T Nation

Aussie Dad Training Log

Towards the end of last year I was watching Top Gear on SBS when the ads came on, one of these ads was a government advisory ad, this one was about the the effects of obesity. The voice-over said all the usual things we have all heard before - and usually ignore - they had no effect on me. However something did take a hold of me, the ad portrayed a young man walking down a large tape measure, but this tape measure did not measure units of distance but units of time, as the man walked down this timeline he progressively got older and fatter.

About half down this tape measure he picked up his daughter, but as he older and fatter he had to put her down, and was panting due tot he minimal effort. This had a peculiar affect on me, I usually because I had recently learned that I was to be a father. Looking down at myself, I realised that I too was heading down that timeline of fatness and I did not want my future child to grow up without an active father, or worse without a father at all.

So I set about my journey to get myself in shape…whatever that meant.


The reason I start with this little insight into me is because I did not want this training log to be just a list of lifts and numbers down an LCD screen, but a story about where I have been and where I am, to where I want go and how I aim to get there. This log was created as evidence to my children that reaching goals that are important to them requires more then just a fleeting interest but a certain level of determination, patience and intelligence. And as reminder to myself that what I am doing is not only for my selfish goal of getting strong and yoked but a way to honour my role as father in my very own clan.

So over the coming months I will detail up to my current point and along the way give you a look at my current training.

My goal of getting in-shape has led me down a winding path heading this and way and that as I am constantly redefining my goal of getting in-shape.

When I first started my journey I set my goal of having a BMI in the healthy weight range. I thought having a BMI below 25 would be the healthiest thing to do, I had never even come close to this target in my life. I wouldn’t say I was a fat lad but I would say that I have a body type caught between mesomorph and endomorph.

Using the tools available to me I started riding my bike at first just short 10km rides then it grew to 40km rides. The 40km rides were hard yakka, and took a lot out of me, I would drink close to 4 litres of water on these 2 hour rides. At the time I didn’t know a thing about nutrition so I was losing weight but still eating the wrong foods, and starting to cramp up. I was also riding to work 3 days a week.

For Christmas I was given a Polar heart rate monitor and bike speedo. These were a godsend, I am a very analytical person, so having a device that could track how many calories I was using and how my heart was performing allowed to me to make great gains just by pure motivation to get on the bike.

By the time it hit Christmas I was 95kg, and my family started a competition of having weekly weigh-ins on the Wii-Fit. So I could win the competition I started to pump up the work volume, I was burning between 5000-7000kcal per week just on the bike. Whenever it was time for the weigh-in I would do my 3 hour bike ride and not drink for the last hour - Stupid!

I was losing weight and getting slimmer and by March I was down to about 85kg. Still no where near a healthy BMI though, it said I had to weigh 81kg.


This week was my first week back in the gym after a long holiday, almost 3 weeks. I wanted to start off with high volume and low intensity to really get the body in the groove and rekindle my motivation.

Monday - Max Effort Lower Body
Box Squat (1" above Parallel) for a Triple
Bar x 10 reps (No Box, ATG)
(30kg, 40kg, 50kg) x 6 reps
(60kg, 70kg, 80kg) x 5 reps
(90kg, 100kg, 110kg) x 4 reps
(120kg, 125kg, 130kg) x 3 reps

Repetition Method (Waterbury Style)
40 total reps with 1 min rest
Single Leg Deadlift (14kg) - 16, 14, 10 reps
Hip Thrust (40kg) - 10 x reps
Back Extension (10kg) - 6, 8, 10, 8 reps (glutes were still tired from hip thrusts)
Decline Reverse Crunch - 10, 9, 7, 7, 7 reps

Wednesday - Max Effort Upper Body
Decline Press for a Triple
Bar x 10 reps
(25kg, 30kg, 35kg, 40kg) x 6 reps
(45kg, 50kg, 55kg) x 5 reps
(60kg, 65kg, 70kg) x 4 reps
(75kg, 80kg, 85kg, 90kg, 92.5kg) x 3 reps

