T Nation

Trying to Become Healthy... Eventually


Keep up the awesome work man!!


I’ll second The Hog here. That enthusiasm is very contagious.
It’s friday morning here, I am having a rest day too. Reading this I can’t wait until tomorrow, deadlift day.
Cheers man, Here’s to a jolly good weekend to you.


Thank you all :slight_smile: Reading all your logs gets me pumped up too. It’s so cool that I get to talk to 3 like-minded individuals on a daily basis, it really does help keep things interesting and exciting!!

I said it in my last post, but front squats 3x3 (gettin heavyyyy) and deadlift deload tomorrow (6x2). Since I’m a squat addict, I’ll do some high bar squats for some volume (I’ll TRY to not go any higher than 275 for those. I have to fight my ego). Rest up boys, we got a couple big days ahead of us! Let’s kill some weights ASAP


14 April 2018 - Squats
Front Squats 315lbs 1x3, 3x2
High Bar Squats 275lbs x8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 (36 total reps)
Front Plank 1:30
Side Plank 1:00 each side
GHR 3x12 Bodyweight (feet externally rotated)

Front squats had me seeing stars after every set, literally. My eyes were bloodshot and my face and neck were all red too. 315 feels so fucking heavy when it’s on my collarbone… wow. Took an extra set to get all my reps today as usual. Next time I do this cycle, I might try to be more conservative with my numbers so i’m able to get all my reps, just so I can compare those results to the results I get from this round of cycles. An interesting experiment.

High bar squats were a fantastic way to finish my quads off. A perfect choice for a finishing move. FATALITY. My quads were metaphorically weak and broken after the front squats, and then High Bar came along and just shot my quads in the face with a desert eagle. Bang. Deceased. I LOVE sore quads though, and I know that torturing my quads like this now will pay off big time down the road when I get back to low bar squats. 36 total reps at roughly 75% of my high bar max (I’m estimating that my high bar max is 365) is not bad for some assistance work. It’s on the lower end of the volume spectrum, but being where I am in my front squat cycle (2x2 @ 100% next Saturday), I think the lower volume and higher intensity for assistance work is appropriate.

I did planks with my freshman project, Cam. He’s doing well. Getting stronger every week. My planks were decent, I think I need to start adding more direct ab work. I know I’ve said that I don’t care what I look like, but that’s kind of a lie. I’d like to look as good as possible, just not at the cost of losing strength or stalling my strength gains. So, some direct ab work and limited junk food for the next few months, and whatever I look like is what I’m going to look like on the beach. At least I look thick this year I guess.

The GHR is my new favorite machine. I turned my feet outwards out of curiosity, and I was able to fully engage my hamstrings and glutes, it was pretty sweet. I did 3 sets of 12 and I was feeling the burn which is exactly what I need from my hammy assistance. I just need to work them directly so I know they aren’t being completely neglected.

I didn’t do any deadlifts today because I was short on time, as usual. This week is shaping up to be a decent one:
Monday: Bench 4x4 285lbs (fuckkkkk) + deadlift deload
Tuesday: Front Squats 3x2 (lowering volume just because) + OHP + Oly work
Wednesday: EITHER deadlifts 5x5 385lbs OR Oly work
Thursday: Bench 3-5x2 + EITHER deadlifts 5x5 OR oly work
Friday: Oly work
Saturday: Front Squats 2x2 335lbs + possible deadlift deload + Oly work

This is all tentative right now. Odds are I’ll be working on Friday or Saturday and won’t be able to lift one of those days. I’m picking up 2 2-hour shifts at my other job on Wednesday and Friday from 12-2 between class and practice. I get out of class at 10:50, so I’ll have to speed home and eat, head to work, come home, eat again, and then go to practice. So I’m giving up my two best days for napping after class, but I also get to make $20 two days a week now, plus I get my foot in the door for a shift that I want over the summer which is 11:30-4 on Wednesdays. That’s by far the easiest shift. Sleep in, eat breakfast, eat lunch halfway through the shift at 1:45, go home, take a nap, wake up, and then go lift. Easy money baby!!

I have a chemistry exam (my third) on Thursday. I’m pretty nervous because this is either going to make or break my grade in that class. My first exam was a 43% (I chose blowjobs over textbooks. Power move), my second was an 82%, and now my average in the class is 78.5%. Getting an A or B on this one would be HUGE for me, but failing it would bury me. There’s not much I can do to get a B in the class if I bring my grade lower than a 75% after this exam. 4 weeks of class left, then finals, so the end is near. I’m very thankful. That’s about all I got for today though. Tomorrow is a rest day as usual, and then we’re back to it on Monday. Take care boys!


