T Nation

Back in Business

Week 2 Day 3

Deadlift 425x5 RPE 7; 405x3x5 RPE 6-ish; 415x2x5 RPE 6-7
Spoto press 215x2x6, 220,225,230x6 RPE 6-7
Pause squats (halfway up) 265x2x5, 275x2x5, 285x5 RPE 6-7
Military press 120x2x5,125x2x5, 130x5 RPE 6-7
Leg curls micro+light band x3x15 3 RIR

Still staying sans belt on deadlifts and weight continues to move smoothly. I probably could have finished out my back-off sets at the same weight as the top set, but adding 10 pounds just for the sake of doing it seemed dumb and I didn’t feel like it anyway, lol. I haven’t decided if I will slap on the belt for RPE 10 week in a couple of weeks, though I’m leaning that way because I want to see how my rep max with the TX power bar compares to what it is with the DL bar.

Bumped up the Spotos toward the latter sets, but effort was still well within the programmed RPE # the app prescribed. Getting the hang of these halfway-up-pause squats (more like 1/4, but whatever). These really do make you keep proper positioning on the ascent, that much is obvious even with just 285 on the bar.


Week 3 Day 1

Comp squat 330x6 RPE 7; 315x4x6 RPE 6.5; 325x6 RPE 7-ish
Wide-grip bench press 230x2x5 RPE 7; 240x2x5 RPE 7,7.5; 245x5 RPE 8
Deficit DL 395,405,415,425x4 RPE 6-7.5
Step-ups 135x3x15 2-3 RIR
Weighted situps 45x3x15 2-3 RIR

Squats were good for the most part, though I was starting to run out of gas toward the end of the back-off sets. Weight didn’t feel heavy or anything, but I graded the 325 as leaning to a 7.5 rather than a 7 simply because my fatigue made form a little sloppy on the last couple of reps. Wide-grip still progressing and deficit DL would have had a better RPE score on the last set if I had wiped the sweat off my hands before starting the set. :man_facepalming:

1 Like

Week 3 Day 2

Comp bench 250x6 RPE 7.5; 235x4x6 RPE 6-6.5; 240x2x6 RPE 7-ish
Belt squat 190x15 RPE 6; 205x3x15 RPE 7
DB rows 105x12 RPE 6; 115,120x12 RPE 7,7.5
Pull-ups BW+10x3x10 2-3 RIR
Face pulls light+micro x3x15 2-3 RIR
Pushdowns light x3x12 3 RIR
EZ-bar curls 90x3x10 2-3 RIR

Decent amount of bench volume, and for a minute I thought the app was adding sets when I wasn’t looking. Bumped up the weight on belt squat and was getting a serious quad burn by the last set. Some back and arm work to wrap things up.


When you do comp bench to you get a lift off or just pause t the chest?

Just pause on the chest for the first few reps (if it’s more than 3). I train alone so no lift-off and I don’t get lift-offs at meets either.

1 Like

Week 3 Day 3

Deadlift 450x5 RPE 8; 415x5x5 RPE avg 7
Spoto presses 225x2x6 RPE 6.5; 235x3x6 RPE 7,7,7.5
Pause squat (1/2-way up) 285x2x5 RPE 7; 295x3x5 RPE 7-8
Military press 125x3x5 RPE 7; 130x2x5 RPE 7,8
Leg curls micro+light x3x15 2-3 RIR

I think my 5-rep max for DLs with a belt and the deadlift bar is something like 475 (need to check), so getting 450 without a belt and using the stiffer power bar I take as a pretty good sign. It would have gone even easier if I had remembered to do it with my knee sleeves off or rolled down at the very least. Bar got snagged on a couple of reps, but noticeably so on the 5th, which caused the bar to helicopter some. Pause squats getting more challenging now, although some of it I’d chalk up to baked-in fatigue from deadlifts. Max effort week is up next, so that should be fun.


