Millennium Progress – Passing 800lbs

Deadlift 225
Squat 245
Bench 335

Total 805

So I really can’t call this round 15 since it’s just a race to the end of the year to see if I can hit 1000lbs combined. I have been cycling on and off heavy 4 day groups with my lifts including cleans that are not included in the total. So far I have been able to get my bench up to 335 for 3 sets of 3 but my DL and Squat are still lacking not surprisingly because of my back surgery. It may take some time to get my lifts up to scratch but I am thinking I may be able to hit the following by year end.

Deadlift 275
Squat 275
Bench 350

That would do me a solid 900lb total meaning I would still have to get my DL and squat up to 325 each to meet my goal. Since I am currently at 225 that seems like a long shot given my restrictions. I mean if I didn’t have to pace myself because of my back I probably would be able to race past these numbers. It also doesn’t help that I am trying to get my bodyweight down so I am fighting against nature to try and increase my strength while losing weight.

That said, I have managed bench PRs the last 2 weeks and DL PR last week too. I think I have a lot of room to grow the DL but I am more wary of the squat.

I called a place in town yesterday to inquire about a mirror for the basement. All told, they gave me a quote of around $650 for 8×4 mirror installed. Considering the sad state of the wall mirrors I have up there now this seems like a good idea. Also, fitnessavenue has their slab mats on sale so I can potentially replace those sad foam grey interlocking tiles that are now starting to bubble up in the middle of the room. It’s the time to buy, whether it is pre Christmas or Boxig Day there are sales to be explored. Also, once February hits there are bound to be lots of new fitness gear up for sale on Craigslist…


R14D90 – The Conclusion and R15 The Millennium

NewStackLast night was pretty good, I managed to do my PR for deadlifts since my surgery. I remember during the summer lifting 200lbs for deads and thinking it would not be smart or even possible to go any heavier. Then I decided that I should at least have bodyweight as my goal for deads and squats and bench and maybe for OHP like I used to. Fact is that all these lifts put the same compression into my spine (with the exception of bench of course) so technically if I can squat 275 I should be able to dead 275. Anyway, last night I guess I was not paying attention to much of the weight I  just kept going up the ladder as I usually do for bench. I started with warmups at 95lbs then 135 then 185 then straight to 225. It was not until after I completed 3 reps at 225 (TWICE) that I realized what I had done. So I was pretty excited. I have set a goal of 1000lbs total for bench deads and squats by the end of the year. At this point my PRs (again since my back surgery) are:

Bench 275 (although I am sure I can bring this up quickly with no issue)
Deads 225 No wraps or belt and hook grip not cross grip. Chalk of course.
Squat 275 No wraps or belt

That gives me a total of 775lbs for now. If I can hit my weight loss goals then I should be around 240 at New Years and repping a 1000lb total. My conservative self says bodyweight which would put me at 720 total but since I am already past that then an average of 333lbs per lift would be great. For now I will continue to try and hit 800 in a week and see how that goes.

Which brings me to my last point which is what to do next. I had thought of incorporating bootcamp workouts back into my regime which I think is still valid. That said, this would be my rotation:

Bench and pullups
Squats and pullups
Cleans / snatches / Olympic lifts / shoulders
Cardio / Yoga if required

I am tempted to do another 30WOD to be honest but I think that will have to wait until the spring. Unless of course I can fit it into my Cardio day. After all, HIIT is by its very definition cardio, right? We’ll see. For now, R15 will be the Millennium Round as I shoot for 1000lbs again.


R14 – It’s COW Time

belgian blueCardio, Oly Lifting and WODs. That is the nature of the next 3 months or so. I also have to take into consideration that there is winter weather on the way and I will not be able to stay in the garage much longer. My program will be mostly what I outilened a few days ago which looks a little like this…

I have been conscious of keeping a heavy bench day in there and also room for some specific bicep work that I can incorporate into the WOD. The light Oly / WOD days can also be bootcamp days since they are not too heavy on weights but provide enough muscular work to not be considered just cardio. The only issue I have is that I really want to increase my pullups again and as my weight falls (4lbs off this week! woohoo!) they will get easier but only with practice. I have already done day 1 and 2 of the program with Heavy DL work on Monday and Heavy bench for reps on Tuesday.

