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J.C.
06-02-2011, 04:02 PM
Time to get in shape!

Quick background:
I'm a typical ectomorph, tall and skinny. Did a bit of sport back in the day but was never amazing. Started lifting weights about two-three years ago and made rapid progress till I was no longer skinny. Unfortunately it's a been a bit on-off since then, mostly due to factors outside of my control.

I stopped doing any exercise in about October because I was finishing up a masters degree, my gym membership ran out and I was out of money. I didn't do any exercise for about six months and lost a lot of weight. Then everything stabilised and I started up again about a month ago. Thankfully I'm making quite quick progress again and I'm looking to be in it long-term now as long as I can keep up employment/rent/food bills etc.

Goals/Programming:
Get (relatively) strong, fix weaknesses and inflexibilities, improve conditioning, compete in some kind of running event.

I figured the quickest way to get up to standard was to do a time-tested linear progression a la 5x5/Starting Strength beginning with just the bar. I was sore after the first day, with just the bar. I was that out of shape.

Once I got used to moving again the delayed soreness disappeared and I kept adding weight while trying not to be too greedy. I just took a week off to go abroad and today was my first session back, testing the waters so I did it pyramid style. Thought this would be a good time to start a journal.

Bodyweight: 84.9kg (up from 78 when I started and I haven't even been trying to gain weight!)

Squat:
100 x 5
100 x 5
105 x 5
110 x 5 x 2

Bench
60 x 5
65 x 5
67.5 x 5
70 x 5

Row
60 x 5
65 x 5
70 x 5
67.5 x 5 x 2

Chins
5kg x 5 x 2
BW x 5

Incline sit-ups: 20.

Felt easy, despite a week off. I haven't stalled yet but it's bound to happen soon. I'm hoping to get my squat up to at least 140Kg/315 lbs before stalling. I'm aiming for about 90 kg/200lbs bodyweight at a height of 6'4.

Once my strength gains plateau I'll add in some conditioning and will likely switch to a tweaked 2-day Texas Method style program. Right now I'm just happy to be back into it. Here's to progress.

JC.

J.C.
06-06-2011, 03:14 PM
6th June 2011

BW: 85.5kg (steadily rising and I'm not getting fat)

Squat:
110 x 5 x 3 - smoked it, full depth, good bounce, good speed.

Press:
40 x 5 x 2
40 x 3 + 1 - poor show.

Dead
122.5 x 5 (easy, but I want to keep up momentum so I'm not adding too much too soon.)

EZ Curls
Bar + 22.5 x 8 x 2

Incline sit-ups: 25

All weights in KG. The week off did me good and I'm ready to milk this linear progression for all it's worth now. Should be a good couple of months.

J.C.
06-08-2011, 04:24 PM
8th June 2011

BW: 86kg
I'm actually quite surprised this keeps going up. When I first started I had to drink a gallon of milk and eat to the point of discomfort 5 times a day to reach 90kg. This time I'm just eating a normal 3 meals a day with some milk here and there and my weight keeps on rising. Muscle memory?

Squat
112.5kg x 5 x 3

Bench
70kg x 5 x 3

Row
70kg x 5 x

BW Chins
8, 6

Leg Raise
25

All pretty easy, but I'm worried that if I increase the weight jumps I might burn out so I'm going to keep on adding 2.5kg/6lbs each time.

J.C.
06-10-2011, 02:19 PM
10th June

Bodyweight
85.8kg

Squat
115kg x 5 x 3

Press
40kg x 5 x 5
40kg x 3 + 1 push press (gah)

Behind Neck Press
Bar x 5

Deadlift
127.5kg x 7

Incline sit-ups
26

Chins
8

Kiff
06-10-2011, 02:37 PM
Cant believe i missed this journal, still love your squats man! Glad your back!

J.C.
06-11-2011, 05:14 AM
Ah, you ain't seen nothin yet!

Considering I started with an empty bar and progressed cautiously I am surprised how easily the squat is rising. I want to get to at least 140 x 5 x 3 before stalling.

I'm busy at work and can't really browse wbb during the day, but I'm going to start hanging out in the journals a bit more when I can.

Good to be back.

StLRPh
06-11-2011, 04:41 PM
Nice work JC

J.C.
06-13-2011, 04:15 PM
13/06/10

BW
86.2kg

After work, I had to spend a couple of hours trekking across London for something. Hot weather + underground trains + leather jacket + no food = uncomfortable.
I got to the gym about 9.30 and managed to squeeze in a very quick session.

Squat
100x5
110x5
117.5 x 5 x 3 - woo! Going up!

Bench - just one max set
72.5 x 7 - max reps.

Bodyweight circuit, 30 second rests.
Pull-ups: 7
Neutral grip pull-ups: 6
Chins: 7
Dips: 7

Pretty good quick session.
Post workout meal: 1 pint of milk, 2 pork chops, potatoes and carrots with some butter.

colinS3
06-13-2011, 05:47 PM
Looking good! Very nice squats. I'll keep up with this journal as I fill mine out too, it'll be nice to see how we both end up with this program.

J.C.
06-15-2011, 04:18 PM
15/06/11

Bodyweight: 86.2 - stabilising

Squat
120 x 5 x 3 - Oh yeah! Starting to get tough now but I'm confident I can keep on adding weight.

Press
40 x 5 x 2
40 x 4 - I've failed to get 3 sets of 5 three times in a row now. Damn.

Press behind the neck
bar x 6 x 4. About 30 seconds rest.

Deadlift
132.5 x 5 - Easy

I'm going to start pushing these a lot harder. I'm being too cautious and I want to get into higher weights sooner. A belt should arrive in the mail soon, so that ought to help. :)

E-Z bar curl
Bar weight + 25kg x 8 x 2

The overhead press is getting embarrassing. My theory is that poor mobility and relatively skinny arms are holding me back. So to try and solve this I'm going to start accumulating some volume on the press behind the neck. This should help my mobility by forcing the shoulders back and hopefully spark some hypertrophy through increased time under tension. I was struggling with just a 20kg bar today but I hope to keep adding sets and reps until I'm doing something like 8x7 and then 4x15.

I'm also going to add a bit of hard work on curls, triceps exercises, pull-ups and chin-ups at the end of each workout. Hopefully some direct work on my arms and shoulders will add a bit of mass somewhere other than my legs and trunk. Yeah, yeah, don't mess with the program they say. Well, fuck em, I know my weak points and I need to do something about them.

Off Road
06-15-2011, 05:04 PM
Just noticed you had a new journal I will be checking in from now on. Welcome back to the journals.

StLRPh
06-15-2011, 06:29 PM
Can you do a smaller increment increase on the press? That's where I got stuck as well

J.C.
06-18-2011, 09:41 AM
Just noticed you had a new journal I will be checking in from now on. Welcome back to the journals.

Thanks a lot Mr. Admin - I always appreciated your wise words. :)


Can you do a smaller increment increase on the press? That's where I got stuck as well

Well, I could buy some and take them along to the gym, but frankly with a press of less than 90 pounds I shouldn't need to microload.

J.C.
06-18-2011, 09:45 AM
18/06/11

Bodyweight: 85.7kg

Squat: 122.5kg x 5 x 3 Woo!

Bench:
75 x 3 Fail
70 x 5 x 2

Row
70 x 5
72.5 x 5 x 3

Chins: 10

After my workout I got a bit of free tuition in the power cleans. The manager of the gym is an olympic lifter and there's a lean guy there, I think about 75kg who was working on the Olympic lifts so they gave me the basics. I was pretty bad but I'd love to be doing some 100kg power cleans soon.

J.C.
06-18-2011, 01:21 PM
As my weight had actually dropped a bit today I've made this a high-calorie day.

Breakfast
Bacon, eggs, toast

Lunch
Two home-made burgers, pasta, peas, spinach

Dinner
Pizza and a whole garlic baguette - CARBS!!

I drank quite a lot of milk today too.

Really pleased to be increasing my strength. Tonight's calories will be beer and whisky.

Off Road
06-19-2011, 06:58 AM
Eggs, bacon, burgers, pizza and beer...
Jealous, I can't wait to start bulking again :(

StLRPh
06-19-2011, 10:23 AM
Well, I could buy some and take them along to the gym, but frankly with a press of less than 90 pounds I shouldn't need to microload.

All the more reason to get them, if you look at it as a percentage of weight moved, the smaller increments are more manageable. Might help reduce the number of resets as well.

Kiff
06-19-2011, 12:43 PM
Agree on the microloading, i got stuck aroun 47.5/52.5KG had to microlaod out of the ditch.

J.C.
06-20-2011, 04:43 PM
20/06/11

Bodyweight: 87.3kg - didn't expect it to increase that much!

Squat: 125x5x3 (275lbs)

Press: 40 x 5 x 3 - Finally got this.

Press behind the neck: Bar x 7 x 4 - Last time I did bar x 6 x 4.
- super-setted with -
Bent-over laterals: 6kg x 8 x 4

Deadlift: 140kg (308lbs)

EZ bar curls: 22.5kg x 8. I called it day and went home.

So a great day all in all. Saturday's squat session felt really hard and yet today 2.5kg heavier and it felt easier. I finally got all the reps on the press after three stuck sessions. I increased the volume on the press behind the neck and I added in the laterals. Will this help the press? Time will tell. I jumped the deadlift by a whole 8.5kg (19lbs) because I felt I was progressing too slowly. It felt good to be pushing that harder. 5 clean reps but the last was a little slow.

Oh, and my weight has increased about 2kg. I had a kind of impulsive high-carb, high-calorie day on Saturday but it seems to have done the trick. Today felt great after a few sessions of feeling I was wearing out. I'm going to try and keep the calories in line from now on though, with occasional feast days. I no longer want to be as big as possible and I don't want to get fat. I think I'll try and slow down the weight gain then cap it at about 94kg (205lbs) or so.

StLRPh
06-20-2011, 05:37 PM
really nice session JC

Off Road
06-21-2011, 04:04 PM
Good one JC...keep it up.

J.C.
06-22-2011, 04:31 PM
22/06/2011

I'm going to experiment with doing my overhead/bench pressing first instead of squats from now on. I need to improve those lifts.
I'm also going to start a proper progression on chins and pull-ups. Up til now I've just thrown some in at the end of each workout, but I want an upper-body so I need to take them a bit more seriously. I'm going to do them HCT-12 style because I can't afford too much extra volume on top of a 3x5 linear progression

Bodyweight: 86.8kg (down slightly)

Chins: 5kg x 6+2+2+2 - bit of trouble retracting the shoulder blades at the top.

Bench: 72.5 x 5 x 3 - Just failed on the fifth rep, final set.

Squat: 127.5 x 5 x 3 (280lbs) - HARD

Bent-over row: 75 x 5 x 3
- super-setted with -
Triceps rope press-down: 21.25 x 8 x 3

Incline sit-up 20 - was aiming for 25, but was exhausted.

OK, that squat session was really, really hard. The final rep of the third set was a total grind. I got stuck about three-quarters up, saw my face turn red in the mirror and then had to let out a sustained groan to get upright and not black out. The valsalva manoeuvre (http://www.70sbig.com/blog/2010/09/black-out/) saved me. I try not to grunt and scream when working out because you just look like a fool unless you're lifting really heavy weights, but I could feel myself about to drop back down and I had to release some of that pressure. I actually felt some pain deep in my lower abs and groin. Kinda weird.

Post-workout meal has been milk + pasta + three chicken breasts.

I'm going to squat 130kg on Friday and then I think I'm going to drop squats to twice a week. Today was HARD.

Off Road
06-22-2011, 04:34 PM
I've gotten that same pain in my lower ab and groin from doing heavy deadlifts. Scares the crap out of you the first time it happens. Good session and it sounds like a great effort.

J.C.
06-22-2011, 04:49 PM
I've gotten that same pain in my lower ab and groin from doing heavy deadlifts. Scares the crap out of you the first time it happens. Good session and it sounds like a great effort.

Yeah, it's happened before once or twice. It was bound to happen since I've been progressing back into weight-training so quickly. Slightly scary though. Well it's almost midnight over here so I'm going to sleep and get some recovery.

Kiff
06-22-2011, 11:26 PM
Yeah, it's happened before once or twice. It was bound to happen since I've been progressing back into weight-training so quickly. Slightly scary though. Well it's almost midnight over here so I'm going to sleep and get some recovery.

Sounds scary! Like the way you are back on track with diet and routine.

StLRPh
06-23-2011, 09:08 AM
[I'm going to experiment with doing my overhead/bench pressing first instead of squats from now on. I need to improve those lifts.

This is a good idea. For me when I've done my last set of squats or deadlifts I'm done and anything afterwards suffers and when I do pressing first it serves as something of a warmup.

J.C.
06-25-2011, 10:44 AM
24/06/11

Bodyweight: 87.0kg

Short one on Friday. I had to be somewhere and I just couldn't face another weight increase on the squats so I skipped them. There'll be back on Monday.

Press:
40 x 5
42.5 x 5 x 2 PR

Press behind the neck: Bar x 9 x 4 reps PR

Power cleans: 60kg for a few singles. Getting slightly less terrible at these. Warm-up for deadlift.

Deadlift: (320lbs) 145kg x 5 5kg PR

Fairly straight-leg deadlift: 100kg x 6

Good, quick workout. My tactic of increasing volume on the pressing might be working and I'm starting to progress into better deadlift weights.

Kiff
06-25-2011, 11:10 AM
Good effort, your deadlift is ver strong.

I find personally that my shoulders take a long time to get going. Like 8-10 sets at least...

Off Road
06-25-2011, 11:16 AM
Nice deads and congrats on the PR.
Doing presses first is a nice way to do it.

J.C.
06-25-2011, 12:09 PM
Thanks guys!

I used chalk and a belt for the first time and although the weight was challenging it wasn't super hard. I'm now using very tough weights for squats (for me) so I wonder what I can take the deadlift to before it gets really hard. I know the next few weeks are going to get tough!

StLRPh
06-26-2011, 11:51 AM
3 PRs in one session = awesome

J.C.
06-27-2011, 04:52 PM
27/06/2011

Bodyweight: 87.0kg - Stable

I actually grabbed the wrong notebook on the way to the gym tonight! So instead of seeing last week's workouts I saw such useful notes as "Ring Ali, Clean bathroom, read Moby Dick." As ridiculous as it sounds I couldn't remember any weights other than my squat - which says a lot actually...

Anyway,

Squat: 130kg (286lbs) x 5 x 3 PR
Oh yeah! Super happy with this. It felt easier than 127.5 on Wednesday. Skipping squats on Friday did me a world of good.

