T Nation

Born Again Noob: 4 Year Hiatus, First Log


#1

The history: I have been doing weight training off and on for about a dozen years ever since high school football. Competed in the USAPL (geared) for a year in college at 74kg. That was 4+ years ago, and I haven’t been nearly as strong since (even though I’m 30 pounds heavier now). Won’t even bother to say what my best total was back then because it’s irrelevant to where I’m at (weaker than before) and where I want to be (stronger than before, duh). I have done programs such as Sheiko, Smolov, Smolov Jr, Poliquin’s Inferno (i.e. Super Accumulation program). Since that brief stint of PL, for various reasons (a.k.a. excuses), I usually lift hard for 1-3 months and then take a 6-8 month hiatus. And if we know anything about the iron game, consistency trumps intensity (I don’t want to hear it with this once a week, balls to the wall, full-body workout bullshit).

The current situation: I have been back at lifting again for the past month or so. Now at a weight of 195 lbs (5’10, 25 years old), I haven’t maxed out on anything as I like to typically train with 2-3RPM, but have at least put up smooth singles of

Squat- 315lbs
Bench- 265lbs
Deadlift- 405lbs
OHP- 160lbs

Squats were my favorite lift early in my “career”, but excuses aside, it’s weak as fuck now. In fact, let’s be real, everything is weak at the moment, especially at my current bodyweight.

I don’t want to cut weight until my strength is back to something semi-respectable (3/4/5), but I’m well versed enough in dieting/nutrition where I think I can recomp effectively staying at 195-200 while increasing strength. Eventually I would like to cut down to 180, but let’s keep that for 2018.

Anyway, my schedule for the upcoming months allows for high frequency training, and with the luxury of keeping my nutrition on point, I figured I might as well see just how much I can maximize each week going forward.

I’m using auto-regulation to structure each workout, but generally for the past four weeks, I train two-a-days, 6 days a week, with my main focus on increasing my squat (everything is beltless).

I squat six days a week (once a day 3x, twice a day 3x= squat 9 times a week), with one full day of rest (active recovery) each week. Because of the frequency, I have kept the intensity tempered. Have stuck to 10x3, 6x3, 10x1, and sometimes 4x8 the day before my rest day. I never train to failure, and I do NOT conventional deadlift, as I think that would totally kill my capacity to recover and train frequently. On days where I feel gassed, I stick to the same set x rep schemes and just drop the weight and do pause squats.

I do train OHP/BP and chinups/row variations as main lifts in my morning workouts on the days I’m not squatting twice. I always squat in my evening workouts along with assistance work. Aside from squats, the only lower body work I do are glute ham raises and leg curls. Sometimes I do dynamic snatch grip deadlifts if I feel up for it (fell in love with them when I had to do them at a deficit with Poliquin’s Super Accumulation). Since these are a dynamic lift with a relatively light weight, I don’t feel they tax my CNS significantly and are more of an upper back exercise. For upper body assistance I typically do single arm db presses, dips, and just more chinups. I also do farmer walks/suitcase carries in the evenings of my upper body pulling days.

I can log out an example of my typical week if anyone cares; I know it sounds a bit convoluted, and it definitely is unsustainable for the long term. I have already seen some solid gains in the past four weeks as my body has been completely shocked going from eating whatever I want, drinking ~20 drinks a week, zero lifting, and shitty sleep habits to 12 workouts a week, eating clean, paying attention to macros, optimizing pre, peri, post workout nutrition and recovery. I figure after a slight deload this week, I can do another 3-4 weeks of this and then go into a more traditional routine. I have been fortunate to have never had any major injuries in my lifting/sports career, so I probably shouldn’t push my luck.

I have never logged workouts, but I figured I might as well do it for these next few weeks to at least keep me honest. I don’t plan on testing my deadlift anytime soon. I always saw the best gains in my deadlift from just getting strong in the squat anyway, so I will probably test my deadlift once my squat is back up to ~405 and then go from there.

Cheers


#2

P.S.

Supplements:
Whey
BCAAs
Dextrose
Fish Oil

Okay, so let’s get into it:

Sunday AM, 4/23

Ran a quick 40 minute workout as this is a two-a-day squat day.

