T Nation

My Attempt to Get Stronger

Well I’ve been wanting to bring my bench up for a while as its lagging behind my squat and deadlift so I thought I would have a go at some old style training focusing on upper body for a short time,hopefully this training log will help me keep track of my results.

Basically this is my attempt at a variation on Doug Hepburns A program wher you start with 4 singles with around 90% of your 1 rep max and add 1 single per work out, once you reach 10 you add a little weight and drop back down to 4 singles.Although if the singles become to much I will change things up :slight_smile:

All weights are in Kilo’s rather than pounds as I’m a Brit…


Age 47
Height 5FT 3/ 160CM
Weight 140lbs/ 64kgs
Best lifts
Bench 165lbs/ 75kgs
Squat 286lbs/ 130kgs
Deadlift 352lbs/ 160kgs

First session


36kgs x 5 46kgs x 3 52kgs x 1 60kgs x 1 67kgs 4x1 back down sets 50kgs x 8…(close grip bench) 46kgs 2x8

Pull ups/Chins

Body weight x 8 10kgs x 3 20kgs 4x1 back down sets 2 x 8

Press 46kgs 4x1

Sounds like a solid plan. I’ll be following along.

[quote]LoRez wrote:
Sounds like a solid plan. I’ll be following along.[/quote]

Thanks, Originally Doug used to follow his singles program with a 5x5 program which he referred to as the pump program but later on he felt this was to much that’s why I’ve opted for just a few lighter sets stopping when my form goes off a little so not really pushing them.

Looking at my program I can see I may have to make some changes as when on the final stages it would take me a long time to complete the full 30 sets of 1 rep given I would probably require 3 minutes between sets to recover.

This weeks training is a bit all over the place because I have had to change my regular training days due to family commitments but hopefully by the end of next week I will have everything in order with the changes in place to try and do the program justice whilst being in and out in 60 minutes or less.

Well I’ve come up with a solution to my program, From next week I will focus on 1 powerlift on each training day by do the following Tuesdays Squats Thursday Deadlifts Saturdays/ Sundays depending on my son’s competition schedule Bench, I might do some extra benches on the squats day and do some assistance work such as pull ups and rear laterals but the focus will be on the power lifts.

Whilst waiting for next week to come around I did the following workout yesterday these were the work sets

Bench 67kgs 5x1 back off sets 56kgs 1x8 followed by close grip bench 46kgs 2x46kgs

Pullups/ chins 22kgs 5x1 back off sets body weight 2x8

Overhead press 46kgs 5x1

All weights in Kilo’s

Work sets only

Tuesday 11-02-14

Squats 115kg 5x1 Back down sets 100kg 1x6 80kg 1x8

Bench 67.5 kg 6x1 Back down sets 55kg 1x8 close grip bench 45kg 2x8

Reverse Laterals 7.5kg 4x12

First time benching at the gym today it felt quite strange not benching on my own bench not a bed session overall

All weights in Kilo’s

Work sets only

Thursday 13-02-14

Deadlifts 144kg 5x1 Back down set 100kg 1x6

Pull ups/Chins 22kg 6x1 Back down sets Body weight 1x9 1x8

Then for a bit of fun as I had some energy left I used my triceps bar to do 2 sets of Hammer barbell curls for want of a better name 20kg 2x8

The deadlifts felt quite hard but then again so did the squats so I put it down to having not trained my lower body last week plus my legs were still aching from Tuesdays squats :slight_smile:

All weights in Kilo’s

Work sets only

Bench 67kgs 7x1 Back down sets 56kgs 1x9 close grip bench 46kgs 1x8

Press 46kgs 6x1

Well a busy day today as my son had another ranking event where he managed to take gold again so happy days…As we got back earlier than expected I thought I would have a quick coffee and do my work out so that I could try and stay on schedule.

As you can see due to time and energy levels I left pull ups/chins out, it started ok but when I tried to go straight in to over head presses after benching I failed to get the first rep so gave myself a 12 minute break then got my 6 singles with out to much trouble… lesson learned after bench give myself a 10minute rest period to recover before over head presses

Last edited by warren tredaway; Today at 06:30 PM.

All weights in Kilo’s

Work sets only

Squats 115kg 7x1 Back down sets 100kg 1x6 80kg 1x8

Bench 67.5 kg 8x1 Back down sets 55kg 1x8 close grip bench 45kg 2x8

Had to change my training schedule this week and bring my session forward as my son had been asked to join the England Talent Development Squad for randori this week so it was an opportunity not to be missed.

My back down sets felt a bit hard on this session and I had to grind the last couple of reps so I may leave them as I’m doing quite a high number of singles at the moment.


I am approaching similar bench numbers using 5 3 1 here (I only weigh 66kg’s). But am way down on the other big lifts compared to you.

Hey Raven thanks for dropping by, I’m not sure what my exact weight is just now but I would guess I’m around 64kgs as that’s what I weighed before I started this program and I haven’t really been bulking up food wise.

5/3/1 is a good well proven program I’m sure you’ll catch up with me on the other lifts in no time :slight_smile:

All weights in Kilo’s

Body weight 64.3 kgs

Work sets only

Deadlifts 144kg 7x1 Back down set 100kg 1x7

Pull ups/Chins 22kg 7x1 Back down sets Body weight 1x10 1x8

BB Curls 34kg 1x6 30kg 1x6

With both Squats and deadlifts I have added 2 sets per session as I’m only doing them once a week and will probably do the same with pull ups/chins.

