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Anna's Training Log


Week 11: Day 2
Paused Bench: 1x3-110lbs- FINALLY! 6x4-100lbs
Dips: 1x15, 2x12-10kg DB
Face Pull: 3x15-49lbs

Preworkout: Felt pretty good and surprisingly energized. Nothing sore or tight
Workout: really happy with finally getting 110 for 3. The arch still bothered my back quite a bit on the last few volume sets but nothing too bad. Dips killed chest and triceps- those were harder than expected. Face pulls felt pretty heavy, but not too bad
Postworkout: Same as preworkout except with pretty good upper body pump


Week 11: Day 3
Deadlift: Fail 265lbs (old PR) and 255lbs; 20x2EMOM 220lbs
Split Squat: 3x5/leg w/50lb Dbs
Rows: 3x8-135lbs

Preworkout: feeling pretty good and energized. Nothing sore of tight
Workout: the weights felt a lot heavier than expected, but was confident. I wanted 265 for at least a double, but failed that and 255lbs. I don’t think it’s that mental because I never doubted the rep until it failed to even get an inch off the ground Got really frustrated so just did what felt good, hence the 20x2 at “light weight”. Split squats really killed glutes but felt easier than expected. Rows were pretty fun but I was getting a bit lightheaded by the last reps
Post workout: tired and disappointed, but still felt like I got a good workout in


Do you think that maybe you were tired from PRs the last two days? If it’s just one bad workout I wouldn’t worry, try to do better next week.

What’s up with the 20x2? I don’t remember that being part of the plan, that sounds like more volume than necessary.

If you had videos of your lifts then maybe I could give some useful advice but right now it’s basically a shot in the dark. If you aren’t using a very wide stance (as in you aren’t limited by flexibility) then deficit deadlifts could be useful, the only problem is that the plates can slide so you either need some sort of platform or put plates inside a power rack so they can’t move (that’s what I do), but this won’t work if your stance is wider than the rack too.


I wasn’t feeling tired, but maybe???
I completed my reps last week, but it felt like a 2-3 max rep, which was really demoralizing because it meant my deadlift hasn’t improved.
20x2 was just me going Fuck it and wanting to do something hard after spending nearly 30min warming up to 265 just to fail
I would video but my gym doesn’t allow it


That kind of thing is not really useful, if anything it might negatively affect your next workout.

Can you do deficit deadlifts? Like about 1-2 inch deficit. If so then maybe we can put those in next week. Do you feel like front squats are working for you? Are you making progress on them? I’m not a big fan of front squats but you seemed to be into them, maybe a different squat variation or just more back squatting would work better. Your squat is going up but not at an amazing rate and you are having deadlift issues so perhaps it’s time for a different approach. What about bench, are you seeing significant progress there?


I’ve never done deficit deadlifts so we can try. Front squats aren’t working very well, but that’s probably because I don’t feel great most Fridays. I’m open to trying new squats but all I have is a standard barbell and plates- no bands, chains, specialty bars etc.
I haven’t seen significant bench progress either…


Week 11: Day 4
Touch and go Bench: 1x5,4,3-110lbs
Overhead press: 2x5,1x4-75lbs
Skull crushers: 3x12-65lbs
Technique: Handstand walk

Preworkout: felt pretty good except legs a bit tired from deadlifts yesterday, nothing really sore or tight
Workout: Felt pretty good and strong, finally got 110lbs for 5 but that faded pretty quickly. Overhead press felt pretty good but had hard time engaging lats and upper back, still got 5 though. Skull crushers killed triceps but a lot easier than expected.
Postworkout: felt pretty good and accomplished. Triceps and shoulders dead


I will try to figure something out for you later today.


I’m thinking about your situation and there isn’t really a clear solution since we aren’t even sure what the problem is, aside from lack of progress. At your level, you shouldn’t need anything incredibly complicated to get stronger. You just need to do some heavy work with the competition lifts plus enough volume to work on your technique, as well as some assistance work to build some muscle. You are doing all of that, so I’m wondering if maybe there are some other issues.

-Has your weight changed at all in the last 11 weeks? I know we discussed this before, you should aim to slowly add some mass. That is one of the easiest ways to increase your lifts.

-Do you get enough sleep every night?

-I was under the impression that you could handle a lot of volume since you were already doing a lot of volume plus conditioning and other stuff but maybe you are just recovering but not able to adapt to the training. Do you think that maybe you aren’t recovering properly?

-What other physical activity are you doing other than what is listed here? Cardio? Lots of walking?

There’s not a whole lot I can do since you are extremely limited in exercise selection and you can’t record your lifts. What do you think would help?


My weight hasn’t changed and sleep varies. I “get” 8-9 hours a night but I have a hard time staying asleep and get up at least 3 times a night most nights. I feel “good” going into most sessions, but sometimes after a long school day, I’m pretty tired.
I don’t do any cardio on my own besides walking and the occasional easy rowing, but I’m in a fitness based PE/health class (mandatory for school) that does circut type workouts ( box hops, pushups, burpees…). We have that every other day and those classes are an hour but the actual workout part is only 30 min or so
I really don’t know what would help because I don’t have enough experience or knowledge. I kind of want to do pause squats on Fridays


How much do you eat on a daily basis? How much protein?

