T Nation

The Long Road to Strong-ish?

Whelp time to stop lurking and do the damn thing. Just doing like most everyone else my age…trying to beat the clock and stay on top of my health basically. 37 years old, father of 2 kids under 5 and husband to my lovely wife. I’ve been on off and on fatty since I was really young. I also have bad family history…bad hearts, alzheimers, diabetes, cancer…etc not good but some of (if not most) that has to do with exercise and proper diet. With 2 very young kids that’s motivation enough to keep up with the health and not go through what my folks are having to go through.

I’ve been lifting and lurking for a good long while. Ran through some of PC’s Ultimate PPL and some of the CT’s Best Damn series for natty’s. Really that helped me gain some steam then I decided to do some 531 BB for a good 5 months or so, and that really helped me in strength. But hurt my left shoulder/pec (got a whicked purple knot at the top of my pec that amazingly cleared up in a couple of weeks) and got some wicked biceps tendonitis in both arms. Now I’m going through some PHUL workout for about the last 6 weeks. Liking what I am seeing of KingBeef’s setups he put out there a few years back. Thinking about starting one of his 6 day programs up at the start of the new year. I workout at the home gym I have thrown together. I have a power rack and a powertec lever gym. I used to love the powertec but got away from using it until I messed up my shoulder/pec. Ever since that little snafu I went right back to using the powertec to do incline and flat bench along with dumbell incline and flat bench. I get an amazing pump with the powertec with NO shoulder pain, it’s pretty nice. I really don’t like the squat piece on it because it kills the back when I load it up. So I do it as an accessory with 225 or 275 max. Oh yeah I have shite knees as well. Literally sounds like velcro or popcorn when I squat or bend at the knee. Luckily the pain after leg day is pretty minimal, so keeping it up until they fall apart. Anyway…away we go.

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Upper Body:
Powertec BP 3 work sets 345 1x5 365 1x3 3451x5 (strip set)
T Bar Row 225 3X8 (last set a strip set as well)
BW Dips 4 x 12 SS: single arm t bar row 4 X 8 115
DB Arnold Press 45s x 12 SS: NG BW Pullups
NG DB Skull Crushers 30s, 40s, 30s last set to failure then grab 20s to failure SS: drag and reverse grip curls SS: behind the back shrug/row thing that I saw from a video that @FlatsFarmer posted a while back. I just use the Powertec BP and I do a shrug motion but a little higher like a partial behind the back upright row with 225. Kills my traps.

All in all pretty good. Just dragging butt here lately. Diet is crap but that’ll get straight here pretty soon and that should help with the lethargy. I’ve kind of bastardized the PHUL stuff but it drags on and on if I don’t superset stuff during the upper/lower days.

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Provided by @kingbeef323 a while back. Exercise choices may be tweaked (home gym). Good stuff in that thread that was bumped a while back.

  • 1 set to failure (positive) per heavy exercise except where otherwise noted.
  • On heavy exercises rest 2 mins between sets and 3-4 before the final all out heavy set of compound movements.
  • On volume exercises 1 minute rest for isolations, 1:30 for compounds. Up to 2 should be ok for quads but try to work your way down to 1:30 before moving weights up if you do use 2 initially.
  • Shouldn’t be hitting failure (positive) on the light exercises until maybe the last few sets of the last exercise for that muscle group.
  • On the volume exercises, when you can do all sets of 12 on all exercises for that muscle group move the weights up by the smallest increment possible.
  • Superset arms. On volume day, no rest.
  • On volume days, I’d avoid grinding reps, especially if it’s early in the sets. Just stop once you fatigue and readjust the weight if you’re getting less than like 8.

Day 1 - Heavy Delts/Volume Arms

Seated OH Dumb - 4x8
Machine Laterals - 4x10
Reverse pec dec - 4x10

Machine preacher (v grip) - 5x12
Rope Pushdowns - 5x12
Fat grip curls - 5x12
Cordovas - 5x12??

