T Nation

From GarageRocker's Basement

Hi All,

Been lurking awhile and finally signed up and started taking part. I love trying to help people and hope maybe I can make a difference for someone somewhere.

I’m 26 and have been training for about 8 years, with 6 of them being serious (following a decent program). I have 2 powerlifting meets under my belt with a 1200 total at 181 being my best performance in 2016. We get free InBody testing at work and my last one on 8/12/19 showed me to be 5’ 9" and 204 lbs at 18.5% BF. Not great. Outside of lifting I play guitar/sing (southern rock, metal, and grunge), play and coach table tennis, golf, and ski. Pretty active, but the only one of those that I consider worthy of cardio is table tennis.

Current Maxes:
Squat: 425
Bench: 290
Deadlift: 475
OHP: 165

For the most part I’ve used some form of 5/3/1 at all times, with a few cycles of BW-only and self-designed programming (which had shitty results). Recently I’ve done 9 cycles of the 2x/week program from Beyond 5/3/1, followed by 2 leaders and 2 anchors of Limited Time. I just finished the first leader of Pervertor this morning and will start the second leader Monday. Main goals are to work on proficiency with the main lifts/get comfy with sumo again after going conventional-only for 2 years, as well as lean out just a little bit. I got married at the end of September and let the stress of planning get to me in the form of a shitty diet and a little much drinking, but so far my efforts to fix that have been working. This next cycle I’ll probably work on eating just a little more and see how the mirror and InBody shake out.

Diet-wise I just shoot for ~200 grams of protein a day from whole food and maybe 1 shake. I usually have carbs in the form of sweet potatoes, whole grain flatbread (breakfast burrito), white rice, quinoa, or fruit at each meal. Fats shake out incidentally from eggs, meats, and oils. I try to go based off of my appearance and how I feel rather than macro tracking, otherwise I drive myself nuts. I won’t ever step onstage in trunks, so I eat mainly for health and performance - with a side of “my wife is a smokeshow so I should at least make an effort to be quasi-attractive” - and have worked hard to make quality foods a habit.

Excel sheet for the upcoming leader:

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Started my new cycle of Pervertor today. Woke up at 4:00 and downed a 150 mg caffeine/theanine pill, a small protein shake, and 2 servings of candy corn. Warmup was the Agile 8 and things felt pretty good after the extra rest from the weekend. I did 2 x 5 box jumps (32") as my explosive movement and got to work.

Squat:
SS w/ 10 reps of hanging leg lifts
45 x 5
155 x 5
190 x 5
SS w/ 10 reps of dumbbell military press
225 x 3
260 x 5
295 x 5
SS w/ chinups (7,7,7,5,5)
335 x 5 VIDEO


260 x 5 (10 sets)

Finished up with another serving of candy corn and 2 scoops of protein and 5g of creatine in 16 oz skim milk. Overall I felt really good today, my back felt balanced and the weight moved well on all sets. I’ve narrowed my squat a bit and it’s kept my back, knees, and hips happy. Tonight is table tennis (my version of hard cardio) at the local training academy with the university team I coach. I’ve been finding that I recover faster if I put hard cardio on my lower body days.

You’re my hero.

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Up at 4:00 this morning again and tried to get moving extra quickly…had to drop my truck off to get some work done and ride to work with the wife. As usual did 150 caffeine/theanine and 2 servings of candy corn, but skipped the protein shake. While I was doing Agile 8 for a warmup I was definitely feeling the soreness of yesterday’s squat session and the 2.5 hours of table tennis I played after work. Onward, nonetheless. 2 x 5 box jumps and I was in my basement training by 4:35.

Bench:
SS w/ 15 reps of chest supported DB rows using low incline bench
45 x 5
105 x 5
130 x 5
SS w/ 15 reps of DB side lateral raises
155 x 3
180 x 5
SS w/ 10 reps/leg of 1 leg squats (no counterbalance)
210 x 5
235 x 5


180 x 5
No SS
180 x 5 x 9

I finished up with another serving of candy corn and my usual 2 scoops of whey/5g creatine in 16 oz skim milk.

