Atlas13 Is back. Let’s Get To Work

When I was prepping for my first meet, I had the same issue. The two things that helped me the most were pin press and weighted dips. With pin press you don’t want to use any momentum at all so press it off the pins and when you set it down let it come to a complete rest. It helps a ton.

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Gym 29 May 24
Squat stance beltless good morning: 115x3, 135x3, 165x3, 195x3, 215x3, 235x3, 255x1, 275x1, 285x1

SLDL: 165x10, 165x10, 165x10, 215x8

Front foot elevated db lunge: bwx15, bwx15, 15sx12, 15sx12

Cable crunch: 70x15, 70x15, 70x15
Face pull: 50x20, 50x20, 50x20

Conditioning: 30 min incline treadmill walk


  • would kill for an SSB or cambered bar, straight barbell always feels like it’s going to roll up my neck as I do good mornings.
  • Kept the belt off to limit my weight as I get used to a movement I haven’t done in a long time
  • SLDL light up my hammies. I could definitely go a lot heavier, but not while keeping that same intense stretch and muscle contraction. Muscle over movement here.
  • Lunges have never felt “right” to me. Always just felt like I was just moving from a to b, but never really targeting a muscle group. Tried elevating the front foot, and holy hell is it a game changer. My quads were pumped from bodyweight alone, just insane quad isolation. Going to be spamming these until strong as hell.

@LoRez you’re definitely right on the money there. 225x3 was a solid set, but 235x3 was definitely an effort. I also rest about 60 seconds between sets, which I know is probably not ideal, but working with what I have on shipboard conditions where I gotta get through my lifting pretty quick. Some longer rest periods would certainly be a benefit

@tlgains lol ya know, simple as that, your completely right

@taylortooswift i should definitely do some more pin presses, good idea! For me, weighted dips are out of the equation. I can do dips, actually fairly decent at them, but my shoulder will be screaming at me for 2 solid weeks after doing like 3 bodyweight dips. Tried time and time again to make that exercise not hurt, just no shot.


These have been all over my Instagram feed lately. I’m going to have to give them a shot. (wifi on the boat is insane, idk if I’ll ever get used to this )

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Work for today:

Bench: 135x10, 145x10, 155x10, 155x10, 155x10

Lat pulldown: 145x11, 145x11, 145x11, 155x11. 165x14

Db Inc bench: 50x8, 60x8, 70x8, 80x7

Mag grip Cable row: 100x15, 100x15, 120x12, 120x12

Tricep pushdown: 35x15, 50x15, 57.5x15, 65x12, 65x12

EZ bar curl: 50x10, 50x10, 50x10, 50x12

Conditioning: incline treadmill walk: 30 min


  • bench felt good. Very submax, trying to have some higher volume bench, slowly building over time.
  • @taylortooswift those lunges the other day absolutely wrecked me, I was sore for days.

Gym 04Jun24
Squat: 275x3, 275x3, 275x3, 275x3, 275x3, 275x3, 275x3, 275x3, 275x3, 275x3

Dimmel deadlifts: 135x20, 185x20, 205x20, 225x20, 245x15

Front foot elevated db lunge: bwx15, 10x15, 20x15

Cable crunch: 70x15, 70x15, 70x15
Lying DB y raise: 10x12, 10x12, 10x12


  • focusing on speed and form on squats. Trying to make every rep jump on my traps at the top. Felt good, felt strong. Hips were extra tight today.
  • Never got time to do a write up on my new plan, and still don’t have any real time, but essentially running conjugate. Speed day for upper body swapped with repetition work like some programs recommend. Dropping barbell overhead for a bit, doesn’t do anything for my bench, and honestly just too dicey doing with a rocking ship. Big bench focus.
  • Never done dimmel deadlifts before. Seems very similar to just a shortened ROM RDL. Definitely takes your lungs when doing higher reps, and my glutes were definitely lit up.
  • Still loving the front foot elevated lunge. Only weak point is the balance aspect, which is something I just need to get used to.

Hooded sweatshirt can help. Gives the bar something to settle in on.

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Great idea, I’ll have to try that!

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Bench. 135x5, 185x3, 205x3, 225x3, 240x3, 250x1, 255x1 (redemption)

Close grip incline bench: 135x8, 155x8, 165x4, 135x11

Neutral grip MAG pulldown: 100x10, 130x12, 130x12, 145x12, 160x8

Elbows out DB row: 80x12, 80x12, 80x15

Tricep pushdown: 100x15, 120x15, 135x12, 135x12

Lat raise: 20x15, 20x15, 20x15

Conditioning: 15 min bike, level 13, 153 calories


  • 240x3 was way more of a grind than I should of done without a spotter, especially on a ship. Started to turn on the last rep and I damn near got pinned with my left arm. Got it, but fought for it.
  • Happy with with 255x1. Failed it last week, this week I hit it fairly clean AFTER doing a heavier triple and single prior to.
  • That being said, incline was absolutely SHOT after benching. Triceps just fried.
  • gym got rid of our pulldown bar, replaced with a MAG grip. I hate this. I can’t use straps on the MAG grip, and we aren’t allowed chalk. It’s humid enough in the gym that you can wipe your hand on the floor and have it come up wet, my grips shot. This is a dumb change.
  • Did toes a little differently. Standing, using a bench to brace. Cocking my elbow perpendicular to my torso, almost like I’m trying to row the db into my armpit rather than my hip. Remember Wendler talking about that. Lights up my upper back.


