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Paul Sousa
03-03-2010, 08:40 AM
Moving my journal over here. On my 3rd cycle of 531 and getting pretty good results, except my squat is moving very slowly.

2/22/10:

Cycle 3/Week 1/Day 1 (restarting 3rd cycle)

Press - 105x5, 122x5, 138x11

Accessories:

Bradford Press - 95x10x3

Chins - 7/6/6

Face Pulls - 12x3



2/24/10:

Cycle 3/Week 1/Day 2

DL - 235x5, 275x5, 310x10

Accessories:

PC - 135x3, 155x5, 165x3x2, 175x3

DB Side Bends - 60x10x3



2/26/10:

Cycle 3/Week 1/Day 3

Bench - 155x5, 179x5, 203x11

Accessories:

DB Bench - 60x15x3

DB Rows - 80x10x3



2/27/10:

Cycle 3/Week 1/Day 4

Squat - 175x5, 205x5, 230x5

Accessories:

Leg Press - 270x15x3



3/1/10:

Cycle 3/Week 2/Day 1

Press - 113x3, 130x3, 146x8

Accessories:

Bradford Press - 95x10x3

Chins - 7/6/6

Face Pulls - 15x3



3/2/10:

Cycle 3/Week 2/Day 2

DL - 255x3, 290x3, 330x6

Accessories:

GM - 95x12, 105x12, 115x12

DB Side Bends - 70x10x3

Cmanuel
03-03-2010, 09:14 AM
Looks solid so far. I will subscribe to your journal and keep in touch.

Have you stalled yet on squats oe are you able to get prescribed reps easily?

StLRPh
03-03-2010, 09:14 AM
Good see your journal over here Paul. What have you tried for squat accessory work?

Paul Sousa
03-03-2010, 12:16 PM
Looks solid so far. I will subscribe to your journal and keep in touch.

Have you stalled yet on squats oe are you able to get prescribed reps easily?

I haven't stalled, but it just seems gains are coming alot slower than my other lifts. I assume with 531 you are stalling if you can't get at least 5 reps on week 1 with your max rep set, at least 3 reps on week 2, etc.? I actually raised my weights a bit this cycle and am going to try and get 5 reps each week during the cycle.

One thought I have is to switch my squat and DL days so that I have a little mor recovery time for squats. I've noticed my low back seems to be the weak link on squat day. not sure if the DL/GM combo on Tuesday is too much to recover from by Friday?

Paul Sousa
03-03-2010, 12:19 PM
Good see your journal over here Paul. What have you tried for squat accessory work?

Nice to see some familiar helpful folks from SS as well! I've tried walking lunges, BBB squats, front squats, and now leg presses. Leg presses are my favorite so far, but I am open to any and all suggestions.

StLRPh
03-03-2010, 12:54 PM
My accessory work on Deadlift day include squats to a high box (to get me used to heavier weights) and on Squat days I do ATG squats completely raw. For the accessory work I'm trying to always keep a few reps in the tank on the last set. I'm hoping the extra frequency in squatting will help with progression.

Definitely post a question in the powerlifting section. You'll probably get quite a bit of good feedback.

Cmanuel
03-03-2010, 01:04 PM
I haven't stalled, but it just seems gains are coming alot slower than my other lifts. I assume with 531 you are stalling if you can't get at least 5 reps on week 1 with your max rep set, at least 3 reps on week 2, etc.? I actually raised my weights a bit this cycle and am going to try and get 5 reps each week during the cycle.

One thought I have is to switch my squat and DL days so that I have a little mor recovery time for squats. I've noticed my low back seems to be the weak link on squat day. not sure if the DL/GM combo on Tuesday is too much to recover from by Friday?

Yep, this is the definition of stalling. What bodyweight are you at? Kinda strange that squats are coming along slowly... Do you feel fatigued in the glutes/hamstrings on Squat days from your tuesday workouts??

How did BBB squats feel when you used them as accesory?

Paul Sousa
03-03-2010, 01:45 PM
Yep, this is the definition of stalling. What bodyweight are you at? Kinda strange that squats are coming along slowly... Do you feel fatigued in the glutes/hamstrings on Squat days from your tuesday workouts??

How did BBB squats feel when you used them as accesory?

I hover around 225-230 lbs at 6'. I did a short SS stint and ate like a horse and went from 185 to 225 in 2 months. My pressing went up a good amount, as has my DL, but my squat is being stubborn. I am trying to maintain my BW, if not lose some, since I feel my strength is nowhere near where it should be for my weight (plus my conditioning is awful right now).

It's mostly my low back that feels fatigued on squat days. I am thinking it's due to the DL/GM combo?

And BBB squats were probably my next favorite accessory next to leg press. I HATE walking lunges, although some people have told me they work great.

Paul Sousa
03-03-2010, 01:47 PM
My accessory work on Deadlift day include squats to a high box (to get me used to heavier weights) and on Squat days I do ATG squats completely raw. For the accessory work I'm trying to always keep a few reps in the tank on the last set. I'm hoping the extra frequency in squatting will help with progression.

Definitely post a question in the powerlifting section. You'll probably get quite a bit of good feedback.

I've actually been thinking about doing the BBB squats as a DL accessory to try and get some additional squat volume, but the box squats sound interesting.

I'll try posting over in the PL forum as well, thanks!

Paul Sousa
03-05-2010, 01:54 PM
3/5/10:

Cyc le 3/Week 2/ Day 3

Bench - 167x3, 191x3, 215x8

Accessories:

DB Bench - 70x10, 75x10x2, 75x7, 70x10

DB Row - 85x10x3

Bench is still down from my PR, but getting back there (previous best with 215 was 10 reps on 1/14/10). Decided to increase the weight on DB bench and go for 5 sets of 10 instead of 3 sets of 15. hoping a little added weight on those will boost my bench. DB rows were good, went up 5 pounds and got the 3x10 with no problems.