Awesome work. “Shot with a desert eagle” :joy::joy::joy:

I hope you stay on point with lifting. I’m eyeballing your numbers brother…


That’s the plan man :sunglasses:

I think you could probably do the same numbers I’m doing right now for deadlift. 315x12 with an extra ~5 reps in the tank is pretty much where I’m at. The only difference between us is that my body is used to doing 6 or less reps and you’re still out here in the double digits hahaha. I hate high rep deadlifts but they’re a fun test


16 April 2018 - Bench – 221lbs at the end of my workout
Barbell Bench 285x3, 275lbs 2x4, 1x3, 1x2 … 295x1, 300x1, 225x6
DB Bench 1x15 75lbs, 2x10 90lbs
Paused Close Grip Bench 225lbs 3x6, 135x20
Triceps Superset: Tricep Cable Pushdown 35lbs 5x10, DB OH Tricep Extensions 40lb DB 5x10

Kind of a super shitty bench day today. I partly made up for it by hitting 295 for a smooth single and 300 for a grinder. I got 3 reps on my first set at 285, so I dropped the weight immediately. It would’ve taken me 6-7 sets to get my 16 reps which I was not about to do, partly because I was pressed for time and partly because it defeats the purpose of having sets of 4. If I had to rate my satisfaction score 1-10 for today, I’d give it a 6. My assistance work went pretty well and I managed to get pretty close to my max for some singles after all that regular flat barbell bench which felt pretty good, but the main part of my workout went up in flames from the first set.

I don’t think I’m engaging my chest nearly as much as I should be with barbell bench, though. The DB bench felt very good and easy even after my regular bench was essentially taken to exhaustion at a high intensity. I need to find some cues for honing in on my chest when I’m benching from now on. I have fairly big pecs, so I feel like I could be missing out on a nice boost of power right now…

I annihilated my triceps for fun. I was able to see a few tricep veins which was a great morale booster before I headed home. It’s been a good 6-7 months since I’ve done any close grip bench (I think September or October was the last time), and I’ve gotten stronger with it. Can’t say I’m surprised, considering my bench max has increased about 30lbs since then, but nevertheless, it was nice to be able to pause that. I’ll keep that in my programming as long as I have a spotter with me.

In other news, I’ve began to track my macros a little bit. I’m interested to see how much I eat on a daily basis. So far today I’ve undereaten which is pretty typical of a Monday for me. I’m on the go pretty much all day, so I don’t have any time at home to make eggs or cook chicken. Right now I’ve eaten about 165g protein, 215g carbs, and 45g fat. I’m not tracking as hardcore as some people do, but I’m interested to see roughly how much I eat on a daily basis. I’m at the library right now, but I’ll probably have 4 eggs, 4 cups of milk, and some ham when I get home. Depending on how much ham I eat, that’s about 70g of protein. Too much in one meal? Maybe. But it’s better to eat too much than none at all. That’ll put me at about 230g for the day which is pretty good. I’m hoping I can lean out a little bit by making small changes, like skim milk instead of 2% milk, only eggs instead of eggs + cheese, and opting for milk or water instead of a soda. It’ll definitely take a while if it happens at all, but it’s all good. Eventually, when I compete, I don’t want to be a soft 225-235lbs competing with beastly 105+s. I’d rather lean out a bit now and be around 205 so I can compete in the 93 or 94kg class.

Overall, not thrilled with today, but I got it done. Kinda. Tomorrow is some OHP, front squat deload, and 5x5 deadlifts at 385lbs which I’m legitimately excited for, because I think deadlifts respond better to low rep/high intensity training better than squat or bench do. I’m really eager to see how my deadlift 5x5 compares to my squat and bench 5x5s; that should give me a good idea of how much stronger I’ve gotten. (Considering I’m still relatively new to deadlifting (3-4 months in? maybe?), I might still be reaping some beginner gains. I don’t care. Gains are gains.) I’ll need to wait until I complete my 2x2s to estimate what I want to go for for my new maxes. If I can front squat 335 for 2x2, I’d imagine that 350x1 is feasible. If I can bench 315 for 2x2, I would expect to be able to bench 325-330. If I can deadlift 410 4x4, 435 3x3, and 455 2x2, I would like to think that a 475-485lb deadlift is in the cards for me at the end of this cycle. Honestly though, I’m getting kind of nervous. I’m not hitting all my reps for 5x5 or 4x4, so how much stronger have I really gotten? I knew it wasn’t realistic to expect to add 20lbs to my bench or 30lbs to my front squat in 8 weeks considering where I’m already at, but only adding 5lbs to my bench or 10lbs to my front squat would be kind of embarrassing… Oh well. You reap what you sow, right? Maybe I should’ve been better with my diet and overall recovery. There’s always next time. Have a good one guys! We’re already 20% done with this week. Keep workin


