T Nation

Filling out the 93 kg weight class...

EDIT: Time to update my stats.

Now sitting at about 88 kg BW, still 187 cm tall, of course (for the Canadian/American contingent out there: 194 lbs and 6’1.5").

My current maxes (as of 1.1.2015) are:

est. 165-170 kg squat
130 kg bench press
232.5 kg deadlift

My goals for the end of 2015 are to hold a BW of 93 kg (time to get eatin’!) and to achieve the following in my lifts:

190 kg squat
142.5 kg bench press
250 kg deadlift

Hello everyone,

I’ve been meaning to start a training log for a while now, mainly as a means of motivating myself to plan my training somewhat better. I mostly use Excel spreadsheets to plan my programs, but I know that the input of fellow posters will motivate me much more to make changes and improve myself.

A little background: I’ve been weight training for the better part of 15 years, although I’ve really only taken this seriously for about five of those years (the rest of the time I trained as cross-training for my sport as a youth or just goofed around in the gym doing pointless things).

After playing around a bit with powerlifting during university, I decided last year to take a somewhat serious go at it, to put on some muscle again and to train to get my total up in anticipation of competing. I’m thinking about entering a meet next year, but before I do so, I’d like to get my bodyweight and my total up a bit.

Here are some vitals:

29 years old; 187 cm tall, 85 kg light (lanky-ass mofo). Current gym PRs: 140 kg squat (worst), 120 kg bench press, 210 kg deadlift.

My goals for this year: 145 kg squat, 125 kg bench press, 220 kg deadlift.

I’ve spent the better part of the past year running 5/3/1 for powerlifting with a couple of tweaks; had a brief and not too successful flirtation with Westside and ran the Russian squat program early this year. Currently I’m in week 5 of a seven-week 5/3/1 mesocycle (switching the 5+ and 3+ weeks and doing two cycles before deloading).

I appreciate any input that you might have on my training! Will try to post the odd video for your viewing pleasure.

I trained this morning at a powerlifting-friendly gym, much better than my regular commercial gym crapshoot.

Deadlift, week 5

Deadlift (sumo):
5 x 125 kg
5 x 142.5 kg
5 x 162.5 kg
1 x 190 kg

On the 162.5 kg set of five, I had to pause for a few seconds prior to the last two reps since my thumbs were throbbing in pain. I deadlift with a hook grip and I think the bar had a more aggressive knurling than I was used to. After having already trained overhead press yesterday, I didn’t necessarily foresee going for any singles today, but went ahead and did a quick rep at 190 kg. Felt really light.

Front squat:
5 x 5 x 90 kg

Leg curls:
(60 kg) x 10 x 3 - no idea what weight that actually was, it was a leg curl machine where the plates were only numbered, so this is an estimate
KB swing:
16 kg x 20 x 3 - some “conditioning” BS, a.k.a. playing around with the stuff that I don’t have in my gym

BW x 10 x 3 (slow)

That was that.

Trained again at the powerlifting-friendly gym this morning, will have to get back to my commercial gym woes later this week.

Bench press, week 5

Bench press:
5 x 72.5 kg
5 x 85 kg
9 x 95 kg (PR? vid)
1 x 110 kg

Pause bench press:
4 x 4 x 72.5 kg (4" pause)

Training bench press at this gym was awesome, they’ve got three competition benches and Eleiko competition plates. I felt very cool slapping on the red 25 kg plates on each side, even though I didn’t get to slap on much more. Definitely gave me a bit of a mental edge for the workout – I’m not sure if 9 x 95 kg is a PR, but if not, it’s only one rep shy. Watch the video so you can see how not used to the competition benches I am (I almost killed myself racking the bar after the set since the j-cups are so much shallower than those I’m used to!).

Decided to go after a couple of moderate weight singles following my nine-rep set, but I was absolutely fried and only managed one ugly rep at 110 kg. I decided it wasn’t worth humiliating myself in front of other trainees, so I moved on to pause bench.

Pendlay rows:
3 x 8 x 70 kg (you’ll all notice that my lats are super weak if you read this log)

Narrow-grip dips:
3 x 10 x BW (3-0-1 pace)

Face pulls:
3 x 12 x 3 plates (unknown weight on the stack – the difficulties of a new gym!)

