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Goal: Front Squat 180 and Bench 140 Kilos


EDIT: Front Squat goal is now 180 kilos.

I remember, during my sophomore year in high school, I figured I’d have this goal accomplished by senior year. Little did I know.

Here I am, more than a decade later at 27, still struggling to get there. Maybe I just don’t get it, or maybe I was meant to be a long distance runner (even though I have stubby legs). Either way, I refuse to give up.

I’m hoping by posting, not only will I share my training with T-Nation readers, who might offer suggestions and insight, maybe by seeing my own training outside of my religiously kept training logs, a penny might drop and I’ll figure out what I need to do.

Current stats:
Height: 179cm (5’10")
Weight: 87kg (191 lbs)
Age: 27
Location: Japan*
Occupation: Teaching English
*because I live here, pardon my exclusive use of the metric system.

So, I have two goals, and two goals only. Bench and Front Squat 140 kilos, which is 3 plates/side. I won’t list all the programs I’ve tried- instead I’ll jump right in with the first week of my current one.

Tuesday:
Bench one drop ( http://articles.elitefts.com/training-articles/the-one-drop-method-needs-formatted/ )
Front Squat one drop

Friday:
Bench to an easy single (90% or so)
Alternating Deadlifts (one drop method)/Power cleans (one set of 3-5)
DB/Barbell press to 25 reps
Alternating Pull-ups (pronated, various widths) (rep max, then sets until 50 reps)/Weighted Pull-ups (as many sets as it takes to get to 25 reps, a la the presses)

Saturday:
Power pull ups (Jump assisted muscle up)
Complex
Arms

Sunday:
10x 10 second hell, I mean hill sprints.

I’ve designed all of this with my two goals in mind. It is a frankenstein formed from Frank’s one drop method, the recent Serge Nubret article, and complexes.
The one drop is to hit my training goals.
The pump training is for my arms. I have to admit, while it’s really just fluffy arm training that has no relation to my goals, I love doing it and it makes my elbows feel great when I’m pressing heavy. If it interferes I’ll either cut back or cut it out.
Complexes/sprints- In no way am I trying to lose weight right now, or worry about bodyfat, but some conditioning is important.

Lastly, if you look closely at this blob, you can kind of make out arms and legs.
140KG Ho!

Hmmm, pic fell over en route from my desktop to T-Nation…

Tuesday 9.11.12
Weight: 87kg
Mood: 10/10
Desire to train: 10/10
Energy: 9/10
Sleep: 7.5 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak (vitimans) animal nitro (bcaas/energy)
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:
Jump rope (100, 50 right leg, 50 left leg, 100 alternating, 100, no rest between each)
Scap wall slides x10
Foam roll only where needed (I used to be addicted to this thing, but lately I’ve pared it down to just my back and quads)
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
5x15 meter walking on hands (warm up my shoulders like nothing else. It seems like a lot, but if I don’t do them I find my strength goes down slightly)

BENCH (pretty narrow grip, two fingers width outside the smooth portion of the bar, using fat grips):
In between bench warm ups I do two sets of t-spine mobility x 10 reps.

SET 1: 20kg x 5
SET 2: 60kg x 5
SET 3: 80kg x 2
SET 4: 100kg x 1
SET 5: (working sets) 112.5 x 1
SET 6: 122.5 x 1
SET 7: 125 x 0

Supermax drop
One board press
110kg x 3

Notes: The one drop method hinges on the lifter not being a dolt and missing reps. I knew 125 would be dicey from my “opener” of 112.5. Would’ve been best to hit a solid 115, then 117.5, and focus on killing the board presses.

FRONT SQUAT (in between warm ups I do wall-ankle mobilizations 2x10 reps)
SET 1: 20kg x 5
SET 2: 60kg x 3
SET 3: 80kg x 2
SET 4: 100kg x 1
SET 5: (working sets) 120kg x 1
SET 6: 130 x 1
SET 7: 135 x 1

Anderson Front Squat
105kg x 4

Notes: Set 6 and 7 definitely were too high. Did feel good just to hold that much weight though.