Week 4 Day 1

Squat 355x6 RPE 9; 305x5x6 (+1 rep on last set) RPE 6.5-7.5
Wide-grip bench 235x5 RPE 6; 245x3x5 RPE 7-8; 250x5 RPE 8
Deficit DLs 415x4x4 RPE 7-8
Step-ups 135x3x15 2-3 RIR
Weighted sit-ups 45x3x15 2-3 RIR

Kind of a mixed bag today. My lower back was still sore from DLs on Friday and it put somewhat of a limit on what I could put on the bar. Had planned on going to 365 or so, but kept it at 355 and was probably a good choice. First four reps were good and last two had form break down some as the lower back fatigue reared its head. Still could have eked out an additional (ugly) rep. I don’t know if this was a rep PR or not because I haven’t found a 6RM in previous logs yet. I’ll keep looking.

Topped out at 250 on WG bench and feel like it’s pretty close to my regular competition bench, though I do notice some differences in my ability to maintain bar path. After first set without it, I had to put the belt on for deficit DLs as lower back was just too roasted.


Week 4 Day 2

Comp bench 265x6 RPE :skull_and_crossbones:; 230x6x6 RPE 6.5-7.5
Belt squat 215x2x15 RPE 7; 235x2x15 RPE 8
DB rows 125x3x15 RPE 8-9
Pull-ups BW+10x3x12 1-2 RIR
Face pulls light+micro x3x15 2-3 RIR
Pushdowns light+micro x3x15 2-3 RIR
EZ bar curls 90x15,13,12 1-2 RIR

That 6th rep on bench was the hardest one I think I’ve ever attempted. Normally wouldn’t have even tried it because the 5th rep was tough on its own. I’d say 95 times out of 100 that 6th rep would have been a staple job but luckily this was part of the 5% haha. Took the opportunity to challenge myself on the assistance work as well and by the end I was toast, but it felt good - if that makes sense.


Along with everything else, you’re doing good pullup work.

Thanks. I like doing them but I have to be careful how much I use them since they really kick up my non-golfer’s elbow something fierce.

Week 4 Day 3

Deadlift 470x4 RPE 9.5; 385x2x5,395x5,405x2x5 RPE 6-7.5
Spoto presses 235x3x6 RPE 7 avg; 240x2x6 RPE 7.5,8
Pause squats (1/2-way up) 295x2x5 RPE 7,7.5; 305x2x5 RPE 8
Military press 135x3x5 RPE 8
Leg curls light+mini x2x15 2-3 RIR

Well, didn’t get to a 5RM with 470. Lower back had already endured a lot of DL and squat reps since last Friday, so it was already feeling the effects before the session even started. Spent some extra time doing the warm-up and added some liniment lotion to make sure everything was all loosened up. First 3 reps were pretty smooth and thought “hell yeah, I got this.” Lol, nope. Got a little out of position about halfway up on #4 and lockout was slow enough that even had I managed to grind out rep #5 it probably would have made the rest of the session a shitshow - since I still had to do back-off sets as well as bench and squat after this. Regardless, this is still a good number for me with the TX power bar as my 5RM is 475 (I think) with the DL bar.

Time for a deload. Four week runs in strength phases are pretty rough, especially when the big lifts are for like 6+ sets of 5 or 6.


Week 5 Day 1

Squat 275x6; 295x2x6
Wide-grip bench press 205x2x5
Deficit DL 365x2x4
Step-ups 115x3x15
Weighted sit-ups 35x3x15

Let the deload commence. Was feeling a little ehhh, mostly as a holdover from the cumulative fatigue of last week. Everything moved ok and felt light, though a little slow on the squats.


Week 5 Day 2

Bench 215x4x6
Belt squats 190x2x15
DB rows 100x2x12
Pull-ups BWx3x12
Face pulls light band x3x15
Pushdowns light band x3x15
EZ bar curls 80x3x12

Feel like I’m over the hangover from last week’s max effort fest. Keeping everything at the higher end of the app’s suggested weight range, but still everything is light enough to keep recovery on track but challenging enough to know I’m doing something.


Week 5 Day 3

Deadlift 375x3x5
Spoto press 215x3x6
Pause squats (1/2 way up) 245x2x5
Military press 115x2x5
Leg curls light bandx3x15

Deload did the job. I’m ready to get back at it next week with some heavier weight as I’m roughly three months out from my meet in Virginia. I’ll be using reverse band deadlifts as my feature pull for this upcoming strength phase since it has always been a good strength builder for me in the past.


