2017-03-28 training log

On paper, an 80% day. To me tho, a -10% day.

On paper the day is a good one. Things went up, progress was made. But I just didn’t feel great about it.

Bench work was unstable. I just couldn’t get my lower body to fire, to be tight, to have drive. Things just felt all over the place and it manifested in wasted energy and lost reps. I’m not 100% sure why things sucked, but they did. Did not make a rep PR.

The one thought is the rows. I’m doing them with an EZ-bar and a pronated/overhand grip, just for variety. That pull involves more biceps than a neutral grip. I felt my biceps getting a little irritated, not unlike the prior issues I had before, tho certainly not quite the same. Given what I was feeling, that may have been at the root of the instabilities. Hard to say. On the last 2 sets of rows I switched to free handles and a neutral grip and felt more back and less biceps recruitment. I’ll probably stick with the neutral grip.

But otherwise, things are what they are.

  • Bench Press (superset cable rows)
    • bar x whatever
    • 105 x 5
    • 130 x 5
    • 155 x 3
    • 180 x 3
    • 210 x 3
    • 235 x 7
    • 210 x 11
    • 180 x 11
  • Cable Rows
    • 100 x 12
    • 110 x 12
    • 120 x 12
    • 130 x 12
    • 130 x 12
    • 130 x 12
    • 130 x 12
    • 130 x 12
  • DB Bench Press (superset with Kroc rows)
    • 75e x 10
    • 75e x 10
    • 75e x 10
  • Kroc Row
    • 50 x 10e
    • 50 x 10e
    • 50 x 27e
  • DB Upright Row
    • 25e x 15
    • 25e x 15
    • 25e x 12
  • Overhead Rope Extensions
    • 60 x 13
    • 60 x 12
    • 60 x 8
  • EZ Bar Curl (narrow grip)
    • 55 x 15
    • 55 x 14
    • 55 x 11

2017-03-27 training log

That was good.

I must be liking squats. 🙂 Last night before bed I looked up what I was to do today. “OK, 305 for reps. How many do I need to set a rep PR? 6 will work.” And went to bed.

Worked up, and 6 came pretty easy. I knew I could go for more and thought about it, but no, I set the goal of 6, met the goal, and left a couple in the tank, which is the smarter way to go. Very happy.

While you cannot use 1RM formulas to know what your 1RM actually would be, it is a fair way to compare progress over time. Right now my 1RM is calculating out to 365, and that calculation’s been pretty steady. Again, it doesn’t necessarily mean I could squat 365 right now, but it’s cool to see I’m now flirting in that realm — 3.5 wheels. I do 325 next week, which I expect I should do for 3-4 reps just fine. That’s my old 1RM. Then 2 more cycles and I’ll be doing 345, which is my current 1RM, for reps. Progress is good.

I am very happy with my choice for pause squats. Today I wasn’t sure how many reps I’d do, since the script is 3 sets of 3-5 reps. Being 3-week, do I still go for 5? 4? I figured to just wing it: if I can get 5, take it. And so I did. What was nice about this set was not just the same focus on technique, but in the hole I paused for longer. I found myself not just letting momentum dissipate, but then settling into the bottom position, and found a little stretch happening. Then having to come out of the hole was tougher, but better in terms of muscles recruited. I really dug it. Good good stuff.

One thing I found myself being reminded of throughout squatting today was the importance of WHOLE body tightness on the descent. I get the upper body tight, but the lower body doesn’t have that strict tightness. I found myself happier when I did, especially my knees.

As for everything else, it’s just a slow work-up for being good to my legs and making my knees happy. I’ll probably continue one more week of “ramp up” on the lunges and extensions, then afterwards up the volume with just 1 more set, etc. Again, slow ramp up, to help with my knees.

Good day.

