Deadlift for days!

Deadlift days are my favorite days by far! My first sets of 5 were @140 and 160, and they went smooth as butter. I was programmed for 5+@182.5 so the choice was mine to either go up or down. Originally I was prepared to go down to 180 but once I was faced with the weights, I didn’t feel like messing with 10’s, 5’s and 2.5’s when I could just slap on a 25 sodeadlift
I ended up rocking 185 for 10 reps.
Now I usually video my 1+ sets but I decided to start taping all my plus sets so I can watch my form for breakdown.
What I garnered from yesterday, I lost lat tension after my 5th rep, with some back rounding at 9. Overall, I am pleased as punch at how it went! I think on my next 5+ I’ll work on resetting each rep. I need to figure out where I want to breath, I keep flipping between exhaling at the top or at the bottom or both. I seem to have trouble holding my breath and maintaining my bracing. I’m going to work on a total reset to try and keep the tension.

Keeping my 5×10 Squats @115 felt like a good choice. Since switching to low bar, I’ve been trying to focus on form and technique. Squat cues are one thing I need to work on the most. I’ve started writing down 3 things I want to focus on per cycle. This time it’s bar tension, bracing out of the rack, and back angle. So many things to remember! I’m hoping that writing things down and looking them over often will help imprint them in my noggin.

Bro stuff went great! It was hot and humid but after snacking on some sour patch kids before moving on to accessories, I managed knocked everything else out pretty awesomely.

For the first time since I started 5/3/1 I finally did something that has been on my routine every single cycle. Hip thrusts are both incredibly awkward and somewhat embarassing! Thankfully the gym was relatively empty, though I did get one heck of a charlie horse in left glute…..apparently I am more weak there than I thought. Now that the hip thrust seal has been broken, I have no excuse to not continue them. It really wasn’t so bad in the end.

For this workout, I super set my Deficit deadlifts with goblet squats. I kept both relatively light- 135 for 6 reps of deadlifts and a 40 dumbbell for 8 reps for the squats. I completed 4 rounds plus a warm up set (I had never done deficit deads so I started at 115 before deciding on 135).

I did close grip cable rows, lateral pull downs, and reverse pull downs next, each were 4×5 @105! This was a PB for all three! While my bro stuff is not really a focus, it is still cool to watch those number grow. Next I super set hammer curls with incline curls and got one heck of a good pump. I finished with a few pull ups and was suppose to do some tire jumps but it was pouring down rain so I just finished with stretches and dipped out.

Until next time!

Benching, Bloating, and Binging!

Tuesday began like any other day, I woke up excited for a day in the gym…and then I stepped on the scale.

For the past week I have been slowly packing on the pounds, in what I can really only attribute to as water weight. It culminated to a massive 5lb gain as off yesterday morning, in the span of 3 days. My skin hurt, my clothes fit horribly, my ego/soul/motivation tanked. The desire to just say eff this and binge was so intense I had to leave the house just to get my head together.

Here’s what I know, when things get wonky, my gut reaction has been to sink into temptation because why not? I felt like my body had betrayed me so why not sulk and eat a carton of ice cream and endless rows of cookies?

I also know that is absolutely the worse reaction I could possibly have, and so despite my body aching (more than usual), I gathered my wits and headed to the gym where I spent two hours benching my heart out.
I was so excited to start this cycle and it was just utterly disheartening to be feeling so out of sorts. I managed my  first couple of 5 sets @70 and 80 and while it felt heavy, I plowed ahead with my 5+@95 and rocked it out for 8 reps.

My 5×10 OHP @45 didn’t do so smooth, but it very rarely does.

My bro stuff went great! While I didn’t managed the 35lb unilateral incline presses I was chasing, I did hit 30 for 5-6 solid reps on each side for 4 sets. It was rough but left me feeling rather rejuvenated. I actually decided to do something I have not done in 4 months. I decided to superset my dumbbell flye’s with my close grip bench! I kept em both light with low reps but it felt so good I added pause bench afterward. I think next week I’ll do a giant set of the three. I’m trying to challenge myself this cycle, both physically and mentally. I finished up with some tricep push downs and a bit of conditioning and abs. Even though I wanted to go home, I pushed through the burpee long jumps, though admittedly I took longer rests than I should have. I still rocked my hex walk, 16 steps out, set down to turn around, 16 steps back and then a 10s hold, @155. I did this for 4 sets and my hands were raw but it’s been worth it to watch my grip increase.

Once I was home I was faced with conflicting temptations. On one hand, I craved the Lenny and Larry’s cookies I have in the pantry, and on the other hand, I was tempted to just not eat at all and hope that starving myself would cure my bloating. Both options seemed illogical, so I settled on my typical protein shake and then about an hour later, had my typical giant ass salad. While the urges to both binge and starve remained all night, I kept to my guns and simply ate what I normally would, when I normally would eat it. It amazed me how doing such a simple thing such as exerting self control resulting in such a victorious feeling.

