2014 USAPL Raw Nationals Weeks 17 and 18- Dramatic Dogs, Body Weird, SHOES! and The End

2014 USAPL Raw Nationals Weeks 17 and 18- Dramatic Dogs, Body Weird, SHOES! and The End

Jul 16, 2014

So here we are and the last two weeks have been a blur.  They’ve also been kind of hit and miss.  This isn’t really that uncommon for this stage of my training cycle. 18 weeks of training without a break is catching up with me a bit and it’s making recovery between workouts kind of dicey.   And since I’m still swamped at work and trying to get all the last minute packing and what not done, we’re going to get this cranked out pretty quick (yeah, yeah…..  I can hear the snickering now……..)

Week 17


The workout just keep getting shorter as we get closer to the meet.  So I started the week by squatting up to a heavy single.  Just to keep things interesting, I’ve been trying to run my heavy single days as close as possible to my preliminary plan for the meet.  I won’t bore you with the warm-up numbers.  The important bit about my warm up is that I realized immediately that my elbow was unhappy.  At 135 it was *really* unhappy.   A little stretching and a little trigger point, (which meant a little bit more time between sets) and we were able to get it down to something tolerable.  It felt even better once I put my wrist wraps on for the last couple of sets (seems keeping my wrist straighter is better.)  In the end, I hit singles at 385, 405, 425 and 440 even with the discomfort in my elbow.

I skipped the paused doubles completely to keep from aggravating my elbow any more than we really needed to and went straight to bench:

paused bench – 3×3@6/27 B CG bench – 1xAMRAP@85%, 1xAMRAP@75%
210 x 3 x 3 190×3, 170 x 7

The paused bench felt good and I’m really anxious to hit some heavier doubles and singles and see where these end up.


Deadlift for this week was also a heavy single.  Except unlike squat, I didn’t just get to do the one and walk away.  Nope.  I got to do two more singles as that same weight.  That was sufficient to scare me into being mostly responsible with my weight choices.  So I ran these up planning to hit my singles around what I’d like to hit for a second attempt.  I got up to 420 which is a life time PR for me.  The first rep was a little ugly and got away from me a little bit on my left (the side where my hand is under.)  It was super obvious watching the video so I was much more focused on it for the next two reps and they were much cleaner.  The bonus to these?  I got to break in my new deadlift shoes!


Yes, my sock says "MESS".  In case you're wondering......  The other sock says "HOT"

Yes, my sock says “MESS”. In case you’re wondering…… The other sock says “HOT”

And for the rest of the day:

SLDL – 4×2 to a hvy 2 rep BB row – 3×8 situps – 3×30
295, 315, 335 95, 115, 125


Before we get to Saturday…….  Friday was the 4th of July.  So there was BBQ and beer and fireworks.  And because there were fireworks, there was also a freaked out dog.  The freaked out dog in question kept me up most of the night (seems my neighbors bought all the fireworks in the county) and only finally calmed down around 3 in the morning when I let her sleep in the bed with me.  That lasted until about 4:30 when the fireworks ran out and she decided to get down and stepped on my stomach in the process.  So waking up in the morning at the butt crack of dawn because training was moved to 8am was exceptionally painful.  To add to that, I was super tight from deadlifts.

So my Saturday workout went poorly.  I was supposed to squat up to a heavy double and I’d planned on getting to 415 or 420.  I missed my send rep at 405.

I moved on to bench and got a pretty similar result.  Same deal.  Work to a heavy 2.  I missed the second rep at 225.  Twice.  And there was no good reason for it.  It didn’t even feel heavy.

After that, I said screw it.  I went home and went back to bed.

Week 18

For this week, my training log looked like this:

If you’re looking at that thinking “Wait….. But it’s blank.”  Yeah…… I noticed that too.  Then I found out that there was programming but that *I* just didn’t get to find out what it was until I got to the gym that day:

You’re just mean……
….oh come on now, do you really think i wouldn’t program your last week?  This is just one less thing you have to have on your mind this last week.
If you would be so kind as to input your results this week I would appreciate it – GOOD LUCK!

