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PrehistoricDog's 5/3/1 Path to Maximal Strength

Well after literally a couple years of lurking, I have decide to join the illustrious group of strenght enthusiastes on T-Nation. My training history is as followed; starting lifting for football at age 13 and continued until about 20 using the standard 5x5 and 3x10 progressive overload with little research in to programing.

took a 5 year hiatus and started where I left off with a few training articles from Menshealth and Muscle and Fitness and also began marathon training. After training for about a year I dropped aproximatly 55lbs going from 230ish to 175. Bored with running, I realized my real love was in the weightroom (and on my mountain bike), this is about the time I found T-Nation.

I tried a couple of programs out and eventually fell in love with Jim Wendler’s simple yet effective 5/3/1 method. I’ve been running it for 2 years now and have gone from a 6’1", 175lbs runner to a 207lbs serious lifter.

after trying several different 5/3/1 templates, using Wendler’s principles, I’ve been utilizing my own version of his 3 day a week full body template.

Mainlifts on Mon.
Squats using 5/3/1 for powerlifters (3x3, 5x5, 5/3/1, deload)
Press (regular 5/3/1) ss inverted rows
assit work is usually some sort of pullup or pulldown ss with either db bench or 1 arm pushups
followed by a shoulder complex.

Tues. GPP and recovery work.

Mainlifts Weds.
Full Cleans (i prefer to catch in the front squat position)regualer 5/3/1
Deadlifts 5/3/1 for powerlifters
assist.
Pullups ss Step ups or 1 legged squats
dragonflags (working on doing these) or some other type of abdominal work.

Thurs. GPP and recovery work.

Mainlifts Fri.
Front Squat regualer 5/3/1
Bench 5/3/1 for powerlifters ss with pullups
assist.
1 arm rows (either cable of db) ss with dips
and some curls to polish the gunz!

Weekends usually consist of 1 day of rest (maybe some light streching) and a mountain bike ride on the other.

Last week was max testing after running a 6 month cycle for squat, bench, and deadlift (October will be 6 months for press, clean, and front squat and I will test maxs for them at that time). I ended up with PRs on all three lifts.

Squat: 405
Deadlift: 475
Bench: 295

So there’s my story. My primary goal is to become the strongest raw lifter that i can be. Short term goals are to reach a double body weight squat, double and 1/2 deadlift, a 1 & 1/2 bench by Dec-Jan. Within 5 years have a 500+ squat, 600+ deadlift, 400+ bench, 300+ press. And to compete in either powerlifting or strongman.

Since last week was Max week. I recalculated my totals and started with deload week.

Yesterday was squats working of a low box, 2-3" below parallel.
Mobility circuit
squat warm up: 3x depth jump onto 42" box ss 115x 8, 175x8, one more set of depth jumps
worksets
225x 5
240x 5
255x 5

Press (bar cleaned to chest on 1st rep) ss w/ inverted rows
8x 85
8x 95
8x 105
8x 115
5x 125

Assist.

Pullups ss with 1 arm pushups (started on floor and worked up onto a bench)x5
Shoulder complex (scarecrows, face pulls, and leaning cable lateral raises)x3

1 arm pushups are f*in’ tough! My anterior deltoids and upper pecs where on fire after just four sets! Could only manage about 5 reps off the floor and 8 of the bench. Really hoping these help with stabilizing my pectoral girdle and add some strenght to my tris.

Yesterday was suppost to be some GPP and Recover, but my son had other plans and puked after I droped him of at daycare . . . So I had to call in to work and pick him up and spent the rest of the day hangout with him and my daughter at home watching the olympics and trying not the let the chaos they cause to get out of hand.

Fast forward to Today.
Deload on Cleans and Deadlifts, with a little snatching thrown in for some Olympic style fun!

