Insert Interesting Training Log Title Here

Used to be in pretty good shape, now I’ve turned into the stereotypical guy who used to be in good shape and won’t shut up about it: I decided I’m going to fix that, drop bodyfat and get my press, squat and deadlift back up to respectable numbers. I’m starting this log to keep myself accountable, get some input and motivation!

A little bit about me
35, male, 89kg/195.5lbs (I just weighed myself and got the shock of my life), 175cm/5ft something.

Present lifts as of last week (when I tested)

-Deadlift: 1x210kg
-Squat: 6x125kg (which I believe puts my 1rm somewhere around 145-147.5kg)
-Overhead press: 1x70kg

Chronic injury sufferer (from years of contact sports and poor form in the gym)- shoulder surgeries on both sides, and an acl repair on my right knee.

I work in an office, but for quite a while I was in a much more active job, coaching group fitness and doing PT as well.

I’m from the UK originally, but was born and brought up in Dubai, UAE, which is where I currently live.

About my programming

The aim I’ve got in mind at the moment is to at least maintain the strength I have, or potentially build it a bit, whilst recomping my bodyfat to muscle ratio a bit- I’m really keen to get my pushes stronger, as I’ve had niggling shoulder injuries almost my entire life. Work at the moment is SUPER full on for me and I can’t always say I’ll have the free time or energy to work out 5x a week like I used to.

I’m a little bit of a numbers nerd (I did engineering at uni and for the first few years of my career and it’s stuck with me), so I like programming in line with my maxes and other numbers. I just came off the back of 8 weeks of 5/3/1 programming in squat, press and deadlift and I put my numbers up by about 5% BUT I’m still not where I’d like to be aesthetically so…

I’ve decided to go with a program that incorporates 3 consistent workouts a week, and 2 “optional” conditioning sessions. In the interests of still lifting heavy, but possibly getting a little bit of fatloss on the go too, I’ve elected to do a cluster set and accessor movement combo for legs, push and pull.

But what was diet, bro?
I’ve tried, with varying success, to meal prep myself the last 6 months. Unfortunately it saps a bunch of my time, and honestly, I end up forgetting things or eating more than I should SO I decided to pay for a meal prep company. Service starts tomorrow and marcos are


Here’s me complaining about how little time I have, and I’ve spent 30 minutes writing a Shakespearian essay on my training :sweat_smile: with that I’m gonna get TF outta this forum BUT I’ll update with my workout tomorrow which is my legs sesh. Stay real bros


Monday, 09/05/22- 18:30
Session #1
Tiredness: 3/10
Soreness: 3/10
Awesomeness: 11/10

Andddd we’re offfff. After having a consistently rubbish day from start to finish (my manager always has the best banter on Mondays :expressionless:) I was actually pretty keen to hit this session. The gym is about a 10-minute walk from my office so I closed the laptop, flipped off my colleagues, and headed straight after work. I’d eaten 3 solid meals by the time I hit the weights.

Today I was rocking my legacy lifters, a belt and knee wraps (just during the squats, because I’m geriatric)

Warm up-
5 mins of light work on the assualt bike followed by 10 mins of mobility and ballistic stretching on my lower body

A: Squats, cluster sets, 3 sets, 5 reps

  1. 115kg x 5
  2. 115kg x 5
  3. 115kg x 5
    I paused for about 20 seconds between reps, and rested about 3-4 minutes between sets. This was hard, and I was sweating and breathing heavily for a lot of it.

B: Barbell walking lunges, 6 sets, 20 reps (10 per leg)

  1. 40kg
  2. 45kg
  3. 45kg
  4. 45kg
  5. 45kg
  6. 45kg
    So every week from week 1-4 I’m going to add a cluster set of squats, and remove a walking lunge set. Week 4 is going to be when I next test my 3RM on squats, and after that I’ll rework the numbers and star again on 3 cluster sets of squats and 6 sets of the lunges. I really REALLY regret programming in so many lunges now, but honestly I totally suck at them and since getting better at the stuff I’m not good at is the goal, I decided to go for it.

C: Single leg hamstring curls (machine), 4 sets, 10-12 reps per leg

  1. 22.5kg
  2. 25kg
  3. 25kg
  4. 25kg
    When I had my knee reconstruction, they used my hamstring to make a new ACL tendon for my knee so my hamstrings are proportionately small and weak. The left is also stronger than the right, hence the logic of adding in some single leg work to even things out a bit. I had about 2 mins rest between sets here, and was trying to ramp up the weight as I have a tendency to cramp easily.

