2018-12-06 training log

500 lb deadlift. PR. Major milestone achieved.

That is all. 🙂

Opted to just do that and end there. I’m at the end of all the cycles and all the things, so felt no reason to beat myself up.

  • Deadlift
    • 135 x 5
    • 200 x 5
    • 245 x 5
    • 295 x 3
    • 370 x 5
    • 420 x 3
    • 470 x 4 (rep PR)
    • 500 x 1 (PR)
  • Stationary Bike
    • 10 min.

2018-12-04 training log

PR of 295×1.

300 is just around the corner.

Today was pretty solid. The work up went well. Technique generally felt good. Focused on being tight, so much it hurt. Not rushing. Settle. All that good stuff.

Top work set of 275×4 was a rep PR. I remember when I hit 275 for a single and it was my all-time PR, and I’m sure it was kinda sketchy. Now 275 is just working weight, and I’m doing more. In fact, the 295 moved pretty well that I am certain 300 will be just fine.

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Bench Press. 295×1. Top set. PR. . Bar x 10, 115×5, 145×5, 175×3, 215×5, 245×3, 275×4, 295×1. . Superset facepulls, DB rows. Paused Bench Press. Close-grip pulldowns. . 1+ week & Joker. Good day! Top work set of 275×4 was a rep PR. Then 295×1 went up easier than expected. Like yesterday’s squat, not an ideal bar path, but I’ll take it. Sets a lifetime PR. . 300 should be cake. . I found another reason I like the pause bench: descent. Note on the 295 a “twitch” during the descent? There’s a weak point (for lack of a better descriptor) there. I noticed on my pause benches, since the descent is very controlled, a little something happened at that point. I reckon this sort of lighter, more deliberately controlled descent work ought to help those stabilizers. . Anyways, good day. . . . #gym #benchpress #pr #ignitefitnez #liftlocal #wendler531 #531

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I also found another reason to like the pause benches. If you watch the 295, you’ll see a little… I don’t know what to call it, but on the descent a little “hitch”? weak point? stumble? Whatever it’s called, something wasn’t too stable. I noticed while pause benching that, because of the exaggeratedly slow descent, that when I hit that same point there was “something” there. I reckon maybe there’s some sort of muscle weakness at that point? Can’t say for sure, but it’s interesting to me. So, I hope that the pause benching, because of the descent work, should provide some additional improvements beyond the “no momentum to get out of the hole” work.

Anyways, happy day.

5/3/1 (8th cycle, 3+/5/1+PR, Joker)

  • Bench Press
    • bar x 10
    • 115 x 5
    • 145 x 5
    • 175 x 3
    • 215 x 5
    • 245 x 3
    • 275 x 4 (rep PR)
    • 295 x 1 (PR)
  • Face Pulls (superset with bench warm-up sets)
    • 90 x 15
    • 90 x 15
    • 90 x 15
    • 90 x 15
  • DB Rows (superset with bench work sets)
    • 105 x 10e
    • 105 x 10e
    • 105 x 10e
  • Pause Bench Press
    • 185 x 5
    • 185 x 5
    • 185 x 5
  • Narrow-Grip Pulldowns
    • 90 x 10
    • 125 x 12
    • 125 x 12
    • 125 x 10

2018-12-03 training log

That was alright!

Through the summer and into the fall, my squats were horrible. Biggest things were confidence, which then affected my ability to hit depth. Plus all the knee issues and such, and in the end I opted to take a couple steps back. I lowered the weight, changed from a 5/3/1-base to a Strong-15 base. That has helped. The reduction in volume has been good because I can still progress yet it’s not putting as much wear-and-tear on my body – and that’s a good thing to do: to see how little work you can do and still make progress.

So today hitting 350 was not a PR (355 is my all time best) but it was solid progress.

I’ve been a little uncertain about things lately because sessions have been poor and lifts feeling so heavy. But I told myself today to just be focused, in the moment, and (shut-up-and-) lift. And BE TIGHT. I will either make the lift or I won’t, and life will go on. And the 350? I don’t even remember it. I was so into the lift, just being there and doing it and not necessarily trying to remember or process it – just put it on my back, settle, get tight, let things sink down (i.e. don’t fret about depth, just do what feels normal — which these days IS hitting depth), then power up.

It was a little messy (watch the bar path) as on the way up I felt a bit of hips rise and back remain down. But there we go. Did it and it felt pretty good.

