Just. Don't. Suck (Part 1)

Alright, I’ve been convinced to start a log. This will be the third way I track my training (written log and phone app til now).


Born in 1984. Married in 2008. Daughter born in 2013. Son born in 2016.

Current profession/job: Police Officer

Dream job: High School Strength & Conditioning Coach (not actually a thing where I live–just the football coach who teaches something else)

I have a B.A. in Exercise Science and two certifications from the National Strength & Conditioning Association–Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and Tactical Strength & Conditioning Facilitator.

I don’t really train or coach anyone but offer my advice and programs freely (maybe I’ll take money someday). I’m currently trying to create an officer wellness program for my department so I can combine my passion with my paycheck and benefits.

My training goals change from time to time. Some weeks I’m pursuing strength, some it’s size, some it’s conditioning… I am the walking definition of workout ADD. I write my own stuff as well as following other people’s stuff. I learn best by doing. But regardless of my current pursuit the goal is to always be athletic and able to perform at a high level.

Injury History - surgery on right shoulder in 2004 (capsular plication to tighten it up), surgery on right knee in 2008 (subluxed patella), surgery on left hip in 2017 (torn hip labrum), surgery on right shoulder in 2019 (biceps tenodesis)

Alright, enough babbling…

Added current and desired PRs 4.25.17.


I’ll have to back up a bit so this contains a whole week.

Monday 4/3/17
Power Clean 5x2 with 255lbs
405lb Deadlift Challenge–6 minutes
Pull-Ups 2x10, 10-3-3 (double rest/pause)
Single-arm Barbell Row 95x3, 100x2, 105x1, 100x3, 105x2, 110x1, 105x3, 110x2, 115x7
Straight Bar Curl 2x6, 10-3-3 (double rest/pause)

Tuesday 4/4/17
Squat 275x3, 285x2, 295x1, 285x3, 295x2, 305x1
Partial Squat 2x5 with 325lbs
Seated Shoulder Press 125x3, 135x2, 145x1, 135x3, 145x2, 155x1, 145x3, 155x0
Partial Seated Shoulder Press 2x5 with 155lbs
Bench 225x3, 235x2, 245x1, 235x3, 245x2, 255x1, 245x3, 255x1
Partial Bench 2x5 with 275lbs

Wednesday 4/5/17
Needed some cardio today so started with 10 minutes of EMOM:
Hang Clean x5, Deadlift x5 with 135lbs (tougher than I thought)

Pull-ups 2x10, 10-3-3 (double rest/pause)
Rev Grip B.O. Row 195x7, 205x5, 215x3, 205x7, 215x5, 225x3

***As you can see I’ve combined some different stuff from CT’s programs. I enjoy the double rest/pause on pull-ups and arms and I’m trying out wave training. For now I’m doing 3/2/1 the first two workouts of the week, 7/5/3 for workouts 3 & 4, and if I manage to squeeze in workouts 5 & 6 I’ll do 5/4/3/2/1. I imagine I won’t be able to run this for long before CNS fatigue catches up to me but it’s fun to try new stuff. I’ve always loved adding weight and dropping reps from one set to the next.

Oh yeah, and the partials…working out an experiment of mine. I set the safety bars and do partial reps with a weight that I can’t currently do. Every two weeks I’m going to drop the bars one spot and continue until (hopefully) I get down to full reps. We’ll see how that goes. As you can see my bench and squat are in a bad place at the moment. I focused on front squat for awhile and dropped barbell bench to let a nagging injury heal up. My PR’s are 365 on squat and 300 on bench so to be struggling at 305 and 255 is quite humbling.


So in for this!

Also following, in particular how you program your cleans and the different way you train.

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In, how do you do your your partials for Squat and Press. Into a power rack or?

I have a half power rack at home. I just set the safety bars at my depth and do touch and go for now. I’ll do a complete stop so I lose the benefit of the stretch reflex occasionally too.

