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Samul's Training and Nutrition Log


hadn’t had a breakfast like this since last summer.
4 eggs + 4 egg whites scrambled with swiss cheese, tomato, and mushrooms. and a big ass cup of cream of rice. man i’m so full right now.

today will be arms and – meh – legs day. looking forward to training.


Do you mean that it’s the gastrocnemius that’s cramping and soleus that you feel contracting during work?

But if you think about it, calf and hamstring cramps seem to be by far the most common ones people are getting. I have no idea why that is, it just seems to be so


haven’t checked the anatomy (i.e. which muscle is which part of the calf), but i kinda feel as if the discomfort (and then cramping pain) moves up and is located “just below the knee” height-wise, which is slighlty different than the location i feel contracting up to that point.

and then there’s the fact that i really don’t feel much of a stretch despite keeping my ankle position in check.

epsecially when doing seated raises, i feel that the weight is either too light to feel a stretch (but i can control it quite well on the way up), or heavy enough to feel something but then it’s too heavy to do many good reps.


Are your feet directly under your knees when doing seated calf raises? Are your toes pointed straight ahead?

I know that for me, if my toes point out even slightly I lose a great deal of stretch.

Even if you don’t feel the stretch I’d still advise you to pause at the bottom to get rid of the stretch reflex and thus do more work with the calves.


I’ll take a video of myself doing calf raises tonight. That way we can clearly see if ankle positioning is spot on


good workout today. felt way better after leaving the gym than when i’d gone in.

this was in order:

  1. Flat db press WU, 2x10-12
  2. Incline cable fly WU, 2x10-12
  3. Lat pulldown WU, 2x10-12
  4. Knee level rack pull WU, 2x6-8
  5. Db ohp WU, 2x6-8
  6. Rear raises WU, 3x12-15 + partials
  7. Calves

working slowly on bringing all sets closer to failure. from the next weeks on i’ll be pushing all the exercises minus the rack pull to failure and work on beating my previous weight and rep records. this is the plan.

so far i’m liking this program because when i get to the work sets i am not as anxious since i know i’ll only be doing 2 all-out sets. it helps me psychologically to know that i need to do 2 sets and then move onto the next exercise rather than knowing i’ll need to do 3, 4, or maybe even 5 sets. i just stay more focused.

i’ve been kinda hating the ohp though, because although i feel my form isn’t bad, it’s by far the only exercise i’m doing where i can’t really feel the target muscles working (apart from the bb incline bench which i’m working to fix) and it really, really annoys me. guess i’m truly a type 2b according to thib’s system lol.

anyway @danteism here is my calf raise vid. this time i actually did feel a good stretch, but i found that by the 5-6th rep i was fatigued and couldn’t get a full squeeze at the top. so i felt a good stretch but not so good squeeze on the concentric. anyway, it’s the seated version that gives me issues with the stretching portion so i’ll take a video of that one too when i do it next time.

also, week 2 of mass gain phase is nearing end and even after the solid increase in calories i still look pretty lean.



You probably fixed the problem subconsciously, which is great news.

First couple of reps looked a bit wobbly, there was maybe even a bit of ankle collapsing happening. The rest were good though. One thing you could try is to take your shoes off (if your gym allows it). I noticed that when I begun to do calf raises without shoes it was not only a lot harder but also a lot more productive.

But yeah, definitely take a video of the seated version as well if that’s your biggest problem

Looking good man


So another week of training went by. Today I was particularly hungry for apparently no reason. Training went pretty good, today was arms & legs. Lots of volume on biceps and triceps and a good pump.

I’ve been thinking about something for a while.

So while always focused on the fact that I’m not as big as I want to be, and that I have a very long way to go before deserving to call myself muscular, I should probably pay attention to how WEAK I am.

So like I mentioned other times, the most I had worked up to on the squat was 127 kg for a double, but I’m A LOT lower than that number currently. I had never trained the bench press with a barbell and I only started doing that two weeks ago, and the most I’ve been able to do was 72 kg for 6 or 7 reps. My fricking bodyweight.

Deadlift I have never really trained it much, but I’m currently doing Rack pulls and this week I did 8 reps with 117 kg IIRC. Ridiculous, although I could have done more but my grip + pain from calluses in the hands held me back.

So bottom line is, I feel like I need to get stronger. Much stronger. I can’t even believe how weak I am after almost three years of training. I was considering doing 5/3/1 after I finish training with Paul Carter but I’m not sure that is for me. It’s a program you have to stick to for months and months for it to work and I’ve never done the same program for more than 12 weeks really. And I am a bit afraid of calculating my 1RM’s.

Also funnily enough, while I know that I should work on my strength for a while, at the same time I am afraid that those months will be “wasted” if I don’t do hypertrophy specific work. Although I know this is bullshit.

So I’m in a bit of a tricky situation. Of course I don’t have to worry about that for the time being, but this is something I’ll have to face and plan for in a couple of months.


5/3/1? Se lo provi non lo abbandoni più. È grazie a lui che finalmente sto progredendo dopo 3 anni buttati. Dagli una chance, magari col nuovo anno. Non te ne pentirai.


Ti dico la verità… Sto leggendo proprio in questo momento Building the monolith e ieri leggevo articoli su Boring but big… Mi piace l’idea di provarlo ma ci sono tre problemi principali:

  1. Non ho ancora mai calcolato i miei massimali e l’idea mi mette un po’ di ansia per il rischio di infortunio

  2. L’idea di seguire uno stesso programma per mesi e mesi e mesi

  3. And this one I’m going to discuss in English because I’d like to hear others’ opinion. Especially @danteism

Is there such a thing as not being strong enough for 5/3/1? I read through the principles and you only really increase the weight every fourth week. I personally believe that I am weak enough to be able to almost increase weights on a weekly basis.

