2013-01-25 training log

It’s a different kind of PR.

Wendler 5/3/1 program, cycle 16 (mark 2), week 3

  • Work Set – Squat (working max: 285#)
    • 2x5x45 (warmup)
    • 1x5x115
    • 1x5x145
    • 1x3x175
    • 1x5x215 (work)
    • 1x3x245
    • 1x4x275 (PR*)
    • holding 315 (see below)
  • Assistance – Squat
    • 3 x 5 x 135

First, today was cut short because I have an early business meeting. That’s life.

Second, the PR is a PR, but different. First, I have never done 275 for 4 reps, and my max PR right now is 3 reps at 280. So today is a rep PR and calculated out to being better than the true PR. So, that’s kinda cool.


The 4th rep was bowling shoe ugly (thank you Jim Ross). I’m sure in a competition it would have gotten 3 red lights. I’m pretty sure I didn’t go deep enough. But the reality is, it wasn’t about getting a 4th picture perfect technique rep.

It was about not getting crushed.

If you’ve followed my journey, I hate squatting. I have a lot less hate for it these days (I’m not ready to say I like it… but… maybe), and a lot of deep-seeded fear about it. It’s probably all from my childhood… Mom fears… “oh you’ll hurt yourself” and all that sort of shit. Fear of getting crushed… of getting pinned. I’m getting over it tho, because what’s the worst? I don’t get up… the bar hits the rails, it might make a lot of noise, but whatever. It is NOT the end of the world, it isn’t that big a deal. So that’s what it was for me — working to overcome the mental hurdles. I’m making progress here, and that’s what it was about. Rep 3 was a struggle, but I said “fuck it” and went for a fourth. Oh yes, ugly ugly ugly… but it was about “getting back up” no matter what and pushing myself further.

So to that end, that’s more important progress for me.

And yeah… maybe… maybe… I might be getting a little fond of squats. Tho I shouldn’t admit it yet…. 🙂

The other thing I did was put 315# on my back. All I did was put the plates on, get under the bar, unrack, walk back, stand there for about 10 seconds, then rack it. I’ve read about powerlifters doing this. I haven’t read why, but my guess is a mental thing. It’s about feeling that weight. Whatever your max weight is? Put more on your back. If 275 is the heaviest you’ve ever lifted, to your body and mind, that’s heavy. Put 315 on your back, now THAT is the threshold of “heavy”, and 275 is light by comparison, right? Also that in competition, if your third attempt is to be a PR, then when you’ve got all the pressure of competition going on, why add one more unknown to the mix? why let the first time you’ve ever felt this weight be at the competition? Let it be old-hat, at least in some regard, so it’s not a total surprise. So that’s why I tried it, on a whim. Just see what it feels like and what that might do for my mental outlook.

What did it feel like?

Heavy. When I read about guys lifting 600, 700, 800, 1000 pounds and how that weight crushes you… I can only imagine what that’s like, because the 315 felt like it was crushing me. But then, I’m sure when I was squatting 95# that 275 would have felt like it was crushing me. But there you go. It felt heavy, so hopefully 275 will feel lighter now. 🙂 Plus it was a bit of a mental thing to position myself for that goal — to have 3 wheels on the bar and how cool that’s going to be. My goal is before the end of 2013 to squat 315. Since I’m currently progressing at 5# a cycle, that’s 8 cycles… so, it’s do-able.

In other news….

Assistance squatting was light, because I wanted to. Given how ugly the last work rep was, I wanted to remind my body what a picture perfect rep should be. So just 135 on the bar, and every rep was really “doing a single” and trying to be as picture-damn-perfect as I know how to do a squat. It was again more about the mental.

And… in diet?

When I squat my belt gets hooked at the second to the last hole. I did that this morning and the belt felt loose! I went to the last hole… it was a little bit of a pull to get there, but I did and it felt right (just a hair tight, but good). So…. hey, if that means I am losing something around the middle, awesome.

I’m going to give it a week or so of seeing if it’s really the case or just was a fluke for today. But if it is the case, it will be time for me to order a new belt. And yes, I’ll order again from BestBelts.

2 thoughts on “2013-01-25 training log

  1. Congrats on the squat weight and belt size progress.

    Do you cycle different types of squats into your routine or work in your lighter sets without the belt?

    I remember learning that the belt is great to avoid injury at higher weights but can weaken the back if used too much. Similar to using wrist straps instead of hand strength.

    At any rate, congrats. The fears you expressed about the squats resonated with me – as did the possible causes. Mom!

    • Thank you.

      I don’t cycle my squats… like to use front squats instead. It’s all just plain old squats, as Mark Rippetoe teaches in “Starting Strength”.

      I try to only use my belt when I most need it, so it’s generally the 3 work sets. I MIGHT use it on my assistance sets if I know I’m pushing hard on my workload, but I try to not.

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