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Today was week 2 of Circa max. It usually takes me a week to get used to the bands and get my timing right so this week went a lot better. At first I wasn't moving the weights very well but when I got my suit on they started to go. I worked up to 455 with a blue and a green band on each side, this moved faster than last week's 425. A faster 30lb PR has me feeling really confident going into the meet.
After I squatted I pulled in my suit and my briefs...it didn't go so well. I've made the decision that I am going to deadlift just in briefs. It isn't worth not totaling.
Sunday is max effort bench day. I felt pretty good which is unusual for a Sunday morning, it probably had something to do with the sleep that I got the night before. (take this time to note my sarcastic tone) I decided to do a max single from my chest again. Probably wasn't the best idea but I got a PR of 345. I went for 365 and dumped it into the rack on lockout. After that I put on the slingshot and did a close grip set of 5 at 315 then a double at 365. My upper body is definitely getting stronger and shoulders are coming along. After the bench we did:
triceps extensions with the fat bar off of pins. 5x5
Close grip pulldowns- 4-5 x 6
Bent single arm lateral raises- 3x8
cable crunches with the tricep rope. 3x a bunch
Monday is usually max effort lower body day, but since we did circa max on Friday I did some mobility work and stretching for my hips. Followed with:
Belt squats- 3-4x6
Banded hamstring curls 3x20
standing bent lat pulldowns 3x10
Kneeling banded cable crunches with tricep rope- 3x15
Today was dynamic effort bench day, Sunday definitely caught up to me today. I still used the monster mini's and increased in weight this week however I used the sling shot to save my shoulders and kept it to 6-8 sets of triples, alternating between pinky and index fingers on the ring.
Close grip pulldowns 4x6
Bent single arm lateral raises 3x8
Crunches on the inverse curl machine. 2x a bunch
Tonight I am going to come back in and do a lot of rehab on my shoulder. Lots of rolling out, bamboo bar, more triceps and abs.
The first few training days haven't really been much to write about so I'll start with this past week's speed bench.
8x2 with monster-mini bands.
Added some weight and did 2 singles at the end to total 10 sets. The monster mini's add about 100-120lbs of tension at the top.
Incline bench 1x5 1x3 3x1
Neutral grip pulldowns 10 sets of 6
dumbell T series 3x8
fatbar tricep pushdowns 3x8 1xfailure
wide stance cable crunches 3x15
side cable crunches 2x15 each side.
Today was the start of circa max. We used a blue and a green band on each side, which adds anywhere from 300-350lbs of tension at the top. We squatted with our suit bottoms on only, straps were down. I worked up to 425 bar weight for a single, it moved slow as hell but I got it. That is a big PR for me.
Next I did some deadlifting in my suit for the first time. I worked up to 425 for a few singles, the hardest part about it was getting down to the bar. I am definitely going to pull in my suit at the meet I just have to adjust it to where I can get in a good position.
High incline Glute ham raises, 3x6
standing band crunches on the glute ham. 2x 10
Later tonight I'll do some more glute hams and crunches, some rows, and some rolling and stretching.
Friday was our dynamic effort squat day. I squatted with straight weight and the straight bar. I worked up to 405 and did about 5 or 6 sets of doubles. I moved the bar really well, gotta lock my upper back in better. After we pulled for speed, again with straight weight, and for about 6 or 8 singles at 315. Again I was moving the bar pretty well. The rest looked like this:
Bent over barbell rows: 3x6
Inverse curl: 4-5 sets of 6-10
Half foam crunches on a bench: 3x12
Sunday was Max effort bench day. I decided to do a straight bar from my chest with index fingers on the power rings. I pressed 335 and missed 345 twice. My technique looked terrible however, gotta stay tight on the bench and spread the bar. My shoulders are starting to feel a little better they didn't just give out on me this time once the bar hit my chest. I think If I had made some better choices as far as sleep and beverage over the weekend I would have pressed a bit better. I followed this with:
KB triceps extensions off of a bench: 4x10
Fat bar Pull Downs: 4x10
Pronated Palm KB Front raises( holding the bell out straight) : 3x10
crunches on the inverse curl machine 3x???
Feet elevated push-ups 3x10
Today was Max effort day for the lower body. I did a rack pull from pin 1. I worked up to 555 for a single and missed 605 twice. I probably should have taken a smaller jump looking back at it but I really want to pull over 600!!
Inverse curl- 3x6 3x3 I worked up to some heavy triples on these, I'm experimenting to see how strong I can get my hamstrings with this beast! My goal is to be able to do an unassisted rep by the end of the year. So far my best is 115lbs for a few sets of triples. With this machine the lighter it is the harder it is! http://www.westside-barbell.com/videos.html
I super-set the inverse curls with some neutral grip shrugs on the chest supported row 3x8
I flipped the lever arm on the inverse curl machine down low, standing I put the pad on my back and did a good morning for about 4 sets of 8-10
Then I put the arm back up and did some wide stance crunches on it for 3x10
Circa Max starts next week so I will be taking straight weight for the rest of this week. I'm definitely excited for this meet.