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Gym 08jun24
Squat Stance good morning: 45x10, 95x5, 135x5, 185x3, 205x3, 225x3, 245x3, 265x3, 275x3, 295x1, 305x1. 315x1, 325x1

Face pulls: 4 sets

Ab wheels: 3 sets

Conditioning: 30 min incline treadmill walk


  • left hamstring was just insanely tight today, not sure why. Woke up and it felt like it was cramping already.
  • Revising above statement: I think I hurt my hamstring. I don’t know how, but fuck me this hurts. Notably limping, extremely tender, have about no ROM when stretching. I can push it with weight and get my hamstring to stretch, but can’t make myself do it unless under load. Minor sprain? No idea how.
  • Good mornings felt bad lol, but only because of the hamstring. Actually movement felt a lot more solid than last week… which now that I think of it, may have something to do with me being on land this time. Seeing my strength in Good Mornings makes my squat style make sense. My quads are weeks, my hips and low back are strong, of course I’m going to good morning the damn weight.
  • Yes, I’m bending my legs to do a good morning. Idk how the fuck you’re supposed to not. If my legs are straight, and I bend forward, that barbell is going way forward of center of gravity, and I am face planting. (EDIT: I just watched a video of Dan green doing good mornings, and he did the same thing, so I feel redemption)
  • I tried to do some leg press, then some lunges, but my hamstring just wasn’t having it, so just hit some light accessory and moved on

Heavy good mornings are always going to have some knee bend. My mantra of “What Would Bruce Randall Do” confirms that it’s ok to do that, and some back bend too



As long as YOU know it’s a good morning and not a squat, it doesn’t matter if it passes the internet test, haha. Good mornings are outstanding for “chaos strength”, per Dave Tate, and as you’ve observed, play to your strengths with your squat style.

Now, light good mornings? Sure: keep them legs straight and REALLY get that stretch.

Hope that hammy feels better! In the interim, I always like wrapping it with a knee wrap whenever mine gets buggy. I did that through my second run of Super Squats, when I tore my hamstring because of behind dehydrated from RSV. Still could get some work in.


Well I suppose that’s about all the validation I need! Doing them heavy is a very different movement, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but I like to. Almost like recovering from a deadlift I let get too far away from me.

Random thought, but I feel like a good way to judge a lifters squat strengths and weaknesses would be to compare their good morning and their front squat. The two together are basically a low bar back squat (not really but work with me here). So if your front squat is better than your good morning? Probably a very quad dominant squatter. I’m pretty sure a lot of guys fall into that category. If your good morning dwarfs your front squat? (Like yours truly), then you’re probably a much more hips dominant squatter. Some useful weak points identification if nothing else.

Walking on the incline seemed to help my hamstring a lot. I still don’t know what I did to irritate it. Was hurting when I woke up, which doesn’t make a ton of sense to me. It’s still very tender, but it’s not “locking” anymore, so that’s a win. I’ll have to try the knee wraps trick…. As soon as I buy knee wraps lol. Pretty sure I’ve got some old ace bandages somewhere that could act similarly


Gym 08jun24
Bench: 135x10, 145x10, 155x10, 155x10, 160x10

Lat pulldown: 145x12, 145x12, 145x12, 160x10, 175x10

Db Inc bench: 50x8, 60x8, 70x8, 80x8

Db incline curl: 20x12, 20x12, 20x12
Db Kelso shrug: 45x15, 45x15, 45x15

Rolling db tricep ext: 25x12, 30x12, 30x12, 35x7

Conditioning: 2 mile easy ruck


  • left pec started cramping right away, definitely dehydrated. Whoops
  • Bench felt good, crazy chest pump, still keeping it light, focusing on volume accumulation this day. Thinking I will just continually add 5lbs to one of my 5 sets every week, but not necessarily the top one, see how that goes for a bit.
  • Lat pulldowns feeling strong
  • I’m am beat up from those good mornings, but not how I expected. Lower back feels great, honestly not fatigued at all. Mid and upper back? VERY TIGHT, like I can’t get my muscles to relax. Abs also crazy sore.
  • Ship life has me feeling stiff. I spend at least 8 hours everyday sitting at a desk not really able to move around much, the racks are small, and there’s not a ton of room to just MOVE. I feel like it’s making my muscles grow tight, and my spine feels like it’s slowly becoming a stuck rod lol.
  • I think I’m going to take another conjugate play and start doing “extra” workouts. Need to figure out what I’m going to do, but there’s a little gym right by my room that has some DBs and a bench. Really just some daily movements with extended ROM that I’m hoping will loosen my up a bit, and maybe act as restorative.

