T Nation

Excelsior's 5/3/1 Log


#31

Week 6 day 1 which is bench press. The heavier weight of this week as well as having done deadlifts yesterday has left me pretty tired at the end of this one. Not that I can’t handle the weight but just fatigued and not fully recovered from the deadlifts last night.

BP: 105lbs x5
facepulls x25
BP: 125 x5
facepulls x25
BP: 150 x5
lunges x15/leg
BP: 175 x5
lunges x15/leg
BP 195 x5
chinups x20(w/ one band)
BP: 220 x5
chinups x17(w/ one band)
BP: 175 x5
chinups x15(13+1+1 w/ one band)
BP: 175 x5
35lb DB rows x20
BP: 175 x5
35lb DB rows x20
BP: 175 x5
25lb swings x25
BP: 175 x5
25lb swings x25
BP: 175 x5
band pull aparts x25
BP: 175 x5
pull aparts x25

Finished 40:05. Pretty tired after this one but I’m going to chalk it up to no rest after deadlifts day, which will always take it out of you especially if you don’t get any kind of recovery in before the next session. During the bench pressing, my back was tightening up and then locking up towards the end. If I could get the muscle spasms to stop altogether, sessions would go much smoother but at least I can say it’s working on my mental toughness to push through non-injury related pain. Tomorrow I’ll be breaking one of Jim’s rules doing my squat session and thus 3 consecutive days training, but it has to be done as I have to finish this program by Thursday. Friday I’ll be working late and won’t be able to get it in and Saturday will be dedicated to packing and getting ready to leave at 3-4am on the road for a 9+ hour drive.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#32

Week 6 day 2. Squats which I did not change my training maxes for from the first 3 weeks and I know there’s a world of difference. In week 3 I finished the session in about 39 minutes. Tonight I finished the same amount of work in about 31 minutes and finished the whole session plus cleanup tonight in less time than I did the week 3 session. There’s a change in my conditioning for sure and I feel very good about it all too. Having done deadlifts just two days ago, bench press last night and then squats tonight I really thought I was going to have a drop off in my performance but no such luck.

Sq: 155lbs x5
hanging leg raises x20
Sq: 190 x5
leg raises x20
Sq: 225 x5
leg raises x20
Sq: 260 x5
pushups x20
Sq: 295 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq: 330 x5
pushups x20
Sq: 260 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq: 260 x5
35lb plate raises x10
Sq: 260 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq: 260 x5
35lb plate raises x10
Sq: 260 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq: 260 x5
facepulls x15
Sq: 260 x5
facepulls x15

Finished 35:15. I know with keeping my training max the same for my squat I was expecting the weight to feel the same as it did in week 3 but it felt “lighter.” By that, the bar speed was definitely better than last time, though, not explosive. That explosiveness with the weight will be worked on after vacation next week. An emphasis on strength and mass building again instead of conditioning/cutting. Doing deadlifts so close to the next week make everything seem easier. That or just as Jim says, the body adapts and you get better. I’m banking on the latter. Day off tomorrow then back at it on Wednesday.

edit: and apparently I officially joined up with T-nation 10 years ago today after a few years of lurking around in high school and college.

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#33

Week 6 day 3. Last overhead press session for at least a week or so.

OHP: 70lbs x5
facepulls x25
OHP: 90 x5
facepulls x25
OHP: 105 x5
bodyweight lunges x15/leg
OHP: 120 x5
lunges x15/leg
OHP: 135 x5
chinups x20(w/ one band)
OHP: 150 x5
chinups x18(w/ one band)
OHP: 120 x5
chinupsx15(13+1+1 w/ one band)
OHP: 120 x5
35lb DB rows x20
OHP: 120 x5
35lb DB rows x20
OHP: 120 x5
25lb swings x25
OHP: 120 x5
25lb swings x25
OHP: 120 x5
band pull aparts x25
OHP: 120 x5
pull aparts x25

Finished 38:10. I forgot to stop the timer when I finished and only got the time after I had already put all the weights back and cleaned up. So I’m sure that time has a few extra minutes tacked on but it’s still okay. Only one more day of deadlifts and I’ll have finished the prep and fat loss program. To be honest, I’m glad I did it because now I know I can definitely get some more quality conditioning in on top of some of the other programs from Forever.

