T Nation

My Rest Week is Over

And by rest week I mean 11 years out of the gym. I don’t know if any of the folks I used to talk to here are around anymore.

Lots of stuff happened and I fell off. Work, hobbies, life, etc. Now I’m 50, still 5’9", but 305#. My hinges are rusty, my levers are weak, my work capacity is crap, and I’m certainly not strong anymore. Too much beer and BBQ over the years.

So I went in on the home gym (I can curl in the rack if I want!) and I’m getting back under the bar. I don’t have some things that would be nice, but I have enough. I’ve been in about every other day for a few weeks now to figure out what I have left, which isn’t much.

I’m starting a very basic 6 day PPL program, three days at 3x3-5, and three days at 4x8, plus LOTS of prehab and accessory work: bendy and twisty band work. No maxes, no failure reps, no spotter. I’ve got a lot of work to do to get mobile and functional again. It’s a lot like being a beginner but I remember the things I learned.

Goals are simple. Increase my work capacity, get mobile again with stretching and prehab, lose fat with a reasonable diet, a little cardio, and weights, and get used to being under the bar again. The strength will come back, but I’m in prime shape to get hurt if I’m not careful on my progressions.

First phase is 6 weeks, then I’ll reassess:

Mon: Tue: Wed:
Deads: 3x3 Bench: 3x5 Squat: 3x5
Landmine Rows: 3x5 Mil Press: 3x5 Calf Raise: 3x8
Trap bar shrugs: 3x5 Skull Crushers: 3x8 Sumo Romanian Deadlifts: 3x8
Some sort of curl: 3x8 Plate Front Raises: 3x8 Heavy Band Pullthroughs: 3x8
Thu: Fri: Sat:
BB Rows: 4x8 Incline Bench: 4x8 Front Squats: 4x8
Rack Pulls: 4x8 Kneeling Landmine Press: 4x8 Stiff Leg Deadlifts: 3x8
V Strap Front Lat Pulls: 4x8 V Strap Pushdowns: 4x8 Heavy Band Pull Throughs: 4x8
Some sort of curl: 4x8 Superset shoulder flyes Calf Raise: 4x8

I may shuffle the strength and HT days depending on how it goes to start.

For accountability this week I had what I consider my first three real sessions and they looked like this:

Heavy Leg HT Pull HT Push
Squats: 3x5@185 BB Rows: 3x8@135 Incline Bench: 3x8@135
Standing Calf: 3x8@225 Rack Pulls at knee: 3x8@225 Kneeling Landmine Press: 3x8@25 each arm
Sumo Rom DL: 3x8@135 Front Lat Pulldowns: 3x8@80 v Strap Pushdowns: 3x8@35
Pull Throughs EZ Bar Curls: 3x8@55 Superset flyes: 10# plates

One day I’ll be able to do a pull up again. :slight_smile:

Keep the faith


Man 5am comes earlier than it used to, and the weight is heavier than it used to be. 70’s metal helps wake me up, though.

Today was heavy (hahaha) pull day:
DL - 3x3@185 - first time for a full deadlift in a very long time and my gut gets in the way.
Landmine rows - 3x5 per side @ 70
Trap bar shrugs - 3x8@185 - I may raise the weight and lower the reps here in a few weeks, but just trying to get the feel back.
EZ Bar curls - 3x8@65 - this will be the way I curl for a while as I don’t have my dumbbell handles yet. I might add in some band or plate curls.

I also did some dead hangs, facepulls, wood chops and reverse, and landmine twists.

Moving really slow right now, longer rests than I want so part of what I want to do is to speed up and increase that work capacity.

I can move to the training log section, but I had some good times here a bunch of years ago.



Tuesday; heavy push day. Not really sore yet from yesterday, except for my lower back as I am avoiding a belt right now and I don’t have the core stiffness I’d like. So adding more ab work and doing ab pressure breathing exercises to make up.

Bench - 3x5@175
Mil Press - 3x5@95, 115, 115
Skullcrushers - 3x8@45
Front Plate Raises - 3x8@35
Rotator cuff, banded dislocates, facepulls, and crunches.

It feels good to get work in again but man things move differently. Note to self, don’t take 11 years off again. :slight_smile:


1 Like

I did not skip leg day.

Today was first leg day.

Squats - 3x5@185
Standing calf raise - 3x8@205, 225, 225 - I added a 1.5" block to increase the length of the rep
Sumo Rom DL - 3x8@135, 135, 155
Band pullthroughs - 3x8 with my heaviest band

Question for the group: I don’t have a GHR, or leg ext/curl attachment so I am doing lots of stiff leg and romanian deadlifts, plus the pull throughs and some band leg curls for hamstrings. As I get my back in shape I’ll get start into good mornings as well.

Any other or better options? Thanks!


1 Like

Just can’t go wrong with Bulgarian split squats. Walking lunges @dagill2 likes the death march.

Pendlay Death Marches are really more a walking single leg RDL, although I’m also a fan of high rep walking lunges too.

1 Like

Yeah that’s it. Couldn’t remember the actual name of them.

Oh god I had to look up the pendlay death march. That looks horrible. As soon as I have dumbells I’ll have to try it. :slight_smile: Although I’ll likely try them empty handed to see how they work.