StLRPh
03-05-2010, 02:20 PM
Very solid session

Paul Sousa
03-06-2010, 05:07 PM
Very solid session

Thanks! It felt good yesterday. I am hoping the added weight on the DB bench will help boost my BB bench. And even though it was only a 5lb. jump on the DB row, my back is nice and sore today from it.

Paul Sousa
03-06-2010, 05:16 PM
3/6/10:

Cycle 3/Week 2/Day 4

Squat - 190x3, 215x3, 245x5

Accessories:

Leg Press - 360x10x3

Weighted Situps (behind head) - 25x8x2, 25x3, 10x5 (switched to a 10 right after failing 4th rep w/25)

Today actually felt pretty good. I made a couple changes on the squat. First, I squatted in a squat rack instead of a cage. I think I mentally think I am too close to the back of the cage and it was causing me to stay too far forward in the squat. The rack was good since I didn't worry about that at all. I also widened my grip and went with a thumbs around grip. It felt better and the weight didn't seem as heavy on my back. 245 is the most I've ever actually squatted so I am taking today as a win.

I am planning on doing 5 sets of 10 on leg press going forward, but only did 3 sets today as I play hoop on Sundays and didn't want to completely kill my legs today. My squat day is normally friday which gives me time to recover from 5 sets.

Weighted situps are tough since I can easily do 5 sets of 10 with a 10 lb. plate, but the 25 lber is a big jump. I think I'll try for 5 sets of 5 with the 25 lber next week and see how that feels.

StLRPh
03-06-2010, 06:22 PM
Solid work Paul. There is definitely a mental side to heavy lifting

Paul Sousa
03-08-2010, 08:03 PM
3/8/10:

Cycle 3/Week 3/Day 1

Press - 122x5, 138x3, 154.5x6

Accessories:

Bradford Press - 95x10x3

BB Shrugs - 225x15x3

Press felt good tonight, but I know I could have done more reps. On my fifth rep I lost balance a bit at lockout and had to step back a bit with my left foot to catch myself. Threw my rhythm off and the sixth rep ended up being harder than it should have been. i am pretty sure i would ahve had a seventh if it wasn't for that stumble.

Bradford press is easier to get the three sets now, definitely will increase the weight next cycle. Ended up doing shrugs instead of chins as my left wrist was hurting after playing hoop yesterday, must have jammed it somehow. hope it doesn't bother me tomorrow with DL's.

Paul Sousa
03-10-2010, 06:59 AM
Picked up the new 5/3/1 for Football e-book. Gave it a bit of a read and it looks really good so far. I am thinking after this cycle I will try out the 8 week Winter Strength & Conditioning cycle. I originally switched to 5/3/1 as it was a good fit for me since I play some sports as well as train and this cycle from the new book looks like it could be an even better match. It's pretty much laid out like the 3 day/week cycle from 5/3/1, but it uses trap bar DL's instead of BB DL's and also programs Power Cleans as a main lift. It also runs for 8 weeks so it's basically two 5/3/1 cycles in a row without a deload. I'm thinking I'll do this and also add a dedicated conditioning day on Saturdays.

StLRPh
03-10-2010, 07:51 AM
Thanks for the mini-review. I have the ME book that has the original 5/3/1 programming and the 5/3/1 e-book. Does this one add enough to buy it for content? I'll probably get it anyway just to support EFS and Jim but I was curious if I should get it sooner or later.

Paul Sousa
03-10-2010, 08:10 AM
Thanks for the mini-review. I have the ME book that has the original 5/3/1 programming and the 5/3/1 e-book. Does this one add enough to buy it for content? I'll probably get it anyway just to support EFS and Jim but I was curious if I should get it sooner or later.

I haven't read it fully from cover to cover yet, but from what I've read i would say it depends on your goals. The majority of the content is geared towards non-strength related training (speed work, jumps/throws, etc.). If you are mainly focused on just getting stronger than the original 5/3/1 is all you need. But if you are more of an athlete who appreciates strength training and likes the 5/3/1 template than I would recommend it. There are parts I definitely won't use since I am not a football player/on a team (i.e. - in-season cycles, etc.). But the Winter Strength & Conditioning program is really well laid out, and it has alot of squatting which I think I will benefit from. There is also a really good warm-up provided, with alot of info as to why the different movements are used.

So I guess I would say if you are mainly concerned with just strength you won't get too much out of it, but if you are interested in seeing how 5/3/1 can be applied for an athlete it is worth the purchase.

Paul Sousa
03-10-2010, 06:33 PM
3/10/10:

Cycle 3/Week 3/Day 2

DL - 275x5, 310x3, 345x5

Accessories:

GM - 115x12x3

DB Side Bends - 70x10x3

Pretty straightforward session. Wish I tried for a 6th rep, but I am still hesitant to really push it on the DL.

Paul Sousa
03-12-2010, 05:48 PM
3/12/10:

Cycle 3/Week 3/Day 3

Bench - 180x5, 205x3, 227x8

Accessories:

DB Bench - 70x10x4, 70x9 (dammit!)

DB Rows - 85x10x3

The bench felt great tonight! I easily got 8 and actually did 10 reps, but the guy I asked to spot me said he helped "just a tiny bit" on the last two. My 8th rep was easy and the bar was coming off my chest quickly so I don't think I needed any help, but none the less he said he helped so I'm not counting them.

Accessory work was straight forward. Tried to keep the rests short on DB bench which I assume is the cause for the missed 9th rep.

StLRPh
03-12-2010, 05:56 PM
8 reps on your "3" day is very respectable. Especially on your third cycle. Keep the momentum for squats!

