T Nation

Hey, Is This Thing On?

Hello all.

Well, guess I’ve been off the O35 grid for somewhere around 3 years now. In that time, we moved away from Northern Virginia and back to WV, where I’m a professor at WVU. Life has thrown us some challenges with my oldest son being diagnosed on the autism spectrum, but luckily we live in a college town and that has given us access to a lot of high-quality therapy that we wouldn’t have even been able to get back in VA without bleeding us dry.

Throw in taking care of another young 'un, who is now 3, and needless to say finding time to train wasn’t easy. Of course I found every excuse not to train and when I did manage to get into the garage, I couldn’t keep any kind of consistency. Adding in dropping down to about 180 pounds, and I lost a good bit of strength from my competing days.

I’m starting a log on here now with the intention of keeping myself accountable to getting into the gym on a consistent basis. So here we go.

I have been following some basic programs from Greg Nuckols’ website for the past few months and my strength and conditioning levels have improved enough that I want to work my back into something a little more challenging.

So, tonight I started the Extended Russian Training Routine, which is basically just the 6-wk Russian Squat Routine stretched out to a 9-week period and incorporates the other 2 lifts in a similar periodized fashion. It can be tough, but it’s manageable as long as you use training max #s and not psyched out 1RMs, don’t try to do a bunch of assistance work or try to do on a ramen noodle diet.

The training maxes I’m using are 305 squat (beltless, high bar - sad, I know :frowning: ); 270 bench and 365 DL (also beltless).

Wk 1 Day 1

Squat 245x6x2

Bench press 215x6x3

And that’s all I did. Not much to write home about, really. Squats were solid and no real problems with the bench press either, even allowing for some decent length pauses on each rep.

Good to see you back. Life has a way of getting in the way sometimes, doesn’t it.

I follow some of Nuckol’s stuff as well.

Welcome back stranger…

Glad your back. Looks like a good programming choice to me.

Week 1 Day 2

Close-grip bench 185x3x6
Deadlift (beltless) 295x6x3
Chin-ups BWx3x6
Band pushdowns 3x15

Instead of just doing deadlifts today, I added in a couple of assistance exercises. I won’t be doing anything crazy, just some things to balance out training a bit. The pulls were easy and the progression over the next several weeks should work pretty well as long as I get sufficient calories and good sleep.

Week 1 Day 3

High bar squats 245x6x3

Bench press 215x6x2

Had to finish this session a little faster than I wanted, but weights moved nice and easy.

Week 2 Day 1

High bar squats 245x6x2

Bench press 215x6x4

Long day at work and just assumed it would be a lousy session, but surprisingly went by pretty well. Go figure.

Week 2 Day 2

Close-grip Bench Press 185x4x5

Deadlift (beltless) 295x6x4

Pull-ups BWx3x6

Band pushdowns 3x15

Funny how adding just one rep in each set of DLs was so noticeable versus last week. Can’t wait for 6x5 next week and 6x6 the week after, lol.

Week 2 Day 3

High-bar Squats 245x6x4

Bench press 215x6x2

Squats felt nice and easy, and the 6x2 is a good back-off from the heavier day but doesn’t go so light that it becomes boring.

Week 3 Day 1

High-bar Squats 245x6x2

Bench Press 215x6x5

This week and next week are going to be fun with the 6x5s and 6x6s for each of the big lifts. I didn’t have any noticeable difficulty with the bench reps, but it was tough especially given how hot it was in the garage at the time. Can’t wait for the 6x5 on deadlift tomorrow :unamused:

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Week 3 Day 2

Close-grip bench press 185x8x3

Deadlifts 295x6x5

Pull-ups BWx2x8

Solid day. Pulls weren’t too bad, but I was feeling it by the last set and my hands got a good working over from pulling all those reps double overhand with the Texas Power Bar.

Good lifting here. Garage is probably better than gym membership.

Week 3 Day 3

High-bar squats 245x6x5

Bench press 215x6x2

Hammer curls 45x2x10

Good bar speed on the squats all the way through the 6th set. Next week is the big 6x6 week that a lot of people crash and burn on with this program, but I think I’ll handle it just fine.

Week 4 Day 1

High-bar squats 245x6x2

Bench press 215x6x6

Legs were still decently sore from squatting on Friday but slowly worked out the kinks as the sets went along. Bench was surprisingly easy and cranked out all the reps without much of a fight to speak of. Deadlifting for 6x6 comes up next. Should be fun.

Week 4 Day 2

Close-grip Bench press 185x6x3

Deadlifts (sans belt) 295x6x6

Chin-ups BWx2x8

Don’t think I’ve done this many reps on DL work sets in a loooooooong time. Probably gonna be feeling this one for a couple of days.

Oh come on, it was only one more set than last time. You’ll be alright.

Technically, it was just 1 more rep per set, but it did add up to the equivalent of an extra set.

Week 4 Day 3

High-bar squats 245x6x6

Bench press 215x6x2

Squats weren’t what I’d call easy, but had a couple of reps left in the tank after each set. Still, the volume from this week has been pretty tough and it’ll be nice to taper down the reps and bump up the poundage some down the stretch run these next several weeks.

Week 5 Day 1

High-bar squats 245x6x2

Bench press 230x5x5

Hammer curls 45x2x8

DB raise circuit 2x8

Finally get to add a little weight to the bar instead of the same ol’ same ol’ that I’ve been using the past several weeks. Bench reps were solid, with the only real challenge on the very last rep of the 5th set.