Archive for September, 2014

Weight on the Bar

Posted: September 28, 2014 by Savvy Saver in Uncategorized


Hope everyone’s doing good. Updates have kinda dried up but I am still writing sporadically. I am still training 4 times a week with heavy weights and an iron will to be strong; the strongest I could be.

This happened recently when I was benching last week which apparently was deload week. The way deload works is, you train heavy for 3 weeks increasing the intensity (weights) and then take a light week. That’s how 5/3/1 works. So here I am benching 65 lbs on my first deload week set. And this big guy asks me, “When are you going to put some weight on the bar?” And that was the conception of this blog post.

Thinking back, I could have had a lot of witty responses for him like, “When are you going to start squatting deep like a real man?” or “When are you going to quit using your whole body kip to do pull ups?” However, without being impolite I told him that I was taking a deload week. He looked at me as if I had just committed a crime.

“So what was last week?” he asks.

“150 lbs” I reply.

“Is that your best?” he asks.

“No my best is 175 lbs” I say.

Here is the video of the 175 lbs bench.

See the guy spotting me? That’s the same guy.

Typically in gyms who would you go for advice? Definitely not the smallest guy right? You’d go to the biggest baddest dude you could set eyes on. And there is where you’d make the worst mistake of your life. Turns out, big isn’t necessarily strong. Granted this guy can put 405 on his back and do some sort of movement which I wouldn’t call a squat. However, if he does it correctly, I’d be willing to bet money that he wouldn’t be able to squat half that weight for more than 2 reps.

So does it really matter how much weight you put on the bar? Well it does matter, but what matters more is what are you doing with that weight. If your form is sub par and you’re just putting the weight on so that you can look cool in the gym, stop right there. Do yourself a favor and leave your ego out before entering the gym. This would benefit you twofold. One, it would make you a lot more humble and two, you wouldn’t ever hurt yourself while lifting. It’s called lifting hard but smart.

Another thing which a lot of people don’t give much importance to is tracking progress. Ask the lifter next to you how much he has achieved over the last year and you’d get blank faces. It is very important to make sure that your programming enables you to keep pushing your limits and making PR’s.

Over the two years that I have been lifting weights, I have noticed that a lot of people progress way faster than others. And that’s just another nuance of the nature of the human body. Everyone is different. I tried keeping up with Stronglifts 5X5 and was getting killed after a year on the program. So I decided to take it a little slow and agreed that I have not achieved a lot in the last year considering the big breaks I had to take from the gym. However, I am definitely stronger which I can gauge in various ways. For instance a year ago I couldn’t deadlift anything more than 225 lbs without reversing my grip. And just last week I did 270 lbs for 7 in which I got the first 4 reps without reversing my grip. I’d say that is a heck of an improvement in my book. My squats are stronger, my bench is stronger. The only place I am lagging behind considerably is my military press. It appears to have stalled out. However, through the intelligent programming of 5/3/1, I am sure I will break through this plateau soon. And to do just that I have decided to give bodyweight template of the 5/3/1 a chance. And we will see how it goes from there.

In other updates my squat has gone to a new PR of 215X6 which I am stoked about.

Signing off now. Will keep updating. Happy lifting!