Crashed and Burned at the End of Cycle 12

Well this was a cruddy way to finish Cycle 12.

As you may recall from last Sunday, I made a new PR in my back squat but failed to even equal my PR in the overhead press. Oh well, you hit the target sometimes but not always.

On Monday, my son David’s fasting regime malfunctioned and he ended up staying home sick. On Tuesday night, my grandson Landon got sick and on Wednesday morning, my son asked if I could stay home with him. Of course I said yes.

bench press
Photo credit:

On Thursday morning, I had one heck of a time waking up. Don’t think I got much sleep for the past two nights. I actually made the decision to skip lift day because I felt so lousy. I ended up skipping work too, since that first cup of coffee turned my stomach into an acid factory and I was exhausted. I went back to bed and slept until noon. Fortunately, my son had the day off and took care of the kids.

So here we are on Friday. I actually got a fair amount of sleep and woke up at three-something this morning. I drank coffee and water and felt kind of lousy, but determined to lift anyway.

Sucking it up, I got to the gym right before it opened and was the first one in the weight room after the lights popped on.

My favorite bench press station was a total mess and it took a while for me to fix it up. Everything felt heavy even before I started lifting. Not a good sign.

But nothing ventured, so I got to work. It wasn’t pretty.

5/3/1+ Main Lifts

Barbell Bench Press

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
10x 65lbs/29.4835kg (warm up)
5x 115lbs/52.1631kg
3x 135lbs/61.235kg
3x 145lbs/65.7709kg
1x 155lbs/70.3068kg (joker)
0x 160lbs/72.5748kg (joker) -failed rep-

Barbell Bent Leg Deadlift

10x 135lbs/61.235kg (warm up)
10x 165lbs/74.8427kg (warm up)
5x 225lbs/102.058kg
3x 245lbs/111.13kg
2x 270lbs/122.47kg
1x 280lbs/127.006kg (joker)
0x 285lbs/129.274kg (joker) -failed rep-

Actually, as far as the main lifts went, I hit my goals. I even did a triple for the 1+ set in my bench press. Unfortunately, I only did a single at 155 and completely failed the lift at 160.

I hit the bar against one of the pins on the rack on the way up which threw everything off-balance. I managed to get the barbell racked again, but it looked pretty bad.

After that disaster, I steeled myself for the deadlift.

Saw a couple of new guys in the weight room. Naturally, we all ignored each other and just did our thing.

mutant strength.
Photo credit:

Deadlift warm ups went well and although 270 pounds still felt really heavy, I did a double for the 1+ set. I could only pull 280 pounds up once for the first joker and totally failed at 285. Oh, it started to come up, but something was wrong with my grip and my mojo and the thing sucked me back down to the floor.

I wasn’t even mad. I was tired and not feeling up to anywhere near full power and figured the last couple of days put me off my routine.

I finished up with my usual mobility work and got the heck out of there.

My digestive system is feeling a little tender, but I made it to work today. I hope this clears up soon because I’m definitely considering another deload week. This cycle started out very promising but crashed and burned by the end.


There comes a certain point in life when you have to stop blaming other people for how you feel or the misfortunes in your life. You can’t go through life obsessing about what might have been.

Hugh Jackman


6 thoughts on “Crashed and Burned at the End of Cycle 12

  1. Shit happens to everyone. Just a bad day. When you truly crash and burn on 5/3/1, Jim suggest cutting bar weight by 10% and starting over.

    Good luck ~ Bear


    1. Thanks, Bear. In this case, I think it was because my body was fighting off something. Last week at this time, I was more on top of my game. If the problem persists, I’ll lower the weight on the bar as you recommend and take it from there.


  2. Hi james I’m not an expert by any means but I’ve been around a pretty long time it seems that everyone progression will continue indefinitely. If that were so everyone would be benching three hundred, squatting five hundred and dead lifting six hundred which unfortunately doesn’t happen. Doctor Ken Listener who is an expert in this field been around much longer than Rip or Wendler has said that reps or to demonstrate strength and hi reps build strength. Just something to consider if your feeling beat up, low reps maybe beating up your central nervous system. I’m feeling a little beat up myself maybe its because I’m quickly approaching my sixty seven birthday, I do plan to work out today but instead of trying to do two hundred and sixty on my dead lifts for five reps very hard reps for me I’m going to do two forty for three sets of five which are way easier for me.


    1. Thanks for the tip, Jerry. I’ll have today to think it over some more. My wife’s in Italy on a tour and I’m watching the grandkids, so no gym for me until tomorrow at the earliest.


  3. Hi James, I’m a 69 year old lifter, soon to be 70. I no longer compete (powerlifting), but I still love to train. I’ve trained for over 45 years and I’ve learned that making it through the not-so-good days has value. I’ve used 5/3/1 for a number of years, and I’m blessed to be still squatting, benching, deadlifting, and pressing. I don’t have the same strength I did 10, or even 5 years ago, but I still enjoy striving towards the potential I have at this point.
    Keep up the good work, enjoy the journey, and be well,


    1. Thanks, Joe.

      I was going to take a deload week this week and just lighten up my lifts but the time change wiped me out and I think my deload is going to be no load. Probably a good thing since this morning my occasional back spasm returned (and by occasional, I mean every so many years). Pretty sure it’s arthritis. Doesn’t normally give me trouble but for some reason this a.m., it kicked in.

      Glad to see you lifting at near 70 years old and I appreciate you reading and commenting here at my virtual “old man’s gym”. You’re an inspiration.



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