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  1. #331
    Work in Progress CW47's Avatar
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    August 28, 2020

    Max Bench - 45 Degree Incline Press: 135 pounds x 1 rep
    This matches a personal best. My rep at 125 moved so quickly that I jumped right to 140. I was soooo close to getting that - another inch and I would've been able to lock it out. I'm pretty happy that I was able to still hit 135 after going all out on the previous lift. I probably would've made it pretty easily had I done it first. Anyway, I'm really happy with this result. Only thing I would change would be to have a more controlled descent on the 135 set. I tried to get a little bounce off my chest, but it honestly just threw me off balance, and you can see that in the video. The attempt at 140 was much better in that respect. Lesson learned.



    Pullup: Mini Band - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Much easier than last time. I'll probably eliminate the band next time and just do 3 bodyweight AMRAP's.

    Seated Military Press: 65 pounds - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Again, much easier than last time. I failed on the final rep of the final set last time. Made it easily this time, with a few reps in the tank still. I'll probably test out my micro plates for the first time ever next time around, and just do a small increase.



    Barbell Row: 115 pounds - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Seriously considered skipping these because of my concern over my lower back. Decided to give it a go with a lightish weight since I'm doing heavy deads in my next workout. Figured it would be good to give the back some kind of test before that. All went well - no discomfort at all. Good news!

    Pushup - Close Grip: Bodyweight - 3 sets x 10 reps
    I'm gradually moving my hands closer together each time I do these they were still about 8 inches apart this time, so I have plenty of room for improvement. This was one of my harder exercises for the day though.

    Tricep Overhead Extension (Plate): 30 pounds - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Felt pretty easy, honestly. I'll increase to 35 pounds next time.

    Decline Crunch: 35 pounds - 3 sets x 10 reps


    Tomorrow will be a rest day, and then I'll do my Max Lower (Conventional Deadlift) on Sunday. Looking forward to that since I can't even remember the last time I did conventional deads.
    Also tomorrow, my pair of Powerblocks is scheduled to arrive. I'm pumped to finally be able to do some dumbbell work. I have Kroc Rows scheduled in my next workout, so I'll get to try them out.
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  2. #332
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    Nice work on hitting that 135 on the incline. Awesome that you are seeing progress in the lifts. Always a motivater when you can see the progress. That was a heavy session and serious volume! Bet that pump felt sweet
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  3. #333
    Work in Progress CW47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Raigs View Post
    Nice work on hitting that 135 on the incline. Awesome that you are seeing progress in the lifts. Always a motivater when you can see the progress. That was a heavy session and serious volume! Bet that pump felt sweet
    Yeah, I was still feeling the effects of it today. Probably didn't help that I moved a crap load of lumber yesterday, lol.


    August 30, 2020
    Today was my Max Effort Lower day, doing Conventional Deadlift. Everything felt great as I went through my warmup sets - 95, 135, 185, 205, 255, 285 - all moved really quickly and smoothly. Loaded up 305. Got it about 4 inches off the floor and then my back gave out. Fuuuuuuu**

    The good news is that this felt like a Minor tweak. I was able to stand up immediately after dropping the weight, and walk with just minor discomfort. Sat down for about a minute, and then unloaded the bar. Was even able to lift the bar with a 45 on each end back up onto the safety bars without any discomfort at all. As I type this now (about 20 minutes later) I just have some slight tightness. Too bad, because I was really looking forward to seeing how far I could push it today. I'm not too down about it, just disappointed.

    Will need to give my lower back another good long break. I think I should be fine to continue lifting with some modifications to my program. Definitely planning to do my Dynamic Bench day on Tuesday.

    On another note, my Powerblocks didn't arrive yesterday. The delivery date was rescheduled (as seems to happen quite often these days...). I have a package scheduled to arrive tomorrow, and the second package on Tuesday.
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  4. #334
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    Stinks about the back. Maybe focus on some smaller movements to strengthen the lower back
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  5. #335
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    Originally Posted by Raigs View Post
    Stinks about the back. Maybe focus on some smaller movements to strengthen the lower back
    Yeah, for sure. Gonna re-assess everything I had scheduled that will stress the lower back, and figure out some alternatives. On the bright side, it'll give me an opportunity to learn some new exercises probably. I also want to add in some more stretching. My hamstrings are pretty damn flexible (when trying to touch my toes, I can basically touch my palms to the floor), but I have lost some flexibility there. I know that tight hamstrings (and other areas of the body) can definitely impact lower back, so in some cases I'll just add in stretches in place of some lifts. Basically taking this time to continue working on some weak points.

