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View Full Version : Do squats and deadlifts really help?



SMK41
02-23-2008, 12:31 PM
I've been lifting on and off the past few years and I've gotten on and off type results. I've really buckled down this past year though and I'm finally starting to make some real progress.

After joining this forum I decided that I should try adding squats and deadlifts into my workout. I'd never done them in the past. So this week I just tried squats, deadlifts, and SLDL's for the first time and it was A LOT tougher than I thought it'd be. I started out just squatting 135 to practice my form, and I didn't realize how heavy the bar was going to be digging into my shoulders. I can't imagine being able to put 300-400 lbs on my shoulders and squatting it! I'm gonna give this new routine a chance though and see how it works out.

My current routine is a 3 day split:

Day 1
BB Bench Press
DB Bench Press
DB Shoulder Press OR Arnold Press
Lateral Raises
Lying BB Tricep Extensions
Dips
Rotator Cuff exercise

Day 2
Pull Ups
Chin Ups
DB Curls
Bentover BB Row
DB Row

Day 3
Squats
Deadlifts (might move these to Day 2)
SLDL's (might also try Good Mornings)
Calf Raises
I'm also debating adding lunges or maybe using a machine for curls or extensions

I mix in my cardio and abs after all my lifting is done.

Currently I'm 6'4 210 lbs and my PBs are

Bench: 265
Squat: 135
Deadlift: 135

Like I said I just started to do squats and deadlifts so all I tried was 135 to establish good form. I figure I'll add weight every workout until I max out so those numbers should go up pretty quickly. I'm also currently in the middle of doing a chest program and it's the first time I've lifted really heavy weights for low reps (I always used to do just 3x10 of whatever weight I could finish all 3 sets with). I benched 265 the other day at the end of my chest workout which is a PB for me and I think I probably could've done more. My goal right now is to be able to bench 315.

Here's a few pics of my progress

In Pic 1 I'm 206 lbs. It's shortly after I started working out again.
In Pic 2 I'm 195 lbs. I did a small cut just to drop some excess body fat.
In Pic 3 I'm 210 lbs. This is from today. I'm bulking during my current routine.

There isn't really a dramatic difference between the pictures but I've gotten a lot stronger so I know I'm making progress. I'm figuring I'll probably keep bulking to get up to 225 or so and then cut again just before the summer.

I'll be updating this journal with my progress on my squats, deadlift, and bench numbers as they go up, and I'll probably put up a new pic once a month or so to show my progress. Maybe the next time I'll get some flexed shots and some back and leg shots.

Klotz
02-23-2008, 02:13 PM
Congratulations on seeing the light.
I'd definately move deadlifts to day 2.
You get used to the weight of the squat bar on your back.

killxswitch
02-23-2008, 02:21 PM
Your weight is gonna rocket up on the squats and DLs once you figure your form out. Good luck with your goals.

SMK41
02-28-2008, 02:54 PM
On Monday I tried to do Deadlifts for the second time. I did a set of 135 again to warm up and then I figured I'd throw an extra 25 on each side of the bar. I have a pretty strong legs and back so I figured now that I got somewhat used to the form I could start moving towards a respectable DL weight quickly. So yeah that was a bad idea. I started to lift and felt an intense burn in my lower abs. Obviously my form isn't perfect yet. I'm not trying to get a hernia so I put it back down and decided I'm gonna take it slow. For deadlifts and squats I started at 135 and I'm gonna just add 5 lbs (a 2.5 on each side) each week for now. I figure I don't need to rush. Gaining 20-25 lbs a month on those lifts is a pretty good gain.

Yesterday I did squats for the second time. Getting a little more comfortable with the bar on my shoulders but it still sucks. I also did Good Mornings for the first time. Started with just the bar then added an extra 10 lbs for each of my next two sets.

Today is Chest/Shoulders/Tris. My favorite day of the week b/c it's the only thing I'm respectable at right now, haha. I'm feeling really good. So I'm looking forward to a solid workout.

