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pdellorto
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Post by pdellorto » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:23 pm

Jungledoc wrote:Deload opportunity!
Yeah, although it's a bit ill-timed.

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Post by pdellorto » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:14 am

So, training wise, what did I manage this past year?

- bench pressed my bodyweight for the first time - 1 x 185
- box squatted my bodyweight for the first time - 1 x 185. I've squatted my bodyweight for reps before, but this was my first with box squatting - from a dead stop, so less of a stretch reflex at the bottom and less quads.
- trap bar deadlifted 1.5x my bodyweight for five - 5 x 280. A narrow PR, but still, a PR. And I pulled 16 x 250 from a shorter ROM trap bar, too.
- added a rep to my chinup max (now 13 reps).
- added 2 reps to my dip one-set max (now 12 reps).
- added some unknown number of inches to my box jump - it's hard to tell, we test it so rarely. But even the "high" box isn't a challenge for me on its own anymore.
- added poundage to my pullup and wide-grip pullup maxes: close-grip pullup 5 x 3 x 231 and wide-grip 3 x 220.
- pulled 20 x 100 in Kroc Rows! I still can hardly believe that.
- added size to my body everywhere except my waist, as well as a little bit of lean poundage.

I also peppered my PR spreadsheet with rep PRs, weight PRs, firsts for sets across (doing what was a one-set PR for 2, 3, 4, even 5 sets across). I started doing tire flips and heavier sled drags. I'm working up to pistols and I'm progressively phasing out the lighter kettlebells except on new exercises or double-KB exercises. Progress on many of these is treacle-drip slow, but they have all progressed over the year. Nothing has gone backwards, and everything has gone at least a tick forward - more reps, more weight, more sets, and/or less rest.

Ultimately, the big thing for me was winning my division at Grappler's Quest. I managed to return to competition after an injury I thought might end my competitive career, physically or mentally. MMA and grappling are why I do all of this and spent all of this money on training. But this is my journal's notes, and so here is where I obsess on the lifting numbers.

If you missed my GQ performance, here I am:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p ... AB063D4B6F

I went 3-1 that day, losing a match in Men's Middleweight immediately after that final match (you can hear "last call" for it while I'm still fighting). Good day.

This year? More matches, bigger lifts. I don't set numbers, because that doesn't drive me. I just want to lift heavier and fight better.

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Post by pdellorto » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:23 am

I just finished another cycle of my trap bar 5/3/1 workout this past Saturday.

I didn't round-up the last two cycles, so here they are, along with the prior 3 for history. As usual, it's reps x weight (estimated 1RM).

Cycle 1 - working max 270, based on previous 3 x 1 x 300
15 x 230 (337)
13 x 245 (343)
5 x 255 (289)

Cycle 2 - working max 280
15 x 240 (352)
3 x 250* (267)
11 x 265 (353)

Cycle 3 - working max 285
16 x 240 (360)
6 x 255 (297.5)
6 x 270 (315)

New:
Cycle 4 - training max 290
15 x 245 (359)
10 x 260 (338)
1 x 275 (275)

Cycle 5 - training max 295
16 x 250 (375)
3 x 265 (283)
12 x 280 (383)


Notes: My strength is steadily increasing on these. I set a number of good PRs, even with two days where I wasn't well enough to really push hard on the workout. Didn't matter - I still got solid gains out of the cycle.

1RM: My old 1RM - the actual lifted 1RM - was 300 pounds, and I've repped 12 x 280 now. My estimated 1RMs probably aren't weights I can actually lift but they're useful comparisons and progress measures. I can see just how much better 12 x 280 is than, say, 16 x 250.

Reps: I've reliably gotten double-digit reps on 2 out of 3 days in 4 of my 5 cycles. I like that. I'm convinced that doubt-digit reps with a comparatively heavy weight are better for muscle and strength gains than most anything else. At least for me. Plus, I want strength-endurance, and I'm happy to know that even if I can't crack 383 off the floor once, I can get 12 reps with 280. My sport demands I keep going until it ends, not just get 3 singles like a powerlifter.

Although the progress is slow - especially since I went with a 5-pound increment each cycle - it's there. And I'm feeling stronger in my other lifts too. I've been told my leg strength is helping my MMA, too, by my training partners. Obviously, I'll continue this more. I also like the definite cycles, much as Jungledoc does. You hit the deload week and think...geez, already? And then when the 5 week comes you're really ready to hammer the weight.

***

Next cycle, starting a week from Saturday:

Cycle 6 - training max 300
Week 1: 5 x 195 5 x 225 5+ x 255 (previous rep max 6)
Week 2: 3 x 210 3 x 250 3+ x 270 (previous rep max 6)
Week 3: 5 x 225 3 x 255 1+ x 285 (no previous rep max)
Week 4: deload 5 x 140 5 x 150 5 x180

My goals are to beat my previous rep maxes for any of these weights, and go for double-digits on my 1+ week. As always, it's case-by-case...if I feel strong I'll push hard that day, if not...I'll let it slide and just get my reps.

I'll stick with my assistance work as is for now: 5 x 10 x 50% of my training max of trap bar DLs with 1 minute rest, followed by some kind of glute/hamstring exercise (probably the leg curls if I can't find something equally unpleasant), and some swings just because. It's working so far, why change it?

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Post by pdellorto » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:37 am

Geez, I already have severe DOMS after yesterday's workout, and it's only been a bit more than 12 hours. This does not bode well for my AMRAP deadlifts tomorrow afternoon.

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Post by NightFaLL » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:23 pm

I'm envious of your trap bar. I go to Ball State which is one of the better exercise science schools and they don't even have one in the gym. :(

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Post by pdellorto » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:56 pm

NightFaLL wrote:I'm envious of your trap bar. I go to Ball State which is one of the better exercise science schools and they don't even have one in the gym. :(
Geez. They have two at DeFranco's, I have one at home and my friend has a standard-plate loading one at his house. They aren't that expensive. Maybe you can leave them a catalog with one circled as a hint? ;)

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Post by pdellorto » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:44 am

5/3/1 Cycle review

I just finished cycle 6 of 5/3/1 for trap bar deadlifts.

Some changes this cycle - my work schedule changed, so I no longer lift in the early afternoon. I spent a few more hours on my feet before I get to come home and lift. That and the increased weights may have affected my results.

Cycle 6 - training max 300
Week 1: 5 x 255 (289) (previous rep max 6)
Week 2: 7 x 270 (324) (new rep PR)
Week 3: 8 x 285 (352) (no previous rep max)


- This is the first cycle I didn't hit double-digits on any day I lifted. I pulled more than my minimum reps 2 days out of 3, which is typical, but I expected to get at least one 10+ rep day. I didn't. Disappointing.

- I didn't set, or even match, my previous cycle's estimated 1RM; in fact, I didn't even match the one I set in Cycle 2.

- I managed to 8-rep 285, which is very good, but I'd done 12 x 280 the last cycle. So while it's a new PR, it's not a terribly exciting one.


So, all in all, not a great cycle. Still, I had to expect the ride would slow down at some point. I was hoping, though, to double-digit lift my old 1RM - 300 pounds - when I got to it.

My plan right now is to keep rolling forward with Cycle 7:

Cycle 7 - training max 305
Week 1: 5 x 200 5 x 230 5+ x 260 (previous rep max 10)
Week 2: 3 x 215 3 x 245 3+ x 275 (no previous rep max)
Week 3: 5 x 230 3 x 260 1+ x 290 (no previous rep max)
Week 4: 5 x 150 5 x 170 5 x 185 DELOAD

I'll up the BBB 5 x 10 from 150 to 155. A slight increase, but that seems to be good steady work for me. I'm pleased with my steady increase in leg strength, even if the rate slowed down this last cycle.

I'm going to swap out the swiss ball leg curls for either dumbbell RDLs or single-leg dumbbell RDLs. I'm not sure which yet, but it will be one of those.

I will continue to do some kind of KB exercise at the end, probably one-arm swings, and I might throw in Kroc Rows occasionally.

So that's my plan for the next cycle. Again, I'm a little disappointed in this one, but I knew I couldn't keep beating my records. We'll see where I am when I finally start barely making my goal reps, and then re-evaluate.

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Post by pdellorto » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:43 am

NightFALL asked about these, and I'd thought I'd post a link.

I'm the guy in the black AFS t-shirt and shorts. Go Team Asylum!

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p ... AB063D4B6F

My Youtube channel also has a snipped of me doing kendo during my shodan test.

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Post by pdellorto » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:10 am

I just finished my 7th cycle of trap bar deadlifts using 5/3/1. Time flies.

Old stuff:

Cycle 1 - working max 270, based on previous 3 x 1 x 300
15 x 230 (337)
13 x 245 (343)
5 x 255 (289)

Cycle 2 - working max 280
15 x 240 (352)
3 x 250* (267)
11 x 265 (353)

Cycle 3 - working max 285
16 x 240 (360)
6 x 255 (297.5)
6 x 270 (315)

New:
Cycle 4 - training max 290
15 x 245 (359)
10 x 260 (338)
1 x 275 (275)

Cycle 5 - training max 295
16 x 250 (375)
3 x 265 (283)
12 x 280 (383)

Cycle 6 - training max 300
5 x 255 (289)
7 x 270 (324)
8 x 285 (352)

New
Cycle 7 - training max 305
11 x 260 (347)
10 x 275 (358)
5 x 290 (329)


Results - I managed to meet my goal for this cycle, which was to get double-digits on two of the days. I also wanted to set a new PR for 290, which was a new weight for me but below my previous 1RM of 300. I accomplished both of these goals.

I didn't manage to set a new predicted 1RM, though, but I'm satisfied that I've gotten stronger over this series of cycles. I'm still getting my goal reps.

Going forward, I'm not sure what I want to do. I'd like to do another cycle, but I'm trying to sort out my schedule. If I want to compete next month (assuming I can get the time off work that day) I don't want to be mid-cycle. So I haven't run the numbers yet for the next one. Even if I don't go directly into another cycle, I will use 5/3/1 again in this fashion. This has worked well for me.

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Post by KPj » Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:50 am

Played with some of the toys at a gym I might work at. Got to see the FMS (functional movement screen) in action. That was pretty interesting right there.
I'm almost jealous! Once i'm a little more established, I aim to get FMS certified. Not many workshops are done in the UK but occasionally they pop up. Sounds like a good gym if you saw FMS getting done.

I use my own spin of it, really. Pretty much use the "Self Movement Screen" on new clients which is a simplified version of it. I just add some things to it. Sometimes take things away i.e. for some untrained people, there's no point in even trying Inline Lunge - they'll practically fall over just getting into position. A lot of peoples OH squats are so bad I often just watch one attempt then move them on. I don't score them like the FMS but I make notes on how their movement is so I still, in my own way, 'establish a base line'.

Good luck with your Personal Training and your own training.

I'm loving 5-3-1, btw, as you probably know. It's working really well for my squat. I'm deliberately holding back my DL - worked off 85% of true 1RM and, I don't go 'balls to wall' with the rep out - I just beat the reps with perfect form and leave a few in the tank.

Not sure about bench, yet. At first I felt I was getting worse on bench but that could of been down to a number of factors. Still sticking with it and things are looking better now. On week 2 of 2nd cycle.

KPj

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Post by pdellorto » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:51 am

KPj wrote: I'm almost jealous! Once i'm a little more established, I aim to get FMS certified. Not many workshops are done in the UK but occasionally they pop up. Sounds like a good gym if you saw FMS getting done.
Yeah, I answered an ad for a trainer and expected the worst...looks like I'm getting the best, instead.
KPj wrote: Good luck with your Personal Training and your own training.
Thanks!
KPj wrote:I'm loving 5-3-1, btw, as you probably know.
Yeah, I noticed. It's a really excellent program. I can see why people would do other ones at times, but this is a great way to demolish a plateau or ensure steady progress for an intermediate lifter. I like how I can turn off my brain when it comes to worrying about setting rep/weight schemes, and just decide case-by-case how hard I can push that day. And the gains just keep stacking up. That's impressive considering I'm going on 38 and have been training for almost 11 years now. Even with all the poor training I did and miles and injuries piled onto my frame, 5/3/1 helps me get stronger.

I'm glad you are benefiting from it too. It's not uncommon to hear that people gain well in 2-3 of the lifts but not the other one or two, especially benching. But if you give it a few cycles, I'd bet you get some gains there. Even if it's just locking in a solid groove and getting some extra endurance on pushing. And if your squat is climbing, heck, bench gains are just bonus. :wink:

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Post by pdellorto » Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:17 pm

Turns out the competition I thought was on 4/11 (a Sunday) is on Saturday 4/10 so I won't be able to do it. Bleh. I need to get back on the mat but I work weekends these days, and Saturday is full end-to-end with paying work. Oh well.

So I'm going ahead with another cycle of 5/3/1.

I'm doing two things differently:

- I'm raising the 5 x 10 weight to 160; my plan is to raise it 5 pounds a cycle until it's around 60% or so of my working max. Why? I think they're getting too light to really challenge me so I want to get them heavier but not so heavy I need more rest...I like the heart-pounding pace that 5 x 10 with 1 minute rests demands.

- I'm going up 10 pounds in my training max instead of the 5 I've been doing. Why? Because I want to pull 300 this cycle, not wait another cycle after that.

Cycle 8 Trap Bar DL
Training Max 315
Week 1: 5 x 205 5 x 235 5+ x 270 (previous rep max 7)
Week 2: 3 x 220 3 x 250 3+ x 285 (previous rep max 8)
Week 3: 5 x 235 3 x 270 1+ x 300 (cycle 1's one-rep max)
Week 4: Deload

Accessories:
Trap Bar DL 5 x 10 x 160, 1 min rest
Single Leg RDLs 5 x 10-12 x whatever, 1 min rest
Kettlebell Swings or Figure 8s, one set

This will be a fun cycle, because my only goal is to kill the 1+ x 300 day. I want to see how much all the deadlifting has improved my 1RM. I know it's improved my sub-maximal strength-endurance but how much has my 1RM gone up? Even if it's just a little, it's breaking a wall I had little luck getting past before.

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Post by KPj » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:42 am

pdellorto wrote: I'm glad you are benefiting from it too. It's not uncommon to hear that people gain well in 2-3 of the lifts but not the other one or two, especially benching. But if you give it a few cycles, I'd bet you get some gains there. Even if it's just locking in a solid groove and getting some extra endurance on pushing. And if your squat is climbing, heck, bench gains are just bonus. :wink:
Yes, it's worth it just to get my squat going up. The reason I'm holding back my DL is in the hope that it'll allow better recovery on the other lifts. When ever I train them both at the same time my squat stays relatively the same but my DL always improves. I think the bench thing is largely down to how I trained it before. I miss the speed work, too. I'll get an idea of where i'm at with it next this week and next week but I think you're right.

A good example of how usefull 5-3-1 is for me is, I started working in my gym as a PT this week. I finish my other job at 5:30, and I'm in the gym to start at 6pm, till 10pm. If I get a chance I can train whilst working but i've been very busy. I missed the squat session on Tuesday and it was Pull ups last night. I 'sneaked' in some foam rolling about 8pm, then, at half 9 when things died down, I done my squat. Was going to just make reps (3) but got a solid 5. Then went to pull ups and got a solid 4. So, i've not missed anything. On seperate days and less calorie deprived, I would of got atleast 8 reps on those days but, all else considered, I still got over my presribed reps so, I'm still on track and still progressing. My beginners were trying to wynd me up saying "2 red marks for you". So I sent them a Wendler style text last night saying, "5 reps on Squat, 4 on pull ups. That's an example of getting sh*t done and not making excuses. No red mark for me." haha

Good luck on the 300. By the looks of things, I can see you getting it for reps!

KPj

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Post by pdellorto » Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:19 pm

KPj wrote:Yes, it's worth it just to get my squat going up. The reason I'm holding back my DL is in the hope that it'll allow better recovery on the other lifts. When ever I train them both at the same time my squat stays relatively the same but my DL always improves. I think the bench thing is largely down to how I trained it before. I miss the speed work, too. I'll get an idea of where i'm at with it next this week and next week but I think you're right.
That's a good plan on the DLs. Maybe once a cycle you can pick a day and go for it, just to see how it's progressing. But if squats are the focus you don't want to kill yourself on the DL every week.

With the bench, yeah, I expect it'll go up. I'd say just keep plugging away at it, and once it stalls out and you're ready to try something else you can stick speed work back in and break the plateau that way. In the meantime the extra reps will give you a bit of endurance, as much as it pains you to train "high reps" - i.e. 6+ :wink:
KPj wrote:My beginners were trying to wynd me up saying "2 red marks for you". So I sent them a Wendler style text last night saying, "5 reps on Squat, 4 on pull ups. That's an example of getting sh*t done and not making excuses. No red mark for me." haha
Hah. That's awesome. You should email that to Jim Wendler, he'd surely love it. I like how you just fit it in and got it done, nevermind the work you had. Most people would have bagged it. Shows that those red marks are very motivational for you!
KPj wrote:Good luck on the 300. By the looks of things, I can see you getting it for reps!
Thanks. I'm both looking forward to it and dreading it a bit. I've never broken more than 300 off the floor, and I set 320 (50 pound bar + 3 plates) as my goal this year. Looking at my numbers I know I can do it. Looking at the number, yeah, it seems big and scary. But when I go to pull it, I'm damn well pulling it at least twice! :)

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Post by Jungledoc » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:38 am

Hey, Peter. Would mind emailing me a copy of the spreadsheet you use for your PRs? Without data, or with if more convenient. I just want to see how you do it. I'm thinking of doing something similar. Thanks.

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