T Nation

Bickford's 5/3/1 Training Log

Quest for a 1,015lb total. Starting 5/3/1 after neglecting the main lifts for a couple years (except bench). Just coming off a bad back injury so my Dead and Squat are wayyy down. Here are my 1RM weights:

Bench: 285
Squat: 225
Deadlift: 275

Overhead Press: 135

I will be calculating my weights for working sets at 90% of my 1RM, pursuant to 5/3/1 protocol. These weights are:

Bench: 255
Squat: 185
Deadlift: 245

Overhead Press: 115

Starting at a bodyweight of 189. I will be weighing myself once a week and all of my main lift sessions will be supplemented with bodybuilding assistance work. At my biggest (before my back injury in 2007) I was 201 lbs with about the same bodyfat % that i’m at now (11%). My bench was 335 x 2, squat 315 x 1, dead 405 x 1, and MP 185 x 1.

My goals by next May:

Body Weight:205
Deadlift: 365
Squat: 335
Bench: 315
Overhead: 205

Gonna shoot for 3,000 calories/day.

Supps: Creatine Mono (5-10g daily), whey protein.

If my back holds up then these lifts should be reasonable goals.

Wow that was brutal. Foam rolled for the first time in my life. That is not fun. Here is how today went:

Warmup: stairmaster (5 mins), foam roll (15 mins), stretching (5 mins).

2 WU sets at 45 lbs and 95 lbs

Working sets:
115 x 5
135 x 5
155 x 7

Leg Press:
5 sets of 15 (3 plates on each side)

I don’t usually do this many reps on leg press so it was painful.

Lying leg curls

5 sets of 10 (75 lb)

Bench day tomorrow. It’s pretty humiliating that my max bench is 100 lb more than my max squat, but thats what happens with a back injury.

Bench Press:
2 WU sets with 135

165 x 5
195 x 5
215 x 9

Incline Dbell Press:

5 sets of 15 (60 lb dbells)


2 WU w/ 135

155 x 5
185 x 5
205 x 10

15 min Active Warmup
Foam Rolling

Standing Military Press:

2 WU w/ bar

75 x 5
85 x 5
95 x 9

Pull ups

BW x 15
BW x 11
BW x 8
BW x 7
BW x 5


BW x 15
BW x 15
BW x 15
BW x 15
BW x 15


Squat Day

Felt pretty stiff this morning so I looked up good active warmups for squatting days. I found this on T-Nation:

The Mobility Complex: Jeremy Frisch

Overhead squat 1x8
Low lateral squat 1x8 each side
Overhead reverse lunge 1x6 each leg
Romanian deadlift to snatch pull-through 1x8
Drop lunge 1x6 each leg
Sots press 1x8
(All done with an olympic bar)

I did this before my squats and honestly, I have never done better squats than I did today. This was the PERFECT combination of exercises to do before squats. I felt really flexible.
Here’s how the workout went. (Last week’s final set: 155 x 7)

Active Warmup

Set 1: 135 x 3
Set 2: 155 x 3
Set 3: 175 x 9

I honestly think the mobility complex was responsible for the improvement on the final set this week.

Leg Press

5 sets of 15 with 3 plates per side.

Foam rolling (15 mins)
Stretching (10 mins)

And just a side note: I hate when people say “PR.” I don’t know why but it just annoys the shit out of me, especially when they seem to happen every workout for some people. I will not be using that phrase. (Maybe i’ll just say “previous best”)

Goddamn I was sore as hell from squats. Prob not the best idea to deadlift the next day.

Mobility Complex warmup


2 WU sets w/ 135

155 x 3
185 x 3
225 x 7

Hyper Extensions

5 sets of 15 (BW)

Ab wheel

3 sets of 8 reps

Although today is an off day, I’m contemplating going in for a few sets because of last night’s events.

I was sitting outside of a bar with my buddy in Ybor City (Tampa) smoking a cigar and drinkin a beer when this old homeless guy walks up to us. This is the first thing he says to us:

(To my friend): “Man, you look STRONG i bet you can lift some WEIGHT!”

(To me): “Now you, you look like you do calisthenics! But hey! Bein flexible is good too!”

I thought this was fuckin hilarious but at the same time it pissed me off that I looked that small. This will be my motivation for the coming months.

Back is pretty sore. I think it’s from doing squats and deads back to back. Still have some numbness and tingling in my left calf as well. I think I need to up the ante with some core work.

Also, I haven’t been eating nearly enough. A usual “good” day of eating for me consists of:

Meal 1: 5 Slices French Toast (700 calories)
Meal 2: Shake - Blend 1 scoop pro, 2 tbsp PB, 1/2 cup raw oats, 8 oz milk (570 calories)
Meal 3: 2 egg salad sandwiches on wheat (600 calories)
Meal 4: 8oz London Broil/Flank Steak, 3 medium red potatoes, green beans (900 calories)
Meal 5: Shake - See above (570 calories)

Total: 3,340 calories.

Bench day today. I will post after the workout.

Bench Press:

2 WU sets w/ 135

Set 1: 185 x 3
Set 2: 205 x 3
Set 3: 225 x 10 (prob had 2 more in me but didn’t have a spotter)

Incline Hammer Strength

Set 1: 2 pps x 8
Set 2: 2 pps x 8
Set 3: 2 pps x 8

Flat Dbell press

Set 1: 80 x 8
Set 2: 80 x 6
Set 3: 80 x 5

Cable cross

Cable set high
Set 1: 80 x 12
Set 2: 80 x 12

Cable set low
Set 1: 60 x 12
Set 2: 60 x 12

15 mins stretching

All in all, a good workout. Felt pretty strong on the bench but my endurance faded fast when i got to the other lifts.

Military Press

Felt shitty and weak, shoulders were sore from chest yesterday.

2 Wu sets w/ bar

set 1: 80 x 3
set 2: 95 x 3
set 3: 105 x 4

Incline bench reverse flyes

15 lbs

3 sets of 15 reps

One arm dumbell shrugs

70 x 15
70 x 12
70 x 10


Mobility warmup

set 1: 135 x 5
set 2: 155 x 3
set 3: 185 x 4


2 WU sets w/ 135

185 x 5
215 x 3
245 x 8

pull ups:


Face Pulls:

25 x 15
25 x 12
25 x 10

I haven’t been to the gym in a couple days because I had a huge job interview on thursday. I thought it was going to be a single interview with one lawyer but it turned into eight separate interviews over 3.5 hours! The good news is that I got an offer and accepted it! I start next monday so this is my final week of living for a while; I’m going to be putting in 70 hour weeks for the first 6 months. Might have to cut down my gym sessions to 3 times a week. It’s chest tonight so I will be posting bench numbers later.

Bench Press

2 WU sets 135

set 1: 185 x 5
set 2: 215 x 3
set 3: 245 x 5

Incline hammer strength

set 1: 2 pps x 12
set 2: 2 pps x 9
set 3: 2 pps x 7

Pull ups

50 reps (took 7 sets)

cable rows

set 1: 120 x 12
set 2: 120 x 12
set 3: 120 x 10

Cable flyes

3 sets of 15 w/ 55lbs