T Nation

Despade: Journey to Strong(ish?)


They’re just baby minis, they’re off brand so I’m not sure how they stack up to what you’re using or visualizing, but most folks here just use them for upper body work (tricep extensions, band pull aparts, etc.) but I think I may invest in some EliteFTS average bands to start pulling and squatting against that just stay in my gym bag.


Ah yes, I tend to forget that these are not all colour coded the same. Mine are also just a cheapo brand “AmStaff”. They do the trick though. Here is what most of our bands are, but they also have a few different brands (like the smaller orange ones that I mentioned).


Yeah, my oranges would be your reds, and then blacks, purples, and greens are all matched pretty closely, I think.


Finally getting stuff put back together after all the construction, have acquired a prowler for our gym, and no have a ‘prowler’ lane, next to the running track. I should probably start doing some conditioning with it, I enjoy the prowler much more than the treadmill, so even if I only get it a couple times a week, it is far, far better than the nothing I’ve been doing haha


Hell of a couple session and always gotta love the new toys you pick up



Weight: 211.2

Heavy Bench

5 x 135
5 x 185
5 x 225
2 x 255
2 x 275
2 x 2 x 295 (nope)
1 x 5 x 225

Low Incline DB
3 x 20, 20, 15 x 55 + Orange minis

Rolling DB triceps
3 x 20, 20, 12 x 40

Tricep Ext.
5 x 20 x Black band/red band

2 x 10 x 30

4 x 8 x 55

Double DB Rows
4 x 10 x 55

Prowler Work (Down and back ~45 yards)
Down/Back x 120lbs
4 x Down/Back x 200lbs

Pretty shitty push workout, the best part was the prowler work at the end, going to start at 5 down/backs, then 6, 7, and so on and so forth to 10, then add a 45 and start at 5 again. Try to do these a couple times a week (2-3) I think it’ll have a large, and quick, impact on my physique.

The bench work sucked a fatty. was supposed to be 3 x 2, and I barely got 2 x 2. May need to drop back two weeks and then move forward again, lack of sleep is starting to really catch up with me, I think.

Weight: Is fine, still eating like a fat raccoon in somebody’s trash. Literally if I would have just a modicum of discipline I’d be under 210 without issue.


Nice imagery. They don’t call them trash pandas for nothing…



Weight: 210.8

Heavy Squat Day

Cambered Bar Box Squat (Wide stance to 12" box + 4" foam)
5 x 80
5 x 170
5 x 260
2 x 350
1 x 370 (pretty dang close to top end for now)
5 x 3 x 260

Cambered Bar GM
4 x 10 x 150

Close Stance Leg Press
3 x 15 x 200
Calf Raises
3 x 20 x 200

2 x 8 x BW

Seated Leg Curl
2 x 15 x 90

Leg Extension
3 x 15 x 120

Standing Calves
3 x 15 x 135

Hoo boy…that cambered bar is a new feeling, ha, and squatting into foam rather than a hard surface is a huge difference. Felt pretty dang good, all things considered, probably shouldn’t have changed quite so many variables all at once though haha once I get used to the bar 395 shouldn’t be a problem. I’m basically attempting conjugate (according to my understanding and limited learning ability) but I don’t like to hijack their lingo, because I’m 100% positive I’m butchering the programming, so there’s that. Can feel those sled pushes from yesterday, absolutely no excuse (other than laziness) to not keep them in the rotation.

Weight: Fine.

Notes: Hungry and tired



Weight: 212.6

Pumpy Back Work
*Rolling Giant Set (no stand alone movements, end of each rolled into the beginning of the next)

Cybex Row
8-10 sets x 12-20 reps x 80-150

OHP (inverted KB)
3 x 20 x 25

Dead Stop KB Tricep Ext.
4 x 20 x 25

KB Hammer Curl
4 x 12-15 x 25

Tricep Ext (Bands)
4-6 sets x 20 x Red, Orange, Red/Orange

DB Curls
3 x 12 x 40

KB High Pull (w/ rope threaded through handle (Paul Carter variation))
3 x 20 x 50

Lateral Raise
3 x 15-20 x 20-25

Edit: Prowler Work
3 down/back x 160 (fast(ish))
6 down/back x 250 (much less fast(ish))
1 down/back x 160 (faster(ish))
Um…ouch, I identify as one of these so called ‘fit people’ and the sled keeps telling me I’m fat AF

Meh, decent pump, definitely bloated, can feel all that. Lack of water yesterday, need to get caught back up. I am torched from the cambered squats and the prowler work, sore in places I haven’t been sore in years, ha.

Weight: Up due to a bit of salt retention and bloat, I think, I can feel it in my face…awfully ‘jowly’


Great couple of sessions, keep it going


Love the descriptor. I’m going to use this to describe what I see in the mirror.



