T Nation

Function Over Form: TheTexican's 5/3/1 Log


Decided to start up one of these fancy logs here on the site...

A little about myself: I am 28 years of age, have been in the Air Force for almost 8 years as Security Forces (basically an MP), grew up playing football (up to Varsity in HS), baseball (1 1/2 years at the D2 level), track (off and on), and competed a few times in powerlifting as well. I've been actively training for powerlifting since 2009. I had a complete tear in my right PCL during the summer of 2010 which set back a lot of my squat and DL development about 6-8 months. As well as some personal junk that sidelined my training off and on since around that time as well.

My best lifts as of today are: [EDITED 21SEP12]

Press: 200 lbs (WRIST WRAPS/BELT)
Squat:505 lbS (KNEE WRAPS/BELT)
Bench: 285 lbs (WRIST WRAPS BELT)
Deadlift: 495 lbs (BELT)

I train 3-4 times a week depending on the effect of work on my schedule. I work 12-14 hour shifts and it takes a toll on me sometimes.

A few personal tidbits about me: I love music. Hardcore, different types of metal/metalcore, indie/acoustic/folk, underground hip hop, dubstep, and country are a few of the genres I like. I enjoy long walks on the beach, as long as a beer or possibly a margarita are involved, I drive a truck, fire guns, and I love slurpees. Will be updating as much as I can to keep everyone in the loop. Thanks ahead of time for any advice or input.



I'm just going to jump into my log with my current training. No need to clog it up with a bunch of old stuff. The conditioning push is dropping my training weights a little, but not too noticeable on my upper body movements as of yet.

Yesterday's Training:


Warm up, mobility, and warm up sets.




205x8 (5 sets)

100 total chin/pull ups doing 6-12 between each set of warm-ups and working bench sets

Kroc row @ 140x15 for two sets each side. This is a PR for me as far as weight goes at 15 reps. The DB's here go up to 150 and I intend to hit that for 20 rep sets before I leave here in a month and a half or so.

20 min ruck walk on treadmill with 50lb bag, incline at 15 and speed between 2.5 and 4. This is an example of my ligther conditioning day. I do treadmill because the location I am deployed in doesn't have ANY hills and this is a change of pace from the flat weighted walks I do on other days.

As far as diet goes, I'm getting a 40g Metabolic Drive shake in the morning and before bed, random food selections for my three meals at work. They usually consist of some sort of meat, veggie, bread and whatever else they decide to serve for us. My second meal of the day is breakfast. Which is always the pastuerized scrambled eggs, veggies, cheese and bacon in a scramble, some pineapple (or other fruit), two english muffins, 400ml of low fat milk, and coffee. The other two meals could honestly be anything. It sucks having no control over what I get but I deal with it.

Supplement wise, beside the Metabolic Drive, is four caps of FA3 and Flameout each, daily (2 morning and 2 night0, two caps of Curcumin,and the creatine from Biotest as well. I take Z12 3-4 nights (days) a week and also some aleve in the morning and before bed. Nothing fancy, but I think I'm making the most of my money here.

I've been watching Sexy Sax Man on YouTube and I think I have inspiration for my next Halloween costume!


14 hour shift almost done, numerous walking patrols, and other crap out of the way. Deadlifts/squats and conditioning today!! It's 0800 on Sunday, 22 Jan here right now. Looking forward to the Giants/'Niners and the Ravens/Pats. Who y'all pickin? I'm thinking the 'Niners' D and the Raven's D come up big and keep those offenses in check. We'll see what happens. Too bad my 'Boys were so terrible this year.


Training 22JAN12:

Half mile walk to the gym (to and from, every day)

Warm up:

Yes/no's, Neck, arm, shoulder, trunk, hip circles, leg swings (side/side, front/back), hand walk-outs, to scap push ups to roll over to hip bridge. See video.

10xbar squat

5x135 squat (to warm up crappy knees)

Seated box jumps 5x3 between warm up sets of DL


135x10, x3

185x5, x2

225x5, x2





Neck harness 30 rep sets, 1 left/1right/1 center

I stopped the DL set pretty short due to my conditioning. It was fairly easy and felt fast and clean.


quick warm up

5 sets 3 @335


10x15sec work/45 sec active rest sprints on treadmill @ max incline and 8.0 speed. Active rest was a set of 10 hammer curls. 100 total curls. 5 min cool down walk and stretch.

These sprints are the closest thing I can get to hill sprints until I get home. They will suffice for now.

Training 24JAN12:

Walk and warm-up (usually same warm up as lower training days add banded shoulder tornados and pull aparts.)

Chins: 3 sets 5 for warm up.



