T Nation

Dave's Strength Log


Hi all, I'm Dave McCarthy, a physics masters student, and I've decided that after a couple of years of lifting weights its time to stop pussying around and get strong. My training's been on and off over that period which has led to me being weak and out of shape. This is unacceptable so I've decided to get serious about training, serious about nutrition and serious about strength.

Current Stats:
19% BF

Current Strength:
Yesterday I squat 315lbs for 2 reps and felt like I had strength in the tank. I would estimate a 1RM of 330lbs, possibly greater.

As my habits have left me back at beginner status, I expect to be able to make significant gains in strength and composition over the next 6 months. By the end of that period it is my aim to be under 10%BF (the easy part) and to have a squat 1RM of greater than 405lbs (the harder part). With these goals accomplished, I will then have a good foundation of strength and overall fitness and can reassess where I want my training to take me.

As my body composition is currently a problem and my beginner status allows me to get leaner and stronger at the same time, I am taking the opportunity to do so. To that end I am on a 2000 calorie, 5 meal per day diet with each meal roughly a 45/30/25 split of protein/fat/carbs, with 90% of carbs coming from fruit and veg.

For the last 3 weeks I have been training 4 days per week, on what has been an overly complex routine, perhaps good for hypertrophy but not for my main goal of strength. To correct this, starting today I will be switching to a more traditional 5x5 routine, lower body Monday and Thursday, upper body Tuesday and Friday. This has been very much inspired by the recent articles on Doug Hepburn, even though I will not be following either of his programs at this time. To aid fat loss I shall be adding in a couple of HIIT sessions per week as well.

Supplements I intend to use:
Protein powder
HOT-ROX Extreme for 1 month


As I had a pretty heavy day in the gym yesterday I thought I would give myself a reasonably light first workout under my new program. This actually makes a lot of sense anyway since my main aim is to develop strength via progressive overload on the four main exercises (back squat, overhead press, deadlift, bench press) and to follow this ‘strength primer’ for a minimum of 8 weeks. This means I need some room to progress. Today’s workout:

Bench Press: 5x5 @ 185 lbs
Dips: 5x5 @ BW
Barbell Rows: 5x5 @ 145 lbs
Wide grip pull-ups, isometric hold -> slow negative: 10x1 @ BW

Followed by a half hour walk home and a quick jump rope HIIT session for fat loss.


Big wake up call today regarding deadlifts; aiming for 5x5 @ 275 lbs. and easily had the strength everywhere except my grip. Time to shell out for some Captains of Crush. Elsewhere I was largely easing into exercises I haven’t done for a while. Today’s workout:

Deadlift: 5,5,5,4,2 @ 275 lbs
Good Morning: 2x5 @ 95, 3x5 @ 135
Front Squats: 2x5 @ 95, 3x5 @ 135
Barbell Calf Raises: 3x8 @ 225


Forgot to post yesterday’s work out:

Overhead Press:5x5 @ 105 lbs
Face Pulls: 5x5 @ ‘7’ (cable machine)
Dips: 3x5 @ 12.5, 2x5 @ 20