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Kdjohn: Lifting Stuff n’ Things

Interesting, never heard that before.

I have a suspicion that the “reach out” cue works because it encourages proper shoulder blade movement, in which case I could certainly see it helping your shoulders feel a bit less bound up

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Start time: 1235
Garage temp: 10C. Had the heater running for a couple hours prior.


  • 225x5
  • 255x5
  • 285x5

Front squat

  • 170x5
  • 190x5
  • 215x5

Constant tension toes elevated good morning, 2020 tempo

  • 3x15 @ 135

Band leg extensions, 2012 tempo

  • 2x30 (10 toes out, 10 neutral, 10 toes in)
  • 60 sec quad stretch

Seated band leg curls, 3011 tempo

  • 3x10, 10 sec hold, then AMRAP
  • 60 sec hamstring stretch


  • Dealing with shoulder issues in the squat. I use a semi-low bar position (sits between my rear delts and traps), and today I tried using wrist wraps and a false grip, which helped significantly, but by the end of my squats my medial elbows were definitely tender. Found some mobility exercises/soft tissue work I’m gonna make part of my warm-ups from now on.
  • Love and hate those good mornings. They’re so great for the hammies, but elevating the toes and not fully locking out buuuurns.
  • Speaking of burn, those leg extensions, followed by the quad stretch after the last set had me whimpering. Gonna hurt tomorrow.
  • Borrowed the protocol for the extensions and curls from Hungarian Oak Leg Blast, because I saw good leg growth on that program.
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Start time: 1400
Indoors today.

Stationary bike

  • 10 min steady state
  • Tabata (4 min)
  • 2 min steady state
  • Tabata (4 min)
  • 10 min steady state

Bench leg raises, 5-1 iso countdown

  • 3 sets
  • 60 sec ab stretch


  • I’m amazed how quiet this bike is. On the highest resistance, peddling as hard as I can, it makes zero sound.
  • Those iso countdowns on ab exercises are BRUTAL. Serious burning and cramping. Ow.
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I imagine I’d be counting real fast by the end of those iso reps.

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Ooooh yeah, you definitely do. Your 5 second count is pretty spot on because you’re fresh, but that 2 and 1 count are more like nanoseconds.

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Start time: 0730
Garage temp 0C, 5C after running heater


  • 155x5
  • 175x5
  • 200x5 (mega struggle. Odd.)

Decline bench, 31X0 tempo

  • 135x10
  • 155x8
  • 180x6


  • Life just loves punching me in the dick lately. Kid hasn’t been sleeping great, wife’s anxiety and stress have been causing her constant headaches, migraines and full body pain. All this means I’m taking care of both of them 95% of the time and any semblance of a planned training progression has to be scrapped. Goodbye for now, 5/3/1. You’ll always be my one true love. Sobbing intensifies
  • I’m gonna try to figure out 2 different sessions that cover most of the bases and just alternate between them. I figure I can at least get 2 lifting sessions a week, even if it’s just on my off days. My plan is probably going to be to utilize Escalating Density Training (Charles Staley method), rest-pause, myo reps and dropsets. Why? EDT is timed, and the other 3 allow you to get a lot of “effective reps” done in a short period of time.
  • I’ll still do cardio and abs after work because it’s short. If I’m feeling feisty I’ll throw some quick band work in there too.
  • Another option would be to work up to a rep max for the day, then do a few back-off sets. I’m not as sold on this one at the moment, but things could change.
  • I refuse to let all these hiccups prevent me from getting bigger and stronger. Fuck you, life. Time to dick punch YOU for a change.


Need to use this to journal some training thoughts.

I’m having a hard time figuring out a “flexible” training schedule that still hits all my markers, mainly because that’s just not who I am; I like routine and knowing what to do and when to do it. This mentality of, “Oh, let’s just see if I’m able to do this thing today” doesn’t fly with me. Not to get too heavy, but training and diet were at least two things I could control and were constants in a messy, chaotic life, and now even those seem to be slipping away.

I decided to drop the EDT idea. It was just getting too messy, and I do so poorly supersetting opposing or different exercises. I always lose focus on one or both of them. Let’s outline some training desires, and maybe something will jump out at me:

  • 2 days/week minimum, ideally 3. Don’t love the thought of 2 because it means I’d probably have to do something like an upper/lower split, meaning pushing and pulling trained in the same session, which I hate. I do SO much better when I can focus on ONE thing, like the split I had been doing. 3 would let me run a push/pull/legs split, which is better.
  • I want to keep focusing on strength and muscle growth this season. Maybe ramping sets for big compounds with back-offs? That would let me auto-regulate depending on how I’m feeling that day.
  • Pushing exercises I’m enjoying: bench, DB flye press, EZ bar PJR pullovers. Pulling: Rack pulls, landmine rows, all types of bar curls. Legs: Really, I’m just enjoying my entire leg day. Don’t really want to change anything. Shoulders: fuck shoulders. I like upright rows and different prone raises for rear delts, though.
  • If I’m thinking aesthetics (which is where my brain kind of is right now), I need to bring up my arms and shoulders. I have a decent back and legs, okay chest, but my shoulders and arms really make me look small.
  • I’d love to keep doing some kind of olympic lift variation, but I just can’t see that happening without completely overloading. Same with chins — except I just don’t really enjoy chins.
  • Still no closer to figuring this out. I’m horrible at programming.

I’m commenting here so I remember to come back to this when I’m at a computer.

