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

Bench:
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.

Squat:
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.

Deadlift:
3×135
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 Bench Cycle – Week 3 – Heavy Bench Day

Bench Press:  10xBar + 10×65 + 5×95 + 5x5x125
DB Bench Press:  3x10x30
BB Rows:  3x5x115
Chinups:  3/1.5/1.5
Seated DB Press:  3x10x35
Seated DB Curls:  10×25 + 8×25 + 4×25

Tried to keep rest times to a minimum, at most being 30 seconds.  Bench press was difficult, right arm was working harder.  DB bench press was pretty easy, kept the negative phase slow to avoid straining the rotator cuffs.  BB Rows were a little hard.  I haven’t performed them in a while.  First set of chinups were really easy.  Going to shoot for increasing by 1 rep for the following session.  Seated DB presses at 30lbs were really easy so I went up to 35.  35s were still fairly easy, will start with 35 then go to 40 next session.  Biceps fatigued really quickly after first set on the db curls.

5/3/1 – C4W1 – Bench

Weight:  184lbs

Bench:  5×65 + 5×75+ 3×95 + 5×100 + 5×115 + 13×130 (195.08 1RM)
BBB Press 50%:  3x10x55

Dips:  5xBW + 5xBW+5 + 5xBW+15
DB Bench:  3x8x35lb
DB Fly:  10×10 + 10×15 + 10×20
Pushups:  11/8/8/6

Cycling:  2.0 miles

Switching things up ever so slightly.  Still 5/3/1 and also still BBB 3-month challenge.  But, switching out some of the accessories for more bodybuilding style lifting.  I still get my BBB in, but I’m tweaking the additional accessories to tailor more of a bodybuilding template.

The tweaked additional accessories were pulled from the bodybuilding template here:  http://www.jimwendler.com/2012/09/531-and-bodybuilding/

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.

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

Core:
Elbow planks:  45 sec.

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

Week10 – Day27B – Rush

Weight:  181.4 lbs ??
Duration:  11:20am – 12:15:pm ~ 55min.

A million things racing through my head this morning.  I had to get back to work by 1:00pm for a meeting so things were very up tempo today.  Clocked back on the warm-ups did 5 rep leg swings instead of 10.  Jump rope for 15-20 seconds.  Static hip flexor stretch and fire hydrants.  No foam rollage.  Didn’t do any wall walks with my shoulder.  Forgot to do my planks at the very end.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×115 + 3×135 + 1×155 + 5x5x175

Didn’t get much stretch in on the shoulder so low bar position was pretty tight.  Not much pain except for a few reps when the bar was a little too low.  Surprisingly, I didn’t feel much in the low back and my left knee was feeling comfortable despite not having a knee brace on it.  I watched my left and right shins carefully to see if I was shifting my weight to my left or right legs.  Took about 1 minute rests between the last 2 sets.

Seated Plate Raises:  3x10x35
Seated Lateral Raise: 3x10x10
Seated DB Shrug + Clean + Half Press:  3x10x10

Brutal.  35 lb plate raises killed my shoulders.  Rested about 1.5 to 2 minutes between sets.  I sped up the transition from the clean to the half press, using my clean momentum to press upwards.

Deadlift:  5×145 + 3x165 + 2×185 + 1×205 + 5×225

Took some extra resting periods between the 3rd and 4th warm-up sets.  Used the belt on the top set.  Wore long socks along with sweatpants, so the skin on my shins took some rest, less bruising.  Banging up my shins sometimes makes me hesitant on the lift, messing with my form.  The 2 plates felt pretty light though.  Used a supinated grip on the left hand and regular pronated grip on the right.

Accessories:
Preacher BB Curls 10×50
Standing EZ Bar Curls 10×40
Seated DB Curls 10×25
Incline DB Press 10×40
DB Press 10×35
Dips 6/3.5/3

Did some more dipping today.  Cranked more on the first set, but pretty much dead by the second and third.  Not much strength endurance on these, especially after beating up the triceps with the incline dumbbell pressing.

Week10 – Day25B – Roundabout

Weight:  180.4 lbs ??
Duration:  1 hour??

Forgot gym shorts so…what did I do?  Buy a new one of course!  For $26!  At the gym! Woo!  Best money I’ve ever spent.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×105 + 3×125 + 1×145 + 5x5x165

Lower back did not feel great.  These are getting pretty heavy.