@caesium32 here’s my clean workout:

Week 1: power clean 12 reps @ 80%
Clean pull 12 reps 50lbs heavier than cleans
Week 2: power clean 12 reps @ 82.5%
Clean pull 12 reps
Week 3: power clean 12 reps @ 85%
Clean pull 12 reps
Week 4: power clean 10-12 reps @ 87.5%
Clean pull 10-12 reps
Week 5: power clean 10 reps @ 90%
Clean pull 10 reps
Week 6: power clean 8-10 reps @ 92.5%
Clean pull 8-10 reps
Week 7: power clean 8 reps @ 95%
Clean pull 8 reps
Week 8: power clean 6 reps @ 97.5%
Clean pull 6 reps
Week 9: power clean 6 reps @ 100%
Clean pull 6 reps
Week 10: retest max


Thanks that’s great, are those total reps? Do you typically stick to lower rep sets with them? And do you do them from the hang?

I’ve just started doing hang power cleans recently with light weights and I think I prefer them to deadlifts.

I do power cleans from the floor. The power part means I catch it in a power position and not the rock bottom front squat position.

Those are my total reps and I split them up however I need to for the day. 4x3, 6x2, 2/2/1/1, and 6x1 at the end.

I modified a 6 week program I found online. It called for sets of 1 the entire time and the pulls were on a separate day from the clean. I don’t have the patience for 12 sets of 1 at 80% so I changed it.

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That’s brilliant, thank you for all the info!

Edit: I asked about the hang because of your comment above about doing touch and go but I now realise you were talking about partial squats.

Well today didn’t turn out quite like I’d hoped. Baby boy woke me up at 5am, ate til 530 which left me in no man’s land. Up earlier than necessary but not early enough to work out. Had range training from 0800-1130. Simunitions Scenario Training started at 1300. So once again, more time than I needed for lunch, but not enough time to swing by the gym (range is about 20 minutes out of town).

1300-1820 scenario training. Spent the afternoon going through about eleven different scenarios. Some of these were made-up scenarios and some were actual 911 calls from our Department. On the plus side, I only got shot once. That particular scenario had us stand 10 feet apart and shoot at each other when the instructor said “Fire!” Talk about a wild west stand off. The surprise was that the gun they gave us wasn’t loaded so when you fired you got a click and had to figure out what the hell happened and fix it. I took a round to the wrist and managed to return the favor on the second round. My partner was also my Lieutenant :smiley:

The downside is that the training was slow at times and it left me exhausted. It’s damn near impossible to keep from getting anxious when going into these scenarios. To explain further, simunitions training is real guns with paint tipped rounds. They have real brass casings but the tip is colored water based paint. They sound like air guns but still hurt and draw blood if you get hit in the right spot. Basically I spent the afternoon experiencing a series of adrenaline dumps and the subsequent let-down. I’m exhausted.

I’d hoped to finish training by 1600 or 1700 but it ended up being later. I’m worn out, sore from the last three days of lifting, so guess what… no workout today. Instead of going to the gym I went to the liquor store and grabbed some beer.

I don’t feel bad about this at all. I was due for a push day that included reverse lunges, DB Incline and some shoulder work. My legs are still sore and I’m sure I’ll survive from missing a chest workout. I’d like to say tomorrow will be better but I’m not sure. I have an assigned ride along so I can’t exactly go to the gym on my lunch break like usual. Maybe I’ll be up early enough to lift before work or maybe I’ll have the energy to do it afterwards… or maybe I’ll miss two days in a row. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that it’s not a big deal to miss a day when you’re already sore and tired. Hopefully I’ll wake up feeling refreshed… but first, some beers!


Well yesterday didn’t pan out either. I could’ve lifted at home in the basement but my workout called for some equipment that I don’t have.

Made it to our City gym for my lunch break today though. I was planning to do a total body circuit but decided to keep following my program as written and just pick up where I left off. This means I won’t be doing my power clean workout on Monday like I prefer but I think I’ll survive.

