*** I moved my log to the competitor's section and completed my first meet on 12/11/11. I am planning to do another meet in July, where I will attempt to total over 1500 in meet conditions (raw). If you want to skip the old stuff, post #498 shows the meet results with some videos a few posts down. Post #521 (currently last page) is my continued progression towards the next meet.
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I'm new here, so I figured I would start a log. I use to lift a long time ago seriously, and I have also been training sporadically for the last couple of years as well. I got away from Squatting and DLing, where I used to do those all the time in the past. This probably explains why my current bench is stronger than my squat
Anyways, some stats.
Weight: 340lbs (@ 29% BF, was measured a month ago)
Goals: Get strong and slowly reduce my BF/weight.
Current Program: Doug Hepburn Singles/Triples program. Since I just started I am going for the maximum number of sets every week, if I get them I move up and weight and continue. Once I hit a barrier, I will do the program as published.
My main lifts for the upper body day: Bench, Standing Overhead Press, Power Curls (working more of the back).
My main lifts for lower body day: Low Bar Squat, Deadlift (currently trying standard, have done sumo in the past), and Barbell Rows.
This is the exact program of exercises from Doug Hepburn's book, which is viewable online. I adjusted the sets/reps in accordance with Hepburn's recommendations later in life.
Once I am done with my rapid newb gains, I will start with a weight (e.g 245) for 4 sets of 1. If I can get that, the next week you go for more sets. Once you can get 8 sets, then you move up in weight. As you get near the top end, you may only increase 1 set per session on the exercises. I currently do the 8 sets every week and then move up (as mentioned above). If I hit a wall, then I can move to 8 sets of triples at about 80% 1RM. Once I get up to the weight I was stuck at on singles, then I can move back to the single rep program.
I have been doing this for a couple of weeks and have seen good results. I started light and have focused on fast bar speed and explosive lifts. So far the only one that has been stalling a little is my DL. I am grinding those at a slower pace.
I started the singles program benching 225, squatting 185, and DL 250. I started doing sumo, but recently switched to standard to see if that helps a bit. I am also only DLing every other lower body day. I do rack pulls on the other alternating day.
I try to lift every other day, so 4 sessions every 8 days. Sometimes I did miss a day, especially the first week where I only lifted 2 times, since I was so sore.
Now onto my last 2 lifting days...
Last edited by Callador; 12-13-2011 at 12:18 PM.
Reason: Updates for new goals, moved log
1/30 (sets x reps)
Squat: 255lbs 8x1 Some of the reps were a little slow, but all the reps were pretty easy. I'm trying to add some of the SS:BBT cues into my squat. When I get a good inital hip drive, the weight is moving up fast. Sets 4 and 7 were the best. Set 1 was the worst. I am moving up +5lbs for next time (260lbs).
Rackpulls: 345lbs 8x1 I was really trying to focus on getting my hips forward after the initial pull. I start the pulls from the lowest pin which is about 2 inches below my knee. Doing standard DLing the weight is coming off the floor fast, put I was having a harder time locking it out after it passed the knee. I will continue to focus on this style of rack pull until I feel better about doing normal deadlifts. All of the sets felt good, so I am moving up +5lbs for next time (350lbs).
Barbell Rows: 200lbs 8x1 I do these as illustrated in Hepburn's book, so my back is parallel to the floor. I pull up and maintain the back angle to focus on a strict, but explosive, pull. All of the sets were real easy and the bar smashed into my chest really hard. Since they were pretty easy I decided to add +10lbs for next time. I will keep adding 10lbs as long as the bar speed is still fast.
Final reflections: All and all it was a good day. I ordered a belt, some knee sleeves, and some micro 1.25lbs plates as well. I hope they come soon. I'm also lifting with my little 15yr old sister. She is 98lbs, and I got her from doing less than bar on all the lifts up to 60lb bench, 95lbs squat, and 105lb deadlift in the month we have now worked together. She is enjoying it, but she needs to eat more to recover faster (I'm recovering much better and I'm a lot older).
Bench: 255lbs 8x1 All of the reps were pretty easy and explosive. I had one set where I lost my bar groove, but was still able to recover since the weight is still light. I am starting to see the bar slow down a little on the low end of my lift, which is common for a RAW bench. I will continue with my rows which should help. The top of the lift is still pretty fast, so I'm not planning on doing close grip bench or other tricep excersises for a while. I am moving up +5lbs for next time (260lbs).
Standing Overhead Press: 145lbs 8x1 I was able to get all the reps, but a couple I had to grind out at a slower pace. As I started to get better form, the lifts became easier at the end. I never really did the Overhead Press much in the past, especially from the top of the chest. I am still getting the hang of it and it is coming along nicely. I decided to add +5lbs for next time (150lbs). I hope my micro plates come soon, since I can see this lift stalling a little faster than the others. Come on Amazon!!!
