Baby Hands

3/9/13

Deadlift

475×0

Press

160x1x5

My grip was FUCKED for this session. Near the end of my warmups I did a double at 405 which should have been a cake walk but the second rep saw my left hand giving out. This has never happened before. The last single before the worksets the same thing happened, but even worse. Couldn’t even lock out the first single at 475. I believe what happened was all of the bicep work I did the day prior stressed my forearms such that they weren’t recovered for this. Did I mention I have baby hands? Seriously, a lot of chicks have bigger hands than me. I need to be better about this in the future and that means relegating all bicep work to the beginning of the week.

I’ll think about this week what I’m going to do with deadlifts going forward. I’m considering dropping the weight to 435 and attempting a 5RM progression.

3/11/13

Voume Squats

370x5x3 (+5lbs, 84% of future intensity 440×3)

Bench Press

220x5x3 (+2.5lbs, 85% of future intensity 260x1x5)

One word to describe this session BRUTAL. My back was still a little sore from Saturday’s failed deadlifts. Drank a bunch over the weekend. Didn’t get enough sleep, etc. My low-back got fatigued real quickly after the Squats and I was sucking air real bad. If my program had any sort of auto-regulation I probably wouldn’t have done this. But it doesn’t so I butched up and did them.

Bench was pretty tough too. The Last rep wasn’t truly a full rep but I’ll count it.

All aboard the PR train

2/7/12

Bench Press

255x1x5 (PR)

Close-Grip Bench Press

210x3x3

2/8/12

Squats

425×3 (PR)

Press

175×1

155×5

2/9/12

Deadlifts

455x1x3 (PR)

RDLs

185x5x3

This was a really good week for training. Got PRs on Squats, Bench, and Deadlifts. Switched a few things up with my program this week. Moved to 5 singles across for Bench, 3 singles across for Deadlifts, and threw in Romanian Deadlifts after Conventional Deadlifts.

Video of the Squats:

A leaf from John Phung’s book

1/24/12

Squats

415×3

Bench

245×2

1/25/12

Deadlifts

435x2x2

Press

165×1

155×3

Back to my old Squat PR! The last rep wasn’t so deep and it was also the toughest since I didn’t get a good stretch reflex. Gotta use the “deep!” or “bounce it!” cues next time.

Going to up the volume and switch to 5 singles across next week for Bench. Forgot to do close-grip bench 🙁

Deadlifts went well today. This was my old PR I set at my first meet. Pretty cool that I can now hit this weight for two doubles.

Decided to take a leaf from John Phung’s book. After deadlifts I’m going to work up to a heavy press single and then do one or two back-off sets.

A look back and a look forward

This seems like as good a time as any to take a look at what I’ve accomplished this past year and what I’d like to accomplish next year.

My goals for this year were:

  • Squat 405 for reps DONE
  • Deadlift 405 for reps DONE
  • Bench 225 for reps DONE
  • Power Clean 225 for reps NOT DONE
  • Press bodyweight NOT DONE
  • Compete in powerlifting DONE
Here were my PRs:
Squat
 
415×3
 
435
Bench
 
250×1
 
Deadlift
 
425x1x3
Press
 
180×2
Here are my goals for 2013:
  • Squat 500 pounds
  • Deadlift 500 pounds for reps
  • Bench 300 pounds
  • Press bodyweight for reps
  • Compete again and PR my total and all lifts

I’ll be sticking with my Texas Method Split Template and continuing to try and add 5 pounds per week. Here’s to a productive new year!

The End of an Experiment

Press

185×0
180×0
175×0 

Bench Press

240×2
240x1x3

Ever since I switched to a Texas Method Split Template I’ve been running an experiment whereby I attempt to increase both my Bench and Press each week. On Tuesday I do a 3×5 for both Bench and Press Volume and on Thursdays I would do an intensity set for both Bench and Press. This worked well until my Press got into PR territory. I was able to do 180×2 last week. I then pushed my Press volume up to 160x5x3 and my Bench up to 205x3x5. My theory is that overall this was too much volume for my shoulders. It’s possible that if I had kept the Press volume where it’s at I’d be looking at a PR this week. I’m going to end this experiment at this point just because it’s a pain in the ass to have to not only balance Monday’s volume between intensity day but also balance it between another exercise using similar musculature. Maybe I’ll revisit this again at another time.

What I’m going to do next week is to go back to rotating the Press and Bench each week. I’ll start out just Benching next week and then give the Press a slight deload the week after. I’ll probably try to increase my Bench via 5 singles across from here on out but we’ll see how next Thursday goes.

Turkey and Stuffing

11/26/12

Press

150x5x3

Bench Press

200×5
205×5
210×5 

Pendlay Rows

135x5x3 (These were done super strict) 

11/27/12

Squats

305×5
325×5
345×5 

First normal week of training after the extended break due to China trip. Ascending volume on Squats and Bench to allow my body to adapt to the volume and intensity. Dropped accessory work after squats this week for extra recovery. I hope to hit the following on Friday: Squats: 405×3, Bench: 230×3, Press: 175×3, Deadlift: 405×3.

Video of last squat set

Thoughts on the Texas Method Split Template

My old routine that I was on since the end of my Starting Strength days, continued into Texas Method, was laid out thusly:

Monday: Volume Squats, Volume Bench/Press
Tuesday: Accessory Day, RDLs, Chin-ups
Wednesday: Light Squat, Medium Press/Light Bench, curls etc.
Friday: Intensity Squats, Intensity Bench/Press, Deadlifts

I’ve now spent two weeks on a Texas Method Split Template. If you’re not familiar with the Split template you can read more about it in the Texas Method: Advanced by Justin Lascek (buy HERE, highly recommended). It looks like this:

Monday: Upper Volume, Bench/Press, accessory work
Tuesday: Lower Volume, Squat, accessory work

Thursday: Upper Intensity: Bench/Press
Friday: Lower Intensity, Squat and Deadlift

My program based on this template has looked like this:

Monday: Press 3×5, Bench 3×5, Pendlay Row 3×8
Tuesday: Back Squat 3×5, Front Squat 3×3, RDL 3×5

Thursday: Press 1×3, Bench 1×3, Curlz etc.
Friday: Back Squat 1×3, Deadlift 1×3

A few notes on my program: I’m currently attempting to increase both Press and Bench each week. This is an experiment of mine and is not really something Justin recommends for everyone. I also added Front Squats on Monday because I have a theory that I’m quad weak.

I’m really enjoying the Split template. It allows me to get in and out of the gym in an hour to an hour and a half (coupled with the decrease in volume) vs the old routine. The volume is the most time intensive part of the Texas Method and splitting this up between days really decreases the amount of gym time required.

Another aspect of the split routine is that it allows for more accessory work. After volume work is completed on monday and tuesday there’s room for several more exercises which I’ve filled with Front Squats, Pendlay Rows, and RDLs. The Accessory day in the old Template was setup to accommodate these kinds of exercises. The problem I had with it was that I was less motivated to drag my ass into the gym on Tuesdays since I wasn’t directly contributing to progress on the big lifts. Now everyday is either Volume/Intensity for a lift so I have no issues getting in to work.

The only disadvantage I can see to running this template is that you have less wiggle room as far as recovery is concerned. On the old template you had 3 days to recover from Volume day (includes the light day). Now on the Split template you only have 2. So if you have one night of really bad sleep/day of crappy eating it can have a bigger effect on the week’s progress vs when you might have had one extra day to fix things (See the update below for a clarification).

To review:

Pros:

– Less time spent at the gym
– More time for accessory work
– More motivating since every day contributes to a lift’s progress

Cons:

– Less time to recover (if you train on Friday instead of Saturday)

I’ll be staying on the split template for the foreseeable future.

Update:

Regarding the only disadvantage being recovery time, Justin chimed in,

Hey dude,

Note that Chris/Mike routinely do their Intensity Squat/DL day on Saturday. so they train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. This gives them the extra day of rest (and the same as the old template).

–Justin

I personally can’t train on Saturday’s since I lift at work and getting a membership at a second gym on Saturday’s would be too expensive. But if you can, absolutely do this.

Intensity

10/25/12

Press

170×4 (Reps PR)

Bench Press

230×3

10/26/12

Squats

405×2

Deadlifts

405×2

Thursday’s Upper Intensity wasn’t bad. Got a PR on Press. Friday was another story though. Had to sprint 3+ blocks to catch a bus. This is not such a great thing when you have to Squat/Deadlift heavy later. My hamstrings were mad pissed. Only went for a double on squats (aborted a third rep). On deadlifts my baby hands gave out inches from lockout. Really need to work on my grip


Row row row your row

Press

145x5x3 E to the Z

Bench

200×5
205×5
210×5 

Pendlay Row

175x8x3

Another late day workout. The Press volume was insanely easy. I think my upper body’s a lot stronger.

Rows felt pretty good and looked pretty good. I have a feeling my upper back and lats are gonna be pretty damn sore tomorrow.

Thinking about dropping some fat via carb back-loading. May cower away in fear if it might mean losing strength

Heavy

Squats

395×2

Press

165×3

Deadlift

405×1

Last day of the ramp up week. Didn’t get to the gym until the very end of the day because I had meetings all day at work. It was fun though since I got to bullshit with some cool peeps. Next couple of weeks are probably going to be crazy at work so it’ll be less than ideal training times.