Friday, October 27, 2006

3 Weeks out from the Raw Push/Pull

Met an interesting young guy on Monday night at the gym. Started chatting while I was waiting for him to finish in the squat rack so that I could start my heavy good mornings – which, by the way, I managed to top at 77.5kg this week – go me!! Anyway, Michael (he introduced himself properly before he left) is studying sport science at RMIT (one of our universities here. Somehow we started chatting about the bruises on my arm from the massage I had last week… the big yellow bruise was a good sign – apparently. I think I understood about 50% of what he said to me over the course of my training that night – very knowledgeable guy, but you know, I’m no dummy but still he left me feeling like one of the grunters in the gym – “I just lift heavy things….” LOL He was very polite and I think he liked having someone listen. Sweet kid.

Apart from the chatting – which I don’t normally do, I had a great work out. Lifting went well, as I mentioned I managed a max of 77.5 kg for 3 reps doing good mornings. Tuesday night was a different matter….. Main exercise, barbell floor press, I couldn’t match my previous weeks best effort – missed it by 2.5 kg. I seemed to be a bit ‘off key’ that night. Elbows still giving me grief and so frustrating because I can feel that my right tricep is not being fatigued but the sheer pain is stopping me from going heavy, whereas the left tricep is fatiguing at the same weight! Maybe I need to ask Michael his opinion about this next time he’s in the gym.

Wed night, Appointment with Dirk to discuss the next phase in my westside program and he’s shown me some really interesting new exercises, so I’m really looking forward to starting on it next week

Day1 Max Squat
Main (to max 1 rep)
Comp Deadlift test
Supps (3x10-12 )
GM squats

(stop short of Romanian deadlifts

failure for all Barbell rollouts

of these) Decline russian twist
Accessory (3x20-25)
Reverse hypers

Day2 Max Bench
Main (to max 1 rep)
CompBench Press test
Supps (3x10-12)
Single arm pushdown

(stop short of Elbow out press

failure for all Incl dbell bench row

of these) Cuban press (3x15)
Accessory (3x12)
EZ bar curls

Day 3 Speed Squat
Main (12x2) Box squat (60% 1rm)
Supps (3x10)
High pulls

Kneeling squats

cable woodchops

Crab lift
Accessory (3x15)
Reverse hypers

Day4 Speed Bench
Main (8x3)
Normal Bench (60%1rm)
Rev grip bench (3x6-8)

Pushdowns (3x12-15)

Bar upright rows (3x8)

Single cable rows (3x8)
Accessory (3x12-15)
Dbell preacher curls

This is what I’ll follow until a week before the Raw Push/Pull on Nov 18. In that last week I’ll just drop right back and do some light benching and deadlifts in the fist 2 days and then rest for the remaining days leading up to the comp.

Dirk has a lot of faith in my strength too, as does Shazza. He thinks I’ll have my squat up to 150kg by the State titles in March/April and bench around 100kg once I get a shirt! With Dirk overseeing my westside program, Shaz coaching me for technique and the awesome support I get from Titania I’m gonna be BIG at the comps next year! I’m so pumped! Bring it on!!

Big weekend ahead again! Today, Oct 27th is Leah’s 19th birthday, She’s out to dinner tonight with a girlfriend while Madi and I head out for her basketball match. Tomorrow is Adult riding club, where I’ll have a show jumping lesson with Ross and get my confidence back up. Late afternoon I’m heading out to watch Maria and Sam compete in the National titles for ANB bodybuilding. Maria is the reigning Ms Olympia (figure division) and she has fantastic bod for a lightweight – you would not guess that she’s so light and yet so muscular. If she could put on some size on her legs she could surely compete in the physique division. She’s hoping not to be penalized for being ‘too muscular’ - is there such a thing? LOL - well I guess for figure there is. Shax will be judging at the comp, I spoke to her the other day as I need to book in some time soon to work on my bench technique with her. Caught her while she was on the treadmill at Fitness First. She somehow managed to drop her protien drink and it went everywhere. Would have loved to have been there to see that! Sunday, borrowing my brothers car again – he must be getting sick of this by now…. Hehehehe… and Madi, Mojo and I will head out for horse trials out at Nillumbuk – Madi is riding this time!

