December 27, 2010

Workout Log, 5x5, week 1

Monday (12-20-2010):
squat 185 lb 5x5
bench 165 lb 5x5
barbell row 125 lb 5x5
push-ups 30, 20, 20
hanging leg raise 20, 20, 15

squat 190 lb 5x5
overhead press 85 lb 5x5
deadlift 265 lb 1x5
pull-ups 10, 8, 7
prone bridges 60s, 60s, 60s

squat 195 lb 5x5
bench 170 lb 5x5
barbell row 135 lb 5x5
dips 30, 15, 10
hanging leg raise 20, 20, 20
kettle-bell swings 20 lb x15, 35 lb x15

Weight (Friday): 186 lb

Notes: I went a little light this first week back on 5x5, first to make sure I could handle the volume, and second to see what sort of progression I could get through before a stall.  The light weights made the workouts fairly short; I was able to get into and out of the gym in less than an hour on Monday and Wednesday.  I had some time to kill on Friday before a lunch, so I threw in two sets of kettle-bell swings, which are - so far - the only exercise I've seen/done for which it's worth having a kettle-bell.  I liked the exercise, and it definitely got my heart rate up in a hurry.  I may choose to replace some of my assistance work with them, or just add them as a permanent fixture rather than a short cardio session after weightlifting.  I'm not doing the cardio now -- even though I really should -- and I'll actually do the swings, so there's that.

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December 20, 2010

Workout log, week 12 (5/3/1)

Monday (12-13-2010):
Overhead press 5x55lb, 5x65lb, 5x75lb
Overhead press 5x10
Chin-ups 11, 7, 5, 5, 6

Deadlift 5x135lb, 5x165lb, 5x195lb
DB shrug 5x10
Hanging leg raise 4x20

Bench press 5x95lb, 5x135lb, 5x135lb
Bench press 3x15
DB row 5x5
Close-grip cable row 3x10

Squat 5x95lb, 5x135lb, 5x155lb
Leg extension 3x10
Leg curl 3x10
Prone bridges 3x60s

Weight (Friday): 186 lb

Notes: This was the light week for 5/3/1.  My left forearm is bugging me again, I think I slept in a bad position or something, because it felt okay on Friday, and I didn't do much manual work over the weekend (for a change). Weight is up slightly, but I haven't been a perfect angel on my food choices; too many carbs and too much salt lately. I never did make the pumpkin cheesecake, I've just had too much to do lately to spend the time making a big dessert.

I'm planning a switch back to full-body workouts this week or next. Starting weights for 5x5 will be as follows:

Overhead Press
85 lb

Bench Press
165 lb

265 lb

Barbell Row
125 lb

185 lb

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December 11, 2010

Training Log, week 11 (5/3/1)

Monday (12-6-2010):
Overhead press 5x95lb, 3x105lb, 3x120lb, 2x120lb
Overhead press 7, 10, 8, 10, 10
Pull-ups 10, 6, 5, 5, 5

Deadlift 5x235lb, 3x270lb, 3x300lb, 2x300lb
Back raise 5x10
Hanging leg raise 5x15

Bench press 5x160lb, 3x185lb, 2x205lb, 2x205lb, 1x205lb
Bench press 3x10
Cable pressdowns 3x8
Dumbbell row 3x8 each side
Close-grip cable row 3x10

Squat 5x190lb, 3x215lb, 1x240lb, 2x240lb
Squat 3x10
Leg curl 3x10

Weight (Friday): 183 lb

Notes: Heavy week.  Squats were a killer this week.  My form is suffering, and trying to correct it in the middle of a rep usually costs me the rep.  I honestly think that my squats were a lot stronger on StrongLifts, when I was squatting three times a week.  I'm less sure about the rest of the movements.

At this point, I'm not sure I want to continue with 5/3/1.  There are a lot of good points to the program.  I like the periodization, the emphasis on compound barbell lifts, and the four workouts a week is helping me burn a few more calories.  On the downside, now that the weights are getting heavy, I'm running up to a full hour for each workout.  Also, although I did it off and on for years, I really don't like doing body part splits.  Splits mean that whatever part you're working that day is fresh for the workout, but you hit it so hard that it's often very sore the next day.  Full-body workouts hit all your parts, but with less direct intensity.  The soreness is more systemic, holistic.  The day after Squat Day, walking is a joke, and I feel frail.  The day after Squat, Bench, and Barbell Row Day, I just felt tired.  Also, what I'm doing now feels like bodybuilding again, and less like strength training.  My muscles feel less dense, swollen on work days, flat on others.

I'm going to take the 5/3/1 de-load week next Monday through Friday, and then re-evaluate.  I might need to give StrongLifts another try, or hunt for another protocol.

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December 04, 2010

Workout log, week 10 (5/3/1)

Monday (11-30-2010):
Overhead press 3x90lb, 3x100lb, 3x115lb, 2x115lb
Overhead press 10, 8, 6, 10, 10
Chin-ups 11, 7, 5, 4, 5

Deadlift 3x225lb, 3x255lb, 5x285lb
Back raise 5x10 w/45lb
Hanging leg raise 5x15

Bench press 3x155lb, 3x175lb, 4x195lb, 2x195lb, 2x195lb
Bench press 3x10
Cable pressdowns 3x8
Dumbbell row 5x4, 8x1 (each side)
Close-grip cable row 3x10

Squat 3x175lb, 3x200lb, 6x225lb, 3x225
Squat 3x10

Weight (Saturday): 187 lb

Notes: Overhead presses were my lagging lift this week.  3 reps at 115lb was the bare minimum for that third set, and that was all I had in me at the time.  Even that follow-up set of 2 reps was pretty hard.  Friday's workout I had to cut short because I realized halfway through that I hadn't done my timesheet for the week.  I also usually go a little too hard on leg day, so I thought it couldn't hurt to take it easy for a change.  Weight's back up slightly.  I've been adding more carbohydrates in the form of squash and sweet potatoes, and just flat-out eating a lot more food than normal (though just adding the carbs may have strengthened my appetite, it's a common problem for me).  I'll need to either cut back or just embrace it and go on some kind of Winter bulking bender.  I admit that the latter has a certain appeal, but that's mostly because it'll end up being an excuse for gluttony.  I'll likely just cut back on the sweet potatoes and switch back to broccoli and carrots as my go-to vegetables.

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