T Nation

Mica5h Transformation 2019

Not sure if I’m still in time for the challenge, but here I go anyway.
I’m 40, been sing 5/3/1 fairly consistently over the last several years. Today I’m 215lbs.
My goals are to lose some body fat and increase strength and overall wellness. I’d like to get my strength numbers up as well. I’ve sucked at bench and ohp for a long time.
Currently I’m at:
Squat-haven’t done in a while due to knee acting up
Ohp-not sure. Been following one of poliquin’s plans I found here. 4 weeks left to go on it.
I look forward to the process and any and all advice you all would like to share.

7 Jan
Beginning Wendler’s Limited Time/Widowmaker. However, I’m on phase 3 of Poliquin’s Overhead Fix Plan, so I’m following that of OHP days. Which also means no widowmaker set.
The day’s work:
Behind the neck press w/ bands. The plan calls for chains, but I don’t have those available, so I’m going with black Rogue bands and 75#.

Widowmaker Set - 285x20

Kroc rows
65# x 10 (left & right)
70# x 26 (left & right)

This was the first workout back from winter break. I was tired and had eaten like garbage. The presses were tough at the top but I ground through them


8 Jan
Hurdle Jumps
24"x4; 27"x4; 30’x4; 33"2x4

Push ups (x20)
Pull ups (x10)
Walking Lunges (x20)
Went through 3 rounds of assistance before I ran out of time. Next time I’ll drop the reps per set and move a little quicker through them.

9 Jan
20 minutes on AirDyne Bike - 6.3 miles

Concept 2 Erg Row
1000m - 3:31.2

10 Jan
Limited Time/Widowmaker (Squat & Bench)
Bar x12
95 x5
115 x5
135 x5
185 x5
225 x5
265 x5

Bar x12
95 x5
115 x3
140 x5
160 x5
185 x5+ (Got 7)
Widowmaker set 140 x20

Kroc Row - 70# x 10 (L/R); 75# x 30 (L/R)

Since I hadn’t back squatted in such a long time I needed to discover my max. I used today to find my 5 rep. 265 was the top end where bar speed began to slow down. I thought I’d stop there and let the rebuild begin. 265x5 gives me a 1RM of 305, and a tm of 275. I also kept my stance a little narrower than I used to.

11 Jan
Throws - 15# slam ball 4x5 - throw behind? I’m not sure what they’re called when you hurl the weight up and behind you, going for height?

Dips 10x5
Pull Ups 10x5
HLR 10x5

Learned my lesson from last assistance day and I dropped the reps/set to see if I could move faster through this workout. It took me about 25 minutes to complete the assistance work. I’ll keep an eye on the time for assistance work from now on. That could be a goal, get the work time down.

13 Jan
20-30 minutes of basketball

After one full week of Limited Time, my thoughts are that I feel good. I am consciously doing a decent warm up with many of the movement of the Agile 8. I believe that is helping significantly. I do each session with a strong mindset and a desire to put the work in and push hard.
So far, it hasn’t really been much of a timesaver, but this first week needed extra time to figure out weights and movements, so it should get quicker moving forward.
I also am trying to eat better and more consistently, which is no doubt helping. I am conscious of food choices and even do some meal prep!
I’m looking forward to continuing the strength journey.
Oh, and weighed 210 today.

14 Jan
Limited Time/Widowmaker (DL & Press)
135 x6
185 x5
225 x5
275 x5
305 x3
350 x3
390 x3
Widowmaker - 305 x16

Behind the neck press w/ bands
bar x12
75 x5
75 x5
75 x4

Kroc Rows - 75# x10 (L/R); 80# x 28 (L/R)

Today was a rough day. I came in feeling good, but something was off. I got interrupted on my 350# DL set and when I came back to the bar and pulled, I discovered I had forgotten to add a plate to one side! That’s happened once before and it really throws me off. I took a few minutes to regroup and finished the set, but it was hard to stay in the moment today.
Then on the press the weights were just not moving. This was the same weight I used last week. Even though I had to grind it out last week I got the work done…not this time.
Kroc rows were okay. Because I am right handed, I always start with my left side. However, on the rows my left works much better than my right. I’ll try starting with my right next time and see what happens.
Overall a rough day. More sleep might help (got a little over 6 hours last night) and I didn’t eat much on Sunday.

15 Jan
Jumps - Standing Long jump 4x5
Push Ups 10x10
Rack Chins 10x5
Bulgarian Split Squat (bw) 5x10
total time - 22:12

Good workout. I got interrupted right after jumps. Workout time was about 40 minutes, total time in was just over 1 hour. Lower reps and more sets on the assistance movements helped me move quickly through the session. It felt good. BSS felt great, good stretch. I might add DB’s next time, or get 100 reps/leg.
Much better today than yesterday.

16 Jan
Concept2 Erg Row
9 intervals
1:40/20sec rest
2:02.8/500m split average
4,0002m total

17 Jan
Limited Time/Widowmaker
bar x12
95 x5
115 x5
155 x5
175 x3
195 x3
220 x3
250 x3
Widowmaker - 195 x20

Behind the Neck OHP w/ bands
3x5 @75#
3x3 @75#

Kroc Rows
85# x25

I have not been squatting for several months due to a slight knee pain. I did No Weights, Big Wheels and discovered the joy of lunges. Now when I squat, I keep a slightly narrower foot stance. Today when I unracked and stepped back I took my wider stance and immediately felt that slight twinge in my right knee. I fixed my stance and everything was fine.
The banded OHP was hard but better than last week. I only got 4 reps on the last set of 5, but kept going and got the 3x3 just fine.
Overall a decent day.

18 Jan
Throws - Slam Ball 4x5
I tried something different to see if I could speed up the assistance workout. I did each movement to where my form or speed began to degenerate and moved on to the next one, so there were no set reps/set. It ended up taking about the same amount of time, plus I didn’t even get the target Pull Ups.
It went like this:
Set 1 - Pull Ups 7 ; Dips 12 ; HLR 10
Set 2 - Pull Ups 5 ; Dips 10 ; HLR 9
Set 3 - Pull Ups 2 ; Dips 8; HLR 6
Set 4 - Pull Ups 4 ; Dips 7 ; HLR 10
Set 5 - Pull Ups 2 ; Dips 5 ; HLR 5
Set 6 - Pull Ups 1 ; Dips 5 ; HLR 5
Set 7 - Pull Ups 1 ; Dips 3 ; HLR 5
Totals - Pull Ups 22; Dips 50; HLR 50

I think I will keep the pull up bar out and just knock out a set of 5 every time I walk by it throughout the week. On assistance days, I will still shoot for 50.

22 Jan
Limited Time/Widowmaker - Deadlift and OHP
136 x6
185 x5
225 x5
275 x3
325 x5
370 x3
415 x1+ (got 3)
Widowmaker - 325 x15

Banded Behind the Neck Press
Bar x12
Bands x10
3x5 @ 75#
3x3 @ 75#

Finally got all the sets of the OHP. I supersetted the DL and OHP, which worked well. Ran out of time for the Kroc Rows. Overall pretty good. That was the 4th week of Phase 3 of the Poliquin Plan, so next week I will work the OHP into the 5/3/1 rotation. Next week I will be able to figure out my 5 RM.

28 Jan
I was not able to lift due to school and sickness. In the past when I have done heavy deadlift sessions, I would often get sick. For many months I was careful to get enough sleep and food around those deadlift times. On the last workout, I had not slept well, the weekend was spent drinking too much (the bartender poured me 2 shots of tequila after the Chiefs lost, on top of all the other drinks), I didn’t eat well, and there was a significant amount of stress. All that added up to solid sinus congestion. I was beat up. Today I felt okay and ready for action, but once I started lifting I realized I am not close to 100% yet.
Also today the OHP was to figure out my TM.
So here it goes:

Limited Time/Widowmaker - DL & OHP
135 x5
185 x5
225 x5
275 x3
285 x5
325 x5
370 x5
The last set was no good. I got 5 reps, but they weren’t consecutive and…ugh. I believe I need to review my TM. So no widowmaker for DL. Also I’ve decided to cut the DL widowmaker to 7-10 reps instead of 15-20.

bar x5
65 x5
85 x5
95 x5
105 x5
115 x5
120 x5 (slower bar speed)
So I use 115 x5 and come up with a 1 RM of 135, which gives me a TM of 115.
Widowmaker 75# x20

I have to keep things in perspective and really think about what I want out of lifting. Where would I like to, and where can I, improve?

29 Jan
Jumps - hurdle; 24x4, 27x4, 33x4, 36x4
Assistance - Circuit x5
Push Ups x10
Pull ups x4
Bulgarian SS (w/ 20# in each hand) x10/leg

Since I’ve been feeling bad I cut the assistance way down. Got it done in 14:50 and felt good doing it.

30 Jan
1 mile run - 8:09

31 Jan
Limited Time/Widowmaker - Squat & Bench
Very limited time this day. I’ve found I can superset the main work and save a little time, if I’m using the correct TM. I’ve decided not to worry too much about PR’s and save it for the widowmaker set if I have the time. I did not today, but I did manage to squeeze in the main work and feel good about it.

Bar x12
95 x5
135 x5
165 x3
185 x5
215 x5
240 x5+ (Got 6)

Bar x12
95 x5
105 x5
115 x5
135 x3
145 x5
165 x5
185 x5+ (got 6)

3 Feb
In a circuit, 5 rounds
10 Dips
10 HLR
Farmer Carries (approx 150 yds each)
20# Med ball throw x5

On the last set of dips I used a weight belt and added 25#. That was the first time and it was fun. I’d do it again.
For the farmer carries I started with 45’s and did a lap, and each lap after dropped weight. So it went 45, 40, 35, 30, 25.

After this I swam for 20 minutes to get conditioning.

I have been sick for two weeks. The rest of this week is time off. I will start this cycle over on Monday with a new DL training max, a discovered OHP TM, and a better understanding of what I need to do be successful in the weight room and with the rest of my commitments.
I don’t think I have the time to lift big over the next couple months. The plan is to set a reasonable TM for all the lifts, be able to do them as a superset quickly, have enough left over for the widowmakers and Kroc rows, and move on.

Also I weighed 211 at the doctor’s office this week.

Yeah, vague goals are a motivation-killer. Pick a specific goal and a timeline, and that will give you some clarity on what to focus on. Since you’re in for the t-ransformation2019 challenge, pick a target weight to hit by June 1st, and adjust your diet and start tracking your progress. Pick a target weight you want to hit on a lift, and go all in on improving that lift, like what you’re doing with the overhead-specific Poliquin plan, but with a target in mind rather than the vague ‘get your strength up’. Hit a 5 plate deadlift by the end of the year or something like that. Once you hit a goal, reassess and decide what you want to shoot for next.

You obviously know how to get into the gym and work hard, you just need a goal to keep you driven!

:eyes: watching

Thanks for the words. These last two weeks have been killers. I’ve been sick. Every joint in my body hurts. Now my wife and youngest daughter are sick (I just cleaned vomit off the couch). I have a huge amount of work to do for school. My stress levels have been some of the highest I’ve experienced.
I’ve tried to use this time to think about goals. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  1. Body weight 205 by May 1 and maintain it to the end of the challenge (1 June)
  2. Bench 225 x5 by the end of the year
  3. Ohp 155 x5 by end of year
    Body weight should be doable by following the plan and eating clean. I’ll cut out almost all booze.
    Bench and ohp I will continue to follow 531.
    To ensure recovery I will decrease my tm on the deadlift. Currently the squat numbers are fine.
    Because of all my other commitments I will need to be able to move through the workouts quickly. This means slightly lower weights, which means I will have to keep my ego in check.
    Thanks again for following. Your posts also are a inspiration. It’s amazing how encouraging it can be to simply watch someone else’s progress.