12/20/16 – Volume Chest/Shoulders – Week 2, Day 2

I managed to set some PRs today? But Josh how can you be setting PRs while running a volume program? I’m so confused, you’re supposed to be recovering…

All this is true but unless you have ran a program by Brandon before it would be hard to explain. Brandon Smitley is great at throwing in something just heavy enough to feel like you’re powerlifting while simultaneously giving you a pump that splits the skin and brings the veins out to play. Today just happened to have a couple different pressing movements programmed in that allowed me to set some higher rep PRs and made me feel like I may not have a poverty bench at the February meet. Training today went as follows…

  • Stretch and Warm-Up
  • Machine Press
    • 100×25, 125×20, 150×15, 175×10
  • Incline Bench
    • 185×5, 205×5, 225×5, 245×5, 255×5 (PR)
  • Bench Press
    • 185×8, 225×8, 245×8, 275×6 (PR)
  • Seated Lateral Raises – 4×10
  • Dumbbell Rear Delt Flys – 4×25
  • Overhead Press
    • 95×6, 115×6, 135×6
  • Situps – 4×20

To put these PRs into perspective, looking at my PR book after this session, I did not have a previous PR for either of these lifts at these rep schemes so its already a personal record. However, my current PR for incline bench at 3 reps is also 255 which means that next offseason I need to blow that SOB out of the water. As for the regular bench press, I was supposed to get that last set for 8 full reps according to the program but instead of making the safe 20lb jump which I’m sure I would have nailed, I got greedy and went all the way to 275. Although this is a PR simply because I never do bench press for 6 reps (or 8 reps for that matter) I need to watch this in during the rest of this volume cycle to make sure I’m getting all my reps/sets in.  Only a back and arm workout left to go this week and then I am already half way through this volume program. Until next time!


12/19/16 – Volume Legs – Week 2, Day 1

This volume program keeps moving right along with week 2 of 4 beginning today. After completing the first week, it does seem like I am adjusting to the increase in volume rather well. This, coupled with the fact that I am on break from classes has really allowed me to get the most out of these longer, more intense training sessions. Today’s volume leg workout looked like this…

  • Stretch and Warm-Up
  • Seated Leg Curls – 3×10 + 2 Drop Sets
  • Hack Squat
    • 45×8, 135×8, 185×8, 225×8, 275×8, 315×8, 225×10
  • Leg Press
    • 230×15, 270×15, 320×15, 320×10, 320×7
  • Leg Extension – 3×12
  • Walking Lunges – 3×10
  • Pull Thrus – 3×15
  • Calf Raises – 4×10
  • Stir the Pot – 3×20

Thankfully there were no sets of 20 on squat today but I am confident that I would have been much more prepared for it today if it would have been programmed so. It is amazing what a week of conditioning and good nights rest can do for you. I am very happy that I chose this program to run during this four week stretch because although it is technically a hypertrophy program, the rep ranges on the bigger movements stays low enough that I am sure I will get a decent carryover to my competition lifts when meet prep hits. Having a day specific for the back has also given me a great opportunity to build up a huge weakness that I have for the bench press as well as rehab my lower spine/SI joint issues.

I plan to get slightly ahead in my training schedule leading up to the end of this 4 week run so that I will have around a half week to deload before I begin my meet prep. I have yet to decide if I will be cutting back to 242lbs or staying in the 275lb weight class for my final meet with Purdue Barbell. I plan to make that decision at the conclusion of this program and let my body tell me what to do. Until then I am going to enjoy putting on some muscle size and being with family for the holidays. Until next time!

12/11/16 – Volume Legs – Week 1, Day 1

I’m a bodybuilder now!

Just kidding of course but I will be training like it for the next four weeks. After going to the doctor with my lower back issue and subsequently talking to Brandon about what I should do for training, we have decided that it is best that I run a hybrid hypertrophy based program that will allow my joints and muscles to recover fully before I hit meet prep. I will go into detail about what all this entails but first here is how training went down today…

  • Stretch and Warm-Up
  • Leg Curls
    • 120×15, 140×12, 170×10, 200×8, 130×20
  • Leg Press
    • 570×10, 620×10, 660×10, 710×10, 750×10, 800×10, 840×10, 890×10
  • Squat
    • 135×20, 165×20, 185×20, 225×20
  • Leg Extension – 3×12
  • Walking Lunges – 1 Set to Failure
  • Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlifts – 3×12

Holy Squats! I do not think that I have ever done twenty reps of squats in my entire life, that means its a PR right? I think it does. Today’s session completely wrecked me in a good way. I even had to make a trip to the restroom after the last set at 225 on squats to empty the contents of my stomach. I have not trained this intensely in a long time and was glad to share the pain of it with two of my teammates; Ethan Lenn and Dillon Lawrence. We all drug our half alive bodies out of the gym knowing we got better during this session.

