A Top 40 Weightlifting Blog

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Speed Squat / Deadlift

I know, according to the schedule I was supposed to do speed bench work today. A friend of mine is having problems with his bench and asked if I was working it tomorrow. I said that I could if he needed my help. So for speed squat / deadlifts tomorrow it is. I can see why these work outs are done in this order. Doing two days of the same movements, even with a day off in beween is tuff. Here is how it went.

Bike - 10min warm up
Speed Squats - 10 sets 2 reps 245lbs
Speed Deadlifts - 6 sets 1 reps 335lbs
Standing Good Mornings - 5 sets 8 reps 135lbs
Laying Leg Raises - 4 sets 12 reps
Crunches - 4 sets 12 reps
Trunk Twists 3 sets 20 twists 30lb bar

All in all a good work out. Yesterday I went to the beach and once again had a great time. This time I was sure to apply sun screen. Actually twice. I didn't burn too bad this time but I am still a bit tender. What stupid people will do for a tan? Here is a picture of me hitting a large but not defined front double bicept. I definately look like a powerlifter. A bodybuilder I am not.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Max Effort Squats / Deadlifts

"Ya Betty"! Today’s work out wasn't that long, only 16 total sets. I tell ya it sure ripped me a new one. I'm finding this routine is really working my core as I've said already. I am constantly stiff from my lower lats and under my ribs down to my knees. I spent a good 15 minutes stretching before doing today’s work out. After that I felt better and proceeded.

Bike - 10min warm up.
Good Mornings - 3 sets 5 reps 185-195lbs (still getting used to this movement)
Sumo Deadlifts - 4 sets 10 reps 225lbs (should have been 5 sets, next time)
Sit ups - 4 sets 10 reps
Dumbbell Side Bends - 3 sets 12 reps / side 40-50lbs

After the good mornings the sumo deadlifts for 10 reps felt crazy. It felt good but very intense. Tomorrow I'll be taking a rest before charging through another rotation of this new routine. I'm going to spend the day at the beach. This time I will make sure to wear suntan lotion, SPF 1 million.
I forgot to mention. The other day was my Grandfather's Birthday. I haven't mentioned this but my Grandfather has been inspiration to take part in strength sports. Ever since I was a little boy I can recall stories of my Grandfather's strength. He was never a weightlifter, he just worked hard. One story my Father and Grandfather were cleaning up the garage. There were numerous pieces of scrap steel that they put into an old oil drum so they could take them for recycling. When the drum was full they wanted to pick it up and put it onto the back of a pick-up to transport it to the recyclers. My Father tried to move the barrel and couldn't so he went to the neighbour's to get a drum dolly and the two of them would try and lift it together. When my Father returned the barrel was sitting on the back to the truck. When my Father inquired as to how he did it. My Grandfather responded,” I put my arms around it and picked it up". Try filling an oil drum full of scrap steel and try picking it up.
From time to time I'll tell you about the feats of strength my "Grandpa" has performed. I hope you enjoy them. HAVE A HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA!


PS: I'm almost done honey. I'm commin home.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Max Effort Bench

Yesterday was max effort bench day. Once again I was surprised at how much fun it was. I had lots of energy through out the entire workout so I was able to give everything on every set. I can tell that things are working because my whole core area is very stiff and sore today. I'm sure this is because it's my weak point. Here is how my workout went;

Inclined Bench Press - Worked up to 265lbs for 3 reps.
Flat Bench Dumbbell Press - 3 sets 6 reps 85-100lbs
OverHead Dumbbell Extension - 4 sets 10 reps 65-85lbs
Seated Cable Rows - 3 sets 8 reps 160-210lbs
Side Laterals - 3 sets 12 reps 20-25lbs

I was surprised at how much I could incline press. I must be increasing my bench press strength. I'm sure it will be a pleasant surprise when I try for a new 1RM.

So there it is. I now have my new training routine. I will do this Westside Barbell workout to maintain my overall strength. Working mostly on my core and support strength. Then before contests or when I want to try for a new 1RM, I expect 4 times a year, I will do a periodization routine to work down to my 1RM. I feel confident in this new training regiment. I'm sure it will work for me. I haven't shared with you my long-term goals with regards to powerlifting.

