T Nation

Chris_ottawa's Training Log


Monday, September 17 - Main bench day

Bench press - paused
Rest pause singles - 345x6 - 15 sec. rest + set up between sets - the 6th was a grinder, no way 7 was happening so I shut it down. I will increase breaks by 15 sec. next week to prevent stalling too soon.

Plyo push ups
3x5 sets - 45 sec. rest

CAT bench
270x3x6 - 90 sec. rest

Close grip slingshot
380x3, 3 - another rep left in each set
345x6 - all out

Floor pause DB flys
45’s x15, 15, 10 - when I went to start the last set I realized that one of the collars was sliding off my adjustable dumbbells, messing around with that probably cost me a couple reps.

Chin ups - supinated - paused at the top

bw +55x5, 4, 3 - bodyweight drop set: 4 - I should probably change this to another variation or at least reduce the weight, chin ups for less than 5 reps per set just doesn’t seem right. I’m trying to stop the set before it gets too sloppy but there is no point in doing this for low reps.


What doesn’t seem right about low rep weighted chin-ups? I’ve seen @alpha do them in his YouTube videos often for sets of 3.


Very tough on just about everything. If you can get away with it great but elbows, wrists, shoulders, sometimes back all get grumpy quickly for me.

I think if you can get a weight pin, you will be a bit better off as the weight distribution is a little more stable/centered.


Well, he competes in strongman rather than PL so perhaps it is more useful for some of the upper body pulling events that they do. For PL, the lats are just a stabilizer muscle so 1rm strength is irrelevant, you want endurance rather than maximum contractile strength. Also some external rotation work to keep the shoulders in order.

A better question would be why should someone do heavy low rep sets of chin ups?


Tuesday, September 18 - Main squat day

Squat w/ wraps (Slingshot wraps)
535x1 - This didn’t go well, shifted to the right at the bottom for some reason and it felt way harder than it should have. It actually didn’t look that bad on video but depth was questionable, at the time it seemed like another rep would be a 2rm so I cut it there. The original plan was to do at least a double, go for a triple if it felt good. In retrospect, I should have gone for a double, but I think that’s what I concluded last week too. Seemed like I had something good going on my squat before the deload with my 515x3, not sure what happened and wraps are not to blame.

485x3x3 - this went much better, looked like it was actually to depth as well. Took a long time with all the wrapping and such, but that’s how it is. Hopefully next week will be better, I want at least a double with 545.

Pause squat
335x4x3 - this felt light and easy, better than last week. It is light too, 200lbs less than my top set.

Snatch grip RDL
475x5x2 - these are getting real heavy


I feel your pain with the squats. That was me for the last month. At least you seem to have the mental stuff down.


Thursday, September 20 - Bench assistance day

Close grip bench
330x3,3 - went for 4 on the first set and failed right around the level of the hooks, my triceps just didn’t have enough juice to finish it. I would think that I should be able to do this for 4 since I did 320x5 a few weeks ago, maybe this just wasn’t my day. 2nd set was hard but not all out, although I’m sure I would have failed if I tried for a 4th rep.

Close grip 2 board
355x3, 3 - maybe another rep on each set.

Military press
235x2 - not sure if another rep would have gone up, this was hard. I think I could probably do 250-255 for a single in this fashion, which is near vertical and pausing on the top of my chest.
Down set: 210x5

JM press
205x8, 8, 8, 6 - triceps died on the last set, barely got the 6th rep.

Face pulls
light band x25, 25, 24, 22 - my biceps felt like they were going to explode after this


Friday, September 21 - Light squat/deadlift day

Squat - transformer bar
320x2x6 - 45 sec. rest

545x3 - My deadlift is on a roll, adding 10lbs to my 3rm every week. The last rep slowed a bit right below my knees but it was no problem. If I can get my glutes more involved then this would be easy and I will pull a lot more. This is actually my best single, for a triple now with more in the tank. The day you pull your 1rm for 3 is a very good day.

CAT deadlift
485x8 singles - 1 min. rest - killed these. I was all hyped up after the top set.

Standing hip thrust - this is a RDL with a band (light band) around my waist hooked up behind me

275x12x2 - My glutes were burning, this really gets them working. At the end of the 2nd set it felt like my glutes gave up and my hamstrings took over. This is better than a hip thrust because you can fully extend your hips (unlike a heavy hip thrust), you are actually training the hip hinge movement pattern, and you don’t need to put a bar on your waist (which seems kind of ridiculous).

