T Nation

Starting: 5'11, 106 lb. Ending: Let's Find Out


#1


When I started I was, according to mom, 106 pounds, and I have a feeling I was less. I don't know, because I was too scared to step on the scale without all of my shit on. I was 5'11. The attached picture is me during Halloween (I'm the one in the middle) dressed as a gay zombie. The lesbian lady at Goodwill turned me down though.

I'm keeping a log so that I can't ignore the truth. It's going to be in my fucking face, because I wont have it any other way. Running is not an option.

The following notes are more for me than anyone else so that I understand my mindset right now, as well as some general backstory. Getting into it, discovering what was wrong with my routine, deciding to work on my nutrition, only to get sick and lose ten pounds and have to gain it all back. Etc., If you're not me from the future, you might not find it all that interesting, if so, skip ahead.

Hey, me. I'm writing this for you. Remember when we dropped our computer, and lost that diary we were going to keep during college? Let's not do that with our training logs okay?

The posts after this are going to show pictures and log information. Above is a picture of us during Halloween. Remember that? We went as a gay zombie with the guys. We know we could pull off zombies because we were incredibly fucking thin. Like twelve year old girls! You pussy.

I'm going to write some notes on the past six months, since that's how long it's been, before continuing. Six months! We stuck with it! This is so that you, me, us, can look back at this and figure out what the fuck I was doing before, and so that I have a snapshot of my mind. What I was thinking.

This log probably wont get updated with the same frequency as the one on our computer, but I'll try to keep it up as best I can so that hopefully, it will. The advantage of this one is since it's not in some table format, we'll be able to explain things and make notes to ourselves without the complication.

So let's begin a rundown of the last six months. I haven't done it alone. Sarah's been with me the whole way, without pressuring me or making me feel like I have to, saying "I like you skinny, but I admire your determination and didn't want to put you down" when it came up. She knows I'm thin and weak, but she's there for me and motivates me. That's a reminder, dipshit. You didn't do this alone. Don't take the fucking credit. You had people pushing you forward without feeling forced, who let you achieve that. Appreciate and respect them. Every. Fucking. One.

September: Ben took Tristan and I at the gym between September 1st and September 3rd. He had us do three different kinds of arm curls, followed immediately by dumbbell presses (all three arm curls and the press were done back to back as part of the same set) and then an odd horizontal wrist curl variation followed by ten minutes on the treadmill and a sit up machine.

I did my first curl/press clusterfuck with ten pound dumbbells. I finished the last two sets with the five pound dumbbells. I almost collapsed on the treadmill. I did 100 sit ups on the ab machine with a 30 pound resistance and was stupid enough to actually be proud. My left arm hung up, I called it the T-rex arm, for almost a week. I came home completely trashed and I was scared to drive us back from the gym.

I was instantly addicted.

October: My roommate, Max, who I would later leave for a single room, was into working out too! Perfect! Except, he was full of shit. He wanted to gain 15 pounds, at his thin weight of 140. Hey, fine. He called himself skinny (with that fatass stomach? He didn't know what word fucking meant.) I lied and told him I weighed 115. He was surprised. He knew I was thinner, but THAT much thinner? No way!

He read Men's Health. A lot of it. He wanted functional muscle. He designed a workout routine... all pushups, running, sit ups, pull ups. That's it. By December he wanted to run 4 miles a week, do hundreds of pushups, a hundred pull ups, and a hundred sit ups (he thought that was an accomplishment for some reason.) Per session. Five times a week. He did not touch weights. He wanted to be huge and ripped and muscular. Yet, he thought apple juice was worse for you than soda because it had fewer calories.

I went to the gym five times that first week, once a day every day, until I bought into that "rest period" bullshit online. I thought I had wasted my time there. I was a dumbass.

By this point, I was the worst noob possible. I did the arm curls and the wrist curls and the dumbbelll presses, back to back like Ben had showed me. Then, I did calf raises (later traded out for the calf extension machine, which is just a fancy bullshit calf raise) and went to the machines. four different press variations, only one aimed at the shoulder. FOUR. Plus the machine flys. Then leg extensions and leg curls and leg presses and side straddles (Max convinced me they were AWESOME SO COOL- yeah, he wanted to do those too) and sit ups.

I was a dipshit.

I hit 111 pounds or so by here. College food.

