Week20 – Day58A – Blimey

Weight:  182.8

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×140 + 3×185 + 2×230 + 5×275 (1)

I’ll say I stalled on these.  Better to admit to bad form than pet the ego.

Bench:  3x5xBar + 5×75 + 3×95 + 2×115 + 5/5/2 x 145 (1)


Stalled again.  Right chest and arm still dominating on the press.

Rows:  5×135 + 3×135 + 2×135 + 3x3x175

First and second reps of the sets were good.

Dips:  15/7

Will start adding weights once I can get to 20 reps using bodyweight

Week17 – Day48A – BBQ Stuffed

Weight:  187.6 lbs

Went out for a lunch to a BBQ joint with development team at work to celebrate our major software release.  Had a platter of pulled pork with a side of bbq beans and cornbread.  Super stuffed!

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×150 + 3×175 + 1×195 + 3×225

Decided not to go for my real target workweight.  Was short on time.  Will make an attempt at 5×255 come Monday.

Bench:  3x5x10 + 5×75 + 5×95 + 2×115 + 1×135 + 5/4/3/3/3 x 150 (3)

Stalled on the bench again.  This is the third time.  I will deload 10% for the next bench workout which means I will do 5×5 at 135 lbs.

Rows:  5×135 + 3×135 + 2×135 + 3x5x160 (1)

Not sure if I want to keep increasing the weights on this as I saw myself lifting my torso quite a bit.  I’m moving closer towards doing an upright barbell row rather than a strict bent-over barbell row.  I’ll consider this as a stall.  Stalling should not only consider failure to achieve a desired number of reps achieved, but also failure to maintain proper technique and form.

Pull-ups:  2×2 + 6×1
Dips:  3/2/2

Pull-ups weren’t bad.  Decided to get to 10 reps total.  I was able to do 2 sets of 2 reps.  The remaining 6 reps were done 1 set at a time.  Doing the dips hit my right chest pretty hard.  My unbalanced load on the bench- causing me to work the right chest more- carried over to the dips.

Week16 – Day46A – Cantaloupe Island

Weight:  187.6 lbs

Squats were pretty difficult, but I managed to grind out the 5th rep.  Stalled on the bench again today.  Form is pretty inconsistent.  Still unbalanced load- right chest and right arm doing a lot more work.  Jerking a lot on the rows.  Dips weren’t bad, a bit wobbly on the form.  Pull ups felt strong on the first reps.  I’m using wide grip on these.  No conditioning.

Squats:  3x5x135 + 5×150 + 3×175 + 2×200 + 1×225 + 5×250

Bench:  3x5x10 + 5×75 + 5×95 + 2×115 + 1×135 + 5/3/5/5/5 x 150 (2)

Rows:  5×135 + 3×135 + 2×135 + 3x5x160

Dips:  10/7/5
Pull-ups:  3/2/1.5

Week16 – Day44A – Dominant

Weight:  187.4 lbs

Not sure what’s going on, but my weight has dropped pretty quickly over the last 2 days since I started doing conditioning and curbing back a little on the caloric intake.  I was extremely irritable and had a huge headache this past Monday when I first started lowering my food intake.  I’ll have to make sure to slowly drop the intake instead of cutting back significantly.  This should give my body the means to progressively acclimate itself to the slightly restricted diet.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×135 + 3×155 + 2×175 + 1×205 + 1×225 + 5×245

Used the belt for the first time on the top set of squats.  The 245s felt super light.  The belt definitely helped with keeping my core extremely solid.  I will continue using the belt from here on out.  315 here we come!

Bench:  3x10xBar + 5×75 + 5×95 + 2×115 + 1×135 + 5/5/4/3/1 x 150

Stalled pretty hard on the bench press today.  I was benching right chest/arm dominant and so fatigue set in really quickly as my right arm/chest were working harder than my left.  Also had a bit of DOMs on the chest from the last session.

