T Nation

Fatty's Adventures


#1

Oye, ladies and gents!

Thought I'd start a log here.

What you might want to know about me:
- the name's FattyFat, friends and lifting pals call me Jason (don't call me Jace, though)
- turned mid-30s, recently
- track & field from mid 90s to 2000, picked up weight lifting in 2000, trained seriously until 2011
- used to be strong and muscular until about 2011
- the last 4 years had me jump through hoops due to a host of injuries and maladies I couldn't recover from nor make sense of (nor could our noble docs) - this seriously impacted my training
- training had become very unreliable: what used to be one of the things I could always turn to, seemed to not be an option, anymore
- one by one, my arsenal ran dry: exercises, strategies and food that had worked for more than a decade became no-nos
- got pretty fat during the last 4 years despite maintaining a healthy diet and a regular training regimen
- I've invested most of my fortune into reclaiming my health: after lots of trial & error, I think I'm on the up and up, again â?? shed lots of fat the past 9 weeks and reclaimed most of my muscle
- I have a demanding job (don't we all?) I'm very passionate about which can get in the way of healthy lifestyle habits
- I had to rethink my whole approach to training and nutrition: I have very little leeway for mistakes and need to respect my body. One rep too many could lay me low for weeks on end (speaking from experience)

Here's what this log is going to be about, should you decide to tag along - it will
- not be about 1RM PRs
- be about training, nutrition, supplementation and maybe self-experimentation to get as healthy, lean and muscular as possible
- explain training limitations as a context for my exercise selection
- hold me accountable: feel free to call me out
- delve a bit into existing and conquered maladies here and there (maybe, as far as it pertains to my training/recovery and should the mood strike me)


#2

Fuck yes, you were / are one of the few guys that no matter what you posted on I read. Im all in for this log, and am happy you got your training back together. Looking forward to learning from you.


#3

[quote]MattyXL wrote:
Fuck yes, you were / are one of the few guys that no matter what you posted on I read. Im all in for this log, and am happy you got your training back together. Looking forward to learning from you.[/quote]
Agreed and same here.


#4

Sounds interesting. So many of us struggle with physical limitations here, whether temporary or permanent.


#5

In.


#6

In


#7

Love the idea for your log. I’ve seen some of the threads where you discuss your health challenges. Congrats on getting healthy enough to train and eat again.


#8

[quote]MattyXL wrote:
Fuck yes, you were / are one of the few guys that no matter what you posted on I read. Im all in for this log, and am happy you got your training back together. Looking forward to learning from you.[/quote]

[quote]Derek542 wrote:

[quote]MattyXL wrote:
Fuck yes, you were / are one of the few guys that no matter what you posted on I read. Im all in for this log, and am happy you got your training back together. Looking forward to learning from you.[/quote]
Agreed and same here.[/quote]

Matty, Derek, I’m flattered. I also enjoy reading about your thoughts.
Glad to have you aboard - I’m also looking forward to learning from you.

You should know I’m an expert at (self-)demolition, though :wink:


#9

[quote]kpsnap wrote:
Sounds interesting. So many of us struggle with physical limitations here, whether temporary or permanent.[/quote]

It’s unavoidable, both with training and non-training folks. Some comes down to bad luck, but I have to admit that most of my injuries have their roots in good old hubris.

I remember reading about your lifting adversities and you being sidelined multiple times. Glad to see you’re having none of it.


#10

[quote]EyeDentist wrote:
In.[/quote]
Glad to have you aboard, too.
You’re in excellent shape. I need to take a leaf or two out of your book, sometime.

[quote]brotardscience wrote:
In[/quote]
Another fellow strength midget - well met!


#11

[quote]LiftingStrumpet wrote:
Love the idea for your log. I’ve seen some of the threads where you discuss your health challenges. Congrats on getting healthy enough to train and eat again.[/quote]

Feel free to ask me anything health-related. I’m pretty open about all this stuff and don’t mind sharing.
It’s less about me beating adversities (because, hey, chances I’ll ever reach my past performance are pretty slim) and more about putting out how to overcome certain ailments. For example, I’ve lost (and luckily reclaimed) a whole foreign language, once. Just like that. Doesn’t happen everyday.


