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 Andy Awad's Training Log

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Andy Awad
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:00 pm

Today is a rest day for me, so between that and it being a Saturday I took the time to learn how to use movie maker (which was actually quite easy) and compile a video of my performance at the intramural meet a few weeks ago. Many thanks again to the team for putting this on. I really had an amazing time and can't wait to compete again.

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:00 pm

3/16

squat
warm up
315 x 1
345 x 4
275 x 12

I didn't want to do too much squatting today for two reasons. First, I had a lot of volume (for me) already this week, and also I'm deadlifting tomorrow and I'm trying to focus on using my legs more off the ground so I didn't want anything too tired for that. That being said, this was an exhausting session for me. I didn't have any coffee before I went in, so I had to rely on mentally hyping myself up -- which actually seemed to work. Also, I am going extra deep with my squats to ensure I don't eff up my training by not breaking parallel. The 345 was hard, and it was heavier than I told myself I'd be going for a while, so I just decided to take it down to 275 and see what happened. I haven't squatted anything for 12 reps in ages. to my complete surprise, it felt really good, and although it's way too early to tell, I think I'm going to get a good response out of it. At about 8 reps, I felt my body doing its signal of "OK, that's enough now", which is probably mostly due to the fact that 8 has been my mental rep max for so long. But then when I pushed on I started to feel strangely stronger. Those last four reps were great. I was in squat euphoria. I think this type of training may work well for my squat. I'll keep playing with it and see.

Bench, with short pause

warmup
235 x 2
265 x 8 (d bag spotter went for bar on 8 and messed me up...but I'm counting it)
225 x 12

felt incredible for the most part. I've been having some left shoulder pain, and I believe it is from my left elbow rotating out slightly on my heavier sets. I really tried to focus on tucking it in today, which I think helped a decent bit.

feet up close grip bench with several seconds pause

185 x 6 x 3

This is becoming my favorite variation of benching. I really enjoy keeping a long pause with a weight that isn't too heavy. During the pause I feel everything tightening up like a coiled spring waiting to release. And I like using the close grip because it really works my weak areas and makes me feel like my bench is improving when I do it. I really need to focus on keeping my elbows tucked when I do these as the prospect of getting more reps by flaring them out is tempting...but then that defeats the purpose of why I am doing them, which is to focus on my weaknesses.

Face pulls

Not sure if I do these right.

All in all a good workout for me today. Didn't leave myself with enough time to shower before teaching some piano lessons, but I don't think 6-yr-olds know the difference anyway.
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Andy Awad
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:50 am

3/17/14

Deadlift
warm up
415 x 4 x 4

sumo
315 x 5 x 4

Forgive me, friends. I went in to deadlift on Monday, and I had no idea what was in store for me. After my third set, I went to say hi to Kyle and Nelson who were at the other end of the gym benching. When I arrived, I overheard Kyle explaining why certain people are built better for sumo pulling than conventional pulling. I wish I could unhear what I heard that day...I tried to forget it all as I walked back to my platform. I tried to reassure myself that I really didn't have an issue getting my shoulders behind the bar at setup and that my femur to torso ratio was perfectly suited for conventional pulling. I went ahead with my plan and did my next set of four at 415. The plan was to do a 5th set, but Kyles words were resonating with my spirit. I stripped the bar down to 315, took a wider stance than I have ever used for anything in my life, breathed deep, and pulled the bar straight up. And then I did that four more times.....I liked it. It was like the forbidden fruit of weightlifting that I never dared to try before. The first set of 5 felt a little strange, but the second felt great. Kyle watched my third set and confirmed that it looked more natural for me. It felt more natural, and like if I developed it it could quickly become stronger than my conventional deadlift. So, I guess I am going to be incorporating it into my training for now to see how I like it as a long term option. All I can say for now is that the sets with 315 felt very comfortable. Maybe not as strong as my conventional pulling, but a much easier bar path was presented to me. Also, I felt like I got a lot more out of the belt pulling sumo. As of yet, I haven't really noticed a difference with it when I pull conventional.