Seated Plate Raises:  2x10x25
Seated Lateral Raise: 2x10x10
Seated DB Shrug + Clean + Half Press:  2x10x10

Did these first since a couple was using the squat rack.  Tweaked something in the back of my neck during the first set of the lateral raises so I took a few extra breaths and massaged the area.

Deadlift:  5×125 + 3x145 + 2×165 + 1×185 + 5×215

Used the belt on the top set.  Low back was getting killed.

Accessories:
Preacher BB Curls 10×50
Standing BB Curls 10×40
Seated DB Curls 10×25
Incline DB Press 10×35
DB Press 2x10x35

Core:
Pushup-Position Planks 40sec.

Week9 – Day24A – DOMSoreness

Weight:  178.4
Duration:  11:35am – 12:17pm ~ 42min.

Inner thighs are still suffering some serious DOMS.  Snowstorm Hercules swung by so some friends and I went up to do some snowboarding down a mountain.  Haven’t snowboarded in…4 years.  Lots of falling, twisting and putting my body in weird contortions.  I realized how little stamina I had.  This is definitely to be expected.  Strength training, to some degree, will exercise the heart, especially as poundages go up.  BUT, the kind of work being done, at least on the StrongLifts regiment consist of short 2-3 second spurts of stress under load.  That’s it.  There is no doubt that 5 sets of 5 reps near maximal effort will definitely get the heart rate going.  However, the stamina I’m talking about is endurance stamina.  CrossFit’esque I guess you could say.

I’ve intentionally left out conditioning at this phase.  My primary goal before I’d like to start adding conditioning is to first regain close to the strength I had before my shoulder surgery.  This means, 5x225lb squat, 5x275lb deadlift, 5x145lb bench.  I haven’t included the Press here because, well…I haven’t been doing them.  My next and potentially final appointment with my shoulder doctor is this coming Thursday.  My shoulder is still fairly tight during squats so I will definitely remember to let him know.  I haven’t been consistent with my daily stretching, but I have been wall walking with my arms during workout days.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×95 + 3×115 + 1×135 + 5x5x160

Shoulder was pretty tight today.  I was trying very hard to dig the bar down lower, but shoulder just wouldn’t budge.  It got a bit better on the later sets.  Legs were already suffering from some DOMS.  Luckily, I didn’t feel much of it during the lift, but still had a presence when walking around or going to sit down to rest.  Last 2 sets were really good, shoulder locked the bar well in place and raised my elbows up to keep it locked in.  I made a conscious effort not to look straight ahead since it would be putting my neck in a very compromising position and instead tried to imagine keeping my neck inline with my back, kind of like the picture in front of Mr. Rippetoe’s Starting Strength book.  I saw that my butt was going up faster than my shoulder on some reps so I’ll have to watch out for this.

Bench:  3x5xBar + 2x5x65 + 3×85 + 5x5x100

Used a with-thumb grip.  Used less tuck.  Felt the load a bit more on the shoulders because of this.  Right triceps were working a bit harder.  Drive my feet through the ground helped a lot towards the last few reps of the last set.  Consciously made sure to squeeze the hell out of the bar and keep whole body contraction once I unracked the bar.

Rows:  5×55 + 3×75 + 1×95 + 5x5x115

Felt some of the reps in my low back.  I was definitely jerking some of these, especially towards the last 2 sets.  I banged the bar on my knees on the way down on one of the reps.  Definitely felt pretty terrible and painful, but luckily it was mostly the bone and not the soft middle part of the knee which would have hurt quite a bit more.

Accessories:
Seated DB Curls:  8×25
Preacher BB Curls:  8×50
Standing BB Curls:  10×40
Incline DB Press:  10×35 + 15×30
DB Bench Press:  10×35
Pushups:  3x8xBW

Arms were pretty beaten up today.  My forearm is still sore from the snowboarding.

Core:
Pushup-Position Planks 3x30sec.

Should’ve done 35 seconds per set, doh!

Week9 – Day23B – New Year

Weight:  179.6 lbs
Duration:  11:40 to 12:35 = 55 min.

The duration doesn’t include warm-up.  I officially got to the gym at 11:20ish.  The warm-up was a bit longer today as I incorporated some Agile 8 into the mix to get my legs prepped better.  More warm-ups = more time spent outside of office soooo I’ll have to be super efficient with my core lifts and try not to rest for too long.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×95 + 3×115 + 1×135 + 5x5x155

My shoulder is still cooperating!  I was able to get the bar off the right traps and on the top of the posterior delts.  There was definitely still a bit of resistance, but I once it was placed the bar was pretty much locked in.  The “shelf” that Mr. Rippetoe was talking about in his bar position video felt super solid and super stable.  The squats definitely felt heavy today.  I felt like my knees were travelling forward a bit.  Felt a little lower back engagement on a few reps when this happened.  This reminds me…I need to start video recording myself again!!  Also, I noticed that my right quads were a bit more worked than my left.

