Saturday, April 12, 2008

Training Results - Testing!

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful." - 2 Timothy 4:7

I have completed testing of my 1RM in several key lifts that I used throughout my 12-week program. The front squat and bench press were performed under the supervision of a spotter (my training partner) but at no point did he touch the bar or assist in any way. These are all clean reps. Here are the results:

Monday, April 7, 2008

Front Squat: 205lbs (1.4x my bodyweight. My goal is 1.5x my bodyweight)

Bench Press: 215lbs (1.475x my bodyweight. My goal is 1.5x my bodyweight)

The front squat was performed through a full-range of motion all the way until my butt touched my ankles. This is how I perform all my squats. If you are going to "parallel" or above, you are cheating yourself. Go as deep as your flexibility allows.

I could have possibly hit 210lbs on the front squat, but I stopped at 205lbs as it was a tough lift. On the bench press, I attempted 220lbs, but my partner had to give me some assistance. I knew I could get 220lbs on my own, but during that particular lift, I could tell that I didn't set myself right on the bench and the train happened to be coming by and blaring it's horn right in the middle of my set (there are train tracks very close to my home).

My all-time best bench press has been 225lbs, and I've only hit that a couple times in my life (and always at a heavier weight). So if I can hit 215-220lbs at my current weight, I've actually improved and am stronger than I've ever been before.

My morning weight on Monday was 145.8lbs and my evening weight was 147.8lbs (Remember, I'm only 5'4", so don't harp on my weight or give me the "You need to bulk" speech. I'm not a bodybuilder and have no interest in "bulking" as some people recommend). I weighed myself completely naked after going to the bathroom upon waking and also naked in the evening prior to showering.

This means I have lost a few pounds in the last 12 weeks, as I started at about 150-151lbs. But I have become significantly stronger during that time.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Deadlift: 315lbs (2.16x bodyweight. My goal is at least 2x bodyweight which I have acheived)

Power Clean: 155lbs (1.06x bodyweight. My goal is at least 1x bodyweight which I have acheived)

Although I had deadlifted 305lbs for two reps last week, all I could manage during my testing day was 315lbs. I probably could have added 5-10lbs, but I didn't want to chance injury since I really had to grind that rep out to get it. I was also sore and tired on this day and didn't want to overdue it.

As for the power clean, 155lbs was no problem at all. So I moved up to 165lbs. I should have had it just as easily, as I pulled the weight as high as my collar bone, but I just couldn't force myself to get under the bar. This is the "fear" that a lift like the power clean (and the power snatch) tend to give someone. Due to the weight and the speed of the bar as well as having to get "under" the weight quickly, it tends to play a mind trick on the brain. I know I can get 165lbs, but I will need to make more attempts at it and get my mind set in order to do it. Overall, I'm happy with 155lbs as it's more than my bodyweight.

My morning weight was 145.6lbs. I forgot to weigh myself that evening, but I'm sure I was a pound or two heavier in the evening.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Overhead Press: 125lbs (.87x bodyweight. My goal is 1x bodyweight)

Weighted Chin-up: Bodyweight (145lbs) + 65lbs = 210lbs (1.45x bodyweight)

I should have been able to overhead press more than 125lbs as I did it for two reps last week. I struggled to get it for one rep on Friday and then went for 135lbs but was unable to get it past the sticking point a few inches off my collarbone. I even attempted to push press it, but still got stuck. After a few unsuccessful tries at 135lbs and one unsuccessful try at 130lbs, I called it quits. My shoulders were fried, and I had lost strength since the previous week.

Unlike the other workouts where I used straight sets of each exercise and finished testing one lift before moving to the next, I alternated sets between the overhead press and the chin-ups to save time and hopefully get a strength boost from training an agonist/antagonist movement. I'm not so sure it helped after the result of the overhead press.

As for the chin-ups, they went well. I kept increasing weight each set until I finally reached my top weighted set using a dip belt with an additional 65lbs attached. This amount plus my current bodyweight (~145lbs) gave me a total of 210lbs. I believe I could have used 70lbs, but that would have been the most as I had to squeeze out the rep with the 65lbs attached.

On Friday, I weighed in at 144.6lbs in the morning and 144.0lbs in the evening. So somehow, throughout the entire week, I actually lost weight. I attribute this to two things:

1) I wasn't working out as much as usual or doing near the amount of work as all previous weeks since this was a "back-off" week and testing week.

2) I wasn't eating as much because I wasn't training as much.

Overall, I came close to meeting my strength goals as mentioned in a previous blog, or I met them or exceeded them. The true test will be if I can continue to at least maintain my current strength or increase it as I embark on my next 12-week phase. Stay tuned for more about my new training phase!

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