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Biggest Guy in Class: A Beginner Training Log

Just finished up my squat workout. Pretty good session I have to say. Getting late though, so I’ll get some sleep and log it later haha.

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How much on the Simo scale? :stuck_out_tongue:

Sometimes youa re fatigued from the previous exercises which were high intensity (neural fatigue) or muscular if it was the same group, or you just weren’t in thr groove yet. Happens. What are FSL already? Front squat lunges?

And yeah I suggest you follow @carlbm advice: do not go crazy on cardio, take your time. I find it even harder to recover than lifting at higher intensity

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:joy: oh it was getting up there man. I’d say probably a 5 on the Rating of Perceived Simo (RPS) scale, to borrow a phrase from @guineapig.

Makes sense, I won’t worry about it then. As long as I push each set hard I think everything will just fall into place anyway.

FSL means “First Set Last”. It’s a system of accessory work for the 5/3/1 program where you use your Set 1 weight to do extra sets of the day’s main lift - but you do them last, so after all the sets of your main lift (hence “First Set Last”). So 5x5 FSL means doing 5 sets of 5 reps of your main lift, with the weight you used for Set 1. The 5/3/1 acronyms get me confused too don’t worry lol.

Yep will do. I’ll also be keeping a close eye on recovery and will ease off if there are any problems.

Two workouts to report. First is Le Squat (yesterday evening).

09/10/20

Squat
Warmup: 20kgx10
Set 1: 60x5 (5 @75%) (should have been 61 technically)
Set 2: 69x3 (3 @85%)
Set 3: 77x8 (1+ @95%) (needed 8)
FSL: 60x5x5 (5x5 FSL @75%). No idea how I’m going to do 5x10 when I run BBB hahaha, that’s going to be properly tough.

Assistance:
Superset: Chins 8, 6, 4, 4, 4, with dips 8, 6, 6, 6 (chins 26 reps 5 sets, dips 26 reps 4 sets). Before I did this workout I promised myself a reward if I got 8 chins, and I did! You’ll see what the reward is in a bit.
Rack pull-ups 2 sets
Pullovers 2 sets
BB curls 30-10-30
Weighted situps 3 sets (for reference I do these on a decline bench, just in case I haven’t mentioned).

Second workout to report - today’s bench session. I mentioned I promised myself a reward if I got 8 reps chins in yesterday’s session; that reward was to do a bunch of stupid stuff in today’s workout lol. Observe.

10/10/20

Bench
Warmup: 20kgx15
Set 1: 47.5x5 (5 @75%)
Set 2: 53.5x3 (3 @85%)
Set 3: 60x8 (1+ @95%)
FSL: 47.5x5x5 (5x5 FSL @75%)

Assistance (and I use that term loosely, as what I did today probably harmed me more than it assisted me):
Superset: Chins 8, 5, 5, 4, 4 with dips, 7, 5, 8, 6 (chins 26 reps 5 sets, dips 26 reps 4 sets. Dips were all over the place rep-count wise though, as usual.)
Rack pull-ups 2 sets
Pullovers 2 sets
Bench press challenge: AMRAP rest-pause with the empty bar. The intention was to do the 500 rep challenge https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-bench-press-500-reps-in-11-minutes but that was not happening at all hahaha. I tried but it just wasn’t to be. Probably got in about 100, rest-paused, before all the muscles involved gave out completely. I will revisit this some time in the future.
Arm blitz -

  • Superset 1: Heavy BB curls with lying tricep extensions, 3 rounds
  • Superset 2: BB spider curls with band pushdowns, 3 rounds
  • Superset 3: DB concentration curl with overhead DB tricep extension, 3 rounds
  • Superset 4: DB hammer curl 21s with lying DB tricep extension 21s, 3 rounds.
    3 sets decline situps

This was probably really stupid but I had a lot of fun.

On to more serious business. @T3hPwnisher @carlbm I believe I’m correct in assuming I need to deload now that I’ve completed 2 cycles of 5/3/1, even though I reduced my training max for the second cycle? And after that, I believe I should increase my training max?

