View Full Version : My Strength Misadventures...

Gavin Harrison
06-23-2009, 10:09 PM
I've been doing 5/3/1 for the past month or so and like it so far, so I figured I'd post a log here so others can see what I do and how well it works out...

I'm not terribly strong at the moment, stats are:
Height: 6'
Starting Weight: 170 (now about 175?)

Current Estimated Maxes:
SQ: 205
BP: 158
DL: 292
PR: 98

Current Cycle's Training Maxes:
SQ: 195
BP: 140
DL: 255
PR: 80

Get as strong as possible with steady progress and gain weight.

Layout right now:
M: DL / PR
F: SQ / (maybe some BP assist)

I record things in weight(lbs) x reps x sets, or weight x reps.

Anyway, I'll kick it off with yesterday's workout, currently in the second week of my second wave:

Monday (6/23/09):
DL: 135x5, 185x3, 205x3, 230x8 (Est Max: 292)
PR: 45x5, 55x3, 65x3, 75x9 (Est Max: 98)
Back Ext: 10x5
Chins: 3x6 (not good at these, just adding sets..)
Incline DB: 20x15x4
Pulldown Abs: Whatever x5

The DL was a pretty big rep and a smaller est max PR. Press was a pretty big rep PR with 75 lbs, and a 2 lb est max PR.

Gavin Harrison
06-24-2009, 10:43 AM
Wednesday (6/25/09):
BP: 45x5, 100x3, 110x3, 125x6 (Est Max: 150, 1 rep PR)
DB Rows: 35x10, 45x10, 55x12
Incline DB: 35x10x5

BP felt heavy.. a month ago I got quite a bit more reps with ten pounds less, oh well. It might be because of pressing on monday, maybe I will not push as hard on the press rep records, or switch BP and Press if it's too bad. We'll see.

Gavin Harrison
06-26-2009, 02:24 PM
Got confused today and did the 5/3/1 squat workout instead of 3x3...

SQ: 45x5, 145x5, 165x3, 185x4 (Est Max: 210)
GM: 95x10x5
Abs: 5 sets

5 lb PR on the estimated max, not sure what I'll do next week, maybe the 3x3 and work up to a max single...

Derek Simonds
06-26-2009, 03:34 PM
Gavin looking good on the 5/3/1. Thanks for posting your log.

Gavin Harrison
07-02-2009, 01:43 PM
Thanks Derek. Just as a small update, I forgot my school's gym access card this week.. so I'm taking a forced week off, just random stuff, but nothing sturctured. Back at it next week!

Gavin Harrison
07-07-2009, 01:18 PM
Decided my press sucks too much to make much difference, so I dropped it for incline presses instead. I'll be able to use more weight and feel like I'm actually doing a little bit of work on this day... So here's today:

Tuesday (7/7/09):
DL: 135x5, 195x5, 215x3, 245x4 (Est Max: 278)
Incline: 115x3 (Tested for what weight to use for cycle), 95x5x5 (For some volume)
Back Raises: 10x5
Chins: 5, 3x5
Abs: 5 Sets

Decided I was also tired of always being out of breath, so I'm going to add some conditioning work after DL and SQ days. My school has an ergonomic rower, which I found out earlier this year... first time trying it out:

Erg Rower: 5 minutes; 1006 Meters. Anyone know if slightly better than a 2:30 500M time is OK? First time trying them out, just did a moderate pace for 5 minutes as to not go overboard...

To reiterate my conditioning sucking, I can perform OK in things that kinda sorta require a bit of it (short distance running/sprinting, moving furniture, running up stairs, etc), it just takes me longer (a lot longer) to recover to normal breathing afterwards than it should...

Júlíus G. Magnússon
07-07-2009, 02:56 PM
Is it a Concept 2 rower?

Gavin Harrison
07-07-2009, 03:32 PM
Is it a Concept 2 rower?

Yes, not sure which model beyond that, though. I put it at about 3-4 on the dampening thing, since I remember that approximates water resistance well.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
07-07-2009, 03:36 PM
For your height/weight I don't think you should be going over 2:00/500m on a 5 minute effort. It's probably just a technique issue. The CrossFit Journal has some solid articles on row technique if you have a subscription.

