T Nation

Gukl Training Journal

Ok, time to get accountable and get back to tracking my training properly. Spent a lot of time reading both the forums and articles on this site so decided to start my log here. I previously had a log on a more performance based smaller forum (adarq.org if anyone knows of it), but my training is now more focused around strength/size gain rather than improving my game/athletic ability (I played Basketball to a decent level in the UK for most of my teen years). I still do play albeit on a more recreational level so it is involved in my training. Some stats:

Age - 19
Height - 6’
Current weight - ~180lbs, I just spent the last 3ish months cutting down from a dirty stupid lazy bulk (upto 210lbs +), will maybe post photos sometime of the transformation. Used a Cyclical keto diet for most of this, with psmf thrown in at the very end.
Big Lifts:
Squat - 140KG x 2 (Parallel Box, I haven’t done free squats for a while due to hip issues)
Deadlift - 200kg
Bench - 95kg (weak as hell, my bench has always sucked, I think mainly because I never bothered with upper body much when I was training more for athletic performance)
Power Clean - 95kg

Training history wise, started off with starting strength a few years ago, did similar squat/deadlift based stuff, improved my athleticism dramatically (Much faster and dunking easily) had some injuries (mostly basketball related, dislocated ankle being worst) that backtracked my training. Also had some pretty intense study periods were training was partially neglected.

I’m now in med school here in the uk, about to start my second year, so I have a big interest in the anatomy/physiology of diet and training etc. Recently I’ve played with a bunch of different training types, ran the serge nubret pump training that was in an article here, ran 5/3/1 boring but big for a cycle, full body, upper/lower and body part splits, gvt…you could probably say I’m a bit of a program hopper.

Now, my main goals are to gain lean size and improve all my big lifts. In the next year I’d like to squat 180kg, pull 220kg and bench press 120kg. I have just over a month before I go back to uni, currently training with ‘HouPour’ who also just started a log on here. Since it’s a pretty short period I’m just going to train as it comes along, using a 5 day cycle ( Legs, Chest Back Shoulders/Arms Rest repeat). Long term, I plan to run 5/3/1 Boring but big, but this will be starting mid September once I’m done with freshers week round two.

Training sessions are pretty much going to be starting with going heavy on a big lift, then sets of 6-8 on some compound accessory stuff, some sets of 10-12 on more isolation work and I like to throw in a high rep set to finish stuff off at the end. Long

Diet wise, I want to stay lean, so no dirty bulking like I previously did. Currently I’d put my body fat under 10%, and I’d like to keep it that way or there abouts as much as possible. I’ve played around with IF/Carb backloading type stuff quite a bit, and plan to use carb backloading to gain some size now. Now while I’m at home my diet is pretty random, since I’m not buying the food but when I get more structured when I’m back at university I plan to have a daily diet of something like:

Wake - fast till 12 ish (maybe coffee/cream/cocnut oil)
Meal 1 - Eggs + Bacon
Meal 2 - Ground Beef + Cheese
TRAIN around 5pm ish
Post workout shake - protein + dextrose
Meal 3 - Chicken, potatoes/rice/
Meal 4 - Chicken, potatoes/rice followed by some kind of dessert/sweet to bring the carbs up.

Don’t track macros much but do occasionally to make sure I’m on the right kinda side of things, roughly aim for 1g protein/lb bw, fats are whatever tags along with the fatty meats/coconut oil (around .5-1g/lb bw and carbs will be adjusted as I experiment with carb backloading)

Sometimes meal 3/4 will be junkier, pizza etc…but not to the point I start gaining excessive fat. Off days I’ll be eating low carb.

I’m not going to set a Goal weight etc for the forseeable I just want to see progress in the weight room while maintaining a decent level of leaness. Long starting post, but wanted to get all the basics out there so I can get a good perspective of where I’m starting from.


