T Nation

Minimalist Training Log

Haven’t been on the forums in a long time, thought I’d start a log here keep better track of my progress over the next year.

My programming for bench and squat is an undulating wave based on Prilepins table, and a basic linear progression for assistance exercises, with a focus on adding volume over intensity.

My stats as of today:
Weight: 172
BF%: 13-14

Estimated Squat: 305
Estimated Bench: 265
Estimated Press: 165
Estimated Deadlift: 415
Estimated Front Squat: 215

6 month Goals (April):
Squat 385
Bench 305
Press 215
Deadlift 500
Front Squat 265

December Update:
Stalling in Bench Press, changing progression to a more moderate 5x5 progression

Tuesday (Squat and Press)

Did big jumps up to 280 for a fast single, left hip felt a little tight, stretched it ou in between sets, doing singles of 280, 285, 290, 280, 285. 290 was probably the fastest set, so I feel good going into next month.

On the Press, sticking with 125, got six reps for my first 3 sets, dropped it to 5 for my fourth set, then did triples for my remaining 3 sets. Felt funny because I was able to do all seven sets with five reps last week. I’ll still make the 10 lb jump to 135 next week, but I may progress the press a little slower.

Finished up with DB swings for 4 sets of 18, this felt surprisingly easy, and the chest supported row for 4 sets of 12 also went smoothly until the last set. definitely ready to bump up the weight on these.

Thursday (Decline Bench and Front Squat)
Decline Bench: Worked up to 180, all close grip, got 6 reps on the first four sets, probably could have gotten 6 for the 5th set, but decided to leave it in the tank. ready for next months jump.

Front Squat: Triples with 165 felt light, bumped up to 170 for a few sets. Got all 7 sets pretty easily.

Farmer walks weren’t too bad today, think I’m going to keep the weight the same on these for awhile to build up endurance.
Got 18 pull-ups on my first set post farmer walks, so grip endurance is increasing, still topped out at just over 30 by my 4th set, so need to keep working on these before adding weight.

Tuesdays training

Squat: Quick Warm-up to 240x5, 245x5, 250x5, 255x4, 240x4
Press: 135 for 7 triples

Running low on time so I cut the Dumbbell swings and Chest supported Rows to 3 sets of 15 and 10.

Felt good this morning, hence the ramping, rest periods for all squats were under 1.5 minutes, and under 45 seconds for the pressing. Everything was nice and fast. Had a little bit of trouble getting my air for the squat, but I get the feeling that a couple of foam rolling sessions will fix that.

Monday was nice, went to a breakfast for veterans at Duquesne, normally I don’t like the dog and pony stuff, but that was really kept to a minimum, and all the money went to local organizations that help veterans get back on their feet. It was definitely nice to have the day off, went to my son’s school in my blue’s to get him out of class early, which made his day. We took advantage of some of the veteran’s day specials, I always feel a little strange about that, try to justify it somewhat by going places where we’d normally go, spending a little extra money on appetizers, and tipping based on the pre-discount price.

Friday’s training

Quick warm-up to 230 for the bench for five sets of three. Weight felt heavy for the first two sets, by the third set I finally woke up enough that I was able to move the bar with some speed.

Front squats went pretty well this morning, got all 28 reps with no problem, definitely feel much more comfortable with the rack position now that I’m doing these on a weekly basis.

farmers walks went really well, ready to bump up the weight. Beat my reps on pull-ups from last week, so it would seem my grip endurance is improving.

Took my wife to the airport this morning before going to the gym. Between her being out of town, and drill on top of that, this is going to be a long weekend. Glad I’ll be able to catch the fight tomorrow night.

Make-up training

After averaging 3 hours of sleep/night because of weekend drill, I was completely wrecked this week. Finally recovered enough this morning to make it back into the gym. I was tired the entire time, but was able to struggle through the workout.

After a quick warm-up, Got 270 for 2,3,2,2,3. The first set wasn’t bad, but wasn’t great, couldn’t get my form right this morning. second set felt better, decently fast, but decided to go for the lower end of total reps this morning. Final set was good for the first two reps, got the third rep 3/4 of the way up, and basically good-morning’d it the rest of the way.

On the press, 135 felt heavy, still managed to work my way through 24 reps, on my sixth set, I realized I hadn’t put collars on the bar, and both plates had slid out at least 3-4 inches. After I fixed that, my last set went up pretty easily.

Finished up with chest-supported rows and dumbbell swings and a couple of klokov presses, those went pretty easily, may do the klokov presses more often. I am starting to develop upper crossed syndrome, definitely need to bump up the foam rolling.

Tuesday’s Training

Managed to squeeze in a quick workout, despite the weather, before the Thanksgiving weekend. Even though I went to the gym around 5, it was fairly empty, which was a nice surprise.

On Squats, did two big jumps to 290, 295, 300, 290, 295, all for nice fast singles. After struggling with 270 last week, this felt really light, almost made the next jump to 305, but decided to leave it in the tank.

