I've been feeling frustrated by my apparent lack of progress over the past few weeks, and I've been considering switching things up. I'm trying to decide between staying with my current program, switching to an "intermediate" program such as the Texas Method or Bill Starr's 5x5, or doing a ME Black Box Crossfit program. So, before making this decision, I decided I should take a look at the numbers so far.
A quick rundown:
Squat weight increased from 205 to a best of 225, but I failed to move up to 235 and am in the midst of a deload. Front Squat moved from 165 to 205, but once again, I'm currently deloading after failing spectacularly with 205 the workout after I first got it.
Bench Press has gone nowhere but down. My bests in workout weight (225) and volume were both achieved on day 1. I just worked through a deload to try to get back there, but haven't yet matched my first day totals. Sad. Overhead Press started at 125 and I actually made it to 135, but then hurt my back. Now I've worked back up to 130.
Deadlift has seen nice improvement, probably because I've never done it before. Started at 225 and can now rep 275. I even have done two triples of 325 thus far. Bent Over Barbell row has increased from 145 to 165, but form is still problematic and I may need to do a second deload to fix it.
Pullups and Dips have gone from bodyweight to successful 5x5's of 35 and 70 lbs, respectively. They seem to still be advancing, too, as I expect to best those weights by 5 pounds within the next week for Dips and 2 weeks for Pullups.
I'm frustrated by my progress on both kinds of Squats, Bench and Overhead Press, have been doing well on Deadlift, Pullups and Dips, and am still trying to find my groove on Bent Over Barbell Row. Physically, I think I look better than I did before starting this program. I didn't take pictures, but I'm pretty sure that I've added some size and definition.
But strength is what I'm going for, and I just haven't gotten the results I want. A working Squat of 225, Deadlift of 275, Bench of 220 and Overhead Press of 125 are ok, but not the results I was looking for. The Squat is particularly disappointing, though that's probably to be expected since I'd neglected my lower-body training for so long.
For now, what I'll do is hit this program as hard as humanly possible for two and a half more weeks. I'll try to blow through my deloads and push as hard as possible to get the weight up as much as I can on every single lift before Thanksgiving.
I also noticed, looking over my log, that I'm on the verge of falling back into the trap of giving myself a free pass for missing reps or not giving 100% intensity with the mindset that I can do more reps to make up for it. Fix that, go hard for two weeks, and re-evaluate at Thanksgiving.
A full breakout of the important numbers is below. "Work weight" refers to the amount of weight I have on the bar when doing my work sets. "Volume" refers to the total weight lifted for the workout (sets x reps x weight). "Best work weight" refers to the heaviest weight with which I completed a full 5 sets of 5. "Best volume" is just the highest single-day volume thus far.
Starting work weight: 205
Starting volume: 5125
Most recent work weight: 195 (deload)
Most recent volume: 4875
Best work weight: 225 (10-2-07)
Best volume: 5625 (10-2-07)
Starting work weight: 165
Starting volume: 4125
Most recent work weight: 175 (deload)
Most recent volume: 4375
Best work weight: 205 (10-25-07)
Best volume: 5125 (10-25-07)
Starting work weight: 225
Starting volume: 5625
Most recent work weight: 225
Most recent volume: 4275
Best work weight: 225 (9-10-07)
Best volume: 5625 (9-10-07)
Starting work weight: 125
Starting volume: 3125
Most recent work weight: 130
Most recent volume: 2730
Best work weight: 130 (9-25-07)
Best volume: 3250 (9-25-07)
Starting work weight: 225
Starting volume: 3375
Most recent work weight: 275
Most recent volume: 5475
Best work weight: 275 (11-1-07)
Best volume: 5475 (11-1-07)
Bent Over Barbell Row
Starting work weight: 145
Starting volume: 3625
Most recent work weight: 165
Most recent volume: 4125
Best work weight: 165 (11-2-07)
Best volume: 4125 (11-2-07)
Starting work weight: Bodyweight
Starting volume: 34 reps
Most recent work weight: 40
Most recent volume: 760
Best work weight: 35 (10-26-07)
Best volume: 875 (10-26-07)
Starting work weight: bodyweight
Starting volume: 57 reps
Most recent work weight: 75
Most recent volume: 1800
Best work weight: 70 (10-25-07)
Best volume: 1800 (11-2-07)