Retro's Locker

So I’m not original with thread titles. On to the good stuff!
History: Currently a 19 year old College student, I’ve been lifting for around 2.5 years and have gone from 135 lbs at 6’1" to 179 (as of yesterday.)

I originally started lifting to get bigger and look better but I got a bit sidetracked recently. The past 6 months or so have brought some solid strength gains but little in the way of size so I’ve decided to get back on the focus of size.

The Why: As I said, I started lifting to look better and have always idolized the physique of classic and modern bodybuilders especially Serge Nubret, Dexter Jackson, and Dorian Yates. Over the past six months I’ve kept intensity and focus in the gym spot on but been a pussy in the kitchen so to say.

As a bit of a kick in the pants, this last week, with the start of classes, I was given a rather unusual assignment.

The What: For an English class, we were all asked to set a measurable goal and catalog our progress through the semester. One of the examples for the project was to get in shape and lose 15 lbs over the semester, so I thought, “why not GAIN 15 instead?”

The Goal: 16 lbs gained by late December. Added an extra 1 lb to put me at a nice even 195 if I peg the goal right on. (Not sure on the actual date for the end of the semester, but it’s approx. 17 weeks.) So that’s reasonable including the various difficulties of maintaining solid food/workout habits during the school year.

If I manage to get over the 16 lbs in that time, I’ll consider it an extra bit of success. Ideally I’d like to be around 250 lbs by the time I hit 25 or 26 years old. Of course over this time I’ll expect my lifts to go up as well but that will not be the focus.

The How - Workouts:
I will be using moderate volume and as high of intensity as I can handle for each workout. I’ll catalog what I hit each day here (of course.) The word here is body part split with a few exercises I generally use.
Mon - Legs: Squats, Leg Press, V-Squat, Sissy squat (tried it after reading the article, loved it), Calf work
Tues - Off
Wed - Chest/Tri: Bench (DB most likely, no spotter), close grip BB bench, Dips, Pushup, Fly, Skull crusher.
Thurs - Back: Deadlift, RDL, BB rows, DB 1 arm row, HS high row, Wide or Med. Grip pullup, weighted chinup, cable low row.
Fri - Arms: Curl variations, reverse curls, Zottman curls.
Sat - Off
Sun - Shoulders: Seated DB shoulder press, lateral raise, Military press, DB/cable/band rear delt fly, hang snatch.
Arms and shoulder days are sometimes switched depending on how I’ve recovered from Chest/Tri and Back days.

The How - Food:
Using a food log I figured my regular eating habits put me at approx 3500 Calories each day. This is fairly mixed fats/protein/carbs throughout the day although generally more carbs in the morning. Two biggest issues for me in this category are cost and breakfast.

To circumvent the cost issue, I drink a large amount of milk for calories. Usually around half-gallon each day although for this I will be bumping that up to .75 to one full gallon each day. Breakfast for me is generally an issue due to time and the ability to eat in the morning. I will be trying to add in a protein shake to the morning to help out there.

All around I’m going to try and add around 800 calories each day and will bump that up if I haven’t noticed a change after two weeks. Food intake is mostly beef, chicken, pastas, veggies, some fish, fruit especially in the morning, milk, nuts, and protein shakes.

The How - Supps: I don’t use many. Protein powder is a staple of my diet and while I list it here, I think of it mainly as food. Fish oil and ZMA are my real supplements although I do have about half a bottle of Biotest creatine on the shelf that I plan to add at about week 4 and see if it helps any.

Haven’t noticed anything when I used it before but we’ll see.

Quick stats review:
Age - 19
Height - 6’1" (Been that tall since I was 13, don’t plan on getting any taller)
Current Weight - 179
Goal Weight - 195
Bodyfat - Low enough where I don’t care.
Deadlift - 360 lbs max
Squat - 245 lbs max somewhere between parallel and ATG
DB Bench - 8 reps with 80 lbs DBs is tough, 10 might be my limit. Last hit 185 as max on BB but that was ~1 year ago and I haven’t checked since then, 175x6 on the BB is challenging though.
Waist - 33 in
Bicep - 14 in
Forearm - 11.5 in
Upper leg - 24.5 in
Calf - 14 in
Chest - 40 in
Shoulders - 49 in (need to retake this, hard to measure myself)

If there’s anything I missed I’ll add it in later. It’s shoulder day today and I’m about to head off to the gym!

