Testing week – day 1

It has been a while since I posted.

Last night was a test for 1RM Back Squat, followed by a 1km row.

Managed a good 160kg and then 3:18 – not bad after a day travelling to London and back, with 8 hours of sitting. I didn’t ring the PB bell but the squat is only 5kg below my best and I haven’t done many back squats for a while.

Looking forward to the rest of the week.


Been a while…

Not been updating my blog much this year but pleased to say I have been training.

There continues to be a great buzz at HG3 and Pete has started programming more sessions, including some 531 for strength.

I have regularly done 3 or 4 sessions a week and have dropped 8kg – weighed 99.6kg this morning. Lost several inches around my waist.

Had a pretty dismal February but bought a new car in March, which has been a joy.

Just right for going to the gym with one of the kids and room in the boot for my kitbag.

I accept that I am now officially middle-aged…


Time under tension – been doing lots of this recently, not just at HG3 but also the Romwod. Some days I have greater DOMS after a stretching session than a workout.

Feeling much better this week after the regular morning stretches. Also been reflecting on some past figures when I started at HG3.

Back squats 5 rep max from 80 to 90kg, then 100kg a few years ago. Managed 6 reps at 152.5kg on Monday and I know there is more to come. 

I still remember the night we first did a max deadlift – when Bob and I did 187kg.

On Friday I did 8 reps with 197.5kg.

So I still can’t do multiple double unders and nowhere near a muscle up.

Next year…

End of the cycle

Just finished week 3 of the third cycle.

I’ll skip the deload week and start back on the normal WoDs after a rest day.

When I started my benchmark 1RMs were 165kg Back Squat, 120kg Bench Press, 210kg Deadlift and 86kg Strict Press.

My predicted 1RMs (top line) have jumped significantly and I am well above the end of cycle targets (bottom line) on 3 of the 4 exercises. I have loved the focus of the last working set and the incentive of beating your PR. Whilst I am not na├»ve enough to believe that all of the predicted 1RMs are achievable today, I do believe that I am much stronger now.

12 reps at 160kg deadlift in June to 14 reps at 175kg (and 8 reps with 190kg), with squats going from 10 reps at 125kg to 7 reps at 150kg, is proof enough for me.

I have ached much less and have not needed to spend ages on a warmup, so workouts are quicker – with the occasional opportunity to do a WoD at the end with the rest of the class.

Thanks to everyone who spotted me and pushed me along.

Lessons Learned

Increasing weight incrementally is the best way to allow your mind to believe that you can lift more than before. Once you believe it happens.

Make sure all sets are with good form, including the warmups and ‘Boring but Big’. I set up the same for 60kg as I did for 190kg with the deadlifts and I have never had a single back ache.

Eat well and consider a supplement or two. I added BCAAs to my usual post workout Protein Shake and I am convinced this helped me to recover and gave me more energy.

I always did an extra rep or two with some encouragement. Find an enthusiastic spotter!

Getting stronger is relatively simple but not easy. Focus and commit.

Age is not a barrier to getting stronger. It might take longer but it can be done.
Last week I was having my usual leg stretch at teabreak time at work and became aware of the slight aching across my body. My arms, chest, legs and back. It wasn’t a bad aching, it was a good aching and it made me feel strong. If felt good.

Looking forward to using my new found strength in the main classes again but I will be keeping up a couple of heavy sets per week. I’ll be discussing this with Pete and Rudds.

531 is not the only strength programme out there but it worked for me and I am sure I will come back to it. The coaches at HG3 have a wealth of knowledge and experience – so ask them!

Coming to the end

‘Deadlift Friday’ last night and pulled 8 reps with 190kg as my last working set.

Zero back ache and no ‘cat wrenching’.

Just bench press and back squats to go.

Looking forward to mixing in again with the classes but I will keep up some heavy stuff too.

Definitely enjoying it…