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Chris_ottawa's Training Log


What do you do on off days?


Just some lower body mobility work, nothing else training-related.


Monday, October 29 - Main bench day

Bench press - rest pause singles - 1 min. rest
375x4 singles - The first one was really fast, I might already be able to get 400 the way that looked. The 4th one was a grind but not as much as last week, the bar didn’t stop at any point. I stopped there because I didn’t feel confident that a 5th one as there.

Plyo pushups
3x5 - 45 sec. rest

CAT bench
295x3x6 - 90 sec. rest - Seems like I’m getting more explosive these days

Slingshot bench
410x2x2 - a couple hard doubles

Floor pause DB flys
50’s x13, 13, 11

Chin ups - wide neutral grip - paused at the top
bw +30x8, 8, 8, 6 - basically the same as last week, I wanted to do 8x4 with 2 min. breaks but it wasn’t happening. Fortunately it doesn’t actually matter, and my bench is going up so I don’t really care.


So close man. Be pacient it’s comig soon!


Soon enough!


Tuesday, October 30 - Main squat day

SSB squat
450x2 - I wasn’t sure that a 3rd rep was there but on video it looked like I would have had it. In retrospect I should have gone for it.

Hatfield squat
545x5 - could manage one more rep. Last rep felt like my head was about to explode though, straining on this exercise is something else.

SSB CAT squat
360x5x5 - 2 min. rest - I almost quit after the 4th set, I was lightheaded and felt like shit. Somehow the 5th one didn’t make me feel worse, but I was tired after this. Again, I would be more than glad to do some lighter pump work after this than what I ended up doing, but it isn’t really an option.

SSB pause squat
325x5, 5 - could have done 6’s if I really wanted to but this was enough. My glutes were fried after this. I’m guessing that those standing hip thrusts got my glutes working extra hard.

Snatch grip RDL
475x6x2 - This wasn’t fun, to say the least.


Thursday, November 1 - Bench assistance day

Close grip bench
345x2x2 , 310x6- No bands, I have been advised that more than 3 weeks straight with bands on compound lifts can irritate the joints and my left elbow wasn’t feeling to great last week, so that’s it. My left elbow bothers me now and then, both the tricep and forearm, not sure why but it usually just seems like muscle tension. This time it seems more like the tricep tendon is getting irritated, I don’t want it to get worse.

Anyway, I went for a triple on the first set and failed the 3rd halfway, I think I was slightly out of the groove because it seemed like a 3rd rep was there. I did a down set to compensate for the reduced volume, I was planning to go for 5 but that was easy so I made it 6.

Military press
240x2, 215x5 - both sets felt like I could probably do another rep but I don’t want to fuck around and fail reps anymore if I can avoid it.

JM press
240x6x2 - I was going to do 4 sets but my left elbow was getting irritated by this, the stretch on the tricep at the bottom is the problem. Hopefully I can sort this out because I think JM presses are a good bench assistance movement. I want to get some CBD oil, I hear good things about it but the stupid Ontario weed store is sold out of it last I checked.

Band pushdowns
mini band x12x2 - just to make up for the two JM press sets I skipped. This doesn’t irritate my elbows at all, but I think it probably has a lot less carryover. I will see how it goes in 2 weeks after the deload, I’m thinking either these or floor pause extensions (they eliminate the bottom-end stretch).

Face pulls
light band x25, 21, 18, 15


Friday, November 2 - Light squat/main deadlift day

Squat - high bar
315x2x6 45 sec. rest - this feels alright but my technique is still a bit shaky, after the next block I’m going to squat with the straight bar on my main squat day too so there should be some rapid improvements there.

515x10 singles - 90 sec. rest - I gave myself the option to stop at 8 (because you can’t keep increasing intensity without dropping volume at some point) but kept going, I would have stopped if next week wasn’t a deload though. The last 3 singles were hard, I was straining and the bar wanted to drift away from me. It started off real good though, seems like those standing hip thrust or whatever you want to call them are paying off because I’m finally getting my glutes driving right from the start.

Standing hip thrust
300x12x3 - I’m trying to do these more explosively, like a Dimel deadlift. So I lower the weight under control to about halfway down my shins and then thrust my hips forward and head back.

Barbell row
330x8x3 - I feel strong on these

Overhand hold
335x 15 sec and some fucking around - It took everything I had to hold on for the first set, I was shaking and I could hear the plates rattling. I waited 90 sec. and then tried twice to do another set but each time my grip gave out after a couple seconds, then I waited about 30 sec. and tried again, managed 5 sec. Before I was doing these with a minute between sets and obviously that makes the 2nd set much harder, today my thumbs are sore and I got a blister on the left one in that same spot that has been giving me issues, I figure that’s what fucked me up. Whatever, deload next week and then stick with the same weight until I can get 15 sec. x2.


