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Friday, October 28, 2016

Coming to Terms

24 October 2016

Pull 385x5, 405x4, 425x3, 445x2, 455x1, 465x1, 475x1

This went a little better than the bench pressing yesterday. I've sort of figured out a progression for 5-4-3-2-1. Try to add 5 pounds to the higher-rep sets and progress the singles by the same increment whenever it 'feels right'. Will probably add weight more slowly on the bench press.

Ideally I'd just go back to my 6-week cycle, but I won't have be able to lift consistently for awhile, so it wouldn't make much sense to add a lot of structure (e.g. I'd be stuck repeating the first 2-3 weeks over and over).

Stiff-legged pull 315 lbs. 2s x 5

Bent-over row 3s x 5

Wide stance leg press 2s x 20, 1s x 15 - leg press is my new favorite exercise

26 October 2016

SlingShot bench press 330x5, 340x4, 350x2, 360x2, 370x1, 340x1, 350x1

Close-grip bench press 2s x 5-6

Chest supported row 4s x 8

Incline bench press 5-4-3-2-1-1

Preacher curl DB curls + barbell curls x 3 sets

Reverse bench barbell curl 3s x 8

27 October 2016

Squat 365x5, 385x4, 415x3, 435x2, 455x2, 465x1

Walkouts, no belt, x 2 sets

Leg press, close stance 2s x 20, 1s x 12 - wanted 15 on the heaviest set

Leg extension x 20, x 12

My squat has suffered the least of all lifts from my last trip. Usually it's the opposite. I tried a single with 480, but the bar caught a bounce as I unracked it and started to wobble up and down when I walked it out, so I put it back. But all squats felt strong and explosive, under control. I only used a belt, no wraps.

As punishment, I did two sets of walkouts (with small knee bends). The second set was with 10 lbs. below my all-time best squat. I barely managed to walk it out. It's fine.

I'm no longer concerned about my squat maxes and have come to terms with the fact that my best squatting is behind me. Looking back, the great run I had in 2014 was due to the consistent volume and intensity I put into squatting in 2012 and 2013.

I no longer want to dedicate that much time and effort to squatting, and my body isn't responding to heavy squats the way it used to. My hips have never felt the same since the injury and often I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and see that they are completely out of alignment in the 'hole'. My shoulders can't take the deep low bar position which I have to assume in order to squat heavy weight efficiently. All this leads to slight adjustments to bar and foot placement which translate into stress being distributed unevenly.

Squats are a great exercise and I'll keep doing them as heavy as I can. I'd like to work back up to a 500 squat and maintain it at that level for as long as possible. Maybe do 405x20 someday, or try a slightly heavier single when/if it feels right. But I'll be focusing more on building the legs than on squatting. It's just another exercise.

Monday, October 24, 2016


23 October 2016

Bench press 285x5, 300x3, 310x3, 315x2, 330x1, 340x1

It's been a debauched two weeks, but I'm still disappointed by my pressing. Last trip I lost very little strength in spite of not training for two weeks. Maybe it's catching up with me now. I didn't feel weak, but something kept going wrong in the transition from halfway point to lockout.

Wide grip paused bench press x 5 reps

Close grip bench press 2s x 5

Pulldowns 10-8-6-5-5

Standing BTN press 135x5, 150x4, 160x3, 170x2, 180x1

Barbell curl 4s x 8

Bicep superset incline bench DB curl + reverse bench curl 3 sets

Dips 12-10-10

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Leaving Again

2 October 2016

Bench press 295x5, 305x4, 315x3, 325x2, 330x1, 350x1, 365x1

Nice and sharp. I feel like I figured out the right weight for today.

Pulldowns 10-8-6-5-5, increasing weight

Standing front press 135x5, 155x4, 165x3, 175x2, 190x1

Did front presses for a change. They felt okay, although the groove is definitely rusty after two years of doing BTN presses.

Barbell curl 5s x 6-8

Tricep superset overhead extension + pushdowns x 3 sets

Bicep superset incline bench curl + reverse bench curl x 3 sets

3 October 2016

Paused squat to 385x1, then squat 405x3, 415x3, 435x1, 445x1

My shoulders are feeling very beat up from squatting. All squats were slow and torturous, regardless of weight.

Leg press 3s x 20

Leg extension 1s x 20

5 October 2016

SlingShot bench press 335x5, 345x4, 355x3, 365x2, 375x1

Seated cable row 8-8-6-6

Barbell curl 4s x 8

6 October 2016

Pull 395x5, 415x4, 425x3, 445x2, 455x1, 465x1, 475x1

Almost perfect. Maybe had an extra 5 pounds on that last single. Probably not.

7 October 2016

Leg press close stance 3s x 20, wide stance 3s x 15 - brutal and painful, but fun

Incline bench press 5-4-3-2-1

Pullups 3s x 8

Tricep superset - rope overhead extensions + pushdowns x 3

Leg curl 3s x 8

Bicep superset - incline bench curl + reverse bench curl x 3

Ab board situps 3s x 10-12

Will be back end of October.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Lee Moran Squat Disaster

26 September 2016

Pull 385x5, 410x4, 430x3, 455x2, 475x1, 485xfail

I haven't got the hang of this 5-4-3-2-1 template yet. Feels like I'm going for a daily max instead of two to three heavy-ish singles. Also I'm going too heavy on the higher-rep sets. Today I should have aimed for something like 445x2, then crisp singles with 460-470-480, or something along those lines.

Stiff-legged pull 315 lbs. 2s x 5

Bent-over row 3s x 5

Seated leg curl 4s x 8

28 September 2016

SlingShot bench press 335x5, 345x4, 355x3, 365x2, 375x1, 380x1, then 315x4 close grip

Seated cable row 10-8-6-6-6

Barbell curl 4-5 sets

Close-grip bench press 3s x 5

Tricep superset - rope-cable extensions + pushdowns x 3

Bicep superset - incline bench DB curl + reverse bench curl x 3

30 September 2016

Paused squat 315x5, 335x4, 355x3, 375x2, 385x1, 405x1

Squat 405 lbs. x 3, 415 lbs. x near-disaster

I got under the bar, unracked it and took a step back. One of the plates on the left side flew off and the remaining three slid until they were teetering at the very edge of the bar collar. The bar started to tilt to the right. I fought to keep it on my shoulders with every bit of strength I had. Two guys saw what was happening and prevented it from escalating into a full-blown disaster by helping me rack the bar back. I took a few minutes to catch my breath and wanted to continue my workout (channeling Lee Moran and his famous 1,000+ squat attempts), but there was a deep dull ache in the left side of my abs, so I skipped the squats and went straight to leg presses. Hopefully I didn't pull anything serious and I can go back to squatting on Monday.

Leg press 40 total reps

Leg extension 2s x 20