Strength Monday 6/17/2013


In my quest for lean superhero-ness, Dave and I are hitting the craptastic gym in our Converse to lift heavy stuff and work on skills a few times a week. (If you’re new to strength training, here’s a great overview of what all the lingo below means.)

Longtime readers know, for about 18 months or so, I’ve been using the Wendler 5/3/1 strength training program. It did a brilliant job of seeing me through my n=1 experiments and definitely increased my strength, but the way my body looks hasn’t changed the way I want it to. So in the interests of both science and vanity, I’m starting a new training program that I’ll tell you all about very soon.

While I wait for that new program to kick off, I’m reacquainting myself with the barbells and dumbbells, getting sweaty with workouts that combine a little heavy lifting with some higher-volume, lower-weight work. I’m also walking around the lake in the [insert every expletive you know here] heat of Austin. (Predicted high all week: 97F, or 36C for you cool, metric people.) Thanks to a new schedule at Yoga Yoga, starting tomorrow, I’ll be going to kundalini yoga four times per week… all of which should help with the uncomfortable but oh-so-necessary transitions I’m suffering enjoying dealing with right now.

Today, I spent an hour communing with the iron, and it did me ever-so-much good.

3:00 treadmill at 3.7 mph
5:00 jump rope: singles, fancy boxing footwork, double-unders practice
arm circles, shoulder work with PVC pipe


1st combo: 5X6 (that’s 5 rounds, 6 reps each exercise, rest :30 after each pair)
85# push press
chinups with wide band

2nd combo: 4X11 (that’s 4 rounds, 11 reps each exercise, rest :30 after each pair)
dumbbell bench press, 25# dbs
1-arm dumbbell row, 25# db

3rd combo: 3X11 (that’s 4 rounds, 11 reps each exercise, rest :30 after each trio)
dumbbell biceps curl, 10# dbs
lying dumbbell triceps extensions, 10# dbs
side lateral raise, 10# dbs


:30 side plank, L & R
:60 plank


Did you get sweaty today? Tell us all about it…

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  • Kelly says:

    Ooh can’t wait to hear what you’re going to do! I’ve been doing Wendler 5/3/1 as well and looking to change things up too.

  • Andrea D says:

    I have discovered the beauty of deadlifts!!! I love doing them, and they are such a challenge. I have been doing sets of sit ups and push ups between each round of deadlifts. It does a body good! yay!

  • Tom R. says:


  • Lydia says:

    Today is not my day to get sweaty. Today was yoga. But yesterday, oh yesterday!

    Met with my trainer, Andrew, and did lots of fun movements (including a combination dumbbell snatch and overhead lunge that killed me but worked every single part of my body from toes to fingers), and things that made me feel badass (like pulling a sled). I brought up the issue of The Rope again and Andrew suggested we see where I was. I wasn’t hoping for much, but I managed to hoist myself off the ground and got the rope wrapped halfway around my leg before Andrew mentioned that the rope needed to go the other way around my leg. Of course, by the time I got untangled and tried to re-wrap the opposite way, my shoulders were done. But hey! I spent several seconds off the ground. That felt amazing and empowering.

  • Diandra says:

    Wow, how do you make time for all of this? I try to get 30min of exercise per day (mostly running and moderate strength training), and if I am very lucky I make it to 45 without blowing my schedule. This morning I did a 33min run at 6:30, did housework and breakfast, and now I will be at the office until 6:00 P.M. with subsequent grocery shopping, balcony gardening, dinner and laundry – after which I will probably collapse without having touched the papers that desperately need sorting. And that is one of the more relaxed days…

  • Lori says:

    Hells yeah! A month of intermittent traveling and vacation food took its toll and I started a Whole30 today to get back on track. I had a great workout with my trainer to kick it off right. We did burpees, squats, punching/jab work, some abs, dumbbell presses, downward dog leg lifts, tricep work…he always changes it up for me every time and I never get bored.

    ps – I made Country Captain Chicken from Well Fed for dinner tonight. Oh my god! So delicious! And MUCH better than another version I’d tried before. Can’t wait for Well Fed 2!

  • Julia says:

    Hey Mel:
    Look forward to hearing about your new training program. Currently on my fifth cycle of Wendler but always looking to try new things.

    Got pretty sweaty at Crossfit yesterday. PR’d my front squat AND got my first unassisted pull-up this week!!

  • Kay Hart says:

    Living in Phoenix, in the summer it’s all about the 5:00am workouts. The nice thing is it’s quiet. Love the walk in the early morning.