Benching, 6/18/15

Bench Press








Face Pull




Squat 6/16/15

Warmed up, then did the following:










3×5 @ 255

Pull Thru

2×12 @ 150

Pull down abs

2×12 @ 150

Training Update – Last 4 weeks

So, I won’t go into all of the details of each session, but I’ve remained consistent.  The last four weeks were three weeks of triples (starting at 3×3 with 85% of my training max, adding 5 pounds and one set each week).  Everything went well, and I seem to be making progress.

Last week was a planned deload.  I backed off a bit more than I should have, but it was a good week to take a bit of a break.

This next wave/block/mesocycle is all singles.  The first week is 95% of my training max for 3×1, adding one set and 5 pounds each week.  As always, if I feel good on the last set, I’ll do more reps.

I’ll post today’s squat workout shortly.  If I can get back into the habit, I’ll start posting each session again.


Two Lands Tasting

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to participate in an online tasting of Austrailia’s Jacob’s Creek Two Lands wines.  I happened to be having a small party that evening with some colleagues, so a few of us got to taste and talk about the wines.  (I’ve been so busy lately I am just now getting an opportunity to do some blogging – it feels like I haven’t had a day off from my business to do any wine writing.  Clearly we haven’t been updating our blog much, but I’d like to change that.)

Online tastings are always a fun experience, and not only because, as a wine blogger, they send me the wines (thanks to The Thomas Collective!), but it gives me an opportunity to get and share education about wine in general.  Certainly this is a marketing event, but every wine tasting includes not just information about the wine/winery, but about the winemaking process, different varietals, climate, and all sorts of other things that make wine interesting.

Here are my notes on the four wines we tasted.

Two Lands Pinot Grigio 2014

There’s a lot going on with the nose, and it’s a little tough to narrow down everything (which is a good thing!)  There’s some apple coming through. This is not my favorite style of wine.  It’s got a big mouthfeel, almost oily, but lacks acidity and has a bit of sweetness.  It’s good wine, but not my cup of tea.  Would pair well with richer seafood, and maybe Asian flavors.  At $14, it is well priced for the quality. Good.

Two Lands Chardonnay 2014

To me, this smells like California Chardonnay that you’ll find with an animal on the label.  Melon, tropical fruit, and vanilla come through.  Another wine with lower acid and higher sweetness, there’s peach and some citrus.  Soft, a bit of texture, but to my palate, a little off balance.  I find myself enjoying drinking it, though.  I would pair with stinky cheese, or just drink it on it’s own while grilling something for dinner.  Another $14 bottle of wine that’s well priced.  Good.

Two Lands Shiraz 2013

I need to tell you right now, I’m not typically a fan of Australian Shiraz.  Unless it is very high end, I’ve found most of it is far too much fruit bomb and cloying, and not enough complexity or finesse.  I understand that’s the style, it’s just not my thing.  What I do like?  Northern Rhone.  Well, this leans toward the latter while still having that Aussie rebellious streak, which makes for a fun wine.  I get some darker fruit on the nose, but taste more red.  Well balanced, full, rich.  It still has some of the ‘hit you over the head’ Shiraz, but the balance and complexity are there as well.  $14, a value at that price.  Very Good.

Two Lands Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Cassis and dark fruit on the nose.  Big nose.  It has nice fruit, but it’s unbalanced.  I think it might be too young, but I don’t pick up the tannin structure that would tell me waiting a couple of years would make it much better.  $14, I think it’s not bad for the price point, because there isn’t much good Cab available under $30.  OK.

crossposted at thegrandcrew

Training Plan Update

After withdrawing from the RPS meet, I decided to revisit and revamp my training.  While Conjgate/Westside is a ton of fun, I wasn’t staying consistent enough, and I wasn’t getting the results on my lifts I wanted.  My bench was progressing well, but squat and deadlift were stalled.  I was getting better at the Max Effort exercises and at box squats, but that didn’t transfer over to my competition lifts.

That’s not the fault of the training, it’s my implementation and execution.

