OK, Let's Lift! And 1 and 2 and 1 and 2

I’ve had a log on here before with the I bodybuilder thing, but haven’t kept a log recently. UNTIL NOW!! I’ve been doing the HP MASS program for the past 3-4 months, and have seen great results. This log will chronicle my future HP MASS results, and hopefully whatever training I do in the future.

Current stats:
5’10, 170lbs EDIT: Currently 180ish
300 max bench
405 deadlift
squat: OK, here’s the deal with squat. I’ve squatted around 280 for 3 reps, shoulder width stance, ass to grass. this is the style I always use to squat. So, in terms of powerlifting numbers and stuff, I really don’t know where my max would be. I don’t use any gear. no belt, wraps, nothing. My guess would be around a 350 squat if I used a wider stance, and only went down to PL standard depth. (EDIT: tested at 315, ATG, my usual stance)
Overhead press: 175 max
Power Snatch: I’ve done 135 for 5 reps. Don’t really know my max.

Feel free to comment in my log :slight_smile:
I’ll try to post videos and pictures and stuff, although I don’t have many because I workout alone.

update: 6/17/12
bp: 305
ohp: 185
squat: 335
deadlift: 445

update 2014
bp 325
ohp 205
squat 405
deadlift 525

Also, just a bit of my lifting history:
When I graduated high school (I’m 27 now), I weighed 125 lbs, and had trouble benching the bar. Freshman year in college, I took an interest in lifting, and 2nd semester, took a weightlifting class. It wasn’t much of a class, just gym time, but I had to show up, and ended up being about gaining about 30 pounds that year. My first year of lifting was mostly bicep curls and bench presses, but I did discover squats eventually. I found T nation my sophmore year. That year, I got my bench press over 2 plates, but did not always get the bar all the way down, and was pretty much doing half-squats. I worked hard all the way up to my junior year, and then became a bit sporadic with training. Then my senior year, lost a bunch of weight, and by the end of 2006, I was all the way back down to 135 pounds.

Time for the turnaround. In 2007 I began hitting the gym again. Since that time, I’ve had bumps in the road, including a couple torn shoulders, but for the most part, I’ve done good things for myself. In 2010, I spent a pretty good percentage of the year working out. Right now, I’m training harder and better than I ever have, and results are coming. All of my numbers are the best they’ve ever been, my weight is holding at the highest it’s been, and I’m leaner than I’ve ever been at this weight. And healthier.

Yesterday was a good day in the gym. I’m on a week 3 of the hp mass cycle, so at the highest volume.
usually do snatch for warmup, but racks were occupied, so i dumbbell snatched.
MTW push press: 155
MTW incline press: 205
I usually follow this with decline, at 245, but my elbows and shoulders didn’t respond well to my first rep, so I dropped the weight to 185, then 205, and increased the reps per set, and did fewer sets.
MTW squats: 275 - on these, since it’s not actually a leg day, i don’t go through the full wave cycle, i just work up to a max, then drop the weight once and i’m done.
accessory work was minimal today, some rotator stuff.

Looks like I skipped a few days in my log… but that’ll be alright since i’m starting with new weights this week.
Joined a new gym yesterday, a ‘real’ gym, complete with sleds, tires, boards, platforms, boxes, chalk, and most other things not found in commercial gyms. It’s Metroflex gym in Plano, Tx. Excited to begin a new weightlifting journey there.

MTW for this cycle: 155 standing strict press
225 incline bench press
245 flat bench press with pause at chest (I want to compete, and so I figure I need to start practicing this)
Day 1 was fully successful (I hit all my lifts). However, it was 100 degrees yesterday, and this new gym has minimal fans, and I wore heavy sweat pants. Dumb. So, I didn’t do much squatting, although I got a few sets in.
Accessory work included rear delt lateral raises (15 lbs) and db shrugs (110 lbs).

All my lifts went smoothly, and I should be able to hit them all again tonight.

