Korte 3x3 Training Log

I pretty much dicked around for most of my lifting career and I decided to actually start lifting seriously two months ago, so this thread is to keep me on track. Currently, I just finished up the fifth week of Korte’s 3x3 program (4 weeks of volume, 1 week of 3x3/ME). I decided on Korte because like most gym rats, I spent 90% of my lifting “career” benching and curling, and my legs were pissweak (plus, the only piece of equipment I have is an Olympic bench press, which I squat out of).

Here’s what my log has been since I started Korte five weeks ago.

Week 1:

5x5 @ 165 ATG Back Squats (hamstrings touch calves)
6x6 @ 135 Benchpress
5x5 @ 155 Deadlifts

Week 2:
5x5 @ 170 ATG Back Squats
6x6 @ 140 Benchpress
5x5 @ 160 Deadlifts

Week 3:
5x5 @ 175 ATG Back Squats
6x6 @ 145 Benchpress
5x5 @ 165 Deadlifts

Week 4:
5x5 @ 180 ATG Back Squats
6x6 @ 150 Benchpress
5x5 @ 170 Deadlifts


Saturday -

1x4 @ 135 ATG Back Squats
1x1 @ 180 ATG Back Squats
1x1 @ 205 ATG Back Squats
1x1 @ 225 ATG Back Squats

225 was hard, but it came up, and I felt like I could do more. But I dunno, I must’ve psyched myself out or something because when I put only 5 extra pounds on, I got completely stuck in the hole, and I was so low my training partner had to deadlift the weight off me. Embarrassing.

5x4 @ 135 Benchpress
3x3 @ 165 Deadlifts

Monday -

3x3 @ 175 ATG Back Squats

1x4 @ 135 Benchpress
1x1 @ 180 Benchpress
1x1 @ 205 Benchpress
1x1 @ 215 Benchpress

215 was hard, but I struggled through it and I don’t think I used my full effort… at one point, I yelled at my partner not to touch the bar because he was about to come help me and that took some of my energy away but I locked it out and racked it. I think I can hit 225 soon (my bench is disproportionately stronger obviously due to years of mirror muscle training).

3x3 @ 165 Deadlifts

Wednesday (TODAY) -

3x3 @ 180 ATG Back Squats (my partner snuck 5 extra pounds on here when I wasn’t looking, but it was pretty light compared to just a week ago)
5x4 @ 135 Benchpress

1x4 @ 135 Deadlifts
1x1 @ 205 Deadlifts
1x1 @ 225 Deadlifts
1x1 @ 295 Deadlifts (!)
1x1 @ 315 Deadlifts

This really surprised me, because I didn’t expect to be able to deadlift so much (relatively), especially considering my working set of weights during the volume phase. I actually think I could hit more, but I got so elated by dl’ing 3 plates that I think I lost some intensity, and when I tried to hit 340, I just dropped it.

Anyways, I’ll try to update this every week (it’s too much work to update every training day). I’m 23, around 5’7’’ and weigh anywhere from 146.6-150 lbs. depending on the time of day and whether I’ve eaten, so obviously I still got a long ways to go, considering I barely placed myself in the Intermediate category with my max lifts. Still, I’m pretty pleased with my progress.

Seems like this will be an interesting log.

Finished up the Korte program, but didn’t have internet access for the past couple weeks thanks to Comcast being royal dicks.

My max totals after the Korte program:

ATG Squat - 245 lbs
Bench press - 220 lbs
Deadlift - 325 lbs

That leaves me with a 790 total, only 210 more to go until I have a decent strength base.

I’m starting 5x5 for the next 9 weeks following my spring break deload. I have the Excel sheet and shit but as it stands now, the program will go something like:

Day 1 -

Squats 5x5
Benchpress 5x5
Deadlifts 5x5

Day 2 -

Squats 5x5
Benchpress 5x5
Bent-Over Rows 5x5

Day 3 -

Squats 5x5
Benchpress 5x5
Deadlifts 5x5

Rinse and repeat for probably 8+ weeks or until progress stalls. I’ll probably throw 2x8 weighted chins and dips in there too, just because I like doing 'em.

My arms are starting to noticeably lag behind the rest of me, but it’s not too bad yet, and after this upcoming 5x5 phase is done, I’ll look for a program with an arm day or something to bring them up. Back and legs have grown noticeably bigger.

I’ve never seen 5x5 call for 2 deadlift days, where did you get this program out of curiosity?