The greatest thing I gained from yesterday is the assurance that I have moved beyond simply giving up when things don’t go my way. I have finally garnered a bit of resiliency and the gumption to not quit or give up when things get dumb. That momentary set backs like bloating, and not looking (or feeling) 100% doesn’t signify the end of the world. I am getting older and as such, my body doesn’t recover the way it use to. Moving forward, I am super stoked for deadlifts! Even if it’s rough, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen!

On a side note,

 

Roadtrips, Deadlifts and Grumps!

Monday saw the start of my deload week, I am definitely not a fan but it is necessary and my body definitely felt it today!

Tuesday brought me on the road to the mountains, about 8 hours away.

Wednesday I hiked said mountain, a small section of the Appalachian Trail which starts in GA! It was amazing, it was challenging, it was epic. 0AT

This was a belated Father’s day trip, and our first time ever hiking a mountain! It was definitely more challenging than my typical rucks. I came away from it feeling a little sore in my calves but otherwise great.

Thursday we drove back home, this was long and arduous and I was super grumpy from lack of proper nutrition. While I was loosely tracking my macro’s, my protein was low and my carbs were high. Throw in the 5 Blue Moon’s I drank post hike and I was one cranky mofo.

We hit home around 2:30 PM, I ate a protein waffle and knocked back some pre-workout and by 3 PM I was out the door and headed to the gym. Captain Cranky Pants decided to go knock out her deadlift deload. The gym at that time suuuuuuuuuuucked. It was over 90 degrees and before I had even warmed up I was already a sweaty mess. I just winged the deload sets. I was moody, pissy, annoyed, and just didn’t care.

I opted for 3 sets of 3@135 after warming up for a couple sets of @65 and @115.

Moving on, 5×10 squats, I went in with the goal of 95lbs and my ding butt self settled for 105 instead. Practiced some more low bar, I am definitely digging it! The 5×10 went surprisingly excellent.

I sort of just farted around for another 20-30 minutes and left before an hour had passed. I was tired, my body hurt from driving for 8 hours and I was hangry from lack of food.
Upon arrival home, I tore into some broccoli, egg whites, chicken and BBQ sauce. No toast since my carbs were high and I wanted popcorn still. This has quickly become my favorite meal. I was still short almost 40g of protein so I made a milkshake with some of my favorite halo top! Mint Chip has a special place in my heart.

Today was just sort of meh. My body hurt from more than just the deadlifts. I’m smooshing my deloads back to back because I want them over with. Today was OHP and I didn’t push it all. I will be happy to get this deload over with! Next cycle is going to be super awesome and fun!

My 1RM from my very first cycle are becoming a part of my training percentages!!!!!!!!!! All of my 1RM are present for my 1+ week! I am so happy! Beyond happy!

Tomorrow is squat deload and then finally an off day and then the fun begins!

-happy dance-

 

 

 

Soothing melodies

There is just something so soothing about the sound of plates sliding on a barbell. Today marks the end of my third cycle of 5/3/1. Three whole months of lifting heavier than I ever dreamed. Back in January I was pleased as could be to knock out 3 squats @115 and today I hit 3 @160. I will be sad when the newbie gainz go bye bye.

Squats! Today found me low bar squatting for the entire session. Woah man is my shoulder already feeling more limber than on Tuesday. Also low bar makes me feel like a boss.

5@125-3@145-3@160 for the win. It was just the end of February that I failed at 170 for my first attempt, hit it a couple minutes later but dem gainz are real son. For really real.

The 5×10 Deadlifts @155 went pretty dang smooth as well. I am noticing a little big of imbalance however, so my instincts tell me I should alternate my over/under grip hands. I’m painstakingly slowly working on grip strength so double over is not going to happen and my versa grips are a last resort. For the next couple cycles I’m going to try going over on the left and under on the right and we’ll see what happens! I might end up face planting, honestly who knows with me.

Bro stuff wasn’t too bad either, split squats are still the devil.

The RDL’s went pretty smooth, I have noticed my grip strength improvements here, in the past I was practically rushing so I didn’t drop the bar and today I was able to take it slow and controlled. I was making faces in the mirror at that one. Though I make faces for damn near every occasion.

The pause squats were a beast. I did the first set high and then switched low and then I dropped it like it was hot (my ass not the bar). I managed 3×6 for 3-5s pauses at the bottom. I think those mofo’s leave me more sore than my main lift. Eeee gads.

Front squats have been interesting as my left wrist just doesn’t like to cooperate. I tend to switch my grip up ever set, I just can’t nail down the sweet spot. I’m good until I hit the bottom of the squat, then its like my wrist just gets cranky. Damn dodgy joints.

