T Nation

Rewind to 10th Grade

Well, I’m finally doing it. Gonna start a log, and set up some type of consistent training program.

Here’s my background:

Grew up playing soccer from 5 y.o. to…I think 12 y.o.? Other than that, was not an athlete at all - spent a lot of time running around outside and riding my bike around, but I was not a sports stud at all. Was never overweight either, just an average kid.

In high school, I started XC in 9th grade. Why, I have no clue. Really don’t remember what was attractive about just running 6+ miles for no reason. But I did really enjoy it at the time. I was getting chubby though, as a freshman, and that combined with my newness to the sport meant I sucked. Found weight lifting in between my freshman and sophomore seasons though, and that really transformed it for me.

My 2nd year (10th grade) I was frickin’ awesome. Was running daily, just for the hell of it, lifting usually 4-5 days a week, sometime even twice a day just because I enjoyed it. I could run a 5 minute mile, which while not phenomenal, I feel was decent. Ran a sub-20 minute 5K too, several times, which I am proud of. Don’t remember my exact numbers, but I got my squat and deadlift into the low-mid 400’s (this was actually 11th grade, after about a year and a half of lifting), bench to 225 (same), and could bust out dips and chinups like nobody’s business. I know at the time I felt like I was huge, but looking back at pictures I was actually just really skinny. Always had big thighs/butt, but my torso and limbs have never been anything impressive.

Anyway, what I was proud of at the time was that I felt like I was pretty well rounded. My strength and speed definitely could have stood some improvement, but my conditioning/endurance was awesome. Basically, I would’ve been pretty good at the average CrossFit gym, haha.

As for now, I am 19, will be 20 in a couple months. I would not list my goal as to get back to my 16 y.o. self if I was any older than I am right now, but I feel that it is reasonable/realistic right now, since I’m still very young and healthy, and am right back in about the same place I was when I started, except I now have the knowledge of what I’m doing (kinda). Always more to learn.

I am not a whale right now, but definitely getting fatter. I’ve been working a lot for the past year and a half to save money for college this next year, so with a busy schedule, a loss of determination to train/some struggles with depression, and zero self control when it comes to food, I am not the picture of fit anymore. I get out of breath easier, and have lost a lot of strength.

What kind of kickstarted this was going to the gym with a friend and seeing how low my numbers had gotten, and seeing another buddy from high school today who used to look like me now, but now looks like I used to. He’s not very muscular, but he’s lost fat and he’s in much better shape. And he called me fat, so I gotta prove him wrong.

Well, thank you if you read all that!

OLD PR’s:
SQ: low-mid 400’s x 1-3
BP: 225 x 1
DL: same as squat^^
OHP: mid 100’s x 1-3 (nothing impressive)
FS: upper 200’s x 1-3
PC: 205 x 1

1 mile run: 5:00 exactly
5K (3.11mi) run: 19.5-ish minutes

NEW GOALS:
SQ: 275x5
BP: 185x5
DL: 315x5
OHP: 135x5
FS: 185x5
PC: 135x5

sub-6 minute mile
sub-21 minute 5K

I am probably not going to train the front squat or power clean right now, nor will I be running much more than a mile, but I will still have those goals for the near future.

The plan right now is the Beginner Prep program from Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 Forever. Not the most interesting or exciting program but it’ll do the job while I get back into things. I probably need it.

Not much of an idea where my numbers are right now, besides “low,” so I’m going to set my 3RM’s at 95 for the press, 135 for the bench, 185 for the squat, and 225 for the deadlift. I know I can hit those very easily, and for more than 3 reps, but oh well. I’m in no rush. I’ll calculate my 1RM and then my TM off of those numbers.

As for fellow posters, I wish I could keep up to date on everyone’s logs, but for those who I do follow along with (even if I don’t often post, I’m rooting for you!) it would have to be:

@flappinit - your pain tolerance, especially on some of your leg workouts is awesome. And nice job on that triathlon!

@T3hPwnisher - you’re a machine. 'Nuff said. No, really though, very impressive and inspirational.

@isdatnutty - didn’t follow your log from the beginning, but I’ve slowly read through it all and have been caught up for a while, and the fact that you started off at a low place, and just stuck with it and just plain worked to get where you are now is awesome.’

@JMaier31 - your working around plenty of injuries and subsequent surgeries is awesome, keep it up!

@samul - similar to Nutty, you just stick it through and put in the work, and I respect that.

