Training/Challenge update

Training/Challenge update

Last week I finished up an eight week periodisation cycle, and I’m now doing a few weeks of more hypertrophy-based work until I fly off to London. I worked up to 87.5% of my 1RM for squats and 92.5% of my 1RM for deadlifts. I did something wacky to my wrist (not sure if I slept on it funny on Monday night or if I just aggravated it squatting) but it meant I couldn’t go as heavy as I had hoped for bench and overhead press.

I managed to squat 105kg for three sets of five, which is one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done in training. My squat has always sucked but, ever since I transitioned to low bar, my strength has increased significantly.

105kg (231lb) squats

The last time I tested my max it was 120kg (264lbs), but I reckon I would be able to beat that as my single rep strength has always been better than my multiple rep strength when it comes to squats.

For bench, I was scheduled to do 55kg but I really didn’t want to risk it with the state of my wrist. I did one set of three at 52.5kg to test the waters, but it didn’t feel great so I backed off to 50kg instead. Boo.

52.5kg (115lb) bench

Something magical has happened to my deadlift during this cycle, as well. As I was having grip problems, I switched to single timed reps a couple of weeks back. The final week of my cycle called for six singles at 130kg (286lbs), spaced 90 seconds apart. I was pretty happy with my speed considering the low recovery time.

130kg (286lb) deadlift

The last time I tested my max it was 140kg (308lbs), and I’m probably still around there. Frankly, my only goal while travelling was to not lose any strength, so I’m happy that I’ve done that. I don’t expect to be pulling 150 any time soon!

Given how much my wrist hurt on Friday morning, I probably should have skipped push pressing altogether, but I’m a stubborn bastard. I was supposed to do singles at 50kg but I did 40kg instead, and even that was agonising. I called it a day after three sets.

40kg (88lb) push press

For my final three weeks in Croatia, I will be doing higher rep training to work on my speed and hypertrophy. Due to all my upcoming travels throughout December, I won’t be training at all for three weeks. For now, I’m just having fun in the gym until I resume a proper program in the new year.

This is an example of what I did this past Monday. And, no, I still can’t walk properly.

Squats: 70kg x 10 x 8 sets (no, that’s not a typo – 80 freakin’ reps!) (I also did four sets beltless, just to make it extra fun)
Good mornings: 50kg x 12 x 4 sets
Walking lunges: 12kg dumbbells x 20 x 4 sets
Leg extensions: 55kg x 12 x 4 sets (last set was a drop set)
Barbell hip thrusts: 80kg x 15 x 4 sets
Tabata sprints: 8 rounds at 16km/hr

Holy reps, batman. Can I even call myself a powerlifter anymore?

70kg (154lb) squats

I haven’t updated you all about my progress on Nic’s challenge for a while, so just quickly: all is going well! I’m following the same “diet” as I outlined in this post, and it’s still working. I’ve lost three kilos (apparently mostly from my boobs, damn it!) and I’m feeling much better. It’s actually easier to get through my workouts being a little lighter.


These (horrific) pictures were taken three weeks apart (right is most recent). I still have a long way to go!


I’m totally a cardio bunny of late. I’m dancing at least three times a week and running twice a week, too. I’m on a pretty insane deadline for a work project at the moment, so I only ever leave the house to go to the gym or to dance class. All the cardio is keeping me sane!

I’m still eating bread…

diet bread

and spaghetti vongole…

diet spaghetti

and gnocchi…

diet gnocchi

and “bro-fied” burgers…

diet burgers

and, sometimes, straight-up bro food.

diet bro

I have a friend visiting this weekend, so I’m sure the “diet” will be out the window, but I’ll be back on it after that. I’m sure things won’t go perfectly between the fact that it’s the holiday season, I will be travelling between five different cities, I’m not training, and my friend and I are planning to spend 10 days straight in a food/wine coma. But isn’t that what New Year’s Resolutions are for? 😉

What’s the most number of squats you’ve done in a single training session?

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