TOTALLY thought I replied to this but it was all in my head, haha.

Regarding the judging of a lifter’s strengths, I find you don’t even need to SEE them squat to be able to tell: just looking at their physical construction can tell the story. People built to squat are going to have long torsos and short limbs: look at the dudes on the Chinese weightlifting team. Or Tom Platz. These dudes can maintain a solid upright posture and move up and down like a sewing needle. The good morning dudes are the natural hingers: short torso, long limbs. They have to travel SO far down and their torso really has nowhere to go, so they tilt forward to be able to make room to make it happen.

I always reference Mark Felix, Layne Norton and Steve Goggins for the hinge squat style.


Gym 10Jun

Squat: 135x5, 185x3, 225x3, 275x3, 275x3, 275x3, 275x3, 275x3, 275x3, 275x3, 275x3, 275x3, 275x5

Dimmel Deadlift: 185x20, 205x20, 225x20, 245x20, 265x10

Front foot elevated lunge: bwx15, bwx15, bwx15


Cable crunch: 80x12, 80x12, 80x12, 80x12

Face pull: 50x20, 50x20, 50x20, 50x20

Conditioning: 45 min incline treadmill walk

Gym 11jun
Bench; 135x5, 135x5, 185x3, 205x3, 225x3, 245x2 (failed on 3rd, spent a good 15 seconds fighting with a spotter helping me get the last rep)

Close grip incline bench: 135x8, 155x8, 165x5, 135x11

Neutral Grip MAG Pulldown: 115x12, 130x12, 130x12, 145x12, 160x9

Seated cable row: 115x12, 115x12, 115x10

V bar pushdown: 50x15, 50x15, 50x15, 60x10

Lat raise: 20x15. 20x15. 20x15



  • time to swap bench. Think I’ll move my hands in a few inches and cycle that for my heavy upper body movement, after that maybe do a cycle using board press.

Gym 14jun24
Squat stance good morning: 135x5, 185x3, 225x3, 255x3, 275x3, 285x3, 295x3, 315x1, 335x1

Front squat: 135x5, 155x5, 175x5, 185x5, 195x5, 205x1

Front foot elevated lunge: 10x15, 10x15, 10x15

Cable crunch: 45x15, 60x15, 60x15, 70x12

Leg ext: 100x12, 120x12, 140x11

Conditioning: 15 min elliptical

  • just disgusting amount of PRs on good mornings, all the more impressive since I’m doing this with a slick barbell on the ship gym. @T3hPwnisher I took your hoodie advice, definitely helped make the bar stay in place a bit better. This way, when the bar starts sliding to my neck, I go “oh, that’s parallel, time to reverse”
  • Good mornings kill my upper/mid back lol. Not my lower back at all. And not like muscle soreness, more of my body going “why did you put that heavy ass bar on me?”
  • No knee sleeves on front squats, which definitely is a factor for me. Keeping these strict. I can normally get pretty damn ugly with my front squats and just almost hold the bar to my throat to get away with it. Focusing here on staying upright, not letting the bar drift forward, targeting quads. My posterior chains hit hard enough from the good mornings.
  • The lunges are feeling better and better, getting to a point where I think I can start to push weight
  • Shorter on time, so pushed the effort on the elliptical. I dig the elliptical underway, just because it seems the least affected out of anything by ships rocking.

Gym 15jun24
Bench: 135x10, 145x10, 155x10, 160x10, 170x10

Db incline bench: 55x8, 65x8, 70x8, 80x5

Lat pulldown: 145x10, 145x10, 145x10, 160x10, 175x7

Stagger stance single arm db upright row: 35x10, 45x10, 50x10

Incline db rolling tricep extension: 30x12, 30x12, 35x12

Incline db curl: 15x15, 15x15, 20x12, 20x8

Conditioning: 36 min elliptical, 478 calories


  • bench felt good. No cramping in my left pec today unlike the last few weeks, so managed to work out whatever had my tight. Still just slowly adding weight on volume bench. No reps are really a struggle, trying to make this as piston like as possible.
  • Incline felt a little week, I think the heavier prior sets and just some general fatigue had me spent by the time I got the to 80s.
  • We got a real lat pulldown bar back in the gym, courtesy of a massive Senior Chief who bought his own and put it in lol. I love it.
  • Trying a new deal with upright rows. I never really do upright rows to begin with, so I don’t have a lot to compare it to, but definitely blows up my upper back.
  • I like incline rolling tricep extensions much more than flat, you can get a better stretch in the tris. Also, this is a great movement to “cheat” on, as you can make it less extension and more press as the fatigue sets in.
  • Digging incline bicep curls. 1, because I get a crazy bicep bump, but just as importantly 2, because they really stretch out my shoulders and open up my chest, which I think I can always use some more of.
  • Conditioning felt great, and time commitments were the only thing keeping me from going longer.