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Built for Show - Satter's Training Log

This will be my training log, following the program in Nate Green’s book, Built for Show.

About me:
Have been training/keeping in shape for over ten years but I had a serious back injury two years ago that kept me from training for over a year and have spent the last 6 months or so re-introducing training into my life. Did P90X program over the summer and have been doing light weights and bodyweight training since then.

I am married with a four year old and a 10 month old (This is important because it limits the time I have to train)

Age: 39 years
Height: 5’7"
Weight: 158 lbs at approx 15% body fat (guestimate from previous experience)

My wife is a big time runner so I have done that in the past but have mostly gotten away from it.

I have decided to make this post because I have set a goal for myself and would like to put it “down on paper” and “out there” to really cement it in my mind. I turn 40 in Dec of 2009 and although I have always been in shape I would like to take it to a whole new level and get as big and as cut as I can for my 40th birthday. By Dec 2009 I would like to be:

over 170lbs
under 9% body fat

This means that in one year I have to lose around 8lbs of fat and gain close to 20lbs of muscle.

I chose the Built for Show Program because it gives me a solid year of training programing and a nice progression that fits my goals. Since I have had a bad lower back injury I find that I have a serious strength imbalance in my lower body so I plan on doing alot of single joint training in the first phase of the program to correct these and strengthen my core. I hope this will go towords preventing injuries and will allow me to progress into heavier weights in the later phases.
I really appreciate T-Nation and the information and entertainment provided here and ask for you support and advice in my endeavor to better myself.

I will be posting starting body pictures soon.

Here are my starting measurements:

158lbs
approx 15% bf

Neck ? 15

Shoulder ? 48

Chest ? 38

Upper arm
Relaxed ? 12 ½
Flexed ? 14 ½

Waist at belly button ? 34 ½

Hips around glutes ? 38

Thigh ? 21 ½

Calf - 15

FYI
Don’t know why those question marks showed up in the post, they are supposed to be dashes.

Okay here are my workouts from this week so far.
On a side note I work out at home and am able to do most exercise with the Olympic weight equipment I have but I do not have a low pulley so I might have to substitute some of the exercises prescribed in the book eg. Barbell Rows instead of Seated Rows.

I am starting with lighter weight than normal for this first week because I really want to dial in my form. I?ll up the weights in the coming weeks.

Built for Show - Fall Program Phase 1
Monday ? Workout A

A1 Wide Grip Barbell Row - 4x8
95/8, 95/8, 95/8, 100/8

A2 Single Arm Dumbell Bench Press ? 4x8
40/8, 45/8, 45/8, 45/8

B1 Chin-ups ? 4x8
Bodyweight, 8, 8, 8, 6

B2 Single Arm Dumbell Shoulder Press ? 4x8
35/8, 35/8, 35/8, 35/8
C1 Reverse Crunch ? 2/15
15, 15
C2 Plank ? 60sec
60sec

This workout felt pretty good, the one arm dumbell press was a little awkward at first cause you really have to flex your whole body but I got the hang of it pretty quick.

I?ll definitely be upping the weights soon I really felt like I could have lifted more on almost all the exercises and although the program doesn?t call for 2 sets of planks till the second Phase I think I?m going to start doing 2 sets right away as I didn?t really have trouble with these.

Wednesday ? Workout B

A1 Single Leg Squat ? 5x5
Bodyweight ? 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

A2 Step ups ? 5x5
Holding a 25lbs plate, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

B2 Swiss Ball Hip Extension ? 1x8
8, 8
B2 Wood Chop ? 1x8
8, 8
C Side Bridge ? 60sec (30sec a side)
60 sec

As I stated earlier I have some strength imbalances in my lower body due to a previous injury and because of this I?m doing single leg squats to help correct this (on the days when I?m supposed to do higher reps I?ll do front squats as I can?t get out that many single leg squats).

If you?ve never done single leg squats before I urge you to try them, it?s a humbling experience. (Chad Waterbury has a great Bodyweight Training article on this site that has a good progression model for people who?ve never done them.)

In the past I?ve squatted 295lbs for 2 reps past parallel but it?s a struggle to get out 5 good form single leg bodyweight squats with my left leg right now…humbling indeed! The rest of the workout was pretty simple as with the Monday workout I?ll be upping the intensity fairly quickly.

Overall I like the workouts so far I found them not too difficult but I know that will change as I up the intensity and I?m looking at this phase as building some groundwork for some serious work in the future.

