T Nation

Maple Syrup Strength (littlesleeper)

t-ransformation2017
powerlifting
t-ransformation2018

#1

Hey all,

I’ve decided to start my own log on here to encourage input from others and keep myself accountable.

Summary:
Age: 26yrs As of yesterday.
Height: 5’9" in the morning, before squatting for the week.
Weight: 211.9lbs yesterday morning, pre-breakfast, post-morning excretion.
1RM’s
Bench: 320lb Paused (January 21, 2016)
Squat: 450lb Competition Depth High Bar Back Squat (March 14, 2016)
Deadlift: 550lb Sumo (Belt, no straps February 12, 2016)
OHP: 215 strict, 235 Push Press (March 2 and March 9, 2016)


Now, for the people who have time to kill and want my lifting history, here it is.

Started lifting in high school (2005-2009) while playing football. I was offensive line (Oh, Canadian Football), playing right guard. I was a whopping 5’2", 120lbs entering grade 9. I grew about 2" and 20lbs per year.
I ended high school with 1RM Bench 285lbs, Deadlift 475lbs and Squat 405lbs for the largest total in my high school at 1165lbs @ a body weight of 185.
During this time I had a slipping disc and numbness in my left leg. I went to a chiropractor weekly for spinal traction, and he also dealt with my knee pain (osgood-schlatter-disease). My back has always been the limiting factor for lifting, which I’m hoping to address with my training.

I worked out VERY casually for the next four years during university. I hovered just under 200lbs for the most part (more fat, less muscle than high school), but definitely lost strength in my squat and deadlift. I did manage to hit 300lbs for a touch and go single. Ate like crap, drank a lot and did workouts developed by bros.

Two years following university I worked construction, 14-18hr shifts and slipped in 1-3 workouts a week at the YMCA where I had a membership. Again, maintenance working out at best.

My wife and I purchased our first house in November of 2014 and I now work much more reasonable hours and have been taking lifting more seriously ever since. I have a power rack, bench press, and universal cable machine in my basement. I also have a treadmill, elliptical, and a few miscellaneous dumbbells and sandbags. I also recently acquired a homemade log, a fire hydrant,a tractor tire and a keg that I will be incorporating into some strongman style training. I am currently putting together the materials to build farmers walk implements, a chain yoke and an axle basically all i have left to purchase is the actual 1.9"OD pipe and assemble. I’ve been toying with the idea to enter a competition, but might plan on entering one in 2017 once I have some strongman style training under my belt.

I am a program hopper. I’ve done 3-6 weeks of wayyyy too many programs. Including a few of Jim Stoppanni’s, several from CT, a few cycles of Monolith, BBB, and standard 5/3/1 from Jim and most recently did 4 weeks of the Conjugate method, similar to Alpha’s log (with less than half the weight for the most part).

I’m feeling a little banged up from conjugate. Last week I tweaked my lower back doing paused ssb squats with 355lbs. So I decided to change things up once again…

Yesterday I began the 5/3/1 20week program. I’m going to be doing some cardio in forms of carries (keg, hydrant, sandbag, etc), tire flipping, and tire dragging. I apologize now for bastardizing 5/3/1 slightly by incorporating some log clean and presses, banded lifts and sandbag work. The main lifts will still be following the 5/3/1 template, but assistance is where I may experiment.

Current Goals:
Maintain or increase my 1RM for main lifts. Increase athleticism (endurance, core strength, sprinting, agility, etc). I play hockey, fastball and am in a league of “All Sorts of Sports”, which rotates between volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, dodgeball and soccer.
I have also taken an interest in some different forms of training similar to what Ross Enamait performs, so may use some tips from him for some of my assistance.

I could spare to lose an extra 10lbs to get back down to around the 200lb marker. I’ll be dialing in my nutrition and cutting some extra crap out of my diet and adding a bit of cardio in an attempt to achieve this.

Current Nutrition:

  1. Breakfast: 3-4 Eggs with a hearty splash of egg whites, 2-3 pieces of marble cheese, sriracha sauce, banana and peanut butter.
  2. Lunch: Apple, 6-8oz meat (chicken, turkey, ground beef, pork), fill the rest of the container with veggies.
  3. Pre workout: Banana and peanut butter OR small bowl of oatmeal with a scoop of protein recovery (protein blend with carbs (maltodextrin) ). Pre-workout supplement, creatine
  4. Post workout: 2 scoops of protein recovery (protein blend with carbs (maltodextrin))
  5. LOTS of meat (Sausages, ground beef, chicken, pork, fish) LOTS of veggies (usually cook a whole bag of frozen veggies and wife eats a fist full and I finish it), and plenty of white rice, or potatoes (both white or sweet, depending).
  6. Depending if I’m hungry I’ll have half a tub of cottage cheese, some greek yogurt or a half scoop of protein before bed.

