The time has come for me to take a break from lifting. My body is in desperate need of some extensive healing and stretching. The timing couldn’t be more perfect though. Friday I’m on vacation, Monday I’m working from home and next Friday my gym will be closed for graduation. Trying to shove a lifting session in the middle of all of that is probably not worth the effort. So I will spend the next 11 days stretching, resting and doing a bit of cardio.
So now is the time to check the numbers and evaluate my progress.
Starting numbers as of April 1st. Three sets of five for all lifts (3 x 5)
- Squat: 135
- Bench: 160
- Dead: 195
- Press: 70
Latest numbers as of June 3rd.
- Squat: 225 (+90) 67% increase
- Bench: 205 (+45) 28% increase
- Dead: 265 (+70) 36% increase
- Press: 115 (+45) 64% increase
Looking at these numbers I have to say that I’m pretty impressed. I remember a time ten or twelve years ago when I was *about* this strong, but I wasn’t doing squats or deadlifts. So it might be valid to say that I’ve never been stronger! That’s amazing to me and something I wasn’t even expecting!
Obviously these types of gains cannot progress forever and I’m sure that I will eventually switch to a 3 day split. But for now I plan to continue the StrongLifts progression and finally add in the desperately needed barbell rows every other workout.
The common advice is to deload by 10% on all lifts after a week off, so this is where I will be starting on June 15th:
- Squat: 200
- Bench: 185
- Rows: 155*
- Dead: 240
- Press: 95
Regarding rows, on my first day back to the gym I will increase the weight every set until 5 reps becomes difficult and that will be my work set weight for the next session.
Whew! That’s a lot of number crunching. And I haven’t even mentioned my diet yet!
It goes without saying that I’m hoping to stay on target with my macros during the week off from the gym. My new numbers (200/150/50) seem to be working well for me (so far at least). The next few days will be fraught with temptations – 3 birthday parties and a trip to Atlantic City – so I need to stay focused and plan around these calorie bombs!
I’m not sure how often I will post to this blog. 2 or 3 times at least just to keep myself accountable. Here’s to the next 8 weeks!!