T Nation

Pick Things Up & Putting Them Down with 5/3/1


#1

A little background: I started "lifting weights" when i turned 18 at a typical commercial gym with a bunch of machines and just a single squat rack placed all the way in the back of the gym in a corner. I was the typical newbie, just wanted to lose my fat and get a six pack, not caring about anything else. I started with no muscle, and excess fat, and proceeded to lose that fat and achieve my six pack. I was happy, all the high school girls loved it and it got my laid. I was weightlifting for all the wrong reasons, and I did not realize that until coming to college and rollin' with the big dudes at the gym. There I learned what a Deadlift was, how to squat and bench press, and that I do not need to do abs 6 days a week for 30 minutes. I came to college at 6 foot 1 and 165lb, and it wasn't until my second semester that I learned how to properly do things, and changed my mindset and goals. I began experimenting with 5x5 and afterwards 5/3/1.

5/3/1 works.

My stats before i began lifting to get big and strong:
Military press: never did it
Deadlift: never did it
Squat: 135 for a few reps
Bench: 135x8

Current stats after about 4 months of 5x5 and 6 cycles of 5/3/1:
Body weight: 191 lb
Military press: 155x5
Deadlift: 365x5
Squat: 295x3
Bench: 205x5

I took a month off after school ended for winter break, and changed my squat stance significantly, because i was going way too wide and toes way too outward and began feeling pain in my medial glute area/hip joint. I now squat a little wider than shoulder width and toes slightly out.
I reset my numbers several months back to start fresh.

Current Wendler's 1rm's that I will be using to start off with:
Military Press: 160
Deadlift: 385
Squat: 270
Bench: 210

I meant to post yesterday but didn't get to it, so I will post Monday's and todays workout.


#2

Monday 1/17/11
Week 1 Day 1

Bench Press:
45x10
95x5
115x3
135x5
155x5
180x7 (just went for 2 reps over the required amount)

DB Flat Press:
50x10
60x10
70x10
60x10

Bodyweight Wide Pullups
10 reps
10
10
10
10

Bodyweight Dips
15 reps
15
15

Hammer Curls 3x12


#3

Tuesday 1/18/11
Week 1 Day 2

Squat:
135x5
135x5
155x3
175x5
205x5
230x10

Good Mornings:
95x10
115x10
115x10
115x10

DB Shrugs:
85x10
100x10
115x25 (left hand lost grip after)

Conditioning
8 sets of sprints around the track

Comments: Good workout, very sore and tired from it. Changing my squat stance and going below parallel rather than just parallel has proven to be tough, but i feel better about doing them well, even if the weight went down a bit.


#4

Wednesday 1/19/11

Off Day

Got a new 5lb tub of Myofusion Milk Chocolate protein in the mail today, and it tastes really good. It might even be better than Xtreme Formulations protein which was my favorite. Looking forward to using it in my pwo shakes. 200lb here I come!


#5

Thursday 1/20/11
Week 1 Day 3

Military Press:
45x10
65x5
95x3
105x5
120x5
135x9 (PR)

DB Arnold Press:
45x10
50x10
50x10
50x10

DB Rows:
60x10
80x10
100x15
80x20

Skullcrushers:
70x10
70x10
70x10
70x10

Barbell Curls:
70x12
80x12
90x8

Comments: Sore as fuck. Shoulders felt great, still sore in the low back and hamstrings from tuesday, hopefully that'll go away so that deadlifts go well tomorrow. 135x9 was great, I am happy that i use strict form, because the guys that were using the rack before me were also pressing, but didn't lock out, nor did they bring the bar to the chest. It felt great to see dudes my size do less weight and half the range of motion, and then one of them coming up to me up to my last set and saying "good form man". That got me pumped for the rest of the workout.


