Fit Report – July 18th, 2017 – 5×5 Workout A

Yes, yes, I know it’s been a couple of weeks since I did a blog post, but in fairness, I’ve been on vacation. That being said, while I didn’t write about it, I did actually make it to the gym, albeit only three times instead of the six I’d hoped to do. Add that to not biking to work for two weeks, and well, it’s less activity than I’d have liked.

So anyway, on to today’s workout. Today was actually the first time I biked into work, as I had some errands yesterday that required the car. It means that my legs were probably as rested as they’ve been all season. It had also been a full week since I worked out though, so the app wanted me to deload. I didn’t deload as much as it wanted me to, since that always seems to be a bit much, instead dropping 10 lbs off of everything.

Squats were easier than they usually are, what with not biking for two weeks and not squatting for one. I only waited about two minutes between each set, which was nice. None of the sets felt particularly difficult, either.

I think the additional time off my have helped my shoulder. while I dropped bench press down to 110 lbs(5 lbs less than last time, 10 lbs less than I should be doing), today was the first bench press in ages where I didn’t really feel any pain/discomfort in my left shoulder. Maybe, just maybe, I’m on the mend there. We’ll have to see how it progresses as the weight increases.

Barbell row was actually tough today, even with dropping ten pounds, but I managed to do it all with only about two minutes between sets. I only waited two minutes as I was running out of time and needed to finish the workout.

For the sake of transparency, you’ll note that the weight section of the picture above shows an increase, up to 159.6 lbs. I put it in the app, but I’m not counting it here as it was a completely different time of day from my usual workout time, and my food/drink consumption would have been different, so it throws the numbers off. I’ll try and do a proper weigh-in when I go back to the gym later this week.

Finally, just as proof, here’s the screengrabs of my three vacation workouts. Note the two new personal bests for deadlifts, as well as the failed sets for overhead press. See you all later in the week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fit Report – June 28th, 2017 – 5×5 Workout A

Gotta fire off a post quickly here, so I’ll be as succinct as I can.

Today was a pretty good day at the gym. Not perfect, but when is it? Lately I’m realizing that my first set of squats is going to suck. I’ll be able to complete it, but it’ll feel iffy. After that I’ll be fine, as long as I rest long enough between sets. That was the case Monday and today. First set was wobbly, second was better, the third was good, and the fourth and fifth got tough. Still, complete sets are complete sets, and count.

Bench press went well enough, too. Seemed like maybe I had less discomfort in my shoulder than before, but I’m still taking it slowly and concentrating on form. Hopefully whatever I did to the shoulder is healing, so I don’t want to screw it up.

Barbell row wasn’t quite the success today I was hoping for, but I was into new personal best territory, and that’s always tricky. Like squats, the first set was wobbly, but I managed fine on subsequent sets. Until the fourth set, that is. I managed four full reps, but the fifth didn’t quite make it to my chest, so I can’t count it. I rested a bit longer for the fifth set and managed to complete it, so I’m hopeful that next time I can do the full five sets.

Friday I won’t be biking in to work as I have plans in the evening, so hopefully my legs will feel at least marginally fresher than today. See you then for Workout B.

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Fit Report – June 21st/26th, 2017 – 5×5 Workout A/B

So I did work out last Wednesday, but I’m sure you noticed that I neglected to write up a blog post. I don’t have a lot of time right now, but I might as well get it in together with today’s blog post.

Here’s the screengrabs to get us started.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Success all around! Of course, I’m still in a holding pattern on squats, sticking to 205 lbs (and yes, my legs still hate it. Even without biking Friday or today).

Bench press continues to be uncomfortable, but isn’t bothering me after my workout, so that’s good. Overhead press today was hard, but I managed it, even if the last rep of the last set took pretty much all I had, after a full three minute wait.

But let’s go out on a high note, or rather a couple of them. Unbeknownst to me, until I looked it up afterward, was the fact that 155 lbs on barbell row is a new personal best for me. Woot! And for today, I set yet another personal best for deadlifts at 260 lbs (no video this time).

