T Nation

Samul's Training and Nutrition Log


#264

Thanks for the tip, I had already read the bending/moving hands in together on some article here. Honestly I haven’t tried yet because I don’t feel confident yet with my form and when doing the bench it still feels like a new movement to me (with a barbell I mean), it’s not second nature yet to the point where I can start to tweak the form and add stuff. I’ve read some more articles on how to cue the tuck and I’ll do some light sets later today, so I’ll post a video later.

But honestly, all I want is getting to a point where I know I’m pressing effectively for hypertrophy purposes and I don’t care if my form isn’t perfect after all in that regard.

Anyway, have you read my previous post? I wrote a couple of thoughts and questions before tagging you about the bench, I’d love if you took a look.


#265

Yeah, I read it last night and thought I’d reply I’m the morning. But you know, I got the memory of a goldfish. Anyways, here are my thoughts;

An ounce of potatoes is like 25 Calories so the difference is minimal even if you were eating, say, 25% more than you were supposed to.

In addition to that, the exact amount of calories is not really all that important; it doesn’t matter wether you’re eating 1900 or 2000 Calories. Paul will check if you’re gaining at a good pace/if you’re not gaining at all with this amount of food and he’ll increase it from there if necessary. Now if he increased your food intake by 200 Calories and you then made a change that would mean the cooked food was notably less than before (and thus your calories didn’t increase as much as intended/at all) it could matter, because even though your calories increased on paper they didn’t in reality.

So, bottom line: pick a way to prepare your food and keep it fairly constant. But even then, keep in mind that small variation between calories per day won’t hurt. Your activity levels vary between days so it’s pretty much impossible to keep the surplus constant anyways.

Personally, at the moment, I’m training calves six days a week and the only ab work I do is one set of leg raises during my warmups on every training day. However this is not how I usually train either of those, I’m just testing things out.

I’d train abs on the days that are followed by a rest day and calves on the remaining days. That’s because I rarely get any soreness in my calves, but training with sore abs (which is, for me, much more likely) is pretty uncomfortable. Yeah, calves and abs can benefit from a higher frequency, but training them twice a week is still pretty sufficient, or at least it’s not wasted effort. I wouldn’t train both of them every day just to avoid making the workouts really long.

Calves to benefit from a stretch, not only because the muscle is being stretched, but also because the stretch makes you actually do the work with your calves instead of just using the elastic energy your Achilles tendons store during the eccentric.

I like the DC protocol for calves: slow negative, long stretch at the bottom, accelerate the positive and flex hard at the top.

I’d do seated calf raises once a week and standing/leg press raises on the second day


#266

Great thank you!

What bothers me, though, is that even if I let the weight stretch my calves on every rep and I pause at the bottom, I don’t FEEL a stretch in the muscle (whereas if I do static stretches I do).

What could this be due to?


#267

Is the position of your ankles the same in both instances? I know that if my ankles collapse even a bit on calf raises the stretch is not nearly as notable.


#268

I haven’t paid attention to that to be honest, what do you mean by the ankles collapsing?


#269

If you were to view your ankle from behind, would it be a straight line or would the ankle go inwards or outwards?

You know, like your knees may go in on the squat, but with ankles this time


#270

I’ll pay attention next time I do them.

Meanwhile…

Looks better?


#271

New avi mayne? Back is lookin thick bruv, nice progress.


#272

Well think it’s time for a sneak peak physique update! I will get the pics out to Paul in two days because our check in is on Sundays, but technically it’s been one week since I ended the diet so let’s keep this pic as a reference of how I look now when not glycogen depleted and on my way to being well nourished again lol

Sam you’re not fat again already Sam you’re not fat again already Sam you’re not fat again already… Okay it’s going to be tough to watch the abs eventually fade once I’ve seen myself very lean.


#273

A lot better. There’s still some work to do (smoothness of the movement, getting to a point where you can touch your chest if you want to do so etc.) But it’s definitely better than last time. I’d suggestsetting the J-hooks a bit lower, it seems like the unracking height is a bit too high. Just don’t put them too low


#274

So week 1 of my reverse dieting mass gain phase has gone by and finally I’ll be getting more food.

Paul has given me two menus to alternate on a daily basis so I won’t get too bored. The fun part is that one is meat based, while the other is fish based. So I get to eat some of everything, and it works particularly well for me because… Well, I like everything pretty much lol.

Calories are being shot high from 1.9k of this week to 2.7k. Not a huge amount of food in an absolute sense, but way more than what I’ve gotten used to recently, so I’ll definitely be fuller and more satisfied. And my inner paranoid is kicking in now: “is 1,900 to 2,700 too big of a jump? Will I get fat now?”.

Luckily I’m really trusting Paul here, so we’ll see what happens.


#275

That. Definitely drop the hooks a tad. I’d also topt your feet more. They move too much. You should be driving your heels hard into the floor.

Much better overall though.


#276

Here’s a recap of my first day of week 2.

Food has been awesome and finally I’m not feeling hungry at all times anymore.

I love coming home from my workout at night and cook my dinner. In my diet, dinner is ground beef and potatoes, but Paul told me I could add whatever veggies I wanted.

I added a mix of boiled carrots, onion, zucchini, and peppers, along with some drops of low carb chili sauce and this is what happened. Man it’s delicious, filling, and there’s so much of different kinds of good stuff in it.

