Isaiah63's Surge Challenge Training Log

Starting a training log per the Surge Challenge Requirements.

41 yrs old

5’ 6"

172lbs

Bodyfat % 9.97 (did this with the circumference measuring method so might be off by a precent or two)

Currently follow a modified westside/conjugate split with a much higher frequency

Looking forward to trying out the challenge and already use Surge daily, I’m a big fan of cyclic dextrin as it allows me to recover rapidly from a high volume of training.

In my early twenties I did one bodybuilding competition and won the bantamweight class, narrowly missed winning the overall. I was extremely shredded but definitely not a big guy. I learned I did not enjoy dieting that hard and switched to powerlifting.

I competed in USAPL in the 181lb class. I think they have changed the weight classes since then. My best lift was always the squat. My sbest single ply squat was 705 at 181. Bench was around 425 and deadlift was 585. I think I could have had a better deadlift if I would have trained to pull conventional but always pulled sumo to mimic my squat.

Spent 12 years in the Navy Submarine force and got out 6 years ago. I was not able to maintain steady lifting throughout my submarine years due to the demands of service but I did lift as often as I could. In the twenty years since I left powerlifting I have accumulated a lot of injuries that I am still rehabbing and coming back from slowly but surely. Had major shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff and two hernia repairs. The shoulder surgery was several years ago and the hernias were last year.

Being older I spend a lot of time on prehab/rehab/gpp work. I use the sled often, mace swinging, etc. I have lifted very consistently since my hernia repairs last year and decided that my shoulder joints have become stable enough to resume powerlifting. I am not currently planning on competing but I would like to get my Squat and Deadlift back up to 3x bodyweight raw and a 2x bodyweight bench.

I am currently squatting with a Marrs Bar which helps ease the strain on my shoulder joints. A straight bar is pretty painful to have on my back but I have been able to do it with submaximal weights for the first time in about 8 years as of this month so I have hope.

I am looking forward to shifting to a different style of workout for the challenge but it will be hard for me to only train 3x per week. I currently train every single day (often twice per day) and I just really love working out.

First Training Day and initial stats:

174 lbs
9.8% BF by circumference method

Cold Measurements:
Shoulders 51.5"
Chest 45"
Waist around navel 31"
Upper Arms - 15.5 (L) 15.625 (R)
Forearms - 13.125 (L) 13.25 (R)
Thighs - 24.5 (L) 24.25 (R)
Calves - 15.25 (L) 15.125 (R)

Workout-

Thighs

Pump-
Leg Ext - 195/10 (too light)
Leg Curl - 120/8 (way too light)
Leg Ext - 195/10 (too light)

Stimulate-
Leg Press- 315/10 (too light, selectorized machine and I never do leg press so hard to estimate where I should have been)
Leg Ext - 120/10 (slightly too heavy for the negatives, also can’t really get a good stretch on this exercise at the beginning or end)
Leg Curl- 70/8 (this was wayyyyyy too light, also wish this program had a bit more direct hamstring work)

Flutter-
90 x 40 secs (could have gone much longer, this was way too light, underestimated because the stimulate set of these was harder and expected these to be harder than they were)

Lats

Pump-
Barbell Row- 185/8 (too light)
Darden Pullover - 50/8 (way too light, never do pullovers so had a hard time estimating what initial weights to use)
Pull-down- 180/8 (way too light)

Stimulate-
Darden Pullover - 60/8 (this was about right)

Flutter-
Darden Pullover- 40x40 sec (too light)

Note: not a huge fan of so many pullovers I would prefer more direct back work like rows, pull-ups etc. But I am a high volume guy and train back almost every day so trying to give this the benefit of the doubt for now

Triceps-

Pump-
Pressdown- 160/10 (too light)
Dips - Bodyweightx10 (too light but didn’t really have time to put a belt on with the short rest period and add weight)
Pressdown - 160/10 (almost right after the fatigue of the previous two sets)

Stimulate-
Overhead triceps ext with one dumbbell- 50x10 then 45x10 no rest (this was about right, maybe slightly too heavy as I never do these)

Flutter-
Overhead triceps ext with one dumbbell - 35X40 sec (way too light, overestimated fatigue from previous two sets)

Forearms- (I never do direct forearm work and have a bit of wrist impingement on left side so this was a wild guess on weights, they all felt way too light but I would have some difficulty going as heavy as I would like due to the left side not extending all the way)

Pump-
Seated barbell wrist curl- 60/10
Seated reverse wrist curl- 40/10
Standing reverse barbell curl- 60/10 (too light and can actually go up on these a bit without pain next time)

Stimulate-
Seated barbell wrist curl- 60/10

Flutter-
60x60sec

Note: I know this is more of a bodybuilding routine but as a powerlifter I would love to ditch the forearm work and add in more volume to back and legs.

