T Nation

Maple Syrup Strength (littlesleeper)



Exactly, 135lbs is under 40% of my competition 1RM. So the focus is PURELY on speed. Coach said that the minute a set decreases in speed, we know we have gone too heavy. Every set should be maximum speed. It shouldn’t be hard, this is a speed day. But I could actually feel it in my chest more that I would an FSL 5x5 at a much heavier weight.

Yeppers, lying with my back on the bench. The top of the dumbbells came down to tap the top of my shoulders, and then “rocked” my humerus back and then forward to initiate the movement.

They were just red mini bands doubled, so not really adding a ton of weight. These were still done so explosively that the 45lb plates “clanked” (?) from the fast up/down of the movement. The speed bench was not being used for form as much as it was for just building that speed.

Similar principles to Westside for sure, but he doesn’t really follow their plans per se. I’m also pretty sure he likes to have ME Upper days on Saturday because that is when he gets the most guys out to his little gym, and everyone loves a ME Bench day lol.

So for us it is:
Saturday: ME Upper
Monday: ME Lower
Wednesday: DE Upper
Friday: DE Lower

Are you a psychic? Chest, bis, tris, and abs are all reminding me of that workout. Not in a bad way, just some good, old fashioned, mild DOMS.

My wife and I picked up a pizza from the corner store (two competing corner stores within 1km from our house that both make phenomenal pizza), so good! Did not weight myself this morning, but looked tighter this morning than I expected, that maybe my body was happy to receive all those carbs/fat (lol, not likely).


I think the bands would be beneficial for the speed reps. Did they help at lockout in terms of stopping the weight on the ascent? I know when I’ve done fast reps on bench with light weight it felt like I had to do a little pull at lockout to get the way to stop going up and come back down.


Well, the stretch of the bands definitely added weight to the top of the movement vs the bottom. They also add a degree of instability to the lift, so you have to really try and stay in a straight bar path or you end up fighting against the bands.
I’m not sure what you mean about the pull at lockout.

Another cue the coach is trying to make me use is “bending the bar” and keeping the elbows in throughout the entire movement. I’ve never really been able to successfully apply this cue before, but might finally be starting to understand it. We will see if this still applies when I use it with some heavier loads.


You know how the bar flies up when you push as far as you can with light weight? It wants to keep going - like you’ve thrown it - when you reach lockout. I’m referring to the transition from up to down at that point. There’s a moment when your hands/elbows drop (for the eccentric portion of the lift) but the weight is still moving up so it feels like you have to pull the weight - or stop its ascent - for a split second.

Maybe I’m the only one who notices that or I’m crazy. :laughing:

I think it also depends on whether or not you pause at lockout between reps.


Ah yes, I guess I was just having trouble picturing it because it kind of just happens instinctively.

These triples were just bang/bang/bang! Oh, I actually forgot to mention I added a 1" foam block under my shirt (adding to my workout log now). Extremely fast in the transition at the top and bottom. I feel like these will do some good for my bench.


Another day waking at 219.8lbs.

We have DE Lower on the menu tonight.

On another note, we are on version 8 of our house drawings. Starting to get into the finer details of the house now! Looking forward to getting this complete, as there is still a long list of things to do before we break ground!


Should be awhile before you can pour concrete so time should be fine


Yes, but more often than not I think the same way, until I’m rushed and running out of time! It should all work out, big time looking forward to living in a brand new house with a 7 year warranty on it!


Traphouse Barbell Conjugate W1D4
DE Lower

Banded Box Squats - super wide stance, 12"box + 2" mat + Blue Heavy Bands
45 x 5
135 x 5
225 x 5
250 x 5
250 x 5
250 x 5
250 x 5
250 x 5

Prescription was 5x5 @ 50% of my 1RM from my ME Lower (Monday) + bands. Bands definitely added some stability difficulty while also reinforcing the required explosiveness to maintain the speed through the tension.

Banded Rack Pulls - below the knee, sumo stance, green medium bands (too light, move to blue or green + purple next time)
45 x 5
135 x 5
225 x 3
315 x 3
345 x 3
345 x 3
345 x 3
345 x 3
345 x 3
345 x 3
345 x 3
345 x 3

8sets of 3reps at ~50% + bands. Ended up overloading the bar a hair, but all reps felt good and quick still. Lower back starting to pump up pretty good from the squats and then deads. Mixed grip and hook grip alternating sets.

