T Nation

Loggin' (aka Danger Zone)


UPDATED 10/5/2016

Starting a training log. I was hesitant to do this at first but the more I think about it there is no reason NOT to. If keeping this log elicits the slightest sliver of feedback to improve my lifts it will have been worth it. Hopefully someone reading this will be able to get some help from me as well. Some brief background:

Age: 25
Height: 5’6"
Weight (9/22) 238

Best Lifts:
Squat: 480 (no wraps)
Bench: 300 (gym) – 270 at my last meet
Deadlift: 500

I started working out when I was 16, just using some dumbbells and a machine in my parents’ basement (something similar to a bowflex). I didn’t make much progress. Most of my teen years were spent getting in to a lot of trouble - I was lucky to not do too much damage but all that needs to be said is that my escapdes exceeded well beyond your typical drinking and drugging experimentation. I was 21 before I got that straightened out. With my priorities better aligned, I was able to learn about proper nutrition and finally make some progress with the weights. I built a respectable physique and even got some abs to show at a svelte 150 pounds :slight_smile:

Fast forward 2 years, I’m 23 and move out of my parents’ place. Hit up a commercial gym for the first time and pick up a barbell for the first time. That day I saw some fat kid squat 300 pounds and realized I had my priorities all wrong. I studied strength training and started following Stronglifts 5x5 and within 8 months I was squatting that same 300 pounds for reps.

And the rest is history. I did my first power meet in January of this year and totaled 1165 at 220. I did my second one On 7/24/16 and got that number up to 1250 (480/270/500) at 242. I am still very much a beginner but there is no doubt I am bit by the iron bug hard. I did a full write-up of this meet which is over in the Powerlifting section for anyone interested.

I had been preparing for another RPS meet in October, however with work picking up and interfering with my training cycle I came to the decision that this meet was not in the cards. I’ve decided to hold off on competing most likely until 2017. In the meantime I am working on dropping a few pounds while continuing to push my strength up.

Thanks to anyone giving input and following along.


Just put the finishing touches on my programming for the upcoming cycle. I’m itching to get back in the gym tomorrow after a week off completey from lifting. The destination is RPS Annihilation on October 22nd. Some specific training goals:

  • Continue to bring up the posterior chain. I have strong quads and need to fill out my hamstrings to keep my squat and deadlift going up.

  • Keep adding upper body mass. This has been a work in progress. Like I said I want to get up to 250 and I’d like for a lot of that to be up top. I carry a lot of my weight in my lower body so my bench is lagging relatively speaking.

  • Get my bench technique dialed in. Seriously. And use higher percentages for this cycle than last for most of my volume work.

  • Record everything. I hate playing with my phone camera during training but watching myself lift has helped me learn immensely what my weaknesses are. So I’m committing to that.

  • Deload after each 3-week wave. Thatll be 9 weeks out, 5 weeks out, and meet week. I only deloaded once last time (aside from meet week which is always a deload).

  • Learn to use knee wraps. They’re in the mail … I’m not taking a heavy single until 7 weeks out, so that’ll likely be my trial run.

That’s about it. Anxious to get started.


MONDAY 8/1/2016 - 12 WEEKS OUT

After a week off I was able to get stretched out and warmed up a lot faster than usual. Good start.

(Warm up sets not included)

Squat 360x3x4; 375x3x3
Last set:

Deadlift 375x3x4; 395x3x3
Last set: (phone ran out of memory after second rep)

SSB Good Mornings: 165x8, 215x8, 275x7 - Back started to round on the 7th rep. I did the smart thing and cut it there instead of making an ugly 8th.

DB Stiff Leg Deadlifts: 100’s x 8, x 4. 80’s x 8. My grip was slipping here. Maybe time to get some straps.

Cable pull-throughs: 42.5 lbs 3x20

Weighted Sit-Up (w/ 45 lb plate): 4x10


Archer fan? Either way this poster seems appropriate for your log.

Also in for progress.


Yes lol … Was waiting for someone to get the joke but was not expecting it this early. Bravo.


Update for sake of keeping track. Bodyweight at 239.0 on the nose this morning 8/2. Would like to be waking up at 250 by the time I need to start thinking about making weight - say around Oct. 12.


Huge archer fan.

And you need my genes, waking up at 250? I could do that in a 3 days, or so it feels. LOL


Lol I could be at 250 by sunset if I wanted to. Tryin to make sure its good weight is a little more difficult…


WEDNESDAY 8/3/2016

Weighed in at 238.8 this morning

Monday’s lower body session was the most volume I’ve hit in a couple months. Was sore as all hell Tues. and today and could hardly walk around at work. So started today’s session with some lower body foam rolling. Then went:

Bench: 240x3x4; 250x3x3

Whipped out the 2-board and went 270x3, 290x3, and 310x1. 310x3 would have been a 10-lb PR but with the volume beforehand I just ran out of gas after the first rep and missed the second. Still a good bench session overall and I’m happy with the volume and intensity I have set up going forward.

