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Caesium32's Log - Cycling With a Side of Lifting

I’ve decided to start a log to record my training and hopefully gain some interest and get help from others.
About me, I’m currently following a routine I made myself, it’s loosely based on starting strength and I plan to run it until I go to university at the end of September.
I’m 18 years old, 5’10" and about 180lbs (82kg) give or take a few. I started training in my garage with a few weights a couple years ago and bulked up a bit while growing at the same time (was around 140lbs at 15). In March 2016 I joined the gym and have made some small improvements just doing random exercises.
In the last couple of weeks I’ve been following a routine based on linear progression and have definitely got stronger and feel bigger already, I think I’m finally training properly. After this I plan to run variations of 5/3/1.
All weights in the log will be in kilograms unless I note otherwise.

Current lifts:
Squat- 72.5kg x 5
Deadlift- 100kg x 4
Bench- 55kg x 8
Press- 32.5kg x 5

My training goals for when I come back home from university in December:
Squat- 100kg
Deadlift- 120kg
Bench- 70kg
Press- 40kg
These may be a bit of a push but with how I training is going at the minute I think they’re within reach.

If anyone has any suggestions or questions about anything please ask, I’m always looking to learn more and improve.

Edit 1: New goals Jan 17- Mar 17 post 129
Edit 2: New goals Apr 17- Jun 17 post 324

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I’ll start by posting what I’ve logged for this last week. Just to confirm 5x3 means 3 sets of 5 reps, I think this is the opposite way to most places but it works better for how I’ve been logging.

Monday 05/09/16:
Squat 70x5x3
Deadlift 80x5x1
Barbell rows 40x8x4
Chin ups 30x8x3
Standing cable crunches 30x12x4
Curls 20x8x3 (Had to stop due to pain in my left wrist, going to try EZ-curl bar next time.)

Tuesday 06/09/16:
Bench press 52.5x5x3
Standing dumbbell press 12x8x3 (Had pain in left shoulder on negative of some reps.)
Machine flyes 55x12x4
Assisted dips 35x6x1, 42.5x8x2
Triceps extension 20x8x1, 25x8x3
Glute ham raises BWx12x4

Thursday 08/09/16
Squat 72.5x5x3
Romanian deadlift 50x8x3
Front squats 30x8x3
Leg curls 30x12x3
Pull ups 30x8x3
Oblique exercise

Friday 09/09/16
Overhead press 32.5x5x3 (Could only get 4 reps last week, 5 felt really easy this week, had 6 or 7)
Dumbbell bench press 20x8x3
Incline smith machine press 30x10x4
Close grip bench press 30x10x2, 40x10x2
Lateral raises 4x12x4
Face pulls 25x12x4

Next week I will be doing the same exercises and trying to add weight to the big four. 10kg to deadlift as I started too light and then 2.5kg to the other three.

Did 4 sets of 5 reps overhead squats today using a pool cue in my bedroom just to work on my mobility a little bit and making an effort to brace properly before it gets hard with weight on my back. Supersetted that with 8 reps of push ups.
There was lots of cracking in my knees and ankles on the first few squats considering I’m only 18 but I definitely felt like I had better mobility in my back and shoulders by the last set, also got a decent trap pump.
I’m gonna try and work on my mobility and flexibility with a few exercises/stretches a couple times a week, will definitely progress to a barbell for overhead squats and see how that feels. If anyone reads this and knows of any decent exercises or stretches worth doing please let me know.
Last week I had a mild pain in my mid back when I extended my spine which I’ve aggravated working yesterday.

Monday 12/09/16
Deadlift 90x5x1
Lat pull-down 35x10, 42.5x10, 50x10, switched to wider grip then 42.5x10, 35x10
Seated cable rows 35x10, 42.5x10x4
Single arm cable curls 10x10, 12.5x10, 15x10, 10x12

I’m going to be quite busy this week and only able to go to the gym 3 times so going to do more of a push, pull, legs split. I still have the nagging pain in my back so I’ve decided to use this week as a mini deload in terms of intensity and just get some volume in on a few easier exercises.

Tuesday 13/09/16
Bench press 55x5x3
Dumbbell overhead press 12x8x3
Assisted dips 35x8x3
Incline dumbbell press 14x10x3
Machine flyes 50x12x4
Triceps extension 20x8x3, 20x12x1

Nothing to note today other than I’ve just bought and read 5/3/1. Plan was to start it once I’d moved to university at the beginning of October but I think I might start next week instead.

