T Nation

Dodgin’ Dadbods: A Journey Back in Time (5/3/1)


Yesterday 4/14

Weighted Pull-ups
Warmup with BW
8 sets of 3 with a 45 plate. Really slow negatives, super dead hang stretch at bottom, chin over bar for every rep. Really felt great.
Finished with a burnout superset of close Grip Pulldowns and wide grip pull-ups til I couldn’t do any more.

Incline DB Press
Warmup 40s, 60s
Burnout with 40s

Cable Crossovers
Max reps with 70 superset with max reps of legs elevated knuckle pushups. 4 sets of this.

4 max sets of inverted rows.

Lateral Raise 1.5s 4 max sets with 20s.

Giant Set:
PJR Pullovers with a 50
Rope pulldowns
Triangle pushups
3 sets

40, 50, 60 lb barbell


Brutal work man. That finisher with the crossover and push-ups.


Today was legs.

Tried the dip belt squats @I_Luc

Fuckin LOVED them. No loading on my back, legs felt great. Didn’t go too heavy on them but my lack of squatting made a small amount of weight feel huge. Also my hip flexors have definitely weakened despite all my lunges.

Dip Belt Squats
1 plate x 20
2 plates x 20
3 plates x 15
3x12, 2x22, 1x18 (killed myself on 2 plates)

RDLs superset with back extensions holding a 25 lb plate
135x15, 25x12

Tons of calf raises

Leg Extension sets of 20 superset with Heels elevated body squats

Weighted Lunges for 5 minutes. Now that I can do 10 mins of BW lunges more volume is only gonna spell trouble for my knees. Gonna start adding weight and restarting the time back to 5 minutes.

Seated calf raises
2 plates x 12 retardedly slow negatives

Successful day overall. I know the dip belt will only allow me to add on a certain amount of weight but it’s making me feel like I have a way to build my base back up. Very excited. Also my RDLs usually require me to brace my back and abs so much that my face turns bright red, and though I still kept a super straight back, I just felt stable after those squats and was able to stretch my hammies lower than usual without any hip or back discomfort whatsoever. Thanks for the suggestion luc, and the motivation from Maier/Hog.


Omfg chest felt like it was going to explode. Love my Crossovers.


Woohoo, a friend got my wife and I a groupon for 2 weeks of hellofresh meals a while back and the first box just arrived today. Crispy cheddar Burgers with roast broccoli, dill chicken with roasted potatoes and green beans, and sweet apple pork tenderloins with snap peas and cauliflower mash. 770, 430, and 570 calories per person per meal, respectively. Ingredients look super fresh. Definitely wouldn’t be able to afford to do this all the time but I’ll post an update after tonight’s meal.


I’m glad the hip belt squats worked out well mate, I have started doing them for a finisher and love them. Google them and you will find a wealth of information on diy’ing your own belt to using loading pins for extra weight etc. As I don’t have steps or blocks I do them using the landmine and straddle it, just a barbell banged into the corner of my rack.


Yeah we have a landmine setup in my gym but there are two steps that flip out on either side of the squat rack, and I figured I could get a bit deeper and it’d be more difficult since the weight is swinging below you and not anchored. I imagine the landmine setup will allow me add far more weight in a safe manner though.


God damn, I almost fell asleep after coming back from work but got myself up, took preworkout, and murdered upper body at the gym.

Cable Crossover Presses
100x9, 80x12, 60x15, 40x20, 16 push-ups (max drop set)

Weighted Pull-ups (neutral semi-wide)
+90x1 back up to 2 plates! Tried for a second but only got halfway up and hung there for a few seconds
5 wide grip overhand BW
Close Grip pulldowns

Incline DB Press
Max with 40s followed by max incline pushups
With the back volume and heavy cable work I did prior to the DBs I was surprised I got the 90s up, I breathed in too much before the kick-up into the top position and got all lightheaded, had to wait it out and only managed 2 but it was a win regardless.

Chest Supported Mid Row
1 plate x 20
2 plates x 15
3 plates x 10, 8, 5… 2 plates max, 1 plate max
Did every rep by stretching my scapula out so the weight rested in the bottom position and I had to make a full concentric pull every time. Helps when you have long ass arms.