HS low rows

4 sets

3/19/14

Over head Press

warm up
155x1
175 x 2 (push press)
135 x 5 x 3

Today the idea was to get some heavy pressing in just to see where I was at with it before doing some moderate rep sets. 155 felt pretty good, but apparently I greatly underestimated the difference an addition of 20 lbs would make. I honestly thought I'd get 175 for 2 (I later did a quick calculation and realized this was pretty unrealistic), but I un-racked the weight, pressed as hard as I could, and the bar only moved about an inch. Normally I would have just re-racked the weight and gone down to 155 (which is heavier than I've gone in quite some time anyway) and got a few reps in, but, while this was all happening, there happened to be a very attractive female next to me. It was at this moment that my primitive male reasoning kicked in and told me that un-racking something, not being able to move it, and then re-racking it is not an option. So I opted to do some push pressing with it and try to play it off as though it were my plan all along. About one minute later her boyfriend met her and they left. I made sure to do the sets of 5 at 135 with extra strict form to make up for it...

kettle bell clean to strict press

44 x 8
53 x 8
62 x 7
70 x 5

I am starting to really like these. They are a lot of fun because kettle bells are much easier to clean than barbells. I also like the way the weight is distributed around your hand. It allows me to press more weight than with dumbbells, which is a plus.

Lateral raises (4 sets)

Arms (2 sets)

All in all overhead pressing is getting stronger. Hoping to get this to a more balanced level with where my bench is, and also hoping that overhead gainz equal bench gainz for me.
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Andy Awad
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:59 pm

3/20/14

I decided to try a wider squat stance today as I've been coming forward more than I'd like to, and it's started to cause me some low back irritation. I didn't push it today, but with the new stance and really getting deep the intensity felt plenty high enough. I definitely felt like my back was more upright, and my low back didn't bother me at all. On the other hand, I think some hip mobility work is in order to comfortably do this long term. Anyone good at that stuff and can give me some advice on this?

squats wider stance, really working to get depth
res x set
315 x 5 x 3

315 x 3 (paused)

I have a video of the second set I will post soon. Depth felt a little different than with a narrower stance, but I got it for almost all of the reps. Decided to do a set of paused squats at the end just to try them out. I took them very low and probably held them for about a 2 or 3 count. I liked them quite a bit.

walking lunges

30's x 10 x 3

bent over rows
135 x 10
185 x 8 x 2
155 x 12 x 2

185 didn't feel as fast and explosive as I wanted it to, so i took the weight down and made it do what I wanted.

Pullups

8, 8, 6

I was tired at this point and called it good.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:54 pm

Give Joe DeFranco's Limber 11 a try once a day for a few days and see how that goes. A majority of those stretches/exercises are meant for increasing hip mobility

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:49 pm

Thanks man. I'll check that out.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:46 pm

Here is the vid of the second set of my squat session yesterday.



Man, I really hate the sounds I make when I squat....try to ignore them.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:17 pm

Sit back further. If you're going to have a wider stance, you HAVE to begin the movement with a sit back and then keep going back. Your bar path is getting out in front of you.

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:35 pm

Chris, that's great advice. thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:25 pm

3/21/14

Volume benching day

Paused Bench Press

warm up
265 x 5 x 5

For the most part, these sets went pretty well. It was my first time in the Oly room, and I had to get acquainted with the environment and the equipment. Some reps/sets were better than others. Kyle pointed out a few things that will help me get set up, as well as potentially help with the irritation I've been experiencing in my left shoulder. Thinking about these things initially made the sets feel funny, but things got better as the sets went on.

Close grip long pause (probably about a 3 count)

176 x 5
198 x 5
220 x 5
220 x 5
one more set of 5

I did five sets of these, but I don't remember what weight one of the sets was at. oh well. This is quickly becoming my favorite assistance exercise. I hope it helps with my bench, if for no other reason than I enjoy doing it.

some rear delt flies.

some band pull aparts.

All in all a good benching day for me. I didn't push it too hard on any one of the sets, but now as I type this I can feel that it was a decent bit of volume for me as I'm quite fatigued. I do overhead pressed in 2 days, but I should be good for those.

