AUG. 16 – ME BP

Rotator Cuff Exercises – 3×15
405×1 <-- add 3 boards & Ulitmate Denim 455x3 495x3 <-- 2 boards PR 495x0 <-- dumped bar trying to touch 495x1 <-- touched 495x0 <-- dumped bar trying to touch 465x3 <-- touched the last 2 reps 495x0 <-- dumped bar trying to touch 455x3 <-- close to touching last rep This was a break through workout for me. I found a new shirt and one that works really well for me. Ray let me try out an Ultimate Denim that was too small for him. Between the shirt and Blaine Stussy’s coaching, I had an awesome night. Big thanks to Blaine, Ray, Gary, Stew, and Lance. This was the most time I spent in a bench shirt since the Metal Militia Seminar I attending in Arizona a couple years ago. The shirt really helped my lockout and gives awesome all around support. I didn’t get psyched up for any of my lifts because I wanted to really focus on technique and touching in this shirt. The weights were a lot lighter than they ever were in my old shirt. I really thought it was me and had nothing to do with my old shirt. I was proved wrong during this workout. I will more than likely open with a PR at the APF Texas Cup in November. Blaine is in Dallas for business the next four months. It’s cool having him train with us and he really knows his stuff when it comes to bench shirts.

AUG. 13 – DE BP

Rotator Cuff Exercises – 3×20 per exercise
Super Set
Clay Lats – 108x3x10
Pulldowsn – 108x3x10
DE Floor Press w/ doubled monster minis off 3 board
MM 2 Board Press – 275x3x5
DB Presses – 55x3x10
Rope Pressdowns
Seated Calf Raises – 135x3x20
Super Set
Hammer Curls – 20x3x10
Kickbacks – 15x3x10

AUG. 12 – Extra Workout/GPP

1 plate x 100 feet forward
1 plate x 100 feet backward
Plyo Jumps
3 jumps over 3 benches x5
Seated Plyo Jump off of 12 inch box
x 2 for height
x 2 for distance
3 plates x 3 backwards
Prowler Push
4 plates x 100 feet
2 plates x 100 feet x 3
Seated Rope Sled Pulls
100 x 60 feet
150 x 60 feet
150 x 60 feet
Super Set
2 Inch Handle DB holds to failure 110×3
Rickshaw shrugs 4 plates x3x5
Rickshaw bent over rows 4 plates x3x5
Grappler Rear Delts – 3×10
Pullups – 3×8

AUG. 09 – ME BP

MM Rev. Band BP w/doubled blue bands (8 pins down)
3 plates x10
4 plates x10
5 plates x5
Super Set
DB Cleans – 30x3x10
Hammer Curls – 30x3x10
Super Set
Clay Lats – 160x3x10
Seated Calf Raises – 135x3x20
Super Set
Verticle Leg Raises – 3×20
Gripper Machine – 45x3x10 per hand
I tried Metal Militia reverse band presses tonight for the first time. Actually the Metal Militia calls the exercise hanging band presses. I saw the exercise on one of Sebastian Burns’ “Underground Strength Magazine”. I really liked the exercise. The bands completely let off towards the top of the movement. The way I had the bands setup, they let off giving me about a 4-5 inch unassisted ROM (range of motion). I was having a problem with my shirted bench press where I would not be able to lockout the last few inches of the lift. These work that problem and in a full ROM. I think this could help break the habit of two stage benching. I got a late start tonight and should have done more volume and should have worked up to a 1 or 3 RM. The next time I do these, I will make smaller jumps to get more volume and I will probably do these as a supplemental exercise instead of a ME exercise. I did really feel these in my triceps. I think these are a good substitute for rack lockouts and they don’t put a lot of stress on the elbows.

Lessons learned

Lessons learned from my last two meets and past training cycles
These are some things I plan on changing or implementing. Some of the items are based more on my training from January 2005 until now and are not based only on the training for my last two meets.
1. I need to bring my grip in closer when I squat.
This will help me use my Ace Squatter and resolve the problems I had with the thicker straps.
2. Quit dropping weight for competitions
I have let my training weight get heavier. My training weight last year was 248lbs and this year I have averaged around 255lbs. The first part of this year I was up to 259lbs. I will get my weight closer to competition weight and keep it there. I won’t have to drop weight and I think this will work better for me. With my health issues this is really my best choice. I think this will also help my deadlift by making it easier to get down to the bar with gear on.
3. Clean up my diet
I need to clean up my diet. Being diabetic I need to go back on a low carb diet. This will also help me get my weight closer to competition weight. Another benefit to this is since I am a drug free lifter a low carb diet will help with natural testosterone and GH production. I also need to focus more on my health.
4. Cardio and conditioning
I let my cardio slip over the last two training cycles. This is also a big contributor to my weight gain. I need to improve my GPP. I need do this in my quest to focus on my health.
5. Mobility and flexibility
I really need to improve here and I have been really neglecting this area. I have the “Magnificent Mobility” DVD by Eric Cressy and Mike Roberts. My training partner Sean recommended the DVD. It has really improved his mobility. This area is has to be my biggest weakness. I takes around 315lbs for me to get to parallel on a raw squat.
6. Switch to a different bench shirt
I have used a Metal Viking Pro for 18 months and I have come to the conclusion the shirt is not working for me. I had some elbow issues the last half of 2005. I thought that was my only problem with bench. My raw strength and lockout keeps improving, but my shirted bench has made very little progress. My bench progress slowed down to next to no improvement. When I was in an Inzer Double Denim, my bench was progressing. I was using a size 58 Metal Viking Pro and recently tried a size 54. There was a little improvement, but not much. I am going to try the RageX, the Phenom, and an Inzer Double Denim.
7. Start back doing Metal Militia board presses
I am going to start back doing Metal Militia board presses. When my bench was progressing its best was when I was in a double denim and doing Metal Militia board presses. These really help my timing and leg drive on the lockout on the bench press.
8. Work hard to improve my bench press
My bench press is really holding me back. A 600lbs bench would have moved me from 10th place to 5th. My raw strength and lockout are improving, but there are still lots of room for improvement. The things we learned from the Clay Brandenburg seminar is really helping. I need to work more on touching in a shirt and working in a jacked shirt.
9. Improve upper back strength
I really need to bring up my upper back strength. I feel like this is the missing piece of the puzzle form my deadlift. I have procrastinated the past several months and now it’s time to get serious and do it. I read a post by Benedikt Magnússon on April 3rd. He posted some training details and the thing that really caught my attention was what he referred to as one of the biggest things to impact his deadlift, which lead up to his 970lbs deadlift. He was thinking about what enabled Ronnie Coleman to deadlift around 800lbs. He came to the conclusion that his huge strong upper back was the key. Benedikt went to Denmark and trained with bodybuilders for 3 months. Johnny Jackson is another example of a bodybuilder with a phenomenal deadlift. I believe by bringing up my upper back strength, that it will really improve my deadlift.
10. Deadlift more often
I need to deadlift more often. I figure I should pull at least once every two weeks.