That is typical, we will have pasta and meat for dinner, I will have the odd tuna sandwich at lunch, I will have 2-3 scoop protein shake for breakfast or lunch if I don’t have time to make it, but this would be a pretty average day for me. I also mix in a granola bar here and there, or if the wife buys chips or chocolate covered almonds…I eat them all.


Ok, well there is the boring part out of the way…lets get to training.


T-ransformation 2017: LittleSleeper's Log
Trampoline for Cardio
#2

03/22/2016

Warm-up
DeFranco Agile 8

Dynamic
Box Jump (I’ll have to re-measure height, but it isn’t anything crazy. Either 30-32" if I remember correctly)
3 sets x 5 jumps

Strength
Squat
270lbs x 3
310lbs x 3
345lbs x 10

Bench Press
5 sets x 5 @ 225lbs (60 sec. rest b/t sets)

Assistance
Chin-up / Pull-up
10, 10, 10, 8, 5, 7
Side Bend
2 sets x 25 reps @ 60lbs
Triceps Pushdown
80lbs x 20, 80lbs x 15, 70lbs x 15

Notes:
I was surprisingly wiped from this workout. I did try to keep my rest periods short, but was fairly exhausted from this one. Neither of my strength moves felt overly difficult (which I’m happy with), but I did get a good pump from my assistance and the sweat was dripping.
I went quite conservative on my training maxes for this program. I did 90% of: S: 425lbs, D: 525lbs, B: 315lbs so I feel like I should have some room for progression through the weeks.
Started the program on a Tuesday, so I’ll be working out back to back to get myself on track.

I also had floor hockey about 2 hours following this workout, that will be my cardio.


#3

03/23/2016

Warm-up
DeFranco Agile 8

Dynamic
Explosive Sandbag Overhead Press (~40lbs)

Strength
Deadlift
335lbs x 3
380 x 3
430 x 5

Strict Military Press
5 sets of 5 reps @ 145lbs

Assistance
Barbell Curls (With Fat Gripz)
85lbs x 12
85 x 12
85 x 12

Single Leg RDL
60lb DB x 10
60 x 10
60 x 10

Rope Face Pulls
60lbs x 20reps
60 x 20
60 x 20
50 x 20
40 x 20
(100 Total Reps)

Notes:
Deadlift felt surprisingly good today. I didn’t push my + set as I felt I was nearing my 8-9 RPE, and didn’t want to start grinding with my still recovering lower back. I had the rear delts burning with the face pulls, and am going to try to mix in more fat grip training. I think it has played a large role in developing my forearm’s strength and size.


#4

03/25/2016

Warm-up
DeFranco Agile 8

Dynamic
Standing long jump (tried to stick landings)

Strength
Back Squat High Bar No Belt
5 sets of 5 reps @ 295lbs

Bench Press
205 x 3
235 x 3
255 x 10

Assistance
Chinups/Pullups
10
10
10
7
10
3

Side Bend
60lb DB x 25
60 x 25

Rope Tricep Pulldown
70lbs x 20reps
70 x 15
70 x 15

Notes:

FYI, I do not include warmup sets in my log. But I typically start with the bar for a few reps, add a 45, do a few reps etc. All depends how I’m feeling for the day. Some days I feel like I really need to pound the warm up sets to get in the groove, and other days I just rip one or two warmup sets.
I am much better at chin ups (supinated grip - palms towards me) than pull ups (palms away), hence the variation in reps in my later sets of chins. I alternate grips for each set. First two bench sets felt like, and was able to hit 10reps with my 3+ set at the end.


#5

Strong stuff here, will follow along! How is your back these days? Impressive strength numbers for sure, especially with a history of back damage. Keep it up!


#6

Glad to see you logging, I’ll be following!


#7

@Koestrizer: Thanks man, glad to have you following along! Currently my back is actually in pretty rough shape. I’m thinking of booking a chiro appointment for this week to see if I can get straightened out. It feels as though my hips aren’t properly aligned. I notice a shift in the bottom of my squats which is likely placing uneven stresses on my lower back. My strength is still there, and during my lifts it doesn’t seem to hurt that much, but I seem to pay for it afterwards. I stretch A LOT in an attempt to keep things from tightening up, but I’m in pain for the most part of a day at the moment.

