T Nation

Pursuit of Gains

Hey T Nation, been reading articles and logs here for quite some time, figured i’d start one myself to boost commitment and well, keep a log.

My stats:
Age - 25
Height - 183cm / 6ft
Bench - 95kg / 209lbs
Press - 60kg / 132lbs
Deadlift - 150kg / 330lbs
Squat - 125kg /275lbs

A little background
I started training on my 22nd birthday, up untill then i haven’t done much physical activities, i tried out alot of different sports when i was younger, but i never really got the hang of any of them, i guess i’d rather just play video games all day.

Had small periods of getting into running and even picked up some weights a couple of times, but again gaming, getting wasted and other stuff just seemed more interesting then trying to improve myself.

Eventually i had enough of my sorry ass, unplugged the PC and started doing training at home and reading up on training, nutrition and whatever, got down to a weight i was happy with and joined a gym, and have been consistently going for now 3 years.

The way that i train is heavily impacted by great coaches and content creators on youtube and other sites like this one, Jim Wendler, Dave Tate, Brian Alsruhe, Matt Wenning, to name a few of the greats.

In terms of nutrition, since i don’t have any goals of losing weight right now, im not doing much to keep that on track, however i do eat pretty much the same everyday, with dinner being the only meal that varies.

Breakfast - Oatmeal w/ protein and fruit
Snack - Fruit
Lunch - lean meat / rice or potato / greens
Snack 2 - Protein & Fruit
Dinner - I tend to keep it pretty simple and just eat something like i did for lunch, but spice it up abit, but i also eat with friends and family alot, so this varies.

I’m starting a new block of training tomorrow, i’m going to use 5/3/1 for progression, add in speed work, technique work or whatever you call it, 10 sets of 1-3 reps, i kinda want to call it dynamic effort work, but i’m not sure that would be correct, and then do 5x8 with a supplementary exercise. Now i absolutely love Brian Alsruhe, so i have to add some stuff inspired by him, so every normal set is supersetted with an antagonist exercise and core work.

Since i train in the morning, i have some time later in the day to add in accessories, so i’ll be doing flyes, rows, curls, extensions and calistenics at home.

The main goal right now is to lift 1/2/3/4 plates in the 4 main lifts, some of them i already got (the press) and im pretty sure i could do the squat and the bench too, haven’t maxed out in a while, obviously this is just a arbituary goal, i basically just want to get stronger and better.

Plan for the next 3 weeks - warmup, 5/3/1 main lift, 10x1-3 opposing lift (squat on dl day), 5x8 supplemental lift,
Supplemental lifts: Close grip bench, Push press, Front squat, Snatch grip RDLs.
Superset exercises - Bench/BB Row, Deadlift/Hack squat, Press/Pullups, Squat/KB Swings.
Accessories - Tricep extensions, Chest fly press, Shoulder raise on upper days, Step-ups, Single legged toe touches, leg curl/extension.
Warmup - Wenning style - Push/pull/core on upper days, Swings/Squats/Hip Thrusts/Core on lower days, adding in triceps for bench days, external rotations for press days.


Real weak in the bench today, was supposed to hit 8-9 reps on my top set, oh well.

Warmup - 3 rounds
20x10kg incline bench
20x10kg row on incline
20x6kg tricep extensions
30s plank

Bench - Supersetted with rows and abs

5x5x60kg rows
5x10 abs - descending hollow leg lift on bench exercise that i can’t remember the name of.

Overhead Press (50% 30s rest)

5x10x50kg CG Bench
5x10x50kg Supinated rows
5x10 abs - descending hollow leg lift on bench exercise that i can’t remember the name of.

Today was a grind, didn’t get to sleep on time yesterday plus rough weekend, felt hungover all day.

16/11/2020 PM workout
Got in my accessories while cooking dinner
Plate Skullcrushers 3x20x20kg
Plate fly press 3x10x20kg each side
Rear delt raise 3x15x10kg each side

17/11/2020 AM Workout
Deadlift session went great today, hit my prescribed 5/3/1 reps, however time flew by and i missed my supplemental lifts, so im going back in the gym after work to get that done.

Deadlift - Supersetted with 5x60kg hack squats and 30s planks

Squats (50% 30s rest)
I was done after like 10 reps of squats, but since i figured i couldn’t finish my workout i wanted to do some extra work here.

Heading to the gym right now to finish my workout which is gonna be
Snatch grip RDLs - 5x10x60
Leg press - 1-2 warmup sets, 3 sets at RPE 9 whatever weight
Ham curls - 1-2 warmup sets, 3 sets at RPE 9 whatever weight
Back extensions - 5 easy sets, wanna try out that machine i haven’t tried.

Changing up accessories today since i’m going to the gym rather than staying at home.

