T Nation

A Strong Squat, Brutal Bench Press, Dauntless Deadlift, and Massive Military press are as easy as 5/3/1


#1

Well this is my first training log. What better way to keep track of one's progress than on the Internet.

Anyways, here's a little background. I'm 5'10", 200 lbs, and 19 years old. In high school I mainly swam and did some soccer.

My best lifts are as follows:
Bench press: 245 lbs
Squat: 275 lbs
Military press: 165 lbs
Deadlift: 335 lbs

By December 2011 I plan on getting these numbers:
Bench press: 315 lbs
Squat: 405 lbs
Military press: 225 lbs
Deadlift: 455 lbs
Chin up: BW+135 lbs
T-bar row: 6 plates


#2

Cycle 1, Week 1, Day 1

Bench press
5x145
5x165
11x185 (according to Wendler’s magic formula that’s a max of about 250, hopefully I can actually hit 250 now)

10x115
10x115
10x115
10x115
10x115

T-bar rows (these were supersetted with all the bench pressing)
10x2 plates
10x2 plates
10x2 plates
10x2 plates
10x2 plates
10x2 plates
10x2 plates
10x2 plates

Overall, a good workout. 11x185 on the bench felt good. After the 1st set of 10x115 felt pretty gassed, but started to feel more energetic as the sets progressed. The T-bar rows felt great, I could really feel my back working and my shoulder blades retracting.


#3

Cycle 1, Week 1, Day 2

Squat
5x160
5x185
14x210 (Wendler’s formula says this is a 1RM of about 305, after a few cycles I definitely plan on getting 305)

10x135
10x135
10x135
10x135
10x135

RDLs
I was planning on doing 5x10x95 but after all the squatting my lower back was really hurting.

I was planning on posting a video of the 14x210 squat but the wires to transfer the video from the camera have gone missing. So until I find them there won’t be any video. But I did watch the video, and figured out why my lower back was hurting after squatting (particularly after the 14x210). Turns out I actually have to work on my squat technique (who would’ve thunk). I specifically have to drill in my head to keep my lower back arched hard throughout the entire movement. I probably haven’t taken notice until now because I never really did high rep squat work. Other than that the workout went well. I’m loving the Godsmack I’ve added to my training playlist.


#4

I found the wires. So here’s the video of my 14x210 squat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR5v7DyQqH0

After doing some planks that were harder than they should’ve been. I’ve figured that the reason why my form is breaking down is due to my lack of core strength. So from now on I’ll be doing a fair amount of planks to bring my core up to par.


#5

Cycle 1, Week 1, Day 3

Military press
5x95
5x110
10x125 (Using Wendler’s formula, that gives me a 1RM of 165)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inbEPdX7hN8

10x65
10x65
10x65
10x65
10x65

Chin ups (these were supersetted with Military pressing)
5xBW
5xBW
5xBW
5xBW
5xBW
5xBW
5xBW
5xBW

Generally an average workout, nothing special or bad really.


#6

Cycle 1, Week 1, Day 4

Deadlift
5x195
5x225 (this set felt unusually difficult)
13x255 (despite the previous set feeling crappy, this one felt great. Using Wendler’s formula this is a 1RM of about 365)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGIIqq-lcf8

10x135
10x135
10x135
10x135
10x135

Lunges (these were supersetted with the 5x10x135 deadlifting)
10x95
10x95
10x95
10x95
10x95

An average workout, with the exception of hitting 13x255, I thought I would barely be able to get 10 reps. After one week of 5/3/1, I’m really liking it.

Using Wendler’s formula to calculate my estimated averages has shed some light onto what I should be focusing on for my assistance lifts. So far my upper body lifts have been close to what they should be, but based on the numbers my lower body lifts should be higher than they are. Of course this can only be said with little certainty.
But I figure a combination of my lack of core and lower back strength have something to do with it. So looks like I need to be throwing in some core/lower back work into my lower body assistance work. I’ll start off with throwing in planks.


#7

[quote]AquaCruzer wrote:
I found the wires. So here’s the video of my 14x210 squat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR5v7DyQqH0

After doing some planks that were harder than they should’ve been. I’ve figured that the reason why my form is breaking down is due to my lack of core strength. So from now on I’ll be doing a fair amount of planks to bring my core up to par. [/quote]

I also noticed that your looking down while you squat, which is causing you to lean foward as you descend. Fix your eyes on something that is straight ahead and make yourself sit back on your heals, that should help, as will more core work. I had the same problem and this seemed to fix it. The deadlifting was some spot on form though, keep it up.


#8

[quote]chrispullen87 wrote:

[quote]AquaCruzer wrote:
I found the wires. So here’s the video of my 14x210 squat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR5v7DyQqH0

After doing some planks that were harder than they should’ve been. I’ve figured that the reason why my form is breaking down is due to my lack of core strength. So from now on I’ll be doing a fair amount of planks to bring my core up to par. [/quote]

I also noticed that your looking down while you squat, which is causing you to lean foward as you descend. Fix your eyes on something that is straight ahead and make yourself sit back on your heals, that should help, as will more core work. I had the same problem and this seemed to fix it. The deadlifting was some spot on form though, keep it up.[/quote]

I’ll definitely work on that come my next squat day. Thanks for the squatting tip and deadlift compliment. Good to hear from someone who had a similar problem.