Paul Sousa
03-13-2010, 05:32 PM
3/13/10:

Cycle 3/Week 3/Day 4

Squat - 205x5, 230x3, 255x4

10 minutes on inclined treadmill

Didn't have much time so I went for the main lift and did some light conditioning. My squat still sucks. 255 for 4 is nowhere near as good as I want right now. I am going to lower my training max next cycle as my 1RM estimated off this set is under 290.

Paul Sousa
03-23-2010, 09:20 AM
Took last week off after tweaking my hip. Started the Winter S&C program (slightly modified) from the 5/3/1 for Football book last night.

3/22/10:

Week 1/Day 1

Press - 110x5, 125x5, 142x10 (PR) - Did a set of 3 chins after each set

Front Squat - 100x5, 120x5, 140x5 - Did a set of 3 chins after each set

Dips/EZBB Curl superset - 12/70x10, 12/70x10, 10/70x10

Glute Ham Raise/Roman Chair Situp superset - 10/12, 9/12

I really liked this workout. The chins between the sets of Press and Front Squats is an easy way to sneak some extra chinning into my training. I also liked the supersetting as it takes less time. I was nervous about the GHR's as I've never done them before. They were tough, but not as bad as I expected. Hamstrings are nice and tired today.

I am making two changes to the program as written. I am doing Front Squats instead of regular Squats as i tweaked my hip and feel the narrower stance will give it some time to heal. I am also subbing Conventional DLs for the Trap Bar DLs basically because I want to.

I'm excited to see how I progress on this cycle. My main goal is to get back in shape and increase my athleticism with a secondary goal of increased strength.

Paul Sousa
04-16-2010, 07:44 PM
Okay, after about a month plus of dicking around I settled on a schedule I am happy with. I also somehow still managed to set a rep max PR on my press during this time (140x11). I have no idea why my press keeps going up even with erratic programming, but no complaints here.

Here is the schedule I am going to follow:

Tuesday:
Incline Bench/Squat (531 style)
Upper Back Accessory (chins, rows, etc.)
Ab work
Conditioning

Thursday:
Press/Deadlift (531 style)
Upper Back work (chins, rows, etc.)
Ab work
Conditioning

Saturday:
Outdoor conditioning (hill sprints, truck pushing, etc.)

My goal is to increase conditioning while still making some strength gains. Ultimately I would like to get into strongman competitions.

Paul Sousa
04-16-2010, 07:44 PM
4/14/10:

Incline - 135x5, 155x5, 175x11

Squat - 160x5, 190x5, 215x12

Chins - 6/4 (stopped after this as my wrists were hirting for some reason)

Face Pulls - 3x15

10 minutes on the treadmill

Paul Sousa
04-16-2010, 07:45 PM
4/16/10:

Press - 110x5, 125x5, 145x9

DL - 220x5, 255x5, 290x11

BB Rows - 135x10x3

500m row*

*I was planning on doing two 500m intervals, but the only rower available ended up being broken so no matter what setting it was ta it was like it was at 1. The foot straps also slowly loosened. I did one 500m row that took almost 2:30 which is terrible. Decided to call it a day after that.

Paul Sousa
04-22-2010, 07:38 AM
4/21/10:

Incline - 145x3, 165x3, 185x9

Squat - 180x3, 205x3, 230x8

Got to the gym late as I had a doctor's appointment after work and promised the wife I'd be home by 8 so no accessory work. Probably had another couple reps in me on both lifts, but no spotter on the incline and a weird twing in my butt cheek made me cut them both short.

I am about to start putting together a gym at my mom's house though. It's an old house that was built by my family and has an attached barn. My mom and sister have been watching my son a couple days a week so it will be really convenient to be able to just workout when I pick him up. I'm picking up a bench/squat stand combo and an oly bar with weights this weekend. I actually bought them a few years ago, then gave them away when I joined a gym, and now they are coming back to me. :)

Paul Sousa
04-23-2010, 06:27 PM
4/23/10:

Press - 120x3, 135x3, 155x8 :)

GHR - 3x5

Deadlift - 270x3, 290x3, 305x8

Tonight was a cluster. Started out well with the press, got a solid PR with 155 for 8 reps. After that though the left side of my back felt sore and I thought about skipping DL's and doing GHR's instead. Did 3 sets of 5 and then told myself to not be a douche and just go pull. Those went fine, not a PR, but felt good and probably could ahve done better if I didn't kill my hammies with the GHR's beforehand.

That brings me to another failed attempt at conditioning work. Hopped on a bike, started going, tried to increase the resistance, and then it shut off on itself. Tried a different bike, decided to try an interval program, started going, and it shut off on me about 45 seconds in. Then hopped onto a treadmill to try some sprints instead. Walked for a minute, light jog for a minute, walk for another minute, then boosted the speed to sprint, went about 15 seconds and the tread stopped. The display stayed on and said it was still at my sprint speed, but the tread stopped completely. Tried another treadmill, walked for a minute, boosted it to sprint, and 15 seconds later the same thing happened. Decided it was time to go home then.

On a more positive note I found BJ's carried 5lb. bags of EAS whey protein for only $28. That made me happy.

StLRPh
04-23-2010, 06:54 PM
Good work Paul. Great news on the home gym. I'm sure you'll love it.

Paul Sousa
04-29-2010, 07:31 AM
Good work Paul. Great news on the home gym. I'm sure you'll love it.

Thanks! I can't wait to get it put together. I may freeze my gym membership so I can use it during January and February, but otherwise this should be perfect.

