Light Weight. High Reps. Knee Did Not Complain.


I have been struggling with knee pain for months now, mostly unable to complete any of my leg workouts or even do squats. I've tweaked my program a bit, focusing on high reps and lower weights. I also started squatting with my heels elevated to put more focus on my quads. My reasoning is that my knee pain is due to tight hamstrings, calves, and probably iliotibial band in addition to weak quadriceps. My entire lifting career has been limited to barbel and dumbbell exercises and I suspect this has resulted in lagging quads because of the limitations in what exercises I can do (no leg press/extensions, for instance).

Today's Workout

My previous workout was an epic fail. Lost my balance slightly on first set of squats and knee pain was instantaneous in my left knee on the descent. I may or may not have screamed like a girl as I racked the bar and lay down on the floor. Those were not tears, I just got some dust in my eye. Today, however, I was able to focus on my form and complete my squats, lunges, and hack squats. My quads were on fire.

Unfortunately, my legs started to give out on good mornings, so I never made it to SLDL's. Seemed dangerous since my knees wouldn't hold straight. My earlier failure was possibly due to standing on 2 45's that were face up, so I was basically balancing on an edge. I know, stupid mistake. I flipped them over today and was much more balanced. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a string of successful workouts and the eventual end of this chronic knee pain (and a set of banging legs).


Forgot to mention that my lower back is getting hit extremely hard during my leg workouts. I don't know if it's fatigue from by back workout (unlikely, since that's a full 2 days before legs), bad form (doubtful, but who knows), or maybe just a weak lower back. This will require further investigation. 

5x5 Workout A


» View Full BodyBlog Post

No! I Did NOT Quit BodyBuilding!

Wow, I have been gone for so long that BB.Com felt the need to shoot me an email. That made me feel like I been slackin on the job so I figured I'd post some updates. I've been busy working on my main blog at That one actually earns me money, so I gotta make sure I stay on top of it. (: I have still been working out, but I haven't been doing any specific routine or program. Yes, I know this is very bad. I plan on correcting it next week. I'm just so damn lazy about picking a routine and finding my rep maxes. I would rather just eat and lift and let that be all I have to think about. In other news, it's great to have all eyes on me at the pool. I'm not even that ripped yet, but I still get stares and compliments. It's awesome. I'm going to move to a full-body routine starting Mon. I don't want to do HST because I don't like the rep schemes. I want something simple and moderate->high volume. That means more than 5 reps. I know I'm not that strong yet, but I'm bored of 3x5 and 5x5 and all that strength-training stuff. Have you done a full-body routine before? How did it work for you? Let me know!

» View Full BodyBlog Post

Taking a Break

I have decided that I will take a break this week. I plan to focus on tightening up my diet and finding a new workout plan because Rippetoe's has once again become boring as hell. I need more volume. I haven't really had a really high-intensity workout in a while. One where I'm actually really sore for the next few days. (yeah yeah, soreness indicates nothing...WHATEVER) The pool has opened up, so I will be trying to include swimming for cardio since it's one of the few kinds that doesn't all out suck.  I also have a nagging pain in my left knee, but it comes and goes so I'm not sure if I should worry about it. I'm hoping this week off will give all these bumps and scrapes time to heal.

» View Full BodyBlog Post

Getting Stronger All The Time

Today's workout (5/14) was:

  • Squat - 3x5x245

  • Bench - 3x5x190

  • Deads - 1x5x245

  • Dips - 2x12

  • Abs - 2x12

Everything went great. Squats are super-easy now. I have focused on hip-drive and this seems to have sharpend up my form. I missed the last rep on bench. Well, I didn't miss it, I just didn't bother to go for it. That's going to haunt me until Monday. Gonna have to start adding weigh to Dips and Abs. Just wary of doing weighted dips because of the pain in my elbow (which is actually gone) and a weird aching in my left forearm. Not sure what caused it, just felt it after I was done working out. I remember a similar feeling in my calves when I played basketball everyday. I think my bench is pretty much at the highest it will get on this program, so I would like to switch it up to some more hypertrophy-specific training. Not necessarily HST, but maybe. I haven't decided what to do yet. I would like to start focusing on putting on mass now that my lifts are somewhat respectable. If you have any ideas as to what I can try, feel free to hit me up on here or directly at Also, if you wanna know more about what I do or you're just bored, visit my blog at

» View Full BodyBlog Post

Well, That Workout SUCKED!

