Thursday, July 13, 2017

Training Log - July 13, 2017

Overhead Press and Rows

I decided to take yesterday off, so today was just the minimum on what would normally be two days.

Since I can't squat at all, I dedicate a day to rows.  Normally this would mean doing many different row variations, but today I was crunched for time since I did my workout in the morning.  I'm trying to do at least one training day in the mornings so that I have more of the evening available for housework and spending time with my wife.  It also gives me the benefit of getting to train with one of my training partners more often.

Seated Overhead Press

I started doing seated overhead press as a main movement about a month ago, due to some knee pain that had been bugging me for a long time.  It seems like the pain might have been related to losing my balance at the top of really heavy overhead press reps, where I would shift most/all of the weight to my meat leg.  Now I'm doing standing as an accessory movement, and it doesn't seem to have suffered.

I lowered the weights a bit today due to not being used to training so early in the mornings yet and needing to not spend so much time between sets today.
  • 45lb   x 10 reps
  • 95lb   x 5 
  • 115lb x 5
  • 135lb x 3
  • 165lb x 5
  • 185lb x 3
  • 215lb x 2

Seated Cable Rows

This is one of my favorite movements. It allows me to do moderate-heavy weight for high volume without tearing up my legs and hips.  Today I decided to go with 10 sets of 10 to keep things simple.

  • 120lb x 10 reps
  • 120lb x 10
  • 120lb x 10
  • 120lb x 10
  • 140lb x 10
  • 140lb x 10
  • 140lb x 10
  • 140lb x 10
  • 160lb x 10
  • 180lb x 10

Dan Nunnelly Fundraiser for World's

My friend and fellow below-knee amputee strongman competitor, Dan Nunnelly, has started a GoFundMe to raise money for all of the American athletes who qualified for World's.  If you would like to help out and have your money go towards all of the athletes, please check it out.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Training Log - July 11, 2017

Deadlifts and Rowing

My ankle was still a little stiff from my fall on Saturday, but nothing too bad.  I think it did hinder me a bit, but I didn't need to go too heavy anyway.

Deadlift day is probably where I'm most affected by my injuries.  The lack of control of my right calf combined with the lack of a left calf means I have terrible balance.  Then you add in the short range of motion my left knee is capable of and the damage to all the muscles in my upper left leg and hip, and you get a perfect storm of terrible deadlifting.

These things are why I don't compete standing in disabled competition, I just can't compete on the level of everyone else when I don't even have a good leg.  If you go back to my training log post for Saturday, you'll see how these things affect my log clean and press and what I've done to modify the clean.

Here is what the first deadlift at 135 I did after my accident looked like, just in case you're curious:


As I said, I wasn't able to go very heavy today, and I didn't really need to anyway.  For me, deadlifts are an assistance exercise to keep me walking and doing other daily tasks.

  • 135lb x 5 reps
  • 135lb x 5
  • 155lb x 5
  • 185lb x 3
  • 225lb x 5
  • 255lb x 3
  • 295lb x 1
  • 225lb x 5
  • 225lb x 6
After this, I did a quick stupid complex of barbell deadlifts and power cleans with 135lbs.  I only managed to get through it twice before I ended up just doing a high pull on the third pass.

Rowing Cardio

I like rowing on the Concept2 or similar rower for cardio more than any of form of cardio.  I'm able to keep my heart rate elevated for a longer period of time when doing steady state cardio, and I can do sprints as well.  Neither of these is easy for me to do while walking, and I'm more likely to tear myself up.  It's been a while since I was consistent with my cardio, so I've been working my way back up.  I did 500m as a warmup, then did 10 minutes.  I hope to get back to being able to do longer distances and times without a problem soon.
  • 500m in 2:32 @ 40% resistance
  • 1643m in 10:00 @ 40% resistance

Training Log - July 10, 2017

There will be a quick flurry of posts tonight, since I've fallen behind on posts...

Incline and Flat Bench Press

I like to do barbell incline bench press as a main pressing movement, because it has good carryover to regular strongman and incline presses are often featured in disabled strongman competitions.  One thing I have found is that my flat bench strength typically goes up after doing a few cycles of incline press, even if I've been plateaued for a while.  I've had times where I've gone three months without even touching flat bench, but this isn't one of those times.

Interesting note from today, I asked a guy to spot me on incline press and he decided to chat afterwards.  He started talking about how "it would be nice if we still had the energy the young guys have" and I just laughed internally and played along.  Despite what people think when they meet me, I'm only 26.

