Burnesy's Goals and Workout Blog

Having recently turned 35 I guess I can now take my seat at the table in this over 35 forum.

Previously I haven’t set up a blog for my training. I use T-Nation as a resource all the time, gaining new ideas and learning about various training protocols. I can’t say I have a favourite author or program, I take elements of lots of articles and programs and generally put together my own.

Why am I doing this? Firstly as a bit on insurance for myself to make sure that I follow through on things. Secondly I’m sure there are a lot of guys out there interesteted in how easy/hard/impossible it is to gain muscle over 35 when you are working, have a family etc. BTW I have a 5 month old girl at home.

I�??m lucky in that I work at a university and have access to a great gym as well as the time available during the day to sneak off for an hour and get my workout in.

I�??m fairly structured in my approach to training, I like to have a plan or program in advance and then set toward completing that goal or program.

In November I had a fitness assessment at the gym I train at. I can�??t say I was pleased or upset at the results, it pretty much found me where I expected to be.

A brief summary. In November 07 my weight was 97kg, and I had apparently shrunk sometime over the past fifteen years from the 185cm I was when joining the army after school to 184cm. I was impressed the trainer doing the test didn�??t worry about my BMI at all (28.7) noting it was irrelevant given I weight trained.

My skin folds were as follows:
Biceps :5.4
Triceps: 12.2
Subscapular: 16.0
Supraspinale: 13.2
Mid abdominal: 25.4
Calf: 12.0
TOTAL: 84.2mm
Giving me a body fat % of between 12 and 16%.

I managed 40 pushups without a pause, as soon as you paused in the test that was it. Probably could have got to 50 with a little break here and there. They took a variety of circumference measurements that on their own mean little but will be useful when I get retested in June.

My abdominal strength scored okay on a 7 point scale which was disappointing but again not surprising. I had major surgery to remove a kidney and adrenal gland 11 years ago and now sport a 40cm scar right up the middle of my abdomen, I call it my zipper. I often get some fairly localised pain along the scar when doing ab specific workouts and hence probably avoid them to my detriment.

My flexibility was described as excellent and scored a 12 in the scale used, again this is only useful when I compare it in the future.

I got a very good result in terms of my cardio test on the bike, however this may be a bit misleading as I used to race bikes competitively (both road and track) and still ride 20km a day (10km each way) to work and back 5 days a week. I don�??t think I would have scored as well had I done the running test on the treadmill.

What else, well my max lifts in November 2007 were:
Squat 160kg.
Bench 122kg
Deadlift 195kg.

I�??ve lifted more than this for each of these in the past however that was my max then. In reality probably only the Dead is a true max as I�??m erring on the side of safety on both the squat and bench, long time since I�??ve had a fail on either of those lifts. I may be able to get up a little more with a handoff on the bench and if I grew a pair with the squat.

My bench has always sucked a bit, actually they probably all suck a bit. Although they don�??t suck as much as they did in Jan 2005 when my Squat was 80kg Bench was 85kg and my Dead was 110kg. At least I�??ve made some progress.

After that fitness assessment in early November I went on a bit of a bulk till the end of December. I got up to 103kg and was feeling really good. Training hard and eating clean. Unfortunately in the New Year I got sick, later found I had Glandular fever and by mid Jan had lost 9kg and was 94kg. Knocked me around a bit only now feeling like I�??m back to 100%.

Hence I�??m writing today. This morning I�??m 97kg. Back where I was in November. My goal for the next 4-5 months is to try to get to 107kg without getting my body fat much above where it was in November (around 15%). So I�??m trying to put on 7-8kg of muscle. Ambitious? Maybe. But that is the goal for the end of June. In addition I�??d like to get stronger (well who doesn�??t). I�??m hoping to man up and get my squat to 200kg, my bench to 140kg and my dead to 225kg. I�??ll test them at the end of June and see where I�??m at. I�??ll be having another assessment then also so can compare with where I was in November

Longer term I�??d like to be 100kg at sub 10% body fat. So obviously the next 5 months is stage one of that longer term goal, that will be for next summer. (I’m in Australia)

I�??m currently finishing off an arm specific program. On Monday I�??m starting a new 6 week program. Total body, mainly compound lifts. Looking at a fairly high frequency, 6 days per week, medium intensity for something different. Haven�??t trained like that before so will give it a try. The following 6 weeks will be trying a program based around 20 rep squats. That should start to address my squat issues. After that will look at 4-6 weeks of WSFSB style training looking at improving my strength levels with an aim to smashing my existing PB�??s.

I�??ll post my workout for each day with weights and how that felt. I�??ll update weight gain along the way. I�??m happy to have things critiqued along the way and I�??ll listen to what anyone has to offer.

People are going to want to know about diet. Obviously I�??ll be eating to gain. I eat 6-7 times a day. Generally clean. Very few processed carbs. I do have to be careful in that I don�??t go overboard in terms of protein ( I only have one kidney) but I�??ll be having a minimum of 200g protein a day. Also I won�??t be supplementing with creatine due again to the one kidney thing. I have the majority of my carbs prior to 3pm, essentially none after 7pm.

