T Nation

Bellmar's Training Log

The post below was added on Sunday 8/05/2012

Current Measurements (8/16/2012)

Weight: 180 lbs
Height: 6’1"
Shoulders: 47"
Chest: 39.25"
Waist: 32"
Seat: 39"
Left Thigh: 23.5"
Right Thigh: 23.5"
Left Calf: 14.75"
Right Calf: 15"
Left Arm: 13.5"
Right Arm: 13.5"
Left Forearm: 11.25"
Right Forearm: 11.25

Past Measurements (11/15/2011)

Weight: 223 lbs
Height: 6’1"
Shoulders: 50.5"
Chest: 42"
Waist: 38"
Seat: 44.5"
Left Thigh: 26"
Right Thigh: 26"
Left Calf: 16"
Right Calf: 16"
Left Arm: 14.5"
Right Arm: 15"
Left Forearm: NA
Right Forearm: NA

Training History

I have been lifting with great inconsistency (due to a combination of injuries and laziness) for the past 6 years. During this time, I have tried most of the training splits featured on this site, with the glaring exception of 5/3/1. From May to October of last year, I saw great results from following CTs high performance mass program, emphasizing low reps, wave loading, and weekly fluctuating vollume. I largely think this was due to the fact that I was actually being consistent. I was lifting 6 times a week and eating a MASSIVE quantity of food.

My Maxes in October of 2011 were:
Bench 195 x 3
Front Squat 225 x 3
Sumo Deadlift 335 x 3

However, I was purposely overeating to acheive these goals, and reached 230 (up from 190 in May) in October 2011. I decided this was far to heavy when my ankles and knees would ache for a week after playing Ultimate with friends. Since then I have played with various diet protocols including low carb with weekly refeeds, carb cycling, and now IF. I am currently at 183, aiming to get to a VERY lean 175, just for the experience of being that lean. After which I want to focus on slowly gaining strength and mass to an end goal of a lean 200.

My current training is somewhat dictated by my injuries, as detailed below. I follow much of what Boyle, Bruno, Cressey and Contreras preach in regards to single leg and glute training in regards to avoiding lumbar shear stress. I have never had trouble with deadlifting, but avoid heavy loads due to abdominal issues. As such I have axed heavy sumo deadlifts, which were once a cornerstone of my training. My current training methodologies leave me with far less joint pain, but there is nothing like holding a heavy weight in your hands and picking it up. ;-(

Injury History

Over the past 7 years I have had 4 lower back strains, each of which left me barely able to move for at least a month. I still have issues with my lower back, but with daily hip flexor stretches and abdominal work, I am now pain free. I have also injured each wrist, both injuries leaving that hand unable to support weight for a period of a couple weeks. I have never seen a health professional about any of these injuries.

In highschool, I took Taekwondo classes for about 16 months, until I tore my left calcaneofibular ligament right off the bone performing foot work drills. I had an xray but no surgury. Today, my left ankle is a few degrees externally rotated, has less flexion and extension ROM and is not particularly strong. But I can walk and run on it. So no complaints.

Last October I developed a minor epigastric hernia while performing Romanian deadlifts. Since surgury is the only treatment option, I employ training options that prevent exacerbating it. I have been avoiding heavy bilateral lifts such as squat and deadlift in favor of their single leg equivalents. I have worked hard to increase core strength the past 8 months. This has allowed me to maintain a neutral spine during lifts and greatly helped with my back issues.

MY shoulders get extremely sore and beat up from BB pressing excersises, so I mostly do DB movements with a more neutral grip instead.

Personal Information

I am an engineering graduate student in Dallas who is active in the ultimate frisbee communitee. When I am not working/studying/lifting/playing Ultimate, I enjoy watching football, bullshiting with friends, and reading good books. I am currently trying to learn a bit of Spanish, reading Game of Thrones and am playing Guitar Smith to pick up some basic guitar skills.

Happy lifting.

DL 135-5, 185-5, 225-5, 245 -1
GM 115-5, 125-5, 95-5, 105-5, 115-5
KB swings
60 - 15, 15, 15

Did conventional DLs for the first time in several months. Due to a recent back injury, I have been focusing on rack pulls above the knee, light Romanians and GMs to bring my back strength back up. Rather than feeling in my lower back as normal, I felt them today in my thoracic spinal erectors.

