T Nation

Natty on Pennies


I lurk. I laugh.


I’ll keep them coming

Nice to have you here man!


Do you use straps on your behind the back deads to get in a better position (as if to extend your arms)? I’m keen to have them in my hypertrophy program for high reps no lockout for them quad pumps but I remember them being pretty awkward for me.


Scott Abel was a phenomenal life coach. His teachings have effected me in a way that made me appreciate BB more in a lifestyle sense. He probably recommended me to make it seem more aesthetic (no disrespect) but there aren’t many ways to modify the russian twist.


Scott has some really great things to say about training and nutrition. Cycle Diet was a great read and his articles are very informative as well. Gotta delve deeper into his stuff when I have the time.

It isn’t a russian twist really, it’s more like a sit up

At 6:13 you can see how it’s performed (although I do them without jerking myself out of the bottom position)
Apparently they are called chopper situps

Also for anyone who has ever thought about what Finnish sounds like, this is it.

Also, welcome in, glad you are here!


Most of the time I do, I go strapless for most of my warmups and throw them in for my last 1-2 warmup reps/sets and the working sets. Straps are a game changer here because you can pull such high numbers and you can grind safely, but if you don’t use straps you only have so much time to grind before your grip gives out.

Also they put you in a better position, as you said. With pulls from the floor every inch matters.

I remember doing a set of 15-20 on behind the back deads and being so sore the next day that I couldn’t bend my knees. Amazing exercise.


Cheers mate, I thought as much. I shall give them a go with straps next time around. I don’t like using straps but if they help my positioning than I may as well embrace them.


When used correctly, straps are a great tool. For me it makes much more sense to use straps to get the grip question out of the way than to limit my performance because of “eww straps are for pretty boys”.


Imma try summing daily things into a single post so you can see how my diet progresses, what I’m doing, etc in real time. (Updating in the evening so I’ve already done everything)

Morning weight:
Man I haven’t been this skinny since high school

Today’s nutrition:
1740 Calories
230g protein
70g carbs
60g fat

Woke up really dry today, don’t know what caused that as I didn’t sleep particularly well. Now yes, 88kgs is really little, but given how depleted I am and the amount of muscle I lost during military it’s no surprise. (Also I’m not particularly fat.)

What I find really funny is that I’m eating less than my girlfriend at the moment. A year ago I could diet on 3K. Gonna build up to that once I’m done with this cut.

Alternating Sandbag sprints with sprints, both for 2x25m (run 25 meters, turn, run 25 meters, switch to/out of sandbag)
1:30 on
0:30 off
7 rounds (10:30 total work time)

Conditioning is skyrocketing, two weeks ago this would’ve killed me, but now I was able to recover almost completely in the 30 seconds of rest.

My girlfriend started at a new job yesterday, and she now has to wake up at 5AM instead of whenever she pleases. So naturally she was really tired yesterday whe we were supposed to hit legs, and we decided that she should rest instead and hit them today. (I hit legs yesterday) so, today she had to do them because tomorrow is upper body day and we can’t push that back. So it’s either today or skip it all together (not gonna happen)

We get to the gym and she’s tired as hell, saying she wants to sleep and all that. She’s grinding on her warmups. Not good.

Now, during the weekend we are gonna go and watch a play in a different city. We are also gonna go to a gym there that my girlfriend likes on Friday (Gonna be there for the whole weekend)

On Friday she still has work and we have to travel there and then walk 3km to the gym, so I know if she can’t do legs today, she can’t do them on Friday either.

So I figured that sometimes you just have to be a dick.
I told her that if she’s gonna train like this we won’t be going to the gym on Friday. Just told her straight in the face that I’m not paying for the pass if she isn’t going to train properly.
Now I know my girlfriend. That made her feel like she has to prove she’s worthy of going to the gym (not really mad though)

So she hit her reps, two triples, two doubles and four on her amrap with 2.5kg more than last time without a belt (which she used last time).

Getting under someone’s skin is so powerful. Wouldn’t do that all the time because in time it would just become really annoying.

Forgot to mention, but on Saturday there will be some eating off-schedule. My girlfriend told me that there are a couple of places she’s gonna take me because my birthday is soon. (Non-negotiable)

Given how low my calories are I’m not worried, it’s gonna be like 2 meals off plan and I’ll probably bounce back rather quickly.

Now this looks really good just under the post where I complained about people eating off plan on diets.


Testing day for my mother - 1 month in

Now, I urge you to remeber that during the month she was gone for over a week in two separate occasions and the training we did was not for pure strength.