@TX_iron: Awesome, the more the merrier! Feel free to comment on anything and everything, I appreciate all input.

So yesterday was a rest day so I did a little outdoor circuit as it was a nice day out:


03/27/2016

I picked up 9 deck blocks (building a new deck off my house this Spring), and carried them out back.

Had 1 in each hand for 4 trips and just one remaining on the last trip.
46lbs per hand for 50m, no rest.

After I moved the deck blocks I did a small circuit:
Tractor tire flipping (have only been able to get my hands on one small tractor tire so far, only ~200lbs):
10 flips as fast as possible.

Battle Ropes:
30seconds

50m sprint

Culligan Bottle of Water ~40lbs - Lift and Press for 20reps.

Notes:

This wasn’t an overly strenuous circuit, but to be honest I just went out to move the blocks out back and actually had a decent little pace going and felt like I could turn it into a quick workout with what I had in the back yard. Lower back was feeling it and had a good sweat on, so chalking it up as a success compared to nesting up to the TV for the evening. This was one of my first workouts of this type, and I can tell already they are going to become more frequent for me. I enjoyed it big time. Came in the house with a big grin on, slightly covered in mud since it is still pretty sloppy out.


#8

03/28/2016

Warm-up
DeFranco Agile 8
Mobility/stretching with broomstick

Strength
Conventional Deadlift Double Overhand Grip/Strapless
5 sets of 5 reps @ 355lbs Last set RPE 6.5

Abs
In between sets of deadlift: 5 sets of 15 reps Bench Lying Leg Raises

Strict Military OHP
135 x 3
155 x 3
175 x 10

Assistance
Band Pullaparts
25
25
25
25

Cable Back Extensions (using low pulley)
100 x 25
140 x 20
160 x 20

Barbell Curls with Fat Gripz
95 x 10
95 x 10
95 x 10

Notes:

Deadlifts went up quick today without too much diffculty. I spent extra time stretching today to really open up my hips and they felt good right off the first pull.
OHP was relatively easy today as well. On my + set it seemed like I had 1-2 reps left in my shoulders but my core was losing stability which was my limiting factor. Need to address this, I think starting to do carries will help with this lack of core strength/endurance.
Biceps received a good pump with my fat grip curls.
For my band pullaparts I start with arms out in front pulling straight back for 9 reps then arms starting at about 45 degree up, pulling down for 8 reps then 8 reps starting 45 degrees down pulling up…well that was tougher to explain than I anticipated…
Overall good workout for the day…now one more Easter dinner to get through tonight!


#9

3/29/2016

Today was an “active rest” day so I went outside and did the following:

4 rounds:

Fire hydrant Carry 15m
Battle Ropes 1minute (30sec rope slams, 30sec rope alternating waves)
Culligan Bottle Speed Clean and Press x 12reps
Tractor Tire Flips x 10
30m Sprint

Rest just enough time to catch my breath and start another round.

Notes:

Lower back had a nice burn to it, a good exhausted burn, not pain.
I do have a chiropractor appointment tomorrow morning at 6:30am for my first session. They said tomorrow wouldn’t be an adjustment just an overall look at things and likely an xray. So fingers crossed I can start going in for some adjustments and get rid of this nagging back pain.
Last night I also had a Volleyball game. I play in a co-ed league with my wife that rotates sports weekly between Volleyball, Basketball, Floor Hockey, Soccer, and Dodgeball. I did this workout because Volleyball typically doesn’t get me my cardio (especially in this league where there is RARELY a rally)


#10

03/29/2016

Warm-up
DeFranco Agile 8

Dynamic
3 x 5 Box Jumps

Strength
High Bar Back Squat
250 x 5
295 x 5
335 x 10

Abs
In between sets of squats: 3 sets of 12 reps Hanging Leg Raises

Bench Press
5 sets of 5reps @ 225lbs

Assistance
Band Pullaparts
30
30
30

Pullup/Chinup
10
10
10
8
7
5

Tricep Pulldown (Handles)
70 x 20
70 x 20
70 x 15

Side Bend
60lbs x 20reps
60 x 20

Notes:
Squat felt pretty strong today, I think I left about 2 in the tank but still playing it safe with my lower back right now. I haven’t done side bends for assistance in nearly a year. The first couple workouts that I did these I could really feel them the next day. I am liking them as an accessory though.


