FightingScott's Log

I know there are too many workout Logs and people should just post on the blog feature of their T-Page but my blog feature doesn’t work.

I’m starting this log with Christian Thibaudeau’s Beast Building Part 1 Program. I won’t bother telling you too much about my training history. I’ve dropped collegiate swimming and throwing because I want to compete in powerlifting and devote all my training and athletic energy to that goal. I’ve read Starting Strength, the Russian Text on the Management of Weightlifter’s Training, and countless articles. Based upon my current weak points and past training history, Beast-Building Part 1 appears to be the perfect program for me at this moment.

If I’m stronger by the end of a 4 week cycle of this program, I’ll do it again and maybe change some lifts. If my gains are insignificant or non-existent, I’m gonna give DC Training a 6 week trial. If even DC Trahing doesn’t work, then Sheiko, Strongman, or back to WS4SB.

Here are my starting Max’s that I’m basing the percentages off.

Bench: 245
Box Squat: 350
Deadlift: 425
Press: 155
Power Clean: 225


Beast Building Part 1

Bench: 195X3X8
Box Squat: 280X3X14
Chin: 45X3X15

Press: 125X3X10
Deadlift: 340X3X14
Chin: 45X3X15

Bench felt like crap. After the 3rd set I had no speed. Everything else I felt pretty good with. Had really good speed on Box Squats until I missed a rep on what would have been my 15th set. My first Iso/Explosive workout was going to be Monday but I didn’t get ANY sleep Sunday night so I’ll be doing it Tuesday. Good thing the program allows you to put the Iso/Explosive workout on this day. This regime is tailored to my needs so much it’s freaky.

I already determined from my “Bench Press Blues” thread that I need some Dynamic Benching, Military Pressing, and Isometric Benching in order to make my Bench move. Actually, everything has been progressing slowly the past 6 weeks or so before yesterday. Hopefully this program will be a turning point in my training since it’s so different from the way I usually train. I’ve usually always worked up to just 1 really hard work set that I’d combine w/ rest-pause, drop sets, or whatever. So low reps and lots of sets to get my CNS working for me is just what I need.

For my 15 alloted minutes of “Beach Time” I’ll try to make the most of it by doing 1 or 2 sets of Pull-Throughs, Dumbbell Rows, Dumbbell Raises, and Heavy Skull-Crushers instead of wasting that time doing Curls. I believe the frequent amount of military pressing, squatting, and deadlifting will take care of my abs.


Sled Dragging

Sled Dragging: 240X100 yardsX3
Muscle Snatch: 65X8X3

I did some 65lb muscle snatches in between sets to get some blood in the back & shoulders. None of this work was challenging at all but the sled-dragging did get a good sweat going. I foam rolled in between sets as well and stretched extensively at the end.

I hope to tack on tiny workouts like this on days that I’m not doing the Motor-Skill-Acquisition workouts. I think I’m going to back off on the sled weight because if I go too heavy it will defeat the purpose of ‘Active Recovery.’
I feel like the Ultra-Light Muscle Snatches are a good thing to add in.

Next time I do an Extra workout I’ll try to remember to add in some easy ab sets. I’ll probably just do barbell roll-outs with the same bar I do muscle-snatches with. Don’t want to cause any overload with this but I’ll only be doing it to raise my Work Capacity. Wow! I sound like such an over-analyzing keyboard warrior right now but whatever.

It just occurred to me that in my next cycle of Best Building Part 1 I could do Sled-Sprints as my Lower-Body Explosive Drill. I’m doing Jump Squats this time around.

What are your stats, how long have you been lifting, all that good shit. :wink:


Iso-Clean + Power Clean 185X2X6
Iso Press + Push Press 115X3X6
Iso-Dead + Jump Squat 115X3X6

The Iso-Cleans are Isometric Deadlifts with the bar right above my knees where the second pull and the jump in the Power Clean occurs. The Iso-Deads are Isometric Deadlifts with the bar at the same height as if I were pulling from the floor (which is always my sticking point).

I planned on doing 8 sets but the Isometric/Explosive workouts take a long, long time to complete. I could really exert myself on the Iso-Cleans and Iso-Press sets but I couldn’t pull and press with the same white hot intensity on the Iso-Deadlifts. I think doing the Iso-Deads will help my starting strength a lot and give me the efficiency and neural pathways that will allow me to put more effort into getting off the floor.