  • Squats
    • bar x whatever
    • 135 x 5
    • 170 x 5
    • 205 x 3
    • 240 x 3
    • 270 x 3
    • 305 x 3 (6 rep PR)
  • Pause Squat
    • 240 x 5
    • 240 x 5
    • 240 x 5
  • Lunges
    • BW x 12e
    • BW x 12e
  • Leg Extensions
    • 50 x 15
    • 50 x 15
  • Twisting Crunches
    • BW x 20
    • BW x 16
    • BW x 14

2017-03-24 training log

Pretty good, pretty good.

Pressing went well. Set an 8-rep PR with the top set, which I was happy about. I must say, getting back to doing rep-PRs has put my mind at ease a bit, because the past 3 5/3/1-cycles felt heavy. They were fresh after a reset, so they shouldn’t have felt heavy, but it started to make me wonder if I was going to have to reset soon (typically it’s 5-8 cycles before a reset). But hitting things like I have this week has made me feel like things are on track.

The pyramid-down sets are killer. It’s basically 3 sets of AMRAP, and they are taking a lot out of me. It’s good stuff tho (well, apart from having to refigure how I’ll handle deadlift day). Interesting thing was on the last set what I felt give out first was my deltoids, which usually aren’t the first thing to give. Interesting.

From Tuesday’s bench day I had opted to readjust how much pulling I do superset with pressing, and to move my additional back exercise instead to be superset with the “other” pressing exercise. So I opted to do the same here, and I dug that. Flows better.

Dips were funny. I haven’t done them in forever and was pretty trashed after the pressing, so I wasn’t sure how many I could do (plus I weigh more). On the first dip, I got to the bottom and collapsed. 🙂 My body was like “what the hell are you doing?” But then I remembered better cues about keeping tight and so on, so I continued along. In fact you can see that the later 2 sets had a couple more reps because body mechanics came back. LOL

The shrugs are a trial. As I’ve said before, I’m trying to work all my assistance to have that fast, explosive concentric and a slower eccentric (I realized this morning the tempo is akin to Jairo, from “Bob’s Burgers”, going “TIGHT! and relax…”). Shrugs generally have been a consistent tempo for me, so I wanted to start a little light to find what would work here, since this tempo does change how things go. I still am too light, but I think I know where to go from here.

Front plate raises were simply 25#, all the way over the head, AMRAP. Good stuff.

And then a little arm work. Which again, that tempo. I found it hard to remember to do the tempo with the skullcrushers because they start with eccentric. But gee if this sort of “TIGHT! and relax…” tempo isn’t working nicely.

Anyways, I thought this was a good session. The new routine is generally ok. A few adjustments, and we’ll see how they go next week.

  • Press (superset with pulldowns)
    • bar x whatever
    • 70 x 5
    • 90 x 5
    • 110 x 3
    • 115 x 5
    • 135 x 5
    • 155 x 8 (8 rep PR)
    • 135 x 10 (AMRAP)
    • 115 x 10 (AMRAP)
  • Lat Pulldowns (pronated grip, to chest)
    • 105 x 12
    • 115 x 12
    • 125 x 12
    • 135 x 12
    • 135 x 12
    • 135 x 12
    • 135 x 10
    • 135 x 10
  • Dips (superset with shrugs)
    • BW x 6
    • BW x 8
    • BW x 8
  • DB Shrugs
    • 50e x 15
    • 60e x 15
    • 70e x 15
  • Front Plate Raises (all the way above head)
    • 25 x 25
    • 25 x 15
    • 25 x 11
  • Skullcrushers
    • 65 x 12
    • 65 x 12
    • 65 x 10
  • Hammer Curl
    • 35e x 10
    • 35e x 10
    • 35e x 10

2017-03-23 training log

Ooof.

So first deadlift session of the new program and oh man…

Deadlifts themselves went well. It really reinforces how much I like going for rep PRs. Today’s top set did set a 10 rep PR for me. I wanted to stick with double-overhand grip as long as I could, and I did, then switched to mixed grip to finish things out.