Mobility Warm
Cleans:
95x 5 ss snatch bar x5
115x 5 ss snatch 95 x5
135x 5 ss snatch 115 x5
150x 5 ss snatch 135 x3
160x 5 ss snatch 145 x1

Deadlifts:
225 x5
255 x5
275 x5
295 x5
305 x5

Assist.
Pullups ss w/ single legged squats of a box
10pullups/ 8sls/leg x4
Finnished of w/ ARAP on Pullups (10) and finished w/ ARAP on neutral grip Pullups (8)

Abs
Pallof Press (30 sec/ side) ss kneeling rode crunches x3

Single Leg Squats were tough. The last set I was breathing really hard and I need a couple of minutes to recover. But I got a nice pump in both my glutes and quads! I will probably only do these on deload week and 3x5 weeks and stick to step ups on heavy weeks.


Finally got some Recovery and GPP work in today.

Used a small (4lbs) medicine ball to roll out Glutes, Hams, Calves, IT, Quads, & Adducters. Then a larger medicine ball to roll out lumbar and thorasic spine. Followed that up with some mobility work. Since the temp was below 90 for the second time in 2 months I decided to promptly leave the gym and head over to The Hill for some outside GPP. 20 Trips up and walk down the stairs. This was a killer, but I’m better for it.

Last day of Deload!

Started of w/ Mobility circuit
then went in to:
Front Squats
8x 115
8x 135
5x 155
5x 165
5x 175
Did some shoulder mobility stuff between sets, Then onto:

Bench (all reps paused w/ a narrow shoulder width grip)
8x 115
8x 135
5x 160
5x 175
5x 185
SS w/ pullups (10 reps each set alternating each set between medium width and neutral grip)

Assist.
4 round SS of Dips(10 reps) and 1arm Cable Rows (70,90,110,130[thats what the weight stakes are, wish they went by tens]) Finnished w/ 1 set of Dips ARAP got 10.

Crlzzz (as little rest a possible b/w sets)
2x alternating curls (40# x10, 45# x10)
2x 1 arm preacher Curls (30# x10, 35# x10)
2x incline bench curls (30# x8, 25# x8)
2x rev. grip curls 55#

Defiently had Da Pamp in da biceptz after all that crap. Next week it time to get back to pickin’ heavy shit off the ground and puttin’ it in the air.

Weekend Training (or lack there of)

Sat.

Nada. Worked in the Lab during the Morning and Spent the afternoon getting stuff done around the house, as well as some light stretching.

Sun.

Mountain Bike ride for about 1 1/2 hrs. here’s the stats: http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip/1841253

Fun Ride. First one for about two weeks. Took time off the bike to let my body prepare for and recover from Max. out week. Riding really helps with my Work Capacity in the gym, however, gaining muscle mass really hasn’t benefited my cardio capacity. The most beneficial care over from the gym is my power output on short, steep climbs and sprints. And of course the best part is bombing downhill and carving up some turns!

So let’s try this for the 3rd time . . . I had problems yesterday updating my Log through my Hub. I tried it twice and it never uploaded.

Yesterday 8/6/12
Warm up
Mobility Circuit
Squats (No belt)
135 x8
225 x5
Work sets (No Belt Still)
295 x3
315 x3
335 x3
In Wendler’s 5/3/1 for powerlifting he recommends doing 1 or 2 sets of heavy singles to keep the body acclimated to moving heavy weight. I’ve done my own little tweak and have been doing 95% and my Training Max for doubles. This took my Squat from 365 to 405 in six months. I’ll keep running this until it stops working.
345 x2
365 x2

Inverted Rows SS Press (cleaned to chest)
BW x15 SS 95 x8
BW x15 SS 115 x8
BW x12 SS 135 x5
BW x12 SS 140 x8
BW x10 SS 150 x8
One more set of 10 of Inverted Rows

Assist
Pullups SS DB Incline
BW x10 SS 55 x10
BW x10 SS 60 x10
BW x10 SS 65 x8
BW x10 SS 70 x5 (went back to 55 w/ no rest and did 5 more reps)
One More set of 10 Pullups

Shoulder Complex (Scarecrows/Facepulls/Cable Lateral Raises) x3

Squats and Presses felt heavy yesterday, but I pushed through and got all the work done.

