Thursday, November 19, 2009

Make Training Fun

I usually have all my training planned out weeks in advance. I have always had a "plan" but with my new interest in competitive powerlifting I have to be precise. I am usually on the verge of being over trained so it is important to stick to the plan. As my BFF Ellen Stein says "There is a reason behind every pound, every set and every rep... that's why I am a six time world champion and you all are injured".

When I saw on Randy Hauer's FB Page he was planning on doing a workout consisting of double snatch, overhead squat and sots press, I felt jealous! I haven't done a Sots press in months... I never practice them. I can't remember when I last did double snatches or double overhead squats. I certainly don't practice them either, but I wish I did. The problem is I have too many other weakness that I need to work on for powerlifting.



Squats were on the schedule for today. After training my competition squat at 80% and doing RDLs I was supposed to do Ham-Glute machine, abs and push-ups. I decided to stray from my training schedule... I gave the double swing, snatch, overhead squat and sots press a try.

I started light, double 8's, super easy. Double 10's, easy, double 12's, easy! Then I grabbed the 14kg, I was amazed I could actually get 5 reps in! Then I gave the 16kg a try, I managed to get 3 reps in before my form started to go. I had a great time trying something different. Don't forget to try something fun in your training!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hudson Natural Open Powerlifting Meet

Finally, a decent meet. Here is how it all went down...

*Preparation - I trained a lot less hard for this meet than I did for the last one. I trained so hard and was so attached to doing well at the TCO, when I missed all my 3rd attempts I was crushed. I pouted like a jilted teenager for almost a week. Doing the Hudson meet was like getting back on a horse after being thrown to the ground. I was scared, I didn't really want to do it, but I knew I had to. I already gained a lot of strength training for the TCO with Matt Gary's program, all I had to do was maintain, so I took it pretty easy.

*Making Weight - This time I let myself gain more than I usually do. Last meet I was vigilant about sticking close to 123lbs. I let myself get up to 128lbs this time. In fact, I was weighing 128lbs on Monday, that is almost 5 pounds over my weight class of 123.2. I really had to cut weight hard this time. Anyone who thinks weight doesn't make a difference in strength, try cutting weight or try staying 5-8lbs below your "comfort" zone. Weighing more makes you stronger. I just barely made weight this time, I was actually weighed in at 123.4 this morning, I had to spit, sweat and pee out .2 pounds then weigh in again. Last meet I weighed in at 121.5, almost 2 pounds heavier this time. Two pounds make a difference.

*Squat - My plan was to go for the numbers I missed last meet. I opened with 230lbs, a little heavier than I would have liked to open with, but I wanted to keep my jumps small. Three white lights, easy lift, even one of the judges commented on my great form. Second attempt was 245lbs, I was feeling nervous because of the debacle from TCO, my form wasn't as pretty, but it went up easy. Third attempts was 255lbs., I was feeling pretty nervous, and again my knees rolled in a little, but the weight still went up with hardly a sticky point at all. 255 was a pr!

*Bench Press - My nemesis... I just don't understand how I can press a 53lb kettlebell anytime I want, but still cannot bench press my body weight. I even got some coaching from Angela Simmons. I opened with 105lbs... easy. Second attempt was 115lbs. moved slower, but went up no problem. Third attempt - 120lbs; got stuck 1/2 way up and failed. I nailed 121lbs at the Twin Ports Meet in June, but have not put up 120 since... I am really sick of sucking at the bench press. My yoga teacher William would say I am lucky, the bench press is my guru and I will learn by having such a profound weakness to work on.

*Deadlift - My most unpredictable and frustrating lift. Last year at the Hudson meet I pulled 280lbs, but missed 290lbs. I got some coaching from Shawn Cain in preparation for the Arnold Sports Festival back in February. Shawn fixed my form and I ended up pulling 315lbs at his gym. Since then I have competed in 3 meets, my best pulls were; ASF - 308lbs (missed 319), TPO - 281lbs (missed 303 and 308), TCO - 303 (missed 314). So, finally it is official, I can pull 315lbs in a meet. I think I even shouted FINALLY after I put the bar down.

Summery - I do not like to compete. I like doing well in competition, but preparing for a meet sucks, I had nightmares about missing weigh-ins all night. I don't like taking a week off, I don't like scaling back on my kettlebell training, I don't like worrying about my weight. Mark Reifkind has given me a ton of help training for powerlifting, we both agree that meets get in the way of our training, which is the fun part. I actually decided to not go to the Arnold this year. I learned that competition is stressful, I am going to have to limit the number of meets I do.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

TCO Powerlifting Meet

Here is how it all went down...

Getting into my weight class was a breeze! Again, I stuck close to my weight class, so I didn't have much to cut. I was constantly weighing in at 125lbs for the past week. That is less than 2lbs from the weight class I compete in; 56kg or 123.2lbs. I weighed 123 exactly last night right before bed time, and weighed in at 121.7 this morning at the meet. I had a calm, relaxing day on Friday. My BFF Tracy Reifkind is in town visiting this weekend, we had time to visit and ate lunch together. I slept well and felt really good when I woke up. I had a ton of snacks packed, weigh-ins and equipment check went smoothly.

Best of all I had Aaron by my side. The last meet I did 3 months ago I was on my own. It is very nice to have someone running numbers, timing my warm-ups, and generally watching over my well-being. Having him along at meets is a real luxury!

*Squat - I started warming up at 9am, lifting started almost on time at 9:35. Warm-up went exactly as planned. I smoked 220lbs, my first attempt. I smoked 237lbs. My third attempt 253 never came up. I went down, came up about 1/4 of the way, then crumbled like a sand castle. I'm not sure what happened.

*Bench Press - Warm-ups went well. 105 went up easy. 115lbs got one red light from a side judge for a "belly bench". This was pure BS. I had a chalk line from the bar on my singlet that was clearly on my sternum, which I pointed out the red lighting judge, it didn't make any difference, the lift was good with 2 white lights. I guess the red light shook me up a little because I missed 121lbs. I missed it because I brought the bar too high and was out of my usual groove. Mental note; don't change your groove to make one fussy judge happy. This would have been a white light anywhere else including National Meets. Sometimes judges are wrong and you still have to live with it.

The bad news is I am feeling discouraged because I am having a terrible meet. So far I have no squat pr and I couldn't even tie my last pr on the bench press from 3 months ago. Good news is I haven't lifted anything heavy yet, so I should have a ton of energy left over for the Deadlift.

*Deadlift - This is usually where I crash. Today, my energy is good despite feeling extremely disappointed with how things have been going. My last warm up at 260 felt heavy and my back is now starting to tighten up. I opened at 281lbs, which flew up and felt better than 260. My second attempt of 303lbs. went up alright, but felt like a challenge. I may have missed my groove a little. My third attempt 314 simply stuck to the floor.

