T Nation

TCam's Log - The Road to Elite

Before gym: About 2.5 hours of yard work. Carrying shit and mowing.

Wave 2. Week 2. Heavy Deadlift

Reverse Band Deadlift (2 Avg. hung from pins around shoulder level):
Bar
10 @ 135
5 @ 225
5 @ 225 (Add bands)
5 @ 275
5 @ 315
5 @ 365 (Add Spud belt)
3 @ 405
2 @ 455
2 @ 495
2 @ 515
2 @ 545

Good Mornings to Pins:
Bar
5 @ 135
5 @ 225
5x5 @ 275

Lat Pulldown:
5x10 @ “135”

Cable Pull-Through (Superset with Lat PD):
5x10 @ “170”

Plank w/ Shoulder Touch (From recent Ben Bruno ab article):
3x10/10

Band Ab Pulldown:
3x15 @ 2 Avg.


This went really well. Deadlift was pretty tough, but I’m happy with the top set. The bands lost almost all of their tension just above my knees.

I very happy with my good mornings too. When I say, “to pins”, I mean that I unracked it like a squat and went down to pins, paused, and came up. I used a pretty slow eccentric, mainly for control, but I think it will help a lot to do it that way so I can focus on arching my back hard. I really want to get these a lot stronger. I think if they do, my lower back will be less injury prone and my deadlift/squat will go up.


Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 3/4 (Moar)
Explosiveness: 3/4
Discipline: 4/4

Yesterday - Wave 2. Week 2. Body Day

Military Press:
Bar
8 @ 95
5 @ 135
3 @ 155 (Add wrist wraps)
3x3 @ 185

Smith Machine Ladder Push-Ups:
2x15,15,15

Band Pull-Apart (Overhand):
3x30 @ 1 mini

Lying DB TYI:
3x8,8,8 @ 20s
20 @ 20s rev fly

Lying Band Lat Pulldown (Attach bands high, lie on incline bench facing away from attachment):
2x12 @ 1 Light per hand
3x12 @ 1 Avg. per hand


This was a decent work out. I don’t have much to say now that it’s a day later, but I do know I need to set up my body days better. I keep going in without a plan. I keep floating toward heavy military press, I need more volume.

Wave 2. Week 3. Rep Squat

Squat:
Bar
2x6 @ 135
6 @ 225
6 @ 275 (Add Single Prong)
6 @ 315
6 @ 345
6 @ 385

Reverse Band Squat (2 Avg. 50-70 Off the Bottom):
3 @ 315
3 @ 365
3 @ 405
3 @ 455
3 @ 495
3 @ 515 (PR. Previous was 525x1, so this was big)

Lat Pulldown (Separate handles):
2x8 @ “150”
8 @ “165”
2x8 @ “150”

Band Ab Pulldown:
5x15 @ 2 Avg.


I wasn’t really planning on going so heavy on the reverse band squats, since they were kind of supposed to be my supplemental lift. But I’m very happy with how I did on those, especially considering I had also just done the 6x385 which was the top set prescribed and that one wasn’t very easy.

This was another case of me not realizing that I was going for a really big PR, like on my last bench day. My all time reverse band squat was 545, but that was to a box. It was also the most I’ve ever walked out. I’d be really happy if I could get past that on regular rev band squats finally. 3x515 wasn’t even that terrible today, my form broke down in the middle of the last rep because my upper back rounded, but I’m not worried about that.

I kept the rest of the workout short because I had already spent an hour on the other two things. I do like the separate handle lat pulldowns a lot more than the bar version.


Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 4/4 (Shitload of food)
Explosiveness: 4/4
Discipline: 4/4

Wave 2. Week 3. Heavy Bench

Floor Press:
Bar
10 @ 135
5 @ 135
2x5 @ 225
2x3 @ 275 (Add wraps)
2 @ 315
3x2 @ 335 (Paused)

Pendlay Row:
2x10 @ 135
5x8 @ 225 (Tried to stay strict. Some body English each set near the end though)

Bench 1.5s (One rep, one half rep, repeat):
Close Grip: 2x10 @ 135
Very Wide Grip: 2x10 @ 135

Russian Twist on Incline Sit-Up Bench:
3x20 @ BW+25


Keeping this short because sleep.

