Come So Far, Not Stopping

I had a log here before but it was a bit rubbish. I was still new here and didn’t have much idea what I was doing. I’m starting a fresh one now. I won’t always be posting my workouts but will dime in now and again to keep myself accountable and to look back on my goals.

I’m 33 now and at the age of 27 I was severely depressed, had terrible gut issues, drank 5 nights a week, smoked heavily and weighed just 50kg - yes, just 50kg. I was seriously unhealthy and underweight. I started hitting the gym and fast forward to now, i’m at 90kg and just hit a 225kg beltless stood on a 25kg plate Trap Bar Deadlift. It’s crazy to think how far i’ve come. I am quite literally twice the man. I often think about how I could bench press the old me for an obscene amount of reps.

Anyway, to start my log here’s the clip of the 225kg TBDL I just hit on what i’d planned as a light day (whoops).Absolutely chuffed. Yeah my form probably isn’t 100% but I don’t care.

Other current PRs
Squat 142.5kg x 3
Bench 115kg (haven’t gone lower than 5 reps since before Christmas though, previous bench session was 4x10 @ 85kg)
OHP 70kg

Onwards and upwards!


Congratulations on your progress. Great job! Do you have issues using the low handles on the trap bar? (I have never cared for standing on a plate.)


I find that the low handles are way less forgiving with hand placement. If i’m not perfectly in the middle, the bar could and would often lean, completely messing up my sets. Using the high handles at a deficit negates the risk of that completely.

Seems like a lot of people mark the bar to line up their fingers perfectly to remedy it. Can’t really do that in a public gym though. I’m happy enough stood on the plate.


A mid-cycle light day (main movement deload). Was feeling strong when warming up so ended up getting a new TBDL PR instead. I still feel this can work well into my recovery because I’ve been pushing the heavy volume quite a bit with TBDLs recently. With the speed of the PR I don’t feel worked much, especially compared to how hard I usually push this day. OHP moved well, just thought it smart to ease off as I was playing around a bit too much with weighted close-grip pushups just a couple days prior and am benching Tuesday.

185kg x 1
205kg x 1
225kg x 1

OHP deload
50kg 3x3

Regular grip cable row 80kg
12, 12, 12

Cable curls 22.5kg
15, 15, 15

Band pull aparts (green thumb wrapped once)
25, 25, 25


My upper back is experiencing some really nice DOMs today. A combination of the trap bar PR and the regular grip cable rows. I love doing the regular grip rows after using the V-grip for so long. Even though I lift lighter, that extra range of motion feels like it’s doing great things right now.

EDIT: As the days gone on I’ve realised it may actually be more to do with the band pull-aparts. Maybe I’ve been over doing them on the weight/form and hitting less rear delt, too much upper back.



Bench deload
60kg x 6
60kg x 8
60kg x 10

Squat deload
80kg x 6
80kg x 6
100kg x 1
80kg x 10

Narrow grip pulldown deload
50kg x 8
50kg x 8
50kg x 10

+A whole load of random stretches

+5mins on the bike keeping the RPM at 90+ for most of that.

I’m one of those that’s always apprehensive on conditioning, especially so close to my strength workouts and worrying about calories burned. I am totally irrational but it’s something i’m trying to deal with mentally because I know how silly i’m being. I still walk 3-4miles with the dog every other day regardless.

Deload felt good, just took a third of the weight off the bar and got some blood pumping around whilst also focusing on technique.


This deload week I’m taking the opportunity to reduce my calories just a little to around maintenance. My digestive system has been struggling with the amount I’ve been eating, it’s been very uncomfortable. Maybe taking some psyllium husk will help, or maybe my body is screaming out for a quick month long cut. I’ve been making so much amazing progress on the bar lately in all my lifts though, even taking this deload has me feeling impatient.

Quick 1 mile walk with my elderly blind dog this morning, will take the younger cocker spaniel out this evening for 3-4miles.

Good job man!

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RDL deload
80kg x 8
80kg x 8
60x 10

OHP deload
40kg x 6
40kg x 6
40kg x 7

Single arm cable row 45kg deload
8, 8, 8

Hammer curls deload
12kg 3x10

End of my deload. Back in Saturday to start a new cycle. Most of the stuff will remain the same as my last cycle, just toying with the idea of putting below-the-knee rack pulls in place of the trap bar for a couple of months. I’m making such great progress with the trap bar though I don’t feel the need to. The idea of cutting 10lb of fat a bit quick is coming into my mind too.

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Incline DB 15%
8, 8, 8, 9

Neutral grip chins BW92+5kg
6, 6, 6, 6

Light technique Squats 2x115kg (one set first ever time with belt)

Tricep rope pulldowns
27.5kg x 10
25kg x 12
25kg x 11

2x2min 30secs on bike. Average RPM 94

Start of a new cycle. Usually only do 3 sets of DB Press but dropped an accessory (usually flies or pushup variation). I already do 4 pressing exercises over the course of the week so don’t think it was really neccessary and maybe contributing to some very minor elbow + shoulder pain. Added another set instead as I enjoy them so much and want to get my numbers up.

I’ve been exploring the use of a belt a bit so tried a couple of the ones they had hanging in the gym with around~75-80% One was too small to put on and the other was thin and extremely uncomfortable. First set felt horrible tbh, second set I took it off and the weight moved way easier. Will revisit this soon. I may be able to use a friends belt that’s a similar build to me before investing.