My life goals are this;

Squat - 600lbs or more
Bench Press - 400lbs or more
Deadlift - 600lbs or more

All of these lifts will be done raw and with only basic supplementation. Protein powder, Multi vitamin / Multi mineral. I don't believe in wearing suits that assist in ones lifts and I don't believe in extensive supplementation chemical or herbal. It just isn't a true test of ones strength. I'm sure lots of people will disagree with me but it's my blog and I'll rant if I want to.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Speed Squats / Deadlifts

Today was speed day for Squats and Deadlifts. I was actually surprised at how much of a fun this training is. Doing 225lbs for 2 reps, which I could easily do for 8-10, seemed fun. I did all my exercises with explosive speed and took only about 45 sec between each set. Needless to say I was in and out of the gym in record time. Eventhough I still did 28 sets total. Here is how it went.

Bike - 10min
Speed Squats - 10 sets 2 reps 225lbs
Speed Deadlifts - 6 sets 1 rep 315lbs
Standing Good Mornings - 4 sets 8 reps 80-115lbs (supposed to do seated but no bench)
Lying Leg Raises - 4 sets 15 reps
Dumbbell Side Raises - 4 sets 10 reps 40-55lbs

It seemed good. the next workout is going to be Max Effort Bench. Stay tuned and I'll let you know what happens


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Forest For The Trees

More of my plan is coming together. I have finally come up with a plan of attack. Here is what I have in mind;

Day 1 Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Day
- Good Mornings (Max Effort, work up to 1 - 3 reps)
- Sumo Deadlifts 5 sets 8 - 10 reps
- Abs Sit ups 4 sets 10 - 12 reps
- Obliques Dumbbell Side Bends 3 sets 10 - 12 reps

Day 2 Speed Bench
- Speed Bench 60 -70% of 1RM 8 sets 3 reps
- Inclined Dumbbell Press 3 sets 5 reps
- Triceps Cable Extensions 3 sets 6 - 10 reps
- Lat Pull Downs 4 sets 6 - 8 reps
- Light Side Laterals 2 - 3 sets to finish

Day 3 Speed Squats / Deadlifts
- Speed Squats 50 - 60% 1RM 10 sets 2 reps
- Speed Deadlifts 60 - 70% 1RM 6 sets 1 rep
- Seated Good Mornings 5 sets 6 - 8 reps
- Abs Lying Leg Raises 4 sets 10 - 12 reps
- Obliques Dumbbell Side Bends 3 sets 10 - 12 reps

Day 4 Max Effort Bench
- Inclined Bench Press Narrow Grip (Max Effort, work up to 1 -3 reps)
- Flat Dumbbell Press 3 sets 5 reps
- Over Head Dumbbell Extension 3 sets 6 - 10 reps
- Dumbbell Row 4 sets 6 - 8 reps
- Light Side Laterals 2 - 3 sets to finish

I've noticed lots of discrepancies when it comes to Westside Barbell training routines. At home I am very limited to time in the gym. This one seemed best to suit my training style.

Today's workout was very good. I did bench and incorporated a lot of the principals used in the above workout. Here is how it went.

Bike - 10min
Flat Bench - 8 sets 3 reps 185lbs
Inclined Dumbbell Press - 3 sets 6 reps 85 - 120lbs
Cable Extensions - 3 sets 10 reps stack 195lbs
Lat Pull Downs - 3 sets 8 reps 160 - 190lbs
Light Side Laterals - 2 sets 12 reps 20-25lbs

The flat bench was done concentrating on technique and on the explosive upwards motion. I'll give this program a try for a while and see how I manage at the next meet.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Its Raining

Yes its raining. I've been here since the end of January and this has been the first real rain. It didn't, however, stop me from going to the gym. Its deadlift day and I've been eager to put my new training ideas to work with deadlifts. Here is what happened.

Bike - 10 min warm up
Deadlifts - 5 sets 2 reps 315lbs (I also did 455lbs 2 sets 1 rep and 495 for one single)
Narrow Grip Pull Downs - 3 sets 8 reps 160lbs (I do these to "unload" my back)
Good Mornings - 3 sets 8 reps 60-80lbs
Dumbbell Rows - 3 sets 6 reps 85-130lbs

I'm starting to do good mornings, finally. I think this is the link that I've been missing in my training. Westside Barbell has this to say about good mornings. "The reason being for all of the good mornings is because they build up the posterior chain (calves, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, upper back, abs, obliques) like no other exercise." I totally agree. I only did 80lbs on my last set but I could feel that this was a weak point in my total body strength. I most certainly need to add these regularly to my training.
I was supposed to do 8 sets of deadlifts at 315lbs but I was feeling saucy. When I get that desire to pull the big stuff I never say no. I guess its my instinctive training style. Today was a good day to "Dead".


PS: If you can't lift with the ones you love, lift the ones you're with.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Bench, Again?

