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 Andy Awad's Training Log

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Andy Awad
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PostSubject: Andy Awad's Training Log   Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:41 am

I recently came back to lifting.  It's been a part of my life on and off for the past ten years.  This time when I returned though it was because I felt the call to start powerlifting.  Kind of a switch from the more circuit type medium to high rep total body workouts I was doing before (I still like keeping an element of this in my current training, but mostly with accessory work, and not every workout).  I had dabbled in powerlifting before, but never for a sufficiently long enough time to see the real benefits of it.

I'm happy to be on this forum.  It looks like there are a lot of great lifters with a lot of experience to share.  It's also really nice to find an outlet like this.  My facebook friends are probably getting sick of my recent posts about lifting.

I'm also looking forward to taking this opportunity to get advice from experienced lifters as far as training and equipment go.  It seems like a lot of people on here have been at it for a while, and I'm sure there's a lot of knowledge floating around here.  My current training strategy as of late is pretty much to go to the gym and move heavier objects than I moved the last time I was there, usually focusing on the 1 - 5 rep range.  I'm working on refining that.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:15 am

I would like to be the first to welcome you
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:42 am

Second...







Breakfast

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:50 am

inb4 3nd

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:49 pm

I don't think I know who you are, but it is always good to have new people here. Could you tell us more about yourself?

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:22 pm

Andy Awad wrote:
move heavier objects than I moved the last time I was there

You had me at hello.

Also Welcome!

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:02 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome guys. I'm looking forward to meeting more and more people on the team, and improving as much as possible.

I should be able to make the next sunday meeting, if that's still gonna happen. Hopefully I'll be able to meet the lifters who are staying in town.

@ Chris, we just met today, which was really cool. I'm getting my masters in environmental engineering. i'd like to do a competition at 198 lbs.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:09 pm

Andy Awad wrote:
i'd like to do a competition at 198 lbs.

I'll just leave this here.

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:13 pm

Andy Awad wrote:
Thanks for the warm welcome guys.  I'm looking forward to meeting more and more people on the team, and improving as much as possible.

I should be able to make the next sunday meeting, if that's still gonna happen.  Hopefully I'll be able to meet the lifters who are staying in town.

@ Chris, we just met today, which was really cool.  I'm getting my masters in environmental engineering.  i'd like to do a competition at 198 lbs.

This is a terrible week for me training wise....I have labs and lab reports and more labs and papers so my times will be pretty random until the weekend. I'll be at the team training session on Friday and Sunday. Hopefully someone on the team who recognizes you will point you out to me/introduce us. This is usually how these things go.


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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:24 pm

I can confirm Gabe said he was tired of seeing your lifting crap on Facebook. I kid, I kid.

I will probably be in town for the second half of break.

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:39 pm

Nathan, I wouldn't be surprised if Gabe said that. I had a few of those posts right in a row...and I caught some flack from some of my buddies for it.... I'll be gone for the first 2 week in January, but I'll be in the gym while I'm here.

David, you can hold me to that haha. I gotta lose a few lbs first, but as long as I cut my drinking back a bit and don't eat out quite as much that should be manageable.

What time do you guys meet on Friday? I have a seminar until 4:20, but I was planning to get a Friday work out in early in the afternoon. If you guys meet after 4:30ish, I could just push it back to get a chance to workout with some of you guys (and ladies).

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:06 am

Most of us are typically in the CRWC around 4-6pm. We have official unofficial training sessions from 4-6 on Friday and Sunday.

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:45 am

Chris Anderson wrote:
Most of us are typically in the CRWC around 4-6pm. We have official unofficial training sessions from 4-6 on Friday and Sunday.

I know i will be there this friday assuming i survive this week. I will also be here for most of break

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:34 pm

Welcome, Andy! I'm glad you ended up making a training log on here. We're always excited to get a new member on our team.

(This is Kyle, by the way)
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:21 pm

Thanks Kyle!

I actually didn't mean to put this post in with the training logs (first time on the forum). But I guess I can use it as my training log. Any way I can change the name? I guess I could start a new post to use as a training log.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:54 pm

It seems like you got the name-change figured out, yes? Your recent PRs are really impressive.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:08 am

Thanks Kyle! I'm really pleased with the progress I've been making in the gym recently. I've been more consistent and disciplined than I ever have been and it is paying off.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:22 am

So here goes, I'm going to start documenting my workouts.  I've never done this before, but I've always thought about doing it.  I'll start with the last two days.

