Next Four Weeks

For the last 6 weeks I was on family leave from work, so other than keeping my infant son alive and my beautiful wife happy, I was actually able to train with regularity and success, largely unhurried.

The results were very positive, at least with regard to my Squat, Bench, and Press.  Never before have I hit these kinds of numbers:

Squat 260x 5 reps x 3 sets

Bench 185x5x3

Press 130x5x3.

And my body weight at 180 is 15 pounds heavier than where I started the year and other than snugger fitting clothes in the butt and shoulders, barely noticeable, as my waist is the same.

My pulls are not that great right now. I’m only using the double overhand grip on the deadlift and reset to ensure better technique. I’ve been going up very slowly on Cleans for a while now too. And chins are still good, but as I weigh more now, they are a little harder. I seem to have difficulty breaking 10 on set 2 and 3 still.

In any case, as I’m now back at work I’m trying to not drive my self into the ground.

My new plan to adjust back to a 40 hour work week is to reduce the frequency and volume of my workouts while still trying to push the intensity higher.

Workout A: 

Squat x5

Press x5

Cleans 3 reps x 5 sets

Weighted Chins (optional) 5×3

Dips (optional) Mx3

Workout B:

Deadlift x5

Bench Press x5

Squats 5x3x80% of Workout A

Chins (optional) Mx3

Weighted Dips (optional) 5×3

Some notes here. I’m a little dubious that this will be enough volume either overall or on the lifts, but we’re going to try.  I’m also going to try to get in the chins and dips as much as I can, because I think they will help not just with aesthetics but also keeping my press and bench press inching upwards. I can’t spend that much time at the gym though, so always a concern. Yesterday (Sunday 4/9) I hit 265×5 on Squat, which is a rep PR, but I also have a suspicion that had I done 2 more sets I’d have done a more productive session.

Sunday 4/9

Squat 45x5x2, 135×5, 175×5, 205×3, 235×2, 265×5

Press 45x5x2, 65×5, 85×3, 105×2, 120×5

Clean 140x3x5

I’ll try this next week and see how 270 goes. If it is obvious this is not enough squatting, I’ll add 2 back off sets at 90% of the top set on Workout A. As in all things, if you add something in, you must take something out.  If I do that, I will likely drop dips from Workout A and chins from Workout B.

Regardless in four weeks we’ll evaluate where we are at. Plan A is to add back a third day of training, in a heavy, light, medium (HLM) set up. That might look like this:

Workout A (Heavy):

Squat 5×3

Bench 5×3

Deadlift – singles, doubles or triples at a heavy weight, 4-6 total, so 3×2, 2×2, 1×5.

Workout B (light):

Squat 5x3x80% of Workout A

Press 5×3

Chins Mx3

Back Extensions 10×5

Workout C (Medium):

Squat 5x3x90% of Workout A

Push Press 3×5

Clean 3×5

If things are still going well in four weeks, but time or recovery is still an issue, I might “run it out” from there, and continue with the original two day template but take those top sets from 5’s to triples, from triples to doubles, and doubles to eventual singles.

If things are just completely in the dump after 4 weeks, I’ll do a hard reset on all lifts and start a true linear progression over again.

Option planning:

Best case – go to HLM after 4 weeks

Null case – stay with two-day template but run it out to max singles.

Worst Case – hard reset for a new linear progression


Last Week

Monday 4/3


  • 45x5x2, 135×5, 175x5x, 205×3, 235×2, 265x5x3

Bench Press

  • 45x5x2, 95×5, 135×3, 165×2, 185x5x3


  • 135×5, 185×3, 225×2, 245×5 – all double overhand.

Wednesday 4/5

  • Squat 45x5x2, 135×5, 160×3, 185×2, 205x5x3
  • Press 45x5x2, 65×5, 85×3, 105×2, 115x5x3
  • Chins 5×3 dead hang nice and easy

Saturday 4/8

Done while my buddy Alex ran 400m repeats

Push-ups 3×10, Chins 3×5, Dips 2×8, easy, relaxed, no stress.