was said,’What must be cannot be avoided.’ That is how it is when I lift. To
successfully lift the weight cannot be avoided. I experience the tortures und
the celebration. But I lift as well as I lift because it cannot be avoided. Vasili Alexeyev
Better watch out for that jump shot, cause they will hit
I’ll take your shorty lunchbox and won’t feel shit
-Common feat Lil Herb & Cocaine 80’s
I’m bipolar, nice jab, mean hook Bigg K
A nigga take his time boy
My boy is a Nine boy
0 to 100
Mac D had the perfect temperature. I was looking at a T-Nation article about warm-ups, so after my usual stretching, I decided to hit up some box jumps. I focused on quickly going into the squat then explosively jumping onto the box. I felt a lot more confident going into my warmup sets for the squat.
-Squats: 235 x 8, 245 x 8 (2 sets), 235 x 8
-Deadlift: 295 x 8
-Power Cleans: 185 x 4 (2 sets), 195 x 4
-Calf Raise w/ Leg Press Machine: 4 x 12
Warming up for the squat, I somehow managed to hit an amazing groove setting up for the bar. I think the concept of focusing on the workout is a lot more important then people take it to be, and each and every workout I’m trying to manage that intensity throughout the workout. I was pretty strict on the number of squats I did leading up to the actual first set because I knew it was going to be a high rep set, I didn’t want my legs to tire out. I hit up 95 x 8, 135 x 8, 185 x 6, 225 x 4 leading up to the first set.
The first set felt absolutely flawless. The negative leading into the hole was controlled, the rebound out of the hole was fast and just felt great. 245 felt pretty solid as well, slightly slower but still with intensity and speed. 2nd set of 245 felt pretty damn good as well, though I was distracted with the stretch of my pants so coming up was slow on the last 2 reps. The last set was actually harder then I expected. I stopped at the 5th rep, and had to take a breather and then hit the last 3. Overall though I felt great throughout each squat. I could’ve easily hit 2-3 more reps for each set if I wanted to. My squat form felt flawless and honestly probably one of my best worksets in a while. I’m definitely getting better with the foot placement and just unconsciously knowing it.
I think because I hit the squats with a bit too much intensity, it kind of simmered down after a while. It took me a surprisingly long time to warm-up for my deadlifts because I just felt it was necessary. Warming up did feel good though, I controlled my touch & go deadlifts since I didn’t want to cause another scrape. I think the extra rest time did pay off though, I came into each deadlift set basically crushing the reps.
I’ve always liked power cleans. I did a bit of olympic lifting for a while before I actually started getting serious with powerlifting. I could hit a 235 / 245 clean and jerk, a 255 power clean, and a 155 / 165 snatch. It’s been a while though since I’ve actually olympic lifted. Surprisingly though warming up to 185 felt real simple and the first set felt really easy. Hitting the 195 was a bit slower, and I actually failed on the 3rd rep the first time. It was because someone walked a bit too close behind me and I lost concentration. I tend to get nervous whenever someone passes by because I don’t want to hit anybody. Hitting the last 185 felt fine afterwards. I did fail the first time I did the 3rd rep for my last set of 185. I think it was because I leaned forward as I lifted the bar up, which threw off my balance. I definitely was surprised with how much I’ve retained my standard 185 / 195 power clean.
I think I’m going to restrain from doing leg press calve raises. I think it causes a bit too much stress on my knees since it’s really easy to get careless with the reps.
Day 3 is basically Day 1 repeated, so I don’t really have anything new to say about it. I did make some minor adjustments though.
Bench: 145 x 10, 190 x 10, 215 x 8, 225 x 6
Military Press: 105 x 12 (2 sets), 115 x 10, 125 x 10
D-Bell Rows: 85 x 10 (2 sets), 90 x 8, 95 x 6
Pullups: 13, 12, 7 (2 sets)
Pec Fly Machine: 3 x 12 (190, 205, 205)
California Press: 3 x 12 (80)
Going into bench today I mentally made a couple of notes to fix for this workout. Last workout, for the 215 and 225 press, when I drove my legs on the floor I also pushed my hips up. It threw me off balance a little bit and definitely limited the power that I had going into the next couple of reps. I also bounced the bar on my chest for one or two reps last time, I made sure not to do that and keep the bar controlled.
Surprisingly I felt the 215 x 8 set was harder then doing the 225 x 6 set. In fact I felt I could’ve pushed out 2, maybe 3 more reps for the 225 set. Everything felt perfect, my leg drive down to the floor, my control of the bar and the pause felt good.
Originally I wanted to try and hit 135 x 8, but I felt that was a bit ambitious. I pushed my original 95 x 12, 105 x 12 into just two sets 105 x 12. It didn’t feel any different which was good. Originally I was just going to keep doing 125 x 8 like I did last time, but actually I hit 125 x 10 almost automatically with little struggle. I think my warmup for the military press helped out a bit, since I warmed up by doing the reps fast with the bar and 15 plates on each side. Felt great, and I’ll probably start increasing weight next week.
