Strength Training for Singles 2014: Eight-Week Workout Cycle I

Discussion in 'Training Information/Training Regimens' started by Bare Lee, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Sid

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  2. Bare Lee

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    OK, I tried the EMOM at 335. I only made it to four reps before I was unable to mentally reload. I would have to either do them at a lower weight, or with longer pauses.

    Anyway, it was good in that the relentless pace seems to have made me screw up the loading on the triples, and I did them ten pounds more than I intended to.

    So this week I've found out I can do the three big lifts heavier than I had been doing them. Now I'm really pushing up against my limits. There's going to be days, like yesterday, where I'm not much good for anything else. So I'm going to reduce the essential lifts from four to three. Everything else is optional. Some days maybe I'll skip the heavy singles so that I can get in more of the other stuff. Other days when I'm feeling really good, I'll try to get in as much as possible. But I think it'll be good to program it so that I always get in the six main lifts three times every two weeks. I'm making good progress this way. So with that in mind, I've reduced everything to two main workouts, three main lifts each, 15 sets total, with everything else pretty much being optional, depending on energy and motivation:

    ST 2 14.09.27.jpg

    These are listed more or less in order of importance, but, after the main lifts, not necessarily in order of performance. I'll feel free to pick and choose.

    Frick, lifting heavy and running more frequently now, I'm pretty much hungry all the time. Gotta find some new veggies to fill up on. I'm getting sick of broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower.
     
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  3. Bare Lee

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    ---------------Week 8---------------
    14.09.28-10.04

    Monday
    AM: One-mile run-commute. Running first thing in the morning is getting easier. I had to carry a bunch of stuff, however, so I didn't run more than I had to.

    PM: One-mile run-commute
    ST:
    Squat: 5 x 2-3 x 185, 2 x 3 x 225

    I just messed around with the low bar squat--bar position, grip, and stance. I think I just about have it down now. Shoulder mobility keeps me from squishing in just a little bit more, but I think I need to come in another inch or two to get a super stable platform for the bar. I also widened my stance a bit and flared out the feet a little, and this helped a lot in achieving proper depth. The actual descent and ascent feels very smooth and unified. The only real problem is the damn knurling in the middle of the bar. I'll get some pipe insulation at Menard's to cover it. The squat pad is too thick. I don't want a callused back.

    Tuesday morning my shoulders are actually a little sorer than my quads. I think the low-bar squat is going to be good for shoulder health as well. It will force me to become more flexible.

    Tuesday
    PM:
    Bench Press: 2 x 3 x 185, 5 x 1 x 225

    Messed around with my set-up some more, trying to substitute carriage bolts for the Smith-machine-like j-clips that came with the rack, or else I could buy dedicated clips.
    [​IMG]
    • [​IMG]
    I figure I only need two spots, one for my Squat/Standing OH Press height, and one for my Bench Press/Seated OH Press height. Then below I have two safety clip heights, one for the bench press and one for the squat about four inches higher. If I get rid of the Smith Machine clips, then I can use the remaining holes to hang the smaller plates on either side of the bar, which would be more convenient and would free up some floor space. The dedicated clips need one-inch holes, so I'd have to widen the half-inch holes in two places.

    Then I looked into getting a 6' Olympic bar with no center knurling, to help with the squats, and a smaller diameter, which should help with the deadlifts. Unfortunately, the only bar that has all those specs has a load capacity of just 350lbs, which means I would outgrow it in a few months, for my DL singles at least. Abide, do you have any idea how much past the listed static load capacity one can go without risking bending the bar permanently?

    After messing around with all this stuff, I didn't have much time or motivation for the bench press and pulldowns I missed on Monday, so I just did a bunch of bench press singles after warming up on some triples. My left shoulder feels pretty good these days, after all the massaging, but there's still a little something along the humerus bone that hurts initially until I've warmed up.

