T Nation

Bigquig's 5-3-1 Log

Since seeing how many people have seen solid gains with 5-3-1, and seeing that I have not made any gains at all in a while, I picked up the program a couple weeks ago and started it last Monday (1/4). I like it so far, a lot, and I decided to log my progress here where I might be able to help some, and some others might be able to help me.

I came into it weighing around 197 (I lost about 5 lbs out my ass over Christmas in Budapest from eating or drinking something funny). My maxes before starting were: Press: 165, DL: 475, Front Squat: 247.5, and bench, 250. So my working maxes are 148.5, 427.5, 247.5, 225.

I have long term goals, 200 in the press, 505 in the DL, 350 front squat, and a 300 bench, but I’m going to be happy to see any small gains. Next week, I’ll start doing random, grease the groove type pullups. I hit 37 dead hang pullups doing that before, but now I’m lucky to hit low 20s.

I’m using option one with the percentages, and the Triumvirate for my assistance work.

Presses: Pullups and dips

Deadlifts: Good mornings and decline situps

Bench: Barbell rows and incline press

Front Squat: Glute Bridge, Barbell Ab Rollouts

1/4: Presses

5 @ 95
5 @ 111
6 @ 126

4X7 Pullups/Dips. Short on time.

1/6: Deadlifts

5 @ 278
5 @ 320.6
5 @ 363.3

Good Mornings:

12 @ 95
10 @ 125
3X8 @ 125

Decline Situp: 5X15 (unweighted).

1/7: Run 5 miles, easy pace.

1/8: Bench Press

5 @ 145
5 @ 170
9 @ 190

Barbell Rows:

2X10 @ 95
1X30 @ 95

Incline Press:

10 @ 95
3X8 @ 135

AM: Run 8 miles. Pace up to 6:15 pace last 2.

1/10: Front Squat:

5 @ 160
5 @ 185
8 @ 210

3X8 Glute Bridge @ 135

3X5 Ab Rollout @ 135

That’s week one. I had a three mile run in there somewhere too. I have somewhat of an endurance background with 5 ultras and 3 marathons under my belt, and I’m considering running the LA Marathon in March with a 20K Pack. I’m maintaining a base up until that point and will try to time my running to interfere as little as possible with 5-3-1.

I liked everything I did for assistance work, and am going to bring a towel next time for the glute bridge. 135 was very easy, but I’d only done it once before and wanted to see what range of motion I should look at.

The Good Mornings left me profoundly sore for days. I’m going to stick with the same rep ranges for the rest of this cycle. I like soreness, but I’m not sure that it’s productive to be a near cripple.

Week Two:

1/11: Press

3 @ 105
3 @ 120
6 @ 135

10X5 pullup and dip

I’ve really lost my pullup. It will come, but it’s frustrating. Otherwise, felt good.

1/13: DL

3 @ 300
3 @ 342
5 @ 385

5X8 Good mornings @ 135

Declline Situp: 2 X 25.

I warmed up with powerclean and jerk for this one. I did 155X3, 185X3, and 205X1. I think I liked it. It got me warm but not tired. May do this again. Deadlifts felt good. I had more in me, but I’m really not used to going high rep yet so I took it easy.

1/15: Bench

Not much time today so I just did the lifts.

3 @ 157

3 @ 180

8 @ 205

1/17: Front Squat:

3 @ 175
3 @ 205
6 @ 225

20 Walking lunge w/ 135# BB

1/18: Presses

5 @ 115
3 @ 125
6 @ 145

1/19:

100 pullups, 200 pushups. Small sets. 5s and 7s for pullups, 20-40 for pushups.

1/20:

AM: Run 6 miles. 10 minute warm up, 3 mins 5k pace, 90 sec recovery (X3). 5 minute recovery pace, then 2 mins 5k pace, 60 sec. recovery (X3), then cool-down. Then 3 berm sprints.

PM: Deadlift:

5 @ 320
3 @ 365
4 @ 405

No assistance work. Ass and hamstrings suffered from lunges three days ago, and from sprints in the morning. May do some pushups and pullups this evening.

