Sunday, August 30, 2009

Great Cycle!

I had great results from my last 5/3/1 cycle. Here's the Cliff's notes:

Military Press: 2 40kg - 4 reps
Dead Lift - 485 - 11 reps
Bench Press - 265 - 8 reps
Squat - 390 - 11 reps

There was a definite increase in strength on all lifts. The heavier weight seems easier to handle and the grooves are more smooth.

Note: On my last squat day, last Thursday, I wrapped my knees with my Metal knee wraps instead of using my knee sleeves. I used a real loose wrap rather than tight wrap for a meet...just enough for some protection and stability. On the second rep with 390 on the bar, my left wrap flipped over my knee cap and bunched up behind my knee as I lowered myself down. I felt my quad contract harder than I've ever felt and my whole quad started to sting. Instead of racking it to re-wrap, I kept going and smoked 11 reps. Testosterone got the best of me and it turns out I strained my vastus medialis during that 2nd rep. I've been rehabbing it for the last 3 days and the bruise and swelling is almost unnoticeable which means I'm doing something right. Another positive is that this is my de-load week so I was planning to take it easy anyway.

All in all, 5/3/1 has been a great program if you can stay healthy. I find it very easy to follow and pretty easy on the body of a raw lifter. The numbers speak for themselves, but I've really surprised myself on some of these big sets.

I'm not sure what my plan is for the next cycle or so until my meet in October. I'm working the kinks out right now and have an "advisory board" working on helping me with the programming.
On a completely different note, I came across this story with the attached video the other day and it really got me. Especially how much I take for granted sometimes. Just lifting, training, teaching, etc.

Here is the true story…

The son asked his father, ‘Dad, will you take part in a marathon with me?’.

The father who, despite having a heart condition, says ‘Yes’.

They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and son went on to join other marathons, the father always saying ‘Yes’ to his son’s request of going through the race together.

One day, the son asked his father, ‘Dad, let’s join the Ironman together.’ To which, his father said ‘Yes’ too.

For those who don’t know, Ironman is the toughest triathlon ever. The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometer) ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike ride, and ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island.

Father and son went on to complete the race together. View this race here…

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Big Three

After my cycle of 5/3/1 and a deload week, I decided to use this week as a test week for my One Rep Max on the Big Three - Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift.

Here's the results with a video:

Squat - Hit 475 very easy. Almost scary-easy. Decided to attempt an even 500. It was a slow grind. Probably would've been red-lighted on depth and I blew the rear-end out of my shorts, but I got the weight up on my own strength and felt satisfied.

Previous Best at Power Lifting Meet - 445
After 5/3/1 w/ Kettlebells - 500

Bench Press - Worked my way up easy and relaxed. I felt I could've hit 295 for reps. It just flew up. Threw 3 wheels on and 315 locked out no problem with a pause. 325, no dice. Needed a tiny bump from spotter to lock it out.

Previous Best at Power Lifting Meet - 292
After 5/3/1 w/ Kettlebells - 315

Dead Lift - Stayed relaxed during my warm up reps. Hit 515 on my last warm up and it felt heavy, but the rep was smooth and fast. Put 565 on and seemed like a quick lift, but strained hard to get it. This was an all time PR, even at about 20 pounds lighter than my pre-kettlebell body weight. Tried 585 and couldn't budge it off the ground.

Previous Best at Power Lifting Meet - 551
After 5/3/1 w/ Kettlebells - 565

Total increase in poundage: Squat - 55, Bench - 23, Dead Lift - 14, Total - 92 pounds. This would get me close to my goal of a 1400 pound raw total in the 181 pound weight class.

As the old saying goes, "don't fix it if it ain't broke." I think I'll keep at it with this program starting next week and see where this one will take me.

Here's a vid of the pull from today: