Happy Halloween! Jessica and I dressed up as athletes at work today. She was a football player, I was a soccer player. Lisa was our cheer leader. Good times! I love my job. For some reason, training in sports apparel makes everything more fun, but not as fun as being Borat, like last year...
Been following an "Easy Strength" training routine for the past 6-7 weeks or so, and have seen some pretty astounding (to me, at least) strength gains. It's been a huge learning experience in trusting in the process. I had an A and B workout, and alternated between them. Reps changed every time as follows: 3x5, 2x5, 5-3-2, 3x3, 6x1, 1x10, restart the cycle. I am on my 2nd go round. Before I started I was on a fairly light 5x5 scheme to get a base. I am thankful I did that, as it gave me the ability to play with some heavier weights on "easy strength" program.
Throughout, my neck and shoulder and upper back have continued to improve. Big thank you to Josh, my physical therapist, for helping me along and pushing me out of my comfort zone to re-introduce an old favorite back (kettlebell overhead press) in my program this week.
Today was actually my last day on Easy Strength. I could keep going with it for a while yet (because it's working, and don't fix what ain't broke, right?), but am opting to go back to an "armor building" style program and get some big volume in so I can rebuild some of the lean muscle mass I lost in my upper body because of this injury. The second reason is that I am noticing my deadlifts and front squats are limited most my weaker by comparison upper body strength. I desire to have chicken arms no more! I pray to God every day to be able to do a pushup without pain again. He's listening, but he likes to make me be patient...
After doing my warm up and some swings with a 32kg bell, I did 6x1 (6 sets of 1) for deadlifts and front squats. Each were about 80 percent of what I felt capable of.
Also did 3x5 of chin-ups, windmills, and bottoms-up overhead presses, plus some FMS Active Straight Leg Raise corrective stuff during my rest periods. All of these were done on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th set respectively. 2nd, 4th, and 6th remained rest only.
-Front squat: 175, 185, 185, 185, 185, 185 Felt the most limited by my arms and upper back here. Wrists felt fine. Lower back and legs felt strong.
-Chin-ups: 20/5, 20/5, 20/4 Felt tired on the last set, decided to cut it.
Windmill: 30/5 on all 3 sets. Easy, but just grooving it and trying to keep that left shoulder blade gliding properly. My elbow likes to bend unless I focus all my energy on it, too.
-Rocking: Seriously, I went deeper on every single front squat after I did a set of these. Best drill ever. Props to Tim Anderson and his book Becoming Bulletproof for giving me this exercise. It got me out of an impinged hip and squatting well again!
-Deadlifts: 225, 235, 235, 235, 235, 235 Honestly these felt easy. Fought the urge to go higher (just because you can doesn't mean you should! Shuttin' that ego off and putting it in the closet under the staircase, Harry Potter style). Couldn't be happier.
-Bottoms up press: 20/5 on all sets. Felt pretty easy, just limited on stability in my left side yet!
-PT Drill/Hip flexor stretch: Did both during my rest. The left hip is so much different than my right still-residual stuff from the impingement. Thankfully it's improving with diligence.
-Finisher: 4x 20m weighted sled sprints on the minute, with 80lbs added to the sled. Hit all in under 5 seconds. Pretty pleased.
Unlike the last time I finished the cycle, I felt fresh after my 6x1 day. I pushed the weight too high the first cycle and didn't know when to stop. My CNS felt totally wiped out that entire week and I lost some ground because of that. Not this time!
Excited to start 5x5 next week. Got a light 1x10 day coming up on Saturday, then Primal Move on Sunday. Can't wait to apply what I learn to my own program, then trickle it in to what we do at the gym.
Until next time.