T Nation

MarkKO's Training Log


It’s probably tough for you considering you’re a married man with a child, but naps are king for me.

I sleep pretty poorly about 50% of nights, but often times ca squeeze in a 20-30 minute nap randomly in the day and it’s a total game changer.


Woke at 232.1 lbs, except looking less bloated than yesterday and I slept better so yeah, no idea what’s going on there.

@FlatsFarmer I nap when I can, and it certainly does help.


Right hamstring is at around 90 per cent ROM now. Still tight, but nothing compared to Sunday. Also feeling somewhat better. Hopefully I can string some more decent sleeps together.

Today’s training

45 degree back raises, GHR sit-ups and jumps

DL, DL bar
3x2 plates
2x3 plates
1x4 plates, belt on and mixed grip
2x1x462 lbs - moved fine. There was weight there and they weren’t fast, but also not slow at all

Deficit DL off 2.5ish inches
4x3x330 lbs - kept belt on but double overhand for all sets

Which raises something I’ve noticed: I think I have pretty shitty grip strength compared to plenty of people here (@losthog and @littlesleeper come to mind immediately, but there are others), although my actual pulling isn’t that bad. It’s odd.

2x10x231 lbs - these were what I thought might bug the hamstring, but all good.

Done in 50 minutes.


I’m 6’4” with 24cm thump to pinky spread and 21 cm middle finger to palm base. My hands aren’t small. My guess would be that is the big difference. I also worked construction for 17 years and cut more fire wood than I would like to remember


Ok, there’s that. I’m here with my just 20 cm thumb to pinkie and 19 cm middle finger to palm base.


Your wang is probably double mine. Look at all that hair dude


Are you taking a ZMA product? If not, that might help you a ton. It can help some both fall asleep and stay asleep. For me, it’s a must have for my sleep health and it’s relatively inexpensive as far as meathead supps go. It’s also one of the few supplements known to actually increase testosterone.

Since we’re talking minerals, I’ll go ahead and bring up lithium. No, I’m not talking about doses anywhere near what schizos or manic-depressives take but microdoses like the amount that the average person would consume in drinking water in many places. There’s even an argument that it should be considered an essential element. 5mg Lithium Orotate would be a good start.

I can vouch for the effectiveness of Z12 sold on this site. But it’s not something I would take regularly. The phGABA (phenibut) makes me nervous since it’s all but a benzo. But stick to the guidelines biotest makes and you should be good. It’s great for resetting your biological clock and the occasional night where it’s just a lot harder than usual to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Theanine is a good one to help fall and stay asleep. I’m very sensitive to it and I can’t find capsules with less than 100mg so I stay away from it else I very well may sleep through my alarm. Chamomile is one that actually works for me.

More important than any of those (except maybe ZMA) is your sleep hygiene. Here’s some really basic stuff: http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/getting/overcoming/tips. I know, much easier said than done. But in a way you can kind of think of it in a similar vein as you might think of a cutting phase or getting back into weights after a layaway. That is, it just comes down to instilling good habits and prioritization.

To help use lighting to your advantage to help you fall asleep, there’s this nice program that I use that adjust the wavelength (color) of light your computer screen emits. Bright computer screen shortly before bed can mess up your sleep more than a lot of people would think. More than I thought anyway. The program is f.lux

If you do decide to go down the pharmaceutical route after you do your sleep study, I personally would stay away from benzos and tricyclic antidepressants except for maybe a very low dose of doxepin. Benzos have dependence and tolerance issues, but if you do decide to go that route I would pick a long acting one that takes longer to start working like clonazepam. Tricyclics have anticholinergic effects for which there’s strong evidence that drugs with that trait increase the likelihood of Alzheimer’s dementia which is just a terrifying prospect to me.

I couldn’t help but say something because as I was skimming through your log I kept on seeing that you had all these bad sleep nights. I know that whenever I go through periods of not getting much or getting bad sleep that my recovery and body comp along with just my mood and productivity per unit time heavily suffer.


