Archives For pr

Getting back into the swing of things after taking nearly 1 week off from lifting weights.

Monday's workout was tough and I had to cut down the volume.

But the extra rest combined with lowered volume might have helped me hit a few PRs this week:

PRs This Week

Low Bar Squat: 460 lb x 5 (5RM)

Hit this on Friday. I tried 500 x 3 before, but only managed 2 wobbly reps before re-racking the bar.

Also a +20 lb PR!

Been a while since I got a double-digit PR in anything.

Reverse Grip Bench Press: 375 lb x 2 (2RM)

This was my second attempt. The first time my back slipped on the bench during the 2nd rep.

Decided to try again and got a 2 rep max!

A few more rep PRs and I'll attempted 400 lb again.

High Bar Squat: 405 lb x 10 (10RM)

Nailed this on Saturday.

After the 8th rep, I was exhausted and looked down and thought to myself:

"Maybe I should quit now. This is already an 8 rep max".

But then I remembered watching Russian powerhouse Dmitry Klokov squat 240 Kg for 10 reps (that's 529 lb, which is just about my low bar squat 1RM) that morning and thought:

"FUCK IT! I'm going for 10!"

True story bro.

Also this is a +35 lb PR. Not bad!

After 10 reps it felt like my heart was going to explode. I was exhausted and couldn't think straight for the next 10-15 minutes.

Some people on Facebook talked about 20 reps at 405 lb (LMAO4PLATE Widow Maker). The most I've ever done with 20 rep is an empty bar!

I think I'll probably end up squatting 500 lb x 10 before 405 lb x 20.

Heavy Bag: Kicks, Punches, Knees & Elbows

Tuesday's are turning out to be heavy bag and neck day. I think punching the heavy bag might be affecting my OHP's the next day. Couldn't even press 230 lb! Usually that weight is no problem.

But I think I'll stick to hitting the heavy bag, mostly because it's fun, and punching & kicking stuff just feels good and makes me feel like a bad-ass.

PHUNG-ctional "cardio", too 😉

I think I'll start using the Bas Rutten MMA/Muay Thai/Boxing workouts (which are pre-recorded drills where Bas shouts out various combos) next week to step it up a notch.

Stuff You Should Read (and Watch)

  1. Dave Tate Interviews PL Legends Steve Goggins and Ed Coan by Dave Tate
  2. Meatheads Aren't Doctors - Injuries, Overuse, And Rolling On Shit by Paul Carter
  3. Stuff I have Learned, Part One by James Steel

Managed to hit 3 PRs this week, and they were all 1 rep maxes!

260 lb Overhead Press

Missed this weight last week, and got it this past Wednesday.

For some reason, during my warm up sets, I touched the bar just underneath my chin before unracking. I tilted my head back before taking it off the rack, and the bar was at a higher starting position than normal (around the Adam's apple level, as described in my article "3 Ways To Increase Your Overhead Pressing Strength". The higher starting position lead to a greater stretch reflex.

Also, I've been focusing on driving the bar backwards and flaring out my elbows after the bar clears my head. This makes it easier to keep the bar balanced to press the weight straight up.

385 lb Reverse Grip Bench Press

An ice storm in my area lead to a power outage on Friday, so I had no electricity from around 8AM-6PM, with the exception of whatever power that was left in the battery in my phone.

My home gym is in the basement, and there's only one small window. Not much sunlight shinning in that day, so the lighting was horrible.

I missed the first try at 385 lb, likely because of not enough leg drive. The 2nd attempt, I focused more on leg drive and pressed the bar up. Legs are important in the bench press.

Only 15 lb away from a 400 lb bench press!

500 lb High Bar Squat

Did this yesterday.

Initially I was planning on doing a 460 lb over warm-up, then dropping down for a triple at 440 lb.

But 460 lb went up without much struggle, so I added 10 lb to the bar.

470 lb went up without much struggle, so I added ANOTHER 10 lb to the bar.

480 lb wasn't too bad, so I thought, "heck, let's see if I can high bar squat 500 lb. The worst that can happen is that I get injured again...not the end of the world..."

And I did it!

Last time I attempted 500 was sometime in September/October 2012, and my last 1RM high bar squat PR was late September, so I'm pretty happy with this.

Also, 500 lb high bar squat is a milestone that I've been wanting for a while. Previous best was 495 lb. I've low bar squatted over 500 lb before, but high bar is a little more difficult, and a little more satisfying to get.

Anyway, check this out:

Stuff You Should Read

  1. How I Built A World Record Deadlift (or How to Spot a Strength Fraud) by Craig Hirota
  2. Joe Weider: Bodybuilding Patriarch by Marty Gallagher
  3. Lifting Heavy with Stephen McKenzie, Canada's Five Time National Powerlifting Champion by Beth French

My body seems to be healing up pretty good. I no longer experience that much pain when sneezing.

I can be more explosive out of the hole in the squat without feeling much pain or discomfort.

Also, I was planning on deloading this week (including today) for the bench press, but I felt fresh from taking it easy on Monday that I figured heck, why not go for some PR's??

So I did.

