From Humble Beginnings...

… to hopefully powerlifting one day!

Hi all,
Just starting a log so I have somewhere to write all my stuff down and keep track, as well as the motivation and criticism from other members!
I would like to start powerlifting so I am focusing on strength mainly.
A few stats:

17 years old
Body fat: around 12%
I started lifting seriously at the start of 2010, January 1st, weighing 128lbs.

These following entries are from the past week so you guys can see roughly where I’m at with my journey for strength. As you’ll see, I follow an upper/lower split that I designed, incorporating both max effort/heavy days and reps days. I would like some input on this program so I can tweak it.

Looking forward to input and constructive criticism.

24th Oct

ME lower


80kg x3
100kg x2
110kg x1
120kg x1
122.5kg x1 - PR - Went up easy

Back extension - ramped to 80kg 3x10

GHR - 5x10 - i do these on the lat pull down machine with bodyweight

Calf Raises - 50kg 4xF - I do these on the smith (this is the only thing I do on the smith haha)

26th Oct

ME upper

1 arm rows
32kgx1, 34kgx2, 36kgx2 - PR

70kg 5x5

Lat pull down (normally this is weighted chins but I forgot my dipping belt)
91.5kg 5x5

Military Press
45kg 5x5 - PR

Calf Raises
50kg 3xF

28th Oct

Reps lower

70kgx20 - This is a set of breathing squats - I have seen good size gains after a couple of months so I’m keeping them in.
100kg x1 - PR

4x10 bodyweight

Calf Raises

60kg-1xF 70kg-2xF 80kg 2xF

30th Oct

Reps upper

BB row:
60kgx4 PR
40kg 1x15


60kg 4x10 - PR
40kg 1x15

3xF - these were shit - I couldn’t get into them like the other exercises. I think the BB rows took a lot out of me

Military Press
37.5kg 4x10

Calf Raises
60kg 4xF

1st Nov

ME lower


80kg x5
100kg x3
110kg x1
120kg x1
130kg x1 - PR - went up fairly easy
100kg x6
60kg x3

Good Mornings:
30kg 1x10
40kg 4x10

Back extension - I like this machine, I can go quite heavy on it and really squeeze hams and glutes on it as well
60kg 1x10
90kg 4x10

4x10 - bodyweight

3rd Nov

ME upper


40kg 5x1
50kg 5x1
60kg 5x1
70kg 5x1
80kg x1
85kg x1
87.5 xF (spotter error)
87.5kg x1 - PR - This was a real grinder but it shows me how much further I need to go to get my 100kg bench.

Rack press:

80kg 2x5 - rest/pause sets

1 arm rows:

34kg 3x5
36kg 2x5

Military Press:

47.5kg 5x5 - PR

Weighted Chins:

3x5, Bodyweight +20kg plate on belt
(normally I get 6 or 7 reps on these but I can’t get into them recently. Might have to swap them out)

5th Nov

Reps Lower

Breathing squats:
warm up - bar
50kg x5
60kg x5
70kg x3

75kg x20

Rope push downs (I did arms cos I was waiting for someone)
18.75 x lots
21.25 x lots

EZ curls
30kg 4x8

DB walking lunges
40kg (2x20kg DBs) 4x6 per leg

Back extension
60kg 1x10
90kg 1x10
100kg 3x15,12,12

Leg curls
30kg 1x10
40kg 3x8
35kg held for time

4x10 bodyweight

Calf Raises
50kg 1xF
60kg 2xF

Long day today, waiting for someone to arrive, ended up as a 3 hour long training session but I felt oddly good throughout it, where I would expect to be shattered. The breathing squats destroyed me for about an hour but I got back into my session for my posterior chain work.

7th Nov

Reps Upper

Incline DB press:
48kg 5xF (around 10 reps)
40kg 1xF

BB rows:
60kg 4x10 - no rest/pause reps unlike last week - last 3 reps of last set were cheat reps

Military Press:
37.5kg 4x10 - less rest between sets than last week - 4 or 5 total reps were push press, 1 was a jerk

High Row Machine:
60kg 1x12
65kg 3xF (around 12 reps) I have swapped out chins for this machine - really nice motion

Fly Machine:
65kg 3xF (around 10 reps)

Cheat/forced reps were only when I couldn’t complete another rep with normal form.
I’m still ridiculously sore from Friday night’s session - every leg muscle has been on fire for 48 hours.
From now on, I’ve lost the use of barbells and dumbbells over 26kg as my school gym is completely shit and doesn’t have them. I can still use barbells and shit on the weekends when I come home so all is not totally lost.

9th Nov:

Short session today as I didn’t have much time. Just a posterior chain day.

Natural GHR:


supersetted with

Romanian DL
1x12, 3x20

This coming Sunday my goal is to pull 140kg so I’m getting prepared for that.

