T Nation

5/3/1 and This Time It's Serious

Just got back into the gym after a few months without much lifting. Basically the plan is to do a 5/3/1, 4 separate sessions when possible, if not then a Squat/Bench and Deadlift/Mil. Press split, depending on my somewhat erratic work patterns and Rugby commitments.

Through until the end of April I should have a game of rugby every Saturday and when possible also training sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which usually tend do be a lot more conditioning/ball skills than heavy contact work. I also walk a fair bit and play golf at least once a week carrying my clubs as GPP. I need to drop some BF and rehab some injuries as I go along too.

I’ve arrived at the following as 1RMs to be going on with:

Squat - 100kg (Tested Last week)
Bench - 80 kg (Tested as 2RM Last week)
Deadlift - 120kg (Estimated - can probably pull more but need to re-groove form)
Mil Press - 50kg (Tested 2 weeks ago)

I know these numbers are pretty low and I was a bit reluctant to put them on here at first but I have had so many injuries and illnesses in the last couple of years I know that they are OK numbers and should increase well - all time PRs are 155, 110, 160, 60.

My Plan is to do the 5/3/1, then 5 sets of a direct assistance/volume exercise, 5 sets of an antagonist movement then 6-10 sets of “free time” choosing exercises to support the main lift and/or so some other bodypart, the pairings are:

Squat = Legs & Neck/Traps
Bench = Triceps & Rear Delts/Scap Stability
Deadlift = Back & Core
Mil Press = Shoulders & Biceps

Week 1 - Squats (23/1/12)
Warmed up on bike, then some swings and goblet squats, also used a Powerplate to get some blood into my knees which were still aching a bit from a full game of Rugby on Saturday - I wound up wearing neoprene knee sleeves for the squats as the weight room was pretty cold .

Squats: (W/U) Barx5, 35x5, 45x5, 55x5
5/3/1 Sets: 57.5x5, 67.5x5, 77.5x8

Cybex Squat Press: 120x10 x5

Hamstring Curl: 45x 10, 10, 10, 10, 7

Standing Calf Raise: 80x10 x3

Shrugs: 100x 7,8,8

Dumbbell Dorsiflexion Super-set With Seated Calf Raise (no machine, so plates on the knee)
12x15 / 40x15
12x15 / 40x15
12x15 / 40x20

Finished off with a bit of Jog and a hot-tub.

Took a bit longer than I planned but good session, in an ideal world I would probably do an upper body lift on a Monday to give my legs another days recovery from Rugby but other commitments mean I have to spare my Arms on a Monday.

Week 1 - Bench (24/1/12)
Warmed up on bike, then DB Lat Raises and French Presses to get some blood into my shoulders and Tris, also got my upper body moving a bit and stretched off any tight spots.

Bench (W/U) Bar x15, 30x5, 40x5
5/3/1 Sets: 47.5x5, 57.5x5, 62.5x10 (got the weight increase wrong between sets think it was meant to be 47.5, 55, 60…)

1Arm Cable Press: 27x10, 36x8 x4 - Did these Weak arm first then matched the reps.

1Arm Row: 32 x15, x12 - Took a slight rest after running out of steam then repped through.

California Press: 40x 8,6,6
Close Grip BP: 50x6 x3

Cable Flyes: 27 x6, 4, 18 x6

Rope Pressdown: 18x20, 36x 10, 8

Face Pull (Using Dual handle Se-Row): 18x10, 22.5x8, 18x10

EZ Cable Curl: 27x15, 31.5x12

I would up doing more accessory work than I planned because I enjoy training Triceps and then realised my Chest wasn’t getting enough work. I also stuck in some curls just to balance out the elbow stresses - I tend to feel a bit better if I do this. Probably need to do some more chest work as my bench is very Triceps dominant, but my Shoulders feel OK which is a nice change.

Rugby Training later - probably 60-80 minutes of running based stuff, legs not too sore from yesterday but will be sure to stretch well and be careful.

Note, Underlines denote both sides, either weights or reps.

OK, Last nights training session turned out to be a bit harder than expected - plenty of running fitness but also some tackling work. Bit sore this morning(mostly quads), but P-Chain feels ok so will go ahead with Deadlift session - probably won’t get through full assistance work though, but that’s the beauty of 5/3/1…

Well, that was painful…

Week 1 Deadlifts (25/1/12)

Warmup: Cycle, Powerplate

Aaargh, Forum has lost most of todays post… Will include tomorrow.

