Day 66 Part 2, Good News and Bad News

Bad news first, always bad news first.

In short, something popped in my left hip as I attempted to squat 215. It was the last warm up set and I was going for depth for just one rep. It wasn’t debilitating, just not a normal feeling. I rested for 3 minutes, stretched and put 225 on the bar. With 30 seconds left in my rest I looked at the bar and said, “Are you crazy? If 215 pops your hip out, what do you think 225 is going to do?!” So I pulled off a plate and tried to squat 135…

No go dude. Time to quit.

Part of the problem is that everything is sore. My traps, delts, lats, lower back and knees. Clearly this is fucking with my form. Ok, I get the message. Time to take a break.

And now the good news. I always remember that one of the benchmarks of strength is to be able to bench your own weight. Well, today that happened!

  • 200 x 5
  • 200 x 6
  • 205 x 4

Ok, technically I didn’t bench my weight because I currently weigh 207, but who cares!

So lets see where we are. On May 15th I set the following goals:

  • Weight: 203 (-7)
  • Squat: 235 (+20)
  • Bench: 200 (+10)
  • Press: 115 (+10)
  • Dead: 275 (+20)

In retrospect it appears that these were a little too optimistic. Here’s what reality will likely look like by June 3rd (the last day of lifting before my break).

  • Weight: 205
  • Squat: 225
  • Bench: 205
  • Press: 115
  • Dead: 270

But anything can happen between now and then so I really need to spend the next 2 days focusing on diet, rest and stretching.

Day -2, Strength Assessment

2015-03-20 11.47.20Back from the gym and pleasantly surprised that my strength hasn’t dropped too much since my last lifting session. Before today, my last workout was on 2/18 which is over a month ago. On that day, my big 3 lifts were:

  • Squat 160 x 5 x 5
  • Bench 160 x 5 x 5
  • Deadlift 190 x 5 x 5

For today’s workout my stats are:

  • Squat 155 x 5 x 2
  • Bench 155  x 5 x 2
  • Deadlift 185 x 5 x 2

Note that I only did 2 work sets for each just to be safe and not overdo it. The good news is that I felt strong and only dropped 5 pounds on all lifts.

Starting Monday (the official day 1) I plan to split up this routine into 3 days with the following program:

  • Monday: Deadlifts & Chins
  • Wednesday: Bench & Dips
  • Friday: Squats and Overhead press

Instead of 5×5, I’m going to try a reverse pyramid rep scheme. The 3 main reasons for this programming change are as follows:

1. I have limited time in the morning and trying to get a squat rack every day occasionally proves to be difficult. With this new routine, I only need the squat rack on Friday, which is the least busiest day at my gym.

2. The workouts themselves look shorter on paper which should give me more time for stretching. Cramming the big 3 into a single workout  isn’t too difficult when the weights are light, but when rest periods increase the workout can easily span over an hour, which is too long for me.

3. Variety will keep the boredom at bay and should increase motivation to go on days when I’m not feeling it.

The downside to all of this is that squat and bench 1x/week might not be enough. So after the first 4 weeks if any changes are to be made I will probably start here.