Monday, December 31, 2007

Bench Press...

I am going to have to face the fact that bench press is simply not my lift and will never be a strong lift for me. Bench pressing hurts my shoulders. Pressing over head is fine... even push-ups are doable. Even with all the excellent coaching Maura gave me, I can only say it hurt less. Yesterday I worked on bench press with Maura. It was a sad day for me...

Bench Press

How pathetic is that, a no lift on 95lbs? I left the gym with a head-ache and very sore shoulders. When I got home I took some ibuprofen and spent the rest of the day relaxing.

Here is my plan for next time I bench...
*No yoga before bench press. Certain asana can aggravate my shoulders, I should save my shoulders for bench press on bench press day.
*Ibuprofen as a prophylactic - I will take an anti-inflammatory before there is even a chance for inflammation.
*Z-Health - Mike gave me a Z evaluation on Saturday. I think being vigilante about doing my drills will help.
*Lots of shoulder extension. Back bends and other yoga asana does help my shoulders feel better, just not on bench press day.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Deadlifting Party

There were five of us pulling deadlifts tonight. Shawn, Aaron and Mike joined Maura and I for deadlifts tonight. It was fun! Shawn gave Maura and I some technical advice and Mike gave us some Z dills to work on. Good stuff! Here is how it went...

~Yet another misload. I am so glad someone else will be loading the bar at the meet. My plan was to pull 245 for my working sets. Mike Nelson notices the misload, but he lets me think I am pulling 245... I follow suggestion easy. LOL. Shawn pointed out a mistake I have made in the past, setting up too close to the bar and having to pull around my knees. My last two pulls felt the best, thanks to Shawn's corrections. So here is my best looking pull. I still have to work on removing the slack in my joints before I start the pull.

After deadlifts, we all goofed around with some kettlebell stuff. Maura and I worked on some swings, single and double. Mike and I are going to be giving a kettlebell/Z-Health workshop on Saturday January 5. Good times!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Squats

Aaron and I were supposed to go to Phoenix for Christmas this year. However, our pup Elsa blew out her knee and needed surgery. Knee surgery for dogs means special treatment and a regimented physical therapy for her to successfully regain the use of her knee. So, we canceled out trip and are spending the holiday home for the first time in our marriage. I was scheduled to squat yesterday, but Aaron and I thought it would be kinda cool to spend some time on Christmas day doing something we both love, training at The Press.

Back Squat
~The squats felt good! I felt I could have done a third... but I stuck to the program. Six weeks ago, this was my old 1RM. Lifting this heavy makes me focus my brain, I still have the tendency to want to "grind" the lift.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Deadlifts Day with Mike and Maura

I am usually a pretty laid back person... however today was a trying day for me and it felt great to pull some deadlifts. I managed to talk Mike T Nelson into come down to The Press to lift with Maura and I. Mike has a good eye and gives great feedback. Plus he is a level 4 Z Health guy. I am really looking forward to getting certified in March. I have to say I am starting to feel a little frustration not knowing how Z works.

Here is how it all went down (or should I say up)...

~Like I said... I wasn't having a five star day. I have no idea why I bothered to pull 225 when my plan was to pull 230 as my working set. Then I misloaded the bar with 245... cripe, what a 'tard. Despite all the goof-ups I managed to feel pretty good about the pulls. Mike gave me some great feed back, thanks Mike.

I believe this is 3 of 7 at 230

5 of 7 at 230

Low Rack Pulls
~Mike had to dig out early... Maura and I goofed around with some low rack pulls. Gary, helped us with the wrist wraps and technique.

This morning Angela and I had our regular Friday morning workout as well.

16kg - 30X2

VO2 Max 15:15 snatch with 12kg
40 sets, 7 reps per set

Angela and I were both pressed for time, so we only did a 25 minute workout... at least we did all 40 sets this time. I was feeling a little low on energy, so I was happy to do half as much as we usually do. I am looking forward to a short break from exercise this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Love Yoga Class

This is what works for me... yoga asana. My shoulders feel so much better! I don't know how this happened... probably purely coincidence, William chose postures that I had wished for! We hung upside down in a pelvic swing. This felt great on my spine after heavy squats from the day before. Then we did backbends in the pelvic swing. My intercostals are changing... they are getting stronger, therefore tighter. Intercostals are difficult to stretch out, especially in a backbend. My ribcage was restricting my lung capacity. Not comfortable. Plus, extending my shoulders bugged me and backbends aggravate the discomfort. Now this is the stupid part... I know backbends are the one thing that makes a big difference in my shoulder pain. Yet, I still avoid them when I am in pain. When will I learn? I know it goes against Z to move into pain... but it is the truth, as painful as it is, backbends work for me in several different ways. Any way... my shoulders are finally feeling better.

I will leave you with my favorite quote... from when I first heard this quote, I loved it. Perfect for someone who is not a goal oriented person.

