T Nation

Can I Change the Title When I Think of Something Witty?

Hello T Nationers!

This training log has been a long term plan of mine, but I needed the push to get going. I committed myself to the ADD challenge starting 1st September as my training these past two years has not gone as well as I hoped.

Background: 33yo man. Did Stronglifts 5x5 for 6ish months back in 2016 (or thereabouts) before joining a weightlifitng gym for about two years and competed a couple of times. Began to lose interest in the sport and with the arrival of my first born left the club and started working out at home. Have flip-flopped between goals of strength, fat loss and muscle building since then; ran several variations of 531 for a year, also did GZCL, Greg Nuckol’s programming and a bit of Paul Carter’s stuff.

All in all, my strength has not increased significantly (or at all if I’m honest) and my body composition is not great. I’m 5’10 1/2" and 160lbs (I use all metric normally but will try and use imperial measurements so apologies if the weights seem a bit off), and very much DYEL.

So the goal for the remainder of the year is to stick with one program. That’s it. I’m hoping my lifts will go up, my work capacity/ conditioning will improve again and maybe I can build a bit of muscle.

I am going to run the Original 531 AB split from the Forever book, 50-100 reps of assistance from each category, easy conditioning every day and hard conditioning 3 days a week.

Training maxes tested w/c 17th August:
S 140
B 105 (low incline since flat benching gives me shoulder pain and I’m not keen on repeating this)
D 225
P 90 (seated without back support currently as my gym’s ceiling is too low for standing)

Lower body TMs are conservative and upper body TMs are because I am just plain weak :frowning: But I did run 531 with PR sets and low training maxes for 2-3 cycles and really felt it was working (so why on earth did I change it??!). As I will complete a cycle in two weeks, the TMs will increase quickly, so regular deloads following 7th WP will be scheduled.

Assistant 50-100 reps per category, I will be taking inspiration from Beginner Prep School and doing this as a circuit at the end of the session. I may drop the reps lower as I am starting running 3 days a week, and this is what Jim Wendler advises.

Conditioning: easy conditioning - walking every day. I walk 3/4 mile to and from my car to work during the week and try and keep the pace up. Dog walking on my days off but pace is much slower (think toddler speed). I know this isn’t 100% to the book but I need it to fit in with my life a bit. Hard conditioning is running 3x a week, plan to do this in the evenings of my lifting days (lift early morning). Starting off at 1/2 mile run with rest as needed, slowly increase to a total of 1600m. Conditioning is a secondary goal to the lifting, mainly to support my work in the gym and to keep me in shape when chasing my kids around.

That is probably enough rambling. I will log Monday’s work next. Thanks for reading!


24th August

BW chins x50 (in between main lifts)
BW Dips 3x10
Tricep extension 45lbs x20
BW lunges 2x25

This surprised me at how tough I found it. It took me 40 mins to complete but I lost energy after the main work. I had been doing “bodybuilding” type training most recently - minimal supersets, few sets taken to failure, conditioning basically non-existent. Assistance work was all over the place today so I think I need to run it as a circuit as I mentioned in my first post, focussing on BW movements and getting the reps in. I will also cut out the single leg work for a short while as I become accustomed to running.

Embarrassing numbers but I keep telling myself they are week 1 percentages based off a low training max, so just need to keep my head down and put the work in. Final sets were cut short by at least 3-4 reps, not entirely sure why I did that looking back.

Ran 2x400m in the evening. Wasn’t too bad actually. Will repeat next time and then add in another 400m.


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26th August

band pull apart in between main work

Fatman rows Bw x 10
Push ups Bw x10
Hanging knee raises kw x 10
Giant set four times through.

Easy conditioning for 30 mins

Nothing exciting. Pr sets could have been pushed more but I’m being extra mindful of recovery - sleep is hard to come by at the moment.

Edit: running done in the evening, 800m, felt like crap and I didn’t want to do it, but glad I forced myself. Lots of food eaten.

28th August

Band pull apart in between main work

No assistance - sleeping 4 hours a night this past week, guts are a mess, house move imminent, stressful at work. Yada Yada Yada. I’ll run tonight.


Pm 3/4 mile run. Not fun at all haha, but happy I have made it through week one :joy:

will be following along to see how everything goes!!!


Thanks Pappa!

2nd September
3x27. 5

Meant to do this on Monday but after a day of packing etc I had nothing left by the evening. Still feel like crap today, kids are not sleeping well, same issues as last post so I won’t go on about it but basically I have been very close to quitting lifting. Decided to nut up and get this done, but skipped assistance again just to save myself some recovery. I know I am a wimp, but I just need to get moved and I’m sure life will settle down again!

No running tonight but will get it done Friday.

Think I have massively underestimated my deadlift TM, I still had at least 6 reps left of good form there… Oh well, will catch up soon enough.

And I’m logging in kg now because converting to lbs is too much for me haha

Fixed it for you.


And yet, I’m the only fucker that tagged my log with “#metric


Following along. Just a note, at times I still do main work and get out when work/life gets in the way. If a week ends up being 8 days instead of 7, no big deal. Just keep moving and then in short order you’ll see some marked improvement that pushes you to move a little further. And moving sucks!! Good luck!

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@dagill2 @Voxel Haha, I was trying to be polite…

@bctx1981 I feel a bit guilty by dropping some of the workload as I see some monsters on this forum pushing through all sorts of craziness, but I do feel I made the right decision to just do the main work this time. Especially as I ended up having 2 hours of sleep last night zzzzzzzzzz

Thanks for the comments guys.

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4th September

Realised as I wrote this that is is my 531 week, yet I am getting 20 and 15 reps on the pr sets. Maybe too Jim at his word “start too light”.

No running or assistance because I am tired (when does tiredness just become the norm and you stop noticing? Every time I think I have found the limit of being tired it gets worse…)

Will reintroduce the rest of the programme next cycle all being well.

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7th September


11x37.5 (pretty sure this is a PR, have been heavier for fewer reps and can’t be bothered to do the maths so I’ll take it)

Push ups x10
Fm rows x10
Knee raises x10

Giant set 2x through.

Beat deadlift rep record for that weight, no idea if a pr or not. Happy with the press, just gritted my teeth and kept pushing (bar speed dropped to my boots by the 5th rep, whoops sorry Jim Wendler)
Knackered after the main work so just did a bit of assistance to tick the box.

Also took a photo of my current home gym for prosterity as I will be moving to a place with an actual garage soon and will not miss the shed one bit.


7th September pm

1 mile run (in 1/4 mile chunks)

Was going to do 1/2 mile only but I’ve had a day of people moaning to me as to why they “can’t” (read “won’t”) do something at work… So I thought I don’t want to reflect that behaviour tonight. Feel better for doing it.


It’s amazing how life can be reflected in the weight room and vice versa.

That looks like some pretty nice kit, but i can see why you’re looking for more space. Winter is coming.

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9th September



“Giant set”
Dips x 10
Chins x5
Swings x15
2 times through, was planning for 5 times but the motivation fell out of my arse after those pr sets. I really need to buck up with this assistance.

No running today, plan to get it in tomorrow.


Those are some big old PR sets man, I think that counts as your cardio for the day. Must be making some good progress?

Too early to tell to be honest, I’ve done better work in the not too distant past so it’s more likely my training maxes are stupidly low; I think I was having a bad week when I tested them.

I was actually thinking of you doing 50 reppers when I tapped out at 25, there’s no way I can see myself doing 50 reps on squats haha.

Ran tonight, another 1600m. Felt awful but I’m going to stop saying that because duh, it’s running.


Well yeah, it feels a bit redundant. Like “a bad STD”