Real nice progress thus far, keep up the good work!

It doesn’t. The original program (or one of the variants of the original program, I dunno since my workout buddy jacked it from some geocities site) had me doing two days of Bent-Over Rows and one day of DL per week, and that doesn’t sit quite well with me. If you think it may be too much, I’m open to suggestion. Korte got me used to DL’ing 3x a week and my weights are still fairly low so my initial thought was that I could handle the workload.

[quote]Running Gag wrote:
It doesn’t. The original program (or one of the variants of the original program, I dunno since my workout buddy jacked it from some geocities site) had me doing two days of Bent-Over Rows and one day of DL per week, and that doesn’t sit quite well with me. If you think it may be too much, I’m open to suggestion. Korte got me used to DL’ing 3x a week and my weights are still fairly low so my initial thought was that I could handle the workload.[/quote]

Everyone is different, but here are some thoughts.

  1. In Korte you were doing a lower intensity than you will be doing in the 5x5 program, and deadlifts at a high volume and high intensity are a different animal than Korte style. I’m not discounting how brutal they are in Korte, but in 5x5 you are trying to linearly progress each week on deadlifts, as in set new records (probably in the area of 80% of your max), I think that will be very difficult while deadlifting 2 times a week.

  2. You might be right, you may be able to handle the workload, but I would do a couple of weeks with 2 days of bent-over rows and then see how you are doing, you can always add extra deadlifts in.

  3. If you look at a program like Sheiko or Rippetoe’s Starting Strength or this 5x5 program there is a lot more squat volume than deadlift volume. The body can more easily cope with the stress of squats than deadlifts. And if you improve your deep squat your deadlift is almost sure to come along for the ride.

  4. If you were willing to do Korte you are obviously someone that is willing to work hard. Just want to see you benefit as much as possible from that hard work.

But I’m also someone that got strongest on the deadlift by deadlifting rather infrequently, particularly compared to how often I benched and squatted. And it wasn’t because I was just a gifted deadlifter from the beginning. I think if you are someone that isn’t afraid of deadlifting (which you obviously aren’t) it can be quite easy to do too much rather than too little.

One final idea, when you are pretty new to training it is probably better to just follow a program as laid out rather than fuck with it, unless you are making very minor changes with good reason. If you are changing bent over rows to deadlifts that is pretty damn significant. I would discourage you from making that big of a change, particularly if your main goal is strength and not suffering.

In any case, all the best!

I grok what you’re saying. I’ll stick to the Bent-Over Rows on Days 1 and 3 and see what happens. I think most of my reluctance to let go of DLs stems from the fact that I attribute a lot of my recent back development from doing them consistently. Once I start seeing results from rows it should be easier to let go.

You’ll keep gaining in the back with this routine, but you make it 2 weeks and it feels easy throw the extra deadlifts in for a week and see what happens. I think you need to cut the deadlifts so you have the recovery for your lagging squat, but we all have our priorities and I sure in the hell wouldn’t try to tell you what your priorities should be.

Just know that if you are having a lot of trouble progressing on deadlifts, deadlifting a lot less frequently can sometimes make you stronger on them faster than you could imagine.

okay so I’ve been sticking to the program as prescribed, and I’m pretty happy with results. This is Week 4 for me. I’m deadlifting 290 x 5, squatting 220 x 5, and benching 195 x 5 (all PRs). I’m going to stick with this for a minimum of 6 more weeks, take a deload, and start Smolov for my lagging squat.

Just finished Week 7.

PRs for this week:

215 x 3 Bench
240 x 3 Squat
315 x 5 Deadlift

I’ve hit every lift since I started except the military press. I stalled on it two weeks ago, deloaded, tried again, and stalled again this week. I’m thinking of just lowering the weights four weeks back and trying again. Regardless, every other lift has been progressing in a linear fashion, so I’m happy to stick with it.

Weight gain has been consistent (and not all of it muscle). I’ve been pretty lazy about keeping track of calorie intake, but my weight’s going up pretty consistently and I’ve officially lost my abs so that’s a good sign, I guess.

Finished up my 5x5 run today. Notable PRs:

Squat 275 x 1 (30 pound increase)
Bench Press 260 x 1 (40 pound increase)

I haven’t tested my deadlift max, I’ll get around to it sometime this week before I start Smolov.

