Author Topic: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal  (Read 31857 times)

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #100 on: December 02, 2008, 09:41:20 PM »
I found that when I switched to saying "I don't eat that" it worked a lot better in the long term than "No thanks, I don't want any".  Might be a method worth exploring, if you have not already.

I remember saying something like "I've decided to start eating healthy, so I don't want any more gummy bears, thanks," a long time ago, but I don't think my parents got the message.  Sad as it is to say, I don't go home often enough for this to be a really serious problem, so I usually forget about it.


Quote
Wow -- your organic milk is cheaper than my crazy hormoned milk :P

Yeah, I've never actually bought organic milk before.  I saw it at the store last week, and since I've lived exclusively off of college food all semester, seeing the $6.00/gal pricetag didn't set off any alarms.  If I can get it for half that much, then why not?!?!  :D

Quote
I look forward to Dec 4 when I can see for sure
Yeah, you'd better just be ready. :P

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #101 on: December 04, 2008, 04:58:34 PM »
Chris, you were right. :)

12/04/08

Weight: 168

Warmup
Body Squat - 15x3
Push Up - 10x3
Pull Up - 5x3 Note: I could get my chest up to the bar just fine on the first set, but I kept inching further away during the other two sets.
Sampson Stretch - 2 each side x3

Workout
Squat
(45x5)x2
135x5
185x3
205x2
-------
(235x5)x3 (1.39x BW)  Note: These felt good.  The very last rep was a struggle, but I'll be ready for 245 on Tues. for sure.

Bench Press
(25s x5)x2
35s x5
45s x3
55s x2
-------
(65s x5)x3  Note: This felt about the same as it did right before I moved up to 70s.  That said, I'll be moving up next time.

Power Clean
(45x5)x2
65x5
75x3
85x2
-------
(95x5)x3  Note: These weren't really physically taxing like most of my other lifts, so I think I'm much stronger than this.  I still plan on progressing by increments of 5-10#, because it will be an opportunity to work my form gradually rather than my weight.

Cooldown
Stretch - 20:00 min.  Note: I was still sore today from Tuesday, so stretching felt particularly gratifying.  Mmmm.

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #102 on: December 04, 2008, 07:50:35 PM »
Chris, you were right. :)

Sick :)

Good job on the squat PR man.  Keep it up....and don't forget to take another week off in 4-6 weeks -- you should be getting real heavy by then.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #103 on: December 06, 2008, 02:21:55 PM »
12/05/08 - Nothing, had a busy day

12/06/08 - Springfield Weekly Jam

Today was a great day.  There were six of us at Founders, and we did a lot of good work.

Warmup

Monkey walking/random QM - 5:00 minutes  Note: My quads really feel it after doing this, but not so much my arms.  I will have to toy around with this technique to see if I can stress my arms a little more.  If not, we'll probably have to integrate push ups, handstands or something next time.

Workout

A new guy Jesse was there today, so we spent a reasonable amount of time looking at his technique, helping him improve, and showing him some new stuff.  I also spent some time on my own practicing stuff I've been wanting to work on.  Throughout the course of the day we worked on:

 - rolling (I rolled on concrete from a crouch, mostly)
 - Kong Vault
 - Speed Vault
 - Wall Run
 - Tic Tac
 - Cat Leap
 - Climb Up

We also played a little game where we started at one end of our concrete paradise, and took turns moving through to the other end as powerfully and gracefully as possible.  As it turns out, running and doing techniques is a lot harder than just drilling technique! :P  This will have to become more of a staple, because it rocked.

In addition to a faster, more powerful climb up, I'd also like to get a smoother, more graceful transition from crouching at the top of a wall into a cat hang from the top of a wall (sort of a "climb down").  I feel about as graceful as a fat kid crawling out of a pool when I try this, and I need to build up grip strength, negative muscle strength, coordination and overall confidence to be able to do this.

Total workout time - 1:20 hours

Cooldown

Stretch - 15:00 min.

A less than an hour after training, I noticed how tired my legs and arms felt, and how good it feels to be pushing myself again. :D


Injury Report

My gash is doing pretty well.  I can see a ring of new skin around it (the wound has shrunken accordingly), but the new skin looks pretty dry.  I think a moisturizer would only slow down the scab's healing work, but if it doesn't get better I'll have to think creatively.

