T Nation

Slowly but Surely


NOTE: Most recent pics on page 32-33

Alright, here we go. Wasn't going to start this until about September because I figured I'd be 'cutting', or something along those lines, until then, but I just don't want to do that anymore. Coming off a pretty successful cut, down from 197 to 178, waist has gone down 5" somehow and arms less than a half inch.

However, I'm lighter than I want to ever be, so I'm going to increase my calories a fair bit, nothing crazy, slowly gain weight until September and then increase them more. I want to go up to 220, probably with some added chub, and then stay around that weight, reducing my chub.

Chances are if I do this I won't be happy with my size, and will want to gain more, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Also want to work more on my arms, as they are definitely lagging. Basically for most of my training I worked them out at the end of the workout, half-assedly.

So, Stats/Goals:
Weight: 178 / 220.
Waist: 32" / Not going to let it get above 38.
Arms: 15" / At LEAST 17.
Leg: 24.5"
Calf: 15.5"

Training history: About 5 years :S during which I always worked hard, but reaaaally spun my wheels for a while, diet-wise. And doing some stupid training stuff too. Last year or so much, much better.
Other goal (that is really most important, just not specific): get an awful lot stronger, obviously.

Monday: Chest/hamstrings/Soleus
Tuesday: Back Width/bis
Thursday: Legs
Friday: Back thickness
Saturday: Arms

Seem to do better with a higher frequency, low(er) volume type split. Abs I usually do one exercise at the end of the day, because if I do more I cramp up sometimes. And will do some grip stuff whenever.

Some pictures coming up.


I feel ya. I was gonna start my bulk at the end of the summer then decided I didnt wanna wait no more... forget summer abs(this year).
6 days a week man, wish i could hit it that much.
Anyways good luck, I'll try to keep track of your progress.
You can check out my log at "Papa Time to Bulk"
Also, whats your age and height?


Will do man, thanks for stopping by. And yeah 6 days/week but I'm usually in and out in about 45 minutes.

Also I'm 5'9 and 20 years old (21 in August). Probably should've mentioned that.


Ugh, sick. It's not too bad but enough to keep me from sleeping much the past 2 nights. Anyway:


Bench press 135x12, 185x6, 225x3, 245x8. Very happy with this, is a PR and I haven't done flat bench press in months, and I didn't have a spot, and I felt like dump. May try 315 in a few weeks, just for kicks.

Low-incline on smith - 135x10, 185x4, 225x7.

Fly machine - 130x12, 205x5, 295x9.

Stretch out chest.

SLDL - 115x10, 165x7 - Only done these once before so was really just working on form, really feeling the stretch in my hamstrings.

Seated calf raises - 45x10, 90x10, 140x7.


Good work on the bench, 245x8. I cnt seem to get past 235x3, mental block I think.
I was wondering why you did only 1 work out for hams, then I saw you ae hitting legs on Thurs.
The first day is off to a good start, keep up those PRs.


Thanks man. I'm sure your bench will get up there soon, your bulk seems to be going pretty good so far. Hamstrings I'm not too sure about, I'll probably keep just the SLDL's there, I don't plan on working them with legs, leg day is more quad/gastroc, only because back thickness the day after I'll probably be doing rack pulls, or maybe deadlifts, and I don't want my hamstrings sore during either of those.


Back width and biceps:

Wide Grip Hammer Strength Pulldowns: 90x12, 180x6, 270x9, 200x14

Close Grip Pulldowns: 85x12, 120x6, 180x10

Cable Pullovers: 35x12, 57.5x12

Hanging Lat stretch

Preacher Curl Machine: 65x12, 125x5, 185x8

Hammer Curls: 20x12, 35x5, 50x8.

Overall very good workout. Feeling better and most of these were PR's. That lat stretch does not feel particularly good lol.



Smith seated shoulder press - 95x12, 135x5, 185x5, 155x11

Lateral Raise Machine - 70x12, 130x5, 190x7 (Probably go lighter on this next week)

Reverse fly machine - 85x12, 145x11

Dips - BWx12, BWx8, BW+100x10, drop the dumbell, x4. Really like these but my gym only has dumbells up to 100, and no dip belt thing, so don't know how much longer I'll be able to do them.

V-handle pushdowns - 35x12, 62.5x6, 95x9



Leg Press - 180x15, 360x8, 540x4, 700x6, Widowmaker- 560x21 (Still feel kinda sick from this)
Rest a while

Leg Extension - 90x12, 150x14

Calf Raise - 80x10, 120x5, 160x10

That's it, leg press widow destroyed me, but I love it.
On another note, pumped for rack pulls tomorrow.


Back Thickness

Rack Pulls (From bottom of knee) - 135x12, 225x8, strap up, 315x5, 405x2, 495x3, 405x10
Pretty happy with this, was only my second time ever doing rack pulls. On the 495 set grip was a problem even with straps, didn't set up well enough I guess.

