Monday, May 18, 2015

Redline training...hanging on for dear life

A photo posted by Matt (@regionbarbell) on

The last few months have been very stressful and that stress is culminating as I move into a new chapter of my life. My training has been my companion, my savior, my void.  I have pushed it as hard as I ever have and my body is responding.  Things have not been idea so my sleep and recovery have been off but I continue to move forward in a positive direction.

I have been focused on my nutrition while stress has been high and this has been a great thing for me. I am still under eating but keeping as much mass as I can.  If all works out I will lift at 220 in July.

5/12 dynamic effort lower
Roller hypers and roller leg curls
70 4 sets of 10 hypers and 10 leg curls

Box squat - Not as speedy as I would like but it is what it is.
255 5x2

Back was out some so I skipped deadlifts
Goblet squat 1.5's on ramp - Occluded (2 sets) 30x15,15,12

A1 - Occluded TKE 2x25, 1x25 5 second hold on multiples of 5
A2 leg raises 2x20

5/13 Dynamic effort upper

Elitefts shoulder saver bench press - 320, 340, 365x5
Speed bench w/ 1 chain 185 3x5, 205 3x5, 225 3x5, single at 255 and 275

A1 - Low incline dumbbell fly - 5 second lower 15x12, 20x12, 25x12
A2 - overhead rope pushdown 20x15 w/10 sec hold on last, 40 2x15 w/ 10 sec hold.

5/14 Upper assistance

A1 - reverse hyper rows 200 4x12
A2 hammer curls across body 25, 35x12, 40 2x12

B1 Incline curls 20x12, 25 2x12
B2 6 way 12 3x6
B3 spider walk 3x 3 up and down

5/15 Max effort lower

I want's planning on doing anything heavy today but thanks to Aaron who is helping me deal with my stress by pushing me in the gym. Without him there I would have gone through the motions.

Deficit deadlift on 3 small mats
315x2, 365, 415, 455, 505, 545, 585, 615x1, 500x8 - Not sure that is a PR but it has been a while since I pulled over 600 raw conventional.  This are working.

GHR ladders x8,7,7 super set with keg carry 3x distance

Walking lunges to the street and back - 120 total

A1 - short strap hypers 4 1/2 plates 2x15
A2 - Pulldown abs 3x15

5/17 - Max effort Upper

pause bench - 330x5,4,3,3

A video posted by Matt (@regionbarbell) on

Illegal wide bench 225 275, 290x10

A1- Ahrens overhead press - 25, 30, 35, 40, 45x10
A2 - Piston pushdown orange 4x25

B1 serrano ohp 5x8, 8x8,x10
B2 sled drag Y+T 45 3x distance

bent over swing rear delt 40 x until traps took over

C1 steep incline db fly 15x12, 20, 25x15, 30x20
C2 decline curls 3 sec lower - 20x15, 25 2x15, 20x  partialsxfail

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Redline training - How far can I push it?

So I am a little behind. Things have been hectic and posting has been on the back burner.

5/4 - I did something but really didn't write down much.

5/6 Dynamic effort upper

Elitefts sholder saver 265. 285. 305, 325, 345x5

speed bench w/ 1 chain 9x5 185 3x5, 205 3x5, 225 3x5

close grip bench+ 1 chain 305 2x1, 325x1

rolling dumbell extension on incline 50 4x10, then a drop set 45, 40, 35x 10

5/7 upper assistance 

Tbar rows work to a hard 10 190x10
straight arm grenade pulldowns 60x12, 60 2x12
pull ups with band assistance 3xfail (20, 12, 12)

side raises to heavy 8 - 40x8
Ahrens press - 30 3x15
bradford press+1 muscle round   85 miss on set 5 rep 4, rest 20 set get 3 more reps.
band pull aparts monster mini 2x50

barbell curls 3 sec up and 3 down - 65 x12, 10, 8
light band pushdown x100
db preacher curl 20 x12, 10, 10

5/8 Max effort lower

short strap hypers 205 3x12
pulldown abs 4x12
alternating leg curl with iso hold on opposite leg - org 4x10
Yoke bar Anderson squat + chain  405, 435, 455x1, strip set 235x10, 185x10, 135x10
leg extension with 5 second lower 3x12
single leg hypers 250 2x8

5/10 Max effort upper

BW 238.5

Floor press 273x5, 311x5, 354x2, 379x1, 409x1

Took too big of a jump with no hand out. I got greedy and should have played it smart.
Dumbell press on 4 inch incline 70, 100x12 130x12,12,9

Started doing Fat DD pulldows to upper abs inbetween dumbells and continued into next set of exercises. 130 5x12

Barbell extension to neck 135 4x6 superset with dips 5x15 and a few sets of pulldowns
Hex dumbbell press together low incline 20x12, high 20x12 superset with alternating dumbell curls 25 2x12

Alternating dumbbell curls 3x12, facepulls orange 3x20, band upright rows 3x20 orange triset
Trifecta (rear, side front raise without putting down dumbbell 12x20/20/20, 15/15/15, 12/12/12

Friday, May 8, 2015

Redline training - pushing harder for a few more weeks.

