Calvert and Milo Barbell

Dinner at home. Fried rice with shrimp, wind-dried sausage, egg, vegetables.

Dinner out. A bit of that “noah’s ark” theme.

Front left. Salmon eggs on chicken eggs, in an anchovy broth. Back left is candied anchovies on blistered peppers. Kimchi top right, vegetables in a sesame sauce bottom right.

Beef and pork dumpling up front and amberjack in the back.

DIY wraps of leaves, buttered rice, and various meats, sauce.

Meats were a beef sausage, toro steak, flank steak, and pulled pork.

Here’s their dry age cabinets in the hall. Kind of want one.


Well my hopes and dreams of competing in the under 150 class in November are dashed!

I woke up at 149 on Friday and went to bed at 158 on Sunday. Just short of 155 this morning.

Attempted to submit my first attempt today, but ran into technical difficulties. Got a clean but slow 115 press. I’m just going to iron out this submission process before going heavier, or making any deadlift attempt.

The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can go back to my regularly scheduled programming. :tv:

I trimmed this clip a bit, since they want a closeup of the bar, plates, and codeword.


Technical difficulties are resolved.

Lift was submitted and showed up on the board. It also didn’t show up on the list of “rejected because X”. So I assume that means it was passed as a valid attempt.

That 115 velocity suggested it was more 94% than my desired 91%. That puts the estimated 1RM at 122. The previous warmup also suggested the same estimated 1RM. So maybe it’s true (for yesterday).

Tomorrow I’ll go for a second press attempt, and maybe a deadlift attempt. Depends on how the press warmups are moving, honestly. If my estimated 1RM is at least 122, I guess I’ll go for it. If not, another day or two to bounce back.

This whole experience is weird. Learning experience.

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Press attempts 2 and 3 are submitted too.

The way I attempted to “peak” didn’t seem to do a thing. Probably because I didn’t build up to enough volume to even peak from. Even though I hit some high intensity (even near-failure) it didn’t affect anything. A bit over 125 seemed to be a pretty stable max.

These are the sets I worked up with, both days. Top velocity for each. Mostly just used doubles and switched to singles.

My speed/preparedness got better as I went along today. Calories and caffeine and technique kicked in.

Looking forward to actually start training this again.

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Some USSF Leaderboard stuff to use for nearer-term goal setting.

Masters Open Lightweight and Middleweight:

  • A 695 total is required to be in the top 10.
  • In the top 10, the lowest press is 170. The lowest deadlift is 505.
  • In the top 10, the highest press is 245. The highest deadlift is 600.
  • In the top 10, the average press is 204. The average deadlift is 552.

Open Lightweight and Middleweight: (not Masters)

  • A 750 total is required to be in the top 10.
  • In the top 10, the lowest press is 170. The lowest deadlift is 525.
  • In the top 10, the highest press is 305. The highest deadlift is 702.
  • In the top 10, the average press is 228. The average deadlift is 596.

Also, seriously, the only 1000+ total is insane. 300 press with a 702 deadlift.

Found the deadlift video:

Also I ate some food last night. Beef flanken-style ribs, marinated, baked and broiled, with dry fried green beans on the side. (Wife’s cooking, not mine.)


Ok, final post for the day.

Deadlift attempt 1.

Actually, this is the second video of 330. I forgot to get a continuous video with closeup of the plates.

I ramped up 225, 275, 295, 310, 330, 330. (The first 330 was faster.)

I don’t feel like my technique is solid at all. I probably have a lot more. Not today though.

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All three press attempts were green lighted, the deadlift attempt was green lighted. I have done the minimum to qualify for nationals in November.

I even have a participation trophy first place for my weight class! (Faux excitement.) I am happy I gave this a shot.

So, I can submit 2 more deadlift attempts before September 25. I may do that, because that 330 is a bit of an ego bruise.

Anyway, back to regularly scheduled programming. At this point I don’t see any reason why another deadlift attempt needs special treatment.

Kind of weird observation.

I didn’t look like I lifted at all before, but I could lift heavier. Now, I look a bit more like I can lift, but I’m not as strong.

I feel like those are often swapped when it comes to age; younger guys can look better, whereas older can get stronger. I’ve been doing everything backwards my whole life though. Why stop now?

High Volume. Press Clean Press.

Full + Top Press, Paused: 95 x 3 x 3
Barbell Jumps: 95 x 1 x 6; 115 x 2 x 6
Top Press: 95 x 3 x 3


  • I wasn’t really into it in the beginning, but I really like the way I feel after. Nice and short and got some work in. The random variation is nice, especially when unmotivated.
  • I need to get the Calvert stuff worked back in. May throw some more stuff in later today.
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And a few months later. Edits above.

This is still true, and notably so:

Whole left arm and shoulder feels very flexible and mobile. Right is good, but a bit tighter. Feels a bit rotated forward.

I also had some pain in my right shoulder from doing axle cleans a few weeks ago. That seems… gone? very close to gone.


occasional pain on inside of right knee

was gone, but came back after working on that deadlift attempt yesterday. Something to watch out for. Gracilis stretching helps.

Overall, I’d say I’m in significantly much better shape injury and pain wise. Significantly might even be an understatement.

We’ll see what comes back after I get back to Calvert stuff.


Last night set up my second generation of my low-pulley setup. Worked for shoulder stuff, not for biceps stuff.

Cable stuff last night:
5 sets of behind the back lateral raises, accelerated stretched bottom partials, 20-30ish
3 sets of in front of body lateral raises, accelerated stretched bottom partials, 20-30ish
3? 5? sets of leaning overhead extensions, 20ish

Shoulder tendons were a bit sore from those last night but fine today.

Today. Medium Volume. Press Deadlift.

Press: 95 x 4 x 3 (fastest rep was .97, 83% ish)
Deadlift: 255 x 4 x 3 (most of the fastest reps were around .75, 75% ish)


  • everything felt heavy
  • moved boxes and shelving in the garage in between sets
  • surprisingly, quads are hurting after. I’m going to take that to mean I’m improving my form to actually use my quads at all. They’re achy, which has more to do with food.
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Low Volume. Press Deadlift.

Full + Top Press (no pause): 95# x 3 x 3 (fastest full rep was 1.06, 79%)
Bottom Deadlift: 255# x 3 x 3 - to knees


  • Too much time is spent fiddling with equipment, even with just two lifts here. Another bar would help.
  • USSF rules required a thumbs around press grip. I didn’t like it but trained it. Now I think I might like it better; if I set it up right, my wrist stays straighter and thus doesn’t hurt.

Calvert routine again, finally. Sort of.

Windmills with Toe-touch: 55# x 2 (right); 50# x 3 (left), 50# x 2 (right)
Wide-grip Barbell Curls: 65# x 10
Leaning Side Press: 45# x 6 (per side)
Upper-back Meadows Rows: 35# x 16 (per side)
Palms-forward Alternating DB Press: 28# x
Jefferson Squat: 255# x
3 Squat Variations: 45# x
Shrugs: 75# x
Forward Bend: 98# x
Straight-leg Situps: 41# x
H2H Swings: 45# x
Wrist Roller:
Backwards BB Raise: 36# x
Pullovers: 36#

So that’s how that went.

I just… wasn’t sure what I was doing, and didn’t feel like setting everything up, and so on and so forth.

Like, do I need barbell presses… and side presses… and alternating presses… and lateral raises?

Do I need deadlifts… and Jefferson squats… and all those other squats?

So I just did a few things that were clearly “hypertrophy” work for shoulders and arms.

Low-cable behind-back lateral raises: 5# or 7.5# x 2 x 25 each side
Overhead cable tricep extensions: 10# x 2 x 20?, then a set for my right side only
Low-cable curls: ? x ? x ? right side only
Foam roller pec flies: 7.5# x 20, 10# x a couple sets


  • My right hip was sore from deadlifts, and my right shoulder is still somewhat immobile, so that set of right side 55# windmills got cut short. 50# seems ok ballpark wise though. 3-6. Maybe I should do these before deadlift work.

  • Barbell curls felt better than axle curls today, but my right wrist and shoulder still don’t like them.

  • My right arm is still notably smaller than my left, so I think I’m just going to give it a bit of extra work after working both sides.

  • Those rows though, those felt awesome today.

  • I’m probably wrong about this, but, side presses seem a lot more transferrable to barbell press strength. The alternating presses are more like pump work and just trunk endurance. They’ve never felt great. I think those cable raises do a better job for actual side delt targeted work.

  • For triceps, I dunno. Maybe those alternating presses have value there.

  • Overhead cable extensions are probably better for the long head than that backwards BB raise. Maybe not. Going to give them a try for awhile I think. Arms are tiny regardless of what I’ve done in the past.

  • Maybe I’ll fold in the squat stuff in a week or more. Just let the deadlift stuff do its thing now that I’ve changed my form a bit. I also am still considering front squats with the clean work, so I’m uncertain right now.

  • Then shrugs, do I need that also with the cleans and deadlifts and presses? Lots of upper trap action already.

  • Those forward bends and swings and ab work I should still do. No question about those. I just got derailed.

It’s easier to think after the workout than during.

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Sorry for so many words. So many exercises to rework and stuff.

Weekly plan:
MWF: Press, Deadlift, Calvert, Shoulder/Arm/Chest Size, Pullovers, Hangs
TR: Press, Clean, Pullovers, Hangs

Press, Clean, Deadlift trained “Russian Roulette” style

Calvert work

  • Windmills
  • Heavy Straight-bar Curls
  • Side Press
  • Upper-back Rows
  • Jefferson + Squat Variations, after figuring out how to work with those Deadlifts/Cleans/Front Squats
  • Situp progression
  • Swings
  • Pullovers (every day of the week)

Shoulder/Arm/Chest Size

  • cable raises to target side and rear delts; front delts seem fine with all the pressing
  • cable curls
  • cable overhead extensions for long head (replacing Calvert’s rear BB raise)
  • chest flies on a foam roller, attempting to target upper chest


  • hang on a pullup bar, two arm, one arm and let gravity do its thing
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Yesterday afternoon I did these.

H2H Swings: 50# x 18

Today. Higher Volume. Clean, Press, Clean.

Barbell Jumps: 115# x 5; 135# x 5
Press: 95# x 4 x 3 (fastest rep was 1.10, 78% 1RM)
Barbell Jumps: 155# x 5; 175# x 5


  • Tired this morning.

  • I was thinking about the idea of “performing despite sleep/energy/motivation”. Sports training helps with this; you do the work because that’s what you need to do. I also have formal music training (piano, Soviet-trained teacher), and a lot of the same principles apply. Focus on quality, take a break when quality degrades, how you feel doesn’t matter, etc.

  • Press speed is coming back up. I mean, 95# is 76% and it should move as fast as a 76% weight. It’s been slow for a bit.

  • Upper chest/back is feeling like a lot more solid base to press from.

  • For a moment, I was wondering if this training is even working. I then realized that’s not a good question. Is it increasing my 1RM max? I don’t know. Am I getting better at pressing 95 pounds? Yes. That’s an acceptable training result too.

  • I figured it was important to start going heavier on these jumps. 5 rep sets was interesting. I definitely felt the drop off in explosiveness near rep 5.

  • Trying to open up my right chest and stretch midback between some sets.


Overall plan:
Medium Volume. Press, Deadlift. Calvert. Kazuya. Pullovers. Hangs.

Hopefully this doesn’t take forever to do. Might be overcommitting myself.

Windmills: 50# x 4 (each side)

Press: 95# x 1 x 3 (finally a 1.13 m/s 76% rep in there)
Bottom Press, Paused at Eyes: 95# x 3 x 3
Deadlift, Paused at Knee: 255# x 4 x 3

Barbell Curls: 75# x 5
Side Press: 50# x 3 (each side)
Upper-back Meadows Rows: 35# x 18 (each side)
Straight-leg Situps: 41# x 7 - arms held upwards, not behind the head; feels better on shoulders/wrist/neck
Behind-the-Back cable lateral raises: 5# x 25 (each side)
Across-the-Front cable lateral raises: 5# x 25 (each side)
Cable overhead extensions: 7.5# x 19 (each side)
Chest files on foam roller: 7.5# x 15
Forward Bends: 98# x 10
Swings: 50# x 20


  • Took about 90 minutes to get to this point, including a short shower. Calvert stuff moves fast, but still takes time. 8 total sets of presses and deadlifts with rests in between actually takes a bit too.