Repetition Method (Waterbury Style)
40 total reps with 1 min rest
JM Press (40kg) - 10, 8, 7, 8, 7 reps
A. Rear Delt Raise + 1 sec ISO Hold (3kg) - 10 x 4 reps
B. L-Lateral Raise (8kg) - 10 x 4 reps
C. Cuban Press (4kg) - 10 x 4 reps
Face Pull (28.75kg) - 10, 10, 8, 7, 5 reps
Seated Row (47kg) - 10, 10, 8, 7, 5 reps
Low Pulley Rotator Cuff Rotation (6.25kg) - 14, 7, 7, 6, 6 reps
Side Raise w/twist - 10 x 4 reps

Friday - Dynamic Effort Lower Body
Box Squat (75kg) - 12 x 2 reps
Deadlift (75kg) - 6 x 1 reps

Repetition Method (Waterbury Style)
40 total reps with 1 min rest
Single Leg Deadlift (20kg) - 14, 13, 13 reps
Hip Thrust (40kg) - 14, 13, 13 reps
Back Extension (10kg) - 14, 13, 13 reps
Decline Reverse Crunch - 10, 9, 7, 7, 7 reps

Sunday - Dynamic Effort Upper Body
Bench Press (50kg) - 8 x 3 reps (4M, 2C, 2W - Grip)

Repetition Method (Waterbury Style)
40 total reps with 1 min rest
Tri Pushups (BW) - 10 x 10 reps
A. Rear Delt Raise + 1 sec ISO Hold (2.5kg) - 10 x 4 reps
B. L-Lateral Raise (5kg) - 10 x 4 reps
C. Cuban Press (2.5kg) - 10 x 4 reps
Bent-over Row (50kg) - 10 x 4 reps

All gym sessions were at 11:00am and lasted 90 mins. I also played Touch Footy on the Monday, 45min game.
Started on my Precision Nutrition plan with 4000kcal intake. Breakdown of nutrients is 30%/40%/30% (P/C/F).

Around March I realised that trying to get a BMI in the healthy range was stupid. I wanted to complement my bike riding with some weight training so I joined a gym and started do StrongLifts 5x5.

It only took one workout for me to be bitten by the strength training bug. As soon as I got home I setup a spreadsheet to record all my lifts and started tracking my results on a chart.

The more I did strength training the less cycling I did. I started taking notice of diet and tracking it on Fit Day. I saw a homeopath once a month to get my supplements.

Within two months I was really pushing myself in the gym. I had read the Anabolic Diet and started applying its nutrition principles in my diet. Although I wasn’t seeing much progress in body composition, my strength levels rose quickly. As a very analytical person this was very appealing to me and I wanted to do more research on how I could keep getting stronger.

That research led me to T-Nation…


I started this week by seeing a physio, he was very impressed with my level of knowledge, thanks T-Nation, and just recommended I try focus a little more on my core strength and do a bit more static stretching on my off-days.

Tuesday - Max Effort Lower Body
Box Squat (1" above Parallel) for a Single
Bar x 10 reps (No Box, ATG)
(20kg, 30kg, 40kg, 50kg, 60kg, 70kg, 80kg) x 3 reps
(90kg, 100kg, 110kg) x 2 reps
(120kg, 130kg, 140kg, 150kg, 155kg, 160kg-miss) x 1 reps

Repetition Method
1 min rest
Romanian Deadlift (100kg) - 3 x 5
Hip Thrust (100kg) - 3 x 5
Back Extension (25kg) - 3 x 5
Ab Pulldown (43.5kg) - 3 x 5

Thursday - Max Effort Upper Body
Decline Press for a Triple
Bar x 10 reps
(25kg, 30kg, 35kg, 40kg, 45kg, 50kg, 55kg) x 3 reps
(60kg, 65kg, 70kg, 75kg, 80kg, 85kg) x 2 reps
(90kg, 92.5kg, 95kg, 97.5kg, 100kg, 102.5kg) x 1 reps (Still had some left in the tank, but I had no spotter)

