I've been a loyal reader of T-Nation for 2 years now and must say I have learned more about nutrition and training from this website than I have about engineering in college...or so it seems. The authors are fantastic and I really love the style that information is presented. It's really a blessing these guys provide such valuable information for the benefit of people who train hard everywhere.
That being said, I've always had the ectomorph style physique and have been clean bulking since I turned 18. I played soccer nearly all my life, and senior year of high school I was 125 lbs. soaking wet. At nearly 6', I decided I needed to add some serious muscle despite my track record on the field. Accelerate life three years later. I'm now at 179 lbs with about 7-8% bf, still looking to add some muscle. I'd like to top out at a lean 195-200. I hardly ever carry much body fat, this is just what my genetics have done to me, but I can't really complain.
On to the important stuff. My training style lately has been focusing on 5 major lifts. I overhead press every training session, as well as perform two variations of the squat, including back squat and front squat. Yesterday I added barbell bench press back into my routine, which had taken a vacation for over 7 months. I also deadlift every third training session and perform full olympic cleans but leave the jerks for a later date. The gym I train at doesn't like people dropping weights and there aren't any bumper plates.
I am attempting to gain maximum strength, and not so much focusing on size. My goals are simple. For the time being, a goal of a 200lb overhead strict press, 250 full clean, 315 bb bench, 405 back squat, 365 front squat, and 515 deadlift. I care a lot about my form and I'd rather be static in my progress than cheat and progress. My current numbers are:
Back Squat: 335
Front Squat: 295
BB Bench: 270
Overhead Press: 165
Full Clean: 225
I have come to realize that central nervous system training is vital and more important than working the muscles themselves. As Thibs says, "chase performance, never chase fatigue."
Being a biochemistry/chem engineering double major in school really has influenced the way I train. From understanding all the biosynthesis pathways and nutrient timing as well as being able to understand chemical engineering principals in a physique sense, I believe that the life journey that most T-Nation readers undertake against the iron is a combination of a science and an art. Constant progress is the name of the game and we'd all think it'd be easy. Progressive overload and eating enough calories to support our lifestyle doesn't always work out the way we'd like, especially with how busy our lives are. But we love the struggle and the challenge.
Today is a day off, I worked out the upper body a little more intensely yesterday than I expected, but I will include some single leg work outside the gym to get some blood flow and nutrients to those areas.
My type I fibers are killing me everywhere but my legs today. Hopefully the single leg work will activate some type II and induce some growth. I'm working on equalizing my legs. They are very unbalanced in strength and I feel that if I fix it, I will be able to progress in the compound lifts more quickly.
As for arms, my biceps lack in size despite all the weighted pull ups and kroc rows I do, I'm thinking of doing some ballistic movements to wake them up. Thanks Thibs and Bigmac73nh.
Lastly, FINiBARs are fantastic. Had my first one yesterday and I'm wondering why I've been deprived so long.