    I also experimented a bit more with my squats. I heard the bearded guy say that a good cue is to pull down on the bar or try to pull it apart, for extra stability. I remember pulling down on the bar something fierce while ascending on my 275 PR, so I tried it with just 95 loaded. Yep, that works, the bar felt super stable. I need to have that confidence with the low bar squat before I can start pushing the singles again. Everything feels pretty good now, but my upper back sure is sore--both the skin and the muscles. I'm going to cut open a foam bicycle grip handle and put it over the center knurling. Funny thing is, I was reading that the center knurling is for power lifting squats, for extra grip on the backs. So I guess powerlifters have callused backs.

    After the paltry ST session, I ran a mile to pick up my daughter, taking the long way there, and then did a loaded carry with her on my shoulders walking the half-mile back home.

    Wednesday
    AM 1.5 miles. Felt really good to run in the cool fall air first thing in the morning. Left knee felt fine.

    PM: one-mile run-commute. Right knee felt a little funny towards the end, but in a completely different way than the left knee issue. Felt like more of a muscle/tendon thing than a joint/ligament thing.
    ST: Deadlift: 2 x 1 x 345, 2 x 3 x 315, 2 x 5 x 275

    Man, the bar felt heavy, then on the last set my right knee felt something again, almost like the upper leg muscles are pulling on it.

    Thursday
    AM: My right knee and lower hamstring feel pretty stiff, so I drove. Hopefully it's a one-off sort of thing, otherwise I may have to reconsider my deadlift weight increments. Perhaps it was a mistake to jump up 20 pounds instead of 10 across the rep counts? I might be a little too anxious to see gains. I've usually been good about letting the gains come to me. I think next deadlift session I'll drop 10-20 pounds and go back to more of a volume approach, adding a set of singles and triples back in.

    Friday
    AM: One-mile walk-commute. What a difference a day makes. The right knee is a lot better, just a slight limp now and stairs are much easier. At this rate, I'll probably be able to squat sometime next week. Might even trying running on it this weekend. Left knee and shoulder feel great.
    AM: Midmorning one-mile walk-commute. Ran a few blocks, hammie feels OK but knee caps were still a little sore. Then walked 1.5 miles back after a rained out picnic at my daughter's school.

    PM:
    Bench Press: 2 x 5 x 185
    1-DB Row: 2 x 5 x 105
    OH Press: 2 x 5 x 95
    Neut. Pulldown: 2 x 5 x 150
     
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  4. Abide

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    Week 8
    Monday 9/29/2014
    DL ------------ EMOM - 3 x 1 x 160kgs
    GSquat ------ 1 x 5 x 32kgs
    Press -------- 1 x 5 x 60 1 x 1 x 70kgs - 2 x 5 x 50kgs
    N Pull Up --- 3 x 5 x BW
    Farmers ----- 2 x 80m x 105kgs

    Only made it to three reps for the deadlift and my glute tightened so I stopped.

    Tuesday 9/30/2014
    AM Run Commute 18k - 1:59
    Lunch sun salutations
    PM Bike Commute 17.4k - 37:34

    Wednesday 10/1/2014
    Squat -------- 3 x 5 x 70kgs
    Swings ------ 1 x 20 x 32kgs
    Inc Press --- 3 x 7 x 70
    KB Rows --- 3 x 10 x 32kgs
    Ab rollouts-- 2 x 10
    AM Bike Commute 17.4k - 35:48
    Lunch sun salutations
    PM Bike Commute 17.4k - 34:39

    Thursday 10/2/2014
    AM Bike Commute 17.4k - 35:09
    PM Bike Commute 17.4k - 35:10
    -
    Friday 10/3/2014
    Bench ------ 5/3/4 x 100kgs
    TBDL ------- 3 x 5 x 105kgs
    SLDL --------- 3 x 10 x 32kgs
    Inv Rows ----2 x 10 x BW
    AM Bike Commute 17.4k - 36:05 Nasal Breathing AHR 146 AS 28.8 km/hr
    Lunch Sun Salutations
    PM Bike Commute 17.4k - 33:44 AHR 145 AS 30.3 km/hr W SE 7mph
     
  5. Abide

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    Hey are we going to start a new thread next week for the next 8 week cycle? I am going to change my routine up pretty significantly based on our disucssions?

    Mainly I am going to drop hitting everything every workout and focus a little more on recovery. I am still going to do the fundamental five movemnts but I think I am going to go to a 2 then 3 day per week plan and only hit the DL's heavy every other week.

