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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:45 pm

Repped and i applaud your unsuccessful mindset

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:49 pm

Andy Awad wrote:
2/13/14

Body built bis and tris with my buddy Nick.  I don't even know how many sets I did and I don't want to think about it.  Nick's been a real sport doing some powerlifting stuff with me, and yesterday he showed me how to bodybuild my arms.  I must say, I have had an edge on him with most compound lifts, but he definitely made me look like a chump in this workout.  Turns out my biceps are actually not all that strong.  I don't think I went over the 30s for any set, and they were a sturggle.  The workout wasn't by any means bad, but I think it was a little too much for me.  My arms are more sore today than I'd like, but my bis are still bulging which I do like.  It revealed some imbalances between my right (dominant) and left arms too.  I do want to start incorporating arm work back into my routine, but I think it will be fewer sets at the end of workout before a rest day.  The main thing I don't like about it is my arms are too sore that I don't even think I'll be able to bench tomorrow which I was planning to do.  I think it will be a light day.

Do some light benching--it'll help reduce DOMS. It just sounds like your work capacity is lacking right now, which can happen when you become focused on the compound movements for a while. Your ability to recover and absorb training volume is a trainable quality like maximal strength, and it's one that you want to try and increase over time.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:06 pm

Brometheus wrote:
Repped and i applaud your unsuccessful mindset

Thank You

Kyle Keough wrote:
Do some light benching--it'll help reduce DOMS. It just sounds like your work capacity is lacking right now, which can happen when you become focused on the compound movements for a while. Your ability to recover and absorb training volume is a trainable quality like maximal strength, and it's one that you want to try and increase over time.

I will do some light benching tomorrow. You're spot on about my work capacity lacking right now. I have noticed it recently, and I've started adding some more volume to my workouts because of it. After the 27th, I'm planning to lower the weights, increase my reps and increase my sets.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:13 pm

How often do you train, Andy? It might just help to try and add a day to your training week to do some light accessory work. A thirty-minute session in which you do as many small exercises in that span of time as possible can help your ability to recover.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:18 pm

Recently, I've been getting in 4 to 5 days a week. Which, for me, has been an all time high. A 30 min session like that is something I could certainly see myself adding to my routine without much trouble though.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:21 pm

You can even take it into the end of a session. If I squat one day, I might do a thirty-minute upper-body accessory session after a short break. If you set it on a timer, you see how much work you can get done on short rest intervals--it becomes a very productive period of time.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:27 pm

I'm gonna try that, Kyle. If you do that upper body work after a squat session, would you bench the next day or wait a day?
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:29 pm

I'd bench the next day. Again, once you're conditioned, there's no reason to wait. The more you do, the easier recovery is, and training through a little soreness isn't going to hurt you. If a little extra workout is going to make you sore, then you don't need to rest--you just need to train more.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:31 pm

Haha ok great advice. Thanks man.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:33 pm

I had always followed the "if it's sore, don't train it" approach. Which is probably overly conservative.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:23 pm

If it's sore, train it in an intelligent manner.

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:29 am

That is my new approach. I think I'll experience quicker recovery.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:06 pm

2/15

This was a kind of fun dick around day to do some things I usually don't do. I enjoyed it a lot, and I think I may keep a squat/lower body related day like this in the routine to change things up from time to time. Honestly, it was a lot of fun.

Power cleans
rep x set
135 x 8 x 4

My form is less than great on these. My pull off the floor is fast, but I'm virtually not dropping my ass at all when I catch the weight. All I really want from these though is to generating the speed at the bottom that will hopefully transfer to my deadlift.

hack squats
175 x 8 x 4

My first time doing these. I liked them though. The main thing I got from them was I need to drive my hips forward sooner because I kept hitting my ass with the bar. Also, they really hit my quads. I wouldn't mind some better quad development, so I liked that. On my first attempt of my warmup, I actually fell down as I started to pull the weight because the change in my center of mass felt so strange to me. There were several females who witnessed the event.

Front squats

175 x 4 x 5

My front squat is actually quite a bit stronger than this, but I need to develop my wrist flexibility. It's getting there, but when I do more reps than this or heavier weight, I've been paying for it with sore wrists for weeks.