Things felt good other than a tweak in my left shoulder/bicep after some violently uncoordinated shots at table tennis last night. Bar speed I was happy with but I need to work on accentuating the pause a little more. The chest supported DB rows made my bench feel significantly stronger and I notice I get a better mid-back contraction vs typical 1 arm DB rows.

Day late post from yesterday, not that anything interesting went on. Wednesdays are my off-days so I had 3 chicken thighs and a salad with olive oil and vinegar topped with goat cheese for lunch. Dinner was about a 1lb strip steak pan-seared in butter with another salad just like my lunch. I fasted for about 18 hours and kept carbs super low to try and help keep myself at or slightly below maintenance from a weekly perspective.

11/7/19 Deadlift Day

Up at 4:30, downed candy corn and a caffeine/theanine pill, Agile 8-ed, and did my compulsory 2 x 5 box jumps. Everything felt good.

Deadlift:
SS w/ 10 reps of ab wheel rollouts
135 x 5
155 x 5
195 x 5
SS w/ 10 reps of incline dumbbell bench
235 x 3
275 x 5
310 x 5
SS w/ 15 reps of chest supported rear DB lateral raises
350 x 5


275 x 5 x 2
No SS
275 x 5 x 8

Followed up with more candy corn and my usual protein/creatine shake. Deadlift felt good and I was able to get some good effort out of my right glute and right lower back even though I alternated between conventional and sumo for my supplemental work. My left elbow/shoulder were still cranky today but I worked through it no problem. Will probably do some wrist rollers and icing to see if it helps.

11/8/19 Press Day

Got a later start (5:30) since I’m stuck at work until 4:00. Really enjoyed getting a full 8 hours of sleep. I did my usual candy corn, caffeine/theanine, Agile 8, and 2 x 5 box jumps. Nothing outta the ordinary.

Press:
SS w/ 10/6/6/6/5 pull ups
45 x 5
50 x 5
65 x 5
80 x 3
95 x 5
SS w/ 10 reps/leg 1 leg squats
110 x 5
120 x 5


95 x 5
SS w/ 10 reps 2 second pause push ups
95 x 2 - this was a mistake…
No SS
95 x 8
10 reps 2 second pause pushups

Again, nothing outta the ordinary for this workout. Still feeling good and recovering well from training. The superset of press and push ups was dumb and I’m not doing that again - I’ll just save the push ups for the end or try to find a pressing exercise that doesn’t interfere with press. Usually I do incline flyes and don’t notice much issue.

11/11/19 Squat Day

Happy Veteran’s Day to everyone out there that has served! Up a little late…need to not snooze. But was in the basement by 5:20 after my normal warmup and PWO candy corn/caffeine. I wasn’t feeling it today and my body was doing its best to rebel, but I stayed the course. In the future, 2 Christmas beers on a Sunday afternoon will not happen. It makes the early morning workout more of a struggle than it needs to be.

Squat:
SS w/ 10 reps hanging leg lifts
45 x 5
135 x 5
170 x 5
SS w/ 10 reps 45 lb plate raise
205 x 3
240 x 5
280 x 5
SS w/ 7,7,6,5 reps pull ups
315 x 5
240 x 10 x 2
240 x 10 x 2 (no SS…struggling)
240 x 10 (SS…nutted up a bit)

Finished the workout sore as bawlz and worn out, but not beat down. The Sunday beers got to me a bit and the physical work I did all weekend building my deck made me kinda unevenly sore. I think I’m gonna cut a foot lift for my work boots as well, the heel lift just ain’t cuttin’ it. Table tennis tonight and we’ll see how I recover before bench day tomorrow. \m/ (-_-) \m/

11/12/19 Bench Day

Thanks to a dead battery in my smoke detector (AT 1:00 AM), I trained today on 3 hours of sleep. Couple that with a grindy workout yesterday morning and 2.5 hours of hard table tennis training last night and I was in some pain this morning. Got up and got some water down, then a Reign energy drink and my usual candy corn. Agile 8 (ouch) and box jumps to warm up.