Also, today a silly accident happened.  I was sizing up a cat leap, and wanted to know if I could make the gap.  I measured out the distance on flat ground and did a running jump (it was only about 8 feet so I was pretty needlessly worried), but when I landed my right foot slipped out from underneath me.  It was just normal concrete and my shoes are normally pretty grippy, so I'm not sure what caused it... maybe just a wonky form issue.  Like I said I was on level ground so there was no real danger, but my left leg took all the force of my momentum, and I thought for a minute that I had really pulled some muscles on my shin and maybe my calf as well.  It feels fine as of right now (thanks no doubt to my strength training) and I don't think I pulled it after all, but I'll be keeping an eye on it for a day or so just to make sure.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #104 on: December 06, 2008, 03:02:15 PM »
Also, I think I'm going to log my diet for a few days.  Generally I know I avoid really unhealthy foods and I'm really not that concerned with my diet, but I know there's room to improve, and seeing exactly what I eat in a day might help point me in a good direction.


Breakfast: Usually I have access to the Commons on campus, but I ran out of meals this semester, so I'll post both my typical and my current breakfast.
 - Typical
   - When I have time (MAAAYBE once per month):
       - Two serving spoons full of scrambled eggs Note: These may or may not be real eggs.  They taste good enough, but I've heard rumors.
       - 2-3 pieces of bacon Note: I've heard from most places that bacon is bad for you, but I've also heard from a few that it's one of the better things on a breakfast menu.  What's the deal here?
       - One serving spoon full of fruit (mainly strawberries and pineapple, but also cantaloupe and honeydew)
       - One banana
       - Half a serving spoon of hash browns Note: This is inconsistent.  I know they're basically just starch and grease, so I steer clear of them most of the time.
       - One glass of 2% milk Note: I wish the Commons served whole.  Chocolate wouldn't be a better substitute, would it?
       - One glass of "Orange juice beverage"  Note: I hate drinking this, because I'm pretty sure it's 90% HFCS, soo...
       - More often: one glass of water
   - When I don't have time (much more often):
       - One glass of 2% milk
       - One cinnamon roll Note: Yeah... I know
 - Lately
   - Two Blueberry off-brand Nutri-Grain bars Note: Because I'm poor and it's better than starving.
   - Either: one glass of whole milk or one glass of water (depending on whether or not I've recently bought milk)
   - A Centrum mutlivitamin and Vitamin C supplement (833% of my DV!) Note: These were given to me to help speed up the healing of my gash (Vitamins C and E, I think?), but I don't plan on taking them anymore after I run out


Lunch/Dinner:  This varies a little depending on what the Commons has to offer, but generally
 - Typical
    - PB&J on wheat
    - Turkey Sandwhich on wheat/ Carved turkey/ Chicken
    - Half a plate of "fresh" spinach
    - a handful of baby carrots
    - Mashed potatoes (when available)
    - Banana (when available)
    - Apple
    - One glass of 2% milk
    - One glass of water
    - Fried rice (occassionally)
 - Lately
    - One sandwhich of peanut butter, jelly, and peanut butter (three slices)
    - Apple sauce
    - One glass of whole Milk (if I've got it, otherwise) water

VERY Occasional lunch/dinner add-ons/substitutions Note: I know, and I only eat each once in the course of 2 months, approximately.
 - Pasta w/ marinara sauce
 - One grilled cheese sandwhich
 - Serving spoon of tater tots
 - Two oatmeal raisin cookies (with another glass of 2% milk)

I was really picky when I was a kid, so I'm pretty good at getting settled into "eating routines" and I don't mind eating the same thing just about all the time.  This makes it easier to remember what I usually eat, so this list is about 95% accurate.  Like, I said, I know it's not perfect, but I feel like it's pretty good.  I know I can eat better by cutting out more carbs and by eating more protein and vegetables, but the Commons here at school really isn't ideal, and I don't have the kind of money to buy my own food regularly.  What I would really like to incorporate into my diet much more regularly (i.e. what I like to see the commons serve) is:

 - blueberries
 - walnuts
 - decent sandwhich-sliced turkey (the stuff they have now is usually slimy and sketchy)
 - maybe fish?  Every time the commons has had fish it's been completely revolting.
 - More vegetables, but I'm not sure what would be best

I've also toyed around with the idea of protein shakes, but I don't know.  Thoughts or comments about any of this?

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #105 on: December 06, 2008, 04:24:03 PM »
Did you read my "Eating Right" article?  It might help you get on the right track.

If anything in your dining hall is questionable, ask.  If they don't tell u, assume the worst.  You have the right to know what you are putting into your body.  I used to ask the women at the buffet if these were real or "boxed" eggs and they were usually straight up with me.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #106 on: December 06, 2008, 06:24:44 PM »
I'm reading through it now, and I just read Muse's article about eat right on a budget.