Paul Sousa
04-29-2010, 07:31 AM
4/28/10:

Incline - 155x5, 175x3, 195x7

Squat - 185x5, 215x3, 240x7

Face Pulls - 3x15

Conditioning - 5 minutes of terrible intervals on the treadmill

Everything seemed good last night until I tried to do some intervals. I've been having issues with the lateral portion of my lower legs and my feet going numb when running (it started happening when I started a basketball league in March). Went to the doc's and they suggested I try some Dr. Scholl's inserts. I wore them for my last game and they actually seemed to work, but then last night when I tried running the numbness started up again. This sucks.

Paul Sousa
04-30-2010, 05:29 PM
4/30/10:

Press - 130x5, 145x3, 160x6

Deadlift - 255x5, 290x3, 325x6

Kroc rows - 80x20x1

Planks - BWx1 min, +25x30secx2

Seated Calf Raises - 50x20x3

I felt a little weak tonight, I really was hoping for 7 reps on press and DL. I am okay with 6, but I feel like I should have been able to get one more each. My accessory work is all over the place. I really need to plan it out in advance and stick to it. I think I'll stick with Kroc rows on my DL day and I'll also do some ab work and calf raises (hoping it helps my achilles tendonitis). On squat day I'm thinking pull-ups, ab work and more calf raises.

Paul Sousa
05-01-2010, 02:16 PM
5/1/10:

Decided I would journal my conditioning days as well.

Truck pushes - 4 x 90% max for distance

For anyone interested the truck is a 2001 reg. cab Dodge Dakota. I've been doing this 3 out of the past 4 weeks so far and I finally hit my first goal today of getting it up to 5mph during a push. I'm also still scouting hills to find a good one to do sprints on.

StLRPh
05-01-2010, 02:20 PM
Doing a lot of good work Paul

Paul Sousa
05-05-2010, 06:40 PM
5/5/10:

Cycle 2

Incline - 135x5, 160x5, 180x12

Squat - 170x5, 200x5, 225x10

Pullups - 4/4/3/3

Planks - 3x25lbsx30sec

Jump Rope - 3x50 singles

Incline felt great, squat felt like crap, pullups were weak sauce, planks were tough but good, and jump rope wasn't too bad.

Paul Sousa
05-07-2010, 07:15 PM
5/7/10:

Press - 125x5*, 140x5*, 150x9

DL - 230x5, 265x5, 300x10

Intervals - 1 min @ 2.5
1 min @ 6.0
1 min @ 2.5
1 min @ 7.0
2 min @ 2.5
20 sec @ 8.0**
20 sec @ 2.5
1 min @ 7.0

Worked late tonight so got a late start at the gym. *Screwed up on the press and did the first two sets based on next week's weights. Possibly cost me a rep on the final set but oh well. Deads felt good, happy with 10 reps. Then decided to skip accessory work and go straight to conditioning. **Everything was going well until I tried for 8mph and the tread stopped after about 20 seconds. I am convinced it's not anything I am doing wrong as I took my headphones off so I could focus solely on my running. Jumped on another treadmill and did another minute at 7mph to finish it off.

On a bright note though, I think I figured out that my shoes have been the cause of my calves/feet going numb. On a whim I decided to buy some new shoes (Nike Frees) to see if they would be any better and they were. No sign of numbness at all and my feet felt great the whole time.

Oh, and I just did 1 set of 7 on each hand with the CoC #1.

Paul Sousa
05-12-2010, 07:03 PM
5/12/10:

Incline - 145x3, 170x3, 190x8

Squat - 185x3, 210x3, 240x8

Pullups - 5/4/4/4

Planks - 3x25lbsx30sec

Intervals - 1 min @ 2.5
1 min @ 6.0
1 min @ 2.5
1 min @ 7.0
1 min @ 2.5
1 min @ 8.0
1 min @ 2.5

Incline felt good, as always at least one rep in the tank as I don't have a spotter. Squat felt really good tonight and 8 reps at 240 is a PR for me. I did pull-ups with the close grip bars that have your palms facing each other and liked it alot. I've been finding normal grip pull-ups and chin-ups have been aggravating my shoulder and wrists. Planks were hard but good. And my running went well, I am psyched to be able to actually run and not have my feet go numb!

About to do a couple sets with the CoC #1 now.

Paul Sousa
05-14-2010, 05:54 PM
5/14/10:

Press - 125x3, 140x3, 160x6

DL - 245x3, 280x3, 315x10

Kroc Rows - 95x15x1 each arm

Farmer's Walks - 90x100ft., 95x100ft.

CoC # 1 - 5x2 each hand

Press felt a little weak tonight, but I stopped with a definite rep in the tank. Last time I tried 160 I git 6 reps, but this set felt easier. I am forcing myself to listen to Wendler's advice and not go all out to failure on my max attempts. Deadlift felt awesome. I was hoping for 8 reps, but once I got going the groove felt great and I got 10 no problem. I probably had two more reps in me, but I hit an all time PR with 10 and felt it was good to stop. Kroc rows were great, only ended up doing one set each arm as my back was spent after them. Decided to do a couple farmer's walks for a little bit of conditioning since I'm planning on doing truck pushes and hill sprints tomorrow. They felt good and were a fun little change up for me. Finished with a couple sets of 5 on the CoC #1, left hand is definitely weaker and I was tired as I couldn't fully close it with my left.

StLRPh
05-14-2010, 06:20 PM
Everything seems to be coming together, a lot of good things going on

Paul Sousa
05-14-2010, 08:38 PM
Everything seems to be coming together, a lot of good things going on

Thanks man. I was hesitant to go to a 2 day/week template but it seems to be working for me. I am pumped about the 240x8 in the squat. It's been such a struggle to get it to both feel good and increase and that workout was the first time both have happened.

