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  1. #1
    Registered User Smolovicus's Avatar
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    Road to the 2020 Olympics: Click here to see elite genetics.

    Well... a young middle class Caucasian male in one of the poorest weightlifting nations in the world can dream...

    Starting a journal to track my training starting now, as a brand new BB.com member, so that my journey into greatness can be documented fully. With the exception of my first full year...

    A mini bio:
    I'm a 19 year old student, attending a community college with aspirations for university and a degree in biomechanics -- or, depending on the development of my mathematical abilities, engineering. I've been officially "lifting" since last November. By that I mean I started performing full squats and deadlifts at approximately that time. Prior to that, I took a high school weight training class my junior and senior years. Awful form, hated squats even with quarter depth, did nothing (key word: nothing) but bench and curl.

    I've studied and acquired a world of knowledge since that time. Jumped on a few months of SS, moved on to high intensity, lower volume work and recently completed a Smolov mesocycle. Feels good, man. Have yet to test my new max, but optimism is high that I'll finally break into some respectable numbers.

    Had my first day back in the gym a day after completing my final Smolov session. No leg work, of course.

    Thursday, 10/13/11

    Push Press
    Bar x 8
    135 x 3
    155 x 2
    175 x 2
    185 x F (...)
    175 x 1
    185 x 1
    195xF
    195xF
    195xF

    These had me pissed. I set a PR about a month and a half ago at 200 flat, but have only replicated that once since then. Usually I'm able to hit 185 for a few doubles, at least. The mesocycle took my attention away from most upper body work for the last 2 weeks, though, so I'm sure that affected my power today. Shoulders started naggin' me, too.

    Kroc Rows
    120 x 8 (grip fail)
    110 x 20 (sloppy ass grip)

    Small hand mode. Probably need to dedicate some time to grip work, but not sure how I should go about it. A month ago, I had worked up to 135 for 10-12, so I'm thinking the break affected my power here as well. Hope to be back in top condition after a week or two of getting back at it.

    BTN Strict Press (Snatch grip)
    95x6
    100x6
    105x5

    First time doing these... strangely enough they made my shoulders feel much, much better. Last rep of 105 my body was shaking all over the place -- or maybe it was just my arms. Going to start hitting these more often... in the name of Klokov.

    Above-Parallel Squat Lockouts
    225x2
    315x1, hold for 10 seconds
    365x1, hold for 10 seconds
    405x2, hold for 10 seconds each

    No real reason for these other than to prep myself for my upcoming max attempt. Not sure if it'll help all that much, but I'd feel more comfortable hitting a PR under weights I've felt out a bit.

    Some bench work coming up next session.
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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  2. #2
    Registered User Smolovicus's Avatar
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    +20 pound raw squat PR
    +5 pound wrapped squat PR

    Bad news, everyone.

    I tested for a new squat max today, and while I succeeded in setting a PR, it wasn't what I had been hoping for.

    Starting around Saturday I've been feeling pretty awful. For the first time in over 2 years, I managed to get a cold. Sore throat, warm and uncomfortable all the time, standard stuff. This morning, though, I started getting some aches in what I assume must be my left erector. Likely a combination of the position I slept in, the cold and the mesocycle I just completed last week. Why it had to show up on this day in particular, though...

    Additionally, I skimped out on some sleep since my buddy was home from uni for the weekend. Probably got in around 6 hours.

    Anyway, here's how it went:

    Bench
    Had to do this first as the girl's basketball team decided to do inverse rows in the only squat rack. Doing a run through the Add 50 Bench program.

    5x195
    2x5 205
    2x4 205

    Very easy, just waited till my breathing slowed down again for the next set -- took no more than 10-15 minutes.

    Warm ups and Squat Max Attempts
    Bar x 8
    135 x 5

    185 x 3
    Was not optimistic after finishing these. Sloppy, ball of feet pushes, felt heavier than it should have.

    225 x 1
    Fastest, lightest and easiest rep of 225 I've ever had -- felt like 135 on a bad day.

    275 x 1 raw
    Old raw 1RM Was intimidating, but I hit it with decent speed. Form was definitely lacking as far as torso position goes.

    315 x 0
    I was going to go for this raw but the intimidation was too much. I threw on my wraps and a belt (against my better judgment, as I never use one and don't know how to get the most out of it -- if anything). Bottomed out.

    295 x 1 raw
    I was a bit pissed after the 3 plate miss, tore off the wraps and belt and set up for 295. Felt heavy, but the hardest part was probably just sitting into the hole and the first few inches out. Technically, this is a 20 pound raw PR.

