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!
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.
I’m so glad I decided to force myself to the gym at lunch. I spent a total of 48 minutes on the weight room floor and extended my lunch break by about 15 minutes. But no one really noticed. At one point I was very close to forfeiting my 3rd exercise (barbell rows) in order to get back to the office quicker, but I hung in there and got them all done.
Squat and bench felt strong and bb rows are still a little too easy.
- Squat 195 x 5 x 3
- Bench 180 x 5 x 3 (on my last set I got distracted and accidentally hit the safety causing me to quit at 4 reps. I re-racked and then did one more, so it counts damn it!)
- BB Rows 134 x 5 x 3
Been eating like a horse ever since I came back from the gym…
What a difference a day makes. Today’s workout was fantastic.
Squats: 145 x 5 x 3
Still having some discomfort in the shoulder area from the placement of the bar, but nothing too distracting. I’m really starting to get the hang of the movement especially the idea of not pausing at the bottom, which causes me to lose momentum and then I press more with my legs instead of my hips to get back up. (Note: I just realized after adding the photo that I only did 145 instead of 155 like I had planned!)
Bench: 170 x 5 x 3
I’ve been observing the trend to arch the back when benching and I’ve tried it a few times. It seems a bit foreign to me since I’ve been benching with a flat back for so long. Today I set up the safeties and then realized that I needed to arch my back a little in order for the bar to to hit my chest instead of the safeties.
Deadlift: 215 x 5 x 1 (NEW PR!)
This one is pretty funny. After warming up with 135 x 5, I loaded the bar with 2 25 plates, 2 10 plates and 2 5 plates. Thinking I was about to do 210, I added the bracers and then realized that I had calculated wrong. But I decided it was time for a challenge and since it was my last set of the day I kept the weight on and pushed through 215. This is my all time best for deadlift. And now I’m only 1 or 2 workouts away from double 45s!
The effect of my indulgences over the weekend seem to have dissipated and the scale is behaving again. I did a bit of reading and now I understand that the rapid weight gain or loss due to water weight is usually linked to sodium intake. Even with calories and macros in check, a high carb heavily salted meal will increase water retention. So the bottom line is to:
- Stay consistent with the eating plan and limit indulgences as much as possible
- Weigh yourself regularly and take the average combined with measurements to gauge progress
And just in case all of this wasn’t enough to celebrate, today is CARB DAY!
Back 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.