T Nation

London's Log (2)


I've been logging over in the combat section until now, since that's always been a safe space for me. I've recently got into strength training more seriously, and wanted to start logging my training over here. There's plenty of guys over here whose strength and consistency I admire a good deal, and I'm hoping some of you might share some of your hard earned wisdom from time to time, if you see me doing anything particularly stupid.

I've just finished my 8th cycle of 5/3/1, and taken a great deload week, which has given me some time to recover and refresh myself. The next two cycles (6 weeks), the aim is to hit some PRs I've had in mind for a while, so the aim is to peak my strength, and continue to build up the supporting muscles.

I'm 6'1, 187-192ish lbs, been a boxer all my life, bounced around half arsing various training programs for about 18 months or so, then got on 5/3/1 at the start of the year, and have been following it since. So if I were being self-critical, I'd say I had been training consistently and intelligently for about 6 months.

In my last cycle I hit a long time target of a 168lb push press, and for the next two cycles my aim is to squat 312lbs from bottom position, and to bench 210lbs. The squat should be easy, as I did 345lbs from bottom position a month or two ago without consciously going for a PR. The bench will be harder as I am a shitty bencher and have only been doing it 6 months.

My current best lifts from the last cycle are:

Squat: 275lb from bottom position for a very comfortable single
Press: 168lbs for a very hard single
Block pull from below shins: 440lbs for an extremely easy single
Clean: 180lbs for a comfortable single
Bench: 176lbsx4 pretty comfortably
Snatches: 90lbs 3x3 - only started 3 weeks ago so still learning technique.
Rope climb chins: bw+30lbs x 8reps
BB rows: 203lbs x 8 reps
Dips: BW+30lbs x 8
Zercher squats: 203lbs x 8
Front squats: 203lbs x 8

My planned program for the nxt 6 week cycle is:

Day 1: Bench 5/3/1


Giant set (adding weight each round):

BB rows: 5x5
Low incline bench: 5x3
Weighted rope climbs: 5x10
Weighted dips: 5x5

Shadow boxing and skipping

Day 2

5/3/1 Cleans and blockpulls


Giant set (constant weights):

3x10 SB shoulders
3x50ft Farmers walk (I have two identical 5ft/1" BBs)
3x8 weighted ab roller

Heavy bag 5 rounds

Day 3

5/3/1 push press


Giant set (adding weight):

5x4 weighted rope climbs
5x3 HeSPU (looking to add reps to final set, then last two sets, etc)
5x20 DB rows
5x10 BTN Pushpress

Skipping and shadow boxing

Day 4

5/3/1 Snatches and squats


Giant set (adding weight):

5x3 front squats
5x5 Zerchers
5x10 ab roller

Heavy bag 5 rounds

Goals before the end of the year are:

BW pushpress
400lbs squat from bottom position
550lbs Blockpull from below the knees
1 full ROM HSPU
225lbs bench for reps
200lbs clean

Need Help about Lifting and Boxing

27th July 2015

5/3/1 - Bench

5’s week - 5x127lbs, 5x147lbs, 5x167lbs

Giant set:

BB row - 5x105lbs, 5x138lbs, 5x171lbs, 5x205lbs, 5x220lbs
Low incline bench - 3x147lbs, 3x152lbs, 3x157lbs, 3x162lbs, 3x169lbs
Rope climb chins - 10xBW, 10x+5lbs, 10x+7.5lbs, 10x+10lbs, 10x+12.5lbs
Dips - 5x+15lbs, 5x+20lbs, 5x+25lbs, 5x+30lbs, 5x+35lbs


26 minutes straight shadowboxin and jumping rope

Felt pretty good. Didn’t get as much sleep as I’d like last night, as I had to run someone to the airport early this morning, so all things considered a promising start to the next cycle. Feels good to have some conditioning back in my programming, although I’ll back off it if necessary to make sure I hit my strength goals for the next 6 weeks.