Squat- 5x2 295lbs
Deep Breathing Squat 2x1, 225 lbs
Single Leg Curl 5x6 each side
BW Glute Ham Raise 2x10

Evening workout

Squat 10x3, 275lbs
Push Press 3x5, 135 lbs
Bench Press 2x8, 225 lbs
Single Arm Standing DB Press 3x6 each side, 60 lbs
BW Dips 2x20
BW Glute Ham Raise 2x10

Really felt good as the workout went on, so ended up doing more pressing volume than I had planned on. Made sure to not flirt with failure as the main intention of this cycle is to accumulate as much volume as possible.

Plan for tomorrow is active recovery as I haven’t had a day off in 6 days and don’t think I will get 7-8 hours of sleep tonight, but will see how the body feels after work.

Cheers


#3

Looks like I’ll be hitting up the gym tonight!

I have a buddy who is running SL 5x5, so just gonna do some squats with him and then go from there. Hammies feeling sore from the double-dose of GHRs yesterday, so not gonna do anything crazy with squats. Hopefully the hammies adapt and no more DOMs this cycle. It’s my only muscle that really struggles with high frequency programs like this. Also probably my weakest extreme thinking emoji face

Cheers


#4

Last night ended up just hitting some light work. Taking a full day of much needed rest today.

Last night’s routine:

Monday PM, 4/24

Deep Breathing Squats (5 breaths) 5x3, 185 lbs
Suitcase Carries 3x30 seconds each side, 80 lbs
DB Shrugs 2x12, 110 lbs dbs
Face Pulls 3x15


#5

Alright, so yesterday finally had just a full day of rest, and got back in the gym tonight. Planning on a two-a-day tomorrow

Wednesday PM, 4/26

Squat 2x3, 275lbs
2x3, 296lbs
2x3, 275lbs

Push Press 3x3, 155lbs
OHP 6xm 135lbs
Single Arm Standing DB Press 2x8, 50lbs
Barbell OHP Complex


#6

Thursday AM, 4/27

Bottoms-Up Squat 10x3, 195 lbs
Zercher Squat 2x8, 135 lbs
Hip Thrusts 3x20, 50 lbs
Abs Circuit (TRX Bands/Hanging Leg Raises)

Aiming to get back in there tonight


#7

Thursday PM, 4/27

Deep Breathing Squats 5x1, 135 lbs
Trap Bar DL 3x8, 225 lbs
Deep Breathing Squats- 4x1 185 lbs
GHR 3x10


#8

Friday PM 4/28

Only made it to the gym once today. Body definitely telling me that it’s time to cut back on the two-a-days. Still going to try keep the squatting frequency as high as the joints allow. Muscle recovery hasn’t been an issue.

Behind the Neck Press 4x8, 95 lbs
Barbell Bench Press 10x1, 245 lbs
Single Arm Standing DB Press 3x8, 50lbs
Single Arm Lateral Raises 3x15, 10 lbs plate
BW Dips 3x20


#9

I’ve also never been good about taking “transformation” pics, but I figured since I’m still rocking my beer belly and 20+% bf, I might as well see where this log takes me. I wish I had pics just from a month ago, but these from yesterday will have to do. I swear there is a former lifter somewhere in there.


#10

Saturday AM, 4/29

Well, it appears that my high frequency squatting really caught up to my knees. I think especially from all the pause/heavy breathing squats I did last week. So I decided I might as well do some low intensity deadlifting.

Supinated Grip Deadlift 5x3, 275 lbs
Double-overhand (Pronated) Deadlift 5x3, 275 lbs
Snatch Grip Deadlift 4x6, 135 lbs
BW GHR 3x10
Farmer’s Walks 30sec x 2, 100 lbs DBs
Single Arm Bent Over Rows 1x12, 80 lbs
BW GHR 1x12


#11

Saturday PM, 4/29

BW GHR 3x10
Chin Ups 2x5
KB Bent Over Rows 2x10, 70lbs
Chin Ups 2x5
Suitcase Carries 30 secs each side x 3, 70 lbs
Chin Ups 2x5
Seated Rows 3x10, 110 lbs
Trap Bar Rows 2x5 135lbs, 2x5 155 lbs, 1x3 185 lbs
Zercher Squats 2x8, 135lbs
Face Pulls 8x12, 44lbs

Kept everything light, just trying to get the blood flowing. I really like zerchers for working my anterior core. Between those and a little ab wheel work I do at home, I feel much more solid in and out of the hole of my squat over this past month.