Bench: 70 x 5 x 2, 70 x 8 (to failure)
I couldn't remember if I did 72.5 or 75 last time but I knew I failed so I took the safe (easy) route. I did the last set for max reps a la Greyskull to make up for easiness.

BB Row 70 x 5 x 3
Again, couldn't remember last week's weight. Great form, but too light. I don't see the point in perfect form bb rows, that's what chest-supported rows are for.

Weighted Chins: 7.5kg x 6 PR (but only one set).

Fun times. Pretty quick session. If all goes to plan I should be at the 140kg (308lb) x 5 x 3 squat in four more sessions.

Things I'm learning:
It may be time to drop squats to twice a week. I want to keep at three times a week for as long as possible because then I have more opportunities to add weight to the bar. However, I skipped squats on Friday because I wasn't recovered and strongly suspected I'd fail. Today I squatted a solid PR. It's possible I might be learning how to read my body. :)

I often can't be bothered with ab exercises, curls or chin-ups. I rationalise half-arsed efforts on these by congratulating myself on my rapidly rising squat. This is stupid and I should start doing these exercises regularly and with harder effort. They will help in the long run.

Off Road
06-27-2011, 05:15 PM
I've always thought that squatting three times a week was not a good thing. I think you've discovered this for yourself. Very nice job busting out a PR and listening to your recovery needs.

StLRPh
06-27-2011, 05:36 PM
I can't squat three times a week either, 2 is my limit. Sounds like Greyskull might be a good option for you..

J.C.
06-29-2011, 04:46 PM
29/06/2011

My legs were still sore today so I've officially switched to squatting 2x a week in an attempt to continue a linear progression.

Weight: 87.2kg (192lbs) - closing in on 200 slowly but surely...

Press: 42.5kg x 5 x 3 - PR, managed all three sets

Press behind the neck: Bar x 10, 10, 9, 10 Reps PR
Very short (<30s) rests. Once I can do 4x15 I'll add weight.

Lateral raises: 8kg x 8 x 2

Power cleans: 60kg for a few singles - technique still sucks

Deadlift: 150kg (330lbs) x 4 Fail!
Deadlift (back-off set): 100kg x 8

Shrug: 60kg x 15

EZ bar Curls:
27.5kg x 8
27.5 x 4 (fail)
20 x 5 (dropset)

Weighted incline sit-ups: 10kg x 6 x 2 and then some more bodyweight sit-ups

I quite like sessions without squats because they don't feel like a proper workout when you're used to squatting every time. Did my presses, played around with cleans for a bit, did my one heavy set of deads and then did some boring stuff like curls, shrugs, abs, and mobility work. It was nice to do stuff like that instead and not feel exhausted for once.

Off Road
06-29-2011, 04:59 PM
Ya, it's nice to have that extra energy and motivation without the squats dragging you down. Trust me, twice a week squatting is more than enough. Be careful with those Behind-The-Neck Presses, they can be shoulder wreckers.

StLRPh
06-30-2011, 08:22 AM
nice work JC, I'm sure that you'll find the change in squatting frequency works out well for you

J.C.
06-30-2011, 02:18 PM
Be careful with those Behind-The-Neck Presses, they can be shoulder wreckers.

You reckon? I'm going to start a thread.

J.C.
07-02-2011, 10:25 AM
02/07/11

Very hung-over today. I met some old friends last night and they kept buying me drinks. Anyway, after a good, vigorous warm-up I had a fairly productive, but slightly modified workout.

Bodyweight: 87.2kg - no change

Bench:
72.5 x 5
75 x 5 x 3 PR

Squat
130 x 5 - matched PR. Wasn't in a good state to attempt higher weights or more than one set.

ATG style squat
100 x 8
100 x 5

Just to get a bit more volume and a bit of variation.

Power Clean
55kg x 3 x 5

Weighted Chins
5kg x 6+2+2+2 - felt good. More weight next time.

I was sweating a river by the end of this. Felt so much better! I love alcohol but I don't like it to excess. Bit annoyed last night went further than my usual limits. Fun night though, and fun gym session. Next time 132.5kg squat.

J.C.
07-04-2011, 02:19 PM
04/07/2011

For some reason my lower back has gone from a little achey on Saturday evening to painful on Sunday to agony today. It's just above the pelvis at the beginning of the spine - what I believe is called the sacrum and the sacroilliac joints. It was giving me headaches and blurred vision when I sat down today. I got some ibuprofen at lunch and then left work early, limping.

Don't know what caused it. I'm a bit worried. May go to the doctors tomorrow.

I live right next to the gym so I went to do some stretching, mobility stuff and use the foam rollers. It felt a little better so I did a shoulder workout.

Weight: 87.2

Chins 5kg x 5 x 5

Press:
40 x 5
42.5 x 5
42.5 x 4
40 x 5 x 2

Press behind neck:
Bar x 10 x 4

Pull-over:
10kg x 15

Chins
bodyweight x 7 x 2

Various rotator cuff exercises with cable pulley.

Kiff
07-04-2011, 02:30 PM
Nice work in here, your Deadlift is looking strong mate

Off Road
07-04-2011, 10:06 PM
Back in agony = Don't lift :(

StLRPh
07-05-2011, 08:34 AM
look after your back, I used to have almost daily pain for years. Now that it's better I still pay attention to it and make sure not to go too crazy

J.C.
07-06-2011, 03:54 PM
06/07/2011

BW: 87.2kg

Back update: So I went to the doctors yesterday. They said it was unusual the pain was so low and took a urine sample. My kidneys were fine. Phew. They said it was very hard to diagnose the cause but was probably something I did in the gym (I'm guessing power cleans) compounded by dehydration and poor sleep. Seems like it was just inflammation rather than skeletal or anything.

I got given some strong anti-inflammatories and sent on my way. Today it feels better. I'm laying off squatting/pulling for the week so it's a kind of deload!

Bench:
75 x 5
77.5 x 5 x 3 PR

I didn't want to risk the lower back with bent-over rows or power cleans so I did some pull-ups instead.

Wide-grip pull-ups:
bw x 5 x 3

Neutral-grip
3 very strict with a paused dead-hang and a 10 second negative.

Went home...

Some mobility and gentle stretching for my back, followed by two lifts. I was there maybe 30mins and got a bench PR. I'm making the best of it. :)

Off Road
07-06-2011, 04:15 PM
Really glad to hear that it is getting better.

StLRPh
07-06-2011, 06:24 PM
take it easy, rest up, get better and then get back in there

J.C.
07-08-2011, 02:25 PM
08/07/11

My back's feels a lot better. The meds are working and I've been resting. Should be back to squatting next week.

BW: 86.9 - down a bit. Greatly limited carbs this week because I haven't been training hard.

Mobility, static stretching, foam rolling

Press:
42.5 x 5 x 2
42.5 x 6 Rep PR - and I very nearly got 7!

Press behind neck: bar x 10 x 4
30s rest between sets

Chins: 12 dead-hang.

I'm trying to think about this week positively. I haven't been able to squat or deadlift but I got a bench PR and a press PR. I've also taken the opportunity to increase the amount of time spent on stretching and mobility. This is a good thing. I am immensely looking forward to getting back to squatting and getting some respectable numbers very soon.

StLRPh
07-08-2011, 02:33 PM
nice work on the OH press PR. Sounds like your body needs a little extra time to recover from the squats and deadlifts.

Off Road
07-08-2011, 02:42 PM
Making due with what you can, nice PRs.

Kiff
07-09-2011, 04:32 AM
Glad to hear the back is on the mend.

J.C.
07-11-2011, 02:50 PM
11/07/11

Back feels a lot better now. Took a long time to warm-up and gradually got up to my PR squat weight. Did two tough sets then an immediate back-off. Typing this up, the back feels like it's done some work but hasn't been destroyed.

BW: 86.7

Squat:
110 x 5
115 x 5 x 2
100 x 7 (backoff set)

Bench:
77.5 x 5 x 2
77.5 x 4

BB Row:
77.5 x 5 PR
75 x 5 x 2

Been in the gym about an hour by this point so just did chins HCT-12 style and called it a day.

Chins:
7.5kg x 6+2+2+2 PR

Weight is down a bit so post-workout meal is pizza followed by ice cream. :)

J.C.
07-13-2011, 04:29 PM
13/07/2011

Building slowly back up after the back weirdness.

BW: 87.0

Press: 45kg x 5 x 3 PR

Press: bar x 10 x 4 (Some of these were behind the neck, but not all.)

Hang Cleans: 50kg x 3 x 5

Deadlift: 140kg x 5

Shrugs: 60kg x 20 x 2

Finished up with a complex of dead-hang chins. I'm doing weighted chins Monday and Friday, but like do some on the middle day just for practice and shoulder health.
Chins 3
Wide-grip pull-ups: 3
Medium-grip pull-ups: 3
Neutral-grip pull-ups: 3


I'm happy with the press. It seems to be moving so I can only conclude that getting a bit more volume through extra high-rep short-rest pressing is helping.
I've decided I want to do learn power cleans. Spoke to the weightlifting coach at the gym and he told me to stick with hang cleans at about the same weight for three weeks. Once I've got that nailed, switch to power cleans and start adding weight. Okey dokey then.

Looking to kick-start my progress again after a week off heavy training. I want PRs every session again!

StLRPh
07-13-2011, 05:43 PM
Nice work on the PRs. Quick question, are these all in kgs?

J.C.
07-14-2011, 06:40 AM
Hi. Thanks for popping in. I'm enjoying following your journal when I've got time.

Yep, all in Kgs because that's what we've got in the gym here. So before last week my current weights were:

bodyweight: 87kg (191lbs)
Squat 3x5: 130 (286lbs)
Deadlift 1x5: 150 (330lbs)

All of which I aim to improve substantially.

Off Road
07-14-2011, 07:30 AM
I agree. My pressing seems to like volume too.

J.C.
07-16-2011, 12:05 PM
16/07/11

Felt pretty tired today. The week's fatigue had built up, but I got in there and had a nice slow session. I like training Saturday morning instead of Friday evening sometimes. Less of a rush, no place to be, no closing time approaching.

BW: 87.2kg

Squat:
130 x 5
132.5 x 5
132.5 x 4

I probably should have done 130 for three sets across but I was feeling reckless and attempted to increase the weight. VERY hard sets. I just did 4 in the third set rather than fail or cut the rep high. Still, it's an increase so I'm claiming it as a PR.

I then rested for about ten minutes. I was destroyed.

Bench
77.5 x 5 x 3 - equalled PR. If I hadn't had such a tough time squatting I could have gone higher.

Chins: 10kg x 6+2+2+2 PR
-drop-set-
Wide-grip pull-ups: 6

Hanging leg raise: 25

Just drunk a load of whole milk and had a nap. :) It would be cool if I got stronger.
I may start eating more and push my weight up a bit.

StLRPh
07-16-2011, 02:06 PM
had a nap. :)

that sound's very nice right now, not going to happen but nice

btw, solid session

Off Road
07-16-2011, 02:42 PM
Squats, milk, and a nap...that's a winning combination if there ever was one.

J.C.
07-19-2011, 03:40 PM
19/07/2011

BW: 87.9 - increase

I'm pushing my weight up a bit now that the linear progression is getting tough. It's not as hard to increase my weight as it used to be. Age? Desk job?

Press: 45 x 5 x 3 - matched PR, feeling easier.

Seated Press: 30 x 10 x 3
- super-setted with -
Bent-over laterals: 8 x 15 x 3

Front Squat: 30 x 5 x 3 - new exercise.

Hang clean: 30 x 5 x 3

Deadlift: 145kg (319lbs) x 5

Sit-ups: 20
Pull-ups: 6

All pretty good. I'm essentially alternating squat and deadlift each workout now. On the deadlift day I'm introducing front squats and hang cleans. As the linear progression comes to an end that should give me the base to transition into a bit of olympic lifting.

Raced through the session. The press and the deadlift were the main lifts, everything else was kind of accessory. The reset has done me good. Should be back to breaking PRs on a roll next week.

J L S
07-19-2011, 03:44 PM
Squats, milk, and a nap...that's a winning combination if there ever was one.

couldnt agree more with this one!

nice work JC, lets see the PR's next week

StLRPh
07-19-2011, 04:23 PM
nice work and congrats on the PR

J.C.
07-21-2011, 03:53 PM
21/07/11

Body-weight: 88.1 (going up)

Bit of a weird one today. I was feeling well-rested, I've upped my calories and my weight was up a bit. Everything was set for a great day. Squat felt really, really good at first, I was confident I was going to smash 132.5 for all three sets and then I fucked up a rep and it kind of threw off the rest of the workout. Ah well, I've just got to grit my teeth and dig in now.

Squat:
132.5 kg (291lbs) x 5 - good set
132.5 x 4 - I think I got a bit confident and went a bit low on rep 5.
130 x 5

Bench:
80kg (176lbs) x 5 PR
80kg x 3 seriously?
60kg x 13 max reps

Barbell Row:
80kg x 5 x 3 PR

Chins: 11.25kg x 6 PR + drop-set @ bodyweight x 3

Need to get over 300lbs squat ASAP. Closing in, but definitely slowing down. I'd be happy with my bench if I had got all three sets.

Off Road
07-21-2011, 04:40 PM
Solid session. How long are you waiting between sets?

Kiff
07-21-2011, 05:37 PM
Good work!

J.C.
07-23-2011, 03:28 PM
Thanks guys. I generally wait about 3 minutes between sets. I used to keep things moving a bit faster but I definitely need the 3 minutes now.

23/07/2011

Bodyweight: 88.2 +

Front Squat[:/B] 52.5kg x 5 x 3 (second time doing these. Still very light. But it's meant to be a light squat day!)

[B]Press:
47.5 x 4 (fail)
45 x 4
45 x 4

Hang Clean:
52.5kg x 5 x 3

Deadlift:
147.5 (324.5lbs) x 5
140 x 3

SLDL: 60kg x 15

Bunch of dumbbell curls

Failed on the press PR attempt. Wasn't back-squatting so I did a second set of deads and a set of very strict SLDLs just to feel like I'd done some work.

So I might look into buying some small plates and try micro-loading the press. I'm at the point where 45kg is doable for 3 sets of 5, but 47.5kg is just too much.
The elbows have been feeling a little weird since last bench day so I did a bunch of curls at the end today. I just "ran the rack"; picked a pair and did 8 reps, went heavier for 8, heavier for 4 and then back down. I find that a little bit of curling really helps with elbow health in a way that chinning doesn't quite do.

