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  • First Training Log

    Hey all-

    I was thinking today that I should do something to document my thoughts on my training as it is going on so that I have some sort of record to look back on, so I was going to do a 'Training Diary' of sorts, but then decided I might as well just post it here so I can possibly get others' thoughts as well. A little background- I am a 34 year old male (5'9'' and ~170lb currently) with a long history of playing sports, but only a limited history of lifting. I have in the past done some lifting for sports, but not so much on the 3 powerlifting moves. Over the last year or so my main obsession has been golf since I picked it back up again in June '18. This May I decided to start lifting with the goal of hitting the ball further. I started out doing 5/3/1 and made decentish progress on that (went from ~180/150/190lb E1RM's to ~300/210/320 over the course of about 3.5 months) before eventually stumbling upon barbell medicine in my quest for knowledge. Around that time I foolishly decided to cut weight (was at close to 180lb with a ~33 inch waist at the time), so I spent the next 5 weeks or so mostly spinning my wheels in the gym while I cut back down to like ~165. During that time I became convinced by Jordan that 5/3/1 is shit, so I decided to stop my cut and switch to the Bridge. I am now on week 2 of the Bridge. Because of time limitations I cannot do the 3 day schedule (not enough time in the mornings when I work out to complete 3 movement days most of the time), so I converted it to a 4 day schedule (which is what I was doing before with 5/3/1 anyway) M/T/Th/F. I am not running a GPP day because I play rec league Ultimate Frisbee (lots of sprinting) 1 day a week and have a long history of doing so, so at the moment at least I do not feel that I need more conditioning. I also play golf 2-3 times a week and almost always walk the course rather than ride in a cart. For the first 4 weeks of the Bridge I am running this schedule:
    M
    Squat w/Belt
    CG Bench
    T
    Press w/Belt
    Rack Pull
    2s Pause Squat
    Th
    1 Ct Pause Bench
    Pendlay Rows
    F
    Deadlift w/Belt
    Optional- 3 ct Paused Bench
    3-0-3 Squat
    I added the optional 3 ct Paused Bench on Friday because my pressing movements feel particularly weak at the moment and as a potential buffer between the DL's and the 3-0-3 Squats, depending how I'm feeling that day.

    My E1RM's at the start of the Bridge were 290/200/310/120 after some my ill-chosen cut. Anyway, on to the Workout logs. For week 1 I still went with the 3 day schedule as I did not know at the time how much time the workouts would take.

    Week 1-

    Monday: Squat w/Belt- 205x5 @ 6, 225x5 @ 7, 235x5 @ 8, Close Grip Bench- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], Rack Pull (mid shin)- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

    Squats went ok- they felt heavier than they should have I think, but I felt I did a decent job of managing the RPE in my first experience with RPE. I know my squat form is poor, which I know is part of why the weights feel unnecessarily heavy. Videos to follow on that. CG bench was a big fail- I think it was again an issue with poorish form but also lack of experience with both RPE and the movement variation, culminating in too much weight for the first set and a serious failure on the @9 set. Rack pulls felt good, which isn't surprising to me as DL's have always been my most confident lift.

    Wednesday: Paused Squat (2 ct)- [email protected], 160x4*7.5, [email protected], Press w/Belt- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], Pendlay Rows- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

    Paused Squats again went ok- still felt heavier than I think they should have because of my poor form, but I felt that I managed it well. Press was not great. First set was too heavy by a full RPE, so I repeated the weight for my next set, which felt better. That made me think maybe I could take a big jump for my third set, which resulted in a big failure. Just going to have to learn to take my medicine and not let ego get in the way. Pendlay Rows felt good.

    Friday: Deadlift w/belt- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], Bench (1 ct)- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], Tempo Squat (3-0-3)- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

    Deadlifts again felt good. My grip strength could use some work as I needed straps for the last set, but I did not use straps for anything before the @8 set. Bench was not great, which I expected. The first 2 sets felt a little heavy, but not too terribly, then something happened on the last and I failed on it. Tempo Squats were hard, but I felt that I managed it ok.