    305 x 1 wrapped
    No belt, but put my wraps back on to ensure I hit this. All time PR with the same wraps and a belt was 300... so, by this time I was at a 20 pound raw PR and 5 pound wrapped PR.

    315 x 0
    Confidence was boosted, tried to hit this once again but without the belt. Sitting down was the scariest part, but I got out of the hole. Was just beaten down, no real energy or power. Got to the sticking point then settled and lost it.

    Put the weights back and got out of there. Really disappointed I didn't hit a solid 3 plate, but what are you going to do. I really think I can hit it raw, but my mind and body just weren't in it. When I've made PRs in the past, I knew I would make them. I was pumped up, burning in the legs, tunnel visioning. The goal was to hit around 330 wrapped. Not today.

    At this point, I'm considering dropping the intense cycle and settling down with the Texas Method or Madcows. I'll let Friday's result decide that, however.
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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  3. #3
    Registered User NeverLifted's Avatar
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    appreciate the comments on my log mate, i've subbed to yours. nice prs, you'll get that 3 plates in no time
    Powerlifting Log http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=134608051&page=4
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  4. #4
    Registered User Smolovicus's Avatar
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    Speeeeeed day! Along with some overhead press and back work.

    Membership at my old gym expired, so I started at a new place today. 100 dollars for 3 years as opposed to the 70 for 3 months I was paying... seems like a fair trade to me.

    Started out with some strict presses.

    Overhead Press
    45x8
    95x5
    115x5
    135x5
    145x3
    145x4
    145x3, static hold overhead for 15-20 seconds

    Felt pretty good about these. Haven't done a solid press workout in weeks. Not sure how I managed to get another rep on the second work set, but I won't complain.

    Speed Box Squats
    135x2
    135x2
    155x2
    155x2
    185x2
    185x2
    185x2

    Box was below parallel by at least 3 inches. As a result, the first inch or so off the box took some work before I really launched up. Really tried to stamp my feet into the ground, but just couldn't get over that initial hump. The length of my legs cause some leverage issues for box squats at this depth. Still, I think they got the job done. Almost hopped off the ground on most reps.

    Speed Squats from bars
    135x2
    185x2
    185x2
    205x2
    205x2
    205x2

    Bars put my depth at a couple inches or so above parallel. Once again, initiating the lift was the slowest part. A half second after that it was locked out. I really don't know how these are supposed to feel or if I'm even doing them correctly. Just trying to put as much power and speed into them as possible.

    Deadlifts
    135x3
    225x1
    295x1
    335x1
    365x0
    315x5

    My first time pulling in about a month and a half. 295 and 335 flew up pretty easily, but the 365 was just out of reach. I'm certain if I could have just broken it off the damn ground I would have it fine. Hell, I'm sure if I could break 4 plates off the ground I'd lock it out just fine. Coincidentally, the weakest point in my squat is breaking the sticking point out of the hole. Ugh.

    There was also a guy in my graduating class who was barbell rowing 365 for reps right next to me during my attempts. Pretty horrid ROM, but still! He's won a couple bodybuilding comps already.

    Dumbbell Rows
    100x5
    80x12
    80x12

    Well... turns out the dumbbells at this gym have massive grips. My babby hands have their work cut out for them. Going to start with the 80s and hopefully move back up. If nothing else, it should help my grip tremendously.

    Left the gym sweating all over. Legs are feeling pretty good right now, like I just finished some light sprints. Maxing squats again on Friday then making my decision on which routine to follow starting Monday.
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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  5. #5
    Registered User Smolovicus's Avatar
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    Good news, everyone!

    Went in today feeling a bit underpowered. Slept in till the afternoon and didn't get out of bed till 1. Had some fried chicken and potatoes, cleaned up and headed to the gym.

    Knew I was a bit aloof, blood pressure was probably still unadjusted. Warm ups were solid but the sweat and heavy breathing started early, definitely didn't reflect the effort put in. Probably just the new gym's lights!

    Squats
    45 x 5
    135 x 3
    225 x 2
    275 x 1
    300 x 0

    Wraps + Belt
    300 x 1
    315 x 1
    340 x 0
    330 x 1

    I am absolutely certain I could hit the 300 completely raw. My hamstrings were still sore from Wednesday's deadlifts and my eccentric was devastatingly slow -- tried to dominate the weight a bit too much rather than just feeling it out. Literally 3-4 seconds on the descent. With a bit of a bounce it would be money.

    The real success came after I threw on the belt and wraps. 315 was solid and smooth, 330 a bit intimidating but also finished it. Again, the eccentric was very slow. Need to force myself to sink into the hole quicker. Still, very happy with today.

