T Nation

The Humongous 531 Log

 So I guess I'll give a little bit of background info for anybody that gives a shit:
  I was one of those guys that spent all day/ every day on t nation reading articles and forums, but was still weak, and still looked like shit. I was reading all the information, but none of it was sinking in. 
 After years of being in a perma-cut(eating like a holocaust prisoner for a couple weeks before binging like a fat kid in a chocolate factory for a couple months) I decided that it was time to just strap in a be in it for the long haul. So now I'm running the 5/2 diet just under maintenance and have lost about 10 pounds this month while improving all my lifts. I started 531 today and, along with trying plazma and mag-10 for the first time, was a very solid workout. 
 My current stats: 

Age: 22 245 lbs 22% bf
Push Press:205
Squat: 340
Deadlift: 425
Bench: 275


Day 1: push press (TM 90%=185)
Empty barx5

DB OHP: 40’s x5x10
Superset with (1 min rest between exercises)
Lat pull down: 110x5x10

Solid workout, felt kinda weird going so light, but I know it’ll be worth it in the long run. Since the weight was so light I made sure that on the assistance work I made every rep count. Controlled eccentrics, heavy MMC, etc.


PS, also did agile 8 for the first time today. If you’ve never done it you’re fuckin wrong. You never really understand how tight your legs, glutes and hips are until you get em untight. Definitely lookin forward to squats tomorrow


Had a good squat workout today. I was still sore yesterday from testing my squat Saturday, but woke up fresh and ready this morning. Didn’t get to do agile 8 this morning(my sons going through a “likes to hide people’s shit” phase and I couldn’t find my PVC pipe I use for a foam roller). So just did a few minutes on the stationary bike, lots of stretching, and lots of warm up sets. But I did do the agile 8 like three different times yesterday and will do it again today so I think I should be ok

Squat: (90% TM=300)
Work sets

I probably could have gotten a13th rep but I felt like I was on the verge of shutting my pants so I did everyone a favor and played it safe

Leg extensions: 150x5x10
Superset with (1 minute rest betwee exercises)
Hanging leg raise 5x10

Good day over all. Going to be walking a couple miles tonight and doing some sprints and loaded carries tomorrow. Anybody have any tips on how to program them?


What made you swap press for push press?


Honestly, when I read the article I took “press” as meaning any OHP. I played football and rugby and got lots of work with the push press so I chose it because it’s the OHP im most comfortable with. I got the actual 531 book today and realize that that’s not the case haha. I’m just gonna keep it in for this cycle and use the regular press as an assistance lift and then next cycle set it right


Obviously not exactly the same pose, but definitely a little progress from a month ago. 10 lbs of fat and water and putting on a little muscle makes a difference


So after a month of being at about 100 carbs/day and 2300 kcals I was feeling kinda run down for the first time after squats today so I figured I take my first carb up day since tomorrow’s a fast day. Total for the day was 250 carbs and 2600 kcals (albeit around 1000 cals and 140 carbs came from a chicken Parmesan sandwich and small Oreo blizzard from DQ) kinda shitty, I know, but I went on damage control and just ate some P+F meals the rest of the day and got plenty of ACV and caffeine to try and get the carbs going to the right places, plus I don’t thinking taking my son to get ice cream one time is gonna wreck my recomp. Anyway, I do feel much better, look and feel like my muscles are a little fuller, and hopping back on the train tomorrow with some sprints and a 5/2 fast day


What I’ve found during my recomp so far is that once you’re lowering you calories, carbs become your friend. I know lots of people find low carb works but I think in more cases than you might think higher carb/lower fat works very well.

I’ve had better results using Paul Carter’s approach below than I have limiting carbs:

Protein: 2xbodyweight in lbs
Fat: 20% daily calories
Carbs: the rest of your calories

For me at 2500 calories/day that makes out:
215 grams protein
280 grams carbs
55 grams fat

It usually ends up closer to 225/260/40, but I’ve found the magic is in limiting fat intake.