I've been reading Practical Programming this afternoon and have a few ideas on how to eke out a few more weeks of progress. Essentially I'll be doing what I'm already doing but cutting things down to the essentials. As I'm struggling to get all my sets across now on a few exercises I may consider changing from 3x5 across to a PR weight for the first 5, then very slightly less for the next two. This is what I love about the basic 5x5 template - it's so flexible. You can keep the meat of the program and make just a few very subtle changes to keep things moving.

larsen540
07-24-2011, 07:47 AM
Good work man keep it up

Off Road
07-24-2011, 08:25 AM
Essentially I'll be doing what I'm already doing but cutting things down to the essentials. As I'm struggling to get all my sets across now on a few exercises I may consider changing from 3x5 across to a PR weight for the first 5, then very slightly less for the next two. This is what I love about the basic 5x5 template - it's so flexible. You can keep the meat of the program and make just a few very subtle changes to keep things moving.

PERFECT!

Kiff
07-24-2011, 08:36 AM
Looking good JC

J.C.
07-25-2011, 03:05 PM
25/07/11

Body-weight: 88.3kg (194.3lbs) - It's funny, each session I increase 0.1kgs!

Squat: 132.5kg x 5 x 3 - PR Third session with this weight and I smashed it! Really happy. Got to keep on moving up now.
Back-off set: 60kg x 12

Bench: 80kg x fail - my elbows feel awful. Probably from the squats. Whatever. Need to stop complaining and just sort it out.
60kg x 10 x 2

Pull-ups: BW x 7 x 4 PR

I think I'm going to swap pull-ups for barbell rows for a bit. I'm cheating a bit on the rows now, and I haven't dedicated much time to pull-ups.
Apart from the bench it was a good session! 2 out of 3 lifts improved so I'll take that.

StLRPh
07-25-2011, 04:07 PM
sucks about the elbows, couple of things that help me is fish oil (about twice the dose suggested on the bottle) and compression for work sets. I've been using elbow sleeves consistently for a year or so and they make a huge difference.

J.C.
07-25-2011, 04:28 PM
sucks about the elbows, couple of things that help me is fish oil (about twice the dose suggested on the bottle) and compression for work sets. I've been using elbow sleeves consistently for a year or so and they make a huge difference.

Thanks man. Might look into the elbow sleeves. But I'll try upping the fish oil first. I think it's just from doing squats first. I hold the bar pretty low so it puts a lot of pressure on the elbows.

Off Road
07-25-2011, 05:25 PM
That was a really good session.

J.C.
07-28-2011, 03:24 PM
28/07/2011

Only two workouts this week. I had a session on Monday where I broke a squat plateau, then one today (Thursday) then I'm going away for the weekend.

Weight: 88.4kg +0.1 again!

Press:
47.5kg x 5 PR
47.5kg x 4
47.5 x 4 meh

Squat:
135 x 5 x 2 PR
135 x 4

Smoked the depth and speed on the first set, second was tougher and I think I rested too long (5-6min) till the last one. I felt tired and stopped at 4. It didn't feel heavier, I'd just lost my buzz. Note to self - don't wait too long between sets.

Deadlift: 147.5kg (324.5lbs) x 6 PR

Chins: 10

Good session. I would have liked to do another few sets of overhead press or some variation to increase the volume on my shoulders, but I had heavy squats and deads to do. Broke a squat PR and broke a deadlift reps PR. Looking forward to getting a little extra rest and recovery then charging forward next week.

StLRPh
07-28-2011, 03:48 PM
3 lifts = 3 PRs :clap:

Nice work, enjoy the weekend off

macdaknife
07-28-2011, 05:22 PM
enjoy the rest and come back stronger buddy, good effort!

Kiff
07-29-2011, 12:58 AM
Great session!

J.C.
08-02-2011, 03:24 PM
02/08/11

Had a nice couple of extra days off. Back in action today. I'm now switching to a 1x5 PR weight, 2x5 slightly lighter template to try and maintain progress on the squat. I should be able to maintain this for another couple of weeks.

BW: 89.0KG - Yeah, up another 0.5kg. Nearly into the 90s now!

Squat: 137.5kg (302.5lbs) x 5 PR
130kg x 5 x 2 Fast and deep rebound. Happy with this, when a couple of weeks ago I'd have struggled.

Weird experience benching today. I was working in with this Indian guy who just didn't understand spotting. Our conversation went something like this:
"Only help if I'm pinned", "OK" - begin reps, the guy is assisting - "You can let go", "OK" - one more rep, he's still touching the bar - "LET GO", "It's all you man!" - he's still touching the bar - "Sigh".

Bench:
80kg (176lbs) x 5 (with unwanted assistance)
70 x 6
70 x 9 (with unwanted forced reps)

Pull-ups: 8, 7, 5, 4, 4.

Frankly, I've gone past the point of caring about my bench now. It's so stubborn that I'd rather just continue to improve my squat and deadlift and hope that at some point, my body will realise there's such a big discrepancy that my bench will have to jump up. Right?

Post workout meal: Big one today - Pint of milk, large margherita pizza, pork loin steak, large bowl of spinach leaves. 1000mg vitamin C. Ice Cream, cake, double cream. According to the info on the back of the boxes, that is at least 2000 calories in a single meal. :)

By increasing my calorie intake in the same steady way as my lifts (with some occasional gorges) I seem to be adding mass steadily and keeping the fat off. Which is nice.

StLRPh
08-02-2011, 03:39 PM
nice job on the PR and what you described is one of the many, many reasons that I train alone :)

Off Road
08-02-2011, 03:40 PM
Nice squatting JC. Congrats!

J.C.
08-02-2011, 04:34 PM
Thanks a lot Off Road! Next session is the first big milestone. 140kg, 3 big plates. I'm so close now. I haven't been greedy so I can't wait to smash past it!

Off Road
08-02-2011, 05:15 PM
Time to get greedy? :)

J.C.
08-04-2011, 04:32 PM
04/08/11

BW: 89.7kg +

Press:
47.5kg x 4
47.5 x 2
45 x 2
40 x 5 x 3

Seated Press:
30kg x 8
30 x 7 x 2

Pretty disappointing press workout, so I got in some extra volume. Maybe it will make my shoulders grow or something.

Warmed up for deadlifts with a bunch of hang cleans, power cleans and front squats. Nothing too heavy. Working on dropping down more on the cleans.
Top set was power clean 55kg x 3 x 3.

Deadlift: 150kg (330lbs) x 6 Easy PR
I failed on 4 reps a couple of weeks ago, reset and easily managed 6 this time around so I'm pretty happy. I could have got 7. Good to get this moving again.

Incline sit-up: 5kg x 8 x 2.

My abs could be stronger. I hardly ever train them directly so that's a new mission. I think it could have a good carry-over.

StLRPh
08-04-2011, 04:52 PM
nice work on the PR

Off Road
08-04-2011, 06:33 PM
Ahhh...I was hoping to see some 20 rep squats ;)
Nice job on the PR. Sure is nice when they come easy

J.C.
08-05-2011, 04:53 AM
The 20 rep squats/deadlifts are going to happen for sure. But while I'm still making progress on this routine I don't want to change too early. I also want to use big weights for the 20 reps so might as well get as strong as possible with 5s first!

Off Road
08-05-2011, 07:19 AM
smart thinking.

J L S
08-05-2011, 01:24 PM
nice work as of late! good call on the abs, they can never be too strong!

Kiff
08-05-2011, 05:16 PM
Nice work, direct Ab work will help everything even your press :) Stable base will helpa lot/

macdaknife
08-05-2011, 05:56 PM
I see the break did you good... solid work JC!

J.C.
08-06-2011, 09:01 AM
06/08/11

Bodyweight: 90.3kg (198.66lbs) + Yeah! Into the 90s now. So close to being comfortably 200lbs.

Right, so today I went to attempt 140kg x 5. First time with three big plates again. I've realised that I'm now back to the high point I was at exactly a year ago. It's not the end of the world and these things happen, but man when I think of all that time not exercising and getting skinny, throwing away hours and hours of hard work in the gym transforming myself... it kinda sucks. I used to be so skinny, bulked up, then lost everything I'd worked so hard to achieve. If I'd had a solid year training I could have been a million miles ahead of where I am now. Instead I wasted away for six months and then had to spend another 3-4 months building back up. Anyway, fuck it. I'm training again consistently and I'm really loving it at the moment. No major injuries, feel good, reasonable squat and deadlift strength and lots of momentum and optimism.

Squat: 140kg (308lbs) x 3 - not quite what I was after but I know I can get 5 reps on a good day. Followed up with some volume for shits and giggles.
Light Deep Squats: 100 (220lbs) x 10 x 3 - very easy during but I felt wiped out afterwards! My conditioning needs work.

Bench: 75kg x 5 x 3 - narrower grip.
The gym's head coach recommended I bring my grip in to help with some minor shoulder issues. So I'm lowering the weight a bit and trying it for a few weeks.

Pull-ups: bw x 7 x 3
-super-setted with-
Press-downs: 15 x 20 x 3

The gym was super quiet today and the main coach - who trains Oly lifters and the local uni's rowing and rugby teams - was there so I had a friendly chat about my progress over the last couple of months. I think I've just about finished linear progression. I know I can keep increasing my deadlift but everything else is grinding down. I could reset once more but I think other options could be better. Mixing things up could be a good move soon.

For interest's sake here is the first entry in my training notebook:

18/04/11

Weight: 78kg (171.6lbs) at a height of 6'4.
Chins: 5, 3
Bench: 40kg x 5 x 3
Squat: 30kg x 5 x 5
Row: 30kg x 5 x 5

I think gaining 26 muscular pounds in a steady manner is OK, even if it is muscle memory and my strength has definitely come back nicely. The big plan now is to bulk to 95kg (210lbs) and get as much of that on my chest, shoulders and arms as possible. This will be accomplished with higher rep work coupled with squat/deadlift death sets to trigger serious growth. The question is what to do over the next couple of weeks. Decrease reps and increase weight then test my 1rms? Or begin to increase reps to 10-15 so I can start the next routine with decent weight? Answers on a postcard please. Alternatively, post them in the comments below.

Sorry for the big post. Don't normally write so much but I feel as though I've hit a milestone now so this is kind of a review for myself as well.

Off Road
08-06-2011, 09:09 AM
Actually, your light squats were quite heavy when compared to your 3 rep set. You really stepped to it today. Nice job.

J.C.
08-06-2011, 10:13 AM
Actually, your light squats were quite heavy when compared to your 3 rep set. You really stepped to it today. Nice job.

This is something I discovered last year. My ten and twenty rep sets are a lot heavier than you'd expect based on my 1-5rep sets. I think it comes from having more of an endurance athlete build.

It was a bit of a shock to the system today but felt very manageable. Fully ATG too - the coach there made some comments about going deeper on the max squat, but he is an oly lifter so he's always joking with me about squatting only to parallel. If it's not a high-bar ATG squat he doesn't care. LOL.

All the more reason I should do some 20 reppers I suppose. :evillaugh:

Off Road
08-06-2011, 10:42 AM
A lot of guys are the same way...Reps fall sharply as you enter the 80% range.

J.C.
08-08-2011, 03:12 PM
08/08/11

Reaallly tired today. Not enough sleep. Bloodshot eyes, hard day at work, debated whether to go to the gym or not on the train home. In the end I had a coffee and a 20min nap when I got back then had a pretty quick and productive session and scored a small deadlift PR - which is all I was after. I'm glad I just gritted my teeth and went.

Weight: 89.4kg - gah, down a kg.

Press:
40 x 5
45 x 5 x 3

Deadlift: 152.5kg (335.5lbs) x 7 - PR for easy five so I did another two.

SLDL: 60kg x 12

Chins: 10

Took about 30 minutes. Business-like.

Career PR: I went to a book launch on the weekend that featured me. First major publication. Actually it's quite obscure but I'm still proud of myself.
Celebration cooking PR: I had friends round on Sunday and slow-roasted 3kg of meat. A half shoulder of lamb smothered with Moroccan spices and a leg of pork with nothing but salt and pepper. They were cooked for six hours. The lamb melted off the bone and the pork was juicy with superb crackling. Good food, good beer and good banter. A fine time was had by all.

StLRPh
08-08-2011, 03:27 PM
Career PR: I went to a book launch on the weekend that featured me. First major publication. Actually it's quite obscure but I'm still proud of myself.

one of the most impressive PRs I've seen in a while

StLRPh
08-08-2011, 03:28 PM
Career PR: I went to a book launch on the weekend that featured me. First major publication. Actually it's quite obscure but I'm still proud of myself.

one of the most impressive PRs I've seen in a while

macdaknife
08-09-2011, 03:42 AM
Nice PR JC... well done mate!

Off Road
08-09-2011, 08:04 AM
Nice job on that deadlift.
Tell us more about the book.

J.C.
08-09-2011, 12:18 PM
Thanks guys! I feel a little bit uncomfortable with self-promotion but I was one of the contributors to a sort of high-end art and literature journal. It was based on research that came out of my degree so it's kind of nice to see that it wasn't a waste of money! It was pretty surreal when people who came to the launch asked me to sign books. I drank a lot of free red wine.

macdaknife
08-09-2011, 12:30 PM
Thanks guys! I feel a little bit uncomfortable with self-promotion but I was one of the contributors to a sort of high-end art and literature journal. It was based on research that came out of my degree so it's kind of nice to see that it wasn't a waste of money! It was pretty surreal when people who came to the launch asked me to sign books. I drank a lot of free red wine.

Well there's not many that can claim that mate so congratulations!

J.C.
08-10-2011, 03:47 PM
10/08/11

Feeling quite sore from deadlifts on Monday and I'm coming down with a cold. Bit of a sore throat, nothing too serious.
Just did some singles today to practise good technique.

Weight: 90.5kg +

Squats:
100kg x 5
120 x 2
130 x 2
140 x 1 x 5 good depth, just under parallel
100 x 6 full squats

Bench: 75 x 5 x 3
Row: 75 x 5 x 3

Weighted sit-up: 10kg x 6 x 2

So nice to do singles for a change. Solid reps without too much rest between sets. I think today was a good way of doing a "light session" so I'm quite happy with what I managed.

Off Road
08-12-2011, 07:24 AM
Hope the cold doesn't take hold of you. Get some rest and drink some soup :)

J.C.
08-12-2011, 02:05 PM
12/08/11

Weight: 89.7kg -

Press:
47.5kg x 5
47.5 x 4
47.5 x 2
40 x 5
30 x 8 x 3

Power Cleans 60kg x 3 or 4 (warm-up for deads)

Deadlift 157.5kg (346.6lbs) x 5 PR

SLDL 70 x 12

Chins 11

I think I'm over the cold. Positive thinking, high doses of vitamin c and lots of green tea... and the well-wishing from Off Road obviously.
I'm quite enjoying these abbreviated sessions lately. 5kg pr on deadlift felt pretty good. I'm sure 160 will fall easily next time.