    Bench
    45 x 5
    135 x 5
    215 x 3
    215 x 3
    230 x 2
    230 x 2
    250 x 1, extremely slow negative

    GHR
    45 x 10, just for some blood flow.

    Second day of this bench program... easy again. The 250 was supposed to just be a negative, but after I got it to my chest I still had the energy to drive it back up. Surprised myself a bit, since my max was a bounce-and-go and this was damn near a paused press.

    Decided I'm going to go through with the intense cycle of Smolov. I do intend to continue progression on my other lifts, and will deadlift on Friday for one heavy set. Could be impossible, but I'll find out.
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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  6. #6
    Registered User Smolovicus's Avatar
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    Day 1 of My Darkest Hou-- I mean, Smolov's Intense Cycle

    This time around, I decided to throw disregard caution and sanity and calculated the intense cycle with my new all-time raw PR: 300. I considered setting myself up at 290, and in a fit of madness almost went with an optimistic 315. I think I hit the nail on the head, though. Difficulty was right on the dot, as far as I can tell.

    Squats
    Bar x 5
    135 x 5
    195 x 3
    225 x 4
    255 x 4
    255 x 4
    255 x 4
    255 x 5

    This was harder than I expected. Considering I closed the mesocycle with 30 reps at 265, I assumed 255 would be no thang for 4 reps or even 5. The conditioning was still there, but given the fact that I haven't squatted hard for the past 2 weeks my power and drive was down a bit.

    First set was a bit of a drag because I was using the worst quality bar I'd ever had the pleasure of putting on my traps. It started warping at 2 plates. Switched bars and hit set 2, but drifted forward a bit on a couple reps making it pretty difficult. 3rd set found a nice groove, easiest of the session. The 5 set was all right, though the last rep took some work. No real grinders ... yet. Hoping that some power will come through as I readjust to the movement.

    Bench
    Bar x 3
    135 x 5
    190 x 6
    205 x 5
    205 x 5
    215 x 4
    215 x 4

    Touch'n'go, a few pause reps in the 205 sets. I burnt myself out a bit quick by completing the 190 and 205 sets within a 6-8 minute period. Wasn't sure I'd hit the 215s. Turns out a few minutes of extra rest was all I needed to slam them out with gas left in the tank. These sessions will definitely become more difficult as a result of Smolov's return.

    Threw in some semi-strict DB rows at 90 or 95 pounds (highest available at the college gym... lol) for 8 reps each side before feeling like a vat of vomit waiting to happen. Headed home.

    All in all probably took no more than an hour and a dime or two. Pumped for some overhead pressing on Wednesday... but also quivering in fear of the following Smolov session. 3x3 at 270 finishing and 2 sets of 5 at 255. I know absolutely that it is possible. Cerberus himself will leave his watch over the gluttons in hell to survey my diet over the next week.
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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  7. #7
    Banned Squatsprophet's Avatar
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    $100 for 3 years? holy moly

    any vids showing form?
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  8. #8
    Registered User Smolovicus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Squatsprophet View Post
    $100 for 3 years? holy moly

    any vids showing form?
    I had to look at the guy for a bit before signing the form. Was going to ask if he really just said 3 years, but decided not to go down the "too good to be true route" and just lift.

    No vids yet. I believe I have a video camera that'd be perfect for this back home, just have to pick it up. Really would help to have that perspective as it's very hard to tell what breaks first under heavier weight. I'll get to work on that!
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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  9. #9
    Banned Squatsprophet's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Smolovicus View Post
    I had to look at the guy for a bit before signing the form. Was going to ask if he really just said 3 years, but decided not to go down the "too good to be true route" and just lift.

    No vids yet. I believe I have a video camera that'd be perfect for this back home, just have to pick it up. Really would help to have that perspective as it's very hard to tell what breaks first under heavier weight. I'll get to work on that!
    good. we all love vids.
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  10. #10
    Banned .aeterna's Avatar
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    u can hit 265 for 30 reps yet ur max is 300?

    im confuse..

    btw use ur phone for a video..im using this really ****tttttty blackberry video camera until the contract expires in dec, then getting the iphone 4s PS, love ur intro in the 1st post. lets live the elite status, and stop dreamin bout it son
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  11. #11
    Registered User Smolovicus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by .aeterna View Post
    u can hit 265 for 30 reps yet ur max is 300?

    im confuse..

    btw use ur phone for a video..im using this really ****tttttty blackberry video camera until the contract expires in dec, then getting the iphone 4s PS, love ur intro in the 1st post. lets live the elite status, and stop dreamin bout it son
    Not 30 straight reps... 10 sets of 3, to be more precise. It is possible that my true raw max is more along the lines of 315, given that my attempts were slow, slow, and slower and recruited no bounce. But the world may never know, as I intend to hit that weight for a triple once this cycle ends.
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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  12. #12
    Registered User Smolovicus's Avatar
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    Intense cycle day 2 -- complete

    Feels good, man. Really put the gains I've made into perspective today. Whereas a few weeks ago I failed 255 after 3 sets of 3, today I slammed 270 3x3 and felt stronger doing so.

