Week 6 – Day 18B

Over all a very good workout.  No pain in lower back when doing the squats.  I focused a lot on form for the press and made sure I was pressing straight up and not forward and up.  Deadlifts were fairly easy.  Used chalk on my workset and the lift felt like a breeze- had no grip failure.

After 2 more weeks, I’m sitting steady at around 170-172 lbs.  I’m fairly happy with this, but my body fat percentage shot up and I can feel most of it around my mid section.  I’ll have to ease up a bit on the carb intake, I think this may be the reason why I have excess fat gain.  My thighs are considerably thicker and larger than when I first started.  Even my loose pants are slightly tight fitting.  My goal for the next 2 weeks is to try and get up to 175 lbs and stay under 20% body fat.  I’m getting to the point where I no longer don’t really know what to expect workout to workout.  The lifts are getting considerably heavy.  I’ve never done this much volume at this amount of weight for any of my lifts except for Deadlifts.  I will be very pleased if I can reach 225 lb squat without a deload.

Bodyweight:  171.5 lbs

Body Fat:  20%

Warmups:

3 x 10 Shoulder dislocations

3 x 10 sec. Doorway pec stretch

3 x 10 Leg swings

3 x 30 sec.  static Squat stretch

Squats:

2 x 5 x Bar

5 x 120

3 x 140

2 x 160

5 x 5 x 180

Walkouts:

10 sec. x 230

10 sec. x 250

Press:

2 x 5 x Bar

5 x 5 x 65

Deadlift:

5 x 145

3 x 165

2 x 185

5 x 205

Warmdown:

1 x 15 sec. warrior lunge + twist

1 x 15 sec. butterfly

Foam roll

 

Week 5 – Day 15A

Good workout today.  Squats are getting tiring.  Managed to overcome the bench press hump and finished all sets @ 100 lbs.  I was able to replicate my Wednesday squat technique fairly well today.  My hammy’s and glutes were definitely engaging a lot to keep my torso upright as much as possible.  Noticed that looking up slightly helped keep my torso fairly more upright.  Visualizing the lift definitely helps.  2-step mental cues on the positive:  “Chest up”, “Split the floor”.

Bench press was really good today.  My upperback was very tight against the load.  Again, white knuckling the bar helped stabilize my lats and traps.  I felt very fatigued after the 4th set.  I thought I wouldn’t be able to crank out the last rep, ended up grunting a little on the last 2 reps.  Rested quite a bit for the last set and banged it out; I was pretty happy about it.

Rows are still fairly easy.  I noticed that grip strength improved a LOT when I wrapped my thumbs around my index, middle and ring finger instead of just my index finger.

I weighed myself this morning and was sitting at around 170 lbs.  That’s 20 lbs gained in a month’s duration.  I’ve only gained roughly 3% body fat according to the fat caliper, most of which is around my belly area (no more abs!).  I’d like to see how much I can gain maintaining this 6-8 meal day diet per day.  It’s pretty exciting to think about progress I’ve made in another month’s time.

Warmups:

3 x 10 Shoulder dislocations

3 x 10 sec. Doorway pec stretch

3 x 10 Leg swings

3 x 30 sec.  static Squat stretch

Squats:

5 x Bar

5 x 115

3 x 135

5 x 5 x 165

Walkouts:

1 x 12 sec. x 215

Bench:

2 x 5 x Bar

3 x 65

2 x 85

5 x 5 x 10

Rows:

5 x 5 x 105

Warmdown:

2 x 15 sec. warrior lunge + twist

2 x 15 sec. butterfly

Foam rolled legs, upper back, lats

 

Week 5 – Day 14B

Felt a bit groggy today.  Half cup of coffee picked me up a tad.  Squats were 10 times better than last work out.  Virtually no pain.  Some mental notes I took to try and replicate this again:

  1. Did not look at the mirror.  Surprisingly, this kept my core a lot more rigid.
  2. Tried to make sure that the bar was over my toes and I wasn’t leaning over to avoid putting stress on my lower back
  3. Pushed straight up, thinking about splitting the floor apart and engaging my hamstrings when I was coming out of the hole
  4. Controlled descent.

Walkouts are getting pretty heavy.  I feel as though tiptoe-ing the weight back onto the rack is a terrible idea and could possible injure my calves and or foot arch muscles (??)