BB Bench (first time in many months)
-bunch of warming up to get used to the movement again
-90kg x 1
-80kg x 8 x 3
Inc DB Bench
-55lbs x 3 x 8
-20kg X 3 x 8
Machine Fly (Not a fan of DB flys)
-no12 x 10, 8
-no10 x 10
High Cable Fly
-15kg x 12, 10kg x 12 (SLOOOOOOOOW)
Low Cable Fly
-5kg 2 x 12 (Haven’t done these before, felt weird.)
Push Up Super Set
-Feet elevated x 25, straight to normal x 10, straight to incline x 10 (Fun)

Felt Good to Hit a body part with some volume, since I used full body and later a upper/lower 4 x a week split while I was cutting. Triceps/elbows were a little sore around the insertion, especially on dips. Wrist also not keen on switching back to BB Bench (I’ve used DB for months.


Picture of my cut results. I know the lighting etc is completely different, but you can see generally what happened. I went from around 215lbs to 168.8lb (Glycogen Depleted)and seem to have settled at around 178 after a rather messy refeed, from which I seem to be holding a TON of water. My strength was more or less maintained during the cut notably I hit a 140kg x 2 squat PR and 160kg x 3 x 6 romanian deadlift recently, altho I do feel very small!

Hoping to get on the basketball court soon, I could grab the rim pretty easily with two hands while at my very heaviest so at around 30lbs lighter and also stronger I SHOULD be able to fly…

EDIT: This is a graph of my last 45 days using CKD to cut down, I didn’t have a scale till the start of this so no date from before unfortunately! - https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BQlcxmrCYAAeVfF.png:large

At the end of that refeed I went crazy and did a week long liquid PSMF using this general outline http://www.lift-heavy.com/ilcd-diet/ which I’ll make a graph for too. This diet was the most torturous thing I did, but I’m pretty impressed with my mental strength to not have cheated at all on it for 6 whole days…it sucked.

Here’s my experiment with a one week, stupidly low calorie liquid PSMF followed by 3 days of refeeding.


Deadlift (First time I’ve used deadlift on a back day rather than a ham/glute day)
180kg x 1 (Easy)
190kg x 1 FAIL - definitely lost strength from my cut, altho i haven’t deadlifted since I hit 200 in april so expected really.
150kg 7 x 3, 1 x 8 (decided to see how many i could get on the last set, hard.)

Pull ups - 2 x 8
Chin up - 2 x 8 (weak, fried from deads)

DB Row (I do these with a little body english)
90lbs 3 x 8

Lat Pull Down
105lbs 1 x 10
120lbs 1 x 10
135lbs 1 x 10
90lbs 1 x 12

Seated row (Machine, wanted low cable but taken)
20kg a side 3 x 10

Straight arm lat pull downs (w/ rope)
70lbs x 12
60lbs x 12
50lbs x 12

Meadows Row (t bar machine)
20kg 1 x 15

Good session. Did fasted (10g BCAA). Disappointed with deadlift but hope to be back to 200 and beyond before too long. Hardly any chest doms from yesterday which was unexpected after so long since using any kind of high volume.


Push Press
-60kg x 3,3, 6
-50kg x 8 x 3
Arnold Press/Machine OHP (Superset)
-120lbs 2 x 8 (mach)
-35lbs 2 x 10 (db, had to drop weight 2nd set)
Lateral/front/rear delt raise supersetted
-15lbs 2 x 12 (laterals)
-20lbs 2 x 12 (front)
-20lbs 1 x 12 (rear) + 1x12 machine rear delt flyes

-100kg 2 x 10
-80kg 1 x 10 (holding squeeze a top)
Face Pulls (From high)
-25kg 3 x 12

Skull Crushers
-25kg? (duno what bar weighs) 2 x 8, 1 x 20 (obviously too light for planned 3 x 8 lol)
Alt DB Curl
-40lbs 3 x 8
OH DB Tri Ext
-60lbs 2 x 10 (needed spot 2nd set)
-55lbs 1 x 10
Hammer Curl
-30lbs 3 x 10
SUPERSET - DB preachers + Rope pushdowns
-20lbs x 12 (bi)
-30lbs x 12 (tri)

Long training session, but don’t have anything better to do at the moment…if i don’t recover well then obviously scale it down but I have a whole week off before long anyhow so not concerned with overtraining. A lot more overhead stuff than I’ve ever done before but shoulders still felt healthy throughout.

Day off from gym today. Sore pretty much everywhere to some degree.