  • Outside of the “russian roulette” work, I’m just going to stick to a single set per exercise.

  • Based on post-workout mirror photos, looks like this will probably do what I want to do, with the smaller exercise set.

  • Found another solution for barbell curls. Oversized figure 8 straps around the bar so my wrists can rotate more freely. No wrist or shoulder discomfort. Bar hit my forearm at the top, but obviously that’s avoidable.

  • Gen 3 of my cable pulley setup works well. Using a chain makes it adjustable from a low to high to high pulley. Physics is cool.

Will do these later. This is “stretching/mobility” work.

Pullovers: 36# x

Holding off on front rack mobility work; my elbows seemed to be irritated by this last time I was doing it.

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Some food too.

Teriyaki chicken

Beef and pork cheeseburger, homegrown tomatoes

Beef, beets, egg and tomato, artichokes

Dan dan noodles (ground pork)

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My wife did a few sets of deadlifts in my home gym this morning (when I was about to lift). I think this may be literally the first time she’s ever used it. She goes to a “real” gym.

Her first comment was “this bar seems light”. I remember when I visited her gym… 8 years ago?.. and thought their bars felt heavy. I always took it as a given that my bar was 20kg or 45lbs. This bar weighed the same as my other bar, so I never questioned it.

So, I weighed it, and it’s light. Like 10-15 pounds too light.

I’ve been lying to myself for a decade.

Higher Volume. Press, Clean, Press.

Top Press: 95# x 3 x 3 – from eyes now, not forehead
Barbell Jumps: 135# x 3; 185# x 3; 225# x 3; 275# x 3
Bottom Press: 95# x 3 x 3


  • the symmetry was randomized, but nice: top half, then bottom half

  • I wanted to see how much weight I could put on those jumps and still get off the ground. 225 was when it started to feel really heavy, but my feet came off the ground all 3 reps. I took a risk and went to 275 – with straps this time – but still, feet came off the ground. Walking that out from the rack at hang-height was heavy.

  • these presses are starting to feel light

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Sheiko, Dan John, Pavel, Calvert, Kazuya - credit where credit’s due

Funny enough, the Kettlebell Swings are from Calvert, not Pavel or Dan John.

Press: 95# x 4 x 3 (another rep at 1.13 m/s, 72%)
[slight break]
Windmills: 50# x 5 (each side)
Barbell Jumps: 135# x 3
Power Clean: 135# x 2 x 1
Bottom Deadlift: 255# x 4 x 3
Jefferson Squats, 5 mats: 255# x 20 (total, 10 each side)
Side Press: 50# x 4 (each side)
Upper-back Meadows Rows: 35# x 20 (each side)
Straight-leg Situps: 41# x 8 - arms upwards
Barbell Curls: 75# x 6
Behind-the-Back cable lateral raises: 5# x 26 (each side) - 7 links
Across-the-Front cable lateral raises: 5# x 19 (each side)
Cable overhead extensions: 7.5# x 20 (each side)
Chest files on foam roller: 7.5# x 16
H2H Kettlebell Swings: 55# x 10 (each side)


  • I brought my deadlift stance back in a bit and it feels better.

  • I fixed my velocity math to correct for my too-light barbell. (WTF, seriously.) I’m still going to log numbers as if the bar weight is normal. Now I have layers of corrections to the velocity data… which also needs corrected…

  • I’m at 72% with my working weight with presses, so another few workouts and I should be able to bump it up. Planning to add 5 lbs when I hit 71%.

  • This may be impossible, but I really would like to have some answer like “do X number of quality reps at Y intensity over Z sessions to add 1 pound to your press”. But mostly I just want to have a measure for rate of progress. That way I can better understand how to manipulate intensity and volume to drive up my 1RM. Again, probably impossible. Also probably pointless. But still I’m curious.

  • Jefferson Squats came back. I missed these. I have some mats in use, so it was from 5 mats instead of 7.

  • Oh, I guess the Jeffersons were supposed to be 10 total, not 10 each side. Whoops! I guess I’ll use 265 next time.

