Magick's Training Log

In an effort to be a bit more extroverted (New Year’s resolution kind of thing), and to create a platform to (hopefully) get advice from the very knowledgeable people here, I’ve decided to start a training log.

General mission statement- Get stronger.

Specific life-time goals-
Deadlift 3xbw x5
Squat 2xbw x5
Bench 1.5xbw x5
OHP 200lbx5
Run a mile under 6 minutes.
3 miles under 21 minutes.

Barbell goals that I plan on reaching by the end of this year-
Deadlift 405lbx5
Squat 315lbx5
Bench 185lbx5 (Let’s just say my bench really fucking sucks)
OHP 135x5 (Ditto with OHP)

Training History-

Started lifting around Dec(?) of 2011, when my brother convinced me to try going to the gym out. Got hooked. Had fucked around with a bunch of calisthenics and “squatting” with DBs before, but they never amounted to much.

Really enjoyed doing the barbell lifts though, and so I got hooked. Because I was 147ish lb at 5f7 and looked really skinny in the mirror, I tried out Rippetoe’s SS, including the “eat a fuck-ton of food” part. After 3 months, with a week or so of vacation included, I got to 164lb and virtually nothing to show for it. A really shitty 165lb squat, bench stalling at 115lb, and OHP stuck at 70lb. The only thing that went up “well” was the deadlift, which got to 295lb before grip issues crippled me.

Then took roughly a 4 month hiatus as I had to travel for family reasons and moving. Restarted lifting roughly around june of 2012. I more or less decided that 3x a week wasn’t enough, and so I went to lifting 6x a week. Basically followed SS, with some rows and chin-ups included. Diet basically looked like this-
chicken thigh, frozen vegetable medley, protein powder, milk, kimchi, occasional eating out, a weekly carb load with either Vietnamese noodles or a Costco pizza.

Basically very high protein and fat, minimal carb diet.

It worked. By the end of September, my lifting max (which I resetted to bar because the four month hiatus took whatever gains I made away), got to something like- bench-140ish, OHP-105ish, Squat-230ish, Deadlift-340ish (didn’t keep records back then and so spit-balling here). Also went from skinny-fat at 150lb to a lean 162-164. Was starting to stall due to form issues in the squat and deadlift though.

Then I got De Quervain’s tenosynovitis in my left hand, which basically prevented me from doing anything that placed any real stress on my left hand (basically every upper body exercise, and squats/deadlifts when the inflammation flared up). And so I spent the next couple of months (From Oct. to June 2013) just going to the gym and spinning my wheels squatting and deadlifting with no real progress, largely because my heart wasn’t in it. The pain pissed me off and the prospect of requiring surgery to fix the thing bothered me enough to make me take training halfheartedly. Weight went down to 157ish and got pudgier.

Finally got the surgery on June of 2013. Fully recovered by July and went back to training. Decided to do a 3 day split, basically SS again.

Strength came close to what I had a year ago within the span of Aug-Nov. Then I decided to go onto a completely new split in Nov., basically 5/3/1 BBB + conditioning work. Except I chose to bastardize things again. Instead of 5x10, I did 4x10 with a minute rest in between. I also moved the exercises around so that I would have one upper/lower body strength lift, one lower/upper body hypertrophy lift. I am enamored with full body training and wanted to try this out. Also start using chalk and taking creatine for the first time. Creatine really didn’t seem to help all that much though.

By the end of Dec, my max lifts were-
Bench- 150x2. OHP-105lbx5 (This didn’t improve all that well, I think I have serious form issues and a hard time actually bracing my body). Squat-240x3, Deadlift-340x3. BW was somewhere at 170-172lb by this point. A lot of flab because I no longer followed a strict diet. I’ve learned that I do not do well with carbs from a physique standpoint, and I ate a lot of them.

Then I got hit with what felt like the worst flu I’ve ever had. Stayed with me for two weeks. Then I had to move for a new job/school, and that took another two weeks. Roughly a total of a month not training. Only just started this week. Strength went down a bit, but that may be because my body is simply rusty and because all the creatine is gone.

Also became quite a bit pudgier than I was previously. A diet of Mcdonalds and similar fast foods for two weeks while not moving at all doesn’t really help you look good. No idea what my current weight is because I lack a scale, but my guess would be somewhere around 175ish, or 3-5 pounds of fat gained.

My immediate goal right now is to lose the fat, and so I’ve returned to the 6x a week lifting along with a strict diet similar to what I ate in the summer of 2012. As such, I reduced quite a bit of weight from all the barbell lifts to account for both the lack of carbs and the whole 6x a week thing. I hope to stay on this for about a month or two at most (cutting out a lot of carbs seems to be working already) and then return to what I was doing previously to see how well it goes

Here is what I did in the last three days-

Tested my strength at a Gold’s gym that I went to that unfortunately had hexagonal plates.
Squat-195x3 (high bar, narrow stance) was hard. So for all intents and purposes 195 is 90%.
Tried doing low bar squats, but the bar didn’t feel/set right on my back, so I gave up.
Deadlift- 275 was easy to pull. And that was with shitty form. 315 kept slipping in the hand.
Bench- Complete fuck up. 95lb felt hard at 5 reps.
OHP ? 85lb was hard 5 rep.