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FWIW I made awesome progress doing the following

4 training days on a 3 day per week rotation:

Day 1:

  1. Squat (I did front): to 3-5RM, rest 2min and AMRAP at 75% of top weight
    2A. Upper Push: 3 x 8-12 (2 warm-up, 1 all-out)
    2B. Upper Pull: 3 x 8-12 (2 warm-up, 1 all-out)

Day 2:

  1. Bench: to 3-5RM, rest 2min and AMRAP at 75% top weight
    2A. Upper Pull: 3 x 8-12 (2 warm-up, 1 all-out)
    2B. Single-Leg or Carry: 3 x 8-12 or 3 x 20-30m (2 warm-up, 1 all-out)

Day 3:

  1. RDL/DL: to 3-5RM, rest 2min then AMRAP at 75% top weight with a double-overhand grip
    2A. Upper Push: 3 x 8-12 (2 warm-up, 1 all-out)
    2B. Upper Pull: 3 x 8-12 (2 warm-up, 1 all-out)

Day 4:

  1. Press: to 3-5RM, rest 2min and AMRAP at 75% top weight
    2A. Upper Pull: 3 x 8-12 (2 warm-up, 1 all-out)
    2B. Single-Leg or Carry: 3 x 8-12 or 3 x 20-30m (2 warm-up, 1 all-out)

Not saying it was perfect, but sessions never took longer than 30 minutes, and averaged about 25min


Man so by the time I could get back to the computer @j4gga2 has come in and made a better rec than I would’ve haha.

Have you considered trying something Dogg-Crappy? It could be PPL or Push/Pull depending on if you can get in for 3 or 2 days per week. It’s a pretty proven hypertrophy plan, and is pretty flexible if you need to alter things.

There’s also the daily work option that could be useful. Like if you could buy one of those cheap doorway pullup bars and just hit some sets throughout the day as you pass by it. Upright rows and prone raises before breakfast?

To follow some of Pwns advice, it might just be a good time to throw programming out the window and just go do some workouts. Plenty of monsters have been made without the use of programs.


Stealing this.

Also for @kdjohn I know you’re liking more variety, but I kicked ass on the 2-day-per-week options in 5/3/1 Forever. Pretty much take Triumvirate and stretch the 4 days out over 2 weeks. Never deloaded and ran it straight for 1.5 years.


@j4gga2 That’s a very similar plan to what I’m leaning towards right now; RM on a main lift, some form of back-off set(s), then a few assistance lifts pyramided. If I’m gonna be keeping things low volume through lessened frequency, pushing intensity makes sense.

@mr.v3lv3t DoggCrapp was actually something I was looking at too. I like the thought of, as I mentioned above, pushing intensity while frequency is low. I’d probably borrow the principles of DC training at least, because I don’t love everything about the official program.

@garagerocker13 That’s another great idea. I’m not sure how well I could adhere to a 5/3/1 program at the moment though, simply because stress at the moment has my energy levels all over the place, and I’d be worried about hitting the prescribed percentages.


Hey KDJ, here’s what I’m doing at the moment and it sounds like it would fit your requirements.

2 Day split with undulating periodization.

Workout A:
Speed work (I’m in a cold gym as well so usually plyos and/or WL variant)
Lower body movement
Upper Push
Upper Pull

Workout B:
Lower body movement
Upper Pull
Upper Push
Conditioning/Giant set (you can do whatever but I focus on getting my heart rate up and including some weighted carries and ab work)

Each exercise has a low, medium, and high rep day. The 6 day sequence is:
Day 1: A high
Day 2: B low
Day 3: A medium
Day 4: B high
Day 5: A low
Day 6: B medium

I try to keep the rep range within a few reps so for example, my back squat reps are 3 on low, 5 on medium, 7 on high.

Just an idea. Works well for me on 3 days per week in my unheated gym.


If you just go conservative with your TMs I think you’d be fine. Like go 85% at most. You’ll end up doing 12-15 reps on your 5’s week at first but it’ll leave you room to grow, and then you can adjust the weight of the 5 x 10 work according to your stress and how you feel.

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Thanks for the input! The addition of some speed work prior to sessions is a good idea to wake me up. I like the periodization model too, but I might do weekly instead of daily.

Not sure if this is up your alley, and it’s shorter workouts done more than two days a week, so maybe not, but you ever checked this one out?

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I’ve seen that one before. My issue is less about amount of time to train, but more so inconsistency of training days. If I’m able to train that day, I can usually get in at least and hour.

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I don’t know where I’m going with my training (progressing or regressing) but I’m really enjoying it.

Daily squats and deads to hit the big lifts and then do whatever I want. Conditioning is a priority so the rest of my leg work is from running. I feel pretty good and I even ran an extra 2/3 of a mile today because my mile wasn’t unbearable.

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Your workouts have been great to watch lately!

Appreciate everyone’s input — all of it’s been helpful. I think what I might do is run a push/pull/legs split, employing an A and B for each section, or a “heavy” and “light” day. I’ll employ ramping and back off sets on the heavy days, because it’ll allow me to auto-regulate. The light days will be low percentages based on the heavy day.

I’ll try to squeeze in 3 sessions a week, and should be able to simply by utilizing my days off work, but if life allows it I’ll bump that up to 4 or 5 days a week. This will hopefully act as another for of regulation and keep workload down while life is busy or stressful.

Cardio and abs can always be done after work, because I keep those short anyways and I don’t find LISS draining at all.

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