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Squat. 350×1 top set. . Bar x 10, 135×8, 190×5, 220×4, 255×3, 280×2, 330×1, 340×1, 350×1. . 280×3. pause squats. No leg press, no bike; taking it easy. . Wow! First, feeling so much better than last week. Then today? Kinda surprised. Things have felt so heavy I was unsure how today would go. But I told myself it will or it won’t; just stay in the moment and lift. Oh – BE TIGHT! My cue for the day. 340 hit the sticking point. 😬 For 350? I was so into the lift I don’t remember doing it. 😄 It felt so easy, I wondered if I must have cut depth. Nope! Hooray for video. . While it’s not a great number and it wasn’t too pretty, it’s good progress for me. I’m more confident under the bar, depth happens. My knees feel better, my body feels better. I’m glad I took 2 steps back to work on my squat. Still a ways to go tho. . . . #gym #squat #pausesquats #🍑 #ignitefitnez #liftlocal #wendler531 #531 #strong15 #liftrunbang

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All in all, I’m happy with how things are going.

Part of me wants to keep going because I’m so close, but this is time to call it and reset. In fact, this is the last heavy week I’m doing for a while. Next week will be a deload. The week after I’m going to just lift to have some fun (e.g. thinking about doing things like the Half-Hour Deadlift Challenge), then totally off for Christmas. When I come back, going to do a 6-week-ish cut and some hypertrophy-style lifting (planning that out now). After that, the plan is to resume 5/3/1 (and likely Strong-15 for squats) with a reset of weights and continue forward.

Anyways, tomorrow – bench!

7th cycle, fixing my squat; modeled after Strong-15

  • Squat (superset with band pullaparts)
    • bar x 10
    • 135 x 8
    • 190 x 5
    • 220 x 4
    • 255 x 3
    • 280 x 2
    • 330 x 1
    • 340 x 1
    • 350 x 1
  • Pause Squats
    • 280 x 3

2018-11-20 training log

Good bench day.

Starting a new 3/5/1 cycle, with Jokers. And this Joker logically works up to the top Joker I did last session. What I like about it is as I’m hitting PRs there, which are generally touch-and-go, making this repeat be paused. It’s a good progression. The 290 felt good, heavy, close to my max. But hitting 295 at the end of this cycle seems do-able. And yes, 300 does as well.

I opted to not do just 3×10 supplemental bench work, instead changing to do pause benches (not Spoto Press, but full on rest on the chest, hold it there for 1-2 seconds, then go). It’s not so much working that bottom position, as it is just getting more comfortable with the pause.

Anyways, a pretty good day.

5/3/1 (8th cycle, 3+/5/1+PR, Joker)

  • Bench Press
    • bar x 10
    • 115 x 5
    • 145 x 5
    • 175 x 3
    • 205 x 3
    • 230 x 3
    • 260 x 6 (rep PR tie)
    • 280 x 1 (Joker)
    • 290 x 1 (PR tie)
  • Face Pulls (superset with bench warm-up sets)
    • 90 x 15
    • 90 x 15
    • 90 x 15
    • 90 x 15
  • DB Rows (superset with bench work sets)
    • 105 x 10e
    • 105 x 10e
    • 105 x 10e
  • Pause Bench Press
    • 185 x 5
    • 185 x 5
    • 185 x 5
  • Narrow-Grip Pulldowns
    • 90 x 10
    • 125 x 12
    • 125 x 12
    • 125 x 12

2018-11-09 training log

Press PR – 205×1.

The day went well. Good work-up. Top set was 195 – which 2 weeks ago I did on a Joker set for an easy 3. Thus, I wanted to get at least 4 today. As you can see, it started to go up but sticking point – opted against grinding it because hitting 205 was more important. And that happened. I was a little nervous because I think I’m nearing my limit before I have to reset, but it went up easier than I expected.

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Press. 205×1. PR. . Bar x 10, 85×5, 100×5, 125×3, 155×5, 175×3, 195×3, 205×1, 135×10, 135×10, 135×7. . 1+ week. Joker. Superset face pulls during warmup. Medium width neutral grip cable rows during work sets. Finish with wide grip lat pulldowns. . Top work set @ 195 was done for an easy 3 2 weeks ago on a Joker, so I wanted to try for 4. Nope. Could have ground it out, but grinding was not the plan – setting a new PR @ 205 was. Done. 🤘 . Body feeling better in some ways, beat up in others. Looking forward to next week’s deload. Plus, might be breaking from the plan slightly if something comes together. 😁 . Gym music? That’s why I was listening to the new @allthatremains on my headphones. . . . #gym #press #militarypress #pr #ignitefitnez #liftlocal #wendler531 #531 #allthatremains #victimofthenewdisease

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Still, not sure how much more I have left in me – reset is coming. But I’m still very happy with the progress I’ve been making.