Dumbell row - 50's x 11, 75's x 5, 100's x 6 (grip failure), 80's x 13 (straps). Not sure whether I want to wear straps with these or try not wearing them for a bit to improve grip. Will probably end up wearing straps though.

Smith Shrugs - 135 x 10, 225 x 5, 315 x 8

Awesome workout.



Close Grip Bench - 135x10, 185x5, 245x5, 205x9

Overhead Extensions With Rope - 20x15, 35x8, 50x14+9

Barbell Curl - 50x10, 80x5, 110x8

Pinwheel Curls - 30's x 10, 50's x 7 - First time doing these, not too sure about them. I seem to be weak at them though so I'll do them for a while anyway.

End of week 1 workouts. Very happy with this split. My diet this week has been quite good this week too, I've gotten a butt-ton of protein each day, I think I may need to up my overall calories a little bit though. We'll see what the scale says on Monday.


Yea I like the Split too.
After month 2 I think I might try this or a 5x5.
Just going 5x a week might be hard, but with the shorter time might be feasable

So I see are you ramping up for 3 sets, then on the fourth dropping it dowm for a higher rep.
Whats the reasoning for this?


For the exercises I do that for it's generally just to add a little more volume. For example for shoulder presses because I only have one vertical pressing movement. For pulldowns/rows I like to do a heavier set and a lighter set just to really feel myself using my back muscles for it. Leg press I've just heard good things about doing a heavy set and then a widowmaker, tried it, and love it. And for rack pulls because I really want to go heavy but I don't feel after doing 495x3 that I've done enough, and I also don't know if I could do another set that heavy. And if I get less than 6 reps on anything I'll probably do a lighter set.



Bench Press - 135x12, 185x6, 225x2, 255x7 (+10 pounds, -1 rep)

Low-Incline on smith - 135x10, 185x5, 225x8.5 (So close to 9... +1.5 reps)

Fly machine - 115x12, 205x5, 295x12 (+3 reps!)

Stretch Chest

Lying Leg Curl - 50x12, 90x6, 130x9 (Lower back was still sore from friday so I decided SLDL's probably aren't going to work here)

Seated Calf Raises - 45x10, 90x10, 140x11 (+4 reps)

Weighed in at 181 (+3 pounds)

I am excited.


Back width/bis

Wide Grip HS Pulldowns - 90x15, 180x6, 290x7 (+20 pounds, -2 reps), 230x12 (+30 pounds, -2 reps)

Close grip pulldowns - 85x12, 140x5, 200x9 (+20 pounds, -1 rep)

Dumbell pullovers - 30x12, 50x14 (Rope was being used)


Preacher Curl Machine - 65x15, 125x6, 185x9 (+1 rep)

Hammer curls - 20's x 12, 35's x 5, 50's x 10 (+2 reps)




Smith Seated Shoulder Press - 95x12, 135x5, 185x6 (+1 rep), 155x12 (+1 rep)

Lateral Raise Machine - 70x12, 115x5, 175x12 (-15 pounds, +5 reps)

Reverse Fly (Harder machine) - 50x12, 110x13 (One I used last time was taken)

Dips - BWx12, 8, BW+100x10, drop weight, x5. Could not get that damn dumbell balanced between my feet, so same reps with weight, 1 extra after drop.

V-pushdowns - 35x15, 65x5, 95x11 (+2 reps)

Good workout, felt like throwing up on the drive home, which usually only happens with leg day.



Leg Press - 180x15, 360x8, 540x5, 720x5 (+20 pounds, -1 rep), Widow-580x20 (+20 pounds)

Leg Extension - 50x12, 110x5, 170x15 (+20 pounds, +1 rep)

Calf Raise - 60x12, 120x5, 180x12 (+20 pounds, +2 reps)

Aaaand I'm spent.


Back Thickness

Rack Pulls - 135x15, 225x7, 315x5, 405x2, 495x6 (+3 reps, awesome), 425x10 (+20 pounds)

DB Row - 50's x 12, 75's x 6, 100's x 11 (+5 reps! but with straps this time)

Smith Shrugs - 135x12, 225x6, 315x9 (+1 rep)

Killing it this week.



Close-Grip Bench - 135x12, 185x5, 225x1, 245x6 (+1 rep) (Got 7 but spotter helped way too early, will not be asking him for a spot again)

Rope overhead extensions - 20x15, 35x8, 57.5 x 14+7 (+7.5 pounds)

Barbell Curl - 50x10, 80x5, 110x9 (+1 rep)

Pinwheels - 20's x 10, 35's x 5, 50's x 8 (+1 rep)

End of week 2. Best week I've had in a really long time. Keeping a log helps me a lot more than I thought it would. I'm really pumped to see how the next few months go.


The log definatly helps keep track.
Question for you. Is there a certain amount of time or pounds per week you are shooting for while reaching 220?. Since you have been a not as lean 220 pounder before, I assume it would be somewhat easier to just shoot up to 220 if you are not careful.