Today:

Went to the Gym rolled out my lower body and spine, went through my mobility circuit, and then left the gym for The Hill. Temp was hitting at right around 100 so these were a lot tougher then last week but I got in 20 sprints. The goal is to beable to do about 30 sprints in 30 mins by this fall.

MY FAVORITE TRAINING DAY ! ! !

DEADLIFTS ! ! !

Warmup:
Mobility Circuit
Powercleans (no belt)
115 x5
155 x5
Worksets:
175 X5
185 X5
195 x5

Deadlifts:
Warmups (no belt double overhand grip)
255 x5
315 x5
Worksets: (still no belt)
345 x3 (double overhand)
365 x3 (hook grip)
385 x3 (hook grip)
Doubles:
405 x2 (weaker alternating grip)
435 x2 (strong alternating grip)

Assist:
Pullups SS Stepups
BW x10 SS 115 x8
BW x10 SS 125 x8
BW x10 SS 135 x8
BW x10 SS 145 x8
One last set of 10 Pullups

2 x 10 of Dragon Flags

Deadlifts felt awsome today! 435 x2 is a rep PR and I felt like I could have pulled at least 5 reps. However, I had such success running this program with the doubles I think I’ll stick to the rep scheme until later in the cycle and if I still feel this strong pulling I go for As Many Reps as Possible, but a good start to the cycle so far!

So yesterday was a busy day. Went to the gym rolled out my legs and back, did my mobility circuit, and then did some bar only oly lifting. After work I went on a two hour mountain bike ride with the local bike shop boys. Those guys are severally fast and really push me to keep up with them. it’s great for some high thresh hold cardio. I only go on this ride every two weeks.

Today was Front Squat and Bench
Warmup
Mobility Circuit
Front Squat
125 x8
175 x5
worksets
195 x5
205 x5
215 x8

Pullups SS Bench
Warmup
BW x12 SS 125 x8
BW x12 SS 165 x5
Worksets
Bw x12 SS 215 x3
Bw x12 SS 225 x3
BW x12 SS 240 x3
Bench Doubles (No pull ups)
2x 255
2x 265

Assist.
Dips SS 1 arm Cable Rows
BW x12 SS 90 x10
20 x10 SS 110 x10
30 x10 SS 130 x8
40 x8 SS 110 x10

Curls
Reverse of Last Week
Incline
25x 10
30 x10
Rev grip
25 x10
30 x10
1 arm DB curl
30 x10
35 x10
Alternating Curls
35 x10
40 x10

So this Morning I stepped on the scale for the first time in 2 or 3 weeks not expecting much change. I’ve been hovering around 207 for about 3 months, but what I saw shocked me! I hit 201 and some change. I haven’t changed my diet much, only thing I’ve been doing differently is the hill sprints now that is not above a 100 degrees every friggin’ day. Hope that time on the hill scorched some fat of my ass and it was just dehydration from last nights ride!

Not much training got done this weekend. Was to busy having fun. I did manage to go for a ride on Sunday. Heres the stats: http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip/1855883

Today
Warmups
Mobility Circuit
Box jumps onto a 36" platform x3 SS Squats 135 x5
Box jumps onto a 36" platform x3 SS Squats 205 x5
Box jumps onto a 36" platform x3 SS Squats 255 x5
Squats Worksets:
5x 275
5x 295
8x 315

Inverted Row SS Press
BW x15 SS 95 x8
BW x15 SS 115 x6
BW x15 SS 140 x3
BW x12 SS 150 x3
BW x12 SS 160 X5 ( 3 push presses b/c I wanted to)

Assist.
Pullups SS Spoon Press (kinda like DB Press asspect you hold them in nuetral position and squeeze them together through out the movement. This really works the Chest and Tri’s)
BW x10 SS 50 x10
BW x10 SS 55 x10
BW x10 SS 60 X8 (form broke on the last two reps. completed as a regular neut. grip DB Bench)
BW x10 SS 65 X8 (once again form, broke on last 4, completed as a reg. neut. grip DB Bench)

Shoulder Complex (Scarecrows/Facepulls/Leaning Lateral Raises) x2

Pretty damn happy with the Pressing today. That’s the best I’ve done with 160. Still looking for that body weight Strict Press. I’m certain I could Push Press 205, I just want the pure raw strength to Strict Press it, though.

