T Nation

Kurt's Training Log

This is my first attempt at starting a training log. After following this site for years and learning a lot I figured it would be time to give back. While I’ve maintained a training journal for quite some time, never had I made the contents available for public scrutiny. It is my goal to use this as a training log and hopefully pass along some information I’ve picked up over the years to anyone following, while also forcing personal accountability to training compliance.

Today marked the first complete month of weight training done entirely in my newly built home gym. A twice-occurring hamstring injury limited lower body work but all upper body work was completed. Hopefully it’s good to go and I’ll be able to create a log of some value here.

I will be posting my training and diet program and notes to accompany each workout in hopes that I’ll be able to pick up some insight and constructive criticism. I’m also really hoping that people reading can pick up some information from it and apply it to their own training.

Enjoy,
Kurt

To create a proper benchmark for accurately tracking progress, baselines must be established. Although I have extensive data tracking and graphing 38 different lifts and comparing the ratios between them in the 1,3,5 and 10 rep max ranges I’m going to focus on a select few variables for the next three weeks before reevaluating. Because all my workouts are based on percentages the obvious big three are the one rep maxes for back squat, deadlift and bench press.

I’ll throw in close grip supinated chinups for an upper body pull and would like to include an overhead press but osteopath advice regarding bursitis will prevent this for the short term. I’ll continue to track all my other lifts but won’t bore anyone with the details.

To track body composition I’ll keep it simple and use scale weight and waist measurement. I have 18 measurements that I track but that’s overkill for a training log. I have a pretty kick ass set of calipers and have been using Poliquin’s biosig for years now but unfortunately I don’t have anyone to pinch test me.

It would be nice to compare hormone sites but that can wait. I’ll also use the indisputable photo test and include a relaxed, unflexed photo from the front, back and side once a week on Mondays.

I’ll also include a morning weigh in daily, complete food log including timing and quantity and possibly morning temperature and resting heart rate.

I’ll throw the pictures up on Monday to keep the seven day picture rotation in tact but other current unexaggerated starting stats are as follows:

Age - 25
Height - 5’10"
Weight - 184lbs
Waist - 33"
Squat - 385
Deadlift - 365
Bench Press - 310
Chin ups - 15 reps

I’m sure I’ll see dramatic jumps in the squat and dead immediately. These current 1RMs are lower than previous 3RMs but I haven’t pushed hard on either since blowing out my back deadlifting (with awful form) last July. After appropriate recovery and rehab time and having used this to identify weaknesses and work the accessory lifts I wouldn’t be surprised to see these go up a lot faster than the bench or chins. I’ve been able to hit them relatively heavy for several months now but haven’t pushed done more than the weight that hurt me in the dead (365lb). These will be the figures I base my first three weeks on and I’ll make adjustments from there.

For the past eight years I’ve training primarily for football. This lead to inevitable cycles of off season bulking and strength gain, spring speed work and body composition changes, peaking for fall football, losing strength and size but gaining game conditioning during the season and finally spending the early part of the winter trying to rehab all the injuries incurred over the past three months.

Having a football specific focus has also ingrained the “importance” of the combine. How well the combine test predict playing ability is frequently debated and most commonly agreed to not be the best gauge, it also provides a very easy way to see how you’re progressing.

Before this hamstring tear the plan was to attend a pro day and see what those numbers would be, but being unable to run, jump, squat or dead for the six weeks leading up to the test date usually doesn’t lead to a personal best in the 40.

I’ll estimate the numbers I’m confident I could perform today and will hopefully have a chance to test them in May.

Bench - 12 reps
Vert - 34"
Broad Jump - 9’4"
40yd - 4.75s
Shuttle - 4.4s

Overall I’d rate improved combine results more important then increasing my powerlifting total but I think improving strength will be the best route for success. I would like to win a powerlifting show and a strongman competition in the future but the immediate short term focus will be clinging viciously to the football dream.

I will be doing a slightly modified version of Joe DeFranco’s Westside for Skinny Bastards 3 with the speed template. I’ve found in the past that when I schedule speed training, which is at the mercy of adverse weather conditions, it is very easy to make an excuse not to do it. And without a scheduled inside workout to fall back on, lower body becomes frequently neglected. I’ve avoided this by creating two options on speed and conditioning days. If the weather cooperates, outside workouts are an option. If not, a scheduled lower body day will take place.