D: Glute/ham raise (bodyweight) 4 sets, 10-12 reps

  1. 10
  2. 10
  3. 10
  4. 10
    More hamstrings! Not much to say about these. They got done, I didn’t die. Happy days. Motivation was provided by the absolutely stunning yoga instructor flouncing about on the cable cross after teaching her class, I’d say she was checking out my ass but she’d have needed a magnifying glass at this stage :innocent:

I weighed myself again this morning and somehow ended up at 87.25kg (down from 89 yesterday). I’ll take some progress pics tomorrow and put them in my next post.

Tomorrow is going to need to be a morning session, and I have a former client joining me, so I think we’ll do a little bit of conditioning while I have someone about to motivate me (hopefully the yoga instructor is in so I get the double motivation :laughing:)

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Tuesday 10/05/22- 07:45
Session #2
Tiredness: 3/10
Soreness: 1/10
Awesomeness: 6/10

I teamed up with one of my old PT clients Hamza for this session. Our offices are in the same complex, and we both use the same gym so it’s easy for us to train together. Cardio and conditioning for me recently have been something I’ve found very difficult to motivate myself to do, couple this with the fact it was a morning workout (which I also am not usually a fan of) and I needed to make sure I was training with someone to get it done.

Hamza is actually pretty inspirational- as a client he never missed a session and trained consitently 3-4x a week despite having a stressful job, and a wife and 2 kids. He’s in his early 40s but he runs rings around the majority of 30 year olds I know, and we’ve developed a pretty strong friendship over the past 4 years since I started training him. It’s pretty awesome that he’s always down to jump in one of my workouts- and it really pushed me today, so we did a lot of partner work.


A: Partner Conditioning- score 9min40s

8 rounds- Partner 1 completes 15 calories assault bike, while partner 2 completes as many kettlebell swings as possible. My grip was the first thing to go on the KB swings and started to really suffer around round 4, managed to keep consistent reps without stopping though.

B: 4 Rounds- 2min work/1min rest

AMRAP in 2min of:
10 Kettlebell elevated pushups
10 Cross body mountain climbers
10 Kong rows
10 med ball slams
(KBs-20kg, Med ball 12kg)

Started off the first 2min interval getting 2 rounds in, quickly started regressing after that! By the end I was struggling to string more than 3 pushups together at once, they’re no joke, and holding the plank position immediately after for the m. climbers burnt my chest out super quick.

C: AMRAP 8min- score 6rds

Partner 1- Sled push 40m
Partner 2- Farmers carry (24kg kb) 40m

For me this was actually probably the easiest section of the work out, but the transition from sled to carry seemed to kill Hamza off pretty quick so I’m blaming only getting 6 rounds on him :laughing:

Overall session rating: 8/10- enjoyed the camraderie and came out feeling good. Probably could have pushed a little harder at certain points, but I still burnt in the region of 400cal according to my garmin/hrm) and averaged 168bpm heart rate across the 3 sections.

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I realized I neglected to post the physique (lol at using this word at this stage) pictures I said I would today so: here they are.

I don’t think I’m going to bother caliper testing myself at this point, or getting out the measuring tape as being in a slight deficit and being a bit more consistent will hopefully yeild visible results for the first few weeks.

Currently sitting at 86.25kg as of this morning, this kind of post weekend dramatic weight drop isn’t unusual for me as I tend to smash the beers and pizzas on the weekends :clown_face:

Thursday 12/05/22- 07:45
Session #3
Tiredness: 6/10
Soreness: 3/10
Awesomeness: 10/10

I did another session with Hamza this morning- this time a pure strength session. I took a rest day yesterday as I didn’t have time in the morning (I have a PT client I still coach 3 a week, for some extra procket money), and in the evening I had the dentist as I’m getting a bunch of implants and veneers done. To be honest when I got out of bed at 6 I felt pretty sweet, and up for the session, but after breakfast and on the way to the gym my motivation started to go downhill a little.

I felt like I fatigued very quickly today across the board- which is annoying because I assumed having a phyical rest day yesterday would have sorted it- but I guess my sleep wasn’t great (my partner is an air hostess and came back at 2am last night which woke me up), and I had a pretty crappy day at work with more issues with my manager. I don’t know if this is the forum to go into my personal life but I guess it’s relevant to the log! I’m going to start adding in my weight on waking into my logs too- today it was 85.35kg which honestly was a little bit of a surprise. Also physique wise I’ve dried out a lot between Sunday and this morning- obviously it’s not a “dramatic” transformation but it’s visible.