I looked into agile 8 yesterday and came across limber 11. Being a student I have quite a bit of spare time so I’m going to try and attempt that everyday. If that works I may try to add in the simple 6 too for my upperbody.
So far I’ve done limber 11 once and felt quite sore this morning.

Saturday 17/09/16
Overhead press 35x5x3
Squat 75x5x3
Assisted pull ups 42.5x10x5
Face pulls 20x12x4 superset with
Lateral raises 5x10x4
Leg extensions 30x10x3 superset with
Leg curls 30x10x3

Wasn’t the best training day for me, presses felt average but as soon as I started squatting I felt tired and weak. Once I got to my work sets they actually felt okay, I was really focussing on driving the knees out and staying upright. Usually when I’m struggling I tend to lean forward and almost good morning it. Felt a lot stronger out of the hole staying upright and my glutes were really pumped for the first time. I have pretty bad doms in them today too so I’ve obviously been using them in a way I wasn’t before. I’m always trying to improve my technique so this brightened up an otherwise bad training session. After the squats I was tempted to leave but decided to stop feeling so sorry for myself and did some easy work just to get volume in.

Next week I plan to follow the 4 day routine I was before but I may not add weight to my main lifts and go for an extra rep instead just to keep the intensity down slightly to stop me from stalling. The week after I want to work up to a max set of 5 on each of the main lifts and push my main assistance lifts that I want to use in 5/3/1 a bit too in order to establish some maxes. The week after that is my first week at university so I doubt I’ll be in the gym much and nutrition and sleep probably won’t be ideal either. After that I’ll start 5/3/1 until December where I’ll probably take a week off at Christmas. I kind of want to start 5/3/1 now but don’t want to start and take a week off in the middle.

Monday 19/09/16
Lat pull-down 42.5x10x3, 50x10x1
Dumbbell row 12x20x3
Deadlift 90x4x1
Front squat 30x5, 35x5, 40x5
Back extension BWx12x4
Dumbbell row 14x20x2

I went to the gym later than usual today and it was really busy so had to wait about half an hour to use the power rack. I was aiming for 6 reps on the Deadlift but it felt really hard, I hit 80 for a double and it flew up but I struggled to get one with 90. I’m very happy with how my front squat is coming along now I’m getting used to it. Today I tilted my wrists back more so there was more pressure on the delts rather than my wrists which were aching before. It was my first time doing dumbbell rows today and I liked them so I think I’ll use them as an accessory when I start 5/3/1.

Tuesday 20/09/16
Seated rows 30x10, 35x10, 42.5x10x2
Machine flyes 50x12x3
Bench press 55x5x2, 55x10
Incline press 30x10, 35x10, 40x10
Assisted dips 42.5x10x5
Incline dumbbell curls 6x12, 8x10, 10x8

Had a really good workout today. Went AMRAP on my last bench set and hit 10 reps with one or two more in me which is a new PR that I really didn’t expect, lockout especially feels very strong. Only downside was like yesterday I had to wait a while for the equipment I wanted. It annoys me that the gym has about 20 treadmills, rowers and bikes but 1 bench, squat stand and power rack.

Friday 23/09/16
Squat 75x5x2, 75x8
Stiff leg deadlift 60x5x2, 60x6 (miscounted)
Face pulls 10x30, 15x20, 20x15, 25x10
Leg extensions 30x12, 40x12x2, 20x10 (3 second count at top)+ 10 normal
Leg curls 30x12, 40x12x2, 20x20
Lying leg raises BWx12x2, BWx10x2

Today’s workout went really well. I felt really tight and powerful out of the hole in all my squats and hit a new PR of 75x8. 10 reps might have been there but my form was starting to break down and I was pretty out of breath too so I need to work on conditioning. Tried stiff leg deadlifts for the first time and they felt pretty easy but I didn’t want to push anymore because I was worried my back was rounded. I think I’m going to get someone to video me doing them next time and watch a few videos online to make sure it’s all okay. Finished off with some easy high rep stuff which left my legs feeling like jelly.