Jump rope

6 sets of different variations for one min.

I've decided that I need to start doing some form of cardio for myself (please don't kick me off the team). I'm just not the type of person who naturally has decent cardio conditioning. On the contrary, it gets really bad really quickly (walking up the two flights of stairs to my office has been leaving me winded). So, I'm starting to do some a couple days a week. We shall see how long this keeps up though.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:13 pm

2/16

Bench
185 x 5
225 x 4
255 x 5
275 x 5
285 x 4 (failed on 5)

I really wanted 285 for 5, but it wasn't in the cards for the day. The set started off terrible. I lost all tightness on the first rep and it almost felt like I wouldn't get it up. The 4th rep was the best of the set.

Close grip dumbbell press
75 x 10
80 x 10
85 x 10
85 x 5 (alternating, neutral grip)
85 x 3 (alternating, neutral grip)

I forgot how much I like alternating when I do these, so I decided to try it on my last set. Turns out its a lot harder. I keep my non moving hand extended while the other hand lowers and presses.

Incline barbell press
135 x 8 x 2
155 x 6 x 2

a little basketball shooting and some back and downs and shuttle runs.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:30 pm

2/17

Deadlift
warmup
365 x 1
405 x 1
455 x 1
495 x 3 (and a half)
405 x 5


I really thought I could grind out a 4th rep. I got the weight past my knees, but I just couldn't drive my hips through at the top. I really don't like failing on sets, and this makes 2 days in a row for me. Looks like I've been a little over ambitious about what I have left in the tank this week.

I had just happened to run into Kyle on my way back to my office after class tonight. I mentioned that I was about to hit the gym and I wanted to get a heavy day on each lift in this week before the intramural meet next Thursday. He told me to deadlift early in the week. My biceps have still been ungodly sore (triceps are feeling fine) from some DOMS caused by the arm day from hell last Thursday, but he assured me deadlifting would be fine. Turns out he knows a thing or two, and I had a great deadlifting day. By far the best I've had since my time off during break. Didn't even notice the bicep soreness once. Also, other thanks go to Chris Anderson and Nathan Poage. Chris told me to flex my triceps and stiffen my arms, and Poage told me to start driving my hips sooner and flex my gluts when the wieght gets passed my knees. Thinking of both of these cues really helped my pulling feel fast and strong.

Another thing I've been doing is I switch my grip on my lighter speed sets when I deadlift. I got the idea from an interview with a gold medal hurdler from the last summer olympics. He said that he started to switch his starting foot off the blocks during training. That strengthened his weaker side and then he started breaking records and winning. Here's to hoping it transfers to deadlifting.

snatch grip pulls
225 x 5 x 4

Dumbbell rows
85 x 10 x 4

HS low rows
4 sets

some ab work and rear delt flies.

This was a lot of stuff today, but for some reason I felt amazing during the workout and I just didn't want to stop.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:37 am

2/18

Standing overhead press
bar x 10
95 x 8
95 x 8
115 x 6
135 x 7 (last 3 were push press)

By far the best these have gone in ages. My shoulder is finally starting to feel strong and pain free when I do these again. Additionally, I'm finding that the more overhead work I'm able to incorporate, the better my shoulder is feeling. Really makes me wonder if neglecting it for so long was the right choice to make. Regardless, its better now and life is good.

One arm standing dumbbell press
55 x 8 x 2
65 x 5 x 2

These felt great. Probably my favorite overhead pressing movement.

Some lateral raises and some front raises plus some rotator cuff work.

Some jump rope and abz

With my shoulder on the up and up, I'm hoping to get a new surge in my bench performance now that I can get some good overhead training in. I have one more heavy squat and bench day this week before next Thursday. After that, I think I'll basically just come in and warm up my lifts and rest until the intramural meet.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:56 pm

I'm thinking about running smolov jr for my bench after the intramural meet. I do have a few questions about incorporating something like that into training though.

