T Nation

Big Jez' Training Log



I’m gonna try not to rant here
Actually getting across in a way that is understandable would be enough (these are all my on opinions)

You know, when we talk about bodybuilding, the first thought should not be Phil Heath or some other super massive guy on the Olympia stage. Phil got dethroned this year (spoiler alert) and a lot of people were going crazy over it. “How could Rhoden beat Phil, he has no triceps” “He’s too small” yada yada yada. The fact is that Rhoden was easily the most aesthetic guy there. Phil was off. He had a gut and he looked awkward, that second place was gifted to him. But it proved a point; a better guy won. (Now of course it was probably done just to create a new rivarly setting and to give Phil a chance for a massive comeback, so in the end, it was politics). Now, that’s exactly why we should not look at Mr. Olympia when we talk about bodybuilding. It’s pretty much just a freakshow, an act. I’m not disagreeing with that, the industry is fucked up.

What I’d want people to think about when bodybuilding is mentioned is natural bodybuilding. Natural bodybuilding requires insane commitment if you want to reach a competitive level. The guys are usually strong as hell and also very good in a multitude of sports due to increased strength, agility, speed and bodily awareness. They are not just sacks of meat.

Now, for anyone saying that you cannot get big naturally, behold;


This guy is arguably one of Finland’s best natural bodybuilders. A three time national champion, one time Nordic champion and he finished 6th at worlds. 6’2" and a bit under hundred kilos in contest shape. And this guy is not even a genetic freak really. Started from 52 kilos and just put in a whole lot of work. (If I remember correctly he had been training for 13 or so years when this picture was taken). Dude is also really strong (6x160kg CGB and 20x180kg squat for example). This is what bodybuilding should be about. Commitment, gaining strength, eating according to the plan. Competing if that is what you want to do, although that is definitely not the healthiest thing you could do. And in my opinion, bodybuilding should be done naturally for as long as possible. (also, the natural competitions are a lot less about politics as there are less people following it, so the better guy wins 9/10 times)

You should train hard and be dedicated to your diet for years before going on a cycle. Bodybuilding is an individualistic sport, and even if the goal (looking as good as possible) is vain, the methods don’t have to be. You can train with a thick hoodie on and only do sets of six if you want. There is nothing vain about that.

Just for your enjoyment, a couple of posing routines from natural guys;

Another one of Finland’s top natural guys (the song is You raise me up in Finnish)

Same dude two years later, he switched over to bodybuilding

This is the guy from the picture, as you see, it doesn’t have to be that serious.

All in all. Whatever sport you choose to do, whichever goal you choose to strive for, you should do it because you WANT to. You should always have passion for what you do. It doesn’t matter to me if bodybuilding federations are corrupted or if people think I’m vain for choosing bodybuilding. I do it because I want to. Ever since I was a literal stick figure as a teen I’ve had passion and drive for this sport. That’s the way it should be for every sport; @duketheslaya is passionate about strongman, @MarkKO chases powerlifting numbers. @littlesleeper does whatever he feels like doing and beats us all at it. Having passion for something makes people interesting.

That’s all, carry on.


Lol, this is me; full on training ADHD. Varying my training through the year(s) does keep me enjoying the fitness grind! Speaking of which, my winter of training is still undecided if anyone has any suggestions…


Great post and I especially loved this part!

@littlesleeper, you should probably try gymnastics. You haven’t demonstrated that you’re an expert in that yet, but I bet you’ll look close after two weeks of practice.


Thanks man, I could’ve put in you combining athletics, aesthetics and strength but I tried to keep it short so I don’t end up analyzing every person on the site

Is figure skating off the table? I mean, you must have great ice for skating up there.