    Squats
    Bar x 5
    135 x 5
    185 x 3
    210 x 3
    240 x 4

    Knew it was going to be an uncomfortable day after warming up and feeling out the bar. Once again, someone had placed a bar with no center-knurling in the squat rack. As if that alone is not bad enough, it was slick as fuark. The knurled bars, unfortunately, were spread across the benching masses on the other side of the gym.

    In the meantime, some middle aged guy began commenting on how deep I was going with two other guys. The typical "kid's gonna ruin his knees," "only supposed to go to parallel" nonsense. Didn't confront me about it, but god damn if I don't hate hearing ignorance like that in the gym.

    On to the main course:

    270 x 3
    270 x 3 (Weight came forward on the second rep making the third more difficult, but powered through)
    270 x 3

    First set was pretty quick and strong. Second set, as I explained, took a bit of work. Just had to break the initial sticking point and it was no problem. Guy from my biology class started a chat with me about the exam we'd just had, so didn't get to the final set till 5 or so minutes later after restricting myself to 2-3 minute breaks. The guy's a bodybuilder, natural and pretty big -- probably 200 at 5'8 - 9. A lot of strong influences around the new place.

    255 x 4-5
    255 x 6

    These were actually harder than the 270s. Even the first 3 reps felt much heavier. Think I might have missed the 5th on the first set so I sucked it up and finished a 6th to end the session.

    OHP:
    Bar x 5
    115 x 5
    155 x 1 (5 pound PR)
    165 x 0 (half way up, lost balance and almost fell backward, couldn't get the same effort after this attempt)
    145 x 3 (hit the rack on the 4th, lost balance... sigh)
    135 x 5
    115 x 7
    95 x 7

    Not too happy with this, but it's not too bad.

    Chin ups
    2 x 8, static hold / extremely slow negative on 8th rep. Lats and shoulders were fried.

    Now looking forward to the last light day I'll have for a few weeks!
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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    End of Smolov intense cycle week 1; add 50 bench week 2

    Well, today was a bit rougher than I had anticipated. I'd been busy thinking about how light the numbers looked on paper, but failed to realize that 240 is still 80% of my max which means I had no business underestimating it. Still, there was never any risk of failure and I imagine the day was designed to put you right on the line between pushing yourself and moderate effort.

    Squats
    Bar x ?? (just broke in the joints, a lot of pauses at various points)
    135 x 5 (all in one breath, very quick)

    195 x 3

    All in one breath, light as its ever been. Realized I was supposed to do 4 afterward.

    215 x 4

    Felt like how 185 used to feel. Did these in maybe 2 breaths, last rep was a bit slower because of that I think.

    240 x 4
    240 x 4
    240 x 4
    240 x 4
    240 x 4

    Went in feeling very confident. Weight felt light on my back and didn't have to work very hard at all to maintain form, as far as I could tell. After I got started, though, I realized it was obvious the session would not be as easy or light as I'd thought. On 1 or 2 reps in the first two sets the weight came forward a bit and my heels were lifting a bit... corrected it each time mid rep. No other troubles after that. I moved in my grip quite a bit closer, which allowed my upper back to stay much tighter and keep the bar in line. Used to do that but stopped -- not sure why.

    Bench
    Bar x 8
    135/140? x 5
    230/235? x 3

    Was using a thicker bar than usual, figured it might be a 50 pound bar given how heavy the 230 felt. Moved to a different bar and continued.

    230 x 3
    240 x 2
    240 x 2
    275 x 2 (Negatives)

    Was actually supposed to do 2 sets of 1 negative, but just did 1 set of 2 instead. Told the spotter to let me work at it a bit off the chest and not just rip it off, so I got some good effort in on the push as well. Probably 8 - 10 seconds down? I'm not entirely sure. Weight was totally controlled the entire way, no give whatsoever.

    Mindless, narcissism-driven calf work followed.