    --- Week 1 - Mon --- Hinge
    -- DL - EMOM x 1 x 10
    -- Goblet Squats
    -- Squats
    -- DL 3 x 5

    --- Week 1 - Fri --- Press
    -- Bench - 5/3/1/3/5
    -- KB Rows
    -- CG Bench
    -- Pull Ups
    -
    --- Week 2 - Mon --- Squat
    -- Squat - EMOM x 2/3 x 10
    -- SLDL
    -- TBDL
    -- Squat - 1 x 10 or 20?

    --- Week 2 - Wed --- Pull
    -- Weighted Pull Ups 3 x 5
    -- Press - 5/5/1/5/5
    -- Inverted Rows
    -- Inc Press
    -
    --- Week 2 - Fri --- Weighted Carry
    -- Farmers Carry 3 x 80m
    -- Ab Roll outs 2/3 x 10
    -- Suitcase walks 1 x 80m each arm
    -- Batwings / Upper trap work

    Then repeat 4 times for the 8 week cycle. This is the most liberal plan. Likely I will adjust it some depending on the day. I'll think about it and interlace the cardio work with it.
     
  6. Bare Lee

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    Yeah, we could do that. Let's call it something similar though, so we can keep track of things. How about
    "Strength Training for Singles (1RMs): Eight-Week Workout Cycle, 2."

    We could end each cycle with a short summary of the eight weeks--impressions, gains, changes in technique or approach, etc.
    That's an interesting arrangement. With those kinds of frequencies, you should probably go heavy each workout. I like the way the lower body stuff is taken care of on Mondays, so you're free to get in your long runs on Wednesday and weekends.

    For me, I think I'm going to wait until my overall strength is better before I consider a split routine. Yesterday I just did squats because I was trying to hone my technique but I missed the bench and pulldowns afterwards, like getting hungry a few hours after eating steak without the salad and carbo. Just didn't feel complete. But with my puny runs, I can get away with doing full body workouts every single time.
     
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  7. Abide

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    Yeah that sounds good to me. Mondays seem to work well going heavy on the lower stuff and Wednesday and Friday I'm more motivated for the heavy upper stuff. Hopefully then I can get in 2 good workouts a week. Which I think is adequate with everything else.

    For me lifting and biking coincide pretty well, but once I added the longer runs to the mix it definitely changed my recovery needs. It's probably mostly due to the higher volume and less recovery period between cardio and lifting.

    I am thinking about tracking things with another metric like total weight or something, think thats a good tool? Total lower and upper?

    So do a review at teh end of the 8 weeks or before the start or both?
     
  8. Bare Lee

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    Two good workouts per week is adequate for making progress, but I think that third workout really helps move things along, and then you have 72 hrs to recover. But my focus right now is more on lifting than running

    My current plan is to find what the maximal running I can do without interfering with my lifting, sort of the opposite of what you're doing. I'm pretty sure it will be either 10K every other day, or 5K every day, with an optional longer run on weekends, together with the one-mile run-commutes. Today I weaseled out of my morning run again. I have to do some errands later close to the river, so I thought I'd try to run down there and see how the fall colors are coming along.

    Total weight per workout might be interesting. For my Deadlift/Row/OH PRess day, it's 9415, not including any assistance stuff, and 16815 if I were ever to do all the assistance stuff I have listed. For the Squat/Bench/Pulldown day, it's 9970, and 15120, respectively.

    ST-2  14.09.30  no assistance.jpg

    ST-2  14.09.30.jpg

    So, with my current set-up, the workouts are fairly equal, but if you have a lower/upper split I would think you'd have a bias towards to the lower days, unless you compensated with more sets/reps for the upper stuff.

    Yeah, I think a summary would be good, and then perhaps a statement of goals/expectations/logic of protocols to begin the next eight-week cycle. It will help us understand each other and also help us look back in the future and chart our progress without having to look through each and every workout. We could maybe wait then until the end, to put all the workouts in one comment/post. Nah, let's keep that in the beginning. It's easier to access.
     
