T Nation

My Journey to 1100#

All a matter of perspective. The leg days look good - not too much and not too little. The upper body days look fine, too. It’s less than I do so they look short to me, but you might catch up depending on your assistance work. I’m desperately trying to add ounces of muscle to my shoulders and upper chest. I’m not sure if it’s working but I’ve been trying all year.

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Took a full day off from training, slept really well, got to work, tired as hell. I’m going to call it cumulative fatigue to force myself to take at least 1 more day completely off.

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Block 2 Week 1 Bench

8 reps

BBB Floor Press


Cable Triceps 2 ropes

50 reps 20-15-15 70#
Cable Bicep Curls Rope

50 reps 20-15-10-5 55#

Seated Rows MAG handle

50 reps 20-15-15 80#


5X5 during Bench and Floor Press

Solid if not spectacular bench day. Good arm and upper back pump from the accessories. All done in 45 minutes. Floor press felt light, then I remembered how BBB works, so I think the weight is right for 3 weeks then move it up. Debating lowering my accessory weight slightly to try and push more reps, possibly 75-100.

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Block 2 Week 1 Squat

8 reps

Was in a hurry and thought 225 was a warmup set so I did an extra after the AMRAP



3X15 135#

Supposed to be BBB but shortened to 3 sets. Superset with 10 hanging leg raises. This gassed me pretty bad, but off to accessory work.

Leg Press

3X15 135#

Quads on fire and I can’t breathe.

Reverse Hyper

3X10 50#

Good low back stretch after RDLs still can’t breathe. Headed to work after only 40 minutes in the gym.

The last 20 minutes felt like CrossFit and I wanted to puke walking to my truck. This was definitely a get it done get out session. Works been extremely difficult on my legs lately. I’m out of laundry as of tomorrow so a day off will be mandatory, and frankly I’m pretty glad to have a forced day off.


Block 2 Week 1 Press

10 reps


5X10 115#

DB Fly/Seated Hammer Curls

3X15 15# DB
3X10 20# DB

Tried to do pull-ups, left tricep said no. Good upper back and bicep pump. All done in 35 minutes.

Taking a couple days off to drive halfway across the US home, then recover from that. Hopefully deadlift Sunday if my back allows it after 30 hours in my pickup. On the plus side I’ll be home for Labor Day and a gun show is in town this weekend.

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Block 2 week 1 Deadlift


All of those from 3” deficit…ouch

This is where stupid started

315X3 3 sets

SSB Squats

5X5 145#

Reverse Hypers

3X10 70#

Low back was smoked after DL and squats. Did the reverse hypers to loosen it back up, seemed to work, but won’t know until tomorrow morning.


Block 2 Week 2 Bench

12 reps

225X3 very shaky but didn’t feel super heavy

BBB Close Grip Floor Press

5X10 95#

Still can’t manage pull-ups due to left lat and tricep area.

Tricep push downs (fat rope)

50 reps 50# 20-10-10-10

Cable Curls (straight bar)

50 reps 45# 25-15-10

Seated Rows (medium MAG handle)

50 reps 70# 25-15-10

Lat pull downs (wide MAG handle)

50 reps 70# 36-14

Kroc Rows

3X10 45/55/65

Reverse Flys

3X15 15# DB


3 sprints 20 seconds between 500m/300m/200m

Bad ass gym tends to get me into trouble. I’m off work for 2 weeks so I thought I’d up the volume a bit. I’ve got time and space to recover as the wife’s to do list is rather short this time home and her cooking is better than mine. If it’s not raining this afternoon I’ll take the new pup for a stroll and some active recovery. Only issue I’m having right now is sleep because my hands are falling asleep. Both shoulders and my neck feel jammed up.

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Block 2 Week 2 Squat


7 reps, there was a lot more there, but rep 7 I got too quick and fell forward at the top.

335X1 this was borderline paused and flew up


3X15 155#

Reverse Hypers

4X10 70#

Leg Press

4X15 135#

Superset 10 hanging leg raises with Hypers and Leg Press for 8 sets of 10.