Yup. Deload every 2 cycles, and it looks like you have room to up the training max.

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Cardio tonight. A busy day so I wanted something short, and I have swimming early tomorrow morning so didn’t want to tax myself too much. I did want to practice my running though, so just did a quick run round the block - probably about 800m, at a good, fast pace, sprinting the last 100m or so. Short and sweet.

Weight training wise, tomorrow is a nice easy deload session; it just so happens that my deload week is the week that my swimming is restarting, so I’ll have an opportunity to ease into it. However I’m still monitoring recovery closely and will adjust things if needed.

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How is the fat loss going?

Not seen a post about body weight for a while. Still moving in the right direction?

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Bodyweight is still coming down I’d say. Haven’t been measuring weight as regularly as I should though! Currently sitting somewhere in the 81s, will post an exact update tomorrow morning to ensure that I’m still on track. The waist is definitely coming down steadily, I’m down over an inch now.

Still feeling small, and flat as hell. But can’t do much about that really. Just comes with the cutting phase really, so just have to tough it out. To be fair it’s not like I’m super huge normally, so it might be that I’m simply becoming more acutely aware of how DYEL I am lol.

Having an inch off the waist is a good sign.

I can’t remember who but one of the guys on another thread was saying the ONLY time people mentioned how “big” he was - was when he lost 10lb and gained some definition.
You’d be surprised what happens when you lower body fat. The body looks different. And whilst you are not going to be carrying BB level of muscle mass - you’ll have some. Looking at your bench 60kg for 8 is about a body weight bench for you. And your pull and dips are not immaterial. You’ll have some upper body / arm size. You don’t pull 26 pull ups in 5 sets with 13 inch arms…

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Yes I remember reading this too actually. And of course there are countless before and after photos to this effect.

I suppose maybe I have developed a little bit of muscle mass, but I definitely need at least 5-10 lbs more before I actually start to get into that territory of looking acceptable for a lifter. But that will come later. Just gotta stay focused on the fat loss goal for now - as you say, you can’t do everything at once. I will definitely look better once the fat is stripped away though, pretty much everyone does. And from there we can build up to add some real quality mass.

@carlbm Physique update: weight is at 81.4 kg this morning. Down 0.6kg (1.3 lbs) from the last update 12 days ago. A little slower than I would perhaps like, so I’ll be a little more mindful of the food intake. At mealtimes I’m still finding it hard to stop eating in time, not necessarily because I don’t want to, but because by the time I realise I’ve eaten too much it’s too late lol - and I don’t want to leave protein on the plate. I think the solution for me is to eat protein first in the meal and to stop eating well before I start feeling full, so we’ll experiment with that.

It could possibly be a blip. But even if it’s not - you’re not gaining and you’re learning. So it’s good progress.

Eating protein early in a meal is a great idea. Also limit the amount of food in the plate. Serving control is key. I cooked chicken and rice for my family tonight. I cooked too much rice. Knowing I’d eat it if it was in the plate or as seconds in the blow I threw it away.

A pre meal snack / shake is something I’ve people talk about. A high protein snack or shake 20mins before a meal fills you up. I’m not sure if you’d want to experiment with that. It’s a bit of an ask.

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Yeah I think smaller portion sizes are a really good idea. As far as a pre-meal shake goes, I do it when possible, but I’m not sure if it makes a significant difference to my appetite personally. Mainly I just use it to get in some protein, especially if the meal doesn’t have enough protein as is. In any case I’ll be sure to use all your tips and monitor the results!

Haven’t had a glance to post full workout reports for this week. It’s been ridiculously busy! I’ll do it as soon as I can.

It’s been rather quiet here, I haven’t had much time to post lately. Here are some pictures of the training log for this past week (the deload week). It’s getting late so I’ll keep this one brief and add some more updates in a later post, including a physique update.