Up until last week, I was following up benching with flys supersetted with pullups, and following the f.squats with pistols and ab rollouts. I’m experimenting with cutting out all but the main lifts; we’ll see where it goes (hopefully up).

Friday 9.14.12
Weight: 87.3kg
Mood: 10/10
Desire to train: 8/10
Energy: 8/10
Sleep: 7.5 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:
Jump rope
Scap wall slides
Foam roll only where needed
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
5x15 meter walking on hands

BENCH (Narrower grip- bottom of thumbnail on smooth line):
t-spine mobility 2 x 10 reps

SET 1: 20 x 5
SET 2: 60 x 5
SET 3: 80 x 3
SET 4: 100 x 2
SET 5: 110 x 1
SET 6: 112.5 x 1
SET 7: 115 x 1
SET 8: 117.5 x 1

Notes: Worked up to one heavy single, but still kept the bar speed fast

DEADLIFT (straps, overhand grip)

SET 1: 60 x 5
SET 2: 100 x 5
SET 3: 140 x 2
SET 4: 165 x 1
SET 5: 185 x 1
SET 6: 195 x 1

Drop: 175 x 3

Notes: First deadlift single in about 8 months. I know I could’ve done more, but with my focus on front squats and bench right now, I’m not going to push deads much.

(STANDING) DB PRESS
SET 1: 10 x 5
SET 2: 20 x 3
SET 3: 27.5 x 10
SET 4: 27.5 x 6
SET 5: 27.5 x 5
SET 6: 27.5 x 4

PULL-UPS to 50

Rep max of 13, 4, 6, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5

Notes: Pull-up reps go up and down because I vary my grip from narrow to wide, pronated to neutral each set

Saturday 9.15.12
Weight:
Mood: 9/10
Desire to train: 9/10
Energy: 7/10
Sleep: 7 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:
Jump rope
Scap wall slides
Foam roll only where needed
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
4x8 meter walking on hands

COMPLEX

Power Clean
Front Squat
Push Press
Squat
Good Morning
Bent Row
Deadlift
Shrug Row

SET 1: 75 x 1
SET 2: 75 x 2
SET 3: 75 x 3

Notes: For complexes, I’ll try to just add one rep a week. So this week I got 6 “reps” and next week I’ll try for 1, 2, 3, 1- then next week 1, 2, 3, 2, etc. When I can do the whole one back to one again, I’ll nudge the weight up by 2.5kg.

A) CABLE CURL
B) ROPE PUSHDOWN

8 sets x 12 x 20kg, 25kg respectively

A) EZCURL
B) DIPS

8 x 12 x 13.5, Bodyweight

Notes: The bi/tri supersets are done with as little rest as possible. The only rest I get is after B, I take the time to draw a hatch in my journal (otherwise I’d definitely lose track of what set I was on). I’m not sure about progression with these. I’ll keep the weight the same for now, and each week focus on going faster and getting more blood in the muscle. I got a great pump today, 17" worth (when my cold is 16.25")

Tuesday 9.18.12
Weight: 87.3
Mood: 9/10
Desire to train: 10/10
Energy: 9/10
Sleep: 7 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:
Jump rope
Scap wall slides
Foam roll only where needed
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
4x8 meter walking on hands

Fsquat- 3x3x115kg
Bench 3x3x105kg
4 Board 3x5x105kg
Abs, hit two sets of cable crunches, got a nasty cramp in my upper right ab
Pull ups 10kg 4x 10, 6, 6, 6
ab wheel 2 sets

Thursday 9.20.12
Weight: 87.1
Mood: 9/10
Desire to train: 8/10
Energy: 6/10
Sleep: 4 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak, animal nitro
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:
Jump rope
Scap wall slides
Foam roll only where needed
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
2x8 meter walking on hands

Notes: Only did two handstand walks and felt like my energy was better when I actually started my workout.