Notes: I may try taking my training grip in a little closer to see if it takes some stress off of my shoulders. I've moved my competition grip in about a finger width from what it used to be, but I may start to reserve that for heavy days and experiment with a narrower grip for volume days.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:56 pm

It has been some time since I've updated my log. This is mostly due to my working situation. I do most of my online activity while I'm at work, which, as one may imagine, this interferes with my productivity. In an effort to be more productive at work, I took the week off from youtube videos and getting on here while I'm at work. The week was especially busy, so I didn't really even get on too much when I got home at about 10 pm every night. Nonetheless, working out still happened and it's time to document it.

3/22/14

Some mediocre cleaning and hex bar squatting. Nothing really worth mentioning. Hex bar squats with sets of 5 and 3 up to 385. Cleans up to 135. I really suck at cleans.

Some arms afterwards (2 sets)

3/24

Some light weight slow eccentric work pause squats, working with a wider stance.

275 x 2 x 5
315 x 2 x 3

over head press
warm up
135 x 1
155 x 2 x 3
135 x 10 (last one push press)

This showed huge improvement in my overhead pressing. I've never done 155 for triples before, and 9 solid reps is at least 3 more than my previous rep max at 135. Very happy to see this improving.

Arnold presses
30's x 4 x 10

lateral raises
rear delt raises
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:10 pm

So to resume catching up on my workout log...

3/25

Deadlifts....SumO....

warmup
315 x 5
365 x 5
415 x 5
455 x 3
405 x 8

So what to say about sumo pulling?....First off I think I like it. Second off, I hate the fact that I think I like it. It is definitely different. The main things I noticed are more glut and ham involvement (my gluts and hammies were quite sore the next day), slightly more stress on my knees (hope this is just because it's a new stance), hip mobility is an issue and needs to improve. The biggest thing I noticed though is that pulling sumo was much less fatiguing for me. I suppose this is a good thing. Normally after deadlifting I feel like I can't do anything else, but after this workout I felt good to do some more accessory stuff. Also, I was able to stay more upright and my shins didn't get all banged up. It felt decently awkward too. The 455 x 3 set wasn't necessarily tough, but it felt pretty uncoordinated and the opposite of fast. The weight felt like it was nailed to the ground at first, but once it got moving things were much better. All in all, all of the weirdness was nothing more than I'd expect from trying something completely new. I'm gonna keep trying this for a little while.

dumbbell rows
80 x 10
90 x 10
90 x 10
100 x 10

some hammer strength low rows

some rear delts
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:16 pm

3/26/14

Feet up bench, grip in about an inch and a half on each side.

225 x 2 x 8
245 x 2 x 6

I was pretty tired this day. I really didn't want to skip out on a workout (mostly because it was a benching day for me) so I decided I'd do feet up and lower the weight a bit to keep my exertion down. I took the grip in a little because my left shoulder has been bothering me. It definitely helped with the irritation. I think I will start using it for more of my training.

Incline bench

135 x 8
165 x 6
185 x 4
135 x 13

Previously, I think the most I ever did on incline was 155 x 6, so this is markedly better than it has been. the nice thing about starting to train exercises I've neglected a lot in the past is that I get to enjoy fast gains (i miss those). Perhaps this will be my new strategy for my competition lifts (kidding).

face pulls
4 sets of 20

Some armz and abz (gotta look good for the warm weather coming up)
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:22 pm

3/38/14

Squats

worked up to a triple at 365. It was terrible. My poor squat form is really starting to get to me. I'm coming forward a lot more than I'd like to (stressing my lower back). I think it may be time to just completely break down my squat and work on rebuilding it. I try to stay more upright, but I keep feeling like I'm going to fall over.

I hesitate to write the next part of my workout.....My buddy has been wanting to try the "300 workout" for a while. I used to do it about once a week a year ago or so, and I told him I'd do it with him. We did it and I thought I was gonna die. My conditioning is not what it used to be. I keep telling myself it's time to work on that, but then I do and I realize how much working on it sucks.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:21 pm

Next time I go home, I'll remember to bring my sled back here. We can work on conditioning then.

