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Trying to Become an Alpha... Eventually


Thanks for thinking of me man, I think this will definitely be my next move after this hypertrophy phase. You’re the best!!!


Thank’s for the kind word.
I just got very excited when I saw the program.


10 May 2018 - Deadlift Bodyweight–214lbs
5-7 minute MetCon (med ball throws, box jumps, planks)
Sumo Deadlift (double overhand) 255x5, 285x5, 325x5, 5x10 245lbs

1.6 mile walk

I got kicked out of the gym early today by the high school’s athletic director. He came in right after I did my warmups with his 10 year old son and told me I had to leave. I walked out, and then he was like “where are you going, I said you could stay until we were done.” So I walked back to my platform and banged out 8 sets in 20 minutes, possibly the most out of breath I’ve been since football season 2 years ago. As soon as I finished he told me “it’s time to pack it up, buddy.” He’s not a mean guy, but everything he did and said today rubbed me the wrong way, so I was kinda pissed. I had a great warmup and was feeling really good but whatever.

I looked into the Dark Horse program that my dudes (@losthog @mortdk) suggested. Looks and sounds really good, so I wrote all of my stuff out. I’ve picked out my weak points and the ME lifts that I will be using. I chose

Squat - Pause squats, box squats

Deadlift - Pause deadlifts

Bench - Spoto Press

My squat weak point is coming out of the hole, my deadlift weak point is off the floor for sumo and at the knees in conventional, and my bench is weak off the chest. I wanted to pick 3 ME exercises for each lift, but I decided it would be better to boil it down and just go with the few that I believe will have the best carryover. I’m pretty excited to see what doing these exercises for 9 straight weeks will do for me because I’ve never done them before. I’ve done pause squats a few times but I’ve never done it routinely. Spoto press may be just what I need to start growing my bench again (bench is a touchy subject for me right now. Fuck bench).

For deadlifts, I plan on doing conventional and sumo. I’ll focus on one of them if/when I compete in a powerlifting meet. Specificity and all that. Rest day tomorrow, bench on Saturday: 180x5, 210x5, 235x5. Yay


What was his reasoning?


Damn. He had a bad day, it happens to all of us.
He started of by saying you had to go, what he meant was that he had to finish of some things and then he had to close, but you could stay as long as he was there. He didn’t and when you left immediately he realized it. Short headed said you could stay.

You’ve got in a good DL session, the rest doesn’t really matter.

Don’t worry mate. You found the Darkhorse and tried the metcon.
It looks really good. I’m keeping the same exercise for all weeks. I haven’t really done variation lifts serious, so I’ll milk them for 3 months, that way when I get back to 1, 3 or 5 reps I have a number to beat. I think if my variation lifts where as strong as my main lifts you could change them every month.
My Variations: Pause squat, SGDL, spoto press, and paused press at eye.


I’m planning mine too. For me I’m thinking –
DL : sumo. (Never tried it)
Squat: paused or pin/. Maybe wide stance
OHP: z press
Bench: thinking rev grip for fun.


He said he would be liable if I got injured in the weight room. I understand his reasoning but it’s pretty stupid. I can’t really argue with him because he’s one of the most politically powerful (for lack of a better term) people in the school district. Been in the district forever, yada yada yada. I understand him not wanting to make exceptions. I get it. I was just pissed because 1) I spend more time with the athletes that I coach than some coaches from other sports, and 2) I’ve been doing this for free since November. I’ve done more lifts by myself than I’ve done with other people since November, so for him to kick me out with 2 weeks left in the season just rubbed me the wrong way. Idk.

@mortdk that’s true. it’s just weird that he showed up. My deadlift session was solid, you’re right, so I can’t be too mad about that. I wanted to do some more hamstrings and back but again, whatever, it is what it is

@losthog sumo is a great way to hit your glutes and quads at the same time. I’ve never tried reverse grip for bench, but I’ve read that it’s crazy good for your triceps


12 May 2018 - Bench Bodyweight–215lbs
Short MetCon - side planks (0:45 each) + med ball throw variations
Paused Barbell Bench 185x5, 210x5, 235x5
TnG Barbell Bench 225x10, 4x10 175lbs
Incline DB Bench 1x12 + 1x11 65lbs, 1x20 50lbs
Close Grip Bench 3x5 205lbs
Smith Machine Rows 2x10 135lbs
DB Rows 2x15 60lbs
Single Arm Machine Rows 2x10 3 plates
Face Pulls 2x20 25lbs
Conventional Deadlifts 315x3, 365x1

None, thunderstorms again today. Getting fucked with the weather this May.

