Dave-G: Training Log

It’s been at least a decade since I last kept a log here but I figured I’d give it another whirl, time permitting. Still an avid daily reader of T-Nation and I lurk in the forums but haven’t been active here in a while.

Currently 48 years old, stronger (relative to bodyweight) than ever and also far better conditioned. At one time I weighed as much as 220lbs at 5’6" but now I’m hovering comfortably around 180-185. A couple of times in the last few years I’ve cut down to a lean 169 lbs.

I’m currently in the last couple of weeks of Thib’s ‘Jacked Athlete Program’. Not sure what I’ll jump into next - perhaps a couple months of concentrated hypertrophy training or the new ‘Metcon For Muscle’ plan as this one looks interesting to me as well.

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169 lbs

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525 Deadlift on August 1st, 2022. That’s an all time PR. Weighed in at 180 that morning.

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430 squat also on August 1st.

That training day required ramping to a heavy single on squat, bench, DL, and weighted chin up.

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375 bench. All time best on this lift was 405 many moons ago and at a body weight of about 210. Relative to body weight, this is a stronger lift.

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BW + 135.

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August 6th, 2022 - Workout

Phase 3 Week 3 Day 3 - Jacked Athlete (Thibaudeau) w/ Shoulder specialization

During this training week I’m adding one low-stress shoulder exercise at the beginning of every workout as a means of specialization. I’ve been alternating weeks of shoulder, calf, and bicep specialization for a couple of months now. I do about 3 sets usually of a low stress movement for the muscle group with at least one set taken to failure and/or with an intensification technique. Often, the last set is done using the Thib’s Max Growth set style.

Sp - Arnold Press: 2x12 @ 45 lbs DB’s, 1x Max Growth @ 35lbs DB’s

A1. Jump Squat: 6 x 3 @ 115
A2. Back Squat (strength speed @ 70% RM): 6 x 3 @ 300

B1. Med Ball OH throw: 6x3 @ 20lbs
B2. Push Press: 6 x 3 @ 195

C1. Split Squat Jump: 6 x 3/leg @ 35
C2. Power Clean: 6 x 3 @ 180


:astonished: :exploding_head:

@throwawayfitness - thank you very much for checking in. I just had a look through your training log - you are one strong SOB. Very impressive, indeed.

Keep up the great work.

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Nice work! Some solid lifts here, even more impressive when considering the bodyweight you are at, and done beltless. What program have you found your favorite for strength?

@atlas13 - thank you very much for checking in and for the kind words.

It’s hard to say what my favorite program has been. While I certainly do try to maximize the gains from any program that I do, I can’t say that I specifically train for absolute strength at this point. In fact, I’ve never specifically trained for powerlifting or anything like that.

Most recently, I’ve done Thibaudeau’s ‘Beast Building Plan’ and I’m currently entering the final week of his ‘Jacked Athlete Plan’. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both and recently set an all time best deadlift, regardless of bodyweight. Again, I don’t train specifically for powerlifting so my lifts are probably not as good as they could be if my training were specifically geared to that.

Given my age and years of training I am now absolutely finding that I benefit more by lifting heavy every other day rather than packing in 5 or 6 heavy sessions per week. In recent years I’ve also put a much greater emphasis on conditioning.

Typically I lift every other day and do conditioning on the ‘off’ days. I always use a lot of variety in the conditioning work in terms of the modalities and the energy systems targeted. I rarely do the same exact same conditioning workout more than once. I’ll work with certain themes and overall plans for several sessions over a few weeks but I always change it just enough to never get very efficient at it. Occasionally I’ll throw in 4-6 where I focus on Olympic lift technique on the off days.

Lately, I’ve also been adding some ‘specialization’ work whereby I’ll add some sets of a relative low stress exercise or exercises for a given muscle group at the beginning of each workout or at the end if the specialization work would cause fatigue that would diminish performance on a main lift that day. I rotate through three target muscle groups (currently calves, delts, biceps) doing each for a week at a time.

Most of the lifting that I’ve done has been either written by Thibaudeau or at least based on his principles. His style, which of course has changed a lot over time, has always worked for me and I’ve always enjoyed the work. I signed on with him for online coaching for about 2.5 years as well. I’ve been back to training on my own for about a year and a half but I still use stuff I’ve learned from Thib’s.

