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Heavytriple's Journey to 500/600/700 at 198


Oh hai!! Time for a new log. Old one had a great run, but new goals warrant a fresh start. Link to original

4/5/6 was a goal that I really wanted. And it just occurred to me that I achieved that goal in competition at my last meet with lifts of 501.6/418.9/600.9. That said, there's no such thing as "good enough" to me, so onward and upward.

500 has always been my long term bench goal; 600 has always sounded good for squat; and 700 is a pretty stout deadlift...and there we are. That would also put me among the best 198s, so there's that.

Current bests:
515 Gym squat

530 Meet squat

455 Gym Bench

450 Meet Bench

640 Gym Deadlift

Instagram Danny Amon on Instagram: “640x1 SICKENING CHEATER DEADLIFT EASY SPEED PULL @198 (9 RPE). 20-lb PR LOLLLLL 495x1 RAWWWWW squat #PR before this @9 RPE. Best decision…”

623 Meet Deadlift

Recent meets:
Beast of the Bluegrass, 1443@197 (5/17/14)
SPF Own the Day, 1521.4@196.6 (9/13/14)
SPF Beast of the bluegrass 1545 (4/2?/15) (no wraps)
USPA Bourbon Barrel Bash, 1581 (8/23/15) (no wraps)

My training philosophy is a healthy mixture of frequency/volume/intensity in big compounds with minimal assistance work. I do some isolation, but it's never a focus. I do plenty of stretching and mobility work, so if you're interested in that, just ask and I'll be happy to discuss it.

I'm also currently cutting my way to true leanness, as in a true 10-12%. So I'll definitely pic whore in this log as well.

I do online training, so if you're interested in custom programming you can contact me through Facebook or instagram. I'm a personal trainer with over three years experience training average joes, athletes and everything in between. Anything you see in here is also of my own design, as I do all my own programming. Happy training :slightly_smiling:

-Danny Amon


In4 big dick swangin


Thank you, Bas3d Damon.


The Knee

So, a little history and some insight into my numbers and why the squat and dead are so mediocre. The attached image is my knee in June of 2012 right after I had an Aneurysmal bone cyst removed from my patella. It was immobilized for 6 weeks, and it was hilariously atrophied after that. As you might imagine, my leg lifts went into the pooper.

Now that's not to say it's the only reason for my weak squat/dead. I didn't really train either from 20-25, and I had small, weak legs because of it. I had worked my way up to a wrapped 465x3 just before my knee pain got unbearable, and that was in the summer of 2011. With attempts at rehab before we knew the problem, I lost about a year of squatting before I ever had surgery. Combine that with rehab after it, and I lost 2 full years of squatting anything over 225. It then took another year to return to my strength levels before surgery. In fact, I tied my previous unwrapped PR 2 days before the two year anniversary of my surgery.

Because I'm not an average joe with no mental toughness I was able to cut about a year off of full recovery time. This particular malady being so rare (lucky me :D), there were only case studies and vague outlines in the literature to give me an idea of what to expect, but 3 years seemed to be a consensus.

I was pretty much pain free in squatting by 1.5 years, though I'd have bouts of soreness here and there. Now at 2+ I'm squatting 3x weekly without any interference or protest. I get occasional soreness with big swings in weather because of the pressure drop, but I'm about 95%. There's also no issue with running or jumping anymore, which is unique to the last 6 months. I'm a very happy camper considering 50 years ago I would have limped around the rest of my life.

Interesting to note that the change in my gait for that extended period before the knee was fully functional has led to long term issues with my hip flexor on the left side. I was walking with a hip rotation for a long time without knowing it, and I think that did it. I also have back pain on that side probably for the same reason. Mobility work and tissue work on the hop flexor have helped tremendously with both issues. Become a supple leopard if you want to stay in this game, people.

If anyone has any questions relevant to the surgery and how I came back, feel free to ask.


Good luck man, I'll be reading




definitely in to learn


So ultimately you can get stronger by getting more efficient via the nervous system or adding muscle cross-sectional area. Basically what a hugely arched bench does is limit the muscle that can contribute to the lift, which is in contrast to factor 2 above. The pecs produce the biggest force vector in a slight decline, or what you would get out of a minimal arch. Anything past that point begins to take the upper part of the pecs with its fibers that run directly across the chest out of the lift. This, in turn, removes a big contributor to the force production against gravity. From a holistic standpoint, you might get a short term bump from a big arch, but you have much greater potential in the long term by flattening out to a degree and optimizing the involvement of your prime movers. The pecs are the biggest muscle group in the lift and it's downright silly to not get the most out of them. Furthermore, you can always add more muscle to the prime movers and get stronger that way in addition to learning how to improve muscle fiber recruitment via technique. So it's the best of both worlds.

As for the lats, the short version is they just aren't in an anatomical position to contribute much. The common sciency argument is that when the elbows move past the midline the lats can pull them back to the midline (up in the bench) via contraction. While this is true, it would only really be relevant to someone with a huge arch. Most everyone doesn't have the necessary elbow travel for this to be a factor. And the reason for that is the issue of length/tension. Muscles have the greatest tension when they are the most lengthened, and the lats are almost fully contracted in the scenario above and thus have very little room to apply force. In addition, the lack of tension, stretch reflex and potential energy that are present in the prime movers (due to the fact that they are stretched out) further limits the lats. So you're looking at an almost fully contracted muscle that already had a very limited potential to begin with, so it's just not going to be very much of a factor. Furthermore, if it actually was doing much of anything in an arched bench, the elbows would be coming into the body initially as the bar moved off the chest, and I don't think I've ever seen that.

