Week 3

Nov 05, 2012 – WORKOUT A (Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row)

Squat
2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 65 lbs.
5×5 95 lbs.

Bench
5×5 70 lbs.

Row
5×5 80 lbs.

Notes
It’s the start of week 3 and it feels great to get to the gym and know what I am going to be doing. I look forward to working on the squat and improving my technique. Today was also the first day to start using warm up sets with weight on the bar. It did seem to help. At one point in my third set, I had a funny twinge on the inside of my right thigh. Not sure what caused it, but it didn’t linger after I set the bar down and I was able to finish all 5 sets. Hopefully by Friday I will be able to record my lifts to get some feedback.

All the weight is still very manageable through week 3, so each day I lift are all new PRs. Nothing to write home about yet, but it’s good to see and feel the progress I am making with each trip to the gym. I also include 3×20 crunches today, as well as 5×5 (assisted 10 lbs.) dips. Even got in a 30 minute walk while at work. Very good day!

Nov 07, 2012 – WORKOUT B (Squat, Overhead Press, Deadlift)

Squat
2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 65 lbs.
5×5 100 lbs.

Press
5×5 60 lbs.

Deadlift
5×5 120 lbs.

NOTES
What a great feeling seeing progress every time I go to the gym! This was something I haven’t seen in my previous split routine the last 6 months or so. Now I have a new determination when I arrive at the gym. Yesterday I had to wait for the squat rack, as there was someone using it. It delayed the start of my SL5x5 program by 20 minutes, but I was able to get in 3×20 crunches and 5×5 dips. I also did some stretching of my legs, doing some third world squats.

Today I also decided to record my squats on my mobile device (more on that in a minute). I also noticed some pain in my left wrist. It might be that I am holding the bar incorrectly, as I try to get the bar lower on my back, which seems to put my wrist at a extreme angle. I can’t see this feeling in my wrist being normal. Not sure if it will be evident on the video or not.

Once I edit the video I will post to get some feedback, but there seems to be some disagreement between myself and my wife over the correctness of the squat. She believes my back isn’t straight, while I believe it is. I did notice there were a few squats in which I went down okay, but on the way up, I seemed to lean forward, so the bar doesn’t follow that straight up/down track. I might also have to work on the hips going back before I start to bend my knees.

All in all it was a great day in the gym! All lifts were PRs, but still the weights are all easy…I know it will get more difficult.

Nov 09, 2012 – WORKOUT A (Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row)

Squat
2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 65 lbs.
5×5 105 lbs.

Bench
2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 65 lbs.
5×5 95 lbs.

Row
5×5 80 lbs.

Notes
The end of week 3 of the SL5x5 program and I continue to see gains in each of the lifts. Still starting with an empty bar and making a few 10 lb increases along the way, the weight is still more than manageable at this point.

I attempted to take the feedback I received on my squat video, as well as some tips from a few of the other Inner Circle members I am following and apply them to my squats. At a few points in my squat routine today I was over thinking too much and not squatting enough. I made a real effort to “sit back” before engaging the knees, remembering to push the knees out on the way down and way up. I tried to create the “block” by taking a breath before starting the move as well. Hopefully the videos I recorded will show an improvement over my squats on Wednesday.

I made a big jump from 70 lbs to 95lbs on the bench. Probably not advisable early on, as I continue to work on form. I will watch a few bench videos and see if I can apply some of those tips to my deficiencies in my bench. Much like the squats, the weight is still increasing every time, which is a plus.

The barbell rows were a mess today. I did not feel comfortable doing at all with the weight at 85 lbs, which is still a 5 lb progression since the start of week 1. It feels as if I am not bending over enough, while maintaining a straight back. A few times I believe I failed to have the bar hit my chest in the area where the bench press would. Still I will continue forward, watch some move video and see if I can nail this next week and feel good walking away from the rows.

I also did 5×20 crunches and 5×5 dips (no weight). Cardio was a bit light today at 12 minutes, as I was running late because of my late start waiting for the squat rack. It was a good end to week 4.

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