65x10, x4

85x5, x2

105x5x x2





Again, easier last set but I still feel like I'm slightly getting stronger if not maintaining this cycle. My numbers will hopefully jump next cycle when I start to push my reps on the final sets again.

Chins were performed throughout all sets with BW+35lbs did 30 total reps

Press 5x8@135

T-bar row with squeeze at the top 2 sets 20 @2 plates

OH! Also mixed in a ton of GHR. I am not sure, but I think today was the first time the GHR was in the gym... I have never seen it before and I tripped over it twice before I noticed what I was walking around.

Weighted walk (60 lb) for 40 minutes.

Here's a random video from my pre-deployment training. We take things VERY seriously!


I also did a tricep ladder somewhere in there..... If you don't know what the tricep ladder is, look it up on elitefts' youtube. It's a pretty awesome tri finisher using the smith machine.


Just found out the camp gym will be closed for the next four days. Then, all the equipment will be outside for the next month. Just gotta love that predictability around here. Today was supposed to be squat day, but I suppose some tire flips and other random assortedness will have to suffice. I'll probably do this session with my IBA (armor) and try to get a weak trail run in. I wish I had my dog here to run with. I can never seem to run as far by myself.

The good ol' USA is right around the corner and I can't wait to start training at WFAC again!


Training from today:

Warmup (same as usual)

Tire flips (big ass tire, not sure of the weight)x 20 yds

Farmer's walks w/full ammo cans, 60 yds

Push ups against EFS Pro monster mini band x20

Chin ups/strict with hold at top x5

Did this for 5 rds. No sure about how long it took, but I was GASSED. That tire kicked my butt!

Time for some Metabolic Drive creatine, four Z12, and SLEEP!


Sleep has evaded me once again. Multiple days of little sleep suck ass. Just in case anyone was wondering.


I understand your overall goal is to compete in Power Lifting... you said you want to work endurance...

Really not sure where you got this workout from but it basically doesnt make any sense to me as far as your goals go? Can you explain to me why your doing so many low weight reps and then going to high weight.

Have you tried any tricks like the reverse pyramid? or static lifting to increase your load capacity.
If your working on endurance I think Tempo Training might really benefit you during your off season.

Anyways how much do you currently weigh, and whos idea is it to do a workout like that. it doesnt seem geared toward anything...


If you're talking about my gym sessions, I'm currently pulling back my work to focus a bit more on my ability to perform my job better. I'm in the military, and need to be able to move carrying loads at a fast pace. Think battle drills. This works for me and I programmed it.

I was doing a slightly different version of the Boring But Big template with my training with really good success. This is just an abbreviated version so I can focus on conditioning a but more. I currently weigh 204lbs. My next cycle, I will add back some more volume with my lifting and keep the conditioning constant. The cycle after that, I'll be adding a 2 mile run once a week to prep for my 1.5 mi PT run.


Those first few reps on my lifting days are my warm up sets. I warm up slow.


HOLY HELL, IT'S SQUAT DAYYYYY!!!!! The gym moved the equipment outside so I will be squatting in 90+ degree weather after work. I'd have to say I'm pretty excited. Another "strongman inspired" medley afterward for cardiac/GPP work. Will update after my session!

Training from 30JAN12:

Walk to gym

regular warm up

Box jumps 5 sets 3 between warm up squat sets


135x8, x5

185x5, x2

225x3, x2

275x3, x2

working sets:



405x3 (stopped short, as usual to get ready for conditioning)


mini-warm up sets x a few

335 5 sets 3

Weighted sit ups throughout the session.

Conditioning was just treadmill sprints again with hammer curls between sprints. I know treadmill sprints are less than optimal, but my lungs and legs were burning something fierce so I'll stick with this as it has worked in the past and is simple and easy to measure and change variables.


I really focus on staying really tight and explosive on all of my warm up sets. I used to just speed through my warm up to get to the heavy weights but now I really mentally prepare and focus on hitting each warm up rep like it's an ME rep. This has helped TREMENDOUSLY with the way the weight feels on my back.

I wear some cheap knee sleeves I got at Academy for like $20, Do-Win rogue oly shoes, EFS normal wrist wraps, and some generic forearm wraps when I squat. The forearm wraps are a life-saver. I get my hands extremely close and utilize the Rippetoe "chicken wing" elbow position. I used to have outrageous soreness on the inner elbows and from the second or third time I used these, the pain is almost totally gone! I do have some EFS normal knee wraps that I used for my last raw meet, but I think I will get some heavier wraps for my next meet. Either looking at some metal all black wraps or EFS heavies. Not sure which yet. I don't use the wraps in training at the moment so I have a while before I have to worry about that. I also have a (black) Gorilla Pit belt that has a pretty awesome logo on the back.

