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Charlie Mike - Veteran's Journey

Accountability. My word to focus on throughout this journey.

Stats -
Male
30 years old
5’11"
200 lb
BFS: 20% (was 18 on some, but I am going with the high number to push my motivation)

PRs -
Bench - 200 lb x 4 (215 lb x 1, but I prefer getting the reps apposed to just 1 time.)
Squat - 250 lb X 5 (I do not know my 1 rep max as I do not have enough weights at home to find out.)
Deadlift - 230 x 5 (250 x 1, but again, reference the above.)

Skill Level -
Workouts - Beginner: To elaborate further, I have been working out off and one for 12 years. Only in the past 24 months have I began to dial in a focus. And in those 24 months, the last 12 months have been me refining what I need to do. With the help of a few members on another post, I have really felt I have found my good spot in a routine.

Diet - Beginner: The past 12 months, I have been trying to make good choices, but I am nowhere near to where I want to be ergo 20% bf. With the help of a few members on another post I made, I believe I am starting to dial this in as well to where it needs to be.

Goals: At first, my goals were just to get back in shape from where I was when I was 20 years old (5’11" 185 lb and a cardio/push up/ situp master), but in the last few months I have begun to realize that I do not want to be like I was when 20 years old. I have come to realize that I would like to, for the first time in my life, see how strong/big I can get while also dropping to around 15% bf.

Background - Just a little background about me, at 19 years old I joined that Army (Infantry for life!). I did 2 tours (1 to Iraq and 1 to good ol’ Afghanistan). Throughout this time I did a lot of your typical Army workouts (push ups, sit ups, run forever, and lift weights every now and again). On my second tour to Afghanistan (2011), I was blown up on a foot patrol and had my arm shattered at the elbow. Thankfully, the Army doctors put me back together again with the help of some screws and rods. This took a year to fully recover from and when I did “recover” my arm just was not the same. Any workout that involved any weighted push or pull, made my elbow “click” due to calcium deposits.

Sooooooo, I got out and fell into depression. I wouldn’t sleep, eat like shit, pain pills, psyk pills, and drink like a fish (went up to about 225 lb after I kept telling myself "well as long as I do not hit x pounds I am good). This continued till about 2017, when I hit rock bottom. And I mean rock bottom. Talking straight jacket at the VA rock bottom right here. And I suppose that is what it took for me to wake up. After I got out, I made changes and made myself accountable for everything. I quit drinking as much (1 drink a month) and no more pills of any kind. I started just working out as much as I could. I found a woman who loves me for me and cut all the bullshit out of my life.

So move forward to 2018, that woman and I are married and have a wonderful girl. I have a job. And everything is right. I know, I know, this seems like sob story fluff, but that point is I know it was time to drop the excuses because I did not have any anymore. It was time to “Charlie Mike” aka “Continue Mission”. 100% accountability. No more pills. No more ‘it hurts to much’. No more drinking. I want to be better than I was in the Army and new me. Time to put up or shut up. To stop being a bitch. Get your ass out into the garage every day you are suppose to and beat the work out (not let the work out beat you).

Workout Type -
4 day split
Day 1: Upper Body Focus - higher weight - lower reps (3x5)
Day 2: Lower Body Focus - higher weight - lower reps (3x5)
Day 3: Rest (Will sometimes throw in some light abs here to keep them on par)
Day 4: Upper Body Focus - lower weight - higher reps (3x10,8,5 and will do some resistance band exercises)
Day 5: Lower Body Focus - lower weight - higher reps (3x10,8,5, walking lunges, some resistance band exercises, and hit abs hard)
Day 6: Rest (Will do a 15 to 30 minute cardio)
Day 7: Rest

Side note: All workouts are done at home with a bench/squat rack with barbell and weight plates (250 lb worth). I have dumbbells (adjustable ones for ease). Resistance bands.

Diet (today) -
Breakfast - Peanut butter Oatmeal (12g of protein)
Snack - Greek Yogurt with Natural Valley crushed up in (17g of protein)
Protein Shake (24g of protein)
Lunch - Stuffed Bell Pepper Turkey Meat and white rice (42g of protein)
Pre Workout to Workout
Post Workout - Protein shake with creatine (24g of protein)
Dinner - Chicken stir fry with veggies no rice (43g of protein)
Total = 162 g of protein

Supplements -
Animal Pack - multi vitamin
Whey Protein
Creatine
Full discloser - I pulled a weak ass mental move and did a cycle which I am finishing in the 8 week of now of 10.
250mg twice a week of Test-E (Tues. and Friday). Week 1-10.
Anavar - 40 mg every day. Week 1-5.
AI - .25 every 3 days.
PCT planned - Nol. 40/40/20/20 starting on week 12.
Just to clarify the above statement “weak ass mental move”, this is a statement about me not users in general. I say this because I hit that plateau and instead of putting my head down and driving on, I turned to the above cycle. That is not to say I did not get stronger, but the bfs shows that mentally and physically, I was not where I should have been to even think about doing that. So, I sit here and am frustrated with myself. Accountability, right?

