T Nation

Time to Grow!


Hey guys,

Been on here a while now and thought it was about time I started a log. Last 12 months I really haven't made any significant gains, largely due to some personal problems but anyway, you lot don't wanna here about all that. Point is, it's time to put on some weight. Currently 71kg's, 5'11@ roughly 13-14%bf. Goal is to get to 80-82 kg's and then cut.

Current lifts are: bench 95x1, deadlift 165x1, squat 100x8 and military press 55x8. I've stopped conventional deads due to some lower back issues, can't seem to squat and dead in the same week but I'm doing sldl and will start sumo next week to see if it helps my back a little.'

This log is primarily going to be a food log although I'll chuck in my training sessions too, won't bother with numbers unless I pb or something. So here it goes....


Right, so I'm in Argentina ATM and return home on Monday. Trained for the last 5 days straight, so prob wont train again now till Tuesday. Just going to focus on eating as much as possible, although we all know how hard that is when travelling, on top of that it my friends bday tomorrow and I know it's going to be a big one, but what the hell, I really don't drink much so I'm sure it wont do too much harm.

This morning woke up, had big bowl of oats with milk and a sliced banana. 2 hours later just had 4 egg omelette with large knob of butter and 30gr soft cheese. I'm aiming for roughly 3600kcals per day as per John Berardi weight gain calculator.

I'll see how it goes, if I start piling on too much flab I'll ease off. currently train 5 days a week, legs, chest and tri's, back and bi's, shoulders and then arms. Hitting arms twice a week as they're shit, to put it simply. Will get some photos up as soon as back in the uk although my profile pics are pretty accurate.


3pm 3 rice cakes with nat peanut butter

5pm 2 sausages, 350gr steak, large green salad drenched in olive oil, 1 slice brown bread, few potato wedges

7pm 2 tbls peanut butter

9pm half a roast chicken drizzled in olive oil and 2 beef burgers.

1030pm small bowl of oats with 1 chopped banana and tbls of peanut butter. Worked a rough average of todays kcals and came up at around 3650 so on target for today.


So managed to wake up starving this morning which is great, been struggling for appetite early in the day so was a pleasant change. Nothing worse than shovelling food down when you really don't want to!
11am - big bowl of whole grain flakes with chopped banana and tbsp peanut butter

1pm - 4 Egg omelette, Butter and 30gr soft cheese. 5 fish oil caps

2pm caesar salad

330 - 5 played tennis

530 pm chocolate bar, granola bar, small tin of tuna with 2 tbsp olive oil[/quote]

7pm big bowl special k, sliced banana, tbsp peanut butter, glass of milk

8pm 3 handfulls of peanuts. Out for dinner in a minute, worked out need another 800kcals for the day. Shouldn't be a problem.

10pm steak and creamed spinach with cheese


Hung over today ,went out for a mates b-day and it ended up being a big one...

Because of this I'll be happy to just hit my calorie quota for the day. Really not bothered how I get there today

1pm 2 big bowls of cereal 1 sliced banana handful of peanuts 2 glasses milk

3pm 4 rice cakes with 50gr soft cheese

5pm ham and cheese pizza - damn it was good! Junk tastes so much better when hungover!

Took a nap cause I feel like absolute shit!

8pm another bowl of cereal - yeah I know, overkill but I just need the kcals today and can't be assed to go to the shop of cook properly

830pm 2 burgers with cheese

930-1130pm 1 banana, 1 mandarin, a yogurt drink, 5 rice cakes, 2tbsp olive oil

Macros have been all over the place today, not enough protein and too many carbs. Got a 20 hour trip home tomorrow I'm sure it's going to be even worse. Going to take a few chocolate bars and some bags of nuts for the trip, would love to take some beef jerky but can't seem to find any here. And then there's the airplane food to contend with! 300 kcals of pure garbage. It's only one day though and when get home I can get everything in check. Haven't had access to any supps over here apart from fish oil so just having access to some whey and a blender is going to make lift a lot easier.


Dre, great log! I'll try and stop by as often as possible.

Do you use AAS?

How tall are you?

What cereal do you eat?

