Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Training - max bench

Crap again. 60kg max with bands - so frustrated by this. Pin presses at 70 kg. Lying on the floor in the arched position I can really feel the benefit of getting shoulders and bum close together - it really does create an upward force. I cannot seem to replicate this feeling on the bench. Did a couple of extra sets with just 60kg to reinforce this feeling into my body - hoping blindly that my body will remember it next time I'm on the bench.

Other than that an ordinary training session. Not 100% and even the cold and flu tabs didn't kick in.....

Dirk has suggested I test my max lifts next week (without bands). That will be interesting....

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Training - Max squat

Trained well last night despite the scratchy throat and aches. Dosed up on some cold and flu tabs before hitting the gym. That did the trick. Max squat with bands 1 rep max of 85kg on top of the bar. That's approx 140kg at lockout and 90kg off the low box. 5 kg up on last week again.

Stiff leg deadlifts - pulled 100kg for 3 sets of 7 reps - just short of the 8 rep min I am supposed to do but 10kg up on last weeks effort. 3 sets with the middle set using reverse grip.

Pull down squats - LOL - now that this is the last week I am doing them I finally got it right 170lb 3sets of 10 reps.

Started to run out of grunt about now.... so the explosive landmines (using the heavy bar and 10kg plate) were low on numbers 3 sets of 6 reps.

Ab work - 25lb dumbell overhead for lever crunches (done on the decline board)

then finished with reverse hypers - light - warm down the back and hamstrings

EDIT: Pulldown squats = Reverse squats

Monday, May 28, 2007

Quiet week ahead

Out of the office this week on an internal training course. Updates here will be light on....

Feeling a little under the weather too.... sore throat and lethargic, must have picked up some lurgies

Friday, May 25, 2007

Accidents DO happen...

Set up last night to do speed squats off the box with bands and I think I must have had the bands choked too far forward and so the bar came crashing down off the pins catching me on left side. Discovered a nice bruise on my arm around the elbow this morning, My quad tho' not as sore as last night, I think has a deep bruise - not visible (yet) but it's quite sore to touch. Never the less I still squatted - swearing under my breath about now having two sore legs to contend with (yes the right hip is still giving me grief). Ignored the pain and did 12 sets of 2 reps with 35kg Plus the bar Plus the bands - speed work is meant to be light - but with the bands I still cant manage to get much speed up. Next 3 sets of 8 of good morning squats at 60kg, reverse hypers at 60kg also 3 sets of 8 and then some ab work (cable back crunches and russian decline twists) A very sore me left the gym with a limp..... :-(

Coffee club beans arrived the other day - along with the latest crema magazine.... apparently coffee is to be the next cure for baldness - the fact that you need to drink about 60 cups a day might be a little off putting, imagine training with that amount of caffeine in your system. The researchers are hoping to develop a caffeine solution that can be rubbed into your scalp....

A man was taken to hospital after police found him nailed to coffee table..... no suspicious circumstances and being treated as an unfortunate accident - he somehow managed to nail his hand to the coffee table - ouch!!

Also saw an add for a Naked portafilter (bottomless) - not sure what the advantage is but I might ask if anyone has used one over on the coffeegeeks forum. Coffee lovers - Checkout the site espresso workshop site.

Selim sent me an interesting powerpoint presentation on latte art - mostly etched stuff but has me curious enough to give it a try. So I'll have to get some chocolate syrup and have a go - of course this will mean making loads of latte's. Need to get some gerbils over to help drink all the arty attempts - anyone for coffee? Pic to the right is my handy work - a freehand rosetta.

Tonight - speed bench..... then Leigh is coming with me to SEXYLAND to checkout if they have anything good to wear to Shazza's RED & RAUNCHY party.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bad bencher.....

Thought I'd upload a pic from the weekend - Madi almost taking a spill at the water jump......