I'd like to stall out completely before changing my routine. Maybe I'm being stubborn but if I'm still squatting/deadlifting more each week then I feel I ought to keep going. I've had a couple of resets but otherwise still going good.

StLRPh
08-12-2011, 02:53 PM
Consistency is never a bad thing. Congrats on the PR

Off Road
08-12-2011, 03:40 PM
Nice PR, and I agree; If you are still progressing, don't change a thing.

macdaknife
08-12-2011, 06:23 PM
Good effort buddy!

J.C.
08-15-2011, 03:49 PM
15/08/11

Weight: 90.0kg +

Messing around a bit with my squats at the moment. I'm concentrating mostly on my deadlift, which is still progressing nicely, so the squat's taking a back seat for once. Instead of resetting again I think I'm going to make the bizarre decision to reduce reps so I get some high-intensity experience and then do high-rep squats for volume in the same session. There is no great thinking behind this, I just want to cover both options. In a couple of weeks time (September?) I'll test my maxes, then go into a high-rep squat/deadlift program.

Squats: 140kg x 2 (pretty easy)

High bar deep squats:
100kg x 15
100kg x 12 - wanted 15 again. Failed on rep 13. All mental.

Bench: 77.5kg x 5 x 3 - for once, this actually felt good. Brought my grip in and my wrists and shoulders are great.
Barbell Row: 77.5kg x 5 x 3

So I have a sort of plan.
1) Mess around with squatting singles, doubles and triples to get used to higher intensity. Aim for at least 150kg 1rm (hopefully higher) by end of August.
2) Keep everything else the same.

Off Road
08-15-2011, 11:03 PM
Low rep squats can be a great way to go. Good luck.

Kiff
08-16-2011, 03:39 AM
Your workrate is flyin back up again making great progress.

macdaknife
08-16-2011, 07:11 AM
High bar deep squats:
100kg x 15
100kg x 12 - wanted 15 again. Failed on rep 13. All mental.


1 x 15 @ 100kg is a lot of work mate... 2 sets would've just been showing off! ;)
good work!

J.C.
08-16-2011, 09:27 AM
Yeah, there a couple of skinny kids at the gym thinking they're cool because they do the Olympic lifts. They squat 100 for 5 and tend to give me unsolicited advice about only squatting to parallel, or doing singles, or using a belt, or not doing whatever is their vision of lifting.

To be fair, they're lifting more than bodyweight and they're squatting properly and doing the Olympic lifts so I can't knock em, and it's good to have some banter, it just annoys me a bit when I'm told what to do by someone weaker than me! So that's why I did rock-bottom squats with the same weight he did for three times as many reps. Twice. And made it look easy. I try and be quiet about these things because my lifts are still weak anyway.

Standards are way down. In the 60s muscle writers preached about squatting 1.5x body weight for 20 reps. Off Road comfortably squats something like 315lbs for 20. It's like, yeah 100kg/220lbs is a good milestone, but everyone who manages it things they're awesome, when really it's just the beginning and 180kg/400lbs should be within most people's grasp.

Sorry, bit of a rant at nobody there!

macdaknife
08-16-2011, 10:46 AM
Yeah, there a couple of skinny kids at the gym thinking they're cool because they do the Olympic lifts. They squat 100 for 5 and tend to give me unsolicited advice about only squatting to parallel, or doing singles, or using a belt, or not doing whatever is their vision of lifting.

To be fair, they're lifting more than bodyweight and they're squatting properly and doing the Olympic lifts so I can't knock em, and it's good to have some banter, it just annoys me a bit when I'm told what to do by someone weaker than me! So that's why I did rock-bottom squats with the same weight he did for three times as many reps. Twice. And made it look easy. I try and be quiet about these things because my lifts are still weak anyway.

Standards are way down. In the 60s muscle writers preached about squatting 1.5x body weight for 20 reps. Off Road comfortably squats something like 315lbs for 20. It's like, yeah 100kg/220lbs is a good milestone, but everyone who manages it things they're awesome, when really it's just the beginning and 180kg/400lbs should be within most people's grasp.

Sorry, bit of a rant at nobody there!

nothing to be sorry about there buddy... you did it and they didn't (and they were being arses!) :)

180kg to parallell was my goal before I broke my foot... now I just want to get back to where I was.

J.C.
08-16-2011, 03:33 PM
16/08/11

BW: 90.4 +

Press:
47.5 x 5 x 2
47.5 x 4 - so close to getting this for all three sets now

On a previous plateau, volume seemed to help my overhead press so I followed this up with a load more pressing. About 30-60 second rest between sets.

Press: 30kg x 9, 8, 7, 6
Seated Press: 27.5 x 6 x 2
Press: 20kg bar x 10 x 1
Lateral raise: 8kg x 12

My shoulders were definitely pumped and red after that.

Power Cleans (warm-up for deadlifts): 60kg for a few

Deadlift: 160kg (352lbs) x 5 PR - tougher than I thought it would be, but still a good milestone for me!

SLDL:
80kg x 12
60kg x 10 - very strict

Weighted incline sit-ups: 10kg x 10 x 2

Sit-ups were surprisingly hard. My abs are apparently weak on "ab movements." They feel fine on squats and deadlifts but I'm not very good at crunches, sit-ups, leg raises or any of that stuff. But very happy with a 160kg x5 deadlift.

J.C.
08-17-2011, 04:10 AM
Update.

I should have added that I deadlifted the day after squatting because of my schedule this week. I didn't feel particularly sore so I just went in and pressed the day after benching, pulled the day after squatting, and it was fine. A good session in fact. This morning, however, my old lower back ache has really flared up. Painful to sit up in bed this morning and I'm limping a bit. It is confined to the left side of my lower spine, so I think there is a little bit of instability around my SI joint, where the hip joins the spine. It's not crippling, I didn't hear anything pop, it's just annoying that I have an inherent weakness somewhere.

So I'm back on the anti-inflammatories and I'll give it a few days rest. Any suggestions on how to properly sort out the back and I'm all ears. Possibly specific stretches or "core" exercises?

Off Road
08-17-2011, 07:08 AM
Nice job on the deads and I agree with the pressing volume, seems to help me too. As far as helping the back, don't pull the day after your squats, Haha. But seriously give it some time to recoup. As far a stretches go, do a seal stretch, a lying knee to chest, a lying torso twist (bent legs, feet on the floor, lower your knees to the side and twist at the waist), Back raises and sit-ups will help with the core strength.

J.C.
08-19-2011, 02:57 PM
19/08/11

The back feels a little better but I decided to err on the side of caution tonight. The gym closed early so I had less than 30 minutes to work out!

BW: 90.6kg +

I wanted to squat but opted for some lighter high-bar full-squats, thinking the upright back angle would put less stress on the lower back. I'm starting to mix this style into my training anyway because I'd like to eventually do more olympic lifting. Anyway, did a 54321 today, nothing too stressful, got the blood flowing.

Olympic Squat:
100kg x 5
110 x 4
115 x 3
120 x 2
127.5 x 1 (280.5lbs) - solid.

Just feeling my way up there and seeing what I can handle in a deep squat. This felt really good. I'm getting the hang of the bounce but I can really feel the effort in the quads and the bar feels much less stable in high-bar position.

Bench: 80kg x 5 x 3

Chins: 9+2+2+2

Boom. In and out. Heavy again next week!

StLRPh
08-19-2011, 05:03 PM
maybe put some front squats in on occasion?

Off Road
08-20-2011, 08:00 AM
Solid front squatting.

J.C.
08-22-2011, 04:10 PM
22/08/11

The back is still aching, despite a greater commitment to stretching multiple times a day. However, once I got nice and warm during the workout it felt wonderful, my doubts dissolved and I got a deadlift PR. The back feels absolutely fine so I can't complain. The test will be what it feels like tomorrow morning.

BW: 91.0kg +

Press: 47.5kg (104.5lbs) x 5 x 3 PR - finally got this for all three sets of five!

Press volume work: - assortment of grip widths.
30 x 10, x8, x7, x7, x6
Bar x 10

Power Clean 60 x 3 x 5 - much better. I finally feel like I know what I'm doing. Time to add some weight.

Deadlifts
162.5kg (357.5lbs) x 5 PR I slightly bounced the last rep off the floor and it was a bit of a grind.

Then stood on a plate:
100 x 1 x 6 or 7, concentrating on speed

SLDL 82.5 x 13 PR - done to failure. Couldn't straighten up on the last rep. Couldn't walk very well afterwards.

Chins 8 dead-hang.

So pretty happy with all that. Oh, and for any skinny guys who might be reading this, my weight plateaued a few weeks ago and I pushed past it by adding ice cream and double cream for dessert each night. A simple extra and suddenly I was gaining again. My diet is otherwise fairly normal and well balanced, but just this one thing has got the scale gradually moving. I'm trying to keep gaining at the rate of about 1kg (2.2lbs) a week while minimizing fat gains. I'll stop at 95kg (210lbs).

StLRPh
08-22-2011, 04:44 PM
nice work on the PRs

Off Road
08-22-2011, 05:40 PM
Nice pulls JC. Sounds like the back is doing good if you can pull like that. Keep up the stretching, can't hurt.

macdaknife
08-23-2011, 02:44 AM
3 PRs in 1 session... nice! Solid effort bro!

J L S
08-24-2011, 11:35 AM
those deadlifts are coming along nicely, still squeezing a bit more weight each time, consistency is key!

J.C.
08-24-2011, 03:30 PM
nice work on the PRs

Thanks a lot!


Nice pulls JC. Sounds like the back is doing good if you can pull like that. Keep up the stretching, can't hurt.

Yeah, I took your advice. I'm finding it easy to put in a little bit of stretching and twisting a few times a day. Each time I go to the toilet or make a cup of tea at work I try and put in a few 20 second stretches. Seems to be helping.


3 PRs in 1 session... nice! Solid effort bro!

Definitely came together that day.


those deadlifts are coming along nicely, still squeezing a bit more weight each time, consistency is key!

Thanks! I know it's not a lot of weight compared to the strong guys but it's slowly adding up each session. I'm really concentrating on improving my deadlift at the moment.

J.C.
08-24-2011, 03:51 PM
24/08/11

BW: 91.0

Squat
130 x 3
135 x 3 x 3

Deep Squat: 100 x 10 x 2

Bench Press
82.5 x 5 - PR, but only on first set.
82.5 x 4 x 2

Barbell Row: 80 x 5 x 3

Triceps Pressdown:
15 x 20
17.5 x 20
15 x 25

Today was OK. I'm winding down the squat a little bit, trying to taper a little before I test my max at the end of the month. Bench could be a lot stronger, but it is what it is and just moves at a snail's pace. I've seen people on this board do high-rep triceps work to help with the bench so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Roll on September! I'm ready for a new routine next month and I'm looking forward to getting excited by training again.

macdaknife
08-24-2011, 04:05 PM
don't put your bench down man, it's moving every week... and those 2 sets of 10 deep aren't too shabby at all!

Off Road
08-24-2011, 05:21 PM
Nice session. The extra triceps work can't hurt.

J.C.
08-26-2011, 03:45 PM
26/08/11

BW: 91.3 +

Press: 50 x 5 PR - yeah! Only for one set, but still.
50 x 3 - total grind. Probably took 4 seconds to lock out. My face went very red.
45 x 5
45 x 4
40 x 5

Power Clean:
60 x 3
62.5 x 3 x 3 - need to work on dropping down more. New bar position off the floor.

Deadlift: 165kg (363lbs) x 2 - OK, I'm stalling out. Was hoping for five but just couldn't make it today.
Followed up with some singles and holds at 140kg double overhand. Beginning grip work.

SLDL: 100kg x 10 - PR, grip gave out.

Wide-stance SLDL: 100 x 5 x 2

Notes:
Slightly less calories, protein and sleep than ideal today.
Deadlift still has room to grow. I think I need to improve my technique and get used to heavier weights.
The wide-stance SLDLs are interesting. I've never done them before but seen some of the big guys around here like Travis and Chris Mason recommend them for hip strength. I can't say I felt anything in my hips but it was definitely harder to get the bar off the ground. It just felt weak, like I couldn't activate the right muscles or something.

Pre-workout nutrition: Half a pack of oreos, a pint of milk, some fried haloumi cheese, triple-shot black coffee and honey. :)
Post-workout nutrition: Milk. 2 pork chops, lots of green beans with small amount of pasta, mozzarella. Cake, double cream. :)
Post-post-workout nutrition: Several pints of the homebrew IPA. On the third as I type this - it is Friday night after all. :):clap:

macdaknife
08-27-2011, 06:10 AM
Nice PR buddy... And you'll feel those SLDLs tomorrow!

Off Road
08-27-2011, 07:14 AM
Nice PRs, the press is looking great. I started doing GMs with a wide stance. Don't know about hips, but it surely hits tha hammies hard.

J.C.
08-31-2011, 04:16 PM
Nice PR buddy... And you'll feel those SLDLs tomorrow!

Yeah I really did! They haven't been that sore for a while. Don't know if it was pushing to failure with a PR weight, or following up with the wide-stance version, but all weekend they were sore. I had to try not to limp at Notting Hill carnival and did plenty of stretching Sunday/Monday.


Nice PRs, the press is looking great. I started doing GMs with a wide stance. Don't know about hips, but it surely hits tha hammies hard.

Thanks. The press is moving. Slowly, but it is definitely moving now so I'm happy I've figured out. I think the trick has to be the assistance work. I swear my shoulders are growing slightly and since doing all the added volume I've seen progress. Interesting what you learn sometimes.

J L S
08-31-2011, 04:22 PM
good work JC! good to see you felt those deads days afterwards haha! its always the way! very deceptive!

J.C.
08-31-2011, 04:53 PM
31/08/11

I took an extra day off to recover a little more. I've been working hard for a few months now, in life and training. I'm going away to a festival tomorrow and then I'm going to take a few more days off and have a nice little break. When I'm back, a new routine. :)

So today I worked up to 1rms. They're not really true 1rms because I didn't prepare much, but they were probably pretty close and it was a good experience to finally do an all-out max.

BW: 91.3kg

Squat
142.5 x 1 Fast
147.5 x 1 Maybe a bit too deep (a good thing?)
150kg x 1 (330lbs) Good rebound, but a grind at mid-way sticking point

Could possibly have attempted 152.5kg after but instead I tested my deadlift.