Day 2:
Same weights, same reps, sets, etc.
added an extra set on bench at the end with 225. It felt light.
I strained my left pec on my first set of bench press yesterday. I think it was because I didn’t keep enough tension during my pause at the bottom. I’ll try gripping harder to avoid this. I’ve had strains like this before that have hurt my progress, but this time I did a few things to potentially reduce the damage. I continued through my sets, did some rotator work, stretched it out alot, took a hot-cold shower afterwards, and then let it completely rest for the rest of the night. Feels just fine today, although I haven’t moved it much yet. Gonna foam roll it tonight. Fortunately, no more bench til next monday, so that helps.
Also saw my first board pressing yesterday, that was cool.

Didn’t train yesterday. I’m getting married in November, and my fiance has been granted every Wednesday to work with me on wedding planning, free of a workout interruption. However, I did weigh myself at 176. Last September, I weighed in at 153. So, 23 pounds in less than a year.

It is hot as fuck in my gym. Had I mentioned that?
Anyway, MTW on squat yesterday was 275.
MTW on deadlift was 315, used a thick bar. Even with chalk I could barely hang on. Grip was definitely a limiting factor here, but I’m gonna go ahead and use the thick bar for the 3 week cycle.
3 plates on a sled, pulling the sled for 4 sets, crouched.

Out of town until tomorrow, probably won’t have gym access tonight, so my 2nd leg day will either be pushed to tomorrow, or I’ll have to skip it. Depends on when I get back to Texas.

So no access to a gym on Friday, made it in Saturday.

Decided to do a back workout, since that’s a weakpoint for me. Felt like it was better to skip leg day 2 than back altogether. So, I started off with 50 neutral grip pull ups, then did a few sets of Thibs pulldowns. This was my first time on this exercise, because I’ve never had ab straps. Great exercise. Then I moved on to neutral grip curls with a pause at 90 degrees. Then reverse barbell curls. Then sled pulls for back.
I hope to get some neural charge work done today, shouldn’t be a problem.

Upper body press yesterday.
Press: My next to last set I only got 2 reps, and the second one didn’t make it all the way up. Rear delt machine as accessory movement
Incline: Fatter bar than usual, but got all my reps. Shrugs accessory.
Flat: Skipped the last few sets, this time I strained my right pec. It always seems to happen like that, 1 week I’ll strain one side, then the next is the other side. I’ll roll it tonight, and see how I feel at the gym. I may do some sort of heavy triceps exercise instead of flat bench tonight. I’m pretty sure my triceps are a weak point in my bench. I have 15 inch arms and a 300 pound bench press, I don’t feel like that matches up right. Maybe I’m wrong, I know everyone’s different.

Since my right pec is still strained, I did a different kind of workout today, to make sure I got blood flowing without over-stressing. I started the workout with 4 sets of tire flips. Then I did some high rep (8-10 reps) overhead presses, working up to 125.

After that, I went to flat bench press to see how I felt. Not great. I did 135 for like 10 reps, then did a few reps with 185, going pretty shallow, then some more with a closer grip… then I stopped. I moved on to a bicep curl, tricep dumbbell superset thing, high reps. Then some high rep shrugs with 120 lb dumbbells.

Finished with 30 or 40 power cleans with light weight. Not the most intense workout in the world, but i did do a few things I don’t usually do, so good variety, and hopefully it helped in my pec healing process.

Squats and deadlifts last night. Decided to test my maxes. I did a 315 squat ass-to-grass, and barely got it up, so that is my current max there. Although I maxed deadlift as well, I’m not sure it was a true max. I did 365, but failed on 385 because of grip. However, the bar I used was a thicker bar, and I’m confident a regular diameter bar would not have given me the same grip issue.