Deadlift-225, 3x5
Bench, 115, 3x5
Lat pull-downs- 105lb, 3x10
Cuban rotations-5lb

Deadlift easy, but that’s the point. I figured the bench would have to be a complete reset, but then my body surprised me by letting me do an easy 3x5 with 115lb. Not sure what happened, but I’ll take it.

Squat-135, 3x5
Did low-bar. Went much better this time around. Again, not sure why things improved so much in between just two days.
OHP, 65, 3x5
DB row- 70lb, 3x5
DB protraction/retraction-20lb
Cable rows- 90lb, 3x8

All easy.

Deadlift- 230, 3x5
Bench, 120, 3x5
Chin-ups- 5/5/4
Lat pull-downs- 105lb, 3x10
Incline DB Retraction-10lb
Prone “Y’s”-5lb
Prone internal rotation- 5lb
Tricep pulls- 70lb, 3x10

All easy, except the prone ys and the internal rotations. I swear those things hurt more than a 90% of 1rm deadlift or squat. Noticing a slight lean towards my right when I deadlift “heavy” weights though. Something I should look into.

Also felt incredibly good when I woke up today. No DOMS, and I feel an energy that I haven’t felt in a while. Lifting at below 70% of your max is incredibly refreshing on the body.

All the back work is from the Diesel Crew’s back rehab workout program, which I will be following properly again from Monday. My scapula, especially my left one, don’t work well, and is probably a major part of why bench and OHP sucks. So I started doing the back rehab thing, particularly the exercises I did above along with shoddy-form face-pulls. The results were nothing short of magical. Bench numbers went up as soon as my scapula muscles started to improve, and I have a much thicker looking back to boot. I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing the back rehab thing for the rest of my life.

Squat-140, 3x5
Paused a couple of seconds each rep.
OHP, 70, 3x5
Paused at the top position a couple of seconds each rep.
DB row- 70lb, 3x5
DB protraction/retraction-20lb
Cable rows- 90lb, 3x8

Deadlift- 235, 3x5
Bench, 125, 3x5
Chin-ups- 5/5/4
Lat pull-downs- 105lb, 3x10
Face pulls- 30lb, 5x10

Squat-145, 3x5
OHP, 75, 3x5
Paused at the top position a couple of seconds each rep.
DB row- 70lb, 3x5
Barbell Overhead Shrugs- 45lb, 3x12
Push-up Plus- 3x12
Tricep pulldowns- 70lb, 3x10

Deadlift- 240, 3x5
Bench, 130, 3x5
Chin-ups- 5/5/4

Had to cut things short a bit due to time constraints.

Squat-150, 3x5
OHP, 80, 3x5
Paused at the top position a couple of seconds each rep.
DB row- 75lb, 3x5
Incline DB Retraction-20lb
Prone “Y’s”-5lb
Prone internal rotation- 5lb

Found an electric scale at the gym and weighed myself after I lifted. Came up to 171lb, 3lb or so less than I weighed myself at a family friend’s house 2 or so weeks ago. Think I’ll go down to at least 165ish, then start climbing slowly up to 170 or so again. Being heavier is nice; I get to eat more carbs and feel more energized.

Deadlift- 245, 3x5
Deadlifts finally feel more fluid and better. Really astounding what a mere month of inactivity does to your ability to do certain things…
Bench, 115, 3x5
Dropped it down and started doing proper paused benches.
Chin-ups- 6/5/4
Lat pull-down- 105, 3x10
Face pulls- 30, 5x10

Squat-155, 3x5
OHP, 85, 3x5
DB row- 70lb, 3x5
DB protraction/retraction-20lb
Cable rows- 90lb, 3x10

Squatting when your muscles are cold and tight made the squats actually painful. I don’t know how some of the guys here who train in their home at close to freezing temps manage it.

[quote]magick wrote:
Squatting when your muscles are cold and tight made the squats actually painful. I don’t know how some of the guys here who train in their home at close to freezing temps manage it.[/quote]

Warmups and good cold weather clothing. My toes were frozen today (since I lifted with only socks on) but my legs were plenty warm. Speaking only for myself of course.

Deadlift- 275, 3x5
Now that deadlift form is back well and nice, started pushing it higher.
Probably going to do only one real set once I go over 300.
Bench, 120, 3x5
Chin-ups- 5/5/5
Lat pull-down- 120, 3x8
Cuban rotations-10, 3x12

Walking for 5 minutes on a decent pace on the treadmill and blasting myself with hot air in the car helped to warm the body up enough.

Squat-165, 3x5
OHP, 90, 3x5
I really hate my upper body strength.
DB row- 70lb, 3x5
Barbell Overhead Shrugs- 45lb, 3x12
Push-up Plus- 3x12
Cable rows-105, 3x8
Tricep pulldowns- 80lb, 3x10

Instead of the normal thing today, I had a free complimentary session with a PT in the new gym I’ve been going to.