That’s a Belgian Blue BTW, not a steroid or GMO bull…

1. Heavy Oly DL Clean
2. WOD Reg WOD jumps and pullups or bench
3. Cardio DVD Insanity
4. WOD / Light Day Bodyweight WOD
5. Off
6. Heavy Oly Clean Squat
7. WOD oddball WOD stuff pullups wqllball rope
8. Cardio Insanity or MMA
9. Light Oly / WOD Snatch c&P biceps
10 Off


Monday in fact was the first time in ages that I have worked DL reps with 185. I am not sure when the last time was but this day was a full 75 rep workout which I am pretty sure is unheard of. Tuesday I did a similar thing with bench, using 225 as the working weight and managing just over 75 reps in sets of 10. That means today is cardio day and with a buffet of choices from P90X Plyo to P90X3 Accelerator to Insanity Pure Cardio and Insanity Asylum or T25 Alpah, Beta, Gamma. The worst thing is that I just can’t remember what they are all like so I can’t really make an informed choice. I will have to document them and try to make a chart of the differences. Since I have George St Pierre Rushfit (which I recall being awful) and TapoutXT and some kettlebell workouts a handy reference sheet would be good. If you already have one, please let me know.


Hitting My Stride – Finally

burpees0likes1I think I am finally finding a way to satisfy my cravings for certain workout types and managing to put to bed my fear that my intensity and time are lacking. So far I have managed to integrate HIIT rope work with each workout, I have started to get back into kettlebell workouts and I am testing my bootcamp type workouts before coaching. This means I am generally doing the following:

3 bootcamp style workouts – bodyweight, jumps, abs and functional movement
2 barbell workouts, maintaining my bench press workout and a multiple movement Olympic lift session or two
1 cardio or true HIIT workout with chinups, med ball cleans wallball etc and a bit of sprint or running work.

The schedule is still a bit random but it is tied down by the days that I do the bootcamp workouts. I have to say that adding back the functional movements like chin ups, burpees, vsnaps etc has brought back that feeling of mobility and fitness that I was missing after slipping down the Gym Rat slope after starting Body Beast in the Spring. I have gained quite a lot of size and strength but also I admit a few pounds of fat. So in turning back towards bodyweight workouts and HIIT I am going to start whittling away at that extra stored energy and hopefully be left with additional strength as protection for my ever present back aches. I do need to get a few pounds off and the sooner the better.

I did toy with the idea of getting back into a P90X or P90X2 schedule as a base for my workouts but until the extra crap is out of the basement I don’t really have space in front of the TV in order to do that. Next move then, get rid of the extra treadmill (I think my wife may have already sold it) and clear some space in the gym to enable the winter workouts to start. It’s premature I know but I think it’s going to take a little more planning than I think, and maybe a flat screen on the wall…

In addition, I did make some more purchases for the gym last week from Fitness Avenue (who have moved down the street from where they were), including:

40LB Kettlebell
Adjustable plyo box – heavy and sturdy as hell, full metal construction 16″ to 28″ height
55lb 5o ft sleeved undulation rope
45lb dumbbell
55lb dumbbell

The rope is fantastic, I have been donig undulations with it but even better is hanging it over my chin up bar and pulling it through like you would pull a heavy sled. If you wrap it twice it’s incredibly hard to pull through, great for grip strength and full back pumps!

Too Easy

I have recently been trying to increase the intensity and duration of my workouts without much success. I hate to admit it but there really is a massive difference between being coached (or following a DVD) and trying to coach yourself. Even for me, a long time coach and personal trainer it’s just too hard, there is really is truth in the notion that you can’t coach yourself. It’s like trying to strangle yourself or hold your breath until you pass out, it’s just not possible. Recently I have been doing more Crossfit type workouts and over the last 2 weeks now that coaching is starting again I have even done some bootcamps which have served to remind me of just how easy I have been on myself over the summer. I did HALF of one of the bootcamps from 2 years ago when we did them every week and I thought I was going to die. However, it did give me a brilliant idea of how to properly coach myself at least 3 days a week and that is just to follow the bootcamps the way we used to do them. I know for sure it was a large part of my getting down to 230lbs along with following some form of DVD workouts (I should check that)
Having checked I was doing bootcamp once a week and also doing RKC, an insanity workout, a TapoutXT workout, a barbell oly lift workout and a P90X2 workout. That’s 6 days a week, 5 of which are pre-programmed activities you just follow and don’t deviate. Maybe I should get back to that, since being on my own not following someone is not really working me as hard as I would like.
That said, I need also to start a little more cardio and an insanity workout once a week would definitely cover that. I need to get the second treadmill out of the basement to get some room back, that is a big thing since with it in there the amount of room to actually move around is severely restricted.

I have also just realized 2 things. Round 12 was a complete bust and I can make the best carrot cake in the world.