Felt good but tired. Did a kettlebell VO2 max work. 15 seconds snatches at max, 15 seconds rest X 40. Not too hard, not too easy. First time trying it and I like it.

1/22: Bench:

5 @ 170

3 @ 192

8 @ 215

4 slow negatives at 165 (don’t think I’ll do these again, either submaximal or supramaximal, but a friend who is helping me out finding work suggested them, so I wanted to be able to say I’d tried it).

3X5 bent rows @ 145

2 mile barefoot run, sidewalks, roads, beach.

1/23:

25mins of 2 KB snatch per arm each minute (70#). Total 50 ea. arm. Won’t be sore from it, and it kept me active and moving.

1/24:

AM FS:

5 @ 185

3 @ 210

5 @ 235

PM:

3X

Hang Power Snatch 95#

Sprint 200m

Hang Power Clean 95#

This really sucked. C.T. mentioned it in a recent article, so I decided to try to work up to whatever I can handle. I’ll go up a round every two days. If I hit 10, I’ll increase weight and start over.

1/25: Presses (start of de-load week).

5 @ 65

5 @ 80

5 @ 95

Easy, of course. I wanted to do more, but I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do. Immediately after, did the snatch/sprint/clean triplet for 3. It was dark so I had to use a rower. Hopefully I’ll get it in daylight tomorrow. Sprints are just better.

I feel stronger after the first month of it. I won’t test my 1RM strength until at least one more cycle. I think I’m going to switch to boring but big, with abs thrown in when I have time, for all the lifts but deadlift. I never got much out of deadlifting for a lot of reps, and I think I need the good mornings.

1/27:

Deadlift day.

Started with snatches, snatch warmup. Work up to singles at high power snatch at 155#. Felt very light, and I felt fast. Tried OHS’ing 185, and got two without too much trouble, but I’m pretty weak at that. Maybe I’ll include light OHS in my warm-ups to keep mobility and some stability.

DL:

5 @ 185

5 @ 220

5 @ 255

GM:

2X8 @ 135#

Sprints:

3 hang power snatch-200m sprint-3 hang power clean

X3

Good workout today. Everything felt light and easy. Sprints were tough. I stayed at 3 sets of it because I was starting to lose speed on the sprints and the lifts.

1/30:

Worked 6 AM to 12 AM the 29th, so I had to push it back a day.

Easy bench:

5 @ 95

5 @ 115

5 @ 135

Snatch: work up to singles at 145#

2X5 OHS @ 145#

Didn’t feel great. The lack of sleep/food wasn’t helpful.

I’ll have to take next week off for work reasons. I’ll be starting week one of my second cycle next Sunday. I may do some light stuff today.

2/5:

First day back. Didn’t sleep much the past three days.

Clean and jerk up to 5 singles at 205#.

Clean 235#

Clean 255# (miss).

Was still tired and kind of zoned out, but it was nice to get back and do something. I think I’ll be doing the two o-lifts 4 days a week for brief sessions during 5-3-1.

2/6:

Another O-lift day. Meant do to just a few snatch singles, but ran into a friend who was doing a version of Dan John’s “Big 21” but with an additional set, so more like “Big 24.”

Power Snatch

8X3

95, 95, 115, 115, 135, 135, 155, 160

Threw in some OHS with it too.

Clean and Jerk:

7X3

160, 165, 170, 175, 180, 195, 200(X2)

Hang Squat Clean:

7X3

185, 185, 185, 185, 195, 205, 210 (X1)

2/8:

Presses:

5 @ 100
5 @ 115
7 @ 130

Big 21 w/ Power Snatches and Power Clean and Jerk

PS: 3X5 @ 100, 105, 115. Then six sets of singles to 140#.

PC

2/9:

Meant to put in my Power Clean and Jerk numbers yesterday. I started at 155 (triples instead of fives) and ended at 195.

Big 21 again today, bumped each up by 5 lbs.

Snatch: start at 105, end at 145.

Power Clean and Jerk: Start at 160, end at 200.

I’m not feeling a burnout from the big 21. If it becomes an issue with 5-3-1 (still priority now), I’ll reduce its frequency.