Next week is deload, and I’m certainly going to take it easy – not a “7th week” protocol. I need to just get some blood into areas and let some things heal up. For sure tho, there’s at least 1 more 3/5/1+Jokers cycle ahead of me.

Ah dang it – forgot to do hex DB holds. Ah well.

5/3/1 (7th cycle, 3+/5/1+, Joker Sets)

  • Press
    • bar x 10
    • 80 x 5
    • 100 x 5
    • 125 x 3
    • 155 x 5
    • 175 x 3
    • 195 x 3
    • 201 x 1 (PR)
    • 135 x 10
    • 135 x 10
    • 135 x 7
  • Face Pulls (superset with press warm-up sets)
    • 85 x 15
    • 85 x 15
    • 85 x 15
    • 85 x 15
  • Medium-width neutral grip cable rows (superset with press work sets)
    • 165 x 10
    • 180 x 10
    • 195 x 10
    • 210 x 10
  • Wide-grip Pulldowns
    • 90 x 10
    • 145 x 12
    • 145 x 12
    • 145 x 10

2018-11-08 training log

Today was a great milestone for me: deadlifting “5 wheels” (495 lb).

It’s been a long goal to do: 2/3/4/5 wheels (225/315/405/495 lb) or more plainly, 200/300/400/500 lb in press/bench/squat/deadlift.

I’ve pressed 200 lb. I’m close to 300 on bench. And today, hit deadlift.

So why stop at 495? Why not just go for 500? Because it wasn’t part of the progression. Oh sure, I wanted to, but it’s obviously there and I’ll do it soon enough. Plus, I figured why not celebrate 2 milestones instead of 1? 🙂

What also got me was how easy it went up. Oh sure, it’s not nothing, but I did expect it to be harder than it was. The whole session was oriented with the lift in mind. Explode the weight up, be definitive, commit. I knew if it came off the floor, I’d have it. Sure enough.

Really, to me it’s testimony to just staying on a solid plan of progression and being patient.

5/3/1 (7th cycle, 3+/5/1+, Jokers)

  • Deadlift (superset with band pullaparts)
    • 195 x 5
    • 240 x 5
    • 290 x 3
    • 365 x 5
    • 410 x 3
    • 460 x 4 (rep PR)
    • 495 x 1 (all time PR)
  • RDLs
    • 315 x 8
    • 315 x 8
    • 315 x 7
  • Stationary Bike
    • 10 min.

2018-11-06 training log

I’ll take today. PR of 290×1.

1+ week, and Jokers. Work up went alright. That weird groove change last week was gone, but I did a small technique change. My left shoulder still isn’t too happy and I noticed I could get tighter. I normally set up putting my hands on the bar then working my shoulders into position. This time I worked on getting my shoulders as tight as possible THEN putting my hands on the bar. That served to get me a bit tighter, my shoulder a bit more stable. That was helpful

Still, on the 270×4 top set (which was as rep PR too) I hit the left face-saver bar, and again on the 290×1 (all time PR). It’s just the issues with the shoulder.

Thankfully, this strength cycle isn’t much longer – maybe another 1-2 cycles at most. I’m just going to milk it as long as I can, smartly. Like today, just feeling what I did I opted to call it and not do the down sets and put any extra wear and tear on my shoulder. I am doing more work on recovery, so let’s just take the PR and move on.

All in all, a good day.

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Bench Press. 290×1. Top set. PR. . Bar x 10, 115×5, 140×5, 170×3, 215×5, 240×3, 270×4, 290×1. . Superset facepulls, DB rows. 10 min bike. . 1+ week. Top work set of 270×4, for a rep PR. Then a Joker set of 290×1, which is an all time PR. Left shoulder still unhappy (see how I hit the face-saver?). Bench groove reverted to normal, but I did change set-up to get my shoulder blades tighter; good change. Opted to Jack-Shit the rest of the session to minimize annoying my left arm & shoulder. . I love the “Bloom County” comic strip. For whatever reason, Bart Savagewood benching 290 always stuck in my mind since I was a kid. Maybe as some unattainable yet attainable thing. Fun to have hit it, tho I’ll never have a chin like him. . . . #gym #benchpress #pr #ignitefitnez #liftlocal #wendler531 #531 #bloomcounty #bartsavagewood #opusthepenguin #billandopus