Farmer’s walk:
20’ x 2 x 42 kg

I’m disappointed that I have to do my squat workout on Friday at my normal commercial gong show, but it’s “only” a 5 week…

Here’s the video for those who are interested. I often lose my tightness and form on higher-rep sets, and I’m also pretty sure that I flared my elbow on rep 4 or 5 and brushed the safety rails. Oops. My set-up also took way too long today. Any technique pointers?

So I recently placed another order with Rogue Europe: I purchased some wrist wraps for may attempts on bench (and possibly for may squats, too) and also bought the MobilityWOD Gemini. People who watch Kelly Starrett’s things on YouTube will be familiar with the Gemini, which is basically a manufactured version of the double-lacrosse ball “peanut”.

I really need to work on my thoracic/shoulder upward mobility, which has always sucked. I think this has in part to do with the repercussions of the sport that I practiced for several hours each day between the ages of 11 and 20, but also has to do with working at a desk all day. I’m hoping that the Gemini will be the silver bullet, but I’ve thought that about many things. We’ll have to wait and see.

At any rate, my shitty t-spine mobility is also the reason I can only go light on overhead press and other shoulder presses; most of the pressure when I press overhead is on my lumbar spine since I can’t always press straight up and have to compensate with body angle.

Kinda looks like a sex toy, but it’s very cool:

Mobility work with the foam roller and Gemini.

This was my first time doing work with the Gemini, which I mentioned is basically a manufactured version of the peanut, but I now prefer to call it “crazy death ball of pain”. This was seriously one of the most painful things that I’ve experienced in a long time, but my t-spine indeed feels much more limber afterwards.

Back to my regular gym. It wasn’t that busy this morning, which is a relief.

Squat, week 5

5 x 80 kg
5 x 92.5 kg
5 x 105 kg

Paused squat:
4 x 4 x 80 kg (4" pause)

I didn’t go after any extra reps on squats today. Neither my wife nor I could sleep very well last night and I think we were both feeling it at this morning’s training. Nonetheless, the heaviest set felt pretty easy and I could’ve probably eked out another two or three reps. I was thinking about running the six-week Russian squat program again following this 5/3/1 mesocycle, but my squat – which is by far my weakest lift – seems to be progressing well on its own.


SLDL (a few centimetres elevated):
8 x 100 kg
5 x 120 kg
3 x 130 kg
4 x 2 x 140 kg
2 x 2 x 145 kg
6 x 100 kg

I’m trying to work on my hamstring and spinal erector strength and recently subbed in stiff-legged deadlifts for good mornings, which I find don’t hit my hamstrings and erectors to the same extent. My levers are stupid, though, and I have to perform the SLDLs starting from the lowest pins in the power rack in order to be able to keep my legs stiff and not bend my lumbar spine. These doubles were pretty light and way better for my hook-gripped thumbs than higher-rep sets.


Hanging leg raises:
10, 10, 8, 8 x BW

C’est tout!

Mobility/pre/rehab work with bands, foam roller and Gemini

I’m beginning to hate this Gemini deal, it’s like mobilization torture.

SGHP/OHP week 5

Felt broken today. Might’ve had to do with going to bed rather late the last two days, or maybe with the late Canadian Thanksgiving dinner that we had last night. At any rate, I decided not to push it today, especially on the assistance lifts.

Up to 1 x 1 x 85 kg
6 x 2 x 70 kg

5 x 40 kg
5 x 45 kg
5 x 50 kg

Neutral grip pull-ups:
3 x 8 x BW

Incline dumbbell press:
3 x 6 x 28 (not pushing this)

That was that for today. Looking forward to going for a new sumo PR tomorrow, hopefully I’ll feel fit again.

Monday a.k.a. Weakity-Weak-Weak Day

Deadlift, week 6

Deadlift (sumo):
5 x 142.5 kg
3 x 162.5 kg
1 x 180 kg
1 x 195 kg
0 x 210 kg

Sucked. See below.

Front squat:
7 x 2 x 100 kg

I was hoping to go for eight doubles, but bar speed went down and my elbows began disagreeing with me after set seven, so I stopped it there.

