T Nation

Chicago Training Log

After recently moving to Chicago after two years of investment banking in Nashville, TN I finally have time to take lifting and nutrition more seriously than going to work out mostly every Saturday. While the once a week upper body workout was not the greatest, it was the half cathartic / half chest and back maintenance workout I could squeeze in while working 80-100 hr weeks. The next job I move on to will have a better work life balance, but what that is is still TBD.

It’s a bit odd, but I have a goal to slam dunk a basketball by December 2011. If I can do that then my old roommate loses a bet and has to purchase some trans-atlantic business class plane tickets. Also it will be awesome to be able to dunk. I’m not especially good at jumping and will have to add like 14 inches to my vertical, but it’s still the quest I’m taking. Currently I’m about four inches short of the rim. I think my lack of squatting for the last two years and lack of serious squatting in the last couple years of college leave a lot of potential for gain there. Anyways, this log will chart the success or failure of this endeavor.

End of 2011 update:
This log got off to a great start with lifting, then I became gainfully employed in Aug 2010. I put lifting as a much lower priority then. In 2011, took some time off to focus on work and other things in life, went a couple months of zero working out and a few months of just squats and deadlifts which was actually pretty fun. Took another couple months off and that brings me to Dec 2011 where I’ll try to pick back up.

Real update is, I lost the slam dunking bet, so Eurotrip this summer. December 2011 trying to get decent strength again, maybe even actually do real jumping training.

Week 6

This is actually the sixth week of me making a comeback in squats but I’m not going to type out the prior workouts since I’ve got them in a handy dandy notebook already.

Full squats 185 5x5

Reverse hyper
70 x 8
70 x 8
70 x 8

Leg press
280 x 8
280 x 8
280 x 8 (actually getting difficult to do now)

Leg curls (Nautilus)
90 x 8
90 x 8
90 x 8

Single leg extension
91.5 x 8
91.5 x 8
91.5 x 8

You have access to a reverse hyper… sweet!

Good luck with training, atleast you were able to train once a week before you moved. Alot of people would have just gave up!

[quote]BlackLabel wrote:
You have access to a reverse hyper… sweet!

Good luck with training, atleast you were able to train once a week before you moved. Alot of people would have just gave up![/quote]

Thanks! There are actually two reverse hyper stations in the gym I go to now. I hadn’t seen one since my freshman year at a Georgia Tech gym, but I’m a fan. The gym actually kind of blows away other places. It’s Quads Gym and they’ve got like 6 or 7 squat racks, every type of bar imaginable, deadlifting/olympic platform with rubber weights, even metal boxes for vertical jumps. At some point it was also the home gym for Ed Coan, which could explain it’s awesomeness.

Week 6

I know how ridiculous this looks when your bench is higher than your squat, but that’s currently just the way it is. Pretty sad really, but squats should catch up over the next few months.

Bench
190 5x5

T-bar rows
97.5 x 8
97.5 x 8
97.5 x 8

Incline DB
60 x 8
60 x 8
60 x 8

Seated cable row
120 x 10
120 x 10
120 x 10 (actually difficult)

Flat DB flys
35 x 10
35 x 10
35 x 10

[quote]Duodenum wrote:
BlackLabel wrote:
You have access to a reverse hyper… sweet!

Good luck with training, atleast you were able to train once a week before you moved. Alot of people would have just gave up!

Thanks! There are actually two reverse hyper stations in the gym I go to now. I hadn’t seen one since my freshman year at a Georgia Tech gym, but I’m a fan. The gym actually kind of blows away other places. It’s Quads Gym and they’ve got like 6 or 7 squat racks, every type of bar imaginable, deadlifting/olympic platform with rubber weights, even metal boxes for vertical jumps. At some point it was also the home gym for Ed Coan, which could explain it’s awesomeness.
[/quote]

That’s freaking awesome! Getting a good gym/environment to work out in is always nice.

Good luck with training dude, ill be checking in.

Week 6

Was an interesting day, was finally able to do deadlifts on a separate day than military press and pullups, which got compressed (or skipped) in three of the last four weeks due to travel schedules. Will have to think of a more complete deadlift workout now that the travel schedule has died down.

I’m basically still in the process of figuring out where I am at in deadlifts since they have been on a ~two year hiatus. Grip is starting to be an issue, mostly because of my weak grip than ridiculous weight (obviously).

Deadlift
185 x 4
225 x 4
235 x 4
235 x 4
235 x 4

Dumbbell rows
50 x 10 (this was ridiculous, just had no idea where I was at)
60 x 10
65 x 10
70 x 10

Hyperextensions
BW x 10
BW x 10
BW x 10

Just remembered, on 9/30/09 ran (or jogged) for 15 minutes, maybe walked back for another 6-7 minutes. My shitty cardiovascular endurance is going to be slowly built back up again.

