T Nation

Mike's Training Log

I’m sure most (if not all) of you know me a bit by now. My name’s Mike, I’m a 17 year old junior in high school. I got into weightlifting at the end of spring last year, and since then have really tried to learn all I can.

I was at one time the typical ‘fat-kid’ at 5’3" and 175lbs when I was 14. I dieted down, the stupid way, to 130lbs at 5’9" when I was 16. I was happy to finally not be the ‘fat kid’. But, my mind changed. No one called me skinny, but I saw it, and I was. I wanted to get bigger. So, I started lifting. At first, my only goal was aesthetics. I wanted to change the way I looked. Through OVT, Anti-Bodybuilding Hypertrophy, and Training for Maximal Size, I got a little bit of meat on me.

But I wasn’t STRONG. It sucks to be skinny, but in my opinion, it sucks a lot worse to be WEAK. So, by now, I’ve changed my mindset on training. Sure, I want to look good nekkid, but I also want to lift big weights. If I ate right, and lifted heavy, could I not gain strength and look decent?

Thus transpired my epiphany.

My journey into Westside begins here.

Thursday, October 30th, 2003

ME Bench

Rack Press (top portion - 8"):
45 x 5
95 x 5
95 x 5
135 x 5
155 x 3
175 x 1
195 x 1
205 x MISS <-- dropped the weight afterwards, as you can see
200 x 1
205 x 1
210 x MISS

Incline Close-Grip Bench:
45 x 8 (warmup)
95 x 5 (didn’t know how much weight I could use)
115 x 4
115 x 4
115 x 4

DB Cleans: <— I don’t really know how much I should sway my body
20 x 12
25 x 12
25 x 9

Barbell Rows:
100 x 8
110 x 7
110 x 5
110 x 5

Chinups: <— I should probably do these before rows…

Barbell Curls:
60 x 6
60 x 5
60 x 4

You want to get stronger and look good also? Is there a way? Yes, it is called lifting weights and it will work if you stay at it. I’m no personal trainer but I don’t think West Side is gonna be the holy grail for you nor am I sure you are even ready for this style of training. I am certain that as new as you are it will be very difficult to figure it out and make it work on your own. If you want to be a power lifter, please go find some tough guy power lifters and train with them. You don’t want to be bragging about your 500 lb squat in a couple of years only to run into some folks who know a quarter squat when they see one.


Well, he was a little harsh about it, but I gotta agree. You are doing a ton of volume for your level. It’s kinda like Muscle and Fiction blended with some aberation of WestSide. Read Wendler’s article on elitefts.com about beginner mistakes, and recalibrate. Good luck.

I might cut down the volume a bit, although the workout only took one hour (55mins actually), with adequate rest on the ancillary exercises (60-90secs).

If lowering the volume would prove to be efficacious, I’ll certainly do so.

I really dont know what they are talking about that is not to much volume and based on your max and the low number of reps you will be fine, working up through triples to a 205 bench is a lot diffirent than working up to a 500 pound bench the intensity is much lower, the only thing i would change would be instead of doing the dumlbell cleans and pull ups in the work out do them as a gpp-warmup (read my training log for details) and i really see no need for the pull ups any ways add in some medium rep lat pull downs during the gpp warmup trust me you will thank me for it. and also keep the asseccory work for pressing like the incline to either 1 heavy set of 3 or 5 and work up to that…i could also see the curls in you gpp warmup…big martin, by the way ill get to your pm right now so you might want to check it…

Hey, I’m sorry if I sounded harsh. That wasn’t my intention, sometimes my shit is percieved rougher then it’s intended. I was really just trying to help. Good luck with your program.

Sorry to hit and run…busy weekend. Ya know, your warm-ups look good, good progression to top weight on the first movement. I guess I just feel that when you missed on the first movement, you should have hung up your spurs. It was a mistake from a recovery standpoint to drop and work back up. Additionally, you performed 6 different movements. I would prefer to see 3, 4 tops at your level. I would also be cautious in implementing extra workouts b/c at your age and level, you don’t need much stimulus to get a great training response. Get your technique down, assume everything is weak, and figure out your most beneficial accesory movements. Then eat and rest. BTW, the article I meant to reference was In the Beginning by Youngs. Can also be found on elitefts.com. If you are serious about PL, do a meet soon. You will learn a ton and meet people that can help you in more ways than you imagined. It’s great to see a teen interested in strength training. Best of luck.