Back With A Plan

gymcondIt’s the last day of the year for gymnastics coaching and the summer training starts on Wednesday, which also means in some form, the bootcamp workouts will be back also. Not because the kids need it (which they do) but I am committing to doing the workout at least once a week if not all 3 days.

Don’t you love it when I am enthusiastic?

It’s been the World Cup, work has been interminably painfully busy but I have been working the Full Monty and my modified 300 for the last few weeks but curiously staying where I am physically. So it’s time to add a bit of cardio / bootcamp HIIT and get this party started.

My Garmin Vivofit is telling me I am basically a sloth at work, that my sleep sucks and that I need to get my butt in gear. I knew that, could have saved $125.

I will have a detailed outline of what is to come, but I also need to start running the block if I am to do the Warrior Dash without having  a massive cardiac event…

R12 – Summer 2014 Outline

summer-bodies-500x315So I wanted to see if I could make something based around what I already do, working in all the equipment I have, being able to make it as short or long as I want. Also, letting me involve Crossfit either at the gym or use the WOD for the day. The other thing is I wanted to be able to do a bootcamp any day, that would mean not doing anything so heavy or specific that it would preclude me from doing a whole body workout the next day or two. I wanted to add in a little cardio where possible, and to that end I am going to mix my deadlifting days with either 600m runs (that’s round the block) or shorter sprint / hill work. It’s a big departure for me but here is what I have so far. I have included any Yoga days and off day, I will take those when I have to and when I need to. I have designated the Heavy and Light days and the HIIT specific day although most of what I am doing this summer will qualify as HIIT rather than heavier muscle building workouts. Here is what I have come up with for the time being and I am sure it will change once I have run through it a couple of times. There are additional rules to adhere to:

1. No more than one day off in a row
2. No less than 80% work ratio (days on vs days off)
3. Improve my sleep pattern to assist in my recovery to at least 7.5 hours a  night.

Here is the plan as I see it.

Bench and ring dips (HEAVY)
Deadlifts and sprints / laps (LIGHT)
Cleans and Squats (HEAVY)
Press and KB swings (LIGHT)
Pullups and 95lb Deadlifts / cleans / clean and press
Cardio / Yoga / MMA workout

R11D489 – What is an HIIT schedule

don't kid yourselfI should start by saying it’s not strictly HIIT at all, in fact calling it Crossfit would be more accurate and while there are people who would call Crossfit HIIT it only occasionally fills the description. You can google Crossfit and HIIT and see what I mean.

HIIT is short for High Intensity Interval Training. The fact that it is in interval based system should indicate that it will only occasionally cross paths with Crossfit. In fact, the Tabata system of training is the very definition of HIIT and it’s rarely used in Crossfit. However, it would be easy to convert any Crossfit workout into an HIIT workout, instead of doing AMRAP for 16 minutes let’s say, you would simply break it down into X rounds with Y break in between.

For my purposes I like the HIIT method because it brings the short break that I have been accustomed to from my gym days and it causes a variation in heart rate that is said to be the most beneficial. Before we can jump into the timing we first need to see what ingredients we have to work with for our schedule. This will include any movements you like, any equipment you can use and of course both full body involvement and cardio and abs and yoga during the cycle which is typically 5-8 days. The traditional weight training would have you believe that a full body 4 day split is what you need, giving you a day off for rest so that you work the same body part once every 5 days. If you are doing compound movements with multiple pivot points and cross training specific body parts with others (pullups and pushups for example) then this notion is not much use to you. Instead, you should be looking for something that will keep you interested but be varied enough and predictable enough that you can get used to it but not bored with it. You can dress a skeleton in a lot of ways, just look around you, and we will do the same with a framework in which to work and the ability to switch exercises if necessary (injury or otherwise).

Keep in mind that you will also be progressing, the following is a good example of an HIIT progressive schedule:

  • Week 1 — 10/20 x6 (10s work, 20s rest, 6 sets)
  • Week 2 — 15/15 x4
  • Week 3 — 10/20 x8
  • Week 4 — 15/15 x6
  • Week 5 — 20/10 x4
  • Week 6 — 15/15 x8
  • Week 7 — 20/10 x6
  • Week 8 — 20/10 x8

I know it doesn’t look like much but with a ten minute warm up and the adherence to the HIGH part of HIIT then you will find this plenty. Now you don’t have to stick to these timing lengths, you can go longer as long as you rest and can repeat.

So what do I want do to with this schedule of mine? Well there are things I want to include and I think a 5 day split is plenty.

