Fat Kid to Athlete to Mediocre Lifter

Long time reader/lurker but finally posting now. Former Fat kid, once upon a time I played semi-pro Rugby (Played for 13 years, semi-pro for 2) and moved into combat sport 5 years ago. Ive stopped competing this year with a 0-1
record in MMA, 2-0 in Muay Thai and 5th place in a Jiu-jitsu tournament. Over the years numerous injuries including meniscus tears in both knees, dislocations and a slipped disk in my neck mean life is taking a direction away from competitive sport.

Now lifting because I just dont want to suck at life and 27 is too young to do fuck all. Gotta have some standards :joy:

Keep up with my log, send some abuse my way to motivate me and my dogshit lifts and average physique. Some of you guys are MONSTERS on here with years under the bar and with any luck being in such company should be a constant reminder to keep pushing to my limits when I wanna bitch out and lay on the couch drinking and playing video games or get big headed because I’m a big fish in a small pond at my gym.

Current bodyweight 88kg

Squat: 165kg
Deadlift (trap bar): 200kg
Bench: 107kg

1.5 mile time: 11:14

Program is currently

Mon- Legs

Tues- Push

Wed - Cardio

Thurs- Pull

Fri- Core and vanity work

Getting settled into a proper lifting routine and then testing my maxes to begin Wendler’s 5/3/1 within the next 6 weeks or so.


Ok so today was cardio day.
I usually do this day without much less caffine than normal. Im a big believer in doing things you hate to do or suck at so on Wednesdays I run. I still hit the bag but my technique isnt near as sharp as it was when I was training Martial Arts X5 days a week…good for cardio and I try to only use strikes I’d use in a real life situation, three or four hard shots, close elbows and back to distance with high guard.

I did 1.5 miles in 11mins 17 seconds, 6 sets of three minutes on the bag, 1 min off, then finished with 50 kicks each leg (hips dont turn over quite like the used to but the power is still there) and 70 unbroken crunches, straight into 30 unbroken full sit ups, rested 2mins and hit 50 laying leg raises in 3 sets (trying to get them unbroken too but my lower abs are weeeak)

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Yesterdays session was Pull. A bit all over the place and excitable like a little kid (I pulled the trigger and bought an engament ring for my girlfriend, waiting on it to arrive)

18 wide grip pull ups in 3 sets of 6 and 50 banded pull aparts to warm up and cat/cow stretch.

Trap bar deads
60kg x10
110kg x5
130kg x5
140kg x5
150kg x5
160kg x3
180kg x1 (should have been another triple at 160 but I was hyped up and just pulled 180 for the fuck of it)
140kg x3 speed reps 30 seconds rest and another 3 speed reps

Weighted neutral grip pull ups
4 sets of 5 with 10kg weight
1 set unweighted to failure immediately after last set

Dumbbell rows
4 sets of 5 reps each arm with 50kg dumbbell

Reverse fly
Still getting the hang of these and really feeling them in the rear delts did 14kg for 2 sets of 12 and dropped to 12kg to squeeze more for last 2 sets of 12

Single arm lat pulldown (hammer strength machine)
3 sets of 10 with 40kg per side

Bicep curls 14kg 3 sets of 10 to finish.

Training feels fun but aimless. Am writing out the first 4 weeks of 5/3/1 with my training maxes now and starting monday. I need direction.

Lost 1kg this week to sit at 88kg bodyweight 15/9 intermittent fast on the MATTADOR diet as per an article written by (i thinks) Eric Bach on here a bunch of years ago. Looking to get to about 85kg roughly 10% bodyfat before reverse dieting back up

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Spent the weekend eating like shit and drinking beer. We were celebrating as my girl said yes and we’re getting married.

Started 5/3/1 today and fucked up already, did 11 reps on my last set as I failed to realise its only the third week that has +reps on it…oh well.

Squats were 1
95 X 5 112.5 x 5 and 125 x 11 because I’m a moron.

