Week 18 – 5/3/1 – Day 64

Cycle #5

Press:  3×80, 3×95, 6×105 Rep PR

These felt pretty good.  Used a false grip on first and second sets, regular grip on the last set.  I think it’s much easier to roll back the bar into the wrists with a regular grip.  Maintaining the bar at the base of my palm required a lot of forearm work.  Going back down, I made sure not to drop the weight- usually when I do this I end up losing my tight grip and having the bar roll back into my wrists.  Overall, pretty happy about the lift.  I’d really like to get it up to 10×105.

BBB Press:  5x10x60

Much easier than the previous press day.  Last press day I was all over the place.

Chin-ups:  6/4/3/3/3

The last couple of sets were grinders.  I did them right after doing a set of BBB press.

BB Assistance:

DB Military Press – 4 x12 x 10lbs
Side Laterals – 4 x12 x 10lbs
Barbell Curls – 4 x12 x 30lbs
Preacher Curls – 4 x10 x 35lbs

Performed some very light additional assistance work.

Week 17 – 5/3/1 – Day 63

Cycle #5

Bench:  3x5xBar + 5×115, 5×135, 10×150 Rep PR

Well snap.  I was pretty surprised at myself for cranking out that many.  The gains I’ve made on the bench seems too good to be true.  Driving my feet into the ground really helped stabilize my core and in turn keep my upper back rigid.  I think my form was pretty good- didn’t feel like my right or left side was working more than the other.  Having a solid arch really helped engage my upper back and lats as well.

Dips:  10/5/5/4 + Dumbbell Fly:  4x12x15lb + Tricep Pushdown:  5x20x25lb + Push-ups: 10/11/10/6

Bodybuilder style accessories.  The dips were pretty difficult- my triceps got gassed pretty quickly.


1mile 3.0spd @ 10% incline

Week 17 – 5/3/1 – Day 62

Cycle #5

Deadlift:  5×100, 5×140, 3×160 + 5×190, 5×225, 11×250 Rep PR

Crushed the deadlifts today.  Looks like I’m back into the swing of things.  Yesterday’s press day was definitely off- my head wasn’t in the right place.  Alternating grip on the last set.

BBB Deadlift:  5x10x145

Felt relatively light.  I also used the belt on every set here.  I touch and go’ed all the sets.  The latter sets I would do a quick 5-rep, pause, then finish the set.  The one thing I don’t like about doing touch and go is that I end up performing more of a straight legged deadlift as opposed to a regular deadlift.  I tried to quickly drop my butt after each rep so that I was engaging my hamstrings each time and not pulling with a straight leg.


10 x BW + 10 x 10lb Weighted Sit-ups
25 x 25lb Side Bends
10 x Lying Leg Raises
6 x Kneeling Ab-Wheel Roll Outs

My core was pretty shot from the deadlifting.  I could barely keep my body rigid on the ab wheel roll outs- my back would just buckle in.  Weighted sit-ups don’t feel as terrible anymore compared to the first few times I did them.


3min. 2.5 spd warm-up @ 10% incline
4 x 1min. 5.0 spd sprints with 1min. rests @ 10% incline
7.0 spd sprint to 1 mile mark @ no incline

Left knee was feeling scarily unstable.  Felt better later.

Week 17 – 5/3/1 – Day 61

Cycle #5

Back from Florida after a week and I’m sufficiently burnt to a crisp.  Upper back, shoulders, upper chest were all still pretty tender today from the sunburn so stretching them out and just moving hurt a bit.

Press:  5×40, 5×50, 3×60 + 5×75, 5×85, 5×100

I fudged the 4th set and got stuck and expended too much energy on the latter reps.  I only got what I needed for the top set unfortunately.

BBB Press:  10/10/8/7/6 x 60

Actually did 10 sets accidentally- wasn’t really thinking.  I was wondering why I was so tired

Chin-ups:  6/4/3/3/3

These felt very strong.  I was pulling myself up really fast on the first rep.  I’m happy about this; this shows that I’m getting stronger.

Week 16 – 5/3/1 – Day 60

Cycle #4

Deadlift:  3×170, 3×205, 3×240, 2×275, 1×315, 1×345, 1×365 Rep PR

I went for single rep maxes today.  I really wanted to test and see if the numbers held true on the spreadsheet.  I broke my single rep maxes 3 times today- once for the 315 pull, once for the 345 pull and once for the 365 pull.  I would say that I did the 315 pull with exceptional form, the 345 with ok form and the 365 with pretty terrible form.  My lower back definitely feels strained today.  I obviously am still going to follow the 5/3/1 protocol as planned.  I am, however, incredibly happy I’m able to pull so much weight off the floor.  I think I’m going to have to adjust my 1 year goal to a 1 rep max of 405, hah.  Probably, getting ahead of myself here, but I’m determined to be victorious.


