T Nation

From Fat Nerd to Frank N. Furter

July 15th, 2020
Wednesday

Hey, hey! Two days in a row! I’m on a roll! :laughing:

Managed to get into the home gym relatively early in the day (had a morning meeting at 8, so I had to wait until that was over) but I feel like I made some progress today! I’m gonna start listing at least what exercises I’m doing since I’m still trying to figure out the weight system on this machine, but at least now you guys know what kind of circuit I’m going through.

Seated Chest Press
3x10
Bicep Curl
3x15
Cross Body Hammer Curl
3x15
Butterfly Press
3x15
Incline Bench Press
3x8
Cable Shrugs
3x20

So far today I’ve had breakfast (a piece of whole wheat toast with 2 eggs and a slice of Swiss cheese with black coffee) and a protein shake w/ strawberries. I may…also have had a beer while I worked out…I know…starting early…but I’m drinking a fuck-ton of water too; had at least two liters yesterday, and already almost through one liter so far today.

Today is going to consist of a lot of reading for me (have to read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by Friday), so maybe when I get to a good stopping point I might go out to the garage and do another circuit. What do you guys think?

BTW, there’s a crazy thunderstorm going over my part of Wisconsin; INSANE thunder, it’s shaking the house. :laughing:

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July 17th, 2020
Friday

Happy Friday, all!

Today was a little bit lighter of a workout (at least in scope of exercises); I may have been kinda dumb last night and woke up sort of hung over, but I powered through it and did my best without causing myself some injury.

Butterfly Press
3x15
Bicep Curl
3x15
Seated Chest Press
3x15
Lat Pulldown
3x15
Leg Press
3x20

Diet has actually been going pretty well; I’ve maintained consistency for the past few days, counting calories and monitoring my macros (still a new concept but I think I’m getting the hang of it.) Here’s a general outline of what I’ve been living off of for the past few days:

Wake Up:
12 oz. coffee (black)

Post-Workout:
1 scoop Body Fortress Whey Protein (Vanilla)
1 cup 2% milk
(sometimes I’ll add strawberries for added flavor but I haven’t bought any in a minute, and I’m trying to limit carbs a bit)

Breakfast:
1 slice 100% Whole Wheat Bread
2 large eggs (sunny side up)
1 slice Colby Jack cheese
6 slices turkey breast (oven roasted)

Lunch:
8oz Chicken Breast Tenderloins
2 cups broccoli florets
1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
PLENTY of water

Dinner:
2 small fillets pink salmon
2 cups broccoli florets or California mix
1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
PLENTY of water

I’ll have an occasional beer or two here or there - what can I say, I like beer, and it’s practically mandatory in Wisconsin to keep beer in your home - but mostly I’ve been staying pretty good. Haven’t gone out to eat in at least a week, don’t really eat fried foods anymore, and with exercising at least a little bit every day I think I’m making progress. Went down another pound today; at 248.6, which is exciting, because I’d been over 250 again last week.

The best part is, I’m starting to become more comfortable with my body. I’ve found myself going shirtless more throughout the day (at home, of course - though I wouldn’t look out of place at Walmart, people do it all the time) and though yeah, I still have a gut and love handles, I don’t hate looking at myself anymore. There’s still definitely room for improvement but I’m starting to see changes: my shoulders are definitely more defined, my arms seem bigger and tighter than usual, and I even feel like my chest is starting to get less boob-ish (still kinda pointy, which is annoying, but that just means it needs to grow a little bit more.)

Overall I’m still feeling confident, hoping to keep this ball rolling; feeling like I might even take a hike later today, as I’ve been too swamped with schoolwork to go lately! :slight_smile:

EDIT (2:01 PM): I managed to get in a 6-mile hike today! It’s fuckin’ hot out and I’m sweating like a hooker in church, but damn it felt good to get out on the trail again! :grin:

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July 20th, 2020
Monday

Good morning, and happy Monday, everyone! Hope you all had an awesome weekend!

Started off strong this morning (no pun intended); got up and got right into the home gym, worked out for almost an hour, focusing on slow deliberate motions and maximizing form.

Bicep Curl
3x15
Chest Press
3x20
Pec Deck
3x15
Lat Pulldown
3x15
Cable Shrug
3x20
Leg Press
3x20

Weight (as of 9:30 AM): 247.4 lbs.

FIRMLY under 250 now, and definitely seeing some slow changes and gains! My love handles are (at least I think so) slightly narrower, and I’ve noticed a distinct rounding - rather than pointing - of my chest. Arms are becoming more defined, and I think they’re a bit bigger too. I should probably start taking measurements and posting them on here to make sure.

