Strength Progress: (Weighted Pull Ups and Dips) 137 lbs to 174 lbs - 8 Months

I made a post about 4 months into my training with my progress and wanted to give an update on my progress and also take input from anyone and everyone who’s been training longer than me. Any advice for improvement on my routine?


I’m 29 years old. I started training 8 months ago. My first 4 months, were nothing but non-weighted and weighted pull ups, dips, push ups, sit-ups, and band squats. I work a full time labor job, so my time in the gym is limited and I wanted to be as “efficient” as possible. Most of my lifts are compound movements, even today, with a little bit of isolation thrown in. However, my goal was “efficient training.”

My Goals:
My goals are to go from skinny, to “thicker appearance” with more muscle and mass. My goal is to go from 137 lbs to 185 lbs. Once I get to 185 lbs, which I’m getting close, I plan to switch over to high rep pull ups, dips, push ups, and squats for a while. I’d also like to get my core looking better, however I’m not focusing on my core until I finish bulking.

My Progress:

8 Months Ago Weight: 137 lbs.
Today’s Weight: 174 lbs.

8 Months Ago Bench: 150 lbs (Smith Machine)
Today’s Bench: 290 lbs (Smith Machine)

8 Months Ago: 3 Body Weight Pull Ups
Today’s Pull Ups: (2) 45 lb Plates - 3 Reps

8 Months Ago: 10 Body Weight Dips Max
Today’s Dips: (2) 45 lb Plate Dips - 3 Reps

8 Months Ago: Hack Squats - 180 lbs - 5 Reps
Today’s Squats: Hack Squats - 540 lbs - 3 Reps

My Training Info Today:
Most of my work outs today involve weighted pull ups, dips, push ups, bench, squats, and deadlifts. I still throw a few isolation exercises in for my trapz, biceps, and upper back. However, it’s mostly all weighted compound movements. I’ve taken my training (VERY SERIOUSLY) over this 8 months. I’ve never missed any days other than days where I needed to “deload” for a day or two. I’ve been on a FULL ON HIGH CALORIE / HIGH PROTEIN diet the entire time. I haven’t had a day go by where I ate less than 5k calories. I eat lots of brisket, steak, and fish daily.

Before Photo: (137 lbs clothes falling off of me.)

Today’s Photo: (174 lbs and feeling more confident)

Weighted Pull Up’s Photo: (5 Reps / Half My 1rm)

Hack Squats: (5 reps - 460 lbs) 85% of my 1rm

My training schedule / diet:

You have made really good progress, but you are not powerlifting. You have focused on progressive overload which is the most important thing for getting stronger.

Um that’s not a hack squat. But good progress .

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Defiantly. I’m not a power-lifter. My intentions were to 1. get stronger. 2. increase size. I just couldn’t find a forum that fit strength conditioning other than the Jim W. forum, so I felt it felt better here. But thanks, and I still have a long ways to go to catch up to a lot here, but I’m defiantly meeting my goals of getting stronger and increasing a little size.

As mentioned, I’m only on month 8, and hoping to be a lot further down the chain in the next year. It’s hard for me to gain weight, being that I’m a landscaper, and work in the 105 degrees heat, but I managed to meet my goals. I gym from 3 am to 4:30’ish and feel like I’d have more progress if I had more time to sleep, but I don’t have the time as I’m working two jobs.

Bull-Dog, thanks and can you refer to what this is called? I could have swore I read it on the machine as “Hack Squat”, but apparently I read it wrong. lol I don’t know much, as I stated, I just started 8 months ago.

Also, is there anything else in my routine you guys see that could help boost strength or do I have most of it covered? I feel I’d benefit more from free weights, but I’m currently up in a industrial / country area working because I got some great landscape contracts on a bunch of factories. I don’t have anything other than a planet fitness, a walmart, a small mall, and a couple of country cooking food joints to work with, so I’m working with what I have. But other than free weights, is there anything else anyone see’s I’m missing in my routine?

That’s a leg Press.

This is a hack squat (and there are different types too)

No worries. Great progress, keep it up.

10-4. Gotcha on that, thanks for the education! lol And defiantly will do. I spent my life as a hard headed trouble maker. Thankfully weights and Jesus Christ gave me a kick in the butt, but now I wake up every single day looking forward to lifting, so I’m interested to see where I’ll be after the first 2-3 years!

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I think your thread would be better served in the training log section if your going to keep it updated . Or if its a one one off in the the beginner section… the mods would do so if you asked. Again good progress.

Very nice progress. You’re doing it correctly as others have said. Slowly add some weight to a few selected lifts and get good at them regardless what they are. Add weight or reps.

And yes this should be in beginners or log.