Training Updates, My 1st Guest Post, 360 lb Bench Press, Pork Bulgogi Recipe, Slipping and OHP

January 20, 2013 — Leave a comment

Some training updates and notes from this past week, mainly for myself to clarify exactly what the hell I'm doing (or about to do), and for those who might be interested in my workouts.


For the squat, I'm increasing the volume on both volume day and intensity day.

For volume day, it will be:

  • Low bar squat: 5x3
  • High bar squat: 5x5

So that's 40 total squat reps (generally Texas Method is 25 total squat reps, and I've done 30 in the past). I'm playing with the idea of adding a couple of low bar squat back off sets of 2x5. Not sure yet.

And intensity day:

  • Low bar squat: 3x3
  • High bar squat: 2x5

Normally for intensity day for the Texas Method is 1x5.

We'll see how this works out.

I haven't squatted 500 lb or more in a long time. In fact, my squat has gotten weaker after making some changes to my programming. I have a feeling this increased volume, along with performing low bar and high bar squats in the same workout, will build a solid foundation and get me back on track.

My short term goal is to finally get a high bar squat of 500 lb or more (current max is 495 lb, missed on 500 lb a few times), and to break my overall squat (which is a low bar squat) PR of 510 lb.

Overhead Press

I missed a 260 lb overhead press on Wednesday, but did get some repetition PRs (225x4 and 200x6).

My triceps always feel a little fatigue and sore on Wednesday from Monday's bench workout. I suspect that if I decrease my bench press from 5x5 to 3x5 on Monday, I'll press 260 lb on Wednesday. We shall see.

Bench Press

My first bench press PR of the year! 360 lb with a reverse grip:

Everything felt smooth for the most part. I did feel the bar move forward towards my head by a fraction of a nanometer (normally on the descent, it goes down until the bar touches a point below my sternum), but I managed to control it and press it up.

I think I'll hit some repetition PR's before tackling a 1 rep max again.


I'll be trying out some added volume for deadlifts at 5x5. Basically, I'll work up to a heavy single (500 lb) with a hook grip to keep my pain tolerance high and to ensure I can deadlift 500 lb anytime, and then hit 5x5 for my work sets. I'm starting with 320 lb and will probably be adding 5 lb or so per week.

I was thinking of doing rack pulls again and gradually decrease the height of the bar over time, but changing the sabre style safeties in my power rack is a bit of a pain in the ass. Maybe I'll come back to this in the future.

L-Sit Chin Ups

Lastly, I also posted a video of me doing some L-sit chin ups, which I believe helps in the OHP (see my article below) and keeps me from looking like a Centaur.

Anyway, here are some blog posts I wrote this past week that you might have missed:

  1. Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe - This is yummy.
  2. How To Prevent Your Back From Slipping & Sliding During The Bench Press - This $1 item helped increase my bench press.

And check out these articles about the overhead press:

3 Ways To Increase Your Overhead Pressing Strength by John Phung (hey, that's me!)

I wrote a guest post for at the request of the site owner. I write about some things that has helped me with my overhead press. I have a still have a few tricks up my sleeves, so maybe there will be a part II in the future 😉

Pimpin' Ain't Easy #4- Let's get Down to The Finish (NSFW) by Jamie Lewis

Another article about the overhead press, detailing different methods by guys like Tommy Kono and Bill March, who both had a similar body weight as me in the past, but pressed well over 300 lb over their heads.

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