Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm weak, but at least I'm firing on all cylinders.

Today was a pretty good leg workout. I actually think I could have pushed it a bit more, but I was starting to jelly-leg it a bit towards the end. It was a good feeling though. I missed it.

RDL: 275 x 5, 285 x 5, 295 x 5, 305 x 5, 5
Natural Glute/Ham Raise: BW x 9 + 3, 3, 3, 3, 3
Standing One Leg Curl: 50 x 8 + 3, 3, 3, 3, 3
One Leg Press: 140 x 12 + 4, 4, 4, 4, 4
Cybex Machine Squat: 180 x 10 + 4, 4, 3, 3, 4
Seated Calf Raise: 90 x 15 + 7, 6, 5, 5, 5
Front Calf Raise: 90 x 11 + 5, 5, 4, 4, 4
One Leg Cybex Calf Raise: 90 x 11 + 5, 5, 5, 5, 4
Kneeling Rope Crunches: 110 x 14 + 6, 5, 5, 5, 6

My main goal this week was to see if I get through this week doing all the stuff I would normally do. I think I passed that test, so I'm going to step things up next week. Still no new Prowler, so I'm probably going to start some light sprinting on Sunday and then next week start adding longer yoga sessions and mini workouts (usually Tabatas) after work.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The return of Myo-Reps.

Now that I'm feeling better, I wanted to jump back into the style of training that I enjoy. I do something called Myo-Reps. It's a little difficult to explain, but it's really similar to DoggCrapp training, but some argue that Myo-Reps does a better job of managing fatigue. I've never done DoggCrapp, so I can't comment on that. It's essentially an extended rest-pause set style of training.

You pick a weight you can do for 8-12 reps. It's really your preference. I go for much higher rep ranges on certain movements, lower on others. You do your first set, but stop when the reps start to slow down a bit. You don't hit failure. You then rest for five breaths, and then do another set. You'll usually get between 3-5 reps on this second set. You rest again for another five breaths, do another set. About now you'll notice that rep speed is starting to slow. They call this Fatigue Stop 1. At Fatigue Stop 1, you then rest 10 breaths, do another set, then repeat the ten breath then a set thing two more times.

So you do one 'primer' set, followed by 5 shorter rest pause sets. If you do a weight that gets you 10-12 reps on the primer set, you'll end up doing about 24-25 total reps for the entire sequence. It you pick a weight you can do 20 times, you can get as high 45-50 reps for the whole sequence. A set typically takes about 3 minutes to complete.

Due to the fatiguing nature of this type of training, they don't recommend doing things like squats and deadlifts in this style, so I usually do those with straight sets to start my workout and then the rest of the movements I do in a My0-Rep style.

You are supposed to do all the reps as fast as possible, and stop the set when the rep speed starts to get slow and grindy. That's when you rest.

If you want to read more about Myo-Reps, you can check it out here:;f=2;t=15579;&#top

So here's what I did today:

Neutral Grip Pulldown: 180 x 10 + 3, 3, 3, 3, 4
Chest Supported Row: 135 x 10 + 4, 3, 4, 3, 4
Floor Press: 185 x 7 + 3, 2, 3, 2, 3
Hulk Claps: 95 x 13 + 5, 4, 4, 4, 4
Upright DB Row: 50 x 10 + 4, 4, 4, 4, 4
Cybex Rear Delt Raise: 90 x 13 + 4, 4, 6, 5, 5
EX Bar Tri Extension: 65 x 12 + 5, 4, 4, 4, 4
Hammer DB Curls: 45 x 12 + 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

To understand the notation above, using the first exercise as an example, I did 180 pounds for 10 reps (the primer set), then 3 reps for each rest pause set. I almost always take Fatigue Stop 1 after the second rest pause set. You'll usually be able to figure out where I took the extra rest, because there will be a jump back up in reps after a dip in them as I got tired.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

First leg day.

Today was a day I was kind of nervous about. Not because I don't like training legs, but because of my surgery, I thought lower body work, especially squats, might be problematic. Fortunately, everything went off without the slightest issue. I should be able to push it harder next time.

Front Squats (off bench): 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 5, 195 x 5
Leg Extension: 120 x 15, 130 x 12, 140 x 12
Hip Thrust: 135 x 8, 155 x 6, 7
Seated Leg Curl: 195 x 12, 210 x 12, 225 x 12
Cybex Calf Raise: 170 x 10, 190 x 10, 210 x 10
Standing Calf Raise: 400 x 7, 360 x 8, 8
Garhammer Raise: BW x 6, 6, 6

For more information about what a hip thrust is, check out this video:

I know it looks odd, but it really is one of the best glute exercises I've ever done. It's had a lot of carry over to my squats and deadlifts. Plus, with stronger glutes, my back doesn't bother me nearly as much as it used to. You'll get stared at and people will ask you what the hell you are doing, but I've already been able to get two others at the gym to do them.

If you don't know what a Garhammer Raise is:

Monday, April 26, 2010

A new Prowler is ordered!