11th Nov

Heavy Upper

I am now in my school gym which is WANK so I have to improvise.

Weighted Dips: (done to failure)
bodyweight 10,12,15 (warm ups)
BW +20kg: 14
BW +26kg: 8,6,8,7

Kroc Rows:
26kg x50 - 5 sec rest at reps 30 and 40

Farmer’s walks:
2x26kg dumbbells
30m x2, 45m x3, 60m x1

Forearms and triceps were utterly finished after this. I’m feeling good for my 140kg pull on Sunday and I know that I’ll be successful.

Today I have soreness in my upper back that I’ve never really experienced before. This is really good as I’m having slight trouble building thickness to go with my width. Since this came from the high rep Kroc rows, I’m going to keep these in cos I feel they will be beneficial. However I think that as I progress with my deadlifts my thickness will increase anyway.
I’m resting today and tomorrow so I can be fresh for my 140kg pull. I’ll stick the video of it up on here.

Hopefully one of those works.

14th Nov:

60kg x6
80kg x5
100kg 3x1
120kg x1
140kg xF (double overhand and lost grip, switched to mixed grip)
140kg x1 - NAILED THE MOTHERFUCKER with a mixed grip

Good Mornings:
30kg 1x10
40kg 1x10
50kg 3x5

Back Extension machine:
100kg 3x12
110kg 1x12

bodyweight 3x10

Good job so far, man. Good luck!

Cheers mate, it’s good hearing that from another young lifter.

I had another shitty short session today, again making do with the limited weight available.
Also just got some liquid chalk so I was trying that out today. It’s great stuff.

16th Nov
Heavy Upper

Weighted Pull Ups:

2x8 BW
5x5 BW +20kg - last 2 reps of last set were forced reps

Incline DB Press:

52kg 2xF - I tried a slightly different technique, trying to replicate a barbell by tucking elbows slightly and pressing slightly outwards and it really hit my shoulders hard.

Hmm…I’ve heard of liquid chalk before. How is it different from regular chalk?

Have you ever used alcohol hand rub? It’s quite similar in that you squirt a little on your hands and rub around until it dries, then it basically leaves all the chalk residue on your hands, just like a normal chalk ball but without all the excess going everywhere and making a mess. It’s good for guys like me who lift in commercial gyms or a strict school gym. It’s good stuff and I would recommend picking some up. It’s really cheap as well, I got 250ml for about £6 (I guess about $8). Easier to store as well than a chalk ball.

18th Nov:


1 min bike to warm up

Leg press:
190kg 3x7 - this was the whole stack (on a cable leg press) with seat on closest setting, done in a squat style, ie. stance wide, legs high. I did this method because I want as much carry-over to my squat as possible without actually being able to squat at this gym.
Slight rest/pause to failure

Cable Machine squats - this was more for testing alternatives than anything else
70kg 1x10
80kg 2x5

3x10 BW

Leg Curls:
40kg 1x10
50kg 1x10
60kg 1x10 - last 2 forced.

Today my left shoulder is really painful in a bad way and hurts to lift it to parallel, so I’m not going to take any chances with it. I have no idea what’s caused it either, but weighted dips seem to make them ache (and not in the good way) so I may remove these for a bit and see how I feel. In addition, I’m going to take a week off upper body training but continue to hit my legs hard. I don’t want to train through an injury and potentially fuck it up long-term so I’m going to play it safe. Call me a pussy, whatever.

I’m trying to bring up my squat so it’s more in line with my bench and deadlift. I’m taking from this that my hips are strong compared to my quads, but I’m just hypothesising and I’m not going to do anything too drastic, just increase my heavy squat days and reduce heavy deadlift days.

21st Nov


5x3 85kg

Front squats (just wanted to try them)

1x3 60kg

Just a short session as I had no energy (and I was playing Brotherhood). I realised yesterday that I haven’t taken a deload week since ever, and I think due to other factors that this week is probably the best time to do it. I’m going to lay off the heavy weights and do a bit more cardio to keep my energy systems going and stop me getting winded walking up the hill lol.
Shoulder’s feeling a little better but I’m going to hold off it until at least Thursday.

23rd Nov


15 min cardio on bike - around 150bpm heart rate

Lots of stretching until I could comfortably sit in an arse to grass squat with minimal lower back rounding

A few bodyweight squats

Goblet squats
26kg 4x10 - varying dumbbell distance from body to play around with ab recruitment

More stretching of hamstrings, groin, pecs and quads

15 mins foam rolling - this was the first time I have ever really foam rolled. I rolled my quads (hurts like a bitch) hams, calves and lower back and I feel great after it so I’m going to invest in a roller for my room so I can roll whenever I feel like it.