T Nation

CRO's Coffinworm Training Log

TL;DR 34/M/6’0”/215lb. Ran OG Juggernaut Method from February to June with decent results. Took about a month off from lifting due to my family getting bigger, now giving Coffinworm from Forever 531 a go. Giddy up!

My last training log was on the Juggernaut method, which I completed in early June and saw some decent results. It increased my 4 main lifts by 77lbs total in 17 weeks. Not bad, but not as good as I was hoping for since I think I’m still an early stage intermediate. Here’s a link to that log:

A few weeks after finishing up TJM my wife and I welcomed our 4th (and final) child. Needless to say, I took some time off and haven’t really lifted much since then other than a few random sessions. I’ve read many of his articles online, and mainly out of curiosity, I picked up a copy of Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 Forever. Even though there’s no table of contents (who does that? Lol), I recommend the book. There’s enough training content in the book to last a lifetime not to mention sound training advice sprinkled throughout. After reviewing the templates and reading several posts about one called Coffinworm, I decided to give it a shot.

This program appeals to me since I want to try 2x/week frequency on the main lifts with increased main lift volume (with less focus on accessories) and also semi-frequent heavy singles/triples to stay comfortable with moving heavy weight. The lack of heavy singles or higher intensity work is a critique I had of the Juggernaut Method. Also, spending 4 months on a program is a big commitment and will be difficult to adhere to once things return to “normal” and I have to start traveling again for work. Coffinworm should be easier to stick to since one “leader” cycle is 3 weeks. Jim recommends completing two leader cycles before going into an “anchor” cycle, which is where you basically go for PR sets (either a new 1RM or rep records).

After seeing how my 1RM’s did not correlate well to my projected maxes for bench or deadlift in TJM, I’m excited to try a program that consists of high-volume, variable intensities with very little AMRAP sets. The program also has a mini-deload week built in on the 3rd week of each cycle to aid with recovery. The book recommends a training max between 85% and 90% for this program. Since I haven’t lifted much in a month, I’m going conservative with an 80% average TM as follows:

Squat: 245 (75%)
OHP: 115 (78%)
Bench: 165 (85%)
Deadlift: 275 (82%)

Even with conservative TM’s, 5lb upper/10lb lower increases every 3 weeks is still aggressive in my opinion. That’s 85lb/170lb a year if maintained!

I completed the first workout this morning but didn’t have time to start the log until now. I should have mentioned earlier, I plan to stick with the prescribed lift sequence in the book with assistance work super-set between the supplemental lift warm-up sets (3) and working sets (5) as shown below. I also believe in having huge calves so I plan to throw in 100 calf raises in each workout, SS along with the assistance work. I plan to stick with 2 days of conditioning per week as the book suggests for this program. For me, that generally means walking on a treadmill at max incline.

Tues
Coffinworm Squat
5x5 Bench SS w/Ab Wheel

Wed
Coffinworm Press
5x5 Deadlift SS w/Chin-ups

Thurs - Conditioning

Fri
Coffinworm Bench
5x5 Squat SS w/Hanging Leg Raises

Sat
Coffinworm Deadlift
5x5 Press SS w/Dips

Sun - Conditioning

Cycle 1 / Week 1

Squat
5x175
5x195
5x220
5x195
3x220
1x245

Bench
5x5x115

Ab Wheel
8x3 reps (partial ROM), it was a wake-up call seeing how unconditioned my core has gotten in a month

The main squat and bench work was challenging but definitely doable. I’m used to taking 5-6 minutes between sets but the volume of this program, with a 75 min. self-imposed time limit, means ~4 minutes between sets. Overall, it was refreshing to train two lifts in one session.

OHP
5x80
5x90
5x105
5x90
3x105
1x115

Deadlift
5x5x195

BW Chins
8x3

Incline Treadmill Walk
2.5mph @ 15% grade for 75 minutes

Bench Press
5x115
5x130
5x150
5x130
3x150
1x165

Squat
5x5x175

Hanging Leg Raise
8x5

I can definitely feel the increased frequency of squatting helping with form so far. Before, it look the first few work sets to get back in the groove but today even the warm-up sets felt consistent with what I “remembered” from Monday.

Deadlift
5x195
5x220
5x250
5x220
3x250
1x275

Overhead Press
5x5x80

Dips
8x5

Honestly, loading the bar for deadlifts wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be with the spinal tap sets. The single at TM feels so easy after ramping up the 2nd wave. Hopefully this trend continues.

Neighborhood walk while pushing stroller #dadlife
3.5 miles in 55 minutes

Cycle 1 / Week 2

Squat
5x175
5x195
5x220
5x195
4x220
3x245

Bench
5x5x115

Ab Wheel
8x3 reps (3/4 reps)

OHP
5x80
5x90
5x105
5x90
4x105
3x115

Deadlift
5x5x195

BW Chins
8x3

The second week is definitely the “tough” week. I can see already why every 3rd week is a mini-deload.

Incline Treadmill Walk
2.5mph @ 15% grade for 75 minutes

Bench Press
5x115
5x130
5x150
5x130
4x150
3x165

Squat
5x5x175

Hanging Leg Raise
8x5

Deadlift
5x195
5x220
5x250
5x220
4x250
3x275

Overhead Press
5x5x80

Dips
8x5

Triple at 275 felt good. Something about the spinal tap sets that sort of reset your body and prepare you for higher weight. It’s pretty cool. Conditioning tomorrow then off to a mini-deload for Week 3.

2 laps around the neighborhood (3.5 miles total). Brisk walk on the first one, walk/jog on the second one.