I figured it’d be worth it to start more actively/thoroughly logging my sessions. I’m currently doing 5/3/1 and keep track of my main lifts, but not so much on my other work.
I’m currently on my 5th cycle of 5/3/1 for Powerlifting. I started 5/3/1 for the first time in August 2011, but quickly found myself running into problems. Basically I believe I put too much stock in completely busting balls on the last set of every workout, and for someone who needed to nail down proper form first and foremost, it was a recipe for injury. As someone who’d lifted on an off in high school and in college, this was the first time I’d actually gotten serious with training. It should have been a time to start slowly and dial in technique, but I went a little too hard a little to quickly.
After only a few cycles I found myself battling constant lower back issues, and took some time off from squatting and deadlifting in November and December to begin again in January 2012, which is what I did.
I made some personal modifications to prevent the same thing from happening the second time around. Aside from changing to the Powerlifting template (which is sort of a negligible change in the long run), I decided to limit myself on the last set of every day. On 5 days, I limit myself to 7 reps, even if I have more in the tank. On 3 days, I limit myself to 5 reps, and on 1 days, I limit myself to 3 reps. Essentially I created goals of 7, 5, and 3 on each day for the last set, as a way to beat the minimums but keep myself in reasonable rep ranges without form breakdowns due to fatigue.
I’ve just finished the 5/3/1 week of my 5th cycle, and have had no issues making all of the reps with my additional 2 rep system.
Also of note, as I’m preparing for my first powerlifting meet in August, I’ve dropped my deadlift from 5/3/1, and am giving another program a try for that lift. It’s actually a program Andy Bolton published in a T Nation article last summer. I figured he may not be a bad guy to follow.
My current gym PRs are 360 lbs. on the Squat, 355 lbs. Deadlift, 260 lbs. touch and go bench press (255 with a pause), and 180 lbs. on the overhead press. This past week I also hit 355x2 on the squat and called it quits before attempting a PR. Figured I’d finish strong and leave it at that. My body weight hovers right around 180 lbs. give or take a few pounds on a given day. So I was pretty excited this past Thursday when I hit a body weight overhead press, as that had been a goal of time. As a further side note, I’m 24 years old.
My goals for my first meet aren’t anything special, but I’m going to aim for a 1,000 lbs. total in the 181 lbs. division.