Vicki xxxx


Monday, October 23, 2006

The weekend..... the aftermath.....

Speed bench on Friday night, getting the reps out pretty fast. Worked up to my 60% or 1 rep max and then belted out 8 sets of 3 reps – one breath, no pause. Followed up with dumbbell floor press with 50lb dumbbells, 3 sets of 6 reps. Keeping the pressure on the triceps I next perform close grip bench, again working up to my max at 60kg and then 3 sets of 6 reps. Left it at that for the night – no extra work which would have been dumbbell rows and front raises as my left elbow was still very tender from the deep massage and I don’t want to aggravate it any further.

Madi’s first basketball match for tryouts was a 9:40 pm (late game) and if this game is indicative of the season to come – Madi wont be staying. Extremely poor coaching! I was sitting on the bench as the team manager for the night, so I know exactly what was going on. 5 on 5 off subs every 5 minutes, no game play given to the girls and then they’re being yelled at for not scoring! Madi scored the first 2 points 12 minutes into the game, by then the opposition was already way ahead. Not many parents were happy with the coaching. The girls lost 11 to 34.

Didn’t fair too well at the Show jumping either. Mojo was over excited and with my confidence already in a hole from the previous weekends lousy jumping lesson, we just didn’t make a great pair. Mojo wasn’t keen to go over the practice jumps, was far more interested in what was going on around him. Finally got him over and ready to go. First round was Top Score, with each jumped labeled with a value. Top jump is worth 100 points but if you know it down - you lose 100 points. Jump in any order, any direction but each jump can only be jumped twice. Well we knocked down the 100 points!

Second round was the AM2, 10 jumps, pretty tight, must be jumped in order and you have to work out the quickest path around the course. Memorizing where all the jumps are is not easy and you need to walk the course several times (this is done without the horse!!). Made it thru that round much better only knocking down one jump that Mojo didn’t fancy. Last round at 4pm was the AM7. This is a much bigger course, again 10 jumps that must be jumped in order (more memorizing…) but much more spread out and then if you complete the round within the specified time you do a timed jump off with a certain no of jumps. In this case the jump off was jumps 1,2, 6, 7,3a & 3b and 10. We didn’t make it to the jump off - Mojo was going sideways at the jumps and in trying to settle him we lost time and then he decided that we would just do a 360. So eliminated out that round. Never mind its all experience.

Sunday morning - basketball training for Madi. Home – boring old domestic duties and a bit of time spent relaxing in the sun. Took the girls out to the movies for being such great strappers at the show jumping. Very funny movie… Little Miss Sunshine…. We’re not such a mad family after all…. We’re just like them….! LOL

Love Vicki xxx

Friday, October 20, 2006


Chris, the vet from Warrandyte North Veterinary Clinic came out Monday night to have a look at Mojo’s injury. Pretty nasty cut, which will bruise and be quite sore for the next few days. Luckily Mojo already had his tetanus shot back in April when he cut his back leg in the paddock. However a couple of injections are still needed, Penicillin and Anti-inflammatory. The first injection, the needle separated from the syringe and blood came pouring out all over the apprentice vet Laura….. Then we had to get some Potties White Ointment to put on the wound twice daily and some Bute (another anti-inflammatory) to put in his feed each night for the next 4 days. Total cost…. $189.00. Ouch - expensive trail ride….. Hopefully Mojo will be in fine form for the Silver Jubilee show jumping comp at the weekend, Chris thinks he’ll be fine – its all about getting that plaque to put on the back of the float! LOL. It’ll be good for intimidating the competitors at future events! Hahahaha.

After all that drama, went to the gym and trained – heavy legs day. Good mornings now up to a max of 75kg. Love these heavy workouts. Now 75kg may not sound like a lot, but try putting that across your shoulders and bending forward so you are parallel with the floor and coming back up - repeat 3 times! All the lifts for the accessory work have also gone up in weight - feeling pretty good about this training – but finding myself losing some flexibility. My solution…. Yoga. Reg comes in to our workplace every Tuesday and Friday and takes a yoga class at lunchtime – Perfect. So I went along to the class, not quite the stretches that I wanted but still beneficial – only problem was I fell asleep during the final meditation. LOL

Wednesday booked in for a remedial massage. Asked Kelly to massage my right forearm where I’ve been having some trouble with the elbow lately. Yee-ouch ended up with some nasty bruising and swelling. I guess the anti-inflammatory that I’m on, thin the blood and make me more susceptible to bleeding more – thus more bruising. Could not even bear to have anything touch my arm. Madi’s not well again –throat is very sore, so off to the Doctors. Bad case of Tonsillitis – which have become septic. Very shabby looking, badly scared and full of pus (eeeeowww). So we come away with a prescription for some antibiotics and a referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. Looks like Madi may have to have her tonsils removed. Well, with any luck it will cure her snoring too!!!!

