I squatted yesterday to start week 3 of cycle 4.  It was a good session and I was pleased with the outcome.

After warmups including neck work and all that stuff, I started squatting (bar and then up).  My work sets were:

205 x 5

230 x 3

255 x 1+ (7, belt and sleeves)

205 x 10 (sleeves)

I was very pleased with the 255 for 7.  They moved very well until the last rep.  I probably could have ground out another ugly rep, but I wanted to leave something in the tank.

After squats, I did Romanian deadlifts from a 3″ deficit (standing on two plates and a rubber floor tile).  I did a warmup set of 5 at 135.  Then, it was time for as many reps as possible at 180.  I got 13.  Whew, I felt like I was going to lose my lunch after that.  Fun stuff.

I finished up with 3 sets of 12 hanging leg raises.


This is obviously quite tardy.  Back on Saturday, I got in my training at the gym my father in law lifts at.  I squeezed in deadlifts and overhead press to finish up week 2 of cycle 4.

After warming up, I did my warmup deadlifts from a deficit (standing on a bumper plate).  I have done this the last few deadlift workouts based on an article I read on t-nation.  It presented an interesting idea about using the deficit to prepare for pulling from the floor on your heavier sets.  It seemed worth a try, so that is what I am doing.

Pulls went:215 x 3

250 x 3

280 x 3+ (10, belted)

215 x 15

After deadlifts, I did front squats.  One warm up set, then a set of as many reps as possible at 150.  I got 10 :-/  I guess I was not too bummed about this due to my legs being pretty fatigued from all the deadlifting.

At this point, my father in law had finished squatting, so I got him to leave 225 on the bar.  I then singled 225 and 275 on the squat, just because I wanted to make myself do it when I was exhausted.

This was a pretty long session for me, because next was overhead press.  My shoulder was still really bothering me, so this was not an exceptional pressing day.

95 x 3

110 x 3

120 x 3+ (4)

After overhead press, I did close grip bench (rest pause), barbell curls (rest pause), and pull-ups (rest pause).  I have been doing the curls before my chins and pullups (depending on the day), because that is the way Wendler had it written in the template in the 2nd edition book.  However, I will be changing that up this week.  My pullups sucked because my biceps were exhausted.  I definitely value pullups more highly than curls, and I wish I had thought this through sooner.  But, all I can do is adjust things going forward and learn from my mistakes.

Overall, this was a good session, and I was very pleased with 10 reps at 280 on the deadlift.  If I can get my shoulder healthy, all my lifts seem to be moving along well.

year 2 cycle 4 week 2

On Wednesday, I benched. So, I’m sorry this is a bit delayed. It was a good session, and my bench is getting back to where it was last year, too. My body weight is also up a couple pounds (~171), but that is fine. I’m keeping an eye on my midsection.

Bench went:

140 x 3
160 x 3
180 x 3+ rest pause set (10, 3, 3)

I was very pleased with 10 reps here. It is not a PR, but it is definitely the best my bench has been since I lost weight. This gave me an estimated 1 RM of 240.

After bench, I did dips. After a warm-up set, I did a rest pause set. On the rest pause set, I got 10, then 5, and then 3.

Since I remembered how to edit all the boring parts of the videos, I figured I would share them today. After dips, I hit a rest pause set of chin ups. I managed 9 reps to start, then, 4, and 2. After chins, it was reverse grip barbell curls (rest pause), and I finished with a set of dumbbell rows. I loaded my dumbbell up to 95 pounds, and used straps. My forearms were pretty beat from chins and curls. I managed 17 reps with each arm. As usual, the rows left me gasping and exhausted.

Really good session, and I am looking forward to pulling tomorrow. I am hoping to lift at my father in law’s gym, and I will pack in deadlifts and overhead press tomorrow. Fun times.

Smash weight.

I am at a complete loss for any kind of a creative title today. I squatted yesterday. It was a good session.

After warming up with leg swings, shoulder dislocates, and stuff like that, I did a few light sets of squats up to my work sets. The jokers out there might point out that all of these are light squats. Haha, hilarious. Anyway, here is how it went:

190 x 3
215 x 3
245 x 3+ (8) (belt and knee sleeves)
190 x 13 (sleeves, no belt)

Well, I don’t think I have any question about my depth today.

I looked back through my training journal and spreadsheets after this workout, and 245 x 8 is on up there with some of the best sets I have done in the last year and a half. So, I was very happy about that. I am still weighing in about 10 pounds lighter than I was at my strongest last year, and my squat seems to be back to that level.