Reverse Curls - 6x12
1 arm OH exts - 6x12

Day 2 - Volume Legs

Standing smith calf - 6x12
Seated Calf - 6x12

Lying leg curls - 6x12
Seated leg curls - 6x12

Glute Kickbacks (on leg curl) - 5x12

Leg press - 6x12
Hack Squats - 6x12 :frowning:

Day 3 - Heavy Chest/Back/Traps/Abs

Flat dumb press - 4x8
Inc dumb press - 3x8

Pulldowns - 4x6-8
Seated CNG Rows - 3x8
Chest supported rows - 3x10

Shrugs - 5x10
Rope Crunches - 4x10
Weighted Leg raises - 3x10

Day 4 - off

Day 5 - Heavy Arms/Volume Delts

Hammer curls - 4x8
Decline CGBP - 4x8
Machine preacher (wider grip)- 3x8
Machine dips - 3x8
Incline curls - 3x8
Decline dumbbell exts - 3x10

1 Arm Upright rows - 4x12
Meadows Partials - 4x35
High cable x’s - 4x30

Day 6 - Heavy Legs

Standing Smith calf - 3x10 (3)
seated calf - 3x10 (3)

Front Squats - 6x5 (2)

RDL’s - 4x8

Hip Thrusts - 4x8

Day 7 - Volume Chest/Back/Abs

Lo Incline dumb press - 6x12
Decline dumb press - 6x12

Pull ups - 6x12
Hammer strengths high rows - 6x12

Leg raises - 4xAMRAP
Decline Sit ups - 4xAMRAP

Day 8 - off

Shoulder is feeling better so did some OHP but with the Trap Bar. Having a hard time sleeping last 2 nights like maybe 3 hours each night. Wondering if its because I did shoulders both nights and thats causing discomfort lying down…maybe? I took zma, z12, fish oil and at midnight took something else :wink: …to see if that would even work…but no dice. This is the first session of the new program and I’m kind of still working out the details, but I am liking it. Plan is when I hit set and rep scheme numbers on the last sets move up in weight smallest increments possible, rinse and repeat. Which the weight could have gone up for sure but this is the first time back really doing pressing like this. NG really makes it nice on the shoulders though.

1: Heavy Delts/Volume Arms Purpose Set Scheme Weight Notes
Seated OH Press (DB or BB or TB) Power Pushing 4 sets of 6-8 110 TB OHP
Laterals Heavy 4 sets of 6-10 40s, DS 20s then 40 partials
Reverse Flyes/lying face pulls Heavy 4 sets of 6-10 95
Preacher Curls Volume 5 sets of 8-12 70
RG pushdowns Volume 5 sets of 8-12 50
Pinwheel Curls Volume 5 sets of 8-12 40
RG Decline Bench (powertec) Volume 5 sets of 8-12 275
Drag Curls Volume 5 sets of 8-12 65
French Press Volume 5 sets of 8-12 70

NYE edition. Lots of booze followed this session. Now it’s time for ham and black eyed peas. Probably will give it a rest today. I slept a little better last night thanks to the booze. The previous nights that I couldn’t sleep I did take about 4+ grams of glycine…not sure but maybe that could be the culprit for the insomnia? I noticed the second night that may heart rate was mildly elevated. Laying off that so late in the day now just to see.

2: Volume Legs Purpose Set Scheme Weight Notes
Lying Leg Curls Volume 5 sets of 12 80 banded
Standing Leg Curls Volume 5 sets of 12 50 per leg
pull throughs Volume 5 sets of 15 70
Front Squats Volume 5 sets of 12 155
Hack Squats Volume 5 sets of 12 205
Leg Extensions Volume 5 sets of 12 100

Need more dbs for the house. I’ll do the ab stuff tonight before bed with SS with pushups.

Forgot to mention nutrition goals. Doing a form of IF. Basically eat between 12 and 6. Fasting seems to suit me well. I’ve done it in the past as long as I’m busy at work it’s no sweat. Besides that eat as much protein as I can stand in that time and lots of complex carbs. I cant stand counting or measuring squat. So as long as the weight moves in the right direction this the plan. The other macros will fit in to place.

