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Justrob's Big Boy Basics Thread

Hello folks

I guess the following is not the most positive way to start a training log on here, but it’s necessary by way of providing some background:

It’s been a bad year with injuries. I injured tendons in both wrists three months ago and have had to give up the weights till they healed; I’ve been doing some bodyweight exercises in that time.

The good news is that the wrists have finally improved - and I was looking forward to some serious lifting soon. Bad news is, my left knee blew out a week ago! Too much running and kickboxing, the doc said; seems like I overcompensated from being unable to train my upperbody by overtraining my lower.

The past six days have been spent on crutches, painkillers, anti-inflams, the couch and in bed. But the pain and inflammation has subsided enough for me to begin lifting - upperbody exercises only of course.

Not being able to squat and deadlift makes me feel like less than half a lifter, but thems the breaks eh! As a positive, I’m naturally big in the hips and legs anyway so I could do with giving my body a headstart on gains in size and strength.

My physical condition has changed little from when I began training in earnest earlier this year. Actually it DID change, but I’ve lost some muscle and gained some fat in the past three months. I’m still very much in skinny-fat city, as the following starting stats will testify:

Age: 25
Height: 5-10 and change
Bodyweight: 174
Chest: 39.75
Arms: 14
Waist: 35.5

Yeah, not numbers that will make Prof X, Caveman or Amsterdam Animal duck for cover, that’s for sure!

My goal is to set a solid base for size and strength in the upperbody - and to build a good beach physique for the upcoming summer. Ohh yeah, I can see you flamers firing up as I typed that last bit :wink:

But seriously, it’d be nice to take my shirt of with pride for ONCE in my life! A lean 170ish should do me just fine.

I’ve just started on CW’s Big Boy Basics program - just the upperbody workouts - and plan to stick with it for at least three months while my knee heals fully. I’ll post my modified version of the program a little later - and diet details as well.

So why this thread? Most of all, to hold myself accountable by going public to like minded people who share similar goals, values and dedication.

I know many of you have walked this path before me - and I will do my best to not let the inspiration you have given me down. I refer to people like AG1 and El Animal, who have inspired me with their great threads and progress. (I will however spare you all the trauma of the ‘before’ pics I took this morning!)

Any advice, abuse, feedback, criticism, etc is all more than welcome. Thanks for reading folks!

Justrob

Three points I missed earlier:

  1. First, a clarification of my goals. Wanting to hit 170 by Christmas doesn’t just mean a loss of 4 lbs off my current 174. I’m aiming to lose 15 lbs of lard (there’s a lot there believe me!), and gain 10 lbs of quality muscle.

  2. My modified BBB program:

Workout A (rest 60sec between sets)

  1. Dumbbell bench press: 8x3
  2. Row: 8x3
  3. Upright row: 8x3
  4. Press: 8x3

Workout B (rest 90sec between sets)

  1. Dumbbell incline press: 3x8
  2. 1-arm dumbbell row: 3x8
  3. Curl: 3x8
  4. Lying tricep extension: 3x8

I plan on staying on this program as is for at least 12 weeks, training four times a week.

  1. My diet:

2,500 kcals (40p:40c:20f) spread over 5-6 meals daily.

Yeah, that’s chicken feed, but keep in mind folks that outside of lifting my activity is pretty much zero coz of my bung knee. My job is desk bound, I can’t stand for more than 10min at a time, and can’t walk without crutches. That makes for very little NEPA each day.

From empirically measuring I know that my BMR is 1,800 kcals a day - on days I’m not exercising that is. So even on 2,500 a day, I’m gonna be 700 kcals in the black.

That’s all for now. Good training!

Justrob

[quote]justrob wrote:
Three points I missed earlier:

  1. First, a clarification of my goals. Wanting to hit 170 by Christmas doesn’t just mean a loss of 4 lbs off my current 174. I’m aiming to lose 15 lbs of lard (there’s a lot there believe me!), and gain 10 lbs of quality muscle.

