In the Middle of 5/3/1 Week and What Happened With the Chiropractor

From the 1976 film “Rocky”

I woke up a couple of times during the night but went back to sleep, so finally getting up at about a quarter to 4 wasn’t so difficult. It had been raining all night long but it wasn’t as cold as it has been the past couple of mornings.

I experienced some minor trepidation as the time to go to the gym approached. Everything was so quiet around the house and I needed to ramp up and get motivated. Felt like I should have been playing the theme to Rocky or something.

Actually, I didn’t have that much to worry about. I’m always motivated by the time I get to the gym.

I arrived with 2 minutes to spare but the lights were already on. New receptionist gal at the front desk must have had mercy on the folks already waiting to get inside. Was my coveted squat rack already occupied?

Fortunately, no. In fact, a regular guy who’s normally in on Mondays didn’t show, so for a while, I had the weight room to myself.

Time to get my game on and see what I could do.


Main Lifts

Overhead Press in Squat Rack

6x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
5x 55lbs/24.9476kg
3x 60lbs/27.2155kg
4x 65lbs/29.4835kg (1+)
2x 70lbs/31.7515kg (joker)
1x 75lbs/34.0194kg (joker)
2x 80lbs/36.2874kg (joker)

snatch deadlift
Photo credit:

Bent Leg Deadlift

5x 115lbs/52.1631lbs (warm up)
5x 115lbs/52.1631lbs
3x 135lbs/61.235kg
5x 145lbs/65.7709kg (1+)
3x 160lbs/72.5748kg (joker)
3x 185lbs/83.9146kg (joker)
3x 205lbs/92.9864kg (joker)
2x 215lbs/97.5224kg (joker)

Assistance Lifts

Rack Pull in Squat Rack

10x 155lbs/70.3068kg
10x 155lbs/70.3068kg
10x 155lbs/70.3068kg
10x 155lbs/70.3068kg
10x 165lbs/74.8427kg

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

10x 25lbs/11.3398kg
10x 25lbs/11.3398kg
10x 25lbs/11.3398kg
10x 25lbs/11.3398kg
10x 22.5lbs/10.20583kg

Things went pretty well. I didn’t set a new PR for my overhead press but I held my own, matching the PR I did for this lift last Friday. 80 pounds still is pretty tough to get up over my head for even 2 reps. I hope I can beat this one.

I noticed during my warm up and first working set of deadlifts that my form was a bit off, but then, I didn’t rest the 115 pound barbell on anything, so I had to go lower to the floor to lift it. Deadlifts felt fine up through 185 pounds but then things started to feel heavier. I really needed to pay attention to make sure I wasn’t using my back too much.

Since technically, I could get away with doing a single rep this being 5/3/1 week, I surpassed last week’s PR of 200 pounds and knocked the weight up first to 205 then 215.

Photo credit:

I considered putting 2 big wheels on each side of the bar and going for 225, but I was already 4 jokers into this lift and had been in the gym 30 minutes. I didn’t want to burn down all my time doing deadlifts. Besides, the squat rack, which I needed for rack pulls, had been unoccupied since I finished my overhead presses, the weight room was starting to fill up with lifters, and I was concerned someone would get to the rack before I did.

As I was setting up in the rack, I noticed former broken foot guy entered the weight room and was setting up for his deadlifts. There was another guy there who I’ve seen a few times before, and who had been doing some pretty impressive bench presses with a 225 pound barbell.

I decided to increase the barbell weight for my rack pulls to 155 pounds just to see what would happen. As it turns out, even though I was sweating, huffing, and puffing between sets, the weight was more than “doable.” I even set it up to 165 for the last set. I felt that one, but then I was already fatigued.

Meanwhile, former broken foot guy, who is probably as tall as I am or even a little taller, was continually increasing his deadlift weight, and unless I counted wrong, did his final set of 5 reps at 250 pounds. The guy’s a monster.

Last Monday, I did dumbbell shoulder presses with a pair of 22.5 pound weights for all 5 sets, and on Friday, I did the first 3 sets with a couple of 25 pounders, and did the last 2 with two 22.5s. Today, I managed 4 out of 5 sets using two 25 pound dumbbells, but I didn’t have it in me for the fifth, so knocked it down to 22.5 for the final set and called it good.

After our visit to the chiropractor’s yesterday, the missus asked if I was going to blog about it. I guess she sneaks a peek at “the old man’s gym” every once in a while without me knowing it.

It wasn’t as bad an experience as I thought it would be, but I won’t say it didn’t hurt.

chiropractic adjustment

Seems this guy (“Stacy,” “Tracy,” can’t quite remember his name) has a small home office in a kind of mother-in-law cottage behind his house. Nice big back yard. Small subdivision in the middle of rural fields, chickens in his back yard.

He worked on my wife first while I was filling out paperwork so I didn’t really see what he did to her.

As for me, first he ran his hands along my backbone and found an area that wasn’t particularly mobile and was particularly compressed at the base of my spine, just below where I’ve suffered my chronic injuries.

Then he went to work. He twisted me this way and that, actually hopped on top of me a couple of times. Things went “pop” in me I didn’t know could pop.

He ran this thing along my back that was a combination vibrator and power tool and it let me know each and every part of me that was tender and sore.

Ouch, but kind of a good ouch.

Then he sat me in some special chair and abruptly pulled my head this way and that, making my neck pop. I was hoping he wouldn’t snap my head right off, but it didn’t come to that.

I’d have to say that after it was over, I felt better but I couldn’t tell if I was sore from lifting earlier in the day or from being worked over (or both).

The guy has an athletic background. He used to be a runner until he blew out both hips and had to have them replaced. Now he’s a swimmer. He seems to understand athletes which is good, since I suppose he’ll understand lifters. He did say that the goal of chiropractic treatment is to optimize performance, so it’ll be interesting to see if weekly adjustments will improve my strength training.

rippetoe training squat

I glad he didn’t say that my spine was shot and I couldn’t do squats and deadlifts anymore.

Between yesterday and today, I’m feeling plenty sore, at least if I sit at my desk for a while, but not an “injury” sore. It’s like I worked out and worked out hard (for me). Just another step in the journey.

Two more lifting days for my 5/3/1 week, then I have to decide if I want to insert a deload week, or just start another cycle beginning with 3/3/3.

A champion is someone who gets up when they can’t.

Jack Dempsey


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