OK, one last try to adhere to some kind of cycle plan. If a new year doesn't motivate a fresh start, I don't know what will. Will try the same plan I intended to implement at the end of 2016: a Push/Pull split with conditioning, perhaps with a twist like doing five three-rep sets instead of three five-rep sets. Push Squats Overhead Press Bench Press Assistance: Overhead Dumbbell Press, Bench Dumbbell Press, Box Jump, Sled Push, Medicine Ball, Stationary Cycling/Elliptical Machine. Pull Deadlift Pullup Row Assistance: Pulldowns, One-hand Dumbbell Row, Rope/Sled Pulls, Stationary Rowing. Monday: Push 5 x 3 Tuesday: Pull 5 x 3 Wednesday: Push 5 x 3 Thursday: Pull 5 x 3 Friday: Push 5 x 3 Saturday: Pull 5 x 3 Sunday: Bike Ride I'll also try to get better about commuting more with my bike again. ---------------Week 1: Cycle I--------------- Starting weight: 250lbs exactly. Sunday, 17.01.01 AM, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Push, priming Squat: 3 x 5 @ empty bar Overhead Press: 3 x 5 @ empty bar Bench Press: 3 x 5 @ empty bar Conditioning Battling Ropes: a few battles Medicine Ball: vertical, 8 x 15 lbs Prowler Push: one lap, empty Elliptical Machine: a minute or two Well, won the most important battle, got to the gym first thing around 7am. Everything without plates, just priming. Not sure if the Battling Ropes will become a mainstay, but I liked the other conditioning stuff. Battling Ropes didn't feel very good on my shoulders, kind of like an upright row. (Edit: looked them up on T-Nation, and Scott Abel confirms my suspicion and recommends against them: https://www.t-nation.com/training/3-shoulder-killers-to-avoid.) The main goal is to ease into things slowly and avoid hurting myself. I would like to use the Iron Ratio once again and base it on Squat progress, but it may take my knees longer to re-adapt than the rest of me. We'll see. If I take 25 lbs as my initial base unit (BU), then I get the following initial values for my six primary lifts: OHP (BU x 2) = 50 lbs P RW (BU x 2.5) = 63 lbs PU (BU x 2.7) = 68 lbs BP (BU x 3) = 75 lbs SQ (BU x 4) = 100 lbs DL (BU x 4.6) = 115 lbs I'll add 2.5 or 5 pounds to each Push/Pull pair until I reach decent resistance in a given lift, ideally the squat, then slow down the rate of increase across all lifts in order to maintain the Iron Ratio. That is, the Iron Ratio will be based on my weakest lift, and not the base unit per se; the weakest lift will dictate the base unit's value. Tomorrow I think I'll do the Push lifts again with the above values. Next Sunday I'll try to get in my first bike ride. So a weekly routine will look something like this: Day 1, Bike Ride Days 2 & 3, Push/Pull, BU + 2.5lbs Days 4 & 5, Push/Pull, BU + 2.5lbs Days 6 & 7, Push/Pull, BU + 2.5lbs Monday, 17.01.02 Tuesday, 17.01.03 Wednesday, 17.01.04 AM, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Push, BU = 25 lbs Squat: 3 x 5 @ 100 lbs Overhead Press: 3 x 5 @ 50 lbs Bench Press: 1 x 15 @ 75 lbs Conditioning Prowler Push: one lap, 45 lbs Woke up at 4:30am, tried to convince myself to stay under the warm covers (-2F/-30 WC outside), but knew I had to get up and get to the gym. I had slept well and my well-rested flesh felt primed to defy gravity again. I had skipped Monday and Tuesday's workouts for bullshit reasons, but it probably wasn't a bad idea to let my body adjust to the idea of working out again after Sunday's lite lifting. Gym already had a couple of young, lean guys doing curls and triceps kickbacks near my rack. Everything was super easy, but I'll keep things very light for another week or so, just to be safe. Thursday, 17.01.05 AM, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Pull, BU = 25 lbs Deadlift: 3 x 3 @ 135 Row: 3 x 3 @ 135 Pullup: 3 x 3 @ -70 lbs assist My Deadlift was supposed to be 115, based on a 25 base unit (BU), but just seemed silly to do it with smaller plates. So I put on two 45s. Then for Rows too, seemed silly to reduce, so I did 135 again. That felt about right, in terms of resistance for my current out-of-shapeness. Still, I think I'm committed to keeping everything lite until I trust my knees enough to start pushing the squats, but perhaps letting the lifts get a little bit ahead, with respect to the Iron Ratio--just enough to feel some decent resistance--isn't such a bad idea. We'll see. I was going to do