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  9. BroadArrow

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    === week 8 (of the charter members) / "weak" 1 (of the recent additions) ===

    -- log --
    tues, 30sep14

    running:
    8.4 miles in morning
    10.23 miles in afternoon like a real man! :) (pushing double stroller with one kiddie and 20lbs of weights as ballast)

    press:
    2x5 @ 40 pounds (warmup)
    5x5 @ 65

    deadlift:
    2x5 @ 125 pounds (warmup)
    5x5 @ 155

    wed, 01oct14
    running:
    5.38mi

    chinups:
    9/8/7

    squats:
    2x5 @ 70lbs (warmup)
    5x5 @ 110

    thurs, 02oct14
    running:
    3.32mi

    volleyball day

    fri, 03oct14
    running:
    3.32mi

    off day

    -- commentary --
    tuesday...

    my friday/saturday chinup & squat workout got shortened (did the chinups, but barely started the squats) due to general tiredness and the children falling asleep. which must be celebrated by renting a movie and staying up late. i think i get more sleep when they fight... life and fear of over-exercising led to sunday and monday being rest days. so the workout week started on tuesday instead of sunday.

    apparently, that rest then led to a good run. life then conspired to ruin the workday enough to make me throw in the towel and charge it as a vacation day. which then must be taken advantage of, hence the second run (which ended in the park so my kid had fun toddling bare feet through leaves, onto sculptures, etc.).

    the weights are getting reset back to near my starting values in order to focus on form and try not to do anything ridiculous before the 50-mile attempt on october 18...

    everything felt pretty good, especially after the first real sets. but, i'm definitely enjoying eating some food now...


    wednesday...

    i ran as soon as i could in the morning to try to get some "cold" running in (since the 50-mile run is scheduled for the first actually cold weekend of the fall, it seems).

    the chinups went way better than i thought they would. i was planning to slack off and try to "pace" them like 7/7/7 or something. that didn't happen. so the 9/8/7 beats the old best of 9/8/6, but not the lifetime single set best of 12 set by pre-hormonally-charged-me back in freshman year of high school PE class.

    the squat sets seem to feel progressively better as i go along. as in sets #1&2 are ok, but #4&5 feel more solid and possibly smoother. perhaps i should increase the weight on the "warmup" sets to get, you know, better warmed up and then increase the weight on the "real" sets more slowly than i was previously planning on trying.

    thursday...

    i tried to run short and slow to save energy for volleyball and to "practice" a little for the upcoming event.

    friday...

    wet and cold(ish)! finally, some good practice. i was still able to do it in shorts and a t-shirt. the feet did the cold -> warm thing, so that's still working.
     
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  10. Bare Lee

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    We'll be starting a new thread next week, so we'll all be synced up in the same week.

    You don't have to do this too, but Abide and I are going to be breaking up our strength training into eight-week cycles, with some sort of statement of goals, training logics, etc. at the beginning, and some sort of summary at the end. Abide likes to vary his routines every so often, whereas I'm kind of in this process of constantly tweaking it. But the overall goal is the same, to increase our one-rep maxes over time.

    Awesome running btw, and humorous post! You remind me of a running partner I had in Chicago. He'd run five miles with me for the company, and then when I was done he'd run another 5-10 miles at a much faster pace.
     
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  11. Abide

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    BA what race are you running? Time goal?
     
  12. Abide

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    Tried out a low bar squat today and wasn't very successful. Switched back to my normal high bar stance and it felt much better. I think next week I am going to jump up to 100kgs for the squat and just move up from there like the deadlifts.

    Lee PL's use chalk and often wear heavy cotton shirts. Have you tried lifting in a sweatshirt? For the low bar position the middle knurl does help, but its pointless for a high bar. You can also electrical tape over it.

    You can't go over the load at all with BB's. In fact if you pull within 50lbs of the load you will likey bend the bar at some point. I have bent a 500lb bar deadlifting in the 300lb range. I'm pretty sure all cheap bars will bend eventually reagrdless of load, maybe even all bars but I can't confirm that.
     