#9

Cycle 1, Week 2, Day 1

Bench press
3x155
3x175
10x195 (This would give me a 1RM of around 260. This set felt so much easier than last week’s 11x185, after rep 10 I felt like I could’ve done 1 or 2 more)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNQFZgXUGrM

10x115
10x115
10x115
10x115
10x115

T-bar row (supersetted with bench pressing)
10x2 plates
10x2 plates
10x2 plates
10x2 plates
10x2 plates
10x2 plates
10x2 plates
10x2 plates

The 10x195 set felt great, other than that an average workout.


#10

Cycle 1, Week 2, Day 2

Squat
3x170
3x195
12x220 (This gives me a 1RM of about 305)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7ZJEIYlFso

10x135
10x135
10x135
10x135
10x135

Planks (these were supersetted with the 10x135 squats)
5x45 seconds

For the most part today was a normal workout. It was good that I hit my goal of 12x220 for today. Really tried to arch my back and prevent it from rounding while doing squats. Compared to last week’s squat technique, today’s felt much better since my lower back wasn’t bothering me at all during the workout. Hopefully the new addition of planks as assistance will help my squat technique and numbers.


#11

Cycle 1, Week 2, Day 3

Military press
3x100
3x115
11x130 (This is a 1RM of around 175)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7ySze9kWEM

5x10x30 (these were done with 30 lb DBs)

Chin ups (these were supersetted with the military pressing)
8x5xBW

Today’s workout wasn’t anything special, not crappy and not awesome so nothing to complain or be happy about. Decided to go with DB military pressing as assistance instead of with a BB so I could prevent my two arms from getting anymore imbalanced.


#12

Nice training man… what’s the reason you super-set your main lifts?


#13

I super-set to cut down on time. But it’s a personal preference. I wouldn’t do it if it detracted from my main work sets.


#14

Cycle 1, Week 2, Day 4

Deadlift
3x210
3x240
10x270 (this gives a 1RM of about 360)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T6YadAnjJ4

RDLs
5x10x135

Planks (these were supersetted with RDLs)
5x45 seconds

Nothing special about today. After the 3x240 DL set I felt hungry and weak, so I proceeded to eat two cinnamon raisin bagels. The 10x270 DL set felt pretty good. I probably could’ve gotten 1 or 2 more reps but didn’t want to kill it since I already hit the session’s goal of 10 reps. During the 1st two RDL sets my grip was pretty weak, but set 3 to 5 felt much easier.

On a side note, I recently read some articles about squat specialization programs and am considering giving one a try once I complete 4 or 5 cycles of 5/3/1.


#15

Cycle 1, Week 3, Day 1

Bench press
5x165
3x185
6x205 (this is a 1RM of 245)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHUrgFRTRqE

5x10x115

T-bar row (these were supersetted with the bench pressing)
8x10x2 plates

I just wasn’t really feeling it today. Couldn’t really groove the bench press movement and the weight felt abnormally heavy. I probably should’ve warmed up for longer, but I’ll just learn from today. I was aiming for 10 reps at 205 and would’ve settled for 8. At least 6 reps is on par with what my 1RM is.


#16

Cycle 1, Week 3, Day 2

Squat
5x185
3x210
12x230 (This gives me a 1RM of about 320)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Px8vOgtJU0

5x10x135

Planks (supersetted with squat assistance)
5x45 seconds

Today’s workout was friggin’ awesome. The 12x230 set felt really great. I was initially aiming for 8 reps and ended banging out 12. I’m chalking today’s awesome session to a technique cue I got from watching a video on technique. Oddly enough this video was for chin up technique. But I really focused on “putting my shoulder blades in my back pocket”. This really helped keep my back tight and maintain my arch. To top off today’s session, the planks felt easier than last week so I figure the core work is helping. Anyways I’m psyched that today was a great session after my lack luster bench day.


#17

Cycle 1, Week 3, Day 3

Military press
5x110
3x125
8x140 (this is a 1RM of around 175)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwo4PxZBcUo

DB Military press
5x10x30

Chin ups (these were supersetted with all the military pressing)
8x5xBW

Pretty much a normal workout. The DB military pressing felt easier this week compared to last week. Happy to have hit my goal of 8 reps with 140. Half way through the workout I forgot I wanted to throw in rotator cuff work, I’ll just have to remember to do so in my future upper body days.


#18

Cycle 1, Week 3, Day 4

Deadlift
5x225
3x255
8x285 (this is a 1RM of about 360)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgqATLiGtx4

RDL
5x10x135

Planks (supersetted with RDLs)
5x45 seconds

Nothing of note today. Getting more accustomed to the RDL groove and the planks are getting easier. I think after the deload week I’ll make the planks more difficult while keeping the set duration the same. The last deadlift set felt smooth, with the exception of my grip feeling weird for the last 2 reps. Not really looking forward to the deload week, but should make the most of it by working on technique and scarfing down turkey come Thursday. I’ll have to resist the temptation of trying to test my maxes during the deload week haha.


#19

Cycle 1, Week 4, Day 1

Bench press
5x95
5x115
5x135

Tri-set of Band Pull Aparts, External Rotations, and Scapular Wall Slides
A bunch of sets

Beginning of the deload week, nothing special really. I figured from now on I would start doing the tri-set from this article http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/whats_your_weak_link_3_solutions_to_strength_plateaus on my upper body days. I used 5 lbs from the external rotations and they were a lot heavier than they should have been. I’m hoping this tri-set will help out my pressing.


#20

Cycle 1, Week 4, Day 2

Squat
5x95
5x125
5x145