Week3 – Day6 + 7 + 8

Didn’t get to plug in my numbers for all of last week.  Busy, busy, busy.

 

Day6

Squats:  5×120 + 5×150 + 5×180 + 5×210 + 5×240

Bench:  5×70 + 5×85 + 5×100 + 5×120 + 5×135

Rows:  5×75 + 5×95 + 5×115 + 5×130 + 5×150

Pull-ups:  3/2/2

Weighted Sit-ups:  3x8x10lbs

 

Day 7

Squats:  5×120 + 5×150 + 5×180 + 5x5x180

Press:  5×45 + 5×55 + 5×60 + 5×70

Deadlift:  5×160 + 5×190 + 5×225 + 5×255

 

Day 8

Squats:  5×120 + 5×150 + 5×180 + 5×210 + 3×250 + 8×180

Bench:  5×70 + 5×85 + 5×100 + 5×120 + 3×140 + 8×100

Rows:  5×75 + 5×95 + 5×115 + 5×130 + 3×155 + 5×115

Week2 – Day5 Heavy

Squats:  5×120 + 5×145 + 5×175 + 5×205 + 3×240 + 8×175

Bench:  5×70 + 5×85 + 5×100 + 5×120 + 3×135 + 8×100

Rows:  5×75 + 5×95 + 5×115 + 5×130 + 3×150 + 8×115

Tricep Extensions:  10×40 + 10×45 + 10×50
Bicep Curls:  3x8x50
Dips:  8/7/4

Conditioning:  Incline treadmill @ 2.5 spd – 5 min.

Week1 – Day2 Heavy – The Grind

Weight:  184 lbs

Did the heavy day today with heavy triples.  It was pretty difficult.  I didn’t use the belt on the top set.  The increase in volume is definitely throwing me off.  I’m going to give myself another week to see if I can adjust to the volume before I drop the weights.  I will most likely belt up starting on the 4th set, even, on the medium days.

Squats:  5×115 + 5×145 + 5×175 + 5×200 + 3×235 + 8×175

Bench:  5×65 + 5×80 + 5×95 + 5×110 + 3×130 + 8×95

Rows:  5×75 + 5×90 + 5×115 + 5×125 + 3×150 + 8×115

Tricep Extensions:  10×40 + 10×45 + 10×50
Bicep Curls:  3x8x50
Dips:  8/7/4

Conditioning:  Incline treadmill @ 2.5 spd – 5 min.

Week 10 – Madcow5x5 – Day 28C

Squat:

5 x 135
5 x 160
5 x 190
5 x 225
3 x 260
8 x 190

Not bad at all.  Got plenty of rest time before the heavy triple.

Bench:

3 x Bar
5 x 75
5 x 95
5 x 115
5 x 135
3 x 150
8 x 115

PL arched on the triple and it was really easy.  One thing I noticed when I don’t PL arch is that my traps and upper right shoulder always loses tightness when lowering the weight down almost as if my right shoulder is slipping.  I think this may be happening because I’m not engaging my lats properly.  PL arching allows me to put myself in a position where the lats are fully engaged.

Rows:

5 x 75
5 x 95
5 x 115
5 x 135
3 x 150
8 x 115

Triple was definitely pretty heavy.  Definitely jerking the weight.

Accessories:

Dips – 14/8/5:  Difficult was a bit more “uniform” across all reps.  Before I would gas out fairly quickly, but today’s felt like a more gradual progression of fatiguing from rep to rep until the very end of each set.

Barbell Curls – 8×50/8×55/6×60:  Pretty difficult.  Again, my right arm felt like it was doing a bit more work than the left.

Tricep Extensions – 8×50/8×55/6×60:  Not bad.  I rocked my upper arm backwards a bit on the negative.  I guess this uses a bit of shoulder.  I made sure to get ample rest between sets.

Week 6 – Madcow5x5 – Day 17C

Weight:  176.8
Body Fat:  11.9%

Squat:

5 x 135
5 x 160
5 x 190
5 x 225
3 x 265
8 x 190

Accidentally did 5 more lbs than I was supposed to.  I’m pretty happy that I’m progressing still.  No stalls yet, luckily.  2 more weeks and I’m back to 270.  At my current weight…265 is 1.5 x bodyweight.  Glad to be back here again.