The warm ups, prehab and activation exercises are structured in a manner which allows for the core lifts to still be completed without being of detriment to speed/conditioning. The beauty of this design is that it allows for a 2/day, should one feel so inclined.

While WSSB is an excellent program, I wished to address some nagging structural imbalances and custom tailor the program to suit my needs. I’ve drawn upon Dave Tate of Elite FTS and Louis Simmons of Westside Barbell Club principles a great deal, specifically in regards to their usage of accommodating resistance through bands and chains. I’ll also be making an effort to utilize the conjugate periodization method but only time will tell how successful that is. I’ve also touched on Christian Thibadeau’s IBB and Perfect Rep principles while preparing activation work and a lot of Steve Bodanis of SST Hamilton’s programing structure. I’ve also based a lot of my gym design on what I learned while briefly interning for Steve. I’ve also taken lessons from the Parisi Warmup and the never-ending knowledge of Charles Poliquin.

Now that credit where due is given, the program.

Monday Max Effort Lower Body. All my workouts start with the same general dynamic warm up consisting of a general warm up, a ground based mobility circuit, structural prehabilitation and activation work.

The general warm up is comprised of light foam rolling and jump rope for a few minutes. I find this especially important during morning workouts. Following that is a modified version of the Parisi Warm up, which I discovered they were using after using the exact same thing for three years prior.

For this particular meso cycle I’ll be using the prehabilitation period to bring up my lagging calves. This is only until the hamstring is fully healed so I can go back to working on anterior pelvic tilt and all the problems that accompany it. The calf work will be with standing with straight knees - 2 x 10, T=2200, R=30s

For activation work I’ll be doing Dumbell Split Jumps. Hopefully this will aid in dynamically increasing range of motion through my tight ass quads and hip flexors. I’ll be doing 2 x 10 with 10% 1RM Back Squat, R=60s

The workout:

A) Low Bar Rack Pull w/Bands - Working up to 1-3RM. 3 sets over 90% of 1RM and only counting work sets above 70% of my 1RM. R=3-5min.

For resistance I’ll be using a 50/50 mix straight weight and band tension at lockout. At this moment I’m estimating my current 1RM on dead lift to be 365lb and I don’t have a current number on the Low Pin Pull.

For assistance work I’ll try to hit the hamstrings and lower back as much as feasible. Currently the only equipment that allows for bend knee hamstring work in my gym is various body weight exercises such as Swiss ball and blast strap leg curls. Suggestions are welcome.

B1) Reverse Hyper Extension (on the homemade reverse hyper)- 3 x 10, R=30s
B2) Swiss Ball Leg Curl - 3 x 10, R=60s

C1) Band Good Morning - 2 x 20, R=30s
C2) Weighted Swiss Ball Crunches - 2 x 20, R=30s

Both of these are higher rep and lower rep work will be put on the Dynamic Effort Lower Body day.

Poliquin states that you should always follow up deadlifts and variations with split squats or unilateral work that encourages flexibility. Whilst also needing conditioning work, I decided to kill two birds with one stone.

D) Car Push or Sled Pull - 4 x 45-60s, R=2min

Afterward, a little cool down, static stretching, foam rolling and some self PNF stretching to finish. Followed by a contrast shower if feeling ambitious and appropriate PWO nutrition.

Tuesday Max Effort Upper Body. It was put on Tuesday to somewhat resemble the Westside template and to avoid the stigma of International Bench Mondays.

I’ll follow the same warm up as Monday but some wall slides and broom stick figure 8s will be included. Depending on time I may just eliminate the ground based mobility.
For prehabilitation I’ll be doing Bent Over Trap 3 raises for 2 sets of 10. Poliquin states that the weight you can do for 10 reps should equal 10.1% of your one rep max on bench. I can use 20s for this which equates to a 63%. Clearly room for improvement.
For activation I’ll be doing 10 second Heavy Holds. I’m aiming for 120% of my 1RM or roughly 375ish. This should amply jump start the CNS. A couple reps just to loosen up first will be necessary.

