T Nation

Thinking of a cool log title...


#1

This program from Dan John has really sparked my interest, so I'm going to give it a go for the next twelve weeks (3x cycles) and see how it goes.

http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/the_one_lift_a_day_program

Quick recap. 39yo male, 5'9", 194lb, started weight training 14 weeks ago (very much a noob) and loving it.

The lifts I've chosen and my 12-week goals (in terms of 5-rep training weights) are:

Squat 60kg to 75kg
Bench 50kg to 60kg
BOR 55kg to 65kg
OHP 27.5kg to 35kg
DL 70kg to 90kg

Week three gives me the opportunity to test a new 2RM for each lift so it'll be interesting to track those too.


#2

13/4/15: Week 1, Day 1

Squat

5x 52.5kg
5x 55kg
5x 57.5kg
5x 60kg
5x 55kg
5x 57.5kg
5x 60kg

First impressions of this program are good. It was helpful for me as an inexperienced lifter to be able to focus entirely on one lift only. I could really concentrate on keeping my form tight and wasn’t worried about leaving something in the tank for the next exercise(s). So far so good.


#3

Pretty cool to see someone taking this up. I have never actually run it myself, but I love Dan John’s philosophy and think it’s a fine idea. I am actually contemplating this myself with KB training plus some axle work later this summer (once I save for and buy my axle and plates).

I’ll be following to see how you like it.


#4

I am interested in this as well. I have done GVT and it looks pretty similar.


#5

Thanks for checking in AG. It’s bench tonight, so I’ll update on that later.

The one lift a day thing suits where I’m at with lifting as it gives me the opportunity to really focus on putting a good solid effort into just that day’s lift. We’ll see how it goes!


#6

14/04/15: Week 1, Day 2

Bench

5x 42.5kg
5x 45kg
5x 47.5kg
5x 50kg
5x 45kg
5x 47.5kg
5x 50kg

Thought I’d started out too light with this, but turns out it was plenty by the end of the workout. Having been used to mostly doing 5x5, the extra couple of sets is a good push. I find that the wave pattern Dan John describes in the program really works. Set 4 begins to feel heavy then you get a bit of a breather at set 5 before working your way back up to your max weight again in set 7. Only day two, but all seems good so far.


#7

[quote]OldOgre wrote:
I am interested in this as well. I have done GVT and it looks pretty similar.[/quote]

Hey Ogre, glad to have you on board. To be honest, it was following your experience of GVT on your log that started me looking for something similar. I liked the idea of a short, focused workout that could get the job done without spending hours and hours doing a million different exercises.


#8

15/04/15: Week 1, Day 3

Bent over row

5x 47.5kg
5x 50kg
5x 52.5kg
5x 55kg
5x 50kg
5x 52.5kg
5x 55kg

All good.


#9

Welcome! Ah, the beginner gains are so sweet. Interesting programming.


#10

16/04/15: Week 1, Day 4

OHP

5x 22.5kg
5x 25kg
5x 27.5kg
5x 30kg
5x 25kg
5x 27.5kg
5x 30kg

This is one lift I’ve been wary of after hurting my left shoulder a while back doing OHP during Stronglifts 5x5. Turned out ok though. Set 6 was the hardest and I kind of lost power in my left shoulder (hard to describe). Set 7 with 30kg went up alright though. Could have been knowing it was my last set.


#11

This is my first post in the Over 35 forum (I’m 34 but I guess that’s close enough). I haven’t done Dan John’s one lift a day actual program but my own training for the last 2 years has centred around something quite similar. It consists of the following:
Monday: OHP and chin-ups (variations, especially sternum chins)
Wednesday: weighted dips and Zercher squats
Saturday: deadlifts and chin-ups

No other lifts, that’s it. Reps for all movements range from 1-5, high volume per movement (approx 25-30 reps per lift). No other program has given me the results (strength and physique) that this one has in my 17 years of strength training. I think a lot of the time people are afraid of stripping down their training to something this basic but as Dan John says, something magical happens when you can go into the gym and focus all your intensity on hitting one (or in my case 2) movements and that’s it.