Rows:  5×135 + 3×135 + 2×135 + 3x5x155

Rows felt strong.  I was certainly lifting my torso a bit on the last reps of each set.  The first and second reps were usually executed with pretty strict form, no jerking.

Dips:  5/5/3
Pull-ups:  2/2/1

Chest was already pretty toast from the benching.  Surprisingly, the wide grip pull-ups felt easier than the chin-ups I was doing last session.  My right shoulder also felt much better than when doing chin-ups.

Treadmill: 10 minutes – alternating 30 sec. @ 2.8 spd / 30 sec. @ 5.5spd

Continued with some treadmill conditioning post workout.  Legs were a bit jello-like afterwards.  Left knee instability along with the jello legs made it pretty tough to remain standing, showering was a challenge!.  I think I will get on the stationary bike to help alleviate some hard impact on my knees.  Other than that, the intervals were pretty easy.  I was breathing well- not out of breath.

Week15 – Day42A – Le Tired

Weight:  190.1 lbs

Feeling very groggy and tired post workout session.  One observation to keep note of is that I stayed up until 2:00 am last night.  I did, however, manage to wake up feeling pretty fresh this morning, despite sleeping late.  My legs had been suffering a little DOMs from the Wednesday workout and so I foam rolled them during the warm-up.  On a recent post, I briefly mentioned my past personal experience with enduring through the phase of lifting significantly high percentages of my training max on a regular basis.  I believe I’m encountering this stage again.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×125+ 4×145 + 3×165 + 2×185 + 1×200 + 1×225 + 3×240 (1st stall) + 5×135

Succeeded in legitimately stalling on the squat for the first time since I started lifting this past October.

Bench:  3x10xBar + 5×65 + 3×85 + 2×105 + 1×125 + 5x5x145

Used a powerlifter arch to ensure that I kept a strong stable upperback while benching.  The first set was a little nerve wracking.  The placement of the bar was not at the base of my palm and so my wrists were buckling against the weight of the bar.  I narrowed my grip a little, placed my ring finger on the knurling and placed the bar at the base of my palms to avoid loading my wrists.  A narrower grip helped alleviate stress on my shoulders.

Rows:  5×85 + 3×105 + 1×135 + 3x5x150

Last set felt the best, minimized the upward jerk.  I will stick with 3 sets on the rows.

DB Incline:  10×50 + 8×50 + 6×50
Wide Lat Pulldown:  10×70 + 10×85 + 10×100
DB Bench:  3x10x40

Elbow planks:  45 sec.

The whole body was shaking a lot from the get go.

Week14 – Day40A – I Kind Of, ♥ U Gurl

Weight:  185.4 lbs

Found a nice little gem yesterday.  It’s a remix, by C. Justice, of Destiny’s Child’s classic, “Say My Name”.  Absolutely addicting bassline.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×145 + 3×165 + 2×185 + 2×205 + 5×230

Still going strong on the squat.  Had to expel a maybe not so little grunt on the 4th rep of the top set.  I’ve tried controlling these more, but usually my grunts are short and emotionally driven.  When I feel that I must complete a rep and I’m pretty much feeling near or at empty in the tank, my mind shifts gears very quickly, almost like…flooring the gas pedal.  At that brief moment, I’m trying to exert as much contraction as I possibly can and squeezing my core to get that bar up.

Bench:  3x10xBar + 5×80 + 3×100 + 1×120 + 5x5x140

These weren’t bad today.  My grip was a bit different.  Middle finger was on the knurling.  Not too wide, not too narrow.  The main focus was to keep the bar at the base of my palms.  In addition, made sure to keep the scapula contracted and prevent it from separating and losing contraction throughout the entire set.  This really helped with removing the load off my shoulders.  Still doing 5 sets across of 5 reps with these.  Definitely think the added dips and incline bench accessories are helping tremendously with maintaining the weight progression on the bench.

