Starting the Last Week in Circuit Two of 5/3/1 Feeling Tired

Star Wars the Force AwakensI’m wiped out. After working out at the gym, doing yard work, and then work around the house, I’m really tired.

I figured I didn’t sleep so well last night, though I don’t remember it. I do remember waking up a couple of times and going back to bed, but when 6 a.m. rolled around, I couldn’t stay down anymore.

Actually, I’ve had a full weekend. My son and his two kids came over for dinner Friday evening, and then they all came back for the day on Saturday. But my son had a migraine on Saturday morning when he and his family arrived, so my wife, other son, and I had full reign over my nearly 7-year-old grandson and my 7-month-old granddaughter.

It’s been a long time since a baby fell asleep against my chest while I was rocking her in a rocking chair.

Also saw Star Wars in the theater again, this time with both my sons and my grandson. Terrific fun. 2 months after its release and the theater was still packed.

But all this made a full weekend and I’m not surprised that I was a little drained when I woke up Sunday morning. Still, it’s the last week in round 2 of my 5/3/1 strength training routine, the reboot after the end of my personal training. I wouldn’t want to miss out on that.

My wife and I got to the gym with about 3 minutes to spare, but like on other mornings since they began the gym remodel, the place was already open.

We walked in and I noticed that they were replacing more of the old carpeted flooring with the same fake wood paneling I saw the other day. More stinky adhesive smell. Yuk (at least until my wife convinced Bryce to prop the front door open).

Don got into the free weight room first, but fortunately, he was working on “chest day” and started off on the incline bench station. That left the squat rack free for me.

The last week of round 2, the heaviest week in the circuit. As I stepped into the squat rack, I was wondering how I’d perform.

Here’s how I started this week out.


Main Lifts

box squat training

Back Squat in Squat Rack

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
5x 95lbs/43.0913kg (warm up)
5x 125lbs/56.699kg
3x 135lbs/61.235kg
3x 150lbs/68.0389kg (1+)
3x 160lbs/72.5748kg (joker)
3x 170lbs/77.1107kg (joker)
2x 180lbs/81.6466kg (joker) PR

Barbell Bench Press

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
5x 95lbs/43.0913kg (warm up)
5x 125lbs/56.699kg
3x 135lbs/61.235kg
2x 145lbs/65.7709kg (1+)
1x 155lbs/70.3068kg (joker)
1x 155lbs/70.3068kg (joker)
1x 160lbs/72.5748kg (joker)

Assistance Lifts

Barbell Bent Over Row (5×10) 120lbs/54.4311kg

10x 120lbs/54.4311kg
10x 120lbs/54.4311kg
10x 120lbs/54.4311kg
10x 120lbs/54.4311kg
10x 120lbs/54.4311kg

Dumbbell Bench Press (5×10) 55lbs/24.9476kg

6x 60lbs/27.2155kg
10x 55lbs/24.9476kg
10x 55lbs/24.9476kg
10x 55lbs/24.9476kg
10x 55lbs/24.9476kg

Core and Mobility Work

Bodyweight Captain’s Chair Leg Lifts
x10, x10, x10

side leg lift
Credit: YouTube channel

Bodyweight Roman Chair Back Ext
x15, x12, x10

Mat Leg Raises
x12, x12, x12

Leg Back Raises
Lx12, Rx12

Leg Side Raises
Lx12, Rx12

Alternating Arm/Leg Raises (Bird Dog)
12x each side

Standing on One Foot
30 seconds each side

Box Squats in Squat Rack

5x 45lbs/20.4117kg

My squats started out normally, 2 warm up sets and then my 3 working sets. For the 1+ set, I did 3 reps at 150 pounds, which was predictable given my recent record at squats. I figured I’d increment the weight by 10 pounds for each joker set and see how far I could take it.

So far, it was just Don and me in the weight room. The woman in black (though the top she wore today was fuchsia) who works in the medical industry was in and out of the weight room since she also uses machines. I was still hoping shaved head guy and his daughter wouldn’t show up and take both bench press station. I needed to hurry.

