Jed's Log

I've been a gym rat/muscle head most of my life but I've never competed. For the past four weeks I've been training with a powerlifter in his garage/gym. For the past year up until 4 weeks ago I had been lifting in my basement with one of those cheap weight sets that have the 1" I.D. holes and 190 lbs in weights, plus doing lots of chins and push ups. My lower body needs tons of work as far as strength goes. 

It’s actually pretty funny since my training partner’s lower body far out performs his upper body and I’m the exact opposite. In a squat suit and with knee wraps he has deep squatted 600 and he’s pulled 610 but his bench varies a great deal, it usually sits around 300. I work out with him on Saturday and Sunday then lift at home on Monday and Wednesday.

My squat and deadlift are downright embarrassing compared to my bench.
Squat 1rm = ? (185lbs 10rm)
Deadlift 1rm = 330 lbs
Bench 1rm = ? (265 lbs 9rm)

This weekend I’ll check my 1rm in the bench but the squat, due to injuries, will remain an ancillary exercise for the deadlift. My goal for now is to hit 850 in a push/pull at a bodyweight of 165 lbs.

My routine as of now:

Flat bench- 4 sets of 10 (progress to sets of 5 then 1rm)
Rack press- 5 sets of 5 (superset with bent laterals)
Pull ups- 4 sets failure at bodyweight

Squats- 3 sets of 10 (basically just to prepare for deads)
Deadlift- 4 sets of 5 (progress to sets of 3 then 1rm)
Deadlift on blocks- 3 sets of 3

Dumbell rows- 3 sets to failure @ 70 lbs
Dumbell pullovers- 4 sets of 10 (40 lbs.)
Bar rows- 3 sets of 10 (190 lbs) (superset with pushups)

cardio- usually bike

Standing Dumbell press- 3 sets of 10 (70 lbs heaviest bell I can assemble at home)
Shrugs- 3 sets of 10 (190 lbs)
Overhead squat- 4 sets of 20 (embarrassingly light weight)

Thursday and Friday:

No heavy lifting this weekend, my lifting partner is helping a friend move.
I lifted in my basement, may as well have a light day.

Been a while since I’ve updated the log…
I had to train chest at home the past few weeks so I’ve been emulating C.T. Fletcher’s 200 rep set, with less weight because I only have 190lbs in my basement.

This past weekend I did Zercher squats and I think I may have pissed off a nerve in my forearm. There’s a strange numbness on the surface and a pulling sensation deep withing the muscle.

I train my legs more like a bodybuilder in an attempt to rebuild strength in my whingey knee and prevent a top-heavy physique.
I’ve been biking and jogging quite a bit too which doesn’t bother my knee at all but squats and deads just wreck it for a day or so afterward.

Wow…it’s been a while.

After lifting whenever I got the chance and making no progress at all while somehow managing to get fat (I’m up to 180), I’ve joined a real gym once again.
I jotted down the 5/3/1 triumvirate from one of the articles here and plugged in my numbers. Yesterday was cycle 1, week 1, day 1 and I went through day 2 this morning.
At present I get up at around 5:30 and lift first thing in the morning. Hopefully I’ll be able to make some progress and lean out a bit.

My forearm is back to 100%.

Today felt really good!
Cycle 1, Week 2, Day 3 on the 5/3/1 Triumvirate.
I had some oatmeal this morning, about 1 hour before my workout, and I felt great.

Flat bench working sets: (The only rest I got during the warm up was during the time it took to add weight)
210 x 3
240 x 3
270 x 3
All the reps went up easily with a 2 second pause at the bottom.

Incline D.B. press:
60 x 15
80 x 15 Ooooh…that burns!
80 x 15 I had to pause during the set and grind out the last 3 reps
75 x 15 More grinding, super pumped pecs and front delts!
70 x 15 I wouldn’t be surprised if I had a few new stretch marks!

D.B. Rows:
110 x 10
120 x 10
130 x 10
130 x 10 My grip is failing, the dumbell is at a 45 degree angle to the floor.
130 x 10 I had to re-grip at rep 7 with my right hand.

I added on a finisher superset:
Pressdowns 120 lbs (according to the stack) Bent laterals with 20 lb bells.
3 sets of 10 with each exercise.

Tomorrow I’ll be squatting…

I just skimmed through csulli’s 5/3/1 log and apparently I missed something. I thought you only went for broke on the final set of the core exercise on week 3 so I went back and re-read the article. Apparently I should go to complete failure on the final set of the core lift for every week except the deload phase.
I’ll do it right from now on, starting with squats.

I should buy the book… :slight_smile:

I’ve already noticed growth in my quads, calves and shoulders!

