Beginning Cycle 11, 3/3/3+ Week and Hanging in There

gym clock

I got to the gym late yesterday morning because I was watching the grandkids while the missus was taking her morning walk. The irony is that my granddaughter only woke up right as my wife was walking back in the door so things stayed pretty quiet for me.

I made it to the gym about fifteen minutes before nine. Bryce was nowhere to be found but he tends to disappear after he opens up. I walked into the weight room and it was completely empty. Yah!

For once, the squat rack was well set up and I only needed to make a few minor adjustments before I got to work. Starting week two of my eleventh cycle of 5/3/1 training. Let’s see what happened.

3/3/3+ Main Lifts

Back Squat in Squat Rack (raw)

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
10x 65lbs/29.4835kg (warm up)
3x 125lbs/56.699kg
3x 145lbs/65.7709kg
4x 155lbs/70.3068kg
3x 170lbs/77.1107kg (joker)
3x 185lbs/83.9146kg (joker)
2x 195lbs/88.4505kg (joker)
1x 205lbs/92.9864kg (joker)

Overhead Press in Squat Rack

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
3x 65lbs/29.4835kg
3x 75lbs/34.0194kg
4x 85lbs/38.5554kg
3x 90lbs/40.8233kg (joker)
3x 95lbs/43.0913kg (joker)
1x 100lbs/45.3592kg (joker)
0x 105lbs/47.6272kg (joker) -failed rep-

overhead press
Photo credit:

My back squat continues to improve. I still huff and puff through my warm ups because legs use a lot of oxygen, even under minor loads. I could have gone for 5 reps on my +3 set, but I thought I’d save myself for the jokers. I wanted to get past 200 pounds.

I was pretty good through my first 2 joker sets. Did 3 reps each, even though I could see my face get really red in the mirror as I pushed up out of the hole.

Only made a double at 295 and had to really concentrate to get down to parallel. I start to get timid at higher loads.

Then the fourth and final joker. I loaded the bar up to 205. I figured I had a single in me. Although the heavier squats are difficult, I don’t feel like it’s so heavy I’m going to dump the rep. I just need to get my butt down low enough.

I wish I could call this a PR since it’s the heaviest squat I’ve ever done raw, but using the bench, I got up to 215 before my illness and surgery. I’ll let that stand as the number to shoot for.

I really thought I’d break a barrier for my overhead press. I felt strong, although I did back the weights off the working sets and didn’t increase the weight on the 3+ set from last cycle. I wanted to give myself some room in the jokers.

It almost worked. I did 3 reps each for 90 and then 95 pounds. The latter is a little surprising. I think I’ve only done a triple at 95 once before.

Barely got 100 pounds over my head, but I wanted to try for 105 anyway. That’s my standing PR. I’m really close…

…but no cigar. Couldn’t get the barbell above the level of the top of my head. Oh well, there’s another day. At least I did what I did.

Only Liz and one other guy came into the weight room in the beginning, but then a couple of other guys showed up. I wasn’t sure if either wanted the squat rack. One looked like he was just killing time waiting.

After I finished my overhead presses, unloaded the bar, and walked away to do mobility work, I looked back, but neither one of them approached the squat rack. That’s why I squat on Sunday’s. No competition.

rippetoe training squat

I went into the gym this morning at five to do some cardio and mobility work. I did see big, tall, formerly broken foot guy squatting, so I’m glad I got that out of the way yesterday. In fact, I saw a lot of folks I’d either never seen before or who have just started working out at the gym recently. It’s a popular place at five in the morning.

I suppose I should debate the wisdom of doing cardio on the elliptical the day after squats since my legs are pretty much shot. On the other hand, I haven’t been doing enough cardio since I recovered from sickness and surgery, so I need to repair that weak spot in my regime.

If I can stay disciplined, next lift day will be Thursday. I need the rest.

The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.

Vincent Lombard


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