2/14 -- Intensity Day, Week 6
Squat: 320 x 4
Bench: 190 x 5
Deadlift: 360 x 5
Curl: 80 x 3 x 8
Another bad squatting session. I actually "did" five reps, but the last rep had quite a lot of back rounding and the depth was questionable, so I can't count it in good conscience. This wasn't even progress from last week, since the first 4 reps last week felt strong, while the first 4 reps this week felt hard as hell. I think my last Volume Day was too easy. I'll bump it up next session. I think in the future if I fail VD sessions, I'll just bump down the weight to the last successful 5x5 and see where that takes me.
Bench presses and deadlifts were all-time PR 5RMs for me! The last bench press rep was a real struggle, but I got it up. I think deadlifts actually felt better than last week's, and last week was a pretty good deadlift session. I was able to hold the last rep longer in my hands than in previous weeks, so my grip's definitely getting stronger. This is great, since my grip was the limiting factor the last time I had to reset.
I finished up with 80 x 3 x 8 barbell curls and some band pull-aparts. BEAST MODE!
Too bad the squat didn't bounce back, but congrats on the Bench and DL! That's sweet. At least something is working right!
I was just speaking to some folks at the gym how it's weird that at times one or two lifts just seem to be doing great while the others are totally stalled out.
Are you going to do 320 again?
Are you DLing double overhand?
Yeah, I'll give 320 one more shot next week. It is strange how some lifts can stall while others do perfectly fine. On SS, my squat and deadlift shot right up, but I was constantly having to reset my bench press and OHP. At least then, it makes sense, since both lower body lifts were going up and both upper body lifts were stalling. Here, my ID squats are having trouble, but my deadlifts keep increasing.
Originally Posted by Rob Is
My work sets are mixed grip, but my warm-ups are double overhand. I tried hook grip on a couple of occasions, but I don't really like it.
Originally Posted by Root
2/17 -- Volume Day, Week 7
Bodyweight: 199 lbs
Squat: 280 x 5 x 5
Bench: 175 x 5 x 5
Power Clean: 160 3/3/2/3/3
Squats felt great. The bar felt good on my back, and most of the reps were nice and smooth. Pretty much only the last rep on the last set was a bit of a grind. I felt like I could do more. It's funny how I can have 280 pounds on my back and feel like I can do back-flips around the gym, but put 320 on the bar and suddenly I'm Mr. Gumby-legs.
Bench presses went okay. The last two reps of the last set felt super grind-y. I think I was basically at the limit of my ability for 5x5 bench press. It might be prudent to just maintain at 175 next week and see how those reps feel.
I almost got the power cleans. During the third rep of my third set, the bar got too close to my body and slammed me in the brisket. I set up to do a re-do of that rep, but it's sort of funny how that went--it's like my posterior chain "shut off" and refused to let me do the rep. I rested a couple extra minutes for the 4th set, and actually the 4th and 5th sets went smoothly. I set up for a 6th set, thinking that if I got those then I could just write off that 3rd set as a fluke and call it a PR; however, the first rep of that set turned into a high pull and I knew that I was done. I'll get them next week.
I finished up with some band pull-aparts, as usual.
5 sets of cleans is tough... I used to only do 3 when i did them. (Hope to start doing them again next cycle)
RE: Squat-- get your rest in and make sure you eat plenty the night before and on intensity day-- hopefully you'll get it this time and are finally primed and ready!
I don't really mind the three sets of cleans so much as the three reps per set. Usually the first rep is smooth, the second rep is kind of difficult, and the third rep is a trial of Herculean strength and fortitude. I've considered maybe doing cleans as 6x2 or something, but I want to go through a couple of cycles of progressing and resetting on the 5x3 scheme before tweaking the program.
I always try to make sure I eat like a pig before, during, and after Volume Days and Intensity Days. I'm hoping that last week was a fluke and that I'll crush 320x5 this coming Tuesday.
2/19 -- Recovery Day, Week 7
Squat: 225 x 2 x 5
OHP: 125 5/4/3
Back-Extension: 140 x 5 x 10
Neck Extension: 27.5 x 5 x 25 each direction
Ho-hum workout. OHPs and chin-ups regressed a little, but everything else went well.
2/21 -- Intensity Day, Week 7
Squat: 320 x 4
Bench: 192.5 3/2
Deadlift: 365 x 5
Curl: 85 8/4/4
No luck on squats today. I'd rate the first four reps somewhere between the 2/14 and the 2/7 workouts in terms of quality, but I bombed out on the 5th rep. I think I just need a good dose of HTFU on rep #5. I should lower the weight some and build back up my confidence in 5-rep sets. A full 90% reset seems like too much, though, since it would give me an ID weight of 290, and I was able to handle just 10 pounds lower for 5x5 pretty easily. I was thinking of doing a 95% reset, placing my squat at around 305. But I'm open to suggestions.
For bench presses, the 3rd rep went up really slowly, as in "one rep shy of failure" slowly. If it had been the 4th rep, I would've tried it, but it didn't seem worth risking failure for 4 reps. So I racked it, rested 5 minutes, and did another set of two reps. Both reps were okay, the 2nd one was grind-y. I did consider doing something like this for the squats (doing a 2nd set of 2-3 reps), but I didn't want to interfere with deadlifts, so I let them be. A 2nd set on bench press seemed fine though.
The 365x5 deadlift is a new PR. Deadlifts were hard. Not "max effort" hard where you see black/red and feel like you're going to vomit, but it's definitely feeling like PR territory. One of those sets where you realize that deadlifts are truly a full-body movement. I ripped a callus on the last rep, so I was glad the set was over.
So overall, pretty shitty workout aside from the deadlift PR.
On another note, this workout is basically the halfway point for my trial run. In 6 weeks, I'll sum up the gains I made on both programs and write out my final thoughts. Afterwards, I was thinking of shedding some of the bodyfat I gained over the past 15 months of bulking. I'll keep a log on my progress there as well, so be sure to keep an eye out for it! :-) Depending on how future workouts go, I may make a run for a 4-plate deadlift beforehand. If every deadlift rep is successful for the next 6 weeks (knock on wood), I'll be at 395, so I may as well go for the 400 and 405 benchmarks.
Last edited by FKYT; 02-29-2012 at 12:48 AM.
Have you checked out the new Programming section on this forum? KSC/Andy seems to really like going to lower reps on Intensity day, i.e. keep increasing weight and go to triples, or a few doubles, or 5 singles. What you ended up doing for bench, a triple followed by a double, seems like it would be in line with his recommendations. It makes a lot of sense to me, as my recent intensity day sets have had a huge disparity from first rep to last rep in terms of difficulty and form. Maybe 5 is too many.
Of course changing that would make it hard to compare progress with madcow.