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Chris_ottawa's Training Log


Thursday, September 27 - Bench assistance day

Close grip bench
335x3, 3 - both sets were hard, maybe could have done 4 but seeing as I failed the 4th rep last week with 5lbs less I didn’t push it.

Close grip 2 board
360x3, 2 - Barely finished the first set, almost got stuck on the 3rd rep. 2nd set was less of a struggle but I don’t think that I would have got 3.

Military press
240x2 - Not sure if 3 was there
215x5 - could manage another rep. Matched reps from last week with 5lbs more so that’s good.

JM press
215x8, 7, 6, 6 - 10lbs more than last week and reps are dropping off.

Face pulls
light band x25, 25, 25, 15, 10 - my biceps were burning too much on the 4th set and I was lacking motivation so I stopped, then came to my senses and realized I had more work to do. So I rested a minute and did another 10. This exercise doesn’t really feel easier each week, I’m just forcing myself to do more and it’s starting to suck.


Friday, September 28 - Light squat/deadlift day

Squat - transformer bar
320x2x6 - 45 sec. rest

555x2 - The original plan was a triple but this was hard, not all out but I’m not sure a third rep was there so I stopped. It’s not bad still, 10lbs over my best single for a double with more in the tank. I haven’t been sleeping well the last few nights, just tossing and turning and waking up a lot, so that might have something to do with it but I can’t expect linear gains either.

CAT deadlift
495x8 singles - 1 min. rest - way slower and harder than last week, energy just isn’t there. I should probably increase breaks to 90 seconds since this is getting heavy.

Standing hip thrust
light band +285x12x2

Barbell row
390x6x3 - It felt like I cheated the last two reps and didn’t bring the bar to my waist. Oh well.

Overhand hold
335x15 sec, 7 sec - barely held on for the first set, only lasted 7 sec on the 2nd. I’m definitely way more tired than last week. They say that poor grip strength is an indicator of fatigue and I have to say that I believe it.

I’m thinking that maybe I should deload next week, I was planning to push it for another week then deload and do anther similar training block but right now I feel dead and I don’t have a meet coming up either. The volume isn’t particularly high but everything is heavy, that must be what is getting to me plus the lousy sleep. I will see how I feel after a couple days off and go from there.


" I haven’t been sleeping well the last few nights, just tossing and turning and waking up a lot,"

  • I feel your pain. That’s me every night


Monday, October 1 - Main bench day

Bench press - rest pause singles - 30 sec. rest +reset
355x4 singles - this was terrible, last week I did 11 singles with 5lbs less. I thought I should be able to get at least 8. I failed the 5th rep but there was not even a struggle, I must have been out of my normal groove because the weight went up a few inches and back and then straight down on the pins, like it was in a spot where I couldn’t even move it. The first 4 weren’t easy either, the first was OK but it quickly went downhill. I was considering deloading because I was feeling burnt out at the end of last week but I decided to push it for another week, which turned out to be a bad idea. I didn’t really feel that tired this morning but once I started warming up everything just felt off and I didn’t have my usual drive. After this I reconsidered my previous plan and decided to turn this into a deload after all. The weight was not a deload weight but the volume so far was less than half of last week

Plyo pushup
3x2 - lacked explosiveness, nothing like last week.

CAT bench
250x3x3 - 90 sec. rest - moved fast but the weight was very light

Close grip slingshot
345x2x2 - I did 315x2 as a warmup so that makes up for the down set, I guess

Floor pause DB flys
40’s x10x2

Chin ups - wide neutral grip - paused at the top
bw x5x3

One thing I have noticed is that anytime I decide to keep going until I really need a deload (which I did in the previous block) then I burn out fast in the following block. The last block was messed up because of moving so I was kind of confused as to what the best move would be, in the end it went alright but this week I need a break. Another thing I realized is that doing a lot of volume in wraps sucks, it’s hard and stressful, especially since I’m wrapping myself, and adds a lot of fatigue at the expense of volume. I could wrap looser but there seems to be no point, it’s easy to hit depth and there is less carryover so it’s not really the same thing.

