T Nation

Stronger Than Whores


#1

Hello, this is my first log on T-Nation and while I've only been on this forum a few times, I see it's one of the best places for advice in most fields of fitness and weight training, therefore I'd like to start a log here to further fit into this community and ultimately improve my ability to reach my goals in the future. My goals are pretty vague - to be big and lean. My big 3 lifts are as follows - 240 for bench, 315 for squat, 425 for sumo deadlift. Originally before I wanted to focus on hypertrophy, I thought to set a goal of getting 300/400/500 on the big 3. I did a pretty good job making gains on westside after following that routine for about 9 months, but at this point, I'm a bit sick of the strength training, DE/RE/ME type work, and 5 x 5 type of set ups. Temporarily I want to focus on hypertrophy, with a goal of gaining some mass.

For my first routine in this log, I'll be doing 20 rep squats. I've followed this routine before about 2 years ago. I went from repping 135 to repping 175 although technically I got up to 180 I never did get the 20 there. I was much weaker back then. Prior to that routine, I was doing Madcow and couldn't even squat 200 for more than 2 reps. My squatting form was also different back then. It's changed now and thus my squat has improved even more, but my form is still crappy. Still, I'm trying to fix it.

When I first did 20 rep squats, I only followed it for 5 weeks and didn't gain much weight. I didn't do the breathing part of the squats too well and I didn't eat nearly enough.

I've been working out seriously since September of 2006 around my 18th birthday. I'm 20 now so it's been a few years. I feel like I've made a fair amount of gains but in retrospect I did waste a lot of time not following my routines efficiently, following poorly designed routines, and having mediocre nutrition. I've always had a great willpower to do well before entering the gym most days, but a lot of the times I fail to execute well in certain areas.

Over the past couple months I've recorded many videos of myself to check my form and in a few rare cases, boost my ego (At least I'm being honest!). Here's my youtube account to see everything I recorded.

Here's also my main blog that I've used since I have started lifting:

http://funerealowlblood.xanga.com/

As I said earlier, I can have a strong willpower, but I always seem to screw up certain work outs by not doing what I need to do. But as I begin this era of 20 rep squats, I'm really prepared to gain some weight. I've got a lots of eggs, whole milk, brown rice, turkey burgers, peanut butter, Serious Mass weight gainer, various protein shakes, and other miscellaneous food that should help me gain some weight. I'm going to FORCE myself to do well on this routine.

And before I forget, here's a layout of the routine itself.

Day A:
Squat x 20
Pullovers x 20
Chin Ups 3 x ???? (will basically try to increase total reps here)
OH Barbell Press 3 x 10

Day B:
Squat x 20
Pullovers x 20
Dips 3 x 12
BB Rows 2 x 15

As of now I weigh 199 lbs at 6'0 with unknown body fat %

I do have some "progress" pictures but I need to rescale them all and I don't feel like doing that now but I'll do that in the next few entries. Since I don't feel like typing much anymore, I'll just end this first post with some fun facts about me - I've never been laid, I have puny forearms but a pretty strong grip, I like to listen to classical music, black metal, and video game music, the title of this log probably won't mean much to anyone reading it so I wouldn't worry about it, I don't really expect anyone to read/post here but it would be nice if that happened, and I like to watch Steven Seagal and Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.


#2

Day 1 of 20 Rep Squats

Squat
135 x 21

Woops, did an extra one by accident. I don’t do so well squatting back here, but I keep a good arch throughout based on what I see in the video. I started light today so I could ease into the program. Perhaps next time I can make a jump as high as 30 lbs and see where that takes me.

Pullovers
25 lbs x 20

This was sort of like my cool down. I think my form was okay.

Chin Ups
Body weight 8,6,4

Ick, I’ve done 2 sets of 8 before in the past so I don’t really know why I was able to perform less than that today. My form seemed fine in that there was no cheating, but I did not care about hitting back or biceps - I just wanted to do the movement without thinking of individual muscle groups. Damn, I’m pretty weak though. At least I should get more next time.

