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5/3/1 Journal + American Ninja Warrior Training


#1

Hey guys. I am 19, soon to be 20. I am 5'5" and around 130 lbs. I've been into fitness my whole life but I've been very inconsistent with my training, and am therefore pretty damn weak (especially my squat). I've decided to wholly commit myself to getting to the gym, and building strength.

I want to train to participate in American Ninja Warrior (ANW). For ANW, great/superhuman grip and back strength/endurance are required, therefore that is where my assistance work is coming from.

My starting training maxes are:
Squat: 90
Bench: 110
Deadlift: 121.5
Press: 70

I have decent pull up strength, though I have not tested my one set max in nearly a year, where I was at 15 (probably around there currently b/c of inconsistent training).

The routine I am running is the 5/3/1 pyramid style (e.g. 65%,75%,85%,75%,65% with RMs on 3rd and 5th set), along with adding in another main lift for 3 sets of 5 for 55%,65%, and 75% each day. This means that I am performing each main lift twice a week; I have noticed I gain strength quickly that way.

My assistance work is going to include low-rep high-set pull ups, weighted pull ups, weighted dips, along with one arm pull up training and grip training.

Wish me luck!


#2

For clarification, for all my reps for Bench and Press I am doing a 3 second negative with an explosive positive, and on squat I am lowering as slowly as I feel comfortable. Also I lowered my 1 RM a bit more than suggested because I need to focus on my explosive speed.

I am noticing that I am able to do a lot of reps on the PR sets. I have seen some people who say “If you are doing more than 8 reps on your PR sets, you need to raise your TMs,” but I don’t think that doing a lot of reps is a bad thing. Wendler’s suggestion is to “start too light” and I think that is brilliant because with high reps, comes hypertrophy (sarcoplasmic) and muscle volume. Once into the third or so cycle, I believe that is where the heavier weight will bring in lower rep PRs. It has been found that starting with muscle volume/sarcoplasmic growth can help the progress of myofibrilar growth later on, and that I think is where Wendler really hit the spot on this program. Hopefully I can gain a lot of strength this year and remain consistent in my training.

Week 1 (week of 6/22/15)
Squat PRs:
80x12
60x17

Press PRs:
60x11
50x13

Bench PRs:
95x11
75x15

Deadlift PRs:
105x10
80x13


#3

Week 2 (week of 6/29/15)
Squat PRs:
85x10
65x20

Press PRs:
65x10
50x15

Bench PRs:
100x10
80x15

Deadlift PRs:
110x10
90x15


#4

Hey man good luck.
American ninja warrior is bad ass, it really make me feel weak anytime I watch it, but I enjoy watching it regardless.
This week be interesting and I will be following along.

Stay strong.


#5

Thanks sam.

Week 3 (week of 7/06/15)
Squat PRs:
90x13
70x20

Press PRs:
70x11
55x15

Bench PRs:
105x11
85x15

Deadlift PRs:
115x13
95x15

Going to change my training maxes next week using 90% of my predicted 1RM from my week 3 heavy PRs. So far I’ve had linear progression (which I have never had before in my life in my little 3 month gym sperts from the last 4 years) and increasing my TMs this way really will just keep the linear pattern going. Deads will be a little more than linear but that is okay b/c 10+ deadlift sets suck.

So new TMs (lbs):
Squat: 115 lbs
Press: 85 lbs
Bench: 125 lbs
Deadlift: 145 lbs


#6

Good luck to you brother. I’ll be following. I dabble a bit in that type of obstacle course/ parkour stuff during my off seasons. I’ve never really made progress because I don’t take it seriously, but it’s a heap of fun.


#7

I was at the beach the first half of the week, so my nutrition was not very good. Especially day of Mil. Press/day before bench press. I definitely felt it in my workouts.

Week 4 (week of 7/13/15)
Squat PRs:
100x10
75x20

Press PRs:
75x10 (I should have stopped at 8. Reps 9 and 10 were struggles. Probably b/c low energy/nutrition)
60x10 (low… but same reason probably)

Bench PRs:
110x9
85x15 (same as last week)

Deadlift PRs:
130x10
100x15

I am going to increase my deadlift to 145 for my heavy set next week b/c these high rep deadlifts still suck. But I’ll probably knock out 145x8-10 cause that seems to be my rate of progression.


