Vythand's Training Log
Hi! My name is Vythand. I started strength and conditioning in junior year of high school. I was introduced to weightlifting in senior year by one of my teachers, who trained me to compete in the high school power clean championships in Las Vegas. The meet didn't go as well as I had hoped, but I became tremendously interested in the sport and have been thirsty to learn more ever since. I'm almost 20 years old and I have my sights set on the 2017 Crossfit Games. I still have quite a ways to go before I'm ready though. After I graduated from high school, I began coaching myself and although I've learned quite a bit about training over the past year and a half or so, I've also been met by a severe case of paralysis by analysis.
2013 was a huge waste of time as far as training goes, I bounced from program to program thinking that I would find the Holy Grail. It doesn't exist. It took me a whole year to figure that out. But it doesn't, so if you're someone who is looking for that "one special program" stop right now, the best program is the one you stick to. So that aside, I've decided to change that in 2014. I am going to stick to a program and that is where this forum comes into play. I've realized that I've never stuck to a training cycle for more than 7 weeks, and that simply won't cut it. I've decided that I'm going to post my progress on here so that I don't jump ship anymore.
The program that I'm committing to stick to for one full year is the double day squat cycle. Each cycle would be 13 weeks, so I'll be able to get through four full cycles. I picked this cycle because I respond very well to high volume, high intensity programs. And because it just looks like a lot of fun. The last time I stuck to a program like that and made sure to get all my macros my squat went from 235 to 285 in about 5 weeks at a bodyweight of 140 pounds, 5'11". Which brings me to my other big goal. I NEED to gain some serious weight. I am currently sitting at 145 and again, that simply won't cut it. I need to be at least 190 to be competitive. So along with sticking to the program, I am also going to monitor my macros and try to get as close to 190 as I can in 2014. I'm not going to do much conditioning for now other than the stuff that is listed in the program by Coach Everett, but I will do a lot of skill work to make sure that when 2015 rolls around I'll be stronger and more efficient. Based on where I am at the end of 2014, I'll decide if I should begin to have more of a Crossfit focus on my training, or continue to get my numbers up by solely focusing on weightlifting.
I am going to start the first cycle on Thursday, December 26 (I start cycles on Thursday so that I can train at home Friday through Sunday, instead of at college where they yell at you for dropping weights... even though they have bumpers and platforms...).
Here are my goals for 2014:
1. Obviously, first and foremost, stick with the program for all of 2014.
2. Prioritize getting 8 hours of sleep every night for all of 2014.
3. Eat my daily macros - with the main goal being to gain a pound per week for all of 2014.
4. Spend at least 30 minutes on mobility per day.
5. I don't really have specific numbers set in my mind for lifts because I don't know how ambitious I can be since I will also be gaining weight at the same time. Ideally my squat would be at or near 400 pounds, snatch would be 225+, clean and jerk would be 300+. So as far as numbers go, I'm not going to list anything right now. As long as I stick to goals 1-4 and train as hard as possible, I'm sure I'll be happy with the numbers at the end of the year.
Currently my numbers are:
Snatch - 155
Clean & Jerk - 195
Front Squat - 210
Back Squat - 230
As you can see, some of my numbers have gone down (such as the squat), and none of them are impressive by any means, so I'm super excited to get those numbers up to something that is actually respectable in 2014. I'll try to post videos whenever possible, and I hope that I will be able to get feedback on my technique. I hope you'll join me in this journey. Thanks for reading and I'll begin posting my progress on Thursday! Happy Holidays!
Well, the time has come, time to start training again! As of this morning I was 143 pounds.
Starting off the day by doing some mobility work to open up my hips, shoulders, and t spine.
Week 0, day 1:
Front Squat - 80% x 1
115x5 135x4 155x3 170x1
Snatch - heavy single; 80% (of hs) x 1 x 3
Warmed up by doing several sets of sn. long pulls + ohs + sn. sots press (3 reps/exercise)
95x3 105x2 115x2 125x1 135x1 110x1x3
Notes: my wrists feel terrible after my lifts, probably because I've been slacking for the past few... err months... so hopefully they'll get conditioned again pretty quickly. Or maybe I should just stop being a wuss. Overall I was quite happy with how the snatches went given how long it's been since I've trained them consistently. They don't feel quite as fast or polished as before, but they're probably about 90% of what they used to be.
Segment Snatch Pull (knee) + Snatch Pull - 90% (of sn) x 1+2 x 4
140x1+2x4 (based on 155 sn.)