Do you just eat fucking spoonfuls of peanut butter? LOL



Dre; here (in this video) are some of the hip flexibility/mobility exercises I mentioned, I hope they help :wink:

This is copied from an article by pavel Tsatouline; this helped me develop my hip flexibility more than any other exercise. I didn't mention it before as its quite tricky to describe but I've found the article so I'll copy it out word for word.

The "pull the hips out squat"

The following drill will radically improve your squatting depth and open up your hips. Hold a light weight out in front of you for balance and squat. I do not need to remind you that your heels must not leave the floor and your knees must always track your feet.

Do not squat mindlessly; focus on "pulling your hips out of their sockets" on the way down. Really, its the same action that you practiced in the hamstring and back stretches except now you are pulling your hips away from your knees rather than your feet. If you do it by the book you cannot help noticing a record squat depth, a nice opening feeling in the hip joints and remarkably low stress on the knees.

Once you have gone down as deep as you can, let out a sigh of relief and you will sink even deeper. Do many repetitions, at least match your age, gradually progressing to a greater and greater depth. Eventually you may take a wider stance.


Hey man, glad you had time to stop by.

I'm 5'11, normally I eat Scottish oats but I've been eating special k over the last few days. Mix in a chopped banana and tbsp of peanut butter, some whole milk and you've got 500kcals right there. I find even if I'm no hungry I can always get it down.

As for the peanut butter. Lol, yeah I tend to just get massive spoon and eat it out the jar. I order 1kg of natural peanut butter from myprotein website, tastes awesome and there's no added sugar. Only 5 quid too, absolute bargain. They do an almond one too which i haven't tried yet for a tenner. Stil a bargain.

Thanks a lot for the article,interesting explanation, tsatsouline is the king when it comes to mobility and flexibility! i only have access to Internet via my iPod at the moment so I can't see the video but I'll definitely check it out, from what you described it sounds like exactly what i need.

And no, I dont take AAS

Normal supps i take are whey, fish oil. I cycle on and off creatine. And take glutamine when I feel I need it. Pre work out sometimes I take 200-400mg
caffeine. And I take bcaa's when dieting.

Will start posting my training when I get back. Should be in the gym Tuesday. Will also put up a couple of current pics. And maybe an old one from before I started training.


No problem, do you do split training or full body training? I found when I trained naturally full body workouts promoted more growth and therefore weight gain. I managed to get to 230LB (@20?) from 140LB naturally.

I would recommend finding a leg exercise which won't affect the back which you can work hard, I would recommend the belt squat, but the Bulgarian split squat is a good alternative to pre exhaust with before the front squat.

400mg caffeine pre workout makes for a GREAT workout, I take it you train in the morning those days? LOL

I have tried the almond butter from my protein, its not great, I'd stick with the peanut butter if its only a fiver :wink:


I used to do push, pull, legs. I trained 531 for a while on the 4 day split and then recently started doing a 5 day split. Legs. Chest tri's, back bi's, shoulders and arms. My arms lag so I've been hitting them twice a week.
I've been thinking of returning to push pull legs, or doing an upper lower split for more volume. Couldn't bring myself to do full body. I like being in the gym too much... At least on former two splits I could still have time to recover, increase volume, increase frequency, and be in the gym4-5 days a week. Do you think that would be as beneficial?

As for the caffeine. Tbh I usually just take 200mg or nothing. If I feel really lethargic or I just can't be arsed I'll drop 400mg and yeah, it makes for a great workout! Allbeit a bit jittery! Lol


930am 6 egg omelette with cheese and butter 5 fish oil caps

Trying to eat as much now as possible as I'm about to leave for the airport!

Half pounder with cheese

Airplane food! Chicken rice, 2 sandwiches 2 bags of nuts and 2 chocolate bars, 2 granola bars

Managed to get egg, ham and bacon sandwich at madrid airport
Then a roast beef sandwich at gatwick, let's just say I'm sick of bloody sandwiches and barely know what day it is ATM


If you're gaining, and the scale is moving, then your programming is working. I would just add that multiple sets of low reps worked best for me building up my legs; i.e 10x5 instead of 5x10.

If your arms are lagging by all means work them, just remember your legs and back consist of two thirds of your bodies muscle mass.


Just got home, finally! 22 hours door to door! Just had a protein shake, 1.5 scoops whey, 1 banana and a tbsp peanut butter in the blender! Wow I can't believe how much I missed my shakes...been a month. Was getting withdrawals. About to hit the sack cause I haven't slept in I don't know how long.

