T Nation

NZ6stringAXE's Training Log

The purpose of this log is to keep public record of my training for my own accountability, for anyone interested enough to glance into it, and to have backup stats in case anything should happen to my now-sacred notebook which I purchased two days ago.

I currently weigh about 165lb, standing 5’7". To give you an idea of BF, my current contest weight is somewhere between 140 and 150.

My max deadlift was tested at 365lb a few months ago, weighing about 155lb.
Max bench and squat are unknown, but I work in the heavy 3-5 range at 195-215 for bench, and 315-325 for squat.
I did a quick-and-dirty wide-grip pullup test recently, getting 16.

I have been reading a lot about DoggCrapp recently, and have been getting angry with my progress over the last few years. I feel there is no reason I shouldn’t have more strength and mass to my frame as a natural athlete. I have decided to postpone my experiments with DC training and focus on getting my lifts even higher, especially bench.

Due to the inspiration of DC training methods, I will be adopting the principles I believe I need the most. I am in the process of writing a complete training program, which I will post the details for in my next post. All progress will be recorded in my notebook, and eventually transferred to this log but not necessarily at fixed intervals of time.

Details of my diet will also be recorded, but not in this log unless otherwise requested. I have recorded every gram of food I have consumed in 2009 and will continue to do so as I change my diet. Brief history: I experimented with the AD for the first half of this year, tapered into GSD, tapered out, slowly brought carbs back in, increasing calories to 3000. I will be trying to target my macros into a 40:30:30 CFP breakdown. Currently they exist more as 25:45:30.

I’m sick of being small, even with the success I have had in recent years. I am aiming far higher now, as 180 isn’t even a satisfying number. However, I don’t plan to go right to 250 or anything absurd. My first goal is to get my weight to 180, while putting at least 20-50lbs on my squat, dead, and bench numbers. I hope to do this over the next 2-3 months.

Next up:
The program that will get me there…

Alright so here’s what I plan to do.

Diet: I plan to take in about 3000cals a day in a Zone ratio of 40:30:30, which is 300g carbs, 100g fats, 225g protein. If there is any deviation, it will be to bring carbs down in the favor of protein. My fat intake is still currently 140g-200g a day, and my carbs are only 120 on non-training days, and about 250g on training days. The change shouldn’t be too difficult once I finish the last of my “AD Food”.

Cardio: I plan to aim for 30min low-intensity steady state (in the form of brisk walking) fasted on non-training days. HIIT will be used whenever I feel up to it since as few as 2-3 sessions over a week and half will cause my tibia to hurt.

Training: I plan to train 3-5 days a week, usually 4, on an alternating day pattern. Each training session will have 3 main movements:

Horizontal Push: Close grip bench press, incline bench press, reverse smith press
Vertical Push: Push press, seated smith military, narrow grip dips
Horizontal Pull: BB row, T bar row, seated cable row
Vertical Pull: Pullups, chinups, close grip BB raise
Quad Dominant: Back squat, front squat, leg press
Hip Dominant: RDL, deadlift, glute-ham raise

In addition to the three main movements will be accessory movements for:

Biceps (machine partial curls, EZ curls, BB curls)
Triceps (2 hand DB ext, pressdown, skullcrusher)
Calves (seated raise, HammerStrength leg press: the only thing to ever annihilate my gastrocs the way they require)
Core (rollouts, side planks, garhammer raises/knee raises)
Chest/Back (flyes, pullovers, face pulls)
Forearms (hammer curls, reverse curls)

Each movement will get one exercise per session. In honor of the DC principles, I plan to keep tight record of every rep and beat the logbook every session. If I fail, I move onto the next movement. The loading/rep scheme for the accessory movements is something I’m still not sure about. I feel a simple 3x10 will suffice. For the chest/back group, it will be one or the other each session it appears. For the 5x6 loads, the rep range is 4-6, obviously moving to the next load once I achieve all 30 reps, then aiming for 20 reps (5x4). For 4x12, the rep range is 8-12.