Paul Sousa
05-15-2010, 09:27 AM
5/15/10:

Truck pushes - 3 x Max distance

Hill sprints - 4 x ~80 yards

Truck pushes were good, about the norm. Only did 3 pushes as we wanted to do some sprints today too. The hill was okay, probably about 80 yards in distance, but not super steep. Still had a good incline to it though. Felt good to sprint again, but I definitely have a ways to go before my conditioning is where I want it.

Paul Sousa
05-19-2010, 05:15 PM
5/19/10:

Incline - 160x5, 180x3, 200x7

Squat - 200x5, 225x3, 250x6

My energy level sucked today. Thought about skipping altogether but convinced myself to at least get the main lifts in. My max rep sets weren't bad, but I was hoping for one more rep on each. Still not going to failure so I may have been able to squeak out one more, but I'm trying to stay focused on the big picture. And have I mentioned I hate squats? Last week my form felt great, today it seemed awful. I hate this lift.

Paul Sousa
08-20-2010, 08:36 AM
I'm back at it! I realized in May I was fat and out of shape and decided I needed to focus on my conditioning exclusively for a little bit. I'm down to 215 from 235 in May, and my conditioning is much better now. I've also taken decided to switch from a low bar to a high bar squat, and have loved it so far. I had no idea what I wanted to do programming wise now, and have landed on trying an auto-regulating type of training (based on Jamie Lewis' outline in his C&P blog).

8/19/10:

First day of my experiment into an auto-regulating type of training. I am using the basic format Jamie Lewis described on his Chaos & Pain blog. I am going to take baby steps into it and keep the volume a bit lower than he suggests and slowly increase. I plan on doing 2 days/week for about another month and then the week after Labor Day I should be able to go to 3 days. Let's see how it goes!

Squat (high bar) - 205x2x8 (85%)

Press - 155x2x8 (90%)

Power Clean - 165x1x10 (90%)

The squat felt awesome. The first couple sets I wasn't sure if I would get all 8, but by the 4th set I actually started feeling stronger. I felt great on the 8th set. I was conservative on the weight as well as this was just my second workout since switching to high bar (which I am still loving).

Press was tough, but again I felt stronger about halfway through the sets. But this time by the 8th set I was done. I never felt like I had more than one more rep in me on any set. Rests were a bit longer than I wanted as my brother-in-law and his brother came in the barn and were chatting.

Power cleans were pretty much the same story in terms of feeling stronger about 4 sets in, but like the press I was done by the 10th single. Kept the rest real short on these.

I actually felt really good at the end of this. I was soaked in sweat, and I was tired, but my joints and mobility felt really good. We'll see how recovery goes, but I have the whole weekend to rest so it shouldn't be a problem at all.

StLRPh
08-20-2010, 09:18 AM
:thumbup:

Paul Sousa
08-25-2010, 07:02 PM
8/25/10:

Front Squats - 185x1x12

BNT Push Press - 155x3x6

BB Shrugs - 205x15x1

Front squats are still not totally comfortable for me, but they started feeling better as I kept going. I would guess this was 85-90% of my 1RM.

BNT push presses took a couple warmups to get in the groove, but once I did I really liked them. Could have probably done the same volume with 10 pounds more on the bar.

Shrugs didn't go as planned. I only have 300 pounds in weights right now (will be remedied ASAP), but I also don't have a rack I can set the bar low enough. I tried 255, but I needed to do a bit of an upright row to get the bar out and at this point in the workout I couldn't get it out. Went down to 205 and just banged out 15 reps, not terribly hard, but figured it was better than nothing. I contemplated doing some DL's for my pulling lift, but my plan is to do those tomorrow so I held off.

StLRPh
08-26-2010, 01:26 PM
You could try Hise Shrugs, way more comfortable for me anyway.

Paul Sousa
08-26-2010, 06:54 PM
8/26/10:

Close Grip Bench Press - 185x3x8

Back Squats (High Bar) - 205x5x4

I haven't done close grip bench in ages, and used to hate it, but that was back when I had horrible form on the bench (wide grip, no tucking of elbows). It felt a lot better now that it isn't a complete departure from my normal bench form. Still going a bit conservative on intensity/volume and could have done a bit more one way or the other.

I love high bar squats. I front squatted yesterday and my SI joint was a bit sore today. I decided I'd try warming up and maybe do a light day (was thinking of doing 115 for 2 minutes) but as I warmed up I felt better and better. Decided I felt like going heavy and 205 felt great. My legs feel real springy with the high bar and I feel good in the hips and knees afterwards.

Due to time, and the way my SI joint had felt earlier, I opted out of the deadlift singles I had hoped to do. I also only have 300 pounds total to use right now and I would want some more for singles.

Paul Sousa
08-26-2010, 06:55 PM
You could try Hise Shrugs, way more comfortable for me anyway.

I'll have to google those. I was thinking about building a platform out of a 4x4 post and some plywood to get me high enough.

StLRPh
08-26-2010, 07:21 PM
Hise shrugs are pretty straightforward. Put the bar on your shoulders like a high bar squat and then shrug up. Your shoulder girdle will raise the bar.

Paul Sousa
08-26-2010, 08:24 PM
In terms of muscle recruitment, what are the differences between Hise and standard shrugs? Just wondering if it's worth building the platform or not.

StLRPh
08-27-2010, 06:28 AM
I'd imagine its the same, I do them b/c the set up is easier and also b/c when I do regular shrugs I tend to rack myself :(

Paul Sousa
08-27-2010, 07:41 AM
Nice, I'll give them a go on Monday! Thanks for the help!

Paul Sousa
09-01-2010, 07:14 AM
8/31/10:

BNT Push Press - 185x1x12

Squats (High Bar) - 245x1x12

Hise Shrugs - 135x10, 185x12

Felt like going heavy today. 185 was about my limit with a normal push press about a month ago so I wasn't sure if it would be too much. I ramped up to it and the first couple were tough. The thing I'm noticing when doing a bunch of singles is that the first couple always feel a bit tough (like I am lacking energy), then the next several feel great, then the last couple become tough again. I'm guessing it's CNS related?

