5/3/1 Begins

Was up early and got back to Saginaw around 11am. In to the gym this afternoon with Kevin to train. I read 5/3/1: The Simplest and Most Effective Training System for Raw Strength (2nd Edition) last week and loved it. Decided to start my first cycle of 5/3/1 today. Really looking forward to see how it works. I like having a program where I don’t have to guess what weights to lift; give me percentages and reps and I’ll do the work and trust the program.


I got a new, lighter/thinner cable for my Rx Jump Rope and tried it out as the warm-up for today. Got a streak of 73 in a row right off the bat. I was hitting the ground a lot with the cable though, which I haven’t been doing with the cable that is one step higher. This would prove to be a big difference when fatigued.


5/3/1 Deadlifts – Cycle 1 Week 1

  • 5 @ 165# (40% of training max – warm)
  • 5 @ 205# (50% – warm)
  • 3 @ 245# (60% – warm)
  • 5 @ 265# (65%)
  • 5 @ 305# (75%)
  • 5+ @ 350# (85%)

I got 9 reps at 350 before stopping because my grip had been failing since the 5th rep and I could start to feel my low back giving out. Wendler says leave a little in the tank, so I did.

10:00 EMOM

  • Odds: 7 Strict Chin-ups
  • Evens: Snatch Grip Deadlifts (135#)

I should have had the straps on right away, but didn’t until the 2nd round of snatch grip deadlifts. So I only got 4 in the first round, then 6 in the 2nd, and 8 in the last 3 rounds. Was really a struggle in the last two rounds of chin-ups. Working on the snatch grip deadlifts and hitting the hips hopefully will help me out with my full snatches.


30:00 AMRAP

  • 500m Row
  • 400m Run
  • 100 DU
  • 10 Ring Rows
  • 10 Ring Push-ups
  • 20 Air Squats

Figured we’d do a long WOD, which I haven’t done in at least a month. Kevin smoked me right out of the gate because he kicks my ass on the rower. I couldn’t catch back up. My DU kind of sucked and I think the new cable got me. Felt like it was hitting the ground so much it would either bounce up or lose shape. I could rarely recover from nicking it and I actually got whipped quite a few times, which hasn’t happened to me in who knows how long. Tried Kevin’s cable which looks to be 2 inches shorter after the WOD and I seemed to do better with it. So maybe with the lighter weight it just spins that much different that I need to chop off that much length. Or maybe I just need to get used to it.

Anyway…I finished 3 full rounds and was about 100m through the run in the 4th when the time ran out. I kept going though and completed everything in the round, so it was about a 35 or 36 minute AMRAP for me. 🙂 Had to split up every set of ring rows, but got all of the ring push-ups and air squats unbroken.

More Box Jump Stupidity

My abs are sore from the massive number of back squats yesterday and probably the finisher as well. My legs aren’t really sore at all though. A bit fatigued.

Went to the 6pm Olympic lifting class and worked on snatches.

  • Snatch
  • Hang Snatch
  • Snatch Balance

Worked on these one round at a time without putting the bar down. Took a rest after each time through and added some weight. I started with the bar for a few rounds, then went 75#, 95#, 105#, and 115#. I missed the snatch balance on my first attempt at 105# so I did that one again. I’ve never done a hang snatch before. It’s a lot tougher than starting from the floor.

  • Snatch Grip Deadlift
  • Snatch Pull

I started with 125# for a couple of sets, then went 145# for a couple of sets, and finally some at 165#. Not sure how many sets I did at each but it was probably 2 or 3.

After class I headed over to Kevin’s for some garage work.

5×5 Weighted Chin-ups

We almost always do pull-ups weighted at the gym so we figured we’d switch it up a little. I used 10# for the first 2 sets and then 15# for the last 3 sets.

5×3 Weighted Dips

I went 10#, 15#, 20#, 25#, and 35#. Had a few more pounds left in the gas tank too.

Then, the geniuses that we are, we decided to do some high box jumps. After each doing 1-2 jumps at 34″ and 40″, we decided on the 44″. This was a bad idea after so many back squats yesterday. I landed my first jump, but the second one was bad news. My right foot got up, by my left nailed the box and it tumbled off to the right. Scraped up my leg in two places and got a nice bruise that instantly swelled up. Ouch! At least I didn’t get scraped up a ton with this spill.

Finally, did some ab work.

