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/

Week6 – Day15B

Weight:  178.0 lbs

Changing up the posting format…again!  The wall of text doesn’t look very appealing to me when I flip back through my posts, so I’m going to break it up by exercises.

Duration:  11:03 – 12:07

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×55 + 3×75 + 2×95 + 5x5x115

Squats were great today.  My shoulder cooperated a little bit better.  I made it a point to bang through the empty bar and warm-up ramp sets.  The warm-up sets should be done fairly quickly and the time between sets should only be time to increase weights and add/remove plates.  I think the shoulder was feeling much better since I moved the bar up a bit, pretty much high bar and resting on the traps.  Kept the elbows up to lock the bar in place, but it didn’t feel great with the bar riding up towards the back of my neck.  I’ll have to do some more shoulder mobility work, I need to get my low bar grip back!

Seated Plate Raises:  3x10x25
Seated Lateral Raise:  3x8x12
Seated DB Shrug + Clean + Half Press:  3x8x12

Shoulder shockers were definitely exhausting.  I managed to find 12lb dumbbells!  I used those to increase resistance a bit on the shoulder shockers, they were getting a bit easy.  Because of the nature of these exercises isolating smaller muscles and they’re not really compound movements, I definitely understand getting fatigued a lot sooner.  I might try some empty bar overhead presses as warm-up next time.

Deadlift:  5x115 + 3×135 + 1×145 + 5×165

Man, do I love me deadlifts.  The pulls still felt pretty light.  Time to video record some of these pulls to ensure my form is on point!  Not looking for any herniated disks or sore lower backs.  I was trying to keep the bar on my shins as much as possible.  I leaned back a bit when pulling as if I was going to hurl the bar backwards over my head.  I feel like this helps me engage the hamstrings more and to avoid transferring the entire load onto my low back aka back rounding.

Preacher BB Curls 10×40
Preacher EZ Bar Curls 10×40
Seated DB Curls 10×25
Tricep Rope Pulldown 15×30
Tricep Extensions 15×35
DB Fly 10×15

Doing preacher curls using a regular straight barbell was definitely different.  Good different, in that it felt like it worked the biceps a bit more than using the EZ Bar.  Dumbbell flies were bothering my right anterior delts on the positive.  I’m going to lay off these or drop the weight on it.  Other than that, the arm isolations were good.

Week6 – Day14A

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×65 + 3×75 + 3×85 + 5x5x110
Bench:  3x5xBar + 5x5x75
Rows:  3×655x5x90

Preacher EZ Bar Curls:  10×40
Incline DB Press:  10×30
Standing BB Curl:  10×40
DB Fly:  10×15
Seated DB Curls:  10×25
DB Bench Press:  10×25

Duration:  1.5 hours

Weight:  177.0 lbs

Good workout!  Weights are still relatively light.  Squats got me nervous a bit- slightly hard to stabilize the heavier weight.  Had a harder time with getting my right shoulder to cooperate with the bar grip today.  In other words, I was in some degree of pain, more so than last session.  Bench was slightly easier today.  Rows were still pretty easy.  Performed some more chest isolation again with some heavier weights performed than previously.

Week6 – Day13B

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×65 + 3×85 + 5x5x105
Seated Plate Raises:  3x10x25
Seated Lateral Raise:  3x10x10
Seated DB Shrug + Clean + Half Press:  3x10x10
Deadlift:  3x95 + 2×115 + 2×135 + 5×155

Standing BB Curls:  10×40
Preacher EZ Bar Curls:  
DB Fly:  10×10
Incline DB Press:  10×30 + 2x10x35

Duration:  1 hour

Weight:  175.6 lbs

*will add notes later*

OK!  So, yesterday’s session was good.  When doing squats, I payed particular attention to my grip à la the following video by Mark Rippetoe:

The grip was definitely still bothersome to the shoulder.  What I’ve been doing to alleviate the pain in the shoulder was to have some flexion in my wrist.  But, for the purposes of ensuring proper form, I sucked up the small bit of pain and straightened my wrists out.  Definitely noticed a big difference in the tightness of my upper back.  Shoulder shockers weren’t bad.  The upper back work from the Squats definitely fatigued my shoulders a bit.  The work is definitely getting easier, but I don’t like sticking to the same weights over and over.  For the routine itself, I think I want to work my way up to 45 plates.  Luckily, the gym also carries 35 lb weights, so I might increase the weight soon.  Increasing the weight on the dumbbell portions is a bit intense, I’ll have to see if there are 2.5 lb increment dumbbells.  Going from 10 to 15 lbs for the lateral raises and shrug+clean+half press is a pretty big jump, so perhaps 10 to 12.5 wouldn’t be as bad.  Deadlifts were good, getting up there in weight!  I don’t like jumping into the top set of these lifts especially once the deadlift starts getting very heavy.  Squats, as Mehdi says, already hits some of the muscle groups that the deadlifts works on, but for my own safety, I still did some warm-up reps with lighter weights, progressing up to the top weight.  The StrongLifts program has always prescribed a single set of 5 reps for Deadlifts and I can definitely understand the methodology behind this when thinking about how fast weights progress.  At the point that one starts doing close to maximal effort weights, doing 5 sets of 5 reps of Deadlifts would be murder!  Especially after 5×5 of near maximal effort squats!  I can remember when I was just completely spent and drained during these workout sessions later in the program in the past.

I increased weights on accessories.  The bicep curls went from 30 to 40.  And instead of the usual tricep isolation, I did some chest isolation with db fly and incline db press.  The inclinde db presses were done with heavier weights I’ve done previously, going from 20 to 30/35 lbs.  35s were heavy, but I would say definitely not that close to maximal effort.

Week 41 – 5/3/1 – Day 131

Cycle #4
Week 2 Day 3

Warm-up Bench:  5×70, 3×85, 3×105
5/3/1 Bench:  
5×120, 5×135, 6×155
Dips:  5/5/4
DB Fly: 4x12x15lb
Tricep Extensions:  
DB Bench:  
3x12x30lb + 12x25lb
Conditioning:  3.0 spd walk 1mile

Bench was pretty good.  Warm-up sets and first two core sets were fairly easy.  Grinded out the 6th rep, but my form was definitely not on par.  Felt like my right arm/lats were working harder than my left.  Managed to get some conditioning in and did about 20 minutes of 3.0 spd walking for 1 mile.