I find the rest prescription between supersets to be almost too much right now, I?m ready to go before my timer goes off, but again that will probably change as I get into heavier weights.

Friday?s workout will be Workout A again but with 3 sets of 12 reps I?ll post that when I?m done.

I’ll also try to get the pics done asap.

Welcome fellow Canadian! (I’m originally from Toronto).

Sounds to me like you have a solid goal, and with this book, a solid plan on how to get there. It’s a great idea keeping logs here, because as you said, it keeps you accountable - although you’re really only accountable to yourself.

I look forward to following your log, godspeed iron brother…


Here are some pics


Back


Side

Dec 5, 2008
Week 1 (Friday)
Workout A (Upper Body)

A1 Wide Grip Barbell Row (3x12, 45s)
95x 12,12,12 (No problems here really tried to focus on good form)

A2 Single Arm Dumbell Bench Press (3x12, 45s)
40x 12,12,12 (Was hard but doable, can probably go heavier next time)

B1 Underhand Grip Pulldowns (3x12, 45)
100x 12,12,12 (Next time I’m going to try doing 12 chinups instead of pulldowns)

B2 Single Arm Dumbell Shoulder Press (3x12, 45)
30x 12,12,12 (Heavier next time)

C1 Reverse Crunch (2X15, 30s)
15, 15 (Will do 3 sets from here on out)

C2 Plank (2x60s, 30s)
60s, 60s (Fairly easy, three sets next time, or two sets of 90s)

Dec 8, 2008
Week 2 (Monday)
Workout B (Lower Body

A1 Single Leg Squat (4x8, 60s)
Bodyweight x 8,8,8,8 (Cheated a little with my left leg on last 2 reps of last two sets, will probably be a couple of weeks till my muscle imbalances are corrected)

A2 Step ups (4x8, 60s)
Holding a 35lbs plate x 8,8,8,8 (Left leg felt a little weaker but did them all in good form)

B2 Swiss Ball Hip Extension (2x8, 30s)
Type 2 x 8, 8 (Nothing too dificult here, just trying to keep good form and really squeeze my glutes to activate them)

B2 Wood Chop (2x8, 30s)
60 x 8, 8 (This is a little awkward to do with the equipment I have. I have to do it kneeling down in front of my pulley)

C Side Bridge (60s, 30s a side)
L 30s, R 30s, L 30s, R 30s (Did two sets as I find it hard but doable, will probaby try to do 60 sec a side next week)

I’m looking forward to Wednesdays 5x5 uperbody workout I’m going to start really pushing myself soon as the workouts feel really good.

A few words on my diet

Daily Calories 2500 (workout days) 2100 (non workout days)
Protien 200g
Carbs 200g (workout days) 50g (non workout days)
Fats 100g (workout days) 125g (non workout days)

I know this is a little low for someone who’s trying to put on alot of muscle but this is how I’m eating right now (easing my way into the program) and I plan on upping this as I up my intensity. I try to follow a carb cycling type diet and on workout days get almost all my carbs immedietly after my workout, which is first thing in the morning)

What’s up with the single-arm dumbbell bench press?

I’m using the first phase of this program to really try and correct any imbalances I have in my body, dial in my form, and get my core stability rock solid. The uni-lateral exercises (one arm dumbell bench press, one arm standing shoulder press) really force you to contract your whole body to complete the lift with good form. What’s that old saying “you can’t shoot a cannon from canoe”. I’m hoping this will go a long way to keep me injury free and alow me to lift bigger weights later in the program. That’s the plan anyways…we’ll see how it goes.

Here’s my workout from this morning:

I should note that I start each workout with about 5 mins of foam rolling for my upper back/shoulders and the warm up exercises suggested in Nate’s book I just don’t bother writing it into the workout log.

Dec 10, 2008
Week 2 (Wednesday)
Workout A (Upper Body)

Note: I lowered the rests to 60s in this workout as I find 90s just too long.