BB OH Press
95 x 10
95 x 10
95 x 7

I don’t really know why I was pretty weak here, too. I thought I could easily get a total of 30 reps, but I was dead wrong. It seems my left side is weaker than my right which is why I had to stop at 7. Form was pretty good in that I didn’t bend my back too much like most people do.

For my first day on this routine, I thought that if I started low enough it would be pretty easy, but right now I feel as if I ran 5 miles. I’m going to start using whole milk with my PWO shake, but if I do this, I’ll be “out of it” for nearly 10 minutes, that is, the dense calories make me full and almost sick very quickly. Guess the only thing I can do now is keep eating.


#3

Day 2 of 20 Rep Squats

I had to wait a little bit to use the squat rack again. There are plenty more places to do upright rows, leg raises, front raises, etc but in this gym only one safe place to do a 20 repper squat…so certainly I’m justified in being a little annoyed upon entering.

Squat
165 x 20

I focused on taking bigger breathes and more between reps even in the beginning when it was easier. However, I was a bit inconsistent. On some reps, I just stood there for a bit (even when I didn’t need to rest pause) and forget to take breaths. Others, I only took 2 breaths and even 4. It’s actually pretty hard to mentally do all this while counting to 20, which I’m PRETTY SURE I did to get 20 but even rewatching that video it’s still annoying to watch a 2:30 minute video and count to 20 since I take my time on the entire set. A 30 lb increase is still pretty nice even if I started lighter than most. Last 3 reps are a bit flaky but I can fix that with heavier weight most likely. Felt no pain in any case. I’m contemplating a 10 or 20 lb increase next time…

Pullovers
20-25 lbs x 20

I’m not really sure how much this bar I use weighs. I feel like this is more of a cool down and the only thing I have to worry about is breathing so that my rib cage feels expanded rep after rep. If it becomes too easy, I’ll just add a small amount of weight even though I don’t really think I’m supposed to.

Dips
BW x 12
BW x 9

Here’s about where I started to fall. Look at these numbers - pathetic. I even tried to get a 10th rep but gave up half way in between. This is coming from a guy who used to put 100+ lbs on his waist and do 1 rep, and also someone who could do 5 reps in the 70-85 range…What happened? Why am I so week? Am I killing my triceps too much with this and the OH pressing? Perhaps I could go back to benching…

BB Rows
135 x 12
135 x 13

I’m not too concerned about the weight here as I am having good form. It wasn’t 100% perfect, but much better than it has been in the past. I don’t really enjoy this movement, but I like T-bar rows and DB rows a lot less, and this is probably the best horizontal back movement I can come up with. (Well, seated cable rows are awesome but I’m not sure if I should do those instead).


#4

20 rep sets suck, but they got me 28" thighs. Keep it up.


#5

[quote]SouthofHeaven wrote:
20 rep sets suck, but they got me 28" thighs. Keep it up.[/quote]

Thanks for stopping by. Unfortunately I missed my workout today. I tried going to bed at 10 pm only to roll around for 3 hours until it became as late as 1:30 am! If I was going to wake up before 6 am, it wouldn’t be worth attempting a 20 rep squat session because I would have been tired as shit and I had 13-14 hour work day ahead of me. So even if I did go, my recovery before Monday would have really been nerfed and I would have a little trouble gaining in the long run. Optimally, I can try to go to bed even earlier next thursday night and if I can pull off 7+ hours and not feel tired among waking up, I can try to do this routine 3x a week.

I would love to be able to do this routine 3x a week, and I think I could if I didn’t have to work such heavy shifts on a concentrated period of time, but I think people did make okay gains just doing this 2 days a week.

I’m going to try 185 on Monday. It will be a bitch, but I’ll fight it best I can!


#6

Squats looked good. I think you will make 185 look easy. Do you have any idea of what your max squat is? Around 75% of 1rm is when it got hard for me.

How much are you eating too?

It rocks that you’re taping these. I can’t wait to watch the rest of em so I will be following along.