Played 2 Hours 5on5full court basketball, got pretty tiring towards the end. Half way through set my knee pain off attempting to dunk, here onwards had no athleticism and constant knee pain/limp, frustrating. This then lead to right hip/low back pain, so by the end I was pretty beat up. Iced knees twice, contrast showered, took NSAIDs…inflammation/pain down from earlier.

Tomorrow - Squat day, BUT if I don’t feel good, think I will probably switch round with chest and hopefully lower body will feel better the day after.

So did chest today cos both mine and my training partners knees were messed up from basketball so couldn’t squat. Only 2 days since I trained shoulders/tris so not an ideal time to bench but hey ho.

BB Bench worked upto 85 x 3, messed around with 80ish for a few low rep sets, then did some paused sets at 60 for 8 reps or so. Watched Dave Tates ‘So you think you can bench’ series on youtube the other day so was trying to work on my technique, i find i get very crampy in my hips, mid back etc…BUT when i get super tight pressing feels a lot nicer and more powerful…hmm…going to do alot of technique work with an empty bar.

Incline bench
-55lbs 1 x 8
-60lbs 2 x 8

Decline Bench (Instead of Dips. In smith machine)
-60kg x 8
-70kg x 6
-60kg x 8 (hated using smith machine, never ever use it normally)

Machine flyes
-no11 x 12
-no12 x 10
-no5 2 x 12 (Very slow squeezy)

High cable flyes
-20kg x 12
-15kg x 12

Low cable flyes
-15kg x 12
-10kg x 12 (super slow squeezy)

Finished off doing a drop set of
-decline push ups x 27
-push up x 13
-incline push up x 10

Awesome session just had, Legs. Took some of my training partners DS craze since I ran out of coffee at home, INTENSE. Also, trained late so ran a more carb backloading type day (ultra low carb pre workout - 3 97% outdoor bred pork sausages around 2pm, 4 slices of bacon and 3 HUGE whole scrambled eggs around 5pm. trained at 7pm. Gonna try backload around 300-400g carbs now before bed)

Box Squats (Paralell-ish)
-20kg x 10
-60kg x 5
-100kg x 2
-120kg x 3,3, 3, 2, 1, 3, 3, 3 (I THINK. kind of lost count. Middle sets i re racked because I had a crazy intense stining/burning/tearing sensation on my lower lower abs, scared it was a hernia or something lol. I think it was a combo of belt and some different shorts that im used to pinching my skin like a bitch) All ok-ish sets, not the best I’ve ever done, 1st rep was always nice and explosive, some of the 2nd/3rd were slight grinders with hips coming up before my traps…think I just need to really focusing driving my traps into the bar instead of just driving my hips off the box)

Leg Press
-240kg 8, 8, 15 (Have a real mental block with these, spent ages on like 140-180 thinking it was hard, pushed the boat out to 5 plates and was easy, then thought 6 plates was hard only to be able to get 15 reps (could have had more/) on 6 plates. Must push it out to 7 plates next time and stop being a PUSSY.

DB Rev Lunge
-60lbs ea hand 1 x 10 (Would have done more but short on time, big fan of these and BSS for single leg work)

Leg Ext superset w/ Leg Curl
-45kg 3 x 12 (ext)
-45kg x 12, 40kg x 12, 37.5kg x 12 (Hams were getting very crampy so dropped weight)

Calf Raise
-180lbs x 12
-210lbs 2 x 12

Goblet Squat
-45lbs x 25

Good session.

Today, Shoulders and Tris (no time for bis, will do them and traps with back tomorrow)

Standing OHP
-lots of warm ups
-55kg 3 x 3 (Fairly easy)

Push Press
-65kg 2 x 3
-70kg x 5

Machine press superset w/ arnold press
-135lbs 3 x 8 (mach)
-30lbs 3 x 10 (arnold)

Lateral Raise, front raise, rear delt raise superset
-20lbs 1 x 12 each
-15lbs 1 x 12 each

6 Ways
-8lb DBs x 8, then switched to 1.25kg plates for an extra 7 reps

Skull Crushers
-30kg 3 x 8 (assuming ez bar ways 10??)

DB Tri Ext
-60lbs 3 x 10

Tri Pushdowns
-30lbs 3 x 12
-15lbs 1 x 30

Did random Macro count…


so total cals - 3400. Fats too high, would like to keep them down to ~ 75 (majority of which coming pre workout ala CBL, 50% of todays were). Weighed in at 183lbs today…which is high…hopefully not all fat gain (undoublty has been some rebound)…water was low tho and cals yesterday were much higher after a hard legs session.