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5/3/1 (7th cycle, 3+/5/1+PR, Joker)

  • Bench Press
    • bar x 10
    • 115 x 5
    • 140 x 5
    • 170 x 3
    • 215 x 5
    • 240 x 3
    • 270 x 4 (rep PR)
    • 290 x 1 (all time PR)
  • Face Pulls (superset with bench warm-up sets)
    • 85 x 15
    • 85 x 15
    • 85 x 15
    • 85 x 15
  • DB Rows (superset with bench work sets)
    • 100 x 10e
    • 100 x 10e
    • 100 x 10e
  • Stationary Bike
    • 10 min

2018-11-05 training log

Today was good!

I’m rather exhausted due to overwork at the day job, and my body had enough this past weekend. I crashed hard on Sunday, sleeping much of the day. A little bummed I wasn’t able to hang out as much with my family, but obviously my body needed it.

And I think it paid off at the gym today because things moved well!

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Squat. 340×1 top set. . Bar x 10, 135×8, 185×5, 210×4, 250×3, 275×2, 320×1, 330×1, 340×1. . 275×3 pause squats. 10 minutes stationary bike. . This 340 was significant: I haven’t hit a single at weight like this in a long time. It felt good, felt confident. That was my big reason for falling back and switching to Strong-15 programming: more warm-/work-up, singles, less volume, ability to focus on technique and get confidence back. Seems to be working. . Also, bar path is better; didn’t feel all over the place today. Still wider grip to avoid elbow pressure, which is making me focus more on back/torso tightness. . Skipped leg press. My adductor feels fine, but no reason to risk it; give it more time to ensure it’s healed. . . . #gym #squat #pausesquats #🍑 #ignitefitnez #liftlocal #wendler531 #531 #strong15 #liftrunbang

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The work up was to 340. Note, my all-time best is 355, so this isn’t too far away. In fact, looking at my logs and I really haven’t singled at this weight – I’ve been in the area, and many of that was some time ago. So this actually is pretty cool to get back into this area again. Plus, doing so with better form, more confidence, no questions on depth, etc.. so this is pretty big for me.

To me, it’s evidence my change up was good. Go from 5/3/1 to Strong-15 style. More work-/warm-up, reduced volume, singles to allow me to focus on technique and pour everything into the single.

I’m working to ensure technique is there on the work-up sets, that every set is done “right” and the same.

I felt really good. Admittedly a little unsure – because I’m getting back into the problem territory that started me in this, so not 100% sure, but going into the sets accepting it, ensuring I hit depth, stay tight, and make it happen.

Tightness is interesting too right now. I have to widen my grip to alleviate some pressure on my elbow, which of course removes some upper back tension/tightness. So, it’s making me more aware to make it tight instead of just trying to let it be tight from the scrunched-up position. I’m taking more time too. Get under the bar, get where I need to be, breathe, unrack. Stand there and let it settle. Breathe. Walk out. Settle. Breathe. Then go. I will say, one thing I’m still adjusting to is that the wider grip is putting my hands almost against the uprights – they do brush it. I have slight concerns about cutting/jamming my hands, and also just the bumping of course is a bump – it can cause things to shift and twist, which isn’t good. But it’s another reason I’m going slow and deliberate, to be able to mind that.

But hey — all in all, happy!

I think 350 should be do-able next cycle, given how this 340 felt.

I did skip leg press today. Last week I lightly strained my left adductor while leg pressing. It’s feeling a lot better now – not even feeling it, really. But that means it’s not time to dive back in. That means it’s mostly healed, but I know from experience it’s best to give it a little more time to ensure it actually is fully healed and not just pain free, y’know?

7th cycle, fixing my squat; modeled after Strong-15

  • Squat (superset with band pullaparts)
    • bar x 10
    • 135 x 8
    • 185 x 5
    • 210 x 4
    • 250 x 3
    • 275 x 2
    • 320 x 1
    • 330 x 1
    • 340 x 1
  • Pause Squats
    • 275 x 3
  • Stationary Bike
    • 10 min.

2018-10-29 training log

Today was OK.

In general, squats went fine. Last cycle’s heavy week worked up to 330, and now this cycle’s medium week is 330 (340 next week). Trying hard to focus on tightness, especially in the upper body.

