Thank you to everyone who took the time to take the blog content survey! It is immensely helpful to me. Speaking of the survey, a TON of you said you’d like to see more training/workout/strongman posts and since I don’t think I’ve written anything about my own gym stuff in a while, today seems like a good day to update things. I’m currently entering the second 12-week cycle of my off season so I’m not doing any implement work but am doing a whole lot of power cleans, squats, pressing, and other things. I spent most of my first cycle being injured - I sprained a good portion of the ligaments in part of my back due to some SI joint issues so I couldn’t back squat or deadlift for about 2 months. I made adjustments, did some physical therapy stuff, and was pretty cautious about reintroducing back squats and deadlifts into my program. My cautiousness and actual chilling the eff out-ness seems to have paid off since deadlifts and back squats have felt fine the past two weeks. So what have I been doing for 12+ weeks?
Power cleans. SO MANY POWER CLEANS. I hate power cleans. But I PR’ed by power clean by about 6kgs (just about 13#) in 12 weeks after not power cleaning for nearly a year and also PR’ed my clean by 5kgs (over 10#) for several singles because my body apparently remembers how to clean even though I haven’t done that in at least 1 and a half years.
Power cleans are still my nemesis but at least they're improving each week. 5 sets of 3 at 46kg this evening. Shirt by @reebok , wrist wraps from @strengthwraps #fitfluential #srbarathlete #teamx2 #livewithfire #startingstrongman #strongman #strongwoman #cleansoncleans
We got to play with some implements on Saturday and it was great to see my power clean progress actually translate to implement stuff and I ended up with a 30# log clean PR.
Squats. While I was injured I was front squatting with chains, which is brutal at best. It was very helpful in building up my upper back and was great for rehabbing my injury. I also front squatted my old 1RM (175#) for a triple (140# + 40#ish of chains), although it’s tough to say how that works out since the chains add an entirely different dimension. I’ve been back squatting for about a week now and taking it very light. My “heavy” day felt incredibly easy so that’s promising and reassuring that I haven’t lost that much strength off of my back squat. At this point, my squat doesn’t really NEED to increase - I’m cutting weight and squats aren’t usually a competitive lift for me so just maintaining my current squat levels is really my goal.
Pressing. I’m a bad presser. Pressing has always been my weak point but I was able to make some measurable progress for the first time in pretty much forever. Having a back injury meant I couldn’t do much lower body accessory work so I did A LOT of upper body accessory stuff - dumbbell pressing, dumbbell rows, incline z presses, etc. I do love a good z press.
Can't resist playing with new toys after I finish my workout. New 75# keg for lots of pressing practice. #strongwoman #strongman #kegsarefun #fitfluential #srbarathlete #startingstrongman #teamx2
Other stuff: Like I said, I haven't done a whole lot of implement work because we are in off season but we did play with some kegs and logs this weekend and I have made some noticeable improvement there. I can't wait to see how these strength gains translate to implement stuff! I almost managed a triple bodyweight (465#) sled drag for 80 feet which was brutal and awful and fantastic.
[photo by Stephanie Lau]
Diet stuff: I’m well on my way to my new weight class. My programming and diet has changed over the past week or so to accommodate the fact that I still need to lose about 10# before I compete. Programming wise, that means cutting back the volume on certain things and making my weak points (pressing and bringing my deadlift back up) a priority by adjusting my schedule and other exercises. Diet wise that means operating in more of a caloric deficit and eating every carb on the planet to help ensure that my performance and recovery don’t take a big hit.
Whew, that’s it.