183.6lbs again. Steady for two days now

-170kg 3 x 3
-150kg x 10 - I had some left shoulder pain, which is my supinated arm 90% of the time…

Pull ups
-10, 8

Chin ups
-10, 8

DB Row
-95lbs x 8, 7, 8

Lat pull down
-135lbs 2 x 10
-90lbs 1 x 10 squeez/slow
-75lbs 1 x 10 squeeezzz/super slow

Seated Row
-52.5kg 2 x 10
-30kg 1 x 10 squeeze hard and hold

Straight arm pull down w/ rope
-50lbs 3 x 12

Face Pulls (horizontal)
-12.5kg 2 x 12


Alt DB curl
-40lbs 3 x 8

Hammer Curl
-30lbs 2 x 10
-20lbs 1 x 10 (slow)

Preacher Curl
-20lbs 2 x 12
-15lbs 1 x 12 sloow

messed about on machine curl/cable curls after nothing serious

finished up with

45 deg hypers
-BW 2 x 25 (Low back got puuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuumped)

training session lasted like 3 hours. oh well. Have a week off now most likely, going to do lots of prehab/mobility/recovery stuff

Should have been a rest day today BUT have 6 days off now as going on holiday to Scotland. Gonna do some morning walks/jogs on the beach, climb some mountains and do a lot of mobility/prehab stuff but a break from the weights.


-80kg x 1
-85kg x 1
-90kg x 1, 1 (spot)
-85kg x 1, 1
-75kg x 3 x 5
-60kg x 15

Incline DB Bench
-60lbs 3 x 8

-BW x 10
-BW + 20KG 8, 7
-BW x 15, 10

Machine Press
-45(?) x 10
-40 x 10
-30 x 10 (v. slow)

Machine Flys
-no11(?) 2 x 1-0
-no6 2 x 12 (slow squeeze)

Kneeling Cable Crunch
-130lbs 4 x 10

Dec/flat/inc pushup complex
-20, 10, 10 (weak today, not motivated and everything just tired by now)

Back from a trip to Scotland. Ate a ton of shit and did very little of the mobility work etc I’d planned to.

I did get plenty of exercise in though, lots of walking including a overnight camping trip where I covered 25 miles over two days including some of the countrys highest mountains carrying a 25kg pack…probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done to be honest, in a completely different way to any lifting session I’ve had.

Traps, rhomboid area, lateral hip muscles all sore as hell, feet blistered and sore, knees a bit inflamed…but was worth it! Now back to training tomorrow!

weighed 181.6lbs this morning…DOWN from before i went on holiday! :open_mouth:


Standing OHP
-warm up sets
-55kg 8 x 3

Push Press
-70kg 2 x 3
-75kg 1 x 3

Machine Press/Arnold Press superset
-150lbs x 8, 8, 7 (mach)
-35lbs 3 x 10 (arnold)

Lateral/Front/Rear delt raises
-25lbs x 10
-20lbs x 12
-15lbs x 15

Rear delt flye machine
-no 5(?) 2 x 15


Skull Crusher
-40kg 2 x 8
-30kg 1 x 10

BB Curl
-40kg 3 x 8 (use of body english)

OH db Tri ext
-65lbs x 10, 10, 9
-40lbs x 10

Hammer Curls
-30lbs 3 x 10

Tri pushdown/Incline Curl superset
-40lbs 4 x 12 (tri)
-20lbs 4 x 12 (bi)
-30lbs 1 x 20 (tri)
-15lbs 1 x 20 (bi)


Food now. Going out tonight and will be drinking a fair amount so trying to stay high protein, mod carb, low fat.