Session A:

Horizontal Push 4x12
Vertical Pull 5x6
Hip Dominant 4x12

Session B:

Vertical Push 5x6
Horizontal Pull 4x12
Quad Dominant 5x6

Session C:

Horizontal Push 5x6
Vertical Pull 4x12
Hip Dominant 5x6

Session D:

Vertical Push 4x12
Horizontal Pull 5x6
Quad Dominant 4x12

My biggest inspiration is the logbook. I went through Joel Marion’s Stripped Down Hypertrophy last summer, recorded everything, got insanely strong for a short amount of time, and was very pleased. I feel that kind of training may be a bit extreme, so I scaled it back a little bit with similar principles. I figure the rotation of exercises once I fail to beat the book will help to create automatic internal rotation within the program so that I won’t have to switch to another. I may add more exercises if necessary.

This program will not change UNLESS a T-Nation member gives me sound reasoning to tweak something, based on something I may not have considered. I did think this out at length, however, and based on my experience in the good ol’ weight room, I feel as though this is a solid template with many individualized nuances. Feel free to comment, though. I am interested in others’ opinions on the program, and welcome discussion on why it is what it is.

Next up:
Training logs…

(FYI I started the training before I’d set in stone the final details of the program, so I’m in a different sequence than ABCD now. It’s actually ADCB, but starting on B… so BADC from the beginning.)

Here’s a little legend in case I use unfamiliar symbols:
I indicates that the rep was extremely difficult
F indicates the rep was failed
** indicates the exercises were supersetted together

BW indicates bodyweight loading

Also, with the LISS fasted cardio, I’ll take a spoonful of BCAAs and swig of green tea before going out.

So the training thus far:

squat 265: 12 12 12 13
smith seated military 135: 6 6 6 6 6
HS calf press 90/side: 15 15 15
BB row 155: 12 12 12 12
high face pull: 15 15 15

30min fasted brisk walking upon waking

pullups BW: 12 12 10 7
inc. bench 155: 6 6 6 5 6
RDL 255: 6 6 6 6 6
2handDBext 70: 10 10 10
*rollout: 10 10 10
**side planks: 30s 30s 30s
***machine partial curl 60: 12 12 12

30min fasted walking/jogging (LISS)

*squat 315: 5 5 5 5 5
**smith mil. 145: 6 6 6 6 6
*BB Row 165: 12 12 12 12
**HS calf press 100/side: 15 15 15
*DB fly 40: 10 10 10
**machine partial curl 70: 10 10 10
(6 hours later: 30min LISS incline walking)


20min nonfasted LISS incline walking
(2-3 hours later)
pullup BW+25: 6 6 6 6 6I
inc. bench 135: 12 12 12I 9F
RDL 225: 12 12 12 12
*2handDBext 75: 10 10 10
**reverse EZ curl (med) 50: 10 10 10
hanging knee raise BW: 10 10 10

30min fasted LISS jogging

I thought I’d update this as I really don’t want to squat 275 48 times today, heh.
Alas, it’s time to go do that.

Oh my god, that was one of the worst things of my life.

*squat 275: 12 12 12 12
**smith mil. 125: 12 12 12 12
*BB row 195: 6 6 6 6 6
**HS calf 110/side: 15 15 15I
*Facepull 80: 15 15 15
**machine partial curl 80: 12 12F 8F

After the squats, I felt closer to vomiting (without having a headache, because that’s happened before) than ever before. I remember having used to do 275 4x10 and maybe even 285 4x10 once, but never 4x12. The volume is 13,200lbs.

I feel like I’m getting/have gotten too fat and am not gaining muscular weight. I’m not too concerned JUST yet since I just started my program and am still in that period of working up to the weights I really should be using. As you can see, most of my reps are still being made.

I have a question for anyone reading this though, how important do you think rest times are?

I ask because for a squat session of 4x12 at 275 where your heartrate soars, I imagine it’s silly to try to work out the next 3 sets after only 2min of rest or something (especially supersetting with another 4x12 exercise.) On the last 2 sets I think I took about 4 minutes of rest just because my heart was flipping out so hard, and the previous set(s) were so exponentially harder than the very first to get through. I feel as thought muscular stress is the goal, not cardiovascular stress, which is merely a bonus. However, if the latter impedes upon the muscular stress, wouldn’t that be defeating the purpose of this training for size and strength?

