T Nation

L <3's Lifting


Hi, I'm L, and I'm a muscle addict. :slight_smile:

I've been lifting off and on for about 8 years. Over the last 8 months, I've been more serious about training. My dad is a lifter, and he's my inspiration. He also helps write my programs, but since he lives in MA and I'm in MD, it's remote training. Anyway, I've recently been a creeper and enjoyed reading others' logs here, so I figured I'd share mine. I used to play soccer, and one of the things I miss is competition! Several people have asked me lately if I'm a powerlifter, but I don't think I have an interest in competing as a powerlifter. Right now I just want to look and feel the best I can. (And be content I can outlift most of the guys at my gym, though I'm not convinced that's saying much.) I recently took off 25 lbs (I'm back at what I'd consider my "normal" weight), and I'd like to drop about 15 more before I decide on my next move. I'm 5'4" and around 153. Even though this is the weight I tend to "gravitate" to, I'm much stronger than I've ever been.

The focus of this cycle of training has been to strengthen my back. Here's my last week of workouts (sorry, kind of a lot at once):

Pushups 60
Cluster Rack pulls (2 reps/10 sec rest x 3 = 1 set) 135x6 185x6 205x6 205x6 225x6 225x6
SL Sit-up 35x10 35x10 35x10
Chins (~20-30 sec rest) 2 2 2 2 2
Frogkicks 50 50 50
DB rows 50x5 50x5 50x5
DB Rev Flyes 12.5x20 12.5x20 12.5x20
BB Wrist curls 45x20 45x20 45x20

Pushups 60
Bench 95x10 115x10 125x9 135x8 135x8
AntiRotational Obliques 60x8 60x8 60x8
Pushups 50
Hi pulley flyes 45x12 50x12 50x12
Mid pulley flyes 45x12 50x12 50x12
Lo pulley flyes 35x12 35x12 40x12
BB Wrist curls 45x20 45x20 45x20

Pushups 60
CL DB Standing MP 27.5x6 27.5x6 27.5x6
Dips 12 10 10
Face pull 90x10 90x10 90x10
Tri Ext 90x7 90x7 90x7
Lat raise 12.5x12 12.5x12 12.5x12
EZ curl 30x10 30x10 30x10
Drag curl (~6 sec neg) 30x16 30x13 30x12
Wrist curls 40x25 40x25 40x25
Frogkicks 100

Pushups 50
CL WG Lat pull 130x6 130x6 130x6 130x6 120x6
SL Sit-up 35x10 35x10 35x10
UH BB Row 80x5 80x5 80x5
Rack pulls 175x5 195x5 195x5
(Cut short for an appt before work)

Pushups 60
Hip thrusts 35x15 35x15 35x15
CL Squat 135x3 175x6 185x6 205x6
Back Ext 35x6 35x6 35x6
DB step-ups 32.5x5 32.5x5 32.5x5
SL DL 135x5 155x5 155x4
1L DB calf raise 35x5 35x5 35x5
Seated calf raise 115x5 125x5 125x5 135x5 135x5

You can probably also notice I'm trying to work on my grip with the wrist curls (also do farmers walks on my "free day"). I use straps on my DLs because my grip is really poor and I'm trying to focus on my back. I have lupus, and since I'm having a flare, it feels like I have arthritis in my joints and sometimes holding weights gets a little tricky. I guess it's also worth noting that I only started DLing/rack pulls about 3 months ago. I also used to be married to the leg press, but I hurt my back and now I can't go above 600 comfortably, so that's when I started squatting more. (My back seems to be fine, but I'm giving the leg press a little more space - "It's not you, it's me.") I'm not trying to put any size on my legs, so I don't get as concerned about my squatting numbers. Since I've always been so bad with pull-ups/chins, I'd like to bring those up. When I'm not having a lupus flare and completely fatigued, I try to do about 3 HIIT sprint sessions a week.

My plan for my next training cycle is to do lactic acid training (which I did about 6 months ago and really liked) to spur on some more fat loss and prepare to lift heavier. That training is only 3 days a week, so I'll be doing more HIIT.

I was wondering what you other lovely ladies use to supplement (besides protein)... I eat low carb and switched to morning workouts about 6 months ago. I'm not much of a morning person, and I find my supplementing has helped with my energy to lift. I've been cycling with creatine ethyl ester and b-alanine.

Tomorrow is my "free day" at the gym where I do whatever I feel like for as long as I feel like. Looking forward to it! (minus the "weekend warriors" who crowd the weight room...)

Happy weekend!


Welcome. There are quite a few women on here who are training for a competition and most of these started out as recreational lifters. Going by your rack pulls, you are plenty strong enough.
I have to say, that's an awful lot of workouts with no rest.


Hi Lanels, It's very cool that you and your father share the same passion for lifting. That must be fun. Looking forward to following along. I love how hard you get after it despite the lupus. I hope it quiets down for you soon.


Tri ext. 90? Really?! WOW! Impressive.

You've got some strong numbers w/a lotta vol. Should be an interesting read.


