T Nation

Journey to 1000 Pounds

I started training seriously early last year before being called up for enlistment in November. Lifting heavy stuff was replaced by loads of running and bodyweight PT. As a naturally small guy (1.65m), going from 53kg to 68kg and then back to 60kg in two months left me pretty much having to start from scratch.

About a month ago I decided that I wanted some size and strength back and at the same time maintaining a decent level of conditioning, so naturally 5/3/1 came to mind.

Here’s today’s training from the start of my 4th cycle of 5/3/1:

C4W1 - 13 October 2012

Military Press
20kg x 5
30kg x 3
37.5kg x 5
42.5kg x 5
47.5kg x 5 - was all i could get today, have to amp up my recovery somehow

Deadlift
60kg x 5
72.5kg x 3
82.5kg x 3
92.5kg x 3
105kg x 3 x 3 - trying out 3/5/1 for powerlifting for the big 3 this cycle, these two extra sets were in place of couple of heavier singles

Dips superset DB rows
3 sets of BW x 10 / 20kg x 10

Pushups
6 sets of 8 with 40s rest (2020 tempo) - went to failure on the last few reps on the last couple of sets, had to finish them kneeling

Indoor rowing machine
500m in 2:01

Hex DB holds
6kg x 30s
8kg x 30s
10kg x 25s - to failure. Threw these in because grip has been a problem for me

Next squat and bench session will probably be on wed, looking forward to using the new bar i just bought today :slight_smile:

Hit a nearby reservoir for some trail running with a friend who’s also in the army. Completed the 4.8km route in about 22:18, which left me pretty gassed but was a walk in the park for him (he’s aiming to clock around 18:30 in a race on the same route). Then we followed it up with some bodyweight PT, which was a reminder of how much my muscular endurance sucks haha.

Back in camp last night. Did a slow jog for PT this morning as recovery (4.2km in about 32 mins) and hit the gym for some back work.

Back - 15 October 2012

Weighted Pullups
BW x 5
10kg x 3
20kg x 3 x 8

Seated Rows
30kg x 10
43kg x 10
57kg x 10 x 3 - form wasn’t as clean as I wanted it to be on the last few reps

DB Shrugs
10kg x 12 x 3 - these were held for a 3s flex at the top

Face pulls - 100 reps

Grip work
Static hang from pull up bar with 10kg for 45s

Plate pinches - 2 x 5kg plates for 3 sets to failure which was about 45s generally

Now it seems like there might be some outfield exercise on Wednesday night so the chances of getting in a squat and bench session is slim. We’ll see how it goes but worst case scenario would be training on Friday evening which isn’t as bad as it sounds. Hopefully the extra rest might help :slight_smile:

Good news - the exercise has been postponed to the first week of Dec which means training will go on as usual without any hiccups. This morning we did some metabolic conditioning in SBO (skeletal battle order), helmet and all.

3 rounds of
155mm round shoulder carry for 100m
Farmer’s walk with jerrycans (about 20kg in each hand) for 50m
Partner drag for 10m
Sprint 20m
Leopard crawl 10m
Mobility run around cones
Fireman carry for 50m

This really reminds me of CrossFit…

C4W1 - 17 October 2012

YTWLs
Light shoulder pressing

Squat
20kg x 5
40kg x 5
57.5kg x 5
67.5kg x 5
77.5kg x 10

Bench
20kg x 5, 10
40kg x 3
47.5kg x 5
55kg x 5
62.5kg x 10

Good Mornings
20kg x 8
25kg x 8
30kg x 8 x 3 - adding an extra set to these next week

Incline DB Press
16kg x 10
18kg x 10 x 2

Explosive Push-ups
2 rounds of
4 sets x 10 seconds
40 seconds rest
8 min rest in between rounds

First time training at my condo’s gym, having the rack to my friend and I can’t be bad in any case :slight_smile:

C4W1 - 20 October 2012

Decided to repeat military press and deadlift for week 1, both of which will be back to the 5/3/1 scheme.