Monday, November 5 - Main bench day - deload

Bench press
340x2 - I was going to do 2 singles but it was too easy, why waste time? My bench feels way stronger than ever. My left elbow doesn’t hurt but I felt some tension above and below the joint when I was working up, but it doesn’t seem like tricep tendinitis like it did before. I got some CBD the other day, too soon to say if it’s working but it made me sleep extra good.

Slingshot bench

CAT bench
270x3x4 - 90 sec. rest - I did one set extra to make up for the plyo pushups. Apparently doing plyometrics all the time is not good, and I can see how catching yourself with extended arms would be hard on the joints.

Floor pause DB flys
45’s x10x2

Chin ups -wide neutral grip - paused at the top
bw x8x2


Some time ago you said something like CAT benching didn’t hurt your bench press, but didn’t help much either.

Then it seemed like you switched to Rest Pause for heavy work, plus plyos. Maybe some bands and sling shot too? Like all speed and power. Do you feel like using all the techniques together worked better than CAT alone?

Do you have any ideas about rotating the plyos and speed stuff in and out to save your triceps?


Exactly this. CAT works, but to get the most out of it your technique needs to be solid and you have to apply 100% force to each rep. At the same time, it’s one of the best ways to improve your technique because you are using weights that aren’t particularly challenging and not going anywhere near failure. The plyometrics have a sort of “disinhibition” effect, it makes you stop holding back and just put everything into the bar. Also for bench its supposed to train your biceps to relax so they don’t mess with your lockout.

You can do CAT all the time, that’s not what is messing with my triceps. If you are trying to focus on hypertrophy more than anything then you could drop it in favor of high rep work, but right now I’m keeping it in there for my bench. About plyos, I have to check my notes from Josh Bryant’s seminar. I think he said something like 2 months max and then don’t do them for a couple months. If you were doing stuff like depth jumps or depth jump pushups then you would probably do them for a shorter period.


Tuesday, November 6 - Main squat day - deload

SSB squat

Hatfield squat

SSB CAT squat

SSB pause squat

Snatch grip RDL

Some stuff here I could have done 2 sets with half the reps but I did it like this to get through it quicker. I don’t find deloads particularly motivating, making the workout longer but physically less stressful makes it somewhat more psychologically stressful because it is tedious.


Friday, November 9 - Light squat/main deadlift day - deload

High Bar Squat
315x2x6 - 45 sec. rest

465x5 - I could have done 5 singles but I wanted to get through this faster, plus I used straps to let my left thumb heal fully and it would have been annoying to set up with straps 5 times. Warm ups were double overhand for the first couple and then hook grip. It wasn’t as ridiculously easy as I would have hoped but I could probably do another 3-4 reps.

Standing hip thrust
light band +270x9x2

Barbell row


Great looking workout.


Monday, November 12 - Main bench day

Bench press
380x4 singles - 2 min. rest - this is a 5lb PR x4 - First one felt slightly out of the groove but no problem still, 2nd was better, 3+4 I had to grind to the lockout. Looks like triceps are not limiting me at the moment, more power off my chest is what I need so it’s a good thing I had planned to do some dead benching.

Slingshot bench

420x1 - failed 2nd rep - I was actually thinking I would get 5 or so, I was wrong. I figured I would be able to do more since before I was doing this after plyo pushups and CAT bench, but that stuff isn’t that fatiguing and it’s light too so I had to do a couple warmup sets in the slingshot before my work sets. Not in this case, maybe I should rest a little bit longer next time. Those singles wore out my triceps.

CAT bench
300x3x4 - I put on my elbow sleeves at this point, my left elbow feels fine actually (thank you CBD) but I want to make sure it stays that way. In the past I figured these sleeves (grey Rehbands) must add about 5-10lbs at most, barley noticeable but it’s still something so I’m going to keep doing my heavy top sets without them.

Dead bench
325x6 singles - 1 min. rest - I was thinking 290 would be a good starting point since it’s 80% of my dead bench PR (360) but it was way too easy, there should at least be some straining to get it off the pins or this is a waste of time. 310 was easy too so I threw on 325, seems like the right weight for the first week and the last single was @10rpe. I’m just doing these for a 4 week cycle, next block will be more volume again and I’m going to do some floor presses for bottom end strength.