  • Messing with the order of things again, just to limit plate/bar changes. Should probably put the barbell curls after Presses and before I load cleans/deadlifts. Overall flow is ok though.

  • The majority of my training is upper body focused. I think I’m ok with that. With the 3x a week deadlifts and jeffersons + 2x a week cleans, I’m not neglecting the rest.

  • I sometimes forget I can just do this throughout the day, rather than all at once. At least when my work demands are a bit lighter.

Strengthlifting Comp notes:

  • Until the Heavyweight Masters scores came in, I had the highest press-to-bodyweight ratio.

  • I have until Sunday midnight, so I’m tempted to take another attempt at the deadlift. Could screw up training next week though.


If I had the time and energy, I would spend:

  • 1.5 hours a day with gym or “fitness” stuff
  • 2 hours teaching my kids all the knowledge I think is important to know
  • 1 hour teaching my kids physical skills
  • 1-2 hours teaching my kids how to shop, prepare food and cook from scratch
  • 2-3 hours a day studying Mandarin
  • 2 hours a day working through Great Books
  • 1 hour practicing piano
  • 1 hour practicing guqin (Chinese stringed instrument)
  • 30 mins - 1 hour of unplugged relaxation, a nice bath or sauna or something
  • 9 hours of sleep

And then some extra time for whatever.

I guess that’s actually maybe doable if I didn’t have a job. That’s 21-23.5 hours planned there…


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The bar thing is quite funny (probably not to you I understand), I remember my first time using a 20kg bar after using just a 5kg bar (1 inch 6ft bar), I used the bench it was resting in so had no idea, loaded what I thought was warm up weight and pretty much pinned myself :rofl:

Also every time I read your log and all the mental gymnastics I get bamboozled, it looks like you’re progressing and happy, but it always seems more complex in here than it needs to be.

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In the article “A Multi Year Plan” Louie Simmons says you need to increase your training volume (sets x reps x weight) by 600 pounds to add 50 pounds to your squat. I can’t remember ever seeing any other formula like that anywhere else.

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It’s funny to me too, really. Like it doesn’t really change anything, but kind of changes everything at the same time. Adding weight to the bar is still the same. But all the times I’ve thought “I can lift X” has been a lie :slight_smile:

My commentary has always been far more unfocused than my training has. But I can give you a primer of what I’m trying to do.

On any given day we’ve got some amount of strength; some days it’s stronger, some days its weaker. Things like maxing out one day make us weaker on that same lift for a few days. Like we intuitively know that.

Now what’s cool is, if you measure bar speed while you try to lift the bar as fast as you can (not just at the beginning, but continuing to push as hard as possible the whole time), you get some useful information. A lighter weight you’re going to move faster than a heavier weight. (Again, common sense.) The first rep of a higher-rep set moves faster than the last rep. The first sets move faster than the last sets. You’re generally stronger/faster when you’re fresher.

So essentially you can use bar speed to measure how “strong” you are, in the moment, on any rep. It’s an objective measure rather than things like RPE/RIR.

If you take the time to personalize the formulas, you can actually measure the exact speed of a bench press rep and tell if that’s a 50%, 75%, 90%, 98% weight, just from the speed.

But what’s even more interesting is that those stay constant. So if your max is 135, and 50% moves at 1.0 m/s… when you’re stronger and your max is 315, 50% of that will still move at 1.0 m/s.

So, you don’t even need to max out to figure out what your 1RM is. You don’t need to do the approximation work like find a 3RM or 5RM and guess your 1RM from it. Or use a plus/AMRAP set. You can just measure the bar speed, plug it into a formula, and know what your 1RM is.

And that’s kind of a gamechanger for a few things… 1) you can actually see how your strength changes day to day, after a long weekend, after an all-nighter, etc., which is super informative and 2) it can completely change how your programming works, especially percentage-based programming

So, in my case, I’m basically doing “step-loading”. Stick with a weight until I’m “strong enough”. Then increase the weight.

Velocity makes it really easy to figure out when I can “earn” a weight increase. For my press, as soon as I can lift a weight 1.15 m/s, I can add another 5 pounds. For the deadlift, hit 0.85 m/s and I can add another 10.

Of course the math and formulas to get to the easy part are, well, complicated. But using it is easy.