Repetition Method
1 min rest
JM Press (60kg) - 3 x 5
A. Rear Delt Raise + 1 sec ISO Hold (4kg) - 3 x 5 (last rep held for 10s)
B. L-Lateral Raise (10kg) - 3 x 5
C. Cuban Press (6kg) - 3 x 5
Face Pull (32kg) - 3 x 5
Seated Row (55kg) - 3 x 5
Low Pulley Rotator Cuff Rotation (8.75kg) - 3 x 5
Dragon Flag - 3 x 5
Side Planks (30s) 2e

Saturday - Dynamic Effort Lower Body
Box Squat (85kg) - 12 x 2 reps
Deadlift (85kg) - 6 x 1 reps

Repetition Method
1 min rest
Single Leg Deadlift (20kg) - 3 x 10
Hip Thrust (100kg) - 3 x 5
Back Extension (30kg) - 3 x 5
Ab Pulldown (43.5kg) - 3 x 5

Monday - Dynamic Effort Upper Body
Bench Press (50kg) - 8 x 3 reps (2W, 2M, 2C, 2UW - Grip)

Repetition Method
1 min rest
JM Press (60kg) - 3 x 5
A. Rear Delt Raise + 2 sec ISO Hold (4kg) - 3 x 5 (last rep held for 10s)
B. L-Lateral Raise (10kg) - 3 x 5
C. Cuban Press (6kg) - 3 x 5
At the completion of the tri-set, completed each individual set to failure all the way down to 1kg.
Rack Pull (180kg) - 3 x 3
Low Pulley Rotator Cuff Rotation (8.75kg) - 3 x 10
Dragon Flag - 3 x 5

All gym sessions were at 11:00am and lasted 90 mins. I also played Touch Footy on the Monday, 45min game.
Continued on my Precision Nutrition plan with 4000kcal intake. Breakdown of nutrients is 30%/40%/30% (P/C/F).

Lost some of my training notes so here goes.

ME Lower
Box Squat (1" above Parallel) for a Double
Warm-up then work sets at 140, 150, 155kg.
Front Squats - 100kg 3x3. This is to build core stability.
SLDL - 30kg 5x5
Back Extension - 30kg 3x10
Contact Twists - 20kg 3x8

ME Upper
Decline Press for a Double
Warm-up then work sets at 90, 95, 100. Did a single at 102.5 had more in me but did not feel safe without spotter.
JM Press - 60kg 5x5
A. Rear Delt Raise - 4kg 3x8
B. L-Lateral Raise - 10kg 3x8
C. Cuban Press - 7kg 3x8
Seated Row - 61kg 5x5
Rack Pull - 3 reps each, above the knees 120, 120, 140, 140, 160, 160, 170, 180.
Low Pulley Rotator Cuff Rotation (8.75kg) - 3 x 10
Hanging Leg Raise

DE Lower
Box Squat (90kg) - 12 x 2 reps
Deadlift (90kg) - 6 x 1 reps
Single Leg Deadlift (30kg) - 3 x 5
Hip Thrust (60kg) - 3 x 8
Back Extension (30kg) - 3 x 5
Ab Pulldown (43.5kg) - 3 x 5

DE Upper
Bench Press (50kg) - 8 x 3 reps (2W, 2M, 2C, 2UW - Grip)
JM Press (60kg) - 5 x 5
A. Rear Delt Raise - 5kg 3x8
B. L-Lateral Raise - 10kg 3x8
C. Cuban Press - 8kg 3x8
Arnold’s Chin-up Routine
Wide Pull-up - 5,4,3
Medium Pull-up - 4,3,2
Medium Chin-up - 4,4,3
Narrow Neutral Chin-up - 3,3,3
Pushups performed during rest - 32, 28, 22
Contact Twists - 25kg 3x4

