Week 20 – 5/3/1 – Day 72

Cycle #5
Week 3 Day 3

Bench:  3x5xBar + 5×80, 3×95, 1×115 + 5×130, 3×150, 5×170 Rep PR

I went for a 6th rep, but got stuck halfway up.  I think I could have grinded that one out, but spotter took it from me too soon.  I had a pretty big arch and I felt it in my low back when I pressed back up.  Also, my right shoulder got strained somewhat.

BBB Press:  10/8/6/6 x 60lb

My right shoulder wasn’t liking the additional work after the bench.

BB Assistance:

Dips – 10/6/4/3
DB Fly – 4x10x15lb
Tricep Pushdown – 5x20x20lb
Push-ups – 10/8/6/5

Week 20 – 5/3/1 – Day 71

Cycle #5
Week 3 Day 2

Deadlift:  5×135, 3×150, 1×190 + 5×225, 3×250, 10×275 Rep PR

Deadlifts were significantly better today.  Extremely minimal lower back stress.  One thing I did differently was starting with a slightly more upright torso, but not dropping my butt too much.  Some reps almost looked like a straight legged deadlift.  Top set, I used chalk, belt and alternating (left palm down, right palm up).  Last 5 reps were grinders, but I cranked them out.  Looking back at the previous cycle and this one, I really think I’ve made some great gains on the lift.  Every top set, I’ve been shooting for at least 10 reps and I think this has made a vast improvement on my performance.  I said it before and I’ll say it again.  Coming into a lift with a prescribed goal in mind really helps you mentally prepare for that lift and to achieve that goal, however daunting it may be.

BB Assistance:

4x10x24lb – Good Mornings:  Used a fairly light weight and used the foam wrapped bars to make it a bit more comfortable behind the neck.  I went lighter because I had to press the bar up and bring it behind my neck.  I’ve injured my shoulder before when I’ve done this so I wanted to avoid injuring it again.
6/4/2/2xBW – Chin-ups:  Did chin-ups the day before so my biceps may have been a bit more fatigued.  I wasn’t pulling straight up either so I was exerting more energy than needed to pull myself up.
4x10x80 – Bent Over Rows:  Used the preset bars.  Haven’t done these in a while and I do miss doing them a bit.  Form looked pretty good from glancing at a side mirror during a rep.
3x10xBW – Hanging Knee Raise:  Not bad at all.  A few grinders on the latter reps of the last set.

Conditioning:

1.5min. x 2.5spd warm-up 10% incline
3 x 1min. 5.0 spd sprints, 1min. 2.5spd rest
1 x 1min. 7.0 spd sprint, 1 min. rest, no incline
1 x 1min. 8.0 spd sprint, 1 min. rest, no incline
2.5spd remainder until 1.0 mile

Week 19 – 5/3/1 – Day 69 + Day 70

Cycle #5
Week 3 Day 4 + Week 4 Day 1

Falling a bit behind on the log.  Doing some catch-up.

Friday, 8/10 (Squat Day):  3×200, 3×230, 2×260 Rep Failure + 10/8/6/5 x 145

Up until that Friday, I had missed my previous 2 squat sessions.  It definitely took it’s toll as I had an extremely difficult time getting the 260 up with a belt on.  The Boring But Big set wasn’t any prettier.  Not sure if I should dial the weight back down or not.  1 step back, 2 steps forward?  We’ll see how the weight feels this coming Friday.

Monday, 8/13 (Press Day):  5×85, 3×100, 3×110 Rep PR + BBB Bench:  5x10x100 + Chin-ups:  6/4/4 + BBRows:  2x10x70lbs

I wasn’t too excited about doing presses yesterday.  I re-injured my right shoulder the past weekend and it wasn’t feeling wonderful.  I sucked it up and did the presses anyway.  Used a false grip and really engaged my lats.  I had read earlier in the day that using the lats as a shelf really helps with the lift and indeed it did.  The press definitely feels much better with a false grip compared to a regular grip- significantly less wrist strain which in turn provides a much more stable pressing foundation at the bottom of the lift.

Week 19 – 5/3/1 – Day 67

Cycle #5

Deadlift:  5×115, 3×145, 1×180 + 3×205, 3×235, 10×265

Did much better this week’s pull.  Had an alternating grip with a dab of chalk.  I ripped a previously healing scab off with some additional skin on my left shin- fun.  Felt very little to no lower back strain- I kept my core rigid and my lower back tight to avoid rounding.  I had a side mirror to check my form.  It seems that my starting torso posture is a bit too horizontal to the floor.  Lowering my butt down and raising my chest at the start helped with avoiding the rounding and preemptively tightening the lower back and posterior chain.

BBB Deadlift:  5x10x145

Decided to perform these with no belt on.  Suffice to say, it was definitely a bit more difficult, but not terribly difficult.

BB Assistance:

4x10xBar – Good Mornings:  Having a high bar position with this exercise sort of makes it a bit painful on the neck
6/3/3/3/3xBW – Chin-ups:  Kept my body underneath the bar compared to pulling up away from the bar.
4x10xBar – Bent Over Rows:  Pretty easy.  Pulled explosively to my lower chest.

Conditioning:

5min. 2.5spd

Week 19 – 5/3/1 – Day 66

Cycle #5

Press:  5×45, 5×55, 3×70 + 3×80, 3×95, 2×105 

Used a regular grip on all sets including warm-up.  Seems like I’m a lot weaker when using regular grip.

BBB Press:  10/10/8/6/6

Really fatigued traps by this point.  I just felt like I didn’t have any gas at all.

BB Assistance:

DB Military Press – 4 x12 x 10lbs
Side Laterals/Rear Laterals – 2 x 2 x12 x 10lbs
Barbell Curls – 4 x12 x 20lbs
Preacher Curls – 4 x10 x 35lbs

Conditioning:

2min. x 2.0 spd, 10% incline warm-up
2 x 1min. 5.0 spd, 10% incline sprint
6.0 spd + 7.0 spd + 8.0 spd x 1min. no incline
Cool down fast walk to 1mile

Week 18 – 5/3/1 – Day 65

Cycle #5

This past week has been pretty hectic with vacations and other obligations.  I missed my bench day and missed my squat day for the second time in a row (!!).  I think going to the gym in the AM is the solution to all these woes.

Deadlift:  5×115, 5×145, 3×175 + 3×205, 3×235, 8×265

The pull was pretty difficult today.  I think I may have used too much back and too little hamstrings and core as I got to the later reps.  I was too gassed by then.  It was a bit disappointing knowing I pulled 9×270 the previous week.

BBB Deadlift:  5x10x145

Pretty easy.  First two sets were a bit taxing, but the remaining sets were pretty easy.