#12

Before we can get started with my actual training log, I’d like to list the exercises at my disposal.

EXERCISES

CORE CIRCUIT

  • plank
  • serratus crunch
  • bird dogs

CABLE DEADLIFT

  • narrow grip, pronated
  • stiff-legged, knees slightly bent

KNEEING UNILATERAL LAT ROW

  • assume a lunge position and a neutral grip
  • distance from feet to upper cable attachment: roughly 5 feet horizontally, 6 feet vertically
  • I’ll post a vid or photos of it, someday. In the meantime: does someone know (how to call) this exercise?
  • peak contraction
  • 1 actual rep = 1.5 reps, i.e.: one full contraction, stop at mid-range of eccentric portion, return to full protraction, full eccentric

UNILATERAL CABLE SHRUG

  • standing 2 feet away from lower cable attachment, laterally
  • pronated grip
  • peak contraction, full stop at bottom (to take momentum out of the equation)

UNILATERAL TRICEP PUSH-DOWN

  • neutral grip, peak contraction

DB CONCENTRATION HAMMER CURL

  • neutral grip
  • peak contraction
  • 1 actual rep = 1.5 reps (see above)

UNILATERAL STANDING LATERAL RAISE

  • ankle loop + chain + plates

DB UNILATERAL SKULL CRUSHER

  • neutral grip

TREADMILL

  • incline walks (10% - 15% incline)
  • with/without weight vest (goes up to 88 lbs)

#13

Let’s talk short-term goals (I’ve already stated my long-term goals: health, leanness, muscularity).

SHORT-TERM GOALS / REQ’S

  1. STRENGTHEN MY CORE (and improve overall health)
  • my core is miserable and has been so for almost 7 years, now
  • reasons:
  • disc herniation at L4/5 in 2008
  • disc herniation at L5/S1 in 2011
  • several bouts of lumbago in the meantime
  • lax right SIJ
  • functional leg length difference
  • didn’t properly rehab my first disc herniation and just kept on trucking along without changing my training
  • severe APT
  • ruptured right SCJ (sterno-clavicular joint) in 2010: this is my most debilitating injury - the SCJ is the only connection of the shoulder girdle to the actual skeleton
  • lax SCJ severely impacts core exercises: side planks are not possible - had to work my way up to my current core circuit
  • lax SCJ makes scapular retraction a high-risk movement
  • lax SCJ doesn’t allow for supination (external rotation and SCJ don’t get along)
  • dilemma: lax SCJ benefits from a strong core
  • in 2013, I couldn’t stand on one leg for more than 2 secs without falling over
  • in 2014, I could stand on one leg without falling over for a good 90 sec - albeit with extreme lordosis
  • in 2015, I can stand on one leg without falling over for at least 120 sec and an almost neutral lumbar spine
  • SLDL not an option, yet
  • due to a fucked up microbiome (the configuration of wee little bacteria and other beasties in our intestines) my abs wouldn’t fire properly - I was able to take of this thanks to suggesions by TN Forum User Ready-2-Learn (this thread is a one-stop-shop for Gut Health: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/diet_performance_nutrition_supplements/gut_health_sort_of_a_log?id=5658629&pageNo=0)
  1. GET LEANER
  • at 5’7 I’m weighing a whopping 264 lbs.
  • yes, there’s a lot of muscle to it, but also a lot of fat.
  • I started my journey a few days before last Christmas at three bills and less muscle than I’m carrying now
  • thanks to Adrenal Fatigue (and other factors), I have trouble with water retention. The weight difference can amount to 10 lbs. This has gotten better over the past 10 weeks, but it’s still far from optimal. I might be seeing a nephrologist about this in the near future. Sadly, I’ve developed quite an aversion to most physicians during the past 10 years, but my ego will have to suck it up.
  1. IMPROVE MY WORK CAPACITY
  • when I started out again 10 weeks ago, my work capacity was laughable
  • I could lift for about 15 - 20 min and had to stop either due to shortness of breath, nausea or lumbar pain and slightly numb right foot (nerve compression in the lumbar region)
  • my system was easily overstressed just by doing 20 mins of cardio or lifting: brain fog, abdominal bloating, water retention - you name it
  • piece by piece, I was able to increase my work capacity - of course, I’ve also employed a few supplements to tip the scales in my favor (will cover that in a separate post)

