This is the Beginning

Hey guys! I’m starting a log because I’ve decided that it is dumb to keep my training hidden from the T-Nation community. You guys are too smart for me to continue to lurk. I need to get my workouts on the web so they can be critiqued, and I can benefit from your knowledge.

I’ve known about T-Nation for years and have spent many hours reading the articles and the forum. However, my training has not matched my reading. I’ve started and stopped numerous times without making any real progress. That changed about 5 months ago. I’ve been training consistently for 5 months now. So, despite my 2006 registration date, I’m a beginner. But I have gained 20 pounds and am getting stronger. And I have found it incredibly cool to actually make progress in the gym!

Today’s workout:

Weighted Pull ups: BWx5, 10x4, 25x3, 35x3, 45x3, 55x3, 70x3, 70x2
DB bench press: 55x5, 65x4, 75x3, 80x3, 85x3, 90x3, 85x4
Deadlift: 155x4, 175x3, 195x3, 205x3, 225x3, 245x3, 265x3, 285x1, 285x1
Curl bar curls: 35x5, 55x5, 65x5, 75x5 80x5 85x5

Does a curl bar weigh 15 pounds? The curl numbers assume a 15 pound bar but I don’t know if that is accurate.

NIN to get this log started right:

Weight: 178 Height: 5’7"

General goals: Get bigger and stronger

Specific goals:
Get weight up to 192 (because that is where I become obese according to the BMI) After that I’ll see if I want to cut or keep bulking.

My long term strength goals are 300/400/500 for bench, squat, and deadlift.

Jump high enough to touch a basketball rim.

Yesterday’s workout:

Seated row: 115x5, 130x4, 145x3, 160x3, 175x3, 190x3, 205x3, 220x3, 220x3
Squat: 95x5, 135x5, 185x3, 205x3, 225x3, 245x3, 265x3, 265x2
Decline DB bench press: 50x5, 60x4, 70x3, 75x3, 80x3, 85x3, 90x4

Most of my workouts in the last month or two have included a shoulder press variation, but I’m taking a short break from that because of (nerve?) pain in my shoulder blade area.

A bit more about my goals. I grew up wrestling and I primarily care about strength that will carry over to wrestling and jiu-jitsu and mma. I would like to compete in powerlifting at some point as well. And finally, I also care about aesthetics and bodybuilding to a degree. I don’t ever plan to compete in bodybuilding or ever have the mass of a bodybuilder, but I do care about being well proportioned and lean.

But my primary focus right now is strength and size.


Neutral grip pull ups: BWx5, 10x3, 25x3, 35x3, 45x3, 55x3, 70x3, 72.5x3 (PR)
Shoulder press: 65x5, 95x3, 115x3 (see below)
Deadlift: 155x5, 175x3, 205x3, 225x3, 245x3, 265x3, 285x2, 285x2
Bench Press: 135x5, 155x3, 175x3, 185x3, 195x3, 205x3
Curl bar curls: 35x5, 55x5, 65x5, 75x5, 80x5, 85x5

Stopped shoulder press early because of pain in my shoulder blade area.

I went rock climbing a couple days ago for the second time ever. I was way better than I was a couple years ago. And I can attribute that to my increased strength. The first time I went I wasn’t able to climb any of the routes. This time I was climbing 5.6s and 5.7s and I came close to climbing a 5.8 but I grabbed something that I didn’t realize was supposed to be feet only.

Weight: 179

BB bent over row: 95x6, 135x5, 185x5, 195x3, 205x3, 225x3
DB bench press: 50x6, 60x4, 70x3, 75x3, 80x3, 85x3
Squat: 155x5, 185x3, 225x3, 245x3, 265x3, 275x2
Incline DB flyes: 35x5, 40x5, 45x5, 50x5, 55x5
EZ bar Curls: 35x5, 55x5, 65x5, 75x5, 80x5

Weight 181

Training felt good today, but my grip was very weak. I went rock climbing again last night and my grip took a beating, and I noticed it in my deadlift and pull-ups today. About an hour after climbing last night I tried to use my Captain of Crush grippers to see what I could do. I couldn’t even close the trainer. Normally I can rep a number 1, I don’t know, 5 times (It’s been a while since I’ve tried). I can’t close a number 2 yet.