Then the accessory work was straight up arse. It was 70kg x 8 reps for 5 sets on hamstring curls,
Standing hamstring curls were 40kg x 10 for 5 again, leg extension was 40.5kg for 10 reps and 5 sets (all reps done with a 4 second pause at the top to sqeeze) 250kg leg press for 10 reps and 5 sets were programmed but missed them out because the beer and KFC was going to come up and both presses were taken. In the end I just smashed out another unbroken 25 reps of extensions and got out of there.

I think the lessons here are ALWAYS read your program properly (Sorry Mr Wendler) and NEVER drink 48hours straight before leg day



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Thanks man :grin::pray:t2:

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5/3/1 Bench session
Its 5’s week. Was a little apprehensive about starting so light but I figured if I knew better than Jim then Id have an elite total so stfu and do the program.

Warmed up with 50 push ups and 20 reps with an empty bar. Then 3 sets of 5 @ 65, 75 and 82.5kg respectively.

3 sets of 12 facepulls @20kg

5 sets of weighted dips bodyweight still around 88kg +15kg for plate tied to a belt. Did 5 sets of 5 and finished with an unweighted set immediately following the last set for a max effort (I got 12 reps)

Wide grip chin ups 5 x 5

Incline dumbell press 28kg dumbbells 5 sets of 10

Low cable row 80kg 5 sets of 10

Little pump finisher of 5 one arm push up, 10 regular, 5 one arm (obviously the opposite arm to the first one worked) for 3 sets with minimal rest.



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Thank you bud :pray:t2:

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Cardio day.

Switched it up and did my bag rounds before my run. Was close to just doing the bag and calling it but something told me not to bitch out and go run, even if i felt like shit. Ended up with a new 1.5 mile PR (11mins 5 seconds)

70 crunches
30 full sit ups both sets were unbroken with no rest between movments

50 laying leg raises. 20 reps, 15, 15. About 35 seconds rest

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Yesterdays session

Trap bar deads 5’s week
Birddogs, cat-cow to warm up
20kg warm up x20
60kg x10 warm up

105kg 122.5kg 140kg for 5

5x5 weighted pull ups (10kg on belt) neutral grip
1 set to failure unweighted pull ups immediately following last set of weighted (6reps)

5 sets of 10 GoodMornings with 40kg

Single arm dumbell rows (still figuring out the weight to grip balance, dont wanna use straps on these so started lighter than I probably should have)
34kg x10
36kg x10
36kg x10
38kg x10
38kg x10

Single arm lat pulldown (plate loaded)

40kg x10
50kg x10
50kg x10
50kg x10
50kg x10


Overhead press today

Awful session. I stopped OHP with a barbell a few years ago as it fucks my joints something rotten. I thought maybe I could get back to it after the layoff. Wrong. Right shoulder joint feels like 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag now and the weights werent even heavy…thinking Im gonna drop the OHP and work with cables/machines/dumbells and do extra mobility on it on off days. Sticking with 5/3/1 on the other 3 big lifts.

50 banded pull aparts

x20 reps warm up empty bar
52.5kg x5 reps
60kg x5 reps
70kg x5 reps

Lateral raises
12kg x 10reps for 5 sets

Reverse flys
12kg x 12 reps 5 sets

Bicep curls
16kg x 10
16kg x 10
14kg x 10
14kg x 10

Single arm triceps pulldowns
11.5kg x10 reps for 4 sets

Hanging leg raises 12 x 4 sets

Weighted decline sit ups
10kg x 15 reps for 5 sets


Squats day 5/3/1 three’s week

Wasn’t hung over this week and actually felt good going into the gym and did the program right! :joy:

Mobility based warm up w some single leg RDLs with just the empty bar.

Empty bar x10
60kg x10
105kg x3
120kg x 3
135kg x3

All moved smooth, happy with it so far, cant wait for the rep maxes next week.

Hamstring curls (laying)
70kg x 8 reps for 5 sets

250kg x10 reps for 5 sets

Hamstring curls (standing) 40kg x10 reps for 4 sets

Leg extension
40.5kg for 10 reps (4 second hold at the top) for 4 sets
One set 40.5kg to failure straight reps (18 reps today, not counting the two partials at the end where I could move the pad)

Finished off at home with 25mins of flow Yoga (been a habit of mine 4 days a week for the last 6 or 7 months and I realised I should probably log it for future reference)


5/3/1 bench

2 sets of 25 push ups
10 reps with an empty bar
40kg x 10 reps
70kg x 3 reps
80kg x 3 reps
87.5kg x 3 reps

Bench still feels light but my fucked shoulder is greteful for it.

