08: 6 months ‘The Big 3’

1 Sep 2016  – 10 Apr 2017

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‘The Big 3’: Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press

Youtube video review here:
Big 3 – 6 mos free weight newbie training (57 yrs)😉

 Following my first fitness ‘fail’ with Athlean X’s “Ultimate Arms” program (July 2016), I started to study theories and best practices for muscle growth. Over the course of the next two months, I read 9 highly recommended books, numerous web articles, blogs, and newsletters, and discussed training strategies in depth with 5 different fitness professionals. From these studies, several common and prominent themes emerged:

 – If you want to get bigger and stronger, you need to regularly lift heavy, and progressively heavier over time.
– The most effective muscle/strength building exercises are: Squats, Deadlifts, and Bench Presses, aka ‘The Big 3’.

As I learned all of this, I began my ‘Triceps Torture’ program– a very effective program for increasing strength and size of triceps in a 7 week period. I originally intended to complete that program, and then pursue Athlean X’s “Xero” program to take me through the end of 2016. Then in the new year, I planned to start Stronglift.com’s 5×5 program as an introduction to The Big 3.

But that was not to be.

As described in my ‘Triceps Torture’ review vid, my life and plans were turned inside-out due to the unexpectedly quick selling of my home, and inability to as quickly find a new home to purchase. Instead, finding myself in temporary, cramped living quarters, unable to accommodate the makeshift home gym to which I was accustomed, I joined a public gym. For the first time in my one year fitness journey, the public gym would become my primary place of doing workouts.

Frustrated with my initial attempts to find my way and feel comfortable in the new gym, I decided to hire a trainer. This was not an easy decision because 1) the trainer’s program would mean I have to set aside my own plans for doing ‘Xero’ and 5×5; and 2) it is expensive. But considering the real estate market is looking extremely tight for many months to come, meaning I’d be without a real home and living in a tiny apartment space, I decided to pamper myself and splurge on hiring the trainer. Not only do I have no regrets, but now realize this type of intense coaching was what I needed not only to meet my short-term fitness goals, but also to answer the never-ending questions I have in my pursuit to get bigger, leaner, and stronger. Plus, I found that I am progressing much more quickly under my trainer’s tutelage than I would have under 5×5.

My trainer is several years younger than myself, and I hired him as he was deemed ‘Old School’– one who values The Big 3. [SIDE NOTE: I’ve noted that younger trainers at the gym do NOT utilize The Big 3 with their clientele, but instead seem to focus on machine and isolation training… I’m so glad I had studied beforehand and knew what I wanted…]

My first session with trainer Charlie was on 1 Sep 2016. He interviewed me for the first 10 minutes to find out my fitness experience and goals. I tried to convince him to help me finish ‘Triceps Torture’, but he wouldn’t agree. (The remainder of the session was to evaluate my current strength abilities.)

Following is my workout diary on The Big 3. Red entries are Personal Records, aka PRs. We began doing only 2 of the 3 Bigs to start (Squats and Bench Presses), but I’m assured Deadlifts are to come when he deems me ready. I workout with Charlie 2 mornings a week, just over one hour sessions. Tuesdays are Leg/Core and Pull days, Thursdays are Push days. I workout on Saturdays on my own, hitting what my body “tells” me to hit, and do HIIT/ab work throughout the week.


Week 00 – 01 Sep 2016
– This was my introductory evaluation workout. We used 4 basic exercises to determine where I should begin: Squats (got to 155lbs!), Pullups (2 sets of 10, 2 sets of 8), Thigh Jerk & Press, and finally Dips (3 easy sets of 10 — Charlie was impressed– Thanks Triceps Torture!).

