The Long Monday

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It was a long weekend and a long Monday. I’m just now able to write about how things went at the gym this morning. This won’t take long because I’m pretty tired. That’s how I woke up and hopefully, that’s how I’ll go to bed so I can get some rest.

This is the start of week 4 in round 2 of my Mutant Strength Workout for the Ordinary Human Being. No, I’ll never become the Wolverine or even Hugh Jackman, but maybe I can build a better “me,” at least physically, by keeping up with this program.

Week 4 means jacking up the weights again as the reps go down to 4 for each of the 4 sets, 2 warm up and 2 working. For some lifts, only lifting the barbell 4 times, even at heavy (for me) weights results in me not always needing a lot of rest between sets. I try to rest 2 minutes or so between sets anyway for muscle endurance recovery.

Today is workout A. Here’s how it went.

Barbell Back Squats in Squat Rack

4x 160lbs/72.5748kg
4x 185lbs/83.9146kg
4x 215lbs/97.5224kg
4x 215lbs/97.5224kg

Barbell Bench Press

4x 145lbs/65.7709kg
4x 155lbs/70.3068kg
4x 170lbs/77.1107kg
4x 170lbs/77.1107kg

barbell bent over row
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Barbell Bent Over Rows

4x 145lbs/65.7709kg
4x 155lbs/70.3068kg
4x 170lbs/77.1107kg
4x 170lbs/77.1107kg

Cable Triceps Extension w/Rope Attachment

8x 65lbs/29.4835kg
6x 85lbs/38.5554kg
4x 90lbs/40.8233kg
4x 90lbs/40.8233kg

Pull ups 3×5 (Bodyweight)


Zercher Squats in Squat Rack (Bonus)

8x 135lbs/61.235kg
8x 155lbs/70.3068kg
6x 165lbs/74.8427kg

I stuck faithfully to my program until the very end, and I’ll get to that part by the by.

When I got to my working weight of 215 pounds for back squats, I really felt the weight. I tried to get as low as possible, but beyond a certain point, I could feel my balance going.

Kelly Starrett

I’m reading Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett with Glen Cordoza, and Starrett is all about proper form in just about everything, including standing. I tried to do some of what he suggested at the beginning of his book before each lift, particularly with bent over rows, but it sure doesn’t come naturally.

I have a feeling, based on what I’ve read in that book so far and my problems getting really low in my squats at heavier weights, that my form is bad, but it’s tough to tell since I can’t see my body from multiple angles. In any event, I’m not going to stop lifting until I plow through his book, so I’ll have to learn as I go along.

My working weight of 170 pounds for bench presses are about as heavy as I’d go for 4 reps per set. Same for the bent over rows. And although I started strong on the triceps extensions, pulling 90 pounds and keeping good form (elbows tucked in) was no cake walk.

As you can see, my pull ups sucked. I could only manage the full 5 reps on the first set. My “mojo” just died after that.

In a fit of pique, and having some time left at the end of my session, I decided to add some bonus zercher squats. I deliberately started very light so I could go really low in the squat, but it was still amazing that at the end of 8 reps, I was huffing and puffing like that wolf in the story about three pigs. Naturally, for the next 2 sets, I upped the weight again out of spite, managing another 8 reps for the second and only 6 for the third and last set of z-squats.

It was still slightly before 6 a.m. when I left the gym but I wasn’t feeling all that great, and just managed to make it home to suck down a protein drink.

Morpheus – God of Dreams

After my long weekend of gluttony, I didn’t feel that hungry and tried to take advantage of that fact throughout my workday, at least until supper.

Dark clouds are circling my consciousness and I hope that means sweet oblivion when I finally succumb to the charms of Morpheus and descend into the realm of sleep.

Tomorrow, abs and cardio and Wednesday, more lifting including heavy squats and deadlifts. Here’s to hoping my spine stays where it belongs.

If you’re going to go through hell … I suggest you come back learning something.

Drew Barrymore


2 thoughts on “The Long Monday

  1. You sure are getting some good lifting in. I am 65 and have worked up weights in my lifts similar to yours. About a month ago while benching I felt something in my left shoulder, so I stopped the set. Next WO overhead press was scheduled and I did my sets with no problem . But then later that day felt the shoulder act up. Next WO was benches and it was a no go.imhave been going for ART treatments and today a massage . It feels better but I am take no a break of at least two,weeks on any pressing. As for your WO, do you do any lighter weights before doing the sets and benches.? And are your recovering well between the workouts . Only reason I ask is that from what I read unless you are a novice and elder lifter at most would do,well to sqt twice a week,sometimes one of the day’s lighter . Some programs say squatting and DL can be done every other week.what your take on this.


    1. The missus is having me watch this video series produced, in part, by trainer Kelly Starrett. I’m also reading his book, and the common thread between the two products is remediating sports created injuries while teaching better form to avoid them in the future.

      Deadlifts particularly tend to stress the lower right side of my back, so I can only assume that there’s something wrong with my form that I can’t see in the mirror. Hopefully, as I get more into the material I mentioned above, I’ll learn to improve how I workout and even heal any currently existing injuries.

      I usually do two warm up sets of each of my lifts before launching into my two working sets. Also, and you’ve probably already picked this up from reading my blogs, I go through a series of 5-week circuits, starting the first week out fairly light but with more reps (10 to be exact), and ending the fifth week pretty heavy (for me, anyway) doing only 3 reps per set.

      As far as my recovery, I lift Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which is what my program calls for. The program also has me doing squats on all 3 days. I do deadlifts one or two days per week depending on where I am in my circuit.

      Depending on who you talk to or what resources you read, that could be considered a somewhat aggressive schedule for a 61 year old guy, but so far, I seem to be holding up.

      My back sometimes stays sore from one lifting day to the next, which is probably an indicator that I’m not fully recovered, but being driven by testosterone, I really don’t want to ease up unless I really have to. That’s why I want to train not just to get stronger by lifting more, but to “treat while I train,” to borrow Starrett’s phrase.

      As I get older or as I am forced to confront my upper limits of strength (which I don’t think I’ve quite reached yet), I will likely have to back off of the current workout frequency and may even, over time, have to “lighten up” as well. I just want to make sure I come up against those hard limits first, ideally without crashing into them.


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