Tuesday night's training didn't quite live up to expectations and my benching was poor to say the least. 60kg max with bands, even floor presses and pin presses were a struggle. I'm not sure what went wrong, I was certainly all fired up for it, perhaps I just used all the 'magic' up for squatting.... Had Dirk spotting me while he waited for his client, anyway he said not to stress about it - max lift is max for that day. I know I wasn't holding it together on the bench. Spoke to Shaz that night too.. she suggested we go over to Apollo, Marty Girvan's gym and bench a couple of times with the guys there as they train westside. Its sounds like a great idea, Shaz seems to think that they wouldn't mind.... however I have some reservations about it.....

Anyway, Shazza's main reason for calling was to let me know that she's having dinner and drinks for her birthday on Sat June 2nd - The theme this year RED and RAUNCHY. So I've been checking out the websites and I'll head into SEXYLAND to look for something (in)appropriate to wear. LOL I'll be sure and post some of the links to what I'm considering and some pics of what I eventually get!

Gosh! This also means on June 6th I've been blogging for a year. (pity I didn't add the sitemeter back then....)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Max squat up 10kg

Great session last night bumped the max squat up by 10 kg to 75kg which when you add the bands is equivalent to 85kg at the bottom off the low box and lockout at 135kg (for my International readers multiply by 2.2... ie 187lb / 297lb) I was pretty happy with that - given that I was coming up off the box pretty strong - despite my hip soreness (which goes away as the hip warms up... - Yes Tom, I am downing anti-inflamms (voltaren) like they're m&m's - the 'rest' bit will have to wait until after Aug. Anyway Mid August I'm getting my toe looked at - the dreaded bone spur - if I have to have surgery then there will be an enforced rest for about 6 weeks - yuck!

Back to last nights training - followed up the max squat with stiff leg deadlifts at 90kg - now they're getting tough! 8 singles x 3 sets - tried alternating my grip in the 2nd set but could only manage 5 reps before reverting to my usual grip (right hand over, left hand under) note to self: work on alternate grip. Today however my left elbow is quite sore from the added strain - oh well gotta live with it!

Pulldown squats, tried anchoring my feet with dumbells - no help at all, faced into the pully and that was a little easier but the felt like I was going to headbut the pole. Explosive landmines - upped to 10kg 3 sets of 8. Incline Lever crunch - woosed out and stayed with the 20lb dumbell (I was sore for days after last weeks effort!) 3 sets of 15 (yes I managed the last few reps) actually it was easier than last week - definitely next week I'll put it up. Finished with the reverse hypers again - light 30kg 3 sets of 20. Drenched and knackered..... Slept like a baby.

In other less interesting news, the clothes dryer packed it in..... I want to get one that I can mount on the wall and vent into the roof space, I think this will not be a 'do it yourself' job like most things I do around the house.... It might be best I pay someone to do it and if they mess it up I can yell at them. LOTS.

Monday, May 21, 2007

That damn pager again

The weekend over and an ugly welcome back to the working week..... 7 days straight carrying the P1 pager. Ugghhh

It was nothing short of bloody freezing at yarrambat at the weekend. Marshalling would have been so much better from inside sheriffs office.... Madi's first grade 3 dressage test.... Mojo needs some work..... not a great result. Sunday back again where hell has frozen over.... Madi and Mojo - one refusal at the water jump in cross country course and somehow he managed to cut his foot and by the time the showjumping round was on, he was lame..... exit... stage left.

Leigh called in for dinner after being away all weekend and we decided to head off to the movies - all of us, Leigh, me, Leah, Andrew (this week's beau) and Madi. The movie: 28 weeks later - not quite the follow up to 28 days with Sandra Bullock as Leigh had suggested, but some sick scary movie about some deadly virus turning people into crazed, infected, murderous monsters..... Yep - enough to give me nightmares. So traumatized by this damn movie that when when Leigh offered to stay the night and keep me safe.... I jumped at it. Still, not a lot sleep was had..... ;-)

Max squat night and my right hip is hurting when I squat - even with no weight - this is the same as I had last year heading intot he Nationals.... I'm beginning to wonder if it seasonal!!! Talking of the nationals - the entry from and comp details arrived in the mail today.

