T Nation

My Future Plans, Plus Training Log


#1
As the title suggests, I am going to lay out my intended plans for the next few months in the hope of getting some feedback on that.  Any advice for training/nutrition beyound that would be awesome too.  I plan on sticking updates from my training and diet here too if anyone is interested.  If not it will just be my spot to collect it all.

Anyway...

Background
I am 23 years old and have been more or less lifting since I was about 18. The first couple years I did not know what I was doing. As I improved my training choices, eating, and supplementation I started doing better. Then after a year or so of getting serious I started getting fatigued, experimenting with different diets/training that were less productive, getting back into serious lifting for several months, and then letting it go for a large part. If anyone cares to know the particulars I would be glad to inform them, but I do not want to weigh this post down.

I decided a couple weeks ago that though I was not in anywhere near as bad shape as I was at 17/18, I still had let myself go. I needed to lift again. I needed to eat smarter again. I needed to get my mental, emotional, and spiritual life in order again too (that goes beyound the scope of this forum I know).

I am currently 210 lbs, 5'9", and guessing that I am somewhere in the neighborhood of 20% bodyfat. I have been on a slightly modified V-diet for about a week and a half. I am down from 220 lbs, and feel I have gained a little muscle. I have lost at least an inch on my waist judging by the fit of my pants. I wear a 36" pant, by the way.

I am coming back from something I believe was adrenal fatigue (or me just not getting enough rest and letting myself get too stressed and eating a poor diet).

I am currently performing the Pavel Tsoutsaline's Russian Bear program with a high rep range (10-12) each set.

My supplementation includes REZ-V, HOT-ROX, ZMA, Gaba, DHEA, astragulus, ginseng, L-lysine, L-carnitine, lots of vitamin C, lots of the B vitamins, a multi-vitamin, lots of fish oil, and CLA.

Future
My goal, after losing some weight and feeling healthier, is to get bigger and stronger with the intention of eventually competing in Highland games and/or strongman competitions. Powerlifting may be an interest also.

I am going to go watch a local Highland games this fall (November 3) but do not plan on competing. I hope to compete next spring for the first time.

I do not care about being "shredded", just so long as I do not get TOO flabby.

The best gauge I can give for my strength are my recent numbers from my current program. They are not all that great, but they are improving. Bear in mind I just got back into lifting seriously last week.

Squat - 95 x 4 (65 x 9)
Deadlift - 115 x 10
Bench Press - 95 x 12
Bent Row - 95 x 9
Military Press - 85 x 10
Pull Down - 70 x 12

For the rest of August I am going to continue with the V-diet, Russian Bear, and current supplements. September I plan to transition into a very low-carb, slightly higher calorie, whole food diet. I plan to continue with the HOT-ROX, ZMA, REZ-V, fish oil, CLA and ginseng. I will lower the B-vitamin intake, and maybe the C back to about normal. Hopefully by then my adrenal and thyroid glands will have picked up again so I will stop taking the extra adrenal support supplements. I also plan on stopping the l-carnitine and l-lysine.

I intend to go through a cycle of Alpha Male to help up Testosterone production which I suspect is low. I will also add creatine and BETA-7. I will keep doing the Russian Bear for a couple weeks into September then switch to a lower volume routine (maybe HIT style, one set per exercise to failure?) for a couple weeks.

October will see me stop using HOT-ROX, CLA, and maybe REZ-V. I will lower fish oil a bit since I will be eating more whole foods (including fish). I will continue BETA-7 and creatine in October and maybe add in Caffeine-Free Spike. My program will shift back to the Russian Bear but with a lower rep range (6-8). I probably will increase carb intake a bit throughout October, but still keeping it fairly low-carb and getting most carbs from fruits and veggies.

November will see me finish the mid-rep range cycle of the Russian Bear during the first two weeks. After taking one week completely off, no lifting whatsoever, I will do one week of just low volume stuff, again probably HIT style total body workouts. Supplementation will be the same as October. I may up my carbs again a little bit, but still keep getting most from fruits and veggies.