If I were to do this, is there still room for incorporating some over head pressing and tricep work into one of the days? Or could I replace one of the days with over head pressing? I'm enjoying over head pressing a lot right now, and I don't necessarily want to put it off at the expense of building my bench. I'm thinking long term gains, and I know that for me that means strong healthy shoulders.

Also, any opinions on if it's just in general a good or bad idea for a lifter of my experience? 4 days a week of benching seems like a lot, but I can see it being manageable if I'm not really doing much else in the way of pushing work. As of now, I run my own programming, which is really just winging things. I'd like to try laying something out and see how I like that approach and how my body responds. I was thinking smolov jr provides this while also requiring only a 3 week commitment.

Anyone have input on this?
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:18 pm

What kind of bench training do you do on a normal basis? Smolov/Smolov Jr isn't something you just do, hit a huge PR, and then keep your gainz. Just ask Seth how going back to "normal" volume worked out for him after doing Smolov Jr. It is not "only a 3 week commitment."

My advice is to just build up your training volume and frequency on a gradual basis. Chances are, your work capacity is low and your ability to recover even lower.

Smolov Jr. works for guys like Poage and Kyle because they already have high work capacities and train at pretty high volumes. That's been the same for me, over the past couple of years. I was already benching 2-3x/week, following two separate programs plus additional work each day, before I moved into Smolov for my bench.

Build up your volume and frequency over the next year, then think about Smolov. Start benching twice a week. Start squatting twice a week. Three times a week. Train every day. Increase your workload. Reduce your rest periods. The methods to build your work capacity are near endless, and you want to have that work capacity BEFORE doing a program like Smolov.

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:23 pm

Chris, Thanks for your input. I appreciate it a lot.

Recently I've been benching twice a week, and doing pressing movements 2-3 times a week. Admittedly though, prior to that I was benching once a week and doing pressing movements once to twice a week. Each of my pressing sessions recently has consisted of about 8-10 working sets. My bench sets are generally at about 70-90% of my max weight. Generally, I'm not sore after these workouts (probably 25% of the time I'm sore). I don't do any burnouts or anything like that.

I guess what I'm really looking for is a program that suits my current ability and experience level. I consider myself an intermediate lifter with a good capacity to gain strength and put on muscle mass, but I'm a novice when it comes to knowledge of programming. I've always winged things in the gym, and despite my inconsistency over the years, I've always managed to make out all right. I am getting tired though of winging things, and every time I sit down and try to set out programming for myself I get frustrated because I don't really have a direction to take it. I plugged in the numbers for smolov jr and the first 2 weeks seemed manageable (not so sure about benching 2 days in a row and how I'd handle that), the third though seemed quite tough though.

I was even thinking about taking the days and spreading them out over a four week period instead of 3 (bench 3 days a week). That was an idea i had to avoid benching consecutive days and also give myself more time to recover.

Regardless of what I do though, I really want to try to plan something out for my training for at least a 4 week period. If you have any ideas you think would be good for me to look into, I'd really like to hear them.

Side note, my bench is my most comfortable lift in that I've been doing it the longest and have trained it the most. That's why I was thinking about really trying to push it in my next training cycle.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:03 am

I woke up at 3:30 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. After getting some groceries, washing dishes, doing laundry and taking care of all the other stuff I’ve been putting off all week, my mind went to my training (actually, my mind was on my training the entire time). I actually decided to do something intelligent. I looked back through my training log and decided to start planning my next training cycle based on where I currently am and where I’ve come from. I think there is probably a good system out there that would suit me, but I first need to asses my own needs and goals with my training. I’m going to do some searching and thinking yet to decide what percentages and reps to work with, but I’m thinking something that begins in the 10 – 12 rep range, and progresses to triples, doubles, and singles. The exact layout is still in the works, but I have something to build off of now.

