T Nation

Logs of Freedom - Mutantcolors

I have been away from the fitness game for a few months thanks to abject poverty. In light of landing my dream job recently, I will have the luxury of:

1 - a damn food budget worth my while!
2 - ready access to a great gym.

I’ve done this rodeo a couple few times, and I aim to really pile on all the training and nutrition knowledge I’ve amassed over the years for this round.

Goal number one for this log: Eat and lift my way to 180 lbs at or below 10% body fat.
I’ve been as high as 172, currently at 159 after starving since February.

Immediate training challenge: prepare for Mt Borah, Idaho’s highest peak, in late August. I’ve done it once already, I want to do much better this year than last, and I plan to do that with squats and bike sprints as my direct attack for this particular goal.

This week’s training is just to knock the rust off. A 3x8 of back squats after warming up with hamstring curls left me crippled two days later.

Later on tonight - dinner:
2 tuna steaks
1 cup sticky rice with fresh pineapple and Thai chilis.

I’m just getting warmed up.

Forming the habit of logging work starts now.

Previously - squats on Sat, dips and some back work on Sun. Again, this is just to prep me for the coming onslaught.

Tonight (Tues) - Inverted rows w Iron Grips, OHP + seated calves + tibialis raise tri set, Hammer shoulder press until failure + strip to second failure x2, bike sprint (15 sec on, 30 sec rest) x3

God I hate bike sprints.

This is my nighty night stack. Lucid dream city.

Thus far today:

630 am -
Espresso + tbsp coconut oil + 1/2tbsp butter = 172 cal 20g fat
6oz bacon wrapped filet mignon = 503 cal 45.5g fat 43g protein

1115 am -
“The Lunch” - a recipe I developed in college
8 oz full fat cottage cheese = 240 cal 10g fat 24g protein 5g carb
5oz can tuna = 50 cal 22g protein
Small avocado = 240 cal 22g fat 13g carb 3g protein
2 tbsp olive oil = 240 cal 28g fat
Season to taste ( I use banana peppers, lemon juice and Mrs. Dash)
770 cal 60g fat 18g carb 49g protein

2pm - shake
16 oz whole milk = 300 cal 16g fat 24g carb 16g protein
2 scoops Gold Standard vanilla - 260 cal 48 g protein

6pm - "Progurt"
16 oz yogurt - 210 cal 7 g fat 22g protein
One scoop Gold Standard vanilla - 130 cal 24 g protein
Tbsp raw honey - 64 cal 17g carb
404 cal 7 g fat 17g carb 46 g protein

Tonight it was half full fat, half nonfat Greek. Just what I had open and convenient. Those are the two varieties I usually buy. I love dairy fat but 24g protein in a serving of nonfat Greek is hard to argue with. Anyway…

Total as of 6 pm:
2259 cal
150.5g fat
53g carb
202 g protein

I have a date with a friend to go get a free pizza at 9pm. I think, for an off day, I’ll be just fine on the caloric intake hahaha.

Yesterday I finished the remaining half of that pizza I mentioned for lunch, no clue on calories. Same filet and espresso breakfast, same shake, another pound of progurt with a quarter pineapple, 8oz of tuna steak and a cup of rice with a quarter pineapple and a glass of milk for dinner. I should mention I snack on a nice lightly salted nut mix (Brazil, hazelnut, almond, cashew, pecan) just about daily as well. Good luck tracking those calories…
2600 trackable calories plus half a pizza and nuts. This is looking good since I’m yet to even try to slam the food.

More carbs because squats - embarrassing numbers aside, I threw in a 3x15 on the linear hack squat to follow up. I love that machine. Depending on my soreness tomorrow, I will unleash upon myself next round if I feel ready, but session 2 was already a big improvement.

4oz tuna steak breakfast + espresso with delicious fats (coconut and butter, that’s my standard 630 am drink)
"The Lunch"
Same shake
Cup of rice and 4 tandoori chicken drumsticks
The chicken alone was 840 cal and 90 grams of protein, oh yeah.

2250 cal, 215 g protein. A little weak since I didn’t get in the progurt, that won’t be a repeated mistake.

