T Nation

Anna's Training Log


I don’t know why you would be losing power in the hole, maybe you lost tension in your legs or something like that. If you are feeling lightheaded it could be due to low blood sugar, if you don’t eat much before training that can be a problem. Drinking gatorade or something of that sort while training is good too. It could also be because the breaks between sets are too short and you are out of breath, you could increase the rest to 90 seconds. If you aren’t lightheaded on your heaviest sets then these are my first two guesses.


I think the weight for your volume work on squats might be too heavy, you only got a single with 160 and then 8 triples with 140 after, that sounds like too much. The idea was to start this block off with the top set at 85% and volume work at 70% but you also said that you wanted to lower the weight because you weren’t hitting depth, the weight for volume work should be lower too.


Okay thanks. What can I do to keep tension?
For my backoffs, I’ll be down to around 125lbs, which seems too easy. Will I loose strength?


Just stay tight, don’t relax. I don’t really know what you did that caused that, maybe you focused so much on bracing that you forgot about your legs.

No, you will still be lifting challenging weights for the top set. The main thing is to get your technique sorted out, if you can’t lift to competition standards then it’s better to lift a bit less and work back up.


Week 3: Day 2

Bench Press: 1x3-110lbs, 3x8-100lbs
Overhead Press: 3x5-75lbs
Dips: 3x12-16kg DB

Preworkout: legs sore and tired but feeling pretty good
Workout: Bench felt powerful but quite heavy, overhead press was really hard to complete- upper back quite dead. Dips killed triceps and chests but felt good- not too hard to complete
Postworkout: Arms pumped- triceps especially dead, legs actually felt a lot better


Week 3: Day 3

Deadlift: 1x3-245lbs; 8x3-210lbs EMOM
Lunges: 3x10-130lbs
Rows: 3x12-125lbs

Preworkout: Felt good mentally and physically, legs a bit tight but not tired
Workout: Felt really strong. warm ups flew up and I kept form. I did forget my chalk so grip became quite an issue. Legs got pumped on the backoffs, not too bad. Lunges were a lot harder than expected- balance a bit off. Rows fine
Postworkout: felt pretty buzzed, a bit shaky but felt AWESOME.


Do deadlift workouts make you really hungry?
After my workout today, I didn’t “feel” hungry ie growling stomach, but I was quite shaky and couldn’t control myself with the fruit my mom had out for her small friends gathering. I ended up eating 3 kiwis, 1/2 a pomelo and a couple of strawberries. Is this normal?


I find that lower body workouts, whether squat or deadlift, make me more hungry than bench workouts. Maybe not to the same extent as you, but its not that weird. More physically demanding exercises are going to burn more energy so it makes some sense.


Week 3: Day 4

Touch and go Bench: 1x5,2x4-110lbs
JM Press: 3x13-75lbs
Skullcrushers: 3x15- 55lbs
Technique: HS Walk

Preworkout: Feeling pretty good- not tired or sore, forearms and upper back a bit tight
Workout: Bench harder than expected, felt pretty slow and heavy. Upper back really tight, didn’t feel the greatest. JM Press and Skullcrushers killed triceps but not as hard to complete as expected. I took weight down a bit as I wasn’t using the best form the last two weeks.
Postworkout: Upper body definitely tired but otherwise didn’t really feel like I worked out. Probably should have pushed it harder since I’m leaving for my ski trip on Saturday


yes because you burn more carbo.


Thanks, boss


Week 3: Day 5

Front Squats: 1x5,3-135lbs, 2x5-125lbs
RDL: 2x7, 1x8- 140lbs
DB Rows: 1x13,14,15-24kg DB

Preworkout: feeling pretty good, upper body pretty tight but otherwise good
Workout: Front squat felt really heavy and I could only manage 1 set of 5 at 135lbs and with really bad hip shift at that. I was feeling pretty weak and lightheaded. RDL’s really killed abs and grip- had a pretty hard time holding onto the bar. Otherwise, my form is defintiely improving. DB rows felt pretty good and actually got my HR up a bit
Postworkout: Legs pretty dead and a bit shaky, mentally energized though, pretty disappointed at workout


Do you have any idea why your front squats went so badly this time? Are you not sleeping or eating sufficiently, or are there additional outside stresses contributing to this? It could also be that the workload is too much for you. My assumption in the beginning was that you are young and used to doing quite a bit of volume as well as a bunch of conditioning work so training like this would be appropriate for you, but perhaps you would get more out of less.

When is your trip?