As a side note, the bar may have been heavier than 45 too, I’ve been told that a few of the thicker bars at my gym weigh more than 45. I’ll be trying again soon, but last night there were no other bars available. I did a few more sets on both squat and deadlift, but not a particularly high volume. I finished with several sets of sled pulls (2 variations), and I went home. Tonight will be a higher volume workout.

Friday I tested my deadlift max again. The thick bar was definitely the problem. This time I pulled 405 with no grip issues. I don’t know if the bar Thursday was heavier or not, but I don’t think that was the problem; just the thickness. I also pulled 315 for 7 reps, no bouncing off the ground, after the 405 pull. Felt great, I could have even done more. I’m glad I didn’t though, I hurt enough on Saturday. As for Friday’s squats, I did the week 2 wave up to 265.

Saturday I did back and biceps. My right arm was definitely having issues following Friday’s deadlifting. It didn’t really work well. Thibs pulldowns up to 150 weight. Some close grip chin ups that really bothered my right arm. After that, some seated cable rows. Then I did biceps curls with 30’s, followed by high reps of tricep extension above my head with just 1 30, just to get the blood flowing. Finished with 2 plates on the sled, 4 sets of eccentric-less rows. Then home and foam rolling.

Today’s Sunday, and my right arm is feeling mostly better. My right pec feels pretty good too, hoping pressing tomorrow will go well.

3rd week of cycle
Strict Press, 155 MTW. Got all 11 work sets in, feel comfortable moving up the weight next week.
Incline, 225 MTW. All 11 sets, plus some shrugs worked in, good pause in the shrug position, no trap soreness today.
Bench Press, did most of the standard ramping, then upped the weight for some near max/ max singles.
Finished with some front squats and zercher squats (just for fun)

I can’t stand people who do the 2 finger spot thing. Because they always make it easier. I got one of those on an incline set, and it wasn’t even my max weight. I would have had NO TROUBLE lifting the weight by myself, but I could tell he was making it easier. Lame. Then, later I tried a max on bench, different spotter, and didn’t get a chance to try to push it. My spotter made it feel like about 250, and started pulling on it as soon as I got it to my chest.
Side note, zerchers are kinda fun. no arm soreness the next day or anything. did a few sets with 185, not a real struggle.
As for my pec strain, it feels pretty much OK now. my right arm dead-ness showed itself a bit, but not so bad.

Couldn’t work out Tuesday, worked late. So, Wednesday was upper body pressing.
In a nutshell, everything went well, got all my sets and reps in. Went up to 205 on Zerchers to finish, and figured out how to hold the bar a little better. Monday it was sort of resting on my biceps, and left a bruise. Yesterday, i got the weight more into the crook of my arm/ on the forearm. No bruises.
Also, lots of ego boosts yesterday. One friend is convinced I’m on steroids, which is cool. I also got some stares at the gym, as well overhearing some people saying “look at that, that’s a shit ton of weight”. :slight_smile:

Since I just finished a cycle of this workout, and I’ve been doing the same stuff for several months now, I’ve decided to change things up a bit. I’ve been in the 3 rep range pretty much all year, and while it has been very effective, I’m gonna go up in reps for a few weeks. around 6 reps. I’m gonna do a similar setup to the hp mass stuff, pretty much the same exercises. However, I’m going to cut the sets down, so the volume doesn’t go through the roof. So my ‘waves’ will essentially just cut out one set for each wave. In other words, I’ll work up to my MTW for 6 reps, drop the weight for one set instead of 2 sets ramping (week 1), then bring it back up to MTW again.

Here’s what I did Monday:
Press: MTW 135, then 125 for 6, then 135 for 6, then 125 for 6.
Incline: 195 MTW
Flat: 195 MTW
Assistance work included 110 dumbbell shrugs with holds, machine rear delts, and I did some dumbbell rows with 90’s. Finished with some leg pressing up to 14 plates, 6 reps.

Other note: I’m gonna try to work on my bench technique, and push more with my triceps. I think this is a weak point for me, and that I push more with my chest. I read Wendler’s most recent post, and am taking his advice of a wider grip, and tucked elbows.

