T Nation

The Goal is to Keep the Goal, the Goal


Want to keep a log for accountability's sake.
Been training for a couple years. Compete in powerlifting, 181 weight class.
I am a full time student, working on a pre-med degree. I am happily married to a beautiful woman, and life is good. Training has been a part of my life for a long time (in comparison to my lifespan) And I look to learn and become more efficient as I find programming methods that work well for me.
Will upload videos of near max lifts throughout the upcoming week, critiquing would be appreciated.

Best lifts:
505 Squat
335 Bench
520 Deadlift

Current Maxes:
455 Squat
335 Bench
520 Deadlift

I train 5 days a week, squatting twice, benching twice, and deadlifting once.

Today went like this (scheme is weightxrepsxsets)
Flat Bench: 245x2x12
Incline Bench: 185x8x4, 135x12x4
Neutral Grip DB press SS DB pullover: 40'sx20x5
Lots of face pulls.
Press felt strong, however my left shoulder (had a rotator cuff and labrum repair a few years ago) Tightens up on a regular basis after pressing. The pain starts high in my bicep, then slowly moves to my upper trap near my neck on the left side. Ideas for stretching, rehab/prehab would be awesome.


Squats, technique and volume:

Pull Thrus:

Calf raises:

Attached is one of the 385 squats. I’ve recently switched from squatting in a heeled shoe to squatting in chucks. Any input is welcome and appreciated.


Probably did attachment wrong.
2nd try squat video:



Benching Today!

295x2x6 Forearm/Bicep acting up

Machine Row:
6x10, 4x8 paused

Seated Military Press:

I am so horrible at any overhead pressing. Slightly depressing

Standing Single Arm DB Press:
My left shoulder has strength and mobility issues. When pressing behind the head with a barbell (my preferred overhead work) my left shoulder seems to be dramatically lower than my right, but no pain or discomfort. I’ve decided to abandon the behind the neck pressing until shoulder movement improves.


Felt pretty solid. Playing with widening out my bench width. The eccentric portion is uncomfortable in my upper forearm, yet the press is quite easy. The first rep was hard because (I think) I’m very tentative in the decent due to the forearm pain, yet once I finished a rep without anything breaking, the second rep was fast and clean. Just couldn’t seem to remember that between each set, as the first rep of every double was rough.



Heard an interesting tip from a Chad Westly Smith video. He mentioned not low bar squatting the day after benching due to tightness in the pec minor. I’m dealing with enough arm/forearm/shoulder discomfort already, so I decided to go high bar today.

High Bar Squat:
Worked up to a single at 405 (wore a cheap sporting goods bodybuilding belt rather than my normal belt)
295x8x4 beltless
295x8x2 w/ flimsy belt

Leg Extensions:
8 sets, lots of reps

Reverse Lunges
30 lb dumbellsx20x3

Really enjoyed squatting for the first time in a long time. The high bar took a lot of discomfort out of the lift. Will be doing more high bar in the future.


Deadlift/back and shoulder accessory:

Sumo Block Pull (about 3 inch height):
Worked up to 585x1 HUGE PR
I am a inefficient sumo puller. I typically can lift more from the ground than from any height other than above the knees lol. Either today was a huge technique breakthrough or strength has increased a lot more than I though.
Also, pooped myself for the first time in a long time during the max pull.

Sumo Deadlift, beltless (technique work):
405x1x8, 45 sec-1 min rest

Single Arm DB press
my left shoulder is the one with pain and discomfort, yet it seems to be significantly stronger in pressing.

Cable row:
4 sets for 1 minute each

Lat pulldown:
4 sets with a 30 second hold at the bottom, followed by 20 reps

Power Snatch from the Hang:
Competitive side got the better of me. Friendly challenge with a couple buddies who primarily train in a crossfit-esqe style.


Bench Volume:
Flat Bench
Lots of volume on main lifts and food will be my primary tools to fill out my lanky frame.

Ring Dips
Some holds and messing around.

DB pullover

A bunch

Face pulls
Not enough, was worn out from volume.

Laying off the low bar squatting has already made a huge difference in how my elbow/bicep/forearm feels. Will have to re plan my lifting schedule a bit to include low bar but protect my elbow


6/20 Squat

High Bar Squats:

Low Bar squats:

Lots of mobility and soft tissue

Still feeling a bit funny with squats. Decided to skip assistance work and just move around a bit since I needed to get to work. Tried some mobilityWOD hip stretching, it seems like my hips were so active that they took a huge beating from squatting. Not as much a joint discomfort but an overworking (or at least compared to my normal form w/ tight hips) of the hip musculature.


