T Nation

Back in Business

It has been a few years since I’ve posted here, but I figured it is time to get make my way back here and see how everyone is doing and maybe even clue people in to what I’m doing training-wise these days.

Cliffs Notes on what I’ve been up to - I had an inguinal hernia that ended up getting bad enough in late-2016 that I just stopped training altogether. Like a lot of dumb guys I let it get worse until it started to affect me doing basic activities. At that point I knew it was dumber than hell to let it go on and I finally got it taken care around a year ago. I started lifting weights again in August 2018, but didn’t get the urge to train specifically in a powerlifting-type routine until right after Thanksgiving. By chance, I saw an ad for the Juggernaut AI program and I remembered who Chad Smith and Garrett Blevins from back in the day, so I knew it would be a well thought-out plan with enough variation to keep things interesting. While the squat and deadlift work can be grueling some weeks for my aging joints, I think it’s a really good program and can’t recommend it enough.

I competed in a USPA meet in April, and ended up with an 1150 total @ a 190 BW. I had no expectations for numbers and honestly it was just to develop a baseline, as I plan on competing in more meets going forward.

Right now I’m roughly 3 months out from a USPA meet and training on a 3-day per week schedule. This is the 5’s week of a strength phase that is following a well-earned deload.

Monday
Low Bar Squat w/u to 295x5 followed by 275x4x5
Incline Bench Press 200x3x5 RPE 7
DB Curls 40x3x8
Lying DB Extensions 40x3x10
Pullups BW+35 3x10 RPE 8
Snatch-grip DLs 315x3x10 RPE 8

-Squats were good and fast, but this was the first time wearing a belt since the meet so it felt weird. The snatch-grip DLs were a good mental test. They weren’t hard per se, but the fact that they came last in the session and the garage was pretty friggin hot, I was tempted to bag them after the first set left me wheezy.

Thursday (supposed to be Wednesday, but son had t-ball and awards afterward)
Spoto Press 240x4x5 RPE 7
Deadlift w/u to 375x5 followed by 355x5x4
Romanian DL 315x4x8 RPE 8
Band leg curls 3x12 RPE 8-ish

-I’ve always felt weird doing Spoto Presses, stopping just short of touching my chest without there being a board being on my chest. Still, I think they’ve been pretty effective in re-developing my control at the bottom of the press because I was having major issues with maintaining proper bar path before I started doing them. Screwed up the deadlifts because I was only supposed to do 4, but they moved so fast that I didn’t even realize I did 5 until after I watched the video. This is also my first week wearing a belt on the DL and switching over to the Texas DL bar.

Welcome back!
I’ve been eying that Juggernaut AI program myself. Seems a fair number of folks are making some good jumps in their totals using it.

I think it’s definitely worth the price. Keeps me focused and the program set-up is good - plus I find the level of programming sophistication in the Excel files they create to be very impressive and something that I tried to pull off myself several years back, but didn’t quite have the patience to work through all of the details.

Saturday
13 Weeks Out Day 3

Competition Bench w/u to 235x5; 220x4x5
Low Bar Squat B 285x3x5
Front Squat 205x3x5 RPE 7
Military Press 125x3x5 RPE 7
Face Pulls light band 3x15 RPE 8
Pushdowns light band 3x12 RPE 8 (did these slowly)

-Went off script today on the weight selection for my work up set because the program called for around 205 as a top set, which would have been way too easy IMO. Squats were kind of meh, but they always tend to be on Day 3 most weeks. Not sure what it is either, but I got sloppy on the 4th rep of each set, including the one in the video of the 3rd set. Reps were all pretty low in the effort department, though. Haven’t front squatted since last November and it showed because I was really not used to them at all.

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Bench link says… Video unavailable

Hmm, I just tried to watch it and it worked. Did the other one work?

The first video posted does not play. The second does.
Goddam I with my knees were that strong.
Nicely done. I don’t do squats so just take my complement from a novice watching from the sideline.

Yes, it worked fine.
This is what I see.

If I go to youtube I can see the first video.

Got the same message from your link

12 weeks out
Day 1

Low Bar Squat A w/u to 315x5; 295x4x5 drop sets
Incline Bench 215x2x5 RPE 8
DB Curls 45x3x8 RPE 8
Lying DB Extensions 45x3x10 RPE 8
Snatch-Grip DLs 325x3x8 RPE 8

-Squats felt pretty decent today despite some minor soreness that was hanging around from Saturday. Set of 315 was good, but something fell over in the garage and distracted me a bit on the 5th rep and caused me to get a smidge forward. Drop sets went nice and easy and I tried to focus on just keeping form consistent from rep to rep.

