Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Knee Wraps

First - Let me announce that my Members' Section is up and running. I am very, very pleased with the outcome. I have lots of mini-movies, and training video clips, and photo galleries, and even a special Members' Blog. I was I was thrilled to procure several members my first week online!
I will be posting some fresh photographs on my free site, within the next few days, as well.
I am going batty being sequestered in my home for a week! I figured I would stop in and chat about something...I thought knee wraps would be a good topic.
First, I'd like to recommend learning how to wrap your own knees from the get go.

I've been powerlifting for almost two years, and I still have yet to wrap my own knees!!! I learned how to wrap only a few months ago. I wrapped B's once in practice, and once in the gym. My forearms were sore for two days after wrapping B's knees in the gym. I guess that's how you know you've done it correctly. I always think to myself that I am going to go in and wrap my own knees someday...I mean, what if I got stuck by myself at a meet and couldn't find a wrapper? But, the princess always puts the notion to the back of her head when B or somebody offers to wrap....pitiful, I am plain ol' pitiful.
Second, they need to be tight, but not so tight that they prevent you from rebounding. They can also be so tight that they prevent you from reaching proper depth. B was always wrapping me so derned tight, and when I finally mentioned that perhaps they were TOO tight, he scoffed at the notion, so I closed my mouth again for awhile. However, recently I had him relent and back off the tightness a bit, and lo' and behold - I can work them properly again. I don't believe I am ever getting as much 'bounce' out of them as I could, but I will continue to work on that, as it feels all new to me again.
B will hate that I mentioned this, but I really believe that I may have missed my 425 squat in September at the Power Frenzy due to the wraps being so tight. I've gone over it in my head, and watched the video - I went as deep as I thought I could go without breaking form.
I currently use APT Black mambas...as well as the Black Mamba wrist wraps.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Squats back on track

The hip realignment has really put my squatting back into its proper groove. I am able to get back down deep, with a narrower stance. I think I did 365 x 6, then 405 x2, 405 x2, and 315 for 8, no wraps. I'm wimping out again on the last rep or two of heavy squats, so I've got to undertake that as my mission again, to stop wimping out. I could have gotten 3 to 4, but that fear of exertion, or effort, or laziness, whatever it is - I just wimp out.

No training for the next week and a half - just a lil' surgery, but I'll be back soon!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Psychologically disabled

There is my 250 bench press from the APA Delaware Open last week - grrroooaann. No arch - and have you ever tried to utilize a foot plate that has three large holes in it? And a lip around the circumfrence, and a hole in the middle? I can come up with a million excuses, and even some reasons, but at this moment I am going to publicly admit - I choke - severe performance anxiety. I am going to do some research on sports psychology. I may make a trip back to the hypnotherapist. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do about this problem. What I do know is if I can get over this block, I can prove to the world how strong I really am. As of now, I'm sure many think I'm all talk.
Last night GW and I went to town on our backs. It was his first real deadlift workout, ever. There are some fine points that he needs to rectify, but GW has the capability of being formidable on the platform. I will tell you this also - if most of the 25 to 30 year olds I know worked out half as hard or with a fraction of determination as this 59 year old...George is remarkable. He's got this split in both of his biceps trying to poke through - awesome guns!
I'm trying to stick with the "just pick it up" theory in the deadlift, and I think that is going to be the key with me - just walk over and yank it, no analyzing, no deep breathing, no mind setting, no perfect set up -just yank on it and whip it through.
Anyhoo - getting back to that footplate problem - and the fact that that bar in the picture is my own personal bar that I brought for the meet. A couple of the other guys brought their own personal deadlift bar, also. A meet director should ALWAYS have equipment, and if not their own, then have it lined up prior to the meet. This means proper equipment. Relying on competitors and not knowing what the facility has for usage is unacceptable in my book. Run a meet - run it right!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Back to the benching board

B couldn't make it to the gym last night - 'twas just George and I. We decided to just train and have some fun, and we did. We kept the reps high - 10 is high for me!!! I didn't want to go over 225 on the bench, because I was determined to relearn a groove, if I needed to...well, there was no lack of groove last night. Of course, the weights were on the lighter side, but the arch, the push, the rotation - they were there...hmmm. Do I need to pull out the "nervous theory" to explain last Saturday? Then again, my hip is starting to slide back into the jammed position - I can tell that I'm standing incorrectly again, with my hips pushed out instead of back.
I managed a 225 x 10, x 10, x 8, x 6, and G gave me just a little help on the last two sets to make it up to 10. All paused - I tried to un-pause the reps on my last set, but I am so used to pausing that not doing so feels foreign to me now. So, for the rest of my life - I pause.
We did declines and crossovers and later flyes and front laterals and all those movements that powerlifters eschew!
This morning I feel tight, I feel trained, I feel pleasantly trained. However, I still abide by my favorite theory - 'Reps suck", so don't get used to this kind of workout from me!

Monday, February 12, 2007

APA Delaware Open

I watched the video clips of my benching, and sure enough, my set up was not right. It was more like how I used to bench last year. The arch is almost non-existant, and my legs are not on the right "elevated plane". But I could not feel that whislt I was laying on the bench. It proves the re-alignment theory is at least partially, if not mostly, the reason behind my unexpected performance on Saturday. Back to the benching board.

Here are some pics from the meet on Saturday :

John Cristaldi (aka "Jump Rope")
235Raw bench 415 Raw Deadlift at 146 lbs.

Paul Timmons - 425 Raw deadlift at 164 lbs

I don't know the green haired guy's name - but he needed a singlet to be able to lift and I donated him my extra. He looked good in it, dontcha think?

Sean Beam - Best Overall Lifter, ????, yours truly, Tim Hunter and Chris Webb. The guys are all from Dover DE Gold's Gym.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Flip flopped results

Oh my! The day couldn't have turned out on a more opposite end of the spectrum than I had planned!
My bench press was not at all good yesterday - I'll get to the reasons (ok, excuses, but there are some valid) that possibly may have shot it all to heck in a bit.
I opened with 250 (RAW, of course - ). I actually backed that number down from the 275 I was going to open with. I did get it, no problems.
Next -280 miss
Next -305 -miss.
Now mind you, I've been benching a good 315 for one or two good pause reps for a couple of months now...so what happened???? I was good for a double body weight a couple of weeks ago....so what in the heck happened????? WTF???

My nerves eat up part of my energy, for sure, and boy, did I over analyze this one from the get go, and they had those damned weights that are rubber with three large holes in them. Not good for foot plates, let me tell you! Broderick and I talked on the way home. If you have ever read my training blog you have read my mentioning about it -I've suffered what I thought were primarily back problems for a long time, several years. I go to the chiropractor a minimum of once every three weeks, sometimes every week, sometimes more than once a week. But about a month or more ago Broderick, who you might know has a degree in biology, poked around on me, after I have whined so heavily about my back and hip being non-stop sore and sometimes downright painful or the past 3 months. He said I know what your problem is. It's your hip, not your back, not your spine. So he has been yanking on my leg about once a week, trying to unjam my hip. This past week, lo and behold, I think it was Wednesday, he finally popped that thing out. I stood up straight, really straight for the first time in several years, probably. The pain has been incredibly lessend, I have been so thankful and happy. Anyway, where I'm taking you with this, is that we both think that it took my body into a whole different line than I am used to, hence the groove that I am used to, is no more. I have to find a new groove again. Sounds quirky, but most likely true. That's a 70 pound dropon my bench. I was on line to set a world record. I was not pleased with my performance. It baffled me much, but as I kept going back and reliving it in my head, there is nothing that I can pick out that I did wrong. It just didn't work right....I have to go back and relearn a groove again on the bench. I guess life could be worse, but this was not what any of us had envisioned!

HOWEVER...and thank goodness there is a however...I decided at the very last minute to deadlift. I mean about 15 minutes prior to deadlift warmups. The meet director let me go in as the "guest deadlifter", and he should have, because I brought the bench bar, I brought my lightbox, and I brought some other things he used. (Thank goodness for me, huh? )I had no expectations, especially since my deadlift has been quite depressing lately in the gym. I didn't sign up to deadlift initially because my deadlift has just plain SUCKED since November. My best on the competition platform until yesterday had been 400 (raw). Yesterday I started light, and didn't really plan on doing much in the way of numbers, because of how it has been going in the gym lately. I wasn't even thinking of deadlifting until the very moment I decided to. I went 335 - 385 - 410. I went ahead and took a fourth attempt, for a PR and a state record and I pulled an easy 430. I should have and could have done a 450, anybody who saw it will tell you that, but who woulda thunk after that terrible bench performance? Who woulda thunk after months of wrestling with my deadlift in the gym???

The now aligned hip probably helped my deadlift as much as it hindered my bench.

After I decided to deadlift, I realized that I had no flat shoes to deadlift in, I looked around the gym, to see if I could find somebody with about my size feet in a flat pair of shoes. This pretty woman, who had come up to me and admired me earlier, was watching, and she had on flat shoes, actually short flat boots, cool ones too, that laced up. I asked her what size her shoes were, and she let me try on the shoes. They fit and she let me wear them. After the deadlifting I ran over to her and told her there must have been magic in her shoes, and thanked her. Can you believe that she actually GAVE me her shoes? So I came home with these really cool shoe-boots that I just love!

All in all - 2 good points over one bad. I guess I win.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Counting down

It's 3 and a half hours before bench-off....My nerves are rattling and my system is operating at about 20 times amped over it's normal "air of urgency" levels...why am I so nervous? This will be a fun meet, because it is so many local people. (of course, never as fun as the Delaware Power Classic or the First State Power Frenzy). I know many of the lifters. I'm even donating the use of my own personal Magic Bar for the bench press portion of the meet.
I weighed in at 160 EVEN - that is perfect!
Let's go!!!!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Standing straight

Last night B grabbed ahold of my leg and yanked it just right. My hip moved big time , I felt it and you could hear it. I don't know how long it has been since I have stood straight, many years, many, many, but I can actually stand straight now! I exaggerate not. Wow. I wonder what kind of difference this will make in my lifting - will I have to adjust all over again, now that I finally have a bench groove and a squat groove? This is such a great feeling. Thank you Dr. B (he truly is missing his calling - he is a healer). You can catch a picture of B in this month's PLUSA, page #42. I imagine that picture was taken seconds before he passed out!

Monday was a tremendously gratifying night in the gym. Leg night - I moved my stance back to my old narrow stance. One of the reasons was because I could - I have had to keep a wider stance lately because of all of the hip and back pain. But, because B and I have been tending to the problem with extra care and attention lately, much of the pain was gone, so I was able to move my stance back. I cannot get down deep enough with a wide stance. For me it is biomechanically impossible to squat wide, at least with a competition legal depth. My narrow stance allows me to get down past legal point and also allows me to remain strong. YAY!!!

Unfortunately, the bubble burst on Tuesday evening. Of course, I wasn't recovered from Monday, that was point #1. I just cannot train two nights in a row. Point #2 is that for EVERY meet thus far, I have bombed out in either my last bench workout or the one prior to that, no exeptions. I should have figured, since last week I was on fire. So 255 wasn't even a go. Sad, no?
But, I've consistently worked with 315 for the past couple of months, and I've been good for two good pauses at that weight for several weeks now, so as long as I can get some sleep, and eat good food, and keep my mind from wandering back to the 255, I'll be fine on Saturday.
I am down to around 161 or 162 today, so I must maintain this for weigh-ins tomorrow night.
They don't start until 6:00 pm, that sucks.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Turn me off

Last night was a kind of a crash and burn session. Crashed after I walked in the gym doors, actually - deadlifting was not quite a disaster, mostly because there wasn't much of it. I was not just 'off' last night, but I was 'turned off'. I did a few sets of high cable one arm rows, and that was it. No need to drive myself further into the ground, which is usually what I do. I need to be in good form form benching next weekend. Besides, it is supposed to be a 'back off' week anyway.
My weight is down hovering 164-165 now. I was up to 168 last week, but I needed to make weight for the meet next weekend, and waiting until the last second just isn't for me. I'd like to come in at 162.
B figured out what my pain problem is - the muscles around my core section (obliques, etc.) and hip are tighter on my right side than on my left. Was it that I've been so off kilter for so long that caused this. or was it this that caused me to become so off kilter? We will never know, though I think it is the former. No wonder I can't drive for long distances without screaming out expletives! I am prescribed (by Dr. B) to place moist heat on my right side for periods of time every day. Also to roll up a towel and place it under my gluteus medius whilst laying down to stretch my lower back. It helps.
If you watch a video clip of me squatting, you can usually pick out a wobbly kind of movement on my right side as I descend. This is an effect from the tightness I am talking about, that has been getting worse of the late. Pain, especially when I wake up, has become a daily experience. I don't like that. Let's see how much looseness I can acquire before my next full power meet, because, I am telling you, that squatting is suffering from this.

Friday, February 02, 2007

I forgot to Mention -

that I am planning on benching at the APA Delaware Open on February 10th...it's being held at Gold's Gym in Dover, so I only have to travel 45 minutes.
Send me some positive vibes, please, so I don't choke on the platorm.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

365 - soon

My favorite night of the week - bench night! Looks like George Wilson will be joining us every Wednesday night for bench night. A great addition to our weekly circus!!! George is awesome - and I'm the lucky girl who gets to train with two terrific guys, B and G. I found out last night that G is 59, but I swear he looks 10 years younger. And strong he is! We just need to keep his butt anchored to the bench, 'but by cracky' I think he's on the right track. (get the pun?....sorry)

I felt kind of stiff last night when I arrived, and had planned a 275 as a warm up to my 315, B had different plans.... I did a couple at 225 and B wanted me to go right to 315. I didn't think I was quite warmed up enough, but I did get two very nice pause reps at 315! Then...to overload and prep my nervous system, B had me get under 365! (See picture as proof). I was expecting to do just one negative, but....B had different plans. After unracking, I didn't really have the feel of it, then B kind of pushed it into the groove, and it went WUMP!!! down into my chest, he pulled up on it some, of course, while I pressed. Then immediately again. It went up a little too high on my pecs this time, actually I feared that it was going to crush my throat, but I stuck with it, and B. By the time the third rep rolled around, I finally got the groove of it, and accepted the feeling of 365 (F'ing heavy!!!). I actually gave it a really good go on the way up! I did not realize it until after reviewing the video clip but these were all paused! Sometimes after doing a set or more of pause reps, it is hard to unlock the mode from your brain. That is exactly what happened to me. I WILL have that 365 sooner than most of you think. I may have to go up a weight class, but it's in me - just give me some time.