The Workout:
A) Max Effort: 2 Board Press w/ bands and Fat Gripz: Work up to 1-3RM. R=3-5min. These will be done with a similar scheme to pin pulls on Monday. 3 sets over 90% current day 1RM and only counting sets over 70%. I’m shooting to get at least 8 good quality work sets. For resistance I’ll be 50/50 straight weight and band tension at lockout. I haven’t used my new EliteFTS short bands yet so I’ll have to mess around with them to get the proper combination of length and tension. But I’ll be trying to get about between 120-140lbs of tension at lockout.

B) Incline DB Press with Fat Gripz: 2 x 20, R=60s

C1) Band Assisted Pull Ups: 4 x AMAP-2, R=30s
C2) Band Pull Aparts: 4 x 12, R=60s

D1) Lying DB Triceps Extension: 3 x 12. R=10s
D2) Barbell Reverse Curl: 3 x 12, R=60s

E1) Plate Pinch: 2 x ALAP, R=60s

The same cool down as Monday is used.

Thursday is the first of my “option” days. As previously noted in the program description, I’ve had a hard time making speed workouts happen. Excuses have a way of fabricating themselves and rationalization becomes easier with practice. And without an adequate backup plan it quickly becomes a barren week of fitness. The same warm up, prehab, activation and core lift is done regardless.

Prehab work will still be calves but with a higher weight and lower reps. A two second pause will be observed at the bottom to eliminate any elastic rebound. Standing Single Leg Calf Raise: 2 x 5, T=2200, R=30s

Activation work is Dumbell Jump Squats: 2 x 5, R=60s, 20% 1RM Squat.

WORKOUT
A) Speed Work: Parallel Box Squat w/ chains: 10 x 2, R=60s. Week 1=50%, Week 2=55%, Week 3=60%. Max time to complete both reps = 2-3 seconds. I’ll be using one set of chains per side, weighing about 60 pounds total at lockout and fully deloaded on the ground.

B) Good Morning: 5 x 5, R=60s
This is a heavier set of good mornings than on the max effort day. Depending on how I feel there may be chains added.

This brings us to the cross road of the workout. The first option is to stay in the weight room and lift and the second is to go outside and sprint.

OPTION ONE: DYNAMIC EFFORT LOWER BODY
C1) Barbell Split Squat w/crazy bells: 3 x 10, R=60s
Because I don’t have two kettle bells the same weight I’ll loop a band through a 25lb plate on each side.

C2) Dumbell RDL: 3 x 20, R=60-90

D1) Standing Band Crunch: 3 x 10, R=10s
D2) Med Ball Woodchopper: 3 x 10, R=30s

OPTION TWO: SPEED TRAINING

This will start with a dynamic warm up that was taken from my university football team and will be followed with some jump work and specific movement prep.

SPEED WORKOUT
C) Sprints from Mountain Climber Start: 6-8 x 10m, 70%, R=60s
D) Shuttle Run: 2-4 x (10m x 6) , 80%, R=60s
E) Optional Conditioning Finisher: Car Push or Sled Pull: 2-4 x 45-60s

After either option the same cool down is done.

Should one feel so inclined, they could do one working in the morning and one at night, provided the warm ups were adequate. Given my work schedule this will be unlikely but it is an option.

Friday Dynamic Effort Upper Body. The standard warmup with extra focus on shoulder mobility and scapular stability will apply. For prehab work I’ll perform Dumbbell External Rotation, elbow on knee: 2 x 15, R=30s.
Activation work is short today. A few sets of plyometric pushups.

Workout:
A) Speed Bench Press w/ chains: 10 x 3, 55% 1RM, R=60s, use 3 different grip widths. A constant weight for speed work. Complete in fastest time possible and use one set of chains.

B) Seated DB Military Press with Fat Gripz: 2 x 20, R=60s. T Minor bursitis in my left shoulder has prevented heavy overhead lifting in the short term so this will be a good low impact alternative.

C1) Weighted Pull Up: 4 x 3-5, R=30s
C2) Face Pull: 4 x 15, R=30s
This is the heavier lat day. The reps are lower and the resistance is higher.

D1) 4 board press w/ chains: 3 x 5, R=30s, using two sets of chains.

D2) 1 Arm DB Row with Fat Gripz: 3 x 12, R=30s. The fat gripz may be removed depending on grip condition.

