Derek Wilcox: Strong(ish) Garagebell Chronicles 4-16-17 Emily Goes BIG and My Throwing/Piddling

I’m currently in my offseason and rehabbing my shoulders and looking to compete in the summer time.

After taking little bit of downtime to allow my hip issue to heal I am easing into some extra high-volume work. I don’t believe I’ve ever done a block of 15 reps before and with the extra time I’ve got between now and my intended meet in the fall it seemed like a good time to do that on top of trying to improve body composition as well. It certainly amazes me at the number of people who seem to believe you can’t do this and continue to progress when those guys are the ones who seem to have those “injuries out of nowhere” or “accidents that just happen”.  If you don’t take down time when appropriate, time will eventually take you down.

Heavy Lower Day (Warm ups – Empty bar squats with wraps on quads/hams, rotational hip stretches, TFL stretch, bird dogs and shoulder mobility)
– Close stance Squats –  135lbs 3×15
Sweet Lord Jesus Almighty at the quad pump I got on these.  My quads are always left behind in at least half of my training leading up to

– Countermovement Shrugs – 225lbs 3×15
Adding this in for experience and upper back hypertrophy.  I’ve never written these in any program (weightlifting or otherwise) so I wanted to try it out.

– Stiff Leg (Romanian) Deadlift – 95lbs 3×15
Never used this movement for such high reps so I’m just feeling this out for now.

Heavy Upper Day (Warm ups – Empty bar squats, rotational hip stretches, TFL stretch, bird dogs and shoulder mobility)
DB Bench Press – 60# 4×15
Pretty easy but still feel the grinding in my shoulders a lot here.

Pec Flys – 12lbs 3×15
These feel awful on my shoulders but hopefully that will get better as well.

Shoulder Rehab work

I worked on breaking off the rust in my throwing technique with the light and heavy weight for the Highland games. Things felt pretty good and I was throwing at about 80% effort just trying to hit positions and get a feel for everything again. My adapted technique of using hammer style rotations in the beginning helps keep me more consistent is my traditional first tarn often puts me in a bad position before I can start applying force to the weight. Got a nice reminder from the heavyweight of why it has a better tendency of throwing you if you try to “throw” it. All you can do is move with it and “encourage it” to go far.  There’s no muscling that thing around unless you’re 300+lbs.


Emily has really surpassed my expectations in several aspects in her meet preparation this time around. She looks super stable and consistent on everything and I’m extremely excited to see what she does this weekend.


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Derek Wilcox

Derek Wilcox is a multi-faceted strength athlete currently living in Tennessee with his wife, Emily. He is studying at East TN State for Sport Physiology and Performance. He works through Renaissance Periodization as a Nutrition and Training Consultant and has an impressive personal list of strength accomplishments. Strongman since 2009, National Meet Qualifier in Weightlifting in 2009 at 94kg and 105kg. Class A Highland Games Athlete since 2009. Elite PL Totals at 165, 181, 198, and 220. Pro Totals in 181, 198, 220. All time WR Squat at 181 with a 935. Lightest to ever squat 1000 pounds doing it at 194 pounds. His best meet lifts are 1000 squat at 198, 565 bench at 220 and 725 deadlift at 220.
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