At the store tonight I bought more milk, turkey breast, plain yogurt (just tried it for the first time: URK!), bananas, grapes, carrots, spinach (fresh), and more Centrum.  I thought about buying fish oil pills, but I couldn't find them.

Offline TraceuseDS

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #107 on: December 06, 2008, 06:58:42 PM »
plain yogurt (just tried it for the first time: URK!)

Haha, yeah...it tastes gross at first. Try cutting up fruit (the bananas?) and putting it in the yogurt. Or use it like a salad dressing or as a dip for the carrots. Sometimes that helps. ;)
Just take the next step.A day without a challenge is a wasted day.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #108 on: December 06, 2008, 10:41:47 PM »
Awesome, thanks!  I had originally planned to buy some strawberries for the yogurt as well, but I didn't.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #109 on: December 09, 2008, 03:12:54 PM »
12/07/08 - Rest Day
12/08/08 - Fighting off the plague day

12/09/08

Weight: 170 lbs.

Warmup
Body Squat - 15x3

Push Up - 10x3

Pull Up - 6x3  Note: Same issue today with gradually losing strength.  By my last rep I couldn't hardly even touch the bar with the top of my chest.  I'll just have to keep at it.

Workout
Squat
(45x5)x2
135x5
185x3
205x2
-------
(245x5)x3 PR matched from 11/11 (1.44x BW)  Note: Yes.

Bench Press
(25s x5)x2
35s x5
45x3
55x2
-------
(70s x5)x2
70s x4 Note: Couldn't get that last rep up in the air.  Lookout, next Tuesday, I'm coming for you.

Deadlift
(135x5)x2
205x5
235x3
255x2
-------
300x5 New PR (1.76x BW) Note: When do I turn into a Super Saiyan?  Also, my back felt a little rounded on the last rep (which I DON'T like), sooo...
135x5 Note: With perfect form.

Cooldown
Stretch - 20:00 min.

Injury report:  My shin still feels good, but its still a great big ol' scab that's going to be a great big ol' scar one day.  I did NOT pull any muscles in my shin from my impact on Saturday, which is actually kind of impressive.  It was almost unnoticeably tender on Sunday morning, but it went away by the afternoon.

Also today, as I was standing up from one of my push up sets, I grazed my right knee just a tad on the ground, which tore open a brand new scar from my little mishap way back on 11/5 (about 1/3 down on page 5, if you're curious...).  It wasn't painful at all, but it bled a little bit, so I took a trip to the bathroom between my warmup and workout to dab it up.  All is well.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #110 on: December 11, 2008, 03:21:40 PM »
12/10/08 - Focus on homework Day.  I experimented with a few things, but nothing that I would really consider a workout.  I was curious to see how long I could hold a Frog Stand (from these Planche and Front Lever progressions), so I tried it.  I didn't time myself, but I held it for around 10 seconds, and I felt like 25-30 sec. would have been my max right now.  I also had my girlfriend take some pictures of me while I was doing it, and noticed that at first I was leaning way forward.  I held the position for 10 seconds AFTER readjusting to be almost perfectly level.

12/11/08

Weight: 168 lbs.

Warmup
Body Squat - 15x2

Push Up - 10x2

Pull Up - 6x2

Sampson Stretch - 2 each side x2

Workout
Squat
(145x5)x2
185x5
205x3  Note: At this time, I noticed a pinch in my lower back.  It wasn't really painful, but it was definitely uncomfortable (probably a 4 on a scale of 1-10), so I decided not to finish the rest of my squat.  (255x5)x3 will have to wait until Tues. :(

Press
(45x5)x2
65x5
75x3
85x2
-------
(105x5)x3 Note: Failed on the last rep.  Would have been a new PR, but I'll get it next week no problem.

P. Clean
(45x5)x2
65x5
85x3
95x2
-------
115x5
115x3 Fail
105x5 Note: This set felt better than the previous set, but I feel like my power clean is just pathetic.  I don't feel like I'm jumping enough, and it doesn't feel like my traps are pulling like they should.  I wish I had a way to record myself.  Also, I think I may have done poorly on this exercise today because (unlike normal) I didn't plan out exactly what weights I would lift before coming to the gym.

Muscle-Up Practice
5 MUs on an assisted pull up machine (standing on the support instead of kneeling).  Note: I saw this recommended at the beginning of this video, and I like it about as much as I thought I would (not very much).

Instead, I moved to the cable machine and did that same thing I did a few weeks ago.  It's similar to the second method in that video, except I'm on my knees and facing the weights.  Also, I use a handle that is about 2.5 feet long, so I can get a wider, more traditional pull-up grip on the bar.  I notice it engages my core a lot.