    E1RMs after week 1- 290/204/321/123


    Week 2-

    Monday: Squat w/Belt- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], CG Bench- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

    My poor squat form was really on display on this one. @7 set was totally botched, resulting in 1 less rep than planned, so I retried the weight for my first @8 set, which went ok. This made me think I could take a small jump for my second @8 set... resulting in another failure. At that point I tucked my tail between my legs and dropped the weight for my last set. My squat form really needs work- videos below. CG bench was also not great- @7 set was heavy (resulting in an @7.5), and I inexplicably decided to take a bigish jump for my @8 set which resulted in a missed rep. Dropped back down to my @7.5 weight from earlier for my first @9 and it went ok, so I made a small jump for my second @9 which also went ok. I rescued it a bit at the end, but still not a great CG Bench session. This was probably my worst workout day ever and I felt pretty bad afterwards. Anyway, squat videos:

    [email protected]:



    [email protected]:

    (sorry, camera angle was less than ideal)

    Thoughts: I am very obviously rocking forwards because I'm not sure I ever actually have the weight over my midfoot. I also don't hit depth, but I view that as more of a consequence of the first point than anything else. After reviewing the video numerous times I went into today for my 2ct Paused Squats with a few different things to try- I wanted to widen my stance a bit, widen my grip a bit (which I hoped would allow me to more comfortably hold the bar a little lower on my back), and stand up a little straighter at the top. I hoped that those things would allow me to move the weight over my midfoot to start the lift and hopefully keep it there.

    Tuesday: Rack Pull- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], Press w/Belt- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], Paused Squat (2 ct)- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

    Rack Pulls went great again. I overshot the RPE a tiny bit on the last rep I think, but I hit all my reps and the RPEs were mostly appropriate. Press was a bit of a mixed bag but more positive than last week. I started conservatively and the first 2 sets went fine. @8 set was too heavy, resulting in an @9 instead. Optimistically tried to repeat the weight for second @8 set and was able to complete the set, but did so at an @10. Small drop for 3rd @8 set still resulted in an @9, so I took another big drop for last @8 set (down to the same weight as I hit for my first set which I rated as an @5.5 at the time) and hit what I felt like was the correct RPE. Paused squats were where I felt like I really made progress. The bar slipped in the middle of my first set so I reracked a rep early, but from that point forward I felt like I did a lot better. Video of my [email protected] set below.



    Thoughts: I got the weight centered over my midfoot much better than yesterday. Still a tiny rock forward on some reps, but not nearly as much as before. Depth much better as well. Still some stuff to work on, but encouraging.

    Anyway, that's all for now- I'll be updating this after every workout (hopefully) and posting more videos as they come. Comments/advice on my squat form would be greatly appreciated, and I will definitely need some advice on bench form down the road.



  • #2
    This is coming from a novice, so bear with me. Here is what I did to increase my stability:
    1. Bring your hands in more. The bar should be resting in a "pocket" made from squeezing your shoulder blades together and pointing your elbows into your back pockets. Don't rest the bar in your hands. You'll feel the need to bend the bar across your back.
    2. Unrack the weight with your squat stance.
    3. Breathe and brace your core. Fill your stomach, not your chest, with as much air as possible and then squeeze BEFORE you unrack the weight. Keep that breathe for as long as you can without passing out.
    4. Try different stances. I found mine by squeezing my glutes really hard and moving my feet until there was very little torsion in my knee.
    Everyone is different, so don't think that if one pro says to do it a certain way that they are completely right.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by blupony96 View Post
      This is coming from a novice, so bear with me. Here is what I did to increase my stability:
      1. Bring your hands in more. The bar should be resting in a "pocket" made from squeezing your shoulder blades together and pointing your elbows into your back pockets. Don't rest the bar in your hands. You'll feel the need to bend the bar across your back.
      2. Unrack the weight with your squat stance.
      3. Breathe and brace your core. Fill your stomach, not your chest, with as much air as possible and then squeeze BEFORE you unrack the weight. Keep that breathe for as long as you can without passing out.
      4. Try different stances. I found mine by squeezing my glutes really hard and moving my feet until there was very little torsion in my knee.
      Everyone is different, so don't think that if one pro says to do it a certain way that they are completely right.
      Thanks for the feedback! Like you said- I'm just going to have to try some different things and get the videos to see what works out best for me.