The pyramid down sets. Oof. They were good, but it was rather evident that pushing towards “failure” was starting to blow up my lower back. Good way, but still. I certainly stopped not because of my legs, but because the lower back said that was enough. So I guess there’s a weak point. 😉

I wanted to continue working back down, thinking that going for failure with the warm-up weights would just be high-rep silly. So instead, switch to RDL to continue the work down. Nope. Again, the lower back had enough. In fact, I couldn’t finish. I went down for the 2nd set of RDLs and my body said “don’t be stupid”.

I tried doing hypers. Nope.

Now, if I sat and rested a good 15-20 minutes, things would have been fine to continue, but I don’t have that sort of time. I just did my leg curls and packed it up (forgot to do my ab work).

So I’m not sure what to do.

Part of me thinks I should just do the top set AMRAP and then leave it alone. Switch to something else that does more hamstring work, like maybe just RDL for higher reps (6-10). Or I may just stick with this, maybe instead of RDL in fact work the rest of the way down with conventional deadlifts. Don’t know right now. Going to have to think about this.

  • Deadlift
    • 170 x 5
    • 210 x 5
    • 250 x 3
    • 275 x 5
    • 315 x 5
    • 355 x 10 (10 rep PR)
    • 315 x 7
    • 275 x 7
  • RDL
    • 250 x 4
  • Hyperextensions
    • BW x nope
  • Leg Curls
    • 35 x 12
    • 35 x 12
    • 35 x 12
  • Crunches
    • forgot….

2017-03-21 training log

Another PR, but I’m going to need to make some adjustments.

Overall, I’m liking this updated approach. I’m getting the strength work, some volume, taking advantage of compound movements for training efficiency.

Benching went well. On the top set, I really should have stopped at 10, but I knew if I wanted to set a rep PR here that I needed 11 so I went for it. I almost missed, but I did get it. The pyramid sets are really where I should go more towards failure, and I did. Good work here.

I’m happy then how the DB pressing went; good weight selection, right where I wanted it.

But all the back work. While I’m happy about doing the rows, I’m not happy about how it went. I went too light on the weight. Problem was I knew I was going to be doing a TON of sets across, so I was trying to pace for that. It wound up not being enough. I went for 10 reps across as well. Next time I’ll bump 5# and go for 12 reps and see how that goes.

But as well, I wasn’t really happy with how things went for the Kroc Rows. It’s just timing of it all.

So I’m also going to change up such that the cable rows are during benching, and Kroc during the DB bench. I think that should actually work out quite well.

On upright rows, I was going to do them with a barbell, but remembered something Mike Israetel posted some time ago about DB upright rows (see his post here). I recall wanting to try them to see what difference it made, so today seemed as good a day as any. Plus, one issue I have with barbell upright rows is the bar promotes a static hand placement/spacing, which can irritate my shoulders if not “just right”; but no such problem would exist with dumbbells. After performing them, I think of it like this: you have bench press and flies, and you have upright rows and lateral raises. But somewhere in between you have power flies, and I’d say these DB upright rows are akin to that — like a power lateral raise. I certainly had less arm recruitment, which I dug. I’m still going to need to find the sweet-spot on them. But I certainly felt more work in the delts than normal. I don’t think I’ll stop doing upright rows with a barebell, but this seems like a nice change. I’ll stick with it and see how it goes.

Overhead triceps extensions were a nice change too. I get more range of motion, and it was tougher than the normal “pushdown” approach.

And BB curls were with an EZ-bar, narrow grip. Just get a little work and finish some pump.

All in all not a bad setup. Again, some adjustment will be needed going forward, but all in all good.

  • Bench Press (superset cable rows)
    • bar x whatever
    • 105 x 5
    • 130 x 5
    • 155 x 3
    • 170 x 5
    • 195 x 5
    • 220 x 11 (11 rep PR)
    • 195 x 8
    • 170 x 10
  • DB Bench Press (superset with cable rows)
    • 75e x 10
    • 75e x 9
    • 75e x 8
  • Cable Rows
    • 90 x 10
    • 100 x 10
    • 110 x 10
    • 120 x 10
    • 120 x 10
    • 120 x 10
    • 120 x 10
    • 120 x 10
    • 120 x 10
    • 120 x 10
    • 120 x 10
  • Kroc Row
    • 50 x 10
    • 50 x 10
    • 50 x 25
  • DB Upright Row
    • 30e x 10
    • 25e x 15
    • 25e x 12
  • Overhead Rope Extensions
    • 50 x 20
    • 60 x 12
    • 60 x 12
  • BB Curl
    • 55 x 15
    • 55 x 13
    • 55 x 9

2017-03-20 training log

Back to the gym, starting off with a nice PR.

