T Nation

Building a Base and Digging Deep

Hey all,

Finally decided to stop being a lurker. Been kinda prowling around here and other places on the interwebs for training ideas, and I’ve always been damn near flatlined by you ladies. Hoping that joining here will give me even more of that extra push to always keep going for my PBs.


20 years old, 5’9, around 160 lbs. Started lifting heavy on my own about a year ago, made some good gains, but stalled for a while before summer because of carpal tunnel symptoms (damn college). Started with a trainer this summer, and was making some impressive gains in strength before I got sidelined with a shoulder injury for a good three weeks. Been in PT, and happy to say things are finally healing, getting back to my upper body routine, and haven’t lost too much strength!

Struggled with an eating disorder in later teens…still struggle with ED and some pretty bad depression to this day, but trying to do good stuff with CB therapy, meditation, exercise, and (hopefully) the right combo of medications. Used to be a cardio queen…not surprisingly got hurt alot. Once I started dedicating myself to a heavy lifting routine, I felt a lot better physically and started building more body confidence. I mean, you can’t help but build a little pride in yourself when you realize you just squatted 105 for 4 reps.

Recently, I’ve been backtracking a bit with influences of depression at the forefront and a couple of compound injuries. Kinda grateful, though, because they forced me to take time to reach out and get help for a lot of internal work that I need right now. Also, they made me quite conscious of just HOW important form is.

GOALS for training:

  1. Build strength to aid cycling, rock climbing activities.
  2. Do a pull up!
  3. Get even better at push ups
  4. Find balance and passion in what I do: physical activity and real life.
  5. Build some cardio and speed back into routine. Been really neglecting it the past year, and I want to get a nice balance in.

Training plan to follow.

Hey girl, squatting heavy is possibly the best recovery program ever. It certainly is self esteem building and good for the soul.
2) You can do it
4) word

I naturally have a very high energy level. I’m rarely sitting still (except at the computer, lol). I do a LOT of activity…otherwise my energy often turns into a lot of anxiety.

Usually in the gym 5-6 days a week. Days I’m not, I’m still usually doing something. I rarely couch potato unless I really beat myself up or I’m sick.

Train with trainer about 4x a week, upper/lower splits. Two of those days I try to add a little something of the other part of my body (e.g. if it’s an upper body day, I usually try to do something lower body, too). I shoot for about 2-4 hours of cardio, depending on energy levels, intensity, and whether it’s HIIT or not. Trying to build a base for running and cycling, so some endurance goes in there. Currently have fallen in love with spinning. Usually do that and about 20 more minutes of SS cardio on cardio days.

Currently doing more moderate sets with legs for most days of the week to focus on form and allow myself to practice endurance activities. Spinning usually gives them a good workout. Upper body significantly needs to catch up with lower.

Upper (most recent- Tuesday; still rehabing from shoulder, upper back, pec accident):

A) Warmup: 20 moderate cardio

YTWLs, with scarecrows at the end 5x3x10 each
Purple (moderate) resistance band face pulls x 20

B) Push ups- 10x 4
TBar rows- 65, 65, 60, 55 x 10x 4
Chest flyes (just trying to get used to it again)- 15 x 15x 3

C) Band chin ups- 2x w/ moderate purple band d/s to 6 with green; 8, 6, 6, 4
Upright row- 35, 35, 40, 40 x 10
DB Chest press- 20, 25, 25, 30 x 10

D) Close grip/ wide grip/ reverse grip alternating pulldown: 75 d/s 60 x 10-12x 4
BB rows: 50x 10x 4
Lat flyes: 8 d/s 6 x 10-12x 4

Ab work, done.

Lower (Most recent- Sunday):

Warm up run 5-10 minutes

Hyperextensions w/ 35lbs to failure, then tabata pulses for 0:30- 1 minute after dropping weight.

A) BB back squat: warm up with bar,one set with 95 ; 2 working sets of 115 x 10, 1 working set of 135 x 3 (pleasantly surprised! haven’t been able to squat this since last year!), 1 working set of 130 x 5

B) Bulgarian split squats: 40 x 10 each leg, 50 x 8, 17.5 12x2

C) Cossack squats: 10-12
SL DL: 95x 10-12x 3; 105x 5-7x 2

D) Walking lunges with oblique twist: 25 lb plate
Ham ball curl and pike AMAP 30 sec each leg, making sure to get equal amount with each leg

Ab work, thigh adductors and abductors (my one vice), puke :p, and done.

new blood! welcome.

