New to the Nation

Whats up everyone? Sorry in advance for the long winded post.

I guess this is sort of an introduction. I started lifting 11 months ago give or take, after a few long looks in the mirror(and an engagement) made me really ask myself if I was happy with my body comp. Ignoring the fact that weight isn’t the end all be all of form, I was about 80lbs overweight, weak and pathetic.

My size 44 pants were starting to feel snug and at 25 going on 26 I felt like I was 55 going on dead. I putzed around in a local gym for the first few months trying different routines that I picked up here and there, until about six months ago I hooked up with one of the trainers/owners of the gym…he put me on a pretty intense fat loss/GPP program, with lots of variety and super high volume.

I lost about half of the weight that I planned on shedding and saw my abdominal measurements shrink by a total of 19 inches, mostly from the natural waist, chest and mid sternum. That said, I didn’t feel or look much stronger, just smaller and healthier.

After a few weeks break due to an auto accident, I decided to start putting the knowledge that I’ve gleaned from this site(and others) as well as books like Starting Strength, New Rules of Lifting and Beyond Brawn to use and devise my own lifting and dieting regimen.

For the last four weeks I’ve been following my own program. Three days a week I do full body free weight workouts, focusing on big compound lifts. Using long rest periods between sets, I train with total active recovery…i.e, after a given set I’ll hit the speed bag for a minute, or jog on an incline for two minutes, jump rope, do burpees, fast body squats etc. concentrating on my breathing until my heart rate levels out, then on to the next lift. On off days I try to go for a long walk or some other NEPA.

Instead of progressing pounds, I’ve been using the alternate progression from Beyond Brawn. I started with a weight that I could only perform one set of five - eight with, doing three sets of three, I increase by one or two reps every workout, always ‘leaving one in the tank’ with a goal of hitting ten reps, at which point I’ll increase weight.

Day 1(heavy day)
Low Bar Back Squat
Barbell Standing Overhead Press

Day 2(medium day)
Split Squat
Incline Bench
Romanian Deadlift
Fat Man Pullups(can’t perform proper pullups yet)

Day 3(variety day)
Dumbbell Hang Cleans
Dumbbell Seated Overhead Press
Bent Over Barbell Row
Pull Up Bar Negatives/Hangs(see above)
Lat Pull Down

My diet is very clean and varied, with moderate carb in take…I find that with less than 50-70g carbs a day I get very sluggish, so I tend to start the day with rolled oats w/ dried fruit and flax seeds, and snack on veggies at will through out the day. I eat a variety of nuts and seeds in between my main meals, with my main meals usually being something like a large spinach salad with tuna and avocado(or boiled eggs and avocado) etc, or lean red meat with vegetable stir fry.

I only use coconut and olive oil, eat lots of flax seeds, avocados, nuts and omega 3 eggs, so I think my healthy fats are covered. The only supplement I use is ON whey after workouts, and not even all of the time…I’ll often go straight for a small solid protein meal.

My results in the past month have frankly shocked me. I’ve never looked or felt as strong in my entire life. My arms and chest are more muscular than they’ve ever been, I haven’t taken measurements yet, but the size 40 pants I bought 6 weeks ago feel loose now and for the first time ever I have obvious muscle development of both my upper and lower back.

I guess my point in posting all of this is to ask any one who may be going through(or previously gone through) a transformation like mine what pointers they may have to optimize and extend the kind of progress I’ve seen. I know that I do many things different from the T-Nation way, but it all comes from a very thought out perspective, and I am always receptive to good advice.

If you made it through all of that, thanks for reading!

Welcome to T-Nation.

I’m not familiar with ‘Beyond Brawn’ yet though.

Your progress looks good. You’re kicking ass in the morning and taking names in the evening.

Welcome to the Nation.

[quote]wirewound wrote:
Welcome to T-Nation.

I’m not familiar with ‘Beyond Brawn’ yet though.[/quote]

Thanks. ‘Beyond Brawn’ offers some really hit or miss advice, a lot of it being geared at natural body builders with very specific backgrounds and goals, but the sections on progression methods and workout planning are pretty solid.

Most of the book deals with progressing using micro increment weights(.5lb, 1lb etc.), but for some reason the alternate progression, i.e keeping a constant weight and increasing reps to some given number over a period of weeks really struck me, and so far I enjoy it.

I’ve taken a lot(I think) from the T-Nation articles, and I’m hoping to pick up good advice, motivation etc. from the forums as well.