Lost in the lat argument is the very real importance of the traps. No one really talks about them, but the traps are the main mover of the scapulae. Everyone has heard the cue "pull your shoulder blades together," and this is done by the traps and rhomboids. Pulling the scapulae down is the lower trap primarily with an assist from the lats, but they just cross the scapulae and aren't the primary stabilizer. So essentially all the cues we hear for the eccentric are being executed by the traps first and foremost in guiding bar bath while the prime movers control the speed of descent.

I started to develop this philosophy when I noticed all of the old middleweight records seemed to be from guys with minimal arches, and none of the current huge benchers in the raw division have excessive arches that I can think of either. Additionally, I collected some pilot data for thesis research trying to determine lat activation, and it just wasn't there.

For a big bench, optimize the involvement of the pecs, anterior delts and triceps. Get them bigger with volume work, and stop worrying so much about the tiny contribution of the lats.

My favorite cue is to "reach the chest to the bar," which really gets my upper back to fire correctly. You'll notice Chest cave when the upper back is too weak.

--->post I made in Facebook strength crew. Will add to it, but it's a good synopsis of my feelings on bench.



And this one for anything else


Week 1 post meet:

Pause Squat

Stiff DL

Felt good...no issues with my back and didn't feel rundown at all.




Supersetted with pull-ups

Sled Push
180x6 rounds



Wide-grip DL

Reverse Hyper

Going to do more reps on DL, light and touch and go as another hamstring builder.



Incline Bench

Push Press

Bb Row
Pulled with my pinkie instead of my index finger side ...huge difference in how the lat engages.

Power Clean
Threw a few front squats in there.

High Bar Squat


Sumo DL



Circus DB
100x5 each arm x2
Used a regular dumbell and did a strict press.

Wide pull-up

Week 1 notes
The big three were all around 80%, and I didn't feel overworked. Over the next three weeks I'm going go to increase weight and volume each week. Really loved the 6 day template with different lift variations, and I'm going to add some accessory work in as well. Missed one LISS session, but will get it in week 2.



Pause Squat

Stiff DL

Huge refeed on Sunday and I felt great during this one.


355x5, 5, 5, 8
All reps paused except for a few on the AMAP set.


Sled Push
200x5 rounds

Most volume I've ever done on that bench weight. Forearm is getting better.



Wide DL
Beltless. Lost grip on the first set because I didn't have chalk on. Slow eccentric on all.

HIIT cardio the day before squats isn't the best idea, it seems. Duh, Danny. Will switch to LISS next week after benching. Still happy with how I felt after jumping 20 pounds on squat.

I also reordered my low carb day to be on Monday and moderate on Tuesday to properly prepare for squats. This was a huge success, and I think it will even help with fat loss. I honestly don't need a moderate carb up on Monday anyway because I have so much left in the tank from Sunday.



Incline Bench
I think that was a pr, but don't really know because I don't really train incline.

Push Press

Wide Row

Shoulder is still a little aggravated, but getting better. No pain on any sets, so not anything serious I don't think.


No problems at all from your knee? I don't just mean in terms of lifting but in terms of daily life in its entirety.


In for g4p pics

Diet info? Macros and cycle? So pretty much an upper lower split?


None at all. I think so far I avoided the recurrence of the cyst, so that's good. Within the last 6 months I'm essentially pain free. I never feel it when squatting, walking up stairs, running, nada. I get occasional aching with big swings in weather, and it will generally be a touch more tender than the opposite knee post training. But I'd say 95% is a good estimate.

That being said, I have some very real hip issues on that side. I get popping and minor pain, and that hip flexor is always angry. But that's something I'm managing and reducing over time through mobility and tissue work, plus awareness of my gait.


Ask and ye shall receive :wink:


Basic calorie deficit. At this point I have no idea where I started, but I've been adjusting down on carbs and fat every few weeks, and now I'm doing more cardio to help the deficit.

Current macros are 250/200/45 p/c/f one day, then 250/80/60 the next. I'm not willing to cut carbs anymore, so I guess my best option is to add even more cardio if I stall.

The refeed is huge, so my daily averages are actually much better looking than those numbers. I eat without restriction on Sundays and am probably getting 4000+ with tons of carbs at minimum. I reordered my moderate carb days to be before each lower body day.

Split is upper/lower, yes, but of my own design. I'm currently adding weight and volume each week for the 4 week post-meet period, and it's working as a bastardized accumulation block, albeit short. Technically I'm training back every day since I'm doing deads on every lower day. Theory being that postural/anti-gravity muscles have a much higher threshold for frequency and respond really well to it.



Power Clean
Front squats here and there.

High bar squat

LISS cardio

Aiming for 3 sets at 415 next time. Power cleans are feeling good.


Sounds like a solid plan. No idea how long you've been dieting but may be time to switch to maintence/reverse diet mode for a bit and then back into diet mode. Like you said those totals are low and yeah the large refeed helps but with a couple cycles of reverse and maintenance and back to dieting should have you able to lose at much higher macro level each day along with a refeed. And taking the maintenance and RD phase slow means no backward steps in fat gain will happen. Just a thought. I also forgot how long you have to hit the leanness and weight you want.


I know you already sort of answered this, but...

Do you consciously try to be in a certain weight class, or do you just train to be as strong as possible with weight gain being a pleasant side effect of your strength gains?

I know some people will go to the point of limiting their diet so that they don't jump classes, while others seem to just work on the numbers and figure out what weight class they are going to be in a few months before their meet.