Back to some training....

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  • By Marc "Spud" Bartley
  • Posted in powerlifting
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Back to some training....

Ok, since it took me forever to write the last log, I will try to fill in here and there with what has been going on. I will get back to adding normal boring training information back in.

Since it took me forever to write the last log, I will try to fill in here and there with what has been going on. 

I took a large step backwards training wise. Usually, my training still involved doing what I considered medium heavy work and a lot of rep volume. I also had cut my cardio down considerably before all the SWIS and Be Activated. I had backed down to just some walking and sledding on Sundays, some prowler pushes a couple days here and there just to keep the time down (I didn't want to get back to a 45 minutes or an hour of cardio daily)

I didn't want to stray from activations and the breathing so my wife and I focused nightly on getting good at the basics of "Be Activated" for about two weeks. We began to develop a daily routine as well that we can do by ourselves that starts the day off with about 20 to 30 mins hitting as many activation spots as we can get to. The wife is not as consistent daily so she had to have some emergency holiday de-stressing sessions that saved the day.  We had three days of thanksgiving basically: her side, my side and her mom's Advent dinner and she was blowing up trying to get it all done and trying to make everyone happy.   So some activations brought the stress way down. I did a lot to myself as social situations make me hit the high RPMS quickly. Although the activations don't cure anxieties, they made a big difference in dealing with them.   The diaphragm breathing is super critical as well. I was actually not in a hurry to eat and then haul ass.  

The topic of activations came up at her side's family dysfunction, sorry function. Her Uncle Troy, who is 91, and likes the ladies A LOT was watching me do some activations on the ladies.  He is normally fairly inactive but he perked up right away and said, "I usually get in trouble when I do that!"  I was working on her cousin's leg at the time.  Later after I had worked the pec line on her cousin, he caught me away from the crowd and said, "You need to teach me these, especially the boobie bouncing one!"

So back to the boring training thing.   My plan was to start all over in my training (not that I was killing it anyhow) incorporating McGill's various planks, bird dog work, stir the pot, etc.  Regular training involves part of Dorian Yate's eccentric philosophy mixed in with Christain Thibaudeau's forced contractions principles.  I feel like I can still do some decent shit with my training modalities, but the reality is I was only going so far with that, plus it also is super boring.  If you ain't got it, I am rebuilding this old jalopy from the chassis up but now I have added a few updates-activations and breathing correctly.

Now, the curve ball.  The night we finished Be Activated, we both got emails from Pavel with an invitation to come to his StrongFirst Kettlebell Certifications.  Super cool, right!? The timing is spooky actually. The second we get done, we get his emails.  It is not that we need retooling in kettlebells, but when the master himself invites you, you have to go.  If you remember, McGill is a big advocate of Pavel so spooky action at a distance is totally invoked here especially with rebuilding process I am into right now and the wife's powerlifting quest. The path lays itself sometimes.

I had not put this into my rebuilding plans but you can't show up at this cert out of shape. So the quandary of adding in this work to be in decent shape plus the rebuilding protocol has become a cool challenge along with some strength goals again.  I won't be able to do some of the pressing and clean work cleanly as the lack of spinatus's in the left shoulder protest loudly but the plan is to at least be able to do the snatch test.  This is 100 total snatches in 5 minutes with a 24kg if I stay below 221lbs.  If I fatten up, it is the 28kg for me. So there is this additional challenge.  I have until about the end of January so not a huge rush.  Currently working up on the swing capacity first and some lighter snatches to get used to this again. Sorta some Sheiko percentages on this.

Bottom line, I am session to session.  In the past, doing a lot of swings and snatches would jack my back and neck up. Mostly my neck getting jacked up, to the point, I would have to quit (same reason I was not a huge shrug guy either). That is one of the main reasons I never did super high volumes of these in the past, plus for strength, a ton of volume was not necessary or what I told myself. But there is always, the what if you could have done some higher volume at the higher body weight when I was competing.  Some careful planning and time will tell here.   Working on a lot of things!

Here are the last three  sessions:


-15 minutes stepmill intervals


-Planks and Bird dogs

-Deadlifts worked up to 500x1 with hook grip tip from Clint Darden. Was pleased with this since I have not hooked in FOREVER.

-Duffalo Bar squats rawski to 400x2

-Swings x15,x30x60 per arm with 24kg



-Plank work, bird dogs etc

-Reverse Hypers 3x15 before and 2x20 after.  Most of you know I have been doing these for close to 20 years. At first when I started them it was strictly for strength which they contributed a easy 100lb to 200lb to my squat early on in my lifting. They developed coordination(unity in the kinematic chains) and size in the hams, glutes and low back for me.  Now I used them to warm up and to open/loosen the back up after training.

-Close stance box rawski with Duffalo Bar worked up to 285lbx5x3,325 x3x3

-Swings with 24kg x15,x 40,x70 per arms

11/27 Stepmill 30 mins easy


-15 minutes stepmill two 6 minute at a medium high pace with 1 minute breaks


-Planks and Bird Dogs

-Bench 3 second descent with 3 sec pause above chest. Worked up very slowly to 275lb

-Shoulder Rok work

-One arm rows sorta Meadows way but with dumbells. 5 second tempo down, with 5 second hold at top.  4 rounds.

-Light activations to loosen up.

A main focus is breathing continuously into the diaphragm on all training including squats and deads. This very difficult to focus on as the weights go up, especially after years of holding small breathes.  I haven't got to the really heavy weights with this and honestly it will be a test for me to do this but thus far on the light stuff it works well if you have a good rhythm.  Cardio wise, with the breathing, I am not getting winded much and that includes prowler steady push work, not just stepmill and swings.



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