3: Heavy Chest/Back/Traps/Abs Purpose Set Scheme Weight Notes
Flat dumb press Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 60 Banded ls drop bands
Inc press Heavy 3 sets of 6-8 245
BOR Heavy 3 sets of 8-12 185 ls drop set to failure
SA Pulldowns Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 95
chest supported Rows Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 225
Kneeling SA Cable Row NG Heavy 3 sets of 6-8 70
Shrugs/BTB Upright Row Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 225
Reverse Ab Rollout 4 sets of 6-8
Ab Rollout 4 sets of 6-8
5: Heavy Arms/Volume Delts Purpose Set Scheme Weight Notes
Hammer Curls Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 60s
Decline RG BP Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 315 dead stops
Preacher Curls Heavy 3 sets of 6-8 90
Skull Crushers Heavy 3 sets of 6-8 40s
Incline Curls Heavy 3 sets of 6-8 40
RG Press Downs Heavy 3 sets of 10 50
High Incline BP Volume 4 sets of 10-12 205
Reverse Flye SS partials Volume 3 sets of 12-15 20 ds 10s and partials
Cable Lateral Complex Volume 2 set finishers

I can’t find the video but I saw posted on tnation but it was a finisher for your medial delts. It was a cable lateral behind the back to failure (around 8-10) then from in front to failure, then a row and external rotation to failure and last but not least partial laterals. That’s the cable lateral complex. I like to use those from time to time.

6: Heavy Legs Purpose Set Scheme Weight Notes
Squat Heavy 6 sets of 5 275 reverse pyramid ls reverse banded and paused
RDL Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 295
Hip Thrusts Not So Heavy 4 sets of 8-12 135 TUT hold the top! need to add weight
RFESS Not So Heavy 4 sets of 8-12 40
Calves if you want Heavy 4 sets of 8-12 225

So looking at the program I must have initially thought day 7 looks like a breeze. Lets add 1 more exercise per chest and back. I superset volume days so on the 2nd SS by 3rd or 4th set I was fading fast. Heavy leg day kind of beat up the back the day prior… Anyway, do the thing as written… I usually do ab rollouts and pushups before bed 2 or 3 times a week anyway… I’ll just do some deficit pushups tonight.

Nutrition…I am almost certain I wasn’t getting enough protein for a good bit here recently. Actually I’m not sure for how long. The wife has decided now that her school is slowing down that she’s wanting to get back to lifting and get back in shape. She’s uber organized the opposite of me. She game plans her meals in advance and writes her macros down old school along with the kcals. Her doing this made me start to tally what I’ve been eating. Doing fasting helps dropping weight but apparently it has also not allowed me to maintain anywhere near a gram of protein per lb of bw. So, with her help, have decided to plan it out at least a little better and semi track calories and protein.

7: Volume Chest/Back/Abs Purpose Set Scheme Weight Notes
Low Incline DB Press Volume 6 sets of 8-12 60s I need dbs…
Slight Decline DB Press Volume 6 sets of 8-12 60/50 by 3rd set…had to drop to 50s
Dips Volume 6 sets of 8-12 no way…
Pull Ups Volume 6 sets of 8-12 bw
Rows on Lever Machine Volume 6 sets of 8-12 225 hold peak contraction 3sec
SA T Bar Row SS: Meadows Rows Volume 6 sets of 8-12 nope…
Decline Sit Ups Volume 3 sets of Amrap
Ab Wheel Volume 4 sets of 6-10
1: Heavy Delts/Volume Arms Purpose Set Scheme Weight Notes
Seated OH Press (DB or BB or TB) Power Pushing 4 sets of 6-8 115 TB OHP
heavy partial ss partials Heavy 4 sets of 6-10 40s, DS 20s then 40s swings
Reverse Flyes/lying face pulls Heavy 4 sets of 6-10 100 hold at peak contraction ss flyes
Preacher Curls Volume 5 sets of 8-12 75
v bar pushdowns Volume 5 sets of 8-12 80
Pinwheel Curls Volume 5 sets of 8-12 40
RG Decline Bench Volume 5 sets of 8-12 315
Drag Curls/fa sa curls Volume 5 sets of 8-12 65 fa curls 25
French Press Volume 5 sets of 8-12 70 this was heavy after rg decl bench dropped weight on last 2 sets

Sunday the wife wanted to have one last cheat meal. So she ordered up the family some Chinese food from our favorite local joint. I chose poorly. I went with Sesame Chicken. I love fried chicken…but it typically doesn’t love me. That was a sleepless night. BUT…I’m down 5 lbs the hard way…glass half full? Keeping up tracking nutrition fairly decently. I am definitely getting a minimum of 200g protein daily now. Which is good because this program has my legs barking like they haven’t in a long time. Heavy leg day about wiped me out. It looks easy on paper. Need the protein to help with the recovery.

