2014 Arnold Raw Challenge Week 11 – Off the Beaten Path

2014 Arnold Raw Challenge Week 11 – Off the Beaten Path

Feb 19, 2014

Thanks to Mother Nature and the gym being closed for the weekend for an Oly Cert, this week became incredibly short.  Which I guess is good since I need to be looking more to my recovery than anything else at this point but it still tends to leave me kind of restless.


Before we get to Tuesday’s stuff……  On Monday I got an e-mail from my coach asking if I’d like to try something a little different for the last couple of weeks.  We’ve been running the Cube now for a little less than a year and we’ve had pretty good results.  The one thing about it that I’ve never really liked though was the lack of heavy work at the end.  My last heavy squats on the program end up being 3 weeks from the meet.  For me, this is almost too far.  I having a little more time under the heavier weights going in.  I know it’s all mental, but that’s part of the game too.  If I’m not doing what I need to get myself in the right headspace, then I’m not doing everything I can be to be ready to compete.

Squats for the day ended up being working triples up to a heavy 3.  So I worked up to 375 and then called it a day.  My warm up sets at 275 and 315 felt kind of crappy and a little off but the sets at 345 and my working set at 375 felt great.  It’s also nice to see how much more confidence I have at these weights.  As recently as a couple of months ago, I’m not sure I would have been comfortable making a 30lb jump that high and I definitely would have wanted a spot (even though I was in the power cage.)  Now?  Meh  I’ll be fine.

And because there’s no such thing as too many squats, I also worked up to a heavy double on paused squats ending at 295.  These make me whiney (though not as whiney as bottom up squats) but I recently got called on my bullshit for not working these heavier.

Bench was supposed to be 3 x 3 with all sets at the same weight and all reps paused.  But I can’t follow directions and ended up going up in weight every set.  So sets at 175, 190 and 200 and they all felt strong.


Finished out the day with 3 rounds of 15 back extensions 15 hanging leg raises.  This pretty much just sucked.  But it’s was a pleasant surprise to actually get through the leg raises and not have it look like I was having some kind of episode.


I realized while I was looking at my programming that front squats have been cancelled for the next couple of weeks.  I never thought I’d say this but this makes me kind of sad.  I actually feel like they’ve been a really good warmup for my deadlifts.  I won’t miss them at a meet but……

So I did some front squats anyway.  Just 3 x 5 for 45, 95 and 135 to get myself a bit warmed up.

Deadlift was pretty straight forward.  Work doubles up to a heavy 2 and then do 2 more sets at that weight.  So I worked up to 375 and then did my sets there.  They felt pretty good and fast and we did talk about going a little higher but I don’t know if I could have gotten through 3 sets at much more weight than this.

I was pretty much all down hill after that.  Work up to a heavy triple on stiff leg deadlifts from a 4″ deficit .  I got to 275.  I tried 315 but I think the jump was just too much after all of the heavy conventional deadlift and I just couldn’t keep the tightness in my upper back to finish it.  Then 1 x 100 sit-ups.  I’ve done this a couple of times now.  The real goal is just to get it done in as few sets as possible but since I know I can do it……..  I did 130.  And wow, did that suck the next day.  Sneezing was especially bad.


By Sunday I was starting to climb the walls a little bit.  I amost never spend 4 days out of the gym at a time and when I do it’s usually because I’m either at a meet or travelling somewhere doing something active.   Either way, I don’t have much of a chance to miss it.  And all of that aside, I really wanted to get in a yoga class to try and loosen up all the stuff that had gotten tight from bumming around the house.

But the gym was since the gym was still closed for the Oly cert, I popped over to Crossfit Syndicate and crashed their class.  I was a little nervous about it since I don’t know many people over there and I had no idea how their class was structured compared to my normal one but it was great.  Added benefit that some of the different postures we did let me get further into the postures I’m used to doing.  I know it doesn’t sound like a huge big deal but for the first time in…..  well, ever…..  I was able to kneel and have my butt touch my heels.  Sometimes it really is the little things.

In other randomness….

You know the recurring pre-meet dream that I have about a cat tripping me on the stairs and causing me to break various body parts right before my meet that I keep having?   Well, it almost happened early Saturday morning.  I was on my way back up the stairs from letting the dogs out in the middle of the night and stepped on a tail in the dark going back up to bed.  Thankfully, most of what I stepped on was fur so he didn’t completely panic and I was holding the railing anyway because hello, I’m clumsy and it was dark.  It still  threw me a bit off balance and scared the crap out of me.

He only kind of looks like he wants to kill me....

He only kind of looks like he wants to kill me….

And of course right after this, the little furry bugger decided he wanted to come back to bed and sleep on my head which he never does.  I’m not sure whether it was an apology, a promise that next time he’d lay in the middle of the step so I was guaranteed to trip over him or an attempt to smother me in my sleep.  I don’t know if he understands that offing me means there’s no one to feed him……..




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