ME Lower
Sumo Deadlift (First Time) Single
warm-up sets then work sets 140, 145, 150
Front Squats - 100kg x 6, 110 x 4
Hip Thrusts - 60kg 3x10 (Lower weight seems to have a greater effect on glutes)
Back Extensions - 35kg 3x5, 10kg 3x10

ME Upper
Rack Press Triple with 15kg DB Curls and heavy bicep stretching during rest.
Warm-up sets and work sets at 92.5, 95, 97.5kg.
A. Rear Delt Raise - 5kg 3x10
B. Lower Trap Raise - 2.5kg 3x10
C. L-Lateral Raise - 6kg 3x10
D. Cuban Press - 4kg 3x8
Shrugs -
Overhead - 40kg x 10
Wide - 60kg x 10
Medium - 60kg x 10
Behind - 60kg x 5
Single Arm Row Barbell Sleeve - 30kg 8, 8, 4 (Grip gave out)
Contact Twist - 30kg 4x4

DE Lower
Light Band Box Squat - 65kg 8x2
Sumo Deadlift - 75kg 6x1
Front Squat - 100kg x 3, 110kg x 2, 120kg x 2, 130kg x 1
SLDL - 30kg 3x5
Back Extension (35kg) - 3 x 5

DE Upper
Bench - 50kg 8x3, 70kg, 90kg x 4
Close Grip Decline Press - 60kg 20,15,15
A. Rear Delt Raise - 5kg 3x10
B. Lower Trap Raise - 2.5kg 3x10
C. L-Lateral Raise - 6kg 3x20
Rack Pull - 3 reps each, above the knees - 70, 120, 170, 200
Arnold’s Chin-up Routine (Nothing left after rack pulls)
Wide Pull-up - 3,3,3
Medium Pull-up - 3,3,2
Medium Chin-up - 3,3,3
Narrow Neutral Chin-up - 3,3,3
Pushups performed during rest - 18, 18, 17
Contact Twists - 30kg 4x4

ME Lower
Sumo Deadlift (Belt) Single
warm-up sets then work sets 160, 180, 170, 165 (in that order)
Front Squats - 100kg x 3, 110kg x 2, 120kg x 2, 130kg x 1
Hip Thrusts - 60kg 3x10 (Lower weight seems to have a greater effect on glutes)
Back Extensions - 35kg 3x8
Ab Roll - 5x5
Side Plank - 3x10secs

ME Upper
Rack Press Double with 17.5kg DB Curls and heavy bicep stretching during rest.
Warm-up sets and work sets at 110, 102.5, 100kg. Finding attempting going for a PR is easier before work sets.
A1. Barbell Cuban Press - 10, 15, 20, 25, 25, 30, 30kg.
A2. L-Lateral Raise with Upward Rotation - 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9, 10kg.
B1. Side Lying Raise - 7kg 3x7
B2. Low Pulley Rotator Cuff Rotation - 6.25kg 3x7
Seated Row - 40, 43.5, 47, 50.5, 54, 57.5, 61.
Contact Twist - 40kg x 4, 30kg 3x4

DE Lower
Light Band Box Squat - 70kg 10x2
Sumo Deadlift - 90kg 6x1
Front Squat - 60kg x 20
SLDL - (30, 32.5, 35, 37.5, 40kg) 5 reps each.
Good Mornings (40kg) - 3 x 15
Light Band Resisted Ab Roll - 3x5
Side Plank - 3x10secs

DE Upper
Bench - 55kg 8x3 (Narrow x 2, Comp x 4, Wide x 2) Grip
Overhead Press - 20, 40, 50, 55, 57.5, 60, 62.5kg.
A1. Barbell Cuban Press - 25, 25, 30, 30, 30kg.
A2. L-Lateral Raise with Upward Rotation - 7, 8, 9, 10, 10kg.
B1. Side Lying Raise - 7kg 5x5
B2. Low Pulley Rotator Cuff Rotation - 5x5
Arnold’s Chin-up Routine (Seem to getting less of these each week, either a sign of training stress or it’s just i have put on about 5kg since I first started)
Wide Pull-up - 4,3,4
Medium Pull-up - 4,3,3
Medium Chin-up - 3,3,3
Narrow Neutral Chin-up - 3,2,2
Contact Twists - 40kg x 4, 30kg 3x4

