T Nation

Journey to 200lbs


Just a little background info:

I've been lifting consistently for about 2 years now since I joined the military. I always enjoyed working out and will continue to enjoy it the rest of my life. I was 240 - 250 lbs during my high school years and lost about 100 lbs over the span of 2 years after high school and before I enlisted in the Navy, pretty much by running a shit ton and cutting out literally all the junk food that I had been eating (soda, fudge rounds, twinkies, ice cream, etc..). After boot camp I got pretty serious about putting on some size (I have a big brother who I always have to compete with..). Gained about 15 pounds after boot camp and was up to 170lbs after about a year of starting to lift and diet better.

Last year I went on deployment to Liberia, Africa and didn't have much of a gym but I still did some form of workout everyday for almost 10 months while we were deployed there. Didn't gain much weight, was about 120 degrees outside and the fact that we worked 14-16 hour days didn't help either.

I got home in December of 2010 from deployment and weighed about 175, ever since then been eating super clean and a lot more than what I am used to, as well as hitting the gym the hardest ever. Since then I have gained about 12 pounds, I weigh about 187-188. Bodyfat I don't know cause I don't care so much, I am pretty lean though, I would guess anywhere between 8-10, but I am no expert..

I usually do a 6 day split, one day off, one body part a day (I'll throw in calves and abs as needed)

Sundays: Chest + calves

Mondays: Back

Tuesdays: Shoulders

Wednesdays: Triceps + calves

Thursdays: Biceps + abs

Fridays: Legs

Saturday: Off

For the larger body parts like legs and back I will do anywhere between 20-25 sets and for the smaller body parts I will do around 12 sets. I like to workout very quick (less than a hour). I do fasted cardio almost every morning at 445am.

I count calories and split them up evenly between 6-8 meals a day. I usually aim for 3200 calories (at least 250 grams carbs, 300grams protein, fat ? )


Today I did back (decided to throw in traps today too, sick of doing them on shoulder days anyways)

4 sets of 15 wide grip pullups (focused on the negative part)
4x12 close grip pull downs
4x12 old school t-bar rows
4x10 100lb dumbbells - dead stop dumbbell rows (These kicked my ass, never done then before)
4x12 185lbs supinated bent over barbell rows
4x15 straight arm pulldowns (did lighter weight, focused on squeezing my back a lot more)

4x20 315lbs barbell shrugs
4x20 3plates on each side hammer strength shrugs with 3 second holds


Woke up did my this morning did my cardio, got shoulders this afternoon..anyone have any good lifts? Always trying to incorporate new techniques


Seated DB or BB press, Lateral raises with one arm (while holding onto something and leaning away with the other arm), high rep rear delt raises on an incline bench.

This is more than likely going to be moved into training logs.


Yeah those are normal ones, I'm talking about unique training techniques..like mountain dog stuff..


Had a pretty good training session

started out warming up with light lateral raises and shoulder press (I always neglect warming up properly for shoulders but I am getting better at it!)

  1. DB seated shoulder press 80lbs 4x14,12,12,11 (haven't done these in forever)
  2. Hammer strength lateral raise machine 155lbs 4x12,12,12,12
    super set with
  3. partial heavy lateral raises 60lb dumbbells 4x15 reps (only went up about first half of motion)
  4. behind the neck BB military press 115lbs 4x15 reps (focused on form and negatives)
  5. 3 sets of reverse DB flyes with 50lb DB's..did 15 reps each set
  6. 3 sets of BB front raise with 65lbs 20reps each set

then finished off with 6 sets of 25 reps on calves on the hammer strength calve raise, had 2pps, last 2 sets did drop sets


What's up dude?

I just saw that calf training and felt the need to comment. Disregard the advice if you feel that your set up is working.

Here goes

To me, calf and leg training in general should be done in disection. I like doing seated calf moves on one day and standing on another. 4 sets of 6 as heavy as possible with good form...hitting each part twice a week.


I did do standing calve raises sunday with chest, did 5 sets of 20 reps with 3pps


I did do standing calve raises sunday with chest, did 5 sets of 20 reps with 3pps


Didn't do my morning cardio this morning, felt like sleeping in..