Deadlift
140kg - easy. double overhand but grip at limit.
167.5kg - solid rep.
170kg (374lbs) - Nice.

Then I did some quick exercises before heading home, just so I could call it a full-body day.
Chins: 12
Dips: 12

Final Thoughts
Reasonably happy. A linear progression got me up to 135x5x3 on the squat which converted into a 150kg 1rm a few weeks later. A 170kg deadlift is OK in my book. My bodyweight went from 78kg to 91kg with minimal fat gain. These aren't spectacular numbers but I think they're a good starting point for further progress. I would have liked to squat 160, but I know I will soon. The last 4 months were basically spent reclaiming numbers from a year ago but at least I can say that mission has been accomplished. Onwards to bigger and better things.

Short term goals: 160/180 (352lbs/396lbs) squat/deadlift.
Slightly longer term goals: 180/200 (396lbs/440lbs) squat/dead

Also, thanks to everyone who read and commented in this journal. I've been busy at times and haven't always kept up with other's, but I really enjoy following along with people and I appreciate the motivation you guys give me. Thanks again. See you all in a week or so and you can look forward to new shenanigans involving high-rep squats and deadlifts!

macdaknife
08-31-2011, 05:10 PM
great work on the squat and deadlift buddy! your weight has been steadily climbing every update... really well done mate! :clap: enjoy your break.

Off Road
08-31-2011, 05:24 PM
Great progress JC. Looking foward to where you take it now.

StLRPh
09-01-2011, 08:03 AM
congrats on the PRs and I'm sure you'll get to your new goals in no time

J.C.
09-07-2011, 03:01 PM
07/09/11

Aaaand I'm back. Good break.

Just a nice easy workout to break into it today. I've decided to incorporate some cardio into my life. Going from no cardio to "some" cardio should hopefully make me fitter. Over the weekend I actually seriously debated focussing on running again, then I changed my mind and decided to keep pushing my strength up until I have numbers to be proud of. :strong:

40kg Barbell Complex
Hang clean + press + front squat + RDL + bent over row
5 reps each exercise. 3 sets. About 1-2 mins rest between sets.

10 min Rowing Machine

10 min Assorted Stretching

All pretty A-OK. Never done complexes before but I think I like them. The rowing was insanely boring even for 10 minutes, which shows how bad my mental endurance has become. Although I feel awesome now, even 3 hours later, which is all the convincing I need as to cardio's benefit.

Also, exciting news. My gym is holding a powerlifting competition in March! One of the trainers came and told me today and also offered to make me a program. Now I'm not sure what the deal is, and whether I have to pay or not, but the trainers are competing with each other trying to produce the best athletes for it, so I'm intrigued that two of them want me to join them. Anyway, I didn't want to chat with them for too long, but it will be interesting to see how this develops.

I think I'm going to stick with my plan of high-rep deadlifts and squats for a change in stimulus and then go into Texas method in 6 weeks time. That should give me relatively fast progress, but if anyone has other suggestions on getting the best totals by March then I'm all ears.

macdaknife
09-08-2011, 09:25 AM
welcome back JC!

I HATE THE ROWING MACHINE!!

J.C.
09-09-2011, 07:32 AM
09/09/11

NEW ROUTINE

Alrighty then, I'm doing an old-school deadlift routine. 20 reps, few extra exercises. I'll tweak as I go along based on results, recovery and limiting factors. Let's see what happens.

Bench: 60kg x 10 x 3

Deadlift:
100kg x 20
100kg x 16

EZ bar curls: 20kg x 10 x 2

Notes
Grip is definitely going to be a limiting factor, but I'm doing this partly to improve my grip, so for now, straps are out. The first set felt quite easy, so I did a second set, this was much tougher and I had to rest-pause while standing up for each two reps after ten.

I didn't find 20-rep deadlifts as exhausting as 20-rep squats (I did a second set!) but after the second set finished I suddenly felt overwhelmed and had to sit down for five minutes while feeling like I was going to be sick. This is going to be a fun experiment, as these rep ranges are very different from what I normally do.

macdaknife
09-09-2011, 12:08 PM
Hard work! How often are you going to do that?

J L S
09-10-2011, 03:31 PM
20 rep routines are definitely old school! have you ever read a book called brawn? it has an awful lot in info there in regards to routines like that... i actually ran the 20 rep squat programme before i got into powerlifting properly... most likely where my love of squats came from

i say do the meet.. is a great experience!

J.C.
09-11-2011, 07:49 AM
Hard work! How often are you going to do that?

It will depend on how I feel. I'd like to do it Monday and Friday with a squat session on Wednesday, but I don't know how I'll react. If it's too hard I'll cut it down, if all is going well I may increase the squatting to 2x a week and do a 15-20 rep deadlift as a finisher at the end of the session. I'm not scared of hard work, but I want to be smart about it.


20 rep routines are definitely old school! have you ever read a book called brawn? it has an awful lot in info there in regards to routines like that... i actually ran the 20 rep squat programme before i got into powerlifting properly... most likely where my love of squats came from

i say do the meet.. is a great experience!

Yeah, I wanted to do something a bit different before going into a proper powerlifting routine. I've not read Brawn, but I've read Dinosaur Training so I'm influenced by that. Hopefully it will add some mass and get me in good shape. It's just a university gym, so I think the meet could be good fun. I'm really looking forward to it now - I just got to figure out how best to spend the next few months preparing!

J.C.
09-11-2011, 08:09 AM
11/09/11

My house-mate wanted to go the gym and get a form-check on squat and deadlift today so I did a light session to flush the muscles with blood and encourage some more recovery before tomorrow.

Pull-ups
10 x 3 (focussing on speed)

40kg Barbell Complex
3 sets of 5 reps of hang clean + press + good morning + front squat + bent-over row

10 min rowing machine

J.C.
09-12-2011, 07:52 AM
12/09/11

Weight: 90.7

Bench: 62.5 x 10 x 3

Squat: 130 x 1 (easy. It's been a while since I've squatted. I couldn't resist doing a single.)

Front Squat: 60 x 5 x 3

Deadlift: 105 x 20 (all double overhand)

Barbell Roll-outs: 2 sets of 5 (eccentric only)

Sit-ups: 6

Notes:
I'm starting to doubt the lack of high-intensity work. Partly this is down to my tendency to always train heavy, but I'm already missing low-rep work. I'm going to keep incorporating high-rep deadlifts but will more likely use them as finishers after low-rep leg work.

My abs are weak. I can't even do one barbell roll-out so I'm taking a crawl-walk-run approach. Slow negatives only, then partials, then full.

J.C.
09-14-2011, 08:56 AM
14/09/11

Weight: 91.0kg

I'm training semi-intuitively at the moment. I said I'd do high-rep stuff and I'm going to stick to my word, but I'm not going to lose the low-rep stuff entirely. Programming will get slightly more complicated but for now that's perfect. More variety is a good thing while I shore up my weaknesses and improve athleticism; I'll simplify as I go.

Plyometrics:
Kneeling jumps x 5
Seated box jumps x 5 x 2

Press:
30kg x 10 x 3

Squat
100 x 5
120 x 5
125 x 4
100 x 20 - not too bad. Don't want to start too heavy.

Pull-ups
4 x 6

RDL
60 x 12

Notes
My arms went dead during the 20-rep squat. The low-bar position feels so stable but I'll struggle to hold it for 20.

J L S
09-15-2011, 02:09 PM
nice work, 20 rep squats are no joke.. good chinning :p

macdaknife
09-16-2011, 01:34 AM
"not too heavy" he said... that still must've hurt! good work buddy!

J.C.
09-16-2011, 10:58 AM
16/09/11

BW: 91.8Kg PR

Bench: 65 x 10 x 3

Power Cleans: Worked up to 75kg for a double. Feeling quite happy with the technique now so it was time to push the weight up! I've never done more than 60kg (135lbs) while learning the movement.

Deadlift: 110 x 20 PR (19 double overhand. I had to switch to mixed for the final one!)

Chins: 6, 5, 4, 3, 3, 3. (I was done for after the dead lifts)

Abs: Barbell roll-outs, weighted decline sit-ups.

For a pump finish:

Pec-deck fly: 15 reps of some arbitrary weight
- reversed machine for -
Rear deltoid fly: 15 reps of some arbitrary weight

J.C.
09-16-2011, 11:09 AM
nice work, 20 rep squats are no joke.. good chinning :p

I have been SO SORE the last two days. Taking two weeks off from squatting then doing 20 reps was possibly a stupid idea. It hurt to move last night and was just as bad this morning. I've been eating everything in sight and drinking large amounts of milk to try and heal up. A contrast shower, followed by static stretching this morning helped, and then I foam rolled at the gym which hurt but also helped. I was very close to taking the day off, but luckily I managed to locate my balls and do a decent session. Got to train through the soreness...


"not too heavy" he said... that still must've hurt! good work buddy!

It was fine during, but the last two days - OUCH!

I don't know if anyone has ever attempted to do both a 20 rep squat routine and a 20 rep deadlift routine at the same time before. It's an interesting experiment. I predict I'll either a) burn out horribly or b) get jacked. Hopefully the latter.

macdaknife
09-16-2011, 12:31 PM
I was done for after the dead lifts

haha... not surprised fella! nice work once again!

J.C.
09-19-2011, 01:51 PM
19/06/2011

I had planned to do 20-rep stuff today but the gym was really busy - the students are back - so I had to work in with people and train more sensibly.

Weight: 92.3kg PR

Interesting. The high-rep squats and deads seem to be working because I'm not eating significantly more food yet my weight has unexpectedly gone up the last two weeks. That's not normal because I usually have to stuff myself for the scales to move.

Bench: 67.5 x 10 x 3

Squat:
100 x 5
110 x 4
120 x 3
130 x 2
137.5 x 1 - could be faster

Dead: 160kg x 3 x 3

Pull-ups: BW x 7,5,5

Exciting news: A(n Olympic) weight-lifting club is starting in my gym first week of October and I'm one of 12 people invited to join. We'll almost all be novices to the sport, but there's some enthusiastic and strong cats in the group. So that's going to be my Wednesday nights from then, should be good fun. I'll learn how to nail a snatch like a pro... As I transition into weight-lifting, expect a lot more snatch-related jokes, it should stay funny for at least the first month. To me.

macdaknife
09-20-2011, 04:31 AM
deadlifting is solid JC and your weight is continually on the up at the moment... great effort mate!

... and snatch NEVER stops being funny! ;)

J L S
09-20-2011, 03:22 PM
strength and weight are coming alone nicely! be awesome to see an O-lifter on the boards!

J.C.
09-20-2011, 04:46 PM
deadlifting is solid JC and your weight is continually on the up at the moment... great effort mate!

... and snatch NEVER stops being funny! ;)

Thanks. When I was doing linear progression I was only doing 1x5 for deadlifts, so I think an increase in deadlifting frequency and volume should work wonders. 3 x 3 was definitely pretty hard!


strength and weight are coming alone nicely! be awesome to see an O-lifter on the boards!

I'm confident that when I get back on a pure strength and power program I'm going to see some big increases in numbers. Just wait. As for the Weight-lifting, I think it's just going to be some fun variety to be honest. I can't pass up the chance to be coached, it's one evening a week and the sessions are cheap, so there's no reason not to.

J.C.
09-21-2011, 07:13 PM
21/09/11

BW: 91.8 -

My back, both lower and upper, were really tight and sore from Monday, so it was a relatively light one today.

Power Clean: worked up to 82.5kg for a couple PR

Front Squat: 80kg x 4 x 3

Press: 40kg x 7, 7, 5

The gym is stupidly busy now that the students are back. Next week I'm starting Texas Method. I've got my eyes set on this meet in March.

J.C.
09-24-2011, 10:45 AM
24/09/11

BW: 91.9kg

I couldn't lift on Friday and then I went out last night, so today's workout was a hangover cure more than anything else. I sweated SO much. My white T-shirt was pretty much see-through by the end of the session and I was dripping sweat everywhere. I did feel a lot better by the time I was done though. :)

Bench: 70kg x 10 x 3

Power Cleans: Lots, including 70kg x 2 x 5 with very little rest and 80kg for a couple of singles, along with some misses.

Squats: Lots. 110kg x 5 x 7? I didn't really count the sets. I just kept doing them until I felt like I had to stop.

Chins: 6,5,5,4,4,3,3

Plank to failure

I'm back to the heavy stuff next week.

macdaknife
09-24-2011, 11:09 AM
haha... that's a hell of a hangover cure buddy! not surprised you sweated it out with the amount of work you put in there... great effort!

StLRPh
09-26-2011, 11:38 AM
nice work JC, looks like the PRs are still coming regularly

J L S
09-26-2011, 02:14 PM
my training partner always PR's after a heavy session haha... its like a rule now, he goes out night before, PR's to follow, like to see him test his theory at a meet though!

more on point though. awesome work! putting some good reps in there

J.C.
09-26-2011, 03:58 PM
haha... that's a hell of a hangover cure buddy! not surprised you sweated it out with the amount of work you put in there... great effort!

It did the trick. You sweat profusely and you drink gallons of water so it definitely works.


nice work JC, looks like the PRs are still coming regularly

Hey, good to hear from you again man! How's it going?


my training partner always PR's after a heavy session haha... its like a rule now, he goes out night before, PR's to follow, like to see him test his theory at a meet though!

more on point though. awesome work! putting some good reps in there

Ha! Good for him. I try not to make a habit of it, but if there's something planned for Friday night, then training gets shifted to Saturday and I just deal with the consequences.

J.C.
09-26-2011, 04:20 PM
26/09/2011

This is my transition week into Texas Method. I wanted to devote a solid six weeks to 20-rep squats and deadlifts, unfortunately the gym has got incredibly busy because all the students have returned to the uni gym I train at and I can't really get away with it any more. I feel a bit self-conscious grimacing and panting through a 3 minute set, especially if I'm working in ("yeah, I'm only doing one set man, then it's all yours." lol.)

So this week I'm going to squat 3x, get used to low reps again and build up some momentum for what's to come. I can't charge into it so I'm starting a bit lighter. It will probably be a couple of weeks until I start getting PRs again.

By the way, I'm often writing these notes to myself so I can look back and see how I was feeling on certain days. I don't mean to write an essay!

BW: 92.4kg PR
- maybe it's the creatine? I just started using it and my weight keeps going up even though I'm not bulking hard.

Squat: 115kg x 5 x 3

Barbell Rows: 60kg x 10 x 3 - strict, pause at top.

