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Anna's Training Log


Week7: Day 3

Close grip Bench: 2x8,1x7-95lbs
JM Press: 3x10-75lbs
Dips: 3x15-14kg Db
Technique: Kipping

Preworkout: Felt horrible, actually considered taking the day off. Not sore, but felt weak and tired. Felt a lot better after warming up so decided to push
Workout: Heavy weights weren’t happening. I decided to lower weight and focus on volume. Felt better than expected and the close grip and JM presses really killed triceps. Dips really killed chest and actually not too bad to complete
Postworkout: Felt a lot better than preworkout. First time I’ve felt better leaving the gym

On an unrelated note, my weight randomly spiked 1lb starting about 3 days ago and hasn’t gone down like bloat or water weight. I don’t think I look any fatter nor do I feel fatter. I also know that I can’t gain 1lb of muscle so quickly. I haven’t changed nutrition of hydration at all. What could be going on?


Why do you do these?

Right now it would be better to stick with the plan and even if you can’t get as many reps as you would like still lift the planned weights. Next week is (supposed to be) a deload and are doing 5x10 on some lifts so you are expected to be tired and beat up, that’s how you build work capacity, and muscle if you eat enough.

So next week drop volume by 50% and weight by 10%, don’t add anything and don’t try to push yourself. There is no point in doing all this volume if you don’t allow yourself to recover, you won’t get anywhere like that. The next block you start off with a triple at 85% for squat, comp. bench, and DL, and do 70%x3x8 with 1 min. rest for volume work. Keep increasing the weight on assistance lifts, you could make some big jumps in weight to get all the compound lifts into the 4-6 rep range and go up from there.

I see you have changed some things around here and there from what you were doing before, is there anything you think needs to be adjusted or switched for something else? I think deficit deadlifts are good, but if you can do them in a sumo stance (you need a platform of some sort or do them inside a power rack so the plates don’t slide) with a 1-1.5" inch deficit it would probably carry over more. Also, you should do some RDLs or SLDLs at some point, your 2nd squat day is a good place for those. About 3-4 sets of 5-8 reps would be good, it would be worth dropping volume on front squat to put those in. If you need help figuring out what to do then let me know, you could also send me some money and say you finally have a real coach!


For a workout like this, it’s much better to do dips second and JM press last. Your triceps will be too fatigued to really push the dips if you do them after JM press and JM press is only really working the triceps anyway, it doesn’t matter if you can’t go too heavy on that.


I do overhead squats because they’re fun and a cool way to work on shoulder mobility/core strength. I’m pretty weak at those so they don’t tax me very much
a deload next week would be AMAZING, but I’m going on a ski trip in three weeks for winter break and won’t have access to a gym for 5 days. I was thinking of grinding for another 4 weeks until then unless you have a better way of working around the break. If that’s so, Id really like a light week.

I think I need to work on core strength big time and learn to activate my glutes better in deadlifts.


Week 7: Day 4

Deadlift- 1x1-265lbs, fail 2nd rep; 10x5-200lbs
RDLs: 2x8-155lbs 2x5-130lbs, turns out I wasn’t bracing my core properly and rounding my back quite a bit with the 155, so I took the weight down and really focused on technique
Back extensions: 3x15

Preworkout: Felt great, nothing tired or sore. Looking forward to deadlifts
Workout: Warmups felt surprisingly heavy and was really disappointed at only getting 265 for 1, and a grinder at that. The back off set felt great and killed quads and glutes. RDLs were all abs. Once I finally felt it in my hamstrings and glutes after focusing on form with the lighter weight. I ended up getting quite lightheaded. Back extensions were a lot harder than expected on hamstrings and back.
Postworkout: Legs and core dead, tired and pretty disappointed. A bit of a “workout low”


Based on what you have been saying in your log, and stuff like switching up workouts because your lower body is too sore, gives me the impression that you really do need to deload. Going on a ski trip is not conducive to lifting big weights, but totally burning yourself out before that will be even worse. Just go with the plan as though you weren’t going on a trip and when you come back start off with conservative weights, don’t expect too much or you are likely to be disappointed. Depending on how fatigued you are from skiing you might even cut volume the first week.