Pump for upper body was decent, leg pump was ok but faded fairly quickly (this is normal for me). I’m not sure if I should expect less pump than I am used to because this is a lot less volume or if it will increase as I get a little more accustomed to choosing the right weight. Definitely is a different mindset than working out every day for at least an hour doing mostly compound lifts. I also feel like the leg extensions are not good at all for the required stretch phase and as noted earlier not a huge fan of the pullover being the main back exercise. I will keep an open mind and continue to give my best effort for the duration of the workouts. I do love Surge and have been getting great pumps using 2 servings during my powerlifting workouts so there may be some transition time with this different style.

1 Like

I have wrist ROM issues too. I do Standing Forearm Flexion (aka Wrist Curls). I take a shoulder width grip and curl the bar up as tight as possible. For the Pump Set, keep the grip tight and just rotate at your wrist joint. For the Stimulate set, open your hand a bit at the bottom and let the bar roll into the space between 1st and 2nd joints of your fingers. I’m not a strong guy, but worked up to 195x8 on the 2nd version.
Best, Scott

Thank you for the recommendation. I will take your advice and perform the forearm movements standing for the next round and see if I can up the weight to a useful level.

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SHOULDERS BLOCK

Pump
Overhand Bar Hang - 40 Sec.
Dumbbell Lateral Raise, 10 Reps x 45
Dumbbell Upright Row, 10 Reps x 40

Stimulate
Barbell Overhead Press - 10 Reps x 70 (need to go heavier on this)
Dumbbell Lateral Raise - 10 Reps x 25 (need to go lighter)
Trap-Bar or DB Farmer’s Walk - 40 Steps X 90
Trap-Bar Shrug - 10 Reps x 225

Flutter
Dumbbell Lateral Raise - 60 sec x 15 (probably need to go a little heavier).

LATS BLOCK

Pump

Barbell Row - 8 Reps X 135 + two rogue monster mini’s singled up around bar and under feet (wanted to see if going lighter and adding band tension would help the pump, need to add more bar weight)
Darden Pullover - 8 Reps X 60
Supinated-Grip Pulldown - 8 Reps

Stimulate
Darden Pullover - 8 Reps x 60

Flutter
Darden Pullover - 45 Sec. x 50

BICEPS BLOCK
Pump
Narrow-Grip Barbell Curl - 8 Reps x 80
Chin-up - 8 Reps .
Wide-Grip Barbell Curl - 8 Reps x 60

Stimulate (I messed up this section by going way too heavy for the rest periods and thought I was supposed to be doing 10 second rests between sets still)

Dumbbell Zotterman Curl - 10 Reps x 25 (this was too heavy)
Dumbbell Hammer Curl - 10 Reps x 20 (still too heavy)
Dumbbell Regular Curl - 10 Reps x 12 (even this was difficult at this point)

Flutter
Dumbbell Regular Curl or Bands - 12lb with fat gripz x 40 sec

CALVES BLOCK (had to improvise and use selectorized leg press and pendulum squat machines, gym doesn’t have dedicated calf machines)

Pump
Pendulum Squat machine Calf Raise - 12 Reps x 340
Leg Press machine calf Raise - 12 Reps x 315 (need to go heavier)
pendulum squat machine Calf Raise - 12 Reps x 340

Stimulate
Leg Curl, Toes Pointed - 8 Reps x 80 (need to go up a little)
Pendulum machine Calf Raise - 12 Reps x 270 (might need to go down a little)