Today was my Bench day and it most certainly did NOT go well.

  • Squat - 3x5x245

  • Bench - 3x5x190

You might be asking yourself, "But Sheen, why would you only do 2 exercises? What kinda workout is that?" Well.... Squats went fine. I guess I'm getting used to the 245 now. Not as much back pump and I threw in some dynamic stretching, which seemed to help a lot. Bench is a whole 'nother story. I did a short warm up with 135, then I went for 185 for 5 reps...which is NOT what my working weight should have been. I actually should have been pushing 190. I upped it 5lbs for the next 2 sets, then I got a phone call from a business partner. After being distracted for entirely too long, my body was cold, but I still went for another set at 190. My mind was distracted, my body wasn't ready anymore, and I totally failed. I did 1 rep, then went for 2 and the bar didn't budge. Luckily, I had moved the little pegs on my rack just in case of such a situation, since I workout alone and all. You would think I would be all good...but Oh NO! I get one side racked, but the other side is a couple inches lower and I can't get it up. The bar is basically ON MY FACE at this point, so I bring my right arm over to assist, but by now the weights have slid all the way to the end of the bar, making it impossible to lift. Long story short, I had to ditch the weights on my mom's tile floor and I felt NO urge to continue with my deadlifts, abs and curls. I haven't even looked to see if I did any damage to the floor, but I feel okay. I was able to pick up some protein powder today, so I can stop living off of raw eggs+milk shakes. Although I am glad I was out for so long because now I have a new meal-replacement option that I can drink. Leave me a comment if you would like to laugh at my misfortune...LOL.

» View Full BodyBlog Post

Technorati and Hurt Elbow (Brachialis?)

Technorati says I have to post this so that I can "claim" my blog here. Not sure what the point is, but I have nothing better to do at the moment. Today is a recovery day for me. I may do some cardio and stretching, though. Have to be ready for my "push" day tomorrow. I'm not sure if I'm going to have problems with my elbow. It still hurts, but it's intermittent and only if I make specific movements. We'll see.
Technorati Profile

» View Full BodyBlog Post

Rippetoes on 5/7 (Back Pain?)

Wednesday - Workout B

  • Squats - 3×5x245

  • Standing Press - 3×5x115

  • Pull from floor - 3x5x165

  • Pullups/chins - 2x10

  • Abs - 2x10

So, I still can't move up in squats unless I tie some DB's to the BB (not a very bad idea, actually). They went ok, but I am concerned about my form because I'm feeling my lower back do a lot of work. I will have to make another video and actually post it to the forums this time. Standing press went fine, but my core was pretty much smashed from squats so I was a little shaky. My shoulders/arms were not affected, though. Pendlay Rows were also fine except that my lower back was still screaming bloody murder. It doesn't feel like an injury, just like a normal burn, but I don't think it should be this intense. Pullups were difficult on the last couple reps. I don't forsee adding weight on these yet. I would rather work up to 2x12. Felt very good, though. Abs were pretty intense. I did them on an incline, only coming back up to around 90 from the ground. Kind of a take off from the NS situps, but they were much more intense. I lowered myself down, arching my back, and touched the bench with my shoulders, then came back up to 90 and completed a crunch in that position.