Seated Plate Raises:  3x8x35
Seated Lateral Raise:  3x8x10
Seated DB Shrug + Clean + Half Press:  3x8x10

Jumped up to 35 lbs on the plate raises.  These drained the life right out of my shoulders as I went from set to set.  I could barely get through the first 2 reps of the third set on the plate raises.  I think I have to stagger the weight on each start of the plate raise sets.  The fatigue just builds up way too quickly for me to recover and do honest reps with good form.

Deadlift:  5×125 + 3x145 + 2×165 + 1×185 + 5×205

Progressively increased resting time between warm-up sets as I worked my way up to the top set.  I used an alternate grip on the last set and it felt very solid.  The left hand was supinated while the right hand was using regular pronated grip.

Accessories:
Preacher BB Curls 10×50
Standing BB Curls 10×50
Seated DB Curls 8×25
Incline DB Press 10×35
DB Bench 10×35
Tricep Extensions 15×40

Did some tricep extensions to hit the triceps a bit more and give the chest a bit of rest.

Core:
Pushup-Position Planks 3x30sec.

Was browsing through imgur and found one of the 30 day get more fit things and saw one for planks.  This motivated me to start doing some regular core training.  I did 3 sets of 30 sec. planks using the top pushup position instead of the more popular elbow planks.  I’ll see if I can do these daily and increase the length of time by 5 seconds each day.

Week9 – Day22A – Insomnia

Weight:  179.8
Duration:  11:08pm – 12:21pm 1hr 13min.

Couldn’t get to sleep for the life of me last night.  Brain just decided to go full throttle.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×95 + 3×115 + 1×135 + 5x5x150

Shoulder felt pretty amazing today.  I managed to lower the bar a bit more and balance it across my back with little to no bothersome pain in my right shoulder!  BUT, I was tweaking my lower back a bit on the last 2 sets.  Felt some lower back strain.  Shoulders may have been coming up much faster than hips so I was transferring load to the low back via pseudo-Good Morning.

Bench:  3x5xBar + 2x5x65 + 5×75 + 5x5x95

Felt very strong on these.  Didn’t go thumbless.  Made sure to shrug and keep a tight shoulder.  Used power lifter arch and tucked the elbows on the way down and flared them out on the way up.  Right shoulder felt like it worked a bit harder on a few reps.

Rows:  5×65 + 5×95 + 5x5x110

These felt pretty heavy today.  Squeezing the bar helps a lot with contracting the muscles pre-pull.  Still pretty heavy though.

Accessories:
Seated DB Curls:  8×30
Preacher BB Curls:  10×40
Standing BB Curls:  10×40
Incline DB Press:  10×30 + 8×35
DB Bench Press:  20×30

Easy peezy lemon squeezy for sheezy.

Week8 – Day21B – Bang Bang

Weight:  180.0 lbs
Duration:  ~1 hour

Drove out 40 minutes just to get into the gym.  2nd session for the week was on Thursday since it was Christmas on Wednesday, so decided to get my 3rd session in today.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×105 + 3×125 + 5x5x145

Pretty good today!  I think I’ve settled on a slightly higher than low bar position.  Forcing my shoulder into a painful position isn’t going to allow me to rack up the poundages.  I’ll cross that bridge once I get there, but for now…I’ll stick to what I’m doing and keep it consistent.

Seated Plate Raises:  3x10x25
Seated Lateral Raise:  3x8x10
Seated DB Shrug + Clean + Half Press:  3x8x10

I’m going to increase the plate raises to 35 lbs moving forward from here.  There’s no doubt that my shoulders have become stronger, but I need to increase poundages on these to continue milking the gains.

Deadlift:  5x135 + 3×155 + 1×175 + 5×195

Heavaaaay.  Banged up the shins real good on these.  I’m thinking I was probably rounding the back pretty hard on the last few reps or so.

Accessories:
Preacher BB Curls 10×40
Standing BB Curls 10×40
Seated DB Curls 8×30
Incline DB Press 10×30 + 5×35
DB Bench 10×30
Push-ups 10/5/4

Added some good ‘ole push-ups.