Flutter
pendulum Calf Raise - 45 Sec. x 270

I realized today that I am doing this workout like a powerlifter rather than an “HIT”'er. In some cases I am going a little lighter than I should but in the biceps block I really need to drop the weight and accept that to get through that many isolation movement reps with little to no rest and the stretches is going to mean I have to pick out tiny little dumbbells. I also realized there were a few times where I would jump into the stimulate blocks without starting with the 10 second loaded stretch. I will definitely pay a lot more attention to this in the future. I emphasized the stretch really well on the calf workout block and it was noticeable in the pump and burn. I will also try to move these workouts to my garage gym soon where I can get through the rest periods quicker without interruption. The first work out on Monday I was able to do in the prescribed time frame. This one took about 35-40 minutes and I thought I was keeping the prescribed rests but obviously not. This will also require breaking the powerlifter mentality and lowering some of the weights especially on isolation movements to account for the reduced rest.

I measured my calves cold prior to the workout and immediately after the calf section. Both right and left increased by .5" from just over 15" to just over 15.5". I am now about 30 minutes after completion and still have about .25" increase although I don’t feel the pump. I think the numbers could look better if this workout included Tibialis movements which I normally superset with calves for development and knee stability.

Completed third workout yesterday. Heat index was 105 here and I did this one in my garage. Due to the heat I was feeling pretty lightheaded and nauseous after the first two Leg sets at the end so lowered the weight for the last few sets to not have to take too long of a rest period.

Completed this workout in 30 minutes and did well meeting prescribed rest periods this time.

I have been hitting right around 3500 calories per day and have gained just over 1 pound this week but haven’t noticed any change in physique overall other than my legs are actually losing some size and getting less solid. They are down to 24". If they continue to lose size and hardness I’m probably going to add in more volume.

I was following the program without extra workouts but I am going to have to at least reintroduce sled dragging, tibialis work and direct abdominal work. My right knee is starting to have some meniscus pain flare back up that I normally keep in check with the sled dragging and I need to be pushing blood in there as often as possible.

Overall, I would say the workouts are hard and probably effective for people that enjoy low frequency training with lighter weights. This will not be a long term workout program for me as part of the reason I workout is that I just love lifting weights. It’s not about just looking good or just being strong. I also love the feeling of working out so I would not choose do to a program that reduces the amount of time I get to spend doing what I enjoy for a long time. After this program is done I will consider doing something like this for a week here and there as a deload or change of pace. A benefit to this program is that I don’t normally focus on controlled negatives, stretches or holds and will likely incorporate these principles a little more often into my regular training on assistance work when I get back to conjugate.

CHEST BLOCK

Pump
Cambered Swiss bar wide grip Bench Press - 10 Reps – 135+doubled x-light bands
Dumbbell Bent-Armed Fly - 10 Reps - 30
Pushup on Floor - 10 Reps – 40lb weight vest

Stimulate
Cambered Swiss bar wide grip Bench Press – 135 removed bands before set (forgot second 10 sec stretch)
Flutter
Cambered Swiss bar wide grip Bench Press - 20 Sec. - 135

BICEPS BLOCK
Pump
Narrow-Grip cambered swiss bar Curl - 8 Reps -65
Chin-up - 8 Reps
Wide-Grip cambered swiss bar Curl Curl - 8 Reps -65

Stimulate
Dumbbell Zotterman Curl - 10 Reps – 15 with fat gripz for all stimulate section
Rotate DB to hammer - no rest
Dumbbell Hammer Curl - 10 Reps
Rotate DB to regular - no rest
Dumbbell Regular Curl - 10 Reps

Flutter
Dumbbell Regular – 15 with fat grips

TRICEPS BLOCK
Pump
Triceps Pressdown - 10 Reps – 70 (these were done on my rack attachment cable system, provides a lot more resistance than standard double pulley systems in most gyms)
Cambered swiss bar narrow grip press - 10 Reps - 115
Triceps Pressdown or Bands - 8 Reps - 90

Stimulate
Overhead Triceps Extension with One Dumbbell - 8 Reps - 50
Decrease wt. 5 lb - no rest
Overhead Triceps Extension with One Dumbbell - 8 Reps -45

Flutter
Overhead Triceps Extension with One Dumbbell - 45

LEGS BLOCK

Pump
Wide-Stance-Squat - 8 Reps – 155+light band
4” Deficit Deadlift - 8 Reps - 225
Close stance squat on slant board - 8 Reps -155+light band

Stimulate
Close stance squat on slant board - 10 Reps – bar and band tension only

Flutter
Close stance squat on slant board - 20 Sec.