So because its the deload before everything starts getting heavy until the meet I decided to do something different today besides the normal Dynamic Effort bench. I did an upper body drag with the sled for about 1000 yards going 100 yards for each movement doing 10 movements. Then I came in and benched with the bamboo bar. For those of you who don't know what the bamboo bar is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuU4GojGdkE its an incredibly useful training tool for p/rehab and building stability especially in the shoulders. Total I did about 100 reps. Then I did a couple sets of dead bugs for time. After that I just rolled out and got some Chipotle'!
Friday was Dynamic Effort lower body, it was the last week in our wave using the cambered bar, chains and orange bands over the plates. I went pretty heavy the week before and did some singles working up to 315 with 200lb of chain and about 100lb of band tension. So this week I took it back a bit and stayed at 275 with about 120 lb of chain and the same amount of band tension.
We also finally have our new inverse curl machine working! This machine was invented by Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell and is going to be a staple in a lot of our lifters training regimen at AP, you can check this machine out at http://www.westside-barbell.com/videos.html its gunna build some strong ass hamstrings! We stopped counting how many sets we did of these because we all wanted to see how heavy we could go with them. I worked up to a triple with 100lbs on the arm. With this machine the lighter it is the harder it is.
Seated KB shrugs 4x15
Hip thrusts on the belt squat 4x15
seated barbell sit ups 3x5
Saturday was Max Effort Bench day. We did a reverse band bench with doubled up orange bands from the top pin. The bands take off about 135 lbs of tension from the chest and a hell of a lot less at the top! I worked up to 415 straight weight and felt pretty good so I took it down to 405 and started to add chain. I worked up to 405 and about 80lb of chain. The last rep was good and its a deload week so I shut it down.
KB tricep extensions 5x6
Chest supported row 4x 8
leaning lateral raise 4x 10
bamboo bar bench I didnt keep count of the sets but I worked up to 2 25 lb and 1 35lb kettle bells on each side and did a couple sets of twelve, then a downset.
Standing Cable crunches 3x32 (12 straight, 10 on each side)
Today was max effort squat day, I'm feeling pretty smoked so I drug a heavy sled for 1,000 yards and did a couple high rep sets on the inverse curl machine and called it a day. My training will probably be very light this week and then the suit is going on again in one week. Then we start Circa max.
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Third and last week of KB and Chain for speed. Speed felt better but forearms and elbows still tight. Although this exercise is hard I like it because it forces you to stay tight and utilize the stabalizing muscles in the back while benching. Also teaches you to squeeze the lats tight on the bench because of the oscillating effects of the hanging KBs. Speed is important in this exercise, but so is control so the bar doesn't get away from you.
185 + 20lb KB + 20lb Chain 9 x 3
Decided to rep test 225 after my sets. After hearing from Louie and Westside that they are starting to do some hypertrophy work after upper body days main lift I decided that would be a good idea since my chest is the weakest point of my bench. Not my best number at 19, but then again I'm not training for endurance. I will say that when I picked up 225 and began (after almost 6 months since the last time I reped 225) it felt super light. I was happy about that.
225 x 19 reps
Did some heavy JM Presses into the rack afterwards
145lb 4 x 8-10
High rep tate press 50 lbs
3 x 12-15
heavy wide grip Lat Pulldown
4 x 12
then finished with DB front Raise 3 x 15 ea arm and DB Bent Lat Raise 3 x 15
Decided to do ME chain suspended good mornings with 1 chain attached to each side. Haven't done this movement in a while and it was good to see if my GMs have increased and the massive amounts of reverse hypers have been helping strengthen my back. placed three 1" pads underneath my feet to increase the range of motion (wanted to make sure start was at parallel). Worked up pretty heavy and felt good:
315 x 1
365 x 1
405 x 1
455 x 1 failed miserably, but decided to man up and just do it
455 x 1
Afterwards I came up with the great idea to hit my quads and hip flexors hard by doing sets of low box narrow stance squats
315 3 x 8
I am still feeling this Thursday.
Did some Chest supported rows of the belt squat machine (never done before good exercise)
3 x 12
4 x 20 Reverse Hypers (back felt very tight)
Finished with some Band Ham Curls 3 x 15 and hip flexor raises with chain 3 x 15ea
Friday is DE squat day. I'm deloading so I didn't do too much today:
3-4x2 365 in briefs
I also did speed pulls in my briefs
I moved the bar well with both squatting and pulling. I'm ready.
45 Degree back extensions 3x10
banded hamstring curls 3x12
sit ups on GHR 3x10
I also came in on saturday and drug a light sled for about 10 min then did some upper body work with it. After that I rolled out with a softball and the foam roller very thoroughly, then I stretched with a band and did some static stretching as well.