Brad263
02-28-2008, 03:18 PM
You will start getting used to the weight. Everyone starts low with that. I remember squatting and feeling like I was being crushed by the bar but it gets better as your core strengthens. I think it's a good idea to have deadlifts seperate from squats in my experience they don't work well together. If you haven't already looked at the squat rx video's in the stickes of the bodybuilding section check them out, its like a night and day difference in form when you watch those video's.

fleep
02-28-2008, 11:30 PM
i wouldn't move deadlifts to day 2 i would keep them where they are, they are a dominantly lower body exercise anyway, and why would u deadlift two days before squatting? when u move up in weights your lower back/posterior chain won't have time to recover

but anyway keep it up! it's a struggle when ur tall!

SMK41
03-06-2008, 07:03 AM
Yesterday was my third time ever squatting and it was the first time I can say I actually enjoyed it. I felt very comfortable and I was going pretty deep. Plus the bar on my back didn't feel quite as bad as the last two times.

The first time I did squats I just did 3x5 135
The second time I did 3x5 140

Yesterday I did a 5x5
1x5 95 (warm up)
1x5 135 (warm up)
1x5 155
1x5 165
1x5 175

I'm really happy with my progress so far. I think I'm going to continue to do 2 warm up sets and 3 working sets for a while. Next time I'll probably do 165,175,185 then the time after that 175,185,195 and just keep increasing like that from week to week until I max out.

Also I'd only done SLDL's once before and did 3x5 135 and yesterday I did
1x5 135
1x5 145
1x5 155

So overall it was a great workout. Today is push (chest/tri/shoulder). I'm gonna be doing some sets of 240 and 260 on bench. Then I'm doing a negative of 285, but hopefully I'll actually be able to do the whole rep myself. When I set my current max of 265 a few weeks ago it was just supposed to be a negative and I managed to do the whole rep unassisted. But last week I did a negative of 280 and I handled it fine on the way down but could barely get it back off my chest. I'll report back tomorrow with how it went.

SMK41
03-07-2008, 09:41 AM
Not the best workout yesterday. A little before I went to the gym my right elbow started feeling sore. I wasn't even sure if I was going to be able to lift, but I did my warm up sets and felt ok. It was really only hurting when I locked out completely.

For bench I made it through

1x5 135
1x5 185
2x3 240
2x1 260 (had a spotter and needed a little help on the second set)
1xNegative 285 (I handled the 285 great on the way down but needed help getting it back up)

I also did overhead BB press for the first time (I've always done DB press for shoulders). I started with just the bar and gradually went up to feel out a good weight for me

1x8 45
1x5 65
1x5 95
2x6 115

I think I'm gonna start around 115 and work my way up from there next time. I was using 55 lbs DBs and doing 3x10 before so 115 seems about right, but I think I can do a little more if I'm gonna do a 3x5 or a 5x5.

I'm basically using a 3 day split (push/pull/legs), but I have an A and a B workout for each day. So my routine goes Push A, Pull A, Legs A, Push B, Pull B, Legs B. I mix in my days off whenever I can't make it to the gym or I feel like I need a rest. I usually make it to the gym 4-6 days a week. The only difference between my A and B days is the accessory work I do and whether I do abs or not that day.

So today is my Pull B day which is the easier of my pull days since I do less accessory work and do some ab stuff instead. My elbow is still a little sore but hopefully it feels better by this afternoon. I'm going to be taking the day off tomorrow regardless though and I'm doing legs sunday so it'll have some time to rest.

SMK41
03-10-2008, 08:48 AM
Yesterday was leg day. Last week I added in lunges and it's the first time I've ever done them. I wasn't sure how far to go down so I wasn't going very deep. So I read up on it and yesterday I decided to use proper form and basically take me knee to within an inch or two of the ground. I was holding 30 lbs DBs in each hand and did 3x10 (each set was 5 reps with each leg). I'm dying today. My legs are more sore than I can ever remember them being and it hurts to even stand up or sit down.

The workout went really well though. I added a little weight to my deadlift. Hopefully this soreness goes away soon though. I need to do squats on wednesday and right now I probably couldn't even do a squat without the bar, lol. Today is my push day so my legs bothering me won't be a big deal. I'll probably just skip the cardio today or shorten it to maybe a 5 min warm up jog and a 5 min cool down jog at the end.