Work sets on floor press were easy honestly. Even with the pauses. Fast from the bottom. Some pain in the left pec on the first set, but got tighter on the remaining sets and didn’t feel any pain.

Pendlay rows were rough. I feel like bent over row variations are really hitting my thoracic extensors and low traps instead of just my lats. Probably not a bad thing.

I’ve never done 1.5s before today, and they were pretty hard. 10 reps is basically 20 reps off the chest, so I did 80 total reps from the chest to midway and 40 total with lockout. Felt like I got some blood flow going though.


Motivation: 3/4 (Pressing isn’t getting me as excited as it used to. Squat and deadlift are more enjoyable at the moment)
Nutrition: 4/4
Explosivess: 4/4
Discipline: 3/4 (Could have done another exercise probably)

Yesterday - Wave 2. Week 3. Explosive Deadlift

Deadlift:
Bar
2x5 @ 135
2x5 @ 225
2x3 @ 275
3 @ 315
6x2 @ 345 (Spud Belt)

2" Deficit Deadlift:
5x10 @ 225

Band Ab Pulldown:
3x20 @ 2 Avg.

Hyper-GHR (Leg pads swivel, I try to emulate a GHR with it):
3x20


This went really well. I was able to get the weight off the floor really fast on almost all of the sets. The 5x10 deficit deadlifts were really tough near the end. Definitely got to my glutes and lower back.


Today. Wave 2. Week 3. Body Day

Military Press:
Bar
2x10 @ 95
3x10 @ 135

Meadows Row:
10/10 @ 50+Bar
2x10/10 @ 100+Bar (Add straps on second set)
3x10/10 @ 125+Bar
10/10 @ 75+Bar

Ladder Push-Ups (Floor>1st Rung>2nd Rung):
2x15/15/15
1x12/12/12

Pull-Ups (Pronated, Strict):
5x5 (Starting from scratch with these)

Lying Band Lat Pulldown:
4x15 @ 2 Avg.

Dips:
5x10


This was the first body day that I felt like I did right. The military press wasn’t the best, but I didn’t want to go heavy. The sets were difficult enough from the 7th to 10th reps each set. I’ll work on getting the volume up though, since I couldn’t have done a 4th set of 10 today.

  • I did the Meadows rows with a free barbell instead of on the T-bar row. I like it more since it’s not a fixed plane of motion. The only issue was grip. The T-bar can’t roll in my hand, but the free bars have rotating sleeves, which is why I used the straps.
  • I progressed on the ladder push-ups. Next up would be feet elevated > floor > 1st rung. Need to get 15s easily on this progression first though.
  • As I already said, I’m starting over with pull-ups with 5x5’s. I want each rep to be perfect and not allow myself to float away from the bar.
  • I haven’t done dips in a long time. Felt good as a volume finisher.

Both Days:
Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 3/4 (should have eaten more)
Discipline: 4/4
Explosiveness: 4/4

Nice log; glad I found it. I’m interested in giving the cube a run a little later this year.

csulli: Thanks, man. The Cube has treated me well so far except for yesterday. I do miss things like banded squats and box squats, but I like the simplicity and lack of a deload. Give it a go.

Yesterday. Wave 3. Week 1. Heavy Squat

I barely want to write about this workout. I started squatting and my knees were achy. Warmed up pretty well because of it, but I just felt weak.
I worked up to 455, which was the scheduled top set, but it was fucking terribly difficult and slow. It wasn’t form or losing tightness, I was just weak as shit yesterday.

Tried paused squats, but my ribs on the left side hurt a lot for some reason. I don’t know if it’s because of the belt I used last week, but it felt like they were bruised. This has happened before with stiff belts.