some rope pulls with the prowler, but the gym doesn't have a rope for that, so might have to buy one and lug it to the gym. It would be nice to get in some prowler work each and every workout I think. I wish I would've thought of this sooner. Some of the online fitness stores, like Rogue and Yukon, have great holiday sales. Would like to start running some hills, but I think I'll wait till this cold snap ends (-2 F, -20 WC right now). It's supposed to be in the 20s again next week. Hopefully by the middle of this cycle or so, I'll have the full ST and Conditioning 'program' up and running. Friday, 17.01.06 Saturday, 17.01.07 ---------------Week 2: Cycle I--------------- Sunday, 17.01.08 AM, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Push, BU = 35 lbs Squat (SQ): 3 x 3 @ 140 lbs Overhead Press (OP): 3 x 3 @ 70 lbs Made a bit of a jump, to BU = 35. Squats felt fine, but I felt a little niggle in the front of my right shoulder, at the bottom of the OP. With care, I was able to complete my OP sets, but I skipped the BP just to be safe. Probably just one of those getting-back-into-shape niggles, so hopefully gone soon. Then I'll be able to say I'm over the 'priming' stage, and can focus on progressive overload, albeit still at a very gradual pace until my Squat 3RM is up over 200 somewhere. Then I'll enter a phase of true micro-loading. Next time I'll probably try 150 or 160. Finding myself gravitating to a simple 3 x 3 protocol. Probably the best way to deal with the mental burden of lifting everyday (ideally). Now need to start integrating the conditioning portion a bit more systematically. Edit: OK, finally got around to writing up a new spread sheet for 2017, based on the simple Push/Pull split and 3RM sets. While setting things up it occurred to me that it would still be nice to know what my projected 1RM is, so I'm making the Base Unit (BU) correspond to the 1RM, then 3RM is 90%. So today the BU is 39, the 3RM BU is 35. Doesn't really matter now, but in a few weeks when resistance increases it might be nice to keep track of my projected 1RM. It will also make it easier to calculate other RMs if decide to diverge from the three-rep sets. Monday, 17.01.09 AM, Garage Gym Lifting -- Pull, 1RM BU = 39 lbs Deadlift: 3 x 3 @ 160 Row: 3 x 3 @ 125 Slept in till 7am (late night watching the Packers/Giants game on TiVo), then had a little time before taking the kids to school, so I did my Deadlifts and Rows in the garage gym. It felt satisfying to use my old equipment and set-up. My son was busy having fun with the pulldown cable so I skipped pulldowns. My assisted pullups are way ahead of everything anyway so doesn't really matter. Nonetheless, the loads are starting to offer some resistance. Should be properly primed after this week if the injury-free progress continues. Just have to monitor the right shoulder niggle, but I think it will work out to work it out working out. Feeling good overall and happy it hasn't taken much time or effort to get back into a workout rhythm. The KISS "Triple" (3 lifts x 3 sets x 3 reps) routine helps keep everything in bite-sized chunks. Conditioning remains optional but I will get to it once I'm sure the lifting has reached a base level of sorts. Tuesday, 17.01.10 AM, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Push, BU = 51 lbs SQ: 2 x 3 @ 185 lbs OP: 3 x 3 @ 95 lbs BP: 2 x 10 @ 95 lbs Prowler Push: 2 laps, 90 lbs Decided to see what two 45s and two 25s felt like for the squat. Felt good -- perfect resistance for my current strength levels. So I think I'll start microloading from here, from this base. I only did two squat sets because I felt a slight strain in my lower back. Should be gone by next time. Whew, this feels good! I thought it would take a week or two more to get to this load. I think I'll try to increase the Base Unit by one pound for every Push/Pull cycle for while now, and see how that goes. When that gets to be too much, I'll increase by a half pound, then a quarter pound. My right shoulder still felt a little funny on the Overhead Press, but possibly a little better than on Sunday. I did some trigger point therapy in between sets, and this seemed to help. For the Bench, I kept it a bit lighter than prescribed, to make sure I don't antagonize the right shoulder, but the 10-rep sets felt good. Then I did two laps on the prowler