So about a month ago, I redesigned my training program.  Here it is.

I still have an eight day week, training every other day (that may change to a seven day week at some point).  The four days are Squat, Bench, Deadlift, and a second Bench day (where I’ll do a bench variant).  I do a squat of some sort on deadlift day after pulling. Training is set up in three week cycles with a deload fourth week if necessary.

The cycles are set up based on percentages of a training max, and increase in volume and intensity over the three weeks.  There is a five, three, and one rep cycle, and typically I will rotate fives and threes, with an occasional cycle of singles (a good opportunity to work in my gear). All assistance work is done in 3-5 sets of 3-10 reps.

The best way to explain it is to post the first cycle of training. Continue reading

Max Effort Bench, 4/1/15

Pretty good day.  I’ve adjusted my attitude a little, and the idea that I need to earn my way back to the platform seems to resonate.  Of course, it’s only been one day.

Revers Band Bench Press (light bands hanging from pegs)

2×15 @ 45












Incline DB Press

2×15 @ 60


4×8 @ 150

Face Pull

4×10 @ 150


2×15, 1×10 @ 120

Squats, 3/31/15

Tried on my Metal IPF V-Type to do some squatting today.  It’s tough to get the legs on, but I can do it.  I can’t get both straps up, and didn’t have any help, so squatted with the straps down.  Worked up to a pretty easy 405 single after not squatting for about a month, so that’s OK.

Struggled to hit depth in the suit, and it’s pitching me forward a bit.  When I used a box, I was falling on to the box.  That’s a signal that my hamstrings and glutes are a weak link.  My lower back is also fried.

After that, called it a day.

I’m re-evaluating the meet.  I’m a month away, and I’m not really prepared.  I don’t know my gear, and my raw lifts aren’t where they need to be after having such an inconsistent training cycle.  Frankly, I don’t feel like I’ve earned the right to be there and take up a spot.  Maybe my attitude will change after a few good training sessions.  I’ll decide by the end of the week, most likely.

Assuming I stay healthy, I am still planning on the USAPL MD State Championships in late November, assuming they set a date soon enough for me to plan for it (often the MD USAPL meets are announced 8 weeks in advance or less.)

Deadlifting, 3/23/14

First time in my deadlift suit.  It’s too lose, but since I’m tall for my weight class, it has to be so I can get the straps up (which I couldn’t do – I got one up, but need help to get the second one.)


Sumo, suit bottoms

2×3 @ 135

2×3 @ 185

2×1 @ 225





405 x miss


405 x 1

415 x miss

The suit I have is designed for conventional deadlifting.  I prefer sumo, but I need to pull the way I’m strongest.  I felt like I was fighting the suit pulling sumo when the weights got heavier, when I switched to conventional, it felt like 50 pounds came off the bar.  I’m certainly good for more, but had worn myself out.

Reverse Hypers


incline situps


Dynamic Effort Bench, 3/4/15

Got to the gym tired and hungry, but got there.  Not my best day, but we’ll take it.


Shoulder complex, stretching, GHR situps

Bench press

2×15 @ 45



135+1chain x 3

8×3 @ 185+1chain.  three grips, less than a minute between each of the 8 sets.  Speed was OK, but not awesome.

Football Bar press

45+1chain x 5

135+1chain x 5

3×3 @ 185+1chain.  This is going backwards.  Not sure why.

T-Bar rows






Land Mine presses

2×15 @ 35

band pressdowns (light band) superset with hammer curls (45’s)


Dynamic Effort Squat/Dead 3/2/14

Good day today.


Modified Agile 8, finding collars

Box Squat

2×6 @ 45





225+2chain x 2

245+2chain x 2

8×2 @ 265+2chain.  Really felt good today.  Fast. about a minute between sets.

275+2chain x 1

315+2chain x 1

335+2chain x 1




6×1 @ 295 about 30 seconds between sets

45 degree hypers


Side Bends

2×10 @ 45

Reverse hypers

2×8 @ 140

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