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Chris_ottawa's Training Log


Friday, July 13 - Light squat/deadlift day

Squat - transformer bar in back squat position
315x2x6 - 45 sec. rest

425x3x2 sets

Deficit deadlift
390x3x2 - hook gripped all deadlifts today, thumbs feel a bit tender. Time to get used to it again.

Barbell row
310x5x3 sets

No grip work, light grip work doesn’t make sense.


Monday, July 16 - Main bench day

Bench press - all reps paused
320x5, 5 - maybe could have done 2 more on the first set, one more on the 2nd. Ass stayed on the bench too.

Spoto press
295x3x3, wasn’t terribly challenging, 2-3 reps in the tank on all sets but I’m leaving myself room to progress. I thought 285 would be a good weight to start with, I did a double and stopped there because it seemed a bit too easy. The idea behind this is to teach me to maintain tension at the bottom of the lift, I have a habit of getting a bit loose when I pause and this should help with that.

Close grip slingshot
Wasn’t sure where to start, the plan was 2 sets of 5. Started with 315x2, too easy, then 345x2, seemed easy too. I did 365x4, stopped a rep short of the target because it would have been an all-out grind, the 4th rep was already a bit slow. Then dropped it down to 345 and did 5 good reps, could have done 6. Should have just gone with 345 after all, next week it will be 350.

Floor paused dumbbell flys
35’s x15, 13, 12 - intended to use 45’s but 35 (my last warmup set) felt heavy enough so I just went with it. These are harder than I expected.

Chin ups - supinated - paused at the top
bw+25x7,7,7 - I think I cheated on the very last rep. The point of pausing is to increase intensity without increasing weight and also to keep me from cheating, I tend to get sloppy with heavy chin ups. These were harder than expected, I was planning to do 8’s, I will use the same weight next week and go for more reps.


Tuesday, July 17 - Main squat day

Squat w/ wraps
455x5x2 sets - first set all reps looked well below parallel except the last one (maybe, maybe not). I wrapped my knees extra tight on the 2nd set (still 6 revolutions though) and from what I see every rep was right on the borderline, I’m not expecting any generosity from judges so that’s not good enough. However, wrapping tighter didn’t really make a noticeable difference in rebound either, I would say both sets were equal difficulty (about 2 reps in the tank), so “moderately tight” with 6 revolutions looks like the way to go. Maybe once I’m back up to 500+ I will be able to hit depth with them tighter, for now this is good. Tighter wraps are no advantage if you bomb out on depth.

CAT squat (knee SLEEVES)

355x3x4 sets - 90 sec. rest - all well below parallel. Originally I was planning to do 3 sets in wraps and then 3 sets paused but I changed my mind, it looks like when I squat in wraps I rely too much on the rebound rather than trying to push full force where it’s easy and that results in it being harder further up. This should help.

Pause squat (low bar)
330x5x2 - was thinking of going heavier but I don’t want to get too greedy. Probably could do another 3 good reps on each set.

Snatch grip RDL - with belt from now on since it’s starting to get heavy
405x6x3 sets

Ab wheel rollout
7, 5, 5 - kept breaks to 1 minute (mostly because I wanted to get this over with), made the 2nd and 3rd sets feel harder. Not sure if this will do anything for me but it can’t hurt.


Thursday, July 19 - Bench assistance day

Close grip bench (t&g)
305x5, 4 - Could have done another rep on each set, but still harder than I expected. CG floor press was hard when I first started doing it and I did 300x6 2 weeks ago, this was actually harder despite the fact that I’m arching, using leg drive, and not pausing. The bar touches my chest on floor press too, it’s not a partial ROM at all. I think I will go with 300 next week and try for more reps.

Close grip 2 board press

335x3, 315x5 - way harder than I expected. I did 375x2 back in April, now 335 is a hard triple. Seems like this hits a major weak point for me, not really an overload at all. I will try to do a couple sets of 5 with 320 next week.

Military press
215x6x2 - could do another 2 reps on the first set, maybe another one on the 2nd. Triceps were a bit fatigued but I expected that, which I why I dropped the weight (did 225x6 2 weeks ago).

JM press
165x8x3 - first set was kind of easy, not sure I could do another rep on the 3rd. Just a lucky guess with the weight.

Face pulls
light band x25, 15, 10, 8 - 1 min. rest - went all out on the first set and didn’t have much left. I think it’s a PR, but that doesn’t matter.


Friday, July 20 - Light squat/deadlift day

Squat - transformer bar in back squat position
315x2x6 sets - 45 sec. rest

Deadlift - hook grip all sets
465x5x2 sets - both felt like I could do another 2 reps, technique felt better on the 2nd one (probably why it didn’t feel harder). Hook grip was good but my thumbs are sore after, particularly the right one.

