2014 American Open Training Week 1 – Back in the Saddle and Making a Plan

2014 American Open Training Week 1 – Back in the Saddle and Making a Plan

Aug 11, 2014

I’ve been back from Nats for about 3 weeks now and it’s time to start training for the American Open in December.  Which also means it’s time for a new training log.

The Last of the Deload……….

Before we get into the real training, I had one more week of deload/recovery/ramp in for the next cycle:

Tuesday A. squat 4×10 to a heavy 10 don’t push these to a 10RM 185, 225, 255, 275
B. pause squat 3×6 to a heavy 6 135, 185, 225
C. box stepups 3×8/side w/ body weight only
D. planks 3xmax hold 40, 62, 70
Thursday A. DL 4×6 to a heavy 6 225, 275, 315, 345
B. block pulls 2×8@315
C. BB row 4×10-12 to a heavy 10 95×12, 115×12, 125×12, 135 x 11
D. Wt situps 3×15@20#
Saturday A. bench 4×10 to a heavy 10 95, 115, 135, 155
B. CG bench 3×8 to a heavy 8 95, 125, 155
C. DB fly 3×10@20 concentrate on these, not heavy, perfect form
D1. skull crushers 3×8-10 45×10, 55×10, 60×10
D2. BB curls 3×10-12 no rest between these sets (D) 45×12, 55×10+2, 60×10

You’ll notice all those sets of 10 and working to a heavy 10.  Yeah……..  So maybe not so much of a deload.  And while none of this was really heavy, it roundly kicked my ass.  I swear it was almost like they thought I wanted to be a Crossfitter or some nonsense like that.    I honestly can’t think of the last time I was this sore (though it was probably the beginning of my last training cycle.)

Stairs........  Why do office buildings have to have so many stairs?

Stairs…….. Why do office buildings have to have so many stairs?


But soreness aside, I was pretty ready to get back to training.

Week 1


A. squat 5×5 315,330, 340, 350, 355
B. paused squat 3×5 225 for all sets
C. SLDL 3×8 205, 225, 245
D. wt. situps 3×15 20

So nothing too crazy for the first day of heavy(-ish) squats but boy were some of them were a bit dramatic as I worked back into my form.

And then there was the whole thing with my belt.  This was the first time I’d worn my belt since I came back from Nats.  And that didn’t really work out.  Imagine my surprise when I tried to tighten it and realized that I couldn’t pull the lever all the way over to lock it.  Twisted the belt a bit and tried again to make sure it wasn’t getting snagged on my shirt (or an errant bit of chub, whatever)…..  Nope.  What the……?  My coach finally managed to get it to latch but I suspected immediately it wasn’t going to work.  One attempt at an air squat removed all doubt when is smashed my ribs.  So off to find the screw driver……..   This is not how this was supposed to work.  The lever is *supposed* to be moving the *other* way.   And the really stupid thing is that my weight is actually down a bit since Nats so I have no real explanation for this.  But it is what it is.

I also threw in a bit of very unorganized cardio (that’s right, I said the “C” word) in the form of some rowing and walking.  We’ll get to more on why that happened later.


The biggest “problem” going into Thursday is that I was still really sore from Tuesday.

A. DL 3×5, with the last set 5+ (I got 12) 315 all sets
B. paused DL 3×8 225,235, 235
C. block pulls 2×8 335 all sets
D. DB rows 3×15 50

By the time all this was done, my lower back had some not very charitable things to say about me.   It was brutal.  I’m hoping that either 1) days like this don’t show up every week or 2) I’ll get used to them and they won’t suck so bad.  I’m also willing to settle for option 3 – Some of both.


I actually (shockingly) felt pretty good going into Saturday morning.  My back and hamstrings didn’t tighten up as much as I thought they would from Thursday and the screaming in my quads from Tuesday had subsided to the occasional whimper.  So I was pretty optimistic…….

A. bench 8×5 125,135, 145, 155, 165, 175, 185, 195
B. CG bench 3×6 155, 165, 170×5
C. paused WG bench 3×8 95, 125, 135×6
D1. BB curls 3×15 35, 40, 45
D2. leg raises 3×15

And when I was done, the only thing I was optimistic about was that my husband loves me enough that he’d be willing to feed me if I couldn’t move my arms for the next couple of days.   My main bench went fine and we ended up exactly where I wanted to be.  Less so for the close grip bench and the wide grip bench.  In both cases, the weight never really felt heavy but I just ran out of gas by the end of the last set.    I will say too that I’m fining it’s really a struggle to keep my back tight on the wide grip bench so that might be interesting going forward.

Finished off the day with 10 x 40m sprints on the minute.  So basically, I sprinted the 40m and then walked back to the starting line while waiting for the minute to be up.   I sincerely hope that I don’t look as awkward as I feel when I run.  It’s kind of ridiculous.


Yoga.  This is my first class back so between that and the encroaching tightness in my arms and upper back, I expected class to be interesting.  And it was.  Not just because it was me and I’m dramatic.  But because we had a whole mess of new people (seems they were told to go to yoga).  Crossfitters are not those zen, peaceful yet serious yogis.  No.  There was a lot of sighing and groaning getting into and out of postures.  And the occasional burst of laughter from smart assed comments (“Miss Erin, Emily’s touching me!!!”)  and the really horrible looks on some of our faces.  So it was a good class.

And this week, Sunday wasn’t just for yoga.  Getting ready for the rest of the cycle, it appears we’re going to add in an extra day for front squat and press.  But before we start, I need a 1RM for both of them so we know what to program the cycle off of.  Even though I haven’t really trained either one in well over a month.  So:

front squat find 1RM 290
press find 1RM 140

That’s a 15lb lifetime PR on front squat and a 5lb lifetime PR on press.  I do think there might be a tiny bit more on my front squat but my form was breaking down pretty badly and I was running out of time so I just called it good.


Oh and that follow on note about the cardio……

I’ve been kicking it around for a while and I’ve finally decided now that I I don’t have a meet that’s imminent to start getting some nutritional coaching.  To be totally, completely and brutally honest, this is the heaviest I’ve ever been.  And while I can argue that I’m also now carrying more lean mass than I ever have (and I have the body fat tests to prove it), I’ve never managed to move the pudge that’s sitting on top of all that muscle.  I’ve even managed to gain a bit more pudge while I focused almost completely on the weight of the bar.  I’m also forced to admit that from a nutrition stand point, I have absolutely no idea what the hell I’m doing.  Seriously.  So this was the logical answer.  Get someone who does know and have them teach me the way.  And maybe slap cupcakes out of my hands from time to time.


And probably donuts too.

It’ll be a bit of a balancing act and we’re not going to lose sight of the fact that my performance is still the most important thing, we’ll be working to get me leaner even if the scale never budges.  And yes, some of that balancing act is going to include a bit of short cardio.

I’ll keep y’all posted on how it goes.


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