I’m still struggling to find the right accessory exercises. Contacted Chris Clark on Elite FTS regarding my jump in Sumo numbers and he suggested i work on my abs and obliques as well as my lower back strength. So next cycle I will be doing good mornings for my max effort and high rep good mornings for accessory.

My bench is coming along nicely, I think I can now take the focus off shoulder training and include more direct triceps and back work. Will see how this goes. I am limited in the ME movements I can do for the bench because I train alone, so for the next training cycle I plan to do the floor press.

Put on a few kilos over christmas, but that fat seems to be gone already. I have touch footy starting back again tonight and R/league training started back last week.

Been reading some of Pavel Tsatsouline’s stuff recently and finding it pretty interesting. Have started following a stretching routine which seems to working wonders my hip flexors as my back pain is almost gone.

ME Lower
Sumo Deadlift (Belt) Single
warm-up sets then work sets 180, 172.5, 165 (in that order)
Zercher Squats - (40, 50, 60kg) x 5
Good Mornings - (20, 30, 30, 40, 50, 60kg) x5
SLDL - (35, 37.5, 40, 40kg) x 5
Dorsiflexion - (10, 25, 25kg) x 8
Ab Roll - 3x5
Side Plank - 3x10secs

ME Upper
Rack Press Double with 17.5kg DB Curls and heavy bicep stretching during rest.
Warm-up sets and work sets at 112.5, 107.5, 102.5kg
JM Press - 60kg 3x5
Close Grip Bench - 90kg 4x4, 70kg 2x8
Rack Pull - (140, 180, 180kg) x 3, 200kg x1
Single Arm Row - (20, 30, 30kg) x 5
Contact Twist - 40kg 2x4, 30kg 2x4

DE Lower
Light Band Box Squat - 80kg 12x2 (Slow)
Sumo Deadlift - 100kg 6x1
Zercher Squats - 60kg 5x5
Good Mornings - (40, 50, 50kg) x 12
SLDL - (35, 40, 45kg) x 5
Dorsiflexion - 20kg 3x10
Ab Roll - 5x5
Side Plank - 3x10secs
Side Crunches - 2x5

DE Upper
Bench - 60kg 8x3 (Narrow x 2, Comp x 4, Wide x 2) Grip
Overhead Press - 20, 40, 50, 55, 60, 62.5, 62.5kg.
Bent-Over Cable Reverse Flye - 6.25kg 2x10, 5x5
Side Cable Raise - 6.25kg (5x5)
Arnold’s Chin-up Routine (Seem to getting less of these each week, either a sign of training stress or it’s just i have put on about 5kg since I first started)
Wide Pull-up - 5,4,3
Medium Pull-up - 4,3,3
Medium Chin-up - 4,4,3
Narrow Neutral Chin-up - 4,4,3
Push-ups in rest 34, 30, 28
Saxon Side Bend - 5kg 3x5
Side Bend - 20kg x 5, 25kg x 5
Wood Chops - 13.75kg 3x5

ME Lower
Worked up to 160kg Squat (This wasn’t part of my ME movement i just wanted to see if i could still hit 160kg)
Hip Stance Good Morning 5 reps
warm-up sets then work sets 40, 50, 60, 70, 75kg
Zercher Squats - (60, 62.5, 65, 67.5kg) x 5
Ab Roll - 3x5
Palof Press, Wood Chops - 13.75kg 3x5