Press was disappointing to say the least.  I managed to complete the first 2 sets, but buckled on the last 3.  I feel like my right arm is compensating for a weak left.  I read somewhere that performing dips helps with improving strength on the press.  I think I’ll wait until I deload once or maybe twice, if I happen to get there soon, before I start adding some accessories.  It’s a bit strange that I’m having such a hard time with this lift.  I was lifting up to 95 lbs before my 5 week break.

Deadlift was pretty easy still.  I blundered on the last rep and lost a bit of focus.  Definitely felt it in the lower back.  But other than that, the lift is still pretty easy.  One or two more weeks and I’ll most likely be resorting to alternate grip.

Warmups:

2 x 10 Shoulder dislocations

3 x 10 Leg swings

3 x 30 sec.  static Squat stretch

Squats:

5 x Bar

3 x 115

2 x 135

5 x 5 x 160

Walkouts:

2 x 10 sec.  x 250

Press:

5 x Bar

3 x 60

5/5/4/4/3 x 75

Deadlift

5 x 185

Warmdown:

2 x 15 sec. warrior lunge + twist

2 x 15 sec. butterfly

Foam rolled legs, upper back, lats

 

Week 4 – Day 10B

Today’s workout definitely ties for the best workout yet.  Con Edison power outage forced me to go to the other gym in the area.  I got to stretch a bit more before my worksets as someone was using the squat rack when I got there.  I managed to work up a good sweat just from stretching alone and my body ended becoming very warm and loose.

Squats were amazing, no pain in the lower back.  The squat rack had the hooks lower than the other gym’s rack so I really got a chance to go underneath the bar and start with a really tight upper back which helped with stability a lot.  I set the safety pins to the perfect height- my hips parallel to the ground.  Stance was a bit wider than shoulder width and toes were pointed out.  I noticed when I was stretching before than when I did body weight squats, I would shift my weight towards my left leg.  This may be why my lower back has been strained on my left side (!!).

Presses were pretty hard today.  I gave myself ample rest for the 4th and 5th sets.  My forearms were really tight and burning by the last couple of reps on the last 2 sets.  I definitely noticed my back arching a bit to compensate for muscle fatigue.  Really happy I managed to finish the 5×5 though.

Deadlifts were easy.  And no back pain!!

I finished off the session with 3 squat walk outs of 225 lbs each and I foam rolled my legs and upper back.  In hopes of trying to replicate this amazing session, I’m going to take note of all the things I did differently today:

  1. Drank half a cup of coffee right as I was leaving
  2. Extra stretching
  3. Lower starting point on the squat for tight upper back
  4. Parallel squatting instead of ATG

Warmups:

3 x 30 sec. static Squat position stretch, pushing knees out

3 x 10 Leg swings

2 x 10 sec. Shoulder/Pec stretch

Squat:

5 x Bar

3 x 95

3 x 115

5 x 5 x 140

Press:

5 x Bar

5 x 5 x 70

Deadlift:

5 x 165

Walkouts:

3 x 10 sec. x 225

PWO Stretches:

Foam rolled the legs, upperback and lats

 

Week 2 – Day 4B

Gym had a good amount of people tonight, but alas! no one was on the squat rack.  Overall summary of the workout…freakin’ awesome.  Heavy bass music a la Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and “‘Till I Collapse” had me in the zone throughout the workout.  Quads weren’t sore any more and Squats seemed easier than the last 2 workout days.  Took a mental note:  keeping upper back (shoulder blades & traps) super tight stabilized the lift ALOT making the positive motion very easy.  Overhead presses got my traps, inner deltoids and upper lats burning.  I still felt very unstable with the lift.  My recurring shoulder injury may return if I don’t maintain good form on the lift.  55lb+ bar landing on my head would not be ideal.  Since I’m only doing 1 set of Deads, I decided to speed up the progress and jumped to 135lbs today instead of 125.  Lifting with smaller plates on deadlifts is quite a nuisance.

Warmups:

2 x 30 sec. static Squat position stretch, pushing knees out

2 x 10 Leg swings

2 x 10 sec. Shoulder/Pec stretch

Squat:

5 x Bar

5 x 5 x 110

Press:

5 x Bar

5 x 5 x 55

Deadlift:

5 x 135

Walkouts:

2 x 10 sec. x 185