T Nation

Big Lifts and the Big C


Hey all, long time reader of the site, but new to the forums.

I guess a bit of background is needed before I get into the meat and potatoes of the log:
I'm 19 years of age, based in Melbourne, Australia and have been lifting for 3 years (Properly for about 1 & a half). I'm 188cm tall (6'2ish for the Yanks) and 86kg (189lbs) in weight (I'll try to provide both imperial and metric whenever I can remember throughout the log).

My diet could best be described as low carb, high fat and high protein; lots of meat, lots of nuts, lots of veg and lots of full cream milk :)I try to eat every 3 hours in order to spread my cals throughout the day.
In terms of supps: I take a blend of whey protein mixed in with my milk, a whey isolate Pre W.O/ with creatine Post W.O, a lot of fish oil (I have a few bottles in my house and I graze throughout the day) and a metamucil each night before bed.

Now for the big stuff. I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, in September of 2008 and have had an on and off relationship (mostly on, as it is now) ever since. This has resulted in lots of chemo, radiation, an autologous stem cell transplant, a brand new to the market anti-body treatment (which I'm on now) and is all leading up to an Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant in Mid-March. I'm also on Prednisolone to control some of the symptoms of the cancer such as night sweats.

I like to think the weight training has played an important role in keeping me as healthy as I can be (Despite not getting rid of the cancer I think it played a major role in getting rid of my depression and social anxiety disorder). I have remained incredibly healthy throughout my treatment, never having to stay in hospital with infections or low blood counts, and have always been able to maintain my mental make up throughout it all.

However, with an Allogeneic transplant due in Mid-March, I will soon be, in the immortal words of Turkish in the film Snatch, "Proper Fucked", with no training, massive weight loss and quite simply a completely ruined body.

The transplant is one of the reasons I'm starting this blog. Not only do I get the great feedback from T Nation in regards to my training, I have been told by the nurses that the psychological boost from summit like this is one of the best ways to stay sane during the transplant.

Therefore, with the transplant tentatively due in Mid-March I am going for broke in the lead in to the transplant, no need to worry about overtraining if you won't be training for up to 12 months soon lol. This means that I am trying to be as strong as I will be able to be by mid-March, with a secondary emphasis on some weight gain because my docs have told me that that will help me with the transplant.

Anyways I'll post todays session after this post, and any advice in regards to the program or form on the vids is appreciated. BTW, if you have a question or a comment please post in the thread and don't P.M me, I'm bloody useless at replying to those :stuck_out_tongue:


Today's Session
Deadlift Day

8 x 20kg/45lbs (Bar)
5 x 60kg/132lbs
3 x 115kg/255
1 x 135/297
1 x 162.5/358
1 x 185/407
1 x 205/451
1 x 220/485 (Fail, Bar would not budge)
1 x 210/462 - Ended it here, 210 was hard, but I got it up. 5 weeks before I pull heavy from the floor again so hopefully I can hit 220 next time.

Warm Up into
1 x 20reps at 102.5kg

Alternating D-Bell Bench / D-Bell Row - 90 seconds rest, alternating the two exercises

Bench = 45lbs/20kg x 12/12/12/12/10
Rows = 70lbs/31kg x 12/10/10/12/10
(When it is 12 reps every set I bump up the weight, I should also mention that, due to a tumour under my arm, pressing aint the most comfortable thing in the world, hence the light weight.

Military Press
40kg/88lbs x 11/9/10/7/10
(When it is 12 reps every set I will bump up the weight)


Just got back from a 36 degrees Celsius (98 Degrees for the Yanks) Squat session...gotta love it.

