T Nation

Yukkarn's Log

I’ve weight trained for one year with Men’s Health type programs and built a reasonable set of “beach muscles” but no real strength. As an example, my estimated 1RM for the squat was only 200lb. In February I made the switch to power lifting training. I’m under no illusions that I’ll be a world beater, I just want to be stronger than the average guy. This log is for me to track the progress (or lack of) that I make in 2010. I welcome any useful suggestions or constructive criticism.

Basic stats: 42 years old, 187cm (6’2") 94kgs (206lbs)

I’ve gone back to basics to learn good form for the Big 3 lifts. I’ve had to concentrate on really sitting down in the squat to get proper depth. In the past, if I bothered to work my legs, my squat depth was laughable. Anyway, I am training 2 days per week at the moment, aiming to add 1.25kg (2.75lb) to my BP, 2.5kg (5.5lb) to my SQ and 5kg (11) to my DL each week. At some point I know I’ll hit a wall with that approach but for now it is achievable.

My goal by December is a double bodyweight DL (188kg/413lb), a 140kg/308lb squat (1.5 x bw) and a 120kg/264lb BP. I will enter a novice comp towards the end of the year, mostly to give myself a goal to aim for in training. If I achieve those goals I’ll count that as a pass mark in my first year of power lifting.

Got to the gym, 10 mins of rowing to lubricate the joints, and into it. All weights in kilograms (multiply by 2.2 for lbs), and not recording the warm up sets:

Squat 90x6, 95x6, 100x6 (getting good depth, plenty more gas in the tank)
BP 80x6, 85x6, 90x6 (this is not even bodyweight but concentrating on touch, pause, press)
DL 120x3, 130x3, 137.5x3 (happy about this last set because it broke the 300lb mark)
BB curls 30x8, 40x8, 50x6

Felt pretty good but obviously I’m not hoisting blood vessel bursting weights (yet!). I’m taking a long term view and am just going to aim to up the mark each week, either by getting a little more weight on the bar, or adding another rep or two to my previous effort at the same weight.

Scheduled a 10 week cycle. Weeks 1-3 are 3 work sets of 6 reps per, except DL where I’m only 3 reps per. Weeks 4-6 drop to 5 rep sets, week 7-9 are triples and doubles, week 10 is deload. Repeat.

Work sets (in kilograms):
Squat 102.5x5, 107.5x5, 110x5, 115x5
Bench 85x5, 92.5x5, 95x5
DeadLift 125x3, 135x3, 140x3 (PR)
DB curls 22.5x8x2

Saturday afternoon training. I wasn’t looking forward to it like I normally do and everything felt heavier than normal. But I kept to plan and added a touch more weight to each lift.

Excluding warm up sets, all weights in kilograms:

Squat 100x5, 110x5, 115x5, 117.5x5
Bench 90x5, 97.5x5, 97.5x4
DL 130x3, 140x3, 145x2

I tried Sumo style for the first time. Didn’t feel right so switched back to conventional. Also tried foam rolling for the first time…it’s supposed to hurt right? Felt good afterall.

So when I got out of bed Monday morning my hammies told me the story about why sumo hadn’t felt right…the hips were coming up first and I was basically performing straight leg DLs. My technique is dreadful. There are no powerlifters at my gym who could teach me better form and I get dark looks from the staff when I put 3 plates on a bar to DL, like I’m going to break something. I have got to find another gym.

Assistance work day.

Cable rows (on a 12 pin stack) 7x7th pin; 7 x 8th pin x 3 sets;

Wide grip lat pulldowns 7 x 7th pin x 3 sets

Weighted Dips: 10 x bw, 10 x bw+15kgs, 7 x bw+15kgs

DB Rows: 10 x 35kgs, 10 x 37.5kgs, 7 x 37.5kgs

OHP: 10 x 40kgs, 6 x 50kgs, 5 x 52.5kgs

BB Curls: 7 x 45kgs

That’ll do donkey, that’ll do.

Today was squat and bench day. Not counting the warm up sets, I did:

115kg\253lbs x 5
120kg\264lbs x 5 x 3 sets (PR)

90kg\198lbs x 5
100kg\220lbs x 4 x 3 sets (PR)

Hyperextensions with a 10kg\22lbs plate

Hanging leg raises: 15 reps x 2 sets

I’ve decided to stop Deadlifting every week and just do it every second week for a while to be kind to my lower back, but aiming to strengthen my back and body generally through the assistance work. I’m not posting big numbers yet but I am finding the weights challenging but do-able and hopefully I can keep making small incremental increases each week.