Anyway I just did a few banded ab things to feel around my ribs and left. I rarely just give up on a workout, but I don’t regret it. I pretty much woke up pissed off yesterday for some reason and I think it effected the workout. But I slept harder and longer than I have in several weeks last night and felt much better this morning.

Wave 3. Week 1. Explosive Bench

Speed Bench:
Bar
3x3 @ 135
2x3 @ 225
3 @ 245
2x2 @ 265
3x2 @ 275 (Easy. Fast. No pain)

Band Curl (1 set each time weight increased on bench):
4 or 5x10 @ 1 light band

Close Grip Floor Press:
Bar
10 @ 135
10 @ 225
3x5 @ 275 (Wraps)
10 @ 225

Pull-Ups (Pronated, Strict)(Superset with Floor Press):
6x5

Lying Band Triceps Extension:
25, 20, 15 @ 1 band per hand

Cable Facepull:
3x25 @ 95


This was just about the polar opposite of my last workout. Everything felt great. Speed bench was really easy, even the heavier sets. I was scheduled to do a 5x2 @ 265, but adding 10 lbs didn’t slow me down. As noted, I didn’t feel any pain in either pec. I’m still going to focus on floor press though for rep and heavy days. I think it actually has helped my full ROM bench anyway.

I’m really happy about the pull-ups too. They were very easy and my form held up perfectly. I will keep doing fives and add a set when I can. I won’t add weight until I can do a 10x5 with perfect form. I may just try for a 10x10 eventually instead of adding weight to fives.


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

Yesterday. Wave 3. Week 1. Rep Deadlift

Deadlift:
Bar
3x5 @ 135
2x5 @ 225
3 @ 275 (Add Spud Belt)
3 @ 315
3 @ 365
2 @ 405
2x2 @ 455

RDL (Straps. Loose Belt):
3x20 @ 225 (2 sets, then squats below, then last set)

Olympic Squat:
Bar
5 @ 95
50 @ 135 (PR. Fuck)

Cable Ab Pulldown:
3x20 @ “200”


This workout was completely brutal and terrible. The deadlifts didn’t go all that well on the 2 top sets, all of the warm-up sets were great. I just need to get better at holding my form, because the weight moved pretty fast.

The RDLs and Olympic squats were the worst things ever. I’ve never done that much volume on RDLs nor a 50 rep squat set. I literally racked the bar after the squats and just laid down under the bar. I couldn’t do the last set of RDLs for about 10 minutes, which was terrible.

That’s the closest I’ve ever come to puking in the gym. I made it though.


Today. Wave 3. Week 1. Body Day

Military Press:
Bar
10 @ 95
5x8 @ 135

Pull-Ups (Wide, Pronated):
7x5 @ BW

Meadow’s Row (Straps):
8/8 @ 75+Bar
8/8 @ 100+Bar
5x10/10 @ 125+Bar (PR)

Standing Band Triceps Extension:
3x33 @ 0.5 Mini Per Hand

DB Curls:
3x10 @ 45s

Banded Sit-ups on Bench:
3x10 @ Light Band


This was a much less horrible workout than the previous. The Meadow’s rows were the hardest part.

I’m happy with my pull-ups though. I added another good-form set.

Welp, I’m tired of typing.

Wave 3. Week 2. Explosive Squat

Speed Squat (No belt):
Bar
10, 2x5 @ 135
2x3 @ 225
2x3 @ 275
2 @ 315
5x2 @ 335

Pin Squats (#8. At or right below parallel. Still no belt):
2x5 @ 225
3 @ 275
2x3 @ 315 (Form broke down a lot on the 2nd set)

Cable Lat Pulldown (2 handles):
10 @ “135”
10 @ “150”
3x8 @ “150”

Bulgarian Split Squat:
10/10 @ BW
3x10/10 @ BW+50 (One DB held with hand opposite of working leg)


I thought I was going to still be too sore/achy from Saturday to do this workout, but it went really well. The squats were fast and solid despite not having a belt. Obviously would have been fast had I had one on, but I’m trying to use it less often.

