Starting 5/3/1+ Week in a Hurry

LandonEven though it was a short week due to the three-day weekend, it feels like the days were packed. My wife’s van was in the shop (still is actually) so we had transportation issues to solve, especially since it was our week to have the grandkids.

Then, my wife had to fly to California on Wednesday and my son David (the kids’ Dad) had to leave for Utah Friday morning after he dropped my grandson off at school and my granddaughter at daycare.

The good news is I had my car back. The bad news, besides some rather unsettling organizational changes at work, was the kid pickup.

My grandson gets out of school at 3:55 p.m., so I had to leave work not long after 3 so I’d have time to get there. Traffic and road work later, I’m nearly at his school. My wife in California texts me. Daycare called her and said my 14-month-old granddaughter had vomited twice, which probably meant I needed to go get her ASAP. But that would also mean missing my window to pick up my grandson.

Long story short, the daycare said she was feeling fine otherwise and they’d hang onto her until I got my grandson.

My grandson and I got to daycare and my granddaughter really was fine. No fever, she smiled and was animated when she saw me, in every single way I could see, she was her normal self.

Got the kids home. Fed my granddaughter cautiously at first but then just gave her the foods she likes. No more episodes of vomiting and both children were fine. Bullet dodged apparently.

Their Mom came for them Saturday afternoon, so Grandpa had the wee ones to himself for a good long time. After putting my granddaughter in her crib for the night, my grandson and I had a marathon TV show and movie watching session. Gotta spoil them sometimes.

We’re still without the van until tomorrow and my wife just got on the plane that’ll take her on her last flight to home.

Sunday morning. The number of things I needed to do plus facing Monday was weighing upon me and I almost decided to skip my workout. But lift day is lift day and I thought maybe pushing some iron around would help relieve stress.

Here’s what happened.

5/3/1+ Main Lifts

arnold squat
Photo credit:

Back Squat in Squat Rack (raw)

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
10x 65lbs/29.4835kg (warm up)
5x 125lbs/56.699kg
3x 140lbs/63.5029kg
3x 155lbs/70.3068kg
3x 170lbs/77.1107kg (joker)
1x 185lbs/83.9146kg (joker)
1x 200lbs/90.7185kg (joker)

Overhead Press in Squat Rack

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
5x 75lbs/34.0194kg
3x 85lbs/38.5554kg
2x 90lbs/40.8233kg
2x 90lbs/40.8233kg (joker)
2x 95lbs/43.0913kg (joker)
1x 100lbs/45.3592kg (joker)

Squat warm ups went fine as did the working sets. I noticed in the jokers that as the weight increased, I felt more timid about getting all the way down into the hole. I forced myself but I could see my face getting red as I pushed back up.

That last joker was a challenge and I’m not convinced my thighs went completely parallel, but at least I went 5 pounds more than the last several weeks. 200 pounds is the most I’ve ever squatted raw. However, with the bench, I squatted 210 for a single rep, so I can’t call this a PR. I’ll need to work on squatting all the way down (probably just a matter of another inch) before increasing the weight in the last joker set again.

Only two of the regulars came and went in the weight room. Bryce opened up at his usual minute after 8 but it was all good. A pretty typical Sunday morning at the gym.

Moved on to overhead presses. Warm up went good, but those working sets felt heavy. In fact, for the 1+ set, I barely got 90 pounds over my head twice. Playing it cautiously, I didn’t increase the weight for the first joker. Felt more confident in that set, so I started bumping the weight up.

I did 2 reps at 95 and was momentarily tempted to try for a third, but I wanted to save some for my final joker at 100. If I felt strong in the third joker, I might even try a fourth at 105.

Didn’t happen. I barely got 100 pounds up over my head. About 3/4 the way up, I could see the panic on my face as the lift nearly stalled. Somehow I pushed through and completed the rep, but the barbell came down really fast and I blew racking the weight. The barbell caught on one pin but missed the other.

Good thing I had a strong grip on it. I racked it down around my waist, unloaded the barbell, and then returned it to the starting position.

overhead press
Photo credit:

My overhead press still needs a lot of work. I’m making the heavier reps, but it takes 100% of my effort and I don’t always have complete control or good form.

No injuries thankfully.

That was it. I had stuff to do and little time to do it in, so I did my mobility work and left. It was 9 by the time I got home and got into my chores. Trying to write this up quickly before the missus gets back.

So much for my life as a bachelor grandpa.

Has Easy ever worked as well as Hard? No. Next question.

Mark Rippetoe


2 thoughts on “Starting 5/3/1+ Week in a Hurry

    1. I’m OK with it. Grandparents can be a really positive influence on their grandkids and I’m grateful we all live in the same area. The only grandpa I ever knew was my Mom’s Dad. We didn’t always live near each other but I really cherished my relationship with him. He died when I was 16.

      My wife’s parents both passed away before our kids were born, so my parents are the only grandpa and grandma they know. My folks are still alive, and I am very happy they have a good relationship with my kids.


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