T Nation

Chris_ottawa's Training Log

If you had a spotter, I definitely would have gone for an 8th rep. I think you could get it. Might be a grinder, but that’s ok. Great work bro!

1 Like

Thanks. I’m not scared of failing for the sake of safety, the pins will stop the bar. It’s just that when I start failing on bench I start failing all the time and stop making progress so I try to avoid taking questionable attempts. I wasn’t expecting to get more than 7 anyway, it just moved a bit better than I had expected.

I hear ya there man. I’ve learned after many years of training that learning not to miss during training is paramount. I think that is something that Ed Coan and Eric Lillibridge swear by. Something to do with the fact that…say you’re supposed to hit 405 for a triple, but you MAY have one more. Rack it and call it a day instead of rolling the dice. If you miss, it can mentally fuck the rest of your session.


looking strong none the less and smart move to always be conservative.

1 Like

Not just the rest of the session but next week too.


I think that’s a mistake. As noted further down, Ed Coan says he always liked to feel like there was still one in the tank. It’s a good plan that works. Going for that extra hammers the CNS and recovery, and can set the whole training program back. Better to leave a little. I notice a pattern among the famous guys that went for strength. Hepburn, Coan, many others, don’t get greedy. Get more by taking less right now.


Friday, September 4 - Deadlift day

Conventional DL
545x3 singles - First two hook grip and moved well, but I peeled off a callous on the 2nd so I put on straps for the third. Not terrible but just not as fast or nice, I don’t understand how some people pull so much more with straps except for grip issues.


Barbell row
395x6 - Pushing the limits of good taste with the cheating here

Chin ups - 45 degree supinated grip
bw+25x10, 8

Next week will be an easier session, not a deload but a bit lighter. The week after that will be heavier, and the week after that will be a deload on all lifts. That’s the plan going forward. Also at some point I will just do a top single on DL and some lighter backoff work, maybe drop RDLs too. Right now it’s not too challenging so multiple singles are fine, I’m focused on technique an moving it fast rather than anything resembling a max effort.

Saturday, September 5 - Bench assistance day

Floor press
330x5, 4 - Maybe could do 6 on the first set. Making some progress here.

Military press
195x10, 8

Side raise
30’s x10, 8 - 5lbs makes a big difference here. Still doing this seated with a pause at the top.

W shoulder rotation
super mini x3 sets

1 Like

once things settle down I should come up and training with you for a session because you make big weights sound easy!!

1 Like

Monday, September 7 - Squat day - It’s also labor day but squat day is better and more important

Squat - wraps - SBD
545x3 - Third rep was weird, let my hips rise to fast and totally froze, then finished the lift. At least I didn’t let the bar drift forward, which was a common problem for me before switching to these wraps. I think the reason I’m not doing that anymore is because with the less stretchy wraps I had to sit back more, with these I’m more upright and I can squat the same as I do without wraps.

Squat - sleeves
410x3x2 sets - Fast, easy, and deep too. After watching Yury Belkin’s poor performance without wraps I feel like maybe I should take a break from the wraps and get my non-wrapped squat numbers up so I don’t end up like that.

Band leg curl
light+mini bands x12, 9

Band leg extension - single leg
light band x15x2 sets - I’m trying to figure out a good way to set this up, this way is sort of better but the problem is the band slide up the front of my ankle/bottom shin and scrapes up the skin, it’s uncomfortable and awkward. I’m just looking for a low stress quad exercise to do after squatting that doesn’t require any machines, not sure what to do. Split squats are good in a way, but definitely not low stress at all. If anything I might just do a few more sets of squats instead, seems like less trouble.

1 Like

Wednesday, September 9 - Main bench day

Bench press
335x6, 6 - I wanted 7 on the first set but it didn’t feel like it was there, 2nd set was equal or better. I didn’t sleep well the last couple nights, the kids are back in school so I have to get up at 7am and I’m not used to going to bed early. I was a bit sleepy and not totally focused for the first set but it woke me up for the 2nd one. I can’t count of getting 340x7 next week, but 6 should be there.

Close grip 2 board
310x8, 6

Floor pause DB tricep extension
40’s x15, 13, 11


Friday, September 11 - Deadlift day - easier session
Not pushing deadlifts this week but still increasing weight on assistance lifts, otherwise I would be deloading half the time. The plan is to pull heavy/heavier every 2nd week.

Conventional Deadlift
495x3 - Used straps because my hand isn’t totally healed, a triple instead of three singles because it’s easy and I can’t be bothered to set the straps up three times for easy singles. Warmups were with hook grip but the skin where the callous tore off is kind of thin, last time I pulled my work sets hook grip when my hand was like that I fucked it up worse so better play it safe this time.

485x7 - This was the main event of the day, way harder than that triple

Barbell row

Chin ups - 45 degree supinated grip
bw+30x10, 8

Big set of RDLs right there. I’m gonna try to be a bit more consistent with working in conventional stance to build up things for carryover to sumo.

U seem to be enjoying the conventional stance now. Is it locked in for the foreseeable future?

How does the hand look now?

I will see how it goes as I keep adding weight, it seems like it’s working out right now but I’m not really on one stance vs. the other. Whatever allows me to pull more is better. And the last time I pulled conventional for a while (after injuring my back last year because sumo didn’t feel good on my hips/SI joints) my sumo made some fast progress when I switched back, so either way I don’t think this will be wasted time. Progress was always slow with sumo anyway.

The part where the callous tore off is still missing a callous and the skin under it is kind of thin. It never bled at all, but with this extra sharp DL it’s easy to make it worse. I should be fine by next Friday.

Saturday, September 12 - Bench assistance day

Floor press
335x5, 4 - Some serious grinding to finish the first set. 2nd set was good too, but I wasn’t counting on a 5th rep.

Military press
195x12, 10 - +2 reps over last week on the first set, and I could still do another rep or two. Making some fast progress here. My shoulders are looking bigger, but hopefully it translates to a bigger bench too.

Side raise
30’s x12, 9

W external rotation
super mini x3 sets - I’m doing these with a 3 sec.hold on each rep, makes it way harder. I only got 12 reps on the first set, without the hold/pause I can do 30+ reps holding the band the same way.

Monday, September 14 - Squat day

Squat - wraps - SBD
555x2 - First rep was good, hips rose too fast on the 2nd one and had to strain a bit to finish it so I didn’t go for a 3rd rep. The bar drifted forward but only slightly, I was having issues with that all the time but since I switched to these wraps it has improved. Deload next week, after that I will switch to singles.

Squat - sleeves
415x3x2 sets - Moved fast but felt like it took a lot of effort somehow

Leg curl
light+mini bands x14, 11

Leg extension
light band x18, 16


Love the training session!!! I do have a question…How do you program your reps for your top sets?

Basically linear progression, I add weight each week and do less reps as time goes by, when I stall I start back lighter. For lighter high rep stuff I try to do more reps each week until I can do 15 or whatever (depending on the exercise) then add weight the next week.

So for squats I wanted a triple this week but it wasn’t happening, next week is a deload, the week after I will take 565-575 for a single.