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Full Workout Log

Starting 4/27/08

In-Season

Weeks 6 - 10 of 10

by Gary F. Zeolla


These workout logs are continued from: Full Workout Logs: Starting 3/21/08: In-Season; Weeks 1 - 5 of 10.

Next contest:
NASA Northeastern States Championships in Washington, PA on June 7, 2008.
Weight Class:
114s.

Divisions:
Unequipped.
Powerlifting (squat, bench, deadlift = total).
Open Pure (Lifetime Anabolic Steroid Free) and Masters (40+) Pure.

Terminology in these logs:
Raw = no gear, not even a belt.
Unequipped = belt and wraps, but no suit or shirt.

Warm-ups are in brackets. All weights are in pounds. Format: pounds/reps.
Workout times includes set-up, warm-up, lifting, cardio, and clean-up.


Week Six

Raw Squats

In-season/ Week 6 of 10

Sunday – 4/27/08

Raw Squats: [55/15, 125/10, 175/6, 220/3] 240/7, 252/6, 265/6

Standing DB Calves: [25/10] 34/12, 34/12

Dip Bar Leg Raises (with ankle weights, 3# each): 16, 16

Step ups: 6:00

Workout time: 1:14

After my deload week last week, I wasn’t sure if I’d feel refreshed for this workout or if the weights would feel like a ton on my back. As it was, it was a very good workout, with no problem with the weights feeling heavy. So I think the deload week did me some good.

The final set of squats was only supposed to be five reps, but as with several times before, I cut a couple of the reps a tad too high, so I did an “extra” rep and made sure I sunk it to make up for it. And that final rep was very difficult, but that was the only really hard rep of the day.

It was the calves raises that felt really difficult. This was probably due to not doing any calves work for three weeks. So next time I do a deload week, I’ll probably add a couple of sets of bodyweight calves raises.

The ankles weights I came across recently while cleaning. I think I got them over two decades ago after my first bicycle accident, where I injured my right knee. I used them then for rehab. I thought I also had a pair of five pound ankle weights, but those I couldn’t find.

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Raw Benches

In-season/ Week 6 of 10

Monday – 4/28/08

Raw Benches: [45/15, 95/10, 115/6, 135/3] 152/7, 157/5, 162/5

DB Rows (underhand): [35s/8, 45s/4] 52s/7, 55s/6, 57s/5

Rotator Cuff (sitting, front): 11/12, 11/12

Heavy Bag: 6:00

Workout time: 1:11

My music cut out on me just as I started my second set of benches. I lost my concentration and my count. So I might have gotten my planned six reps; I’m just not sure. But otherwise, a good workout.

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Raw Deadlifts

In-season/ Week 6 of 10

Wednesday – 4/30/08

Raw Deadlifts: [45/15, 145/10, 215/6, 285/3] 312/7, 327/6, 342/5

Sitting BB Calves: [155/12] 175/12, 185/12

Sit-ups: 15/13, 17/8

Jump Rope: 5:00

Workout time: 1:15

I wasted some time taking pics and videos. The first pic is of the weights for my second DL set. It just looked so weird having three 45s and an itty bitty 1-1/4 on each side. I went up by 7.5 pounds for all three sets from my previous workout. That just seemed like the right amount, and it was. The last rep of all three sets was a difficult but not quite all-out effort. Just the intensity I wanted.

Weights Pic

The next pic and two videos is for the Sitting BB Calves. Trying to do sitting calves without any kind of machine is difficult. I am using a “Sting Ray” (normally used for front squats) to keep the bar from digging into my things too much. It is kind of tricky getting into position, so if you try these, be careful not to hurt yourself!

Sitting BB Calves Pic

Sitting BB Calves Video 1

Sitting BB Calves Video 2

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Bench Assistance

In-season/ Week 6 of 10

Thursday – 5/1/08

Incline Benches: [45/15, 75/10, 100/6, 117/3] 132/6, 137/5, 142/4

Lat. Pulldowns: [55/8, 90/4]; Pull-ups: bwt./8, 8, 8

DB Curls [22s/8] 27s/8, 29s/7, 30s/6

Rotator Cuff (lying, out): 13/12, 13/12

Workout time: 1:14

Week Seven

Squats (change in routine)

In-season/ Week 7 of 10

Sunday – 5/4/08

Squats:

Gear: Crain: power belt, squat shoes; APT: heavy knee sleeves.