  2. My modified BBB program:

Workout A (rest 60sec between sets)

  1. Dumbbell bench press: 8x3
  2. Row: 8x3
  3. Upright row: 8x3
  4. Press: 8x3

Workout B (rest 90sec between sets)

  1. Dumbbell incline press: 3x8
  2. 1-arm dumbbell row: 3x8
  3. Curl: 3x8
  4. Lying tricep extension: 3x8

I plan on staying on this program as is for at least 12 weeks, training four times a week.

  1. My diet:

2,500 kcals (40p:40c:20f) spread over 5-6 meals daily.

Yeah, that’s chicken feed, but keep in mind folks that outside of lifting my activity is pretty much zero coz of my bung knee. My job is desk bound, I can’t stand for more than 10min at a time, and can’t walk without crutches. That makes for very little NEPA each day.

From empirically measuring I know that my BMR is 1,800 kcals a day - on days I’m not exercising that is. So even on 2,500 a day, I’m gonna be 700 kcals in the black.

That’s all for now. Good training!

Justrob
[/quote]

Maybe you can trust your empirical numbers, but to me that seems low to build muscle and lose fat. 1800 cals at 175 lbs is totally sedentary–maybe! At 25 I would guess closer to1900-2000.

That may not sound like a lot, but for your goal I assure you being off a couple of hundred cals will make a huge difference in your ability to achieve them. Now you are only playing with roughly 500 cals to push you through your workouts AND then attempt to build muscle.

What I see here is the inability to understand the effect nutrition will play in your goals. Quite honestly, you could probably damn near achieve your given goal strictly with nutrition.

What will be hurt if you pump in 3000 cals a day? 3500? I’d much rather see you at 180-182 by the end of sept., but with an added 3-5lbs of muscle than train for a month+ and lose muscle and gain fat. Which you very well may do on (what I consider) such a restricted diet.

That still gives you 3 months to adjust your diet and continue your workouts and lose the fat before the end of the year.

My .02

Justrob, I know you wanna look good for the ladies (or dudes…I don’t judge anybody, it’s 2006) on the beach, but as soon as possible I think you should start working legs, even if it’s just re-habbing stuff. Stregthen those tendons and such !

Appreciate the feedback guys.

sasquatch:

I hear ya, and am thinking about what you said - will respond to your post properly a little later.

t3h_Squirr3l:

Can’t wait to get back to doing proper leg work - deads are my favourite exercise, followed by squats. However, soft tissue injuries take time (I have an undergrad physio background and I’ve seen and helped rehab a few). I’m already off the crutches and doing a little rehab work.

The 2-3 month plan is:

  1. Gain almost full functionality (where the knee can bear its share of my body’s load in daily activities)
  2. Fast walking
  3. Jog
  4. Run
  5. Deadlift
  6. Squat

Oh yeah, and it’s definitely for the chicks!

Okay here we go:

[quote]sasquatch wrote:
Maybe you can trust your empirical numbers, but to me that seems low to build muscle and lose fat. 1800 cals at 175 lbs is totally sedentary–maybe! At 25 I would guess closer to1900-2000.[/quote]

Firstly, I realise it’s a classic skinny-boy mistake to be afraid putting on fat and thereby limiting mass gains.

However keep in mind that I am already carrying a fair bit of fat right now - my waist is at least 4-5 inches off being lean, with more fat being stored in my face, chest and legs. My bodyfat percentage is in the high teens.

So when I said 1,800 kcals for maintanence, that’s maintanence for about 155 lbs of fat free mass, not the 174 I’m presently walking around with.

[quote]
That may not sound like a lot, but for your goal I assure you being off a couple of hundred cals will make a huge difference in your ability to achieve them. Now you are only playing with roughly 500 cals to push you through your workouts AND then attempt to build muscle.

What I see here is the inability to understand the effect nutrition will play in your goals. Quite honestly, you could probably damn near achieve your given goal strictly with nutrition. [/quote]

Without heavy lower body work to fire up my metabolism, I don’t want to sink deeper into the fat abyss.

Ideally, I want to kick things off with at least a month of “newbie progress” - losing a couple of inches off my waist whilst gaining some muscle.