I rest 2 minutes for squats/deads

Even on 4x12? I feel like I can’t use you as a good example yet because you’re not yet using the loads that really kill you. I remember doing 275 on deads 4x10 last year (and actually had been doing that senior year as well) and on the last 2ish reps, it would become kind of a rest-pause. I’d have to rest a leg for a moment, catch a breath, and then pound out the final agonizing reps. Bear in mind those are the full-body deads with a rest at the bottom, not something like RDLs. Back thickness and all of legs more than isolated hamstrings/glutes.

BTW, start a log, I wanna keep tabs on you lol

30min fasted jogging
(Surprisingly uncomfortable from that nasty squat session. My legs had this really deep, dull pain as opposed to a more superficial, sharper pain.)

Pullups BW: 12 12 12 12
Inc. Bench 165: 5 4 5 4 5
RDL 265: 6 6 6 6 6
*2handDBext 80: 10 10 10
**rev. EZ curl 55: 10 10 10
***Garhammer raise BW: 10 10 10

For the bench, instead of doing 5x4 I decided the first set was easy enough to do 5, but didn’t want to sabotage the final sets, so I alternated it.
On the RDLs, my back was achin’ a bit on the first set or two but I felt powerful on the final 3. Interesting how your CNS reacts when using fairly heavy weight.

you’re still doing 5x6, right? for 5x5 now? or 5x4?

I see what you’re doing, though. I did that today with my neutral grip pull-ups. I have the 15 lb. weight and weight belt, knew i couldnt do 5x6, so i settled for 4x5, 1x4.

That way my sets werent like 2x6,1x5,1x3,1x3

You’re not aiming for (6 6 6 6 6) when you go to the next weight, you’re aiming for at least (4 4 4 4 4) which should be entirely possible if you can do 5x6 at the previous load. Also, I think my last session prior I got (6 6 6 5 6), and it made sense that if I used a session to get ONE more rep than last time, it would be wasted. So I thought increasing the load would be better. Dante talked about that stuff in DoggCrapp when regarding the logbook: don’t progress at a snail’s pace because that’s not progress.

Take THAT logbook!

30min fasted jogging
20min incline walking later in the day

(Replacing my silly * superset notation with A1, A2 since I should’ve used it to begin with)

A1 squat 315: 6 6 6 6 6
A2 smith mil. 155: 6 6 6 6 6
B1 BB Row 175: 12 12 12 12
B2 HS calf 120/side: 15 12F 13F
C1 DB Fly 45: 10 10 10
C2 machine partial curl 80: 10 10 10 (I mistakenly did 10 over 12.)

25min LISS cycling and backwards incline treadmill walking
A1 pullup BW30: 4 4 4 4 4
B1 inc. bench 145: 8 8 8 8
C1 RDL 235: 12 12 12 12
D1 2handDBext 85: 10 10 10
D2 Rev. EZ curl 60: 10 10 10
D3 rollout: 12 12 12
(training was ~50min)

30min fasted jogging

Finally, TODAY!
I weighed myself this morning at 169, the highest I’ve ever been. I may be slightly under though, but it was a pretty accurate measurement. I was dreading today so hard…but now it’s over, and I made that logbook my bitch. During the calf press, the mental thoughts of having to switch exercises if I can’t ‘hit these last few reps’ was SO powerful. Though I’m not doing DC training, Dante certainly demonstrated the utmost respect for the power of the human mind in training.

