Natty on Pennies

Oh yes. I can tell you I’m not exactly enjoying this.

It’s funny how always when you have a problem - a blocked nose, a sore throat, shin splints, you start to think about how you took breathing and walking for granted. I just find it hilarious when I notice that I’m thinking of stuff like that, and I’ve got no idea why that is.

Maybe it’s just the fact that I’m just going to be hurting when I walk for a couple of days and in my head it’s like I would never walk again.

Life is funny sometimes


Your own little conjugate training for running ay! Haha

I definitely agree that training in a specific way can and will improve ones running, but many people (who may not be as experienced as some in running) may need that repeated activity to improve. Especially when in gear and boots…

Other than that I’m running (lol?) out of an argument. As is typical, I agree with pretty much everything you wrote!

… also the team bonding in running!


Now that you say it, that’s pretty close to truth! Man, I was smart

If they don’t know how to run with a good technique, then yes - making someone very efficient with oxygen intake and stamina does no good if they haven’t got the slightest idea of how to actually run, but apart from that and getting used to the stess running places on your joints, you can get the benefits by other means.

Oh yeah, running in gear and boots is not on the top of the list of thing I enjoy

Discussions like these really benefit us both - and those who are interested in the subject. Man, we need more discussion up in here!

That’s a good one, I remember one occasion where I had to run in pretty horrible circumstances (I can’t tell too much about it) and I probably wouldn’t have made it without a couple of friends to push me.


For sure mate!

I’m actually really glad you had to go the military route. You were pretty lazer focused on bodybuilding and experiences like defence training can only help to broaden your horizon.

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Oh yeah, I’m trying to take everything I can from this experience - be it new ideas or even whole new goals, but I’m quite sure that when my time is up I’m returning to bodybuilding as my main goal. But you can never be sure of what happens next, maybe I’ll pick up powerlifting while I’m here. (Gotta say, that’s most likely not going to happen)

Hopefully I can provide new information and viewpoints to people here too, it would be a shame to keep valuable information only to myself


“Client” update - my girlfriend’s current bulk

So, last February my girlfriend was in quite good condition (bodyfat and strength-wise) but she felt like some extra muscle wouldn’t hurt. At that time she was about 51kgs (112 pounds) so we decided; hell, let’s push it a bit.

But here’s the deal: naturally, women cannot make as big size gains as men. They have less testosterone and in general, they are smaller. So we decided not to rush it. At the moment my girlfriend has been bulking for about seven months with no “mini-diets” in between. Why is that? That’s because the pace has been slow enough for her to stay in rather clean condition. At the moment she weights in at about 62.5kgs (138 pounds): that’s a gain of 11.5kgs/26 pounds in seven months! She’ll probably carry on gaining mass until the end of this year, in which time she’ll put on maybe 3kgs/6.5pounds and after that, we’ll take the excess away and see what’s hiding under there. Even if she dropped 10kgs at that point she would still be 55kgs/123 pounds afterwards, and that’s a great amount of size gained in one year for a woman! The diet won’t be too harsh if she doesn’t wan’t to take it to the extreme - at the moment she is eating around 3000 Calories per day without doing regular cardio (which will be started if it looks like she starts to put on excess fat, but at the moment it’s better to not make her do cardio because she’s rather busy - you see, sometimes you have to give up on your beliefs for to achieve the best results with the client)

Even at 55kgs she could still easily slip into the 52kg class in powerlifting - the class she would hold all the national records for if she competed (she broke them at like, 15 years of age, she had trained with me for a couple of months)

But she’s the kind of person who wants to obliterate the competition, so I guess we are not competing yet. She’ll probably be in the 57kg category before she starts to compete, and when that day comes, you’ll be damn sure we are bringing the gold medal home.

I don’t want to sound cocky here, that’s just who she is - she lives off of destroying other people in competition. I guess we are rather similar in that sense.

But yeah, operation 15kg bulk is in session, and will continue for some more time.

I’ll report again on this case once the bulk is over - remind me if it seems that I’ve forgotten this promise.


General life update

My shins are a lot better now, if we don’t have a morning run I can practically function normally. If we do have a morning run I’ll be limping for a couple if hours because of the pain.

During the time that I had to be careful with my legs I found out that high rep zercher squats do not irritate them and they are also a pretty good lower body exercise. (I’d still go with front or back squats but if you want to have some variety in your training they as definitely one option) I did them for sets of 20-30 reps, and I’ve got to say, they really condition your back and elbow tendons in addition to the leg musculature.

Today I had the opportunity to try some real chains with my close-grip bench, the chains were massive and felt really good. (I’ve rarely worked out I gyms with chains, they are surprisingly rare)

Some time ago I also got the change to try carrying a sandbag for conditioning work and I really liked it. (I don’t remember if I wrote about this so I’ll do it now)

If I ever decide to build a home gym, chains and sand bags are definitely on the list if things I’m going to get. And to be honest, as soon as I decide to buy a house (I live in a flat at the moment) I’m going to build one in the basement. I’m getting sick of all the fitness fanatics in commercial gyms. I just want to crank out some music and lift heavy weights.