Thursday – bought myself a new gadget… a Bluetooth headset. Much easier for those calls in the car, no more wires! Has a really neat USB charger that has a bendable cable…. But is it just me or does it look like a giant black sperm?

Training Thursday night – speed bench. Dirk must not have been busy or had a cancellation ‘cos he spent quite a bit of time watching me do my box squats and correcting how I was doing them and discussing the principals of westside. Lowered the weight - Dirk emphasized that on speed days its not about the weight that ‘s being pushed, but the speed at which the rep is performed’. Dropped the box squat back from 60kg to 40kg (40% of my raw 1 rep max) and Dirk was much happier with the speed of both the drop and power up. This is to develop the ‘elastic band’ effect will help to power up out of the bottom of the squat when its heavy. Also booked in a time next week to work out the next steps in my program – especially leading up to the comp and in particular since I haven’t done any ‘real’ bench pressing or deadlifting. Hmmm that reminds me - must make some time to see Shaz to work on bench technique too before the comp. So much to do and so little spare time.

Swapping cars tonight with my brother and then training – speed bench. Madi has her first Spring season comp for basketball – late game at 9:40. Wish me luck for tomorrow!

Love Vicki xxx

Monday, October 16, 2006

hectic yet uneventful

The last week has been hectic yet uneventful – does that make sense? It was a busy week at work - being on call, but not much else has happened.

Continued with my westside program, increased all the weights – at least by a little bit, particularly on my max effort days. A little encouragement - even when I didn’t want it, was in hindsight, a good thing. Pushed me thru a couple of barriers and I think the coming week will be better for it.

Birthday party on Friday night for one of Shazza's friends, didnt stay late, not really my kinda crowd and I'll leave it at that.

Went riding on Saturday morning, wanting a little practice before the show jumping comp coming up on the 21st. The instructor for the jumping class has totally different approach to jumping to that which I have been taught so I struggled with what he wanted and Mojo was getting confused, as a result Mojo kept refusing to jump and eventually I came off in front of the jump. Not hurt, but my confidence shattered, I got back on and rode him the way I know how and we got over the jumps… Not feeling too good about the upcoming comp… 18 riders in my level, I’ll probably be 18th - or disqualified if we have two refusals.

Madi has decided that she’d like to play another season of representatvie basketball with the Hawks, so off we went to tryouts on Sunday morning. Most likely she’ll be in the bottom team again because of our 'lack of commitment' to training, unfortunately it clashes with Pony club on every 2nd and 4th Sunday. Hopefully they’ll have some extra training practice during the week that she can attend. This will mean juggling my training around to accommodate the extra training and games on Friday nights, but that’s just what we have to do.

The rest of Sunday was spent logged on to the computer as I was oncall for work and was frequently paged.

Beautiful day here and so I went out for a jog/walk - need to ease back into running. Heavy leg night tonight and think I'll join the lunchtime yoga class at work to stretch out - as a recovery fromthe leg training. Must book a maasage for wednesday and then Thursday hope to get out for another run before training legs again that night (speed work)

Great (not), just got a call from Leah, she was out riding Mojo - for the first time in about a year – and he’s had an accident and cut his leg… she came off too but is ok. So I’d better wrap this up ‘cos I need to get up to the paddock, the vet is on the way to check out Mojo’s cut leg.