November: Move into a single. Max is intolerable. He went to bed at SEVEN IN THE AFTERNOON. Gets up at five. Bitching about being exhausted by three. Wont shut the fuck up. I feel like his mother. Asked for the room for seven hours so he could pork his girl. No. Fuck no.

Alone. I have so much time now that I'm alone. Brad asks me how much I can bench. I avoid the question. "More than normal." Well I thought I was right. I went onto the chest press machine and could lift 150. With maybe like, a 1/10 range of motion. I thought it counted.

Went to try free weights. Put 150 pounds on the bar. Couldn't lift it. Tried 100. No. Decided to try just the bar. Okay, that worked. added ten or twenty. Lifting it down slowly. Small range of motion. Not sure what I'm doing.

A larger guy comes towards me. "Do you need a spot?" He doesn't make fun of me. He doesn't call me weak. He just offers to help. I say "I don't really know what I'm doing." He teaches me how to bench, with just the bar. He never mocks me. He never gives me shit. He makes sure I get the ROM down. My arms are shaking. He doesn't judge at all.

This man is my hero.

I discover I am at 5.4% bodyfat.

December: I attempt to "bench 40" (I had no idea the bar weighed anything. I thought it was maybe like, 5 pounds tops. I was, as said before, retarded.) I do this with a proper ROM.

I get pinned. I lean the bar to one side. I hadn't secured the weights. They come crashing to the ground. Everyone turns to look at me. I'm an embarrassment. I get up, put the bar away, and finish the rest of my workout regardless.

I find T Nation after browsing through articles online. I just wanted to bench press properly. I begin to find answers, but I haven't gone deep enough.

My workout is still a clusterfuck of machines and curls, with pull ups in there. I start to drop the machines. I begin doing sit ups by putting a large dumbbell on my chest and doing normal sit ups (with a constrained ROM because my back hated the larger ROMs. Thank god, I chose the right exercise to fuck up for once.)

I somehow think I'm good enough at my partial rep 85 lb bench's to go into 95 pounds. Bring the weight to my chest. Get pinned again. I really should get a fucking spotter. I tilt the bar off me. Fuck. Again. The weight's secured this time (I'm not FULLY retarded! Huzzah!) so there isn't a sound to draw attention. I put the weights away.

Tristan comes to work out with me, he drove down to Corvallis. My arms are about the size of his. That's to be expected, WITH ALL THE FUCKING CURLING. He burns out before I do because "I haven't had breakfast" (what kind of dolt goes to the gym at 3 pm without having breakfast first?) but he lifts about the same. Of course, we're doing partial reps so this doesn't mean shit. His ROM is slightly lower and he does fewer reps, but he doesn't work out at all and he's close to me. Fuck.

Winter break happens and my workout scheme hits the fan. I've spent more time on TNation. I decide to adopt a starting strength variant. Incline, Overhead, and Squats one day. Squats, Deadlifts, and Bench the other. Incline was originally power cleans, but my gym is run by pussies and they "don't do those here." Fuck you. I do some wrist curls for my pathetic forearms (they did not grow relative to the rest of me, because I grip like a ten year old girl) and hang and swings for my rear delts (I want big shoulders)

January: I weigh 113. I read up on nutrition. Okay, I'll eat 4000 calories a day. My doctor had once put me on Ensure, so I'd just drink a few of those. They're calorie machines. Sure, they make me feel sick. But fuck it.

I puke.

I decide to fix my ROM on everything. Squats destroy me, I had not been properly prepared by the leg press. Then again, I have chicken legs too. I find a way to get in about 3000-4000 cals a day efficiently and figure that at my weight, it should be enough. I'll add as my stomach expands, which I'll force slowly.

I get up to 116 pounds close to the end of the month. I get sick for two weeks. I could not eat the first day, or leave the bed. Recovery was slow. By the end, I'm 111 again. Fuck. I continue coughing after being sick for some reason.

February: I begin to gain again. I get up to 115 once more. I get sick for another week. Well, at least a week. I'm still coughing a bit. I drop to 111 again. Fuck. What is with that weight level? Does it hate me? Does it?

I have a small breakdown. Why bother if I can't even hit one fucking twenty? I'm only eating between 3000-35000 cals a day. 4000 was unmanageable.