#6

Saturday 1/22/11
Week 1 Day 4

Deadlift:
135x5
185x5
225x3
250x5
295x5
330x7

Hanging Leg Raise: 3 sets to failure

Face Pulls: 2 sets of 15

Conditioning: 8 sets of sprints


#7

Monday 1/24/11
Week 2 Day 1

Flat Bench Press:
45x10
8 Pull ups
95x5
8 Pull ups
115x3
8 Pull ups
145x3
170x3
190x6

DB Flat Press:
50x10
70x10
70x9
60x12

Wide grip Pull Ups:
10
10
9

Weighted Dips:
BWx5
25x10
45x9
BWx14

EZ Bar Preacher curl:
65x8
85x8
105x8
65x8


#8

Tuesday 1/25/11
Week 2 Day 2

Squat:
135x5
135x5
155x5
175x5
190x3
215x3
245x10

Good Mornings:
95x10
95x10
95x10
95x10

Barbell Shrugs (no straps, just chalk):
135x10
225x10
315x10
405x15
495 hold for about 10 seconds

Conditioning:
Sprints for 8 sets

Comments: Workout was amazing, squats were light and form was good. I wore a hoodie today, because my back has been getting torn up and scabbed by the bar and ive been bleeding through t-shirts whenever i squat, but the hoodie made it much better. I tore a callous on my left hand after picking up 5 plates on the shrugs, and it bled quite a bit. Hopefully it gets better by friday, because that's deadlift day.


#9

Thursday 1/27/11
Week 2 Day 3

Military Press:
45x10
65x5
95x3
110x3
130x3
145x7

DB Arnold Press:
50x10
55x10
55x8
50x10

DB Row:
60x10
80x10
100x15
80x20

Skullcrushers:
70x10
70x10
70x10
70x10

Barbell Curls:
75x12
85x12
95x12

Comments: Just got a new Inzer single prong 10 mm forever belt in the mail and tested it out today for the first time on the military presses. It felt so much better than my cheap 20 dollar belt so I am happy with the purchase. Presses felt good and went up easy. I got a huge pump throughout the entire workout from rows and skulls and I noticed im fillin out my tshirt more which makes me motivated. All in all, good workout today.


#10

I've had to start wearing a hoodie when I squat as well. Got some nasty welts and a lot of raw skin there where the bar digs in. Such is the price of awesomeness


#11

Haha yep, once you start bleeding through your t-shirts u know u gotta do somethin about it haha. Squatting in a hoodie gets me sweating like crazy also


#12

Friday 1/28/11
Week 2 Day 4

Deadlifts:
135x10
185x5
225x3
275x3
315x3
345x8 (light!)

Hanging Leg Raises x 3 sets

Face Pulls x 2 sets of 15

Comments: The new inzer belt definitely makes a noticeable difference when pulling. The set felt easy, and I could've easily knocked out 2-3 more reps, but did not want to compromise form and shooting for 8 was reasonable. I wore soccer high socks, and 2 pairs of sweat pants to deadlift today to save my shins, but i still bled thru the sweats haha. I decided to skip sprints today, been a long week.


#13

Looks like you're putting in good work here. Keep it up man!


#14

Hey, thanks man. I've looked over your log as well and you too. How many cycles of 5/3/1 did you do?


#15

Haha thanks. I've done 3 cycles, but right now I'm in sort of a transition where I'm not exactly sure what I'll be doing in the future.


#16

I noticed, I didn't go through all of your log because it's just way too long, but i did skip to the last few pages and saw that you're doing singles and debating on joining a PL team. Good luck with that, should be exciting!


#17

Haha no worries, I don't blame you for skipping ahead. Nothing real interesting.

For sure! Transitioning to heavier loads and PL will definitely be exciting!


#18

Upon reading today's article on TN, I've decided to implement DB Farmer's walks into my lower body days. I've done them before and enjoyed them, not sure why I left them out for so long. They will be done with 120lb DBs, because that is the heaviest DB in my school's gym. Cannot wait!


#19

Monday 1/31/11
Week 3 Day 1

Flat Bench Press:
45x10
8 Pull ups
95x5
8 Pull ups
115x3
8 Pull ups
155x5
180x3
200x 4.5

Flat DB Press:
50x10
70x10
70x9
60x15

Wide Pull Ups:
10
10
10

Weighted Dips:
BWx5
25x10
45x8
BWx10

EZ Bar Preacher curls:
65x12
85x8
105x8

Comments: Bench press isn't doing as well as i'd like it to be but hopefully it'll progress from here. Average workout, wasn't too exciting. Next week's deload will be much needed.


#20

Today's article also got me thinking about farmer's walk and the like haha.

Don't worry about the bench progress. I highly doubt you're getting weaker even though you're not hitting PRs. Gaining muscle/strength is hardly a linear process. In good time you'll see your hard work pay off. Just keep at it man!