T Nation

Max's Maxes: Squats and Bench Every Day


#1

Last log: Tears, Sweat, and Blood on the Brain

With a new training style comes a new log.

Background: 23 year old final year medical student, training for powerlifting since I was around 16, load of different programmes, bro splits, etc. Past few years been more fond of higher frequency training and have finally shifted into a Bulgarian style.
Did 6 weeks of daily maxing on high bar squats and close grip bench while I was abroad, liked the results, and now that I’m back at uni switching back to the competition lifts.

Basic routine is an unpsyched daily max on squat, followed by 2-4 back offs, then the same on bench.
Deads 2-4 times a week, alternating a volume and a heavy day but generally relatively low intensity.
Upper body pulling, ab work, other accessory exercises thrown in around warmups, back offs, and at the end of sessions.

All time PBs at 105ish kg: 227.5kg squat, 125kg bench, and 240kg deadlift. Comp PBs at 98kg of 212.5/110/230.

Had a bit of time off of lifting after some medical stuff and dropped a weight class.

Now comfortably a 93kg lifter, and have hit 215/120/227.5kg.

Considering a meet in mid November in order to get some experience in the BPF/IPF before uni nationals/BUCS in March. Until then…

Updates

Current PRs
237.5kg squat
135kg bench
260kg deficit deadlift

I’m using English dates, deal with it.

11/11/17 SWPLA Bitesize Comp - first IPF meet. 220/120/235/575 @ 90.9 - 365 Wilks
Log post

9/12/17 Exeter uni PL Soc mock meet. 227.5/120/241/588.5 @ 95 - 366 Wilks - Log post

25/3/18 British university nationals (BUCS). 237.5/120/255 @ 94.01 - 382.81 Wilks - Log post with vids


Tears, Sweat, and Blood on the Brain
#2

I like the sound of this. May God have mercy on your soul


#3

It ain’t as bad as you’d think.

Officially competing on the 11th of November now. I wanted to get some time on the platform under my belt in the BPF before university champs next March and this comp is just down the road from my dad’s house so pretty handy. Will be a very rushed prep but I’m basically going into it with the sensible goals of going 9 for 9, and only shooting for meet PRs on my 3rd attempts. This coming week I’ll hit slightly higher volume in my back offs, a bit of variety, then gauge openers on Saturday or Sunday. Next week will be consistent heavy singles in the comp lifts. Week after will be a semi deload and recovery period, which is the suggested peaking method for this training style.

So I guess this is a prep log now.

BW 94kg - pizza social last night, I’m not concerned about making weight at all and don’t think a water cut will even be necessary.

Squat - warmup

Low bar, front, and overhead squats
Sleeves on
5 sets from bar to 140kg

Squat - daily max

Low bar
Belt on
160kg x 1
170kg x 1
180kg x 1
190kg x 1
200kg x 1 @ 9

Squat - back offs

Front squat - paused - 2 count
Belted
100kg x 1
120kg x 1
130kg x 1
140kg x 1
150kg x 1 - PR matched
Ss/ Shins to bar
5 x 5

Bench - warmup

Comp. and close grip bench
Elbow sleeves, wrist wraps on
4 sets from bar to 80kg

Bench - daily max

Comp. bench
90kg x 1
100kg x 1
Belt on
110kg x 1
115kg x 1

Bench - back offs

Close grip bench - paused - 3 count
100kg x 3 x 2
Ss/ Facepulls
3 x 20

Accessory work

SSB - paused, naked knee beltless
50kg x 3
70kg x 3
100kg x 3
120kg x 3
130kg x 3
Ss/ Narrow semi neutral chins
5 x 5

Placed was rammed tonight so didn’t superset all my warmups with accessory work just to be considerate to the guys I was working in with.


#4

I like the sound of this log, I’ll be following along


#5

Welcome!

BW 92.6kg - also hit a PR on belt tightness today.

Rolled my legs out a lot yesterday and they felt fuzzy all day today.