Week 01 – 06 Sep 2016
SQUAT: 115# x 10R x 3S
BENCH: 115# x 7R x 2S
– First real workout with Charlie unable to complete the entire session. After squats and several other leg routines, I got nauseous on my first set of T-Bar rows. I had to quit after the 2nd set, sure I was going to vomit. Scared me. But Charlie assured me it was a valid bodily response, especially for a new lifter. My own research revealed that I should *not* have eaten a full breakfast prior to the workout. Apparently when the body is fighting for energy to supply to muscle exertion or digestion, digestion loses and it attempts to purge itself. So much to learn…

tb3-wk01-160910

Week 02 – 13 Sep 2016
SQUAT: 135# x 8R x 2S
BENCH: 125# x 5R x 2S
Got yelled at for doing ab work prior to my Squat workout this morning. Apparently I should do NO workouts period for 24 hours prior to a squat workout. So much to learn…

Week 03 – 20 Sep 2016
SQUAT: 145# x 8R x 2S
BENCH: 135# x 5R x 1S
Charlie introduced decline situps after squatting today. He was surprised at how well I did on them. “I told you I’m way ahead on core work, Charlie.” I think he’ll believe me now.

Week 04 – 27 Sep 2016
SQUAT: 155# x 8R x 2S
BENCH: 140# x 5R x 2S

Week 05 – 04 Oct 2016
SQUAT: 180# x 4R x 1S
BENCH: 145# x 4R x 2S
– Charlie said this would be the last we do Thigh & Jerk for awhile. Really liked this exercise. Got up to 115lbs x 3R x 1S, but failed on 125lbs x 1R :/
front_shot3

Week 06 – 11 Oct 2016
SQUAT: 205# x 3R x 1S
BENCH: 155# x 1R x 1S
– Charlie introduced Seated Behind-the-neck Barbell presses today. Said that would be a new recurring exercise.

Week 07 – 18 Oct 2016
SQUAT: 210# x 3R x 1S
BENCH: 135# x 5R x 3S
BB CURLS: 60# x 7R x 3S
– I should probably be reporting my barbell curls. Up to 60lbs x 7R x 3S. I think have good biceps strength.

Week 08 – 25 Oct 2016
SQUAT: 225# x 2R x 1S
BENCH: 160# x 1R x 1S
BB CURLS: 50# x 15R x 3S
– Legs: I’ve always had strong legs and good lungs. But I’ve also always been a lightweight for my height, so they’ve never been muscled. I ran track for two seasons in high school (fyi, I *hate* running, so just won’t do it anymore), I love to ski, and I’m an avid hiker. But my legs never, ever in any way looked muscled. This week, for the first time in my life, my legs unflexed show signs of that tear-drop shaped muscle just above the kneecap (the vastus medialis obliquus, or VMO). And just over one month of squatting my thighs have grown 0.6″. Do you even squat, bro?
TB3-Wk08-61030.jpg

Week 09 – 01 Nov 2016
SQUAT: 235# x 1R x 1S
BENCH: 165# x 1R x 1S – FAIL
BB CURLS: none :/

– Squeaky wheel gets the oil. I kept hinting that I missed the Thigh & Press, so Charlie let me at it today. 75# x 5R x 1S, then he up’d me to 95# and said, “Go to failure”– 12R strong. Impressed myself, and better yet, impressed Charlie. Love when he says, “Look at you go papichulo!”

– Did my first calve press machine this week. Two days later, on a long weekend vacation in Punta Cana, I could hardly walk. My calves were like rocks, but at least they looked cool.
[Also, celebrating my cousin’s birthday, I partied like I used to back before I got into fitness. The next morning when I attempted to do a HIIT? LOL. Couldn’t get through a 2nd round. Can’t treat your body bad like that anymore, idiot.]

Week 10 – 08 Nov 2016 “DELOAD”

– I understand that we are deloading to give the body/brain a much needed rest. Charlie seems impressed with my novice gains. I must admit its kind of frustrating to have to “deload” and not keep pursuing new Personal Record marks. But the plan is we will build up again over the next weeks aiming for new PRs before the end of the year, followed by another deload in January.