SMK41
03-11-2008, 12:34 PM
So my legs are feeling a lot better today. Hopefully they'll be good enough to squat by tomorrow. Yesterday was push day and I felt a little weak for some reason. I started out with flat BB bench press.

1x6 Bar (just to stretch out)
1x6 135 (warm up) ... i could already tell I was feeling a little weak b/c this felt heavier than usual
1x6 185 (warm up)
2x5 225 (struggled through these)
2x3 245 (finished the first set ok. got a spotter for the second set and could only do two reps)
1xF 245 (I was supposed to do 1 more set of 245 to failure and my goal was 3-5 reps. I waited 3 min after the previous set and managed to get out 3 good reps without any help from a spotter)

So bench started out pretty bad but I finished strong, so that felt good. I'm a little nervous about my next bench workout though (I'm doing a bench program right now). I'm supposed to do some warm up sets then do 2x3 245, 2x2 265, and 1x1 275. I'll be really pumped if I make it through that workout and hit all my reps without any help.

The rest of my workout yesterday went ok, but not great. After the flat bench BB sets I did

3x9 80 DB Flat Bench Press
3x12 45 DB Arnold Shoulder Press
3x10 BW Dips
3x11 80 BB Lying Tricep Extension

Then I finished up with 3 sets of a rotator cuff exercise, 6 sets of ab work, and a mile run at the end.

SMK41
03-13-2008, 03:14 PM
I weighed myself this morning and I've now been the exact same weight and %BF for 3-4 weeks in a row. I've been eating a little more the past month or two and for the past week I've been taking two protein shakes a day instead of one. I've also cut back on my cardio a lot. I was doing 2 miles a day now I'm doing 1 mile or sometimes just a 10 min cooldown on the eliptical which feels like nothing. Also I tend to gain weight pretty easily. If I eat ****ty for a few days I'll put on 5 lbs. So I figured I must be eating exactly my maintenance calories right now. So today I decided maybe I should start using FitDay or at least tracking my calories somehow, b/c I've never done that before. Today I ate (including what I plan on having the rest of the day):

Breakfast
1 Pill Fish Oil
Egg Sandwich (Egg Beaters which is basically egg whites, Cheese, 2 slices Wheat Toast)

Snack
2 Scoops Nitrean in Water
Banana

Lunch
Turkey and Ham Sandwich w/Mustard and Wheat Bread
Beef Jerky Stick
Medium Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee

Snack
1 Scoop Nitrean in Water
Banana

Post Workout
3 Scoops Cytogainer in Water
1 Pill Fish Oil

Dinner
Turkey Burger with cheese on Wheat Roll
Green Beans
Romaine Lettuce + Lite Creamy Caesar Dressing

I haven't figured out the macros or calories yet but I definitely think I need to start eating more. This weekend I'm gonna figure out the calories/macros for all the meals I make at home and all the prepackaged things I regularly eat and then start tracking.

I weigh 209 right now. Hopefully I can get to about 220 in 8 weeks (just over 1 lbs a week). Then I'll try to cut down to 200 over the next 10 weeks (losing 2 lbs a week) maybe using carb cycling or one of the diets I've read about on here. That should put me in a good spot to maintain by the beginning of July. Then in September I'll start a bulk again.

SMK41
03-14-2008, 11:34 AM
Just ordered this dip belt

http://www.prowriststraps.com/inc/sdetail/79855

In another week I'm going to start doing weighted dips, chinups, and pullups.

SMK41
03-17-2008, 09:18 AM
The Dip Belt came in the mail this morning. I wasn't expecting it so soon. It looks like I can start using it this week.

Yesterday I had a pretty good workout. Still building up my deadlift. I did

Deadlift
1x5 135
1x5 145
1x5 165
1x5 175
1x5 185

It'll be nice a few months from now when I've built up to a decent deadlift and squat and I can look back and laugh at there workouts, lol.

I also did some good mornings, lunges, leg press, and calf press yesterday. Skipped cardio b/c I was in a rush.

Today is push day. Hopefully I'll have another good workout.