December I aim to do a third and final cycle of the Russian Bear program with a 3-5 rep range per set while taking in a moderate carb diet (probably still low by some standards) and taking the same supplements as in November, plus Carbolin 19.

January will see me finishing the Russian Bear program (7 weeks instead of 6 this time), and taking one week completely off lifting.

In February I intend to shift into a Westside training approach.

Any and all advice would be appreciated. Thanks.


#2

You seem to be doing a boat load of supps!

Are your lifts in kg's or lbs? 85Kg MP for 10reps is pretty f0cking big if done strictly!

If your consistent you will get your results so just keep at it :slight_smile:

Koing


#3

Sorry, that is pounds, so, not all that great.

Yes I am taking quite a few supplements right now; mostly trying to bounce back from fatigue and a period of dietary weakness and minimal workouts (outside of an otherwise active lifestyle).

My aim is to cut back on them over the next few months if all goes well.


#4

best of luck bro work damn hard and you can get it its always a LOT of work no matter how far along you are you want MORE. Your doing that.

go to that comp meet the ppl try and be a loader they usually request them from the crowds talk to the guys its a great time learn a lot have fun

Look forward to your updates

phill


#5

Well after several nights of decent sleep (7-9 hours) I had another off night last night. Got to bed about 10:30 and went to sleep moderately quickly. I am sure I was asleep no later than 11:00 and probably was a bit before.

Just shy of 3, probably around 2:45, I woke up. I started having one of those random nighttime erections moments after waking up so I did not think much of having woken. After having a bit of water and trying to get back to sleep I realize my heart is beating fairly fast and loudly (something I have had trouble with at times and cannot really pin down beyound some kind of electrolyte imbalance). So I get up, pour some salt substitute into my hand and lick it up with a few sips of water in between. We are talking about a good 1/2 - 1 full teaspoon. I also take the probiotic pill I forgot to take before going to sleep. I visit the bathroom on my way back to bed.

Once in bed I turn on some soothing music which is designed to help me sleep and I start sucking on a lozenge containing zinc and silver. I was sleepy when I awoke and I started getting sleepier again but unfortunately my mind was getting restless and my heart was still beating hard. After about a half hour of trying to sleep I got online.

After another half hour or so my heart started to calm down. My tiredness was no longer there though except for a stinging around the eyes. I have given up on getting any more rest tonight since I have to be up by 6 am. I had been getting hungry and recently taking a dose of HOT-ROX has increased that.

I weighed myself this morning after having some water (but not alot) at 208 lbs. That is down from 220 after about a week and a half on the V-Diet. My acne has improved on my face during this time, but flared up on my chest and back (though not as bad as in the past).

My mood is not the best right now, but I am hopeful of being able to somehow will myself to be positive. Lacking that, I hope to cultivate a certain frustration or anger that will help push me through to my goals.

I will update later after I get through work, and then my work out; bench, bent row, and squat today.


#6

Ok... just got done with my lifting. I felt rather tired all day, and by the time it was time to lift, I was starving. I am a week and a half into the V-Diet and this is the first time I felt SERIOUSLY hungry. Something more than "Well, not quite satisfied with that shake".

I drank a single scoop of Grow! Whey mixed with water while starting out my lifts. Form was not as tight as I would like, likely do to a less than calm and focused approach today, and the empty feeling. I was trying to work on form though. That is one reason I chose a high rep range for this first month or so. I need to practice form and get reaquainted with lifting.

For those that are not familiar, the Russian Bear program calls for performing a set at just under one's max for a given rep range (i.e. for bench, something I can bench one or two reps more than 10-12), then doing 90% of that, and then 80%. The 80% is repeated until the minimal reps (in this case 10) can no longer be done cleanly.

Today was bench press, bent over rows, and squats.

