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Adena
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My normal routine is as follows: First I do bench, then J & Presses, then dumbbell presses, then dips, then push-ups. That's it. I train bench in the 3-5 rep range, all the rest in about 8-12 rep range.

 

This weekend was the first time I tried using bands. So on Sunday I did bench for 5 rep sets, then lightened the load and did a few sets of four reps with bands, then dumbbell presses, dips, and push-ups like normal. I've been told negatives help a lot, but I can't always count on having a good spotter.

I looked back in your log, you are doing a lot of assistance and not so much actual bench. Maybe just cut out the assistance, up the volume on the bench, cut back the weight on the bench and build up some momentum with linear progression? Also if you can work on technique that is allways good.

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Squat Day

 

Squats:

 

1x5x120

1x5x140

1x4x160 Oooooh....a miss! Well, I'm not too heartbroken about it, seeing as I felt like puking throughout most of this session. I mustered up some gumption from somewhere deep inside and continued with the rest of my session, as follows:

 

Box Squats:

 

1x15x115

2x12x115

 

Lunges with 25 lb plate overhead

 

Leg Press:

 

3x15x280

 

Leg Curl:

 

3x15x65

 

Time to up the weight in leg presses & leg curls! But first, a couple of days off (and by "off," I mean I'll do two days of cardio instead of lifting) to recuperate from the wee bit of food poisoning I had earlier this week, then I think I'll head back to the gym on Saturday to begin Week Two of this phase. It's a weird day to start a training week, but it's been a weird couple of months. Next week I'll have to slow my chiropractic sessions down to once a month due to financial constraints. Kind of a bummer, but also kind of a relief. I hate how it takes up so much of my time.

 

Bronco, I think you're probably right. For all the other lifts, I do my training session exactly the same way, and it seems to work for them. Just three sets of the key lift, then a bunch of assistance work. It just seems weird that I have to treat bench so differently than the other lifts, but it's an especially difficult one for me, so I guess it makes sense. Do you think I should do a pyramid? Someone else suggested that to me. I had a few other things I wanted to try for this four week phase, but maybe next month I'll do the pyramid or just more volume or something instead.

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I just realized that since I didn't have my journal with me yesterday and I was just guessing what amounts to squat, I accidentally did 90% instead of 80% for that last set. So actually, I kicked butt! Go me!

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I'm reading here that there's an assistance program that simply uses the same exercise as the main lift with less weight, pyramiding down is even suggested!

 

Ok, I'll try to find some time to read about pyramiding down. You're the third person to tell me to try that. I think I'll start fresh at the next four week phase. Thanks for the link. It's been a while since I read any useful weightlifting articles, but I'll take any advice Dave Tate has to offer!

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Standing Overhead Press Day

 

SOHP:

 

1x3x55

1x3x60

1x3x70

 

BOR:

 

1x15x70

1x12x75

1x8x75

 

One Arm DB Press with 25lb dumbbell:

 

It's really hard for me to remember exactly what I did with each hand. It's always slightly less with the left than the right, but I'm trying to be around the 8-12 rep range for each hand. At the moment, I'm not able to do that for every set with the left hand, so I'm going to stick with a 25 lb dumbbell until my lefty is a little stronger.

 

Assisted Pull-Ups & Chin-Ups

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Deadlift Day

 

Deadlift:

 

1x3x150

1x3x175

1x6x195

 

Farmer's Walk with 45 lb plates

 

Plate pinches with two 5 lb plates

 

Good Mornings:

 

5x12x115

 

Hanging Leg Raises:

 

3x10

Edited by Adena
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Bench Day

 

Bench Press:

 

1x3x80

1x3x90

1x3x100

 

I had a really bad spotter for the last set. A whole lot of touching the bar, "It's all you, it's all you!" etc...he also yanked the bar out of my hands and racked it after the third rep, and I could've actually done another rep this time. Well, a bad spotting incident happens to everyone once in a while. I guess it was just my turn.

 

I decided to add more volume at this point with lighter weight. I was intending to do sets of ten with about a minute rest between each set, and I think I actually went a bit too heavy.

 

1x12x45

1x10x65

4x6x65

 

I guess it wore me out quickly. Next I moved on to benching the bar with wimpy cardio bands:

 

3x5x45 + bands

 

Then I did these things where you put either a plate or a dumbbell behind your head while seated, then raise it up above your head. Tricep extensions? I'm not sure what they're called.

 

1x10x25

2x8x25

 

Push-Ups:

 

2x10

1x8

 

Dips:

 

1x7

 

I only did one set because I realized I was taking a pretty long time and I was pretty beat at this point anyway.