As you can imagine I am extremely disappointed with every lift. I don't really know what went wrong. I felt like I had a good training cycle, plenty of rest before hand and a good plan for the meet itself. At least I got all my second attempts this time, I have had meets where the only lift I get is the opener. I would have to say the only meet that went worse than this one was Raw Nationals. There is another meet in 6 weeks, back to the drawing board, blow it up and start over with a new plan.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Training Up-date

No new messages posted lately, but I have been training hard. Lots of changes for me this training cycle. The meet I am preparing for is the Twin Cities Open, September 19. Here are some highlights...

Probably the biggest change for me was training time. Business has picked up for me and I have been working early in the morning, I needed to start training during the day instead of at night. This meant not training with my long time training partner; Bench Press Champion Maura Shuttleworth. The good news is I had a lot more energy in the morning, bad news is training without Maura is lonely.

I have been getting some direct coaching from Matt Gary of Supreme Sports Performance and Training. Matt has me using the Conjugate Method. Mark Reifkind suggested this method way back when I first started messing around with powerlifting. I was simply overwhelmed, I didn't really "get" how the Conjugate Method worked. I needed someone to spell out exactly what I needed to do, and that is what Matt did. Training under the guidance of a coach is invaluable! I have learned more from the coaching I get powerlifting than I can express. I used pistols as one of my conjugate exercises. It's one of my "show off" moves, I eventually worked up to 28kg X 2/2.


Bench Press - Still a weak lift for me and challenge. Getting tight and staying tight is what I am trying to focus on.

Squat - Going well! I like this lift and Matt has me doing a much different volume/weight scheme. Here is a video for your viewing pleasure...


Deadlift - I will be deadlifting heavy for the last time before the meet on Monday. Deadlift is a hit and miss lift for me. My best pull is 315lbs, done in Tarman's basement. My best meet pull is 308lbs done at the ASF in March, I missed 319lbs. I had an extremely disappointing pull in June at the TPO meet. So, who knows, hopefully things go better this time.

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Training Cycle and PR

I am finally able to press the 24kg. I have not been specifically working toward a 24kg press, but I have been wanting to press that pig for a long time. Every month or so I give the 24kg a try... suddenly I can press the 24kg, no problem. I have pressed it 5 times now. Twice on the 4th of July before we left to spend the weekend with Aaron's parents. Today, Monday I have pressed it 3 times. I can't get a double in yet, but I feel like that should come soon. I haven't been able to press it with the left arm either... only on the right side so far. Here is something for your viewing pleasure.


In other news, I have a new training cycle mapped out specifically for me by Matt Gary. Yep, I am finally going to get serious about powerlifting. Matt coaches Team Quest as well as his wife Sioux-z Hartwig-Gary. I know I am going to learn A TON from working with Matt. My cycle is "Shieko Like". I can't wait to see what happens with my strength. I was inspired by Becky Rich who is training with Wild Iron in California; she just put 20lbs on her squat, 17 pounds on her Bench Press and 13 pounds on her deadlift. WOW!! That is amazing improvement. I want those kind of numbers! Check out Powerlifting Watch!

Friday July 3 I did a max effort deadlift day. I was able to pull 305lbs, no problem... but missed 315lbs. I was still just too tired from meet in Duluth and the long drive. My back really tightened up on me after our drive up to Alexandria. Not a nice feeling. This happened to me a few years ago when I first learned how to dl. Deadlifting + Long drive = sore back.

Also, a bench press. Not my strength, but getting better. Long monkey arms; but I do have a great arch. Check it out if you feel like you need a laugh...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Duluth Twin Ports Powerlifting Meet

Just got home from Duluth, learned A LOT, just like I do at every meet. Here is how it all went down...

Making Weight
I stuck pretty close to my weight class since competing at the Arnold in March. I did need to cut a pound and a half, which was really pretty easy. I woke up this morning weighing 122lbs, which is almost 1 pound under. Great news, that means I can drink coffee on the drive up to Duluth.

Travel Time
Maura Shuttleworth and I decided we didn't want the expense of a hotel room in Duluth, so we drove the 2.5 hours this morning. That meant we had to leave at 4:30 am. I got up at 3am, which isn't that different than my usual 4:30-5am wake up call. No biggie.

Maura drove her Mustang, which was pretty nice for me, but a two and a half hour drive, no matter how nice the car or how great the company is still awful. By the time Maura and I got to Duluth we were hungry and thirsty and all we wanted was to eat and drink.
* No more long drives the day of the meet. Had to learn the hard way.

We got weighed in right away, which was really nice. I had about an hour to eat, drink and get rack heights. Chit chat with some of the other lifters. Relax from our drive.

Squats
Time to start warming up for Squats. I had my warm-ups and first two attempts all planned out. I was feeling very prepared. About 10 minutes into warm-ups, there was a meeting to explain the rules, which lasted 20 minutes. I don't usually take 20 minutes of rest between lifts. The extra long rules meeting left the first flight of 10 lifters about 10 minutes to finish warming up, before lifting began. This didn't seam right to me, so I complained. We got an extra 5 minutes. When I finally found out I was 9th in the line-up, I decided to take my last warm up when the first lifter was called. That seamed to workout pretty well, except the next flight stripped my weights. Thank you Sid Reid for reloading for me!

My first squat was 226lbs. Easy, just how it should be. Great choice. Second attempt was 242lbs, my Meet PR from the Arnold in March. I had squat 240lbs lots of times in the gym, I was feeling very confident. The confidence was a mistake, 242lbs felt heavy and went up slow. My plan was to go for 253lbs, which would have been an overall PR, but the slow moving 2nd attempt forced me to choose 248lbs instead for a Meet PR. I absolutely smoked 248lbs. I instantly felt regretful for not choosing my original weight of 253lbs. Oh well, better to start a meet strong with a small pr.
*Treat every lift seriously! Trust your training cycle! This is the second time I felt regretful for choosing a smaller third attempt on squat.

Waiting

This was a 4 flight meet of 43 lifters. Instead of dividing up the meet into two sets of two flights, (a morning session and afternoon session), the four flights ran consecutively. This left me with about an hour and half to rest up for bench press.

Bench Press
Bench Press is my weakest lift. Luckily Pavel gave me and Ellen Stein a private bench press lesson in April when I was an RKC Assistant. He showed me a technique to use my lats more. I really felt like I made an improvement form what I learned. I felt like that training cycle went really well, until two weeks ago. My last heavy bench press workout went terribly. This left me feeling worried... but I had Mike Seigler (who has a 600lb raw bench @ 242lbs) lifting off for me. I opened with 99lbs - super easy. Next was 110lbs - again, super easy. 3rd attempt was a all time pr of 121lbs, which also flew up easily! I think I might have even had 126lbs in me that day.
*A terrible workout two weeks out is no sign of how things will go down in a meet.

