T Nation

The Long Game - a Log


Good workout today, despite stomach still being upset. Wondering how long that will go on.

Thought I’d go for it on the bench press. went for 115kg, got it, attempted 120kg but missed it.

13th January 2019
Bench press - 115kg * 1 (SB), 120kg * 0, 82.5kg * 8 (SB)
BOR - 90kg * a few, dumbbells * a few

I could have done with a better de-rack on the 120kg attempt. But I think it suffices to say it simply wasn’t there. Very much hope I’ll make 120kg at the end of the month, if not slightly more.

Keeping an eye on my knee. I’ll hopefully get back to doing lower body workouts sometime this week.


Stomach still not better.

Went to war with the iron today. Just felt like it.

15th January 2019 (yesterday)
Chins - 19 total (SB)
Dips - 34 total (SB)

16th January 2019
Deadlift - 193.5kg * 0, 191kg * 1 (SB), 142.5kg * 7 (SB)

The good news is my knee felt fine.
I wonder whether the deadlifts were affected by my doing chins yesterday. I rather think they were; I think there is some muscle overlap between the two movements. For this reason, I might put in a rest day every 4 days before I deadlift.

Damn gloomy day here today.

Measured myself on a second pair of scales today, and I’ve got heavier. If I stick with the first set of scales, I’m 14st 2. It’s curious that I’m gaining weight but losing fractions of an inch from my waist circumference. I suppose it’s exactly what you would want to happen, but it’s happening very slowly.

Ordered some Maximuscle cyclone, which is whey protein plus creatine monohydrate. It feels like I need a bit more protein in my diet.


It seems as though my insides may have finally turned the corner. Hoooray!!

I’m a bit on the low side still. Need to get my head out of my arse and start finding some gainful employment.

Good workout today though. Beat my SB on the OHP by an almighty 5kg. What is it with this lifting malarky? One day I struggle to add 1kg to my deadlift, and the next I add 5kg to my OHP…

17th January 2019
OHP - 75kg * 1 (SB)
Bench press - some
Chins - some

I tried to have another go at 120kg on the bench press after performing so well with the OHP, but alas, it was no good, and I got nowhere near. I’d warmed up really thouroughly, so I’d been going about an hour before I hit that OHP 1RM. It was a bit of a conceited thing to do, to go for the bench best after maxing out the OHP. A bit like going for a 1RM squat and deadlift on the same day. You live and you learn, though. It’d be interesting to see how they do it at powerlifting meets. I don’t know what the strategy is at powerlifting meets on the attempts, do they go for something like 85%, 95% then 100% of their 1RMs? It would suck to fail at 95% due to fatigue from another lift. Anyone any input on this?

Cheers guys.


Good news on the workout front. New PB

18th Jan 2019
Squat - 147.5kg * 1 (PB)
107.5kg * 6

So the total for this mid-month is 147.5kg squat, 115kg bench, 191kg deadlift = 453.5kg. That’s a 43.5kg improvement on the same time last month. It also just so happens to be 1,000 pounds!

So goals for the future? Keep it up, first and foremost. If you ain’t lifting, you ain’t improving. So I’ve got to keep my motivation high. Which shouldn’t be hard; you might be able to tell I’m pretty stoked at the moment. So next goal is going to be a 500kg total, and then after that it’s a 550kg total. So rough time frame for that will be mid Feb for 500kg, then early April for 550kg. I’m not going to set any more goals other than these for the time being.

Good news - the right knee felt fine for the squatting today.

Comment - I felt the squats get very slightly shallower on the heavy ones. This seems to be a natural response to going heavy and is quite hard to avoid. I squat arse to grass so I’m sure the squat today was parallel, though I didn’t have a second pair of eyes to verify.

It’ll be back to grinding reps with 75% and 70% of my 1RMs till I test my 1RMs in a couple of weeks.


Solid sort of day today. Worked out whilst flitting in and out, watching the snooker. Went for a lovely 15 minute walk at dusk, yes, 5pm I was out there! Woohoo, I love this time of year, when the days are drawing out, fills me with so much optimism.

19th January 2019
Bench - 82.5kg * 8 (SB), 77.5kg * 8
BOR - 80kg *4 (10 with partials), 80kg * 3 (10 with partials)

Have ordered some business cards, so I’m going to deliver some to my neighbourhood to hopefully drum up a bit of business.


Didn’t mean to have an 8 day break, but circumstance conspired against me. My tummy has not been very good. Went to the GP and she thinks it might be a case of inflamed bowel disease or Chrohn’s. Either case, it will be treatable. I guess it might just be a matter of taking an extra pill each day.