Hope you guys follow along, and anyone else is welcome to! If you’ve read everything so far, you’re a trooper.

Will begin tomorrow morning, I’m working all evening/night.

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Thank you for the shout out man, I really appreciate it! I’m excited to follow your log. Good luck!

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Welcome to the addictive world of training logs. I’m looking forward to seeing how you work towards your goals while balancing life. It’s a constant and ever changing experiment.

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Hell yeah man! Just think about it like this:

You are building your foundation now. The thing I like about 5/3/1 and double progression program (my style lol) is that it allows you to build strength slowly. True strength. You are giving your tendons, bones, ligaments, and body time to adjust to the load and training.

Just stick to the program and do it exactly how Jim says. If you do the warm ups, jumps, main lift, supplemental, assistance, condition and eat GOOD, you will be fucking strong and in great shape man!

Get after it brotha!

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Appreciate the shout out dude. Hope it goes well.

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In for the log man.

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im in sir

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Thanks everybody!

W1D1 - WED. 07/24/2019

Warmup:

Agile 8

Jumps & Throws:

5 box jumps, 5 overhead (as in straight up) med ball throws. Rested like 20 seconds and repeated.

Workout:

SQUAT:
5x70
5x90
3x105

5x125
5x140
5x160
5x5x125

SWISS BAR BENCH PRESS:
5x50
5x65
3x75

5x90
5x100
5x115
5x5x90

ASSISSTANCE WORK:
5 rounds of: walking lunges/pushups/inverted rows/situps

NOTES:
• Warmup - I don’t like warmups. I don’t feel any better after doing them, and therefore view them as a waste of my training time. Something like the Agile 8 would probably be good for me to on my off days, just to get a little movement in, but otherwise whether I’m squatting, running, whatever, I feel like I get no better prepared for the movement by doing a warmup than I do just beginning the workout. May not stick with this much longer, but I’m trying to just stick 100% to a program for a while so I can’t complain about it not working and I know Jim highly recommends it. Oh well, it only does take like 5-10 minutes.

• Jumps/Throws - pretty much the same as above…I do actually enjoy this though. Not the jumps so much, although they’re not hard. But the throws can be fun - it’s nice to just throw a heavy(ish) ball as hard as you can, haha.

• Workout: So I’m not staying 100% compliant with the program here. I am using an 85% TM, which while I could probably (definitely) use a 90% TM and be fine, I am of the opinion that what’s the rush? It’s a matter of pounds. It’s not really going to have affected anything in a year. Anyway, so I am using an 85% TM, and Jim says to use SSL for the supplemental work in that case, but I am doing FSL. I’m just going to see how it all goes for this first cycle. If it’s very underwhelming I will switch next cycle. The assisstance work was hard though - not like max effort, but I got quite out of breath. I really am out of shape. I chose walking lunges just because. Inverted rows over chinups, because 1). I am bad at chinups now and can’t do many and 2). I don’t like them. They’ve never felt good for me. Even when I was strong enough to do 20+ in a row, they just have never felt good. And I had pretty good form too - wasn’t kipping up, was controlling the eccentric. They’ve always just felt like my shoulders were just grinding and not great. I’ll probably try to make sure I’m strong enough for…say 10-ish good ones at any point, but I doubt I’ll really try to train them very often. Feel like my grip and back can be worked with deadlifts and a variety of rows that I’ll enjoy better anyway.

• Overall, good workout. Felt good to get back into things. Can’t help but have a negative opinion of the first couple things but I’ll see if I change my mind. I really don’t mind lifting at all, in fact I enjoy it, but when I’ve gotten out of shape I hate anything that gets me out of breath, haha. I think Will Smith said it’s a lot easier staying in shape than getting in shape, and he’s right (I’m sure others have said it too). So I need to remember where I was at, and how much it sucks to try to get back there before I ever go on a break like that again. It also makes me respect highly overweight people who try to get in shape for the first time in their 30’s or whatever. It is tough, especially if you don’t find any enjoyment in at all.

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I’m just going to post random questions on here every so often rather than start a new thread. Chime in if you have an opinion, it’s fine if not.

Is Breaking Bad a good show? Always heard it was decent, and I could easily find out by just watching it, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I have an aunt who really likes it, which is funny (not actually funny but kinda) because she used to sell and use meth. She’s past that part of her life thankfully, but I figure maybe it’s pretty accurate or something?