GHR - bodyweight, focusing on curling ass back towards feet.

Back Extensions - bodyweight

I feel like there was another exercise here…but I can’t remember at the moment…
Crippling lower back/hamstring pump.
Coach has found a weakness (hips/lower back/hamstrings) and he plans on getting rid of this weakness.

Neck Harness - hanging 25lb plate

Leg/Knee Raises

Standing Calf Raises (15 toes pointed out, 15 neutral, 15 toes pointed in)
45reps x BW
45reps x BW
45reps x holding 35lb plate

Reverse Hyper
160lbs x 25
160lbs x 25
160lbs x 25
160lbs x 25

I had to get 100reps breaking it up however I wanted. A nice lower back pump here, but they felt pretty good.

Another great workout. Putting in lots of work, but not feeling drained or beat up yet, so that’s a plus!


Nice work man!

We are joking a new gym tonight and will have access to some new toys! Rev hyper and GHR

Tonight we don’t lift until 10:30 :flushed:


Nice! The night crew. Put in some work man!

We are back at the iron at 8:15am tomorrow morning for ME Upper.


I picture this box being about calf height. How do you stand up after you squat that low? :smile:

How’d the neck feel after your first run at this last week?


Nice session Sleepy
Lots of work in there


Lol, it is quite low! It would be an inch or two below parallel, and standing up is not easy! Very slow out of the hole by “spreading the floor”. With these super wide box squats he really wants to strengthen my hips. I wonder if I super wide stance box squat would be a variation you could get away with without hip pain?

After the first session my neck was quite sore the next day. This time around, I still felt them a bit the next day, but nearly as bad.

Thanks! Yeah, these sessions are definitely go, go, go. Not much time in between anything. Coach is already barking out our next exercise before I’m finished the previous one.


I doubt it. I tried to go a little wider and that’s where it hurts the most. The more narrow I stand, the better it feels but I obviously sacrifice depth. I’m done with squats!



Traphouse Barbell Conjugate W2D1
Football Bar 3-board Bench Press
45 x 5
135 x 5
205 x 2
245 x 2
315 x 1
355 x 0 (well, 1 coach assisted rep)

The football (swiss) bar really changes the bench for me. I think it makes it even more triceps dominant (which would make sense as to why he had me using it). Then using the 3-board we really made it a triceps movement, which he has identified as my weakness.

Black SlingShot Bench - using 90% of my 1RM
315 x 2
315 x 2
315 x 2

"The Dirty Thirty" Triceps Giant Set - all done with an EZ-curl bar with 35’s on it close grip
Over and Backs
10, 10, 10

10, 10, 10

Bench Press
10, 10, 10

"The Shoulder Shocker" Giant Set - all done seated on a plyo box
Front Plate Raise - 35lbs, all the way overhead
10, 10

DB Shrug, Clean, Press - 20lb dumbbells
10, 10

Holy $hit, these were hard. It was a seated shrug, then while holding the shrug I rotated the dumbbell into the bottom press position (this is the movement that torched my shoulders) and then press.

Side Raises - 10lb dumbbells
10, 10

Leg Raises
20, 20

Banded Triceps Pushdowns
50 red
50 red
50 red
50 light purple
50 light purple
50 light purple

Grip Work in Rice Bucket - each set done twisting forearms and gripping in a different direction
30, 30, 30, 30, 30, 30

Thick Rope Hammer Curls - 45lb plate hanging from it
15, 5
10, 5, 5

Pushup Pyramid
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Micro resting in between sets. From 1 - 7 or 8 we basically did the set, went back into a child’s pose, and then back for another set. After that, rests were a touch longer.

Another good workout! The gym was packed this morning, so this one took a little longer. He was coaching 15+ people simultaneously, all doing various different workouts/days. 1hr, 10mins.


I like how you’re identifying weaknesses and hammering them. Who ever thought of that? I’ve always hit a main lift and then hit whatever I wanted to grow.

Guess now I’ve just dropped the main lift :laughing:


Now that I’m doing it, it seems obvious. Hopefully my next trip to the platform will prove that this method works!


Yesterday I started to really feel these.

Today I am limping around. 3 days later…

ME Lower tonight! Excited to get there and see what is on the menu.


Oh, and I also want to start posting one-liners in here that my coach drops on a regular basis. Super cheesy, and he knows it, but I enjoy them.

Last workout it was:
"It’s not the type of vehicle you drive, but the size of the arm hanging out the window."