Fsquat (80-90%) 105, 110, 115, 120, 120
Bench (30-40%) 4x5 (15 sec rest) x4 clusters (1min rest) 40 42.5 45 50
4 Board 3x3 (90%) 110
Squat 3x5 (80% of FSquat 1rm) 105
Roman chair x 20
Pull rows x 10
Dimel Deads 2x10 65

Notes: I’m experimenting with foot placement on the bench to get more leg drive. I was also wearing a loose shirt so the boards were like a damn moving target. By the last set, I made contact with the bar to the boards all three reps.

Pull-rows looking kind of spastic and kippy, but I got my sternum to touch on all reps.

Sat 9.22.12
Weight: 87.0
Mood: 10/10
Desire to train: 9/10
Energy: 7/10
Sleep: 6.5 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak, animal nitro
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:
Jump rope
Scap wall slides
Foam roll only where needed
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
2x8 meter walking on hands

Fsquat- 3x3x115kg
Bench 3x3x105kg
4 Board 3x5x105kg
Bench roman chair (that’s what I’m callin em) 4x10
Pull ups 10, 8+10kg, 6+20kg, 7

Notes: Front Squats felt really solid. The first set was a little shallow, but by the last one I felt like I really got down there.

Putting my feet out further in front when I bench. It felt like they were a mile out in front of me, as my goal was to have vertical shins, but looking at the video they’re still pretty far back. Leg drive felt good, definitely have to work on strong drive WHILE keeping my ass from flying away.

Mon 9.24.12
Weight: 88.9
Mood: 9/10
Desire to train: 10/10
Energy: 7/10
Sleep: 5 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak, animal nitro
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:
Jump rope
Scap wall slides
Foam roll only where needed
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
2x8 meter walking on hands

Fsquat- 5x3 (75-85%) 105 110 115 115 110
Bench 3x8 (+70%) 85 87.5 90
2x10 (-70%) 75(9 reps) 65
Rope Pushdowns 3x12 12 10/30kg
Dimel Dead 4x5 60
Bench roman chair 4x11
Pullrows 3x6 BW

Notes: On the last set of front squats, I could’ve hit another set of 115, but I’m trying to train myself to demonstrate reserve and not go all out just 'cause I can.

Bench, grips started narrow and went wide (thumbs length from smooth). The sets of ten were back to my index on the smooth because that grip feels weak.

Searched around and found the correct way to do pullrows (sternum chin-ups) from an article by Ben Bruno. These felt much better than the crossfit things I did last week. My lats got so pumped up I was gonna make like a flying squirrel and glide home.

Hi Bob,

Im theBird. I like the set-up of your training log and I am keen to follow along. Also we are at a similar weight and height, although Im a few kgs heavier and few inches taller. And I like that your using the metric system.

Bird is in.

tweet

Right on, thanks Bird!

Wed 9.26.12
Weight: 88.2
Mood: 8/10
Desire to train: 7/10
Energy: 8/10
Sleep: 8.5 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:
Jump rope
Scap wall slides
Foam roll only where needed
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
2x8 meter walking on hands
new 3D band-pullaparts 2x8

Fsquat- 3x2 (85-90%) 120 120 122.5
Incline Bench (max triple) 85
Squat 3x5 (85%+) 120 130 120
Light Diamond Pushup x 20
Light Inverted Row x 20
Light Abwheel x 20

Notes: First time I’ve had 8 hours of sleep going into a workout in a while. Want to make this a habit. Still, I felt surprisingly sluggish (my warm-up snapped me into focus though).

Added 3D band pull-aparts. Damn those felt good.

I think my quads and ass were up for squatting 140 for 5 on that last set, but I’m glad I listened to my lower back and went back down to 120 for the last set; it’s not like 120 was a walk in the park anyway.