  13. Bare Lee

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    Glad to hear you're going to start pushing the squats. I think it will help your deadlifts. Are you going to stick with a 3x5 scheme or try the EMOM on those too? Because of the technical challenges, I sometimes wonder if it's worth doing singles with the squats. Especially if I were to view them as assistance to the deadlifts and/or running, I could justify more of a higher-rep approach. Still, I got the 1RM Jones these days, it will be difficult to resist the push to 300.

    If you're already comfortable with the high-bar squats, seems to make sense to stick with it. Although, if we were to enter into a squat contest, the low-bar position should theoretically give me an edge. One of the surprising things for me is how much it's helping my shoulder mobility.

    Thanks for the timely bar advice. York has a 6' bar that's rated up to 770 lbs I think. But it has the center knurling, so I'll have to either adapt to it, try some tape, as you suggested, or get some plumbing insulation or foam bike grips. I generally like the idea of having my body adapt to stuff and doing things 'raw,' but man, the hot water in the shower was painful yesterday, like I had a sunburn. I don't think a sweatshirt would work outside of winter, when my garage gets pretty chilly. Monday and Tuesday I was wearing a t-shirt.

    Anyway, not sure a 6' bar would work too well with my thick grip plates anyway. It would be hard to get four on I think. It would be nice to have a shorter bar though. Have you ever experimented with putting Olympic sleeves on a standard bar? Maybe that way I could use my old standard bar.

    BTW, what's the diameter of your bar? Reading through forums yesterday, some people say that they can deadlift more with a 28mm diameter than they can with the standard Olympic bar, which I think is 30mm or more. Could it make much of a difference?
     
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  14. BroadArrow

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    i'm doing the "Des Plaines River Trail Races 50 Mile Ultra Marathon" ( http://www.desplainesrivertrailraces.com/ ). as the name implies, it is along the des plaines river trail (and in illinois, we pronounce names easy: des plaines = dez planes, san jose = san joe's, cairo = kay-rho, etc.). thus, the total elevation change is about 25 feet, 13 of which is going up and over the river and 12 of which is from going under a highway and back up.... they actually have little "steep hill ahead" signs on some of the bridge approaches which, i think, are intended for horse riders so they don't come around a corner and suddenly hit that short but steep grade and stumble. the cutoff time is 11 1/2 hours since that is the longest permit they can get from the lake county forest preserve district people (we also believe in having more governmental units than the other 49 states combined...).

    so the goal is to finish, at all, for the standard award. then, it would be neat to get the "9 hour finisher" buckle. last year, i got pulled off at about 31 or 32 miles since my friend and i weren't likely to make it under time and the forest preserve people had started getting on the race directors about overstaying their permits in the previous couple years. i've put in quite a few more miles this year compared to last, so we'll see what happens.

    the trail surface is basically like a baseball infield texture: finer than pebbles, coarser than sand on top of firm dirt with a few places here and there where the "gravel fairies" have been active. last year, it slowly tired out the little control muscles that do all the adjusting of your step. after 25 miles of it, when i stepped on grass is was like "whoa, that's so much easier". but, you can't see what you're stepping on with grass and one snapped off twig pointing the wrong way could end your fun.

    my buddy from last year got a new job; as the new guy he is stuck with the nights and weekends. so, i talked my oldest brother into making the attempt with me. i think his longest run has been about 4 miles so far. :) but, we're banking on two things: 1) he's been eating 5000 calories a day and still losing body weight because his current business involves going up the ladder, down the ladder, move the ladder over, up the ladder, .... all day long. so i says: "hey, 5000 calories a day going 50 miles can't be that much different than 5000 calories a day going up and down ladders, right? :) " (he is not promising lasting beyond mile #6 but i have greater hopes). 2) he is going to resurrect the "airborne shuffle" from the good old days. surely, you can keep going if you're not carrying 100lbs on your back, no-one is shooting at you, you don't have to look out for landmines, and the only people trying to find you are bearing bananas and water cups.

    hopefully, he will slow me down and i will keep him going and we can finish.

    in my n=3 distance racing experience, smart has never worked (pace, drink, eat, act now in a manner that you won't regret when you get to mile #49, etc.), so i'm thinking of going with stupid (not foolish, merely stupid). but, i don't even have a plan for that. so we'll see. but perhaps getting sleep now (i.e., in the couple of weeks prior) might be helpful.
     
