T Nation

Even Breathing Feels All Right


Hi everybody!

Well, here's my new log. I struggled with whether to head to the over 35 forum or post here in powerful women. I think I am influenced more in my journey by my size and sex, but staying injury-free, healthy, and hot over 40 definitely informs my workout decisions as well.

Of course 95% of it is just lifting heavy stuff and putting it back down. :wink:

I'm almost 47, and I weigh 115. I got my blackbelt in taekwondo last year and immmediately stopped training martial arts, but I kept lifting. I'm back at taekwondo now and training for my second degree.

My goals for the year vs current are:

100 TKD classes
Deadlift goal: 230 (2x bw) current: 200
Squat goal 150 (1.3x bw) current 130
Bench goal 115 (1x bw) current 100
Chinup goal 150 (bw+35) current (bw + 15)

I might do a lifting meet if Snapper can talk me into it. I will definitely come support kpsnap, pmpm, and soldog in March!

I'm on a 5x5 program after doing some wendlers (not successful), unilateral work, and a lame attempt at periodization. More on that next post.

I hope you (yes, YOU) reading this have the most beautiful day possible and happy lifting.

oh yeah, this is my previous log:




Hi mim, it's great to see you. Thanks for stopping in!


Excellent. A new log!

You beat me in DL and Bench. I can squat a god awful looking 130, but that doesn't really count. Looks like you worked hard lifting last year and made great progress!

And seriously, those chinups. Bitch.


Hi Kimba!
Excellent! Only two posts in and I'm a bitch. :smiley:

I'd say our numbers are basically identical on any given day, except your dips and my chins.

My dead lift and op made great progress last year, and I rehabbed my left hip weakness so that 130 squat is solid rather than a lurching mess. I did a total snoopy dance when I pulled that 200 dl... on December 31st, just about two months after a 175 PR. You can totally do it this year. At least ten pounds of it is mental.



TKD: sparring and class (1)
Overhead squat 1x5 steel bar
Squat 5x5 75 (58% RM)
Bench 5x5 75 (75% RM)
dbRow 2x5 40s (80% RM)

TKD sparring and class (2)
Osquat 1x5 steel bar
Squat 5x5 80 (62% RM)
OPress 2x5 60 (83% RM)
Chinups 1x5 122 (117 bw + 5lb) (87% RM)
Deadlift 1x5 160 (80% RM)


Nice - welcome back!
Was it 5/3/1 you tried? I'm interested to know why you didn't find it successful considering that it seems to be mighty popular around these parts. (I've had a bash at it myself, even...but the I got hit by too many injury problems and couldn't squat, deadlift or bench for a long time so obviously it wasn't going to be practical).


looks like the water from Colorado holds special powers :slightly_smiling:

nice chins and your goals seem within easy reach. Looking forward to celebrating with you.


You are everything i hope to be @ 47! I love it!! :slight_smile:


Just dropping in to say hi and from what I ready, welcome back.


Nice chin-ups!
Looking forward to following along.


Hi, I'm Nikki :slightly_smiling:

It's great that you decided to log again, I look forward to following. It sounds like your fitness life is full with the weights and taekwondo.


yay! spider-lady is back in style - looking forward to seeing you March 12 and maybe it will get you interested in a meet?


@nlmain, nikki, laststand, lil power, and coyotegal: thanks so! much for the welcome back. It;s exciting to be in the company of such strong women again.

@Cal: I did 5/3/1 and I swear I didn't move a single rep on anything, much less my 1 RM. It seemed like my quads got soft quickly. At the time, I thought there might not be enough volume. The other possibility is I was slacking in the wake of finishing my blackbelt. I wonder if I would have more success with 'big but boring', adding more volume with the assistance lifts. The other possibility is I am just not advanced enough. Either way, I'm back on 5x5 until I plateau.

@soldog: I could be convinced... :wink:


TKD: I missed forms class on Saturday and I have a women's mentoring circle dinner so I'll miss sparring tonight. (total still stands at 2 vs a target of 100 for the year)

Overhead squat 1x5 steel bar
Squat 5x5 85 (65% RM) There was a little lurching to the left on set 4, rep 4. That reconfirms my decision to work through these low weights and get solid stability. Slow and steady.

