T Nation

Some Good News - Sharing Some Progress


#1

On my slow journey to improved fitness still. Just finished my 5th cycle of 5/3/1 and now I am going to move onto a 10x3 program from this site for the next few weeks focusing on strength endurance and weight loss since my lifts are plateauing.

I went to a follow up with my sleep doctor and I got the following stats:

Resting Heart Rate: 69BPM, down from mid 90s.

Blood Pressure: 139/92 down from mid 150s and mid to high 90s.

Waist: Not sure, I am still too big for my own comfort, but my pants fall down when I walk (40" in Nov) so I suppose that is a positive. I really need to get rid of my "side fat" though, which I had read is due to high cortisol and can be exacerbated by poor sleep.

What did I do to get these results (figure 2 months):
Interval training with the bike machine (the only machine in my gym). A ratio of 1:2 sprint distance vs walk distance for 10 minutes. I used 10:20 RPMs since I don't like using a timer. High intensity strongman training, lift a 200lb bag over a bar as many times as possible in 1 minute for 3 sets. And of course the regular 5/3/1 protocol.

Some new lifting stats (these are a month old I haven't gotten my newest numbers):
Frame Carry of 570lbs for 50 feet. Up 120lbs from November.
Overhead Press (with a push I'll admit) of 225lbs. Up about 40lbs from November.
Deadlift: Up to 375 since November (315 back then) following a 1 year break of zero deadlifting due to a back injury. 60lb increase
Squat: Actually hasn't moved from the mid 300s. It got worse somehow? Negative Change. Mid March I hit 250lbs for 10 reps pretty easily, next week I only hit it for 6 and the following week I barely hit it for 5.
Bench Press: Up to 260 from 240 in November. 20lb increase.
Atlas Stone: Hit 230 before I tore the skin on my arms because I was wearing a t-shirt like an asshole. Best I got around Christmas time was 200lbs, so a 30lb jump.

My body weight is still stuck at the mid 260's somehow. I did get a complement from my friend that my traps, shoulders and upper chest got much bigger. My dad said I lost a little weight in my face (he is usually extremely critical of me so I take that complement seriously). As I said earlier I am concerned that I have extremely bad stretch marks (they are dark purple, large and numerous), and lots of side fat. I feel like for my physical size they shouldn't be as bad as they are because I know people who are much more overweight than myself and do not have any that are so visible.

I am really hoping this 10x3 high intensity short rest period method will help shed some extra fat. I cut training days down to 2 as the program prescribes since I'm shooting for 2600kcals/day (maintenance around 3500).

Just thought Id share. Any CONSTRUCTIVE input is appreciated.


#2

Nice work. As long as you stay consistent with your diet and training you’ll keep making progress.

With regard to your squat progress you’ll have to learn when and when not to push. If you pushed hard to hit that rep PR of 250 for 10 reps, it’s reasonable that you could only get 6 and 5 reps the following weeks. That doesn’t mean you got weaker, it means you didn’t give yourself enough time to recover. And also remember that it’s fun to test your strength but you still need to spend time building it by not pushing to failure so often.

Keep it up!


#3

I was following Wendler protocol to go “all out” on the last set. I think maybe I have been pushing it a little too much though, because prior to 3 weeks ago (when I took some time off from lifting to move into my new apartment and let some sore muscles heal - I think I started developing tendonitis in my forearms) every week for the last few months since November I was hitting PR records.

I’ve never tried a 10x3 type program before so I am curious to see the results.

Ill be replacing front squats with atlas stones since I like and do strongman. I am probably also going to be using a fat bar for the RDLs too add some additional grip work. I also cant jumprope for shit since I have terrible hand eye coordination so Ill have to find something else to use for cardio.


#4

And it probably doesn’t help that my sleep is terrible. According to my doctor my breathing is stopping about 9 times an hour or every 6 minutes.


#5

First, congratulations on your progress. Sounds like you’re finding your niche as a strongman competitor.

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
And it probably doesn’t help that my sleep is terrible. According to my doctor my breathing is stopping about 9 times an hour or every 6 minutes. [/quote]

That doesn’t help at all. Sleep Apnea is a serious and potentially deadly condition. Google Reggie White for one example. You may not have full blown apnea, but you certainly have disturbed sleep. Keep working with your doctor to deal with this.


#6

Thanks!
The good news is prior to my sleep study visit I saw a heart doctor because I was getting lots of palpitations. They did an echocardiogram to check for an increased wall thickness (or other abnormalities) and ekg and determined my heart is in good shape but my blood pressure was way too high and so was my resting heart rate. I do have a slight murmur, but the doc said it is so minor it isn’t worth looking into further.


#7

Great to hear that your resting HR and BP have improved. Plain old gettin’ healthy isn’t a popular goal, but it’s kinda important.

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
I’ve never tried a 10x3 type program before so I am curious to see the results.

https://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/10-x-3-for-fat-loss [/quote]
Just remember that this is “only” two days of lifting compared to the probably-four days you’ve been doing with 5/3/1. That’s not a bad thing necessarily, just saying. You may or may not need to adjust your average daily calories accordingly.

Heads up with the atlas stones if you’re still deadlifting earlier in that same session. Might give your low back a beating, so maybe ease into them or lift them from a slightly-elevated platform if possible.


#8

Sounds like some great progress man keep it up. I have little to add to that other than something I picked up from your post regarding using a bike because its the only piece of equipment you have access to. Sounds like you took advantage of what was available for intervals and then basically just picked shit up, threw it around, repeat.

By keeping it simple and working your ass off you’ve done what it seems most people I know (outside of this forum) tend to make excuses for. I hear on a daily basis “if only we had this machine” or “if we just had this or that” If more people would just work hard with whats available to them, cut the excuses and commit to something, this world would be a better place.

My hats off to you sir. End of rant towards the locals


#9

Thanks kb, honestly the cardio was the most simple thing to commit too. I tried doing moderate paced 10 minute sessions and did not see as much improvement in my cardiovascular fitness. I found the sprints more enjoyable and productive.

The fact of the matter is even with these changes I need to lose a bare minimum of 20lbs, 30lbs and I would look really good but I don’t know if I can lose that kind of weight by September without significant strength losses. Fucked up part is docs prescribed me drugs 1-2 years ago that lead to rapid weight gain, 10lbs a month on average. I really hope these drugs didn’t do some permanent damage to my metabolism. My last dose of anything was August of last year. Needless to say, I don’t trust most doctors anymore.

I just finished week one of this 10x3 program, Ill be honest I don’t like it very much, but I think Ill give it another week and see if things turn around. I’m not as tired as I thought I would be after sessions, but I am working up a sweat. I read an article recently that high-density-high-intensity training is the best bet for fat loss, which this program satisfies.

One thing I found was the 75% 1RM weight was not feasible for me for the squats in deadlifts (this would be a weight of about 275lbs and 255 respectively) with the 45 seconds of rest. I made it to 5 sets with 255 and 7 sets with 275 before having to reduce reps or the weight. At the same time, I found this percentage was much more doable for my upper body and strangely my overhead press (1RM = 175 strict, about 230-235 with a push) out performed every lift. I did RDLs with the axle and a light weight. I can tell you my hamstrings are sore still!


#10

Well done! Keep it up! Such a good example for others.