      Comment


      • #4
        Week 2-

        Thursday: Bench (1 ct)- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], Pendlay Rows- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

        Bench felt much better this week after widening my grip a tad bit and really focusing on leg drive and pushing my traps into the bench. I did mess up a bit at first, as I did my @6 set and the first half of my @7 set as touch and go before remembering that I was supposed to be pausing on my chest, so I likely underestimated what the RPE should have been had I been doing it correctly by half an RPE or so on the first couple sets. This caused me to miss a rep on what was supposed to be my first @8 set, which had a cascade effect on my next couple sets as well, but overall I felt like it was a distinct improvement over my last several weeks of Bench Press. Pendlay Rows felt good- distinct progress made from last week.

        Comment


        • #5
          Week 2-

          Friday: Deadlift w/belt- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]; Tempo Squat (3-0-3)- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

          Workout rating: 10/10

          Previous night's sleep: ~7.75 hours uninterrupted

          I decided I'm going to start rating my workouts and noting my sleep the night before because there's no such thing as too much data, and it would be nice to be able to figure out how much sleep I specifically need.

          Anyway, today's workout went great. Bumped the weights up a bit on both lifts and had no problem handling it- probably could have handled a bit more in fact.

          E1RM's from week 2: 277/216/327/121

          Weight after last workout of week 2: ~173 lb

          Comment


          • #6
            Week 3-

            Weight to start week: 172 lb

            This week started weird because my phone randomly turned off in the middle of the night Sunday night, causing me to oversleep my normal workout time. This meant instead of working out in the morning like normal I had to push my Monday workout to the evening after work, then ~12 hours later I did my Tuesday workout.

            Monday: Squat w/belt- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]; Close Grip Bench- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

            Workout rating: 8.5/10, worked out in evening rather than morning like normal.
            Previous night's sleep: ~9 hours uninterrupted

            Squats were questionable again. I did better than last week on hitting the right RPE numbers, but I still could tell very clearly that I was swaying forward, which was making it harder than it should have been. I think I figured some things out toward the end, more to come on that in my Tuesday log. CG bench felt really good. Carried my form improvements from last week over to this week and crushed it- went from an E1RM of 197 last week to 209 this week.

            Tuesday: Rack Pulls- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]; Press w/Belt- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]; Paused Squat (2 ct)- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

            Workout rating: 10/10, only had ~12 hours of recovery time from Monday workout so perhaps was a bit more fatigued than normal, but the workout went well either way.
            Previous night's sleep: ~7.5 hours slightly interrupted.

            Getting a lot better at gauging RPE's- I felt very good today about hitting the correct RPE numbers. Rack pulls felt good and added weight from the previous week. Press was a bit harder, but felt ok. I did better today about gauging my RPEs on that than I have in previous weeks, and honestly I think I overrated the RPEs on my first 3 95 sets considering the ease with which I hit the last 95 set. Paused squat felt very good considering the relative difficulty that I had yesterday on my comp squat. On my second set I realized that rather than using my sight line to guide my bar path, it is better for me to focus more on making sure my weight is balanced over midfoot. By focusing on balancing on my midfoot I am able to more efficiently keep the weight balanced and not sway forward on the way up (or at least it felt like that anyway). It will be interesting if I am able to maintain this going into next week.