Council Of Australian Powerlifting Organisations
-Senior National Powerlifting Championships 2007-
-National Bench Press Championships 2007-
Melbourne, Victoria

When: Saturday/Sunday 4th/5th August 2007
Where: Crest on Barkly, Comfort Inn Hotel,
47 Barkly St, St. Kilda
Melbourne, Victoria

Teenage, junior men, open, women and Intermediate men being contested on the Saturday and Open and Masters men on the Sunday followed by Presentation dinner. A qualifying standard of “2nd grade” applies to all lifters wishing to enter the Open Men’s section of the Senior National Powerlifting Championships. Open Women - no qualifying standard. Entry fee is $80 plus another $80 for those doing the National Bench Press comp. Presentation dinner $65 per head, all things going as planned I'll shout Leigh's dinner ticket to thank him for his support - in spite of my sticking with westside ( He'll get his chance to do things *his* way with me after the nationals)

Friday, May 18, 2007


Trained late last night (7:50pm) as Madi sat her D certificate at pony club earlier in the evening. Some guys were using the one and only squat rack and I wash due for speed squat I had no choice either than to wait it out...
At least they were using the rack for squatting and not doing something pathetic like arm curls - it does happen....
By 8.10 they had finished, I think they got the hint as I got everything ready to set up the bands and box squat, donned the squat boots and then stood there waiting..... LOL

As I had to leave by 8:50, the workout was going to be reduced to speed squats with bands and good morning squats. Anyway I must have done something right 'cos my butt hurts today!!

Scott, yes those reverse squats on the T-Nation website are exactly what I am doing - I have to do them quite heavy and so I'll take the suggestion from that site to use some dumbells to anchor my feet as I find this to be a problem. The other 'difficulty' I have is not being able to get square under the pulley - its not out far enough and so I am being pulled backwards and off balance - perhaps the dumbell anchors will help with that too.

Christine, not sure if westside is good for *just* going into a comp, to me its a style of training that needs to be followed for a while to really see the benefit - going back to why I wanted to complete the 12 month commitment I made *before* I had even met Leigh. The planning part, deciding on main exercise, supplementals and accessory work confused me too, which is why I sought help from Dirk. Now I am starting to understand it, but there are so many different exercises that I didn't know about - so still learning and trying to share it here.

The weekend ahead....

Getting the truck back form my sister tonight, so I'll have to drive her home, probably thru peak hour traffic if I want to get back in time to train - unfortunately Definition closes at 8pm on a Friday night! Speed bench is on agenda. Early start tomorrow with Madi and Mojo competing in the Zone horse trials at Yarrambat - I have been designated 'Chief Marshall' for which I think I should be issued a gun and a badge - I asked Leigh for his but he declined mumbling something about being a danger to myself and everyone else.... hmmmmm . Anyhoo that means we have to be there at 8am, even tho Madi doesnt ride until 12ish..... which means leaving the paddock by 7.15 (at the latest) and that means getting *up* at 6am..... ick! Oh well, nothing better to do....

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Back on the air

Migrated to the new laptop. Everything seems to be in order. Backed up all the photo's on the old machine onto disc and it has now been retired to the study at home. This new one has 120gb with 87gb available on D, a DVD burner (Yay!) and a wider screen. Mind you I dock at work anyway so the screen size doesn't matter.

No training tonight - rest night! catch up on TV shows and see if I can fit in another episode of 'The Shield' which Leigh has lent me.

Here's what I've been up to:


Max Squat

Low box squat with bands 20/5 30/5 40/5 50/3 60/1 65/1 (up 5kg on last week) The bar at Definition is super prickly, nice that it grabs but it also rips the crap out of my skin and so I end up with a very tender bar mark across my back and doing that last rep with 65kg 'on the bar' and the bands pulling the bar down causing extra pressure - I was so glad to be only doing 1 rep. OUCH!!

Stiff leg deadlifts off the floor 80kg 3 x 8reps. Hard getting the last reps but I'll go up again next week to maybe 90kg
Pulldown squat (still don't get this one and Dirk wasn't in the gym...) anyway 140lb 3x8
Explosive landmines (aka busdrivers) 3 sets 10, 8, 8 with only 5kg on the bar - these really work on core stability
Lever crunch 3 sets 15,15,12 (just couldn't get those last 3 reps....) 20lb dumbell overhead (now 2 days later my upper abs are so so sore. I cant get a decent stretch in and having trouble sitting up straight - LOL

Finally Reverse hypers 3 sets of 20 - just to warm down the hammies and lower back.