Anyways, I wanted to start this to have it somewhere. Somewhere where I am held accountable. Somewhere that will be a great place for advice and motivation. Seeing everyone else who has been through hell and back, and in the end came out better has motivated me even more.

Quote for this plan: “When setting expectations, no matter what has been said or written, if substandard performance is accepted and no one is held accountable —if there are no consequences—that poor performance becomes the new standard.” - Jocko Willink

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I’ll comment tomorrow, but I’m glad you’re on here

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Great to see what you’re doing. Will follow!
Veterans all over this forum. I was Navy '07-'13.
Keeping a log here definitely helps with accountability!

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Yesterday’s Workout - Upper Body Focus - Higher Weight Lower Reps

Today’s Focus: Time Under Tension. Slow Controlled Reps. Good Form.

Bench Press - 2-3 minute rest between sets
135x5 warm up
155x5
175x5
200x3

5 minute rest

Curls (standing, dumbbells)
6x25
5x30
4x35

5 minute rest

Reverse Flys - Dumbbell
6x15
6x20
5x25

5 minute rest

Tricep kickbacks
5x17.5 each side
5x20 each side
5x22.5 each side

5 minute rest

Crossover (each side individually, resistance bands, 3 pump on last rep for extra burn)
8x20 each side
6x25 each side
5x30 each side

5 minute rest

Military Press - Barbell (always gets me and hurts my arm. But I guess I am a glutton for the punishment)
6x55
5x75
5x90

10 minute rest after this one. Grabbed some tylenol and drove on cause fuck it.

Standing Curl - Barbell
5x55
5x65
3x70

Shoulder Shrugs - Dumbbells
6x40
5x45
5x50

5 minute rest. May have been a little longer as I grabbed some water.

Bentover rows - Barbell
8x95
6x105
4x135

Felt pretty damn good after the work out. Feel really good today as well.

Meal plan for today -
Breakfast - Peanutbutter Oatmeal
Snack - Greek Yogurt with granola
Protein Shake
Lunch - leftover chicken stir fri w/ white rice.
Snack - greek yogurt (love this shit)
Pre workout into workout
Post workout BCAA, creatine, and protein shake
Dinner - Hamburger paddies with veggies.

Should get me to around 162 g of protein. Eyes on the prize.

I was Army Infantry as well. I’m glad you got the help you needed. Some of that stuff is always going to stick with you, but you’ve found a good outlet. Use it as you need it.

For me, it’s been important to recognize it’s a hobby for me. When I tried to build it in my head like it was “the mission,” it didn’t go well for me. I can’t replicate the life or death scenarios and I certainly can’t find the competitive challenge again, like it was there, which made everything meaningless so I didn’t give a damn; therefore I would skip, because it didn’t “matter,” and then I’d get back into whatever my slovenly ways were (still easy to do).

Anyway, for me at least, it’s been mentally better to just separate: that was then and this is now and the two don’t have to meet. In fact, even later assignments (that were supposed to be the cool kids stuff) still “weren’t Baghdad ‘06” as one of my friends put it; I just had to accept that as an event rather than a life.

Sounds like you’ve got a good support structure and maybe you don’t need all this, but is Internet friends are here if and when you do need it. Sometimes, I think most of the time, dealing with it is not a “one and done” scenario.

Of course, everyone is absolutely here to help with the lifting and eating too! So best of luck and get after it!

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Glad to see another member of the fraternity here! Not a thing you said I would ever disagree with. Honestly, I was just ‘mad at’ all the time. Everyone. Everything. So I slipped. And slipping is so fucking easy cause it takes the least amount of effort and accountability. I would always say I do not want to be like this, but never do anything to change. Damn, even now thinking about it it seems so easy.

Yah, separating then and now was such a challenge. And in truth still is. It is weird to want to make a change and transition to a new me, but to also know that if someone were to ask me "Want to go back to 2011? " I would probably say yes lol. Horrible I know, but it is something I will miss forever. I am sure many of us do, but that is just something that will never change I guess. But, I know what I have now is control. And one of the things that has made me feel so good is watching a football game and having someone offer me a beer, and me say I am good. Sounds stupid to some I am sure, but I know I used to run for the beer or whiskey before even asked. Small battles lead to victory.

I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Honestly, knowing another ground-pounder is around is strangely reassuring. I feel like I run into fewer and fewer ever year. So, thank you. Means a lot.9

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I think that’s the difference for all of us, man. Sometimes we just have to step back and assess:

  1. Who is the person we want to be?
  2. Are our actions consistent with that person?

Doesn’t sound stupid at all! If you can’t be proud of your wins, you won’t keep winning - I think this is a great attitude.

