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Weirdquark Doesn't Have Challenge Goals Right Now


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I'm starting a new workout log -- my old one was created to be used between challenges, but I'm not planning on doing this next challenge, so it is inaccurately named. It also doesn't have my user name in it, which makes it harder to find.

Anyway, I still plan on lifting heavy things and getting stronger, and I want to get better at bouldering. But I don't have any measurable benchmarks for anything that I care about achieving in the next six weeks.

I do have a plan!

Workouts are created around a plan I found for improving climbing with some modifications -- I'm keeping the type of exercises (upper body pull, lower body push, upper body push, hip hinge) and the bi-set with little rest style, but the climbing workout is all low rep because you don't want to bulk up since climbing is easier when you weigh less. Except I do want to build muscle, so I'm making some work be higher (6-10) rep than the 2-6 reps suggested in the plan. I may tweak more as I see how things go.

I took ideas from Practical Programming which suggests ways of adding lifting days while keeping all of your workouts full body, so I'm doing a heavy-medium-heavy-rest-heavy-light-rest cycle for the week. I'm doing front and overhead squats -- no back squats -- to improve core strength and make me go lower and I'm putting deadlifts on the medium and light days so I'm only really maxing out on weights for upper body stuff. Practical programming also has a handy chart comparing the volume/number of reps that women should do compared to men, so I'm mostly basing my weights and rep ranges for each type of day from what the chart says I should be doing instead of whatever weight I last did the exercise on.

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The challenge hasn't started but I always start new workout rotations on Saturday because it's the weekend and I have more time to fool around.

A1: DB Row

4x10 @57.5

A2: Front Squats

1x5 @55

1x3 @75

1x2 @90

4x3 @100

Alternated between rows and front squats. I'm not sure what I want to do rep-wise on the rows -- ten reps at my current weight is a heavy day according to the chart assuming the 1RM I'm using is about correct and ten reps is about what I can do reasonably smoothly without having to reset my grip all the time. I think I'll have to see how I feel next time -- my plan for adding weight is to go through a full week at whatever weights I start with even when I repeat exercises and get all of my reps on the first session, and then add weights for the next week on each exercise depending on how well I've gotten reps by the end. So I'll see if I think I want to add more reps -- I kind of want to do the DB Rows Kroc Row style, with more full body effort to let me use heavier weights, and those seem to be higher rep than normal DB rows. So I may stay at this weight until I can hit 20 reps, no matter what my 1RM says I should be doing. But I also tend to modify programs too much, so I may just stick to ten reps and add weight next week.

Clean (and OHP)

1x5 @35 -- warmup for just OHP

1x3 @55 -- warmup for just OHP

1x3 @65 -- warmup for both

3x3 @75

3x3,2 @75

I decided to combine the hip hinge exercise with the upper body press and clean the weight and then strict press it overhead. I had to take more rest in between these sets since 75 is close enough to my max that I have trouble getting three reps (even though the chart says I should be doing five on a heavy day) though I think I was resting a little less than usual since I didn't have to do three consecutive OHP -- there was 'rest' while I brought the bar back down to the floor for the next clean.

I managed three sets where I cleaned the bar and pressed it overhead three times; the other three sets I cleaned the bar three times but failed the OHP part on the third rep. I did more sets here because one of the program planning things I looked at suggested doing extra sets of cleans. I probably should have stopped OHP after set four, but since I've also been working on 10x3 at 75 I figured I might as well keep going with both.

My schedule cheerfully suggests that if I have extra time I practice snatches. I didn't really, but gave it a try anyway, and my arms were too tired to lock out the bar overhead after the OHP, so I quit during my warmup sets for my "heavy" 3-6 rep snatch weight. Maybe next time.

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Tragedy strikes! I was making a batch of protein gelato with lots of egg and very little milk and the mixture was too thick and the paddle broke. So we are now unable to make more gelato. Happily, I found a site which sells replacement parts and have ordered three more so we will not only have a replacement paddle, but are prepared for this to happen again (which will hopefully mean it won't.)

Medium Day:

A1: DB Row

4x10 @47.5

A2: Overhead Squat

1x5 @15

1x5 @25

1x5 @35

1x7 @40

1x5 @40

1x7 @40

1x9 @40

Obviously not too heavy; I wasn't sure if the rows were just making my shoulders too tired to lock out properly, but as the last set was the best one, this is probably just a technique problem and I need to do more overhead squatting. I'm going to switch out one of my heavy front squat days for a heavy overhead squat so I can do the later two times a week. This will mean my light squats will use a heavier weight than my heavy squats the day before and that's always entertaining.