The first season is incredibly slow, to the point that I gave up on it twice. It took a good friend of mine to tell me that it WILL get better after that for me to give it a final try. It was well worth it. Fantastic show once it gets rolling. Found myself yelling at the TV, which is rare for me.

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Sounds good. Will check it out right now while I eat.

W1D2 - THU. 07/25/2019

Warmup:

Agile 8

Jumps & Throws:

5 box jumps, 5 overhead (as in straight up) med ball throws. Rested like 20 seconds and repeated.

Workout:

DEADLIFT:
5x85
5x105
3x125

5x145
5x170
5x190
5x5x145

PRESS:
5x45
5x45
3x55

5x65
5x70
5x80
5x5x65

ASSISSTANCE:
5 rounds of: walking lunges/pushups/inverted rows/situps

NOTES:
• Good workout. I don’t enjoy squatting or benching. I mean, I don’t hate them, but I’ve never really felt like I’ve found my groove with either. Deadlifting and pressing come much more naturally to me. Feel great. So workout “B” is definitely more fun than “A.”

• Doing this week’s 3 workouts all in a row (W/Th/F) since I will be out of town all weekend. Easy enough that I have zero issues recovering and I don’t want to worry about squeezing in a workout. Although, anybody know of any cool gyms in Minneapolis? Or St. Paul. Could check it out if there were any notable ones. And an impromptu trip to the wilderness of “west river” S.D. next week means I’ll be taking the week off from barbell lifts - will still do bodyweight movements and go for some runs. Should be fun actually - I don’t enjoy running for distance anymore, but running hills is still awesome. I entirely credit squats for making these easier. Or maybe not easier, but made me better than my former XC opponents.

• The week after next I need to start doing some supersets during my main work. I’m thinking ab work between squats and deadifts, and rows/rear delt raises/face pulls/pull aparts between sets of pressing.

W1D3 - FRI. 07/26/2019

Warmup:

Agile 8

Jumps & Throws:

5 box jumps, 5 overhead (as in straight up) med ball throws. Rested like 20 seconds and repeated.

Workout:

SQUAT:
5x70
5x90
3x105

5x115
5x130
5x150
5x5x115

BENCH:
5x50
5x65
3x75

5x80
5x95
5x105
5x5x80

ASSISSTANCE WORK:
5 rounds of: walking lunges/pushups/inverted rows/situps

NOTES:
• Switched from the swiss bar to a normal barbell for the bench press. Thought I’d give the swiss bar a shot, just to see how it felt on the shoulders, but I’ve never liked it in the past and after one use, knew I still didn’t. I do feel my triceps a lot more, which I liked, but it’s not convincing enough to stay. If I need it in the future I’ll go back to it, but for now I’ll stick with the standard. I have no idea if people are typically weaker with the swiss bar or not, but I felt like I was, so maybe I can progress more without it anyway.

• Good first week (squeezed into 3 days, haha). Will be traveling a lot for the next week or so, but as mentioned before, will continue to do bodyweight assisstance frequently, and run when able.

• One thing I don’t like about the Beginner Prep program is the lack of high reps - I like high rep squatting as much as one can, and am looking forward to future programs that will incorporate that.

• I’m really looking forward to school starting. I’ve been out of school for almost 2 and a half years, and I think I’ll be happy to get back into it. I was expelled from my high school towards the end of my junior year, but was pretty far ahead of my class and finished up my remaining credits the summer afterwards. Then spent my would-be senior year wallowing in depression, haha, and my would-be college freshman year working my tail off to save up some money. I like to work and stay busy, but for the past year I haven’t really felt like I’m going anywhere. Like I’m working just to work. It felt empty. Once I’m back in school, I think I’ll feel a lot more productive, and like I’m actually working towards something. Should be good!

@T3hPwnisher & @isdatnutty - I really want my conditioning to get better. Obviously, I’ve just started getting back into the swing of things, and anything I do will help, but while being just plain big and strong is my main goal, I don’t want to be one of those powerlifter types who can’t move without getting out of breath. Pwn, you seem to do a lot of supersets (and other stuff at various points in your training, like a lot of Prowler work when you were recoving from the knee surgery), and Nutty, you also do a lot of supersets, but you also will do things like sprints, and swimming. I think I mostly know what I need to do, but do you guys have any suggestions?

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I hate the swiss bar for flat benching. Never felt right for me. It’s good for floor pressing and incline, but that’s about it.