Making sure I get carbs while training seems to make a big difference in terms of mitigating any energy issues due to the calorie deficit.


Yeah I’ve been seeing that too. But I’ve always been the guy that literally cuts his carbs to next to nothing when I try to cut so right now I’m just trying to build my carbs up instead of down to see how high they can go before fat loss stops. So far 100 carbs a day(not including the 30+ g of fiber) has been keeping me satiated and since they’re mostly around my workout my workouts have been feeling good. Imma slowly bump to 125, 150 and so forth and see how I’m feeling/ getting results. Thanks for taking the time to reply


Well, weighed in at 243 today, 21% bf. Progress is slow but steady. Twelve pounds so far. Working a 12 hr ambulance shift today, then an hour drive back home. so we’ll see how my bench performance is tonight


Also, fast day went well yesterday. 400 kcal breakfast at 6am, worked a 12 hr shift, got home at 8 and just had some metabolic drive cuz I wasn’t hungry, then got a little HIIT cardio with the missus. They weren’t kidding when they said the fast days actually were beneficial to your energy levels and feeling well. Woke up feeling like a machine this morning


So today was an alright day. Weighed in at 243 lbs, 20.5% bf (woot woot). Then got fucked when my 12 hr shift turned into 14 cuz the other ambulance crew sandbagged the fuck out of us and dumped their transports on us. But whatever. Got into the gym tonight for bench and went pretty well:

Bench Press: 1RM 275(90%TM=245)
Push upx15
Empty bar x5
Work sets:

Incline DB press: 45’s x5x10
Cable Row:120x5x10

On these I literally just gripped hard enough to keep the weight from falling out of my hands and the difference was day and night. It took all the arms out of it and it was just my chest and back moving the weight.

Overall solid workout considering I’m not a late night workout kinda guy


@MarkKO any tips you can throw in on form? I know it’s kind of a shitty angle.

Also, no matter how long I wait for my mag-10 to clear the foam, there’s always a fat ass layer of it on top.

Can I say fuck this fucking foam, or will I be losing out on all kinds of GAINZZZZZ(only slightly joking)


That looks OK, but bear in mind I’m a pretty shithouse bencher.

You could probably push your chest higher/pull your scapulae down more just for shoulder stability. That’ll also make it easier to push into the bench which makes grinders come up better. It can be hard to do that on a slippery bench, so wrapping a band around around the bench where your shoulders are is a good idea. You won’t slip on that.

You might also find it helpful to position your feet to get a really firm, tight setup.


Thanks man. It’s kinda funny cuz I’ve always thought I’ve had a super heavy arch in my back when I bench. I definitely don’t lol. Does that mean that I have shitty flexibility? If so, how can I loosen my spine up without putting myself in a wheelchair?


And I actually forgot that I saw benching wasn’t your strong suit on your log. Maybe @littlesleeper can drop some knowledge since he can fucking OHP this more than I can flat bench it


I don’t think it’s a flexibility thing. That applies to your lower and middle back, and is a relatively easy fix: sit a foam roller or equivalent diameter PVC pipe on the bench and arch over it. Always keep your butt on the bench, and work on getting your shoulders onto the bench with the pipe in place. Move it up or down to stretch out different parts of your back.

With your scapulae, IMO it’s a matter of learning how to pull them back and down whole pushing your sternum up. Practice is pretty much the main thing, although pull aparts can help if you focus on pulling your scaps back and down while doing them. I do that same pull back down/sternum up for press, squat and bench so I get plenty of practice.


Lol, thanks man but honestly I’m far from a Form expert. I’m more of a grip-it-and-rip-it kind of lifter. Although, I guess one thing I do more noticeably than other I’ve lifted with is core bracing. I take a huge belly breath of air and brace myself as hard as possible, even for bench. I notice others are a bit less tight in the core, especially on bench as it isn’t as obviously useful as for squat or deads.


Feelin like shit after a 24 hr shift yesterday. Just went in and hit my deadlifts today.