T Nation

TCam's Log - The Road to Elite

Update 9/25/2020: Doing my own programming

UPDATE 4/22: The Cube Method ended on page 11 and I started my own programming. Page 15, entry on 10/30/2014, has the programming description. It has changed since then, but the idea remains the same. RTS style High frequency with auto-regulation is the general theme.

The Cube Method

The idea:

Week 1—Heavy------Explosive—Rep Work
Week 2—Explosive–Rep Work----Heavy
Week 3—Rep Work—Heavy-------Explosive

That’s one wave. Repeat two more waves and then you have a meet. Or you can either start over or have a mock meet to adjust your weights and percentages.

There’s a fourth day every week, the “body” day. Brandon Lilly does the same thing every week. I will probably cycle two workouts. This day is to work on weaknesses and size where needed.

No deloads. You deload weekly because there’s only one heavy day per week and only one heavy day per lift each cycle.

Max maxes are set as:
Squat: 500
Bench: 395
Deadlift: 565

This works off of 95% of your max though. Like 5/3/1

The Diet - Currently

I’m carb cycling, and have been for 2 weeks, with a couple of lapses. I’ll be doing this better starting tomorrow.

Setting it up Carbs with the Cube:
Heavy - High
Rep - High
Explosive - Moderate
Body - Moderate
Off - Low

You will not fail. Get fucking strong. Go.

Are you using the book template, or did you join the FB group?

Ravenous: The book, kind of, it’s not very helpful. I didn’t know about the FB group though. What is it called?

Wave 1. Week 1. Heavy Squat.

2x5 @ 135
5 @ 225
5 @ 275 (Add Single Prong)
2 @ 315
5x2 @ 385

Rev Band Squat (2 Avg)(Spud Belt):
3 @ 385-Bands
3 @ 425-Bands
3x3 @ 455-Bands

Band Hamstring Curl (1 Avg):
30 @ Avg.
3x15 @ Avg. (Squeeze each rep)

Cable Ab Pulldown:
3x20 @ “110”

20 (While holding a mini band pull-apart)

This was a great workout. It was rough, but not necessarily difficult. I felt strong and my form held up almost perfectly, other than shifting the weight toward the front my feet a couple of times. I didn’t lean forward though.

If you followed my last log, you know that I had a back injury 3 or 4 weeks out from my first meet. I was taking a couple of weeks before I started this to make sure I was healthy. I didn’t have any pain at all today. So I’m happy about that.

I also avoided heavy benching during these two weeks because of pulling both of them a couple of times right before the meet. I don’t have heavy bench until the third week of the wave, so hopefully it’ll be completely fine by then.

Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 2/4 (Didn’t eat enough)
Explosiveness: 4/4
Discipline: 4/4

Week 1. Wave 1. Explosive Bench

Tried to warm up and stretch my pecs enough, but the left one hurt. Fffffuuuuu

2x5 @ 135
8x3 @ 225 (Some were fast with no pain, others hurt)

Cable Low Row (Individual Handles):
10 @ 165, 10 @ 180, 8 @ 195 (No rest)
8 @ 210, 6 @ 225 (No rest)
6 @ 225, 6 @ 210, 6 @ 195 (No rest)
6 @ 180, 6 @ 165 (No rest)

EZ Bar Curls:
3x6 @ 75 (Preacher)
3x6 @ 75 (Standing)

Band Triceps Extension (Standing):
3x30 @ <1/2 mini per hand

DB Front Raise (Superset with Tri Ext):
3x30 @ 40s

Pec Minor Dips:

Decline Sit-Ups:

I’m pissed about my pec continuing to hurt. I need to focus on actively fixing it more, rather than just resting it. I haven’t benched over 225 in a couple of weeks now.

Obviously that pain held me back from being actually explosive on my explosive day.

The rest of the workout went well. The low rows got rough doing 2 or 3 sets in a row. I’m not sure if the pec minor dips did anything.

Motivation: 3/4
Nutrition: 4/4 (Moderate Carb Day: C-363g, F-70g, P-288g)
Explosiveness: ???
Discipline: 3/4

It’s called “CUBE METHOD.”

Requested to join it. Is there a place that shows something different than the book or is it just a place for general discussion?

Wave 1. Week 1. Rep Deadlift

Deadlift (Conventional, like in competition):
2x5 @ 135
5 @ 225
5 @ 275 (Add Spud belt)
5 @ 315
5 @ 365
8 @ 385

Snatch Grip Deadlift from ~5" Blocks:
5 @ 135
5 @ 225 (Add straps)
5 @ 315 (Add Spud belt)
3x3 @ 405

Olympic Squat (For me = Moderate Bar Placement, Close Stance, Close Grip, Deep):
5 @ 135
2x10 @ 225
3x8 @ 275

Band Pulldown Abs (Superset with Squat):
5x15 @ 2 Avg.

