T Nation

Super Skinny to Scary Strong (or S^4 )

After poking around on this site I’ve decided to start a public training log on this forum because I’m massively impressed by all you muscley women and men on here and I hope that you’ll take the time to look it over and tell me what I’m doing right/wrong/offer encouragement.

So today I took my measurements. Should have done it a month ago, but I decided to not postpone workingout because I didn’t have a measuring tape at the time. BTW, I’m 5’6".

I have gained 4lbs in the last month (I started at 122 and am now at 126). I feel that most of the change has been in my thighs, buttocks, and back, with a little noticeable change in my calfs. However, my thighs are growing so fast that they are dwarfing my calfs more and more each day. Therefore, I’m upping my calf exercises from 3 sets to 5 sets.

As of today around 1pm:
calves-13in
thigh-19in (in the middle)
around largest part of buttock-37in
waist-27 1/2 in
under bust-29 1/2 in
bust- 34in
around shoulders- 40 1/2 in
bicep 9 3/4in

Today I was rushed for time, so I didn’t do my complete leg workout, but here’s what I did do:

95lb squat- 8x4x30sec rest
95lbs deadlift- 8x4x30 sec rest
45lb hang snatch into over-head lunge-

(I’m not sure how many total I did of these because I’m still working on my form and they fatique me much faster than I’d imagined when I assigned myself to learn them) I would guess I did around 20-25 total in increments of 4 and 5 with 10-30 second rests.
standing one-foot calf-raise- 15 (each foot)x2 (no rest
70lb seated calf-raise-10x2x30 sec pause followed by another set of 15 one-foot standing calf raises
20x2x30 stability ball and medicine ball (stability ball between legs and medicine ball held in hands overhead) air crunches
roman chair leg-raise 15x4x30

I will post progress pictures soon.

WELCOME Oleena!!!
I wish you the best in getting “Scary Strong.”

One Suggestion…You may want to increase your rest time between your big lifts to about 2 minutes. If you are shooting for strength it is important to rest for enough to let your muscles recover. This way you can push hard for all sets!

[quote]sbmart2 wrote:
WELCOME Oleena!!!
I wish you the best in getting “Scary Strong.”

One Suggestion…You may want to increase your rest time between your big lifts to about 2 minutes. If you are shooting for strength it is important to rest for enough to let your muscles recover. This way you can push hard for all sets![/quote]

I had originally been doing that and recently knocked the time down to see what the effect would be. I actually found that my enthusiasm during the workout increased because my heart-rate was constantly up. Plus, I’m easily bored so this kept things more lively.

Although, maybe I should try some sort of superset instead of shortening the time between sets. Hmmm. But then I would still have to rest for a longer amount of time…now I’m confused.

Thanks for the input!

Yesterda ended up being a bunch of sitting on my ass- first at work and then during a four hour long conversation with my guy. The original plan was to go to the gym together after he got off work.

In anycase, I woke my ass up at 5am this morning and went to a “bootcamp” class- it’s basically a lot of endurance work combined with light weights, and then 10 minutes of interval sprints on a treadmill at the end of class. I do it because I generally have no enthusiasm to go workout after work on a Saturday, and the only type of cardio I ever do is on a treadmill (I hate hate hate ellipticals! First of all,they make you look like a bunny bobbing up and down, and secondly the shortened ROM makes my knees hurt).

Tomorrow I plan on killing my arms, chest, and back.

[quote]Oleena wrote:
Yesterday ended up being a bunch of sitting on my ass- first at work and then during a four hour long conversation with my guy. The original plan was to go to the gym together after he got off work. But by the time we finished our “conversation” it was late, and the last time I went to the gym late I was wide awake all night long (although, I did get a lot of reading in…)

In anycase, I woke my ass up at 5am this morning and went to a “bootcamp” class- it’s basically a lot of endurance work combined with light weights, and then 10 minutes of interval sprints on a treadmill at the end of class. I do it because I generally have no enthusiasm to go workout after work on a Saturday, plus the only type of cardio I ever do is on a treadmill (I hate hate hate ellipticals! First of all,they make you look like a bunny bobbing up and down, and secondly the shortened ROM makes my knees hurt).

Tomorrow I plan on killing my arms, chest, and back.[/quote]

Crap. Sorry about that. I meant to hit “edit” and landed on “quote” by accident.