More Waiting
Another 1.5 hours between bench press and deadlift. I snacked on food I brought from home, plus two Famous Dave's Pork sandwiches. Now I have a headache, and my back is starting to tighten up. I am seriously running out of gas. Plus it is hotter than hell in the venue. Mike Seigler is sweating just standing next to me.
*Long meets are a challenge for me... I have to figure this one out somehow. I don't normally eat food like Famous Dave's (sugary sauce, white bread, preservatives, stabilizers, etc.), better to stick to my food I got from home.

Deadlift
I start warming up for deadlift as the big guys are finishing up on the bench press. Almost all warmed up, then I find out there will be a 10 minute brake between bench and deadlift. Wow, that would have been nice to know a little earlier. The 10 minute break turned into a 20 minute break... sheesh. I'm not really sure what to do at this point. I planned to open with 281lbs, I already pulled 265lbs, (which felt heavy), my back is achy, my head is throbbing. I decide I am better off just not lifting any more and reserving what little energy I had left.

My first pull at 281lbs was a train wreck. I have a grip and rip style which is great when you hit your mark... well I missed my mark... by a lot. I ended up re-gripping and pulling so ugly I got one red light from Shawn Cain. Shawn coached my deadlift when I was preparing for the Arnold back in February. I'm not sure what the technical error was, maybe the red was for sheer ugliness. Second attempt at 303lbs was nailed to the floor, I had no juice left. Three weeks ago I pulled 300lbs for two easy singles. I felt like I had 319lbs in me. Third attempt was no better, I move up to 308lbs, which I pulled easily at the Arnold in March. I am stuck with my opener of 281lbs, what a colossal disappointment.
*I really thought my Deadlift cycle went well... a great workout 3 weeks out is no guarantee of a good performance.

This meet was disappointing to me, but I'm not discouraged. Disappointments like this are fuel for change, growth and learning. I KNOW I can overcome the fatigue of a long meet. How do I do that? Other lifters didn't have this problem, it is just a matter of figuring it out.

I had a chance to talk to Shawn Cain, who was side judge, about what went wrong with my deadlift. In short... bad setup, bad execution. I also had Mike to get feedback from. Plus Maura and I had 2.5 hours to talk over the meet. Learning from other lifters is invaluable.
*It pays to know a judge and have friends to talk to. Competition is a learning experience.

I placed 2nd in the women's class by Wilks formula. Now I have a big ugly trophy reminding me of the wrong turn this meet took. I don't regret going... it was a learning experience.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Week of Rest


Even though I haven't been a good blogger, I have been training for a powerlifting meet. I have been trying to put all my programing research to use. I made a spread sheet based on percentages, factored in rest, reps, and assistance work. I had to make a few adjustments, but stuck to the plan for the most part.

The most difficult part for me is trusting the program, waiting until the meet to test a 1RM. I like to KNOW I can make the lift before I try it in a meet, but that isn't how it works. You are not supposed to test your lifts before you try them in a meet. In fact, you aren't really supposed to lift more than 90% of your 1RM in training.

Right now I am supposed to be resting and getting ready for the meet. Because I teach kettlebell classes, I have to do a few swings, snatches, cleans and squats everyday, but I am keeping the weight low, and trying to back off a little. Everyone has to move, and kettlebell movement is normal everyday activity for me, so that shouldn't interfere with my preformence at the meet.

Goals for this meet; getting more comfortable in competition. I am what you call a "gym lifter". That is someone who does better in the gym than in a meet, that is no good. I'm not a natural preformer, I have to practice competing to get better at it. This will be meet number 5. After competing at The Arnold, the little Duluth meet should be cake...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Training Up-date

Wednesday I worked some lightish bench press. I believe I did 95lbs for sets of 3. Not terribly light for me, but allowed me to work the lat technique Pavel showed me back in April.

Friday was for deadlifting. Here is how it all went down...

Sumo Deadlift
135X5
185X5
225X3
245X1
275X1X7
~I'm back to "grip & rip" on 45lbs plates. Feels great. I was only scheduled to do 6 singles, but I wanted to groove my technique one last time. I feel like I got 2/7 nearly perfectly. This is going to have to improve.

Conventional Deadlift
225X3X3

Good Mornings
135X5X3

I'm doing less work on training days. Sometimes I feel borderline over trained.

Saturday Bench Press.
Normally I bench press on Sundays with Maura, but I went up to Alexandria with Aaron to visit Ralph, my father-in-law. I benched alone early Saturday morning.

Bench Press
45X8
75X5
95X3
110X2X5

TGU
12kg 3X2

2" Board Press
125X2X3
~Lucas showed up and gave me a lift off, lucky for me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More Training

Monday
Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
195X2
220X2X4
~220 felt challenging but doable

Pause Squats
135X8
140X8
145X8

BSS
16kgX5
12kg/12kgX5X2


Sunday
Bench Press
45X5
75X5
95X3
105X2X6

2"Board Press
120X3X3

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bad Blogger

I have been training... I just haven't been blogging about it. I am planning on doing the Duluth Twin Ports Meet at the end of June. Last night was deadlifting. Here is how it went down...

Sumo Deadlift off 35lbs. Plates
115X5
165X5
215X3
255X1X10
~I'm not doing my typical Ellen Stein "Grip and Rip" technique when I pull with the little plates. I am grooving the techniques I picked up from Shawn Cain. I think I got the best pull on the last one. Who would think picking up a barbell off the floor could be so technical? LOL!

Conventional Deadlift
255X2X3
~Went up fine.

Friday nights are low energy nights for me. I am going to have to play around with changing up deadlift night next cycle. I am trying a "Less is More" approach to training. I really wanted to do set of 3 for conventionals, but just didn't have the juice. I also wanted to get one more night of rack pulls before the meet, but felt too tired. Oh well. It will be interesting to see how this next meet goes for me.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Deadlifting and Squats

Friday
Deadlift Training

Sumo Deadlift off 35lbs Plates
115X5
165X5
195X3
225X1X12

Conventional Deadlift
225X5X3

Rack Pulls
275X3
315X2
315X1
~low on energy, couldn't finish rack pulls

Sunday
Skipped Bench Press

Monday
Squat Training

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X5
195X3X7

Walkouts
245
275
300
~Wow, heavy.

Pause Squats
135X8
140X8
140X8

Ham-Glute Machine
8
8 + 5lbs
8 + 5lbs.
~I seam to suck at these more...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bench Press

Maura and I are back in the groove of training. Wednesday is our regular bench press day. Here is how it wend down for me...

Bench Press
80X5X5

Close Grip Bench Press
80X5X3

Pull-ups
5X3

Chest Supported Rows
45X8X5

TGU's
12kg - 3/3,2/2, 1/1

abs.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Squat Training

Last Monday was my first day back to pl training. Wow, my butt and legs were really sore for 3 days! I'm back on track to my regular training cycle. Here is how it went down for me...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
185X3X8
~Oops, I was supposed to do only 180lbs. Some sets I wore my belt, some sets not. The weight was challenging, but very doable.

Heavy Walkouts
235
265
285
~Wow, heavy.