Back Squat - 90% x 1, 75% x 3 x 3
135x5 165x3 185x2 195x1 Based on how much of a struggle 195 was I didn't go for 205x1even though I was supposed to today. 160x3x3 (also went about 10 pounds lighter on this than I should have, see notes)
Notes: I also realized that I have the bad habit of leaning towards my right leg slightly so I'm going to focus more on fixing that than on the specific loads. I will go as heavy as I can/do the prescribed weight based on how good my technique is. Once I became aware of it I was seeing some improvements during the back off sets.
Good Morning - 3x5 (very light)
Overall today's training session was pretty good. I was happy with how the snatches went, but the squats were pretty frustrating. In January I back squatted 190 for 20 reps, so to struggle as much as I did with 1 rep at 195 was a wake up call.
I got 8 hours of sleep last night, but I'm going to fine tune sleep by sleeping from 10PM to 6AM. Nutrition still needs some improvement. I eat good quality foods for the most part but I don't eat enough.
Here's a video of some of my training from today.
Day 2: Leave your ego at the door.
Bodyweight was 143 this morning.
Muscle Snatch - 3x3
65x3x3 Warmed up by doing the same thing as yesterday.
Mid-Hang Snatch - 70% x 2 x 5
This was frustrating. Definitely not a good day for the ego. I was supposed to do 110 for all of these sets. I started at 95x2 and that was easy so I went to 105x2, got the first and failed the second. I did a set at 100x2 and hit it. Went back up to 105x2 and the same thing happened as before. So I went back down to 100x2 and hit two sets there. Went back up to 105x2 and finally hit both. Tried to get 105x2 again and failed both reps. Went down to 100 and failed there too so I decided to stop.
Summary: 95x2, 105x2(f2nd), 100x2, 105x2(f2nd),100x2x2,105x2,105x2f, 100x2f
Power Clean + Power Jerk - 75% x 1+1 x 5
105x1+1, 115x1+1, 125x1+1, 135x1+1x2, 125x1+1x3
Notes: The reason I initially started bouncing around between programs and became inconsistent is because I was having pain in my right shoulder. I finally discovered recently that I was letting my shoulder go a little soft at the top of the jerk which caused it to internally rotate and cause a lot of pain. Since then I've been working on keeping my shoulders more active and focusing on externally rotating at the top. On the second set at 135 I felt a little bit of pain and knew it was because of the same issue so I went down to 125 and finished out the rest of my sets there.
Front Squat - 90% x 1, 75% x 2 x 3
135x5 (after this set I didn't think I'd be able to hit everything that I was supposed to today), 155x3, 170x2, 190x1, 160x2x3
Notes: I hit everything (surprisingly) but I think I still had about 1 inch that I could have gone at the bottom. I realized that on the back off sets and that actually made it easier to get out of the bottom, so from now on I'm going to make sure that I bottom out every squat and just reduce the weight if I think I can't hit it with full range. So yes, I hit 190 but since I didn't go as far I could/should have gone I'm not counting that lift as a make. I'm mainly writing that as a note so that I know to just leave my ego at the door next time.
Overall this session was okay as far as my lifts went. The hang snatches were definitely frustrating, but these are the types of days that force you to grow stronger mentally so it was still a pretty successful day.
Diet was slightly better today, I definitely forced myself to eat more, however I think I'm going to start weighing and measuring to ensure that I eat enough. Sleep was pretty broken up last night, it's hard to get on the 10-6 schedule after being so used to sleeping later.
Day 3: Giving into temptation
Bodyweight was 145 this morning
Front Squat - 80% x 1
115x5 135x4 155x3 170x1 These felt pretty easy today.
Clean & Jerk - heavy single; 80% (of hs) x 2+1 x 3
This was pretty broken up because one of my friends was over to train and I had to stay relatively light so we could work on his form (equipment constraints) so I worked up to 135 when he was here. Then I gave into the temptation of getting my heartrate up so I went for a fast paced 3-4 mile bike ride. I had some pent up energy that I wanted to get rid of. Came back an hour and a half later and hit:
115, 125, 135, 145, 155 (my arms were a little soft at the top so I called that my heavy single for the day), then 125x2+1x3
Notes: I need to work on the consistency of my foot placement on the jerk. I held the jerks over my head for about 3 seconds before dropping so that I could get more comfortable with externally rotating at the top. The bike ride might have hurt me a little bit for today's training, but I felt like I needed it mentally so I don't have any regrets. Plus it was 45 degrees out and we don't get many of those nice days in december in upstate ny.
Segment Clean Pull (knee) + Clean Pull - 90% (of clean) x 1+2 x 4
I haven't tested my clean in a while so I just worked up to something that felt pretty challenging but still allowed good form.