Tuesday (last night)

Max Bench

Bench with mini bands 40/6 45/4 50/3 55/2 60/1 65/1 (5kg up on last week) Sam spotted me - I think he may have touched the bar on that last one.

Dumbell floor press 50lb dbells 3 sets 10, 9, 7
Floor pin press lockouts 80kg 3 x 8
Horizontal pullups 3 x 8 (I struggle to pause at the top - Dirk has suggested that I pause on the decent and slow work towards the pause at the top) This exercise should have a major impact on my benching as it strengthens upper back in the position needed for westside benching technique.
Cable rear delt 25lb each 3x15

Band pushdowns 2 x 12 ( not sure how much I'm getting out of this so I added some rope pulldowns 80lb 3x12)

Tacked on some shoulder press in the machine 140lb 3 sets of 8 (just because I could...LOL)

On a lighter note.... How weird is this..... My Stars this week....

"You don't have to finish what you've started. There's no shame in inconsistency. Robots are very good at seeing things through, but you're no automation. You're a creature of passion and perception, too clever to care about doing things by the book."

In light of my decision to stay with westside.... ummmmm.... not so... LOL

It goes on to say I should follow my heart and not my head..... In that case I should have stuck it out with Leigh. Oh well, too late now.... after the nationals. I do miss training with him tho'. I'll just remind myself to FOCUS on the goal.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mothers Day

Yes, I'm online on Mothers Day...... I got paged to work. :-( Oh well that's how life is in the world of software support.

Friday night, missed training. Distress call from my sister who had broken down on the freeway going to Golden beach for the weekend. Her power steering packed it in. So I drove out to pick up her and Dad and lent them the 4WD until next weekend.

Rode Sat morning - as I said I was only doing dressage - has been way too long since I've ridden and have again lost my seat - I really must make more of an effort on weekends to get out for a ride. Sat eve, Leigh was over and he cooked tea which was really appreciated since I was still part way thru the P1 call. Cuddled up on the couch and watched 'Man Inside'.

Sunday morn, nice sleep in, just me and the cat. Up around 9.30 then off to Templestowe Village for brunch. Shortly after 1 I was paged..... and here I am...... about to sign off and slouch in front of the telly for a bit.... <>

Friday, May 11, 2007

Straight to the Bar

Wow. Many thanks to Scott Bird who has featured my blog on his website Straighttothebar. This was totally unexpected and has generated more traffic to my blog - pretty cool. Its a great site with loads of links for power training as well as bodybuilding. I've put a permanent link on the sidebar.

Trained well last night - as expected the goodmorning squats really took it out of me - even with just a light weight (60kg) I struggled with the last couple of reps trying to get my breath. I should be able to up that to 70kg next week now that I've broken myself in again with them.
Here's a couple of pics of low box squat with bands:

Fell asleep in the recliner watching Criminal Intent after having done some yoga stretches on the floor - could easily take a nap this afternoon. I'm sore today around the obliques from the decline russian twists.


Speed bench:
Bench with minibands @45% of 1rm from Tuesday 8x3reps (fast/min rest)
Elbows out lat face pull 3x10
Stiff arm pulldown 3x10
Benchers Extentions 3x10

No accessory work!

Tomorrow morning I have DARC (Donvale Adult Riders Club). Leigh thinks this is some kind of riding for the impaired, like a disabled riders club or something. I know I'm not an equestrian champion but....... anyway, he's never seen me riding. They're having an instructor that I don't like for the show jumping so I guess I'll give that a miss and just stick with dressage - practice my 'staying on' skills.

The weekend also brings with it the pager - uck! So I'll need to be done at ARC by 12.00 in case I get paged. In amongst all this I have to find time to clean the BBQ as Leigh has offered to cook some 'dead animals' for us on the barbie and bring a movie to watch - a romantic one he says - I think I'm being duped!

