T Nation

Training Log


#1

Started this log so I could have a way of gauging my progress in my attempt to get stronger and put on some quality lbs. I had been running Eric Cressey's Maximal Strength program for about 2 months, but I was traveling a lot for work and couldn't effectively continue because of a lack of proper equipment. Put together my own program (I know, I know, kinda taboo for a beginner) but I felt it was necessary because I had to work with the facilities I had access to.

I've tweaked it a little bit since I've started, but the basis remains the same: 5x5 for compound lifts (bench, squat, deadlift, press, pull-ups) then 4x6-8 or 3x8-10 for assistance work. Recently shifted to 3x5 + 3x10 for squats, hoping to achieve a little more along the lines of hypertrophy with this approach. Running a 3 day on and 1 day off, Legs, Push, Pull routine. For conditioning, I push the prowler on lower body days and run 400m and 200m intervals on the pull days. Going to continue to try to gain weight until I hit 185lbs, then I will try to maintain that weight for a while.

16Feb2015

A. Back Squat 5x5
235
240
245
250
255

B. RDL's 4x6
185
195
205x2

C. DB Reverse Lunges 4x6/leg
70
75
80x2

D1. Back Extension 4x8
70
75x3

D2. Ab Wheel 4x12

E. Incline Sprints 10x:20 w/ :40 rest
11%, 11.5-11.8mph


#2

17Feb15
A. Bench Press 5x5
175
180x3
175

B. Chin-Up 4x6
20
22.5
25x2

C. Dips 4x6
45
47.5
50x2

D. Barbell Curls 4x8
85x4

E. Barbell Overhead Press 4x8
85x4

F. Farmer’s Walk w/ DB’s 4x60m
90
95x3


#3

20Feb15
A. Front Squat 4x6
175
185
190x2

B. Deadlift 5x5
265x2
270
275x2

C. DB Walking Lunges 4x6/leg
75x2
80x2

D. Back Extensions 4x8
75x4


#4

21Feb15
A. Bench Press 5x5
180x4
175

B. Overhead Press 5x5
100
105x3
100

C. Dips 4x6-8
50x6x4

D. Close Grip Bench Press 4x6
155x3+3
145x4+2
140
145x4+2

E. Seated DB Arnold Press 3x8
30x3

F. DB Incline Bench Press 3x8
60x6
55x8x2

G. Ab Wheel 3x12


#5

22Feb15
A. Pull-Ups 5x5
25x4
22.5

B. Seated Row 4x6
140
147.5x2
152.5

C. Chin-Ups 4x6
20x3
17.5

D. One-Arm DB Row 4x6/arm
70
65x2
70

E. Barbell Curls 3x8
85x2
80

F. Lat Pull-Downs 3x8
130x3

G. Farmer’s Walk w/ DB’s 4x60m
95
90x3


#6

24Feb15

A. Back Squat 5x5
245
250
255
260
265

B. RDL’s 4x6-8
205x8
205x8
205x8
205x8

C. DB Reverse Lunges 4x6-8
80x8/leg
80x8/leg
80x8/leg
80x8/leg

D. Front Squats 10-1, 140lbs, :30 rest
This was inspired by the “Squat the Fat Off” article from yesterday. Heinous.

E1. Back Extensions 4x8
75x4

E2. Ab Wheel 3x12, 1x5
Low back was starting to feel it, cut the last set short.

260x5 set from today:


#7

25Feb15
A. Bench Press 5x5
180
180
180
180
175

B. Overhead Press 5x5
105
105
105
105
105

C. Dips 4x6-8
50x7
50x6
50x7
50x6

D. Close Grip Bench Press 4x6-8
140x6
140x6
140x6
140x6

E. DB Arnold Press 3x8-10
30x9
30x9
30x8

F. DB Incline Bench Press 3x8-10
55x8
55x7
55x7

G. Ab Wheel 3x15


#8

26Feb15
A. Pull-Ups 5x5
25
25
25
25
25

B. Seated Row 4x6-8
152.5x6
152.5x6
152.5x6
152.5x7

C. Chin-Ups 4x6-8
20x6
20x6
20x6
20x6

D. One-Arm DB Row 4x6-8
65x8
65x8
70x6
65x8

E. Barbell Curls 3x8-10
80x10
80x9
80x8

F. Lat Pull-Downs 3x8-10
130x8
130x8
132.5x8

G. Farmer’s Walk w/ DB’s 4x60m
90
90
90
90


#9

hey man. just one comment for now.