Cable Facepull:
3x25 @ “95”

I just wanted to go to sleep after this workout. High volume/rep pulls and squats ruin me.

The top set of deadlift wasn’t terrible, but my form didn’t hold up as well as it should have. I also had a tough time figuring out the form for snatch grip pulls from that height. I may need to lower it a bit. It would probably help me sit back some.

By the time I got to squats, my lower back was pumped as shit from an overflowing septic tank. I was able to hold my form pretty well though.

Body day is on Saturday.

Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 3/4 (C-351g, F-76g, P-198g) Clearly not enough protein or carbs for a high day
Explosiveness: 3/4
Discipline: 4/4

Once in a while, Brandon has a test group sign up, where you pay him, and he sends you a personalized template, or something like that. You can pretty much reverse engineer it from looking at various Cube logs though. Other than that, yeah, it’s just general discussion.

This weekend I learned buying a new car/getting your first loan is incredibly time consuming. I missed my body day because of sitting in a dealership for almost 4 hours. And then still not leaving with the new car. I should have the car tomorrow though. So that’ll be the end of that.

Wave 1. Week 2. Explosive Squat

Speed Squat:
5 @ 135
3 @ 225
8x3 @ 285 (Spud Belt)

Band Ab Pulldown (Superset with Squat):
3x15 @ 2 Avg.

Pin Good Morning:
5 @ 135
5 @ 225
5 @ 275 (Add Spud Belt)
3x5 @ 315
5 @ 275

Half-Kneeling Landmine Press:
3x10/10 @ 1 plate

Leg Press (Hinge-style):
10 @ 2pps
10 @ 4pps
8 @ 6pps
3x8 @ 7pps

Squats went really well today. All of the sets were easy and fast.

Good mornings were really tough at 315. At least at bottom. I liked doing those though. Hadn’t done them in a while.

I felt awful at the end of this workout though. I may be getting sick. It’s weird, I had some Chinese food last night, and literally right after I finished, I got congested and a headache. Now I’m having a bunch of sinus pressure and shit. I’ve never had a problem with MSG before, but it appears I do now. Hopefully it goes away soon so I can keep lifting.

I don’t know how bench will go on Tuesday. I may try floor press to protect my pecs from hurting but still get the work in.

Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 3/4
Explosiveness: 4/4
Discipline: 3/4

Wave 1. Week 2. Rep Bench

Floor Press:
2x8 @ 135
2x8 @ 225
8 @ 245
8 @ 275 (Easy. No pain in the pecs)

Military Press:
5 @ 95
5 @ 135
5x5 @ 155

Superset (No more than 10 seconds rest during any of this):
Incline DB Bench (45 Deg):
20, 20, 15 @ 40s
Incline DB Fly (45 Deg):
12, 12, 12 @ 20s

Cable Triceps Extension (Straight bar. 10-15 seconds rest):
12 @ 110
10 @ 125
8 @ 145
6 @ 165
4 @ 180
4 @ 195
4 @ 215 (Stack)
12 @ 110

DB Side Bend:
20/20 @ 70
20/20 @ 65

I’m very happy with this workout, mainly because of the absence of pain. I may continue doing floor press for a few weeks just to avoid hurting myself again.

The top set of floor press was pretty easy. I probably could have gotten 12 no problem if I wasn’t worried about my pecs. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be this easy though. I feel like adding more sets to this part might be better for me (i.e. 3x8 instead of 1x8).

After floor press and military press I was pretty much done for when it came to the DB work. I barely finished the 15 rep set at the end. No ego training there with my 40s and 20s. Don’t care, got some blood flowin’.

Thursday is Heavy Deadlift day!

Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 3/4 (Need more food. Quality was great until dinner…burger and onion rings)
Discipline: 4/4
Explosiveness: 4/4

Wave 1. Week 2. Heavy Deadlift

2x5 @ 135
5 @ 225
3 @ 275
3 @ 315 (Add Spud belt)
3 @ 365
2 @ 405
2 @ 425
2x2 @ 455
2 @ 495
2 @ 455

Deficit Deadlift (~2.5"):
3x10 @ 225

Cable Ab Pulldown:
5x15 @ 110

Cable Pull-Through:
12 @ 170
12 @ 185
12 @ 200 (Stack)

Lying Hamstring Curl:
2x15 @ 70
15 @ 50 (Calves cramping for some reason)

Banded Seated Hamstring Curl:

This workout wiped me out. I really need to work on strengthening my mid-back and fixing my deadlift form. I keep folding over when I get to 455. I even came up on my toes a couple of times today.

