Styx of All Weakness

BW: 162 lbs. // 73,5 kg
Height: 5’ 9,5" // 176 cm
Age: 18
Training since September 2011 (Only 2 DAW until February 2012)

Starting lift stats:
Squat: 300 lbs. // 136 kg
Deadlift: 352 lbs. // 160 kg
Chinup 3 RM: BW+30 lbs. (DB between feet)

I haven’t benched or done much of any pressing since April because of anterior humeral glide and anterior glenohumeral laxity on my left side, leading to frequent impingement. I’ve been trying to fix the problem, but it’s not exactly the easiest thing in the world. Hoping to be able to start pressing again come January, just need to really work on my rehab.

My goal is to get as strong as I’m able to, knowing that size will come in time. Unfortunately, it’s damn hard to look “big” when my chest has been atrophying for all these months.

Between now and the New Year my plan is to focus 100% on my shoulder, ditching back squats for front squats, doing consistent rotator cuff work, scapular stability work, etc. Then I will do a Broz-like template for Powerlifting, incorporating bench as I’m able to.

Monday 11/27

A) Deadlift
Worked up to a PR of 165 kg–a 5 kg PR! Tried 170 kg, but I dropped it at about mid-shin. I didn’t psych up for either of these sets, either, which is good.

B) Front Squats (didn’t feel like using a rack, so I just cleaned it up–first time using a clean grip)
Worked up to 135 for an easy 3 reps.

C1) Neutral Grip Fat Gripz Pullups
Worked up to 20 lbs. for 3 reps, then followed with BW for 5 reps

C2) Dumbbell Floor Press (!)
20 lbs for 3x10. First time doing these in months! Felt great! On my way to total rehab hopefully!

D) Fat Gripz Hammer Curls
20/hand for 2x8

Internal/External Rotations

Wednesday 11/28

Front Squats:
Worked up to 140 lbs for an easy triple, then did 3x2 at 135.

Dumbbell Floor Press
22.5/hand for 3x10

Fat Gripz Supinated Chinups
Worked up to 20 lbs for a triple, then did just bodyweight for 5 reps. The bar was too skinny, and the Gripz were slipping, so I’ll be going back to neutral grip.

External/internal rotations.

Friday 11/30

Front Squats
Worked up to 145 lbs. for a triple followed by 135 for 3x2.

Rack Pulls
Don’t really know why I did these–don’t think I’ll be doing them again as long as I’m on this program.

Saturday 12/1

Front Squats
Worked up to 150 lbs. for a triple, then 135 for 3x2

Dumbbell Floor Press
25 lbs./hand for 3x10

Fat Gripz Neutral Grip Chins
Worked up to 20 lbs. for a triple, then did 10 lbs. for 5.

Some rear delt flies and external rotation work to finish off.

Monday 12/3

Front Squat
Worked up to 155 lbs for 3 easy reps. Did 135 for 3x2 as backoff. 135 is getting easier and faster every single day!

125 kg for 8x2. Started a little heavier, but I couldn’t keep double overhand grip, so I’m dropping it to 125 kg so I can improve my grip strength.

Fat Gripz Trap Bar Farmer’s Walks
140 lbs for 3 walks

Wednesday 12/5

Front Squat
Worked up to 160 for 3 reps. Was a little slow, but I wasn’t really in the groove today. 135 for 3x2 as backoff.

Dumbbell Floor Press
27.5 lbs. per hand for 3x8. My form gets sloppier with higher reps, so I’ll be keeping it in a slightly lower rep range for now.

Fat Gripz Neutral Grip Chinups
Worked up to 22.5 lbs. for 3 reps, then a backoff set of 10 lbs. for 5 easy reps.

Front Squat
Worked up to 165 lbs. for 3 reps, then did 135 for 3 as a back-off set. I’m starting to reduce back-off volume now that the weight’s heavier so that my efforts can be focused on maxing out 4 days a week without excess fatigue. I’ll build up to 6 days per week, and once I’ve adjust to that, start adding back-off sets back in.

Did 125 kg for 6 sets of 2. I’m planning on doing these double overhand only, as per Broz’ suggestion. Train weak, compete strong.

Plate Pinches
Several sets of pinching two 10 kg plates together (smooth sides out) for 10 seconds.

Saturday 12/8

Front Squat
Worked up to 170x3. Reps are starting to slow, so I probably won’t be moving up weight every single session for much longer. Did 135x3 as back-off sets. No more of those for awhile.

DB Floor Press
32.5/hand for 3x8. Excellent upper back tightness.

Fat Gripz T-Bar Row (neutral-close grip)
Two plates for 3 sets. I tried DB Rows, but I couldn’t get proper scapular retraction. These were better, but it was more taxing on the lower back. Will either keep these or do cable rows instead.

External Rotation work.

Monday 12/10

Front Squat
Worked up to 175 for a difficult 3. No more back-off sets for a while.

125 kg for 7x2. From now on I’m wearing sweatpants while deadlifting–my shins were getting too torn up and I was compromising my form so that I wouldn’t get the bar bloody.

Fat Gripz Farmer’s Walk w/ Trap Bar
135 for 3x20m

Wednesday 12/12/12

Front Squat
Worked up to 180 for a solid 3 reps. 135 was feeling heavy, but 155 didn’t feel too bad, and neither did 165, so I went for 180.

Dumbbell Floor Press
Did 35 for 3x8. Easy still. My shoulder’s tolerating it moderately well.