[quote]Running Gag wrote:
Finished up my 5x5 run today. Notable PRs:

Squat 275 x 1 (30 pound increase)
Bench Press 260 x 1 (40 pound increase)

I haven’t tested my deadlift max, I’ll get around to it sometime this week before I start Smolov.[/quote]

really nice work guy

Today I realized just how much body weight makes a difference. My two workout partners, both of who started at the same time as me four months ago, have 920 and 925 totals respectively (210-345-365 and 205-335-385) after doing 5x5 with me. Both weigh over 200 pounds. I’m 155, and have only a 880 total (260-275-345). This tells me two things: my legs really need to catch up and I need to eat more. A lot more. Smolov here I come.

Update. I decided to do Smolov Jr. for squats instead of the regular Smolov. I haven’t done many high-volume programs, so I didn’t want to jump headfirst into one without some sort of prep. Also, I didn’t want to put my bench and deadlift on hold for 13 weeks, not while I’m still making some good headway on both.

This is my second week on Smolov Jr., and I increased the weights by 10 pounds. My training partner increased it by 20. The program’s pretty brutal on the last couple sets, but doable. Dead hangs from a chin-up bar really help with lower back tightness following the squats (thanks to whoever wrote that bit of information).

My weight’s increased to 163.5 (w/ clothes but w/o shoes). Before I started Korte, I weighed around 142, so that represents roughly a 20 pound gain over the past 4-5 months (Korte, 5x5, and now Smolov Jr). I plan on adding 10 more pounds next week, and then going back to 5x5 with additional arm work after testing my new squat max. I’m hoping to break 300 after SJr is done (25 pound PR increase).

Finished up Smolov Jr. yesterday. I feel my squat form has gotten a lot better (although I stupidly rounded my back for a rep yesterday and I’m feeling it today).

I went up by 10 pounds each week, instead of 10 and 5. I’ll take it easy this upcoming week, and test my new squat max on Wednesday. Here’s to hoping I finally break 300 on the squat.

New squat PR: 300 lbs x 1.

Smolov Jr. raised my squat by 25 pounds. Not bad for 3 weeks.

Okay, for the next four weeks I’m going to scale back calories a bit and use HOT-ROX. I’m still pretty small at the 162-166 lb. range but after adding on approximately 25 pounds in 5 months, I’d feel better about packing on more weight if I leaned out a little.

I’ve been running Madcow’s 5x5 for the past week and limited myself to one solid cooked meal a day (generally 1.5-2 lbs. of lean ground beef/chicken cooked with vegetables/rice) with the rest of my meals being protein shakes. I despise restricting calories because of its detrimental effects on strength but after I’m done with these four weeks, I plan to go back to gaining another 20+ lbs.

I’m not quite sure where to go from here, though. I’m running 5x5 with all my maxes lowered by about 15-20 lbs. to account for the caloric deficit, and after I’m done I’m going to run it for another 9 weeks with my true maxes. However, I’m not quite sure what to do after another 5x5 run.

Maybe Coan-Phillipi? My deadlift is atrocious. Raw, I can still hit only 335, 345 on a good day, though straps bring that number up to 355 easy. My grip is obviously a huge limiting factor.

Suggestions for what to do next would be great.

Short-term goals right now:

315 Squat (15 pound increase on current PR)
275 Bench (15 pound increase on current PR)
355 Deadlift (10 pound increase on current PR)

A little far off:

335 Squat
300 Bench
365 Deadlift

That would give me exactly 1000 pounds, my original long-term goal.

After 1000 lbs., I plan on trying to hit 3-4-5, though that may take 2 or more years.

Also, I vow to incorporate more arm-training sessions soon. I think I’m getting to the point where within a couple months, it will be clearly noticeable that my arms are lagging if I don’t start now. The fact that I have short arms have sort of mitigated the damage from not training them directly, but if I ever want even 18 inchers, I better get to work.

I’ve been running Madcow’s 5x5 for the past two weeks on a restricted calorie diet, and it’s sucking balls. My strength levels have dropped considerably, particularly in the back squat. During my first week, I barely hit 255 for 3 ONCE on the back squat… despite the fact that I hit 255x10x3 during Smolov Jr. This past week, I hit 245 for two, and failed on the third rep.

My weight’s gone down to 159. I have noticed fat loss, but it’s depressing to see my strength levels drop so drastically through the floor. Still, I’m going to stick it out for two more weeks and go back to steadily gaining weight again after it’s done. Next time, I think I’ll be more careful about dropping calories, as it really set me back strength-wise.

Why on earth are you cutting when you weigh 159? There is no way in hell you are a chunky 159.