Squat - warmup

Low bar, front, and overhead squats
Sleeves on
5 sets from bar to 140kg
Ss/ Chins
5 x 5

Squat - daily max

Low bar
160kg x 1
175kg x 1
187.5kg x 1
200kg x 1
205kg x 1 @ 9 plus a little lost tightness . Wasn’t entirely happy with this but on review it moved quickly. First time over 200 in a while and I think I just lost focus. Dropped down a little too quick for how tight I was holding my core.

Squat - back offs

Low bar
180kg x 2 x 3 @ 8,8
Ss/ Chins
BW x 2 x 8

Bench - warmup

Comp. and close grip bench
Elbow sleeves, wrist wraps on
4 sets from bar to 80kg
Ss/ Full rom laterals
5kg x 4 x 10

Bench - daily max

Comp. bench
90kg x 1
100kg x 1
Belt on
110kg x 1 @ 8.5
115kg x 1 @ 8.5 - smooth rep and best pause with this weight I’ve done recently.

Bench - back offs

Floor press
80kg x 3
90kg x 3 - long pause last rep
100kg x 3 - long pause last rep - good
Ss/ Bent over row
80kg x 3 x 10 - needed a back exercise that wasn’t chins that I could do quickly so borrowed a friend’s deadlift bar. Pulling tomorrow and back is a little angry right now so didn’t push these.


#6

BW 93.3kg

Squat - warmup

SSB - it’s 24kg but will write up as if it’s standard 20kg
Sleeves on
4 sets from bar to 120kg
Ss/ Muscle snatch to overhead squat
20kg x 5
30kg x 5
40kg x 3 x 4

Squat - daily max

SSB
140kg x 1
Belt on
150kg x 1
160kg x 1
170kg x 1 @ 9.5 - 174kg is close to if not an all time PR

Squat - back offs

SSB - paused
Belt off
140kg x 2 x 2
Ss/ GHR situps
2 x 8

Bench - warmup

Comp. and close grip bench
Elbow sleeves, wrist wraps on
4 sets from bar to 80kg
Ss/ Facepulls
4 x 20

Bench - daily max

Comp. bench
90kg x 1
100kg x 1
Belt on
107kg x 1
112kg x 1
117kg x 1 @ 9 - good rep. Presses feel very clean right now.

Bench - back offs

Comp. bench
Belt off
100kg x 2 x 3
Ss/ High angle DB row
30kg x 2 x 10
Football bench - medium semi prone grip
Assuming it’s 20kg, pretty sure it’s lighter but Watson haven’t posted its weight anywhere
60kg x 5
80kg x 3
90kg x 3
100kg x 3 - feels like I could press forever with this
Ss/ High angle DB row
30kg x 2 x 10
36kg x 10
40kg x 10

Pulls - volume - warmups

Deficit conv. deadlift - 1 inch
4 warmups from 70 to 160

Pulls - volume - working

Conv. deadlift
Belt on
EMOM
180kg x 12 x 1


#7

SSB and bench from yesterday


#8

BW 93.4kg

Came into this session a little apprehensive because I tweaked my neck/trap on the SSB yesterday but pulled off some solid squats and got good volume in on presses.

Squat - warmup

Low bar, front, and overhead squats
Sleeves on
5 sets from bar to 140kg
Ss/ Shins to rings
5 x 5

Squat - daily max

Low bar
160kg x 1
170kg x 1
180kg x 1
190kg x 1 @ 8
Plan was originally to hit a light beltless squat today and go heavy tomorrow but they were feeling good so I went up.
200kg x 1 @ 9 - all time beltless PR
Belt on
210kg x 1 @ 9 - better than the 205 from a few days ago

Squat - back offs

Low bar - paused
Belt off
180kg x 2 x 1
Ss/ Pallof press
2 x some

Tweaked my lower back a very small amount on the back offs. After that and having hit a good heavy lift today I’ll now just be taking a gearless paused front squat tomorrow. Nice and light but still highish RPE. Gear needs a wash anyway.

