2014 USAPL Raw National Week 6 – Pain and How Many ADD Kids Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?

2014 USAPL Raw National Week 6 – Pain and How Many ADD Kids Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?

Apr 30, 2014

So not every week is  painless but this week went a long way towards the other extreme.  I’m not sure what was going on but if there was a way to hurt myself, it seems like I found it.


This was the last day of the really high rep squats.  One set of 10+ at 265.  Based on the carnage from the previous round of  high rep squats, this round was capped at 15.  How do I know my coach meant it?  Because he wrote it in my training log…..

15 rep cap…..

For real don’t do more than 15……


I asked if he was sure.  Like really, really sure?  He was.

So I did 15 reps.  I definitely know there were a couple more in there but I’m really glad I didn’t do them.  Because right after I finished and racked the bar, there was this…..

Don't mind me.  I'm just going to sit here for a second and have a brief out of body experience.

Don’t mind me. I’m just going to sit here for a second and have a brief out of body experience.

Once I finally got myself off the floor, there were 3 x 5 paused squats (285, 305, 320) and 3 x 8 (225, 255, 275) stiff leg Deadlifts from a 4″ deficit.  I’m really starting to struggle with the SLDL’s in this rep range.  As I get tired, the bar is swinging out away from me because I can’t keep my back tight.  I can still do them.  They’re just ugly and way more work (and not the good kind of work) than they should be.

Finished out the day with 3 x 15 DB incline bench (25, 30, 35) and 3 x as many as possible ring rows (7, 8, 10).


Started off my day with the new front squat progression:  3 x 5 at 185.  We’ll be increasing the weight one set at a time every week but we want to make sure these aren’t getting so heavy and intense that they’re affecting my deadlift.

Speaking of deadlift……  8 x 3 starting at 240 with 1 minute of rest.  Sets were 240, 255, 270, 285, 300, 315, 325 and 335.  I was pretty wrecked after this and my hips tightened up quite a bit.  Went ahead and got through my 2 x 8 block pulls at 225 and 275 but ended up taking quite a bit more rest between sets than I normally would.


3 x 10-15 BB rows (95 x 15, 105 x 14 and 115 x 12)  These felt pretty bad actually

3 x 20 situps

3 x 15 back extensions

So my hips and lower back were not happy by the time all of this was done.  So unhappy in fact that when I picked up the bar to put it way, it wasn’t parallel to the ground in my hands.  A quick double check with a coach to make sure I wasn’t crazy (or at least this isn’t a symptom) and he confirmed that yes, my left shoulder was much higher than my right.  Which sort made sense since I could feel a giant knot on the right side of my mid back.  Luckily, it had mostly worked itself out by the time I got home and finished dinner and didn’t seem to be causing any problems the next morning.


This was my last Saturday squat session for a while so we decided to make it worth our while and worked up to a really smooth triple at 380.  It’s still really early in the cycle for me to be hitting numbers like this and I’m pretty excited about it.

Bench for the day was 5 x 3 starting at 170 and pausing all reps.  Sets were 170, 180, 190, 195 and 200.  At 190, I started to get a little weird with the pause.  Basically, the more I think about it the more unstable the pause, and the rep, feel.  So we decided we would do commands to stop the thinking.   So on the first rep at 195, I brought the bar to my chest and………….



……looking back at my spotter………

“Um, P?…..  That’s you……..”

“Wha…?  Oh!  Press!”

So the set at 195 was a little dramatic after that.  But the set at 200 felt fantastic.

Press was a nice (sort of) 3 x 8 at 105.  I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to be able to keep progressing in this rep range.

Paused wide grip bench (4 x 6) was also an adventure.  I’ve actually never done them and my grip is already pretty wide so I wasn’t really sure how these would go or where my hands would end up.  The answer to that is too wide.  On my first set at 95 (which felt fine), I managed to get off center on the bench and when I went to rack it, I smashed my knuckle into the rack, kind of forgot everything and almost dropped the bar on myself.  This is why you have spotters, folks (and P redeemed himself.)  After that sets were 125 (ok), 145 (smashed the same knuckle again but took it better), and 165 (spotter took the bar instead of my racking it when I was done.)  So decent amount of missing skin and a really fantastic bruise.

And at the end:

Seated DB bench press 3 x 15 at 20lbs

Behind the head weighted sit-ups 3 x 15 at 20lbs



How many ADD kids does it take to change a lightbulb?

Wanna ride bikes?!?

Yep, it’s that time of year.  The weather is finally nice enough to get out on the bikes and not freeze to death.  Some of you are probably thinking “Wait…..  It’s been warm enough for weeks…”  And you’re kind of right.  But I’m a sissy and I’m not going out on the bike if it’s less than like 60-65 degrees and last weekend I was busy.

So this was also my first time out with the clip in pedals.  I had been warned by pretty much everyone that at some point, I was going to wipe out.  It just something you have to accept when you get them.  So I was sort of prepared.  I was less prepared after I heard the horror stories about rolling down hills still attached to bikes and landing in poison ivy and fallen trees.  But they’re on the bike now so there’s nothing for it but to learn out to use them.

Yep, I'm probably going to die..........

Yep, I’m probably going to die……….

It actually went pretty well for the first couple of miles.  We stopped to cross a couple of streets.  I didn’t fall down.  I didn’t even really miss the pedal when I was trying to clip back in.  And then there was the squirrel.

I do think that the squirrels that live along this path have some kind of genetic pre-dispositon to suicide.  Or maybe they just aren’t very bright.  Within the space or about 10 feet, two different squirrels ran in front of my bike.  Both of them faired better than the one that ran in front of my husband last year, but the second one cut it close enough to scare me.  This caused me to let out a little squeak of panic (Yes, I squeaked.  Like a girl).  Which caused one of my friends to stop to make sure everything was OK.  So when I caught up to her, I stopped.  Maybe I was still thinking about the squirrel.  Maybe I was just over confident from my success so far.  Either way, I suddenly forgot how to unclip my foot.

It’s kind of funny to be there, just that tiny bit off balance, and to see the disconnect between your brain and your body.  My brain was screaming at me to DO something.  Like maybe unclip my foot before it really is too late.  My body wasn’t listening because it was too busy going “shitshitshitshit…..” and preparing to brace for impact.

I fell across the trail and into the path of another cyclist who luckily had a more control than I did.

“Are you OK?”


“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I’m just going to sit here and bleed for a second and try to get myself back together.”  Because even if you aren’t really hurt, bouncing off the pavement makes you a little disoriented.

“OK”  He looks at the bike, looks back at me…..  “First time with the clips?”


He cracks a big smile, “Welcome!”

So not so bad......

So not so bad……

So I brushed myself off, rinsed off my knee with my water bottle (because of course no one had a first aid kit) and we headed off down the trail in search of somewhere to do a better job cleaning it off.  And I was good until I had to stop again to cross the street.  This time I’m just going to blame the anxiety of having already gone down once.  Same deal.  This time, I managed to tip to the right and fell into the grass at least.  But for some reason I also put out my hand to try to break my fall.  I ended up with a sprained wrist and we got to repeat my previous conversation with a couple more very nice people who stopped to check on me while I was sitting in the grass laughing at my own stupidity.

“No, really, I’m fine.  I bounce pretty well.  And the grass is mostly soft.”

We crossed the street to the ranger station, got my knee mostly cleaned up and headed off home.    So for my first ride of the season, 10 miles, two suicidal squirrels, two crashes, a skinned knee, a sprained wrist….  And ice cream.  Because ice cream makes everything better.

Here’s hoping next week is less painful and dramatic.


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