Dips: BW x 6 x 3, BW x 8
I hate dips even more than I hate the bench press. However, my theory is that if I avoid hard things I hate, I'll always suck at them. So I'm going to start doing dips regularly and hopefully it will help increase my bench.

Barbell Complex: 2 sets of 5 reps each on a bunch of exercises.

Barbell Roll-out: 3 x 5 (half-reps, getting better, but still can't do a full rep)

Plank to failure

Meh, it was OK today. I want to squat big numbers right away, but I know that having a couple of lead-in sessions should stop me from stalling too early.

J.C.
09-26-2011, 04:33 PM
Also,

Consistency PR! I filled the last page of my workout notebook today! Really happy about that achievement lol.

That is 5 months of continuous training and continuous progress. I did it right this time and am very pleased with how the year has gone. I don't intend on quitting now; this time I'm in for the long-haul and the big numbers.

For shits and giggles, here is the very first page of my notebook this year:

18/04/2011

Weight: 78.4kg (172lbs) 30lbs lean weight gain ftw

Chins: 5, 3

Bench: 3 x 5 x 40kg

Squat: 5 x 5 x 30kg

Barbell Row: 5 x 5 x 30kg

So yeah, I was pretty out of shape when I began. I'd lost what little muscle I'd gained in previous years and started from scratch.

macdaknife
09-26-2011, 05:28 PM
mate that's a great effort... really well done!
and don't worry about the essays... I write mainly for my future self too ;-)

StLRPh
09-26-2011, 06:00 PM
Consistency PR!

This FTW

J.C.
09-28-2011, 11:47 AM
28/09/2011

BW: 91.9kg -

Squats: 120kg x 5 x 3

Press: 40kg x 6 x 4

Power Clean: worked up to 80 x 2 x 2. Hitting this consistently now.

Deadlift: 150kg x 8

Pull-ups: BW x 5 x 3
Neutral-grip pull-ups: BW x 5 x 2
Chin-ups: BW x 5 x 2

Hanging Leg Raises: 25

The gym is so damn busy now, it's a nightmare. On the one hand it's pretty cool that so many people do squats and deadlifts, but on the other hand it's a bloody pain waiting for weights all the time.

Squats and deadlifts felt springy today. V fast. Other than that, not much to report.

StLRPh
09-28-2011, 11:53 AM
If it's the beginner of the semester just give it a few weeks, the beginning of the school year is almost as bad as New Years at a school gym. They crowds will likely thin out soon enough.

macdaknife
09-29-2011, 01:49 PM
Were those deadlifts a single set (or a set of singles)? Either way good effort buddy!

J L S
09-30-2011, 04:26 PM
starting light will definitely help you when you get further into the programme! you have come a long way since that first log post! like you said, just goes to show what consistency can do for you!

J.C.
10-03-2011, 06:04 AM
If it's the beginner of the semester just give it a few weeks, the beginning of the school year is almost as bad as New Years at a school gym. They crowds will likely thin out soon enough.

Ha, yeah, it starts thinning out and then after Christmas everyone feels guilty and commits to another week before dropping out again.


Were those deadlifts a single set (or a set of singles)? Either way good effort buddy!

A single set of 8 reps. I'm starting to enjoy doing the occasional rep-out with deadlifts. It helps the grip.


starting light will definitely help you when you get further into the programme! you have come a long way since that first log post! like you said, just goes to show what consistency can do for you!

I've just got to keep on going now. This is definitely the most consistent I've ever been.

J.C.
10-03-2011, 06:10 AM
30/09/2011

This was last Friday's workout, I didn't get a chance to type it up.

BW: 91.4kg

Chins: 5kg x 6 x 4

Squat: 125 x 5 x 3

I was working in with someone and was in a rush so I just did some higher reps on bench and row to get through it quicker.

Bench: 70kg x 7, 10, 11

Barbell Row: 60kg x 10, 10, 15

I picked up a bit of a cold on the weekend, and I didn't sleep too well last night. I feel a lot better now than I did last night, but depending on how I feel this evening I might skip tonight's workout.

macdaknife
10-03-2011, 12:42 PM
Another good effort JC. Your weight seems to have steadied.... you reached where you want to be?

J.C.
10-04-2011, 10:40 AM
Another good effort JC. Your weight seems to have steadied.... you reached where you want to be?

Yup. Gonna hang out around 92kg (202lbs) for a bit, firm up a little, and then if I have trouble gaining strength I'll push to 97kg (215lbs). At the moment I'm still fairly lean and I want it to stay that way, so any weight gain from now on will be much slower and more sensible.

J.C.
10-04-2011, 10:53 AM
04/10/2011

Bw: 91.2kg -

TEXAS METHOD

I like the sound of Texas Method because it's a loose template for intermediates/advanced novices which allows for quicker progress than 5/3/1 and is easier to implement than Westside, so it's perfect for me. The basic set-up is a MWF routine done as volume, recovery, intensity.

However, Wednesday nights I'm going to train with an Olympic lifting club, because it's something I want to learn, so that's going to replace recovery day. That should actually work quite well because lack of lifting technique will mean I'll only be using light weights on Wednesdays anyway!

Been feeling a bit under the weather so Monday's workout was done today (Tuesday).

Squat: 127.5 x 5 x 3 EASY. Great depth and speed. Little rest between sets.

Power Clean: Worked up to 85kg. Just missed 87.5kg, because I'm not very good at dropping under yet.

Bench: 75 x 5 x 4, 75 x 7 EASY, so I did a couple extra on the last set.

Seated Box jumps: 4 x 6. Last set with 10kg held to chest.

Pull-ups: BW x 8 x 3

Great session considering I still felt a bit rubbish this morning. Blazed through everything. I did 3x5 instead of 5x5 on squats because I'm Oly lifting tomorrow and I want to be fresh for it.

J L S
10-04-2011, 11:51 AM
nice work, sounds like you are training pretty smart too! always good!

macdaknife
10-04-2011, 02:58 PM
Another great effort Bud... keep it up!

J.C.
10-05-2011, 03:31 PM
Thanks guys.

So today was the first weightlifting session. We spent two hours covering the clean and jerk with the coach. I did a lot of clean and jerks and now I feel a bit sore and very tired. Early bed for me tonight.

The power clean was fine, but I need to grow some shoulders quickly if I'm ever going to jerk decent weights, and I need to practice the split again and again if I want to stop falling over.

Really strong group of guys too. They will all be competing in the powerlifting meet next year so this is a good way for me to keep an eye on the competition.

J.C.
10-07-2011, 09:18 AM
07/10/11

Intensity Day
Today I worked up to 5rms. In the following weeks I'll rotate between 1-3rm maxes.

BW: 91.2kg

Squat: 140kg x 5 - solid. I could have done another set or two.
140kg x 1 x 2 - practising technique.

Bench: 85kg x 5
Close-grip: 80kg x 5

Deadlift: 165 x 5 - room in the tank
SLDL: 100 x 10 x 2

Pull-ups:5kg x 5, 4
Neutral grip pull-ups: 5kg x 4

I was a bit tired by the end so the pull-ups were crap.

I'm not sure if this is enough work. Should I be doing more back-off sets? The SLDLs add some extra work at the end for the legs, but I only did 2 heavy sets for the bench.

StLRPh
10-07-2011, 09:35 AM
depending on how close you are to failure on the back-off sets, 1 could very well be enough.

nice work BTW and good luck with the OLY stuff

macdaknife
10-07-2011, 02:48 PM
Solid session buddy! Good work!

J.C.
10-10-2011, 12:14 PM
10/10/2011

BW: 92.4kg

Squat: 130x5x3 - EASY
Front Squat: 70 x 5 x 2

Press: 40 x 5 x 5
Clean and Jerk: 40 x 4 x 3 - practising the split.

Barbell Rows: 80 x 5 x 3

Chins: 8,7,5,4

This session felt really good. Just pacing myself at the moment, but intensity day should see some big numbers soon. I was too tired to do the chins much justice. Debating splitting volume day into two sessions, an upper and a lower. I'd like to do more accessory work but if I train for much more than 75min I get worn out and it's not worth it. So if I want to add RDLs, front squats, good mornings, ab work, more oly lifts and train chins and pull-ups harder I just don't know how I can fit it into three days.

J L S
10-11-2011, 12:13 PM
nice work jc! as for fitting all the accessory lifts in, perhaps you could rotate them from week to week... as long as you are doing them consistently you should still see gains

i remember recently somebody wrote in to jim wendler on efs about only being able to train weekends and i swear he suggested one weekend squatting/benching.. the next pulling/overhead pressing... it extends the training cycle but you still hit all your lifts... could try that but obv with accesorry lifts you want to squeeze in... long winded answer but its been a long day haha, hope it makes at least some sense, if not let me know!

eg:
week 1- RDL's/front squats
week 2- GM's/extra ab work
repeat

its vague, but you should get the idea

J.C.
10-11-2011, 05:42 PM
Thanks Jay, that's a good idea. I'd be a bit worried about how much consistent progress I could make if I'm constantly rotating. But if I think more long-term, that would probably work.

It's this Wednesday night weight-lifting session that has thrown me off a bit, because I feel like I'm down to two sessions now.

If I split volume day (Monday) into a second day I could do this:

Monday - Volume Lower:
Squats 5x5
Front Squats 3x5
RDL/GM 3x10
Abs

Tuesday - Volume Upper:
Bench Press/Overhead Press 5x5
Bentover Row 5x5
Dips 4x6
Clean and Jerk 5x3
Chins/Pull-ups

Wednesday - Weightlifting training
Mostly technique, so should act as a recovery session.

Friday - Intensity Day
Squat 1-3rm
Bench/Overhead Press 1-3rm
Dead 1-3rm
Any other assistance work, abs, oly lifts.

Does this look workable? It's still basically Texas Method with a volume, recovery and intensity day.

StLRPh
10-11-2011, 06:23 PM
the middle day can be technique/recovery focused. For me personally, I'd drop Tuesday completely and do Wednesday the way you have it listed...but I'm old :)

macdaknife
10-12-2011, 02:21 AM
you're consistently working your ass off mate and I see that your bodyweight is climbing again... great effort!

I hope your new split works for you buddy... I'm sure it will considering how you go at it!:evillaugh:

J.C.
10-12-2011, 02:53 PM
the middle day can be technique/recovery focused. For me personally, I'd drop Tuesday completely and do Wednesday the way you have it listed...but I'm old :)

Well it's either have one really long Monday, or a shorter Monday and Tuesday. I'm leaning to option two, but I'll see how I feel next week.


you're consistently working your ass off mate and I see that your bodyweight is climbing again... great effort!

I hope your new split works for you buddy... I'm sure it will considering how you go at it!:evillaugh:

Thanks, I appreciate it. I like to think I work harder if not longer than most people in the gym. I seem to sweat more than most people anyway!

J.C.
10-12-2011, 03:03 PM
12/10/11

Weightlifting training

We learnt how to snatch, which is awkward and painful. After many, many reps over the course of two hours my shoulders feel strange and my hands are rubbed raw. I'm very tired now.

Tonight a new girl joined the class, so we have two female lifters in our small group, which is really cool to see. I'm all for that. Now this being East London, she's Muslim and so wears a long sleeve top, tracksuit pants and a headscarf even when she's training. I was absolutely dripping sweat by the end of the session and I couldn't understand how she was coping. I get hot very easily, and if I could work out topless I would, yet this girl was covered head to two in material and doing just fine. Amazing. Pretty strong girl too.

macdaknife
10-12-2011, 03:09 PM
That is quite impressive... Did she talk to anyone?

J.C.
10-12-2011, 03:31 PM
Ha, yeah she was pretty friendly. There's one other girl there so they trained together.

It's not so surprising, I'm basically the token white guy in the group anyway. I'm literally the only White British person.

But man, if I had to train while swaddled in material I'd just give up.

J.C.
10-14-2011, 12:05 PM
14/10/11

Intensity Day

Really good day today. 3 new PRs. I've really got a feel for my lifts, so Texas Method has started in earnest now.

Squat:
145x3 PR
150x3 PR

Press:
50kgx3x2 PR

I actually had someone ask me why I was using such a light weight! Lol. It's a fair point. This has to move this time around. I'm thinking of doing press, push press or jerk every session now to accumulate some volume.

Jerk:
50kg x 2 x 7-8 just trying to work on the split.

Deadlift: 170x3 PR

Chins: 10kg x 5 x 3 PR

At the end of my linear progression late in August I tested my maxes as 150/170 for squat and deadlift and today I tripled those weights fairly easily, so that's pretty cool, especially as I've been doing mostly higher reps since then.

I think I should be doing more sets and exercises eventually.

macdaknife
10-14-2011, 12:34 PM
That's 4 PRs buddy, not 3.... great work fella! All that deadlift volume is obviously paying off too.

StLRPh
10-14-2011, 01:38 PM
PRs in every lift...wtf! awesome work :clap:

J L S
10-16-2011, 06:45 AM
its a bit late but template posted above does look workable! its good to have a days rest before that intensity day too!

working hard this week with the sweet PR's, always good to see females interested in strength training!

J.C.
10-17-2011, 02:03 PM
That's 4 PRs buddy, not 3.... great work fella! All that deadlift volume is obviously paying off too.

I didn't count the press because it still sucks.


PRs in every lift...wtf! awesome work :clap:

Thanks a lot. I'm moving into a new stage now that's for sure.


its a bit late but template posted above does look workable! its good to have a days rest before that intensity day too!

working hard this week with the sweet PR's, always good to see females interested in strength training!

Thanks, I think it splitting into upper/lower will allow me to give it my all now.

J.C.
10-17-2011, 02:09 PM
17/10/11

Volume Lower

Weight: 92.4 - holding steady.

Squat: 132.5kg x 5 x 3

Front Squat: 75kg x 5 x 2

SLDL: 100kg x 10 x 2
- no chalk today, my hands kept slipping with the sweat and I had to reset several times. Because the grip was an issue I felt like I couldn't get my hamstrings to tense properly. This is the one exercise I try and 'feel', so I'm not sure how much I got out of it. I did it fine, but didn't really feel my hamstrings working, it needs to be stricter.

Hanging leg raise: 25

Felt good. I worked hard on the basics then went home. It took about an hour. Looking forward to an upper-body day tomorrow. It's going to be so easy! I can't believe I'm going to have a workout where I'm not squatting!

J.C.
10-18-2011, 09:29 AM
18/10/11

Volume Upper

BW: 93.7kg PR - Whoah, wasn't expecting that!

