T Nation

Lava2007 SGSS - Virtual Meet Prep (December 2018)


#861

I love it! and of course 5/3/1 is my inspiration :wink:

What is double rest/pause? And bench, of course. OHP is just for shoulder health and balance. I don’t care too much about how strong my OHP is as long as it keeps me healthy. So bench will always be my upper body priority for the foreseeable future.


#862

5 November 2018 - Lower Body W3D1 Bodyweight: 215.6lbs

Warmup

Back Squat 3x8 275lbs (2 beltless, LSRPE 6.5)
RDL 3x8 235lbs (belt, LSRPE 9//grip failure)
Front Squat 135x8, 185x8, 205x8, 225x8 (LSRPE 6.5)
Good Morning 135x5, 3x8 155lbs (LSRPE 5, felt great, but gotta stick to the progression)
Hammer Curls 2x10 45lbs, 1x10 30lbs
Side Planks 2x50sec
Face Pulls 3x20 37.5lbs

Notes
The only difference between belted squats and beltless squats is bar speed. Makes sense, since all the belt does is increase the efficiency of the transfer of power from lower body through the upper body and into the bar. Regardless, I like doing my first 2 sets beltless and then finishing it off with the belt on. On the 5xY day, I like doing the first 3 beltless. Still an improvement over the 3xY day, but I still have the advantage of using my belt. If I can squat 350-365 for a few sets of 3 beltless, those are PRs. I’ve only squatted 365+ beltless twice, and both times were when I was maxing my squat last November (385) and last January (405).

RDLs felt good, I think it just took a session to get my form dialed in again. It’s been a while since I’ve done them.

Good Mornings also felt good. Placed my feet a bit wider than normal and was able to sink my hips back much better than before.

Front squats ALSO went great. 185 was easy as hell, 205 was a breeze, and 225 was a solid set of work. I’m thinking of raising each of those weights by 5lbs every session from now on which would have me finishing at ~275 for a few sets of 3 by the end, which would be just about where my front squat was last spring when I front squatted 335.

Still loving this program. It’s got the perfect amount of volume. I can feel myself getting stronger by virtue of being able to increase the weight and/or reps each session and still getting all of my reps. It has good variety, but not so much to the point that you feel like you’re wasting your time, and not so little that you feel like you’re missing out on anything.

Tomorrow is a rest day. Big quiz in anatomy which I’m in the library to study for right now. Wednesday is bench day number 2, and the last bench session of 8s!!! It’ll be fun to increase the weight after Wednesday. I’m not working on Friday, so I’ll be doing my second squat day on Friday with a proper amount of rest and preparation, unlike last week. I’m going to make sleep a priority this week which is where I messed up last week. I also need to hydrate more; I didn’t cramp or anything last week, but I’ve been taking creatine for weeks, and my loading phase is done, so I need to drink as much water as possible to make this lower dose of creatine effective.


#863

You go to failure, rest 15-20 sec, go to failure, rest 15-20 sec, go to failure one more time.


#864

I’ll try it. It’s either going to really well or I’m going to go 1x11, 1x4, 1x2 hahaha


#865

I think CT suggested trying to match your first set with the next two.

7 reps, rest
4 reps, rest
3 reps

I rarely achieved that.


#866

I’ve been lowering my lifts some in order to get my reps done, without failure.

If I should do rest pause set I would treat it more like this.
Take your overhead press
you would like to do 135 lb x 8 but failed and did something like
8, 7, 6 reps (I think it was like that)
What I would do is first set it okay it’s 8 reps, second set after rep 7 I would rack it for 20 seconds and do the last rep. And the third set I would do 6 reps, rack it for 20 seconds and then do the last 2 reps. Doing full rest pause sets as Mr. Maier suggest I think would be too taxing.

But I would only do it on the 5 set day. Meaning if you cant do 3x8/3x5/3x3 you’ve chosen a to heavy weight.

I am not sure I’ve understand the program correctly, if I could have done ramping sets I would have chosen a higher weight.
He says to do 2-3 ramping sets before the working sets, wich i understood as the weights should be across.


#867

@JMaier31 so if I get 12 reps, I could get 7 on the second set and 5 in the third and be alright?


#868

@mortdk so that’s sort of like a cluster set right?

And yeah, the ramp up sets confused me a little. I thought he was referring to progressively heavier warm up sets which is a no brainer… but if my back squat weight is 300, I could go 250, 275, then 300 for my top set and that would be okay? So it’s sort of like a 5/3/1 scheme?

But I’m with you on that. For 5s, I could probably do 115x5, 135x5, then 155x5 for my top set. That would be the same average intensity as 135 3x5, but it would give me a higher peak intensity which might be beneficial. I agree, it would be much easier to use heavier weights that way. I’ll continue running this SGSS cycle with straight sets, but maybe next time I will try ramp up sets.