#14

MY PROGRAM

A (aka FUNCTIONALS)

6x Super Set 1

  • CORE CIRCUIT (planks for time, serratus crunch with dbs, bird dogs for at least 5 reps per side)
  • CABLE DL (2 warm-up sets, 4 straight working sets with 5-8 reps each)
  • max 30 sec rest

5x Super Set 2

  • CORE CIRCUIT
  • KNEEING UNILATERAL LAT ROW (at least 5 1.5 reps)
  • UNILATERAL CABLE SHRUG (1 warm-up set, at least 8 - 12 reps)
  • max 30 sec rest

B (aka DISCO MUSCLES)

2x Super Set 1

  • CORE CIRCUIT
  • UNILATERAL LATERAL RAISE: 3 alternating sets per side (15 - 25 reps per set)
  • UNILATERAL TRICEP PUSH-DOWN: 3 alternating sets per side (6 - 10 reps per set)
  • DB CONCENTRATION HAMMER CURL: 3 alternating sets per side (5 - 8 1.5 reps per set)
  • max 30 sec rest

1x Super Set 2

  • CORE CIRCUIT

  • UNILATERAL LATERAL RAISE: 3 alternating sets per side

  • DB NEUTRAL SKULL CRUSHERS: 3 alternating sets per side (6 - 10 reps per set)

  • as a bare minimum, I try to get in at least 2xA and 1xB in any given week

  • additionally, I’m getting in at least 30 min of incline treadmill walks per day

  • sometimes, I feel fresh enough to perform A and B on consecutive days, but not always

  • I try to have no qualms about taking a day off lifting

Let’s talk progression:

  • ground rule: to account for my Adrenal Fatigue and to make sure I can get in all my weekly lifting sessions, I timeboxed each lifting session to 55 min
  • next: I’m slowly increasing intra-workout volume
  • then: I’m slighly increasing loads
  • after that: I’m increasing frequency
  • having an optional 2nd B-day might come across as contradictory, but it ain’t: the second B-Day simply accounts for my daily form and my work schedule (I have a one-way 2h commute and work at least 11 hours a day) - you could see it as a bonus of sorts for weeks I’m feeling a tad fresher

Originally, I wanted to decrease training time as a first progression step. Knowing myself, I decided against it to minimize the risk of injury.

All unilateral exercises are performed with consciously maintaining good lumbar-hip alignment.
For example, when I perform unilateral shrugs/lateral raises, I consciously brace my glutes and obliques of the non-working side.
Especially with the shrugs, the lateral pull gives the lumbar-hip alignment thingy a competitive touch - I like!

Also, I stop doing an exercise once my core shuts down. Poor man’s auto-regulation :wink:


#15

Fascinating stuff. Will be following for sure.


#16

[quote]punnyguy wrote:
Fascinating stuff. Will be following for sure.[/quote]

Glad to have you aboard, PG.


#17

Planning is all nice and dandy, but let’s get started with actually logging my training.
My numbers don’t seem like much, but they get the job done.

Also, take into account that constant tension (cable) is a different animal. I feel I’m getting out more of every single rep compared to using dbs and bbs. This is a moot point, though: can’t use bbs, anyway.

03/02/2015

A (aka FUNCTIONALS)

6x Super Set 1

  • CORE CIRCUIT: plank 30s, serratus crunch with dbs: 10/8/7/7/8x 10 lbs dbs, bird dogs 5 reps per side
  • CABLE DL: 2 warm-up sets, 8/6/6/5 x 165 lbs

5x Super Set 2

  • CORE CIRCUIT: plank 30s, serratus crunch with dbs: 8/6/5/5/5x 10 lbs dbs, bird dogs 5 reps per side
  • KNEEING UNILATERAL LAT ROW: 7/6/5/5/5 x 66 lbs
  • UNILATERAL CABLE SHRUG: 1 warm-up set, 12/11/10/8/8 x 77 lbs

#18

Didn’t train on Tuesday and Wednesday, was under the weather.

