T Nation

Blood, Sweat, and Chalk


#1

I’ve been lifting a little while, more seriously since about 2010. I let myself get sidetracked more than once, and it’s set me back more than I’d like to admit. I know that, at 33, it’s only going to get harder if I keep screwing off. Even now, I catch myself getting a little distracted from programming, but I’ve been trying to follow beginner programming that includes linear progression that I’m not currently capable of. Keeping a log is one of the few consistent things I can do to keep myself accountable. Training partners come and go, my work schedule is best described as fluid. I’ve got to keep motivation high.

8/30/16
Squats
135 x 8
185 x 8
225 x 8 x 3

Bench
135 x 15
185 x 12
225 x 8
255 x 6
275 x 3 x 2

Rack lockouts
275 x 8 x 3
285 x 6 x 2

BW dips
8 x 6

I’ve really got to get back on program. I’m feeling a little stalled, and I know that it’s mostly in my head, but partly from just throwing together a workout, not really training. I’m going to do some reading and see if I can find a more late beginner/intermediate program. I’m open to suggestions as well, knowing I’m coming up about 100# shy of where I want to be on my deadlift and squat at this bodyweight.
Tomorrow is a rest day, and Thursday will be deadlifts.


#3

DAT BENCH DOE!!! In for your Squat and Deadlift to balloon.

To help a little bit with programming:

Keep your exercise list the same. Base your training around the big 3, pullups, power rows, Military Press, Dips Lunges.

Then you can adjust your gym workouts to match the time you spend in the gym. Example: You missed a few days you can do just the Big 3 (full body) and call it a day (a pretty good day). Or if you know you will be able to hit it hard for 3 days in a row and want some more volume do a PPL (Push Pull Lower but IMO you should always go Lower Pull Push because lower is most important and most skippable mean while Push is least important and also least skippable for most people, save the stuff you dont need to be motivated for first). Or you can balance with Lower Upper training. The exercises don’t change, just the grouping.

Lastly, IMO I don’t like linear progression. It is a one size fits all for a situation that isn’t linear, AT ALL. Some days we are stronger, some not. I have a solution that will require some effort but tracking really is the hard part. This allows you to progress faster when you can and have a bad day or even go backwards for a day or week if that happens.

LC is last completed.

To put this into your squats:

8bar
8
115
8185
8
225
8235
8
245
etc until you fail to reach 8 (or whatever the desired reps are)

If for some reason you fail before 225 or just dont feel strong that day then do reps and sets at what ever weight you want. When you do feel strong, PUSH IT!!! With a spotter of course.


#4

I’ve decided to start a 5/3/1 program. I looked at a lot of programs, and this one suits my lifting preferences AND the rest of my schedule. It was an easy choice. I’m going to start on Monday, but today was already deadlift day, and it matched the 5/3/1, so I gave the Thursday workout a go. I did a little extra on my deads, just really anxious for progress.

Deadlift
235 x 5
270 x 5
315 x 10 (program says 5+)
365 x 3
405 x 2
425 x 1
235 x 5 x 5

Pull-up / push-up Superset. Minimal rest
BW x 5 x 4 / 20 x 4

Compound row machine, I’ll be changing these out for dumbbell rows next time
90/side x 12
115/side x 12
135/side x 10 x 3

Cable Pulldown to finish off my lats
100 x 12 x 4

Roman chair V-ups cuz my core is pathetic
10 x 5


#5

Great choice. I work a rotating roster and hit up the OT and have a young family - 531 fits so well into that it isn’t funny.

Personal preference:

Start with a couple of cycles of Boring But Big, then go to FSL with multiple FSL sets.


#6

Last workout of the week, last chance to do whatever I want. I seriously was just winging it today, but trying to keep some purpose to it. Looking forward to getting a cycle or two of 5/3/1 behind me to see some fresh progress.