    I got half of my Powerblocks today. Unfortunately it was the expansions, so I can't actually do anything with them. The other half is set to arrive tomorrow.
    I got pulled into a special project at work, which is most likely going to mean 10-11 hour work days this week (possibly next week as well). Still going to try to fit in my workouts, but I'll have to see how it goes.
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  6. #336
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    September 2, 2020
    12 hour work day yesterday, so my workout got moved to today.

    Dynamic Bench - JM Press: 80 pounds - 9 sets x 3 reps

    Close Grip Bench Press - 2 Board: 80 pounds - 3 sets x 15 reps
    Single Arm Low Row: Average Band - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Incline Skull Crusher: 50 pounds - 3 sets x 12 reps
    Hammer Curl: 20 pounds - 3 sets x 12 reps

    The other half of my Powerblocks showed up today. Put them to use with the Hammer Curls. I can see the downside to having the handle completely enclosed, and I already was aware of it beforehand obviously. I really like them though. They go from 5 to 90 pounds. It's super easy to adjust in 10 pound increments - a little more complicated if you want to adjust by 5 or 2.5 pounds, but still relatively quick. They feel more natural than I expected. They feel really nice actually. Very happy with them, and I'll definitely be using them a lot.

    A few pictures:




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  7. #337
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    September 3, 2020

    Dynamic Lower - Box Squat w/Wide Stance (@75% of max): 135 pounds - 10 sets x 2 reps
    Dynamic Lower - Sumo Deadlift (70% of max): 145 pounds + Mini Band - 10 sets x 2 reps
    Lowered the weight to less than the prescribed percentage on these two today, not wanting to have any setbacks with my back. I could feel it a bit on both lifts - more on the deadlifts, where I'll need to be really strict with my form (that's a good thing to focus on anyway). I'm pretty confident I can make these lifts work without any issues though, so long as I keep my core tight and my back angle maybe a little more vertical. I'll increase the working weight % as I get more comfortable and confident in doing so safely. Not going to be talking about my back anymore though, because I should totally be able to work around it and give it time to heal, incorporated exercises at the appropriate time as I'm able to handle them. Definitely going to be a slow process, which is perfectly okay. I'm not looking to break any power lifting world records anytime soon anyway, lol.

    Kroc Row: 40 pounds - 3 sets x 15 reps
    Planks (combination of normal and side planks): Bodyweight - 4 sets x 1 minute
    Starting light and easy on these, and I'll slowly and steadily increase the difficulty over time.

    Pretty easy day today. I removed out Romanian Deadlifts and Good Mornings for obvious reasons... Rest Day tomorrow, and then will most likely do my Max Effort Bench day on Saturday.
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  8. #338
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    September 5, 2020

    Max Effort Bench - Close Grip Bench Press: 155 pounds x 1 rep
    Was not expecting to lift this much - I was thinking it would be somewhere around 145, so I'm super happy. I tried 160, but that wasn't even close - got a few inches off my chest and then it wasn't gonna budge. Both lifts can be seen in the video below. A couple of things stand out in the video. First is a general lack of tightness, especially in my lower body. I had very little arch, not wanting any stress on my back, and found it pretty difficult to lock in my legs as a result. I'll need to work on this. The other thing is that I'm shifting the weight towards my right side (which is the stronger side on my upper body). This weight shift is really obvious. Probably need to add in some isometric work to continue building up strength in my left side.




    Pullup: Bodyweight - 8 reps / 8 reps / 6 reps
    Squeezed out every rep I could. Only got about half way up on the rep #7 on the third set. Felt good to do pure bodyweight pullups.

    Seated Military Press: 67 pounds - 3 sets x 10 reps
    I was alternating sets between these and the close grip pushups. My triceps were on fire by the end, and I just barely managed to lockout the final rep.