That squat set got way too grindy for my taste. If you’re seeing the progress you want to see, disregard this, but in my opinion, that’s too heavy. You’re waiting way too long between reps. That’s almost 5 sets of 1. Your average training session probably shouldn’t look like this, particularly if hypertrophy is a priority. I would also suggest working in a variety of rep ranges on the squat. Do sets of 10, and even 20 from time to time. These are awesome for growth. And even if strength is your priority, I still find sets at higher reps to be of tremendous value.

For me, when I do a 5x5, I want at least my first couple sets to be piston-like. I want to be able to knock the reps out continuously. Even by the last set I wouldn’t be pausing that long between reps. Just something to consider. At the end of the day, you need to do what works best for you, these are just some options to explore.


#10

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
hey man. just one comment for now.

That squat set got way too grindy for my taste. If you’re seeing the progress you want to see, disregard this, but in my opinion, that’s too heavy. You’re waiting way too long between reps. That’s almost 5 sets of 1. Your average training session probably shouldn’t look like this, particularly if hypertrophy is a priority. I would also suggest working in a variety of rep ranges on the squat. Do sets of 10, and even 20 from time to time. These are awesome for growth. And even if strength is your priority, I still find sets at higher reps to be of tremendous value.

For me, when I do a 5x5, I want at least my first couple sets to be piston-like. I want to be able to knock the reps out continuously. Even by the last set I wouldn’t be pausing that long between reps. Just something to consider. At the end of the day, you need to do what works best for you, these are just some options to explore.[/quote]

Dude, that’s actually some really great input. I’ve been wondering if my sets are taking too long and also have been considering varying rep-ranges. I’ve found that I’m getting stronger incrementally each week, but I never get a leg pump and my legs aren’t growing like I have been hoping. I think that doing what you said and throwing in some high-rep squats and trying to keep my 5x5 work sets at a quicker pace will definitely help.

What’s the best way to implement the high rep sets? Should I do a couple weeks of 5x5, then maybe a couple weeks of 4x10, then do a week where I do maybe 3x8 w/ a 20 rep set tacked on at the end as kind of a “finisher”? Thanks so much for your reply!


#11

27Feb15
A. Front Squat 4x6
190
190
190
190

B. Deadlift 5x5
270
270
275
275
280x4

C. DB Walking Lunges 4x6/leg
80
80
85
85

D1. Back Extension 4x8
75
80
80
75

D2. Ab Wheel 4x12

Later:
Incline Treadmill Sprints
4x[4x:30 on / :30 rest]
2:00 rest between sets, 12% incline, 10mph


#12

[quote]erik_carlson wrote:

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
hey man. just one comment for now.

That squat set got way too grindy for my taste. If you’re seeing the progress you want to see, disregard this, but in my opinion, that’s too heavy. You’re waiting way too long between reps. That’s almost 5 sets of 1. Your average training session probably shouldn’t look like this, particularly if hypertrophy is a priority. I would also suggest working in a variety of rep ranges on the squat. Do sets of 10, and even 20 from time to time. These are awesome for growth. And even if strength is your priority, I still find sets at higher reps to be of tremendous value.

For me, when I do a 5x5, I want at least my first couple sets to be piston-like. I want to be able to knock the reps out continuously. Even by the last set I wouldn’t be pausing that long between reps. Just something to consider. At the end of the day, you need to do what works best for you, these are just some options to explore.[/quote]

Dude, that’s actually some really great input. I’ve been wondering if my sets are taking too long and also have been considering varying rep-ranges. I’ve found that I’m getting stronger incrementally each week, but I never get a leg pump and my legs aren’t growing like I have been hoping. I think that doing what you said and throwing in some high-rep squats and trying to keep my 5x5 work sets at a quicker pace will definitely help.