I also wasn't sure about 245 on squat since I've only been doing high bar about a month and 240+ always felt terrible when I was doing low bar. They were tough, but just like the push press I felt great from about my third through ninth singles.

I then tried Hise Shrugs as a way to try and overcome my problem with not having a good rack for shrugs. They never felt right, not sure if I was doing them wrong but they weren't natural feeling.

This was a great workout, it definitely tested whether high bar is really a good switch for me and it was a resounding yes. Knees, hips, etc. all felt great afterwards. Whenever I tried weights around 245 with low bar I felt beat up after and my depth was questionable. Depth with high bar has remained consistently below parallel as the weight has increased.

StLRPh
09-01-2010, 08:26 AM
Hise shrugs can be uncomfortable at first. Great workout and damn that's a lot of singles

Paul Sousa
09-01-2010, 08:57 AM
Hise shrugs can be uncomfortable at first. Great workout and damn that's a lot of singles

I will give them another go sometime soon, but they were definitely awkward. And the ROM just seems so small that I'm unsure if I'm doing them right.

I'm loving singles, it's making me alot more comfortable under heavier weights. On both lifts last night I was uncertain I could do it before I started, but then after a couple reps I was confident and they started to fly up. I'm planning on going up to a minimum of 15 for singles at some point this month. I'm enjoying the auto-regulation too. I felt like pushing for weights I hadn't done before and I felt great after. I'm figuring I'll do some triples or fives tomorrow night for squat and try some heavy singles on power cleans. It's fun to just go in and push myself with whatever I feel like doing.

Paul Sousa
09-03-2010, 05:36 AM
9/2/10:

Bench - 205x3x1/215x3x4/205x3x3

Squat - 95x24 (in 1 minute)

PC - 135x10 (in <1 minute)

Bench felt good. I haven't done a ton of benching lately and was happy with the weight I was able to use. Rest period were short too, and it seems that impacts bench more than squats or push presses.

For squats I wanted to go light and decided to just set a timer for 1 minute and see how many reps I could get. I think I'll stick with 95 lbs./1 minute until I can get at least 30 reps, then I'll either increase time or weight.

I was thinking about doing heave singles for PC's, but my wrist was bugging me after benching so I decided to do 10 quick reps at 135 aiming to complete them in under 1 minute. I was well under a minute, especially considering the only real rest I took was to push the plates back on the sleeves (need new collars).

StLRPh
09-03-2010, 08:17 AM
Are you wearing wrist wraps for all your pressing sets?

Paul Sousa
09-03-2010, 08:26 AM
Are you wearing wrist wraps for all your pressing sets?

I haven't been, but I'm planning to start on the bench and military press. My wrists never seem bothered doing the BTN push presses, but I ended up putting them on for my last set or two last night because they were getting sore.

Also just got a pair of TK knee sleeves, I'll be trying them out on my next workout. My knees actually feel great since going to high bar (weird, I know), but planning to use them for prevention. Should have done the same with the wrist wraps.

StLRPh
09-03-2010, 08:53 AM
I have a pair of 12in Convicts I got as a freebie and I wear them for all my pressing movements. Prevention tends to be a little more effective than treatment.

Paul Sousa
09-03-2010, 09:02 AM
I have a pair of 12in Convicts I got as a freebie and I wear them for all my pressing movements. Prevention tends to be a little more effective than treatment.

Word, I have some 12" wraps from APT (forget which type specifically) and they will be worn for all pressing work sets going forward. I always wore them on my max rep sets when I was running 5/3/1 and never had wrist issues, shoudl have learned from that.

Paul Sousa
09-04-2010, 06:59 PM
9/4/10:

DL - 300x10

Press - 165x2x1/165x1x3/135x6x1

Went to my first strongman show today (as a spectator), the Mass State Strongman Championship. It was a ton of fun to see live and I'm definitely planning on getting into it next season. It also has me thinking about my programming, but I'm going to hold tight for now based on tonight's workout.

After standing in the sun for a few hours at the show I wasn't really feeling to pumped to train, but I got myself ready and decided to do some pulling and pressing. I haven't DL'd in a month and when I did I pulled 300 for 6 (might have had one more in me, but it was a tough 6). While warming up the weights were feeling light and I noticed the bottom of the pull seemed stronger, wondering if the squats are responsible. I loaded up 300 (all the weight I currently own) and thought I might hopefully get 7 or 8 reps for a small increase. I pulled 10 and might have had a grinder of an 11th in me. Also did this with the double overhand hook grip and never felt any issues there. Needless to say I am pretty happy with the results of the last couple weeks' training. More plates are needed ASAP.

I also felt like doing some strict presses and seeing what I could get since the last time (155x2x8 on 8/19/10). I made a pretty hefty jump to 165 and got 2 tough reps on the first set. I did 3 more singles with short rest. My wrist started to bug me a bit again so I backed it down to 135 for max reps after maybe 30 seconds rest. Pretty happy with this since my weight is still at 215 and the press doesn't move to quick if you're not gaining weight.

Paul Sousa
09-07-2010, 06:24 PM
9/7/10:

BNT Push Press - 185x1/190x1x2/195x1x2/200x1/205x1/210x1

Squat - 225x5x4

Wasn't sure if I was going to train today, had some "stomach" issues in the morning. I ended up feeling better by the afternoon and went for it. I decided to push myself with the BTN push press and crushed my old PR. The most weight I've ever had overhead, regardless of the method, was 185. I got 190 pretty easily for a couple singles and decided to try 195. I got that that for another couple singles without much trouble. Decided I could break the 200 lb. barrier and got that for a solid single. I knew I had more in me so up went 205 for another single, just a bit of a battle to lock it out. Then went for 210 for my last and again had a bit of a battle to lock it out, but it was still not my limit. Not sure where this came from as my last time with these 185 singles felt close to my limit.