The internet apparently disagrees with my birth certificate...

Barbell Incline Bench Press

305lbs was a new 1RM, five pounds over my previous max.  The best part is that this was programmed as a training 1 rep today, whereas when I hit 300 it was unplanned.  It wasn't as clean as I'd have liked, but I'll take it.
  1. 45lb   x 10 reps
  2. 95lb   x 10
  3. 125lb x 5
  4. 155lb x 5
  5. 185lb x 5
  6. 235lb x 5
  7. 265lb x 3
  8. 305lb x 1 (PR)

Barbell Bench Press

I decided to have some fun with this one, and do heavy high volume.

  1. 225lb x 10 reps
  2. 245lb x 10
  3. 265lb x 8
  4. 285lb x 6
  5. 305lb x 5
  6. 325lb x 3

Dumbbell Shrugs

These felt good on my shoulder after all the benching. I'll be doing rows later this week.

  1. 45lb x 15 reps
  2. 45lb x 15


Monday, July 10, 2017

Training Log - July 8, 2017

Strongman Saturday at Refuge Barbell!

Strongman Saturday after a rough week pain-wise.  Wasn't sure how well the day was going to go, and I was going into it feeling pretty beat up and stiff.

First off, here's a pro tip: Don't put IcyHot on your back immediately before activities where you will sweat prodigiously (so, every activity for me).  Let's just say... it migrates....

Now that we have that out of the way, on to the training!


Log Clean and Press

I did the first six sets on a metal log.  All reps were cleaned from the floor.
  1. 110lb x 3 reps
  2. 110lb x 3
  3. 140lb x 4
  4. 170lb x 1
  5. 180lb x 1
  6. 200lb x 1
I did have a small mishap between sets 5 and 6. I went to step over the log to get to my gym bag and instead I put my foot inside the log (and it was the meat leg to top it off...).  So, here's PSA number 2: don't do that. Seriously, it's not fun.  I fell pretty hard, but came back and hit the 200lb clean and press.

My ankle about 30 seconds after the fall. The bruised/bleeding line is where I caught the edge of the hole.
After set 6, I switched to a wooden log we have.  It weighs about 170lbs empty, which is why I don't start with it, as it's too heavy for me to lift without a warmup. I did two sets here:

  1. 200lb x 1 rep
  2. 230lb x 1 rep
230lbs was a massive 10lb PR over my previous best and puts me only 5lbs under what I did before I lost me leg.  In the video, you get to see how I've had to adapt the log clean to overcome my mobility issues.  It's... not pretty, but it works for me.

Axle Incline Press

I did these with the seat on the bench set to one click below vertical, so it was almost an overhead press.

  1. 75lb x 3 reps
  2. 75lb x 5
  3. 135lb x 5
  4. 185lb x 3
  5. 225lb x 1
  6. Failed attempt at 245lb

Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press

Just some volume work on my triceps.

225lb x 8 reps for four sets

Reverse Barbell Curl

Light volume work for my biceps, I've found doing lightweight high-volume curls helps my elbows feel better and keeps me from having forearm/bicep cramps as much during competition.
  1. 20lb x 25 reps
  2. 45lb x 15 
  3. 45lb x 15

Wide-Grip Barbell Bench Press

Not sure why I did this, I just wanted something different than close-grip, and I never do wide-grip.

225lb x 6 reps for 1 set

Barbell Curl

  1. 45lb x 15 reps
  2. 45lb x 15
  3. 25lb x 25

Snatch-Grip Deadlift

I have to do pretty much all of my deadlifts almost stiff-leg, especially snatch-grip.  Just did one set of 135 for 5 reps to loosen my hips up a little more before getting back in the car.


Guess I need to get the first post up here before I jump in too far.  I've tried blogging many times in the past, and I haven't been able to be consistent with one since back in my Xanga days (glad those are behind me now!).

Anyway, I'm John Stitt, otherwise known as One-Legged Lightning.  I'm a below-knee amputee with many mobility limitations and I compete in the sport of Strongman.  This year is my third year competing as a disabled Strongman and my fifth year competing in Strongman overall.

I competed earlier this year at America's Strongest Disabled Athlete and came in second place.  This qualified me to go to World's Strongest Disabled Man in September and compete against the best in the world for the title.  I hope to chronicle the next couple months here and hopefully raise some money to help pay for the trip.  After World's is over, I will likely continue the blog, but let's get that far first.