Regarding the use of a lifting belt, I haven’t used one in well over 20 years. I use lifting straps on my heaviest sets of deadlifts but, other than that, I don’t use any assistance equipment. If I were a competitive powerlifter that would, no doubt, be a different story.


August 7, 2022

Conditioning and Abs with shoulder specialization

Sp 1 - DB lateral raise: 2 sets: 10 second peak hold + max constant tension reps (eliminate the bottom portion of the movement to keep tension on the delts)

Sp 2 - DB rear delt raise: 2 sets: 10 second peak hold + max constant tension reps (eliminate the bottom portion of the movement to keep tension on the delts)

Conditioning: KB swing x 15 @ 70lbs / KB Goblet Squat x 5 @ 70lbs / Push Up x 5: 12 rounds in 10:43 (it was about 95 degrees in my garage so I was sweating like crazy which made it hard to hold onto the KB)

Abs: Ab Wheel Rollout x max reps / Cable Crunch x max reps @ 50lbs / Swiss Ball Crunch x max reps: 2 rounds, no rest between exercises; perform all reps with maximum tension with the aim of reaching muscular failure in as few reps as possible

I had done the conditioning circuit once before with a 44lb KB and got 20 rounds in 14:46. I’ll do this circuit a couple more times probably but seek to add rounds and aim to get 20 rounds in under 20 minutes. Adding load, adding rounds, reducing rest, changing exercise order, or substituting movements are all methods that I use to ensure that I don’t become too efficient at a particular conditioning plan or circuit. Once I’ve completed a performance target on a particular plan I just change them up completely.

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August 8th, 2022 - Workout

Phase 3, Week 4, Day 1 - Thibaudeau’s ‘Jacked Athlete’ program

A1/A2, B1/B2, C1/C2 all done for 3 sets of 12 with the first set done to one rep short of failure, the second set done to failure, and the third set done to failure + a rest/pause set immediately followed by a drop in weight by about 50% and then max reps

Sp. DB Lateral Raises: 3 x 12-15 @ 25lb DB’s

A1. Incline DB Press: 90’s x 11, 12, 12+2+8 reps @ 45’s
A2. Barbell Curl: 90 x 11, 12, 12+3+10 @ 45lbs

B1. Dip: BW+90 x 9, 10, 10+2+7 @ BW
B2. Rope Hammer Curl: 45 x 11, 12, 12+4+12 @ 20lbs

C1. DB Press-to-Flye: 50’s x 11, 12, 12+3+10 @ 25’s
C2. Reverse Cable Curl: 45 x 10, 11 12+3+8 @ 20lbs

  • note that B1 is prescribed as Machine Press in the original program but I don’t have access to one of those in my home gym and that C1 is originally prescribed as Pec Deck but I don’t have one of those either

August 9th, 2022 - Conditioning / Abs / Bicep Specialization

Biceps specialization set: Seated Offset Incline DB Curl: 35’s x12, 10 @ 2102 tempo; 30’s x 1 Max Growth set

Jump Rope x 60 seconds / DB Snatch @ 45lbs x 60 seconds (alternating arms)
Rest 120 seconds
Jump Rope x 60 seconds / KB Swing @ 44lbs x 60 seconds
Rest 120 seconds
Jump Rope x 60 seconds / Medicine Ball Jumping Jack @ 20 lbs ball x 60 seconds
*repeat this sequence twice for a total of 12 minutes of work

Ab Strap Hanging Knee Raise: BW x 17, 14 @ 2112 tempo
Windwill: 35lb KB x 10/side x 2
*alternate movements with no rest between sets, 2 sets each


August 10th, 2022 - Workout

Phase 3 Week 4 Day 2 - Thibaudeau’s ‘Jacked Athlete’ Program
Bicep specialization added this week

A1/A2, B1/B2, C1/C2: 3 sets each; set one to one rep short of failure; set two to failure; set three to failure + rest/pause + drop weight to 50% and do max reps; all reps on all exercises done with focus on constant tension and ‘making lighter weights feel heavy’ as opposed to trying to maximize the weight lifted

