Day 36 – GPP and PRI
As I lunge away, I think about the areas that have been lacking during this last 3 week cycle. Posterior chain, upper back, and triceps. These areas need to take the driver’s seat during my next phase.
Also, PRI is magic. It restores neutrality and always makes me feel better. That being said, my last 3 week block may have had too much extension based activities. I will continue to add more flexion exercises in hopes to remedy my over reliance on correctives.
Thought of the Day:
The guy who said “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird!” in the old superman intro was strangely excited to see a bird.
Day 35 – Dynamic Effort
Upon completing speed squats, I droped to the floor and remained in child’s pose. “Oh how the tables have turned.” Tayler extoled.
Karma took the W for the day.
This is what I get for bailing on Tayler during Ragnarok. My back pump was the truth. Today, Ben and I had back squats for speed. The total weight was 340 at the top and all sets had to be over .8m/s on 40s intervals. Can you get rigamortis while you are still alive? Today’s squat session lead me to draw the conclusion that yes, yes you can.
To add further insult to injury, everything else was posterior chain dominant. Speed deadlifts, hang power cleans with a high catch, and hamstring curls. Ben and I did 3 sets of 20 reps at a weight that was basically refusal. When we got of the machine, we couldn’t stand up straight or properly flex/extend our knees. I’m certain we looked like a Gallimimus running away from danger. Or in this case, hamstring curls.
Thought of the Day:
If the number 666 is evil, then 25.8069758 is the root of all evil.
Day 29 - GPP
Ben and I had incline walking and lunges. Nothing super flashy about it. So I give you Tayler's Grand Finale!
Here it is. The final Ragnarok session.
I grabbed a squat rack next to Dan and Ben. On their agenda is max effort bench press. Between max effort attempts the athlete needs to fully recover, so typically the rest is somewhere between 3-8 minutes. Keep this concept in mind.
So I begin as always with squats. The first set felt really heavy today, but could I expect anything less from this program? NO. Regardless, I took down squats. I started my first set of RDLs. I, then, notice Ben and Dan resting between their sets. Second Set of RDLs. Their rest continues, and now their conversation has sparked laughter. 3rd set done, and they are still resting. So as I’m struggling to catch my breath, and get my step up weight situated, I go over to them and mutter “I hope you guys are enjoying your rest because some of us don’t get that luxury."
By the time I finished step ups, my heart was racing, and I was completely drenched in sweat. The first set of bench press is always particularly hard because there are no lighter warm up sets to get your “push” muscles ready. In addition, your lower back is so pumped that any arch would give you an immediate cramp. This prohibits you from driving into the floor like you typically would. I struggled through the first two sets, but I completed them all. My third set was at 205. I knew I would need some help. I got pulverized by each rep. I had to rack the weight three times and I only managed to get 7 reps in 80 seconds.
After that last set of bench, I was dead. I can’t describe how my body felt. It was if the culmination of the past 4 weeks all hit me at once and I wasn’t even half way finished with this lift. The highlight from Lat pulldowns was that I was able to finish all sets, and my last set was at 170, a weight that I had failed the week prior.
We now come to push press. Up until today, I had managed to accomplish all push press reps without having to stop. Today was different. On my third set, I had to pause after 5. I felt like Lou Ferrigno in Pumping Iron. You know the scene where he is doing shoulder press and he stops to say “NO MORE” before his crew yells at him to do more. Today, that was me, just a slightly different exercise… with a different weight. And, I didn’t have some out of shape guy in a V-neck doing dumbbell curls behind me.
Next is my least favorite part of Ragnarok. Plate math for the seated row. For the life of me, I could not figure out what 170 divided by 2 was. I knew 160 divided by 2 was 80, but I did not know how to handle that leftover 10lbs. Brodie, a fellow sports science student, was walking by, so I had to ask him for help. “Brodie, I cannot math right now. What is 170 divided by 2?” I asked him. After telling me that 85 was the answer, I had to verify that I was actually putting 85 on each side. “45 + 25 is seventy right? So I still need to add a ten and a five”? Brodie confirmed. Thank you Brodie.