Bench:
This is the first time I have actively tucked my elbows. I also worked on, and believe I improved, my arch. I started with 115 lbs, a 20 lb increase over last week. The only reason I jumped the weight so much is because I felt I was performing the exercise very easy last week, and I know I can handle the weight. I managed 9 reps, so I was a little flat today. My working weight, 80% of that, was 95 lbs and I hit 12 reps for several sets with that.

Bent Row:
Unlike the bench, I think my form was sloppy on this. I kept a fairly well arched back I believe which is very important, but there were times I cheated on a couple reps; "humping the air". I started with 100 lbs and managed 9. I hit 11 reps at 90 lbs, and then only managed 10 at the working weight of 80 lbs for a couple sets.

Squat:
I was feeling more pumped up by the time it was time to squat. Plus I had worked up my deadlift last week and was feeling fairly confident in having a tighter squat form. I started with 85 lbs and managed 7 reps though it was a bit slow coming. I am not sure I got good depth on all of the reps but I THINK I did. Once I lowered the weight to 75 lbs I nailed 10 reps, and then a couple sets of 11 reps at 70 lbs. Those I was able to get an inch or so deeper on and moved a bit faster on.

Overall it was an improvement from last week, albeit not quite as good as I hoped. Still happy with it.

One concern, other than a lack of rest before all this, is a taughtness/lack of flexability in my left thigh with slight pain. I have been using a wider stance lately on squats, and even a little wider today. Part of the reason I had trouble squatting down was this uncomfortable feeling in my left leg. It is the same uncomfortable feeling I have mentioned on another post that I get when doing butterfly stretches and split stretches.

I followed my workout with a tablespoon of honey and another scoop of Grow! Whey mixed in water.


#7

Wednesday, August 15

Just got finished my workout. It went well today. Form was about average. I put up slightly higher numbers on the military press, pull down, and deadlift but I probably was upping things a little faster than I ought. I will just repeat these weights for these exercises next Monday (when this set of exercises comes around again) and I expect I will be able to easily meet the rep minimum I am aiming for.

As it was I hit it today for all but one or two sets but it took some effort; perhaps closer to failure than is advisable for this.

In general feeling a bit better. I slept well Monday night, and though I did not sleep great last night I managed about 7 hours all together. Hopefully I can catch up tonight.

I ran out of L-carnitine and decided not to buy more. I think it served its purpose to help get my body in the rhythm of using fat for energy. I did start using BCAAs Tuesday, and have taken alot today, especially around my workout.

I picked up a joint repair blend in the hopes that it might help heal whatever is irritating my inner thigh.


#8

August 17, 2007

I had to stick my workout almost first thing this morning today, and afterwords had just enough time to get post workout nutrition taken care of before I headed off to work, so this is coming in a bit late.

My MP3 player up and quit working after Wednesday's workout for no particular reason. It worked straight through the workout and I switched it off 5-10 minutes after lifting but when attempting to load it with new music later it never would turn on. Needless to say, no tunes made for a less than full-throttled start to today's workout. Psyching up and warming up for it only about an hour after waking was a challenge too.

Enough excuses.

I used the same weights as I did on Monday and this time hit much better form all around. There was the occasional rep of air humping while doing bent-rows, and my first attempt at squats was a mess though I recovered, started the set over, and really nailed it. I expected to move the weight with a bit more ease, but given my above "excuses" and considering it is the last workout in the week, I am more than willing to be happy with the results.

Bench Press
115 x 9 once
105 x 12 once
95 x 12 a few times

Bent Row
100 x 9 once
90 x 12 once
80 x 12 a few times

Squat
85 x 9 once
75 x 12 once
70 x 12 a couple times

I probably will bump up the weights a little on my next bench/row/squat workout (next Wednesday) unless I am feeling totally wasted that day.

I slept well the last couple nights, with mild disturbances at one or two points, though never waking up. I more or less felt rested and refreshed on waking. My sex drive, or at least my ability to get erections seems dulled during the day still, but during the night and in the morning I have no issue with it.

I ran out of B-12 the other day. I am not going to bother buying more of that either. I feel I am geting plenty from my B-complex, and in just a couple weeks I will be getting a ton from meaty meals.