Week 11 – 15 Nov 2016 “RELOAD”, !#%^& Hack squats, & a weaker left arm/shoulder
SQUAT: 135# x 10R x 3S
BENCH: 115# x 10R x 3S (Fail sets 2 & 3)
BB CURLS: 60# x 8R x 3S

– Hack squatted for the first time ever– What fresh hell is this??? After completing regular squat workout, Charlie asked for 20R @ 115lbs on the hack machine. I would have quit after 10, but Charlie kept yelling “come awwwwn Ed”. First time I ever cussed at the gym. It got loud. Everybody in the free weight area was watching (I hate that, but at least a couple were also rooting me on…) Told Charlie I hated him after we finished LOL. AND I learned another new gym trick, Exertion Headaches– what a treat. (NOT!!!) He assured me it was normal, but I had to look it up when I got home. Thought I was having an aneurysm. Not funny, but apparently Exertion Headaches especially on squats is a real thing, most likely due to holding one’s breath and not breathing correctly. So much to learn…

– My bench frustrates me, and this first week of rebuild we went back to week 1’s weight of 115 lbs. Then I did it 2 sets for 7 reps each. Charlie asked for 3 sets of 10 reps this time. Hit the first set, but failed on set 2 (only 8) and 3 (only 7). TICKS ME OFF!

– My left arm always lags on the bench press, obviously the weaker of the two. (Not sure if it’s a qualifying indicator, but even in Triceps Torture, my left arm made only a 0.2″ size gain while my right arm 0.25″.) I’d been pointing this left arm weakness out to Charlie for a couple of weeks, but not sure he believed me. So today he had me do two isolation exercises:

1) The first, Incline Two-handed Press machine. Charlie asked for 3 sets of 12 reps at 35lbs each hand. 12R on first set with left arm struggle, 12$ for right arm on two remaining sets, BUT only 11R for left on set 2, and 10R (hardly) on set 3;
2) Seated alternating ear-to-heaven dumbbell shoulder presses with slow eccentric. He asked for 25 reps each arm. Right arm, nailed it. Left arm, couldn’t get past 20 without needing a spot.

Charlie is now convinced, my left arm is weaker than my right. We shall correct that 😀

Week 12 – 22 Nov 2016 “RELOAD” + Up’ing the Calisthenics
SQUAT: 115# x 10R + 135# x 10R + 145# x 10R
BENCH: none (50lb dumbbell bench’s: 3 sets ea flat, incline, decline)
BB CURLS: 60# x 10R x 3S

Tuesday workout still Deload/Rebuild. Added leg adductor machine and shoulder shrugs. Again, my curls were strong.

Thursday, knowing I was going to happily eat heavily for Thanksgiving dinner, did morning a blowout workout. First Deadlifts ever, not much load, to learn concentrate on form. Feel it hitting legs and core– loved it. Followed with heavy chest, shoulders, and triceps workout. Went over an hour and a half– longest workout since Ultimate Abs days.

Saturday– Continued working on planche prep at home. Been struggling for weeks to stick preliminary Frog Pose, mostly a question of balance than of strength. Cannot advance without sticking it. So decided to research to find some help. And here it is:

–> Can now stick the Frog Pose for 30+ seconds 😀
Also, in my pursuit of advancing in body weight work, researched for and purchased a beginner’s calisthenics program. Can there possibly be a new review vid in my near future?

Week 13 – 29 Nov 2016 “RELOAD”
SQUAT: 105# x 15R x 3S
BENCH: 150# x 5R x 1S
BB CURLS: (none — Deadlift prep took precedent)

Odd week, with Deadlift prep work taking up lots of time on leg/pull day. After going through technique and practice runs, finished with  135# x 8R x 3S. Not really difficult, but felt the effects in my glutes especially for 4 days.

Calisthenics/Planche: Working on Front Lever progressions. Finished horizontal tuck this week– not easy and feel the work especially in my shoulders. (I can feel this effecting my pullups and shoulder work at the gym– not good– need to work that out. Perfecting Frog Pose all week also.