Sunday - 24/8/08 - Shoulders
Seated DB shoulder press - 4x6@55
Lateral raise - 3x8@20
BB Jerk - 2x5@95
Low cable rear delt - 3x10@15 Surprisingly hard, had to bump the weight down from 20
1 arm lateral raise - 1x8@17.5 2x8@15 Started getting real tired here.
High cable rear delt pull - 3x6@ 15 Very hard by this point

Did a bit of stretching and called it a day. Downing my PWO shake as I write this. Weights seem low on paper but felt damn hard. Legs tomorrow, good stuff, can’t wait.

29/8/08 - Monday - Leg Day
Front Squat - 5x3@185 - Holy hell that hurt, wanted to do 4x4 but 4 reps was really pushing it for a set, so I switched to 5x3.
Back Squat - 2x5@185 + 1x3@185 + 1x2@135 - Wanted to really kill the squats after missing my target on front squats, failed on the 3rd set from fatigue, so I dropped 25s off the bar and finished the set.

V-Squat - 4x6@160 Not sure how much the machine itself weighs, the 160 was just the plates. Managed to spit all over the wall mirror doing these, made me chuckle a bit.
Sissy Squat - 3x6@20 I doubt the 20 lbs really makes a difference here, but it helps with balance a bit.
Seated Ham curl - 3x8@150
Straight leg calf - 2x8@380 + 1x10@380 - 380 is the highest my gym’s seated straight calf goes to, strange number.

Foam roll to help relax a bit. Had issues walking out the door. Was lying on the floor for a few moments in between sets 4 and 5 of front squats, damn that was hard. Just finished my 800 cal PWO shake, shower time!

Wed - 27/8/08 - Chest/tri
DB Bench - 4x6@70 Usually can get 80, just wasn’t feeling it today.
Dip - 3x8@BW
Close grip BB bench - 4x6@95 just a bit lower than usual.
Incline Skull Crusher - 4x8+4 partial @ 65 - Felt good
Machine fly - 2xfailure@130 Would have done DBs but I was running out of time, needed to get showered and get to class.

Forgot to do rotation work to help with shoulder stiffness, will do some tomorrow. Very hungry right now. Protein shake time.

Tomorrow: Back

Oops, havn’t posted my last 2 workouts.
Unfortunately I forgot exactly what I did.
Back was so-so. Rack pulls messed my hands up nicely, I’ve been using gloves for assistance lifts and my rock hard callouses have started to go away, gotta stop using gloves. T-bar rows went well. around 3 plates. Other various lifts.

Arm workout was quite good. Felt well rested after a few days off of class. Skipped shoulders for the week due to time and a bit of tenseness/pain in the right shoulder.

Moving legs this week to Wednesday, gym closed early due to Labor day and I couldn’t get in after work.

Tomorrow: Legs

Adding legs and chest here.
Tues - 3/9/08 - Legs
Squat - 5x5 @195 Still going up, these have been working out well.
Leg Press - 4x5@ 695
Sled Drag backwards - 2x- 60 lbs for distance.
Sled Drag forwards - 2x- 50lbs for distance.

DB Bench - 2x5+1x3@80 + 2x5@60 - failed on 3rd set, dropped weight down, 70s were taken.
HS Chest press - 3x8 1 plate/side - not sure total weight of the machine.
EZ-curl skull crushers - 3x10@55
Plate dropset finisher 2x20/20/20/20@ 45/35/25/10 - Added these in from the recent article, loved em, tough as hell.

Thurs - 4/9/08 - Back
Rack pulls (lowest pin) - 5x3@315
Stiff Leg Deads - 3x8@135
T-Bar Row - 1x5+2x10@ 3 plates - Not sure how to count the bar on this weight. First set was lower because my left hand slipped and ripped a chunk of skin off, had to get some gloves on.
Med. grip Pullup - 4x6@bw

Not too long, but felt like a good workout.

