Fooling myself

Workout notes: I kind of put my piriformis through the ringer…

rehab, then deadlifts:

10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224

Then 5 sets of 3, “on the 3” (finishing just about 12 minutes); 262, 262, 262, 262, 267 (felt reasonably easy)

2 sets of 3 “high bar”: 285, 285

not enough rehab…
16 minute mile walk (great for .4, tingles to .8, onset of pain toward the end)

more rehab….then I tried a second walk; made it to .25 miles when I realized it wouldn’t be any better than the first one…likely slightly worse, so I bailed
then 40 minutes on the bike (13.3 “fake miles”)

I did feel the shoulder last night…briefly; I really do need to do the pec stretching prior to sleeping.

Deception I’ve sometimes said that, on a personal level, I’ve found Republicans more tolerant than Democrats. Then again..this could be selection bias in action; any conservative who would be my friend would be, by definition, more tolerant. On the other hand, I know far, far more liberals and therefore see the whole spectrum, from “let’s try to understand” to the sanctimonious “if you disagree with me it is because you are just like Hitler”

This article talks about that. Personally, the friendship breaking or “cooling off” had more to do with COVID related behavior (masking,vaccines, etc.) in PERSONAL behavior. Someone might think that mask mandates don’t do any good but wear a mask themselves and get vaccinated themselves. And I am ok with that.

I didn’t like the deniers. And I especially didn’t like those who were loudly pro-compliance…for others…but did whatever they wanted in their own lives. These are the ones that decried large pro-Trump gatherings..even outdoors…but then went to large protests themselves (yes, we now know that outdoor activities were relatively safe). And I am talking “pre-vaccine”.

No, I did NOT immediately dump anyone who came down with COVID though….as some could not work remotely and others couldn’t resist (or didn’t want to resist) family pressures; I tended to be less harsh on those who felt some contriteness. But for others, let’s just say that social media changed my attitude toward some I felt closer to in the past.

Reaching my old bench press

Though my lifetime best bench press was 310, I did that when I weighed 230 lb. I got 300 at a body weight of 226 back in 1985. But at my current weight (197-198) my best bench press was about 260 or so.


today’s workout: at home: home basement, then home treadmill.
I did 10 sets of deadlifts: (collars: 5.5 lb. each)

6 x 132 hex
6 x 145 Sumo
6 x 145 conventional
1 x 189 conventional
1 x 233 conventional
1 x 255 conventional
1 x 260 conventional
6 x 233 Sumo
6 x 167 Romanian
6 x 176 hex

That was my best deadlift workout in a very long time..and I had no back pain.

Then a 5 mile walk on the treadmill in 1:01:30; 12 minute mile for the last one.

The singles: really didn’t feel that bad. But the deadlifts took about 35-40 minutes to do; I got quite a bit of rest between sets. And that is the value of doing these at home.
As far as the weight being accurate: realistically, probably not, but close enough. What is certain is that I am stronger than when I first started; when I first started, I could NOT get 232 in my home basement set up, or 225 in the gym.

Of course, well, my max sucks but it sucks less than when I first started.

And that is my motto: suck a little less every day.

Final remarks: the last single didn’t feel THAT was challenge but I think I could have done a bit better.
and the 6 x 233 Sumo set was a major improvement from a few days ago when I couldn’t get 1 x 233. Then again, I was nice and warmed up this time.

Saturday Deadlifts and snow

Let me be clear: I resumed deadlfing after a long hiatus; I had reached a rather pedestrian 425 (in the gym) as a 21 year old (200 lb), discovered it again as a 35 year old (320 or so at 230 lbs of bodyweight) but gave it up as it hurt my back. I then noticed the trap bar, tried some and was hooked again; this time, instructional videos (like this one) have enabled me to train without hurting my back. But…confession..with low handles or with the straight bar, when I started I could not even get 225 (at 190-195 lb. of body weight).

Years of distance running, distance walking, and upper body lifting ..but I neglected to practice this.

My back is weak and legs are weak. I can do a set of 6 goblet squats with 70 lb, but my best barbell squat: 95 lb, which is less than I clean and press. I’ve got issues.

So my new obsession with deadlifting is NOT “oh, look at me..I am strong” but rather “I am trying to correct a body deficiency.” I’ve done that before; after rotator cuff issues, even a single pull up caused me pain. Now I can do sets of 10 and 15. And when I first started goblet squats: a set of 6 with 25 was…challenging.

So here goes:

Today I worked out in my home gym. Tools: straight bar (44 lb), two big collars (11 lb for the pair), bumper plates (45 lb), smaller plates of 22, 11 lb. Hex bar: 44 lb (checked this on a scale), spring collars for the hex, and 44 lb. cast iron plates.

Straight bar, conventional stance:

5 x 145
5 x 189 (“no bounce reps’)
4 x 233 (good, solid, no bounce reps)
3 misses at 255; second miss I actually got it to my knees but surprised myself and wasn’t ready to pull it all the way)

Straight bar: Sumo style:

5 x 211 (failed to touch one rep)

Straight bar: Romanian

6 x 167 (I could get below the knees before I felt the “rounding” starting)

Hex bar

6 x 176 (confession: I just got my new hex bar and wanted to try it out; easy, no knee pain)

Only slight worry: “tug” on my right side; lower part of the rib..does NOT appear to be serious.

