T Nation

My Quest For Strength


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Ohhh…I’ve seen those. Unfortunately I can’t afford one at the moment. Band Crunches + Planks are probably suboptimal, but it is something I have to work with. I might invest in an Ab Wheel just because they are ridiculously hard. Do you use an ab wheel on a regular basis?

Also, if I got an ab wheel, I’d be training ab flexion, ab extension, and ab isometric holds.


Update: may do these w/ the band instead. It would be easy enough to tie the band around the swing set in my backyard.


Up until Deep Water ab wheel was basically my only ab work. Big fan of it.


Awesome. Thanks.


Good afternoon.


Food for the last two days.



Rice cereal
1/2 bag granola


• 2 apples
• .5 cup sunflower seeds
• 6 oz. chicken in a big salad
• Grapes


5 oz. chicken
1 bowl Split pea soup
2 cups quinoa



1 cup sunflower seeds
2 seed bars


7 oz. ground beef in a big salad


7 oz. chicken
1 yam
1 cup eggplant


10 x 5 Chins


45 x 2 x 5
65 x 5
75 x 3
95 x 5
105 x 3
120 x 4 — I got 3.5 hours of sleep before I was abruptly woken (long story), and then it took me a half hour to fall asleep once again…so I ended up with 4.5 hr. of sleep (at best).

75 x 5 x 10

10 x 5 Dips

Grip strength feels weaker. Odd. Maybe that’s my CNS flunking out on me. Who knows? I’m gonna look at 5/3/1 for Powerlifting to get some experience with heavy singles.


Yesterday’s food:



3/4 cup sunflower seeds


Dried apricots
6 oz. ground beef
1 yam
.5 cup eggplant


3 seed bars
5 oz. ground beef
1.5 cups rice


6 oz. chicken
2 cups rice noodles
3/4 cup broccoli


Thats typical. When you’re really fatigued grip is too.


Well, my grip feels solid today, surprisingly. I only need it for the 320 x 8 pull I’m gonna knock out later today.


11 weeks till the Virtual Meet.

Running 1 cycle of 5/3/1 Pre-Meet, 1 cycle of 5/3/1 Meet Prep, deloading for a week, and then doing my heavy singles.

Plan for the meet:

Squat: 370
Bench: 225
Deadlift: 415


Squat: 295
Bench: 175
Deadlift: 345
Press: 130

5/3/1 Pre-Meet

Week 1

3 x 3 @ 70, 80, 90%
• 1 x 85% meet goal (S, B, D)
• 1 x 92.5% meet goal (S, B, D)
• Assistance

Week 2

3 x 5 @ 65, 75, 85%
• assistance

Week 3

1 x 5/3/1 @ 75, 85, 95%
• 1 x 85% meet goal (S, B, D)
• 1 x 95% meet goal (S, B, D)
• assistance

Week 4

3 x 5 @ 40, 50, 60%
• minimal assistance

5/3/1 Meet Preparation

Week 1

3 x 3 @ 70, 80, 90%
• 1 x 85% meet goal

Week 2

3 x 5 @ 65, 75, 85%

Week 3

1 x 5/3/1 @ 75, 85, 95%

Week 4

Light assistance work, GMs, etc.

Raring and ready to go with my poverty bench.


Awesome PR today. Felt great, those cues @losthog and @T3hPwnisher showed me really helped. Lockout felt really snappy. I think with some singles work, I’ll be more than equipped to pull 405 in a few months.


135 x 2 x 5
185 x 3
225 x 2
250 x 5
285 x 3 (belt on)
320 x 8 — PR! Clean.
335 x 1
340 x 1

250 x 10

3 x 15 Average Band GMs
5 x 20 Band Pull Aparts

Edit: the 45 pound plates I’ve been using (the thin ones) are apparently 47.5 pounds each, according to someone who knows a gym employee. Do I doubt it? Yes. Am I complaining? No.


That form is fantastic! You fixed a lot in a short period of time.


Thank you! In your experience, how well does high-rep work transfer over to singles?


Not well. High rep…rep maxes are too far apart to be true. I look at rep maxes of 5,8,10,12 as something I can obtain but may be out of reach currently.

For example I got 210 on bench for 8 reps and my projected 1rm for Bench is 280. But my 1rm is a sloppy 275. The rep would have to be perfect for me to hit 280 and that rarely happens with my lifting experience.

As I have progressed, I’ve noticed that when I hit a high rep new projected rep max it is something I can hit in a couple of weeks to a month from now if I am able to keep recovering and making injury free progress.

My projected 1rm for OHP is 220 but I can only hit 185 for 1. I’ll hit 225 within 6 months if I can keep working and stay on point with diet and recovery.

Keep working to dial in a repeatable form that is technically sound and good things will happen!

Nice work and don’t rush it…it’s a marathon not a sprint.


Thank you. I will keep all of this in mind. Hopefully I can pull 415 for a single in a few months.


Yesterday’s food:



1 cup pumpkin seeds


6 oz. steak, 5 oz. chicken
1.5 cups rice


1 seed bar


6 oz. chicken
2 cups rice noodles
.75 cup eggplant

2 high-protein foods my stomach can tolerate in moderation are seeds and ground beef. This is good. I’ve been feeling good for 4 days consecutively as of right now, which is actually a record for the last few months.


Bench is a bit screwy. I have to relearn everything because I suck at benching. I can’t keep my arch and I always forget to use leg drive.


45 x 2 x 5
95 x 5
125 x 5
145 x 3
160 x 8 (failed 9th literally an inch away from lockout)

5 x 10 x 125

5 x 10 x 75 lb. Rows

5 x 20 pushups
5 x 20 band pull-aparts

Everything felt heavy today. Hammering out some push-ups/band triceps extensions later. Also checking out Dr. John Rusin/Dave Tate bench video. The deadlift cues helped tremendously, so maybe this will work for me as well.

@MarkKO is there anything specific I should improve on? Or should I just relearn how to bench?


Watched the video, took away the following cues.

  1. Get tighter and pull myself up with a reverse grip before I even begin the movement
  2. Have even foot placement
  3. Use a false grip if you prefer to do so/have an injury
  4. Keep ab tension throughout the movement (emulate by putting feet on bench and doing glute bridge
  5. Flare your lats and pull the bar out of the rack to keep your shoulders back and tight
  6. Get your sternum higher. Elbows should not dip below the bench pad.

I may not be able to pull the bar out of the rack, per se, unless I get a liftoff (the J-hooks are more like U-cups). False grip is definitely something I will be utilizing (felt more powerful), and I have to figure out a way to keep my arch.