Gavin Harrison
07-07-2009, 05:00 PM
For your height/weight I don't think you should be going over 2:00/500m on a 5 minute effort. It's probably just a technique issue. The CrossFit Journal has some solid articles on row technique if you have a subscription.

This could be, but also like I said, it was only a moderate effort. Nothing real intense. No CFJ subscription.

Gavin Harrison
07-09-2009, 01:34 PM
Thursday (7/9/09)

BP: 105x5, 115x3, 135x3 (Est Max: 149)
DB Rows: 40x10x4
DB Seated Press: 25x15x2,10x2

Not a PR estimated max on BP, but a new rep record, I guess.. didn't really have one for 135 before. Felt good, butt came up a little on the last rep.. oh well. I could feel my lats working on the rows and my triceps/shoulders got really fatigued feeling on the presses. Good times.

Gavin Harrison
07-10-2009, 12:20 PM
Friday (7/10/09)

SQ: 45x5, 145x5, 165x3, 185x2 (Sucked..)
GM: 95x10x5
Abs: 6 sets

Squats kinda sucked today, not sure why. This cycle didn't go right for squats anyway, hopefully it'll improve next cycle...

Gavin Harrison
07-14-2009, 01:13 PM
Tuesday (7/14/09)

DL: 135x5, 175x5, 195x5, 225x9 (Est Max 293)
Incline: 75x5, 85x5, 95x10 (Est Max 127)
Back Extensions: 10x5
Chins: 3x6
Abs: 10x5

C2 Rower: 500m, 1m57s

Wasn't sure if I'd actually go for a rep record on anything today, but once I got to 225, it felt pretty light, so I went for it. A 5 lbs PR for 9 reps, or a 3 rep PR for 225, or 1 lb estimated max PR, so not too bad... grip was the first thing to go, could have gotten more reps but I was afraid I'd drop the bar. Inclines were pretty good, 10 reps tied the estimated max I got last week, so yay?

Assistance work for the press was kind of goofy, I just did random things.. I might drop the tricep/chest related assistance on this day, except maybe a couple back off sets on the press and do more upper back work like face pulls or shrugs.

Conditioning was pretty good, this time I decided to see how well I could do on a 500m effort and got about 1:55-57 on the 500m, so not too bad for a guy with crappy conditioning, I guess. I should probably stick to longer, lower intensity bouts here at first, but we'll see how this pans out... if I can reduce the amount of huffin'n'puffin' I do on a regular basis, that's all I'm going for with this. :)

Gavin Harrison
07-16-2009, 01:37 PM
Should have posted this Tuesday, because that's when my third wave officially began, so here's my new working maxes (+5 upper, +10 lower):

Incline: 115
DL: 265
BP: 145
SQ: 205

And today...
Thursday (7/16/09):
BP: 45x5, 95x5, 105x5, 125x7 (Est Max: 155)
Seated DB Press: 25x10x5
Bent Rows: 115x10 (Too heavy..), 95x10x4

1 rep PR with 125 on bench, yay. No est max PR.....

It's all about the shoulder and lats anyway... right? ;)

EDIT: Oh wow, did I mess up writing the DL training max... hahaha

Gavin Harrison
07-17-2009, 01:43 PM
Friday (7/17/09):
SQ: 45x5, 135x5, 155x5, 175x6 (Est Max: 210)
GM: 95x10x4
Back Ext: 10x2
Abs: 10x4

1 rep PR on the squats with 175, not bad, tied estimated max PR. GM's made something in the front of my hip feel weird, so I did some back extensions instead to end it.

Gavin Harrison
07-21-2009, 01:48 PM
Tuesday (7/21/09):
DL: 135x5, 185x3, 215x3, 235x8 (Est Max: 298)
Incline: 45x5x2, 85x3, 95x3, 105x6 (Est Max: 126)
Back Ext: 10x6
Pull Ups: 3x6
Face Pulls: 10x5
Abs: 10x5

C2 Rower: 10 minutes

PRs on the DL. 1 Rep and a few pounds on the DL, a pound off on the estimated max on Incline. Face pulls were good, felt the back of my shoulders, so I guess that's cool. Putting the cable pulley a little bellow shoulders works better than a little above. Just did easy-ish conditioning. Next time I'll do easy conditioning for more time.