And the coolest part: I think my shoulders are actually starting to round out a bit! I’m finally getting shoulders! lol

I’m actually feeling really jazzed today! Feeling great, excited for what the week has in store. It’s my last week of summer classes, and I can’t wait for next Monday so I don’t have to worry about homework and shit. Just gotta power through it! :grin:

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Glad to hear things are going well. Have you got any more pics to compare to your previous ones?

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That’s definitely something I can post tomorrow; I’ve been busy this weekend with my second job and haven’t had much of a chance to update. But yeah I’ll post some progress pics tomorrow morning! :slight_smile:

July 22nd, 2020
Wednesday

Good morning everyone, and happy Wednesday!

Yesterday was a bit busy for me (worked on some advertising for a Halloween festival I help run, and that took ALL DAY), but this morning I managed to get in a good workout that lasted almost an hour! Either I was going way too slow or I’m finally getting the hang of pacing; I didn’t take more than a minute or two on rests, and focused on form and contractions for each set. I also added some reps just to keep myself guessing.

Cable Bicep Curls
3x15
Seated Chest Press
3x15
Leg Extensions
3x20
Single-Arm Pec Deck
3x15
Close-Grip Lat Pulldown
3x15
Dumbbell Lateral Raises
3x15
Cable Shrugs
3x15

I also managed to take some measurements (post-workout)!

Height: 5’ 11"
Weight: 248.4 lbs.
Neck: 17.5"
Shoulders: 51.5"
Chest: 48.5"
Arms: 16"
Forearms: 12.5"
Hips: 48.5"
Waist: 45"
Thighs: 24"
Calves: 17.5"

Here are some progress pics, taken right after this morning’s workout:


Please let me know what you guys think; I see some definite changes, but perhaps I’m just overeager. Do you see any progress, or have any suggestions at this point?

I think you definitely look like you’ve lost some weight.

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July 30th, 2020
Thursday

Hey everyone! Sorry I’ve been kinda quiet lately, life stuff has been happening and I’ve been a bit…distracted.

So I guess just to air out some of my thoughts, a couple of days ago my roommate/ex asked me to move out; I kind of expected this and had been considering the idea but it was still a little bit of a sidewinder. Vibes in our house have been getting progressively weirder and honestly, it probably should have been done much sooner. We wanted to try to make a roommate situation work but…well…you know, live and learn.

I’ve been packing up my things for the past couple of days and haven’t been able to do much in the way of lifting (I did go for one of my hikes on Sunday, so at least there’s that.) It’s a huge bummer, but I’m in the process of selling my cable machine since it won’t fit where I’m moving too (a friend is letting me stay with her until I find more permanent lodgings; hopefully I can apply for a home loan in the next few months, get a house, and set up a full-on home gym.)

I’m still taking my weight bench and free weights, so as soon as I get settled in I’m going to get back into the groove; I’m also gonna get my gym membership back, since I can walk to the gym and get my cardio in before and after lifting. Hopefully this change will bring better vibes than what has been going on recently.

Thank you guys for your support through this whole crazy journey of mine, I appreciate the brother/sisterhood of my fellow lifting enthusiasts. :slight_smile:

August 8th, 2020
Saturday

Hey there everyone, I’m back!

I’m all moved into my temporary new place, and managed to get my (much depleted) workout station set up, so this morning I said fuck it and got back in the game! Felt good to get a pump on again, and despite going back to my limited equipment I feel I got a relatively good circuit in this morning.

Bench Press
3x8
Dumbbell Cross Body Front Raise
3x10
Dumbbell Cross Body Curl
3x10
Dumbbell Bicep Curl
3x10
Barbell Shrug
3x20
Upright Barbell Row
3x10

Just got my protein in, definitely need a shower, and then it’s an otherwise boring Saturday. Excited that I get to go into work on Monday and start setting up my classroom; I’ve been going stir-crazy just sitting around waiting for a word on what direction work was going to take. I also reactivated my Planet Fitness account (I know everyone’s varying views on whether Planet Fitness constitutes as a legitimate “gym” but it’s the only place within an hour’s drive, and it has enough equipment to leave me sore after my visit so I’ll call it a win) so hopefully I can use that to keep more consistent.

Hope everyone is having a great day so far! What are everyone’s plans for their weekend? I could use some suggestions!

August 11th, 2020
Tuesday

Hey all! Happy Tuesday!