High volume? you guys must be HIT’ers, lol.


Despite what I said the other day I hope that you do get stronger but you have to admit that the first thing you said was that you overtrain easily and then aren’t willing to cut the volume back!

Why not try just having 3-4 big lifts per workout and working from there?

Bigmartin’s ideas about incorporating the extra lifts into GPP would work realy well. At the mo i do 100 rep GM, tri pushdown or rotator cuff work in the evening (on top of rugby training) and 4 lifts are enough for me.

anyway good luck.


We are currently in the early stages of building a youth PL program in our state, so I take youth training pretty seriously. Not that I would profess to have it all figured out, and some kids we have seen have amazing results on programs that defy logic. Everybody is different, bottom line. However, I have watched alot of newbies come up. Most make the mistake of pushing weight on the bar too fast at the sacrifice of good form, and overtrain. They haven’t learned to listen to their bodies yet. Plus, let’s face it. They just aren’t getting good advice at school or in the gym. It’s a shame. Sully, LOL! I tried the routines in a book called High Intensity BB by Darden about 12 years ago, and can assure you I’m not a HIT guy. I’m a perpetual student of the sport, and try to learn all I can. We train on primarily a Westside template. I feel pretty strongly a newbie should start on three movements, complete an 8 week cycle, evaluate and tweak. Train hard!

November 3, 2003

DE Bench

Dynamic Bench: 10 x 3 @ 105lbs (varying grips)

Felt like testing my max bench, and I heard someone say I could (as long as I didn’t fail) after DE benching on DE bench day, so…
Bench Press: 135 x 3
155 x 1
175 x 1 (my new max… man do I need work!)
My sticking point is DEFINITELY close to the top… I barely got past it…

Neutral Grip DB Bench:
45 x 12
50 x 12
50 x 8
50 x 8
50 x 7

Dumbell Tricep Extension:
20 x 12
20 x 10
20 x 8
20 x 7

Front Raise:
30 x 12
30 x 12
30 x 12

2-Handed Dumbell Rows Lying on Incline Bench:
40 x 12
45 x 4 (too heavy, dropped the weight after this, couldn’t get a full ROM with 45s)
40 x 10
40 x 8
40 x 7

DB Curls:
25 x 10
25 x 8
25 x 8

Total Workout time: 55 minutes

I was thinking of switching the front raises to overhead DB presses, since I’m not benching heavy enough to really injure my shoulders or anything. I am definitely adding in push presses for my shoulder movement on ME bench day, though. Thoughts?

Just read all the responses on how you think its heavy on the volume.

I respond better to volume, I think. DrSTU - you must be thinking of someone else, because I DO NOT overtrain easily. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever overtrained. My lifts have never gone down (although they do plateau), I’ve never had trouble sleeping/eating… etc etc etc. I did OVT, felt FINE. I am almost never sore! I’m a young’un, which might be why, but considering my age, high testosterone levels, and really good nutritional habits, I just try to make sure I’m in and out of the gym (from the first work set to the last) and drinking my PWO shake in under one hour.

sorry mike just reread the PM and i’m sorry you are correct you said that with wrestling training then you might get overtrained.

By the sounds of it you are doing everything right and then it should all go to plan, i still think that at your asge you should eat more so that you have a solid foundation to build on in the future as you say that wrestling isn’t that important and lifting is.

As for the push press, i’d suggest it goes on the ME day as you say, I have been doing it after DE bench and this hasn’t helped my shoulders one bit! (still screwed after fridays session).


Push presses? Uh, why?

Given me a great carry over to rugby and I know that mike is keen on athleticism in general so it would be a nice exercise to rotate in.

It’s a “nice” exercise, yes. I do it all the time when I train for strongman. His goal is a bigger bench press though, and his goals should be geared towards that if he wants to get it better. Jumping around, trying to do lots of different things is going to detract from that.


The PM that mike sent me had this statement in “I am NOT a powerlifter, I just want to be STRONG”
I’m just working off that basis, agree though if all he wants is a big bench then distractions are not needed.

I learned a long time ago not to offer unsolicited advice…don’t know why I went against my better judgement this time. Sounds like you have it all figured out. I wish you the best!