On the bike. I never do any planned raised heart rate work because as I mentioned, always been irrational about burning calories on my bulk and worrying about it biting into my gains. It’s time to drop my silly mental block because I know it’s silly. I aim to do this at the end of a couple sessions a week hopefully raising my average RPM over time.

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177.5kg x 6 (beltless)
155kg x 10 (first time ever using a belt)
155kg x 10 (second time ever using a belt)

60kg x 3
60kg x 3
60kg x 3
61kg x 3
61kg x 2

Regular grip seated row 82.5kg
9, 9, 9

Cable curls 25kg

Band pull aparts

@TrainForPain @FlatsFarmer Managed to use a belt for the first time today. I pulled 190kg x 4 at the end of the last cycle beltless before I PR’d so was planning to go in at a higher rep range (6-8 beltless). I thought I’d get 177.5kg x 6 way easier than I did but it was actually a bit of a struggle - enough to feel like I was pushing my lower back for the first time in forever. I saw a belt hanging there and thought bugger it, as good a time as any. The 2x10 of 155kg were massive mental efforts but in terms of my brace/lower back, it felt almost too easy. Even though I had to pause for 3-4 seconds before the 9th and 10th reps, I still felt super stable grinding them both out. In the past I probably would have ground them out when I shouldn’t have, but it also shows me I previously maybe stopped too short of muscular failure and instead let form breakdown end the sets. I was properly gassed at the end of these.

I enjoyed myself so much that I stuck them on for the OHP as well. I had planned 4-5x3 of 60kg but they felt so easy I added a kg to the last couple. The last set stopped because I had a massive headrush, OHP always makes me feel a little light-headed but never to the point I had to finish the set. I’ll have to learn about dealing with that if I plan to use a belt with OHP. But again, felt super stable.

Come home and 20 minutes later my blind dog had a fit. When he came out of it he just wouldn’t stop running a million miles per hour into anything and everything, I tried my best to restrain him and was told it would calm down after 5-10mins as there is often a recovery period. I had a full hour of it until we had to make the decision to put him down. We know it’s been on the horizon for a while but it doesn’t make it any easier. These fits were likely to become more frequent and we just can’t see him go through that again. Not just that but the fear of him having one when we’re not in the house and him just doing his aimless running without anyone to protect him. The final decision was an easy one to make in the end. Gonna be a tough week.


Wow man. This started out so positive. I’m really sorry about the dog. I know that’s really tough. Sounds like there really weren’t any other options, and you had to make the call, but I know it’s hard.

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Cheers dude. Probably not the best subject matter for a training log but it had only just happened and I was venting a bit.

Belted squats for the first time tomorrow. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I wondered if anyone could help me programming-wise with it (if anyone is reading lol). I don’t want to become somebody that is 100% reliant on it.

Currently, squats and OHP are the only lifts I do twice a week.

Squats Day 1 - Heavy top set 2-5, 3 back-off sets 6-10 (rotating)
Squats Day 2 - 2x5 @ around 80%

OHP Day 1 - 4-5sets x 3
OHP Day 2 - 3x8

Would it be smart to put the belt on for all my Day 1 Squats and OHP and then work without it on the Day 2s? Or should I be aiming only to use it for the top set on Day 1 squats?

For TBDLs I might just do it for every set but not use it at all for my RDLs later in the week.

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Whats the difference between being reliant and simply using it because it has benefits?

I always use a belt. I am not reliant on it: I use it because the benefits of using it make it worth using all the time. I see no reason to not use it


There’s just so much contrasting information out there that it’s hard to come up with a real conclusion for me. There’s 2-3 different camps and none of them seem wrong.

The one I most commonly hear is only use it when lifting past 85-90% so that’s always felt like the meta looking from the outside in. I completely undertstand the using all the time to build proficiency with it first though.

The main arguments against it seems to be it becoming a crutch and that it’s important to practice your brace without the belt. I’ve seen people even recommend going beltless and then slowly introducing the belt more and more leading up to a meet. Articles on here, barbend, youtube guys like Thrall, Candito etc all seem to have different opinions. I think Canditio once said not to use it on squats at all unless competing.

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I honestly think this is an internet thing that people made up to feel superior. I wear knee sleeves for basically every because they make my knees hurt a little bit less. I’m sure I’m an internet meme where “he needs sleeves to squat 135”. Who cares? I’m not “reliant” in the sense that I simply fall out of bed onto the floor if they’re not on. Same as you aren’t reliant on a seatbelt, but there’s no good reason not to wear it.

It’s also like the “too bulky” thing, I’d imagine; you’d know long before it’s too late if you felt you were losing the ability to brace without a belt.


Hmm. I’m trying to take this all in. It’s been a gap in my learning thats for sure. I used to listen to MindPump a lot when I first started training and Sal Di Stefano always said how the general population shouldn’t wear belts - it wrongly stuck with me I think and I never questioned it again. Maybe i’m not genpop anymore. Heh.

The general population isn’t ready to put a barbell on their back either, though


I had to pick a guru and go with it.

Information overload with contradicting opinions had me wasting time on minutiae.


I hear you all. I definitely do overanalyse at times - sometimes I should just pull a guru out of a hat and just roll with it, not question all the “but other guy said this” things.

Thanks to each of you for popping in btw, I really appreciate it.

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