D-Bell rows went the same, I increased the max pullups I did in a set into 13 and 12. Pec Fly Machine and California Presses also felt fine. I like California Presses because it’s a pretty good assistance movement that helps the triceps and also simulates bench movement.
Squats are easily my weakest lift. It took me a while to understand proper squatting form, while it was relatively easy for me to get bench and deadlift form down. Maybe it was because the barbell was intimidating, maybe it was because I consistently saw other people banging out 315’s raw, but I put off squatting as much as I could. However there’s no excuses in any sport, and I had to man the fuck up and just squat to depth like the greats.
ATM, I lift in a pair of Vans Authentic Eras. They’re holding up pretty well, and the minimal amount of compression does not noticeably affect my lifting at all. I plan to get a pair of Oly-Weightlifting shoes over the summer, but just as a psychological thing I don’t want to rely on weightlifting shoes entirely until I can squat respectable weight comfortably. Probably gonna get a pair of Nike Romaleos, since I’m just a sucker for Nike … and neon
I’m also a low-bar wide squatter. It’s just what I’m comfortable with. I did high bar squat for a while, but it kinda bugged my neck a bit. I’ll probably get back into high bar squatting after I’m putting up good numbers.
Anyways today workout was this:
Squats: 270, 4 x 6 reps
Deadlift: 295, 2 x 6 reps
Single-Leg Press: 160, 3 x 12
Back Extensions: 10, 20, 30 plate, 3 x 12
Each set of the squats actually went pretty smoothly. Squat movement was straight with minimal - some struggle getting up from the hole. Honestly each set felt great. Just the amount of progress I’ve made, a couple of months ago I struggled to even hit 275. Now it’s relatively easy to do 4 x 6. For the third and 4th set though, it was kind of annoying because I had people pass directly in front of the rack. It’s a bit disorienting, but I can’t really control that.
I’m a conventional deadlifter. No frills no thrills there
During my deadlift warmup, I kinda drifted off a bit and ended up scraping a spot in my thigh again. It kind of threw my flow off, but I ended up getting back into it. My deadlift control is definitely getting a lot better. 295 for 2 sets of 6 is easy, and anything under 325 should be.
I’ve taken a liking to single-leg presses. I’ve done them a couple of times before doing them today, but for some reason the machine I used makes my calves look fucking jacked. I’m also in love with Back Extensions. It just feels great, and gives a nice burn to the hammies. I think I should’ve gone a bit harder with the weight for my back extensions though.
I was a little surprised of how much better my squat has been getting. Doing 270, especially not belted for each set was definitely a confidence booster that help me going into the 2nd week of the program. Nothing much to say about my deadlifting. I think my control is really improving and the sensation of driving up the quads, driving the heels into the ground and opening up the hips is becoming second nature to me.
I actually did the bench day first rather then the squat / deadlift day. The main reason was because I did some Pause Squats yesterday and didn’t want to hurt myself jumping into squats (which would’ve been basically 265 x 6 for 4 sets)
Here’s the workout I did:
Bench Press: 145 x 10, 185 x 10, 215 x 8, 225 x 6
Military Press: 95 x 12, 105 x 12, 115 x 10, 125 x 8
Dumbbell Row: 85 x 10 (2 sets), 90 x 8, 95 x 6
Pull-Ups: 12, 12, 8, 8
Optional Exercise 1, One Armed Tricep Extension: 3 sets of 12
Optional Exercise 2, Incline Chest D-Bell Flies: 45 pounds, 3 sets of 12
Wider-Grip Bench Press: 3 x 5, 135, 185, 185 (I’ll explain why I did this)
I recently came off the Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program with my own assistance / accessory work put in because throughout first 5 weeks I was doing the program I felt the intensity wasn’t high enough even with the extra work I was putting in the days I wasn’t on the program.
Initially writing the program down in my notepad I was definitely a little taken back by the high reps (reminiscent to body-building) that I was being expected to do for the Bench. I was pretty un-fazed by the assistance work that I was expected to do. I think one big flaw that I was having was that I was including too much accessory work BS that interfered with the progress I could have been making in my earlier months. I definitely understand this a lot more, and Candito’s program really laid it out nicely in the 6 Week Guide.
I hit a higher amount of reps for my warmup just to prepare myself mentally for the set of 10 I was going to start with (Bar, 95, 135). The reason I didn’t warm up much more then that was because since I’m starting at a low weight, I’m pretty much warming up with the first set to start hitting numbers up. In general this is an moderate difficultly kind of scheme, meant to condition the muscles in preparation for week 2.
Obviously 145 for a set of 10 felt easy. The groove I felt while benching felt great, I was benching in a practically straight line, elbows tight and not flared and the feet placement. I’ve been changing my bench press form quite a bit because I’ve been looking for what works for me. I think the form that I’m using now is going to be the general form template that I use in the future. I’m pretty comfortable with my feet placement being in front of me and propelling my feet and back up and sliding into the bar rather then an alternative method. Anyways …
Originally it was supposed to be 190 for a set of 10, but Mac D doesn’t have 2.5 pound plates. I settled for 185 because I didn’t want to be too cocky and try for the 195 and burn out like that. Surprisingly I really locked in on the 185 by 10. Referencing the RTS system (which I’m just looking at and plan to do sometime in the future), I definitely could’ve hit 2 more reps easily.