Cycle 1, Week 2, Day 4

Jogged on the treadmill for 10 minutes along with some ab work prior to lifting, as I always do. Nothing extreme just 4.5 mph at 5% incline until the sharp jabs into my knee stop.

160 x 3
180 x 3
200 x 8 I was a bit surprised I was able to get 8

When I try to squat with any sort of decent weight it’s weird… it’s sort of like taking off from a stop in a vehicle with a manual transmission and you floor it while the clutch is still only half engaged. The engine redlines but you don’t go any faster; that’s what my knee does, no power or drive.

Leg press:
410 x 15 Decent pump starting
410 x 15 Had to pause and take a deep breath at rep 10
410 x 15 5 reps-deep breath, 5 reps-deep breath, 5 reps
410 x 15 5 reps-breath, 5 reps- breath, 3 reps- breath, 2 reps
370 x 15 feels. like. burning.

Between legs press sets I did seated calf raises:
150 x 15
150 x 15
150 x 15
150 x 15
150 x 15

Leg extensions (I may swap these out for front squats next time):
90 x 15 burn
90 x 15 Burning
90 x 15 ON FIRE!!

I forgot to do leg curls. I’ll throw them in with my deadlift workout.

Cycle 1, Week 3, Day 1

10 min. treadmill and abs prior to lifting.

130 lbs x 5 reps
145 lbs x 3 reps
160 lbs x 7 reps (I was rather pleased with that even though it devolved into a push press)

bw + 50 lbs x 15 reps
bw + 75 lbs x 10 reps, a few deep breaths then 5 reps
bw + 50 lbs x 15 reps (feeling very tight and pumped)
bw + 50 lbs x 15 reps ( last 2 reps were grinders)
bw + 50 lbs x 15 reps ( last 5 reps were grinders)

Seated calf raise ( between sets of dips):
90 lbs x 15 reps for 5 sets

Chins/pull ups ( just bodyweight, varying grip):
10 reps for 5 sets

After the final set of chins I jumped straight to a pull down machine and slowly pulled and squeezed 100 lbs until I could hardly move my arms.

Cycle 1, week 3, Day 2

10 minutes cardio and abs.

Sumo Deadlift:
225 x 5
255 x 3
285 x 6 (I was hoping for more…)

Good Mornings:
135 x 12 for 5 sets

Hanging Leg Raises (performed between sets of good mornings):
5 sets of 15

leg curls (I might substitute RDL’s for these next time):
110 x 15 for 5 sets

I added on shrugs:
225 x 15 for 3 sets

Squat and deadlift days are downright embarrassing. I think part of it is my mechanical disadvantage of having long femurs, a long torso and short arms…being a pansy doesn’t help either. :slight_smile:

Made it to the gym around 6:15 this morning and jogged on the treadmill for about 30 minutes.
I’m going to do some stretching and ab exercises with the kids today. We’ll run through Elliot Hulse’s warm up for his strength camp trainees.

I guess I should put my stats on here.

Age: 33
Height: 5’ 8"
Weight: 185 lbs

I’m hoping to get back down to 165 lbs and have a push/pull total of 850 lbs. My deadlift needs some serious work to make that happen.

Sept. 7th edit:
The wife and I took some measurements last night.

Neck = 17"
Chest = 47"
Upper Arm = 16"
Forearm = 12.5"
Waist (around navel) = 38"
Waist (where my trousers ride) = 37" (yeah… fat)
Thighs = 23.5"
Calves = 14.5" (chop sticks. But they have a nice shape, lol)

Cycle 1, Week 3, Day 3:

Bench press (no pause):
225 x 5
255 x 3
285 x 4 (a bit disappointing…)

My muscles are already feeling very pumped and full!

Incline D.B. press:
80 x 15 (absolute failure on rep 15, it took 3 tries to get that last rep.)
80 x 12, 3
75 x 15
75 x 15
80 x 9, 5, 1 (lots of rest pauses)

I thought about going lighter but said screw it since I de-load next week anyway.

Seated calf raises (between set of incline D.B. presses):
140 x 20 for 3 sets

D.B. rows:
130 x 10
130 x 10
130 x 8, 2 ( my grip is shot)
120 x 10
110 x 10

I did one burnout set of bent laterals then called it a day. I had eaten oatmeal about 1 hour before the workout again and once more my muscles felt very pumped and tight after only a few sets. It seems like I get a better pump when I eat oatmeal pre-workout but my strength suffers a bit.


Cycle 1, Week 3, Day 4:
10 minutes of treadmill and abs prior to lifting.

I’ve been working on hip and ankle mobility and it’s helped my ability to squat quite a bit.