 

So I was annoyed at the spotter, but I think I can tell I'm starting to gain a smidgen of strength again. All in all, kind of a neutral lifting day. They can't all be winners. At least I had a righteous deadlift day on Monday.

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Nothing like a good deadlift day =] I just realised we're synced up. We're doing the same workouts on the same days, and I think we're both on Week 2 just now. My bench day also started not so good, and ended with 1 set of the last exercise.

 

Think I'm gonna start pyramidding down tomorrow on squat day.

 

How was the tricep extensions? Worth doing? I never really found another exercise for triceps since skull crushers killed my elbow (straight bar). If I don't find something else then I'm just gonna have to go even heavier on weighted dips!

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Lobster-thanks! I have still higher goals, and hopefully I'll reach those, too! I think I'm about to be able to deadlift two plates pretty soon, so that's neat.

 

Chewy-I'm not sure about those tricep things I did. They felt pretty awkward. I won't know if they really help me until I start to see more gains in my bench, I guess. I think benching with bands is a pretty good idea, though, because I did those last week and already this week I was feeling a bit stronger. Time will tell!

 

It's cool that we synced up. We'll probably get out of sync again next week, though, because I don't know if I'm going to have time to go back to strength training four times a week. I also haven't decided if it's more beneficial for me to just strength train three times per week, and thus devote another day to cardio. I kind of like doing that. Wish I had a gym buddy here in Des Moines so I could have a better spotter!

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Squat Day

 

Squats:

 

1x5x135 (I forgot I was doing sets of three, so I did 5 reps by mistake, then remembered to do three for the next set.)

1x3x150

1x3x165 This last set was a bit shaky, but I got it.

 

Box Squat:

 

1x15x115

2x12x115

 

Lunges for a longer distance than usual with 25 lb plate overhead; I think next time I'll upgrade to the 35 pound plate, or maybe start lunging around with a bar and plates. I'm not sure that's safe, though.

 

Leg Press:

 

3x15x280

 

Leg Curl:

 

3x15x65

 

So I really hate leg press and curls, and they don't seem to be hindering my progress in squats, but I have my doubts about whether they're really helping me any. Anyone have any suggestions for how I can mix up my leg day? I want to continue doing squats and box squats of course, and lunges are just plain fun. But for the last two exercises, I'd like to do something different.

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SOHP Day

 

SOHP:

 

1x5x55

1x3x65

1x2x70

 

BOR:

 

1x15x75

1x12x75

 

One Arm DB Press:

 

3 sets each arm, with 25 lb dumbbell - I never remember how much I do for each arm.

 

Assisted Pull-Ups & Chin-Ups

 

Deadlift Day

 

Deadlift:

 

1x5x160

1x3x185

1x3x205

 

Good Mornings:

 

3x12x135

 

Farmer's Walks with 45 lb plates

 

Plate pinches with two 5 lb plates

 

Various planks

 

Hanging Leg Raises:

 

3x10

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Bench Day

 

Bench:

 

1x5x85

1x3x95

1x6x105

 

I ate a lot of spaghetti today. Apparently, that's just what I needed.

 

Bench for volume:

 

1x12x65

4x10x65

 

Bench with bands:

 

3x10x45

 

Push-Ups:

 

3x10

 

Dips:

 

1x8

2x5

 

The only downside to this is, I weighed in at 136. So, I have to gain approximately five more pounds to lift five more pounds? Something about that doesn't seem quite right...

 

Ah well, squat day tonight, and then I'll begin Deload Week and try to fit in lots of cardio and healthy foods, and less nuts...We'll see how it goes!

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Squat Day

 

Squats:

 

1x5x140

1x3x160

1x1x175

 

I was hoping for a few more reps of that last set, but I just didn't have it in me. At least I tried and failed the second rep. I think it's due to my lazy weekend when I slept in and only ate twice a day.

 

Box Squats:

 

3x12x115

 

Lunges with 35 lb plate

 

Leg Press:

 

1x12x300

2x12x320

 

Leg Curl:

 

1x12x80

2x10x95

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Deload Week

 

Deload week is when you intentionally lift about half of what you normally can, to give the ol' muscles a bit of a break.

 

SOHP:

 

1x5x30

1x5x40

1x5x45

 

Deadlift:

 

1x5x90

1x5x110

1x5x130

 

Bench:

 

1x5x45

1x5x55

1x5x65

 

Squat:

 

1x5x75

1x5x95

1x5x115

 

Plus, I did more cardio than usual. I managed to run outside a few times, between thunderstorms. Mostly I had to use the cardio equipment at the gym, though. Tonight I plan to do some HIIT after work, and then tomorrow, back to the old grind.

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