Front Squats
135lbs 5X3

Ham-Glute Machine

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bench Press

I spent some time with my mom and sister this morning in honor of Mother's Day, then off to the gym to train some bench press. Here is how it all went down for me...

Bench Press
45X5
75X5
95X3X8
~At the RKC in April Pavel took some time to help me work on lat activation to help out my pathetic bench press. I felt honored to have had some personal attention from the Chief Instructor himself in an effort to fix my weakest lift.

Pull-Ups
BW X 3
10lbs X 3
15 X 2
20 X 1
25 X 1
20 X 1
20 X 1
15X 1
10X1

DB Skull Crushers
18lbs X 8
20lbs X8
25lbs X 3
20lbs X8
25lbs X 3
20lbs X 8

Face Pulls
60X10
70X10X4

Getting back into the Groove

I am lucky enough to have a training partner who is very consistent about training. We have mapped out a schedule that has worked for us for over a year and a half now. I think that is pretty amazing. One thing that makes it easy to have a schedule like this is that Maura is not only my training partner, she is also my friend... our friendship grew from training and competing together other over the past months. We are two women in a male dominated sport who just happen to train at the same gym, be close in size, and have totally different strengths.

Any way, after my Hawaiian vacation, it has been hard for me to get back into the groove. I have a possible meet coming up at the end of June in Duluth. I had better get with it. Here is what went down this past week.

Wednesday

Bench Press
85lbsX3X8

Pull-ups
3X6

Friday

Sumo Deadlift
135X5
185X5
225X3
255X1
285X1,1,1
~Goofed around with my set up a little. Felt heavier than I expected. I do feel like I can pretty much pull 285lbs at any give time.

Conventional Deadlift
225X2X3
~Felt heavy.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Two weeks off!

Well, that felt weird.... For the past two years I have been training kettlebells full tilt boogie. For the past year and a half I have also been training powerlifting with hardly a break at all. My last workout was April 19, a squat workout with Ellen Stein after assisting at the RKC.

Today I broke my training fast with a squat workout. Here is how it all went down...

Back Squats
95X5
135X5
165X5
175X5X5
~High volume for me!

Front Squats
135X3X3

BSS
Double 12kgs 5X3

Ham-Glute Machine
8,8,8

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I have been a bad blogger...

I have been crazy busy getting ready for a vacation to Hawaii with my husband Aaron and his family. Plus, I finally get to be an assistant for the RKC this weekend. Any whooo... here is what I have been doing for formal training...

Monday April 6
Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
195X2
225X2X4

Box/Band Squats
115+BandsX3X8

Wednesday
Bench Press
Bench Press with Bands
Can't remember what else

Friday April 10
Sumo Deadlift
135X5
185X5
225X3
245X1
265X1X8

Conventional Deadlift
245X3X3
~used wrist straps

Sunday
Bench Press
45X8
75X5
95X5
110X2X5

Monday April 13
Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
195X2
225X2
240X2
240X1
~I meant to do two set of two at 240lbs buy on the second set the first rep went a little wonky... so I called it quits early.

Wednesday April 15
Bench Press + Bands 5X5
DB Skull Crushers 20lbs 8X3

Friday, April 3, 2009

Deadlift Night

Maura and I had the power room to ourselves tonight. For the first hour we trained we were the only people in the power room. I guess everyone wanted to be outside in the nice weather. It is supposed to snow this weekend. Oh well, here is how it went down for me....

Sumo Deadlift
135X5
185X5
225X3
245X1X10
~My hip was bugging me a little. My yoga practice has been suffering for the past couple weeks. I need to get my practice going.

Conventional Deadlift
185X5
225X5X3
~Wow! These felt great!

Good Mornings
135X5
155X5X3

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday Night Squat Party!

Maura and I had a special surprise at the gym, Tammy Dian and Anna White showed up to join us for training. Tammy competes in the 123's. She has the state record in the raw division for bench press. I was very happy someone finally blew my old bench press record out of the water. Anna competes in the 132's and holds all the State records in the raw division. Anna went to Raw Nationals last year with us. Both women are great lifters and it is really nice when they visit us. It is looking like the four of us are going to compete at the Twin Ports meet in Duluth this summer.

The power room at the Press was already busy. The four of us set up two racks for squatting. I always feel stronger surrounded by other strong people. Here is how it all went down for me...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
195X3
215X5
215X2X5
~The set of 5 was an experiment... I wanted to see if I could do 5 reps at 215lbs. Otherwise, everything felt great.

Box Squats with Bands
Bands are about 70lbs at the top
95X3
115X3X6
~I wanted to show our guests my favorite squat assistance exercise. All four of us cycled through the box and band set up.

Ham-Glute Machine
8,8,8

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Deadlift Training

I scheduled a little deadlift lesson for my kettlebell students on Friday evening. Maura and I met up early on Friday for deadlift training. It was kind of nice lifting earlier in the day. Here is how it went down for me...

Sumo Deadlift
135X5
185X5
225X1X12

Conventional Deadlift
185X5
205X5X3

Sumo Rack Pulls
225X3
275X3
315X2
335X2
335X2
~I have really started to like this lift.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Squat Training


I got to try out my brand new squat shoes tonight. It was pretty exciting... I was joined by Maura and Aaron. Here is how it all went down for me tonight...

Back Squat
95X5

135X5

165X3

190X3X7

~felt great, I think it was the shoes.


Box Squats with Bands

Bands give about 70lbs at the top
55X5
105X3X8

~I love this lift.

Ham-Glute

8X5

Ab roll outs

8X5

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Night Deadlift Party

Maura and I have put deadlifts back on Fridays. It's nice to be training deadlifts again. Aaron was there. Jesse and Russ joined us as well. It was a good crew tonight. Here is how it all went down for me...

Sumo Deadlifts
135X5
185X5
205X1X15
~I don't really like this part of the cycle. It is hard for me to feel if I am getting the set-up right if there isn't much weight on the bar. Oh well, something is better than nothing.

Conventional Deadlift
165X5
185X5X2
~Didn't feel too bad...

Good Mornings
95X5
135X5X3
~Felt it in my abs

2H KB Swing
32kgX10X5
~Blasted it to about eye level

Good work out tonight! Feels great to be back in the gym.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Squating on Monday

Monday is for squats once again. I wore my new Reband knee sleeves Ellen Stein gave me at the Arnold. When you are as good as Ellen, you can help out other lifters, you can even give them some of your equipment. I hope I will be that good one day.

I also ordered new squat shoes. The squat shoes I have been using were a gift from Mark Riefkind, they were actually his shoes. A very nice pair of Adidas weightlifting shoes. Aaron has been training over head lifting and Zurcher deadlifts. He mentioned he wanted to start doing squats. I told him he should try my shoes. The Adidas shoes I have been using actually fit his feet, I have been wearing a couple pairs of socks to make Mark's shoes fit. So, I ordered myself a new pair of Adidas weightlifting shoes. I am sad to let go of my gift from Mark (Tracy's idea), but Aaron and I are a team... what benefits him, benefits me. I am happy he has a good pair of lifting shoes to wear.