What’s the best way to implement the high rep sets? Should I do a couple weeks of 5x5, then maybe a couple weeks of 4x10, then do a week where I do maybe 3x8 w/ a 20 rep set tacked on at the end as kind of a “finisher”? Thanks so much for your reply!
[/quote]

To me, lifting weights is lifting weights. A zillion ways this can work. I like to do high and low rep sets every week. For a long time, I would work up to 1 or 2 heavy sets, in the 1-5 rep range, depending on how I was feeling that day. Then I might drop to 50 or 60% and knock out 5 sets of 10, or something along those lines.

These days I have 2 squat days a week, where I’m basically splitting that work up. So on my heavy day, I’ll work up to a heavy single, double, or triple. On my light day, I’ll do much more volume, completely avoiding grinders. Even if a big set (10+ reps) ends up very taxing by the end of it, you shouldn’t be forcing out reps that cause form breakdown.


#13

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]erik_carlson wrote:

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
hey man. just one comment for now.

That squat set got way too grindy for my taste. If you’re seeing the progress you want to see, disregard this, but in my opinion, that’s too heavy. You’re waiting way too long between reps. That’s almost 5 sets of 1. Your average training session probably shouldn’t look like this, particularly if hypertrophy is a priority. I would also suggest working in a variety of rep ranges on the squat. Do sets of 10, and even 20 from time to time. These are awesome for growth. And even if strength is your priority, I still find sets at higher reps to be of tremendous value.

For me, when I do a 5x5, I want at least my first couple sets to be piston-like. I want to be able to knock the reps out continuously. Even by the last set I wouldn’t be pausing that long between reps. Just something to consider. At the end of the day, you need to do what works best for you, these are just some options to explore.[/quote]

Dude, that’s actually some really great input. I’ve been wondering if my sets are taking too long and also have been considering varying rep-ranges. I’ve found that I’m getting stronger incrementally each week, but I never get a leg pump and my legs aren’t growing like I have been hoping. I think that doing what you said and throwing in some high-rep squats and trying to keep my 5x5 work sets at a quicker pace will definitely help.

What’s the best way to implement the high rep sets? Should I do a couple weeks of 5x5, then maybe a couple weeks of 4x10, then do a week where I do maybe 3x8 w/ a 20 rep set tacked on at the end as kind of a “finisher”? Thanks so much for your reply!
[/quote]

To me, lifting weights is lifting weights. A zillion ways this can work. I like to do high and low rep sets every week. For a long time, I would work up to 1 or 2 heavy sets, in the 1-5 rep range, depending on how I was feeling that day. Then I might drop to 50 or 60% and knock out 5 sets of 10, or something along those lines.

These days I have 2 squat days a week, where I’m basically splitting that work up. So on my heavy day, I’ll work up to a heavy single, double, or triple. On my light day, I’ll do much more volume, completely avoiding grinders. Even if a big set (10+ reps) ends up very taxing by the end of it, you shouldn’t be forcing out reps that cause form breakdown. [/quote]

Right on. What I’ve decided to try is instead of 5x5 for Bench, Squat, and Press, I’m going to do 3x5 with the third set being heavy and if I feel good I will shoot for a 5rm, then I will knock out 3x10 with shorter rest at like 60%. Pull-ups will be similar, 3x5 heavy, then 3 sets of as many reps as possible unweighted. I’m keeping deadlift at 5x5, I’ve found that to be my “sweet spot”, and I do not like high rep deadlifts.

For assistance work I’ve been doing the Double Progression model that CT recommends. 4 sets of 6-8 or 8-10 reps, stay at same weight until I can knock out all sets at the top end of the rep range, then increase weight next workout.