28th July 2015

5/3/1 Cleans and blockpulls (below the knee)

5’s week

Cleans - 5x120lbs, 5x135lbs, 5x153lbs

Blockpulls - 5x305lbs, 5x350lbs, 5x400lbs (pretty easy)

Giant set:

SB shoulder: 6x110lbs, 6x110lbs, 6x110lbs, 6x110lbs
Farmers walk 105lbs each hand: 65ft, 65ft, 65ft, 65ft
Barbell rollouts (knees) 66lbs: 8,8,8,8

400m 100lbs heavybag carry
Sprint 100m
20 pressups
Sprint 100m

5 rounds heavybag

Sprint 100m
20 pressups
Sprint 100m
400m 100lbs heavybag carry

Notes: weights felt good and pretty easy. The giant set was too easy, so I’ll increase the weight on everything in it next week. Really enjoyed today’s training. Timing is coming back now with my combinations, and with the extra weight I’ve put on the bag was really making some good sounds. My knuckles, elbows and lead shoulder were getting pretty unhappy towards the end, or I’d have carried on a bit longer. Still, felt good and a decent session.


Will be following, 531 is a solid program. I like the mix of conditioning you have after lifting.

Are you still going to be boxing regularly whilst strength training? There is a boxing gym round the corner from me and I have been considering giving it a go for a while now.


[quote]Ironwarrior25 wrote:
Will be following, 531 is a solid program. I like the mix of conditioning you have after lifting.

Are you still going to be boxing regularly whilst strength training? There is a boxing gym round the corner from me and I have been considering giving it a go for a while now.[/quote]

Ironwarrior25 - Great to have you along, mate. I won’t be boxing whilst strength training, other than heavybag/shadowboxing/skipping work. I boxed for 15 years and had a lot of fights, official and unofficial. That’s without the sparring time - thousands more rounds. At this point, I’m 25, and am protecting what few brain cells I have left. I love boxing more than anything, but it can be a cruel sport and take a lot from you if you don’t know when to call time. I’d still like to spar from time to time, just to stay conditioned to fight, but these days I’ve learned enough to get most of my training value from shadowboxing.

For your own situation, I’d say go for it, you won’t regret it. Fight gyms are some of the best places on the planet. They seem frightening on the surface, and when you walk in on your first day it might seem like a hostile place - loud, smelly, full of hard looking bastards. But the reality is that for anyone who humbles themselves, and wants to train hard (it might take them a few months to see you’re serious - there is a high dropout rate), there are few places that will make you feel more of a sense of brotherhood, and it will harden your body and mind in ways that few other things can. I am biased of course, but I’d jump at it if I were you - noone is going to throw you in the deep end and beat the crap out of you, these places are about building you up into something, not needlessly smashing you down.


Great to see you doing this brother! I’ll be following!


I’m an occasional lurker down in the combat forum, so I’ve seen bits of what you’ve logged previously. I’ll be interested to see where this one goes. Good luck mate :slight_smile:


29th June 2015

Alpha - Thanks so much for checking in mate. You’ve no idea how much your log and attitude have helped me get my shit together on this. It’s seriously motivating just to know you’ll be watching!

Wolfman - I knew there must be someone giving my log all those views. Thanks for stopping by, great to have you following along, I hope you’ll be able to give me some good tips along the way.


Today was an ‘off’ day.

AM - 62 mins ruck march with 68lbs pack - exactly 4 miles.

Throughout the day:

Pushups 550
Situps 420
BW squats 700
Back bridges 16x10s holds
Neck bridges 14x30s holds (7 front 7 back)

Shadow boxing 20 mins straight.

I just do this stuff every hour or so, or when I go to make the tea. Never usually log it, but want to get better with logging and tracking progress, so going to try to keep a record of everything.