B1: DB Incline Bench Press

4x10 @25

B2: Deadlift (from a "I am using small plates deficit")

1x10 @65

4x10 @120

I haven't done deadlifts in way too long. I've pulled heavier weights for sets of ten, even using the plates I'm using now, but it's a medium day and I want to focus on form. I did these fast-ish -- probably not speedy enough to be speed deadlifts, but going for a little more explosive than what I can manage with the heavy weights. Form wavered a bit on the last couple of reps of each set, so looks like this was a good place to start.

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Heavy Day:

A1: Inverted Rows

4x10

A2: Front Squats

1x5 @55

1x3 @75

1x2 @90

3x5 @100

1x4 @100

I'm not really sure how to do inverted rows for them to count as heavy since they're at body weight and the difficulty changes based on angle and so forth. Played around with handholds, tried doing them with one arm, etc. Did better on the Front squats; I may have given myself longer rest periods.

B1: OHP

4x6

B2: Barbell Hip Thrusts

4x10

Forgot that I decided to aim for 10-20 reps here instead of for ten so I didn't actually try for more. Next time.

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WQ changing it up on me! I'll have to remember to look over here for your updates. :)

Obviously not too heavy; I wasn't sure if the rows were just making my shoulders too tired to lock out properly, but as the last set was the best one, this is probably just a technique problem and I need to do more overhead squatting. I'm going to switch out one of my heavy front squat days for a heavy overhead squat so I can do the later two times a week. This will mean my light squats will use a heavier weight than my heavy squats the day before and that's always entertaining.

I wouldn't worry about subbing out a front squat or back squat day for overhead squats. Overhead squats are just not a very intense leg exercise. Core destroyer, yes, but not so much for your legs. Even a "heavy" OHS will be light compared to your front/back squats - you could actually do them on the same day if you wanted.

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WQ changing it up on me! I'll have to remember to look over here for your updates. :)

I wouldn't worry about subbing out a front squat or back squat day for overhead squats. Overhead squats are just not a very intense leg exercise. Core destroyer, yes, but not so much for your legs. Even a "heavy" OHS will be light compared to your front/back squats - you could actually do them on the same day if you wanted.

I'm more subbing it out because I don't have time to do both; I might be able to do overhead squats and front squats on my light day because I was able to get through my workout in ~30 minutes, but the heavy days take an hour and I don't usually have more than that. But I'll probably try doing extra warm-up sets with "heavy" overhead squats on the weekend -- I tried putting snatches at the end of my workout on Saturday and that was full of fail, but I bet the overhead squats won't affect my rows and press as much as the rows and press affected holding a bar over my head.

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i'm glad i found this thread. :)

"Come with me if you want to lift" -The Brominator

"Later, I would learn that coincidences are the most planned things in the world. Later, I would learn that every single moment is a coincidence." - Douglas Coupland

"Anyone who doesn't want french fries every day is a commie." - AngelaTheGeek

Current Challenge

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Active rest day.

~1mi run: 8:45.16

I measured using GMaps and it is in fact about half a mile to the end of the street, so there and back is a mile. The second half mile was a little faster than the first -- I think the first half was 4:30.68, which would make the second half 4:14.48. Though I didn't write the first time down before clearing the stop-watch and only know for sure that the seconds were in the thirties. But I think I'm remembering the time correctly.

I've been tired and didn't feel up to doing sprints afterwards. More sprints on Friday. Cold today -- not so much by my New England winter standards, but it was in the mid-thirties and the air was a bit harsh on my lungs. I probably could have kept a faster pace if I was better warmed up -- might want to do a very little bit of a slow jog before starting to run, and if the air was easier to breath that would help too. I have no control over the later, but the former I could do something about.

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Heavy day

Overhead Squats

1x5 @25

1x3 @40

1x2 @50

1xF @55

I was going to do these in rotation with the DB rows but failed on the workset here after doing my first set of the rows-- couldn't keep the barbell locked out overhead. Need more work at lower weights.

