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Old 11-21-2010, 12:41 PM   #1
Ben Byram
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: UK (kgs please)
Posts: 148
Default Ben's strength log


Not browsed this forum long, but there seems to be some knowledgeable people on here, so I thought I'd start a training log to hopefully get some constructive criticism to help me hit my training goals as quickly as possible. Maybe someone may benefit from my mistakes too...

I am training for strength with a little easy cardio thrown in for health and recovery purposes. My background is probably 10 years of useless training with too much general activity and too little food for any muscular growth (5 years at 11st 4lbs) until I found some decent resources online and started training and eating better about 3 years ago. Started with the KBs via Pavel, then did Starting Strength, Texas Method and this year 5/3/1. Gains have been slowed somewhat by my training being interspersed with preparing for snowboarding holidays and playing around with Ross Enamait influenced concurrent programmes.

My short-term goals are to match my previous modest strength bests whilst keeping my weight below 14st (196lbs). I set this limit as I'm a gangly ectomorph and realistically I'm carrying too much ballast heavier than this. Not bothered about being the next Arnold, just want to get strong without dedicating my life to training and being chubby. I went up to 14st 9lbs at my strongest, but my conditioning level was poor and in retrospect was far too fat. I'm now crawling back to that level slowly.

Best lifts. (All in kg).
Squat 140x2
Bench 100x3 (shite).
Press 80x1
Deadlift 200x1
Power clean 92.5x1

Long-term goals.
Press BW.
Power clean 100kg.
Bench press 1.5xBW.
Squat 2xBW. (Miles off this).
Deadlift 2.5xBW.

I won't record it on here, but all training is preceded by foam rolling, 10 mobility/stability drills with a couple of static stretches, most from Cressey/Robertson's Magnificent Mobility and about 4' on the C2.

My current programme started as 5/3/1, now it just uses the percentages mostly. I like the 5/3/1 session on week 3, so I haven't changed that. I also will max out on the heavy set on week 3 only. I spent months trying to get it 5/3/1 to work unsuccessfully. AMRAP at high reps did nothing for my strength base and I just treaded water. In the end I just ditched the AMRAP and went for steady improvements with lower reps. I also prefer to do the heavy set first, then do the other work sets afterwards, done in reverse pyramid fashion a la Martin Berkhan's suggestion on leangains. Extra back-off sets have been added for volume as I don't get stronger otherwise.

So basically, it's a 3 day per week, full-body session influenced by 5/3/1, Texas Method (fluctuating loads on pushes, pulls and squat) with some assistance work done reverse pyramid or straight sets.

I'm running this plan until it stops working, then I'm probably going to do a specialization routine using Pavel's Russian Squat Routine and something on bench press (Russian Bear?).


Squat (heavy)
Narrow-grip bench press
Loosening deadlift (more of a stretch).

C2 (20' @120-140HR)

Squat (light)
Bench press (light)
Deadlift / RDL
Ab roller
Barbell curl
One-arm DB farmers walk


Power clean
Bench press (heavy - for me)
Squat (speed-sets)
10' KB finished (alternating TGU and Renegade Row)

C2 20' @ 120-140 HR

I've not included all the fine detail as this already reads like the Dead Sea Scrolls, but I'll happily elaborate if anyone is interested.

34 yrs old.
13st 11lbs (193lbs)
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