    Went home and did some jumps with my tired ass legs. Touched the rim with a standing vert, got my finger tips around the rim with a running vert. Never been able to do that, or really even come close. I never play basketball, but it'd be neato to get my fingers around the rim after finishing this intense cycle.
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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    I'm always in for a good Smolov log.
    637/390tng/615 - belt/wraps, best gym lifts.
    600/370/600 - best competition lifts.
    575/330/560 - best competition lifts at 181 raw.
    "I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." - 1 Cor 9:27
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    Originally Posted by breathinglife View Post
    I'm always in for a good Smolov log.
    Should be a good one indeed! I'm scared as hell of the next few weeks. Will definitely be taking the advice to push the third day of each week to Saturday, as I'm as sore right now as I was after the first week of the mesocycle. Good news is my right knee feels great.

    Hoping for a solid 340 raw after all is said and done! And mayhap a 370 with wraps and a belt. Then the final grind to 405 begins.
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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    Week 2 of Smolov Intense Cycle... begin; Add 50 Bench week 3

    Woo boy... didn't know what to expect today. I was not at the top of my game at all. 5 hours of sleep at most the previous night ... pre-Halloween festivities and all that. Took a pretty long nap around 2pm today and just never really felt a drive until ... now, actually, haha. I feel pretty great right now, with the exception of my right knee which decided to flare up a bit again.

    Squats
    Bar x 8
    135 x 5
    185 x 4
    210 x 4
    240 x 4

    270 x 3
    270 x 4
    270 x 1
    270 x 4

    On the second set of 4, I backed out after the first rep. I tried to widen my stance a bit as I was getting a bit more pop out of the hole ... in practice. Should have known not to mess with things during heavy sets. My form was nowhere near excellent ... hard to tell for sure, but a couple reps were likely good morninged to lockout. Not sure what happened today form-wise... with the triples of the previous week, I was able to maintain at least a relatively solid position with only moderate forward lean. On the bright side, several reps today were very clean. Felt like I could have nailed 5 had I needed to.

    Knee flared up slightly during warm ups and has persisted even now. Didn't bother me, though.

    Bench
    Bar x 8
    205 x 6
    215 x 5
    215 x 5
    230 x 3
    230 x 3

    Very uncomfortable bar, felt like it was rolling in my hands a bit or was warped on one side -- very uneven weight distribution. To make it worse, on my "rep out" set of 230 the plates on the bar smashed into the plates on the bench's built in rack. How the hell anyone thought this was a passable design is beyond me, but it threw off my left side completely on the second and third reps. For the final set I switched bars, but just didn't have any juice left in me. I know 4 would have happened if things had gone well at first.

    Only needed to hit it 2-4 times however, so I'm still right on track.

    BTN Snatch Grip Strict Press

    95 x 8
    115 x 5
    125 x 1
    45 x 20
    45 x 20

    Traps and rear delts are burnt. Feels good, man. Always get some good core work out of these. No deadlifts like I'd planned -- might have to cut them out after all. No biggie!
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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    Week 2, Day 2 of Smolov Intense Cycle

    Squats
    Bar x 6-8
    135 x 5
    195 x 3
    225 x 3
    255 x 4 (holy fuaark, feelin heavy)
    275 x 3
    275 x 3
    275 x 3
    285 x 3

    It may not be apparent by just looking at it, but those 275s were meant to be 270s. Must have lost my focus after the 255 set... ended up throwing on 2 10 plates and a 5 instead of a 2.5. I had no idea until after I'd finished them. None of the reps were too nasty -- in fact most were pretty solid. Overheard the same guy who'd been saying my knees were going to explode make the comment "That kid does not look like he should be throwing that kind of weight around!" Told me directly around the water fountain too, actually. I suppose I can take that as a compliment, haha.

    I threw on a belt for the 285 just because I'd already lifted more than I'd been scheduled for. These were the cleanest reps of the night by far, I'd say. My core's been worn down it seems. Finished with a bestial roar and racked the weight.

    Push Press
    135 x 3
    155 x 3
    185 x 1
    205 x 0
    205 x 0

    Bleh, should have rested a bit more before jumping into these. My shoulders and upper back are always drained after heavy squats, so this really comes as no surprise. Got it above my head but just couldn't finish the job.

    Rack Pulls from beneath the knee cap
    135 x 2
    225 x 2
    275 x 2
    295 x 1
    315 x 2 (all hook grip)
    365 x 1
    385 x 1
    405 x 2

    This exposed the hell out of my weaknesses. That is, off the ground (which I knew about) and really throwing caution to the wind and just pulling. I actually missed the pull on 385 at first because I was just being a pussy about it. Once I centered myself and tore into the bar it came up with ease. 405 was about the same way. Held it at lock out for 4-5 seconds, but doubt I could go much longer. Back was getting pretty sore at this point so I didn't go any further.

