Tag Archives: Training

Training Update

I took some time away from the gym.  In part due to laziness, in part because I had other pressing things to do, in part because the weather sucked, and getting up at 5:30 to drive in the snow to the gym wasn’t as appealing as staying in my warm bed until 7.

I have that excited and motivated feeling that comes when I’m out of the gym for a while.

The good news is that I don’t lose that much when I don’t train, and what I do lose tends to come back pretty quickly.  I am really out of shape, though.  While I didn’t get a ton fatter over the holidays, I am pretty fat, and my work capacity sucks.

I have two distinct things I want to accomplish.  First, I am going to compete in this year’s Maryland State USAPL meet, usually held in November or December.  There’s a meet in April, but I don’t see how I would be ready to participate.  If there are still openings closer to the date, maybe I’ll do it.  If there’s a meet sooner than the Fall, I’ll certainly consider doing it.  Second, I need to improve my body composition.  I’m too fat, and I’m getting to a point in my life where being too fat is not only a health issue, but a lifestyle issue.  While I feel like a young 43, being chubby isn’t helping my quality of life.  We’re going on a beach vacation with my family in August, so I’m going to use that as a target to be ‘beach ready’.

How will I do those things?  Training is easy – I use a basic Conjugate template (think Westside, and if you really want to learn about how I train, type ‘Dave Tate Eight Keys’ into the Google), two Max Effort days (Squat/Dead and Bench) and two Dynamic Effort days (Squat/Dead and Bench).  I usually spread my training out over an 8 day ‘week’, but I might try going back to 7.   You’ll see how I structure assistance and supplementary stuff, it’s not rocket science.  I’m also going to slowly incorporate some conditioning, with walking (transitioning to running over time) on off day mornings, and for now, I’ll do something on lifting days, too.  I’ll start with slow treadmill stuff, and work up to pushing the prowler.  Again, no reason to over think this stuff, just do it.  I’m also going to do a little more mobility work (Think Agile 8), but I won’t talk about that much.

To get leaner, I just need to apply the simple effective things that everyone knows work.  Eat my veggies, quit eating ice cream, make smart choices, but don’t ruin the fun of eating.  Just eat more good stuff.  You know the drill, and if you don’t, you should.

I’m going to start posting my training again, because I like to do that.

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Training Update – Getting Realistic

Had to make an adjustment to my training for a couple of reasons.  First, no matter how I try to convince myself otherwise, I’m not really in a position to focus on Powerlifting or am I prepared physically or mentally for the training.  Second, I need to stop thinking about training and just go train.

I really have no business training using a Westside style/template.  It’s one thing if I actually trained at Westside, and had someone coaching me where I didn’t have to think, I could just do.  But I have to figure it out, and I’m spending too much time and energy worrying about what lift to do, what my PR is, and how many reps to do today.

So I’m going to use Wendler’s 5/3/1.  It’s simple, it’s effective.  Sometime later this year I’ll decide if I can really focus on Powerlifting.  I expect I will at some point, but not right now (and to be honest, I’m at a point where it just doesn’t matter, if I get stronger I can always just show up and lift in a meet).

If you are unfamiliar with 5/3/1, I recommend you buy the book.  It’s something like $20, and it’s worth it.  Out of respect for Jim Wendler, I’m not going to publish all of the percentages or routines (you can probably figure them out if you try), but I will give you an idea of how it works.

I’m taking my 1RM for the Press, Deadlift, Bench Press, and Squat, then taking 90% of that to get a training max.  I then use that training max for all percentage calculations.  There’s one day a week for each lift.  Week 1 is 3 sets of 5, week 2 is 3 sets of 3, and week 3 is a set of 5, a set of 3, and a single.  Each set is at a prescribed percentage of the training max, and each cycle (3 weeks, 4 if there’s a deload) I increase the training max by 5-10 pounds.  The last set can be more than the prescribed reps if I feel up to it.  While this might sound a little complicated, it’s not, and once I plug everything in to a spreadsheet, I have a year of training set, all I have to do is write down what to do that day and go lift.

Assistance work is not all that important, I tend to just pick 3-4 things to do after the main lift that compliment it and stick with them.  Volume and intensity can change, but again, there’s not really much thought.

You’ll also start to see more consistent conditioning work.  Call it whatever you want, but I need to improve my conditioning, both for health reasons (I’m not getting any younger), and to put me in a position where, should I decide to refocus on Powerlifting, I will be physically prepared for it.

I went today and pressed.  I’ll post about that in a minute.


