Formerly active member, taken a couple of years out as lifting fell way down my list of priorities. Two kids and a whole lot of drama later and I found myself as 220+lbs of weakness, decidedly south of vag and decided to do something about it. That was about 6 months ago, give or take, and I’ve been slowly ramping up my efforts since, while getting accustomed to fitting lifting into my new family life.
Height: 6 foot (still)
Weight: 188.6 lbs
Maxes (difficult to tell on many, as I’ve not even approached a max for a long time on most of these lifts)
Bench: 80kg x 2 easy reps, 65kg x 16 reps
Squat: 92.5kg x 10 breathing squats
Press: 45kg x 6
Deadlift: 150kg x 1
As someone totally new to training for physique goals rather than performance, I am definitely in need of advice, as well as a few gentle reminders to do the things I should be doing (like abs and cardio), so feel free to chip in and tell me I’m doing it all wrong.
Currently found myself with a 4 week block of training in the run up to Christmas so am running one cycle of the young jim wendler 5/3/1 template, spread over 4 weeks due to limited opportunities to lift. So far my least favourite template, although that may be a reflection on my mental state than anything else. It just feels like too many different “bits”, and not enough focus given to each for my mentality. Anyways, work for today:
Front squat: worked up to a plus set of 10 at 60kg, then FSL, 20 reps at 47.5kg. Really tried to focus on explosiveness and speed on these as the weight felt really light. First front squats in many years, wasn’t too rusty.
Press: worked up to plus set of 10 at 40kg, then a rather weak FSL of 12 reps at 30kg. My press just doesn’t seem to move, so I’ve backed way back on my TM, hoping it will have the same effect it did on my bench.
Rows: I did some
Db press: did some of these too
Leg raises: I substituted these for sit ups. My excuse is that my torso is bizarrely long and that makes sit ups almost impossible without anchoring my feet. It might just be my weak and though.
Treadmill run: did some of this too. Lad I was with looked a bit embarrassed when he was trying to follow me in the squat so I thought it was fair to let him embarrass me at something. It confirmed everything I thought about treadmill running: it hurts, I hate it and I don’t want to do it again.
Nutrition for today:
Protein shake and an apple, mixed nuts
Chicken and salad
Chicken and quinoa/veggies
Protein post workout
Casein before bed
Thank you for the welcome back guys. There may be more talking than training going on on this log. While I am back lifting, I can only guarantee two gym days a week currently, especially in the run up to Christmas. I’m moving locations at work in the new year, and will change gyms to go with it so what my schedule will look like then is anyone’s guess.
That being said my current thoughts are to use those two guaranteed days to get some heavy lifting in. Likely based around 5/3/1 principles and a fair bit of volume since even with my shit recovery, it’s only two sessions a week. I would then “earn” the right to lift by forcing myself to squeeze in 2 conditioning sessions and some high frequency assistance work that can be done with minimal equipment/impact.
Current plan for the first 6 weeks:
To earn my lifting:
50 leg raises a day
50 lateral raises a day
20 chin ups a day (if i can find a bar that won’t trash my house)
Add 10 per day to each of these every week
2 conditioning sessions a week. Hard enough to make me hate life a bit.
Bench 5/3/1, FSL
Wide grip pull downs
Trap bar deadlift high volume
I think your plan looks good and you should totally feel free to discard this advice,but since you asked for any words of wisdom (er…well, these are more like words of “a possible alternative if you find this difficult to execute”)
IF the following conditions are met: you are currently going to a gym to work out, and you are finding that difficult to fit into family and personal commitments, and you have the space and/or resources to outfit yourself a modest home-gym setup, and you think it would be easier to carve out 20 minutes 5-6 days per week versus an hour two days a week…I humbly note that I’ve had a reasonable run of success mixing some ideas of Dan John (One Lift A Day) and StrongFirst (Daily Dose Deadlift) and whatever else by doing low-volume, high-frequency deadlifts (3-5 days per week) with an occasional side dish of back squats, front squats, sandbag lifts, or kettlebell work.
That isn’t what you asked for, of course, but I’ll offer it up as an alternative for consideration, if only because I think folks don’t really something like consider this an option, even when they’re struggling to make it for their scheduled 2/3 days per week for 60-90 minutes at the gym.
I’m willing to consider any option that helps me meet my goals, so your thoughts are appreciated. I do actually have a home gym, it’s missing a few things like rubber mats for heavy deadlifts and lighting but is perfectly workable. The issue is that my two guaranteed lifting sessions are at midnight, in a fairly residential area. I feel I would be extremely unpopular if I started clanging plates around at silly times. I have tried to use those principles for some things that I can do easily in my own home at any time of day. Pull ups because you can’t do too many, and I know they work. Raises because I’m running out of ideas to improve my press, and leg raises because getting me to do ab work is like trying to get T3hPwnisher to squat on a swiss ball. I like to think I’ll be able to fit in a few extra 20min sessions a week, however they won’t be consistent so I don’t want to try and program for them.
Work for today:
Was finding Young Jim Wendler template too demotivated so decided to test run one of the sessions above.
Wide grip pull down roughly 3x10
Bench: went for a 65kg PR of 16 reps then FSL at 50kg, really struggled to even match the 16 reps, was totally fried.
Powercleans: 10 working singles at 60kg. felt slow, clumsy and therefore a bit pointless. These may get replaced with something else, I don’t think reteaching myself to powerclean effectively is worth it at this point.
Trap bar deadlifts: 10 x 10 at 100kg.lower back has felt like trash for days, these probably won’t help.
Bear in mind i’m weak as shit, so i’m not moving big weights here.
I’ve recently finished a program that included building up to 10x10 trap bar deadlifts over the course of 13 weeks. I managed that, with a fair amount of success. I did massively overestimate how much stronger I could get over that time though, the last session took me about 2.5 hours, most of which was spent staring at the bar hating myself. If running it again, I’d be far more conservative about progressions and I’ve already established I think that the Powercleans aren’t serving enough of a purpose for me right now so they will go.
Edit: I think, being slightly less stubborn, I should probably think about nixing the deads for the time being and focus on building my upper back and use higher volume squats to build my legs for a training block or two. My lower back does feel absolutely trashed almost all the time these days.
Press: worked up to 45kg x 8, equalled rep PR for about the fourth time. I don’t seem to have figured out how to get my press to move. Then attempted FSL, but couldn’t even equal 8
Kroc rows: 2 sets of 30kg x 25
Cable rows to try and save my lower back
Squat: worked up to 92.5kg x 10 then FSL for 20. My knee clicks on every rep of squats, heavy or light. Looking in the mirror, I seem to move slightly to one side, so it might be related to that. Will try to focus on fixing that in future and see if that helps.
All programming is going out the window in the run up to Christmas so i decided to take the chance to get a feel for my actual maxes and see where i think i need to focus assistance.
Bench: worked up to a couple of sets of 80kg x 3, probably a couple of reps in the tank on either set. Then 5 sets of 75kg x 3. Probably have 85kg in me, although I have no desire to find out. It feels like my chest is taking a lot of the beating on bench, which to my mind means I need stronger triceps to share the load.
Squats: worked up to 100kg x 3 for a few sets. I felt disappointed not to be able to go further after 12 weeks of what I thought was good progress, but everything felt wrong. My lower back is still hurting, knees where feeling it and left quad was cramping from even the lighter weights. I think I may have to cut heavy lower body work until after Christmas, give it a break and see what happens. Due a deload anyway.