Found out my return to the states has been pushed back at least 15 days so far. I'm expecting it to get extended again and hopefully we at least get carried over into the following month to take advantage of the tax-free pay and extra benefits!

Bench training in about an hour.


Training from today:

Walk to gym, warm up



95x15, x5


135x5, x2





255x5 (stopped short as always)

225, 3 sets 5

DB row 5 sets 8@100

That was it for today. Decided not to do any conditioning.


Did my warm-up bench sets with an EFS mini band doubled around my wrist. I really felt this in my back and triceps. I think I'm going to use this more often! (see vid @3:30)



Well, I ordered some more Metabolic Drive and some Alpha Male. Haven't tried the latter before and figured I'd give 'er a go!


AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SHHEEEIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTT!!!!! Decided to do the SPF meet in Carrollton, Tx. On the seventh day of APRIL!!!!! Pretty stoked. Should be back in the states for a week or two before that. Time to get some shit in order, SON!

Today is my last 5/3/1 day (deadlift). Then to deload and get one more cycle and my peak in before the meet! Probably going to run the 5/3/1 with singles with mild conditioning to stay closer to 198 lbs.

Goals: 1325 Total. 525 squat, 300(ish) bench, 505 deadlift. Yes, I squat more than deadlift, get over it. Should be a pretty decent showing. Time to order some more wraps. Still not sure on the Metal All Blacks or the EliteFTS Heavy wraps. New wrist wraps as well. My younger (not little, he's in my weight class) brother and a few guys I'm stationed with in Wichita Falls are hopefully all competing. Kinda last minute, but F*CK IT! Gotta get some meets in!


So you're going to be running 5/3/1 all the way up to the meet? Forgive my lack of reading comprehension.


I look forward to finding out how the Alpha Male does for you... I just started an Indigo3G podject today actually... I plan to lose 10 lbs and compete in a muy tia fight March 25th. Also very last minute but hey I need to start competing. Im 197 and need to go to 185 by then.

Good luck in your competition, Dude have you ever tried CT's Superhero workout?!! I been on it for 2 days and I cant believe how beneficial it seems to be at gaining strength and losing weight at the same time.

Im a little skeptical of the Indigo and the Alpha Male but I decided to give it a try.

Read both pages and try it for a week. Remember to read carefully, Its like 4-5 sets each exercise. I almost missed that part. lol


Yeah man, pretty much. I'm gonna pull back my top sets and focus on hitting more singles at or above 95%. I have a peaking cycle (3 weeks) that I used before my last meet and I totaled all lifts higher than my training maxes by a lot. So, we'll see how it goes. I was barely hitting 425x1 on squat (with wraps), for instance, in prep for my last meet and hit an EEAAASSYYY 485. I'm itting that easy for 4 reps with just knee sleeves now. This is after having some personal crap derail my training for a bit. Looking forward to getting some big numbers!


I'll give it a read... Not sure about trying it though. How can you guage the strength and fat loss in two days? Is it just the placebo effect of a new exercise protocol? Just kinda confusing.

I think the Alpha Male will be pretty decent. I've been researching, and I think my T is kinda low. We'll see how this goes and I may look at getting bloodwork done sometime in the near future.


Training 03FEB12:

Walk/Warm up

(no box jumps, box was missing somehow)

Neck harness



135xhowever many, then another

185xeither 8 or 5, x3

225x6, x3

275x2, x2




425xeither 11 or 13 (touch and go, but no bounce).... Lost count and stopped pretty short. This is a NEW PR! my last PR was 4, maybe 5, I believe.

The only thing I've really changed is trying to eat a little more veggies when I can and added fruit to my last meal before traning. I guess it's working out for me!

Then, Squat:

335 5 sets of 3

Then I got a little squirly and decided to do some high (from the knee) rack pulls to work on my grip. All reps were done with a 5 second pause and hold at the top. The rack doesn't have holes for the pins any lower so this was the lowest I could really go. May try to add a small box next time to make up some of the difference.

405, 455, 495, 545, 585!

This is the most weight I've had in my hands and it was SUPER easy to hold onto. BOOM!


Tempo runs. 3 sets of 8 with 30 seconds rest between reps and 3 minutes rest between sets. Nothing outstanding, just got my heart moving.


Deload starts tomorrow. Gonna take this one pretty easy, two lifting sessions. Squat/Press and DL/Bench with two other days of just light stretching and maybe a trail walk. Basically what Wendler put in his last article. I like that I've already made some of the modifications to 5/3/1 before I read about them. That's it for now. Looking forward to that meet in April. I need some good things to happen. Life is kinda shitty at the moment. No where to go but up!