Week 1 Deadlifts (25/01/12)

Warmup - Cycle, Powerplate Stretches, Band Good Mornings.

Deadlift - 40x6, 50x6, 60x5
70x5, 80x5, 92.5x6

Machine H/S Curl - 31.5x12 x3

Cable Crunch - 36x12 x5

Iso-Lateral Cable Pulldown - 47.5x10 x3

Was very sore it turned out so didn’t do all that much. Also discovered that my new belt is no good for pulling in - will have to dig out old one. Also walked a couple of miles with my Dad’s dog last night as a stretch of the legs.

Week 1 Military Press (26/01/12)

Warmup - Machine Shoulder Press SSW/ DB Lat Raise

Military Press - 20x6, 25x5
30x5, 35x5, 37.5x10

Seated DB Press - 17x8 x2, 14x8 x3

Dual Cable Curls - 18x10, 10, 10, 8, 8 Each Set with different cable position/angle.

Machine Reverse Flyes - 31.5x10 x5

Delt Triads* - 7 x10/10/10, 8x10/6/6, 7x10/8/6

*Borrowed from an article on here (possibly a Meadows one? not sure EDIT - Clay Hyght actually) Tri-Set of Side Raise, Front Raise and Press with same set of dumbbells.

Felt surprisingly good today, not too many aches except for front of neck, not sure why. Training tonight - gonna take it relatively easy, not do any contact work to spare my neck. Tomorrow is Golf, fairly flat course but still a few miles walk and a bit of flexibility.

Non-Lifting days update:
Thursday Night I passed on full rugby training and ran sprints etc on the field.
Friday played golf and walked a few miles with the Dog as well.
Saturday - Played about 50-60 minutes of Rugby, knee is aching today and got a dead-leg (opposite thigh).
Today - mostly rest, bit of a walk with the Dog but that was it.

Week 2 - Squats (30/1/12)
Warmed up on bike, Also Powerplate stretches and massages - 3 major aches, Left quad from Deadleg, Right Knee and Right SI Joint (low back) but felt up to getting on with it.

Squats: (W/U) Barx5, 30x5, 40x5, 50x5
5/3/1 Sets: 62.5x3, 72.5x3, 80x7

Cybex Squat Press: 120x10 x4

Standing (Smith M) Calf Raise: 87x10 x3

Seated Calf Raise (Smith M - bar on knees): 47x15, 67x15, 20

DB Dorsiflexion: 12x20, 15x14

Few hours later now and my back is aching like stink - it seems to come and go largely independent of training but today it is making its presence felt. Will try to get it settled tomorrow - Bench session is on for sure but may not be able to do rugby training later on as I have to get some dental repairs done which may not set in time.

Tuesday & Wednesday:

Felt Pretty low energy yesterday so didn’t make it to the gym until later in the day than planned, got through Bench workout below well though. Didn’t make it to training with Rugby club and today was written off due to a household emergency which led to me spending 6 hours pulling up a rather rotten floor and performing the little known “Toilet Pan Carry” exercise as part of the stripping out process.

Week 2 Bench (31/1/12)
Machine Chest Press as warmup - ramped up to just below starting bench weight, then repped up to groove the bench.

Bench: Bar x10, 30x5, 40x5
50x3, 57.5x3, 65x10
50x10 x4
(I’m not jumping on the Boring but big for everything but felt like getting some more reps in, may do same for Military Press as well)


Rope Pressdown:

Machine Flye:
38.5 x 12
45 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 6.

Machine Reverse Flye: 31.5 x10 x3

Tomorrow I will do Deadlifts & Mil Press.

Week 2 Deadlifts & Mil Press - 2/2/12

Rowing Machine warmup today, plus some band good mornings, pull aparts and Machine shoulder pressing.

Deadlifts: 40x5, 60x5

Military Press: 20x10, 25x8

25x 10, 10, 8

Se-Row (Twin Cable):
52 x10 x3

Face Pull (Rope):
22.5x10 x2

Double Cable Curl:
18 x10 x3

Cable Crunch:
36x10 x2

Leg Extension:
45x10 x2

Cable External Rotation:
9 x 10
9 x 12 x2

Today also proved it is possible to get an OK workout despite the back to back Britney marathon on the music TV they had tuned in…

Friday played Golf again but didn’t do much over the weekend (Rugby cancelled due to snow) and no chance to train Monday.