I will probably have my weekly cheat meal mid-day tomorrow.


#9

August 20, 2007

I am down to 206 lbs but this V-diet for me is over at two and a half weeks.

I tried to get to sleep last night and failed miserably. Despite taking melatonin and a double dose of my herbal sleep mixture (because I was trying to get to bed a little earlier than usual, and my mind was running pretty hard) I found my efforts to relax and focus on sleep only thwarted.

Eventually I broke down and got something to eat. I had failed to cram a fifth shake in yesterday but thought I would be OK (had woken up an hour or so late, was going to bed an hour or so early, had been very inactive all day, and had gotten a little extra calorie-wise in each shake during the day); I apparently was not.

What was going to be a regular flax/protein shake turned into a protein shake + nuts (almonds, macadamias, and cashews). I kept the quantity fairly moderate, but after going back to bed and finding myself still restless I broke down and ate the rest of the nuts (there had a been half a tub of them to begin with).

That was the death toll for the V-diet this time.

I am not sure how or why but at some point along the way I have become sensitive to electrolyte/water flucuations. I am convinced that some kind of imbalance is/was causing my sleep disturbances or at least contributing, and is/was causing my heart to race at certain times, especially at night when I am trying to get to sleep. I suspect it is linked to my tongue being discoloured and a bit puffy too. I have also had strange tingling, cold feet, and impaired erections during the day (despite adequate ones at night and what seems to be a healthy desire for women)I do not know if it is sodium, potassium, water (dehydration or overhydration) or what though.

This was a minor issue the first time I started low-carbing years and years ago, but it cleared up. It then became a real problem a few years later when I was fatigued and doing the Warrior Diet (which came first, the fatigue, the diet, or the electrolyte issues, I do not know).

I suspect my calories have been lower than is neccesary also, given my daily activity at my job.

Long story short, this V-diet is over. I humbly admit defeat and hope that I can transition into a lifestyle where I feel happier and healthier and hydrated.

This morning I felt as if I was quickly occilating back and forth between depression and rage. I THINK I have calmed down enough to move on. I am aiming to move into the Anabolic Diet now. I will take one, maybe two, weeks off lifting, and start supplementing with Alpha Male as soon as my order arrives. I am going to discontinue using HOT-ROX immediately. I am going to lay off the B and E vitamin supplements but continue with the extra vitamin C.

I will post at least once or twice in the next couple weeks; more often if anything major occurs. More frequent posts will show up once I have my first carb-up and training resumes. I probably will also start posting a bit over in the Anabolic Diet thread.


#10

August 24, 2007

It is the middle of the night for me, so I once again have woken and found it difficult to get back to sleep. I had a leg cramp, so I ate some salt substitute. It seemed like a good time to drink my trace mineral concentrate and take some BCAAs too.

My cramp feels better but my heart is pounding hard again.

I have been on the Anabolic Diet (in other words very low carb solid food) since Monday. The first day or so I felt more in tune, but the last few days have been so so. The first day or two, being low on sleep and getting off HOT-ROX, I was sluggish at certain points during the day. That has gone away the last couple days, but the early feeling of well being from a better mineral balance, and I presume a higher testosterone level seems to have worn off.

I do not know if my testosterone has gone south, but I do think my minerals are out of whack, and I suspect that it is potassium. sighs I gave an adrenal pill containing licorice one more try Tuesday and Wednesday. I decided it was making me feel bloated and probably raising my blood pressure. Insufficient potassium could explain why my digestion has gone a bit south too.

I started creatine yesterday, and will start Alpha Male today. I am not loading the creatine, just mixing 5 g in with a shake.

I will go back to training next week, hopefully with my minerals balanced, my testosterone decidely up, and my mind focused and well rested.


#11

August 27, 2007

So far so good on the Anabolic Diet. I am 7 days into the transition phase and still do not feel I have hit a wall. One possible side effect I will mention later. I did not lift last week though, which does spare glycogen but I was working all week (8 hours on my feet walking all over a grocery store with occasional squatting, lunging, and lifting).

