TCam's Log - The Road to Elite


Week 6 - Day 3 - Deload

Incline Bench:

KB Side Bend:

Cable Skullcrusher:
13 + 5 + 3 x 125 - Myo-reps

Belt Squat:
Some light reps and a couple isometric holds

A couple of other things too.

This was very much just moving around. Low RPE on incline. Side bends were the hardest part. Knees felt pretty bad on the belt squat at the quad tendons. We’ll see how I feel going into this upcoming wave. My guess on the continued feeling bad despite deloading is primarily that negative effect of outside stressors that I spoke about in the previous post. But I do think waiting for the 6th week to deload was inappropriate for me at this time.


Week 7 - Day 1 - RE Squat / DE Deadlift

Squat w/ Belt/Oly Shoes - Squat Bar:
3x8x375 - Felt all over the place and uncomfortable

Sumo w/ Belt - Stiff Bar:
6x2x495 - Relatively short rests (~2 mins)

Cable Low Row - Narrow Semi-Supinated Grip:
8x250 - Stack
12 + 5 + 3 x 200 - Myo-Reps

Hatfield Single-Leg Deep Squat:
3x8/8xBW - Described below


Cable Ab Pulldown:

I’ve probably used a squat bar a dozen times total and I always hate it lol. Might be something to use because of that, since it seems to expose my bar placement being asymmetrical more than a normal power bar. But… work:reward balance may not really matter there. Anyway, squats were hard and it was hot in the gym, so it all felt off.

Then I deadlifted and it all felt great. Good positioning with the stiff bar and felt pretty strong, even off the floor.

For the Hatfield single-leg squats, these were basically high step ups with hand-assistance like in a Hatfield squat, but no touching down of the rear leg. Goal is full knee and hip ROM and then getting out of that without that initial pop from jumping off the rear leg, but enough assistance to balance and adjust to the strength curve. I’ll try to add weight to these, but I may just add reps first.


Week 7 - Day 2 - CTRL Bench

Double Paused Bench:

A1 | Machine Dips - Plate Loaded:

A2 | DB Biceps Curl:

Cable Fly:
20x35s - Low to high
15x50s - Low to high
10x50s - High to low

Cable Cross-Over Rear Delt Fly / Y Raise:

Conditioning - Recumbent Bike:
122 cals / 3.47 miles in 12 minutes at Level 12 at 85-90 RPM on average

Double paused bench is hard. Solidly paused about 2" from the chest after a normal paced descent, followed by a quicker pause on the chest. These, along with dips and flys, have murdered my pecs, now a few days past. Definitely overshot on this first day of the wave and I’ll need to be cautious if deciding to progress this workout.

But I’m going to repeat these workouts to progress with purpose now that I’m getting into the groove of what feels best on scheme/exercise selection in this style. I’ve updated the exercise selection a bit, starting next week. I’m moving the horizontal row on Day 1 to Day 2, for instance.

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Week 7 - Day 3 - CTRL Squat + RE Deadlift

SSB Paused Squat w/ Belt:

Conventional Deadlift w/ Stiff Bar:

Squat Press:

A1 | Seated Hamstring Curl:

A2 | Unilateral DB Deadlift:
2x12/12x65 - Normal DB deadlift stance, just with a DB on only one side, felt just as effective on glute max as any single leg or kickstand variety (that I didn’t want to do, so I thought I was just being lazy). Will continue assessing with this though

Cable Wood-Chopper:

Squats were hard, but solid. Deadlifts were very hard, and less solid. Could have done more sets at 405, but decided against over-shooting today.

That’s all for this week. Went out all day hiking and kayaking for Mother’s Day with the family instead of getting to the gym. Very sore from this workout and all of that.


Week 8 - Day 1 - DE Squat / RE Deadlift

Squat w/ Belt/Oly Shoes
8x3x385 - 60-75 sec rests from rack to unrack, done in 10:30

Conventional DL w/ Belt/Straps - Stiff Bar:

12 x 45, 90, 125

Cable Ab Pulldown:

Hatfield Single-Leg Deep Squat:

Added 20 lbs to my squats over the last couple of times I did this scheme. Didn’t quite hit 60 sec on each rest, but still being done a little over 10 mins for 8 sets at 385 is pretty good. I won’t be pushing this scheme for weight much, just for better quality reps and more ability to continue producing force throughout.

Conventional continues to be very hard, but that’s fine. The point is to work hard and it should help with sumo as a result.