#7

Day 3 of 20 rep squats

Standing OH BB Press
Bar x 5
95 x 12
95 x 12

Got about an hour of sleep Sunday morning, but got another 4.5 hours in the afternoon and got a reasonable amount of sleep last night. Despite all of this, it was a pretty lengthy weekend for work because I was there a lot of hours so I had some fear about how poorly I’d perform today. Needless to say, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Anyway, I stuck the pressing movement before the squats because that’s what was recommended and it seems many people who have followed this routine did some kind of pulling or pressing before the squats. 95 for 12 reps still posed a challenge, but it would have been pathetic if I didn’t get this considering I was most fresh before starting this lift. I will just move to 100 next time.

Squats
Bar x 3
135 x 1
185 x 20

Since the pressing fatigued me a bit, I ended up spending a little too much time doing nothing before the big 185 set. But I don’t think that fatigue played much of a role. In general, I like my form on the first half of the set. I have a faster negative and I seem to even go up with some explosion. When I got into the teens, I questioned whether I would finish the set, but even though it was really hard, quitting was not an option even if it was the most rational thing to do. That explains why I substituted a potential failure for bad form on those ugly last 2 reps. I think before rep 17 I tend to hesitate a bit before descending :stuck_out_tongue:

Pullovers
20-25 lbs x 20

I may add an extra 2.5 lbs on each side just to see what happens. I wanted to puke before doing these but as I said before, these are an okay cool down.

Chin Ups
BW x 8
BW x 7

Bad for my standards, but I did make progress from last time, and this was the last exercise of the day so of course it wouldn’t be as easy as if I did it first. Maybe I’ll go for 9 reps on the first set and 8 on the second.

The good thing about sticking the pressing movement before the squats is that the entire workout now seems to be 5-8 minutes shorter. Sucks the routine only gets harder…


#8

[quote]theuofh wrote:
Squats looked good. I think you will make 185 look easy. Do you have any idea of what your max squat is? Around 75% of 1rm is when it got hard for me.

How much are you eating too?

It rocks that you’re taping these. I can’t wait to watch the rest of em so I will be following along. [/quote]

Thanks for stopping by! As you can see above I did clear 185 but I don’t know from a third person view of how easy it looked, but the fact is, I did it and my form seemed passable so I guess that’s the important thing! 1RM is tricky to answer - I squatted two singles of 315 about 3 weeks ago with just a belt where the first set was okay but the second set was a sticker (no video unfortunately), so it is possible that my 1rm is a little higher than that but it hasn’t been proven. At any rate, 225 is my goal for 20 reps which is a little less than 75% of my 1rm but considering 185 was pretty hard, I’m not too sure how close I’ll get to that.

As far as eating is concerned, well, it depends on if it’s the weekend when I’m spending the majority of time at work or if I’m at home. Work days, I can easily chug up to 3/4’s a gallon of whole milk throughout the day and get about the same amount of water. I’ll also eat up to 1/3 - 1/2 of a jar of natural peanut butter, egg sandwiches, string cheeses, muscle milks (if I have this I won’t drink as much whole milk), chicken cutlets, coldcut sandwiches - that’s about mostly what I eat on the weekends. I work at a food store/deli so despite the lack of rest I get on weekends, I’m covered well for food but I could still do better in that aspect. Not the best diet and no doubt too much fat involved, but I’m aware of this and I’d rather gain and be a little chubby than actually LOSE weight during the routine!

Home is a little healthier because I can cook more and have better variety, but I still get the same amount of calories (I’m guessing - I don’t calorie count) but with more balanced macros…That reminds me, I should have another cup of whole milk…


#9

I think the milk will help. It may also take a couple weeks to get used to the higher reps, and the other thing that helped me was doing a couple heavier singles or doubles before the 20 reps. I don’t know if there was any physiological stuff happening, but psychologically it made the 20 rep weight feel a whole lot lighter.

Nice job at 185.


#10

I actually goofed around with that heavy weight idea back when I did westside. I’d do 3 sets of 4-5 rep board presses and actually do the RE work. Though I stopped doing that because I wanted to prioritize the RE work. I would think that I’d have to go pretty heavy 275+ for one rep to make the 20 rep squat session a bit easier psychologically, but to go that intense may fatigue me in the long run. I guess it’s worth finding out what others did before their 20 set and if they prepared like you did.


