Tl:dr weak novice. 5/3/1. Need to eat more. Follow the program.
Would be grateful for any questions, tips, opinions, feedback, testimonials, support. Or if theres any info useful I can provide. Thanks.
I am early 30s man. Height 6-2. Weight 173. My best performances are:
Overhead press: 85x5.
Trap bar DL: 235x7.
These are in lbs, so yeah lots of room for improvement.
Goals. Right now I’m trying to get even averagely strong. In the long term I guess my goals are mainly aesthetic.
Nearer future. I want to look more fresh and powerful (in the eyes of my family of average people) for a family trip in spring 2020.
For a while my performance goals were
Ohp. 95 lb. Might be able to do this now but sticking to the program.
Squat. 175 lb (i.e. same as body weight). I did singles for 170 in last program.
Trap bar Dl. 225x5. I guess 315 would be cool goal.
Bp/incline: be able to do them without hurting myself.
Bench: 110x6. Incline: 95x5. These are pretty old and I didnt do these at all for a while. Because I kept hurting my shoulder, after losing back/shoulder positioning. I could (and did) do pushups without joint pain. More recently have discovered I can bb incline without pain, if I am careful (really have to work hard to keep position good). So I will keep practicing that and maybe scrape together some money for coaching.
I started lifting a little over a year ago at a giant Planet Fitness. Eventually I got tired of what routine the trainer there showed me (random circuit thing), and lack of tangible progress. Also those hand-shaped chairs in the front freaked me out. During this time I got a little stronger and actually lost weight down to like 160 as my wife and I upgraded our dietary selections). Before too long I upgraded to community center gym which is small but basically has 1 of each of the basics. This is when I started using barbell/trap bar.
Right, training. After switching gyms I read about and tried the 5/3/1. I appreciated having few movements, and knowing exactly how much and how many. It went OK.
A few months ago I acquired the Forever book. I already had 2e and beyond. The author explained many simple concepts further enabling me to grasp them with ease. It became apparent that I wasnt really following the program like I thought.
The last several weeks I used the Leviathan template (leaderx2, anchor) and felt great. I re-tested TMs this week and will start a new program after I finish our taxes. I’m still not fully decided on programming yet. If I look at each move separately I would like to do this below, but I am not confident to understand why stuff is or isnt a good idea, so I’m going to pick and exactly follow a template from the book that incorporates some of these.
OHP. Tm 85. 5s Pro BBS.
Trap bar DL. Tm 235. 5s Pro, fsl5x5
Back squat. Tm 150. Or 145 with 5x5/3/1. I noticed that I have a tendency to shift weight to my stronger leg so i think it might be smart for me to lower TM and take some more practice.
Incline BP. Tm 85. 5x5/3/1. This is very light, even for me, but I still have to be very deliberate on the way down and up to keep good positioning.
I tracked everything I ate for a couple weeks to evaluate my diet. Found that felt natural for me to eat 2000 to 2500 cals if I’m not eating junk food and eating 120-150g protein. I’d like to gain weight so need to be diligent about eating more.