T Nation

Rock and Roll- Spence's Training Log


Happens to everyone, but I had a wakeup call today. Got a DEXA scan done (pretty cool, its actually part of my major in school and was free) and I am carrying more fat and less muscle than I had thought. I weigh 217 as of today, with 50 lbs of that being fat and 166 lbs of fat free mass. It’s time for a recomp. Goals are to lose fat first and foremost, while keeping all the muscle I can.

I play Rugby at Virginia Tech, but it’s my offseason so I have practice only about 2x per week. Plan is to run 5/3/1 and add conditioning 1 or 2 days a week when I don’t have practice.

Let the Games begin.


Worked up today to a conservative deadlift single at 455, so I would have a number to base my 531 on. Followed it up with accessories.

Power Cleans. 4 x 3 @ 225
Barbell RDL down to pins. 3 x 10 @ 165
Hammer Strength Rows. 3 x 12,10,10 with 2 plates and a quarter
Super set: Cable shrugs // cable bicep curls. 4 x 12/10. Shrugs with a 2 second hold at the top, curls with a slow eccentric.

Throughout the day today, I’ll do sets of 10 on my ab roller wheel, probably about 5 sets


Rockin’ and rollin’ from a prop to a flanker, ha


Potentially! I do play prop now, I think this spring I’ll see how I fit in at flanker and if it would be a good change


Last day of figuring maxes before getting into 531. OHP followed with upper body accessories.

OHP 1 x 165. Haven’t done much lately, excited to get back into it.
DB bench 4 x 10,8,8,5. Went 90’s, 95’s, 100’s
Seated lateral raises. 4 x 15, 15, 13, 12 with just 20 lb DB’s
Cable chest flies. 3 x 10
Seated cable rows. 4 x 12. Did these higher, with my elbows flared a bit. Great pump in my upper back.
Just for fun: Decline DB skullcrushers superset with fat grip barbell curls. 3 sets of 10 or so on each.

I’ll have my first 5’s day for squats on Sunday


Bumped my squat day to today
AMRAP Squat at 280 for my top set. First rep I come down and the plates slam into the pin of the power rack. Completely screwed me up, my momentum for the set was gone and I wasted too much energy trying to right myself. Got 11, but it should have been more.

Followed it up with 4 x 5 squat cleans (got my heart rate way up, was breathing way hard) and RFE squats for 2 x 8 each leg. 3 sets of 10 cable rows. I tend to good morning my squats as they get tougher, I think t-spine mobility, keeping my lats/upper back tighter, and a better push from my quads will help.

Sprints and max height vertical jumps in a session later in the day, 8 x 40 yard sprints, 5 max height jumps in between, 40 sec rest.


It’s Monday so of course I benched today
Top set was 220 lb, which I hit for 12. Pretty happy with that.
Followed it with 4 x 4 push press @ 185 lb
4 x 8 Incline DB press with 70’s superset with band pull aparts
4 x 12 cable chest flys
4 x 10 straight bar cable rows, superset with dips to failure

Sets of 10 with the ab roller to come throughout the rest of the day


In other news I need to stop sabotaging my fat loss progress on the weekends. On weekends I’m still choosing good foods but ruining my deficit with alcohol, and following that up with either not enough sleep or poor-quality alcohol sleep. Having fun in college is still something I want to do, I only have 1 year left, but I just need to find a balance. If it ends up being something I need to drop then so be it, but phase 1 will be trying to find a balance


Woke up this morning at 215, which I’m happy with. Progress is happening but not super fast, which is fine. Consistency is the plan.

I started with power cleans, up to 235 for 2 x 3. Moved pretty quick, I think I’ll start supersetting the cleans with a few vertical jumps. Mike Boyle, an SC coach out of Massachusetts does the same thing with some of his athletes, I believe, and gets great results.