Then, 5 mile treadmill walk in 1:01:19; final mile was 11:47. This was decent for a walk; it is yucky outside:

The weather has been weird. We went from 50’s on Wednesday to the teens on Thursday. Then it warmed; then we got 3 inches of fluffy, dry snow yesterday afternoon (see the above; it was dry when I walked to the office at noon). Now it got well above freezing and rain; cold front is coming in which will put us in low single digits.

Tammy (a racewalking friend) teased me with this snow shovel photo (she lives in Utah)

Cassie teased me earlier..a few months ago.

Easier, softer way..

Ok, my trap bar and my bumper plates arrived today:

I weighed the trap bar: 44 lb. as advertised. It is solid. I can’t wait to use it..but this morning I had a rough hex bar dead lift session.

Yes, aside from the barbell squat, my weakest lift are the deadlifts: best is incline, decline, shoulder press, bench, and even goblet squats aren’t bad. But barbell squats are pathetic and deadlifts are bad.

I know some of this is from a decent run..but I digress.

When I got this stuff..I thought ..wait…my trap bar will only hold 315 ..and I only have 390 lb for the barbell…maybe I should order some of those thin steel plates…

And that is ridiculous. My best this year: 245 on the hex, 240 on the regular and 230 today.

Ordering plates won’t make me stronger…USING WHAT I HAVE will. It is so much easier just to put equipment on the credit card..but how about using it?

I have a plan for using it; this will enable me to not have to compete for platform time at the gym and to do a decent amount of weight work when the gyms are closed (can’t do pull ups or heavy bench presses..can do seated shoulder presses though, curls and deads of various kinds.

And I can either do deads prior to walking to the uni gym or after my upper body stuff. I don’t need any extra equipment.


Now if I pull 390 on the bar OR 315 on the hex..THEN I can order these swanky steel plates.

reality strikes again: weight room

Today: 2 mile walk after weights (used low heel shoes)

Weights: Kind of a mixed bag.
pull ups and rotator cuff: 3 sets of 10, 1 set of light goblet squats
Hex deadlifs: 5 x 135, 3 x 185 then
miss 225,
1 x 225
3 misses at 250
1 x 225
1 x 235
miss 245, miss 240
6 x 185 (strict…no bounce, touched and paused all but 1)
sumo dead: 6 x 185, strict.

After this: 2 sets of 10 pull ups (good), rotator cuff
3 sets of clean and press: 10 x 95, 8 x 95, 7 x 100 (not a bad set…lower to arms parallel with shoulders)
3 sets of rows
side plank (mindful of arm angle)

Issue: I had a decent 10K run yesterday, and that will degrade a maximum effort hex bar deadlift..that is just reality.

The good new is that my legs just glowed..pumped..I did myself some good but I am really weak.

Sports: my recurring delusions

Workout notes: slippery outside.

So I walked 6 miles on the treadmill in 1:15:55; mile 5 was 1:23:52 and the last mile was 12:03.
That walking workout was FASTER than my alleged “run” of similar distance yesterday..though to be fair, yesterday’s slog was on a tough course in the rain. And I also had an extra day of rest from a tough (for me) hex-bar deadlifting session on Friday.

2020 looks like this so far: 28 miles for the previous week. That should move up, though it will be tricky so long as I am working the dead lift in. I also plan to work in barbell shoulder presses, but that shouldn’t affect running at all.

Delusions I have ordered a pair of bumper plates (45 lb plates) and a trap bar (or hex bar) for my basement..well..lifting area.

(this one)

That isn’t delusional of me; this will help give my workouts flexibility and I do use the trap bar (handles down). I love using it.

Here is what is delusional: I read the reviews (almost all positive) but one said that one weakness was the the sleeves were too short to hold more than three 45 lb bumper plates on each side.
(hint: that means: 314 lb on the bar, as the bar is 44 lb.)

I thought: “well, if that is a problem, I can order some of those precision, thin powerlifting 45 or 55 lb. plates.

Heck,I could hold 8-9 55 lb. plates on each side!

Then reality got back to me; I realized that this is a strictly intellectual exercise..unless I was planning on having an NFL lineman as my house guest.

What I have in my basement plus the new plates would give me..yes, up to 1 45 bumper, 1 44 cast iron, and 2 22 lb iron plates on each side; the bar WILL hold that many and if I ever work up to needing more than that (highly unlikely but a guy can dream), I’ll treat myself to these precision thin plates.

For now, I”ll focus on adding 5 lb at a time starting with my current 245. And I imagine on the days I do NOT go to the gym, I’ll be using not much more than the new 45 lb bumper and the 2 22 lb. iron plates for now.

Note: this is a photo of a strongman deadlift with the elephant bar; note the “deep dish” 45 lb. plates.

This is a heavy deadlift with the thin plates

And just for the heck of it, these are the old school, old thick 100 lb. metal plates:


these are the thick bumper plates.

This is the trap bar deadlift with bumper plates (though I use “handles facing down” so I have to bend my knees more) and, as you can see, you run run of sleeve room for plates on certain hex bars. IF that becomes a problem for me, I’ll treat myself to a set of 4 55 lb thin plates (and that probably will never happen)