2014 USAPL Raw National Week 7 and 8 – Clumsiness, Slaying the Boogie Man and Taking the Show on the Road

2014 USAPL Raw National Week 7 and 8 – Clumsiness, Slaying the Boogie Man and Taking the Show on the Road

May 10, 2014

And look at that….  I’m behind again….  I know, shocking……..  So lets try to get caught up (again) and maybe I can find a way to be a bit more brief and stay caught up…..  Maybe…….

Week 7

Believe it or not, my first thought when I sprained my wrist wasn’t “oh god, what if I can’t lift?”  My first thought was “OW!”  My second thought was about lifting.  So I started this week trying to baby my wrist along and rehab it to a point where I wouldn’t miss any training.  I was pretty successful on the whole.  By Monday night, it would support weight as long as I kept it neutral and I was pretty confident that with my wraps and a little care I would be good.  Of course I was still finding all kinds of little dumb things in my daily life that hurt.  There is something humbling about having to ask my co-workers to help me empty an ice tray because twisting it puts too much pressure on my wrist.  It’s more humbling when they start talking smack about you for being “weak” and laughing as they walk down the hallway to help you (because smack talking is the cost of help.)  I’m also still generally clumsy.  For whatever reason, that clumsy always seems to manifest in a way that directly effects stuff that’s already hurt.  So I found myself doing things like walking into door jams and smacking my wrist or tripping over a cat on the stairs and instantly reaching out with the wrong hand to catch myself.


Tuesday officially marked the end of the high volume (for me anyway) portion of my current program.  After this we finally start to get into the heavier weights so for heavy squats today, I had 5 x 2 starting at 350.  Sets were 350, 360, 370, 380, and 390.  This is going to sound strange but I’ve never actually hit 390 for more than a single.  I don’t know why exactly.  It’s just never happened.  These felt fast and not especially heavy and I’m very pleased with them.

Paused squats for the day were 3 x 3 (I can’t tell you how happy that made me) starting for 295, 315 and 335.  At these weights, I feel like little bits of my soul die with every rep.

And for the rest of the day:

SLDL 3×8 245, 265, 275
CG bench 4×5 165,170,175, 175
wt situps 4×10 20

The Stiff leg Deadlifts are still going pretty poorly towards the end of each of the sets.  We’re looking at either cutting the weight or reps on this so that we can work form a little better.

My general clumsiness continued on bench.  On the last rep of the 3rd set, I got weird and bounced the bar off the underside of the hooks and needed my spotter to save me.  Since that took quite a bit out of me, we went ahead and repeated 175 for the last set and these went fine.


There was nothing really special about Thursday’s workout.  I came in, did it and got out.

A. front squat 2×5 185
1×5 190
B. DL 1×8+ 305/12
C. block pulls 4×5 275, 300, 315, 330
D. DB rows 4×12-15 70 for (15, 12, 15, 13
E1. Lying leg raises 3×15
E2. BB curls 3×10 45, 50, 55


Started off with 8 x 3 bench with 1 minute rest between sets.  Sets were 135, 145, 155, 165, 175, 185, 195, and 200.  None of these were paused but they all felt very smooth and stable.

Press was 3 x 8 at 110.  My last set at 105 was super dicey so I didn’t have high expectations here.  And I was right.  I didn’t even manage to get through the first set.  Instead the goal became to finish each 8 reps in the fewest number of sets possible.  So “sets” were 7+1, 5+3 and 5+3.  We’ll take another whack at it next week and then deload if we need to.

For the rest of the day……..

C1. incline bench 3×10-15 95(15), 105(14), 120 (8)
C2. abmat situps 3×30
D1. Lying Tri Ext 3×10 10, 20, 25
D2. walking DB lunge 3×20 25, 30, 35

The last set of Triceps extensions didn’t completely happen.  I couldn’t quite get my right arm to lock out even though I tried (no pun intended) twice.