Bench:

5 x 70
5 x 85
5 x 100
5 x 120
3 x 140
5 x 100

Form felt very inconsistent.  This was probably the case because I didn’t like what I saw on film when I reviewed my technique after each set.  From the looks of it, it doesn’t seem like I’m using full ROM.  Every article I’ve found on the net praising they have the correct way of benching have always emphasized not lowering the bar past elbows parallel to the bench. I’ve also read that you should tuck your elbows when pressing.  Now when I do this, I have to lower the bar from around face level to the top of my stomach or lower chest.  This then seems to turn into more of a shoulder workout than a chest workout.

Rows:

5 x 70
5 x 85
5 x 100
5 x 120
3 x 140
8 x 100

The triple felt heavy.  I made a note to tighten my entire body when pressing to avoid using hip drive.  I’ll have to post my video to get other people’s opinion, but I think I may be using a little hip drive.  I also lifted my chest up.

Accessories:

Weighted Dips – 12/9/6 x BW:  Was a bit disappointed.  I want to get to 3×20 reps before I add weights.  I’m focusing more on hypertrophy at this point in my workout.  These are, after all, accessory exercises.

Barbell Curls – 8×40, 8×50, 6×55:  Not bad, last set was pretty damn hard though.  Noticed that my left elbow wasn’t tucked in like my right elbow.  I think I need to narrow my grip a bit.  Seems like the bar is shifted to the left a bit.

Tricep Extensions – 8×40, 8×45, 7×50:  1 rep improvement from last week.  I was pretty scared that my right shoulder would pop up on the 7th rep.  I’ll stick with these weights again.

Week 5 – Madcow5x5 – Day 14C

Weight:  177.4
Body Fat:  13.8%

It’s been about 4 weeks since I’ve started tracking my weight and my body fat percentage. It doesn’t seem like I’m moving much.  Arms feel a bit bigger than before.  I think accessories can attribute to this.  Legs feel pretty much the same, pretty thick and beefy (makes it really hard to use the calipers).  I’ve also started using Livestrong’s MyPlate feature where I can lookup and record what I’ve eaten, etc.  It’s much nicer than fitday, another website I used a long time ago when counting calories.  From the looks of my food intake from this past week, it seems like I’m hovering around ~2000-2200 cals per day.  Although, I did notice that I was sort of getting away with a bit too much carbs and not enough protein.

Squats:

5 x 125
5 x 155
5 x 190
5 x 220
3 x 255 (belt)
8 x 190

These weren’t bad at all.  The triple was actually not too bad, definitely tough getting out of the hole.  I wish I could have recorded, but unfortunately, my camera’s SD card ran out of memory (‘effing bummer).  I did notice on my earlier sets though that going too deep caused my back to round and I felt the strain on my lower back.  I remedied this with the remaining sets and no back pain!  This definitely helped me out on the 8 repper.  Usually after performing the last 8 rep set, my back feels very strained.  I made sure that I rested adequately before doing the last set and making sure to keep everything tight so as to avoid cranking the weight from the lower back.

Bench:

5 x 65
5 x 85
5 x 100
5 x 115
3 x 135
8 x 100

Not too bad.  Experimented with a bit of a wider grip than last week and it sort of helped.  On the way down I had my elbows fairly close to my body and then when I pressed up, I flared them.  I also noticed that when squeezing my glutes and tucking my feet underneath me that I engaged my core a lot and really made my upper back rigid.  This also helped preventing my back from going into a hyper lordotic position.  Normally, I would simply just arch from my lower back, but today I felt like I was arching my entire back, thereby relieving the strain on the lower back.  It was a bit wobbly on a few reps, but work between the left and right arm seemed fairly even and I was happy about that.

Rows:

5 x 65
5 x 85
5 x 100
5 x 115
3 x 135
8 x 100

Not bad, the ramp weights are really light.  The triple was definitely heavy.  I feel like its quite a bit more difficult to become stronger on this lift compared to the other lifts.  The other lifts incorporate the entire body while the row focuses on the upper back and lats.  Stalling on this lift will definitely come much faster relatively comparing it to other big lifts like the squat or deadlift.

Accessories:

 Dips – 8xBW+5, 8xBW+5, 6xBW+5:  Not bad.  Missed 2 reps on the last set.  My right triceps felt like they were doing more work than my right.

Barbell Curls – 8×40, 8×50, 8×50:  Wasn’t too difficult.  Felt my right biceps get a bit more swollen than my right.  I’m truly puzzled why my right arm is dominating most of my lifts more than my left.  Going to try for 40-50-55 next week.