Weight: 214 (holy bloat, batman!)

Pumpy Chest Work

Football Bar (middle grip)
5 x 10 x 135

Football Bar (inside 45* grip)
3 x 20, 20, 15 x 95

3 x 10 x BW

Low Incline (Inverted KB) Press
3 x 20 x 25

WS Tricep Extension (w/ ball)
3 x 12-15 x 80

Camber Bar Bench
2 x 10 x 80 (bar)
2 x 8 x 130

Motivation was non-existent today, tired, beat up, and hungry. Traveling for basketball today/tomorrow, plan on getting a shoulder/back pump workout in at the hotel tomorrow morning, equipment permitting. In full on ‘zombie dad’ mode at the moment, ha.


Still seemed like you put in some good work


With the addition of two sleep stealing gremlins into my home, I think I’m going to rethink my approach and go back to the tried and true, 5/3/1. I’m going to put together my numbers for the ‘Hardgainers’ Template and get back to work, it’s still gonna suck, but I think it’ll make a lot more sense (for now) than the max effort stuff I’ve been doing, a little easier to self regulate for me on 5/3/1 than it is on my ‘own’ program where I get pissed when I miss shit, which I have not doubt will happen more and more as my sleep schedule gets pushed around like a nerd in a movie, ha.

Training Maxes (85%)
Edit: Just pulled up my spreadsheet from last April when I ran this, and saw my old training maxes, that felt decent.
Squat: 365 (up from 280)
Bench: 270 (up from 235)
DL: Need to find this one again, ha.
OHP: 175 (up from 145)


Hardgainers: Day 1

Weight: 212

5 x 175
5 x 205
5 x 5 x 230

Low Incline DB Bench
5 x 10 x 75

Decline Triceps
3 x 20, 15, 15 x 25
2 x 20 x 20

DB High Pull
3 x 12 x 45
3 x 15 x 45

WG Pull Up
4 x 6 x BW
Tricep Extension
4 x 20 x Black Band

My recovery has taken it right in the shorts, ha, these last couple sessions have sucked, my goal is to hit the main lifts and percentages to make progress and then auto/down regulate the accessory work as needed, probably be the smartest. 230 on the bench was seriously heavy, it was pretty aggravating.

Planned split:
Monday - Bench
Tuesday - Squat
Wednesday - Arm Farm/Conditioning
Thursday - OHP
Friday - Deads
Saturday (Optional) - Arm Farm/Conditioning

Looking forward to not thinking and simply doing, and that once the main work is done, I can just send it or pack it in for the accessories, haha.


This is 100% why I have someone else do my program. All I do is show up and hit the reps and sets. For some it’s boring for me it’s just one less thing to think about in my busy busy life.


Never wrong using the 531!!!



Hardgainers: Day 2

Weight: 211.8

5 x 135
5 x 235
5 x 275
7 x 315
5 x 5 x 235

Camber Bar GM
4 x 8 x 170

Leg Extension
3 x 15 x 120

Seated Calves
6 x 15-20 x 125-50

Lying Leg Curls
5 x 10 x 50

Ouch, more of a hit to my ego than my body. I had at least a few more in me at 315, and I simply couldn’t get my body to cooperate, just tired and couldn’t focus well enough, I dunno, upsetting, but for now I guess this is the new normal. I’ll adjust, and it’ll get better. If you’ve seen the Hardgainers template, then you know I was supposed to do a Widowmaker set rather than FSL 5 x 5, but to be honest, I just didn’t have the crackers for a set of 20 on squats today.

Weight: I feel bloated as all hell, probably a lack of hydration more than anything.



Weight: 211.0

Arm Farm & Conditioning

Straight Bar Curls
5 x 12 x 45, 45, 45, 95, 95
Tricep Extensions
5 x 20-25 x Red Band

Hammer Curls
4 x 12 x 55
Pushdowns (on assisted dip ‘bench’)
4 x 15 x 80

KB Hammer Curl
3 x 15 x 25
KB Deadstop Floor Extensions
3 x 20 x 25

Single Arm Extension
3 x 12 x Red Band
Single Arm High Curl
3 x 12 x Red Band

10 (down/back) x 90lbs (plate weight)

A pretty good day, surprisingly. DOMS from legs yesterday was considerably rougher than I expected, volume hurts haha. Prowler was rough since I had hardly any juice in my legs, but it got done. Now to eat, sleep, play with the wee babes, and recover for shoulders tomorrow.

Weight: Hydration is better, but still a bit of a bloat, just need to let my body find some kind of balance with the new sleeping, eating, and life schedule :joy:

*Me any time I sit down for more than 3 minutes


Twins. Hahahaha