Mobility and Conditioning

Rolled out legs and back, full body mobility circuit, and to The Hill! 25 total sprints. I usually do these in groups of 5 w/ no rest then a 1 min recovery for a drink of water. Today, however, I did the first 10 w/ no rest and then rested and did 3 more sets of 5 sprints. The last set was a battle, but in the end I stood on top victorious!

Deadlifts ! ! !

Warmup:
Mobility Circuit
kneeling broad jump 3x3 (start of on your knees pop to your feet and do a braod jump, great for warming up hip hinge movements)
Cleans
5x 135
5x 165
Worksets
3x 175
3x 185
4x 205
Deadlifts (no belt)
5x 255
5x 295
5x 325
5x 345
8x 365 (added belt)

Pull ups SS 24" box stepups
BWx 10 SS 105 x8 (each leg)
BWx 11 SS 115 x8 (each leg)
BWx 12 SS 125 x8 (each leg)
BWx 11 SS 135 x6 (each leg)
One last set of 10 Pullups switched to neutral grip w/ no rest and did 5 more

Abs
Straight arm (done on the dip station) hanging leg raises 2 x10
overhead weighted crunches 2 x10

dDeadlifts ! ! !

Warmup:
Mobility Circuit
kneeling broad jump 3x3 (start of on your knees pop to your feet and do a braod jump, great for warming up hip hinge movements)
Cleans
5x 135
5x 165
Worksets
3x 175
3x 185
4x 205
Deadlifts (no belt)
5x 255
5x 295
5x 325
5x 345
8x 365 (added belt)

Pull ups SS 24" box stepups
BWx 10 SS 105 x8 (each leg)
BWx 11 SS 115 x8 (each leg)
BWx 12 SS 125 x8 (each leg)
BWx 11 SS 135 x6 (each leg)
One last set of 10 Pullups switched to neutral grip w/ no rest and did 5 more

Abs
Straight arm (done on the dip station) hanging leg raises 2 x10
overhead weighted crunches 2 x10

I wanted to get 5 cleans in at 205 but missed that last one by dumping it forward in the squat position. Deadlifts felt slow today, too. I thinking the hill sprints from yesterday took a little more out of me than I would have liked. Next time I’ll do the prudent thing and take some Ibprofen in the evening after sprinting. That seems to help with the muscle fatique the next day, for me atleast.

Let’s try again . . . Posted my workouts for Thursday and Friday yesterday and they didn’t upload. This is the second time this has happened on this site . . . Anyway

Thursday

Rolled out legs and back, did mobility circuit, and on to The Hill! I did 15 sprints with no rest inbetween, just walk down, run, rinse and repeat until left gasping for air.

Friday

Warmup
Mobility Circuit
36" box Jumps x3 SS Front Squat 115 x8
36" box Jumps x3 SS Front Squat 165 x5
Worksets
42" box Jumps x3 SS Front Squat 205 x3
215 x3
225 x5

Bench Warmups
Pullups BW x10 SS Bench 115 x8
Pullups BW x10 SS Bench 165 x5
Worksets
Pullups BW x10 SS Bench 205 x5
Pullups BW x10 SS Bench 215 x5
Pullups BW x10 SS Bench 225 x8 (Sorta explanation below)

Assist
Dips BW x10 SS 1 cable rows 90 x10
Dips 25 x10 SS 1 cable rows 110 x10
Dips 35 x8 SS 1 cable rows 130 x8
Dips BW x10 SS 1 cable rows 150 x5