    Pushup - Close Grip: Bodyweight - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Tricep Overhead Extension: 15 pound DB's - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Doing these with dumbells instead of a plate proved much more difficult than I expected. It probably didn't help that my arms were already dead by this time.

    Situp: Bodyweight - 3 sets x 25 reps

    My arms were done by the time I got through. They still feel like jello now, about 4 hours later. I'm seeing good results from all of the tricep work, so that will continue to be a heavy focus on the bench days. Tomorrow is Max Lower day, where I'm scheduled to do Front Squats. I've never come close to maxing out on front squats, so it'll be fun to see what I can do.
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  9. #339
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    September 6, 2020
    I scaled back my workout today, knowing that I need to be able to carry a couple of couches up and down stairs tomorrow. Still was light headed by the end of the workout. Leg days (and particularly days with a quad focus, for some reason) tend to do that to me a lot of the time. Quads were definitely burning by the time I was done.

    Max Effort Lower - Front Squat: 135 pounds x 1 rep
    It's interesting seeing where I end up for maxes on all of these lifts... I expected to be around 145-155 here, but that obviously didn't happen. One of the major reasons for that is that I'm not allowing much room for my form to get out of whack. In the video below you can see shots of the rep at 135, along with a failed rep at 145. The speed out of the hole with 145 looks like more than enough to complete the lift, but my weight got forward and I was going to need to use a lot of lower back to get it up. I'm finding that I rely on my lower back strength quite a lot, and so my lifts lean (both conceptually and physically) towards relying on that. This lift is a perfect example of that, where my 'natural' movement has me leaning forward to utilize my lower back strength. I'm quite sure if I was using that to power through, I could've lifted another 20 pounds. I'll be working on correcting this tendency over the coming months.
    One other thing of note... I mentioned yesterday that I was shifting the weight to my right side when benching. Here I see that I'm favoring my left side heavily on lower body lifts (which I already knew). It can be seen even in the way I'm balancing the weight, with the bar clearly being slightly off center towards my left side. It feels evenly balanced, probably because my left side is stronger, but clearly isn't. Again, isometric movements will probably be a good way for me to correct this.



    Barbell Hack Squat: 135 pounds - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Felt the burn big time in my quads, which I guess tells me I'm doing the lift pretty good since that's what it's designed to work.

    Kroc Row: 45 pounds - 3 sets x 10 reps (each arm)
    This was pretty light, so I'll need to jump up at least another 10-15 pounds next time.
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  10. #340
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    September 8, 2020
    Another 12 hour day at work. Still got in my workout. Knocked this out in 40 minutes. Worked up quite a sweat. Triceps are a burnin'.

    Dynamic Bench - JM Press: 80 pounds - 9 sets x 3 reps

    Close Grip Bench Press - 2 Board: 85 pounds - 3 sets x 15 reps
    Single Arm Low Row: Average Band - 3 sets x 15 reps
    Bench Dip: Bodyweight - 3 sets x 15 reps
    Hammer Curl: 25 pounds - 3 sets x 12 reps
    Barbell Shrug: 175 pounds - 3 sets x 15 reps
    Decline Crunch: 35 pounds - 3 sets x 15 reps
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  11. #341
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    Nice work lately. Smart work on dialing it back knowing you had a hard day coming up doing other fitness things.

    Nice work on the front squat. It’s tough to not hit a PR but there is next time and it seems like
    You were smart about about it and saving your lower back and not going for it.

    It be a longer road of recovery if you hurt yourself over missing the lift
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  12. #342
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    Originally Posted by Raigs View Post
    Nice work lately. Smart work on dialing it back knowing you had a hard day coming up doing other fitness things.

    Nice work on the front squat. It’s tough to not hit a PR but there is next time and it seems like
    You were smart about about it and saving your lower back and not going for it.

    It be a longer road of recovery if you hurt yourself over missing the lift
    For sure. It was already a PR anyway, lmao, because I've never come anywhere close to maxing out on a Front Squat. Truth is, I hate the damn things. They totally wipe me out, so I've programmed them less often than I probably should. They're a really good option for me right now, so I'll probably be doing them fairly regularly for a while. My body is feeling great at the moment, so all is good. I'm encouraged by how quickly I've recovered - wasn't sure it would be like that for the few days after tweaking it. Still going to be cautious for quite a while.
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  13. #343
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    September 9, 2020

    Dynamic Lower - Box Squat w/Wide Stance (@80% of max): 145 pounds - 10 sets x 2 reps
    This was more like 70-75% of my max. I reduced the load the last 2 weeks. Weight moved quickly today and felt really good. Took video from 2 different angles, and it's honestly probably the best my squat has ever looked. It's the lift that's been the biggest struggle for me by far, so I really encouraged to see something that doesn't look like total crap.



