T Nation

Old Guy Trying to Get Strong


#301

Another update, and I’ll start working and logging again soon. Life hasn’t gotten easier. Still going through what is turning out to be a contentious divorce. There have been family health problems that culminated in my father passing away on July 27th. My mom is still going through some health issues, but is on the road to doing well health-wise. Just finished last weekend moving her from her old house, which is a 75 year old 2 story 3000 sf farmhouse which was way too big and maintenance intensive for her, into a new, 1300 sf one story just down the road from my brother, so she’s doing well. My daughter is going to be moving up to Kansas with me as soon as she’s done helping my mom get settled into her new place. Also, just started a plant outage, so it’s 12 hour days 6 days a week for the next 2 months.

With the way the roller coaster of life has been, I’ve not been spending any time in the gym, but it’s time to get back to work. I still have family to be there for, and if I don’t take care of myself, I’m no good for anyone else. This next week or 2 will be light whole-body workouts to get my body used to working again, then it’s back on a 5/3/1 variant, once I decide what will work best around an outage schedule.


#302

Time to get back to logging. First, since the middle of September I’ve been getting into the gym when I can, either at work or at home, and doing some running or other conditioning work in between lifting sessions. Started with light whole body exercises, then moved on toward 5/3/1 with a lot of 5 reps workouts, working up to reasonably heavy weights for where I am right now, and now, over the last week I’ve finally started back into 5/3/1 in earnest.

One disclaimer: I’ve had to drop my bench way back, and I can only bench with a close grip and with my elbows in against my chest, or my right shoulder wants to dislocate. I’m seeing a doctor about it next week, but I doubt I’m going to go under the knife for it, since the only time it bothers me now is when I bench heavy, so I don’t know if the cost/benefit is worth it. I’m okay with not benching heavy.

Last week was the first full week of 5/3/1, so here are the final sets/reps of the main exercises. I’ll start recording the full workouts as I go.

10/19 - Bench - 5x155#
10/20 - Deadlift - 8x325#
10/22 - Press - 10x140#
10/23 - Squat - 10x285#

I’m definitely weaker than I was before my last layoff, which is to be expected, but I’m honestly happy with how much strength I’ve retained. My bench is a lot stronger than I’m showing, but I’m going to stick with what doesn’t hurt me, there.


#303

10/25/16

Warmup.

Bench - 10x45, 10x65, 10x95, 3x115, 3x135, 3x155, 3x175
Dips - 15/20/25
Pullups - 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10
DB press - 10x50, 10x60, 10x70 per arm
bodyweight rows - 10/10/10

Benches are close grip with elbows in, keeping it light and being careful. Pullups are superset with the bench and dips, bodyweight rows are superset with DB press.


#304

Once again trying to get going after a long layoff. Well, technically I’ve been back at it since April, after taking about 4 months off from the beginning of December, and I started back on 5/3/1 in May. I now have 2 full cycles under my belt, and just started on the 3rd cycle last week, but I need to start logging again so I can remember the sets/reps I’m doing since this is the first time I haven’t hit 10 reps on my last set on 5’s week for every main exercise. I started relatively light again, and again it’s good to see that the strength drop-off wasn’t as bad as I expected. So, here’s my cycle 3/week 1 numbers:

Monday 7/3/17 - Cycle 3 day 1:
Warmup.
Squat:
10x45#
5x95#
5x135#
5x185#
5x225#
10x285#

Good mornings - 3x10x135#
superset with toes to bar - 3x8

Conditioning:
‘Sprints’: 20x40m, started slow, worked my way up to a fair approximation of a sprint by the last sets.

Tuesday 7/4/17 - Cycle 3 day 2:
Warmup.
Press:
10x45#
5x65#
5x85#
5x105#
5x125#
10x145#

1 arm dumbell press: 3x15x45#

Pullups in between sets 3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10

Thursday 7/6/17 - Cycle 3 day 3:

Warmup
Deadlift:
10x45# (power clean last 2 reps)
5x95# (power clean last 2 reps)
5x135# (power clean last 2 reps)
5x185# (power clean last rep)
5x245#
5x285#
10x325#

Front squat:
3x45#
3x65#
3x95#
3x115#
3x135#
3x155#
3x185#

Trap bar farmer’s carry:
2x25m x145#
2x25m x235#
1x25m x325#

Friday 7/7/17 Cycle 3 day 4

Warmup.
Bench:
10x45#
5x65#
5x95#
5x115#
5x135#
5x155#
5x175#
8x195#

Pullups 25# weighted between sets: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8

Dips 25# weighted - 10/15/20 superset with bodyweight + 25# horizontal rows 10/10/10

Conditioning:
run - 200m, 4x400m, 2:00 rest between intervals

Feeling good with where I am right now, and making good progress. As far as life goes, still trying to get this stupid divorce finalized, it’s been one roadblock after another thrown in front of me since I started this process, but everything else in my life is immeasurably better than it was a year ago, and the ex is back in California so we don’t have to have any face-to-face interaction.

edit: current weight 199#, current age 52, current height 5’7" (and shrinking, I’ll be 5’6" before too long, stupid aging…)


#305

7/10/17 5/3/1 cycle 3 day 5

Warmup.