Her scores a month ago:

  • Dumbbell overhead press:
    10x9kg/20lbs (+2 reps/+4kg total)

  • Close grip bench 6x30kg/66lbs (+5kg)

  • Deadlift 8x65kg/143lbs (+3 reps/+5kg)

  • Bodyweight squat was switched to bodyweight squat to a box to get a regulated depth.
    50 reps, much cleaner form

  • Two handed kettlebell swing for time
    1 minute 34 seconds with 20kg/44lbs (+ 66 seconds/+4kg)

Greatest improvement was definitely on the two handed swing, she lasted over three times longer with 25% more weight! Other than that, solid improvements of around 5kgs with some added reps.

After testing we practiced rack pulls below knee and barbell box squats, both of which are coming into the rotation for the next month.

One thing I’m not happy about is that she actually gained a bit of weight between testing days. I’ll have to look I to that a bit deeper. A month ago I just guided her onto a bit better path, as I like to take nutritional things slowly when dealing with someone who has a lot of weight to lose. This month we’ll make some more choices for the better.


By the way, tomorrow is going to be one hell of a day

I’m starting at my new job and we are gonna leave to the city in the afternoon so it’s going to be a long day.

Also, I’m gonna train a client before going to work (training at 5AM) so I have to wake up at 4AM. But if my client has the motivation to train that early, I’ll be there.

So, tomorrow will go like this:

Wake up, eat meal 1
Train the client
Go to work
Get off work, go home
3:30 PM
Meal two, leave home to catch the train
At the destination, get to the apartment
At the apartment, drink pre-workout whey shake and walk 3km to the gym
Train legs and then walk back to the apartment
eat last two meals

Gonna be a long day, but these are the days that you should use to test your mental fortitude. Yeah, the training will suffer a bit (especially when we take into consideration that I’m eating ~2060 Calories on my training days) but who cares? I’m gonna make the best of that.

Gotta go to bed early today though.


Daily entry:

Morning weight

Today’s nutrition:
2060 Calories
260g Protein
120g Carbs
60g Fat

Yesterday’s meals were delayed quite a bit so waking up a little heavier didn’t really shock me. Dry still.

As you see, my training days are nothing but straight up showeling food to my mouth
sad laughter

Today’s training:
Upper body:

1A Clap pushups
1B Explosive pull ups
2A Incline bench
increase weight
2x2,3 (amrap)
2B Weighted pull up w/fat grips
3A Close-Grip board press
3B Wide grip low pulley row
4A Dip w/Bands
4B EZ-Bar curl w/Fat grips
5A Bent over rear laterals
5B Side delt burns
5C Lying cable upright rows
5 minutes of cardio

Again, a workout with very little rest.

On incline bench I tied my best ever triple with my AMRAP set, which was nice. Next time the aim is to break it.

On Pull ups I used the exact same weight and setup as last time (3 days ago) but I did 5 sets of 6 instead of 3x5. Why?
That way I got twice the volume in and I can just do a set after every set of incline bench. Last time I didn’t pair it with anything so five sets would take a lot of time. (I don’t want to pair anything with close grip bench)

Next up, close grip board press. I do these with minimal arch to make the exercise harder. That kind of goes against what people usually do but I really like it, it hammers the triceps. The board at our gym is just a piece of scrapwood that’s between 2-3 inches thick.

With the board press I paired wide grip low pulley rows. I do these with a wide grip (really?), flaring my elbows out and pulling to my mid chest. I’ve found this to be pretty much the hardest way to do pulley rows. Why five sets of fifteen? Because man, I’m running out of stack!

On dips I used a band as resistance because straight weight doesn’t feel too good for me. This way the exercise was easier at the bottom and got really hard as I was getting close to lockout.

Paired that with EZ-Bar curls w/fat grips, which is my favourite bicep movement at the moment. I’ve found that the EZ-Bar must have very delicate angles for it to feel right. It should put your hand just slightly out of maximal supination. The ones that force you to be halfway to neutral don’t feel good at all.
Lately I’ve been splitting my arm training to heavier than(today) and lighter (see last CGB day), and it’s feeling good.

For delts, nothing special. Just three exercises that target the delta from different angles. One exercise solely for rear delts and two for side delts, one of witch hits the front felt as well.

For delts, these pump-oriented trisets have felt really good, and if nothing else my delts look pretty good after training.


Good job with your mum!

Have fun with the new job mate. Long days like that are testing but when you get through it, it feels like an accomplished in itself.


Thanks man!
Just trying to get the most out of the little time we have to use

Oh I will, Now have three jobs, and if this new one will make me 6-8K before schools start I’ll be glad to wake up at 4AM every day


Daily log

It was a long ass day, I’ve been awake for 20 hours now doing something.

Morning weight:
Today’s nutrition
2060 Calories
260g Protein
120g Carbs
60g Fat

Scale moved down from yesterday, really close to hitting a new low on this diet. For next two days I have no access to scale, but it’ll be in the 89kg area most likely.

We were at another gym today so I just tried stuff out and had fun. Still trained hard of course.

