5/3/1 – C1W3 – Deadlift

Deadlift:  5×105 + 5×130 + 5×195 + 3×220 + 3×205 + 3×225 + 4×245 (267.29 1RM)
BBB Squat:  5x10x135
Hanging Leg Raises:  5×10

Finished the first 3 weeks of 5/3/1 on the first cycle.  First week was definitely rough.  Wasn’t used to the volume.

Week 40 – 5/3/1 – Day 128

Cycle #4
Week 1 Day 4

Warm-up Deadlift:  5×115, 3×135, 3×165
5/3/1 Deadlift:  3×180, 3×210, 3×235
Chin-ups:  5/4/3/2
DB Rows:  4x15x25lbs
Hanging Straight Leg Raises:  4×8 reps

Pretty exhausting lifts.  Haven’t done deadlifts for a long time prior to this.  Definitely felt it in my lower back.

Week 20 – 5/3/1 – Day 71

Cycle #5
Week 3 Day 2

Deadlift:  5×135, 3×150, 1×190 + 5×225, 3×250, 10×275 Rep PR

Deadlifts were significantly better today.  Extremely minimal lower back stress.  One thing I did differently was starting with a slightly more upright torso, but not dropping my butt too much.  Some reps almost looked like a straight legged deadlift.  Top set, I used chalk, belt and alternating (left palm down, right palm up).  Last 5 reps were grinders, but I cranked them out.  Looking back at the previous cycle and this one, I really think I’ve made some great gains on the lift.  Every top set, I’ve been shooting for at least 10 reps and I think this has made a vast improvement on my performance.  I said it before and I’ll say it again.  Coming into a lift with a prescribed goal in mind really helps you mentally prepare for that lift and to achieve that goal, however daunting it may be.

BB Assistance:

4x10x24lb – Good Mornings:  Used a fairly light weight and used the foam wrapped bars to make it a bit more comfortable behind the neck.  I went lighter because I had to press the bar up and bring it behind my neck.  I’ve injured my shoulder before when I’ve done this so I wanted to avoid injuring it again.
6/4/2/2xBW – Chin-ups:  Did chin-ups the day before so my biceps may have been a bit more fatigued.  I wasn’t pulling straight up either so I was exerting more energy than needed to pull myself up.
4x10x80 – Bent Over Rows:  Used the preset bars.  Haven’t done these in a while and I do miss doing them a bit.  Form looked pretty good from glancing at a side mirror during a rep.
3x10xBW – Hanging Knee Raise:  Not bad at all.  A few grinders on the latter reps of the last set.


1.5min. x 2.5spd warm-up 10% incline
3 x 1min. 5.0 spd sprints, 1min. 2.5spd rest
1 x 1min. 7.0 spd sprint, 1 min. rest, no incline
1 x 1min. 8.0 spd sprint, 1 min. rest, no incline
2.5spd remainder until 1.0 mile

Week 13 – 5/3/1 – Day 48

Cycle #4

Deadlift:  5×135, 3×155 + 5×185, 5×185, 5×215, 8×245

This was the first time I actually went all out on the last set of the core lift and all I can say is hot damn.  All these felt great, no lower back strain, really felt it in the hamstrings and glutes when I squeezed up top.  Nothing beats the feeling of knowing you’ve actually progressed and as a result gotten stronger.

BBB Deadlift:  5x10x145

Like Wendler warned, these are nothing to “sneeze” at.  Got me breathing heavy.  I took about 15-25 breaths between sets to avoid resting for too long.  My hands stung from gripping the bar so hard.

Hanging Leg Raises:  3×5

These were a bit difficult.  I’m going to have to rethink what to do for the additional assistance here.  Doing actual hanging leg raises bothers my right shoulder.


10% incline
2min. warm-up 2spd
5x1min. sprint 5spd
2.5spd until 1 mile

I’m going to steadily increment the number of sprint repetitions on my deadlift/squat days depending on how I feel at the end of the workout.  I’m aiming for at least 10, 1 minute sprints by the end of the cycle.  Afterwards, I’m going to increase the sprint speeds.

Week 11 – 5/3/1 – Day 42

Cycle #3

Squat:  5×110, 5×140, 3×165 + 5×210, 3×235, 3×265

These felt pretty good.  It’s hard to say if I’ve gotten stronger comparatively since I was last at this percentage of my training max during Stronglift’s 1×5 and MadCow.

Boring But Big 70%

Deadlift:  8/7/5/4/7 x 195

Earlier sets used more lower back, so I adjusted accordingly.  The long business socks aren’t really doing it for me.  It actually makes it a bit more difficult since the knurling cling on to the socks more than if I just pulled with bare shins.

Hanging Knee Raise: 10/7/6/4/4

First set was easy.  As usual, I avoided swinging too much.  The latter sets were definitely a bit harder.  My lower abs were beaten pretty well.  I’d like to try doing leg raises eventually once I’m strong enough.