I truly believe that I re-injured my back due to flexibility losses. As such, a lot of my free time these past couple months have been spent stretching and doing SMR. As a result I can now comfortably front squat bellow parallel, and allot of strain has been taken from my lower back.

To those who arn’t doing SMR, I dunno what to tell you. Rolling my quads, glutes, hip-flexors and calves before squats or deads seems to let my body “flow” through the movement rather than fighting itself. SMR is fucking awesome.

Oh, and screw the foam tubes. Go buy a fucking PVC pipe. For 5 bucks from Home Depot you can get 5/6" diameter pipe that’s about 2’ long. It works wonderfully.

Been a long week… couldn’t get in for one reason or another till today.

Military Press 45-10, 65-5, 75-5, 85-5, 95-5,105-5, 115-0
BB Rows 95-5, 105-5, 115-5, 125-5, 135-2
Cable Rows 8-5, 9-5, 8.5-5, 9-5
Ab Rolls 95-2,2,3,1
1 lap warm up, 5*75 yards, 1 lap cool down

For the Militaries(sp?), the 105 set felt heavy but doable. For some reason, I just couldn’t get 115 up, even with a little leg drive.
The Cable rows were performed with a wide neutral grip bar.
Abbs hurt like hell after sprinting…

Yesterdays Numbers
RM 135 - 5, 185-5,195-5,205-5,215-3
GM 80-10,5,5,95-5,105-5,125-1
KB 60-20,12,8

damnit, everything went down… not sure why

FS 95-5, 105-5, 115-5, 125-5, 135-3
WL 20s-10 2 breathers needed :frowning:
25s-5, 5
LP 180-20, 230-20
Ab Rolls on scateboard 3,2,1,1

Squats felt AWESOME even though the weight was so low. My form felt perfect.

Fridays session:
GHR since I cannot actually fully lower and raise myself, I simply lowered myself under control as far as I could, dropped, then pushed my self back up. This was done until my control range was significantly diminished.

Leg Curls - 110-5, 120-5, 130-5, 140-5, 150-5, 155-5
DB 45 degree Hypers 30-5, 35-5, 40-5, 45-3

Did some cardio this morning for the first time in months. I only managed 8 minutes before stopping. Tomorrow I’ll go for 10. My goal for cardio is being able to go without stopping for 30 mins at a good clip, not shuffling my feet along as you see some do.

After class:
RM 135-5, 185-5, 205-5, 215-5, 225-3
GM 95-5, 105-5,

This was cut short due to a slight twinge I felt in my back. After I felt it, I decided to call it a day. I’ve had to many lower back injuries to fuck around with that.

I was able to execute the exercises themselves without any pain. I felt the twinge in btw sets while adding more weight.

Other notes for today. My grip felt awesome on the RMs. Today my back gave out before my grip. I’ll just be patient and slowly bring my back strength up while maintaining my flexibility.

I am absurdly inconsistent. I saw a friend today in the gym and realized I haven’t used this log in over a year.

Since my last post I have bulked up to 220, pulled over 350 sumo then got skinny fat at 190. Now I’m going to do it all again with a cleaner diet, more cardio and more active recovery work. You live you learn.

I will also do single leg work solely for the next month and then add front squats, sumo DLs and leg press back in.

My god, I did the following work out on Thursday and my glutes, hamstrings and quads are STILL sore. No amounnt of SMR or stretching seems to help. I’m slated to do a similar work out tomorrow.


Barbell Reverse Lunges (One leg then the other):
45 - 10|10
65 - 10|10
85 - 10|10 (rested a full minute between legs)
95 - 10|10 (rested a full minute between legs)

Split Stance RDL (as seen here: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/exercises_youve_never_tried_hamstring_and_glute_edition&cr=)

135 - 10|10, 10|10, 10|10

-push through the heel, back foot just behind front heel, lower bar just below knee to reduce lower back strain

Stair Master

15:00 lvl 15


Upper Back

I started with a warmup circuit of chins, YTWs with a 5lb plate, and a BPAs.

I performed this circuit for about 5 repetitions and honestly I was pretty spent afterwards.

B1) Cable Rows
8 - 10 10 10 7

used long silver handle with overhand grip

B2) seated DB Muscle Clean and Press
25 - 8 10 8 7


Warmup: BPAs, scap push ups, pec and lat stretch

Floor Press (ring width grip)super setted with abrolls:

135 - 6 >> 5
145 - 5 >> 3
155 - 5 >> 0
165 - 3

denotes the superset exercise. I have been trying hard to prevent lumbar extension on the ab roll outs and end the set if it happens

Standing Vertical BB Press (thumbs on inner rings)

I use a pretty narrow grip on these as it’s easier on my shoulders, I also try to prevent lumbar extension and thoracic hyperextension while doing these.

45 - 10
65 - 7
75 - 5
95 - 5
105 - 3

DB Bench Press

60 - 5 5
50 - 10 4

I was alot weaker on these for some reason than the last time I did this work out. I’m chalking it up to the extra volume done on vertical press.

Monday 8/13/2012

A) BW Nuetral Grip Chins 8 7 3

B1) Neutral Grip Cable Row
8.5 10,10,10,8
B2) Ab rolls
11 6 4 2

C) Machine Rows
145 - 10 9 6 7
take longer rests on these, at least 90 s

D) Chest Pulls 8-11,10,10,8

  • like face pulls but pull to shoulders rather than chin
  • use rope attachment pull apart to target rear delts and rhomboids

100 - 10 8 7 6

I have really lightened the weight on these to work on form. I feel it much more in lats and lower traps now.

I have switched up what I have been doing for legs. For the last 4 months I have been doing reverse lunges with a front squat hold instead of Front Squats and my knees have thanked me. My last leg session on 8/6 in which I did reverse lunges I worked up to 145 - 5|5.

However, I have a tendency to allow my lumbar spine to hyper extend while doing these, which results in lower back soreness. For the next month or so I will be doing walking lunges with KBs and adding in more core work such as Pallof presses, ab rolls, and reverse crunches as well as more hip flexor stretches. Walking lunges have always been one of my favorite leg exercises as they fry my glutes and quads without aggravating my knees and lower back.

Yesterday I did a simple leg session:
Tuesday 8/14/2012
KB Walking lunges: Medium lenghth strides
40lb kbs held in front hold
8|8, 7|7, 8|8, 7|7 60s rest

45 degree hyper extensions (pause and hold at top)
BW 10 10 10 8, 60 seconds rest

I love these as they allow for a great contraction in my glutes and hamstrings without hitting my lower back really hard. Once I can do sets of 15 with body weight, I’ll start loading it up with dumbells or a barbell on my back.

Leg Press rest 60s
180-20, 230 - 15, 16 ,16

Hip Thrusts (pause at top)
135-5, 185-5,5,3

Next session I will knock the Hip Thrusts down to 175 to ensure I am getting a full contraction at the top. Quality of reps ftw…

I will work up to my max on reverse lunges next leg session and take a video to post here.

Below are videos of my working on my deadlift technique. I warmed up to 225 on conventional and 275 on sumo. After watching my early sets, I focused on keeping my hips down on both exercises.

On my conventional sets I focused on pushing through my heels and pulling back while keeping my abs braced, my spine neutral and basically pulling the bar directly along my body. I also tried to push my hips through so that I didn’t raise my hips and end up RDLing the weight.

With sumo, I did much the same.

I have been doing sprints during my lunch breaks on the practice soccer fields on campus. For a couple weeks I would sprint one end sideline and jog the rest of the lap. For the last couple of weeks I have been sprinting both end lines and jogging the long side lines. I want to work up to 5 laps (10 sprints) and then switch to sprinting the long sidelines and jogging the end lines.

I think this will greatly help with my conditioning for the Fall Ultimate season. I have also noticed that my hamstrings and glutes seems large and stronger since I have been doing this. Definitely more power there.

I suspect this training will help me become alot faster once I put myself on a caloric surplus. Pretty exciting.