    Feeling like Friday (or most like Saturday) will go pretty smoothly. Recharged with an assortment of spaghetti macaroni and pulled beef:

    Attached Images
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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    lookin good,

    mirin ur dinner
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    End of Add 50 Bench Week 3

    Bench
    135 x 8
    205 x 3
    230 x 3
    230 x 3
    255 x 2
    255 x 2
    285 x 2N

    It was very strange going in to a bench session completely fresh. Not sure how much it affected my strength, but my CNS and energy levels were at record highs since I went squatless today. The bar felt light -- even at 255. Not just "my arms aren't shaking;" the bar had legitimate quality of lightness to it at lockout. The negatives at 285 weren't too horrible either until an inch or two away from the chest -- but with a standard descent time it would have felt like a run-of-the-mill max attempt.

    This didn't stop the 255 from giving me a challenge. All things considered, I may have been able to pull out a third rep on the first set. Definitely not the second. Either way, it's technically a rep PR. 2 (or likely 3) reps at 5 pounds beneath my max -- not bad at all!

    DB Rows
    100 x 10 (hook grip)
    105 x 8 (standard grip)

    Dumbbells are still too thick to get a reliable grip on them so I gave the hook a shot. Need to use it more before I'll be comfortable maintaining it, though... still has a tendency to slip and distributing the weight evenly is difficult. Started from a dead stop each rep to retighten my hold on the 105s.

    Threw in 2 sets of 160 x 8 (I think) on the seated cable row and headed home.

    End of the intense cycle's second week tomorrow. 4 sets of 5 at 90% of my max. I assume the completion of this day will testify to the strength I've already gained. From 255 for 5 hard reps to 270... feels good man. I'm confident that there should be no problem!
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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    End of Week 2 of Smolov Intense Cycle

    Sincerely regretting those rack pulls and that extra 5 pounds on the bar the last squat session. Smolov has done it again. When I find some confidence, it strikes it away and sh-i-ts all over me. Behold, my story...

    Squats
    Bar x 8
    135 x 5 (not as smooth as it should have felt)
    195 x 3 (uh...)
    225 x 3 (there is trouble afoot)
    255 x 4 ..........

    First rep is sketchy... form isn't the problem. My back felt unstable and it took more work descending in a stable fashion than it did standing back up. On the second rep I literally fell onto the front of my feet, heels entirely off the ground. Lowered my torso, dropped the bar and reracked it to complete the other 3 reps. Felt way, way heavier than it should have.

    270 x .... 1

    Nope. Finished one rep and racked the bar. Whether I could have grinded through 4 more slow, dirty, wretched, disgusting reps was none of my concern.

    Threw on a belt about 2 slots from being "tight" and got back under the bar pissed as hell.

    270 x 4 (30 seconds or so after the first, finishing out the set)
    270 x 5
    270 x 5
    270 x 5

    This was the most difficult squat session I've ever had next to the mesocycle's 3rd 4x9 session. The most frustrating thing about it all is that my form was not the limiting factor. My back was gone ... Before putting on the belt, I could feel my spine and core literally quiver as if it was trying to cope with a heavy extra-maximal negative starting at 225.

    After the belt, everything was good. Leg power was adequate, stability was excellent. Still, if I had to do one more set I definitely would have thrown up. I wish I had gotten my video camera for today so I could give you guys an idea of what I was going through. Taking off the belt after the final set was as hard as any of the reps.

    Will need to devour a few pounds of food tonight. Monday WILL have me doing that "one more set" with this weight. And it just gets worse from there. Here we go!
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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    Dawn of Week 3 of Smolov Intense Cycle; First day of Add 50 Bench Week 4

    Told myself I was going in without a belt, even after Saturday's desperate showing. Nothing but my sweats, shirt and Power Perfect IIs.

    Squats
    Bar x 8
    135 x 5
    185 x 3
    210 x 3
    240 x 3
    270 x 5
    270 x 5
    fuk 3 more sets are you kidding me
    270 x 5
    270 x 5
    270 x 5

    God damn. God DAMN. I was not expecting to have the power that I did today. The triple at 240 almost felt like 225. I had no idea what to expect for my first set at 270, considering how badly it tore me up only a day ago. I knew something was going well because I didn't get that "shaky" feeling down my spine -- everything was stable and strong. Relative to my typical barefoot squats, the shoes made the hole feel like it could have been a god damn recliner. The explosion was quick and clean. Reps didn't start getting a bit nasty till the final reps of the 5th set. Even then, they were far better than what they could have been.

    I'm very pleased right now ... my quads, however, are torn the hell up. When I say I wasn't sore today ... well... let's just say that changed after I finished the session. Hell, DURING the session. Here's another odd thing I experienced: the first reps in the 1-4 sets were the hardest. Finishing reps 3-5 was an easier process than the first couple.