Today was Tricep, Lats, Forearms, Calves block

Prior to workout:



Post workout:




3 Likes

TRICEPS BLOCK

Pump

Triceps Pressdown or Bands - 10 Reps - 70
Cambered Swiss Bar Close Grip Press- 10 Reps** - 185
Triceps Pressdown or Bands - 8 Reps- 80

Stimulate

Overhead Triceps Extension with One Dumbbell - 8 Reps - 60
Decrease - no rest
Overhead Triceps Extension with One Dumbbell - 8 Reps- 50

Flutter

Overhead Triceps Extension with Band - 20 Sec. (purple Rep band)

LATS BLOCK

Pump

Barbell Row - 8 Reps - 185
Darden Pullover - 8 Reps - 70
CHINS- 15Reps

Stimulate

Darden Pullover - 8 Reps - 60

Flutter

Darden Pullover - 20 Sec. - 60

FOREARMS BLOCK

Pump

Barbell Wrist Curl - 10 Reps - 95
Barbell Wrist Curl - 10 Reps - 95
Standing Reverse Barbell Curl - 10 Reps - 85

Stimulate

Barbell Wrist Curl - 10 Reps - 95

Flutter

Barbell Wrist Curl - 20 Sec. - 95

CALVES BLOCK

Pump

Standing Marrs Bar Calf Raise on Slant Board - 12 Reps - Purple Rep bands +295
Tibilais - 12 Reps - 40
Standing Marrs Bar Calf Raise on Slant Board - 12 Reps - Purple Rep bands +295

Stimulate

GHR, Toes Pointed - 8 Reps
Standing Marrs Bar Calf Raise on Slant Board - 12 Reps - Purple Rep bands +205

Flutter**

Standing Marrs Bar Calf Raise on Slant Board - 40 sec - Purple Rep bands +205
Tibialis raise - 40 sec - 20

1 Like

LEGS BLOCK

Pump

Wide Stance Duffalo Bar Squat- 8 Reps - 245+light band
4" Deficit Deadlift - 12 reps - 225
Close stance Duffalo Bar Squat on Slant Board - 8 Reps- 245

Stimulate

Belt Squat - 10 Reps - 160

Flutter

Belt Squat - 1 min - 160

CHEST BLOCK

Pump

Rep Cambered Swiss Bar Bench on wide grip- 10 Reps - 145+doubled mini bands
Dumbbell Bent-Armed Fly - 10 Reps - 40
Pushup on Floor - 25

Stimulate

Rep Cambered Swiss Bar Bench on wide grip - 10 Reps - 105

Flutter

Rep Cambered Swiss Bar Bench on wide grip - 20 Sec. - 105

BICEPS BLOCK

Pump

Narrow Grip Rep Cambered Swiss Bar Curl - 10reps - 65
Chin-up - 10

Wide Grip Rep Cambered Swiss Bar Curl - 10reps - 65

Stimulate

Dumbbell Zotterman Curl - 10 Reps -15
Dumbbell Hammer Curl - 10 Reps - 15
Dumbbell Regular Curl - 10 Reps - 15

Flutter

Dumbbell Regular Curl - 15

FOREARMS BLOCK

Pump

Standing Barbell Wrist Curl w fat gripz - 10 Reps - 135
Standing Barbell Wrist Curl (no fat gripz)- 10 Reps - 135
Reverse Band Curl with fat gripz - 10 Reps

Stimulate

Standing Barbell Wrist Curl - 10 Reps - 135

Flutter

Standing Barbell Wrist Curl - 20 Sec 135

The heat in the garage was intense again today. I believe it was 101F when I started.

Not much pump at all in the legs. I think this style workout with very few sets and reps gets a better leg pump with isolation movements, this section is mostly compound movements. I get really good pumps in the legs when pairing Surge with sled pulls.

I like the loaded stretching and accentuated eccentrics for the upper body movements and will likely incorporate some of these principles into my assistance work when I return to a conjugate style powerlifting split. I do not like this style of workout for the lower body or whole body compound movements like squats.