Any who... here is how it went down for me...

Back Squat
45X8
95X5
135X5
165X3
180X3X8
~I am doing the same program I have been doing for the past year. I know it won't work forever, but I can't see changing what is working right now. The knee sleeves felt weird and hot, but when every good lifter wears them, I should at least give them a shot.

Front Squats
135X5X3

Bulgarian Split Squats
2/12kgX5X2
2/16kgX5

Ham-Glute Machine
6,8,8

Training was tough. Maura and I decided that we don't really need a whole week off training. We already take a week off before the meet, another week means two weeks.

Back to Training

I made a discovery at the Arnold. I love to train. I enjoy training more than competition, that's for sure! I could have started training as soon as we got back. I sort of did, I started moving a little more weight with my kettlebell classes. I do a lot of "I go you go" style of training with my kb classes (Andrea and Tracy do the same). I finally got to pick up something heavier than a 12kg.

Sunday Maura and I started back under the bar. We got a bench press workout in. Here is how it went down...

Bench Press
45X8
75X5
95X5X5
~Worked on the new breathing technique Ellen Stein showed me.

Pullups
3X6

OH Press
45X6
65X5
75X3X3

Monday, March 9, 2009

Highlight from the Arnold


Rich Edinger, me, Brad Madvig, Maura Shuttleworth, Jim Cahill

Lifting in the USAPL Raw Challenge was the reason I went to Columbus Ohio for the Arnold Sports Festival. A year ago I didn't even know what the Arnold Sports Festival was... when I was invited to lift, I didn't think I even wanted to go. Lucky for me, Brad Madvig and Maura clued me in. The Arnold is THE place to check out if you are a fan of strength training. There were a ton of celebrities from the world of strength. Best of all, my lifting partner Maura Shuttleworth qualified to go as well.

My first celebrity sighting was Lou Ferrigno. He was sitting in my airplane seat on the way to Columbus from Minneapolis; I had to ask him to move. He was a little bleary eyed having just connected flights to Columbus from California. I wanted a photo, but I was afraid the Hulk might appear. I met up with Lou again at the airport in Columbus on the way back to Minneapolis. We were on the same flight again; we exchanged a little small talk. I still wanted a photo for my collection, but Aaron wouldn't let me bug him for one. Probably the right thing to do, poor guy was hassled through the airport by loads of adoring fans. He looks great by the way.

My BFF Ellen Stein introduced me to Ed Coan, a man considered to be the best powerlifter who ever lived. He is a humble man of few words, very typical of powerlifters. He spoke a little after the powerlifting meet on Friday. He doesn't compete anymore, but is still lifting.



The Govenator, Arnold himself showed up and actually interrupted the big geared men lifting on Saturday to speak a little. He stayed for a while to watch the deadlifts. He also looked great. Ellen shamelessly trolled for a photo op, she never got a photo, but got a handshake instead. How cool is that?


We got a special treat after all the Raw powerlifting was over. Three members of the German Olympic weightlifting team showed up to give a demonstration. WOW! Amazing lifters! Two men and one woman were lifting weight that was close to their personal bests! I was feeling really tired and hungry after competing, then running numbers for both Mad and Cahill... but it was worth hanging in there to watch some truly awesome athletes lift.

Hometown boy Brad Gillingham won the Deadlift challenge on Saturday. Also competing in the Deadlift only event were Jon Krogman and Nick Tylutki from Brad Gillingham's Jackals Gym in Minnesota. We have a strong state! Two other Gillinghams were at the Arnold as well. Maura and I took the opportunity to bug them all for a photo. It's not like we couldn't get a picture back home in Minnesota. We see Brad regularly... but we have never seen all 3 Gillies (Wade, Carl and Brad) together. Lucky us!

There was traditional kettlebell Girevoy Sport going on. Aaron knows Matt from blogosphere, and cheered for him as he competed. I got to meet John Wild Buckley in person. I also met Catherine Imes, first woman to be awarded Master of Sport, a big deal in the world of kettlebell training. I also met Steve Cotter after watching him compete in the 10-minute kettlebell jerk competition. He was a very nice man, just as I expected.

Aaron, Maura and I bummed around on Sunday. We took in the Bench Press Bash, but left early because it was so boring. The big guys kept missing their lifts due to missing the grove of the bench shirt. I do not understand geared bench-pressing, so I lack interest.

I saw little tiny kids doing gymnastics. We watch some teen-agers compete in Olympic weightlifting. I ate enough protein treats in the expo hall to give me a stomachache from hell. Maura and I shopped for out-fits. I also got to meet Tazzie Colomb; body builder and powerlifter. Watch out ladies, if you lift heavy, you might bulk up!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Competing at the Arnold

Karen Poyner, Becky Rich, Me, Maura Shuttleworth, Sioux-z Hartwig-Gary, Ellen Stein, Katerine Clark

I have just competed in my fourth powerlifting meet at the Arnold Classic Sports Festival. There are thousands of people here in Columbus attending the Arnold. The festival is named for Arnold Schwarzennegger, as Columbus Ohio is his American hometown. It started out as primarily a body building event, but now it the host to; powerlifting, Olympic weight lifting, fencing, MMA, Strong Man, ping-pong, and a ton of others sports events. This was by far the biggest venue I have ever competed in. It was a huge honor just to be invited.

Here is how the meet went down for me…

Squat – First squat attempt was 220lbs, which I moved fine, but I made a beginners mistake and forgot to wait for the “Squat” command. This is a terrible way to start a meet. Luckily, I wasn’t shaken too much, I chose to go with 237lbs as a second attempt which was lower that my planned 242lbs. We each have 1 Minute to get our next attempt into the scoring table. If we fail to get our attempt in on time, the scoring table will simple assign you the next higher option... well, this is what happened to me for my third attempt. I wanted to go for 248lbs, but some how the scorer’s table didn’t get my next attempt on time. Aaron was running my numbers, and anyone who knows my husband knows he doesn’t fuck around. I have a feeling the scorers made the mistake.

~Here is my second attempt on the squat. That is Brad Madvig reminding me to wait for the commands.

Bench Press – My nemesis. Everything went as planned… 100lbs, 110lbs, and a meet pr of 115lbs. All the lifts went up great. I feel like I bench better in a meet than in the gym. I feel like this lift is going to improve a lot for me in the next few months.

Deadlift – I opened with 281lbs, which seamed like an appropriate choice. I was really hoping for a 319lb pull, but I was stuck with my second attempt, which was 308lb. My third attempt I lost tension and missed the lift. Three lift meets are exhausting, I lost mental perseverance. I need to work set-ups more.

Overall – I am content with how I did (not thrilled). My total was 667lbs (302.75 kilos), which is a pr of 42lbs. All my lifts were meet pr’s (not to be confused with gym pr’s), which is nothing to cry about. I placed 5th out of 9 lifters, solidly in the middle, which is better than I expected.

