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Friday, August 01, 2008

Fire Walk with Me - My Workout Log on the Diesel Forum

To check out my training log, Fire Walk with Me, log onto the Diesel Forum by clicking here.

So, I have decided to start a training log.

These days, my principle focus in my training is Grip strength. Global Grip Challenge is coming up August 30th, so I have really scaled my grip training up a ton.

These last 6 weeks or so before the GGC, I have shifted my body training around quite a bit. I don't want to eliminate the body lifts totally, but I don't want to sacrifice any time I can put toward Grip training either, so what I have been doing is focusing primarily on the bigger movements for each body part ONLY.

For instance, for chest day, I have been doing bench press only. For shoulders, overhead press and posterior flyes only. For back, rows and deadlift variations only, etc. My reasoning here is that I want to make sure I continue to incorporate the multi-joint and ground based movements to maintain strength during these times. These such movements are what I consider the "bigger movements."

Now, obviously, posterior flyes are not "big lifts" but I love the movement and I am really trying to work on maintaining balance between my antagonistic muscle groups. Because of the high numbers of reps I am doing, i figured I had better not over work my shoulders in one plain and cause myself impingement or some other injury, so i am keeping the posterior flyes, shrugs, and hyperextensions in the routine.

When I was planning my first routine with this approach, I pondered what tempo i would use. High reps? Low reps? 3 sets of 10? It all sounded kind of boring, and that's when it hit me. I would try something I never tried before. I'd do each big movement for 10 minutes and try to do as many sets and reps as possible in the allotted time.

This seemed perfect for many reasons -

1. I'd be getting my work in with these big multi joint movements.

2. I'd be getting lots of reps in, in a short time

3. I'd be working really hard

4. I'd be getting a pump

5. I'd be working in a manner that was different than I had been, shocking my system like a torture device

6. I'd be through my body lifts in like 20 or 30 minutes and have a ton of time each night to dedicate to my grip training.

I was stoked, brother.

In the past, I have tried doing 10 sets of a lift in 10 minutes and documenting the reps, but this time I wanted to do more, so I decided my goal would be to complete 11 or more sets of the movement in the time span of 10 minutes.

The tempo of these lifts is nearly non-stop. I begin at the start of the ten minute period and perform as many repetitions of the lift as I can. Once done, I get up, walk over to write the reps down, and with minimal rest, return to the lift to begin the next set. In between sets, I strive to keep the rest period as short as possible taking only the time to write down reps, get a swig of fluids, or re-chalk my hands. Sometimes, I will also stretch the area I am working if I am just too pumped or if my muscles are seizing up. Other than that it is just get up, write and come back for another set.

I must say, I am loving this new routine. Even on some of the 90+ degree days we've been having lately, after working 10 or 11 hours, I have not missed a single workout. In fact, I've actually been hitting more workouts per week than before, plus hitting extra grip workouts throughout the week. Last Sunday, I actually hit two Grip workouts and then trained on Monday.

So, I thought I would share some of these workouts with the forum to reflect on them and also to receive feedback from all of the members.

Bench - 225 lbs - 7:02PM to 7:12 PM
Reps: 8,5,3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2
Total sets: 10
Total reps: 36
So, I did not make the 11 set goal, but my pump was ridiculous, especially in my triceps. I thought even though I didn't get the 11 sets, it was still an awesome feeling to hit all those reps in such a short time. Please, my triceps got a much better workout than the push-downs I had been doing for the last several endless weeks. Since I lift in my basement now, I do not have access to a variety of machines and different size dumbbells, so my tricep work had become stale.

Dips - Bodyweight - 7:30PM to 7:40 PM
15, 6, 5, 5, 4, 4.75, 6, 4, 5, 3, 4, 4, 3.25, 3, 2, 2
Total sets: 16
Total reps: 75
Again, this movement hit the triceps hard and I began dropping off the bars quicker very early on in the period, as you can see from my 15-rep to 6-rep drop off in set 1 and 2.

You'll also notice that there was nearly a 20-minute break in between the two lifts. This was because I worked some grippers in between.

You'll also notice that the reps, as written (with the decimals) add up to more than 75. The decimals signifies a failed rep. If it's a .25, it means I barely started the rep. A .75 means I nearly completed the rep but failed. A .5 is somewhere in between.

I was able to get more sets in, I think, because I could recover more quickly. The resistance (bodyweight) wasn't too threatening, so only 30 seconds could go by and I'd still be ready to jump back up on the bars.

Pull-ups 6:45 PM to 6:55 PM
8, 3, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 2.75, 2, 2, 1
Total sets: 13
Total reps: 40
This was a really intense session. Toward the end I was hustling back to the pull-up bar to try to get more reps in. I took a shot of 5-hour energy that night and was jacked up big time.

I hit pinch next.

Posterior Flyes 85-lb DB's 7:30 PM to 7:40 PM
7, 4, 4, 4, 4, 3, 3.25, 3, 4, 4, 3, 2.75, 2
Total sets: 13
Total reps: 47
I had the dumbbells set up right beside where I was documenting, so this enabled me to get a lot of sets in. It felt great to engorge my posterior delts like this.

