T Nation

Project Longevity

Been a lurker of this site for a while, figured I would post a log here, mainly for tracking my progress and having a reference point to look back on and also record my discoveries along the way. Stats: 5 ft 10.5 in 187 lbs, 26 years old. Main goals are to get stronger primarily and gain mass. Ultimate end goal of lifting is longevity, improved quality of life, and staying lean.

Started lifting 11 years ago the summer before high school but it was mostly bench, curls, random stuff and didnt start lifting seriously on a proven program until a year and a half ago starting with 5/3/1.

Currently my lifting revolves around using percentages from Matt Krocs Big Bench program for strength and size for squats, military press, and bench press (wussing out on deadlifts since a muscle injury in January, was able to pull 430 lbs. after it healed but I have a psychological barrier preventing me from going heavier, also wondering from a longevity standpoint if it is really worth it). Anybody who has used this program, I would love to hear your experience with it.

Workout from two days ago:

Squats: 135 x 5, 195 x 5, 225 x 3, and 4 sets of 260 x 3

Chinups: 3 sets of 7 (supersetted with warmup squat sets)

Military Press: 65 x 5, 105 x 4, and 4 sets of 130 x 3

Always have slight lower back discomfort from squats the day after since I try to go ATG, will try cutting it at parallel and see if that helps. I have discovered that pointing my toes straight forward in my narrow stance has pretty much removed all hip discomfort that I was experiencing before (used to squat with feet pointed out slightly with narrow stance).

Todays workout:

Bench Press
135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 3, and 4 sets of 240 x 3

DB Row
65 x 10, 75 x 10, 75 x 10 per arm

Power Cleans
135 x 5, 165 x 5, 185 x 4.5 (last rep hit the window sill mid rep, lol)

Cubicle workout before lunch:

2 sets of 5 each arm of 1 arm pushups (hip bend in opposite direction of arm to assist a little)
these light up my obliques like nothing else, gets me sore the next day

Had to do these while my boss wasn’t walking by, lol

Weekend workout:

L-sit Chinup 3 sets of 5, this is one of the best ab exercises I have done; confirmed what a lot of people say that keeping the back flat instead of arched leads to better back muscle and ab muscle activation. I’m sold on this and the ab-wheel for ab work, none of that other junk, lol.

Sumo Deadlift: 185 x 5, 245 x 5, 295 x 5, 345 x 5
First time doing these in a few months, however wasn’t sore the day after, dang it

Low Incline bench:
165 x 10, 175 x 10, 175 x 10, 165 x 10. Yay upper pecs sore

Yesterday’s workout:

Overhead press: 65lb. x 7 and 5 sets of 90 lb. x 10

Today’s lunch time workout (in work clothes, lol):

Chinup 7 reps, Pullup 7 reps, Chinup 7 reps, did these with more stricter attention to form, contracting the abs to keep a neutral spine, seems like it resulted in a better than usual pump in the arms, upper back, and lats.

Last night’s workout:

Squat: 135 x 8, 165 x 8, and 5 sets of 185 x 10 (an intensity deload week of sorts on this program, but still brutal volume).

Had been doing what Jim Wendler said regarding looking at a fixed point ahead while squatting, but I think I was looking too low still originally; fixed my eyes a little higher and stopped a tiny bit above ATG and my lower back is not feeling bad like it used to the day after squats. So hopefully thiis means I’ll be squatting heavy weights til I’m 90.

Destroyed the all you can eat section at Sizzler today, hopefully that will make me hyooge.

