I’m a bit behind on posting the recap of my 10th cycle of 5/3/1 (I’m nearly halfway through cycle 11 now).
5/3/1’s primary goal is to progressively increase your strength in the big lifts (squats, deadlifts, bench press, and overhead press). You don’t have to waste time on minor muscle groups (holla if you loathe biceps workouts!) because muli-joint lifts target multiple muscle groups so you gain strength everywhere.
If you’ve been reading my blog the last while you know how much I love this programme but I’ll keep saying it over and over (I love this programme, I love this programme!) so that maybe one day you’ll give it a try. If you want to consistently get stronger you’ve got to follow a programme like this that has you pushing yourself harder and harder every week.
There. I’ve said my piece.
Read more about how it works here: 5/3/1 for Women
I’m happy to report that I’ve regained all my strength, you guys!
It took me 3 months to recover the strength that I lost with just 3 weeks of yoga teacher training.
I know it sounds totally ridiculous and it was a mental struggle for me to have to cut way back on my loads, but it worked to help me rebuild my strength. I’m excited (and also terrified, tbh) to move forward and start lifting heavier than I have before.
For cycle 10 I was working on the same loads as I completed in cycle 6 right before yoga Teacher Training. Compared to then, I’ve improved marginally in terms of reps, which I’m really happy about.
Deadlift: 240lb for 2 reps
Push Press: 125lb for 4 reps (PR’d that shit!)
Squats: 225lb for 3 reps (without a spotter!)
Bench Press: 120lb (added weight on Smith machine) for 3 reps
I’m so happy that I was able to push up more weight than ever with my push press this cycle (for 4 reps, no less!).
My bench press loads are increasing (very slowly, but increasing nonetheless) to the point that I definitely need a spotter to prevent me from crushing myself to death, or I have to use the Smith machine. I hate the Smith machine. It has it’s purposes, but everything feels so much easier because you don’t have to self-stabilize. It feels like cheating.
But I hate asking for a spotter even more. Most guys, if they don’t think you’re hitting on them, will take too much weight off and say “It’s all you! It’s all you!” No sir it is, in fact, all you. Plus as they lean over to help me I somehow manage to spit in their faces on an exhale and disgust us both. So until the husband makes his triumphant return to the gym (at the same time of day as me) then Smith machine it is.
I don’t even know what I did this cycle. It was very unorganized, which is very unlike me. After my big lift I did a handful of exercises (usually 3 or 4) with a related muscle group, sometime for around 6 reps, sometimes for up to 12 reps. I’m not sure I liked this unorganized approach, but that’s what happens when you don’t plan your workouts before you get to the gym.
Unfortunately I haven’t planned anything better and I’ve been doing the same thing so far in cycle 11. Must rectify this situation.