5/3/1 Cycle 1 Week 2 Bench, Squat, Deadlift

10×65 / 5×95
3×115 / 3×125 / 3×140

Bench was pretty heavy.  Thumbless grip.  Trying to figure out why the load is more concentrated on the right arm.  Frustrating.

5xBar / 3×95 / 3×115
3×140 / 3×160 / 3×180

Warm-up set was pretty painful for the right shoulder.  Will need to do mobility exercises prior to get the shoulders prepped for low bar position.  Interestingly…I decided to narrow my grip width by a lot and it actually lessened impingement on the shoulder.  Usually, it’s the other way around due to lack of shoulder flexibility.  This also allowed me to have a more upright position and avoid doing a good morning on the positive.  Lowered lower back engagement so no sore back.

3×155 / 3×175 / 3×205

Pretty solid on these.  Was very happy to do these again.  Deadlifts are by far my favorite of the compound lifts.

Seated DB Press:  10×35 / 8×35 / 6×35

Somehow did worse on these than previous db pressing.

Chinups:  3 / 2.5 / 2.5 / 2 / 1.5 / 1.5

Actually did the other 4 sets.  These felt very strong.  No doubt getting some help from the curls.

Incline Bench:  8×85 / 6×85 / 4×85

Struggled with these a lot.  Again, same issue with regular benching, right lats, triceps and upper chest were getting more strained than left side.

Preacher Curls:  3x10x40

Pretty easy, struggled from fatigue on the last set, but I think I can get up to 50 for next time.

DB Bench:  3x10x35

Pretty easy as well.  Not sure of the dumb bell path, was using a pretty narrow path.  May go a bit wider to get more of the pecs involved.

DB Rows:  3x10x45

Pretty fatigued by the end of the session, but managed to complete all sets.  Was jerking a bit on the last few reps of the last set

5/3/1 Cycle 1 Week 2 Press

5×55 / 5×65 / 5×75

Kept the elbows under the bar instead of too far forward.  Helped dramatically with applying more force on the bar and getting the overhead much easier.  Also less strain on the wrists, trying to keep the bar at the base of the palm

Bench: 5x8x80

Felt unbalanced load on the bench.  Probably arching back too much.

Chinups:  2

Forgot to do the other 4 sets, doh!

Incline Press:  8×85 / 8×85 / 6×85

Pretty hard at 85lbs.  Also felt unbalanced load doing these.

DB Rows:  10×45 / 2x10x50

Pretty easy.  Decided to go up to 50lbs for the 2nd and 3rd sets.  Focusing on eliminating the use of momentum.

Seated DB Press:  3x10x35

Not bad.  Getting the dumbbells up on the last set was a little difficult.

BB Curls:  2x10x40 / 8×40

Supersetted these with the dumbbell press.  Struggled getting through the sets, but finished to failure.

5/3/1 Cycle 1 Week 1 Bench

5×65 / 5×80 / 3×95
5×100 / 5×120 / 5×135

Felt very confident on the bench press today.  Didn’t feel any load imbalances.  Slow negative to ensure I’m engaging everything equally and then explode upward on the positive.  Used a thumbless grip as well.

Barbell Rows: 5x10x95

Not bad for doing 5 sets of 10.  May switch to performing dumbbell rows instead.  I find that the lower bar position due to smaller plates is causing me to involve my lower back and hamstrings more as if doing a deadlift.

Barbell Curls:  10×40 / 6×40 / 8×40

Supersetted the barbell curls with the barbell rows.  Bad idea.  Both exercises target the biceps and so I quickly suffered from the fatigue when doing the barbell curls on the 2nd and 3rd sets.  Rested a bit longer before doing the last set.

Seated Tricep Extensions:  10×45 / 10×50 / 10×50

Love doing these.  Ever since discovering them while on the Madcow5x5 routine, I’ve always incorporated them in any routine needed some tricep isolation work.

Bent Lateral Raises:  10×15 / 10×10 / 10×10

Not a fan of doing these.  I’ll stick with them for a bit more to see if my shoulder strength improves from it.

Testing 1RMs

Decided to test where I’m at currently with my lifts so I tested 1RMs (single rep max)

Squat:  225lbs

Press:  95lbs

Deadlift:  245lbs

Bench:  175lbs

I’ll be using these numbers to program into a fresh cycle of 5/3/1 again.

I’ll admit I’ve been suffering from exercise ADD, so I’m going to have a run at 5/3/1 again for at least 3 cycles.

5×3 Bench Cycle – Week 3 – Moderate Bench Day

Close Grip Bench Press:  10xBar + 10×65 + 5x5x85
Incline Bench Press:  10xBar + 5×65 + 2x8x85 + 6×85
DB Rows:  3x10x45
Pull-ups:  1/1/1
Military Press:  3x10x50
Seated DB Extensions:  3x10x45
BB Curls:  2x10x40 + 4×50

Struggled with the incline bench press today.  Only right lats and upper chest were engaging.  Dumbbell rows were also a bit difficult.  Standing overhead presses were surprisingly pretty easy.  Seated dumbbell extensions were pretty easy as well.  Barbell curls were hard on the last set.  May have gone up to 50s accidentally.