OHP
45 x 10
75 x 8
95 x 8
115 x 6
135 x 5 x 2
135 x 8
115 x 8
115 x 6
75 x 13

Dumbbell flys
Rear
25 x 8 x 4
Mid
25 x 8 x 3

Dumbbell press
40 x 12
50 x 10
60 x 9
60 x 8
60 x 6
50 x 11

Face pulls
80 x 15
90 x 15
110 x 14
110 x 12 x 2

BW chins
6 / 5 / 4 / 2 / 1 / 1 / 1

DB shrugs
80 x 12 x 3
80 x 11
80 x 6

DB front raises
20 x 10 x 5


#7

Calf raises
400 x 12
490 x 12
580 x 10 x 2

Squats
135 x 10
185 x 8
225 x 5
255 x 5
295 x 11
225 x 20

Pull-ups
11 / 8 / 7 / 4

Leg press
2 plates / side x 12
3 plates / side x 12
4 plates / side x 10 x 2

Leg extensions (single leg)
50 x 15
60 x 12
70 x 8 x 2
50 x 12

Took some preworkout, just like I always do. I felt like throwing up the entire workout. Not sure if some ingredients separated, or what the deal was, but my heart was pounding, my head was pulsing, and my breakfast was making some pretty serious threats. Bleh.


#8

Bench
95 x 20
135 x 20
160 x 5
185 x 5
205 x 5 x 5

Incline dumbbell press
45 x 12
55 x 10
65 x 8
75 x 5 x 4

BW dips
15 x 4

BW Pull-ups
5 x 5

BW Push-ups
10 x 5

Dumbbell skull crushers
50 x 12 x 6

Nothing over exciting today. Just putting in reps and looking forward to seeing some progress.


#9

Squats
225 x 5 x 5

Deadlift
135 x 10
235 x 5
270 x 5
315 x 11
235 x 5 x 5

Seated rows
3 plates x 8 x 5

Pull-ups / Push-ups superset
5 x 5 / 10 x 5

Dumbbell shrugs
60 x 12 x 6


#10

OHP
85 x 5
100 x 5
115 x 5
85 x 5 x 10

BW Pull-ups
10 / 10 / 10 / 7 / 3

Push-ups
10 / 10 / 10 / 10 / 8 / 8

Dumbbell front raise / lateral raid superset
15 x 10 x 5
20 x 8 x 2

Cable rear delt flys
12.5 x 12 x 6

Chin-ups
5 x 5

My left shoulder wasn’t happy at all today, and I felt weak as hell in most of the movements except the pull-ups. I used my straps just for fun to squeeze out a few more reps per set, but overall I’m happy with the improvement in my pull-ups. I may switch to a slower, even more strict pull-up once I can bang out 15 in a row, possible even add some weight.

On a side note, I’m shopping around online. Besides rogue, what other brands/stores would you guys recommend getting bars/plates/ other home gym gear from? I like the rogue stuff I’ve used, but shipping is a killer.


#11

Squat
135 x 8
205 x 8
240 x 5
275 x 5
305 x 12
240 x 16
240 x 4

That was supposed to be 240 x 20, but I was on the verge of blacking out on rep 16. Took a knee for a moment to compose myself and for the stars to stop spinning around my head. I wasn’t gonna let that 20 go unfinished. I’ve never tried 305 for reps before, but my best with 315 used to be 10. I would say this was at least equivalent to that.

BW Pull-ups
10 x 3
5 x 2
4 x 2
2

Calf raises
400 x 12 x 4

Push-ups
10 x 7

Stationary bike
10min, moderate resistance, 89kcal

I have to start practicing a bit of cardio, I’m only 8 weeks out from PT test, and this is a weak area. 10 minutes on a bike shouldn’t be this nauseating. How the hell do I think I’m going to be able to RUN?


#12

Bench (paused reps)
45 x 10
135 x 10
175 x 5
195 x 5
215 x 5 x 5

Bench (no pause)
245 x 3
255 x 3
275 x 2
290 x 1
300 x 1

Incline sit-up / push-up superset
10 x 5 / 10 x 5

Cable tricep push downs
100 x 15 x 3
120 x 15 x 2
140 x 10

BW Pull-ups
8 x 5

I had more in me today, but I had to go home and deal with a shattered bay window. 95x59 glass. Talk about more stress than I needed today.

My shoulders seem to be my weak point in my bench. I feel like I’ve got another 20lbs in there, but it just doesn’t feel “safe”, and I’ve had problems with them before. Any pointers for catching my shoulder strength up to to my press?


