Monday, June 10, 2013

Still on track

Number of workouts this month: 6/22

I'm still making good progress on my goals this month. Today I missed my first workout so far, because I was just dead tired. I went to bed early got 8.5 hours of sleep, and was just dragging, so I went back to sleep for 2 more hours instead of hitting the gym. Oh well, it wasn't for being lazy, I was just listening to my body and my body was telling me it needed more rest. I felt fine when I got up after the additional sleep. I did a gnarly Olympic lifting workout on Saturday, so I think I just needed a little bit more to recover effectively. From now on I'll make sure to take a nap and eat a little extra food after my longer, more intense workouts on Saturdays. I should be able to still stay on track for the 22 workouts this month, but I don't have any more leeway with that now.

Saturday I clean and jerked up to 245, then 8 singles at 205 (on the minute). Did some Romanian deadlifts (3x5@175 from a 5" deficit) and some clean pulls (3x3@225). Then I hit the front squats hard. The goal was to hit a heavy single, then work on volume at 80%, but since I haven't front squatted heavy in a while I wanted to see what my true max was. So I worked up, slowly, to 305, which I nailed, but 315 was too much and I had to dump it. Seeing as my best-ever front squat was 310, back in December 2011 (after an 8-week Wendler cycle), I was pretty happy with where I'm at. After the max I did some reps at 275 and called it a day.

I'm focusing on the front squat this month (and for at least a month after) because they feel so much better than the back squat for my body. My hip and back don't hurt after a heavy front squat session like they tend to with the back squat, and I feel safer going heavy since they're easier to bail on. I figure as long as I continue working my posterior chain with heavy RDLs and kettlebell swings I should be able to actually make some good progress without hurting myself (and who knows, it might actually translate over to my back squat).

I weighed myself late last week, just for shiggles, and was down to 223 which is pretty good, especially since I started loading creatine (10g/day) consistently this month, which usually adds a few pounds. My diet's been decent over the weekend; I had one cheat meal, and a decent amount of beers, but I tried to keep the calories in check and did a pretty good job. As long as I don't set myself back on the weekends, and make progress during the week, I'll be fine for a while. I know as my body fat gets lower I'll have to get a bit more strict, so I'm doing so gradually so that by that time I'll already have the good habits in place.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Feels good man

Number of workouts completed so far this month: 4 (out of 22 planned)

Still on track with workouts and food. Not gonna lie, I was pretty sore this morning when I got out of bed, but I knew that once I got to the gym and got warmed up everything would be fine. I'm getting used to working out at 7AM, it doesn't really feel early any more (although I'm sure in the winter months that will change). Today was a standard Crossfit workout (4 rounds for time of 400m run + 50 squats), and it sucked! My legs are smoked from the other workouts I've done this week, all of which have included some form of weighted squatting (full cleans on Saturday, front squats on Monday, and Overhead Squats and Snatches yesterday). I could feel the lack of glycogen in my muscles half-way through, but I pushed through. Then I slammed a protein shake and ate a Snickers bar (regular size, not the big old double bar). Yeah, on purpose. Not only are they delicious, but they provide some much needed fast carbs. And now I'm back to my regular low-GI, low-carb foods. I am of the opinion that smart, reasonable, targeted cheats can actually help when done correctly, and they give you a little mental freedom from strict dieting.

Tomorrow is a rest day, thank God. I plan to spend some time working mobility and foam rolling, so I can come back Friday feeling fresh. Probably take a long walk as well, just to keep thing moving and get the blood flowing.

From a subjective perspective (yay word play) I'm looking leaner. My stomach has flattened out, most likely due to the lack of gluten and processed carbs. I wake up and my eyes aren't puffy, and while I'm stiff first thing in the morning, I am able to loosen up and move well in the workouts, without any nagging pains, which tells me that my inflammation is improving. All-in-all, I know I'm moving in the right direction, and it feels good, man.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Goals await

June 1st weigh-in: 225
Number of workouts completed so far this month: 3 (out of 22 planned)

So far, so good. I haven't missed any scheduled workouts so far, and I prepped a crap-ton of food over the weekend. I've been eating a ton of meat and veggies, trying not to snack much, and including carbs sparingly (usually post-workout sweet potato/apple hash). I'm not tracking my calories because it's too much work when you're eating whole foods, so I'm just making sure to eat until I'm satisfied, then stop. Surprisingly easy when you're eating a lot of greens and good quality protein, at least it has been so far. The hardest part is making sure I have everything prepped each night for the next day so I can just grab my food and go.

My training is going great so far. I'm really excited to see my improvements in my Olympic lifting this month with all the additional emphasis I'm placing on it. If it goes well and I make good gains I think I'll keep going with this template until I hit a wall, no reason to mess up something that works and is enjoyable. I've been training with an experienced Olympic weightlifter in the mornings on my Oly days, which is nice because he has a good eye for the lifts, and we can kind of coach each other as we go along. For example, this morning I was doing power cleans + push jerks, and he noticed I was dipping forward in the beginning of the jerk. I made a correction, and the lift instantly felt easier and more solid (and less painful in my wrists). Really cool stuff, looking forward to improving my technique a lot.

Much of the past year has been spent dealing with nagging injuries, including some kind of abdominal wall sprain and issues with my lower back and right hip. But for the first time in a long time I'm finally feeling close to 100% (as close as I'll probably ever be), and it's a really good feeling. Now is the time to make gains by training hard and smart. Goals await!