Here are some observations I made…

  • I made a plan ahead of time; I planned out all my lifts and attempts in both pounds and kilos. I even planned out my warm-ups. Only mistake, I should have planned my warm-ups in kilos too.
  • I know my biggest challenge is nerves. Shawn Friday gave me a book that has been enormously helpful regarding finding a calm state. I don’t like competing, but I know it is good for me and will make me a better trainer and coach.
  • More confidence and better focus. I got red lighted on my first squat because I didn’t wait for the “squat” command. Then, I second-guessed my second attempt. I went with 237lbs instead of my planned 242lbs. In hindsight, I should have just stuck to my original plan.
  • Find a balance between risk and contentment. Shawn Cain gave me great advice… my second attempt should be something I can live with if I miss my third. I applied that advice to the Deadlift. I am pretty disappointed I got stuck with 242lb squat. Just barely a meet pr. I have squatted 250lbs in the gym and was hoping for 253lbs in competition.
  • I need to learn the kilo system better. I already know how to convert pounds to kilos; this needs to be second nature. Thank God for Matt Gary, he did all the converting for me during warm ups.
  • My direct competition in the 123lb weight class, Katherine Clark of Seattle Washington totally kicked my ass, again. She placed second overall. We met up for the first time at Raw Nationals. It is good to have direct, stiff competition. Katherine is a very nice woman as well as an awesome lifter, I can’t cry too hard about losing to her.
  • Competing with national level lifters is a HUGE! I am at the point where it will be the little things that make a big difference in my lifting. Watching what the more experienced lifters do is EXTREMELY helpful.
  • Ellen Stein gave me some advice on breathing in the bench press. I used it for my 3rd attempt at 115lbs and the weight moved up easier that the 110lbs. She also showed me how to step back from the squat rack more efficiently. I can’t wait to start training these new techniques.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Last Workout...

I like to tell my kettlebell class to enjoy the workout, even when it is really difficult, because when it is over they will be sad. Well, now I am sad because Maura and I had our last workout before the Arnold. That means no more workouts, and no more powerlifting for a whole week. I have no idea what I am going to do with myself. Any who, here is how it all went down for me...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
195X1
215X1
225X1

Bench Press
45X8
75X5
90X3
100X1

I am still working out the details of openers and attempts for my lifts at the Arnold. More importantly I have been doing extra restorative yoga asana. More on that latter.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Last Deadlift Workout...

Maura and I met up for our last deadlift workout before the Arnold tonight. Here is how it all went down...

Sumo Deadlift
135X5
185X3
225X1
255X1
275X1X3
225X1X3
~ I was going to planning on going a little heavier, but 275 wasn't flying up like it was a week ago, so I thought I should back off a little. If there is one thing I learned from Raw Nationals is more rest is better right before a meet. I backed down to 225 to practice some set-ups.

Ham-Glute Machine
8,8,8

Abs.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bench Press Workout

Count down to the Arnold Sports Festival. Maura and I have exactly 11 days until lift off... It was our last heavy bench press workout today at The Press Gym. Maura loves bench press, I like bench press. I am a little sad that heavy bench press is going to be over for the next 11 days. Since I haven't been reporting what we have been doing on bench press day, I will post this workout and it will reflect pretty much what I have been doing for the past 6 weeks. Here is how it all went down for me...

Bench Press
45X8
75X5
85X3
95X2
105X1
110X1
115X1X5
105+weight releasersX1X3
~My right shoulder started out bugging me a little, but it worked itself out eventually. The 115's felt strong and felt good.

Pull-ups
5,4,3,3,3,3

Sieglers showed up today. It is always nice to chit chat with Mike and Jane.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Snow and Squats on Friday

No Maura thanks to a very snowy night. The whole gym was pretty quiet actually. It was Aaron and me in the power room tonight. This is the last heavy squat day before the Arnold. I am always sad when the squat workout is over, especially right before a meet. Here is how it all went down for me...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
195X2
225X2X3
~The first set of 225 I went really deep and it was some effort to get back up. Second set I videoed and it looked a little high (after I had a look at it at home, depth looked fine). I decided to deviate from the plan and throw in a third set, depth actually sucked.

Pause Squats
115X8
135X8X2
~I have really grown to love this lift. These felt really great. I was happy to end on a strong note.

No Maura = no abs.
~Actually I worked out with my kb class tonight. We did some doubles work and bear crawls which is pretty ab intense.

I have noticed I simply don't have the energy for squats on Friday that I did when we trained on Monday. I don't work very hard on Fridays, so no excuse there. Recovery must be very important.

Monday, February 16, 2009

From Wisconsin with Love...


Maura and I took another trip out to Wisconsin for a deadlift lesson with Shawn Cain. We trained in Jeff Tarmin's basement, a very nice home gym with everything a serious lifter would need. Plus a couch for lounging between lifts. It was a real treat for us, which is saying a lot because The Press Gym is a very nice gym. There is something special about a home gym.

I had another amazing deadlift session under the watchful eye of Shawn Cain. His direction is easy for me to understand and I work well with his cues. Here is how it all went down for me...

Sumo Deadlift
135X5

185X3
225X1

255X1

275X1

300X1 - Went up ugly... bad start, goofed up grip.
305X1 -
PR by 5 lbs. Prettiest of the 300's
315X1
- PR. First time I ever struggled in the least to lock out a lift. I wanted to stand there an hold it for a while. Shawn had to tell me to put the bar down. LOL! A video for your viewing pleasure...


I always knew sumo deadlifting was a technique driven lift,
here is the much prettier 305lbs. which went up after a very ugly 300lbs. LOL!



John Hanson took us out for Bison Burgers, at Barker's in Hudson Wisconsin. They tasted great after pulling a pr.


Well, I put 30lbs on my deadlift in two weeks with some coaching from Shawn Cain. That is an amazing feeling. Shawn is convinced I have another 10lbs in me right now. Having a (or a few) good coach is invaluable. Hands on guidance is exactly what I needed.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Squat Training

It was a punch the clock workout tonight. Maura and I are counting down to the Arnold. Here is how it wend down for me...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
185X2
200X2X6
~Two hundred pounds felt a little heavy tonight. I worked on perfect form and speed... however, my form was neither fast nor perfect.

Bulgarian Split Squats
Double 12kgs - 5/5X3

abs.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Deadlift Monday

Maura and I are adjusting to our new lifting schedule. Deadlifting is on Monday and squats are on Friday now, which is fine. Here is how it all went down...

Sumo Deadlift
135X5
185X3
225X1X10
~Work on set-ups. Practiced the instructions from Shawn Cain. I learned the more calm and relaxed I am, the better the pull.

Conventional Deadlift
225X2X4
~Used wrist straps and a double overhand grip.

Ham-Glute Machine
3X8

abs.