[quote]austin_bicep wrote:
What are your stats, how long have you been lifting, all that good shit. ;)[/quote]

I’m 5’9’’ 180ish. I don’t know my Bodyfat but I can see my Serratus and Obliques if the lighting is right. I’ve been training since August 2005 and I started at a BW of 135. I started squatting in early 06 and deadlifting in the summer of 06. I swam competitively for about 10 years but I’m leaving that behind; I’m much more interested in and dedicated to the iron and I feel like the effort/reward ratio is much more fair whereas in swimming I could work harder, have a better diet, have better sleep habits, be in better shape, have better technique, and be stronger than my competition but still get beaten for the intangeable reason that they have a better “feel for the water.”

My short term goals for the end of 2008 are to get a 405 box squat, a 545 deadlift, a 315 bench press, and a 135lb chin at 198lbs bodyweight. I feel like these goals follow a realistic interpretation how fast I have improved in the past, that it should be easier to improve my lifts without the added physical stress that swimming for 2-3 hours every day takes, and that my program design will be smarter.

Other than the lifts I listed above, my best lifts are
a 275lb Rack-Lockout 2 pins away from my chest, a 225lb Close-Grip Bench, a 100lb chin, a 425 Zercher Squat from the pins, a 500X2 Below Knee Rack Pull, a 455X10 Below Knee Rack Pull, a 100X10 Dumbbell Bench, a 95X10 Incline Dumbbell Bench, a 150X15 dumbbell row, a 120X6 Skullcrusher, and an easy 155lb cheat-like-hell curl I did for no reason.

I eat 2 shakes a day w/ 40g of protein and 35g of Waxy Maise. I also eat 5 egg and 3 plain oatmeal packets ever morning, a sandwich with a 1/2lb of beef and 1/2lb of turkey every lunch, and 5 chicken breasts or whatever lean meat the cafeteria serves for dinner. I also eat a lot of fruits and vegetables every meal and some type of carb w/ dinner. Despite eating 5 meals a day,

I’ve stopped gaining weight and I attribute this to me not making any dramatic gains in strength since spring break other than PRs in Skullcrushers, Zerchers, and Rack Pulls.

I wouldn’t wait 4 months before evaluating if it is working or not. I would keep track of your indicator lifts and after 3-6 weeks see where you’re at. 4 months is a long time to waste if it isn’t productive.

[quote] Matt wrote:
I wouldn’t wait 4 months before evaluating if it is working or not. I would keep track of your indicator lifts and after 3-6 weeks see where you’re at. 4 months is a long time to waste if it isn’t productive.[/quote]

Oh shit! I thought I wrote 4 weeks. The Beast-Building program is a 4 week plan anyway so I should know within 4 weeks if I’m making improvements.

One dilemma I am facing is how to test for new Maxes in the Bench, Squat, Dead, and Clean so I’ll have new Maxes to evaluate the programs effectiveness and hopefully re-implement with new maxes. I’m thinking I might need to space it over two weeks.

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
Matt wrote:
I wouldn’t wait 4 months before evaluating if it is working or not. I would keep track of your indicator lifts and after 3-6 weeks see where you’re at. 4 months is a long time to waste if it isn’t productive.

Oh shit! I thought I wrote 4 weeks. The Beast-Building program is a 4 week plan anyway so I should know within 4 weeks if I’m making improvements.

One dilemma I am facing is how to test for new Maxes in the Bench, Squat, Dead, and Clean so I’ll have new Maxes to evaluate the programs effectiveness and hopefully re-implement with new maxes. I’m thinking I might need to space it over two weeks. [/quote]

Looks like a fairly demanding program so maybe you could take the 5th week off just test for maxes near the end of the week? Good luck anyway!

[quote]TseanS wrote:

Looks like a fairly demanding program so maybe you could take the 5th week off just test for maxes near the end of the week? Good luck anyway![/quote]

I’m thinking I’ll need to test them over the course of a 5th and 6th week. I was thinking I’d:

Week 1
Sun - Test Deadlift
Mon - Test Bench
Wed - Lower Assistance
Thr - Upper Assistance

Week 2
Sun - Test Clean & Snatch
Mon - Test Press
Wed - Test Box Squat
Thr - Upper Assistance

On the days labeled assistance I would hit the Assistance exercises pretty hard with more reps than usual. So Wednesday of Week 1 would be step-ups, reverse-hypers, glute-hams, and abs. Both Thursdays would be stuff like Dumbbell Bench, Pull-downs, Shoulders and Guns.