Leg curls:
2 x 8, 1 x 6 x 70 kg? (no idea, 7 plates)

2 x 12 x BW (focussing on lumbar flexion and deloading the spine)

That sucked. I was training at the “good” gym again today, and, after feeling really shitty yesterday, felt pretty good at the start of today’s workout. The first two sets were easy, the first single felt a bit tough, 195 kg was so-so, and I didn’t even break 210 kg off of the ground. Just didn’t feel like I could muster all of my energy to lift. It would’ve tied my conventional deadlift PR, though, so I’m not too disappointed. Nonetheless, I think I would need to take “two steps back” and reset my deadlift training max if I decide to do another 5/3/1 cycle after next week. I think I’ve been shooting too much for near-max singles in the last two mesocycles and I just need to work on getting reps in.

Apart from that, I’m looking forward to deloading this coming week. For whatever reason, this seven-week mesocycle hasn’t quite felt right. Maybe there’s too much going on outside the gym and that’s hampering my recovery. At any rate, I’m pumped for max bench press (Thursday) and squat (Saturday) days. Tomorrow I’m just going to do some conditioning work to help recovery.

Random conditioning/recovery/abz etc.

7’30" on the concept rower, 2 x 30" sprints

DB farmer’s walks:
30" x 3 x 42 kg

DB goblet squat holds:
15" x 3 x 42 kg

90 band pull-aparts

Decline crunches:
12 x 2 x BW

I’ve been Rollin around on a golf ball, how would that compare to the gemeni?

Haha, I think you win!

I would wager that the Gemini is somewhat harder than a lacrosse ball, but definitely friendlier than a golf ball. I think the shape and material are what makes it work, though, it doesn’t shift around under my back like a lacrosse ball and has a gap in the middle so you don’t directly roll your spine.

I dont even know how hard a lacrosse ball is, I played for one year in high school and dont recall, havent seen one since. Golf ball makes me cry, for real, its fantastic haha. Gemini seems like it might be a more precise instrument though.

I only have two places I use a golf ball though, hamstrings and what is either my lower/mid traps or infraspinatus, Ive had a knot there for over a decade.

[quote]mkral55 wrote:
I dont even know how hard a lacrosse ball is, I played for one year in high school and dont recall, havent seen one since. Golf ball makes me cry, for real, its fantastic haha. Gemini seems like it might be a more precise instrument though.

I only have two places I use a golf ball though, hamstrings and what is either my lower/mid traps or infraspinatus, Ive had a knot there for over a decade. [/quote]

I’d wager that a LAX ball is a bit softer than a softball, but not by a great margin.

I think the Gemini would be a good investment if only for its ease of use and since you can probably handle more “volume” with it than with a golf ball. I can imagine that the golf ball would be appropriate for the hamstrings, but can’t imagine the pain on the infraspinatus!

For me the most painful part is also the infraspinatus and right around the upper lat insertion. Even foam rolling hurts sometimes like a beeyotch.

Happy Hallowe’en! People don’t celebrate it here per se, but I’m a fan. Unfortunately didn’t see anyone in costumes at the gym this morning, despite the fact that there’s a huge costume store on the ground floor of the building.

Bench press, week 6 (a.k.a. weak 6)

Bench press:
5 x 85 kg
3 x 95 kg
1 x 105 kg

(add wrist wraps)
1 x 112.5 kg
0 x 120 kg (this would’ve been awesome, didn’t have the juice left)

Pause bench press:
5 x 1 x 100 kg (“competition” pause)

As was the case with my deadlift this week, my bench was a pain in the arse today. All sets felt OK until the 112.5 kg single, which went up slower than I would’ve liked. My miss on 120 kg was technically sound until the bar came to a grinding halt at about 15 cm off of my chest (typical sticking point, I know). I just lacked the energy to grind it out. It was my first time wearing wrist wraps this week and although my joints felt a little bit safer, I didn’t feel as though they were giving me any kind of advantage. But then again, I bought them in order to ensure my wrist health, so that’s OK.

Pendlay rows:
6 x 3 x 90 kg (wanted to go heavier here)

3 x 8 x BW+28 kg (a fellow trainee came and helped me on the last rep of the last set, although I would’ve gotten it anyways)

Face pulls:
2 x 20 x 55 kg
1 x 15 x 55 kg

Feeling kind of schleppend (slow) this week and I think I need a deload (it’s coming next week!). I’ve neglected triceps work in the last little while and am going to hammer out the dips and floor presses in my next cycle so that I can finally get up and over 120 kg on the bench. My year-end goal was 125 kg; we’ll see if that’s still realistic.

Next up: max squat on Saturday in Leipzig. Pumped.

Away for a long weekend with the in-laws. Working out at a not-too-familiar gym.

