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Asparagus Strength Journey


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5/3/1 Cycle 1 Week 2

 

jump rope and pullups

 

OHP

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected] +1 push press

 

Pullups, wide grip - [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]+5#, [email protected]+10#

Shrugs, hook grip - [email protected]#, [email protected]#

Triceps pushdowns, rope handle - [email protected]#, [email protected]#, [email protected]#

 

Good mood and energy today, even though I was in the gym a little later than usual but still 2 hours after my first meal. Felt good on OHP and the bar just kept moving. I was a little worried after last week's low strength at 145#, but I've restored my faith in my deltoids. Last December when I was doing 5/3/1 my best on OHP was [email protected]#, nice improvement! I decided also that I'm going to do a 5/3/1 progression on weighted pullups instead of straight sets at bodyweight each time. Triceps pushdowns were easy. I wasn't sure how heavy to start them so I went pretty light. I will probably stick at [email protected]# next week, then bump the weight next cycle.

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5/3/1 Cycle 1 Week 2

 

jump rope and pullups, mobility drills

 

Deadlift

[email protected]# hook

[email protected] hook

[email protected] hook

[email protected] hook (should have only been 3 reps)

[email protected] hook, chalk

[email protected] switch, chalk

 

Hip thrust - [email protected]#, [email protected]#

Hanging leg raise (feet to hands) - 2, 1.5, 3 (knees), 1/2 (feet/knees), 1/2 (feet/knees)

Back raise, BW+10# - 5x10

 

Low energy today - wasn't feeling it. Pulled an upper back/neck muscle this morning and it's been bothering me all day. It drew some of my concentration away from the lifts, probably why I didn't hit more on the deadlift. Wasn't feeling really strong today. Grip felt like shit too. Can definitely up the weight on back raise, +10# was easy. Not sure I can go much heavier on hip thrusts, even with the heavy pad the bar is still crushing my pelvis.

 

BW is a little low today - ~2 lbs off my average.

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5/3/1 Cycle 1 Week 2

 

jump rope, pullups, shoulder dislocations, squat-2-stands

 

Bench

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

DB rows - 4x10, x20 @ 80#

Dips @ BW - 10, 10, 10, 8, 8

Incline DB bench - 4x5, x9 @ 50#

 

Energy and mood were good today. I've relaxed my arch a little on the bench, as all the extreme arch seems to do is make it a little easier and shorten the ROM (my ass was always on the bench though). Once I hit 5x10 on the dips I'll start adding weight.

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5/3/1 Cycle 1 Week 2

 

jump rope, pullups, mobility drills

 

Squats

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

Good morning - [email protected]#

superset with

Hanging leg/knee raise - 2 leg raise, 1.5 leg raise, 1 leg/3 knee, 1 leg/3 knee, 1 leg/3 knee

 

GHR - 5x10 @ BW

 

Felt OK going in, but on the heavy set of squats felt like shit. My depth was terrible; I didn't feel strong. Good morning and hanging leg raise superset was done to save a little time. My legs were dead after GHRs.

 

I decided that next week I'm going to start a modified Armstrong pullup program (4 days instead of 5 per week). I was previously doing weighted pullups on OHP days, but I'm going to run this for a couple months and see where it gets me. I'm trying to tailor my assistance to what I believe are weak spots. For one I think my pullups are shit, I also think my posterior chain could use some work which is why I've been hitting it twice a week. I think my bench is also a little weak, but my OHP is decent so I'm fine with the bench lagging a bit.

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5/3/1 Cycle 1 Week 3

brief warmup

 

OHP

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected] +2 push press

 

Pullups, BW, 90 secs rest between sets - 9, 5, 4, 4, 4

Shrugs - [email protected]#

Triceps pushdowns, rope handle - [email protected]#

 

Felt OK going in. I've had a cramp in my left hamstring since last night. It's really tight and sore. Also had to lift really late today - too busy at work to take a regular lunch break so I went after work. Wanted to go for 6 heavy reps on OHP, but lost my focus in the middle of the set and it was hard enough to get 5. Needed a little bump on the 5th. Threw on a couple push presses for good measure though. Started the Armstrong pullup program. I'll run it at least until I can get 5 sets of 10.