And if these weeks give me good numbers, then I’ll do another 4 weeks of “Beast Building Part 1.” If I only put 5 pounds on my deadlift or something to that effect, then I’ll do DoggCrapp Training for 6 weeks.

But my faith in this program continues to grow with each training session. I’ll post today’s workouts once I finish the second one.


Bench: 195X3X12
Box Squat: 2803X15
Chin: 45X3X19

Press: 125X3X10
Deadlift: 340X3X8
Chin: 45X3X16

I felt pretty awesome this afternoon about getting more sets in every exercise. Then I realized that 195 for 12 sets of 3 reps is far less impressive than 195 for 3 sets of 12 reps, which is something that a guy who can bench 100lb dumbbells should be able to do with ease. The week before I started Beast Building I trained with a guy who can bench 275lbs at 150lbs bodyweight. He couldn’t even get the 95s up on the incline bench and had to do them with the flat bench but I got the 95s up fine for 10 reps. He was impressed and said my form was good.

We both have also conversed about the pet peeve of people telling us they can bench 315 or something crazy even though they only take it out of the hooks and re-rack it without bringing the bar to their chests. So I assume he and I have a mutual understanding of what good bench form looks like.


GPP: Bike for about 16 miles

Told my friends I had lifted twice yesterday but that didn’t deter them from finding choosing the ride with the biggest, steepest hill in town. Had to beat them just to punish them for making that decision and after sprinting that climb we had to ride head first into the wind for the remainder of the outing.

The question remains for whether this was a good means of active recovery from squatting and deadlifting yesterday or did I just fuck up my recovery and burn precious muscle tissue?


Rack Lockouts 245X3 225X5 225X5 225X1
Realize I failed to do 80% of my max X 1
Realize I was over-trained X 1
Realize “Best Building” is 6 Max Effort Workouts in a week X 1
Quit Beat Building and Stopped my workout before
any further over-training could be done X 1

I was always skeptical that this program wouldn’t work.

The “Motor Skill Acquisition” workouts have me doing 4 “Multiple Exertion Method” Max Effort Workouts a week. At Westside, lifters would only do their Max Effort Exercise in a fashion like this where one lifts 80-85% of their max for multiple sets with short rest periods.

The Isometric/Explosive workout is another Max Effort workout using the “Maximal Isometric Method.” Again, if one uses Isometrics within the Westside Template, they’d only do it once a week for Squat/DL and once a week for Bench Press.

The Overload workout is another Max Effort workout using “The Maximal Restricted Range Method” AND Super-Maximal Eccentrics. This workout alone should have been enough of a red flag to me that this program will over-train me.

I’m not gonna try to do the idiotic thing and just keep going through this program. A week ago I could do Incline Dumbbell Bench Press with 95s for 10 reps but now I can’t even finish a set of Rack Lockouts with 225? I wounder why. It’s probably because I’ve done 5 max effort Bench workouts this week already.

I’m just gonna return to my usual training and stop flat benching. My Dumbbell Bench Press went from 75lbs to 100lbs in less than a year and the transition from 80s to 95s was in less than 4 months I think. My Squat and Deadlift will start to rise as long as I’m not following a program where I’m doing Max Effort Squats and Deads multiple times a week.

I feel like such a Douche. Should have known to never use a program that no one else has used. All I have to show for it is shame, a wasted week of what could have been good training, and the knowledge that I should never try a routine I find on the internet that no one has actually used all the way through. CT clearly knows how to get strong but I can see why he doesn’t like to write training routines. In his defense I did try to do as much work as this program would allow. I took all the opportunities to train 2-a-days. I did pretty hard lifts for my 15 minutes of “beach” work and I tried to do as many sets as possible thinking that getting in over 15 sets was a good idea.

This type of program just is so far from what’s worked for me in the past. I feel like I’ve already found a formula that works for every lift but the bench press, so I’m just gonna tweak it so that even my bench improves.

EDIT 5/8/2008: It’s pretty clear that I didn’t give this program much of a chance after I had just one bad workout.
But as you can see I’ve been able to consistently make PRs every training session between this post and the 8th of May now that I’ve switched to a 3-on 1-off split wit only 2 Max Effort workouts every 8 days.

The Truth is, I expected too much from this program. But I’m also convinced that my current way of training is bringing me faster, better gains. I may try Beast Building Part 1 again if my Flat Bench Press is still stuck. In fact, I’m gonna add it into my Favorite Articles section to remind me.


