Being one day removed from the Deepwater Intermediate program, I figured doing a write up of my past 12 weeks of training would be warranted, solely due to trying to encourage more people to buckle in and give this program a run. It is intense both mentally and physically and I feel EXTREMELY accomplished for making it through.
I have been lifting for roughly 3 years, doing mostly 531 templates. My most recent lifts from the last 531 anchor were
Bench- 205x1 (was doing incline during 531, but hit 205 for DW max testing)/180x8
OHP- 135x1 (again, done in max testing. This is the first time in a couple years I’ve done standing BB OHP)/90x12
After Deepwater Intermediate numbers…
Squat- 8 sets to 100 reps at 265lb
DL- 8 sets to 100 reps at 300lb
Flat bench- 2x10, 1x9 at 180lb
OHP- 8 sets to 83 reps at 105lb
Incline press went from 3x10 at 115 to 3x10 at 135
CGBP went from 3x10 at 135 to 3x10 at 155
Powercleans- 8 sets to 100 reps at 145lb
Throughout the past year or so, my pressing had seemed to have stagnated and I was ready to move on from 531 for a while to try something different. I was eyeballing deepwater for about a year and always knew I wanted to run it in its entirety at some point, and after my last anchor cycle of 531 I decided to commit to it. I was honestly afraid of commiting in my log due to people holding me accountable for actually running it, but I made the post and I was locked in.
I decided to keep the lifting days close to how Jon Andersen outlines them in the book. I did Friday through Monday, and opted to “skip” the medium intensity active recovery day due to my lifestyle and career. The active recovery is something I wish I did from day one, and next time I run these programs I will be including it.
I also tried to keep my diet as close as possible to how it is laid out in the book. I was eating mostly whole foods, no direct carb sources and a decent amount of leafy green vegetables. My one “cheat” was using whole milk and protein powder as a sort of buffer before breakfast, and between lunch and dinner. At most, I’d go through nearly a half gallon through beginners, but during intermediate I was taking in not nearly as much.
My typical day of eating, regardless of lifting was…
Milk and.protein powder
6 slices of bacon
Multiple spoonfuls of peanut butter
1/2-3/4lb lean ground beef
2 scoops organic sour cream
Milk and.protein powder
Cut of beef (strip steaks, ribeyes, ground beef, flank steak etc)
Large green salad with fatty dressing
6-8 eggs with a side of lean ground beef
Large green salad with fatty dressing
I didn’t track calories or.macros and I didn’t limit the amount I was eating. I ate intuitively the entire time and it worked out perfectly for me.
Day one is a slap in the face. After the first 5 or 6 sets of squats, dread sets in and I wondered why the hell I wanted to run the program. I ended the first day on my back after the ab work just laying there in a pool of regret. The next few days of work are about as intense, but there is something about 10x10 squats that just sucks so much more.
After a couple weeks, the rest times are lowered during the 10x10 work. At this point, things actually start to ramp up. It is a legitimate battle between body and mind in order to get the work done. Lots of swearing, head in hands and again, more regret.
The final two weeks are (what I thought to be) the most intense physical work I had ever done. Weeks 5 and 6 are 10x10 with 2 minutes rest between sets. It is BRUTAL. The DOMS does not go away, and I had to find a way to just work through it.
I did not deload in these 12 weeks, so after beginners I went straight into…
At this point, I thought I could conquer the world. I was feeling confident. The first 2 weeks are laid out similarly to beginners, but the final 4 are a different type of evil.
Weeks 3 and 4, Jon has you take out a set of the 10x10 but still wants his 100 reps. Also, you go from a 70% working weight to 80%. This is where things get crazy. You can spread out the suck, or try to bang out as many reps as you can in as few sets as possible, then finish with less reps the final sets. I opted for the latter just due to the fact that I wanted to shittiest part over with ASAP.
Weeks 5 and 6, he has you keep your 80% working weight, still wants 100 reps, but in 8 sets. These two weeks were pure hell. I was having physical anxiety between sets. My mind was made up that I was going to complete the workouts, but my body was begging me not to.
Last set of 5th week squats, 265lb
First and last set of 6th weeks deadlifts. 300x17, 300x11
The initial spike in volume in DW beginners was exactly what I was looking for. I immediately saw muscle size gains in my arms, shoulders, traps and legs. It didn’t seem to be as noticable in the intermediate program, but I am pleased nonetheless. I ended the two programs weighing 205 (this morning) down from a previous high of 212-214ish at the end of my 531 anchor, with a low of 206 before starting Deepwater. I had to bring in my lifting belt one notch this week, so I seem to have lost some girth around my midsection as well.
I’ve definitely gotten stronger at higher rep squats and deads, and it seems like my pressing, imcluding flat, CGBP, incline and OHP/push press have gotten stronger as well. I also started “power cleaning”, but my form is shit so it’s something to work on in the future.
My top end strength has likely suffered a bit, but since my 1RMs are so low, I’m not worried about it. I have plenty of time to get back to more strength focused programs at a later time. I’m hoping that learning the ability to grind out reps will translate to being able to move higher percentages when the time comes.
I want to give a bit of a shout-out to @T3hPwnisher for helping me through this. He was in my log, giving out advice and recommendations through the whole 12 weeks. It was very cool for me to have someone super experienced in my corner helping to guide me through the motions. Thanks dude.
Also, I wanted to thank every single person that has dropped in the log lately to give some encouragement or to check out the food. It really is an awesome community here, and a super positive one too. Thank you guys (and girls).