Finished off with a couple sets of 10 Goblet squats with a 40lb dumbbell. No holds this time, I was wiped out even with my soup patch kid intra workout carb load. I probably should bring something better but hey, I like what I like!

Oh well! We are officially on a deload! Wooooooooooooooooooooooooo That’s how happy I am. I have super awesome and amazing plans to go hiking on Wednesday. A real and proper mountain hike at that! Gotta get my cardio in since I’m not lifting heavy things =)

This is my happy face.

The first rule about OHP…

We don’t talk about overhead press day.

 

That being said, cardio has been going exquisitely. Between sprints on Wednesday and my weight vest today, I feel healthy as fuuuuuuuuu. Mostly!

Sometimes you just have to cut lose and enjoy some maple whiskey and waffles.

In all seriousness though shoulder work is going ok. I have been repeating each cycle twice before moving forward, talk about slow going.

I managed 1@75 which is a PR for me, followed by 5×10 bench @75 which went spectacularly actually. Much better than last week, where I had to break up the final set into 2×5. Progress is progress!

I’ve decided to add additional tricep work to help with my OHP and fingers are crossed it works! So normally I just do tricep stuff on Bench day, but last week I decided to add some cable push downs to OHP day because reasons. Very good reasons, I tend to get stuck with the bar around me ears, I’ve heard that stronger triceps might help me get “unstuck.” At this point, I’ll try damn near anything.

Other bro stuff included face pulls ( I weirdly love these), dumbbell shoulder presses, lateral raises, dumbbell chest press with rotation, cable push down and then abs. Oh how I hate working my abs. I like to think my front squats and farmers carries work them enough, but I try not to delude myself too much.

All in all, I’m pretty satisfied with how things have been going with my shoulder work. It’s been hard, but I’m not terribly sore or stiff!

Tomorrow is squat day…………….definitely not feeling overly confident, but I am going to attempt to low bar it if possible!

Fingers and toes are crossed!

 

I don’t maths good.

But first, Deadlifts!!!!!!

Yesterday was deadlift day and deadlift day is my favorite! Started off on a high note, did a few warm up sets of 115 and then started my 5-3-1+ shenanigainz.

5@155 too easy. 3@175 little heavy. 1+@195 SIX reps! Wait, what? Oh too bad it was 185.

So 6@185 put me in a pickle. Do I swallow my sadness and move on to squats? Do I take a breather and try 195? I was already somewhat apprehensive, but what the hell. I was feeling reckless.

3 minutes later and I mastered 4 reps at 195lb. Yeah boy! There was cussing, there was smiles, there was lots of red face action. I was stoked.

On to squats! I am making the transition to low bar! The difference is noticeable. I’m working on it with lower weights until I feel competent with it. Definitely need to work on shoulder mobility, but it was nifty.

Natural I went dumbtarded here too, thought I was at 105 when really I was pushing 115. Oi! Just not my day for counting.

 

Sunday was Bench day, it went fantabulous. I hit 100 for the first time ever! Busted out 4 reps here as well. All in all it’s been one of the most successful cycles yet. I’m so ansty pants to see my numbers go up. So happy and wiggly every time I grab those 45’s. It’s love at first rep!

 

So my pre-gym breaskfast has somehow turned into my absolute favorite meal of the day.breakfast This meal consists of:

  • a Van’s Powergrain waffle
  • a chicken breast
  • 60g of steamed broccoli
  • two egg whites
  • 10g of cashew
  • 1/2 a serving of Korean BBQ sauce!

It is so frigging good. Just enough carbs to keep me from crashing without going overboard. The cashews, broccoli,  and BBQ sauce go so well with the eggs. It tastes almost like chinese food! I love chinese food. The chicken and waffles is so friggin amazing together. The Powergrain waffle tastes familiar in a way that I can’t quite pinpoint.

This has become my most favorite thing to eat, I may eat it again for dinner!

On the macro side of life, the struggle is real. Some days are super easy, some day I don’t care, some days I just feel like poop.

C’est la vie!

Squats and X Files!

Squats, squats, and more squats!

Today started off sluggish, 3+ day and I hit 120 and 135 first. Managed to squeeze out 6 reps @150 for my third set! So stoked.

5×10 deadlifts @155 was so-so. Ended up finishing the last two sets with the belt and split the 5th set into two rounds of 5.

Not sure what was up but I’m thinking it was the 2 miles I rucked with 50lbs yesterday…….

Today ended with squats for days! Split, sumo, pause and front! I squat till I drop!

Yesterday! I added 20lbs to my normal ruck sessions and woooow it was intense. I’m stoked that it didn’t affect my squats and I can’t wait to get back out there next week. Rucking > running every single time.

Life is as boring and ordinary as always! I’m super stoked for my 1+ next week, it is just so awesome to watch my numbers grow!