Week 14 – 06 Dec 2016 “RELOAD”
SQUAT: 185# x 5R x 1S
BENCH: 155# x 3R x 3S
DEADLIFT: 275# x 1R x 1S
BB CURLS: 60# x 12R x 3S (cable curls as part of superset)

Good workout week. Still in RELOAD mode, so not going for any PRs. But unlike the previous two weeks, where we worked on Deadlift technique, this week we sought out my max– got up to 275 lbs! We were both surprised. In fact, instead of going to 295 lbs next, Charlie put on 3 plates (315 lbs). Couldn’t do it. But man, failing never felt so good. That I was able to get to the point of even TRYING 3 plates was super-satisfying.

Also, I’m calling success points on two of my calisthenics progressions. The first one is the Frog Stand. Goal to hold position for 20+ seconds (hit 30sec and could have kept going– this is more a balance exercise than it is a strength one).
tb3-wk14-frogstand
The second is the Front Lever Tuck (short vid coming as soon as I can figure out how to make a gif :/)

Week 15 – 13 Dec 2016 “RELOAD”
SQUAT:205# x 5R x 1S
BENCH: 175# x 1R x 1S
DEADLIFT:
BB CURLS:

Trainer knows I’m getting bored with “Reload” and want to press on. So this week, he had me go for a PR on both squat and bench. For squat it would be a multi-rep PR, 205# x 5R. He went and got one of his buddies to video it while he spotted me. First, Charlie knows I hate when other people watch. Second, when we do one of these where he knows I’ll be struggling, he starts yelling which MAKES MORE PEOPLE WATCH! What I now realize that he realizes, is that all this attention super-motivates me, and I’ll push harder not to fail. Nailed it, but I get ticked off anyway. All in fun. (No one will ever see that vid… I had no idea I how noisy *I* get when I’m being pushed and yelled at LOL…)

On the bench he tricked me. I didn’t know we were going for a PR so didn’t pay attention while he kept adding weights each set. I hit 150# x 3R with such ease that he asked me what my last fail was (165# x 1R). So I assumed that’s what he loaded next. (I purposely don’t want to know the weight load when we’re going for PRs as I find it too distracting/messes with my head.) I completed with press with struggle, and he started laughing. “What?!,” I asked. That was 175#, dude. 😀

We’re in serious negotiations 😉 about switching me from a formal 2-day to 3-day program split. I’m currently programming the 3rd day each week on my own. He wants to make one day an all-leg day– currently leg day is shared with back and biceps. It looks like in the New Year I’ll be switching workouts to 1) Leg day; 2) Chest/Shoulders/Tri’s; 3) Back/Bi’s, with me doing 3 on my own but programmed by Charlie. I can’t afford to hire him a 3rd day a week, and I’m pretty sure I can handle Back/Bi’s pretty well on my own.

Finally, I can’t find a way to make video files into gifs without buying some expensive software, and I don’t think it’s worth a whole Youtube post. So I decided to just post a couple snapshots from my Front Lever Tuck vid.
Arms must be straight (locked elbows) at all times, knees to chest, then hips raised so line connecting hips/shoulders is parallel to the floor. Took me almost 3 weeks to get strong enough to do this for 4 sets of 7 reps.

Week 16 – 20 Dec 2016 “RELOAD”
SQUAT: 135# x 25R x 1S
BENCH: 135# x 10R x 2S
DEADLIFT:
BB CURLS: 55# x 10R x 3S

Big 3-wise, totally deload week. Probably for the best, nothing really to report. I don’t get why one week he’s tricking me into PRs, and the next week won’t let me go near one :/ Trust the process… Trust the process…

In calisthenics, making good progress. To the Front Lever progression work, I added L-Sit/V-Sit, Uni-Archer Pullups, and L-Sit Pullups. Here is a vid of polishing off an L-Sit progression point: arms straight, shoulder blades retracted and depressed, legs held at 90 degrees for 15-20 seconds:

Week 17 – 27 Dec 2016 “RELOAD”
SQUAT:
BENCH: 115# x 15R x 3S
DEADLIFT:
BB CURLS: 65# x 8R x 3S

Holiday week, ‘keeping it light’. I guess. Went into complete deload myself, no HITTs, no ab-work, no calisthenics. With the stress the holiday brings for me, my body clearly needed a rest. Completely abandoned sound nutrition too — had a good time 🙂
Merry & Happy everyone!