#11

04/01/2016

Warm-up
DeFranco Agile 8

Dynamic
3 x 10reps 45lb Sandbag Overhead Toss

Strength
Conventional Deadlift
315 x 3
355 x 3
405 x 3 <- Rather than doing a plus set here I wanted to do some heavy singles to see where I was at
505 x 1
555 x 1 <- UGGGLLLYY, see the end of the video. But a PR is a PR.

Abs
In between sets of squats: 3 sets of 12 reps Ab Roller

Strict Military Press
5 sets of 5reps @ 145lbs
215lbs x 1 <- Tied my current PR, got a little overzealous and tried 235lbs
235 x 0

Assistance
Band Pullaparts
33
33
33

Barbell Curl, Fat Gripz
95lbs x 10
95 x 10
95 x 10

RDL
95 x 15
95 x 15
95 x 8 <- Lower back started feeling weird so I stopped the set.

Notes:
So this is my first video, some of the clips are from my cell phone and a couple (from this workout, at the end) are from my camera. Going to try and start getting some more footage of PR attempts to start spicing up the log. Back is pretty fried after today. Check out the video, and as always, comments and constructive criticism are encouraged.


#12

04/02/2016

Outdoor Circuit

3 Rounds:
10 Burpees
20-30 Battle Rope Alternating Waves
20-30 Battle Rope Double Hand Slams
10 Culligan Bottle Lift and Press
5 Tractor Tire Flips
15m Fire Hydrant Carry
30m Sprint

Notes:

Well I failed at recording this session. My first two rounds my camera blew over in the wind so I had limited footage. The third round it stayed in place, but died before my hydrant carry…but I think you get the picture.
You can also see how damn winded I am from this. Going to be doing stuff like this more often since I feel like it is really going to help my lower back strength without putting a ton of stress on my spine, and the video is evidence that my conditioning could use some work.


#13

04/04/2016

Warm-up
DeFranco Agile 8

Dynamic
3 x 5 Standing Long Jumps

Strength
High Bar Back Squat
5 sets of 5 reps @ 295lbs

Abs
In between sets of squats: 4 sets of 10 of blast trap fallouts

Bench Press
185 x 5
215 x 5
240 x 15reps

Assistance
Chinup/Pullup
12
12
10
10
6

Side Bend
60lbs x 25reps
60 x 25

Tricep Rope Pushdown
70 x 15
70 x 15
70 x 15

Notes:
Squats grooved nicely with no big issues. I set a goal to do 15reps with the 240lbs on the bench and I was JUST able to get the 15th rep. Definitely not competition pausing, but it wasn’t bouncing off my chest either. First workout I was actually able to get my 50chinups in <5sets. I know, not very impressive, but finally starting to get better at these. I think adding some weight might be a next step for me to improve them.
Weighed myself mid workout at 216.8lbs, I need to start moving the scale back down a bit, so I will be adjusting my diet accordingly.


#14

Good stuff man. I always had a bit of an eye on the 20 week program; just never really fit my goals well enough I guess. Looking forward to seeing how it plays out. Are you going to bring the weight vest walking into play eventually?

.


#15

@TX_iron: Thanks man. I’ve done a few of the 5/3/1 blitz cycles (monolith, BBB, etc) but never just the regular program. I’m liking it so far, not complicated, good pumps, and steady progress.

During my blitz cycles I did utilize the weighted vest, but I haven’t started yet. I play in a sports league on Tuesdays and I play hockey on Wednesdays and sometimes Thursdays, and am trying to do conditioning circuits one day on the weekends.

After seeing my weight on the scale the other day, I am going to be shifting my nutrition to a slight deficit and add in some additional cardio to try and get myself back down to around the 200lbs mark.

My plan usually involves a 15min walk (with the weighted vest) on the treadmill before I go to work 3 days a week…but sometimes it remains the PLAN and is rarely accomplished.

This past week I have started on with a chiropractor to help me with my lower back pain. After x-rays and some discussion with him it looks like I have some curvature to my spine that is far from optimal as well as my hips having some significant tilt to them. He said he would recommend putting off heavy squatting and deadlifts for a bit just as my body gets used to these adjustments. So I might incorporate some more high rep work for these lifts in the meantime which I have done very little of, so I may respond well.

I have taken interest in this article and may explore this method on squat days, and stick with ~50% for my deadlift days for higher reps.

