5/3/1 Day Uno–SO MANY REPS

Sorry for the gap in posts!  The last couple of weeks have been exciting and have laden me with different writing adventures that have kept me busy.  I’ve also been babying my knee–but enough of that silliness!

Today marked the first day of my new fitness adventure: Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program.  I am copying my husband hardcore, but he’s not complaining.  It’s billed as the best system for “raw strength”–intriguing, I say.  It’s all very testosteronified, and I was so enthusiastic about my foray into manliness that I OD’d on scotch Friday night and spent all the following day watching Mad Men (though I did have to avert my eyes nauseously a couple of times–that’s a lot more scotch…).  Now that my hedonism has hit such critical mass, it is time to return to health once again.

I’m doing the 5/3/1 “Boring But Big” track.  A week is composed of four days, with one major lift every day with assistance work.  The lifts are military press, squat, deadlift, and bench press.  Since my knees are a little iffy still, I’m skipping squat day this week and trying myself out with body-weight squats every day.

During marathon training, on my lift days I’d just lift heavy with a few warm ups.  5/3/1 has you lifting more reps lower than is intuitive.  I thought–hey, that doesn’t seem so hard.

I’ll go ahead and eat my words, because my arms are about to fall off.

Today was Military Press day–a lift that has seen me frozen at three sets of three 50 lb reps for months, feeling like a major weenie.  Wendler says if you do a lot of low-weight/high-rep, you’ll surprise yourself by your improvements later on.  The bar weighs 45 lbs so I had to improvise, lifting a dumb-bell over my head in press position trying not to emulate lifting Simba from The Lion King.

Not going for Circle-of-life here, friends..

This is roughly how it looked:

Warm up- 20 x 2 x 5, 30x2X5

5/3/1- 30 x 1 x 5, 40 x 1 x 5, 45 x 5

Drop sets–25 x 5 x 10 (it ended up being 26 instead of 25 because I had to resort to a kettlebell)

Big but Boring: Ring rows 5 x 10, Body-weight squats 5 x 10

On the “Big but Boring” bit, I was supposed to be doing chin-ups, but we have those great rings outside that I want to put to good use, plus there would be no reps to speak of on chin-ups because I simply don’t have that kind of strength yet.  Ring rows are close enough.

That kettlebell 26 x 5 x 10 almost made me cry–that I was not ready for.  And squats?  HOLY CRAP!  I am already sore.  I was already sore after two sets.  Forget delayed onset muscle soreness, how about immediate onset muscle soreness?  I may not say this tomorrow, but it’s a good thing I got back to this, because all that Colorado microbrew was starting to show.  When I start adding hill sprints to my next work-out, that’s going to disappear.

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