This was my training session:

  1. Flat bench press warm up, 2x6-8 keeping one rep in the tank
  2. Incline press, WU and then 350 method
  3. Lat pulldown wu, 2x10-12
  4. Smith machine rows wu, 2x6-8
  5. Db ohp wu, 2x6-8
  6. Lateral raises wu, 3x12-15 + partials at the end

I completely screwed up the first set of bench. Thought I could do a weight for 6 reps, and ended up getting barely 4. Got very angry.

The Incline press still feels kinda weird so I got filmed and here it is

Before I send the video to Paul I’d like you guys to take a look. One strange thing I noticed is that once I grip the bar tight, I immediately feel my right biceps veins swelling (even visibly) and I feel as if something is obstructing blood flow in that arm. This is the best way I can describe the feeling. It’s pretty uncomfortable but weird more than anything else.

Also, I totally feel the Incline press in my delts and triceps and almost nothing in my pecs. Annoying.

Here’s a video of me doing smith rows. While warming up I get a nice contraction in my back but as soon as the weight gets heavier I can’t feel it much anymore. I can’t think of anything more annoying than not being able to feel the burn and pump in the muscle I’m trying to target.
(Again sorry for the bg music but… Gotta love YouTube)

How’s it look?

Lastly, and I’ll tag @danteism directly here as we discussed this lately, I tried doing calves but this time I couldn’t go on for long because on each rep, as soon as I tried to squeeze the muscle intensely, they would cramp.

It’s not like your normal feeling when contracting a muscle, I knew that if I pushed just a tad more they’d actually cramp and the sensation was excruciatingly painful to deal with. Has this ever happened to you? I never had this issue with any other muscle but it had already happened with calves in the past.


#277

It looks a lot better than last time. Regarding the discomfort in your arm, are your shoulders tight? That could also explain why you’re not feeling inclines in your chest. One of the best chest pumps I’ve had was when I stretched my shoulders and pecs throughoutly a day before doing board presses.

Try to pull more with your elbows, right now there’s a lot of bent over curling action going on in your rows. If it’s lats you want to target, keep your arms tucked, if you’re trying to hit the upper back try to flare them a bit more. Either way try not to curl and/or shrug the weight up

Whenever I try to push the weight on calf exercises to something I haven’t used before/haven’t used for a while my calves tend to cramp up. It’s pretty nasty and I haven’t really come up with a solution for it. I’ve just been working through it, trying to stretch the calves for a bit between sets to ease the cramps. (Although that doesn’t really fix the issue it helps a bit) taking taurine before training could help, haven’t tried it myself.


#278

I can’t say for sure but I don’t feel anything particular in my shoulders so I don’t think they are tight.

Anyway, when I did inclines last time (so the “wrong” one), I could feel it much much more in my chest, probably due to my elbows being more flared out.

The discomfort in my arm is a very peculiar thing though, like I said it’s best described as is there is something physically obstructing blood flow in the veins and I can clearly see those get bigger and swell noticeably for a few seconds when I get into position and grip the bar.

As per the row, do you think I should lighten the weight in addition to concentrating on the elbow pulling? Anyway, since I’m already doing pull downs, I think it might be a good idea to flare out the elbows a bit so I can target different areas of the back. Paul didn’t give me specific instructions as to elbow positioning.

And for the calves, the weird thing is that it has nothing to do with external resistance. I can even make them cramp without a weight at all. I just need to squeeze them relatively hard and they seriously start to hurt.


#279

You could search for some self-assessment video if you want, but that’s up to you. But if they don’t feel tight and you can do your everyday activities without a problem, they are probably fine

You could do that, relearning an exercise is always easier with less weight

That’s normal, just try putting your hand behind your head and squeezing the bicep as hard as possible (like you would on a single arm lat pulldown curl behind the head, whoah, what a name) and your biceps will most definitely cramp

But as stated, I don’t really have a solution for this problem. If you’re not consuming enough water and salt, try upping those as that’s probably one of the main causes. After that, you could try taurine if you want.


#280

Got a trick like this for the chest?


#281

Really all that is doing is putting the muscle in as shortened position as possible. If we look at the functions of the pec we can see that it’s supposed to bring your arm across your body and it can also contribute in turning your arm inward.

So what you want to do is to make a motion like you would on a high to low cable fly, but instead of leading with your fist, lead with the elbow. So at the bottom you actually start twisting your fist outwards as the elbows continues to travel across the body

I feel it better if I have my elbows at around 90° angle instead of having my arms straight. It’s also a lot easier to do these one side at a time, allows for much more focus.

For upper chest, the movement would look somewhat like a cross body punch, or the classic rear delt stretch, but with your elbow higher up

images

Like this, but without the supporting arm

Hope that helps man


#282

Ohhh that makes sense (chest was the one muscle I couldn’t really cramp)

Thanks


#283

yeah sure, i can make my biceps hurt a bit if i try that, chest also like was mentioned, and i can make my quads cramp pretty hard too.

the difference is in that with my calves i don’t actually need to contract them as hard. i just need to do a calf raise rep with intention and squeeze the muscle a bit and they end up cramping to a point where the pain doesn’t go away even after the rep (like an actual cramp, where you actually have to lengthen the muscle to make it go away), and the pain feels as if it’s actually located somewhere “behind” the point of my calf that i normally feel contracting during the reps.

yeah i thought about the electrolytes too but i’m getting in plenty of water and although i’m not tracking salt i would guess i’m getting enough in. nevertheless, i thought it’d be weird, even if i had an electrolyte deficiency, that only one specific muscle group would cramp.