#13

Out of town for a wedding, so everything is a mess, but I managed to squeeze in a workout today.

Deadlift (chains were 60# each)
225 x 5
275 x 5
315 x 5
365 x 5
405 x 5 <--------PR!
315 + chains x 3
225 + chains x 5

BB shrugs
135 x 15
225 x 15 x 2
315 x 12 x 2
315 x 10
315 x 8

Bent over dumbbell rows
80 x 12 x 3
90 x 10 x 3
100 x 8 x 2

Pull-ups
10 x 3
8 x 2
6
3

Face pulls
90 x 15 x 7


#14

Seated Dumbell Military Press. I used to have the same issue to an even worse extent (I physically couldnt bench with out a minor injury and I always thought I just wasnt built to bench, nope, I was being unintelligent). This has fixed it.

Slowly ramp 8-15 rep sets until you are failing at 8-15 reps then add a couple more sets at the same weight.to failure as assistance.

I use seated to keep my back from over arching when it gets heavy. The bench isnt completely vertical.

Also add in Side lateral raises and back fly’s but I did those for years and I still couldnt bench, but they are good to do anyways.

Think opposite, then learn muscle ups!!! I mean if you want to.

This was awesome and bad ass!!!


#15

Thanks botslayer, I’ll add in some seat DB presses. As far as the pull-ups go, My goal is mostly ego. I’d like to work my way up into the high 20s for reps, and with good form. I really hate crossfit pull-ups, so I want mine to look nothing like that.


#16

Squats
135 x 8
225 x 6
255 x 5
290 x 5
325 x 9
255 x 20

Seated DB press
40 x 12
55 x 10 x 5

Leg extensions
50/side x 15
60/side x 12
70/side x 8 x 4
50/side x 15

Hamstring curls
100 x 12 x 5

After this weekend, I’m honestly amazed I got as far as I did today. No sleep, not enough water, shit calories. And that could have been worse had I not been making an effort not to be a total dirtbag. I was fully expecting to hit 325 x 10 this week, and finish my 20 rep set. In practice, I barely got the reps I did. Leg extensions felt good today though. I must have been pretty knotted up from the plane ride. I’m going to try and cram in some high quality calories today, and hopefully rehydrate and rest up. Tomorrow should be a better day.

On a side note, I realize that I’m not immune to a little vanity. I would bet most of us enjoy someone else noticing the work we put in. I know that mine is different from most of the other gym-goers I see though. They’re doing endless curls and chest flys, training their abs, dieting for single digit body fat. Me? I’m smashing my legs. I’d rather overhear someone say “Did you see his thighs?” than comments about the size of my biceps.

[URL=http://i1168.photobucket.com/albums/r499/Jerod_Lodholtz/IMG_48481_zpsausqkbxt.mp4][/URL]


#17

Squat
45 x 10
135 x 10
230 x 5
250 x 5
285 x 5
345 x 5
395 x 1

Pullups
10 / 10 / 8 / 8 / 6 / 4 / 2 / 2

Hack Squat
90 x 8
180 x 8 x 2
230 x 5 x 2

Calf raises
400 x 15 x 2
400 x 12 x 2
490 x 8 x 2

Leg Extensions (per leg)
50 x 15 x 2
60 x 15 x 4
80 x 8
90 x 8
100 x 6

Seated DB Press
50 x 12 x 5

Hamstring Curls
100 x 10 x 5

I’ve had a string of off days the last two weeks. I’ve been trying to justify them with things going on that day, or the day prior, but I think I’m just reaching my peak. I had intended to take this week off programming and start back at the beginning of 5/3/1 for hardgainers next week due to a “dynamic work schedule” this week. I think I’m going to stick to that, but seriously consider NOT increasing my working max this time until my rep conditioning improves a bit, and my stability muscles catch up to the larger muscle groups.

Today my lower back cramped up on me while squatting. Not like a pinched nerve/injury pain, just a true cramp from overexerting a weak muscle. Lower back has been slowly falling behind as my squat and deadlift have improved, and it’s time to pay attention to that. And strangely enough, today my ankles were pretty unhappy at the bottoms of my squats, and on the hack squat. I never really think about my ankles. I don’t remember the last time I sprained one, twisted one, or did anything to one really. They’ve always just existed between my calves and feet without me really taking note. They might have just needed a stretch, but they honestly felt weak, so I’m going to do some reading, try to apply some common sense, and see what I can do to improve.