I was scheduled to do a 5x2 at 425, but obviously I figured I’d add more weight.

I need to get my work capacity up as well. Get these workouts back to an 60-70 minutes instead of 80-90.

I could say more but I need to sleep.

Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 4/4
Discipline: 3/4
Explosivness: 3/4

Wave 1. Week 2. Body Day

Military Press:
8 @ 95
5x8 @ 135

Pull-Ups (Neutral):

Bent Over Row:
Attempted. My lower back was way too sore and weak.

4x12 @ BW+70

One-Arm DB Bench:
8/8 @ 40
5x8/8 @ 65

Slow Reverse-Hyper (Explained below):


Banded Lying Triceps Extension:
25, 20, 20 @ 2 minis

Explanation of slow rev-hyper: I do these on a tall box jump box. Lie face down on it with your hips hanging off, so that you can pull your knees underneath. You have to bend them at the bottom of the movement so you don’t hit the floor. Then extend your legs and back so that you end up planking basically, making sure to contract your lower back then lower your legs and bend them back under the box to begin again. There’s no swing, it’s completely controlled. That’s why it’s “slow”.

The workout:

Military press went well. The rest of the workout was me realizing a couple of things: 1. My lats are a huge issue. 2. I feel too old because of my back being weak.

I need to stop doing neutral grip pull-ups. I’ve gotten good at doing them with shit form (i.e. letting myself float away from the bar and only use my biceps). Even if I have to use bands to help me, I’m going to only do pronated grip until my lats start working properly.

I also realized that I haven’t done any real lat work in a good while. I was doing cable and band rows, but that shit only maintains strength for a couple of weeks. Obviously I’ve past that time now. I think my low/mid back has been having having to compensate for that, and it’s hurting my progress and me, physically.

Most of my accessories will be back based from now on. Mainly pull-ups, lat pull-downs, bent-over/pendlay rows, one arm DB rows, RDLs, good mornings, etc. I think this will fix a lot of my problems. That and doing mobility work and stretching.

Motivation: 2/4
Nutrition: 2/4 (Not enough)
Explosiveness: 3/4
Discipline: 2/4

Wave 1. Week 3. Rep Squat

8,5 @ 135
8 @ 225
8 @ 275
8 @ 315 (Add Spud belt)
8 @ 335

Paused Squat:
4x3 @ 225 (5-count)
20 @ 225 (Not paused)


Plank (Superset with Hypers):

Bulgarian Split Squat:
4x10/10 @ BW

Side Bend:
2x20/20 @ 55

My back was bothering me a good bit today. Mainly on the right side (opposite of what the injury was on before). I don’t think I injured it or anything, I just need to get it loosened up and get up from my desk at work more often. Sitting there all day every day is killing me. Probably literally.

The workout itself went well. The top set of squats was pretty difficult but not terrible. If my back wasn’t bothering me, I probably could have done another two sets of 8.

For the paused squats, I focused on trying to squeeze all of my back muscles while sitting at the bottom.

I got everything done in about 60 minutes. So I’m happy about that. Need to continue with that.

Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 4/4
Explosiveness: 4/4
Discipline: 4/4

Wave 1. Week 3. Heavy Bench

Floor Press:
8 @ 135
2x5 @ 225
3 @ 275 (Add wrist wraps)
5x2 @ 315

Lat Pulldown (Wide Grip. Only rest while partner is doing her set):
5x10 @ “135”

Standing One-Arm DB Row (<30 seconds rest):
5x10/10 @ 70

Band Overhead Triceps Extension:
30, 20, 20 @ 2 Minis

Cable Pallof Press:
3x10/10 @ “110”

First off, I need to recognize my girlfriend for hitting a 20 lb. PR today by sqautting 220 lbs! Awesome.

I had two goals going into this workout. One was to complete my heavy pressing sets without any pain in my pecs. And two was to get some volume work done on my lats. I did both of those things.

Floor press wasn’t very difficult to be honest. My groove hit too low at the bottom on a couple reps and it made me feel weak. So I kept it a little higher on my chest and they were very fast. No pain in the pecs whatsoever.

The lat work was pretty tough despite the moderate weight. I did my best to avoid using my biceps and tried to focus on what my lats were doing. I think I did a pretty good job of holding my form and not letting myself pushing the bar away from me on the pulldowns.

Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 4/4
Explosiveness: 4/4
Discipline: 4/4

Wave 1. Week 3. Explosive Deadlift

3x5 @ 135
2x3 @ 225
3 @ 275 (Add Spud belt)
2x3 @ 315
8x1 @ 335 (10-15 seconds rest per set)

5" Block Pull:
5 @ 135
5 @ 225
4x5 @ 275
10 @ 275

Suitcase Deadlift (w/ Straps):
3x10/10 @ 135

Standing Cable High Row (Wide Grip):
10 @ “155”
5x10 @ “200”

Band Seated Hamstring Curl:
30, 25, 20 @ 1 Avg.

I’m very happy with how this went. My pulls were all fast and easy. I don’t usually do speed pulls with that much weight, but it went well today.

I think my form held up pretty well through the 8 fast sets. Around the 6th I let the bar float away from me, but I fixed it on the subsequent sets.

Block pulls were easy. I should probably do more reps with those. 5x10 or something like that.

I forgot about suitcase deadlifts until I was reading StormTheBeach’s log. I used to love them, and I think I will make them a regular movement in my programming.

Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 1/4 (Such a small amount of food before the gym)
Explosiveness: 4/4
Discipline: 4/4

Yesterday: Wave 1. Week 3. Body Day

Seated Military Press:
8 @ 95
2x5 @ 135
2x5 @ 155
3x3 @ 185 (Wrist Wraps)

Band Assisted Pull-Ups (Wide Pronated):
2x10 @ BW-1 mini
2x7 @ BW-1 mini (My lats are so fucking weak)

Smith Machine Ladder Push-Ups:
2x15,15,15 (1st hook, 2nd hook, 3rd hook)
1x10,10,10 (Same)

Barbell Curls:
15 @ Bar
3x8 @ 95 (Wrist Wraps)
15 @ Bar

3 x 1:00 Middle, :30/:30 Sides

I’m happy with this workout other than the pull-ups. I’m trying to get my form down, but I keep floating away from the bar at the top because I can’t pull my elbows back. I’m working on it though.

Military press went well. I haven’t done seated in at least a year.

I’m definitely going to keep the ladder push-ups in the program. Those were hard as hell and hit my chest like nothing I’ve ever done before. If you don’t understand the exercise: It’s basically a mechanical advantage set. You start at the lowest position on the smith machine and do push-ups on the bar. I did 15s, so 15 at the lowest, move the bar up one j-hook and do 15 more, then move it up again and do 15 more. That’s one set, no rest in between them each 15 (or however many reps you choose).

That’s it. Wave 1 is done. The program is pretty easy thus far when it comes to feeling recovered and ready for each workout. I don’t feel like I need to deload. Tuesday starts wave 2 with heavy squats.

Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 3/4 (Quality could be better)
Explosiveness: 4/4
Discipline: 4/4

Wave 2. Week 1. Heavy Squat

2x5 @ 135
5 @ 225
5 @ 275 (Add Spud belt)
3 @ 315
2 @ 365
3x2 @ 405

Front Squat:
5x5 @ 225

Good Mornings:
5x5 @ 225

Cable Ab Pulldown:
3x15 @ “125”


This was a simple workout, but it did the job. I was kind of disappointed that the 405 work sets weren’t easier than they were. I slowed down to almost to a halt at my sticking point on most of those 6 reps. I was hoping to maybe hit 2 at 405, 425, 455 instead, but decided against it.

I haven’t done front squats in a long time, and my shoulders could tell. The bar was grinding into one of the bones and then it hurt getting into position for GMs. I’m not sure I get anything out of front squats, but I’ll keep testing positions to see if they are worth it.

I need to do more good mornings. They felt fine, but I just think they’ll help me if I can get more volume and weight on them.

Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 4/4
Explosiveness: 3/4
Discipline: 4/4

Yesterday - Wave 2. Week 1. Explosive Bench

Bar (More than usual. I haven’t done full range in a while because of the pecs)
2x3 @ 95
2x3 @ 135
3 @ 185
3 @ 225
6x3 @ 245 (No pain!)

Smith Machine Ladder Push-Ups:
3x15,15,15 (PR. 135 reps. Barely finished this)

Yate’s Rows (45-Degree Underhand BB Row. Wrist straps):
12 @ 135
2x8 @ 225
3x12 @ 225

Cable Abs Pulldown:
3x15 @ “110”

Band Facepull:
3x15 @ 2 Minis

I’m so happy my pecs felt fine during this workout. Most of the reps moved really fast but I was still tentative about it, so they could have been faster.