Alternating Curls
45 x10, 50 x10
1 arm Preacher Curls
35 x10, 40 x8
Incline Curls
30 x8, 30 x8
EZ bar Rev grip Curls
55 x10, 55 x10
EZ bar standing curl AMRAP 75 x12

So, the sprinting this week really took a toll on my training this week. I really felt the energy levels dip in the gym. Plus when I set up for my final workset of bench, I set up to close to the J hooks and kept knocking them at lockout. So afer 5 reps I racked the weight and reset with no rest and banged out 3 more. I was really shooting for my first ever set of 225 x10, but no go this week. With my energy levels out of whack I decided to leave that PR for another day.

Once again I’m having trouble updating my Log . . . This is the second time I’ve had to do three attempts to get it to stick. I have no problems posting in other forums.

Sunday:
Went Mountain biking for 1 1/2hrs.

Monday:
Squats And Strict Press
Squat Warm ups
36" box jump x3 SS 135 x8
36" box jump x3 SS 205 X5
36" box jump X3 SS 255 x5
Worksets
275 x5
315 x3
345 x3
365 x2 x2

Inverted Row SS Press
BW x10 SS 95 x8
BW x10 SS 115 x5
BW x10 SS 135 x5
BW x10 SS 150 X3
BW x10 SS 165 x3 (plus 2 push press)

Goodmornings
135 x10
155 x10
175 x10

BW x10 Pullups SS Bw x12 Dips for 4 rounds

Shoulder Complex (Bentover Rev Flies/ Lateral Raises/ Facepulls) x3

Today: Went to the Gym Rolled out legs and Back, Mobility and Dynamic Stretch Circuit, 3 rounds of BW Squat jumps SS Clapping Push ups 5 reps each, and then went to a larger hill (about 100 yds) and did 15 rounds of run (not sprint) up and walk down.

DEATHLIFTS ! ! !

Warmup
Mobility, Dynamic Stretch Circuit
Broad jumps 3x3
Cleans
135 x5
155 x5
175 x5
195 x3
215 x2

Deadlift warmup (no belt, double overhand)
255 x5
295 x5
Worksets
325 x5
365 x3 (Hook Grip)
405 x2 (Hook Grip)
435 x2 (Added Belt, Weak Alternating Grip)
435 x5 PR!(Strong Alternating Grip)

Pullups SS 18" Step up
BW x10 SS 115x 8
BW x10 SS 125x 8
BW x10 SS 135x 8
BW x10 SS 145x 8
One last set of 10 on Pullups

Abs
Straight arm Leg Raises SS Pallof Press x3

Great Day of Deadlift! That last rep of 435 was a total grinder, but I’ve had it in my head since two weeks ago that 5 reps was more than managable. I’m really psyched about it!

Thursday:

Was feeling run down so I decided to skip hills today and stayed at the gym and did my usual rolling of the legs and back, mobility and dynamic stretch circuit, and then I did a body weight metabolic circuit. I did three rounds started off with Lunges x15, inverted row x10, Med. Ball vertical Press x5 each arm, Cross over Step ups x15, Narrow Neutral Grip Pull ups x10, Med. Ball horizontal Press x5 each arm. That was round 1. Round two I added 45degree bact extention x15, and round 3 added 10 med ball slams. So each Round I added an exercise. Then I got on the eliptical and did 20mins of Intervals 1min on 1min off. After all that I still didn’t feel as sore as running hills!

