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2nd Week of Reverse Band Squats

Reverse Band Squats
330×1 (took it down way too fast)
330×1 (a little better, but still ugly as sin)

I need to work on taking the bar down in a more controlled manner, and coming back up explosively. 3-0-1. There are a lot of fine points in my squat I need to concentrate on, and if my next meet is going to be a push/pull it will give me a lot of time to work on my form rather than weight.

Good Mornings

Goblet Squats (real wide stance to work on my glutes)
4×10 45, 55, 55, 55

Step ups
3×5 65lbs

Squat Thrusters
4×10 45, 55, 55, 55

I've had a cold the past few days, but it's no excuse to not be 100% and work as hard as I can if I am physically capable of doing so.
I felt so broke off after-wards, I almost puked. Going to eat a huuuuuge meal, right after my post working ON pro complex shake (yay samples).

So why bands, or reverse bands?

The use of bands and reverse bands allows a maximal amount of force to be applied throughout the range of motion by utilizing accommodating resistance. the closer you are to lock out the more force you can apply, bands and chains apply more and more force the closer you get to lock out.

A biomechanical analysis of the squat through several experience levels of powerlifting has show that more experienced lifters have a higher rate of upward acceleration when compared to novice lifters.

Bands and chains allow for one to focus on controlling the weight during the descent and exploding during the ascent.

Just be careful not to fall into the fallacy that low-weight reps performed at a high velocity will translate into a higher 1RM. It's a lot like falling into the trap of a high muscular circumference will translate into a higher max(If this were true bodybuilders would beast us all in powerlifting). This is where some specificity comes into play

Specificity: You get what you train for. If you lift quickly you will get better at lifting quickly. If you lift heavy you will get better at lifting heavy

I'm still learning, so what I'm writing are my theories, not law. And I'm just as likely to fuck up as anyone else in my theories (if not more so)

We had 2 new kids come to the team, so we've got 4 kids on their proby period, so all the seasoned vets have to keep on eye out on them. The kids are pretty naturally athletic, but this is the first time they have done this kind of lifting, so it's still a learning experience. It's nice that our pack is growing and more and more kids are getting interested in powerlifting and getting in contact with the team.
The new kids are learning about progression, training, and are fixing their form and bar path with the guidance of our senior members. The kids have great work ethic.

Deadlift with Bands

So tonight I did deadlift with bands
Deadlifting with bands helps with explosiveness (it reminds me a lot of when I did Olympic Style lifts, if you don't get the shit up quick, it's not going up at all). It assists with lock out (which after breaking ground is one of my biggest sticking points), and is great for grip (which I also really need to work on)

135 for 5 reps with the wimpy black bands at three different stances
moderate sumo
super wide sumo

All the reps went up very quickly, felt very crisp and explosive at all stances
After the first set with each stance I increased the band tension.

135 with peach bands (about 125-150lbs tension at lock out)
3 conventional
5 sumo
5 super wide sumo

They still felt very quick and clean. So we added more band tension.
135 with peach and black bands (circa 170-180lbs band tension at lock out)
conventional fail
sumo failx2
super wide sumo x1 (yay)

I kept stalling out mid-thigh on my conventional and sumo. I could hold that shit at mid-thigh for a good 5 seconds and not move a millimeter. I need to work on that hip drive and my upper back. All I had to do was pull my shoulder back to lock that last bit out, or shoot my hips through, and it would have been a done deal. The lock out on the wide sumo took a hot second but it was good.

snatch grip rack pull
135 x5
135 x5
135 x5

Split Squat
2x10 with 60lbs

Sumo squat to low box with KB
10 with 45
10 with 45
10 with 55
10 with 55

Hammer Curls

3 sets of 10 with 20lbs

I really need to work on my hips and grip more. I will probably work in some pull throughs, heavy rack pulls, and farmer's walks.

We ran out of protein so Vince got me to chug raw egg whites as my post-lift shake ( holy crap it's like drinking a giant loogey). We'll be going to get more protein tomorrow. Practically our shopping list down here.

Bamboo Benching

Bamboo bench for the first time.

I used a much narrower grip than my competition style. I was a thumb's length in on the knurling rather than having my pinky-middle finger on the ring. I felt more stable at the narrow grip while doing bamboo bench.
It was pretty unstable, I could definitely feel it utilizing a lot of my stabilizing muscles. The follow up with the DB Bench also seriously taxed my deltoids.

Iso-lateral DB bench

I'll have to use 45's or 50's next time, 40's are getting too easy.