Deadlifts after, up to 350 for top set of 5’s. I pulled it for 10, hook grip and beltless (I do all my squats/deadlifts beltless). Felt crappy today, but I chalk that up to a combo of having given blood yesterday, practice last night, and my calorie deficit all combined. It is what it is, next session will be better.

Cable pullthroughs next for my glutes/hamstrings, 4 sets of 10 with a good stretch and squeeze.

Bent rows, 3 x 8 with 165 pendlay style. These are not my favorite rows to do, but I should probably program them in more.

Overall good session. Setting my goal weight at 210, 2 weeks from today. At 24% body fat, 2 lbs/week fat loss should be okay.


Overhead press today. Top set of 130 for 10. Pull ups in between all my sets, 6-7 each time.

Close grip bench 3 x 10, 10, 8 @ 185, superset with band pull aparts x 15
Arnold press 3 x 10, 8, 8 with 35’s, superset with 10 lateral raises (awesome pump here)
Overhead tricep rope extensions 3 x 12 superset with hammer grip pull ups to failure (around 5 each time)
Decline sit ups 3 x 12

Finished with a barbell complex. 115 on the bar, I did a ladder of 1 rep, 2 rep, up to 5 then back down (saw this in a T nation article and I like doing it this way).
Hang Clean
Push Press
Front Squat
Bent Row

It sucked but it felt great


Squats today (I wanted to do it yesterday but spent all morning volunteering and was tired by the afternoon, so I just pushed it to today)
First day of 3’s week, and top weight was 295, which I squatted for 11 pretty neatly. This reinforces that I should have gotten more last week, when I hit the pin.

Front Squat 3 x 8 @ 185
DB step ups 2 x 8 each leg with 35’s
GHR // decline bench leg raises 3 x 5 // 10

Barbell complex:
Power Cleans
Back squats
Bent rows

3 sets of 5 reps each exercise


Bench 3’s today, up to 235 for my top set for 10. Happy with that.
Push press 3 x 5 @ 165. Shoulders felt a little tender after squatting yesterday and my front rack position was very uncomfortable.

Hammer strength incline press 3 x 12,10,8, which unfortunately also felt less than great on my shoulders or my wrists. There are 2 of these machines in my gym and they’re a little different, I won’t be using this one again because I like the other one better.

Hammer strength rows 4 x 12, 10, 10, 8+2 (last set rest pause)

Cable Chest flys 3 x 12

Dips // Pull ups 3 x 10 dips, max pull ups (7,6,4)

Arm superset: Decline skull crushers // Fat bar curls 3 x 8

2 Min max push ups (35)


Today’s training:
Hang Cleans, 4 x 3 @ 205 lb, focusing on bar speed. I did these with hook grip and after the first set I had already bled all over the bar, from under my thumb nail…nice. I taped it up and pulled hookgrip for my deadlifts too, and it felt fine.

Deadlift 3’s, up to 370 for 8, beltless as usual

Hammer strength pull downs: 4 x 8, with a drop set on the last one

RDLs: 3 x 8 with straps @ 195. I like to do these in a power rack, down to a dead stop, with a really good stretch, and then explode back up. It’s down to about mid shin each time. I used straps because I tore a callus off my hand during deadlifts (and bled all over the bar a second time)

Finished with 3 sets of 20 calf raises, with a bent knee, superset with 20 face pulls. I’ve had problems with shin splints during rugby and getting a good stretch in my calves, as well as building up their strength, worked well for me in the Fall.


Feeling a little sick today but decided to train anyway. Kept things simple:

OHP up to 135 x 9. Pleasantly surprised here, didn’t plan on getting more than my required 3 but once I got into it I wanted to push it a little. Sets of 5 pull ups in between all my warm ups and sets.

Dips, 100 total reps. Wanted to add some weight today but the one weight belt at my gym that has a chain for adding weight was in use the whole time, so I just did more. First 5 sets were 10, then mostly 6’s and 7’s all the way up to 100

Pulldowns; 3 x 10,10,8

Thats all she wrote. Simple today, but glad I got in and did something


Crappy training today. My dumb ass tried to lift an hour after giving a sample of blood for lab work (wasn’t a ton but enough that it affected me pretty good) and everything felt way heavy. Tried to make the most of it nonetheless.

