I’m currently in the final week of my second 5/3/1 cycle and have been keeping a personal log, but Iâ??ve decided to start posting it here as well. Iâ??ll be posting a few weeksâ?? worth of training over the next couple days (including some before/after pics and maybe some videos, etc). Iâ??ve been following a few logs and theyâ??ve helped greatly, so my hope is to share my experiences and gather any helpful critiques, etc.
Weight: 135 lbs.
INTRO / BACKGROUND:
I grew up overweight and un-athletic. Before starting high school I went for a physical and was preached at by the doctor about my weight (I was probably 5â??7â??, ~180 lbs, and zero muscle mass). I decided to do something about it and took up running. While long distance running may not be the most efficient way of losing fat, I did find my passion. Within a couple years I was running ~60 miles a week and loving it, but in college I found myself with a couple creaky knees and weighing all of 140 lbs.
The weight had come off and I was enjoying running, but I knew Iâ??d need to find a happy medium if I wanted to stay healthy and enjoy being active over the long-haul. I joined T-Nation in 2005 and made quite a few gains following various Chad Waterbury programs (I started with ABBH 1 and still remember the template to this day). Lifting quickly turned into another passion and I cut back on the running, focused on lifting, and within a year or two I was a lean 165 lbs with a 270 bench, 350 deadlift, and the ability to go out for 12+ mile runs when the desire was there.
After getting married in 2009, I lost touch with lifting and put on a significant amount of weight. Again, the come-to-Jesus meeting happened at the doctorâ??s office. I stepped on the scale and saw 205 lbs. I did what I knew best and bought a pair of running shoes on the way home. The itch to run quickly came back and over the past three years Iâ??ve been setting and attaining various running goals. Sub 5:30 mile, then sub 5:00 minute mile, 10 miles at a sub 6:00 minute/mile pace, etc. I spent this past summer running 80+ mile weeks and enjoying it, but the nagging injuries started to surface and the scale was now hovering around 135lbs.
So I feel like Iâ??ve come full circle, but this time Iâ??d like to keep weight training as a part of my life, so Iâ??m starting this log as a way to keep myself accountable. I chose 5/3/1 because it aligns with my training philosophy. I understand Starting Strength or some other linear program might be more suitable for someone at my strength level, but I feel that 5/3/1, combined with a training IQ, brings much more to the table, especially in the long run.
I spent four weeks using the Westside for Skinny Bastards 3 template in order to gather some max effort data and ease my way into lifting. I used this template a lot back when it was first released so I decided it would be good to utilize a plan I was already familiar with. The initial max effort sessions were short and sweet (And depressing.):
Front Squat 110x5
I didnâ??t do any overhead pressing until just before starting 5/3/1 to find my training max.
After 4 weeks of lifting and cutting back on the weekly running miles, I ended up here:
Bench: 145x3 (Estimated 1RM: 159. Training Max: 144)
Deadlift: 205x1 (Training Max: 185)
Front Squat: 150x3 (Estimated 1RM: 165. Training Max: 148)
OH Press: 95x1. (Training Max: 86)
Using the above TMs, I’ll begin cycle 1 with the following template:
5/3/1 w/ Joker Sets & Multiple FSL [5x5-8]
Main - Flat BB Bench [SS w/ Chins & Curls]
Assistance - DB Incline Bench, DB Row, Decline DB Triceps Extension
Main - Deadlift [SS w/ Hanging Leg Raises]
Assistance - Reverse Hyper, Squat, Standing Single Leg Curl
Main - OH Press [SS w/ Decline Sit Ups]
Assistance - Dips, Chins, Seated Mil Machine Press, Rear Delt Fly
Main - Front Squat [SS w/ Weighted Chins]
Assistance - Bulgarian Split Squat, Romanian Deadlift, Shrugs
I’ll finish every session with some form of core work and, at a minimum, I’ll be sprinting on lower body days.
For now, I’d like to focus on enjoying lifting as much as possible. Gaining strength/size is inevitable at this stage, so after a couple cycles I’ll put more thought into specific goals for 2016.
Fat kid → Skinny Runner → Lean and muscular with running tendencies → Marriage/Career → Fat adult → Super Skinny 80+ mile/week runner → 5/3/1 → ???