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, Training

Programming and Dieting

Since I’ve been too cheap to buy a bathroom scale, I finally found a place where I can get weighed. Apparently, the BMI is taken very seriously here, and many pharmacies offer general weight checkups. I went to check it out and got some surprising results:

  • Weight: 104.2 kg
  • Body Fat: 26.6%
  • Muscle: 31.1%
  • Body Age: 51 y/o
  • BMR: 2141 kcal
  • BMI: 31.3

This was a little disheartening. I had been eating cleaner and exercising harder since June, when I weighed in at 111.4 kg. So the loss was encouraging, but these measurements put me far above where I would like to be.

So I have resumed using My Fitness Pal to track my calories and Macros, and have been working through my new training program. It has been feeling really good, and I’m looking forward to next month’s weigh-in.

My next goal is to be under 215 lbs/ 97 kg and/or 18% body fat. So far I have been able to shed the weight while maintaining or improving my lifts throughout this training cycle. Hopefully I can continue this trend, and work on building up my base musculature while I continue to shed the excess fluff.

That’s all for now, wish me luck!

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).

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 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.

 

 

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.