New 40 time: 5.86
This is a big disappointment. Pre-back injury, I was definitely running a bit faster. I'll give this another whirl soon, as I'm still in comeback mode from the injury and am just getting back into running.
I also want to recruit a better timer and use a better stopwatch. My wife was using a stopwatch app on her phone, and I don't have a ton of confidence in it's (or her) accuracy. For my first run, she told me "Nine seconds", which I argued with her most assuredly wasn't accurate. After that most of my runs were right around 5.9, which was terrible, but not ridiculously out of line. I found it pretty suspicious that my seventh run was my best at 5.86, as I was very tired by then.
Anyway, tryouts for the semi-pro team are this coming up weekend. I'm guessing they'll time me there and I'll get a more accurate number. If I am in the 5.8-ish range, it looks like I'll probably be playing line again if I make the team, as there's no way in hell that will be acceptable for a linebacker or tight end.
When to max
So I tried out with the local semi-pro team, and was timed in the 40 at 5.8 flat. Not surprisingly, I did not make the cut with a time like that. As a slightly chubby 240 pounder, this was not too hot. There were guys on the team who looked about 6'4, 260, without an ounce of fat who were running sub 5.0's. They had some very impressive athletes on the team, for sure.
I took this as further inspiration. I'm still shooting for my combine goals, regardless of not making the team. My current focus will be on a bit of weight loss, and improvement in foot speed. I'll be continuing my lifting of course, and I've got some additional stats:
New bench max: 235
I then shot for 240, and failed. This was right at the end of my 6 week program,(and a few days after a hard football tryout) and I wasn't exactly feeling my best. I'm optimistic about doing better quite soon.
This brings me to my next question. At what phase do you guys like to max out/shoot for personal records? I was listening to some guys talking about deload, phase in, go heavy/max, ease back, deload again. What is your preference here?
It seems to make sense to do a couple week ramp up, max, then back off again and deload, but what do you all think? I've tended to grind myself a bit too much before maxing, and that probably isn't the best way to get good numbers. Any suggestions for achieving personal record?
What's the point of achieving the PR? If it's just ego then treat it like a meet: periodize your training with several weeks of high-volume/lower-intensity prep, then gradually increase intensity (weight) while decreasing volume, then rest a week, then bang out a PR. I've never really done that because it's not my thing but that's how I understand it's generally done.
If instead you're looking to use singles as a training method, then I just spend a couple weeks experimenting with heavy triples. I use that experience to inform choice of weight for the singles. When I haven't been an idiot, I then take a half-week break and then start high-rep work (e.g. 3s, 5s, even--gasp--10s and 20s) again at a lower (but higher than before) weight so that I don't get greedy working too close to my 1RM and end up hurting myself.
I'm just looking at a PR is simply an evaluation of the effectiveness of my training. My goal is to get stronger, so it validates that, but I'd also like to use the correct values for my percentages, as my program is based off of % of max. As you mentioned, it is easy to start creeping up too close to the 1RM, so maxing and re-calculating allows me a proper re-set after deloading.
New PR for broad jump: 91.5 inches
Starting May 2013: 75 inches, Goal: 113 inches
I've been working a lot of jump squats at about 120 lbs, and this seems to be helping with general explosiveness. I haven't been working my jumping drills quite as much, but the jump squats really seem to be improving things. I've also been supplementing my back squats with front squats as well, so this may be a contributing factor too.
I find it interesting that even though I've been doing less pure jumping, I could make good gains due to explosive lifting. Resistance is an amazing thing.
I've recently been focusing heavily on cleans. For an athlete focused on explosiveness, they just make too much sense. Having originally learned cleans from a football coach, my form was pretty bad. Recently I've been working on my form pretty extensively, and migrated from shitty hang cleans to power cleans (with decent form), and now to (full) cleans, sometimes with a press at the end.
A nice breakdown of a full clean:
Cleans (full) have really exposed some shortcomings for me athletically. Specifically, being able to get under the bar quickly to make my catch, and not feel like I'm going to be crushed at the bottom. Right now I can still power clean more weight that I can full clean, which is most bizarre.
So, I've been working this light, and also added in some front squats, pause squats, and more focus on ass to grass squats. This all seems like a generally good thing athletically anyway, and I'm definitely feeling more comfortable getting under the bar quickly and stably with the cleans. My weights are going up, and it seems to be helping my vertical leap a fair bit.