Another Day (not sure of date - didn't write it down)
Axle RDL's 225 7:48 PM - 7:58 PM
8, 6, 6, 5, 3, 4, 2.75, 1, 3
Total sets: 9
Total reps: 38
I did this after doing squats. I did not employ the 11-in-10 to my squats. This is the first time in a while that I did RDL's for reps, and since I used the axle, my grip was fried from my fingertips back to my wrist and again out to my thumb!

Pull-ups 5:03 - 5:13
10, 4, 3, 3, 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2
Total sets: 14
Total reps: 48
It was great to get the workout in so early. i got up for work at 3:45 and worked until 4, but like I said earlier, I have really been geared up to train with this system and with GGC coming up.

One more set this week than last time and a total of 8 more reps than last night! Great improvement!

Axle Shrugs 225-lbs 5:18 - 5:28
15, 12, 10, 7.5, 9.5, 7, 10, 7, 4.5
Total sets: 9
Total reps: 81
Because the rep range was so short I was really really strict on counting the reps. If it didn't feel like I got the weight all the way up, I didn't count it.

A little bit of a pump in the thumb pads - not too tough on the grip.

Missed my 11-set goal

F-Word Wrist extensions 5:30 - 5:40
Not sure how much weight is on there.
11, 10, 10, 7.5, 6.5, 9, 7.5, 6, 4.5
Total sets: 9
Total reps: 70
This was the first time I employed the 11-in-10 system to a complete grip movement, but it worked well. I try to do these or some other type of wrist extension each week for balance.

Pull-ups 6:52 - 7:02
12, 3, 4, 3, 3, 3, 4, 3, 3, 3, 2.25, 3, 2.25
Total sets: 13
Total reps: 48
Completed one less set than last time, but got the same amount of reps.

Started out with log strict press. 5 sets of triples with 160. Couldn't believe how much it took out of me for the bench. Of course, strict press takes a lot out of your triceps and I feel it big time in the tri's when I hit these reps on the bench.

Bench - 225-lbs 7:00 - 7:10
10, 5, 3, 3, 3, 2.75, 2, 2
Total sets: 8
Total reps: 30
I was pretty disappointed with my performance, but I understand it is mainly due to working the strict press before the bench work.

3-inch Wrist Roller - 70-lbs
My wrist roller is a 3" Fat bastard Roller, and it goes on one of the pins in the squat cage. I love it. I rolled it up, pulling it toward me on top, then would return it back to the floor, semi, under control, not letting it just unwind to the floor, then bring it back up. This was unbelievable. I have never had this kind of a pump in my forearms, ever! It was a different pump. It felt like the pump was spread out to different spots throughout my forearm - weird man!

3, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3
Total sets: 8
Total reps: 23

There was no way i was getting 11 sets in tonight! My forearms were wicked pumped! It was a great feeling though, and I look forward to doing it again.

I tell you, lifting with this tempo has been great. I am actually looking forward to each workout. I feel delightfully throttled after each body workout, but not too destroyed to get some really good grip workouts in. I think I am going to keep this 11-in10 system going for a while.

Hopefully, I can also keep up the workout log.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

GGC Notes

I know it's been quite a while since I posted anything. The fact is I have been very busy getting ready for GGC.

You may have seen that I have been sending out newsletters on this upcoming contest on a weekly basis. The reason for this is because I want to do everything I can to help the sport grow, and I think one way to do that is to get information about it out in the open. For that reason, I have been sending out these newsletters to two of our mailing lists - the Grip Strength mailing list and the Diesel Report mailing list. These are our two oldest list and have readers on them that have known us from the beginning - way back since 2003.

I also believe an excellent way to grow the sport is to take care of our sponsors. In each newsletter, I am sending out updates about new sponsors that have come on board. We are up to 10 sponsors at this point:

These sponsors have really stepped up this year and are helping to make this year's prize cache probably the biggest ever! I would appreciate if you keep these guys in mind the next time you need to pick up new equipment, new supplements, new dvd's etc.! They are showing their support for us, so let's show our support for them!

I'd also like to take a moment and let everyone know that we are starting a new blog for the USGrip Scene. It is at It just went up this week and we have several people contributing: Zach Coulter, Chris Rice, Eric Milfeld, and myself.

Our goal is to grow the sport, so our efforts will be focused around that. Announcements regarding next year's Grip season will be made their, so make sure to check back often!

In closing, here is a list of competitors who have confirmed their participation at the global grip Challenge this year. Remember, this is the first year ever that we set up qualifiers and required qualification in order to compete at the National Competition, GGC. It's a shame that transportation costs have gone through the roof, because many of the top names in the sport will not be attending this year due to gas prices. Hopefully, we will see some relief in the next year so that more of the top contenders in Grip can come and play next year.

Here's who's coming so far:
    Brent Barbe
    Rex Hubbard
    Chad Woodall
    Jedd Johnson
    Chris Rice
    Bob Sundin
    Eric Milfeld
    Paul Knight

If you are on the fence about coming, then now is the time to get your entry in and start training for the show. It's going to be a great time!