E) DB Hex Hold: 2 x ALAP, R=60s

Typical cool down.

Mar 29th, 2010

Today is the official first day of my training log. Morning pictures and measurements were taken and will include a list of everything I ate and at what time and a detailed training log from tonight’s Max Effort Lower Body session.

Wake up: 7am
Sleep = 7 hours
Feeling like a 9/10
Temperature = 97.1’ F
Resting Heart Rate = 56 BPM
Weight = 186
Waist = 33"

Mar 29 - Front

Mar 29 - Side


Mar 29 - Back

Its clear from these stats and photos that I’m not as lean as I should be but I’m confident that that will take care of itself through strength training. My diet has been clean for a long time now and it’ll be a matter of nutrition timing and portion control to fix that but its a tertiary thought at best right now.

Mar 29 - Back

Its clear from these stats and photos that I’m not as lean as I should be but I’m confident that that will take care of itself through strength training. My diet has been clean for a long time now and it’ll be a matter of nutrition timing and portion control to fix that but its a tertiary thought at best right now.

While transformation of body composition is not a primary goal, no one has ever criticized a lean physique. Provided it is not at the detriment of strength gains, I’ll maintain the a carb cycling plan with two high carb, three medium carb and two low carb days weekly.
The schedule will look as follows:

Monday - Max Effort Lower Body - High Carb
Tuesday - Max Effort Upper Body - Medium Carb
Wednesday - Off/prehab - Low Carb
Thursday - Dynamic Effort Lower Body - High Carb
Friday - Dynamic Effort Upper Body - Medium Carb
Saturday - Speed and Conditioning - Medium Carb
Sunday - Rest - Low Carb

My tastes are bland and easy to satisfy, making food selection easy. The basic meal template will remain the same with minor changes to satisfy carb demands. On high carb days no additional carbs will be added to any meal, short of the unavoidable trace amounts found in food. On low days only green vegetables will be eaten for carbs.

I usually wake up around 7am and immediately slam a cup of coffee. I enjoy a little milk with it and will keep this in for now. The options will be:
High Carb- Package of instant oatmeal, banana, half cup berries, egg white omelet.
Med Carb - 3 whole eggs, egg whites, instant oatmeal
Low Carb - 3 whole eggs, egg whites. handful of nuts

Mid morning I have a hard time eating solid food for some reason which makes a shake convenient. On low and medium days I’ll pop a few fish oils and on high days I’ll eat a piece of fruit.

Lunch is easy. I pack a spinach salad without dressing and two chicken breasts. Medium and low days I’ll have an avocado or fish oil, high days I won’t.

Workouts usually take place at 5:30pm, minutes after getting home and in the past I’ve noticed that I have shitty performance with food in my gut. So my mid afternoon meal is another shake. Medium and high days includes a piece of fruit. Low days are just the shake.

I’m a big fan of Surge Workout Fuel and try to have a serving 30-45 minutes pre workout. When I have it on hand (I usually do but have recently run out) I’ll begin sipping Surge Recovery towards the second half of my workout and chug the rest as soon as I’m done my last set. Until my next order I’ll just have a plain whey immediately after.

I usually don’t wait too long after my workout to eat. It is almost always some form of red meat, a salad and some assorted vegetables. On the high carb days I’ll include some rice or potato option. Low and medium days will just be meat and vegetables. I don’t include fat after the workout.

The last meal of the day is fat free cottage cheese mixed with whey. On low and medium days I’ll throw in fish oil.

I’ll punch these numbers into Fitday later and compare all the days. Based on food choices and portion sizes this is a diet that won’t necessarily promote rapid weight loss. I will estimate it to be comfortably below my maintenance levels and will most likely have a positive impact on body composition without effecting strength levels.

I’ve kept a food log for as long as two years at a time in the past and will continue to do so. Modifications will be made as needed to ensure positive changes and continual strength gain.

Monday Mar 29th: Max Effort Lower Body

Prehab) Standing Calf Raise: 2x10, T=2200, R=30s
2x10 w/30s

Activation) Dumbell Split Jumps: 2x10, 10% 1RM Back Squat, R=60s
2x20 w/30s

A) Low Bar Rack Pull w/Bands: Work up to 1-3RM. 3 sets over 90% of 1RM. R=3-5min.
We used the Elite FTS Light short band today. It was the first time using it and I wasn’t sure what resistance to use. I have a chart outlining the resistance at various lengths of strength but could probably use some clarification. I think we’ll move up to the average bands next week.