-Still not a big fan of incline bench press, mainly because I’ve never been all that great with them. Snatch-grip pulls have been a main-stay of this program on Mondays for the most part and they’re starting to get tougher as the weeks progress; 325 for 3 sets of 8 isn’t any kind of PR or anything, but shit these things are a tough one to close out a session with.

A few videos to share (hopefully all of these show up like they’re supposed to.

Work up-set of 315

Back off set #4 of 295

Snatch-grip DL (3rd set - 325x8)

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There you are. Putting up some good numbers.

12 Weeks, Day 2

Spoto press 255x4x5 RPE 8
Deadlift 395x5; 375x5x4
RDL 325x3x8 RPE 8
Band leg curls monster mini 3x12 RPE 8

-Spoto presses felt OK, though I did get a little loose on a couple of reps. I’m not sure how much these are going to help my bench, but at least I’m getting used to handling solid weights a couple of times per week. I did another extra rep on my top deadlift set this week after reminding myself to only do 4 lol. These went up nice and easy as did the back-off sets. Lower back had a monster pump going by the time RDLs came around. Good session overall, albeit in a blazing hot garage.

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solid work.
looking good

12 Weeks Out
Day 3

Competition Bench Press 245x2x5; 230x3x5
Low Bar Squat B 305x3x5
Front Squat 215x2x5 RPE 7
Military Press 130x3x5 RPE 8
Face Pulls light band 3x15 RPE 8
Band pushdowns light band 3x12 RPE 8

-Another toasty evening in the garage. I was only supposed to do one set @ 245, but I had to go in to defuse an argument between the boys and I forgot to take the weight off lol. To make up for it I just did 3 back-off sets instead of the 4 that it originally called for. Squats weren’t as bad as they normally are on Day 3 and the front squats didn’t suck as much as they did last week.

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11 Weeks Out
Day 1

Low Bar Squat A w/u to 335x5; 305x4x5
Incline Bench 225x2x5 RPE 8
DB concentration curls 30x3x8 RPE 8
Lying triceps extensions 65x3x10 RPE 6
Pullups BW+35x3x8 RPE 8
Snatch-grip DLs 335x3x8 RPE 8

-Squats felt blah today for some reason; reps weren’t crazy hard or anything yet I felt like I was out of the groove. Accidentally deleted the 335x5 set, so you’re stuck with the last set of the drop set with 305. Snatch-grip DLs still suck and on the video you’ll notice I didn’t have a good wrap with the wrist straps and the last rep or so was a struggle to keep the proper grip. Still, the weight was easy.

T minus 11 Weeks, Day 2

Spoto Press 260x4x5 RPE 8
Conventional DL 415x5; 385x5x4
RDLs 335x2x8 RPE 8
Leg Curls light bandx3x8 RPE 8

-Still moving in a positive direction with the Spoto presses, though it’s a challenge to keep it together for sets across of 5. Weight moved well IMO, though I was little lazy finishing the lockout on my top DL set with 415; as a result, I made a conscious effort to clean things up on the back-off sets because I don’t want that to get ingrained as a habit. Judging is fairly tight at USPA meets and I don’t want to get reds for a dumb reason like that. I was smoked by the time the RDLs were done. Finished up with some leg curls for da girlzzz, but geez the light band tension was a shock.

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11 Weeks Out - Day 3

Competition bench w/u to 255x5; 230x4x5 back off sets
Low Bar Squat B 305x3x5
Military Press 130x2x5 RPE 7, 8
Front Squat :-1:
Face Pulls Light bandx3x15 RPE 8
Band pushdowns light bandx3x12 RPE 8

-Lord it was hot in the garage yesterday. Bench portion of the festivities went well and had a decent amount left in the tank for rep #5 with 255. I get to work up to a 5RM next week and it’ll be interesting to see where I end up. I opened with 265 at the meet in the spring, so I’ve made some progress here. Another blech day for squats on Friday. The heat didn’t help for sure and I just felt off kilter except on my second set, but it was only ‘OK’.

Had to abandon ship on the front squats because my abs have not been agreeing with them anytime I put more than 135 on the bar. After talking to Garrett, we agreed to jettison the FS in favor of belt squats. Upshot here is I’ll get to avoid the extra lower back loading and belt squats really jack your quads up. Ready for some R&R this weekend because next week is RPE 10’s week for the core lifts.

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This looks/sounds like Juggernaut training. Is that the case?

Yep. It’s the Juggernaut AI program. It resembles the original program from years back, but has been refined quite a bit.

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