That�??s about it. I�??ll start posting my workout logs on Monday.


Awesome, I look forward to tracking your progress!

You’ve certainly thought this through. Sounds like you’ve got it worked out, great to have you here. Look forward to you’re log Burnesy.

Welcome aboard Burnesy. Life isn’t all that bad on this side of the hill. Fact we get more sunshine over here. Stay strong.

Day 1 of the new program and a pretty nice change. Got through my entire work out in under 40mins. Felt good at the end. The lighter weights will probably give my joints a bit of a rest for a few weeks. Have had a few aches in my shoulders and elbows of late. Worked with about 70-75% of what I normally would for the rep ranges I used.

Feel good now, 20mins later, very fresh still. The proof will be how I pull up in a week or two after trying the whole training 5 times a week thing. Eating plenty and am looking forward to a feed as soon as i finish this.

Today weighed in at 97.5kg. Warmed up with 3 minutes on the C2 rower and then got straight into things.

5x5 A1)Barbell bench press70 70 70 70 70
5x5 A2) Bent Over row 70 70 70 70 70
5x5 B) Back squat 90 90 90 90 90

4x10 A1) Dip BW BW BW BW
4x10 A2) Lat pull down chin up grip 68 63 63 63
4x10 B) good morning 50 50 50 50

Feel like I’ve done some work but not knackered at all. See how I back up tomorrow.


Bit tougher today, little sore from yesterday. First time I’d done actual leg presses in ages and they were a bit tough even with the light weight. Liking that I had to work out muscles that while not exactly sore they didn’ty feel “fresh” can only be a bit of a shock and may help some growth.

4x10 A1) close-grip bench press 50 50 50 50 50 (easy)
4x10 A2) Seated Row 40 40 40 40 30 (bit tougher)
4x10 B) Leg Press 100 100 100 100 100 (

5x5 A1) Standing military press45 45 45 45 45
5x5 A2) Pull-up(BW Negs)(BW Negs)(lat pull 64)64 64
5x5 B) Deadlift 110 110 110 110 110

Couldn’t super set today as the gym was too busy, also took significantly longer, 55mins, than yesterday. Have to make sure I get in before the rush tomorrow. Feeling good. Ate stacks today. Looking forward to a nice steak tonight. Might even cook two and have the other one as a second dinner a bit later :slight_smile:


Good workout, good thread and really well thought out. Look forward to keeping up with it.

Thanks for the support via comments and PM’s.Today was again nice and quick, 42mins including my warm up on the rower.

5x5 A1) Dip BW+10 BW BW Bw BW
5x5 A2) Chin-up BW BW BW BW BW
5x5 B) good morning 60 60 60 60 60

4x10 A1)Barbench press 60 60 60 60 60
4x10 A2) Bent Over row 60 60 60 60 60
4x10 B) back squat 60 60 60 60 60

Not a whole lot of plate changing today :slight_smile:

Just seemed the right weight for those rep schemes, sticking with the idea of working at around 70-80% of my normal 5 or 10 rep max. Stimulate not Anhialate is the plan for these 6 weeks.

There does seem to be a real cumulative effect in these everyday workouts as where normally after a couple of days break these schemes with those weights would for me be fairly easy three days in they did take a bit out of me. All for the good.

Had a pain in my shoulder doing the first set of dips with an extra 10kg, probably from the OH presses yesterday so just dropped to bodyweight after that, no pain at all after that.
The rows were a bit harder than the bench presses but it wil probably do me good to try and even these out.

Feels very strange squatting with only 1 plate each end. Does however make you work on your form making sure all is good and proper.

Absolutely ravenous today and have already eaten 4 times. 5 times coming up. All going well thus far. In the future I would normally be having wednesdays off and training Sat. This weekend I’m heading away for a bucks weekend so I’m doing the 5 days straight as a sort of penance in advance.


Good on ya Burnesy. Hit 'em hard.

Starting to get the hang of this every day thng. No soreness today. Still kept the weights at 75% so as I have somewhere to progress toward over the upcoming weeks and of course so I don’t crash and burn with this high volume stuff.

Took 40 mins today, place was busy but not the bits of equipment I needed. Uni bar night tonight, lots of people getting the bi’s pumped, quite amusing.

4x10 A1) Standing military press 35 35 35 35
4x10 A2) Lat Pull down 51 51 51 51
4x10 B) Deadlift 80 80 80 80

5x5 A1) close-grip bench press60 70 70 70 70
5x5 A2) Seated Row 64 68 68 68 68
5x5 B) Leg Press 150 150 150 150 150

One day to go this week then two days off, and what a two days Byron Bay here I come.

In terms of training actuall feel a bit trimer this week even though scale says the same, pants a bit loose. maybe i just need to eat more.

Home to dinner.


Day 5 and the 5th day straight. Feel pretty good. Restarting my sequence today so upped the weights a bit from Monday, worked a little harder. With two days off should be fine to get going again on Monday.