I actually did a bench press work out yesterday. It was nothing exciting, so I didn't bother to post it. I worked with some weight releasers and did some heavy (for me) singles.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Squat Training

My training schedule has been disrupted again this week. I actually did some bench press training on Wednesday. My energy was so low, I fell asleep on the couch before I could bother to blog about it.

There is going to be a powerlifting meet at The Press Gym on Saturday. That means they need to close the gym early on Friday in order to set up for the meet. Maura got her training in Thursday. I was too wiped out to train Thursday night, I did my training Friday afternoon with Aaron. Here is how it all went down for me...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X5
195X3
215X1
235X1
255Xnl
245X1
~ I hit a sticking point about 2/3 up on 255, I just didn't have the energy to gut it out. I have only missed about 3 squats in my life. Here are the last 4 squats including the missed lift.



Box Squats
145X3
175X3X5
~I thought after missing 255 I should work on driving through that sticking point.

It is always disappointing to miss a lift. I don't feel too bad about it, I was low on energy. I feel like I own 245, which is a nice feeling. I still have a month to get it together for the Arnold.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Deadlift Training

Fellow powerlifter John Hanson drove Maura and I over to Wisconsin for a deadlifting lesson with Shawn Cain. Most everyone in USAPL knows who Shawn is. I know him as the head judge at my first powerlifting meet last year, the Minnesota State Open.

John Hanson gave me the idea to ask Shawn Cain for some help a couple weeks ago. John sometimes trains with Shawn Cain, Jim Miller and a few other guys in the basement of Jeff Tarmin. Jeff has a very nice home gym. The guys use York plates, so you know they are accurate. Most of the equipment is made by Shawn Cain, which is probably the nicest powerlifting equipment I have ever used.

Mr. Cain was not training himself tonight. He was competing this last weekend in the Wisconsin State and Open meet. I can't remember his exact numbers, other than they were big... I can never tell if the weight moved was impressive or not. Men's numbers seam crazy huge to me. How can someone squat 600lbs?

With coaching from Shawn I managed a decent deadlift. Here is how it went down for me...

Deadlift
135X5
185X5
225X1,1
245X1,1
265X1
175X1
285X1
290X1 ~PR
300Xnl
300X1~PR
~The last lift felt the best. Worked on tension; getting tight and staying tight. Need to do a lot of work here... Worked on moving the shoulders with the hips and knees. More on this latter.

Huge break through tonight. Hard to be unemotional or detached about this one. FINALLY!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Squat Training

I know, it is supposed to be deadlift night. Maura and I are going to Wisconsin on Monday (squat day) to see a certain local lifter for some work on our deadlift. We decided to swap our training days around. Monday will be deads until the Arnold, that means Friday's are squat days now.

The usual crowd showed up for a gym night. Aaron joined us. Russ and Jesse were there. John Hanson, Mad and Keith were lifting tonight. I have a 5:30pm kettlebell class. I warmed up with some snatches, bear crawls and double clean and press. Here is how it went down in the power room...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
195X2
225X2X3
~ First time to rep 225. I am surprised how easy these felt tonight.

Box Squats with Bands
45+ Bands X 5
95+ Bands X 3
105+ Bands X 3X8
~Tough, but doable.

abs.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wednesday - Light Bench Press

Wednesdays are long days for me. I teach a 6am kettlebell class, at 7:30 I have my yoga class with William in Minneapolis. This is a great way to start my day, but it also makes for a long day. I have started making Wednesdays a very light bench press day, and I am much happier for it. Here is how it went down for me...

Bench Press
45X8
75X5
85X5X5
~Had a short pause between each press. Weight felt real easy.

Close Grip Bench Press
85X5X3
~Felt easy

Pull-ups and Chin-ups
3X10
~I varied my grip doing only 3 reps. Wanted to get some volume in while keeping it easy.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Squat Training

It was a cold night at The Press, but Maura and I gut it out under the bar in the power room any way. Here is how it all went down for me...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
190X2
215X2X5
~Felt good. Maura noticed I seam to narrow my stance as the weight increases. I planned on only do 4 sets, but did a 5 to work on keeping my stance normal.

1/4 Squats
245X1
265X2
275X3~Thought about Ellen at Raw Unity
~As the weight got heavier, the movement got easier. I'm just not good at these yet. Ellen Stein got a 275lb squat at the Raw Unity meet. She placed second over all! Nice job Ellen!

Ham-Glute Machine
8,8,8
~I feel kinda stupid admitting this... I only now just figured out how to do these right. Much easier than what I was doing. LOL!

Abs.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Bench Press

Strong man Paul Balyeat joined Maura and I for a day of bench press. Here is how it all went down for me...

Bench Press
45X8
75X5
95X1~Crunchy left shoulder
95X3~Shoulder felt better
105X1
110X1
115X1X5-Set 3 was a short pause, after that touch and go

BB OH Press
65X5
75X3
75X2 plus 1 PP
80X2 PP~not sure what happened here... no gas, failed lift
85X1~no problem flew right up.
~Paul does a lot training with pressing... he gave me some advice...goofed around with some PP'es

Pull-Ups
5X5

Chest Supported Rows
55lbs 8X3

Good day of training. As always, I was a little sad when training was over. Fun day.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Deadlift Training

There was a big crew of us deadlifting tonight. Anna White showed up with her friend Tammy Dian, an up an coming lifter in the 123's. Russ and Jesse were there. Of course Maura and Aaron were there. The two platforms were being used, so I had to set up my 35lb plate outfit on the floor, next to the squat rack where Gary Edwards was training squats. Here is how it went down for me...

Sumo Deadlifts off 35lb Plates
115X5
145X5
185X3
205X1
220X1
245X1X3
250X1X4
~245 and 250 were difficult, but doable. Here is something to look at...


Conventional Deadlift
225X3
245X1
245X1
~I cannot understand how anyone can move weight this way... it is a journey from the floor to lock out.

Rack Pulls
225X1
275X1
315X1X3
~225 and 275 were conventional, 315 sumo. These seamed much more difficult than last week, so I quit early.

abs.
~god... I hate doing isolated ab exercises. If it were not for Maura, I would have skipped this one tonight.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Zhinkas and Bench Press


You may know that The Press Gym (where I train) is the Zubaz gym. Owner Dan Stock is a co-founder of the original Zubaz pants from the early 90's. Dan's wife Kim has just come out with the Lady's version of the famed gym pants. They are called Zhinkas. The Zhinka pants come in the signature wild print as well as a more subdued black with print accents. Of course Maura and I had to have a pair. I am wearing the traditional zebra black and white, Maura got the pink pair.

Bench press was on the menu for tonight. Here is how it went down for me...

Bench Press
45X8

75X5
85X5X5

~My left shoulder started out feeling a little twitchy... but felt better with every set.


