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.


5/3/1 – C4W2 – Squat

Squat:  5×110 + 5×135 + 3×165 + 3×190 + 3×225 + 3×245
BBB Deadlift 50%:  5×85 + 3×115 + 5x10x135

Stationary Bike:  20 minute hill intervals

5/3/1 – C4W1 – Deadlift

Deadlift:  5×115 + 5×135 + 3×165 + 5×180 + 5×205 + 7×230 (276.04 1RM)
BBB Squat 50%:  5×95 + 3×115 + 5x10x135

DB Row:  10×35 + 10×40 + 10×45
Chinup:  2
Lat Pulldown:  8×42.5 + 2x8x35

Today was pretty grueling.  Tried to maintain correct posture on the squats.  I’m noticing that I’m dropping the left side a bit.  Also the bar is creeping up causing my chest to cave in instead of being open.  Deadlifts were difficult today.  Was really focusing on form and technique.  A CSCS guy doing some shrugs complimented me on my form, woot!  No conditioning today, I was pretty spent after the session.  Legs were still pretty sore from the hill sprints and squats from Tuesday.  Pecs were also pretty sore from bench day.  The DB Flys definitely helped with engaging more pectoral muscles, woot again!

5/3/1 – C3W4 – Squat

Squat:  5×105 + 5×135 + 5×160
BBB Deadlift 70%:  5×105 + 5×135 + 3×160 + 3x10x190

Hill Sprints:  5×40 yards

Hill sprints were much more difficult today.  I think I’m going to continue with the 5/3/1 for another 3 months and restart the Boring But Big Challenge.  I still think I can gain some progress with this linear-style type of progressive loading.  I’m pretty satisfied with my squat and deadlift at the moment.  I’m really hoping I can continue with the progression to get me to 315lb squat 1RM and 405lb deadlift 1RM.  It’s definitely doable, I think.  Outside of the progressive loading, I think what will truly determine my success towards these 2 goals is strengthening my weak points in each lift.

The big common denominator between these two lifts that can serve as a bottleneck if I don’t train it more is my core.  With a stronger core, I will no doubt have an easier time towards the 315 and 405, squat and deadlift.  In addition to these, I really want to strengthen my bench and ohp.  185 1RM bench is not impossible.  135 ohp is also not impossible.  I’m pretty sure I could push press that if I really wanted to, but I’m going with strict ohp as my basis.  Core work will definitely carry over well into the ohp for stabilizing and boosting confidence with lifting a loaded bar over my head.

Aside from the main lifts, I also want to progress on my dips and chinups.  I’ve been running 5/3/1 + reps between chins and dips and alternating the two on the Press and Bench days.  Chinups, will no doubt be the most difficult to progress on.  I’d like to be able to dip and chin both +25lbs for 1 rep.

Finally, I’ve begun to realize that my cardiovascular fitness is not up to par with my strength.  The voyage to my apartment involves two flights of stairs.  While it’s completely not unusual to get a little winded going up these flights for the average joe, it is fairly unusual for me, in my opinion, to be breathing a little heavy reaching the top of the stairs.  On top of the other goals, I’d really like to improve this aspect of my training that has long been neglected.  At the moment, I’m able to complete 5 full 40-yard sprints up a hill.  My goal is to be able to do up to 10-15 of these with a minutes rest between.

In summary:

Squat: 1x315lb
Deadlift:  1x405lb
Bench:  1x185lb
Press:  1x135lb
Dip:  1xBW+25lb
Chin:  1xBW+25lb
Hill Sprints:  10-15×40-yards

5/3/1 – C3W3 – Deadlift

Deadlift:  5×105 + 5×135 + 3×160 + 5×200 + 3×230 + 6×255 (296.17 1RM)
BBB Squat 70%:  5×105 + 5×135 + 3×160 + 3x5x190

Seated DB Press:  3x10x35
Tricep Extensions:  15×40 + 15×45 + 10×55

And this work out concludes the 3-month Boring But Big challenge.  What next…?

5/3/1 – C3W3 – Press + Squat

Press:  3x5x45 + 5×55 + 3×65 + 10×70 (93.96 1RM)
BBB Bench 70%:  10×45 + 5×65 + 3×85 + 5x8x105

Squat:  5×105 + 5×135 + 3×160 + 5×190 + 3×230 + 2×255 (262.29 1RM)
BBB Deadlift 70%:  10×190 + 2x8x190

Dips:  5/3/2
Chinups:  3

Treadmill:  5min. @ 3.0 speed

It’s somewhat frightening how well the body can adapt to stressful stimuli and become better adapted the next time it experiences a very similar stress.  The last 3 months of the Boring But Big challenge has allowed me to observe this first hand.  Last week, I struggled with completing the BBB 70% bench press, while today, I had a relatively breezy time going through the sets.  I also had an epiphany while doing the bench.  For some time now, my form has been causing my right triceps/chest to work much harder than my left triceps and chest.  One thing that I tried differently, on a whim, was to squeeze the bar.  As I squeezed the bar, I also flashbacked to reading about gripping the bar as if you were trying to snap it in half.  This immediately engaged my left lats and left chest much more and as a result I was able to quickly feel a better balance of the bar across my chest.

5/3/1 – C3W2 – Press + Squat

Press:  5×30 + 5×40 + 3×45 + 3×55 + 3×60 + 3×70 (78.76 1RM)
BBB Bench 70%:  8/8/6/5/4 x 105

Squat:  5×105 + 5×135 + 3×160 + 3×190 + 3×215 + 3×240
BBB Deadlift 70%:  5x10x190

Overhead and bench presses were tough.  1RM dropped on the press.  Couldn’t finish out the 5×8 on the bench BBB.  Did squats with a slightly narrowing stance, engaged the quads a bit more than hamstring, but lift felt slightly easier.  Deadlift was grueling, but after 3 sets, muscles felt attuned to the stress and was able to continue and finish all 5 sets.  Rested for long periods towards the end, around 2-4 minutes between sets.  Hopped on the treadmill and walked for 5 minutes.