Weight this morning was 200lbs spot on. Don’t want to drop the weight too fast but I’m sure this is just a blip due to the bad food choices.

Ate nearly 110 grams of chicken breast before tonight’s workout. Didn’t get enough in all day. Its volume leg day…bad call. Feel like I’m working harder to keep it down than anything. Although my legs are getting abused right now.

2: Volume Legs Purpose Set Scheme Weight Notes
Lying Leg Curls Volume 5 sets of 8-12 70 orange band
Standing Leg Curls Volume 5 sets of 8-12 60 per leg
Front Squats Volume 5 sets of 8-12 155
Hack Squats Volume 5 sets of 8-12 205 next time up weight
Leg Extensions Volume 4 sets of 8-12 110 SS w/ pull throughs
pull throughs Volume 4 sets of 8-15 60

Whew…done…last set of leg extensions did a rest pause set then dropped weight 20 and repeated. Quads are toast. BTW, hack squats for me are just the old school hack squats with a barbell. I’ve been looking at getting a leg press/hack squat machine for a minute but getting tight on space in the garage.

3: Heavy Chest/Back/Traps/Abs Purpose Set Scheme Weight Notes
Flat dumb press Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 60 Banded ls drop bands
Inc press Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 275
BOR Heavy 4 sets of 8-12 185 ls drop set to failure
SA Pulldowns Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 95
chest supported Rows Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 245 feeling the back nicely here finely
Kneeling SA Cable Row NG Heavy 3 sets of 6-8 70
Shrugs/BTB Upright Row Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 245
Woke at 200 lbs.
Going to have to eat lighter dinners for evening workouts. Last two nights I had to run outside and chew back dinner. It was uncharacteristically warm today…which made it worse. I’ll figure it out.

200 lbs this a.m.

5: Heavy Arms/Volume Delts Purpose Set Scheme Weight Notes
barbell banded curls Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 70 red band
Jm press Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 155 these are weird…needs work and weight…
Preacher Curls Heavy 3 sets of 6-8 95
Skull Crushers Heavy 3 sets of 6-8 40s
Incline Curls Heavy 3 sets of 6-8 30 light bands dropped bands on ls after r/p
Rope Press Downs Heavy 3 sets of 10 60
High Incline BP Volume 4 sets of 10-12 205 red band ls ds
Reverse Flye SS partials ss band pull aparts Volume 3 sets of 12-15 20 ouch…ouch…
defranco shocker 1 Volume 2 set finishers this killed me

I looked at this and thought man the arm volume for a heavy day looks crazy, but I started doing it and it wasn’t that bad. I usually do JM presses after chest sets, and my chest was so gassed that I never really got up that heavy on the JM press. I was way off on my weight choices starting with the jm press. I like starting with it though. Today on all they heavy arm work I did r/p sets on all the last sets. With the JM Press I got more winded than anything. It seemed I could have kept going all day on those. I looked at the shoulder volume and thought that’s not enough…but after the high incline bench the fire started in the shoulders. The reverse fly crap just about did me in. Those were great…and then to follow that with the defranco shocker was brilliant stupidity.

6: Heavy Legs Purpose Set Scheme Weight Notes
Squat Heavy 6 sets of 5 275 reverse banded and paused
RDL Heavy 4 sets of 6 295 ls dropped wt
Hip Thrusts Not So Heavy 4 sets of 10 155 TUT!
RFESS Not So Heavy 4 sets of 10 40
Calves Heavy 3 sets of 10 225 Slow Negatives hold the stretch

200 lbs again this am. Need to cut cals by a touch to get it moving again…or maybe…just…maybe I should do stupid cardio… I really need to just to get my wind up for some of these grinders. Heavy Leg day is pretty soul crushing stuff…by the just the second exercise, heavy RDLs, the last set had my back ready to walk away. I had to drop it to 225 and only got 8 before my back was ready to seize up. I did the hip thrusts with slightly more weight but really like to hold the top on those. All in all good day, but this one takes it out of me. I usually take a day off tomorrow but looks like I’ll have free time in the morning so I am going to try and hit early. That doesn’t happen on Monday’s typically.