Bench 1x5 80 (80% RM)
dbRow 3x5 40s (80% RM)

It's feels funny to be doing so little. I should add in reverse lateral upside down cable rows or something.
Actually, I'm pretty sure this is the right time to be progressing on the basics. I went through several months of unilateral work this fall, which seems to have helped my deadlft, Mpress, and stabilizing my squat.

Musing on 5/3/1 vs 5x5 to follow.


Musing on 5/3/1 and http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/five_loading_protocols_that_suck

In the article, he criticizes 5x5 because you never end up working at your 3 or 1 RM. But, as you continue to progress in 5x5 you must necessarily reach a point where you can't get 5x5 reps. I've usually deal with this by doing maybe 3x3 or 3x1 for a few cycles and then dropping back if I can't progress.

I got to thinking that 5x5 becomes almost a 5/3/1 loading scheme at that point, with three main differences.
1. The rep change is dictated by your own performance rather than scheduled.
2. You are working at a higher percentage of RM at all times. and
3. There will never be a high rep max out.

I don't know the advantage/disadvantage of 2 and 3, but I am wondering if the periodization being driven by your own performance is better or worse than a scheduled periodization.

Just thinking it through. Happy lifting everyone!


I really do have the utmost respect for Eric Cressey. But the one thing I didn't like about this article is that he doesn't suggest a rep scheme that he recommends (unless I missed it, I'm a notorious skimmer).

For me, I'll be starting my second year of 5/3/1 as soon as my foot is fully back in action. I've really enjoyed this scheme because (1) its easy to implement, (2) its very flexible and (3) I am primarily interested in improving deads, squats and bench and this program is really geared to that. Have I seen HYUGE strength gains? Nope. But I've made steady incremental progress on both weight and reps on all the lifts, while working through stubborn form issues.

I'll be interested to see what you decide to do with your training in 2011.


Hmm. I like 5-3-1 because you get to work through a variety of rep ranges. I think of the program as being comprised of lets say 6 cycle blocks or so because Wendler says you should be able to progress that long before resetting. So, for the first three cycles you set your maxes so you're truly training submaximally-- and often hitting double digit reps on your 5-3-1 money set. This give you a strength endurance base. Then, for your next two cycles or so you work in the more traditional strength rep ranges--hitting reps in the 3 to 5 range on your 5-3-1 money set. Finally, on that last cycle before you need to reset, your 5-3-1 day is a true maximum strength effort.

Kimba and I have talked about this, but the 5-3-1 math doesn't quite work out if you lift a modest amount of weight. Taking 90% of your max isn't enough of a cut to allow you to train in this 6 cycle pyramid. My strategy is three steps back and hopefully three steps forward. Although on my upper body lifts, it is more like a three step back one step forward equation. But let's face it, if you can't bench 100lbs a 5lb increase is a significant percentage jump over a 4 month period.

Anyway, I'm interested to see what you do with your training. Our numbers are pretty similar too.


Kimba, Nadia, I'd like to continue this discussion!
Nadia, many things puzzle me about lifting reps and ranges. Just as an example: what is the use of building a strength endurance base if the goal is the 1 RM? It seems like the percentages in 5/3/1 and the high reps directly contradict a lot of the advice to train at a higher % of RM. I get the concept that stronger is stronger. God knows I was leaner and harder from doing bodyweight training in taekwondo than I was this past year. But being able to do 100 pushups didn't mean I could bench more than 100 lbs.

Kimba, Looking back over the last year, I added 25 lbs (14%) to the deadlift, 5 (4%) to the squat and 7.5 (10%) to my military press. Bench has not move one ounce. The squat is misleading because even though I was at 125 1RM my form was a mess, and my real 1 RM turned out to be 110 or so throughout the year. I guess I'll give myself a 15% increase instead.
I added 10 pounds in bw after quitting martial arts training, and slacked off on lifting for a few months at first.

I went through a cycle of heavy, med, light 1 set work with lots of different shoulder exercises. I went through several months of unilateral exercises to work on imbalances. I think this helped with the deadlift and mp but I was surprised it didn't do squat for my bench.

Anyhow, I'm back on 5x5 with progressive loading for now. Maybe I'm just a beginner anyway, although the strength standards at exrx.net put me at an intermediate for my size.

Today is deadlift and chinup day. God I love deadlifts. :slightly_smiling:


Hmm I must agree, Deadlifts are pure AWESOMENESS. NOthing like pulling heavy weight off the ground to make you feel almost superhuman (at least that is what I said in my workout log yesterday on deadlift day :D).