Squat:
10x45#
5x95#
3x135#
3x185#
3x215#
3x245#
3x275#
3x305#
3x325#
3x345#

Good mornings @135# - 10/10/10
Toes to bar - 9/9/9

7/11/17 5/3/1 cycle 3 day 6

Warmup.

Press:
10x45#
5x65#
3x95#
3x115#
3x135#
3x155#
3x165#
3x175#

Pullups - 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/15

DB overhead press per arm: 10x50#, 10x60#, 10x70#
DB rows per arm: 10x60#, 10x70#, 10x80#


#306

7/13/17 5/3/1 cycle 3 day 7

Warmup.

Deadlift:
5x45# + 2 power cleans
5x95# + 2 power cleans
3x135# + 2 power cleans
3x185# + 1 power clean
3x225#
3x265#
3x305#
3x345#
3x365#
3x385#

front squats:
3x45#
3x65#
3x95#
3x115#
3x135#
3x155#
3x185#

Hex bar farmer’s walk 25 m
2x145#
2x235#
1x325#


#307

Friday 7/14/17 Cycle 3 day 8

Warmup.

Bench:
10x45#
5x65#
3x95#
3x115#
3x135#
3x160#
3x180#
3x200#
3x210#
3x220#

Pullups 25# weighted between sets: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9

Dips 25# weighted - 10/15/20 superset with bodyweight + 25# horizontal rows 10/10/10

One thing I forgot to note for this week - The last 2 3x sets on each main exercise were joker sets. I’m doing the same type of program I was doing before my break, which is to do a max rep set for the last set on 5’s week, capped at 10 reps, no max rep sets on 3’s week, doing joker sets instead, and max rep sets on 1’s week, capped at 5 reps. It’s what works for me mentally right now, since it lets me get some heavy sets in even though I set my 1 rep max for all the exercises conservatively low. My plan, which is the same as I had before but I laid off before I got there, is to milk this way for all the gains I can, then switch from joker sets and start doing a 5 up/3 back progression. We’ll see if I can maintain and avoid any long layoffs this time…


#308

7/17/17 5/3/1 cycle 3 day 9

Warmup.

Squat:
10x45#
5x95#
5x135#
5x185#
5x225#
5x255#
5x290#
5x325#

Good mornings @135# - 10/10/10
Toes to bar - 9/9/9


#309

7/16/17 5/3/1 cycle 3 day 10

Warmup.

Press:
10x45#
5x65#
5x95#
5x115#
5x130#
3x145#
5x160#

Pullups - 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/20

DB overhead press per arm: 10x50#, 10x60#, 10x70#
DB rows per arm: 10x60#, 10x70#, 10x80#

Pretty happy with my pullups, I decided on the last set to see if I could do 20, and sure enough I got them, and I probably could have gotten a few more, but I still had dumbbell rows to do, so I left it at that. Next time I decide to goof around I’ll see if I can hit 25. Not too bad for an old fat guy…


#310

7/20/17 5/3/1 cycle 3 day 11

Warmup.

Deadlift:
5x45# + 2 power cleans
5x95# + 2 power cleans
5x135# + 2 power cleans
5x185# + 1 power clean
5x225#
5x285#
3x325#
5x365#

front squats:
3x45#
3x65#
3x95#
3x115#
3x135#
3x155#
3x185#

Hex bar farmer’s walk 25 m
2x145#
2x235#
1x325#


#311

Friday 7/21/17 Cycle 3 day 12

Warmup.

Bench:
10x45#
5x65#
5x95#
5x115#
5x135#
5x165#
3x185#
5x210#

Pullups 25# weighted between sets: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8

Dips 25# weighted - 10/15/20 superset with barbell rows 135# 10/10/10

Conditioning: 10x100m runs

Monday starts cycle 4, with new training maxxes as follows:

Squat: 345#
Press: 175#
Deadlift: 390#
Bench: 225#


#312

Monday 7/24/17 - Cycle 4 day 1:

Warmup.

Squat:
10x45#
5x95#
5x135#
5x185#
5x225#
5x260#
10x295#

FSL squats:
3x5x225#

Good mornings - 3x10x135#
superset with toes to bar - 2x9

Starting this cycle, I’m working first set last in on Squat day and Bench day, for a little more volume. I’m going to stick with 3x5’s for now. Staying away from that on press on deadlift day, though. I’m doing the DB presses after the main press fairly heavy and with a progression in mind already, so I don’t need more volume there, and fatigued deadlifts always lead to me hurting myself. Edit: Also note to self, wimped out on the last set of toes to bar - heat index was 103 F out there in my garage, and the added volume with the fsl squats tapped me out. I was doing good to make myself do the good mornings, since they’re there to help my deadlift.


