T Nation

From Shit to Suck

Haven’t touched a weight in almost a month. Getting back into the swing of things via a full body routine called GreySkull LP.

Before the layoff, I was doing an upper/lower split, which I posted here for a critique. I will get back to it eventually.

Goals: Size and the strength that comes with it.

Stats: 5’11, 150 lbs and 18 years old. Wide clavicles and narrow hips suggest good zyzzthetic potential.

Movements I’m focusing on (Not advanced enough to focus on muscle groups):

  1. Dumbbell Bench Press
  2. Dumbbell Row
  3. Dumbbell Overhead Press
  4. Weighted Chin up
  5. Hack Squat Machine
  6. Deadlift

I’m not doing barbell squats because I’m a 4 legged spider. For the better part of 2013, I have been trying to implement them in the form of High Bar Squats, Low Bar Squats, Front Squats, Zercher Squat, Box squats and , finally, hip belt squats. None of them lended themselves well to heavy loading, primarily due to my pelvis being so high up my body. When I did zerchers, the first half was an elbow deadlift and the second half was me humping the bar.

When I got to hip belt squats, they were semi-okay, but I thought I might as well just do leg presses. First time I did them got an amazing leg pump, ‘felt better than cumming’. I put my feet high and wide on the pads, due to long legs, so it gives an overall effect on the legs, not just the quads, which is good. Hack Squat Machine it is.

Routine: GreySkull LP

A
DB Bench 2x5, 1x5+
DB Rows 3x6-8
Hack Squat Machine 2x 5, 1x 5+

B
DB Press 2x5, 1x5+
Weighted Chins 2x5, 1x5+
Deadlift 1x5+

A
DB Bench 2x5, 1x5+
DB Rows 3x6-8
Hack Squat Machine 2x5, 1x5+

Bench/Rows combo and Press/Chins combo are alternated every workout. Hack Squats and deadlifts remain on same days.
I make good progress on chins doing 5s. Row form gets nasty when reps get lower than 6.
Increase by 5 lbs every workout. (Microload Dumbbells)
5+ Sets are all out sets. When the last set is less than 5, deload by 10%.
First Workout will be in the next 4 days. Haven’t got proper(any) sleep this week due to exams.
Exercise selection looks too fucked up for a full body routine, but these are the ones I’m comfortable with and can make progress on. Theoretically, this should get me stronger. We’ll see.


Do you have the power?

Fuck yeah.

26/1/2014
Reintroducing the movements:

Weight listed is of a single dumbbell

DB Bench:
45 x 5
45 x 5
45 x 10

DB Row:
50 x 5
50 x 5
50 x 10

Cable Leg Press (Only this workout: Community Gym)
Full Stack x 20

Felt like prehab, but good.

28/1/2014

Only did one all out set of weighted chin ups because of certain circumstances. The actual workout will be done tomorrow. Since I train 3x a week, this is not a problem.

Weighted Chin Ups:

BW x 8
10 lbs x 5
20 lbs x 3
30 lbs x 7 legit reps and 6 manually assisted reps (again, only today)

29/1/2014

DB seated OHP:
35x5
35x5
35x10

Weighted Chins: done yesterday

Deadlifts:
135x5
185x5
205x3
225x5
225x5

Farmer’s Walks: (experimenting)
70 lb dumbbell in each hand:
1 x 24 meters
3 x 12 meters

Deadlifts felt weird.

30/1/2014

Farmer’s Walks:
10 x (70 lbs per hand for 45 meters)

31/1/2014

Dumbbell Bench Press:
50x5
50x5
50x10

DB Row:
55 x 3 x 8

Hack Squat Machine:
120 x 5
120 x 5
120 x 15

2/3/2014

DB Overhead Press:
37.5x5
37.5x5
37.5x10

Weighted Chin Up:
25x5
25x5
25x8

Hack Squat Machine:
135x5
135x5
135x12

Lateral Raises:
15x15
15x15

I like your very detailed zercher description. Dan John always advocates the goblet squats for those of lanky qualifications.