Before workout:




After Workout:


![tempImager08F5H|449x500](upload://w7mLLF6m

NKf4Y3sR4A2EmZxFunx.jpeg)

2 Likes

Looking pretty jacked there, my friend. Nice work.

1 Like

Lookin thicc n joozy

1 Like

Thanks guys.

1 Like

Went to the gym today to be able to use the Leg Ext/Leg Curl and get out of the heat for a workout. This was the final workout of the first two weeks. I may take new measurements cold tomorrow to see if there has been any progress.

THIGHS BLOCK

Pump

Leg Extension, Toes Out - 195/15
Leg Curl - 120/12
Leg Extension, Toes In - 195/12

Stimulate

Leg Press - 375/10
Leg Extension - 105/10
Leg Curl Machine - 90/10

Flutter

Leg Extension Machine - 105/30sec
Leg Curl - 100/30 sec

SHOULDERS BLOCK

Pump

Overhand Bar Hang - 40 Sec.
Dumbbell Lateral Raise- 30lb/25reps (I have a little bit of tendonitis in my right elbow flaring up so had to go light and made up for it with reps)

Upright Cable Row - 80/18

Stimulate

Barbell Overhead Press - 90/10
Dumbbell Lateral Raise - 20/10
DB Farmer’s Walk - 40 Step with 100’s
DB Shrug - 100/10

Flutter

Dumbbell Lateral Raise - 20 x 30 sec

CALVES BLOCK

Pump

Pendulum Squat Machine Calf Raise - 315/15
Calf Raise on leg press machine - 315/15
Pendulum Squat Machine Calf Raise - 315/12

Stimulate

Leg Curl, Toes Pointed - 100/8
Calf Raise - 270/10

Flutter

Calf Raise - 270 x 40 sec

CHEST BLOCK

Pump

Barbell Bench Press - 205/12
Pec Deck - 135/10
Pushup on Floor -25

Stimulate

Barbell Bench Press - 145/10

Flutter

Barbell Bench Press - 145 x 30 sec

Weight and measurements this morning:
175.8 lbs
Thighs - 24.875 " (L), 24.625" (R)
Calves - 15.5" (L), 15 3/8 (R)
Upper Arms - 15.625 (L), 16 (R)
Forearms - 13.625 (L), 13.875 (R)
Chest - 44.5
Shoulders - 51
Waist - 30.875

I have been eating right at 4k calories/day for two weeks which is about 800kcall above my normal daily intake but with significantly less gym time so my energy expenditure has been MUCH less than normal. In this time I have gained approx 1.8 lbs.

Some of my measurements have gone up but my concern is the half inch reduction in both Chest and Shoulder measurements. I do not think this style of training or the current programming emphasizes the large muscle groups enough and I believe the main reason my “chest” measurements have gone down is that my Lats and upper back have lost some size/development. I can tell the effect of this when trying to stabilize and arch under the bar during squatting. I think the slight reduction in my waist size is not due to fat loss (definitely not a this level of caloric intake) but is due to a huge reduction in abdominal training from my normal programming. I can also tell that I have lost some core strength on this program when squatting or deadlifting. I feel less solid and less stable.

I don’t want to sound like I’m knocking the HIT programming and I do think it has merits for bodybuilding style training and is probably great for people that want to make hypertrophy gains with minimal gym time. But (IMO), this is not the way to train if you want to build maximal strength or sport-specific ability. Since my primary focus is building maximal strength in the core lifts it is not optimal for me but it is still interesting to try out different movements and tempos that I don’t normally use.

When the Surge challenge is complete I will incorporate some of the tempo work, longer eccentrics and flutters into a few of my main workout accessories and/or mini-workouts throughout the week for hypertrophy.

As for Surge, I love it and have been using it since the reformulation daily and before the challenge started. I have little to no DOMS from these workouts and recover very quickly. That is the best you can ask for from any supplement, being able to recover quickly is imperative too progress whether your goal is to be Ed Coan or Ronnie Coleman. This is especially important if you are a natty. We do not have round-the-clock, jacked-up protein synthesis and need to be able to train with maximum effort every time we hit the gym and without missing workouts and Surge definitely makes this possible.

As for flavor, I love the Lemonade and do not like the Berry. I only tried one bag of the Berry when it was released and then ordered 10 more bags of Lemonade. I will break open the Berry bag from the challenge soon and see if I have a change of heart because so many people on the forum seem to love it.

