Starting Week 3, Round 3 of my Strength Training After a Weekend of a Lot of Eating

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I love my parents but I’m glad the new week has arrived.

My folks visited from Utah over the weekend, so we had a ton of family over for the occasion. We also had a ton of food, high quality for the most part (the advantage of having a wife and daughter who are “foodies”), but even the most pristine homemade cinnamon roll in the world (it is to die for) will still put weight (fat) around your middle.

That’s my condition on Monday morning. The folks have left and I face the gym once again in a somewhat “bloated” state.

This is the start of week 3 in round 3 and Monday means Workout A. Since the reps are down to 5 per set, I found I didn’t need as much rest, at least in the beginning when I felt fresh. As the hour wore on though, I discovered I needed the full 2 minutes to recover between sets.

Barbell Back Squats in Squat Rack

5x 155lbs/70.3068kg
5x 175lbs/79.3787kg
5x 200lbs/90.7185kg
5x 200lbs/90.7185kg

Barbell Bench Press

5x 135lbs/61.235kg
5x 145lbs/65.7709kg
5x 160lbs/72.5748kg
5x 160lbs/72.5748kg

Barbell Bent Over Row

5x 135lbs/61.235kg
5x 145lbs/65.7709kg
5x 160lbs/72.5748kg
5x 160lbs/72.5748kg

Cable Triceps Extension w/Rope

8x 60lbs/27.2155kg
6x 70lbs/31.7515kg
5x 90lbs/40.8233kg
5x 90lbs/40.8233kg

bench press
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Pull ups (Bodyweight)


Barbell Bench Press (Bonus)

8x 145lbs/65.7709kg
6x 155lbs/70.3068kg
4x 165lbs/74.8427kg

Body Hang w/Shoulders Engaged (Bodyweight)
x30 seconds

Dead Hang (Bodyweight)
x30 seconds

In comparing this circuit’s week 3 with the last one, I nudged up the weights only a bit. Given certain “difficulties” of the past, I thought maybe I was being too aggressive in increasing the load round over round and decided to back off.

That’s probably why I held the working weight for my squats down to 200 pounds instead of 205, which would have been a lot more simple to load onto the barbell. I probably could have handled 5 reps at an extra 5 pounds, but 200 felt just about right.

I was a little surprised that 160 pounds for my bench press working weight worked so well. Yes, it was heavy, but I was still able to get the bar to a respectable distance from my chest before having to push up again.

The same for the barbell rows. I wouldn’t have gone any heavier, though.

The warm up weights for triceps extensions let me exceed the minimum 5 reps per set, but the working weight of 90 pounds made even 5 reps challenging.

By the time I found myself facing the pull up bars, I was feeling fatigued and a little intimidated. In spite of that, my performance was surprisingly good. It was only the last rep of the last set that required an extra effort to let me get high enough to see over the bars.

Woman doing squats
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Because I’m down to only 5 reps per set, I was able to get my workout done more quickly and had time to burn. I had been considering a few sets of zercher squats but someone else was in the squat rack doing barbell shrugs.

Interesting looking fellow. He always comes dressed in the same outfit, a tattered white muscle shirt and blue jeans. I’ve never seen anyone lift wearing jeans before. He normally comes into the weight room on my ab and cardio days but occasionally, he shows up on my lift days.

Oh well.

Over the weekend, I was talking with my son David about my overall progress in lifting. He says that I’ve been concentrating on my legs and core, which is good, but he’s surprised I can’t bench more by now and that I don’t have a more solid chest.

While having a big chest can be desirable and even intimidating to some, I’ve been attempting to build strength across all of my major muscle groups and hopefully, I’ve been succeeding.

But since I had extra time, and since I couldn’t do zercher squats, I decided for some bonus sets of bench presses. I didn’t limit myself to a specific number of reps and just did what I felt comfortable with for a given weight. For 165 pounds, I almost did 5 reps, but on the fourth, I hit the rack with the barbell, showing me that I wasn’t entirely steady. I decided to play it safe and racked the weight after that fourth rep.

And that was that.

I still had about 10 minutes on the clock, but “Mr. Bluejeans” was still in the squat rack, alternating with a seated chest press machine, so I called it good and left the gym.

My usual squat routine definitely had an effect, and I can feel it in my glutes and thighs when I stand up after being seated for a while.

coffee mug
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After sleeping on the living room sofa for three nights, it will be nice to sleep in bed again. That couch is over 20 years old and it was pounded into submission in that time by my three children. Easy to sink into and hard to get out of. Sleep was spotty the entire weekend, and even though it’s mid-morning, I could use a nap…

…or another cup of coffee.

Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

Andy Rooney


5 thoughts on “Starting Week 3, Round 3 of my Strength Training After a Weekend of a Lot of Eating

  1. Ima just guess anyone that weight trains in jeans doesn’t do any lower body work or compound moves. Or maybe he is homeless. Pick up an inexpensive pair of sweat pants at Wally World, and give them to him when no one is around. Just tell him your wife bought them for you and they are the wrong size.

    And congrats on the longevity of your parents. Prolly means yer gonna stay healthy enough to have to keep lifting for a couple more decades!😉

    Rock On!


  2. Nice work on the bench. I was up to 160 for 5 reps myself and then had a shoulder injury. I have been able to sqt and DL but no pressing. I did some landline presses yesterday.with only a 5 lb plate on the bar for 15 reps x 2. It was a little painful but was advised by a reputable PT that doing light sets for high reps would be the best therapy. Great blog as usual.


  3. Hey is this Stronglifts 5X5 you are doing? I am doing that as well, without the accessory work(just pushups and sometimes planks.) Good stats btw, how long have you been working out before doing Stronglifts?


  4. @Ono (I hope it’s OK to abbreviate your “name”): I hadn’t thought of it, but I have no relationship with this fellow at all. I’d hate to approach him with a pair of sweats and either be totally wrong or embarrass him. Unless I get other clues about his situation, I think I should probably just let him be, if for no other reason, than to preserve his dignity.

    @Jerry: My son David thinks I should be pressing 200 pounds by now, but then again, he’s thinking about younger guys probably. While I wouldn’t mind having the ability to lift heavier than I do, I have to balance desires with reasonable goals and my body’s abilities.

    Yeah, be careful with that shoulder. It’s ideal to avoid injuries in the first place, but once hurt, it can be a long road back. Take care of yourself.

    @Pratik: You’re right. Not a 5×5 stronglift program. I started out with one, but hit some hard limits after about six weeks and had to figure out another program.

    I very heavily (no pun intended) adapted a schedule used by actor Hugh Jackman when he trained for his last Wolverine film. I kept all of my strength training lifts and tinkered with his schedule starting out with this.

    I do five-week circuits instead of four and am in the middle of my third circuit, and overall, I’m happy with how this is working out. I think my body tolerates a progressive increase in weight while decreasing the number of reps over a five-week period, then deloading and starting over again, with just a slight increase in weight circuit over circuit.

    I suppose if I were 25 years old again, I could pursue this more aggressively, but at age 61, I have to be a tad more conservative especially since strength training is relatively new for me.


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