30th July 2015

5/3/1 Push press

5’s week - 5x105, 5x120, 5x135

Giant set:

Weighted rope chins - 4x+20lbs, 4x+25lbs, 4x+30lbs, 4x+37.5lbs, 4x42.5lbs
Headstand pushups - 3, 3, 3, 3, 3
DB rows - 20x40lbs, 20x50lbs, 20x61lbs, 20x72lbs, 20x72lbs
BTN pushpress - 10x50lbs, 10x55lbs, 10x61lbs, 10x72lbs, 10x83lbs


10 mins skipping fast
10 mins shadow boxing
50 burpees


Pretty disappointed to be back using baby weights after the last cycle’s good progress. Part of it is just getting used to the movements. The HeSPUs sucked, and I was disappointed to be struggling with them. I think being 10lbs heavier than the last time I did them, 2 or 3 months ago makes a surprising difference. I also haven’t quite got the hang of the eccentric part of the BTN push presses, and that is definitely the limiting factor in the weight at the moment. As far as getting the weight up there I reckon I could easily do another 30-40lbs, but I can’t lower it in a way yet that wouldn’t smash my spine in. More practise required.


31st July 2015

Snatches - 5x33lbs, 5x55lbs, 5x77lbs, 3x99lbs, 2x3x105lbs

5/3/1 Squats - 5x185, 5x214, 5x242 (easy)

Giant set:

Front squats - 3x126, 3x148, 3x170, 3x192, 3x214
Zercher squats - 5x104, 5x126, 5x148, 5x170, 5x192
Ab rollouts - 10,10,10,10,10


400m heavybag carry
100m sprint
20 pushups
100m sprint

6 rounds heavy bag, 30s rest between rounds

100m sprint
20 pushups
100m sprint
400m heavybag carry


Snatches are something I am being really slow to get the hang of. I need to drop the weight I think. I’m barely dropping into a squat - the weight is going from floor to overhead without me doing much more than a knee bob.

Back squats were easy.

Front squats were hard. Zerchers were a bit easier - I’d expect a bigger PR with them next week.

Conditioning felt good. Hands and joints are getting used to it pretty quickly. Did a bit of bareknuckle work that I haven’t counted, and didn’t have too much discomfort.


You don’t need to drop under the bar yet on those snatches because you are too strong and explosive for the weights that you are using. Go heavier, and you’ll have to dip because you can’t pull so high.


Flatsfarmer, thank you for your comment. That does make a lot of sense. I feel pretty stupid for not just giving it a go. It seems like a lift I could find a load of ways to screw up so I’ve been erring on the side of caution, but the more I look at my training, the clearer it is that all my progress has come from being outside my comfort zone, not by being over-cautious. I’ll whack some more weight on next time, or perhaps over the weekend if I get a chance, and just see what going heavier does for me.


You could try some 1 arm snatches with a dumbbell. Let the db hang down, 1 handed, between your legs. You can “brace” your off hand against your knee to keep yourself squared up if you feel like you need to. Then you dip and rip! For me, this was a great way to regress the snatch. It was just easier to figure out what was going on without having to worry about hitting myself in the forehead, or dropping a barbell on my head. I know a lot of people suggest PVC pipes or empty bars to learn the quick lifts, but personally I never got much out of it. The dumbbell provides enough weight that I have to do the move the right way.

I like these as a warm-up, or a way to get ready to do the Olympic lifts. Sorry to jam you up with unsolicited advice.


Flatsfarmer, please don’t apologise, I really appreciate you taking the time. One arm snatches are a great idea. I have used them a bit for metcon stuff, and have felt pretty comfortable with them. I think at this stage of my lifting experience, it’s pretty easy to get caught up thinking ‘I must do BB snatch because that is the ‘right way’, and if that means using a broom handle for 6 months then that is what I must do’, rather than taking a step back and asking what the goal is, and whether it wouldn’t be just as well served by doing a version of the lift, like DB snatches in this case. All that is a convoluted way of saying DB snatches seem like a much better idea, that will let me get on with making progress.

Thank you for your input.


