Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Week #9 Day 1 of THT 3.1 HIT done!

It was a great THT 3.1 HIT workout last night! I learned that I can easily plateau with my shoulders if I don't train them frequently, but the rest of my body doesn't seem to care!

On that note, I've set some goals for myself. I'll add more for other relevant exercises as I get closer to starting my first THT 4.0 cycle. I plan on obtaining these goals by the end of this calendar year.

Goals thus far: 260lb smith machine bench press (all goals are for reps, not 1RM), 300lb 90 degree smith machine squats, 320lb smith machine trap shrugs, 220lb seated plated calf raises, 140lb single dumbell bent-over row, 70lb dumbell delt lat raises, 180lb machine cabled overhead press, 230lb + bar deadlift, 95lb dumbell wrist "fingertip" curls, 220lb cabled kneeling ab crunches, 95lb cabled machine curls (single-handed), 200+lb proper tricep extensions (also 105lb overhead dumbell extensions).

Current status in the order as shown above: 220lbs, 260lbs (just starting), 270lbs, 200lbs (just starting), 110lbs, 60lbs (slow to gain!), 160lbs (also slow to gain), 190lbs + bar, 80lbs, 205lbs, reset to 80lbs for proper form, reset to 180lbs for proper form (90lbs currently).

It's going to be a LOT of work, but when I'm done I know I'll be much stronger, and even more built, than I already am. I've found over the last weeks that while my drive to progress hadn't dimished, my longer-term goals had fallen by the wayside and I had no direction. Where will I go from here? I'm not sure. I'll re-evaluate as I get closer to December.

I may indeed find myself surpassing more than a few of these goals, but that works for me. It indicates two things: that I can still successfully plan and lay out future achievements for myself, and that I can exceed my own expectations. I can live with myself if that comes to pass.

Have a great Tuesday everyone! Train hard but safely!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Week #8 THT 3.1 HIT final update

So, you might have guessed by now that Day #2 didn't happen. Once again, forces conspire against me to halt my progress in the gym. I'm not impressed at all.

For just over the last momth or so, I've had a chalazion - a blocked oil gland on my upper left eyelid. It has been largely kept at bay by antibiotic eye drops, but lately it has grown some more and my family doctor felt that something needed to be done about it. So, Wednesday, we lanced it with a small needle but that only removed a tiny bit of whatever was in there. He then referred me to an eye specialist who actually performed a couple of incisions under the eyelid. This has proved to be most useful in draining off what is inside and there's a marked improvement this morning.

Of course, this annoyed / freaked me out to no end so I was pretty useless Wednesday after the needle and then yesterday afternoon after the incisions.

All of this adds up to the fact that I'll have to settle for being back on the gym on Sunday or Monday, depending on when we get home from Toronto this weekend.

Hopefully I'll keep up my recent trend of gains with only one gym run per week. It's not the progress  rate I wanted but still, progress is progress. Negativity only hurts you in the end.

Have a great weekend everyone!


EDIT - Also, there have been requests for my eating habits, favourite workouts, schedule, etc. I'm going to create a new page on the blog for this as an open forum to discuss what I do and what I eat. I'll work on that this weekend as time allows.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

THT 3.1 HIT Week #8 Day #2 is TODAY!

I'll be in the gym again after work today, hitting the last Mass day for THT 3.1 HIT cycle. It was interesting to read in the new THT 4.0 book how Mark explains (mostly for newer folk) the concept of microcycles, mesocycles and macrocycles. I also like how he has come up with two new rep ranges for us - 7-10 and 6-8 reps!

Personally, I'm thinking of hitting it flat out and after doing 8-12 reps for 2 years and then some, I'll be going directly for the 6-8 rep range. Why? Because it's the most drastic yet meaningful change I can force on my body after having done 8-12 reps with all of my previous MuscleHack workouts.

I'm going to run this cycle out for the full 10 weeks and then either take a week off (but I've had it easy for the last month or so) or get right into a 5-day Volume 1 cycle. I'll see what I feel like at the end of this one.

So, join me in training hard today and we'll get through it! Hit it hard and make your progressions!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

THT 3.1 HIT Week #8 Day #1 done

There's only one way to properly celebrate the fact that you've been included in the latest THT Training Guide - you head to the gym! So, I did. Man, did I ever work for those gains!

My weekend was a typical weekend for me of late - good food, some carbing-up, relaxation and some fishing. Fishing doesn't always count as relaxation when the worms are disappearing faster than your previous records!

Yesterday was no slouch. I benched 220lbs x 9 to open the day (progression!), and then I added 2 more reps as a celebratory hit. It felt good. Also, it was a red-letter day in that I overhead pressed 160lbs x 6 - not a "gospel"opening set, but huge for me nonetheless as my shoulders are amongst my weakest and hardest-to-progress areas. Well, maybe not the weakest anymore. ;)

Also, pretty much everything else was a walk - gains everywhere. I didn't progress on delt raises, but I was tired - this was my last set before abs - and given my overhead progress, I didn't let it bring me down. I'll just make sure I progress on Wednesday. :)

So, that's a wrap for THT 3.1 HIT Mass Week #8 Day #1. I'll be finishing this cycle (a classic 10 weeks) and then likely launching directly into THT 4.0 Volume Cycle #1. I will be making a chronological adaptation that moves my "workout week" to Sunday-Thursday as we do like to head to the lake for the weekend on Friday afternoons.

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't thank Mark McManus once again for including me in the THT 4.0 e-book. It's a huge honour to be a part of something that gives back to the bodybuilding/lean mass community. I'm always happy to answer questions about my training via here, the MuscleHack FB page or via my FB account.

Finally, a word for any new readers: the ad revenue here will be split between the Canadian Cancer Society and as a donation to Mark McManus. The CCS is my #1 priority Canadian charity and Mark, well... he definitely deserves our support! I also have a Flattr link you can use as well. All donations will be made as "Rep To Failure's Author and Readers". So, please, click those ads or hit the Flattr button. It's greatly appreciated!

I'm back in the gym Wednesday, but keep those questions coming! Lift safe and train hard! Have a great Tuesday all!


Monday, June 20, 2011

THT 4.0 is available NOW!

Don't walk, don't saunter, GO NOW AND DOWNLOAD IT!

Mark has really, really outdone himself this time. And true to form, it's all free. Mark's more than an inspiration to us all - he truly keeps redefining what it is to be a MuscleHacker.

Mark has donated SO MUCH of his own time and effort to give us all the chance to be in far better shape than the vast majority of us start out in, it's ridiculous.

Head on over to the FB Fan Page for MuscleHack and weigh in on what you think about the new release, ask any questions you have or just drop Mark a line via there.

Have a great day all and train hard - but lift safely!


THT 3.1 HIT Week #8 - a quick note

So, apparently THT 4.0 is due to drop today, according to Mark McManus over at the Facebook MuscleHack fan page. I'm excited and more than a little nervous! I've been on Mark's website before as a testimonial, complete with pictures, but I never expected to be included in one of the training guides as a testimonial.

Thanks Mark! I'm honoured to be a part of the MuscleHack community and even more so as a possible inspiration to other MuscleHackers!

Week #8 THT 3.1 HIT is tonight! I'm likely going to finish out this cycle of THT 3.1 HIT at 10 weeks as proscribed and then move on to a THT 4.0 cycle. Can't wait to hit it hard!

Have a great Monday (and week) everyone! Train hard and lift smart!


Friday, June 17, 2011

THT 3.1 HIT Week #7 wrap-up

So, that's a wrap for Week #7. Technically, I've been halving my progression through the weeks as I've only hit once a week. On the other hand, I've still managed to get ridiculous gains. I don't know if that's something I can maintain in terms of progress, but it's been cool to see for sure!

My goal for next week is a proper, 2-day workout (Monday / Wednesday) as I haven't had the chance to hit my Consolidations in a while.

All the best for a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

THT 3.1 HIT Week #7 update

Point of interest: I've been doing single-day weeks for long enough now that I've messed up the cell order in my Excel worksheet. All of this week's entries are on last week's Wednesdau columns. :(

Second point of interest: I ran out of (metaphorical) gas yesteday at the gym. Need to go back today for shoulders, back, traps, wrist curls and abs. Otherwise, I'm continuing my freakish gains - benched 220 x 8+2, squatted 240 x 9, curled 90 x 10 (cabled single), tricep extensioned 225 x 8 (full stack). THT 3.1 HIT Mass days are KILLER!

Let's discuss the last one quickly.Months ago, when I was doing THT HIT Mass, I was doing about 195 lbs. When I flipped over to THT 2.0 Refix, I was down around 180 for my chest/tricep days and then ultimately ended up around 195 again. This bears noticing because when you're doing lots of pre-exhaust, it still affects your opening numbers and technically lowers them. You're still repping to failure, but with less weight.

On to this THT HIT cycle. I started at 195lbs and now I'm at 225. That's a hell of a progression. I do credit secondary isolsated single arm sets as being part of this. My triceps, while strong, have always felt / "looked" under-developed to me. So, this cycle especially, I've been working extra hard to get them to build out. They're definitely getting there, and the significant increase in strength shows just that.

So, tonight's workout is going to be short and sweet, followed by much swearing and splitting of firewood. I leave you with a totally unrelated-to-weightlifting picture, one that I took last weekend at our getaway spot on Wasi Lake. Enjoy!

Remember, folks. It's simple. Eat, MuslceHack, rest, repeat. Continue until you're where you want to be - odds are it won't take that long. Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

THT 3.1 HIT Week #7

Nobody told me this was a maintenance cycle!!!! GRRRR

And by that I mean that I've only managed to hit the gym once per week for what has to be the last 4 weeks. Mind you, I've been supplementing myself with good old-fashioned manual labour - hauling and splitting firewood for the most part, a little digging of the rear garden at home yestrday - but mostly firewood-related work.