Bench - warmup

Floor press - worked out well that I hit this because it gave the back a rest.
Elbow sleeves, wrist wraps on
4 sets from bar to 80kg
Ss/ Pullups
4 x 5

Bench - daily max

Floor press
90kg x 1
100kg x 1
110kg x 1 @ 9 - good long pause, ties PR

Bench - back “ups”

Floor press
Slingshot on
110kg x 1
115kg x 1
120kg x 1
125kg x 1 @ 9 - felt better than a slingshot bench at the same weight did a few months ago

Bench - back offs

Floor press - 3 count pause
100kg x 3 x 2
Ss/ Facepulls
3 x 20

Accessory work

Dips
BW x 3 x 10 - quick and easy pump to get shoulders moving through full rom or something I dunno

Lifts from today


#9

Yesterday

BW 93.4kg

Sleepy and stiff today and lower back was complaining from yesterday. Went for a walk to loosen it up and had a hot shower before lifting and felt a bit human again.
A lot of friendly and gentle stretching to start with too.

As I said, totally raw session today to limit loading - partly because of the back but also because I’m planning on hitting openers tomorrow and wanted to see how they feel relatively fresh. Also trained in the uni’s smaller gym (it’s cute) so I wasn’t tempted to go heavy or drag my session out.

Squat - warmup

Front and overhead squats
5 sets from bar to 100kg
Ss/ Chins
5 x 5

Squat - daily max

Front squat - paused
110kg x 1
120kg x 1
130kg x 1
140kg x 1 @ 9 - went much better than expected.

Squat - back offs

Front squat - paused
100kg x 3 x 3
Ss/ Chins
12kg x 3 x 3

Bench - warmup

Comp. and close grip bench
4 sets from bar to 80kg
Ss/ Facepulls
4 x 20

Bench - daily max

Close grip
90kg x 1
100kg x 1
107.5kg x 1
110kg x 1 @ 8.5

Bench - back offs/speed work

Comp. bench
80kg x 6 x 3
Ss/ Plank
6 x 10 seconds with a good squeeze.

Stretching again.

Back felt a lot better for having gotten it moving nicely.

Today

Opener tests

A lot more cut for time that I wanted to be today but the goal was to hit planned openers under meet conditions (with the exception of my singlet being in the wash).

So commands, no earphones etc.

Back a little twitchy still but fine under load.

BW 93.1kg so comfortably close to meet goal. Honestly I can weigh in heavy for this meet since I’m not using it to qualify for anything but ideally I’ll make it. Also jumped on the scales at the gym after this session and they came out as 91 something so that’s promising I guess.

Squat
Sleeves and belt
Up to 195kg x 1 @ <8

Bench
Wraps and belt
Up to 107.5kg x 1 @ <8

Deadlift
Belt
Up to 205kg x 1 @ 8

Finished with 3 quick circuits of GHR 10s, GHR back extension 15s, and GHR reverse hyper 20s. Great lower back pump which felt weird but nice. Doing back extensions with the pad halfway down the thighs feels like it gets the hamstrings going.


#10

Realised today that as of yesterday I was 3 weeks out, not 2. So that’s an extra week of prep time I didn’t think I had! Means I’ll push variety and back offs a little more for another 3-4 days before switching focus to intensity of daily maxes and then a little deload.

BW 93.3kg

Squat - warmup

Front and overhead squats
Sleeves on
5 sets from bar to 120kg
Ss/ Wide neutral chins
5 x 5

Squat - daily max

Front squat
Belt on
130kg x 1
140kg x 1
150kg x 1 @ 8.5
160kg x 1 @ 9.5 - 2.5kg off all time 105ish PR! Also when I hit that 162.5 one week later I low barred 227.5. Just saying…

Squat - back offs

Front squat
140kg x 2 x 2
130kg x 3 - paused
Ss/ Ring chins
BW x 2 x 5
10kg x 5 - surprised myself

Bench - warmup

Comp. and close grip bench
Elbow sleeves, wrist wraps on
4 sets from bar to 80kg
Ss/ Facepulls
4 x 20

Bench - daily max

Comp. bench
90kg x 1
Add belt
100kg x 1
110kg x 1 @ 8.5
115kg x 1 @ 9 - good speed

Bench - back offs

Spoto press
90kg x 3
100kg x 3 x 3
Ss/ GHR reverse hyper
4 x 20

Good session. Right delt bugging me a bit before but no pain during. Back feeling almost better but went with fronts today to be safe and it paid off - I missed a 155kg attempt a couple of weeks ago so to hit that and then some today was nice.