    Dynamic Lower - Sumo Deadlift (70% of max): 165 pounds + Mini Band - 12 sets x 2 reps
    Ramped the weight back up to where it was scheduled to be this week, since I'm feeling really good. Lift felt pretty decent. I was a little hesitant to move it as fast as I can, since that's what originally tweaked my back. But it still moved quickly - just with a bit more control (which is definitely a good thing).

    Romanian Deadlift: 135 pounds - 3 sets x 15 reps
    First time I've felt up to doing these for about a month now. Started with about half of the weight I was doing before. It felt really good. Doing them with less weight allowed me to focus on the movement more, and I was feeling it in my hamstrings more than I was with more weight. I'll be keeping the weight relatively low for the foresee

    Inclined Hex Bar Seal Row: 110 pounds x 15 reps & 90 pounds x 15/15
    These worked out really nicely. I'll have to take video sometime, because it's probably hard to imagine what it looks like...

    Side Planks: Bodyweight - 2 sets x 1 minute/side
    They kicked my arse. Had planned to do 3 sets, but wasn't happening today. Maybe next time.
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    Thumbs up

    Man that’s awesome! Your back is feeling better and you crushed that workout. That’s some heavy movements strung together.
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    Yeah, feeling great now. I've neglected to mention this, but I've also been doing some stretching daily. Nothing major - just like 10 minutes in the evenings. It's focusing entirely on lower back, hamstring, and hip mobility. It actually loosens up decently pretty quickly, and after just that few minutes I can almost touch my palms to the floor when standing with my legs straight. Going to keep this up for the foreseeable future.
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    September 12, 2020
    Yes, I'm lifting in jeans...
    Low energy today. Removed out a couple of lifts so that I'll have something in the tank for tomorrow.

    Max Effort Bench - Bench Press w/Mini Band: 145 pounds x 1 rep
    First time ever benching with bands. Took me a while to figure out a setup that worked well. The lift felt strange, and I liked it. The band tension actually seemed to helped with overall tightness in my setup. In the video I'm actually kind of all over the place (especially my legs). This is because my right glute started cramping up. It was definitely the shakiest of all my reps because of that, so I'm happy I got it up. I attempted a rep at 150, and it only got about 3 inches off my chest. Pretty happy with 145 though.



    Here's a closer look at the band setup:


    Pullup: Bodyweight - 8 reps / 8 reps / 10 reps
    Only managed 6 reps on the 3rd set in my previous attempt. Today's plan was the same as last time - two sets of 8 and an AMRAP on the third set. Beat last week's effort by 4 reps, which is obviously awesome. My energy level was pretty low throughout today's workout since I've been fighting off some kind of bug for the last couple of days, so I took longer breaks between every set. That definitely made a difference - never would've hit this many reps with a shorter rest period.

    Seated Military Press: 68.5 pounds - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Making good use of the micro plates. Again, the longer rest periods helped here. No doubt in my mind that I could've easily made 3x10 with 70 pounds or more, which is fantastic progress for me since I failed to do it with 65 pounds only 3 weeks ago.

    Tricep Overhead Extension: Mini Band - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Wrapped the band around the bottom of my rack leg, kneeled in front of it and extended overhead just like you'd do with a cable. It felt great - even better than with a cable. Not sure why, but it's just a different kind of tension. I'll being doing these again for sure, either for more reps or with a stronger band, because this was a little too easy.

    Really happy with today's results. Tomorrow is Max Lower day. I'm scheduled to do a max Sumo Deadlift. Would really love to know how much I can do Sumo style, because I've never tried anything close to a 1 rep max on it. I'll have to see how I feel as I work up. Obviously if I feel anything odd I'll be stopping immediately. Otherwise I may work up to a 3 rep max instead of 1 rep max. We shall see...
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    Nice work on the banded bench. It hits so much different. It’s great that you can change it up like that.