Pullups are getting stronger, but my back is outrunning my grip here. No real surprise, just something I need to consider. I might try to integrate some grip strength on the weekends when I’m not training.

Also, massive log failure last week. Last weeks training went on as planned, but I didn’t take my log book, or even my phone in with me. So nothing was recorded, and my brain does zero retention of what happens in the gym unless I write it down. Strive to improve.

If anyone has any suggestions for catching up my lower back, or WTF is suddenly up with my weak ass ankles, I love feedback in my log. I’ll probably even try some of it.


#18

Deadlift
135 x 8
225 x 6
315 x 5
365 x 5
405 x 5
450 x 0 GRRRR!! WTF!
315 x 5

Barbell shrugs
45 x 15
135 x 12
225 x 12 x 2
275 x 12 x 2
315 x 12

Dumbbell bentover rows
100 x 12
110 x 12
110 x 10
110 x 8

BW Pull-ups
8 / 6

Lat Pulldown
100 x 12
100 x 12
100 x 10

Seated cable rows
100 x 10 x 2

It got late and I ran out of motivation as the hands on the clock passed my bedtime. I really felt like I was just going through the motions by the last set of DB rows. The deadlifts we’re going pretty good til I got over ambitious. I really threw it all at a PR tonight. I should have tried to add a rep or two on the 405, or a few reps of 420. Lessons learned. I didn’t even break the floor at 450, even though my brain was convinced I could do it. I also recorded my 405x5 to review, and found that I’m doing 75% of the lift with my lower back, not hams and glutes. I’m definitely going to have to be more conscious of this in my lighter sets. I might post it up if I can figure out an intelligent way to do so.


#19

Monday, Oct 3rd. Posting fail. I just got tired.

Squat
135 x 10
225 x 8
275 x 6
315 x 5 x 4
335 x 4
225 x 6
135 x 8

Hack squat
90 x 8
140 x 8
180 x 8 x 3
140 x 6

Calf raises
400 x 10 x 5

Hamstring curls
85 x 15
100 x 15
115 x 12 x 4

Single leg extensions
60 x 15
70 x 15
80 x 12 x 3


#20

Circuits today. So many circuits. I don’t want to do circuits, but my division does PT together, even if it’s deadlift day and I need to be lifting.

45 min of circuits

Deadlift
225 x 5
340 x 5 x 3
410 x 3
420 x 2

And I was spent. Butt cheek was cramping, sweat still dripping from all of my clothes, and I had yet to catch my breath. I’m seriously not conditioned for this crap right now. I just want to pick things up and put them down. Is that so much to ask?


#21

Tuesday 11 OCT
Bike 5min warmup HR 130-145

Bench
135 x 10 paused
185 x 10 paused
225 x 6 x 3
250 x 4
260 x 2
135 x 15 x 3 wide grip

Incline Bench
135 x 10 x 2
185 x 5 x 2
190 x 4 (nearly failed the last rep!)
135 x 10

Decline Bench
135 x 10
185 x 5 x 3
205 x 4

I didn’t have much time before group PT, so I jumped on some cable curls and press downs just to kill the last few minutes. All in all though, the work felt good. Definitely got some work in on chest today, feeling it thoroughly.

Group PT
1/4 mile track, run the curves, exercise the straight.
Lap 1 squat walk
Lap 2 bear crawl
Lap 3 high skips
Lap 4 plank walk (completely failed these)
Lap 5 sprint

Thursday 13 OCT

Deadlift
135 x 8
225 x 8
315 x 6
365 x 4
415 x 5
425 x 2

Deficit deadlifts 4"
225 x 5 x 3

BW Pull-ups / shrug superset
10 / 135 x 12
10 / 225 x 12
10 / 275 x 10 (grip failed)
10 / 315 x 12 with straps

Lat Pulldown / DB bent over row superset
(100 x 12 / 75 x 5) x 4

Straight into group PT
Cardio kickboxing + core work