#11

I looked at this JUST because of the title, that’s how funny it was. You sure know how to lure em’ in. Those 20 rep squat sessions are brutal, congrats on doing what I don’t have the balls to try on a regular basis. However, if you like 20 rep squats, you may enjoy GVT squats as well.


#12

[quote]Rattler wrote:
I looked at this JUST because of the title, that’s how funny it was. You sure know how to lure em’ in. Those 20 rep squat sessions are brutal, congrats on doing what I don’t have the balls to try on a regular basis. However, if you like 20 rep squats, you may enjoy GVT squats as well. [/quote]

GVT squats…Never heard of them. Do you know any good articles here that discuss them? A quick search showed that it was some kind of 10 x 10, sounds rough. Glad you liked the title!

It turns out that I was supposed to work out today but at this point I’m leaning more towards Monday and Thursday sessions rather than MWF because it will most likely hurt my recovery trying to cram in a workout on Friday before a 14 hour work day. If I just do it Monday and Thursday, I should have enough time in between to recover and as long as I eat enough I should make some kind of gains. My only concern with 2 days a week is that there may not be enough total volume and my excess eating could lead to a Dreamer_ bulk (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111611891 for those unaware). Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of volume, but I mean that with only 1 set of squats, 1 set of pullovers, and 2 sets each of a pulling/pushing upper body movement, I’m easily out of the gym in under 45 minutes.


#13

Day 4 of 20 Rep Squats

Dips
BW x 12
BW x 12

Again, putting the pushing before the squatting. This wasn’t as hard as last time, but 12 reps is pretty damn high, and who am I kidding - I still struggled a bit trying to finish that 2nd set. Maybe I was just conserving some core energy before the squats.

Squats
195 x 20

I spent about as long as I did doing 195 as I did with 185. It felt ridiculous when I was doing the set, but looking back was only marginally harder than 185 (which was actually pretty tough itself!). Note the last quarter of the set when I’m relying on my pretty good good morning skills to finish the set. It seems I sort of have to spare my leg drive throughout the entire set because it’s pretty weak as it is, and I don’t have that much to last me through all 20. That’s why it’s not actually too hard to good morning the weight towards the end. I think I have ONE more 10 lb increase ahead of me. If I’m patient enough to endure 3 minutes of pain, I should complete 205 on Monday.

Pullovers
20-25lbs x 20

Yeah, I said I’d add a little more weight, but maybe I can try that next week. May have done 21 reps instead, but I hit the right range regardless.

BB Rows
145 x 12
145 x 12

Got a little tougher, but I’ll take it. 12 reps is good for this movement. Even if I take extra time between sets, I’m still out of the gym in less than 40 minutes…


#14

Hey bro. The rep work was good. Your hips shoot up fast and it becomes a good morning esentially, but its great you made it the whole way through. Congrats on that. Have you ever included good mornings into your routine? I would try it so that you could get a better arch in the lower back and have a bit more hamstring strength, but the second half of the squats will fly up without any problem.

Correct me if Im wrong, but were you wearing a Dark Throne shirt? That is fucking awesome if you were.


#15

[quote]SouthofHeaven wrote:
Hey bro. The rep work was good. Your hips shoot up fast and it becomes a good morning esentially, but its great you made it the whole way through. Congrats on that. Have you ever included good mornings into your routine? I would try it so that you could get a better arch in the lower back and have a bit more hamstring strength, but the second half of the squats will fly up without any problem.

Correct me if Im wrong, but were you wearing a Dark Throne shirt? That is fucking awesome if you were.[/quote]

Yeah, like I said a little earlier, I seem to need to ration my leg drive throughout the entire set that’s why I rely on my hips so much. Here are some videos with me doing concentric good mornings (not really concentric but I rest it on the bar for a bit) of doing heavier weight http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFPGAVXdMSk and an older video of me doing slightly less weight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVqLr6dBJC0&feature=channel_page). I’m actually not sure if my form was that good though haha.