SMK41
03-18-2008, 01:20 PM
So I signed up for FitDay and didn't like it that much. Then I found www.thedailyplate.com which is amazing. I can look up pretty much any brand of any type of food on their and it has the nutrition info. I just put in my first day. I ate:

3400 calories
257g Protein
74g Fat
428g Carbs

I told it that I want to gain 1.5 lbs per week. I also entered in that I did 15 min of cardio at 7 mph and 70 min of vigorous weight lifting. It says I need to eat another 1093 calories, which would put me at about 4500 calories for the day.

I also still need to read up a little more on what my macros should be. Right now my split is:

Protein: 30%
Fat: 20%
Carbs: 50%

SMK41
03-20-2008, 09:53 AM
Good workout yesterday.

Squat
1x5 135
1x5 165
1x5 175
1x5 185
1x3 195

SLDL
1x5 135
1x5 155
1x5 165
1x5 175

Seated Calf Raise
3x10 180

Leg Extension
3x10 200

Leg Curl
3x11 180

Bridges
3x30 sec Left Oblique
3x30 sec Right Oblique
3x30 sec Normal

Decline Situps
3x10 holding 25 lbs plate

dajuggernaut
03-20-2008, 05:55 PM
Good to see a fellow tall lifter trying to bulk up. One thing that caught my eye, I wouldn't take a fish oil pill with your PWO drink. Fats slow absorption...
Also, how's cytogainer?

SMK41
03-21-2008, 07:35 AM
Good to see a fellow tall lifter trying to bulk up. One thing that caught my eye, I wouldn't take a fish oil pill with your PWO drink. Fats slow absorption...
Also, how's cytogainer?

Cytogainer is pretty awesome. Tastes delicious (I have Vanilla Shake). I'm almost out and I think I'm gonna order some ALN products next just to try them out. I've been using Nitrean as a snack between breakfast and lunch. I think I might order some Maximus and Opticen and start doing Maximus in the morning and Opticen PWO.

I probably don't even need a heavy shake like Opticen, Cytogainer, etc PWO though b/c I workout after work and I usually eat dinner within 30-90 min of my PWO shake b/c it's usually already around 8:00 PM by the time I get home from the gym. I know it's good to spread out your calories and your protein through out the day so I feel like it's not ideal that I have a PWO shake so close to when I eat dinner, but I can't really do anything about my schedule.

SMK41
03-21-2008, 07:41 AM
Yesterday was push day. Had a decent workout but failed on benching 275 for the second week in a row.

Bench
1x8 135
1x5 185
2x3 240
2x2 260 (needed a little help on the second rep of the second set)
1x1 275 (needed help to get the bar back up)

Seated OH BB Press
2x5 135
1x5 140
1x4 145

Lateral DB Raises
3x11 30

Cable Tricep Pushdowns
3x11 90

DB Shrugs
3x12 85

Rotator Cuff Internal and 90 deg rotation
3x15 10 of each


Today is pull day. Looking forward to doing some more weighted pull ups and chin ups.

SMK41
03-26-2008, 02:16 PM
So I just weighed myself this morning and I'm at 219 now. So that's a 9 lbs gain in about 1 month. Most of it seems to be muscle, but I've definitely started to put on a little bit of fat around my midsection. I'm not sure exaclty when I'm gonna stop bulking. It was going to be at 225 but that might be in another 2 weeks so I might go all the way to the end of April and try to hit 230. I just ordered some Opticen to take while I finish out my bulk and 2 containers of Nitrean b/c I only plan on using Nitrean while I'm cutting. I might also pick up Results at some point during my cut especially if I start to stall. I'm going to research some carb cycling diets and try to do a cut to get back down to 200 by midsummer by losing around 2 lbs a week. Hopefully by August I can hit 10% BF.

While I'm talking about goals, some lifting goals I have by the end of 2008 are to bench 315 and to get my squat and deadlift numbers balanced so that my lifts are Deadlift > Squat > Bench.

SMK41
03-29-2008, 01:12 AM
I had a GREAT workout today. The past 2 or 3 weeks I keep trying to hit 275 on bench and keep just barely missing it. Well today I benched 275 flawlessly. Then I struggled but managed to put up 285! I was so pumped for the rest of my workout.

