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

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5×3 Bench Cycle – Week 3 – Moderate Bench Day

Close Grip Bench Press:  10xBar + 10×65 + 5x5x85
Incline Bench Press:  10xBar + 5×65 + 2x8x85 + 6×85
DB Rows:  3x10x45
Pull-ups:  1/1/1
Military Press:  3x10x50
Seated DB Extensions:  3x10x45
BB Curls:  2x10x40 + 4×50

Struggled with the incline bench press today.  Only right lats and upper chest were engaging.  Dumbbell rows were also a bit difficult.  Standing overhead presses were surprisingly pretty easy.  Seated dumbbell extensions were pretty easy as well.  Barbell curls were hard on the last set.  May have gone up to 50s accidentally.

Week15 – Day41B – Biggy Biggy Biggy

Weight: 190.0 lbs

I’ve never been this heavy before.  190lbs is certainly a sight to see on the scale.  Good? Bad?  I’m not sure yet.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×135 + 4×155 + 3×175 + 2×195 + 1×215 + 5×235 + 5×115

Had some bit of forward lean on the last 2 reps of the top set.  I was trying not to look straight ahead as it would have put my neck in an awkward position relative to my body.  Instead, I tried to focus lower on the wall in front of me.  Most squatters tend to look up to keep their chest up- I used to do this as well.  However, this put my neck in a bad position.  With this in mind, keeping my neck in line with my spine proved to have been difficult in trying to maintain my chest and torso upright.  More core is definitely engaged when I position my neck this way.

Seated Plate Raises:  3x10x25
Seated Lateral Raise: 3x6x15
Seated DB Shrug + Clean + Half Press:  3x6x15

15 pounders were pretty grueling.  Took about 1 to 1.5 min. rests after the 2nd set.  Paused briefly between the lateral raises and shrug-clean-half presses to give myself a brief momentto get over some of the fatigue build up.

Deadlift:  5×135 + 3×165 + 2×185 + 1×205 + 1×25 + 5×250

Used the belt on the top set.  Alternating grip.  All the sets felt much better than before.  Definitely didn’t feel as though I was rounding as much.  No significant lower back pain after the reps, so that’s good news.  One thing I’m not too happy about is banging my knees up on the ascent and descent.  I’m trying to keep the bar close to my body, but at the same trying not to slide the bar down my leg.  I used a stance an inch narrower on each side and moved my arms closer in to keep them perpendicular to the floor.  I think this certainly helped so I will make sure to remember this cue when deadlifting next B session.

Accessories:
Incline Bench:  3x5xBar + 3x8x85
DB Rows:  3x8x50
Chin-ups:  3/1/1
Incline DB:  3x8x45

Did similar push and pull accessories for today.  I think I may swap a few of these for some more shoulder accessories and perhaps some low back strengthening.

Core:
Elbow plank:  1min. 10 sec.

Tough doing these today, whole body was a shaking.

Week13 – Day36A – Consistency

Weight:  186.4 lbs
Duration:  12:35pm – 1:50pm ~ 1hr. 15min.

Simplicity and minimalism.  Some people scoff at the notion of having to experience, generally, the same thing over and over again.  I’ll agree to a point- I get bored pretty easily too.   Sometimes, things can get seemingly monotonous and we decide to seek change.  However, in the realm of strength training, personal experience has shown me that consistency from beginning to end is king.  Sustaining a periodized program to leverage linear progression is the only way I know how to get stronger and it has yet to fail me.

“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”

Squats:  3x5xBar +5×115 + 3×145 + 2×165 + 1×185 + 3x5x210

Felt strong on these, especially on the first 2-3 sets.  I made sure not to round the back even when I was grinding out the last 2 reps.  I rested about 3 minutes before the 4th and 5th sets.

Bench:  3x10xBar +10×75 + 10×95 + 1×115 + 5/5/4/5/4 x 130

Stalled on the bench, yeouch.  I was trying to rest at most 30 seconds between sets.  Fatigue got the best of me.

Rows:  5×85 + 3×105 + 1×125 + 5x5x145

At this point, I think I need to record myself and judge whether or not I’m totally butchering form.  I do know that I’m jerking quite a bit with my upper body which certainly takes away training for strength.