Close Grip Bench Press

75X6X4

Face Pulls

70X10X3

Pull-ups

4,4,4,4,4

Monday, January 19, 2009

Squat Training

I love squats, almost as much as Maura love bench press. That is probably because it is the only lift that has been going my way lately... Maura and I got our squat training in a little early today thanks to MLK day. We had the chance to train along side of some of the Press Gym lifters we don't usually cross paths with. Mitch Edlestein was squatting some pretty huge weight today. Angela Simmons was doing some front squats. Jo Rivette showed up to do some deadlifting. Here is how it all went down for me...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
160X3
185X2
200X2X6
~Lifting at 11am feels different than lifting at 7pm...

1/4 Squats
225X3
245X3
265X2
265X2
~Wow, first time for this lift... these were really difficult. 265 felt oppressive, simply walking out the weight was a real chore. Seriously, walking out the weight was more difficult that the squat. Weird.

Glute-Ham Machine
8,6,6
~I suck at these.

abs.
~Kettlebell French Twists 16, 20, 24, 24... Decline bench with a 25lb plate. These are actually getting easier.

Squatting made Maura and I super hungrey! We went to Granite City in Roseville for Bison Burgers. What a great way to spend MLK day!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thank God for Lifting Partners!

Bench press day at the Press Gym today. I am so lucky to have Maura Shuttleworth as my lifting partner. I do not love the bench press, but Maura has enough love for the bench press for both of us. Here is how it went down for me...

Bench Press
45X8
75X5
95X3
105X1
110X1
115X1X5
2 - Board
125X2X3

OH Press
45X5
65X5
75X3X3

Face Pulls
70X10X3

Chest Supported Rows
55X8X3

Pull-ups
4,4,3

Friday, January 16, 2009

Deadlift Training

It was a good night to train at the Press Gym. Maura, Aaron and Amy were good enough to make it down for some good gym time. Here is how it went down for me...

Sumo Deadlift off 35lb Plates
115X5
145X5
165X3
185X1
220X1X12
~Double overhand grip with straps

Conventional Deadlift off 35lb Plates
220X3X3
~Double overhand grip with straps

Box Squats
Bar + 70lb Bands X5
95lbs+BandsX3X8
~Love box squats

Sumo Rack Pulls
225X3
275X3
315X1
345X1 - belt
365X1 - belt
~Over under grip. Grip was tough for both 345 and 365. I almost thought I might drop the bar.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bench Press

It has been cold here in Saint Paul... but that didn't stop Maura and I from bench pressing on Wednesday night. Here is how it went down for me...

Bench Press
45X8
75X5
95X5
95X3X3

Close Grip Bench Press
95X3X3

Face Pulls
80lbsX10X3

Chest Supported Rows
45X10
55X10
60X10
60X8

Monday, January 12, 2009

Squat Training

We are having a small snow storm here in Minnesota. Maura lives in Stillwater, which is a good 20 minute drive from the Press, so she opted for staying safe at home today and will get her squats in tomorrow. It is really so nice to have a lifting partner. I always miss her a ton when I train without her. Lucky for me Aaron joined me for my squat workout. Here is how it all went down...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
190X3X7
~I was surprised at how easy 190lbs feels. Each set felt better than the set before.

Good Mornings
95X5
135X5
155X5
165X3X4
~Really felt pretty good for a scary lift.

Bulgarian Split Squats
16/16kg - 5
20/20kg - 5X2
~I really like this lift. I think it makes a big difference in my squat strength.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Saturday Bench Press

I had a busy Saturday morning, but that didn't stop me from getting a bench press workout in. Thank God for lifting partners. If I hadn't promised Maura I'd be at The Press at 12 Noon, I probably would just gone home.

I had to get a bench press workout in on a Saturday because Sunday (the day I normally bench press) is a Strong Man Competition in Minneapolis. I know a few of the competitors, which makes the event extra special. Maura and Aaron will be joining me, it should be a lot of fun.

Here is how it went down for me...

Bench Press
75X5
95X3
105X2
110X1X3
~Paused 110lbs. Felt easy.

Close Grip Bench
95X4,4,3

OH BB Press
45X5
65X5
75X3,3,3
65X5
~Suddenly I ran out of gas. 75lbs felt difficult.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Deadlift

Met up with Maura for deadlifting tonight. I am trying a few new things in an effort to get my deadlift out of the toilet. Here is how it all went down...

Deadlift - Sumo off 35lb Plates
115X5
165X5
185X3
205X5,3,3,3
~Double overhand grip with straps

Sumo Deadlift
205X1,1,1,1,1
~Focused on speed

RDL
135X5
165X5
185X5,5
~Double overhand grip with straps

Rack Pulls
225X3
275X3
305X3
315X3
345X1
~Used belt for 345lbs. Over under grip.

I had a great time tonight and I feel great. However, now that I look back at everything, it looks like kind of a lot... oh well.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bench Press with Maura

It was a long day for me... I have been running around like my hair is on fire. Stopped off for William's yoga class...

William's yoga class. Standing asana, headstand, shoulder stand with a sandbag on my feet, some backbends and a few arm balances. I love yoga class!

Met up with Maura for training tonight. Here is how it all went down...

Bench Press
45X8
75X5
95X5X5
~Closer grip.

Close Grip Bench Press
75X6X5

Pull-ups
4,4,4,4,4

Face Pulls
70X10
80X8
80X8
80X10

Windmills
16kg
3/3,3/3,4/4

Monday, January 5, 2009

If it ain't broke, why change it?

I know no program works forever... but until it stops working, why mess with a good thing? I hope I am doing the right thing. Any who, time to start a new training cycle for squats. Maura and I met up at The Press Gym. Here is how it went down for me...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
155X3
175X3X8 - 70%
~Easy stuff.

Good Mornings
115X5
135X5X4
~I feel this in my abs more than in my back. I hope I am doing it right.

Bulgarian Split Squats
Double 16's - 5L/5R X5X3
~Still my favorite.

Some abs. Maura's idea, of course.
Good stuff. It is always nice to start over.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year


It is New Year Resolutions time. I don't really make resolutions for the new year. I am not a goal oriented person. I never participated in sports as a kid, I was never on a team. When I was 23 I discovered yoga, which is not (supposed to be) competitive or goal driven.

In the practice of yoga there are 8 limbs. First limb is Yamas (personal conduct) - non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, sexual responsibility, and abstinence of greed. Pretty much universal behavior. Second limb is Niyamas (personal observance) - cleanliness, contentment, austerity, self-study, and self surrender.

The Niyamas are interesting to me... Austerity, Contentment and Self-Study are the most interesting to me. Tapas, which is weird to translate, means Austerity or "practice with fervor". Santosha is translated as Contentment, accepting where and who you are at in life. Svadhyaya is translated as Self-Study. For me, this is where Powerlifting and Yoga meet. This is how I am applying the Niyamas to my training/practice...

Tapas - Get serious about training. Work toward balance, using my whole potential, staying focused.

Santosha - Don't over reach or over train. Accept failures and pr's with emotional detachment.

Svadhyaya - Find my weaknesses and imbalances (in all parts of my life), then fill them in.