Quest for 21.0 FFMI


  • Squat - 175lbs 5x5
  • Bench - 155lbs 5x5
  • Reverse barbell curls - 45lb 1x50, 1x22

Felt pretty week today after 10 days off (tendonitis/vacation) and probably didn’t help that I started drinking again after 1 year off. Elbow tendonitis is still pretty bad so no pulling movements and adding forearm strengthening exercises.

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  • Squats - 175lbs 5x5
  • OHP - 95lbs 5x5
  • Barbell curls - 1x31, 1x15

Right now doing 5x5 again. With progression being adding 5lbs on lower body and 2.5lbs on upper body movements when I can comfortably do 5x5 with 90 seconds rest between all sets. Squats I’m almost there with 175; will be keeping Bench at 155 next time; OHP will be 97.5 next time

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  • Squats - 175lb 5x5
  • Bench - 155lbs 5x5
  • Barbell curl - 43lbs 1x35, 1x25

Elbow hurt today. So ready for this tendonitis to go away.

Will be adding 5lbs to squat and 2.5lbs to bench next time.

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Workout (last night):

  • Squats - 180lb 5x5 - took 3 minutes rest on last set
  • OHP- 97.5lbs 5x5 - easy, will be doing 100lb next time
  • Barbell curl - 45lb 1x40, 1x26

Just ordered a Therabar/Flexbar to help with my elbow tendonitis after doing some more research. Also discovered that I should widen my grip on squats, as that’s likely what the cause of my elbow tendonitis is.

I’m pretty happy with where my Squat is. I didn’t feel like I got a ton of growth out of doing 5/3/1 BBB but that my have been because my TM was around 81% of max, though I don’t think that should have effected anything cause I was still doing AMRAP sets and my 5x10’s were still using what would have been a 60% of a normal TM (I was doing ~65% of my TM for the 5x10’s).

I think my body/major muscle groups respond better to 5x5 for muscle growth and doing compound movements, which is different from many who grow better doing sets in the 8-12 range. For smaller/isolated muscle groups, I seem to grow well in the 12-15 range. I feel like I’m bigger already after four 5x5 workouts (Squats, OHP, and Bench only) than the changes from 8 weeks of BBB. Frequency and volume may also be playing a part in this, where I respond better to high frequency/volume with Legs and Low/Medium frequency with upper body.

I want to deadlift again so bad, but can’t with this elbow tendonitis.

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Holy fuck. I feel like my arm is gonna fall off. Officially taking a break from squats and all upper body exercises.

Will be doing leg press, leg curls, leg extension, and calf raises until my elbow repairs.

My squat grip is 100% the cause of this tendonitis, now both types of elbow tendonitis on my left arm.

Workout today was squats 180lbs for 5x5. Was pretty unchallenging on my legs but my elbow was on fire the hole time.

Fuck me. Every time I’m making progress strength and muscle wise, I get a random illness or tendonitis.

Sorry to hear that. That makes things really difficult. That was my experience before, also. Genuinely wishing you the best of luck figuring your path through all of this.

Thanks man.

I also lied and ended up doing a full body workout yesterday.

My elbows were feeling pretty good, and my problem is a form issue. I’ve also become addicted to squats, which is wild because I used to absolutely hate squats.

So I started warming up for squats and doing some form work, but I was feeling really strong and started going into working sets.

I need to keep my shoulder blades pulled back and focus on supporting the barbell with my traps/upper back, with my elbows at a little back angle. (watched some squat university videos)

Workout (yesterday):

  • Squats - 180lbs 3x5 - stopped after 3 sets because my elbows were starting to hurt a bit. I don’t think I did any damage to my elbows but they were starting to get sore
  • OHP - 100lbs 5x5 - easy
  • Dumbbell Rows - 50lbs 3x10 - just did nice slow, controlled reps. Elbows hurt a tiny bit but these were easy.
  • Barbell Curl - 40lbs 1x30, 1x20
  • Leg Curls - 85lbs 2x8, 1x12

Going to keep working out and just focus on my squat form with my elbows/upper back.

