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Kristoffer Lindqvist: Weightlifting April 10-12th, 2009
(Read 11499 times)
Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
« on: February 09, 2009, 12:57:11 am »

Back in black.

Why this journal?

2008 was not my year lifting wise. In January and early February I was still at it with a vengeance, doing the most intense squat training of my life in the form of a somewhat watered down version of the infamous Smolov squat cycle... pure torture with intense loading three times a week.

I knew I probably was not quite in good enough shape for it, but after a layoff following the birth of our daughter and second child Renée in October 2007, I felt like really taming the iron. I don't recall precisely what happened, it may have been a series of sleepless nights up with a screaming newborn, the demands of going from being a freelancer to landing a real job in social networking or something else, but I missed a couple of workouts... a real no-no on Smolov. The program was dead in the water, and my meet plans with it. Feeling, and rightly so, that a bit of rest could be in order before returning to regular training I took it.

And that was that. For the first time since my years in Tibet 1999-2001, I lost the habit of hitting the gym. Most of my free time, which usually started at 10 or 11pm after the rest of the family was down for the night, was at this stage solely dedicated to pushing forward... and frankly, I was willing to sacrifice my own training to get more time to program. I did a few weeks of training in late spring and during the summer, but in June I found myself occupied day and night with renovating our new apartment bought in May on short notice... a huge job that is only now getting wrapped up.

In November, I hit the gym again. Inspired by the first virtual weightlifting meet, I set my sight on the weightlifting meet in April 2009. I had great fun starting to learn the lifts and really enjoyed doing something that felt a bit more athletic than brute force powerlifting. My lower back also enjoyed it a lot more (I've been a chronic back case after I sustained a low back injury doing good mornings back in late 2003).

But my upper back hated it. I was flexible enough  to properly fix the bar overhead, perhaps thanks to a past as an avid martial artist who once upon a time could do splits cold... but just barely. A few workouts later, even a broomstick was a challenge. Out of the gym again to heal up.

Which brings us to: now! Today, I made the promise to do what it takes to once again turn lifting into the habit it used to be... to be in the gym rain or shine. Frankly, it is scary to have experienced first hand how easy it is to slip from being a training nut into... well... a slouch. I've lost plenty of good weight and my powerlifts are down 30-40 kg each. It's a slippery slope and I don't want to see what's at the bottom of it... I also want to roll with the gang come the first gathering in July... and most of all, I want my kids to grow up with a dad who is physically active with the strength to hoist them overhead as teenagers (if they'll still let me). Did I mention it also feels good?

Long route, short point: this journal is here to put my focus back on the iron. Any pointers from you fellow lifters on my training is an appreciated bonus.

Battleplan A

My main goals for the first half of the year is to learn the weightlifts in order to put up a decent baseline in the April 10-12th weightlifting meet and to get my powerlifts at least within 10 kg of my meet bests come the July 10-12th powerlifting meet at the gathering. To achieve these aims, I will naturally need to be humble enough to adjust my training as needed to keep away from prolonged back pain.

As a further mark of me being back, I also signed up for the military bench meet in two weeks. I am coming into it cold with no preparations whatsoever, but I should be able to hit about 80 kg/176 lbs with a royal pause if today's preliminary testing is anything to go by. A year ago I would have been good for 105 kg/231 lbs, but it's a decent start.

I plan to will train Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at least initially. With the meet in two weeks and a need to ease into it, I won't start a serious program until after the meet. What I will do is to start working on especially upper back/shoulder flexibility to ensure that I am ready for the Olympic work starting early/mid March while doing some low-volume/medium intensity lifting.

I will also try to get 6 hours of sleep or more most nights. I say most nights, because the occasional meet release or programming epiphany into the wee hours will happen. My daughter has been getting up at 5:20am for the past week due to more budding teeth, but other than that, the nights have gotten quite good of late. It's ironic that the kids only sleep like babies when they no longer are... but we are ever so thankful for that!

While I may update more often from time to time, I will mostly update once a week. I hope this will strike a good balance between not taking too much time away from the programming and related correspondence and having the journal serve its purpose. The secondary reason is that with my history of powerlifting blogging, I know that I am in trouble if I am expected to just write down what I did each workout. So expect a bit of narrative, once a week. Hopefully much shorter than this.

Enough said.

First encounter: military bench baseline and easy accessory work

With the exception of a brief feeler on the military bench press for the meet, I took it quite easy.