Anyways, today's session looked like this:

Did a warm up of 30 Chin Ups (Broken into sets of 6) with 30 B.W Squats (Broken into sets of 6)

Box Squat - Box just below parallel

Warm Up Sets

142.5kg (315lbs)- What I did was a double, rest 20-30 seconds then a single, rest 2 minutes and repeat. Did this 5 times for 15 total reps.
145 (320)x 1
150 (330)x 1
160 (352.5) x 1 (This was with a much wider stance then the other sets and was more touch and go then a proper Box Squat)

Back Squats (No Box)

1 x 20 reps at 105kg (230lbs)

Alternating D-Bell Bench / D-Bell Row - 90 seconds rest, alternating the two exercises

Bench = 45lbs/20kg x 12/12/12/12/12 (Bump up the weight next session)
Rows = 70lbs/31kg x 12/12/12/12/12 (Bump up the weight next session)

Military Press

50kg x 7/8/7/7/9

Deadlift (Not planned for, but some guys had the bar set heavy so I thought what the hell)

200kg for 2 reps (This is actually a double P.R for me and it deffs counted, made sure the second rep was from a dead stop, actually felt as if I could have done 3 if I pushed it)

Good session today. Weight was at 86kg (189), down from 87kg (191) on Friday, not the direction one wants to go when adding weight lol. I'm gonna add some carbs such as oats and pasta for breakfast and post training to my diet, as well increase my total cals, and hope that helps me put some mass on.
Once again, any advice is appreciated and welcomed!
Happy New Year!


Power Clean Day -

Warmed up = chins and overhead squats using a 20kg Bar superset - 5 x 6

Power Clean Warm Up -
3 x 20kg (Bar)
3 x 40kg
3 x 60kg
2 x 75kg

Power Clean Work Sets -
90kg (200lbs)- Same set-up as the squats on Monday, I did a double, rested 60 seconds then a single, rested 90 seconds and repeated it. Did this 5 times, then did one final single to bring my total to 16 reps of 90kg.

20 Rep Squats
1 x 20 at 107.5kg (236lbs) - These are feeling easier, despite the fact that my weight today was still 86kg. I figure that its my body adapting to the high rep work after almost a year of never going above 6 reps.

Military Press and RDL Superset

5 x 10/9/8/9/9 at 40kg (Press)
5 x 6/8/8/8/9 at 100kg (RDL)

Alternating D-Bell Bench / K-Bell Row Superset
Bench = 50lbs x 12/12/10/10/10
Rows = 36kg x 10/10/10/10/10


Jan 6, 2012 - Weight 86.1kg

Power Cleans (As a warm up for Deads)
3 x 20kg
3 x 40kg
3 x 60kg
2 x 75kg
1 x 90kg
1 x 95kg

3 x 120
3 x 140
3 x 175
2 x 192.5
1 x 210 (Failed it - This pissed me off so I got a bit silly after this)
1 x 200
1 x 205
1 x 210
1 x 212.5 (For some reason, this came up rather easy but I decided to call it a day here)

20 Rep Squats Attempt
110kg x 18 - On the 19th rep I got stapled to the rack, could not get it up. Whilst I'm pleased that I did not pussy out and rack it, this once again pissed me off to no end.

Military Press
45kg x 10-10-8-8-8

Alternating D-Bell Bench / D-Bell Row - 90 seconds rest, alternating the two exercises

Bench = 50lbs x 12/12/12/12/10
Rows = 75lbs x 12/12/12/12/9


Jan 8, 2012 - Weight 86.6kg

20 Rep Squats
110 x 20 (Nailed the 20 after only getting 18 on Friday)

Military Press
45kg x 11/10/8/9/10

Bench Press
50 x 12/12/12
55 x 12/12

One Arm Bent Over Row
1 Plate x 12/12/12/12/12

Standing Cable Crunches
60lbs x 15/15/15


I'll be following, best of luck and dig deep over the next few months.


Jan 9 - Weight 86.4kg

Box Squat -
5 x Bar
3 x 40kg
3 x 60kg
3 x 100kg
3 x 120kg
1 x 145
1 x 145 (Fail)
1 x 145
2 x 145
1 x 145 (Fail)

At this point I realized I didn't have it in me today. I was training in my second gym today, which would deffs be described as a Commercial Facility rather then a place people train, especially compared to my first choice gym, and the constant procession of oldies going to the D-Bell rack (which of course is right next to the one Squat Rack we have) and doing 2 minutes of curls to presses with 1.2kg D-Bells just compacted the shitty feeling I had. I decided to do some High Bar Oly Squats, something I can do easily, to ensure I got some heavy work in.