Thursday:  deadlift day.

Warmed up with a few reps at 135, and then 225, 315, 405.

455 x 1
495 x 2
455 x 2
455 x 2

The 495 x 2 was my first time doing anything over 455 for more than one rep.  It was also the first time I kept my shoes on once I got over 315.  I wear chuck taylors, and I just always thought I wouldn't be comfortable keeping them on while deadlifting.  After a brief conversation with Nathan however (who happened to be right next to me) I decided to try it out as it would be beneficial to start using them.  To my suprise, It didn't really feel any different at all.  The 495 felt really good, and I think I might have been able to squeeze one more rep out of there, but my goal was to do some good doubles so I didn't want to burn myself out.  I was surprised and how quickly I tired after the doubles with 455 so I decided to try some deficit pulls for the first time in my life.

deficit pulls (one 45 lb plate)
315 x 3
225 x 5
225 x 5

I tried to keep my explosiveness throughout the movement, and I'm also trying to focus more on not controlling the weight so much during the eccentric phase of the movement.  I also experimented with using a hook grip (also something I talked with Nathan about), which made my thumbs feel like they were going to rip out of their sockets. Pulling from a deficit was interesting.  Being scrunched down did give me some insights to my form.  I noticed some things about my set up that could improve.  Mainly my left shoulder has a tendency to role forward.  I need to fix that with my bench as well.

After those I did a few sets of bent over rows with 135 using a very wide (not quite snatch) grip.  My main focus during these was keeping my traps engaged and keeping my shoulder blades pinned back tight.


Last edited by Andy Awad on Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:42 am

Fiday 12/13 Front squats and shoulders

I started with deep front squats.

Wamup 95, then 145,

195 x 5
245 x 3
275 x 2
275 x 2
195 x 3

This was kind of a disappointment for me.  Not because I didn't feel strong, but because I lack the flexibility in my wrists to really push myself with this lift.  I felt like I had a lot left in the tank for all of these sets, but I just couldn't stay in position.  Nonetheless, the 275 x 2 was an easy PR for my front squatt.

I realize some of this difficulty is inherent in the movement, but it was mainly my wrists for me.  They just can't handle this position very well.  I need to find a way around this.  Maybe I'll experiment with some modifications using wraps or something.  I really like front squats because they make it so easy for me to get down really deep and they engage my quads a little more.  I think I'm a fairly hamstring and glut type of squatter.

After front squats, I planned on doing lunges.  But I simply forgot to do them until I was halfway into my shoulder presses.

Standing dumbbell shoulder presses

Warm up some sets with two arm presses.  Then switched to one arm presses

60 x 5
60 x 5
60 x 5

I started doing one arm presses after I met a very massive man who competes in strongman (He was pressing 245 for reps like it was his day job).  He suggested them as an exercise to engage the core (something I find they do very well).  I've been doing them ever since.

A few months ago I hurt my right shoulder doing some overhead squats.  I got an MRI and did the therapy, but over head pressing still hasn't been the same with it.  The sets were a breeze with my left arm, but not only were they difficult with my right arm, but I still have some of that pain.  I need to cut the weight back more with this and give myself time.  It probably would also be a good idea to continue the PT and work on my flexibility.

I finished with some sets of lateral and bent over dumbbell raises with 10 and 15 lbs.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:53 pm

Today was mostly a bench day.  I did close grip with my feet on the bench.  I hate benching both of those ways, so i figured why not just have one really shitty benching session and combine them?  Anyway, they felt decent.  I'm really working on keeping my back tight and developing an arch that isn't just in my lower back.  I focused a lot on the eccentric phase and then being very explosive during the concentric phase.  All in all the sets felt decent.

Note:  For me close grip is about shoulder width, or pinkies about 2 in inside from the ring.  Not a huge difference from my standard grip which is pinkies on the rings, but definitely enough to make a difference.  The closer grip makes the bottom point feel so much lower for me.  If I go any narrower, it is really difficult for me not to stick my elbows out.

Close grip feet up bench
Warm up bar, 95 x something, 135 x something, 185 x 2
235 x 5 x 4 or 5

I lost track of the sets on these.  I don't know if I did 4 or 5 sets.  I just know after the last set I was done.

Pullups and dips, 3 sets superset

Face pulls super set with abs for 4 sets.