Boss was trying to convince me to join a gym like 24 hr fitness or something, to break the monotony of just training at home all the time; considering it, esp. since the girl that I am seeing has a lifetime 24 hr membership

Workout from Thursday:

Power Clean: 135 x 5, 165 x 5, 175 x 5, 185 x 5, 175 x 5; the eccentrics on these things are killing me (since I don’t have bumper plates or somewhere to drop the bar), gotta find a way to deal with them

Bench Press: 135 x 8, 165 x 7, and 5 sets of 170 x 10, deload week

Last night’s workout:

car washing, drying, 20 mins. (made my tri’s a little bit tired, lol)

Squats: 135 x 8, 185 x 5, 225 x 5, and 3 sets of 245 x 8; this might be one of the hardest weeks to complete the sets/reps on this program, felt my form breaking down a bit more than usual

Standing Overhead Press: 65 x 5, 95 x 5, and 3 sets of 120 x 8; on the second set of 120 I barely got the 8th rep, for the 3rd set I widened my grip (an inch or so from the smooth) and got it a bit easier.

This Matt Kroc program is def. harder than 5/3/1 in my experience and I’ll be glad that I’m finishing in 3 weeks.

Today’s AM workout:
BW Chinups (abs flexed to keep back straight): 10, 1, 9, 2, 7 (missed the last one), 3.
Loved the pump in my back, bis, and forearms and feel wide awake right now

So I decided to check out the 24 hour fitness near my workplace so I could avoid traffic, not as busy as I expected at 6 pm. Got a lot more done than usual due to the efficiency of having machines and not being bored in my backyard gym, lol.

Tonight’s workout:

Bench Press: 135 x 8, 205 x 5 (shoulda warmed up more), 225 x 8, 225 x 8, 225 x 5 (was failing, didn’t want to go to complete failure)
First time I didn’t make the full amount of reps on this program,

DB Bench: 55 x 10, Drop set 55 x 10, 45 x 7, 30 x 7, 25 x 5 (or something like that)
Tricep Pushdown: 4 sets of 60 x 10, biggest tricep pump of my life
BW Dips, 10 reps (felt my triceps were going to explode so I stopped it there)

Lateral Raise machine: 2 sets of 65 x 10, then drop set 65 x 10, 50 x 8, 35 x 10, 20 x 10
Pretty good lateral delt and upper trap pump

I think I may pull the trigger on that gym membership

Figured I should start logging sleep/other stuff here as well. A couple nights ago I couldn’t sleep right away and decided to take a melatonin pill. Now for the past three days I have been waking up feeling much better and falling asleep less during the daytime. Still seem to have a tiny bit of afternoon sleepiness around 4 pm, not sure why.

Workout for today: Back/Biceps/Legs

DB Row (lb. per hand): 65 x 10, 75 x 10, 75 x 10, 75 x 10
Wide grip pullup (cuz this gym was janky and was all it had for a pullup bar): 7, 5, 5, 4, I suck at these
DB Hammer Curl: 25 x 10, 35 x 5, 35 x 5, 40 x 5
EZ Bar Preacher Curl: 55 x 6, 55 x 5, 55 x 5
Leg Press 315 x 10, 315 x 10, 365 x 10

Had to come home to do Front Squats since they didn’t have racks: 115 x 8, 155 x 8, 195 x 5, 215 x 5

No DB’s > 80 lbs, no squat rack, no normal pullup bar at this 24 hour express gym, don’t think I want to work out there again. The other one I went to was way better.

That melatonin thing is working really well, though I went to bed way too late last night and was groggy in the morning. I read on Kiefer’s blog about how spiking insulin soon after waking up in the morning is bad, so I delayed breakfast a little and had only eggs almonds. Lunchtime had meat, fruit, and brown rice, and magically I had no afternoon sleepiness for the first time in years; I had an increasing amount of energy/wakefulness after 12. Let’s hope this continues.

First workout as an official 24 hour fitness member: Shoulders, Chest, triceps

Standing BB Overhead press: 65 x 5, 95 x 5, 115 x 3, and 3 sets of 130 x 5 - gave myself plenty of rest in between sets and didn’t have to grind out any of these. Did these in the squat rack, is that bad? Lol.