Week 8 - Day 2 - ME Bench / DE Bench

Paused Bench:
4x5x225+Bands - 2 Monster Minis (+70)

Cable Low Row - Narrow Semi-Supinated Grip:

A1 | Machine Dips:

A2 | DB Curls:

B1 | High-Low Cable Fly:

B2 | Cable Cross-Over Rear Delt Fly / Y Raise:

Conditioning - Recumbent Bike:
4 min warm-up
Tabata at 20 sec sprint / 10 sec slow and resistance levels 13/11
HR at end 170, 2.29 miles at end, dead at end

Got a small cramp in my left pec before going to the gym and then in my right pec while warming up lol. So I didn’t push for anything big on bench. The 3x3x345 was easy enough. Then I added the banded bench because I didn’t get to do DE bench this past weekend.

I moved the horizontal row slot to this day from the lower body day, thinking it would save my low back a bit, but I think it’s probably better suited for where it was. Because by this point, my low back is now DOMS’d up instead of just part of the same workout after squat/deadlift.


Week 8 - Day 3 - ME Squat / RE Deadlift

Squat w/ Belt:
3x2x455 - Felt very hard, looked okay

Sumo RDL w/ Belt:
8x405 - Didn’t feel good from 225 doing normal sumo, so I tried this set and it all just felt off and irritating physically. Moving on

Squat Press:
2x15x540 - Full depth, paused

Seated Hamstring Curl:

Low back and knees are getting too much fatigue now, I think. Happy that I’m able to squat 455 with good form and not horribly slow, despite feeling like I’m getting crushed. But the recovery isn’t happening at the rate that’s necessary to sustain this new scheme or how I’m deciding to implement it.

So time to make some alterations after this week and keep moving forward.

Week 8 - Day 4 - RE Bench

Watched some of the Crossfit semi-finals and saw them do “Linda”, a deadlift + DB bench + squat clean workout and decided to do something like that for my pressing and rowing today:

A1 | Feet Up DB Bench:

A2 | DB Bent Over Row:

A3 | Seated Barbell OHP:
7x115 - Failed last rep

Lat Pulldown:
2x8+5x160 - With Angles90 + Without - Semi-Supinated Close Grip Attachment

B1 | Cable Skullcrusher:

B2 | Mid-Range Lateral Raise + Slow Eccentric:
3x15x10s - About 25-125 degrees of shoulder abduction

Mow Lawn:
1 x Front Lawn + Back Lawn x 90 minutes

This was fun. Probably not the best weight selection on the OHP or I could have done fewer reps there. But it’s all good.

For the lateral raises, I’ll probably do more of these. If you’ve read my log for a while, I had slow-concentric + slow-eccentric lateral raises when I was focused a lot on bodybuilding. Doesn’t follow the research on the concentric effort, but there’s something to a shit load of time under tension by doing that, provided you’re also training a powerful concentric via other exercise variations. Whether it’s just an ischemic condition that’s created and then release (like BFR and myo-reps tend to do) or something else, I don’t know. But the actually mind-muscle connection and pump is significantly better than other variations for middle delts, for me. Doing them in the way of only the most “tension-active” ROM with DBs definitely feels the best to me too. Load these along with cable laterals that train the lengthened ROM and I bet they start looking a lot better.

That was longer than I meant it to be. That’s this week’s Lesson From The V̷̧̳̬̝̩͕̤͔̰̥̾̀̎̕ö̶̥̭͎͉́̀̐̃̊͗̏́̓́̾͆̚ͅį̷̮̻͔͑̊̈͆̔̐d̵͓͍͒͐̎̑̂̇̏̽̈̇̆̑̅̐̄̾. Get big delts with 10 lb DBs. The delts look cool and people look at you like, “psh, I can lift more than that big guy.” Meanwhile, they’re small.

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Week 9 - Day 1 - DE Squat

SSB Paused Squat w/ Belt/Oly Shoes:

A1 | Cheat Pendlay Rows - Beltless/Straps:

A2 | Front Foot Elevated Split Squat:
3x12/12x50 - Unilateral front racked KB

Leg Extension:
2 hard sets of 1.5 reps with the bottom range loaded - Not sure of the rep count, something in the 15 range, just did it til it sucked and I did a drop set on the 2nd set

B1 | Lying Leg Curl:

B2 | Adductor Machine:

Decided to go with a normal rest period for DE squats and a harder variation instead. Felt pretty good that way.

Cheat Pendlay rows were there as both a heavy horizontal row and a deadlift supplement. I’d like to do these for 365-405 in this rep range with a belt.