Sp. 1 - Barbell Curl: 2 x 12, 1 x max reps + band pumps

A1. Pulldown: 140 x 12, 12, 11+3 (+10 additional reps @ 70lbs)
A2. Close Grip Bench Press: 225 x 11, 12, 11+3 (+11 additional reps @ 115)

B1. Seated Row: 170 x 10, 11, 11+4 (+ 11 additional reps @ 90lbs)
B2. Decline DB Skullcrusher: 40’s x 10, 10, 10+2 (+7 additional reps @ 20lb DB’s)

C1. Straight Arm Pulldown: 40 x 11, 12, 12+3 (+11 additional reps @ 20lbs)
C2. Rope Pressdown: 30 x 10, 10, 10+3 (+7 additional reps @ 15)

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August 11th, 2022 - Conditioning / Abs / Bicep Specialization

Sp 1. - DB curl drop set: 50’s x 8; 45’s x 4; 40’s x 5; 35’s x 4; 30’s x 5; 25’s x 5; 20’s x 6; 15’s x 9; 10’s x 12

Conditioning: Push Up x 8 / DB Row x 8 / DB RDL + High Pull x 8 / DB Power Curl x 8 / DB Thruster x 8 / Bodyweight Jump Lunges x 8/leg
*using 25lb DB’s, 8 reps of each exercise, no rest between exercises, 30 seconds rest between rounds, completed 5 rounds in a total time of 8:46, subtracting the rest periods this was a total of 280 reps in 6:46 which is a pace of 1.45 reps/second

Abs: Banded Oblique Crunches x max reps / GHD Crunch x max reps / Zercher Carry x 30 seconds @ 185 lbs; no rest between exercises; did three rounds with 60 seconds rest between rounds

The first three videos are the first round of the conditioning circuit. The whole video was too long to post so I cut it into three sections. There was no rest between the movements.

The fourth video is one set of Zercher Carry. I do forward and backward carries due to the limitations of training in my garage. I think it actually adds a useful element to the exercise though.

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August 11th, 2022 - Workout

Phase 3 Week 4 Day 3 - Thibaudeau’s ‘Jacked Athlete’ Program
Bicep specialization added this week

A1/A2, B1/B2, C1/C2: 3 sets each; set one to one rep short of failure; set two to failure; set three to failure + rest/pause + drop weight to 50% and do max reps; all reps on all exercises done with focus on constant tension and ‘making lighter weights feel heavy’ as opposed to trying to maximize the weight lifted

Sp. 1 - Seated DB Hammer Curl: 40’s x 10,11; 35’s x Max Growth Set (6 reps w/ four second eccentric + 5 regular reps + 8 second eccentric + loaded stretch for max time)

A1. Seated DB Overhead Press: 55’s x 11, 12, 12+4 (+ 7 additional reps @ 30lbs DB’s)
A2. Face Pull: 30 x 10, 9, 9+4 (+6 additional reps @ 15 lbs)

B1. DB Lateral Raise: 20’s x 12, 12, 12+4 (+ 6 additional reps @ 10 lb DB’s)
B2. DB Rear Delt Raise: 20’s x 11, 11, 10+4 (+7 additional reps @ 10lb DB’s)

C1. Plate Overhead Raise: 45 x 10; 35 x 12, 12+5 (+6 additional reps @ 20lbs)
C2. Prone Trap Raise: 5’s x 10, 12, 12+5 (+10 additional reps @ 2.5’s)

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August 12th, 2022 - Workout

Phase 3 Week 4 Day 4 - Thibaudeau’s ‘Jacked Athlete’ Program

  • I performed the sessions this week out of the prescribed order and I have put two heavier sessions on consecutive days here which I don’t usually do anymore as I generally aim to do ‘heavy’ sessions every other day as a way to manage fatigue. I have an annual vacation trip coming up next week and will not be training Monday through Thursday therefore I’m okay with accumulating a bit of extra fatigue in anticipation of getting more rest than usual in the coming days.

