SamVariation's Training Log

Hi all,

I stumbled across this forum a while ago & I’ve finally decided to join.

My mentality when it came to training used to be the typical gym bro method. Chest, back, shoulders, arm & legs (which I often skipped, as I used to play football).

I dislocated my patella whilst on a night out & popped it it back in myself, which is something that I didn’t want to do more than once in my life!

Once I recovered, I contacted a friend of mine that is a personal trainer and he set me up on a program that involved a lot of quad, glute & hamstring work, which meant that the new found muscle on my legs would take the majority of the strain, rather than my knees!

Afterwards I decided that I wanted to get my squat & bench up, so I read a few powerlifting programs, then stumbled on here…

I’ve been following 5/3/1 for a few months now & my 1RM maxes have increased for my squat and bench. I’m working on my dead lift now as well, as I used to just do rack pulls.

Rather than doing each movement 1 day a week, I’m going back to doing certain movements multiple times a week, as my body tends to thank me for it if I spread the volume out.

My little girl was born 1 month ago & my diet/sleep quality has gone to crap since, as I used to do all my meal prep in the evenings. As a result, I’ve had to grind through some of my sessions just to hit the required reps, so I decided to take a deload week ahead of schedule, then reduce my TM’s to build myself back up again.

I’ve also decided to go 3/5/1 this time round, as I want to incorporate 1 or 2 singles into my program again.

Starting Stats:

Height: 6ft 3’’
Body weight: 103 KG (Approx)
Squat 1RM: 145 KG (I feel I have 155 KG in me)
Bench 1RM: 127.5 KG
Deadlift 1RM: 140 KG (I can probably do more, but I’m taking it slow in order to reduce possible injury)

Current Stats: Updated 29/9/2020
Bodyweight: 113 KG
Squat 1RM: 180 KG
Bench 1RM: 135 KG x 2
Deadlift 1RM: 170 KG
OHP: 67.5 KG x 5

Current goals are:
Squat: 180 KG
Bench: 140 KG
Deadlift: 180 KG

Longterm goals
Squat: 270 KG - I know I can hit this one day. I just need to build a strong foundation. 300KG is the dream
Bench: 160/180 KG - 160 is definitely possible. 180 is the dream.
Deadlift: 260 KG - My short arms and long torso make this doubtful in my mind, but I need to stop being a bitch and just get on with it.

Day 1: Squat Day
Date: 20/08/2019

Warm up:
30 minute walk to the gym
Foam rolling, as I was feeling a bit tight
Full body dynamic stretches for 5 minutes

HIp Thrusts:
Set 1: Bar x 10
Set 2: 60 KG x 10
Set 3: 60 KG x 10

I’m doing these just to help make my glutes wake up a bit more before squatting.

TR Max: 132.75 KG
I’m doing some band pull aparts & facepulls to loosen up my shoulders in between each set.

Warm Up: Bar x 10
Warm Up: 52.5 KG x 5
Warm Up: 67.5 KG x 5
Warm Up: 80 KG x 5

Work Set 1: 92.5 KG x 3
Work Set 2: 107.5 KG x 3
Work Set 3: 120 KG x 3
Joker Set: 132.5 KG x 1

I wanted to do another single at a higher weight, but I was planning on doing some squats the next day, so I’m trying not to burn myself out.

Sumo Deadlift: 5 x 5
Starting nice & easy with this one. I’m using this as a day to focus on maintaining technique and keeping everything tight.
I’m also trying to work on speed off the floor, as it’s my weakness.

60 KG x 5
70 KG x 5
92.5 KG x 5
92.5 KG x 5
92.5 KG x 5
92.5 KG x 5
92.5 KG x 5

Glute Ham Raise:
Whilst holding a 10 KG plate and squeezing at the top.

10 KG x 15
10 KG x 15
10 KG x 15

Ab Crunches s/s with bodyweight 1 legged hipthrusts:
20 reps
20 reps
20 Reps
Pretty easy, I want to make sure I progress with this over time, instead of making it too hard at the beginning.

Warm down:
Foam rolling
Static stretches etc
30 minute walk home

Wednesdays workout will follow!

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Right, so I haven’t had time to update, as the baby is using all my free time when i get home from work. My two favourite ladies have gone to bed early, so I thought I’d quickly write up my plan for the week, as well as provide an update on here.