#8

Update:

My back started hurting me last week doing squats, so I knew something was off with my form. I finally got someone to film my squat form today and it was atrocious–leaning way forward, back rounding…

So for now I am going to add extra deadlifts on my “squat” day and I am going to work on my form by doing bodyweight box squats and bodyweight box squats with my toes against a wall to ensure that I am staying upright. This was suggested in an Omar Isuf squat form video. I am going to do this for probably ten minutes or so each time I work out.


#9

Ninja Warrior is awesome, be good to see what kind of assistance work you do.

Are the weights listed in lbs or kgs?
Is the lighter second day on the main lifts purely for bar speed?

EDIT: don’t worry, I got the answer to the weight one.


#10

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
Ninja Warrior is awesome, be good to see what kind of assistance work you do.

Is the lighter second day on the main lifts purely for bar speed?

[/quote]

Yeah, the lighter second day is mainly because I still am a beginner, so I am increasing my volume. I kind of made Wendler’s beginner program into a 4 day split instead of 3 days.

My assistance work is like I said, pull ups/chins in high set-low rep (decreasing rest time weekly, then increase #per set once I can do all sets in one continuous set), along with weighted pull ups. I am also doing dips/weighted dips and curls. Then I am doing additional grip work 2 or 3 days a week. It’ll be at least May 2017 before I’d be able to compete in Ninja Warrior b/c of my age so hopefully I can get really strong and get really good endurance.


#11

Week 5 (week of 7/20/15)
No squats b/c form. Did 10 minutes of box squats.

Press PRs:
80x8
60x15

Bench PRs:
115x8
90x16

Deadlift PRs:
145x9
115x17

Next week I am only going to do the first 3 sets for deadlifts, so I do not mess up my form with all these extremely high rep sets. Also probably going to do 160 lbs for the third set.


#12

Im in for the ninja training!

Are you planning on doing any specific obstacle work?

IMO, to train for ninja warrior you want to be doing as many obstacle courses as possible. The guys that seam to do well are usually light, fast on their feet, and have relatively strong upper body strength. Heaps of pull-ups, monkey bar work and some general calisthenic work I think would be of benefit.

Uncle Bird.

tweet


#13

[quote]theBird wrote:
Im in for the ninja training!

Are you planning on doing any specific obstacle work?

IMO, to train for ninja warrior you want to be doing as many obstacle courses as possible. The guys that seam to do well are usually light, fast on their feet, and have relatively strong upper body strength. Heaps of pull-ups, monkey bar work and some general calisthenic work I think would be of benefit.

Uncle Bird.

tweet[/quote]

This is exactly why I first clicked on this log too. I love that style of training, it’s my old climber coming out again.


#14

In response to theBird and dagil, I will be headed back to school in a couple weeks where I’ll have access to the climbing wall, so I will be doing that hopefully a few times a week. I was a gymnast until my teenage years and I am really good at body control and have a really strong core, so right now I am trying to increase my grip strength and pull up strength. I do not have access to any obstacle course type equipment, so I cannot unfortunately do any specific training. I still would have at least 20 months until the earliest point that I could compete, so it is going to be a while.

Training Log
Week 6 (week of 7/27/15)

Press PRs:
85x8
65x15

Bench PRs:
120x8
95x15

Deadlift PRs:
160x9

My six week progress (week of 6/22/15 to week of 7/27/15)
Bench: from 95x11 to 120x8
Press: from 60x11 to 85x8 (and 65x15)
Deadlift: from 105x10 to 160x9

It’s really nice seeing the progress that I have made in six weeks. My deadlift has skyrocketed b/c of getting more used to it. Also my press has increased a good deal.
I took too big of a jump in my bench, and was not able to progress linearly like I had hoped. So I am going to repeat this phase on the bench because my reps were way too slow and too close to failure the last two weeks. I am trying to keep my rep speed high and hit 8-10 reps, leaving 1-2 in the tank.


#15

Yesterday I actually took a class from Sam Sann at his gym in Houston. Amazing. Probably the hardest hand and forearm workout I’ve ever experienced. In my life.