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Excelsior's 5/3/1 Log


#21

Today started week 4 with bench press and it felt pretty good.

BP:90lbsx5
facepulls x25
BP:115x5
facepulls x25
BP: 140x5
bodyweight lunges x15/leg
BP:160x5
lunges x15/leg
BP:185x5
chinups x15(w/ one band)
BP:205x5
chinups x15(w/ one band)
BP: 160x5
chinups x15(w/ one band and singles after rep 10)
BP: 160x5
35lb DB rows x20
BP: 160x5
35lb DB rows x20
BP: 160x5
25lb swings x20
BP: 160x5
25lb swings x20
BP: 160x5
band pull aparts x25
BP: 160x5
band pull aparts x25
Finished around 35-36 minutes. I don’t have an accurate time tonight as I started the timer after I already did my first set of bench. It really didn’t take very long but I ended up adding on a minute, but I still came in under the 45 minutes regardless.
I also went down to one band with the chinups which knocked my reps down to 15 again. It also made the last set more difficult forcing me to do singles again after rep 10. I’ll work back up to getting those 20 reps again and then remove the last band and start over again at actual bodyweight.
This week also introduces an extra 2 sets of the supplemental work and thus 2 extra sets of the assistance to follow. I chose to go with the band pull aparts for the BP and OHP to help keep balanced. The next three weeks will be tough and a challenge which I look forward to.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#22

Good density training. Short workouts keep you feeling refreshed and productive. Good on ya!


#23

Yea, definitely felt good after the session. I’m no longer left gasping on my knees for most days, but deadlifts are always a different story.


#24

Ended up taking an extra day off yesterday but got back to it today with squats.

Sq: 140lb x5
hanging leg raises x20
Sq: 175 x5
leg raises x20
Sq: 205 x5
leg raises x20
Sq: 240 x5
dips x20
Sq: 275 x5
Pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq: 310x5
dips x20
Sq: 240 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq: 240 x5
35 lb plate raises x10
Sq: 240 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq: 240 x5
35lb plate raises x10
Sq: 240 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq: 240 x5
35lb plate raises x10
Sq: 240 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Finished 42.38. I kept my training max the same for this go around but not too bad considering the extra volume added for squats and was still able to get it in under the 45 minute mark. I’m just wondering how deadlifts are going to go.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#25

OHP: 65lbs x5
facepulls x25
OHP: 80 x5
facepulls x25
OHP: 95 x5
lunges x15/leg
OHP: 110 x5
lunges x15/leg
OHP: 130 x5
chinups x17(w/ one band)
OHP 145 x5
chinups x15(w/ one band)
OHP: 110 x5
chinups: 10 + 5 singles(w/ one band)
OHP: 110 x5
35 lb DB rows x20
OHP: 110 x5
35 lb DB rows x20
OHP: 110 x5
25 lbs swings x25
OHP: 110 x5
25 lbs swings x25
OHP: 110 x5
band pull aparts x25
OHP: 110 x5
band pull aparts x25
Finished 35:22. I finished this session with more volume but only took an extra minute to do it all. Getting more work in in about the same amount of time as the previous workouts and it feels good knowing that there’s progress even if it doesn’t always feel like it. Tomorrow will be another rest day but I should be back to it on Wednesday.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#26

Today is going to have to go down as failure. I wasn’t actually able to finish the session. Deadlifts seem to really take it out of me but tonight was much more so. I’m not sure if it was something with my diet or the fact I’ve stopped with my creatine lately.

DL: 155lbs x5
hanging leg raises x20
DL: 195 x5
leg raises x20
DL: 235 x5
leg raises x20
DL: 275 x5
dips x20
DL: 310 x5 (fifth rep mix grip)
pullups x10(w/ one band)
DL: 350 x5(straps)
dips x20
DL: 275 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
DL: 275 x5
35lb plate raises x10
DL: 275 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
DL:275 x5
35lb plate raises x10
DL: 275 x5
pullups x10
DL: 275 x5
Stopped at 50:52. After the last set of deadlifts I was getting very weak and wobbly. May have been a bit hypoglycemic or dehydrated. I ended up grabbing a Powerade just to help me get through a few more sets but in the end I had to cut it short for safety. I don’t fail at much but tonight has been a truly humbling experience knowing that I have a goal to accomplish in the next two weeks. And honestly, if I’m going to attempt the Krypteia routine then I’m going to have to get better at the deadlift sessions in this program. Now I’m going get some yogurt to put some protein and carbs in me that I think I desperately need for recovery.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#27

Today was week 5 day 1 with bench press. The timing with work and off days has pushed everything back by almost an entire week but at least this way when I finish this program I’ll be on vacation and having a deload(with LOTS of walking).

