2014 Arnold Raw Challenge Week 3 – When Life Attacks

2014 Arnold Raw Challenge Week 3 – When Life Attacks

Dec 26, 2013

Most of us don’t have the luxury of being able to focus totally and completely on lifting all the time.  We have jobs and families and things that are every bit as important (and sometimes more) as training.  I’m incredibly lucky to have a job that gives me the time to train and compete.  But occassionally, it takes more of my time than usual and my training schedule suffers for it.  This was one of those weeks and I ended up with only 2 days to lift.

I started off the week at a conference.  I have a very love/hate relationship with conferences.  On the love side…..   I work in a small field so I’m pretty much guaranteed to see a mess of old friends from school and previous jobs.  I also get to see and hear about all the cool new toys that eveyone is developing and selling (seriously, do you know any technical people that don’t just want to play with the new toys?)  On the hate side……  For all the people I’m happy to see, there are some I’d be happy to never see again.  Dealing with them while remaining polite and professional while trying to ditch them without it being super obvious is exhausting.  Also exhausting,  it’s a very long week.  Three-ish hours of commuting to and from, 8 hours of the conference and then the happy hours and social dinners.  Every. Day.  It’s a lot.  And while there’s usually plenty of food around (and booze at the happy hour), most of it isn’t very good quality.  So by the time the conference ended on Thursday afternoon, I was running very low on sleep and generally felt like I’d been hit by a truck.


I didn’t have high expectations for this workout.  We got stuck in traffic coming back from the conference so I was running late and feeling a bit rushed as soon as I got to the gym on top of generally not feeling my best.

Squats at least were pretty short and to the point.  One set at 260lbs for at least 8 reps and only a couple of warm up sets to get there since it’s so relatively light.  I got 12.  I would have liked a couple more but it is what it is.

Moved on to bench which was 5 x 2 starting at 165lbs and working up in 10lb increments.  These went better than I expected.  They only felt a little heavy but they had good speed and I was able to pause all of them…..  Until I got to the last set at 205lbs.  The first one was kind of slow and shaky.  The second barely touched my chest before the panic set in and I started to press.  It was slow, grindy and uneven the whole way.  But it happened so I can’t be too bummed about it.

Finished out the day with 3 x 10 press at 85lbs.  This wasn’t supposed to be the last thing I did.  But by the time I finished them, it was late and I was even more tired and starting to feel kind of nauseous so I decided to pack it in and go home and go to bed.


By Saturday I was feeling more like myself.  This was also my first day back to deadlifting since States.  We agreed that we would keep these very light.  8 x 3 starting at 225 and going up in 10lb increments with one minute of rest between sets.  They went pretty well.  My hips did get a bit tight by the end but it was the old familiar tightness that I’ve gotten pretty much since I started lifting and not the new messed up hip flexor tightness so I’ll take it.

After that, I moved on to like a million front squats.  Ok…..  It was 5 x 5 with a 5+ at the end at 170lbs.  But it was heavy-ish and it was a lot more than I’ve done lately and it reminded me that no matter how good they are for me, I’m never really going to like them.  I ended with 7 on my plus set because on 8 I realized the bar had shifted and was sitting pretty squarely and uncomfortably on my collar bone.  So I decided, for whatever reason, to try to fix it mid squat.  Obviously, it didn’t work and it ended up dropping my chest and tipping the bar off my shoulders.

Finished off the day with 4  x 8 stiff leg deadlift from a 4″ deficit (175, 185, 195, 205) and 3 x 15 GHD Sit-ups.


More yoga.  Thankfully, not a private class this week but it still pretty well smoked me.

This week we also decided to try moving my deadlifts to Thursday.  I’ve always struggled to get warm in the early morning and we want to see if being up and ambulatory all day makes deadlifting easier on my hips than rolling out of bed and heading right off to the gym.  My only concern about moving it is that it’s going to make Friday mornings kind of rough since I’m normally exhausted after I deadlift and getting up all bright and early to go to work will probably suck a bit.  Or maybe it’ll just encourage me to get to bed at a decent hour.  But probably not.

And I know it’s a little late but…..  Merry Christmas!


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