But buying a house is not going to happen anywhere in the near future, so I’ll have to tolerate these self-claimed experts who feel the need to give advise everybody they see on every possible aspect of lifting and diet.

Really, just today some dude in his late teens came to tell me that I’m dumbbell rowing all wrong because I use the smith machine for support instead of a flat bench. I thanked him for his advice and continued on with my rowing.

A couple of minutes later he came back and told me that I cannot make gains with sets that long, and that I should never exceed fifteen repetitions during a set. (I was doing sets of 40 with a 60kg/132 pound dumbbell)

I asked him how exactly I was supposed to do shorter sets when the 60kg DBs were the biggest in the gym and there was no adjustable handle. That’s when he finally stopped trying to help me.

It’s nice that people try to help others out but man, I never asked you about how I should row!

So one good thing about a home gym would be the peace it offers, it would be just me, my girlfriend, loud music and heavy barbells.

Sidenote: it’s interesting what happens when you just start to write about a random subject and just go with the flow of your thoughts.

Lately I’ve been getting back to playing some video games during weekends, man I’ve gotten bad at them. (It’s been a while since I last played)

Sure, I could probably come up with more productive ways to spend time, but sometimes I’ve got to relax too. And what’s a better way of relaxing after a week in the army than playing some games that simulate being in the army?



I wish i could think that way. Whenever ive competed in other things, all i wanna do is hug everyone. lol

I have no idea if ill ever reach where the Superheavy weights are. Most of them are 5 times my height and size lol. I fit into the class, but itll probably take me forever. Im just about in the territory where the 180 classes compete maybe by sometime next year. I may just cut back and slowly work to trying to claim some sort of national thingy. Otherwise i wouldnt mind just being the strongest powerlifting chick in Texas lol

I went hardcore when i first started training from 143lbs, within the course of maybe two years im sitting at 205 right now, I take it that maybe 30-35 pounds of me is fat, and maybe chopping off another 10lbs will have me extremely lean. i have no idea what i look like on the super lean side, but im curious as well. Nice job with your girlfriend. How tall is she btw?


It’s well documented that by using a smith machine for support, you forfeit all gainz fort that session. Unlucky mate.

Oh lawd.


The superheavy is a mean weight class to compete, as the competitors are so damn big and strong

But hey, it’s only a challenge!

Dropping from 205 so you can fit into the 180 class wouldn’t really be out of the realm of possibility, not at all - but you’ve got to do it smart so you don’t end up losing strength.

That’d be cool

I guess that almost everyone does this hardcore bulk at first, but so far it seems to fit most people.

Nice progress there!

Really, the first diet where you go to the “super lean territory” is the so much fun - you get to see what your body really looks like under there and every day you see more and more details that you’ve never seen before.

Thanks! She’s 165cm (about 5’5’) tall.

But for deals though, the smith machine is the best thing to grab for support. The key word here is “grab” - for some reason grabbing something with the supporting arm just seems to give you more strength. And apart from that, it’s really easy to adjust the height of the support, and you are not blocking the path to the dumbbell rack. (Of course if someone wants to use the smith machine, you’ve got to move. The next best thing would be placing your hand on the end of an inclined bench (but not being on it yourself, the movement looks exactly the same, you just change the smith bar to the bench)


lol. worthless advice you got from that dude


Yeah you’re telling me. Worth a shot though.


Jesus it’s been a long time since my last post

Nothing much has happened since last time apart from the fact that my shin splints got way out of control - so I went to the doc and got the week completely off + I got a month off of running. If that doesn’t help, I’ll get more time off of running by just asking for it, so I finally have time to heal. I also got some pretty strong pills for the pain and some kind of lotion to run onto my legs.

The only problem is that I really like the stuff we do here - I’m bored to death when I’m not allowed to do anything. Today I cleaned for five hours just out of boredom. Another negative thing us that I can’t go to the gym this week because I’m not allowed to attend any of the PE stuff here. (I may or may not have done a shitload of pushups and pull-ups when nobody was looking)

At the moment I officially have a bit under 150 days to go in the army - time has really flown, I can’t believe I’ve been here for over a hundred days already. As of late I’ve been toying with the idea of getting leadership training - that would mean I have around 240 days to go

We’ll see, we’ll see.

I guess I could write something up for a change, I’ll just need to decide on the subject.

I’d really like if this log didn’t die off as I’m in here. I really like writing and helping people.


Training your calves and forearms

Personally I believe that training your calves and forearms is essential for performance and aesthetics - after all they are what links us to the bar and to the ground and they are the first thing to show if you are wearing T-Shirt and shorts. (Given that you are not a mountain of muscle)

So, what how would I go about training them?