1st August 2015

Conditioning (I guess):

Spent nearly 8 hours in the garden today, digging over various plots of land, barrowing soil and manure, up and down hills, and shifting rocks. I wouldn’t really call it serious conditioning, but I do think all this stuff adds to your base level conditioning. Just being mobile and doing hard physical work conditions the body.


3rd August 2015

5/3/1 Benchpress

3’s week - 3x136, 3x156, 3x176

Giant set:

BB row - 5x126lbs, 5x148lbs, 5x171lbs, 5x205lbs, 5x220lbs (same weights)
Low incline bench - 3x148lbs, 3x153lbs, 3x158lbs, 3x164lbs, 3x170lbs (1lb improvement)
Rope climb chins - 10xBW, 10x+7.5lbs, 10x+10lbs, 10x+12.5lbs, 10x+15lbs (2.5lbs more than last week for top set)
Dips - 5x+20lbs, 5x+27.5lbs, 5x+32.5lbs, 5x+37.5lbs, 5x+42.5lbs (7.5lbs more than last week for top set)


15 minutes switching between fast paced skipping and shadowboxing - focus on constant movement

Finished with 10 burpees/20 jumping jacks x 3


I did not eat enough today or yesterday, and my training suffered for it a bit. My bench top set was hard, and the rows felt heavy too. Surprisingly everything else felt good.


4th August 2015

5/3/1 Cleans and blockpulls (below the knee)

3’s week

Cleans - 3x126lbs, 3x144lbs, 3x164lbs

Blockpulls - 3x325lbs, 3x375lbs, 3x422lbs (pretty easy)

Giant set:

SB shoulder: 6x130lbs, 6x130lbs, 6x130lbs, 6x130lbs (+20lbs PR on last week)
Farmers walk 126lbs each hand: 65ft, 65ft, 65ft, 65ft (22lbs total PR on last week)
Barbell rollouts (knees) 66lbs: 8,8,8,8

400m 100lbs heavybag carry
Sprint 100m
20 pressups
Sprint 100m

7 rounds heavybag

Sprint 100m
20 pressups
Sprint 100m
400m 100lbs heavybag carry

Notes: Good session this evening. Cleans were quite hard. I don’t think I’m eating quite enough at the moment, so I’m adding some more calories in the form of rice into my daily routine, just 2 (cooked) cupfuls, so we’ll see what that does. I don’t think I’ll hit my numbers for the end of the next cycle unless I eat more aggressively.


Will definitely give the boxing gym a go. Something I have wanted to try for ages.

Training looks to be pretty solid and nice to see someone else doing giant sets. Have you found you are gaining weight on this current program?


[quote]Ironwarrior25 wrote:
Will definitely give the boxing gym a go. Something I have wanted to try for ages.

Training looks to be pretty solid and nice to see someone else doing giant sets. Have you found you are gaining weight on this current program?[/quote]

Ye, although for the first time my weight seems to be fluctuating quite a lot. I’ve been as high as 194lbs, and as low as 185lbs (was 182 8 weeks or so ago, so still a pretty decent improvement).

I love/hate the giant sets, they are awesome - I’m getting bigger and stronger, but they are hell to do at the time. After the first two sets I am questioning why I need to put myself through it, after the third set I’m questioning whether it wouldn’t be better just to drop dead, then for some reason come set 4&5 I’m really focused an flying and trying to slap some weight on the bar and hit a PR. I nearly blacked out on the third rep of my last set of dips yesterday, just trying to improve on last week. Something about the giant sets makes me push much harder than I would otherwise I think. And I have the energy to do hard conditioning afterwards.

How are you finding the style of training? I read through your log, it’s good stuff. I actually went to Henley Regatta 2 years ago, and had a pretty good day. A mate is in the national team, and he got me and a few others a ticket. Rowing is pretty brutal conditioning from what I gather.


Yeah rowing is pretty brutal, I am just enjoying mixing stuff up and having a bit more free time during the off season.

Agree on the giant sets being tough, but they are working for building mental toughness and increased work capacity. Helps me fit conditioning in to my workout as well as I don’t take as long to complete workouts.