My plan as of right now is to finish with deadlifts tomorrow. I’ll be on vacation all next week, come back and do a 7th week protocol deload/TM test on my lifts the first week back then jump right into 5/3/1 and widowmakers which can be an anchor template since the prep and fat loss program is considered a leader template. I’ve always been one to push myself to my limits and I know the widowmakers will certainly do that. It’ll be tough, but the widowmaker is supposed to be great at adding some mass(if you eat well enough) to anyone’s frame. I’ll give it a go for a cycle or two backing the assistance down if necessary and making sure to choose an appropriate training max. After that, BBB or Krypteia depending on what I’m feeling down the road. There’s so many templates in the book I may end up feeling a need to focus solely on strength and then jump back to a mass gaining template or more of an aesthetic focus. That’s the great thing about 5/3/1, it’s so versatile the regular guy can accomplish so much with it. Anyway, this type up got a little long winded so goodnight and good recovery.

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#34

So I’m well over a week late on this entry. It was week 6 day 4 of the prep and fat loss program which was deadlifts.

DL: 175lbs x5
hanging leg raises x20
DL: 215 x5
leg raises x20
DL: 255 x5
leg raises x20
DL: 295 x5
pushups x20
DL: 330 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
DL: 370 x5
pushups x20
DL: 295 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
DL: 295 x5
25lb plate raises x10
DL: 295 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
DL: 295 x5
25lb plate raises x10
DL: 295 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
DL: 295 x5
facepulls x15
DL: 295 x5
facepulls x15

Finished 49:08. I’m going to keep this short as this was from well over a week ago, I’m actually just getting back yesterday from vacation, and today had to attend a funeral for an uncle that was quite unexpected. I’ll be doing a deload this week according to Forever’s 7th week protocol and still figuring out where to go next. I’m going to try and get started on the next phase(mass gain?) by next week once the deload is over.

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#35

Deload this week and starting it off with bench.

BP: 165lb x5
190x 3
210 x1
235 x1

Never actually put anything more than 230 on the bar before for bench so technically a PR for me today even though it was just a deload.

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#36

Shamefully, I have to admit I took longer off than I intended and only did a true deload of my bench press. Today I got back into the gym to start the next program in my lineup which is the 5/3/1 & widowmakers. If you’ve never done a widowmaker, it’s a nice test of your mental fortitude. I went conservative on my squat TM for this not increasing it after I finished the prep and fat loss program. This week followed the first week of 5/3/1 progression with a PR set so 5/5/5+.

Squat: 225lbsx5
260x5
295x10
225x20

BP: 155lbs x5
175 x5
200 x10
155 x15

25lbs plate raises 5x10

I could feel the two week time off and bad diet taking its effect so I did what I could tonight. I knew the widowmakers would take their toll and they certainly have. I’ve also got a bleeding blister on the middle finger of my right hand that is preventing me from getting proper grips on much so I couldn’t do the intended swings tonight for fear of losing grip of the plate. My main focus for this was to test myself for the four lifts but to really push it for the squats and hit the 20 reps which I did. It’s very pleasing to finish it off with the 225 but I’ll be curious to see how I do for the 2nd and 3rd week widowmaker weights for the squats. All in all I’m happy with the PR set reps and the where I ended up with the widowmaker sets.

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#37

2nd day of 5/3/1 & widowmakers. Had to cut this one short due to my 19 month old not wanting to sleep. So I got the main work in and had to end short of the assistance…again.

Sq: 225lbs 5x5
BP: 155 5x5

I circuited the sets to shave time which I guess worked out but I was hoping to really get the assistance work in tonight. Unfortunately it was not meant to be and tonight was a very short session so there’s really not too much else to go over. Well I guess there is the soreness in my thighs from the widowmaker set from the last session, but other than that there’s nothing more.

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#38

Week 1 day 3 of 5/3/1 & widowmakers with deadlifts and overhead press. It was a pretty good session even with a little bit of an outside distraction that just would not let me focus.

DL:245lb x5
285 x5
325 x11
245 x15

OHP: 100lbs x5
115 x5
130 x10
100 x15

Ending a session not rundown like with the prep and fat loss program feels great. Unfortunately, I have yet to get in any assistance work. I don’t want to lose the progress I made with my pullups as that has been a priority for me but until I can do the workouts without distraction and interruptions the main work and supplemental will have to suffice. Maybe when I start krypteia I’ll get the assistance work back in there.

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#39

Week 2 day 1 and I’m not going to lie. I had A LOT of anxiety going into this session today. I didn’t know how I’d do with any of the weight not to mention the widowmakers for the squats. Maybe it was residual aggression from the day or the therapeutic nature of a session for me, but it felt great. What’s even better is that I know progress is being made.

