T Nation

BBB and Progress Updates


This is intended to be a training log of sorts which tracks one part of my life: my training program.

23 years old currently--I've been athletic in various ways for years. Lifted for about six years, then dropped lifting for running, which lasted about four years and resulted in a 3 hour marathon. I used to be about 250lbs, but I dropped a huge amount of weight during the running phase of my athletic life.

March 2010: 140 lbs., began lifting again.
October 2010: 175lbs. stopped lifting. Not sure why, but I think that I should have varied my workout for a bit after having spent so long working on the same exercises.

As of that time, I was:
DB Bench Pressing: 100/4
Squat: 225/5
PCurl: 80/8
BBPress: 120/5

Training Philosophy:
My general training philosophy centers around the only three commandments that I've found to have any real meaning when it comes to gains: Eat big; Sleep big; Lift big. Do those three, and you have progress.

General strength is important, but I'm interested from a bodybuilding perspective. My first goal is to get my strength back from the layoff, but I ultimately want to focus on aesthetics.

I hope to follow a pretty strict ketogenic diet.

Alternating days, lift 6 days a week, run 7. 4 miles in the morning, with small amount of HIIT on non-leg mornings. You'll see as I outline it.

I definitely welcome any words of encouragement. Honestly, I'm extremely disappointed in myself for having stopped lifting, and I feel like I'm basically starting from scratch.


First off, I now realize how much strength I've lost, and it's killing me. That said, I'm not going to pout about it--I've dug this hole, so I'm going to dig myself out of it with patience and effort. Every day is going to be about intensity and progress.

AM: 4 miles run

Noon: Focus--Pull: Back/Biceps
One-arm Rows: Last set 65/5. Felt challenging.
Pushups x10

Preacher Curl: Last set 45/5. Did all sets with same weight--was quite challenging. Missed two reps at end but made them up.
Body Weight Squats x10

Bent Rows: Last set 50/8. Did all sets with that weight. Will probably try 60s next time.

Shrugs: 165/8. All sets
Lat Pulldowns: 5 sets, 100/8 last set.

I probably overdid it today. I was just so disgusted with myself that I just needed to get more work in. I really want to get back to the point where I can take out exercises like Lat Pulldowns so that I can get on to pullups. I'm just not there strength-wise.


8AM: 2 eggs; 2 egg whites; spinach; bit of onion and celery; 1/2 cup cottage cheese-300 cals
Mixed nuts-200 cals

11AM: 2 cans tuna; 3 string cheese. 380 cals

Post-Workout: 1PM: 1 egg, 3 whites; spinach; bit of onion; 1/2 cup cottage cheese
4 scoops whey protein
3 string cheese

1 scoop whey protein
1 string cheese
1 serving mixed nuts
2 servings almonds
2 servings sweet peas
4 egg whites

Chicken breasts--2 breasts....probably .5 of a lb or so. Maybe more, maybe less.
Stalk of Celery
1/2 cup of cottage cheese


Oops--double post.

I'll go ahead and reassert here that I welcome any suggestions anyone might have. Words of encouragement are also welcome!


I've decided three things: 1) I like the idea of this training log; 2) I feel like it will become increasingly more organized as I use it; 3) I'm going to give each day's lifting plan, then update it at the end of the day.

The innovation for today will be to separate daily entries into four subsections: 1) General Thoughts; 2) Eat Big; 3) Lift Big; 4) Sleep Big.

So, here we go.....

1) General Thoughts

At this point, it's just about reminding myself that Rome wasn't built in a day. Yesterday was my day to feel guilty about my atrophied state and the losses sustained. Moving forward, it's all about exactly that--moving forward. Approach each day with the motivation towards improvement and progress. Intensity is key.

2) Eat Big

5am: can of tuna; .5 serving of almonds; 3 fish oil. 200 cals.
8am: 2 eggs; 3 egg whites; spinach&celery. 200 cals.
1.5 servings of nuts: 200 cals.
chicken breast and 1 cup cottage cheese: 350 cals.

Post Workout:
4 scoops whey protein--480 cals.
1 string cheese-60

1 egg+3 whites, spinach, 2 stalks celery--200 cals
broccoli--100 cals
small piece of chicken and .5 of cottage cheese-probably 130 or so

2:30pm: string cheese-60 cals

8oz or so of chicken--240 cals
1 serving cottage cheese-80
broccoli--200 cals
2 egg whites and peas--100
5 fish oil-50

Daily total: 2950 calories. So, I'm right at 3k.