The first 2 joker sets at 160 and 170 pounds respectively went well. It was difficult, but there were no surprises. Last week, my PR for squats was 3 reps using a 175 pound barbell. For the next joker, I increased the weight to 180 but only did 2 reps. I’m not sure what it was, but 180 pounds felt really heavy, so much so that I decided not to do a fourth joker at 185 pounds.

I’m getting stronger in squats, but it’s sure slow going.

Both bench press stations were still free when I was finished with squats, so I put my gear on my favorite bench to reserve it while I unloaded the barbell in the squat rack and put the bench back where I found it.

bench press
Photo credit:

After my warm up sets at the bench press, even my first working set at 125 pounds felt heavy. I could do 5 reps, but I wasn’t sure I could have done much more. The same with 3 reps at 135 pounds. Last Wednesday, I couldn’t even lift up to my PR of 160 pounds and settled for 2 singles at 150. My +1 set was with a 145 pound barbell, and I only managed 2 reps, same as last week.

I added 10 pounds, and with a 155 pound barbell, did 1 rep. I intended to go up to 160 and then, if I could, 165, each for a single, but something unanticipated happened.

The gal I think works in the medical field asked me for advice about deadlifts. I was pretty surprised and a little flattered. I guess she’s seen me do deadlifts and thought I knew what I was doing.

Actually, she said she’d seen Chase train me in deadlifts and thought that made me know what I was doing.

But she was asking about straight leg deadlifts, which I almost never do anymore. I told her what I thought was right and hope it was helpful. Really, this is someone who needs to start using the squat rack. I know she could handle it. She seems really fit. But what she does in the gym is none of my business unless she asks about it.

The problem was, the encounter made me forget to add weight to the barbell, so the next set, when I did a single at what I thought was 160 pounds, it was only 155.

That was disappointing because I thought that, for 160, it wasn’t so bad for 1 rep.

What that meant was that I did 2 singles at 155 pounds. I decided to do the last single anyway at 160, just to see what would happen.

It felt like the heaviest bench press I ever did. I almost wasn’t able to push the barbell all the way back to the top. At least I lifted up to my PR of last week, but I have a long way to go.

barbell rows for batwings
Photo credit:

After I was done benching, I did a pretty standard “boring but big” assistance lift with bent over rows. I didn’t increase the weight, but rather concentrated on using more of my arms and back for each rep rather than using my legs for extra help.

Then came dumbbell bench presses. Again, I started out with a pair of 60 pound dumbbells and was disappointed to discover I would only make 6 reps before failure. Last week I made 9 before dropping one of the dumbbells. At least this time I maintained control. Why does this extra 5 pounds make such a difference?

Fortunately, I was able to do the other 4 sets using a couple of 55 pounders without having to lighten up on later sets due to fatigue.

I was pretty tired by now and only did 3 sets of leg lifts and another 3 of back extensions, rather than 4 or 5. For giggles, I put a mat on the floor, got on my back, and did 3 sets of leg lifts for more ab work.

I went through my Kasey the Chiropractor core exercises, increasing the number of reps from 10 to 12. Then, seeing my missus was still occupied, decided to do some lightweight box squats.

I’ve been using a bench as a target consistently for weeks and wanted to see what it would be like to go below parallel again, even for just 1 set.

I got more than I bargained for.

I found the box (the gym is pretty messed up because of the remodel and equipment is scattered all over the place) and hauled it into the rack. I lowered the position of the safety bars by one pin because I’d be further down into the hole, took my stance, went under the bar, did the walkout, and did a rep…

…and misjudged where the box was and slipped off. Good thing the safety bars were in place to catch the barbell. I rolled it forward over my head so I could be behind the barbell again, and then lifted it up back to starting position.

I adjusted the location of the box and tried again, only to do a disappointing 5 reps.

box squat

I thought I could do at least 10, but for each rep, it was really painful on the outside of my thighs where I’m weakest. My wife and I had been in the gym almost an hour-and-a-half anyway, so I called it a day. I was too tired to push myself any further.

Even now, I need another cup of coffee, or a nap, or both.

I may not get either and the DOMS are killing me, especially when I stand up after being seated for a while. Hope I sleep better tonight. Tomorrow, it’s the overhead press and deadlifts. I need my strength.

No Kasey the Chiropractor today. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

After the game, the King and the pawn go into the same box.

Italian proverb


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