1 mile walk @ 2.5-3.0 spd

Week 16 – 5/3/1 – Day 59

Cycle #4

Today was a pretty relaxing day.  Very light lifts.

Press:  5×45, 5×55, 5×65

Very light and relaxing.  Used a false grip.

BBB Press:  3x10x55

Got a bit of a burn on these reps.

Chin-ups:  5/4/4/4

Did these spread out even after the 5/3/1 and BBB presses.  Actually, also did some lat-pull down and bent over barbell rows here and there.  Tried to do some power cleans, but they ended up being very ugly- used a lot of my arm to pull and flip the bar.

One Year Down, A Lifetime to Go

My lifting goals for May 2012 are:

Squat – 1 x 230

Bench – 1 x 185

Press – 1 x 135

Deadlift – 1 x 315

Row – 1 x 225

I typed these goals down a little over a year ago.  I weighed around a buck fifty and I was determined.  With my newly acquired free time, I became very excited thinking about all the uninterrupted lifting I could do.  All the progress and achievements I could accumulate from having a consistent workout regiment can finally be realized without having school get in the way.

Six months of StrongLifts netted me 2 plate squat and 1.5xBW squat as well as 30 pounds on my frame.  Another 3 grueling months of MadCow5x5 and I finally hopped on to Wendler’s 5/3/1 regiment.  Looking at my current numbers, I have theoretically achieved my Squat, Bench and Deadlift goals.  I’m really tempted to test my rep maxes this week.  I have never done single rep maxes and so I think I’m going to try and read up on preparing for it.

My lifting goals for May 2013:

Squat – 1×315

Bench – 1×225

Press – 1×145

Deadlift – 1×360

Looking at these goals right now, and comparing those numbers to what I’ve been lifting, it almost seems like I’m going from lifting pebbles to boulders.  Looking at the numbers makes me reminisce about the fear I had the first time I put 45lb plates on the bar for squatting or when I put 45lb plates on the bar for benching.  Very exciting.  My primary focus in this year’s lifting will be my bench and over head press.  These two lifts have lagged behind my squats and deadlift numbers since I started lifting and I am determined to hit these numbers in a year’s time.

Week 15 – 5/3/1 – Day 58

Cycle #4

Squat:  5×125, 5×155, 3×185 + 5×210, 3×240, 4×270

I was pretty disappointed that I couldn’t get 5 out of the top set.  I was actually going for more, but I couldn’t finish the 5th rep.

BBB Squat:  10/8/6/6/5 x 145

I didn’t use my belt on these sets.  I probably should have.  My legs were just dead after the 5/3/1.


10 x 10lb Weighted Situps
25 x 25lb Side Bends
10 x Lying Leg Raises


1 mile at 2.5 spd

Week 15 – 5/3/1 – Day 57

Cycle #4

Bench:  5×75, 5×95, 3×110 + 5×135, 3×145, 6×165 ?? Rep PR

The guy didn’t understand when I said “don’t help until I say so”, so I’m not sure if I would even want to count 6 reps on my own.  Used a PL arch to really dig my upper back into the bench and engage the lats.

BBB Bench:  5x10x85

I maintained a regular width false grip on all sets.  No load imbalances, felt very balanced.  Also tucked elbows.

Dips:  9/5/3/3 + Dumbbell Fly:  4x10x15lb + Tricep Pushdown:  4x20x20lb + Push-ups: 9/8/6/5

Used sort of a body-builder assistance on top of BBB bench.  I was feeling especially fresh so I did a tiny bit more work.


Treadmill 10% incline
2min. warm-up 2.5spd
2×5.5spd sprints
Walk remainder until 1 mile

Week 15 – 5/3/1 – Day 56

Cycle #4

Deadlift:  5×120, 5×150, 3×175 + 5×205, 3×230, 10×260 Rep PR

I don’t know what to say.  It seems almost fantastical that I actually cranked 10 out.  Determination and putting that number in your head really does wonders.

BBB Deadlift:  5x10x135

Messed up.  I wrote down cycle #1 BBB deadlift numbers.  And here I was thinking things were getting easier.  Go brain farts.


10 x 10lb Weighted Situps
15 x Ab Wheel Rollouts
25 x 25lb Side Bends
5 x10 x Lying Leg Raises