On the press, did 135 for 27 total reps, I’ll keep working at this until I can get at least 40 reps. Super-set’d the presses with pull-ups, think I’m ready to add some weight on these.

Finished up with something different. After the two mile run last weekend, I realized I have been neglecting my conditioning, so I did 4x400 on the treadmill, with push-ups and sit-ups in between the runs, sort-of a bastardized hurricane training. While keeping my air wasn’t a problem, I was definitely slow, so I’ll keep this in the rotation for awhile until I’ve moved NOV.

Tuesdays Training

Abbreviated Training session today. Somehow all three squat racks were in use when I got the gym, one idiot in particular was doing some kind of close stance, valgus knee’d 1/8th squat with 185. Managed to convince him to let me work in with him to warm up, then another rack freed up and began my work sets. 245 felt heavy at first, so did a single, double, then triple with minimal rest until the weight was moving fast, finished off with 3 sets for 4, and called it. For the press moved down to 125, probably would have been fine with 135, managed to get 23 reps in 5 sets. Tried to superset with barbell rows, just wasn’t feeling it, switched to pull-ups, and my next sets of presses felt much better.

That was it. Hate to cut my training short like that, but given the choice between not getting in the gym and having a short crappy workout, I’ll take the short, crappy workout, particularly going into the holiday season. With 18 reps at 245, I’m still within the 12-24 rep range. I need to refine my pressing work, I seem to be in a rut here, but some of that may just be due to the fact that I haven’t been to the gyme twice a week in over two weeks. That was part of the reason I wanted to make sure I made it to the gym today, as it will make it alot easier to get in two-three workoouts this week.

Wednesday’s Training

Managed to make it into the gym this morning, so I’m on track for 3 days of training this week. Started with bench, since the decline bench was in use. After a quick warm-up, hit 205 for 5,3,3,3, and 2. I’ll continue with this weight until I can hit 24 or 25 reps. Mixed my grip up on each set, definitely feel strongest with a narrow grip. Supersetted this with Rear delt flyes.

Fro the squat, got 170 for 7x3, everyone nice and fast, switched my stance up here and there to find the right groove after going so long without doing these. Supersetted these with pull-ups, may need to look into getting a dip-belt to add weight, as holding a dumbbell between my feet just feels awkward.

Finished up with a complex of Snatch grip Deadlift, Power Snatch, Klokov Press, Split Squats, and Good Mornings, all with 65 pounds for 8x2. The first set had me pretty well smoked, defnitely need to keep these in to improve my conditioning.

Tuesday’s Training

Squat, 45, 135, 225 to warm-up, 225 felt a little heavy, work sets at 280 for 5x2. May reset my working max after I finish this microcycle.

Press 125 for 8x4, superset with pull-ups and rear delt flyes.

Finished up with 4x400, 16 pushups and ~12 rep ab exerecises during rest periods. Conditioning is improving on these, even though I increased speed on the sprints, I wasn’t nearly as winded as last time.

A few thoughts

Today is an off day, so I get to do some navel-gazing. My basic goal with this program is to maximize the effectiveness of training only two days per week, with less than one hour of gym time, and train 3 days per week on occasion. To that end, I’ve experienced some success, but I think I can make this more efficient. My squat has improved continuously, on July 1st I squatted 255 for singles, next week I expect to squat 310 for a single, 55 pounds in 6 months isn’t too bad.

Bench press and military press has been a different story. While I’ve continued to increase my training max, my strength gains are difficult to gauge. In July, I benched 235 for singles, this month I benched 230 for triples. However, in July I also benched 215 for 16 reps, this month I was only able to bench 205 for 17 reps. This is part of the reason that I am moving to 5x5 progression, it should make it much easier to gauge strength improvements. Similarly with the military press, I seem to be stuck right around 125-135 for reps.

Looking back over my training logs, I think one of the primary reasons for this is a lack of any sort of accessory work/volume for upper-body. Training the squat two days a week with one higher intensity day and one volume day seems to work, even when the volume day is front squat rather than back squat, because the muscles trained (including the lower back and upper back) are similar enough. With military press and bench press, there isn’t enough carry-over between the exercises without additional accessory work.

Now that I am including the Klokov Press into the complex on Bench day, I think that will provide some additional volume for shoulders and upper back, which should allow me to continue to improve on the overhead press. Additionally, progressing the bench press at a slower rate should allow me to catch any problems within two or three weeks. I will re-evaluate my progress in a few months.

Thursdays training
The gym was actually fairly quiet today, even though I went during prime hours, guess it’s the calm before the storm.
Bench press, got 205 for 5,4,4,3,2, so not too bad.
Had to wait a while before I could squat, all three racks were in use, and no one was curling! Knocked out a few sets of pullups until I hit 40 reps while I waited for a rack to open up. On front squats, got 8 sets of 4 at 170, really heed to focus on keeping my core stabilized, but all in all these went pretty well. Finished up with the snatch complex again, for 3 sets of 8. Once again, this left me wiped out, but I definitely felt stronger on every exercise.