Squats felt great again, and I used my TK knee sleeves for the first time. Definitely different feeling, but I like them a lot. I really don't think they give too much in terms of carryover, but I felt more confident bouncing out of the whole and wasn't ever worried about me knees. I also kept rests pretty short. I was done with all four sets before two Rage songs were finished playing (and not their long ones like Wake Up).

I am definitely feeling this one already though, especially in my upper back. Gonna pound a chicken parm sub and then sleep.

StLRPh
09-07-2010, 07:29 PM
congrats on the PR, and those are some burly push presses

Paul Sousa
09-07-2010, 08:28 PM
congrats on the PR, and those are some burly push presses

Thanks, it felt awesome getting 200+ overhead. And I wore my wraps so not wrist pain afterwards. :p

Paul Sousa
09-08-2010, 08:51 AM
No clue who this guy is, but it's pretty sick and good motivation for my squat sessions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_HhF...layer_embedded

Paul Sousa
09-08-2010, 07:05 PM
Just got back from playing my first game of indoor soccer in almost a year. I played outdoor a bit this summer, but never felt that great while doing so (partly due to playing on rock hard dead grass with cleats). Although my endurance isn't there, my knees, hips, back etc. all feel great. I think between the high bar squat and the mobility stuff I've been doing I've solved all my old problems with pain in those areas.

Paul Sousa
09-10-2010, 06:35 PM
9/10/10:

Bench - 225x2x8 (failed the 2nd rep on 7th set)

Squat - 185x1/205x1/225x1/255x1/275x1/285x1/255x5

Think I may be getting the cold my wife and son have had this week, which sucks. I was aiming to set a new squat PR tonight though so I decided to just bench and then do a few singles working up to the new weight, and skip any pulling. Bench went well, excpet for the 7th set, but it was due to lack of focus setting up and my left wrist was at a weird angle.

Squats went great, exactly (or better) than I hoped. The most I've squatted before switching to high bar was 260, and it was questionable on depth and ugly. I wanted 275 tonight and wasn't going to fail. 255 felt light, I threw on the extra plates, got myself ready, and 275 went up with no problem. I got excited and decided to add 10 more pounds and went for 285. I got it with a bit of a fight, but considering I also only took maybe a minute rest after 275 I am happy. All in all a good session.

I also tried to get video of the 275 and 285 squats. Quality isn't good, but I think you can see it well enough.

275 - http://www.youtube.com/user/psousa78.../1/4pANzyFJkb0

285 - http://www.youtube.com/user/psousa78.../0/gh9h4o0aAm0

For comparison's sake here I am struggling to get 240 with proper depth (and I was 20 lbs. heavier): http://www.youtube.com/user/psousa78.../3/T_wQ_OGJcYo

Paul Sousa
09-14-2010, 06:50 PM
9/14/10:

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of a KB swing/goblet squat couplet w/12kg kettlebell

Ended up coming straight home from work as my wife had a tough day with our son (he has a cold and is grumpy) and needed a break ASAP. She also works from home and hadn't completed much work and needed to get some done. Decided I would play around with the new kettlebell I just got for her. I saw a Dan John article last week where he posted this workout and figured I'd give it a go. No timing or anything, just kept myself honest and took minimal rests to breathe, and never put the kettlebell down. I thought it would be a breeze since it is only 12kg, but it definitely exposed a lack of work capacity as by the end I was sucking wind pretty good. I think I'm going to add some met-con type work to my schedule, probably on Saturdays in the form of barbell complexes and odd object stuff.

Paul Sousa
09-16-2010, 08:08 PM
9/16/10:

Squat - 185x2/205x1/225x1/255x1/275x1x6

Press - 135x5/155x2/165x1/175x1/135x7

First real workout since being sick over the weekend and start of the week. Felt like Keeping it short and heavy. I was happy to see 275 felt easier than it did last week. I could have kept going for singles, but cut it at six. I'm thinking if I did a true attempt at a max I'd be close to 300 now.

The press was okay. I thought 175 would have been a bit easier than it was. Granted my rests were short, but it was a real grind. I am definitely missing some strength at the start of the lift, I am thinking it's due to a lack of upper back work like rows and pullups. I'm going to add that in and see what happens.

StLRPh
09-17-2010, 08:59 AM
great work Paul, glad to see that your squat is coming around

Paul Sousa
09-17-2010, 10:49 AM
great work Paul, glad to see that your squat is coming around

Thanks, it's definitely been a struggle. Switching to high bar has proven to be a great decision for me. I am actually contemplating doing a full Smolov cycle I am enjoying squatting so much.

Paul Sousa
09-19-2010, 02:50 PM
9/19/10:

Squat - 185x3/225x1/245x1/275x1/295x1/305x1

BNT Push Press - 155x2/175x1/185x1/195x1/205xF/185x1

Press - 135x7

BB Shrugs - 225x5/315x3/315x5(w/straps)/355x5(w/straps)

CoC #1 - 3 sets of 5 on each hand

Went to the gym today so I had access to more weight. Decided to test my thought that I could hit 300 on the squat. Got 295 without much trouble and decided to go for 305. Took a couple minutes, which is short for a max attempt but longer than I have been doing lately. Unracked it, it didn't feel too heavy surprisingly, and got the rep without a ton of struggle.

Messed with BNT push presses after. Was lacking some hip drive after the squats, and was taking short rests, so I'm not too upset about missing 205. Stripped the 10's and went for 185 right away and got a real ugly single. Decided to finish up with some strict presses.

