Chained Down

Chained Down
Breaking through the Chains

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

PR All Day, Every Day

The past couple of weeks have been some weeks of achievement for myself.  After experiencing a few small, but challenging, injuries, I have been able to set some personal records (PRs) in the gym.  Over the past couple of weeks I have been pushing throught some nagging injuries.  Last week I considered taking a few of my training days off because they hurt so badly.  My lower back, upper back, and shoulder have all been causing some problems.  I am in no way degrading taking days off or even deloading for a week (lowering the weights, volume, and effort significantly for a week).  However, I had not planned to incorporate these types of days and I felt that I could just suck it up.  I guess my intuition was right, or atleast I hope. 
I think this post is a good follow-up for my previous post because it demonstrates all of the advice that I provided could really work.  I have made significant jumps in both my squat and my bench press.   Last week on Thursday I set a PR on bench.  I did 340 pounds seven times.  I did not foresee myself hitting that number at all.  I thought maybe I would get 3 or 4 reps, but not 7.  Today, I continued to set a PR in squat.  I hit 500 pounds for 7 reps going very deep (I think depth should be emphasized more).  On both sets I felt that I had a few more left in the tank, but decided to hold up at 7 for some odd reason.  I also did standing military with 205 pounds for 4 reps Sunday.  500 is still off of the 540 that Jim Wendler hit for 7 in a youtube video: 

Nevertheless, for me, I feel that I hit a pretty good number and I am consistently going up in weight.  I think it is time for me to lay out my program, so that others can get a feel for what I do.  Remember, a program should be set up on an individual basis.  What I do will probably not work for everyone.  But, here it is:
Thursday- this is a bench day for me.  I begin with bench press using Wendler’s 5/3/1 periodization method, then I do an exercise to work on my strength off the chest, then an exercise to work on my lockout, then a push-up variation for speed, then some elbow rehabilitation work consisting of high repetition tricep work, and I finish with some ab work.
Friday-  I usually begin with deadlifts, but because of my lower back problems I may move deadlifts to squat day to allow for more recovery days.  I follow with an Upper Back exercise, a variation of back rows hitting the horizontal plane, two variations of  back exercises hitting the vertical plane, some dumbell pullovers, shrugs, high rep biceps work, and then finish with some abs.
Saturday is an off day
Sunday- I begin with standing military press using 5/3/1, standing military for higher reps, incline dumbell presses, side laterals, narrow upright rows, rear delt work, and finish with more abs
Monday- I do some additional arm work and some cardio
Tuesday- I do some stretching, I do squats using 5/3/1,  I do some lunges or hack squats, some lower back work, calves, heavy barbell shrugs, maybe some forearm work, then finally some grip work and abs. 
Wednesday is another off day for me.
Jim Wendler may not agree with the amount of volume I do, but I am trying to work all that out and reduce it some.  I will probably deload after 3 more weeks.  Hopefully, I continue to make gains and set PRs. 

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