A1 Wide Grip Barbell Row (5x5, 60s)
115x 5,5 125x 5,5,5 (Go heavier next time)

A2 Single Arm Dumbell Bench Press (5x5, 60s)
55x 5,5,5 60x 5,5 (Really had to tighten my whole body to keep steady)

B1 Chin ups (5x5, 60s)
Bodyweight + 15lbs x 5,5,5,5,5 (Struggled a little on the last rep of last two sets)

B2 Single Arm Dumbell Shoulder Press (5x5, 60s)
40x 5,5,5,5 45x 5

C1 Reverse Crunch (2X15, 30s)
15, 15

C2 Plank (2x60s, 30s)
60s, 60s

I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep last night (my little guy was restless all night) and it was a hard getting up at 5:30 for the workout but once my feet hit the floor I was ready to go. The workout felt good today I felt strong and didn’t have any real problems with any of the exercises. I was a little wary of going too heavy with the bent over rows because of my previous lower back injury but I’m finding that I can get into the proper position and stay there without any problems.
Half way through the workout my son,10 months old, woke up (6:15) so I threw a sweatshirt on him and brought him into the garage…he loved it and was squeeling in delight watching me workout. Our 4 year old daughter always pretends to workout with 3lbs plastic dumbells that we have lying around and talks about being strong when she grows up. Although I’m not interested in them becoming body obsessed, my wife and I try to stay active and set a good example for our kids, we’d like for them to build healthy exercise/sport habits.

Next workout will be Friday Lower Body (light day) 3x12, 45s rest

[quote]satter wrote:

Half way through the workout my son,10 months old, woke up (6:15) so I threw a sweatshirt on him and brought him into the garage…he loved it and was squeeling in delight watching me workout. Our 4 year old daughter always pretends to workout with 3lbs plastic dumbells that we have lying around and talks about being strong when she grows up. Although I’m not interested in them becoming body obsessed, my wife and I try to stay active and set a good example for our kids, we’d like for them to build healthy exercise/sport habits.
[/quote]

Nice! Way to stay dedicated and set a good example. And heck, this would be one of the better ‘obsessions’ they could pick up!

Dec 12, 2008
Week 2 (Friday, 6:00am)
Workout B (Lower Body

A1 Front Squat (3x12, 45s)
95 x 12, 12, 12 (I have not done any squats, other than body weight, in two years so this felt heavy at first but I just focused on going all the way down, ATG, and keeping my back tight. Overall felt really good and I’m excited about being able to squat and deadlift again. I noticed that the single leg squats I’ve been doing are really helping my mobilty and allowed me to drop all the way down ATG with no problem)

A2 Step ups (3x12, 45s)
20 lb Bar x 12, 12, 12

B2 Swiss Ball Hip Extension (2x8, 30s)
Type 2 x 8, 8

B2 Swiss Ball Crunch (2x12, 30s) (I replaced the wood chop with this exercise because my equipment just wouldn’t allow me to do it properly)

C Side Bridge (60s, 30s a side)
L 30s, R 30s, L 30s, R 30s

I’m adding a couple of sets of Face Pulls, Swiss Ball Pushups, and Scalpular Pullups at the end of every workout to build some shoulder stability and keep my shoulders healthy.

Dec 15, 2008
Week 3 (Monday)
Workout A (Upper Body)

A1 Wide Grip Barbell Row (4x8, 60s)
125x 8,8,8,8 (I could probably go heavier but I’m still a little wary of overloading my lower back so I’m going to take my time increasing the weights on this exercise. I’m really focusing on my form)

A2 Single Arm Dumbell Bench Press (4x8, 60s)
55x 8,8,8,8

B1 Chin ups (4x8, 60s)
Bodyweight x 8,8,7,7

B2 Single Arm Dumbell Shoulder Press (4x8, 60s)
40x 8,7,7,6

C1 Reverse Crunch (2X15, 30s)
15, 15

C2 Plank (2x60s, 30s)
60s, 60s

I crashed half way through this workout and barley got through without puking, I just had no energy left. That’s always a danger when your working out at 5:30 in the morning.

I always drink a Carb/Protien Shake and some BCAA’s as soon as I get up and I try to eat well the night before a workout but the weekend was a little hectic and my total calories for the last couple of days were lower than normal.

The workouts still feel great and I look forward to the next ones, that’s a good sign. So far I’ve been able to go heavier every workout but am taking my time with the weight increases. I want to do it right this time and look at the long term I don’t want to let my ego get in the way and end up hurt and sidelined again.

I’ve been weighing myself almost every morning and my weight is averaging around 1 to 1.5 pounds heavier (159 to 159.5) than when I started and I been feeling more pumped and a little leaner, it feels good but my ultimate goal here is to put on some muscle weight so I think I’m going to start adding a couple of hundered calories a day to my diet.

