2014 American Open Training Weeks 2 – 5 – The Highlights

2014 American Open Training Weeks 2 – 5 – The Highlights

Sep 10, 2014

Floods, Deadlift Form, Red Velvet Cupcakes, Baseball, All the New People, Local Meets

and Too Much To Do

Obviously, I’m incredibly, stupidly behind.  Things have been totally crazy and I’m completely in the weeds.  And I’m not talking about the little, benign weeds with the pretty flowers.  I’m talking about a giant patch of kudzu that has pretty much overtaken everything.  (If you aren’t from the South and you’re sitting here going “what’s kudzu?”…..  It’s this.)  So in an attempt to actually get caught up so I can move on with my life (and you don’t have to sift through a post that’s like 3000 words long), here are the highlights of the last couple of weeks.

Week 2

Tuesday it rained.  And when I say rained, that’s kind of an understatement.  When it was all done, we got about 10″ of rain in less than 24 hours.  That of course led to a good bit of flooding.

So this was just a small bit of the flooding that was going on.

So this was just a small bit of the flooding that was going on.

But by the time it was time to leave work, the sun was out and enough of the flooding had cleared up to get to the gym even though several of the ways I would normally get home were still flooded.  So off to the gym I went and got there just in time for it to start raining again.

A. Squat 8×5 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, 280, 290, 300
B. Paused squat 3×5 240 for all
C. SLDL 3×8 215, 235, 255
D1. Plank 3xMax hold 62, 39, 42
D2. DB shrug 3×15 50


A. DL 5×5 315, 330, 340, 350, 360
B. Paused DL 3×8 235, 245, 255
C. Block pulls 2×8 350 for both
D1. BB row 3×10-15 95 x 15, 115 x 12+3, 135 x 9+4
D2. wt situps 3×15 20, 20, 25

So we were playing around a bit while I was deadlifting and decided to try some sumo.  So at the end of every set of conventional, I pulled one rep sumo.  They aren’t really pretty and I know they need some work but it’s interesting that I was able to pull a single at 360 without too much drama even though my previous best was like 275 and my form on it was crap.


A. bench 1×12+ 135 x 18+2
B. CG bench 3×6, amrap set 3 155 x 6, 165 x 6, 170 x 7
C. Paused WG bench 3×8 115, 130, 140
D1. Leg raises 3×20
D2. Skull crushers 3×8-10 45, 55, 65


Yoga and then…….

A. Front squat 5×5, amrap set 5 175 x12
B. Press 5×5, amrap set 5 85 x 15
C. DB incline bench 3×15 25, 30, 35


Week 3


A. Squat 1 x 12+ (within one set) (250)260/15
B. Paused squat 3×5 255 all
C. SLDL 3×8 225, 245, 265
D1. bicycles 3×30 total reps
D2. leg raises 3×10 10# weight between feet
E Ass Bike 20 sec max effort sprints w/ 1 min rest

Last week, I complained about how boring planks were.  This was a mistake apparently since Coach R decided to program something more exciting.  Weighted leg lifts are terrifying.  I’m clumsy as shit anyway and I really, really should be holding any weight between my feet and then dangling it over my head.  Really….


Because dangling a dumbbell over my head can't possibly end poorly for me........

Because dangling a dumbbell over my head can’t possibly end poorly for me……..


A. Front squat 5×5, amrap set 5 185/10
B. Press 5×5, amrap set 5 90/14

Since we moved the front squats and press to their own day, I’ve been doing them on Sunday even though the original plan was to do them on Wednesday.  I promise this is the last time I’ll willingly be doing them on a Wednesday.  I don’t know that I was really recovered from squats on Tuesday and then I got to Thursday………….


A. DL 5 x 8 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, 280, 290, 300
B. Paused DL 3×8 245,255, 260
C. Block pulls 2×8 365 both
D1. DB rows 3×15 50,50, 60
D2. wt situps 3×15 20,25, 25

By the time I got through my Paused Deadlifts, I knew I was done.  I pulled 1 block pull at 365 and that was it.  I couldn’t do another one.

On the upside, there was this:

"This" would be a red velvet donut with cream cheese icing.

“This” would be a red velvet donut with cream cheese icing.

I know it isn’t the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen but it tasted pretty damn epic.  Also epic was some of the stares I got as I stuffed my face with it leaving the gym. (And this is why I’m a super heavy weight……)


A. bench 5 x 5 170, 180, 185, 190, 195
B. CG bench 3×6, amrap set 3 165,170, 175/6
C. Paused WG bench 3×8 120, 130, 140
D1. DB lat raises 2×20 10
D2. skull crushers 2×8-10 55×10 ,60×10

I didn’t quite get to finish my whole workout on Saturday because I had to leave a bit early to make sure I was ready in time for my husband’s surprise birthday party.