Vicki xxx

Monday, October 09, 2006

ANB - Bodybuilding show

Went out to a bodybuilding show at the weekend. # guys from the gym where I train were competing so I went along to support them. Not a very big line up, but a pretty hard one. Pulled out my camera to take some pics only to discover that Madi has ‘borrowed’ the batteries….. Grrrr. Only 4 girls in the figue line up - one was a masters competitior and was probably the best on stage. Two fitness competiors… hmmm ok… not sure about that category and then 2 physique girls, 1 under 52 and 1 over. A little small for my liking, very lean but not much size over what you have to hold yourself together – if you get what I mean. I like to see some thickness in the muscle…. I could only stay for the pre-judging, so I'm yet to find out how our guys went, but they all looked pretty awesome!

Anyway I was sitting there watching the show and then this voice behind me says… “Is that The Vicki O’Brien” ?? Who should be being me but Vicki, the gym manager that runs Spartan’s gym where I used to train years ago when I was competing in bodybuilding. We got to talking,she asked what I was doing now, so I told her about the Powerlifing etc… and she told me about the bodybuilding comps she’s been running. Check out the website: A great comp!! Vicki asked if I’d be interested in judging some of the comps, so of course I’m happy to help out, having judged a couple of times for IFBB back when I was competing. So Vicki is looking for ex competitors to do the judging, having had the whole experience to give some extra perspective as well. Also she’s looking to have another female judge available – suits me to a tee. This should be fun and I’m happy to be on the ‘other’ side for a bit. Her comps looks like great quality show’s – you never know I might even make my come back at one of these shows in a couple of years – once I have this powerlifting thing licked!! LOL

That’s it for now.

Vicki xxxx

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Feeling better at last

Thanks Jim for your comments, I am feeling better now, although still have an anoying cough every now and then. This cold certainly took its toll on me, training only once in two weeks. but back into hard training again now..

Camp was laods of fun. Hitched up the float around 12 noon. Up at the paddock Madi put on Mojo's new float boots while I fiddles with the tails lights again which were not working properly - with no success :-( Thankfully we didnt need to trun right anywhere ont he trip, well, wiotht he exception of turing into the camp grounds, but at least there was no one behind us then. The trip to Golden Valleys was not withous incident, Mojo stomped and pawed at the floor of the float, ripping up the flooring and got himself into quite a state. We pulled over and Madi removed his boots and we continued on our way with a somewhat happier horse!

The kids on camp went on plenty of trail rides and early morning beach rides while us adults downed plenty of wine and cheated our way thru games of trivial pursuit in the evenings. I even managed a couple of rides, a trail ride thru some bush tracks and a ride back from the pub where we all had lunch. A far less stressful trip home on sunday, Mojo without his boots and with a hay net in the float to keep him occupied. Madi slept most of the way home!

Back into the gym on Monday night with my "approved" westside program - Dirk only mad a couple of changes to the no of reps for some of the supplementary excercises, but otherwise it was all good. Started with Max squat session - that is training for a max squat - so first up was wide stance good mornings working up to a 3 rep max which was 70kg. Then the supplementary exercises: Pull thru's (pulling a cable thru the lgs from a 45degree bent position to upright) 3 sets of 12, single leg squats 3x12 again. Abs: rope pulldowns and weighted decline situps and then finshed off with weighted hypers - 3 sets of 20. My hammies were sore the next day!

Tuesday night was Max bench, started off with floor presses using a bar working up to a one rep max which I managed to get to 72.5kg. This is followed by tricep work, dumbbell skullcrushers and reverse pushdowns, then side raises for shoulders and finshed up with a bit of bicep work, hammer curls and forearm curls.

Wed night off to recover and tonight (thurs) back in for some Speed squat - hammering out box squats at 60% of my 1 rep max for 12 set of 2 reps - dropping fast onto the box and powering back up again with speed. followed by more hamstring work and ab work. Tomorrow night - Speed bench. again at 60% of my 1 rep max and working up to doing 8 sets of 3 reps - fast. The reps to be completed in under 2 seconds - in one breath and with good form. Followed up with more tricep work, dumbell floor press and close grip bench. Then some back work - barbell rows and front raises for shoulders.

With this program I keep to these routine for the next 3 weeks and then change the excercises, selecting from a specific set for the main exercise and a different set for the supplementals.... I'm keen to see how much more I can lift in the coming months by training with this technique.

Well have to get back to class now - still on the RAC on Windows internal training here at work..... Catch you all soon.

Vicki xxx

PS. Will add some photo's soon.