Pin squats were very tough at 315. It seems these and pin good mornings break down hard at 315. I bet if I get these up, my squat will go up.


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

Wave 3. Week 2. Rep Bench

Floor Press (Paused):
Bar
10 @ 135
2x5 @ 225
3 @ 275
2 @ 315
2 @ 335 (Add wraps)
2 @ 355 (Bridged on 2nd rep. Short pause PR. Touch-and-go PR is 365x3 though)
12 @ 275 (PR. No pause)

HS Iso-Row:
15 @ 1 pps
10 @ 2 pps
10 @ 3 pps
5x8 @ 4pps (PR I think. No moar room for plates. Too hyooge)

Dips:
5x10 @ BW

Band Pull-Aparts:
50 @ ~1/2 Mini
25, 25 @ ~2/3 Mini


I kept touching too high on the warm up sets for floor press, but I grooved fine on the top set. I do need to fix the bridging that I do when I hit a sticking point. I use leg drive to save me on flat bench, so I’m sure that’s why I do it when I have to push through. I actually thought I was doing 345 when I did the top set because my head meat didn’t count properly. I got up all pissed off that I barely got it, but then counted again. Oops.

I’m most happy about the 275x12 though, since that matches my flat bench PR at the same weight.

I kept this pretty simple after the floor press obviously. But I still got some quality work done. I’m surprised at how easy the iso-rows were. I haven’t done them in a while, so I guess I’ve done something good for my back recently.


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

Wave 3. Week 2. Heavy Deadlift

Deadlift:
Bar
2x5 @ 135 (Add ~2" deficit)
5 @ 225
3 @ 275 (Add Spud belt)
3 @ 315
3 @ 365 (From floor. No more deficit)
1 @ 405
1 @ 455
1 @ 495
1 @ 515
No rest
21 @ 315 (PR. Touch-and-Go. Previous was 20 but with straps)

Front Squat:
Bar
5 @ 135
3 @ 225 (Add belt)
3 @ 275
0 @ 315 (I got into the hole and didn’t move. My back was just done. Dumped it)

Cable Ab Pulldown:
3x20 @ “125”

Seated Band Hamstring Curl:
3x25 @ 1 Avg.


I’m very happy with my pulling. My form actually seemed to hold up alright at the higher weights. I’m sure there was some rounding over and hips shooting up first, but the weights moved fast enough. 515 was obviously easy enough for me to drop immediately to 315 and get a rep PR.

I thought about stopping at 10, 12, and 15 during that set. Especially since the knurling is like razor blades on the bar. It felt like my palms were being torn off from around the 12th rep onward. Turns out they were completely fine.

Front squats were embarrassing. I didn’t feel great with 275, but figured I could get a triple with 315. Nope. I actually just sat in the hole for a second and it felt good to force the stretch, but that bar was just not going to move. I’m thinking both my back and glutes were unwilling to try. But I figured out how to hold the bar on my shoulders to make it not sit right on my clavicles. I’ll definitely work on these.


Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 3/4 (Need to eat more)
Discipline: 4/4
Explosiveness: 4/4

Wave 3. Week 2. Body Day

Military Press:
Bar
10 @ 95
8 @ 135
5 @ 155 (Add wrist wraps)
3 @ 185 (Add belt)
2 @ 205 (PR)
1 @ 215 (5 lb. PR)
1 @ 225 (15 lb. PR)
3x10 @ 135

Pull-Ups (Pronated, Strict):
5x5 @ BW

Lying Band Triceps Extension (Superset with Pull-Ups):
3x20 @ 1 mini per hand

Cable Voyer Shrugs:
3x20 @ “155” per hand

DB Hammer Curls:
10 @ 40s
4x10 @ 40s + FatGripz

Band Pull-Aparts (Superset with Curls):
5x20 @ ~3/4 Mini Band


I wasn’t expecting to get a military press PR at any point without actually trying to program it correctly, but apparently high volume once per week works for me for MP. I’m really happy with the PR obviously, it’s a milestone of 2 plates and bodyweight. I haven’t gotten a full plate milestone on any lift in a long time.