Welcome. Looking forward to following your training. Appears that you are STRONG. Very nice work.


Thanks, ladies! I'm enjoying reading your threads, too!

Cal: Yes, I know it's not much rest, but I feel better if I go 5-6 days a week as opposed to 3 or 4. I am anticipating some more rest days when I start my next cycle of training. It's not preventing me from making gains, so I'm content right now.

Nadia: Thanks, I hope it quiets down soon, too! I've been fortunate to not have my flares last too long usually. A few weeks, maybe.

Print: I should say those are cable tri ext, so not quite as impressive as DB. As mentioned, my grip sucks, so I can't pull that off. But thanks anyway. :slightly_smiling:

Veggie: Thanks very much! Being called 'strong' means more coming from people who know what they're talking about. :slightly_smiling:

Had a lovely 2-hr session at the gym this morning, and since I went earlier than usual, it wasn't quite as crowded. I won't put all my weekend numbers in, but I had a PR of 18 dips. Also tried the sumo squat holds from Frisch's (I think?) article this week which I LOVED. I'll have to incorporate those more often! One of my trainer friends (bodybuilder) invited me to train with him tomorrow. We've been trying to work it out, but I don't know if having another lifting day tomorrow is such a good idea. Sunday is my day off. Guess I'll play it by ear...


I'm totally w/you on the 5-6 sessions/week. I just function/feel better with that kind of program. But, as much fun as it might be to train w/your friend tomorrow, I have a hard time condoning it on your scheduled off day. Maybe you can do it, provided that you're feeling good. I would definitely schedule in some other day - like maybe Monday - for rest. If doing that is going to throw your program into chaos, then you gotta stick to your plan and make sure that you get your rest.


Welcome to PW, your log is very impressive thus far!

I look forward to following =D


Veggie, I didn't train on Sunday and quite happy about it. The other 5/6 days are enough. :slight_smile: Thanks for your input.

Thanks, Nikki! Your back is looking awesome! I like reading your log.

So, Monday was a pretty bad day for lifting and it usually seems that my lift sets the tone for the rest of the day (fortunately or unfortunately). I should've expected it to be rough because I woke up with really stiff, achy hands, but my grip was far worse than I was hoping. Anyway, let's get down to it.


Push-ups 70
CL Rack pulls (135x6) 185x6, 225x2 grip fail... 205x6 205x2 grip fail... 135x17 135x13 (took my frustration out on two lowly little 45s and got a nasty callous for my little tantrum)
SL Sit-up 35x10 35x10 35x10
Chins 2 2 2 2 2
Frogkicks 50 50 50
DB Rows 45x6 45x7 45x7
Rev flyes 12.5x20 12.5x20 12.5x20
Wrist curls 45x50

So quite a disappointing day. The rest of the day followed suit (left my coffee at home on the counter, had to work late, etc etc).

...Which is why I was determined to have a great lift today!

Push-ups 60
Bench 95x10 115x10 135x10 145x6 155x5
AR Obliques 60x8 60x8 60x8
Dec Press 45x8 65x10 85x10 95x10
Rev crunch 12 12 12
Push-ups 45
Hi cable flyes 45x12 50x12 50x12
Mid cable flyes 45x12 50x12 50x12
Lo cable flyes 35x12 40x12 40x12

I'm calling this a PR on my bench; although I'm guessing I probably could've lifted it before, I just hadn't attempted until today. (I've never gone for a 1RM on the bench. I'm just guessing 155 is about 80% or so.) It felt really good after the kind of day I had yesterday. Helps that my grip isn't a big factor on the bench. I'm super stubborn about the decline press. I find that I have to over-extend my shoulders if I rack it on the top rung and it's too much of an awkward position if I rack it on the lower rung once I get up to about 85. I'm short on spotters usually, so I'll be glad when this is out of routine for a while. I've tried DB declines, but I have a hard time lifting heavy enough DBs into the right position. Anyway, I'm happy to be ending this cycle on a high note with my bench. I keep thinking about the lactic acid supersetting. Trying to decide whether to do 3-4 full body workouts a week or do 4 two-body part workouts. The last time I did the former and that worked well. Might be good to try something new, though.

As far as my hands go, I'll be getting in to see my rheumatologist next week, so hopefully everything will check out (nothing surprising going on beneath the surface), and I can start something to help with the flare. As long as it's not prednisone... I'm trying to avoid that.

Now if only I can motivate in the evenings to do my HIIT sprints on the elliptical... The problem is I often think "I'm too tired," but then I think, "Well, I could just walk." "But you should sprint." (Who was talking about their inner monologue recently??) And then I end up not doing anything altogether. (Fail.) My dad used to always tell me that something is better than nothing. Guess I'll make tonight a sprinting night.


You have a very strong bench and damn that's a lot of pushups. I need to find a place for those in my routine. Sorry your hands are hurting you.


hey there! Whoa, you are pretty inspiring! Not to point out your Lupus, but I must address how impressed I am with you persevering despite it! I don't know w whole lot about it lupus, but I know enough to be inspired by you :)!