The main thing for core strength is learning how to brace properly. As far as glutes, do some side clamshells and glute bridges when you warm up for both squat and DL. When you lift, you have to grab the floor with your feet and twist outwards. Chris Duffins youtube channel has a bunch of stuff about both glutes and bracing, Kabuki Movement Systems has more but you need a credit card to sign up. I suggest at least looking into the free videos.

Don’t do too much lower back stuff on one day, it will leave you too sore and will affect your next lower body workout. Like the last workout you logged with DL, RDL, and back raises, especially if you are training 6 days a week you don’t want all that on one day. If you want to change things up and do some different exercises then that’s fine, but maybe we should discuss how to set things up better.


“Don’t do too much lower back stuff on one day, it will leave you too sore and will affect your next lower body workout.”

My lower back doesn’t really feel it after deadlift days, which is a good thing I guess…
More importantly, I usually feel so crushed after deadlifts that I can’t fathom doing split squats/lunges. RDLs are just mentally more manageable. Any tips?


Week 6: Day 5

Front Squat: 1x3-135lbs, failed 4th rep- probably mental; 4x5-130lbs, hips shifting in really bad
Lunges: 2x5/leg, fail 3rd set-125lbs
Rows: 3x8-130lbs

Preworkout: Feeling pretty good, nothing sore but a bit tired and lethargic
Workout: Warm ups didn’t feel too heavy but I was having a hard time focusing and bracing. Lunges felt surprisingly good but I was getting a bit lightheaded and dropped the bar. Rows felt fine. I really tried to make them as strict as possible
Postworkout: pretty dead but felt accomplished and mentally really good


Do leg press instead. I get what you are saying with the split squats, I find those to be very tiring too. You can do single-leg leg press, that will do more or less the same thing and balance won’t be an issue. Also, keep in mind that volume won’t be so high for the next while, you won’t be so exhausted after deadlifts anymore.


Week 7: Day 6

Touch and go Bench: 1x3-105lbs; 2x6-100lbs
DB Incline Bench: 2x7, 1x6-18kg Dbs
Overhead Press: 2x8,1x9-65lbs

Preworkout: lower body really sore and tired- knees felt really cold and pretty stiff, mentally fine
Workout: everything felt surprisingly strong. I was especially happy with the two sets of 7 with 18kg DBs on the incline press. Overhead press killed shoulders.
Postworkout: shoulders dead, otherwise felt good. Lower body actually felt a lot better.

Deload next week!!
Just to confirm: I’ll take weight down 10% and volume down 50%. What rep scheme should I use?


Deload: Day 1

Back Squat: 1x3-175lbs; 3x(3 pause squat-155lbs+40sec rest+3 regular squat)-155lbs

  • turns out, it isn’t just my hip shift that’s an issue. My gym teacher noticed that when I was doing the 175lb set, my left leg was actually slightly off depth (right was fine). I took the weight down and really tried to correct it, hence the triples with pause squats. Even at 155lbs( around 78%), the uneveness is still there, but at least I hit depth. I’ve been doing the hip mobility stuff and it doesn’t seem to help. Could this be neurological? If so, what can I do to try and fix it?

TRX Hamstring Curls: 3x(45sec+15sec rest)/leg
Abs: 3x12- deadbugs

Preworkout: Feeling pretty good, not really sore or tired but not too energized either. Pretty happy that today would be easy
Workout: Warmups felt find until I hit 155lbs, then shit felt. The first rep at 175 was actually quite a struggle and the other two weren’t much better (as mentioned in the note above) Given the issues, I decided to/will spend this week really focusing on technique since I don’t have to push volume/intensity. The “back off sets” really worked my glutes and hamstrings and a 4th set just wasn’t happening mentally. I also decided to try some new exercises, hence the TRX curls and deadbugs. Both were a lot harder than I expected but felt good.
Postworkout: Legs pretty pumped and dead but not too tired. Looking back, I probably spent WAY more time than necessary completing the squats


A lot of people have one hip tighter than the other, I have a bit of that issue myself. Just work on the tighter hip a bit extra. I cant remember what I told you to do for hip mobility, but one thing that would help is sitting in a full squat for about 30 seconds, if your hips are real tight then repeat this as much as maybe 5 times until it feels better and try to sit evenly at the bottom and relax your muscles. There might be some neurological component to this, but unless you want brain surgery you don’t need to look at it that way.