Week 18 – 2 Jan 2017 “REBUILD Begins” + Biceps Injury :/
SQUAT: 95/115/135# x 10R w 3 sec pause at bottom
BENCH: 135# x 6R x 4S
DEADLIFT: 255 x 3R
BB CURLS: <none! — injury :/ >

Thus begins my trainer’s new year plan with a “rebuild phase” to take me through the end of March. New 3-day split implemented:
– Mon: Legs/Triceps
– Thu: Chest/Shoulders
– Fri: Back/Biceps
–> I will be doing conditioning and calisthenics workouts on Tue/Wed/Sat
Back/Biceps I’m doing on my own (cannot afford a trainer 3 days a week). But I got this. The general bench plan is to increase by 5 pounds each week until I cannot complete 4 sets of 6 reps.

Injury! So, New Year’s Eve, feeling no pain ;), was challenged to arm wrestle with someone obviously stronger than myself. I don’t mind being humbled, but I wasn’t going to go down without a fight. And fight I did. Much to my surprise, I was able to hold my own, and simply refused to be bested. This lasted about a minute and a half when a “draw” was declared. I couldn’t believe I didn’t lose, and was elated! But the story has a bittersweet ending. I woke up the next day and my left biceps tendon at the elbow was sore even with natural movement of my arm. This showed up in the gym on biceps day when I first couldn’t complete sets of pull-ups, then completely failed on barbell curls. Furious, I gave up and stormed out of the gym.

Week 18 – 9 Jan 2017 “REBUILD”
SQUAT: 185# x 6R / 200# x 2R
BENCH: 140# x 6 x 3
DEADLIFT: 275# x 1R
BB CURLS: 50# x 10R x 3S (still cannot do straight bar due to biceps injury)

A fairly regular workout week. I met a new business colleague who specializes in sports chiropracty. I visited him for a professional ‘movement’ assessment. By the end of our session, he was giving me Deadlift coaching which I put into place the following morning. Unlike my three prior deadlift sessions, not only did I deadlift much more smoothly, but had no lower back strain, and was pain-free the following day as well. Lesson learned (again): there is a right way to do these exercises, and a million wrong ways.

Week 19 – 16 Jan 2017 “REBUILD” (recovering from a cold/congestion)
SQUAT: 115# x 10R x 3S
BENCH: 145# x 6R x 4S
DEADLIFT: 285# x 1R
BB CURLS: 50# x 10R x 3S (still cannot do straight bar due to biceps injury)

Recovering from a weekend cold/congestion. Breathing difficult so took it easy on leg day. Bench felt strong, and PR on deadlift. I really enjoy deadlifting, perhaps my favorite exercise now. Since Dr. Justin taught me proper technique, I’ve had not back strain or pain the last two deadlift sessions. Yay!

Week 19 – 23 Jan 2017 “REBUILD” (fired/re-hired my trainer :/ )
SQUAT: 205# x 3R x 2S
BENCH: 150# x 6R x 3S
DEADLIFT:
BB CURLS: 60# x 7R x 4S (still cannot do straight bar due to biceps injury)

Got fed up– 4th Monday since the New Year started trainer didn’t make appointment. Got a text from him Sunday evening indicating 7:30am start, which would make me late for 9am work appointment. Told him no good, needed to keep 7am, to which he said he already had an appointment for then. “Yeah, I’m your 7am appointment”, I replied. He replied that was in 2016, not this year. Complete BS. So I told him forget it and attempted to cancel my training contract with a refund for unused days in January. THAT didn’t go well either, so on Thursday met with gym owner. All straightened out. Will be training through the end of March, 1/2 hour sessions twice a week with old trainer– 7am Monday. Period.