Warm up-
I didn’t. At all. Maybe this was part of my issue

A: Barbell bench press- working up to 5 working sets, 5-8 reps (target)

  1. 10x50kg
  2. 8x70kg
  3. 8x90kg (start of working sets)
  4. 8x90kg
  5. 8x90kg
  6. 7x90kg (really started struggling here)
  7. 5x90kg (pissed at this)

B: Seated DB Shoulder Press- 4 sets, 10-14 reps (target)

  1. 10x20kg
  2. 12x17.5kg
  3. 11x17.5kg
  4. 12x17.5kg
    I was taking around 2 mins rest here and honsetly I felt FRIED and weak the whole time. Given last month I was doing 30kgx5x5 on DB shoulder press I was honestly expecting this to be a little easier. I’ve always been weak in the shoulders like I’ve mentioned before but 20kgx10 reps is low even for me.

C: Hammer Strength Seated Chest Press Machine (Plate Loaded)- 4 sets, 10-14 reps (target)

  1. 12x20kg (weight is per side)
  2. 10x30kg
  3. 10x30kg
  4. 12x25kg

D1/D2/D3: DB Lateral Raise, Standing Cable Face Pull, DB Rear Delt Fly (Lying on flat bench)- 3 trisets , 10-14 reps (target)
1.1) 14x12.5kg
1.2) 14x15kg
1.3) 14x5kg
2.1) 14x12.5kg
2.2) 14x15kg
2.3) 14x5kg
3.1) 14x12.5kg
3.2) 14x15kg
3.3) 14x5kg
I think next week I’ll rejig this so its face pull, raise, RD fly so that my rear delts get a break between. I was taking about 2m rest here and honestly I was pretty happy with raising 12.5kg with good form and 0 mementum for 14 reps.

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Friday 13/05/22- 18:00
Session #4
Tiredness: 8/10
Soreness: 3/10
Awesomeness: 10/10

I knocked part of my bridge (teeth) out last night and passed out at my own house party :joy: Figures since it was Friday the 13th. Also had a screaming match with my manager: starting to feel like my jobs on the line now which isn’t fun.

Anyway yesterday was pull day. I managed to knock the session out in 45m as I was in a rush to get home after work

A: Deadlift, cluster sets 3 sets 5 reps

  1. 5x 165kg
  2. 5x 165kg
  3. 5x 165kg

I took about 20s rest between sets. Honestly I didn’t truly struggle with this weight at all. There was a point mid set #2 that I saw stars at one stage, but that’s not unusual. I have an odd relationship with deadlifts, I like them because they’re my biggest (and the majority of the population I’d assume’s biggest) lift and I actually generally enjoy low rep high weight sets, but I fu*king DESPISE doing lower weight higher rep sets. Anyway during these lofts I was barefoot but had a belt. I focused on “priming” my lats between reps and locking my shoulders in a good position, as well as making sure my hips weren’t the first thing to pop up when I lifted.

B: Pullups, wide grip, 4 sets, 8-10 reps (target)

  1. 10
  2. 10
  3. 9
  4. 6
    Usually I’m pretty good at pull-ups, prior to this workout they’re generally in my programming somewhere. I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get straight sets of 10 but I guess the deadlifts took it out of me more than I thought!

C: Hammer Strength Seated Chest Supported Row Machine (neutral grip) Plate Loaded, 4 sets 10-12 reps

  1. 14x30kg (per side)
  2. 12x40kg
  3. 12x40kg
  4. 12x40kg
    30kg was wayyy to light so I did a couple extra reps to compensate. I like this exercise because it’s one of the few machines that makes my lats fail through fatigue without making me feel like my shoulders are gonna pop out of their sockets :joy:

D: Lat Pulldown, medium grip, 3 sets, 10-12 reps
1)10 X 60kg
2)10 X 60kg
3)10 X 60kg
Not much to say about these, I tried to keep my form as tight as possible, it felt heavier than it should, but then I think the heavy sets at the strat threw me off for the majority of the workout.

Monday 16/05/22- 11:30
Session #5
Tiredness: 5/10
Soreness: 5/10
Awesomeness: 10/10

We got today off work today unexpectedly as the ruler of the UAE, HH Sheikh Khalifa sadly passed away last friday. I had a pretty heavy weekend and what always tends to happen when I drink is I have some residual anxiety for a few days after the hangover- today was no different and I wasn’t really “in it” to start off with. Coupled with crappy eating on the last couple of days which bloats me something awful, it was a struggle to get the motivation for today, so considering all that it went quite well.

Warm up-
5 mins light assault bike, 5 mins dynamic mobilization. I noticed my pass thrus with the pvc were DREADFUL on my right shoulder today- clear mobility issue which needs to be addressed ASAP. Any advice would be appreciated.