Today’s training sucked the big one. I’m not sure exactly why, since there is no way I am overtraining. Could be that I’ve been eating rubbish all week with not enough protein, not sleeping well, or that I dug a huge hole yesterday and then did some concreting. Whatever the reason, everything felt heavier and harder to move than it should have.

Anyway, after the warm up sets, I did:

Squats: 120kg(264lb) x 3
122.5kg(270lb) x 3
125kg(275lb) x 3 (x 3 sets)

Bench: 100kg(220lb) x 3
102.5kg(226lb) x 3 (2 sets)

Deadlift: 120kg(264lb) x 3
140kg (308lb) x 3 (this set felt heavy, although I’ve hit this weight and reps before. I could actually feel myself bending slightly to the left as it came up on the third rep. Decided to end it there before I hurt something, so then I finished off with some light power cleans - 62.5kg(137lb) x 5 (x 2 sets).

Today was a better session. I was just working the assistance exercises, figuring that to get stronger overall will help the main lifts. Not including the warm up, I did:

Wide grip lat pulldowns: 7 pin x 10; 8 pin x 8; 9 pin x 5

Wide grip chins (bodyweight): 5 reps; then 4 reps. (I have not chinned in years. previous best was 13 but I weighed 10kgs(22lbs) less then).

Dips: 20 x b.w; 9 x b.w. + 15kgs(33lbs); 8 x b.w. + 15kgs

Incline DB press: 7 x 32.5kgs(71.5lbs) x 2 sets

DB Rows: 10 x 35kgs(77lbs); 10 x 40kgs(88lbs); 6 x 45kgs(99lbs)

BB Mil press (OHP): 10x 40kgs(88lbs); 8 x 50kgs(110lbs); 4 x 52.5kgs(115lbs)

I went to the doctor for a general checkup the other day. He measured my height and it turns out I’m 187cm (6’2"). I double checked at home and it’s correct. For years I’ve been saying 185 because that’s what I measured when I got my drivers licence.

Ok, so I haven’t posted for a while but I’ve had 3 sessions since my last post. I started a new program, based on 70%, 80% and 90% of estimated 1RM, doing the sets and reps as posted. I think it might be based on a deadlift program by Magnusson. In any case, I’m not fussy. As a newb to powerlifting, almost anything I do now seems to add to my modest strength base.

On 8.5.10 I did:

Squat - 90kgs x 4 x 4; 105kgs x 2 x 2; and 90kgs x 10 x 1

Bench Press - 72.5kgs x 4 x 4; 85kgs x 2 x 2; 72.5kgs x 10 x 1,

On 11.5.10, I did:

Deadlift - 105kgs x 4 x 4; 120kgs x 2 x 2; 105kgs x 8 x 1

OHP - 42.5kgs x 4 x 4; 47.5kgs x 2 x 2; 42.5kgs x 10 x 1.

Today, I did:

Squat - 90kgs x 4 x 4; 105kgs x 2 x 2; 90kgs x 8 x 2

Bench Press - 75kgs x 4 x 4; 85kgs x 3 x 2; 95kgs x 3 x 2; 75kgs x 10 x 1

Then I went home and ate a big bowl of protein powder mixed with berry yoghurt. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Rolled out of bed at 5:30am this morning because it was the only time that I could fit in training today. Plus, like the man once said if you want to get stuff done get up before the sun.

So today was supposed to be deadlifts but I wimped it and did rack pulls instead, from about 2-3 inches below the knees. I did:

Rack Pulls - 4 x 4 x 105kg(231lb); 2 x 120kg(264lb) then 3 x 120; 3 x 135kg(297lb); back off 10 x 105kg(231)

OHP - 4 x 4 x 45kg(99lb); 2 x 50kg(110lb); 3 x 55kg(121lb) then 5 x 55kg; back off 10 x 45(99).

Am building a nice set of corns on each hand courtesy of the deadlifts and rack pulls.

Today was squat and bench day, so after a warm up I did:

Squat - 4 x 4 x 95kg(209lb); 2 x 110kg(242lb); 2 x 122.5kg(270lb) then 3 x 122.5; back off to 10 x 95kg(209lb)

Bench - 4 x 4 x 80kg(176lb); 3 x 90kg(198lb); 3 x 100kg(220lb) then 4 x 100kg; back off 10 x 80kg(176lb).

