Strength Monday & Friday (w/ Bonus Musical)

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In my quest for lean superhero-ness, I’m following the Wendler 5/3/1 strength training program. Twice a week, Dave and I are hitting the craptastic gym in our Converse to lift heavy and crank through a mini-metcon.

It’s De-Load Week, It’s Delicious, It’s De-Lovely

It was our week four of the Wendler 5/3/1 program, which means deload week! Hooray!

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, “deload week” means that we lift light weights to give our bodies a chance to recover and get stronger before we hit it hard next week — with increased weight — during week one of a new cycle. Whew! (Mark Sisson wrote kickass post on the philosophy and merits of deloading; read it right here.)

As much as I love lifting up heavy stuff and putting it back down again, I equally love deload week. It makes me feel like singing. Specifically, it makes me feel like singing Cole Porter. I invite you to take a few minutes to delight in the delightful “It’s De-Lovely” video below; the singing starts at 3:50 if you’re impatient (but if you skip ahead, you miss some damn cute flirting, courtesy of Donald O’Connor.) (Also worth noting: Mitzi Gaynor’s waist! So tiny! Those are some serious foundation garments!)

So yeah, deload week is delightful… until you throw in some challenging metcons to take up the slack, and then it’s practically diabolical.

5:00 treadmill: started at 3mph and increased speed every minute til I was jogging

2 rounds, PVC pip:
11 jumping jacks
11 air squats
11 rotations
11 good mornings
11 overhead press
hip mobility


2 X 5 @ 40% of max =75#
2 X 5 @ 50% of max = 95#
1 X 5  @ 60% of max = 115#
max reps (or until I get bored)  @ 60% of max = 115# – I did 13.

Overhead Press:
2 X 5 @ 40% of max =45#
2 X 5 @ 50% of max = 50#
1 X 5  @ 60% of max = 55#
max reps (or until I get bored)  @ 60% of max = 55# – I did 13.


For time:
deadlift, 95#
My time: 9:17
The last time I did this metcon, my time was 9:32.

2 X 5 deadhang pullups with a band
handstand holds at the wall


Back squat:
2 X 5 @ 40% of max =60#
2 X 5 @ 50% of max = 80#
2 X 5  @ 60% of max = 90# (I forgot to do max reps… oops.)

Bench Press:
2 X 5 @ 40% of max =50#
2 X 5 @ 50% of max = 60#
1 X 5  @ 60% of max = 70#
max reps (or until I get bored)  @ 60% of max = 70# – I did 13.


For time:
100 jump rope singles
25 wall ball, 10#
75 jump rope singles
25 wall ball, 10#
50 jump rope singles
25 wall ball, 10#
My time: 6:20

2 X 5 deadhang pullups with a band
No time for handstands on Friday because I went straight from the craptastic to Kundalini yoga!

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5 Responses to “Strength Monday & Friday (w/ Bonus Musical)”

  1. NJ Paleo says:

    Isn’t the Wendler 5/3/1 program great? I have a love-hate relationship with deload weeks. I know they’re necessary physically for recovery but mentally I feel like, oh no, I’m not working hard enough…. Looks like you had some great metcons too!

  2. Brittany says:

    Hmm, I thought that you specifically weren’t supposed to lift max reps on the last set during deload week. What’s the word on that?

    • Mel says:

      You’re right. The deload week is designed to be low weight and low reps — but we did max reps at the relatively low weight of 60% of our max for fun. ‘Cause we felt like it.

      Plus, there’s some evidence that for women in particular, doing more reps at low weight has some benefits, so I felt like playing around.

      • Brittany says:

        Fun! And thanks for giving me the low-down! One more weight-related dumb question, if I may: how do you determine that something is a PR? Is it max weight x highest number of reps x great form? I thought I knew, but I get confused. And don’t even throw the term “1 RM” in the mix. Thanks, Mel!

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