Squat, week 6

5 x 92.5 kg
3 x 105 kg
1 x 117 kg
0 x 125 kg - SHIT – not used to the squat rack and scraped the rack right in the hole, lost tightness and had to bail the rep. I decided not to go any further for the workout, although I was hoping to hit 140 kg today. Meh.

Paused squats:
4 x 2 x 100 kg (4-5" pause)

5 x 110 kg
3 x 130 kg
3 x 2 x 150 kg
2 x 1 x 160 kg
2 x 1 x 170 kg
2 x 150 kg
4 x 110 kg

Hanging leg raises:
12, 12, 8 x BW

A fitting end to a shitty week, so I decided not to push it. Also going to go easy on my press workout on Monday and re-evaluate. I’ve calculated out a six-week “beyond” 5/3/1 cycle for the time prior to the Christmas pause, but I’m also tempted to run the six-week Russian squat program once again to hammer away at my super-crappy squat… Will think about it this coming deload week.

Back at the home gym.

High pull/OHP week 6

Decided to throw in clean-grip high pulls from pins again as my high pull selection for today.

Up to 85 kg x 1
6 x 2 x 70 kg

5 x 42.5 kg
3 x 50 kg
1 x 55 kg
1 x 60 kg
1 x 62.5 kg (PR)

Yes, I have a super-weak overhead press owing to very poor overhead mobility, but I’m still pleased about this PR. I came into today with very tight shoulders and couldn’t get them limber, but I still managed to eke out 62.5 kg, even if it was the slowest rep ever. Going to foam roll the hell out of my shoulder and upper lat area tonight and work a bit with the Gemini. Technique wasn’t the greatest and I assume my lumbar spine took a great deal of that weight, so I’m going to have to be careful.

Floor press:
3 x 8 x 70 kg

Throughout the workout:

Neutral grip chinups:
8, 8, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6 x BW

That was that. Somewhat disappointing end to this 5/3/1 cycle, but this training session sort of redeemed my faith. Time for a deload!


Deadlift, deload week

10 x 1 x 130 kg + blue band (ca. 20 kg resistance at top)
4 x 3 x 100 kg + blue band

Front squats:
2 x 5 x 60 kg
2 x 80 kg
1 x 100 kg
1 x 110 kg
1 x 120 kg
1 x 125 kg (PR)

Front squat isometric holds (ca. 10"):
1 x 140 kg
1 x 150 kg
1 x 160 kg
1 x 170 kg

A bunch of band good mornings with the blue band.

I love deload weeks. I normally down the intensity and volume on my main lifts and accessory sets and throw in a few exercises that I like/feel like doing/want to try out. Today was my typical way of thinking: front squats felt super-light after deadlifts so I thought I’d use the opportunity to go for a PR. I took it up to 125 kg (I think that’s a 5 kg PR for me) and stopped it there, although I would’ve gone for 130 kg under different circumstances. I’m happy with this and with the fact that my front squat is almost as strong as my back squat, although this might also be cause for concern.

Came into today’s workout with super-sore traps and upper back from yesterday’s high pulls, but everything feels limber now.

Shoulders and traps are sore as hell today from the front squat iso holds yesterday… I know this is supposed to be a deload week, so I have to resist temptation and avoid going balls to the wall on certain exercises!

On another note, a client of mine gave me something called the Jawbone “UP” as a gift yesterday. It’s basically a little bracelet that monitors your movement in order to be able to assess your sleep and activity patterns. You can also track your nutrition using the app or by syncing it with MyFitnessPal. I’m thinking about doing that for a couple of weeks as I’m hoping to hold 85 kg for a while in order to “recomp” before making a push to 90 kg. I’ll be carb cycling (I know, original).

But the UP device is pretty cool, it also has an alarm that chooses the best time to wake you up within a given time window based on how deep your sleep is. The workout tracking kinda sucks for anything except running/walking, though, so I won’t be logging my training there!

Check it: https://jawbone.com/up

Bench press, deload week

Decided to do the good old “bodyweight rep test” today.

Bench press:
15 x 85 kg (bodyweight) - PR? No idea

15 x BW

  • a couple of sets of triceps extensions

Good to see that I’m still relatively balanced between pushing and pulling. Felt as though I could’ve grinded out another rep or two on each exercise, but since it’s technically my deload week, I didn’t want to push it (good excuse, eh?).