No better love than love with no object, no more satisfying work than work with no purpose. ~Rumi

Monday, December 17, 2007

Squat Day

It was squat day at The Press Gym. I did some swings with my KB class tonight before my workout. Maura and I had the good platform, which was very nice. I left my note book at home, so I had to go by memory on what was next on my workout plan. Now that I am home looking at my book I realize I was supposed to do only 2 sets of 2, instead I did four sets. Here is how it all went down...

Back Squat
~I had the right shoes and my TRif belt, which was much better than last week. Every set felt easy, every set felt great! I felt like I could have gone for 4 reps at 190.

Set two of four, with Ryan Coffey spotting

Set three of four, with Chris spotting - yet another state record holder - squatting 465 at 148

Heavy Walkouts
~I think I am going to have to get wrist wraps... set 2 really bugged my wrists. Somehow I figured it out on set 3, but I pinched my hand skin.

Bulgarian Split Squats
12/12kg- 5 reps, 4 sets

It is so nice to have a training partner like Maura! She knows the ropes and she is fun to train with. I am bigger than she is and she is more experienced and stronger than I am... so that puts us at about the same weight range, which works out great! I have to say I am absolutely pleased with my training tonight.

Heavy Swings on Sunday

I am planning on participating in a full Powerlifting meet in February. As an experiment, I am trying to use Kettlebell training as my main assistance lifts. I am doing heavy swings to train the explosiveness desired in the deadlift. I worked in with the Friday Brothers after an afternoon of bench pressing with Maura Shuttleworth on Sunday.

24kg - 10,10
32kg - 10 pyramid to 15 and back to 10

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bench Day

I skipped my yoga class with Lisa this morning. My energy is feeling low and my shoulders are bugging me today. I had made a date with Maura to learn how to bench today so I wanted to save up my energy for our training session. Yoga can be very restorative, but it can also be very rigorous, Lisa's Sunday class is a workout.

I am so lucky to have someone like Maura helping me with bench press. She is the bench press specialist after all... Maura's friend Luke showed up and gave me lots of very helpful advice too, which was wonderful.

My right shoulder was really bugging me, so I focused on arching back and positioning myself under the bar where I belong. I also have to learn to press directly up to the ceiling, and not up to where my face is.

My goal is to not bomb the bench press lift at the meet in February. Today was a technique day...

Bench Press

Friday, December 14, 2007

Deadlifts with Maura

I met up with Maura at The Press tonight for a deadlift training session. We both pulled singles for our working sets.

Deadlift Sumo
~I started lifting some at 210 and somewhere along the way I misloaded the bar with 215. Oops. I pulled the last 5 reps with my TRif belt on. Maura tried my TRif belt and really liked it.

Set 7, no belt

Set 10, belt

Deadlift Conventional


Maura is really fun to train with.

Friday's Workout

Ang and I did some stuff with the gym boss for a warm up today...

45 seconds work/30 seconds rest
  1. 2 hand swings - 16kg - 29reps
  2. Snatch R - 12kg - 19reps
  3. Snatch L - 12kg - 20reps
  4. Snatch R - 16kg - 19reps
  5. Snatch L - 16kg - 20reps
  6. 2 hand swings - 16kg - 30reps
  7. Snatch R - 12kg - 20reps
  8. Snatch L - 12kg - 20reps
  9. Snatch R - 16kg - 15reps
  10. Snatch L - 16kg - 15reps
~I really liked this way of training... I am going to do this time/rep scheme again only I will have rep goals along with timed goals. Again my left side seams stronger than the right. Grip gave out on the last sets of snatches, I could feel it all the way up to my triceps.

Push-up+L Row+R Row+Double Clean+D FSQ+D Push Press - 12/12kg X 5reps X 3Sets
~I believe this combo is called the Man Maker. I did leave out the rows on the last set, I guess I am not a man.

Double KB Lunge with Press+Push-Ups - 8/8kg
  1. 8 Lunging steps w/ presses, 8 Pushups, 8 Lunging steps w/presses, 8 Pushups
  2. 8 Lunging steps w/ presses, 8 Pushups, 8 Lunging steps w/presses, 8 Pushups
  3. 8 Lunging steps, 6 Pushups, 8 Lunging steps, 6 Pushups
  4. 8 Lunging steps, 6 Pushups, 8 Lunging steps, 6 Pushups
~This was harder that it should have been.

Deadlifts tonight with Maura. I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cheryl Anderson

When I first started to become curious about powerlifting I found Cheryl's web page, I was totally blown away with how strong she is. She is a national champion in the 105 class. When I set up my Kettlebell classes at The Press I thrilled to find out Cheryl trains there on occasion!

For the past few weeks Cheryl has been closing in on the end of a Deadlift cycle. Thee weeks ago she pulled 300lbs, last week was 315lbs. Usually I am too busy training my clients to watch Cheryl lift, but today the planets aligned and I had the opportunity to watch her go for 320lbs. Watching Cheryl prepare to lift is an education all of it's own. There is a ritual that involves headphones and a lot of focus. She transforms herself from a sweet and pretty little girl (sorry) into a pitbull. In no way would you want to even think about getting in her way. She marched up on to the platform, growled at the weight, then grabbed the bar so hard I thought she was going to break the barbell in half. This was a serious maximal effort. She hit a sticking point about 3/4 the way up. I yelled and screamed for her to lock it out. She did it. Holy crap! That vision will stick in my head for a long time. Way to go Cheryl!