[55/15, 125/10, 175/6, add belt and knee sleeves: 215/3, 255/1] 285/4, 315/2, Raw: 245/8

Standing BB Calves: 145/12, 155/12

Dip Bar Leg Raises (with 3# ankle weights): 20, 20

Step ups: 6:00

Workout time: 1:18

For the first six weeks of this routine, I’ve been alternating doing the powerlifts raw for higher reps (5-7) one week and the powerlifts unequipped for low reps (1-4) the next week, both for three sets. And that has worked well. But with just four weeks left until my contest, I feel I need to do more low rep work. So I’m going to use a routine I’ve done before with good success.

I will do two sets unequipped for low reps, then reduce the weight and do a raw set for higher reps. So basically, I’m combing what I had been doing into one workout. My reps plan for the three sets will be will be 3-4, 1-2, 6-8. This way, I’ll do unequipped, lower rep sets each week, but still get in some raw, higher rep work, which I feel is still needed.

That said, this workout went very well. The only problem is it took a little longer than I would like. But I don’t think there’s much I can do about that, except I’ll probably eliminate the calves work the last week or two.

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Benches

In-season/ Week 7 of 10

Monday – 5/5/08

Benches:

Gear: APT: bench belt, 24” Black Mamba wrist wraps.

[45/15, 95/10, 115/6, 135/3, add belt & wraps: 155/1] 170/4, 182/2, Raw: 150/8

BB Rows (medium grip): [55/8, 80/4] 95/7, 100/6, 105/5

Heavy Bag: 6:00

Workout time: 1:12

______________________________

Deadlifts

In-season/ Week 7 of 10

Wednesday – 5/7/08

Deadlifts:

Gear: Crain: power belt; APT: knee sleeves; Nike wrestling shoes.

[55/15, 145/10, 205/6, add belt and knee sleeves: 265/3, 325/1] 360/4, 390/2, Raw: 310/8

Sitting DB Calves: [55/10] 70/12, 80/12

Twisting Sit-up (reps to each side): 12, 9

Jump Rope: 5:00

Workout time: 1:13

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Bench Assistance

In-season/ Week 7 of 10

Thursday – 5/8/08

DB Decline Bench: [20s/15, 35s/10, 45s/6, 55s/3] 62s/6, 65s/5, 67s/5

Lat. Pulldowns: [55/8, 90/4]; Chin-ups: 7.5/7, 12.5/6, 15/5

Reverse Curls: [DBs: 10s/8, BB: 45/4] 55/8, 57/7, 60/6

Rotator Cuff (lying, up): 12/12, 12/12

Workout time: 1:12

 

Week Eight

Mother’s Day Squats

In-season/ Week 8 of 10

Sunday – 5/11/08

Squats:

Gear: Crain: power belt, squat shoes; APT: heavy knee sleeves.

[55/15, 145/8, 185/6, add belt and knee sleeves: 225/3, 265/1] 295/4, 325/1, Raw: 255/8

Leg Raises: 25, 20

Step ups: 6:00

Workout time: 1:06

Right after a workout, I always write down my planned weights for the next time I do that workout. And I have a standing “rule” to never increase these weights, but only decrease them if necessary. Same goes for a contest. But I broke that rule on my second work set of squats.

It was supposed to be 320/2. But when I was getting ready to load the bar, it seemed silly to load on all the “change,” so I put three 45s one each side for 325 instead. But then thinking about the “extra” five pounds, I psyched myself out, lost my concentration and got buried on the second rep. But the rest of the workout went well. And even with having to reset the weights for my final squat set, I got done in a good time.

Part of the reason for the last point is I moved the standing calves to my DL day, since that workout was shorter last week. I’ll do those instead of the sitting calves, which take longer to set up. So that should shorten both of these workouts. I think standing calves are more productive than sitting ones, so I’ll only do them for the duration of this routine.

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Benches

In-season/ Week 8 of 10

Monday – 5/12/08

Benches:

Gear: APT: bench belt, 24” Black Mamba wrist wraps.

[45/15, 95/10, 115/6, 135/3, add belt & wraps: 155/1] 172/4, 185/1, Raw: 155/7

BB Rows (medium grip): [55/8, 85/4] 97/7, 102/6, 107/5

Rotator Cuff (lying, side): 11/12, 11/12

Heavy Bag: 6:00

Workout time: 1:14

Buried again! On the second rep of my second work set of benches, I got the bar about 2/3s of the way up, but just couldn’t lock it out. Just goes to show that even with lifting unequipped I still need to do top end work. The struggle on that rep is probably why I only got 7 rather than my planned 8 reps on the following raw set.