Sq: 240lbs x3
275 x3
310 x10(PR)
240 x20

BP: 160 x3
180 x3
210 x11(PR)
160 x19(failed 20th rep)

That 310 for 10 was an achievement for me in more than one way. Months ago before I got the Forever book I had done a cycle of basic 5/3/1 just to do something until I figured out what to do since I had just finished Starting Strength. I ended up getting 315 for 9. I was pretty happy about that at the time. Recently, I was a little underwhelmed by my performance feeling as though I had gotten weaker. Tonight I got the 310 for 10 which puts my estimated 1rm at ~412lbs. Overall, an increase in my squat since that point and I can only imagine it’ll continue to get better.

For my bench tonight, I was actually kind of surprised by it. I hit 205 for 11 which gives an estimated 1rm of ~279. I’ve never even tried to hit anything higher than 235 for 1. So seeing that only makes motivation easier. I have a desired achievement of 315+ and seeing that type of estimate is extremely promising. The widowmaker surprised me just as much because I kept hitting reps up until 14 then went rest pause until the 20th rep where my triceps failed to lock out and I barely got the bar racked. I really didn’t think I’d get close to that, but as Jim says the body adapts you get stronger.

So to be honest, all in all tonight did not seem bad at all. I didn’t feel like any rep was a grind except the last few widowmakers for the bench. Everything else felt…I want to say easy but more like less difficult than I was expecting. When it comes to widowmakers it’s said that if you’re not on the floor recovering in a pool of vomit and seeing God you didn’t go hard enough. With next week’s weight of 260, if it feels the same as this week should I keep pushing it another 15-20 pound and continue with another cycle of 5/3/1? I’m tempted to challenge it and go for another 3 weeks depending on how I feel next week. If anyone reading has any thoughts let me know.

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#40

Week 2 day 2

Sq: 240lbs 5x5

BP: 160 5x5

facepulls 2x25
pullups 5x10 @ bodyweight(no bands)
swings 2x25 @25lbs
85lb BB curls (just because I felt like it)

This session went really well and I wanted to add in some curls just because I felt like it. The bodyweight pullups are kind of a feat for me since I’ve never done that many without a band before. If I can get 5x10 with bodyweight, I’ll see about adding some weight eventually which is, not going to lie, kind of exciting. I have a rogue squat rack that has a fat bar for pullups so I’m thinking of implementing that to help with my grip and forearms also.

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#41

Week 2 Day 3
Still going very well with the widowmakers though I am capping everything at 15 except for the squats which I’m pushing all the way to 20.

DL: 265lbs x3
305 x3
340 x10
265 x15(widowmaker)

OHP: 110lbs x3
125 x3
140 x10
110 x15(widowmaker)
Again, not a bad day, but the heat in the garage had me pretty drenched throughout. Next week will be week 3 then the deload. After that I’ll be starting krypteia.

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#42

Week 3 day 1. A new week and new percentages and today was the day I had been waiting for to see how a true widowmaker felt. I definitely had to take a few minutes to get up off my knees without getting a little dizzy. Bench press was also a milestone in breaking a barrier that has eluded me since high school.

Sq: 260lbs x5
295 x3
330 x8
260 x20(widowmaker)

BP: 175 lbs x5
200 x3
225 x8(PR)
175 x15

Jim says in the description of 5/3/1 and Widowmakers if you can’t get excited about PR’s and widowmakers then you might as well bow out of weightlifting. There’s definitely a sense of pride in setting a PR on multiple lifts and watching those lifts gradually increase with each cycle. All is looking well for the end of this cycle and then the next step in my journey which will be a commitment to Krypteia.

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#43

Wk3 day 2. Another day in the log and another descent day lifting. The squatting felt heavy and I could feel it in my back. Probably from not bracing enough throughout each rep or something. Benching was okay and didn’t aggravate my shoulder too much.

Sq: 260lbs 5x5

BP:175 5x5
35lbs DB incline press 5x10

pullups: 10, 10, 5 +2 singles

I was unable to do many sets of pullups and may need the bands after all to complete more sets until I’m a little bit stronger with better range of motion. Next up is deadlifts and overhead press then the deload.

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#44

Wk 3 day 3. I actually did this session last night but didn’t have the time to put in the log on here.

DL: 285lbs x5
325 x3
360 x8(straps)
285 x15(straps)

OHP: 115 x5
130 x3
145 x8
115 x15

Deadlifts had me lightheaded and nauseated afterwards. Took me a minute to catch my breath and get OHP setup. Still a pretty good session and good numbers considering I capped the deadlifts well short of failure knowing I still had the widowmaker set to do. This week will be a 7th week protocol then onto a large commitment in the Krypteia. I’m very eager/excited/anxious to get that started and I may do a TM test just to make sure I’m not going to be starting too high for this next phase.

