Getting Back In Gear

Dear T Nation,

Back training after a long time out. Inflexible. Unfit. Weak.

Started with some bar squats today. 2 sets of 20.
A few curls with the bar.
Some stretches.
Protein shake.

Somewhere down the road I want to get back to my prime of a 170kg bench. I’ll be pleased the next time I handle 100kg though. Want to place more emphasis on squat and deadlift which didn’t really grow last training phase while the bench rocketed.

Give us some basic stats: male, female, age, years of experience, weight, body fat? Thanks!


Excuse me. 32yo male. 6 or 7 years experience overall. Been training since I was about 16. 210lb bodyweight. Natural. Bodyfat a bit tubby possibly 25%. Not really a bodybuilder, more of a weightlifter.

Upper body workout done today. Bent Over Rows and Bench Press. Just with the bar. 30 reps for 3 sets each. Felt the heart pumping which was good. I’m not sure whether I want to go for stamina workouts or strength workouts. I should probably get myself a treadmill.

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Congrats on getting back in the game!

Thank you ChickenLittle! Good to feel some soreness in the legs again at least, makes you feel like you are doing something.

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Long time no post. Been back training since last month. I wanted to start writing down what I am doing because it will feel good.

My exercise consists mainly of playing football twice a week and working out with weights at the gym. These days my main lift is the bench press - I sometimes squat and have basically given up the deadlift. There are multiple reasons I have given up the deadlift. It went up just a few kgs to 225kg during a period when my bench went up nearly 50kg to nearly 170kg. I was training bench a little more frequently than deadlift as I was also squatting, but I was disappointed with the progress. My form was giving out too and getting uglier and uglier and I thought there was just too high a chance I’d do myself an injury.

I think I’m getting enough stimulus for the lower body playing football twice a week. Football is stamina and it doesn’t go hand in hand with weightlifting. Still, I get a lot of satisfaction from bench pressing, and this is my main lift in the gym besides lateral pulldowns and chinups to balance the planes out.

I have been lifting in the same way I always used to, working up to a 1RM and then dropping the weight back down for the working set.

As of today I did 132.5kg on the bench press for a single. I then did 90kg for 15 and 90kg for 10 as my working sets before the doctor rang and I had to finish up. I have put on about 1/2 stone in bodyweight - I was sitting at a happy 15 stone 9 before going to hospital. After a long stay in hospital my bodyweight is 16 stone 3. I have tried weight loss pills and they didn’t work. I would like to get my hands on some epehedra. It’s tough to lose weight. My body is good at gaining muscle as I have (though never tested) a suspected high natural testosterone level.

I did some chinups this afternoon at home. And mowed the grass.

As for my ambitions, I would like to reach PB level on bench press perhaps in spring next year. I’m 32.5kg off my PB at the moment. If you assume I can workout once every 2 days and add a kilo each time that means I’m 65 days off.

I sometimes feel like working out twice in a day. I haven’t done yet.

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Another day, another dollar. 135kg on the bench press for a single. Then 100kg for 8, 7, 7. The lateral pulldown was in use so I’m going to do some chinups at home.

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Don’t allow yourself to get into the “I play/do this so I don’t need to train legs” mentality. Playing football isn’t a reason to not train legs, it’s a reason to train legs. There is not a single top level footballer (be it soccer or American football) that doesn’t train their legs. If you’re sick of your deadlift progressing slowly, switch to the trap bar. Or a combination of some of the other great exercises that hit your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

A stronger leg is a faster leg. A stronger leg is a more durable leg. You talk about stamina, but the stronger the leg the less your body has to work to move them. Pair that with endurance work and your game will improve.

Absolutely crushed it today. Started off with lateral pulldowns. Then did 100kg for 14! On the bench press. Then 12. Then 5. After the set of 14 I went for 140kg for a single which I got. Very chuffed.

100 for 14 is a PB and a big jump from last time when I did 8. My previous PB was 100 for 12.

A mixed day, yesterday. I did 100kg for 16 on the bench which was great, and a PB. I then failed at 140kg for a single. It’s strange that back when I was benching 167.5kg for a single I could only get 12 reps at 100. Now, it’s 16, but 140kg is my max. I have always found this when coming back to it after a while being out, that the reps come back nicely, while the 1RM is always more shy.

Lower body today. Did 79kg for 6, 7 and 7 on the squat. Softly softly. Felt good to be doing the lower body as I’ve been neglecting that a bit.