Giving a go at HLM Giving a go at HLM

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Thread: Giving a go at HLM

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Default Giving a go at HLM

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    I have decided to finally move myself to a more intermediate program following HLM. I have been following NLP pretty closely for 31 weeks since early October. I have been pretty consistent, though that duration doesn't have misses due to sickness or travel, and I would estimate about 25-26 weeks of actual progress, which I'm pretty excited about. I have also been working on losing weight and have dropped just over 30 pounds, so all of the progress I've made on NLP has been in a caloric deficit.

    I am certain I could get more out of NLP, but after 31 weeks, I am ready to move to something different. I am also still in a caloric deficit with plenty of weight to lose, and the NLP progress is really starting to wear on me. So moving to HLM is more because I want to than absolutely need to do so. I would categorize myself as a late-stage novice or early intermediate.

    My best lifts so far on NLP are:
    Squat: 295x5
    Deadlift: 345x3
    Bench: 192.5x5
    Press: 132.5x5
    Power Clean: 152.5x3

    Squat was reset all the way back to 225 for form, I got it to 265 and screwed up badly outside of the rack so reset again to 245 for the next workout to deal with potential soreness (I was good by the next workout) and to not get too much in my head about failing the same way again.

    Other person/vital info:
    Age: 41
    Weight: 295ish
    Waist: 49"
    Height: 5'10"

    Weight is down from just under 330, and waist down 7 inches from when I started NLP. Honestly, I've screwed around too much and not been adherent to my diet the past 6 weeks or so, so haven't been making progress there. I plan on rectifying that.

    My lifting program going forward is as follows:

    Monday/D1 of Week:
    Heavy Squats: 1 top set of 5 +5# over previous week; 4x5 back-off sets @ 90% of top set (may go to 95% of top set, need to see how it goes)
    Medium Press (Close Grip Bench): 4x5 @ 90-95% of heavy pressing day.
    Medium Pulls (Deadlift): 3 or 4 sets of 5 @ 90% of heavy deadlift day (may go lower intensity if this is too much at volume).

    Wednesday/D2 of Week
    Light Squats: 3x5 @ 80% heavy day top set.
    Light Press (Press): 5x5 +2.5# over previous week
    Light Pull (Rows): 3x5 +2.5# over previous week
    Light Pull (Power cleans): 3x3 +2.5# over previous week

    Friday/D3 of Week
    Medium Squats: 4x5 @ 90% of heavy day top set.
    Heavy Press (Bench): 5x5 +2.5# over previous week
    Heavy Pull (Deadlift): 1x5 +5# over previous week.
    Light Press (Press): 3x5 @ 90% of previous press (Would like to have the volume to keep press going, but sets, reps, and intensity are still debatable.)

    I am also contemplating adding lat pulldowns to Monday/D1 as 3x5-8 for assistance work.

    For my NLP log, you can check out My Starting Strength log

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Tuesday, May 14, 2019
    Heavy Squats: 255x5, 230x5x4
    M. Press/CG Bench: 185x5x2, 4, 175x5
    M. Pull/Deadlift: 310x5x2

    Squats were good. As mentioned in the initial post, 255 is coming back from a reset, so by itself it's not too bad. I would consider 230 relatively light, so this was great for the additional volume work. I've done 3x5 for nearly 7 months, so I definitely felt the additional sets, even if they were lighter. I will definitely keep this as 90% back-off sets for a few more weeks, but may increase to 95% back-off as I get accustomed to the volume.

    This was my first time doing close grip bench since starting NLP, and it was different. I overestimated my starting weight, going with 95% of what bench was going to be today. That wasn't right, and you can see the missed rep on the 3rd set. I dropped to 175 for set 4, and it was definitely light. I will see how Friday's heavy pressing (bench) goes and use that to gauge where to go on this.

    Medium deadlift was also higher than it should be. In my first post I mentioned my highest pull was 345x3 - the x3 is because I dropped to sets of 3 as my form breaks down pretty badly and I am very winded by the time the bar hits the platform on set 3. I thought the solution was to go to sets of 3 w/ a back-off set, but in hind sight I think this was a mistake and increased a pattern that should have been resolved. I got 2 sets, 3 might have happened but it would have been rough, and 4 would have been a stretch. I also know my form was not great. My main issues are keeping the bar against my legs, and my back, while not horrible, does break form a bit on the last couple of reps.

    Going forward with deadlift, I am going to reset my heavy to something I can pull for 5 with it sliding up my legs and back in good form. That will translate into a reduction in medium day pulls, so this will go down before going up more. As much as my pride wants to keep the weight up, I want to get to a place where the pulls are driving up the right way.

  3. #3
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    Thursday, May 16, 2019
    Light Squat: 205x5x3
    Light Press/Press: 125x5x5
    Light Pull/Rows: 182.5x5x3
    Light Pull/Power Cleans: 155x1

    I am grateful for light day. Even at 205 squats were more challenging than they should be, so that being the top weight today was nice. I think part of this was due to not eating the best the past couple of days, so not recovering as well as I should have.

    This day is almost exactly the same as my end NLP day with presses and non-deadlift pulls. The only real difference is the 5x5 on press which is up from 3x5. I learned from Monday and determined that next scheduled NLP weight was going to be too much for the new volume, so instead, I dropped it to 125 (about 5%) from last working weight and put up an easy enough 5x5. I have to admit that I typically was holding the weight overhead for a second or two before. Today it just felt right to get the weight up all the way, bring it back down, and repeat. So, I did that and it definitely helped move through these more quickly.

