I have decided to share my training logs with you so you get an idea of exactly what I do when I am not teaching or training clients. Aside from a few additions to my program, how I train is how I train others. Big compound exercises, pushing and pulling variations, single leg work, corrective work, etc. Looking over my training log for last month, my training was pretty consistent but I was also varying it a little as I was training for a Strongwoman competition. Unfortunately, due to a family emergency, I will not be competing in the Iron Sport Strongwoman Classic on October 9. I am not worried. There will be others. I am really thinking about signing up for a powerlifting meet. I LOVE my slow lifts. 🙂
I train always to get stronger and to keep my back healthy. (If you have been following me, you are familiar with my back story. I have not had to worry about this in over a year and plan on never having to worry about it ever again.) However, training for the competition gave me a different goal and drove my training to the next level. The competition included a tire toss, press medley – 45 lb dumbbell press, 105 lb axle, 110 lb bar, 105 lb log press, 2″ axle deadlift (max weight), Conan wheel for 300 pounds and 135 lb Atlas stone loads.
I began my training in August with the Strongman/Strongwoman Clinic that we held here on August 20. I bought my axle in September so I could work on the cleans and deadlifts and I fell in love. I was already working on my power cleans but with my new toy and the competition a month away, I began to work on my power cleans with a vengeance and as of last week, I cleaned (although I admit a little rough) 110lbs with the axle and 105 with the bar. For some reason, I discovered that I am able to clean more and better with the axle than with the bar as well as deadlift more with the axle. I have no idea why, as the axle is much thicker than the bar and way more awkward. But for whatever reason, working with the axle is just easier. Go figure. I also reached a PR with my deadlifting when I picked up 230lbs with the 2″axle. I worked up to jerking 100 pounds with the axle and 100 with the bar. The last time I worked with the 135lb Atlas stone, I was able to pick it up and get it over the bar 6 times. I also worked up to a push jerk with the 50 pound dumbbell. (I only needed to be able to get the 45 pound dumbbell over my head so if I could do 50, I could do 45.) My training paid off, and I was ready for the competition. But life has a way of getting in your way, and although I will not be competing, I will continue to incorporate my strongwoman work into my training programs. No reason to stop working with my axle! 🙂
For now though, I am returning to my previously scheduled program. The following training session is from Tuesday. I typically train Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Tuesday, I squat. Wednesday, I bench. Friday, I deadlift and Sunday, I press. These exercises are my four big lifts. Any additional exercises I do are assistance work and have definitely contributed to my lifts going up. I also have been incorporating power cleans into my sessions before my squats as I like the power I have going into my squats afterwards, and training power is just damn good too. However, this past Tuesday, I did not do cleans. I have been dealing with a bit of nagging shoulder issue and while it feels pretty good today, I am going to hold off on my cleans until the shoulder thing goes away…at least until it becomes less of an issue. This month is the third month of my Wendler 5/3/1 program. If you do not know who Jim Wendler is, take a look here. His program is as basic as them come. First week, 5 reps, 5 reps and 5 or more. Second week, 3 reps, 3 reps, and 3 or more. Third week, 5 reps, 3 reps, 1 or more. Each week you are increasing the weight so the reps get shorter. 5, 3, 1 is the program. Fourth week, you de-load or take a break and get ready for the next cycle.
And so begins my Training Log. Since I am not getting this out until today, I am including Tuesday and Wednesdays training day.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Tuesday was squat day so I hammered my legs. I am into my third month, second week so my goal with the last set is 3 or more. I am doing the “Big but Boring” assistance work, so I do additional squats after my work sets. I also use this day to include my single leg work such as rear foot elevated split squats and single leg deadlifts which I have been diligently trying to keep up with in my program. These exercises are beasts. And doing them after lots of squats is just wrong….but so right.
Here is what Tuesday looked like for me:
Foam roll – Lord I need it.
Lacrosse ball work in the glutes and back (good for me to work the back so I can get under that bar)
Glute bridges – Bodyweight x 20
Hip circles R/L x 8×1
Hip abduction (dirty dog) R/L x 10×1
Cat/Camel x 10
Inch worms with push up x 8
Dynamic lunge work – Lunge, circle arm, hamstring stretch, hip flexor stretch x 4
Overhead squat with band x 10×3
Leg swings x 10×1
Pigeon stretch on barre
Jump rope – 1:00
Squat – 2nd week 70%/80%/90%
170x7x1 (I really wanted to hit 8 with this but last time I did 165×8 so to be five pounds more and only 1 fewer rep is good.)
95x10x5 (I hammered them).
Bulgarian Split Squats or Rear foot elevated split squats – (I need to keep doing these. I used the same weight as last time and did the same number of reps. Next time, 10 reps and then increase the weight.)
50x8x3 (25 pounds held in each hand)
Single leg RDLs – (These are getting better. I need to keep paying attention to my hips and keep them square!)
16 kg kettlebell (35 pounds) x 10 per leg x 5
Band pull aparts – 10 x 3
Banded Scarecrow pulls – 10 x 3 (Great exercise for back and shoulders thanks to Smitty Diesel.)
Conditioning – Later that day.
I have been wanting to add more conditioning into my program (although with the heavy weight I lift I do get some good conditioning – after my squats today I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest.) But variety is good, and I envy the people who take my conditioning class because I want to do it too!
Here’s what I did later that day:
Box jumps to 18″ box – 30 seconds
Kettlebell swing with 24kg – 30 seconds
Sled pull and drag with 95 pounds – 30 seconds
Heavy rope slams – 20 slams
Rested 30 seconds in between each exercise, 1 minute in between each round. Three rounds. Threw up once. Just kidding!
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I was able to walk the next day and in fact, I felt absolutely fantastic on Wednesday! I have not felt that good in a long time. Then I benched last night and today, I am sore. 🙁 My bench is my nemesis and I really struggle with this although my form is getting better. I have not benched consistently at all but was able to bench press 105 lbs for sets of 5 last night and I have not benched in over a month. All of my other work has paid off. I worked on my back as well as this is where I lose it first in my heavy deadlifts.
Here is Wednesday’s training day:
Foam roll – ALWAYS
Lacrosse ball work for back – Much needed
Glute bridges 20×1 (I like to warm up my lower body on these days too since my hips need to be open when I am on the bench. I use a powerlifting bench so I really arch my back. Hips need to be open for this.)
Inch worms with pushups
Knee marches x 20
Speed skater lunges x 20
Dynamic lunge – hug knee, lunge, circle arm, repeat x8
Overhead squat with band
Dowel stretch for arms
Bench press (I am not on Wendler’s program for my bench…staying with a straight linear progression until I get it up to a decent weight.)
85x8x3 (Assistance and to work on form – needs it desperately!)
Inverted Rows with bar (Pronated grip – 6 more than last time!)
Band pull aparts 10×3
Scarecrow banded pulls 8×3
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Shoulders are sore today but not too bad. Did some good mobility work for the upper back and hips and felt much better. Got some much needed coaching on my Turkish Get-up from Sandy Sommer of Charm City Kettlebells and did a couple sets of cleans and jerks with the 12 kg bells and 16 kg bells – double! My double cleans actually look better than my single cleans. Go figure. Thursday is a day off from lifting but I usually use it to work on my kettlebell technique. I am not using heavy weight at all except for the swings. Technique is more important. Tomorrow is Friday so it is deadlift day. I will check in tomorrow!