Gavin Harrison
07-23-2009, 12:42 PM
Thursday (7/23/09):
BP: 45x10, 95x3x2, 105x3, 125x3, 135x5 (Est Max: 158)
DB Rows: 40x10x5
Seated DB Press: 30x10x3

Bench was good, 135x5 was a 2 rep PR, and tied an estimated max PR I got a couple months ago with 115 lbs.

Gavin Harrison
07-24-2009, 01:57 PM
Friday (7/24/09):
SQ: 45x5, 145x3, 165x3, 185x3
RDL: 115x10x4
Abs: 5 sets

Didn't go for a max on squats today, but 185 didn't feel to bad.

Gavin Harrison
07-28-2009, 11:28 AM
Tuesday (7/28/09)
DL: 135x5, 195x5, 225x3, 255x2
Incline: 85x5, 95x3, 105x2

Slept worst last night than I have in a very very long time, so bad that I felt ill in the morning. Too much heat and stress. So, today I did almost the set reps, and the "I'm not doing shit" assistance scheme ;)

Gavin Harrison
07-31-2009, 01:27 PM
Friday (7/31/09)
SQ: 45x5, 135x5, 155x5, 175x3, 195x2 (Est Max: 208)
BP: 45x10, 95x5, 105x5, 125x3, 135x4

Glad 195 wasn't too bad, though, I my have had 3 in me.. I think doing the same weight two weeks in a row in any exercise I never feel like I can break the reps the second week. Might be because of heavier/more taxing sets leading up to the last set, who knows. Assistance work was of a more BBing flavor.. getting ready for the beach, hahaha..

Gavin Harrison
08-08-2009, 01:01 AM
Alright, the title of my log is going to be a little misleading now... but it's time to try out another training philosophy! ;)

Since starting training consistently this time around, I've done 3ish months of hyper-minimalist (Pavel's 80/20 Powerlifting), 3 months of simplified periodization (5/3/1).

Next up, traditional BB-ing methods. So, first up, 20 rep (breathing) squats and milk ("Super Squats"). Plan, twice a week 6-8 weeks +5 lbs every workout on the squat move weight up on others when reps are achieved. Eat.

Friday (8/7/09):
BP: 45x10, 95x5, 115x12,11
SQ: 45x5, 135x20 (started a little light on these, still tough)
Rows: 95x15x2

I liked 5/3/1, I'll probably come back to it some time, but I want to try out another philosophy of training for a few months, mostly old school BB-ing stuff, ala Super Squats, Dinosaur Training, Keys to Progress, Brawn, etc. My hope is this stuff will work for me for quite a while, and once I've gained a good bit of size and strength, to return to 5/3/1.

Allen Yeh
08-08-2009, 08:35 AM
Did you want to change the title? Let me know.

Kevin Perry
08-08-2009, 09:14 AM
sweet, i'll watch your progress, Im planning something similar myself after SS kind of Reg Parks ish

Gavin Harrison
08-11-2009, 01:52 PM
Tuesday (8/11/09):
BP: 115x12(tweaked right hamstring), 9(tweaked left hamstring)
SQ: 140x20
Bent Rows: 2x15ish (brain dead)

Notes: Not going to go over 8 on bench anymore I think, in these full body programs. I tried a slightly more comfortable setup to save my lower back for squats (tight setup kills it.. on these long sets). Tweaking both hamstrings on two sets at reps 10-11 and 9 isn't fun. Rows, I had a hard time counting, because of being brain dead and sucking at rows anyway.. Stretched after BP to try to loosen up the hams before squats, and to wait for the rack to open up. They didn't bother me during squats, but still not right after. Oh well.

Allen, I want to, I just don't have any good ideas in my head right now.. maybe "My Strength Misadventures"..

Allen Yeh
08-11-2009, 06:33 PM

Gavin Harrison
08-14-2009, 02:08 PM
Thanks Allen.

Friday (8/14/09):
BP: 125x6x2
SQ: 145x20
Bent Rows: 115x15x2

Quick in and out, rows are getting better, upping the weight next time. Bench felt heavy, but did well, I think.