Rack Deadlift: 500X8
Dumbbell Step-Up: 100X9
Leg Curl: 135X8 155X6 135X7 115X7
Weighted Crunch 25X5X3


BTN Jerk: Worked up to 225X1 then 140X11
Machine Chest Press: 250X10 Drop Set
Dumbbell Lateral Raise: Did Some
JM Press: Did Some
Pushdowns: Did these Too


T-Bar Row: 6 plates X 10
Dumbbell Row: 120X35
Cable Row: 3 sets of 10. Plates aren’t labled
Hammer Curl: 45X10X2
Rear Delt Cable Flys: Did 'em

Light, Easy Sled Dragging X 4 Trips
Easy Sled Row X 1 Trip
Captain of Crush #1 for 5 sets of 5

Front Box Squat: 275X3 295X1 315X1
Pull Through: 5 Sets
Russian Twist: 5 Sets

While Going Heavy on both Rack Pulls and Front Squats in the same week wasn’t the smartest thing to do, I’m still back to regularly breaking records. The Rack Pull workout was supposed to be my Repetition Lower Body Day and Today the Front Squats was my Max Effort Lower Body Day.

I don’t think going heavy for lower body twice in one week is going to be detrimental as long as only one of those days is a true max effort day and the other is just a high-rep day where the weights are still heavy. I plan on alternating so weeks where I’m Deadlifting for 1-3 reps I’ll be squatting for around 10 reps. The weeks I’m Squatting for 1-3 reps I’ll be doing Rack Pulls or Elevated Box Deadlifts for at least 8 reps.

If I select a weight, for example, on Rack Pulls that I only get for 5 reps then I’ll force myself to do more volume and less weight on Front Squats instead of going for a new Max. Hopefully this will keep me from doing two max effort Squat/DL workouts in the same week.

So My Current Split is now

Sun - Deadlift & Accessory
Mon - Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
Tue - Back/Yolk/Biceps or Off
Wed - Active Recovery
Thu - Squat & Accessory
Fri - Bench & Accessory
Sat - Back/Yolk/Biceps

Sun - Active Recovery or Off
Mon - Repeat Cycle

I think this is pretty close to the Split Justin Harris follows. It’s like the DC Training Split Dante recommends to advanced bodybuilders (I know I’m not one) except that the max effort method is used and sometimes multiple sets are used instead of just 1, usually rest-paused set.


So, if anyone cares, I trained today.

Incline Dumbbell Bench: 50X10 75X10 100X8
Pec-Deck: 135X15 RP
Front Raise: 25X6 50X6 40X7
Machine JM Press: 135X8X3
Rope Pushdown: A Pretty Good Drop-Set

Felt Pretty Good about the Incline Dumbbell Bench Press. Every rep must have lasted like 6 seconds at least, but I fought through it. I got 100X7 on the FLAT Dumbbell Bench Press on February 21st and now I’m doing more reps on Incline. Around Christmas I maxed either 215 or 205 on Incline Barbell Press. Every time I train I’m just reminded of the necessity of rotating exercises. Doing so just makes your lifts soar. If you’re not rotating your exercises frequently, that’s at least one reason you’re stuck.

This is the only day in my plan that I’m actually pressing on a bench. On the Chest/Shoulders/Triceps day I’m doing either Dips, Military Pressin’, Strongman Log Pressin’, or Hammer Strength Incline Pressin.

Rope Pushdowns gave me a pretty insane arm pump. I can see some striations in the triceps near the elbow when I’m doing the pushdowns but I can’t bring it out by flexing.

About the 24th & 25th, are you sure you didn’t feel overtrained that day just because you went for a 16 mile bike ride?

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:
About the 24th & 25th, are you sure you didn’t feel overtrained that day just because you went for a 16 mile bike ride?[/quote]

That 16 mile bike ride wasn’t nearly as strenuous as days where I’ve spent 3 hours in the pool and lifted the next day. The biking is something I’ve been doing longer than any other sport in my life so I’ve got a pretty good hold on how it impacts my training in the gym. I have gone on 50 mile rides in the past and proceeded to break weight room PRs the next day for upper body lifts. If I had been feeling bad on squats and deadlifts I would probably have attributed that to biking but since I was missing weights on rack lockouts I felt like that was more attributed to the design of “Beast Building.”

I acknowledge that going on that 16 mile ride probably was a factor in me becoming over-trained but after re-reading Dave Tate’s article on the different methods of max effort training, the truth is that the “Beast Building” Program asks you to perform at least 4 max effort training sessions.