10% incline
3 min. 2.5 spd warm-up
2 x 1 min. 5.0 spd / 1 min. 3.0 spd

Week 10 – 5/3/1 – Day 38

Cycle #3

Squat:  5×115, 5×135, 3×155, 2×175 + 3×205, 3×230, 4×260

These were very heavy.  I had my belt on for them.  Fourth rep, I leaned over quite a bit and felt like I did a good morning.

Boring But Big 70%

Deadlift:  8/6/5/4/4 x 205

Used a belt on all the sets.  Probably shouldn’t of done that, but I was feeling especially exhausted after the squat core lift.

Hanging Knee Raise: 8/6/5

Felt pretty weak on these- skipping them obviously the cause.


10% incline
3 min. 2.5 spd warm-up
2 x 1 min. 5.0 spd / 1 min. 3.0 spd

Week 7 – 5/3/1 – Day 27

Cycle #2

Agile 8 + DeFranco’s  Gewd stuff.  Wasn’t as sore today compared to the previous two days.  May get a foam roller for myself so I can do some rolling at home.  More rolling, less soreness.

Squat:  5×115, 5×140, 3×165 + 5×210, 3×235, 1+”1″x265

All the reps felt good, no lower back strain.  Had a real tight and low barbell position on my back.  I felt the bar firmly against my anterior delts when I squeezed the bar.  I think I lowered the bar a bit too slow on the 1 repper.  I have a habit of doing that when I’m not mentally confident of completing the rep.  I still cranked it out with fair ease.  I went for another rep, but a slight lean forward and my form crapped out.  I got the weight up, but if anything it was more like a good morning.

Boring But Big 60%

Deadlift:  10/8/8/6/10 x 170

Pretty tough.  For the first four sets, my stance was a bit wider.  I set the stance up such that it was about the spacing I would take when prepping for a jump.  This form put considerably less if any stress on my lower back.  However, it also made the lift much more difficult for me.  Knurling scraping against the shins hard was discouraging when I lifted this way.  Narrowed my stance on the last set and it was a breeze.  It was only afterwards, though, that I realized it was easy because I was lifting with my back and not my legs.

Hanging Leg Raises:  10/8/6

Not bad.  One thing I did differently compared to different sessions was crunching my legs upward once my knees reached as far as they could.  I’m not sure if this is necessarily part of the exercise, but it definitely burned my abs quite a bit.

Tabata Sprints:  4×20-10

My route is still up in the air at the moment.  For this session, I used a nearby parking lot.  The first half of the sprint was flat and then the second half was about a 10% incline.  Normally, for tabata sprinting sessions, people go for 8 sets for a total of 4 minutes of hell. Seeing as how I’m just starting, I decided to first start with just 2 sets, but ended up doing 4.  The first sets were really easy.  So I got cocky and went for another 2 sets.  The fatigue hit me hard during the third and fourth sets especially once I hit the incline portions.  My legs went limp and felt like I was lugging tree trunks when I walked back.  I’m going to do 3 sets for another 2 weeks and then add another set on the proceeding weeks.

Week 5 – 5/3/1 – Day 20

Cycle #2

Agile 8 + DeFranco’s  

Squat:  5×95, 5×135 + 5×180, 5×210, 5×235

Haven’t done high volume heavy squats in a long time.  Made sure to get the bar in proper low bar position.  Tried to control the negative part of the lift instead of dropping too fast.

Boring But Big 60%

Deadlift:  5x10x165

First couple of sets were easy, but cardio-wise got me breathing very heavy.  Last 2 sets were very easy.  Ample rest between earlier sets to get my breathing down a bit.

Hanging Leg Raises:  10/10/8/6/4

Used arm straps today for the leg raises.  I’m getting the hang of the exercise- definitely less swing.  I lifted my knees to my chest fast and lowered them slowly to avoid swinging.

Week 4 – 5/3/1 – Day 16

Cycle #1

Agile 8 + DeFranco’s  

Squat:  5×105, 5×135, 5×160

Easy and light.

Boring But Big 50%

Deadlift:  5x10x135

Did touch n’ go on the first set.  Reset after each rep on each set afterwards.

Hanging Leg Raises:  5×10

These were much easier today.  But, I think I may be doing the exercise wrong.  I touch the ground and restabilize myself after each rep, but this takes away the constant contraction in the abs when I have to restabilize myself.

Week 3 – 5/3/1 – Day 12

Cycle #1

Treadmill 5min. walk + Agile 8  

Squat:  5×120, 3×145, 2×175 + 5×200, 3×230, 1×255

Boring But Big 50%

Deadlift:  5x10x135

These were considerably much easier than the previous week’s.  These definitely get me gassed pretty hardcore though.  Realized that holding lockout position actually fatigued me more than I needed.  Narrowing grip also eliminated any source of lower back pain- instead really felt the work being done in my hamstrings and legs.

Hanging Leg Raises:  5×10

These weren’t as bad as the previous week’s.  I actually did all 5 sets this time, resting amply between sets.  Grip strength also got worked a bit, forearms were burning in the latter sets.  I reset myself by touching my feet to the ground and stabilizing myself to a standstill before each rep.  I slightly bring my legs back before each rep- probably will eventually lead to me swinging my legs up instead of using a controlled form.