Power Curls: 110lbs 8x1 I started with the normal barbell and changed over to a curved curl bar to help relieve some of the strain on my wrists and lower arm tendons. I did 4 sets with each and all of them went well. I am adding +5lbs for next time (115lbs). *As a side note, I haven't been big on doing curls in a long time. It is part of the program, since old strongmen use to enter curling competitions, or sometimes powerlifting meets had curling in them as well back in the day. I might forgo this lift in the future and add in pullups to get a little more back work. We will see in the weeks to come.
Next lifting day is 2/3 where I will do Squat, Deadlift, and Barbell Rows... wish me luck!
Squat: 260lbs 8x1 I was messing around with stance for a while, trying to figure out what works best for me. About 8 months ago when I started lifting briefly, I was introduced to a pretty wide squat stance, since the guys at that gym compete in the APF/WPO. I decided to pull my legs in a little more, ala SS:BBT and I think it worked a little better. All the reps were pretty easy, and it only really slowed down some in the middle. My last rep was a little sloppy, and I shifted forward a little before I pushed it up. I am moving up +5lbs next time (265lbs).
Deadlift: 315lbs 8x1 I am still working on perfecting my standard deadlift stance, since I used sumo for years. I think I am starting to get it down, and the weight was pretty easy. I think the rackpulls are helping me push my hips through at the top. I started messing around with the hook grip as well and used it for the first 4 sets. It seemed like I was more explosive while using it, but maybe that was because I wanted the pain to end so I pulled it up faster!!! The rest of the sets were mixed grip. I still haven't received my belt, so all of my squats/deads were done without any support. I will move up +5lbs for next time (320lbs). I hope my belt comes soon, and then I can keep pushing the DL up. On a side note my 95lb (15 yr old) sister just hit 105lbs on her 8 sets of deads as well. She is getting real strong. Not bad for 1 month of training!
Barbell Rows: 210lbs 8x1 These were a little tougher than last week. I was still explosive, but I had to really focus on blasting the bar up. I will move up +5lbs for next time (215lbs).
All and all the training day went really well. My next training day will be Saturday, 2/5. I will hit up Bench, OHP, and Power Curls.
Bench: 260lbs 8x1 All of my sets went really well. I felt a little tired for the last 2 sets, but everything went ok in the end. I am moving up +5lbs next time (265lbs).
OHP: 150lbs 8x1 Some of these sets were a little hard. If I get the hip thrust correct the weight moves up pretty fast. If I don't get it right, I end up getting a little stuck in the middle. The bar keeps moving, but the speed is too slow. My last 2 sets were really good, so I decided to move up +5lbs for next time (155lbs). My 1.25lb plates came today, so if I continue to struggle and need to work on form a little more, I will definately just go up 2.5lbs every time instead. Once I max out on that, then I will deload a little and start the official Hepburn method.
Power Curl: 115lbs 8x1 All of the sets went well, so I decided to go up +5lbs (120) for next time. I can see the smaller 1.25lb plates coming in handy here as well.
I got my TK knee and elbow sleeves today. I used the elbow sleeves and it really did help with some of the tendon pain I was getting while curling. If my tendons continue to act up, I will drop the curl for something else. Now I am just waiting for my belt. I lift on Monday (squat/dl/bb rows), so I hope it comes before then.
** On a side note, Saturdays at the YMCA are a little wild. Lots of younger kids (14-18) doing all sorts of stuff wrong. I am shocked that no one got hurt. One kid was being "coached" by his friend and asked him how much weight he should use. He was a beginner and hadn't lifted before. He told him to put on 95lbs for the bench, and after he lifted it off for him it crashed down on his chest. He was benching BB style, so he is lucky that it didn't hit his throat. I even still warm up a with a set or 2 just using the bar. Not sure why someone has to jump up to 95 right away. Then the coach started benching 95, for 1/2 reps, with his buddy curling/rowing it for him on the top... for every rep!!! I don't see anything wrong with a negative or forced rep every once and while, but this takes the cake.
Squat: 265lbs 8x1 All of the sets went really well. I did get my TK knee sleeves today, so I'm sure that helped a little. Maybe my form was really on, not sure, but every rep was very explosive. I am still only going to raise is +5lbs, even though I think I could go 10lbs. I want to keep my bar speed fast and explosive, and if I go up in weight too fast I might have issues with that. Next time I will do 270lbs.
Rack Pulls: 350lbs 8x1 All of the sets were real easy, much easier than last week. I think I'm getting the hang of the conventional stance, especially using the hip drive/thrust to help lock it out. Again, not to jinx myself, I will just go up +5lbs next time (355lbs). I do alternate between this and normal deadlifts, so if things are still easy next week, I might start going up +10lbs for both the deadlift and rack pulls so I can keep up with the squat, which averages +10lbs a week since I do it 2 times.