with two 45s. Wow, I was really winded after each lap. My cardiovascular conditioning is crap. No where to go but up. I'll have to try to figure out where the prowler fits in with the Iron Ratio, but it seems like basing it on my Squat or Deadlift load might be the way to go.Thoughts? Anyway, it's definitely getting easier to get out of bed and head straight to the gym. Still not sure what it's going to be like lifting really heavy loads first thing. I guess I'll find out by the end of this cycle. Also curious about how long it will take to get back to where I was at the end of 2015. I could see it taking six months, or six weeks. Hard to tell. I think it's true that it's easier to recover strength than endurance. After just 10 days, I'm already over half of my previous 1RM for the Squat, close to 2/3s. Wednesday, 17.01.11 Thursday, 17.01.12 Friday, 17.01.13 PM, Garage Gym Lifting -- Pull, 1RM BU = 51 lbs Deadlift: 3 x 3 @ 210 Row: 3 x 3 @ 125 Wednesday I shoveled a lot of snow, then thought one more day off for my niggly right shoulder couldn't hurt. During Friday's short workout it felt fine. We'll see next time I press/push. 210 for the deadlift felt easy but it was still the first time the resistance felt decent. So yeah, I'm done with the priming stage for sure, now on to progressive microloading . . . Deadlifting in a cold garage brought back memories of hurting my hip two years ago, so definitely moving cautiously. Still, Abide's 180-kg Deadlift is inspiring, and I'm feeling very motivated to lift these days, so anxious to see how long it will take to get back to where I was a year ago. Saturday, 17.01.14 ---------------Week 3: Cycle I--------------- Sunday, 17.01.15 Monday, 17.01.16 mid-AM, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Push, BU = 53 lbs SQ: 3 x 3 @ 190 lbs OP: 3 x 3 @ 95 lbs BP: 3/5 @ 135 lbs Sled Push: 2 laps, 90 lbs Woke up a little late, at 7am. Didn't want to deal with the pre-9-to-5 crowd, so hit the gym at 10am. Just a half dozen souls at that time. No more niggle in my right shoulder, so perhaps taking some time off the week prior did some good. Everything felt solid, but kept the BP a little easy just to make sure the right shoulder was OK. I strayed a bit from the Iron Ratio. Might be a little early for true microloading, but writing everything out is a useful guide as I build back up. I guess I'll round everything to five-pound increments this week at least. More fine-grained loading seems kind of arbitrary, since everything is lighter than my actual strength levels, although the squats don't feel off by a whole lot now. Still trying to figure out the best way to program the sled push. Abide, any thoughts? Tuesday, 17.01.17 AM, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Pull, 1RM BU = 53 lbs Deadlift: 3/3/2 @ 220 Row: 3 x 3 @ 135 PU: 3/2 @ -55 assist (195lbs) Wow, Monday's workout soreness had me highly motivated as soon as I opened my eyes around 6am, after a late night playing music (noise to most people). Freezing rain and snow made the commute a little fun. 220 pounds felt like pretty good resistance on the deadlift, so maybe it is time to shift to true microloading after all. Another few workouts and I'll know for sure. Stopped one rep short on the third set. Felt just a hint of strain. Same thing on the pullups -- I felt a little niggle in my left shoulder so I shut it down immediately. I haven't really gotten back to pullups yet so there's plenty of time for that to get up to speed. Wednesday, 17.01.18 Thursday, 17.01.19 Friday, 17.01.20 Mid-Am, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Push, BU = 54 lbs SQ: 3 x 3 @ 195 lbs OP: 3/3/4 @ 95 lbs BP: 3 x 3 @ 145 lbs Sled Push: 2 laps, 200 lbs (three plates = 135 lbs + sled weight 65 lbs?) Not sure why I didn't work out on Wednesday. Thursday I had only slept three hours but I felt like a good pump. Today, really felt primed for a workout and everything felt light. The Press was flying up and I almost went for 10 reps on the last set but I stopped myself after four. Best to stick with the program and let the Squat load be the guide. But the Squat load itself felt like it could easily be 20-30 pounds heavier, so I think Abide is right -- the strength will return quickly. Still loving the simplicity of the KISS Triple. It only takes 20-30 minutes to work out, but that will increase