T Nation

Smolov to Modified 5/3/1

I just finished the base cycle of smolov front squats and am now transitioning into 5/3/1. My first workout was yesterday, and i used it to find my OHP 3rm. I am also modifying the program slightly. I know, I know, the book says not to… but I am a bit of a thinker and like to use the concepts of a program and design my own workouts rather than blindly follow what someone else tells me. I will use this thread to chronicle my ideas for the next couple of months. The workout looked like this:

OHP: worked up to 145x3 (I’m terrible at these)
DB bench: 60lbs 5x10 (easy/light weight, wanted to start that way and work up from there)
face pulls: 3x15
Hanging leg raises: 3x10

Here is my idea: I’m going to do the OHP days with the bench assistance, and the bench days with OHP assistance (BBB for the first cycle probably). I will do the same thing for squat/deadlift days. Then, each day will follow with a pulling motion (my shoulders are way out of balance) and an ab motion (I have never done a lot of ab work at all). Also, Tues/Thurs will be for conditioning and I train Jiu-Jitsu 4-5 days per week (generally on the same day as lifting, but post-lifting session by a couple of hours).

Todays workout:
Deadlift(semi-sumo): 315x5, 345x5, 390x13
Low box squats(below parallel by an inch or so): 225 4x10. The last set of deads absolutly killed me. I could barely do a decent box squat. I felt like a pansy and stopped it at 4 sets.
Band pull-aparts: 3x10
skipped abs today due to lack of time.

oh, and training maxes are:
deadlift: 455
OHP: 145
Bench: 255
Squat: 345

Todays lifting:

Bench: 185x5, 205x5, 225x7(hit the pins on my eighth rep, Very upsetting. I am definately weaker on the bench due to it taking a back seat to the front squats for the last month or so)
DB OHP: 45# 5x10 - again very weak
Bent over BB row: 135 3x10
hanging leg raises: 3x10

Back Squats: 225x5, 260x5, 290x10
Deadlifts: 365 3x10
Chins couple of sets of 6

I was beat after just a couple of sets of deadlifts… they really take a lot out of me. I got a set of 14 pullups last week and 6 reps was really pushing it after the pulls today. The groove of my back squats is starting to come back though, so that is good. Hopefully all those front squats pay off in the next couple of weeks. I am on vacation from school next week, so hopefully the reduced stress and increased sleep will help with my recovery too.

Monday’s workout:
OHP: 105x3, 120x3, 135x5 - I might have gone a little heavy for my first wave of 5/3/1 on the OHP… I will probably not add weight for the next cycle. I was also haveing a very off day yesterday. Some stuff has come up in my personal life that is making me less than happy.

DB Bench: 65 5x10. These are still pretty easy. +5 pounds again next week.

Face pulls: 3x15

supine leg raises: 3x15

Deadlifts: 320x3, 365x3, 410x11
Low box Squats(~ 1-2 inches below parallel): 225 5x10 Much better than last week! I wanted to stick with the same weight as last week because I didn’t get all 5 sets in, but this week was a breeze. I am getting my groove back and it feels good.
GHR: BDW 1x10, mini band 2x10
Standing abs: 3x20

today’s lifts: Today felt pretty good over last weeks bench workout. My bench still sucks, but at least it is coming up. I might upload a picture or two of me back a couple of years ago at 248lbs when I was lifting heavy and at 235lbs when I was just fat and drinking too much. Then I am also thinking of uploading a pic of me at 185lbs weighing in for a Jiu-Jitsu tournament Spring of '08 so that I can show you guys/gals the changes I have made over the last few years. Should be fun.

Bench: 230x7 (+5lbs over last week, I guess. Last week I hit the pins on my last rep, so I can only count seven at 225 and this week I hit 7 at 230. Going good so far i guess)

DB OHP: 50 5x10 (+5lbs felt good, I hit all the reps so I will add 5 pounds again next week)

BB bent over rows: 145 3x10 (+10lbs I hate these. I suck at them too, so it only makes sense. Oh well, my uppper back is weak and these should help.)