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  • Didn’t do the back extensions last workout, did biceps insted, figured i didn’t need more low back work after 20+ sets of DLs and squats, also did hack front squats with the RDLs.

19/11/2020 AM Press day
20x20kg lat pull
20x10kg seated press
20x4kg external rotation
20x20 situps

I recently started doing external rotations in my shoulder warmup, that just burned through the whole workout, in a good way, but i gotta get used to them.

Press - 3chins and 5abs (dragon flag progression) during 3 min rest

I probably could’ve pushed the last rep on my AMRAP for a PR but didn’t want to overdo it.

Bench (50% 30s)

Didn’t expect to get 18 reps by the end of this, so that was nice.

Push press - 3 chins and 5abs (dragon flag progression) during 2 min rets

About 65% of press E1RM feels good here.

PM Accessories - 100 reps done in as few sets as possible, finishing every set with effort, felt like doing some volume today.
Pullovers - 20kg plate - 27, 25, 24, 26
Upright rows - 20kg plate - 35, 25, 24, 21
OH Tricep ext 20kg plate - 32, 26, 23, 20
Lateral raises 5kg - 30, 28, 25, 24
Banded face pulls 200 reps - 40, 37, 38, 36, 42, 37

Legs and ass feeling sore today, going for a walk and putting in some stretching tonight, try to make an effort to be in shape for tomorrows squat session.

Great squat session today, i’ve been squatting in chucks for a few months and decided to go back to squat shoes today, feels more “smooth”, but i feel like i get alot tighter with chucks on, which feels alot better under high load… i’ll stick with the squat shoes for the rest of the cycle tho.

20x20kg kb swing
20x20kg kb squat
20x20 hip thrusts
1m plank

Squat - 20kg plate swings and 10 hanging knee raises during 3min rest

Deadlifts (50% 30s)

Doing deads in the squat shoes definitely doesn’t feel right, but aint no way im changing shoes to deadlift for 5mins.

Gotta skip my supplemental and accessories today, plumber appointment this morning and weekend trip, all good tho, i don’t even feel like my legs recovered from tuesdays workout yet.

23/11/20 AM workout 5/3/1 w2
Bench session today, went well considering the lack of activity and gross intake of food and drinking the weekend has presented, i did get plenty rest however.

  • Warmup
    20x10kg Incline DB Press
    20x10kg Incline DB Row
    20x6kg Incline tricep extension
    45s plank

  • Bench - 5x Bench grip rows with same weight up to 65kg - 5x Descending dragon flags between sets
    5x40, 50, 55kg

  • Press

  • CG Bench - Supinated grip rows same weight same reps - 5 Descending dragon flags

My E1RM was definitely set too high for this cycle, i might take it down 10% if i’m running another cycle after this one, not sure if i prefer an AMRAP approach or more of a Max Effort approach to reaching a top set.
The AMRAPs allow for different rep PRs, but ME just makes more sense when trying to get stronger in the lower rep ranges i feel.

Also not sure how JW feels about supersetting stuff, like rows and abs between the main bench, but after doing this for a while, i can’t just sit and stare at the wall waiting for the next set.

  • PM Workout - goal is to get 100 reps in 4-5 sets.
    100 20kg plate tricep extensions in 5 sets - 30s rest
    87 20kg plate fly press alternating in 5 sets - no rest
    102 5kg lateral raise in 5 sets - 30s rest
    100 pushups in 8 sets - 30s rest - going into this thinking 100 in 5 would be easy, got 68 in 5, i gotta start doing more pushups

24/11/20 AM Workout 5/3/1 c2 deadlift
My low back is absolutely trashed today, never felt this weak, did alright on the back off sets but the top-set was soo bad, im blaming my lack of activity this weekend, sitting down and laying around has de-conditioned my body in just 2 days. Or maybe i just slept wrong.

  • Warmup 4 rounds
    20x20kg kb swings
    20x20kg kb squats
    50s plank rotations

  • Deadlift - 8x20kg goblet squat, 30s plank between sets.
    5x60, 67.5, 80kg

Puts my E1RM at 135, which i did for an easy 5 last month.

Didn’t even bother going to my DE squats, so i went for some light cleans instead.

2x5x60kg cleans, had to stop for my back.

Did 8 sets of 6 ascending leg press so that i could atleast do something hard today.

Going bowling today, so probably no accessories later.

What a shitty way to start the day, atleast i did something i guess.

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I usually sleep longer on wednesdays, since i dont workout in the morning, but I forgot to cut off the alarm so i went for a run. God damn i forgot how good i feel after running, i should start doing it more.

5km in 40min, bout 50/50 run/walk

26/11/2020 AM Workout 5/3/1 w2 press day
Had dinner with friends last night, got to bed way too late, so everything just took abit more time this morning, got the majority of my work done tho.