#12

Sunday I just did some dumbbell pressing at home.

Monday PM, 5/1

Romanian Deadlifts 5x6, 205lbs
Snatch Grip Deadlift 4x8, 135lbs
Leg Press 4x10
Chin Ups 3x12
Leg Curls 3x12
GHR 3x10
BW Hip Thrusts 2x20

I tried squatting on this day, but knees really still creaky from all the squatting I did the previous four weeks. I have never had knee issues before, and it’s reminiscent of some pain I had while doing Poliquin’s Super Accumulation. I’m hoping it goes away by the end of this week as I would like to make sure I can get in some squat sessions.


#13

Because of the knee issues from the high frequency workouts, and just to switch it up, I’ve decided to cut back on the frequency and ramp up the intensity a bit. I had a few beers while watching basketball during the day and didn’t make it into the gym until after 10pm, so I was pleasantly surprised by my energy levels. Hitting 285 on the bench was a big confidence booster for me because I haven’t even attempted that in years. Still, I’m heavier than I have ever been, so my relative strength has a ways to go.

Tuesday PM, 5/2

Bench Press Singles: 245, 265, 275, 285
Bench Press 2x8 225lbs, 2x10 195lbs
OHP 2x5 135lbs, 2x8 95lbs
Single Arm DB Bench 4x8, 80lbs
Single Arm Standing DB Press 4x8, 60lbs
BW Dips 2x20


#14

Wednesday PM, 5/3

Used a thick bar tonight for deadlifts, not exactly sure what the dimensions on it are, but really made grip strength the limiting factor. Probably for the best since I haven’t done beltless deadlifts this heavy in a while. Keeps me in check.

Deadlift x1: 315lbs, 365lbs, 385lbs, 315lbs
Barbell Shrugs 2x8 315lbs, 2x10 225lbs
Barbell Single Leg Calf raises 4x8 each side, 135lbs
Farmers Walks 90lbs DBs 4x30 yards
Single Arm Kettlebell Holds 4x30 each side, 70lbs


#15

Friday PM, 5/5

Bench Press Singles: 225, 245, 275, 285, 295, 300
Bench Press 2x10, 225lbs
Single Arm Standing DB Press 4x5, 65lbs
BW Dips 2x20
Tricep Overhead Rope Extension 2x20
Barbell Overhead Pressing Complex

Honestly, I was not expecting at all to even go for 285 again let alone 300 on the bench tonight. I was content enough when I hit 285 earlier this week, but I was really feeling it. If I had a spotter I may have even tried for 315, but it’s probably best I didn’t as I’m not tryna hit failure.

Really happy with my pressing strength after the high frequency workouts from the past month. Especially since the main focus of that cycle was squatting! Hoping the knees feel well enough to get back to squattin this weekend. Will probably continue with this more traditional push pull split for a couple weeks to gauge where my strength is at before I switch it back up and do another squatting program.

Oh, also gonna try tracking my morning/evening weight:

Tonight weighed in at 199.2 lbs! That’s definitely thanks to the two six packs during the week.


#17

Saturday PM, 5/6

Deadlifting 5x1 315lbs, 3x1 365lbs, 1x3 315lbs
Deadlifting from deficit 2x8, 225lbs
Suitcase Carries 70lbs 30 seconds x3
Hanging Leg Raise 2x10
BW Hip Thrusts 2x20

Weight at the end of the night 199.8lbs


#18

Nice log so far. Do you wear sleeves?


#19

Thanks! And it’s funny you bring sleeves up because I was just looking into getting a pair. I have never used them before. Back in my powerlifting days I had friends who always used Rehbands. I would likely go with just a pair of those, but have also been reading up on the sling shots.

Gonna do a bit more research on sleeves first. You recommend using them?


#20

Actually I ask because I have never used them myself and was looking to get a pair. I have one weak knee and my knees were a little sore yesterday. I would like to push more weight on my squats so I’ll probably get some today.


#21

Ah. Yeah, I’ve pretty much only heard good things about adding them to your gym bag arsenal. I probably won’t order any just yet, and I live in Hawai’i so when I do order them will take a couple weeks before I even get them hah. But I will definitely be interested to hear how you like them!