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Anna's Training Log

@chris_ottawa This will be my training log for the program.
Day 1 Workout
Back Squat: 1x5-155lbs
5x5-135lbs w/ 40sec rests
Pause squat: 2x8-130lbs
Lat Pull Down: 3x12- 24kg

Pre workout: Definitely wasn’t feeling it- felt sleepy and legs (especially hamstrings) were pretty tight and slightly sore

Workout: Felt good but definitely challenging. The 1x5 “heavy” set (80%) felt quick and light. The back off sets got my heart rate up pretty good, but my legs felt good. I got a bit of a pump from the short rests. The hardest was the pause squats. I wanted to do 135, but mentally couldn’t handle it so I reduced the weight. Even so, I barely made it through the sets. They weren’t too bad on my legs , but holding the pause really hurt. I actually got a bit lightheaded by the 5th rep on both sets.
I’d never done lat pulldowns before so they felt strange, but my upper back felt pretty pumped afterwards
The entire workout took me about 35-40minutes

Post workout: Felt good, legs were actually less sore than pre-workout, but I was tired


That’s fine if you have to drop the weight for pause squats, you just need whatever it takes to get the volume in while still being challenging. You could rest a little but more between the 5x5 sets, I was thinking 90 seconds but maybe 60 would be a good middle ground. The weights are going to get heavier so it won’t always be so easy, although we will start changing the set/rep scheme as well.

For next week, add 5lbs to everything. If you can move the lat pulldowns up by one notch then do so, otherwise aim to get a few more reps in.

Sounds good

Day 2 Workout
Bench Press: 1x5- 100lbs paused
5x5- 75lbs, 1min rests
Wide Grip Bench: 2x8- 70lbs
Face Pulls: 3x15-15kg w/30sec rests
Dips: 4x12
For Fun: Handstand walk technique

Pre Workout: Felt good and actually excited to workout

During Workout: It wasn’t that tiring, but really hard on arms, especially those dips at the end. Wide grip bench felt really awkward especially since my gym has a fixed rack and the hook things are a bit too high for me.

Post workout: Didn’t really feel like I worked too hard… except for my arms

Are you not able to set up properly for wide grip bench due to the rack? If it feels like an injury risk to you then we can switch it for something else. Everything is negotiable except for the competition lifts.

Again, next week add 5lbs to your bench weights, if you still want to do wide grip then try to do 9-10 reps on each set if possible. You can start doing weighted dips, if there isn’t a dip belt in the gym then hold a dumbbell between your knees, start with 5lbs. Add reps to the face pulls, once you get up to 3 sets of 25 you can increase the weight.

Upper body workouts shouldn’t be too tiring compared to lower body workouts, and no day should be too brutal if you are going to train 6 days a week. If you are still feeling fresh and energetic after two weeks then we can add a set here and there.

Sounds Good

Day 3 Workout
Deadlift: 1x5-215lbs
5x5-175lbs every minute on the minute
Bulgarian Split Squat: 3x10/leg-16kg DBs
RDL: 1x10,11,12-125lbs
Rows: 1x10,11,12-95lbs
Abs: 5x(20 side plank leg raises, L&R, 40sec plank hold)-EMOM

Pre Workout: Tired, didn’t really want to workout. It was very hot and humid so that’s probably why. Glutes were tight and a bit sore

During Workout: The deadlifts felt surprisingly light and good despite being pretty tired. The split squats were really hard and I could barely get through the 10 reps/leg. Surprisingly, the last set felt the best. RDLs and rows were pretty easy but my forearms got really tired and pumped (don’t own straps).

Post Workout: Felt good mentally but glutes dead. Pretty tired

You know what, you weren’t supposed to do RDLs until Friday. It’s not the end of the world, but maybe go easy on Thursday if you are feeling tired. Also, it’s not a huge deal but I would have got you to do barbell rows before Bulgarian split squats, it’s usually better to do unilateral exercises at the end. But again, it’s not going to make or break your program so you can keep it in that order if you prefer.

For next week, +5lbs on the deadlifts, same weight for split squats but try to get more reps (without pushing to failure or allowing form breakdown). Once you can do 3 sets of 15 then increase the weight. Try to get 3x12 on rows, if you can manage that then increase the weight the next time.

Day 4 Workout
Close Grip Bench: 3x8-75lbs
Ovh Press: 3x10-55lbs
Dumbbell Row: 3x12/side-20kg
Battle Rope HIIT class- I am interning every Tuesday and Thursday. There’s a botique fitness studio 5 min away from the office. A couple of coworkers and I decided to try a class

PreWorkout: Felt good, nothing was sore or tired

During Workout: The higher rep upper body stuff really burned. My triceps and shoulders were pretty dead. By the way, what is the best hand position for close grip? My left wrist hurts. Otherwise, the strength stuff wasn’t too hard- sort of like Tuesday. Class, on the other hand, really got my heart rate up.

Post workout: Felt good and energized. Shoulders will probably be very sore

Why no skull crushers?

I see you can’t help yourself with the HIIT thing, it would be better to do that when you don’t have a lower body workout the next day.

Maybe one hand width closer on each side than your regular grip, give or take a couple inches. Less if you already bench with a close-ish grip. Also consider getting some wrist wraps.

Okay. I’ll try that out

So what should I do next week for this workout?