#14

1Mar15
A.M.
20x100m sprints, 1:00 interval

P.M.
A. Bench Press 3x5, 3x10
180
185 - new 5RM
185
155
155x8+2
150
B. Overhead Press 3x5, 3x10
95
95
100
75
75x7+3
70x8+2
C. Dips 4x6-8
50x8
50x6
50x6
50x6
D. Close Grip Bench Press 4x6-8
140x7
140x6
140x6
140x6
E. DB Arnold Press 3x8-10
30x10
30x10
30x10
F. DB Incline Bench Press 3x8-10
55x7
55x6
50x8
G. Cable Crunch 3x10
57.5
65
72.5


#15

2Mar15
A. Pull Up 3x5, 3xMax Reps w/ :60 rest
25
25
25
BWx10
BWx6
BWx6
B. Seated Cable Row 4x6-8
140x6
140x6
140x6
140x7
C. Chin Up 4x6-8 - harder than normal today.
20x6
20x5 1
20x4 2
15x6
D. One-Arm DB Rows 4x6-8
70x6
70x6
70x6
70x7
E. Barbell Curls 3x8-10
80x7
80x8
80x8
F. Lat Pull-Downs 3x8-10
130x10
140x8
140x8
G. Farmer’s Walk w/ DB’s 4x60m
90
85
85
85


#16

4Mar15
A. Back Squat 3x5, 3x10 w/ :60 rest
255
260
260
210
210
215
B. RDL’s 4x8
215
215
215
215
*probably a little too heavy.
C. DB Reverse Lunges 4x8/leg
80
80
80
80
D. Plate Loaded Leg Press 1x2:00
4 plates x 50
E1. Back Extension 4x8
75
75
75
75
E2. Cable Crunch 4x10
72.5
80
80
80

P.M.
Sprints
16x100m, 1:00 interval


#17

5Mar15
A. Bench Press 3x5, 3x10 w/ :60 rest
185
185
185x4 1
155
155x7 3
150x9 1
B. Overhead Press 3x5, 3x10 w/ :60 rest
95
100
100
75
75x8 2
70x8 2
C. Dips 4x6-8
50x7
50x7
50x6
50x6
D. Close-Grip Bench Press 4x6-8
140x7
140x7
140x7
140x7
E. DB Arnold Press 3x8-10
35x8
35x8
35x8
F. DB Incline Bench Press 3x8-10
55x8
55x6
55x8
G. Cable Crunch 3x10
80
80
85


#18

6Mar15
A.M.
Intervals
6x400m, 3:00 interval
1:08
1:11
1:11
1:13
1:15
1:15
6x200m, 1:30 interval
:31
:32
:34
:35
:34
:35

Haven’t run these in a while. My bodyweight is up to 174lbs right now, and I thought that the extra weight would slow me down. Surprisingly, I think the 1:08 was my fastest 400m yet. Apparently squatting and deadlifting combined with hill sprints has improved my foot speed. Pretty cool stuff.

P.M.
A. Pull-Ups 3x5, 3xMax Reps w/ :60 rest
25
25
25
BWx12
BWx5
BWx5
B. Supinated Grip Barbell Bent Over Rows 4x6-8
135x7
135x8
135x8
135x8
C. Chin-Ups 4x6-8
20x6
20x5+1
18x5+1
18x4+2
D. One-Arm DB Row 4x6-8
70x6/7
70x6/8
70x6/8
70x7/8
E. Barbell Curls 3x8-10
80x8
80x8
80x8
F. Lat Pull-Downs 3x8-10
150x6
150x6
135x10
G. Farmer’s Walk w/ DB’s 4x60m
90
95
95
95


#19

Did you abandon MS?


#20

[quote]WhiteFlash wrote:
Did you abandon MS?[/quote]

I did. I was really enjoying it, but I was moving around every couple weeks for training and the gyms I had access to just weren’t conducive to doing Max Strength the way it’s supposed to be run. Kind of a bummer. I’ve just been focusing on getting stronger on compound lifts for the last few months and I’ve actually made some good strength gains. I may pick it back up once I get back to my old gym and won’t be moving around so much.

How is your training going?