4 sprints 300m 30 second rest

Squat was slow, 3-4 minutes between sets RDL 1 minute between sets. After that basically only rest was walking between accessories and hanging leg raises. Completely soaked when I walked out of the gym. Took about an hour and a half, but I’m in no rush so it’s fine. One good note is I got my hands on the bar for the squat almost where I like it. Got a good night of sleep last night with some melatonin which I think helped the shoulder immensely. Now to run a couple errands for the missus then food and a nap.


Block 2 Week 2 Press


13 reps

Left shoulder not impressed.


5X10 115#

superset with

Lat Pulls

5X10 70# Alternating grip

Then I went into some sort of bro mode, for no apparent reason.

Front/Side raises

15# db 8-5-4

These killed me

Rear Delt Raises

3X10 10# db

Felt good

Tricep extensions/DB Curls

4X25 40#
4X10 20-30-35-20#

Seated Rows/45 degree back raises

3X25 80# medium MAG handle

My back doesn’t like the raises at all.

EZ Bar Curls/Lat pulls

2X10 40#
2X15 70# narrow MAG handle


5 “sprints” 300m around 2:00/500m pace

1 hour 30 minutes then 15 in the parking lot trying to compose myself to drive home. Really upping my accessory volume on my days off seems to feel good. Day off tomorrow as I am traveling 4 hours away for an informal interview. May take 2 days off because I have quite a bit of work to do at my farm getting ready for deer season and though not overly heavy, it is taxing. Going to spend the rest of today assembling my new pellet smoker and trying out a couple recipes for the wife and myself. Smoked queso and a venison tenderloin should do the trick for recovery.


Block 2 week 2 Deadlift


All from 3” deficit

405X1 2 sets

SSB Squat superset with Russian Twists

5X5 155#
5X20 25#

Reverse Hypers superset with Hanging Leg Raises

4X15 70#


5 sprints 500/400/400/400/300 2000m total

All done in an hour and a half

Deadlift coming along nicely, deficits look like they’re helping. 405 came off the floor relatively easy.

Conditioning is also moving in the right direction. I pushed my accessories and the rower and my heart rate never topped 155 bpm. I prefer the rower for sure over running for conditioning it also seems to hit my abs and loosens up my low back.


Block 2 Week 3 Bench

9 reps


BBB CG Floor Press superset with supinated lat pull

5X10 95#
5X10 80-90-100-110-120

Tricep straight bar ext/Straight bar cable curls

4X25 50#
4X25-15-15-15 50#

Seated Narrow MAG rows

4X25 80# last set 16-9 RP

Reverse Flys/Seated Hammer Curls

4X15 20#
4X10-8-8-8 20#

Shoulder finisher inspired by @JMaier31


10/8/6 12# 2 rounds


5 500m sprints all sub 2:30

Bench is slow, I think protecting the shoulder slowed my bar speed down over the last 2 months. May have to incorporate some “speed” work in the next block if it doesn’t improve. Being off work has allowed me to push my accessory volume without being dumb about it. I really enjoy the pump I get from it. As for that shoulder finisher, screw that, lol. It’s obvious by how hard it is I need it, but it makes me feel stupid weak. Going to keep it because I’m not going to let a little movement like that kick my butt. Conditioning definitely on the up, I didn’t want to puke today, a plus. Decided I don’t ever video bench, so here is the AMRAP set.

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Block 2 Week 3 Squat

10 reps


Should have gone home right here. Felt strong, felt good, little did I know…


3X15 165#

Felt initially like just a good pump. I knew it was heavy, but I didn’t know it would wreck me.

Reverse Hypers

3X15 50#

Went light trying to loosen the creeping stiffness in my low back, very unsuccessful. Hurt to stand, sit, or walk.

Leg Press

Walked over and someone was using the one machine, thank you Jesus.

At this point not sure if I should keep moving, or call an ambulance. Decided to keep moving.

Half heartedly pushed a sled with 2 plates 200m.

All this took an hour and a half, but the last 20 minutes was just me walking around contemplating my horrible decisions.