Absolutely! Especially from the old days.

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Yap. All new age grunts now lol. I have heard all about these supposed stress cards which is absurd. And the only kind of smoking they do is by the pack. O well I guess. The wars, from what I have read, are not what they used to be. Nor is the mission I suppose.

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Day 2 - Lower Body Focus - High Weight - Low Reps - Time under tension focus and form focus.

Warm up with some stretches for about 15 minutes

Squat - Barbell
175x5 warm up
200x5
225x5
250x3

5 minute rest. Knees were really hurting on this one, but like yesterday, I just went to get some Tylenol and drive on.

Deadlift - Barbell
135x5 warm up and form practice
175x5
215x5
225x3

5 minute rest

Walking Lunges - Dumbbells
16 (8 each side) with 45s
16 (8 each side) with 50s
16 (8 each side) with 55s

5 minute rest. Feel like I may need to look into my form on walking lunges. Almost felt like I swung the dumbbells a little to much and “cheated” with momentum, maybe?

Calf Raises - Dumbbells
45 (each hand) x 8
50 (each hand) x 6
55 (each hand) x 5

5 minute rest.

Prone leg curls - One last rep did 3 pumps for extra burn
55x8
65x6
75x5

5 minute rest.

Leg extensions - One last rep did 3 pumps for extra burn
55x8
65x6
75x5

After the workout, opened up my new BCAA powder that just came in today and realized that they must be owed by Lays (chip company), cause the fucking thing only came high full for as tall as it was lol. Anyways, gave that 30 minutes to settle in my stomach before drinking my creatine and protein shake. Had a little bit of Bambi legs on the way back into the house, but I feel good now.

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Diet planned for today
Breakfast - 3 eggs plus turkey sausage
Snack - greek yogurt w/ granola
Protein shake
Lunch - Burger patty w/ broccoli
Snack - Peanutbutter oat meal
Light Ab workout planned today (Its a “rest” day lol)
BCAA drink - let it settle
Protein shake w/ creatine powder
Seasoned Chicken breast w/ veggies

Animal Pack - multi vitamin pack planned for in the morning after snack. A bit of a TMI moment here, but I am pretty fucking sure this vitamin pack is making me constipated. I drink a LOT of water, so that is definitely not the issue. May have to look into something different or something else to deal with that if it continues.

Diet for today
Breakfast - peanut butter oatmeal
Snack - greek yogurt
Protein shake
Lunch - Chicken and broccoli pasta
Snack - Missed Snack
Pre workout into workout
BCAA after workout
Protein Shake with Creatine
Dinner - Leftover chicken and veggies

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Workout last night - Upper Body Focus - Low weight higher reps

Bench Press Barbell
135x10
155x10
175x10

2 minute rest

Hammer Curls
20x10
22.5x8
22.5x8

2 minute rest

Bentover Rows barbell
100x10
100x8
110x8

2 minute rest

Crossover w/ resistance bands each side separately
3 sets of 10. 3 pumps on last rep for some added burn.

2 minute rest

Diamond push up pyramid
10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 - something from the army I always enjoyed

5 minute rest

Pull ups with resistance bands to assist
3 set of 10 slow reps.

Overall was a little sore still from Monday, but nothing crazy. May need to tone it down if I do not have the time to recover. Left shoulder was giving me fits and of course my right elbow sounded like someone stepping on a chip everytime I did a push up, but i got it done.

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Meals planned for the day

Breakfast - banana oatmeal
Snack - greek yogurt w/ berries
Protein shake
Lunch - Chicken and tomato pasta
Snack - A hand full of almonds
Pre workout into workout
BCAA after workout
Protein Shake with Creatine
Dinner - chicken and veggies… again lol

Meals for today.
Breakfast - overnight oats (almond milk and 1 scoop of protein)
Snack - greek yogurt w/ berries
Lunch - Salmon and quinoa
Snack - none
Pre workout into workout
BCAA after workout
Protein Shake with Creatine
Dinner - Grilled chicken and veggies

Is there a specific deficiency you’re trying to overcome? There’s probably an option that will work better for you.

Really I am just trying to cut the fat and keep a deficit. It has been hurting a lot.

You might not need the Animal Pak, then.

I think most of us need Vitamin D, I take ZMA all the time, and the data behind fish oil is good. I don’t think you have to take stuff just to take it.

I am going to try to finish the pack and then go the same time without it, maybe just using a mens one a day, and see if there is any noticeable difference. Really, I am worried about losing the muscle I gained during the cycle while also trying to cut the fat.

I may have missed this. When you say “cycle” do you actually mean a cycle, or are you just referring to a training block?

One is far out of my area of expertise; the latter is less a concern than most of us make it out to be until we start getting pretty lean.