5/2/2014

DB Bench:
52.5x5
52.5x5
52.5x8

DB Row:
57.5 x 3 x 8

Hack Squat Machine:
142.5x5
142.5x5
142.5x12

7/2/2014

DB Overhead Press:
40x5
40x5
40x10

Weighted Chin ups:
27.5x5
27.5x5
27.5x8

Hack Squat Machine
150x5
150x5
150x12

10/2/2014

DB Bench
55x5
55x5
55x8

DB Rows
60 x 3 x 8

Hack Squat Machine
157.5x5
157.5x5
Realized it was putting too much pressure on my lower back. Could’ve done like 20

14/2/2014

DB Overhead Press
42.5x5
42.5x5
42.5x8

Weighted Chin Up:
30x5
30x5
30x6

Deadliift:
225x8
275x1
Just fucking around at this point, will have to overload progressively to get back to previous strength (highest calculated max was 330, never did a true maximal effort set under 5 reps, nor do I think I should. Last set was done because I had time to kill and couldn’t leave at the moment.)

Introducing Bulgarian squats into my program. These will be done as the main squat variation, machines never did it for me anyway. Doing a full body program entirely consisting of free weights makes me happy.

I do a couple sets of bulgarian split squats every day; just to learn balance and gain coordination. In the beginning, I couldn’t do a single rep without misgrooving. Now, I misgroove on the 6th rep. The reps are shaky, but it took Ben Bruno 3 weeks so get the hang of it, so I’m not totally discouraged.

N.B: I am, by Bret Contrera’s definition, a brittle lifter. Still a lifter though…

[quote]drewc64 wrote:
I like your very detailed zercher description. Dan John always advocates the goblet squats for those of lanky qualifications.[/quote]

I can rep out the 100 pounders pretty good, which are the heaviest I have access to. I’ll try to get the hang of split squats for now. I hope this is it.

Hand + knee injury have hindered lifting for the past 2 weeks. Used the time to regress, see what worked for me thus far and create plans to follow for the long run. This will make sure I don’t program hop. Total is 3 routines. Starts with what I’m on.
1 GreySkull LP fullbody
2 Upper Lower Split
3 Push Pull Legs Split

From beginner to advanced. I will never really delve into bodybuilding body part splits; I want to train each muscle at least every 5 days.
Routines are as follows:

RPT = Reverse Pyramid Training. 3-4 sets: 1x6-8, 1x8-10, 1x10-12, 1x12-15

  1. GreySkull LP

Day 1
Dumbbell Bench Press 2x5 1x5+
Dumbbell Row 3x6-8
Bulgarian Squat 2x5 1x5+

Day 2
Dumbbell Seated Overhead Press 2x5 1x5+
Weighted Chin Up 2x5 1x5+
Deadlift 1x5+

Day 3
Dumbbell Bench Press 2x5 1x5+
Dumbbell Row 3x6-8
Bulgarian Squat 2x5 1x5+

  1. Upper Lower Split

Upper 1 (25 Sets)
Dumbbell Bench Press 3-4x6-15 RPT
Dumbbell Row 3-4x6-8
Dumbbell Incline Press 3x10-12
Pull Up 60 Reps
Extension/Curl 2x10-15
Lateral Raise/Face Pull 2x10-15

Lower 1 (26 Sets)
Bulgarian Squat 3-4x6-15 RPT
Romanian Deadlift 3-4x6-8
Leg Press 3x10-12
Leg Curl 3x10-12
Glute Bridges 3x10-12
Straight Leg Calf Raise 5x5
Lateral Raise/Face Pull 2x10-15

Upper 2 (22 Sets)
Dumbbell Overhead Press 3-4x6-15 RPT
Weighted Chin Up 3x6-10 RPT 1xF
Dumbbell Incline Press 3x10-12
Cable Rows 3x10-12
Extension/Curl 2x10-15
Lateral Raise/Face Pull 2x10-15