Today’s front squat max + shitposting


#11

How are you liking the high frequency training so far? It is definitely intriguing.


#12

It’s aight. Squats and bench feel the most consistent in terms of form that they ever have. Confidence under relatively heavy weights is high. I can get under 200kg every day now and know that I will nail it. That gives me confidence that when 210 is on there it’ll move.

The one thing I would say to anyone considering trying daily maxing is that a daily max is not a true max. It’s “how heavy can I go without form breakdown, with no blaring heavy metal, no smelling salts, no psych up, shaking the bar, limited stimulants, and still feel like another 2.5kg was left in the tank?”.

Before I get under the bar I just take a couple of breaths, remember how light the weight will feel in the bottom, and get on with it. All that with either whalesong or the sound of waves breaking on a beach coming through my headphones. Occasionally the powercast.

So despite pushing myself the key thing for me has been holding back. It leaves room to improve into at a steady pace, and stops me wearing my joints, mind, and nervous system out.

That being said today I pulled heavy for a single @10 with smelling salts and slipknot.


#13

BW 92.7kg

Squat - warmup

Low bar, front, and overhead squats
Sleeves on
5 sets from bar to 140kg
Ss/ Pallof press
5 x some

Squat - daily max

Low bar
160kg x 1
170kg x 1
180kg x 1
190kg x 1
200kg x 1 @ 9 - ties beltless PR, good tightness. No need to push these further today.

Squat - back offs

Low bar - to box at comp depth, brief pause with 10% unloading
120kg x 5
140kg x 3
150kg x 3 - all @ <7
Ss/ Shins to bar
3 x 6

Bench - warmup

Comp. and close grip bench
Elbow sleeves, wrist wraps on
4 sets from bar to 80kg
Ss/ Facepulls
4 x 20

Bench - daily max

Comp. bench
90kg x 1
Belt on
100kg x 1
110kg x 1
115kg x 1 @ 8.5
117.5kg x 1 @ 9 - good feeling press for this weight

Bench - back offs

Football bar floor press
60kg x 3
80kg x 3
90kg x 3
100kg x 2 x 3 - nice
Ss/ Football bar BOR - strict
60kg x 8
80kg x 8
90kg x 8
100kg x 2 x 5

Pulls - heavy day - warmups

Deficit conv. deadlift - 1 inch
5 warmups from 60 to 140kg

Pulls - heavy day - working

Deficit conv. deadlift
Belt on
160kg x 2
180kg x 2
200kg x 2
220kg x 2 - PR matched and strapless too
230kg x 1 - PR, also heaviest pull of any kind in 2 years and at a lighter bodyweight from a deficit. Also squats and rows preceding this today. 240 is the lifetime PB for a conventional from the floor and is coming soon. I got a bit excited about this in case that doesn’t show.
RPE 10 for the record.


#14

BW 93.4kg

Another naked knee paised front squat session to take a light one after the heavy pull.

Squat - warmup

Front and overhead squats
5 sets from bar to 100kg
Ss/ Wide neutral chins
5 x 5

Squat - daily max

Front squat - paused
120kg x 1
130kg x 1
140kg x 1 @ 8.5
150kg x 1 @ 10 lolz “take a light one”. Tied my belted and sleeved PR and paused it for longer.

Squat - speed work

Low bar
Belt on, no sleeves still
100kg x 1
120kg x 1
140kg x 6 x 2
Ss/ Facepulls
8 x 20

Bench - warmup

Comp. and close grip bench
Elbow sleeves, wrist wraps on
4 sets from bar to 80kg
Ss/ Lu raises
5s x 4 x 10

Bench - daily max

Comp. bench
90kg x 1
Add belt
100kg x 1
110kg x 1 @ 8.5
115kg x 1 @ 9

Bench - back offs

Comp. bench -
In slingshot
110kg x 3 x 3
Slingshot off
100kg x 3
Ss/ GHR reverse hyper
4 x 20