03/05/2015

B (aka DISCO MUSCLES)

2x Super Set 1

  • CORE CIRCUIT
  • UNILATERAL LATERAL RAISE: 25/20/15 x 22 lbs, 20/15/12 x 27.5 lbs
  • UNILATERAL TRICEP PUSH-DOWN: 10/10/8 x 22 lbs, 10/8/6 x 27.5 lbs
  • DB CONCENTRATION HAMMER CURL: 8/7/6 x 44 lbs, 7/6/4 x 44 lbs

1x Super Set 2

  • CORE CIRCUIT
  • UNILATERAL LATERAL RAISE: 20/15/10 x 27.5 lbs
  • DB NEUTRAL SKULL CRUSHERS: 10/8/6 x 27.5 lbs

#19

Looking forward to seeing how things shake out. I find the idea of cable DL’s very interesting.


#20

03/06/2015

A (aka FUNCTIONALS)

5x Super Set 1

  • CORE CIRCUIT: plank 30s, serratus crunch with dbs: 7/7/5/4/3x 10 lbs dbs, bird dogs 5 reps per side
  • CABLE DL: 2 warm-up sets, 10/8/6/4 x 165 lbs

1x Super Set 2

  • CORE CIRCUIT: plank 30s, serratus crunch with dbs: 8/6/5/5/5x 10 lbs dbs, bird dogs 5 reps per side
  • KNEEING UNILATERAL LAT ROW: 9 x 66 lbs

I had to cancel yesterday’s training session.
From the get-go, my abs wouldn’t engage.
I can be more specific:

  • the recti abdomini were loath to pull their own weight.
  • after screening (standing on one foot doing contralateral lateral raises with 10 lbs dbs) I concluded that my obliques were working just fine on both sides
  • my glutes were also doing their jobs

During the cable dl, my hip hinge became kinda stiff: I pulled more from my lower back.
Consequently, my lower back became ever more lordotic after every dl set until I felt an increasing pinching pain in my lumbar spine. Also, my abdomen started to get distended.

So I cancelled the session.

Afterwards, I tried my luck on the treadmill, but had to stop after 25 min. Lower back pain.

In the end, I was sporting a big stress belly (roughly 10 inches on my normal belly circumference) that abated after about half an hour of lying on my back. So I did the only reasonable thing and called it a day.
I ate some protein (minced meat), went to bed and slept for roughly 10 hours.

Let’s try to play detective, here:

  • I only slept about 90 min from Thursday to Friday
  • and I only slept about 3 hours from Wednesday to Thursday
  • I sat around a lot (working from the home office - whereas in the office, I usually walk around a lot - big office space, lots of interaction)
  • I was sporting a moonface and my ankles hurt: a look in the mirror showed me it was one of those water retention days I spoke of earlier
  • water retention usually goes hand-in-hand with lack of sleep (Aldosterone)
  • my spine didn’t get the downtime it needed

Today, I had my wife release lots of trigger points in my e. spinae, mid traps and glutes.
We both had dry needling training.

To be clear: I hadn’t had this kind of setback for about 2 months.

On another note:

  • the day before yesterday, I performed self-prolotherapy (dextrose-based) on both my ulnar wrists
  • I do this once a quarter: I have preexisting injuries to my ulnar wrist ligaments and both TFCCs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangular_fibrocartilage).
  • shit usually heals up nicely, but my ulna minus variance disagrees with that :wink:
  • I wish I could also treat my ACL tear that way, but that’s way too complicated for me (and most docs won’t even touch that with a syringe)

Since my abs seem to be firing just ok, today, I might be giving training session B a shot today.
A will have to wait at least another day.