While, doing the rotator cuff work, my shoulders felt really sore, and not a good soreness, more of an overtrained soreness. I think doing rotator cuff work after heavy benches, along with doing rotator cuff work on my bench assistance day, is just too much. So to be sure I don’t get overtrained, I’m going to skip the rotator cuff work for the rest of this routine. And next time, I’ll only do it on bench assistance day. Skipping it on this day will shorten this workout as well, as it is a little too long as is.

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Deadlifts (video)

In-season/ Week 8 of 10

Wednesday – 5/14/08

Deadlifts:

Gear: Crain: power belt; APT: knee sleeves; Nike wrestling shoes.

[55/15, 145/10, 210/6, add belt and knee sleeves: 270/3, 330/1] 365/4, 395/2, Raw: 305/8

Standing BB Calves: [145/10] 165/12, 165/12

Twisting Sit-up (reps to each side): 12, 10

Jump Rope: 5:00

Workout time: 1:19

A very good but strange workout. I say strange as on my first work set of DLs, the first rep felt harder than the subsequent ones. I figured I was doing something with my form, so I decided to take a video for my second set. But I wasn’t prepared to do so. I had to get the camera, but then the batteries were dead, so I had to get out my other set of rechargeables and put the dead ones in the charger, reset the date, and that got me behind.

And after all of that, I ended up not needing the video to see what I was doing. All I had to do was look at my feet. On my first rep, I had the bar about an inch in front of my shins. But when I set it down, I did so with the bar right against my shins. I then pulled the second rep from that position.

For my final raw set, I started with the bar at my shins on the first rep, and I could tell the difference. However, I misloaded the bar on that set. It was supposed to be 315, but I didn’t notice the mistake until afterwards. I thought it seemed a little too easy. So I’ll see what happens next week.

In any case, I think that after doing conv. DLs for the last couple of years, I forgot that with sumos, you need to keep the bar closer at the start. Below is the video I took. I needed a video of sumo DLs anyway since all of the DL video I had on my site were with a conv. stance.

Sumo DLs Video

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Bench Assistance/ Stupidity strikes again!

In-season/ Week 8 of 10

Thursday – 5/15/08

Presses: [DBs: 10s/15; BB: 45/10, 60/6, 75/3] 85/6,90/5, 95/4

Lat. Pulldowns: [55/8, 90/4]; Pull-ups: 5/8, 7.5/6, 10/4

DB Curls [25s/8] 29s/8, 30s/7, 31s/6

Rotator Cuff (lying, out): skipped

Workout time: 1:05

During my bench workout on Monday and for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been very sore in the area at the front of my armpit. So during that workout, I figured that with doing benches on my bench day and then inclines or declines on my bench assistance day, I was overtraining that area. So for this workout, rather than inclines, I figured I do overhead presses.

However, that was before my shoulders really flared up when I did my rotator cuff exercise at the end of that workout. I was thinking that just skipping that exercise with this workout would be enough. But when I was warming up, my shoulders really felt sore. But stupidly, I continued the workout.

Meanwhile, at the end of my deadlift workout on Wednesday, on my last rep of twisting sit-ups, my upper back cramped up, in the small of the back. This has been a recurring problem. But usually, I just go to a chiropractor, he cracks my back, and I am fine. So I made an appointment with the chiropractor for this morning (Friday).

Now if I had been smart, I would have at least delayed this workout until after the appointment and lifted this afternoon. But I stupidly went ahead with this workout. And when I did the pull-ups, my back really cramped up. That is why I didn’t get my planned 8,7,6 reps.

This morning, my shoulders and upper back felt terrible. The chiropractor appointment helped some with the cramped back, but not much. So here I am three weeks before my contest June 7 with my shoulders overtrained and my upper back bothering me.

All of this could have been avoided if I had just been smart and delayed yesterday’s workout to at least today, if not until Sunday. Meanwhile, I just sent in the registration for the contest and ordered my NASA card yesterday, before this all happened. So I am committed to entering it.

As such, I will try to take it easy over the weekend. I will then push back my planned Sunday squat workout to Monday. That will push my next bench workout to Wednesday. Hopefully, my shoulders will be recovered by then. And if my back doesn’t loosen up over the weekend, I will have to try the chiropractor again next week.

I will still get in the two final planned weeks for my routine. So I will hope and pray things still work out despite my stupidity.

Week Nine

Squats

In-season/ Week 9 of 10

Monday – 5/19/08

Squats:

Gear: Crain: power belt, squat shoes; APT: heavy knee sleeves.

[55/15, 145/8, 195/6, add belt and knee sleeves: 235/3, 275/1] 305/3, 330/1, Raw: 265/6

Leg Raises: 25, 25

Step ups: 6:00

Workout time: 1:14

To update from my “Stupidity” post last week, I did as I planned, took it easy over the weekend and moved this workout from Sunday to Monday. This workout went okay, but not great. I felt sluggish. I got my planned reps for the two heavy sets, but they were harder than I had hoped. But then I kind of “died” on the final raw set, getting only six rather than eight reps. The workout also took longer than expected.

I’m not sure if this was because I am still a little overtrained, or if it was because the “extra” day off made it too long since I last squatted. I guess I’ll find out Wednesday when I bench and more so next Monday when I put in my last heavy squat workout.

On the reps, throughout this routine, my heavy sets were for 4, 2 reps, or at least, that is what I was attempting. But for my final two weeks, I will be shooting for 3, 1 reps. I didn’t feel comfortable going for a max single prior to this since I hadn’t gone heavy unequipped for over two years. But now, with a contest coming up fast, I need to top out with a max single. And it is possible that hitting a max single for the first time left me wiped out, hence the problem on the raw set.

Meanwhile, my upper back is still somewhat cramped up, so I have another chiropractor appointment for this afternoon. Hopefully, that will take care of it.

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Benches

In-season/ Week 9 of 10

Wednesday – 5/21/08

Benches:

Gear: APT: bench belt, 24” Black Mamba wrist wraps.

[45/15, 95/10, 120/6, 140/3, add belt & wraps: 160/1] 177/3, 190/1, Raw: 155/7

BB Rows (medium grip): [55/8, 85/4] 100/7, 105/5, 110/4

Heavy Bag: 6:00

Workout time: 1:00

______________________________

Deadlifts

In-season/ Week 9 of 10

Thursday – 5/22/08

Deadlifts:

Gear: Crain: power belt; APT: knee sleeves; Nike wrestling shoes.

[55/15, 145/10, 210/6, add belt and knee sleeves: 275/3, 335/1] 375/3, 405/1, Raw: 325/6

Standing BB Calves: 1[45/10] 170/12, 170/12

Twisting Sit-ups (reps to each side): 12, 6

Jump Rope: 5:00

Workout time: 1:12

The best workout of the week. And that’s really saying something given I barely slept a wink the night before due to yet another health problem flaring up. In fact, that is why my training has not gone well the last couple of weeks. And as I laid there awake around 3:00 am, I was thinking that maybe I would just forget this workout and my upcoming contest. But I was able to take a nap in the afternoon, and thus felt good enough to work out. And I am glad I did.

After my back cramping up on my last rep of twisting sit-ups last week, and it taking two chiropractor adjustments to get it fixed up, I didn’t want to push it on them this week, hence why I only did six reps on my second set. And I think I will just skip them next week, which will be my last heavy workout before my contest.

______________________________

Final Bench Assistance/ Pics and videos

In-season/ Week 9 of 10

Sunday – 5/25/08

DB Decline Bench: [20s/15, 35s/10, 47s/6, 57s/3] 65s/6, 67s/5, 70s/4

Lat. Pulldowns: [55/8, 90/4]; Chin-ups: 7.5/7, 10/7, 15/5

Reverse Curls: [DBs: 10s/8, BB: 45/4] 57/8, 60/7, 62/5

Workout time: 1:10

This was my final bench assistance workout before my contest June 7. And it was a very good workout. After a couple of day’s rest and finally a couple of good night’s sleep, I think I am over my feeling of being overtrained.

I was very excited to get up to using 70 pound dumbbells for the decline benches, so much so I took a pic and video. Actually, I wanted to show the set-up for these using Power Hooks for posting on my site. These make it very easy to get into position.

Pic of Declines Set-up

Video of Declines

If you need a pair of Power Hooks, they are available at Amazon.

Since I had the camera out, I figured I might as well take a couple of videos of chin-ups. I wasn’t going to bother since I assume most people know how to do chin-ups. But I mainly wanted to show the use of a dip belt to add weight.

Chin-ups Video 1

Chin-ups Video 2

I know I’m swinging my legs too much forward, but I just cannot seem to keep straight. You’ll note also that I am off center in my power rack. This is because if I used the middle I’d hit my head on a rafter! I didn’t think of this when I set things up. And now that I have the power rack bolted to the platform, I’m not about to move it. But it does mean I am gripping the chin bar on the smooth part rather than where there is knurling. But that just gives my forearms more work!

