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Training Log (Public) Surovetsky (Push/Pull)

Day 4 week 2

Warmup

Bench
Bar x 5, 135 x 5, 175x 3, 200 x 1, 215 x 4(fail 5th)

Well it happened today. I missed a rep, which I haven't done in a very long time. The session was a bit of a downer, because the 4th rep didn't seem that hard at all. But my arms, for some reason, kept bumping into the safeties, which has never happened. They may have been raised into a higher position then normal, but I normally don't use them. This tells me I must be flaring earlier with heavier reps. @15 x 4 was my best at then end of the bear, so I haven't improved my 5 rep max, which is a bit disheartening. But I will commence the ladders with 210 next week and take tomorrow off.

Hasn't it only been a short while since you did the bear and your bench 5RM? Maybe it takes a bit more time. And we all have our off days.
 
Yes @Antti only a couple weeks. I am feeling tired too, and it's only the beginning of this phase so I must be patient. My bench has been a great source of frustration in the years, so I'm just urgent to see improvement. Thanks for the encouragement!
 
Day 1 Week 3 (Rite of Pickles)

Warmup

Bench Ladders
Bar x 5, 135 x 5, 185 x 3

210 x (1,2,3) (1,2)

Pullups
3 x 5

Swings
73 K.B.
10, 20, 2o, 15 (65)

Stretch

Ladders felt strong. Back was very tight after a few days off. Slowed my descent, focused on tightness and a slight pause. Feels a lot stronger but slower. Stopped the ladders at 9 total reps, which is pretty good for a 5 rm. Left a bit in the tank so I can continue to add reps. May just add 1 and then 2 for the ladders, as opposed to always feeling I need to end each ladder with a triple. Felt strong.

 
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Day 2 Week 3 Pickle

Warmup/Mobility

Bench
Many sets to get technique dialed

225 x 1,
210 x 1,2,3...1,2,3...1,2 (15 reps)

Conventional Deadlift
135 x 5, 225 x 5, 315 x 3, 365 x 1
315 x 5 reps x 2

A1) Incline rows 30 lbs x 15,15,15
A2) Tri Ext 65 x 15,15,12
A3) Single Leg Split Squat BW 15,15,15

Went a little off the grid today. Decided to do a little more technique polishing in the bench warmup. Did an over warmup and hit a 225 before the ladders. Feel it's good to continue some heavy singles to practice the heavier weights, and get the volume on the ladders. Deadlift has been rough lately. Pulled conventional today, and at the last single at 365, decided not to up the weight. I feel my deadlift hasn't improved for a couple of reasons.
1)Lack of volume and practice
2) Lack of squatting
When I was squatting my deads were jumping up. Now, without it, it has clearly affected the progress of my dead. Not only in leg strength, but in hip mobility. I will reincorporate squats in this program. I also hit some light assistance. I've gotten stiff from the overuse of the these two lifts. Accessory work is to get a light pump, and strengthen up weak areas. Happy my bench is going well though!



 
I agree with squatting and deadlift progress. I don't squat heavy due to knee issues but I did add it back in. Instead of deadlifting every other day like Vodka and Pickeles has us do I am alternating days of squatting and deads. After a few sessions my deadlift feels better. It could be the added rest but I think the squat addresses weak issues I have.
 
I agree with squatting and deadlift progress. I don't squat heavy due to knee issues but I did add it back in. Instead of deadlifting every other day like Vodka and Pickeles has us do I am alternating days of squatting and deads. After a few sessions my deadlift feels better. It could be the added rest but I think the squat addresses weak issues I have.


Yes, that is how I plan to incorporate them into this program as well. With the deadlifts on Wednesday, I will back squat on Monday and Front squat on Friday. I also had some knee issues, which is why I haven't been squatting but my health has improved. Yes, I find leg and hip strength extremely important for driving off the ground. Many people say the quads don't offer anything to the deadlift but I believe in order to maximize your pull, they at least have to be strong enough for the hamstrings and glutes to "spring" up off of. If they're not up to par, your hips will rise and you will literally pull the bar up, rounded like a camel most likely. @ShawnM what stance is your strongest pull from? When I switched to a medium stance sumo, I noticed I was mimicking about where my strongest squat stance was. I have long arms and legs, and conventional wisdom has stated that conventional deadlift is what favors these levers, however I've always found it hard to get a good leg drive in a conventional pull.
 
