T Nation

Because a Weak Man Knows the Value of Strength


#1

That quote really resonated with me when I heard it in the new Captain America trailer. Maybe the movie will be good, maybe it won't but for me the meaning will remain.

I just graduated for college and commissioned so I am officially a "butterbar" now (2LT USARNG) so I figured it was time for a change of log titles.

I've been training for 5 years now and have had a pretty mediocre run of it thus far, best lifts are 365/260/455 hanging around 5'10" 195-200. I've had some issues with SI joint function and a possible disc herniation in the past that I worked to rehab and am now on the up and up.

To summer off I've started a new run of Eric Cressey's Maximum Strength. I originally ran this the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college and had huge PRs every lift that was unforunately ended by a thumb fracture of all things.

Here's to progress.


#2

I finished Week 1 already, so I’ll just throw them all up here.

Phase 1 - Foundation

Monday - 23MAY11 - Lower #1
Box Squat
45x10
95x5
135x5
185x3
225x1
275x4
275x4
275x4
275x4
275x4

Speed Deadlift
8x2x225 (50% 1RM)

Walking DB Lunge
4x8x30

Defranco Situps
3x12xMonster Mini

Front Bridge
45, 45, 70x30s

Tuesday - 24MAY11 - Upper #1
Bench Press
45x10
95x5
135x3
185x1
205x4
205x4
205x4
205x4
205x4

Incline DB Press - Neutral Grip
70x6
60x10
60x10

Seated Cable Row - Medium Pronated Grip
135x10
150x10
150x10
150x10

Lower Trap Raise
3x12x10

Side Lying External Rotation
3x12x5

Side Bridge
3x30sx25

Thursday - 26MAY11 - Lower #2
Front Squat
45x5
95x5
135x3
185x2
205x6
215x6
225x6
225x6

Rack Pull - Below Knees
405x6
405x5

It was here that I realized that all of my chalk was left in the dorm and went away with one of my roommates. My **** up.

DB RFESS (Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat, aka Bulgarian Split Squat
3x6x40

Pullthrough
#8x10
#10x10
#10x10

Defranco Situp
3x12xMM

Friday - 27MAY11 - Upper #2
One Arm DB Push Press
40x6
50x6
55x6
60x6

Chinup - Close Grip
+10x6
+10x6
+10x6
+10x6

Pushup - Band Resisted from Handles
MMx10
Lx10
Lx10

One Arm DB Row
3x8x80

Kneeling Cable External Rotation
3x10x5

Side Bridge
3x30sx25

Most of these weights are a little light- some on purpose, some because I haven’t done those movements in months. I’ll be able to go into a little more detail when each workout is logged individually. With my absurd amount of free time right now I plan on taping all of my Week 3 workouts.


#3

Now to catch up this week.

Tuesday - 31MAY11 - Lower #1

Box Squat
45x10
95x5
135x3
185x3
225x1
285x4
285x4
285x4
285x4

Speed Deadlift
8x2x250 (55% 1RM)

Walking DB Lunge
3x8x40

Defranco Situp
3x12xMM

Front Bridge
3x30sx45

Felt much more confident and quick with the box squatting today than last week, I was also able to keep a better upper back arch. The box puts me an inch or two above parallel which is ironically harder for me than going full range of motion. I’ll post my disgusting miss with 385 at the end of this. I have some issues with getting my hips through at the right time and quad strength/endurance in general.


#4

Wednesday - 01JUN11 - Upper #1

Bench Press
45x10
95x5
135x5
185x1
210x4
210x4
210x4
210x4

Incline DB - Neutral Grip
65x9
65x9
65x9

Seated Cable Row - Medium Pronated
165x9
165x9
165x9
165x9

Prone Trap Raise
3x12x10

Side Lying External Rotation
10x8, 5x12, 5x12

Side Bridge
3x30sx25

Hate my bench. I did a run of Smolov Jr this past semester and despite not missing or even bouncing a single rep and making the last 10x3x225 I still got stapled by 265 twice which would have been an insignificant 5 lb PR. I’ve somehow moved backwards since then, but at least it’s climbing back up again.


#5

Friday - 03JUN11 - Lower #2

Front Squat
45x10
95x5
135x5
185x1
225x6
235x6
245x6
245x6

Rack Pull - Below Knees
405x6
425x6
425x6

DB RFESS
50x5
50x5
50x5

Pullthrough
3x10x#11

Defranco Situp
3x12xMM

Not a bad session all in all. I’ll give 6x6x245 my best shot on Front Squats next week.


