Dragon Flags, 530 lb Squat 1RM, 410 lb Reverse Band Bench, Why Reverse Grip, Calluses and Stuff You Should Read

July 28, 2013 — Leave a comment

Some highlights of my training this past week, along with a new squat PR!

Dragon Flags

Started doing these at the suggestion of Greg Nuckols. He told me it would help me get a bigger deadlift, and I'm inclined to listen to people who have more experience and/or stronger than I am, so I started adding dragon flags to the beginning of my workout. I remember when I first started doing dragon flags a couple of weeks or so ago, my abs cramped up after 1 rep!

The form isn't as good as some of the people on Youtube who probably have a lower BMI than I do, but they're coming along.

Front Squat (to Zercher Squat?): 395 lb

Missed the front squat because it rolled off my shoulders, but I did stand up with it. Did a negative rep zercher squat after.

Sometimes I want to get one of those front squat harnesses, especially after the bar rolls off my shoulders.

Low Bar Squat: 530 lb (1RM)

I did this after doing a 550 lb reverse band squat. It was roughly 470 lb in the hole. The set felt easy, and the 525 lb squat that I done last week wasn't too bad, so I decided to try 530 lb.

It was a bit difficult, and it looked like the right side of the bar came up before the left side. But aside from that, it didn't turn into a grind or a squat-morning, so I'm happy.

Reverse Band, Reverse Grip Bench Press: 410 lb

The bands provided about 55 lb of assistance at the bottom, so the the weight ranges from ~360 lb at the bottom to 410 lb at the top.

I tried 395 lb right after, and just missed the rep. Dammit.

High Bar Paused Squat: 410 lb x 1, 460 lb x 1

Beltless at 410 lb, and belted at 460 lb.

These felt really explosive.

I like how the bar oscillates up and down on my traps after the 460 lb paused squat. Feels nice!

Hope that doesn't bend the bar though.

Stuff You Should Read

1. Q&A: Why Reverse Grip Bench Press?

Here's an answer to a frequently asked question: "Why do you do reverse grip bench presses instead of regular bench presses like a normal person?"

2. How To Deal With Calluses On Your Hands

Cool, my first article on Fitocracy!

Had some interesting responses on Fitocracy's Facebook page and Reddit to this article, ranging from how other lifters deal with calluses, to the typical internet tough guy response to "man up", "embrace them", "don't be a pussy", viewing them as a "badge of honor", etc.

I suspect that the internet tough guys (who probably didn't even read the article before commenting!) don't lift as much as those who actually deal with their calluses, but I could be wrong.

3. Seduced by the Illusion: The Truth About Transformation Photos by Andrew Dixon

Some before-and-after pictures are real (in other words, they're a result of training, dietary change done over some period of time), and some are not, like the one shown in the link above.

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