Fat Gripz Neutral Grip Pullups
Worked up to 20 lbs for 3 reps, then did a back-off set of 10 lbs for 5 reps.

Friday 12/14

Front Squat
Worked up to 175 for 3 reps.

That’s it. I had an exam today that got in the way of my normal gym time, so I went at night and to a different gym so that I didn’t have to go as far because it was dark and damp out. Ended up doing these from a bench rack because someone was using the only squat rack there for 150 lb. deadlifts, so I had to take a few extra steps every set so that the bench wouldn’t get in the way. I was also in a bit of a rush on top of that. At least I was able to go to the gym and get some decent squats in.

Saturday 12/15

Front Squat
Worked up to 175 lbs. for 3 reps. Harder than yesterday, not surprisingly.

255 lbs. for 6x2. My grip wasn’t handling 275 DOH very well today. I need to get some chalk…

Fat Gripz Deadlift
135 lbs for several brief static holds. Small hands really make these difficult–mine measure 7 inches (18 cm) from base of palm to tip of middle finger.

Plate Pinches
A few sets holding a 10kg and a 5 kg together (smooth sides out), then did two 10 kg plates for a couple sets. 8-12 seconds per hold.

Sunday 12/16

Front Squat
Worked up to 175 for 3 reps again, third day in a row. Will probably start singles now that I’m pretty comfortable front squatting.

Dumbbell Floor Press
37.5 lbs/hand for 3x8. Easy

Fat Gripz Cable Rows
20 pounds per hand for 5x10. My lower traps are doing pretty well because I’ve been doing a lot of pullups, and my upper traps are somewhat overpowering, but my mid-traps are somewhat lacking. So I’m going to do very strict cable rows with light weight for decent volume to even out the strength imbalance. Doing some impromptu band pull-aparts as well toward the same goal.

External Rotations

Wednesday 5/19

Did some front squats with an EZ Curl Bar, up to 175x3, then did some hex bar deadlifts for 275 for a bunch of doubles. Finished with grip work. I got a free day at a local “gym” so I figured I’d take advantage of it despite it’s lack of a regular barbell…

Wednesday 12/26

Front Squat
Worked up to 200 lbs. for a single. My best up to this point was 180x3. I guess that makes this a PR. Probably had 10 pounds in me, too.

Deadlift (double overhand, as always)
275 lbs for 5-6 doubles. After 3 or 4 sets some guy working there told me to put shoes on and stop “dropping” the weights because they weren’t rubber (even though they were rubber coated and I was on a rubber composite floor). F*** free trial memberships at crappy gyms…

Friday 12/28

Front Squats
Worked up to 210 for a solid single–a 10 pound PB! My goal is set for 230 by the end of my break, which is just over two weeks away.

Dumbbell Floor Press
40 lbs per hand for 3x8 easy. Slowly getting there.

Fat Gripz Neutral Grip Pullups
Worked up to 25 for a solid triple, then went a little too heavy on my back-off sets. I’ll only go heavy on these until I start doing heavy floor presses, then I’ll do some lighter, higher-rep work.

Prone Band Pull-aparts
Did 3x12 with the green band. I have no idea why I never thought of doing these before! So much better than regular Rear-Delt Flyes or Standing Band Pull-aparts alone!

Saturday 12/29

Front Squat
Worked up to 205 for a single. The warm-ups were pretty shaky today. So much better at singles than when there are multiple reps…

Did 275 for 5-6 doubles, all hook grip this time. I’m pretty sure the gym had no employees working there today–I didn’t see a single one during my entire time deadlifting, so I got away with not wearing shoes.

Fat Gripz Dumbbell Farmer’s Walks
50 lbs./hand for 4 walks of 40-50 feet each. Destroyed my hands.

Sunday 12/30

Front Squat
Worked up to 215 lbs. for a single–another PB. It was a little slow, but I kept pretty good form throughout. My warm-ups felt disastrous; even just the bar put my back and quads in pain. But as John Broz says, “How you feel is a lie.”

Dumbbell Floor Press
45 lbs per hand for 3 sets of 8. They didn’t have 42.5, so this was somewhat of a large jump. Need to keep my back tighter, but it’s a little hard because setting up the 'bells is awkward.

Fat Gripz Pullups
Worked up to 25 lbs. for a comfortable 3 reps, then did a couple weak back-off sets.

Supine band pull-aparts
3 sets of 12 with the green band. Still loving these for retraction work!

Saturday 1/5

Front Squat
Worked up to 225 lbs for a 10 lb PB! Been almost a week since I’ve lifted, and I won’t be able to again for a few days, so I really wanted a PB, even if the single was a bit of a grinder. Thing is, I couldn’t remember if my previous best was 215 or 220…

Dimel Deadlifts
Did 135 for 2x8. The gym I was at today didn’t allow barefoot, and it was small enough that the guy working there could see me no matter where I was in the gym. Didn’t even want to bother with regular deadlifts. These actually challenged my grip more than anything since I used very slow eccentrics.

Dumbbell Floor Press
45 lbs./hand for 3x8. Little bit shaky today. Figured out how to use my legs to get the 'bells in position, though.

Bunch of lower/mid trap work, like unilateral cable rows, band pull-aparts, 135-degree wall slides, prone bench trap raises, and the like. Figured out that shoulder problem is likely having short/tight/overpowering lats, especially on my left side. I had ruled this possibility out a while ago because I had the shoulder problem before I even trained my lats. But now it makes sense because when I play my viola, the lat is in a shortened state for long periods of time.