2014 American Open Training Week 9 – Deadlifts, Donuts and The Beginning of the Crud

2014 American Open Training Week 9 – Deadlifts, Donuts and The Beginning of the Crud

Oct 13, 2014


A. squat 1×8+ 320/10
B. paused squat 3×5 295 all
C. SLDL 3×6 260, 285, 300
D1. supermans 3xMax Hold 38s, 45s, 61s
D2. trunk twists 3×30 w/ 25# plate

I was pretty worried about the squats going in.  Which is kind of funny because 320 isn’t really that heavy for me.  But it’s a set of 8 and that looks a little bit too much like cardio.  And we all know how I feel about cardio.   Thankfully, I had one of those days were everything was feeling nice and light so even though the thought of doing these made me feel vaguely nauseous I had high hopes I’d get 12 or so.  I got 10.  I can honestly say it didn’t feel like I actually worked to failure but I definitely got out of position coming out of the hole on the 11th rep and it smooshed me.  Then there was this…….

If you give your coach your phone to take video, you have to make sure he isn't taking unflattering pictures when you aren't looking.

If you give your coach your phone to take video, you have to make sure he isn’t taking unflattering pictures when you aren’t looking.

The paused squats were a little gnarly after this but I got through them all.

I think the big break through of the week happened on the stiff leg deadlifts though.  I do these from a 4″ deficit and I’ve been struggling with the bar drifting away from me on these.  Trying to make sure that didn’t happen, I really focused on setting my hips back and really getting my weight into my heels (because it never seems to want to stay there for me)……..  And just like that, these were the best feeling sets I’ve done in a really, really long time.  I always love the days when things just seem to click.  Especially when you’ve been struggling with them.


A. DL 8×3 275, 295, 305, 315, 325, 335, 345, 355
B. def DL 3×6 325, 340, 350
C. block pulls 4×2 315, 345, 375, 400
D1. BB rows 3×10 95, 120, 140
D2. wt situps 3×15 25, 25, 30

Going into my deadlifts on Thursday, I was still thinking about the way my stiff legs felt so I tried to make sure I focused on these the same way.  As crappy as my deadlift has been feeling lately, I was really hoping this would help. And it did.  We took video of the last set to check and see just how this effected the bar path and if it corrected the fact that my shoulders were getting out in front of the bar on my set up and it did.  These felt fantastic compared to what’s been going on.  I’m hugely relieved.  Now I just need to make sure my form doesn’t wander off again.

And of course all of this carried over to my deficit deads and my block pulls.  It felt good to leave a deadlift workout content with how things had gone for once.


A. bench 5×2 200, 205, 210, 215, 217.5
B. CG bench 3×5, amrap set 3 180/6
C. paused WG bench 3×6 150, 155, 160x 5
E1. BB curls 3×12 45, 55, 60
E2. skull crushers 3×12 55, 60, 65 x 8

Things kept going nicely Saturday morning.  My lifts are finally starting to get heavy again as we get into the middle of the cycle.  And that means I’m starting to hit some rep PRs.  Like my bench at 217.5.  I can’t explain why but even though I managed to get 210 for multiple sets of 3 last cycle, I was never able to hit 215 for a double.  Ever.  So this felt especially good.

The assistance stuff went not so well.  My 5+ set for my close grip topped out at 6, I failed my last set of paused wide grip bench (I only got 5 reps) and while my curls were fine, the skull crushers almost literally crushed my skull when I failed my last set hard on the 9th rep.  Drama ensued while trying to drop the bar behind my mostly gently while people rushed towards me to help.


I missed yoga completely on Sunday because I over slept.  That isn’t really a surprise since the night before I started feeling kind of blah and took some NyQuil with a hot toddy chaser after dinner with the plan of slipping into a low level coma.  It worked fantastically and I fell asleep on the couch and only woke up to my husband whooping around the house scaring the crap out of the fuzzies when the Nats/Giants game finally ended (after 18 long innings.)  So yeah, not really surprised I didn’t pop out of bed all bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning.


But when I did get up, I felt well enough to schlep my ass to the gym and get my lifting done.

A. front squat 3×5, amrap set 3 230/8
B. press 3×5, amrap set 3 115/7
C. DB lat raises 3×20 10

Two important things……

1.  Plus set front squats suck ass when your sinuses feel like someone poured cement in them.  Lifting does usually help get stuff cleared out but with the bar sitting right up against my throat and not really being able to breath out my nose, there was no way these were going to feel good.

2.  Seems the NyQuil hadn’t completely cleared my system and I started working my press at the wrong weight.  Instead of the 115 I was *supposed* to do, I started working at 110 and got 2 sets in before I realized my mistake.  So I got to start over on my working sets.  I have no idea why.  But I was definitely not happy.

3.  Lat raises are demoralizing.  It would help some if the 10lb dumbbells didn’t look so damn small.  I feel like maybe they should just make them bigger so you can feel better about yourself.


Other stuff

After training on Saturday, we wandered over to 12 Labours Annapolis to attend a deadlift clinic.  We hung out.  We deadlifted.  And we ate donuts when we were done.  In general, it was a great afternoon.

Deadlifts and Donuts

I did have a couple people ask me why I was there.  Like I already know how to deadlift so why bother?  And the answer is really pretty simple:  I always either learn something new or get reminded of something that I’ve forgotten completely or just gotten lazy about.  It always makes me better.  If I ever reach I point where I start to think I know everything I need to know about lifting, someone please do me a favor and smack me.



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