Deload: Day 2

Paused Bench: 5x3-100lbs
Wieighted dips: 3x15-14kg Dbs
Pullups: 6x4-EMOM
Skullcrushers: 3x20-55lbs

Preworkout: legs and glutes pretty sore but mentally really energized. upper body felt fine, a bit tight though
Workout: warmups felt quite heavy, so did the weights but not too hard to complete. Everything else felt really good and got a pretty insane pump. The skullcrushers really burned. It felt nice to do some high rep stuff.
Postworkout: Upper body pumped and felt quite energized. The deload is going well!


Oh man, I keep telling you this every time you deload and you still seem not to get it. Reduce weight and volume on EVERYTHING! Nothing should burn, you shouldn’t get a pump, everything should be easy. This is totally counterproductive to recovering from the last 6 weeks of hard training. You won’t get weaker from deloading, but if you don’t deload properly then you might not get stronger because you have too much accumulated fatigue.


Sorry, it’s really hard for me to get over the need to always do more. I feel so lazy.


Deload: Day 3

Deadlift: 2x4-200lbs; 2x5-175lbs

  • I really wanted to focus on my form since my back tends to round really badly once I get up in weight.
    • I worked up to 200lbs and my back started rounding. I tried another set and it was still rounded so I took off the belt and dropped the weight until I could do a decent set without rounding. I wanted a third set but form broke down.
    • I noticed that when I use a belt, I brace but my back is rounded even at the starting position. What should I do? I use a semi- sumo stance
      Lunges: 3x10-115lbs EMOM
      Rows: 3x8-120lbs with suppinated grip

Preworkout: Felt pretty good but not too excited to workout
Workout: Deadlifts were extremely frustrating and I cried after practically every set. Even though the weights were at a ridiculously low percentage, the sets felt hard and I felt them in my hamstrings and glutes quite a bit. Core dead and quite lightheaded. It took 40MIN to do 4 measly sets at less than 75%! Lunges felt pretty good, mostly mentally as I felt I could actually lift. Rows felt good, really focused on form
Postworkout: Felt useless and weak, mentally destroyed/ demoralized. Strangely buzzed physically, kind of like I was detatched from my body and floating around

  • Next week I begin a heavier phase, but should I dedicate more time to technique work to fix my back rounding? If so, what should I do?


When you can’t do the planned workouts and don’t make progress because you are too sore and tired that isn’t a sign of dedication, it’s a sign that you aren’t properly managing fatigue. Unless you don’t really want to get stronger, you need some form of fatigue management such as deloading. The other option is less volume, less frequent training, and not pushing anything too hard so you don’t ever accumulate too much fatigue, but that’s not really a good way to go either.


You’re doing something wrong, just figure out what the right position is and get into it. Without video there isn’t much I can tell you.

This is why you need to deload, if you keep pushing through the fatigue things will get worse.

Well, you are supposed to be doing 3x8 with 70%, right? That sounds like technique work to me, and so does the triple with 85%. If form breaks down on the triple then you can cut it at a double or even a single if it’s that bad, but the main thing is to try to use the best form you can and then the lighter should make it easier to lift without any form breakdown so you get to practice the correct movement pattern. Try to get a video of some heavy lifts because otherwise it’s a shot in the dark, I have no idea what is going on.


I’ll try to get a video in tomorrow. How do you upload videos to the forum?


Put it on youtube or Instagram and link it in a post on the forum, there is a “hyperlink” button at the top of the reply box and you put the address of the video in there.