Back today…

hungover so whole session kinda sucked, but still got some decent work in

-180kg 2 x 1
-160kg 2 x 5
-120kg 1 x 5 snatch grip

Pull ups 2 x 8
Chin ups 2 x 10

DB Row
-100lbs 1 x 6
-80lbs 2 x 10

Lat Pull Down
-135lbs 2 x 10
-40lbs single arm 1 x 12

Seated Row
-45kg 3 x 10

Straight arm pull down
-50lbs 3 x 12

Face Pulls
-3 x 12

AAAAAAAAGH, squat day, did no squats. Warmed up, did defranco’s limber 11, some BW squats, soon as i put the bar on my back, hip flexor pain. I’m not sure if its the joint capusle, or muscular, but this is something thats plagued me for a long time, but recently box squats have been perfectly fine, and now they’re bugging me too. Hoping to get to the physio when i have some money and see what he thinks.

So instead:

Bulgarian Split Squat w/ front foot elevated
-bw x 10
-65lbs 3 x 8 (HARD!)

Leg Press
-7plates a side 2 x 10
-drop set 7 plates x 10, 5 plates x 10, 3 plates x 10 (Owch. Got headaches doing these…quiet scary…assuming blood pressure related…)

DB RDL/SLDL from box
-50lbs a hand 3 x 10 (Got very deep on some of these, was quite suprised with how flexible i felt)

Superset Leg Ext/Leg Curl
-leg ext 52.5kg 3 x 10
-leg curl 3 x 10 @ 45, 40, 35kg …i have to drop weight on these, no way i could do straight 45 for 3 x 10 :confused:

Superset standing/seated calf raise
-no idea on weights…enough… 3 x 10 each

Cable Crunches
-140lbs 5 x 10

45 Deg Hypers
-bw 5 x 20

GOOOOD session despite not being able to squat.

Today, shoulders and arms!

-50kg 4 x 5, 7 and 9/10ths on the last rep, just couldnt lock out

Push press
-60kg 1 x 3
-75kg 1 (failed 2nd, felt wrong), 3

Machine ohp/arnold press superset
-150lbs 3 x 8 (mach)
-40lbs 3 x 10 (arnold)

Lateral raise
-25lbs x 10
-20lbs x 12
-15lbs x 15

Front raise
-25lbs x 10
-20lbs x 12
-15lbs x 15

Rear Delt Raise
-25lbs x 10
-20lbs x 12
-15lbs x 15

Six ways
-2.5kg plates x 10
-1.25kg plates x 10

onto arms…

Skull crusher
-35kg 2 x 8, 15 on last set

BB Curl
-40kg 3 x 8

OH tri ext
-65lbs, 3 x 10 (only got 9 on last set)
-40lbs x 10

Hammer Curls
-35lbs 3 x 10

Tri pushdown/Incline curl superset
-40lbs 3 x 12 (tri)
-20lsb 3 x 12 (bi)

Finished with 21/s for tri/bi using
-tri pushdown - 25lbs (doesnt really work like it does for bis)
-BB curl w/ 20kg bar only

Meh…session…overhead stuff was strong, upped weight on some arm stuff…joints achy and tired now…rest day tomorrow!

Also, tried something different from IF today, and took on about 75-100g carbs pre workout meal…have to say, i prefer training fasted/10g BCAA…!!!

So from now on…pre workout diet will be either 10g BCAA if training before 2pm, if training 2pm or later I’ll have a small protein/fat meal ala CBL

recovery day. super doms from leg workout 2 days ago still.

-2 hours walking nice and slow with the dog
-2hours foam rolling/stretching everything

-high protein/high fat/low carb for rest day. Lots of carb cravings which I never got while dieting though!

Just noticed my last chest workout has gone missing from the log…:S

Anyway, back today.

Deadlifts - Hams/glutes/groin stilllllll sore as hell from leg day…so wasn’t expecting much
-180 x 5 !?!?!
-190 X 1
-200 FAIL. Possibly would have got, if I didn’t go for 5 on 180

Chin ups
-10kg x 10
-bw x 12

Pull ups
-10kg x 5

DB Row
-95s 2 x 8
-60s x 10 nice and controlled

Lat pull downs
-150lbs x 8
-135lbs x 10

1 arm lat pull downs
-45 x 12
-30lbs x 15

Seated Row
-45kg 3 x 10 W/
-30kg x 10 as a dropset on last set

Straight arm rope pull downs
-50lbs 3 x 15

Shrugs supersetted w/ face pulls
-80kg (+frame?) 3 x 10
-face pulls 3 x 12

Finished w/ leg raises 5 x 10 and meadows rows 20kg + tbar 2 x 15