T Nation

My Log


I've decided to keep a log here in hopes of adding a little accountability to my training. Do to some unavoidable circumstances my training has been, to put it mildly, a bit haphazard over the last year and a half -- I got weak and a little fat (I was only slightly less weak and fat before, so it's not that much of a downward spiral). Now my situation is such that I'll be able to make a more concentrated effort. Any advice is welcome...

I'm 6'2" at ~225 lbs; I'm not a fat ass, but I ain't skinny. I'm not sure what all my maxes are, but the following is a list of recent lifts I'll be using as a bench mark.

Deadlift 315 x 4
Bench 225 x 3
High-bar, back squats 275 x 1
Power Clean 215 x 1
Military Press 135 x 5
Front Squat 205 x 3
Chins BW x 7
Pull Ups BW x 6
Dips BW x 7

These are the lifts I'll be focusing on -- and as you can tell, they need a lot of focusing on!

Right now at least, my routine looks like this.

Overhead Squats: 3 x 5
Front Squats: Max set of 3
Reverse Lunges: 4 x 6
Pull Ups: 2 - 3 sets of 5
Sit-ups on a decline: 3 x 10

A)Push press: 5 x 3
B)Chins: As many sets of 5 as possible
C1)1 -arm standing Db press: 4 x 6
C2)Wide-grip pulldowns: 3 x 8
D1)Db front raises: 3 x 8
D2)Face pulls; 2 x 12
E)Standing bb French press: 3 x 8

Speed Deads from a deficit (standing on a 45): 6 x 3
Rack pulls from knee level (my worst pin, harder than from the floor): 5 x 3
1- legged hyper extensions: 3 x 8
Db Shrugs: 3 x 8
Pull-ups: 1 - 2 sets of 5

A)Bench: 8 x 3
B)Chins: 3 sets max reps
C)Dips: 3 sets max reps
D)Cable rows: 3 x 8
E1)1-arm db bench press: 3 x 8
E2)1-arm db rows: 3 x 10
F)Bb preacher curls (paused at bottom): 2 x 8

Again, any and all advice is welcome!


Monday 11/12/07

Overhead Squats
45 x 2 x 5, 95 x 3 x 5

Front Squats
135 x 3, 155 x 3, 175 x 3, 195 x 3, 205 x 3

Reverse Lunges
135 x 6, 145 x 6, 155 x 6, 165 x 6

BW x 2 x 5

Decline Sit-ups

BW + 25 x 3 x 10


not bad. your schedule seems pretty good. What about nutrition?


It's crap right now; it's something I really need to work on. I'm a full time student so I tend to eat the junk they sell at the campus commons. I do eat often though: never less than four times a day, most often 5 - 6 meals, and I take my fish oil. I really need to get back into the habit of making my meals at home, though. Carls Jr or Mexican food 5 days a week can't be a good thing...


Carl's Jr is awesome.

That is some of the best food I had during the time I spent in the West. If you come to TX, check out Wataburger.

Sorry for the hijack.

I like seeing the amount of lifters performing overhead and front squats. What grip are you using on the FS?


Lol...ya, Carls tastes pretty good -- at least for the first couple weeks it did, it's starting to taste like shit now...

I use a clean grip. Unfortunately, due to poor flexibility I assume, I am only able to keep two fingers on the bar. Which is fine for front squats but I have a hard time doing a full clean and jerk -- I can get under the bar fine but I feel too awkward to jerk (like I'm not going to be able to get my hands back under the bar when I jerk and I'm going to get stapled when the bar comes crashing down). I recently bought o-lifting shoes, which has helped some, but still...


How important is O Lifting to you?

For me, it is a priority. I keep my log on the Oly thread.

It appears that you either really like, or are working hard on chins. I would recommend doing some weighted chins from time to time.

What are your goals? I noticed speed DL's and rack pulls. Are you doing this because you want to maintain a higher volume while still doing a DL variation? Does it take a while to recover from DL's?


Umm...good question. I wouldn't say it's my priority, but that's more a product of not having the ability to get proper coaching than anything else. I've looked -- admittedly, not as hard as I could -- but there doesn't seem to be any coaches in this area (Riverside, CA). If I had the proper coaching -- or even a group of like minded, more knowledgable people, and the proper equipment (bumper plates, etc.) -- I'd probably make it my main focus.

There have been periods where I focus more on the olympic lifts (mostly power variations) but I'm hesitant to spend more time on them without really knowing if I'm using proper form, structuring my workout correctly, etc. I'm going to try and get some videos posted of my lifts and hopefully get some form critique.

I suck at 'um! I mean...really. I do deadhang, but, on a good day, I can only get 7 chins. And it is the one lift that I have never been better at...no matter how much I've weighed, I've never been able to do more than 7. Because of this, I tend to find excuses why not to include them, so I've decided to do them basically everyday in hopes of breaking that habit.

I've never tried weighted chins, which is probably one of my problems. What do you suggest I do as far as set's and rep's -- obviously, I'm not going to be able to bang out more than 1 - 3 per set...

Right now my goal is just to get stronger. My biggest problem has been not sticking to one goal (or program) long enough to see any real gains.

As far as the deads go, volume is an issue -- since it's really the only thing I'm doing that day, I didn't want to do just 3 x 3 or 5 x5 and I do have a difficult time recovering from a 10 x 3 or 5 x 5 from the rack or floor -- speed deads don't really effect my recovery at all, at least as far as I can tell. But more importantly, I have a huge sticking point right at knee level.

I'm not really sure how to address that other than working on speed and directly on the sticking point. I have no idea what I'm lacking that causes this, it seems odd to me; I understand not being able to break the floor, or lock out, but right in the middle? I don't know, maybe lower back?


