5/3/1 Training Cycle Five: Deload Week Day Two

Credit: impliedmortality.com

I’ve been having another spotty attendance record at the gym this week. More fun and games with home maintenance and such after work, so I get to bed later than normal, and don’t want to get up at 4 a.m. the next day.


But it’s deload week and I really, really needed to make it to the gym this morning. Fortunately, I managed to get some halfway good sleep in and then just forced myself to get out of bed at 10 til 4.

I was worried about my squats, of course. My leg is off and on sore, and I haven’t been stretching my hams consistently.

But nothing ventured.

I pulled into the gym’s parking lot at a minute til and got to the front door just before the lights popped on. No one was there who squatted so I had the rack to myself.

Some numbskull left the barbell loaded to 225 pounds, so I had to deload it and properly supply the rack with the right weight plates before I could get started.

I pulled a bench in and proceeded to warm ups. Here’s what happened.

Deload Week

Main Lifts

Back Squat in Squat Rack

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
10x 75lbs/34.0194kg
10x 100lbs/45.3592kg
10x 120lbs/54.4311kg
5x 135lbs/61.235kg (joker)
4x 155lbs/70.3068kg (joker)
1x 170lbs/77.1107kg (joker)

Overhead Press in Squat Rack

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
10x 45lbs/20.4117kg
10x 50lbs/22.6796kg
6x 60lbs/27.2155kg
5x 70lbs/31.7515kg (joker)
5x 75lbs/34.0194kg (joker)
3x 80lbs/36.2874kg (joker)

Assistance Lift

squat rack
Credit: killer-fitness-instincts.tumblr.com

Overhead Cable Triceps Ext

10x 70lbs/31.7515kg
10x 75lbs/34.0194kg
10x 70lbs/31.7515kg
10x 75lbs/34.0194kg
10x 70lbs/31.7515kg

Core and Mobility Work

Hamstring stretch #1 30 seconds x2
Hamstring stretch #2 30 seconds x2

Kasey the Chiropractor Core Work

My right leg with its stiff hams did not like warm ups, but after the first set, things seemed to improve. I did 10 reps per set through 120 pounds, which admittedly, isn’t very heavy for most guys. Then I started my “joker” sets, determined only to do 5 reps with a 135 pound barbell. I thought I’d do 5 at 155 as well but only managed 4. I determined to do 3 reps for my final joker at 170, but during the first rep, when I started to push myself back up out of the hole, the effort was painful in my left leg, so I settled for the single and called it good.

Looking back in my log and comparing today’s weights with previous weeks, I’m still not getting any stronger, and if anything, my leg is inhibiting me even further. I wonder what cycle six and 5/5/5+ week is going to be like?

My overhead press went OK. Again, comparing my performance and number of reps with similar weights in past weeks indicates that I’m not any stronger. I did 10 reps through 50 pounds but at 60, I could only manage 6 reps. 5 reps for 70 and 75 pounds and only 3 at 80, which has pretty much been my track record lately.

I was stuck for an assistance lift. Thought about doing some lunges, but that meant I needed to grab a mat (well, I didn’t actually need a mat to do lunges, but it helps me gauge the length of my lunge).

Did my hamstring stretches while I was thinking, then settled on boring triceps extension. Those seem to be getting weaker. I used to be able to do 4 to 5 sets for 10 reps per set at 75 pounds, but that felt too heavy, so I alternated between 70 and 75 pounds on the cable.

After that, it was the usual Kasey the Chiropractor core work, which put me at about 2 after 6 and time for me to head home.

Photo credit: livehealthy.chron.com

Took the day off of work at the wife’s request to help my son do some major work on his house. Getting a place ready to sell is kind of a pain, especially when it hasn’t been maintained as well as it should.

Actually, because I had the day off and we’re not showing up at my son’s place until 9, I thought about doing more, maybe a cardio workout. But I didn’t want to exhaust myself, have to do a lot of heavy work later today and then find myself totally wiped out.

Better to keep some gas in reserve.

That’s it for deload week except for cardio and core. Seems kind of short. Hope I’m ready for cycle six.

I would like to be the first man in the gym business to throw out my scale. If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, what difference does it make what the scale says?

Vince Gironda


2 thoughts on “5/3/1 Training Cycle Five: Deload Week Day Two

  1. Life sure gets in the way of training at times. School was closed here this week and I have been taking care of my two grandchildren, a girl 10 and a boy 8. Yesterday was safety bar sqts, BP and DB rows. After chasing around with them all morning,making breakfast and lunch when it came time to go into my garage to lift, it didn’t seem too appealing to me. Besides I needed to keep am eye on them between sets. Got it done, but just did the same weights on the sqts as I did last week.
    I sure wish I had the drive you have to get up so early and lift in the morning. Although all my working life I started work at 6 am, I find it hard to do lifting before 10 am.
    There has been some discussion on the Starting Strength forum about training when older, the thought is intensity rather then volume is what is best for us as we get past out 40’s.
    I think I am going to try doing something different starting next week, sort of an instinctive program. Two or at most 3 lifts on any given day, two or three work sets . I hope this will help get the weights back up. Have a good week end,don’t work too hard.


    1. I’ve heard the same thing about older lifters and intensity, which is one of the reasons why I’ve chosen strength training over bodybuilding.

      Also technically this is deload week, instead of just doing cardio and core work this morning, I impulsively decided to do rack pulls. I thought, at first, I’d just do “light” weights, but I kept on increasing the weight on the bar, and ended up doing a single on the last set at 295 pounds. My PR for rack pulls is 300, and I thought about going for 305 this morning. But then again, I’m doing deadlifts in two days, and I’ve probably already “blown” any effects from my deload. I did some light cardio work afterward just because I had the time and because I was off program anyway.

      When my wife and I watch our grandkids (7 year old boy and 10 month old girl) on Sundays (the day when the missus and I go to the gym together), we have to take turns working out, so one of us is at home watching the kids.


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