7: Volume Chest/Back/Abs Purpose Set Scheme Weight Notes
Low Incline DB Press Volume 6 sets of 8-12 50 I need dbs…
Slight Decline DB Press Volume 6 sets of 8-12 50 by 3rd set…had to drop to 50s
Dips Volume 6 sets of 8-12 no way…
Pull Ups Volume 6 sets of 8-12 bw
seated ng row Volume 6 sets of 8-12 105 hold peak contraction 3sec
SA T Bar Row/Meadows Rows Volume 6 sets of 8-12 12 reps 3 of each sa t bar row and the 12 reps 3 sets of meadows rows

201 today. Really beat up so lightened it up a tad. I really should pay attention to only doing “last set to failure unless noted otherwise” part. Getting beat up a bit and wore out.

199 lbs.

1: Heavy Delts/Volume Arms Purpose Set Scheme Weight Notes
TB OHP Power Pushing 4 sets of 6-8 115 additional set 125 cluster set…just 3…smh
heavy partial ss band Heavy 4 sets of 6-10 red band ss
lying face pulls Heavy 4 sets of 6-10 100 hold at peak contraction
straight bar fat gripz curls Volume 5 sets of 8-12 75
v bar pushdowns Volume 5 sets of 8-12 70
Pinwheel Curls Volume 5 sets of 8-12 30 ss straight hammer curls
RG Decline Bench Volume 5 sets of 12-15 295 3 sec negs no lockout no stop
Drag Curls fat gripz Volume 5 sets of 8-12 75
French Press Volume 5 sets of 8-12 60

Also did some Trap work. Trap behind the back upright row thingy. Trying the ksm-66 from nootropics depot @dextermorgan has recommended. It’s been pretty stressful last couple weeks that doesn’t look to be ending any time soon. Reading some pretty cool stuff about it on consumerlab…so hopefully it does the trick. I did take some last night and the work out felt amazing but not sure it was that. I ate some 80% dark chocolate before the work out too (caffeine maybe?)… I put in an hour and half of work and didn’t get burnt until the end. Took some this morning with the alpha male (second week) I’ve been trying. Really haven’t noticed much with the alpha male but its still early.

Mr Beef’s do this dumb routine has put some size on my arms. My chest size has come down a bit but that could be because of my limited dumbbell selection. Will probably sub in more of the lever machine bench again keeping incline dumbbell press.

2: Volume Legs Purpose Set Scheme Weight Notes
Lying Leg Curls Volume 5 sets of 8-12 80 orange band
band kickbacks Volume 5 sets of 8-12 orange
Powertec Squats Volume 5 sets of 8-12 275 Ouch quads screaming
Hack Squats Volume 5 sets of 8-12 205 nope on upping wt…after ptec squats.
Leg Extensions Volume 4 sets of 12 90 r/p set (10, 8, 8 usually) SS w/ pull throughs
pull throughs Volume 4 sets of 8-15 orange band

Man, sleep has been spotty. I just can’t seem to get quality sleep. 199 lbs. his morning.

3: Heavy Chest/Back/Traps/Abs Purpose Set Scheme Weight Notes
Flat press Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 335 top set 335 clusters 7
Inc db press Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 60 ls 3 sec negs
BOR Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 195 ls drop set to failure
Pulldowns Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 180 work up to ls
chest supported db Rows Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 60s hold at the top
Shrugs/BTB Upright Row Heavy 4 sets of 6-8 275
Reverse Ab Rollout 4 sets of 6-8
Ab Rollout 4 sets of 6-8

Ugg…flu…been down and out since Saturday. Probably going to miss today too. I’ll get back on track tomorrow.

196 this morning…can’t sleep because I’m hacking my lungs up all night. That makes 3 nights now…the bags under my eyes have bags. I’m fighting through this crap. Going to try and do a couple of whole body days to get back in the swing of things and then finish up the last heavy leg day of week 3 of do this dumb routine.