Deadlift: 155x5, 175x3, 205x3, 225x3, 245x3, 265x3, 285x2, 285x1
Neutral grip pull-ups: BWx6, 10x3, 25x3, 35x3, 45x3, 55x3, 70x2
Bench Press: 135x8, 155x3, 175x3, 185x3, 195x3, 205x3
Reverse Flyes: 20x5, 25x5 for 4 sets
Hammer Curls: 25x5, 30x5, 35x5, 40x5, 40x5

Oh, and I climbed a 5.9 last night. Thanks for reading!

My exercise selection has been lacking in variety over the last couple months. My usual training has been pull ups, shoulder press, bench press, and either squat or deadlift. I think I need to add more variety. Especially since I haven’t been doing shoulder press due to nerve pain. So today I added lateral raises and face pulls. I did the lateral raises with a fair amount of elbow bend and had shoulder joint pain (different than the nerve pain) at 25 pounds. I also did face pulls for the first time ever.

I’ve been thinking of going to some type of split at some point. Well I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but after reading Alpha’s log for the first time decided to stay with full body. But I’m thinking it might me time to switch it up soon. I feel like I gotta do something different anyway.

Neutral grip pull up: BWx6, 10x4, 25x3, 35x3, 45x3, 55x3, 70x3 80x2 (fail on third), BWx10
Squat: BWx8, 45x8, 95x6, 135x3, 185x3, 225x3, 245x3, 265x3, 275x3
DB Bench press: 40x6, 50x4, 60x3, 70x3, 75x3, 80x3, 85x3, 90x3 (all three reps were shaky/ugly)
Lateral raises: 10x5, 15x5, 20x5, 25x5
Seated face pull: 40x5, 70x5, 85x5, 100x5, 115x5

Weight: 181

on the curl bar, I’ve always assumed 15lbs too. A quick Bing search reveals that there are 15, 20 and 25 versions? I couldn’t tell ya which one is standard.

Hey thanks man. I searched Amazon a while back and saw multiple weights for curl bars. I had assumed they were 25 pounds before that search. Thanks for the info though.

I decided that maybe I was doing too much in the gym. Every other day I was doing a workout that consisted of squats(or deadlift), bench press, shoulder press, and pull ups. Or some similar workout. Every workout I would work up to close to my 3 rep max. I’ve spent some time looking at 5/3/1 the past few days. I’ve been doing much more per week than 5/3/1 would call for.

Since I’ve been feeling a bit run down, and haven’t been making progress as well as I used to I wanted to change something up. I flirted with the idea of just reducing the weight I use, but instead I’ve decided to start 5/3/1. I’m not sure how long I’ll stick with it. Something about doing such a decreased amount of work doesn’t sit well with me. If this brings results however, I’m sure my feelings will change pretty quickly!

Deadlift: warm up sets, 175x5, 200x5, 230x8 (despite what was written above, 230x8 felt like a good deal of work)
Leg curl: 5x10x50
Single leg calf raise: 3x12-15xBW

Bench Press: 135x5, 155x5, 175x13 (The thirteenth rep was close to failure, maybe should have stopped at 12)
DB rows: 1x10x60, 3x10x70
Dips: 4x10-12xBW

Squats: 175x5, 205x5, 230x10… 3x10x135

Overall I’m doing less work with 5/3/1, but being used to only doing 3 reps at a time made the 230x10 a real ballbuster. Same with the last set of deadlifts the other day. Bench press wasn’t that difficult however.

Overall, I enjoy training this way. It feels good to be doing something different.

Today was supposed to be 5/3/1 military press day, but I chose to just do a light shoulder press workout at home, in order to decrease shoulder aggravation as much as possible.

Shoulder press: worked up to one set of 85x14 (5/3/1 called for working up to 108xAMAP)

Yesterday, I forgot to mention that I was 183 on the gym scale.

It’s been a month since I’ve worked out. I’ve lost nine pounds and was pretty weak in the gym today. Short workout just to get back in the flow of things:

Squat: work up to 205x3
DB Bench: work up to 75x3
Pull ups(neutral grip): work up to BW+45x3

Weight: 174