Well today was back day again, and something I learned today had a pretty big impact on my workout. I saw this video on Jonnie Candito’s training channel CanditoTrainingHQ.
Bicep tears are a common deadlift problem but not often spoken about.
I notice when I do deadlifts I do feel periodic twangs up and down the arm, and wasn’t sure why. Well the tension is pretty heavy and with one arm in a different direction it just makes sense that there is uneven distribution of load. So I decided to learn the suggested “hook grip” and also to improve my grip strength by using a conventional grip. I felt like this was a good plan to improve my grip strength overall and reduce my reliance on a switch grip. I did however also see a good video that explains how to maintain the switch grip with good form, so my plan is to use it only when bearing heavy loads and to be more cognizant of the form issues, so I’m reducing risk of a sudden freak bicep tear.
Omar Isuf gives a few pointers on using the switch grip in a way that is conscious of the risk of bicep injury
Alright that said, here is the log.
Deadlifts: Sets 1 & 2) 5 reps @ 235lbs. Set 3) 5 reps @ 245lbs. Set 4) 5 reps @ 255lbs. Set 5) 5 reps @ 265lbs, this was a very slow set with breaks on almost every rep – in the middle of this set I stopped doing the hook grip and did one rep with the switch grip, then went back to the hook grip. Set 6) 12 reps @ 135lbs (drop set with a conventional unhooked overhand grip, to focus on more gripping strength).
So that was fun and I will say, my thumb felt kind of sore from it and it didn’t help that the other day my thumb got slit open by a can lid, so squeezing it in the barbell grip wasn’t that fun. But it did get me through without having to use the switch grip. I feel like the best policy here out is to do a standard overhand grip, until weight gets overbearing, then hook grip, then for a few high load reps doing a switch grip with consciousness about the risk factors. I could of course use straps (I have some and they are cheap for you to get), but I’m one of those people who likes knowing I’m pulling that bar up off the ground with my own power.
The rest of back day was fantastic, and gave me a great back swole. I couldn’tve asked for a better back day workout than this one.
Low Row (this is a Seated Cable Row just like to call it low row to differentiate it from seated lateral rows on the machine to pull back via gripped levers): Sets 1 & 2) 8 reps @ 135lbs. Sets 3 & 4) 8 reps @ 150lbs. Set 5) 8 reps @ 165lbs (this was a rough set, poor form, did it with a couple breaks of reps of 4,2,2).
1-Armed Dumbbell Row: Sets 1 & 2) 5 reps @ 70lbs. Sets 3 & 4) 5 reps @ 80lbs.
Lateral Pulldowns: Set 1) 5 reps @ 145lbs. Sets 2 & 3) 8 reps @ 130lbs. Sets 4 & 5) 8 reps @ 115lbs.
Bent Over Rows (curl bar): 4 sets 8 reps @ 110lbs.
Overhead Shrugs: 4 sets of 10 reps @ 95lbs. Still my favorite way to work my upper traps.
Upright Dumbbell Rows: This is a new exercise I used as a replacement for upright rows, intended primarily today to work rear delts and traps. It’s a very cool exercise, I’m new to it, saw it on the Athlean-X channel which is run by a cool guy Jeff Cavaliere.
I have had the joint soreness issues creeping up, they’re getting better and I feel like because I am making adjustments like this. I will resume upright rows when I feel my shoulders are 100%, but use this dumbbell variation intermittently to reduce overall strain. I felt great after just a few sets of this.
Anyways, 3 sets of 10 reps @ 30lbs.
That’s it! Had a great workout, another one in the books with lots of lessons learned. What more can you ask for?
Well you can ask for cardio, but my hams are still shot up from the squats the other day and the epic long run Monday, so I skipped out on it. Tomorrow though I gotta get a good run in, I know. Crossing fingers that it won’t rain on my parade.