The following is me just thinking out loud about my lifting. You’ve been warned. 🙂
The Defattening Project remains my focus. I’m closing in on 225 lb (from a 265 lb start). I can tell from how I look that I’m not where I want to be. And while I originally targeted 215 lb, I knew that was a somewhat arbitrary guess of a target number. At this point I am thinking it may go 205, but well… let’s get to 215 first and I’m sure I can make a better determination.
Regardless of the specific number, I’m close enough to the goal that I’m thinking what I want to do afterwards. Honestly I’m not totally sure, because I waffle between wanting to get big and get strong. I have recently started thinking I’m going to want to get big because I’m going to look in the mirror and see this “small” guy and will want to fill my frame back out. But I also think it might be good for me to ease back in and get my strength back. So while I’ve been lifting in a Paul Carter Base Building style during the Defattening, I do think that will go on the backburner. That once I can start eating upwards again, that I’ll probably do a Strong-15 cycle.
Now, I was thinking that I’d do a Strong-15 Short Cycle, to try to just jump back in and see where things lie. But thinking about it now, I think that would be a mistake. That would be good if I was in an already upwards Base Building cycle, but I’m not — I’ll be coming off some massive deprivation, and my body will probably need some fair time to adjust. So I think it would be wise for me to adopt a full Strong-15 cycle to get back into it.
I started to think about doing it LRB-365 style, doing it “man-maker template” style (day 1: squat/deadlift, day 2: bench, day 3: back/biceps), and that every 3 weeks as the main lifts go up then assistance work goes down. I think that sort of system will allow me to adapt and get back into the groove.
So then, what weights.
That is one that really kicks me. And I’m just not sure.
My first thought was to look at what I’ve been doing with Base Building, look at the values I’m using then do the reverse math to figure what my 1RM should be (in theory), then make that my goals for the Strong-15 cycle. But… when I do the numbers, I’m not sure what to make of it.
Just before I started The Defattening (August 2014), I had come off a Strong-15 cycle and set all-time PR’s of squat: 325 lb, bench 250 lb, deadlift 445 lb. If I look at the numbers I’m using today and then figure what the 100% would be, which of course is an EDM/working-max so that’s probably 90% of a true 1RM, that puts my bench around 265 lb and squat at 370 lb (I don’t know deadlift as I haven’t done conventional in a while due to knees and such). But look at that. 370 squat? SRSLY?
Now I cannot deny that my strength has gone up, despite the diet. Sure it’s going up rather slowly all things considered. Like my first run had my bench using 240 as 1RM, 225 as EDM, I worked up to a single at 190, and trying to do 5×8 @ 170 was tough. But now I’m using an EDM of 240, working up to a single at 225, then doing 3×5@205 followed by 3×5@180 followed by 145 AMRAP (16 in the latest session). So yeah, I could see with belt and wrist wraps and everything being right, I could hit 265.
And look at squat. 1RM was 325 with EDM of 292.5. I’m still following the same Base Building model (#1) and started by working up to a single at 250 and 5×5@175. Now it’s a single at 285 and 5×5@200. And this is all beltless (usually just knee sleeves); tho my 1RM is with a belt. I could maybe see maybe 350-360 as a new max, but 370? You’ve got to be kidding me. That just seems WAY too far out there relative to the work I’m doing. But, maybe I’m wrong… or just unsure of myself. 🙂
So, I don’t know. Writing it all out right now, I think what might be wise would be to look at the percentages I’m using now and just try to use similar percentages and figure out what feels more “reasonable” to do. But hey… if I kick ass with things, if the AMRAP sessions work, if the pause squats work well, great. I don’t expect this first Strong-15 post-Defattening to be awesome, just to get me back into the groove. If I feel there’s more left in the tank, then who knows… when I test, maybe I’ll just go for it and see what shakes out. Start conservative, plan conservative, get the body back in the groove, and go from there.
We’ll see. It’s still months away, because Defattening remains the priority and focus. But I can’t help but thinking about it because well… the light at the end of the tunnel may still be just a twinkle in the distance, but at least I can see it now. 🙂