Statistical Progression

Background

I see many comments telling people who are asking several questions to start a log. I feel like I am beginning to ask a lot of questions and since the T-ransformation Challenge is coming up, I thought I would begin a log.

I am 35yo, 5’6”, and about 163 lbs.

I have a background in endurance sports (e.g., triathlons, 5ks, and mountain bike racing) as an adult (post-high school).

I have done cross-fit for a few months prior to my wedding and otherwise I have only done running biking and suspension/bodyweight work (I’ll post my 6 month suspension workout plan in another post for anyone interested in suspension type work).

My goals are to increase size and strength.

Nutrition

My diet is basically some combination of the following for each meal…

Meats: Chicken, tuna, pork, beef, wild game (squirrel, rabbit, deer, etc.)

Vegetables: Bean, greens (anything green really), carrots, tomatoes (could be under fruit), avocado (might be a fruit), potatoes, and squash

Grains: Cream of wheat, wheat and white bread, quinoa, brown and white rice, lentils, granola, oats

Dairy: Milk, Greek yogurt (low/no fat), cheese (occasionally)

Fruit: Peaches, pears, oranges, apples, watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, bananas

Other things I sometimes eat: Kolaches, cookies, cereal (Life and Honey Bunches of Oats), canned condensed soups

Supplements: Whey and Casein Protein, Amino Acids, Pre-workout

My 10-day average caloric intake is approximately 2673kcal. According to my Mifflin St. Jeor Equation calculation, my BMR with sedentary lifestyle (BMRx0.2) is 1943kcal. I chose sedentary because I sit at a computer for work. I also did this by hand and verified it. I add my exercise into the equation using Cronometer. By visual inspection, I eat about 2400 calories 4 days a week (rest days) and about 3000 calories 3 days a week (workout days). If you take (2400x4 + 3000x3) / 7 it will come out to about 2657, which is pretty much what my 10 day average shows.

My 6 day macro average split for those calories is Carbs – 49%; Protein – 27%; Fat – 23%. I am shooting for a 50/30/20 split. This gives me about a 1-1.2g of protein per pound of bodyweight average. If you are wondering how I got there: 2673 (kcal) x 0.27 (27%protein) / 4 (approx. kcal per gram of protein) = 180g of protein and I weigh 163ish. Why more carbs than fats? I like eating carbs more than fats. I don’t really have a better reason than that. Why 50/30/20? It is easy to remember and seems as good as other splits (e.g., 40/40/20, 40/30/30, 50/40/10, etc.).

Workouts

From April through October I trained using a TRX type suspension system to burn fat, build a little muscle, but mainly create a workout habit.

Starting in November, I began hitting the gym.

My program is the “How to Build Muscle Naturally: An Unexpected Plan” posted on T Nation by Stuart McRobert. I chose this plan because it fit my lifestyle, schedule, and natural-ness. I compared about three different programs. Of course there are others out there, but I want to give this one a shot for the 33 weeks and then go from there. I am sticking to it pretty strictly so I can maximize the validity of my comparisons from week to week. I can also make comparisons with my nutrition when my workout plan is strict and standardized.

The plan boils down to this:

  • Stage 1
    • Two workouts (upper body and lower body)
    • Three workouts a week (e.g., MWF), alternating between the two (some weeks you will hit the same body section twice a week; sometimes once a week
    • Two warm up sets, two working sets
    • First working set 6-8 reps. If you fail before 8 reps, repeat weight. If you make 8 reps increase in weight next time.
    • Second working set 10-12 reps. If you fail before 12 reps, repeat weight. If you make 12 reps increase in weight next time.
    • The only caveat is carved out for calves, which is 10-12 and 18-20 for the working sets.
    • Do this for 10 weeks and then take a week off.
  • Stage 2
    • Same principle as in Stage 1, but the workouts change to two near full body workouts and only twice a week. So, basically, you will do the same two workouts each week, but only once.
    • Do this for 10 weeks and then take a week off.
  • Stage 3
    • Same as Stage 2, but now do three workouts every two weeks. For instance, you would workout Monday and Friday on Week 1 and Wednesday on Week 2 and Monday and Friday on Week 3, etc.

I will say, sometimes if I’m feeling good on my last working set, I’ll go beyond 12 until I hit failure (e.g., Week 2, Wednesday, lateral raise). I have also done this for my 3rd working set, but I’m going to quit doing that because it takes away from my ability to get the reps in my last set (e.g., Week 3, Friday, overhead press) and I want to tighten up my adherence to the program so I can have a good valid week to week comparison for the sake of progression.

Below are my workouts up until this point.