Great bench day today. I had a ton of energy, 225x10 was easy and so was 4x10 175. I went heavier on incline DB than I should have because I was feeling good. I think I’ll do the 60lb DBs for the rest of this cycle and just try to go up 5lbs next cycle for 3x15. Halfway through, I’ll start doing 3x10 with the 75s and try to work up from there.

I wasn’t feeling the close grip today. I tried reverse grip, and it’s super hard to unrack, but 135 felt light. I didn’t go any higher because the last thing I need is a shoulder or elbow injury. I did a lot of random back work today, and nothing really felt comfortable. Did a couple pullups which felt fine, but that’s by far my weakest bodyweight movement. Pushups and jumps are easy money but pullups aren’t. I should probably make pullups my primary back assistance since they’re my weakest movement and they don’t bother my back.

We had a track meet yesterday and our guys did great. Won conference for varsity shot (56’4") and Sophomore disc (136’). Two juniors placed 3rd and 5th for varsity disc also with 149’10" and 143’5" respectively. Our third place guy throws much flatter and puts a more robust spin on his disc which helped a lot, because the wind yesterday was not being kind to the right handed throwers. Our guy who placed 5th with 143’ has a PR of 155’8", but his strength is his wingspan and ability to manipulate physics to his advantage. Not a very tight spin on his, and he sorta lofts it out there, so the wind ate him alive. He opened with a foul, 119’, and 128’. Made the finals as the #8 guy and finished 5th, so not bad. We’re in a position to send 3 guys to the state meet this year which is really cool. When I was a senior, we had 3 guys go, but we were all seniors. Me, one of my defensive line buddies, and one of my best friends who played receiver. Sending 1 senior and 2 juniors this year would be a very good look for our throwing team. We have a few juniors throwing upper 40s in shot (47 and 48) and low to mid 150s. It was about 40 degrees yesterday and the wind made it worse, but placing that well made me happy. Our shot guy tied my PR of 56’4", but looking at his film this morning, he’s got at least 2-3 more feet in him. I fully believe he could place top 3 in the state this year. It’s been incredibly rewarding working with these guys and my old coach. It’s a lot of fun and seeing these guys improve week to week because of what my coach and I are saying and then them executing it through a lot of hard work is tremendous.

I got a 90% on my last chemistry exam which is HUGE. It brought my exam average from a 61 to a 68.3%, and I’m not sure yet how that impacts my overall class grade, but it has to be good. My professor said that if we get a 97% or better on the final, we automatically get an A in the class. BUT, if we fail the final, we fail the class regardless of what our grade is. Now I understand why my professor last semester curved the final… I got an 87% on the final last semester, and the finals are made by the American Chemical Society for both semesters, so I’m hoping I can pull it off again. Getting a B in chemistry and an A in history and humanities would solidify my GPA at 3.5 I think. A girl I know from high school is taking anatomy & physiology II over the summer… an 8 week course that they cram 16 weeks of material into. That means 6 hour labs with 8 exams + 2 finals in 8 weeks. I’m praying for her. Lol.

Monday is squats, Tuesday is deadlifts. Wednesday will be a rest day, and I think Thursday will be bench and squat. Friday is a meet, and Saturday I’m working 3-12. I hate work until I get there, then it’s fun, but getting texts from work randomly during the day REALLY pisses me off. I don’t know why. Probably because the lady who works the schedule is the most annoying person in the world. Her personality and mannerisms make me want to punch her in the face, but I don’t, because 1) I can’t afford a lawyer, 2) she likes me and keeps me on the schedule. Sorry for such a long post guys. My back has stabilized at a level of fuckery that is manageable but still unpleasant. I’ll just continue to get stronger and hope for the best. Have a great Saturday and Sunday y’all


14 May 2018 - Squats Bodyweight: 214.8lbs
Back Squat 275x5, 315x3, 345x3, 5x10 230lbs
Goblet Squat 1x15 75lbs, 2x15 90lbs
Single Leg Press 2x20 (1 plate each side… lol)
OHP 1x10 95lbs
Front Squat 1x10 95lbs
BTN Press 1x10 95lbs
Banded Clams 3x20 (OW)
Side Planks 3x45 seconds
Curls 2x10 45lbs, 2x10 35lbs

None. Yet another thunderstorm.

My back felt AMAZING today during my workout. I’m a squat elitist in terms of depth: “Ass to grass or it doesn’t count.” I was wrong. Totally. ATG squats have their place, for sure, but today I was stopping at parallel and my back had nothing to say about that. No pain, no discomfort. I was so happy!! 345 felt pretty fuckin heavy, I think I could’ve gotten 6-7 but they would’ve been grinders. I didn’t want to push it because the whole point of this is to put a majority of my energy into the volume sets.