Oops, gotta add a few in here. Totally forgot the weekend’s arm workout so I’ll skip adding it.
Mon - 8/9/08 - Legs
Back Squat - 6x5@195
V-Squat - 4x6@225
Sissy Squat - 4x8@20
Straight leg calf - 2x10@380

Tues - 9/9/08 - Chest
DB Bench - 2x6+1x8@80
Dips - 1x8@bw 3x8@bw-40
Fly 2x10@? - forgot the weight I used, stopped 1 set early, shoulder hurt.
Shoulder mobility work - had some pain during flys so I did a bit.
Plate press dropset - 2x20/20/20/20@45/35/25/10 Still really like these, VERY hard.

Wed - Off

Thur - 11/9/08 - Back
Rack pull - 3x3@335 - Woulda done more, hand I ripped up from last week still hurt.
Chinup - 4x8@bw
Hi-row - 3x8@90 per side
BB bent over row - 3x8@115
Hand ripped open a little more there. Stuffed a paper towel in my glove to add more padding, helped out alot actually.

Couple more days added here.
Fri 12/9/08 - Shoulders/Forearms
Millitary Press - 3x8@95
Lean away lateral raise - 4x10@12.5/side
Cable rear delt fly - 4x6@10/side
Face pull - 3x10@25
BB wrist curl - 2x30@65
BB reverse wrist curl (extension) - 2x20@45

Sun - 14/9/08 - Arms
EZ preacher curl - 4x6@95
EZ standing curl - 4x10@25
EZ reverse curl - 3x8@45
EZ reverse curl - 3x8@25
Zottman Curl - 3x7@20/arm
DB curl drop set 1@30-5/arm
EZ cheat curl - 2x8@45

Mon - 15/9/08 - Legs
Short on time today, got a TON of stuff for classes due. Worked fewer sets harder.
Squat - 4x4@215
V-Squat - 3x8@225
Straight leg calf - 2x15@380
Felt surprisingly satisfying even though it was a shorter than usual workout. Hamstrings feel it the most, quads not so much.

Gonna have to skip adding chest and back workout specifics. Chest was decent. Back workout was mixed with shoulders due to massive class workload over last week. Skipped arms last week for a pitiful total of three workouts.

So far this week.
Mon 22/9/08 - Legs
Squat - 5x4@215 - shouldn’t really say 5x4, failed on the last set after 2. Felt good but painful.
V-Squat - 4x6@225
Sissy Squat - 3x10@30 Still really like these. Definitely a keeper on leg day.
Lying calf raise - 3x30 sec. -

Not sure how to describe these. Heard about them from the head trainer at my gym and gave em a shot since none of the calf machines go heavy enough, definitely felt these quite a bit. Was sitting down with the arches of my feet on a foam roll then raised my torso up on my hands and pointed my toes straight forward bringing the knees up slightly. Major cramping.

Teus - 23/9/08 - Chest
Did chest one day early, was having a really really bad day so I knew I needed to hit the gym.
Incline BB Bench - 8/6+3 half/5+5 half @ 155
Decline HS chest press - 6 or 7x10@115 per side. - Like I said, was having a bad day, these always cheer me up.
EZ bar Skullcrusher - 4x8@45
DB Fly - 4x8-10@25 per side.
Overhead cable tri extension - 3x10@20 - Used the far left cable machine which has one less pulley than all the others so it’s significantly harder. Dunno why it was made like that.

Later today - Back day! Hands are healed up enough for deads again, just need to make sure to bring my gloves for the second half of the workout! Hell yea!

Update on the state of affairs - After this mass phase (aka around the start of '09) I plan to add a month or two of Oly lifting to my routines. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed ever since high school and I’d like to do some more, but mass first. Still shooting for 195.

Been really sick for the last few days. Back day was fantastic as was arm and shoulder days.
Havn’t been able to get in Mon-today, really freakin’ sick. I’d like to get in and hit legs ASAP but I need to heal up first. This sucks.

Wow, been a while since I updated my log. I really need to keep track of my workouts again. I need to put fresh stats up too. Have been making great progress in the gym, loving the equipment here at my university. Was up past 200 for the first time in my life then got really sick for two weeks and dropped 15 lbs from not being able to eat anything at all.