Welcome - from another lurker just coming out of the shadows

I can relate with the high level of activity / anxiety when idle thing. If I’m not sick I’m usually doing something active 7 days a week - I’d go nuts otherwise!

Looking forward to following along!

Hey Ladies! Thanks so much for your replies.

Was kinda stupid yesterday. Did spinning, 10 minutes HIIT, then tried upper body and ab training. I KNOW better than to do sessions that long. My general problem is that spinning pumps me up so much that I feel obscenely energetic for the rest of the day. Then my mind’s like “LET’S DO THIS!” and keeps going.

Scheduled another training session today that I just couldn’t cut. Started with BB squats s/s with band pull ups. Finished my rounds in those, but I stopped it there. Not on my A-Game today…not surprised.

A few notes:

Noticing I’m going onto my toes now on the push up on the BB back squats…grrr. Definitely need to work on my stability and balance training. Cognitively going to push myself to add planks and farmer’s walks at the end of my sessions. Doesn’t help the upper body has been forced to sideline it for that past 3 weeks. Boo to imbalances! Oh well.

Good news: Shoulder, upper back is very much improved. Still a good amount of knots, but NOTHING compared to what I had before. I dunno if it was that last set of band assisted or the PT, but I definitely have sore lats now.

Today’s (very short session) consisted of-

BB Back Squats (just realized I’ve been posting my numbers wrong! Lol, sorry, I’m still such a newb with the olympic bar weight plates; I’ll go fix them): 115x10; 135x5; 135x3…and almost fell on the last one, so I figured I was done. Haven’t got the upper back “shelf” yet, so the bar starts compressing my spine at some points…I swear I hear angels singing at the end of it.

Band assisted chins: 8,6,6,5

Tomorrow’s plan is a long workout :

A1) Hyperextensions x 35lb d/s 25; pulse for 30 sec-1:00 after drop x 3-4
A2) Push ups- AMAP
A3) Incline sit ups with 25 lb

B1) Bulgarian SS with barbell (still getting used to these…gonna shoot for 50!)
B2) Cossack squats 10-12

C1) Goblet squats 60lb AMAP x 3-4
C2) Rev lunge alternating x 3-4

D) RDL x3-4

Shoulder drills of YTWLs and scarecrows

E1) Bench press (gonna try it out and see how shoulder)
E2) Bench dips
E3) French Press

F1)BB curl/cable curls
F2) DB incline curls

Ab work, done.

Welcome Wasabi.
I see I’m late… as usual.

I remember the first time I had wasabi… :slight_smile:

Your workouts look pretty awesome.
You got another follower Love.

You came to the right place.
Lifting heavy=best mental sILLyNESS cure. So, keep at it.
We’ll be here with you along the way. ^^ like that I did there? eh?
good luck


Welcome. I went through a lot of depression in my late teens and early 20s. Never sought help or took meds but it was pretty bad at the time. The gym is what kept me going, so you’re doing the right thing. The main thing is not to train like an idiot. I did, and have two busted rotator cuffs that keep me reminding me 20 years down the line. So yes, take care of that shoulder because it will come back to haunt you if you’re not smart about it. Sounds like you are, though.

Nikki, Mel- Thanks you girls! Reaching out definitely helps with the mentality part of it, too. I’m sure you gals will keep me in line.

Cal- Sucks, doesn’t it? Yeah, I know the stupid training thing a bit too well…trying to cap it a lot of the time; it’s not easy, though. I try to do classes/ work with a trainer: 1) To motivate me to push my hardest (takes a lot just to do that by yourself- especially with depression, as I’m sure you know); 2) to keep my workouts from being too long, too intense, etc. Thanks for your support.

I still really hesitate to workout on my own most of the time, but I don’t want to condition myself out of it, because I know some days I’ll need to. Working on finding a group class that will focus on lifting heavier weights for when I go down to college…no dice so far. Oh well, just keep trucking!


Saturday- trained on my own yesterday. Happy to say I got a reasonable legs workout in and some upper body, in an efficient, short manner. It’s not train long, it’s train hard and train smart, right?