Skull crushers

Push downs

Pull Downs

KB Row

Pull ups (1/2's to save my shoulders)
I still felt this in my shoulders. My back strength isn't nearly what it was, weighted pullups used to be my favorite, and so good for grip.

Chest fly

Push ups
3 different widths: diamond, military, and wide. Push-ups (especially weighted) are by far my favorite Bench Assistance work.

I think I need to do more work with my latts, because I use them a lot in my lift. I'm also debating bringing my bench press grip in a little. Decisions, decisions.

It's my third work-out using HMB. I haven't been feeling too broke off after lifting, even though I am getting back into the huge volume that I used to do. Before when I did huge volume, I'd wake up in the middle of the night in pain from DOMs. I can't say it's the HMB helping tx DOMs or prevent it, or increasing my work capacity, because it could also be muscle maturity or the caffeine (400mg prior to lifting, via VaporXT by AMS)or the creatine that I am taking co-currently with the HMB, but I do know that right now I'm usually much more miserable. I haven't been experiencing the loss of ROM that I normally have when I get DOMs either. Still a little stiff and sore, but not walking around like a zombie or feeling like one.

Pressing like a gangster is where its at

Had my upper body/press day today. I only do upper body once a week right now so I have to really make it count.

Today we trained with a skeleton crew, Just Lester, Lindsey and myself. The dudes were pressin' and the chick was squattin' (Isnt it funny how the chick is the one doing the real work?) But hey, you gotta do upper body sometime.

Started off with oly bar strict press out of the rack, I usually pick 2 or 3 press movements for ME upper day and I ALWAYS switch it up. I helped Lester work on his form a bit (The powerlifters in our crew dont like to overhead press, but I have been peer pressuring them nonstop until they give in and do it just so they dont have to hear my mouth anymore. All sets were done strict with no leg drive.

My sets looked like this today:

bar 3x5
135 2x5
225 2x3
275 1x3
320 miss
320 x1 smokeshow (just got out of my groove on the first one) 5lb pr!

Next we took it over to the bench. I am just over 3 weeks out from my push-pull meet, so I wanted to hit a small bench pr.
Sets went like this:
bar 4x5
135 2x5
225 2x3
315 x3
405 x2
455 x1
505 x1 pr!

All sets were done as explosively as possible, I kept the volume down on purpose today.

Then I did a bunch of super-secret-underground-cool looking support work.

And now Im smoked so I am going to spend the rest of the night eating like 4000 calories and tons of protein so I dont feel like a bombed-out pile of crap tomorow. Vince out

But bands and chains excite me

Reverse Band Squat Day
It was an awesome lifting day today, just me, Vince and L, so I got tons of shit done and it felt amazing. L gave me a belt (yay) and it has a lever (my first real belt). It's about 8 inches too long so Vince and I are going to alter it a little.
Rev Band Squat to a Box
(I still don't have a belt, all these were raw)
330x1 (fail) I lost the shit coming off the box, but it felt pretty good. I'll get it next time.

Good Mornings

Goblet Squats

Step ups

Blob Deadlift
4x10   55, 65, 70, 80

Squat Thrusters
3x10  35, 45, 55

3x10 weighted

Bands and chains are still a hot topic in some circles. More collegiate coaches are incorporating them, more lifters regularly integrate them into cycles and even the occasional punk-ass bench warrior knows what the fuck they are for.
And because they are being used by more people, they are being used by more stupid people. Here's a rough over view of what bands and chains do for you, and how to use them optimally (or just how not to look like a total fucking idiot).

Accommodating Resistance: Increasing resistance as lifters force increases through range of motion.(meaning it gets harder the closer you are to the top of the motion e.g. locking out)

Studies have shown that using bands and chains in strength and conditioning programs even for trained athletes show improvement over conventional training.

Why it's good: It gets your body adjusted to moving and handling heavy weights. Like doing heavy rack pulls to assist with DL or heavy picks or yoke walks to assist with squats.

Why it will never replace a full ROM: You will lose your shit in the hole if this is all you do. If you don't train that range of motion you won't be good at it. (friends don't let friends squat high)

Basic use
  1. At the top you should have little or no assist from reverse bands, 
  2. With regular bands you should have little resistance in the hole (you can add more resistance as you get more comfortable with them), 
  3. Chains should still be touching the ground at the top.
  4. Please use them in a mono, set up directly under the bar. It is do-able in a rack, but it takes a little more time to learn to manage. Walking out with bands needs to be practiced, don't get screwed by a rubber band or folded like a cheap suit.
  5. Don't do it alone. (Well, you guys that want to end up in the "Natural Selection F'd-up When You Were Born" section, you go ahead, dooooo iiiiiiit.)
  6. Make sure they are even on the bar, check, check and check again. Tape them if you need to, get little plates on the inside so they don't move. Whatever it takes, just don't have the buggers getting you off kilter. 
  7. Don't get carried away.
  8. Move some damn weight.