Military Press
20kg x 5
30kg x 3
37.5kg x 5
42.5kg x 5
47.5kg x 6 - 1 rep PR. Taking it slow and steady

Deadlift
60kg x 5
75kg x 5
87.5kg x 5
100kg x 15 - 5 rep PR and grip felt real good on these. Double overhand all the way until the last few reps. I accredit this to both the knurling of my new bar as well as the past couple of grip work sessions. Gonna have to keep these up.

Then, 3 rounds of:
1/2/3/4/5 reps of 30kg thrusters on the half minute. Cleaned the bar for every set. Traps are aching much today!

I’m gonna be home this whole week so I literally have all the time to train. Might add in a little more volume since food and recovery are going to be more optimal than usual.

Back + Arms - 21 October 2012

Weighted Pull Ups
BW x 5
10kg x 3
20kg x 4/4/4/4/4/4 - Really had to crank these out today
BW x 12

Preacher Zottman Curls
8kg x 5/5/5/5/5 - 41X0 tempo

Standing One Arm DB Press
10kg x 5/5/5/5/5 - 40X0 tempo

Incline DB Curls
8kg x 8/8/8/8 - 40X0 tempo

Dips
BW x 8/8/8/5/3 - 30X0 tempo. Will try to get all 8 reps next time.

Arm work was kept to 30s rest in between sets.

Hex DB Holds
8kg x 35s/25s/25s - Each set was done to failure with about 1 min rest between sets.

Explosive Push Ups
5 sets x 10 seconds
40 seconds rest in between sets

C4W2 - 24 October 2012

Started with some snatches from the hip and hang position with just the bar.

Back Squat
20kg x 5
40kg x 5
55kg x 3
62.5kg x 3
72.5kg x 3
80kg x 3 x 3

Bench
20kg x 5
35kg x 5
45kg x 3
52.5kg x 3
60kg x 3
67.5kg x 3 x 3

Good Morning
20kg x 8
30kg x 8 x 4

DB row
10kg x 10
20kg x 5
30kg x 10
20kg x 20

Then had an awesome homemade smoothie consisting of 200ml whole milk, 1 scoop whey, 1 banana and 1 tbsp natural peanut butter. Works out to about 465 calories, 17.6g fat, 43g carb and 35.4g protein. Best way I’ve ever had whey haha.

Also, have been reading about how Olympic lifts can be great for back development and watching a couple of Glenn Pendlay’s tutorials recently. Decided to add them at the start of every strength session as well as an optional day each week to work up to a heavy single, depending on how I feel about my recovery levels. Adding in some overhead and front squats as well.

This is how the basic template will look like:
Monday (optional)
Heavy snatch
Heavy clean
Overhead Squat

Wednesday
Light snatch practice
Back Squat
Bench
Good Morning

Saturday
Light clean practice
Press
Front Squat
Deadlift

Sunday
Maybe some back, arms and grip work

This is what will work on typical weeks. However since I have got a little more time than usual on my hands this week I might just get some cleans and front squats done on Friday first.

Cleans + Front Squat - 26 October 2012

Hang Cleans
Bar x 3 reps x many sets
30kg x 3 x 3

Power Cleans from floor
40kg x 3
45kg x 3
50kg x 3
55kg x 3
60kg x 2 - Form was breaking down

Front Squat
20kg x 5
40kg x 3
45kg x 3
50kg x 2
55kg x 1
60kg x 1
65kg x 1
70kg x 1
75kg x 1
80kg x 1 - The idea is to start with 5 sets of 3 with 40kg next week and increase a set each week until 8 sets of 3 have been completed, following which 5kg will be added and I will start with 5 sets of 3 again

C4W2 - 27 October 2012

Military Press
20kg x 5,3
30kg x 3
40kg x 3
45kg x 3
50kg x 3,3,3 - Heavy but easy. Tightening my whole body really makes a helluva difference.