One arm upwards cable Crossovers superset with pushups, 4 max sets

PJR Pullovers superset with rope pulldowns x4

Cable lateral raises superset with bicep rope curl x4

One arm cable Curls 4x12

3 max sets of super slow, legs super elevated close Grip knuckle push-ups to finish my triceps. My biceps are pretty large, I always end up doing a bit more triceps, not to mention my high pull-up volume always hits my biceps enough anyway.


Leg Day 4/18

Hip Belt Squats
1 plate x20
Burnout 3x14, 2x14, 1x29

Back Squat
Just did 3x5 of 135, slow and easy, after the pre exhaust from the hip squats, felt okay, going to add 5 lbs per week, see how it goes

Dumbbell RDLs
Warmup 40x15

Leg Extension
180x8, dropset 120x21, 60x30

Weighted Lunges
15 lb kettlebells, 25 meters
35x50m, one lunge each leg, deadlift the weight, one lunge each leg, etc. brutal.

Super close stance heels elevated bodyweight squats
Did 60, stopping for no more than a couple seconds, started hoping for 100 and just failed miserably but the DOMS is real so no worries there


Good job. 2 plates for the wpu is pretty solid.


Back and chest were still a bit sore from last workout and my new job, and since my leg workout yesterday was cut short without calves, I did a rare bro-friendly shoulders/bis/tris/calves day, and it was a lot of fun.

Barbell Curls
45 (bar) x 12
55 x 12
65 x 12
75 x 12
85 x 12
95 x 8
105 x 6

Hammer Curls
40x5 each arm
50x5 each arm
55x4 each arm, burnout with 30s x 15 each arm

Rope Pulldowns
3 max sets, don’t remember weight or reps but somewhere in the 12-15 range

PJR Pullovers with a 50 superset with close Grip knuckle pushups, 3 sets

Barbell Front Raises 4x12 (flared elbows and worked the lateral delts more than the front)

Lateral raises 4x15

Cable Lateral Raises 4x10

I do plenty of pushups, presses, pulling, etc - my front and rear delts get a ton of work. I keep my isolated shoulder work almost exclusively to my side delts.

Calf Raises
200x6, 140x15, 80x15, 40x20

Seated Calf Raises 4x15 with 2 plates, super slowu


Thanks man, my weighted pull-ups are my pride and joy, especially as a 6 foot 4 220 lb person, since I already pull for a further distance and more weight than most people, but if we’re being honest they’re a bit of an imbalance at this point with my current (but hopefully temporary!) inability to squat or deadlift much weight.


Upper Day
Cable Press Crossovers
70x30, 80x20, 90x15, 100x10, burnout with pushups.
Built up to a real heavy weight on these today, had an awesome pump going on.

A while back I did a pull-up, then 1x135 on bench, then 2 pull-ups/2x135, etc. up to 10. Well today I did that up to 10 and back down to 1, which is 100x135 and 100 pull-ups. Didn’t want to keep pushing the heavy weighted ones for ever so lots of volume felt good.

One armed DB Rows
70sx10 ea
Burnout with cable Row

Standing Overhead BB Press
135x10, 8(failed)
Burnout with 95
Haven’t done OHP in so long, so little weight feels so fuckin heavy lol the pyramid didn’t help though

21s superset with incline knuckle pushups super close Grip to finish arms, and that was all I could handle


OHP numbers are impressive.


So, big lesson I keep on learning.

Despite confidence in my form, you never know when something you thought was correct could be causing all your problems.

I think I’ve been overarching my spine a little bit on squats. I focused today on tightening my abs and glutes, and keeping a far more neutral spine position as opposed to arching it, which was making me lose abdominal tightness, and back squats felt great. A little tightness in my lower back and hips from the new positioning maybe, but just amazing. Went real light, but I feel very excited about this.