My elbows weren’t happy, so I pushed my grip out slightly. That relieved pressure, but it also made me lose some tightness that just comes from bunching. I focused more on actively tightnening the back, which was kinda cool — my lats got really engaged and that did some great things. Alas, I couldn’t consistently replicate it, but it’s on my mind now. Also as a result, I could see on video that things didn’t move as well with my lower body – might have led with the knees, too far forward, etc.

I think one of these days I’d like to have an on-site coach to help me out here.

Anyways…

Then on leg presses, something started to feel bad with my left adductor – like gonna injure/strain/pull it. Not good. I am intentionally trying to go as deep as possible on the leg presses, because I want the stretch, the range, etc. But, this might be too much. Have to be mindful.

7th cycle, fixing my squat; modeled after Strong-15

  • Squat (superset with band pullaparts)
    • bar x 10
    • 135 x 8
    • 185 x 5
    • 210 x 4
    • 250 x 4 (did 4 because I didn’t remember it was a 3-set)
    • 275 x 2
    • 290 x 1
    • 320 x 1
    • 330 x 1
  • Pause Squats
    • 255 x 5
  • Leg Press (feet high and wide)
    • 90 x 10
    • 270 x 10
    • 360 x 10
    • 450 x 6
  • Stationary Bike
    • 10 min

2018-10-26 training log

Today was pretty awesome. 2 great rep PRs.

It’s 3+ week, so the work-up was to 185. 5 reps there came pretty easily and set a rep PR.

Then I planned to do 1 Joker set of 195×1. But I did tell myself, for a challenge, if it felt good to take 2 then take it. Well, it felt so good I took 3! The only reason I stopped was Jokers are to be 1-3 reps. And that sets a nice rep PR at 195. Consider as well that about a month ago I set an all time PR of 200×1, so getting 3 @ 195? Yeah, 200 won’t stand for long.

My whole plan this 3’s week was to set myself up well for the 1+ week (in 2 weeks). Next week is a 5’s “light” week, and I anticipate the 1+ week should go quite nicely. It’ll be tough, but I’m looking forward to it.

In other news…

One thing I noticed as I re-watched the video was my sticking point seemed to involve my head. That is, I stuck and my head was still back and not through the arms/bar. I noticed this as I was working and strove to ensure I pushed my head through either at the sticking point or ideally just before it so I wouldn’t stick. It did seem to make a difference, but it also exposed some weakness — not 100% sure where yet, could be my triceps (I’ve notice issues on bench lockout too, so starting to suspect that). Thus going down on the reps in my down sets. but no biggie, all good. Just more things to improve upon.

Back work – the neutral grip does seem to be helping. Huzzah.

I did have to cut a little short today: no hex DB holds, no bike. I have an early morning meeting to get to.

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Press. 195×3 top set. Great session. . Bar x 10, 85×5, 100×5, 125×3, 145×3, 165×3, 185×5, 195×3, 135×10, 135×10, 135×5. . 3+ week. Jokers. Superset face pulls during warmup. Medium width neutral grip cable rows during work sets. Finish with wide grip lat pulldowns. No hex holds nor bike – got an early morning meeting to make. . Ha ha ha! Top work set is a rep PR of 185×5. I planned on a Joker of 195×1, but I told myself if it felt good take 2. It felt so good I took an easy 3 (another rep PR)! Only stopped since Jokers are to be limited to 3. I like where this positions me for 1+ week. . Noticed on Press technique that my sticking point was worse if I didn’t push my head through at or just before the sticking point (watch 185’s reps). Worked on that during down sets, and that exposed some muscle weaknesses. More work. . Neutral grip back work seems better for my elbow. Plus, sleeping on me right side or back and not having a night’s worth of pressure on it seems to be helping too. . . . #gym #press #militarypress #pr #ignitefitnez #liftlocal #wendler531 #531

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5/3/1 (7th cycle, 3+/5/1+, Joker Sets)

  • Press
    • bar x 10
    • 80 x 5
    • 100 x 5
    • 125 x 3
    • 145 x 3
    • 165 x 3
    • 185 x 5 (rep PR)
    • 195 x 3 (Joker set, rep PR)
    • 135 x 10
    • 135 x 10
    • 135 x 5
  • Face Pulls (superset with press warm-up sets)
    • 85 x 15
    • 85 x 15
    • 85 x 15
    • 85 x 15
  • Neutral grip cable Rows (superset with press work sets)
    • 150 x 10
    • 165 x 10
    • 180 x 10
  • Wide-grip Pulldowns
    • 90 x 10
    • 145 x 12
    • 145 x 12
    • 145 x 9