It’s almost like I’m starting from scratch, so it’s achievable I think.

[quote]
What will be hurt if you pump in 3000 cals a day? 3500? I’d much rather see you at 180-182 by the end of sept., but with an added 3-5lbs of muscle than train for a month+ and lose muscle and gain fat. Which you very well may do on (what I consider) such a restricted diet.

That still gives you 3 months to adjust your diet and continue your workouts and lose the fat before the end of the year. [/quote]

Good points and thinking about them has caused me to rejig my plans. This is what I’m going to do with the 18 weeks I have left till the end of the year:

4 weeks - (2,500 kcals) gain a bit of muscle, lose a bit of fat

8 weeks - (3,000 kcals) mini bulk

6 weeks - (2,500 kcals) lean out for summer

Of course, this timeline’s not set in stone; I’ll be monitoring my progress constantly and tweaking my diet as necessary.

[quote]
My .02 [/quote]

And it’s much appreciated - your post changed my thinking and my plans for the better.

It’s damn exciting to be back amongst the iron again!

Cheers

Justrob

Does anyone know what effect training has on your body healing itself?

If a person injures his knee and continues training his upper body, as is the case here, does the energy required to recover from the workouts take away from the body’s ability to heal the injury? Or do the workouts stimulate the body to heal the injury faster? Or is there no real effect?

I can’t recall reading anything about this.

Well sasquatch, you were right - just 3 workouts into the program and I simply cannot stop eating!

It’s like nothing I’ve experienced on any previous program - less than one hour after every big feeding, my stomach starts rumbling for more. My body is obviously in serious anabolic mode right now, and I’ve decided to go with the flow and bump up the daily cals to 3,000. Heck, I’m eating that anyway without even trying! Will diet/cardio off the fat later if necessary.

The workouts feel incredible, but I want to get a few more sessions under my belt before I make any further comments on them.

[quote]Defender wrote:
Does anyone know what effect training has on your body healing itself?
[/quote]
Nope, but I do know that pretty much every athlete/trainee has had to work around an injury at some point. I’m making sure to do my rehab, apply ice regularly and getting 9-10 hours sleep a night (I normally get by on 7).

So although not very scientific, in 2-3 months I’ll have some anecdotal evidence re strength and mass progress whilst injured.

Thanks for reading.

Justrob

Week 1 is in the bag. The five workouts I’ve had so far have felt great - actually can’t wait to get back in the gym every time. Which is a nice days from my HIT days, when I had to psych myself up in a big way and drag myself to the weights.

Why five workouts? Coz I can. Work’s a little slow, I’m not training legs, lots of sitting on my ass in general (the bung knee, remember?) - so I have the time and I’m recovering well enough to train this frequently. Perhaps when the weights build, this will change.

Still eating like a mofo - the workouts are forcing me to. I believe I’m over 3,000kcals on training days right now.

Progress-wise, I’m not quite sure whether I’m seeing things or not - but I could swear I’m bigger and leaner than just week ago. I guess we’ll know for sure in a couple of weeks when I’ll pull the measuring tape out.

5 more weeks on BBB, then ABBH 1 and 2.

Chad Waterbury is a genius!

Less than 2 weeks into the BBB program and I’m bigger, stronger and leaner than I’ve ever been in my life. I’m holding off taking my weight and other measurements till the end of the program, but the other signs of progress don’t lie:-

#1 - Was trying on a couple of shirts at a store last weekend and my sister couldn’t believe how much bigger my back was from just the previous week (she’d taken some progress pics of me at the start of the program). During the week, I thought the mirror was deceiving me - obviously not!

#2 - Stretch marks are poppin up all over my arms - and they’re actually getting leaner as well! I know, most people don’t like stretch marks, but I’m wearing em with pride. Finally, I’m getting some arms!

#3 - I’m wearing my belt down a full 1" notch from last week - and my pants are still feeling loose.

All of this in 10 days!!!

It feels unreal even as I type this, and I know that thousands have experienced similar results on CW’s programs, but it’s just amazing to see such progress with yourself.

