becoming infinite

always learning. always growing. always lifting heavy things.

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i had been meaning to make a “how i like 5/3/1 so far” post…and then my first cycle ended (how time flies!) so now that seems silly.

BUT i’m running a second cycle, and it started today! i pulled 225# for 8 reps and it was awesome. and i may have peed a little on the last rep.

i also bought these awesome and obnoxious leggings and wore them to train today.

Photo 104they’re a combination of paint splatter and camo haha. also, i had just finished eating a pizza prior to taking this photo. (yes, a pizza. an entire one. it was delicious.)

all in all i liked my first cycle of 5/3/1 well enough. pulling for reps sucks though, my hands have never been so destroyed between that and all of the pull-ups and rows. i finally bought some harbinger straps just to save me on high-volume pulls. the accessory option i chose is also really high volume, which sucks in practice (5×15…really?!) but i’ve put noticeable size on my shoulders and back, so it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing!

i also hit an awesome milestone last friday! i told my coach i wanted a 300# pull for christmas, so “for fun” after we did a shit-ton of box squats we decided to do some rack pulls.

and i pulled 3 plates (315#) for three triples. but even more awesome…the bar bent!! i have always secretly wanted to be badass enough to have the bar bend on one of my deadlifts. now for that 300# pull from the floor!

besides straps, i also decided it was time to purchase some chalk, since my gym decided to finally allow it. however…

Photo 105the description said “one pound of chalk.” i figured, one pound, not a lot at all! i was wrong. i am now the proud owner of enough chalk to last well into my 40s. thank goodness it came packaged in 2-oz blocks.

in other news…we have two more weeks of classes, then finals, then DONE. i submitted five conference proposals today (12/1 is a common deadline) – yale, cinci conservatory, texas, MTSE in tampa (i think?), and MTMA (which this year is in virginia…which i don’t really consider to be the mid-atlantic…). oh and indiana, too. there’s another round of deadlines around the 15th, and i’ll have a couple more papers done by then and might consider prepping abstracts for those instead.

my holiday travel is booked. i’m already having a hard time thinking about christmas. last year was my first one without mom; this year my grandma’s gone as well. and they both (my mom especially) really loved the holidays, so it makes it extra hard.

i hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving!!


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surprises at every turn.

i’m officially done with the first week of 5/3/1. today was mys first day of week 2, in fact.

on my rep-out sets last week (minimum 5 reps; go till ya can’t go any more) i got 8 reps on deads (215#) bench (105#) and squat (135#), and a barely-there bare minimum on OHP (70#).

that taught me a couple of important things.

1. i’m way stronger than i thought. i was shooting for an 8-rep on pulls, but deadlifts are my strongest of the big three. no way did i think i could make 8 reps on bench that close to my max.

2. and no way did i think i was going to get 8 reps on squat. because, come on, my squat is crap.

3. …or is it? doing a lot of rotational ab work (booooo abs) is helping my hip flexors immensely, as is a new warm-up. i’m hammering my middle back (150 pullups a week, guys, come on) and it’s helping me stay tight and upright in the hole. my squat is a big mental game for me. once i get more confident, and as i continue to work on my posterior chain, i think it’s going to get crazy.

4. i also front squat 3×3 at 135# on friday. if we’re keeping track, my back squat 1RM was 130# in july. and i hammered out 3 triples at 135# on a freaking front squat. please refer to bullet point #1.

i’m liking 5/3/1 thus far. i chose the accessory option that is suuuuper high-volume (5×15 for everything) so while it takes a bit of time, it gives me the option to get my heart rate up and work on my weak spots. i’m also adding in a widowmaker set per lift, per week. this week it’s squats; next week i’ll bench it.

i have my eyes on blowing right through a 600# total at my next meet and making a move on 650#.

i should also maybe invest in some chalk, because this happened when i pulled 225# for 5 reps today:

Photo 103callous central. the 30 pull-ups a day doesn’t help, either.

i’m enjoying the program. i’m enjoying being challenged, and in turn being surprised at how much i have in there if i really dig my heels in.

it’s a good time to be a me.


new training and other things.

tomorrow begins my new training cycle – i’ve been semi-delaoding/focusing on volume since the meet. now it’s time to start working on some sort of linear progression, and i’ve decided on wendler 5/3/1. it’s a pretty basic plan – 3 weeks of work, one week of deload, prescribed rep and percentage schemes for each week. one day each of bench, squat, OHP, and deadlift.

i’m modifying it slightly so that i’ll be squatting twice a week, the second day being a front squat cycle i’m running with my coach.

accessory work is mostly focused on hamstrings and middle back, with band pull-aparts, glute ham raises, and pull-ups in some variation at every workout.

i start tomorrow with deadlifts and i’m beyond excited.

i’m going to run at least two cycles of 5/3/1, which will take me right up the the end of the semester. you don’t really “max out” on the plan, but the last set of each big lift you’re supposed to rep out. so in theory i’ll be setting tons of rep PRs, which will translate to better overall strength (and will count as cardio for me lol). after i get back from the holidays we’ll kick into a 12-week training cycle for my next meet, and then i’ll be more focused on heavy triples, doubles, and singles.

but for right now i’m stoked to have a plan. there’s no reason i shouldn’t total well into the 600s at my next meet – i should have at least a 200# squat, 135# bench, and 320# deadlift, provided i don’t get injured any time during training and that my nerves don’t get the best of me on meet day. i benched 135 three weeks ago at the gym, and i pulled 281 so damn easy at the meet i might have 300 in me right now given some quality rest and my lucky pre-workout of a footlong sub and an americano.

and then…then i’ll be over the newbie gains wave and i’ll have to bust my ass to start chipping away at that 700# total.

watch out, world. i’m gonna get strong!