27th January
Deadlift - 200kg * 1 (SB)

Felt good on the lifts today; the form was good, and the weights were moving nicely. This was such a welcome return - beating my season’s best by 9kg! It is obvious that taking this time off hasn’t done me any harm. It’s funny, one gets a bit insecure. I’m going to be more cool with taking small breaks of a few days in the future. It’s hard to go 100% all the time, which I guess I was for about 2 months.

We’ve nearly eaten all the chocolates and bad foods from Christmas time up. Hoping to eat more fruit and nuts now.

It’s good to pick up the working out again. I think I’d built up a lot of momentum from the hard work I’d put in.


28th January
Dips - 36 total (3 sets) (SB), Chins - 18 total (3 sets)

Not much to say. Pleased that the upper body strength doesn’t seem to have gone down over the week off. Got some milk protein, whey and creatine mono on the way.


29th January
Squat - 150kg * 0, 107.5kg * 9 (SB)

Could really feel my right quad from the physio session.


30th January
OHP - 75kg * 0, 50kg * 6
Chins - about 16


At the commercial gym. Meant to train deadlifts but forgot liquid chalk, doh. So instead of using the conventional bar I used the trap bar. Surprised myself with the number of deadlifts managed.

1st February
Trap bar deadlifts - 140kg * 12
Bench - 120kg * 1 (PR)
Chins - 7, 8

Looking back I wish I’d gone for 122.5kg or 125kg on the bench - the 120kg effort really felt easy, even though it was a level PB. I guess the benefits of the creatine are setting in. Mind you the plates were really old and some of the 20s had 18 written on them, so I don’t know if the weight was slightly lighter than I thought.

So feeling pretty good at the minute. I’m about level now with my PBs of old, which is great. So yay, I should celebrate that, and the fact that it’s taken me less than 3 months.

It doesn’t say much for my consistency in the old days, but I think I was young, and didn’t know how best to train. Also there aren’t any distractions like football or nightclubs and women. And I started with a higher bodyweight. I’ve not been able to keep the bodyweight down; it’s up by about 8lbs since November. Mostly muscle added I think, but I still look fairly pudgy in the mirror. It would be nice if I could lean out some for the summer. I occasionally look at Instagram, which doesn’t help, as you see all these steroid-abetted physiques which you couldn’t get by natural means.


Good day today.
Had a few days away from the gym, socialising over the weekend. Thought I’d do a thorough full-body workout today.

5th February - Squat - 150kg * 1 (PB) Bench - 120kg * 1 (level PB), 121kg * 0.

I wasn’t far off on the attempt at an outright PB on the bench, but I wasn’t smooth in the eccentric part of the movement. I have found in squatting that a good eccentric phase is very important. Also I attempted 120kg today because the 120kg felt lighter in the commercial gym. The 120kg felt heavier today in my gym, so I’m sure those old weights are a bit chipped in the commercial gym, through so much use, and hence a bit lighter. Small margins when it comes to your PB.


Felt a bit un-energetic in the morning and had a bit of DOMS from Tuesday’s workout in the arms. I assumed it would be there in the lower body too though I couldn’t feel it. It definitely was.

7th February
Deadlift- 195kg * 0, 100kg * 18

I’ve been lifting heavy a lot lately. I guess a reason I wanted to go for it today was to ascertain how Tuesday’s workout would have affected me. Larry Wheels, who I follow on Youtube a bit, said he takes 10 days off after a meet. Tuesday’s workout was 2/3rds of a meet so I guess I should have taken 6 days off. Haha. In all seriousness experienced lifters know how taxing 1 rep maxes can be and I’ve been advised about them on here before. If I want to play ‘The Long Game’ I need to start taking cues from my body about how it’s feeling. Mind you, it’s all an education. So long as we don’t get injured, but I do need to be more careful in future.

So the plan is to go light for a couple weeks, maybe about 16 days. I want to work with 50% of my 1RMs and concentrate on good form as well as repetitions. Maybe I should even do a full month. I think that’s probably pretty reasonable. With the lighter lifting I find it’s easier to keep coming back. The workouts won’t be so long, either.

Just had a look at upcoming events in British powerlifting. There’s nothing there that really excites me.


8th February 2019
Dips - 39 total (3 sets) (SB), Chins - 18 total (3 sets)

Finding it hard to make progress on the chinups. Made a massive amount of progress in the dips though, I seem to be able to add a rep or more each time I do it.


9th February 2019
Squat - 50% of 1RM - 75kg * 20, * 13

Was thinking of going for a third working set, but saw that the clock was getting on for an hour. If I can’t keep these workouts less than an hour, I don’t know what I can do. I’m looking forward to settling down with the 50% weights for a while. Just looking for that consistency, hopefully going injury and illness free.