Bar,135,185,225,275 (switched to mixed grip),295,315 x3, 335 x2, 365 (the weight I hurt myself on) x2, 385 x1, 405 x1.

I don’t know what the lock out weight works out to with the bands but I’m happy with this number for today. The bar was at the top of my knee cap at the bottom.

B1) Reverse Hyper Extension: 3 x 10, R=30s
40x10, 60x10x2

B2) Swiss Ball Leg Curl: 3 x 10, R=60s
Body weight x10x3

C1) Band Good Morning: 2 x 20, R=30s
Purple band x20x3

C2) Weighted Swiss Ball Crunches: 2 x 20, R=30s
25lb dumbell x20x3

D) Car Push or Sled Pull: 4 x 45-60s, R=2min
Pushing a CR-V. 3 sets of 45s. My legs didn’t feel like they were attached to my body anymore.

http://www.youtube.com/user/kmorrison6?feature=mhw4#p/a/u/0/Qf8AEARK6Jk

High Carb Day
Meal One: 7:30am
Cup of coffee with milk and sweetener, 2 packs instant oatmeal, 1 cup egg whites, handful of black berries, one banana, one scoop of whey.
590 kcal, 6g Fat, 86g Carbs, 51g Pro

Meal Two: 10:30am
Shake, small apple, coffee with two milk
260 kcal, 3g Fat, 22g Carbs, 37g Pro

Meal Three: 1pm
Mixed greens salad, two chicken breasts
300kcal, 6g Fat, 4g Carbs, 53g Pro

Meal Four: 3pm
Shake, small apple, coffee (decaf) with two milk
260 kcal, 3g Fat, 22g Carbs, 27g Pro

Preworkout: 5pm
Surge Workout Fuel
140kcal, 32g Carbs

Post workout: 7pm
Shake, grapefruit
322 kcal, 4g Fat, 27g Carbs, 48g Pro

Meal Five: 8pm
Haddock fillet, cup of wild rice, two cups vegetables
575 kcal, 6g Fat, 83g Carbs, 47 Pro

Meal Six: 10pm
Cup of 1% cottage cheese
163 kcal, 2g Fat, 6g Carbs, 28g Pro

Daily Total:
2,451 kcal, 30g Fat, 277g Carbs, 275g Pro

Really makes me realize how little I’m eating. I’ll really have to up the calories on these high carb days.

Lets see it the video works this time.

Tuesday March 30th- Max Effort Upper Body/Medium Carb Day

Yesterday felt great. I was not expecting to hit 405 on the rack pulls especially considering the light bands added between 100-130lbs of tension at lockout according to the chart on EliteFTS. I’d love to get back to a raw deadlift with four wheels but I’m not touching it until I know my lower back can hold up.

This morning I woke up and felt great. I choked down the “I have to throw up” feeling for an hour after the car pushes and figured I’d limp out of bed but I jumped right up, eager to do upper body tonight.

Wake up: 7:00am
Sleep: 8 hours
Temp: 97.0’F
RHR: 55
Feeling like: 9/10

Today is a medium carb day so I’ll include a little bit of fat and because yesterday felt so good I’m going to keep the carbs higher than a usual medium day.

NOTE:
As I wrote this I received an email from Shelby Starnes providing me with his newest E-Book on dieting called A Simple Guide To Very Low Carb Diets. I’m to read the book and give the diet a try and write a review in my blog and post the link to his website. I’ll read this tonight and I’ll be following his plan starting tomorrow. I’ve been reading his work for some time now and what impressed me the most was the quality of the reviews he receives from each of his clients. Results speak louder than any marketing ploy and I can’t wait to give this a try.

