T Nation

Trying to Get Strong

Hi Everyone!

Following my friend @burien_top_team and getting started with my own log. I plan to log my lifting, practice activity, and eating habits.

As a competitive Jiu-Jitsu athlete and gym owner I am mostly concerned with strength over aesthetics. I am in my 30’s and also have a full-time day job. My gym has been shutdown for about a month which leaves me with a bunch of free time. The gym is for Jiu-Jitsu, but we do have equipment for the core lifts.

I’ve been lifting seriously with a focus on SBD for a little more than a year and a half, however, I did bench and deadlift for a bit before that. Just without much of a program. Body weight has fluctuated quite a bit over that time. Going from 185-215 and everywhere in between. I am at 205 right now and would like to get down to 190.

I’ve done a number of programs and had success with each. In order, Starting Strength, 5/3/1, and a Split Routing from Practical Programming for Strength Training. I favored the Split Routine, but feel I can squat more than once a week. My squat lagged behind the other lifts due to poor technique and injuries from BJJ. I’ve fixed the form thanks to SS and some help from great real-life coaching.

Current Goals

  • Increase Squat PR
  • Decrease bodyweight to 190 lbs

If my other lifts go up that’s great, but for now I will focus on maintaining and losing BW.

April 20 PR
Bench: 320 lbs
Squat: 365 lbs
Deadlift: 475 lbs

Current PR
Bench: 335 lbs
Squat: 405 lbs
Deadlift: 500 lbs

Current Programming
Starting the 4-day Texas Method from Practical Programming starting today. I will try to do Bench and Press in the same week and adjust as needed. My main concern on this program is the Power Cleans. I have not practiced these since High School. I plan to give them a shot starting with light weight and possibly replace them.

Another concern regarding this program is that when BJJ starts up again my body (and possibly schedule) may not be able to keep up with doing more than one major lift per session. If I start feeling too rundown, I’ll move back to a Split Routine and adjust.

Thanks for the read everyone. Looking forward to interacting and learning!

3 Likes

First day benching 5x5. Didn’t really know what I could do. 270 was rough. Stepped it back down to 260 for the last set. Will plan on 265 for all 5 next week. No dip belt, so BW it is.

Bench
Warmup: 135, 185, 225, 245
Work: 260, 270, 270, 270, 260

Dips
3x12 BW

1 Like

Hamstrings have been super tight since Saturday. Been working on them consistently for the past few days. Was able to squat, but didn’t attempt to power clean.

Need advice or to read up some more on proper warm-up for squat days. A few rounds on the assault bike seems to help a bit.

Diet has been good. Tomorrow is a rest day from weights and will get some cardio in.

Squat
Warmup: 135, 185, 225, 275
Work: 305 5x5

Pull-ups
3x8 BW

First day with 5 RM. Will shoot for 285 next week. Went up pretty easy. Chest is sore after. Looking forward to squat and deads tomorrow. Been hard to get adequate sleep being inside all day.

Bench
280 5 RM

Press
125 4x5

Missed yesterdays workout, so this is catchup. Which may not be a bad thing considering Saturdays usually have way less going on. May move Fridays work to Saturday going forward. Very pleased with squat progression. Deadlift could go better.

Warmed up again on the bike for squats and that seems to be doing the trick.

Squat
335 5 RM

Deadlift
405 5 RM

Feeling good. Bench was right on the money today.

Bench
265 5x5

Dips
3x12 BW

For some reason was dreading squats today. Think not enough food before workout. May add a bit more carbs in the morning on these days. Once I got under the bar, the weight was still heavy as it was last week, but felt much tighter through the lift. Kept good form and no breaks in my posture, etc.

May add some pullup sets tonight if possible.

Squat
305 5x5

FEELING STRONG. Anyone have any tips for shoulder press? Good resources?

Bench
285 5 RM

Press
135 5x5

1 Like

Tips on assistance work or on technical cues? I was doing the pressing component of Thibaudeau’s HP MASS program before the lockdown; starting with OHP and transitioning through high incline to low incline to flat bench. That, and a lot of weighted dips. Mostly for overall upper body strength.

That said, since the lockdown I’ve been focused on hypertrophy and have added some size to my triceps. I’ll be curious to see where my OHP is with an extra 3/4" on my arms.

That’s awesome!

For me, I just haven’t experienced increases in strength with this lift. Possible technique or programming. Probably technical cues.

If you want some technical tips or form tips, you can consider posting a video of your lift. Folks do that all the time. There are plenty of folks on the forum who can provide a quality form check.

Programming-wise, here’s something from Thibaudeau to consider.

1 Like

Thank you sir! I’ll check this out

1 Like

Deadlifts felt great today.

Squat
345 5 RM

Deadlift
415 5 RM

Monday 5/4/2020

Bench
270 5x5

Dips
3x12 BW

Tuesday 5/5/2020
Squats felt great today. Feeling very comfortable under the bar. Bracing well. No back pain.

Squat
315 5x5

Bench felt so good on the 5 RM that I decided to PR at 335. Got it up. Feeling great.

Bench
295 5 RM
335 PR

1 Like

Premonition! Congratulations on the 500 lb PR!

Thank you!

Friday

Decided to PR on Squat today. Got 405! Finished with my standard 5 RM.

Squat
405 PR
345 5 RM

Shoulder Press
135 5x5

Saturday

Since I’ve been feeling really good I decided to PR here as well.

Deadlift
500 PR
425 5 RM

Going to take today to think on what my next goals should be. Or I guess to readdress some. The gym opens up next Saturday. Cardio will def increase. Competitions seem to be far off for now. I miss competing. The good news is I have plenty of time to work some weight off slowly.

190 BW is still the goal. I’ll keep up with my lifting routine as we are about a month in and it’s working great. BW has increased to 210. Need to do some proper research on how to lose while maintaining strength in my lifts. Is this as simple as getting enough protein and continuing with programming?

Bench
275 5x5

Dips
3x12 BW

Calories for today so far 270. But a long night ahead… Will focus on good protein sources