push my hamstrings and glutes. This made up for that.