I actually think that running myself into the ground in a weeks time using Beast Building has allowed me to bounce back stronger so it wasn’t a complete waste of time. I think the problem with this program is the amount of volume. All the principles of training behind it are sound (isometrics, multiple sets of low reps to build ‘motor skill,’ heavy partials) but these principles would better be employed as phases rather than all at once. I think the program would have more success if you used a split and phased it out like:

Week 1 - Heavy Partials
Week 2 - Max Sets of 3 at 80% in 20 minutes
Week 3 - Isometric/Explosive
Week 4 - Max Sets of 2 at 85% in 20 minutes
Week 5 - Test For New Maxes
Week 6 - No Max Effort Work

Each week is the method of max effort you would use for that week. Just like Westside, there is one lower body and one upper body max effort workout per week. Week 1 you might do Rack Lockouts on Sunday and High Anderson Squats on Wednesday. Week 4 you would then Bench on Sunday and Squat on Wednesday.

What would you do for the other two days of the week? Assistance work: Step-ups, Dumbbell Bench Press, Pull-Throughs, Pull-Down Abs, Dumbbell Rows, etc.

I will probably use the method of doing as many sets of singles at 90% as possible in 20 minutes at some point in my training but I’m not going to do that 2-4 times a week for the same lift. That’s just crazy.


Weighted Chins: BWX10 35X3 70X6X2 45X8
Machine High Row: 185X8 305X15
Hook Grip Shrugs: 315X10 315X18 315X20
Dumbbell Curl: 35X23 45X6 45X8 or 10
Dumbbell Power Cleans and Rear Delt Cable Flys

I was really hoping to get 70 pounds for 10 reps on the Weighted Chins. You know that feeling of fatigue you get after doing 1 heavy, but not max, set of squats, cleans, or deads? You’re whole body’s energy level just takes a hit. You can’t just fire out rep after rep and you need to take a .6 of a second break?

Well that’s what I felt like in between reps on the Weighted Chins. When I do Chins 8 days from now I plan on just doing as many bodyweight reps as possible, then attacking 70 pounds again the time after that. Hopefully that will move me up to 10. 70 pounds for 6 reps was still a PR by one rep. The Machine High Rows was a PR by either 3 or 7 more reps. Hook Grip Shrugs were a PR since I never did them before.

I planned on doing Chest-Supported Kelso Shrugs but I couldn’t rig up anything. I didn’t want to fry my back or traps so I did hook grip shrugs for grip strength.


Thinking About Training: Right Now

next week when I do chins I will defiantly do as many bodyweight reps as possible. But instead of just doing 1 or 2 high-rep sets I am going to start following Prilepin’s Chart or at least start doing many sets between 3 and 6 reps.

I also am trying to think of solutions to starting some jump training or speed training on what has been designated my “Squat Day” in my training split. I can go to two gyms. One gym has a reverse hyper, atlas stones, and all sorts of powerlifting equipment. Another has plyo boxes and Bumper Plates.

I’m not entirely sure how frequently I’ll be able to get access to the gym with Boxes and Bumper Plates so I don’t want to make my training dependent on getting access to this gym.

I think on my “Squat Day” I will alternate between the Repetition Method and the Dynamic Method. I will alternate between doing Box Squats for a heavy set of 8-12 and doing explosive lifts.

As far as explosive lifts go I have done one Dynamic Squat cycle in the past with straight weight and I didn’t find it particularly helpful. This fall I worked up to a 42’ Box Jump pretty quickly and this winter Power Snatches really helped my off the floor strength with the Deadlift.

More likely than not I will use Power Snatches, Kneeling Barbell Jumps, 1-Arm Dumbbell Snatches, and Depth Jumps. I will be able to do Depth Jumps by jumping off the adjustable Squat Box I know I will have access to, but I won’t have any way to gauge my improvement with this drill other than if it improves my other numbers.

I may also buy some JumpStretch Bands and start doing DE Squat cycles with bands. Honestly, I don’t feel advanced enough to warrant using chains, bands, or boards just yet in my training and I want to wait until I reach certain goals I have before I feel like I can justify using this gear.

On the Squat days where I do speed training with Barbell Jumps and all that jazz, I plan to also do some Front Squatting with weights around 75-85% of my max for low reps and many sets. I won’t do these Front Squats on the weeks I do Box Squats. I plan to include these Front Squats because if I didn’t I would go the entire week without squatting. That’s just unthinkable.