Potassium probably was out of whack, but since upping my water intake as drastically as I can stomach I seem to be improving a bit with my general health and sexual complaints. I still need more water though as there are still times like this morning where I find myself rather dehydrated.

I drank 3 or 4 half liter bottles of water last night. About a bottle and a half was had while I was getting to sleep and talking on the phone. The rest was had later after waking up, having phone sex (managed good solid erections for this which I attribute to the hydration and the relaxation I get from chatting with my ex-girlfriend) and then trying to get back to sleep. I only visited the bathroom twice and always drank more water after.

I took the opportunity while awake last night to take some extra BCAAs, digestive enzymes that I forgot earlier, and sucked on a silver-zinc lozenge.

So, woke up this morning, felt rested but a little... foggy? unmotivated? Maybe I am having side effects to the Anabolic Diet afterall? Maybe this is just being somewhat dehydrated, and exerting myself last night.

Drank a ton of water, trying to get hydrated this morning. Took Alpha Male, some astragulus (an herb for the nerves), and about 7 grams of BCAAs. I also had a single scoop protein shake after I let the supps set in for about 40 minutes.

After I felt hydrated enough I hit the weights with less drive than I wanted but I got them moving.

Military Press and Pull Down were uninspiring, about where I left the weight and a half ago with a couple more reps added here and there.

Deadlift really was up though. I managed to get 145 for 12 reps. Grip was really wearing out fast though, and I only managed 2 working sets at 115. Deadlift being the last of the three exercises, and hitting the new PR really burnt up my forearms I guess.

Overall I am quite happy.

I just had a 2 scoop protein shake with some creatine and 7 more grams of BCAAs. I also took some L-lysine, ginseng, and milk thistle.

In about an hour I will grill up some chicken thighs and shitake mushrooms and top them with a tomato and basil sauce and some jalapeno jack cheese.


#12

August 29, 2007

No major changes so far as my general health goes. I am still feeling off and may even have taken a step back. I am rethinking the potassium and wondering if the problem was not the licorice/sodium but the ammount of water I was getting with it. I gave the adrenal formula another go this morning after having another difficult night last night.

I was sluggish and on edge throughout the day. I definately was feeling burnt out and grouchy at times. Somehow after getting off work though I managed to churn up enough drive for a workout. It was a slow starter, and my bench press and row numbers were not particularly impressive. They were just where I left them a week and a half ago. I was feeling revved up enough though by squat time to put an extra 10 lbs on the bar and nailed 95 lbs for 10 reps. 85 lbs for 10 reps went well too.

I only managed 9 reps on my first work set at 75 and was feeling my focus draining away. I felt my form was decent if not good on the first two sets, but I know it probably was getting sloppy on the third set. Between the form issue and the lack of reps I wrapped it up at that.

Still overall I am pleased, but definately looking forward to the first carb-up on the Anabolic Diet this weekend. I plan to keep it fairly clean, but do have a couple cheats in mind. I am going to break open a bottle of Chimay and have it with some Belgian butter wafers. Yogurt, porridge, mashed potatoes, and some pumpkin cookies are definately going to be on the menu between Saturday and Sunday.

For tonight though, I rewarded myself with a T-bone steak for not pussying out on the workout today and actually upping my squat.


#13

August 31, 2007

Well, once again I only slept 5 hours last night. I was yawning in the afternoon but I went ahead with my workout a bit later anyway. Military press were a bit rough but pull downs were decent and I improved on my deadlift again. I kept the weights the same as last time except for upping the deadlift by 10 lbs to 155 lbs. I hit that for 9 reps. Once again grip is distracting me, and on my last set, forcing me to fail, before anything else.

Despite not getting much rest last night and feeling beat right now, I have a certain sense that I am, inch by inch, getting a bit closer to a healthy state. My hydration seemed closer to spot on today with brief exceptions. My mood has improved, and I would say I am a bit less foggy.

