T Nation

MarkKO's Training Log


Ok, little bit of self reflection. It introspection. Whichever.

I now have two competing interests: training and work. Not in the sense of needing to find time to do both, because then it’s three including family and I’m good at finding time for all of them. Not going to be falsely humble about that.

I mean competing interests in the sense that I want to be big and strong but I also want to be a good cabinetmaker, and the past two weeks when push came to shove I used my allotted non-family time for working on my work instead of training. I could easily have left work an hour or so earlier and had more time for training and recovery, except I chose to stay working longer because that’s what I wanted to do more.

It doesn’t seem like much, but it appears that the extra five or six hours I spent at work each week really did impact my recovery and energy. Monday and Tuesday training was no issue. By Thursday, come quitting time it’s a different story.

So, no problem really. At all. Just change.

I will freely admit that I’m considering going to three days a week training. Even when work slows down it would give me extra time for my own projects (boss is very accommodating when it comes to using the workshop for personal stuff). How I’d fit that with Greg’s training is something I’d have to think about. Probably the simplest would be moving to a nine day microcycle instead of seven and pushing deloads accordingly.

Something like Monday/Wednesday/Friday

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

That could work, looking at it.

The other alternative, which I’m less willing to consider because it somehow seems like the soft option is moving to something like 10/20/Life, which is a three day per week system.

The other reason I don’t want to go down that route is that Greg’s system works really fucking well. I’m not sure how much difference dropping a day per week would make. Looking at the most basic principle of accumulating fatigue and then recovering to adapt, it only seems sensible to make a change that would ensure sustainability.


Thanks for the quick reply MarkKO and the information given it’s much appreciated. I think you are correct that benching once a week is probably enough once your moving a decent amount of weight as recovery is just as important as training although i don’t quite fall in to that category just yet.


My pleasure.

It isn’t really about the weight moved, trust me. I don’t bench much even compared to the average bro and I still make progress benching once a week and twice every second week. Once you nail your technique and attack every muscle involved with intent, your bench will go up.


That’s a Paul Carter thing right?

Switching to a 9 day microcycle seems like a pretty reasonable route though. In the long run I can’t imagine there would be much difference.


Woke at 247.4 lbs again, looking the same as yesterday.

@mr.v3lv3t Brian Carroll. I think you’re right. There shouldn’t be a ton of difference. I can always do a four day week here and there if I have time, but right now I think I’m better served by moving to three days a week that I know I’ll do.


Woke at 248 lbs, looking similar to yesterday. Greg is ok with me going to three days a week. That’s a major relief.


Todays training

90/90 and McGill big three

Took my time with these because my back stiffened up over the weekend. Felt good after.

SSB squat
2x10xbar - first set a tiny bit stiff but second set felt smooth
6xplate - fine
4x2 plates - fine, but surprisingly heavy
1x281 lbs - well fuck me dead. First time could barely make it to a quarter way down. Took a few breaths and tried again. Same deal. Racked it, reset, went again. Made it halfway down this time. Couple of breaths, went again and actually got a rep but the descent was monumentally slow and felt incredibly awkward. Couldn’t sit back at all Didn’t feel bad coming up, but the descent really threw me. Racked it again, reset, went again. Got another rep but racked it. No way I was trying a set. Not being able to sit back is like not knowing how to squat.

Figured maybe it was the bar. So load up the regular bar, and this time almost fell forward my balance was so shit. Got back up, tried again and made it around halfway down.

Even I can read the writing on the wall when its that big.

Went home. I don’t know what the fuck is going on though. My back might be stiff, but nothing I did hurt in the slightest. It was just like once I went past two plates everything below my ribcage just switched off.

So, new plan.

I’m taking all this week off, for starters. Then I’ll start the hypertrophy cycle from scratch, and I’ll can the idea of the SSB to boot.

While I’d like to blame this on my back, it’s hard to do that when I can move fine and work fine. Something else is off. All I can think of is that after the meet I didn’t recover anywhere near enough before starting again.


Sounds like the cause. After my Strongman Comp im taking a full week off


Are you gonna do something else in the meantime then? Maybe work on the strict preacher curl world record and you’ll get sick and tired of that and the hunger to smash the big weights will return


Fuck that.

I’ll just take a week to recover. I’ll use the extra time to start making a couple of things in the workshop I’ve been wanting to do. With any luck, a week will be enough to get me back to normal.

It’s like I said before: not wanting to train isn’t too uncommon for me; not wanting to train and not being able to push past that is.


When are you releasing your book of poetry. You sir are a diamond geezer.


Geeze, you’re doing better than me.
90% of the time I’d rather be at home hanging out with the dog than at the gym


Looks like you’re pretty beat, Mark. This isn’t your first rodeo so trust yourself. It looks like you have some good self regulation going on.


Do you have the 5th Set book by Cory Swede Burns? I think it is quite close to Greg’s system but it is a program with 4 training days over a 9 day microcycle. It may be something of interest to you.


I’ve only been wrong like 2 times in my entire life.

Saw some Team Panora dudes lift this weekend. Everyone seemed to be crushing their attempts.


Woke at 247.4 lbs, a bit more bloated than yesterday. Back is a tad stiff, but not painful.


Time for some hot epsom salt baths.


Well, feel tired, dehydrated and hot. Left work a bit early because I was having one of those days where whatever I touched turned to shit.

Got some soluble Hydralyte tablets that I’m currently sipping on.

Sounds shitty, right?

Except I also got a (fourth round) invitation to GPC Nationals in Adelaide from 14 to 16 June. Which is fucking awesome. Of course I said yes. I’m waiting on Greg to say how to proceed. Because, once peak is accounted for it gives me four weeks to train from now. Three if you don’t count this week, which I’m not going to because training would probably be stupid. Greg might say not to, but I don’t think he will. If he does say no, this is one time I’ll go against his advice because I’ve wanted to go to nationals for a while. All I want to really do is what I aimed for last meet: that’s an extra five pounds on bench and actually hitting my deadlifts. Squat I’ll be very happy to add five pounds to if I can.

So another change, but this one is cool. Also means I’m back to eating as much as I can, because I’ll be in the 275s. I figure I’ll shoot for around 255-7 lbs by the end of peak.


Hey Mark sorry to hear you’re struggling.
You’ve been there before, so you’ll get over it, as you said, probably a bit of recovery issue from the meet, you had to recover both your back and your muscles.
Signing up for Nationals, will have you right back in training, you’ll have a goal and a wish to do well there.
As always I’ll be here cheering for you mate :slight_smile:
Btw happy TN cake day.


Quite right @mortdk

I’m determined to rest this week. As it is by the time I hear back from Greg half the week will be done anyway.

Left to my own devices I’d drop the hypertrophy and go straight into accumulation for three weeks and then peak. We shall see what Greg says.