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  • Squats - 180lbs 5x5 - will do one more day at least at 180 but I did all sets with about 90 seconds rest today
  • Bench - 157.5lbs 5x5 - took 3 minutes rest on last set. Probably didn’t need it but will do same weight again next time
  • Hammer Curls - 25lbs 3x10
  • Straight Bar Curls - 40lbs 1x30,1x20
  • Leg Curls - 85lbs 3x10

Using the flexbar and doing TylerTwists/Reverse Tyler Twists seems to be helping my elbows. Also, keeping my elbows back and in, pulling my shoulder blades together as much as possible is definitely the key for fixing and preventing my elbow tendonitis. It definitely is harder on my traps during squats, but I think I just need to get used to it.

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Just had a little bit of time to workout before going out of town, so did a quick workout at my apartment gym.


  • Horizontal Leg Press Machine - 150lbs 2x8,1x20 - was planning on 2x8 and then an AMRAP, expecting 10-12 but got 20. Guess if went a little too light here not used to the movement.
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 40lbs 8,8,9
  • Dumbbell Row - 55lbs 10,10,12
  • Barbell Curl - 60lbs 3x12
  • Hammer Curl - 25lbs 16,12
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  • Squat - 180lbs 5x5
  • Bench - 157.5lbs 5x5
  • Dumbbell Row - 60lbs 10,10,12
  • Hammer Curl - 25lbs 11,11,12
  • Barbell Curl - 40lbs 1x30,1x23

Will be adding 5lbs to squats and 2.5lbs to bench next time. Have my first kickball game tonight also. Definitely would not be able to do that after doing a Lower/Leg day, but I feel pretty good and energized after todays workout.

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  • OHP - 102.5lbs 5x5
  • Lat Pull-down - 115lbs 8,8,10
  • Barbell Curl - 70lbs 2x8, 60lbs 1x12
  • Tricep Rope Pushdown - 70lbs 12,12,10
  • Hammer Curl - 25lbs 2x15

Skipped squats today because holy hell am I sore from kickball. I don’t remember the last time I was this sore. Mostly hip flexors and adductors. According to my Apple Watch I sprinted a total of 2.5 miles playing kickball for 90 minutes, so much sprinting and direction changes. Was not expecting so much activity from kickball.

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Just had one of, if not the, best workouts of my life.


  • Squats - 185lbs 5x5 - took 3 minutes rest on the last set because this was an increase in weight, but I probably didn’t need the extra rest. Just being cautious.
  • Bench - 160lbs 5x5 - this was surprisingly easy and I’ll up the weight again next workout
  • Dumbbell Row - 60lbs 3x12
  • Hammer Curl - 25lbs 3x12
  • Overhead Tricep Rope Extension - 75lbs 3x12
  • Barbell Curl - 40lbs 1x33, 1x25
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Nice work!

Thank you!
Almost exactly a year ago I benched 140lbs for 3x6 with 2 minutes rest. I could easily do that with 160lbs now, so I’m pretty happy with that. I’m maybe a couple pounds heavier than I was at that point, maybe even the same (assuming I lost a couple lbs of fat to be the same leanness as a year ago). I’m at 138lbs right now, I was 132ish a year ago, but my bodyfat % is probably around 16 right now vs 13% then, which comes out to almost the same exact amount of lean mass. Probably lost some muscle somewhere and gained in other places.

I’m taking a deload this week, gonna do maybe 1 or 2 light lifting sessions, plus a couple cardio sessions, and resume next Sunday.

I’m thinking I will try to bulk up to 145 and then do a mini-cut. Right now my abs are starting to fade, so I’m thinking I’m around 16% bodyfat. I don’t really want to go above 18% bodyfat for aesthetic and hormone optimization reasons, which will be best case scenario if I put on 7lbs = (116lbs lean mass + 50% of 7lbs gained)/145 = 82% lean mass.