once the loads get up there and I mix in more conditioning, perhaps starting next week. I was really huffing after the sled pushes though. Saturday, 17.01.21 Spent all afternoon housecleaning, so no motivation for workout afterwards. Shoulda gone for it anyways. I think I'm primed enough now that I can lift everyday. ---------------Week 4: Cycle I--------------- Sunday, 17.01.22 Driving to birthday parties and then massive shopping at REI, IKEA, and the Mall of America, with tons of kiddie-ride line-waiting at the latter as well. When I got home, all I wanted was beer and sashimi while watching NFL blowouts. My knees also felt a little sore from being on my feet so much at a slow, shuffling pace. Repetitive stress of any kind seems to aggravate the degenerative menisci the most. They seem to tolerate squatting and deadlifting heavy even short sprints reasonably well. Monday, 17.01.23 Late afternoon, Garage Gym Lifting -- Push, BU = 60 lbs SQ: 2/3/2 @ 215 lbs TK OP: 3 x 3 @ 110 lbs Decided to skip the Pull workout and do another Push, since the Squat is the lift holding everything else back. Wasn't really in the mood, so wussied out of the last rep on two sets. With my 35-pound shorty bar, 215 lbs = two plates on either end, so I decided it was time to start using the belt again. It was tight without even clamping it! Hopefully by the time the loads get intense, I'll have that little issue solved and won't need to loosen the screws and readjust the length. Still haven't put on the knee sleeves. Felt funny to be kneeling again for the Overhead Press, but it went up easy enough. It won't feel satisfying until I'm back up to 135 I think. Skipped the Bench Press as my wife got home. The main thing is to keep working on the Squat. I thought I'd be finished priming by now and ready to microload, but I still seem to be able to go up in 10-to-20-pound chunks. Will try a 225-pound squat next time. Everything feels good and solid, although my feet were a little sore from the sled push on Friday, which I do as sprinted laps. My arch and lower leg muscles appear to have atrophied without the running. Currently I'm at 76% of past strength levels (Squat 1RM = 315 lbs). So 3/4s of the way there. Would be cool to get to 90% by the end of this cycle. That would be 3 x 3 x 255 lbs for the squat. Starting to Jones for some fresh PRs come summer . . . eventually want to see a 225-pound Overhead Press. Tuesday, 17.01.24 PM, Garage Gym Lifting -- Pull, 1RM BU = 60 lbs Deadlift: 3 x 2 @ 250 Row: 3 x 3 @ 125 Deadlift felt fine but it was a 30-pound jump from the last time I did them, so I left off the third rep of each set just to be safe. Next time I'll only be adding five pounds so I'll do the full three-rep sets then. The coarse priming (with increases in 10-to-30-pound increments) is just about done, now for the more gradual priming (five-pound increments) until I'm back to 80-90% of my past strength levels, then microloading. Overall, I'm pretty happy that I've been able to avoid any significant injury or niggle issues almost a month into my rehabilitation. So no need to get greedy now. By the end of this cycle the priming will be done and I'll be doing decent resistances if this keeps up. Rows felt way too light. I think I may have to start integrating One-hand Dumbell Rows to get in enough back work. Didn't do pulldowns. Didn't want to add all the plates back on. My son enjoys playing with the cable using small plates. But I can't keep ignoring them forever if I keep using my garage gym for 1-3 workouts per week. Wednesday, 17.01.25 Mid afternoon, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Push, BU = 62 lbs SQ: 3 x 3 @ 225 lbs OP: 3 x 3 @ 115 lbs BP: 3 x 3 @ 165 lbs Sled Push: 3 laps @ 200 lbs I think I've finally found the proper Squat resistance to begin microloading. 