After The Flood: JDM135 Powerlifting In Paradise

Starting a new log as I’m starting a new life.
I’m 35, 180lbs, mediocre shape in terms of physique, strength, and conditioning. Have been training and logging consistently here for over 3 years.
In the past month, I’ve moved my family (wife and 4 kids) from our wonderful home in Texas, with my wonderful job, to Oahu, Hawaii, where I’ve secured a new job. On this adventure, we’re going to change all kinds of things about our lives, most of which are beyond the scope of this log but will probably make its way into here anyway.

For now, though, here’s the gist of the diet and training shakeups.
Diet first: I’ve had a consistent healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner most days for years. However, I’ve developed a severe habit of nighttime snacking which has gotten completely out of hand. It stops now. That one change (which may sound insignificant, but for me is huge) is going to be the main driver of transforming my body in the next several months. I’ve known it was a problem for months, but haven’t had the strength of will - and have used the excuse of all the stress from this radical life change, which has been brewing for months, to condone it. It stops now.

My training has been “fine” for a while. Various goals have driven it, including 1/2/3/4 plates on the “big 4”, training for a Spartan obstacle course race, and a desire to learn the O-lifts.
Now, I live near a beach, which provides certain training opportunities and certain incentives; and for the next few weeks don’t have access to any of my home equipment, which presents certain limitations and which can be freeing; and have joined a gym called Powerhouse Gym Aiea, which is great for powerlifting and BB but not for the O-lifts due to floor conditions.

Monday I’ll start Wendler’s 5/3/1 Beach Muscle Challenge, 5/3/1 for Beach Muscles For no particular reason other than I’m a big believer in jumping onto a decent-looking program so I have something to hold myself accountable to. Further, this program fits pretty well with what I have available while presenting a couple equipment challenges which will, again, likely be freeing. (Fat grip curls, neck training, and rope pullups are in the program - and I intend to improvise at the gym and look like an idiot doing so. Embracing that will be freeing.)

Linked the article but in short:
Every day you squat, press, and do either (deadlift or hang clean) and (curls, rows, or pullups). So it’s full body and hits all the main movers. I think the mandatory neck work will do me (a pencil-necked engineer) a LOT of good.
Then the day-to-day and week-to-week variation will give me something to track and keep it interesting, little goals to hit every session, etc.

In the short term, one challenge is that my right shoulder is currently “injured”. It HURTS to strict press. Not sure what’s going on there, but I’ll plan to a) incorporate a lot of lightweight shoulder movement and b) set a low TM on Press (JK… It was going to be low anyway!)

I’m excited for this.

Big shouts to @T3hPwnisher for inspiring the title with an epic blog post and providing us all with such amazing training insights for free for years, @simo74 for leading by example, and just being an absolute unit while also being primarily a dad and provider, @Andrewgen_Receptors @atlas13 @alex_uk @wiseman83 @Bagsy and so many others on here - please no offense for me not tagging you - this forum is full of amazing people!


Wow, somehow missed this, I saw the photos of you on the beach, didn’t realise it was permanent, that’s heck of an adventure!

Love the tone of the journal, determined, I foresee good stuff coming, excited to be along for this part of the adventure!

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Fuck yeah dude, excited to see where this goes! I’ve always had my eyes on that program, curious to see how you like it!


9/16/23 Saturday
Beach conditioning.
Took the family to the North Shore. While there: 5 sand hill sprints, a good hard swim, 5 sand hill sprints. Was absolutely gassed after sprint number 3.

This is another missing ingredient so let me mark this down now:
-Fixing my evening snacking habit
-Putting my lifting on an actual program
-Adding in conditioning outside of gym activity

Addressed the first two in the opening post, but the third thing is important too - I plan to make a habit of vigorous outside activity. Should be easy and fun to do here, and can involve kids!


Yes mate beach body here you come. So kick to like in that post. Along for the journey to see you kill it in the gym and win at life.

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I love this! Such exciting news and absolutely fitting in with the flood myth here. You are ready to start it all over, rebuild and grow into something incredible. So excited to follow along.

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Just be careful if you decide to grow a vineyard, might have unintended consequences.

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Lol the kids have seen me naked, so its too late for that!

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Haha fair enough, let the wine flow!