That’s all I’ve got for today, so see you again Wednesday.

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Fit Report – June 19th, 2017 – 5×5 Workout B – Video Edition

Another Monday. Back to work, back to the gym. Emphasis on the work, though, so in that spirit (and as I’m writing this while working late) I’ll keep this short.

Squats – did ’em. Legs tired, yada yada yada. Seriously, though, my legs are so tired. I raised the weight on my squats to 205 lbs today, and I managed it, but my legs really didn’t want to. I was saying to my wife that if I managed to complete today’s sets at that weight, I might just leave it there for the foreseeable future. While I’m biking to work, anyway. I just really don’t see my muscles being able to go much higher than that while I’m giving them such a workout every morning and night with my commute. 205 lbs is a nice number, too, in that it’s a 45 and a 35 lb plate on either side of the bar. No fiddling with a bunch of small plates. I might try it on an experimental basis and see how it goes.

Overhead press went okay as well. Nothing to write home about, and not really much to write here. I did the sets, waiting about two minutes between each, end of story. The overhead press still isn’t bothering my shoulder like bench press does, so I guess I’ll just keep going up while I can.

Seems like putting ‘Video Edition’ after Workout B in the title is getting a bit redundant, no? Not sure if I should hold off on posting more videos of deadlifts until I reach some other milestone or fail a set, because the novelty is kind of wearing off. Posting new personal bests is good and all, but not every single time. That being said, I shot video today, and it’s a new personal best, so here you go:

Anyway, back in for Workout A on Wednesday, time permitting. See you then.

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Fit Report – June 15th, 2017 – 5×5 Workout A

Not too much to report today so I’ll try and keep it short and sweet (busy anyway, so there’s that).

Made it in to the gym today, tired legs and all, for Workout A. Pleased to say that I managed my squats today, and am now back up to 200 lbs on them. I did end up waiting the full three minutes before the last set, but overall they were manageable.

I’m also back up into triple digits on bench press. Benched 100 lbs today, concentrating on better form. Once again, I noticed discomfort in my should while doing the exercise, but nothing to report afterward.

I also managed to complete the 150 lb barbell row that I failed at last time. I think the difference today was doing a warmup set, as well as waiting a more appropriate amount of time between sets (about two and a half minutes each time).

I did actually make it to the scale to weigh myself today, but the numbers were very similar, and my weight was identical to last week, so I’m not going to go into the detail of a weigh-in post, but you can find the photo of the scale slip here.

Back in to the gym on Monday. See you then.

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Fit Report – June 12th, 2017 – 5×5 Workout B – Video Edition

Back to the gym today, but my tired self really didn’t want to go. I made myself, however, and here we are. Oddly enough the gym wasn’t terribly busy again. It must be the hot weather. Nobody wants to be in the gym at lunch when they could be soaking up the sun (or maybe they’re afraid to melt. It was 34º C plus humidity here today).

I knew squats weren’t going to be fun today since, even after two days off, my legs were tired on the ride in this morning. Still, I did them, resting two and a half minutes after the first set and about three minutes before the last one. I’ll be back up to 200 lbs next time, a weight I just seem to be hovering around as I build up and deload, build up and deload, ad nauseum. Still, it’s exercise, and I’ll expect progress at some point, even if it’s once cycling is done for the year (many months from now).

Overhead press went well today. Not difficult at all, and I didn’t seem to notice any difficulty with my left shoulder. Then again, I didn’t notice any before on shoulder press, but still felt pain after bench press, so it’s probably not this kind of movement that bothers me.

Now on to today’s (and it seems my usual, as of late) success story! New personal best on deadlifts again, and a milestone to boot! 250 lbs! Check it out.

The only crappy thing about that video is that I positioned the camera poorly, so you can’t actually see the plates on the bar. You’ll just have to take my word for it that there’s two 45s, a 10 and a 2.5lb plate on each end. 1/8th of a ton! Woot!