Workout-wise, guys, I’m doing fine. I appreciate all the inquiries worrying that I’m not posting PRs or photos. Living in temporary tiny rental quarters is starting to wear on me greatly. I don’t want to take photos, I don’t want to do ab work at night, I don’t want to live here anymore!!! Workouts this week weren’t bad, and in fact probably had the best back/biceps day so far on my 3-day split. Trainer advising against doing deadlifts every week, which is disappointing because they’ve become my favorite compound lift. He says they interfere with squat work which he deems more important for me right now.

Going to try a new twist in nutrition this week– adding an all-protein fast day. Will designate Tuesday each week as 500-600 protein-only eating (no fats/carbs). Will report back.

Week 20 – 30 Jan 2017 “REBUILD”
SQUAT: 155# x 10R / 165# x 10R / 170# x 10R
BENCH: 155# x 3R/4R/3R
DEADLIFT:  225# x 5R x 5S
BB CURLS: 70# x 6R x 3S (no straight bar – biceps injury)

A very regular week — how odd! LOL
I did not want to go for a PR on deadlift as trainer said we need to concentrate on squats. OK. So, here are some photos. I think I’m getting bigger…

panaroma

Week 21 – 06 Feb 2017 “REBUILD”
SQUAT: 135# x 20R
BENCH: 140# x 10R
DEADLIFT:
BB CURLS: 60# x 10R x 3S (EZ bar; no straight bar – biceps injury)

Just routine. Cutting out Deadlifts until I can straighten out this left biceps tendon soreness. Trainer ticking me off, saying he’d alert me if not showing due to show day– didn’t show, didn’t alert me. Not sure if he’s truly daft or an a-hole.

Week 22 – 13 Feb 2017 “REBUILD”
SQUAT: 155# x 20R
BENCH: 175# x 1R
DEADLIFT:
BB CURLS:

My left biceps tendon is still sore, so I’m cutting out ALL pull work in order to accelerate healing. That means I’m down to 2 days a week, legs and push. So warning: don’t be a fool macho idiot like myself and get into an arm wrestling contest, straining your arm for a prolonged period against someone significantly stronger.

At this point, I just want to finish this Big 3 program. I think I’ve gotten all the training out of it that I wanted, I understand the compounds. Sure I have a LONG way to progress in those, but I also have plenty of time. There are other workouts I want to do, and frankly I miss crossfit. Plus, a VERY kind follower has surprised me and purchased for me the latest Athlean X programs as a gift…

Week 23 – 20 Feb 2017 “DELOAD”
SQUAT: 165# x 20R
BENCH: 135# x 5R / 95# x 15,15,11,8R
DEADLIFT:
BB CURLS:

So, no pull work this week. It feels like I’m just going through the motions at the gym.

Week 24 – 28 Feb 2017 “DELOAD”
SQUAT: 115# x 15R x 4S
BENCH:
DEADLIFT:  275# x 2R
BB CURLS:

So on Friday the prior week, I did heavy traps/Farmer’s Carry lift super sets. On Monday, my lower back was extremely tight (though not painful) during squats. I finished them, but followed an easy ‘stretch’ set of light-weight knee-deadlifts to try to de-stress my lower back. The rest of the week went ok, and I returned to deadlift on Friday, meeting my previous PR. I did do a pull day this week, and it felt good. Still pampering my left biceps tendon though.

Week 25 – 7 Mar 2017 “DELOAD”
SQUAT: 115# x 12R / 135# x 12R / 155# x 12 R
BENCH:
DEADLIFT:
BB CURLS:

Did all machine presses for chest work this week. Felt I hit them well, as I did with triceps and shoulders. No pull day again though. Honestly, I’m fighting ‘malo humor’ — six months renting is taking its toll on me.

