Lanky Me Chasing 4-3.5-2-1

So I decided to start recording my progress just for the sake of.

Short term goal is: Squat 1.5x BW, Bench 1x BW, Deadlift 2x BW all with proper form of course.
Eventually goal will be S 2x, B 1.5x, D 2.5x, OHP 1x
Right now I’m at 72kg (158.4 lbs) at 5’9"

Currently on SL 5x5 for 3 months now. Before that, I had around 1 year gym experience just doing whatever the trainer told me to do so no real progression or programming, just familiarization with lifts. Had to stop 3 months and then started on SL when I got back. So yes, I’m a newbie. Looking to transition into 5/3/1 sooner or later.

I’ll be posting some videos from time to time. Feel free to help me improve my form and technique (or on anything else really). It will be highly appreciated.

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10 February 2019

Squat 97.5kg x 5 x 5

Bent over row 60kg x 5 x 4
Stopped at 4 sets because I didn’t like how vertical my back was getting. Trying to be more on the horizontal side, maybe at 30 degrees, 45 at most, to improve lower back isometric strength for deads

Bench 55kg x 5 x 1
Felt awful. Probably shouldn’t have dropped weight based on program but I did 52.5kg x 5 x 4 afterwards. Will just have to try again next session. Last bench was 8 days ago so maybe that was a factor?

Cable Lat pull downs 47.5kg x 10 x 3
Seated Cable Pec Deck Flyes 110 lbs x 10 x 3

Hyperextensions BW x 10 x 1 then holding 10kg plate x 10 x 2
@bulldog9899, I was able to play around with one of the machines. Not intended for hyperextensions, but it gets the job done. I may look like an idiot using the machine in a different way, but whatever. I must say, I was an idiot to immediately hold on to a 10kg plate first time doing this. Lower back was really fired up. Hope this will help my deads a lot. Thanks for the suggestion!

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Welcome to the log section.
Those are some good goals, be consistent and you’ll be there.
SL is a good program. When you plateau, and you will at some point drop the weights back a bit and try to break through.
There are tons of great programs to do.
Texas method is another 5x5 that could build on the SL.
531 is awesome (and you don’t have to be advanced or anything it works for anybody, it’s a long term program so stick to it for a year or so to see the magick, if you decide to do it).
CT has great programs as well yeah a lot.
Btw how old are you?

Thanks man!

Yeah, experienced my first deload on the OHP. All other deloads on other lifts so far were a deliberate choice to fix form. Right shoulder feels a little weak even though I’m right hand dominant, probably because of my past rotator cuff impingement. It’s been around 9 years but it still complains if I abuse it.

I’ve always been afraid of olympic lifts lol. Can’t train them in a power rack with pins so I’ve had an aversion for them. I’ll read up on it more though. Maybe there’s a workaround.

Was planning to buy one of Wendler’s books. I’m sure it’s an investment. Just not quite sure which one to get yet. I’ve heard some say that it’s somewhat of a trilogy of sorts that it will be incomplete if you don’t get to read all of them. Not sure how true.

I’m 27 btw

Wendler sells 4 on his website. I just learned there’s a couple more over on EliteFTS’s website, but they’re really not “necessary” or anything. I don’t think most people know about them.

Anyway, for the 4 that he’s selling, there’s a “trilogy” and then one for powerlifting. The one for powerlifting is helpful, well, if you’re a powerlifter. Otherwise, it’s not really needed. And even if you are, I think you could put together the information from the other 3 books and his numerous online articles and piece it together. It’s still an ok book though.

As for the trilogy - 5/3/1, Beyond 5/3/1, and 5/3/1 Forever, I’d recommend getting all 3, if you can. If not, then the last 2. The first one is good, and kinda introduces everything, but there’s not a ton in there that hasn’t been put in online articles. But I’d really recommend the last 2 - Beyond and Forever.

Forever has awesome sections on diet and conditioning, as well as just some of Jim’s thoughts, and they’re very, very good, and it also has basically all of the different templates and ways to run 5/3/1, so it’s maybe “the best” or whatever, but without reaading Beyond, you’ll find yourself kinda lost at times as to what he means by certain stuff.

I recently was able to buy all 4, and am very glad I did. Again, if that’s not an option, Beyond and Forever are the way to go.

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Do some more upper back/rear delt work. It’s not really in SL, but it’s needed. It can be as simple as doing 20-50 face-pulls/pull-aparts with a band between every single set of benching/overhead pressing.

I’ve found that, at least with power cleans, I’m able to do them in a fairly tight setting. Not very familiar with, or skilled at cleans, so they may be a different story. Possibly doing front squats or overhead squats (probably front squats) for like 3x3 or something else would be a good idea, as it would just help your body be ready for cleans when you’re able to do them. Plus, it’s just a good movement.

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Welcome to the logs section

Why would you train them in the power rack with pins?

Oh I see. I’ll try my best to get 5/3/1, Beyond, and Forever. Thanks for the tips man! Too many people have been saying that the three books are well worth the money

Oh. Never thought of doing them between sets. I’m a little confused with cable facepulls. I’d like to them for overall shoulder health, but don’t know if I should do them on Rowing days or OHP/delts days. What ends up happening is that I forget to do them because I’m so undecided, just like a while ago. Hahaha.