Bench Day: 21/08/2019

Hip Thrust
Work Set 1 (50 KG) x 10
Work Set 2 (50 KG) x 10
Work Set 3 (50 KG) x 10

Squat 5 x 10
Warm Up 1 Bar x 10
Warm Up 2 52.5 KG x 10
Work Set 1 67.5 KG x 10
Work Set 2 67.5 KG x 10
Work Set 3 67.5 KG x 10
Work Set 4 67.5 KG x 10
Work Set 5 67.5 KG x 10

I did some band pullaparts in between each set.

Bench Press
Bar x 10
Warm Up 1 (40%) x 47.5 KG x 5
Warm Up 2 (50%) x 60 KG x 5
Warm Up 3 (60%) x 72.5 x 5
Work Set 1 (70%) x 85 KG x 3
Work Set 2 (80%) x 95 KG x 3
Work Set 3 (90%) x 107.5 KG x 3 (at least 2 extra in tank, but I decided to save a bit of energy for the joker set for some reason)
Joker Set 117.5 KG x 1

Db Bench Press 5 x 10
Work Set 1 30 KG x 10
Work Set 2 30 KG x 10
Work Set 3 30 KG x 10
Work Set 4 30 KG x 10
Work Set 5 30 KG x 10

I found this very easy. i was making sure I squeezed at the top, but I think it’s time to increase the weight or reps.

Lat Pull Down 5 x 10
Work Set 1 50 KG x 10
Work Set 1 50 KG x 10
Work Set 1 50 KG x 10
Work Set 1 50 KG x 10

Tricep Pulldows s/s with EZ bar curls
Set 1 TRI PD - 20 KG x 10 - EZ - 30 KG x 15
Set 2 TRI PD 25 KG x 15 - EZ - 30 KG x 15
Set 3 TRI PD 25 KG x 15 - EZ - 30 KG x 15
Set 4 TRI PD 35 KG x 8 - EZ - 30 KG x 10

The workout felt pretty good. I’ve decided to start doing bicep curls again, as I’ve neglected them over the last few months. My biceps have become a weak link that I need to fix. Well, that and my deadlift!

Deadlift Day 23/08/2019

Squat 5 x 5 (75% of TM)
Warm Up Set 1 - Bar x 10
Warm Up Set 2 - 52.5 KG x 5
Warm Up Set 3 - 67.5 KG x 5
Warm Up Set 4 - 80 KG x 5

Work Set 1 - 100 KG x 5
Work Set 2 - 100 KG x 5
Work Set 3 - 100 KG x 5
Work Set 4 - 100 KG x 5
Work Set 5 - 100 KG x 5

So these felt pretty good. I still felt pretty fresh by the end, so I know there’s a big room for improvement. My current PR for 5 reps is 120 KG, so I’d like to be able to do 120 KG x 5 for 5 sets in the near future.

Sumo Deadlift 3x3
TR Max KG (90%) 117

Warm Up Set 1 - 60 KG x 5
Warm Up Set 2 - 70 KG x 5

Work Set 1 - 82.5 KG x 3
Work Set 2 - 92.5 KG x 3
Work Set 3 - 105 KG x 3
Joker Set - 115 KG x 1

Bench Press (60% of TM x 10)
Warm Up Set 1 - Bar x 10
Warm Up Set 2 - 47.5 KG x 5
Warm Up Set 3 - 60 KG x 5

Work Set 1 - 72.5 KG x 10
Work Set 2 - 72.5 KG x 10
Work Set 3 - 72.5 KG x 10
Work Set 4 - 72.5 KG x 10
Work Set 5 - 72.5 KG x 10

This felt pretty easy

Sit Down Row - Not sure if that’s the correct name??
40 KG x 10
40 KG x 10

Single hand
15 KG x 10
15 KG x 10

I wasn’t feeling it in my lats, even with the pause and squeeze at the top, which is the reason I switched to doing it with 1 hand. 1 hand allowed greater ROM, which felt great. I’m gunna keep doing these.

OHP Day - 25/08/2019

Paused Squat 3 x 5 (60% of TM)
Warm Up Set - BAR x 5
Warm Up Set - 67.5 KG x 5

Work Set 1 - 80 KG x 5
Work Set 2 - 80 KG x 5
Work Set 3 - 80 KG x 5

I decided to do 100 KG x 5 without a pause afterwards. I don’t know why.
Did band pull aparts and shoulder mobility stuff in between each set

OHP 3x3
Warm Up - 30 KG x 8
Warm Up - 37.5 KG x 8
Warm Up - 40 KG x 5

Work Set 1 - 52.5 KG x 3
Work Set 2 - 60 KG x 3 (Felt like nothing)
Work Set 3 - 67.5 KG x 4 (Someone took the 2.5 KG plate from the rack during my previous set, which pissed me off! I wanted 5 reps. I’ll get it next time)
Joker Set - 72.5 KG x 1 - (Went up well. I did a long pause at the top to focus on keeping my body tight.)