And yes, that’s a Darkthrone T-shirt! I think I do a little better in the gym when I wear that or my Destroyer 666 shirt!

Update: I saw 205.5 on the scale last night, which is a very nice weight gain.


#16

DAy 5 of 20 Rep Squats
Standing OH BB Press
100 x 12
100 x 12

Not much to say here…Pretty difficult but nothing overwhelming at this point in the workout.

Squat
Bar x 3
135 x 1
205 x 15

I fail. Well, I wasn’t defeated or victorious, I merely forfeited. As I’m typing this, I’m really regretting it. I spent about 2 and a half minutes doing the first 15 reps…if I could hold out for another minute I would have gotten the last 5, but I gave up too soon. AT the time it seemed too far away but in reality I was pretty damn close if I was patient enough. I could give numerous small excuses why I wasn’t successful, but the fact is, I wasn’t mentally strong enough and I really should have cleared this. Based on the video (which I won’t post immediately but soon enough) I clearly didn’t even use all my energy since I walked away from the rack without sitting down first…Now since I wasn’t successful, I don’t really feel the rewarding for drinking an 800 calorie shake, or binging on all kinds of foods later in the day. The failure will be on my mind until a couple of days when I try 205 again. Otherwise I’ll just have to keep eating, but the motivation right now has been hindered a bit to do so.

I’ve disappointed the couple of people who have been continuously looking at my log/videos too >_> Sorry gang

Pullovers
30lbs x 20

I’m just going to assume the bar I’ve been using is 25 lbs. Numbers are more arbitrary here because I wanted to expand my rib cage. I did add 2.5 lbs on each side, that’s about all I can say here.

Chin Ups
BW x 9
BW x 6

The disappointment from the squatting earlier prevented me from sandbagging this. Hell, I barely even got that 9th rep. I did seem to gain a few lbs in the past couple of days, however. That could have been the reason for a seemingly lack of progress.

I bought the 20 rep squat book by Strossen. By the time I’ll get it, it will probably be week 4 of the routine but I’m looking forward to reading it.


#17

Video of the paused good mornings looked real solid bro. Keep it up.


#18

[quote]SouthofHeaven wrote:
Video of the paused good mornings looked real solid bro. Keep it up.[/quote]

Thanks, paused good mornings I sort of enjoy doing. I’ll miss them for a while.


#19

Finally got the actual book of the routine. I’ll try to read all of it before the end of the weekend.

Dips
BW + 25 x 8
BW + 25 x 8

Big increase from the usual bodyweight, but 8 reps is something I can improve upon. Enough to always use good form, not high enough to start using momentum and swinging. I was actually going to bench instead, but it was taken. No worries, this was fine as it was.

Squats
Bar x 2
135 x 3
205 x 20

Payback time. 205 is roughly my bodyweight, so it’s cool to know that I can do 20 reps of it. Form actually felt a little better because I seemed to do less good mornings except on the last 3 reps - that was just an attempt to finish it as quickly as possible! But everything in general looks similar to 195. I did not want to quit and I’m glad I didn’t.

Pullovers
30lbs x 20

Nothing unusual to comment on here.

BB Rows
Bar x 5
150 x 12
150 x 12

Did an okay job just using my arms as hooks and upper back for the rest. 12 reps is good for this movement, but no more. The squatting made my rest times increase by a lot and there wasn’t much motivation to do much at this point in the workout.

BB curls
60lbs x 10

I threw this in randomly. I did 50lbs last Thursday. I don’t think the routine recommends any more than what I’m doing now, but one set couldn’t hurt and my biceps are always pretty puny.


#20

Determination pays off big. The reps looked awesome. You did a nice job of getting your chest up and when fatigued and shooting back to the top. Nice work bro.

Out of curiousity though, why the 20 rep sets? Are you trying to work on size? I can definitly say that they worked for me. I used to do sets with 185-225 for 20-25 or even 30 reps if possible and my legs have stayed at about 27-28" for years. I got really good at stamina and recovery, but they did not convert to great strength for me.