I continue with my redline training.  Things are pushing the limits and I can tell that I am breaking down some. Sleep is not great, appetite is poor but strength and speed are still there. I am also making diet changes in hopes to remove a little more bodyfat. If it works I might be able to cut to 220. If it doesn't I will be a leaner 242'er

Short strap hypers 205 2x15

Speed deadlift with bow and arrow band set up
20x1 - 10 conventional and 10 sumo.

I didn't write anything else down.

BW 238.5

elitefts shoulder saver 275, 320, 340, 365x5

speed bench 9x5 185, 195, 205

close grip bench with 1 chain  265, 285, 305, 320x1

Tates flat + mini band

Arnold press 25x20, 20, rest pause x12, 6, 4

Sumo deficit deadlift
Knees were achy and I should have stopped before I started. Worked up to 545 and knew I could do it better. Took 585 (way out in front of me) push left knee out hard and left glute and hamstring got real unhappy.  I was done and went home.

pause bench 305 3x7
Illegal wide bench 225x3, 275x8, 295x8

A1 barbell extension to neck 115x6, 135 x6, 6
A2 dips 12, 15, 15, 20

B1 db curls 30 x12, 12
B2 front raise  30 x8, 8

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Redline Realization/deload week

Stress has been tough and training has been tougher. I needed a week to recover but allow my training to catch up so I can continue to push forward. Body weight is all over the place. From 241 down to 237. Working to get my eating in order to keep recovering.

Superset 20/15/10 reps
A1 Glute ham raise
A2 short strap reverse hypers 205

Front squat continuous pump sets. I tried to not lock these out 105x25, 115x20

Serrano split squat drop set 
120# chain x4, 60# of chain x4, body weight x4

Occluded TKE 1x50

Steep incline dumbbell press 80 3x15

Bradford+1 95 2x8, rest pause x5, 3, 3(20 seconds rest)
A1 Arnold press 15x20, 20x20, 15x20
A2 tates (flat) 40 3x12
Side raise partials 30x50

TKE 2x15
Ghr 21’s x1, up 11 inches x1 (fail on last rep), on floor but foot plate moved up 1 notch – fail on 3 full rep.

Stiff leg deadlift 315 4x6
Leg curls with light elitefts band 40, 30, 20, 10
Split squat drop set 40#x20, 20#x15, bwx10, 40#x12, 20#x6, bwx5
Bench press
275x1, 315x1, 225x22 PR
Alternating dumbbell overhead press 40x10, 45 3x12
A1 Alternating dumbbell extension 40 3x10
B1 barbell curls 65 4x10

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Redline Training W2/3 – More volume and iron therapy

This is week 2 of my Redline training but I did a week prior to starting the push. SO is this week 2 or 3?

4/13 dynamic effort lower
Short strap hypers – 200 2x15
Box squat – 235 5x2
Speed deadlift 405+60 pound of chain 20x1 (10 conventional, 10 sumo) Time of 10 min 15 seconds

A1 – pull through 100x12, 110 3x12
A2 – single leg alternating leg curl – orange band 4x15
B1 – short strap hypers 250x12, 295 2x12
B2 – band leg extension w/ 5 second lower   averagex8, strongx8, 8

4/16 AM dynamic effort upper
Dad was in the hospital on Wednesday and I was unable to get to the gym so I had to push this back a day later than normal. All went well and his procedure only took a few hours.
Elitefts shoulder saver bench press Up to 365x4
Swiss bar speed bench 225 9x5
Close grip bench against 60 pound of chain 305 5x1
A1 – JM press (reverse light band) to foam pad 255 x6, 5, 5
A2 – neutral grip pushdown 55 5x15

4/16 PM  upper assistance
This is my normal Thursday session but I had to push it to the afternoon because of the morning make up. This also allowed me to train with someone else and it was great to have Rob push me.
Dead stop dumbbell rows 100x10, 130 3x10
Tbar scap row and row 115 x 12/12, 125 3x12/12
Serrano arm complex 3x
Trifecta muscle round 20 2x

4/17 AM Max effort lower
 hips and low back were a little tight from the adjustment and back work the night before.
Long strap hypers 160x15, 205 2x15
Deadlift with plates on 4 mats. 425, 475, 515, 565, 605x1
Stiff leg deadlift standing on wood platform – 225x8, 275x8, 315x7, 365 3x8 (I am hurtin!)
That was all I had time.

4/17 PM  lower assistance
Reverse hyper long strap – sets of 8 until I got to 10 plates. Then did 1 drop sets.  10 reps with 10,9,8,7 plates. Stopped just enough to have partner remove the plate.

A1 - Glute ham raise 21’s – After the stiff leg deads in the morning this was a bad idea. 7 back raises, 7 glute ham raises from parallel, then 7 back raise+ glute ham raise.  3x
A2 – pulldown abs 3x12-15

I didn’t do any quad work and I really need it but again time was an issue. 

4/19 Max effort upper and pump city!
Fat gripz bench 225x5, 275x3, 315x1, 345x1, 370x1 PR, 385x1 PR - It was ugly but I finished it.