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9/18/2023 Monday
5/3/1 Beach W1D1
Really guessing on TM’s to start here. Notes on this and more below:

Squat: 5s pro. 5x155, 185, 205. TM for squat is 225 and I think that’s the right number. I’ll be squatting 3x/week so with that in mind, this felt right.

Hang Clean:6x95lb. 12x115lb. 14x115lb.
*LOL on the TM here. I chose 135 as the TM and the RX is 2 sets amrap at 70%. 95 was an actual joke, 115 more like it but I think 70% should have been heavier than that. Will adjust the TM from here on to 165 and higher if needed. This was further complicated by the fact that the rusty bars here don’t rotate well - hardly at all - and that I didn’t have collars, so had to break mid-set and fix the plates. *

Press: 115lb x 3 reps Right shoulder in agony, including warmups with just the bar. It’s injured in some weird way. This TM isn’t as low as it could be but I’ll stick with it here and see what happens. If my shoulder ever heals I’ll be ready to set new PRs lol.

Fat Bar Curl: 100 total reps with empty bar. 30, 30, 25, 15. Used a towel wrapped around a regular bar to make a fat grip. It had the intended effect I think. RX is 50-100 reps so I can experiment with varying load and reps on this.

Neck Ext 100 total. I did 5x20 using 10, 15,15,15,10 lbs.Awkwardly used a towel as a neck harness. Don’t recommend. I own a neck harness but won’t have it for a while. That’s OK. I’m probably going to be sore from this.

15 minutes of Conditioning!
Wendler says to do conditioning with this program that is in line with your goals. I figure pecs are a beach muscle so let’s do pushups.
EMOM for 15 rounds: Pushups, then a double DB carry.
Started with 10 pushups for each of the first 6 rounds, then 5 each thereafter. That’s 100 total. Carries started with a pair of 105s and dropped until by the end I was doing 55s.

Overall: Felt good. Especially good to be back on a program. And it’s 100% doable.


Don’t sleep on burpees either. That’s a push up AND a plank each rep. Pecs and abs baby! And if you can do burpee chins, you can hit the bis too.

Regarding the lack of collars: do you have knee wraps? Old school solution is to just wrap those around the end of the bar to make collars.


Yep burpees are there… wasn’t quite up for them today :slight_smile:
But you’re right - much more “effective” (IE brutal) conditioning movement.
I have knee sleeves, not wraps, but no worries - collars are coming on a slow boat, with my belt, sandbags, and everything else; and the gym has a pair I can borrow - there was just nobody up front this morning.


Great to see you back in a gym and on a program!

Thought here:

Don’t suppose anyone would mind if you took in a brush and some oil and gave the bar a little tlc?

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I won’t rule that out as a possibility way down the road. But under my current circumstances I’d prefer to grin and bear it! All my tools, etc are on a slow boat.


Justifying the log title.


9/20/2023 Wednesday
5/3/1 Beach W1D2
Squat: Warm up with 135, 185, 225, then PR set at 225: 8 reps. Beltless.
Benchmark for this log.

Deadlift: 5s pro 135, 195, 225, 245.

Press: Rx is 50 total at 80lbs. This gym has no 2.5lb plates, also my press sucks and I’m embarrassed to say I may have still set the TM too high. I did this:
5x10 using 85, 85, 75, 75, 75.

DB row: RX is 100 total reps, any way you want. I went with 5x20 using 60, 60, 45, 45, 45.

Neck curls: RX is 100 reps any way you like. I tried 5x20 using a 10lb weight on my forehead, during the 4th set I almost barfed so I took the weight off and finished, then the last set was just the weight of my head - and it was enough.

These last 3 exercises were all supersetted in a weird overlapping way that I won’t bother to describe. Very little “rest time” at all. Yet this session took exactly an hour.
No time or honestly need for conditioning this session - the supersets had me puffing and sweating anyway.

My right shoulder is bumming me out.


@PowPowPunishment has made use of ankleweights in this situation. Can always bring in a set of 2.5s as well, of course.

This log title keeps reminding me of this classic series



Never heard of thunder in paradise.
Yeah i own a couple pair of 2.5s but… here it is again… slow boat.

Dont worry about it, in the mean time just try to get the 50 in less sets with the same weight, when its too easy up the weight.

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Its gonna be a while before that gets easy. My right shoulder is so bad i thought about just doing the empty bar!

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