Lower 2 (20 Sets)
Deadlift 1x5
Belt Squat 3-4x6-8
Leg Curl 3x10-12
Leg Extension 3x10-12
Glute Bridges 3x10-12
Straight Leg Calf Raise 5x5
Lateral Raise/Face Pull 2x10-15

  1. Push/Pull/Legs

Push (19 Sets)
Dumbbell Bench Press 3-4x6-15 RPT
Dumbbell Shallow Incline Press 3x10-12
Dumbbell Overhead Press 3x8-12
Pec-Deck 3x10-12
Dumbbell Extensions 3x10-12
Lateral Raises 3x8-15

Pull (24 Sets)
Reeves Deadlift 2x5-8 RPT
Weighted Chin-Up 3x6-10 RPT 1xF
Dumbbell Row 3-4x6-8
Wide Grip Pull-down 3x10-12
Cable Row 3x10-12
Dumbbell Curls 3x10-12
Face-pulls 3x10-12
Lateral Raises 3x8-15

Legs (25 Sets)
Bulgarian Squat 3-4x6-15 RPT
Romanian Deadlift 3-4x6-8
Leg Press 3x10-12
Leg Curl 3x10-12
Glute Bridges 3x10-12
Straight Leg Calf Raise 5x5
Lateral Raise 3x8-15

Critiques are welcome, if you had the patience to read all of this.

I really like your GreySkull LP workout, just the basics.

  1. GreySkull LP

Day 1
Dumbbell Bench Press 2x5 1x5
Dumbbell Row 3x6-8
Bulgarian Squat 2x5 1x5

Day 2
Dumbbell Seated Overhead Press 2x5 1x5
Weighted Chin Up 2x5 1x5
Deadlift 1x5

Day 3
Dumbbell Bench Press 2x5 1x5
Dumbbell Row 3x6-8
Bulgarian Squat 2x5 1x5

I think you’d be better served by transitioning into the 5/3/1 triumvirate instead of going to an upper/lower or push/pull split. Stick with basic and simple then hit PR after PR!
You said you wanted size and the strength that comes with it. That sounds like 5/3/1 to me!
You’re 18 so your strength and size will be growing at a shocking rate, if you take in enough protein and carbs.
I’m still geting my diet dialed in and I’m making some decent gains on 5/3/1, even at the ripe old age of 34!

531 actually sounds very appealing, but the problem is I can’t squat or overhead press properly. My left arm has limited overhead range of motion, so the seated DB OHP is actually a very steep incline press. I think it’s a tight left lat; thoracic mobility is on point. I’m working on it, currently. I will definitely do OHPs if this issue is resolved. Regarding the squats, I spent a little bit less than a year trying to implement them one way or another, trying many variations. It was a waste of time. I could’ve made good strength gains in that time period. My upper body, from hip to shoulder, is basically the length of my femurs. If 531 can work with Bulgarian Squats and Seated Overhead Presses, then I’m all for it.

By the way, 34 is 6 years younger than the general prime age of men, which is 40. Also, you’re already very strong, judging by your log, so you’re not late for anything. Thanks for the advice man. I hope to reach your level one day. Good luck.

Thanks for the compliment!
I think you can program 5/3/1 around your mobility issues. For a while, due to a whingey knee, I had substituted leg presses for squats as the core lift and I made gains in both size and strength. I documented my squatting struggles in the early pages of my log. It had gotten to the point where my OHP was nearly equal to my squat. :confused:
I still can’t squat heavy ATG due to low hip and ankle mobility on top of the knee issue. Even if I have to start over with an empty bar I don’t care, it’s worth it. I work on it all the time.
It’s a solid program as written, the only things I add to it on a regular basis are calf raises and lateral raises. All of the muscle groups that don’t have an exercise dedicated specifically to them get hammered with ancillary stimulation on AT LEAST one day each week.

Do what you can to program around your mobility, it’s truly an amazing program!