Part of me really can’t wait for deload week, I am definitely feeling this cycle.

Day of the Deadlifts

I know the day of the week by it’s workout, mainly because I don’t have a set day for any workout, I just alternate every other day in the gym.

I like deadlifts, deadlifts are my favorite! I did my 3-3-3+ today, hit 145-165 with ease and busted out 7@185 and almost puked. It was glorious, especially since I stopped doing touch and go and actually came to a dead stop on the dead lift which left me dead.

Squats afterwards just about wiped me out. I managed all 5 sets beltless but that 5th set was haaaaaaaaaaard. I just went slow and worked on breathing and bracing.

I like leg days because I get to eat sour patch kids after my main lift, it helps power me through the bro stuff.

Rack pulls 4 sets @205! It was great to hold that weight, I’m not even gonna lie. I managed 4-5-6 reps then on the 4th set threw in some singles, with a hold as long as I could, at the top. I’m trying to work on grip strength hardcore right now. I plan on adding some hex bar carries next cycle. The higher my training maxes get, the greater the need for me to able to hold the damn weight. I’ve only been doing this thing for just over 3 months now. Time flies when you’re having a blast!

On to the work out! After the rack pulls I chewed on a couple more sour patch kids because they’re delicious. Single arm dumbbell rows were followed by back extensions, chin ups and hammer curls. I threw in a couple sets of reverse curls too because hot damn do they work my grip. Lefty was giving out but held strong long enough to finish.

I literally have done nothing since the gym but eat and watch X Files.

My favorite meal of the day has definitely been the protein milkshake.

Halo Top ice cream is amazing. The mint chip flavor is amazinger. Coming in at 240 calories FOR THE PINT, with 6g of protein a serving, I am in love. It also makes a damn good milkshake.

This puppy comes in at under 300 calories, with 39g protein, 26g carb and 3g fat, it was milkthe perfect end to my day. I used 86g of frozen banana, roughly 1/2 a cup of cashew milk, a serving of halo top and 38g of MyProtein Impact Whey. It was fantastic, beyond delicious, maybe one of the best things I’ve eaten in awhile.

It was minty, creamy and dreamy and will most definitely be making a reappearance very soon.

Normally I use my protein shakes as a vessel for my powdery supplements, but this one just got a healthy dose of prebiotic fiber powder and I slammed it down faster than I thought possible.

Today is coming to a close, tomorrow brings a multi-store hunt for my beloved turkey tenderloin (amazing macros and not freaking chicken). Hopefully we find some as I have some meal prepping to do. Only other thing I hope to accomplish is another walk with the weight vest, it really does do wonders for leg soreness.

Gym stuff is picking up and I’m loving every minute of it, except overhead presses, those bastards just suck.

Cardio is for the birds

Yesterday was my first day back from my impromptu vacation and it was also bench day. Makin gains left and right this week!

3@75, 3@85, 3+@95 (for 7 reps)! Booyah!

This was followed by 5×10 Overhead Press with the bar. I died. I smacked my chin with said bar. It’s bruised. I rocked the crap out of it.

My gym was full of dumbbell hoarders so I changed up my bro stuff a smidge. I went straight from OHP to this nifty thing called a Spoto Press. It’s essentially a bench press that stops 2 inches above your chest, held for a moment, and then pushed up to start position. Holy craaaaaaaaaaap I love it.

From there, I moved to cable chest flye’s and incline flye’s so I was fly AF. I skipped the dips because tireds. Overhead cable tricep extensions is the most wordy exercise I do. Then abs. I lasted two rounds of a basic circuit and then called it quits. I was hot, I was tired, and I was so hangry it was funny.

I followed this session with some turkey and french fries because I gotta feed these muscles. Actually I have a relatively difficult time getting calories in, most of the time I’m not hungry. My life is so hard, I know.

After le gym and feeding, I met with a friend for a few hours and caught up on the last 4 years! I’m so social I don’t even know what to do with myself.

walking collageThat was then, this is now, and I am relaxing after a lovely 3 mile walk. By lovely, I mean horribly hot and sweaty. My 30lb vest is feeling lighter every day and wearing it definitely beats running.

Cardio is for suckers. I can say this because I use to run like 70 miles a month. Now I run like 10…tops…eww.

The nature trail is naturey enough but Florida is flat as can be and I am craving some hill work.

I may very well try and sneak in a quick trip to a mountain sometime soon for some variety.

Tomorrow is another off gym day (sad face) unfortunately it works best for me to follow bench with deadlifts and since I rearranged last week, I have take an extra day before I plow in head strong into my 3+ @185. I’m like Gollum and the barbell is my precious. I neeeeeeeeds it.

my-precious-gollum-my-precious

Until then, I will keep walking the walk and eat all the proteins!