Bench
135x8
185x5
245x3
265x1
275x1
285x1!!!
225x6 (I felt so great after doing 285, I wanted to do 1 more set)

Seated OH Press
115x5
135x5
145x4
155x3

Lateral Raise
30x12
30x12
30x12

Skull Crushers
90x10
90x8
90x8

Shrugs (DB)
90x10
90x10
90x10

Rotator Cuff Internal and External Rotation 3 sets of each

SMK41
03-29-2008, 08:18 PM
Set a Deaslift PR today. 245 lbs. Not very impressive but I'm moving in the right direction. It's already getting tough to hang on to the bar though. I can't imagine doing 300 or 400. I'm sure I'll get there at some point though.

So todays workout...

Deadlift
135x5
185x5
225x5
235x5
245x5

Pull Ups
BWx8
BW+40x5
BW+45x4
BW+50x4

Chin Ups
BWx8
BW+40x5
BW+45x5
BW+50x4

Hanging Knees to Chest
BWx8
BWx8
BWx8

DB Row
80x8
80x8
80x8

BB Curl (these are just the weight on the bar. i'm not sure how much the bar weighs so I didn't add it in to the totals)
80x5
90x4
90x2 (I was pretty exhausted by this point)

Overall it was a good workout. I'm loving weighted pull ups and chin ups. My goal is to be able to do a rep with my girlfriend on my back (she weighs about 120). So I still have a ways to go, lol.

SMK41
04-16-2008, 08:28 AM
I've been slacking on my updates. I went to San Diego for the weekend a week ago and took 4 days off from the gym which was probably a good break for my body. I've still been lifting heavy though and I'm up to 225 lbs from being only 210 lbs about 7 weeks ago. I'm starting to get annoyed with some of the fat I'm gaining around my stomach but my strength is increasing, I'm definitely getting bigger, and I've been checking my %BF and my LBM has been going up every week. Plus I love eating on a bulk! Sometimes it sucks to put down extra food when I'm not hungry but I like being able to eat things I normally wouldn't eat when I'm watching my weight.

I'm gonna bulk til the end of April and then start my cut the first week of May. This will be my first true cut since I researched how to cut and maintain LBM. I'm gonna start out the first week by just cutting out the extra meal I've been cramming down each day and adding in a Nitrean shake with water to replace it. Then I'm going to cut out all the milk I've been drinking throughout the day (usually 2.5 cups with my PWO and another 2 cups with lunch). Then I'm going to try to limit my carbs except for pre and post workout. I've also already planned out my new workout. I'm going to just cut 2 accessory type exercises 3 days a week from the end of my workout and do some HIIT for 15-30 min instead. I'll still keep most of my workout in place though and I'm still going to lift heavy.

Hopefully that will all work well for me for the first month of the cut. If I start losing LBM I'll try adding in an extra scoop or two of nitrean for a snack. After I get through my initial losses I'm going to add in some Nitor and Results that I just ordered. Hopefully those will give me some increased losses especially if I hit a plateau. My #1 concern is to retain all of my LBM if possible. Ideally I'd like to get down to 195-200 lbs (that would put me just under 10%BF) and see how much different I look than when I was 200 lbs pre-bulk. I'm expecting this to take about 3 months, but I'll probably start looking a lot leaner after just 1 month.

If I can't get down to that low of a weight I'll probably try out UD2 or PSMF (not sure if I got the spelling right on that). I'll be excited if this really works out b/c the past 2 months is the first time I truely started lifting heavy and truely bulked. If it works I'll be enjoying the results of my cut through august and september and then starting a LONG bulk from october through february/march. Then I'll be able to start my cut a little earlier than I am this year so I'll be in great shape by the beginning of summer.

SMK41
04-16-2008, 08:41 AM
I'm also slowly getting my squat and DL numbers up. By next week my DL will finally pass my bench. Hopefully in another month or two my squat will pass my bench as well. This "heavy" deadlifting is giving me an amazing workout. My back and traps are getting bigger and lately my forearms have been killing me the day after I do DLs which hopefully means that I'm strengthening my grip. I'm still using a double overhand grip and I haven't added straps yet but the bar is getting very tough to hang on to. I'm expecting by the time I hit 315 I'll have to switch to a mixed grip and probably by the time I hit 405 I'll need to add straps.