Day 3 Week 3

Warmup

Bench Ladders

Bar x 5, 135 x 5, 185 x 3, 210 x 2, 235 x 1

215
(1,2,3) x 2

Spoto Press (right above chest)
185 x 5 x 2 sets

FS: 135 x 5 x 3 sets

Circuit (2 rounds)
One arm landmine row 70 lbs- 15,15
SIngle Leg rdl 2x 35 K.B. 12,12
Incline Curl 25 -10,8

A bit tired as I got no sleep Wednesday night (literally 0 minutes) but felt fine at the gym. I've enjoyed the accessory work. Did another over warmup with 235 for bench. Moving up the single a bit, just to get an idea of where to start my countdown cycle. Only two ladders today but bench felt perfectly fine. Just tired from work and decided not to push it. Could've but waviness is fine for me, I do not need to always add more reps. Just nudging it along. Did some spoto presses after the main bench sets. Performed these with flat feet (my weaker bench stance). I do this because I feel my bottom is undertrained because I have such an aggressive leg drive. My bench is like my deadlift: If I break those first 5 inches, I'm home free. Training underneath that point gives me a little more pep out of the bottom. Did front squats today. Very light because it's my first time since my knee injury. Felt good. First set was hard but not heavy. Just readjusting to the movement. Once again. easing these back in. Rest of the circuit was all light pump. Really like the single leg deadlift!

235


Spoto Presses
 
Day 1 Week 4

Warmup

Bench Press
Bar x 5, 135 x 5, 185 x 3, 205 x 2, 225 x 2
Ladders
210 lbs.
1,2,3 x 3 Sets (18 total reps)

HB Squat
135 x 5, 225 x 5
185 x 5,5 (Paused)

3 rounds
Pullups (Hammer Grip) 10,8,4
BTN Press 75 lbs - 15,12,10
Single Leg Back Extension- 12,12, 20 (Last set w/ Both legs)

Bench Press felt very solid. Could've maybe done another ladder, but held back. The 225 double over warmup was solid. Did squats again for the first time in months (before starting this blog). Probably should've taken another warmup as I haven't performed the lift in a while but it felt very good. No knee pain, but still need more practice. I also thought I went way deeper than I did.... Decided on High Bar to not overwork my hips before deadlift day. So it goes, Monday-Knee Dominant main lift(HB squat and hip accessory, Wednesday-deadlift (hip dominant and knee accessory B.S.S) and Friday-Front Squat (knee dominant and Hip accessory single leg RDL). Accessory lifts gave a nice pump, especially in the upper back with the pullups and BTN press back to back. These are nice to open the chest up and work all the deltoid/upper/mid back area. So whatever I train for main lifts, the accessories that day will hit the antagonist or supporting but de-emphasize the main muscles used in the main lifts.



 
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Day 2 Week 4

Bench
Bar x 5, 135 x 5, 185 x 3, 205 x 1, 225 x 1

210 x 1,2,3 (1 ladder)

Deadlift
135 x 5, 225 x 3, 315 x 1, 365 x 1

Deficit Sumo 275 x 5 x 2

2 Rounds
Chest supported Rows 35 D.Bells - 15,15
Tricep Ext 65 lbw- 12,12
B.S.S.- 15, 15

Was a bit tired today. Just did one ladder on bench, as I'm fatigued and had a pretty high volume day for bench on Monday, where I achieved 3 ladders. Legs were sore, but all the warmup sets for deads felt very strong and I thought I had it dialed in until 365 just felt too heavy to do anything more. I think of gone to high on my DL intensity and need to back down and do more volume at a lower intensity. This is what I did on 5/3/1 and helped me get to 405 originally, never even lifting above 345. Plus, all the leg work is still new and my thighs, hammies and glutes have been trashed. Now that I'm squatting, might back down the extra accessory stuff to just A pull type move like chins and Rows.

 
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Day 3 Week 4

Warmup

Bench Press
Bar x 5, 135 x 5, 175 x 3, 205 x 3, 225 x 5

210 Ladders
(1,2,3) x 2

Spoto Press (Long Pause right off chest)
185 x 5 x 2 sets

Front Squat
Bar x 5, 135 x 5, 155 x 5, 165 x5

2 Rounds (assistance)
Single Arm Rows 70 x 15,15
Single Leg DL (2 25 K.B's)- 12,12
Incline Curls-20 x 12,12

Nice little session. Felt a bit tired as it is end of the week, but everything felt. Last day of ladders, and I completed 2 which is solid. The weekly volume for the ladders was Mon-100% Wed 30% and Friday 60%. Definitely felt they are adding in solid volume. I've decided to change the next phase. I will perform the countdown method (5,4,3,2,1) ascending sets in Bench from BB. This is 3 days a week, and I will perform the first heavy single at a conservative 215 lbs. SO cycling back, but it climbs very quickly (5 lbs a day). Also I will do Charles Staley's Bad A$$ Deadlift program from T-nation, which is a one day a week for deadlifts, similar to what I do now, but with a much lower load and more emphasis on training the bottom end, and getting volume. Week 1 is Sadiv sets (20 singles with 15 seconds rest in between with 60%). The following week is 2 sets of 5 of halting deadlifts at 70 %.Week 3 is a rep PR and back to cycle's beginning. In viewing my previous cycle, 355 went up rather easily, then all the sudden 375 was tough for only 3. Then 365 has felt heavy. I believe this is because of intensity and lack of volume. This will allow me time to also get my squat stronger, and give my deadlift some breathing room to grow, while training the weakest portion, off the floor. Did very long pauses for Spoto Presses and really felt it. May change the end of week assistance for next cycle. Front squats are still light but feeling really good. No knee issues. Finished with the usual assistance and stretches.



 
Day 1 Week 5

First Day of Countdown

Warmup

Bench
Bar x 5, 135 x 5

175 x 5
185 x 4
195 x 3
205 x 2
215 x1

HB Squat
135 x 5, 185 x 3

235 x 5, 195 x 5 x 2 sets (paused)

3 rounds
Pullups 8,8,6
BTN Press 75 lbs-16,16,16
Back Ext w/ 45 plate- 12,12,12

Feeling a bit tired after the weekend. Started at a conservative 215 for top set of countdown bench. Add 5 lbs a day, so it goes up quick. Felt fine, wasn't all that enthusiastic because work was stress mess today. Squats wee good. High bar feels odd on my back sometimes. I'm not sure if I have the proper position for it to be called a high bar squat, may be more accurately called a hybrid bar squat. Hit the accessories, and went home. I'll probably lower accessory volume as I get closer to testing my lifts, which will occur the week before Christmas. I'll probably do a rep max as opposed to 1 rm for the deadlift.

 
Day 2 Week 5

Bench
Bar x 5, 135 x 5

Countdown sets
180 x 5, 190 x 4, 200 x 3, 210 x 2, 220 x 1

Deadlift on 3 in Platform (Sadiv Sets)
245 x 1 x 20 sets in 6:13

D-bell Rows 35 lbs-15,15,12

Stretching

Been tired lately. Blame the volume on assistance lifts and I haven't been eating enough to sustain. Dropping assistance to one back exercise for a few sets. Bench felt hard. I think the BTN press sets have an effect on bench sessions. Monday always feels like I'm filled with vigor and energy but the subsequent days, I'm drained. So I think I've done too much. Plus, with the addition of squatting, I didn't need to add too much other stuff so soon. I'll drop it down to the one upper pull and call it day. Bench was feeling funky, but it's odd how when it gets heavier, I feel better. The platform Sadiv Deadlifts weren't too bad, but my glutes were scorched and my knee was feeling it a little. The platform setup for sumo is a little awkward too, because of the stance width, it's difficult to get the mats setup without the plates interfering, so I turned one stack sideways, which gave me a very narrow platform that I had to keep re-adjusting throughout. May stand on plates next time. Hit some rows, stretched and left.
 
Day 3 Week 5

Bench Bar x 5, 135 x 5

Countdown sets

185 x 5, 195 x 4, 205 x 3, 215 x 2, 225 x 1

Front Squats- 95 x 3, 135 x 3
185 x 5 x 2 sets

Seated D-Bell cleans
15 lbs-15,15,12

Felt much fresher today. Laying off the assistance work has definitely helped as well as backing down my deadlift intensity. Bench feels a little tough, mostly because I haven't deloaded in a while plus I think the shoulder work on Monday has had residual effects. The sets are odd because 185 seems kind of off, 195 felt better 205 felt heavy and 215 felt really solid. I didn't feel quite warmed up until that 215 set. 225 was fine. Maybe, more warmup on bench now. Front squats felt very strong as well. Wrapped up with some light d-bell cleans for the upper back and stretched and went home.