DE Bench 12/31/11

Bench Press

2×10 @ 45

95×3

135×3

155×3

8×3 @ 175

4 Board Press

175×3

225×3

245×3

DB Bench Press

40×10

45×10

50×10

DB Row

60×10

65×10

70×10

Pressdown

4×12

Felt great to get under a bar.  Excited to have a goal and feel like I have a plan.

Now I have to execute.

For those interested in such things, I was 234 lbs yesterday morning, and I’m about 22% bodyfat.  That will change pretty quickly as I clean up my diet a little.

 


Training 8/14/11 – Press

This may look familiar, repeating 5 week.

Press

2×5 @ 45

65×5

90×5

120×5

125×8

Misloaded the second work set which probably cost me a rep on the last set.

Pulldown

4×8 @ 150

Face Pull

4×15 @ 100

Hammer Curlz

3×10 @ 30


Restart, Reboot

I went back through my training logs this morning, looking for where I had made the most progress during busy or high stress times.  What I found was during the majority of 2009, when I was using Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1.  It allows for adjustments when it’s not a good day, the training sessions can be as short or as long as you like, and there’s really no thinking involved.

So, given how much I’ve struggled this year, I decided to go back to basics.  Slow steady progress is better than none, and while I’d rather train using a more conjugate/”Westside” approach (and find that my best strength progress has come on such a program), I just can’t focus enough on training to get that right.  Maybe next year.

So, I’ve taken a shot at what my maxes are, adjusted them to 90% training maxes, and plugged them in to the magic 5/3/1 formulas.  I know this approach works, I just need to stay motivated and focus on making the time and keeping my life in balance.

Off we go.


Downside Up; Training, 3/31/11

I think today was the hardest time I’ve had getting moving in the AM. Took forever to get warmed up, but since the work is still pretty easy, once I got warmed up, things were OK; in fact it was a struggle to stick to the plan; I felt like the entire session was a warm up.

Squat
2×5 @ 45
95×5
135×5
185×3
3×5 @ 225

Bench
2×5 @ 45
95×5
135×3
3×5 @ 175

Row
45×5
135×5
3×5 @ 175

6:20AM – 7:15AM (spent a ton of time warming up)

Performance Enhancers: Monster Lo Carb, Kyuss, overcoming my ego


Blue Tile Fever; Training 3/29/11

Did not want to, but did anyway. Took forever to warm up.

Squat
2×5 @ 45
95×5
135×5
185×1
3×5 @ 215

Press
45×5
65×1
3×5 @ 85

Deadlift
135×5
225×1
265×5

Chins
6×3

6:15AM-7AM

Performance Enhancers – Monster Low Carb, Fu Manchu


Wake Up; Training, 3/22/11

Back to the gym after an unplanned break.

Squat
2×5 @ 45
95×5
135×5
3×5 @ 195

Press
45×5
3×5 @ 80

Deadlift
135×5
245×5

Chins
4, 4, 3, 3

Had trouble warming up, never did feel quite right. 6:30AM to 7:10AM

Performance Enhancers: Monster Lo-Carb, Damageplan


Sleep Deprivation and Control

Still getting a handle on things.  Training was going pretty well, I was getting used to the early AM training and building some consistency.

Then comes daylight savings time, which is probably the best example of a pointless government intrusion in to your life.

Whatever, it’s still an excuse.  So my sleep got screwed up, and my routine got a little jumbled due to trying to do some fun stuff (a wine tasting and the Baltimore Foodies event at the Hippodrome).

I need to keep after the sleep schedule thing; I know from past experience that if I can build that 4:15 wake time habit, my sleep needs will diminish, making everything easier to handle.

I also just need to man up and stick with training in the AM.  I also need to balance some things to make sure I’m really doing things that add value to my life.  So with the AM training, I’m also working on spending more time cooking and drinking wine with my wife, and a little less time worrying about political news, blogging, and other extra stuff.

Once I get everything really settled (probably a month or so), I think I’ll be able to get more done.


Future/Now; Training 3/10/11

Really struggled this morning, couldn’t seem to get going, really wanted to sleep for another 90 minutes.

But I got in.  A little more extensive warmup than usual, but still never really cleared the fog.

Squat
2×5 @ 45
95×5
135×5
3×5 @ 185

Bench Press
2×5 @ 45
95×5
135×1
3×5 @ 155

Row
45×5
95×5
3×5 @ 155

Stretching.

6:25AM – 7:10AM

Need to get in earlier, there was a slight backup at the showers, and when the training sessions start getting closer to 90 minutes, I’ll still need to be done by 7:15 or so to shower and get headed to work. The key is that I must be in the car by 8AM, as I have a daily call with my folks.

Performance Enhancers: Monster Lo-Carb, COC


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