T Nation

Josgood's 5 x 5 journal

So I was doing a basic Rippetoe program for several weeks. I kept hurting my lower back, for which I am currently visiting a chiropractor. Deadlifts are out for me at this time, and I also feel that going heavy three times a week is too much to handle for now. Therefore, I will be attempting a 5 x 5 program inspired by Bill Starr’s intermediate template. Here’s what I did this week

Tuesday
Squat: 115 x 5, 135 x 5, 155 x 5, 185 x 5, 205 x 5
Bench: 95 x 5, 115 x 5, 135 x 5, 145 x 5, 155 x 5
Pullups: BW x a bunch
Back Raise/GHR hybrid: BW x a bunch

Thursday
Powerclean/ Front Squat/ Press Combo: 135 x 3 x 3 or 4
(One rep involves cleaning the weight , front squatting it twice, then push pressing it once).
DB military press: 40 x 7 or 8, 50 x 5, 50 x 5
Chinups: BW x a bunch w/ a couple slow negatives
Overhead walking lunges: 50lbs for about twenty yards
Front loaded walking lunges: 50 lbs going back
Ab rollouts: BW x several

Saturday
Squat: 135 x 5, 155 x 5, 185 x 5, 205 x 5, 215 x 3
Bench: 135 x 5 x 2, 155 x 5, 165 x 3
Chinups: BW x 4-5 x 3, 2 slow negatives
Back Raise/GHR hybrid: BW x a bunch

Today’s Workout
Squat: 115, 135, 155, 185, 215 x 5
Bench: 95, 115, 135, 155, 160 x 5
Bent DB Rows, 55, 60, 65, 65 x 5
Chest Supported Shoulder complex: 5 x a bunch
Back Raise/ Leg Raise Superset: BW x a ton
Natural GHR: BW x 6, 6, 6, 4

Decent workout today. My form was a bit off on squats, felt my weight on the balls of my feet a couple times. Also, didn’t feel real tight on the bench, like my lats weren’t supportive enough. I got through everything without hitting failure, though, so it’s all good. Looking forward to a “light” workout on Thursday.

Today
Clean/FS combo: 95 x 5, 115 x 3
Back Squat: 135, 155, 185 x 5
Push Press: 135 x 5, 155 x 2, 165 x 1
Incline DB Press: 50 x 8, 55 x 7
Seated Rows: 95 x a bunch

Some ab exercise I forget the name of: a bunch
45 degree back raises: 8 lb med ball X a bunch
My back/ posterior left hip hurt doing front squats so I switched to back squats, didn’t go quite as deep, and kept it light.

The push press turned into more of a power jerk as it got heavy, but I just wanted to throw something heavy over my head. Shoulders bugging a little on the Incline presses so I did a whole bunch of light, strict cable rows to help strengthen/ stabilize my scaps.

Finally finished off with an ab exercise I think I read about on this site. You stand sideways to a shoulder high single pulley, hold the handle at chest level, and straighten your arms. The idea is to resist rotation. Very tough and will be doing them again.

Workout from today

Squats: 225 x 3 x 8
Bench: 165 x 3 x 7
Seated Rows: 105 x 8-10 x 4
Back Extensions: BW x a bunch
Ab Wheel: BW x 5-6 x 4

So this is obviously not a 5 x 5 template. Went to the gym today with my roommate who is considering entering his first powerlifting meet early next year. He is bigger and much stronger than me so it inspired me to go a little heavier and push a little harder. The squats really kicked my ass and I barely made it through the eighth set. I may stick to this type of workout on Tuesdays and Saturdays, keeping Thursday a fairly light/ recovery day w/ some Oly lifts and front squats or light back squats.

Tonight’s late workout
powercleans from pins: 135 x 3 x 2, 155 x 0 x 3
front squat: 135 x 5 x 3
OH squat: 65 x 5 x 3
Push press/push jerk: 135 x 3 x 3
Seated Rows: 100 x 8, 115 x 7, 115 x 6
Incline Flyes: 20 x a bunch x 3
Ab Pulldowns: 115 x 5 x 2, 85 x 10-12 x 2

I started off thinking this was going to be a good workout. My back felt great all day and I was looking forward to lifting pain free. Problem was I felt really sluggish and out of whack on everything.