This was the end of this session, then I came back a couple hours later to finish up. Had a meal in between the sessions. This was the first workout that I decided would be better split up into two and I'm guessing that's how the majority of the rest of the program will be.
Back Squat - 90% x 1
135x5 165x5 185x2 195x1 205x1 (got a little stuck through the middle, but I got it. it felt nice to lift something over 200 pounds)
Pause Back Squat - 70% (of squat) x 3 x 3
Good Morning - 3x5 (little heavier than Monday)
Mobility work today mainly focused on hips and shoulders. I'm happy with today's training sessions. Lot's of things went well and although I still have a very long way to go, this day was a glimpse of what it was like to feel strong. More than anything though, I'm feeling an enthusiasm towards training that I haven't felt all year. I feel like I'm a noob all over again and that's actually a pretty fun feeling. There's one thing that noobs have in abundance and that is enthusiasm and passion, so if I'm getting that back I'm pretty happy about that. Oh and consistently working out is starting to bring out my hyperness (that's not really a word) and energy again which is also fun haha
Question: My upper back is a bit weak, should I do additional back work like pullups and rows at the end of a workout once or twice a week? And is 3 days of ab work enough (I've been slacking on that...)?
week 0, day 4
Forgot to weigh myself this morning.
Back Squat - 80% x 1
135x8 155x6 175x3 185x1
Notes: I experimented with both actively forcing my knees out and with my knees tracking over the toes and felt better when I was forcing my knees out. I think that's primarily because my legs are so awkwardly long that when I let them track over my toes they get a lot of strain. Forcing them out allows me to keep them more vertical and to use my hips a bit more. That being said tracking over the toes definitely felt like a faster squat.
Power Snatch - 75% x 2 x 5
Same sn. warm up as usual, then 95x2, 115x2x5
Mid-Hang Clean - 70% x 2 x 5
Push Press - 3x5
95x5 95x5 (failed at 4th rep, lowered weight to 75 and finished up using that) 75x5
Notes: Went heavier than I should have on these.
Front Squat - heavy single; 75% (of hs) x 3 x 3
135x3 155x2 165x1 125x3x3
That was, in recent recollection, the hardest 125x3 has ever felt.
My biggest victory today was that I finally hit my calorie goal. This month's nutrition goal is to just hit my calorie goal everyday. I didn't eat super clean today, but I'm also not used to eating this much so once I become more accustomed to not eating like a 15 year old girl I'll clean up my diet. Baby steps, right now I just need to pound those calories. I somehow ended up at 41% carbs, 30% fat, and 29% protein so hopefully I'll continue to have a pretty good breakdown of macros like that for the rest of the month. I just focused on getting enough protein and carbs and the fat just kinda worked itself out.
Man, I can't think of the last time I was actually this excited for a "rest" day. Looking at what was prescribed, I walked into this workout thinking it would be an easy one and I'd be out in no time. And I had things going on all day with my family so I couldn't start training until 8:00 pm. Hitting that last set of front squats at 11 pm was pretty rough. (Note to self, make sure to train earlier in the day, late night training feels twice as worse lol) I'm proud of the past four days though, so I feel like I've actually deserved an active recovery day. I'm definitely not going to take it as a total day off. I'll probably spend a long time mobilizing tomorrow. I really need to focus on gaining shoulder and scapular mobility. Being a skinny guy I'm pretty mobile, but there is definitely room for improvement in my overhead position. I'm gonna really get after that weakness before it leads to an injury. Based on how I'm feeling, I might do a light row (maybe not though because my calluses are just reforming and holding things hurts haha) or if time allows I'll get lost in the woods for a couple hours.
As for sleep, I've been getting my 8 hours every night but my next goal is to make sure it's consistent every night. I tried 10-6 and it's not for me. I think 11-7 will be more feasible, especially once college starts up again.
I'll try to get some more videos on Tuesday and hopefully I can get some advice on where I could improve and be more efficient.
I'm trying to type this out on a phone, so I'll just update it when I get to a computer. Long story short, today was a fun training day. Happy New Years!
Front Squat - heavy single
115x3 135x3 165x2 185x1 195x1 (form was a little icky on this one, elbows dropped a bit, probably shouldn't have gone for 195)
Snatch - heavy single
95x2 115x2 125x1 135x1 145x1
Notes: Snatch felt very good today, probably could have gone a little heavier than 145 but my wrist was hurting a lot. I need to rework my mechanics to make sure that my wrist stays in a more neutral position overhead. I didn't think that this was a day that I was going to hit anything that was a pr so I decided to bow out while I was lifting well. I don't know if that's what I'm supposed to do or not, but it seemed like the right call at the moment.