  • Warmup 3 rounds
    20x10kg seated press
    20x20kg lat pulls
    20x4kg external rotations
    50s plank (rotating 5 variations)

Same as last week - the shoulder external rotations buuurns, which sticks till the workout is done, doesn’t feel bad tho.

  • Press

I actually hit my prescribed reps for a lift, that might be the first time this cycle, feels good man.

  • DE Bench

My bench set-up:
Eyes in line under bar, grip (middle finger on rings), straighten arms, pull up and retract shoulders, dig into bench, pull feet in untill only big toe is touching the floor, heels down, unrack, ass down, bench.
This is how im currently getting into my most stable benching position, really uncomfortable for the lower back, but the press feels good.

  • Push press
    Only had 5 minutes left so i didn’t up the weight, just tried to get as much as possible done.

3 chinups & 10 alternating oblique crunches?? (standing with a plate crunching sideways) between pressing sets.

  • PM Workout, one exercise at a time, 10 deep breaths between sets, as many sets as it takes.
    100 20kg plate OH extensions
    100 5kg lateral raises
    5x12 chest fly press / chest fly superset, 20kg fly press / 10kg chest fly - attempting to actually get a chest pump, can’t remember last time i’ve had a proper one, i don’t think i’v ever had a proper sore chest.
    100 10kg shrugging rear delt raise

27/11/2020 AM Workout 5/3/1 w2 squat day
Got in late today, this working out in the morning thing might not be for me, i loved it at the beginning but now i just don’t get as much work done as i would like, so either i gotta start pulling my shit together or just go back to working out after work and giving up that time in the evenings.
Getting my workouts in this week has generally been pretty stressful, i usually prepare all my meals on sundays, which i couldn’t get to this week, and that has shown to be a huge inconvenience.

Because of time constraint today i didn’t do my usual warmup, i just did the 5/3/1 warmup with more reps within a giant set.

  • Squat - Trap bar stiff legged DL (20kg bar?) - Hip thrust - Plank
    Barx20 - Barx20 - bwx20 - 1m
    8x60 - 10x40 - 10x20 - 1m
    5x70 - 5x60 - 10x20 - 1m
    3x85 - 10x60 - 10x20 - 1m
    3x95 - 10x60 - 10x20 - 1m
    9x110 - 10x60 - 10x20 -1m

Hitting the prescribed reps on a higher rep squat set is awesome, there’s always another rep, last rep i think i took like 6-7 deep breaths before descending lol.

That’s all i got done today, just enough to feel like i did something, but actually feeling amazing since i didn’t smash through a grueling workout.

PM Workout
Went back to the gym for a second workout, to finish up my workout and accessories

  • front sq - Cleans - ab rolllout
    Bar x10 - bar x10
    40x5 - 40x5 - 5
    60x5 - 60x5 - 5
    60x5 - 60x5 - 5
    70x5 - 60x5 - 5
    70x5 - 60x5 - 5
    70x5 - 60x5 - 5

  • DE deads - 55% 30s

  • Accessories - 1 warmup set, 2 sets at RPE 8-9, last set drop set
    Leg press
    Lat pulldowns
    Leg extension / ham curl ss

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30/11/20 AM Workout 5/3/1 w3 bench

  • Warmup 4 rounds
    20x10kg seated press
    20x20kg pulldown
    20 tricep pushdowns

  • Bench
    5x40, 50, 60kg
    5x85kg - I had the 6th rep (99.9% sure) but my spotter took it, my bad tho i didn’t explain how i wanted it.

5 BB Rows and dragon flag abs progression between sets

  • DE Press

Worked overtime so i couldn’t get my accessories in :sadface:.

1/12/20 531 w3 deadlift

  • warmup 4 rounds
    20kb swings 20kg
    20lb squats 20kg
    12 hlrs

  • deadlift - Hlrs between sets
    5x60, 80kg
    6x127.5, presribed 8. Lost my geip

Hlrs fucked my grip, switched to planks 30s after top set

  • De Squats 60% 30s

  • SG Rdls / hack squats 40s planks for rest
    8x75, 8x70
    8x80, 8x75
    6x85, 8x80 grip slip on rdls

  • Curls
    3x8 x30kg
    6x20kg drop

  • Leg press ascending till i can only get 10

Morning run, didn’t track, about 4km, also did some stretching… running after squat day… not ideal i guess.

I spent 15mins in bed this morning thinking about whether i should get up or sleep another hour, since i got to sleep late last night, and recovery is important, but so is getting stuff done i guess.

