T Nation

Losthog—2018 First year

Just chiming in to say this is a great log and I’ll be following. I’ve not read all of it because it’s hard to keep up but what I’ve read I’ve enjoyed. I might even try that squat program you were doing.

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@caesium32 welcome to the log. If you decide to do the squats it will build your legs. There will be days when you think no way I can do this today, yet it happens. I will miss the squatting 4 times a week, but not the 25 rep sets.

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@mortdk that’s a great idea. I’m thinking I’ll do 5x5 this cycle then 5x8 next cycle, deload, then could do the double amrap with jokers. That third cycle last week will be joker heavy…pushing hard before a new TM set.

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I followed the linear and ramping 5x5 for years with great success, you will get bloody good at squatting while doing it 3 times a week.

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4/14/18-- Deadlift

5x 155,185,225,245,275
+315x12 (had 3-5 more in me)
?335x5 (grip was getting iffy last rep or two)

1-2" from floor: 275x5,
Mid shin: 245x5
Below knee: 245x5
Above knee: 245x5 (video below)

Ft squat:
145x10 (these were all too light.)

Bb glute Bridge: pause at top slow to floor
135x20x3. (Ass was on fire)

Bb seated good morning:
135x20,20,15 (worked on straight back and getting depth seated was the suck)

Lying leg raise hip thrust:
20x3 (back from good mornings was cranky)

Reverse hyper on bench BW:
20 these are gonna be good

Hanging knee raises:

Face pulls here and there…@100 at 50lbs

Deadlift felt good. Squats have improved a ton so glad I did the big sets for 3 weeks they are paying off now. Legs are solid!


This whole session looks incredible. Amazing job with the deadlifts. I love reverse hypers, glute bridges, facepulls, and hanging knee raises. This is awesome!!! Good work big man!

The way I figure this stuff out is fairly uncalculated, but on days that I feel very good every month or two, I’ll work up to a heavy single. Something I know I could do for 3 if my life depended on it, but I just hit it for one to stay safe and not go too off program. I like to take a video so I can judge my form and bar speed, and from there I determine how my progress is coming along. For example, on Thursday, I did some back squats. 365 moved very well (for me), as did 385 and 405. I got a video of 405 and watched my problem areas and everything looked fine.

What JMaier said is true:

I think the 80-87% range is the money range, especially if you’re transitioning to sets of 4-6 after doing some lower intensity volume work for a few weeks/months prior. Although in my experience, strength can be built as low as 70-75% too. Anything upwards of 87-88% (in my opinion) should only be used if: A) you’re deloading (i.e 3x2 88-92%), or B) you’re testing your strength in some capacity. I like working in the mid 70% range because the weight isn’t too light, but you can still do sets of 8 or 10 and get some quality working volume in.

The feel of the weight is very important, but it isn’t always the best indicator, hence why I take videos. When I squatted 405 for a single the other day, I felt like the barbell was going to take my straight down to the pins with no chance of getting up. Somehow I managed to stand up with the best bar speed i’ve ever had with that amount of weight. Conversely, a few weeks ago, I had 315 on the bar, squatted it a few times and felt amazing, then jumped to 365 for a very shaky single rep that felt awful. My advice is to take videos of the sets or reps that you deem to be the most important during the workout and then analyze them (either between sets or after the workout is over). Very similar to how we watch film of our throwers between throws or after a throwing practice.

I think singles should progress to doubles fairly quickly (within 1-3 months) but I don’t think that testing it that frequently is that good of an idea. I’ve found that if I test too often, it throws a wrench into my volume accumulation groove. Maybe that’s just me, I don’t know. Testing 1rms with regularity is literally a rookie mistake. People who don’t know shit about lifting are usually the ones who seem to be working up to a new max every time you see them in the gym lol.

I push weight levels up every month or two in a safe manner. I try to avoid doing a true 1rm unless I’m at the end of a few months of a strength phase (after 5-6 months of 5/3/1 and in a few weeks after my Russian 6x2) and a deload. Hitting a number that you know you could add 15-30lbs on for a true 1rm is a good place to be.

Take all this with a grain of salt and bear in mind that I’m still technically a novice/intermediate lifter. I’m not claiming that any of this is correct, but in my experience so far, it has worked for me.

To summarize:

  1. singles should progress to doubles fairly quickly, but that doesn’t mean we should test them routinely.
  2. It is easier to add 10lbs onto your squat or deadlift than it is to add it to your bench max. It doesn’t take a whole lot for those big muscles to be able to lift 10lbs of extra resistance, but the smaller muscles involved with benching will take longer. So in that sense, yes, it is dependent on the lift.
  3. The feel of the weight is important, but so is recording top sets and 88-92% singles. What you feel may be different that what is happening in reality, so videos are a very useful tool (I just set my phone up in my shoe pointed at the squat rack and hit record. Shorten it later).
  4. How often you push weight levels up depends on your program. Doing a heavy single every month or two is a good way that I’ve found to gauge my progress. I.e, my squat max was 405 in January but it was a 4 second grinder. I tested it again in April and I breezed through my old sticking point. Progress has been made.