Tricep Extensions – 8×40, 8×45, 6×50:  Not bad, felt pretty even between my arms.  Last set was definitely pretty heavy.  I think I’ll stick with this set-rep weight ramp for next week.

Week 4 – Madcow5x5 – Day 11C

Squats:

5 x 120
5 x 150
5 x 180
5 x 210
3 x 250
8 x 180

Not bad.  Didn’t use the belt again.  Found myself leaning forward a bit on the 8 repper- felt it in the back afterwards.

Bench:

5 x 65
5 x 80
5 x 100
5 x 115
3 x 130
8 x 100

Still unstable on the lift.  Right side was working harder than the left on a few.  Nailed the lift on a few others.  One thing I changed up was to shrug and engage my traps.  This helped me tighten my lats immensely.  The hard part about pressing that I seem to keep messing up on is that when I try to squeeze my shoulder blades together, on the way up on the press, I seem to disengage the tightness in my right lat.

Rows:

5 x 65
5 x 85
5 x 100
5 x 115
3 x 130
8 x 100

Seemingly harder than before.  I’ve reduced my hip jerking movement so I can isolate the work to my upper back and biceps.  Controlled pull up, I think, is the best way to get the most out of this lift for what it’s intended for.  Jerking the bar up to my chest seemed to take away from the lift.  This definitely made it a bit harder.  I also focused on squeezing my shoulder blades together.

Accessories:

Dips – 3x8xBW:  These were considerably easier than before.  No pain in the shoulders afterwards also.  As opposed to going straight down and up, I instead followed my shoulders down.  So, from the side I would lower myself until I reached about 90 degrees between my forearm and upperarm then press myself back up.

Barbell Curls – 2x8x40, 8×50:  Easier than the previous week’s curls.  I think I might go ahead and do 40/50/50 next time.  Glad I’m progressing.  Woot big biceps!

Tricep Extensions – 8×35, 8×40, 8×45:  Easier than the previous week’s extensions.  I’m going to up the weights on this as well and do 40/45/50 the next heavy day.

HIIT – 4-7-4-8-4-7-4-8 @ 1min:30sec. intervals:  I think the intervals I was doing before involved 1.5min:1min. intervals instead.

Week 3 – Madcow5x5 – Day 8C

Weight: 178.8
Body Fat:  15.3%

Squats:

5 x 120
5 x 145
5 x 175
5 x 205
3 x 240
8 x 175

The ramp up sets are killer before the triple.  Definitely much more volume compared to SL5x5.  The triple wasn’t too bad.  The 8-rep felt rushed- felt like my knees were going forward a bit much.  Overall, though, I’m fairly happy.  I reviewed my form after each set and they were acceptable to me.  My back was hurting a bit though.

Bench:

5 x 65
5 x 85
5 x 95
5 x 115
3 x 130
8 x 95

Not too bad.  I tried to employ the proper techniques that Dave Tate mentioned in his “Bench Cure in 6 Weeks” video.  First off, the arch was uncomfortable.  I’ve used a powerlifter’s arch before and it’s definitely not pleasant and watching me using it makes me cringe a little.  I think my best set was my 8-repper.  I didn’t arch my back as much.  I actually tried pushing my lower back into the bench so as to avoid overextending my back into a hyperlordotic arch.  Now as for the actual upper body lifting part- after watching myself, I definitely think form needs to get cleaned up.  My forearms look like they’re not perpendicular to the ground and that right there causes loss of power transfer because the weight is not balanced in my hands.

Rows:

5 x 65
5 x 85
5 x 95
5 x 115
3 x 130
8 x 95

Still pretty easy.  One thing I noticed though was that my hips were moving a bit on the 8-repper.  Definitely need to avoid this.  Strict Pendalay rows means no movement of the knees or hips at all.

Accessories:

Dips
12/8/5 x BW – Pretty difficult.  Noticed on the video that my left arm wasn’t going down as far as my right arm.  Probably might explain the imbalance of fatigue between left and right arm.

BB Curls
8 x 40
8 x 45
8 x 50 – Decided to ramp instead of doing 40 lbs straight across.  Surprisingly managed to finish all three sets.  Made sure I rested well between each set.

Tricep Extension
8 x 35
8 x 40
8 x 45 – Not bad, though, I think I may be giving myself a bit more credit.  The last rep felt like a half rep since I didn’t go all the way down to where my elbows were 90 degrees.