Man, my endurance and strength has gone to shit. 40 minutes of non-stop random machines for the lower body, push-ups and core exercises shouldn’t have tired me out like they did.


Squat-175, 3x5
OHP, 95, 3x5
These felt heavy. We’ll see how 100 goes next week and go on from there.
DB row- 70lb, 3x5

All I did for today. Got to the gym late and had to stand waiting for a squat rack for 10 minutes. So not a lot of time to do things.

Deadlift- 285, 5/5/3
Grip is failing! =( My grip got so tenuous by the third rep that I didn’t do the remaining reps. I didn’t want to deal with me possibly dropping the bar. Going to have to start using chalk.

Everything else seems to be working fine though. Upper back is feeling a bit of a strain, but that’s probably because it hasn’t done any heavy pulls in a while.

Bench, 125, 3x5
Chin-ups- 5/5/5
Lat pull-down- 120, 3x8
Incline DB Retraction-15lb
Prone “Y’s”-6lb
Prone internal rotation- 6lb

Had to use 15lb and 6lb on the shoulder rehab stuff because I couldn’t find 20lb and 5lb anywhere. People are incredibly lazy at putting their weights away at this gym. You see 35lb DBs where the 90lb DB should be, and 100lb DBs where the 30lb should be.

I love carb days, especially when I’m eating fried rice from my favorite Chinese restaurant ever.

Squat-185, 3x5
Squats felt strong and good today. I like my new stance. Narrower than my previous wide-stance, which helps me get down to my natural depth easier and places less stress on my hips (I have a tendency to just want to go as deep as possible, otherwise I just can’t seem to draw any power out from my glutes and hamstrings. As such wide-stance always felt uncomfortable), and wider than my previous narrow stance, which was probably too narrow to begin with and never drew hamstring in as much as it should have.

Did 2 sets of paused sets with a good 3 second pause, and one set of normal. I squatted outside of a good rack today, and so didn’t want to run into a random chance where I had to dump the weight onto the ground. So I just went with normal on the last set. Felt easy though.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

OHP, 100 5/4, 95 1x5
Triceps couldn’t push the weight up at the second set of 100. The 95lb was much easier than expected though. My core felt a lot more stable than normal. I think it’s the pauses I took at the top, and will be changing progression accordingly. Next time, I’ll start again at 75lb and pause for 5 sec. Every week I’ll just up the weight and start from 3 sec pause and end at 5 sec by the end of the week.

DB row- 75lb, 3x5
Couldn’t find a 70lb DB anywhere, so had to go with this. Form wasn’t as clean as I wanted it to be.

DB protraction/retraction-22.5lb
Also couldn’t find bloody 20lb weights…

Cable rows- 105lb, 3x8

Deadlift- 295, 3x5
These were hard.

Bench, 130, 3x5
Chin-ups- 6/5/4
Wanted to get 5 reps on the last set, but couldn’t =(

Lat pull-down- 120, 3x8
Cuban rotations-10, 3x12
Face pulls- 40lb, 5x10
Need to start doing these more often.

Squat-195, 5/5/4
I found an imbalance, one that I thought I gotten rid of a while ago; I suppose the month hiatus sort of brought it back. Basically, I tend to shift most of the weight to the right side as my left side tires out because I have weak left glute/hamstrings; flexibility and mobility might be involved too, as I naturally lean ever so slightly to the right when I squat if I don’t pay attention. I thought it went away a couple of months ago after I made an effort to get rid of it, but it just came back with a heavier weight. By the last set I leaned so much to the right that my left posterior chain might as well not have been involved, so I stopped at the 4th rep. I dropped to 185 and did a rep, and the imbalance just disappeared. So I’m thinking it’s endurance and mental. As my left side gets more and more tired, it wants to stop working and I let it do that.

I’ll drop back down to 185 and go up by 5lb instead. Also probably might consider doing more reps as to force the imbalance to show up at lighter weights and just fight through it. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

FYI, I’ve tried doing single-leg work to deal with this previously, but it didn’t seem to do anything. For some bizarre reason, my right side is weaker than my left when it comes to single leg work. I have no idea what’s going on with that.

OHP, 75, 3x5 with 5 second pauses at top.
These hurt in a real good way.

DB row- 70lb, 3x5
Close to getting a completely flat back with this.

Barbell Overhead Shrugs- 45lb, 3x12
Push-up Plus- 3x12
Cable rows-105, 3x8

Farmer’s walks, 6 sets with 60lb.

Did farmer’s walks instead of deadlifts because my shins are bothering me. Got a bruise on the left shin, and I want to give it time to heal. My grip is a major limiting factor on this.

Bench, 135, 3x5
Chin-ups- 5/5/5
Lat pull-down- 135, 3x8
Incline DB Retraction-20lb
Prone “Y’s”-6lb
Prone internal rotation- 6lb