    I’m ready for some max dead numbers!!!
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  18. #348
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    Originally Posted by Raigs View Post
    I’m ready for some max dead numbers!!!
    Thanks man. Yeah, the banded bench feels real good. Max dead numbers incoming...

    September 13, 2020
    Max Effort Lower - Sumo Deadlift: 305 pounds x 1 rep
    This definitely was not a max lift, but I didn't feel comfortable going any higher. It's the first time I've ever lifted over 300 Sumo, and it moved pretty well. Super satisfied. I should be able to build on this over the coming months.



    Barbell Hack Squat: 140 pounds - 3 sets x 10 reps

    Band Pullthrough: Mini Band - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Never done these before, even with a cable machine. I like them. Could feel it working my lower back. This should be a good way to get some lower back work in while it heals. Definitely need to use more resistance next time.

    Barbell Split Squat: 45 pounds - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Last time I attempted these was the first time I'd done them and they felt super awkward. I only managed 2 sets of 10 and even then there were some terrible reps. Felt about 100 times more comfortable this time around. I'll start adding weight now.

    Kroc Row: 50 pounds - 3 sets x 10 reps (each arm)

    Decline Crunch: 40 pounds - 3 sets x 15 reps

    Have to say that I'm loving the program so far. I've spent the last couple of years doing lots and lots of sets of around 5 reps. Now I'm doing a lot of sets of 1-3 reps, AND a lot at 10-15 reps. This combination seems to be working really well so far. It's obviously too early to tell for sure if it will result in long term gains to my max's, and muscle growth - time will tell the story on that. But I'm having a great time and my body is reacting really well.
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  19. #349
    Puni's Alt Account 400Lb Gorilla's Avatar
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    In and subbed!

    You made that 305 look a little too easy! Also, mirin that home gym set-up. Really mirin that home gym set up

    You have dynamic and max effort days.... so I am guessing your goals are strength oriented?
    You would be surprised just how much time I have to waste.
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    Originally Posted by 400Lb Gorilla View Post
    In and subbed!

    You made that 305 look a little too easy! Also, mirin that home gym set-up. Really mirin that home gym set up

    You have dynamic and max effort days.... so I am guessing your goals are strength oriented?
    My overarching goal is always my long term health. It's the reason I started lifting in the first place, and why I've continue for a few years consistently now. Have a baby on the way in less than 2 months, and I can't be some old man not being able to run around with the little one as he grows up.

    BUT, I also really enjoy working towards a goal, and my goal right now is to see how strong I can get. I've basically just maintained a similar level of strength over recent years, never really pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I really want to see how far I can push it while still staying healthy.

    The home gym came together over the last few months. Spent a hell of a lot more money than I would've liked, but with the funny flu situation, AND knowing that I had a little one on the way, I decided it just made sense to start lifting at home. Best decision I've made. I freaking love it. I have 100% of what I need, and about 80% of what I want (that second percentage keeps shrinking, lol). Pretty happy with the rack, but I'm ultimately planning for it to be temporary. I'd really like a full rack at some point. Been looking at the REP 4000 series, and would lean heavily toward that one at the moment, but it's just daydreaming. I probably will continue with the one I have for a couple of years unless a really good deal comes along.

    I have some adjustable metal plyo boxes on order that will allow me to adjust the height for my box squats, and I'll also be able to use them for belt squats, so I'm looking forward to getting those. Still need some more weights. I really wanted some colored bumper plates, but they've been basically impossible to find. I may have to cave and get some more black ones, because I only have 315 pounds in weights (320 if I count the micro plates, lmao). Other than that I'm pretty well set for now. It all came together really quickly.

    And it's actually a huge relief not to have to wait to use equipment, and not feeling like I need to rush through things to try to get home. I can fit my workouts in whenever, or even do part of a workout, go do something else for a bit, and then come back and finish up my workout. And of course, I can workout in jeans or pajamas without being subjected to looks of disgust (except the ones I sometimes get from my partner, but those have nothing to do with my clothes).
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    September 15, 2020

    Dynamic Bench - Bench Press: Mini Band + 85 pounds - 9 sets x 3 reps
    Actually did this with 95 pounds on the first set, but it moved slower than I wanted so I lowered it to 85. Felt great, with all reps moving quickly.