They were some damn fine seats and the catering was tasty too (Again..........  Super heavyweight)

They were some damn fine seats and the catering was tasty too (Again………. Super heavyweight)

This may be the only time we weren’t disappointed about a rain delay – we were dry and the beer was cold and free.

Week 4


Tuesday was the beginning of a new cycle for the Strength program and 12 Labours BWI.  So I walked in to find this:

Dear gawd, where did they all come from?

Dear gawd, where did they all come from?

I think the number of people in the program basically tripled.  Which is cool but also kind of overwhelming when you’re used to having like 5-6 people.  But I’m sure we’ll all learn to share while we’re lifting all the weight.

A. Squat 5×3 340,350, 360, 370, 380
B. Paused squat 3×5 265 all
C. SLDL 3×8 235, 255, 275
D1. crunches 3×20
D2. leg raises 3×10 15# weight between feet

I do not recommend squatting up to a heavy 3 after spending 2 hours driving to get to the gym.  None of these felt heavy but they all felt a little stiff and out of the groove.

Also…… the leg raises didn’t really work out at 15lbs.  In addition to the fact that I was even more sure I was going to drop the weight on my face, These also caused my hip flexors to completely freak out.  So I tried to do a set at 12 and that didn’t really work either.  So I dropped back to 10 and did one set of 15 and called it a day.


A. DL 3×5, amrap set 3 325/12
B. Paused DL 3×8 250, 260, 270
C. Block pulls 2×6 325
D1. DB rows 3×12-15 50×15,60×15,70×12
D2. wt situps 3×15 20,25,30

I would like to say that I officially hate paused deadlifts.


A. bench 8×4 135, 145, 155, 165, 175, 185, 192.5, 200
B. CG bench 3×6, amrap set 3 165 for all
C. Paused WG bench 3×8 125, 135, 140
D1. DB lat raises 2×20 12
D2. skull crushers 2×8-10 60 x 10, 65 x 10

Pretty pleased with getting up to 200 on my bench.  They weren’t paused but they all felt strong.


Yoga and then…….

A. Front squat 5×5, amrap set 5 195/11
B. Press 5×5, amrap set 5 95/14
C. DB flat bench 3×8-10 35×10, 40×10, 45×10

Week 5


A. squat 8×4 250, 265, 280, 290, 300, 310, 320, 330
B. paused squat 3×5 275 all
C. SLDL 3×6 240, 260, 275
D1. plank 3xMax hold 61, 75, 90
D2. leg raises 3×12 10# all sets

I might have gotten just a tad aggressive on my squats.  They all worked but I don’t know that the last couple of sets could actually be call “speed” sets.

And I’m finding planks a bit less boring now.


A. DL 5×3 345,355, 365, 375, 385
B. def DL 3×6 315,315, 325
C. block pulls 2×6 335
D1. BB rows 3×12-15 95 x 15, 105 x 15, 115 x 15
D2. wt situps 3×15 25,25, 30

I’m way out of practice on the deficit deadlifts.  The second set felt better than the first once I kind of sorted myself out but they were still a bit dramatic.


A. bench 1×10+ 150/15
B. CG bench 3×5, amrap set 3 170/8
C. paused WG bench 3×6 130, 140, 145/10
D1. BB curls 3×12 45, 55, 60
D2. dips 3xAmrap 3, 4, 5

My last set of wide grip bench wasn’t supposed to an AMRAP.  But I forgot.  And by the time I remembered on like the 8th rep, I figured what the hell, I might as well see how far these would go.


Yoga and then:

A. front squat 4×5, amrap set 4 205/10
B. press 5×5, amrap set 5 100/11
C. DB incline bench 3×8-10 30, 40, 45

In other news……..

Monthly Weigh-in

I had me first monthly check in with the nutritionist and donuts and baseball games aside, it went pretty well.  I’m down just about 3lbs which is OK.  AND I’m down just over 2% bodyfat (7lbs of fat lost and 1lbs of lean mass gained.)  So that feels pretty good.  We’re going to try and cut back on the donuts and other nonsense and see where we end up next month.

Maryland States

The Maryland Powerlifting’s Maryland State Championships opened registration at the beginning of August.  And closed it when the meet reached the 100 lifter limit in about 30 hours.  This is amazing to me.  It’s always a full meet but I don’t think it’s ever filled so quickly.  I’m very glad that most of the people I know who were trying to get in did before it was full.   I’d decided not to do it since I’m doing the American Open and I’m a little sad.   Maryland States were my very first meet and I’ve lifted at them every year since.  But I know the American open is a better meet for me to do and is going to be a lot of fun.  Bonus, since I’m not lifting, I can help out all the folks I train with when they go to States for once.  And that’s kind of exciting.




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