Did triceps, abs, and cardio this afternoon

  1. V-bar pressdowns with fatgripz on...4sets of 15reps followed by a 50% dropset with 15more reps
  2. Hammerstrength dips with 3 pps..4 sets of 15,15,14,12 (tried using negatives a lot)
  3. Incline skullcrushers 4x15reps with 90lbs
    4 Tricep extension machine 55lbs each arm 4x15 reps

For abs all I did was cable rope crunches, 5 sets of 25reps with the full weight stack

30 minutes of cardio, walking on a incline


Woke up at 445am this morning went and did 35minutes of cardio on the treadmill before my breakfast
Right after work this afternoon hit a quick forearm/bicep workout, was pretty solid, utilized my fat gripz and applied alot of drop sets

started out with seated DB curls 4 sets of 12 @ 45lbs, dropped to 25's after all 12 reps and did 12 more each arm..then hammer curls 4sets of 12 with 50lb DB's..followed lastly by hammerstrength preacher curls 4 sets with 2 plates, then dropped down to 1 plate after 15reps and did as many as I could.
Forearms i did reverse bb curls with the fat gripz on em


are you seeing any growth from the high reps?

I'm just curious because I've always done low reps...


I usually only do higher reps on my arms, and they grow and get stronger a lot quicker this way..i tend to keep it anywhere from 8-12 reps per set on larger body parts


For larger parts (chest, back, legs), try higher weight-lower reps-more sets to change things up. Example, bench press - warm up, then at a decently heavy working weight, do something like 8 heavy singles, or 5-6 heavy triples for your first exercise. Still decent volume, but heavier weight.

3200 cals/day might not be enough surplus given your routine. An easy way to add calories (and protein) would be to drink a 100% casein shake right before bed (I use the ON brand, though I do it all the time at about 20g just to stave off mid-sleep hunger). Think it was Dave Tate (not sure) who advocates 80g of casein at bedtime for weight gain. You don't necessarily have to go that high (I tried it, and that much in my stomach was a slight hindrance to bedtime activities;).

As for a shoulder recommendation, I like to do one arm shoulder presses, with the elbow flared out wide until in position similar to a behind-the-neck press. You can also do them with the elbow pointing forward (Javelin press), but I like the medial head effects from my way better.


Check out this: http://www.weightrainer.net/bodypred.html

Given your preferred BF, it can predict your max clean bodyweight. Apparently the guy who presented the formula the calculator is based on used them on several of the old school BB, and they were dead on. Worth a look, to help give yourself some realistic goals.



Well those 3,200 cals don't include post workout shake so really its somewhere around 3400-3500..

I was only eating about 2800 for the longest time but about a month ago I bumped it up 400 extra a day and my strength gains and size have been pretty good..gained about 5 pounds or so, and strengths alot higher.


Did my usual cardio routine this morning, followed by a hearty bowl of oats and whey!

Did legs today, fav day by far..warmed up with some light leg curls, attempted to squat but for some reason my back wasn't feeling it today (I always wear a belt when doing squats/deads/leg press/overhead press, etc)..
Decided i'll do something different today and do some GVT
1. Did 10 sets on the leg press, warmed up with 2pps, 4pps, 6pps then did my 10sets with 8pps (seat was in the deep position also) Did 12 reps on everyset, 90sec breaks

  1. Single leg leg press 4 sets of 15reps (each leg) with 2pps
  2. Leg extensions 3 sets of 15reps (100lbs per leg)
  3. DB stiff leg deadlifts 90lb DB's 4 sets of 12
  4. Leg curls, 90lbs each leg, 3 sets of 15

Finished off with some adductor and abductors

Pretty stoked I'm up to 8pps on the leg press considering legs used to be my weak point until I actually learned how to train them..


Meh..usually take saturdays off but my wife's gone for most of the day and I am pretty bored (and I will be very busy next week which is gonna make it hard for me to get some lifts in)..Ill go and hit some chest, try to utilize some GVT or 5x5 or something different


pretty good chest workout today
1. BB bench press (warmed up with alot of light laterals and front raises) 250x7,7,7 260x5,5 280x3
2. Decline smith machine press 245lbs x 12,12,12,12
3. Hammerstrength incline press 2pps (and bands too, drop set to 1pps each set) 3x15,15,15 (all sets had 15 additional with the 1pps)
4. Bodyweight chest dips x 25, 25, 25
5. Pec-deck 6 sets of 15reps (focused on a good squeeze too)

walked on treadmill for 30min after