It seems not a day goes by that not at least one person ask some 5thset related question. As of late, these issues have been about the "peak" phase of the method. So I figured I'd share inside look at 1. the 5thset style of peaking, and 2. how peaking affects me as I go through the 100% week (which is nine days also referred to as a microcycle).

Playing Chess

After competing at the Arnold (2017) Swede and I felt confident we worked out some of the kinks I was dealing with and felt we had the blueprint to chase that elusive 2300 lb total.

Under Pressure

With the meet picked out (July 22nd) we got to work. Along the way, many things outside of my typical training comfort zone started popping up. I was traveling a lot which had a direct effect on my sleep schedule, diet, and hydration.

There was a decent amount of buzz after the Arnold about me "taking 2300 no problem". Swede announced the 2nd edition to 5thset, and with that came interviews (table talk) in which the mystical 2300 number was mentioned, it became a theme all around. J.p. Carroll became associated with that number 2300 2300 2300.  

Fuck man I've never been a guy to toss numbers out, maybe I'd talk openers close to a meet but never would I call my total let alone call it a lock. My top squat of peaking was 925, again traveling, added on top of that I was at the elitefts "UGSS." A hot day in a room full of strangers, photographer's, flashes, interviews, and no real system for everyone to train together.

The combination of all these things has brought a pressure I've yet to feel while competing. What if I fuck it up, does that make Swede look bad- does that make his book look bad? Does elitefts take a hit because they support and backed the 2300 agenda?  My team, although it's a motley crew, they look up to me to lead by example.

Contrary to some people believes, I have a life outside of this, which those added stresses I don't mention publicly because my personal life will always be private. So like so many times before I have to revert to one great trait I have FUCK IT.

The Squat 

As I stated above my top squat (925) was taken at the elitefts "UGSS" this being my first one (attending) I didn't know what to expect. It was a hot day, and the gym was packed with people I knew of, but not necessarily knew. My "son" drove out 5 hours to wraps my knees, and in case he had some issues making it out Chris Anto had been in my city previously, and we worked on a backup plan. I jumped on a rack with  Mario D'Amico, Bryan Doberdruk, and a few others.

Everything went well; this was my 100% week- so the previous week I took 860, and it moved very well. The 925 if I have to be honest with myself was a tad high, we decided at the last minute to add an extra revolution on the wraps, and it gave me to much-stopping power hindering me from reaching depth. Overall I was happy with how the session went. A small hiccup on the wraps is better in training than on the platform.

860 from the 90% week previous shown, due to the "UGSS" I forgot to get video.

The Bench

The bench is one of the main reason I decided to work with Swede. I tore my pec and knew he had come back from some bench related issues, and after a lengthy conversation on the phone, we started working together. One of the first things I noticed about 5thset was the amount of volume was WAY more than I'd ever done, and I grew quickly.

I was responding to the hypertrophy, with that my bench started skyrocketing and most importantly I was staying healthy. My 100% day ended up being a very fast and snappy 585 which as soon as I racked it I called for 600.

That thought was quickly put to the wayside by Swede, sometimes we don't agree on things, but he hasn't given me a reason not to trust the method, so I called it a night.

The Deadlift 

I think most people appreciate the simplicity of the deadlift; now I'm not talking technically because the deadlift is a bitch if you get even slightly out of the groove. I mean the fact you don't need spotters or and special equipment you load a bar with plates and pull it off the ground, primal, sexy.

If you've followed me for some time, you'll know my deadlift used to be a pile of white dog shit. I'm not claiming to be king deadlift, but I feel I have a respectable pull these days. It's the one lift I can let my emotions, and or adrenaline rip, as opposed to squat and bench where I have to keep my mind "ice-cold" and think.

When it comes to deads- I get a few attempts to go to that place, it's a fucked up place - but it's a place I don't mind. I ended up taking 805, and like most things programmed out for me it was snappy and just fast as fuck.

Drugs  (or lack thereof)

Gasp, yeah yeah yeah act like you didn't already know, and if you didn't know, I'm sorry I'll be 37 in 3 days from when I wrote this, so it's not like a recreational drug you use for fun. It's more like duct tape and zip ties holding a contraption together.

I ran my whole peaking cycle which consisted of five weeks (9 day weeks) with no orals. This protocol will be my second time doing this, and if all goes according to the plan, I will stick with this.

Week one 80% following a 6-week mesocycle with no deload-straight into the frying pan.

Week two 90%

Week three 100%

Week four 90%

Week five 80% the week we like to call the 80% death march.

The Meat and Potatoes 

Over the course of peaking, I had two-lifetime PR's one in bench with the 585 - my best previous being a 570. The other being my 805 deadlift - my best previous was an 800, the 5 pounds may be misleading, but the speed on my 805 made my 800 looks stupid slow.

I didn't blast my lifetime PR's on FB or IG; I feel the term "PR" is used for just about every and anything nowadays. I don't like hitting them (PR's) in the gym anymore either, but when you see the videos you'll know, I have plenty left in the tank it just so happened that my training called for numbers that were better than my previous best. 5thset works, no doubt about it.

Swede has a great way of taking a scientific approach and adding a bunch of swear words to help me understand what the hell is going on.

All jokes aside he hasn't only helped prepare for meets, he has also taught me why I'm doing what I'm doing. He is a smart motherfucker, and I'm lucky enough to have him pass on his knowledge allowing me to utilize that, and continue to build my total. #5thset