Mothers day Sunday and the girls are taking me out for brunch - that'd be because neither can get up early enough to make me breakfast in bed, I mean at 19 and 15 you'd think they'd have the 'making breakfast thing' down pat..... besides I don't fancy the girls coming up jumping all over the bed and discovering Leigh under the doona somewhere.......

No P1's next week - yay! New laptop expected to arrive Monday or Tuesday... must start thinking about ordering a deadlift suit..... Right now.... time to eat again.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

R & R

Thoroughly enjoyed the night out and ready to get back on track with training tonight. After long discussion with Leigh about my training choices I am going to keep on with the westside technique until the Nationals.

Let me put this on record.... Last year, when I decided to train for powerlifting I had no idea how to go about it, but I knew it had to be different from the bodybuilding training I'd been doing for so long. I picked up on the westside technique, did some research on the net and found there was someone at Definition that could give me some guidance (Dirk), I knew that it wasn't conventional powerlifting training but at that point I had no-one to guide me in anything else. From then I made a commitment to do Westside for a minimum of 12 months - I figured it would take that long to see results. Of course anything I did back at the beginning was going to work, I hadn't trained for 2 years but muscle memory etc it was all coming back fast. Anyway, my point is, I need to finish what I started. I looked back into the archives of my blog and it was around the beginning of September last year when I started Westside. So the Nationals will take me to that point that I need to get to before I can embrace another training method. I can then start with an off-season training regime under Leigh, rather than trying to change techniques in the leadup to a comp. I tried to combine the two going into the State titles and I felt that I wasn't doing justice to either. So there you have it, my reason for staying with westside is in no way a reflection on Leigh's training methods and once the Nationals are over I will dedicate myself to traditional training to take me into the 2008 Nationals. (If Leigh still thinks I'm worth his while....)

All that aside.... Tonight's training

Speed Squat.
Low box squats with bands (again) @45% of 1rm from Monday night. 12 x 2 reps
Goodmorning squats - yay! these hurt... I mean *really* hurt! Love them 3 x 6-8 reps
Reverse Hypers 3x8-10 reps
Back extn crunch 3x15 reps (struggling to remember what these are...)
Decline Russian twist 3x10 (another wonderful abdominal/core exercise)

I need to get my head in the right place now, and I know I've put these lyrics into the blog before, but they really reflect where I am now after (ummm... undisclosed....) and this inner strength is what I need to apply now to my lifting.....

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
'cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
'cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul

-Words and Music by Helen Reddy and Ray Burton

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Started the new westside routine..

Monday night.

Max squat:
Low box squat with bands. (and with Dirk spotting me!!) What fun, the bands slingshot you out of the rack and pull you down to the box with gusto and although there wasn't much weight on the bar it was bloody hard to get back up and lock out. Actually getting off the box was the hardest for me. 1 rep max with 60kg on the bar equiv to 70kg on the box and 120 at the lock out or thereabouts. Had a massive headache too which didn't help. I'll see if I can get some photo's of this during next week session.
Stiff leg deadlift off the ground 3x10
Pulldown hamstring squat - 3x10 - don't like these - cant feel anything from it
explosive busdrivers 3x10 (core)
Lever crunches - incline holding dumbbell over head 3x15
reverse hypers 3x20

Tuesday night.

Max bench:
Bench press with mini bands - again working up to a 1 rep max. hit 60kg which equates to about 70 off the chest and 90 in the lockout. Had big John and Danny spotting me for this.
Pin press lockouts - 3x10 @ 80 kg
Horizontal pullups - 3x9 (supposed to be 3x10 just couldn't crack it for the 10th rep....)
Standing cable rear delt flyes 3x15
Band pushdowns 2xmax reps (which was 15 last night)

Tonight (Wed)
R&R.... Leigh's picking me up after work and taking me out for dinner and meybeee a movie if there is anything worth seeing..... Yay! something to look forward to! Mad rush at lunchtime into the city to get a new top to wear and some little accessories. Some silly girly things to try and make me look pretty. I am utterly useless at this 'try to impress' thing... LOL. I might try to get a picture later....