Week 7

Weekend was a little rough tailgating Saturday afternoon/evening for the IU vs Ohio State game. In a blessing in disguise sort of way, accidentally passed out at 10:00pm which meant not much of a hangover the next morning. Definitely ate a lot less food than desirable, but the tailgating awesomeness was worth the tradeoff. Squat workout today was also good, not sure when I’m going to reach the peak for increasing weight, but I’m hoping for 215 or higher for the 5x5 series.

Full squats 190 5 x 5

Reverse hyper
75 x 8
75 x 8
75 x 8 (getting difficult for me)

Leg press
290 x 8
290 x 8
290 x 8 (getting tough, will be trying for small increases every week though)

Leg curls (Nautilus)
90 x 10
90 x 10
90 x 8

Single leg extension
91.5 x 10
91.5 x 10
91.5 x 9

Week 7

Bench
195 5x5

T-bar rows
100 x 10
100 x 10
100 x 10

Incline DB
60 x 8
60 x 8
60 x 8

Seated cable row (trying to pause reps)
120 x 10
120 x 10
120 x 10

DB flys
35 x 10
35 x 10
35 x 10

is this the quads on broadway?

Yeah I think it is. It’s a great gym, their platform and bumpers suck balls though. Oh and about Ed Coan… he was at the Wendler seminar last week, pretty cool to see him.

Yeah, it’s the one on north Broadway. I’ve actually not yet used the bumper plates, though I can see having an all matted (no wood in the middle) platform might be a bit odd for cleans.

Ah ok. I workout at B&W up in Ridge @ Clark st. It’s close, cheap, got a few strong guys, and I’m never waiting for the reverse hyper.

[quote]DarrylLicke wrote:
Ah ok. I workout at B&W up in Ridge @ Clark st. It’s close, cheap, got a few strong guys, and I’m never waiting for the reverse hyper. [/quote]

Nice, that sounds like a pretty cool place from the Yelp reviews. For some reason, (at least since late August) Quads seems to be never crowded. Being unemployed I get to lift in the mornings, but I went on Tuesday at 6:00pm and there were ~6 other people working out on the lifting floor.

Week 7

Deadlift
225 x 4
235 x 4
240 x 4
240 x 4
240 x 4

Dumbbell rows
70 x 10
70 x 10
70 x 10

Hyperextensions
BW x 10
BW x 10
BW x 10

Knee raises (with a pause)
3 x 15

Week 7

Standing Overhead Press
85 x 6
Haven’t done this in a couple years and was experimenting with grips. Might just start building up with 5x5 however embarrassing it might look.

Pull-ups
BW x 8
BW x 6
BW x 6
Used awkward angling in bar on pull-up station. Will use flat bar next week. Grip was also a limiting factor here, will have to be sure to throw in grip work on squat day.

DB front raises
25 x 6
25 x 6
25 x 6

Bent over DB flys
15 x 10
15 x 10
15 x 10

Dips
BW x 8
BW x 8
BW x 8

Zottman curls
25 x 6
25 x 6
30 x 6

Overall, pretty weak showing for overhead press. This day will probably be revamped to reduce the bicep/tricep stuff or replace it with close grip bench. Maybe do DB military press instead of front raises and whatnot. Didn’t really think too much about what I was going to do before going to the gym, which isn’t a great strategy, but it was also the first dedicated overhead press and arm day that I’ve had so far.

Week 8

Full squats 195 5 x 5

Squats felt good. It was a little painful seeing a trainer and their client do sets of quarter squats while I was doing leg curls, but so it goes I guess.

Reverse hyper
75 x 8
75 x 8
75 x 8 (little difficult)

Leg press
290 x 8
300 x 8
300 x 8

Leg curls (Nautilus)
90 x 10
90 x 10
90 x 10

Single leg extension
91.5 x 10
91.5 x 10
91.5 x 8

Week 8

Nothing exciting going on here. Will be pretty hyped if I can make next week’s 205 for five sets.

Bench
200 5x5

T-bar rows
105 x 8
105 x 8
105 x 8

Incline DB
65 x 8
65 x 8
65 x 5

Seated cable row
120 x 10
135 x 8
135 x 8

DB flys
35 x 10
40 x 10
40 x 10

Week 8

Pretty enjoyable deadlift workout. Grip seems to be not an issue anymore. May have made a bit of a larger jump than I was planning, but I really wanted to try out 255 today.

In other news, I just realized that there was a legitimate olympic platform in the bottom of my gym. I saw it on the first day, but with the squat cage around it, I thought it just went to waste and that the only real platform was an all rubber one. Until this morning, I didn’t have the idea that you could remove the safety bars and them have enough room to do cleans in the cage. Whenever bench stalls out, I will probably swap in cleans as the large movement of the day and make chest less of a focus for that day.

Deadlift
235 x 4
245 x 4
245 x 4
255 x 4
255 x 4

Dumbbell rows
70 x 10
70 x 10
70 x 10

Hyperextensions
BW x 10
BW x 10
BW x 10

Straight leg raises
15
13
12 (was dying here)