Bench: 77.5kg x 5 x 3
Close-grip: 70kg x 4, 5

Rows: 82.5kg x 5 x 3 PR

Hang Cleans: 60kg x 3 x 6
Pull-ups: BW x 8,8,7 - super-setted in the middle of the cleans.

Dips: BW x 10 x 2

Fine and dandy although triceps are definitely a weak point. Squats take so much out of me that having an upper-body day felt like a breeze. I may even add more total volume over the next few weeks because I left the gym feeling fresh for once, instead of struggling to walk.

macdaknife
10-18-2011, 05:01 PM
you're all over it Buddy, keep it up!

J.C.
10-19-2011, 02:32 PM
19/10/11

Weightlifting training

Just lots of clean and jerk practice. Clean feels good. Jerk is the weakest in the group. We then did some behind the neck jerks from the rack, which helped me work on it a bit.

Shoulder and general overhead strength is going to be a challenge. Not much else to report. Feeling a bit tired tonight.

J.C.
10-21-2011, 10:14 AM
21/10/11

Weight: 94.5kg PR Yeah buddy!

INTENSITY DAY

Squat: 155 x 2 x 2 PR

Should be good for a 160kg single next week.

Bench:
85 x 3 x 2
87.5 x 3 PR
90 x Fail

The first set at 85kg felt a bit rough, so I thought I'd stop there and get some more sets at that weight. The second set felt great so I upped it, 87.5 felt great, I thought I'd attempt 90 and then barely managed 1 rep. Oh well, one day I'll be repping out 5 sets at 90kg. One day!

Deadlift: 172.5 x 3 PR

Last week I tripled 170. I should have attempted 175 for a double today but I get a bit nervous with deadlifts and decided to be cautious. 172.5 felt fine so I ended up doing an extra rep. I should have done another set and attempted higher, but I hate spending more than an hour in the gym. So the question is: should I attempt a 180 single next week or should I do a double at 175-177.5 and push back the single till the week after?

Pull-ups: 5kg x 5 x 3

All in all, a pretty good day. I feel like Brooks Kubik, doing one set of 2-3 reps then going home. It still doesn't feel like enough, but it seems to be working so I might as well stick with it.

In other news, I just had a new patient check-up at the Doctors because I recently registered there. Blood pressure was at the low end of the good range, so that's excellent. Urine tested negative for proteins and glucose as well, so my kidneys are doing a fine job under the pressure of a high calorie diet.

macdaknife
10-22-2011, 06:48 AM
Weight's on the up again and 3 great PRs... that's always gonna be a great day buddy!
I say go for the 1RM fella!

J.C.
10-24-2011, 01:13 PM
24/10/11

BW: 95.3kg + First time above 95kg now.

Volume Lower

Squat: 135 x 5 x 3 +

Front Squat: 80 x 5 x 2 +

SLDL: 100kg x 10 x 2

Wide-stance SLDL: 100 x 5

Decline Sit-up: 5kg x 10 x 3
- super-setted with -
Box Jumps: 8, 8, 5kgx8

Kiff
10-24-2011, 02:17 PM
Jezzz man, you got huge in the last few months, 95KG you gotta look massive now?!

Huge lifts as well mate"! awesome""""!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

J.C.
10-25-2011, 01:42 PM
25/10/11 - Volume Upper

BW: 95.3kg

Push Press: 55kgx5x5
57.5x3 F.

I've decided to replace the overhead press with the push press because it has greater carry-over to the jerk and because I can use more weight. This should help me break through the plateau.

Rows: 82.5kg x 5 x 3

Chins:BW x 8 x 3
- super-setted with -
Hang Cleans: 60kg x 5 x 3

Circuit to finish
Bench Press: 60kg x 17
Reverse Pec-dec: ? x 15
Dips: 10

All about pressing and pulling today. Push press is feeling better. I was getting thoroughly pissed off being forever sub 50kg on the press so it's quite fun to move a bit more and get used to holding more weight overhead. I think this is also the first session I've managed 3 sets of 8 chins, which is a sort of minor PR. I'm closing in on 3x10.

J.C.
10-25-2011, 01:45 PM
Jezzz man, you got huge in the last few months, 95KG you gotta look massive now?!

Huge lifts as well mate"! awesome""""!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Getting bigger for sure, but because I'm so tall I still look very lanky. As other people in the gym keep reminding me lol. I'm trying not to gain too much fat though. If I get hold of a camera I might try and get a photo.

J.C.
10-26-2011, 03:37 PM
26/10/11

Weightlifting Practice

Snatches from high blocks working down to the floor.

Then we tested our long jump. Next week we're going to test our vertical. I've never done this before so it was quite fun.

I got 2.30m, which is quite low, but at least it's a number to improve from. The best in our group was about 2.65, the lowest was about 2.20m. We're going to retest them in a month. The coach says we all have to improve. I'm starting to enjoy these sessions. It feels good to be learning some new skills and getting some competition going.

macdaknife
10-26-2011, 03:45 PM
another 3 good sessions since I last caught up with your log JC... great work man! I'd hate to think how crap my long jump might be!!

you must be eating like a bear getting ready to hybernate at the moment with the weight you're stacking on?

J.C.
10-27-2011, 05:35 AM
you must be eating like a bear getting ready to hybernate at the moment with the weight you're stacking on?

Maybe not as much as you think. I eat a lot but I definitely used to eat more when I was younger and lighter, so my metabolism must be slowing a bit. I think it's just proof that heavy progressive training will lead to weight gain as long as you eat adequately. My workouts are quite short and intense, I'm lifting more each session and every time I weigh myself I'm getting heavier.

The only thing I've changed in the last few weeks is that I've started using a carb+protein powder. On training days I usually eat some junk food or have a very high calorie meal after training. I rarely eat til stuffed but I do normally have one or two days a week where I eat significantly more. Here was yesterday's diet for example:

Breakfast: 3 eggs with cheese. 2 pieces of bacon. 2 pieces of toast. Milk.
Lunch: Sausage and chickpea dish I made the night before.
2nd Lunch: Haloumi wrap - went to a decent kebab shop, didn't fancy meat. An apple.
Pre-gym snack: MRP shake, toast. An apple.
Post-gym Dinner: Margherita pizza. Two pints of milk. Ice cream.

I don't know what that adds up to. Maybe 4000 calories and maybe 150-200g protein? My general philosophy is that carbs are more important than protein when gaining weight. This was a high calorie day. I'll eat a little less on non-training days.

J.C.
10-28-2011, 10:14 AM
28/10/11 - INTENSITY DAY!!!!!

Weight: 95.0 -

Excellent day today. SFW!

Squat:
150 x 1 old pr
160 x 1 PR - smashed it.
165 (363lbs) x 1 PR - 15kg PR!

At this point I was very tempted to try 170 but I held back. I think I could have got it, but there is an amazing psychological boost you get when you don't miss any lifts. I don't want to fail any more, so I checked the ego and stopped victorious.

Push Press:
60 x 3
62.5 x 3
67.5 x F - not one rep. Tried twice.
65 x 3 - good set.

Note: Push press is feeling better. I think I made the right decision to ditch the standard overhead press. I'll come back to it at some point but right now I want to handle much heavier weights. It's a totally different feeling holding that much more weight above your head.

Deadlift:
140 x 1
180kg (396lbs) x 1 PR - 10kg PR!

Note: That is literally all I did. I was working in with somebody who already had 140 on the bar. I decided I was already warm so did a single, then went straight for 180. It wasn't pretty and it wasn't fast but I made it and was told my back looked good enough. A slight rounding at the top, but the lower back was rigid and I straightened out OK.

Weighted Chins: 11.25kg x 5 x 3 PR

Weighted Hang: 25kg plate x 1 minute
Round-back extensions from pulley: 26kgx15, 28kgx15 - these are awesome. Going to do a lot of these to improve upper-back strength.

As per usual, short and sweet. It never feels like enough, but if it works, it works. Doing only 2 reps for my deadlift workout seems almost cheeky.

macdaknife
10-28-2011, 01:33 PM
It may be cheeky but it definitely worked buddy! 3 great PRs JC... great work!

J.C.
10-29-2011, 11:57 AM
29/10/11

Weightlifting practice

The room with the bumper plates and the good oly bars is now open on Saturday afternoons. I live literally 2 minutes from the gym and I was hungover so it seemed like a good idea to go do an extra session. I'm also one of the worst in the group so I need the practice!

It ended up being quite fun. I got a good sweat on and just drilled the snatch over and over and over and over (lol). I was using hardly any weight - 30kg including the bar - but it felt good to get moving and learn some new skills. Also did the snatch balance and overhead squats. Snatch was feeling better but as soon as I put some decent weight on I struggled to get it overhead cleanly. Sigh. This is going to take some work.

Finished up the session with some heavier cleans, because doing light snatches for two hours got boring. Did a few at 80kg, which is feeling better on the first pull now.

Was there about two hours, but was not a bad way to spend an afternoon. Fun to train with people doing the same thing.

Frequency PR: I realised this is the first time I've ever trained with weights 5 times in a week! 3 strength sessions, 2 weightlifting sessions. It's like I'm taking it seriously or something.

J.C.
10-31-2011, 12:29 PM
31/10/11

Volume Day - Lower

Weight: 95.3kg

Squat: 140kg x 5 x 3 +
This was a good PR because the last time I hit this weight it was for a 5rm. Today I easily smashed 3 sets.

Front Squat: 85kg x 5 x 2 + 80 x 3 (sore wrists)

SLDL: 105 x 10 x 2

Incline sit-ups: 10kg x 7 (held overhead) + 10kg x 10 x 2 (held to chest)

Plank: 45 seconds

Today felt great. I wasn't too tired and could have easily thrown in some lunges or some extra RDLs or something but I didn't feel the need. My current approach to training is if it ain't broke, don't fix it. If the basics are done hard and heavy and keep improving then there's no point spending another half an hour beating myself into the ground when I could be home resting and eating. I will eventually add more exercises in, but for now I'm enjoying the maximum rest and recovery.

J.C.
11-01-2011, 02:16 PM
01/11/11 - Volume Upper

BW: 95.3kg again

Bench:
80kgx5x2
80kg x 9!

Super happy with this. 80kg was always a no show for me. Today the first two sets went OK, like not super easy, but fine and then I just went sort of crazy on the last set and repped out a good 9! I wasn't expecting that at all! I have seriously never had that much progress in the bench.

Rows: 85kg x 5 x 3
I now row more than I bench press...

Pull ups: BW x 8 x 3 + 5

Hang Cleans:
60 x 3
62.5 x 5 x 3

Dips: BW x 10 x 3

Round-back extensions on cable pulley: 28kg x 20 x 2

J.C.
11-02-2011, 03:51 PM
02/11/11 - Weightlifting

We've been given a program, so now we've learned the lifts things are going to get tough and heavy. Which puts me in a dilemma because I'm loving my strength program at the moment and making great progress. Not sure how I'm going to mix the two yet.

Session 1

4 sets x 5

Power Snatch x 5 + 2 overhead squat: 40kg
One Pull + 3 Snatch: 45kg
Snatch Pull + Shrug: 60kg
Front Squat + Press: 50kg
Leg Raise: 1 x 25

J L S
11-03-2011, 01:43 PM
training is going well i see... way to smash that old squat record, there is simply no better feeling than coming up with a squat that would have stapled your teeth to the floor before!

macdaknife
11-03-2011, 04:06 PM
Bloody hell mate... that's 5 sessions since I last caught up with your log! You're smashing 'em in bro... great work!

thecityalive
11-03-2011, 05:55 PM
Workin that snatch I see. Hehe. Perhaps we could "race" I am in no hurry to get to 400 (even though I wouldn't mind squatting that). I've taken a very linear approach to my lifts so far...perhaps I could. IDK.

J.C.
11-04-2011, 12:12 PM
training is going well i see... way to smash that old squat record, there is simply no better feeling than coming up with a squat that would have stapled your teeth to the floor before!

Yeah, the squat is flying right now. I'm not as scared of the weight any more.


Bloody hell mate... that's 5 sessions since I last caught up with your log! You're smashing 'em in bro... great work!

I know, I'm surprised I pulled off 5 sessions in a week too.


Workin that snatch I see. Hehe. Perhaps we could "race" I am in no hurry to get to 400 (even though I wouldn't mind squatting that). I've taken a very linear approach to my lifts so far...perhaps I could. IDK.

Well, I'm not going to be aggressively competitive about it or anything! It's good to have a few people to run along with. I'm past linear progression too. I'm not rotating main lifts yet but I am rotating rep ranges each week so I'm getting a new max every 3 weeks, which means we're probably progressing at around the same rate.

J.C.
11-04-2011, 12:20 PM
04/11/11 - Intensity Day

BW: 96.3 PR

Squat: 160kg x 3 PR
160kg x 2

Bench:
90kg x 2 x 2 PR
90kg x 3 PR
90kg x 2

I did more sets on bench because it's a weak move for me and I want more of a training effect.

Deadlift:
175kg x 3 PR

I think I over-extended my neck because it started to hurt afterwards. Now that I'm typing this up there's a dull pain shooting down the left side of my neck. Let's hope it's nothing serious. Probably just need to take some ibuprofen and ice it.

Weighted Pull-ups: 7.5kg x 5 x 3 PR

thecityalive
11-04-2011, 04:45 PM
Indeed. You are also about 13.6 kg heaver than I.

Nice deadlift PR. How did that feel at the top of the ascent? You probably just got a nerve pinched or something.

J.C.
11-09-2011, 03:33 PM
Thanks man. It felt OK actually. It was only after I put the bar down that it felt weird.

I spent a few days visiting a friend so I had to take some time off lifting which helped my neck sort itself out. Back to it again now.

J.C.
11-09-2011, 03:37 PM
09/11/11

Weightlifting practice

Fast work today, fairly light weights although I forgot my sheet so I didn't write anything down. It was about 40kg (95lbs) for 4x5 of snatches, overhead squats, hang snatches, high-pulls and upright rows. Finished up with some inverted rows and some chins.

Very tough on the shoulders but I have to keep telling myself that it hurts because my rotator cuff is weak and my shoulders are tight, so it's better to work through the pain and strengthen the area than develop worse problems along the line. I think bench press specialists would benefit from training snatches!

macdaknife
11-10-2011, 01:52 AM
5 PRs in 1 session (and another for your weight)? seriously, great work JC... just awesome!

J L S
11-10-2011, 01:44 PM
nice bench PR's JC!

J.C.
11-12-2011, 12:10 PM
12/11/10 - Intensity Day

So I had a kind of deload this week. I was away for a few days and missed my volume session on Monday. Felt slow and creaky going into this but after a 20min warm-up I was feeling pretty good.