For calves - four main points:

  • Stretch.
    A lot if times poor calf development is because either the fascia is too tight or the circulation in the calves is suboptimal. Putting the calves under stretch (preferably with weight) solves both of the problems. When doing calf work you should pause and stretch in the bottom position for 10-15 seconds on seated exercises and 5-10 seconds on standing variations. (This is because on standing variations your feet are more likely to slip off of the machine)

  • Contraction.
    A lot of times you see people just flailing weight around on various calf machines - this is wrong. Getting a proper peak contraction is one of the key elements to activating and thus growing your calves. Think of ballet dancers - they are on their toes a lot and they usually have great calves. Next time you do a set of calf raises, try to hold the peak contraction for 3-5 seconds each rep. And when I say peak contraction I mean the hardest possible contraction you can get. Just getting the weight up doesn’t cut it. You have to constantly strive to raise the bar even higher by getting further onto your toes.

  • Control.
    This is basically just the former two together. Peak contraction - controlled negative - pause and stretch in the bottom - begin the lifting phase by flexing you calves to eliminate all momentum.
    The Achilles tendon is very efficient with storing energy, so it’s crucial to eliminate any momentum in the movement in order to do the work with muscle and not the stored energy in the tendon.

  • Train all parts of the muscle.
    This is simple - don’t get stuck with only doing one exercise. Do both seated and standing calf raises and do not forget to do tibialis work (essentially reverse calf raises or toe raises) it’s really easy to get tibialis work in in between sets of calf exercises and it’s even proven to help with calf hypertrophy!

For forearms, pretty much the same principles apply, so I’m just going to go over them in a rather quick manner.

  • Stretch.
    The best way to stretch forearms (for me) has been to take a bar into your hands while seated as if you were going to perform seated forearm curls. Have your forearms on your thighs. From there just let the bar sink to your fingertips and hold it there. Do not let the back of your hands touch your legs while doing this (when the bar is just hanging in there you’ll get a much greater stretch than you would if your hands were supported)
    Hold the stretch as long as you can. Begin with a 45 pound bar and add weight when neccessary. Perform the stretch after you’ve done your forearm work. I’ve written about this stretch way back, there’s a picture and a longer explanation if I remember correctly.

  • Control.
    Because the ROM in forearm/calf movements is very short, you’ll have to do every rep with great control and the rep ranges should be rather high to get the muscles really working. If you just pump out reps you’ll most likely get nowhere.

  • Train all of the functions of the forearms. Here I’m mainly talking about the flexion and extension of the wrist, different grips and support. Apart from that (rotations and such) I do for a couple of weeks every now and then (and at those times I cut back on other work)- it would be too much hassle to keep everything in at all times.
    Everybody knows how to do wrist curls and extensions, but in addition to those I suggest doing plate pinches, farmers walks and doing your warm up sets with no wrist wraps/straps to get in some forearm work without sacrificing performance.

  • Non-eccentric work.
    Read: wrist roller. If your forearms really suck you can try using a wrist roller every day, for both extension and flexion. As there is no negative portion, it’s really easy to recover from. Pair that with the stretch and you have yourself some great forearm growth. (You could also do calf work every day as they usually have a great work capacity due to standing and walking - off you want to try non-eccentric calf work, go for a run on a beach or do some skipping with a rope)

This is what has helped me to grow my calves and forearms, if you have some secrets feel free to share them, and if you have questions feel free to ask.


Did they give you anything other than painkillers?.. Oils? Massage? Exercises?

My shins have to be slowly introduced to more stimulus. Anything drastic and they start barking at me.

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No, but I’ll stretch and massage them myself

I believe it’s more of a bad shoes - thing for me as my level of activity didn’t really go up as I got into the military.

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Sidenote: From all of the guys that are in leadership training at the moment, the best result in bench press rep test was 19 (the weight was 65kgs/140pounds)

There are 30 guys in the training, they are supposedly the toughest ones around. So needless to say, I’m really surprised with the result.
Yeah, I know that bench isn’t a tough guy meter, and I also know that those guys are really just the ones who wanted to get the training.

Stuff like this makes me want to go through the training, just so I get the chance to destroy that number. It’s just who I am. Like, at the moment I’m super pumped about going in there in six months and doing three times more reps than the second best guy.

Although I’m probably weak as hell on all kinds of bench press at the moment, but if there ever comes a time when I can’t do, say 30 clean and controlled reps with 65kgs and close grip I’ll be really ashamed.

Man, I wanna do 60 reps on that thing, I want to beat them all real good. (This is exaggeratting, don’t take it too seriously)

Sometimes I find myself really annoying.


What about, Leadership?

Coach those other guys up on the bench press right before the test so THEY get higher scores!


Found myself a few years ago doing a max rep 135lb bench press after about 8 hours of pretty grueling PT. I hit 47, think the max was in the 60’s. Almost all the men I was with hit at least 20. Guess U.S. troops really are all meatheads haha

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I think i would be hard pressed doing 10 reps at that weight at the moment :flushed:

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