T Nation

Rebirth of the Juggernaut: Post Knee Reconstruction


@liftangryordie500 Fat has a lot of positive qualities. Digestion for sure, along with hormonal regulation and a variety of other benefits. One of the quotes I’ve heard that did a pretty good job selling the approach to me was “There are essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids, but no such thing as an essential carbohydrate”.

If possible, I’d stay away from processed meats like sausages, and partake of them on occasion. I like meat that has had little done to it in way of preparation. Chicken is really cheap and easy to cook in a slow cooker if you’re looking for low cost alternatives.



Axle bench press 231

Axle close grip bench press 206

Swiss bar incline bench press 175


Push ups

Notes: 3:20 between sets for effectively 3:30 between exercises including set-up. Weights are much closer to where I need them to be. Going to make slow increases while reducing the time from here out. On push ups, cut rest times shorter, just because I was running low on time. Incline with the swiss continues to feel great. Pretty much the only time I can tolerate either part of that movement.

Woke up at 197.8. Both feet have developed planter’s warts for some reason. One is on my right heel, so I’m going to wait until after my squat day tomorrow to start treating it. Damndest thing.


Chicken is the only meat I eat right now, haha. I can’t remember the last time I had a steak. Sausages probably wouldn’t help me much right now. My stomach is really on a downswing right now, unfortunately, so I have to stick to basic stuff.


Jesus H. Christ I just got slapped in the mouth with memories and nostalgia from the early 2000s


@liftangryordie500 Hopefully stuff gets sorted out. Food issues suck.

@oldbeancam You don’t want to hear about my livejournal, haha



Buffalo Bar Squats 270

Axle touch and go deadlifts 236

Superset with

Walking lunges w/10lbs per hand


I wake up/on the floor/start it up again/like it matters anymore
I don’t know/if it does/is this really all/that there ever was?

That sums up the last 4 sets of the squats. Set the alarm to 2:90 between sets for sub 3 rests. Laid on the floor post set 6 on. Between sets 9 and 10 it was much longer, but otherwise full program compliance. Getting up off the floor was one of the hardest parts. Left knee was feeling like trash today: leaned a lot to the right.

Finally loaded up on the lunges. I have definitely needed to do unilateral work. It is like my left knee is waking up again.

Woke up at 196.6. Stomach bug going around in the family: got a touch of it. Cheat meal was Hawai’in BBQ yesterday put on by a co-worker. Lots of meat, no carbs. Going to give this a run for as long as I can.



Stone of Steel over bar (20) loaded w/50lbs
15 reps in 8:28

Notes: I KNOW I’ve done this workout before, but for the life of me I can’t find it anywhere on my log to compare previous times. Pretty sure it was around 9:15, so I will go with that. Pinched the hell out of my chest on rep 5, which made this awesome. Still a solid ballbuster.

Woke up at 198.0.


I have never understood the purpose, nor the meaning of the ‘H’


I use it because it adds a sort of pizazz to Jesus Christ. I dunno, just sounds more surprised. And I’m pretty sure it’s for Harold or hallowed, but I could be wrong


198; sort of moving up in weight.


@biker it’s definitely coming along. I’ve managed to keep the nutritional sources sound and just focusing on eating MORE of them, which I’m happy with. I really wanna continue eating to support this training and see what it can do.



Chins (various grips)
1x23 overhand
1x14 NG
1x10 chins
1x12 NG

Bent over rows 218lbs

Clean pulls 218

Reverse hyper 360

Notes: 2:50 on the alarm for sub 3 between sets. Really drove focus on the rows to contract the back, and then went opposite on the clean pulls, quit trying to be so technical and just focused on being explosive. That seemed to do the trick. This was a solid back workout. Came out pumped and sweating. Starting to really dig into the tough spots here

Woke up at 197.6. Had the day off from work, so treated myself to sleeping in and a PM workout. Had a nice lunch out too.




Axle push press 151

superset w/

Band pull aparts

Axle curls 83lbs

supserset w/

DB lateral raises

Notes: 2:45 rest between sets for sub 3 minute rest periods. As much as I hate push pressing, this has been good for it. I’m relearning some tricks. Found a lot of value in getting my hips forward at the end of the press to maximize drive vs just pushing with the legs. Focused on letting the eccentric crash so I wasn’t wasting energy on it. No re-racks this workout, and only whiffed on the final rep. Went with 2 minute rests on the curls and raises, again for the sake of time. My biceps seem to be responding pretty well. It’s been good to actually spend time chasing heavier weight on this, despite the fact it’s still light. Axle feels pretty comfortable.

Woke up at 198.8. Weight gain has been good so far. Definitely the best body comp I’ve had at this bodyweight in a while. Starting to see some lower back fat coming in, which is usually the first place I’ll observe fat gain, but typically by this point the love handles are back and all I can see are my top 2 abs. Just going to keep chasing this. Still sticking with foods from the diet and no real cheating to speak of.




Axle Bench Press 246

Close Grip Axle bench 215

Swiss bar incline bench 180


Push ups

Notes: 2:45 on the watch for sub 3 between sets. First one of these chest workouts where I really felt like I was pushing myself. Weight is dialed in right where I need it, and rest times kept me pumped.