Fri 9.28.12
Weight: 88.6
Mood: 9/10
Desire to train: 10/10
Energy: 8/10
Sleep: 7.5 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:
Jump rope
Scap wall slides
Foam roll only where needed
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
2x8 meter walking on hands
3D band-pullaparts 2x8

Fsquat- 7x1 (90%+/-) 120 122.5 125 127.5 125 122.5 120
Dynamic Bench 9x3 (40%+bands)(45sec rest) 50
4 Board Press Max 5 (90%) 110
SLDL 4x5 60
Pull-ups 10, 8+12.5, 3+22.5, 12+2Pink
Leg Raise 4x10

Notes: Really excited for the Front Squat singles; thought about (crushing) them more than I should’ve during work today. 127.5 had alright depth, but it felt and looks wobbly.

PANIC AT THE BENCH PRESS! Between the bands, working on my form, remembering to change the grips, marking my sets in my journal, and counting to 45 in my head, it was amusing. I gotta find a better way to band up the bench because I could feel one side was pulling a bit more than the other.

Single leg deadlifts- I thought I’d warm up with 60 and do working sets at 100- heh. As it turns out, I found 60 was PLENTY for my first time doing these. I felt them everywhere-abs, ass, hams, and especially quads (because they were already fatigued by the f.squats I reckon). I’ll stick with 60 next week and work on not rounding my back so much/improving balance.

I thought I did 6 pullups with 22.5, but looking at the vid, I gotta challenge those last 3. I can’t honestly call those reps.

http://youtu.be/RyDNArbuQNg

Sat 9.29.12
Weight: 88.0
Mood: 10/10
Desire to train: 9/10
Energy: 9/10
Sleep: 8.5 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:

Scap wall slides
Foam roll only where needed
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
2x8 meter walking on hands

Power Cleans 2x3 85
Press 3x5 60
Bench rear raise 2x20 5
Face Pulls 2x12 25
Shoulder Shocker 1x10 10kg plate, 5kg DBs
A)EZ Curl 4x12 16
B)Dips 4x12

Notes: Fun, optional day. Obviously I don’t want anything here to get in the way of my goals so I kept the intensity low, but still challenging. Plus, I bet doing rear delt work can only help.

http://youtu.be/JsCbRekeX9E

Mon 10.01.12
Weight: 87.8
Mood: 10/10
Desire to train: 10/10
Energy: 8/10
Sleep: 8 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:
Jump rope
Scap wall slides
Foam roll only where needed
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
3D Band Pullapart 2x10
2x8 meter walking on hands

Fsquat- 5x3 (75-85%) 115
Single 1x125
Bench 3x8 (+70%) 87.5 90 92.5
Single 1x100 110
2x10 (-70%) 70
Rope Pushdowns 4x12 40 50 50 50
Dimel Dead 4x5 60
Bench roman chair 3x12
Pullrows 3x8 6 6 BW

Notes: It was great to see my weight going up, not so great to see it go back down. Even though it must’ve been mostly water, I’m going to try and slowly push it up again by adding in more carbs post workout and going from one to two bottles of olive oil per week. Then I’ll see where I’m at.

Bench grips went narrow to wide like last week.

Dimel deads- still working on technique. I really felt them in my hamstrings the last two sets.

Pull-rows- tried to hold all reps for a 3 count.

Wed 10.03.12
Weight: 89.4
Mood: 9/10
Desire to train: 9/10
Energy: 8/10
Sleep: 8 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:
Jump rope
Scap wall slides
Foam roll only where needed
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
3D band-pullaparts 2x10
2x8 meter walking on hands

Fsquat- 3x2 (85-90%) 120
Incline Bench (max triple) 87.5
Squat 3x5 (85%+) 120
Light Diamond Pushup x 19
Light Inverted Row x 20
Light Abwheel x 20

Notes: Squats- Worked on keeping my knees out. Priority #1 right now.

Consistently getting 8 hours of sleep feels awesome. Good to see my weight leap up.

http://youtu.be/ZHdc9s8_PL8

Fri 10.05.12
Weight: 88.8
Mood: 8/10
Desire to train: 10/10
Energy: 8/10
Sleep: 8 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:
Jump rope
Scap wall slides
Foam roll only where needed
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
3D band-pullaparts 2x10
2x8 meter walking on hands

Fsquat- 7x1 (90%+/-) 120 122.5 125 122.5 120 120 120
Dynamic Bench 9x3 (40%+bands)(45sec rest) 50
Single 1x100 1x110
4 Board Press Max 5 (90%) 110
SLDL 4x5 60
Pull-ups 11, 8+12.5, 6, 6
Leg Raise 4x6

Notes: Intense focus on keeping my knees out while front squatting, hence most footage is directly behind my bubbly ass. I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I’ve already improved over Wednesday’s workout. Also, that growl during the second set wasn’t because it was all that hard. It was my automatic “stay the fuck away can’t you see I’m squatting” growl.

Really liked today’s band setup. SLDL’s were shaky at first, but the last 2 sets weren’t too shabby.

Leg raises weren’t to parallel like last week. This time I hung from the bar and brought my feet all the way up. HARD.

Sat 10.6.12
Weight: 89.3
Mood: 8/10
Desire to train: 9/10
Energy: 8/10
Sleep: 7.5 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:

Scap wall slides
Foam roll only where needed
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
3D Band Pull Aparts
2x8 meter walking on hands

Power Cleans 3x3 87.5
Press 3x5 62.5 60 60
Bench rear raise 3x20 5
Face Pulls 3x12 25
Shoulder Shocker 2x10 10kg plate, 5kg DBs
Cable Curl 4x12 25
A)EZ Curl 4x12 16
B)Dips 4x12

Tues 10.09.12
Weight: 90.2
Mood: 9/10
Desire to train: 10/10
Energy: 8/10
Sleep: 7 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:
Jump rope
Scap wall slides
Foam roll only where needed
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
3D Band Pullapart 2x10
2x8 meter walking on hands

Fsquat- 4x5 (70%) 100
Bench 3x8 (+70%) 90 92.5 95(7x)
Single 105
2x10 (-70%) 72.5
V-handle Pushdowns 4x12 60
Pullrows 3x7 6 6 BW
Bench roman chair 3x15
Back Ext 3x15

Notes: Worked on being more explosive during front squats.

Bench grips went narrow (finger on smooth) to wide (thumb’s length from smooth) like last week. On the set where I missed a rep, poor judgment. Gotta be careful not to hit failure.

Pull-rows- tried to hold all reps for a 3 count. Felt harder than last week, probably because I’m 2.4 kilos heavier. I’ll take the 2.4kg bodyweight increase though, no complaints.

Thurs 10.11.12
Weight: 90.0
Mood: 9/10
Desire to train: 10/10
Energy: 9/10
Sleep: 7 hours

Pre-training supplement- animal pak
Peri nutrition: BCAAs

Warm-up:
Jump rope
Scap wall slides
Foam roll only where needed
Hip flexor stretch
Shoulder stretch
3D band-pullaparts 2x10
2x8 meter walking on hands

Squat- 5x3 (80%) 145 145 140 140 140
GMs 3x5 60
Dimel Deads 3x5 60
Incline Bench (max triple) 90
Press 3x5 62.5 62.5 60
Light Diamond Pushup x 15
Light Inverted Row x 20
Light Abwheel x 20
Light Back Ext x 20

Notes:

I took a look at my video after my first set of squats and noticed they were too shallow. Tried to get deeper with 145, but then I decided to lighten up a bit. Had a hard time keeping my knees fully out.

Had a strange hiccup on my last rep of incline bench. I don’t know if I’ll have 92.5 next week, especially 'cause I couldn’t keep my ass down with 90.

After the pressing I didn’t have the energy to do incline diamond pushups, so halfway through I switched to flat.