As another option, the classic winter bulk paired with training for hypertrophy is rarely a bad idea


Yeah, fuck that guy

Jokes, you know I love you @littlesleeper


I don’t disagree with you here and it was a well written post with some valid points. The one thing though that you realise with any of these sports as you get older is that it is not always the person who trains the hardest who wins on the day. Genetics play a part as does getting things right on the day and a little bit of luck thrown in the mix. As kids (young men) we want to believe we can all be Arnie or Kaz or Coan but that is to going to be the case for everyone. But we can all be the best version of ourselves at whatever we choose to be. Whether that’s a fat power lifter @marko :wink: or a skinny strongman @duketheslaya :wink: or a calisthenics Champ @littlesleeper :wink: or even a pie eating champion !!


Or a progressively fatter cop!


Lmao, yes or in my case a progressively jello like dad. On the plus side, at least it’s progression.


Try what @isdatnutty did and start working on Ninja Warrior!


Valid points by all, and I agree 100% @danteism
Especially the part at the start when you mentioned about aspiring for natural. Yes it was the big juiced guys that peaked the interest as a young kid, but seeing my mates now who compete who are not juiceheads you’re right, they are all atheletes within their own sports who have decided to build an impressive physique on top. I’d personally fall Into that category myself, just sitting at 17% body fat instead of 8%. The thing that is frustrating to me at the moment is the fact that even in these federations, they are all still not tested, full of corruption and it’s no surprise that the athletes that come through and succeed, either know the judges, or are affiliated within the judges business etc. That’s cool, I mean if I was planning on being within it long term I’d try and get Into there books and follow a similar path, but I’m not. And I don’t want too be, I’m kinda teetering along the mindset of seriously, I’m wasting my time here even entertaining the thought of competing because I know I’m not going to take it anywhere. If anything, it’s probably going to put myself back 2 years in my long term goal just trying to deviate away from what I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do, which is to compete in competitive strongman.


Why don’t you just pursue strongman and then when you get tired of being massive you can cut and do bodybuilding? You’ll build more muscle on that path and your final bodybuilding product will probably be larger.

I’ve seen bodybuilders build themselves little by little each year and I’ve seen power lifters/weight lifters who turned to bodybuilding after competing (Amit Sapir). From my viewpoint (the outside looking in) it seems that the big/fat guys who lifted heavy objects end up with more muscle when they cut. It could be that they don’t sacrifice part of the year cutting for a show so they just keep building. Bodybuilders who compete sacrifice months of growth to get stage ready so it makes sense that they’d be smaller over time (thinking about 5 years of powerlifter/strongman training VS 5 years of competing in bodybuilding).

I honestly think focusing on the big, strong path first is the way to go. Pursue physique when you’re satisfied with strongman. It’ll also help you cut excess fat and improve your health for the later stages of life.

Option C is to go back in time, alter your genetics as an embryo, take copious amounts of steroids, and train with Larry Wheelz.


I was thinking when I was young that bodybuilders where strong MF.
Then I grew a little older and I realized that they might be strong, but they didn’t use it for anything. To me they where obsessed with how they look and where chasing a stupid little muscle here and there always flexing and looking in the mirror.
At that point I left the gym and started riding my bike, I’m not genetic gifted with big muscles.
I’ve never really like the idea that someone have to judge if this or that person looked best. That is very personal I think.
Then I looked at weightlifters, powerlifters and strongmen.
They are like the same and then not. WL and PL has rules and regulations and two or three lifts. They know exactly what is up and can see World records, national records, age records, bodyweight records. And they always have that goal.
While strongmen have to wait for the next event to see what they have to train for next time, but they still compete at the same terms they know what to do and the one that does the most wins.
That is fair competition, yes some get juiced up… you can never stop people for cheating.
Sorry for the rant Jez, go for strongman it’s so much more masculine :slight_smile:


Actually, funny you mention this. I do intend on doing some gymnastics type movements like in gasp Crossfit. I don’t think I’ll really have the means to do this until we get our house built next year and my new weight room put together. Not really the height requirement in the basement I’m training in now.

Figure skating might be off the table lol, but I do plan on doing a lot more skating this winter. I didn’t lace up once last winter, so I’d like to get some time on the blades again this winter before probably playing hockey again next winter.

