T Nation

Return of the Muskrat


I read this article along with 5 or 6 others and took bits and pieces from each that made Spence to me. The water loading and then taking in less makes sense along with pulling water into the cells with glycogen.

Everyone I talk to has their own approach as well. I’m getting my coaches opinion on Monday, so we’ll see what he has to say.

Bottom line is that everyone says don’t change your diet much. If chicken is working and your staying lean then stick to chicken. Pretty much going to do that but then less water and more carbs there at the end. Also I’ll add in some bananas for potassium as well. I’ll keep you guys posted as to what my coach says though.


It’s crazy how bobybuilders have figured this out through years of trial and error. I read a lot of research type stuff (or at least research based stuff), and I’ve never seen a nutritional guide to getting stage ready.


3 March 2019

Active Recovery

A. Yoga Flow Warm-Up* (11 minutes)

*My yoga flow warm-up is a combination of prehab, mobility, and light muscle work. I took (stole) stuff from the Agile 8, traditional yoga poses, Stuart McGill, and Jim Wendler to create this apotheosis of categorical convalescence (this is trademarked so don’t try to fuckin steal it (just kidding folks)). I do this little warm-up sometimes when I’m feeling stiff before a workout. On off days, it allows me to do something constructive without destroying my body and soul at the gym


Just looking at the yoga exercises bud. Something I have thought about myself the last few years, but never got round to it. My flexibility isn’t the best, in fact its fuckin awful, haha

How do you find it working ?

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I just want to say thanks for using the parentheses correctly. I see so many people use the opening one and they never close it…



This is probably way more information than you asked for, but I wanted to err on the side of more detail than less. Plus, you’ve given me a bunch of advice haha

Honestly, I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my ability to perform a full squat. My hip mobility was always a limiting factor for my depth (especially on my left side), but now, my left side is very close to my right side. The only thing that changed in the timeframe during which my flexibility increased is the yoga and mobility work.

With respect to my hamstrings, I haven’t noticed a difference. However, I didn’t take any before measurements, and my hamstrings are already quite flexible (I can easily put my palms on the ground with straight legs). By contrast, my brother has very tight hamstrings, and it visibly improved his range of motion.

This warm-up routine makes my back feel better as well. I fucked my back doing a 335 squat (lost tension in the bottom) a couple of years ago, and it has gotten back to normal during the last 6 months or so (time to get strong!). I largely credit my ability to perform squats and deadlifts without pain to yoga and general core work (read: McGill curl-ups, ab wheel, back extension, superman, hanging leg raise, etc.). Before, core work was an afterthought. Now, it’s a staple (and it doesn’t take much time either).

Justifications for the exercises
(note: this is geared specifically to combat my issues; you could take out or add exercises if you wanted to)

Foam roll
makes my body feel good & more ready for the workout; studies on the foam roller have been mixed (some studies say it improves mobility, but dynamic warm-ups seem to dampen this effect; however, if it makes you body feel good like it does mine, might as well do it)

Fire hydrant circles
recommended by Joe DeFranco & Jim Wendler, this exercise helps “activate” my glutes (fancy way of saying it gets some blood into them and makes my back feel good)

Plank with 5 push-ups and downward dog
wakes up the abs, shoulders, chest, and triceps; downward dog helps improve both hamstring and shoulder flexibility while providing a bit of isometric work for the delts and traps

Forward fold and halfway lift
forward fold gives the hamstrings a nice stretch, and halfway lifting essentially brings you from spinal flexion into a neutral spinal position, which wakes up the spinal erectors

Runner’s lunge, warrior 2, wide-leg forward fold
this combo gives you a hip stretch while waking up the quads, an abductor stretch, and a hamstring stretch rolled into one

Knees to chest and hands on knees, stretching outward
gives a bit of a stretch on the glutes and really helps improve my hip mobility

Hip thrust and McGill curl-up
this is a nice one-two punch. Hip thrust (with long holds at lockout and constant tension) hits your posterior chain, and McGill curl-up is an awesome (and very low-risk) isometric ab exercise

Arm circles
these just make my shoulders feel great. I would guess it’s because of the combination of internal and external rotation along with waking up all three heads of the delt

Band pull-aparts
band pull-aparts are fucking great for the shoulders, but who the hell wants to do them after a hard workout? Why not do them before to warm up your rear delts and get some blood into your upper back?

Band bicep curl
if I don’t warm up my biceps before benching, my elbows tend to feel a bit off. This makes my bench press feel much more locked in

Parallel squat hold and ballistic hamstring stretch
wake up the quads and hamstrings. I have rubbing knees in there because if I rub my knees and warm them up, it makes them feel much better for a lower-body workout. It looks pretty fucking stupid, but I do this at home so I don’t give a shit. Plus, since it makes me feel good, I don’t give a shit anyway

Total time: 11 minutes (if you really roll around on the foam roller and take a lot of time on the other stuff, then it could take longer; maybe 14-15 minutes if you’re taking your time)

Edit: this video is a great one to try


Wow that is what you call detail, haha.

Would you say the yoga has made the difference in fixing your back problem ?

I’m going to take notes from this reply and also watch the video later a bit with a nice cuppa tea so I can take my time to understand it properly. There is a yoga centre down town called yoga loft. The only reason I haven’t went yet is in case I make a damn fool out of myself, they all look like pros.

