A Review Of 2012 And Goals For 2013

December 30, 2012 — Leave a comment

Personally I like Chinese New Year better than the regular new years.


Super markets have bags of rice on sale, I get money from my parents (still!) and it just seems more festive and exciting even though I have no idea what’s going on.

But that’s not until February 10, 2013, which will be the year of the Snake.


Jackie Chan Snake Style Kung Fu

Anyways, today is the last day of the year, so it’s time to review how my year went in 2012, and make some goals for 2013. For reference, here is my review of 2011 that I wrote last year.

One Word To Describe 2012

  • Progress (same word I used last year).
  • I would have described it as “wasps”, but they only invaded my basement in the summer time. I hate wasps.

5 Greatest Things That Happened In The Past Year

  1. I’ve gotten stronger in the 4 major lifts:
    • Squat: 440 lb to 510 lb (+70 lb increase)
    • Bench Press: 319 lb to 355 lb (+36 lb increase)
    • Deadlift: 500.5 lb to 540 lb (+39.5 lb increase)
    • Overhead Press: 220 lb to 255 lb (+35 lb increase)
  2. Competed in a powerlifting competition (one of my goals I wanted to accomplish)
  3. Wrote a few blog posts and product reviews (another one of my goals I wanted to accomplish)
  4. Published a bunch of videos of my training. I think that my videos have inspired others to lift weights and get strong. I know that watching others lift and hit PR’s inspires me.
  5. Became proficient in the reverse grip bench press, and unracking the bar alone even though I've read this was supposed to be difficult to impossible to do without a spotter (don't believe everything you read on the internet, folks!)

3 Great Lessons I've Learned From Last Year Are

  1. Whatever you focus on, grows. And whatever you don’t focus on, does not grow. Unless it’s mold or something like that.
  2. Simple = Effective. I’ve been doing my own variation(s) of the Texas Method all year and still have been experience great results. I get the feeling that as I get stronger and start hitting more plateaus, my training my need to become a little more sophisticated. But right now, everything is working fine and I’m not the type of person who fixes what is not broke. Not only is my training simple, my diet and supplementation and rudimentary as well.
  3. If it hurts, don’t do it(when it comes to injuries. Hook grip deadlifts on the other hand…)
    • On a related note, if it hurts and you do “do it”, figure out how to turn lemons into lemonade (see below).

If I Could Do Things Again Last Year, I Would Do These 3 Things Differently

  1. Training through pain. I somehow strained a muscle in my lower back around the spring. I could still work through the pain, but it progressively got worst and worst and came to a point where my low bar back squat was aggravating my back every time I squatted. Eventually I had to stop doing it. Turns out this was actually a blessing in disguise, because it gave me the opportunity to try out a back squat variation (high bar) that was not painful (up to 3 reps), but actually improved my low bar squat. In other words, it forced me to squat with a high bar position, and the strength I gained from high bar squatting transferred over to the low bar squat.
  2. Write more consistently. I’ve written more on my blog this year, but it’s been inconsistent. Need to figure out some sort of blogging schedule, and stick with it. Just like a weight training program.
  3. Read more books. I didn’t read as consistently as I would have liked.

One Word To Describe 2013

  • Consistency

Goals For 2013

As far as lifting goes, my goals are:

    1. Squat: 510 lb to 550 lb (40 lb increase)
    2. Bench Press: 355 lb to 380 lb (25 lb increase)
    3. Deadlift: 540 lb to 600 lb (60 lb increase)
    4. Overhead Press: 255 lb to 280 lb (25 lb increase)

This looks attainable. How do I plan to do this?

Simple really. Stick with my current training program, and microloading with fractional plates.

I figure if I could increase my PR’s by 2.5 lb per month on the OHP and bench press, and increase by 5 lb per month on the squat and deadlift, then my 1RM would increase by 30 lb for the OHP and bench press, and 60 lb for the squat and deadlift by the end of 2013.

I’ve set my goals a little bit lower than the projected gains for all my lifts (with the exception of the deadlift) just in case I get injured, run into plateaus or something else.

Other goals:

  • Compete in a couple of powerlifting competitions.
  • Apply goal setting, planning, executing and reviewing to other aspects of my life
  • Write and read more consistently.
  • Don’t get injured.

Have a safe and happy new year!

John Phung

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Ever since I started taking strength training seriously, I was bitten by the Iron Bug. Then it burrowed under my skin and laid eggs in my heart. Now those eggs are hatching and I... the feeling is indescribable.

Quick Stats
Height: 5'4" on non-squat days
Weight: 200 lb 210 lb ~220 lb (FOREVER BULK BRAH)


  • Texas Method: March 4, 2011 - April 28, 2013
  • Smolov Jr for Bench Press: June 4 - 22, 2012
  • Starting Strength: Nov 29, 2010 - March 4, 2011