A1 squat 285: 12 12 12 12
A2 smith mil. 135: 12 12 12 12 (I remember this being so heavy a year or two ago)
B1 BB Row 205: 6 6 6 6 6
B2 HS calf 120/side: 15 15I 15I (The last 2-3 on sets 2 and 3 were kinda shit, but the stimulus was there)
C1 facepull 100: 15 15 15
C2 machine partial 80: 12 12 12I

Take that, logbook. Hit every goddamn rep. It made me think about John Berardi’s ideas of psychology behind going to ‘failure’ being a negative thought. You shouldn’t strive to ‘fail,’ you should strive to not miss any reps. By the way, that 285 was a PR. I did 4x10 before with it, but never 4x12 and honestly didn’t think I’d be able to until I started. I had a friendly face at a gym help. He didn’t even touch me, just provided a funny sort of ‘it’s no big deal’ attitude to get me through as well as the thought of safety/security. Next up…295. I loved what Dave Tate said once: “Don’t break PRs, shatter them.” It really puts things in perspective when it comes to growing and getting stronger.

Time to go lick my wounds and feed them great amounts of nutrients! (By the way, my calories are starting to increase to a minimum of 3100. I may add even more since this is unfamiliar territory in terms of bodyweight.)

30min fasted jogging
later, 15min inc. treadmill walking

7/14 (~55 min)
A1: pullups BW5: 12 12 10 9F
B1: inc. bench 165: 6 6 6 6 6
C1: RDL 275: 6 6 6 6 6
D1: 2handDBext 90: 10 10 10
D2: rev. ez curl 65: 10 10 10I
D3: hang knee raise: 12 12 12

your first day of BW pull-ups was at 12,12,10,7. The last post shows it to be 12,12,10,9.

Are you not dropping the 4x12 to 4x10 or 4x11 when you start a new weight?

It’s 4x8-4x12.

I judge it on not wasting time. On the first set, I have a pretty good idea about how well I can perform the next three. When I increase the load, the first thing on my mind is that I’m shooting for 4x8, but the first set is the test. If I feel I can throw on another 2-4 reps, I’m gonna do it. It’s about not wasting time. If I can do more than 4x8, why go through some strict protocol to take 4 weeks to hit 4x8, 4x9, 4x10, 4x11, 4x12 before hitting the new load?

My load increasing is all starting to slow down real quick, though. Like, my smith press was heavy as all hell yesterday.

I’m going to Dan’s house on Sunday to annihilate 295 4x12. It should be good to train with him again.

30 min fasted jogging

7/16 (~65 min session)
A1 squat 325: 5 5 5 5 5
A2 smith mil. 165: 5 5 5 5I 5I
B1 BB row 185: 12 12 12 12
B2 HS calf 125/side: 15 15 15
C1 DB fly 50: 10 10 10
C2: machine partial 83: 10 10 10
(later, 25min LISS tread walking)

A1 pullup BW30: 5 5 5 5 5
B1 inc bench 145: 12 12 12 12I
C1 RDL 245: 12 12 12 12
D1 2handDBext 95: 10 10F 10F
D2 rev. EZ curl 70: 10 10 10 (form degraded here, thinking I should keep wrists in flexion instead of extension)
D3 garhammer raise: 12 12 12

30min fasted jogging

7/19 (at my boy Dan’s house…so a few modifications)
A1 squat 295: 12 12 12 13 (serious PR)
A2 DB shoulder press 63: 12 12 12 12
B1 BB row 215: 6 6 6 6 6
(skipped calves due to difficulty in training them with limited equip. and I’ve been feeling possible overuse pain in my right calf)
C1 DB fly 53: 10 10 10
C2 seated BB partial curl 75: 10 10 10 (plus drop sets)

295 4x12 was the craziest thing ever. I felt so sick. It felt really good to do it with a friend though, and I think the positive attitudes in training are so important. I told another bodybuilder friend I was going to this guy’s house to squat 295 4x12, and his first reaction was “-to shut him up?”, but I was like “No…because I want his help.” I love an environment of positivity and helping others beneath you grow and reach their full potential in training. The whole alpha male/negative vibe really pisses me off because it’s such a waste.

So anyway, after that we and a friend went to eat all-you-can-eat sushi which is serious because I don’t eat out at all. I’d also wanted to do this for a while after a nasty squat/dead session. I estimated my intake to be (CFP) 390g/45g/98g in 2 full plates of sushi, equating to roughly 64 maki rolls. Unfortunately…completing 295 means that I must move up to 305, further closing my light/heavy gap. That’s going to suck, but I shall grow!


my record is 9 sushi rolls.

soon to be broken, of course.

