T Nation

TN Holds Back Time & Tide

You know how it goes, right? You get married, get a crappy job that sucks up all your time, have a kid…the works. The gym sessions become a little more infrequent. Your “deload” week turns into a month. You buy some kettlebells but never really train consistently. You try some calisthenics but nearly die of boredom. A few years go by, and oof.

However, the kid is in school, the crappy job was replaced with a better one (albeit still immensely stressful), and the gym is calling. I joined in the beginning of the year and got a few weeks in before the COVID shutdown. As usual, I couldn’t find any consistency at home, so I’m putting on a mask and going back. Unfortunately, I have only about a half hour between the end of work and needing to leave to pick up the kid. Whatever I need to do, it has to be fast.

I decided, after playing around for a bit, to do 5/3/1 Beginner as outlined in 5/3/1 2nd edition. It seems I will need to superset exercises to get enough done in 30 minutes. Bringing up my work capacity will stall strength gains at first, but in the long run it should be relatively fine. Assistance will definitely include dumbbell rows, which help my touchy shoulders.

As for diet, with the stress of the job and a family, I’m struggling to be consistent. My wife bought a BeachBody subscription a while ago, and we both adopted Autumn Calabrese’s diet. (It’s pretty close to bodybuilder macros and calorie counts.) I lost 10 pounds (185 -> 175), but haven’t been consistent enough to do more. Stress, lack of sleep, and too much beer and salty snacks are stalling me.

Conditioning will probably be incline treadmill walking, at least at first. Starting too light on conditioning seems okay, too.

Although I’m past my prime, I don’t need to give into physical and mental degeneration. My idol is Clarence Bass, who is almost exactly 40 years older than me, but still trains and eats a healthy diet. His bodyfat is under 6% and he does glute-ham raises…he’s 82.

Age: 42
Height: 5’ 5.5"
Weight: 175.4 pounds (naked, first thing in the morning, T Oct 6)
Bodyfat %: Not good! (Don’t have a measuring device)

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M Oct 5 (Cycle 1, Week 1) (all numbers in pounds)

Squat 70 x 5; 85 x 5; 95 x 8
Bench 50 x 5; 60 x 5; 70 x 5
DB Row (25 lbs): 8/8, 8/8, 8/8 in about 6:30

T Oct 6

Conditioning - treadmill 30:00, 1 mph, 1 degree incline

Missed F Oct 9 - F Oct 16

Wife & daughter both sick, then me

R Oct 8

Conditioning - treadmill 30:00, 1 mph, 2 degree incline

W Oct 7 (Cycle 1, Week 1)

Deadlift 115 x 5; 130 x 5; 150 x 8
OHP 50 x 5; 55 x 5; 65 x 7
hanging grip
2 Chin-Ups with slight kip to start
Lying Knee Lifts: 6, 5, 5

Since the Beginner workout is set at ABA ABA ABA, missing more than a week due to illness made me realize that life was going to interfere too much with the program. I didn’t want to do weeks of AAB or BAA after missing workouts. So I decided to switch to the standard 5/3/1 routine. At the moment, I have only the original 5/3/1 second edition, so I’m working with ideas from that. I decided to restart the first cycle and superset an antagonist accessory movement with the main movement. Since I have very little time, I need to workout more densely.

M Oct 19 - (Cycle 1, Week 1, Sq 110, BP 90, DL 175, OHP 75)

Squat 70 x 5; 85 x 5; 95 x 9
Partial Lying Knee Raises: 6, 6, 6

  • Pain at very left edge of back kept me from full-range, so I did floor to halfway. I think the pain is from sitting in my desk chair the wrong way.

Bulgarian Split Squat (no weight): 3/3, 5/5, 5/5, 5/5 x 8:32 (18 R forward, 18 L forward)

T Oct 20 - (Cycle 1, Week 1, Sq 110, BP 90, DL 175, OHP 75)

Superset in 11:49
Bench 60 x 5; 70 x 5; 75 x 10
DB Rows: 25 x 10/10; 10/10; 10/10

DB Incline Press (hands facing): 15s x 8, 8, 8, 8 in 6:48

  • hands facing felt better and tested better
  • good sensation in right pec but not left

R Oct 22

Was testing dumbbells for curls, put a 20 lbs. on the rack but it slipped and mashed my right forefinger. No workouts until at least next week.