Training Recap Week 5 & Ramblings

Well, Monday was a bit frustrating. I haven't done heavy deadlifts(with the exception of rack pulls) in 4 weeks, and in this workout I was supposed to work up to a heavy single. I got up to 225 pulling sumo and couldn't get it. After pouting for a few minutes, I decided to go up and pull conventional and got 235. It felt heavier than it should, BUT I wasn't able to pull that a month ago.

I'm not going to get discouraged, but it is frustrating! It makes me go back to thinking maybe I'm just the strongest I'll ever be. I've been at the same weight for so long, but I'm not gonna give up!
I  at least know what I do wrong on sumo, so maybe I can work on fixing that or I'll just pull conventional for the meet. I also think I may have done too many warm up sets-should've made bigger jumps in weight. The rest of the workout was great though. Hip thrusts feel really good and hanging leg raises were even slightly easier this week!

1)Deadlift(work up to a heavy single):
135-155-185-205-215-225(failed and switched to conventional)-235
2)RDL: 155x8/175x2x8
3)BB hip thrust: 155x10/185x10/195x10/195x10
4)Back extensions: 25x3x12
5a)Hanging knee raises: 4x15
5b)Lateral band walks: 3x15/side

Bench day went well. I think it may be my favorite day-I'm such a meathead! haha. My back was still sore from deadlifts, but it didn't interfere with anything. This week was bench for 5 sets of 3, which felt pretty good, followed by floor presses, which I really like for some reason, even though they're hard! Then a few back exercises and a battle rope and farmer's walk finisher. Haven't done battle ropes in SOO long!!

1)Bench press: 125x5x3
2)Floor press: 105x2x5
3)Bentover row: 95x10/115x2x10
4)Pullup:(wide grip) 2x8
5)Ring suspended row: 3x15
Battle ropes(20 seconds) and farmer's walks & plate carries x 4 rounds

I did my squat day this week with my trainer, just to check in and make sure everything looked good. We pretty much did the same workout we've been doing. Box squats, wide stance box squats and front squats. My squats are feeling really good lately, although we're still using a box for them right now. He said my form is looking really good, just gotta keep working on the knees that are wanting to come in some on my heavy sets.

1)Box squat: 145x3/165x3/185x3/3/3/195x3
2)Wide stance box squat: 145x4/150x2x5
3)Front squat: 105x8/115x8
4)GHR: 20x3x6
5a)Ab wheel: 3x10(negatives)
5b)Seated abductions: 3x15 w/20 sec. pause last rep each set

This workout usually goes by pretty quick so I do a little longer conditioning workout. Today I did something a little different with adding in some exercises between sets of sled drags. I did reverse sled drags one way down the turf, which takes me about 10-12 seconds, then I did 3 sets of kb swings between sets. Then L-sit holds for 3 sets and bear crawls for 3 sets, for a total of 12 reverse sled drags. It was fun! Except I forgot how killer bear crawls are!

Fat bar pullups: 3x6 (warmup)
1)Speed press:(50%) 75x5x3
2a)Incline press: 85x3x8
2b)BB glute bridge:155x3x15
3a)Lateral raises: 15x3x10
3b)Band pull-aparts: 3x15
3c)Tricep pushdown: 3x15
Reverse sled drags
KB swings x12
Reverse sled drags
Lsit hold(12 seconds)
Reverse sled drags
Bear crawls(20 seconds)
+ 2 more reverse sled drags

Just some thoughts inspired by a conversation I had the other day.... I think that giving up my bodybuilding routines a few years ago to try CrossFit was the best thing I've ever done. I would've never known how much I love lifting heavy and being strong if I had continued doing workouts that just focused on "feeling the burn" and frying every muscle group. There is nothing wrong with that if it's what you love, but loading up a bar with a heavy weight for 3-5 reps is just a completely different thing. Using a weight that is so heavy it scares you and then realizing that you actually CAN lift it is empowering! It makes you feel strong and confident, like you can take on the world! Setting strength goals and working on your weaknesses to improve a lift and not giving up when it gets hard, builds mental strength and toughness that doing a million reps on a smith machine just can't do.

I love that with the way I'm training now, there is a purpose in everything. It's not just going through the motions, it's not about  how many calories I can burn, or getting a pump, or feeling the burn-no, it's all about doing exercises that serve one purpose-to strengthen my bench, squat, or deadlift. Every rep, every exercise has a purpose.

With that being said, even though I'm training for a powerlifting meet right now, it doesn't mean that I don't still consider myself a "bodybuilder". My main goal right now is strength, but gaining muscle is always going to be a side effect of getting strong. I don't think you have to choose one or the other! I'm still building up my body, I'm just going about it in a different way than a typical bodybuilder. You don't have to do 15 reps of a million different exercises in one workout to build muscle. In fact, I've gotten better results training each muscle group more frequently with heavier weight and lower reps.

I hate it that people feel that they "have" to train a certain way-branch out, try something different! That's what I did with CrossFit, and I learned SO much and wouldn't be where I am today without it! I hate the stereotypes and misconceptions that are out there, like that bodybuilders should only do high reps and can't be strong, or powerlifters are always fat and out of shape and can't utilize bodybuilding concepts. I never want to confine myself to a box by putting limits on what I can or should do! Borrowing concepts from different training styles will only make you a better, stronger athlete no matter what your goals are.


  1. Sounds like progress! On your lifting pics, your muscles are showing a lot more than they did even six months ago...not sure if you were aware of that, but you do look stronger, just from the photos.

    Also, do you fit in any plyometrics? One of the women in the gym I go to started power lifting a year ago and was irritated because she thought she had tapped out her strength. She began adding in plyo intervals (at full speed/force) with her large, compound lifts. Strength is up 25% over the past year. Don't know, but something to consider IF you already haven't.

    Love the updates! Keep up the awesome work! :-) Jen

    1. Thanks so much! I normally do program in some type of jump in my workouts, but I haven't since working with a trainer. However, I do know he has box jumps scheduled in this coming month. Maybe that will help! Thanks!


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