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5/3/1 Cycle 1 Week 3

jump rope, pullups, mobility drills

 

Deadlift

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

5[email protected]

 

Pullups - 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 10 seconds rest between sets, +60 secs rest, 4

Hanging knee raise - 5, 4, 3, 3, 3

Back raise - 3x5, 30 secs rest between sets

 

Felt good going in today - was looking forward to some nice deadlifts even though my right hamstring is still cramped. It's gotten better since yesterday though. I was a bit unsure of how it would affect my deadlifts today, but I didn't notice it at all. I set my goal at 5 on the heavy set and hit it handily. The 3rd rep bounced on the floor, but the rest were let down properly. I felt like I had a little left in the tank, such that I might have been able to grind out a 6th rep (and suffered the consequence of a sore lower back for the next few days) but decided to leave it at 5. I tried to do leg raises but couldn't even get my legs up once, so decided to do knee raises instead. Cut the back raises way short. I wanted to get a little work on the hamstrings to loosen them up a little, but didn't want to really stress them at all.

 

I'm going to test my maxes in 2 months. 3rd week in August - 2 more cycles. Should be able to hit 190 strict OHP, 500 Deadlift, 270 Bench, and 395 Squat (may go for 400).

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5/3/1 Cycle 1 Week 3

 

jump rope and pullups, shoulder dislocations, squat-2-stands

 

Bench

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

DB Row - 4x10, 1x15 @ 85#

Pullups - 9x3, 60 seconds rest between sets (set 1 wide, set 2 normal, set 3 close supinated, repeat)

Dips - 10, 10, 10, 9, 7

 

Got interrupted on my way to the gym, was delayed for half an hour and was pretty hungry during my workout. Still hit all the numbers I was hoping for. My ass was trying to leave the bench on the last heavy rep, but I held it there as the bar slowly crept to lockout. The pullups were a lot harder to complete than I though they should be, but my arms were a little worked after the DB rows. I didn't expect to finish 5x10 on the dips after that, but got pretty close.

 

I've been cutting my warmups a little short lately - less jump rope sets and pullup sets. Still doing the stretching every time and mobility work on leg days.

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Thanks, captfit. Things are well - nothing out of the ordinary.

 

5/3/1 Cycle 1 Week 3

 

jump rope, pullups, mobility drills

 

Squats

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected], 90 seconds rest, x1, 90 seconds rest, x1

 

Pullups, 60 seconds between sets, alternating wide, normal, and supinated grips

11x3, supinated x7

 

Pissed about the squats. I wanted to hit 5, but I also wanted to make sure they were all full depth. I was seeing stars after finishing the third rep, paused for a bit, went for 4 and couldn't bring it back up. Decided I was going to get 5 at that weight no matter what so I did a couple singles to parallel. I know I could have hit all 5 at parallel (or just below). My right hamstring is still super tight. Normally I can lay my palms on the top of my feet, but now the best I can get is my fingertips a couple inches above my toes. It's been almost a week now. I could feel it while I was squatting and I'm sure it threw off my game. I'm glad next week is a deload week. Hopefully by the start of Cycle 2 my hammy will be back in full working order.

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Thanks MF!

 

5/3/1 Cycle 1 Week 4 Deload

 

jump rope, shoulder dislocations, squat-2-stands

 

OHP

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

Pullups, max effort

10, 6, 5, 4, 4, 90 seconds rest between sets

 

Hams are still tight, but I can touch my toes now. All OHP sets done as explosive paused reps for some speed work. Pullups better than last week, probably helped by the lower intensity on OHP.

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5/3/1 Cycle 1 Week 4 Deload

 

jump rope and mobility drills

 

Deadlift

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

Pullups

1, 10 secs rest, 2, 20 secs rest, 3, 30 secs rest, 4, 40 secs rest, 5, 50 secs rest, 4, 40 secs rest, 4

 

All deadlifts done with hook grip, explosively, full pause on the floor between reps for speed. Reread the instructions for the pullups and realized that I was not taking the appropriate rest period last week. The rest for this workout is supposed to be 10 seconds PER rep done the previous set.