If I want to get stronger, would I be better off working with a simple program that has me increasing weights each week or so?

Once I finish working with Paul I’m considering paying for a consult with him so he can point me in the right direction to plan for my training from then on, but really I’m thinking more and more that I need to get much stronger at the basics.


Non sei obbligato a raggiungere il tuo 1RM. Fai un ramping 5 ripetizioni alla volta finché la velocità di esecuzione non rallenta, poi calcola il tuo 1RM con la formula o un’app. Semplice, efficace e sicuro.
Il fatto di eseguire lo stesso programma per mesi è un PUNTO DI FORZA e non una debolezza. Probabilmente è il miglior metodo per progredire sul serio.
Per la paura di non progredire abbastanza velocemente, ricorda che alla fine di ogni ciclo puoi decidere di quanto aumentare i massimali per il ciclo successivo.
Il 5/3/1 è una vera e propria filosofia, chi la abbraccia la ama.


Non lo metto assolutamente in dubbio… Il problema è mio infatti. Devo cambiare seriamente la mia mentalità perché non sono abituato a seguire uno stesso programma per più di due mesi alla volta.

Comunque la mia domanda principale è se prima non è meglio per un paio di mesi seguire un programma dove i pesi aumentano di ogni settimana e poi iniziare 5/3/1. Ne parlerò con Paul Carter quando sarà il momento, per ancora sei settimane sono in coaching con lui quindi per ora non si pone il problema :slight_smile:


If you feel that you are able to increase the weights every week or every other week, by all means, go with an approach that supports that first.

That being said, a lot of late beginners run 5/3/1 with great results. I’ve never done it myself but I’d imagine it wouldn’t have gotten it’s following if it didn’t work


I’ve been thinking about how a program that allows me to increase my weights every week could look like. I know I’m probably getting ahead of myself as I’m almost two months early to think about a new program but what can I say, I just like to fuck around with training stuff and make programs.

Here’s something I laid out PURELY for messing around but if peeps with more experience think it could actually work I might actually give it a whirl.

Day one
Squat 3x3
Dips 50 rep
Chins 50 rep

Day two
Bench 3x3
Incline db press 3x6-8
Rows 5x10

Day four
Deadlift 3x3
Dips 50 rep
Face pull 100 rep

Day five
Ohp 3x3
Db ohp 3x6-8
Rows 5x10
Laterals 100 rep

Program would be done increasing weights by 2.5-5 kg each week upon completing all the three sets with current weight.

Might run it for about 6 weeks and if I get to a decent level might start 5/3/1.

What are realistic goals to shoot for? I’m thinking

Bench 102 kg x 3 reps
Squat 140 kg x 3 reps
Deadlift 152 kg x 3 reps
Press 52 kg x 3 reps

How’s that look?


Hey man, just discovered your log, looks good! In regards to 5/3/1 it’s a great program that lots of people have success with. If you’re looking to get stronger then I’d suggest 5/3/1.

Some good looking goals too! I’m excited to see you hit these.


That’s really low volume for the lower body, but if you’re not trying to get humongous legs it’s not that big of a deal

Instead of a fixed 3x3, you could do 3x3-5 on the main lifts. (Doing, say 3x3x100kgs on week one and when you hit 3x5x100kgs you up the weight, be it in one week or a month). That way your program won’t turn into doing grindy triples and then burning out.

Also do consider how much nervous system - heavy work you can handle, if triples or fives are too draining don’t be afraid to up the rep ranges


That could be an idea but – the whole point of the program is to exploit my current low level of strength to increase the lifts as fast as possible to a decent level. I would be starting lighter than what I’m capable of doing for a true 3x3 and making increments that are small enough to allow for steady progress over a couple of months.

But I don’t know if what in theory sounds good would actually work in practice. So maybe I’m still better off following a program that’s been written by an expert. Do you know any really good programs that have the goal of increasing lifts at a fast, beginner-like rate? I know stronglifts 5x5 has just that goal but I haven’t exactly heard good things about it.


What @Danteism said was on the spot. In general rep ranges like 5-8 can still get you really strong for 3rm’s and 1rm’s and allow solid amounts of technique work if you’re still somewhat a beginner. From personal experience I found I feel strongest whenever I’m training above 3 reps and below 10 reps.
A fixed 3x3 that progressively gets heavier ideally is good, but like Dan said, if you leave it open for 3x3-5 or 3x3+ (Max Reps on last set) could lead to better strength gains. Also in regards to burning out you’re sleeping and eating needs to be on point if you plan on progressive overloading something like triples, it can beat up the body pretty quick.


that sounds like it makes a lot of sense indeed!

but then i can’t help but wonder: since 3-10 reps might very well be also the rep range people seeking hypertrophy are training in (i know i am, save for the very bottom of that range, so more like 6-10 or even 6-15), what constitutes the difference between focusing on strength gains and hypetrophy?

like i stated a million times so far, i train to be bigger, leaner, and ultimately have an awesome looking physique. but very recently i’ve come to the realization that i need to get much stronger too, because my lifts don’t look like those of a man, and i don’t like that.

so for a few months, i want to put everything else aside and focus on getting stronger, paying attention to two things:

  1. not getting fat in the process
  2. AT THE VERY LEAST maintain my muscle mass. although i know that i’ll probably add some even training just for strength.

so i’ll have to do is look for a program that allows me to increase my lifts as fast as it can get, and at my current level of strength i’d say i can add 2.5-5 kg each week to my lifts for at least a month, probably more.

anyway yeah, 3x3-5 sounds like a good idea.


You can build muscle and get stronger at the same time…