T Nation

No More Nonsense


A major secret to success is to hold yourself accountable for failure. Dan John refers to it as "the Alpo diet" where you have to eat a can of dog food if you break your diet. Failure in my case means missed workouts or meals. So this log is my can of Alpo, but if anyone actually ends up reading this, feel free to offer advice. But most importantly give me a hard time when I screw up.

For about 8 months I would start a new program, make my own "improvements", get disappointed in my progress, and repeat. Sure I gained a few pounds, and got a little stronger but I was just starting out. Finally, I said fuck it and decided to follow Starting Strength (practical programming novice). That was about 3 weeks ago. It's a short time, but I'm satisfied.

Simple, heavy lifting is satisfying in a way that I can't explain. I started too heavy on the squats and had to back down and work my way back up. I may be doing the same for the other lifts, but there's no way to know until I fail. My goal before I go back to school at the end of August is to rank intermediate according to these standards: http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/StrengthStandards.html. It's a stretch for the deadlift, but I expect that I'll be able to go beyond that on all the others.

Here it is, just for the record:

Day 1
Squat 3x5
Press/Bench 3x5
Chinups 3x Fail

Day 2
Squat 3x5
Press/Bench 3x5
Deadlift 1x5

Day 3
Squat 3x5
Press/Bench 3x5
Pull Ups 3x Fail

My lifts to date are (all in blue):

Squat- 185 x 5
Bench- 135 x 5
Press- 97.5 x 5
Deadlift- 195x 5

I've gone from ~6 to ~10 on the chin ups to failure, all while gaining weight. I will start adding weight when I get to 15 reps like the program says.


I know I'm going to catch hell for this, but I am not drinking milk. Say what you will, but there is nothing magical about milk and I don't doubt my ability to eat enough solid food to make up for it. I'm not afraid of getting fat and I don't really care what I weigh, so I determine my food intake using the following method:

I have a whiteboard in my weight room with all my lift numbers on it. I write them in blue when they are better than last time, orange when they aren't. All blue numbers means I'm eating enough, any orange at all means I need more food. I also eat more if I don't gain at least one pound a week. Neither have happened yet.

Since recovery is just as important as lifting, I will be using this as a food/sleep log as well. I'll give a rundown of daily nutrition and how the night's sleep went. It's usually not good, but I got some blood tests done and am hopefully taking part in a sleep study soon. Weigh in day is Wednesday, and two days ago I was 161.

Today I did...

Squats- 185 3x5
Press- 97.5 3x5
Pullups- 11, 10, 9

On the second set of presses I really had to grind out the last rep, meaning I didn't rest enough. Same with 3rd set of chins which was down from 10 last time. Resting enough is a big problem of mine. I get restless. Today that wasn't the case, I was just trying to squeeze lifting in before work.

2 meals so far.

6 eggs
butter for cooking
polish sausage
some dark chocolate

Breakfast 2
1/2 lb ground beef (80/20)
onions sauteed in olive oil
more dark chocolate