3) Lift Big

4am: 4 mile run. Recovery pace--felt pretty sore. Need to stretch.

10am: Workout. Push-focus.

DB Bench: 6x5--got up to the 65s for 4. Was greatly disappointed to have missed a rep.
Squat: 6x5--last set at 125. Felt good, considering how sore I am.

BB Press: 6x5--90--reasonably happy about that
Deadlift: 6x5--165--pretty happy about that.

Dips: 6x8--went really well
Incline DB Fly: 3x8--ended on 40s

4) Sleep Big.

Last night's sleep was okay, I suppose. I'm trying to get 8 hours, which for some reason I'm having trouble doing right now. Spent too much time lying in bed not sleeping or having to get up to urinate. Should probably scale down water as day passes.


Thoughts On Day:

Eat Big:

5am: can of tuna; 3 fish oil; nearly half serving of almonds--200 cals

8am: 2 eggs; 2 egg whites; celery/spinach/onion; cottage cheese--300 cals
.5 serving nuts--100 cals
string cheese--120 cals.

11pm: Two cans of tuna--200 cals
string cheese--60 cals

Post Workout:
3 scoops whey--360
2 eggs; 2 whites--200
string cheese--120
cottage cheese--160

2 fish oil; nuts--200

broccoli: 200
cottage cheese--100

Lift Big: Back/Biceps: as a side note, I'm still building up strength to get to doing pullups. Suffer me the disgust created by their absence for a week or two.

One-arm DB Rows: 6x5-last three sets were 70s. Disappointing, but I gave it everything I had.

P-Curl: 6x5--45; gave myself a bonus set of 50. Max effort.
Body Weight Squats--6x10

Calf Raises

Bent DB Seated Fly--4x8--25
Reverse Curl--4x5--50

Lat Pull Down--6x8--110 for 6 repetitions. I want to do pullups again very badly.
DB Curl: 3x5; BB Curl: 3x5--50. Max effort, but my body just can't handle this load yet. It was exhausted (and slightly hungry) by the end.

Shrugs: 4x10
Attempts at PullUps between Shrugs

Sleep Big:
Sleep went better last night.


Absolutely love your training philosophy's.

I have faith in you that you'll get exactly where it is you want to go with your body.

Just from reading your posts I can see the dedication, keep it up man. It's really great too see.



General Thoughts:

Keep up intensity. Routine, diet, technique. All of these things matter a lot. But the intensity has got to be there every day, every set, every rep, every bite of food. I'm eating like a champ--at least I think that I am. We'll see how the gains go.

I hope today goes well, as it's my first day to do both of my workouts within two hours of one another. As with the diet, I'm thinking of it as an experiment. We'll see how it goes. Ordered some creatine today--we'll see how that goes. I want my body to adjust to being in weightlifting form and to the new diet first, most likely--then I'll begin using creatine. Might help for the transition from the run to the lifting.

I love being in the gym in the morning. No one around at 5:45. Today went really well, I think. Squats were a tad on the disappointing side, but I just need patience. My intensity was good, and I was able to do everything I wanted within the time allotted.

Eat Big

3 eggs; 1 white; spinach and celery--250 cals
cottage cheese--100 cals
tuna--100 cals
string cheese--60 cals
fish oil--20

Total: 690 cals

1 scoop whey-130
string cheese-60

total: 190 cals

2 scoops whey: 260
cottage cheese--100

total: 360

During Day Snacks:


After School:


Too much to keep track of during the working day. I think that for each day, it'll be useful if I stress innovations instead of keeping to the same plan as a way to measure impact. For instance, have introduced red meat into my diet the past two days.

Lift Big:

DB Bench--ended up going 7x5, with 65s last set.
Squat--went 145 last set. Should have gone lighter--my back's pretty tight.

BB Press--90 for 5 last set. Tried 95 as bonus 7th set, got it 2. Disappointing, frankly.
DLift--165 again, but felt easier this time. God, I love DLing.