High Bar Oly Squats (Heels on 2.5kg plates)
5 x 60
5 x 80
3 x 100
3 x 120
1 x 130
1 x 140
1 x 145
1 x 150
1 x 150
1 x 150

Good Mornings
2 x 5 at 80kg
3 x 5 at 85kg

B-Bell Glute Bridge
5 x 12 at 45kg

5 x 12 at 30kg

Tyre Flips
Flipped the biggest tyre that was in the car park 15 times for time.


Jan 11, 2012 - Weight 86.3kg

20 Rep Squats
1 x 20 at 112.5kg (250lbs)(Got this on video, I'll try put that up soon)

Standing Cable Crunches
60lbs x 15
80lbs x 15
80lbs x 15

5 x 8 Reps

Barbell Hip Thrusts
3 x 12 at 45kg
2 x 15 at 45kg


Today's (Wednesday, January 11) 20 Rep Squat


Jan 14, 2012 - Weight 86.8kg

20 Rep Squats
1 x 20 at 115kg (I love the mental toughness 20 Rep Squats brings, I felt a bit iffy at rep 4 and tried to talk myself out of the set, needless to say I told the weak part of me to shut the fuck up and did the full 20. I'm also getting less gassed on these, I'm still near muscular failure each time but I'm not collapsing on the floor any more after I'm done)

Bench Press (Wider grip then normal)
Warm Up
80kg x 11,9,6,8,7 Reps

D-Bell Press
55lbs x 12,12,10,8,9

Incline Bench
40kg x 20,15,15,15,15

EZ Bar Close Grip Bench
35kg x 15,15,15,15,15

1 x 10 at 117.5 (Did 10 at next sessions 20 Rep Weight to get a feel for it)

Kneeling Cable Crunches
3 x 15 at 200lbs (Although it felt a bit light for that)


Jan 16, 2012 - Weight 85.6kg (188lbs) (WTF) - 20 Rep Squats and Upper Body Pull

20 Rep Squats
1 x 20 at 117.5kg (260lbs)

Rack Pulls (Bar at top of shins, no kneecap touch)
5 x 5 at 180kg (395lbs)

BW x 10,10,9,8,9

D-Bell Rows
5 x 12 (Each Arm) at 32kg (70lbs)

Cable Rows
5 x 12 at 45kg (100lbs) (Really focused on doing these right, squeezing the back and making sure I felt it work with every rep)

25kg (55lbs) x 8,8,8
20kg (45lbs) x 12,10,12

1 x 10 at 120 (Did 10 at next sessions 20 Rep Weight to get a feel for it)

Standing Cable Crunches
60lbs x 15/15/15


Realized I should of responded to this sooner, sorry for the delay, good to have you on board mate and thanks for your support


Today's 20 Rep Squat with 117.5kg (As long as the vid uploads correctly...)

Any advice anyone can offer is appreciated.


Exercise is the best form of mental/emotional therapy. Nothing beats that endorphin rush...
Some solid training going on in here - best of luck with your goals man!

I'd also watch your speed a bit with the high rep squatting - appear to be losing your chest as you come out of the hole. Be sure and keep it up and your core strong.


Thanks Panzerfaust, yeah keeping the chest up is something I've been working on, for Deadlifts as well, thanks for the advice!


Jan 18, 2012 - 20 Rep Squats and Upper Body Push

20 Rep Squats
1 x 20 at 120kg

5 x 5 at 50kg (Focused on form, got all 5 for each set so add weight for next time)

Incline D-Bell Press
5 x 12/12/12/12/8 at 24kg

Decline Bench Press
5 x 15 at 50kg (Add weight next session)

C-Grip Bench (45 seconds rest)
5 x 12 at 40kg (Add weight next session)

Standing Cable Crunches
3 x 15 at 80lbs

1 x 10 at 122.5kg


Jan 21, 2012 - 20 Rep Squats and Pulls

20 Rep Squats
1 x 19 at 122.5kg - Got pinned on the last rep, so I'll do 122.5kg again next time

3 x 60kg
3 x 80kg
3 x 100kg
1 x 140kg
1 x 160kg
5 x 180kg
3 x 200kg

D-Bell Rows
5 x 12 (Each Arm) at 80lbs

Cable Rows
5 x 12 at 110lbs

Face Pulls superset with Standing Cable Crunches
5 x 15

1 x 10 at 122.5kg