The Road to Relentless – bench and rows – week 1

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Last night after work I went and tanned, I love tanning.  Ten minutes of UV stimulation that makes the brain happy and a tan makes everything look better.  Then it was off to karate to watch Emma and home for dinner and bed.    Zac seems to be struggling right now and I am not entirely sure what to do about it.   He has taken to getting upset over everything.   If I ask him to do something he starts saying, “Im sorry, Im sorry!”   There is no reason for him to be sorry and he just works himself all up about it.  The more I try to talk to him, the worse he gets.   With Emma I can go in and talk to her and explain things to her and she gets it, Zac, he doesnt want to get it.  I think part of the problem is that after two months of working the horse races every weekend he was used to spending a lot of time with me.   Since the horse races are over, we havent had the one on one time like we did then and I think he is missing it and doesnt know how to figure it out.  The past few weekends have been busy and I havent been able to just hang out with the kids so I am hoping that I can make up for it the next couple.

I am so proud of Emma.  She has really struggled with her reading and was usually never much more than 30% of her AR goal.  I have no idea what AR even means or what its significance is other than the kids are always taking tests on books they have read and if they pass they move up and they are supposed to reach a certain level at a certain time.  School is so complicated these days :/  Anyway a few months ago Emma decided she wanted to meet a certain reading goal and so she started reading an hour every day and she is now at 100% of her AR goal and the first one in her class to reach 100%.   I am so proud of her because I know she really struggled with reading and has tried hard to get better at it and it is really paying off.

I got up about 3:45 am and went and drank my shake and ate my half a peanut butter sandwich and dressed, took my preworkout stuff and headed out the door a bit after 4.  I forgot my dang ball cap so I had grosso hair hanging all over the place.  (yes, I am a very vain person, I admit it)

bench and rows

I did walk on the treadmill for a brief 5 mins followed by some stretching.


*45# for 20

*65# for 10

*85# for 8

*95# for 5

*115# for 4

*125# for 3

*135# for 2

*145# for 1

*115# for 8,7,8,7,6

These were all supposed to be for 8 but there was no way!!  It is going to take me a month or two to get used to this kind of volume.  It is a good thing, dont get me wrong, I just have to convince my body of if :)

*95# for 11

very unimpressive!


I was suppose to pause every rep and I know I failed in doing that successfully.  I also really let my elbows flare as I get more tired.  I suppose like most things, as one gets stronger, this happens less.


incline bench

*75# for 15,15,13

The total over three sets is supposed to be 50 and I missed it by a mile but I will get there.


db rows

I havent done db rows in probably over a year and a half and did it ever feel like it!

*40# for 5 sets of 20 each side

it was tough to get them all done so it was probably the perfect weight to use.


v bar rows

*120# for 5

*100# for 6

it was supposed to be 2 sets of heavy for 6.  I actually tried 140# at first but damn it if I could only get one.  120# was still too heavy to do with good form but 100# was too light so next time I will go for 110#.

*80# for 2 sets of 12


and that was it for this workout.  When I started I thought I would be able to do better than I did but alas, no such luck today.  :(

My battery was dying on my camera so I didnt video anything other than the bench which is probably a good thing because I was sucking air bad!


Today has been a pretty good day at the office.   We had the usual surgeries and walkins but everything went very smoothly.  I like days like this.  The only thing I dont like is the fact that nothing cool or unusual came in.   Well, that is not entirely true as we did have a horse come in that had all four legs swollen and its muzzle swollen and oozing but the owners didnt want to spend any money on it and so they just had it put down.

Finally got my camera monitor back working after two weeks.  It is wonderful to be able to sit back away from things and look around and see where someone is or how many people have invaded the front lobby.   Thank goodness David is electronically smart :)


The afternoon went by fast and it is almost time to go and I am glad.   Going to go and make dinner and go tanning again and get all ready for bed so when the kids get back from their aunts we can all go to bed :)

I am sure you are all so very jealous of my incredibly boring life of work and sleep :)  It is interesting to me how much more I desire a tight schedule and for things to be routine as I have gotten older.  I suppose it is probably because we are so busy at the clinic and there isnt much down time for me so rest is very appealing to my introvert self.

The Road to Relentless – death by volume: squats and deads week 1


I felt like dirt friday and when my alarm went off I just stayed in bed!   I can not even remember the last time I didnt get up for a workout :/  I generally go regardless of how I feel but it had been such an emotionally draining week and my head was trying to explode and it was really a pointless workout at I was beginning a new program this week and it just felt right to stay in bed.   And I didnt regret it at all!!