So it’s not ego, IMHO, but I like to progress all my exercises. However, never again with RDL. Also, I knew I wasn’t in optimum position to push it today after 600 miles driving and 9 hours farm work yesterday. Not to mention the 5 hours sleep in the last 2 days and subpar nutrition. This is one of these look in the mirror in disgust days. One good note to end. My 305X10 was the first time a rep max calculator said over 400#. It may not be accurate, but it’s a big deal for me as that’s probably my most important goal right now.

Week 3 top squat set

Block 2 Week 3 Press

10 reps


5X10 115#

Lat pulls every press and bench set
6X10 70#
6X10 80#

Seated Rows no plan because broville was packed
2 rest pause sets 50/25 reps at 90#
42-8 15-10

Shoulder finisher
2 sets 8 each 15# db

DB curls/reverse flys(rear Delt raises)

3X10 15#

Seated DB Press/Cable Rope Curls

3X10 20-25-30#
3X15 45#

Felt like I hit the whole shoulder and upper back today. Very little low back stress which I needed. Back feels fine, legs are pretty sore right now, will dictate DL Saturday or Tuesday as I have another cross country drive either Saturday night or Sunday.

AMRAP set was a PR in my app but probably not a lifetime pr which is fine. Also did a set of assisted dips to see how they hit me. I was impressed with the tricep and rear Delt activation. May look at adding them down the road somewhere for sone variety.

Based on how that 152kg double moved I would say you are deff pretty close to 400. Stick wIth the program and be consistent and it will come before you know it. Good job

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Block 2 Week 3 Deadlift

9 reps


No SSB Bar so

Front Squat

5X5 135-145-155-165-175

The end. New gym short on time and had my 16 year old with me. Got in and out in 50 minutes.

Block 2 Week 4 Bench

10 reps (rep PR)


BBB CG Floor Press

5X10 115#

Superset all presses with Lat pulls
6X10 100# OH 6X10 100# chin grip

Giant set
Tricep rope ext/Seated rows/Cable rope curls

2 rounds 15/15/15 at 40/100/40
2 rounds 15/15/15 at 30/85/30

Incline DB Press/Reverse DB Flys

5X15. at
5X15. at


Ground to Overhead 95-115-135-115-95

Good pump session all the way through. 225 moved slow on the bench, but it still moved. Floor press feeling really explosive which I like. Giant set was a burner. Superset was just seeing what I could do because I wasn’t ready to do any conditioning. As for the power cleans and press, straight trash. I’ve forgotten how to clean or push press/jerk. Ended up being muscled cleans and weird looking nearly strict presses. And I had no oxygen. May add cleans in somewhere in the near future for explosiveness in my lower half. Spent an hour and 45 minutes in the gym, too long but had I not added incline it would have been about right. One other weird note, I’ve gotten a “pump” in my low back 2 or 3 times in the last couple of weeks, not sure how much I like that, just something to monitor.

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Block 2 Week 4 Squat
All uncomfortable but not heavy

225X3 better
265X3 ok but dreading AMRAP
295XAMRAP (gut check) just do the work
10 reps don’t use RPE, but it was a perceived 9

315X3 best feeling yet
335X1 felt slow, video said otherwise
345X1 felt solid

RDL/Hanging Leg Raises

4X10 135#

Leg Press


Good quad burn, also did another 4 sets of 10 hanging leg raises.

Lilly Shrugs

4X15.12.10.8 40# DBs

Top 2 sets in the videos. Good solid work day when I wasn’t really feeling it. One of my better consistency/do the work days ever. Finally seemed to find the ability to mentally push because the body is stronger than my mind sometimes. As everything gets heavier, I am feeling more and more low back pump/tightness. Going to incorporate better warmup/stretching practices going forward as I’ve been a bit lazy. I have an old remodeled L-4 fracture that scares the doctors every time it shows up, but honestly a strong bad back feels better than a weak one, just need to spend a bit more prehab/rehab time on it.

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That top squat looks like it moved real nice. Good work.

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