Clean (Power or squat or hang in a pinch)
Push Press (or clean and press)
Kettlebell swings (KBs are great for warmups BTW)
Bench Press
Wallball / Heavy Ball / Heavy Log
Block Jumps
Weighted lunges / lunge walk

Also, I want to make sure that I cover off the basic types of movement, that is to say:

That’s all for now, I am actually working on the final schedule as you read this, I should have it up in a couple of days. Until then it’s the last of the DB Isolations with The Beast.


R11D115 – Finally 90 Workouts

hiit cheetahOK so I admit it I have basically started my transition into HIIT already. I mean the bulk workouts were fine but in the end I felt like I was getting less fit and more cumbersome as I went along. My weights were all up and I loved the way it felt to do really heavy isolated exercises but I eventually tired of it and started to set up the deck for the summer workouts. That means I can move my barbell outside, work with my chinup bars and my rings to do ring dips and use my wall ball. Not only that, I have the hill at the side of the house to run up and the deck itself to do varying heights of box jumps with. The question is, do I move my barbell mat down from the garage on to the deck or do I transition my barbell workouts back into the garage like last summer. If I am indoors I can at least work out when it’s raining so I am not completely at the mercy of the weather. However, my chinup bar in the garage is a sad effort compared to my multiple chin up stations on the deck. I also have music in the garage and no people staring at me from across the pond as I work out.

I have also been a little lazy, only just now surpassing 90 actual workout days, as you can see I have been resting a lot more than usual and that has to stop. It’s the start of May now and I will take May as a transition to HIIT completely and try to give myself a little break from the heavy Bulk days of Body Beast. I could use a few days off but for those of you who are reading this we both know that’s not going to happen. I will probably take some days to do some cardio, some abs and to maybe even take a stab at some yoga again. After that I should really build some yoga into my workout schedule for the summer, I know it’s good for me.

As far as Body Beast goes, I woudl recommend it for people who want to put on size and strength, it’s well thought out and executed even though “the Beast” is a bit of a tool. I did see some fairly significant strength and size gains, some of which is creatine and water some of which could actually be muscle we will have to see. However the downside as I already noted was that when I remove the mobility part of my workouts that are so key to HIIT I start to feel less fit and at this point in my life the whole point of workouts are to feel better, not necessarily to be bigger or stronger for that matter. Body Beast was fun for a while, but my years of being a gym rat and doing isolation exercises for single body parts are best left in the past. It’s time to admit that the old school bodybuilder in me has been replaced by an athlete employing basic but multi functional and multiple muscle group workouts that stimulate the whole system. The notion of “arm day” or “back day” should and have been replaced by days that reflect basic movements in groups such as deadlifts and cleans, squats and clean and press, pullups and kettlebells and so on. I need to adopt a more functional schedule however, the Crossfit approach is not systematic or organized enough to be a single source so doing the WOD every day and hoping it will be a balanced workout scheme would be foolish. I guess that schedule is next.

R11D45 – Half Way Turnaround

Turn-Around-SignI think things have to change, I am coming to the conclusion that these 25 or 30 minute workouts are just not HIIT enough for me to get a great workout. It may be that they are sporadically sprinkled throughout the last 45 days and as such I haven’t really got the full effect. Well if that is the case then the next 13 days I am going to attempt to finish the T25 and P90X3 workouts that remain:

The Challenge
The Warrior
Eccentric Upper
Eccentric Lower

Rip T circuit
Dynamic core
Upper focus
Speed 3.0
Rip’T Up
Extreme circuit
The Pyramid

Tomorrow is my birthday and it’s as good a time as any to make some changes. I know I am only half way through the 90 days, but I didn’t really commit to one methodology for the duration. I think what I am going to try is to finish the above and then move into some Body Beast with Insanity. I feel like I need to get my strength back in line and I know that my weight isn’t really moving like it should be. So starting tomorrow I will be documenting more, working out more and setting my sights on getting my 230 lb body back by the end of the 90 days, that’s 45 days or 6 weeks which should be plenty of time. Of course, that is dependant on my not being 258 like the scale said this morning. I have a feeling I may be up at 252 which means dropping 20 lbs in about 6 weeks. I am shooting for a bit of a re-composition so I will be trying to track my fat% etc with my fancy scale at home and posting the results.

I am not sure about the exact workout schedule yet but for the next 2 days I will be visiting my Crossfit box for my workouts, after that I will try to pick and choose from the following:

Build section of Body Beast

Chest / Tris
Back / Bis

Insanity Favourites

Plyometric Cardio
Pure Cardio
Core Cardio and balance

I think it’s also about time that I listed some of my favourite workouts because if I am honest I can’t really tell the difference between them unless I really think back. So I will post some of my favourites with the content so I can keep track.