Today must have been bench day from hell. I had a set that was fucked off the bar and just never felt right. I posted a video in my log you should find the time to watch the whole series. It will walked you through beginning to end of bench setup and other stuff. Really great basic info, but sometimes a return to the basics is just what is needed.

Don’t do skim milk. The fat in milk is a good fat that the body can absorb. I would recommend whole milk and get away from the processed stuff (2%, skim)
Stan Efferdin has some thoughts on milk especially skim I heard/read somewhere. If I do milk it is whole milk or none.


I agree. I’ll take a look at it when I get home from the library.

I’ve heard that… I don’t know how true it is, but Stan seems to know his stuff when it comes to nutrition. I’ll do a little research about that too, thanks bro


17 April 2018 - Deadlift PW Bodyweight – 219lbs
Deadlift 5x5 385lbs (SHMONEY)
High Bar Squats 275x5, 315x3, 335x3
Low Bar Squats 315x3, 335x3, 365x1
Snatch High Pull 3x3 70kg
Clean Pull 3x3 110kg
OHP 3x15 95lbs
Glute Bridges 3x10 135lbs
Concentration Curls 1x10, 1x8, 1x6 35lbs
Cable Curls 5x10 35lbs resistance
Hammer Curls 3x10 30lbs

Fantastic day today. Crushed all my deadlifts which is a GREAT sign!! I did my first set and then my coach texted me and asked me to come out to the shot put rings to take a look at two of our seniors. Because of this, I took only about 2 minutes between sets. That’s how I know I’m in great shape for deadlifts right now. 5x5 at a true 85% would take much longer to recover from between sets. Anyways, the seniors looked great, then we had a discus competition. Every man for himself, one throw, farthest throw wins (obviously). I was in sweatpants, a jacket, and my chucks and I won. I threw about 150 which is 2 feet off my PR from high school. Last time I threw a discus was almost two years ago, so that was both surprising and very fun.

Went back into the weight room and hit a few squats. I can’t not squat when the weight room is empty. I just had to do it, but I kept the volume low as you can see. I ended on 365 because it was painfully slow. 405 moved much better last Thursday than 365 did today. No worries though. I went on the platform and did a little Olympic assistance for fun, also extremely low volume. I worked on some glute stuff, did some OHP (got a nasty good pump), and closed it down with some nice curls. I had a mediocre pump from it. I’ll take it.

A little more about my deadlift: I’ve begun to look down instead of keeping my chin up. For some reason, I feel more powerful like that. It looks weird on a video, but it feels much better. I think it has something to do with keeping my entire spine (C, T, and L spine) neutral as opposed to only having my lumbar and thoracic spine neutral. I brought my feet in a few inches (about 2) from each side which also seemed to help. I’m really looking forward to my 4x4. I think I could’ve done 385 for 8-10 reps if I had to; the infamous rep calculator puts my max at 505 if I can do 385x9. I do expect to be in the ballpark of 470-490 in a few weeks and I can’t wait to put a video of it up on my log.

Another interesting thing to note is that I didn’t do a deadlift 6x2 day between my 6x6 and 5x5. I took a full 7 days of rest which seems to be appropriate for deadlifts, but I figured taking 10-14 days between my 6x6 and 5x5 was just too long. I felt good, and I performed well. Tomorrow I’m going to focus on snatching and back work. Hamstrings included. I came very close to snatching 95kg two weeks ago, and I’d love to get it tomorrow. Pretty aggressive for an active rest day, but hey. It’s going to be a very short lift on Thursday (6x2 bench and possibly some OHP) before I head to our throwers-only meet 40 minutes away, so I’d like to get some work in. I’m working 3-11 on Friday at a venue that’s only 15 minutes from my house. I’m pretty excited for that too, because I should make around $120 (seems to be the average for a night of work at that job) and I get to be home before midnight. I’ve worked weddings that are 75 minutes from home that end at 1am… that’s brutal. Good money, but worth the drive? Barely. Have a good Wednesday you guys, I’m looking forward to seeing all the work we put in for the rest of this week