Weighted Dips--Did 10lb weighted x6 for 5 sets. Did multiple sets of BW for 8 as well at end.
Body Weight Squats

DB Incl Fly--40x10 last (4th) set; felt good.
Tri press--did more dips instead. I'm accepting the wisdom that tri presses are a waste of time.

Sleep Big
Last night went pretty well.


I thought that I might say that I've been contemplating goals a lot in the past few days. Here's what I'm wanting to accomplish over the course of the next year:

By May: 80lbs weighted dips x6
By May: 250lb deadlift x4
By May: 45lbs weighted pullups x4

By September: 100lbs weighted dip x8
By September: 300lbs deadlift x6
By September: 60lbs weighted pullup x4

Not sure how realistic those are, so they might demand adjustment.

175lbs by May at 10% body fat or so.
190lbs by September at roughly 10% body fat.


Thought I'd go ahead and set up for tomorrow.

General Thoughts:

Eat Big:

Still waking up somewhat hungry....I'm thinking about going all out "force feed" one day and seeing how much that might take. I feel like I'm eating a TON of food at the moment, but maybe I'm just not.

Bfast: 3 eggs; 2 whites; spinach and peas; 3 fish oils 300
cottage cheese--160
string cheese 120
Total: 840 cals

2 scoops whey--240 cals

1.5 scoops of whey--180 cals
Total: 1260

During Day:
5 string cheese--300
2 servings almonds--320
2 fish oils--20
~8oz of chicken breast--250
Total: 900 cals; 2160

After school:
1 lb broccoli--150
2 servings almonds/walnuts--320
2 eggs; one white and spinach/celery/fish oil--250
Total: 720; 2880

1 lb or so of whiting
1 lb broccoli
2 servings cottage cheese
1.5 scoops whey
Total: 900; 3780. Boom.

Lift Big:
One-arm Row--6x5--last set (bonus set) 75s--was pretty happy about that.

DB Curl--6x5--last set (bonus set) 50lbs.
DB Bent Fly--4x8--20s meh.

Calf Raise--3x10--145. This is honestly more of a "breather" exercise to split the workout for recovery.

Lat Pulls--6x5--110 last set wide grip, 130 close. Can't wait until I can do pullups instead.
Reverse Curl--6x5--50.

Bent Row--3x10--60
Maintenance Dip--Just did easy sets of 5 during recovery phase from row.

Shrugs--just sort of a finisher to pair with V
Negative Pullups--Here, I basically just struggle against the fact that I can't do them--contracting the muscles for a 10 count.

Sleep Big:
Sleep went pretty well.


Goos stuff dude, great too see the goals up.

Think ill do the same.

Btw I hate DLing so much that I fucking love doing them:P


What do you think of the diet that I'm keeping? Part of me is thinking of it as an experiment--I was essentially a vegetarian during my time running for the three months I was away from lifting, so I'm (hoping?) thinking that I'm shocking it with the contemporaneous lifting and protein intake, ha.


Setup for Tomorrow:


I'm a believer in the peri-workout nutrition. I've been making some changes vis-a-vis last time I was starting back up: low carb this time; peri-workout nutrition; and I feel like I'm really consciously attempting a bulk for the first time. I'll just monitor how it all goes.

Lift Big:
DB Bench--70s last set. Very pleased.
ATG Squats--these went great. Trying to get back into them--125 wasn't too bad.

BB Press--95; progress achieved
Deads--175; felt good about it. Love DLs

Dips--BW+25x5 last set--I was pretty happy about that one.
Leg Press--Sort of a deload--I don't like leg presses, but I wanted to pair a leg exercise with Dips; further, I'm exhausted after DLs, so this works well.

DB Incl Fly--45s last set--happy about that
DB Shoulder Fly--used 25s last set. not bad.

Eat Big:

Sleep Big:


The contrast in your diet is defiantly interesting.

I mean last time you went all out with junk food and still had great results by the sound of things, so now your hammering the protein and keeping the carbs low. I'd say it will either go two ways 1) it works wonderfully and you start packing on quality muscle or 2) you might need carbs over the higher protein judging by last time.

I'd say give it a month or so and asses how it's going, definatly sounds better for you than bulking up on ice cream lol.

How are you finding a low carb diet? And what's yor fat intake like?


I agree regarding bulking this way v. with ice cream. But I think that for my body, it might not matter all that much. I say I was "bulking" before, but that was just to say that I felt like I was eating a ton of food. I didn't keep a food journal or anything.