Saturday was the funeral and making sure that Devri got food and was doing alright until it was time to go home.  Then I went home and laid down and did not much of anything the rest of the day.  It was a good change to not have to do much of anything and I definitely needed a day like that.  Sunday was church and several emergencies and more rest :)  I feel so lucky to have gotten to rest as much as I did.

Ok, so now on to  this current training program.  I have rambled some about it in my videos.  Relentless, where do I begin.  Last fall I happened upon a few links on a couple of pages that I followed by powerlifting/weight lifting people about this Relentless Detroit.  I clicked on a link and did a bit of research and it was a very legit group of people who were putting on a powerlifting event to raise money for families that had children with cancer or were terminally ill.   I contact Tommy Westoff who was in charge of the event because I couldnt get stupid paypal to work and he told me about Relentless and I was hooked on wanting to help support it as much as I could.

Currently there are two meets, one in Detroit in the fall and one in Minnesota in the spring.   By the time that Minnesota rolled around I was pretty much in tune with how to support the different lifters and enjoyed watching the live stream.   A few weeks after the meet was over I received a message from JJ Thomas asking if I was going to lift in Detroit.  Now I had received this question a lot by various lifters that I had supported but had always told them no because, well, because.  It is easy to say no than to step out on a limb and put yourself out there by saying yes.  Well JJ didnt take no for an answer and he pretty much said he was going to pencil me in and you and I both know being penciled in is pretty much saying, you are doing it.   Honestly, as much as I am not ready for such a thing physically, it is something that I had on my list of things that I would like to do.  Sometimes it takes a great cause to make you get yourself ready because Relentless isnt about me, it is about God and the children and how could I not want to make it my first meet?!

With this on the table, I knew I needed help because I know nothing about how to prepare for a powerlifting meet.  And it is about the children but I still have to do my best and I refuse to not be prepared for that.  So lucky for me, I had the opportunity to  go to a Paul Carter, Lift-Run-Bang, seminar in Tucson.  I was able to meet with him for about an hour before to go over my deads since I was only going to be able to attend the one day.   Being completely honest, I do not care for his online persona.  I had been told that he was actually nice in person and he was.  He is very soft spoken and extremely helpful as he has the eye for knowing exactly what you need to do differently to fix your lift.   I wish I could have actually spent one extra hour of one on one going over squats and bench and then I could have left.  :D  My introvert, boring, dont like to lift around others, personality would have gotten way more out of that.  Yes, I know, not wanting lot lift around others is probably the biggest reason I said no all those times :)

I asked Paul if he would be interested in writing my programing and he actually agreed even though I am not a very nice person :)    Knowing that nutrition is as important as ones lifting program, I contacted Nick Shaw, Renaissance Periodization, to do my nutritional programing.  Now I know that one does not have to go to these extremes to lift in a powerlifting meet but I am very busy, too busy and there is not much energy, let alone mental energy, left to put into what I should lift and what I should eat.  Maybe the only good thing about working ALL the time is that it affords one the financial ability to pay for such things so I dont have to think about it!  And, I do better when I am being babysat because I tend to go way too easy on myself and let myself get away with less than what I should.  When I am accountable to someone else than I do not want to let them down and so I try to at least meet if not exceed their expectations.

Thankfully by saturday I was starting to feel better and sunday was almost normal other than a nagging cough.   I got to bed at a decent time and the phone never rang and I woke up about 2:30 and dozed on and off until 4.  I tried very hard to manage my time better than usual because the volume on this program is way way more than I make myself do, once again, hence the reason I need someone else to tell me what to do.

The program is broken up in to two lower body days and two upper body days.  Mondays are squats and deads, tuesdays bench and rows, thursdays are front squats and stiff legs and fridays are OHP and bis and tris.    It is a good thing squats and deads are on monday because I am not sure I would have it in me to do them any other day!!

squats and deads

because of the volume, I did not do any treadmilling!


*45# for 20

*95# for 10

*115# for 8

*135# for 5

*155# for 4

*175# for 3

*185# for 2

*205# for 1

*165# for 5 sets of 5


low bar squats will take a bit to get used to.  they are killer on the wrists and they make me feel like I am leaning way too far forward.