I hear starting strength (or my mutilation of it) isn't hitting all my muscles, and I decide to try another split. I've made progress, wonderful progress, but I figure if I can hit muscles I typically ignore, they might grow quicker and this will give me bigger mass gains, and reduce the amount of time I spend fixing muscle imbalances.

At this point I can bench 95 lb for 3 reps with a full ROM. I'm fairly certain I can do 105 for 3 as well, but I pussied out on the 3rd rep because I didn't have a spotter, and that flicker of uncertainty fucked it up. I've gotten stronger. I'm going to keep getting stronger. The only one stopping me is me.

As of Friday, I weigh 111 dry, and 113 soaking. Levels that anorexics struggle to achieve but I flaunt it easily. It's probably because of my incredibly thin frame, even people who guess low have always put me ten or twenty pounds larger, because I don't resemble a zombie (compared to a normal person, I would be lucky to be a bodybuilders skeleton.) Not clothed, anyway. My hands are the size of a girls, if she were half a foot smaller than me. My feet are around size 9's. My forearms are twigs. I've never been pencilnecked though, at least, certainly not considering my weight, so if I put on some long sleeves and walk with good posture, others don't have to notice.

It's definitely gotten better since going to the gym. I had absolutely no chest development before. Nothing. I look fleshed out. People are noticing.

Let's fucking change that. In the past two months I've lost about 7-8 pounds and then gained it all back. I can do a pound a week at this. I can get bigger.

I'm still recovering from that bad back acne. The scars are beginning to fade, but hot damn there are a lot of them. If you're easily disgusted skip it. But I'm posting the pictures anyway. I'm not going to withhold them because I'm scared or disgusted by what I see. Time to man up.

Few things I've learned, or just genuinely believe without evidence: A good routine is one that works. People can tell you what exercises to add in to hit certain muscles, and what works for them, but if you're growing, you're growing. Some things work for some people and some don't. People have varying needs. If something seems "too hard" or looks like you're overdoing it, it's probably perfect. I believe the human body adopts to stress, and that the harder you blast at it, the better. I believe you can go to the gym twice in the same day and it'll aid results.

Don't give up on a routine unless you have to. Maybe it doesn't hit all of your muscles, or hit them all well, well, fine. Give it a couple months though, and see if you're making progress in some area. Those first few months were a clusterfuck of me adding and removing things and it didn't work.

Do a full of ROM, it works wonders. I spent all of January and half of February trying to legitimately reach that 95 lb bench because I was so used to half reps. After I nailed it, I got 105 two weeks later and began seeing the lift grow. After bringing my squats down to 115, they soared up to about 135 at an incredibly rapid pace (I was doing squats every day though) while being my ONLY leg movement.

Don't bother adding a bunch "small shit like wrist curls" unless you need it. If you want big forearms, grip the bar, don't complicate your logs or training procedure.

Pull ups absolutely hate me. I can do them, but there's always something wrong. No energy, my tricep hurts for whatever fucking reason, etc., I'll get you fuckers down though. Watch me. I'm not scared of you anymore.

Canned foods kick ass.

Abs suck.

I CAN gain weight, but I lose it very quickly. This is going to be hard.

Going to the gym (I hesitate to call myself a bodybuilder as I don't believe I've really earned it) is the hardest thing I've ever done and it was a mistake of me to ever think it was anything else for the people that did go.


#2

Pictures before bed. Tomorrow's a Tuesday, so I'll get all the joys of seven hours of classes and an early morning wake up time.


#3

Today's workout:

Overhead press: 65 lbs x3
1 Set
Went back and did several sets at 55 lbs to get in respectable volume, since I can't approach with proper intensity it seems.

Bench Press: 105 lbs x3
1 Set
I'm getting very close to working up to my bodyweight for 3 on the bench. The last rep was incomplete because I panicked a bit. I should get a spotter, or get bigger. Or both. This is a new PR for me, which I'm going to try to make a standard.

Incline Press: 85 lbs x3
1 Set
Less than usual, but I was exhausted after the two previous lifts and didn't want to push it.

Dumbbell Curls: 25 lbs x 3
5 sets
God curls bring back memories. Fixing my form as best I can on these babies, since I kind of fucked up form a lot while starting, and I curled a bunch then too.

Skullcrushers: 25 lbs x 3
2 Sets
Oddly my left tricep got wasted, while my right tricep felt nothing. It's possible my right contributes too much, considering how my left tricep sometimes gets pained after a few pullups. Hopefully that'll fix that. I'm going to have to take care as to make sure it's not sloppy form.