            Comment


            • #7
              Week 3-

              Thursday: Comp Bench- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]; Pendlay Rows- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

              Workout rating: 8/10
              Previous night's sleep: ~7 hours slightly interrupted

              This workout was a mixed bag. Still overshot some RPEs on comp bench- I rated the first set at a 6 but more realistically it was probably a 6.5 or 7, and that error cascaded upwards resulting in a missed rep in what was supposed to be my first @8 set. I tried to re-do the wait after that and got all 5 reps but at too high of an RPE. Then tried the same weight a 3rd time (this is the point where I definitely should have dropped down) and missed multiple reps, before dropping weight off the bar and finally hitting the right RPE for my final set. Gotta put aside the ego for next week. Rows went well enough, though I should not have upped the weight for my last set. Overall not the best workout- I'll have to get it next time.

              Comment


              • #8
                Week 3-

                Friday: Deadlift w/Belt- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] x 3; 3-0-3 Squat- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

                Workout rating: 10/10
                Previous night's sleep: ~7.5 hours uninterrupted

                Good workout- everything felt good. I think I'm starting to get an idea how the ascent on squats needs to feel- I've been focusing more on keeping the weight over midfoot and I feel like I can make adjustments mid-lift On Monday I'll get my workout partner to film my comp squat to see if I have actually made form improvements.

                E1RM's from week 3: 277/217/333/117

                Weight after last workout of week 2: ~173 lb
                Last edited by spgranger; 10-25-2019, 01:29 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Week 4-

                  Weight to start week: 174 lb

                  Monday: Squat w/belt- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] x 3; Close Grip Bench- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

                  Workout rating: 8/10
                  Previous night's sleep: ~8 hours uninterrupted

                  Squats felt better today than they have in the recent past, however when I was reracking after my 3rd @8 set I smashed my left ring finger on the pins. Started bleeding, so I had to take a break to go bandage it up and sit down to make sure I didn't pass out. When I got back I determined that trying for my last @8 set was not a smart idea, so I called it a set short for the day on my squats, which is disappointing but I think it was probably the right idea. Did close grip bench after that, which went well, but I ran out of steam early and failed on my 3rd rep of my second @9 set, then dropped 15 lbs off the bar for my last @9 set and completed it. Overall a slightly disappointing workout, but I know that the finger injury was affecting me on the bench sets and I still made a 10 lb jump from last week despite that (even if I wasn't able to maintain that jump across all sets).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Week 4-

                    Tuesday: Rack Pull- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]; Press w/Belt- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]; Paused Squat- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

                    Workout rating: 9/10
                    Previous night's sleep: ~8 hours slightly interrupted

                    Good workout- ran out of gas at the end of the last set of rack pulls, so I missed a rep, but I think it was form related so I'm not super worried about it. OHP went really well- today was the first time I felt like I've made a significant bump in that in awhile. Paused squats felt ok considering I was fairly gassed already (since this is my longest workout day of the week). I made a couple form changes today that I liked- specifically I narrowed up my grip some to help the bar feel a bit more secure on my back (and to avoid smashing my finger when reracking again, lol) and tried to consciously break my knees at the same time as I break my hips on the way down, because after reviewing a couple sets from Monday I think my hips had been moving a bit early compared to my knees.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Week 4-

                      Thursday: Bench (1 ct)- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], 170[email protected], [email protected]; Pendlay Rows- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

                      Workout rating: 8/10
                      Previous night's sleep: ~7 hours interrupted

                      Workout was ok. I didn't get as much sleep as I normally do last night and I could tell, but I mostly powered through it ok. Moving up from 170 to 175 for my second @8 set of Benches was a mistake, which affected the rest of my bench sets I think, but overall it was ok. I changed something with my grip for today and I think it might have been harmful, so I'll probably go back to what I was doing before. Rows went fine.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Week 4-

                        Friday: Deadlift w/belt- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]; Tempo Squat (3-0-3)- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

                        Workout rating: 10/10
                        Previous night's sleep: ~8 hours interrupted

                        Good workout. The @8 sets of tempo squats were a bit of a grind, but nothing too bad. I felt my squat form was distinctly improved today as well, which was nice.