Paused Bench 3 x 5 (70ish% of TM)
Warm Up - BAR x 10
Warm Up - 60 KG x x

Work Set 1 - 85 KG x 5
Work Set 2 - 85 KG x 5
Work Set 3 - 85 KG x 5

Close Grip Bench 3x5
Work Set 1 - 85 KG x 8 (Could have done more)
Work Set 2 - 85 KG x 5
Work Set 3 - 86KG x 5

Felt really good. I put my grip a thumbs length away from the smooth bit of the bar. My shoulders thanks me for it. I paused a few of the reps, but not all. i was focusing on being as explosive as possible.

Shrugs S/S with Lat Side Raises
Work Set 1 - SHR 50 KG x 15 - LSR - 12 KG x 8
Work Set 2 - SHR 100 KG x 10 - LSR - 12 KG x 8
Work Set 3 - SHR 100 KG x 10 - LSR - 12 x 8

I finished the day with some forearm work, as my forearms have shrunk a bit since I’ve not had any dedicated arm days.

The session felt good, but I was sweating more than usual. It might have been due to the 6/7 pints of beer from the night before.

To summarise the week it felt pretty good. I’m still getting used to making the baby at home my main priority. I’m starting to get a dad bod though. I think it’s the beer.

Looking forward to the next week of training. The ‘‘5’’ week.

I became really sick back in July, which resulted in my losing a lot of weight. The cause was no gym, skipping meals and an incredible amount of stress.

I’ve managed to put the weight back on and get back in the gym, which feels great.

To get back in the swing of things, I was running the base cycle of a free Calgary Barbell program, which involves squatting 3 x a week, benching 4 x a week & deadlifting 2 x a week at submaximal loads. I’ve also lowered my training maxes to 160 KG squat, 130 KG bench & 160 KG deadlift, which I attempted recently with relative ease.

I’ve just started running a russian powerlifting program, which consists of training 3 days a week, as opposed to 4 days a week I was doing previously.
The reason behind this is my GF has finished her maternity and is working Sat/Sun, so I need to be with my daughter on weekends.

Monday 29/09/2020:

6 sets of 2 reps @ 127.5 KG - It felt easy, although my shoulders were a bit stiff

6 sets of 3 paused reps at 105 KG - Fairly easy.
I did another set of 6 reps TNG, which also felt easy

DB Bench:
3 sets of 10 reps @ 32.5 KG

EZ Bar Skull Crusher:
5 KG per side + bar weight 3 x 20 reps
Light weight, but the last 3 reps or so of each set were killer.
Just doing these to get some bloodflow in my elbows

Tricep Pulldown (rope) s/s EZ Bar Bicep Curls (same as prev weight):
Unsure on the weight used on the pulldowns, but did 3 x 12 reps & 3 x 15 reps on curls.

My arms are a bit small compared to the rest of my body at the moment, so I’m upping the volume a bit. Bench feels a little wobbly compared to pre lockdown & my biceps are definitely the weak point.

Deadlifts with some pull assistance on Wednesday.

Yesterdays training: Wednesday 30/09/2020

Sumo Deadlift:
127.5 KG 6 x 3 reps double overhand
I felt really off. I felt like I wasn’t using any lower body at all.
My grip felt weaker as well. Maybe I need more sleep, but it’s hard at the moment as my daughter wakes up at 2AM and needs her nappy changed

Rack Pulls: Just below the knee
100 KG 4 x 4
Again my grip felt weaker than usual, so I resorted to hook grip.
I need to up the volume with my back/core work as it feels weak AF at the moment

Lat Pulldown:
4x12 - Unsuire on weight

DB Bent Over Row S/S with Side Raises
22.5 KG 3 x 10 b/o
10 KG 3 x 10 SR

Chest supported reverse fly’s:
3 x 10 reps @ 10 KG

Back supported leg raises
3 x 12 reps

Back extension
3 x 10 reps (Should have done more)

Week one of the new program complete.

Squats are feeling easy, which is great, but I need to make sure I don’t overshoot later on.

Friday 02/10/2020

Warm Up:
Lots of facepulls, planks etc. The facepulls and side raises really helped with my shoulder mobility during squats. I need to do this more often.

127.5 KG 6x3 reps
Felt easy. I definitely could have done more reps, but I’ll leave that for next week.
I’ve made my stance a little narrower, which helped significantly. I was also able to do some of the triples under a single breath, which usually means I’m confident at that weight. My squats are usually pretty deep, but my mobility felt great today, so some sets were ATG.

