New PR, Training, Update

Training Update, Life in Taiwan

Training has been going well, and life in Taiwan has settled into a comfortable rhythm.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine set a new Deadlift Pr back home  in Canada, and that inspired me to take a bash at setting one of my own. I’ve been rebuilding my Deadlift lately, having fixed up my form and corrected some serious errors I’d been making.

My lats and upper back suffered from under-development, and I did not engage them during my Deadlift, which always left my lower back overtaxed and feeling burnt out after Deadlifts. Learning to engage my lats had helped greatly in engaging my entire back, and my Deadlifts now feel better than they ever have.

I managed to pull 170 kg/374 lbs at 99 kg/218 lbs bodyweight. That was a huge success for me, being:

  1. the heaviest BW Ratio I have ever pulled, at 1.7x Bodyweight
  2. close to the heaviest I have ever pulled, and at a lighter bodyweight.

In the summer of 2015, I pulled 405 lbs, but that was wearing a belt, and with absolutely atrocious form. This was smoother, and felt like much more of a victory.

 

Life in Taiwan is settling down. Work leaves me plenty of personal time, which is fantastic. I renewed my contract for a second year, which means I won’t be back for a while yet.

I also registered for my first coaching certification, and I’ll be working towards becoming a Kettlebell Coach over the next two months, preparing for the course in November. Very excited for this, and I’m looking at it as the first step on my journey to becoming a strength coach and eventually a gym owner.

That’s all for now, thank you for your continued readership!

Cheers,

The Bear.

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Programming, Thoughts, Training, Update

One Week To Go! / Looking Ahead

Well I have one week left to go in my 6 Week Program. I have been controlling my diet well and it has been going quite well! I’ll be posting my results next weekend, but I can say, looking at the numbers, that my lifts and rep ranges have gone steadily up across all my primary lifts.

This is hugely encouraging, as I’ve managed to shed about 15 lbs in the process. I’m very happy with how things have come together, and I’m excited about my future progress.

Looking ahead now, I’ve been happy with my progress, but I also feel like I went a little easy on myself. I know, deep down, that my body is capable of much more than I usually push it to achieve.

To that end, I’m going to be reprogramming next weekend. I am continuing a total-body program, aimed at increasing my general strength. I’ve been looking in to Linear Progression programs as explained by Brian Alsruhe. My brother has been using his program and really enjoys it, and I think that it will be what I’m looking for.

Here is the video, if you’re interested. He lays out the basics of the program, and how it benefits his training. It sounds a little daunting, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’ll put my program together this week, and let you know how it goes!

Keep checking back for the wrap-up of my first 6 weeks, and train hard!

Feel free to message me any questions, or leave them in the comments below.

Cheers,

The Bear.

Programming, Update

Progress Update

Hello everyone, I’m now 2 weeks into my new Program and it’s going very well! I have also cleaned up my diet and started using My Fitness Pal again. I’m down from around 111 kg in June, to 104.2 kg now.

For added fun, I was able to get my body fat and other biometrics measured. Currently sitting at 104 kg/239 lbs and 26.6% body fat. Not the worst I’ve ever been, but still far off where I would like.

My next goal is to be under 220 lbs and 18% body fat. I’ll be posting updates as I work through the first six weeks, and hit milestones along the way. In the mean time, here’s a progress picture of my back, from May 2016 (right) to April 2017 (left).

Programming, Training, Update

New Training Program in Development

I sat down over the weekend after a long period of thought and wrote out a rough first draft of my new training routine. It’s a little ambitious, and I’m currently testing it to see how well-balanced and functional it is.

The program is based on a three week rotation, with two cycles of the heavier Week A, followed by one of the lighter, more hypertrophy and bodyweight-focused Week B. Due to the circumstances surrounding my access to training facilities, the program is based around basic gym equipment for general strength-building, with an event session to be rotated in every three weeks. This is not going to be an effective program for developing strongman techniques and event conditioning, but it is suited to my current needs.

Today is Day 2, Week A. Day 1 was a overall quite good, but requires some changes.

For anyone interested, once I have finished a three-week rotation and spent time editing and refining the program, I’ll be looking for people willing to help me test it. If you might be interested in testing my developmental program, or have any questions about training, please leave a comment below, message me on IG, or shoot me an email.

More to come.

Cheers,

The Bear.

Thoughts, Training

Feeling Strong This Week; Training Logs: Feb 16-18

Making solid progress this week. Everything is feeling more solid and dialed in. I’ve been eating better, and I believe it’s going to pay off in the long run. I’m working on my conditioning and my athleticism in an effort to become more competitive in my weight class.

Thursday Feb 16

  • Deadlift (Conventional)
    • 70 kg x 5
    • 100 kg x 5
    • 120 kg x 5
    • 140 kg x 5
    • 150 kg x 3
    • 110 kg x 5
  • Snatch Grip Deadlift
    • 100 kg x 5 (3)
  • Front Squat
    • 70 kg x 3
    • 60 kg x 5 (3)
  • Inverted Rows
    • 15, 12 x 2

Deadlifts felt pretty terrible today. My back started to round, and my form collapsed when I moved the weight up to 150 kg. I’ve added more upper back work to help keep tightness across my back when I deadlift, and prevent my shoulders from dragging me down out of position.

Friday Feb 17

  • Seated Smith Machine Military Press
    • 30 kg x 8
    • 40 kg x 5
    • 50 kg x 3
    • 60 kg x 3
      • I’m not sure if the bar on the machine weighs anything, so the weights listed are just the weight I added.
  • Seated Barbell Military Press
    • 40 kg x 12
    • 50 kg x 8
    • 60 kg x 3
  • Incline Bench Press (Steep)
    • 70 kg x 5
    • 60 kg x 8 (3)
  • Superset: Hammer Curls/ 3-Direction Shoulder Flys

I finished with some accesory work, trying to improve my core strength and add a little variety into my training. Finished with a pair of AMRAP sets of EZ bar curls and EZ bar french press.

Saturday Feb 18

  • Front Squats
    • 50 kg x 5
    • 60 kg x 3
    • 70 kg x 3
    • 80 kg x 3 (3)
  • High Bar Back Squats
    • 85 kg x 8
    • 90 kg x 8
    • 95 kg x 8
  • Barbell Lunge Squats
    • 50 kg x 10
    • 40 kg x 10
  • Superset: Ab Roller Crunches (3 x 5)/Hip Thrusters (3 x 20) – 3 Variations.

Saturdays workout felt the best this week. My deadlifts were a bit disappointing, but they’ve always been a weak point of mine. I’m going to be working them more regularly from now on. But my high bar squats felt solid, more than they have in a long time. I think squatting regularly is paying off.

All in all, it has been a good week. I’ve set some goals, both fitness and personal, and now I feel like I’m working toward something, instead of just working. I hope to be able to compete when I visit home in the summer, but that’s still up to scheduling.I’m feeling stronger every week, and I can’t wait to get back into competition and see how far I’ve come.

In the meantime, I’m trying to keep my focus, and keep my discipline.

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.