Deficit deadlift
420x5x2 sets - 2 more reps left on both sets, again. Used straps here.

Barbell row
350x8x3 sets - this was more tiring than anything

Overhand hold - thick/smooth/stiff bar
315x15 sec. x2 sets - almost lost it on the 2nd one, right hand was giving out. Maybe due to the sore thumb.


Monday, July 23 - Main bench day

Bench press (paused)
325x5, 5 - maybe another rep on each set, 2nd set wasn’t any more difficult for some reason. 325x5 was a PR last time I did 5’s (can’t really remember when though), now I matched it and did it for 2 sets. I think I could do 335x5.

Spoto press
300x3x3 - somehow felt harder than I remembered last week, maybe I paused longer or something. Could still do about 2 more reps on each set though.

Close grip slingshot
350x5, 5 - maybe 2 more on the first, one on the 2nd

Floor pause db flys
35’s x15x3 sets - pecs were burning, seems like this hits them better than any other sort of flys I have tried. +5lbs next week.

Chin ups - supinated - paused at the top
bw +25x8, 8, 6 - nothing left on the last set

Things are looking good so far


Tuesday, July 24 - Main squat day

Squat w/ wraps
465x4, 3 - not too happy with this at all, wanted 2 sets of 5. I cut it at 4 on the first set not because the 4th rep was too hard to do another but because my calves and feet went numb, it looked like I had maybe 2 more reps in me but I didn’t want to push it and fuck up with my numb legs, that never happened before. Energy was low on the 2nd set so I cut it at 3, it actually looked kind of easy on video though. Depth was good on the 1st set, 2nd set only the 2nd rep looked good.
As far as why performance was shitty, since yesterday afternoon the humidity has been crazy around here (it was hot and dry the last 3-4 weeks) and I was sweating since before I woke up. I was sweating through my shirt before I even got to my first work set and I didn’t feel too energetic despite sleeping well. Also, I’m moving this week and yesterday I was moving a bunch of small things in my car, this place is 3 stories (3 small stories) plus a basement so there was a lot of going up and down the stairs, I imagine that must have contributed. At one point I was saying to myself that I hope my legs aren’t sore today, they weren’t but I still didn’t do what I wanted to. I should have definitely been able to get at least one set of 5 based on last week’s performance, although the numb legs is not really fatigue related, hopefully I can get back on track next week. 5’s in wraps kind of suck anyway.

CAT squat
360x3x4 - 90 sec. rest - moved fast but felt like harder than it should have

Pause squat (low bar)
340x5x2 sets - not as easy this time, feeling tired.

Snatch grip RDL
415x6x3 sets - somehow not as bad as I expected

Ab wheel rollout
8, 6, 6

My shirt was totally soaked with sweat at the end, it felt disgusting and it was a struggle to take it off since it was stuck to my skin. To make matters worse, when I pulled it over my head I couldn’t even breathe because it was so wet, it was like putting a plastic bag over my head. Once that was over I laid down on the floor and left a puddle of sweat. Still pissed off about not getting the 2 sets of 5 as planned, but what can I do?


When you were trying to take the shirt off did you have that moment where you’re like is this how I die?


Not really but it did cross my mind that I could die like that. That would definitely be a very sad way to die, suffocated by your own shirt.


I usually do the ‘pull the collar over the head’ method of taking a t-shirt off, but any time I’m going to take a shirt off after sweating that’s not happening. The ‘grab from the bottom cross arm and turn inside out’ method is the way. Bonus points you get to practice your male stripper moves while doing it.


It was more like a wrestling match, and I ended up in a chokehold.


Looks like my training is fucked right now due to moving. I was still planning to train, except I was going to cut Friday’s deadlift session short and do maybe 2 work sets, or so I thought. Right now I’m tired and sore all over, I really don’t think that training more is going to make it better. I never skip workouts, but it looks like I don’t have much choice. Hopefully I can get back on track next week.

I already moved about 80% of smaller items and clothes (alone, in my car) and I also moved my weights and power rack, which was the worst part by far. Taking it apart was not easy, putting it back together was worse. I used to work for a moving company but we were getting paid by the hour so we weren’t in a rush and we also weren’t moving weights. So I’m going to move more stuff today, tomorrow I’m renting a truck and my brother is going to help me move the furniture.

