T Nation



Hello everyone. I would like to start a log to record my progress and get advice too. To introduce myself: I am going for my blackbelt in TKD in October. Weight 112 and I've always been thin but not really athletic.
Last November I decided I needed to be stronger, so I started doing bodyweight exercises and then lifting actual weights.

Today, here's where I am:
deadlift 1x3 140 bb (< first time!)
lunges 2x5 75 lb bb
bench 1x3 3x2 85 bb
row 3x5 35 dbs
squat 1x5 each 45, 50, 55, 60, 65 bb ( I know this is really low. I'm trying to get deep and I have a lot of trouble staying stable at the bottom so I am working up steadily.)

overhead press 3x2 60 bb
chinups 7 bodyweight, 1x2 1x3 with a 10 lb db between my feet
squat 1x5 each 50,55,60,65,70,75 bb (same comment as above. My best full squat ever was 90 lb)
bench 1x2, 1x3 1x2 1x1 85 bb

Any comments welcome or you can ignore me if you like!


Oh and I forgot to mention I'm 45 so if anyone wants to talk about recovery and injury prevention for older bookworms please feel free. :slightly_smiling:


Welcome! Looking forward to following your progress!


Welcome to powerful women. There are a few of us middle aged ladies here so you are in good company.


Welcome! I'll be 44 in August, so we're of a similar age!

I won't be of much acutal help, as I am a rank beginner. Only been here a few months.

Look forward to seeing your progress!


Thanks for the welcome! I did kickboxing to warm up for taekwondo this evening. I still feel like my side kick is not very powerful. But our mantra is 'continuous and never-ending improvement.' Three more months until testing!


Ah kickboxing. Cost me $30k last October.....


Awesome - I'm in TKD as well! What belt will you be testing for?


nvh: I'm going for blackbelt! Finally. Chrysalis: $30K??
This log is already helping keep me honest. I've been examining my lifting since yesterday and thinking about whether the things I am doing are helping me toward my goal of blackbelt. I really appreciate this community and have learned a lot by reading. Thanks for being here.


Yep, $30k. Tore my meniscus, which is when I discovered my ACL was completely detatched. Had to have surgery to remove 50% of the meniscus, which was totally destroyed, looked like shredded wheat, and replaced the ACL with cadaver graft.

Then I had an embolism, stopped breathing, spent three days in ICU....between the testing, ambulance, surgery, etc it was over $30k.

So no more kickboxing for me, haha. Well, not for awhile yet.


Holy crap I hope you don't get PTSD from me talking about it!
Glad you're good now.


I love this log. Snuck out of work to hit the morning TKD class. We went through a lot of breaking holds which I need more reps at. Sparring and another class this evening. I will not be skipping any classes or I'll announce it here. I loved the article today about training under stressful conditions. Very useful for a wannabe warrior.


Too cool! That's my next test, too, but I won't test until December. So, I'll be following your log closely.

What type of TKD (WTF, ATA, ITF)?


Wonderful! I wasn't sure I'd fit in here. We are WTF and definitely "sport-TKD". Our sensei also mixes in boxing and self-defense. I have sparring and then a regular curriculum class tonight.
What's your style like?


It's ITF. So our sparring (if I've got this correct) is very much hands and feet rather than the Olympic feet only style. No chest protectors, but most of the other gear (although most wear the mma-style gloves for regular sparring). Sparring tends to be continous style vice point style - we don't excel at point particularly. My instructor is toying with the idea of chest proctectors to allow knees.

Self defense is a part of the curriculum and testable. We have to know a certain amount of self defense for each test to include some knife and club defense. I'd like to have our self defense more structured (kinda like Combat Hapkido) with specific moves required at each belt level, but that may just be my love os structure speaking.


snort nah, takes a lot more than a near death experience to rock me enough for PTSD! I don't remember the actual cessation of breathing thing at all. Totally freaked my boyfriend out--he was driving the truck at the time and shook the heck out of me, probably jarring things enough that I started breathing again. I was breathing again by the time we got to the ER.

I don't recommend it.


Ok so I didn't go to class last night. I kept falling asleep at my desk and decided to take the evening off and get some sleep. I feel terrific today so I think that was a good decision. I'll go lift at ~1 PM and then head for TKD family class this evening. I'm going to focus on explosive movements today at the gym. I need more fast twitch for TKD. I usually do pullups on Fridays and each set I stare up at the bar, hating it, because I force myself to jump up to it to start. I motivate myself by swearing at it (b%$#!). The other thing I will work today between sets is jumping 360 degrees. This is prep for jump-turning kicks which I need work on.


Should have run this weekend but didn't. Need to run 5 miles for the test, and I %$@# hate running. I stalked a powerlifting gym yesterday but it turned out to be abandoned. I probably would have been too shy to ask for tips on my deadlift form anyway.

Partner pointed out that right arm is significantly smaller than left so I spent Friday's workout trying some unilateral movements not worth posting. I also did sets of jumping 360 squats in between all squat sets and did a traditional forms class Sat morning. All weekend I also chinned up to my bar and then tried to execute one-armed negatives to address the imbalance. That was fun.

Today's lifts are similar to Mondays but there is actually progression. See if you can detect the differences. This is like those puzzles for kids (spot the difference between these two pix).

Deadlift sets of 10 at 45, 65, 85, 105 lbs and then 1x5 at 140 lb. I am concentrating on glutes because I've been getting some strain in my lower back and I read an article on this site that indicated I may be failing to 'activate' my glutes.
Bench 2x3 2x2 at 85 lbs < these are really hard for me. I have to say "alligators! alligators!" to get the rep
Lunge 3x5 75 lb
Squat sets of 5 at 70, 75, 80, 85, 90

Tonight is kickboxing followed by regular class.


I miss kickboxing, sigh.....I have not gotten released to do it yet, after my surgery last fall.

My partner noticed that my left arm is noticeably shorter than my right arm.

Saying alligators helps get the rep? I will have to try that....


A friend and I were talking about force of will last week for quite some time, and we were joking about if someone held a gun to your head, could you do one more rep, if someone offered you a million dollars, etc. Then he said if someone was holding your son (he's 8) over a pool of alligators you could do one more rep for sure. So last week I tried saying Alligators! Alligators!! when I think I can't do a rep. It works! :slightly_smiling:

congrats on your 150 deadlift... you are my one to watch to motivate myself.