Week 7

Dec 03, 2012 – WORKOUT A (Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row)

2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 95 lbs.
3×5 115 lbs.
5×5 140 lbs.
1×3 160 lbs.
1×1 180 lbs. (PR)
1×1 190 lbs. (PR)

2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 70 lbs.
5×5 105 lbs.
1×3 125 lbs.
1×3 145 lbs.
1×1 165 lbs. (PR)

5×5 105 lbs.

I have mentioned this after previous gym sessions, but the 2 days off, over the weekend doesn’t seem to do me any favors come Monday. I am thinking I could workout every other day, which would be 7 days over a 2 week period. I seemed to struggle, much like last Monday.

I warmed up quickly and efficiently before getting into my 5×5 at 140 lbs. on Monday. Friday, the 135 lb. workout felt great, but 140 lbs. seemed to be a bit of a struggle. I had to work to accomplish all 5 sets, but there were quite a few reps that came easily as all the individual components of the squat came together. The grip was good, feet shoulder wide at a 30 degree angle, started with the the hips, while driving the knees out, got a nice hip bounce and came up. This was the exception. I still have a tendency to stare up or straight forward (looking into the mirrors on the wall).

After completing my 5×5 I added 20 lb.and did 3 reps at 160 lbs. This was followed by a 10 lb. increase to 180 lbs. and 190 lbs. and separate 1RMs. I failed on 200 lbs. on Friday, so I stopped after the 1RM at 190 lbs. I feel as if I am thinking too much when I am squatting instead of just letting the body do what its done for the last 6 weeks.

I moved to the bench and much like the squat I caught myself thinking too much about each part that makes up the bench press. I was trying to get a good grip and attempted to get my forearms perpendicular to the floor. For some season if I want to accomplish that the grip required was wider. So I moved the hands out. the work weight of 105 lbs. is still light enough I don’t have trouble, but I need to resolve the grip and arm issues sooner than later. I added 20 lbs. three times from 125 lbs. to 145 lbs. to 165 lbs. I was able to successfully lift 125 lbs. and 145 lbs. but failed on 165 lbs. I believe I was more worried about failing and lifting and probably could have used a spotter to provide me a bit of a safety net.

The rows came with little problems, I believe the form is down, but it does feel as I might be cheating a bit. I need to record a video to make sure I am staying in a good position when rowing. I did not add any extra sets to the rows. Once I completed the rows I did 5×5 dips and struggled on the last set. Still haven’t attempted the chins. The shoulder was tender, probably from the rows, which made me skip starting the chins today.

Dec 05, 2012 – WORKOUT B (Squat, Overhead Press, Deadlift)

2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 95 lbs.
3×5 115 lbs.
5×5 145 lbs.
3×155 lbs.
1×165 lbs.
1×175 lbs.
1×185 lbs.
1×190 lbs.

5×5 85 lbs.

5×5 170 lbs.

Wednesday and Friday seem to be better lifting days for when compared to Monday. Not sure why, but I attribute it to the fact I am taking 2 days off from the gym. I went to the gym not with a positive mindset, having many unresolved issues that took my attention way from lifting.

The squat continues to improve as I notice the shoulder loosening up during the warm ups. This is great news, as I am now able to bring my hands in on the bar a bit more than I could just a few weeks earlier. No real issues on the squats today with a workout weight of 145 lbs. At no time did the weight ever feel heavy, but I still haven’t perfected the hip bounce, but can tell when I accomplish the move at the bottom of the squat.

I also ran through some heavier sets, including 3×155 before making a series of 10 lb. increases in an attempt to squat 195 lbs. I did successfully squat 190 lbs, but failed at 195 lbs.