Looking back on my old logs I’ve brought up my weights quite a bit but I haven’t made the kind of progress I would have liked in a year and a half. Won’t put a multi-month goal up right now, just would like to get back up above 200 before the end of the school year, June 12.

Height:Still 6’1"
Current weight: 195
Bodyfat: Still low enough where I don’t care
Squat: 265x2 is my best for weight, 245x5 is more recent and better imo. These are all ATG.
Deadlift: 375 off the floor, 495 from just below the knees rackpull. Looking back I really need to bring this up.
Bench: Still almost never hit BB bench. Can rep low 200s but never really tried. 95 dumbbells x5 for flat, 85x6 for incline.
OHP: 145x4 on BB. 75 dumbbells x8. This is another case where I just rarely use barbells.
DB rows: 120x7 without straps, 120x12 with. Doing rest-pause style sets to get up to 8-10 reps without straps really fries my forearms. Will definitely be doing this more, grip strength is still a weak spot.

Measurements will have to wait, I have no way of doing them right now. Waist is still around 33-34 in. 32 pants feel a bit tight, 34s feel too loose without a belt. Definitely built some decent size now, still feel my shoulders and tris are lagging behind a bit though.

Swapped to a 3x split, trying to do each 2x per week although current with BJJ on Fridays and Kendo on Sat I’m hitting the gym 4x per week 2 days of practice and 1 day off. Doing antagonist usually, spent much of the weekend recovering from a big festival on Friday.

Sun - Back
Rowing strength was really down. Warmed up on DB row, arms felt dead.
Pullover machine 5x6-10@130lbs. Tried these the way I saw in the Dorian Yates training Kai Greene video, was impressed how hard they were even at 130.
Rear delt machine fly 4x10-12@130-160lbs.
Lat Pulls 3x10-15@80lbs. Went very light, focused on using the back only. Shoulders/arms felt really wack for some reason.
Cardio 14min intervals.

Monday - Legs
Squats - 10,6,6@135, 185, 205.
Leg Press - 10,8,8@4,5,6 plates per side
Calf raise, seated - 4x10@115
GHR 3x8-10@Bodyweight

So did you reach your goal back in December of '08?

I actually didn’t hit 195 by the goal time. When I was sick I dropped about 10 lbs that I just couldn’t get past. I eventually hit that 195 sometime in '09, haven’t been keeping track as well as I could. Stayed at around 195 for a while and took it up past 200 when I moved down to San Diego. Got the flu down here and dropped down to below 190, back up close to 200 now about a month and a half after being sick. Hope to hit 205 by the end of the school year then maybe another 10 over summer depending on how much food I can afford.

Crap! Forgot to add chest/bi while I still remembered it. Was DB bench, machine decline press, DB incline fly, BB curl, preacher curl, reverse curl. That was Tues. Wed. was off. Been showing one of my roommates an intro to lifting. He’s really giving it a good effort but having a workout partner is making the workouts take a bit longer.

Back/tris - Thurs
Dumbbell 1 arm rows - 15,10,10,8@60,80,100,120
Lat pulls - 4x8-10@12-14 (not sure what the actual weights are at this gym, they have numbers I think each one is 12.5lbs, at least that’s what it is on the cable row.)
Machine Pullovers - 4x7-8@160 1x15-20@90. Still doing these like the Dorian video really focusing on a slow eccentric and holding the isometric for a second before reversing direction. They HURT.
Rope pulldowns 4xfailure@50 superset with
single arm pronated grip pulldown 4xfailure@20

Friday was Jiu-Jitsu so no lifting that day.

Legs - Sat. Was running out of time here, got to the gym pretty late and had to cut the workout short. Spent my day getting free barbeque and having fun with friends, totally worth it.
Leg Press - 7-10@4,5,6 plates a side. Still a bit sore from Jiu-jitsu, got some bad cramps in my left hamstring and calf.
Lying ham curl - 6-10@90,100,110,120
Sissy squat - 3x10@50. Wasn’t feeling these as much as usual and time was running out so I cut one set off. May need to check my form.
Seated Calf - 3x12-15@90 1xfailure@90.
Not enough time to do shoulders, got kicked outta the gym when they closed.