I am a bit concerned that I am not keeping far enough away from failure on these exercises at times. I will need to watch that closely next week and beyound.

I needed a new multivitamin so I have given Animal Pak another try. Despite blurry and vaguely unpleasant memories of my last experience, I am willing to give them another chance, with better hydration this time. Sometime over the weekend I will hopefully track down a casein mix to use at nights from now on.


#14

September 2, 2007

This is not a lifting day so I do not have alot to report but I felt an update on my first carb-up weekend on the Anabolic Diet was in order. Plus I had unusually hard wood this morning which was great.

Yesterday my eating looked like this:

grape juice + creatine, and Metabolic Drive protein bar

raw food bar, orange juice, peanut butter and honey sandwich, baked Lays

large order of sesame chicken (chicken cooked in a sweet sesame sauce with a few sprigs of broccoli and lots (2 cups I would guess) of white rice)

green juice

broccoli in garlic sauce with pine nuts over white rice, 2 Danactive yogurts (the kind with the extra digestive enzymes) and a Guiness Extra Stout

Early on I was feeling very light and jacked up but the two Chinese meals, and the Guiness really threatened my hydration later on and lead to serious bloat. I seem to be at least mildly allergic to Guiness. It is not my favourite beer, but it makes me wonder what it is I am irritated by.

I felt no insulin crash throughtout the day.

As I said I woke up this morning with great wood. Soon after though (a couple hours), once I had emptied my bladder a couple times, and had a bowel movement, I was feeling cold, especially in my lower body, and just had a sense that I could not get it up if I wanted to. This sensation seems to come on me when I drink plenty of water (especially non-mineral water) and take extra potassium (though I have not been taking extra in the last several days). It is the opposite of the warm, hot tea, feeling that one gets after having a spicy meal or a meal with meat.

I am wondering about my magnesium so I decided I would take some extra ZMA today, one capsule 3 times during the day, plus the 3 all at once before bed. It is not expensive to try and no harm if it is unneccesary.

So far today's diet:

grape juice and creatine, single scoop protein shake, couple ginger-pumpkin cookies, bowl of honey nut cheerios

85% cacao chocolate bar, box of Belgian butter cookies, bottle of Ommegang Abbey Ale

I am going to try to be more conservative with calories today, and not overdo it on protein like I did yesterday hopefully.

So far only one sneeze from the ale, and no immediate dehydration symptoms.

I'll be out shopping today and hopefully come back with casein protein powder and Universal Liver tablets.


#15

So... it has been a little while since I updated. Last week I missed my workouts Monday and Wednesday. I was feeling like crap and had missed some sleep again.

I, to some extent, made it up on Thursday and Friday with two days with similar style to Westside ME days. Thursday was upper body, working up to a 1 RM max on bench. I did behind the neck pull downs, triceps push downs, and dumbbell lateral raises also. Friday was lower body, working up to a 1 RM max squatting, with stiff legged deads, and jack knives.

1 RM for bench and squat were both 155 lbs.

I almost had 165 squatting but it turned into a sloppy good morning all of a sudden as I was getting up.

My libido and erection strength has been slowly but surely increasing, and really took off this past weekend during my second carb up on the Anabolic Diet.

I did find some Casein protein and liver tablets, and have added both to my supplement mix.

This week I decided to switch formats to Dan John's One Lift a Day program. Today was bench and it went fairly well, though I was short a couple reps on two sets where I was going particularly heavy, and may have gone to failure on one other set.

At the end I thought I had more in me and gave the final weight, 145, another go after getting only 2 reps on it for my final set. On that "second try" I managed another two reps, was going for three, and almost had it and then got stuck about half way. At that point some twisting and straining ensued and the bar was drifting back over my head well before I had it at the height to rack it. Fortunately I somehow got it onto the hooks.

Today:

115 x 5
125 x 5
135 x 5
145 x 3
120 x 5
130 x 5
145 x 2

Did I blow this workout? Can I still hope to see some progress/gain from it besides experience? grins