 
Day 1 Week 6

Warmup

Bench Countdown

Bar x 5, 135 x 5, 165 x 3

190 x 5, 200x 4, 210 x 3, 220 x 2, 230 x 1

High Bar Squat
Bar x 5, 135 x 5, 185 x 3, 225 x 1
245 x 5

Pullups
10, 8, 6

Been feeling a little tight around the shoulders, especially on the bottom of the bench. Seems to feel better as the weight gets heavier, but I'd like to find a way to loosen this up as I progress. I've been benching for a while with no de-load, so that may be due soon, which would be appropriate when I test a maximum lift. Sets all feel different as far as difficulty level. High bar squat was ok but I lost my balance a bit on the last rep and it was a little scary. Pullups have always been strange for me. My endurance on them is quite poor, and I can hit 12 on the first set and maybe just get half of that the next set. They also seem easier to do when loaded heavier for some reason.

 
Have you always done squats so that you look down on your way down and lift your head when going up? Or have you trained the habit based on some rationale?

It's an interesting subject. I find I do better both in squat and deadlift when I fix my gaze quite high. It appears different coaches teach it differently. And I think some like to mix the two like you, I think Pavel wrote about a deadlifter who looked down as he broke the bar from the floor and then looked up as he was nearing lockout.
 
Have you always done squats so that you look down on your way down and lift your head when going up? Or have you trained the habit based on some rationale?

It's an interesting subject. I find I do better both in squat and deadlift when I fix my gaze quite high. It appears different coaches teach it differently. And I think some like to mix the two like you, I think Pavel wrote about a deadlifter who looked down as he broke the bar from the floor and then looked up as he was nearing lockout.

I started squatting via The Starting Strength Method. I don't recall how I squatted prior to learning that way, as I wasn't seriously squatting before that. This way seems the best for me for some reason. I think I lifted my head very high before Starting Strength style actually.
 
Day 2 Week 6

Warmup

Bench Press
Bar x 5, 135 x 5, 170 x 3

195 x 5, 205 x 4, 215 x 3, 225 x 2, 235 x 1

Sumo Deadlift
135 x 3, 225 x 3

Halting Deadlift
275 x 5 x 2 sets

Rows 3 x 20

Good little session. Forgot, I'm not supposed to pause the halting deadlift but did so on the first reps. No biggie.

 
I've been taking a break from the iron a bit the last week. I feel, I've spent too much time in Yang and have felt really beat. I've all ready noticed a shift in energy from my break to being nearly rejuvenated, however, I am taking it easy and enjoying a little time from the Barbell. This doesn't mean I have not been active, however. I have taken to other forms of physical training to improve health/mind/quality of life/energy levels. Light yoga/flow based moves like Hindu Pushups/Cossack Squats/Bridges and similar flow movements to improve movement quality and joint restoration have been my focus. I took a nice quiet walk in a nature reserve today, despite the bad smoke ridden California air, in an effort(less) attempt to redirect my energy levels from what the Japanese call "Karoshi" by partaking in shinrin-yoku", a concept I became aware of from T-Nation. I walked slowly, listening to the birds and sound of water and observed a pack of Blue Heron who were happily exploring the terrain. I followed it with a walk in the park where I did my flow/yoga movements and a light jog. Felt very refreshing. I still plan on deadlifting on Wednesday. But I've put benching on hold as my shoulders have felt a little beat up lately.
 
What kind of recovery/restoration protocol have you been running alongside your barbell lifting so far?
 
What kind of recovery/restoration protocol have you been running alongside your barbell lifting so far?

Up until recently, not much. I think I went too deep into intensity/volume/frequency for too long that the best protocol is a complete rest from the barbell for a week. At the point I reached, any additional exercise was not feeling restorative, but merely more work. I have since included walking/yoga and bodyweight therapy. That coupled with the layoff from the barbell has all ready had a profound effect on my energy/mood. I will deadlift tomorrow, however, but will layoff heavy benching or any other movements with the barbell for a few weeks. I plan to test my bench press max in about 3 weeks, in which leading up to it I will perform Pavel's last minute peaking cycle for two weeks prior to testing. From DeLorme, to the Bear, to the ladder/PTTP routine, I've had no deloads or weeks off. This is about 3 months of work.I think I've put in enough heavy work, and my body needs this break. I have, however, been doing light calisthenic work at home, mainly for restorative measures and it has been working. This includes BW Squats/Pushups/Chinups and a yoga/flow/walking routine. I started the Health ROutine Forum post in the BW forum regarding this matter and am happy to say I have received a lot of very good input here at SF.
 
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