The rest of the workout went pretty well too. I was floating from the pull-up bar again because they weren’t that easy. All of my back is sore today, so that’s probably the culprit on that one.

FatGripz and curls are hard as hell, but I think I’ll keep doing them.


Motivation: 4/4
Nutrition: 3/4 (More food needed still)
Explosiveness: 4/4
Discipline: 4/4

Yesterday. Wave 3. Week 3. Rep Squat

Squat:
Bar
2x5 @ 135
2x5 @ 225
3 @ 275
3 @ 315
3 @ 365 (Add Spud belt)
2 @ 405 (Prescribed top set)
2 @ 425

Front Squat:
5 @ 135
5x3 @ 225 (Belt)

Goblet Squat:
5x10 @ 110

Plank:
3x1:00min


This was pretty simple. Three squat variations still got me pretty good considering I’m terrible at front squats and haven’t done goblet squats in a very long time. The size of the DB and my elbows made the goblet squats wide stance as well, which used to be no problem when I was a sumo deadlifter, but I’ve since become a conventional puller and brought my squat stance in, so these killed my adductors and hips. Not a bad thing though…

Main squats went pretty well. I was thinking about going up to 455x2 but decided against it because it would have been closer to max effort than rep effort.


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

Wave 3. Week 3. Heavy Bench

Floor Press:
Bar
2x5 @ 135
2x5 @ 225
3 @ 275
3 @ 315 (Add wraps)
1 @ 345
1 @ 365
1 @ 385 (10 lb. PR!)
<30 seconds Rest
20 @ 225 (PR! 3 reps over my flat bench PR)

Cable Low Row (Separate handles):
10 @ “180”
10 @ “195”
10 @ “210”
10 @ “225”
10 @ “210”

DB Hammer Curls + FatGripz:
4x10 @ 45s

Band Facepulls:
15 @ 2 minis
3x15 @ 1 light


Super happy about my PRs on floor press! I just felt really strong and explosive today. My right pec was sore in between sets when I was in the heavier sets, but I was completely fine during the actual lifts. I think I’m going to start doing some reverse band full ROM benching to get the full ROM back in but also keep some of the weight off the bottom range. Hopefully they pecs will be completely fine within the next few waves and I’ll get stronger from all this floor pressing.

Probably could have gotten a couple more ugly reps at 225, but the other 20 were really clean, save the last 2 or so.


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

Yesterday. Wave 3. Week 3. Explosive Deadlift

Speed Deadlift:
Bar
2x5 @ 135
2x5 @ 225
3 @ 275
3 @ 315 (Add Spud belt)
2 @ 365
5x2 @ 375

Power Snatch:
10x2 @ 135

Hyperextension:
20 @ BW
3x12 @ BW+110

Hanging Bicycle Kicks:
3x20


Motivation was around zero. I didn’t feel explosive at all, but the weight wasn’t necessarily heavy feeling. My form is getting better though, so I think that helped that. I did snatch for no reason really. I just felt like doing something explosively and to keep it light. My form was decent I think.


Today. Wave 3. Week 3. Body Day

Split Jerk:
Bar
5 @ 95
2x5 @ 135 (Add wrist wraps)
2x3 @ 185
3 @ 225

Incline Bench + FatGripz:
Bar
3x10 @ 135

Pull-Ups (Pronated. Strict):
6x5

Band Triceps Extension:
4x30 @ 1/2 mini per hand

Standing Cable Curl (Weight stack to the rear, 1 handle per hand):
5x10 @ “60”/hand


Again, motivation was around zero. Split jerk was a spur of the moment decision. My left wrist was bothering me during those, probably from the snatches yesterday.

Pull-ups were okay. My reps are varying a good bit. I’m trying to keep them strict though.

