2014 USAPL Raw Nationals Weeks 14 and 15 – Shenanigans and Asshattery

2014 USAPL Raw Nationals Weeks 14 and 15 – Shenanigans and Asshattery

Jun 27, 2014

And just like that I’m behind again.  Again.  I’ve had a couple of really busy weeks (I know, like that’s new….) and just haven’t had a chance to sit down and write anything up.   Luckily, there isn’t as much training as usual to type up.  Partly, that’s because of my meet prep.  But it’s also partly because I’ve been getting to the gym late because of an excessive level of asshattery at work.

Week 14


Squats were to work to a heavy 3 in sets of 3.  The fun started as I was getting ready for my last set.

We talk a fair amount of smack in my gym.  We have the same group that trains together pretty much all the time and we’re all pretty thick skinned but we do occasionally cross the line a little bit.

I’m getting ready for my last set at 395 and I’m a little nervous because I’ve never hit a triple for anything so heavy before.  My being nervous normally starts someone talking shit.  And that’s fine.  Because it distracts me and takes some of the tension out of things.  So they start talking about the state records (which I have several of) and it comes out that I don’t have the raw bench record anymore.  Why?  Because even though we lifted the same amount, the person holding it now weighs less than me.

“Doesn’t everyone?” Cue the Oh-shit-that-was-my-outloud-voice look.  Which just makes me want to take this to a whole other level…….

“My coach c-c-called me faaaaaaaattt. A-a-aand he ma-a-a-akes me eat doooooonuuuuuuuuttttttsssss…….” <dramatic sob>  Have I mentioned I did a fair amount of theater growing up?  And like anyone is going to have to make me eat donuts.

“You’re never going to let me live that down are you?”


So after all that, and doing my set at 395, I hit my backoff sets at 3 x 3 at 90% of my working weight (so 355).  These felt bad.  I tried to tell myself they’d be good because they were so much lighter but they just weren’t.

I skipped my paused squats because they’re paused squats and because I was running out of time and moved on to 3 x 6-8 paused bench.  165 and 185 felt good and I got to 8 reps.  200 was a bit more dramatic.  I got 3 before it got weird and then got 2 more after racking it for a second and trying again..


Since I knew I was doing a 5K on Saturday, I had a lot to get done Thursday.  We started by working up to a heavy single on deadlift.  I got up to 415 and it felt great.  I honestly felt like I could have pulled 420.  The back off sets on the other hand……  Those felt horrible.  3 x 3 at 355 made me feel a little like I was going to die.

I wouldn’t normally bench on a Thursday but based on the planning for the rest of cycle, I wanted to go ahead and find my 1RM for my close grip bench (so I could do all the planned percentage stuff that comes later.)  I didn’t have high expectation for this because, really, it should be lower than my regular bench, right?  I worked to 185 and it went great.  200…….. all good.  210….. nice and smooth.  At this point, I’d already done more attempts than we’d planned and it was starting to get late so I went ahead and jumped up to 225 figuring I probably wasn’t going to get it.  Nope.  It went up just fine.  It at least felt hard so that was something.

Finished out the day with…..

SLDL – 3×8 BB rows – 3×12
225, 245, 265 95, 115, 135

Saturday  –  ROC Race

It doesn't look so high in the picture but it's really, really high when you're standing at the top looking down.  Everyone now knows I have a serious B movie scream.  I now know that bubbles taste bad....

It doesn’t look so high in the picture but it’s really, really high when you’re standing at the top looking down. Everyone now knows I have a serious B movie scream. I now know that bubbles taste bad….

So at just over a month out from a big meet, you could argue that I really had no business running any kind of race.  Much less one with obstacles (because let’s face it, I’m incredibly clumsy.)  But that’s what happened.  Sort of.  To call it “running” would be at least stretching the truth and possibly just flat out lying.  I legitimately ran to the first obstacle.  And I sprinted the last little bit to the second because we were screwing around.  But other than that, it was pretty much a nice brisk walk.  And while I did all of the obstacles, there were a couple that I didn’t do the way they were intended because 1) I don’t really do heights.  No, seriously. 2) There were a couple that ended poorly for everyone I got to watch before I went so why would I expect it to be any different for me  and 3) I’m clumsy (duh).  Run across a high balance beam while a spinny thing tries to knock you off?  Ummmmmm………  No.  Crawl across it (and almost still fall off….)?  Sure.   Yes, this makes me a big chicken in some ways.  But I’m also pretty aware of my own lack of grace and breaking something because I went hard at a race just seemed kind of silly.