Notation: reps x pounds

Order: Warm-up set 1, Warm-up set 2, Heavy work set, Less heavy work set

Week 1

Monday

Bench - 8x95, 8x115, 8x150, 12x135

Pull up (narrow grip; reps only) - 8, 8, 8, 8

Seated Back Supported Overhead Press - 10x20, 10x25, 6x42.5, 4x37.5 (went too heavy)

Chest Supported Row - 10x35, 10x40, 5x55, 12x45

Lateral Raise - 8x10, 8x10, 6x22.5, 11x17.5

Curl (Incline Dumbbell curl) - 10x10, 10x12.5, 8x30, 8x20

Slight Decline Triceps Extension w/ Dumbbells - 10x10, 10x15, 5x25, 9x20

Wednesday

Squat - 7x125, 7x125, 8x160, 12x140

Calf Raises/Extensions (dumbbells in hand on a raised box – note I figured out we had a machine at a later date) - 10x35, 10x40, 19x75, 19x65

RDL - 6x125, 6x135, 6x215, 10x175

Leg Curl (machine) - 6x50, 6x70, 8x110, 10x110

Crunch sit-up (weighted) - 8x10, 8x10, 8x25, 12x25

Friday

Bench - 6x95, 6x115, 9x155, 8x140

Pull up (narrow grip; reps only) - 8, 8, 8, 8

Seated Back Supported Overhead Press - 6x20, 7x22.5, 8x42.5, 10x35

Chest Supported Row - 7x35, 6x40, 8x55, 10x50

Lateral Raise - 6x12.5, 8x10, 6x22.5, 11x17.5

Curl (EZ bar curl) - 8x30, 6x40, 11x70, 9x60

Slight Decline Triceps Extension w/ Dumbbells - 6x10, 6x15, 8x25, 12x20

Week 2

**********Decided to use 6 reps as my warm up rep #. It seems to give me a good warmup and I want to keep it consistent.

Monday

Squat - 6x125, 6x125, 8x165, 12x145

Calf Raises/Extensions (dumbbells in hand on a raised box – note I figured out we had a machine at a later date) - 10x35, 10x40, 15x80, 20x70

RDL - 6x135, 6x135, 6x220 (grip failure), 10x175

Leg Curl (machine) - 6x50, 6x70, 6x130, 10x110

Crunch sit-up (weighted) - 6x10, 6x10, 8x25, 12x25

Wednesday

Bench - 6x95, 6x115, 9x160, 7x140

Pull up (wide grip; reps only) - 6, 6, 5, 5

Seated Back Supported Overhead Press - 6x20, 6x25, 7x45, 8x35

Chest Supported Row - 6x35, 6x40, 8x60, 11x50

Lateral Raise - 7x10, 7x10, 9x22.5, 13x17.5

Curl (EX bar) - 8x30, 8x40, 8x75, 11x60

Slight Decline Triceps Extension w/ Dumbbells - 6x10, 6x15, 2x27.5 (dropped to 25 for a set of 6 more), 0x22.5 (dropped to 20 for a set of 10)

Friday

Squat - 6x95, 6x125, 8x170, 12x150

Calf Raises/Extensions (found the machine!) - 10x60, 10x100, 12x160, 20x120

RDL - 6x135, 6x145, 8x215, 10x175(grip failure)