So right now I’m contemplating my next move, I was originally going to do this meet in Montreal two weeks from now but I decided against it after moving because the training cycle seemed messed up. That was probably a good decision. There is an EPC meet in Guelph in November that I was looking at but it’s like a 6 hour drive plus entry fees and a hotel, it will come out to about $600 or more and I don’t have money to burn plus there is no guarantee I can get the time off work. I probably won’t compete again until the next CPF meet here in Ottawa, which should be in April or May. Seeing as that is a long time from now, I’m thinking of changing things up again to set myself up for some long term gains. High rep deficit DLs seemed to work so I will start those up again, I should probably take a break from the knee wraps for now and build up my raw (as in totally raw) squat and work on bottom end strength. I will stick with the rest pause bench for a bit since that seemed to be doing something, last week it seemed like I could keep going forever with 350. Mostly I will shift the focus to variations of the competition lifts (or squat in sleeves rather than wraps) instead of pushing volume since I’m big enough, just not strong enough.


Thx for sharing this. Great insight for us all!


Tuesday, October 2 - Main squat day - deload

Squat - knee sleeves

This was all pretty light but it didn’t feel that good.

High bar pause squat
295x3x2 - this felt way better than I expected, I haven’t done a high bar squat in a long time but this felt more natural than my low bar squat plus the arm position was way more comfortable. I actually switched to low bar for a bit just over two years ago since I was having issues with my low bar squat and when I did some HB squats I was just as strong but my technique was better and I hit depth no problem. I’m tempted to do try that again, especially since it’s so much easier to hit depth and that is my number one problem, it seems. I have some ideas.

Snatch grip RDL


I completely forgot to log my training today, I had other things on my mind and this seemed like an insignificant workout.

Thursday, October 4 - Bench assistance day - deload

Close grip bench

Close grip 2 board

Military press
220x1, 195x3

JM press

Face pulls
light band x15x3

Next Thursday I am going to have some work done in my basement (where I train), they should be done by mid-afternoon. To work around that, I’m going to do my main bench workout on Sunday and Thursday’s workout on Wednesday. That seems to be the best option.


I’m wondering, what are you deloading for?


That seems like an odd question. The point of deloading is to recover from accumulated fatigue, I would have deloaded next week instead (every 5th week) but I was burning out so I switched it to this week. There is no point in continuing to push yourself when you’re too tired to perform like you should, at least not if getting stronger is the goal.


Friday, October 5 - Light squat/deadlift day - deload

SSB squat
315x2x5 - 45 sec. rest - I was going to do 6 sets but this was harder than expected, after 4 sets it started to feel like work rather than a warmup/technique practice so I told myself I would do one more and stop there since this is a deload. I did SSB squats because I’m planning to do some heavy SSB squats on Tuesday and I haven’t done these in quite a while. For the next while I will do high bar squats on Fridays and see where things go.

445x4 singles, 1 min. rest

Deficit deadlift
385x4 - I’m going to start doing these again, and for higher reps

Barbell row
315x4x2 - doing these much stricter for now, no more cheat rows until the weight gets heavy again.


Until the weight gets heavy… but does strict with 315. Lol


I don’t know what to tell you, 315 doesn’t seem like much. I don’t really care for dumbbell rows but the last time I did those I was doing sets of 15 with somewhere around 150, not “Kroc” rows or any nonsense like that. I have a strong upper back and slightly short arms, short arms make rows easier but it doesn’t really matter since it’s not a comp. lift and they are a disadvantage for the deadlift.


Sorry if the question came off as rude. I meant to ask if you were deloading for a meet or event or something since you had mentioned previously that you weren’t going to compete for a while. But, I get it now


Hey, great lifting. Quick question for you: do you bench with a belt?


No. I used to because I felt like it was helping me to stay tight but I started having issues with my ass coming off the bench, it seemed like the belt was part of the issue. Either way, whether or not you use a belt just comes down to personal preference. It doesn’t add anything to your bench like it does for squat and deadlift though, at most it might feel better or make your technique more solid.


Thanks. I’ll try it out.


Same here. Having a strong back seems to help a lot in the real world, but no gives a shit other than how big it is. And no one ever gives a fuck how much you row so it’s pretty boring.


Hey, if Rippetoe can make his own fed where you do OHP instead of bench then maybe we could come up with something that has you do barbell rows instead of deadlifts.


…But deadlifts are awesome…


Get your barbell row up to 400 and then you can talk.