    Close Grip Bench Press - 2 Board: 90 pounds - 3 sets x 15 reps
    This starts out feeling so light. I'm always surprised by how fatigued I am near the end of the last set. Not used to doing 15 rep sets I guess.

    Single Arm Low Row: Light Band - 3 sets x 15 reps
    I can't really jump up to a stronger band on this, so I'm gradually moving my starting point a little further away each time to get more tension on the band.

    Incline Skull Crusher: 55 pounds - 3 sets x 15 reps
    The burn! These 15 rep sets get me every time still.

    Hammer Curl: 27.5 pounds - 3 sets x 12 reps
    Took a modest 2.5 pound increase from last week. Will continue to do the same until I max out.

    Barbell Shrug: 180 pounds - 3 sets x 15 reps
    So I got this fancy rackable trap bar, and I've barely used the darn thing. Shrugs was one of the reasons I wanted it in the first place, so... They felt great. Definitely was nice not having the barbell in front of me - felt much more natural.

    Situp: 5 pounds - 3 sets x 25 reps


    Video shows a couple sets of the Banded Bench Press from slightly different angles, and a set of the shrugs:
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    Hey man congrats on the little one on the way. If you ever need anything on that front feel free to message me. I got two of them.

    That banded bench looked great. Nice work today.
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    Originally Posted by Raigs View Post
    Hey man congrats on the little one on the way. If you ever need anything on that front feel free to message me. I got two of them.

    That banded bench looked great. Nice work today.
    Appreciate that man. Started dating my partner when her son was 2 (he's 10 now), so I have a small amount of experience with youngsters. I don't really have much of a clue of what's coming my way for the next couple of years though, lol.

    I realize I don't have it nearly as bad as a lot of other people, but it's been pretty bad timing for this experience. Thank goodness I was finally able to start going to check up appointments as of last week. English isn't my partners first language, and communicating what's been going on in the checkups isn't exactly her strong suit, lol. Happy to be back in the loop now, able to know what's going on, and ask questions. Also missed out on parenting classes, which isn't the end of the world, but would've been interesting.

    But yeah, really appreciate the offer. I'll remember it.
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    Puni's Alt Account 400Lb Gorilla's Avatar
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    Benchpress looked solid and very fast. Mirin that trap bar. They are great for a lot of different lifts and conditioning work!

    Congrats on the upcoming blessing. You can expect less sleep, less sexy time, and less free time.... And it is all worth it for the little while it lasts. Once mini-you starts sleeping through the night and gets on a good schedule, everything returns back to a semblance of normal lol
    You would be surprised just how much time I have to waste.
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    The first two years are pretty awesome
    But rough! You’ll get through it. Just find time for yourself even if it feels like your being selfish you need it to be a better you.
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    Originally Posted by 400Lb Gorilla View Post
    Benchpress looked solid and very fast. Mirin that trap bar. They are great for a lot of different lifts and conditioning work!

    Congrats on the upcoming blessing. You can expect less sleep, less sexy time, and less free time.... And it is all worth it for the little while it lasts. Once mini-you starts sleeping through the night and gets on a good schedule, everything returns back to a semblance of normal lol
    Originally Posted by Raigs View Post
    The first two years are pretty awesome
    But rough! You’ll get through it. Just find time for yourself even if it feels like your being selfish you need it to be a better you.
    Thanks guys. I'm sure it'll be a wild ride.
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    September 16, 2020

    Dynamic Lower - Paused Squat: 135 pounds - 12 sets x 2 reps
    The percentage guidelines I was going by would've had me doing these with 145 pounds. To be honest, I probably should've done them at 130 or 125, because the reps weren't what I'd consider fast. Speed out of the hole has always been poor for me, even at really low weights. That's actually why I programmed the paused squats. I do feel my squat finally coming together. I've changed to more of a low bar position, and it's helped enormously with balance. I find myself much more stable, and therefore able to exert more power. It's still very inconsistent though. Some reps feel fantastic, and others feel all over the place. The paused squat helped with that today a little bit, as I was forced to 'settle' at the bottom. I think this lift will be really good for me. There's a video below which shows 2 of my worst sets, lol.