Skull Crushers: 80x10, 100x10, 120x10 (10 lb PR)

Incline Tate Press: 35’sx13; 30’sx11; 25’sx12

Band Pressdowns (red mini): 100 total reps

Band Pull Aparts (red mini): 300 total reps

My leg drive sucks and I need to address that. Also I need to dial in my grip width. The bars in my shitty commercial gym all have differently-spaced rings so its hard to be consistent. Things to work on.


My first ever knee wraps just arrived. When I pulled them out of the package my 2-year old son says OH WOW, NEW SOCKS!!


Bodyweight update:

8/4: 240.0
8/5: 239.2
8/6: 240.2

A 1-lb swing day-to-day is a pretty flat fluctuation at 240. Carbs have been relatively controlled. As long as I’m inching up to 250 by October I’m on track.

FRIDAY 8/5/2016

Speed Squats: 265x12x2 (55%, 30 sec. rest)

SSB Squats: 245x8, 295x8, 315x8 (10 lb PR). I had never recorded these but now that I did I immediately spot a weak point. Gotta work on staying tighter and avoiding that pitch forward before each ascent.

Speed Deadlifts: 8 singles @ 325 (65%, 30 sec. rest)

Speed work felt GREAT. Assistance work was a lot of volume and a war of attrition.

Dimel Deadlifts: 150x2x20; 1x16

GHR x11, x9, x9

Leg Press: 95 lb on the machine, 4x30

Standing Band Crunches (gray average band): 5 sets max reps

Somewhere between the Dimels and 30-rep leg presses I was ready to puke and have a heart attack. I already can’t wait to get closer to meet day and drop some of this volume off.


SUNDAY 8/7/2016

Bodyweight 239.4. I actually had to tighten my Inzer belt one notch before today’s workout. Thats a great sign after two weeks consecutively of really paying more attention to my diet. A lot of the bloat I had from all the shitty carbs I was eating seems to have dissipated.

Speed Bench: 165x10x3 (55%, 30 sec. rest). Alternated 3 grip widths.

Did all of these sets with my heels on the ground which felt okay. Thats step one in addressing my shitty leg drive. Step two will be testing it out on max effort day. Im sure I can get more leverage on the balls of my feet (eventually) but I need to learn to drive through my heels first.

Incline Bench: worked up to 185x9. Only my second or third time ever doing these.

DB Bench Press: 55’s 3x10

Assisted Wide-Grip Pull Ups: 3 sets, got to 19 total reps

DB Rows: 45’s 3x10 each arm

Lat Pulldowns: 105 lbs x12, x12, x10

Rear Delt Raises: 15’s x20, x13; 10’s x20

Called it a day.


MONDAY 8/8/2016 - 11 WEEKS OUT

Bodyweight this morning 238.8. Actually down slightly from same time last week despite fluctuation throughout the week. Have been successful in cleaning up the diet but obviously need more food.

Squats 370x2x4; 390x4x3

Deadlifts 390x2x4; 410x4x3. Tore a callus off on the second set at 410. Wasn’t deep and no blood. No harm no foul.

Cambered Bar Good Mornings: 175x6, 265x6, 340x6 (PR)

Reverse Lunges w/ 15 lb DB’s: 4x10 per leg

DB Stiff-Leg Deadlifts: 55’s 3x20

Standing Cable Crunches: 87.5 lbs 6x10

Today was one of those days where training felt like a chore that was never going to end. It happens. In the end, I grinded it out and didn’t miss one rep of any lift today, so it was a success. I am thoroughly spent.


WEDNESDAY 8/10/2016

Bodyweight was up over 242 this morning. Thats a more than 2.5 lb swing in 2 days. We’ll call that an outlier.

Felt shitty since Tuesday morning with a horrible tension headache. Slept for 12 hours after work Tuesday then today was pretty nauseas up until I went to the gym. Ended up being a great day for benching.

Bench: 250x2x4; 260x4x3

Today was the true test for heels on the ground benching. Felt great. Also brough my grip in closer about 1 inch. I like this setup and will tentatively use it going forward.

