Going to post in detail about my squats sometime soon. Lots to tell.

But for now - huge deadlift PR today: 245lbs! Felt like I was going to pass out after 1 rep, but that’s enough for me :)

2,200 calories today - nice little surplus to refuel. Back to the 1,800 range tomorrow.

Deadlift PR


just 20lbs to my next goal :)

5/3/1 vs. Higher Reps

So, basically the entire internet says that if you’re a relatively experienced lifter (like, not a beginner), then Wendler’s 5/3/1 is second to none for seeing gains in strength, as well as being simple, concise and time-effective. Even though I was making good progress with a higher rep (though somewhat less focused) protocol, I was super excited to make the switch back in October. 

However, almost immediately after starting, I plateaued. This is odd given that a program change is usually called on to jump start one’s progress, but I figured I’d follow it precisely and give it a while before making any decisions. Two and a half months later, none of my lifts had increased and some (like my Bench and arguably my deadlifts) had actually weakened. This is despite my nutrition, sleep, etc. being sufficient.

So, about a week and a half ago, I switched back to a higher rep protocol, and am actually already seeing improvement. I may be spending a lot longer in the gym trying to work in a gatrillion reps at lower weights, but when I do pyramid up to the higher range, my 2 and 3-rep maxes are already higher than before.

I don’t know why this is, or what makes me different from apparently the entire world, but I’m going to accept it for now and keep pushing in this range until I stop seeing results.

Hip was super stiff and sore today but I still managed to eke out 4 squat reps at 135lbs, a PR for me and with reasonably good form.  If I can hit 150lbs in the next month, I’ll be so unspeakably happy. That’ll mean an increase of 50% since this time last year (despite taking 6-8 months off for my hip) and leave me only another 50lbs to make my 2013 goal of a 200lb squat.



Going for a new higher-rep protocol, beginning with 100 squats today, ranging in weight from 45-75lbs. My 1rm is 135lbs (sad) so these were very light, but my endurance has suffered over the past 2+ months of Wendler, so it’ll take a bit to be able to do 10-15 rep sets comfortably again.

Always moving forward.


Wow, it’s been exactly a month since my last post. Sorry peeps. Let’s run through some highlights.

I stopped posting so much primarily to achieve a sense of balance between my fitness and the rest of my life, but also because I found that seeing everyone else’s success didn’t inspire me so much as make me beat myself up. I just needed to step back.

I started up Wendler’s 5/3/1 and stopped counting calories. Unfortunately, I don’t think Wendler is for me. It was supposed to be the last program I ever started, since it’s designed to last forever, but I’m in my third month now, and I’ve seen almost no gains - some exercises are actually getting weaker. Now, I know that there’s a nutritional component to increasing strength as well, but I’ve gained weight overall, just not muscle and definitely not strength. Maybe in a few years when I’m more confident in my abilities I’ll be able to handle this kind of plateau, but right now, I need to shake it up. Higher reps, longer time spent in the gym overall, less steady-state cardio, more tabatas. Did a huge back workout with Nick and our friend Dylan yesterday, and really enjoyed the interaction and support of having workout buddies. I’m proud to have gotten to a level both in terms of physical ability and knowledge/mentality that I can contribute to a group like that, even if Nick deadlifts 200lbs more than I do.

I’ve also been trying to socialize more with a wider variety of people - making some female friends and the like. This is good, and important, but difficult nutritionally when everybody knows that the best way to bond with a twenty-something female is over red wine and cheesecake. Now it’s Christmas and I’m making the best possible choices the majority of the time.  Can’t ask for much more.

Got my MRI results - apparently there’s nothing noticeably wrong with my hip. Not sure what to do with that information, except forge ahead and start pushing through the pain. Stay tuned for 2013 goals, but spoiler alert: a 200lb squat will be one of them.

Not a ton of travel the past month - just a few days in Montreal at the end of November. Hit the farmer’s market so hard that Sunday - had such a fantastic day walking and shopping and sipping and tasting by myself in the freezing cold. That (of all places) is also where I discovered Starbucks’ 100-calorie short skinny peppermint mocha. I think I’ve had 4 of them so far, and almost exclusively on leg days. Springtime can’t come soon enough.

I’ll start posting a bit more, but for anyone interested in my workout logs, I’ve been religious about tracking them on Fitocracy. godo2point0.

Happy Holidays :)


Guess it’s been a while since I posted.  5/3/1 is doing exactly what I wanted it to - lending clarity and focus to my workouts so I can just get in, do what I need to and get out. I’m into the second cycle now (week 5) and all is well.  I’ve been logging on Fitocracy so if you really care about the details, you can check that out.

MRI for my hip coming up next week.