Try this: (Poliquin's 1-6 Principle)
Hang a 5 or 10 lb weight from you. Perform one pullup.

Perform as many as you can

Hang more weight, say 15.
Perform one pullup.

Do this a couple times and see what happens. I'd be willing to bet that the second time around, you'll knock out 9.

My best pullup grip is where my palms face each other. Find your grip.

A poster named ZEB made a thread on chinning. It is a really good read.

It seems like we have similar problems. I am switching to sumo pulling. In three weeks it almost caught up to my conventional pull. At first I couldn't sumo pull for sh!t. 315 was hard (My conventional is in the low 5's).

My problem with DL is that I have a long torso and relatively short limbs. (6'3", 32" inseam) You wouldn't happen to be the same? It seems that sumo pulling is one way to alleviate this.

Check out Cressey's deadlift article(s).

Most of all, give it time. Stick with a program and tweak it until you find a groove (not a rut!).


Sounds good, I'll give that a shot on Wednesday. Thanks for the advice!

You know, I've never thought of that...

I don't know my exact inseam...I'm 6'2" and tend to buy either 32" or 34" depending on the cut, but I only wear jeans and I've never had to buy dress pants...so I'd only be guessing.

Thanks again for the advice. Hopefully, with the help of this log, I'll be able to stay more on track....I've never even kept a personal log, so seeing where I go wrong and what works for me will be a first...


Hey man good luck...keep lifting hard. Thats all it takes. We have similar builds (6'2" 220) and have similar struggles (Chin ups lol). I and am making sure to incorporate them a lot too...i'll be watching your log


Thanks for the encouragement!


Wednesday 11/14/07

Tonight was ugly. I overestimated my ability on nearly every lift...

Push Press

Bar x 8, 135 x 5, 185 x 3, 185 x 2 + 1 push jerk, 175 x 3, 175 x 3, 175 x 3

First set went fine, don't know what happen to the second, really struggled on the second rep and decided to just jerk it...

Chins (per Chewie's recommendation: I'm not sure if this is what you had in mind, so let me know)

BW + 15 lbs x 1, BW + 15 x 5, BW + 20 x 1, BW + 20 x 3, BW x 4 (ya, I suck, I know)

One Arm Standing DB Press

R. hand: 60 x 4 x 6
L. hand: 60 x 3 x 6, 60 x 5

I think next time I'll start with my left arm...


150 x 6, 130 x 8, 130 x 7

Don't ask...

Front Raises

20 x 3 x 8

Face Pulls

100 x 2 x 12

Obviously not the same pulley stack as I used for the pulldowns...

Standing BB French Presses

70 x 2 x 8


Friday 11/16/07

Changed the format on this day...

Power Cleans

135 x 5 x 3 (just to warm-up and work on form)


185 x 5, 225 x 5, 275 x 3, 315 x 3, 365 x 1, 365 x 1, 345 x 1

1 Leg Hyper Extensions

BW x 8, BW + 25 x 2 x 8

Isometric Hyperextension

BW + 25 x 35sec

DB Shrugs

85 x 3 x 8


BW x 5, BW x 4, BW x 3 (Grip failed...I need to work on my grip strength, bad...)


do you use chalk? if not start or just get straps


No, I don't, I think I'll go pick up some chalk tomorrow, though. I switched gyms about 2 weeks ago and it has very old barbells -- no knurling left at all -- I almost dropped my 2nd set of DL's at 365, and then I was literally hanging on by my finger tips on my last two sets of pull-ups. It's definitely a big limiting factor...


Saturday 11/17/07


Bar x 8, 135 x 8, 185 x 8, 225 x 8 x 3

Chins (neutral grip)

BW x 6, x 5, x 4


BW x 8, x 5, x 4

Cable Rows (narrow grip)

100 x 8, 110 x 8, 120 x 8

1-Arm DB Bench

55 x 3 x 8

1-Arm DB Row

55 x 3 x 10

Preacher Curls (2 sec pause at bottom and top, only doing the bottom half of movement)

55 x 2 x 8


Monday 11/19/07

Overhead Squats

45 x 8, 100 x 3 x 5

(Felt pretty good -- probably should have added more weight on the OHS's, but I decided to make a bigger jump in weight than I normally would on everything else...)

Front Squats

135 x 3, 165 x 3, 195 x 3, 215 x 3, 225 x 1, 225 x 1, 225 x 1 (~1 min rest between each single)

(As I was saying...I made a bigger jump in weight than I normally would, and I overestimated...again. Although, even when I was lifting consistently, the most I've ever front squatted is 245 x 1, so I'm still pretty happy with this.)

Reverse Lunges

135 x 6, 150 x 6, 165 x 6, 180 x 6

(These felt pretty easy...)


BW x 5, BW x 5, BW x 4.

Decline Sit-ups

BW + 25 x 12, x 11, x 10

I'm hoping someone can answer a question for me: I've been doing a short 1 - 2 second pause at the bottom of my front squats, and I notice I really feel a lot of strain on my hams and ass when coming out of the hole, is this normal? or am I doing something wrong form wise? There is a marked transition to my quads once I hit parallel, but I was under the impression front squats don't really work the posterior chain that much -- mine is telling me otherwise.

All in all I was pretty happy with today's workout...good thing too. I was put in a bad mood right before....I had a history mid-term and I didn't do as well as I should have. (That's an understatement!) There were actually audible sounds of frustration throughout the lecture hall so I'm hoping everyone else did shitty too, and he curves it...


Thought I'd include some pics to help keep track of my progress...


Front shot...