Today my first modification to 5-3-1 came into effect: I subbed in clean & jerks for bench press.
Clean & Jerk
95 x 5
110 x 5
120 x 7
Like back squats, I didn’t truly push to failure on that last set. Luckily for failure, it didn’t need to wait long to find me.
105lb thrusters x 10
75lb thrusters x 20
45lb thrusters x 40
air squats x 80
Last time I did this, I used lighter weights, but finished in under six minutes. This time I bumped up the weights, and couldn’t get it done before the ten minute cut-off I’d set; I got through all the thrusters plus 28 squats. Maybe it was the extra weight, maybe it was doing this after the C&Js instead of on its own, or maybe I’ve just lost some conditioning since September. Probably a combination of all three. Still, it felt good to push myself, and I had to on this one (even with the cut-off).
Today was definitely less aggravating that last week. Got started on the first part of my modified 5-3-1 with some back squats.
155 x 5
180 x 5
205 x 6
My left quad felt odd up through my first set, and then got that way again afterwards. I felt solid on the last set, but then just decided to do a light jog to ease up the muscles a bit.
Back squats are an odd exercise for me in terms of pushing to failure; I’m not really comfortable with dumping the weight from the back squat position, so I usually just stop after a tough success. I really need to practice getting out from under the load — the racks at Teagle have special, adjustable arms for just such an occasion — so that I can start getting some more accurate results on this exercise.
How could this week get more annoying? How about starting my workout by losing my ID card under a bolted-down Olympic rack.
Also did my deloading sets for shoulder press (50, 65, 75) and deadlifts (130, 160, 190). And then left, ID-less and glad the week was done.
Crappy hours persist, so I started out upstairs. After some warming up, I did a 1k row in 4:31, which isn’t terribly shameful. Then the gym downstairs opened, and I did my deloading week for bench press.
75 x 5
95 x 5
115 x 5
Honestly, it just felt like a joke. Maybe it was the loads that always felt light, but I did not fall back in love with the bench press during this 5-3-1 experiment. If I work 5-3-1 into my rotation, I’m probably going to replace bench press with clean and jerk.
I would characterize today’s workout as, “Better than nothing.” Tomorrow will be a rest day, so I can see if that characterization is accurate.
Apparently, the Teagle Downstairs gym doesn’t open until 11am this week, which means no access to Olympic racks until then. This was an annoying thing to discover at 10:30, especially as it’s not indicated on their website. Luckily, this is the “deloading” week of 5-3-1, so I felt OK saving my squats until last, and working on stuff in the upstairs gym.
First thing was running: I did a mile in 9:36. First off, I hate treadmills. Secondly, I’ve lost some running skills this winter. Put the two together, and I’m glad the weather’s getting warmer. After the running, I did some Turkish get-ups:
25 x 3 (each side)
30 x 2 (each side)
35 x 1 (each side)
After that the downstairs gym was open, and I did my back squats. The deloading week means much lighter loads, and I can’t say as I didn’t appreciate that a little.
95 x 5
120 x 5
145 x 5
Now I need to figure out how to make my workout schedule for the rest of the week fit with the times the gym’s actually open.
For the first time since December* I “greased the groove” with pull-ups today: 20 sets of five pull-ups, spread out over several hours. I really dig how doing that many sets lets me play around with various grips on the bar that I don’t always try during other workouts. I’m not sure how well groove-greasing will mesh with better weather, but I worked this one around a pretty long hike, so that strikes me as a good sign.
I eschewed the expanded groove I was trying towards the end of last year; I think this workout’s simplicity is one of its major selling points, so I’m not gonna mess with it. My only regret is that my post naming convention made it infeasible to crack a joke in the title about getting my groove back.
* I can’t believe it’s been that long. Benefit of keeping this blog, I suppose: it keeps me honest.
Wrapped up the 5-3-1 week with some shoulder press.
95 x 5
105 x 3
120 x 4
This felt really, really good. I like how 5-3-1 keeps the CFT workouts in my rotation, and that’s definitely something I’ll be keeping moving forward. I wrapped up with 10 minutes of untimed running, and discovered that when I don’t time myself I run really, really slowly. So, I won’t be doing that much anymore.
Another problem with the 5-3-1: when you do the same exercises week after week, the opportunities for pithy commentary start to dry up.
240 x 5
270 x 3
305 x 3
The third rep at 305 was ugly, but it went up. Interspersed with the above, I did 7 x 14 of both AbMat sit-ups and back extensions.
OK, if I decide to keep doing bench press as part of the 5-3-1, I need to ramp up the weight a lot more the next go-round.
140 x 5
155 x 3
175 x 6
Don’t get me wrong, that last set felt good — heck, if my spotter hadn’t touched the bar early, I might’ve had a seventh rep in me — but getting six reps for a weight that’s supposed to be “max reps, one minimum”? That just says my loads were too low, which I admittedly suspected.
So, I decided to challenge myself.
115lb clean and jerk x 30
I did this in about eight minutes. (I was timing it with my phone, and got a text message mid-way through that turned off the stopwatch function. But I started at 11:04 and ended at 11:12.) That’s about two minutes longer than last time, but using 20lbs more. For whatever reason, I’m OK with that. But I’m discovering that I’m not OK with only getting to do Olympic lifts during metcons. More on that later this week.
Now we get into the actual 5-3-1 week of the 5-3-1 plan.
170 x 5
195 x 3
220 x 2
That felt really solid, but the next bit didn’t.
5 rounds for time of:
120lb push jerk x 3
pull-ups x 6
18″ box jumps x 9
I finished in 6:08, 23 seconds longer than the last time I did this one. Between this and the fact that I’ve found myself out of breath more frequently lately, it seems clear I’ve been letting my metabolic conditioning slide. I need to figure out how to address that as I wrap up 5-3-1.