Budda - tbh I haven't made a real size gains in ages but not cause of the programming, more just due to not eating enough. Been on a 5 day body part split for a while now though and I've heard of loads of ppl that they made their best gains training natural when doing full body or upper/lower splits. I'm going to start on an upper/lower split tomorrow. 5 days a week with the 5th day being a flexible day. Train what I feel like at the time. Will give it 3 months and see now it goes.

6pm caught up on some zzz's now time to catch up on some kcals. Just had half a tandoori chicken and some rice.

830pm half pound minced lamb meatloaf, spinach, small portion rice, chick peas.

10pm 1 scoop whey, 200gr vanilla yogurt, 1.5tbsp natty peanut butter 1tbsp olive oil

1130pm 150gr cottage cheese


Dre: Sounds good, looking forwards to reading your updates!


I'll be hitting the gym tomorrow so will start posting my workouts.


Dre: here are a few things I'd like to share, which worked well for me:

Remember that a 45-60 min max workout is most effective, with what you do in the first ten to fifteen minutes being the most valuable i.e on leg day perform the 'most bang for your buck exercise first' for your requirements this will likely be front squats. On bench day dumbbell presses. Pre exhausting never worked for me-probably because I'm much too lanky.

Squat to parallel but not deeper, I never noticed any added benefit. My legs are LONG, squatting to parallel already necessitated traveling fart enough, it also helps avoid back rounding.

On lower body exercises like squats and dead lifts use multiple sets of low reps, this helps you maintain good technique and reduces the risk of injury, I think it is also easier to recover from 10x3 than 3x10, recovery is key, and especially so when training naturally.

Good luck Dre, looking forwards to seeing the workouts, my 3kg of peanut butter arrived from my protein today! Only £12!

Also Dre, as a PT, what would you recommend as a complete arm workout, for me, as someone who doesn't use split training and is just introducing direct arm training? I need to bring my upper arms up, as they suck major balls...


Hey mate,

Thanks a lot for all the info, a lot of it makes perfect sense and i do a few things already, for instance doing the most important exercise first and not going below parallel on squats, i also like to keep the reps low on dead's.

As for direct arm training, what ive been doing recently and have seen good gains (probably the only good gains ive had for any body part in a while is this)

Bi's - start off with barbell curls, working in the 6-10 rep range. 3-4 sets. I like to do a very slight front raise motion at the beginning taking the weight away from your body and changing the leverages. You use a little more anterior delt but i find you also recruit the bicep better.

Then move onto 3 sets of hammer curls or incline curls, dependant on what i feel like on the day. Just a preference thing but on most unilateral curls i do 8 reps. 4 reps on one side then the same on the other, and then finish off with another 4 reps on each. Just feels right and helps build up a bit of a pump, rest a few seconds and then really go for the last 4 reps.

I always finish bi's with concentration curls, again with db's. I find these really help take the muscle to absolute fatigue and again you get a great pump. These i do 8-10 reps on, sometimes a burnout on the last going up to 12-14 whatever i can manage. And thats it for bi's. i dont rest any longer than 90 seconds, usually keep it to about 60 seconds.

Tri's - always start with cable, usually straight bar, usually higher reps to warm up, around 12. 3-4 sets.

Once i feel well warmed up i move onto skull crushers, 3 sets. with an ez bar, although straight bar works just as well. With these i tend to extend a little behind my head as opposed to straight up, i find this recuits more of the long head and just feels better all in all. Usually again reps around 10-12. I dont like low reps for tri's as i always feel it in my elbows.

Finally i finish off with some sort of overhead extension. Ive been doing this thing where you set a bench at about 60 degress, lie back against it, not sitting but half standing with your back pressed against it, get a dumbell in each hand, try and keep the elbows tucked, hold the db's directly overhead, and lower until you feel a good stretch in tri, then extend up without fully locking out. I usually do around 8 reps on these, i find you get a serious burn and tbh i cant think of any other tri exercise where i feel such a full feeling, what i mean by that is all the heads being worked equally.

And thats it for tri's. Works out at 10 sets for each. I've been doing this set up for about 12 weeks and really enjoy it. Not to mention ive seen good gains with this approach.