Felt like doing some more work, but had no idea what, so went for some shrugs since I haven't been able to go heavy enough at my home gym. Definitely cheat shrugs, but the felt good and were fun.

Finished up with some grip work on the #1, haven't been consistent with that lately.

StLRPh
09-19-2010, 08:14 PM
Nice squattin!

Paul Sousa
09-19-2010, 08:37 PM
Nice squattin!

Thanks! I decided to go back to a 2 day 5/3/1 split and have a third day where I do heavy singles for squat, C&J's and occasionally some strongman work. I really wanted to do a Smolov cycle, but there's no way I can add a fourth workout each week any time soon.

Paul Sousa
09-20-2010, 06:29 PM
9/20/10:

Cycle 1/Week 1/Day 1

Squat - 180x5/205x5/230x10

Bench - 145x5/165x5/185x12

BB Rows - 135x8x5

Planks - 3x45 seconds

Back to 5/3/1. I liked the auto-reg, high intensity stuff, but the more I've read about it (Bulgarian methos, Broz, etc.) the more it seems I need to train more often and right now I can't do more than three sessions per week. Maybe sometime down the road if I can get up to at least five days per week I'll give it another go.

Squats felt good. I think yesterdays squats took a bit away from me, but I'm still happy with 10 good reps that didn't hurt me at all. Only downside was I only loaded 230 instead of the 235 I was supposed to do, but oh well.

Bench was good, got the rep total I was expecting, probably could have grinded out a 13th.

Haven't done any real rowing in a while so I started on the lighter side with the BB rows. They felt good and I'm happy to be getting some upper back work in again.

Finished with some planks, which were tougher than expected which I figure is due to a lack of ab work lately and my low back being worked from the rows.

And I am still loving high bar squats.

StLRPh
09-21-2010, 08:15 AM
Everyone comes back to 5/3/1, it's like crack :clown:

Paul Sousa
09-23-2010, 06:17 PM
9/23/10:

Cycle 1/Week 1/Day 2

DL - 225x5/255x5/290x10

Press - 100x5/115x5/130x10

Pullups - 3/3/3/3

Planks - 3x45 seconds

CoC #1 - 3 sets of 5 on each hand

Went to the gym today as my nephew is sick and wasn't going to work out and I was running late from work (I can get through the workout faster at the gym). I ended up screwing myself by not paying attention to bar selection and also not having chalk with me. I stupidly used a 32mm bar with smooth knurling. First two work sets weren't bad, but on my max rep set I had to reset my grip for my 9th and 10th reps. It got annoying so I stopped, but I know I had at least two more reps (I honestly think I could have hit 15 reps if my grip was there). Teaches me for not planning properly for my DL sessions.

Press was okay. I guess I'm still used to where I used to be when I was 20 lbs. heavier. In the grand scheme of things I am much happier as I feel better, my squat is stronger, my DL is about the same, and I am able to play sports and not want to die. But I still hate that I can only get 10 reps at 130. Oh well, it'll come back.

Pullups were pitiful. I can't remember the last time I did any and my rhythm with them was horrendous. I need to keep working these consistently. Time to build a pullup bar in the barn.

Planks and grip work to finish it off, nothing to write about here.

StLRPh
09-23-2010, 06:48 PM
excellent session, no problem with the big bar, it'll make the regular bar feel that much easier

Paul Sousa
09-23-2010, 08:59 PM
excellent session, no problem with the big bar, it'll make the regular bar feel that much easier

Thanks! I'm actually putting it mostly on the lack of knurling. The bar I own is a 32mm, but has a more aggressive knurling and I also always have chalk when I use it. Just mad that two simple things prevented more reps.

Paul Sousa
09-28-2010, 07:52 PM
9/28/10:

Cycle 1/Week 2/Day 1

Squat - 195x3/220x3/250x8

Bench - 155x3/175x3/195x10

BB Row - 135x10x3

Planks - 3x1 minute

Squats felt good tonight, first two work sets had great speed. The max rep set was tough, but it's also a squat PR for me regardless of bar position so I am really happy.

Bench was good too, except that I didn't double check my notebook for my max rep set and loaded 195 instead of 200. Not a huge difference, but still annoyed at myself.

Rows and planks went well. Going to keep the rows at 135x10x3 for this cycle and will up the weight next cycle.

StLRPh
09-28-2010, 08:10 PM
congrats on the squat PR, its really starting to move for you

Paul Sousa
09-28-2010, 08:22 PM
congrats on the squat PR, its really starting to move for you

Thanks Matt! High bar just really agrees with me, and as long as my DL is moving too I am happy.

Paul Sousa
09-30-2010, 06:21 PM
9/30/10:

Cycle 1/Week 2/Day 2

DL - 240x3/270x3/305x10

Press - 110x3/125x3/140x8

Pullups - 3/3/3/3

Tonight was good as I remembered chalk this time. :) DL felt great and pulled a solid 10 and left one in the tank. Made me feel better about last week's grip mishap.

Press was solid, happy with 8 reps. Only thing to note is lack of focus on my first warmup set that resulted in hitting myself in the forehead with the center knurling on one rep.

Pullups still aren't good. I did the same volume as last week, but took much shorter rests between sets.

StLRPh
09-30-2010, 07:43 PM
congrats on the squat PR! Seems like misloads on bench is contagious :)

Paul Sousa
09-30-2010, 07:52 PM
congrats on the squat PR! Seems like misloads on bench is contagious :)

Thanks Matt. I actually pasted the wrong entry in here, I just fixed it. :p Tonight was DL and press.

Cmanuel
11-12-2010, 09:48 PM
Come back Dude!!!!