Today I started my new style of training. I focused more on the speed on the concentric portion of the movement than the weight I was lifting. I was supposed to do 12 sets but the gym was busy and I could tell that I was indeed hogging the bench. All of my exercises performed today were controlled during the eccentric phase with the concentric phase being like and explosion. Bench press was done competition style with a pause at the chest and a pause at the top on the movement where I would say "rack" in my head before replacing the bar. Here is how it went.

Bike - 10 min
Bench Press - 8 sets 2 reps 225lbs
Flat Bench Flys - 3 sets 6 reps 80lbs
Machine Seated Dips - 3 sets 8-12 reps 10-14 plates
Cable Extensions - 3 sets 12 reps 195lbs (stack)
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extensions - 2 sets 8 reps 30lbs (good stretch)
Ellipse Trainer - 15 min

The workout went pretty well. I got a good pump. My good friend Brock supplied my blog with its very first comment. (last entry). The next part to my plan is to incorporate new movements like power cleans, good mornings, and more overhead movements for shoulder development. I'm going to have to do some more research regarding these movements and correct technique. When I get back in the country I'm going to get together with Brock and he can give me the low down on some extra exercises.

Until tomorrow or the next day.


Friday, February 17, 2006

Back At Er

Well, it's been a while since my last entry. Shortly after my last entry I got severely sun burnt while attending a beach function. I had to go to the hospital for treatment. They told me I had 2nd degree burns to aprox. 5% of my body. Mostly my shoulders. Yes, I know what you're thinking. "How could some one be so stupid". I totally agree. For the rest of my life I have pledged to be more conscious of the sun and what it can do. I had to spend two days in my room and go to the hospital twice a day so they could make sure it wasn't getting infected.
Lucky for me everything has turned out OK and now I'm finally back in the gym. I have managed to go twice since the burn but it wasn't anything serious. Today was squat day. Before I record my work out I'd like to tell you about some articles I've been reading.
While being away from home this give me some time to fine tune my training. West Side Barbell has written some interesting articles on percent training. Here is the link to their article site http://www.westside-barbell.com/articles.htm
I have been chasing my tail trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong with regards to % training. Points to be made.
- A periodization training program works great for prepping for a contest but is self defeating when trying to increase strength.
- The three main lifts should only be trained every second week. The in between weeks should be used to train with other exercises to build support / core strength.
- Working sets should be only two reps. Work on speed rather than the weight being moved. IE; I can easily do 12 sets of 2 reps with 225 lbs on bench. What I need to focus on is how fast I press the bar up. EXPLODE with the weight.
- Work in the 65-82.5 % range. Only go above this weight during max effort days.

I'm still trying to make clarity of the whole thing but it seems to be coming together slowly.
Here is today's work out

Squats - 8 sets 2 reps 225 lbs (working on explosive speed)
Leg Extensions - 2 sets 10 reps what ever felt good for weight
Seated Leg Curls - 2 sets 10 reps same as above
various Ab Exercises - My poor tummy.

Notice I haven't incorporated all the training Ideas yet. Give me some time and I'm sure it will all come together.

Tomorrow will be bench. I'll try the 12 sets of 2 reps working on speed. There's nothing like hogging the bench for 12 sets.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Yesterday I started my cardio work outs. The way I've always planned my work out is, do working sets and everything after that is bonus. For example. If I were doing squats I would do 6-8 working sets of full squats then move on to legs curls, legs extensions, or what ever. Instead of doing the bonus work I've decided to do cardio. Here is how things went.

Bike - 10 min warm up
Stretch - Full body stretching
Squats - 6 sets, 6 reps, 225lbs. (1 set, warm up 135lbs)

Eliptical Trainer - 20 min

I know 20 min isn't very long but it felt like forever after those squats. Tomorrow I'm going to the beach. I would like to work out before I go.
Stay tuned and I'll post a bench day next (I think)


PS Hi Honey, I Love You.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Yesterday I only had 12 hours between two 12 hour shifts so needless to say I was tired. I didn't sleep when I got home from work, had lunch then dragged my sleepy carcus to the gym. The day before I did heavy deadlifts so I wasn't very motivated to do very much. Here's how it went.

Bike 10 min, Stretch (full body), Bike 10 mins.

Bench Press - 6 sets, lots of reps, 135-275lbs. (2x3 275lbs)
Flat Bench Flys - 3 sets, 6 reps, 70-90lbs
Tricep Cable Ext. - 3 sets, 12 reps, stack 195lbs

Treadmill Walk - 10 mins

Being away from home I'm having trouble deciding what I want to accomplish. Today was mostly a cardio day with the weights talking a backseat to my heart rate. I think I'll continue with this trend for a while and maybe drop a couple of unwanted pounds. I'll gradually increase my cardio times until I'm doing a full cardio work out with weights to maintain my muscle mass and keep my metabolism high. Tomorrow I'll look at doing some abs to tighten up my flabby midsection. It would be nice to have a six pack again instead of a keg.