Thanks for the write up, very informative. seriously considering starting it up, my body is like I have Rigor mortis most times lol

How long before you notice results ?

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I noticed that my body was feeling a hell of a lot better after a couple of weeks. I noticed the improved hip mobility probably around a month after doing it. The results might be faster or slower for you, but this is just what I experienced.

And yea, the yoga was helpful for clearing up my back tweaks. I think that it has a lot of “hidden” work, meaning that there are a lot of little things that you don’t notice happening when you do a pose. You actually get a decent bit of isometric work in yoga. If you try yoga + ab / low back (core) work + active recovery stuff, then that might help you feel better. I know it helped me a great deal.

Also, don’t worry about looking like a fool when doing yoga. Nobody is going to look graceful doing it their first time. I think it’s actually more beneficial if you aren’t already flexible. If you want to practice a little before hitting the yoga studio, you could try out that video I linked and maybe do the warm-up I posted before a few workouts. If it makes you feel better (and once you get a little more familiar with the poses), you could try going to the class in your town. There’s nothing like an experienced instructor to help you out. Also, you could talk to the instructor about your goals and the benefits yoga can provide to see if your goals line up with the benefits.

Hope this helps man. Since yoga (and the other things I mentioned) can take less than 15 minutes per day, there’s really no harm at all in giving it a go for a few days


Thanks my man, I’ll try out the exercises in the house following the video and see how it feels. It’s something different to add to my routines. If it loosens me up a bit I just might join that studio. They do different types of classes. The one I liked the look of was lights out and candles lit. This one seems very slow and relaxing, plus there’s some great female talent turns up by the looks of it. I’m sure a nice big butt in front of my face would be a bonus… as long as no gas gets let out, haha.

I’ll keep you posted with how I’m getting on.


Yeah Yoga definitely helps.
I would tend a yoga class a beginner class and I would suggest Iyengar Yoga, it’s very basic and they do a lot out of doing the poses the correct way. Learn them correct the first time, when you can them and you understand them, it’s much easier to do the yoga video Rat refers to.

If you got 5 minutes spare time I can tell that sitting in the third world squat or what it’s called, every day, you’ll improve mobility a lot. When you’re comfortable down there for 3 - 5 minutes you can try this one, it is awesome and my squat form has improved massively.

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That guy in the video looks well flexible. Is the third world squat position one of the main positions? I might try that out shortly tonight and see how it feels. I’ve a pelvic problem, think it’s linked to my bad back. This looks like it might relieve some pressure on it. Will try that out also mortdk thanks man


Third world squat is just sitting in the deep squat position, like it’s done by a lot of peeps in the third world everyday. Look at kids too, when they sit and play around they sit well comfortable down there. It’s a static stretch in the lower back, hips, groin, knee, ankles just about everywhere, I started out with quite wide stance toes pointing out, everytime trying to get my feets closer and toes pointing straight ahead.
I actually sits down there before going to bed brushing my teeth, wife and kids go WTF dad.


That made me laugh mate :joy:


3 March 2019 (diet)

Protein powder
Oats with flaxseed, chia seeds, cashews, and raspberries

Protein powder

Oats with blueberries, raspberries, and one-ingredient almond butter
Salad with carrots and raspberry vinegar
Seitan topped with avocado and hot salsa

Calories: 2,098
Protein: 173
Carbs: 200
Fat: 78
Fiber: 52
Sugar: 29

Dinner (this turned out to be a lot of food):


4 March 2019

Max-Effort Lower

Yoga Flow Warm-Up

Conditioning (9 minutes)
7 rounds of
Battle Ropes: 30
Sled Pull: 20 yards with 155 lbs
Sled Push: 20 yards with 155 lbs

Strength Giant Set
High Jump: 3 reps
Box Squat (with 20 lb bands around peg 1): 95x3, 135x3, 185x3, 225x3
Standing Ab Wheel Negatives: 3 reps
Burpees: 10 reps
90 second rest

Volume Giant Set
High Jump: 3 reps
Box Squat (with 20 lb bands around peg 1): 165x8,5,5
Standing Ab Wheel Negatives: 3 reps
Burpees: 10 reps
90 second rest

GHR: 50 reps in 3 minutes

Started Brian Alsruhe’s version of conjugate today (currently released for free on YouTube), so I’m going to be doing 2 ME and 2 DE days. I’m adding the shoulder exercises to upper DE because I think getting another day to recover will help me not to feel so beat up. This program will be set up a little differently than Westside, but the general idea is the same.

Honestly, this day was hard as fuck. I am completely destroyed right now. At least I’ll be sitting in the library the rest of the day living the sedentary life while studying.

Hope y’all have a good day.


Physique update (2 months progress):


Great progress right there in 2 months! You have certainly decreased bodyfat and are looking a lot more muscular. Abs appearing nicely and I see some veins in the forearms. Looking great bud!

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Yeah I second Rizla here, looking awesome.
Be prepared to some very hard training sessions.

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@Rizla81 @mortdk

Thanks guys I appreciate the support. I’m going to keep pushing hard. I know y’all are doing the same. Big improvements in all of our futures :sunglasses:


Looking good man. I’m a little behind you in terms of Leanness but I did start out fatter !!

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Hey you’re only 2 lbs away from me. That’s pretty much nothing haha. As you get leaner, the difference with each lb will become more pronounced

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