Back in to the gym on Wednesday for Workout A. See you then.

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Fit Report / Weekly Weigh-In – June 8th, 2017 – 5×5 Workout A

I’m writing this a bit late, so I’m going to try and keep it short so I can go to bed at a decent time. I did make it back in to the gym today, and as the gym was surprisingly dead this afternoon (I blame the nice weather), I took the time to weigh myself beforehand. About time, too, since it’s been nearly two months since I did this supposed ‘weekly’ weigh-in.

IMG_5581I haven’t lost weight since the last time I weighed in, but then I haven’t really gained much either. I’m 0.6 lbs heavier than my last weigh-in, but of course weight doesn’t tell the whole story. While my weight is up, Fat Mass (and Body Fat %) are both down, 0.4 lbs and 0.3% respectively. My Fat Free mass is also up by 1 lb, and my water is up by 0.8 lbs, so in theory I’ve lost fat and gained muscle/water. I’ll take it!

The cycling I’ve been doing is helping me to burn calories, but conversely it’s making me hungrier, so that would probably explain why we’re not seeing added fat loss here. I’m burning more calories, but consuming more as well. At least I’m not consuming more than I’m burning. Don’t want to fall into that trap.

As for the workout, it went pretty well. My legs were still tired from cycling, so squats were tough at 190 lbs, but not so much that I had to wait the full three minutes between sets. IMG_5583The most I waited was 2:40 between the last two, and I’m sure I could’ve actually waited less time, but I was in no rush.

I deloaded bench press again today since my shoulder was giving me trouble after the last time. I’m down to 95 lbs on bench press now, and while I felt some discomfort while doing the exercise, I haven’t had any pain in the hours afterward, so I’ve probably reached a good weight to start back up on. It’ll allow me to work on form as well, making sure to keep my elbows somewhat tucked, and not allowing them to flare out while pressing the weight.

Barbell row was the only exercise that gave me real trouble today. I shouldn’t be surprised, as I’m up to 150 lbs on them now, and it’s been nearly a week since I’ve done them. That being said, I think I did pretty good. The first set I did five reps, but didn’t touch my chest with the bar on the last rep, so I’m not counting it. Same with the fourth set. If I’d done a warm-up set before starting, I might’ve done the proper five on that first set, but by that time I was running out of lunch hour. Probably why I failed the fourth set as well, not enough rest time between sets.

I’ll get back to the gym again on Monday for Workout B. Gotta go for that milestone on deadlifts! See you then.

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Fit Report – June 6th, 2017 – 5×5 Workout B – Video Edition

Bit of a rushed workout today, as I didn’t have as much time for lunch as I’d have liked. The saving grace IMG_5575there is that since I took Friday off of working out to save my legs for Ride for Heart on Sunday, and I took yesterday off from the gym because my legs were tired from Ride for Heart on Sunday, I pretty much had to deload today. Okay, technically the app wants you to deload after a week off, but it’s been six days, so close enough.

As an aside, cycling 50 km on the freeway in the pouring rain only to have the sun come out as you sit down to lunch afterward is still, bizarrely, fun. 8/10 would do it again. And I raised $1375 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation to boot!

I dropped my squats down to 185 lbs, and they were a workout, but light enough that I could get away with waiting only two minutes between sets. I also deloaded my overhead press to 85 lbs, partly because of the layoff and partly because I didn’t want to tax my shoulder too much. Again, lighter weight meant less waiting between sets.

The one thing I didn’t deload, however, was deadlifts, because come on, I was going for a new personal best! Here’s my attempt at lifting 245 lbs:

Nailed it! Woot! That means that next time I’ll be going for 250 lbs, a milestone if ever there was one!

I’ll be back in to the gym on Thursday for Workout A, so see you then.

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Fit Report – May 31st, 2017 – 5×5 Workout A

Not particularly happy with today’s workout, if I’m being perfectly honest. Oh, I know the image below shows me having completed everything successfully, but there are caveats to that.