A couple weeks ago I spoke with my doctor about my knee pain. Firste step was to take a steroid anti-inflammatory and rest to see how things went. I took all of last week off — no gym, no nothing — and I must say my knees have never been happier. Thing is, I am not 100% sure what to attribute it to.

First there was the anti-inflammatory, which I’m sure was a huge help. Second, I rested. But it wasn’t just not going to the gym, but continued focus on more sleep at night and naps during the day. Third, I’m drinking a LOT more water than before. I am pretty good about my water consumption, but it was evident I could up it more so I did. Did that help? Sure doesn’t hurt, but I am not sure if it has any correlation here.

The one consideration I had on this new program was going 3x/week instead of 4. Right now, I’ve decided to stick with 4 because I’ve alread changed enough things. Plus I want to see how this new approach will go, because I’m trying to manage volume and workload so that I get the work I need, but not more.

So with that, into today.

The primary change with this new approach is not following a template, but principles of what I need. 5/3/1 remains the base, but I do what I need.

First, squats worked up to a rep-PR. In fact, it was truly a rep PR, setting an 8RM PR. Unexpected, but happy. Crazy thing is that while the week off did not reduce my strength, it sure reduced my work capacity. I was surprised how much I was sucking wind. Not a huge setback, but more than normal. I am always amazed at how long it takes to build work capacity, but how easy it is to lose it.

Pause squats are just what I needed. It allows me to continue to get squat work in, but less intensity. So it beats me up less, but I can still work on technique and volume. I found myself feeling good in my lower half after the pause squats: worked but not killed.

On the technique front, someone mentioned to me that I break with my knees. I played with this some, working to emphasize breaking with my hips first. So at the top, break hips then go down, and in the hole make sure the hips raise first. When I did this I didn’t feel as much stress on my knees; but when I forgot, I did feel more stress on my knees. Interesting. I’m going to break out my copy of Starting Strength again and re-read Rip’s writing on squatting since he’s a “hips” guy. If this helps my knees, great. And this is another good reason for the pause squats, since I can get more technique work.

As for the rest of the work, it was a “depends”. I know that unilateral work is good for my knees, but I’m not sure how much I can take right now — I don’t want to have healed up and then go right back to trashing them. So I opted to try just a couple sets of lunges then a couple sets of leg extensions. The lunges were ok, and I think I will work up to 4 sets of “many reps” at bodyweight before I bother with adding weight. I also think I will continue with leg extensions, but really drop the weight down. My technique here was to purely contract the quads, fast concentric, hold/squeeze for a moment, then slow lowering. Nothing huge (e.g. 10 second eccentric), just a focus like that. I want to lower the weight even more, get a lot more reps in — go for a pump, get a lot of blood in the area.

So I’ll continue to refine, but so far so good. Nice start to the new program.

  • Squats
    • bar x whatever
    • 135 x 5
    • 170 x 5
    • 205 x 3
    • 220 x 5
    • 255 x 5
    • 290 x 8 (8RM PR)
  • Pause Squat
    • 220 x 5
    • 220 x 5
    • 220 x 5
  • Lunges
    • BW x 10e
    • BW x 10e
  • Leg Extensions
    • 60 x 10
    • 50 x 10
  • Twisting Crunches
    • BW x 16
    • BW x 16
    • BW x 12

Training – change up

I need to change my workout program because of goals and injuries.

I’ve been following 5/3/1, and I’m going to continue with 5/3/1 as my base. However I’ve been generally following templates and now I’m going to do what I need to do to address my needs.