All that being said, it was a good time.  The obstacles that didn’t scare the crap out of me (mostly the ones that required me to jump off of something tall) were a lot of fun.  And even the ones that did scare the crap out of me were kind of cool once I was done with them.  I successfully ended up in the water in any obstacle where that was possibly and learned that soap bubbles taste bad when you inhale them.

Getting knocked off the beam meant landing in about 3 feet of water.  I didn't even get knocked off.  I just lost my balance and fell in.

Getting knocked off the beam meant landing in about 3 feet of water. I didn’t even get knocked off. I just lost my balance and fell in.


Week 15

This was the week the real asshattery at work started.  And looking back at my training log, it’s pretty obvious.  I didn’t get completely through any of my workouts during the week because I kept getting out of work late and by Thursday, it was pretty clear the additional stress was starting to take it’s toll.


Squats felt fantastic.  I had just enough low rage from work for there to be plenty of intensity and the last set at 415 felt really fast and smooth.

squat sqt – doubles to a hvy 2 rep 4×3@A-15%
415 (315, 365, 395, 415) 355

The back off sets still sucked though.  And you know the only thing worse than doing a back off set?  Realizing in the middle of it that you really, really should have taken a bathroom break before you did it.  Kind of distracting…..  I skipped the paused squats (again) for the sake of time (also again) and jumped right into bench.

paused bench – 4×4-6 reps (end with a hvy 4)
135×6, 165×6, 185×6, 200×4

These all felt really good and I honestly think I could have gotten a fifth rep at 200 if I’d tried.


Another day late to the gym and by the time I got there, I’d basically spent the last 2 days pissed off and was starting to just feel drained.  I was supposed to be working up to a heavy triple on my deadlift and was hoping to get up to 385 or 395.  Nope.  365 felt like 465 so that’s where I stayed.  4 x 3 at 365 even though it was pretty damn demoralizing.


SLDL – 4×5
225, 255, 285, 305

Which made me feel a little better and finally:

chins – 3xAMRAP @ BW <—HAHAHA….Really?
.6, .6, .75, .6

The note is mine and it went into my training log before I even started.  I don’t have any chin-ups.  Like at all.  So I pulled as hard as I could and then tried to hold them and come down slowly.

So the plan for Saturday was to work up to a heavy single on my squat and I was pretty psyched about it.  By Friday afternoon I’d worked my self from being completely bent about the stuff at work to a general attitude of “F@#% it.  It’ll be what it is.” and I was in a much better head space.   I started my singles at 365 and from there went to 395, 415 and finally 430……..  Where I missed the rep.  It was just a little bobble at the bottom but it caused my chest to drop a bit and from there I just couldn’t save it.  But I also knew I didn’t actually fail the rep.  It wasn’t a strength problem.  I had it, right up until my form got weird.  So I rolled out from under the bar and said “I’m trying that again.”

“Are you sure?  We could drop it back down to 425 and…….”

“No.  I’m doing this.”

So we unloaded enough weight to lift it back into the hooks (another reason to be irritated about missing it) and loaded it back up to 430.  And this time, I got it and it felt great. (Admittedly, it looks a little high in the video but that’s just the angle.)

After the victory dance, I had more back off sets (WooHoo………  not.)  So 2 x 3 at 385.

Finished out the day with a little bench:

paused bench – 4×4-6 reps (beat 6/17 final set by reps or weight) CG bench – 1xAMRAP@80%, 1xAMRAP@70%
145×6, 175×6, 195×6, 202.5×4 180×5, 157.5×9

We’re still doing some pretty good volume on bench and I’m looking forward to getting to drop this down to some heavy doubles and singles and seeing how it feels.


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