8 Rounds

  • 10 GHD Sit-ups
  • 10 Pullovers (40# DB)

Skip the Intensity

I haven’t been this sore in a long time. My quads, hamstrings, IT bands, and glutes all feel like they’re getting stuck with needles as I walk and especially going up or down stairs.

Had Olympic lifting at 6pm. Worked on snatch triples tonight. Worked up to 115# and then did a lot of sets there. Really concentrated on keeping my shoulders back and lats engaged. Felt more comfortable with it as I kept repping. Then did some snatch grip deadlifts, again concentrating on keeping those shoulders back. Settled in at 215# to work on the form.

My legs felt better after warming up and getting them moving. I bet tomorrow isn’t going to be very fun though. Day 2 always seems to be worse.

After class, I went over to Kevin’s and we did some work in his garage.

5 Rounds

  • 10s Ring L-hang
  • 20s Rest

Sort of a reverse Tabata.

8 Rounds

  • 10 Pullovers (40# DB)
  • 10 GHD Sit-ups

Pullovers are a new movement for me and I could definitely feel them working. Was good to get in a bunch of GHD sit-ups since we don’t have a real GHD at Survival Fitness.

I just bought a weight belt, so took that over with me and did some strength work.

Weighted Pull-ups (with belt)

  • 5 @ 10#
  • 5 @ 10#
  • 5 @ 15#
  • 5 @ 20#
  • 3 @ 25#

I’ve always done these with a DB or KB in my feet, which is supposed to be harder because the weight is farther away from the center of mass. The first set didn’t feel good, but later sets felt ok. Shoulders were a bit fried from all of the snatch work though.

Weighted Dips

  • 5 @ 10#
  • 5 @ 10#
  • 5 @ 15#
  • 5 @ 15#
  • 5 @ 20#

First time doing weighted dips of any kind, so had no idea what I could do. The first 4 sets felt good, but that last set at 20# was a little rough.

Needed a break from intensity after doing a WOD 4 days in a row, but got in a lot of good work.

Froning Style

My hamstrings and glutes are a good sore from the RDLs. Need to do those more often.

Olympic Lifting Class

Went in at 6pm for the OLY class. We worked on snatches by doing progressions with the empty bar. Then we loaded up to a moderate weight and did:

5 Rounds

  • 1 Snatch
  • 2 Snatch Balances
  • 3 Snatch Grip Deadlifts

I started with 95# for the first three rounds and then 105# for the next two rounds. After that we worked on full squat snatch singles. I loaded 115# and tried to work on my technique. Then to finish the class we worked up to a heavy snatch grip deadlift triple. Wow is that a bitch on your thumbs! I did 3 sets, 2 @ 205# and 1 at 235# (I think). I don’t remember all of the weights exactly for any of the lifts.


4 Rounds

  • 15s PVC Pass-thrus
  • 15s Air Squats
  • 15s PVC Ground to OH
  • 15s Zombie Kicks

Was already pretty warmed up from the OLY work.


5 Sets of Kroc Rows – 10 each arm for 4 sets and then max reps in the 5th set.

Used KBs for each round and went 53#, 62#, 71#, 80#, and 88#. I got 17 reps with my right arm and 22 with my left if I remember right.


No extra rest in between each 10 minute block; the minutes keep going.

10:00 EMOTM

  • Evens: 7 Power Cleans (115#)
  • Odds: 15 Wall Balls (20# MB, 10′ target)

10:00 EMOTM

  • Evens: 5 Power Cleans (135#)
  • Odds: 10 Burpees

10:00 EMOTM

  • Evens: 3 Power Cleans (155#)
  • Odds: 10 T2B

A Rich Froning style workout and I loved it. The EMOTM stuff really allows you to go all out balls to the wall when it’s work time and the rest period is just short enough to recover.

The weight was almost perfect for me. Maybe could have gone 5 or 10# heavier because I flew through the 7 reps in those first 10 minutes, getting them done in about 12 or 13 seconds each time. After 2 rounds of burpees, I figured out why I’ve been so slow lately. I’ve been standing all the way up before jumping. It was taking me 30-31 seconds to get my 10 reps done, which is extremely slow compared to how I’ve done them before when doing 10 at a time. Well, I switched back to jumping as soon as my feet snap up to my hands and shaved 6 seconds of my 10 rep split, right back into my 24 second wheel house. Did all of the T2B unbroken and concentrated on a short kip at the bottom to cycle them faster.