That reminds me, I have a question for @JMaier31. Can this program be run indefinitely? With some slight additions/modifications, we could add maybe 4-6 more weeks onto the beginning with 15 reps and 12 reps. That would more or less take care of the hypertrophy/high volume phase. I really like this program for its simplicity and apparent efficacy (in this case n=1 but your results were incredible). I’m a little tired of switching from program to program honestly. Like Mort says, there are many shiny objects out here that always look tempting, but at the end of the day, I just want to run a program that I’m confident in because it works. This is also probably the most balanced my training has ever been in terms of pushing and pulling for both upper and lower body, which is a huge upside.


#869

I think it’d be fine to reload and start again after you finish. Adding a 10 rep phase would probably be exactly what you need after finishing heavy in week 12.Ithink I’d do a three week phase with 2 x 10 and 4 x 10. I’d just continue doing the math backwards from the original week one.


#870

Correct, but I’m not sure if you should do this. I was kind of joking because it’s high intensity. That’s why I asked which lift was your priority.

I think you’re better off sticking with the progressive sets like this…


#871

I’m so confused by all this. I need to see it on paper I guess


#872

Bottom line is that my OHP is shot by the time I’m done with different types of bench and all that shit. So I’m not able to do 3x8 or 5x8 of the weight that I’m SUPPOSED to do.


#873

7 November 2018 - Upper Body W3D2 Bodyweight: 220.2lbs (was 214.6lbs yesterday, wtf)

Warmup

Pause Bench 5x8 225lbs (PR!!) (LSRPE 7)
Barbell Row 5x8 205lbs
OHP 95x8, 105x8, 115x8, 135x7+1, 135x5+3 (LSRPE 10)
Chin Ups 3x8 BW + 5lbs (LSRPE 10)
Close Grip Bench 185x8, 205x8, 205x8, 185x8
Face Pulls 1x30, 1x25, 1x20 32.5lbs
Front Plank & Side Planks 1x45sec

Notes
Apparently I’m 220 now? Idk.

I completely ran out of gas after the barbell rows. I’m EXTREMELY happy right now about my bench though!! That’s a HUGE volume PR for me. I think I more than doubled my previous high rep count for one bench session by doing 225 40 times today. This is perfect; accumulating that volume and fatigue. I can tell that I am because of how dead I was by the end of the workout. I had nothing left to give to my planks, but thankfully I do some for my warmup now too, so it wasn’t a complete wash.

Also: I don’t know what to do about chin ups. Maybe start with 3x5/5x5 and add one rep every week? By the end of the program I’d be doing 3x11 and 5x11, or something like that. Maybe that’s gonna be the move. I don’t think I’m efficient enough at them to be adding weight yet. Also, weighing 5lbs more than I normally do also didn’t help lol.

OHP doesn’t want to do what I want it to do, which is frustrating. I suppose I can increase the weight now since I’m going into phase 2 with 5 reps instead of 8. My OHP just hasn’t felt powerful or sturdy lately, probably (definitely 100%) because of everything I’m doing beforehand. But, like I talked about with Maier, bench is my priority and I have no problem with my OHP stalling as long as my bench gets stronger.

Overall, phase 1 for upper body was a success, not counting OHP. I paused almost every single rep of bench. Touch n Go bench now feels like cheating to me, which is funny because a few months ago I was advocating for the viability of TnG bench. It has its place, no doubt, but for this meet we need to be pausing our bench presses.

I’ll probably end up saying this every day, but I love this program. There is not a snowball’s chance in hell that I could have done 5x8 225 at all, let alone paused, 2 months ago. I’m REALLY excited to bring on the bigger weight. I’m currently slated for 3x5 245lbs for next bench day. I don’t anticipate that being too difficult. Phase 2 will finish up at 5x5 255lbs, which is a solid spot. If that ends up being RPE 7-7.5 like 5x8 225 was, I will be stronger than I’ve ever been before.

Rest day tomorrow. 5x8 275 squats on Friday, and depending where I lift, I may be able to finally deadlift with chalk. We’ll see.


#874

I’m glad you’re enjoying the program as much as I did! Once you get into it and feel it working you’re like, “How have I been missing this my whole life?”