Seem to have gained a bit of fat due to some questionable food choices the past few weeks, so cleaning things up a bit and doing a couple of spinning classes per week. Shouldn’t be too tough to get things under control.

Made soup today - butternut squash apple (kind of like this), except this time I omitted the sweet potato, added coconut milk at the end and seasoned it with pumpkin pie spice. Pretty great.

Also been baking muffins and putting pomegranate seeds in everything.

I’ll try to start posting more frequently (my mom worries when I don’t), but it’s probably a good sign that I don’t feel like I need this blog anymore. We may be on our way to achieving some balance, people. Go team.

Gonna start posting about 5/3/1 weekly instead of daily, but just wanted to say that I bench pressed 40 lb dumbbells tonight (x5) and attempted 45’s. So woot :)

5/3/1 - 1.2: Back + Rock Climbing

Trying to achieve a schedule in which all 4 of my lifting days fall during the week, giving me the option of two weekend days off to do other things - active or otherwise. I could have done my deadlifts and such tomorrow and just gone rock climbing today, but I squeezed Wendler in this morning and then went straight from the gym to the wall. My hands are SHOT, but it’s good. Now I get two days off (if I want them - we’ll see what happens)… :)

Barbell Deadlift:

  • 135 lb x 5 reps (+85 pts)
  • 135 lb x 5 reps (+85 pts)
  • 135 lb x 5 reps (+85 pts)
  • 160 lb x 3 reps (+81 pts)
  • 180 lb x 3 reps (+93 pts)
  • 205 lb x 3 reps (+110 pts)

Bent Over Barbell Row:

  • 65 lb x 12 reps (+36 pts)
  • 70 lb x 12 reps (+37 pts)
  • 70 lb x 12 reps (+37 pts)
  • 70 lb x 12 reps (+37 pts)
  • 70 lb x 12 reps (+37 pts)

Rock Climbing:

  • 2:00:00 || indoor (+777 pts)

5/3/1 - 1.2: Chest (Migraine Edition)

I used to get migraines as a teenager - once every couple of months.  It would always start with my vision blurring on the left side, and then 15-20min later the pain would kick in behind my right eye and basically incapacitate me. If I could crush a ton of ibuprofen as soon as the blurriness began, I could usually stay ahead of it, but the margin for error was always small.

Today, I found myself struggling to focus on things as I walked to the gym, but the brightness of the outdoors and the fact that it’d been years since my last migraine didn’t clue me in. I was halfway through my bench presses when I realized that it was only my left eye that was fuzzy and remembered what that used to mean.

I had no ibuprofen on me, and there was none at the front desk, so I finished up that exercise, showered quickly and tried to get home before the worst of it began. I didn’t make it, and spent the rest of this afternoon on my couch.

Nick brought me a cheese croissant which I turned into the most delicious open-faced tuna sandwich ever. I washed it down with pu-erh tea and 800mg of ibuprofen, 500mg of acetaminophen and 65mg of caffeine just to be safe.

Shitty to waste a work out and a whole afternoon this way, but hopefully it’s a one-time thing and not a sign that I “get migraines” again like I used to. Also glad that it happened on a chest day (every day is important, but this is the one that matters to me the least, personally), and that the 5/3/1 program only requires the main lift to stay on track.

Deadlifts and rock climbing tomorrow!

Barbell Bench Press:

  • 45 lb x 5 reps (+46 pts)
  • 45 lb x 5 reps (+46 pts)
  • 45 lb x 5 reps (+46 pts)
  • 60 lb x 3 reps (+41 pts)
  • 70 lb x 3 reps (+44 pts)
  • 75 lb x 4 reps (+52 pts)

5/3/1 - 1.2: Legs

Second week of 5/3/1 legs. Good stuff. I love working with low reps - mentally it’s just so much easier to go balls out rather than struggling to maintain good form while pacing yourself through the knowledge that you’ve got another 10 reps to go. This Wendler business is strong, fast, and hopefully effective. Time will tell.

Barbell Squat:

  • 50 lb x 5 reps (+48 pts)
  • 65 lb x 5 reps (+53 pts)
  • 75 lb x 3 reps (+46 pts)
  • 90 lb x 3 reps (+50 pts)
  • 100 lb x 3 reps (+54 pts)
  • 115 lb x 4 reps (+68 pts)

Barbell Lunges:

  • 50 lb x 20 reps (+111 pts)
  • 50 lb x 20 reps (+111 pts)
  • 50 lb x 20 reps (+111 pts)

Barbell Step Ups:

  • 50 lb x 16 reps || 20 in (+84 pts)
  • 50 lb x 16 reps || 20 in (+84 pts)
  • 50 lb x 16 reps || 20 in (+84 pts)