These are final numbers. Numerous "warm up" sets of 3 were done at smaller weights, progressing up to the numbers displayed above.

Ran to the gym in the rain at 10:30 PM. Pitch black. Freezing. Realized I'm still dedicated. Felt better. Legs still hurt from leg day yesterday, which is wonderful. Tomorrow's the off day with all the classes.

Still a bit sick. Need to get better. Sleep more. Grow.


#4

This brings back memories of 2 years ago when I started

Eat everything. I mean everything. Don't worry about fat gain right now as long as you are progressing it will be minimal You look exactly like I did


#5

Thanks for that post, I like hearing that I'm not the only one who started abnormally thin, it motivates me to try harder. If other people can do it, then I can't bullshit myself with "it's impossible, I'm a lost cause," I can only hold myself accountable and push through the shitty spots.

I had to take yesterday off to finish a school project, so I ended up with two off days rather than one. Tomorrow's when I switch from intensity to volume, which sucks shit because tomorrow I'm doing legs.

Cable Crunches: 77.5 lb x3
1 Set
After all the coughing and the deadlifts prior to this, my bas were fucked up before I even started. I need to get a lifting belt so I can do these properly, but I'm waiting to add some size so I don't look like a dumbass. Until then I'll stick with my current mutation.

Shrugs: 125 lb x3
1 Set
I have yet to figure out if those barbell dumbbell abominations at my gym are 100 pounds like they read on the sides, or 200 because each side is 100 pounds, or 245 because they're on barbells, or 235 because they're not full length barbells or what, and I'm too embarrassed to ask. I used the "100" barbell dumbell thing for like, 5 reps but went "fuck this" and went to the EZ-curl bars and loaded one up. I'll probably have to go back to doing these in the squat rack simply because of the plate set up in the gym. I just feel so bad, it's such a "no curls in the squat rack" thing to do.

Pull Ups: 8/5/4
No pain in the triceps this time, which is fantastic, and I got a decent number of them done.

Dumbbell Bent Over Rows: 40 lb x3
4 Sets
I am absolutely positive I'm somehow fucking these guys up because 40 lb dumbbells are large relative to everything else I do, but we'll see when I switch to volume.

Deadlifts: 165 lb x3
1 Set
New PR. My legs were shaking like a motherfucker. I set the 155 max (up from my previous 135 max) just two weeks ago. I'll be deadlifting twice my weight in no time. Deadlifts are just exhausting, they're so wonderful and scary. One underhand and one overhand is amazing.


#6

Alright, it's Friday. That means weight check and volume/intensity swapping.

Today's recorded weight:
115.6 lb pre-workout
116.0 lb post-workout
Average: 115.8 lb

(difference being water weight)

Last week's recorded weight:
113.2 lb pre-workout
113.1 lb post-workout
Average: 113.15 lb

Both were afternoon workouts, so I'm working with wet numbers.

Net gain: 2.65 lbs

Now today I was doing legs, which terrifies me because I hadn't tried volume legs to this degree before.

Back Squat: 95 lb x 10
3 Sets
This is a step up from my previous 85 lb back squat on high volume days. I'm getting somewhere. Knees are trying to point inwards but as long as I focus I can force them not to. Hopefully that'll go away over time, I just have to watch my form until then.

Front Squat: 85 lb x 10
3 Sets
Doing two kinds of squats in one day is absolutely brutal. Doing two kinds of squats on one day when it's a volume day is devastating. To say my knees were shaking doesn't even begin to capture what was going on with me. I'm now more weight and twice the volume as my former squat days, which should make up for the fact I'm no longer squatting every day.

Sumo Leg Press: 130 lb x 10
3 Sets
I'm not going to lie, this wasn't difficult at all. I use the horizontal leg press machine for now, to track my growth better- I plan on switching to the vertical free-weight based leg press when I can leg press more, as it's only equipped with 35 and 45 pound weights so small growth is hard to measure, and I'm not as comfortable with it yet. My knees were shaking horribly due to how bad squats fucked my legs, but I couldn't really feel this workout in my hamstrings at all. I'm going to increase the weight on this one next time.