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#45

Today was day 1 of 2 for a 7th week protocol TM test. I’m doing the TM test due to starting the Krypteia program come next week and need to be sure of my training maxes before I start. Today I knocked out squat and bench.

Sq: 250lbs x5
285 x5
320 x5
355 x5(PR)

Bench: 170 x5
190 x5
215 x5
240 x5(PR)

BB curls: 95lbs 2 x8 supersetted with 85lb for 3
85lbs x8 ->65 x6->45x8

All reps on the 100%TM felt good with good bar speed other than the last rep for the squat. That last rep was slow out of the hole but once I got out of the bottom it went up with descent bar speed. Then I threw in a few set of curls just because. My arms have always seemed a bit on the small side and now almost disproportionate to the rest of my frame. So some curls were thrown in for kicks and giggles to bring up something I feel is lagging. Tomorrow I’m going to try to knock out the deadlifts and OHP so I can have some days off before starting the Krypteia on Sunday.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#46

Stopped by to see what you’re up to and it seems like you’re doing well! Your profile listed your goals and your TM test just beat a couple of those. Nice work!


#47

Thanks. I haven’t looked at those numbers since I first put them in so I guess it’s time to update them and thanks also for stopping by.


#48

Second TM test day with DL and OHP

DL: 135lb x5,5 (warm up)
225 x5(warm up)
275 x5(straps)
310 x5(straps)
350 x5(straps
390 x5(PR, straps)

OHP: 110 x5
130 x5
145 x5
160 x5(PR)

I did some warm up sets leading up to the work sets for the deadlifts since going straight into the work sets at 275lb would have left me ill prepared and not technically sound to lift the heavier weights. The 390 x5 felt like how my 350 used to feel, pulling at my pecs real bad. For some reason pulling heavier weights leave me straining in my chest and I’m not sure why. If anyone has any insight or cues to help with that, please let me know. I used straps for all the working sets because I don’t want my weak grip strength to hold back my deadlift and this was a TM test of my deadlift not grip strength.

The OHP went surprisingly well. I’ve always had issues with my shoulders so seeing the OHP continue to go up without pain in my shoulder is fantastic. Next two days will be rest days even though I’ll be at work but it’s not a labor intensive job. It’s just stressful and mentally demanding so hopefully come Sunday, which I will still be working, I won’t be too drained after work to start Krypteia. Fingers crossed.

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#49

So today was the first day of Krypteia with overhead presses and ummm I’m pretty sure I missed something. I figured having done the prep and fat loss program I was going to need to just jump and get to work. Well half way through I checked the time and…it had only been just over 6 minutes. Needless to say I drastically slowed down with more rest time at about 60-90 seconds at least. Looking at everything after the fact, I believe I missed a few sets. I think I missed some warm up sets that would have gotten a couple more sets of the assistance in there to bring their totals to 50 reps each. As it stands, what I ended up finishing was the main work and 40 reps of each assistance exercise. I’m going to update my excel sheets to reflect the missed sets and use that starting with the squats session.

OHP: 110lbs x5
40lb DB squat x10
OHP: 130 x5
40lb DB SLDL x10
OHP: 145 x5
40lb DB squat x10
OHP: 110 x5
40lb DB SLDL x10
OHP: 110 x5
40lb DB squat x10
OHP: 110 x5
40lb DB SLDL x10
OHP: 110 x5
40lb DB squat x10
OHP: 110 x5
40lb DB SLDL x10

So with all that I ended in 21:52. Even with the added sets I’m sure this prep phase should still be able to be done under 45:00 minutes but squats and deadlifts will probably present a challenge as they did in the prep and fat loss program. I’m ready for the challenge and await the results of the full program.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#50

Before I get into my log for tonight I just have one thing I have to say first on a very important day for myself.

Seven years ago today, the girl of my dreams became much more than just a reality. She became my life, the mother of my two beautiful girls. She believes I’m her anchor while she works and goes through school to get her doctorate, but she is my rock. My foundation. Unwavering, unyielding, and immovable because I would crumble to nothing without her. She has been the love of my life since 8th grade and will be forever and always.

So now on to my log with Wk 1 day 2 with squats today.

Squats: 180lb x5
35lbs DB incl press x10
Sq: 215 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq:250 x5
35lbs DB incl press x10
Sq:285 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq:320 x5
35lbs DB incl press x10
Sq:250 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq:250 x5
35lbs DB incl press x10
Sq:250 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq:250 x5
35lbs DB incl press x10
Sq:250 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)

Finished 36:55. I figured I would have remembered what it felt like when I did the prep and fat loss program, but somehow I forgot how much it would take out of me. Day off tomorrow to rest then it’ll be bench press day.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.