Weighted dips and Hammer low row superset x7, straight arm pulldown/seated Hammer dip/Hammer chest supported row tri set x3, thick grip reverse curl/tri rope extension/calf raise tri set x2, bike sprint x4.

Gotta play drums tomorrow or I’d have hit the reverse curl triset harder.

Espresso (always)

Ate this yesterday and today for breakfast -

6oz bacon wrapped filet mignon, 4 jumbo eggs, 16oz whole milk = 1160 cal 86g fat 24g carb 91g protein.
Now that’s a breakfast.

The rest of today:

Post workout snack -
1/4 cup cream of rice (+ 1 cup water)
1 scoop Gold Standard vanilla
2 tbsp coconut milk
1oz 100% unsweetened chocolate (don’t eat this stuff raw LOL) = 398 cal 9g fat 40g carb 27g protein
I’m gonna up the rice portion on that recipe now that I see it broken down.

6 small red potatoes, 3 drumsticks and 16oz milk = 1731 cal 52 g fat 204g carb 106g protein

3289 cal, 167g fat, 268 g carb, 224 g protein. Not bad for two meals.

Ran some OHP, landmine presses, Hammer shoulder press, plate raises, 4x bike sprints and tried a Deadsquat for the first time ever. Some kind soul left theirs for the gym to use, and it’s fucking awesome. Will be programming that thing in. Speaking of which…time to ink a routine. The initial shitty workouts and getting past the first nasty sore days are done, the last squat session barely hurt two days later, so it’s time.

I start this brand new job July 5th. I am really considering a schedule that rotates quicker than a week, whether 2 on 1 off, 1 on 1 off, or straight 2 on 1 off. I did the first option previously for most of last year and found it very effective, hitting your exercises every 5 days instead of every week.

If the schedule proves too crazy I’m thinking a regular 5 a week, but rotating 4 different days. You always go the same days of the week but the exercises repeat on a shorter loop. Would end up having on days right after brutal leg days but hey, life is hard.

I’m really liking the idea right now of upper 1 - lower 1 - off - upper 2 - lower 2 - off - repeat.

Upper 1
A1 - Weighted dips - 1x8, 7x2 - rest = walk to next station
A2 - Hammer low row - 1x20, 7x10 - rest = 2 min

B1 - Double rope straight arm pulldown - 10, 8, 6, 6, 15 - rest = walk to next station
B2 - Hammer seated dip - 10, 8, 6, 6, 15 - rest = walk to next station
B3 - Hammer iso row - 10, 8, 6, 6, 15 - rest = 90 sec

C1 - Reverse EZ curl w Iron Grips - 4x12 - 40x0 tempo - rest = walk to next station
C2 - Tricep rope - 4x20 - rest = C3
C3 - elevated bodyweight calf raises for 1 minute- 1212 tempo - directly back to C1
How do you do more work? Exercise instead of rest.

Bike sprints - 5x 15 sec as hard as possible, 30 sec rest, try not to die.

Lower 1
A1 - Lying or Hammer kneeling hamstring curl - 8, 8, 8, 6, 4, 4, 4/4/4/4/4/4*
*Ladder up weight each set until second set of 4, ladder back down in one huge set of 6x4s.

B1 - Back squat
Warm up - 3x10 - bar only
135 lbs - 3 x AMRAP that day until 3x20 is achieved. Quad dominant form.
The goal is to train squat at 3x20 but I’m weak as shit right now so I have to get back there first.

C1 - Hammer linear hack squat - 5x15 - rest = walk (limp) to next station
C2 - Seated calf raise - 5x10 - rest = rotate my ass 180 degrees
C3 - Tibialis raise - 5x10 - rest = 2min
I always pair seated calf and tibialis because a smart person put the two pieces of equipment together at my gym.

When I write a rep range, it’s intended I cannot get one more rep. 8 = 9 will be a failed rep. It’s too light if I can get one more. This applies to most anything except warm ups or dangerous situations like squatting.

It’s late, I’ll write out Upper 2 and Lower 2 tomorrow. I have them mostly planned in my head.

Ah freedom, left behind my semi-lame job today. One week off before the new job starts.