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:11 pm

Chris Anderson wrote:
Next time I go home, I'll remember to bring my sled back here. We can work on conditioning then.

This sounds like fun. I am ready...
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:20 pm

lmao you say that now

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:48 pm

Maybe fun is not the right word... but it's something ive wanted to try for quite some time.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:29 pm

Andy Awad wrote:
3/38/14

Squats

worked up to a triple at 365.  It was terrible.  My poor squat form is really starting to get to me.  I'm coming forward a lot more than I'd like to (stressing my lower back).  I think it may be time to just completely break down my squat and work on rebuilding it.  I try to stay more upright, but I keep feeling like I'm going to fall over.

I hesitate to write the next part of my workout.....My buddy has been wanting to try the "300 workout" for a while.  I used to do it about once a week a year ago or so, and I told him I'd do it with him.  We did it and I thought I was gonna die.  My conditioning is not what it used to be.  I keep telling myself it's time to work on that, but then I do and I realize how much working on it sucks.

Literally one of the most stupid workouts I've ever seen. I wouldn't even bother.

You might just be going through a funk on your squats, but when in doubt, assessing and fixing technique is never a bad idea. Some of it could be some underlying mobility problems.

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:30 pm

Certainly not my favorite of workouts. It's very fatiguing while doing little in the way of strength building unless your pretty out of shape to begin with. When I got back into working out about a year ago, I was doing it almost every Saturday. I attribute it in part to me losing ten pounds in two months (which I have since gained back).

I hope you're right about the squats. Regardless, I think my squat form is in need of at least some fixing. I'm working on opening up my hips and getting some better mobility going on which can't hurt (right?). Also, I've done some assessing, and I think Im doing squatting movements too frequently compated to where I'm coming from in my previous training. I'm doing squatting movements about 4 times every 8 days right now. I'm going to cut it back to no more than 3, one of which will be a very light day.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:25 am

Andy Awad wrote:
Maybe fun is not the right word... but it's something ive wanted to try for quite some time.

There are also sleds at the Rec Building.

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:19 am

Have you used them before? I'd be down to go. A Saturday would work best for me to go out there.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:24 pm

I have, and Kevin Alvy goes there every now and then. We'll get something organized. I won't be doing anything like that until after my meet, though.

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:09 pm

Time to catch up my log. I think I remember my workouts...shouldn't wait so long to log them. They start to get hazy.

3/29

standing OHP

warm up
145 x 3 x 5
95 x 12 (immediately after third set at 145)

Marked improvement in my oh pressing. I am pleased.

db flat bench
80 x10
90 x 8
90 x 8
100 x 8

These are alright. Not sure how much I like them compared to other assistance work, but I think they're good for my shoulders, so I'm gonna start doing them from time to time.

face pulls

arms

3/30

Back work.

Bent over rows (4 sets of 10 to 12 reps, working up to 195)
t - bar rwos (4 sets working up to 3 plates (i think? don't remember)
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:16 pm

4/1/14

Deadlift SUMO (with wraps)
warmup
405 x 4
455 x 2 x 4
315 x 12

The two sets of 4 at 455 were alright. The first one was extremely uncoordinated and felt terrible. the second one I got my rhythm going a lot better and it actually felt ok. however, the important part of this workout was the last set at 315. I decided to see how conventional felt after pulling a few sets sumo. It felt amazing. the first rep at 315 honestly felt like I could have cleaned it. the lightest it's ever felt in my life. I cranked out a very easy 12 reps. I saw Chris mention something in a video someone posted. he said "If your hips are coming up before the bar, it likely means you need to start your pull with your hips higher. I thought about this and did just that. It really made a big difference in my mechanics. I didn't hit my shins, and I didn't struggle as much off the floor. I'm going to keep doing sumo pulling (at least for a while) because I think it's helping me with some issues, but after that last set I think conventional will still remain my preferred stance.

HS low rows superset with glut ham raises

3 sets
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