SMK41
04-30-2008, 08:55 AM
My bulk is officially over. I'll try to get some pics up soon. I weighed exactly 230 this morning. Which is right about where I wanted to get to. Hopefully I can get down to 200-210 over the next few months and maintain my gains.

Here's a look at my last few days to show where my lifts are at:

Leg Day

Squat: (Warm Up 135x5) 210x5 215x5 220x4 225x3 (PR)
SLDL: (Warm Up 135x5) 195x5 205x5 215x5
Seated Calf Raise: 205x8 205x8 205x8
Lunges: 35x10 35x10 35x10 (35 lbs DB in each hand)

Push Day

BB Bench: (Warm Up 185x5) 235x5 255x4 275x2 285x1 225x5
Seated OH BB Press: (Warm Up 135x5) 150x5 160x3 170x3
Dips: BW+40x6 BW+45x5 BW+50x5
Tricep Cable Pulldown: 110x6 110x4 110x3

Pull Day

DL: (Warm Up 185x5) 225x5 275x5 295x3 315x2 (PR)
Chin Ups: BW+45x6 BW+50x6 BW+55x5
BB Row: 165x5 175x5 185x5
BB Curls: EZCurlBar+85x5 EZCurlBar+85x5 EZCurlBar+85x5
DB Shrugs: 95x10 95x10 95x10 (95 lbs DB in each hand)

I hit my first goal for squat (2pps) and DL (3pps). I'm still leaving the "Squat and Deadlift novice" line in my signature for now though. Until I can add 1 more pps for each.

My goal in the next 6-8 months is to hit:

Deadlift: 405 (4pps)
Squat: 315 (3pps)
Bench: 315 (3pps)

Hopefully I can keep setting PRs while cutting. Also I'm going to start adding in HIIT every other workout starting this week.

SMK41
05-02-2008, 08:35 AM
Today is my first day using Results. Hopefully it'll help me maintain LBM during my cut.

Also today is my first day doing HIIT. I decided to use a jog/sprint program I found online. I'm going to do HIIT 3 times a week. For each minute of HIIT I'm going to do a 30 second jog followed by a 30 second sprint. I'm going to start with just 4 minutes total and every 3rd HIIT session I'll add a minute. This should help me gradually get used to it. After 8 weeks I'll be doing 15 min straight of 30sec jog/30sec sprint. That should be pretty intense.

I'm anxious to see my weight/%BF next week with my new diet. I'm hoping that my LBM is staying the same even though I'm eating less.

SMK41
05-22-2008, 10:15 AM
So I've been struggling pretty much all of May with my lifting. I didn't realize how much harder it'd be to keep lifting heavy while cutting. I've cut back the volume of my workouts, but I'm still getting really exhausted. The cut is going pretty well though. I'll post an update tomorrow after I weigh in again.

The HIIT is also kicking my ass. I'm up to 6 minutes right now and I'm going up to 7 for my next HIIT session.

SMK41
05-23-2008, 12:30 PM
So in 3 weeks I'm down from 230 to 224. I'm hoping I can keep this pace up for the next 2 months or so.

borracho
05-23-2008, 02:26 PM
Looks like you've made great progress on the squats and dead lifts....good luck on the cut..i was (supposed) to be cutting since january....sorta forgot about it though. :)

I am sure you have your diet planned out well, but, it helps to plan in a small snack before going to the gym for some usable energy.

SMK41
07-29-2009, 03:24 PM
It's been a little over a year since I last posted in here. Around June 2008 I kept trying to push my maxes while cutting and I hurt my shoulder while trying to Bench 305. I wasn't able to do any benching, shoulder exercises, pull ups or chin ups for about 3 months. I kept working squats and deadlifts though.

Then I ended up moving from Philadelphia to San Diego last August and for about a 2 month period my lifting became very inconsistent (sometimes only 1-2 days a week). By October I tried to get serious again but could no longer handle the volume of my previous routine and could no longer reach my previous maxes.

