R8D42 – O-Lifting Practice – My Not So Nice Rack

I have yet to master the front squat. Maybe it is anatomically impossible given my back history, but since I am able to back squat no problem it’s bothering me. I think there are 2 pieces here, I have large protruding anterior deltoids and a thick chest which means I have a very hard time racking to a high position on my collarbones. This means I have a large pull towards the front when I rack which makes it impossible to sit back into the squat properly.

The rack should sit far back towards the throat, with the upper arm almost parallel to the ground. My specific problem is a lack of flexibility in the involved joints including my wrists coupled with large muscled arms and thick shoulders. Having said that, I think that the biggest problem is my flexibility of the wrist because let’s be honest, I don’t have the arms or shoulders of a Roger Estep for example. Not having the bar in the correct position means that the weight does not sit over your balance plane which should drive the weight through the heels. Instead it sits forwards which when you are standing is no big deal because you can effectively counterbalance yourself. However once you start to go into squat, the extra pull forwards instantly pulls you off balance. It is such a large effect that you can’t (and by you I mean me) even get partway down to squat.

I suppose it’s like anything else, I will have to practice with unloaded bars to get the hang of it but this is one of those things for which I don’t hold much hope. It’s a little like the front press which I find very hard due to the unusual position of my neck and head. I have a natural forward incline in my neck which means I can back press like a beast but my front press causes me to arch painfully to get the weight overhead.

Anyway, last night I was planning to do some combo clean and press with the clean to full squat. it wasn’t happening so I ended up with this:


5 Deadlift
5 Clean
5 Strict Press
5 Combination (Clean from floor, push press)

It doesn’t sound like much, and I was only using 115lbs but it was cold in the garage, I was trying to be quiet because the baby sleeps in the room above the garage and to be perfectly honest I was already kind of tired. I managed to struggle through, mostly by virtue of doing some light KB swings as a warmup which always gets me in the mood to work. I also didn’t figure in any pull ups but I will stop whining now… It’s bootcamp tomorrow so I know taking it easy was OK.

R8D34-36 – Empty House

My parents who were here for the last 2 weeks leave today which is sad in many ways, yet a relief in one way. I made a deal with myself that I wouldn’t stress about my workouts or my diet while they were here and I managed to do just that. In fact, my relaxed attitude enabled me to enjoy their company even more and although it seems illogical, I think I worked out just as much as I normally would have. The visit was a great break from work, I did a couple of 2 day weeks back to back which in itself is just as good as a rest! I am happy to report that the visit was a resounding success! It is a relief though to get back to the comfort of my usual schedule. Here is a brief list of what I did the last few days including the bootcamp class on Wednesday.

D34 – Bootcamp

Week 6 – Weights and Cardio

5 moves repeat 3x with 10’s at least.

military push
double dumbbell jump
double dumbbell agility apart

high pull
alternate press
pushup and db pull
circle run
dumbbell jump back to front

curl and press
in and out shoulders
plank dumbell walk (one line to next fwd/back)
lunge walk

4xpushup burpee
4xpushup run burpee
4xpushup run in and out burpee

abs work for last 15
for 10’s
in and out
arx bicycles
jack and jill 1-5
leg up toe touch (half vsnap)
triple flat bicycle
Full rainbow
jack and jill 5-10

D35 – Abs with gym girls and single run through of above bootcamp (instead of 3x)

D36 – Olympic Lift compound move

Start with loaded barbell
Deadlift to standing
Clean to shoulder
Push press to extend
Lower to back of neck
Back Squat push press to extend
Lower weight to shoulder
Lower to thigh
Lower to ground

I planned on doing the same as I do for RKC, that is to say do 1 rep, do 1 chinup, 2 reps, 2 chinups and so on to 3 then 4 then 5 then 4 then 3.

That gave me a total of 6,10,15,10,6 reps plus pullups for a grand total of 47 reps with 115lbs. It was not tough all over, but it was hard on my back and the next day I was quite sore. However, it is a great compound workout for doing basically everything you need (especially once you add in the pullups to hit the biceps). It is also a good benchmark of my strength and something I can work towards as a whole body conditioning indicator. Maybe I should try and get back to 155 on the bar and try it again, but it’s not something I relish doing.

I think this week it’s time for an Insanity workout, seems like weeks since I saw Shaun T.

R8D25-30 – Ketchup

Day 26 – Short Crossfit type workout at gym with girls:

5 pullups
10 sumo deadlift high pull with 25lb kettlebell
15 pushups
20 bicycle crunch

Day 27 – Olympic Lift Practice

5 deadlift
5 clean
5 hang clean
5 strict press
5 push press
repeat 3x with 65lb then 3x with 115lb
Finish with 30 squats at 115lb

Day 28 – off, drive to Hastings
Day 28 – Thanksgiving Monday – Chest and Back with gymnastics rings

This was a hell of a workout, I didn`t  anticipate that the rings would make that much of a difference but the next day I was extremely sore through the chest and shoulders. Not only that, my numbers for pushups were down by at least 30% for the workout. It was a real eye opener that I hope to repeat.

Day 29 – Tuesday, 34543 RKC
Day 30 – Wednesday, Bootcamp week 4 as follows:

I decided it was time for the bootcamp peeps to do some weight work. With the advent of some dumbbells at the gym and the few light ones I had at home we had enough to go around and do some HIT training with weights. I put together a full body workout with 3 basic and 3 advanced movements for each body part. The workout took the full hour and was really an introduction to weights more than a hard weight based workout. It went over very well, I was happy with the work rate and volume but have to be wary that the cardio component is missing largely due to the inability of most of the participants to move the weight efficiently and quickly.

It all shook out like this:
Level 1
Shouldered weight squats
walking lunge
plie squat
Level 2
arms up lunge walk
plie high pull
Finish 20 air squats

Level 1
Military PU
Laying fly
Level 2
pushup on db with pull
military with db superman
fly with press
Finish 20 pushups
Level 1
Shoulder press
2 way flys
shoulder burn
Level 2
swimmers press
2 way fly plus high pull
shoulder burn
Level 1
twist 1 arm curl
double kickback
Level 2
in and out curls
hold curl 16’s
overhead tricep extension
Finish 20 military pushup
Level 1
chest weight crunch
side bend double db
turkish get up (DID NOT COMPLETE)
Level 2
Arms up crunch
plie squat side bend
plie squat twist
Finish 20 full sit ups

R8D20-22 – Resting Kind Of Feeling

Although I was scheduled to do a rest week, I had decided I wouldn’t. Seems like subconsciously I didn’t like that decision and kind of took it easy this week. By taking it easy I mean:

Thursday: Fountain of Youth Yoga with Tony
Friday: Killer Cage Abs with kids at gym (below)
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Fran (a disgrace) and Olympic lifting practice.

I had bought myself some real bumper plates last week and was dying to use them so yesterday I took my olympic bar up to the garage and set up my new bumper plates. I felt like a real pro with real plates I have to tell you, there is something vaguely emasculating about using those little 25lb plates. I did some strict pressing, deadlifts, snatch, clean and press and thrusters before launching into Fran. I am going to be deliberately vague here and say that Fran took me over 10 minutes to complete, partly because of my discomfort with the chin up bar in the garage and partly because apparently I suck.


Thrusters with 95lbs
Chin ups

Killer Cage Abs:

4 suicides

on count:
in and out
switch bicycles
crunch hold

Full sit up
Full rainbow
vsnap no floor touch
Vsnap and pulse 4/8