T Nation

My Quest For Strength


Well, fuck. Another day of NOT hitting a Press PR. The bar just won’t move. I’ve grinded out 6-second long reps, but this was just not moving past rep 7. Anyone have any tips? Also, used the belt today. It didn’t seem to offer much in the way of stability.


45 x 2 x 5
65 x 5
85 x 3
100 x 3 (belt on, chalk applied)
110 x 7
80 x 5 x 10

4 x 25 Band Pull-Aparts
50 chin-ups
100 push-ups

Got this done quickly today.


How do you breathe on the press?


Generally, I’ll pull in breath and brace before I unrack the bar. I will then take 4 steps out of the rack (two to back away from the stands, and two to spread my stance width out before I press. I will then release my breath, and take another big breath in and brace my abs. I will then flex my glutes and drive my hips forward, presenting my chest to the ceiling. I will then, finally, press and bring my head through. I generally take a narrower grip and I utilize Rip’s “grip tip” (to put the lifeline of your palms parallel to the bar, which results in your palms being twisted almost sideways before you take your position).


Do you breathe out between reps or do you hold your breath?


Generally I breathe out between reps.


Try holding your breath. If possible, get your unrack faster so that you don’t have to breathe out between when you unrack and start your first press. I find press for reps is basically a race against your lungs. As soon as you breathe out, stability is gone.

You can see me demonstrate it here


Your reps are pretty fast. I will do my best to hold my breath for as long as possible when I press next time around. Thank you for the tip.


I’m not entirely sure how I ended up getting this PR, but I got it and I’m happy. Also, I fixed the back angle. My lower back isn’t lit up! 450 is approaching. BW: 177.5.


135 x 2 x 5
185 x 4
225 x 1
240 x 3
275 x 3 (belt on)
310 x 12 — PR!

325 x 3

240 x 10 — no belt, hook grip, dead stop.This down set is always the hardest.

3 x 15 Average Band GM

50 Dips (felt fast)

50 curls x 35 lb. DB (each arm)

50 reps x 45 lb. decline weighted sit-up

2:05 Plank


I would say the high rep heavy ass deadlifts are why you feel like dogshit


I really don’t believe I could actually pull 435. I could probably bust out a single at 405 on a good day.


As the season for shotput approaches (and possibly sprinting depending on how many points my coach needs in the meet — surprisingly I’m pretty fast!), I may need to bring down my lifting just a tad. Practice is once or twice a week, plus whatever throwing I get done on my own time, and meets are generally held on Saturdays.

My current options are:

  1. Keep doing 5/3/1+ (this includes the PR set) and remove all supplemental work, whilst limiting assistance to 75 push/pull reps 3x/week.

  2. Up my TM to 90% and do 5s PRO across the board with the occasional Joker Sets thrown in (perhaps on weeks where I know I don’t have a meet and I can push it). I really can’t expect to be doing 14-rep squats and DLs and simultaneously be strong enough to throw at a high capacity. Assistance would also be 75 push/pull reps 3x/week.

  3. Look into Jim’s 5/3/1 routine for the football guys he coaches and just run a modified version of that.

  4. Take the advice of older, more experienced lifters who have coached in-season athletes or who know a thing or two about in-season training.

With all of that being said, any ideas? All are welcome and appreciated. Anything new would begin next cycle.

@strongmanbrett (I know you play football, haha).

Anyone else is certainly welcome to comment. Thanks again.


Do this. I don’t know shit about training athletes so that’s all I can offer.


Are you trying to be a powerlifter or shotputter?

Maybe read the Juggernaut Method book, Chad Wesley Smith used to be a shotputter and the program in that book is a “general strength” type of program that can be used for various sports.


I wish my shot athletes would lift weights. :joy:

You need to add explosive jumps and walking lunges to your routine. Balance work…single leg jumps,

Are you gliding or spinning? Work on power position transitions.


Explosive jumps are definitely something I am going to add. Maybe something in the realm of 3 x 5 Box Jumps (I used to jump around 30" for these as a warm up, but I eventually cut them for time reasons).

Walking SSB lunges sound like a fantastic assistance exercise for Squat Day! I think there’s something on Jim’s website on how exactly to program these within the context of 5/3/1. I am gliding, and I plan on drilling technique and throwing a bit extra at least a few times per week outside of practice. I’m also planning on implementing some form of clean. Thoughts?


Honestly, I’m looking for general strength. I really don’t think I’d ever be able to specialize in PLing, but I can still be a well-rounded individual and have somewhere around a 600-650 DL at 200 or so lb. BW over the course of many years of training. I also like being fast and strong relative to my BW, and I think that’s something I’m currently on the path to being. I also enjoy fighting and being able to execute lethal strikes.

For me, throwing isn’t necessarily a specialization thing. I just think that throwing will make me a better and more explosive athlete overall, plus it’s fun (and, besides, my parents won’t let me play football). I’ll check out the Juggernaut Method. Thanks.


Maybe you should look into strongman training, as far as general strength training that actually carries over into real life stuff that’s probably the best option.


I don’t doubt that statement! But the fanciest equipment my gym has is a Prowler. I’m unfortunately resigned to a basic squat rack and a trusty barbell! I can occasionally utilize SSB and trap bars as well as a Jammer if I’m lucky enough to get into the football weight room (that has actual iron plates!).


For in season 5/3/1 training, try this

The whole series is worth watching, but it’s what Jim prescribes to in season high school football players.

Were it me, I would just try to do too much at once and see if I could adapt, but I’m stupid and a poor athlete.


Both. Take what knowledge you get from the older athletes and use it towards better modification of the in-season 5/3/1. I never saw a huge hit in my performance in the field or in the weightroom while doing low reps at heavy weights. Definitely implement the jumps and uni-lateral exercises. Those are what make great athletes of any sport.