I didn't post anything over the weekend, as I didn't train. I was little too sore and since lower body was up, it pretty much prevented me from doing any of the stuff I wanted. By Sunday afternoon, much of the soreness had gone away, so I should be able to get back into lower body training this week without issue.

Had a pretty interesting Saturday though. I was itching to get a new Prowler as a gift to myself. Not that there was anything wrong with my existing Prowler, but I really wanted to get a deluxe one. However, it really only made sense to buy a new Prowler if I could get a buyer for my existing one and get a semi-decent price for it. Fortunately, a buddy of mine works out at a Crossfit gym that recently had their Prolwer stolen. He told them that I might be looking to get rid of mine and they told him to get me down there now as they were VERY interested. I talked to the guy for less than five minutes and he bought it on the spot. Gave me cash and everything. Really worked out great for all parties. So here's what I'll be playing with soon:

I also got this:

Hopefully, it won't take too long to get here, but I likely won't be able to do the Prowler for a week or two anyway. Still need to test out the legs a bit more in the gym and make sure everything it working properly. I can't wait for these to arrive. It's going to be so much fun!

Did another light upper body workout today. If I progress well enough after Thursday's upper body workout, I'll probably jump back into my regular style of training. At least for the upper body.

Chins: 10 x 8, 25 x 6, 6
Seated Row: 120 x 10, 150 x 10, 180 x 8
Dumbbell Bench Press: 60 x 10, 70 x 10, 80 x 10
Dumbbell Flyes: 50 x 10, 60 x 10, 10
Free Motion Shoulder Press: 80 x 15, 90 x 13, 12
Dumbbell Laterals: 30 x 15, 32.5 x 15, 35 x 15
Reverse Tricep Extension: 70 x 10, 10, 10
Machine Preacher Curl: 70 x 10, 80 x 8, 8

I still feel pretty weak, but it was a little easier than last week. I guess that's all I can ask for now.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

First official day back.

First off, the doctor wasn't kidding when he said I'd be sore after all the anesthetic wore off. It didn't really bother me at all last night. However, this morning I woke up with the intention of doing some yoga, but as soon as I rolled out of bed, I knew it wasn't going to happen. It was just too damn sore. As the day went on it started to feel more 'stingy'. Yeah, that's the best word I can use to describe it.

Since today is normally a scheduled upper body day, I didn't figure my soreness would affect me all that much (which it didn't) and went to the gym at my normal time. It was great to walk back in, but it was funny to see all the looks of 'where the hell have you been' on people's faces. Then, I eventually have to explain to them why I had to take two months off the gym. That's always an interesting conversation. It's still great to catch up with a lot of my gym buddies that I haven't seen in weeks.

Here's my weak sauce for today:

Pulldowns: 100 x 10, 150 x 10, 180 x 8
Body Masters Row: 120 x 10, 150 x 10, 180 x 8
Floor Press: 135 x 10, 155 x 10, 165 x8
Hulk Claps: 95 x 10, 100 x 8, 6 - Hulk Claps are my funny way of saying I was using the Pec Dec machine. I just do them with my arms fully extended and I try to clap my hands on each rep. Hulk Smash!!
Upright DB Row: 40 x 10, 45 x 10, 10
Cybex Rear Delt: 80 x 10, 10, 90 x 10
Lying EZ-Bar Tri Extension: 65 x 8, 8, 8
Hammer DB Curls: 45 x 10, 8, 40 x 8

A few observations:

- I forgot how fidgety I am in the gym. I noticed after a few sets, all my old mannerisms came right back. The arm shake, the leg wiggle, the air drumming, the inappropriate, maybe I shouldn't have admitted that last one.
- It was weird after a set or two how quickly all the old gym feelings came back and how much like home it felt. I really missed that place.

Due to my current soreness, I'm not sure how tomorrow is going to go as it's a lower body day. I might not be able to pull that off quite yet. I guess I'll know in the morning.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stand up and shooooouuuuut!!!!!

I was debating calling this post 'Freeeeeeeeedddddoooooooooommm!', but I didn't think a Braveheart reference really applies to my situation.

I just returned from what is hopefully my last procedure related to my surgery. I finally had the seton removed. The doctor said the seton did a good job cutting through the area and showed me that it traveled through about two inches of muscle. No wonder why it hurt so damn much.

I'll be a little sore later once the local anesthetics wear off, but I already feel a ton better. Besides the pain, the seton causes a lot of irritation and it feels great to get it out of me. Just sitting down as I write this feels AMAZING!

I made sure to ask if there was any medical reason whatsoever why I can't workout and he said there wasn't any. I specifically asked, "Squats? Yoga?" He said it's all good at this point.

I'm not completely out of the woods yet. It's still going to drain a bit as it heals up and there's a tract that we are still concerned about finally collapsing, but I think in a few weeks, it will all be fine. I have a follow up in three weeks, so we'll know more then. Worst case is that I might need another procedure to manually clean it up, but that should be an in-and-out, recovery in a few days type of thing. I can deal with that.