Yesterday:

70 pushups (2sets15, 4sets10)
75lbs 8x4x40 bench press
assisted pull-up&bar dip superset 8x4x30@60lbs

dumbbell skull crusher 10 lbs (my coordination on these things sucks!)x6x4

dumbbell bicep curls 8x4@17.5lbs
barbell shoulder press 8x3@40lbs
deltoid extensions 7.5lbs 10x4
Ab workout consisting of variations of plank and bridge pose held for 30-60 seconds followed by weighted crunches on stability ball

Today:
squat 8x3@ 65lbs (This was done very slowly because I was having someone check my form, and offer suggestions)

box squat 8x2 @ 95 lbs (the conclusion was my hip flexors are pretty tight. Even without any weight I lean forward on a normal squat. In order to continue to build while improving my posture, I’m going to split my routine into the 65lb sets performed slowly with as perfect of posture as I am capable of, and the box squats where I allow myself to lean forward a little bit while managing higher weight.

I will be doning exercises to lengthen this area several times a day)

deadlift 8x4@95lbs with 45 second rest
20 lbs(each hand) dumbbell weighted lunges 15x4
leg curs 8x4@70lbs
leg extensions 8x4@70lbs

The rest periods varied, but remained under a minute with the exception of when I was talking to another trainer about my form.

The picture with this post is 1 month’s progress.

[quote]Oleena wrote:
sbmart2 wrote:
WELCOME Oleena!!!
I wish you the best in getting “Scary Strong.”

One Suggestion…You may want to increase your rest time between your big lifts to about 2 minutes. If you are shooting for strength it is important to rest for enough to let your muscles recover. This way you can push hard for all sets!

I had originally been doing that and recently knocked the time down to see what the effect would be. I actually found that my enthusiasm during the workout increased because my heart-rate was constantly up. Plus, I’m easily bored so this kept things more lively.

Although, maybe I should try some sort of superset instead of shortening the time between sets. Hmmm. But then I would still have to rest for a longer amount of time…now I’m confused.

Thanks for the input!

[/quote]

Hey Oleena,

Just catching up on all the activity while I was away…
I get your confusion. Waterbury wrote an article on Monday and one of the tricks was in regards to rest time and supersetting.

The basic premise behind supersets is:
A1: 8 reps. Rest 45 seconds
A2: 8 reps. Rest 45 seconds
By the time you get back to A1, you’ve rested 90 seconds plus however long it took you to complete your 8 reps of A2. Same thing when going back to A2. Make sense?

[quote]Court wrote:
Oleena wrote:
sbmart2 wrote:
WELCOME Oleena!!!
I wish you the best in getting “Scary Strong.”

One Suggestion…You may want to increase your rest time between your big lifts to about 2 minutes. If you are shooting for strength it is important to rest for enough to let your muscles recover. This way you can push hard for all sets!

I had originally been doing that and recently knocked the time down to see what the effect would be. I actually found that my enthusiasm during the workout increased because my heart-rate was constantly up. Plus, I’m easily bored so this kept things more lively.

Although, maybe I should try some sort of superset instead of shortening the time between sets. Hmmm. But then I would still have to rest for a longer amount of time…now I’m confused.

Thanks for the input!

Hey Oleena,

Just catching up on all the activity while I was away…
I get your confusion. Waterbury wrote an article on Monday and one of the tricks was in regards to rest time and supersetting.

The basic premise behind supersets is:
A1: 8 reps. Rest 45 seconds
A2: 8 reps. Rest 45 seconds
By the time you get back to A1, you’ve rested 90 seconds plus however long it took you to complete your 8 reps of A2. Same thing when going back to A2. Make sense?[/quote]

Yep. Thanks :slight_smile:

So the last four days I’ve been in a training class, and didn’t realize until I signed on here today that I’ve actually done 4 workouts this week, but haven’t logged any of them.

I am beyond tired right now. Got up at 5am to do that bootcamp class I mentioned earlier, but it ended up being cancelled and now I’m at work.

I don’t have internet at home right now, hence the long periods between sign-on.

Today I’m going to hit a leg workout. It will look like this:

Back squat- 1 minute rest
115x6-8x4

deadlift- 1-2 minute rest
135x5x5

Single-leg squats with dumbbells
10x2 (I don’t know how much weight I can do and am not sure what the rests will look like)

forward lunges with 20lb dumbells 1 minute rest
15x3

leg curls 70 lbs
6x3

leg extensions 70 lbs
6x3

and 6 calf exercises ( some may be standing, some seated, we’ll see)

all sides plank (I rotate my position every minute or so from plank to sideways plank, then to table-top, then otherside plank), first set with belly being dawn in for 6 sec holds while remaining in position for at least a minute.

ball+medicine ball air crunches

One last note. I found that I don’t lean forward as much on squats if I don’t look in a mirrow while doing them. Has anyone else noticed this?