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5/3/1 Cycle 1 Week 4 Deload

 

Thursday 6/27

 

Brief warmup

 

Bench

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

Pullups, rotating sets - wide, normal, supinated, repeat, 60 seconds rest between sets

9x3

 

All bench sets done explosively, with a slow negative and pausing at the bottom.

------------------

 

Today

 

jump rope and mobility drills

 

Squats

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

Pullups, rotating sets - wide, normal, supinated, repeat, 60 seconds rest between sets

11x4, x6

 

All squats done full depth, with a slight pause at the bottom to dampen the stretch reflex.

 

My hamstrings are finally feeling normal again. I can lay my palms on the tops of my feet. Hurray!

 

I seem to be done about 1.5# bodyweight. Curious to see how that affects my strength next cycle, if it is muscle mass or just water/fat weight.

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Thanks dude. Not too happy with my squatting performance as of late. Thought I had my form down but I still seem to lose it a little on the heavy sets. I also noticed a grinding noise in my right knee over the weekend when showing my wife how to squat full depth. It was only a bodyweight squat, and the grinding occurs only when I'm at the very bottom of a deep squat - past parallel. I need to make an appointment to see my doctor for a yearly checkup anyway, I'll ask about it.

 

With the hams, I thought it was just DOMS, but they felt more like I had cramped both of them (the right one more severely) as they were super tight and difficult and painful to stretch out. They're both back to normal now - I'll take it a little easier with the hamstring assistance exercises to make sure I don't overdo it again.

 

5/3/1 Cycle 2 Week 1

 

I only have 3 gym days this week due to the holiday, so I combined OHP and Deadlift today.

 

jump rope and mobility drills

 

OHP

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

Deadlift

[email protected] hook

[email protected] hook

[email protected] hook

[email protected] hook

[email protected] hook

[email protected] switch

 

Pullups - 5xmax effort, 90 seconds rest

10, 7, 6, 5, 4

 

Called it a day after this. I gave a little bump on the last rep of OHP from my toes to get it started. The bar shifted out a bit in front of me and I had to reposition myself to get under the bar and push it up. Might have had another rep if not for that, but happy with 8 anyway. Forgot my chalk today for the deadlift. After rep 6 the bar was in my fingers so I could only pull out one more before my grip gave way. Definitely could have done at least one more if I had the chalk. Pullups are getting better each week. Maybe I can hit 11 on the first set next week.

 

Bodyweight was a little low today according to the gym scale - down a couple # from where it was a month ago.

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Sometimes knee clicks and pops are just a fact of life, hopefully that's the case. My knees sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies when I squat (no damage that has ever been found, no real injuries to them, they're just noisy as hell), so that may just be the way things are for you as well if you haven't had any injuries to them, but it never hurts to get checked out just to be safe.

 

As a suggestion for getting heavy squat confidence as something to try when you're in between programs down the line, don't underestimate the power of heavy half squats as well as paused rock-bottom squats for working through weak points. I credit both with getting my to 500+ back in my prime - the overloaded 1/2 to 1/4 squats built great lockout power and gave much more confidence when using normal weights, and the rock-bottom paused squats made sure that I had built good explosive power out of the hole. Spend 3-5 seconds down there with the bar just an inch above the pins in case you can't get back up for any reason, heavy singles, doubles and triples can work wonders!

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Thanks much for the insight, VE! My knees otherwise feel fine and the only injury I've ever had was to my left knee when I was a kid and ran into something that left a nice scar below my knee cap. Over the past 2.5 years since I've started lifting again I haven't really had any pain or trouble with my knees outside of a little soreness between workouts when I tried going with a wide stance for a couple weeks and my knees weren't tracking properly. I guess the "grinding" does actually sound a bit like rice krispies!

 

At some point I will have to try the overloaded partials. I could use a bit of confidence when I get up to max weight on the bar.

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5/3/1 Cycle 2 Week 1

 

jump rope, pullups, shoulder dislocations, squat-2-stands

 

Bench

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

DB Rows

[email protected]#

 

Pullups, Pyramid

1, 10 secs rest, 2, 20 s rest, 3, 30 s rest, 4, 40 s rest, 4

 

Not a lot of energy today. I might have been able to get another on the bench, but rep 6 was tough and I didn't have a spotter. Rows sucked, barely able to get 10 reps on each set. Pullups were worse than last week's pyramid, although last week I didn't do the pyramid after DB rows!