Close-Grip to a 2-board: 250x3, 270x3, 290x3 (5 lb PR), 300x2 (PR)

Neutral Grip DB Bench: 60’s 3x10

Skull Crushers: 85 lb 3x12

Incline Tate Press: 10’s 5x30

EZ Bar Curl: 75 lb x 15 then two sets to failure

Monday was a grind so today was my rebound and it felt great. I’ve now benched 300 to multiple heights, grips, and angles for reps. I need to hit it on the platform.


FRIDAY 8/12/2016

Bodyweight back down to 239 this morning after staying at 242 for two days. I ate a lot of good food today and I need to step it up if I want to gain and keep it on.

Speed Squats: 275x12x2 (57.5%, 30 sec rest)

Tension headache came back on the very first set. The fact that it didn’t bother me at all on bench day makes me think its squat-related. It doesn’t feel like a muscular or nerve issue, but who knows. I lowered the bar on my back and really focused on my breathing and that managed it. I may make a DR appointment just to rule out a blood pressure issue.

SSB Squats: Worked up to 355x6 which was a PR.

Was planning on hitting something near 400 for 6 today but I didn’t want to aggravate any issues with this headache. Took the small PR and moved on.

Speed Deadlifts: 340x7x1 (67.5% 30 sec rest)

Step Ups w/ 25 lb DB’s: 3x10 each leg

Cable Pull Throughs: 57.5 lbs 3x20

Leg Curls: 25 lb 5x30

Side Bends w/ 45 lb plate: 3x20 per side


SUNDAY 8/14/2016

Bodyweight 243

Speed Bench 175x9x3 (57.5%, 30 sec rest)

Varied grips as usual. Here’s the last set (close grip)

Incline Bench: 135x8, 185x8, 205x6; 205x5

DB Bench Press: 40’s 3x15

Assisted Chin-Ups: 3 sets max reps - 26 reps total

Bent-Over Rows: 170x3x10

Cable Rows: 135x3x12

Band Face Pulls (red mini): 3x30

I am really getting used to my new bench setup. Optimistic about hitting some big PR’s in a couple of weeks leading up to this meet.


MONDAY 8/15/2016 - 10 WEEKS OUT

Bodyweight 241.8

Squats 385x2x3; 405x4x2

Deadlifts 405x2x3; 425x4x2

Deficit Deadlifts (standing on bumper plate): 365x5, 405x5, 425x3

Didn’t do these at all during my last meet cycle. Pretty sure the last time I did them I got up to 390x3 so this is a HUGE PR. Everything felt awesome today in general. If it was offseason I would have taken a weight on a competition deadlift.

GHR x13, x8, x7

DB Stiff Leg Deadlifts: 60’s 2x20, 1x7 (lower back pump took me out)

Weighted Straight-Leg Situps (w/ 45 lb plate): 4x10


WEDNESDAY 8/17/2016

Bodyweight: Over 244 this morning via Chipotle sodium bloat

Bench: 255x2x3; 270x4x2

Floor Press: Worked up to 265 x 2.5

I missed the third rep at my usual sticking point, but got a real good strain on it so I feel good about that. It took a while for my strength to come around today and by the time it did my elbows and shoulders were beat. That just means my planned deload for next week is good timing.

Finished with tricep hell:

DB Skull Crushers: 40’s 3x10; 35’s x 10

Tate Press: 25’s 3x15

DB Rollbacks: 10’s 100 total reps

Band Pull Aparts (red mini): 200 total reps


FRIDAY 8/19/2016

Bodyweight: ~244 this morning. Been between 242 and 244 every day this week.

Speed Squats: 290x10x2 (60%, 30 sec rest)

Pause Squats: 315x5, 365x5, 405x3.

Like the deficit deads earlier this week, this is my first time working pause squats in since before my last meet cycle. Major PR - I think my previous best was 315x5.

Speed Deadlifts: 350x6x1 (70%, 30 sec rest)

Hack Squat: 255x3x15

Leg Curls: 40 lb 5x20

Seated Band Hip Abduction (doubled red mini) 4x25

Good old fashioned, regular sit ups: 1x20, then 2 sets to abdominal cramping failure

My lower back was still a bit fatigued from Monday, but my legs feel stronger than they’ve ever been.


SUNDAY 8/21/2016 - 9 weeks out

Bodyweight 243

Speed Bench: 180x8x3 (60%, 30 sec rest)

  • 3 competition grip
  • 3 wide grip
  • 2 close grip

Incline Bench: 135x6, 185x6, 205x6, 225x3

Had to hurry up and get home to take my son to a birthday party, so just hit some lats and upper back then split.

Bent-Over Rows 175x3x10

Lat Pulldowns 105x3x12

Rear Delt Raises 10’s x25, x20; 5’s 2x25

Planned deload this coming week.