Oh, I understand now that a ‘roll’ is the whole 6-8 lot of pieces. I meant 64 of those pieces…so that’d be about 8-10 of what you’re talking about. I used this measurement because it was easier than the 2 hand rolls I had (which killed me), some of those big crab/shrimp rolls, and the little pieces of octopus strapped to a bed of rice. I don’t even want to do it again…it was so hard and I felt so horrid afterwards lol.

update your log.

30min fasted jogging
later, 25min LISS incline treadmill walking fwd+reverse in 5min intervals

7/21 (~60min)
A1 pullups BW10: 10 10 10 10
B1 inc. bench 175: 6 6 6 6 6
C1 RDL 285: 6 6 6 6 6
D1 2handDBext 97.5: 10 10I 10I
D2 rev. EZ curl 75: 8 8 8 (form was garbage. the weight is too much for my hands to control. plan to take the weight back down, but increase reps)
D3 rollout: 15 15 15

7/22 30min fasted jogging

A1 squat 325: 6 6 6 6 6
A2 smith mil. 165: 6 6 6 6 6
B1 BB row 195: 12 12 12 12
B2 HS calf 130/side: 12 12 12
C1 DB fly 55: 10 10 10
C2 machine partial 83: 12 12 12

A1 pullup BW30: 6 6 6 6 6F
B1 inc. bench 155: 10 10 10I 10I
C1 RDL 255: 12 12 12 12
D1 2handDBext 100: 9F 10 9F
D2 rev. EZ curl 70: 12 12 12
D3 knee raise: 15 15 15

*-(added carbs to drinks, up to 20+60, and felt sick, but I was on very little sleep so I can’t make an accurate assessment)

I’m at a point where I’m seriously drained. My right calf has hurt in a strange way ever since 2 weeks ago, and all the added stress from the jogging is pretty nagging. I’m wondering if I should lower my fats a bit and increase my carbs. On training days, they’re at least 250g-320g at most. Fats have been 120-170g in general. I’m going to be reading a lot about deloading today because I’ve never really incorporated it before, so I don’t know much about it. It makes total sense though, to progressively push your limits until you’re as drained as I am, and dial it back before hitting it harder. I was contemplating deloading, just taking 2 training days this next week instead of four, removing my jogging for a week, and/or taking a short time completely off.

Bumpity bump - come on now, keep 'em coming.


7/25 OFF

A1 squat 305: 8 8 8
A2 smith mil. 145: 8 8 8
B1 BB row 225: 3 3 3 3 3
B2 standing calf 300: 10 10 10
C1 face pull 120: 15 15 15
C2 machine partial 86: 8 8 8I

7/27 25min LISS treadmill walking

A1 pullups BW10: 8 8 8
B1 inc. bench 185: 3 3 3 3 3
C1 RDL 295: 3 3 3 3 3
D1 2handDBext 100: 8 7 8
D2 rev. BB curl 70: 8 8 8

The inc bench 185 felt heavy as shit. I think this was because my preworkout meal wasn’t a carb meal like usual. Whenever I get ample carbs beforehand, I always feel very strong, particularly on bench.

7/29 OFF

A1 squat 325: 3 3 3 3 3
A2 smith mil. 165: 3 3 3 3 3
B1 BB row 195: 8 8 8
C1 DB fly 57.5: 10 10 10
C2 machine partial: 10 10 10

On warming up for 325, I decided to go above and beyond to make 325 even easier and to see how strong I am on squat. I did 335x1 then 355x1. The most I’d ever done previously was 325. 355 was pretty manageable.

A1 pullup BW35: 3 3 3 3 3
B1 inc. bench 165: 8 8 8
C1 RDL 265: 8 8 8
D1 2handDBext 102.5: 10I 9F 8F
D2 rev. BB curl 70: 10 10 10

On Sunday comes squatting 305 4x12. First time I leave with an emptier stomach than when entering? We shall see.