A: Squats, cluster sets, 4 sets, 5 reps

  1. 115kg x 5
  2. 115kg x 5
  3. 115kg x 5
  4. 115kg x 5
    Total volume 2875kg
    This really didn’t feel too tough today. The problem I’ve got with doing cluster sets of squats is, that the programming requires 20-30s of rest between reps: it almost feels like I expend MORE energy re-racking and de-racking between reps than just standing there, but it’s hella uncomfortable with the barbell on my back for that long.

B: Barbell walking lunges, 5 sets, 20 reps (10 per leg)

  1. 50kg
  2. 55kg
  3. 60kg
  4. 50kg
  5. 70kg
    As mentioned last week- added a set of squats, took a set off these lunges. But MAN. My best set was 70kg x 20 reps. Given that last week I was doing 45kg for straight sets… Obviously I have a skewed perception of RPE.

C: Single leg hamstring curls (machine), 5 sets, 10-12 reps per leg

  1. 20kg
  2. 25kg
  3. 22.5kg
  4. 22.5kg
  5. 22.5kg
    Added an extra set here- as the gym I was using today didn’t have a GHD. This varaition on the machine is a lying HS curl as opposed to seated from last week and it was way way harder.

Wednesday 18/05/22- 13:30
Session #6
Tiredness: 7/10
Soreness: 6/10
Awesomeness: 10/10

I’ve been feeling pretty crap the last couple of days- I have a really sore right shoulder and I’ve been feeling bloated and full of food (despite not really deviating from my diet for 3 days) to the verge of throwing up. I managed to get this session done all the same, and pushed my bench press a bit harder than last week at least.

Warm up-

A: Barbell bench press- working up to 5 working sets, 5-8 reps (target)

  1. 10x50kg
  2. 8x90kg (start of working sets)
  3. 8x90kg
  4. 8x90kg
  5. 8x90kg
  6. 7x90kg

B: Seated DB Shoulder Press- 4 sets, 10-14 reps (target)

  1. 12x17.5kg
  2. 12x17.5kg
  3. 11x17.5kg
  4. 12x17.5kg

C: Hammer Strength Seated Chest Press Machine (Plate Loaded)- 4 sets, 10-14 reps (target)

  1. 10x30kg (weight is per side)
  2. 10x30kg
  3. 10x30kg
  4. 10x30kg

D1/D2: DB Lateral Raise, Standing Cable Face Pull- 4 supersets , 10-14 reps (target)
1.1) 14x12.5kg
1.2) 14x15kg
2.1) 14x12.5kg
2.2) 14x12.5kg
3.1) 14x12.5kg
3.2) 14x12.5kg
4.1) 12x12.5kg
4.2) 14x10kg
My avid fanbase might notice that I removed the triset component here (I removed DB rear delt flies) and added another superset instead. This is because frankly my shoulder is knackered, and rear delt flies are hard enough for me to keep tight form on, let alone being part of a triset at the end of a volume heavy workout.

Way to get in there and get it done, even when you’re not feeling it!

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Thursday 19/05/22- 07:45
Session #7
Tiredness: 7/10
Soreness: 5/10
Awesomeness: 6/10

Another slog of a day today- I’m still feeling like throwing up every time I work out, and today my coffee came up and went all over the gym toilets after the session :laughing:

I worked out with my buddy Hamza again today- really think I’d have thrown in the towel if I hadn’t so I’m glad he was there!

A: Tabata 30s work/15s rest, 16 rounds

  1. Battle rope
  2. KB swing (20kg)
  3. Medball slam (12kg)

Tough, but not impossible. Having problems fully extending overhead on the medball slams, and my lower back was PUMPED and tight towards the end from the KBSw and battle ropes, but that subsided quickly afterward.

B: Partner work- 4 rounds (4 sets of lunges each)

Partner A: Kettlebell front rack walking lunges 40m (switch arms at 20m), 16kg KB
Partner B: while partner A does 0-20m, burpees. While partner A does 20-40m 10kg plate Russian twists.

Ok this murdered me. I guess because I did push yesterday and because of the burpees, after the first 20m of walking lunges I was seriously struggling to front rack the KB, so I did the other rounds with it by my side. This was super frustrating as only a few weeks ago, my programming included 40 KB front rack lunges with 24kg kettlbells, so 16kg seemed like it should have been so much easier. It got to the stage I was starting to see white lights during the lunges, and I had to stop to puke after this round. I really don’t know why this was so hard- it didn’t look like it should have been.

C: 3 Rounds, Abs/Arms
Hanging leg raise x 15
Cable T bar curls x 15 (10kg)
Rope tricep pushdowns x 15 (20kg)

For an arms workout this is surprisingly heart-rate heavy. The combo of the wide grip hanging knee raises straight into bicep curls really tests forearm and grip strength, I’ll give it that much!

Thanks! I’m really trying to get into the “any workout is a good workout” mindset :slight_smile: