Update

Finally Cooking Again!

I’ve been living in Taiwan since mid-October, and I finally caved and bought some basic kitchen equipment: hot plate, frying pan, etc. Up to this point, I have been eating out all the time. Food is very cheap here, so eating out wasn’t exactly breaking the bank, but I put on around 15 lbs in 3 months.

Cooking my own food again feels great. Not only did I miss cooking, but I now have significantly more control over the composition of my diet. Eating out all the time, it was impossible to get the protein I needed without a huge amount of carbs tacked on. Seriously, Taiwanese food is ideal for bulking – fried chicken everywhere, dumplings, noodles, rice with every meal. And everywhere you look you can find a street vendor selling these delicious snacks: a fried egg with your choice of toppings inside a fried green onion pancake. My favourite vendor makes me one with corn, cheese, and bacon in the egg. I dubbed it the Taiwanese Wisconsin. Still not exactly sure what that means, but it’s delicious.

Now that I have my hotplate, however, my meals have returned to much leaner fare: eggs, meat and vegetable fry-up, and the like. I’m hoping to shed some excess weight quickly. I would like to be back down to around 225-230 lbs, to be within an easy cut of competition weight.

That’s all for now! If you have any comments or feedback, leave  a message below. If you have any questions about life in Taiwan, or being an ESL Teacher or a strongman, please feel free to message me.

Cheers,

The Bear

Advertisements
Training

Training Logs: Feb 6 – Feb 11

Monday February 6th

  • Deadlifts (Conventional)
    • 70 kg x 8
    • 100 kg x 8
    • 110 kg x 5
    • 120 kg x 5
    • 150 kg x 3
    • 160 kg x 2
    • 150 kg x 3
  • Zercher Squats from Sumo Deadlift Pickup
    • 110 kg x 5 min EMOM

My deadlifts are very much my weakest point. I have been working my upper and lower back more, since I have a nasty tendency to round my back when the weights get heavy. Everything still feels heavy and horrible. I wish I was seeing the kind of improvement I have been seeing with my squat.

 

Tuesday February 7

  • Seated Military Press
    • 40 kg x 15
    • 50 kg x 10
    • 60 kg x 5
    • 70 kg x 5
    • 80 kg x 2
    • 75 kg x 3
  • Superset: Inverted Rows x Explosive Pushups
    • 12 x 3
  • 1 Arm DB Rows
    • 26 kg x 12 (3)
  • 1 Arm DB Press (Strict)
    • 11 kg x 10
    • 16 kg x 8 (2)

Finished this workout by running the long way home, through the university campus. That sucked. This workout was a bit of a shake-up to liven up my routine and incorporate more dynamic movements into my training. And, again, it sucked.

Saturday February 11

  • DB deadlift (weight per hand)
    • 30 kg x 8 (3)
  • Low Bar Squat
    • 65 kg x 8
    • 85 kg x 5
    • 105 kg x 3
    • 115 kg x 3
    • 125 kg x 2
    • 105 kg x 3 (2)
  • High Bar Squat
    • 65 kg x 15
  • Hip Thrusters – 3 Variations
    • 20 x 3

Legs felt underpowered this week. Everything felt off, and my strength just didn’t seem to be there. All in all, not an inspiring week.

 

Not much of a high note to end on, I’m afraid. Think I’m getting sick. That’s all for now.

Cheers,

The Bear.

New PR, Training

Feb 1, New Squat Pr!

Had a quick but rewarding workout. I decided to take most of Chinese New Year off of training since my last workout before the break was cut short by what felt like a small strain in my bicep.

My concentration just wasn’t there, my body was sore, and I tried to push through it without a proper warmup. Midway through my workout, I felt something twinge in my left bicep and immediately stopped. Tried to stretch it out and work the tightness away, but it just left a bad burning in the center of the muscle. So I decided to call it for the day, and that a long weekend off would do me some good.

And it turns out it did, since I went in the following Wednesday for a leg day. Started with a good, long warmup, testing the bicep. It felt fine, so I got to squatting. Started with Low Bar, and managed:

  • 110 kg x 5
  • 130 kg x 3
  • 135 kg x 2 – New PR/ 297 lbs

This is the first 300-level squat I’ve done since the summer of 2016, and it felt amazing. Hit depth, and felt like I could have maybe done a third rep. This is very, very encouraging, to see that my training is paying off. My knees feel excellent, and even after this heavy session I had no pain whatsoever. Very excited to continue with my training in Taiwan, and I’m already excited for my next competition.

Cheers,

The Bear.

Training

Training Log, Jan 22

Had a killer day at Formosa Fitness, and set a new PR in the Log Press! This was a huge moment for me, since I’ve been struggling with the log since I started strongman training. This was a hugely encouraging session, everything felt good, and the weights felt light.

  • Low Bar Back Squats
    • 110 kg x 4
  • Farmer’s Carry (weight per hand, 20 m run)
    • 47.5 kg x 1
    • 67.5 kg x 1
    • 87.5 kg x 1
  • Yoke Walk (including 54 kg yoke)
    • 194 kg x 1
    • 216 kg x 2
  • Log Clean and Press
    • 62.5 kg x 3
    • 72.5 kg x 1
    • 77. 5 kg x 1
    • 82. 5 kg x 1 – New PR (182 lbs)

More to come!

Cheers,

The Bear

Training

Training Logs, Dec. 27th to Jan 5th

Haven’t had the chance to sit down and update my training logs in what feels like ages. Here is a bit of a backlog, followed by an uplifting update!

Tuesday, Dec 27

  • Flat Bench
    • 50 kg x 15
    • 70 kg x 8
    • 90 kg x 2
    • 100 kg x 1
    • 120 kg attempt – failure
    • 95 kg x 3 (3)
  • OHP – Push Press
    • 60 kg x 6
    • 65 kg x 4
  • OHP – Strict Press
    • 40 kg x 12 (2)
  • 1 Arm DB Rows
    • 15 kg x 15 (3)
  • Incline DB Bench Press
    • 12 kg x 20 (3)

Finished with a superset of 3-Direction Shoulder Flys and Hammer Curls.

This workout was a little scattered, and I think my concentration was suffering as a result of missing my 120 kg bench attempt. But I got plenty of volume in, and felt good overall.

Thursday, Dec 29th

  • High Bar Back Squat
    • 20 kg (bar) x 8
    • 60 kg x 5
    • 70 kg x 5
    • 90 kg x 5
    • 100 kg x 8
  • Low Bar Back Squat
    • 100 kg x 5 (2)
    • 110 kg x 5
    • 120 kg x 3 (2)
  • High Bar Back Squat
    • 70 kg x 15
    • 80 kg x 15

Finished with a Superset of Leg Extensions and Sumo Deadlifts (at 80 kg)

Squats were feeling on point today. Everything felt really solid, and I left with a tremendous leg pump from my final superset. This leg session was a huge confidence boost.

Saturday, Dec 31st

  • Steep Incline Bench (45-50 degrees)
    • 40 kg x 10
    • 50 kg x 8
    • 60 kg x 5
    • 65 kg x 5
    • 75 kg x 3
    • 80 kg x 3 (3)
  • Standing 1 Arm DB Press (strict)
    • 18 kg x 10
    • 20 kg x 10
    • 23 kg x 5

Finished with some light accessory work: Lat Pulldowns, DB Back Flys, Chest Press Machine, EZ Bar Curls, Face Pulls, Tricep Pullovers, and some Bicep Curl Machine.

Definitely a sweaty session. kept things light with machine work, tried to hit my arms hard, and get plenty of volume and variety.

Tue Jan 3rd

  • High Bar Back Squat
    • 40 kg x 5
    • 60 kg x 5
    • 80 kg x 5
    • 90 kg x 5
    • 100 kg x 5
    • 110 kg x 3
    • 115 kg x 2 (2)
    • 120 kg x 2
    • 125 kg x 2
  • Finished with a Superset of Leg Press and Leg Extensions.

This was a terrific leg workout. Plenty of volume, and my form felt solid working up to heavier weights. I definitely feel stronger squatting Low Bar, but High Bar helps me focus on bracing and training my lower back a little more.

Thu Jan 5th

  • Flat Bench Press
    • 70 kg x 10
    • 90 kg x 10
    • 100 kg x 3
    • 115 kg x 1
    • 110 kg x 1
  • Close Grip Bench Press
    • 70 kg x 15
    • 80 kg x 10
  • Finished with a Superset of Hammer Curls and 3 Direction Shoulder Flys

Since I hit legs so hard on Tuesday, this was a light bench day, just trying to work on my pressing power. Bench has been frustrating lately, but it’s been helping my pushing power, so I’ll stick with it.

I haven’t kept up with my training logs this week, but things have been going very well.

 

 

New PR, Training

New PR Today! Training Going Well

Hit a new Log Press PR today! My previous best log press was 155 lbs. Today, after warming up with some light yoke press, I managed to hit 160 lbs for a triple! This was a huge lift for me, since I’ve struggled to improve my log press for quite some time now.

I feel very encouraged, and it seems like my training is really paying off. Feeling stronger every week.

Here are my training reports for the week:

Tuesday Dec 20, 2016

DB Chest Press

  • 20 kg x 15
  • 26 kg x 12 (2)

DB Z-Press

  • 9 kg x 15, 12, 10

Z-Press, Barbell, Bench-Straddle

  • 40 kg x 8 (2)

Bench Press

  • 20 kg x 10
  • 40 kg x 8
  • 60 kg x 10
  • 70 kg x 5
  • 80 kg x 5
  • 90 kg x 3
  • 95 kg x 1
  • 90 kg x 3 (4)

Upright Barbell Rows

  • 30 kg x 15 (2)

Finished with Hammer Curls and a Shoulder Fly Dropset. I was feeling very worn out from my weekend event training, and it took me a long time to loosen up and find my rhythm. But in the end, I was able to hit 90 kg for four triples, and it felt quite easy. Hoping to build up to 100 kg triples soon. Spending more time on the basics this year, building up my strength foundation.

Thursday Dec 22, 2016

Low Bar Back Squats

  • 20 kg x 15
  • 40 kg x 12
  • 60 kg x 10
  • 70 kg x 5
  • 90 kg x 5
  • 100 kg x 5
  • 120 kg x 2
  • 125 kg x 1

High Bar Back Squats

  • 100 kg x 3
  • 110 kg x 3 (3)

Front Squats

  • 50 kg x 5
  • 70 kg x 3 (2)

Stiff Leg Deadlifts

  • 50 kg x 8 (3)

Plenty of volume on Thursday, really focusing on getting deep in my squats. My lower body power has always been a weak point for me, especially my squat. But it’s feeling a lot more solid now, and I’m hoping to hit a 150 kg squat soon.

Saturday Dec 24

Axle Deadlifts

  • 50 kg x 8
  • 70 kg x 8
  • 100 kg x 5
  • 110 kg x 3
  • 100 kg x 5

Yoke Walk, 20 m, drop and turn and halfway.

  • 94 kg x 1
  • 134 kg x 1
  • 174 kg x 1
  • 215 kg x 2
  • 174 kg x 2

Yoke Press

  • 54 kg x 5
  • 64 kg x 4 (3)

Log Push Press (Clean once)

  • 50 kg x 5
  • 60 kg x 3
  • 70 kg x 3

Incline Log Bench

  • 80 kg x 2
  • 70 kg x 5 (3)

Log Cleans

  • 90 kg x 1
  • 80 kg x 2

Today felt extremely good. Took a while to loosen everything up, but after the Axle Deadlifts everything felt light. The 70 kg triple on the Log was an enormous success, and it felt fairly easy. I will definitely be hitting my goal of a 100 kg log soon. That’s all for now, I’m feeling stronger every day, and I can’t wait for my next chance to compete.

Cheers,

The Bear.

Thoughts, Training

Weekly Training Update, December 17-18.

It’s been a good week for training. I had two solid upper body sessions at Contender Boxing Club during the week, and a great lower body and event day at Formosa Fitness on Saturday. Everything is feeling pretty good. And to top it all off, I found a new training partner, which will be a huge help.

I did some deadlifting on Saturday, since Formosa was running another certification class, and I could only use the open area for 3 quick sets of Farmers Walk. I was quite nervous about how my deadlift would be, since I haven’t actually deadlifted in nearly 4 months. But, while far from my all time best, I managed 150kg for a clean, beltless single. I’m quite happy with that, since I used to struggle quite a bit locking out anything heavier than 140 kg, and 150 went up smoothly. This means my lower body training, focusing on my glutes, is paying off. I have always suffered from a weak ass, and I’m really focusing on fixing that.

Here are my workout reports for the week:

Tuesday, December 13th

Bench Press

  • 40 kg x 15
  • 50 kg x 15
  • 60 kg x 15
  • 70 kg x 8
  • 80 kg x 8
  • 90 kg x 5
  • 95 kg x 3 (3)

Seated Z-Press (straddling bench, no back support)

  • 35 kg x 8
  • 40 kg x 8
  • 45 kg x 5
  • 50 kg x 5
  • 55 kg x 2.5 (very nearly a 3-rep PR!)

I finished this workout with a Pump Out, supersetting three variations of bicep curls, lat pulldowns, and chest and shoulder flys.

Thursday, December 15th – Upper Body

Warmup

Incline Bench Press

  • 40 kg x 15
  • 50 kg x 15
  • 60 kg x 8
  • 50 kg x 8 (3)

Dumbbell 1-Arm Rows

  • 15 kg x 15
  • 18 kg x 15 (2)

Standing Military Press (Strict)

  • 30 kg x 15
  • 35 kg x 12
  • 30 kg x 12 (2) – Wide Grip
  • 30 kg x 8(2) – Narrow Grip

Upright Rows

  • 35 kg x 15 (2)

Close-Grip Bench Press

  • 30 kg x 15
  • 40 kg x 12
  • 40 kg x 8

Saturday, December 17

Straight Bar Deadlift

  • 50 kg x 10
  • 60 kg x 10
  • 95 kg x 8
  • 115 kg x 6
  • 132 kg x 3
  • 150 kg x 1
  • 140 kg x 3 (3)

Farmers Walk, 20m, Drop and Turn at Halfway

  • 47.5 kg x 2
  • 57.5 kg x 1
  • 77.5 kg x 1

High Bar Squat

  • 60 kg x 8
  • 80 kg x 5

Paused Front Squat

  • 60 kg x 3 (3)

Zercher Squat

  • 55 kg x 6
  • 75 kg x 3
  • 85 kg x 3

Log Press, Strict (Clean Once)

  • 30 kg log x 10
  • 50 kg x 5
  • 55 kg x 5
  • 60 kg x 3(2)

Log Clean

  • 70 kg x 3
  • 75 kg x 3
  • 80 kg x 2

Flat Log Bench Press

  • 80 kg x 5 (2)

When I tried to squat, my chest was still very tight from all the chest work during the week, and I couldn’t get comfortable under the bar, so I elected to move to Front and Zercher squats. Overall I’m quite happy with this weeks training. Now it’s time for a couple days rest, and I’ll be back at it on Tuesday.

Cheers,

The Bear.