Build Back Better Training Log

Alright, so I might start a log here starting next workout

My goals are go from 260-265 lbs to 240lbs at 6’0" (I am not dieting though, just trying to eat 100% clean and move more) and get back at my strongest lifts at any bodyweight

Doesnt really matter that much though, just trying to get the best workouts every week

Some history:
Been lifting for 12+ years, 31 y.o, lifetime natural
I focus on body part splits and lifting heavy but I am not a powerlifter. I don’t bench press, I don’t squat conventional (I do zercher or SSB when I have a bar). I deadlift but I usually only go up to easy weight to prime myself for heavy rows

Current log numbers to beat
Barbell press 290x1. Current backoff end of training set: 235x5 240x3
DB standing press 110x5, 115x2
DB bench 150x9, 155x7, 160x5, 165x4, 170x2
DB bench neutral grip 150x3, 160x2
Full zercher 485
Neutral machine press at big gym 8px1
Skullcrusher 195x2
DB curls (palms in front, simultaneous) 90 105 tbd
Barbell row 455x3


december 17 - back

deadlifts - up to 565x2 .As stated I only go as heavy as I feel I need to, no energy spent there. You only have limited training money as a natural and powerlifters dont have good back development.

barbell rows - messed with a football bar just to try, doesnt work well. regular bar - 315 365 415x2 435x2 455x2 365xrep out

neutral chins - bw, +25, +45, + 70, +90x2, +115x1. hollow body BW x2 sets
I used to be really stronger on these, I dont know why I cant do much anymore. Maybe it’s linked to the fact my shoulders have been getting beat up these last months for some reason and now I cant really press? Inflammation will go away eventually as always like for the elbows or lower back

rope lat pushdown, lat pulldowns, cable rhomboid row stuff

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december 18 - pecs

My shoulders are inflammated, couldnt really do much so I won’t log!

Im digging the cable rotator cuff exercise the osteo gave me alot though

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december 21 - arms

triceps cable extension
biceps cable curl

barbell skullcrushers 45 95 135 155 175x3 195x1 185x3
barbell curls (barbell biceps swings) 45 95 135 185 225 245x3 265x2

DB low incline bench triceps extension, up to 85?
DB hammer curls, up to 120x8?

some shoulder cable external rotator cuff extension

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december 23 - shoulders

Heavy lateral raises and lots of isolation. Then managed to clean then press twice a small ez bar with 100lbs on each side (more or less 225lbs?)
Which is better than last week when 205lbs on a football bar was hurting too much to press.
Couldnt press DB standing though

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december 24 - back
deadlifts - up to 565x3. Might do the same set again next week to keep ez

barbell rows -up to 425x3 445x3, 375xrep out

neutral chins - not much, went to isolations right away

rope lat pushdown, lat pulldowns (many handles)
DB row: 70, 140, 175x5 (just to touch something)

chin up - up to 90lbs

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december 26 - pecs
better than last week, up to 140x4 DB bench, all my pressing is done with a neutral grip and I can’t do much, shoulders are inflammated

december 27 - arms
cable triceps push down and cable bicep curls (I do all my machine work with slow movement and light weights)

barbell skullcrusher - 45 95 135 155 175x3 195x2 (lifetime PR? or equal to) 185x3
barbell curls -45 95 135 185 225x8 245x3 265x3 295x1 (barbell swings at this point) 225x rep out . Form doesn’t matter to me on that if I feel that it works

incline bench DB overhead triceps extension, DB hammer curl (up to 110x8? and 130x1)
some other cable stuff

also I don’t log the legs here because I already log it somewhere else (long story)

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Not much to log, shoulders are recovering. Pecs and shoulders days are getting slowly better, I am still pressing neutral

Back day started bad with a 565x1 deadlift while I thought I was going to do x3 easy (went up in weights very lazily and lower back was wonky from the heavy zercher squat PR attempt I failed some days before)

But then I did the heavy best barbell row sequence of sets in my life, 135 225 315 405x5 (easy) 455x3 385 x rep out (x8? pump was great)

I think I did the heaviest lateral raises of my life too on my shoulder (cant press so I have necessrily more training coins for those), 80x8? and then 90x3?. Yeah they are loose but not that much and it doesnt matter that much if they are either

Arms tomorrow, I dont expect PRs like last week so might not log if it’s too boring to write


january 4 - arms

A bit of a dumb day, I tried for the first time going up from 135lbs to 185lbs in barbell skullcrushers, did 3 reps
Then I tried 205lbs which I dont think I have ever done (did 200lbs once) and failed.
I also went extra heavy on the barbell curls and even did a barbell biceps spasm with 315lbs at the end

Consequence of going from 135lbs to 185lbs in skullcrushers right away I feel like I could be almost strained. Couldnt work the light DB extensions after that exercise and the 185lbs set felt like a shock. So I wont do that again

The rest was as usual

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Changed city (I am working a remote job so I expat myself for a few months for the winter) and gym so my workout routine has changed a little and no access to the same equipment so I won’t log for now

If I do something big I was chasing for a long time I might log or even post a video
Like for this movement I do every week and that is my favorite movement ever
Zercher Full Cycle - YouTube

If I hit 495lbs I will log it (my best is 15lbs lower than that, done very recently)

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arms today (january 19)

besides the regular stuff
barbell skullcrushers: 45 95 135 155 175 195x1 205x1 185x5