I’m just sticking to the program as it is written but today didn’t feel like enough volume i.e. I still had plenty of gas in the tank. If I can meet the goal weights in the program each week, the projection is that in about 8 weeks, I’ll be hitting a 1 RM squat of 145kg(315lb) and a 1RM bench of 115kg(251lb). D grade stuff but still a long way from where I started in February 2010.

Wednesday was Deadlift and OHP day, and I did the pulls from the floor instead of from the rack. All up, it went pretty well. I was on a tight schedule, doing it all in my lunch hour so I had to hustle. After minimal warm up I did:

4 x 4 x 110kg(242lb)
2 x 125kg(275lb)
2 x 140kg(308lb)
10 x 110kg(242lb)

Barbell OHP (strict):
4 x 4 x 45kg(99lb)
3 x 55kg(121lb)
4 x 60kg(132lb)
3 x 60kg(132lb)
8 x 50kg(110lb)

Dumbell rows: 2 x 8 x 45kg(99lb)

I’ve had a twinge in my right shoulder for a couple of days (an injury 5 years ago that stupidly I ignored and it eventually healed up), and so I was keeping an eye on it as I was going through my sets. On my last (back off) set, I unracked it and did one press. Damn, my shoulder is messed up, that feels really off. So I racked it, and had another look at the weights. Stupid newb. I had a 6lbs extra on the RHS. First time ever that I have miscalculated the plates.

Tomorrow is Squat and Bench day. I have it as a programmed deload week but I might make newb mistake #2, cos I don’t feel like I need the rest. It’s not like I’m banging big weights yet. So, in all likelihood I’m going to skip the deload & the repeat week, and just add 5kgs to last weeks loads.

Squat & Bench day. Warmed up with some hip mobility drills and then got stuck in. I did:

4 x 4 x 100kg(220lb)
2 x 110kg(242lb)
2 x 2 x 127.5kg(280lb)
back off with 10 x 100kg

4 x 4 x 85kg(187lb)
2 x 95kg(209lb)
3 x 105kg(231lb) PR
2 x 107.5kg(236lb) PR
back off with 10 x 85kg(187lb)

Barbell curls. 7 x 45kg(99lb) then 7 x 50kg(110lb).

My stated goal at the beginning of the year was to be able to double bodyweight DL (190kg/418lb), Squat 140kg/308lb and Bench 120kg/264 by the end of the year. I’m getting pretty close to those now in the squat and bench. I also want to enter a competition, and there’s one in my area in late November that I’ve got my eye on. I’d like post a raw 1000lb+ total. Seem do-able? I think so.

So today was squat and bench day, but when I got to the gym I realised I’d left my belt at home. I had planned to work up to 132.5kg(291.5lb)today in the squat but I’m nervous about going over 100(220) without it. Maybe it’s a crutch but lower back injuries suck and meh, it’s only one session. So, without the belt, I switched it up and just did a little more volume instead.

After some hip mobility drills and warm up sets, I did:

Squat - 100kg(220lb) x 6 reps x 2 sets; then 7 reps x 2 sets

Bench - 85kg(187lb) x 3; 95kg(203.5lb) x 3; 100(220lb) x 2; 105kg(231lb) x 2; 110kg(242lb) x 2 [PR]; then back off set of 90kg(198lb) x 8.

Went home and scoffed a large whey powder milk shake sweetened with a little maple syrup. Tonight I cooked a Vietnamese beef pho. Am now a happy camper. Gotta love the weekends.

I had a 1 hour window of opportunity to get into the gym tonight, so I had to move pretty quickly between sets. Tonight was Deadlifts, BB Overhead Presses, and DB rows.

After some stretching and hip mobility drills, I did:

3 x 115kg(253lbs)
3 x 140kg(308lbs)
1 x 150kg(330lbs)[PR] *tried for 2 reps. First went up pretty easily but on the second, it came up an inch or two then it felt like someone had kicked me in the bum and I almost toppled forward over the bar. I’m guessing I was either too close to the bar on the set up or my hips rose too quickly and my shoulders were in front of the bar.
1 x 150kg(330lb) - just because I failed on the second rep before, felt I had to beat it for 1 more rep
8 x 130kg(286lbs)

Strict OHP:
5 x 45kg(99lbs)
5 x 55kg(121lbs)
5 x 60kg(132lbs) x 2 sets
9 x 50kgs(110lbs)

DB rows:
8 x 37.5kg(82.5lbs)
8 x 45kgs(99lbs)
6 x 45kg(99lbs) x 2 sets

And then I was done.