Feeling confident for the next few weeks of training.

Seated Leg Raises (Quads):
4 x 12 reps (Unsure on weight)

Prone Single Leg Hamstring Curl:
4 x 10 reps

Smith Machine Hip Thrusts:
60 XG 4 x 10 reps with a squeeze at the top

Floor Press:
60 KG x 10
80 KG x 10
100 KG x 5
100 KG x 5

Now time of 2 days rest and to go again on Monday.

Week 2

Monday 05/10/2020

Warm up:
Lots of facepulls and rotator cuff stuff.

6 x 4 reps @ 105 KG
Although I kept everything relatively tight, I didn’t seem to use any leg drive for some reason. The weight is light enough for me to handle anyway, as I used to do close grip feet up for reps with 110+.

6 x 2 reps @ 127.5 KG
My form was off for some reason. I also had a bit of an arch, which is something I need to rectify asap. I think it’s something to do with my shoulder mobility.
I was experimenting with hand placement. My squat feels stronger when it’s narrower, but my arms take a bit of a beating.

3 x 5 reps @ 60 KG
Very easy. I did 6 reps on the last set. I’ll add 2.5 KG next week.

Incline Dumbell Press:
12/10/8 @ 32.5 KG DB’s
I was pausing at the bottom, which made it a lot harder.
I used to do 46 KG DB’s with ease, but that was pre lockdown

Tricep Pulldowns s/s with bicep curls (rope):
3 sets of 15 reps each
Unsure on weight.

Squats and bench felt easy, despite the form issues. Lots of room for improvement.; I like the fact that I want to increase weight, but my program forces me to stick at the same weight and increase reps for now. 2/3 more weeks of building a base, then working towards a 1rm attemp at week 9.

Footage below:

So yesterday’s training sucked

Thursday 08/10/2020

Warm up
Hip extensions s/s bodyweight hipthrusts.
Hanging leg raises
light abs

6x4 @ 127.5 KG
I missed a few reps due to grip issues, even with hook grip. I also felt like I wasn’t using my hips as much as I should.

Steep incline weighted sit ups: 5 KG plate
3 x 15 reps

SSB Good Mornings:
Bar weight + chains. The chains felt heavy, but I’m unsure on the weight. Probably 25KG each.

Lat pulldowns:
4x10 reps - Varied weight

Suitcase holds (32.5 KG dumbell)
Walking along a 8 metre track back and fourth.

Deadlifts were a struggle, but they always are.
Once this training cycle is over I’m going to spend a lot of time working on my weaknesses

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I’ve had a bit of a cold recently, so I haven’t trained since Thursday.
My daughter has also caught it as well, which means no sleep.

Despite feeling like shit at work, I told myself to stop being a pussy and get to the gym. I feel so much better for it.

Monday 12/10/2020

Warm up:
5 mins on cycle
Back extensions, bodyweight hipthrusts and various stretches.

6 x 4 reps @ 127.5 KG
I think I actually did 7 sets. Felt fairly easy, although having a cold did affect my breathing and bracing.

Stifflegged rack pulls (bit below the knee)
3 x 10 @ 60 KG standard grip
Lightweight, but I was trying to put an emphasis on maintaining constant tension.
2 x 10 @ 60 KG snatch grip

Bent Over Rows: (off the rack)
3 x 10 @ 60 KG
I let the bar rest on the rack at the bottom for a split second, but I still maintained tension and had the slack pulled out of the bar.
I tried to be as explosive as possible on each rep, which maintaining decent form
2 x 8 @ 70 KG

Calf Raises:
3 x AMRAP at unknown weight
Felt good!

The session felt great, despite being ill. It’s good to know that I can still squat when feeling ill. 2 more weeks to go then I can up the weight.
I’m enjoying this program actually. I’ll probably give it another run at the end to get my squat up to 200 KG, which has been a goal for some time.

Upper body push workout later on today. I’m looking forward to it.

I had a bad day at work yesterday & went off program.

Worked up to a single @ 135 KG.
I think I can manage 140 KG now, maybe a bit more. I don’t like failing reps, so I’ll try in about 6 weeks.

Close Grip Bench:
3 x 8 reps @ 100 KG
First set felt like an empty bar. Did a few long pauses.

2x3 reps @ 65 KG
2x3 reps @ 67.5 KG
I usually manage 5 or so reps, but I think the fatigue from the heavy single on bench set in.

Incline DB Bench:
35 KG 3 x 8 reps

Tricep Pulldown:
Unknown weight - 100 reps
30, 30, 20, 20.