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Old 04-30-2010, 02:29 PM   #5
Mark Fenner
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 165

So, I haven't forgotten my one week old blog/log project. In fact, I'm hoping to only update it once a week or less. Seriously, I don't think people want to know about my extra set of KB C+P this morning. That said, I did actually take a bit of time this week working on something for the blog: I went back through my workout log books that started in the January 11, 2001. Wow. Seriously, I see that I didn't train on 9/11 (and I remember that morning too -- I bet you do also).

Anyway, the length of the record isn't nearly as cool as it sounds: there are lots of off periods in there. Especially in the first notebook. I have three archived notebooks now. In fact that first one (which is smaller) took me all the way through April 8, 2005. I see I weighed 195.5, I worked out from 7:54 -> 9:30 AM, and I hit a 3 @ 295 DL. I'll stop with those details now.

I made a summary spreadsheet that I'll probably attach to my first post. But, there are a couple things that struck me as I tried to summarize what I was doing at different points in time. (1) Sometimes, I was taking way too long off ... especially after hitting a high note in training (sometimes the layoff was enforced by real life, injury, etc.). But seriuosly, I see at least three points in my life that I've worked up to a 195+ BP. And almost every time, shortly there after, I've "switched things up". Seriously! I've done similar with 315 SQs (worse yet, the old ones were "high bar" and the new ones are "low bar". Not that the hi/low difference was even the main culprit, but you'll see my point in a minute.) Really, is a new training goal worth the year to get up to 315 again? DL isn't innocent either, I've hit 170-190kg repeatedly without pushing higher.

I think my point is that it takes a lot of hard work and some blood, sweat, and tears to get up to these weights (for me). Pushing beyond them is like climbing a mountain that gets steeper towards the top. Yes you have to keep walking. And each step is going to get continually harder. If this game was easy ...

So, there are a few reasons that I couldn't push beyond. (1) Life. Can't do much about moving, having children, new jobs, etc. A new situation may take 1-3 months to get sorted out. This stuff I don't begrudge. (2) Shiny new program. Oh dear. We've all dealt with this one. I made some nice strength gains, but I softened up a bit. Time for a "fat loss/work capacity" block. Which of course you aren't adapted to, you push too hard, and you get injured. Or, "I'm bored". It's time to make another run at learning the Oly lifts. And you don't SQ or BP for two months. Ooops. Hey, if _you_ haven't made these mistakes, you should probably find someone else's writing to read. I'm only talking about what I know. (3) Shiny new exercise. This is a little more insidious than (2) because you might keep the same structure and 90% of the exercises from your current program.

But, tell that to your BS that you spent 6 weeks adding 30-40 pounds too. When you hear the siren song of SnGrip DLs and _replace_ your SQs ... and six weeks later, you've lost the 40 pounds on your SQ ... you can comfort your SQ with "Well, I'm stronger. I just can't display it on you. You understand. Right?" Sort of like new job, salary, wife, diamond ring or trip to the islands.

So, that got me thinking. If you want different, make sure to keep some same (thanks DJ & Pavel). How's about this, with a new program or lift, keep your hard fought lift that you built up in your program. Keep it first and do 3 of 5 or 5 of 3 twice a week. Or maybe do a 10 rep total (5-3-2, 3 of 3, 5 2s) with a little higher intensity. Make sure they look and feel good. Who knows, you might not only be stronger with the shiny new lift, but you might even keep some strength-skill. And, after a week or two focusing back on your main lift, you might actually PR.

I'm also happy to say that I did push beyond today (Friday).

BP: 215 (PR) ... forever from mid-pt to top (triceps)
SQ: 345 (PR) ... knees fell in (adductor hammie - right, this one is opposite of "common sense")
BW: 195

Both felt good. Neither were psyched. That wouldn't help my BP, but it would add to my SQ.

Last Friday, I did a meet like session. But, I did some repeats on some of the lifts to get a better feel at the weights. I ended up with:

SQ: 2 @ 295, 3 of 2 @ 315
BP: 2 @ 185, 2 @ 195, 1 @ 205, 2 of 4 @ 185
DL: 2 @ 150kg (hook), 1 @ 170kg (lup), 1 @ 180kg (lup)

The DL 170kg didn't feel good, so I didn't try to match my PR of 190kg. I really wanted to. Fortunately, the 180kg felt better although it was more difficult. Doing all of these in one session (3 hours) was a real bruiser. I was hammered over the weekend, but some of that might be due to a virus that really knocked my wife around. I got it too, but maybe not as much. I ended up not training until today (with the new PRs). Frankly, I felt like crap for the week and didn't want to train today. Even warming up with my SQs, I was thinking "Just a light day to log some lifts." That never goes as planned for me. Although I did have two back to back light workouts that set a great stage for some records in Spring 2008.
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