Day 5 Workout
Front Squat: 1x5-125lbs; 5x5-115lbs w/1min rests
Anderson Front Squat: 3x8-95lbs w/ 3sec eccentrics

  • I did RDLs on Wednesday so I decided to have some fun
    3x(20 clamshells/side+20 glute bridges) w/ band

PreWorkout: Felt good and really excited to squat. Shoulders and upper back sore

During Workout: Front squats felt good, but definitely harder than I expected. Also, I noticed that my hips shift quite a bit to the left when the weight goes up or I get tired. The anderson squats really hurt. Surprisingly, the 2nd and 3rd sets felt a lot easier than the first. Definitely one of the better workouts I’ve had

Post workout: Quads and glutes were pretty tired but otherwise, I felt good

I can’t really tell you what to do, but if you start changing things up in the program it’s going to affect the whole plan. If you don’t want to do what I wrote then feel free to tell me, I’m not some sort of online dictator. The idea was to start off with low/moderate volume, gradually increase the weight, and if you are performing well and feeling recovered then we could add more sets and more exercises. Since you have no meet coming up you could continue like this for a while, maybe 2 blocks of 6 weeks + 1 week deload, then move onto higher intensity/lower volume work for a bit. Again, I’m not your boss, I can only suggest things, but if you want to do something different it would be a good idea to discuss this with me.

As for Anderson squats, they are a good exercise but I don’t see a good reason to do the front squat version, front squats are just a means to an end. I have had good results with Anderson squats, also known as dead squats. You can do the same thing for bench too, but I would put both exercises in another training block where you are doing higher intensity work and do them for singles only, doing reps adds a stretch reflex which partially defeats the purpose of the exercise. Also, if you come down on the pins too fast it will make you bounce around, it forces you to slow down your descent which can mess up your technique. I’m speaking from personal experience. See these videos:



Okay. I get your point. I think I could probably do with more volume, especially on the main movements.
I’ll try my best to stick to the plan.

Day 6 Workout:
Touch and Go Bench: 2x10-85lbs
DB Incline Bench: 2x10-14kg Dumbbells
3x(12 dumbbell flyes-8kg Dumbbells superset with 15 rear delt flyes-6kg Dumbbells)
Hollow Hold: 12x(30sec +30sec rest)

PreWorkout: Felt good and pretty energized, but my shoulders were a bit sore

During Workout: The weights felt heavier than I expected but I probably could have gone for another set or two. I’d never done flyes before so they felt pretty awkward and were a lot harder than I expected. I definitely felt the rear delt flyes in my upper back but couldn’t really feel my chest on the DB flyes. My arms kind of took over

Post workout: Felt good, but felt like I could have pushed harder

Ok, so regarding the last three days, for Thursday keep the same weight for close grip bench and try to get more reps, once you can get two sets of 10 you can move the weight up. Increase OHP by 5lbs. Do skull crushers this time, or some other tricep exercise like cable pushdowns, it you are failing at lockout you definitely need some tricep work. And maybe do DB rows on Friday instead.

On Friday, if the front squatting isn’t enough for you then you could do some paused front squats at the end, I don’t really like the idea of Anderson front squats but if you really want to do them you can.

For Saturday, increase the weight on t&g bench, try to do more reps with DB incline (aim for 12’s), and reduce the weight you are using for flys. If you aren’t feeling it in your chest then lower the weight slowly (like 5 sec. eccentric) and feel the tension in your pecs, focus on squeezing your pecs on the way up. Think “mind-muscle connection”, for compound lifts that is nonsense but on isolation exercises it is the way to get the most out of it. Also, since your Saturday workout looks pretty easy you could add a tricep exercise in there, the original intention was to do close grip incline but since that isn’t happening you could try JM presses. Do this after bench and DB bench, before flys, start with 3 sets of 10. It’s basically a close grip bench over your face/neck, technique isn’t as important since it’s not a competition lift but make sure to feel it in your triceps and not hurt yourself, keep your shoulder blades pulled together. Watch this video:


You say that you can handle more volume, if that’s the case then you can add one set to the 5x5 on the first three days (so 5x6 sets) and add a set to touch & go bench. Don’t go crazy adding sets to everything because you won’t make it far, remember that the plan is to increase weight every week (or reps if you can’t increase the weight yet) for 6 weeks, you can expect to be feeling some fatigue by then. The last thing you want to do is start off a training block with more volume than you can handle because you won’t be able to make any progress, you might build some muscle but the numbers won’t go up because you will be too fatigued to add weight to the bar. Also, keep in mind that you are training 6 days a week so each workout should feel like you could still do some more at the end.

Okay. Sounds good.
Just a heads up, I’m going on an pretty impromptu college visit to California from August 3-5 and won’t be able to train.

Well I guess you won’t need to deload in that case. You could just start back where you left off when you come back. If you can do a couple quick workouts while out of town it would be a good thing, otherwise you might feel weaker when you come back.

Week 2: Day 1
Back Squat: 1x5160lbs
6x5-140lbs, on the minute
Pause Squat: 2x8-135
Lat Pull Down: 2x12, 1x15- 24kg

Preworkout: Felt really good. Very excited to squat

Workout: Everything felt smooth and light, especially the first set of 5. The pause squats still got me pretty good, but a lot better than last week. Lat pulldowns felt better than last week. Turns out, I had been leaning back too far- good to know

Post workout: Legs very tired, but I felt buzzed. Definite post- workout high

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