A) BB Squats- Need to get proper shoes for these. I currently have Mizuno’s, and I think those may lead me to transfer weight to the balls of my feet. Still, focus on heels and was able to get out 5 sets;

Warmup of bar, 95x2; Working sets of 115x10; 135 x 5; 135 x 3; 130 x 2

Lower back gave out before legs. Still dead from spinning.

B) Transferred to Smith Squat Machine to finish out a few sets; 70x 6-12x 4

C) BB Bulgarian Split Squats- These about killed me. Extremely different dynamic than with dumbbells.

Four working sets of 35x10; 40x10; 40 x 8; 45x 8 for right and 6 for left. I just couldn’t do any more.

D) Overhead Press into Push Press with Failure s/s with small band high pulls: 3 working sets of 45 x15, 50 x 12, 55x12; band highpulls were at 20-30 reps. Still keeping shoulders light for now.

Did some ab work, HIIT on the treadmill and called it a day. My lats were still really sore from PT.

Today (Sunday)- Did about 40-60 minutes SS on the elliptical. Was gonna do more, but my endurance is still crap. Had to jump on and off, but I made it at least 40, I know that. After that I just wasn’t feeling the strengthening. Will do some yoga and namaste my brain. Try to convince my couch potato boyfriend to go for a walk tonight before True Blood.

Speaking of which- I canNOT get that boy to move. Of course, he has to be one of those SOBs who’s beautiful, has type 1 diabetes, hypermetabolism…and is uh…a boy in his late teens/early 20s. Yeah, the BK is his life and he HATES organized recreational activity. Except to beat things. He likes martial arts, but is too conceited to ever join a training studio with me. He likes freeform training on his own, which is great, don’t get me wrong, but makes it difficult when I still want to do something and all he wants to do is play video games/ watch movies/ go on the computer. Damn boys and their increased muscle massness :p.

Anyway, to yoga! Hope you ladies enjoyed your Sunday. Tomorrow’s training and maybe spinning if I get the energy (I hope so!). Woohoo!

Hi Wasabi,

I understand that you feel a trainer is good for your motivation and drive but as far as over-doing it, why not put a time frame? When I’m really into my groove sometimes I just want to keep going. I usually give myself 1.5 hours tops for my workouts. I find that any longer, once I crash, I’m good for nothing. I just tell myself I’m keeping a little energy to cook a nice meal and read a book, or just do something other than working out.

as far as squat shoes go there are mainly 2 camps around here
1-the bare feet which includes myself
2- the vibram lovers.

I suggest to simply go bare feet to begin with.

a lot of people will argue to keep the HIIT on non-lifting days. Doing both might be really draining if you’re going all out in your sprints. There are a few good HIIT articles floating around, maybe someone can give me a hand and poste one?

I find that people who don’t like organized recreational activities do best with sports such as hiking, biking, rollerblading, swimming, just throwing a football, baseball, frisbee around. Instead of saying let’s do something healthy for a change spin it around and say let’s do something fun outside. If that doesn’t work the bedroom might have some options. Good Luck :slight_smile:

Hey all!

Sorry I’ve been rather quiet lately…life’s caught up with me, but I’m sure you ladies can understand. Tried some more antidepressants recently with my doc…and uh…well…let’s just say anaphylaxia ain’t so fun. SSRIs just aren’t for me. Thinking about Wellbutrin, but I’m kind of on a ticking time bomb here as I’m going back to uni in 11 days. Dear God, pinch me.

Been trying to figure some solutions for what I might do this year to keep myself in check as well as motivated in the weight lifting arena this year. I bought some home exercise Jillian Micheal’s (don’t slaughter me) DVDs and I’m gonna snag some adjustable weights from my BF for my lighter/busier days. Pondering returning to my NROWLFW books as an outline for my weightlifting routines and maybe tacking on some auxilary moves. I’m really hoping the exercise classes pan out to be as awesome as they seem at my UNI, too. Cardio-wise isn’t so difficult I guess… I’ve found a true passion for spinning class, even if I’m still not that fast on the sprints yet. Pondering a 5k or something to switch things up as well, but I won’t get ahead of myself.