But I think that because of my years running, it might be the case that my body just doesn't store all that much body fat on it. We'll just have to see, I guess. And bear in mind that I'm still running between 4-5 miles every morning before my AM lift.

The low carb has gone well so far--at least I think. If you want to see what my fat intake is like, you can check out yesterday's day of eating--that was pretty much me going all out. The primary fats are about 7 whole eggs and 4 servings of nuts, along with 100 cals of fish oil. The rest of the fats are minimal, from lower fat string cheese and such. I'm going to have a lean-ish cut of meatloaf (.5 pound) 4 days a week.

Also, I want to start introducing creating into my post-workout whey shake, but I'm going to give it a couple of weeks first, I think. I want my body to be used to being without it before I add it. I've never tried creatine before, so I don't want to shock my body too much with both the increased protein intake (I'm sure my growth hormones and other such things are going crazy right now).


I was thinking about this this morning:

-Work ethic and intensity. Commitment while doing something.
-I think that I'm much more gifted in this area (weightlifting) than I am at running. This endeavor fits my body and mentality much better.


-I am incapable of doing anything I view as "half-committing" to something. I.e., I can't just lift 3 days a week. I have to lift every day. If I can't lift as much as I am able, then doing it is just not worth it to me.
-Currently too weak to put my body through the hellfire that I'd like to.
-As a FFB, I think that I struggle with fat-ophobia. I feel that this is essentially limiting my progress. I should recognize that if I were to put on "bad weight," I have the discipline to lose that weight. I feel that I have been handling this well this time around.


Thoughts on the Day:

Eat Big:

Check. I ate big today.

Lift Big:
DB Rows--75s--pretty happy with that.

Curls: tried bonus set of 55, only got one. Pissed about that. But, 50 went down much better than last time.
DB Inverted Fly: 25s last two sets

Calf Raises

Lat Pulldowns--140x4 last set
Reverse Curl--50x6

Bent Row: 70x8 last set
DB Curl: 30s last two sets.

I can feel some strength coming back. Just have to maintain focus, intensity, and patience.

Sleep Big:
Last night's sleep sucked, which I was not happy about. I'm teaching a class, and I was thinking all night about how to get across a concept that I had struggled to get them to understand the day before.


I had a funny feeling you where a teacher, or a lecturer by the way you spoke in your posts. Can I ask what you teach?

Eat big: Check
Lift Big: Check
Sleep Big: Were working on it, lol


Well, I'm currently teaching in a middle school, getting my master's. I've also got a JD, and I'm hoping to find work in education law down the road.


General Thoughts:

Eat Big:
Check. I ate plenty today, although I did feel a tad hungry during school. I used creatine for the first time today, and I had a killer leg day--the combination of which probably contributed to an increased appetite. I made up for it once I got home :).

Lift Big:
Check: Better lifts than previously in Bench, Press, DLs, and Squat, along with weighted dips.

DB Bench--70sx4 last set
ATG Squats--135x5 last set

BB Press: 95x5
DLs: 185x5

Weighted Dips: +30x5 last set

DB Incl Fly--45s
Standing Fly--25s. Will move to 30s next time.

Sleep Big
Better, but still not where I'd like it to be.


General Thoughts:

Eat Big:
I've done a pretty good job of eating big today. Not exceptional. I need to knock out two more more meals today, one probably at like 4:30 and one around 6. Eating big is easily the most difficult part for me. Especially now that I've begun loading with creatine, as it's increased my water consumption precipitously.

I've decided that I'm going to measure progress as such:

Monthly Scale Weight.
Photo Every Two Months.
Have I set a PR on any lifts lately? (too qualitative--I hope to get this one more measurable in the near future. I just want to think it out more clearly).

I will post said photos at the end of either a) 6 months to gauge progress or b) at the point where I feel that said photos could constitute an inspirational/motivational demonstration for others. But I'm not getting ahead of myself.

Lift Big: Went really well. Saturdays are 10am gym calls for me instead of the usual 5:45.

New highs on all lifts. Also, completed a neutral grip pullup at end of workout (held for 12 seconds as a negative set).

Sleep Big:
Had a fantastic night of sleep last night. 8+ hrs.