    Bench
    135 x 6 (1 paused, idk lol)
    215 x 5
    215 x 5
    240 x 2 ... +1 15 seconds later
    240 x 3
    240 xF (3)
    240 xF (3)

    No power left in me after that 5x5. Took these slow, but just couldn't recover enough to really hit them as hard as I wanted. The 5s at 215 were heavy and I knew I wasn't going to do as well as I wanted. First set at 240 I caught the weight on my chest a bit high and missed the rep; a guy practically leaped across the gym to rip the bar back into the rack. Laughed it off, said thanks and got back under for another rep. Things went better after that, but the third reps of subsequent sets were textbook grinders. All of them were rep PRs, however, and once again I only needed to nail 3 reps on the failure sets so I'll take it.
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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    Week 3 Day 2 of Smolov Intense Cycle

    Fuuuuuuaaaaaark.

    Squats
    Bar x 6
    135 x 5
    185 x 3
    225 x 3 (was actually meant to be 210, probably should have taken that under advisement)
    240 x 4 (a bit uncomfortable...)
    285 x 1
    285 x 3
    285 x 3

    Ugly day. Not much else to say. Just didn't have it in me to smash the reps today. Pounded me into the bottom, fought me the entire way up. Bleh. Some guy gave complimented me on pushing through and having "strong legs, man." Mind disagreed with that last part, haha. Oh well, another battle is on the horizon.

    BTN Snatch Grip Strict Press
    Bar x 5
    95 x 3
    115 x 2
    135 x 2
    115 x 5, hold for 10 seconds + 3-5 second final negative
    95 x 6, hold for 15 seconds + 3-5 second final negative

    Upper back destroyed, mission success. Headed home.
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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    End of Add 50 Bench Week 4

    +10 pound bench PR: 260 to 270

    Bench:
    135 x 5
    225 x 2
    240 x 3
    240 x 3
    270 x 1 spotted + 1 unaided
    270 x 1

    225 flew up, 240s could have been for sets of 5. Spotter helped out a bit too much on the first 270 rep, making it pitifully easy. Went for another rep that set and still completed it. Hit the second single without anyone present. Was probably good for another 5 pounds at least. Guy came up and congratulated me, felt good man.

    DB Rows
    110 x 8
    115 x 8
    130 x 10 (straps!)

    Guy offered to let me borrow his straps after the 115. First time I'd ever used them, but after he showed me the proper way to strap up I couldn't believe the difference it made. If my lower back wasn't feeling a bit worn down I would have gone up to 140 for sure. Gonna need to get a set of these sometime.

    Successful day! Going to need that momentum to finish the final, harrowing days of Smolov.
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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    End of Smolov Intense Cycle Week 3

    Squats
    Bar x 45
    135 x 5
    195 x 3
    225 x 3
    255 x 3
    +belt
    285 x 3
    285 x 1
    +wraps
    285 x 3
    285 x 3
    285 x 3

    Tweaked the mid-right of my back yesterday. Hoping it's not a herniated disc, but I've experienced similar things in the past and they've been temporary. Because of that I was not chancing going in without a belt on my working sets. Even with the belt, the discomfort made me change my descent and messed with my focus. Gave up after a single rep on the second set and put on some wraps -- probably 75% as tight as I would usually tie them -- and finished the session.

    I'm beat down. And as it stands, I really, really hate squats. One more week and then it's vacation time for my legs.
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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    Originally Posted by Smolovicus View Post
    In the meantime, some middle aged guy began commenting on how deep I was going with two other guys. The typical "kid's gonna ruin his knees," "only supposed to go to parallel" nonsense. Didn't confront me about it, but god damn if I don't hate hearing ignorance like that in the gym.
    they usually say that when the weight is heavy but not too heavy. happens once in a blue moon

    Originally Posted by Smolovicus View Post
    It may not be apparent by just looking at it, but those 275s were meant to be 270s. Must have lost my focus after the 255 set... ended up throwing on 2 10 plates and a 5 instead of a 2.5. I had no idea until after I'd finished them. None of the reps were too nasty -- in fact most were pretty solid. Overheard the same guy who'd been saying my knees were going to explode make the comment "That kid does not look like he should be throwing that kind of weight around!" Told me directly around the water fountain too, actually. I suppose I can take that as a compliment, haha.
    case and point. its a compliment.

    how is smolov treating you? it sucks dick you have one more week, bro...i just finished my first intense sesh and my angus was not peppered....
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    Originally Posted by Squatsprophet View Post
    they usually say that when the weight is heavy but not too heavy. happens once in a blue moon



    case and point. its a compliment.

    how is smolov treating you? it sucks dick you have one more week, bro...i just finished my first intense sesh and my angus was not peppered....
    Smolov has not been gentle with me. All things considered, though, it's been a great experience. It's one of the most challenging things I've done in years and years -- last time I worked this hard was (embarrassingly) during my 11-13 years playing in a select soccer league. Scratch that -- there was that 40 mile, 5 hour long mountain bike ride last summer... ugh, but even still, most Smolov sessions give that a run for its money.