The second pull was coming way too late on my cleans and I failed three times to get 155 up. Pretty discouraging as I’ve done that weight before for a few singles. The rest of my lifts sucked equally and I just felt sort of run down. Saturday’s a new day though. Looking forward to a great workout this weekend.

Saturday’s workout

Incline DB bench: 40 x 8, 50 x 8, 55 x 7, 55 x 6
Incline chest supported rows: 40 x 9
Chinups: BW x 4, 3, 3, 3
45 degree back raises: BW x a bunch

Obviously this workout was very short. I was running late for work and just wanted to get some quality exercise in a short time. My legs and traps were feeling pretty banged up so I decided to concentrate on chest and upper back. The back extensions were just there for pre/re-hab on my hips and lower back. Thinking about starting Thib’s beginner oly lifting program from his Black Book. Probably going to try day one this afternoon and see how it goes.

Yesterday’s Phase One Workout(Snatch emphasis)

Hang Snatch: 65 x 5, 70 x 4, 75 x 3, 70 x 5
Snatch Grip Deadlift: 135 x 5, 135 x 4, 135 x 3
Overhead Squat: 45 x 5, 65 x 5 x 3
Overhead Shrugs: 95 x 5 x 4
Snatch Grip Bradford Press: 10’s x 10, 8’s x 10

Obviously my numbers suck, but I think this is going to be a really fun program. My traps are fried today and even my legs are a little sore. Warming up with a couple Javorek complexes is also tasking my conditioning more than any recent workout. Headed to the gym for workout two right now.

[quote]Josgood wrote:
Pullups: BW x a bunch
Back Raise/GHR hybrid: BW x a bunch
[/quote]

What’d you mean by a bunch?

Today’s workout(jerk emphasis)

Push Jerk: 95 x 5, 105 x 4, 115 x 3, 115 x 5
Bradford Press: 45 x 5, 65 x 5, 85 x 5, 85 x 5
Weighted jump squat onto box: 65 x 5 x 4
Empty bar jump squat: 45 x 6 x 4

Keeping it light again for the first workout. Everything was fairly easy. I forgot how much jump squats work your quads! Gonna be sore tomorrow, especially after the ten hour shift I’ve got coming tonight. Glad tomorrow is an off day.

[quote]pch2 wrote:
Josgood wrote:
Pullups: BW x a bunch
Back Raise/GHR hybrid: BW x a bunch

What’d you mean by a bunch? [/quote]

I mean I don’t remember. For pullups probably around twenty broken up into multiple sets. For back raises the number is probably closer to fifty split into three or four sets. Trying to do better at keeping track of exactly what i’m doing day to day. Thanks for the question.

[quote]Josgood wrote:
pch2 wrote:
Josgood wrote:
Pullups: BW x a bunch
Back Raise/GHR hybrid: BW x a bunch

What’d you mean by a bunch?

I mean I don’t remember. For pullups probably around twenty broken up into multiple sets. For back raises the number is probably closer to fifty split into three or four sets. Trying to do better at keeping track of exactly what i’m doing day to day. Thanks for the question.[/quote]

Well isn’t there a number you’re supposed to be doing?

I’m asking because I’m attempting 5x5 and for pullups I can’t get 5x5 so it’s either manage to randomly get 25 by doing odd sets of 2 and 3, or do them with some sort of assistance and get 5x5.

I should probably be shooting for 5 x 5 pullups, as per the title of my log. The back raises are really just there as rehab. One thing I’ve tried when reps per set is an issue is ladders. Basically you start with one rep, then two, then three, etc. When you can no longer perform one more rep in good form you start over at one.

I think Pavel suggested this for pullups in one of his books. It seems to be an easier way to get a lot of reps/ more practice at the lifts I suck at before fatigue kicks my ass.

today’s workout(clean emphasis)

powerclean from pins: 115 x 5, 125 x 4, 135 x 3, 125 x 5
clean grip deadlift: 135 x 5, 165 x 4, 185 x 3, 185 x 5
muscle clean: 95 x 5 x 4

Everything went really well today except the muscle cleans. I was using just a bit too much lower back and wasn’t pulling the weight very high. May have to drop about ten pounds next week. Really enjoying the first week of this program. Have to see how my wrists and shoulders feel after a few weeks though.