(40x6)x2
57.5x5
65x3
70x2
-------
(87.5x6)x3  Note: These really feel like they're helping.  My main problem is with building strength in the negative movement, and I have MUCH more control here than if I'm attempting negatives with my whole bodyweight.  Also, I've been mentioning that I can pull up all the way to my sternum when I warm up, and that motion is much easier this week than it was before I tried this cable technique for the first time a few weeks ago.  I'm definitely sticking to this for a little while, then I'll move to doing kipping pull ups on a normal bar.  There's only one more weight that I can move up to on these cables, so it shouldn't be too long before I move up.  Maybe two more weeks of solid training.

Cooldown
Stretch - 15:00 min.

I'm beginning to think about a new workout program once I stop making linear gains on SS.  As of now, my plan looks something like this (comments and criticism are welcome!):

 - Once per week in the gym for a long strength-maintenance session.  I'd like to do all five SS lifts--and I probably will--but I have a little time to decide for certain.
 - Divide the rest of the week up alternating between parkour-specific training and high-intensity bodyweight strength training/ explosive power training.  These days will include planche, handstand, and (hopefully) front lever progressions (with pushing/pulling exercises for each), sprinting and longer, slower distance, plyo stuff (which I don't know much about... I'll have to research), and a much bigger focus on flexibility training.

The way I see it right now, my once weekly strength-maintenance session will serve as an opportunity to A) preserve my lifting strength, and B) see if bodyweight strength training has a noticeable effect on my already established strength records.  Sprinting will build cardio endurance fast, and LSD has always been a goal of mine (I think because that's what everyone does).  Plyo will help increase my explosiveness, which is something I feel is a little lacking with my SS training.  I definitely want to avoid being a lumbering strongman, and I know there are better things out there for targeting explosiveness than JUST the SS lifts.

What are everyone's thoughts?

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #111 on: December 12, 2008, 08:43:15 AM »
12/11/08 - Part 2

I was on duty in my dorm last night, which means being required to stay up until 1am. :(  Luckily we can do pretty much whatever we want so long as we don't leave the dorm, so I invited some friends over and we watched the Last Samurai.  I warmed up at around 10:30pm for a few minutes, then stretched until 11:30ish.  I focused a lot on my hamstrings and my groin muscles, but I paid attention to my hip flexors as well.  After this I did some handstand practice.  I'm getting better, but I can only hold one for about 3-4 seconds, and I have to "walk around" a lot to do it.

This morning my traps right by my neck are feeling pretty sore from power clean yesterday.  That's really good news.  I would feel better about it (because my arms aren't sore), but my arms have never gotten sore in my 4ish years of lifting (not even in the past 9 months of dedicated, serious lifting), so I can't really tell how much I used my arms in the lifts.

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #112 on: December 12, 2008, 09:02:28 AM »
Regarding SS:

I suggest you stick with SS and not focus on explosive movements until you either:
1) Exhaust Linear Progression
2) Reach your strength goals

After that, I would focus on either:
1) More explosive lifts, i.e. Cleans and Snatches
2) Focused jump and plyos training, i.e. Box Jump Linear Progressions, Triple Jump, Depth Jumps, etc.
3) Combination of both

Not going to the maximum of Linear Progression kind of defeats the purpose of SS.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #113 on: December 12, 2008, 12:07:45 PM »
Thanks!  I guess my wording was wonky, because I meant to say that I was going to continue on SS until I stop progression.  ::)  I don't think that will be for another 2-3 months at least, but I'm just starting to think about a new program now to get some work done ahead of time.

That advice about the explosive lifts is great, and I'll definitely incorporate it into my routine.  The plyos stuff is also good, because I'm still not as knowledgeable as I'd like to be about constructing a solid plyo routine.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #114 on: December 13, 2008, 08:11:22 AM »
12/12/08 - Springfield Weekly Training Session

Today I had to train at 8am instead of 11am because of a busy schedule, but train I did.  Holland was the only regular who showed up (understandably... it's freaking early), and there was a new guy Andrew there today (Prancer here on the forums).  We did basically a normal workout, and he kept up pretty well, so he should be a lot of fun to train with!

Warmup
Body Squat - 10x, 15x

Push Up - 10x2

Burpees - 2x2

QM - about 100m worth to give Andrew a feel for the movements.  Split up into two sessions.

Workout
Landing Tutorial/drilling - ~15:00 min.

Rolling tutorial - ~10:00 min.