Next set was 215 for a set of 8. This again looked daunting on paper, and slightly daunting in practice. I was real smooth until the 5th rep, then I started to grind my teeth a little bit and hit the reps a little more slowly and with a little more control. It wasn’t too hard actually, and I definitely could’ve hit one more rep with some struggle.
Final set was 225 for a set of 6. Normally this wouldn’t be too big of a deal, but coming from a sets of 10 and 8 I was slightly doubtful. I hit all 6 reps with relative ease, but one thing I really noticed was the lack of arm control I had throughout the whole lift. It probably was because I hit triceps the day beforehand, but it was still an issue regardless. This is the reason I decided to try and experiment with a wider grip with some easy weights. I just wanted to get that benching form in my mind and really just get a confidence booster for the next time.
Assistance work was a breeze for me. Pretty much just smoked through everything as I should. I really wanted to hit a 5x5 military press instead of the prescribed 12, 12, 10, 8 but I decided to be conservative. Besides I smoked the guys next to me who were struggling with the same weight that I was doing for 12 reps. That was a nice ego boost.
So while I finished the workout, like I said I decided to do a wider grip set of bench just for form purposes. Like many people I’m comfortable bench pressing where my pinkys pretty much hit the start of the nurls on bar. For my wider-grip, I decide to grip my hands basically around the nurl, with my ring finger being at the start of the nurl. Again I’m far from an expert, but mainly the reason I did this was because I wanted to see how the less ROM would affect me, and again just practice control on the bar.
Setting everything up for one thing I felt it was a lot easier to get my lats and arms a lot tighter for the initial push-off. This was probably just because of the wider grip, but it felt a lot more comforting. I think if I have some extra time after running the program I’ll definitely experiment with a slightly wider grip. My form with the wider grip felt great and my whole body was in perfect sync the whole entire time. I definitely get a lot of looks for exaggerating the leg / back raise when setting up the bench, but I’ve gotten over that. It’s just so necessary to have the proper set-up for benching and that’s more important then a couple of skeptical eyes looking at me.
Anyways that’s the first day in a nutshell. First day felt great. I didn’t struggle too much with the higher weights / less reps, so I know my calculated max for the bench is pretty much accurate. Day 2’s tomorrow, and hitting some 265 x 6 squats is definitely going to scare me a little bit, but I’m not too worried. In the 5 weeks that I did the 5/3/1 program I increased my 3 rep max to 305, and in that day I hit the 3 rep max I hit a 315 single real easy. One thing I definitely really liked doing was the underhand grip single tricep extension. The pump felt amazing.
Looking forward to day 2. Thanks for reading guys.
I decided to write this because I realized that I needed a better accountability of my lifting progress, how I felt and really just to look back on this in the future and see the growth that I’ve been making.
I’ve been weightlifting since sophmore year of high school, where I initially started by just linearly making progress. I pretty much had a rather consistent progress until freshman year, where I realized that I was nothing compared to all of the other athletes who excelled at everything I did and more. I jumped from a bodybuilding style of workout, olympic lifting, very calesthentic oriented SEAL type of workouts and really just tried to develop muscle in general. Throughout freshman year, one thing generally stuck out to me. Regardless of what I was doing, I loved hitting weights and spending long hours in the gym. The greatest rush to me was watching numbers increase on my bench, deadlift and squat.
I initially tried out for the Navy’s powerlifting team at the start of sophmore year. I put up some pretty abysmal numbers, barely making a 255 bench, struggling terribly on a 275 squat and hitting a 385 deadlift for a total of 915. I got on the stand-by team, but at the time I had other commitments and didn’t take this opportunity.
Seven months removed from that, and really around 3-4 months where I started taking true accountability of my passion, I’m here humbly starting the Johnny Candito 6 Week Program. This post is to express my opinions and my experiences, not to explain technical stuff, so I’ll leave you to search it up yourself. Couple of reasons this program appealed to me:
-Johnny Candito is an all natural powerlifter, and is representing the USA at the IPF World. This is the 6 week cycle he does leading up to a meet, and unlike other programs where it may be ages before the actual person tests it, this is tested by the man himself.
-He competes at the 183 level, which is the exact level which I want to compete in.
-Looking at reviews of this program, this is a program for the intermediate powerlifter which I consider myself to be.
-Dude’s a fucking boss, let’s face it. Men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t. Personally being in the military, the integrity of remaining as truthful and honest as possible is of paramount importance. I don’t agree and don’t want to ever get involved with using any enhancing drugs of the sort to improve my performance. If I ever did, I would question my own integrity and my pride towards the sport.
With all of that done with, I’m starting the program with a 285 (I’ve done 295 before but it was a touch & go, so it doesn’t really count) raw Bench, 340 raw Squat and a 420 raw deadlift. Honestly my expectations with the program are that I’m going to increase my numbers. I think right now being intermediate it’s a little harder to gauge how much my body is going to be stimulated by this, but I hope it’s going to be by around 30 pounds or so.
Hit 425 raw on my deadlift today with a sprained ankle