Quick points of note:

  • To deload, I used the approach of doing 3 sets of 5 at 40, 50 and 60% for the main lift, with 5x5 FSL as usual, at 40% of course. Had to do the first two sets of deadlifts as RDLs and SLDLs respectively because the low weight meant smaller plates lol.
  • Pushed assistance work hard regardless; hit new PR of 9 reps on chin-ups on the press day!
  • Been using Pwn’s suggestion of setting a rep goal and hitting it in as few sets as possible, for dips and chins. Couple of things I want to clarify about this but I’ll save that for a later post.
  • Added BB rows in place of rack pull-ups, a change I’ve been wanting to make for a while.
  • Started to do my weighted decline situps with a bit of a twist to hit the obliques.
  • Took it easy on today’s workout (bench day). It was getting late and I thought I’d rather take it easy and be fresh for a hard deadlift day this Monday, so I cut down the volume and intensity a little.
  • Cardio wise, I haven’t run this week, but have done two swim training sessions. I need to sit down and sort out a proper schedule so I can work some running into my training. I think the way I’ve been setting it up so far (sprints the day before deadlift and squat day, which are also the days I swim on) might be problematic. Will update on that later too.
  • Speaking of swimming, I think on days I swim, my chinups aren’t quite as good as usual. Might just be a co-incidence though, I’ve only done two swimming sessions so far anyway.

Workouts:

12/10/20
Deadlift

14/10/20
Press

16/10/20
Squat

17/10/20
Bench

That’s all for now. Will update more tomorrow (assuming I get the time!).

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An additional update, re scheduling, physique, and programming.

First, I’ve managed to come up with a better way to schedule my cardio:

Monday: Swim AM, Deadlift PM
Tuesday: Run AM
Wednesday: Press PM
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Swim AM, Squat PM
Saturday: Run AM, Bench PM
Sunday: OFF

This way, my thinking is that my running won’t interfere with my workouts too much - before I was doing it on Sunday and Thursday morning, which meant that the next day I’d have swimming in the morning and then a lower body focused weight training day (deadlift and squat). This way, I just have a press session the day after one running session, and the other running session is on bench day (when I get to sit my arse down on a bench) with a rest day afterwards. But as always any feedback and criticism is greatly appreciated!

Now for a physique update: I’m down to about 80.4 kg (177.3 lbs). The waist is down a lot too. Down to the 33s just walking around normally, and we’re at about 34.25 ish inches relaxed and let out (or maybe even a little less). So surprisingly good progress. Still look pretty rubbish though haha. Gotta get hyoooge. Anyway jokes aside, I know I had originally said that

… both of which I have achieved, but really there’s not much point just jumping back on the gainz train right now. The ideal scenario would be to keep going until we get visible abs and then do a lean gaining phase, since I’m not too fussed about being shredded. However, if I’m not quite there by Christmas, I’ll still reassess my progress and decide whether or not to begin the gaining phase as we go into 2021. I am, in any case, wary of beginning the gaining too early. The deeper into the cut I go, the longer I can stay in a mass-gaining phase before the body fat gets too high, and presumably, the more of an anabolic “rebound” effect I’ll get.

In any case, in this next gaining phase, I’d like to use Coach Thib’s idea of “Control Days” - rest days where you cut calories and carbs and do some cardio. But that’s for later, so we’ll revisit that when we get there.

I also wanted to talk a little about my new method of progression on dips and chins, kindly suggested by Pwn. Basically I just wanted to check that I have the right idea!

@T3hPwnisher So my rep goal is 24. I do basically just do straight sets to failure until I hit my rep goal, taking the last set to failure even if I exceed my rep goal. However I’m not sure if this is quite the right way to do it. Are you meant to do straight sets until you get close, and then just rest-pause the final few reps out?

For e.g: 9, 5, 4, 4 rest briefly and then get 2 more reps (to get a total of 24 reps), instead of -
9, 5, 4, 4, 4 (rest as normal before last set, then take the last set to failure to go past the rep goal, getting a total 26 reps). Is there an exact approach which is better?

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Nah. Remember: this is just assistance work. It really doesn’t matter. You can do whatever you want: just get it done.

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