Barbell row

Overhand hold
330x15 sec. x2 - I think my grip is getting stronger, or maybe I’m just less fatigued since I’m not doing all those deficit pulls. Either way, something is working.

I’m happy with the progress on my deadlift, I should be able to pull 600 now. My goal is to rep 600 by the time I get to it. If only my squat and bench were moving up at the same rate, that would b something.


Good work!

Do you think the deadlift is pushing the rows up, or are the rows driving the deadlift?


Maybe a little bit of both, but getting looser and looser with form also give the illusion of more progress on rows. When I’m doing more volume and higher reps I do fairly strict rows and keep adding weight, eventually it turns into a cheat row when the weight gets heavy enough. The main reason for doing them that way is to strengthen the lower back, basically killing two birds with one stone.


Monday, September 24 - Main bench day

Bench press - Rest pause singles - 30 sec. rest + reset
350x11 singles - I thought this would never end, an extra 15 sec. between sets makes quite a difference. I think I’m getting stronger too, these moved well. On the last rep I almost got stuck at two spots, a few inches off my chest and close to lockout, it was a grind the whole way up and I didn’t feel like I could manage another rep at that point so that was it.

Plyo pushups
3x5 - 45 sec. rest - getting more explosive with these for sure

CAT bench
275x3x6 - 90 sec. rest - the bar was flying, this felt real light.

Close grip slingshot
385x3, 3 - I think I misgrooved the last rep on the first set, I barely got it. I was thinking 2 on the 2nd but that was easy so I made it 3, easier than the first set.
350x5 - triceps were finished

Floor pause DB flys
45’s x15, 15, 11 - only one more rep than last week, I’m focusing on really squeezing my pecs and it definitely doesn’t make this easier. Pecs were burning at the end.

Chin ups - wide neutral grip - paused at the top
bw +25x8, 8, 6, 5 - I was thinking 4 sets of 8 but it wasn’t happening, haven’t done them like this in a while and it shows. Rest between sets was only 2 minutes, could have done more if I rested longer but at this point just wanted to get it over with.


Damn son. I got a really sloppy 315 x1 but damn


My guess is that shorter arms make rows easier, unfortunately the same isn’t true for deadlifts.


Tuesday, September 25 - Main squat day

Squat w/ wraps (slingshot)
545x2 - I told myself I was going to at least get a double today no matter what and I did it, another rep would have been there but it would have been all out. Depth looked about parallel, not terrible but still short of what I want.

495x3x3 - Everything here looked to be around parallel, I think some reps were probably below but it’s hard to tell for sure with loose clothes and bad lighting. I should probably do some squatting in a singlet to tell for sure. This wasn’t fun though, the weight wasn’t really challenging so many sets in wraps feels terrible on the skin around my knees. It feels burnt. This was as much technique work as it was some sort of pain endurance challenge.

Pause squat
350x4x3 - still kind of easy.

Snatch grip RDL


What have you done with your deadlift to see such progress. My deadlift has been feeling stagnated for the past weeks and today I failed what I did for a double last week!!! My goal is at least 315lbs by May and that’s looking a bit tenuous…


I was wondering the same thing. It seems like doing high rep deadlifts for a while got things moving, beyond that it’s hard to say but my RDLs are increasing at the same rate too. Deficit deadlifts seem to have improved strength off the floor but I was stalling with those so I dropped them, it seemed like I got more out of doing higher reps. I can’t really point to one thing and say that this is what improved my deadlift, it’s more like a combination of things.


It always is. There are too many moving parts to get one thing strong and neglect others. If you want the deadlift to move… traps, lats, low back, grip, glutes, hams, quads, form…loads to work on to improve.


This tends to be the trend with a lot of top guys lately too. Take all your off season work with higher reps, slowly going down to lower reps, eventually peaking for something big. A lot of people get caught up in the heavy weight of deadlifts, never venturing above 3-5 reps. Honestly, the best thing that’s helped me and a lot of those I know with the main lifts is just doing them and variants in a ton of different rep ranges and sets. Most seem to only do a few sets of the exercise they want to build and then do an ass ton of accessories to no avail. The truth lies in the movements that are closest to the movement you’re trying to build up, along with an approptiate amount of volume on the antagonistic muscles and trunk work. Pretty simple, but tedious and time consuming nonetheless. Sorry for the essay, but hope this helps @anna_5588




The funny thing is that my bench got just about nothing out it, I think I have to keep training bench heavy to get anywhere with it but maybe focus more on variations instead. Right now I’m doing rest pause singles for bench, it’s only 3 weeks but I get the feeling that it’s going to work out.