18 April 2018 - Randomness PW Bodyweight - 220lbs
Hang Clean & Jerk 80kg x 2, 90kg x 2, 95kg x 1, 100kg x 2
Clean & Jerk 110kg 5x1, 115kg 4 x 1
High Bar Squat 275x5, 315x3, 335x3
Low Bar Squat 335x3, 365xFail (damn it)
GHR 3x12 Bodyweight
Face Pulls 5x20 25lbs

I’m running very short on time so I’ll keep it quick. Cleans felt amazing. I’ve never hang cleaned anywhere close to 100kg (220lbs) before so that was amazing. Full cleans were excellent. Jerks need some work. I failed a squat for the first time in months if not years so that was demoralizing. I think it’s because I squatted yesterday though. I got some decent hammy work in and finished off with some face pulls which felt fantastic after all the pressing from this week.

Time to go study for chemistry. Make or break exam in 14 hours. Pray for me guys


Assume STP unless directed to adjust.

Potential energy stored in chemical bonds work down hill unless energy is applied to a system.


We’re doing a lot of converting from STP to non STP. This exam is mainly focusing on complex equilibria and enthalpy as it relates to entropy and Gibbs free energy. It seems so simple and if I could have an extra few days to study I know I’d get a high B or an A, but… it’s in 12 hours… so we’ll see how this goes.


Good luck with the exam Lava.

The squat fail could be fatigue from the clean and jerks you did before, combined with the squat yesterday.
And the fact that you are pushing the body really hard with the peaking phase of your program where you did 5x5 DL yesterday and as I remember you should be doing 3x3 on front squat, that you had to do an extra set to get. So yeah you might be a bit fatigued.

But the main thing now is the Exam go crush it man.


Yeah, i’m thinking that squatting 2 days in a row definitely has something to do with it… I just didn’t feel as sharp or powerful as I normally do. It was a weird sensation, I felt as if I weighed 170 instead of 220. The weight just seemed to handle me better than I handled it.

Definitely a good point. I hadn’t really considered that, but I’m simultaneously peaking in all 3 lifts right now… that’s kinda why I was surprised that my deads felt legitimately easy. Squat and bench definitely did not.

I have a mock olympic weightlifting meet in about 10 hours, so I’m about to hit the sack for 9. I’m looking forward to it. I’ll get some videos and throw em up here tomorrow afternoon…


Good luck mate :slight_smile:


Ready to see excellence in motion.


21 April 2018 - MOCK MEET DAY Bodyweight at weigh-ins without shoes: 215.0lbs
Snatch 80kg, 85kg, 92kg
Clean & Jerk 110kg, 115kg, 125kg
Face Pulls 3x25 25lbs
Concentration Curls 2x10 25lbs
Triceps SS: Cable Tricep Extensions 3x10 40lbs + DB BTN Press 3x10 45lbs
GHR 1x12 Bodyweight, 3x8 BW + 25lb plate

DOUBLE PR!!! I’ll let the videos do most of the talking, but I should’ve gone for 95kg in snatch instead of 92kg. I killed 92. Clean & Jerk was good, I might’ve been able to pull off 130kg/286lbs but I’ll take it!! 217kg/477lb total for the two lifts. 7kg PR and some easy/fun assistance to finish the day off.

I think I came in first place by 27kg. Of course, I was competing against a bunch of 18 year olds who weigh 20lbs less than me, but… JK, this was purely for fun. Everyone cheered everyone on and congratulated one another on PRs, and simultaneously yelled “Fuck!” when someone missed a lift. I’m really going to miss the camaraderie of all these guys when they graduate in a few weeks. This senior class is incredible. They were sophomores when I was a senior, so they kinda admire me because I was good at lifting and throwing and decent at football. It’s been a lot of fun this year, because I’m in an interesting spot in my relationships with them. They look up to me, but they’re men now, and we can relate to each other a lot better than we could in high school. Tons of fun.