3 x 225 felt Goldilocks right. But since my other lifts feel relatively easy, perhaps I'll add sets to the Squat until it catches up to the others, as I've done in the past. Also, it's looking like I might finally achieve an ED routine this week as well. So a coupla good mid-cycle milestones. The gym was staffed with the same women who was giving burpee/kettlebell lessons last week. No complaints about the bare feet then nor today, when she was out on the mat giving some poor skinny sap lessons on how to do the make a cross with very small dumbbells. So after a year of wondering what their shoe policy was, and being a little hesitant to come in during staffed hours lest they tell me never to come in bare, I feel a little relieved. Of course, other staff members might have a less organic view. Thursday, 17.01.26 Put off the workout till afternoon, then stuff came up. Another reminder that first-thing-in-the-morning training is still the way to go, despite my recent luck in getting in some workouts during the day. Friday, 17.01.27 AM, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Pull, 1RM BU = 62 lbs DL: 3 x 3 @ 255 Rw: 3 x 3 @ 140 PU: 3 @ -70/-40/-55/-55 assist (195lbs) 1DB Rw: 3 x 90 L & R Deadlift still feels pretty easy, enough that I have to concentrate on good form. Rows were also pretty light. I warmed up on -70 lbs assist on the pullup machine, then when for -40, which felt a little too hard for three sets, so I backed off to -55 for my last two sets. According to my old Iron Ratio calculations, given my current Base Unite of 62 lbs, my One-hand Dumbbell Row should be 90 lbs, so I checked it out with one set. Yep, that's doable. I'll do three sets next time. I'd like to maintain a 2:1 ratio of back-to-front or pull-to-push work, which I can do with the extra dumbbell rows: DL + BB Rw + PU + 1DB Rw = four back/pull lifts; BP + OP = two front/push lifts. This works if I exclude squats from front work, even though they're classed as a push lift. It also kind of gives me the green light to do more squat sets if I want to, without screwing with the volume symmetry of the Push-Pull alternation: SQ: 6 x 3 OP: 3 x 3 BP: 3 x 3 Sled Push: 3 x 3 45 reps DL: 3 x 3 Rw: 3 x 3 PU: 3 x 3 DB Rw: 3 x 3 Sled Pull: 3 x 3 45 reps OK, now I have to actually do six squat sets, but emphasizing squats in order to achieve a faster rate of Base Unit increase has worked for me in the past, so I think it's worth trying again. For me anyway, squats really are the king of lifts, and seem to provide a foundation for the other lifts' progress. In any case, currently they're still my weakest lift, so for the short time at least it seems like a good idea to get in some extra sets on them. Saturday, 17.01.28 Mid-morning, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Push, BU = 64 lbs SQ: 3 x 3 @ 230 lbs OP: 3 x 3 @ 115 lbs BP: 3 x 3 @ 175 lbs Sled Push: 2 laps @ 200 lbs Decided to make one last five-pound jump on the squat before beginning microloading next week. I loosened my belt one notch and that felt about right. So I guess I didn't gain that much belly during the year I took off. My abs were still sore from the deadlift the day before and I could really feel them against the belt while squatting. OP felt solid, and the BP is starting to feel challenging. Only did two laps on the sled push because my whole body is starting to feel a bit sorer now that my loads are a little over 75% of where they were at the end of 2015. Then it was time to 'coach' 6U basketball and wallow in the semi-controlled chaos. ---------------Week 5: Cycle I--------------- I will try to start microloading this week, raising the Base Unit for each Push-Pull pair one half pound. So if I get in six workouts, the BU will go up 1.5 lbs a week, or about six pounds a week for my squat. If I can maintain this rate of increase, then I'll be back to my old strength levels by early April, and by mid-May I'll be ready for a 400-pound deadlift. So Abide has about three and half months to raise his DL by 2 kgs. Sunday, 17.01.29 Knees felt a little gimpy, and I spent most of the day with the kids and some of their friends. Still, I could've gotten in something if I really wanted to. Monday, 17.01.30 Wow, spent all afternoon at my dad's eye doctor. He can barely walk or stand now. Wheelchair time. Tuesday, 17.01.31 Lesson already learned: I put off working out until I got home late afternoon, then got caught up in other stuff. I should've gone out of my way to make it to the public gym before coming home. It's not that far out of the way. Wednesday, 17.02.01 Mid-afternoon, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Push, BU = 65 lbs SQ: 3 x 3 @ 235 lbs OP: 3 x 3 @ 120 lbs BP: 3 x 3 @ 185 lbs I decided to skip Monday and Tuesday's Base Unit--64.5--and go straight to Wednesday's BU of 65. Then I rounded up because I just can't be bothered to deal with bringing