I feel so cheap now, posting what I’ve prepared and packed for myself to eat today but here is it:

Meal One: 730am
1 cup egg whites, 2 whole eggs, 1 packet instant oatmeal

Meal Two: 10:30am
Shake, apple, 5g fish oil

Meal Three: 1pm
Mixed Greens salad, large chicken breast, avocado

Meal Four: 3:30pm
Shake, apple

Preworkout: 5pm
Surge Workout Fuel

Power Workout: 7pm
Whey Isolate

Meal Five: 8pm
2 cups haddock, large salad with no dressing, mixed frozen vegetables

Meal Six: 10pm
Cottage cheese (fat free), 5g fish oil

I’ll follow this for the rest of the day and hopefully get the book read tonight. I’d like to implement his plan by tomorrow.

I ended up having meatballs, tomato sauce, a handful of nuts and some sugar free candies for the remainder of my meals.

The workout:
General warm up plus some additional shoulder dislocations, figure 8s and wall slides.

Prehab) Bent Over Trap 3 raises: 20’s x 10, 25’s x 10.
I’m surprised about how easy the 25’s felt. Maybe 30’s next week?

Activation) 10 second Heavy Holds.
2 sets for 10 seconds with 365 plus a mini band which is around 120 at lockout.

The Workout:
A) Max Effort: 2 Board Press w/ mini short bands and Fat Gripz
Bar, 135, 185, 195, 205, 215 x 3, added boards, 230, 240 x 3, 250 x 2, 275 x 1, 285 x epic fail
Considering the band tension, I was pleased with the 275 (+120). There would have been a video posted today of the benching but as seen above, it didn’t go well.

B) Incline DB Press with Fat Gripz â?? 2 x 20, R=60s
50s x 20, 55s x 20
These also felt good. My limited dumbell rack jumps from 55’s to 75s so next week I’ll try 55’s for both sets and then try jumping up to limited reps with the 75s.

C1) Purple Light Band Assisted Pull Ups â?? 4 x AMAP-2, R=30s
We kept the rest times really short. 16, 14, 12, 8. Miserable effort.

C2) Monster Mini Pull Aparts â?? 4 x 12, R=60s
x 12, 12, 12, 12

D1) Lying DB Triceps Extension â?? 3 x 12. R=10s
I hit all three sets for 12 with 30s. I’m missing 35’s so next week I’ll make the jump to 40s.

D2) Barbell Reverse Curl â?? 3 x 12, R=60s
Bar x 12 x 3

E1) Plate Pinch â?? 2 x ALAP, R=60s
Pinched a pair of tens for a set and four five pounders for a set

All in all I was very happy with this workout. I’m also happy that Wednesday is a rest day because the delayed onset muscle soreness is kicking in now. Specifically in the traps and calves.

I’ve prepared food for tomorrow and I’m excited to start Shelby’s plan. I checked a few forums and no one will speak a negative word towards him. I’ve already emailed him for some clarification on the plan and he responded within minutes. Excellent service.

Wednesday March 31st

For some reason, I couldn’t sleep at all last night. I was up until 3:00am watching TV shows I’d already watched at 10pm. My caffeine intake was low and certainly no higher than usual. I hope this is an isolated incident. Feeling a little under the weather too.

I didn’t take vitals this morning.
Wake up: 9am
Sleep: 6 hours
Weight:
Temp:
RHR:
Feeling like: 6/10

This is the first day following Shelby’s protocol. The diet for today is posted below. I’m noticing the portion sizes are smaller than I’m used to but I don’t feel hungry at all. Probably because I’m basically consuming nothing but protein, fats and fiber.

Today is a scheduled rest day with optional rehab/prehab work. It will be a good excuse to enjoy the beautiful weather and dust off the old dragging sled and sandbag. I should also get a good dose of flexibility work and some light cardio in.

Meal One: 9am
2 whole eggs, 1.25 cups egg whites, tsp almond butter

Meal Two: 12pm
Protein shake with 1.5 scoops, handful of mixed nuts (no peanuts)

Meal Three: 4pm
two cans of tuna with some spices, one tablespoon olive oil, diet coke

Meal Four: 630pm
Handful of nuts, diet coke, small steak, 2 cups mixed greens

Meal Five: 9pm
Chicken breast, tsp almond butter, tsp fish oil

Didn’t get out to do some GPP work with the sled. I did, however, purchase some lumber to make a 36" plyo box plus another 7" and 3" squat boxes for added adjustability. I wanted two of each height for various "from the blocks’ exercises that will come into play eventually.