    Dynamic Lower - Deficit Conventional Deadlift: 165 pounds - 12 sets x 2 reps
    These are designed to be done for speed, just like the Squats, but I'm not about to do anything that has my back extending quickly right now. Weight was about 60 pounds lighter than it should typically be. The lift felt really good though. I figured out a good cue to help me get my weight back at the beginning of the lift, which is something I've always struggled with. So it was productive.

    Inclined Trap Bar Seal Row: 100 pounds - 3 sets x 15 reps
    Check the video below to see what I'm doing on this.

    The video shows a couple of sets of paused squats, and a set of the Trap Bar Seal Rows.
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    September 18, 2020

    Max Bench - Incline Press w/Bamboo Bar: 86 pounds x 2 reps
    Wow, this was an experience. I was supposed to be doing a different lift today, but I was staring at that bamboo bar and realizing that it's just been sitting in the corner since I got it. This is definitely not something I'll do as a Max Effort lift in the future. Lesson learned on that, lol. But I love the bar. I'm for sure going to be using it for repetition work moving forward though, and maybe even for some speed work. I obviously need the work on the stabilizer muscles. I did end up doing a 10 rep set at a lower weight with it, and then also tested it with a regular bench press (I was much more stable in that lift). The 2 reps set at 86 pounds is pretty damn funny though - arms shaking all over the place. You can check it out in the video at the end of the post.

    Pullup: Bodyweight - 3 sets x 9 reps
    Shoulders were cracking like crazy today. First time that's happened in a while. No discomfort though, and got through all the reps.

    Seated Military Press: 70 pounds - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Seeing really good progress on this lift. Gonna keep pushing it for a few more weeks before swapping it out for something else.

    Face Pull: Mini Band - 3 sets x 15 reps

    Pushup - Close Grip: 3 sets x 10 reps
    Thumbs about 2-3 inches apart. Struggled through some of the reps, but still seeing good progress on this exercise too.

    Tricep Dumbbell Overhead Extension: 17.5 pounds (per hand) - 3 sets x 10 reps


    Video includes the Incline Press with Bamboo Bar, and a set of the Military Press.
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    September 20, 2020
    Max Effort Lower - Box Squat: 215 pounds x 1 rep
    I learned 2 things here. First, I thought my box squat was looking pretty good until I tried it with more than 200 pounds. Clearly I still have a lot of work to do on it, because my top two sets were ugly.
    Second, there's nothing like a side angle on a squat to let you know when it's time to go on a diet, lmao. Granted, I'm filling my belly up with air as much as possible, but still... I'm down to about 166-167 pounds, from 178 in May. My weight has actually been really stable for the last couple of months. I think it's probably time to drop a few more pounds now though.



    Barbell Hack Squat: 145 pounds - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Barbell Split Squat: 55 pounds - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Kroc Row: 55 pounds - 3 sets x 10 reps
    Decline Crunch: 45 pounds - 3 sets x 15 reps

    Workout wasn't bad. I'm making steady progress on everything. Ugly as it was, the Box Squat is a PR, and I'll take it. I have a couple of more weeks with these same accessories. Typically I will probably change accessory lifts every 2-3 weeks, but 6 weeks should be fine for the first couple of cycles because I'm starting with relatively low weights, and should be able to progress for at least that long. I'll let my rate of progress determine how often exercises get changed.
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    September 22, 2020
    After a long work day, I spent a couple of hours cutting up and burning a bunch of branches. Wore me out. I ended up dropping a couple of exercises today because I was starting to get the shakes. Got in the most important lifts, and I feel perfectly okay after getting some water in me.

    Dynamic Bench - Bench Press
    Mini Band + 90 pounds - 9 sets x 3 reps

    Close Grip Bench Press - 2 Board
    95 pounds - 3 sets x 15 reps

    Single Arm Low Row
    Light Band - 3 sets x 15 reps

    Incline Skull Crusher
    60 pounds - 3 sets x 15 reps

    Hammer Curl
    30 pounds - 3 sets x 12 reps

    Everything felt good today. The weight moved quickly on the speed work. Video of that along with a set of close grip bench and the single arm rows can be seen below.

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