A1: DB rows

4x10 @57.5

A2: Front Squats

1x5 @55

1x3 @75

1x2 @90

4x3 @100

So I switched to doing front squats, which required extra warming up. I don't know if the OHSquats fried my core or if it was in combination with the DB rows or what, but I didn't do as well with these as I did on Monday when they were paired with the inverted rows which took less out of me. I'll see how it goes on Saturday with the same weights and decide if/how I want to adjust from there.

B1: Bench Press

1x5 @55

1x3 @75

1x2 @90

1x3 @100

2x2 @100

1x3 @100

And this is what I get for using a weight where I normally wait three to five minutes in between sets instead of one. Strength-endurance for the win eventually?

DB swings

2x6 @37.5

1x10 @37.5 <-I stopped paying attention and failed to stop at 6 reps

1x6 @37.5

Er, I guess I should be using a heavier weight for these. I had to guess; I haven't done them for a while. The first rep on the first set was messy, and the last few reps in the set of ten started hitting my wrist because I wasn't able to stabilize the weight for long enough. Not sure if I want to increase the weight slightly and keep the reps low or go for six to ten reps instead of three to six.

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I thought you were going to say you started a new battle log because your old was too full of win and it couldn't handle any more.

I haz a sad for your paddle. Glad you'll have many back ups!

"I'm just going to remember to not eat like an asshole most of the time" - MoC

three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: one must squat.- Brobert Frost
 Half-Elf Warrior | Current Challenge
 New Battle Log | Old Battle Log
Special thanks to AkLulu for drawing my awesome avatar!

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Light day

A1: Rows

1x5 @55

4x10 @65

A2: Front Squats

1x5 @55

4x10 @65

I took the time to warm up this time. According to my chart, ten reps is a little low for a light day if I'm using 65 for front squats. I could have done a few more (except on the last set where I kept banging the rack for some reason and I had to do a lot of extra moving) reps but since I only did five reps last week, I thought I'd stop at ten. But I also think I can move up on rows and 70# for ten reps is about right for a light day. Says the chart. The chart also says a heavy day of front squats is five reps at 105# (well, 103.5) and I'm still having trouble with 100#, so the chart might be over-estimating what I can do. Maybe I'm secretly a man and can't do as many reps as women?

B1: Deadlifts (low)

4x10 @105

B2: Alternating DB OHP

4x6 @27.5

Six reps of DB OHP was a little bit hard. Good; five had been easy.

Hang Snatch Practice

Didn't really count reps, just practiced snatches with the bar (15#) and with 30# (~50% of my 1RM max) sometimes going into a full squat, sometimes not. Some reps were a little shaky balance-wise.

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Active rest day

Sprints (4x~0.2mi/~300m)

1:14.76 run: 1:14.76

4:20.62 walk: 3:05.86

5:35.51 run: 1:14.89

8:49.44 walk: 3:13.93

10:06.11 run: 1:16.67

13:30.25 walk: 3:24.14

14:46.86 run: 1:16.61

I had to leave early today and only did four sprints instead of the six that I did last time. My fastest time did not improve, though my average sprint time was a bit better. I did feel like I was slowing down on the last two and probably would have continued to do so had I done two more sprints, so I'm not sure that counts as improvement.

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I laugh that your active rest day involves sprints. You go!

Where's your next vacation?

Anything that takes me less than 20 minutes counts as a rest day. :)

Boston, mostly. My a-cappella group is getting together (we're all over the country) to rehearse in the same location with as many of us as can make it before our big concert in May because it's our only chance to do so before said big concert.

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Boston- The nerd meetup capital of America! You should coordinate a meetup. You know, assuming you have time. :) I'd love an excuse to travel to Boston. But the meetups so far have conflicted with other stuff (commitments or financially).

Where's the big concert going to be? How exciting!

Shape-Shifting Ginger
Current Battle Log

2" washers for smaller weight increases

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Heavy day

A1: DB Row

1x5 @52.5

4x6 @62.5

Moved the weight up, so opted for a warmup set. I wasn't sure if I should be aiming for the 3-6 rep range or the 6-10 rep range since I'm already doing these heavier than my estimated 1RM (I tested a bit and took the weight I got up after failing at it once rather than trying to go heavier) but since I was able to get 6 reps I'll try adding reps from here.

A2: Front Squat

1x5 @55

1x3 @75

1x2 @95

4x3 @105

Decided to take my last heavy day as an off day and move up in weight since I was able to get three sets of five at 100 on the heavy day before that.