Week 9 - Day 2 - RE Bench

Paused Bench - Close(r) Grip:

Close Grip Decline JM Press w/ Bands:
8x95+Dbl Monster Mini
2x8x135+Dbl Monster Mini

DB Curl Circuit - Single-Arm Preacher Curl, Standing Curl, and Hammer Curl:
6+6+6 x 25+25+40
8+8+8 x 25+25+40

A1 | Cable Fly:

A2 | Cable Standing Rear Delt Row:

Cable Crossover Y Raise:

Conditioning - Recumbent Bike:
15:30 total, 140 cal, 4.00 miles - 2 min warm-up + 3 cycles of 1 min fast at Lvl 14 / 30 seconds slow at Lvl 11, then steady at 10-11 until the 90 second cool-down

Felt good to just do some reps here. Probably need to do that with squatting too, since I love to avoid that. The decline JM press may or may not be something I do again. The bench is too declined for it to be comfortable and stable enough to focus on the movement.


Week 9 - Day 3 - RE Squat / CTRL Deadlift

Squat w/ Belt/Oly Shoes:

Paused Sumo w/ Belt - Stiff Bar:

A1 | Unilateral DB Deadlift:

A2 | Bulgarian Split Squat:

A3 | Copenhagen Adductor Plank:

Like I said in the previous entry, I need to do some reps with squats too. So I did. It’s a good thing I wanted to do that, because strength was lacking for getting good use out of anything too much heavier than 315 today. Got a back pump from it instead of quad pump lol

Moving on!


Week 9 - Day 4 - RE Bench

Smith Machine Incline Bench w/ Reverse Bands (1 Dbl Mini):

DB Decline Bench:
2x15x60s - Slow eccentric and paused

DB Lateral Raise - Slow Eccentric - Mid-Range Tension-Active ROM Only:
10x15s + 6x10s + 6x5s + 10x0 - Drop set to failure until just raising the arms

A1 | Chest-Supported Barbell Spider Curl:

A2 | Standing Barbell Curl:

Band Triceps Extension:
50 total reps on each arm with monster mini band

Also played around with some power snatching up to 95 lbs

Pretty basic day here!


Week 1A - Day 1 - DE Squat / RE Deadlift

Paused SSB Squat w/ Belt/Flats:
8x2x340 - 60 sec rests

Snatch Grip Deadlift w/ Belt/Straps:

Supported DB Split Squat:

Single-Arm DB Row:

KB Goblet Squat w/ Band TKE - Heels Elevated:
2x15x80+Dbl Monster Mini

Side-Lying QL Lift:

Alright I’ve restructured my training a bit to be smarter. Redefined the RE, DE, CTRL, and ME slots and which variations, rep ranges, and RPEs to use for them. The goal is to have an on-going program that is practically just a skeleton scheme to be followed indefinitely. It’s an 8-week cycle of 2 A/B 4-week micro cycles. Generally, the aim will be to have 16 week macro cycles where I have 2 of the 8-week cycles completed and with a vague effort towards increased intensity towards a test day or week, but only if it feels right.

I’m focused almost entirely on just feeling strong and athletic while bodybuilding, not attempting to compete in powerlifting. I’ve made my best “recent” strength gains while focused on bodybuilding, so I may even make this more like bodybuilding as I go. I’d rather have fun lifting than worry about specific numbers. Things usually go better that way for my strength anyway.


Week 1A - Day 2 - ME Bench

3 Ct Paused Bench:
4x325 @ RPE 8.5
3x5x275 - Close grip

Chest-Supported T-Bar Row:
2x15x90 - With thoracic flexion/extension

A1 | Machine Dip (Selectorized):

A2 | Cable Curl:

Seated DB Curl:

B1 | Single Arm Cable Tate Press:

B2 | Lu Raise:

Conditioning - Stationary Bike:
15 mins - 4.27 miles - 158 cal - Mixed effort at levels 11 and 14

Weight felt heavy from 135 today, but I’m happy with the top set I ended up with. Did self hand-offs for all of them too. Goal for my ME days is going to be mostly in the RPE 8-9 range for a top set and try to improve the numbers with that same effort level. RPE 10 shouldn’t be happening more than 1x/wave for upper and lower body, maybe even once per 8-week cycle. This well-performed and still hard set today will do more for me than an uncontrolled but heavier set.


Week 1A - Day 3 - ME Squat / CTRL Deadlift

Squat w/ Belt/Oly Shoes:
4x425 @ RPE 8
2x5x315 - Paused

TnG Sumo w/ Belt:
3x7x463 @ RPE 6

A1 | Unilateral DB RDL:

A2 | Bulgarian Split Squat - Paused:

Lying Leg Curl:

90/90 Weighted Crunch:

Felt okay warming up to 405, but then before my first set at 425, my quad was a little painful. I think that threw off my focus and form and made 425 harder than it should have been. I was thinking about 455+ on a 4 rep set at RPE 8, so this was way off. Knees still being iffy too, so no need to push for numbers for no reason at the moment.

Sumo felt good and controlled.