[Weekly Review] November 24-30, 2014: 4 PRs, NEAR 600 lb Deadlift & Stuff You Should Read

December 1, 2014 — Leave a comment
Weakest link of the chain, right here.

Weakest link of the chain, right here.

This past Saturday I decided to attempt to deadlift 600 lb. I figured the bar was already on the floor from clean and presses, and I was already pretty warmed up, so why not. And it's something that I should be able to do by now.

Welp, I ALMOST had it. FUCK.

The pain in my thumbs got to me, and made me put the bar down. I could feel skin ripping on my thumbs. Looking back at the video, the bar did leave the floor, and it did go past my knees. But it wasn't completed until lockout, so no rep was done that day. A missed rep is as good as a never-done-before e1RM to me. Which is a no-lift.

With only 31 days left in the year (including today, I'm not sure how much pain tolerance and calluses I can build up on my thumbs in order to deadlift 600 lb. I used to perform L-sit chin ups with a hook grip to maintain pain tolerance in the past, which seems to work well. So I'll probably add that into my training again.

The other option is taping up my thumbs, which might be a quicker fix than building up pain tolerance. It almost seems like taping up my thumbs to prevent pain and damage is liking using a man-pon pussy pad squat pad on the bar for squats to minimize any unaccustomed discomfort from the pressure the bar on the traps during squats. But I think the manliness factor of the hook grip deadlift will cancel out the potential wussiness factor by using tape, so my ego should be safe. And besides, Olympic weightlifters tape up their thumbs and they can lift manly weights off the ground and place it overhead. I've had people tell me to try taping up my thumbs before hook grip deadlifting.

Of course I always forget, mainly because I rarely deadlift, so the idea of, "I should buy some atheletic tape for deadlifts" don't cross my mind.


Going to pick up some athletic tape at Target or someplace cheap this week.

Anyways, got 4 PRs last week:

4 Personal Records

Low Bar Squat: 520 lb x 3 (3RM)

+10 lb PR from a couple of weeks ago. I think I'll continue to hit 3RM's in the coming weeks, then 2 rep maxes before taking a(nother) crack at 600 lb (again).

Paused Reverse Grip Bench Press: 300 lb x 7 (7RM)

Wanted 8, and probably could have got it had I not RGBP 405 lb x 1 (missed on the 2nd rep), paused RGBP 365 lb x 3 (missed on the 4th rep), and regular bench press 340 x 3 (didn't bother with the 4th rep) before doing this. Ah well next time.

High Bar Squat: 510 lb x 5 (5RM)

Man this song gets me PUMPED (O Fortuna - Carl Orff). Heard it last night while watching a Christmas television special called "Shrek the Halls". Had to search for the song to play during a PR attempt. I was expecting to watch The Arrow. Disappointed at first, but maybe it was a blessing in disguise. Also my stance felt off from the beginning. Too narrow. I was thinking about adjusting my stance after the first rep, but thought, "screw it, just squat".

Clean & Press: 240 lb x 2 (2RM)

An "I should be able to do this" PR.

Deadlift: 600 lb x 0

Thumbs couldn't take it. Probably would have got this if I had Adamantium thumbs. Hook grip will take some time to get used to again. DAMMIT.

Stuff You Should Read

  1. More Is More by Greg Nuckols
    • Volume, that is. I think the trick is figuring out how to fit all that work in your schedule. I'm currently on a low volume training regiment, but I'm sure I'll move back onto some high(er) volume work sooner or later. Probably later though.
  2. The Bulletproof Diet: Simplistic, Invalid and Unscientific by Alex Hannaford
    • Anything labelled "Bulletproof" that doesn't actually stop bullets raises red flags for me and my bullshit alarm goes off.
  3. What Powerlifting Tells Us About The Effects Of PEDs by Michael Easter
    • Interesting read, and cool looking graphs comparing drug tested and non-drug tested lifters who compete in Raw Unity, USAPL’s Raw National Powerlifting Championship (Raw Nationals) and the IPF’s Classic Powerlifting World Championships (Classic Worlds).

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