SS w/ chest supported DB rows (mid incline)
45 x 5
95 x 5
120 x 5
SS w/ DB lateral raises
145 x 3
170 x 5
SS w/ 1 leg squats
190 x 5
220 x 5


170 x 10
No SS
170 x 10 x 4

This was a better workout than I deserved, given my sleep, but I’m happy with it. Bench moved well and my body did its best to work as a single unit. Also managed to get the session done in 45 minutes without rushing, which was cool. Melatonin and passionflower/chamomile tea at 8 tonight. Kiss my ass, Sandman.

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At least this didn’t happen before your squats yesterday.

True, but I’d almost rather have it happen pre-squat/table tennis day instead of that night. I’m one sore mofo today since I didn’t recover much -_-

I had my InBody assessment today and it was…interesting. I lost 6.5 pounds - 2.5 fat, 2 muscle (dammit), and 2 water. Dietitian at work said I’m doing well getting into a caloric deficit but I dropped protein too low in the process. So I’ll be making sure I hit 200g protein a day from now on and we’ll see what happens.

As an aside, I averaged 2 gallons of water a day for about the last 3 years. I also have high blood pressure and am on Losartan for it. Last appointment doc asked how much water I drank and was shocked when I said 2 gallons. He told me I’m making my blood pressure worse and diluting my electrolytes, and that I should drop to 1 gallon a day. So far I’m making that change and feeling better, blood pressure looks good as well. Anyway, InBody form below:

11/14/19 Deadlift Day

Motivation a little low, little tired, otherwise all good. Normal PWO protocol.

SS w/ ab wheel rollouts
135 x 5
175 x 5
215 x 3
SS w/ DB incline bench
255 x 5
295 x 5
SS w/ DB rear lateral on low incline bench
330 x 5


SS w/ DB curl
255 x 10
No SS
255 x 10 x 4

Main work felt good today, as did assistance. I pushed assistance a little harder than normal and will see if it hurts my recovery at all. I’m still switching between sumo and conventional for supplemental, but I’ll probably drop conventional deads for awhile. It’s just too easy for my hips to shift and all my weight to end up on my left side. I don’t have any problems like that with sumo and would rather feel OK after a deadlift session than feel like I’m leaning at a 45-degree angle.

11/15/19 Press Day

Actually got 8 hours of sleep. Awake enough to lift without caffeine, so that’s cool.

SS w/ chin ups - 10, 10, 5 - First time ever getting multiple sets of 10, definitely happy with that
45 x 5
60 x 5
75 x 3
SS w/ 1 leg squats
90 x 5
100 x 5
115 x 5
No SS
90 x 5
Push Ups
1 x 25

I wasn’t tired for this workout, but I wasn’t full awake either. This is exactly why my sleep sweet spot is 6-7 hours. 8 hours is just harder to wake up from for some reason. Anyway, training session went fine. I’m starting to miss the PR sets and am excited to get to the anchor for this program and push the main lifts more.

11/18/19 Squat Day

Up at 4 AM and felt well-rested and ready to go. Did the usual caffeine/theanine, candy corn, Agile 8, and 2 x 5 jumps. I did wake up Saturday with my shoulders and hips at a 90-degree angle to each other, despite sleeping with a pillow between my knees. It hurt to unload groceries, but by Sunday I felt OK. More on this below…

SS w/ hanging leg lifts
45 x 5
175 x 5
210 x 5
SS w/ DB seated press (no back support)
245 x 3
280 x 5
315 x 5
SS w/ Pull Ups - 10, 8, 6, 5
350 x 5


315 x 5 x 3
No SS
315 x 5

When I stood up to do my final set at 315, something moved in my back that felt a little odd. Then I tried to unrack the weight and it hurt pretty bad, so I cut it and didn’t do the set. I tweak my back, on average, 4 times a year and need a chiropractor trip to fix it. This is one of those times. Luckily, by now, I’ve learned not to freak out about it when it happens and I’m only slightly annoyed that it made me miss a set. Hopefully I’ll get an appointment today and put it behind me. Other than the tweak I felt strong today and was happy with the way the weight moved.