    It's really helped me discover the extent of my fortitude, mentally and physically. Surprisingly enough, my "defeats" have been almost entirely mental in origin. There's clearly some muscle fatigue involved, but it's my mental state that gets worn and stops me from hitting the positions I need. Pushing through that strengthens me all the more.

    I only wish I was working with truly heavy weights. For all the hard work, it's still nothing compared to you guys working with poundages 50, 80 or 100 pounds more than I am. I can only keep working hard to get there myself.

    Week 5 of Add 50 Bench

    Bench
    Bar x idk
    135 x 8
    230 x 5
    230 x 5
    255 x 3
    255 x 2
    255 x 2
    255 x 2

    I might have hit 3 on the second set, frankly I can't remember -- only know I had immense difficulty with the weight after the first set of 3. 230 felt great. Before this, 225 for 5 was ugly. These were smooth reps, ass firmly on the bench. I hit the 255 for the first triple with a bit of a fight, but it gave me no more of a battle than 240 last week, so I'm a bit disappointed in the subsequent sets.

    Bar wanted to rotate in my hands and got moist either from my hands or condensation. (The glass windows and a few mirrors were completely blanketed) If there's one variable that fuks a bench press over for me absolutely, it is a rotating bar. Will proceed with the prescribed weights as normal regardless. I'm supposed to bench 270 for 2 and 280 for 1 on Friday. lol

    Final week of Smolov Intense Cycle

    Squats
    Bar x idk, few times for positions/stretching
    135 x 3
    225 x 3
    240 x 4
    275 x 5
    275 x 5
    +loose belt
    275 x 5
    275 x 5
    275 x 5

    Belt was to give my back some slack for the final days while still getting some good work in. Was only supposed to do 270 but went for the extra 5 pounds to amend for my failure on Friday. Was much more prepared for this day. 240 could have gone to a set of 10 relatively comfortably. First set of 275 was some of the best form I've had the entire program. Last set was scary, but I tore it up and headed up feeling pretty successful.

    2 more sessions ...
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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    whats next on your squat menu?
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    Originally Posted by Squatsprophet View Post
    whats next on your squat menu?
    The joeskopec lists the next session as 4x3 at 90%. Ontario strongman has it at 3x4 at 95% -- which makes a whole lot more sense -- so that's the one I'll be doing.

    It appears the final day is a kind of "heavy deload" day. I do 90% for 4, then 80% for 4x3. Not sure if that's intentional or not. Depending on how I recover for that day, I may just go as heavy as possible and beat my body into bloody submission one final time ... in honor of Smolov. Maybe try for 3 x 3 at 100%. The possibilities!
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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    Originally Posted by Smolovicus View Post
    The joeskopec lists the next session as 4x3 at 90%. Ontario strongman has it at 3x4 at 95% -- which makes a whole lot more sense -- so that's the one I'll be doing.

    It appears the final day is a kind of "heavy deload" day. I do 90% for 4, then 80% for 4x3. Not sure if that's intentional or not. Depending on how I recover for that day, I may just go as heavy as possible and beat my body into bloody submission one final time ... in honor of Smolov. Maybe try for 3 x 3 at 100%. The possibilities!
    what program is next on your squat menu? also, it will be amazing how when we go back to squatting 2x, even once a week - it'll be a vacation.
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    Originally Posted by Squatsprophet View Post
    what program is next on your squat menu? also, it will be amazing how when we go back to squatting 2x, even once a week - it'll be a vacation.
    I'm not completely sure. I was considering going to a linearized routine like Madcow's and seeing if I couldn't juice some weekly gains out of my squat. I had stalled using that method before Smolov, but I see no reason not to give it another go after everything I've learned and the constitution I've built. If not that, maybe start cycling through Sheiko and plot my next war with Smolov. (Probably not until I break into the 400s)

    After all is said and done, weeks from now when I'm completely rested, I'd like to have a 295-305lb bench, a 340-350 squat and a 405-425 deadlift. Fairly optimistic numbers but that's the plan.

    I feel like just going through a week without hip, knee, quad and hamstring soreness will be glorious. It's been so long since I've felt at the absolute top of my game!
    Best gym lifts: S 395 x 3 / B 355 x 1 / D 480 both C&S
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