Deadlift
60kg x 5
72.5kg x 3
82.5kg x 3
92.5kg x 3
105kg x 3,3,3

Then messed around with some klokov presses with the empty bar. Shoulders didn’t feel good after 20+ reps with the bar…

Finished with military pressing again - AMRAP in 2 mins with the bar - 34 reps. This was brutal. I think 50 reps is a good short term target. Gotta learn how to pace myself and fight the lactic acid.

29 October 2012

Conditioning - 4.2km in 24 mins

Weighted Pull Ups
BW x 5
10kg x 3
20kg x 5,5,5,5,5 - I don’t know how I managed to eke these out. First set already seemed like a grinder. Took 3-5 mins rest between sets.

DB row
17.5kg x 20 - these were done with strict form

Preacher Zottman Curls
7.5kg x 5,5,5,5,5 - Didn’t want to jump to 10kg so quickly.

Standing One Arm DB Press
10kg x 5,5,5,5,5 - Time to up the weight on these.

Incline DB curls
7.5kg x 8,8,8,8

Dips
BW x 8,8,8,8 - 3 second eccentric on these.

Arm work was done with 4 second eccentrics and rest periods were kept <30s.

30 October 2012

Messed around with some pistols, turkish get ups, as well as some DB snatches and pull ups.

DB Snatch
17.5kg x 5,5,5,5,5 - 5 reps per arm. These were done alternating with a friend of mine, the rest periods being as long as how long the other person took to complete the reps. These were extremely effective for a short metcon.

Pull Ups
For 3 rounds:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 reps done every 30 seconds.

31 October 2012 - C4W3

Hang Power Snatch
Bar x 3 x 5
22.5kg x 3 x 3

Back Squat
20kg x 10
40kg x 5
55kg x 5
67.5kg x 5
80kg x 3
85kg x 1 - decided to experiment with some 3/2/1 wave loading at this point
80kg x 3, 85kg x 2, 90kg x 1
85kg x 3, 90kg x 1 (forgot that this was supposed to be 2 reps), 95kg x 1
90kg x 3, 95kg x 2 PR, 100kg x 1 PR

Bench
20kg x 10
40kg x 5
55kg x 5
62.5kg x 3
70kg x 1
67.5kg x 3, 70kg x 2, 72.5kg x 1
70kg x 3, 72.5kg x 2, 75kg x 1
72.5kg x 3, 75kg x 1 - decided to stop here because I wasn’t 100% confident of getting the 2nd rep and plus the fact that I didn’t have a spotter. For some reason the 2nd 75kg seemed a little easier than the first.

Good Morning
20kg x 8
30kg x 8 x 5

Incline DB Bench
16kg x 10
18kg x 8
20kg x 6
10kg x 30 in 2 mins - this was brutal

Liking the feel of wave loading so far, will probably include it in the 5/3/1 week. I like that for some reason the weights don’t feel as heavy as they should. Pretty satisfied with a squat PR and hitting 2 heavy singles on bench. In other news, might give carb backloading a go and see how it works for me.

2 November 2012

C4W3 - Military Press

Hang Power Clean + Press
20kg x 3 x 4
20kg x 3 (1 + 5)
30kg x 3 (1 + 3)
40kg x 3 (1 + 3)

Military Press
50kg x 3, 52.5kg x 2, 55kg x 1
52.5kg x 3, 55kg x 2, 57.5kg x 1
55kg x 2 - couldn’t get the third rep, cut the set here
60kg x 1 - because I felt like it. This equals my all time PR at 68kg BW. So this is very good for me at 61kg BW now.

Push Press
60kg x 3 x 3

Wave loaded for the press as well, think it’s going to appear in my training every month or so. Deadlifts, front squats, and some DB snatches and plate swings (in lieu of KBs) for a metcon are going to be on the menu this weekend :slight_smile:

3 November 2012

C4W3 - Deadlift

Front Squat
20kg x 5
30kg x 3
40kg x 3 - just to warm up

Deadlift
60kg x 5
80kg x 3
95kg x 3
110kg x 3, 115kg x 2, 120kg x 1
115kg x 3, 120kg x 2, 125kg x 1
120kg x 3, 125kg x 2, 130kg x 1 PR

Haven’t pulled heavy for some time, and realised hips are shooting up way too early. Lower back is still relatively neutral though. Gotta find some ways to remedy it.