#6

Saturday - 04JUN11 - Upper #2

One Arm DB Push Press
65x4 (left), 65x6 (right)
60x6
60x6
60x6

Pullup - Medium Grip
+15x6
+15x6
+15x6

Decline Pushup - Band Resisted on Handles
Lx10
MMx10
MMx10

One Arm DB Row
90x7
90x7
90x7

Kneeling Cable External Rotation
3x12x7.5

Side Bridge
3x30sx25

Woke up too late (gym closes at noon on Saturdays). Rolled out of bed, popped a stim, chugged some water and got in the car.

Again a pretty good session, the only thing I’ve been having some trouble with are the One Arm Push Presses. My left shoulder (rear delt really) seems to “shut down” when the dumbbell is in the bottom position and its really difficult to get any kind of starting drive. Goddamn weird feeling. I had the same issue last week so I’m going to have it checked out at the Chiropractic College this week.


#7

Monday - 06JUN11 - Lower #1

Box Squat
45x10
95x5
135x3
185x2
225x1
275x1
305x3 belt up
315x3
325x3
325x3
325x3
325x3
325x3
325x3

Speed Deadlifts
10x2x275 @ 60% 1RM

Walking DB Lunge
4x8x45

Defranco Situp
3x12xLight Band

Front Bridge
3x30sx45

Fuck this was a good session. Everything felt better than last week, absolutely nothing to complain about other than my left shoulder that felt a little numb. Unracks felt super light and drive off the box was even better. Video puts me about an inch above parallel which worked perfectly.


#8

LT TDC fuckin shit up. That’s awesome work dude gonna turn some heads at this strongman thing.


#9

Wednesday - 08JUN11 - Upper #1

Bench Press
45x10
95x8
135x6
185x1
215x3
225x7x3

Incline DB - Neutral Grip
65x10
65x10
70x9

Seated Cable Row - Medium Pronated
165x10
165x10
165x10
165x10

Prone Trap Raise
2x12x10, 1x12x15

Side Lying External Rotation
3x12x8

Side Bridge
3x30sx35

Video reveals that my arch started sucking dick sometime between now and when I injured my SI in November. Could be one explanation for my bench troubles, it used to be in the realm of not suck to respectable. Seated row form is also too fast and loose, need to clean that up.

I did 10x3x225 on my last day of Smolov Jr so I can’t call a PR on anything today but bench is still improving.


#10

Friday - 10JUN11 - Lower #2

Front Squat
45x10
95x5
135x3
185x1
225x1
250x6
250x6
250x6
250x6
250x6
250x6

Rack Pull - Below Knees
435x6
435x6
425x6
405x6

DB RFESS
60x6
60x6
60x6

Pullthrough
3x10x#10

Band Janda Situp
3x12xLight

This was one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever put myself through. I was almost tapped out by the time I got to Rack Pulls, even with last set with 405 was a grind the whole way through. Luckily it got better from there.

I distinctly remember this workout being a gut check the first time I ran the program as well. On a side note my aunt and two cousins flew in from Montana so I was with them all day- 5 year olds are goddamn gremlins.


#11

Nice log. I’m currently in Army ROTC, don’t plan on going ARNG, but it might happen.


#12

Good to hear it, I was in through all four years of college. If you want to know anything about LDAC just ask.

Saturday - 11JUN11 - Upper #2

One Arm DB Push Press
60x6
60x6
60x6
60x6
60x6
60x5 left, 60x6 right

Pullup - Medium Grip
+20x6
+15x6
+15x6
+15x6

Decline Pushup - Band Resisted on Handles
MMx10
MMx10
MMx10
MMx10

One Arm DB Row
100x8
100x8
100x8
100x8

Kneeling Cable External Rotation
3x12x7.5

Side Bridge
3x30sx35

I had ART and deep tissue done on my left shoulder on Tuesday which was amazingly painful but felt great after. Didn’t carry over as much as I wanted today as my left shoulder was very uncooperative. Pushups and the rows especially feel great.


#13

Loved MS. Ran it two summers ago, but ironically caught a virus the day before my final testing and didn’t get to gauge my results. I definitely got stronger and looked/felt better after running it though, despite my bodyweight staying the same. Don’t worry about your bench man, it’'l come up. Good luck with the program.


#14

Thanks WhiteFlash. I’m just really tired of reinforcing good form and having a purpose to what I’m doing and still getting out brobenched. Really not as concerned as I’m writing down though, the first time through on MS I got a 25 lb PR on the Phase 2 Bench test. I’m not expecting that much but everything does seem to be falling into place.

Monday - 13JUN11 - Lower #1

Box Squat
385x1 (free), miss second
335x2x3

Speed Deadlifts
3x2x295 @ 65% 1RM

Walking DB Lunge
2x8 (easy) x30

Banded Janda Situp
3x12xLight Band

Prone Bridge
3x30sx45

Deviated from the plan a little bit today just because I really wanted to destroy the 385 that’s been the thorn in my side. It went up fast enough that I went for a second, which failed just as quickly- nothing left to grind with. Took a nice long break and then finished with 2x3 on the box squats. The rest of the session was uneventful, I’m pretty damn sore and beat up from last week so I’m glad for the deload.