PS: I like your letter dear. I'm eagerly waiting for part two.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Deadlifts (Again?)

Another deadlift day has come and gone and I'm feeling spent, even today. Heres the way it went.

Deadlift - 8 sets, 2 reps, 405lbs. (Ouch)
Narrow Grip Pull Downs - 3 sets, 8 reps, 130-180lbs
Dumbbell Rows - 3 sets, 8 reps, 90lbs

I kept the work out short because of the deadlifts. I wanted to do them for 3 reps but I found them too heavy for multiple sets. I've done 3 reps with 405lbs before but it was only for one set.
I like to do narrow grip pull downs after deadlifts. I find that they "unload my back". I like using this term because it best describes what I'm trying to accomplish by doing this movement. By reaching up and stretching I find it decompresses my spine and may prevent future problems related to lifting a heavy bar.
By the time I started dumbbell rows my hands were SCREAMING at me. I can go heavier in this movement by I decided to go for feel. All the reps were slow with a good stretch at the bottom.
Durring deadlifts at set #6 I felt like saying "thats enough". My training partner reminded me. "If you go into uncharted territory it will force your muscles to addapt". That makes a good point. Training partners are most certainly a bonus in the modivational aspect ot training. All it sometimes takes is a little word of encouragement and that will be enough to push you through the finish line. Thanks Ryan.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bench me, Pleeease!

I forgot something while creating my last post. Happy Birthday goes out to my son. I hope that one day him and I will be crancking out sets together. I Love You Lliam.
Today was bench. Another day in bench paradise. My shoulder and elbow joints are feeling a bit sore after working out so I be taking tomorrow off so I can give deadlifts my full attention. Here is how my bench press work out went.

Flat Bench - 8 sets, 3 reps, 235lbs (reps went 3,3,4,5,6,6,6,6)
Close Grip Bench - 3 sets, 8 reps, 185-205lbs
Machine Dips - 3 sets, 10-12 reps, 10-12 plates (about 2/3 the stack)
Inclined Dumbbell Flys - 3 sets, 8 reps, 70,80,90lbs
Tricep Cable Extensions - 3 sets, 12 reps, 210lbs (the stack)
Standing Dumbbell Curls - 3 sets, 12 reps, 50,60,65lbs
Standing Concentration Curls - 2 sets, 10 reps, 45lbs (just to finish off)

Towards the end of the work out I was running on nothing. I had my walkman on and with the tunes cranked I got psycho and blasted out the finishing exercises. Currently I'm enjoying listening to "Disturbed" and "Danko Jones". Both have that certain something to get my blood boiling. My fellow gym goers all look at me durring my moments of rage because I tend to be vocal. This brings me to a good point. Work out as if you are the only one in the gym. I don't mean be rude and extreemly loud. What I mean is do your work out the way that gets you pumped up. If you finish a set and your muscles are pumped up, hit a pose. I always flex the muscles I'm working out. I gives me extra motivation to keep up the good work durring the work out and for the next work out. If you happen to let out a groan or growl don't sweat it. If people are constantly looking at you it's because they are impressed. When people watch me at the gym I treat it as a sign of admiration. They "Wish" they could lift the weights that I am lifting. This is a strong motivational tool. Use It! Say inspirational sayings in your head. I watch Ronnie Coleman training, the guy never shuts up. "YEH BETTY", "LIGHT WEIGHT"! Obviously it works.

Till next time


PS I'm waiting for that letter Dear, Oh Ya. Love Ya.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Squats From Hell

I've been recalculating my periodization programs over and over again. I have come up with yet another plan of attack in my quest to lift more weight. Yesterday was squats and it was one of my hardest squat days yet. Here is how it went.

Squats - 8 sets, 3 reps, 305lbs (all comp depth)
Leg Extensions - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 160-240lbs
Seated Leg Curls - 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 140-180lbs
Seated Calf Raises - 3 sets, 12 reps, 180lbs

Situps - 3 sets 12 reps
V-sits - 3 sets 15 reps

After squats the rest of the workout went by quick. After the second set of squats I didn't think I would be able to finish. I put on my belt for the third set and everything suddenly became lighter. Still, I'm walking funny today. Next squat day I'll be going up to 315lbs. Stay tuned to find out what happens to me.


PS: I Love You Dear.