Cat Leap Tutorial - ~10:00 min.

Intro to Kong - ~15:00 min.

INTRO to Speed Vault - ~5:00 min.

Cooldown
Stretch - ~15:00 min.

All-in-all it was a pretty good session.  I was a little groggy and a little cold at first, but both cleared up without too much of a fuss.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #115 on: December 16, 2008, 07:52:12 PM »
12/14/08 - Nothing
12/15/08 - Finals
12/16/08

Weight: 170

Warmup
Body Squat - 15x3
Push Up - 10x3
Pull Up - 6x3  Note: These don't seem to be improving at all.  I'd say today they were maybe even a little worse than usual.
Sampson Stretch - 2 each side x3

Workout
Squat
(45x5)x2
135x5
185x3
215x2
-------
(255x5)x3 New PR (1.5x BW)  Note: These took a little work, but they were a lot easier than I expected.  I think I could have handled 265.

Bench Press
(25s x5)x2
35s x5
45s 3
55s x2
-------
(70s x5)x2 Fail
65s x5  Note:  No idea what was the issue here.  Any ideas?  Could it have been that I haven't done any parkour since Saturday, which conditions my arms a little bit?

Deadlift
(135x5)x2
185x5
225x3
275x2
-------
310x5 New PR (1.82x BW)  Note: about a 15 second pause before the last rep to readjust my grip.  Also, I was a little shaky after racking this for about 5 minutes.

Cooldown
Stretch - 15:00 min.

All in all, today was a pretty good day.  I had to readjust my schedule a little because I have two papers: one due Monday the 15th by 5:00, the other due Wednesday the 17th by 5:00.  Sadly, I got their deadlines switched somehow, and when I got an email from my professor at around 1:30 I had to drop everything and get that late paper out. 

Because of that, I wasn't able to find anyone to bum dinner off of, so my dinner consisted of a few tablespoons of peanut butter, a handful of raisins, a cup of strawberry yogurt with granola, and 2 cups of water.  Far from ideal, but I don't have much left in my room, and wanted something that would keep me energized before the traditional late night breakfast tonight at 10:00.  I have a feeling this is why I was shaky after the deadlift, and possibly also why I failed on the bench.

I have a question: how fast should my reps be, and how much of a pause should I allow between reps?  I know that my reps ought to be completely under control, but should I try to perform them as fast as possible so long as I maintain complete control?  Also, with my squat, I have maybe a 1 second pause between reps, with bench it's pretty much no break in between, and with deadlift I find myself taking as long as 5 seconds between reps.  Should I be working to fix any of this?

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #116 on: December 16, 2008, 09:11:25 PM »
Reps should be done as quickly and explosively as possible without sacrificing form.  When your motor pathways are solid, speed is not an issue which is why it pays to be rigid on form from the start.

Reps should be done at a decent tempo -- allowing for 1 breath between reps is standard.  2 breaths is acceptable.  3 breaths, you're just psyching yourself out.  If you have to take more then 2 breaths with a deep hold before your rep, you are not in the right frame of mind...you should be there to work!

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #117 on: December 16, 2008, 10:11:56 PM »
Awesome, thanks!  For the first two weeks of January I'll be in Hawaii, which I'm so excited about I can't even talk about it, but it also means I'll be away from a gym.  I plan on staying active as much as possible, and probably working on static bodyweight holds to try and maintain my strength as much as possible, but I'm almost positive I'll have to bump my weight down a little bit.  However, I think I might just plan to bump it down anyway, and focus on lifting explosively instead of just lifting heavy weights.  I can't really think of any downsides to that.


In related news, I've noticed that my explosive power has fallen a little bit by the wayside.  My standing broad is pretty consistently about 9" shorter than it was a few months ago when I was at my peak.  There might be a few variables to account for, like wearing different shoes and jumping on carpet vs. concrete, but I don't think those would account for that much of a discrepancy.  This shift in focus in my lifting I think will help address this issue.

Offline Max G

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #118 on: December 17, 2008, 03:15:28 PM »
nice job on the deadlift pr eli. are you using a mixed grip? if you are, kudos still, but if not, then double kudos  :)

i wouldn't worry too much about the drop in explosiveness; the new strength you have will mean you'll be a pinball soon enough.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #119 on: December 17, 2008, 06:48:29 PM »
Thanks!  I alternate my grip throughout my warmup.  For the first 3 sets I do straight grip, then on the 4th I pronate my right side, then 5th I pronate left, and for my work set I pronate right again.

I would have insanely good grip strength if I could straight grip 310 lbs.  ;D