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DrKolagani's Training Log

About Me:

I am 18 years old, currently in high school. I have been training for 2.5 years, but never really made any progress. I lost the little progress I had made, and lost a lot of weight and strength. So I’m basically a beginner again. You can read my intro post here, I talk about more of my past there.

Decided to make this T-Nation account on my 18th Birthday, 2/1/2020. Gonna keep myself accountable with training and diet on here, and hopefully receive some guidance from you guys as we go along. We’ll see how much progress I make this year.

My goals aren’t purely BB based or PL based- I just want to become a stronger, leaner, bigger, faster version of myself. So I guess my training will incorporate strength, hypertrophy, and cardio as well. One important thing to add about the cardio is I do a ton of running. I might as well call myself a runner.

Maybe it’s not optimal to focus on all three things at once, and maybe its not optimal to combine running with strength training but this how I enjoy training. Maybe by bodybuilding, powerlifting, and running, I may not become the best in any three of those categories. But that doesn’t matter to me, as the only person I’m trying to beat and improve upon is myself. My philosophy this year will be “try it and see”. If something isn’t working, I’ll learn from experience and change it.

Starting Stats:

Age: 18
Height: 5’8
Weight: 120lbs

Current PRs:

Bench: 80 x 7
Squat: 85 x 8
Deadlift: 135 x 8

Current Physique:

2020 is a new beginning and I look forward to updating this log with my daily training, diet, and other life related stuff.

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From reading the other thread I think it will be a good idea for you to log your food as well, regardless of which program you pick.


I’ll be sure to do that @ChickenLittle. Thanks for your help in the other thread. Best of luck to you as well!

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Starting out with 5/3/1 for Beginners. Gonna start light and set my training maxes conservatively. Calculated based on what I can do for 5 sets of 8 as opposed to an 8RM. Gonna do the 5x5 sets at a weight that feels moderately challenging, but can still execute the reps with good form.


  • 65 x 5
  • 75 x 5
  • 85 x 12
  • 75 x 5 5 5 5 5


  • 60 x 5
  • 70 x 5
  • 80 x 8
  • 70 x 5 5 5 5 5


  • 5 x 7 @ BW


  • BW X 5 5 5 4 4

DB Bench

  • 25 x 10 10 10 10 10

DB Rows

  • 25 x 10 10 10 10 10

Ran 7.5 miles @ 6.0mph

  • Quite the day today, went for a long run in the morning cause I was feeling extra good. Super Bowl Sunday plus my B-Day weekend was great haha.
  • Reps in the PM were done with perfect form and I kept it pretty conservative. I remember reading, “start too light” as part of a main principle of 5/3/1. For example, you’ll notice that on set 4 of pullups i dropped it to 4 reps, because rep 5 at set 3 wasn’t the greatest. Should I take this modality, is that what you’re supposed to do?
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Yes and no. Start too light, progress too slow is usually applied to main lifts where theres a tendency to beat yourself up too much rushing to make progress. Assistance is usually lower impact so you can push it harder.

OP, just make sure you understand that all of that running is standing in direct contradiction to some of your other goals, especially considering what we know or think we know about your eating habits. That run you did after your lifting more or less guarantees Zero Gains.

He did it in the morning before a PM lifting session. My 2c is that in and of itself, that’s no problem, assuming that recovery (food, rest, etc) is taken care of.

yes you are correct in that, it was in the morning

Agreed, but I think there is reason to think the recovery and the calories aren’t there.

Me too. I’d rather see the recovery and food be added than the conditioning taken away though.



  • 115 x 5
  • 125 x 5
  • 135 x 8
  • 125x 5 5 5 5 5


  • 50 x 5
  • 55 x 5
  • 60 x 7
  • 55 x 5 5 5 5 5

BB Rows

  • 70 x 10 10 8 8 8

Incline DB Bench

  • 20 x 10 10 10 10 10


  • 65 x 10 10 10 10 10

BB Curls

  • 45 x 10 10 10 10 10

4.5 miles @ 6.0mph

I actually felt really fresh coming in to the gym today, it was a welcome change. Yesterday’s training session was actually really good and I’m glad I’ve found the 531 routine and given it a legitimate shot. I was always hesistant to actually try it because of paralysis by analysis, I mean I’d read about how submaximal lifting wouldn’t lead to any hypertrophy or whatever. But using an appropriate load is allowing me to really focus on the muscle and execute good reps as opposed to sloppy ones, and I am actually feeling a bit sore, which can only be a good thing- I guess it means the muscle is being actually worked, as opposed to just moving the weight.

Trying to understand your approach here…like when I see the above, I assume you have a few unrecorded warmup sets, and then for that third set at 60 you are doing As Many Reps As Possible? And then you are doing the Big But Boring variation for the remaining 5 sets? If so, you should probably be aiming for 10 reps for those last five sets, not 5 reps (even if you have to take the weight down slightly). And then if you do that, you should cut down or eliminate some of that other stuff, like the DB Benches. If you are working hard enough on the two main lifts, you won’t have the energy to do them anyway.

And because of the running you also did, I assume you are eating like a monster…right? You are going to get the Noob Gainz no matter what, but if you aren’t eating (like 3000 calories) to support this, you are going to end up frustrated.

The book has it written at 5x5…to be fair, I could do 5x10 although it’s a different program at that point

I’ll take your word for it regarding what the books says, I don’t have it. But even Wendler’s own website discussing the Big But Boring variation calls for 5 sets of 10 reps. Anecdotally speaking, this is what I have always done when using 5/3/1, and I have had great success. It is far more difficult, and since you are worried about hypertrophy it would seem like a good choice for you.

It’s just 5 x 5 SSL by the look of it. Not my no.1 choice personally, but Jim seems to like sets of 5s for press and he’s bigger and stronger than me.

My 2c is the program choice is good, as long as the food and recovery is plentiful to cope.

Well, both ideas are Wendler’s ideas (I think). I don’t see the point of the SSL, those reps seems like they would be too easy. Maybe not at 80% of max. Have never tried it.

He’s doing an anchor if he’s going for PR sets for the top set. That’s why he’s using sets of 5 for the supplemental work. BBB would be a leader program.

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My thoughts are that @DrKolagani has picked a program that I think we can agree will work and that the focus now should be on execution rather than optimisation. Especially nutrition.

Sure. I suppose it just depends on what his goals are. Which honestly, I think are unclear.

Heh, especially that last part.

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