I may also spend a workout sledding forwards and backwards to show the incredible leg pumps I get with Surge from sledding. Unfortunately, the HIT work does very little for me in the Leg Pump area.

2 Likes

Today was workout #7

I enjoyed this one a little more than the previous workouts. I like keeping the blocks focused on complimentary muscle groups in the upper (or lower) half of the body. I feel like I got a much better pump this way by not having to work in the legs. That being said… I would also have anxiety over not working legs for 5 whole days hahah.

As I have said many times, this type and frequency of training does not check all of the boxes for me but it is a learning experience and I feel like I’m getting the rhythm down, picking better weights and adapting where I need to. For instance, I went to the gm instead of my garage today and found that the cable machines are not heavy enough to get a good 8 rep set in. So instead of waisting time trying to set something else up I maxed out the stack and did a lot of reps for the first set to get the pump. This sufficiently tired me out for the remaining sets of the block and worked out.

I wish I could go heavier on the bicep blocks but I have tendonitis in my right elbow that, although it isn’t terrible, gets painful enough that I don’t want to aggravate it.

I think my arms got a pretty good pump today. I took some pictures when I got home which was about 15 minutes post-workout. Still felt pretty solid at that time.

I am also excited that I got my blood test write-up from Marek Health today and have my appt with the doc there to discuss supplement optimization and longevity stuff. I did not desire to start TRT I just wanted to have a truly comprehensive blood panel done and find out if I have any defficiencies. They have been booked up for a while so I waited about a month to get this and there are some areas for improvement but I definitely think my Test levels look good at Total 974 ng/dl and Free at 19.69 ng/dl. I am more interested in peptides like BPC-157 for healing some joint issues. The write-up from Marek was 38 pages and had a lot of interesting info and recommendations. I’m looking forward to the actual appointment tomorrow.

Please forgive the poor posing, I am not a bodybuilder.




BICEPS BLOCK

Pump

Narrow-Grip Barbell Curl w Fat Gripz - 60x15
Chin-up - 10
Wide-Grip Barbell Curl w Fat Gripz - 60x8

Stimulate

Dumbbell Zotterman Curl - 10 Reps- this block done with 12lb d-bell with fat grips
Dumbbell Hammer Curl - 10 Reps
Dumbbell Regular Curl - 10 Reps

Flutter

Dumbbell Regular Curl - 20 x 45 sec

TRICEPS BLOCK

Pump

Triceps Pressdown - 160x25
Parallel Bar Dip - 21
Triceps Pressdown or Bands - 160x12

Stimulate

Overhead Triceps Extension with One Dumbbell - 60x8
Overhead Triceps Extension with One Dumbbell - 40x8

Flutter

Overhead Triceps Extension - 40 x 30 sec

LATS BLOCK

Pump

Dumbbell row- 85x15
Darden Pullover - 60x12
Supinated-Grip Pulldown - 195 x 8

Stimulate

Darden Pullover - 60x8

Flutter

Darden Pullover - 60x30 sec

FOREARMS BLOCK

Pump

Standing Barbell Wrist Curl - 135x10
Reverse Barbell Curl with fat gripz - 50x10
Standing Barbell Curl - 135

Stimulate

Standing Barbell Wrist Curl with fat gripz- 50x10

Flutter

Standing Barbell Wrist Curl w fat gripz - 50x30

4 Likes

I appreciate that you’re doing these before/after workout pics. In some of them you can really tell that you have an outrageous pump going.

Also super grateful for these diligent measurements - I am really curious to see how the chest/shoulder ones end up. I am optimistic for you that they will settle on the positive side; I encourage you to go the whole way through and give your absolute best effort to see where it ends up for all of us.

I appreciate the encouragement, thank you. I will be sticking with it even though I am itching to get back to my conjugate split :joy:

I hate taking pictures of myself but trying to get some a few times a week because that was part of the deal. I did read where Tim recommended getting a cheap tripod in another post which is something I never thought of previously. I am glad I did because I realized it will be very useful fro videoing my form on the big 3 lifts when the Surge challenge is over.

1 Like

What type of training program/split do you usually run?

I started following conjugate/westside style programming again this year after a very long hiatus.