[Weekly Review] January 26-February 1, 2015: Torn Callus, 6 PRs and Stuff You Should Check Out

February 2, 2015 — Leave a comment

Torn a callus last week during deadlifts.

Apparently what I did was wedge the barbell in the middle of my hands instead of having the bar closer towards the fingers (on or near the proximal digital crease) like I normally do.

I'm not sure why I did this. Maybe it was to get a better grip. But this was not the case, as the bar slid in my palms towards my fingers during the deadlift, taking a callus with it.

I ended up cutting off the callus that was flapping in my palm with a pair of nail scissors. I think it's healing quite nicely, and hopefully I'll be able to pull sooner than later.

Healing nicely #justmoisturized #torncallus #callus #aloevera #Deadlift #nailscissors

A photo posted by John Phung (@johnny_phung) on

Also started performing a more humbling, stricter version of the overhead press with a dead stop at the bottom.

Anyways, 6 PRs this week:

6 Personal Records

Paused High Bar Squat: 455 lb x 5 (5RM)

That Hungry Man TV dinner I had for breakfast messed me up. Felt boated and lethargic all day. Missed the 3rd rep at 535 lb (would have been a 3RM), and attempted a beltless high bar squat at 525 lb (got pinned). Played it safe and went with 455 lb x 5. Lesson learned.

Bench Press: 395 lb x 1 (1RM)

+5 lb 1RM! Felt heavy in my hands and coming down, but seemed to bounce right back up.

Tried 400 lb. Got pinned. Good thing is that it's easier to take the plates off the bar from safety pin height level.

Deadlift (No Belt): 510 lb x 2 (2RM)

Almost locked out the 3rd rep with 550 lb, but couldn't maintain grip. Bar started to slide off the tape. FOCK!

510 lb x 2 is a no belt 2 rep MEH. Ended up tearing a callus on that set. Guess I'll take a break from deadlifting for a while!


Overhead Press (Dead Stop): 230 lb x 3 & 200 lb x 5

Wanted 265 lb x 3 (OHP with a rebound at the bottom like I normally perform it), but only got 1. I think my overhead pressing muscles are on vacation after pressing 300 lb a few weeks ago.

So, to continue to hit OHP PR's, I've finally implemented a close variation: the dead stop overhead press. I needed to play around with my grip width to get the bar touching my collar bones, and breath at the bottom instead of the top. These are pretty tough. To put it in perspective, I can perform 230 lb x 6 and 200 lb x 10 with a rebound.

Front Squat (No Belt): 385 lb x 3 (3RM)

Couldn't get a paused 1RM @465 lb, so did this instead.

Looks easier than it felt.

Stuff You Should Check Out

Pretty sure my work capacity is shit now since I only perform 1-3 working sets and I don't do any intentional cardio. Eventually, in order to get to higher levels of strength I'm sure I'll need to do more work.

By the way, be sure to like and subscribe to updates to Strengtheory (if you're interested in getting strong and stuff).

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