Leg Curl - 6x50, 6x70, 8x130, 12x110

Crunch sit-up (weighted) - 6x10, 6x10, 12x30, 14x25

Week 3

Monday

Bench - 6x95, 6x115, 7x165, 10x130

Pull up (wide grip; reps only) - 6, 6, 7, 6

Seated Back Supported Overhead Press - 6x20, 6x25, 8x45, 10x35

Chest Supported Row - 5x35, 6x40, 6x65, 11x50

Lateral Raise - 6x10, 6x10, 6x25, 10x20

Curl (EX Bar) - 6x30, 6x40, 7x80, 12x60

Slight Decline Triceps Extension w/ Dumbbells - 6x10, 6x15, 7x25, 10x20

Wednesday

Squat - 6x95, 6x125, 8x175, 12x155

Calf Raises/Extensions (machine) - 6x60, 10x100, 12x160, 20x140

RDL - 6x135, 6x145, 7x220 (grip failure), 12x190

Leg Curl - 6x50, 6x70, 3x150 (dropped weight to 130 to get 9 reps total), 12x110

Crunch sit-up (weighted) - 6x10, 6x15, 10x35, 10x30

Friday

Bench - 6x95, 6x115, 8x165, 9x130

Pull up (wide grip; reps only) - 8, 7, 4, 4

Seated Back Supported Overhead Press - 6x20, 6x25, 9x47.5, 11x35

Chest Supported Row - 6x35, 6x40, 6x65, 12x50

Lateral Raise - 6x10, 6x10, 8x25, 12x20

Curl (EZ bar curl) - 6x30, 6x40, 8x80, 10x65

Slight Decline Triceps Extension w/ Dumbbells - 6x10, 6x15, 8x25, 10x20

Week 4

Monday

Squat - 6x95, 6x125, 9x180, 12x160

Calf Raises/Extensions (machine) - 10x60, 10x100, 12x180, 20x160

RDL - 6x135, 6x145, 8x225, 11x195

Leg Curl - 6x50, 6x70, 8x140, 12x110

Crunch sit-up (weighted) - 6x10, 6x15, 8x37.5, 12x30

Wednesday

Bench - 6x95, 6x115, 8x170, 12x130

Pull up (wide grip; reps only) - 8, 7, 6, 5

Seated Back Supported Overhead Press - 6x20, 6x25, 8x50, 13x35

Chest Supported Row - 6x30, 6x45, 7x65, 10x55

Lateral Raise - 6x10, 6x10, 6x27.5, 8x22.5

Curl (EZ bar curl) - 6x30, 6x40, 8x80, 11x65

Slight Decline Triceps Extension w/ Dumbbells - 6x10, 6x15, 5x27.5, 12x20

Here are my progression charts over the first 3.5 weeks. I only used my working sets because warm up sets can be manipulated to fit my warm up and working sets are where progression can be measured. I split them into the high and low weight working sets and included an average line because the average between the two is sensitive to progression in one but not the other and can be used as an overall marker of progression (a crude overall marker). I do not have sets built in because it would be difficult to do so and not the point of the charts. I could also do a total tonnage chart if people are interested and would find that helpful. I will not post a chart every workout or every week because that is tedious and obsessing about progression in the short term is distracting, so I will probably post these charts every couple of months. I will continue to update them in the meantime. I enjoy charts, graphs, and numbers so this is more for me than anyone else, but I’ll post them for everyone else too since copy and paste is so easy to do. One thing to note, some linear progression is just a reflection of my increasing the weight systematically and not yet finding my limit (e.g., squats). Also, some progression is artificial as a result of technique or a change in equipment (e.g., bicep curls and calf raises). Similarly, some regression is artificial due to a change in technique or equipment (e.g., pull-ups). All Y axis starting points are approximately 10 pounds lower than the lightest load to make the charts more readable.

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An addition:
Here is my weight gain since August/September. I included both AM and PM weigh ins. My AM is probably more accurate.


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Welcome to logging! I think it will be great for you, especially as you are clearly a tracker.

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One more important nutritional fact I forgot to add is that my daily water intake is 80-100 ounces. Add 20+ more if you count coffee. Water consumption is important in high calorie/protein diets.

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Even with the name of the log i was still taken back by all the graphs!

Good luck with your training.

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If we didn’t count coffee, my water intake would near 0!

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Welcome and good on you for starting a log and keeping a track on your training. I noticed that you seem to be tracking the weight lifter but not taking into account any rep progression in your statistics. Some of your lifts you are clearly adding reps each week but showing no progress. May be something you want to consider tracking differently. At the end if the day as long as your are progressing it doesn’t really matter and its all just pretty pictures really.

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You are correct that I don’t include rep progression in the charts directly (which I want to and have tried thinking about), but 1) rep progression is implied by a flat line in the weight followed by an increase (the length of the flat line shows how long it took me to get to 8 reps or 12 reps; the longer the flat line the longer it took me to increase reps) and 2) I include reps in my log so that I can review those workouts that happened during the time of the flat line and can observe what all was going on (slow progress, maybe stalled out at a certain rep range, etc.). To your point though, I’m trying to find out a way to represent both weight and reps on the same graph, but I haven’t figured it out yet. Maybe tonnage might be the way to do that, I don’t know yet. Acute observation though; let me know if you have suggestions! Thanks!

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1RM calculation? I actually think it will punish you at higher reps, so I wouldn’t live and die by it, but it gives you something to graph

@TrainForPain Which formula would you suggest using for this? I have seen one floating around out there somewhere.

I don’t think it matters. There’s several, and they’re all pretty similar. Google “1RM calculator” and pick the formula with the most Eastern European name

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Week 4

Friday

Barbell Back Squats - 6x95, 6x125, 8x185, 12x165
Calf Raises - 10x60, 10x100, 12x185, 18x165
RDL - 6x135, 6x145, 8x230, 12x195 (both work sets with straps; felt I had better technique today, good mind-muscle connection)
Leg Curl - 6x50, 6x70, 6x140, 12x120 (I think I pushed and had poor technique last workout so I focused on technique and keeping form this time)
Crunch sit-up - 6x10, 6x15, 8x40, 11x32.5

I didn’t get good sleep last night so I wasn’t feeling that great coming into the gym this morning. However, after my first working set of squats I felt great and was able to really push through leg day. I was happy with my performance.

