T Nation

Bulldog: Building Old Man Strength



Same to you and your family hope everything went well.



Did a bunch to warm up lower back before hand,

Trap Bar: 450 x 8 …well ignored the pre planned rep cap
Block pull : 5 x 3 @ 405… lets see if I pay for it
DB rows: 40/4 @ SW TR 42… Going ahead and taking steps to cut back on unnecessary volume on the lower back.
K rows: 45/3 @ Sw
Seated Band Hamstring curls: 50 total reps
Bench sit ups: 5 x 10 @ SW



I have concluded that MR Wendlers 7th week protocol is NOT a viable good option for myself . I find I am better off just doing a full deload come the 7 th week.


Any particular reason? I’ve followed your log and you seem plenty strong and experienced.
I’ve used 531 for about 7+ years now , and the 7th week since the last book came out. I follow the principles but have made some changes that work for me.

  1. Almost never go past 6-8 reps on the main 4 movements on the 95% or 1+ week.
  2. If I’m feeling strong that week hit “ jokers” of 1-3 reps, not just more reps at 95%.
  3. Try to keep my TM so I can almost always hit 3-5 reps at 95% -TM, no problem.
  4. Don’t waste energy on the warm up sets. Focus on the top set .
    So hitting 5s on my DL warm up sets is out , 3s then 5 singles on the top set. But 5s are good for me on my press warmup. Everyone is different.
  5. When I do use the 7th week ( which isn’t often as I know I can hit 3-5 on my 95% week) just work up to the top set with 1-3s as warm up, like a meet.
  6. 1 movement a training session, none of the programs he designed, which I think are for younger or still developing lifters, or “enhanced “ trainers, with greater recovery ability. Add a good second movement of 3-5x8-10 or some FSL, then fill in with the push, pull, core stuff.
  7. I rarely deload, but train every other day and usually 2 days off after a wave.

I would be real interested in your thoughts given your strength, experience and training.


Yeah I jumped on it when it first came out for awhile I got away from it for awhile.I decided to jump back on board when he ironed out a few bugs I preconceived with it.

  1. pretty much the same
  2. currently Im not using Jokers at the moment
  3. Yeah thats pretty much the same for myself. On good days I can double the reps of the called for base line rep target .
    4.Pretty much I keep my true “warm ups” between 3-5 reps depending on how I feel from 40% at 10% increments up to what I consider work sets .
  4. so far I have only used the 7th week to work up to a single with my TM and thats it. Havent as yet used it as a testing week for my TM.
  5. Currently Im running FSL for 3 x5 (except on pulls) on supplemental stuff ( except squats since I prefer not to use any supplemental movement)… after which I throw in some stuff I need to address .

Here some other things that I do that probably different but falls under the frame work of the program itself.

My training doesn’t fall under the normal 7 day frame work … I lift MWF and I rotate the main lifts. So lets say I bench on a Monday I wont Bench again until the following Wednesday.

Im running 3/5/1 on everything but squats at the moment. On squats currently just running the Pro 5 protocol at the moment at a low TM.

Thing with me I find Im good for 6-8 weeks of hard lifting ( regardless of the program) that I need to back off for a week from the intensity. I think on my end it is somewhat a combination of physical and mental fatigue.


I think we have some similar training styles.
I train 351
I found 5 progression pretty boring.
I do 3s, maybe a joker set for 1-3 if I feel good, but rarely and not much past my TM.
5s week - I go easier on volume and intensity.
1+ week- I go 5@75,3@85,then 3-6 ( usually 5-6)@ 95%. More than 6 reps just leaves me fried a few days later. No jokers this week, just a good 5-6 reps.
For DL just 3s to warm up, then either 3-5 singles for the top set. NO REPS for me. If I’m feeling good add more weight.
For 2nd or as Wendler calls it supplemental movement- I like 3-5x8-10. I try to get some variety here and mix in exercises I like. I’ve used
Squats— FSL, my shoulders started to feel beat up, Zerchers, front squats, good mornings
BP- CG, DBBP, inc bench
DL- good mornings,SLDL
Press- BTN
Throw in some curls , triceps, “core”
I do face pulls on squat day, pull-up/ chins , lat pull down on BP day, rows on DL day, cable rows and maybe pull-ups on press day.
Pushups on squat and DL day for the push. 25-50 total reps in multiple sets as a circuit at the end.
I try to train so I don’t need to deload, obviously that keeps the intensity and volume down. I’m training for strength, health and importantly to me longevity of training. Nobody cares what a 60 year old man can squat or bench or pull. I train because, I’ve always lifted and I like it.
I use the so called 7th week 2-3 a year to see where I am at to set up my training plan. But really it’s just to hit a hard max of 1-3, non of the multiple 5s warming up. 5 reps at a true 85% for me will definitely impact my top
Good luck, and I would appreciate any thoughts on your experience with 531


I would say pretty much so…

It is … but it keeps me in check on my squat volume at the moment. Since Im focusing more on bring up my pulling.

I have yet figured a good way to optimize it for for peaking. But that is on me since The whole new leader and anchor set up should help.



Ok …got a wild hair today ! Thanks to @clee78 talk of Joker sets and decided to do some if I was feeling good once I got warmed and and depending on how the last working set felt.

Seated Behind the Neck Press: 195 x 6 … Hit the pre planned cap, had tons still in the tank.
Joker sets: 225 x 3… damn easy
250 x 6… lost my freaking mind ( had my oldest video)

Decided that was good for today…

Swiss bar close grip Bench: 5 x 5 @ 230

Felt a little gassed at this point

Pulldowns : 50/5 @ SW TR 43
Curls: 25/3 @ SW TR 26
Pushdowns: 40/3 @ SW TR 45

Well going on a limb and saying that I might have my TM set pretty low.




Thanks… I am pretty happy considering my age and the work I have had done on my shoulders.


Yer nice work there bulldog


Thanks man!


Too bad you don’t know anything about biomechanics :roll_eyes:


Killing it my man!!!
Who let the big dog out


Great lifts, and an inspiring attitude. I will definitely be following.



Well you put the wild hair in my rear… since I dont do jokers too often if at all.

Not going to guarantee quality on this forum!


Good to hear.
A little psych never hurt anyone. I try to pump myself, recapture a little of the youth in the weight room. Blast the tunes and go.
I think when most of us were younger and pushing it, it wasn’t reps but weight on the bar. Now with some grey, reps burn me out, but a top set of 1-3, 5 max, makes me feel good and I can recover- to train again.
I save the reps for the “ supplemental “ work with less weight.
Must’ve been the new hair cut!!!


Those reps all looked super easy. Beastly stuff.


After yesterday It might be time to tweak some things on my end slightly.


Oh im feeling them today in certain areas…