                        E1RM's from week 4: 284/210/339/123

                        Weight after last workout of week 2: ~178 lb

                        Weight took a significant bump this week from 173 to 178, but I think it is largely because I realized it's a problem that I had not been drinking basically any water on a regular basis, so I started trying to drink the ~120 ounces of water that Jordan suggests each day. Doing so I end up peeing all the time but my weight went up like 3-4 pounds basically over night from being more properly hydrated. I feel like I feel better now, but obviously that could just be placebo. Anyway, I'm not super worried about it- my waist circumference basically hasn't moved going from ~165 to ~178. I am glad to be done with the high volume week, and looking forward to trying some singles for the first time here in a couple weeks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Week 5-

                          Weight to start week: 174 lb

                          Monday: Squat w/belt- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]; Paused Bench (3 ct)- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

                          Workout rating: 10/10
                          Previous night's sleep: ~7.5 hours uninterrupted

                          Not much to say- good workout. Squats felt a bit grindey at times, but I never actually felt like I was close to failing a rep. I think I just have a bit of a mental block/fear that I need to get over about squats that feel hard.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Week 5-

                            Tuesday: Paused Deadlift (2 ct, 1'')- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]; Press w/Belt- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]; Pin Squat- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

                            Workout rating: 7/10
                            Previous night's sleep: ~7.5 hours uninterrupted

                            Kind of a mixed bag workout- Press went well other than one mistake (trying to repeat 110 for my second @8 set after it felt like an 8.5 the first time). The other two lifts were a struggle, but I'm going to chalk it up to the fact that I had literally never performed either of those variations before even once so I did not know what to expect in terms of weight and I am totally unpracticed in them. Paused deadlifts were significantly harder than I expected (I was thinking my @7 set would be around 240 or 245 and it ended up at 225 instead) and the Pin Squats were even worse. I was thinking my @7 set for Pin squats would be around 205 and in my second set of what I planned to warm up with (135) I felt like it was maybe a 7. My pride then got the better of me and I tried to bump it up to 155, which resulted in 3 decent reps and a 4th that you could only charitably say I completed. I then dropped it down to 145 and utterly failed 2 sets in a row before dropping it down to 135 again and completing my last 2 sets. The movement just felt hugely different from competition squats- moreso than any other variation that I've done, and it was almost like I had a mental block against pushing the weight back up off the pins. It's something I'll have to work on in future weeks, but I'm trying to give myself a break on it as it just takes time to get used to variations sometimes I think.


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Week 5-

                              Thursday: Bench (1 ct)- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]; Pendlay Row- [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

                              Workout rating: 11/10
                              Previous night's sleep: ~8 hours slightly interrupted

                              I felt like I well and truly kicked ass this workout. I know I didn't bump my E1RM on my Bench up that much from previous weeks (and in fact technically a couple pounds less than at points), but this week is I believe the first week that I did not fail a single rep on my comp bench, and furthermore I didn't even seriously overshoot my intended RPE number on any set as well. I overshot it by .5 on 2 different sets, but I believe both of those were largely due to form issues in those sets more than anything, and overshooting by .5 RPE isn't a huge deal anyway. And honestly, but the end I feel like I might have been undershooting it a little bit. It was the highest number of sets of bench that I have done yet and I felt like my strongest performance was on the very last set, so I feel really good about that. Rows went fine as well- not a lot to say about them. I feel very good about my bench moving forward- for the first time in a while I feel like both my pressing movements have solid momentum in the right direction. A 2 plate Bench and a 1 plate Press seem doable in the very near future- honestly I feel like I could do a 2 plate bench right now if I were to really test my 1RM. The 1 plate press is probably a little bit further in the future, but it seems doable now unlike a month ago where it seems like a distant dream. I feel very good right now and am eager to get back into the gym.

                              Comment

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