View Full Version : First comes the journal, then comes the PRs...

09-09-2008, 11:57 AM
Hello everyone,

This is my first online journal, and I am hoping it spurs some PRs for me over the coming year.

I am a moderately experienced lifter, but I am hoping to pay more attention to my diet, sleep, and routine this coming year to see if I can make a few goals:

1. Deadlift 495lbs.
2. Squat 455lbs.
3. Bench 315lbs.

Of these, I think the bench will be the most difficult for me to obtain.

Previous PRs in the big three are:

1. Deadlift 405lbs (about 5 weeks ago)
2. Squat 385lbs (about 1 year ago)
3. Bench 265lbs (about 2 years ago)

I am studying in a foreign country for a semester, so making some adjustments to the gym (which isn't ideal, but has all the equipment I should need).

I took about one-month off recently before arriving, and just started my new routine yesterday. It felt AWESOME to be back in the gym, and I find myself looking forward to every lift.

My routine looks like this:


Medium Weigh Squats: 3x5
DB Bench Press: 3x5
Deads: 1x5
Pendlay Rows:3x5
Dips: 2x8-12


Front Squats: 3x3
OH Press: 3x5
Hang Cleans: 3x5
Chinups: 2x8-12

Friday is either Workout A or Workout B, with these changes:

Heavy squat: 1x1, 1x2, or 1x3
Direct Arm work (e.g., hammer curls, tricep extensions): 2x8-12
Abs: 3 sets weighted sit-ups

Starting next week, I am also going to do ~20 minutes of HIIT (sprint intervals) on Tuesday and Thursday.

My current strength goals don't really have any particular reason behind them, other than that they are the numbers I want to reach. I would also like my strength/fitness level to be functional, as I play a lot of soccer.

I suppose I should also list my "starting" stats:

Height: 6'-6'1"
Weight: 190-195 (I know this is a big range, but I haven't weighed myself recently)
BF: ~12-15%

In terms of weight, I certainly don't want to lose any, but do not want to weigh more than 215.

Thanks for any encouragement, tips, or other suggestions that you may have!

09-09-2008, 12:01 PM

Medium Squats: 3x5 @ 225lbs. (these sets were fairly easy for me, but I have been very cautious with my squats since a knee injury earlier in the year).

DB Bench Press: 3x5 @ 75lbs. (these sets were easy, definitely need to move up to 80-85lbs.).

Deads: 1x5 @ 330lbs. (pretty good set, last rep was hard, though. I am finding that my form really breaks down after 3-4 reps, so I may just do five "singles" from now on).

Pendlay rows: 3x5 @ 135lbs. (this was the first time that I performed this lift, and the weight was very manageable. Not sure what to bump up to, but will try to add 15-25lbs. and go from there).

Dips: 1x12, 1x8 @ bodyweight (I was pretty tired for that last set!).

09-09-2008, 04:40 PM
First comes the journal, then comes the PRs...

good luck man :thumbup:

btw it should be "First comes the journal, then come the PRs..."

09-11-2008, 03:31 AM

Front Squat: 3x5 @ 60kg, 80kg, 90kg. (first time I have done front squats in over a year. The last set was a pretty good weight, but will be bumping the weight by 10-15lbs. next week to start).

OH Press: 3x5 @ 115lbs. (last set was the easiest. Hoping to move up to 135lbs. soon--seems like this is a pretty low weight, but I have not done this movement as often as I should have).

Hang Cleans: 3x5 @ 50kg. (this was the first time I had ever done hang cleans. Trying to work on my form at the moment, but will see if I can move up to 60kg next week).

Chin-ups: 2x8 @ bodyweight (was exhausted after the cleans).

09-12-2008, 07:06 AM

Really hate to do it in week one, but the tickle in my throat has turn into a recurring dry cough, and a head cold.

Taking the day off, hoping that the three day weekend will have me back at full strength.

09-16-2008, 04:59 PM

Medium Squats: 3x5 @ 244lbs (bumped up the weight about 20 pounds from last week--sets were definitely more work, but manageable).

OH Press: 3x4 @ 55kg (this seems a bit weak, but I don't have much of a benchmark, as I neglected this lift for a while).

Hang Cleans: 3x5 @ 55kg (starting to feel better about my form).

Chin-ups: 2x10 @ bodyweight (hope to move up to 12 reps next time, and then onto weighted chins).

09-18-2008, 02:25 PM

Deads: 1x3 @ 150.8kg, 1x2 @ 160.8kg, 1 @ 170.8kg, 1 @ 180.8kg/398.5lbs. (felt good on all of these pulls, and the 180.8kg was basically my PR from last month--definitely going to be going for a new PR next week)

DB Bench Press: 3x5 @ 80lbs. (sets were pretty easy again, but it's hard to find DBs in this gym that weigh more than 80lbs. but less than 100lbs.)

Front Squats: 3x5 @ 70kg (was having a hard time with my collarbone, and my legs were fried from deads, but was disappointed with the weight)

Pendlay Rows: 3x5 @ 70kg (pretty good weight for me)

09-20-2008, 05:56 AM

Squats: Warmup, 2 @ 265lbs., 1 @ 285lbs. (still a bit anxious about my knee, but the 285 was a good rep).

OH Press: 4 @ 135lbs. PR, 4 @ 135lbs., 2 @ 135lbs. (My OH pressing still seems weak, but the 135 is a PR for me, although I hit the failure wall on my last set).

Hang Clean: 5 @ 55kg, 5 @ 60kg PR, 5 @ 55kg (struggling with my grip, which could use some direct work, but also no chalk or dropping of the weights allowed in this gym).

Chin-ups: 2x8 @ bodyweight

+ A few sets of direct triceps work.

09-22-2008, 02:31 PM

Squat: 3x5 @ 115kg (good sets)

Deads: 2 @ 160kg, 1 @ 170kg, 1 @ 190kg/418.8lbs. PR (rounded my back a bit on the PR, but I was pleased that I pulled it)

Bent over rows: 3x5 @ 90 lbs. (a bit light, but good sets)

Dips: 2x12 @ bodyweight (need to start adding weight)

09-24-2008, 10:31 AM
Workout program is looking pretty good man, off to a nice start.

09-27-2008, 06:49 AM
Workout program is looking pretty good man, off to a nice start.

Thanks, Coke! I appreciate the encouragement.

Off on a bit of a long weekend, but will post results from last Wednesday's workout soon.

10-09-2008, 08:31 AM
Need to add a few updates, including a very close, but failed attempt at a new deadlift max (193.8kg)--just barely didn't lock it out.

That said, took a very bad fall in a soccer game earlier in the week.

X-rays and CT scan were clear, but having a hard time bearing weight on my right side, so using crutches and have PT scheduled. Not sure what my exact time-frame for recovery is, but I am hoping to be able to lift again in 1-2 weeks.

10-10-2008, 05:17 AM
Wow, too bad about the mishap...rest up bro.

10-31-2008, 07:11 PM
Have been back to the gym 2-3x now.

Still have some pain, especially when I do squats with 225lbs. or more, and I have not attempted to deadlift yet.

That said, think I am definitely almost healed up.

The past few times at the gym I've been doing a BEAR complex to get back into the swing of things. Don't think I've lost much strength--but I'll see about that when I try to lift heavy again, hopefully this week!