BW: 95.8kg

Squat:
160 x 1
165 x 2 PR

Extra singles
165 x 1 - slow
160 x 1 - good
160 x 1

Push Press
50 x 3
60 x 2
70 x 1 failed on 2nd rep, got angry and tried again
70kg x 2 PR
70 x 1 x 4, failed on fifth.
60kg x 5

I felt really, really tired today after the squatting and pressing and I just couldn't face deadlifts so I decided to do rack pulls instead. Never done these before but figured it would work the grip and lockout strength without destroying me like full deadlifts do.

Rack Pull from below the knee
180kg x 3 (deadlift 1rm)
190kg x big fucking fail. Didn't move an inch!

Chins:12.5 x 5 x 3 PR

J.C.
11-14-2011, 02:08 PM
14/11/11

Sore lower back today but went in anyway.

Squat: 140kg x 5 x 3 - sloppy, my back was seizing up between sets.

Called it there and stretched out. It's only muscular tightness from having a few days off last week, but it was bad enough to interfere with my worksets and there's no point beating myself into the ground for the sake of it. It would just extend the recovery period and be worse in the long run.

Bit annoying but I think I made the right decision. I'll do upper-body tomorrow and if the back's better I'll throw in some RDLs and front squats.

J.C.
11-15-2011, 07:46 AM
15/11/11

Back felt a lot better but my left shoulder and triceps felt bad. I might have shot myself in the foot by taking a week off. Training has been a shock to the system this week. Still, I got some stuff done. I'll dedicate some time to rehab and mobility and get it back on track for next week.

Bench Press
80 x 5
82.5 x 5 x 3 PR

Shoulder hurt the whole time and my left triceps felt numb afterwards.

Bent-over Row 80 x 5 x 3

Pull-ups 8

Gave up and played around on machines for about ten minutes. Did some pec-dec flies, press-downs and machine rows for 15-25 reps each.

J L S
11-15-2011, 12:08 PM
nothing wrong with shutting a session down early for extra recovery JC! hope you heal up and get rid of the little pains etc fast!

macdaknife
11-16-2011, 03:59 PM
You don't sound too happy at the moment buddy but you still managed 4 PRs in the last 3 sessions fella... great work as usual!

A little bit of rest and you'll be smashing into it again I have no doubt.

J.C.
11-18-2011, 10:29 AM
Thanks for the support guys, I think taking a few days off last week just screwed up my momentum and instead of coming back in at a slightly lighter poundage I just tried to stick to the plan as if I'd never been away and it hasn't worked. I had a crap week of training and I kind of f'd up my session today so I've learned my lesson. Going to reset next week and try and fit in some good, heavy, but not maximal, lifting.

18/11/11

The plan was to hit a new 1rm of 170.

Squat:
160 x 1 (slow, tripled it two weeks ago)
167.5 x FAIL, grrrrr.

I failed at quite a high spot so I had to drop a fair way once it stopped, and on the drop put a lot of pressure on my left elbow. It felt like I'd hit the 'funny-bone' and my left arm felt like jelly afterwards.

This prevented me from going heavy on bench so instead I did a high-rep set to get some blood-flow going to the elbow joint.

Bench: 60kg (135lbs) x 22

Went home as I didn't have deadlifts or pull-ups in me.

Plan to get this thing back on the tracks:

Monday: stick with the 5x5. It works.
Wednesday: I may ditch the weightlifting sessions. I'm not a good oly-lifter and I'm losing a day of heavy training.
Friday: I'm currently rotating 3rm, 2rm, 1rm over three weeks. This is probably too much so I'm going to do more sub-maximal training. Probably rotate 3x3, 4x2, 5x1. This way I'll get more rep experience with heavy weight but I won't be flirting with failure each week.

Thoughts?

J.C.
11-21-2011, 06:20 AM
21/11/11 - Volume Lower

A slight reset this week.

Squat:
140 x 5 x 2
142.5 x 5 x 1

Excellent sets. Good depth and fast bounce.

Front Squat
90kg x 5 x 3 - leaning a bit too far forward but more comfortable on the wrists, following Sully and City's advice.

SLDL: 110 x 10 x 2
-dropset to-
Dimmel Deadlifts: 60 x 15

thecityalive
11-21-2011, 06:46 AM
Front squats are really about knowing the point of equilibrium. Lean too far back, and you can't get out of the hole...Lean too far forward and you will most likely shoot up with your hips or dump the weight forward. Just shoot straight down in the hole and pop back up.

J.C.
11-22-2011, 07:24 AM
22/11/11 - Volume Upper

Weight: 95.8kg

Bench:
60 x 5
70 x 5
80 x 5
85 x 5 x 2 - Shoulder and elbow still feeling weird
80 x 6

Bent-over Row: 87.5 x 5 x 3 PR

Chins: 9,9,6

Round-back extensions on cable pulley:
20kg x 20
30kg x 20

Finished up with 15reps on the chest press machine with very tucked elbows.

Note: My left shoulder is bugging me at the moment so I may switch to close-grip bench press and tricep movements for a bit. Wide grip seems to aggravate it. If I really hammer close-grip bench and overhead press with both volume and intensity it should make up for ditching the standard bench press for a bit.

J.C.
11-22-2011, 07:24 AM
22/11/11 - Volume Upper

Weight: 95.8kg

Bench:
60 x 5
70 x 5
80 x 5
85 x 5 x 2 - Shoulder and elbow still feeling weird
80 x 6

Bent-over Row: 87.5 x 5 x 3 PR

Chins: 9,9,6

Round-back extensions on cable pulley:
20kg x 20
30kg x 20

Finished up with 15reps on the chest press machine with very tucked elbows.

Note: My left shoulder is bugging me at the moment so I may switch to close-grip bench press and tricep movements for a bit. Wide grip seems to aggravate it. If I really hammer close-grip bench and overhead press with both volume and intensity it should make up for ditching the standard bench press for a bit.

macdaknife
11-22-2011, 09:27 AM
Nice row PR buddy and great chins!
I had a niggle in my left elbow and shoulder when I did the backside of arms routine (I think it was the weighted dips). I had to ease right off on anything like that for a while (I think that's when I started deadlifting) and Off Road recommended doing loads of Lying L-Flyes... seemed to help.

J.C.
11-23-2011, 06:13 PM
Thanks man. The chins are slowly but definitely improving. It might not be clear but I'm rotating chins and pull-ups, bodyweight and weighted over two weeks.

So it will be:
Week 1 chin-ups / Week 2 pull-ups
Monday: volume - increase reps each time.
Friday: weighted - 3x5, increase weight.

So it's happening slowly but it's really nice to see a definite improvement each time instead of just plateauing like I have in the past. Looks like I stumbled on a really basic conjugate method eh? It's proving harder to increase max reps than max weight though. 3x10 will be a good milestone when I hit it!

J.C.
11-23-2011, 06:22 PM
23/11/11 - Recovery Day

BW: 95.3kg

I normally train the oly lifts with a group on Wednesday nights but I had something on this evening. I managed to squeeze in a quick session this morning instead.

Power cleans:
70 x 3
70 x 3
75 x 3
80 x 3 x 3

Front Squat (after clean)
80 x 3

Good quick session. Real nice recovery workout. I felt a bit sore this morning but a few hours after the workout most of that soreness had gone. It goes to show that some light exercise really helps sometimes. 85kg used to be my max for a very sloppy clean and I routinely missed 80kg. Today I did good multiple reps with it and felt much more confident. With a bit more work on technique I think I can get to a 100kg fairly soon. Which would be nice.

J.C.
11-26-2011, 08:10 AM
25/11/11 - Intensity Day

I won't be maxing out so much in the run-up to Christmas and will instead focus on getting more reps in at a sub-maximal level. This should build confidence under the bar, help improve technique.

BW: 95.6kg

Squat:
150 x 3
152.5 x 3
155kg x 3 x 3

Good depth. Not as fast I'd like at that weight.

Close-grip bench 80 x 5 x 3

Chins:
15kg x 5 PR
12.5kg x 5
10kg x 5

I was in a bit of a rush so I skipped deadlifts today. This was meant to be an easier week to get things moving again so I'll be hammering it hard next week and trying to get the volume up a bit before Christmas.

macdaknife
11-26-2011, 02:38 PM
great chinning again buddy!

J.C.
11-28-2011, 03:36 PM
The chins are running quite a bit ahead of the pull-ups at the moment. I'm pleased with +15kg x 5.

28/11/11 - Volume Day

Marathon training session today. Basically, I was feeling a bit moody earlier and I want to have tomorrow off so I combined my lower and upper body sessions. Took nearly 2 hours but it was a good feeling to push beyond my normal 70mins.

Squats:
140 x 5
145 x 5 x 2
145 x 4 - so close! Pissed off I missed this. A spotter helped me make it up, but I know I can definitely squat 3x5. Gah!

Front Squat:
90 x a few. Can't remember how many I did, I was feeling real dizzy after squats.

SLDL
110 x 10 x 2 - grip giving out before legs. Straps would help.

Pull-ups:
6,6,5,5,6,4

I also did some more RDLS at 110 from the rack in between pull-ups. Got a sweet lat pump. Felt like I had wings.

Push Press
50kg x 5 x 5

Close-grip bench press
60kg x 18 (rep-out till failure)

This is a bit different from what I normally do. It doesn't look like that much when I type it out but I was feeling done for by the end. I never quite recovered from the squats. I should have done the push presses first and I could have handled more weight.

The bonus of doing quite a lot is that my appetite is huge right now. Just had a big bowl of chilli with pasta and think I'm going to have a pizza before bed!

macdaknife
11-28-2011, 04:27 PM
No surprise you're hungry fella... that's a lot of work!
How were the SLDLs & RDLs at 110kg? They really get me blowing when the weight gets up!

thecityalive
11-28-2011, 05:24 PM
I know you were having questions about front squats...have you met a point of near-resolve yet? Wonderful work being done here. I have a love/hate relationship with dizziness after squats. Is your working capacity too much for your volume work?

J L S
11-29-2011, 01:54 PM
nice work JC, alot of consistent sessions, the sub max work is a good idea IMO! its really been helping with my bench

J.C.
11-30-2011, 04:51 PM
No surprise you're hungry fella... that's a lot of work!
How were the SLDLs & RDLs at 110kg? They really get me blowing when the weight gets up!

They were good, but my grip is letting me down. I start off and it's all business then suddenly I'm at rep 6 and my fingers are loosening, rep 7 is a bit of a struggle, then I have to reset and grind out 8, 9 and 10 while the bar is slipping from my fingers. I could use straps but I'd rather build a stronger grip. I'll just stick with this weight for a bit and get used to it.


I know you were having questions about front squats...have you met a point of near-resolve yet? Wonderful work being done here. I have a love/hate relationship with dizziness after squats. Is your working capacity too much for your volume work?

Getting better, but I have horrible shoulders, so mobility is a constant issue. I was weightlifting today and we realized my grip is also a bit narrow. As these things slowly improve, they all add up to a more comfortable front squat. So I'm getting there but it will take work to keep a rigid upper, back, high elbows, wide grip, and loose wrists. Everything will come together over time.

I can't handle a lot of volume but I am trying to increase my work capacity. Oddly my recovery is good enough for frequent sessions, but my endurance isn't good enough for long sessions. So I can squat 3-4 times a week heavy but I can't train for more than 90mins without suffering. Obviously an individual metabolism thing.


nice work JC, alot of consistent sessions, the sub max work is a good idea IMO! its really been helping with my bench

Yeah, there's something satisfying about getting a few reps done with a really heavy weight. Trying to break PRs can b nerve-wracking but doing lots of singles feels like good, hard work.

J.C.
11-30-2011, 05:04 PM
30/11/11

A sort of recovery session, a bit of weightlifting and then some bench.

Cleans: working on technique with 60-70kg. Lots of reps. Maybe 7 sets of 4, something like that.

Bench: 80kg x 8 x 3

Oh, and I'm going to gain weight again. My strength was flying before but as my weight-gain slowed down so did my strength so... Christmas is coming up and I'm going to bulk up hard. Fuck it, I'm still fairly lean and I'm tall enough to handle any extra weight quite well. The plan is to get massive and then I'll do My First Cut™ afterwards. I've been hovering around 96kg for a few weeks so I'm going to aim for 100kg which is 220lbs, then I'll trim down. If I can get to 98kg by Christmas that would be respectable.

J.C.
12-02-2011, 04:13 PM
02/12/11

BW: 96.8kg PR closing in on 97, 98, 99... magic 100kg.

Been busy with work and stuff. I did a very quick session today before the gym closed and smashed a PR on squats.

Warmup sets then
Squat: 170kg (374lbs) x 2 PR

I failed a 1rm at this weight a couple of weeks ago and thought I'd re-test today as I had so little time. First one came up easily, got angry and smashed a second! Super happy with that. :)

thecityalive
12-02-2011, 06:14 PM
There are some days I forget these numbers are in Kilos. LOL. I can't imagine doing bench and squats the same day anymore. Last time I did that set up was in high school when we did the BFS program. So what exactly happened with this sound or stain you had?

J.C.
12-03-2011, 07:27 AM
So what exactly happened with this sound or stain you had?

????

thecityalive
12-03-2011, 12:07 PM
I think I was reading an old post...it was late. Haha. Did you rep those in the same set or two singles?

macdaknife
12-03-2011, 05:00 PM
Awesome squatting buddy, great work!

J.C.
12-04-2011, 06:15 AM
Did you rep those in the same set or two singles?

It was a double. I thought it would be a 1RM, but it came up fast, I heard the guy behind me shout "Rack!" and thought "...hell no, I'm getting another rep!"


Awesome squatting buddy, great work!

Thanks man. I've a had a couple of weeks coming back from a reset so it feels great to hit a PR again. 180kg (400lbs) is going to fall soon!

J.C.
12-05-2011, 02:51 PM
05/12/11 - Volume Lower

BW: 97.5kg PR

Squat:
140kg x 5
145kg x 5
147.5kg x 5 x 3 - good sets. Could prob go heavier.

Front Squat - just experimenting with the grip. Still don't feel comfortable enough to go too heavy.
62.5kg x 5
90 x 3 x 2
80 x 5

SLDL: 110 x 10 x 2 - 1st time I've kept the grip for the whole set!

RDL: 110 x 5 x 3 - as fast as possible.

Decline Sit-up:10kg x 10 slow + 5 unweighted dropset.

A good 5 sets of squats. Breezed through everything else. Will start going heavier on SLDLs now my grip strength has caught up.