5x5 A1)Bar bench press 75 75 75 75 75
5x5 A2) Bent Over row 75 75 75 75 75
5x5 B) Back squat 100 100 100 100 100

4x10 A1) Dip BW (98) BW BW BW
4x10 A2) Lat pull down c/up grip68 68 68 68
4x10 B) good morning 52.5 52.5 52.5 52.5

BW seems to be heading in the right direction but not too fast. Continuing to eat pretty much everything in sight over the course of 6-7/day. I weigh myself upon waking each morning after finishing my three s’s.

Off to Byron Bay for the weekend, should be great, hope the weather holds up. Be back Monday.


I will definitely follow your progress. Looks like a tough program volume-wise but doable as long as you can stay healthy - thats the trick when we start getting older as far as I can tell. I turned 40 in December 07.

Not that you’re asking, but if I had any piece of advice it would be to increase those weights gradually and error to the side of caution because nothing sucks more than really getting into a program and then tweaking a shoulder or lower back, putting you on the shelf for a couple of weeks.

Thanks Matt for the advice. I agree, really important with this high volume stuff not to let the ego take charge, in one day it can screw you for the rest of the week. I’ll continue with teh gtradual increases.

As I mentioned previously best thing with these “lighter” weights is that focus yuou can put on form and technique.

Feel pretty good after the weekend. Missed yesterday workout due to travelling, will do today. had a pretty active weekend though so don’t think it wil hurt too much.


4x10 A1) cg bench press 55 55 55 55
4x10 A2) T-Bar Row 35 35 35 35
4x10 B) Leg Press 110 110 110 110

5x5 A1) Standing mil press50 47.5 47.5 47.5 47.5
5x5 A2) Lat P-Down 65 65 65 65 65
5x5 B) Deadlift 110 110 110 110 110

Felt good. Body weight on the upward trend, 99kg today.


Things a bit harder today. Body weight was up to 99kg so I didn’t add any weight to teh Dips or Chins. proabbly good as my last rep over my two last sets of chins included a fair bit of body english.

Similarly I fatigued a bit during the bent over rows and thought it best to lower the weight rather than fail, or screw my self for tomorrow which should be interesting as I most definately feel that I have worked pretty hard today.

A2) Chin-up BW BW BW BW BW
B) good morning 65 65 65 65 65

A1)Barbell bench press 62.5 62.5 62.5 60
A2) Bent Over row 62.5 62.5 60 60
B) back squat 62.5 62.5 62.5 62.5

ONce again had to pull my ego into check. Looking back now I’m realising a 2% increse doesn’t equal2.5kg, or in soem cases 5kg when your base weight for the exercise is 60kg.

Think I need to be a little more conservative in the progressions. Eating wise seems I’m eating enough up 1.5kg in nearly two weeks. No change to belt. In fact the pants I wore to work today actually felt looser than normal.


A1) Standing mil press 37.5 37.5 37.5 37.5
A2) Lat Pull down 54.5 54.5 54.5 54.5
B) Deadlift 85 85 85 85

A1) CG bench press72.5 72.5 72.5 72.5 72.5
A2) Seated Row 70.5 70.5 70.5 70.5 70.5
B) Leg Press 160 160 160 160 160

Felt good today, weight was about right, had a couple left in the tank at the end of each set. Can look at progressing from there over the next few weeks.


Felt a bit flat today, got through everything okay though. Having the weekend off. Should feel nice and rested for Monday which will be the last week of this set/rep mix.

5x5 A1)Bar bench press 77.5 77.5 77.5 77.5 77.5
5x5 A2) Bent Over row 77.5 77.5 77.5 77.5 77.5
5x5 B) Back squat 105 105 105 105 105

4x10 A1) Dip BW BW BW BW
4x10 A2) lat pull Chin-up grip 70 70 70 70
4x10 B) good morning 55 55 55 55

Looking forward to playing golf on the weekend


Felt rested after a couple of days off

5x5 A1) Standing mi press45 50 50 50 50
5x5 A2) Lat pull down 74 74 74 74 74
5x5 B) Deadlift 120 120 120 120 120

4x10 A1)close-grip bench press57.5 57.5 57.5 57.5
4x10 A2) T-bar Row 37.5 37.5 37.5 37.5

Need to eat more weight stagnating. In a rush today.


Felt a bit tired from yesterdays workout. Chins were a bit of a struggle last two sets.

5x5 A1) Dip BW(99)+10 BW+10 BW+10 BW+10 BW+10
5x5 A2) Chin-up BW(99) BW BW BW BW
5x5 B) good morning67.5 67.5 67.5 67.5 67.5

4x10 A1)Bar bench press 62.5 62.5 62.5 62.5
4x10 A2) Bent Over row 62.5 62.5 62.5 62.5
4x10 B) back squat 65 65 65 65

Be glad when this week is over as I’m changing set/reps scheme next week.


Here we go for today:

4x10 A1) Standing mil press 40 40 40 40
4x10 A2) lat Pull down 57 57 57 57
4x10 B) Deadlift 90 90 90 90

5x5 A1) CG bench press 75 75 75 75 75
5x5 A2) Seated Row 73 73 73 73 73
5x5 B) Leg Press 170 170 170 170 170
Good solid workout today. Was a bit sore in my chest to start but worked through it no probs.

Off to go eat.