Foam rolling, BW squats, hypers

Back squat

One legged DB SLDLs
30x15 ea

2x15 hypers

One legged leg ext

One legged BW Calf Raises

Calf Raise Machine

One Legged Ham Curl

Weighted Reverse Lunges
2 20lb kettlebells - 10 ea
30s - 10 ea
40s - 10 ea


After my squat revelation, I felt like I owed it to myself to jump back into a structured program and track my progression more easily. Our gym has a kids club that watches your kids while you work out, so my wife, who has a little experience working out, is joining me as I start 5/3/1 with BBB assistance. Went light on all my training maxes, ESPECIALLY dead and squat- I’m estimating my OHP training max as 155, bench as 205, deadlift as 225 and squat as 215. Huge ego check as I reenter the world of big lifts, and I can up the leg maxes if I see fit, but I know that starting too light is always best in this program so I hope I’ll get a long progression.

Band pull aparts
OHP bar x10, 65x10

100x5, 115x5, 130x5…10 pull ups between every set
75, 85, 95, 85, 75x10

Pull Ups
5x10 BW

Triceps Kickbacks x10 superset with Reverse Grip single arm cable Pulldowns x10, 3 sets


Squat Day

Tough to go so light on squats but I’m loving the lack of pain and am happy to be under the bar again.

BW squats
Side lunges



95, 105, 115, 125, 135x10

Reverse Lunges
30s 5x10

Single Leg Calf Raises holding a 15lb DB
10ea leg x3

Hanging Leg Raises

Wife still hanging with me, teaching squats is so hard but with a bench behind her she’s finally learning to sit back. She was born with a club foot that was surgically corrected and then neglected by her biological mother who didn’t take her to get the cast removed until like 6 months after the doctor suggested, at a very young age so the calf muscle on her right leg atrophied and the ankle joint has sunken to the side. This gives her a lot of doubt with regards to her squatting abilities, but I can see why after seeing her weight go forward onto her toes during her first squats. Stuck 2.5 lb plates under her toes and had her sit back til her butt just touched the bench and explode up, spreading the floor, chest up, driving the hips, etc. she was really driving through her heels a lot more at the end and I think it helped a ton. I’m very proud of her and she’s a trooper during the workouts.

Rest tomorrow, then bench. Gonna be light as well, but I’ll have to get it in on the extras in the last set plus the assistance work. A lot of people have switched up the BBB routine to do a different exercise for the 5x10 afterwards, but I like how Jim wrote it - 8 sets of squats vs 3 sets of them really helps your squat, who knew? Also the lunges as assistance is a bit of punishment but fuck it, if I can’t go heavy I’m gonna punish myself in other ways.


I worked with some high school kids a couple of years ago and they couldn’t squat for crap. I switched to DB Goblet squats and they had no trouble. It’s a slightly different movement since you can stay more upright but their legs looked a log better. Eventually I moved them on to box squats just like you’re doing.

They were young, raw, and uncoordinated but by the end of the 7 weeks I had everyone squatting with decent form.


I had my wife do DB goblets for her 5x10! You’re absolutely right, I had her do them because her chest was dropping on the back squats and it taught her to keep her chest up.


Bench Day

Band pull aparts, internal/eternal rotation, push-ups for warmup

Barx20, 95x10

135 4x10, 155 1x10 (couldn’t resist it for the last set)

Kroc Rows
80s x20x4
Had to leave the gym after this, we have the gym watch our kids while we workout but the baby just wasn’t having it today - the people were actually willing to keep him even if he cried the whole time but we didn’t feel like it was fair to do that to them or the other kids there.

Went home and used my push-up bars, did 5x20 slow pushups with 10 ab wheels in between. Then superset 50 band curls with DB curls - we have 15s, which is perfect for my wife, but I have to hold them together and make it one armed 30s for it to do anything, and holding the two of them together is like fat grips x2 so it got a nice pump going.

Spent the last 10 minutes working on holding a planche on my push-up bars. I can hold myself up with my legs tucked for a while, and can very very briefly kick one leg behind me at a time and get it back before I topple over. Once I can hold one leg out, the next step is both legs, and voila - planche. Gonna suck so much more than I’m making it sound.