Assessment of last cycle. Got a little more consistent, but a mild yet persistent tightness in my upper back while doing the Overhead Press hindered progress. Finally, I deloaded in the last few weeks until the OP started to feel easy and relaxed. All the other lifts felt fine, so that's good. The walks with the pup continue to be a great addition to my routine. I never really considered walking to be exercise, certainly not 'training,' but with the excuse of having to walk the pup, I don't feel too embarrassed about it. And it's a great way to spend more time chatting with the kids, and the walking helps maintain my barefoot credentials for this site. Apparently, walking is good for the brain too: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeand...lking-makes-us-healthier-happier-and-brainier Goals for the cycle. I will continue to microload from my deloaded loads, and focus on building up work capacity and getting in all six lifts within 45-60 minutes. Continuing from last cycle, I begin with a 218-pound 3RM Squat: I'm essentially starting over with what could be considered my set 'Cycle I'.The chart was supposed to be a simple reference for microloading using my Iron Ratio and System of Percentages, but because I've structured it as four weeks across, three sessions per week, it coincides with pretty well with the eight-week cycles that Abide and I have established. So it's kind of hard not to see twelve rows together as one of our training cycles. The first workout set off in yellow is a Powerlifting total of 1000 pounds for their three lifts: Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift. Then the second workout set off in yellow indicates my long-standing goal of getting to a 350 1RM Squat and a 405 1RM Deadlift. Anyhow, if it starts to get too easy, I might jump up in bigger increments, but right now I'll continue adding 1 pound per session to the Squat 1RM and then follow my chart's Iron Ratio and System of Percentages to determine the other loads. So by the end of this cycle I should be at around a 240-pound 3RM Squat, which is how I started last cycle, so I'm kind of taking one step back in order to take more steps forward in the coming cycles. And hopefully, with a less challenging lifting regimen, I'll be able to get a bit better at the aerobic/conditioning component. I'll continue to walk the pup of course, but I still have to get more serious about conditioning, either with the machines or sled or medicine balls. And I should try to get in at least one weekly bike ride, but I'm a bit hesitant to get back on the trails while Covid continues to circulate. ---------------Week 1: Cycle V--------------- Sunday, 20.08.09 -Afternoon- Aerobic 6.5 bike ride to brother's house to and fro with kids. Very humid! Monday, 20.08.10 -Afternoon- Lifting: Push & Pull SQ: 3 x 3 @ 225 OP: 3 x 3 @ 113 DL: 3 x 3 @ 275 PD: 3 x 3 @ 170 RW: 3 x 3 @ 155 BP: 3 x 3 @ 170 Well, I tried Pavel's "Rule of Ten," and I liked the rhythm of it. May have to revise the plan for this cycle already . . . -Evening- Aerobic 1 mi walk with kids and pup. Beautiful summer evening. Tuesday, 20.08.11 OK, if I stick with the flat 3x3 (sets x reps) protocol for all lifts, still using the Iron Ratio and System of Percentages (which are embedded in the following Excel chart, and generate its values), then I get the following projections for Cycle I through VI: I've also raised the ratio of the Deadlift to the Squat, to the more conventional 5:4, instead of my previous 4.64:4, which I lowered for the Deadlift due my muscle pull five years ago or so. But after another five years of (on and off again) lifting, I think I can assume that everything is in order, so I can implement the standard ratios of 2:3:4:5 for the Overhead Press, Bench Press, Squat, and Deadlift, respectively. It's kind of satisfying for my inner numerologist