F the wider grip thing. I thought about it some more, watched a ton of videos, and decided my grip is fine. Anyway, good session Tuesday, messed around with some heavier weights on flat bench for low reps.

Thursday, first leg day with 6 rep sets. went up to 225 on squat. I could probably do a little bit more. Stuck with 3 reps on my deadlift. I think low reps on deadlift is going to be the plan pretty much no matter what I do on other exercises. Anyway, used the trap bar for the first time, went up to 345. It felt pretty good, good speed and everything. took a video of my next to last set, and I didn’t like my back rounding, so I took one more video, with a concentration on back straightness. much better. It seems like when I deadlift with my back in a better position, I’m initiating the movement with my quads. I don’t know if this is a trap bar thing or what. Thoughts, anyone?

made it to the gym Saturday, did back and biceps stuff. started with Thibs pulldowns, then pullups, then a couple higher rep deadlift sets with like 275. Then dumbbell rows with 100lb dumbbell. Then bicep barbell curls, then high rep dumbbell curls superset with tricep decline dumbbell (25lbs).

Looks like I missed Monday and Tuesday’s logs.

Monday: 7 working sets at 6 reps within 10 pounds of 135 overhead press
Incline: same sets and reps, 195 weight
Bench Press: did a few sets at different weights, ended up trying a challenge, as follows:
12 good pushups, IMMEDIATELY followed by bench pressing your own bodyweight (180 for me). Do this for reps. My total: 12 reps.

Tuesday: Squat: 225 MTW, same set/rep scheme as monday. My last 2 sets at the MTW were 5 reps I believe.
Deadlift: A few sets with lighter weights, 315 for 4 or 5, 365 for 2, then 415 for 1 (PR) and 435 for 1 (new PR).
That’s about it, pretty happy about beating my deadlift PR by 30lbs

super sore all over going into this session, but felt like I could get through an upper body pressing workout. OHP was just fine, same as monday. incline I immediately noticed my left pec strain actin’ up. So I did a bunch of higher rep sets at 135, working on form/speed. Eventually it felt good enough to raise the weight, ended up doing a few sets up to 175. Face pulls next.

I figured flat bench would do my pec injury no favors, so I tried flat dumbbell bench. Went up to 85’s on this. I haven’t done dumbbell benching in as long as I can remember, at least 6 years. I used a neutral grip. Got like 8 reps, wasn’t too hard. Finished with something else I can’t ever remember doing, which was tricep hammer press down thing. I used 2 45’s and a 25 on each side, high reps.

I added this in because I feel like my triceps are lagging, alot more than my chest, when it comes to bench. I want my triceps to be able to dominate the lift better to prevent injuries. I’m gonna start doing a tricep-emphasizing lift each upper body pressing day, and maybe take out flat barbell bench for a bit. Taking a break from bench has pushed me to new weights before, should work again.

I didn’t realize I’d skipped so much logging!

In summary, I did take about a week and a half off from the gym. During that time, I tried a crossfit free workout thing a couple saturdays ago. I got killed. Definitely a conditioning issue, I haven’t done high rep anything in a looooong time. We started with lunges around a parking lot. I was fine doing them, but about 5 minutes after, while I was doing pushups, my legs were causing me too much pain, wanted to throw up, etc. So I stopped. 6 or 7 minutes later I was ok again, but I missed a bunch of the workout. Since then I’ve done some training to try to be in shape for another crossfit workout. I’ll also eat first next time.

Anyway, some of my workouts recently have been slightly less structured. I’m a bit burned out on the thibs stuff, about to try the new Dan Johns 2 day a week thing. Love the concept, and it’s a solid shift from my current training style. Higher reps, lower frequency, a bunch of stuff to change things up. I should be able to do that stuff for at least a couple months. I’ll start logging those workouts Monday.