I’ll give front squats a try sometime soon. Been intersted to see how that feels. It’s always my hamstrings that have more doms on squats/deadlifts. Maybe my quads need new stimuli

I’m really afraid to drop the weights on myself. To my detriment, I may have watched a tad too many of the gym fails on YouTube. I’ve had quite a number of injuries from my sport already.

Can I recommend starting at the beginning and work through? Get 5/3/1, run a few cycles of vanilla 5/3/1 so you really understand the concepts, then consider beyond and forever.

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Stop putting soo much thought into numbers i.e reps weight sets weeks months and start putting all your focus into performing the exercises correctly and actually squeezing, contracting and connecting your mind with the targeted muscle. Better start now cuz it aint learnt overnight and your wasting your time if your just focused on moving weight.

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Oh yes of course! That’s really a good idea to be honest. Never heard of vanilla. I’ll try to look into it as well. Thanks!

Apologies, that’s just my phrasing. What I mean by vanilla is just basic 5/3/1 programming as described in the original book. 5’s week, 3’s week, 531 week. Add in some limited assistance, as detailed in the original book.

I see to many people getting themselves tied in knots trying to run programmes they don’t understand by buying all three books, trying to digest it all without understanding the basics. The reason Jim has been able to produce all the later books and build a business around 531 is that the original program works really really well if you do it as described.

If you decide to go on the Wendler train @dagill2 said it, buy the first book I think it’s called 2’nd edition nowadays.
It’s not rocket science, it’s pretty straight forward.

Do a couple of cycles very plain with the standard triumvirate assistance. Do not overthink it.
Go to his website have a look around on the blog section, there’s a beginner template.
You could read this article btw

then there’s this one

and he has article called 531 reloaded

Tons on info on this site about 531.

But there are tons of different programs and coaches.
One piece of advice would be when you choose a program stick to it until the end. If it’s a 12 week program don’t hop to another after 3 or 8 weeks. Ride it out.
If it’s Jims work stick with it until you’ve stalled a couple af times.

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Absolutely this. If you don’t see the program out, you don’t know if it’s worked. And you learn nothing.

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Ahh I see. No wonder the google searches returned nothing. Lol. I thought it was another template.

That letter to young Jim wendler had some deep stuff. Good read! Thanks man

Yeah, that’s why I was eying 5/3/1. Loved the long term mindset of Jim towards training.

Thanks for the help really!

Do them on both. Like you said, they’re good for shoulder health, so there’s no harm in doing them twice. I personally do 100 reps of one of those two movements (face pulls/pull aparts) almost every single day, whether or not I’m lifting. They also take very little out of you, so they won’t affect your pressing if you do them in between sets. I really like supersetting pushes and pulls for the upper body, basically all the time. I always try to superset pushups/dips/bench presses/overhead presses/etc with something like chinups/rows/face pulls/pull aparts/rear delt raises. They don’t affect each other, it saves time, and it ensures I get my pulling work in. I also superset biceps/triceps work whenever I do arm stuff - ex: curls and pushdowns.

This honestly could happen with snatches. With proper form, caution, and appropriate weight, I doubt it ever would, but it could. With cleans though, I wouldn’t ever worry about it. If the weight is too heavy for you to handle, you probably won’t even get the bar past your waist or torso. Worse case scenario, you drop the bar on the ground in front of you. Maybe you hurt the weights more than yourself. You’ll be ok.

And everyone else is saying do the most basic form of 5/3/1. I agree with them. Try it out from the articles you’ve been given, and then buy the books. See what you think of the program, before spending money. I didn’t mention it, but I do agree with them. The books have things you honestly just don’t need to worry about yet.

Good point. Thanks!

Alright. Regarding the transition, would it be better to move all my lifts into 5/3/1 progression all at once? What I mean is my squat right now is overtaking everything else. Would it make sense to do 5/3/1 squat and keep the rest on linear progression while it lasts?

The 5x5 program you’re doing now is working for you now so it would be fine to ride it out as long as you’re seeing gains. I wouldn’t switch to 5/3/1 on just one lift, though. That’s unnecessary complicating things. When you’re ready, test your maxxes and go all in on it.

A suggestion for cleans if you want to stay in the safety of the power rack… Hang power cleans work just as well. Power cleans are pretty hard to drop in yourself, though. If you fail you just let it go in front of you.

When and if you choose Jims work, shift all.

As long as you’re increasing weights on SL I would keep it.

So as @OTHSteve says ride the wave of SL.

However you could go right into 531 if you choose to do that.
531 is a linear progression model as well, at a slower rate though.

What is important is choosing the right TM (Training Max), this will have you to swallow your ego a lot.

In the original book Jim says TM should be 90% of 1RM.
However he has stated many times that TM should be 85% or you 5RM weight.
Meaning for bench your TM would probably be around 55 kg and the topset for the three weeks would be 46.7 kg, 49,5 kg and 52,25 kg rounded would it be 47,5 or 45 (I would recommend this) 50 kg and 52,5 kg.
Just to give you an example of the weeks.

I would maybe, just maybe advice you to do BB rows supersetted with bench same weight set and reps.
So take the bar of the rack and row rerack lay down and bench.
On OHP day I would superset it with pull ups or chin ups.
But that’s because I love doing it, and rows and chins will help every other lift.