Foam Rolling

Low Bar Squat

  • 45 lb: 20
  • 140 lb: 10
  • 190 lb: 5
  • 230 lb: 5
  • 280 lb: 5
  • 330 lb: 5,5,5

High Bar Squat

Face Pulls

  • 70lbs: 15

Reverse Grip Bench Press

  • 45 lb: 10
  • 140 lb: 5
  • 230 lb: 3
  • 280 lb: 1
  • 330 lb: 1
  • 375 lb: 1 *PR - 1RM!
    • Back cramped up as I was pressing the bar up. Bar dipped a bit, but I pressed it back up.
    • +5 lb PR
  • 320 lb: 5 *PR - 5RM!
    • Previous 5RM was 315 lb

Trying to be more explosive on the concentric phase of the squat, and try to pop the bar off my back and a rattling sound with the plates as I stand up. Seems to be easier to be explosive on the high bar squat than the low bar squat, at least for me.

Also, wore the Three Wolf Moon shirt today. Here's a pic I took a couple of days ago:

Three Wolf Moon

Texas method intensity day.

Foam Rolling

Low Bar Squat

  • 45 lb: 20
  • 140 lb:10
  • 230 lb: 5
  • 320 lb: 3
  • 370 lb: 2
  • 410 lb: 1
  • 460 lb: 1
  • 432.5 lb: 3,3
    • +2.5 lb from last week, and going back to triples.
    • Last rep felt tough. Somehow ended up relaxing out of the hole, but managed to power through.

High Bar Squat

Face Pulls

  • 70lbs: 14

Reverse Grip Bench Press

  • 45 lb: 10
  • 140 lb: 5
  • 230 lb: 3
  • 280 lb: 1
  • 330 lb: 1
  • 365 lb: 1 *PR!
    • +5 lb PR! +5 lb from previous best
    • Easy, going to try 370 lb.
  • 370 lb: 1 *PR!
    • Beat my 1 rep max that I set about 5 minutes ago!
  • 335 lb: 3 *PR!
    • +5 lb PR for a 3 rep max!

Mat Pulls

ROM Progression method.

8 mats, about 6 1/4" from the ground, or an inch or two below my knee caps.

Hook grip until 550 lb.

  • 140 lb: 5
  • 230 lb: 5
  • 320 lb: 3
  • 410 lb: 2
  • 500 lb: 1
  • 550 lb: X,1
    • Had to strap up to get the rep. Pain tolerance not there yet.
  • 600 lb: 1
  • 550 lb: 3,3
  • 500 lb: 5

Here is my new secret weapon(s) to increase my deadlift:

rubber-pavers (1)

rubber-pavers (2)

rubber-pavers (3)

Ok not that much of a secret, because I found out about it here: ROM Progression Method.

The idea with ROM progression method is to increase the range of motion over time.

I kinda-sorta played around with the ROM Progression Method before, doing rack pulls in my power rack, but that was a pain in the ass to adjust the safety bars every time.

I had to set the safety bars on my rack to the right level, which involves pulling it out of the holes from front-to-back, and sliding it back in at the right level, all while listening to the screeching sound and feeling the vibrations from metal sliding on metal contact.

At the same time, I didn't use my B&R bar for rack pulls. I used an old, no-name crappy Olympic bar that I got from Kijiji. I've read that rack pulls done in the power rack runs the risk of bending whatever bar you're using, and I did not want to bend my best bar. The crappy Olympic bar is a bit thicker than the B&R bar, and the chrome is peeling off. Also, it barely fits inside of the safety pins of my power rack.

Well, getting my deadlift up has been a bit of a mystery to me, but partial deadlifts seemed to have helped before.

So, I figured I might as well do this right and pull from rubber mats rather than doing rack pulls in the power rack.

I had some left over rubber stall mats, so I cut them up resulting in 8 pieces of roughly 18"x24" rectangles. I also purchased 8 x 18"x18" rubber paver tiles from Home Depot ($7.99 before taxes and free shipping!).

With a total of 8 mats on each side, this raises the bar so that it's about 2" below the bottom of my kneecaps.

So right now I have 8 mats about 3/4" high. One week, I'll do my mat pulls with 8 mats, and then the next, I'll remove 1 mat so that there will be 7. This will be repeated until I am pulling from the floor.

It'll probably take a few "cycles" of this to reach my goal of a 600 lb deadlift.

I was going to start this yesterday, but ended up grocery shopping and then eating a hamburger instead.

Rep PR's and Other Training Updates

Hit some PR's this past week:

5RM: Low Bar & High Bar Squat: 430 lb x 5

2RM: Bench Press: 340 lb x 2

Overhead presses has been crappy lately, so I'm going to replace them with some good old fashion clean and presses. This should provide a "deload" from heavy OHP (because the weight I can use for C&P is limited by what I can clean, which is lower than my press), give me an opportunity to work on power (or muscle) clean technique, and get a little more yoked.

Also, looking at my Youtube channel I saw that the last time I tested a bench press PR was over a month ago. I might try 365 lb soon.

Stuff You Should Read

A few good articles I came across this past week:

  1. Self Assessments- Retarded In The Workplace, But CROOSH In The Gym (NSFW) by Jamie Lewis
  2. Random Things I've Learned Through Weightlifting And Writing- Part 1 by Kirksman
  3. 12 Fitness Lessons by Greg Robins
  4. 120 Tips on Strength Training for Women by Bret Contreras
  5. Increasing Work Capacity by Greg Nuckols
  6. A-List Exercises: Upper Body Pulling by Nick Tumminello