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  15. Abide

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    I think it's the other way around a power bar tends to be a little thicker 32 mm and the 28mm bars are weightlifting bars that make it easier to hook grip with. I prefer a larger bar but think mine is 28 or 29. It probably has more to do with hand size.
     
  16. Abide

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    They have ultras in Illinois? Since when? I thought the Chicago marathon was the only long distance race in the state. Kidding aside, good luck out there seems like a good time is going to be had which is pretty much all I look for in a race these days.
     
  17. Bare Lee

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    Hmnn, I don't know I was just going with what some forum guys said. Grip is becoming an issue now with the heavier deadlifts, but I'll probably just wait for my forearms to suck it up and get stronger. Anyway, after looking into it, I decided the best 6' bar for me would be the Ivanko OB-72, 30mm diameter, but it's been discontinued and the customer service guy I talked to doesn't know when they'll be making them again, so I went with the lesser Body Solid Oly Power 6' bar, also 30mm diameter, which is about half the price on Amazon with free returns if I don't like it. I'm trying to make my workout space a little more spacious. I think it helps mentally to have an uncluttered workout area.
     
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  18. BroadArrow

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    on the bar padding thing: when i was first starting to do squats a couple months ago, i would just take a hand-drying-towel from the bathroom and fold it up and lay it over the bar. then when i ducked under, it would hang down enough to kind of catch on my back and sit in just the right place. towels are great in that they are both simple, washable, and pretty close to infinitely adjustable (ok, so they have quantized folding, but are thin enough you can get what you want). and simple enough that you probably already thought of it....
     
  19. Abide

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    http://www.roguefitness.com/york-strength-training-bars-hard-chrome

    Yeah maybe I was wrong about the diameter? I guess its more about the spin that differentiates the bars.
     
  20. Bare Lee

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    Yah, I've seen that in gyms. I think I'm going to try either the pipe insulation or the bike foam grip. Both of these will be form-fitted, to minimize sliding around, and I can take it off when I'm not doing squats. But I'm also going to try athletic tape if both of those feel too thick. The problem with tape is that it would be on all the time, but I guess that wouldn't really affect my other lifts. I suppose over time I could also just allow myself to develop a callus. Always nice to delude yourself into thinking you're a badass.
    Yah, spin and bar stiffness. I guess the Olympic weight lifters like the bar to whip a bit, whereas powerlifters want a stiff bar that can handle massive weight. Although I read one guy at least likes a little whip on his squats. For the deadlifts, apparently it's easier to grip a smaller bar. This jibes with my experience. A loose spin may create a little instability for the power lifters, but is essential for weightlifters. For basic strength training, I don't think any of this matters. Even if I manage to deadlift 400, my grip should be able to handle it. It will probably strengthen at the same rate as everything else. It's on the triples and quintuples that it fatigues the most.

    Anyway, it was interesting learning a little bit about bars. I'd never really thought about it too much. For the six-footers, I liked either the Ivanko or the Body Solid because they have longer sleeves, at the expense of grip area, which is only 46" or so, but that isn't really a concern for me, since I don't do wide-grip presses and 46" is still wide enough for my squat grip. All the other shorty bars I looked at maintained the normal 51" grip area, which meant taking 5-6 inches off the sleeves. This would be a problem for me because my rubber grip plates are really thick, like two and half inches thick. Even with the Body Solid bar, it looks like getting four plates on one side might be tricky. Might have to deadlift without a collar.

    Overdid it on the deadlifts yesterday, btw. It wasn't any more weight that I've done before, but for some reason my right knee or the muscles/tendons around it didn't like the strain. Today it's really stiff, although I should be able to walk, massage, and stretch it out. It appears that I'm going to have to back off a little bit, and lower the intensity. I think I found out my body can't take high intensities so frequently. Mentally, it's also hard to maintain focus when every set is a challenge. Still, it was worth a try. I'll probably take 10 pounds off all the rep-counts for the big three lifts, and maybe add some sets back in.
     
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