Accessories:
Preacher Curls: 14×50
Incline DB Bench: 10×45
Standing EZ Bar Curls: 10×40
Dips:  10/4.5/4.5
Seated DB Curls: 8×30

Week13 – Day34A – Dirty

Weight:  185 lbs
Duration:  11:35am – 12:40pm ~ 1hr 5min

Had some not so wonderful food post workout.  I believe the term coined in the bodybuilding community is “dirty bulk”.  I’ve been pretty aggressive on the face stuffing for the last week and a half or so.  The “see food” diet.  I’m a firm believer in simple calories in/calories out, BUT, I also like to believe in putting good quality calories in 90% of the time.  My current weight is roughly where I was floating around at the peak of my strength some 1.5 to 2 years ago.  My lift poundages, however…are no where near what I was lifting a littler over 2 years ago (Fall 2012).

Squats:  3x5xBar +5×115 + 3×135 + 2×155 + 1×175 + 3x5x200

Shoes off, was heavy, but made sure to avoid going too deep into the hole to avoid rounding the back.  I felt a bit more forward lean, but I tried to keep my neck in line with my spine.  Other than that, it wasn’t too bad.  Mentally, I think, knowing that I’ve cut out the 4th and 5th sets, I have a bit more confidence in avoiding injury so I can squat without any hesitation.

Bench:  3x10xBar + 5×65 + 5×85 + 3×105 + 5x5x125

The first 3 sets of the work weight felt pretty light.  Last 2 sets, there were a few small grinders, mainly lockout of the bar.

Rows:  5×85 + 3×105 + 1×120 + 5x5x140

Damn heavy.  Strict Pendalay was out the window, I was definitely jerking upwards.  The one thing I tried to pay attention to is to control the bar on the negative.

Accessories:
Preacher Curls: 12x50
Incline DB Bench: 10×45
Standing EZ Bar Curls: 10x45
Dips:  11/5/2.5
Seated DB Curls: 8x30
Pushups: 10/10/6

Core:
Elbow Planks:  55 seconds

Week12 – Day32A – Blind Spot

Weight:  183.4 lbs
Duration:  12:15 – 1:20 ~ 1hr 5min.

Driving into work this morning and I turned my head over my left shoulder to check my blind spot and bam.  I felt a sudden twinge in my neck and immediately felt a lot of pressure at the base of my neck on the left side.  Turning my head a bit here and there was very bothersome.  The pressure has subsided over time, but as of writing this right now, some 6 hours later and the neck is still feeling not so great.  Nonetheless, I still went to the gym and made sure to take it easy.  Low back strain is doesn’t feel as aggravated as on Wednesday.  I made sure to invest some more time in the warm-ups to get me loose.  Did additional parts of the Agile 8 hip mobility warm-up routine, specifically, mountain climbers and groiners.  These usually get the heart rate up and allows me to break a slight sweat.  I did these on top of the static hip flexor stretches aka lunges/warrior poses and the fire hydrants.  I also started the warm-up with 3 sets of 30 sec. jump rope to get the blood flowing.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×95 + 3×115 + 3×135 + 3x3x155

Did 3 sets of empty bar good mornings before I even did the 3 sets of empty bar squats.  The low back was working a lot during these, not sure why.  I narrowed my stance a bit.  I think too wide a stance is causing me to round the low back in the hole, especially on reps where I go below parallel.  For now, I’m going to try and keep it to squatting to parallel.  The narrow stance was a bit more comfortable for sure.  I didn’t work to my top set of 195 and instead did a 3×3 on the top set to give myself some rest.

Bench:  3x10xBar + 5×65 + 5×85 + 3×100 + 5x5x120

These felt better, but I felt my shoulders were working a bit more than usual.  I shrugged and drove through my feet on the last set as I was pretty fatigued at this point.  Again, I’m not pressing to full extension and instead focused on maintaining the squeeze in my shoulder blades.

Rows:  5×65 + 3×85 + 1×105 + 5x5x135

The top set felt pretty heavy.  I was a bit worried here with my neck strain and all, but the lift didn’t aggravate it anymore, so that was good.  I was definitely jerking a bit on the last few reps.

Accessories:
Preacher Curls: 10×50
Incline BB Bench: 10xBar + 10×65 + 10×85
Standing EZ Bar Curls: 10×40
Tricep Extensions: 10×50
Seated DB Curls: 10×25
Dips: 7/4/2

The EZ bar curls were a lot easier today.  Tricep extensions weren’t bad- definitely felt more comfortable resistance compared to the really light 40lbs.  The dips felt very strong, but I got fatigued very easily.