T Nation

Getting Big and Strong

Posted on another forum, longtime reader here, new poster, figure a journal should start things off.

Some background info on me to get this log rolling. All my life I have been athletic, but on the small side. Short 5’7’'ish, lean, id define myself as an ecto. Played baseball and football for a longtime, 3 knee operations led to 2 years off basically all athletics, then I picked up lacrosse goalie and had a blast.

Lifted off and on for a few months here and a few months there over 3 years roughly ages 16-18. Would be consistent for a few months but sports would come up and lifting took a back seat, although I always made great gains when I did lift, noobie gains every time u start are a real confidence boost. College came, drank a lot of beer and ate a lot of pizza, got out of shape and was 150lbs skinny fat and weak, and that was in 1 semester! Binge drinking 5 nights a week, no training, and eating horrible food can take its toll on the body quickly.

Any who, picked up boxing and really enjoyed it, did so from January 08 until 3 weeks ago. Had my first fight in the Gloves and won! Yet I also cracked a rib which sucked a whole lot. So I had to withdraw from the remainder of the tournament, rib is starting to heal somewhat, only thing that seems to bother it is intense rotational exercising or sneezing of all things.

So now I am getting back into lifting, this time hopefully for more than a few months. My diet is pretty solid, mostly because of boxing I eat healthy. Id say 80% of my calories come from Chicken, Eggs, Pork, Milk, Pasta, Oatmeal, Rice, Peanut Butter, Almonds, and peanuts. I eat a good amount of fruits and veggies, mostly cucumbers, green peppers, broccoli, olives, carrots, apples, bananas, melon, and plums. I don’t go nuts over eating, if i feel like a greasy slice of pizza and a burger I’ll have it, but I enjoy eating the healthy foods I do eat.

Wow that all took a lot longer than expected, and heres my workout routine. I’m going to be doing full body 3x per week, intially consisting of just 4 exercises. Deadlift 5x5, Front Squat 3x8, T-bar 3x8, and DB shoulder press 3x8. This comes from the line of thinking of each whole body workout should consist of Deadlift variant, Squat variant,a Push, and a Pull. Normally I would do Bench or Military Press for my push, and weighted chins for my pull but my rib still seems to be a bit uncomfortable doing all of those, so DB shoulder press and T-bar rows will suffice for now.

As stated earlier, my knee injuries really killed my squats earlier in my lifting campaign (basically I was a pussy and told myself I shouldn’t squat because of my knee). So starting squats will be my weak point. Didn’t weigh myself this morning, will post next time. When I post numbers I will only post what I consider work sets, although each exercise I do warm up sets, just to get the motion down, and my body ready to go.

Anyway here are the numbers for today:
Deadlift :225x5,245x5,245x3,245x3,245x3
Front Sqaut: 95x8, 95x8, 115x8
T-bar: 95x8, 95x8, 95x8
DB Press: 35x8, 35x6,35x5

As you can see I’m starting squats real light, getting my form down, not trying to overdue it. As for deadlifts, I will probably hear I started too heavy. Honestly my back and hamstrings felt fine, I was having serious grip issues. I am used to using chalk, and no chalk was a big difference. I may look into straps, but once summer arrives I will be able to use chalk again so that should help.

Anyways this is my journal, any thoughts are appreciated, and hope this can entertain some people as I make my journey.

Morning weight 148.6

Front Squat 115x8,115x8,115x8
Deadlift 225x3,225x3,225x3,225x3
T-bar 100x8,100x8,100x8
DB Press 35x8, 35x8,35x8

I changed Deadlift from alternate grip to double overhand, thats the reason I went light. I plan on getting straps in about 2 weeks, until then my forearm strength should not hinder me at all.

Everything else felt good today, next workout squats wil increase 10 lbs, T-bar and Dbpress will increase 5 lbs. I will keep deads the same and shoot for 4 or 5 reps

Good luck as you start lifting. I started at 140lbs at 5’11, so i know what it’s like to be light.

I wouldn’t wait for straps. I just go alternate grip for working sets, double overhand for shrugs and warmups.

T-bar-is that the weight on the end of the bar,as in 2 plates and a ten?

You’re trying to get big, just remember that won’t happen without a calorie surplus. Try keeping a food log to track your eating. It’s easy to think you’re eating a ton and really not be. I’m eating 4000 cals daily and progress is decent.

good luck again!

Yea I have straps at home, I’m in college now so I’ll pick them up as soon as I get home over break.