Monday, May 07, 2007

Disk Crash

Sorry for the lack of updates, my hard disk crashed Friday afternoon while I was at work. Diskcheck deleted many files and although it started up subsequent startup failed - so my poor ole laptop is off having the C disk reimaged - ouch and at the same time moving from windows 2000 to XP. For now I'm on a 'loan' laptop - yuck. Hopefully I'll get mine back this afternoon and can start re-installing ally my apps! Fun - not.

Trained Thursday and Friday per Leigh's instructions and hammy's pulled up quite sore on Sat morning - I had added in some light / high rep good mornings - just 40kg. Caught up with Dirk for a long session discussing how I am to use the westside stuff to get me up to the Nationals. the plan is for 4 x 3 week cycles. We'll be concentrating on my weak points such as squat depth and faster drops into the squat. This will be addressed in this first cycle with low box squats WITH bands. Tricep and lockout work will also feature heavily. At the end of the discussion Dirk went away to write up the pgm and I will have another session with him tonight to go thru it completely and also so he can show me how to setup up the bands with the box.

I'm in two minds... or should I say three.... about my training method(s). I really enjoy my westside stuff, it keeps me interested and I feel that continuing to focus on weak points is an effective way to move the weights forward - as the weakness becomes a strength another weakness is found and so you work on that..... This concept appeals to me. However I know that under Leigh's direction, which is the 'old school' style of powerlifting training I will also make great progress and have constant support whereas with the westside I'm pretty much left on my own once the program is written - not that I mind training on my own - I focus well and can push myself - just with the max stuff I find it difficult if there is no-one to help me (Danny and John are not always around...). Then there is the training with Shaz.... So I feel i have 3 masters to serve. With Shaz the answer is simple... I cannot afford to have her as a full time trainer. With Dirk I only need pay for his time once a month to consult on the westside routine and Leigh does it all for the love of the powerlifting. So the choice is between training styles - westside and conventional. The two are training styles are not compatible. I think up to the nationals I should continue with westside but I don't want to lose favor with Leigh. Ugghhh how did I get into this situation.....

Other than that the weekend was pretty average - finally found time to mow the half acre at the back and Madi had Ponyclub, so running back and forth between home and the club. The next few weekends are booked out with being on pager this coming weekend, Yaramabat horse trails the following weekend and then on pager again the weekend after that! Which reminds me.... I must ring my brother about the truck's dashlights not working...... ahhh it never ends.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

12 training weeks to go

Nationals - Weekend of the 4th and 5th of August.

Booked a session with Dirk for Sat morning at the gym to start planning my westside training for the Nationals. I figure 12 weeks will give us 3 x 4 week cycles or 4 x 3 week cycles depending on how Dirk wants to approach this one. Have to get my butt into gear for the next 3 months. Also want to experiment with a few things - knee wrapping method, shirt positions and if I'm going to get a deadlift suit then I'll need to do that soon so that I can learn how to use it. Suddenly 12 weeks doesn't seem all that long!

Looking for inspiration.... Parked myself on the couch last night with Leigh and watched the 2004 Nationals (womens section) thanks to Frank Manning for sending that down from QLD. Teresa, his wife and current Australian title holder, is an awesome lifter. Also saw local champ and 2nd at the 2006 nationals, Tegan Murry, on the DVD too - so I'm sure I'll be able to pick some technique tips watching this over a few times!

Tonight I'll be back in the gym for the first time since the comp, will just be doing some benching, triceps and shoulder work - light stuff just to get things moving again and tomorrow same again for legs.

Have been doing a little research and printing off articles from EliteFTS and westside websites. From one of the articles on getting lower in the squat it seems I need to out more emphasis on stretching thru the hip flexors - tried it the other night a yeeooww and I tight.

I'll also take on board what you have said Tom and play around with my stance for the deadlift. In fact I'm going to talk to Dirk about putting some sumo stuff into the training as this may help with hip drive too. Not that I think I'll be doing sumo for my comp lifts tho!