OP: if you hit this program hard with a ton of intensity and make sure your recovery is dialled in, I GUARANTEE you will make amazing gains. I can’t wait to see your numbers on your lifts skyrocket!


#12

Thanks man. It’s really encouraging to hear something similar has worked for someone else. You’ve really fired me up to keep hitting this as hard as I can. Keep an eye on those numbers!


#13

17/04/15: Week 1, Day 5

Deadlift

5x 62.5kg
5x 65kg
5x 67.5kg
5x 70kg
5x 65kg
5x 67.5kg
5x 70kg

That’s the end of my first week on the One Lift A Day program, so here are my thoughts so far.

  1. I love the simplicity of the program. Get out to the garage, hit one lift with intensity and that’s it.

  2. Only doing one lift per workout gives me the opportunity to really focus on form and go hard without worrying about leaving enough energy for other lifts.

  3. I liked the wave pattern where you ramp up to that workouts max weight on set 4 and again on set 7.

  4. Some days it seemed a little bit easy compared to spending 45-60mins on three lifts as I had been on SL5x5. It didn’t feel too easy the following day though!

Looking forward to a couple of days recovery over the weekend and getting stuck into 6x3 on week two.


#14

20/04/15: Week 2, Day 1

Squat

3x 60kg
3x 62.5kg
3x 65kg
3x 60kg
3x 62.5kg
3x 65kg

This week has a 6x3 set/rep pattern, so just about half the reps of week 1. Went heavier as recommended in the program and worked up to a max of 65kg as opposed to 60kg last week. All seemed good.


#15

21/04/15: Week 2, Day 2

Bench

3x 47.5kg
3x 50kg
3x 52.5kg
3x 47.5kg
3x 50kg
3x 52.5kg

52.5kg is the heaviest I’ve ever gone with a bench press (hey I’m a noob!) and the last couple of reps in set 6 were tough to get up. This really is going to be a marathon and not a sprint!


#16

Glad to see you being a guinea pig for this program. Congrats on the bench PR.

About how long do the sessions take you? I’m trying to figure out something for the really hot months in south Florida and a short but heavy workout may be just the thing.


#17

Thanks. Next week is all about testing new PRs before starting the next cycle, so hopefully I’ll see some good results.

On week 1 (7x5), the workouts took around 30mins. So far this week (6x3), they’re taking about 20mins or so. If you’re used to longer sessions, it can be a bit of a shock to finish up so quickly. The upside is you’re always fresh and ready to go at the next day’s lift hard.


#18

22/04/15: Week 2, Day 3

BOR

3x 52.5kg
3x 55kg
3x 57.5kg
3x 52.5kg
3x 55kg
3x 57.5kg

Added 2.5kg on last week, so steadily making progress. Happy with that.


#19

[quote]Norn Iron wrote:

Thanks. Next week is all about testing new PRs before starting the next cycle, so hopefully I’ll see some good results.

On week 1 (7x5), the workouts took around 30mins. So far this week (6x3), they’re taking about 20mins or so. If you’re used to longer sessions, it can be a bit of a shock to finish up so quickly. The upside is you’re always fresh and ready to go at the next day’s lift hard.[/quote]

Yep, I’m sure PRs are on the way!

Thanks for the timing info. This sounds promising when it’s 95 and 99% humidity :slight_smile:


#20

23/04/15: Week 2, Day 4

OHP

3x 27.5kg
3x 30kg
3x 32.5kg
3x 27.5kg
3x 30kg
3x 32.5kg

Took a bit of time to work on my form and had some success by focusing on keeping my elbows in tight instead of allowing them to flare out. Had a lot less ‘clicking’ from my shoulders. Lifted 2.5kg more than in week 1. Happy with that.