Overhead press - A weak area I really need to bring up.  155 x6, 6, 12
A1 dips - +25 poundsx8, +45x8, +90x8, 6, +45x muscle round - fail on last rep.

A2 Mag grip pulldown  130 5x15

B1 6way 10 x 2 muscle rounds
B2 hammer curls 2 sets after each muscle round

band pull aprts 3x30

An end to a good first cycle. I need to force myself to deload. Stress has been too high for me to run at this pace any longer. Weight is down 4-5 pounds. Holding body weight  between 240-241.

Been talking with a body builder friend and working on my physique.  I know shoulders and legs need much work but my back is not bad. So here is a bonus progress picture. DOn't mind the grown out mohawk and shaggy hair.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Redline training - week 1

Redline training
Stress has been extremely high and the iron has been my therapy. I am pushing training very hard for a meet in July.  All the training has been a raw focus and will continue that for the next 8-10 weeks.

4/4 Max effort bench
Close grip bench (thumb knuckle from smooth)
315x5, 335x2, 355x2, 365, 380x1
Add catapult 365x6, 385x6

Overhead press
115x6, 135x6, 145x6, 6, 12

A1 - Dips against orange band 12, 12, 12, 12, 10, 10
A2 – Mag grip pulldown 130 4x12, 1x10

6 way muscle rounds 8x1, 10x1, 10 – fail on 4th set

B1 – hammer curls 35 3x12, 1x10
B2 – band pull aparts mini 4x20

4/8 BW 243 – dynamic effort bench
Elitefts Shoulder saver bench Up to 340x6
Swiss bar speed bench 225 9x5
Close grip bench w/ 60 pound of chain 285 5x1
A1 - Jm press (reverse light band) to foam pad 225x6, 245x6, 265x6
A2 - Neutral grip pushdown 50 5x15
Band fly – mini band x100 reps with 10 second hold at 25, 50, 75 and 100

4/9 BW 244.5 – upper assistance
Dead stop dumbbell rows 100x10, 130 3x10
Tbar scap rows+tbar rows (12 of each) 3x12/12
Serrano arm complex – 3x (top secret)
Trifecta – 20 2x muscle round

As you can see there has been a ton of volume.  My time in the gym has helped to keep me from going crazy. Going into the void like Dave Tate.  But pushing this hard into the red will eventually be my on undoing.  Let's see how far we can take this before that happens. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Relentless meet write up

It has been a few weeks since the meet and I am finally getting some time to sit down and put everything down on paper.

Being a part of Relentless is one of the most amazing things I have ever done.  It is about lifting but it is not.  These meets are about HOPE.  As a whole we raised over $214,000 to help kids and families with life threatening illnesses.

When people talk about the relentless family they truly mean it is a family.  It is like a reunion at these meets.  Lifters helping other lifters even though it might hurt their own performance.  The meet atmosphere is different.

Going into the meet I had some goals.

1. Get through a full meet and put up a total
2. Set myself up for a bench and deadlift PR
3. Squat 525, bench 535, deadlift 740.  (planned 3rd attempts)

I de-loaded a little longer than I had planned so I wasn't sure how things would totally end up.

Friday we drove out and I made weight at 239.2 after my wife decided to play the heat game to cut the last few pounds and make weight.

Meet day 


Planned attempts 475, 500, 525

Since I was squatting in just briefs I was first in the flight.  I opened easy at 475.  Everything felt good so I jumped to my planned 3rd attempt of 525. Three white lights so I jumped to 550 and it ws good as well.  Looking at the video I should have gone heavier but I still would have been short of a PR total so it didn't really matter.

Actual attempts 475, 525, 550 - 3 for 3

Bench press

Planned attempts 500, 515-520, 535

A few weeks out from the meet I found a run and a small hole in my single ply shirt.  i wasn't sure if it would hold up through the meet but I was going to use it until it blew.

The weights felt light in the warm up room and my shoulder didn't give me much trouble as I warmed up.  I opened with 500 and had some difficulty touching but I touched and pressed very easily.  I was urged to take a big jump.  I decided to go for 525 since I was in the meet and my squat was above what I had planned.   My second attempt again flew up and I was urged to take a big jump.  Into uncharted water I went. Blowing past my PR of 530 to 550.  Taking jumps like this make me nervous because I have never pressed this much before.  My third attempt was good and this looked to be about the right call.  Six for Six!


Planned attempts 685, 715, 740

My lifting has always been about the deadlift.  It is my lift.  Training went well and my indicators shows I should be good for about 750.  My indicators we dead on.  After an easy opener and second attempt I took my planned third of 740.  My second attempt was a small pr and my third would be 25 pounds more than I had ever deadlifted from the floor.

740 came up like an opener!

9 for 9

 It is always exciting to see your training come together and do exactly what you set out to do.  Yet it is almost disappointing knowing that you left so many pounds on the platform.  I am now eagerly awaiting some down time to recover and relax.  It won't be long before prep for Relentless Minnesota begins.