Ladder push-ups were tough as hell again, but I like them a lot.

I’ve never done Yate’s rows before today, but god damn did they destroy my lower traps and/or thoracic extensors. I was able to pull with my lats too, so that’s good. Will definitely stay in the program.

Next up is repetition deadlift for 6x425. I’m actually kinda worried about not hitting that. I’ve gotten 10x420 but that was touch and go and my back was completely fine back then. We’ll see.

Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 4/4
Explosiveness: 4/4
Discipline: 4/4

Yesterday. Wave 2. Week 1. Rep Deadlift

3x6 @ 135
2x6 @ 225
6 @ 275
6 @ 315 (Add Spud belt)
6 @ 365
6 @ 405
6 @ 425 (Ugly. First 3 were fast though)

Snatch Grip Rack Pulls (Few inches below knees)(Straps):
20 @ 135
2x20 @ 225 (Lower back = so pumped. Ouch)

Leg Press:
10 @ 2pps
8 @ 3pps
8 @ 4pps
3x8 @ 5pps

Band Wood Choppers:
3x10/10 @ 1 Light Band

Today. Wave 2. Week 1. Body Day

Pin Military Press (Standing. Pins around chin level):
5 @ 95
2 or 3x5 @ 135
5 @ 155 (Add wraps)
3 @ 185
2 @ 205
2x3 @ 185

Barbell Glute Bridge:
10 @ 135
5x10 @ 225

Band Facepull (Superset with Glute Bridge):
4x15 @ 1 Light Band

JM Press:
5x10 @ 135

Band Curls (Superset with JM):
5x20 @ 1 Mini per hand

Russian Twists on Incline Sit-Up Bench:
3x16 @ BW+25

These were a couple of good workouts. Deadlift was good up until the last set, when I rounded over pretty badly. No pain at all, just shit form. Still working on lat strength and stuff anyway. I realized lately that I can’t fire my glutes too well, so I’m going to include more glute bridges in the program. Also, I’ve found that ab work that includes rotation and the obliques (side bends, Russian Twists, wood choppers) makes my back feel better almost immediately.

As a reminder: Use more glute bridges, Yate’s rows, ladder push-ups, and rotational ab work.

Also, Jesus fucknuts high rep snatch grip rack pulls suck.

Wave 2. Week 2. Explosive Squat

2x5 @ 135
3 @ 225
2 @ 275
6x2 @ 315

Paused Squat (5-count):
8x3 @ 225

Band Seated Hamstring Curl:
3x15 @ 2 Light Bands

DB Side Bends (Superset with Ham Curls):
3x20/20 @ 60

BB Good Morning (Varied Stances):
5x10 @ 135

This went well. I decided to go belt-less today after reading a Lift-Run-Bang post about it. I’ll at least keep doing it for my speed days, but not my heavy ones probably. I think the one day will help strengthen my back and make me figure out how to stay tight by myself.

The squats went well, but they were not the fastest I’ve done. My hips being much tighter than usual, along with no belt, slowed me down considerably.

Paused squats felt really good though. They helped my hips feel better and I was able to stay tight on every rep. I’ll move up on weight next time.

Motivation: 3/4
Nutrition: 2/4 (Need more food)
Explosiveness: 2/4 (Hard to tell though)
Discipline: 3/4

Wave 2. Week 2. Rep Bench

Floor Press:
10, 6 @ 135
2x6 @ 225
2x6 @ 275
6 @ 315 (20 lb PR. Wraps. Had to bridge up on the last two reps to lock it out)

Close Grip Bench (Slow 3-count eccentric):
5 @ 135
5x5 @ 225

Yate’s Row (Underhand. Straps):
12 @ 135
12 @ 225
3x8 @ 275

Cable Triceps Pushdown (2 separate handles):
4x15 @ “60”

Hanging Leg Raise:

I used floor press today because I want to make sure my pecs are completely fine before I go back to heavy full range bench. I’ll probably complete this whole cycle using floor press for my rep and heavy days.

I moved the weights well, I just wish I didn’t have to do a glute bridge to finish the last two reps. I don’t even know if it helped me finish them honestly. Also, I had no idea I was going for a PR when I did this. I’m taking the lift despite the bridging, especially since I had also just done 2 sets at 93% of my 6rm right before.

Slow eccentrics on the close grip were real tough. I could barely lock it out at the end of each set. I’ll keep these in the rotation I think.

Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 2/4 (Not enough at breakfast. Chinese for lunch. Good dinner. Not enough food overall though)
Explosiveness: 4/4
Discipline: 4/4