Tomorrow is a rest day. Thank goodness, because the meet tired me out big time. Monday will probably be bench 3x3 at 295 and maybe front squats. I don’t think I need to front squat anymore since I reached my goal of a 275lb c&j, but I want to eventually c&j 315 now, so I’ll have to keep it in the rotation. I might bench and deadlift (4x4 415) on Monday since I’ve just had two rest days and I’m getting another one tomorrow. Tuesday is another track meet, so I’ll get that day off too… Lots of rest days coming in at the perfect time.

Now begins the time (about a week) where the only loaded leg work I do is deadlifts and olympic lifting. Time to give the legs a break. It’ll be great to be fresh for deadlifts which I plan on doing 2x/week now that squats are done. I was thinking about it, and there’s no point in me chasing a new front squat max. I can chase one in a few months, but for now, I’ve gotten everything I wanted from them. New quad strength and the ability to go down and catch a clean. God bless y’all, I hope you guys had a great session today. Enjoy your weekend so we can resume the grind on Monday :slight_smile:


Enter: Hypertrophy Phase
I’ve finalized what my hypertrophy phase is going to be. Plan A is to follow what I’m about to type out. Plan B is to resort back to OG 5/3/1 BBB. The weights for Plan A assistance work are mostly still TBD; I’ll have to work through the first week and feel it out and determine what will be sustainable for 6 cycles.

5/3/1 BBB + Triumvirate
5/3/1 + 5x10
Incline DB Bench 3x15
Tricep Extensions 3x25 OR Close Grip Bench 3x15

Why? Because my upper chest is becoming (to me) significantly neglected compared to the rest of my chest. Hopefully, by performing Incline DB Bench, I’ll be able to help it catch up a little bit. I’ve also been a fan of very high rep sets for triceps for about 6 months now. One of my friends was on a program written by a rather innovative local strength coach, and that’s what he was doing. I tried it, and loved it. It’s been a staple ever since.

Low Bar Squat
5/3/1 Squat
Sumo Deadlift 5x10
Front Squat 3x15

Why? In Jim Wendler’s 2nd edition of the 5/3/1 book, he recommends pairing 5x10 deadlifts with 5/3/1 squat and vice versa. I’ll try it both ways (squat paired with deadlift, and squat paired with squat) and see what works better for me. Front squats target my quads and my core simultaneously which are two areas that have always been lacking for me. It’s a no-brainer.

Sumo Deadlift
LB Squat 5x10
Hamstring Flexion (GHR, Hamstring Curls)

Why? See above. As for hamstrings, they have often not gotten the attention they deserve in my programming. I’m lucky to have avoided any strains or tears to this point in my lifting career. Hamstrings are important for knee health and stability in the squat, just as back muscles are important for stability in the bench press (agonist/antagonist muscles). I’m looking to add a few inches to my legs, but more importantly, I’m very curious to see how strengthening my hamstrings directly (as opposed to just working them indirectly through squats and deadlifts) will impact my lower body strength.

After Every Session – Assistance to the Assistance
Pullups 1xAMRAP
Face Pulls 1xAMRAP
Barbell Glute Bridges 1xAMRAP (95-135lbs)
Core exercise for time (planks/holds for several minutes) or 2xAMRAP (crunches, twists, etc)

Why? My back is weak. My glutes are weak. My core is weak. Work on the weak links until your strengths are your weaknesses. Then repeat. I hope to achieve a comfortable level of self-regulation by doing AMRAP sets. I’ll push each set to a reasonable level and stop when my body tells me to stop.

Cycle Percentages Based on TM (90%) for 5x10s
Cycle 1: 57.5%
Cycle 2: 60%
Cycle 3: 62.5%
Cycle 4: 65%
Cycle 5: 67.5%
Cycle 6: 70%

Starting Maxes (NOT Training Maxes)

*If I don’t deadlift 475lbs after this Russian Cycle, I will adjust accordingly. I’ve already squatted 415 and I think I could do 425-435 on a good day. I also think I could bench 325-330 on a good day. We are here for hypertrophy though, and we’re starting light and working our way up. There’s no rush or need for me to overestimate myself and get injured.

Any questions/comments/thoughts/concerns are welcome. If this ends up being too much volume, I’ll scale it back. It looks good on paper. 6 cycles should take about 2.5 months, so I should be transitioning back into strength work in late July/early August.

2 mile speed walks 4x/week. Elevate the heart rate a little bit and burn a few extra calories.


Great plan my friend.

Awesome job in the weight lifting! My son was watching the videos and was like “wow that’s a lot of weight!”