Squats with a slow, gradual warm up: (= working set)
45 (bar) x 10 for 2 sets
95 x 10
135 x 10
145 x 5
155 x 5
165 x 5
170 x 5

190 x 3*
215 x 10* (I stopped at 10 and decided to shoot for a 1rm since it was feeling pretty good. Stop laughing, that’s a good set of squats for me!:))
225 x 1
235 x 1
245 x 1
255 x 1
265 x 0 (missed it! Looks like I should re-program for a bigger 1rm.)

leg press ( I’m experimenting with different foot placement):
370 x 15
410 x 15
410 x 15
410 x 15
410 x 15

Leg curls:
95 lbs for 5 sets of 10

leg extensions: (* = drop sets with no rest)
45 x 15
90 x 15
115 x 15*
90 x 15*
45 x 15*

My wife and I have noticed quite a bit of growth, particularly in my chest and quads. Hypertrophy through strength training, I love it! I’m also regaining a bit of vascularity in my arms and lower legs.

My diet and training layout looks like this (I haven’t broken it down into precise macros):
Monday (cardio & abs) < 1,000 calories, restricted carbs
Tuesday (training day 3) < 2,500 calories, moderate carbs
Wednesday (training day 4) < 2,000 calories, low carbs
Thursday (cardio & abs) < 1,000 calories, restricted carbs
Friday (rest) < 1,000 calories, restricted carbs
Saturday (training day 1) < 2,000 calories, low carbs
Sunday (training day 2) < 2,000 calories, low carbs

From experimentation within the past year I know that, even with 6 days of exercise per week, I maintain weight at about 2,300 calories (being an endomorph sucks!). Also carbs are da DEBBIL!! So if I can stick with this diet plan (it’s going to be tough when my strength gains plateau) I should average just under a 4,600 calorie deficit (leaving some wiggle room) and lose about 1 pound per week, hopefully.

30 minutes of cardio and ab work.

Rest; read articles and logs on T Nation.

Cycle 1, Week 4, Day 1: (Deload)
I lifted first thing this morning with only 3 grams of L-Arginine and 24 ounces of Diet Pepsi Max in my stomach.
10 minutes on an eliptical (holy quad burn!) then abs.

70 x 5
85 x 5
100 x 5

Dips (Just bodyweight):
5 sets of 15 reps

Between sets of dips I did seated calf raises:
5 sets of 10-20 reps @ 160 lbs
I keep trying different weights, set and rep schemes, rep speeds, etc. in an effort to stimulate growth.

Chins (just bodyweight, varying grip):
5 sets of 10 reps

Lateral raises:
1 set to failure (super strict form) with 15 lb bells.

If anyone has any advice, recommendations, criticisms or whatever feel free to fire away.
I’m hoping to get some pics and/or vids up soon for critique on my form.

Here’s a video from about 4.5 years ago with me doing weighted dips. I clanked the plates together to show that they were real. I was about 220 (FAT F@#K!) in the video and there are some others of my 1rm bench but my butt is about a yard off the bench so I won’t put those on here. :slight_smile:

As you can see; large rib cage, long torso, short arms…

Cycle 1, Week 4, Day 2: (Deload)
186 lbs this morning.
15 minutes on the treadmill and some ab work. The wife informed me that we’ll be running a 5k the 21st so I need to jog more!

120 x 5
135 x 5
150 x 5
180 x 5

Good Morning:
135 for 5 sets of 12 reps

Hanging leg raises (Between sets of good mornings):
5 sets of 15 reps

I had a bit of a funny between sets. A lean woman in her early 40’s clad in shorts and a tank top showed up when I was about half way done with my workout. Up until then I was all by me onesy. There were a couple of belts on the floor next to the squat rack I was using. As I set the bar down at the end of a set of good mornings I noticed her tentatively reaching out with the toe of her shoe trying to flip one of them and bring it closer to herself. This task was made a bit more difficult than it should have been since she was holding on to the squat rack and leaning away from me.
I turned around and said “good morning”. (but I didn’t bow. :))
She gave a nervous laugh and said, “good morning”.
She was still toeing the belt like it had fallen into a Hyena enclosure at the zoo during feeding time.
I watched her for a moment.
I’m not a scary guy. I’m only 5’ 8" tall (short) and despite what my wife may say I don’t run around constantly drooling, grunting, shouting and throwing things. I think I look perfectly civilized with my shirt on and I was wearing one at the time…shorts too!
“Do you need one of these?” I ask, indicating the belts. Ever the helpful Yeti.
She stops toeing. “No I was after a different one.”
And with that she trotted into the next room.
I had a quiet chuckle, not wanting her to feel insulted.
Well, at least I wasn’t the most socially awkward person in the gym this morning!

The wife and I jogged on treadmills for about 30 minutes today then I did some ab work and she did some bench work.
I did some intervals at a 5% incline from 4.5 mph to 6.0 mph then back down to 3.0 mph for 30 seconds, lather, rinse, repeat for about 2.5 miles.