I need to work on being more explosive, I suck!  I try to hard to think of everything that I am supposed to do and then I go so slow that nothing works.


deads (standing on a 45# plate)

*245# for 5

*275# for 4

*315# for 2 and a FAIL

I actually stopped after the second one and started to walk away and just couldnt let myself not try!  I still failed but at least I tried.  I know that that really isnt acceptable either but it is better to have tried and failed than to have never tried.

*245# for 3 sets of 3


Im a mess!

I was so done but there was more left to do.  I am telling you, I generally take lots of time in between my sets because I am inherently  lazy but with this, there is so much volume I dont stop.  It is load plates and go.  In fact, I have decided to change my morning schedule!  Suzy hold the boat!  For me to change, it has to be a good reason and the fact that it will soon be hotter than the surface of the sun in the gym and I figure it is pointless to get up and shower, go sweat to soaking and then shower again.  So now I am going to get up, put on a ball cap (keep my hair out of my eyes and collect some sweat) and work out and then go home and shower.  If nothing else I am sure the kids will be very happy about it because I will be home more of the time when they are up and getting ready for school.


one legged leg press

*90# for 5 sets of 5 each leg

I have done 200# one legged presses before and I tried it but I couldnt do it without cheating so I dropped weight and did them slow and full range of motion.



*2 sets of 30


It was a monday today at the office.  We are short staffed and will probably remain that way for awhile because Devri is unsure of how long she will need to be off and we had an employee quit and my cousin is coming in a few weeks and we have another girl who is going to vet tech school coming as well in a few weeks so then we will be good.  I tell the girls that we just have to work extra hard.

Today we were on it and did great and we had one of our clients who is a lion hunter come down with two dogs for surgery.  One of them had been shot in the paw after the bullet had gone through and killed the lion.   The bullet was embedded under her main pad.





We finished with surgeries before noon and got everybody off to lunch and the afternoon went smoothly even though it was really busy as well.    I am very blessed to have a great team of people working for me and they all just get in there and do what needs to be done with no whining and no drama!  It makes work good despite the fact that it is crazy busy.

Interim training – deads


Ughhhhhh my head hates me!   That is all :)  We will now return to our regularly scheduled, non whiny blog :D

Yesterday was a pretty good day.  I dont really remember as all the days kind of blur together.  We had someone drop off a cat in a trap outside the clinic.  That stuff irritates me!  Grow some huevos and just bring it in.  I have no problem neutering it and turning it back out.


This little dog came in with half its nose bitten off by a pit bull.  One must be careful where they stick their nose.


Went to sleep last night not really feeling great but hoping that by morning it would all be good and it wasnt.  One of the few things about getting old that I dont like is that the body gets wore down and it takes longer for it to get itself running back to strong again.  I honestly have not been sick this much in probably eight years and it irritates me no end!

I got up before 4 as I had pretty much been awake since 1 because I couldnt get comfortable.  Got ready and headed out the door.


dreadmill warm up that did nothing to stop my head from hurting.  It was one of those headaches that feels like an “I ate too much ice cream too fast and now my brain is freezing” type headache and I was hoping it would go away when I got my bloods flowing but it didnt.



*135# for 2 sets of 10

my hammies were sooo tight and wanted so bad to cramp up so I went very slow.

*185# for 2 sets of 5

*225# for 7 singles


I had intended on using 225# for a warm up and then moving up to 275# for working sets but every time I bent over my head tried to explode.  After failing miserably to pull 225# with any kind of decent form I just called it a day!  I start a new program on monday and I have a wedding to go to tonight and I just couldnt find any good reason to torture myself.

I came home and took 4 advil and laid down for a bit but that is pretty futile between the kids and the dogs.  I got to the office and started some antibiotics as much as I hate to I have way too much to do the next 3 days to be sick.

Today has gone pretty well.   Surgeries actually were done before noon but the afternoon has been crazy.  I am hoping to get out of here shortly so I can go and get cleaned up for the wedding.



Interim training – bench

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I do not like change, I am antichange!   I bought a new little video camera and it doesnt have any programing for making movies and it has taken me all day to figure out how to make a movie! :/  I had to buy a movie making program and I have not a clue how to use it.  Mr Carter wants me to label each lift, hell, I cant even make a stupid movie, how am I going to label anything :( ?   Thankfully David came over and found the video I had made but I am not sure that I have the patience for this learning curve!