#15

BW 93.7kg

Squat - warmup

Low bar, front, and overhead squats
Sleeves on
5 sets from bar to 140kg
Ss/ Pullups
5 x 5

Squat - daily max

Low bar
Belt on
160kg x 1
170kg x 1
180kg x 1
190kg x 1
200kg x 1
210kg x 1 @ 9 - feels good for a second attempt

Squat - back offs

Front rack holds
Belt on
210kg x 2 x 5 count
Ss/ Chins
10kg x 2 x 5

Bench - warmup

Comp. and close grip bench
Elbow sleeves, wrist wraps on
4 sets from bar to 80kg
Ss/ Dislocates
Broom x 4 x 20

Bench - daily max

Comp. bench
90kg x 1
100kg x 1
110kg x 1
115kg x 1 @ 8
120kg x 1 @ 9 - went up very well but just a bit shaky on the descent, otherwise I’d be happy to call it an 8. 5kg off all time PB and matches my 93kg PB at a much better RPE. Wasn’t expecting this today. This may be my 3rd.

Bench - back offs

Comp. bench - tng
100kg x 10 - matches fat Max PB but I think that was paused. On the last couple of reps I finally started to exhibit the wonky shoulder flaw that I’ve not seen in a while. It isn’t showing up on daily maxes at all which is good so it’s just something I’ll bear in mind to keep an eye out for as the weights keep going up.

Assistance work

Football bar OHP
Bar x 10
30kg x 10
40kg x 10
50kg x 10
60kg x 9, rest pause, 10 - really really wanted 10
Ss/ GHR situps
5 x 10

Two max rep (and then some) pressing sets today, probably the most fatiguing thing I’ve done in a while haha. Will throw things like that in a bit more often post meet. And obviously really happy with the squat and bench DMs.


#16

Block summary

Days: 11

Sessions: 11

Average BW: 93.29kg - will make weight no problem but to save on having to do a nasty water cut gonna have to reign it in a bit.

Average DMs:

Low bar (sleeves, beltless) (2 sessions): 195kg
Low bar (belt, sleeves) (4 sessions): 206.25kg
Front squat (gearless, paused) (2 sessions): 145kg
Front squat (belt, sleeves) (1 session): 160kg also worked up to a heavy paused single at 150kg as at back off on a low bar day.
SSB (belt sleeves) (1 session): 174kg
Comp. bench (7 sessions): 116.36kg
Close grip (2 sessions): 113.75
Floor press (1 session): 110kg

Also a good session testing openers at 195/107.5/205

Other lifts:

Deadlift: Good volume session with about 80%, one very heavy pull off a deficit. Technically started this cycle off with a failed pull at 240 as well - that’s in the last log. Barely let that break the floor before giving up on it.
I’m neglecting overhead work more than I planned to but got a couple of good sessions in.
Lat and upper back work feeling good. Gonna throw some pullaparts in more often.

Thoughts

This whole mini block has been focused on getting some variety into my DMs and some volume in my back off sets and accessory work. Has been a success, goals achieved, DMs still climbing etc.

The next one will be focused on going heavy with perfect execution on the competition lifts for almost every session, while limiting myself to 5 reps or less total on back offs and trying to push the weight there too. That will finish on Monday - then it’s peak week, which is essentially final DM Monday, 70% Tuesday Wednesday and Friday, and openers Thursday. Compete Saturday. Time to get at it.

That being said tomorrow may be a rest day.


#17

Yesterday I took a rest day and felt awful haha. Load of stretching and rolling and no came out feeling basically floppy and weak. Also Weighed in 94.4kg for no good reason.