Upper 1
A1 - Weighted dips - 1x8 - BW, 7x2 - +75 lbs
A2 - Hammer low row - 1x20 - 45 lbs a side, 7x10 - 80 x 3 sets, 75 x 2 sets, 65 x 2

B1 - Double rope straight arm pulldown - 10 x 25lbs, 8 x 25, 6x30, 6x30, 15x20
B2 - Hammer seated dip - 10x90lbs, 8x100, 6x140, 6x160, 15x90 - really see how the pulldowns slay the triceps at the end of the range once I got to these even when you move with the lats
B3 - Hammer iso row - 10x90, 8x110, 6x120, 6x170, 15x90 - all sorts of pump going on at this point, neck to hands

C1 - Reverse EZ curl w Iron Grips - 4x45 lbs
C2 - Tricep rope - 20lbs, 20 for 10 17.5 for 10, 17.5, 17.5 - last 4 reps were partial, triceps fucking done
C3 - elevated bodyweight calf raises for 1 minute- 1212 tempo - these started to suck by set 3, getting closer to 20 reps so I guess my timing was half as slow as the tempo

Bike sprints - 5x 15 sec as hard as possible, 30 sec rest, try not to die. Yep, that part sucked but I’m improving fast.

I am indeed piling on calories but I’m not in the mood to write it out. I put down 20g BCAAs and 20g dextrose intra, 40g dextrose and 24g protein immediately after. Felt GREAT within 30 min, like I hadn’t even worked out. And I most certainly worked out.

Dinner was 3/4 lb ground turkey and a cup of quinoa FWIW. Some protein some carbs and some fat (olive oil in the quinoa.)

I need to figure out how to eat 500g carbs in a day and not hate my life.

My main weapons right now are:
White rice
Cream of rice
Good post-workout fruits ie pineapple, figs (yay glucose)
Straight up glucose aka dextrose powder in intra and post drinks.

I’m open to suggestions.

Lower 1 - oh what fun!

A1 - Lying or Hammer kneeling hamstring curl - 8, 8, 8, 6, 4, 4, 4/4/4/4/4/4*
*Ladder up weight each set until second set of 4, ladder back down in one huge set of 6x4s. - up a plate each set from 50 to 125 and back down.

B1 - Back squat
Warm up - 3x10 - bar only
135 lbs - 3 x AMRAP that day until 3x20 is achieved. Quad dominant form.
The goal is to train squat at 3x20 but I’m weak as shit right now so I have to get back there first. - 135x20/15/10, I could have pushed it closer to 3x20 but form was faltering.

I added in a return to the ham curls here, this time lots of heavy sets.
10x3 - 125 lbs for 5 sets, 110 for 5.

C1 - Hammer linear hack squat - 5x15 - 90lbs on the sled, no clue what that machine weighs.
C2 - Seated calf raise - 5x10 - +50lbs
C3 - Tibialis raise - 5x10 - +70 lbs

Never taken simple carbs during or after workout, even just over the counter dextrose has an obvious effect for the better. I felt fine in no time.

Had my new hire paperwork signing/meet and greet yesterday. Starting at 10 hour days while juggling 2 band practices a week has led me to this schedule. I’d prefer something that cycles quicker than once a week, but it has worked for centuries and will continue to do so.

Spent the last 4 days in the woods, a nice long weekend away from all the BS. Tomorrow begins the real work, both employment-wise and for the race to 180.

It’s only 20 lbs of lean body mass. What could go wrong? Wink wink chuckle chuckle.
170 will be easy, I’ve been there. It’s that second 10 lbs that has me wondering just how much food I’ll have to pound down. I like a good challenge.

Holy moly, so anyway, back to the log…

Now that week one of the new job is down, I see what I’m up against. Nothing terrible, the only thing that will get in the way is some intermittent travel. I was reluctant to write the back half of my program for this phase since it wasn’t clear which gym I’d be using, got that all sorted out so now I know I’m not trying to include some shit for which I wont have the equipment. I go to a mid-sized local gym with several locations, one close to home and two close to the new work spot, so I got my routines and equipment all cherry-picked and ready to go.