20kg x 12 reps for 4 sets

Weighted dips
15kg x 5 reps for 4 sets
1 unweighted set to failure immediately after the last set (14 reps this week, two more than last week)

Pull ups
5 x 5

Incline dumbell bench
Shoulder felt fine here, Im holding the DB’s at an angle to minimise strain on it. Will try the same thing on Friday for DB clean and press and see if i get less pain than the barbell OHP and if its a viable alternative.

28kg x 10 reps for 5 sets

Low cable row
81.5kg X 10 reps
81.5kg x 10 reps
70kg x 10 reps
70kg x 10 reps
70kg x 10 reps

Lowered the weight on the last 3 reps because my form was going to dogshit and I could feel my biceps doing the work over my back. Way better connection last 3 sets.

25mins yoga at home to finish


Cardio/conditioning day.

Went with something different today, needed a change mentally. After reading an article by Pavel Tsatsoline and Andy Bolton about KB swings I decided to bust out the ones that have been sat in my wardrobe at home since we moved in last August.

Every minuet on the minuet for 10mins
40kg X10 reps

Weight sit ups
24kg X10 reps
10 sets

6 sets of sprints for 40m

Yoga flow 25 mins flow

This kinda kicked my arse. I’ve got 5/3/1 deadlifts tomorrow. Jim recommends two days conditioning and I know he loves his prowler but I dont have one. The muscles worked with a prowler are also worked by KB swings (with the exception of grip) I dont think it will fuck with the 5/3/1 programming right?


Kettlebells, hill sprints, weighted vests walks (for the steady stuff)… I don’t think you can go too far wrong with the approach you have. Unless the program explicitly calls for a prowler, I wouldn’t sweat it.

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Thanks bud. Didnt think it would fuck it up but wanted to be sure

Yesterday’s session

Cat/cow, Birddogs, glute bridges, bodyweight squats and banded pull aparts warm up

5/3/1 trap bar deads

60kg x10 reps
115kg x 3
130kg x 3
145kg x 3

Weighted pull ups, neutral grip

10kg belt X5 reps for 5 sets
Last set unweighted to failure immediately following the final weighted set (6 reps, one rep up on last week)

Good mornings
40kg x10 for 5 sets

Dumbell row
38kg x10 reps for 5 sets
(Considering a switch to chest supported row or Tbar row as struggling to feel target muscles for some reason, will give it another week and read up on form/tips)

Single arm lat pull down (plate loaded)

50kg x10 reps per arm for 5 sets


Today’s session

OHP murdered my shoulders last week even with the baby weights, not in the good way so I dropped it from the program. Having had two dislocations and a broken collarbone previously its not worth keeping it in for ego’s sake.

Shoulder press machine (varied my grips, neutral seems to cause less aggro by far so will stick to that from next week on)

50kg 10 reps x 5 sets

Lateral raises
12kg 10 x 5

Reverse flys
12kg 12 x 5

Smith machine seated press
Kept the weights really light and used a narrow grip for a shit load of reps.
40kg for 8 reps, drop set immediately to 30kg for 10reps, drop set again immediately to 20kg for 12 reps. Rest 1-2 mins and repeated 3 times

Hanging leg raises 12 x 5

Decline weighted sit up
10kg 15 x 5

Bicep curls
16kg 10 x 2
14kg 10 x 3

Single arm tricep pushdown (rope)

11.5kg 10 x 5


Put in a little extra work today. Working off some wedding planning stress (quitting nicotine is driving me nuts mentally so Im keeping my shit occupied)

EMOM kettlebell swings 40kg x 10 for 13 minutes

Weighted sit ups 20kg 20 reps x 4

Heel taps 20 x 4

Push ups with handles
10 x 5