As much as this sucks, it’s for the best. The last two days it rained non-stop, for about 48 hours and pretty heavy most of the time, yesterday morning there were puddles of water in my basement (at the place I’m moving out of). There was recently some work done (and not finished) in the front yard, they put new grass and took out the hedges, they must have damaged the foundation. Good thing I’m moving because it will probably start to stink soon.


It’s Sunday now, I haven’t trained since Tuesday and I feel like crap. This moving thing was much harder than I expected. It was a bit of a rush too because everything had to be done by Friday evening, so that only made it more tiring. Getting a moving company to do it would easily cost $2000-3000, one guy at work told me he got a moving company to move some of his things the other day and it cost him $1500. I guess fucking up my training was worth it, but at this point I think I’m going to skip that meet in October. I just deloaded 2 weeks ago but right now I feel like I need another one, I’m going to have to start off with less volume so I don’t burn out.


Finally training again. Felt good this morning, but I think my lifts are slightly down. At least I didn’t lose any weight, I made sure to eat enough through all the moving. Losing muscle mass was my biggest concern. I also changed up the plan slightly, as you will see. I’m not sure if I will do this meet in October, the deadline to register is the night before the weigh in (apparently) so I will see how I’m doing in a few weeks and decide then. I don’t just want to compete for the sake of competing, I want to do well.

Monday, July 30 - Main bench day

Bench press - paused
The plan was to work up to a heavy triple, I was thinking 345 but 315x1 was my last warmup and it felt kind of heavy so I went for 335. Probably could have done another rep but that’s all I had in me today.

CAT bench (t&g)
270x3x4 sets - 60 sec. rest - Didn’t feel very explosive at first, the last set actually moved the best.

Spoto Press
305x3x3 - This felt pretty good, at this point I felt like I was back to normal (at least I would like to think so).

Close grip slingshot
345x5x2 - it was more total work before this than last week plus all the fatigue and stuff so I lowered the weight but it went well, could have done 2 more on the first and 1 more on the 2nd

Floor pause DB flys
40’s x12x3

Chin ups -supinated - paused at the top
+25x7, 6.5, 6
I was kind of tired at this point so I didn’t increase the weight from last week, also this feels harder now because the way I set the bar is weird. Basically this bar is like two horizontal bars with straight and angled parts in between, where I would normally hold for these chin ups would have me hitting my head on a vent so I have to do them from the other side which basically puts me maybe 5 inches back from where I’m holding, like I have to lean back sort of. I’m not sure if that makes sense. I might have to turn the bar around, but putting this rack together was a real pain in the ass so at this point I don’t feel like doing anything more.


Tuesday, July 31 - Main squat day
Legs still aren’t fully recovered so expectations weren’t high. Something on the back of my lower leg (soleus?) is sore and achy from going up and down stairs all week, the right side feels worse. Didn’t bother me while squatting but was more sore after.

Squat w/ wraps
475x3 - this was the plan for today and it went OK, felt like I maybe could have done another two, not fast but no grinding either. Not totally sure about depth but I think it could have been lower, the plates were blocking the light when I was at the bottom so it’s hard to see. I will have to set the camera somewhere else but my basement is kind of crowded at the moment. So I think my squat is still OK, would be better if it wasn’t for the fatigue.

CAT squat (knee sleeves)
365x3x4 - 90 sec. rest - was planning to do 6 sets but after the first two I changed my mind, energy was real low at this point. No explosiveness either. I’m surprised the triple in wraps went as good as it did.

Dead squat
335x6 singles - 1 min. rest - I would have gone heavier but I felt like crap at this point, this was hard enough. I cut out pause squats because they feel like they aren’t the right thing for my wrapped squat at the moment, I’m strong in the bottom position but aside from consistently hitting depth I need to get stronger in the mid-range where the rebound wears off. I had good results with these before so I will do them again.

I cut it off after this, I would have done some RDLs and ab wheel rollouts but my lower body is a bit beat up and I’m tired. I basically need a lower body deload, I will keep the intensity up but not push the volume for now. This moving thing really fucked me up, I never imagined it would be such a problem. Oh well, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.


Thursday, August 2 - Bench assistance day - this is the same workout I planned to do last week.

Close grip bench
300x5x2 sets - could do two more on the first set, one more on the second. Looks like I’m back where I should be.

Close grip 2 board
320x5x2 sets - both sets felt like I had two more in me. Triceps were feeling it.

Military press - I put the bench at a higher angle because the way things are set up the back legs aren’t on a mat so it would be a bit too inclined for my liking, but it’s a bit more vertical than before. It was harder, but I prefer that than making it easier.
220x4, 205x6 - not sure if another rep would have gone up on either set. I will go with 210 next week, I want to get more reps in.