6/22 Bench Assistance

Shoulder and bicep felt crummy, went full bro mode today to give it a break.

Machine Flies: Sets of 15 with pauses, slow eccentrics

Incline BB Bench: Paused on the chest, 3 second eccentric
135x15 abandoned pauses and control lol

Cable Flies:
4x15 ish

Decline DB Press:

DB Pullover:

Face Pulls SS with Laterals
A bunch, 15 lb dumbbells

Felt good. Definitely noticed a difference between this and normal training, mainly in the need for more food. I felt run down and shaky about 3/4 of the way through. It was nice to be out of the gym on time though, this moved a lot faster than normal days.


6/24 Deadlift

Sumo Deadlift
Worked up to 545x1 PR
Flew up. Literally feels weightless up until mid-thigh. Need to work on my set-up to help with that. However, the pull was almost effortless. Decided to cap off the maximal work with a 25 lb PR and save more for another day.

Working on setup.

Bent Over Rows:

Lat Pulldowns:
Few sets of 20

Called it there due to some nasty gastrointestinal stress.


6/25 Squatting

High Bar, Flat Shoe, thin belt:
Worked up to 365x1

Front Squat, Heeled Shoe, thin belt:
Worked up to 315x1
Removed Belt

Leg Extensions:

Cable Pullthrough

Abs, facepulls, stretching

Felt my hamstrings actually contributing to my squat when in the flat shoes. Hope the volume leads to a better base to build from when I get back to low bar squatting more frequently.


6/26 Upper Accessories

One Arm DB OHP

Close Grip Decline Bench

Ton of Laterals, Ab work

Shoulder is feeling better, however neck tightness is at an all time high. Probably a combination of a PR deadlift, lots of time in front of a computer, and a wife who is taking some of her final exams in order to earn her degree. Plenty of stresses all around.


6/29 Back/Deadlift

Got excited/carried away
worked up to 545x1
Felt amazing, like before. Instead of making a sane/reasonable jump, I went straight up to 635. Missed it as son as it passed my knees.
My deadlift form with sumo too closely resembles a wide conventional, I really need to lock in the torso and initiate by spreading the floor.

300 Pullups

Felt crummy, so did a lot of pullups and went home to study.


7/1 Bench

Paused Bench
Worked up to 315x2
Narrower grip felt crummy, also lats felt very tired. Eccentric was the hardest part.
Added Knockoff Slighshot

DB Incline
70’sx8x8 30 seconds rest

45 lbsx15x2
70 lbsx8x6
70 lbsx12

Seated Facepulls

Too many things feeling crummy during lifting. Might need to deload.


7/2 Squat
Worked up to 545x1 PR
Thought I was going to cease to exist mid-lift. Bloody nose, popped blood vessels in eyes, chest, face. Was stuck for 3 seconds in the middle.

I do these incorrectly. I wedge myself in and my knees don’t come off the pad. I feel much more glute and hamstring this way, and I get to wuss out on doing normal GHR’s since it hurts my quads.
Small Bandx5x15

High Pull
Grip somewhere in between clean and snatch

Weighted Box Jump
30 inch box
100 lbs x a few times

Probably the most excited i’ve been about a lift in a long time. Felt incredible.


7/7 Deadlift Accessory

Conventional Deadlift, Beltless
365x1x10 10 seconds rest

High Pulls


Weighted Pull Ups

DOH Barbell Holds
135x20 seconds
225x20 secondsx3
225 thumblessx20 secondsx2

Hammer Curls

Dorian Machine Row
2 setsx1 min.


7/8 squats

Front Squat, Beltless

275x2x5 5 count pause

High Bar Squat
No rest in between reps, very controlled

Heavy Bandx10x5

Jacobs Ladder
3 1 minute sprints
These are difficult. My left quad locked up and burned for 30 minutes

Also rode up a 2 mile hill on a bike, and did some team building style rock climbing and such.


7/9 Bench

No caffeine No amphetamine (prescription) led to me dragging pretty hard until benching was done.

Paused Bench

Dips SS w/ Lateral

Face pulls SS W/ rear felt laterals and tricep extensions
6 rounds

A bit bear from the volume yesterday. Gotta love it


7/11 Deadlift and Accessory

Sumo Deadlift vs. 200ish lbs of band tension, beltless

High Pull

Meadows "Stretchers"