Clean & Jerk - heavy single
115x2 135x1 155x1
Notes: As you can clearly see, I slacked on the c&j today. I didn't spend enough time warming up the movement and as a result the weight that I was hitting suffered. Based on how I was feeling on the other lifts there is no excuse for me not hitting 175. So yes, that was a bad, slackerish thing for me to have done and I'm ashamed of it. Not going to happen again.
Back Squat - heavy single
115x3 185x2 205x1 225x1
Notes: Finally hit 225 again and it actually felt pretty strong. I guess that made up a little bit for my disappointing showing in the c&j.
Pause Back Squat - 70% (of back squat heavy single) x 3 x 3
155x3x3 these felt pretty easy.
Good Morning - 3x5 (little heavier than Wednesday)
Notes: stay around here for the next time you do good mornings.
Nutrition: I've been hitting all my caloric goals for the past week, although the quality of food has been pretty crappy.
Sleep: I've been getting my 8 hours
Mobility work: I've been pretty good about mobility work although I should spend less time sitting down during the day.
What was supposed to be "day 6" (Thursday 1/2/14)
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I couldn't train yesterday, which should have been week 1, day 1. I am making up that day today and I'm just going to train 5 days in a row this week. I know that this is not ideal so I'm going to do everything I can to prevent it from happening again.
Day 6: Mediocre training
Week 1, Day 1
Front Squat - heavy single
115x5 135x5 155x3 175x2 195x1(it was slow, should've gone for 185 before 195, but form was better than the last time I went for 195)
Snatch - heavy single; 3 x 2
95x2 105x2 115x1 105x2 95x2, decided to try working up again 105x1 115x1F 115x1
Notes: Snatch felt rough today... really rough. Based on how I was feeling I had to go light on the snatches. Slower than usual and I was catching in a bottomed out position even on these light weights. I'm guessing the root cause is a lack of water intake and poor nutrition for the past two days. I was good up until that point but the past two days were bad. Gotta get back on track. Mentally though, today was a good fight, so I'm happy about that.
Segment Snatch Pull (knee) + Snatch pull - 5 x 1+2
Back Squat - heavy single; 4 x 3
135x5 155x4 175x3 185x1 195x1 205x1 185x3 165x3 145x3x2
Notes: I didn't intend on dropping down weights on each subsequent set of the drop sets but I was just moving so slowly that I felt it was necessary for me to move down in order to move faster
Good Morning - 3 x 5
Decided to go really light on these based on how everything else went today
Notes: I should have probably gone a bit heavier, but I focused more on quality of movement and since the rest of my session didn't go too well I figured I shouldn't push it too much on this.
Biggest take away from today... you can't be lazy about nutrition and try to follow this program. Also I really need to make sure I'm getting enough water because I felt really dehydrated while training. Minor bump in the road, but I learned some good lessons the hard way today so hopefully that'll help keep me motivated to stay on top of things with nutrition.
Dear people of the internet
It is now 9:23 pm and I have yet to start my workout. I'm on a terrible schedule of working out late at night and I hate it. So sorry to disappoint but I'm doing the workout in the morning to reset this schedule. Here's the thing, this cycle is just to get me back into lifting, figuring out lifestyle factors, and getting accustomed to the volume so I'm not too concerned with numbers this time around. A year of inconsistency is a hard thing to break in a week. I realize that I'm being a lazy bum by not doing my workout right now. I know. Sorry to disappoint. But I'm mainly just concerned with getting things back on track right now. As time goes on and I start having more fun with training instead of putting a bunch of needless pressure on myself to get everything perfect, I will be back on track. But believe me, I realize the amount of dedication it will take to make my goal a reality and I will get to that point of discipline over the course of this cycle (trust me, I used to be very disciplined, I just have to dig deep and get that back), but right now I just need to take things a bit slower, I'm being overly ambitious with everything and that is becoming a bit overwhelming. If I'm going to get to that point though I need to fall in love with training again or I will never have the level of motivation that it takes to make it. Simply going through the motions never got anyone anywhere. So I guess as I'm starting to train again, my first real objective, more than numbers, diet, or sleep, is to just start having fun with training again.
Starting Thursday I'm going to do week 1 again. I've been thinking a lot about why I weightlift and what I hope to accomplish, and that's beginning to bring back some motivation. I need to get the mental things situated in order to make progress physically. Like I said though, this first cycle is just to get back into things, I'm not too concerned about how things have been going, because I know the motivation is in me I just need to bring it out again. Anyway, I went skiing for 6 1/2 hours on Sunday so I didn't lift then. Other than that I've been doing some squatting, mobility, and technique work but figured it would be best to just start week 1 over again on Thursday.
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