  • Squats - 185lbs 5x5 - will do at least one more workout at 185
  • OHP - 105lbs 5x5 - will be adding 2.5lbs
  • Deadlift - 185lbs 1x5 - will be progressing +10lbs per week
  • Hammer Curl - 25lbs 12,12,15
  • Tricep Rope Pushdown - 70lbs 3x12
  • Barbell Curl - 40lbs 1x37, 1x19

Sprained my ankle last Wednesday but it wasn’t as bad as I thought initially. Still a bit swollen but healing well and didn’t impact my lifts.

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  • Squat - 185lbs 5x5 - was pretty easy and will be adding 5lbs next time which sucks cause that means it’s gonna be hard again lol. Got a form video on my second set and saw I’m getting some sway/butt wink at the bottom and need to focus on staying tight in the bottom
  • Bench - 162.5lbs 5x5 - needed 3 minutes rest on the last two sets. Maybe should have done another workout at 160 but also I had to wait forever to get a bench so I may have cooled down a bit and that may have impacted me
  • Dumbbell Row - 60lbs 12,12,15 - will be doing 65 3x10+ next time
  • Hammer Curl - 25lbs 3x13
  • Overhead Tricep Rope Extension - 75lbs 12,12,16
  • Barbell Curl - 40lbs 1x40,1x25
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Workout (Yesterday):
Dealing with some sciatica, I think from some tight glutes/other muscles so I warmed up for squats and decided to skip lower body movements today.

  • OHP - 107.5lbs 5x5
  • Lat Pulldown - 115lbs 3x9, 85lbs 2x8
  • Barbell Curl - 60lbs 3x12
  • Tricep Rope Pushdown - 75lbs 3x10
  • Face Pull - 90lbs 2x12
  • Hammer Curl - 25lbs 1x25, 1x20
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Worked out last Monday 10/30/2023. Did an upper body workout:

  • Bench - 162.5lbs 5x5 with 3 minutes rest on the last set
  • Dumbbell Rows - 65lbs 3x10
  • Pull Up w/ chest to bar - 1x7, 1x6
  • Hammer Curl - 25lbs 3x13
  • Overhead Tricep Extension - 80lbs 3x10
  • Barbell Curl - 50lbs 1x22, 1x12

Haven’t been in the gym since because I got a cold along with a couple friends I was out with. Every time I am making good progress in the gym and life generally, I get injured and/or sick. It’s such a pain.

Will be going to the gym shortly even though I’m still a little congested but I need to go to the gym or I’m going to go insane. Sorry to anyone I get sick if I’m still contagious.

Going to do a maintenance/recomp phase, instead of continuing the bulk, since I’ve gained fat/lost muscle in the last few weeks with my deload, injuries, and this cold.

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Workout (Today 11/8/2023)

  • Squat - 175lbs 5x5 - dropped the weight back to 175 since it’s been a couple weeks. Will do 185lbs again next workout and add 5lbs if it’s easy
  • Bench - 162.5lbs 5x5 - was able to hit all 5 sets with 90 seconds rest. Will be adding 2.5lbs next time
  • Dumbbell Row - 65lbs 10,10,12
  • Hammer Curl - 25lbs 3x13 - last 3 reps were cheat reps. Biceps were super tired today.
  • Overhead Tricep Rope Extension - 80lbs 15
  • Face Pull - 90lbs 2x13

Felt really good to get out in public for the first time in over a week, plus exercising. I went from depressed and angry to in a great mood as soon as I started my warmup. And some people still wonder why the world went crazy during COVID lockdowns.

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Workout (Yesterday):

  • Squat - 135lbs 5x5 - my legs were so sore I couldn’t go above this
  • OHP - 110lbs 5x5 - 3 minutes rest last set. Very happy with this
  • Deadlift - 205lbs 1x5
  • Pull Ups chest to bar - 3x8
  • Barbell Curl - 60lbs 12,10,8
  • Tricep Rope Pushdown - 75lbs 10,10,9
  • Hammer Curl - 20lbs 1x25,1x15