A day on diet

So some typical eating that goes on at the house.

2 eggs
black coffee

ON 100% Whey Protein Shake

Chicken Breast

Sardines (I actually like them)

Ground Beef
Green Beans

Vince's breakfast:
Eggs, more eggs, egg whites, milk


For your viewing pleasure

Meat Salad, careful tossing.

Meat: don't be a pussy

What is protein?  Some basics (really, really simplified)

-A series of amino acids that are the building blocks for enzymes, DNA, hormones and muscle.

Sources of complete proteins: Meats, milk, eggs, fish and nuts all provide the necessary essential amino acids.
Please note: the best foundation of any diet is a solid one, meaning real solid food. Liquid diets are for beauty queens and drag queens.

So meat is an awesome source of amino acids to build muscle mass, but when meat isn't readily available, or you've eaten so much the site of edible mammals makes you queasy, there are other options.

What are the benefits of supplementing protein?

If you're lifting rather than being a lazy fattie, increasing your protein intake can
· Increase lean muscle mass
· Improve body composition (muscle to fat ratio)
· Increase strength
· Improve exercise recovery

What kind of protein should I take?
There are many different types of protein. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Protein quality is measured by:
· Amount of essential amino acids
· Ease of break down into amino acids
· How much can be used by the body

Whey Protein Isolate
· Milk protein
· Considered the highest quality
oEasily digested
o Well Utilized by the body
oGreat amino acid profile
· Fast protein
oRapidly broken down and digested
· Ideal protein to take near a work-out (pre, during, or post)
· Most popular
oEasy to find
oDozens of flavors

· Milk derived protein
· Slow protein
oTakes longer to digest
oDelayed and continuous release of amino acids
oMay help prevent muscle from being broken down between meals
· Ideal for between meals or before bed
· Doesn’t have as much of certain essential amino acids as whey protein isolate

Egg Protein
· From egg whites
· High concentration of essential amino acids
· Easily digested and used by the body
· Contains almost no fat or carbohydrates
· Excellent alternative for lactose intolerant

· Great choice for pansies

How much protein should I take?
Enough. Honestly the range can be pretty insane depending on your weight and activity level, anywhere from .7 to 2 grams/lb

When should I take protein?
· Immediately before, during or after exercise
oFast protein
· Between meals
oSlow protein
· Before bed
oSlow protein

Will taking protein alone make me bigger and stronger?
NO, don't be a dumb ass. If you want something quick and easy, make like a tree and piss off.
· Excess calories can lead to fat gain (so if you add more protein, you need to take in less rubbish)
· Exercise or resistance training program must be implemented
· There must be very high day to day physical demands

But, studies have shown that just by increasing intake of essential amino acids, protein synthesis can increase.

Deadlift training

Went in to Team Jax training spot today with the intention of pulling my planned second attempt for Orlando meet (830). Right from the start I was feeling like crap because I havent slept well at all the last three nights...

Warmed up raw, dont remember the weights. Put my new blue suit on and pulled a slow, lazy, nasty 750...wasnt heavy but it was slow and it made me mad. I switched to my black suit which is a little tighter and pulled another slow and nasty 800, same deal, wasnt difficult but it was just slow.

It was so damn slow that by the time I locked out my thumbs were killing me! (hook grip)

I rested for a few min then proceeded to miss 835 twice with an over/under grip...just not enough pop today.

I need to get this fixed asap because pulling like that isnt going to cut it on the 19th.

So now Im just going to eat and be pissed off the rest of the day about how bad my pull sucked...that will ensure that I do a better job come meet day.

A few adjustments and I will be right back on track.

Dont have any funny quips at the moment, because deadlifting like crap is no laughing matter!

I will get back to jokes and funny stuff once I smash some more pr's.

RUM4 and Orlando Barbell Classic

Well I sent an email to Eric Talmant (RUM coordinator) and asked if I could compete last minute in the deadlift only portion of RUM4 on Saturday morning. If he tells me yes then I will be shooting for a 800-810lb raw deadlift on Saturday. If not then on Friday I will be suiting up and pulling my planned second attempt of 830 for the Orlando Barbell Classic meet on February 19th.

Yea I snore...what of it.

I thrash in my sleep through dreams of delivering barehanded beatings to man and wild beast....

It will be interesting to actually keep track of my training for once...I might be as surprised as everyone else being that I have never kept a training log before

lift. eat. sleep. repeat.