[quote]Oleena wrote:

One last note. I found that I don’t lean forward as much on squats if I don’t look in a mirrow while doing them. Has anyone else noticed this?
[/quote]

You are absolutely right. This screws me up every time I go back to a rack with a mirror. I have to remind myself to look up and not at myself. My body follows my face out of the hole.

[quote]ouroboro_s wrote:
Oleena wrote:

One last note. I found that I don’t lean forward as much on squats if I don’t look in a mirrow while doing them. Has anyone else noticed this?

You are absolutely right. This screws me up every time I go back to a rack with a mirror. I have to remind myself to look up and not at myself. My body follows my face out of the hole.[/quote]

I also learned just yesterday that it’s actually better not to look up because you end up just straining your neck needlessly and it doesn’t improve form like many believe. So I’m going to play around with it today and see what I think.

I have found on my squat that if I just look forward, I have the tendency to let my head drop down and that throws me forward. I don’t really look up with my head (although it does roll back a little)but I look up with my eyes. That keeps me from drifting forward. If any of this makes sence. Hope it helps and keep up the good work and progress!!!

Yesterday I wasn’t able to squat the 115 8 times, so I did 8x4@95 and then 3x3@115. I did end up doing deadlift @135, but it in about 7 sets, the first one at 5 reps, then 4, then 4, then 3, 3 3 3. Today my lower back is very muscle sore (not strained-sore, which is a good sign I guess). I never ended up doing the leg extensions and the leg curls because the squats and deadlifts took so long and I was shaking from exertion afterwards. Other than that the workout was the same as written above.

I’ve decided to vary up my training schedule because I need to add a lot more shoulder exercises. I would say they are my weakest link for deadlift and bench. That and my triceps.

So from now on I’m going to be workout out 5 days a week instead of 4, add in a max- effort day, and an olympic lift day, and the other three days will be legs, back and chest, and arms.

Tomorrow I’m hitting my back and chest, and Tuesday will be the max-effort day.

Sounds good!
Have you looked into any of the Westside templates?

[quote]Oleena wrote:
I’ve decided to vary up my training schedule because I need to add a lot more shoulder exercises. I would say they are my weakest link for deadlift and bench. That and my triceps.
[/quote]

If you’re training the big three often, be careful as to how much direct shoulder work you’re using.

As Mom-in-MD suggested, you might want to look at a Westside program (http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/westside_for_skinny_bastards) or Wendler’s 5/3/1 template (see Elitefts.com for more info) to help with your strength.

With you being so lean right now, you’ll see both strength increases as well as improved “muscle-y” appearances changes as well, assuming you’re eating enough.

That begs the question, how’s the diet?

This is good too!

http://www.defrancostraining.com/articles.html

[quote]Oleena wrote:

So from now on I’m going to be workout out 5 days a week instead of 4, add in a max- effort day, and an olympic lift day, and the other three days will be legs, back and chest, and arms./quote]

Just curious on why the olympic lift day? Success, and safety, with olympic lifts is very dependent on form and technique. You may have mentioned this already but do you have a coach for these lifts? If not, you may want to reconsider your program and use your time and energy on other movements.

Okay it’s been nearly a week, and I don’t have the exact workouts that I did for back/chest, and arms infront of me.

I have received coaching for olympic lifts and have everything but the snatch down pat. The snatch I do well about 75% of the time, and I think my shoulder strength REALLY inhibits that one.

Yesterday I just spent 40 minutes working on perfecting the clean and the snatch. It was about 11pm, and there was an interesting mix of people at the gym. Two guys came up to me and wanted to know what an olympic lift was/have me instruct them on how to do them.

I tried to, but soon realized that it would take about an hour of teaching someone how to use their hips instead of their arms for momentum inorder to get anywhere with teaching the lifts.

I performed the lifts in sets of 3-5, with 1-3 minute breaks between them. Near the end of the 40 minutes, I started working on overhead squats.

Those were delightfully difficult for me. Suddenly I realize why my hip flexors and shoulder strength are important! I bet I can have my ass on the ground with them in two weeks or less if I work at it, though (just with the olympic barbell for now).

And speaking of which, tomorrow I’m going to incorportate dumbbells over the head into my single-leg squats, and lunges. It will be similar to the leg workout I have above.

[quote]giterdone wrote:
Oleena wrote:

So from now on I’m going to be workout out 5 days a week instead of 4, add in a max- effort day, and an olympic lift day, and the other three days will be legs, back and chest, and arms./quote]

Just curious on why the olympic lift day? Success, and safety, with olympic lifts is very dependent on form and technique. You may have mentioned this already but do you have a coach for these lifts? If not, you may want to reconsider your program and use your time and energy on other movements. [/quote]

I continue to do olympic lifts because they keep me from getting bored, and they make my back feel/look amazing.