I slept well last night and woke up before 4 and was out the door a bit after 5.


dreadmill warm up, forgot to stretch


*45# for 3 sets of 10

*95# for 2 sets of 5

*115# for 8 sets of 3

I worked on leg drive, staying tight and breathing but I am not yet able to get it all worked on at the same time.


db press

*60# for 7,7,6


lying tri extensions

*35# for 3 sets of 15



*3 sets of 6






*2 sets of 30


It was a nice easy day at the clinic today.   Surgeries went smoothly and we were done a bit before 1.  The afternoon went smooth and the lobby was never packed and crazy.  Days like this are kind of nice every now and again for a breather.

We are waiting on an emergency to come in.  It is a probable ruptured bladder in a 3 day old foal.  Surgery table is ready and we are just waiting and waiting and waiting.    I dont like to wait.  There are all sorts of things that I could have done after work like go tanning, go to the grocery store, go home, you know, just things :)

Interim Training – Squats


So much has happened in the past few days and I am trying to collect my thoughts!  I am a terrible rambler and I have been actively working on decreasing my word usage.  Not really sure if I am making much progress :)

Saturday I headed down to Tucson for a lifting seminar by Paul Carter.  He has a website, Lift- Run- Bang where he offers training tips, thoughts and advice and shares his thoughts with the world.   Having followed his page on and off over the past 8 months or so I knew that he had a good eye for spotting people technique failures.  Some people just have that knack.  They can watch and tell you exactly what you need to do differently to be better, Paul is one of those types.   Given I struggle with my form on every lift and have never had the opportunity for anyone to watch me in person to tell me what I needed to fix, I figured it would be good to go.  Also, having committed to lift at Relentlesss Detroit, it is very important that I get things figured out!!  I am way too prideful to show up and fail as those kids are way too important!

I was only going to be able to attend on Saturday so I was blessed enough to have few people who personally know Paul to tell him to be nice to me and I asked him if I could come in a bit early so he could work with me on my deadlift form.  He was very accommodation and I was able to be there an hour early for some awesome one on one training.

This was the first lifting seminar I had ever been to and I have to say, I am not sure I would ever really want to go to one again.  I would rather try and find someone that would work with me one on one because Im needy and want my issues addressed in private :D  My introvert self doesnt like the whole public thing.   The best part for me was the time I had before that was very one on one because I could ask all the questions I needed to without feeling like a retard in front of other people.  After that I pretty much just sat back and watched and did my rounds when made to and it was all good.

On the way home I got a call from my best friend and they had had a tragic event in their family and the rest of my weekend was spent trying to support and help in any way that I could.

I didnt sleep great last night and it was tough getting out of bed.  While there saturday I asked Paul if he would do my training program to prepare me for Relentless and amazingly enough he agreed.   So I am waiting for all of that to happen so I just winged it today and worked on my form which I am still not getting my ass low enough!!


warm up on dreadmill with stretching


*45# for 3 sets of 10

*95# for 2 sets of 5

*135# for 5

*155# for 3

*175# for 8 sets of 3

just worked on foot position and trying to break at the hips


working on low bar squatting


front squats

*135# for 2 sets of 8





incline situps

*45# for 2 sets of 22



It has been an interesting monday at the clinic.  I met with my financial adviser first thing and got things figured out for last years IRA amounts and then what can be done differently for next year to set more aside given that I am a small business owner and have employees etc etc.

We were so very slow on surgeries this morning and there were tons of walk ins as is the usual.  We had two dogs come in that needed blood transfusions.    It is awesome to do stuff like that.  It makes such a difference in their survival plus it is just awesome to be able to save them.   Surgery will always be my favorite but life saving medicine is good too.

photo(1748)Graham was the first donor.  He is headed to New Jersey in a week but had great RBC so we let him save a life before he left us.


The first receiver,  a cocker with AIHA.  She had a RBC count of 1.0 and a HCT of 8.  She would have been dead by morning without the transfusion.  The second donor was one of the kennel helps great dane.  I am so happy to have another big dog around because Finn and Angel are total blood donor failures with low counts.


the second recipient a hound that was bit by a rattlesnake and has pretty severe bleeding issues because of it.