Butterfly (Abduction/Adduction) Machine: 7 plates Abductors, 8 plates Adductors x 10
3 Sets
I use plates rather than pounds because this is another machine, but also because it's a Galileo machine which means that even though they claim "every plate weighs 20 pounds" I have trouble believing that my adductors are capable of moving 360 pounds for reps on a heavy day. I like the machine regardless because I can feel the muscles working and it leaves me very sore.

Hip Extension Machine: 70 lb x 10
3 Sets
Like the leg press, I became aware that the weight wasn't high enough to properly hit the muscle, but also like the leg press, my knees were shaking so badly I was terrified I wouldn't be able to make it if I want higher. I did feel it slightly, but next time I'm going to bump the weight on the Hip Extensions.

Despite a subpar performance on the machines, squats absolutely destroyed me and I'm absolutely certain I'll be walking funny tomorrow, and I did get some decent abductor/adductor work in which means that today should still be a success, as squats are incredibly compound.

I found out today that I've been suffering from bronchitis for the last 6 weeks. Bronchitis has stolen about 10 pounds from me. I am going to destroy it. I'm on 3 different prescriptions, all of which hit the symptoms rather than disease, which apparently I have to depend on my immune system to fuck over. Since it's a Friday, most of my high calorie options in the cafeteria were gone, as Friday means the meat and burger place vanish, so I'm going to have do some heavy compensation later- especially since I missed Dinner (although calorically, I came out on top of my options by eating chocolate bars and drinking milk. That's horrible isn't it?)

I'm out of juice and about to run out of milk, so I'm going to have to go shopping this weekend. We'll see if the weather allows it. Let's try to hit about 118 by next week.


#7

I would fit in a major hamstring movement in for your leg day. When I started, squats, romanian deadlifts and leg press was my order. Couple of sets with a back off set in each. Took about 45 minutes and my legs would be toast

And yeah started at 103 pounds 5 foot 10/11, now 182 pounds 2 years later. Just eat like a bloody pig and ignore any negative comments that come your way


#8

What would you recommend for hamstrings? I was thinking leg curls, as I used to do them back when I was doing damn near every machine in the gym (the good old novice days of I HAVE TO HIT EVERYTHING NOW ARDGHSKLDGA), and I actually really felt them working. I'm just scared they're the leg press of hamstring exercises (useful, but overshadowed by squats.)

I considered doing a DL variant but since I do legs after I do back and ab work, my lower back is usually still sore, and since I'm doing two kinds of squat movements, I want something a little less compound. It's likely I'll replace the sumo leg press for that reason.

You really were just as skinny as I am. Well then, I definitely have to catch up. If you could make it to your 180s after two years, then it's possible for me to do the same. I have to get bigger then, there's no excuse for failure.

I also wanted to add, I really appreciate your comments so far. When I first started going to the gym, I really thought I had no hope of ever getting big, and "getting average" would be the most I could settle for. Posters like you and Professor X have really helped change that view and keep me in the game, even when my gains were slow and I was stumbling about in the dark.

I'm about to go to the gym after taking my sudofed, so I'll update this post with today's logs. I'm doing upper body again.

Edit- Today's log
Overhead Press: 55 lb x 10/x5/x3
1 Set/2 Sets/1 Set
I had forgotten today was a volume day, so I ended up ramping up to 65 lb and doing 2 sets of 3 (which is great as I normally can only get in one set, and I felt like I could do more sets too!) Then I remembered it was volume and scaled back. All said and done though, I still got in about 30 reps, and lifted more total volume than I normally would have so I'm not too upset by that.

Bench Press: 75 lb x 10/x7
2 Sets/1 Set
I'm a little surprised I could do it. My arms were completely wasted after this.

Incline Press: 65 lb x 7/x3
1 Set/ 1 Set
I couldn't do it. My arms had been hammered too hard earlier. They still feel like they're about to burst. I'm either going to have to do the traditional 5 day split (I was planning on avoiding this until I knew more, and had gained some more weight) or I'm going to have to rough it and force myself to adapt to the stress (which I might end up doing instead.)

Dumbbell Curls: 15 lb x10
3 Sets
Leaned against a wall so I didn't cheat. This brought back memories. Curling 15 lbs by December was my original goal. I was "curling" 25 lbs by then, but doing it with shitty form. I could probably curl more, but not after the compound movements.

Skullcrushers: 15 lb x 10
3 Sets
Felt it in both arms which is good. A nice way to end the day- difficult but not devastatingly so. My triceps might be getting a bit overworked when all's said and done though.