After squats, I did Romanian deadlifts from a 3″ deficit. After a warmup set, I did a set of as many reps as possible at 160. I got 14, and I stopped at that point because I felt my form deteriorating rapidly. Plus, I felt like I might hurl. Fun stuff.

I finished up with abs. I still am incapable of doing a full repetition with the ab wheel from a standing position. So, I did 2 sets of 5 standing with the biggest range of motion I could control, then I did 1 set of 15 kneeling.

It does not look like a lot on paper, but I was exhausted at this point. Today, I am going to bench, so I will report back with that later. Smash weight.

Quick update

Posted: May 25, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

My Internet is out, so I am doing this from my phone. That means this is going to be really short and possibly full of errors.

I pulled yesterday. My top set was 265 for 5+. I got 10, and I went beltless yesterday for whatever reason. I then did a backdown set at my first weight, 200. I got 12 there. Brutal couple of sets. My second lift was front squats. Warmup, then as many reps as possible at 130, which was 12 before my lower back gave out. I finished with 3 sets of 12 hanging leg raises.

Today, I did overhead press. My shoulder is still jacked up and it showed. My top set on press was 115. This was a rest pause set: 7, 2, and 2. Lame. I also did rest pause for close grip bench, pull-ups, and barbell curls. I finished with two sets of shrugs on the trap bar.

I like the rest pause training. I am hopeful that this change of pace will lead to a little mass gain over the next two months. At that point, I will probably test to see where my lifts are at and plan the next few cycles. Also, this stuff is brutal. My muscles are sore, and my body just aches today. Gotta make sure and get my calories and sleep.

Smash weight.

year 2 cycle 4 week 1

Today, I got to do my first bench day with rest pause. It was exhausting, but a lot of fun.


135 x 5
150 x 5
170 x 5+ Rest Pause set

At 170, I got 11 reps, then 5, and then 3. My right shoulder is still killing me. I am not sure what the deal is, but it only hurts at the bottom position on the bench press. Plus, it does not hurt enough to stop me from doing it. So, I do not know why I mentioned it in the first place.

After bench, I did dips. I moved the spot pins on the rack up and laid both of my barbells across them. Voila: homemade dip setup. I actually have video of my rest pause sets of bench and dips. However, I am rusty on imovie and haven’t been able to edit out all the boring deep breaths between mini-sets yet. So, dips went pretty well. After a warmup set of 5, I got 10, 4, and 4.

After dips, I did chins. Chins actually were a little disappointing. I am apparently better at pullups than chin ups now. I did a warmup set of 5. Then, my rest pause set of chins, I got 7, 4, and 2. Based on my weak chinning performance, I think my biceps are holding me back, since I rarely train them. I mean, I can do a set of 10 pullups these days. It is all good. These will improve, too.

Wendler’s rest pause template includes some bicep work, so my previously mentioned problem will get some work. I did a warmup set of 5 with the bar, then did a rest pause set of reverse grip curls with 50 pounds. After the chins, this was tough. 12, 7, and 5 reps here.

I finished the day with one set of dumbbell rows with 95 pounds. I used straps, and got 16 with lefty, 15 with righty.

I was pretty worn out at this point. This is a lot of fun. I think two months of rest pause training are going to be awesome.

Year 2 cycle 4 week 1

Today, I am beginning two cycles of 5/3/1 and rest pause training. I am doing this based on the programming laid out in the 2nd edition of Wendler’s book. Today was squat day. I love squat day, even though my squat is not exceptional. Squats are a mental challenge, and my squat is eventually going to be good.

Squats, 5 day

175 x 5
205 x 5
230 x 5+ (10, belt and knee sleeves)
175 x 15 (sleeves)

I probably could have ground out another rep or two at 230, but 10 was my target. Squats felt really good today. Between the deload week and the adjustment in head position from a couple weeks ago, everything moved really well.

My second exercise was Romanian deadlifts. These were done standing on a plate, and went as follows:

115 x 5
135 x 15 (as many reps as possible set)

Obviously, this was amrap, not rest pause. Wendler says not to do rest pause on big lower body lifts (deadlifts, squats, etc). That is also why I had two amrap squat sets. 15 deficit rdl’s were…fun. I am glad to be trying a new movement and giving good mornings a break.

I finished up with 3 sets of 15 kneeling ab wheel. My lower back and abs were exhausted from the squats and pulls. Fun session. I am going to need to eat a lot to fuel this the next couple months.