BP: 80lbs x5
facepulls x25
BP: 105 x5
facepulls x25
BP: 125 x5
lunges x15/leg
BP: 150 x5
lunges x15/leg
BP: 175 x5
chinups x20 (w/ one band)
BP: 195 x5
chinups x15 (w/ one band)
BP: 150 x5
chinups x7,3,2,2,1(couldn’t hit 15 so just did what I could to get to 15 total w/ one band)
BP: 150 x5
35lbs DB rows x20
BP: 150 x5
35lbs DB rows x20
BP: 150x 5
25 lb swings x25
BP: 150 x5
25lb swings x25
BP: 150 x5
band pull aparts x25
BP: 150 x5
band pull aparts x25
Finished 40:54. Didn’t feel like pushing too hard to the point of complete exhaustion. No point on exercising today sacrificing tomorrow’s session…though my next session’s probably going to be Tuesday.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#28

Week 5 day 2 with squats.I feel like I’m getting weaker with this but I’m going to just make the assumption that it’s because I’m not focusing on strength right now and probably am at more of a calorie deficit than anything else. I’ll reevaluate that assumption after I start focusing on the strength aspect of my training and up my calories to something more in line with looking for an increase in strength and mass. Anyway, here’s what I ended up doing tonight.

Sq: 120lbs x5
hanging leg raises x20
Sq: 155 x5
leg raises x 20
Sq: 190 x5
leg raises x20
Sq: 225 x5
pushups x20
Sq: 260 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq: 295 x5
pushups x20
Sq: 225 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq: 225 x5
35lb plate raises x10
Sq: 225 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq: 225 x5
35lb plate raises x10
Sq: 225 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
Sq: 225 x5
facepulls x15
Sq: 225 x5
facepulls x15
Finished 36:05. I once again forgot to start the timer before my first set but I think it’s safe to say that I was going to make the 45 minutes regardless. I swapped dips for pushups due to being to taxing on my shoulders as well as I don’t think I was getting full benefit. My range of motion was cut short due to using two folding chairs to do them, so no real depth and not much chest involvement for me.

Oddly enough, my left shoulder started giving me trouble when I was doing the pushups and have felt some discomfort when doing pullups. The volume my shoulder joint is getting is through the roof compared to what I used to do so there must not be enough recovery for my bad shoulders with all this extra work I’m now doing. Only a week and a half to go on this program so I’ll monitor my shoulder health as I continue forward and make changes as necessary to prevent injury. After this is done, a nice vacation for a week and then on to the next program which will be a nice change of pace from the constant movements with little rest(coming from Starting Strength, I was not used to it)

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#29

Week 5 day 3 tonight with OHP. Went by smoothly, but still a lot of volume for my shoulders.

OHP: 55lbs x5
facepulls x25
OHP: 70 x5
facepulls x25
OHP: 90 x5
lunges x15/leg
OHP: 105 x5
lunges x15/leg
OHP: 120 x5
chinups x20(w/ one band)
OHP: 135 x5
chinups x16
OHP: 105 x5
chinups x 15(12+1+1+1 w/ one band)
OHP: 105 x5
35lb DB rows x20
OHP: 105 x5
35lb DB rows x20
OHP: 105 x5
25lb swings x25
OHP: 105 x5
25lb swings x25
OHP: 105 x5
pull aparts x25
OHP: 105 x5
pull aparts x25
Finished 38:44. Didn’t get completely run into the ground and still got it done under 45 minutes. Only 5 more sessions then it’s vacation for a week and a new program to start.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#30

Week 5 day 4 with deadlifts and I was still getting pretty gassed towards the end having to push myself to get under the limit. Mental toughness is definitely something that will get worked on in this program for sure. Deadlift day is no joke with the volume if you’re not used to it.

DL: 135lb x5
hanging leg raises x20
DL: 175 x5
leg raises x20
DL: 215 x5
leg raises x20
DL: 255 x5
pushups x20
DL: 295 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
DL: 330 x5
pushups x20
DL: 255 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
DL: 255 x5
35lb plate raises x10
DL: 255 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
DL: 255 x5
35lb plate raises x10
DL: 255 x5
pullups x10(w/ one band)
DL: 255 x5
facepulls x15
DL: 255 x5
facepulls x15
Finished 43:38. I was able to get the work in in time but it put me to the test with pushing my stamina and mental toughness. The other part that tested me was pain discomfort in my left shoulder. This is new for me as it’s usually my right shoulder that gives me problems so on the pushups I’ve had to keep my hands in close to minimize that discomfort. I’ve also had do what i can with the pullups. I may have to get rid of the band because it feels like it’s putting me in a bad position for my shoulder to do the pullup thus making it uncomfortable.

Only one more week to go for this program and then vacation to take some much needed rest.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#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.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#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.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#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.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#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.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#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.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#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.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#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.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#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.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#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.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.