Mondays training

Squat 135x4, 225x4, 300x1, 305x1, 310xmiss, 300xmiss

Press 125x6, switch to dumbbells, 40x10,45x10,50x8,55x8

Pull-ups, 40

4x400, 17 reps pushups, 12 reps ab exercise

In retrospect, I screwed up a couple things:

  1. Slower warm-up, take more small jumps, something like: 45, 115, 155, 205, 245
  2. I lost my air at the bottom, rookie mistake
  3. I was dehydrated and exhausted from drill weekend, looking back, I tend to have bad training days right after a drill weekend, so I need to focus on drinking more water during drill and adjust my lifting schedule so that heavy days don’t follow drill weekends
    Adjusting my training max for next cycle to 310

Just felt weak in the press, and shoulders felt beat-up, so switched to dumbbells for some variety.

Everything else went well

Thursdays Training

Bench: 205x 5,5,3,3,3

Front Squat: 170x 5,5,5,5,5,5,5

Pullups: 40+

Snatch Complex: 70x 8,8

Switched from a moderate grip to narrow grip for the third set, think I could’ve hit at least 4 reps if I hadn’t changed it up.

Did this workout after work, and definitely felt this during squats, started to feel gassed after the fourth set.

Snatch complex is definitely effective for EPOC, I finished this workout around 630, and still felt warm when I went to bed around 10. And the Klokov press is humbling, really had to push to complete the last two reps on the second set.

Pre-Christmas Training

Squat 235x 6,6,6,6

Press 125x 8,3,3,3,3/ 105x 6,3/ 95x 8,3

Pullups 40 reps

4x400, 4x18 pushups, 4x15 abs

Nice to get in a workout with a fairly empty gym

Last session of 2013

Squat 265x 2,3,3,2,3

Press 125x 10,3,3/ 110x 5,5,5/ 95x 8

Hurricane Training 3x9 @10, 3x9.3 @10, 3x9 @10, 80 pushups, 70 abs

Had trouble hitting the groove on squats, but not bad after a long break. Messing around with a different progression method for the press, realized low reps/high sets just isn’t working very well. Next session will be January 2nd, 2014.


Bench 205x 5,4,5,3, then 5 w/slingshot

Front Squat 170, 8x6

Pull-ups +20lbsx 6,5,5,5

Complex 70, 3x8

Got a reactive slingshot for Christmas, so I’m using it for the last set of bench, pausing all reps on the chest for a 1 count.

Changed the complex slightly, switched out the power snatch for a snatch grip high pull. Did this for a few reasons, but the biggest one is that my form was breaking down horribly while trying to move quickly.

Changed the way I’m titling these, the goal is to get at least 100 training sessions this year.


Squats 285x2,1 290x1, 295x1

Press 135x8,3,3 115x8,4 100x8,5

Pull-ups 40+

Dumbbell Lat Raises 30x35

Hurricane Category 2, 75 pushups, 68 abs

Feeling good on the squats, press went fairly well too. Hurricane felt good for first round, tougher during second, and barely finished third round, I get the feeling I’ll be at Category 2 for awhile.

I was tempted to title this training session 3, as I started ice skating lessons this weekend. Intend to start playing adult hockey next winter. Played plenty of Dek/Street hockey as a kid, but need to get better on the ice before I can play in a league. I may start recording take-aways from skating lessons here.

98 training days to go.


Bench 215x 3,3,3,3, 4 w/slingshot

DB Lateral Raise 30, 40

Front Squat 180, 8x3

Pull-ups+25, 35

Snatch Complex 80, 2x8

Meant to put 210 on the bar, but mistook the 5’s for the chips. Didn’t realize my mistake until the third set, oh well.

Front squats were nice and fast.

Snatch Complex is improving nicely, may start adding more sets to this.

97 training days to go.


Squat 240x 4,5,5,4,4

Press 135x 5,4,2 125x8, DB Press 90x10

1 mile run

Just could not get in gear today, even a full day after drill weekend. I am leaning more strongly to making the first workout after drill weekend a completely different workout, with a focus on completely different movements, and more focus on hypertrophy. Its becoming fairly apparent that I’m simply too fried after a drill weekend to be very productive.

96 training days to go.


Bench 210x 5,3,3,3 5w/slingshot

DB Lat Raises 30, 40

Front Squat 180, 7x4

Pull-ups 35

Snatch Complex 80, 3x8

Not a bad workout, bench could have been better, I’m still trying to find the right groove on bench press, the j-hooks on the benches at LA Fitness occasionally get in the way of the bar path.
180 felt oddly heavy today, but I think that’s partially because I was still a little sore from Tuesday.
Snatch Complex went well, need to maintain more focus on keeping a slightly closer/tighter grip during Klokov press, as that is slowing the entire complex down.

95 training days to go.