Sorry for such a long and late post. This is what I do with my Saturday nights now…


Dude that is exactly what I was asking for! Thanks. I’m not looking to max 1rms on a regular basis. But I do need to be mindful of working heavy and pushing weight on the bar too fast. I think part of my hammy injury was feeling like “hell yeah I got one more rep of that shit in me” and pushed it too far. You answered exactly what I was asking.

I plan to work in 5s, 3s but i needed or wanted some input about when that is possible safely, and when it is dumb. I’ve found that I don’t feel fatigue with a weight coming. I just lift the shit out of it and then I can’t anymore. There isn’t really any burn or tired feeling it’s like a switch is flipped and it’s done.

I do feel it working and flexing mind you but no indication of oh shit I’m about to be done…maybe just a noob thing

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Any slow progression should work as long as you don’t jump too fast. One of the first programs I ever did was 3 weeks on 3x10, 3 week on 3x8, 3 weeks on 3x5, 2 weeks on 3x3, 2 weeks on 3x2, and then I tested. Week 1: 3x10 175, 1x10 180. Week 2: 3x10 180, 1x10 185. Week 3: 3x10 185, 1x10 190. Etc.

Granted, that was a linear progression type of deal, so I started with 175lbs for 3x10. After 3 weeks, I was at 190 for 3x10. Then 195 for 3x8 for 3 more weeks when I finished at 210 for 3x8. Then 215 for 3x5, followed by 235 for 3x3s, then 245 for 3x2s. I finished that cycle with a 285lb max, which was 30lbs higher than I’d ever benched before, so I know it worked.

I think it’s a good idea to start at 68-70% for 3x10 and try to finish around 90-92% for your 3x2s, if that makes it easier to calculate. I started that cycle with a 255lb max, so 70% was 178.5lbs. My coach rounded down (wisely) to put me at 175lbs for my starting 3x10 weight. In a scenario like that, you’re absolutely fine working down to triples and doubles because you’ll be giving your body plenty of time to acclimate to the increasing intensity as you lower the volume.

A stupid thing that I did, and thank God I didn’t get injured doing it, was early last summer I would bounce around from 3x12 to 10x3 to 5x5 with absolutely no plan. Thankfully I was much weaker and squatting 235 for 5x5 didn’t injure me, but I also didn’t get any stronger doing that. As long as you progress into the lower rep ranges you will be totally fine. If your body isn’t up to the task of going from 8s to 5s to 3s, you’ll feel it before you sustain any major injury. The main thing to look for is: are you getting all your reps? If not, you’re progressing too quickly, and you may be trying to handle weights that are just too much at that point in time.

I know exactly what you’re talking about. This happens to me with close grip bench literally every time I do it. I’ll be doing just fine, and all of a sudden I hit a wall and I can’t get it off my chest. My body gave me no signals that I was nearing exhaustion, but out of nowhere i just fail. It sucks. And I can definitely see how that is dangerous for squats.

It’s possible that it’s a noob thing, but I think you’re at the point now where you aren’t a noob anymore. Something that may help (possibly) is using your assistance work to focus on mind-muscle connection. It’s bro science I think, but it still helps. I like to close my eyes and envision the muscle contracting as I perform reps (only with curls, face pulls, and other things that don’t require much balance). I’ve found that it helps me control the weight and get a better pump. Something to think about. You could try doing it with some light hamstring curls or leg extensions. Maybe some RDLs too

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This is basically the program I’m running. I started with what was supposed to be 70-72% for 3 x 8. Workout 2 if the week is 5 x 8 and then I add 10 lbs for lower body and 5 lbs for upper.

Phase two is three weeks of 5 rep sets. Phase three is sets of 3. Phase four is a ladder of 5/4/3/2/1.

After week one the percentages don’t matter. I just add some weight to the bar. I’ve been adding 20 lbs to deads and RDLs because I started too light - - - not the worst problem to have. I gotta get up to 4 plates to hit 81% of my PR. I don’t want that to be a one time lift!

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Big numbers, hell yeah baby!!!

Extremely solid. Are you adapting some 5/3/1 principles into your program or am I thinking of someone else?

I’m off 5/3/1 for this program. It’s CT’s Guaranteed Simple Strength & Size from his ThibArmy site.

Oddly enough, I’ve been writing progressions for other people of 3 x 8, 3 x 9, 3 x 10 and then add weight and repeat. But it took an age old method put out by CT for me to actually put it back in my program.