To those asking me if I finished this “Big 3” work and plan to do a new video– Yes I’m supposed to be finished with “The Big 3” by now. It’s been 6 months on March 1st. But… change of plans. I’m continuing with it to the end of April. Couple of reasons: 1) I was supposed to be in a new home by now where with home gym facility to do new crossfit and calisthenics programs; 2) Because my trainer missed so many days with me over the six months, I still have a month and a half of 30 minute sessions to go, 2 days a week; 3) I’m going to France at the end of April, so that seems like a good breaking point; 4) yo tengo un malo humor. Yes, I’ll do a vid though…

Week 26 – 13 Mar 2017 “RELOAD”
SQUAT: pyramid from 95# x 15R / 20# increments to / 175# x 4R
BENCH: 155# x 5 x 2
DEADLIFT:
BB CURLS:

Light leg week again but high volume– so hit well. Laid off pull work because of right biceps tendon soreness again– not happy about this, but understand it will take up to 6 months before pain subsides sufficiently. REAL happy with my triceps work. Adding 5# a week weighted triceps, up to 4 sets of 8 reps using 35# weight.

Week 27 – 20 Mar 2017
SQUAT: 135# x 10R x 4S
BENCH: 180# x F (no PR again!)
DEADLIFT: 295# x 1R
BB CURLS: 50# x 10R x 3S (left biceps tendon pain minimal)

A week of frustrations and triumphs. Monday was my first full leg-day ever (didn’t split with Triceps). Ended workout with balance-assisted Pistol Squats — loved it! Chest/Shoulder day had downs and ups: missed the PR on chest at 180 pounds; made the PR on Seated Behind Head Shoulder Press at 115 pounds. Exuberant hitting a Deadlift PR at 295 pounds! 3-plates by the end of April (sooner in fact)…

Week 28 – 27 Mar 2017
SQUAT: 135#, 150#, 165# x 10R
BENCH: 180# x 1$
DEADLIFTS:
BB CURLS: 60# x 10R x 3S (left biceps tendon pain minimal)

Another particularly impactful leg day led off the week. Instead of squats, did a pyramid progression on the Leg Press up to 270 lbs. Last attempt at Bench PR before starting another deload @ 180 lbs. VERY ugly press (I don’t count it, but my trainer did). Attempted DB Hammer Curls for biceps, using light weight (20 lb DBs)– didn’t make it past 5 reps before left biceps tendon pain made me stop. Still, was able to do EZ Bar Curls, 4 sets at 60# with minimal pain.

Finished recording new “The Big 3” vid. Now for the long editing process :/ Hopefully will be done by next weekend. Here’s a screen shot from the vid, will probably be the thumbnail — painful to flex my left biceps like this because of the tendon injury :/
vlcsnap-2017-04-02-20h16m30s771

Week 28 – 3 Apr 2017 “DELOAD/RELOAD”
SQUAT: pyramid to 205# x 2R
BENCH: 95# x 10R x 3S (halves+wholes)
DEADLIFT:
BB CURLS: 60# x 10R x 3S

Biggest week of workouts ups and downs ever. Fantastic Arms (morning) and Leg (evening) workouts on Monday due to trainer availability. Hit both workouts hard and finished morning session with extensive, strong abs workout. But then Thursday had significant right wrist pain and could not do bench presses well at all. Remainder of workout went ok, including ability to do standing db flies for a full set before biceps tendon pain kicked in. Very light biceps/back workout to end the week due to wrist pain (somewhat less severe than prior day).

Extremely frustrating work week compounded by rigorous social schedule, kept me from editing my upcoming video in time for weekend release. So pushing back publishing expectation to following weekend. :/

Week 29 (Final) – 10 Apr 2017
SQUAT: 165# x 10R x 3S
BENCH:
DEADLIFT: 300# x 1R
BB CURLS:

Crash and burn, end it here. Great Monday leg day, hit another deadlift PR. But little did I know this would be my very last workout session with Charlie. I still had 5 1/2 hour sessions to go, but for some reason he thought it was my final. So when I showed up a couple days later to do bench presses with him, he didn’t show. Pretty furious, I stormed out of the gym after warming up for benching, and will not return until I get back from European vacation 5/18/17. NOT the way I wanted my training time to end, but best made plans. See you next blog…

UP NEXT:  4 months HFT “Get Big”