IMG_5545First off, I stayed at 205 lbs on my squats even though I successfully did that weight the last time, since I want to keep my legs (relatively) fresh for Ride for Heart on Sunday. However, my legs were feeling pretty good last night and this morning and so I probably biked home/to work a bit faster than I usually do. That meant that they were tired when I got to the gym, so of course the squats still sucked. I finished them, but they sucked. Moving on…

Bench press was kinda crappy, if I’m honest. Based on my shoulder pain from last time, I lowered the weight by 25 lbs, down to 115 lbs. I also adjusted my grip inwards a bit, figuring that I was gripping too far out for my arm length. I also made sure to concentrate on keeping my elbows tucked closer to my body, not letting them flare out to the sides when I pressed the weight. Still, after a couple of sets of this, the shoulder pain started to return, so I’m not pleased about that. I’m probably going to further reduce the weight I’m pressing for next time, to try and work on the mechanics and give my shoulder time to heal. It’ll let me strengthen my back while I give my chest a bit of a rest, and really, to prevent impingement your back should be at least as strong as your chest.

Speaking of my back, I’m now at a weight (145 lbs) on barbell row where the exercise has become tough again. That’s a good thing, but I’ve never been fond of this exercise so my body isn’t happy to have to work at it. I did manage to complete all five sets with a couple of minutes of wait time in between, and hopefully I’ll manage at 150 next time, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the difficulty ramp up quickly. The non-leg focused exercises tend to get hard all of a sudden; the five pound increments make a surprisingly big difference to your arms/chest/back.

I’m not sure what my plan is for Friday’s workout. I’ll be going in to the gym, but whether I stay at 205 lbs on squats before the big ride is up in the air. I’ll probably stick with it. Plus there’s the added question of whether or not I go for another personal best on deadlifts or take it easy (just kidding, gotta try for a new PB). I might be better served to just take the day off from cycling, since that seems to take more of a toll on my legs than weights seem to. We’ll see.

See you then.

 

 

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Fit Report – May 29th, 2017 – 5×5 Workout B – Video Edition

As it turns out, maybe my new wide grip on bench press needs a little technique refinement. After Wednesday’s workout, I initially felt fine, but as the day wore on, and particularly the next day, my left shoulder started to hurt. The old, familiar feeling of impingement, from what I could tell. Fortunately the pain wore off after a few days, but I thought it best to rest it instead of hitting the gym on Friday, hence the delay in workout posts.

My guess is that as I was straining to push 140 lbs, my elbows were flaring out to the side(90º, when they really should be held at a 70º angle. It’s something that I’ll really need to watch out for. It probably wasn’t much of an issue before because the narrow grip lends itself to having the elbows tucked in a bit. I might need to adjust my grip back in somewhat, split the difference as we say in the VFX industry.

That being said, I felt well enough to go back in to the gym today, but I was going to be cautious about it. That, combined with the fact that I was exhausted from being up half the night with a restless toddler, meant some deloading.

IMG_5536I dropped my squats down 10 lbs to 205, A: because I was tired, and B:, because this Sunday is Ride for Heart and I don’t want my legs to be fried before I do a 50km ride. Still, I wasn’t expecting them to be as hard as they were. It really took a lot of effort, and by the last set I was waiting the full three minutes. That said, I did manage them. I’ll probably leave them at 205 for the rest of the week, just to preserve my legs.

I also deloaded my overhead press by 10 lbs, to 95. That’s the one I was worried about today, to be honest. Happy to say, though, that I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort, so I’m cautiously optimistic about adding weight next time.

Deadlifts, though, were the shining light of today’s workout. There was no way I was going to deload those, knowing that I was going for a new personal best today, so go for it I did. The result?

New personal best, baby! 240 lbs, and if I’m honest, it didn’t feel like that much of a struggle. So close to hitting that 250 lb milestone! Just another couple of workouts if all goes well.

I’ll be back in to the gym on Wednesday, work permitting, for Workout A. That’ll be another day of deload, particularly on bench press, and working on technique. See you then.

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