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Stu Ward's Progress

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:55 am
by stuward
I previously posted this in the Personal Best thread in the General forum but I find it too hard to find:

In 2007 I followed a couple of different canned programs that I made quick progress on but ultimately lead to overtraining, folowed by the flu or some other illness, then a few months to get back to where I was. Overall, in 2007 I made no progress on any of my major lifts with my peak being in March 2007.

This year I'm doing it different. I am repeating each lift on a 4 workout cycle, working out 3 times/week. Each workout will be full body with the exercise selection changing each time and the focus changing each time. I'll rotate exeercises in and out as I see a need. If I don't feel like working out, I won't and just delay the workouts for a day or 2. The priority will be on recovery.

In January I set the following personal bests:
Jan 30, 2008 Standing Calf Raise, Machine 10/500, 10/600
Jan 23, 2008 Chest Press Machine 5/135, 5/150, 5/165, 5/180, 4/195
Jan 25, 2008 Front Squat 5/95, 5/115, 5/135, 5/155
Jan 03, 2008 Squat, Barbell 5/135, 8/185
Jan 30, 2008 Barbell Deadlift, Straight Leg 5/135, 5/160, 5/185, 5/210, 5/235
Jan 23, 2008 Machine Row 5/135, 5/150, 5/165, 5/180, 5/195, 5/210
Jan 08, 2008 Clean 5/45, 5/95, 8/125
Jan 29, 2008 Farmer's Walk in Meters 40/85, 40/95, 40/105
Jan 08, 2008 Push Press 9/95

In February I set the following Personal bests:
Feb 01, 2008 Chest Press Machine 8/165, 10/180
Feb 18, 2008 Front Squat 5/95, 5/115, 5/125, 5/145, 5/165
Feb 13, 2008 Squat, Barbell 5/135, 5/145, 5/165, 5/185, 4/210
Feb 22, 2008 Barbell Deadlift, Straight Leg 5/135, 5/185, 5/205, 5/225, 5/255
Feb 18, 2008 Barbell Deadlifts 5/135, 5/185, 5/225, 5/245, 5/265
Feb 29, 2008 Lat Pulldown, Wide Grip 5/105, 5/120, 5/135, 5/150, 5/165
Feb 25, 2008 Machine Row 8/180, 8/195
Feb 29, 2008 Farmer's Walk in Meters 40/100, 40/110, 20/120
Feb 20, 2008 Push Press 5/95, 5/100, 5/105, 3/110, 4/115

I'll update this each month. My goal by the end of the year is the following calculated 1 rep maxes.

Military press 120 vs 99 in 2007
Bench Press 200 vs 168 in 2007
Power Clean 180 vs 159 in 2007
Squat 275 vs 235 in 2007
Deadlift 350 vs 303 in 2007


Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:56 am
by stuward
March Personal Best Update:

Date Exercise Entry
Mar 22, 2008 Decline Press, Barbell 8/85, 8/105, 8/125, 8/145
Mar 31, 2008 Leg Press 5/270, 5/360, 5/450, 15/495
Mar 03, 2008 Barbell Deadlift, Straight Leg 5/135, 5/185, 5/225, 5/245, 5/265
Mar 07, 2008 Barbell Deadlifts 5/135, 5/185, 5/225, 5/275
Mar 22, 2008 Military Press, Barbell 8/65, 8/85
Mar 24, 2008 1 Arm Dumbbell row 8/50, 8/60, 8/70
Mar 24, 2008 Bent-Over Row, Barbell 5/95, 5/115, 5/135, 5/155, 5/175
Mar 05, 2008 Machine Row 8/195, 8/195, 6/210
Mar 31, 2008 1 Arm Dumbbell Snatch 3/60, 3/65, 2/70
Mar 03, 2008 Farmer's Walk in Meters 40/105, 40/115, 40/125

Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:04 am
by stuward
Good workout today, I hit 3x285 on my deadlift. I'm most excited about the 1 arm db snatch. I had been having trouble locking out 70# even though 3x65# was no problem for a couple of weeks. On Friday I locked out 3 reps with each arm. Today I locked out 3x70# with both arms and then 3 x 75# with my right and 1x75# with my left. I'll try again on Monday. Monday I hit a new PR with power cleans. 3x150# after struggling to get 3x145# for a while. Maybe they're related. :)

The 1 armed snatch and the deadlift don't count as PRs because 3x70 is better than 1x75 and 5x275 is better than 3x285 but I can smell it.

