2014 American Open Training Weeks 7 and 8 – Fickle Deadlifts, Life and Barbells for Boobs

2014 American Open Training Weeks 7 and 8 – Fickle Deadlifts, Life and Barbells for Boobs

Oct 2, 2014

So I’d like to say that things have calmed down lately.  I’d like to say that once Power Athlete was done and a couple of things at work sorted themselves out, that I would be getting to the gym on time.  I’d like to say that being a responsible adult (mostly, shut up) would stop effing up my training.  Unfortunately,  I can’t say that……….

Week 7


A. squat 5×2 365,375, 385, 395, 405
B. paused squat 3×5 290 all
C. SLDL 3×6 260, 275, 290
D1. supermans 3×15
D2. leg raises 3×10 15# all sets

Notice all the red.  The only good thing that I can say about this work out is that my squats felt fantastic.  I’ve never had a set at 405lbs feel so light and undramatic.  Ever.

So I got through the paused squats just as the gym was closing and went home all disgruntled.



A. DL 1×8+ 335/8
B. def DL 3×6 315, 325, 335
C. bench 8×3 145,155, 165, 175, 185, 195, 205, 210 x 2.5
D. CG bench 3×5, amrap set 3 175 all
E. SLDL 3×6 260, 275, 290

Saturday’s stuff got moved to Thursday when we planned the week because I had a wedding to go to.  And then the Stiff Leg Deadlifts I missed on Tuesday got added because if I don’t so them this week, it’ll have been 2 weeks since I did them.  And guess what?  I didn’t get to them again.    And that wasn’t even the worst of it.

A 335 deadlift is pretty light for me at this point.  There’s basically no reason I shouldn’t have been able to pull this weight for a set of 10 or 12 at least.  But it didn’t happen.  By the time I got to 8, my hamstrings were screaming like I’d already done 20 and my form was starting to go to shit so I stopped.  The deficit deadlifts weren’t any better.  I’m still trying to sort out my form a bit but all of these felt way heavier than they should have.  I walked away hoping all of this was just because I wasn’t really recovered from Power Athlete and my heavy squats on Tuesday.

Bench went generally better until we got to the last set.  I don’t know what happened here but when I came up on the last rep, I bounced the bar off the rack.  Somehow, I’d managed to get so much more leg drive on my right side that I’d pushed myself sideways and off balance on the bench.  And on that rather dramatic note, I called it a night.


Sunday was the only day that I managed to get everything we had planned and had it all go well.  I started out with a yoga class and then moved on to my front squats and press.

A. front squat 3×5, amrap set 3 215/10
B. press 5×5, amrap set 5 105/10
C. DB flat press 3×6-8 40 x8, 50 x 8, 50 x 10

And they all felt pretty good.  I got a bit lazy on the DB bench press and decided not to load the adjustable dumb bells (our fixed ones jump from a set of 50’s to a single 60) so I just did a plus set and called it a day.

Week 8


A. squat 8×3 275,290, 305, 315, 325, 335, 345, 355
B. paused squat 3×5 295 all
C. SLDL 3×6 255, 280, 295
D1. back ext 3×10 BW only
D2. GHD situps 3×10 BW only

Week 8 started off well enough.  I got to the gym at a reasonable time.  I had a little bit of weird in my knee as I warmed up my squat but it was gone before I got to my working sets.  Those felt really good and the set at 355 felt much faster than I had expected it to  It actually might have felt the best of any of the sets I did.

The paused squats didn’t go so well.  On my very first rep, I felt the weird in my knee come back.  It wasn’t pain but it felt like something in the joint wasn’t quite tracking like it should have been and was pulling.  I played with it a bit without any weight on the bar and realized the farther forward my knees got, the worse it was.  Too bad that high bar squats put your knees more forward.  So I called it just to be safe and moved on to the rest of the stuff.


A. DL 5×2 365,385, 395, 400, 405 x 1
B. def DL 3×6 325, 340, 350
C. block pulls 4×2 work to a heavy double
D1. BB rows 3×10
D2. wt situps 3×15

And back to all the red………..  This should have been a better work out.  I spent all day at work excited because I was leaving early so I could train early so I could go to the football game.  Do you remember that feeling you used to get when you were a kid and school got out early for the day at the beginning of a holiday?  It felt like that.  Then I got to the gym.  And because I got to the gym super early, it looked like this:

It's weird to be in the gym and have it this empty.

It’s weird to be in the gym and have it this empty.

It’s possible that it being that empty kind of changed the energy.  I’m going to go with that because nothing went like it should have.  All of my deadlifts felt heavier than they should have and just generally off.  There’s no good reason for it that I could find.  It was just bad.  My goal going in was to hit 415 for a double because it felt so good when I pulled the single at Power Athlete.  But as I worked through my sets, I started re-evaluating that goal.  395 ground in a way that just isn’t normal so I went to 400 instead of 405.  The set at 400 probably felt the best of all of them so I was pretty optimistic about at least getting the 405.  But I failed the first time.  I got the second one.  Then failed a third try and felt something in my back get a little bitchy.

I tried to move on to the deficit deadlifts but I failed the first one of those at 325 and even though I got the second, my back pretty flatly told me we were done.  So instead, I cleaned up and went to the game.

And this at least was good time with good seats.  And beer.

And this at least was good time with good seats. And beer.



A. bench 1×8+ 175/10
B. CG bench 3×5, amrap set 3 175 all
C. paused WG bench 3×6 140, 150, 155
D1 front squat 3×5, amrap set 3 225/10
D2. press 5×5, amrap set 5 110/5
E1. BB curls 3×12 45, 50, 55
E2. skull crushers 3×12 50, 55, 55

Compared to the rest of my week. Saturday was really good.  Kind of like Sunday from last week.  Everything worked.  Nothing felt weird or bad.  225 x 10 Front squats tend to be dramatic just because they’re front squats but I can’t complain about how they went.  Press wasn’t as good as as I would have liked but honestly, after all the bench, my arms and shoulders were pretty well shot so I’m pretty satisfied with at least getting through the sets.

I also got post workout BBQ with both of my coaches, even the one that left us to go live on the shore and lift in his garage.  It’s always fun to offend people with the amount of food you eat.  We did sit outside so we wouldn’t also offend anyone by the way we smelled.  Oh and it was one of those beautiful days you get right before fall gets serious.


Sunday I slept through yoga.  I’m just going to assume that I needed the rest and take it.


Other Stuff


It’s that time of year again for Barbells for Boobs.  You can read more about the charity here.   Sadly, I’m not going to get to participate personally in the work out this year (I still dontated) but 12 Labours still is.  So if you have a little bit of spare change lying around and would like to support the early detection of breast cancer, go here and make a donation.



And that’s it.  I am (drum roll, please) all caught up.  For now.  We’ll see how long this lasts.



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