Sometimes I do better following other people’s programs because I do the same exercises (per the program) instead of changing to other variations every week.


@Frank_C @lava2007

Thx for the input. I’m a lifting junkie right now and have been since I started lifting mid year last year (can’t remember if it was late June, or July). I can’t learn enough. I would rather learn through listening than blowing something out again.

That being said I’ve been looking for my next program (yes I just started 531 again and will run it for 10 weeks, but summer is coming). I’m am thinking of running the canto advanced bench program. I should be close to 250-260 bench by then and could be inreach of 315 bench with that program over the summer. Probably an agressive and greedy reach but it would be awesome to hit 315 by the time school starts again in just over a year of training.
I’m too competitive.

The coaches (the younger ones) have been put on point and have been secretly started lifting again I found out recently. There is one guy my age who benches more than I do in my coaching group, but he is going down this summer. He asked me to train his guys this next offseason (varsity baseball). I hope to spin all of this into a strength job for the varsity football program…we will see

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I’m in the exact same spot as you there boss.

No such thing. You can do it. Putting up anything over 225 is impressive. 315 is scary. You’ll nail it if you keep up the nutrition plan that you’ve got going on.

You just out-alpha’ed him. Even if he can bench more than you, can he deadlift 315x12? Doubtful. Most guys your age can’t even bend down without grunting and heaving. AND he wants you to train his guys? He just conceded the “Most Alpha” title to you. You win. And training the varsity football team would be absolutely amazing… there are so many things you could do with them


lol. always dropping gems.


4-15-18. Measurment Day

Am: 244.4 Pm:

Bf%: 16.55 (10,28,12)
Fat lbs: 40.5
LBM: 203.9

Neck: 17.5
Shoulders: 54.5 (not sure measurment same placement)
Chest: 45.5
Ribs: 41.5
Belly: 40.5
Waist: 41.5
Hips: 43.5
Rt/ Lt
Bicep: 16/16
Fore: 12.25/12.25
Thigh: 24/24 (they shrank an inch)
Calf: 16/16

Diet was terrible last week due to work obligations and just availability of junk. Calories ranged from 3500-4000. Donughts, chips, casseroles, frito pie (yum), sonic double cheese burger with chili cheese tater tots…at least three days of garbage at least one meal a day. But I still lost weight 5 lbs and the weight loss is holding.

Moved away from Hypertrophy and high rep squats (I already miss these) back to 531. Hoping to make some decent gains in strength this cycle.

Goals for this 10 wk cycle: current / goal
OHP: 165/ 185-190
Squat: 285/ 315
Deadlift: 405 straps/ 445 strapless
Bench: 235/ 250-260

So I added seated good morning to this cycle and wow they work good. Taking the hips out of the movement makes the back work much harder. Thinking of adding in some DB bench work on squat day to make bench a priority this cycle. That would give me three pressing days.

Keep grinding and crushing goals tnation!


Strong lifts man! You’ll crush those goals


4-16-18 Rebuild the bench form

Bench: working on new form video link :point_down:
+185x2 form went to shit reracked
+185x8 couldn’t find a good setup
?205x5 this felt better than 185
?235x1 pr decided I needed a win today
I had more thinking 250 was in range today decided to leave it for another day

Paused bench:
Wide index outside rings:
145x5 form set up was exhausted by now


Wide grip: really focused to aid bench form

SS BB row/ DB 1 arm row
135x10 / 60x10
185x10/ 60x10 worked back with weight
185x10/ 60x10 " "

Bb curl: bar for 100 reps
40, 40, 20

DB tri kickbacks: 100 reps
15sx 45, 35, 22

SS cable rev grip curls/ tri pushdown rope

50x30/ 60x40
40x15/ 60x30
40x13/ 60x12

Tonight was all about correcting form to get into a good benching position holding tight and finding leg drive. I’ve got a long way to go. After watching the Tate series on bench, squat, and deads I finally get how accessory work ties to a main lift. It is so simple but eluded me how to fix the “weak” points. Accessory is all about being able to hold proper form throughout the set… posted the first video in the bench series. If you haven’t watched them I recommend you take a look. Older information but really good stuff.


Two things that help me with benching are keeping my elbows in while the bar descends and pointing my toes outwards with my heels on the ground. I feel a lot tighter when my elbows stay in, and once you touch your chest and begin to press, let your elbows find their normal/comfortable position and press through it with the heels of your hands. The leg drive is pretty hit or miss for me because I rarely focus on it, but when I do, I’ve found that keeping my heels on the ground is more important than having my feet tucked way back. Pointing the toes outwards allows me to have more solid contact with my heels somehow. Worth a try. Congrats on the bench PR dude!!

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Hey Hog
Congrats with the bench PR.

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