Because everyone who works with me knows I’m a head case………


I went into Tuesday figuring there was no way it could be worse than Saturday.  And with those low expectations, I set out to find a 3RM for my squat.  The elbow was still being bitchy but the common consensus was that it was going to suck but not actually do any real damage so I kept rolling and stretching as we went and wore my wrist wraps the whole time.  I got up to 410.  It’s possible that this wasn’t really a max but my form got a bit sloppy on the last one so we called it there and I moved on.

2″ SLDL to a 3RM 275, 315, 345
CG Bench to a 3RM 180, 200, 210×2.5

I barely missed the last rep of CG bench and I was relieved that bench still feels good.


Thursday was another one of those days……….

Wednesday the puppy came down with some kind of severe gastrointestinal thing.  This meant I spent most of Wednesday night up and down letting her out and then letting her back in.  Which meant that Thursday afternoon, we made a vet appointment.  But before we get to that…..

Sleeping Shai

Pathetic dog is pathetic

I don’t know if I ate something I shouldn’t have or if some of what the puppy had was zoonotic (go ahead and google it) or the lack of sleep and the stress of training finally caught up with me but my stomach was trashed when I woke up.  I skipped breakfast.  I managed to talk myself into some lunch but that didn’t go so well for me and I ended up with really horrible indigestion.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, the indigestion apparently gave me the hiccups.  Have you ever tried to burp and hiccup at the same time?  I don’t recommend it.  It’s painful and loud and if done in the middle of a meeting at work will show you just how many of your co-workers probably still laugh at awkward bodily functions like teenagers.

So back to the vet appointment.  We were there for almost 3 hours with the final judgement being maybe a virus of some kind.  The puppy got meds (She’s fine now by the way.  Back to her normal rotten self.) and I finally managed to get to the gym over an hour late.

I was supposed to work up to a heavy double on my deadlift.  (You may now be noticing a theme with this whole heavy double thing……)  I missed my second rep at 395.  I tried it again.  Still no.  I couldn’t keep my upper back tight enough to finish it.

What do you do when this happens?  Well, Thursday I ate the consolation red velvet cupcake I was handed by my coach (And thank you April for making them) and took my ass home.

And while I was pretty bummed about this when I left the gym, the reality is that 395 was the last heavy single I pulled before the Arnolds.  So if I can pull that on a day with almost no sleep and basically no food, I’m actually doing pretty well.


The puppy worked out her issues and I was able to actually to get come real sleep before this and I showed up at the gym feeling pretty good and was looking forward to finding out what I had for the day.  And what did I get?  One last heavy single for squats and finally working up to a heavy single on bench.   So since the meet is so close and the whole point of the taper is to get used to the heavy weight and test drive my warm-ups and openers, I decided to run it as close as possible to what I’d like to hit at Nats but without hitting anything that we really think is a max and rounding the numbers to whatever was easiest to load in pounds (because the kilo plates are on the other side of the gym and I’m lazy.)

For squat, my last heavy singles were 410, 430, and 445.  I was very satisfied with this.


Bench didn’t go quite so well.  I hit a very solid 230 (which I also got a couple of weeks ago) but for some reason 235 just felt weird coming off my chest and I couldn’t make it stick.  We’d taped up my elbow and it’s possible that made it a little weird.  Either way, I’m comfortable with the progress I’m finally seeing on bench considering I spent most of last year stalled completely at about 205.


So here we are.  There’s no more real training.  I have one more day of actual lifting that will be pretty light by comparison and a mess of rehab to do on myself and then we’re on our way.  I haven’t started having nightmares about the cats trying to kill me on the stairs (though there’s still plenty of time for that so it could still happen.)  Even with the couple of profoundly crappy training days and the body weird (the elbow is definitely going to take some babying over the next week), this is probably the most confident I’ve felt going into a meet.   Oh and I got a preview of the paint job on my new deadlift shoes:


Thanks to Irene (The Pirate Girl Painter) for hooking me up again.


So we’ll see what happens……………  If you see me at Nats, come say hi!



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