Skipped on abs

Friday’s lifts:
Squat: 315x6
Deads: a couple of sets of 5… I wanted to work on completely resetting and solidifying my technique as opposed to jacking up my volume of crappy lifts.
Abs and other stuff, Can’t remember now.

Today’s lifts:

OHP: 105x5, 120x3, 135x6… So, I just realized that last weeks final set was 5lbs above what I was supposed to use, so I hit 135x6 today, which is +1 rep over last week. Not bad. I suck at overhead presses BADLY and am just happy to be making gains on them.

DB Bench: 70 lbs 5x10 (+5lbs over last week) These are starting to feel a little bit heavier, but are coming along well. Thats +15lbs in 3 weeks on this assistance lift. Granted, I started out real light, I am still progressing 5 lbs per week and will continue to ride this wave until it stalls out.

Face pulls: 3x15
Band pull aparts 2x10

Tuesday’s lift:

345x5, 390x3, 435x3 - I worked on correcting technique here, but I was having a really crappy day and just had a really hard time. I called it after that and left the weight room. Sometimes you just need to know when to call it I guess. I went 2 over what was called for so that is all that matters I guess.

Thursdays lifts (3/4/10):
Bench: 190x5, 215x3, 240x6 (PR…ish)
DB ohp: 55x10, 55x10, 55x9, 50x10, 50x10. I hope to get 4 sets in at 55lbs next week.
BB bent over rows: 145 3x10

Squats later today.

Squats went ok:

Back Squat: 260x5, 290x3, 315x6 (PR…ish) This is my most recent back squat PR, I have done quite a bit more in the past, but not for several years. SO, I’m happy. My squat is going back up again!
GHR: 25lb plate held to my chest - 3x5
some ab work.

Back off week begins!

OHP: 95 3x5 (I just took my top weight and did 3 sets. They were all really easy.)

DB bench: 75lbs 5x10 (+5 lbs… I keep going up in weight on these and am not having too hard of a time yet. It feels pretty good too. This HAS to be carrying over to my straight bar bench. I have never been very good with these so just getting better at using dumbbells is rewarding in it’s own right.)

Face pulls: 3x15

Band pull aparts: 3x10

Deadlifts yesterday:

185x5, 225x5, 275x5 (retard light… I was questioning why I even was bothering.)
low box squats: 185 5x10 - decided to back off on these too. I need to work really hard next week.

So far my thoughts on the deload week:

This week is just mentally draining. I feel like I’m getting nothing done and it is really hard to concentrate. I’m not liking this deload at all.

Back to heavy lifting!!!
Last night (1/14/10)

OHP: 95x5, 110x5, 125x9
DB Bench: 80 5x10 +5 lbs - up again, I think these are about to top out on me. I really want to get 90 5x10 by the end of this cycle
Face pulls: stack 3x15

My right shoulder is hurting a little bit today. I might have slept on it wrong and it might be from jiu-jitsu. I’m not 100% sure.

Deadlift day (Monday):
worked up to 405x5 - stopped there because I had one hell of a workout to come on Tuesday

Bench (wednesday):
Worked up to 225x9 (+1 rep)
Skipped the rest because my shoulder was still hurting me.

I will post the Conditioning workout later. It was nasty

Squats: 235x5, 275x5, 305x8(I had more in me, I am sure of it)


OHP: worked up to 135x7
DB bench: 85lbs 3x10 - my shoulder was kinda tweeked, so I left it alone at there. I definitely had 5 sets in me though.


deadlifts: 315x3, 365x3, 410x10

24 kilo bell was used for:
50 swings, 10 burpees
40 swings, 20 burpees
30 swings, 30 burpees
20 swings, 40 burpees
10 swings, 50 burpees

Damn, my conditioning has gone downhill, but it felt great to get back into it.

My much improved deadlift technique

Bench press last night (wednesday 3/24):

bench: 185x3, 210x3, 235x8 (PR)
DB ohp: 50lbs 3x10
DB Rows: 80lbs 3x10

Just got done my first tire flips of the season with an ice-filled tire. Fun times! About a 1/2 dozen or so with a 500lb tire filled with ice and water… I would say it weighs a whole lot more than 500 like that. I’m just guessing on the weight. I don’t really know for sure.