Archives For John Phung

Overhead Press

  • 45 x 10
  • 75 x 8
  • 100 x 5
  • 140 x 3
  • 165 x 2
  • 190 x 1
  • 230 x 1
  • 250 x 1
  • 300 x 0,0
    • GRrr...
  • 270 x 1,1
    • Wanted 2, but struggled with the lockout on the first rep, which probably contributed to me losing balance on the 2nd rep.
  • 260 x 3 * PR!
    • +5 lb 3RM!
    • These OHP PR's are getting more and more difficult.

Originally this Weekly Review was scheduled for yesterday, but all I could think about all morning (and the weekend) was deadlifting 600 lb.

I’ve attempted this a few times this year.

More recently was last week, where I taped some athletic tape to my thumbs before pulling. I could feel sweat building up underneath the tape, and during the pull it was sliding off.

Tried again a second time without the tape, and the fingers on my left hand just couldn’t hold onto the bar. SO CLOSE.

The good news is, there wasn’t much pain or damage to my thumbs.

My ability to tolerate pain is increased, probably from hitting the deadlift a little bit recently (usually I don’t deadlift).

Also, I suspected because I have been using my hands to hold onto a bar that’s placed on the ground, and standing up while still holding the loaded bar, my grip strength would increase.

Based on how fast the bar moved on the 1st and 2nd attempts, I’m 100% sure I would be able to deadlift 600 lb SOON.

I was right!

Deadlifted 600 lb yesterday. EZPZ.



A little more chalk on my hands, combined with getting the thumbs more under the bar for the hook grip, and squeezing the hell out of the bar solved the grip problem.

It moved really fast, so I’m sure my true deadlifting limit is a bit more than 600 lb.

As far as future training with the deadlift goes, I’ll deadlift more often (something greater than bi-monthly that I’ve been doing most of the year). I think squatting builds up the potential for a bigger deadlift, but ultimately gotta do a little bit of deadlifting to deadlift something half decent.

Only a few more days until the year is up, and I still have a few other goals to reach:

  1. Low Bar Squat 600 lb
  2. OHP 300 lb
  3. High Bar Squat 585 lb
  4. Bench Press 405 lb
  5. Reverse Grip Bench Press 440 lb (doubt it).

Ugh why did I set such lofty goals…!?!

Anyways, PR’s from last week:

Personal Records

Front Squat: 430 lb x 3 (3RM)

+20 lb PR!

Also attempted a 1RM before this at 480 lb, but failed because I made a fatal mistake: forgot the concentric portion of the rep :|

Clean & Press: 205 lb x 5 (5RM)

This must be what Crossfit feels like.

Deadlift (No Belt): 550 lb x 1 (1RM)

Attempted to deadlift 600 lb (yet again) before this. Taped up my thumbs for the first try, but then as I was pulling the bar up, the tape started sliding off my thumbs! Couldn’t maintain grip.

On the 2nd attempt, I took off the tape and did it the old fashioned way. Almost had it, but I lost my grip on my left hand. FACK.

Anyhoo, 550 lb beltless deadlift is a +20 lb PR…from over a year ago lol

Paused Reverse Grip Bench Press: 415 lb x 1 (1RM)

Baby was my training partner today.

+5 lb PR! This is 5 lb away from my touch-and-go reverse grip bench press 1RM. Might be time to try for a new TnG RGBP 1RM.

Paused High Bar Squat (No Belt): 515 lb x 1 (1RM)

Attempted 585 lb for a 1RM before this, but missed. Don’t think I’m recovered from deadlifting earlier this week.

Also listened to some metal music for this PR attempt. I feel like a real powerlifter now!

Paused Bench Press: 365 lb x 2 (2RM)

+10 lb PR! Paid extra attention on getting tight and initiating a little leg drive before unracking the bar. I think it really helped.

Stuff You Should Read

  1. When Somebody Loses Weight, Where Does The Fat Go?
    • TL;DR: It comes out of your lungs.
  2. A PR At Every Workout by Bill Starr
    • This is an older article, but I just discovered it from a comment left on my article on hitting a PR everyday. This validates what I've been doing, especially since it's written by the legendary Bill Starr! There are other "PR everyday articles", but I’m not certain if the authors actually trained and made substantial gains by going for a PR everyday, or just writing something hypothetical that might work.


  • 45 x 10
  • 140 x 5
  • 230 x 3
  • 320 x 2
  • 410 x 1
  • 500 x 1
  • 600 x 1 * PR!
    • +15 lb 1RM! FINALLY.
    • Could have did a better job at locking out the knees (thought they were locked out anyways). Based on self-judging, I give myself 2 out of 3 white lights.
    • No thumb damage. I applied vaseline at the end of my thumbnail (where the nail normally digs into my skin, cutting my thumbs).

Paused Bench Press

  • 45 x 10
  • 140 x 8
  • 230 x 3
  • 280 x 1
  • 320 x 1
  • 365 x 2 * PR!
    • +10 lb 2RM
    • Paid extra attention on getting tight and initiating a little leg drive before unracking the bar. I think it really helped.
  • 330 x 2
    • Wanted 4+, but suddenly powered down from Super Saiyan mode. Ah well, still got a PR earlier.

Breathing Paused High Bar Squat

  • 45 x 10
  • 140 x 8
  • 230 x 5
  • 320 x 3

Paused High Bar Squat

  • 410 x 2

High Bar Squat

  • 460 x 1
  • 500 x 1
  • 585 x 0
    • I don't think my entire body is recovered from deadlifts the other day. Low back still a bit sore.

Paused High Bar Squat (No Belt)

  • 515 x 1 * PR!
    • +5 lb 1RM. Good enough for today.