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Journal Comments for Matt Z

Posted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:58 pm
by Matt Z
Please post any questions or comments about my workout journal here.

Posted: Thu May 04, 2006 3:02 pm
by TimD
Congratulations, Dad. Glad to hear the wife and baby boy are OK. I know you're a big guy, (maybe not height-wise, but big nontheless) and judging by the baby, look's like you got a mini-me. Congrats again.

Posted: Mon May 08, 2006 11:17 am
by Matt Z
Thanks. He's pretty strong for a little squirt. He kicks and fights every time I change his diaper.

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:28 pm
by Ryan A
I thought Id post here rather than in the PR thread. Doesnt really matter I suppose.

Looks like a nice front squat coming your way. Nice work!

I am more amazed with how strong you are on the presses, that close grip is huge! Nice work again.

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:44 pm
by Matt Z
Thanks. I have pretty short arms, which helps a lot with the presses. Meanwhile, I hadn't done front squats in months before today, but I want to start doing them more often. One thing I really like about front squats is that I don't need a spotter, since I can just drop the bar if I get stuck. This is a real consideration, since I don't have a regular training partner, and most of the guys at my gym don't know how to spot someone properly on regular back squats. As a result, I'm often end up cutting sets short when I back squat for fear of failing mid-rep and hurting myself, but with front squats I can train really hard without fear.

PS.) I was using my Stingray when I front squatted this morning.

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:29 am
by Ryan A
Well it is very difficult to spot a front squat so it is a good think you can drop it easily. Comparatively, it is easy to spot a back squat if you are just a little above incompetent but a lot of guys think they are somehow unmanly if they get too near a guy and spot the correct way and put a hand on his chest or something to keep him upright.

I have never used a sting ray and maybe used a manta ray a couple times but I dont really like it all that much. I either have naturally large traps and shoulders or got them that way from a lot of olympic lifting and throwing in high school so I rarely have troubles getting the bar in a good position. On the flip side, benching with longer arms is really hard and I have a really hard time getting a great groove sometimes.

I think a combination of front squats and various deadlifts can be just as beneficial as back squats and deadlifts. You just have to work with what you got. Have you ever tried sumo deadlifting? To me, that works the glutes more than any back squat but maybe that is just for me. Good way to go if you dont have a spotter and want to go up in weight.

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:11 am
by Matt Z
No I've never really done Sumo Deadlifts. I've heard they also work the inner thy/groin muscles much more than standard deadlifts, because of the wide stance.

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:09 am
by Matt Z
Regular Barbell Squats have always been a relatively difficult exercise for me. For example, I have to really concentrate on keeping my heels down coming out of a deep squat to keep from tipping foreward. Also my groin muscles sometimes feel tight when I squat, even though I'm pretty flexible and I don't use a very wide stance. However, I don't have these problems with front squats, and overall front squats just seem more natural, although obviously I can't use as much weight.

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:48 pm
by Matt Z
My wrist has been feeling a lot better this week, but it's still not quite 100%, so I've been taking it easy on things like extensions and curls.

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:26 pm
by Matt Z
My right shoulder was a little stiff/soar after doing front squats on Friday. I think I positioned the two halves of my Stingray a little too close together. Next time I'm going to move the two peices a little farther apart, so my elbows point out more and the bar stay's closer to my body.

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:33 pm
by Matt Z
PS.) I'm coming down with a pretty nasy cold right now, but I still felt strong enough yesterday to tie my PR on Close-grip Incline Presses.

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:39 am
by Matt Z
I ended up skipping my workout yesterday, since I was feeling pretty tired and I couldn't breath through my nose at all. Instead I just helped my wife get a quick workout, showing her what to do and spotting her. Meanwhile, I'm planning on taking today off and training legs on Friday.

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:02 pm
by Matt Z
I've decided to drop front squats from my program and go back to doing high-bar barbell squats. I came to this decision after realizing that as I moved on to progressively heavier weights, my front squat was limited more by shoulder strength than it was by leg strength.

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:06 pm
by Matt Z
Unfortunately, high-bar barbell squats aren't really an ideal exercise for me either. It's tempting for me to just do sled leg presses and deadlifts, but I fear my leg development and overall strength would suffer if I stopped squatting altogether.

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:04 pm
by Matt Z
I ended up doing high-bar barbell squats today, since I forgot to bring a pair of wrist straps to the gym with me. Also, today I tried doing standard deadlifts standing on a ~4" high platform. Not only did this increase my ROM and recruit my glutes more, it also seemed to make my quads work a lot harder.