In any case, if you need a dip belt, I got mine at Crain.ws.

And speaking of APT, I just got a new gym bag from them. It is really nice, with heavy material, pockets on all four sides, and more than large enough to hold all of my stuff for my next contest.

Pic of gym bag

For this gym bag, see APT.

Week Ten

Final heavy squats pre-contest/ Video

In-season/ 10 of 10

Monday – 5/26/08

Squats:

Gear: Crain: power belt, squat shoes; APT: heavy knee sleeves.

[55/15, 145/8, 195/6, add belt and knee sleeves: 240/3, 280/1] 310/3, 335/1, Raw: 270/6

Leg Raises: 25, 20

Step ups: 6:00

Workout time: 1:14

For my final squat workout before my last contest last September, I squatted 415 wearing a belt, briefs, canvas suit, and 2.5 meter wraps. At that time, I was estimating that all of that gear added about 80 pounds. If that estimate was correct, allotting for the gear difference, my squat is actually back to where it was at that time and just in time for my upcoming contest.

I am very happy with that, given the problems I've had on squats and given the difficulty of transitioning from using multi-ply gear to lifting with just a belt and knee sleeves.

The video below is of the 335. I wore my singlet just to get the feel of it before my contest. I’ll probably do the same for benches and deadlifts this week.

Unequipped Squats Video

 

NOTE: For why I missed my planned final heavy bench and deadlift workouts, see I feel like James, from Survivor.

 

Final/ Light Workouts

Light Squats and Deadlifts (warm-ups and openers)

Sunday – 6/1/08

Squats:

Gear: Crain: power belt, squat shoes; APT: heavy knee sleeves.

[55/15, 145/8, 197/6, add belt and knee sleeves: 242/3] 282/1

Deadlifts:

Gear: Crain: power belt; APT: knee sleeves; Nike wrestling shoes.

[145/8, 210/6, add belt and knee sleeves: 277/3] 342/1

Workout time: ~1:10

After missing my final heavy deadlift and squat workouts, I really struggled over what to do on this day. My original plan was to use my “speed/ deload” squat workout I did a month ago. But with missing my final deadlift workout last week, I really felt I needed to do some pulling. I also wanted to see if I could hold onto the bar without using my infected finger.

So I decided to do both light squats and light deadlifts. By “light” I mean my planned warm-ups and openers for the contest. But it should be noted, my attempts plan for this contest is for my openers to be about what the weights were for my final warm-up set for my last workouts. My second attempts will then be about what I did for a triple, then my third attempts, about the weight for a single.

With this plan, I am jumping more between attempts than I have in the past. But it should ensure I get my openers and most likely my second attempts. I will then hopefully be less fatigued for my final attempts. My planned third attempts are of course tentative, and will be dropped if warranted. But under no circumstances will I increase them. However, since all of my attempts will be for NASA American records, I will have the option of taking a fourth attempt on any lift. I doubt that I will, but it’s nice to know I have the option.

Note also that the contest will be in kilos, both the weights in the warm-up room and on the platform, hence, the somewhat strange weights here. I was using my 1/1/4 pound plates to approximate the kilo equivalents.

All that said, this workout went as planned. I kept my bad finger extended out, not using it at all, and it did not bother me at all on squats. On DLs, the only problem I had was “catching” the finger on my thighs on the way down. That hurt some. But at least I had no problems holding onto the bar, even on my final set of 342. I am hoping to do at least 50 pounds more than that at the contest, but I am confident now that I should be able to still hold onto it.

This was the first time I did squats and deadlifts in the same workout in a long time. And I must admit, I was rather tired afterwards, even with only go rather light on both. And it took a little longer than I thought it would, even with lifting unequipped. Not something I’d want to do on a regular basis, but it was good preparation for my contest.

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Light Benches (warm-ups and opener)/ Final workout pre-contest

Monday – 6/2/08

Benches:

Gear: APT: bench belt, 24” Black Mamba wrist wraps.

[45/15, 95/8, 122/6, add belt & wraps: 142/3] 160/1

Workout time: 0:26

A very short and easy workout. The 160 should be a very easy opener, but with the problems I’ve been having, I think that will be best. And with this workout, I am done with my training before my contest.

For how I did at my contest, see NASA NE States Powerlifting Championships: 2008 - Contest Report.



Full Workout Logs: Starting 4/27/08: In-Season; Weeks 6 -10 of 10. Copyright 2008 by Gary F. Zeolla.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
Powerlifting and Strength Training: Full Workout Logs

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