Barbell Rows: 215lbs 8x1 All the sets were real explosive, moving up +5lbs for next time (220lbs).
Today was a great day in the gym. Everything felt light and I wasn't too banged up afterwards. 2 girls did come in to do the worst squats I ever saw. They were just pushing/bending their knees forward and inward to bring the bar down. It looked real bad. I did tell them to sit back instead. Normally I don't say anything, but the squats looked really dangerous. Not sure if they cared or not, but the one girl did start doing them much better after the demo. They still didn't go parallel, but at least it was safe.
2/7 additional info. Every month I would like to post my new totals and compare them to previous months and the starting lifts as well. I just hit the 1 month mark on this routine.
Starting: Ending: Gain/loss:
Bench- 225 260 +35lbs
Squat- 205 265 +60lbs
DL- 250 315 +65lbs
OHP- 95 150 +55lbs
Rows- 135 215 +80lbs
Curls- 85 115 +30lbs
** Some of the gains were a little larger because I didn't start the program at 90% of my 1rm. I was about at 90% for bench and squat, but I think DL and OHP were closer to 80-85%. Rows were even lighter. I wanted to start off easy to work on form and bar speed. I hadn't squatted much since college, so I knew that I wanted to break into it slowly. All my new totals are at or still under 90% 1rm, so things are moving along well. Most of my new maxes I could hit for a double and maybe even a triple.
Bench: 265lbs 8x1 All of the sets were pretty easy and the bar speed was still fast. My 7th set got out of the groove a little, so it was a tad slower, but all and all it was great. I am moving up +5lbs for next time (270lbs).
OHP: 155lbs 8x1 I think I am getting my form down, because the sets this week were some of the easiest ones I did yet. Now I just have to keep remembering to use good form!!! I am moving up +5lbs for next time (160lbs).
Power Curls: 120lbs 8x1 All of these went well too, but I'm still wondering if I should be doing them. Maybe I will pull back the weight in the near future and do 8x3's. I might do lat pull downs instead as well, until I can do pullups. I am planning on moving up +5lbs for next time (125lbs).
I was a little worried heading into the gym today because I was really fatigued for some reason. I think it has to do with my diet, since I am starting to try and eat a little better. To my suprise though, once I warmed up (takes me a while) things went much better than expected.
My next workout is 2/11. I will do Squat, DL, and BB Rows.
Squat: 270lbs 8x1 All of the sets went well. I am going to move up +5lbs for next time (275lbs).
Deadlift: 325lbs 8x1 All of the sets were pretty easy. I think it helps to alternate with the rack pulls to save my lower back. When I start the pull using a standard deadlift, I feel like I am going to puke. I'm sure it is just the belt and my gut pushing back on my stomach. I might have to try to eat a little less. Once I get it off the floor, the feeling goes away. I am going to add +10lbs for next time (335lbs).
Barbell Rows: 225lbs 8x1 The sets went well, but I really had to pull quickly to keep my form and get the weight up to my chest. I was supposed to do 220, but I got lazy after deadlifting and just did 225lbs instead. Since I got all my sets, I am going to move up +5lbs for next time (230lbs).
I saw the best thing at the gym today. A guy took a 7' barbell and put some tens on the one side. He then stood it up vertically and moved it up and down rapidly in a short range of motion, like the shapeweight things you see on TV. I had to laugh after seeing the South Park episode about it... this was the world's biggest shapeweight!!!
Bench: 270lbs 8x1 All sets went really well. I had some interesting spotters, but I told them how to spot it correctly and they did fine. Since the bar moved quickly, they wanted me to do more reps, but I told them that it wasn't part of the program. I think some of them in the end understood that you don't need to go to failure all the time and end up overtraining in the end. It is easy for me to overtrain, so I really watch what I do in the gym. I am going to add +5lbs for next time (275lbs).
OHP: 160lbs 8x1 All of the sets went really well, so I'm adding +5lbs for next time (165lbs).
Pullup machine: BW-120lbs 8x1 This is my first time doing this exercise, so I started on the conservative side. The machine makes it a little harder to explode, but I can't do BW pullups yet. All of the sets went well, so I am taking off 10lbs next time (BW-110).
DB Curls: (60, 80, 90lbs) 3x5 I went to these instead, since my tendons were killing me doing barbell curls. I will just do LP on these, so next week I will do all three sets at 90lbs. These felt a lot better in the gym, now I just have to wait till tomorrow and see if the tendons still feel ok.
All and all, not a bad day. I am planning on posting some movies of my lifts when I hit weights that are a goal of mine. My first one will probably be when I hit 315 on the bench. I will also take movies of a 365lb squat and 405lb deadlift when I get there. For overhead press I will get one at 225lbs as well, even though this isn't a powerlift. I will then make new videos when I add 50 pounds or so to each lift.
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