10th February 2019
OHP - 50% of 1RM - 37.5kg * 20, *13
Chinups - 21 total (SB)

Very pleased with the new SB on the chins. Got 8 reps on the first set. It’s something that progress seems to be quite slow on, probably because my weight’s been increasing as I’ve gotten stronger. In my mind I’m targeting 12 reps, as this was my capability in the good old uni days when I was a fair bit lighter.
I’d say overall my strength is about the same as when I’ve peaked before, but my power-to-weight ratio is a lot less on account of being about 2 stone heavier.

I’ve set myself some unrealistic goals in this thread. One of them was a 500kg total mid February. I’d say that that was probably a bit naive now, looking back on it. But I couldn’t have predicted the illness I had which knocked me out for over a week. In my mind I’m shaping up to test my 1RMs at the end of February, which will give me 3 weeks of solid training with 50%. My A target for that will be a ~490kg total. B target ~480kg total. Anything above 485kg will beat my theoretical best total stated in the top of this thread and will leave me a happy man.


11th February 2019
Cross trainer - 30 minutes
Deadlift - 100kg * 20, *6.

Keeping the momentum going with this workout. I would give myself a bit more time than the 5 minutes I gave myself to recover from the first working set if I had the chance again. 6 reps on the second was a paltry effort but showed just how much work I’d done in the first set. That’s effectively 7 days in a row done, which I’m quite pleased about. I also felt a bit of aggression around the weights which I take as a good sign that my CNS is recovering.


12th February 2019
Cross trainer - about 30 mins
Bench press - 60kg * 19, *16
BOR - 60kg * some (3 sets)

So working at 50% of the 1RM on the bench press today. Distinctly less rep decay between the sets as compared the deadlift. Why this is I can’t say. I’m enjoying the workouts - there’s no doubt that working at 50% of your 1RM is less taxing than a heavier workout. I’m already itching to get back to doing heavy work but I must keep that feeling at bay for a little while. I’m not sure whether I’ll add in a day or two’s break before the 1RM attempts so I’m super rested. We’ll see when it’s nearer the time.


Today felt like an opportunity to go heavy. I had the day off yesterday as I had a minor migraine in the morning. Today I woke up early by my standards, and feeling good, I thought I would test my bench press, and include the deadlift too. The results are in

14th February '19
Bench press - 121kg*1 (PR), 122.5kg * 0
Deadlift - 205kg * 1 (SB)

So a new PR on the bench press, and a decent new SB on the deadlift. Mind you, the lift wasn’t perfect, I got the weight up alright but must have rocked far back on my heels so I sort of fell forward with the weight. But I’ll count it, anyway. I got it up, haha.

Just looked back at the start of the thread. I made my first post on the 5th of November and I gave myself a year to hit new PRs based on what experience I had. I’m very proud that I’m hitting them now, 3 months after that date. That’s pretty rapid progress. I think the main thing is not having many distractions, and being able to keep to a schedule. I’m really happy with my split of deadlift, upper, squat, upper with the upper days being OHP, Bench and Dips for pushes and BOR and chins for pulls. I seem to be able to maintain doing a movement everyday. I used to take a lot more days off, so it’s better now.

The deadlift hasn’t hit the heights of new PBs yet, but that’ll come in time. I think not applying the technique of ‘jumping’ into the lift, where you go straight up after assuming the grip, has to be a possible reason it’s down a bit. I did that today, anyway, and it worked. And the body doesn’t grow in the way we expect it to necessarily. It probably has more to do with the fact I’m carrying an extra few pounds.

What are the goals now? Well 485kg total, then 500kg, then 525kg, 550kg and 600kg. I think 500kg is a reasonable shout for some time in March. I think it will become more of a grind now. I guess the beginner gains stage is over, haha. As for 600kg, well it’s so far away as to be just a dream now. It’s a long term goal. Using my current lifts it would have to be about a 150kg bench, 190kg squat and 260kg deadlift. If I did that this year, with 10 more months of solid training, I’d be delighted. Maybe in a year’s time I’ll look back and say, yep, I did it. Or nope, way off!!! Haha.

BOR tomorrow.

But I’m really pleased to have hit a new bench PR, and thus to be stronger in the upper body than I ever have been. Boom. I think I should have a little sip of beer tonight, haha.

Time for a nap.

Oh, good news, got some work on the way.


BOR - 70kg * some


Squat - 75kg * 20, * 17

Was very pleased and a bit surprised with the second set, getting this many reps. Last time out I’d done 20 and then 13. But then I deliberately waited about 10 minutes. Was in quite severe ache after, made a little bit better by leaning on a desktop to decompress the spine.