Floor pause DB flys
50’s x15, 14, 12

Chin ups - wide neutral grip - paused at the top
bw +35x8, 7, 6

@FlatsFarmer - Since you were asking about this, I looked it up in my notes. Josh Bryant said for plyos no more than 8-10 weeks straight and no more than 4 weeks for depth jumps (I suppose same story for depth jump pushups). Bands and chains no more than 3 weeks straight. I think you could get away with bands/chains for longer than that if it doesn’t bother your joints but at some point it’s going to stop making sense if you aren’t lifting in gear.


Thanks man. Good benching!


Tuesday, November 13 - Main squat day

SSB squat
465x1 - I wanted a double but it probably would have been a 2rm and I don’t want to do anything so fatiguing in the first week of a mesocycle. I didn’t grind it but it wasn’t fast either, the main limitation seems to be balance since when I come a few inches out of the hole it feels like the bar is trying to fold me over. That’s OK, I know for sure I have more in me and with the reduced volume and increased intensity I should make some more progress in the coming weeks. I want to go 480-490-500 for the next 3 weeks.

Hatfield squat
565x5 - I was surprised I got 5 after the SSB squats. This was hard though, if I did another rep I might have blacked out. Straining on these is different because it’s a full-body type of straining.

SSB CAT squat
370x3x5 sets - 90 sec. rest - even with more weight and shorter breaks this is way easier than sets of 5. The SSB makes it hard to breathe and the more reps the worse it gets, high rep SSB squats would be good GPP for scuba diving or something like that which requires you to hold your breath for long periods.

Dead squat - SSB position on transformer bar - starting right above parallel
335x6 singles - 90 sec. rest - I get the impression that these had something to do with my recent deadlift gains, it feels like my glutes work harder on this than anything else. Don’t mind the light weight, this was still challenging.

Snatch grip RDL
485x5x2 - This is getting real fucking heavy. I was expecting this to feel easier dur to the reduced volume in everything before it but I guess those dead squats fried my glutes. I don’t know how I managed 475 for sets of 6 a couple weeks ago, I was dying in that workout and today I feel fine.


And yes, I did say before that I thought dead squats messed up my squat descent and depth but 1) I’m nowhere near a meet right now and 2) I’m going to do pause squats for my light squat session on Fridays. Right now with my squat I’m trying to get stronger in all the relevant muscles and still maintain some semblance of technique. If I can squat 500 on the SSB I can probably squat around 550 with a straight bar and maybe 600 with wraps, give me a few more months to work on that and it might be closer to 650. I want a minimum of 600/400/600 at my next meet, which will probably be in the spring.


Thursday, November 15 - Bench assistance day

Close grip bench
340x3 - I felt like I should have made it 4, but maybe it’s better to stick with the plan
1 board: 360x3 - this was a 3rm, I was expecting the board to make it easier
2 board: 380x1 - failed the 2nd, I touched too high and was out of groove. This was too heavy though, I wanted triples and I wouldn’t have got more than a double.
3 board: 380x3 - maybe could do 4. I had planned to use 400 for this but it seems like too much. I guess I have a lot of power off my chest, the boards aren’t much of an overload. Also I moved my grip in a bit since I moved my comp. grip in too, that will make the lockout harder.

By the way, if anyone if wondering I’m using this thing called RepBoards. It’s like bench blocks except you strap it to your chest, I don’t think they sell them anymore though. The good thing is that there is less chance of dying if you fail a rep because you can roll the bar along the board if you’re still conscious, with bench blocks and no spotter you can easily die if you don’t set the rack right.

Military press
245x3 - last rep was a real struggle.

JM press
245x7, 6 - I pushed these sets harder since I’m only doing 2 sets, both were 1 rep short of failure. My left elbow feels 90% better, I feel a bit of “tension” or something on this but it doesn’t hurt at all. CBD works real good.

Band pushdown
super mini x18, 12 - I was surprised I got so many reps on the 1st set, and surprised again when I got so few on the 2nd. My triceps don’t have much endurance, not that it really matters though. Next week I will put a knot in the band.

Accessory circuit - rest 2 min between rounds
Fat grip barbell curls: 65x 20, 16, 12
Band pull apart - hold peak contraction: super mini x20, 15, 11
DB side raise - hold peak contraction: 20’s x12, 8, 6

I was surprised how weak I am on the side raises, but that’s also due to the pull aparts right before. This got my arms and shoulders pumped like crazy. I was getting sick of those face pulls, and the way I was doing it was agonizing so this isn’t any worse.


That is always a good thing