Today’s workout(accessory lifts)

Chest supported incline rows/ incline DB bench superset:
40 x 6, 50 x 5, 55 x 5
Box Squat: 135 x 8, 185 x 5, 205 x 5 x 2
Reverse curl/OH tricep extension superset: 50 x 8, 50 x 7, 50 x 6

This was a nice change of pace getting to do some “traditional” bodybuilding exercises. Didn’t push the weight at all on any of the lifts. Just concentrating on good form and getting stronger in the right places. Haven’t done any direct arm work in a while, which was fun.

I’ll try to bump the weight and/or reps on everything next week. This weekend I’m headed to Chicago for a mini vacation. Hopefully that won’t negatively impact my performance early next week.

[quote]Josgood wrote:
Didn’t push the weight at all on any of the lifts. Just concentrating on good form and getting stronger in the right places.[/quote]

this is my issue too. it’s frustrating because i know i can go heavier but i sacrifice form, so for my 5x5 i’m going to be trying to perfect form but still maintain semi-heavy loads.

my back is also my weak point. i’m going to be doing a lot of reverse hypers, back extensions, supermans, and prob glute/ham raises to help get it stronger.

good luck

Thanks for the encouragement. Having an injury prone lower back sucks! I’ve really gotten a lot out of regular chiro visits and ART. Sure wish I had access to a reverse hyper and/or belt squat machine. Good luck with your training.

[quote]Josgood wrote:
Thanks for the encouragement. Having an injury prone lower back sucks! I’ve really gotten a lot out of regular chiro visits and ART. Sure wish I had access to a reverse hyper and/or belt squat machine. Good luck with your training.[/quote]

Hey Josgood…I just finished the Bill Starr/Madcow 5x5 intermediate and got some decent results out of it. question about your program (and not to criticize, just curious): One of the things it was specific about was following it exactly as is and not f-ing with it. Are you just trying to keep it interesting or are you following a different variation of the program?

While I was doing a 5 x 5 program I couldn’t do deadlifts due to a lower back injury that flares up every time the weight gets moderately heavy. Any other modification was also done to spare my back. I certainly wouldn’t “f” with the program just for variety’s sake. However, I have started doing Thibs’ Oly lifting program from his Black Book of Training Secrets. I’ve done this to A) keep things interesting B) hopefully correct some postural imbalances that may make me more injury prone and C) develop explosive strength, an area in which I am sorely lacking. Maybe I should start a new thread, but this one has started getting some hits so I’ll stick with it for a while. Thanks for your questions.

Today’s morning workout(Snatch emphasis)

Hang Snatch: 65 x 5, 75 x 4, 85 x 3, 75 x 5, 85 x 4
Snatch Grip Deads: 135 x 5 x 3
OH Squat: 65 x 5, 75 x 5 x 2(wrist felt much better today)
OH Shrug: 95 x 5, 105 x 5 x 2
DB Cuban Snatch Press: 8’s x 15 x 2

Today’ workout was pretty good. The snatches felt like they were moving a little slow but I locked the weight out in the catch position every time. Really pleased with the jump in weight on OH squats. They’re f’ing hard! I think I’m going to go back this afternoon before work for an abbreviated jerk workout. Had to miss yesterday cause I got home late from Chicago and I don’t want to get behind. Maybe two workouts like this in one day is crazy but doing it once shouldn’t kill me. I hope.

Today’s afternoon workout(Jerk emphasis)

Push Jerk: 95 x 5, 105 x 4, 115 x 3, 135 x 5, 145 x 4
Bradford Press, 95 x 5 x 2, 95 x 3(Damnit!!!)
Weighted jump squat: 65 x 5 x 4
Empty Bar Jump Squat: 45 x 6 x 3

Maybe it’s a little crazy, but I decided to cram two workouts into a six hour period. The push jerks went really well but the Bradford presses sucked. Probably because my shoulders were wiped out from this morning and from the heavy(for me) push jerks. Hopefully they’ll go better next week.