» View Full BodyBlog Post

Rippetoes 5/5

So, today's workout went like this: Squats - 3×5x245 These were easier than I thought they would be. My lower back was pumped as hell, though. I don't think it's a form issue, I think my lower back may just be lagging. I will have to do another vid. Bench - 1×5x190 1×5x190 1×2x190 Well, this is the first time I have stalled. I expected it, but it still pissed me off. I even tried to go back and finish the last set, but only was able to do 2 more. My chest was screaming. I wonder what will happen next workout. Deadlift - 1×5 Yeah, whatever. Easy as hell. Dips - 2 x 8-15 No problem here except that my tricep right by my elbow hurts now...well, it hurt earlier. Pain is gone now. I had my elbows flared out and knees up, trying to isolate triceps. I guess I'm not really strong enough for all that yet. I will use a more standard form on these next time. GHR - xxx So, looks like I can't really do these at home. I thought I could use my dip station, but it started sliding across the floor. I will need an alternative. Abs No problem here. I did the NS situps from the Rippetoe's guide. I was shaking like a leaf, though. Probably the squats and deads.

» View Full BodyBlog Post

Changing My Workout (Slightly)

This will be my new workout begining 5/5/08. I'm getting bored with doing just the basics and I want to see if I can handle a little more volume. I also want to strengthen my abs and make sure I'm maintaining the physique I had build before this second run at Rippetoes. I would love to get stronger, but I still wanna be sexy....for tha ladies.
Monday - Workout A Squats - 3x5 Bench - 3x5 Deadlift - 1x5 Dips - 2 x 8-15 GHR - 2 x 12-15 Abs
Wednesday - Workout B Squats - 3x5 Standing Press - 3x5 Pull from floor (rows 3x5 or cleans 5x3) Pullups/chins - 2 x 8-15 (3 sets if you do the cleans) Abs
Friday - Workout A Squats - 3x5 Bench - 3x5 Deadlift - 1x5 Dips - 2 x 8-15 Curls - 2 x 8-12 TriEx - 2 x 8-12

» View Full BodyBlog Post

Rippetoe’s 5/2

  • Squat 3×5x245

  • Bench 3×5x185

  • Deadlift 1×5x245 (this won’t change until I buy more plates)

  • Dips 2×8

This workout went great. I ate some oats earlier, I think that helped a lot. I ate more carbs in general, actually. I also didn’t do as much warming up. I’m pretty happy to be squatting 245lbs at a bodyweight of 142lbs. That’s almost 2xBW and I haven’t even started working on reducing BF% yet. Don’t get it twisted, though. Squats were pretty damn tough. I widened my stance slightly and turned my feet out so that I could get lower without the deadly buttwink that I noticed in the vids I made. Bench was slightly more difficult than squats. I will definitely have to start micro-loading, although I’m not sure what the benefit of that is. I may soon just switch to another workout (5×5, anyone?). Deads were extremely easy today. I’m not sure why. My lower back is usually smashed after squats, so I guess switching my stance there saved it. I’m sure my ass is gonna be pretty sore in a couple days, though (no homo?). Dips were easy-peasy, as usual. I could probably go knock a few more out, but I don’t feel like taking a nap today…LOL.

» View Full BodyBlog Post

Rippetoe's 4/30

  • Squat 3×5x240<strong />

  • Military Press 3×5x110

  • Pendlay Row 3×5x155

  • Reverse Flyes 2×8x20

  • Hammer-Grip Pullups 2×8

This was today’s workout. I never really thought I would be squatting so close to 300 so fast. When I first did 225, it was only for a triple and that was
hard and this was just about a month ago (I think). Squats went pretty freakin easy. I didn’t stall at all and I only had to fight for the last 2 reps of the last set. I sure did break a sweat, though. OH Press was also not that difficult. The only reason these things scare me is because of my shoulders. I don’t want to mess them up, but I haven’t had any pain or anything, so I think I’m good. Pendlay rows were pretty easy. I can still pretty much slam the bar against my chest if I want to. I am actually starting to feel them in the lats, though. Pullups are pullups. Nothing exciting here. The only difference is that I found the official Rippetoe’s program with dips and pullups added, so it’s only 2×8 to avoid messing up recovery. Reverse flyes are hard. I don’t know why. Regular chest flyes also make me shake and struggle. I don’t get this kind of feeling or shaking from compounds. I guess this is my stabilizers and things working overtime? Mind-Muscle Connection struggling to concentrate on a specific area? Who knows. Vids are on my laptop at this point, just need to make Windows Movie Maker actually work so I can convert them.