A1/A2, B1/B2, C1/C2: 3 sets each; set one to one rep short of failure; set two to failure; set three to failure + rest/pause + drop weight to 50% and do max reps; all reps on all exercises done with focus on constant tension and ‘making lighter weights feel heavy’ as opposed to trying to maximize the weight lifted

A1. Back Squat: 305 x 10, 11, 10+2 (+ 12 additional reps @ 155 lbs)
A2. Seated Leg Curl: 110 x 10, 11, 11+4 (+12 additional reps @ 55 lbs)

B1. RDL: 315 x 10, 11, 11+3 (+ 7 additional reps @ 155 lbs)
B2. Split Squat: 50’s x 10, 11, 11+4 (+7 additional reps @ 25 lb DB’s)

  • Split Squats were done standing on 2.5" risers to gain more ROM

C1. Reverse Hyper: 165 x 11, 12, 12+4 (+8 additional reps @ 75 lbs)
C2. Standing Calf Raise: 245 x 12, 12, 12+5 (+11 additional reps @ 135)

I have purchased the Surge Challenge Kit and will most likely start the MetCon for Muscle Challenge upon returning from vacation. My only hesitation in starting the challenge at that time is that I also will be starting a new position at work on August 22nd that could end up impacting my schedule a great deal. It may become difficult to train at the times that I am accustomed to training. Having said that, my prior work schedule was unpredictable as well and I generally found ways to work around it.

If I decide that I can go ahead with the Challenge, my plan is to utilize a slight caloric deficit and thereby prioritize fat loss over muscle gain on the plan.

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August 13th, 2022 - Workout

Test run of the ‘Physical Labour Day’ of the ‘Metcon For Muscle’ Plan ahead of an anticipated start date for the whole plan on August 19th, or 20th, depending on what day I return from an annual cottage trip that I take each August.

This trip is something that I do every year to a lakefront cottage (175 feet of more or less private clean sandy beach on Lake Huron - its f’n amazing there). My friend who owns the place is a professional chef so we do things up absolutely proper. I’ll probably gain a pound or two this week.

Anyway…the Physical Labour workout (I did the 'Day 8 version) went something like this:

A1. Snatch Grip High Pull: 155 x 3 (I’m not sure what my 1RM is on SGHP as I’ve not trained that movement ‘heavy’ for a while; I estimated my current 1RM to be about 275 which would give a 60% training load of 165 but I edged down just slightly due to not having done this movement regularly for some time)

A2. Barbell Curl Walk: 65 x 20 steps (the prescribed load is 20-30% of bodyweight but, given my current bodyweight of about 182 lbs this would mean somewhere between about 37 and 55 lbs and 65 lbs actually felt very light so I stuck with that)

A3. DB Clean and Press: 40’s x 5 (the prescribed load is whatever load would normally be used for a set of 10-12 but I’m not sure exactly what that would be for me as I’ve never trained this movement in this way so I took a guess; this was more challenging than the loads on the other movements but that might have been due to the pace that I was trying to keep)

A4. Two Hand Anyhow Walk: 35’s x 10 steps/hand (the prescribed load is 20% of bodyweight which I took to mean 20% in each hand therefore I went with 35’s in each hand; I’ll likely bumped this up to 40’s next time around)

I completed 17 rounds of this in 29:54. I fiddled around with the set ups for each movement a bit given my limited space in my garage gym in order to sort out how to make it most efficient when I actually perform this workout as part of the MetCon Plan. This slowed me down a bit.

It was a great session actually. I was pouring sweat for sure (given that it is about 90 degrees in my garage right now that is to be expected) and felt great at the completion of the session. I’m not sure if my load selection is on point for all of the exercises or not and I might make some minor adjustments next time through.

I’ll probably get in a short session of some sort before hitting the road in the morning. I usually also take a KB or two, a medicine ball, and some bands with me on this trip and bang out some short conditioning sessions (I may even do some hill sprints) on an morning or two while I’m away. Nothing too strenuous here, just something to get a bit of a sweat and to feel some movement - this is usually immediately followed by a jump into the lake.

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I haven’t given up on the training log - just switched gears a bit and jumped in on the Metcon For Muscle program. I’ve got a log going over there in that section.

Once that program has run its course, I’ll resume posting over here.

For now, I’m really enjoying the Metcon plan. I’m in the second week of the plan and seeing some nice performance increases already. I like the format - it’s quite a bit different from anything I’ve done in recent years and certainly a great change of pace. The sessions are relatively short but pretty intense with a strong focus on conditioning. It’s definitely worth a shot for anyone that is interested.

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