Week 1 Day 1

Squat 325x4 RPE 7; 310,315,320,320x4 RPE 6-7
3-count pause bench 205x2x4 RPE 6; 210,215,220 RPE 6-6.5
Box deadlift 275x2x12 RPE 6.5
Leg extensions light+micro x3x15 3-4 RIR
Weighted situps 35x3x15 3 RIR

Kind of an underwhelming day with squats. Form was not what you’d call consistent, and although the weights were light enough that I could muscle them up for more than what the RPE would suggest, I docked the RPE a bit to reflect said sloppiness. Came together on the last back-off set so there was a slight silver lining. Rest of the work was pretty uneventful, thought I will say my hamstrings are going to be sore as shit for the next few days from those box DLs.


Week 1 Day 2

Bench press 245x4 RPE 6.5; 235,235,240,245,245x4 RPE 6-7
Squat (technique sets) 260x3x4 RPE 5-6
DB pullovers 65x3x15 3 RIR
Shrugs 315x3x15 3-4 RIR
Pushdowns light x3x15 3-4 RIR
Hammer curls 30x3x15 3-4 RIR

Good start to bench work. Form wasn’t quite up to par initially as my left elbow was a tad cranky. Maybe another light warmup set would have helped. Regardless, worked up to a relatively easy 245 and after a few back-off sets the app thought I wasn’t working hard enough and bumped the weight back up to 245. Squats had me flashing back to commercial gym days since the bar weight was almost the same as it was for bench, but then I realized these were meant to be light technique sets.


Week 1 Day 3

Reverse band DL 495x3 RPE 8; 460x3x3 RPE 6/6.5, 470x2x3 RPE 7
Spoto presses 210x2x5, 215, 220, 225x5 RPE 6-6.5
Pause squats (1/2 way up) 285x4x4 RPE 6-ish
Band good mornings monster band x3x15 4 RIR

The app has me using undulating periodization for my deadlift in this phase, so kicking off with a relatively high intensity. Been a while since I’ve used the DL bar, so took a little time to get used to the whippier feel. I graded the feel of the top set out as an 8, but honestly felt it was easier than that. It’s early in the phase, so no need to be aggressive with things.


Week 2 Day 1

Squat 360x4 RPE 8; 335x4x4 RPE 7-7.5
3-count pause bench 210x2x4; 215,225,230x4 RPE 6-7
Box DL 285,295x12 RPE 7
Leg extensions light+micro x3x15 3 RIR
Weighted situps Bw+45x3x15 2-3 RIR

Squat was more hit-and-miss again like last week. Let my upper back tightness slip a couple of times and of course I leaned forward too much on the descent. Gonna put some focus on that going forward so it doesn’t become a habit. Pause bench was smooth and elbow didn’t give me any grief today, which is nice. Box DLs ratcheted up the hamstring burn again, but at least this time it didn’t feel as though I was getting sore during the exercise itself lol.


Week 2 Day 2

Bench press 260x4 RPE 8; 245x5x4 RPE 7-ish
Comp squats (tech sets) 275x3x4 RPE 6
DB pullovers 75x3x15 3 RIR
Barbell shrugs (slow tempo) 335x3x15 3-4 RIR
Band pushdowns light+micro x3x15 3 RIR
Hammer curls 32.5x3x15 3 RIR

Solid bench session. Wanted to make sure the top set was on the easier side of an RPE 8 (maybe an 7.5 if we’re being uber-precise), and I think 260 was a good choice. Back-off sets were good as well, nice and steady tempo across all the sets. Focused on trying to clean up the excessive forward dip on squats tonight and think I did pretty well, though it’s easier with a lighter weight. Still, gotta practice to improve.


Week 2 Day 3

Reverse band DL 485x6x3 (did 4 on last set by accident) RPE 7-8
Spoto press 215x2x5,225x5 RPE 6-ish; 235x2x5 RPE 7
Pause squats (1/2 way up) 295x3x4, 305x4 RPE 6-7
Band good mornings wide af band+mini x3x15 3 RIR

Pleased with today’s pulls. Could have kept going if I wanted to and it was reassuring that even that fourth rep I pulled on the last set wasn’t that big of a challenge. Looking back through old entries for this DL variation from the early spring getting 485 for 4 as a top set was tough. Program has me going for a RPE 10 next week, so I think this could set the stage for a nice PR triple. Spoto presses and pause squats were still on the easier side, but weight was heavy enough to make me work.