I decided to start all over again with Starting Strength just a basic 3 day a week program alternating between an A and B workout (A. Squat, Bench, Row B. Squat, OH Press, DL). I started just doing 3x5 for all exercises and knocked the weight I was using down pretty significantly. I wanted to use it as an opportunity to refocus on my form (specifically on the depth of my squats and the width of my grip on bench b/c I used to grip a little narrower than I think I should've been doing). Also I was using gloves while lifting before and I threw them out and figured since I was going to be lowering the weight I could get used to lifiting without them and that's been working out great so far although I need to get some chalk soon b/c I'm having trouble holding onto my DLs lately on the heavy sets. As far as my diet, I was eating at a caloric surplus but nothing excesive.

I finally managed to get back to where I was at last year and then even improved some. I haven't checked my 1 RMs in a while. On my big compound lifts I've been doing 4x5 or 5x5 of ramped sets. My current weight for my last set is:

Bench: 5x265
Squat: 5x245
DL: 5x325

I got to all these numbers by late May of 2009. Then b/c I'm getting married in August this year I decided I needed to cut a little to get a little more toned for the wedding and honeymoon. I've gone from about 225 lbs in May down to 206 lbs now and I'm currently at 13.7% BF. I miss being able to make consistent gains in the gym (although my Deadlift and Squat are still going up slowly). I haven't really lost any strength though. I mostly cut carbs out of my diet to get rid of extra calories, but I kept my protein just as high as when I was bulking. It feels good to be slimmed down again for the first time in a while though. I kind of want to push myself to get below 10% body fat before I start bulking again after the wedding b/c I've never done it before and I'd like to see what I'd look like.

I'll probably stick with my current routine and diet at least through September/October (beach season runs later in San Diego! lol). Then in November I'll start bulking again and just trying to stay under 15% BF if possible. I doubt I'll be checking out any of my 1 RMs before I start bulking. I'm still shooting for the goals I had around this time last year of a 1 RM of:

Bench: 315
Squat: 315
DL: 405

Hopefully I'll be able to hit all of those within 2-3 months of starting my next bulk.


OK. So I needed to sit down and write all that out so I can start trying to use this journal again for extra motivation. Hopefully I'll keep sticking with it and set some more PRs over the coming months!

SMK41
08-01-2009, 12:36 AM
Today was a pull day at the gym.

DL: 225x5 245x5 285x5 325x5 (did 3 reps, short pause, 1 rep, long pause, 1 rep for last set)
BO BB Row: 195x5x5x5
Pull Ups: BWx8x8x8
BB Curl: 95x8x8x8
SLDL: 215x5x5x5
Decline Situps: BW+50x10x10x10
Leg Raises: BWx10x10x10

Overall a pretty good day. This is my second time pulling 325 and both time i've pulled 3 reps solid and then had to take long pauses and struggle to get through the last 2 reps. What's hurting me the most right now is my grip. I don't use straps or gloves and I do double overhand. After the 3rd rep I get so exhausted that i just can't hang on to the bar anymore.

SMK41
08-04-2009, 02:14 AM
Push Day today

Bench: 135x5 230x5 230x5 230x5 230x4
OH Press: 145x5x5x5
Dips: BW+25x8x8x8
Squat: 155x5 185x5 215x5 245x5
Standing Calf Raise: 480x8x8x8

I've deloaded my bench b/c I was getting stuck getting passed a max set of 265x5 on the program I was on. I moved down to 4 sets of 225x5 last week. I'm gonna bump the weight 5 lbs each week. I don't expect I'll make much of a gain on my bench until I start bulking again though.

My squats are slowly improving though which I'm very happy about. My form isn't the best on my heavy set but right now i just want to keep adding weight to the bar.

SMK41
08-07-2009, 04:34 PM
Had a solid pull day on Tuesday. Pulled 335x3 which I think is a PR for me. I'm not positive b/c I know I got up to around 315-345 or so last year but I can't find my old log book and I can't remember exactly what I got up to. I'm really struggling to hold onto 335 though. I'm using double overhand grip and no wraps or gloves though. I'm debating if I should try wraps out or just wait for my grip to get stronger.