03/12/20 AM workout 531 w3 press
I have to start tracking food and sleep aswell, maybe that will help with being more consistent. Ate like shit yesterday, and this morning im feeling like a zombie even with 7.5 hrs sleep
Bed: 21.15
Gym: 5.20

  • Warmup
    20x20 lat pulldown different grips
    20x12 Seated press varying grips
    20x4 external rotations seated
    40s plank rotations

  • Press
    1x52.5 - just to get the 8 presribed reps
    1x5x42.5 thought i could go without rest lol
    1x3x42.5 gotta get all the reps in

3 Chins and 5 side plank bend between sets

  • De Bench 60% 30s

30s isnt enough for 60%, the bar definitely didnt move fast.

Finished off with some light sword raises
5x10 alternating

4/12/20 531 w3 squat day
Bed: 21.15
Gym: 5.15
Diet: Ate like a pig once again yesterday, birthday cake at work, christmas cookies at moms, if

  • Warmup 4 rounds
    20x20kg kb swing
    20x20kg kb squat
    15 Hanging knees

  • squat, forgot squat shoes do im using chucks
    3x102.5 this felt hard, looking forward to the topset
    8x115 took the bar out, thought theres no way… Racked the weight to check for loading mistanke… Nope, well fuck, was grinding reps 3-8 lol really wish i recorded this

Ab Rollouts and light Cleans between sets

  • De deads

Applying alot of force to lighter weights on deadlift feels so good, the Amrap not so much

7/12/20 531 w4 deload
Gym: 5.20
Bed: 21, couldnt fall a sleep, and woke up numerous times during sleep
My diet this weekend hasnt been too bad, acitivty has been high since im remodeling my home, alot of manual labor.

  • Warmup 4 rounds 20 reps
    Chest press machine
    Rowing machine varying grips
    Incline jm press

  • Bench

Rows and dragon flags between

Did some Ohp and spent about 20 mins stretching and massaging my bicep, which is completely wrecked from digging and carrying sand i guess… Deload week came in perfectly this time.

I think next week will be testing week, to see where im at for 2020, maybe ill do another light week leading up to test week, not sure yet.

8/11/20 531 w4 deload deads
Gym. 5.30
Got in abit late today
Bed. 21.20
Slept through the whole night, so thats nice, had friends over so got in abit late.
Diet wise yesterday was pretty good, untill the snacks came out…

  • Warmup
    20x20kg Kb swing
    20x20kg kb squat
    8 ab rollouts

  • deadlift

5 20kg kb Cleans Each side, 5 ab rollouts between sets… Funny how adding weight to the bar on Rollouts make it so much harder

Ended up doing clean and press with the kbs… Really showed me how weak my right side is compared to my left… But my right bicep is also still sore so it might just be that.

10 mins of some high tempo squatting

9/12/20 AM Run 5.30
Bed. 20.40 - Actually got to bed on good time today, but i took a while to fall asleep, and once i did i woke up so many times during… Too many things going through my head i guess.

About 3km, i scaled back alittle on the distance to something that i can actually do, so i don’t end up walking 50% of the time.

I’ve always had a pretty hard time running, but i think the way i train now, with giant sets and low rest periods have really done wonders for my general conditioning, not that im great at running still, but last time i ran 3km i had to build up to it for a month or two.

Going to try to get in some light calisthenics/mobility/band work in later, but the plumber is coming over for my remodeling project so i’ll see what happens, might have to bring out the shovel/bucket and get to work.

10/12/20 AM 531 w4 deload press day
Bed. 22
Had some family Thing yesterday, atee pizza and got to bed late, for surprisingly well this morning

  • Warmup 3 rounds
    20x20 lat pulls varying grips
    20x12 Seated press
    20x6 Seated external rotations

  • press

  • Behind the neck Seated press
    Always been afraid of this lift, so i figuren it was time to try it… On the smith machine, also the first time i used one of these

Doesnt feel bad at All, thought it would be really uncomfortable for the shoulder joint.

I definitely feel something different, like it hits the lateral part of the shoulder more, which makes sense.

  • Bench

Did 9x3 Chins and 9x10 lateral side bend Each side w 20kg plate between vertical pressing sets

14/12/20 AM bench test day
I dont think my deload last week was Much of a deload, i ended up doing alot of manual labor, so i got a break with heavy lifts but damn, shoveling, carrying buckets back and forth all day, didnt have to do any extra conditioning thats for sure.

I really want to hit 100kg today, but man i am banged up

  • Warmup
    20x12kg press
    20x12kg rows
    20x6kg tricep extensions
    20s side plank

  • Bench
    1x90, feels good but only addin 5 to be conservative
    1x95, heaavy

Dumped 100 on my chest, couldnt even press against it… My training has been feeling really good so i thought i had gained some strength, nope, bench still where it was 2 years ago.

8 bw rows
5 descending dragon flags between sets

Finished off with hammer strength chest / row machine superset