Thanks for stopping in!


#16

04/06/2016

Warm-up
DeFranco Agile 8

Strength
Conventional Deadlift (Overhand Grip - All Sets)
4 sets of 10 reps @ 275lbs

Strict Military Press
135 x 5
145 x 5
165 x 10

Assistance
Barbell Curls with Fat Gripz
95 x 10
95 x 10
95 x 10

Face Pulls (Rope - High Pully)
60lbs x 25reps
60 x 25
60 x 20
60 x 20 - ~20 seconds rest before the next set
60 x 10

Notes:
This was a bit of a rushed workout as I was meeting a friend right after, but I was there and I did the work. Also, my energy seems to really take a hit when I’m in a calorie deficit. It usually gets better with time, but I’m still in the transition phase right now.

My second chripractic adjustment is today at 10:45am and then I’m playing hockey at noon. Also, as a side note…it snowed a couple inches yesterday and they are calling for more today…hello Spring.


#17

04/07/2016

Warm-up
DeFranco Agile 8

Strength
High Bar Back Squat
135lbs x 30reps
185 x 20
225 x 15
225 x 15
225 x 15
95 x 30

Bench Press
135 x 5
225 x 5
315 x 1
350 x 0 (MISS)
335lbs x 1 (+15lb PR)

Assistance
Chinup/Pullup
10
10
10
10
10

Band Pullaparts
36
36
36

Tricep Pushdown (triangle attachment)
70 x 15
70 x 15
70 x 15

Notes:

I REALLY wasn’t feeling it today. I was very close to talking myself out of working out today, felt very lethargic. Anyways, somehow overpowered my laziness and got to it. Since I’m still in the beginning phases of my chiropractic plan I was advised to keep my squatting weight low. I found this article and followed a similar idea.
For bench, I was skimping on my warmup sets and I actually thought I had thrown on 295lbs but it was a third 45lb plate I threw on rather than a 35lber, and the weight flew up (as expected at 295lbs). So I didn’t want to waste the potential and went right on to put 350lbs on the bar. As you can see in the video, that didn’t quite make it. But 335lbs went, for a 15lb PR. So I’m happy I got to the gym.
But this workout was not fast or overly productive other than that. These workouts usually run me 40-50mins and I was surpassing the hour mark with this one. It isn’t often when I’m not motivated for a workout, so I’ll let this go for now.


#18

04/10/2016

Warm-up
DeFranco Agile 8

Dynamic
30lb Sandbag 3sets x 10 reps of Explosive Overhead Press Jumps

Strength
Conventional Deadlift
355 x 5
355 x 5
355 x 5

Seated Log Military Press
135 x 10
155 x 8
155 x 8
155 x 8
155 x 7

Band Pull-aparts
33
33
33

Barbell Curls with Fat Gripz
95 x 12
95 x 8
95 x 8

Snatch Grip High Pull
145 x 8
145 x 8
145 x 8

Notes:

Good workout, nothing crazy. Took it a little easy on the deadlifts today as I’m still keeping my squats and deads light for another couple weeks as I adjust to my chiropractic adjustments. Just bought a new bench for inside my rack so I could do some more log work. First time doing the log presses seated actually and really felt my shoulders being blasted. Going to be adding these in from time to time for heavy assistance work.
I also haven’t done SGHP’s since I ran CT’s Layers and I miss them in my program so I’ll be adding these in every once in awhile as well.


#19

04/13/2016

Warm-up
I did several light sets of squats for a warmup since I just got home from a game of hockey I felt I was plenty loose.

Strength
High Bar Back Squat
295 x 5
295 x 5
295 x 5
295 x 5
295 x 5

Bench Press
225 x 5
245 x 3
275 x 6 <- Was happy with this rep PR

Chinup/Pullup
10
12
10
12
6

Barbell Curls with Fat Gripz
95 x 12
95 x 8
95 x 8

Single Arm Tricep Pushdown
30lbs x 20reps
30 x 12
30x 12

Notes:

Honestly expected the squats to be much more difficult since my quads were running on fumes after hockey. Bench also went well. I was happy to hit 275 for 6 reps, I feel I’ve finally broken through my bench plateau that has been at 310-320 for nearly a year now.
Thank goodness for the high carb day yesterday, I needed all of them today!


#20

Nice bench pr man. & Seated log presses sound pretty terrible lol. Do you still feel explosive as the reps get higher on the throws? I always feel even after the 3rd one i start to get slower.