#875

@JMaier31 it’s those damn shiny objects man. I’m sure there’s a psychological term for it, because it’s common in many people, but I always thought a more complex program would be better purely bc it was more complex and harder to understand lol. Apparently not the case. I can’t remember the last time I improved my RPE 7, 40 rep bench PR, but I wouldn’t imagine it was probably around 205-215 before this. Now 225 feels easy? What the hell is this and who the hell am I? Lmao


#876

When you can take 225 for a 10-12+ rep ride then it is easy. It’s coming…


#877

9 November 2018 - Lower Body W3D2 - Bodyweight: 216.2lbs

Warmup

Back Squat 5x8 275lbs (LSRPE 7)
RDL 3x8 235lbs
Conv. Deadlift 3x5 275lbs
Good Mornings 5x8 155lbs
Leg Press 2x25 6 plates
Side Planks 2x60sec

10 November 2018 - Upper Body W4D1 Bodyweight: 220.2lbs

Pause Bench 3x5 245lbs (LSRPE 8)
Barbell Rows 3x8 220lbs (brain fart)
Close Grip Bench 3x5 215lbs (LSRPE 6)
Chin Ups 3x5
OHP 3x5 135lbs (LSRPE 6)
Front Planks 2x30sec

Notes
I was hammered last night, and got about 7 hours of awful drunk sleep before my workout this morning. That being said, I’m very happy with how it felt. Pause Bench is still feeling strong and doing sets of 5 feels very easy.

Close Grip was also easy money. I had a brain fart during the barbell rows and did sets of 8 instead of 5.

Decided to do my Sunday workout today. So, rest day tomorrow, 3x8 squats on Monday.


#878

Morning weight today was 217.2lbs. That seems to be the norm for me right now. I just had 2 double cheeseburgers (which surprisingly only brings my calorie total to around 2,000 for today. I’ve mostly just been drinking water and watching my Bears win again) so I expect to be at least 219 tomorrow.

My hamstrings are still tight, and sore when I squeeze them with my hand. My quads haven’t cramped yet today, but they had been for the last 3-4 days once or twice each day. I decided that instead of getting drunk today, I would just drink a shit ton of fluids to try to put that behind me and it’s worked so far.

Tomorrow is week 2 of my 8s, and day 1 week 4 overall. 3x8 285lbs will be a volume PR. I’m realizing now that while 5/3/1 squeezed every drop of newbie gains out of me that it could, it didn’t do shit in the ways of overall volume for the main lifts, which is fine. That’s not what the program is about, and I ran it well and it was scary effective. But it is interesting to me that every session on SGSS ends up being a volume PR. Looking ahead, there isn’t a single session (besides 255lbs on bench) that is not a volume PR. I’ve done 6x6 255 twice before for bench, but it didn’t translate to anything in terms of a 1rm. I’m hoping that SGSS is different. I feel like I’ve built up some fantastic momentum with the 8s, and I feel good heading into 5s. Even if 5x5 255 feels easier than 6x6 did, that’s a big win for me.

I’ve also decided to replace RDLs with deadlifts, and use Good Mornings as my hip hinge movement. I need to play a little catch-up with my deadlift, though. I’m re-introducing it now since my back finally seems to have stabilized in terms of negligible pain and discomfort both in the gym and out. I’m going to record videos of myself deadlifting (or at least one video) and try to get my form sorted out. Part of me thinks that I’m physically able to pull 500+ right now, but for some reason I can’t get around this weird mental block. But then part of me thinks that maybe I’m just not built for deadlifting somehow, I don’t know. It’s frustrating. I see a lot of guys who deadlift roughly double what their bench max is, and I’m not even coming close. I’m only deadlifting 166% of my bench max, not 200%, and it’s FRUSTRATING


#879

It’s good to see you bringing deadlifts back. I think you just need to get a little experience with being uncomfortable. Those heavy reps where you feel like your body is bending is where you grow. Your thoracic spine might round a little. I’ve felt it and kept going. I thought for sure that my form was crap but the video shows it differently. My shoulders might get pulled forward but my lumbar spine stays neutral. It was scary at first but I’ve grown to understand it. I don’t go there often, but when a PR is on the line the only thing stopping me is gravity. I’m not giving up on the rep.


#880

That’s a very good point. With squats I always kind of understood it, because squats were always hard for me in high school. Once I realized that the difference between a 400lb squatter and a 300lb squatter is mentality, it was easy to get out of my comfort zone.

Let me preface this by saying I love my old high school coach who taught me how to Olympic lift. He’s one of the nicest, most caring and supportive dudes I’ve ever met in my life. But the way he coached and taught Olympic lifting was such that he taught us to be repulsed by, and fear, a rounded spine. So that’s what I’m kind of working through right now I guess. I’ve read things that Hybrid Performance Method and JTS, and others, have written on spinal posture during deadlifts, and I understand that as long as the lumbar spine is neutral, you’re pretty much alright.

I do really appreciate your input on this since you have the highest deadlift of anyone I’ve ever conversed with, and I think you’re right. I need to deadlift and feel it, and then watch the video and make that connection in my mind between the two. I did it with squats, and it helped a lot. A squat wouldn’t feel quite right, and I could look at the video and figure it out. Sometimes squats felt great but I’d look at the video and see that I was getting too far onto my toes. Repeatedly making connections between what I feel and what I see afterwards has made it very easy for me to self-diagnose problems during my workout and also simply raise my kinesthetic awareness. It’s huge