Yea the t-bar weight is 2 45’s and a 10, 100lbs added, should have made that clear.

Yea I guess the title is a little misleading, just coming out of boxing I’m very lean. I have no issues with gaining some fat. I guess you could say my ‘goal’ is 160 around the end of summer. At 6 months that is only 12 lbs from where I am now, so .5 lbs a week shouldn’t be too difficult, just like u said gotta make sure I get the food down. Thanks again for sub’in to my journal!

No problem. If you’re just starting lifting, I would say that’s a pretty realistic weight goal. I was super lean too. I’m now 30lbs heavier with slightly higher bodyfat, but i feel so much better and the poundages are way up. Just stick with it, keep the food down, and get a lot of rest and you’ll do fine.

Front Squat: 125x8, 125x8, 125x8
Dead lift: 225x5, 225x5, 225x5, 225x5
T-Bar: 105x8, 105x7, 105x7
DB Press: 40x7, 40x6, 40x6

Squats felt great, fairly light, 135 next week should go up smooth. Dead lift grip was good, Only started to fatigue in the last set. After a few more workouts, I should be fully accustomed to the double overhand. T-bar actually felt real heavy for some reason, maybe because of the Deads before. I’m going stay at 105 and do them after Dbell press next week, and give my back more time to recover. DB press went well considering the weight increase. I’m pretty sure I left a good form rep in the tank on the first and second set, so most likely I will hit 8 reps on all sets next week.

Front Squat: 135x5, 135x5, 135x5, 135x5
Dead lift: 235x5, 235x3, 235x3, 235x3
DB Press: 40x8, 40x8, 40x6
T-Bar: 105x8, 105x8, 105x8

Switching squats to sets of five after discussion with some fairly educated folk. I was told as weight gets up with 8reps, often times the upper back fatigues before legs. Deadlift grip killed me today, first set felt great, after that grip was garbage. Straps in a week! DB press felt good, just kinda burned out on last set, oh well, I’ll hit 8 reps next workout. T-Bar felt great, will bump up 5lbs next workout.

any thoughts, critiques, suggestions?

Front Squat: 145x5, 145x5, 145x5, 145x5
Dead lift: 235x5, 235x4, 235x4, 235x3
DB Press: 40x8, 40x8, 40x8
T-Bar: 110x8, 110x7, 110x7

Front Squats felt nice and easy, 155 next workout. Dead lift grip is still killing my progress. DB press felt good, will go to 45’s next workout. I didn’t get 8 reps for 3 sets on T-Bar but I was squeezing hard and long at the top and they felt great. I’ll keep those at 110 next workout.

Morning weight: 150.6

Front Squat: 155x5, 155x5, 155x5, 155x5
Dead Lift: 235x5, 235x4, 235x4, 235x4
DB Press: 45x7, 45x6, 45x6
T-Bar: 110x8, 110x8, 110x8

Minus Deads everything felt great, squats felt real light. Going on spring break for about a week, so next workout will most likely be the 19th. But on the bright side that workout will be using straps on deads!

Front Squat: 135x5, 155x5, 165x5, 165x5, 165x5
Dead Lift: 165x5, 245x5, 275x5, 275x5
Bench: 145x8, 145x8, 145x8
Barbell Row: 135x5, 135x4, 135x3

Why do you do the same routine over and over?

[quote]GetErDone88 wrote:
any thoughts, critiques, suggestions?[/quote]

It looks like you’re doing the same movements within the same rep ranges EOD or so.

You might want to switch that up a little bit in an effort to give your body AND mind a break. I think most people on this board would go nuts doing the same routine EOD.

Given that you want to get big and strong, I’d focus on the strong part and make sure you’re eating excess calories and that should help contribute to the big part.

Is there a reason you’re sticking to this same routine right now?

The same routine EOD is temporary. As I’m just getting back into lifting, my compound movements are not even close to a plateu, and linear progression should hopefully continue for a little while longer.

Once I begin to stall on these lifts I will switch it up to an AB type format. Squats will be one day, followed by a push, a pull, and some accessory.

The other day will be deadlift, a push different from squat day, and a pull different from squat day, then some accessory.

I do agree same routine EOD would make me go a little nuts after a couple of months, especially with heavy squats and deads it would wear me out. But for now the weights are moving up easy, and aren’t heavy enough yet to really murder my joints.

Most likely, I will swtich to the AB around May, but it will moreso depend on when linear progression seems to halt.