Right, so today woke up pretty late, still pretty jet lagged but feel fresh now.

1130am - 1 scoop whey, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 450ml's milk, 1 tbsp olive oil

230pm 300gr minced beef, spinach and cheese

430pm pre workout 1 snickers bar

workout as follows, did an upper body session today

started off with a complex to warm up, 20kgs on the bar, did 2 sets. 10 cleans, 10 oh press, 10 bent rows. no rest inbetween.

Then flat bench, 40x8, 60x8, 80x5, 80x5, 85x5 (pb), finished off with 60x15 as a burnout.

Inbetween every set above i did wide chins 8 reps, worked out to be 6 sets in total.

Standing barbell press, 40x8, 50x8, 50x7, 50x7

BB shrugs 50x12, 90x12, 90x10, 90x12

Seated bent over lat raise, 8x10, 10x12, 10x12, 10x12

DB curls, 12x8, 16x8, 16x8, 16x8

Finished off with some static stretches and foam rolling for 10 minutes.

Overall decent sessions, got one more upper body workout for this week, will focus a bit more on back in that session. Planning on doing 2 upper, 2 lower body workouts a week, and then 1 free session where i just go in and do what i feel like on the day. Most likely will work on some oly lifts and more arms.

Post workout 6pm 1 snickers bar, 1 whey shake with water.

730pm 4 egg omelette with butter. 1tbsp olive oil

930pm gbk cheese and bacon burger with very small portion of skinny fries.


Managed to rip my entire big toe nail off this morning. It hurt! More to the point though I don't know how this is going to effect my lower body training today. Will see how it goes but I suspect it's going to make squatting slightly difficult. If worse comes to worse I'll have to stick to the leg press and machine leg curls and ext. I'm hoping I can still manage to squat. As long as I stay on my heels it should be alright. Talk about an incentive to use solid form! Lol

Anyway food wise - 10am 60gr oats, 1 scoop whey, 1 banana, 1 tbsp peanut butter. 1 tbsp olive oil, 200gr Greek yogurt.

Pre workout around 11am - 2 snickers bars, 4 fish oil capsules

Lower body - started with some mobility drills and stretching and a little foam rolling.

Front squats. Did 40, 50, 60x2(sets), 65x2(sets) all for 5 reps. Form wasnt too bad today, was pretty happy.

Split squats foot elevated - 16's x 5(each leg) for 4 sets

SLDL - 60x5 for 7 sets - kept the weight real light today, wanted to give my lower back a rest after the months and months of heavy back squats and dead lifts. Focused on getting a good stretch in the bottom positiion and maintaining tension throughout the motion.

Calf raises on leg press machine - 100x15, 120x12 for 3 sets

Cruicifix sit ups with 10kg BB - 2 sets of 8 reps (these were much harder than i remember!)

Hanging knee raises 2 sets 8 reps

10 minutes of stretching and foam rolling at the end

Enjoyed todays session, no PB's or anything and kept the intensity pretty low. Want to make sure i can recover for the next session which i'm going to try to get in the day after tomorrow. Once i get used to the higher frequency i'll up the intensity but dont want to do too much too soon and injure myself.

Postworkout 1245pm - 80gr roughly oats and 1 scoop whey blended. Feeling pretty full already! only 1pm and already eaten a good 2000kcals.

Also weighed myself in the gym earlier and came up at 74.5kgs!! couldnt beleive it. Was with clothes on so can prob take off 1 kg but still that works out at 2.5 kg gain in a week. The only thing i can put it down to is obviously the increased kcals but also i was eating pretty low carb (around 100gr a day, sometimes less) before i started eating to gain so i suspect a lot of the weight is just glycogen and maybe some water too. Anyway certainly not complaining. Wont weigh myself again till wednesday next week now. Will also put up some photos later on today, need something to draw comparison from in future.

4pm - 4 eggs with butter (scrambled) had to force it down, these monster shakes in the morning are really filling me up but who can argue with 800-1000kcals in one drink!

530pm - 30gr unpasturised hard cheese

730pm - 2 chicken fillets, spinach and cheese with chick peas, 1 tortilla wrap

10pm - 2 chocolate biscuit bars

1130pm - 250gr minced beef with chick peas, half torilla wrap, 4 rice cakes, peanut butter, 30gr cheese