Week 3 Squat & Bench (7/2/12)

Warmed up with empty bar and a 15kg plate to get ready to squat.

67.5 x 5
77.5 x 3
85 x 10

Bar x 10
40 x 5
50 x 5
55 x 5
62.5 x 3
70 x 10

Low Incline Bench: 40 x 10 x4

Cable Pressdown dropsets:
49.5 x 11 / 43 x 9 / 36 x 6
49.5 x 8 / 43 x 5 / 36 x 7
49.5 x 8 / 43 x 5 / 36 x 6 / 29.5 x 7 / 22.5 x 11 / 18 x 12

Cable Curl Multi-Grip Sets:
36 x 29
36 x 23
36 x 26
These were done on Cables as a mechanical dropset -shifting from a claw grip on the end-balls of a rope, to the rope as a hammer grip, to wide bar grip, to close bar grip.

1 Arm Low Cable Row: 36 x 10

Pulldowns on Iso Cables:
68 x 8
68 x 4

2 More heavy sessions to report - I think the deload week on the horizon makes me go a bit Over the top in week 3 (I didn’t always used to deload but am deff gonna this year)

Week 3 Deadlifts - 8/2/12
Had to wait an age for the space to Deadlift as the one other guy I’ve ever seen pull in our gym was there doing singles with 4/5 minute rest intervals so was well warmed up and kinda broke from the 5/3/1 to test my Deads.

Row, Cycle & Good Mornings to warmup.

60 x 5
100 x 3
110 x 3
120 x 2
130 x 2
140 x 1

Rack Pulls: 100 x 5, 5, 3 (Grip failled)

Assorted Core Work.

DB Single Leg SLDL:
15 x 6 x 2

Chest Supported Twin Cable Row:
36 x 12
54 x 8
54 x 8

Kneeling Palloff Presses: 18 x 10 x 2

Week 3 Military Press (9/2/11)

Warmups - Machine Shoulder Presses followed by assorted Band exercises to loosen shoulders and triceps.

Military Press:
20 x 8
30 x 5
35 x 5
37.5 x 3
42.5 x 7

Smith Machine Seated Press:
27 x 10
37 x 8
37 x 10
37 x 8
37 x 6

EZ Bar Curl Strip Sets:
Weights = 38/35.5/33/28
Set 1: 6/6/5/6
Set 2: 5/5/4/5
Set 3: 4/4/5/5

1 Arm Cable Row (High Elbow):
18 x 12
22.5 x 10
27 x 10
27 x 10

Cable Lat Raise:
9 x 14
9 x 12
9 x 10

Head Harness Cable Neck Extension:
18 x 5 x 2

Front Neck Bridge on Swiss Ball:
30 Sec Static Hold x 2

Deload Week (13-20 Feb)

Not gonna post workouts as they’re hardly interesting, but generally I’m trying to stick to higher reps and bring in a bit of a whole body aspect to my workouts this week. Also trying a few new things out and getting a bit more low intensity cardio in. Probably train at Rugby club tomorrow night, Golf on Friday on a hill course and Game of Rugby on Saturday.

I’m probably gonna move to just 2 heavy days a week and so some more Conditioning work during the next cycle, last 3 weeks my weight stayed static but dropped about an inch off my waist and shoulders, arms and thighs looking a bit bigger so already going the right way but want to speed it up a bit.

Monday I did a conditioning session based on some Cosgrove complexes, was struggling a bit with a knee and elbow suffering from Saturday (80 minutes of rugby mostly spent chasing Fijians…)

Week 5 Squat/Bench (21/2/12)

Assorted Warmup work.

20 x 6, 40 x 5, 50 x 5
62.5 x 5
70 x 5
80 x 11

50 x 8 x 3

20 x 10
50 x 5
57.5 x 5
65 x 11

Incline Bench:
40 x 8 x 5

Meadows Row:
20 x 8 x 4

Overhead Rope Extension:
43 x 8 x 3

Seated Calr Raise SSW/ Miniband Dorsiflexion
57 x 20 / 20
57 x 20 / 24
57 x 30 / 30