B1: Alternating DB Bench Press

4x10 @27.5

B2: Rack Deadlifts

1x5 @115

1x5 @155

1x1 @175

1x1 @195 <-mixed grip

1x6 @200 <-mixed grip

3x6 @210 <-mixed grip

I decided I wanted to do more heavy deadlifts after all and several people have been doing deadlifts from the rack. My lowest rack setting puts the bar a little above my knee, which is probably higher than I want it, and the safeties that the bar is on are short enough that I'm not sure I'm able to keep good form, especially when I'm trying to put the bar back on the rack instead of dropping it on the floor.

The B circuit used all of my plates. I made the bench press alternating so I would only have to use one dumbbell, and could not do the rack pulls heavier without taking the plates off the dumbbell and switching them back and forth, which I did not want to do. So if I keep this, my upper body push exercise will be pushups and possibly also dips which won't require any plates at all and then I can use all of my plates for the rack pulls and go up to 235.

I'm also not sure how useful the rack pulls are -- my weak point is still getting the deadlifts off the ground, but it will get me grip practice, so it should help long term as I switch from mixed grip to overhand at the heavier weights.

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Medium Day

A1: DB Rows

4x10 @47.5

A2: Overhead Squat

1x10 @15

1x5 @25

1x5 @35

1x9 @40

1x8 @40

1x7 @40

1x8 @40

Better than last time, even with the slightly heavier rows. I keep worrying about hurting myself or something in the room by losing control over the bar when I go to failure, but so far I've been able to bring it down in front of me where it is a little awkward at the bottom of the squat but otherwise okay to deal with at the weights that I'm using. I've also stopped sets in the middle because I felt I would have to drop the bar.

B: Clean and (Push) Press

1x3 @65

8x3,2 @80

Combining my hip hinge exercise and my upper body push. My max clean is a little higher than my max push press -- the last time I tested them the clean was 95 and the push press was 90. So two reps of 80# works for the push press for a medium day -- I probably should be doing five reps of that weight on cleans, but lower reps and more sets are traditional, so aiming for three on cleans and two on push press seems to work. I don't have any room to add weight to this though; if my max has increased since the last time I tested them I doubt it's by five pounds, so I either have to continue working at this weight or pick new exercises. Pity -- I like being able to make my two B exercises into one set and it's hard to find a hip-hinge exercise that uses the same weight as the upper body push.

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I thought about posting in the challenge section to point people here but then I'd be making a challenge post about not doing a challenge post and that seemed silly. :D

I lift at home where I have a 6' bar which weighs about 15lbs. When I do lift at the gym adjusting to the 7' bar is no problem for most things but I've not managed to feel comfortable overhead squatting the 45lb bar with no warmup, so having a 15lb bar is pretty useful for that.

On the sad side, it takes 1" plates and the biggest ones that I have are 25s, so all of my deadlifts start just above my ankles unless I rig up boxes which I have yet to make not slightly awkward. On the less sad side, deadlifts from a deficit are totally a thing which should be useful, and if I was extremely tall a bar with 45s wouldn't hit me much higher. But it did mean that if I deadlift at home I struggle with 175 from the ground and the last time I tested my max at the gym I did 185 double overhand no problem and maxed out at 200 instead.

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Heavy day

A1: DB Row

1x3 @52.5

1x8 @62.5

1x7 @62.5

1x6 @62.5

1x7 @62.5

A2: Front Squat

1x5 @55

1x3 @75

1x2 @95

3x3 @105

1x2 @105

Hip felt a little weird today-- not hurting when I lifted, but weird. Between that and 95 feeling heavier than usual, not surprised at the lack of progress, though I don't know why things were off.

B1: Bench Press

1x5 @55

1x3 @75

1x2 @90

1x5 @100

3x3 @100

Here on the other hand, progress. I've done 3x5 @100 before, but I wasn't able to get five reps at all after the rows last week.

B2: 1 arm DB Swing

1x5 @32.5

4x6 @40

I both could and could not do more than six reps at this weight -- six was about where my wrist strength gave out which makes the dumbbell tilt into my wrist. I'll probably add weight to build up more strength rather than going for endurance. Mostly because 40 is unbalanced; I may start going for higher reps at 42.5.

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