Today:

Front Squat and Bench

Warmup
Mobility and Dynamic Stretch Circuit
BW jump Squat x3 SS Front Squat 135 x8
BW jump Squat x4 SS Front Squat 165 x5
BW jump Squat x5 SS Front Squat 195 x5
Front Squat 225 x3
Front Squat 245 x3

Rolled out Low Back
BW NG Pull ups x10 SS Bench 115 x8
BW NG Pull ups x10 SS Bench 165 x5
BW NG Pull ups x10 SS Bench 185 x5
BW NG Pull ups x10 SS Bench 205 x5
BW NG Pull ups x10 SS Bench 225 x3
Bench 255 x2
Bench 265 x2 x2
185 x10
135 x10 (Narrow Grip)

Assit
1 arm Rows
90 x10
110 x10
130 x8
90 x15

EZ Bar Curls
75 x10
85 x10
95 x8
75 x12

Started feeling burnt out the end of this week. I think I’ll scale back a bit on the Hill Sprinting next cycle and see how that feels. Benches were ugly today. Ass came off the bench on all three second reps of the doubles. Really going to focus on form over deload week and on the next 3x5 week.

This weekend: Nada, Zip, Zero. I rested and did some light stretching. Giving my body more time this month to recuporate from lifting. I figured deload week was a good week to start this scaling back.

Today:
Mobility Circuit
Box Jumps 3x 3x 36"
Squats
115 x8
165 x8
225 x5
245 x5
265 x5

Pullups
5x 10x BW

Press
75 x8
100 x8
110 x5
120 x5
125 x5

Shoulder Complex (bentover DB rear raises/ DB lateral raises/ Face pulls) x3

I put fire hydrants back into my mobility circuit to try and combat the tendency of my knees to cave at the bottom of heavy squats. I notice when I take them out the caving gets way worse.

Tuesday:

Rolled out legs and back. Did a mobility amd dynamic stretch circuit, and finished with some static stretching. Then I went ahead and ran some 20 hill sprints.

Today:
Clean and Deadlift Deload
Warmup
Mobility Circuit

Cleans
95 x5
125 x5
145 x5
155 x5
165 x5

Deads
225 x5
245 x5
265 x5
295 x5
315 x5

1 legged squats 3x 8 each leg
Dragonflags 3 x8

Quick and easy. I really focused on the speed of my pulls today and took a few seconds between reps to really get myself set for each pull. I Will break 500 at the end of this cycle!

Thursday:

Rolled out Legs and Back, did a Mobility and Dynamic Stretch Circuit, some static stretching, and then hit the eliptical for 20mins. Done. Had to make this one quick and get back to interview some canidates.

Friday:
Front Squat and Bench Deload

Mobility Circuit

Box Jumps 4x3

Front Squat:
115 x8
145 x8
165 x5
175 x5
185 x5

Inverted Rows
BW 5x10

Bench
115 x8
145 x8
165 x5
175 x5
190 x5

DB Incline Bench
45 x10
55 x10
65 3x8

Curls

4 sets of EZ Preacher Curls
2 sets of Incline BD curls
2 sets of Rev Grip EZ bar curls

Monday I’ve got Labor day off, so I still need to figure out my schedule for next week. Not Sure if I’ll lift a day early on Sun or start late on Tues and get some extra rest. I’m kinda anxious to get into this cycle, so I think I might just start a day early.

Moved my Squat/ Press training to Sunday since the Wife and I were going out of town that night and when we got back into town Monday she was getting a new chest piece tattooed.

Mobility and Dynamic Stretch Circuit

3x3 box jumps

Squat warmup
135 x8
205 x5
275 x5
worksets
305 x3
325 x3
345 x3 (added belt)
355 x2
375 x2

Pullup SS Press
Bw x10 SS 95 x8
Bw x10 SS 115 x5
BW x10 SS 135 x5
BW x10 SS 145 x5
BW x10 SS 155 x5

Assit

Rev. Lunges
95 x8 (each leg)
105 x8
115 x8

Lat pull downs SS DB press
130 x10 SS 25 x10
150 x10 SS 35 x10
170 x10 SS 45 x10

The First Rep of 375 went really smoothly, however, the 2nd was a grinder with terrible form. My knees caved and I had to fight to get them pressed back out and I felt my back round more than I’d like. I’m going to start doing some Goodmornings after front Squats on Friday’s to get some strenght back in my hamstrings and back.