11/19/19 Bench Day

SQUAT DAY ADDENDUM - by 10 AM my back hurt so bad I was just about unable to walk. By 2 PM I was nauseous from the pain. Bowel/bladder function definitely affected, wouldn’t say impaired, though. Chiropractor was able to help immensely but still had decent pain last night, mostly driven by any form of spinal extension.

Back to bench day. Up at 4 AM and my back was cranky, but loosened up with movement. Normal PWO protocol except subbed in stair push-offs for jumps to save back. Put hands on 3rd stair, shove off to standing with rigid torso. Explosive but much easier on my back.

SS w/ chest supported DB rows x 15
45 x 5
120 x 5
SS w/ curls x 10
145 x 5
SS w/ 45 lb plate raises x 10, 10, 5
170 x 3
195 x 5
220 x 5
SS w/ 1 free-standing 1 leg squats x 15/leg
245 x 5


220 x 5
No SS
220 x 5 x 4

Got the work done. The weight felt heavy and my back fucking hurt a time or 12, but that’ll happen sometimes. The pain actually helped remind me to squeeze my glutes and mid-back more, which kept me in the groove better. The sets at 220 felt really light after the 245 set. I’m inching close to a PR here, I think my best set of 5 was either 250 or 255 TNG. Hoping to hit that paused now. Likely going to schedule another chiro appointment for tomorrow (off day) to see if I can try and get this deadlift session done on Thursday.

11/20/19 Off Day

I took it easy and got in another chiropractor appointment. Fasted til lunch and kept carbs low-ish. After the chiro appointment I did McGill’s big 3 and it helped a whole lot, pretty instantly too. Obliques for me are non-existent so I’m gonna make a point to do the big 3 everyday through at least the rest of the year and see where it gets me.

11/21/19 Deadlift Day

Up at 4:30 and did my normal pre-workout routine. I was very tempted to push this day off to Friday and Press today, but decided to stay the course. I was able to get back to my box jumps for an explosive movement, so had a good start.

SS w/ 10 ab wheel rollouts
135 x 5
175 x 5
215 x 5
SS w/ 60 lbs x 10 incline dumbbell bench
255 x 3
295 x 5
330 x 5
SS w/ 12 lbs x 15 chest supported rear lateral raises
380 x 5


330 x 5
SS w/ 30 lbs x 10 curls
330 x 5 x 2
No SS
330 x 5 x 2

I was happy with this workout. Back was tender so I took everything a little slower and made sure I braced extra hard. Probably should do that anyway…lesson learned. I tried pushing the assistance a little harder weight-wise and it didn’t affect the main work, we’ll see how it does with my recovery.

On a side note, I think I tear my back up mostly because I tend to tilt my pelvis forward rather than keep my lordotic arch in my low-back. @chris_ottawa @MarkKO @whang @Pinkylifting @T3hPwnisher @dagill2 do you guys see anything in the squat/deadlift/press videos that looks like it coulda caused some vulnerability in my low back?

Absolutely, if back health is a concern, and probably even if its not, treating more reps with the respect you give heavy weights is generally to your benefit.

Eh lots of words there and honestly im not sure what you mean. Are you saying you tilt your pelvis to create more arch or less arch in your lower back? Too much arch in any direction is probably not ideal, but nothing in your video makes it look like your back is in an unsafe position.

Your hips do start pretty far away from the bar for what looks like Sumo? Is it quite a narrow stance?

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