T Nation

Dodgin’ Dadbods: DC-inspired

Just did an hour of running around in circles at a park with my kids, hopefully that helps flush some of the lactic acid out of the area. Got home and foam rolled them super slow. Turkey meatloaf tonight. The one thing about leg day: I honestly put no restriction on my calories.

My day so far
4 eggs, avocado for breakfast
PWO shake (2 scoops protein, half banana, peanut butter, water)
2 eggs and cheese and super thick cut bacon on wheat toast
Cheeseburger on wheat bun
2 scoops protein, 1/4 cup granola, 1/4 cup oatmeal, big spoonful Greek yogurt, half banana, peanut butter, water shake
Dinner will be turkey meatloaf, mashed potatoes and asparagus.


Back day yesterday, just did a ton of pull-ups and rows since I didn’t have much time.

Today: chest

Crossovers HTL

Incline Bench
185 3x8

5 BTN pull-ups between every set

Crossovers mid height

BTN Seated B.B. OHP
95x10, 115x10, 135x8 (PR), 95x20

Crossovers LTH

Max set of underhand knuckle pushups between every set

Tri rope


What happened to Hell Raiser?

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The first time I did the routine for 12 weeks and had a training partner. I’m just bored by the solo routine. It’s less volume, and I’ve been feeling totally unmotivated to continue, so I’m gonna stop. Only did a month, and the past 2 weeks have been switching it up. Time to change the title of my log!

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I want to do a new split:

Quads & Calves
Chest, Shoulders & Tris
Hams & Calves
Back, Shoulders & Bis

I like splitting my leg days up to quad and hams, and I really want to build my shoulders more, so I’ll be hitting them 2x a week this way.

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Check out my log. I’m switching to a new split too. It’s only slightly different than what I’ve been doing but it has more volume.

I posted a link to a post by robstein that shared a two part article and workout. You might like the info in the article.

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Hams and calves

Leg Curl

315x1 my grip failed. This never happens, especially with such light weight, but I had a tough day at work and had to use a ton of wrenches and a hammer pretty much nonstop, so my hands were already giving out when I got there.

Roman chair ham extensions, heavy green band behind neck

Single Leg Curl
50x10 each leg
50x10 ea
25x20 ea

Standing calf raise
80 10x10

Donkey calf raise
150 5x10


Might want to stick shoulders on one of the leg days. From past experience chest, triceps, and shoulders on the same day is a lot of pressing. Found myself fatigued and unable to give everything to each muscle group. Triceps get involved in everything.

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Did back day on Saturday, had a super busy work schedule and had to take Sunday and Monday off.

Today: quads and shoulders

Took @jackolee ‘s advice and added just the pressing portion of shoulders to my quad day, so I can focus more on lateral delts on chest day and rear delts on back day.

Leg extension

Leg Press was occupied, so I grabbed kettlebells and did heel elevated squats with the KBs on my shoulders

2 30s x10
2 40s x10
2 50s x10
2 60s x10
2 70s x10
2 50s x10

B.B. Lunges
95 6x25m

Leg Extension
170 4x10

BTN Shoulder Press
155x2 (PR)
95x20 pause on back of neck each rep


Hope it makes for a more productive session. I know when I tried shoulders and chest and triceps all together it was a bit of a mess for me. Looks like a solid session!

If grips giving out on RDL’s just use straps, at least then you can concentrate on what needs to be done. Do regular dead’s without them though :+1:


Chest day

So busy at the gym. Have to do all sorts of different shit. I’ll be back on my normal schedule soon where I can go at 10am and it’s empty.


Incline Bench
135x10, 175x10, 185x8, 205x8
Behind the neck wide grip pull-ups, pausing with neck touching bar

Crossovers HTL

95, 135, 185x10, 225x5

Wolverine flys

Tri Rope

Diamond pushups, feet elevated

Lateral Raises
10s x100x2

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Yeah, normally grip isn’t a factor for me and I always have the mindset that below 400, nobody should use straps for any weight, but for one I have good straps and also my job is just pure hand wreckage all day every day, so you’re right - if the objective is hitting hams, don’t let grip be what causes me to fail.

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Back, and some shoulders

Wide grip behind the neck Pull-ups
Straight arm pulldowns, underhand grip

BB Rows
135 5x15

Dual handle cable rows

Behind the neck seated shoulder press
95x10, 115x10, 135 5x5 man
and 5 wide grip pull-ups between all 7 sets

Double bicep cable curl

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It was back day and all I noticed in the gym was how much my quads have blown up, lol.

Impressive man. Even back when I made pullups one of my main movements, and being shorter/ligter than you, I never could successfully do 3 solid reps of these, let alone 50.

You seem pretty good at pullups based off your log. What helps you with them? Frequency seems like a big thing for most people, and obviously losing fat. Anything else, any certain movements you feel like help you?

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I’ve mentioned it a few times around the forums - there are a lot of exercises that get carryover from other exercises. Pull-ups, to me, are one of the few exercises that get virtually no carryover from anything else. You need to do tons and tons of them over the course of months and years. There are people who can pull the whole stack on a lat pull down and row tons of weight that can’t do 5 perfect pull-ups.

There are three methods that helped me get great at pull-ups.

Method 1: Pick a number and do that number of pull-ups every day. Let’s say it’s 30, to start. It doesn’t matter if you do six sets of five or fifteen sets of 2, just get them in every day. Increase the number by 10 when it gets to be easy.

Method 2: Do 1 pull-up, rest, do 2 pull-ups, rest, and as far as you can go up. When you hit 10, go back down to 1. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 pull-ups = 100 pull-ups. When you can complete this workout, you will be good at pull-ups. I still do this, but I superset Bench or Shoulder presses or pushups with the same rep scheme.

Method 3: Adding weight. This is where things can get risky. There are a lot of different variations that can add difficulty to the BW pull-up, but the fact is that if you can slowly add weight to your body, then once can do a few pull-ups with 2 plates hanging from you (I think 4 is my max with +90), you will be able to bust out lots of bodyweight reps. The only problem is that the shoulder is already in a compromising position, and adding weight can be risky for certain people.

A few extra pointers:
Do your pull-ups wider than shoulder grip and with an overhand or neutral grip most of the time. Underhand is fine, but lots of people end up doing arm-ups and get elbow problems.

Do your pull-ups dead-hang. Get full scapular protraction at the bottom and initiate with scapular retraction. Get your chin just to the bar, and don’t worry about getting too high up.

Finally, I’m not a huge fan of the assisted pull up. When people can’t finish sets, they turn to that machine, but the stability of having your feet on any sort of support completely changes the motion. If you add high volume pull-ups to your workouts and can’t finish the reps, do negatives (jump up and let yourself down slowly).


Thanks for the detailed answer! Really helpful.

What would you say to someone who couldn’t do any pull-ups? Obviously lose weight and get stronger, but I agree that pull-ups are best improved by doing just that, pull-ups, and can never think of anything to say when asked besides inverted rows, but I personally am not totally sold on those (in terms of carryover).

I’d go with the negatives he mentioned if you can’t do pull up. I agree that the machine changes the motion. The motion will stay the same relatively if you hang a resistance band from the pull up bar and put your feet in it. The elasticity allows for natural movement on the way up and down.


@jackolee is right, the band around your feet lets you stay in a better position, it’s the best assisted pull up variation.

Inverted rows are a horizontal pull. They’re a good exercise, but as the angle of an inverted row gets MORE vertical, it gets EASIER. That’s counterintuitive when the goal is to do a pull up.