On a side note I bought a weighted vest today it’s 40 lbs and adjustable in 1 lb increments I think it’ll come in handy for pullups, pushup, dips, etc. I’m going to set it to 20 lbs right now and start wearing it for my all my leg exercises and planks to relly hit my core.

[quote]satter wrote:
I always drink a Carb/Protien Shake and some BCAA’s as soon as I get up and I try to eat well the night before a workout but the weekend was a little hectic and my total calories for the last couple of days were lower than normal.[/quote]

?Do or do not… there is no try.?
-Yoda

You say you want to build, then you fail at getting enough food?
It’s not that hard to get in calories, really. Protein shakes, bars, nuts, peanut butter, etc.

Had to be said.

Point taken!!!

No excuses…I just have to plan better and eat more.

Here’s my workout from this morning.

I was very tempted to just start doing heavy front squats but then decided to stick with my uni-lateral exerceise till at least the end of the month. The imbalance in my lower body is still there but is getting better, my left side can almost keep up with the right.

I wore my new weight vest during this workout with 15lbs in it. I’m told that you should start with no more than 10 percent of your body weight so you can get used to the balance change. The vest is very confortable and allowed me to keep good form with an erect torso during the workout.
I’ll start adding weight to it over the next couple of weeks.

Dec 17, 2008
Week 3 (Wednesday)
Workout B (Lower Body

A1 Single Leg Squat (5x5, 60s)
(Bodyweight + 15 lb Vest) x 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

A2 Step ups (5x5, 60s)
(15 lb Vest + Holding a 35 lb plate) x 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

B2 Swiss Ball Hip Extension (2x10, 30s)
Type 2 x 10, 10

B2 Swiss Ball Crunch (2x15, 30s)
15, 15

C Side Bridge (60s, 30s a side)
L 30s, R 30s, L 30s, R 30s

Dec 19, 2008
Week 3 (Friday)
Workout A (Upper Body)

A1 Wide Grip Barbell Row (3x12, 45s)
115x 12,12,12

A2 Single Arm Dumbell Bench Press (3x12, 45s)
50x 12,12,12

B1 Underhand Grip Pulldowns (3x12, 45s)
120 x 12,12,10

B2 Single Arm Dumbell Shoulder Press (3x12, 45s)
35x 12,10,10

C1 Reverse Crunch (2X15, 30s)
15, 15

C2 Plank (2x60s, 30s)
60s, 60s

Couldn’t do my workout this morning…had to shovel snow so I could get to work. I’m going to do it tonight or tomorrow morning.

I spent all of last week (Christmas) at my in-laws house and although they have some exercise equipment (treadmill, eliptical, adjustable dumbells) I wasn’t able to do my workouts exactly as prescibed. So I decided to do all the exercises I could with the dumbells and then just throw in some bodyweight stuff, squats, pushups, planks etc. these actually ended up being some pretty decent workouts.

Now that I’m back home I’m just going to continue the workouts from where I would have been without the interruption.

Dec 29, 2008
Week 5 (Monday)
Workout A (Upper Body)

A1 Wide Grip Barbell Row (4x8, 60s)
115 x 8,8,8,8

A2 Single Arm Dumbell Bench Press (4x8, 60s)
60 x 8,8,8,6

B1 Chinups (4x8, 60s)
Bodyweight x 8, 8, 6+1, 6+1

B2 Single Arm Dumbell Shoulder Press (4x8, 60s)
40x 8,8,8,6

C1 Reverse Crunch (2X15, 30s)
15, 15

C2 Plank (2x60s, 30s)
60s, 60s

You might notice that my Barbell Rows are a little lighter than the last session this is because I realized, after watching a video on proper technique, that I wasn’t bent over enough. I was doing these with the barbell hanging just below my knees but now I’m doing them with the barbell hanging around my lower/middle chin, this allows my back to get more parallel to the ground and really target my back muscles. I had to back off on the weight a bit but that’s okay because I definatley feel these more.

My bodyweight has now been averaging 161 to 162 lbs every morning (that’s about a 1 lb gain a week) so I’m happy about that. I’ve been feeling really jacked after every workout and the waist on my pants has not been getting any tighter so I know I’m not gaining alot of fat.

Also my wife, who always thinks I look good, said she’s noticed a difference in that I look more muscular especially right after my workouts. I feel like I’m on the right track right now and am going to try and really amp up my strenght these next couple of weeks and put on some seriouse size before spring.