In the weights department…well, I think I’m improving. Haven’t been all too consistent, but the things I have been practicing are getting better. Here’s some upper body work I did this past weekend:

Chin ups:
Round one- 3 chins with the purple medium band, 6 with the green band, and then 4 more with the green band and pushing my foot again the squat bar; subsequent rounds were 8, 6, 6. Then I died.

Push ups: did 4 rounds near the Smith
Floor- 10 chest to the deck; Smith progression (floor to incline push ups)- 15, 12, 10

Inverted rows: 4 rounds: 12 at one level, 15 total; 12, 12, 10

Freakin’ awesome workout today.

A) BB Back squats: 95 warm up, 100 x 10; 125 x 10; 130 x 8; 135 x 5

B) Bulgarian split squats: pyramid- 35 x 10; 40x12; 50 x 10; 55 x 10

C1) Goblet squats with pulse: 40 warm up; 60 x12; 65 x 10
C2) Four rounds of burpees 20; 20; 25; 20

D1) Frog Jumps 10; 10; 12; 10
D2) Band assisted chins 2 on the purple; 10 with foot assist on green; 8; 5

E) Bench O_O: I’M A FREAKING BEAST! So this was the first time returning to bench in a while, so my trainer and I had no clue where my weight was at. Did a 5x5 to see and…

Warm up at 55x10
Set 1= 65x5
Set 2= 70x5
Set 3= 75x 5
At this point I got frustrated with him taking the bar away from me before failure and I said “DOCK IT UP, THEN!” He fulfilled

Set 4= 95x 4

and…my crowning pride for today

Set 5= 100 x 3

IN GOOD FORM :smiley:


F) Tabata hyperextensions with 25lb plate s/s with tabata barbell good morning (45 lb)- 5 rounds.
G) Tabata planks and bear crawls until I made it all the way around the upstairs basketball court.

Brutal. Evil. Awesome.

Now to get nutrition on par…definitely need to start eating cleaner. But I have to say, I’m definitely proud of my achievements today!

Ugh. Still so got DOMS in some places from the day before yesterday. I have training again today. Oh well, it’s good to feel this sore again. Now I just need to stop overreacting to it…

Yesterday was kinda horrible nutrition-wise. I gotta really start eating regular meals again. Thinking about occasionally posting my eats here to keep me accountable. I warn you guys, it’s not all super-clean yet…but I’m working on it. Trying to clean up most of the wheat out of my life for a while to see if some G.I. problems clear up…but I still have my vices. One step at a time, right.

My Recent Stats: 5’9" and some quarter inch, about 158 lbs. I’m not like…raw lean or anything, I still have jiggles, but I definitely know that a decent amount of that weight is NOT flab. On my good nutrition days/ when I’m consistent with training, I have the beginnings of a 6-pack poking out. Haven’t gotten a BF reading in over 2 years, so I couldn’t tell you where I’m at right now…I dunno if I’m looking to really reduce that or not seeing as I’ve had amennorhea for almost 4 years now. Yeah, s’not good, I know. But it might be something other than my ED since the females in my fam have a history of problems in the female department. 'Nuf said, cause I know if any guys are reading this, they may be close to vomiting. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m just trying to push myself physically, make peace mentally and spiritually, and get more regulated nutritionally.

Today’s plan:

Breakfast- 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup fiber one (one of the vices), 1 medium peach, 1/2 cup liquid egg whites, 1 tablespoon natural pb

Training with train- upper body and explosive movement conditioning, possibly short HIIT

PWO- Piece of fruit (i.e. apple) and 1/2 serving whey shake with another tablepoon pb or two tablespoons almonds

Meal 3 (gonna try to make this one about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours before spinning, if not I’ll split it up) - 4 oz chicken, homemade balsamic vinaigrette with tsp. olive oil, butternut squash fries ~drool~, plentiful salad, maybe a piece of fruit

Meal 4 (optional if Meal 3 is close to spinning)- piece of fruit and some skim milk, maybe a half serving of cereal…can’t stomach much more than that or it comes up in my throat on the bike :stuck_out_tongue:

Meal 5- Chickpea and lentil stirfry with diced chilis and tomatoes made with 1-2 tsp olive oil, 1/2 cup egg whites; salaaaddd

Meal 6- Maybe some cottage cheese and soy crisps/ air popped popcorn if I’m hungry