What other equipment is there at your gym? What sort of machines?


I live with my parents so I don’t/can’t track. A normal day looks something like:
Breakfast: 2 slices whole wheat bread+1boiled egg
Lunch: salad (1-2 cups spinach)+4-5oz chicken (guessing)
Snack: 1 scoop protein powder+ whatever fruit is in the house (usually adds up to 2-3 servings)
Dinner: 4-6oz chicken or pork in soup (guessing)+1 cup black rice+ 1-2 cups stir fried veggies (guessing)

My gym doesn’t have very many lower body machines. We have a leg extension, leg press and those silly abductor machines. For upper body, there’s a chest press, pec dec, and cable system- lat pulldowns, tricep extensions/face pulls, cable flyes and rows

We also have dumbbells up to 50 lbs and another set up to 40kg

I kind of want to do lunges instead of front squats.


Week 11: Day 5
Front squat: 2x1-140lbs; 5x3, failed 6th rep-130lbs
RDL: 2x8,1x6-175lbs
DB rows: 3x8-28kg

Preworkout: legs pretty sore but felt better after warmups. Not tired but didn’t feel great either
Workout: Surprisingly good. The front squats were heavy but a lot better than expected. I lost focus and got a bit lightheaded on the 6th backoff set and failed- didn’t have the heart to continue. RDLs really hard on back and hamstrings.
Postworkout: legs dead, but felt accomplished


Week 11: Day 6
Close Grip Bench: 2x5; 1x4-110lbs
DB incline Bench:3x12-16kg DBs!!!
JM Press: 2x10,1x9-90lbs

Preworkout: feeling great, slept well for the first time in months! Quads super sore, but felt a lot better after warming up
Workout: Felt strong, really surprised I got 3x12 on the incline bench. Triceps dead from close grip and JM press, but completed reps.
Postworkout: Felt fresh and energized but with a big upper body pump


re: diet:
It’s not terrible, a bit more protein might help, you should aim for around 1g/lb of bodyweight. More carbs would probably be good too, I see you have a zero-carb lunch which isn’t really necessary. You should at least aim to fill out the lowest weight class in whatever federation you plan to compete in, if you do plan to compete.

You are already doing pause squats, right? If anything I would get you to squat for higher reps on the 2nd day.

You could do lunges instead of split squats, but putting them in place of front squats would not be a good idea.

I think we need to adjust your working weights, taking 10lbs off of a heavy double and doing triples with short rests is not going to work well. The volume work here should be done with 70-80% of your 1rm (or estimated 1rm) in that lift, this might be close to 90%. Also, once the weights get heavier you can increase rest periods, you shouldn’t be grinding reps or failing or anything like that with your volume work.


Squatting for higher reps on Fridays sounds good.

Anyways, today I was supposed to do squats but the only squat rack at the gym was taken and I needed to go to a family obligation so I benched instead. I’m going to squat tomorrow.

Week 12: Day1
Bench Press: 3x1-115lbs; 8x3-105lbs paused
Dips: 2x15, 1x13-10kg DB
Face Pull: 2x20,1x15-49lbs

Preworkout: A bit tired (spent all day walking around for event) but felt good overall
Workout: felt pretty strong, nothing sore or tight. A bit disappointed I couldn’t get at least 2 reps on bench. Back felt fine. Dips really burned- harder mentally than anything though. Face pulls not bad
Postworkout: more energized than preworkout, upper body pumped


Week 12: Day 2
Back Squat: 1x2-190lbs; 8x3-165lbs
Pause Squat: 5x4-160lbs
Lat Pulldowns: 3x13-27kg

Preworkout: Feeling good, nothing sore or tired. pretty excited
Workout: Really happy with PR- second week in a row! Volume sets felt like warm-up weight after top set but still pretty hard by last set. Pause squats killed me.
Postworkout: legs dead but felt strangely buzzed and accomplished


Maybe you don’t need to make any major adjustments after all.


Week 12: Day 3
Close Grip Bench: 3x5-105lbs, normal gym not open so went to compound gym
DB incline press: 3x8-18kg Dbs
JM Press: 3x8-95lbs

Preworkout: legs, glutes and knees sore, upper body fine, not too energized but not bad either
Workout: I only got 3x5 on close grip bench, but not too worried. The gym’s bench is one of those weird fixed benches where the lowest hook is too low (basically have to do a half rep to unrack) and I can’t reach the higher one. The bar placement was also a bit slanted so my wrists were hurting more than anything. I probably could have gotten at least 2 more reps but my hands were literally going numb. DB incline bench felt great. The wider hand placement for JM presses solved the wrist thing so those felt great.
Postworkout: triceps absolutely dead. Otherwise felt good. Glutes felt a lot better but quads and knees still pretty tight


I already had the impression that something wasn’t right and this confirms it. Your grip for JM press should definitely not be wider than your close grip bench. Either your close grip is way too close or your JM press is way too wide. Close grip just needs to be a couple inches closer than your regular grip, for JM press you shouldn’t be gripping any wider than around index fingers on edge the smooth part of the bar, and you are a lightweight girl so closer would probably work better. I grip right at the edge of the smooth and I’m well over 200lbs.