This Friday (my switch day) I'm going to re-evaluate my split and see what needs to be changed and what I can cope with. The volume work is beginning to show me that I may need to up my splits, but I'm hesitant because I'm not too experienced with exercise selection, and because my body is weak so I don't know how many, say, shoulder movements I could do in one day before completely burning out. The split WILL be increased when I hit 140 lbs regardless because I think that eventually, you need to move away from depending on just the big lifts and work the entire body, and I think 140 is a decent weight for me to start doing that.


#9

Your split doesn't matter. Eat a ton, make sure you're gaining weight every month ( don't measure every day) and you can see a difference in the mirror and that you're putting weight on the bar. If you can do a set of 10 or 8 up the weight; you'll be surprised how quickly you can progress!

I like RDLs because done properly they give me a massive stretch in the hamstrings while also working my lower back and lats quite well. I've never met a leg curl machine that didn't cause me pain.

Just keep going. Ignore any negative comments and focus on getting in your meals. Eat reguarly until you're sick of the sight of food and feel sick. This was the only way I knew I'd eaten enough. I know most people say that there's no such thing as a 'hardgainer' but I know that's the only way that I can put on weight - eat until I feel physicaly sick. I'm sure it's the way for you as well.


#10

I'm just worried that I'll burn out too frequently and not progress on some exercises, but I'll try not to change my split and stick with it for a few more months then.

I'll see about lowering the reps in favor of sets. I just want to do a lot of reps overall because I find that gets me sorest (with the exception of deadlifts, that don't care how many times I lift the bar because I'm coming out sore.) I'll also try to do something about my hamstrings.

Food is definitely the ultimate factor. I didn't pay attention to my nutrition at all up until January, and I didn't gain any weight either. Now, I'm eating about 30 cals/lb and it's showing. If I can't get that through my regular meals for whatever reason, I'll open up the nearest available jar of peanut butter and eat half of it which is unpleasant to say the least, but gets results. Until then I have to basically train myself to eat more, and to eat more frequently, because my food intake is so much higher than it used to be, and it's going to have to keep growing from here.


Edit: Training Logs for today

Deadlifts: 115 lb x 5
6 Sets
I need to up the weight. A month back I'd get destroyed doing 3 sets of 10 reps at 95 lb. I feel like my deadlift form is improving, my grip feels stronger, and I didn't get as crushed as I usually do.

Shrugs: 115 lb x 5
6 Sets
This was also too easy. I need to up the weight.

Pull Ups: 12/6/6
I've been stuck only getting 8 reps on my first "set" for a while. Breaking that felt great.

Dumbbell Bent Over Rows: 20 lb x 10
3 Sets
I really felt my back muscles working, so I think I'm getting the form down. I feel like a x5 for 6 sets scheme would let me accomplish a lot more though.

Cable Crunches: 67.5 lb x 5
6 Sets
It's funny, the muscle I think I really crushed the most is abs, and that's never been the case.

In general I felt a lot stronger today than I have in a while. Can't wait to do legs again tomorrow.


#11

Keep up the good work man and keep eating!!!


#12

Thanks :slight_smile:

Logs for today

Butterfly: Adductors 14 plates x5, Abductors 12 plates x5,
6 Sets each
Started the day with these because all the squat racks were taken. I deserve it for going late. I'll have to start waking up earlier. I'm still a bit confused as to which are adductors and which are abductors so if my abductors suddenly start overpowering my adductors and swapping occurs, be aware. (Adductors are the ones on the inside, I think.)

Back Squats: 115 lb x5/ 105 lb x5
3 Sets / 3 Sets
Scaled back because my ROM was lacking on the bodyweight squats. I learned to do a warm up set, because when I forgot to for squats, pain shot down through my spine into my lower back, which is sore from a combination of deadlifts and general still being sick. (Also, probably from sitting down for so long.) They stopped bothering me after the second set but have left a dull ache.

Front Squats: 95 lb x5
2 Sets
I couldn't keep going. I'm not upset at my failure to rep the shit out of these, as they're still, well, more fucking squat reps, and I really shouldn't expect to do 60 squat reps so close to my 3RM.