I think the exercise I did was called face pulls?  I was on the cable machine and put the triceps extension rope on it and pulled towards my face/upper chest.  Whatever that exercise is, it was my first time doing it.  I really liked the way it made my rear delts and traps feel after benching.  I think this will be a regular addition to my routine.

Anyone know how to put a video up on here without linking it to youtube? Is that possible? I had my friend video me on my third or fourth set, and any critique would be much appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:49 pm

Monday Dec 16th,

Squat day.  My squat is finally starting to get to a level I'm not embarrassed about (compared to my deadlift and bench this is by far my weakest lift).

Beltless squat
Warm up with bar
135 x 7
195 x 5
245 x 2
295 x 1
345 x 1
395 x 1
415 x 0
315 x 5
315 x 5
225 x 5 (narrower stance)

Bulgarian squats with bar, 4 sets of 8 each leg

I had someone video tape my 395, but the angle was horrible and it wasn't clear whether or not I was making depth.  So after that I asked Dalton (He's not on the team, but many of you may know him.  If not, he's a beastly bencher) to record me for a set of 315.  He got a good angle.  To my disappointment, it looks like I'm just shy of reaching full depth.  After I watched that, I made sure to go extra deep on my next set of 315.  I even hit the safety racks on one of the reps.  I'll try to figure out how to upload the video on here.

After analyzing my video, I think I will try a narrower stance.  I didn't realize how wide my stance was.  It always felt narrower to me than it looked I guess.  I tried the narrower stance with 225 at the end of my sets.  I think it may work well for me. Also, I didn't realize the facial expressions I make when I have heavy weight on my back. It's not pretty.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:19 pm

Tues Dec 17th,

Bench day:

warm up with bar 2 x 8
95 x 6
145 x 3
195 x 2
245 x 1
295 x 1
325 x 1
340 x 1
350 x 0
225 x 5
185 x 5

Dumbbell rows leaning on weight rack.  Kept these light and really focused on trying to engage my upper back (that's why I chose to lean on the weight rack and not on a bench) and not use momentum.

Warm up 40 lbs x 10
65 x 10 x 3

Triceps extensions with straight bar.
warm up about 2/3 stack 10 reps
3 sets with the full stack 8-10 reps.

over head shrugs with bar 4 sets
face pulls 4 sets


I went in not knowing what I was going to do on bench today.  My plan was to go to 295 and see how that felt.  I had Nathan spot me on 295, and it felt lighter than it ever has.  It went up really easily.  Since that went up so well, I decided to max out even though I just did it a week ago.  I didn't stay tight for 325, and it was a bit of work to get it up.  I did manage to focus and stay really tight on 340, and it went up great.  I'm really glad Nathan was around to spot me.  I can't tell you how many times I've been bro spotted and the dude blows his load way too early and starts touching the bar and saying "It's all you bro" and I tell him to get his hands off the bar.

After that I tried for 350, but again I didn't stay tight.  I think this was more of a technique issue than a strength issue.  I've been doing a lot of heavy lifts recently, and I think my nervous system just couldn't keep it together.  After this workout I really felt my body telling me to take it easy for a while and drop the weight.  Won't be a problem as I'm leaving for Europe the day after Christmas.  This will be the last full weak of my current cycle.  Which is probably a good thing for my body since this cycle turned into the lift as much as I can every workout cycle.  I'll plan something a little different when I return.

Note:  I've been pausing recently when I bench, but this time I had Nathan give me the press command.  Although I followed it, I didn't even hear it.  I now know the command is something worth practicing as well.  Also, I need to make sure to not throw the weight back in excitement after I get it up.  I was told it almost bounced out of one of the hooks.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:16 am





Here's the video of my 395 x 1 and then 315 x 5.  Any critique and advice is much appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:22 am

Andy Awad wrote:

Here's the video of my 395 x 1

Get that man a cigar for that smoke show. It is tough to judge depth from that angle but i think it was good. It is a pretty solid squat and my only advice would be remember to get/stay tight before starting. Looked pretty good though. Nice work

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:08 pm

Thanks Grant. I remember talking to you about my squats a while back, and I've been taking your advice on my lighter sets and trying to go ass to grass ( or as deep as I can). I'm also trying to make sure I keep tight. Right now I think the number one reason I miss lifts is because I'm not staying tight.
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