small plates to the gym (yet). Everything felt solid. One of the staff came up to me and told me I had to at least wear socks. Dang, oh well, it was fun while it lasted. I think I'll still go barefoot when they're unstaffed, then use my Sockwas during staffed hours. Skipped my sled pushes as I was feeling a bit hypoglycemic after lifting. Thursday, 17.02.02 mid-AM, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Pull, 1RM BU = 65 lbs DL: 3 x 3 @ 275 Rw: 3 x 3 @ 145 PU: 3 x 3 @ -55 assist (195lbs) 1DB Rw: 3 x 3 @ 90 L & R Used my belt for Deadlifts for the first time since 2015. Everything felt a little too easy. So I dunno, I guess I'm still priming to some extent, not quite ready for true microloading . . . One of the staff, a guy I'd seen training clients several times, was in a little early (staffed hours are from 12-7pm Mon-Th, 12-3pm Fri-Sat), getting in his workout. I forgot to look for my Sockwas, so I was still lifting barefooted. He didn't seem to mind, and he hadn't mentioned it before. So I asked him about chalk. Predictably, he said they don't allow it--too messy. Still no mention about the bare feet though, even though we were talking about gym rules, so I'll assume yesterday it was just the other staffer, a guy I hadn't seen before, assuming the shoe police role on his own, and not company policy as he told me. More motivation to come in early. Friday, 17.02.03 Saturday, 17.02.04 ---------------Week 6: Cycle I--------------- Sunday, 17.02.05 Monday, 17.02.06 Tuesday, 17.02.07 Wednesday, 17.02.08 Thursday, 17.02.09 A mild cold took hold on the prior Friday. The head cold was basically over in a few days, but then it made an attempt to colonize my lungs, so I made sure to rest during the beginning of the week. By Thursday I had normal energy levels, but decided to make one last attempt at establishing a first-thing-in-the-morning routine, which of course meant not working out. Friday, 17.02.10 Work obsession got in the way of a late afternoon workout. Saturday, 17.02.11 Early Am, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Push, priming SQ: 2 x 3 @ 185 lbs OP: 3 x 3 @ 95 lbs OK, one last attempt at the early morning routine. As I awoke at 4:30am, I decided not to worry about load, just get something in. That helped get me going. I have to admit, I like the gym when there's only one or two other souls there. I just primed the squat and overhead press, didn't feel like much of a workout, but it was a moral victory as they say in sports. Hey, the 10-minute workout is real! NOT. Tomorrow I'll do my pull workout lite as well, and then just see how it goes on Monday. I'm willing to spend a week or two at lower loads just to see if I can establish the early morning routine once and for all. That's the priority now. I've already seen that the loads will come back fairly quickly with some modicum of consistency. Above freezing temps now, no more excuses to put off establishing the bike commuting again as well. Maybe tomorrow . . . ---------------Week 7: Cycle I--------------- Sunday, 17.02.12 6am, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Pull, priming DL: 2 x 3 @ 225 Rw: 3 x 3 @ 135 PU: 2/3/3 @ -55/-70/-70 assist Wife woke me up to move the cars. She's moving from the second shift to the first at work. That was my cue to get up and get to the gym. More priming. I think the Deadlift is the hardest lift to do cold, first thing in the morning. Just did 225 to prime it. Pullups felt heavy at -55 assist, so I dropped another 15 pounds. Total time: 15 minutes. I'll try to start adding the conditioning back in next workout. Monday, 17.02.13 Got to the gym first thing but forgot my FOB to get in. Drove back home, but by the time I was heading back, I felt hungry, so went to the office instead. Then stuff came up later in the day of course. Tuesday, 17.02.14 Insomnia the night before, then afternoon Valentine's Day. Wednesday, 17.02.15 Woke up hungover after watching the second half of the Super Bowl again. Just dehydrated, didn't really drink very much. Dumb. Thursday, 17.02.16 Mid Am, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Push, BU = 66.5 lbs SQ: 3 x 2 @ 240 lbs OP: 3 x 3 @ 120 lbs BP: 3 x 3 @ 185 lbs Felt like lifting first-thing, but wanted to try a 3 x 3 x 240 squat, so I talked myself into fueling first. Everything felt pretty solid, but I held the squat