I've created a discussion thread here:


Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:53 am
by stuward
April Personal Best Update:

Date Exercise Entry

Apr 02, 2008 Chest Press Machine 15/157, 15/165
Apr 23, 2008 Squat, Barbell 5/135, 5/155, 5/175, 5/195, 5/215, 3/225
Apr 23, 2008 Barbell Deadlift, Straight Leg 8/225, 8/245
Apr 21, 2008 Bent-Over Row, Barbell 5/115, 5/130, 5/145, 5/160, 6/175
Apr 30, 2008 Lat Pulldown, Narrow-Grip 5/135, 5/150, 5/165, 5/180, 5/195, 3/210
Apr 11, 2008 1 Arm Dumbbell Snatch 3/60, 3/65, 3/70
Apr 14, 2008 Clean 3/95, 3/135, 3/145, 3/150
Apr 18, 2008 Push Press 1/95, 1/115, 1/135

After 3 months, I'm I'm now 40% of my goal towards, Military Press, Squats and Deadlfts. I'm 25% of the way to cleans and I've made up my lost ground on bench press.

Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:21 am
by stuward
May Personal Best Update:

Exercise Max 1RM
Barbell deadlift Rack Pull above knees (Lower Back) 05/26/2008 403
Front Squat (Legs) 05/13/2008 204
Shrugs, Barbell (Traps) 05/26/2008 330

The format of my log changed this month so only the calculated 1RM shows.

May and June I'm practicing for the Battle Fitness Test so my training is different than normal. I don't expect many PRs in June. That said, I set 4 today.

Exercise Max 1RM
Barbell deadlift Rack Pull above knees (Lower Back) 06/02/2008 415
Leg Press (Legs) 06/02/2008 749
Seated Calf Raise, Leg Press (Calves) 06/02/2008 667
Shrugs, Barbell (Traps) 06/02/2008 344


Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:34 am
by stuward
June Personal Best update:

(LB) Barbell deadlift Rack Pull above knees 06/02/2008 415
(TR) Shrugs, Barbell 06/02/2008 344
(LG) Leg Press 06/03/2008 749
(UB) Bent-Over Row, Barbell 06/11/2008 228
(WB) 1 Arm Dumbbell Snatch 06/11/2008 76

It turns out that the Battle Fitness Test that I've been training for for 2 months went off without me. I had an out of town meeting that I was called to at the last minute so I missed it, now I have to wait until October. At least now I can get back to normal. Now that the good weather is here I'm going to put more cardio into my program.

Our gym just aquired a trap bar so I tested it out today. It weighs 25# so 3 plates/side is 295 which I lifted for 1 rep. It definately feels different than deadlifts or squats. It's really all legs with hardly any back involvement. My back has been a little off the last couple of weeks. 295 is much more than I can squat, and although it's less than my deadlift, it's more than I wouldd attempt right now. I have a feeling that the trap bar deadlift will be closer to my rack pull numbers soon. The bar diameter is slightly smaller than the standard Oly bar so I asked the gym to get some collars made to fit.

27 Jun, I did 2 sets of 4 unassisted chin ups for the first time. I also lost 4 lbs. Maybe it's related.

Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:25 am
by stuward
No PR's in my major lifts, I pulled a muscle in my back at the end of June and I've been focusing on dumbbell work and trying to build some volume.

Calculated PR's this month are:
(LG) Trap Bar Deadlifts 07/17/2008 299
(SH) Overhead Press, Dumbbell 07/18/2008 47
(UB) 1 Arm Dumbbell row 07/15/2008 110
(WB) 1 Arm Dumbbell Snatch 07/21/2008 82

I'm struggling to increase my farmer's walk. The dumbbells in my gym go up in 5# increments to 125 and then there is a jump to a pair of 145. I can walk around the gym with the 125s but can only make a few feet with 145s. I'm trying to get my gym to modify the single 160 and 165# DBs to make a pair of 135s. I may be able to do something with the trapbar. Space is also a factor.

Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:09 am
by stuward
I've done a few cycles of 5,3,1, now. Last cycle sucked and I barely hit my targets in week 3. This cycle started off better with a squat 6 reps at 200#, nice and deep. My hip and back are feeling better now. I had been doing box squats but I switched back to back squats and I'm having no hip pain with them. Still favouring my right side though.

I just noticed I hadn't posted here in 2 years. I'm not any stronger in the big lifts since then but I'm 20# lighter and 10 chin ups is a routine occurrence now. I see 2 years ago I was happy with 4.

Re: Stu Ward's Progress

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:44 am
by stuward
Hit a new TGU PR today and decided to resurrect this old thread rather than post it to the PR thread. It's kind of boring, another 5# on the TGU. It's all exciting to me at the time.