As much as I dislike the idea of not moving max effort weight around before going to meet prep the idea of starting heavy work without any nagging issues is very enticing. After going to the doctor it looks as though I am messing up my SI joint for one reason or another. A few things I know about this issue is that it does not happen all the time and rarely happens under max effort weight. On the contrary, it usually occurs while I am still in warm up sets. The consensus right now seems to be that I have a muscular imbalance somewhere or a tight area that is pulling the joint out of whack. I am not a physiology major nor do I claim to know more than I do so I will continue to research this issue, increase my flexibility, and see if we can’t get this thing fixed. Until next time!

10/17/16 – Week 4, Day 1 – Post Meet Volume Training

I ended up having to make last week a half deload, half  post meet volume week due my restriction on equipment while I was on vacation. Coming off of that I am completing this one final week of volume training before jumping right into heavy offseason work. I am emphasizing my recovery protocol even during this time while training with light weight just to make sure I am completely healthy when I start hitting max effort weights again. Today’s session broke down like this…

  • Stretch and Warm-Up
  • Wide Stance Paused Squat
    • 165×20, 205×15, 225×15, 245×12
  • Romanian Deadlift
    • 225×15, 265×15, 275×12, 315×10
  • 1 Legged Leg Press
    • 270×15, 320×12, 360×12, 390×10
  • Lying Leg Curls – 4 Sets (20, 15, 15, 12)
  • Walking Barbell Lunges – 3×15
  • Glute-Ham Raises – 3 Sets
  • Stir the Pot – 3×20

I am definitely getting the itch to move back to heavy offseason work again but I realize that this stint of volume based training will pay off in the long run. It is kind of nice to not feel nearly as tight and sore all the time. My joints have also been recovering nicely with the lighter load on them for the past few weeks. When I jump back onto Brandon’s offseason programming this coming week I will be training with two partners now which should be a big help especially when we get up to the larger weights.

The semester is moving right along and with that comes the stress of being a college student. I have am wearing much fewer hats this year than in years past but it is still difficult at times. Training continues to be my #1 go to when things get tough which is probably one of the reasons it never seems to become an issue to get into the gym. The reality that I only have so many days left to train with my teammates is starting to set in. I plan to use that feeling everyday to make sure I get the most out of my training and friendships this final year here at Purdue. Gotta Make it Count.

Until next time!


4/12/16 – Week 6, Day 2 -Post Meet Volume Training – Chest/Shoulders

This has been one of those weeks that put training log posts on the back burner. As the end of the semester draws near, the amount of time I have to dedicate to school and responsibilities sky rockets. This is nothing I haven’t been through in every semester previously but it does require me to re-distribute where I use my time. Although my training has not really suffered from this (unless you count sleep) items that I usually enjoy spending time on such as my log updates have to take a backseat at least for the moment. None the less, I have found a little piece of time to get everything up to date and explain how my training has been going. But before I go off on a long winded update, today’s training went as follows…

  • Stretch and Warm-Up
  • Dumbbell Bench Press (Neutral Grip)
    • 80×10, 90×10, 100×10
  • Machine Press
    • 180×8, 200×8, 220×8
    • Drop Set
  • Incline Bench Press (5 Reps Wide, 5 Reps Normal, 5 Reps Narrow)
    • 95×15, 115×15, 115×15
  • Band Flys (Using Elitefts Pro Light Band) – 3×20
  • Band Pull Aparts (Using Elitefts Pro Mini Band) – 100 Reps
  • Arnold Press – 3×12
  • Lateral Delt Raises – 3×12
  • Ab Wheel Rollouts – 4×10

My chest movements felt very good today. On my trip to Elitefts a few weeks ago, I picked up a pair of elbow sleeves (Elitefts Heavy Elbow Sleeves) and have been wearing them when I do any heavy(ish) pressing movements. They seem to be taking a little ache out of my elbows and shoulders especially on incline movements by keeping everything compressed and warm. I am going to continue wearing these when I get back into max effort movements for the bench. Now that my volume work is all but over for a while, I am glad that I have taken the time to allow everything to heal and grow before getting under PR weight again.

Where I am and What is to come

We are now in the sixth and final week of this post meet program and with only two training days remaining. This weekend the Purdue Barbell Club has been given the opportunity to have a special seminar put on for us at the Elitefts S4 Compound. We will be learning directly from Dave Tate, Joe Schillero, Mario D’Amico, and other big names in the strength industry for the day. We will also be training while we are there to get expert coaching on the spot with our competition lifts.

Next week will be a deload week where my training will be fairly unplanned and will depend on how I feel. After lifting heavy this coming Saturday, I plan on staying out of the gym for at least the first couple days of the week. This is not because I want to but because I need to get my body ready for the upcoming offseason program. If you have been following my log for a while and know what my normal offseason powerlifting training looks like then you will notice that I am going to be following the same type of training program for the coming months with a few slight variations. It is going to be a great time especially with the upcoming summer months when I can really focus in on getting as string as possible.