Woke up at 198.6.


Is there much transfer between using an axle to a standard bar?
I have access for both but have never tried using an axle


Depends on the movement really. Axle bench doesn’t feel terribly different. There is no spin on the collars, and if you bench with a full grip it might be less comfortable, but otherwise, just a bar. Pressing overhead, the bar will be further out in front of you, which is less mechanically advantageous and can beat you up a little more. Deadlifting (even with straps) it really sucks, because it’s super stiff and further out in front of you, so it’s like a deficit pull from a poor position. Curls, it’s like using fat gripz.

My joints hurt less when I use one for pressing and curls, which is pretty awesome. And since I compete in strongman, I like to keep the feeling of the axle familiar in my hands. There is no freakout factor going into a competition. Meanwhile, in the very rare chances I use a barbell for pressing, it feels like a toy, haha.


Thanks for the info! Yeah for sure that makes perfect sense
I’m starting to implement more into strongman stuff so I think I’m going to have to start subbing in some of the equipment as a replacement for that exact reason, familiarity and experience.


I could only read this here. Good work beastman!


Appreciate it man! I’ve still got some growth in there yet, but I’m starting to hit my stride.

Also, realized that I blew out my knee 3 years and 2 days ago. Forgot to note when the actual 3 year point rolled around.

Woke up at 197.2 this morning.




Texas Deadlift bar touch and go deadlifts 345

Buffalo Bar squat 240

DB walking lunges w/15lbs

Notes: 2:40 on the clock for sub 3 minute rests. I was taking deadlifts for granted, and today I found out I was wrong. Yeah, these still suck less than squats, but they also still suck in general. Laid down after set 7. Kept to the rest times though: no super long rest between set 9 and 10 like I’ve been doing with squats. My technique feels like garbage on these for the first rep, but it might be that it’s just not heavy enough to require a solid position. Squats were just about a perfect as far as weight selection goes. Lunges coulda gone heavier. Gotta remember I’ll have more room in me on non-squat days.

Woke up at 198.2. Need to start pushing the nutrition coming into the home stretch. I think it’s within me, but I gotta eat to support it.

Was telling the Mrs a bit about the program, because she wanted to know why this week was fine compared to last. When I explained how it alternated between squats and deads and it was the rest times that get reduced so said “Oh wow, that sounds awful”. I’m glad she gets it, haha.


She’s right it looks and sound awful.
But you’re doing awesome, you’ve gained some weight, is it mostly lean mass? I’m a lot older I pack it all on the belly, looking for a way to build muscle.


My abs are definitely blurrier than when I started, but I’m also thicker all around. I look better than I typically do at this bodyweight, so I’d say it’s been effective in that regard.

WARNING: Semi-related rant ahead

The biggest thing, though, is that this training style and nutrition completely gels with me. Jim Wendler definitely knows what he is doing, and when I follow his programs as written I always get stronger, but his emphasis on perfect reps and recovery is so hard for me to accept on an emotional level. Jon Andersen’s approach is workouts being both physical AND mental challenges and worrying less about weights, sets and reps and more about the sheer challenge is something I totally get, and so diving into this program I’ve had zero reservations, issues or doubts. I haven’t tried to sneak in any modifications or tweaks, aside from the fact that I’m only doing planks and sit ups for ab work (technically I should be having 2 days a week of hyperextensions and sit ups, 2 of planks and sit ups) and that’s more a time budgeting thing. That, and using an axle or a swiss bar are about it.

The nutritional aspect is, again, VERY close to what I was doing before, so it was a super easy transition. I’ve just cut out what little junk I had in before, upped the fats and the quantity. And, in turn, I haven’t felt like I NEEDED a cheat meal since I started, because I’m eating a ton.

I’m rambling here, but I intend to do a write up when it’s all done anyway. The parallels between Jon and I are kinda ridiculous. Both grew up as fat kids, got bullied, both turned things around toward the end of Freshman year of HS, but it gets even crazier. Jon and I attended the exact same university in Portland OR, AND we both studied philosophy there (he majored in Theology and Philosophy, mine was political science with a minor in philosophy). He was also the captain of the Rugby team there that tried to recruit me while I was there, haha. We’re 10 years apart, but we most likely had the same professors, since it’s a small school (when I went, it had a student body of about 2000 people).

I’m glad I decided to follow the program in full, because now I can start recommending it. Of course, I’m only halfway through the beginner phase. There are 3 phases in total, each lasting 6 weeks, but at this point, I have zero reason to deviate.



Notes: Just going to explain this workout. Loaded the prowler with 90lbs and wore a 45lb weight vest. Push the prowler low handles 50’, then immediately reverse sled drag it back to start before starting the whole thing over again. Zero rest. Did it 6 times. Zero focus on footspeed: just plodding along and getting from A to B. I think the weighted vest makes me stop less on the low handles, since now I have more bodyweight to move the prowler, but it forces me to have to keep my core position tight or risk a power loss. In general, it was different enough that I appreciated it.

No weigh in this morning, but ramping up the calories.