Like I said, Chad Waterbury is a genius.

More to come …

Week 2 is done and dusted. Progressing nicely with the weights and in the mirror. Stepped on the scale this morning - 174, so I’m smackbang at my starting weight, but I look a hell of a lot better. My body comp has obviously changed.

The workouts are going great. At first, it felt a little strange doing 10 sets of 3, and being so strict about timing my breaks between sets - but it’s pretty much automatic now. I’m actually looking forward to each session, unlike during my HIT days - where I used to dread every workout.

The tenosynovitis in the wrists is playing up a little, but that was kinda expected.

I know I wrote that ABBH will follow this program, but I’m now considering stretching BBB beyond CW’s recommendation of 6 weeks. Will have to make allowances with frequency etc, but we’ll see how things go.

Any suggestions on how I could do this (or whether I should do this) welcome.

I think your aproach is wrong. aim to put on as much muscle as possible to about februrary and then cut down. or start cutting in january. it?s your choice.

Edit : any yeah, on the back. agreed that it just seems to pop out over night . I had the same feeling for just about a week ago :slight_smile: .

good luck :slight_smile:

[quote]Lindow wrote:
I think your aproach is wrong. aim to put on as much muscle as possible to about februrary and then cut down. or start cutting in january. it?s your choice.[/quote]

Mate, I live in Australia - Jan is our hottest month.

P.S. RIP Steve Irwin.

[quote]justrob wrote:
Lindow wrote:
I think your aproach is wrong. aim to put on as much muscle as possible to about februrary and then cut down. or start cutting in january. it?s your choice.

Mate, I live in Australia - Jan is our hottest month.

P.S. RIP Steve Irwin.
[/quote]

i just heard about steve, what an absolute spin out…

[quote]ozigirl wrote:
i just heard about steve, what an absolute spin out…[/quote]

Yeah, I don’t think a lot of Aussies took to him at first because he was loud and in your face - we prefer our celebs to be more laid back and understated.

But there’s no doubt he did a hell of a lot to increase the awareness, worldwide, of the importance of wildlife conservation, often shovelling millions of his own money (once he got rich) into these projects. Plus he was crazy, passionate and very good at what he did. If that’s not T-man material, I don’t know what is.

Week 3 down! Curiosity got the better of me (prompted by some favourable comments by others), and I measured my flexed arm yesterday: 14.25 inches.

Now that’s nothing to send anyone on this (or any) forum cowering - but they’re up 0.25 from 3 weeks ago, which ain’t too shabby. In fact, I’ve gained more mass than that - they’re leaner than they were 3 weeks ago.

In response to a few questions from me, Tony Gentilcore in his lockerroom questioned how long I’d be able to keep going on the 8x3 format - and I’m sure he’s right. Tony was also bang on with his other comments about the program - the guy clearly knows his stuff!

Will milk this program for all it’s worth, of course, but won’t be surprised if staleness hits before September is over. Besides, the knee’s getting better and I should be able to get into a full body program by that time anyway.

Thanks for stopping by, folks.

Week 4 all wrapped up. Nuthin excitin to note - just got my four workouts in, ate well, slept well. Weights are moving up nicely.

Tried doing some bodyweight squats to parallel to test out the knee - and it started grumbling right away. Seems like it’s gonna take longer than I thought.

whats going on? your loggin as often as i do :slight_smile:

[quote]justrob wrote:

The 2-3 month plan is:

  1. Gain almost full functionality (where the knee can bear its share of my body’s load in daily activities)
  2. Fast walking
  3. Jog
  4. Run
  5. Deadlift
  6. Squat

[/quote]

I’m not sure how strong you are getting before you plan to continue from 3 on, but I’d definitely make sure your legs are strong enough, especially beyond just getting by with daily activities. Every time I get an injury I always want to test it right away and end up regressing. Only test it when you feel ready, which I’m assuming will be a while.

Stay away from squats for a while, even body weight squats. It is better to do things such as lunges and step-ups when in recovery (unilateral movements). Good luck, injuries suck.