Wednesday I had another push day. My shoulder felt a little off while doing bench press to start the day off, so I just finished my sets of bench then did a few sets of squats and called it a day.

I took off yesterday to let my body rest up a little and today I'm going back in for another pull day. I'm gonna try to pull 335x5 for my final DL set today.... We'll see if that actually happens or not.

SMK41
04-11-2010, 03:40 AM
I really wish i used this journal more consistently. It's fun to go back and read about my old workouts.

My last post was Aug 2009. I started a bulk in Sept 2009 and had great results. Went from about 205 lbs up to 240 lbs by late Jan 2010. Hit a bench PR of 315 and a DL PR of 405. Squats are still not as good as I'd like. I started cutting again for summer in Feb 2010. I'm almost down to 225 lbs now. I'd really like tohit 10% BF this summer bc i dont think i've ever quite made it there before.

SMK41
05-24-2010, 11:40 AM
I end up buying the 5/3/1 e-book back in April and on 4/25 I started my first cycle of 5/3/1 (doing 3x a week). I'm currently wrapping up the 1st cycle (in my deload week now).

Here are my numbers from the last set on the main lifts:

5/3/1 - Cycle 1

Overhead Press
5+ set - 145x9 - 188 E-1RM
3+ set - 155x9 - 201 E-1RM
1+ set - 165x4 - 187 E-1RM

Deadlift
5+ set - 315x10 - 420 E-1RM
3+ set - 330x9 - 429 E-1RM
1+ set - 350x6 - 420 E-1RM

Bench Press
5+ set - 250x10 - 333 E-1RM
3+ set - 265x8 - 336 E-1RM
1+ set - 280x5 - 327 E-1RM

Squat
5+ set - 205x11 - 280 E-1RM
3+ set - 220x7 - 271 E-1RM
1+ set - 230x8 - 291 E-1RM

SMK41
05-28-2010, 09:30 AM
Just finished my first deload week yesterday. I cut the weight on my accessory lifts to about 70-80% and did exactly what I was supposed to do for the main lifts. It was tough not to do more. I'm anxious to see how things go next week when I start cycle 2. In the past I've always felt like when I take a week off it takes my body a week or 2 to get used to the weight I was previously moving. Although this wasnt exactly a week off it was just a light week. So hopefully I pick things up next week and set some higher est-1RMs than i did last cycle. Next workout is on sunday

SMK41
06-29-2010, 11:34 PM
Just finished Cycle 2. I've been cutting lately and my OHP and Bench are really suffering. My numbers are down from what I was doing back in March. My DL and Squat on the other hand are still increasing.

5/3/1 - Cycle 2

Overhead Press
5+ set - 150x9 - 195 E-1RM
3+ set - 160x6 - 192 E-1RM
1+ set - 170x2 - 181 E-1RM

Deadlift
5+ set - 320x10 - 427 E-1RM
3+ set - 340x9 - 442 E-1RM
1+ set - 360x6 - 432 E-1RM

Bench Press
5+ set - 255x8 - 323 E-1RM
3+ set - 270x5 - 315 E-1RM
1+ set - 285x2 - 304 E-1RM

Squat
5+ set - 215x11 - 294 E-1RM
3+ set - 225x9 - 292 E-1RM
1+ set - 240x6 - 288 E-1RM

I'm in my deload week right now and since my DL has been feeling really good lately I decided to try for a new PR and pulled 425 tonight! My previous best was 405.

Hopefully my Bench and OHP don't fall off too much more over the next 2 cycles until i start bulking again in September.

SMK41
12-28-2011, 02:28 PM
After cutting all through the summer I started bulking again in November and am just starting my 4th cycle of 5/3/1 since Nov 1. I've had some really good progress lately.

DL: I've hit 435x4 (old 1RM was 455x1)
Squat: I've hit 285x4 (old 1RM was 275x1) - excited that I should be able to hit 315 soon
Bench: I've hit 280x6 recently (old 1RM was 315x2) - I lost a lot of pressing strength during the cut but its coming back