Saturday 24/09/16
Overhead press 35x5x2, 35x6
Lat pulldown 42.5x10x5
Lateral raises 6x10x4
Front raises 10x10x2
Dips 35x10, 42.5x10x4
Triceps extension 20x8x3

Average workout, presses felt quite hard. I did want to do close grip bench after my presses but the bench was constantly in use. I tried stalling but eventually got fed up and decided I’d just do triceps extensions instead.
Overall this week has been average, I smashed my previous rep PRs in bench and squat but struggled more than I’d of liked in the press and deadlift. In review I think I had made weight jumps that were too big and didn’t train with enough volume for the deadlift. Going for max reps was definitely something I enjoyed though so I’m looking forward to starting 5/3/1 even more now.
The plan for next week is to work up to around a 5 rep max for my main lifts and the four big assistance lifts I’ll be using when I start 5/3/1.
The numbers I’d like to hit in the main four are:
Squat- 80x5
Deadlift- 95x5
Overhead press- 37.5x5
Bench press- 60x5

Monday 26/09/16
Deadlift 80x5, 90x5, 100x3
Front squat 30x5, 40x5, 45x5, 50x5
Plank progression (normal and both sides) 20 count each x3
Machine rows 30x12x4
Dumbbell curls 8x10x3

My goal for this workout was to deadlift 95x5, the 90x5 didn’t feel too bad and I decided to go all or nothing and try 100x5. Using a one rep max calculator 95x5 puts my 1RM at 107kg and 100x3 puts it at 106kg so I’d say they’re pretty much the same, overall I’m happy. The front squats were great too I feel really strong in them. Side planks were really hard which I think is because I’ve never directly trained my obliques so that’s something I want to work on.
I went to the gym early today and for the first time saw someone squatting 2 and 3 plates for reps. I thought it was really impressive and then I realised I always see people doing it in their logs and just think of it as normal. This made me think it’s crazy how much I’ve become used to seeing big numbers online and thinking nothing of them. I noticed a similar thing with pounds, I’m so used to seeing 500, 600 pound deadlifts I just think they’re normal then I realise what they are in kilos and it seems crazy heavy. What I’m getting at is I need to appreciate how impressive the numbers I read online are and put things into perspective. Your 600lb deadlift isn’t any less impressive just because Pete Rubish deadlifted 900lbs yesterday and relative to my 75kgx5 the 140kgx8 I saw today is huge. This is probably obvious to everyone but it’s just a thought I had that I wanted to share.

Tuesday 27/09/16
Bench press 50x5, 60x5, 65x4+1 with help from spotter, 50x12
Dumbbell rows 14x20x3
Incline press 40x5, 45x5, 50x5
Lat pull-down 35x10x5
Face pulls 20x12x4

Today’s workout went really well. 60x5 absolutely flew up and one of my old friends from school was on the decline bench next to me so I asked him for a spot and went for 65. The first 3 reps were fine but the fourth was a huge grind, I got stuck about halfway up for a second or two. My spotter reached for the bar but I don’t know if he touched it or not so for the sake of maxing I’ll say 65x3, not like it matters, then he encouraged me to do a fifth and helped me through the sticking point. Incline was also easier than I expected.

After watching the conditioning video by @Alpha last night I realised how lazy I’d got in terms of conditioning. I’ve gone from 3 hours of hard running a week to walking 2km to and from the gym 4 times a week.
Now and again I do little body weight circuits in my bedroom consisting of squats, push ups and chin ups just to do some body weight stuff so I thought why not do it regularly for conditioning. So today I did this:

15 squats, 10 push ups, 5 chins
12 squats, 8 push ups, 4 chins
9, 6, 3,
6, 4, 2
3, 2, 1

I got through it all in 5:11 so next time I’m going to try and beat that. I plan to do it at least twice a week and work my way up to 3 rounds.
Once I get some more money I plan on buying a weighted vest too just to go for walks with.

Thursday 29/09/16
Kettlebell swings

First time doing these, felt a good stretch in my hamstrings and my posterior chain and shoulders were pretty pumped. I’m going to add them to all my lower body workouts.

Squat 70x5, 75x5, 80x5, 82.5x5

Squats felt really good and I definitely felt like I could have gone even heavier. Form only broke down on last rep of 82.5kg and it didn’t feel that heavy, maybe just a strong day. I was quite out of breath though especially with the 80kg set, not sure if it’s conditioning or how I was breathing and bracing.

Stiff leg deadlift 60x5, 70x5, 60x8

Felt pretty easy, my grip was the limiting factor as I pulled double overhand. I think I need to buy some chalk because my hands get really sweaty.