» View Full BodyBlog Post

Rippetoe's Workout - 4/28/08

  • Squat 3x5x235

  • Bench 3x5x180

  • Deadlift 1x5x245 (this won’t change until I buy more plates)

  • Dips 2x8

This was today's workout. All I gotta say is "Sweet Baby Jesus!" This workout was pretty brutal. I was sweating pretty good (I rarely sweat) and I felt like I just ran a mile. I also had to lay down on the floor for a minute before I had enough strength to finish my PWO shake and take a shower. Squats were ok. Nothing really to report here except that I'm consistently slow coming out the hole. I got the weight up, though. Never had a doubt about that. Still feeling it a lot in my lower back. I have the vids imported from my camera. Should be up later today. Bench was slow every rep. I really had to concentrate on the last rep of the last set. I felt comfortable, just couldn't make the weight move any faster. This is where things started to "go wrong." LOL Deadlifts were the icing on the cake. It was only 1 set of 5 reps, but I was sweating profusely afterwards and my heart was pounding. I actually lay down on the floor for about a minute before I moved on to... Dips were simple. My bench limiter is obviously my chest because I did tricep dips with my feet in front and they were easy-peasy. We will still consider this last exercise as the cherry on top of the icing on the cake because I was DONE.

» View Full BodyBlog Post

Rippetoes Workout - 4/25/08

  • Squat 3×5x230

  • Military Press 3×5x100

  • Pendlay Row 3×5x145

  • Reverse Flyes 3x8x20

  • Hammer-Grip Pullups 3x6xBW

So, this was today's workout. I actually made vids of my squats so we can see how bad I suck at them, but I will post those later. I kept it pretty conservative on everything because I'm actually starting to enjoy this workout. I like how my lifts keep going up, LOL. I had made a comment that I didn't think I could keep increasing on squats, but I think I should be able to if I stay on point with my diet. Today's workout made me sweat, but it was NOT that difficult. Definitely not as hard as last time. I threw in the reverse flyes and pullups for 2 reasons:

  1. It's Friday, so I have 2 days to recover

  2. I want to correct my slumped shoulders and get wider

This is obviously not part of Rippetoe's, but I think there is a variation where pullups are included. I will research that at some point and post my results. Anyways, keep an eye out for the vids. Peace!

» View Full BodyBlog Post

Rippetoe's - 4/23/08

Wow, what a workout!

  • Squat 3×5x225

  • Bench 3×5x175

  • Deadlift 1×5x245 (this won’t change until I buy more plates)

Squats were absolutely brutal. I would have to say this is a new PR....actually...every workout that I have posted since squatting around 205 has been a PR. I have done 225 before, but only 1 set of 3 reps. I almost stalled out on the last rep of the last set. I'm pretty sure I can micro-load from here, though. Bench was not so brutal. They were hard reps, but not too hard. I tried bringing my grip in a little to see if incorporating my tri's more would make it easier, but it was harder if anything and felt less comfortable. I guess I have extra long arms. I don't foresee any problems increasing weight from this point, but definitely not at 10lb increments :). Deadlifts were easier this time. Especially easy considering what my lower back was going through after those squats. I
really need to go ahead and buy more plates. My dumb ass ran out of protein powder, so I'm drinking a shake composed of milk, 3 eggs and sugar (hey, add some flower and I think I could make a cake). It's actually pretty tasty. "Salmonella" you say? Yeah.....WHATEVER! Notes for next time:

  • Slow down on the decent for squats and make sure I'm going as low as possible and not tipping to either side

  • Research whether I should feel this much activity in lower back due to squats and be ready to make a video of next squat session for form check.

If you haven't already, you can see some older vids of me on Let me know what you think. Peace!

» View Full BodyBlog Post