Yeah, I’ve been leaning towards this for the sake of simplicity (vs training for strongman/Crossfit/gymnastics/etc). I’ve been doing the not-so-classic summer bulk, so might as well go full @MarkKO and pull a “Bulk 365”. Although, I’ve been training quite PL specific, so a focus on hypertrophy for 4-6months could be fun.


I want this. Training starts tomorrow.

Not a bad idea at all haha if only I wasn’t limited with space/equipment (especially in the winter).


You know, that’s actually a really good idea


I’ve done legs 2 days in a row
Yep, you are absolutely right to call me a flamin gallah

Sunday PM
Same as last weekend’s with the misses
A bunch of hamstring curls, GHD extensions, front foot elevated Romanian deads, and single leg kb deads

Monday PM (tonight)
I entered the hurt locker tonight

Warm up
10 plate total leg press
5x20 20 sec rest between sets feet remain elevated whole time

Superset (everything was)

Single leg leg press 4 plate total
Sumo leg press

Barbell lunges 10 p/leg 60kg
Kb side step ups 24kg p/arm

Barbell sumo squat 60kg
Sled push 40 secs 120kg

Everything had <90 sec rest
I was sprawled out after every set
Last round almost threw up

I hated every second


Does 10 total plates mean 5 per side?

Were you using two leg presses? If not then I feel like this was probably more like a typical squat stance for us tall folks.


Yes, 5 plate per side
Nothing crazy but enough to make volume slap me in the face with it’s enormous Richard

Hahaha yeah had my heels in the top right corner, worked perfectly


Friday PM

Shoulders and back

Seated lat raise 4x30 8kg

Lateral raise 12.5kg
Db press 22.5kg

Hammerpress 80kg
Face pulls cable 24kg

3x10 60kg powercleans

Behind head lat pull downs
4x20 7 plates


2 at 60kg
2 at 100kg
2 at 140kg
2 at 180kg
1 at 200kg
1 at 220kg

A little round of abs and called it there


Random thoughts

Currently Sunday arvo thinking of my week ahead, and inevitably my thought process is rolling towards long term goals with strongman

Have been speaking to some pretty successful guys both nationally and internationally who train out of my gym
Not going to name any names but the conversation rolled towards use of AAS to which some pretty good points were raised
Look, to be honest I think I’ve revealed a fair chunk of my personal information with having a few guys on here on Facebook and Instagram so by no means am I hidden. But I value everyone’s opinion here who I’ve spoken too on here and I appreciate the guys who have used them for their insight aswell

Basically the conversation was along the lines of; to be a decently successful strongman, there is going to come a time where to break that barrier of natural strength, recovery and performance, they are obviously going to have to turn in their natty cards and use.

It scares me a little, when I first started it all I was pretty naive and asked before I had “earnt” the right to ask and I feel like I’ve learnt a bunch.
This thought is more of an extension question to everyone’s personal views of using within a sport, and perhaps people who have openly used on how you ventured to that side.

I have a certain particular mate of mine, powerlifter
Same age, physical stats are pretty much exactly (6cms shorter and 3kgs heavier) the same except he deads 390, squats 370 and benches 230
He was like yeah I was pretty much at my numbers when he started using (18 months ago)
That’s pretty much an increase of 220kg in that time
I also have another friend who has had some mental dramas from aas use (although he used xanax which certainly kicked him over the edge)

Feel free to comment no matter what
It’s not so much a place for anyone to diss anyone, I know this subject will have 3 sides (pro,fencesitter,against) so I value responses no matter what

Plus, feel free to tag someone who you think would be able to add to hopefully a good discussion towards it


Hey Jez
I just wrote a whole long post to this, and deleted it again.
There was no head or tail in it.
If you want to go that way, find a doctor who can help you, and knows what he does. Do not try to do it with the help of another competitor. Who say he knows what to do.
It’s highly risky and I’ve seen my fair share on mental nutcaches.

I would encourage you to find tested events and compete there.

I would personally never go that way. I’ve reach an age where it doesn’t matter anyway :slight_smile: