2014 American Open Training Weeks 10 and 11 – Getting Back to the Heavy and Hitting the Road

2014 American Open Training Weeks 10 and 11 – Getting Back to the Heavy and Hitting the Road

Oct 22, 2014

I’ve decided I’m just going to accept the fact that I’m perpetually behind on these things and move on with my life.  So in that spirit………

Week 10

On the whole, this was a really good training week for me.


A. squat 3×2 390,410, 420
B. paused squat 3×3 275, 295, 310
C. SLDL 3×6 265, 290, 305
D1. back ext 3×10 BW, 5, 10
D2. trunk twists 3×30 w/ 35# plate

Tuesday was a good day.  This was my first really heavy set of squats.  The first rep at 410 came up so fast I almost tipped over backwards and I’ve never hit a double at 420 before.  The second one felt better than the first even though it looked worse.  Or my brain just panicked and lied to me so I’d finish the lift.  Either way………


A. DL 1×6+ 365/8
B. BB rows 5×10 125,130, 135, 140, 145
C. wt situps 3×15 30

So this was a mini deload day because I’ve been doing so much deadlift work lately.  I do have to say that this set of deadlifts were probably the best feeling set I’ve done in a long while.  They felt light and quick all the way until I got to the 8th rep.  I lost some of the tightness in my upper back then and had to grind out like the top 1/8th of the lift (like that’s new) so we called it and moved on.


A. bench 6×2 160,175, 190, 200, 210, 220
B. CG bench 3×3 to a heavy 3 185 x 3, 195 x 2, 195 x 3
C. paused WG bench 2xAmrap 135 x 15, 115 x 16
E1. BB curls 3×12 50, 60, 65
E2. Banded triceps 1 x 50 30, 10, 7, 3

And more good news…….  I’ve never hit 220 for a double on my bench before today which is weird since last cycle I hit 210 for 3 x 3 without too much drama.  They weren’t paused but I believe now that they could have been.  And a PR is a PR.

Things got a little weird with my second set of close grip bench.  I’m still not sure what happened but the last rep on the second set died right off my chest.  Tried the 195 again on the last set and if felt fine.


A. front squat 3×5, amrap set 3 235/7
B. press 3×5, amrap set 5 117.5/7
C. DB lat raises 3×20 10 x 20, 12 x 14, 15 x 9

Sunday was pretty routine.  Both Front Squat and Press are starting to get pretty heavy (relatively) so there is less and less plus in my plus sets but it’s still getting done.

And lat raises just suck.

Week 11

This week was more of a mixed bag but at the end I’m still pretty happy with the work that’s getting done.


A. squat 6×2 295,315, 335, 355, 375, 395
B. paused squat 3×3 290, 310, 325
C. SLDL 3×6 270 295, 310
D1. ring rows 3×10 BW
D2. wt situps 3×15 30, 30, 35

It’s nice to know that no matter what the rest of my lifts are doing, my squats are reliably going up.  There was a time not so long ago that I couldn’t imagine hitting 395 for a heavy double much less doing it on a speed day and coming up 100lbs in 6 sets.

The worst thing about this whole workout was the weighted sit-ups.  I don’t know why but the jump from the 30lb dumbbell to the 35 is seriously messing me up.  Instead of a set of 15 it was more like 4 sets that together were 15.


Wednesday I had to go to Norfolk for work and since I knew Thursday night was likely to be dinner and drinks with my co-workers, I decided to go deadlift a day early.  So I dropped in at Brute Strength Gym to get my workout in.


If you’re down in the area and looking for a place to train, I can’t say enough nice things about them.  Everyone was super nice and there were so many Strongman toys I wish I’d had time to play with.

Unfortunately, training in a cool gym with interesting and nice new people, wasn’t enough to overcome the fact that I spent 4 1/2 hours in the car driving through a torrential down pour and make it an especially good workout.

A. DL 3×2 385,405, 420x 1
B. def DL 3×5 340, 355 x 3, 355 x 5
C. block pulls 4×2
D. plank 4xAs long as possible

The first rep at 420 felt fantastic.  The second one got to my knees and then died a horrible death.  I have no idea why.  I tried dropping down to 415 to get in one last heavy rep and that barely made if off the floor so that was that.

My deficit deadlifts were equally exciting.  I normally use my straps for these because my grip is starting to get a little dicey after my regular deadlifts but it turned out they weren’t in my bag.  I looked.  Twice.  Hmmmmmm……….

After that, I skipped the block pulls and planks and called it a night.


Before we talk about training on Saturday morning……..  I came home from Norfolk on Friday evening to find this……

Naked Rai

No, it doesn’t have anything to do with training, but it’s pretty damn funny.  He was not terribly amused and when I took this picture, he was still stoned out of his gourd.

Now on to the important stuff………

A. bench 1×6+ 195/6
B. paused CG bench 3×3 to a heavy 3 185, 195, 200
C. paused WG bench 2xAmrap 150 x 12 , 130 x 16
E1. DB curls 3×15 25, 30, 35
E2. dips 3xAmrap 3, 4, 5

I’m a bit disappointed that my plus set didn’t have any plus.  And in typical (for me anyway) bench fashion, it was good and then it wasn’t.  Everything else went well.  AND I found my wayward straps……


Yep, sitting on a jerk box which is probably right where I left them.

Other Stuff

I also had my monthly follow up with my nutritionist last week.  When I met with her on Monday, we discovered that doing ultrasound measurements for body fat while wearing dress pants and a push-up bra will skew quite a few of your numbers.  Seems they push the pudge away from where it normally sits and directly into the sites that we normally measure.  So after the initial heart attack (mine, not hers) and reconciling all the other evidence, we decided to try the measurements again on Saturday when I was wearing something more appropriate.

Things are still going well.  Even though I’m only down about 2 more pounds on the scale.  I’m down almost another full percent of body fat and I’m still (slowly) adding more lean mass.  We would like to see a bit quicker progress so we’re going to make some tweaks and go from there.  So probably a bit more of this:


And a bit less of this:

Even though they were glorious.....

Even though they were glorious…..

Pro tip:  While discussing things about your diet that could be better (because let’s face it, there’s always something) it’s never a good idea to confess that you now know the calorie and macro nutrient count of a chocolate iced donut.  It leads to some uncomfortable questions about why you know and why that information is more easily called to mind than the calorie count of some healthier options.  Nor is it a good idea to point out that the whole conversation about corn chips, queso fundido and margaritas that happened a couple of weeks ago was had solely for the purpose of winding her crank (to be fair, I thought she knew that’s what we were doing).   Both things will cause  you to get the frown-y face.

And finally, I got a gift from a friend this week……

Because she understands......

Because she understands……


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