A Break-In Week

Trying out my new conjugate approach this week, just kind of getting a feel for the training.  Went great!

Saturday: ME Lower, Back & Biceps
Great but super long day today.  It was my first time using knee wraps on the Yoke Bar, and so I knew I’d start out with a PR there, but 655 moved faster than I’d expected.  The most I’ve ever had on that bar is 620.  I do think the deadlift bar at my gym is a little messed up, because after a grinding single with 655 I switched to a beat-up old power bar and smashed 675x5 from a deficit.  I’ll stick with the power bar until the DL bar gets fixed.

Yoke Bar squat
Add wraps
655x1 (PR)

Deficit deadlift with power bar

Seated row
Concentration curl
Reverse curl with Fat Gripz

A video posted by Ben Pollack (@phdeadlift) on

Tuesday: ME Upper, Chest & Triceps
One of my biggest reasons for moving to a conjugate-style program is the shoulder pain I’ve been having recently.  It’s not bad, but it makes it difficult for me to keep a good groove on the flat bench.  Incline was no problem, and it was a little tight on floor press but not enough to mess with anything.  I’m really working on activating my chest better in the bench, because right now I rely on my lats almost too much, and bench is such a big weakness for me that something needs to change.

Incline bench press
340x1 (PR)

Floor press

Hammer Strength wide chest press
Machine incline press
Cable Crossover superset with machine flat press
One-arm dumbbell extension

Wednesday: RE Lower, Quads
Just a lighter day today.  The light bands on squat don’t add much at the top, but they’re a nice cue to keep pushing hard throughout the whole motion and help me to keep a straight bar path.

Squat with light bands

Walking lunge
Leg press
Weighted wall sit with kettlebell

Friday: RE Upper, Shoulders & Calves
Shoulder is healing up but still not quite there, so I kept it super light on bench.  Last set felt good though.  Shoulders, especially rear delts, are coming along nicely, and I found out today that I love behind-the-neck presses.  Presses from the front have always hurt my shoulder, but behind the neck felt strong and stable.  Worked up to a few sets of 8 at 155, which isn’t much but also isn’t bad for my first time.  I’d like to take these to 225 for reps by the end of the year.

Bench Press

Seated row for rear delts
Front raise with pulley
Seated behind-the-neck-press
Smith machine upright row
Standing calf raise

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