So, tonight after work will be my first gym run of the week. Oddly enough, I feel great. I can't wait to get in the gym tonight. I just want to get in there, hit it hard, wreck myself (metaphorically) and go home ready to start some new weight levels. Positivity is key for stuff like this. I'm progressing on one day per week - not normally, but not outside the realm of possibility.

So welcome to your Tuesday. Welcome to my Tuesday. Welcome to our Tuesday. Make it happen!

Lift hard, train smart, be safe.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

A fundraising notice

I've been involved in the SETI@Home project for 9 years now. I've contributed hardware and LOADS of CPU time over the years. It's one of only two non-medical scientific distributed computing projects that I belong to.

S@H is using Flattr to allow people from all over the world to donate to their charitable causes and recipients of choice. I've begun using Flattr just recently in order to contribute to SETI@Home, but it also occured to me that I could use Flattr to bring a little extra revenue in to the site.

With the money donated by Flattr users, 50% will go to the Canadian Cancer Society and 50% will go to Mark McManus - the creator of MuscleHack.com. Also, you can support these worthy recipients by clicking on ads shown here that interest you as I'm also a Google AdSense publisher.

I'd recommend checking out Flattr as it seems to be taking off and it's a great way to do micro-donations to many worthy causes all at once. There's even the option to have recurring payments set-up so that you can contribute monthly to your chosen recipients.

Have a great day all!


Week #6 Day 2 is tonight - and other news

So, Week #6 Day #2 of THT 3.1 HIT is tonight. I'm looking forward to my final sets for two working weightx - 150lbs for overhead press and 210lbs for Smith bench press.

Also, I've been given some incredible, impressive and more than a little humbling news that I'm just awaiting clearance to announce to everyone. Once I do, I'll post it immediately.

All the best for a great Thursday everyone! Train hard!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Week #6 Day 1 done

Much, much better. Yesterday was a wicked success. I'll be resetting my seated cable rows, working on form over raw weight for trap shrugs and keep working up my overhead press on Wednesday.

At this rate, I'll be benching 220 for reps next Monday. Also, Smith machine squats are on target - I did 230lbs x 8 last night. Cabled single curls hit hard, too. I didn't, however, get a chance to perform my "finisher" arm exercises of underhanded pull-ups with plate weights.

This is the "ultimate power" of a MuscleHack THT workout. Specifically, the THT 3.1 HIT workout. You can stand to screw up for a bit, but if you're really, REALLY driven you might not see any setbacks. So far, my only setback was my overhead press by 1 rep.

This is MuscleHacking, folks! Get into it!

Also, geek update: the cinematic intro for Star Wars: The Old Republic is up on www.swtor.com. EPIC. That is all. Can't wait for it to come out to retail.

Have a great Tuesday folks!


P.S. here's a pic from yesterday. Seems I'm finally starting to "fill out" some more!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Week #5 Day #2 -Part #1?!?

An interesting development came to pass. After yesterday's gain-recording bench press and Smith squats, my arms rose up in rebellion and refused to let me curl my "top" weight for the day. In fairness, my arms and back haven't had ANY time off this week as I've been moving massive amounts of firewood around for the camp. My boss cut down a bunch of trees and has been giving the felled wood to me - a massive savings over having to buy the stuff. So, over two uility trailler loads later, I'm toasted.

I'll be hitting the gym today after work to finish my Day #2 of THT HIT 3.1. As it stands, I feel solid today after that squat and bench session, like a Mack truck I suppose. :)

I'm also re-skipping ball hockey as it seems to re-anger my still-recovering elbow and perpetuates my issues with lifting.

So, back in the gym tonight to close out Mass Day #2. I can't wait!

Also, as an aside - Mark, I'm pulling for you, buddy. I know you're going through some stuff but you'll get through it. If anyone can run a business while dealing with everything in front of you and still be a great father to his daughter, it's you. You've been a stand-up guy all along and I'm sure you're not going to change from being that way. If I can EVER do anything for you, you know how to get a hold of me.

Happy Friday folks! Lift smart and train hard!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Week #5 Day #1 done.

Or, how to progress after a week off, across the board. Not really sure how the hell that works, but it WORKS. Stunning number of the day #1: benched 210lbs for 9 consecutive reps, then did 1 more to show my pecs who's boss. Stunning number of the day #2: deep squatted 220lbs for 10 reps, far more than the 8 I had expected. Stunning number of the day #3: 150lbs x 11 reps overhead press, well past 9.5 reps last week. Stunning number of the day #4: 55lb dumbell delt lat raises - 10 reps. WHOA.

Summary of the day? AWWWWW YEEEAAAAAAH! A wicked gym run all-around. Biceps were blasted, triceps were obliterated, calves were slaughtered, kneeling ab crunches were EPIC.

Bring on day #2.

Henceforth, all such efforts will be referred to as "Like a Mando" or "Like a Mando'ade". Clearly, a workout of such intensity and results is beyond Earthly constraints. :)

Have a great Wednesday all!