Things I want my next cycle to include……
Balance pushing and pulling
Balance upper body with lower body work; preferably more lower body than upper body
Don’t neglect overhead pressing in favor of bench pressing…equal amounts of each is preferable
Squat and bench/overhead press 2 - 3 x per week
Moderate to heavy deadlift 1 x per week
Powerclean/light deadlift 1 x per week (favoring powercleans right now)
Have a rest day somewhere
Keep in mind maybe a one week split isn’t my thing, maybe try a 3, 4, or 5 day split better

Upper body accessory exercises I’d like to incorporate:
Bent over rows
Pullups
Dips
Incline bench
Db bench
One arm db ohp
HS rows
Armz

Lower body accessory exercises I’d like to incorporate:
Fornt squats
Hack squats
Lunges
Bulgarian squats
Box jumps and some other plyo stuff

I'll sit on this for the next week and see how it feels.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:10 am

it sounds like the hardest part of your training will be attempting to schedule the days. with squatting, benching, and deadlifting 2x per week, your schedule can either be spread out over 6 days or you may have to double up 1-2 of the days. Maybe something like this:

Su: Bench/Press
Mo: Heavy Squat + Light Deadlift
Tu: off
W:  Bench/Press
Th: Heavy Deadlift
F:  Light Squat
Sa: off

of course, mix and match to your schedule but doubling up one or two days might be necessary in order for you to have a couple of days to rest and recover that lift.

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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:02 pm

Yep, that is the difficult thing for me. I have liked benching and squatting in the same day in the past, so I'm thinking I may do that for one of the days. I think what I end up with will look a lot like what you posted.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:33 pm

Today I wanted to come in and test my squat out. My squat is feeling as good as it ever has. I get discouraged sometimes about my squat, but when I remind myself I'm still learning this lift, and I never performed it to depth in the past, I don't feel so bad. Today was a good self esteem booster. I just wanted to hit some heavy singles to get an idea of where I'm at for next Thursday. I've narrowed my stance a bit, and it feels a lot better for me. Specifically, my hips feel much more comfortable. I feel more quad involvement, but my quads weren't engaging as much as I wanted to before. I think I will stay with this new stance.

warm up
135 x 6 x 2
225 x 6
315 x 3
365 x 1
405 x 1 (depth was iffy)
435 x 1 (depth was iffy)
405 x 1 (good depth)
225 x 6

Body weight lunges
4 sets of 8

I haven't recorded my squats since narrowing my stance, and I'd just been going by feel. Apparently what used to feel deep with a wider stance is a little shallow now. My friend Nick recorded these for me. The first 405 and the 435 were not as deep as I'd like them to be. I wasn't planning on doing 405 again, but after viewing the footage, I really wanted to leave on a squat that I could feel good about. Glad I did it. 405 for depth is absolutely a PR for me. I feel like with the addition of using a belt and the narrowing of my stance, my squat is in a good place to experience gains right now.

Please feel free to give me advice or tips about my squat, especially regarding the last one at 405 and if it is passable depth. One thing I've noticed after watching myself is I think I could get more out of the stretch reflex.

Here are all three heavy squats from today. I only really feel good about the last one at 405.






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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:50 pm

Chris Anderson wrote:
What kind of bench training do you do on a normal basis? Smolov/Smolov Jr isn't something you just do, hit a huge PR, and then keep your gainz. Just ask Seth how going back to "normal" volume worked out for him after doing Smolov Jr. It is not "only a 3 week commitment."

My advice is to just build up your training volume and frequency on a gradual basis. Chances are, your work capacity is low and your ability to recover even lower.

Smolov Jr. works for guys like Poage and Kyle because they already have high work capacities and train at pretty high volumes. That's been the same for me, over the past couple of years. I was already benching 2-3x/week, following two separate programs plus additional work each day, before I moved into Smolov for my bench.

Build up your volume and frequency over the next year, then think about Smolov. Start benching twice a week. Start squatting twice a week. Three times a week. Train every day. Increase your workload. Reduce your rest periods. The methods to build your work capacity are near endless, and you want to have that work capacity BEFORE doing a program like Smolov.

+1 to all of this. It might be worth trying something more sustainable first, like Sheiko, before you jump into Smolov.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Awad's Training Log   Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:53 pm

And the depth on that last squat looked really close. It honestly looked right at parallel to me, but the rules state that the crease of the hips have to be lower than the top of the knee, even if it's by a millimeter. I think you'd be fine if you squatted like this at the meet, but be careful.
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