Injured! Plans For Recovery, 300 lb 5×5 Bench Press and Stuff You Should Read

March 10, 2013 — 3 Comments

Even though I'm built like Wolverine, I do not have his body hair or Adamantium laced bones or claws. I also discovered this week that I do not have his healing abilities either.

hulk rips wolverine in half

I got injured on Monday, and I am still not 100% healed.


My obliques had feeling more sore than normal after the mat pulls on Friday, March 1 2013, but didn't expect it to be a problem. I have used similar weights before with rack pulls, and being sore and training with soreness is normal for me, so this injury was unexpected and would have been difficult to avoid.

Ended up hurting myself during a routine low bar squat over-warmup set at 460 lb.

Normally this weight is no problem at all, but coming out of the hole I felt a sharp pain on my right side, below my rib cage and I went down after that. I probably strained some muscle on that side.

Couldn't finish the remaining squats for the day.

Good news is, recovery has been quick since Monday.

I ended up jumping rope the next day, and started squatting again on Wednesday with a light weight, up to 230 lb for a set of 10 (high bar squat).

I've tested out front squat for 140 lb on Thursday (didn't log this) and it didn't hurt at all. Probably because the pain occurs when I bend over, and a front squat keeps my torso upright.

I increased the squatting workout on Friday, working up to 280 lb for 3 sets of 5.

Originally I was planning on sticking to high bar squats for 3x5 until I build my strength back up, but on Saturday I was curious as to how a more bent over, low bar squat would feel. It felt alright for most of the sets, but did feel a bit odd using 320 lb x 5. Not painful, but not normal.

So, after poking my injury with a stick and determining I can squat high and low bar with semi-light weights, I'm going to do both during the same workout for the upcoming week. Probably 3x5 for low bar, and then 3x5 for high bar, and just keep on adding weight day by day. I want to have the volume high to keep my stamina up, but we'll see how it goes.

Being forced to lower the weight for my squats is kinda like being forced to de-load. This will give me some time to recover, and hopefully end up coming back stronger.

I've mentioned before that injuries are education, and I'm going to take this opportunity to figure out how to train around this new injury and recover as soon as possible (without getting re-injured).

Bench Press: 300x5x5

In other news, I bench pressed (reverse grip) 300 lb for 5 sets of 5:

I remember when I benched 300 lb for the first time (actually it was 137.5 Kg, or ~302.5 lb) on April 28, 2011, it was a milestone for me, and I felt like I was finally a real man. Now, almost 2 years later, I'm repping it out. Consistency works!

April 28 2011

The first time I benched pressed 300 lb+

I may take a de-load week for bench press for this upcoming week, simply because my triceps and chest have been feeling worn out lately, and I'm starting to have irrational (probably) pec tear paranoia. I've been benching twice a week since last Fall I think, and have kept on adding weight mostly every week since.

Either I'm going to stick with benching on Monday and Friday, and simply lower the intensity (weight) and/or volume.

OR, I might do overhead presses on Monday and Friday, and bench press only once on Wednesday. We'll see.

Stuff You Should Read

  1. The Art Of The Reverse Grip Bench Press (NSFW) by Jamie Lewis

    Note: This is the first solid article on the reverse grip bench press. I'm working on my own article on the topic, and thought I was going to be the first, but Jamie Lewis beat me to it!

  2. How To Deadlift By Brian Carroll
  3. A Lion in Iron: Women—Be More, Not Less by Alexander Cortes


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