#15

Wednesday - 15JUN11 - Upper #1

Bench Press
235x3
230x3
225x3

Incline DB - Neutral Grip
70x10
70x10

Seated Cable Row - Medium Pronated
135x10
135x10
135x10

Prone Trap Raise
3x12x10

Side Lying External Rotation
3x12x8

Side Bridge
3x30sx35

I wasn’t able to bump up the weight as much on my pressing as much as I would have liked, but I’ll still take a triple with 235 and two sets of 70x10 on the Incline DB. After watching my form from the previous week I decided to drop the weight on the Seated Rows and emphasize the eccentric and “squeeze”.


#16

Friday - 17JUN11 - Lower #2

SSB Front Squat
85x8
135x5
175x3
225x1
265x5
245x6

Rack Pull - From Knees
445x6
445x6

DB RFESS
65x6
65x6

Pullthrough
100x10, 120x10

Band Janda Situp
3x12xLight

Deload week so I figured why the hell not try out something I’ve been meaning to for a while- Front Squatting with a Safety Squat Bar. Pretty simple setup- just switch the handles around so they’re facing you. I’d say that it’s a pretty good option for someone with flexibility/injury contraindications to a regular front squat but I didn’t like them nearly as much as I thought I would. Worked up to 265 and barely missed the 6th rep. The padding felt like it threw me off just enough to get out of the groove.


#17

Just realized I never put this up.

Saturday - 18JUN11 - Upper #2

One Arm DB Push Press
165x1 barbell
65x6
65x5 L, 6 R

Close Grip Chin
+25x6
+25x6
+25x6

Decline Pushup - Band Resisted on Handles
MMx8
MMx8
MMx8

One Arm DB Row
110x7
110x7
110x7

Kneeling Cable External Rotation
3x12

Side Bridge
3x30sx35

Quick session. Very glad to be moving on to the next Phase, doing the same exact exercises for 4 weeks grinds on me.


#18

Monday - 20JUN11 - Lower #1

Front Squat
(4x2)x5 (10s)
265, 250, 250, 250 miss on last rep

DB Step-up
3x8x30

Ab Wheel
3x10xFull ROM on knees

Natural GHR
3x8

Pistol to Box
2x10

The Front Squat sets and reps requires an explanation. The main programming quirk of this phase is cluster sets which is very similar to how CT programs them. This week was (4x2)x5 (10s), which would mean you’d pick a load roughly equivalent to your 5RM and perform 4 mini sets of 2 with it with 10s in between each set. So it would look like 2 reps, 10s rest, 2 reps, 10s rest, etc and perform 5 total sets in this fashion.

I judged poorly starting out with 265 on this one and I paid for it hard. I got through all 8 reps but I think I had a heart murmur halfway through. Never felt anything like this before. I finished the set and my heart rate was shallow but >180 for about 3 minutes. Really freaked me out. If it happens again I’m going to my GP.

Between that and my death set with 265 I was absolutely wiped out for the rest of the session. I dropped the weight to 250 and even then missed my last rep on the 4th set, decided to move on from there. The rest of the session was mailed in, I seemed to have some real balance issues on the Step-ups for whatever reason.

It all wasn’t a loss though. I went home, dragged the Prowler and closed the COC #2 on a whim for the first time.


#19

Phase 2
Wednesday - 22JUN11 - Upper #1

Incline Bench Press
(4x2x5)x175, 165, 165, 165, 165

Pullup- Medium Grip
(4x2x5)x+25, +25, +20, +20, +15

Flat DB Bench
3x8x80

Head Supported DB Row
60x8, 2x8x70

Cable Backhand
3x12x12.5

Supinated DB Curl
3x10

More cluster sets today. I played everything a little more conservatively which worked out great. I checked my old log and apparently I was using 115 on the Incline and bodyweight on pullups (at 170 lbs) during this exact workout three years ago. DB benching and rowing took a hit from the fatigue from the cluster sets, it won’t be as bad next week.

250 sledgehammer hits on the tire when I got home.


#20

Phase 2
Friday - 24JUN11 - Lower #2

Broad Jump
5x5

Deadlift
365x5
375x5
365x5
365x5
365x5

DB Reverse Lunge
50x6
50x6
50x6

Pallof Press
3x10x#60

My Broad Jump form sucks ass, good thing I’m not a Track coach.

Deadlifts went alright but it was far from my best day. Belt was cinched so I wasn’t having any tightness issues but I was still slow off the floor. Once I hit mid shin it was like 50 lbs got taken off the bar. Reverse Lunges are great, really comfortable and the Pallof Presses destroyed my abs.