It’s time for me to teach my body how to stop at parallel and accelerate upwards again. I will definitely be doing pause squats (pausing at parallel, not when my ass is 4 inches from the ground) during Dark Horse. That’s going to be a great challenge and a really good way to groove that new motor pattern quickly. I’ve also decided to do 4 cycles of BBB instead of 6. 12 sessions of ~100 reps apiece should be plenty. I may do 5 for bench since that’s the lift I plateaued hardest in. My back squat probably could’ve increased to 425 or 435 if I continued with OG 5/3/1 back in February, so I don’t think a hypertrophy phase is 100% necessary for me right now anyways. My deadlift progressed very well and I believe that I could’ve pulled 455 2x2 without hurting myself if I had waited for a day when I felt fully charged. Considering that 415 4x4 was one of the easiest sessions of the whole cycle, I think I definitely got stronger. My previous rep record was 425x3, and doing 415 4x4 with ease tells me that I’ve gotten much, much stronger.

Half the reason for me lowering the cycles of BBB is because I’m anxious as hell to get going with this dark horse stuff. I will pay my dues and put in the work, but I think a 8-10 weeks hypertrophy phase is sufficient. In the future, I plan on doing a 2:1 ratio of strength phases to hypertrophy. Nice change of pace, because doing higher reps is fun, but I also will be able to indulge my ego and lift some heavier shit.

Tomorrow is deadlift day. I haven’t decided if I’m going to go conventional or sumo. If it doesn’t feel good, I’ll just scrap it and focus on each muscle individually. Glutes, hams, lats, and lower back. I think I could have hypertrophy results that are just as good from focusing on each individual muscle as I would get if I used deadlifts as my primary source of volume. That being said, that’s only if my back isn’t having it. If it feels like it did today, it’s game on! I also have my chemistry final tomorrow. I’m nervous as hell. If I fail it, I fail the class. So. yeah. I’m kinda nervous. It’s 100 multiple choice questions that covers two semesters of chemistry, so they can’t get too in depth with anything if they actually cover it all. I’m using this post as my study break, during which I’m writing all the basics of each chapter onto note cards. I’ll study individual sections that are confusing to me later tonight and/or before the test in the morning. Wish me luck!!


No luck needed man. You are ready


15 May 2018 - Deadlifts (ish?) Bodyweight: 213.8lbs
Dynamic Warmup
Conventional Deadlifts 275x5, 315x3, 365x2, 405x1
3 Second Pause Deadlifts 315x1, 275x2, 225x3 (HARD AS HELL)
GHR 5x10 bodyweight
Lateral Leg Raises 2x10 each side, 1 second hold at the top
Band Clams 2xAMRAP each side (~30 reps)
Face Pulls 1x25 30lbs

None but I’m getting fat so I may substitute HIIT in for deadlifts soon

What a shit day today. Absolute shit all around. Chem final fucked me and deadlifts felt awful. I need a 47/70 to keep my B in chemistry and I doubt that I pulled that off. Deadlifts didn’t actually feel awful, but the paused ones did. 405 was about as hard as I had expected. I should’ve just gone with deadlift hypertrophy today…

GHR was nice. 90 second rest intervals and a great hamstring pump made me happy. The hanging lateral raises hit my obliques HARD which was also a good thing. Band clams and side planks are easily the two best exercises for helping my back pain and tightness. I plan on doing them before I go to bed pretty much every night for the rest of my life lol.

My diet has been pretty good this week and my recovery has been going well. That being said, I might be able to bench tomorrow and squat on Thursday. I have F/Sat/Sun off this weekend, so I feel like I should be training 4 days in a row. Tomorrow, assuming I bench, will be 195x3, 225x3, and 250x3, followed up by 225x10 and 175 4x10. 55lb incline DB bench for 3x15, and I’ll do whatever I can for triceps after that. Close grip if I have a spotter, and a lot of pushdowns if I don’t.

Update: The job that I’ve worked at for the last 2 summers is cutting me off. No hours for me this summer for whatever reason. It’s a health club, and I’m basically a janitor there, but I get free gym privileges from it. I know about 60% of the people who go there and I’ve become friends with a lot of the guys who work in the weight room there, so I was really looking forward to working there this summer. Playing basketball with a bunch of guys from high school and then lifting with a few guys who are into it as much as I am. I guess it won’t happen this summer.