The OHP, isn’t this the most dreaded of lifts we do? After 2 sessions of 80 lbs., successfully doing 5×5 last week I added 5lbs. to work with this session. The first few sets were good, I was able to incorporate the hip thrust in conjunction with raising the barbell. I am concerned I might be arching my back, as I tend to forget to squeeze my glutes together. By the 5th set I was really struggling to get the final 3 reps. I was able to accomplish it and look forward to 90 lbs. next time the OHP comes around. Knowing that I struggled in the final set, might see some problems. I will continue to watch video in hopes of improving the form in order to be successful.

The deadlift went excellent! I believe the form but need to record a video to confirm all is well. The 170 lbs. was no problem this week. I do notice a growing callus on under my pinky finger on my right hand. This is an indication I am not gripping the barbell correctly. I fear I could tear this off shortly as the weight increases. I really do enjoy the deadlift.

I also attempted chin ups today, but it put some unexpected strain on my shoulder, which really made the 5 I did very painful. I stopped and went over and did 2 sets of dips and called it a day. I need to get back into the habit of adding the cardio after I am done. I am missing that part of my work out and I believe it is necessary.

Dec 07, 2012 – WORKOUT A (Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row)

2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 95 lbs.
3×5 115 lbs.
3×5 135 lbs.
5×5 150 lbs.

2×4 45 lbs.
5×5 110 lbs.

1×3 110 lbs.
1×3 105 lbs.
1×3 100 lbs.
2×5 95 lbs.

I probably should have skipped the gym today and gone on Saturday. I got home after work and had some things to deal with before heading out. I got to the gym and forgot they closed at 5pm, giving me just under an hour to get my workout in. Add to that I just did not have the mindset I should have when I walked through the doors. I figured, I was there, I would see just how much I could get done.

Thankfully the squat machine was open and I began my squats. I was trying to pay close attention to my knees. After spending the last few days reading Rippetoe’s explanation of the squats, I wondered if I was bending my knees too far and not coming out of the squat correctly. I seemed to struggle on a few squats leading me to conclude that I am still doing something incorrect. I don’t believe I had one squat at my workout weight of 150 lbs. that incorporated the hip bounce. I still seem to have very inconsistent squats and cannot reproduce the hip bounce regularly. Today might have been an anomaly because I was pressed for time and pushing myself rather quickly to get through all three lifts.

I found an open bench and ran through 2 quick barbell only warm up sets more for the correct form than anything else. Still have some questions on the arms and the grip, which I am working through. Hands seem to be about 24-28″ apart and trying to make sure the arms are perpendicular to the floor before I start the lift. Not sure if that is correct. I did read that the forearms are to be perpendicular when the barbell is lowered to the chest. So I think I am concentrating too much on position of the arms and grip before I even commence the lift. The 110 lbs. is still very manageable or I am actually getting stronger!

The rows were a complete mess today. I need to go back to square one and read about the proper form. Keeping pace with the bench, 110 lbs. was my work out weight, but I could not keep the form in the first set only accomplishing 3 reps. I deloaded by 5 lbs. rested for a minute and then attempted the second set. Again, the form just didn’t feel right and I found myself straining to accomplish the set, I stopped at 3 reps again and deloaded. Now down to 100 lbs., it was much like the previous sets, failure with only 3 reps being accomplished. Once down to 95 lbs. I finished up the 2 sets with little problem.

I think the problem with the row is twofold. First is being too close to the barbell when I start. I believe I confused the stance of the deadlift being very close to the barbell before starting with the row, so it feels very awkward from the first pull. Second, this lift is to be treated like a bench press in terms of where the barbell should hit, which if I am correct is just above the Xiphoid process. Then again, it could just be I am not strong enough to handle the 110 lbs. yet and deloading will allow me to go back and correct some of the form issues in order to progress further.

I attempted to put in 5×5 dips, but the clock got the better of me. I finished 3 sets of dips with a sharp, shooting pain in the left shoulder.

With everything going on right now, it probably would have been better to stay home, but then that would be making an excuse, something I haven’t done since finding SL. So this workout, as poor as it was, was still better than no workout at all.

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