to two reps just to make sure everything was in order after two weeks of sloth and lighter loads. I'll get it next time and then start microloading. Gotta get that going before the cycle is up. Enough priming already! Loving the 20-to-30-minute workouts. Friday, 17.02.17 Mid-Am, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Pull, BU = 66.5 lbs DL: 3 x 3 @ 275 Rw: 3 x 3 @ 150 PU: 3 x 3 @ -40 assist The barefoot policemen staffer was there before staffed hours. Apparently there was a smelly vent or something, and the owner showed up just as I got there too, to help problem-solve the smell. The staffer busted me as I walked by. I asked if I could appeal to the owner. The owner introduced herself as the owner and confirmed that it's franchise policy to prohibit bare feet. I asked if I could work out one more time without socks, and they refused. So I went back to my office and got some sheer loafer socks I had ordered on Amazon just for this purpose and printed out Society for Barefoot Living's pamphlet on the "Ten Myths about Bare feet." But by the time I got back the staffer and owner had left. Oh well, at least they let me get by with socks. If they had insisted on shoes, I might've had to claim my degenerative knees as a disability which requires bare feet, which is true. My knees do a lot better without shoes. But then I'd have to find a podiatrist willing to sign a document to that effect. No easy task. So socks seems like a fair compromise. I suppose I could also claim they're discriminating against me for religious reasons. I'm not very religious, but I do feel more spiritual and connected when barefooted. It would probably be a lot easier to drum up a neo-pagan healer of some kind than a barefoot-friendly podiatrist. Anyway, everything felt solid, maybe a little too easy, but I feel pretty confident now that I've found a good base to build off of and start microloading. Used my Spud nylon belt for the deadlifts for the first time since starting to get back into shape at the beginning of this year. Saturday, 17.02.18 ---------------Week 8: Cycle I--------------- Sunday, 17.02.19 Mid Am, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Push, BU = 66.5 lbs SQ: 3/3/2 @ 245/245/240 lbs OP: 3 x 3 @ 120 lbs BP: 3 x 3 @ 185 lbs Got greedy, tried 245 for the squat. It was a little bit too much, so on the third set I reduced but still quit after two reps. OK, good to confirm that 240 really is the starting point for microloading. Later in the day I began to feel sick again though, as my sinuses filled up, so maybe that had something to do with it. The presses felt easy. Wore my loafer socks. It's a livable compromise. A little hot, but no proprioception interference. Anyway, definitely back in da game by the end of the cycle. Monday, 17.02.20 WTF? The head cold returns . . . Tuesday, 17.02.21 Head cold stablizes, but another rest day can't hurt. Wednesday, 17.02.22 Thursday, 17.02.23 Went in mid morning after dropping off my dad for an eye appointment nearby. The place was kinda full and I was super tired, so I just got a drink of water and left. At least I marked my presence, which will help me get in my 12 times for February, which will result in a $20 rebate from my health insurance company. Good for a nice bottle of wine or maybe some boutique beer. Friday, 17.02.24 Early Am, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Push, priming SQ: 3 x 3 @ 135 lbs OP: 3 x 3 @ 95 lbs BP: 3 x 3 @ 135 lbs BW: 250 lbs Woke up at 4:30am, having resolved the day before to make a more concerted effort to work out first thing in the morning in Cycle II. With that in mind, I headed straight to the gym with the idea of just getting something in and not worrying about loads. I felt good about having regained 85% of my gains from 2015, so I can coast a bit for a few weeks if that's what it takes to fortify myself mentally for lifting iron right after I've regained consciousness each day. I have faith the loads will come once my metabolism adapts to physical exertion so soon after slumbering. The main thing is just to make that adaption. Saturday, 17.02.25 Mid-Am, Anytime Fitness Lifting -- Pull, BU = 66.5 lbs DL: 3 x 3 @ 275 Rw: 3 x 3 @ 150 PU: 3 x 3 @ -40 assist Everything felt solid. So that's a wrap. Cycle I was a success--I got back up to around 85% of my 2015 loads without hurting myself.