Top set on bench of 245 for just 6 today (way hard, I wanted 9 and I think on a different day I’ve got it)

Followed it up with hammer strength chest press for 3 x 10 superset with pull aparts
Weighted dips 4 x 8 (+25lbs)
Cable rows 4 x 12 (close handle)
DB OHP 4 x 12

BW at 211 when I woke up this morning, which I’m happy with. Feeling a bit leaner at least, I tend to carry a lot of my fat in and around my lower back and at least some of it is gone already. My face seems a little less fat too. Happy with progress thus far, still a little ways to go.


So it looks like I might be starting at Prop for our Spring matches so I think I’ll leave my bodyweight where it’s at, around 210, for now. Can’t let myself get tossed around out there!



Hang Cleans, 4 x 4. 185, 205, 215 for 2, 215 x 4. The first set at 215 got the best of me. 3rd rep I couldn’t catch it, It was definitely just mental. Next set I got my 4 no problem, and it moved pretty quick.

5/3/1 reps on Squat, top set at 315 which I did for 7 beltless. I wanted more than this, but I just felt like I had no push out of my quads in the bottom; every rep was a bit of a good morning. I felt like this the last time I was in a cal deficit, I think my squat gets affected more than my other lifts. I’ll be bumping calories back a little higher to keep my weight where its at, so hopefully this isn’t an issue for long.

DB step ups, 3 x 8 with 40 lb DBs. I tried to lower myself back down as slow and controlled as I could, to get a little single leg eccentric work. Concentric felt powerful.

Hang cleans
Front Squats
Clean grip reverse lunges

I only got through it once, my workout partner had somewhere to be and we drove together, so I’ll throw in a good complex next session.


5/3/1 week for OHP. Top set 145 for 5. Felt heavy and slow, more so than i would have liked. Throughout warm ups and sets, got 5 sets of 5 pull ups

Followed with accessories. Incline bench 4 x 8 @ 155.

Close grip bench on a slight decline, supersetted with EZ bar french press. 3 x 10,10,8 on the bench and 3 x 10 on the french press. Good pump.

TRX "Y"s 3 x 8 with bw

Arnold DB press, 3 x 10,10,8 with 35’s


Power cleans, 4 x 3 up to 215. Tried 235 but didn’t have it today, all mental I think.
Deadlifts 5/3/1 week, with 390 for just 5 beltless. Felt ok.

Snatch grip rack pulls from about mid shin. 4 x 10,10,8,8
Single leg eccentric Ham curls 3 x 4 each leg. These were hard
Shrugs- 3 x 10, 2 sec hold at top

Some bicep and forearm stuff, just for fun

Travelling to Iceland on Monday, will probably train 1 more time before then. A week of no weights will be good, I haven’t deloaded in a while because I’m terrible

Separate session, did a 1300 m swim


First day back from Iceland. Body has adjusted to the time difference with no real problem. BW all the way down to 205, lightest I have been in a long time, because food in Iceland is very expensive and I couldn’t afford to eat a ton. Body feeling good , but things felt heavy today. Used it as sort of a ‘get back into it’ day and but still got some good work done. Considering doing the BBB 5/3/1 assistance template, so if anyone sees this and has experiences with it, I would love to hear.

OHP today, up to 130 for 8. Felt ok. Pull ups in between each set, so 4 x 5.
Cable rows for 4 x 8 with a wider neutral grip.
Dips, 4 x 8 with a 25.
DB OHP 3 x 12, with short rest in between. Used 30’s
Hammer curls 3 x 10 with 40s
Rope pushdowns to bar pushdowns to palms up bar pushdowns. Big pump in my Tris. 2 or 3 sets of 10 for each

Ab rollouts 5 x 10