    Not much to say about rows. Power cleans on the other hand, I only got 1 rep in at working weight. The workout was running a bit long today and last 2 sets of rows were about 20 minutes from end of set 1 until end of set 3 due to a work call. This gave me a bit of the cooling off feel, and by the time I got to cleans, it just wasn't there. First rep wasn't bad, 2nd rep didn't make it up. I do cleans for fun (I like them, go figure) with any programming benefit being a solid second, and form on these has been a bit less than ideal lately (not bad, they do rack, just not great). Because of this, I'm going to drop these back down to 145 and work back up.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2018
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    Nice start.
    I will follow your progress.

  5. #5
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    Saturday, May 18, 2019
    Medium Squat: 230x5x4
    Heavy Press/Bench: 185x5x5
    Heavy Pull/Deadlift: 275x5
    Light Press/Press: 110x5x3

    Overall a good workout. Medium squats are supposed to be box squats. However, I'm building my own box(es) and just wasn't quite ready for them yet. I ended up doing regular squats and calling it good.

    I learned from Monday's higher volume and applied that today,so bench is at 185. If I was still doing NLP with 3x5, this was scheduled for 195, so it's a mild reduction to accommodate the volume. After the first 3 sets, I thought it was too easy and I should have gone with 190 or so. 2 sets later, I knew 185 was the right weight for my first 5x5 bench.

    As mentioned earlier, my deadlift fails at keeping the bar against my legs. 275 was a drastic drop to work on this, and I'd say 3 out of 5 were good against the leg and one was pretty bad away from the legs. Monday's volume dead will be at 250 and I'll use that to determine what I go up to next heavy day. I am playing with a few things including being more heel heavy, possibly not setting up closely enough, or even a wider stance (grip still outside legs, no sumo plans). I know leg stance should be narrow, but as mentioned, I'll play with it.

    Doing Press today is all about extra press volume (literally press, not "anything that's a press" press). Weight is 90% of what is pressed on light press day (usually Wednesday), and done without wraps or belt. 110 wasn't bad at all, but I can see this possibly becoming a 85% offset as the weight goes up.

  6. #6
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    Monday, May 20, 2019
    Heavy Squat: 260x5, 240x5x4
    M Press/Close Grip Bench: 167.5x5x4
    M Pull/Deadlift: 250x5x4


    HLM week 2 and dealing with more realistic numbers for day 1. This workout was great, though definitely on the longer side. I was hoping to add lat pull downs in, but 14 working sets is about 70 minutes of rest minimum. That doesn't count warmups and the fact that I generally get up from the bench to start the next set at 5 minutes so actual rest time is more like 5-7 minutes. That puts this at a 2 hour workout and probably not getting lat pull downs added. Will see, and if I do, it will probably be with 2-3 minute rest between. Definitely didn't happen today.

    Squats were good today. If you looked over my NLP log, this is the weight I failed at pretty hard (mainly compounded by being out of the rack) about a month back and reset to 245. So, back up to 260 and no issues today. Last week my back-off was 90% of the top set. However, it felt weird for my medium day to be the same as my heavy day back-off sets, so I am going to get my back-off sets up to 95% of the top set. Today was 92.5%, and 240 was pretty good. I have the habit of taking a fair bit of time between sets. The past couple of workouts I've been trying to keep it to a single breath between reps, no more than 3. That amazingly made the sets seem easier. I'll take it.

    Close grip presses are a lot lighter than last week, as I am making them a percentage of heavy bench. That brought it to 167.5. It wasn't too hard and will easily go up next week. I do find that close grip stresses my left shoulder a bit, so I'm going to play with slightly wider grip and see if that help.

    Deadlifts @ 250 were not hard at all, though I still get winded after about 3 reps. Glad to say I got all 4 sets in. I have been working on keeping the bar against my leg, and this was a really good workout in that direction. Each set had 1 rep that was further away from my legs than I am happy with, but just 1 per set and they were actually better on the last 2 sets than the first two. I feel like I'm getting to the bottom of my issues. I have been forcing my hips back more, and while I need to be careful not to be too heel heavy on subsequent reps, it's a big step in the right direction and today's deadlifts felt great.

  7. #7
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    I realized this morning as I was thinking about my workout today that I really should be doing a top set + 4 back-off sets on ALL of my heavy lifts. Last week that only happened on squats with sets across for Press (technically light pressing, but heavy for the lift) and Bench. The sets across resulted in the somewhat lower working weight. Going forward (stating today), all of my heavy lifts will be a top set followed by 4x5 back-off sets @ 92.5% of the top set (may work up to 95% over the next couple of weeks).



    Question out there for anyone that wants to respond - if you do a program with a light day squat (~80% of your last heavy), do you belt your light day? I generally don't but am starting to rethink that.

  8. #8
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    Keep at it man!

    Belts: For squats and deads, I put mine on when my lift exceeds bodyweight. Got some tweaks in my past, so maybe I'm overcautious.

  9. #9
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    I'm so used to the belt at this point that I wear it for all of my lifts every session. I have no idea how any of them would go if I didn't belt up since I've never tried it. It's good that you are losing weight and I wish you the best in your continued efforts to do so.

  10. #10
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    starting strength nutrition camp
    I do it differently than Geoff and Carson. I only belt up for my last warm up, or when it gets past 315. Whichever comes first. Don't usually belt up at all for my 80% volume day deadlifts. Tonight is my light squat day and I plan to do them beltless. Then again, I have no tweaks in my past so maybe I'm reckless!

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