@Fletch1986 I can’t thank you enough for that.

I’ll look into it all. I did look at an Aussie sleep supplement from my go-to company and it looked great - except you can’t take it when you’re on antidepressants, and I’m on 50 mg of Lovan (fluoxetine) a day. Stops me being angry all the time.

TBH I’ll probably hang out until I get a sleep study because I exhibit a fair few symptoms of sleep apnea (including, according to Mrs KO, periodically stopping breathing when I’m asleep). If I do have apnea I’ll go straight to a CPAP.


I can vouch for the ZMA. I take it every night. The one night I didn’t I did not sleep well


Phenibut is some dangerous shit. One of the possible withdrawal symptoms is psychosis and the others don’t sound too great either. If you take it every night it greatly increases the chances of messing you up once you get off it. I knew a guy who had trouble sleeping (turns out he had a thyroid problem) and got into phenibut, he didn’t just totally snap once he got off it but it looks like he gradually descended into madness. As for Z12, maybe it has relatively low doses of phenibut but I would still stay the hell away from that stuff. It’s like saying you’re only going to do a little bit of crystal meth.


While my hands aren’t quite as big (21.5cm spread and 18.5cm middle finger to palm) I also split a lot of wood back in the day (10+ years ago). Nearly every day during high school I would get home, drop my back-pack in the driveway and head out back to split wood (when football season was over). I also had some fun/painful forearm finishers I liked to regularly do in the gym, so my forearms and grip have never really been a weakness. I’ve also dabbled in strongman training with axles and farmers walks.

I also noticed my pinch grip shot up after I bought bumper plates. I used to only be able to carry one at a time across my home gym because they are so damn thick. After trying each session to carry them in one hand I can now easily pinch one in each hand and carry it for quite some time.

I wish this was the case for me. I have tried both ZMA and Z12 without success. If I pop a nighttime cold medication or drink a Neocitran before bed though, lights out.


ZMA I think have helped me a bit, but not sure.
I think one of the reasons we sleep a bit to the poor side is our body is working overtime to recover from lifting.

We could all stop lifting for 14 days and see how that would affect our sleep.


Great input guys, thank you.

Woke at 232.3 lbs, again less bloated than yesterday. Decided to move training to tomorrow. Not exactly sure why, but there you go.


I’ve supplemented with ZMA and vit D for a little while now. It’s pretty cheep from BN. No idea if it adds to performance but I sleep 6-8 hours solid every night.




yep!! blasphemy. i slept way better when i was lifting. it’s alot harder now.


A couple things stood out to me in your post:

Fluoxetine is the SSRI that’s most likely to be activating or least sedating depending on the person and is the most likely to cause insomnia. I’d speak to your doc about this. There are SSRIs that more likely to be sedating. Granted, if it’s doing everything you want it to you might not want to take the chance of trying something that may or may not be as effective.


Sometimes there can be dangerous interactions, but often times it’s just the supp company CYAing. Many antidepressants can be sedating and then taking more compounds that are sedating can have additive effects which isn’t necessarily bad. Also, a lot of sleeping supps contain tryptophan or 5-HTP both of which are serotonin precursers. The worry is that this could cause serotonin syndrome which ranges from very mild to fatal. Most severe cases involve MAOIs, taking two antidepressants that both have strong affinity for the SERT, and/or copious amounts of illicit drugs. Unless you’re taking a high dose or are very sensitive to SSRIs it’s hard to imagine this would be an issue.

What’s the sleep supplement?

Of course, all of this moot compared to suffocating in your sleep. :slight_smile:


It’s made by BN. Called Max Sleep or something, contains 5-HTP.

But, like you say, if I’m suffocating in my sleep it’s all moot :joy:


Woke at 231.2 lbs, no bloating whatsoever.


I am sorry Mark, I know this hast been asked before but you log moves so fast that it is hard to find it: when is your next competition again?