...and also your freakin back and upper body strength is fantastic! push ups for days! great bench! WORD!


Hi, welcome to PW :slight_smile:

Good on you for taking Sunday off. I'm just now being serious about my rest day and it really is helping. Didn't think I was overtraining... But think that progress is coming faster so maybe I was a little.

Congrats on your PR!

I take fish oil and glucosamine for my joints (though I've gotten a bit slack about taking it and really need to get back on it before winter where they really do make a considerable difference for me).


are you knocking out all those push ups in one shot??

what part of MD?


Welcome to the forum.
Very stong training in here!

I'll sure be poking my head in here often for inspiration.


Thanks, Nadia. When I added push-ups to my daily routine, a lot of my lifts went up -bench, chins, dips, etc. It's definitely helped, so I would recommend it!

Hey, Brute. Thanks! I hope that maybe someone else can glean some "can-do" attitude despite something they might be struggling with. You look like you have some awesome back strength yourself! I've really just started focusing on mine, so I'll have to take some tips from you.

Hi Alexus, thanks for the input on the supplements. I've taken fish oil before but just got out of the habit, so I really should get back into it. I think I'll ask my dr if he thinks the glucosamine would help. It's kind of funny how we get out of the habit of taking things we know help us! (And by funny I mean sad.)

MiM, I'm right outside of DC. Whereabouts are you? And yep, I knock 'em out all at once. I had gotten up to 100 at one point and then had a critique on my ROM. Ouch, my pride! I'll get back up there eventually... I actually find the momentum to help instead of doing smaller sets.

Hey, LS, thanks! You ladies have been inspiring to me. :slight_smile:

Thanks for dropping by! I don't have my workout notebook with me, so I'll post this morning's in the evening. However, I did force myself to do the elliptical sprints last night.

4 min warm-up/9 min sprints - 30 sec on/30 sec off/4 min "cool down"/2 min sprints (30/30)/2 min cool down
(That's what my elliptical session usually looks like.)


Wednesday Training

Push-ups 60
CL Stand MP 30x6 30x6 30x6
Dips 15 10 8
Face pull 90x10 100x7 100x7
Lat raise 15x10 15x10 15x10
EZ curl 40x10 40x10 40x10
Drag curl (~7 sec neg) 30x17 30x13 30x10
Wrist curls 30x50

The way the drag curls burn reminds me of what's to come soon. I'm 90% really excited about the lactic acid SS and 10% dreading the pain!


You are making me add some push-ups today. Congratulations on the BIG BENCH. And hey, I'm new around these parts too, another shortie at 5'2". Very nice to meet you. And I've forgotten about face pulls. Need to put those back in sometimes.

I know what you mean about the lactic acid. If I don't feel sore, I usually feel like I didn't push myself, although I know it isn't necessarily true.


Hmm, I think I need to be adding push-ups back in as well. It's definitely a use it or lose it move.
Nice training.


nice benching :slight_smile:


Guess I've been a slacker when it comes to posting. At least it's not a reflection of my training!

Thanks, Power, Cal, and Main! I don't think you'll be disappointed with more push-ups!

So let's recap the end of last week:


Push-ups 70
CL WG Lat pull 120x6 130x6 130x6 130x6 130x6
SL Sit-up 35x10 35x10 35x10
UH BB row 80x5 80x5 80x6
Rack pulls 185x3 185x5 185x5 185x8
Capt Chair 15 15 15 10
Dec DB Pullover 40x10 40x10 40x10
Wrist curls 40x40


Push-ups 60
Hip thrusts 35x12 35x12 35x12
Squat 155x6 185x6 205x6
Plate back ext 35x6 35x8 35x8
DB step-ups 32.5x5 32.5x5 32.5x5
SL DL 135x5 155x5 155x5
1L DB calf raise 35x5 35x5 35x5
Seated calf raise 125x5 125x5 125x5 125x5 125x5

Friday night I did my HIIT sprints.

Saturday was a free day. Hit 20 dips (PR). Shooting for 30, but not until after this cycle. Today started the lactic acid supersetting.

(First set should be a minimum of 20 reps, going until the lactic acid burn forces a stop, virtually no rest between sets, just to set up. There's about 1-2 min when switching body part combos.)


DB Floor press 30x30 30x20 30x16 30x15 30x17 30x13
DB Bent over rows 30x30 30x18 30x15 30x12 30x14 30x13

Goblet squats 40x46 40x27 40x19 40x18 40x16 40x15
SL DL 60x23 60x19 60x14 60x13 60x12 60x15

Bradford presses 20x30 20x23 20x19
DB toes raises 30x37 30x32 30x29

DB curls 12.5x30 12.5x17 12.5x13
DB tri ext 27.5x25 27.5x15 27.5x13

I'm expecting some serious DOMS this week, but this is only 3-4 days a week. I'm planning on doing the sprints on my off days. I need to stay in the habit of waking up early every day!