This concludes a cycle of the Cube method. I don’t think I’m going to do a mock meet or anything like that. Come Tuesday, if I feel shitty, I may just take a week to kind of deload. I really just need to get my motivation back up. I didn’t get any amount of enjoyment being at the gym for the past two days. I’m probably going to work on writing a new program over the next few days that will keep the Cube’s setup but I’ll be adding box squats and other things back into my repertoire.

Nice log, keep up the good work. I just started Cube as well so looking forward to the results.

FFMatt: Thanks man. I’m not going to test my lifts this go around. I’m working on planning out the next cycle though and it will be significantly more difficult than this past one, so hopefully there will be some nice results. Keeping the basic Cube ideas though.

Yesterday. Deload

Box Squat:
Bar
2x5 @ 135
2x5 @ 225
2x3 @ 275 (Add Spud belt)
3 @ 315
2 @ 365
5x1 @ 405

Lat Pulldown (Wide Grip):
5x10 @ “150”

DB Side Bends:
2x20/20 @ 60

Band Good Morning:
3x10 @ 2 Avg.


Worked my desk job from 8:30 to 7 right before this and my hips and back were not happy with me. I got done what I wanted to (moderately heavy singles) and got out. I’m not going to survive this job and lifting without doing mobility work at least 3 times a week. That’s one of my main goals starting now.

I’m working the same shift before lifting again tomorrow, so I don’t think I’ll feel like being in the gym, but I’ll be benching. Not sure what I want to do yet, I’ll still be deloading regardless.

Deload. Upper

Bench:
Bar
2x5 @ 135
3x5 @ 225
5x3 @ 275 (Close Grip. Wrist Wraps)

~3" Deficit Push-Ups:
5x15

DB Hammer Curls w/ FatGripz (Superset with Push-Ups):
5x10 @ 45s

Cable Facepull:
15 @ “100” (Attached at chest level)
15 @ “100” (Hip level)
3x15 @ “100” (Ground level)


This went better than the last time after my long day at work. Bench was relatively easy, my shoulders just weren’t used to the bottom range because I’ve been doing floor press so much. But close grip felt better than anything wider, so that’s why I did that. No pec pain at any point though.

Push-ups, curls, and facepulls were easy as well. The facepulls were probably closer to upright rows when I had the attachment at ground level. They hit my delts and traps pretty hard I think.

Did some mobility work later, but I need to get a set of stretches/exercises to do so I’m not just winging it. Thinking about picking up K-Star’s book, but it’s 40 bucks.


Motivation: 2/4
Nutrition: 4/4
Explosiveness: 3/4
Discipline: 3/4

Deload (Not really). Deadlift

Deadlift:
Bar
2x5 @ 135
2x5 @ 225
3 @ 275
3 @ 315 (Add belt)
3 @ 365
3 @ 405
1 @ 455
1 @ 495
0 @ 545 (Not even close)

Suitcase Deadlift:
1x5/5 @ 135 (Belt)
1x5/5 @ 185
3x3/3 @ 225

Superset:
A1 | Leg Press:
10 @ 2pps
10 @ 4pps
10 @ 6pps
10 @ 7pps
10 @ 8pps

A2 | Banded Hamstring Curl:
5x20 @ 1 Avg

Barbell Rollout:
3x10 @ 95


When I failed the 545, I immediately realized I need to be getting the training done instead of testing my 1RM. It’s pretty much what people like Jim Wendler and Brandon Lilly have been espousing. So I’m going to do that.

I’ve pretty much set up the next cycle and it will be like today. One main lift, a supplement, a superset of two accessories, and an ab movement.
Main movement on heavy days will be triples on wave 1, doubles wave 2, and singles wave 3. Number of sets will depend on how I feel. Autoregulation and all that.
I’ll be following 5/3/1 on my rep days. 5+ wave 1, 3+ wave 2, 1+ wave 3.

We’ll see what happens. It’s an interesting mix of ideas. If I can stay healthy and do my mobility work, I think it will work for me.


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