After defeating seated rows, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Literally, I was seeing bright lights. I was on the verge of fainting, but I could also see the figurative light. I had triceps, biceps, and calf raises to finish this beast out. I beat triceps with little struggle. Biceps curls were difficult but I was able to finish my 3rd set at 85 pounds, which is something I was not able to do a week before.
I ended with crunches and back extensions. I was finally done. It was such a great feeling. I am hoping to get a Post-Ragnarok DEXA scan sometime next week, and I will include the results in subsequent posts. Now it’s time for a recovery week, and then I am turning my training over to my prep coach. I hope you guys enjoyed reading about these experiences. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me.
Thought of the Day:
I wonder if I will ever have to write Earth at the bottom of a postal address?
Day 28 – Dynamic Effort
Today was excellent! My legs felt like spaceships. The bands have really helped me accelerate through the whole movement.
Deadlifts felt good. Power cleans felt explosive. Abs were cruel and unusual. We did garhammer reverse crunches. See below…
Thought of the Day:
The first professor never went to college.
Day 27 – GPP
My day was boring… I give you Tayler g
Down Goes Frazier
Here we go. Squats up. RDLs on deck. Step ups in the hole. As I have previously mentioned, Ragnarok never seems very intimidating on paper. Oh how naïve I was. After going through 6 exposures, I have developed the proper respect for this program. There is no easing into this workout. You get hit hard on the very first set.
I was on my own this lift. No coach to yell at me or help to change plates. Just me and the bar.
Squats, done. RDLs, finished. Step ups, kaput. I’m burning in all the usual places, but I’m feeling good. Bench was next. My 1st and 2nd sets were heavier than last week, but my third set is still 200. After struggling with the first set, I realized the latter sets would be a battle. Prior to beginning today’s workout, I had helped a fellow intern change weights as well as spot him. So, when he came waltzing by the bench press, after my first set, and told me that if I ever needed a spot that he would help me out, I had to capitalize. He spotted me on the 2nd a 3rd set. I was only able to knock out 7 consecutive reps on Bench before I had to rack it. I was able to get the remaining 3 before time was over. Another one bites the dust.
Having failed on lat pull downs on my last session, my weight was dropped to the previous line on the poundage chart, but by no means were these sets easy. I was, however, able to complete all of my sets without having to take a break.
Next up, was push press. My legs are shot. I am brought back to exposure one when Dan told me that he didn’t have any leg drive. This was now my current situation. Nevertheless, I defeated all three sets. Here comes the dreaded seated row. I use the word dreaded because I despise having to do the math for this exercise. Of course my first set is at 165 which means 2.5’s come into play. Awesome. I think because I’ve had to deal with 160lbs the past few weeks, it didn’t take me too long to decide that I needed 82.5 pounds on each side. I finished seated rows with minimal brain fails.
I knocked out triceps extensions with no problem. Like lat pull downs, I also failed on barbell curls during the last exposure, so my weight was reduced slightly. I finished the third set within the allotted time, meaning that I had done something that I hadn’t done for two weeks. I had beaten Ragnarok.
Because the rest is so little, there is no time to strip the bar weights, so at the end of the session, you have to go around and clean up all your weights. During my clean up time, Jodie, a fellow strength and conditioning coach, asked how it went. My response was simply “Down Goes Frazier.”
I looked at the poundage chart to see where I was on each lift. The Danimal has been making the adjustments each week, so this is the first time I have checked it out. The stand out number was that I was benching weight for an estimated 1RM of 275. I have never benched over 260. Couple that, with the fact that these poundage chart estimates are typically LOWER than your actual 1RM, I got very excited. I can’t wait to max.
Thought of the Day:
Calling macaroni and cheese “MAC” is both an abbreviation and an acronym.