5/3/1: Cycle One, Day Two
Boring But Big Template Test
After finishing my training on Sunday, Tuesday was supposed to be the day I was thrown to the, albeit a small number of, wolves. That is, week-days tend to be much slower than weekends but the p.m. shift, which I was originally scheduled for, picks up quite a bit – a nice balance for my first “solo” shift. However, one of my co-workers needed someone to switch her opener for a closer and, since I have open availability, I was more than welcome to oblige – I figured either way I’d end up pretty busy and finally get the chance to “prove” myself as being worthy of my job …
“Slow” is not a strong enough word for how business was yesterday. To give you a better idea of the day’s pace I will just say that an entire hour went by without anyone walking in the front door. At past jobs, I would have found this mind-numbing and tedious –superiors would start micro-managing to keep everyone from relaxing, hours would have been cut to “save” labor and people expecting a certain amount of pay would end up shortchanged to keep profitability high, and, instead of taking the time to get to know one-another, co-workers would be busy watching to clock and bemoaning the contradictory feelings of “I don’t want to be here/I want to make money.” None of this happened yesterday and, surprisingly, the only time my shift started to drag was the last hour because I can literally see my gym when I work the front station.
As it crept closer to 5:00 p.m., I saw the regular curlbros pouring into the parking lot and knew, undoubtedly, I would have to wait a bit before I could knock out my first 5/3/1 bench session. I wasn’t too miffed about this initially since the beauty of the program is that the first few weeks/cycles aren’t as time consuming as later ones but then I remembered: we were going to eat at my work after my session. I’ve overcome my annoyance with CurlBros standing in the way of me and the rack – my patience with lifting has grown exponentially the last few weeks; what I will never overcome is a bro standing between me and my food.SESSION
Warm-up: Stretching, walking, dips.Barbell bench press
65x11 (+1)Definitely wanted more from this but a one rep improvement is improvement. Progress was made without compromising form or later progress, so I have no real complaints.BBB bench press
45x10x5Focused on spreading the bar, “rowing” the bar with tucked elbows on the descent and pausing at the bottom.
One arm dumbbell rows
10x5Mixed grips throughout sets, first three sets with 90lbs, fourth with 100lbs, and the last with 110lbs.
Cool-down: 10 minutes walking, 4.0 pace, 0.65 miles.AFTERWARD
One of the regulars in my gym asked me, somewhat accusatorily, if there was a reason I was benching “just” the bar for “so many” sets. I was taken aback for two reasons. First, I didn’t know anybody paid that much attention to what I was lifting and, two, I didn’t realize what I lifted mattered to anyone else expect for myself. I casually explained the 5/3/1 and Boring But Big principles to them as succinctly as possible and their response was not surprising: “Wouldn’t you get stronger by maxing out more often?”
Sadly, I was already running behind the time I had told the old lady I’d be ready for dinner so I suggested my interrogator look into the 5/3/1 handbook. I also mentioned that, if they were going to be around on Thursday or Friday, I could give them a better explanation. I definitely wish I’d had more time to talk to them about the benefits of not going to failure every work out but I also didn’t want to keep my girls waiting just to debate bro-science when it could be done, and undoubtedly will be done, at a later time.
The only other noteworthy thing is the sandwich pictured above, i.e. the reason behind my weekend calorie buffer and why my (estimated) macros are so, well, insane (and probably also inaccurate).
What you see up top is half of a Vegan Reuben Melt served with a small side of fries. I actually ate twice the amount pictured plus a heaping pile of sweet slaw but didn’t bother snapping a photo until I decided to eat my “left-overs” late last night. Thought about finishing it off with a bowl of Reese’s Puffs but, with all of the bread, I barely got my nightly shake down. I’ll live to cereal another (read: every other) day.