#313

Tuesday 7/25/17 - Cycle 4 day 2:

Warmup.

Press:
10x45#
5x65#
5x95#
5x115#
5x135#
10x150#

Pullups 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/15

Dumbbell press per arm: 10x55#, 10x65#, 6x75#

Dumbbell rows per arm: 10x65#, 10x75#, 10x85#

I could definitely feel the difference bumping the weight by 5# on my DB presses, couldn’t get 10 reps on the last set. We’ll see if I do any better next week when I don’t do a max rep set on the BB press first. Anyway, I’m staying at these weights for the accessories until I can get 10’s across consistently.


#314

7/27/17 5/3/1 cycle 4 day 3

Warmup.

Deadlift:
5x45# + 2 power cleans
5x95# + 2 power cleans
5x135# + 2 power cleans
5x185#
5x225#
5x255#
5x295#
10x335#

front squats:
3x45#
3x65#
3x95#
3x115#
3x135#
3x155#
3x185#

decline situps 15/15/15 superset with back extensions 15/15/15.

Workout at the rec center today, so no hex bar to do farmer’s walks, so just did some core work instead.


#315

Friday 7/28/17 Cycle 4 day 4
Warmup.

Bench:
10x45#
5x65#
5x95#
5x115#
5x145#
5x170#
10x190#

FSL:
3x5x145#

Pullups 20# weighted between sets: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/5

Dips 20# weighted - 10/15/20 superset with bodyweight +20# rows 3x10

10x190# bench felt pretty easy, definitely had a few more reps in me. I’ve been doing my bench really close grip because that’s the only way my shoulder was comfortable for a long time, so for the FSL sets I experimented with a wider grip, and went slow with a long pause at the bottom, just feeling out my shoulder, and it felt pretty good. I may start gradually working toward a wider bench grip again, to see how it feels.


#316

Sunday 7/30/17

Conditioning:

5x400m run, 2:00 rest between. 200m finisher, not exactly a sprint. Don’t want the hamstrings to seize up…


#317

7/31/17 5/3/1 cycle 4 day 5

Warmup.

Squat:
10x45#
5x95#
3x135#
3x185#
3x235#
3x275#
3x315#
Jokers:
3x335#
3x355#
FSL:
3x235#

Good mornings @135# - 10

8/1/17 5/3/1 cycle 4 day 6

Warmup.

Press:
10x45#
5x65#
3x85#
3x105#
3x125#
3x140#
3x160#
Joker:
3x170#
3x180#

Pullups - 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12

DB overhead press per arm: 10x55#, 10x65#, 10x75#
DB rows per arm: 10x65#, 10x75#, 10x85#

2 days’ worth here, and squats day was abbreviated. On my second joker set of squats my inner right hamstring started to feel a little crampy. Didn’t take any strength away, but was pulling. I dropped down for the FSL sets, but was still hurting a bit so I quit after 1 short set. Tried good mornings, same thing, so just called it a day.

I’m happy with press, got 10 reps with 75# on the dumbbell press, way better than last week, so my guess that it would be better without a max reps press set in front of it was borne out.

The rest of this week might be wonky, I’m taking off work after Wednesday, going down to Texas to visit family, so I’m not sure when I’ll have the opportunity to hit the gym. I might end up just running a few times, and then finishing up this training week next week…


#318

8/3/17 5/3/1 cycle 4 day 7

Warmup.

Deadlift:

3x45# + 2 power cleans
3x95# + 2 power cleans
3x135# + 2 power cleans
3x185# + 1 power cleans
3x225#
3x275#
3x315#
3x355#
Jokers:
3x375#
3x395#

front squats:

3x20kg
3x30kg
3x40kg
3x50kg
3x60kg
3x70kg
3x80kg
3x90kg

Worked out at home this morning, so no trap bar for farmer’s walks. Also used my kilo weights for the front squats.


#319

Friday 8/4/17 Cycle4 day 8

Warmup.

Bench:
10x45#
5x65#
3x85#
3x105#
3x125#
3x145#
3x165#
3x185#
3x205#

Jokers:
3x215#
3x225#

Pullups 25# weighted between sets: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9

Just a quick workout before getting on the road this morning. Of note, though, this is the first time I’ve moved 225# on bench since I hurt my shoulder last April, so that’s good.


#320

Sunday 8/6/17 Conditioning

Run: 1 mile in 10:23. Rest 1:00. 1 mile in 9:33. Even slow miles hurt when you’re not conditioned for it. Mile out I took it fairly easy, but I was still pretty exhausted by the end. Rested for one minute, then ran the mile back, my only goal being to beat my time out. I actually did a lot better than I expected, I would have been happy with a 10:00 mile.