Romanian Deadlifts: 95 lb x 5/ 115 lb x5
1 Set/ 2 Sets
I tried these out. I could feel them working my glutes and hams slightly, but I'm not sure if I'm doing them right yet and I'm sure my form is probably off. My legs were also shaking so bad by this point that putting the weight on the bar was difficult, and with my sore back I wasn't sure if I could add a lot of weight. I'm going to try leg curls next time and see if they're easier. If not, I might substitute Deadlifts for Romanians on my back/abs/neck/core or whatever day so that I'd have hams and glutes fairly worked by that point, and then add calf extensions to fill the void of squats and butterflies.


#13

The way I do romanians is first take the weight out the rack. Keep your feet about as wide or slightly wider than shoulder width stance. Then push your arse back, keeping a flat neutral spine and head up. You might lean slightly onto your heels. All the stress should be on your hamstrings then explode up. Here's a good video


#14

That was very helpful, I'll try that again next leg day with the proper form.

I'm going to update this post with today's training logs. It'll be a while, it's me and my girlfriend's anniversary today and I have a big project due in school, so I'll have to hit the gym late (which is unfortunate because it's a college gym, it's busiest late.)

Edit: Today's gym visit had to be canceled, unfortunately. I'll resume proper visiting tomorrow.


#15

Today's logs:

Incline Bench Press: 75 lb x5/x4
3 Sets/1 Set
I decided to start on the Incline since I colossally fucked it up last time (also, all the normal bench presses were taken.) I'm finding that a short pause at the bottom works my chest better.

Bench Press: 85 lb x4/x3 75 lb x5/x3
1 Set/1 Set/1 Set/2 Sets
I was cutting it a bit close to my 3RM with the 85 lb sets, considering I usually only hit 95 lb, so I should've figured I was going too heavy and dropped it earlier. My arms already felt wasted after the Incline though. the bar felt a lot heavier than I thought it would, as though I had forgotten how it felt to lift, but raising it was easier than I thought. It's possible that using a spotter, I might be able to lift heavier more consistently than I thought I was capable of. Next week I go back home for Spring Break, and I'll be working out with Ben a lot, hopefully, so I'll test that then.

Overhead Press: 45 lb x5/x4
3 Sets/1 Set
After my 3rd set I tried to bump it up to 55 lb but I couldn't raise it at all. The Overhead isn't as exhausting as either the Bench or the Incline, and definitely lower than Deadlifts or Squats, but I find it the most difficult.

Dumbbell Curls: 20 lb x5
4 Sets
Couldn't even lift the 25 lb dumbbells today. This was disappointing because I felt weak all throughout the workout, and that certainly didn't help, but I should know better than to let this bother me.

Skullcrushers: 20 lb x5/x4
2 Sets/1 Set
I tried a single rep on my first set with 25 lb dumbbells and the exercise almost lived up to it's name. I'm primarily a triceps lifter, so this exercise might be overkill, but I'm hoping to pump out whatever's left of my triceps and force them to grow bigger. I also love the way I can feel the muscle working.


#16

Weight Day, and switch from volume to ramping/intensity.

Today's recorded weight:
115.3 lb pre-workout
115.7 lb post-workout
Average: 115.5 lb

(difference being water weight)

Last week's recorded weight:
115.6 lb pre-workout
116.0 lb post-workout
Average: 115.8 lb

Last week's weight was later than this week's, closer to the latest time of food consumption (if not directly after, whereas today's weight was recorded after shitting, while hungry at the gym, after cycling for a while in order to fetch water from a grocery store, etc.,) so this was expected, and isn't getting me down.

Net gain: -0.3 lbs

Dumbbell Bent Over Rows: 35 lb x3
4 Sets
I've got the form down a bit better on these. Circumstances forced me to do them first, which isn't an issue, I just like starting with Deadlifts.

Deadlifts: 155 lb x3
1 Set
I was trying to break my earlier record, but couldn't even reach it today. That's fine. My back was bothering me throughout the week so I decided to pay a lot more attention to my form- turns out my back was beginning to round on the first rep, until I got it all the way up. After cycling, I'm glad the difference was only 10 pounds.

Pull Ups: 7/2/1
Left delt bothered me a bit. Felt like it was going to pop, or get painful under strain, and my lats were generally disagreeing with me. That's fine, it'll go back up soon.

Cable Crunches: 72.5 lb x3
1 Set
I got one rep at 77.5 lb, but pooped out afterwards.