DB Bench Press (lb. per hand): 50 x 10, 65 x 10, 75 x 10, 85 x 7, 85 x 5 - still getting the groove of this exercise down, probably the most tiring exercise today

DB OH press : 45 x 5, 55 x 3, was too fatigued to do these correctly so I stopped

Side Delt Machine: 65 x 10, 75 x 10, 65 x 10, 40 x 25

Triceps Pushdown: 60 x 10, 70 x 10, 60 x 10, 60 x 10

Workout for today:

DB Row: 55 x 10, 75 x 10, 85 x 10, 100 x 5, 100 x 5
BW parallel grip Chinups: 8, 7 (a bit surprised that heavy rows didn’t affect my ability to do chinups very much, perhaps I use more arms than back on these)
L-Sit Chinups: 5, 5

Hammer curl: 30 x 8, 35 x 7, 40 x 5
DB curl: 35 x 5, 30 x 5, 30 x 5 (way too fatigued, gotta fix that)

Hammer strength Iso-lateral row (thought this machine looked cool so I tried it, lol): 100 x 10, 150 x 10, 150 x 8, 100 x 12

Tonight’s workout:

Squats (a little below parallel): 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5, and 3 sets of 260 x 5.
Saw an elitefts video about band tricep pushdowns and how you can do them the day before a bench day to pump blood through your triceps (to prepare them, get rid of waste products from other workouts, etc.) so I did one set of 50 (not 100 like he prescribed since my bench workout will be less than 12 hours from now).

Today’s AM workout (fasted)

Bench Press: 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5, and 3 sets of 240 x 5
On this program, never had a problem with the weeks where reps were 5 or below, but had trouble with some of the 10 rep and 8 rep weeks. Perhaps it’s because I’m used to 5/3/1

DB Bench Press: 60 x 10, 70 x 10, 70 x 8
Hammer Strength Incline Press: 90 x 10, 90 x 10, 90 x 10 (could have gone heavier on these)
BW Dips: 3 sets of 10
Triceps Pushdowns: 50 x 10, 60 x 10, 60 x 10

Today’s workout:

Front Squat: 135 x 5, 165 x 5, 195 x 3, 215 x 5, 215 x 3, 215 x 3 (form started to get janky the last two sets so I cut them at 3)

Leg Press (I realized last workout I counted the sled as 45 but I actually don’t know how much it is, will only count the plates): 180 x 10, 240 x 10, 240 x 10

BW Towel chinup (alternating towel on left/right each set): 6 sets of 5

EZ bar curl: 65 x 10, 65 x 10, 3 sets of 85 x 5

Hammer strength row: 150 x 10 (bad form, too much), 3 sets of 130 x 10

Evening workout:
Decided to do sumo deadlifts just for the heck of it:
185 x 5, 245 x 5, 315 x 5, 375 x 3, 400 x 3.

Something in my lower back/hip area didn’t feel right so I had to stop. In retrospect it probably wasn’t smart to go up to 400 lbs when I haven’t deadlifted in a few weeks, lol.

45 degree back extensions, BW: 2 sets of 15

These made my back feel a little bit better.

Yesterday morning’s workout:

standing OHP: 65 x 5, 95 x 5, 115 x 3, and 3 sets of 135 x 3
Hammer strength incline press: 140 x 10, 160 x 10, 140 x 10
Seated dip machine: 180 x 10, 210 x 10, 240 x 10, 270 x 10 (still figuring these out)
Triceps pushdown: 60 x 10, 70 x 10, 70 x 10
EZ bar curl: 55 x 10, 75 x 8, 80 x 8, 80 x 8

Today’s workout:

Squats: 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 235 x 3, 3 sets of 275 x 3, 135 x 20
Made my stance wider b/c of an EliteFTS article saying wide stance is better even for raw lifting, lifts were easier and also kept my back pain free; gonna stick with this. Last set of 20 was just for fun and a good pump, didn’t feel like going heavier and jacking myself up.

BW single leg hip thrust: 10 on each side
Hard to get the form completely correct, switched to BW single leg glute bridges, 20 on each side.
These burned, feel so weak getting only 20.