Sang this (poorly) on the way back to work from the doctor:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Leg day?

I posted this on Facebook earlier, but it's funny how a few push-ups and chins can make you so sore. My entire back is sore despite just doing chins. Normally, I just get a little lat and rear delt soreness. Damn layoffs!

While watching TV last night, I also did a little bit of grip work using my Ivanko Super Gripper, so my hands and forearms are a little sore as well.

Another interesting thing is how deceiving bloat is. This morning I weighed 193.8, almost a full 5 pounds down from Monday. Funny how just a little bit of sweating can make that much of a difference.

On to today's training.

I did about 10 minutes lower body foam rolling and then did the following.

Goblet Squats - 35lb x 10, 10, 10, 55lb x 10, 10

(the comma's between the numbers are meant to denote another set, so I did 5 sets total)

Walking Lunges wearing a 20lb X-Vest - 40 reps for each leg. My quads started to cramp up towards the end.

Zercher walks with Slosh Pipe - 50 yards

Standing Calf Raises - BW x 25 reps x 4 sets

I'm going to do some light yoga in a little bit. Nothing too crazy. Probably about 20 minutes or so.

On another note, tomorrow should be my final procedure related to my surgery. The seton is finally supposed to come out. Then, I can really concentrate on healing and getting back into shape. I'm not quite sure how invasive tomorrow will be, but I'll find out soon enough. If things feel good by the weekend, I think I might have to test out the legs against some light Prowler work. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

First day of training.

Like I said earlier, didn't get too crazy today. I just wanted to get the muscles moving again.

I did about 10 min of stretching and foam rolling for the upper body and then did the following:

50 chins
50 parallel bar push-ups

I did these alternating-style, as many sets as it took me to get to 50 reps for each.

Then, 35 lb kettlebell shoulder press. 2 sets of 10 for each arm.

Neck harness - 20 lbs for 2 sets of 15.

The chins were pretty rough for the first two sets, but actually seemed to get easier as the workout went on.

A few hours later I did 20 min of some light yoga. Damn my hamstrings and calves are TIGHT!

Calories are around 2200 for the day. A little lower than expected, but it's only day one and I have a lot of fat to lose.

Back in the saddle.

I think most everyone that knows me would say that I'm a very active and healthy person. I have a good diet for the most part and I'm pretty much a gym rat. I lift 4-5 days a week, play basketball, run sprints, golf, hike, bike, do yoga and some strongman/crosstraining related activities.

Despite all of this, I've been pretty much a walking M.A.S.H. unit for the past 3 or 4 years. Some of this has been preventable, but some of it, like my most recent experience, have been completely out of my control.

I recently had surgery to fix something. I'm not going to go into what at this point, as it's not the most flattering thing to have to talk about. Unfortunately, the surgery ended up being a lot more complicated than originally believed and took me nearly two months to recover from. I'm technically still going to be healing up from it over the next few weeks, but the major part of my recovery is done and I've gotten the doctor's okay to resume exercise.

Unfortunately, due to the pain of the surgery and recovery, I've been pretty much completely inactive for the past two months. I've put on weight in a bad way and my muscles have atrophied significantly. The silver lining is that all the rest has allowed the rest of my body to really heal up. Everything else (my back, shoulders, knees, etc.) feels great. The surgery itself didn't affect any skeletal muscle at all, so as far as that goes, I'm pretty much 100%.

Anyway, I'm going to start using the blog to track my progress.

Today, I'm just going to do some push ups, chins and some foam rolling and stretching on my lunch break. After work, I'll likely go for a walk. Nothing too exciting. I'm working back into it slowly as to not aggravate anything or make myself too sore.

My short term goals over the next month are to lose about 10 pounds and lose around 2 inches off the waist. This morning I weighed 198.6 and my loose waist measurement was 36.5", which was a WTF moment. The weight wasn't a surprise at all, but it seems to have all gone to my waist, which I just hate.

I'll likely eat around 2500 calories a day for now. My macro breakdown is typically around 40% protein, 30% carbs and 30% fat, but I tend to use a carb rotation in my diet where I eat more carbs on my workout days and less on my non-workout days. I'm not a no-carb guy, but I tend to stay around 100 grams or less on my non-workout days. Right now, I'm just going to work on cleaning the diet back up, which that alone should cause to me lose a few pounds over the next week or two.

Who is AngryVader?

Okay, I guess I should first qualify that I'm not that angry. Just easily frustrated. FrustratedVader doesn't quite roll off the tongue though. Well..and Vader? Yeah, I'm a Star Wars geek. I'm very much a geek in general, but the geek teeth were cut on Star Wars when I was four and I've been brainwashed ever since.

So who am I? I'm just a regular guy for the most part. I go to work, hang out with friends, watch lots of movies, and work out a bunch. As this blog evolves, we'll all learn more about me.

I also used to be a real smart ass guy that talked a lot about movies and Star Wars on the T-Nation forums. :)