Week 4

Nov 12, 2012 – WORKOUT B (Squat, Overhead Press, Deadlift)

Squat
2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 75 lbs.
5×5 115 lbs.
1×3 135 lbs. (PR)

Press
5×5 65 lbs.

Deadlift
5×5 120 lbs.

NOTES

Nov 14, 2012 – WORKOUT A (Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row)

Squat
2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 75 lbs
5×5 115 lbs.
1×3 135 lbs.
1×1 150 lbs. (PR)

Bench
2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 65 lbs.
3×5 85 lbs.
5×5 115 lbs.
1×4 135 lbs. (PR)

Row
5×5 85 lbs.
1×4 100 lbs.

Notes
Probably my best work to date in 4 weeks. I felt like I made real progress today as seen in the set/rep and weight, I am feeling an increase in my strength. The squats seem to come easier today as the weight got higher. I had a real good warm up prior to starting my 5×5. Still having pain in my wrists, need to post something on the SL Inner Circle to see if my grip/arms are positioned incorrectly or if this pain is normal.

After I got through my squats I bumped my work weight (115 lbs) to 135 lbs and was hoping for a 1RM, ended up accomplishing 3 reps. So with that in the bag, so to speak, I decided to bump it to 150 lbs and see if I could do a 1RM. Success! I was able to accomplish a new 1RM (PR – personal record) for my squat.

I moved to the bench and ran through a few warm up sets in order to make sure I had the form down. I am concentrating on keeping the elbows in and the hands gripping the bar correctly. As was mentioned on the forums, I am trying to wrap my shoulder blades around the bench when I lift. Not sure I have that down yet or not. No issues at all with the bench weight today, blew right through 85 lbs. So I figured I would see if I could set a 1RM. I ended up doing 1×3 at 115 lbs, followed by 1×4 at 135 lbs. I couldn’t tell you the last time I lifted 135 on a barbell. I think it might have been high school (1987). It felt great!

Finished with rows and I came back strong, unlike the problems I suffered with last weekend. Part of the problem was rowing too high on my chest. I made sure I rowed to the same spot I hit when I bench, while squeezing my shoulder blades. I made it through 85 lbs. just fine, so I figured I would give 100 lbs a shot. I had hoped for 5, but came up just a bit short on the 5th one, so I didn’t count it.

So all in all I ended with five 1RM today in this workout. I took some pictures, as I do every month and compared them to my shots from February. Quite a difference. The wife says she is noticing a difference as well. Week 4, continuing strong, back on Friday!

Nov 16, 2012 – WORKOUT B (Squat, Overhead Press, Deadlift)

Squat
2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 65 lbs.
3×5 85 lbs.
5×5 120 lbs.
1×3 135 lbs.

Press
5×5 70 lbs.

Deadlift
5×5 130 lbs.

NOTES
This is the first time I look forward to going to the gym, 3 times a week. Even before the this program I liked the fact I was working to improve my physique and get (supposedly) stronger. Unfortunately 6 months passed and I had not see much improvement with the split routines I had been doing until I was burnt out.

It was another good work out today, as I was looking to improve my squat numbers from Wednesday, where I set my PR at 150 lbs. Before heading off the the gym I spent about 90 minutes watching videos and looking for proper hand/arm placement, as I continue to have an extreme angle with my wrist when I grip the barbell. Even with my hands real wide, I just can’t decrease that angle, which ends up being very painful.

Reading a thread on the forums, it was suggested by Jake McMillan in a thread on wrists to stretch the lats. I must have to do this, as no matter how wide my hands or relaxed my elbows are, I don’t have good wrist positions, which is causing way too much pressure.

With that said, I tried to make a few adjustments, but nothing really worked with any success. I ran through 3 warm up sets and then started my work set. It’s too damn bad I can’t add numbers. I meant to load 115 lbs., but ended up squatting 120 lbs. It didn’t feel, because I seemed to struggle. Before the 3rd set I recalculated the weight and realized it was 10 lbs. heavier than the weight I used on Wednesday. So I continued to work the last 2 sets with the 120 lbs. I will probably revisit that weight on Monday, as I could feel myself “cheating” and leaning forward to get the weight up.

The OHP was much improved over Monday, where I struggled with the weight and had to drop 5 lbs off (work weight of 70 lbs.) to finish the last set. This week I loaded 70 lbs. and was able to complete all 5 sets with no problems. I will be looking for a form check on my OHP, as I was able to record video of the exercise.

Finally, the deadlift. Feeling somewhat inspired after watching Greg Rochelle and a lift he made, I was hoping to see similar success, although a much lower weight. The work weight for the deadlift was 130 lbs., a 10 lb. increase from Monday. My only concern, as is with all the other exercises, my form. I was able to record a video for feedback as well from the SL Inner Circle. I am worried my back isn’t straight enough. It seems there should be more to the move than bending at the knees, followed by pulling the weight up. Maybe not, I was able to accomplish 130 lbs without an issue.

Overall it was a solid work out. Not happy with the squat though, the shoulders not going back far enough and the wrists are a cause for concern. I will need to work on that in order to gain more flexibility or else I foresee bigger problems as the weight increases. It will be nice to take 2 days off, although I skipped cardio the last 2 days, so I might go burn a few calories this weekend.

I did seen an improvement on my dips. I had been doing 5×5 (assist 10 lbs.), decided to go try it without any weight. I accomplish 1×10, followed by 1×7 and 1×5. Also did 3×20 crunches and then called it a day.

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