Week 8


A. squat 8×3 265
B. paused squats 3×3 325,335, 345
C. SLDL 3×8 245 x 3 straps
D1. bench 4×5 160, 170, 180, 190 work to a heavy 5 rep, all paused
D2. situps 4×20

Tuesday was a pretty normal day too.  I got through all my squats and my hips still felt really good at the end.  I even hit my previous paused squat 1RM (345) for a triple.

I’m also happy with the bench.  I’ve never hit 190 for 5 and definitely not paused.


I’ve been thinking about this deadlift day for like 2 weeks.  I knew what the weights were supposed to be.  I knew I should totally be able to do it.  But you can only fail so many times before it starts living in your head.  I’ve failed every time I’ve ever tried to pull over 400lbs in the gym.  I know it’s stupid.  I know it’s all in my head.  I know that doesn’t make it any less of a weakness that needs to be overcome.

So I spent all day thinking about it.  And I do mean all day.  Because no one obsesses about stuff quite like I do (and if you do, I’m sorry.  We should form a support group…)  I also had one of those very long, busy, kind of stressful days where I occasionally had to convince myself that throwing some of my more obnoxious co-workers was not really professional or appropriate.  All of this led me to taking a quick walk after lunch.  That led me to the little shop downstairs from my office.  And that led me to a bag of Bugles (yes, they still make them.  No, they don’t fit on my fingers anymore.)

I managed to get to the gym at a decent time and knocked out my front squats 2 x 5 at 185 and 1 x 5 at 190.

By the time I’d warmed up my deadlift, I was nervous.


“I’m all anxious.  Almost like at a meet.  The Bugles might have been a mistake.”

“They still make those?……..”

But I started my 5 x 2 at 350.  Worked through 365,  380 and 395.   They felt good but the nerves didn’t go away.  Before my last set, I was siting on the weights, trying to get my head straight.  I must have looked pretty bad……

“Do NOT throw up Bugles on my floor!”

Because of course nerves make me nauseous and everyone knows this.

And then there was this…….

Deadlift 405 x 2

It shocked me how fast this was.  It’s been screwing with my head for so long, I thought it would be more of a struggle and I didn’t think they’d be that fast off the floor.  There’s still some work to do on my lockout though.  It could definitely have been cleaner.

The rest of the day was all anti-climactic after that.

C. SG DL 4×6 135, 185, 225, 255
D1. block pulls 2×8 255, 315
D2. GHD Sit-ups 2×20


The gym was closed Saturday for a cert so we wandered over to Crossfit Syndicate to play with their toys.


Bench was one set of 8+ at 160.  We’ve been capping these sets at 12 and I got all 12 even though my back super tight after all the deadlifts on Thursday.

Press was 3 x 8 for 100 again.  It went much better this time and sets were 8, 7+1 and 7+1.  But I still failed.  We’ll deload next week and change to 4 x 5 and start working back up.

After that….

C1. CG bench 4×8 95, 135, 155, 175(6+1)
C2. sit-ups 4×30

The Close Grip Bench was maybe a little aggressive and I couldn’t quite finish the set at 175 but they felt good right up until they failed.

No, that isn't my weight.  I was just too lazy to change it just to take a picture.

No, that isn’t my weight. I was just too lazy to change it just to take a picture.

The sit-ups were also supposed to be bench leg raises.  I tried one and my lower back freaked out so sit-ups it is.


D1. DB lateral raises 3×20 10
D2. BB shrug 3×10 225, 275, 315(8)

After all of this, I got talked into pushing the prowler.  It did not go well and really the less said about it the better.  But….  After the third set I managed to run over my own foot with the prowler when I was turning it around.  (No, I’m not sure how I did it either.)   Profanity ensued.


Yoga and a bike ride in the sun.  I managed to not actually injure anything riding the bike this time.  But I still managed to fall off the bike (even though I’d already unclipped one foot) before we even got to the trail.  This is playing with my head now.  I’m not sure what we’re going to do.  I may have to go back to regular pedals for a little bit until I’m more confident on the bike over all.


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