All weights in Kilo’s

Work sets only

Bench 67kgs 10x1 Back down sets 56kgs 1x8 close grip bench 46kgs 1x8 & 1x6

whilst benching i also included 6 sets of bent over laterals during my rest periods as i give myself 90 seconds rest between each set of benches.

Press 46kgs 8x1

As you can see i added 2 sets instead of 1 set to my bench today as i didn’t want to do 10 sets of 1 rep at the gym hogging the bench so at my next bench session i can now up the weight to 70kgs/154lbs and drop back down to 4 sets of 1 rep

I also decided to jump up by 2 sets each over head press session as i only do these once a week.

Overall the session felt good as my bench felt better on each set although i did take it easy on my back down sets, Over head Press felt quite hard but it was doable as i allowed myself a 10 minute rest between bench and presses.

All weights in Kilo’s

Work sets only

Squats 115kg 10x1 Back down sets 100kg 1x6 80kg 1x8

Bench 70 kg 4x1

Felt a bit disappointed with todays session, i got to the gym earlier than normal but because i had to wait around for a squat rack to become available i ended up starting later than normal ( i hate commercial gyms grrr )

I decided to jump to 10x1 in the squats with 90 seconds between sets sometimes a little shorter, these felt good they were nice and low so at least that was a good start after the waiting around.

For the bench i moved the weight up to 70kgs as this is the smallest jump in weight i can do at the gym, the new weight felt heavier than i thought it would so i had to give myself between 2 and 3 minute rests between sets, i got to set number 4 and thought to be on the safe side i would ask this young fella to spot me “don’t touch the bar unless i really need you to please as i want to try and do it all myself” so i go to begin and he try’s to help me with a lift off,i thanked him but said I’d rather lift it off myself then I’m about 3/4 of the way up on the lift and sure enough his hands touch the bar giving me a little help grrrr !! i thanked him then waited 4 minutes to make sure i could complete the rep and did it again without a spot.

Lesson learned make sure you ask an older person for a spot i can see that when i get to my next weight increase I’m going to have to add just 1 rep a week and do one heavy session at home and one lighter session at the gym as i would like to add less weight than 2.5 kg jumps.

Another lesson it could be that i should stick with one rep per session only as I’ve been sometimes added an extra rep at my last bench session and i have been jumping up 2 reps for some exercises i suppose time will tell.

Hopefully i’ll have a better session next time.

All weights in Kilo’s

Work sets only

Deadlifts 144kg 8x1 Back down set 100kg 1x8

Pull ups/Chins 22kg 8x1 Back down sets Body weight 1x10 1x8

BB Curls 30kg 1x8 30kg 1x6 30kg 1x4

I decided to just add I extra set today and go with a slower progression.

All weights in Kilo’s

Weighed 63.7kgs today

Work sets only

Bench 70kgs 5x1 Back down sets 54kgs 1x8 close grip bench 46kgs 1x8 1x7 1x6

whilst benching i also included 6 sets of bent over laterals during my rest periods as i give myself 90 seconds rest between each set of benches.

Press 46kgs 10x1

Well todays bench session felt much better than Tuesdays session as I was able to have shorter rest periods between singles and still felt good, I suppose not doing a days work and squatting before hand helped

Hey Tred, good work man! How are you liking all that single work?

And I feel you on the spotter thing. I make it very clear what I want if I get someone to spot my bench. I actually tell them to stay a couple steps back and that seems to do the trick. I just want them there to make sure I don’t die! lol

Hi MightyMouse, So far I’m enjoying the singles although 10x1 does take a long time lol, I have been trying to keep my rest periods down to 90 seconds between sets to try and help speed things up a little although I had to increase the rest period for benching on Tuesdays workout especially after the spotter I used jumped in a bit early but today was all good and back to 90 seconds with some reverse laterals done whilst resting.

Thanks for the tip regarding the spotters i’ll definitely use that approach if I have to use a spotter again :slight_smile:

All weights in Kilo’s

Work sets only

Squats 120kg 4x1 Back down sets 100kg 1x7

Bench 70 kg 6x1 Back down sets 50kg 1x10 close grip bench 50kg 1x7 2x6

Reverse Laterals 12.5kg 4x8

Well todays work out was an unexpectedly good one as I have had the dreaded man flu for a few days blocked nose, sore throat etc. As such I decided as I was adding weight to the bar I wouldn’t do any back down sets today and just make sure I was super strict on all my reps.

However when it came down to it I thought i’ll just do one back down set for squats and move on to the bench… The bench seemed much easier for some reason today I don’t know why perhaps it was because it was a different bench to what I usually use but all the reps felt good, when it cane to the back down sets I couldn’t find any 2.5 kg discs so I just used 50kgs for all the sets including the close grip benches which once again felt good too so overall really pleased :slight_smile:

All weights in Kilo’s

Work sets only

Deadlifts 144kg 10x1

Pull ups/Chins 22kg 10x1 Back down sets Body weight 1x10 1x8

BB Curls 30kg 1x8 30kg 1x7 30kg 1x4

Skipped the back down set on deadlifts today as I thought my lower back could do with a rest after 10 sets of 1.