Today

BW 94kg

Squat - warmup

Low bar, front, and overhead squats
Sleeves on
5 sets from bar to 140kg
Ss/ Chins
5 x 5

Squat - daily max

Low bar
Belt on
155kg x 1
175kg x 1
195kg x 1 @ 8
205kg x 1 @ 8.5

Squat - back offs

Low bar - paused
Belt
170kg x 2 x 2 @ nuthin
Ss/ Ring chins
BW x 2 x 5

Bench - warmup

Comp. and close grip bench
Elbow sleeves, wrist wraps on
4 sets from bar to 80kg
Ss/ Facepulls
4 x 20

Bench - daily max

Comp. bench
Belt on
90kg x 1
100kg x 1
107.5kg x 1 @ <8
115kg x 1 @ 9

Bench - back offs

Suttcliffe press
100kg x 2 x 2
Ss/ Ring chins
10kg x 2 x 3

Felt a bit off on squats until 70kg was on the bar then fine. Have changed my warmup structure so that it’s similar to what I’ll do in comp. Going from final warmup to planned openers and then hitting my DM. Both felt good today.


#18

Yesterday

BW 93.1kg

Early morning session bleurgh.
Was out last night and had to take my time warming up on squats before I could get even close to depth with the bar.
Eventually everything good.

Squat - warmup

Low bar, front, and overhead squats
Sleeves on
5 sets from bar to 140kg
Ss/ GHR situps
5 x 5

Squat - daily max

Low bar
Belt on
155kg x 1
175kg x 1
195kg x 1 @ 9 - just felt off
205kg x 1 @ 8.5

Squat - back offs

Low bar
Belt
180kg x 2 x 2
Ss/ Ring chins
BW x 2 x 5

Bench - warmup

Comp. and close grip bench
Elbow sleeves, wrist wraps on
4 sets from bar to 80kg
Ss/ Scarecrows
4 x 15

Bench - daily max

Comp. bench
Belt on
90kg x 1
100kg x 1
107.5kg x 1 @ <8
115kg x 1 @ 8.5 - little floaty on the chest and would probably get pinged in comp
117.5kg x 1 @ 9 - good

Bench - back offs

Comp. bench
105kg x 2 x 2
Ss/ Pullups
2 x 5

Deadlift - volume day - warmup

Deficit conventional - 1 inch
Olympic plate warmup (25s and 15s) to 170kg, belt on at 150kg
Conventional
190kg x 1

Deadlift - volume day - working

205kg x 5 x 1 - multiple singles at opener felt ok but my hand was starting to tear. Relatively high weight for a volume session. Also relatively low volume ha.

Had finished at this point and realised I’d forgot breakfast. So between that and absolutely dire rest last night, despite stuff feeling a bit heavier than I wanted it to, all in all not an awful session.


#19

Today

BW 91.7kg - wow. Was out again last night for the last time before the comp. Got a load of fluid on board throughout the day before lifting. Still felt less than 100% before this and only have myself to blame.

Squat - warmup

Low bar, front, and overhead squats
Sleeves on
5 sets from bar to 140kg
Ss/ Pullups
5 x 5

Squat - daily max

Low bar
Belt on
155kg x 1
175kg x 1
195kg x 1 @ 8
210kg x 1 @ 9.5 - practicing the jump from opener to 2nd. Jump is fine but the weight felt a bit heavy today.

Squat - back offs

Low bar
Belt
195kg x 3 x 1
Ss/ Pallof press
3 x some

Bench - warmup

Comp. and close grip bench
Wrist wraps on
4 sets from bar to 80kg
Ss/ Lu raises
5s x 4 x 10

Bench - daily max

Comp. bench
Belt on
90kg x 1
100kg x 1
107.5kg x 1 @ <8
115kg x 1 @ 9 - getting more comfortable making this my jump for 2nd. Helped by how light my opener is. If anything feels off on the day I’ll go to 112.5 but otherwise this is a good choice for 2.

Bench - back offs

CGBP
Gear off
105kg x 2 x 2
Ss/ Shins to bar
2 x 5
Ss/ GHR reverse hyper
2 x 20

Benched without elbow sleeves for the first time in ages today. Felt fine in terms of there was no strength drop off so I don’t think it’s a problem that I’ll continue to wear them just to keep the joint itself happy.


#20

Today’s top two sets on both lifts.

I feel like apart from the bench opener they moved a bit slower than the same weights have recently but I might be overblowing that a bit. Also gotta account for the fact that I DID come into this workout still only 92.2kg so obviously dehydrated. Good to account for what could happen if a water cut goes wrong I guess.