JM press
170x8x4 sets - added another set, 3 doesn’t seem like much and it was easier than expected.

Face pulls - setup is a bit different, whatever
light band x25, 22, 15, 12 - 1 min. rest - I think I pushed the 2nd set too hard, reps really dropped off after that. But it’s face pulls, so who cares?

Tomorrow I’m going to cut out deficit deadlifts and do a bit less volume than I would have otherwise, my bench is back on track but I’m not sure about my lower body so I’m not pushing the volume too much.


Friday, August 3 - Light squat/deadlift day

This is sort of a lower body volume deload that I’m doing here, intensity is still where it would have been otherwise but volume is reduced.

Squat - transformer bar in back squat position
315x2x6 - 45 sec. rest - felt slow at first, moving faster by the end.

475x3 - I was thinking that maybe I should just go for 5 or 6 but I decided against it, and after three easy reps I thought the same again. Hopefully restraint will pay off. I think I could have done another 3 reps.

CAT deadlift
425x6 singles - 1 min. rest - This was good. Next week I will do 10 singles with 435. What I’m thinking is that CAT work for deadlift (in my case at least) seems to mostly help with technique and setup but I need harder sets of multiple reps for strength gains. For that I will have the top set and deficit deadlifts (which I skipped this week). In the last training cycle I wasn’t really making any deadlift gains until I added the harder sets of deficit DLs, lighter paused DLs did nothing for me.

Barbell row
355x8 - In this basement I can record from the side and from this perspective it looks like I’m cheating too much for my liking, way too much hip involvement. I dropped it down to 325 and tried to be stricter with technique, only managed two sets of 6. Some cheating is OK but there are limits, I tend to get sloppy as the weights go up.

Overhand hold
320x 15 sec, 11 sec. - right hand gave out on the 2nd set, will drop the weight down to 305 next week. My right forearm is still a bit achy from moving last week, that could have something to do with it.


Monday, August 6 - Main bench day

Bench press - paused
345x3 - first two felt surprisingly easy, right before the last rep I was thinking “wow, this is easy” and then almost got stuck at lockout. I think I did something wrong, like pressing it straight up instead of back, overconfidence got to me. Whatever.

CAT bench
275x3x4 sets - 1 min. rest - this was good, felt much better and explosive than last week.

Spoto press
310x3x3 - last set was hard, but overall this was good.

Close grip slingshot bench
355x5, 4 - had another rep in me on both sets

Floor pause DB flys
40’s x14, 12, 12

Chin ups - supinated -paused at the top - closer grip than before because of bar setup, I haven’t turned it around
bw +30x6x3 sets, drop set after the last set (took off weight belt): 5 reps, not paused though - I was expecting more.


I just did a quick e1rm comparison, 325x5 (which I did 2 weeks ago before all the bullshit) and 345x3 both add up to the same number, 379 (call it 380). I get the impression that high rep benching doesn’t really get me anywhere, the last time I did a dedicated hypertrophy phase was 2 years ago and I had the same result then. At his seminar, Josh Bryant was saying that what worked for him for bench was more sets and less reps (basically what I’m doing now), maybe I should have been doing something more along these lines for the hypertrophy phase. Right now it looks like I have added some mass but my bench is still more or less where it was in the spring, I did 350x3 back then but my ass probably came off the bench.


Tuesday, August 7 - Main squat day

My camera is fucked up, it turns off after a few seconds and says “charge the battery”. It worked fine yesterday and I charged it after training, not sure what the problem is. Maybe the humidity is messing with it, I don’t know, but now I can’t tell whether or not I’m hitting depth and that is my main issue when it comes to squatting.

Squat w/ wraps
485x3 - first two were good, got thrown forward a but on the third and it felt harder than it should have. I tried to hit depth but not video to verify that. I don’t really know what to think, a few weeks ago I was doing 455x5 for 2 sets, I feel like my squat isn’t where it should be right now.

CAT squat - knee sleeves
370x3x6 sets - 90 sec. rest - felt OK but not as fast as I would like it to be.

Dead squat
365x5 singles - 90 sec. rest - feels like all glutes

Snatch grip RDL
425x6x3 sets

Ab wheel rollout
8, 6, 6 - 1 min. rest - major ab cramp after I got up and bent down, had to stretch my abs.

I felt totally recovered today but I’m still not satisfied with my squat. I’m undecided about my next move, I would have been deloading next week but the last two weeks were sort of a deload so I’m kind of confused. I don’t think I’m going to do this meet in October, I want some big PRs and at this point it doesn’t look like much is going to happen, no sense wasting time and money to be disappointed.