This is a bit of a catch-up post; I’ve been good about staying on the regimen and mindset, but terrible with keeping my log. So here’s been my goings-on for the past three days (including today):

Sunday

Bench Press
3x10
Dumbbell Cross Body Curl
3x10
Dumbbell Bicep Curl
3x10
Barbell Shrug
3x20
Upright Barbell Row
3x10

Monday

Bench Press
3x12
Dumbbell Cross Body Curl
3x12
Dumbbell Bicep Curl
3x12
Barbell Shrug
3x20
Upright Barbell Row
3x12

Tuesday (Today)

Bench Press
3x12
Dumbbell Cross Body Curl
3x12
Dumbbell Bicep Curl
3x12
Barbell Shrug
3x25
Upright Barbell Row
3x12

Again, it’s a huge bummer not having my cable machine to get more varied workouts in, but I’ve got a few books I think I’m going to start perusing to try new and varied motions. Been really trying to focus on engaging specific muscles during my lifts, and I think I’m starting to get the hang of it; my bench press feels a lot different and more fulfilling than it did a few weeks ago, and I’m actually seeing size in my left bicep that wasn’t there before (which is exciting, because I’ve noticed that my arms are a liiiiiittle uneven.)

I’ve also begun noticing what one of my fellow lifting friends in town calls the puff, which sounds a hell of a lot like a pump to me, but all over, and he says it’s common in guys of our particular build; after working out, it seems like my entire upper body is bigger and more defined, even in areas I didn’t focus on. Is that just a regular pump or something else? Either way, now that I’m aware of it, it’s definitely jazzing me up for every workout.

Kinda cool to see myself noticeably thicker after each workout, just wish it would stay around longer than an hour or two…

What sort of equipment do you have? You might be better following one of the programs from one of the authors here on T nation. Great work though, it’s good to see you grinding away, how’s the weight loss?

1 x weight bench
1 x barbell
2 x 20lb dumbbell
2 x 25lb dumbbell
6 x 14.5lb plates
2 x 10lb plates
1 x ab roller
1 x 30lb weighted vest

I might go back over and review the routines on here after all, that’s a good idea.

And the weight loss rate has dropped a bit, still hovering around 250 but I feel like I’ve slimmed out in some places and filled out in others. I’ve been watching my food intake and keeping my calories in a slight deficit, while trying to lift at least 3x a week. I have cut down on cardio a bit recently, so I wonder if that’s been a cause for the plateau.

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You can probably do quite a bit with what you’ve got then. I think the main thing is for you to enjoy what you’re doing but some more back and leg work would probably be good.

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You’re right on the money - this sounds like The Pump. Watch this video:

Like you, I’ve also noticed that even areas you don’t focus on get a little bit “pumped”. Not sure what the explanation is. My theory is that it’s either an illusion caused by the larger muscles around them, or an actual physical change because some of the blood going to the muscles being worked ends up in the nearby muscles too, thus slightly ‘pumping’ them. Of course I have no concrete scientific proof for this particular theory haha.

Definitely a familiar feeling. This would probably be one of my 3 wishes if I ever found a genie in a bottle somewhere lol.

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@wanderingjohnny you still keeping at it man? How’s it going?

Hey man! Yeah, sorry I’ve been kinda quiet on here, it’s been a rough transition back into my job (middle school teacher). I’ve been keeping at it for sure, getting into the swing of a regular lifting schedule. Definitely noticing some changes in my arms and chest, which is hella exciting - starting to see veins in my forearms, and my chest is noticeably fuller, though definitely not at the size I’m looking for yet.

Been really working on form and concentrated movements, trying to isolate different muscle groups during my sets. Been hard work but I think I’m getting the hang of it. :slight_smile:

Hope you’re all doing well! I’ll try to be more regular on here as I go forward!

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That’s absolutely fantastic mate. Hope everything smooths out job-wise, good to hear from you!

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October 17th, 2020
Saturday

I said I was going to post more regularly, and I need to HOLD myself to that, so here goes!

Hey everyone! Still keeping at it, getting in a decent workout every other day or so at this point. Got in some traps, shoulders and arms this morning, and have been keeping my diet relatively clean. I’m definitely reaffirming my goals to lose weight and build muscle by NEXT year, though because we’re performing something other than Rocky Horror next year, I’m kind of glad that I don’t have to fit into a corset anymore! :laughing:

I’m beginning to fall into the idea that maybe I don’t want to slim out as much as I originally hoped, but go more for gaining muscle mass and just make myself more shapely. Granted, I would like to lose a little fat, but only so I can keep around the same weight and replace that difference with muscle. Added a little bit of cardio into the mix but mostly focusing on weight training at the moment.

Hoping this next year brings some serious changes in my physique; I’m also really excited to get my beard growing back again (had to shave it off for Rocky Horror this year, so I plan on just letting it go for as long as I can)! Wish me luck, my dudes, and all the best to you all! :smile:

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