The afternoon was busy and went by pretty fast.  Just finished with a castration and waiting on an emergency to show up.  I cant wait to go to bed tonight :)

The Cube Cycle 3 max effort – OHP

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I am exhausted!!!!  I dont do well on not enough sleep and last night there was definitely not enough sleep!   I had a massage from 5:30-7:30pm and David and the kids didnt get home until after 8 and so it was a bit late in getting to bed.  Then the phone rang at 11:30 with the stupid people who now own the golden retriever that I spent two plus hours putting its leg back together.  They had never put on the e collar and had left the dog alone and it had pretty much destroyed its external fixator.   At that time the damage was done so I told them to bring it in this morning.  About ten minutes later a woman called who wanted to put her old dog to sleep that had maggots because apparently the maggots just decided to show up at 11:30.  It took them 45 minutes to get to town and then they got lost for another 45 minutes so it 1 am by the time I got the dog euthanized and back in bed.   4 am came very early after that.   I was getting ready and the phone started ringing again and again.  Dude leaves message about his puppy bleeding out and vomiting.  We have parvo all year around here and so I was going to finish getting dressed and call him back and I will be damned if he didnt come pulling up to my house!  NOT recommended!  I was NOT happy.  Your puppy didnt get parvo at 4 am, it has had it and you have been not paying attention to it and now you are freaked out.  Needless to say, not my best workout after all that :/


OHP max effort


*45# for 5

*65# for 3

*85# for 1

*95# for 1

*105# for 1

*110# for FAIL UGH :(


*45# for 2 sets of 20


db curls dropset

*35,25,15# for 2 sets at 8,10,15 reps




reverse grip bb curls

*45# for 3 sets of 10




total suckage today :(



I was whiny tired at work this morning and I did not want to be.  You know how some days you just want to be in a bad mood, I have those days frequently but I didnt want to be in a bad mood today so I sent one of the kennel girls down to the little Cottage bakery and she brought back lemon bars and other goodies.  Very bad for my ass but good for my mood.  It did totally knock me on my fat ass after the insulin ate up all the sugar but it was almost worth it.

We had a something morning.  There werent that many surgeries but for some reason it seems like we couldnt get anything done very quickly and it was after 1 before we finished surgeries.    I made Devri wax my eyebrows and lip so that I dont look too redneck for my seminar tomorrow.  Thankfully it doesnt start until 10 which means that I can sleep until 6 as it is a two hour drive to get there.   I did ask Paul if I got there early if he could help me with my deads.  He was very accommodating and said if I got there at 9 he would help me.  I cant wait.  It will be a great weekend!

The Cube Cycle 3 max effort – deads

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Yesterday was off day from the gym and sleep until 6 day for me :)  I like wednesdays!  We had an incredibly crazy day at the office!  I dont know if we were slow or just that busy but it was after 1 when I started on the last surgery which was a complicated fracture repair with an external fixator.  It took about 2 hours of sweat and frustration but I got it put back together!






The rest of the day was busy with an emergency after hours and then bed.  Up a bit before 4 and out the door at 5.

deads max effort

dreadmill warm up with stretching after



*135# for 5

*225# for 5

*275# for 2

*315# for 1 all of the above including 315 done with no belt

*335# for 1

*355# for 1

*375# for 1 a 10# PR :)

I had planned on 335#.345#.355#.365# but after 335 I figured why waste energy on 345 so I jumped to 355#.  355 felt pretty good so I thought, what the heck, lets go for 375# and I be damned if it didnt come off the ground and all the way up :)  I did put 385# but it only came about an inch off the ground :/


not a good picture but can one look good pulling a max?


sumo deads

*225# for 2 sets of 6





glut/ham raises

*3 sets of 15


incline situps

*45# for 2 sets of 22



It was another busy surgery morning with a toe amputation and stifle arthrotomy at the end.  Once again I didnt get started on the last surgery until 1 but thankfully it did not take near as long.  The dog had a large OCD lesion on the medial condyle of the femur and the owner couldnt afford to take it to the specialty clinic for arthroscopy so I told her I would just do it the old fashioned way and she was fine with that.  It was pretty cool!  Took out all the damaged cartilage and spongy bone and sewed it back up.  Ahhhhh it is good to do interesting surgeries.


The nuns brought in a sick goat this morning.  We have an awesome xray machine and so I took xrays of it.  I think it has a blockage as it has been regurgitating and its rumen was hugely full.  We tubed it with mineral oil and placed an IV catheter so they could give it fluid.  The nuns are great clients.



The afternoon is cruising right along and I am tired and very glad that I have a massage scheduled for after work.