Military bench press, 2 second pause: up to 3 @ 60 kg/132 lbs, 1 @ 70 kg/154 lbs, near miss @ 80 kg/176 kg

Lying cable rows in pulldown machine: 15 @ 50 kg/110 lbs, 15 @ 60 kg/ 132 lbs, 12 @ 60 kg/ 132 lbs

Close-grip bench, fat bar: 10 @ bar, 6x2 @ 60 kg/132 lbs

Hammer curls, back supported: 12 @ 12.5 kg/28 lbs, 10 @ 15 kg/33 lbs

Cable L-flyes: 12 (right), 10 (left) @ ~10 kg/22 lbs

Before I fade out, here's one pic of "close, but no cigar" and the gym I will be spending the next 3 months in. It's a small but ever so charming facility with mostly older equipment (give or take some decades) located in a bomb shelter underneath the Temppeliaukio church in Helsinki, Finland. At some stage, I'll probably head back to our local powerlifting mecca though.

* 20080208_mb_80kg.jpg (28.79 KB, 395x353 - viewed 1736 times.)

* punttis.jpg (47.25 KB, 500x375 - viewed 1811 times.)
Kat Ricker
United States United States Female 79 posts
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2009, 05:47:13 pm »

Umm.. are we allowed to post replies in others' journals? I just want to extend some sympathy and support. We're so surrounded by hard-sell messages that there's no excuse to fall behind in training, that it can set us up for serious psychological setbacks in our longterm training when real life does in fact interfere with our training. I'm glad you've kept your perspective and found your way into a solid plan, and it looks like the low end of the cycle may have loosened you up for the right mindset to be adventurous and try new things. Sure glad you're back, and already enjoying the lifting again! I seriously doubt you'll ever see "What's at the bottom of that slope." It's still your lifestyle, even with a hiccup now and then.

Keep it fun or you won't keep it
Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2009, 10:12:12 pm »

Kat, appreciated. Smiley Your signature is so appropriate for this journal: "Keep it fun or you won't keep it".

And yeah, comments are more than welcome on journals. I'm actually pretty jacked up thanks to posting this journal, very much looking forward to hitting the gym again tomorrow. There is only one way and that is: up.
John McDonald
Registered member
United States United States Male 4 posts
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2009, 07:45:37 pm »

Kris, it's nice to see that you've rekindled the flame... As you know, 2008 was a bum year lifting-wise for me, too.
I recently returned after a 6 month layoff, my bench was down to 245lbs.
Four months later I benched 305 in competition.
I am paying attention to little things like rotator cuff prehab and bringing up the strength of my accessory muscles (lats, biceps, etc.)
From your template it looks like you are doing the exact same thing!
I'm certain that if you can find the time and drive to train hard that you'll see results and fast...
Good luck in reaching your lifting goals in 2009.
Christian Burger
Staff  [Moderator, German Translator]
Austria Austria Male 598 posts
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2009, 04:25:52 pm »


good luck with picking up the training again. Did you set yourself some short and mid term goals for lifting?


Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2009, 09:46:10 pm »

John, much appreciated. Yeah, I got your mail earlier and read it with interest, but I'm pretty certain I never got around to answering it. I should be whipped for that, sorry. Sad It's encouraging to hear how quickly you got your strength back. Like you, I'm trying to go about this sensibly to ensure that I ease into it and get the required flexibility etc. down before I start going balls to the walls. My low back is also in a crappy state at the moment so all the more reason not to do anything foolish by rushing it.

Christian, thanks! My current goals is to hit the gym religiously three times a week and to hit 80 kg or more in the military bench meet next week. Right now I'm just trying to get my body reacquainted with the weights. My goal is also to be within 10 kg of my best virtualmeet lifts come the Virtualmeet gathering which I hope is realistic. But I'll set better goals once I get to the serious workouts.
Ben Crispin
United Kingdom United Kingdom Male 25 posts
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2009, 04:33:46 pm »

Hi Kris,

I too am in a rehabbing phase of sorts, due to a recurring virus over the last half of 2008 - slowly feeling that my strength is returning. Glad to hear you are getting back into the swing of things now - keep pushing!

I'd also like to thank you for originating and driving this excellent community.


Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2009, 07:33:22 pm »

Ben, thanks a lot for your encouragement!

I must say that getting back to lifting and starting this journal has also caused somewhat of a mind shift to getting back inside this site. Mind you, my own training is only loosely related to my drive to see where we can take this project, but for the last year I've increasingly been staring at it from the outside. While that may have been refreshing to some extent, it's much much more rewarding to be an active participant. I'm pretty excited about next week's meet, it's the first event I've lifted in since the September 2007 powerlifting meet. It's sure been a while...

I hope you nuked that virus of yours for good. It's one thing not to train due to choice (which was really what my outage was all about since I prioritized other things higher), not being able to train due to illness is all that more frustrating.

Seems like this comeback journal is crossing paths with many other out there who for one reason or another have been out of the game for a bit. Well, there's no time better than now to dust off the iron! I hope to rub shoulders with you all on the virtual platform in 2009.  Smiley
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