Shrugs: 180 lb x3
4 Sets
I found the shrugging mechanism thing today. I'd always used a barbell. I'm going to call the shrugging mechanism thing a shrugger, because I don't know what it was actually called, and I only found they existed after seeing one in a video and going THAT'S WHAT THOSE THINGS DO SHIT. I think I can go higher, but the only plates on the damn machine are 45s and I don't think I can go 90 lbs higher. Maybe like, 30. If that.


#17

Back Squats: 135 lb x 3
1 Set
Last time I tried this I failed. I knew I couldn't go higher but I didn't feel as wasted as usual.

Front Squats: 115 lb x 3
1 Set
I am awful at front squats, my elbows just don't want to stay up. My legs weren't shaking at the end of these which is a pleasant change, and I knew I had more exercises to get to.

Romanian Deadlifts: 165 lb x3
1 Set
Didn't feel it much in my hamstrings and glutes at all, but my grip strength was beginning to fail me. I may need to some direct forearm work, which may bring up my standard deadlift. I'm certain it's because my form is probably off.

Prone Leg Curls: 90 lb x 3
1 Set
I think I'll stick with leg curls, I just felt it a lot more and I think it'll be less tiring.

Adductors: 16 Plates x 3
1 Set
--

Abductors: 13 plates x3
1 Set
--

Hip Extensions: 150 lb x3
1 Set
I do these one leg at a time. Felt it in the glutes, but I'm not sure if this is a really efficient exercise for them. I have some other glute workouts in mind, but I'm waiting to put on sixty-eighty pounds so I seem more like I know what I'm doing and less like a depraved pervert.


#18

Here's my advice, for whatever it's worth. I think you'd be better off cutting back on your frequency, especially if you're ill. Hard training depresses the immune system, so if you try to train through sickness you just end up prolonging it. Take a week totally off from training, but keep up with the eating. When you start back up, do only three workouts a week. You build muscle during recovery from training and you're just not allowing enough time between workouts to recover. You'd also be better off just keeping it simple starting out and focusing on getting really strong on the basic compound lifts. The isolation exercises are just using up energy and recovery ability that would be much better spent on compound lifts. (So basically I'm saying ditch everything but squats, deadlifts, overhead press, chinups/pullups, and some form of bench press.) Here's a program that is specifically designed to put mass on hardgainers.

You will work out 3 non-consecutive days per week. The program has two workouts. Youâ??ll rotate them A-B style. So the first week you do A,B,A on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the following week you do BAB on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Do three work sets of each exercise, 5-8 reps per set. Never go to failure on any sets. You should always end each set at the point where you could do 1 or 2 more reps if you had to. Stay at the same weight until you can get 3 sets of 8, then add 5 - 10 lbs and start over doing 3x5.

Workout A: Squat, Bench Press, 1 Arm Row
Workout B: Deadlift, Chinup, Overhead Press

I know it doesn't seem like enough work, but cutting back will allow much better recovery, and better performance on the exercises that will have the biggest impact. Stick with this for at least 3 months and see where it takes you.


#19

I was about to post saying I had to skip today to study for finals when I saw your comment. Thanks for it, it's really helpful. I didn't know that training depressed the immune system (which would explain why I've been sick for two weeks longer than I should have been.) I'll definitely take the week off.

I'll wait for a second or third opinion before changing to the two day split (not that I don't value yours, I'm just curious as to what others think.) It's a really simple workout which is great, and doesn't take too much time to do so I can be in and out more quickly.


#20

Was at the gym yesterday.

I went with a friend, so the workout wasn't ideal or anything, we were showing each other various exercises, so I can't name all the exercises, nor am I totally sure what the exact numbers were for the weights.

Overhead Press: 65 lb x 3
3 Sets
Started off with the overhead. Sometimes I missed the 3rd rep, sometimes I got it.

Decline Bench Press: 95 lb x 3
1 Set
We ramped me up to 95 lb. I may have needed him to help me finish on a rep or two.

Flat Bench Press: 105 lb x 3
1 Set
He helped me finish my reps here. I may have been too exhausted to chase after 105 lb. I did successfully do 95 lb though.

Skullcrushers: 20 lb x 8
3 Sets
He likes to do Skullcrushers with only dumbbell, so I tried that with a single 20 and a single 30 lb dumbbell. I feel it more with two though.