to see them all line up from time to time in my chart, like near the beginning of Cycle III, when the Squat 1RM will be 300, the OP 1RM 150, the BP 1RM 225, and the DL 1RM 375, all based on a base unit of 75 pounds (x 2/3/4/5). All the 45-pound- and 25-pound-plate milestones are highlighted in yellow, along with the powerlifting total of 1000 pounds (SQ 1RM + BP 1RM + DL 1RM = 1000). I will still probably avoid testing the 1RM projections however, so they remain hypothetical. So the real milestones will be the 45-pound- and 25-pound-plate milestones at 3x3. If the Deadlift starts to feel too heavy at 5 units, I can always bring it back down to something like 4.8 or 4.6 units. I do like the idea of getting to a 405 1RM a bit sooner. I think I've read that as strength increases, the squat does tend to get stronger in relation to the deadlift, but that may only be for elite and/or geared powerlifters, or lifters with shorter limbs. Wednesday, 20.08.12 -Afternoon- Lifting: Push & Pull BP: 3 x 3 @ 170 SQ: 3 x 3 @ 226 OP: 3 x 3 @ 113 DL: 3 x 3 @ 282 PD: 3 x 3 @ 170 RW: 3 x 3 @ 155 Well, 3 x 3 is feeling good. I like the heavier deadlifts in particular, but it's also nice to get the upper body lifts done with just three reps per set. For the Overhead Press, I've adopted a little bit of an initial push, but not a full push-press. Seems to take a little stress off the shoulder joints. Thursday, 20.08.13 Friday, 20.08.14 Saturday, 20.08.15 ---------------Week 2: Cycle V--------------- Sunday, 20.08.16 Monday, 20.08.17 Tuesday, 20.08.18 Wednesday, 20.08.19 Thursday, 20.08.20 Friday, 20.08.21 -Afternoon- Aerobic 6 mi hike with family and pup. Tried to more hikes, but family was resistant, so just short ones here and there. Saturday, 20.08.22 ---------------Week 3: Cycle V--------------- Sunday, 20.08.23 Monday, 20.08.24 Tuesday, 20.08.25 -Afternoon- Lifting: Priming SQ: 3 @ 185 OP: 3 @ 95 Back from vacation, just primed a bit. Wednesday, 20.08.26 Thursday, 20.08.27 -Afternoon- Lifting: Push & Pull SQ: 2 x 3 @ 230 OP: 2 x 3 @ 115 DL: 2 x 3 @ 275 PD: 2 x 3 @ 170 Everything felt surprisingly good after two weeks off, but I held back a bit on sets and lifts just to be sure. -Evening- Aerobic 1 mi walk with kids and pup. Friday, 20.08.28 -Afternoon- Aerobic .6 mi bike ride 20 minutes Rowing -Evening- 1.6 mi walk with son and pup. Saturday, 20.08.29 -Afternoon- Lifting: Push & Pull SQ: 2 x 3 @ 232 OP: 2 x 3 @ 116 DL: 2 x 3 @ 290 PD: 2 x 3 @ 175 I guess I'll give myself up to a week more for full sets and lifts. -Evening- 1.2 mi walk with kids and pup. ---------------Week 4: Cycle V--------------- Sunday, 20.08.30 Monday, 20.08.31 -Afternoon- Aerobic 30 minutes Rowing Tuesday, 20.09.01 -Afternoon- Lifting: Push & Pull SQ: 2 x 3 @ 233 OP: 2 x 3 @ 116 DL: 2 x 3 @ 291 PD: 2 x 3 @ 175 RW: 2 x 3 @ 135 BP: 2 x 3 @ 135 OK, full lifts. Now to get to full sets, and full loads for the Row and Bench Press. Hopefully by the end of this week. Wednesday, 20.09.02 Thursday, 20.09.03 -Afternoon- Lifting: Push & Pull BP: 2 x 3 @ 175 SQ: 2 x 3 @ 234 OP: 2 x 3 @ 117 left shoulder blade area felt a little tight on the Overhead Press. So I shut it down for the pulls. I think I have to get serious again about stretching and/or active warmups. But I like having things a bit tight for the heavier lifts. Friday, 20.09.04 -Afternoon- Aerobic A few miles hike down on Pike Island with family and pup. Saturday, 20.09.05 I'm going to pull the plug on this cycle. The year always divides into 6 eight-week cycles and 1 four-week cycle, so I'm going to make this one the four-week cycle and start fresh next week with a new eight-week cycle. This cycle was already disrupted by changing the programming right from the start, and then taking two weeks off for vacation. And since Abide hasn't participated yet, it won't have any impact on anyone else if I start over.