Leg extensions 30x10x4
Leg curls 30x10x4
Side planks 20s each side x3

Friday 30/09/16
Overhead press 30x5, 35x5, 37.5x5, 40x4

Probably my best PR of the week today considering I was aiming for a 40kg 1RM by December. I nearly failed on the 5th rep of 37.5kg but decided I’d try and get one or two with 40kg and ended up with 4! On the 5th the weight got too far in front and I had to catch it in the hang position.

Close grip bench press 40x5, 50x5, 55x5

Felt strong with this, I think my normal bench is predominantly triceps.

Dips superset with pull ups 42.5x10x5
Lateral raises 4x10x4

I’m going to aim for a 50kg overhead press by December.

Just a quick update. Currently taking a week off as it’s the first week of university but I may go to the gym once just to see what it’s like and take it easy then 5/3/1 next week.
I had to move all my stuff in on Sunday which involved lots of different weighted carries. They were all about 400m including 2 flights of stairs. My forearms, biceps and traps definitely felt it the next day.

Monday 10/10/16 5/3/1 C1W1D1
Deadlift 60x5, 70x5, 72.5x7
Back extension BWx10x4
Front squat 22.5x10, 30x10, 32.5x10
Crunch machine 10x12x4

Today was my first day of 5/3/1 with the SST assistance. My training maxes are as follows:
Deadlift- 90kg, front squat- 50kg
Bench press 62.5kg, incline- 50kg
Squat- 80kg, stiff leg deadlift- 70kg
Overhead press- 37.5kg, close grip bench-55kg

I think a week of terrible nutrition, little sleep and drinking every night has taken its toll on me as expected though and today my deadlifts in particular felt heavy for what I was lifting. Considering this and working out how to fit things in at a new gym I’m going to just take this week as it comes and repeat week 1 next week.

Mini rant ahead. I started at my new gym today at university. For a gym catering to so many people it’s tiny. Everywhere was really crowded and there weren’t enough weight plates. The plates they did have were spread all over the gym on the side of machines instead of the rack, I literally couldn’t find a single 2.5kg and I only found 2 5kg plates and 2 1.25kg plates after searching everywhere, there was a rack with 7 pins on it that didn’t have a single plate on. This meant that I couldn’t load the proper weights for my first day of 5/3/1. Also half the weights are upstairs and half are down which makes things a lot more difficult than I’d like. The changing rooms and lockers are also unbelievably small and the kettle bells are in the dance studio so I can only use them when there isn’t a class on which isn’t often.
Being a huge university sports centre I expected it to be a massive gym with brilliant facilities but unfortunately not.
On the plus side it does have more benches and squat racks than my old gym and maybe machines too, certainly some cool ones I want to try. There’s even a deadlift platform and bar with some bumper plates however I don’t know which bar it is, if anyone knows how to identify it please let me know. Another question too, does anyone know why bumper plates don’t have handles? It was really annoying having to pinch grip 20kg plates but then thinking about it Eleiko plates don’t either so I presume it wasn’t just bad plates.

Tuesday 11/10/16 5/3/1 C1W1D2
Bench press 40x5, 50x5, 55x10
Lat pull-down 40x10x4, 50x6
Lateral raises 6x10x4
Incline bench 25x10, 30x10, 35x10
Db rows 16x15x3

Nothing special really today. The gym probably isn’t as bad as I thought yesterday I was just a bit disappointed. It has some good equipment, the benches are all proper ones with thicker padding and spot stands and I noticed the bar on the incline was an eleiko one so maybe the others are too. In future im just going to go earlier when it’s less busy.

I started kickboxing and muay Thai this week. I had my first hour of kickboxing on Sunday and two hours of muay Thai this evening. Both involved a lot of exercise and I feel like I’ve got ran over after tonight. Muay Thai is no joke what so ever, I have a new found respect for fighters. I’m going to eat as much as I can to make up for it and try to keep the assistance work in the gym down a bit too as a result.

Friday 14/10/16 5/3/1 C1W1D3
Squat 50x5, 60x5, 70x10

Felt great, bar speed was like the empty bar, only a month ago I was grinding 70kg for 5 reps. I think I’ve finally recovered from my week off.

Stiff leg deadlift 30x10, 40x10, 50x10

Got a pretty big lower back pump, is this normal?

Hack squat 50x15x4 (constant tension on quads)
Leg curl 30x15x4

Spent a lot of time helping my friend deadlift and squat too which involved lots of low reps with light weight but which was essentially technique work.