ME Upper
Floor Press Triples
Warm-up sets and work sets at 80, 90, 95kg
Incline DB Press - (15, 20, 25, 27.5) x 5, 30 x 1
Close Grip Bench - 90kg 4x4, 70kg 2x8
Saxon Side Bend - (5, 7, 7kg) x 5
Contact Twist - (40, 35, 35kg) x 4

DE Lower
Squat - 80kg 12x2
Sumo Deadlift - 100kg 6x1
Zercher Squats - (60, 62.5, 67.5, 72.5, 75kg) x 5
Good Mornings - (20, 30, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60kg) x 5
Ab Roll - 3x5
Palof Press, Wood Chops - 13.75kg 3x5

DE Upper
Bench - 65kg 8x3 (Narrow x 2, Comp x 4, Wide x 2) Grip
Overhead Press - 20, 30, 40, 50, 55, 57.5, 60, 65, 62.5kg.
Bent-Over Cable Reverse Flye - 8.75kg 4x5, 11.25 x 5
Side Cable Raise - 8.75kg (5x5)
Arnold’s Chin-up Routine
Wide Pull-up - 5,4,4
Medium Pull-up - 4,3,3
Medium Chin-up - 4,4,4
Narrow Neutral Chin-up - 4,4,3
Dips in rest 10, 10, 10, 9, 7
Saxon Side Bend - (7, 8, 4) x 5
Contact Twist - (35, 40, 45kg) x 4

ME Lower
Hip Stance Good Morning Triples
warm-up sets then work sets 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 85, 82.5kg
Front Squats - (80kg) 5x5
Back Extension - (30, 24, 36)
Palof Press, Wood Chops - 13.75kg 3x5

ME Upper
Incline Press (Thib Ratchet)
(45, 62.5, 42.5, 67.5, 40, 72.5, 37.5, 77.5kg) x 3, 80kg x 1, 90kg x 1
DB Flat Press - (15, 20, 25, 27.5, 30kg) x 5
Inverted Row (3 grips 10sec rest) - (8,5,4), (7,4,3), (7,5,3)
Saxon Side Bend - (5kg) 3x5
Contact Twist - (30, 40, 50) x 4

DE Lower
Squat (Thib Ratchet)
(95, 130, 87.5, 137.5, 80, 145, 72.5kg) x 2, 160x1
[video]1581[/video]
Sumo DL (Thib Ratchet)
(105, 145, 100, 160kg) x 1, 180kg x 1
[video]1582[/video]
Back Extension - 50 reps, 40 reps, 37 reps
Decline Crunch - 20 reps, 20 reps, 20 reps

DE Upper
Bench (Thib Ratchet)
(62.5, 85, 75.5, 90, 52.5, 95, 47.5, 100) x 3
Overhead Press - (20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 65, 62.5, 57.5, 52.5kg) x 3
Rear Delt Machine - (31, 45, 59, 66, 72kg) x 5
Side Raise - (8.75kg) 5x5

I competed in March. At the end of the year my comp max’s were 162.5kg squat, 112.5kg bench and 205kg deadlift.

Took 6 months off to play footy in 2010. Started back lifting in October. Have spent the last three months losing beer fat, putting on some upper body bulk and slowly getting my strength back. Also i busted my shoulder playing football so i am trying to get that healthy also.

Now i have got myself back to a reasonable level in strength, i am going to spend this week retesting my max’s. I will then use Thib’s program outlined for high performance muscle modifying, under his instruction, the program for powerlifting. If in 3 cycles (9 weeks) I’m happy with the progress I will keep going until the next pl comp in March. Otherwise i will go back to a conjugate system, but still use Thib’s techniques on DE day.

In the comp in March i would ecstatic if i could hit a 200kg squat, 140kg bench, and a 230kg deadlift, but i think i’m dreaming. I think I would most likely hit a 180kg squat, 130kg bench and a 220kg deadlift, and i would be pretty damn happy with it too.

When the footy season starts back up, the plan is to train using Thib’s system so that i don’t lose any strength for next year’s comp.