Got a line on some new food goodies too. Lamb heart from a local farm? FUCK YEAH. Brisket from a local farm? FUCK YEAH. Guacamole deviled eggs? FUCK YEAH. Ate half a dozen in one highly enjoyable sitting earlier today, I might make dozens a week they are so delicious.

OH and did I mention the gym location near my home has a Deadsquat? I’ll write up the official Upper 2 and Lower 2 for the next post to explain how I’ll be using it.

Okay, today’s dietary intake rundown is pretty representative of what I’m eating on a daily basis. Not the same food every day, but similar quantities, calories and timing.

6oz bacon wrapped filet mignon - 503 cal 45.5g fat 43g protein
Espresso and fats - 180 cal 20g fat

6 am until whenever I feel like stopping
black coffee at work

830 am - snack
Today was 3 guacamole deviled eggs - let’s assume there was 1/4 an avocado in there - 350 cal 25 g fat 28 g protein

11 am - lunch
Today was “The Lunch” - 770 cal 60g fat 18g carb 49g protein

130 pm - snack
Pineapple blueberry coconut milk smoothie with vanilla protein - 1/4 whole pineapple about 1/2 cup blueberries 1/2 cup coconut milk + 2 scoops protein powder = 2 servings at 310 cal 9g fat 20g carb 24 g protein each

3 pm - break
I’ve been leaving coffee around 10 am and hitting the tea at 3 pm break.

430 - off, head to gym
20g bcaa, 20g dextrose and some flavory stuff in a liter of ice water - 70 cal 20 g carbs
Post shake - 40g dextrose 2g ALCAR 24g protein in water

7ish - Dinner
1/2 lb beef patties, cup of steamed white rice, soy sauce and chili paste to taste. As brainless as that meal sounds, I fucking love to eat it. - 940 cal 64g fat 43g protein
16 oz whole milk - 300 cal 16g fat 24g carb 16g protein

GRAND TOTAL - 3,689 cal / 239g fat / 186 g carbs / 229g protein
Like I said, pretty standard day to day stuff. I’ve already moved back up to 165 lbs. Like I mentioned - after 170 is where I expect the challenge, as I’ve never passed 172 in my life.

Funny without even worrying about macros they all kinda land near each other. My macros are MOAR EVERYTHING.

Except maybe fats, I think that’s high enough already hahaha

Forced myself into completing the 3x20 squats for 135 this afternoon. I walked in and said “I’m doing this” and that was that.

Felt the heart get pretty poundy on about rep 17 of set 2, walked…sort of…off set 3 with a nasty quad pump like I haven’t seen in possibly ever.

Oh lifting, how I love thee. I might start posting some numbers now.

Spent all last work week in Wyoming on a site visit. Only cost me a couple sessions, but they have me slated to hit Missouri for a month straight as of mid Aug. May have to investigate 24 hr Fitness or something…

Anyway, Sunday Funday in effect. I sure do like this bar. I read online it weighs in at 70lbs, so there’s an even 350, from deficit, untrained on DL. Not bad when my all time 1RM is 365.

Only gonna be in MO for two weeks instead of a month. I’ll push through this here little phase of training, take the two weeks and my vacation week following that, and it’s on to step 2.

I fell in love with running 3 of 5 days lifting, on off on on off, with a round robin of strength on one and hypertrophy on the other two for 6 workouts, but that is just a pain in the ASS with my schedule.

Trying to find a way to make something similar happen on a 7 day rotation.

Deadsquat bar is the best tool I’ve used for rows. My lats are lame so that will be put to use.

My friend is getting back from a deployment in Turkey in Oct. He’s on board as my training partner and been running 5x5 3 days a week. We are going to train 2 of those days together. So I may very well head back to the tried and true “Big 4” - Squat/bench/dead/OHP. Pretty hard to fuck that one up.

I’ve lifted with the guy before. It’ll be good for both of us…

When I started this log, I scraped through weigthed dips with +75lbs for 7 doubles, got it back up to a 5x5 today without much issue. 80lbs would have been hairy, so I chose the correct weight.

Time for yam waffle fries and a 1lb pork chop.