Rows:  5×85 + 3×105 + 1×135 + 3x5x150

Messed up on the grip a bit today.  My previous A workout, I noted that I had used a wider grip, 1-2 inches outside of the knurling.  Made the mistake of putting the index finger on the knurling.  Wider grip felt easier.  Stayed with 3 sets as I was using my back.  I was lifting my chest a lot, messy form, not very strict.

DB Incline:  10×50
DB Rows:  3x8x55
Dips:  8/8/8/2

DB Incline was pretty easy, but I only did 1 set.  I will make sure to remember to do an additional two next time around.  Made sure to exchange 1 pressing movement with 1 pulling movement.  So, after DB incline, I did some DB rows, going up from last time, 50 -> 55 lbs.  My left arm rows were more difficult than the right side.  After this, I went on to do some dips.  Definitely did quite a bit better than last A session.  I will stay with 3 sets of 8 and increase rep count for each set by 1, workout to workout until I stall.  I’ll continue progressing the dips until I can do 3 sets of 15 at which time I’ll add weights and drop back down to 8 reps and continue the progression with weights instead of reps.

Elbow planks:  1min. 5sec. + 30sec.

Was a bit more fatigued today so the burning started a bit sooner.

Week14 – Day38A – Got Milk?

Weight:  186.8 lbs
Duration:  10:57am – 1:15pm

I decided to stick with StrongLifts for now and milk as much out of it as I can.  My weights will be monitored pretty carefully- I’m not trying to train until failure because at the point of failure, I feel like my technique is no longer there.  My preference is to maintain good technique over attempting to push more reps to failure where I could potentially injure myself.  For this reason, I’m basically going to go for 1+ sets of 5 on the squat.  The weights are all pretty heavy so I’m basically going to do it by feel.  Bench press is still improving, I don’t feel a need to drop down to 3 sets just yet.  The same goes for the rows.

Soon enough, I’m going to start sprinkling in some conditioning into the mix.  I’m not sure where I’d like to start.  Ideally, I would like to perform conditioning for a short period post workout 15-20 minutes, not on rest days.   Adding conditioning will no doubt affect my recovery times on the lifts and my numbers may drop a bit.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×100 + 3×125 + 2×150 + 1×175 + 1×205 + 2x5x220

Decided to do 2 sets instead of just the one on the top set.

Bench:  3x5xBar + 5×75 + 3×95 + 1×115 + 5x5x135

Decided to go up in weight anyway instead of doing 130 again since I failed on a few reps last A workout.  Finished the 5 top sets pretty strong.  Gave myself ample rest time, but not too long.  Grip was slightly wider than usual.  My middle fingers were on the knurling.

Rows:  5×85 + 3×105 + 1×125 + 5x5x145

I stuck with the same weights.  Using a different form, I was able to have less difficulty and also engage more upper back and biceps in the lift.  Typically, my stance and grip has been fairly narrow.  Feet are about shoulder width and the hand grip is pretty much on the outside of my shins, kind of like a narrow bench.  Today, I tried a wider stance as well as wider grip placement.  My index finger when gripping the bar was about 1.5-2inches away from the knurling.  Basically, the stance was close to how someone would prep their snatch lift, minus the snatch.  This effectively shortens the distance the bar had to travel and at the same time, I definitely felt a lot more upper back and bicep recruitment on the lift and less quads.  My form looked pretty good from the side mirror, but again, I’ll have to record to really be sure.

DB Rows:  8×50 + 2x8x60
DB Incline:  3x8x45
Dips:  8/7.5/4

Changing things up a bit.  I minimized the amount of accessory work here.  Instead, I’m incorporating more exercises that complement my core lifts or train weak points in my core lifts.  I know for a fact that my bench has always been weak so I kept the dumbbell incline and dips.  The 45s on the incline were very easy, I will most likely press 50s next time.  To complement the pushing, I did some dumbbell rows to add some pulling into the mix.  50s felt pretty light.  60s were slightly more demanding so I stuck with them.  Next time, I will probably do 60s across and work my way up in weight from there.  Dips weren’t bad.  I split up the reps a bit more evenly and am going for 8 across 3 sets.