I like the prowler and loaded carries (sandbag, keg, stones, etc) for conditioning. Sprinting isn’t bad at all, but guys who lift and aren’t conditioned for sprinting tend to blow out hammies if they don’t warm up into it, so something to watch out for. I like hitting the heavy bag, since my background was in combat sports, but I don’t have one at home and I try to avoid traveling to train. Don’t want to spend any more time than I need to.

Bodyweight circuits work great. Tabata burpees is a classic.

Rope skipping is awesome too. Ropes aren’t too expensive, you can do it in place, but it will still improve some basic agility.

Conditioning is honestly REALLY simple: find something that doesn’t feel good, and then do it for longer than you want to. I also hold myself to the policy that, if, at any point during the conditioning exercise, I find myself thinking I should stop, I force myself to do at least 1 more round. It forces me to quit thinking that, haha.

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I haven’t done much loaded carries yet, but what I have done I like. I used to work for a masonry company, and feel like I have a knack for picking up weird heavy stuff, so I want to develop that strength. I might try to get some random things and begin incorporating that…maybe lift 3 days a week and have a 4th day where I do some “strongman” type stuff.

Noted. Will go off of that.

@bkb333 - Still doing the Hungarian Oak? How’s it going?

@jshaving Honestly man for conditioning I agree with @T3hPwnisher, just pick something that sucks and do it until it doesn’t suck for you anymore lol.

Supersets, giant sets, sprints, prowler, strongman shit, bw circuits, and even crossfit WODs. I like to do supersets/giantsets on lifting days incase I am unable to get in some conditioning on those days. Then obviously I love having days dedicated to conditioning. You don’t have to run yourself into the ground.

Start with basics. Do supersets and on your off days from lifting go on runs. Build up that base and then go from there!

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I would add like to add on the topic of sprints. I love doing them, but only uphill and usually on actual hills of grass. You can do them on pavement too, but it’s hard to find a good steep one and they’re also flat which takes away some of the challenge. The benefit to uphill sprints is that it’s impossible to go all out so you hardly ever (if ever) get injured, they suck to no end because you get extremely gassed, and (in my opinion) your body tells your when you’re done, so do one more and call it a day. That usually falls between 5 and 10 depending on the hill and the grade.

To mirror what my fellow t-nation’ers have said already, do something you can tolerate, but sucks. It’ll make you a better person and a stronger one at that.

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I have one grass hill in my town (and within I’d say about a 10-ish mile radius) and one overpass I think has a sidewalk on the edge. It’s not high/steep, but it spans about 3 blocks, so it’s long. The grass hill is fairly steep. I’ve always thought running hills was great, and I want to get back into it. Will definitely give it a shot sometime soon here.

Got back from the Twin Cities tonight. Headed out again in the morning, but just wanted to update quickly: on the way there, I googled strongman gyms in Minneapolis. Found one called Los Campeones (the champions, which I think is a pretty sweet name).

As I was browsing their webpage, an ad popped up offering free onetime training sessions. I signed up and went this morning. It was awesome! So much cool equipment and a lot of really big, strong dudes. I think the training offered wasn’t actually that great - the guy I met spent most of the time adjusting his hair and talking about his own training, but I got to test out a few things I’d never done before, which is the main thing I enjoyed.

Tried some stones - as far as I know they were atlas stones (not sure if there’s different kinds) - lifting them onto a platform that I think was around 48"-52". Worked up to 150lbs, which was pretty heavy but I think I could’ve maybe gone up 10-20lbs. Didn’t try it though. For some reason I’ve always felt like I’d be good at that event, and I have no idea if what I did was heavy or not, but I felt like it came really naturally to me.

Pressed an axle - no idea the length or diameter or whatever you use to measure it, or the weight, but it was a lot of fun. Felt really cool every time I locked it out. Did some farmers carry’s with a 45lb on each end (so 90lbs + the weight of the handles in each hand). That wasn’t very hard weight wise, but I don’t think I was very smooth or graceful.

Had the chance to test out a yoke, which I passed up due to time restraints, but I wish I would’ve done it to possibly receive any tips on how to improve.

Overall, was very awesome and definitely reaffirmed my future goals of competing in strongman. I’m considering going on a bit of a splurge to get maybe some farmers handles, an axle, stones, etc. Not right now, as my strength can be improved just fine by consistently doing my barbell lifts, but maybe in a year or so. I think I can get some big rocks and tire(s) really easily though, so I may due that. Just use those for my “conditioning” plans mentioned earlier.

Will be back in a week to get back to it!

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