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Deadlift Day

 

Deadlift:

 

1x3x135

1x3x170

1x3x195

1x3x220

 

Rack Pulls:

 

3x3x245

 

Assisted Wide Grip Pull-Ups:

 

1x8

1x5

1x4

1x3

 

Farmer's Walks:

 

We had new farmer's walk bars in the power room today, so I tried them out! They were extremely light, which I didn't expect. I just added 50 lb to each bar and did three sets. They're a lot more awkward than just gripping plates and walking with them.

 

Plate Pinches:

 

3xtwo 5 lb plates pinched between each hand, as long as I can hold on before they drop.

 

 

Squat Day

 

Parallel Squat:

 

1x5x45

1x5x145

1x3x165

1x2x185

 

Oly Squats:

 

1x5x145

2x3x145

 

Lunges with a 35 lb plate held overhead:

 

1 set

 

Lunges with a 45 lb plate held overhead:

 

2 sets

 

Bench Day

 

Bench Press:

 

1x5x45

1x5x85

1x3x95

1x4x105

1x8x90

1x10x85

1x11x80

1x12x75

1x13x70

 

I think the pyramid down is really working for me. I had to leave the gym early as my husband and I are going to go on a double date with some other newlyweds, and I was too excited to get home and get ready to continue my usual training regimen for the day. I think the extra volume on bench is the most helpful thing for me, anyway. Just found this smiley, ha!

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Thanks, Medman!

 

No, MaryStella, I most certainly do NOT want to do reverse lunges with that much weight! Sounds painful! Aaaah, maybe I'll try it anyway. To be honest with you, I'm incredibly clumsy, and the idea of lunging around with a loaded bar worries me. I always wobble around quite a bit just with a small plate overhead.

 

Deadlift Day

 

Deadlift:

 

1x5x135

1x5x185

1x3x210

1x1x235

 

So I'm back to where I was before the vacation, which is good, but not really progress. Hopefully now I've gained a little momentum and can continue to crush more weight. I will say this though, I felt a LOT better about my form during this one rep of 235 than the last time I tried it. My whole back was in perfect form, spine protected, and I slowly set the weight down instead of almost dropping it. I was really concentrating. My hands were killing me for some reason, but my back held up just fine. I wasn't even sore the next day.

 

Rack Pulls (from a lower position than usual, right at about my knees):

 

3x1x245

 

Farmer's Walks:

 

2x90 ish in each hand

 

At this point, someone came in to tell me the gym was closing, so that's all I accomplished for Deadlift Day!

 

So today starts my Deload Week, and I went into the Power Room to do light squats. There's this weird trainer who always comes in with his clients to have them do random exercises with light weights and calisthenics, which are fine, but definitely not powerlifting moves. It would be fine if he wasn't kind of weird, but he always sort of passive agressively says something to me about how he wishes I wasn't really in there. Meanwhile, I am friends with the powerlifter (also a personal trainer there) who actually put in all the work to build this room and make it a secluded strength and power workshop, separate from the rest of the gym. I met him before he started building it and acquiring all the equipment. Anyway, this other weird trainer was in there today having some lady do some sort of exercises right in front of the squat rack. I politely asked if they were going to use the squat rack, and he answered, "No, but I'm going to be back here for the next couple of hours." I would have thought maybe that was an innocent comment if he hasn't told me to get out of the room in the past, but it made me wonder if he was trying to get me out of there this time as well. Anyway, I sort of gave him a dirty look and stepped around him and the lady to get into the squat rack. He continued to have her start her lunges from right up against the squat rack the whole time I was there, even though there was the whole rest of the room to use, and the door was open so they were going all the way outside and turning around and coming back. I had to step around them every time I started a new set. Kind of petty and silly, but I found it really annoying. After I got done, I went to go find the powerlifter I'm friends with to try to clarify the situation. It ended up with me saying if it doesn't stop, I would go to Des Moines Strength Institute instead. Maybe that was a bit of an overreaction on my part, but I don't know. I was under the impression that the Power Room was for, I don't know, Power? I might just check out the other gym anyway since it's a little more up my alley. I heard it was pretty grimy, though.

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Thanks, my deadlift is ok, I guess!

 

Haha, good to know someone understands. I don't like passive aggressive not-exactly-saying-anything-wrong-but-attempting-to-make-you-mad kind of crap. I suppose I have to deal with a few people I don't care for anywhere I go, though.

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Sorry I haven't been online much lately, guys! To answer a few questions, I have been looking around at meets in my area, but I'm still not sure I understand and have all the stuff I need. For example, for one meet I'm supposed to have some sort of suit, even if I compete raw. Something like a wrestler's getup, I think? So I'm not quite ready. There's a lot of other stuff going on in my life lately so I have been kind of behind on planning to compete this summer. I'm probably not going to make it.

 

I didn't buy the book on 5/3/1, I just got the basic gist of it online. I think there's an article on T-Nation's website where they interview Jim Wendler and he gives the basic program.