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5/3/1 Cycle 2 Week 1

 

jump rope, pullups, mobility drills

 

Squats

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

superset with Pullups, rotating sets through wide, normal, supinated grips, 60 secs rest between sets

9x4

That was a bad idea.

 

Good morning

[email protected]#

 

Was really short on time so I decided to superset the squats with the pullups. In retrospect, I shouldn't have done so because with the 60 seconds rest between pullups sets my HR was a bit high on the heavier squat sets and I had trouble getting in the groove. The set at 270 was a lot harder than it normally would be, so I decided to finish the rest of the pullups and then give myself a few minutes before the final set. The damage was done though, and I was not in top form for the 305# set. Managed to get 5 at parallel, didn't have anything left in the tank.

 

In the 5/3/1 book Wendler says not to mess with the main lift, and I broke the rule. The squats (that I only do once a week) are much more important than the pullups I do 4 times a week. I should have focused on the squats and then supersetted pullups with the good mornings and to hell with it if I didn't finish the 9 sets. Oh well, live and learn.

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Monday - 5/3/1 Cycle 2 Week 2

brief warmup

 

OHP

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

Pullups, 5 sets max effort, 90 seconds rest

11, 6, 6, 6, 6

 

Didn't have much time in the gym today, so cut my warmup short and dropped all the rest of the assistance. Everything felt good, my goal was to hit 5 reps on the heavy set, which I did. I noticed my left side lagging a bit on the final press, but I was able to complete the rep.

 

Today - 5/3/1 Cycle 2 Week 2

 

jump rope and pullups (only 2 of them, though), mobility drills

 

Deadlift

[email protected]# hook

[email protected] hook

[email protected] hook

[email protected] hook

[email protected] hook

[email protected] switch, chalk

 

Pullups, pyramid starting at 1, #reps x 10 seconds rest between sets, until failure

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 4 (failure), 4

 

Hanging leg raise

3, 2, 2, 1, 4 knee raise

 

Back raise

5x10

 

Deadlifts felt great today. Had a killer headache going in - jump rope was NOT fun. Started to subside a bit while deadlifting, dissipated completely by the end of the hanging leg raise. Only planned to hit 5 reps on the heavy set, but felt great so I went for another and got it without much fuss.

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Aw man, reading this makes me miss 5/3/1 haha.

"Sometimes knee clicks and pops are just a fact of life, hopefully that's the case. My knees sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies when I squat (no damage that has ever been found, no real injuries to them, they're just noisy as hell), so that may just be the way things are for you as well if you haven't had any injuries to them, but it never hurts to get checked out just to be safe." Agreed, my feet/ankles sound the a bowl of rice crispies when I walk down the stairs hahaha

 

Anyway How's is everything your side of the water mate?

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Hey guys - thanks for stopping by. Everything's great here, other than a somewhat high relative humidity lately (high for southern California, definitely not the worst I've experienced) and no air conditioning in my car or at work. I've ordered an air conditioner to be installed in my office window next week, which I am very munch looking forward to!

 

5/3/1 Cycle 2 Week 2

 

Bench

[email protected]#

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected] (was actually 6 reps but my spotter was giving a bit too much help so I'm calling it at 5)

 

DB Rows, 60 seconds rest between sets, 120 seconds before last set

[email protected]#, [email protected]#

 

Pullups, rotating sets through normal, wide, supinated grips, 60 seconds rest between sets

9x4

 

Dips, 60 seconds rest between sets, 120 seconds before last set

10, 10, 10, 10, 9

 

Had a pretty good session today. My bench spotter was giving assist starting on rep 3, even though I didn't call for it nor need it. I know I could have bagged 5 reps without trouble and was going to go for 6 depending on how I felt. Oh well. The relatively easy bench lifts probably kept me fresher on the assistance. I hit my DB row goal easily. The last wave of normal and wide grip pullups were tough, I had to pause (dead hang) before the last rep both times. Almost made the 5x10 dips. Made it halfway up on rep 10 on the last set. I'd say next week for sure but next week is a heavy week - going for [email protected]# on bench, and by the time I get to dips I'll probably be spent.

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