205x1 is either a PR or equals a PR. 185x5 when done after the top set is probably a PR for that moment

unless the bar is less than 45lbs, at that gym I use a olympic size ez bar which is pretty cool, I’ll buy one when I get back and find a gym that let me store it there. Anyway it feels like 45lbs but could be a bit lighter

Also shoulders are still getting better (it has been like 2 months now), been doing a lot of rotator cuff stuff which has modified my posture, almost strained my shoulder while doing zercher squats (what the hell), which is probably a consequence in some way. Now I can see on myself how DB neutral press or any neutral presses dont give good pecs development

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back day yesterday (january 24)

regular stuff but I tried a single with 465lbs on the barbell row
ok-ish loose form, the salient point is that I tried that weight (I dont think I ever ventured over 455lbs)

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arms today (january 28)
I guess I am in a triceps personal record phase

the regular stuff +
barbell skullcrushers: 45 95 135 155 175 190x1 210x1 185x5 or 6 (will count it as 5)
this is definitely a personal record. I am not going to chase anything heavier than that though, I don’t feel like it would pay off
I also do incline DB hammer triceps extension which have been really strong lately but I dont record or chase numbers on that
Biceps strength is ok too, but it’s harder to gauge as you can cheat more than lying barbell skullcrushers

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Ninja gym pic (for ??)


Imgur: The magic of the Internet

that’s as good as it’s gonna get for pictures and videos (until I lift something I really happy about / big milestones but these are few and far in between)


The only things I think I would care about videoing is a 5 plates full cycle zercher (CT style) and a 295 overhead press (record is 280 or 285lbs a long time ago). The former is in the works and might happen in the next 6 months or before.

Any pressing will take a while to get back to because of my shoulders which are only slowly (but surely) getting better, I only did 235lbs last time and it felt awkward / unstable. Lateral raises strength is over the top now on a side note. Heavy barbell upright row also do the work so it’s really not that bad for that aspect of my training.

If I ever master 170’s on a flat DB press I might record too (I am still playing with the 140’s neutral grip at this time) and only if I am not too fat when I do it. The heaviest I have touched is 165lbs for 1 or 2 reps or 160lbsx4. I don’t plan on pushing heavy incline DB again as a first exercise since this is what gave me the inflammation in the first place (probably fat grip overhead pressing too) even if I got away with it for years. I don’t even want to think about seated DB presses right now.

Bench press I don’t do at all anymore and for the last 5 years at least (wide grip dips are superior for the inner lower pecs and I mainly work with DBs) and deadlift I also don’t care about giving energy to it (I still do them sometimes). Never really did it because it never clicked for me (talking about the bench)

Back or biceps there is too many variables and levels of strictness to record numbers and it doesnt mean much.

So I have been lied to, the olympic ez curl bar is 10lbs less than I thought
OBZ-40 | EZ-Curl Bar, Black-Oxide, 6’ 2’ (USA) – Ivanko Barbell Company
therefore all these 10lbs PR on skullcrushers are not PR but pretty much exactly the weight I usually do. I think I am going to take Ivanko to court for making me write all these words for no reason

Anyway I am leaving this city this week and flying to another one for a change of scenery, there will not be this barbell at the next gym and I am not spending 600$ usd + tax + shipping for one just to bring it to a commercial gym for a few exercises if they even let me when I get back home

Alright so I have switched city (and gym)

I am still mainly logging my arm days it seems, the rest isn’t noteworthy. Back to a regular straight bar (a bit thicker than the usual dental floss standard power bars, which I like a lot), could do a 195lbs skullcrusher with it quite easily. The rest is good too.

Leg strength was seriously down since I had to wait 10 or 11 days before training them (I usually do them every week) but I will try again in 2-3 days to catch up (will make 4 days between leg days)

Actually I think I will log my pressing too now even if it is not good, did 140lbsx5 flat DB press last time and flailing out my arm more and more (which is good, my shoulders couldnt do it before). DB incline and DB shoulder press (seated) is doable now too with no pain at all (still not maxing it and going light)

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Shoulders today

110kg -242lbs barbell press flew up with almost no discomfort and weird balance, which is pretty great. Done from a standard thin dental floss barbell, these usually bother my shoulders the most but not now. I thought I was getting tricked again at first since it was so easy and the barbell was lighter again but I weighted it at 20kg

I even wanted to do 120kg-264lbs after but it would have been dumb so restrained myself. 265lbs is pretty much the limit of a regular press I can lift every week with good shoulders. Did 255lbs easily the week before but it was with the ez bar which is easy on shoulders.

Last december I could barely get 205lbs up on a football bar without getting dizzy.
I might be in for a good run on that when my shoulders are 100% back

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Legs today (catch up day 4 days later)

It went pretty well. Could easily do what I missed last time (200kg, the last ramp up set before the top set, 30lbs lighter than what I was aiming for). Didnt try anything more. Assistance after but only 1/2 as usual (other 1/2 was done 4 days ago)

I will try to get advantage of that and hit legs again in 4 days, same way but try a 220kg full cycle zercher CT style, which would be a lifetime PR if I get it (218kg is my best). A long shot maybe. Would be a nice 5 plates with all 20kg plates and bar. My goal was 225kg or 5 regular 45lbs plates

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Disappointing pecs day today

Could only DB press with my elbows tucked in and did the same as last week (140x5). Did 150x2 after to try to make up. I was rusty (9 or 10 days between pecs day) so there might be that too. No big deal if I can go all out on the rest after like I am doing though