Saturday 4.8.17 (Push–Hypertrophy)

Reverse Lunges on the Smith Machine (left hip hates me lately)
95x7, 105x5, 115x3, 105x7, 115x5, 125x3 each leg

DB Incline
60x7, 65x5, 70x3, 65x7, 70x5, 75x3 (too light today)

Lateral DB Raise
3x10 with 10’s, 3+second eccentric phase

Single Arm Cable Press Down
2x10, 12-5-4 each arm (double rest/pause on last set)

And that was it. Short and sweet. Knocked it out in 24 minutes including a couple warm-up sets on the first two exercises.

My next workout will be pulling with a hypertrophy & strength emphasis…probably 60-70% hypertrophy though. I’ll be doing 5/4/3/2/1 reps on each exercise.

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Wanted to post my previously posted videos here so my stuff is centralized.

405 Deadlift Challenge (04.03.2017)

295lb Power Clean (11.01.2016)

320lb Power Clean Attempt (11.01.2016)


@dt79 Thought I’d move this over here so I don’t hi-jack the other thread. I don’t follow what you’re implying when you say I’m slow off the floor. Were you referring to the power clean or deadlift? Both were 90% or more of my PR’s so I don’t expect the weight to fly around.

Lastly, how does that apply to the idea of a clean vs deadlift being the same/different?

Sunday 4.9.17 (Pull-Intermediate)

Apparently I’m motivated from missing Thursday & Friday because I worked out today on my lunch break. Training on Sundays is rare for me.

315x5, 335x4, 355x3, 375x2, 405x1, 405x1

2x10, 10-2-3 (double rest/pause)

Plate Loaded Hammer Row (close grip)
250x5, 260x4, 270x3, 280x2, 290x4

Reverse Cable Fly (Rear Delt Emphasis)
20x15 double arm, 2x10 single arm with 30lbs

Cable Curl
2x6, 8-3-3 (double rest/pause) w/ 150

I really need to figure out how to work in some abs…

I was referring to your deadlift. If you are initiating the deadlift like a clean, that means you are not engaging your hips at the start, which results in having less strength off the floor. The deadlift requires a simultaneous hip and knee extension as opposed to the clean, which @Destrength described perfectly in the other thread.


Looking at your DL it seems like your hips are high at the start so you miss out on leg drive. Possibly letting your knees drift slightly at the start would let you have lower hips. I’ve definitely seen taller guys pull well that way.

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It’s almost as if I default to my body’s happy place. It feels very natural where I’m at. Dropping my hips and raising my chest feels awkward and the first thing that happens when I pull is my freaking hips go up and my chest drops so I’m back in the same position. I’m not saying I’m in the best position for me, it’s just where I’ve ended up. I’m definitely going to experiment with different joint angles and techniques (did squat stance or semi-sumo today).

I’ve also seen people who look like they’re almost doing a romanian deadlift–there’s very little movement at the knees. And I’m referring to people much better than me. I’m new to deadlifting. Until recently I’ve let me power cleans be my pulling work.

@dt79, Other than what MarkKO said should I be looking at a change in my form or are you (and @Destrength) referring to mental cues?

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I thought I was slow because I was just weak and struggling with the weight.

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I think it’s just a question of what cues different people need to engage their muscles. The deadlift to me is like a low bar squat with higher hips. I also think of driving my shoulder blades into an imaginary bar when i initiate the lift. Some people think of leg pressing the floor. That doesn’t work for me.

Look at the speed you can generate once your hips are in play at the knees. You can definitely pull much more.


That’s often attributed to relative weakness in your hamstrings. You could hit them hard and see if this improves. Also what I find helps is focusing on keeping my shoulders behind the bar at all times. For me, scraping the bar up my legs works to do this but possibly at your height that may be less useful.

Relative weakness to what? I’ve been doing romanian deadlifts for ages and feel like I’ve worked up to decent weights. 275 for sets of 5. Is that good? I’ve always enjoyed those for hamstring work but then again it looks like I might try to turn my Deadlift into an RDL. Lol