I've had a chance to chit-chat with Cheryl a little here and there. For the most part we both have work to do when we are at the gym. Cheryl is always very nice and generous with advice. This is a blog about my training, practice and education. Sometimes, watching someone do something she is very good at is as good as having a physical workout.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Squats With Maura

I had a very nice day of back squats. I had a new training partner today. It was Maura Shuttleworth, bench press specialist. She just returned from the National Bench Press Championship. Maura took first place pressing 171lbs. Weighing in at 105, that's pretty impressive! Of course she has pressed more; in the gym- 210lbs and in competition - 200lbs. Plus she has an awesome raw press at 165lbs. How did she get so strong? She was a gymnast! Gymnasts are the some of the strongest people I have known. Here is a picture of Maura at The Press.

Maura offered to train with me in preparation for our up coming meets... I am training for the State meet in February and she is competing in Nationals which is also in February. How lucky am I? I will be training for my meet with a National PL Champion!

Anywhooo this is what we did tonight...

Ryan Coffey is giving me a spot. He has a State Record for Deadlift at 165 for 595. He also worked with me at Gold's Gym.

Back Squat
95 X5
135 X5
155 x3
180 x2x4
~I focused on blasting out of the hole. Unfortunately I didn't have the shoes I like to lift in, I didn't have the TRif belt either. I thought Aaron was going to join us at the gym, so I left my regular gear in our gym bag.

Squats with a Pause
110lbs X 8 reps, 3 Sets
~I learned a new assistance lift today. This evil thing Maura called Squats with a Pause. They are like back squats, only you rest in the hole for a couple seconds, your partner cues you up. The last rep sucks!

After our workout I showed Maura my kettlebells. We did some swings at the end of our workout. We had fun!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Friday Training

Another great training session with Angela! Ang is training for a body building contest and is using KB's as her cardio training. I am training for a PL meet and am using KB's as my assistance training. It will be an interesting experiment for both of us!

30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest
  1. 2 hand swing - 16kg
  2. 2 hand swing - 16kg
  3. snatch right - 12kg
  4. snatch left - 12kg
  5. 2 hand swing - 16kg
  6. snatch right - 12kg
  7. snatch left - 12kg
  8. 2 hand swing - 16kg
  9. snatch right - 16kg
  10. snatch left - 16kg
  11. 2 hand swing - 16kg
  12. snatch right - 16kg
  13. snatch left - 16kg
  14. 2 hand swing - 16kg
  15. snatch right - 16kg
  16. snatch left - 16kg
  17. 2 hand swing - 16kg
  18. snatch right - 16kg
  19. snatch left - 16kg
  20. snatch right - 12kg
  21. snatch left - 12kg
~Snatches with the 12kg averaged 13-14, Snatches with the 16kg averaged 12-13 reps. Swings averaged 18-20. Left arm was stronger and averaged 13 snatches, which was a little surprising. Something extra special and very surprising came with this workout... blood blister on each hand! WTF! I didn't feel that coming!

Swing+Clean+Front Squat+Push Press - 16kg; 5L/5R X 5 sets.
~ The movement oscillated left to right for 10 total reps per set, 5 on each side.

Renegade Rows + Pushup - 12/12kg, 10 push-ups, 5 rows per side X 2 sets

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

More Snow!

Yep, this will be the second measurable snow fall! I wish I was a winter athlete... I used to ski. Aaron and I pretty much had the gym to ourselves. I believe I am on the third week of the squat cycle Mark Reifkind gave me.

Back Squats
95lbs. x 5
170lbs; 2 reps, 6 sets
~Felt nice and easy. I am still working on finding my groove... The 4th and 5th sets were the easiest. I used my TRif belt. It is starting to get broken in. I took it on and off 6 times. As soon as I got the belt off... I had to start to get it back on.

135lbs. X 3
~I haven't done these for a while. Felt nice... did the last single with the TRif belt.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sunday, 1st Snow

We got our first measurable snow fall yesterday. I like snow, so I am pretty happy to see it all white outside. It's pretty!

After deicing my car... I made my way to Neti-Neti for yoga with Lisa. I love being a student, especially in Lisa's class. You never know what you are going to get at one of Lisa's classes. You just know it will be challenging and fun. What a great way to start Sunday...
An hour and a half of Vinyasa yoga.

Aaron talked my into doing a Kettlebell workout. I wasn't in the mood, but I threw the KB around anyway. I am glad I did. A live in lifting partner is awesome!

24kg - 20, 20, 20

16kg - 12/12, 12/12, 12/12, 12/12, 12/12

Something is better than nothing, right?