The work for the past 2.5 months has been basically following the “5/3/1 for Powerlifting, Off-Season for Mass” template, because I was aiming to drop some weight. Alas, I didn’t drop much weight at all. I’m not happy about it, but I know what’s up. I will say it did help me get things under control so I’m not continuing to grow. I’ll go with that for now. The bottom line is if I want to continue to achieve my main goal (3/4/5), I have to feed myself and I just have to deal with it. However, getting things reigned in is also good, and this gave me what I needed in that regard.

But what’s also changed is injury.

I’m pretty sure my knee problems are because of the Cecil Burch combatives weekend.  But for sure, it’s making everything difficult. Even bench pressing is a pain because leg drive.

However in conjunction with this, I’ve used 5/3/1 enough over the years to know that while it’s great for getting strong, it’s also rough on my body. When I spent a lot of time exploring Paul Carter’s methodologies, I found that his work did a lot to give my body what it needed. For example, unilateral work has been a very good thing for my knees, even tho I hate doing it.

So what I’m going to do is keep 5/3/1 as my base, but then structure the work in my own way: no more templates.

Here’s my current thinking:

Squats

  • Squat – 5/3/1 with rep PR on the last set
  • Pause Squat, 3×3-5; using weight from the first work set
  • Leg Extensions/Split Squats/Lunges – 4×10-20. Exactly what I do here I don’t know. I’d like to do splits/lunges, but if the knees complain I may just go with extensions until things get built up.
  • Ab work, 3xWhatever

The intention here is to squat with a strength focus. Pause squats will give me some additional squat volume, which is not just good for volume but also a little more time squatting and thus can focus on technique (esp. since it will be lighter weight). And it’s a little less stressful. Then I’d like unilateral work, but it just depends how the body wants to go.

It does seem like less work, and I may need to add in some work here (who knows, it may be lunges/splits, then leg extensions). TBD. I want to ensure I get work, but not overwork – recovery is vital. I’ve found “jack shit” days are great because I know I’m only going to do X amount of work, so I put everything into that and often I think I get more out of such an approach. So if I can do less but pour more into it? That could be good for me at this stage. I expect I will up the work in time, but right now it’s about making the legs happy again.

Bench Press

Note: I am also shifting back to running my week: squat, bench, deadlift, press. I prefer this ordering. I am going to stick with 4x/week for now, because I expect with a little less overall work it should play better into recovery.

  • Bench Press – 5/3/1 with rep PR on last set
  • Bench Press, pyramiding back down the work weights. 2 x AMRAP
  • DB Bench – 3×10
  • All benching superset with cable rows, 10-15 reps
  • Kroc Row, 2×10 then 1xAMRAP (aiming for 20-40 reps)
  • Upright Row, 3×12
  • Overhead Rope Extensions, 3×12
  • BB Curl, 3×12

The focus here is strength and rounding out the upper body. So the volume is pulled back, but I ensure some work is had. The pyramid AMRAP has been really good, so I’m going to continue with it. Beyond that, it’s just a little bit of assistance work for back, shoulders, and arms. Nothing much, just something to ensure everyone gets a little work. Again, pairing back on overall volume vs. recovery.

Also going for fewer sets I expect to use slightly more weight. When I say things like 3×10 I mean up to 10 reps. But I really expect to be working in the 6-10 rep range. So I want weights that perhaps on the first set make 10 tough to get to, then the next set I might only get 8-9, and the last would be maybe 6-8.  Straight weight, just chosen differently than if I was trying to get the added volume of 5 sets, y’know? This holds across the board.

Deadlift

  • Deadlift 5/3/1 with rep PR on the last set
  • Deadlift pyramid down the work weights, 2 x AMRAP
  • RDL, continuing to pyramid back down (through the warm-up weights), 3 x AMRAP
  • Hyperextensions 3×10-15
  • Leg Curls, 3×10-15
  • Abs 3xwhatever

I was surprised how much I enjoyed the pyramids on deadlifting, and how much good work it gave my posterior chain. So this is a bit of an experiment. I was getting somewhere good with RDL and so now I want to see how it might go by pyramiding back down into the warm-up weights using RDL and going for AMRAP. It may not work out, but I want to give it a shot. If it does work, I expect some really good work to my hams and glutes.

Press

  • Press 5/3/1 with rep PR on the last set
  • Press, pyramid down 2 sets, AMRAP
  • Dips 3 x whatever
  • All pressing (and dips) superset with lat pulldowns
  • DB shrugs, 3×15
  • 25# plate front raises, 3 x whatever
  • Skullcrushers 3×12
  • Hammer Curl 3×12

Pretty much the same philosophy here as everything else. Dips because I’ve been wanting to add them back in. Not that I’m expecting to get many reps, but given one of my core stretches is basically the bottom position of the dip and how it helps keep my shoulders and chest and everything happy, I’d like to work that more. The rest is a bit influenced by wanting to get more work overall into my back and shoulders – you can see this (and bench day) put in some work on traps.

But again, the overall of what I’m going for us trying to get more with less, getting back towards the pure strength focus, and doing what’s needed to support better recovery. Doing what I need, not what a template suggests.

Given that, I’m sure as I run through this I’ll make adjustments. So long as I see progress, it’s good.

 

2017-03-10 training log

Setting a PR is always welcome.

But first, my knee.

Spoke with my doctor about it. She can tell something’s not right, but what exact is difficult to say (initial thought: meniscus). I’m taking a round of steroid anti-inflammatories, coupled with rest, to see what that does. If that solves things? Great. If not, we’ll do an x-ray and see what can be seen. If not, then MRI. Just one step at a time.

So in light of that, I want to minimize leg work. Thus today was just a squat work-up, nothing else. Next week will somewhat off. I’m not sure if I’ll just avoid the gym for the whole week, or maybe just deload upper body and skip lower, or maybe lower days I’ll do something minimal like some bodyweight squats and walking. TBD. I’ll just take each day as it comes, with the guiding principle being rest/recovery, emphasizing the knee.

Thus today, I opted to just do my work-up. I didn’t want to miss today because my knee isn’t too horrible, plus today was 315 — 3 wheels. Weights in the 300’s still mess with my head a bit, but I’m able to put it out of my head because I know I can do them without a problem. Today tho I think it messed with me because it wasn’t 300 or 305, but 315 — 3 wheels. Because you’re not really squatting 300’s until it’s 3+ wheels, right? 🙂

I knew I’d go for a rep PR, and given how things have been going for me, I expected a 3rd would be tough. But I did 3 and no problems. Went for 4, and felt good. I was 95% sure 5 would happen with maybe a hint of grind. No grind, but form was starting to break down so I racked it. I know I could have gotten 6, but it certainly would have grind. So this is a win.

In fact, a bigger win that expected because it’s a legit 5-rep PR for me! Quite nice. I reckon it’s the pizza I gorged on last night. Didn’t bloat up this morning from it, but for sure carbs are fuel for PRs. 🙂

So, all in all happy with this. Good way to end the week.

Based upon 5/3/1 for Powerlifting, off-season for mass

  • Squats
    • bar x whatever
    • 135 x 5
    • 165 x 5
    • 200 x 3
    • 250 x 5
    • 280 x 3
    • 315 x 5 (5-rep PR)

2017-03-09 training log

Today was alright.

I’m around the point where my weights are at or starting to exceed where they were from before the reset. So it’s about to be “all gravy” from here on out. On paper things seem weaker, but so long as there continues to be progress, then it’s progress, y’know?

Benching went well. I enjoy doing the pause on the first rep — I feel like I’m actually pressing the weight, instead of using physics to move it. Nothing wrong with a little physics sometimes, but in general I want to be stronger so better to be tougher now.

Everything else just is what it is. Assistance work, and it goes alright.

Two big things tho.

First, I talked with my doctor about my knee issue. Hard to say exactly what it is at this time, but we’re starting with a steroid anti-inflammatory to see if that helps. I’m also going to cut my leg work (mostly) off for the next week in conjunction. So tomorrow I’m likely going to work up, probably just go for a rep PR on the 1+ set, then stop. Then next week I’ll probably deload, which wasn’t part of the plan, but I reckon I need to tend to my knee.

Second, I am thinking about program change, mostly in light of these issues. I am getting a plan formulated and am liking where it goes. Once I have something, I’ll write up a log entry to detail and explain my choices.

Based upon 5/3/1 for Powerlifting, off-season for mass

  • Bench Press (superset lat pulldowns)
    • bar x whatever
    • 100 x 5
    • 125 x 5
    • 155 x 3
    • 190 x 5
    • 215 x 3
    • 240 x 2
    • 215 x 8
    • 190 x 10
  • Wide, pronated grip lat pulldowns
    • 100 x 12
    • 110 x 12
    • 120 x 12
    • 130 x 12
    • 130 x 12
    • 130 x 12
    • 130 x 12
    • 130 x 12
  • DB Bench Press
    • 70e x 10
    • 70e x 10
    • 70e x 9
    • 70e x 8
    • 70e x 8
  • Chest-Supported DB Row
    • 60e x 12
    • 60e x 12
    • 60e x 10
    • 60e x 10
    • 60e x 8
  • Pushdowns (EZ-bar)
    • 45 x 100
  • Face Pulls
    • 50 x 100

2017-03-07 training log

That’s something I love about lifting — I may wake up and have zero desire to go to the gym. I go anyways. I tell myself “just do the main lift”. Then I lift and I feel better. Then I keep going and do everything I’m supposed to. And I feel better.

Today was fun. I’ve been deadlifting exclusively with double-overhand. I didn’t intend this, but some time ago noticed I never switched to mixed grip even on my top set, so I figured just keep going. Grip gets stronger this way, so it’s all good. Well, today grip finally started to fail. On the top set (390) I started to lose my grip a little bit on the 1st rep, and on the 2nd for sure grip was failing (but I didn’t drop). Interesting that this is the first time I ever felt some strain in my biceps from deadlifting – I always work to flex my triceps to keep straight arm to minimize risk of a biceps tear, but for sure today because I was working hard to hold on there was more biceps work and well… it didn’t feel like I would tear, but sure can see how it can happen. If I had worked for a rep PR (instead of just 1 over prescribed reps) for sure I’d have had to switch to mixed to keep going. But it was cool to find that threshold, and to find that it’s higher than I thought. I will continue to go double-overhand as much as possible.

Everything else was what it was.

The deadlift pyramids are actually fun to do.

Rows – I actually do this more Pendlay-like, with the bar coming to rest on the ground between each rep, then I raise my back slightly just to get the slack out of my shoulders (full extension), then row with minimal body english and full scapular retraction, then back down under control (tho no slow tempo, just controlled vs. dropped). Sure feels good, and I like this style of rowing more than “pure” BB rows.

Leg curls. I always do them with my chest/stomach lying on the bench. Well today for whatever reason as I got onto the machine I happened to glance at the “how to use this machine” instructions placard. The picture of the person showed them propped up on their elbows/forearms. So I tried that. That’s a difference! It does make it harder. I dig it. It may be the sort of thing where I can start there, then drop to my chest for a few more forced reps at the end.

Anyways, it was what it was. I continue to think about program change-up to give me what I need vs. what I want. Still refining.

Based upon 5/3/1 for Powerlifting, off-season for mass

  • Deadlift
    • 165 x 5
    • 205 x 5
    • 245 x 3
    • 305 x 5
    • 350 x 3
    • 390 x 2
    • 350 x 5
    • 305 x 10
  • Bent Over Rows
    • 155 x 10
    • 155 x 10
    • 155 x 8
    • 155 x 8
  • Leg Curls
    • 35e x 12
    • 35e x 12
    • 35e x 10
    • 35e x 8
  • Crunches
    • BW x 12
    • BW x 12
    • BW x 12
    • BW x 10