 

I don't do overhead press day anymore, even though I prefer doing them to bench, because most meets have you compete in bench instead. One trainer told me that a lot of powerlifters just focus on either bench or overhead press for a while because it's so difficult to gain in both lifts simultaneously. Since I have so much trouble with bench, I just wanted to focus on it for a while.

 

Thanks for all the compliments, I'll just have to keep training so I have an even more impressive deadlift, ha!

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Yeah you need a singlet/leotard or whatever you want to call it.

 

I think a lot of stuff that works for advanced powerlifters doesn't apply to novice lifters like ourselves. They've put in years of doing the main lifts consistently before doing things like substituting even the main lifts for other exercises for bouts of time, and know where their weaknesses are and how to work on them effectively. I think for us when we suck at a lift the best way to solve it is to practice it more.

 

I doubt you were overloading your shoulders/tri's with 1 top set a week on 5/3/1 on press/bench, and with no OHP all you're doing to strengthen the tri's/shoulders are bodyweight pushups (not to mention they'll only be getting worked once a week now) . More importantly I think the bench volume (for top sets) is probably too low. 3 heavy sets every 4 weeks.

 

I've just recently added OHP back in, it's a good way to work the medial/posterior deltoids to balance it out from the bench a bit. Most of the powerlifters I train with do bouts of some form of overhead pressing for assistance.

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You're probably right. It's partially because I was also struggling with finding enough time to devote to four days a week of strength training. My cardio days definitely don't take up nearly that much time, so it has made a big difference to go in three times instead of four. I could work OHP this month and not work bench for a while, I guess. I really don't like bench press anyway! Oh and also, I've asked a lot of people for help with bench and what assistance exercises to do and nobody has been able to help me. Or maybe they don't want to. So I know I'm hardly working my tris, just not sure what to do for them. I seem to aggravate my old back injury by doing those one dumbbell behind the head thingies. That's another thing, I may fool a lot of people, but I'm actually pretty retarded about lifting weights. I don't know what anything is called. So I'm not sure if what I'm describing is a tricep extension or not. Seems like I'm extending my triceps, but I could say that about a lot of other similar lifts. Aaaaanyway. Thanks for the advice. If you have any specific tricep exercises I could add in that would help, I'm all ears.

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It's quite simple - do your 5/3/1 Press after Squats on squat day. And do an assistance exercise for tris/shoulders/chest at the end of Bench and Squat day. Options;

 

Bench assistance to choose from;

DB bench

Close grip bench

Incline bench

Overhead tricep extensions

Dips (careful with your shoulder)

Pushups

 

 

 

To be honest I think a program where your benching heavy 2x a week would be better for building your bench - I think the muscles are underworked rather than overworked. Have you considered going back on Madcow? Still ramps up to a top set like 5/3/1 (press/deads unaffected), it's 3x/week, bench/squat heavy twice so plenty of practice, and the assistance is uncomplicated (i used to get a sore head trying to figure out what to do)

 

If you were to pick numbers that would be hitting your 5RMs on everything round about week 4/5 you wouldn't burn out quickly, and when you eventually started failing weights you could switch back to 5/3/1 if you wanted.

 

 

Whatever you do remember overall - out of the powerlifts bench will always be the slowest to progress because it's the smallest muscles involved. You just have to work them hard and eventually it will come around.

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Thanks for the encouragement. I wish I had seen this post yesterday since I had my squat day and just did my normal stuff. I never really thought of doing assistance for a different lift than what I was doing for the main lift in one day, for example doing heavy squats and then working lighter bench assistance, but actually I was talking to a powerlifter at my gym last night who trains that way. I guess I could try that starting next week, and for this week just do a separate OHP day. That's what I was intending to do tonight since I miss them so.

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I'd appreciate that, Mosh! I'm interested in the more advanced one too, although I hear the basic gist of it is switching the sets-of-5 week with the sets-of-3 week so you have a mini-deload during week two, and also you're not supposed to go to failure in the last set during week two.

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Squat Day

 

Parallel Squats:

 

1x5x45

1x5x130

1x5x150

1x5x170

 

Oly Squats:

 

3x6x135

 

Lunges with 45 lb plate held overhead:

 

3x12 lunges each leg

 

OHP Press Day!

 

SOHP:

 

1x5x45

1x5x50

1x5x55

1x5x60

 

Push Press:

 

1x6x65

2x5x65

 

Press Starts:

 

1x3x65

2x5x65

 

Bodyweight Dips:

 

3x6

 

Assisted Chin-Ups with supposedly 65 lbs of counterbalancing weight; doesn't sound right to me, but oh well:

 

1x8

1x5

1x4

 

It doesn't take much convincing for me to throw in an overhead press day, guys, so thanks for reminding me of its existence! Honestly, what with being a newlywed and a bunch of stuff I've been worrying about lately, I guess I just sort of forgot about it. I never intended to abandon the overhead press.

 

It's been a while since I've done front squats and since I've gotten the ok that it's normal to grip with just a few fingers if your wrists are not that flexible, I'm ready to give them another try. Ever squash your fingers between the bar and your own collarbone? Yeaaaah...working on that whole clumsiness thing.

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