On the plus side, my neighbor (who my family is very close with) works at a health club that’s about 25 minutes away (the other one is about 4 minutes away). He’s offered me a job as a camp counselor, 9am-4:30pm 5 days a week. 37.5 hours a week ain’t too bad for a college kid. I’m assuming the pay is $10-12/hr, which would be $375-$450 each week. Not too shabby. Plus, being a counselor is something I’ve always lowkey considered. I’m pretty good with kids and I’m good at sports, so it could be a lot of fun. I just hope that job is still available. On top of that, I’ll still have my catering job available and bugging me to work on Fri/Sat/Sun. So I could make some serious dough this summer.

Double Update: As I was typing this, my neighbor responded with “You can have the job, and I need you BAD!! I’ll get you as much $$$ as possible based on your work at the Sport Center and coaching.” WIN!!!

This made my night infinitely better. Comes with a free membership too :wink:


Free 4 life? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Enjoy the summer man!


Free for as long as I work there! I’ll probably still lift at the high school when I can. I won’t know anyone at the new gym


Good job!

Damn. Im sure you did fine.

Thats wicked!!


Hoping the results for the chem final comes in for you to pass.

Good to end the kind of bad day on a high.

Lots of work this summer :slight_smile:


16 May 2018 - Bench Bodyweight: 213.2lbs
Paused Bench 195x3, 225x3, 250x3
TnG Bench 225x10, 175 5x8
Neutral Grip Pullups 1x7,6,5,4,3,2,1
Bicep Cable Curls 2x12

Rough day on the bench. I could’ve used another day to recover I think. Doing 7 pullups is hard for me which tells me two things: my back is weak, and I need to do more pullups. Noted. My TnG bench was really weak today for some reason which I haven’t been able to figure out. I was very slow off the chest today which means I need to get some Spoto press or pause bench in my routine ASAP.

After a little reflection on yesterday’s workout, I decided to not be mad about paused deadlifts. They’re my choice for Dark Horse for a reason: they expose my weak point!! Even if my back was 100%, I think I would struggle with 315lbs for pause deadlifts. I expect to be bad with pause squats and Spoto press too now. Not worried. As long as I make progress with those lifts during the 9 weeks of training hard, I’ll be happy.

I bought an electric stim machine out of curiosity/to help with recovery. It’s a nice little thing, 8 possible electrodes but I only use 2 of them. They made my lower back feel absolutely AMAZING, and I’ve been using them a lot on the distal end of my quads as well as on my abductors. I’ve already found that electric stim is great for parts of your body that are hard to stretch or roll effectively. Traps, abductors, glutes, and delts (plus quads) all feel fresh after I use it on them for 20-30 minutes. I’m a little hazy on the exact science, but basically it’s this: the electricity causes your muscle to contract, which increases blood flow to the muscle after a while. It’s not taxing on your body at all because it isn’t a contraction caused by your body. I’m looking forward to using this for a long time.


I’m thinking pause squats too…
Floor press
Fat grip z press
Deads not sure yet (paused, sumo, deficit or snatch grip)

I had a crap bench day 2 days ago and then tonight the best squat session I’ve ever had.


You have a lot of volume on bench. It could be fatigue from that.

But nice lifting anyway


Yeah I have one more session and then a deload for bench, I think you’re right


17 May 2018 - Squats Bodyweight–213.1lbs
Back Squat 245x5, 280x5, 315x5, 5x10 245
Banded Knee Goblet Squats 2x15 90lb

Actually had a fantastic day squatting yesterday. The weight moved really well, I filmed my top sets (315x5 and 245x10) and I was pretty surprised and very pleased with how powerful I looked on the concentric. I squatted in Chucks which was a bold move, because last time I did that my abductors were sore for about 5 days. They’re fine today, but my quads are a little sore.

My back felt amazing. I warmed up with my usual 45 second side planks and 20 rep band clams. In conjunction with some electric stimulation right above my sacrum, I think those exercises are my best choices.

I’ve decided to eliminate pulling from my routine for a while. Lately it’s just been bad workout after bad workout for deadlifts. I’ll focus on each muscle group individually and I’ll work different parts of the deadlift ROM separately so I can get good work done without aggravating my back and/or feeling weak.

I have the next 3 days off from lifting. I’m going to do a few side planks and AMRAP band clams each day at home so I can be super fresh and feel good on Monday. Monday will probably be a bench + hamstrings + back day (pull ups and DB rows). Tuesday will be more squats and then we’ll see! I’m in great need of a bench deload right now. I imagine that my squat will tank in the next workout or two and then I’ll deload for that as well