5 November 2012

Weighted Pull Ups
BW x 5
10kg x 7, 15kg x 5, 20kg x 3
15kg x 7, 20kg x 5, 25kg x 2

Tried out wave loading for pull ups as well. Almost got the third rep!

Then, 5 rounds for time:
2 pull ups
4 squat cleans (40kg)
6 DB snatches (18kg, 3 reps per side)
8 plate swings (15kg, in lieu of KBs)

8:51 - this reminded me of how much my conditioning sucks. This was worse than any form of running I’ve done recently. Was gasping for air pretty hard and sweating buckets with the air conditioning on full blast. Might switch the order of pull ups and squat cleans though so that I would be doing 4 and 2 reps of each respectively. Makes more sense to me.

7 November 2012

Some intervals in preparation for my timed 1.5 mile run happening in the near future - not sure exactly when but I figured now was a good time to resume serious conditioning.

2 sets of
3 x 400m @ 1:30 with 3:00 rest in between reps, 10 min rest after the first set

C5W1

Squat
20kg x 10
40kg x 5
55kg x 5
65kg x 5
75kg x 5
85kg x 8, 2 - about 1 min rest after the first 8 reps

Bench
20kg x 10
30kg x 5
40kg x 5
50kg x 5
57.5kg x 5
65kg x 10, 3 - same as the above

Good Morning
20kg x 10
30kg x 10 x 4

DB Row
10kg x 10
20kg x 10 x 3 - really tried to feel the lats on every rep but it seems like my mid-back feels more sore instead :confused:

9 November 2012

C5W1

Military Press
20kg x 5
30kg x 5
37.5kg x 5
42.5kg x 5
47.5kg x 7, 3 - seems pretty odd to me that my calculated max for the military press is lower than my actual 1RM, but who cares right

Push Press
50kg x 3
55kg x 3
60kg x 3
62.5kg x 3 PR
65kg x 0 - ran out of gas haha

So, I began the recalibration phase of carb backloading on last Fri, 2 Nov, and ended it with a big ass Chinese feast last night after my pressing session. Would have been better if I had got deadlifts in as well but I was still aching pretty badly from the intervals and squats and unfortunately was pressed for time as well.

I have to be in camp tonight till Monday afternoon so we’ll see how I’ll be able to fit in this week’s deadlifts and next week’s squats and bench in the span of this afternoon, Monday evening (unlikely), the whole of Tuesday (public holiday yay) and Wednesday evening.

10 November 2012

C5W1

Warmed up with some overhead and front squats with the bar

Romanian Deadlift
20kg x 10
40kg x 5

Deadlift
60kg x 5
70kg x 5
80kg x 5
90kg x 5
102.5kg x 5 x 3 sets

Lat Pulldowns
60 x 10
70 x 10
80 x 10
90 x 10
90 x 10

Ended with some hex DB holds for grip work. In other news bought some chalk today, we’ll see how it helps my grip for my next deadlift session.

13 November 2012

C5W2

Warmed up with some overhead squats with the bar

Back Squat
20kg x 5
40kg x 5
55 kg x 5
70 kg x 3
80 kg x 3
90 kg x 5
67.5 kg x 10 - could probably have hit 20 reps with this

Felt really good today, unfortunately didn’t have much time in the gym.

14 November 2012

C5W2

Bench Press
20 kg x 10
40 kg x 5
52.5 kg x 3
60 kg x 3
70 kg x 5, 2

DB Row
10 kg x 5
20 kg x 15
20 kg x 15

Tried “bending” the bar on the eccentric and “pulling” the bar apart on the concentric portion of the bench but it felt weird for some reason especially for the lighter sets. I think as a result I didn’t focus too much on the explosiveness and my last couple of sets didn’t feel as good as I hoped they would have been.