Today’s training:
3 hours long clusterfuck consisting of

~10 sets of trap bar deads
5 sets of machine hack squats
1 rest pause set of 100 reps on lag press
3 sets of reverse hypers
legs were done at this point
then we begun doing other cool stuff
~15 sets of different rows/pulleys
~5 sets of both rear felt and abs
Now, 2.5 hours in we found a slingshot knockoff. Yeah.
half an hour of close grip slingshot bench. Ended up doing 150kg/330lbs for a single after hyping up and consuming pre-workout at 11PM
No idea how much support the slingshot provided but that was cool, especially after such long session.

Overall, a great session although it probably did more harm than good if we think about the long run. But I liked it.

Now it’s time to relax.


Daily log:


The play was great, pretty much just two hours of straight laughter. Afterwards we went out to eat and they had this monstrosity of a burger with three half pound patties and about two pounds of fries.

Only ate three times today so the total calories didn’t go nearly as high as they could’ve. (And the other two meals were quite small)


Daily log:

1720 Calories
220g Protein
120 Carbs
40g Fat

Came home at around 2PM and fell asleep, woke up a couple of hours later and thus I missed one meal. Tragic, I know. So, having eaten like 6 hours before that I just downed my whey and left to the gym.
At this point I was feeling quite a bit of lightheadedness. Oh well.

1a Clapping push ups
1b Explosive sternum chin ups
2 Close grip bench
increase weight
3a Weighted pull ups w/fat grips
3b Bench supports
8 seconds at 110,120,130% of today’s doubles
4a Incline pin press w/fat grips
4b Wide grip low pulley rows
5a Seated dumbbell curl
5b Cable tricep extensions
6a Bent over rear laterals
6b Side delt burns
6c Face pull


Switched up my explosive chins to a harder variation with the sternum chins which felt pretty good.

On CGB I matched my last session by the reps felt a lot better. Now both of the sessions were not done with exactly perfect circumstances, so that’s not to blame.

Today I added in supports for bench, they felt pretty good and by doing that I was able to make some use of my pull up rest periods. Weird thing is that with supports of any kind nothing really feels heavy for me. As long as I can get it up I can hold it for pretty long times with no problem at all. (So around 200-220% for dead and squat variations and a but less for bench variations)

I was supposed to do seal rows today but the bench I need for those was being used so opted for pulley rows instead. Only one plate remains before I’m repping the whole stack.

For arms I did the 20/15/12/10/8 rep scheme again feels good as ever.

With delts I wanted to hit the sir and rear delts hard, so I did one isolation exercise for both and then face pull that hits both. I did the side delt burns in the middle to avoid getting my upper back in there.

Overall, pretty good session, apart from bench everything increased.


Really enjoying the daily nutrition and training logging!!


Glad to hear you like them, man!

I like writing them, I feel like that way I’m giving you a more realistic and complete view of what I’m doing compared to a couple of random posts every now and then.


Daily log:

2060 Calories
260g Protein
120g Carbs
60g Fat

My nutrition log has to be the most interesting thing on the whole site as it never really changes

I ate late last night and as you can see, I was a bit heavier in the morning. Because I eat the same way every day (apart from peri-workout) my body works at a spesific schedule - eat later, have bowel movements later the next day, so you weight more in the morning. (In English, I took my morning shit later than usually, after weighting myself)

After work, with two meals down I weighed 89.5kgs/197.5lbs, go figure.

Lower body

1 Explosive squat jumps
3x2 paired with squat warm-ups
2 High bar squat
increase weight
3a Rack pulls from pin 2
2x5 (DOH)
1x10 (Straps)
3b Standing crunch on lat pulldown
4a Seated leg curl
4b Hip belt squat
4c Hanging leg raise
5a Seated calf raise
5b Leg extension
5c Chopper situps
quad stretch
5 minutes of cardio

After work I fell asleep and woke up an hour later, left straight to the gym.

Squats felt decent, not as solid as last time but not bad either.

Rack pulls were good as well, grip is getting stronger by the day.

Now you may see that I only did three rounds of leg curl/belt squat/leg raise instead of the four I did last time. That’s because I upped the weight there. With lower body assistance I like to add weight and volume separately, because either one of those is grueling with high intensity. So if I hypothetically did 4x20x90kg last time on belt squat, I’d do 3x20x95kg now, 4x20x95kg next time and then 3x20x100kg and so on.
With main lifts for lower body and most upper body lifts I just add weight without altering the volume. (There are exceptions of course)

With the calf raise/leg extension/chopper sit up circuit I added volume instead of weight, and next time I’ll add weight and bring the volume back a bit. I like to add weight to one circuit and volume to the other because by doing so my workouts are pretty consistent in length. I’m always doing a total of six rounds of assistance for lower body. (4 and 2 or 3 and 3).

Solid session, everything progressed either in weight or in volume.