I'm doing Dan John's Pavel inspired 40 day workout. It's great because I leave my brain at home and just lift. I do 5 exercises every time: Deadlift, Push Press, Weighted Chin ups, KB Swing and Hanging Knees to Elbows, weighted at the ankles.

I'm currently using 225, 120, 10, 35, and 10 pounds. I do 1 warmup and 2 work sets all 5 reps for the first 3 exercises, 40 swings (20 per side) and 5 knee ups. When it gets easy, I add a little weight. i've increased twice now on most exercises.

I do that workout every time I go to the gym unless I'm really sore. I've been averaging 5-6 times/week.

On days that I don't feel like deadlifting I do TGUs. I do that once or twice/week.

Thursday & Friday I took off from the gym since my daughter was going through a hard time.

Saturday, I was at the Halifax YMCA with my son. When we got to the swings, he suggested DB snatches as the Y doesn'thave KBs. I did 5 at 50, 55, 60 then skipped to 70 since the 65s were busy. I got the 5 reps in each side but I irritated my right shoulder so I stopped. While waiting for my son, I picked up the 90 lb weight he was using and did a TGU with my right side and sat up with it on my left. That's 10# better than my previous PR.

Sunday, Dartmouth YMCA, my son went swimming, I did deadlifts, push presses and chin ups. (Bonus: I was told to not slam the weights)

Monday, back at my regular gym, Just did TGUs, singels each side 35, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 and 85. New both side PR.

I'll do deadlifts, etc again tomorrow.

Re: Stu Ward's Progress

Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:46 am
by stuward
Yesterday I put the weight up on deadlifts to 245. No problem. They weren't easy but I did them without injury and repeated it today. I tried to raise the push press to 125 but I miscounted and set it to 115. I thought they were easy. This morning I recognized my error and would up doing 2 sets at 115 followed by 2 at 125. I couldn't get the 5th rep up on the second set but I'm comfortable that 125 is where I should be. I tried to go to 20 on the pull ups but that didn't work to well so I went back to 10.

My rubber bands came in today. I bought 3 sizes, mini, average and large. The average were back ordered so I just got the other 2 sizes in this shipment. I played around with band pull aparts and Bret Contreras band face pulls. The mini bands are too light for those and the large are too strong. I also tried some band resisted overhead presses. Again, the minis were too light but I liked the effect.

I just added it up. In the last 25 days, I've done 50 sets of deadlifts, 250 reps.

Re: Stu Ward's Progress

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:07 am
by stuward
Today went well except for deadlifts. I got 3 in and stopped. My back said no. The push presses felt strong.

I'm going to deload tomorrow. Next week I'm in Toronto all week and finding a reasonably priced gym there is hard. I'll have a car so I'll probably search out some YMCAs. I might just take a break but I doubt it.

By the way, I don't recommend anyone training the way i'm doing it. It's a personal experiment and if I get it wrong, it will lead to overtraining and I'll get sick or injured. On the other hand, if I get it right I might become stronger.

Re: Stu Ward's Progress

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:35 am
by stuward
Today: TGU 1 rep each side at 35,50,55,60,65,70,75,80,85,90 lbs. New PR again. Robert, I can taste the Guiness.

Re: Stu Ward's Progress

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:52 pm
by stuward
Just got back from Toronto. I got in one workout at the downtown YMCA. very nice facility and helpful staff.

I just did a short light workout on Tuesday but it left me sore for a couple of days. I think the disrupted sleep from being on the road is affecting my recovery. I'll do a light workout tomorrow at my regular gym after a good nights sleep in my own bed.

Re: Stu Ward's Progress

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:45 am
by stuward
Went to the Halifax YMCA with my son yesterday. Did whole body with light weights. After his workout my son did a TGU with 110 lbs.

Today, back at my own gym, I did TGUs. Topped out at 95 lbs. Clean lift with right hand, couldn't control the descent with the left, so I'll try that again later before calling that a PR. My right shoulder is complaining slightly but it's not the same as my previous injury. My left elbow is complaining too. I feel like a whiner. I had a little bit of flu while I was in Toronto. I think It's affected my recovery.

Re: Stu Ward's Progress

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:54 pm
by stuward
Did 10 chin ups, bench up to 3x125, rows up to 5x165, and then I worked on pistols. First, a few high step ups, then weighted knee high step ups up to 5x60 lbs each side (2 x 30# dbs). Then I did pistols, several singles, first unweighted, then a 5#DB held in front and then a 10# Kb held in front. The KB ones were the easiest to keep balance on. The left side seemed weaker, no surprise. I would tend to tilt to one side as I went up. I didn't have that problem with the right leg. Then I did more step ups, 50# in one hand, 5 each leg, each side, total 20 reps. They were ugly by the end.