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Bench Press - 6x95, 6x115, 7x175, 10x135
Pull-up - 6, 6, 8, 8
Seated Back Supported Overhead DB Press - 6x20, 6x25, 7x52.5, 11x37.5
Chest Supported Row - 6x30, 6x45, 8x65, 11x55
Lateral Raise - 6x10, 6x10, 6x27.5, 9x22.5
EZ Curl - 6x30, 6x40, 7x85, 12x65
Slight Decline Tricep Extension - 6x10, 6x15, 5x27.5, 10x22.5

I was happy with today. Everything felt good. I was pleasantly surprised by my performance on DB overhead press, bench, and curl. I felt that my effort was 100%.

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Wednesday 7am workout

Got there not feeling great (tired). Caffeine kicked in and felt pretty good.

Barbell Back Squats - 6x95, 6x125, 8x190, 12x170
Calf Raises - 10x60, 10x100, 12x190, 18x165
RDL - 6x135, 6x145, 8x235, 12x200
Leg Curl - 6x50, 6x70, 8x140, 12x120
Crunch Sit-ups - 6x10, 6x15, 8x42.5, 12x32.5

Felt great throughout the workout.

Squats were sometimes difficult and sometimes easy. Working on balance and form and stance while still trying to progress. I feel like I’m getting closer to my limit.

It has been a great week so far. I felt more mind-muscle connection on the heavy work set for the RDL. Felt a little stiff overall though. Had to do RDL from the ground instead of the rack because someone was using it.

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Last Friday I had to do a bodyweight suspension workout. I tried to add some weight, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be (see video below).

Today (Monday) I did lower body.

Squat - 6x95, 6x125, 8x195, 12x175
Calf Raises - 6x60, 6x100, 12x192.5, 20x165
RDL - 6x135, 6x145, 8x240, 12x205
Leg Curl - 6x50, 6x70, 8x150, 12x130
Crunch Sit-up - 6x10, 6x15, 8x45, 12x35

I maxed out every set and with mostly heavier weight than last week. I had a headache the whole time and was angry so I’m not sure how much of it was motivation or how much of it was Christmas bulking.

However……

I had never noticed this before on the leg curl machine:

I think those are 5lb increments. WHO KNOWS what they have been set at for all of my sets the past two months. I had never noticed them until today. This might explain why I had a hard time doing 150 the first time I tried it and had to back off. It is possible I was trying 165. Or maybe not. No idea.

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Had to do TRX Suspension work while I was traveling this past week. Tried to mimic gym exercises. Caught a cold. Will hit the gym again on Monday.

For the #t-ransformation2023 Challenge



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Monday workout: Lower

Squat - 6x95, 6x125, 6x200, 10x180
Calf Raises - 10x60, 10x100, 12x195, 20x170
RDL - 6x135, 6x145, 8x245, 12x210
Leg Curl - 7x50, 6x70, 7x155, 10x135
Crunch Sit-up - 6x10, 6x15, 8x47.5, 12x37.5

For squats, I had a few in the tank for both working sets but stopped to prevent possible headache.

On RDL, the form and mind muscle connection felt good on all of the reps.

5 minutes before BP=123/74, HR=98
30 minutes after BP=114/61, HR=93

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Tuesday

Bench Press - 6x95, 6x115, 6x175, 9x135
Pull-up - 6, 6, 6, 10
Seated Back Supported Overhead Press - 6x20, 6x25, 8x52.5, 12x37.5
Chest Supported Row - 6x30, 6x45, 8x70, 12x55
Lateral Raise - 6x10, 6x10, 8x27.5, 12x22.5
Barbell Curl - 6x30, 6x40, 8x85, 12x70
Slight Decline Tricep Extension - 6x10, 6x15, 5x27.5, 11x22.5

I progressed on everything but regressed on bench. This was frustrating. It was my first lift so I was fresh. Not sure why. Just one of those days. I haven’t benched in two weeks due to Christmas break so I might have lost a little. I look forward to hitting it again next week.

OHP, row, lateral raise, and curl all felt really strong. I was happy with those.

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Friday:

Squat - 6x95, 6x125, 8x205, 12x185 (felt strong)
Calf Raises - 10x60, 10x100, 12x200, 20x175
RDL - 6x135, 6x145, 8x255, 12x220
Leg Curl - 6x50, 6x70, 7x155, 12x135
Crunch Sit-up - 6x10, 6x15, 8x50, 13x40 (eeked out an extra since it was last exercise last set; failed on 14)

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