1 Like

A plate in each hand would work fine. I used kettlebells

1 Like

All right, into the higher volume half of the week. I powerlifted because I like high reps so I added a set to each exercise.

BB Rows - 8@135, 135, 155, 155
Rack pulls - 8@205, 225, 225, 245 - it was hard not to just add weight and see what I could pull here. Rack pulls have always been a favorite of mine.
V-Strap front lat pulls 8@80, 3x8@90
EZ Bar Curls 4x8@65

Also did some landmine twists with just the bar and some dead hangs.

I tried the death march up and down the shop a couple of times and I get a hell of a ham stretch so I’ll definitely be adding that in for legs on Saturday.


1 Like

Felt like junk this morning but cranked some old Ozzy and got to it anyway. Push day 2

45 deg incline - 4x8@135
Kneeling landmine press - 4x8@25, 35 each arm
BFM Tricep presses - doubled light band - 4x10
Superset shoulder flyes - 10lb dumbbells

Did some scap pushups, a bunch of dislocates (my left rotator cuff is flaring up a bit), and some high and low woodchops.

My dumbbell handles finally came in so I can start to add in some DB and iso accessory work yay!

Also have been self quarantining as my Dad is recovering from Covid and we were together a couple of weeks ago before he tested positive. Today is my last day being caged so I will go buy some chucks tomorrow. I have these UA shoes I was given at some IT event in DC I was at and I figured I’d try them out.

They are definitely bad for squats and DL. They’re really comfortable but the soles have this little arc to them and it’s hard to settle back into a squat or DL when your foot wants to rock fore and back.



Saturdays I’ll be sleeping in a bit, past 5 at least. Got into the shop about 7:30 and just had a crap session. I realized after I was done that I forgot to drink my spike and I don’t have coffee until after I lift. Pushed through but felt tired and worn for the whole session but I was amazed at the difference in my energy level.

Front squat, crossed arms - 4x8@115, 135
RDL - 4x8@135
Band pull throughs 3x8 with the heavy band
Shouldered calf raise on a 1.5" block - 3x8@225

Did woodchops, dislocates, and facepulls oh my! Plus other twisting work and side bends. When did touching my toes become difficult?

1 Like

When it rains…

It’s been a long week. Right after I posted on Saturday my dad texted me, then called 911 and went to the hospital and is recovering from Covid and pneumonia. He’s out of the ICU as of this evening, getting better and should be out next week.

Anyway, that’s been much of my week; well, that and making up for the work as I have been leaving early. I made it in to the shop Monday morning for deads but nothing else this week. Should be good for push tomorrow morning.

On the plus side, I couldn’t go visit him until Sunday and needed a distraction so I did go get shoes. Apparently no one likes Converse anymore but I found a pair of Metcon 5s. They made a real difference in how stable I felt pulling Monday morning and I hit 225 for a pretty easy DL triple as my last set.

Anyway, it’s been a hell of a week, and I really need focus tomorrow morning.


1 Like

Sorry to hear about your dad. Glad he’s is recovering. The new shoes sound great.

Jesus. I know I don’t post much but my month has been like a toddler telling a story. And then, and then, and and and then…

My dad was in the ICU for 5 days and the Covid wing for 3 more (and he’s out and at about 75% these days), and the day I brought him home we had the OKC ice storm. So I was 9 days without power. I had to go to the office for a week as soon as the roads were clear and was exposed to Covid there. Quarantined for 2 more weeks, felt like crap, and had one negative test, so that was good. Anyway, all is back to normal and we’re back to our normally scheduled workouts.

Squats - 3x205, 205, 225 - felt really easy for not having worked in almost a month
Pendlay Marches - 3 sets with 10lb plates. Yep. These suck.
Standing calf raise - 3x8@225
Step ups - 3x8 on a 14" step
Band pull throughs - 3 sets
3 runs up the shop stairs

I felt strong like I haven’t in years. I mean, I felt like I was moving the weight the way I wanted to instead of struggling to get started. I got a lot more work done today than I had been. Hamstrings are burnt but my knees feel great. :slight_smile:


For hamstrings–no.
For glutes–hip thrusts.

1 Like

The ice storm killed several old oaks I have here and I get to cut them down. On the plus side I’ll make a log press and some farmers carry logs out of them, plus try my hand at chainsaw carving and make my wife a fairy house or something.

1 Like

Bench yesterday, 5x5@175, bench dips, and a bunch of band work. The bench felt fine, the elbow is a little sore but nothing out of the ordinary.

Off today, and prepping for thanksgiving. This is my favorite cooking time of year. :slight_smile:


1 Like

4:45 comes early every day, but earlier on Thanksgiving.

Did BB rows to 5x5@175
Rack pulls 5@275, 295, 5x3@315. Felt really good to hold some weight again.
DB rows 5x5@80
45° bodyweight rows from rings, 5x5. Working towards full bw rows and pullups.

I was fried at the end, but man it felt good.

Then I fired up the smoker and put the turkey on. Ham is in as well, now it’s time to get after the waffles, sauces, desserts, etc. Woohoo!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


1 Like

Mom cooked a big lunch yesterday and I was in a food coma all afternoon. Be careful :rofl::rofl::rofl:

1 Like