I was away all last week in another city for work and found a gym for powerlifting and Olympic lifting. I usually train in a commercial gym, so this was a big eye-opener. There were some seriously big units training there…one guy was benching 260kgs(572lbs) in a shirt for singles. Long days + room service meals meant my session on Wednesday was nothing special. I warmed up then did:
Squats: 100kg(220lb) x 8 reps; 110kg(242lb) x 6 reps x 5 sets.
OHP: 50kg(110lb) x 5; 60kg(132lb) x 5 reps x 2 sets; 55kg(121lb) x 8 reps.
DB rows: 42kg(92lbs) x 8 reps x 3 sets.

Today I am back home and it was squat and bench day. I did:

4 x 4 x 105kg(231lb)
2 x 115(253lb)
2 x 132.5kg(291.5lb) - agonizingly close to the 300 mark
3 x 132.5kg(291.5)
9 x 110kg(242lb)

4 x 90kg(198lb)
4 x 95kg(209lb)
4 x 100kg(220lb)
3 x 105kg(231lb) x 2 sets
back off 8 x 90kg(198lb)

Today was Deadlift and Military Presses (OHP) day. After a brief warm up and some foam rolling for my back, I did:

4 x 4 x 120kg(264lb)
2 x 140kg(308lb)
2 x 150kg(330lb) - rep PR. This felt easy. Maybe could have got 3. Last time I got 2 singles at this weight but the attempt at the double beat me.
Back off set - 6 x 130kg(286lb)

Strict BB OHP:
2 x 4 x 50kg(110lb)
2 x 4 x 55kg(121lb)
5 x 60kg(132lb)
5 x 62.5kg(137.5lb)
5 x 65kg(143lb)
Back off set - 10 x 50kg(110).

Dumbell rows:
47.5kg(105lb) x 3 sets (8;7;6 reps).

Then I did 2 quick sets (for the beach muscles) of barbell curls and dumbell flyes (some x some). And that was it done.

Today was Squat and Bench day. After a little stretching and some warm up sets I did:

4 x 4 x 110kg(242lb)
2 x 120kg(264lb)
2 x 2 x 137.5kg(302lb) PR - happy to have cracked the 300lb barrier.
5 x 115kg(253lb)

4 x 90kg(198lb)
4 x 95kg(209lb)
4 x 100kg(220lb)
3 x 105kg(231lb)
2 x 107.5kg(236lb)
2 x 110kg(242lb)
8 x 90kg(198lb)

This was not one of my better sessions. Generally I felt tired and not mentally “up for it”. It all felt heavier than it probably should. Is this what approaching a plateau feels like? Seems like a lot of people swear by 5/3/1 as being a great program. Once I run out of momentum, I might have to jump on that bandwagon and see if I can keep these gains moving.

So I’ve been hammered at work and a whole week flew by since my last session so I decided to catch up and fit everything into one session today. I lowered the weight and increased the reps and shortened the rest intervals.

I don’t normally train in the morning and it was a big mistake to train on only 2 cups of coffee, 3 pieces of toast and a half pint of milk. After some foam rolling and stretches I did:

warm ups with bar x lots; 8 x 60kg(132); 8 x 80kg(176); 5 x 90kg(198) then work sets
8 x 100kg(220)
8 x 105kg(231)
8 x 112.5kg(248) x 2 sets

8 x 82.5kg(182)
8 x 87.5kg(193)
6 x 92.5(204) this should have been x 8 but ran out of gas and no spotter so not confident to push for more
then a back off set 6 x 85kg(187)

5 x 110kg(242) these flew up. felt like I was going to clean them
5 x 117.5kg(258) also fast
5 x 125kg(275) these felt good, just one smooth upward stroke. All done without a belt.

Strict standing OHP:
8 x 47.5kg(105)
8 x 52.5kg(115)
6 x 55kg(110) should have been x 8.

Dumbell rows:
8 x 40kg(88) x 3 sets

Memo to self: eat breakfast next time dumbass