Aside from recovery, my main concern is your squat technique. It would be good if you can record a couple work sets each week, front squat as well. What I’m thinking is that maybe you would be better off without the heavy top set and just do some volume work with a moderate weight for your main squat session, like 5x5 with 70-75% and perhaps longer rest periods (nothing crazy, maybe 3 minutes) so that fatigue doesn’t affect your performance in the later sets. You could also do some lighter squats before deadlifting, something like 6 doubles with 60% to start, just for some technique work. You may notice that I do this myself, I find it’s a good way to get some technique work in without adding any significant fatigue and it’s also a good warmup for the deadlift.

I’m not really paying close attention to the weights you are lifting, is performance improving from week to week? Are you getting stronger? I know I have already mentioned this several times, but it’s worth repeating that gaining a bit of weight will help as well.


I’m back from my trip now. Skiing is quite fun Winter break started last week so I’m training at a commercial break, I don’t know if they allow filming.
My back squats are getting better in terms of technique, but I’m struggling out of the hole. The squat rack at my gym has a fixed safety that is perfectly at depth so I’m using that as a guide. Deadlifts are feeling great. Bench has been feeling pretty strong, but mentally hard.
Unfortunately korean resorts don’t have gyms but walking around in ski boots is quite the workout


Doing all your squatting down to safety pins isn’t ideal under normal circumstances, but if you have no choice then it’s OK for now. Hopefully it will help you sort out your depth issues. Post videos when you get back to your regular gym.


Week 4: Day 1

Deadlift: 1x3-250lbs; 8x3-215lbs w/1min rests
Lunges: 3x12-130lbs
Rows: 3x6-145lbs

Preworkout: felt okay mentally and physically, nothing sore or tired but not too excited either. Wanted to squat but the squat rack was taken.
Workout: everything felt strong. Top set felt really heavy but not too hard to complete. Back offs felt a bit heavier than expected but not too bad. Lunges really killed my legs and balance became a bit of a problem after 8 reps . Rows were really hard on back. Got a bit lightheaded
Postworkout: Physically dead but mentally buzzed and felt really accomplished


Week 4: Day 2

Paused Bench: 1x2-115lbs, failed 3rd rep; 8x4-100lbs
Dips: 1x13,141,5-16kg DB
Face pulls: 3x15-49lbs

Preworkout: pretty dead physically, legs and upper back tight
Workout: Bench felt really heavy. Upper back was killing me but back off sets got easier. Dips were really hard on triceps and chest but a lot easier than expected. Surprisingly hard on core. Face pulls fine, actually got HR up a bit
Postworkout: Upper back dead. Otherwise felt fine and actually more energized


Week 4: Day 3

Front Squats: 1x4-135lbs; 5x5-115lbs
RDL: 2x6, 1x7-145lbs
DB Rows: 3x15-24kg DB

Preworkout: Felt okay, not particularly energized or tired
Workout: Front squats didn’t feel too heavy but my legs felt quite weak out of the hole. Back offs felt pretty fast and light though. Legs pretty pumped. RDLs felt strong and killed core, I actually felt them in my glutes and hamstrings. DB rows were a lot harder than expected and my form wasn’t the best by the last 3 reps
Postworkout: Legs and core really tired but not too dead. Mentally buzzed and felt accomplished


Week 4: Day 4

Had a family obligation so couldn’t train yesterday:sob:

Touch and go Bench: 1x3-115lbs, fail 4th rep; 3x5-105lbs
Close Grip Bench: 3x12-75lbs
Skullcrushers: 3x12-65lbs
Technique: HS walk

Preworkout: Feeling good. I honestly didn’t need the extra rest yesterday but really energized today. Felt good
Workout: bench felt pretty heavy but strong, disappointed at failing the 115lbs. Close grip bench and skullcrushers killed triceps. Really good pump and actually got a pretty good sweat going.
Postworkout: upper body pumped and tired but energized


Week 5: Day 1

Back Squat: 1x2-160lbs- The safety pins got in the way on the third rep. 8x3-135lbs
Pause Squat: 2x4,2x5-130lbs
Lat Pulldowns: 3x12-27.5kg

Preworkout: Felt pretty good physically but mentally struggling
Workout: Warmups felt really good and light. Top set felt pretty good on back but a lot heavier than expected when squatting. I lost tension a bit on the third rep, hit the pins and lost power. Back offs felt good and light but really hard on quads, glutes and hamstrings. Pause squats killed legs but mentally quicker and easier than expected. Nothing special with lat pulldowns
Postworkout: Lower body pretty dead and quite disappointed at failing 160 for 3. Otherwise felt pretty good

I feel like its time to change things up a bit. My squat and bench have really stalled and its getting really hard mentally. What should I do?

Happy New Years!