Neutral Grip Chins
8/13 BW 8 7 3
8/16 BW 6 3 2 started trying to keep my shoulder blades down for the entire movement and not

allowing them to rotate anteriorly at the top of the movement. Makes it considerably harder.
8/19 BW 6 3 2

NG Cable Row supersetted with Ab Rolls
8/13 8.5 10 10 10 8 BW 11 6 4 2
8/16 8.5 10 10 10 9 BW 10 4 3 2
8/19 8.5 10 10 10 10 BW 8 5 3 3

Machine Row
8/13 145 10 9 6 7
8/16 145 10 10 10 10
8/19 145 10 10 7 8

Chest Pulls
8/13 8.0 11 10 10 8
8/16 8.0 10 8 10 7
8/19 8.0 12 12 10 10

Lat pull downs
8/13 100 10 8 7
8/16 100 10 10 10 10
8/19 100 10 10 6 7

EZB curls
8/19 +20 - 6 6

Reverse Lunge with FS hold
8/17 45 - 5|5 95 - 5|5 115 - 5|5 135 - 5|5 155 - 5|5 145 - 5|5
8/20 45 - 10|10 95 - 10|10 105 - 10|10 115 - 10|10

45 degree Hypers
8/17 BW 10 10 10 10
8/20 BW 12 6 10 8

Leg Press Supersetted with Standing CR Machine
8/17 230 - 20 240 - 20 250 - 20 20 100 - 20 20 20 20
8/20 250 - 20 20 20 20 100 - 20 20 20 20

Hip Thrusts Supersetted with Seated CR Machine
8/17 135 - 10 10 10 10 45 - 20 55 - 12 45 - 10 8
8/20 145 - 5 135 - 7 5 5 45 - 14 6 5 3

Incline Supersetted with 10lb plate Lat Raise
8/12 95 7 115 - 5 135 - 5 145 - 4 5 4
8/15 95 - 10 115 - 10 125 - 8 7 4 x x 20 8 6
8/18 95 - 10 115 - 10 125 - 10 7 5 x x x 13 8

Incline DB Press Superseted with Incline PD raise
8/15 45 - 10 10 9 8 8 - 17 ? 5 - ? 12
8/18 45 - 12 12 11 12 8 - 12 9 5 - 9 11

Guillotine Press in SM
95 - 15 12 11 9

I have been taking it pretty easy this week. Sunday morning i ran around the school. It was nicely overcast and perhaps in the low 80s. Since I was wearing my Vibrams and running with a forefoot strike, My calves have been sore ever since. I would have run again yesterday, but didn’t want to cripple myself for league utlimate play tonight.

Per Google Earth and my stop watch I did 3.45 miles in 31:26. I believe the last time i ran this route at the beginning of summer it was around 40 mins.

Tomorrow I’ll run during my lunch break and do legs after work.

I did Pull on monday and Push Tuesday.

As far as diet goes, my weight has shot up to 187 from 178 a couple weeks ago, but has slowed down. I am getting stronger session to session, which is something I have missed for a long time. It’s good to be gaining again.

I have been eating lean ground turkey seasoned with home taco mix. To this I add cooked rice, onions, squash and broccolli. It works out pretty well for lunch. I have been eating Almond flour pancakes with vanilla whey in them for breakfast, an easy 1000 calories to get me up and running.

I actually weighed my food out the other day and figured i have been eating an average of 5000 kcals and 350 grams of protein. I should cut that down to about 4000 and 300 respectively, but it feels good to eat as much food as I am after such a long period of weight loss. I just have to be careful and monitor my weight gain.

I will post my workouts from my last post tommorrow evening.

I haven’t been getting much sleep this week, and it has been seriously affecting my motivation to train. Yesterday afternoon I tried to do legs, and couldn’t complete the set with my warm up weight.

I decided to go home and get shit done so I could hit the rack early. :confused:

Today I ran around my school (3.45 miles) in my vibrams. It took me 33:46 compared to last sunday’s 31:26. The major contributing factor would have been my calves, which were STILL sore from last week. I will be stretching and rolling them at least a couple times a day this week. This along with more sleep should significantly help them recover.

I would like to do this run at least a couple times a week. I need to prepare for the Tough Mudder in Austin this October.

I had used a LG style IF routine to go from 190 to 178 from June to early August, but then blew up when I switched to bulking. I knew better and that I should slowly increased the calories and carbohydrates weekly too start gaining weight, but instead basically went from eating about 2400 cal a day to ~4000 kcal per day overnight. As a result, I have gone from 178 to 191 from August 3rd to now.

On the upside, I have been eating in excess of 4000kcal a day and my weight gain has stopped significantly, indicating that my metabolism is roaring along nicely. Hopefully this means I can loose weight well at a higher caloric intake. I plan to start at 3300 with 10/-30 and see where I am after two weeks.