Happy Christmas week!
This is the second week in a row I have posted during the week rather than Sunday due to spending more quality time with family on the weekends.
I am officially 5 weeks out from my second powerlifting meet and I am going to share two new techniques in the deadlift and bench I worked on last week—make sure you check it out (they are in bold font)!
Last week was super busy!! (I taught 6 Cyc classes) but it was incredibly fun.
Despite feeling a bit under the weather I made it out to a new restaurant in Boston called Tiger Mamma to see my family on Sunday and then I went again on Tuesday to celebrate with my Cyc fam 🙂
Training-wise I had a huge week of great numbers. I ate my face off (strategically) and lifted heavy AF.
This week I am working in Snowmass, Colorado and fully anticipate a bit of fatigue from skiing and hiking–I will not be lifting as heavy. The following week I’ll taper back my hiking and lift more. Strength ebbs and flows so you gotta work with it.
I have exciting progress updates to share with you from my group coaching program. One of my dedicated clients, Lindsay, is lifting heavy and killing it with the #daretoeat program—make sure to catch her at the bottom!
Stay tuned for next weekend’s updates— I will have quite a few surprises to show you regarding snowboarding.
The biggest personal update that I can share this week (the other update may have to wait a few weeks) is that I have begun a book I will be publishing in 2016. It’s a memoir called “Dare to Move.” So far I have written 17,000 words.
The story takes place from my life in 2013 until 2015. I feel like a true writer because I’ve had about three days so far whilst writing when I haven’t left my apartment for an entire day (besides to teach the 5 a.m. Barry’s Bootcamp class).
Writing it is like falling in love. I’ve sobbed. I’ve laughed. I’ve cried laughing. I’ve been eating, sleeping and breathing this book.
If you like love stories, mysteries, and scandals you will love Dare to Move. There is a lot I don’t think people know about my move to Boston. Stay tuned for 2016!
See below to read up about my nutrition (eating has been a job), training and client updates!
Sunday: active rest + Cyc
Monday: Max out chin-ups and Deadlift
I went into the gym looking for some inspiration. Out of the blue I decided to try AMRAP of chin ups with a neutral grip. To my surprise I beat my PR of 13 and conquered 15 reps.
Monday was great because I had a weak squat day the previous Friday. My legs felt rested and I felt strong.
I did 3×3 sumo deadlifts at 225 and they felt fast.
Most of you probably notice that my sumo stance is not so sumo-ish. It’s actually quite narrow.
After sumo I skipped speed deadlifts because of the chin-ups I performed and the time I had for accessory work. I have been doing speed deadlifts every other week. That is my plan moving forward. (Sneak preview for next week’s update—I speed deadlifted 205 for 6×2 today).
Anyway, going back to my narrow stance, I do it because feel weak from a wide stance. I feel less powerful with my legs that wide. In order to get stronger from that wider position and also to work on my power from the ground, I have been doing my paused deadlifts with 165 from a very wide stance. It seems to help me work on wider stance form and feel that much more powerful when I go back to narrow stance.
Tuesday: Front squat, push press and chin ups
I did 4×6-8 front squats with 115 (my bodyweight that day).
4×5 wide grip chin-ups
4×4 push presses with 95 (big increase for me rep-wise!!!)
Again, with eating more calories I felt much more powerful. I warmed up and felt good at 95 so I only did 2 reps and went to 100 for 3×3.
After 3×3 I did narrow bench with 75 for sets of 8 and heavy machine rows per usual. I did my narrow bench presses with my feet elevated in order to focus more on my pecs.
I am maintaining my strength in the weighted chin. The stronger my back stays the better my bench feels.
Thursday: rest day + Cyc
Friday: BIG SQUAT DAY. 15×5
Well, that was the plan. I was feel extra powerful and here were my numbers:
I’m not kidding you when I say I think he inside of my quads were bruised.
Saturday: rest + eat 2500 calories
Sunday: added a new bench day + new strategy.
My upper body can handle more volume. While training for the Iron Maiden last year I learned the my press improved much faster when I pressed heavy more than once a week.
I decided to add an extra day of bench pressing into my training last week.
But get this, I had no idea that in USAPL you have to keep your heals on the ground while benching, (thank you Chrissy) so in order to get really good at benching with my heals down I decided to practice that form with a paused bench to make it feel harder and groove that movement in a slow tempo.
This way, not only would I practice heals down pressing, but I would make it feel more difficult with the challenge of the pause. I did this with 75 pounds 3 sets of 8. I really like super setting this with inverted, feet-elevated rows.
This week was high-stress for me to get everything together for the holidays, spend as much time with my lover (aka writing the novel) and to teach and coach. When I am stressed I like to eat.
Instead of beating myself up for forgetting to track or indulging more than usual I tried to just let myself eat when I was hungry. I totally listened to how hungry I was and had extra quest bars and oatmeal because my body needed it. After all, I did teach 6 spin classes this week.
When it comes to taking calories higher you have to trust that one week having higher calories will not throw off any progress— especially if you simply put the calories to good use in the gym.
My bodyweight fluctuated between 115 to 120 (gasp!!) and I am feeling quite womanly as I begin to gain back an upper body part that’s been missing in action since the bikini contest.
I have to be 114 by January 31st for the powerlifting meet, but it shouldn’t be an issue with all the skiing, snowboarding and hiking I’m about to do.
I ran into my friend Jackie at Lifetime Fitness and we spoke about how excited we are to compete together this coming April at an NPC contest in Indiana! I can wait to see what package I bring to the stage this spring!
If you want to see scenic pictures, snowboard tricks and holiday cheer make sure you follow me on insta! @garrettnwood.
What I’m reading:
- Cardio vs. Weights: one beats the other in fat loss via Statesman Journal
- More Mobility Insights with Mathew Ibrahim via Fit Info Club
- Learn the Number 1 Exercise for Building Bigger Legs via JMax Fitness
- Learn to Grind via Reactive Training Systems
- Be Patient via Mark Manson
- How to Stop Counting Calories with Habits via Ask Georgie
- Why One in Three People are Out of Shape via Ryan Wood Training
- This is 25 via Crossroads of Fitness
Lindsay’s 4 week progress:
Lindsay is a member of the 8-week Group Coaching Strength Program and Group Coaching #Daretoeat Program. She began the program with the other members on November 15th.
She is unstoppable.
She has been crushing the training and getting stronger every week.
The time she has spent making sure she understands the lifts and get them in even when short on time is really paying off. I am so impressed with her progress! If you are truly motivated to achieve your goal there is no reason that the holidays have to get in the way.
Sara Deadlifts 205:
Sara was featured on last week’s CROF weekly Update. She has lost 9.5 pounds and is continuing on with a second #Dareteoat Cycle in order to continue to learn about lifting and potentially finish college ready to compete in her first bikini contest. She is strong AF and is absolutely killing it! Go, Sara!
My client Rachel deadlifted 145 pounds for 5 reps last week for the first time in a sumo stance. Unfortunately the format of the video was unable to be shared on youtube, however, stay tuned for more updates from this chicka! She has lost two inches around her waist and will be deadlifting 200 very soon. Her favorite hashtag is “chasing200” and she inspires me every damn day! Go, Rach!
Erin is my longest term strength client. When she began working with me she had never lifted a weight. Last week she deadlifted 215. Here is her most recent bench PR– 85 pounds for 10 reps.
This girl is getting leaner by the minute and stronger by the second. I am so impressed with her dedication to powerlifting. I can only imagine what she will conquer in 2015.