T Nation

To look like a Demigod (Aldebaran)

Hello everyone, I’m starting a log as I enter the “committed” challenge. I’m 29, been lifting for 5 years at least, and like JCVD I was born in Brussels, and am half-belgian. For these 4 months I’ll be doing olympic-lifting focused training, which is a first for me. It’ll be hard and unconfortable.

The log will certainly help me being in check, expecially in the diet part. I’ve been eating 2 cheats a day for 2 months at least, and now I’m accountable. Enough time wasted. It’s been the worst year of my life. More than 6 months of depression, lead to a couple of months (july, august) where I’ve been drinking to a stupor 3x a weeks, taking drugs and eating garbage. Good thing I was still training hard. In the end muscle and strength didn’t move much, but that was time “wasted” training wise, fidgeting around, program hoping. Like they say, “anima sana in corpore sano”, so I’m now going to build a new me.

Currents stats:

1,85m 85kgs
Squat (high bar): 140kgs
Bench: 110kgs
Deadlift: 160kgs
Snatch (on a very good day): 70 kgs
Clean and Jerk: 90kgs (at least I can clean and push press it, didn’t try a 90kgs jerk but it should be okay)

These were done like 3 weeks ago in a “mock meet”, first I’ve done. This is the first time I will be training high bar, I used not to have enough mobility to make it confortable. It was the hardest rep in my life, litteraly thought I would fall as I got stuck for 3 secs.
When it was time to deadlift my legs were fried (my weakness is from the floor) and the 170 barely budged from the ground. But I could do 160 x 5 if all in.

As for nutrition I’ll start with a deficit, to spiral out of garbage food cravings and habits, then increase caloreis. My meal plan is the same every day:

Breakfast: omelet with 3 eggs, 1 slice of lean ham, sometimes a bit of cheese, lots of veggies

1st meal: ~250grs of lean meat or fish, carbs, veggies

Pre workout: some nuts, a fruit, a shake of whey

2nd meal: homemade wok which is ~250grs lean meat or fish, rice or noodles, soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, shitload of veggies

3rd meal: ~250grs of fat meat or fish, loads of veggies

Which with average portions of carbs is around 220 prots, 200 carbs, 100 fats

It is what I did to be in my photoshoot shape in 5 weeks. So I’ll just adjust carbs quantities, but at first I don’t want to dig into calories and macros, and take it “easy” diet wise. Just not eating shit all the time will do wonders recomp wise. If recovery is harder, progress stalls, I’ll adjust.

So the goals for these for months are:
Be better at the o-lifts. Be stronger overall without gaining too much fat.



So this week, as I’m coming back from 2 weeks of vacation, is just a preparation week based off CT’s spring program, olympic lifting variation. A bit of everything to whip me in shape before attacking the big one next week.

Box jumps 3 x 5
One-leg hip thrust 3 x 10

A. Snatch 8 x 3 @40kgs

B. Back squat 4 x 3 @ 120kgs

C. Good mornings 4 x 8 @60kgs

D. Lunges holding KBs 3 x 10 @20kgs KB

E. Cable crunches 3 x 10 @70kgs + max Roman chairs crunches

So the snatches were super hard. last week I did them at 50 kgs but boy. I tried this time to do them facing away from the mirror and it was very disturbing. My first 2 reps I failed, falling forward, then backward. I’m one of these guys that are stronger than technical (like shit in the o-lift) so I’m actually stronger in the power snatches… Also it was a bit disturbing since I’m in a little gym, crowded on mondays, and there were guys curling or whatever just in front of me, or behing me, at not even 1 meter. Not great for focus. Main issues are that I’m not patient enough, I don’t really finish the triple extension at least half the time. Also lack of balance, I could feel the bar wobbling forward and backward on my shoulders when squatting down.

Satisfied with the squat. Sure it’s less than low-bar but it’s way better than I expected. Also it felt good! My ass was on FIRE and my hips were working as well. So I felt great.

Good morning torched my abs. Again an exercise I never do, but I will again!

In for your log. Sorry to hear about your struggles. Do you need the added stress of being in a deficit? Is maintenance alone something you’ve considered? What’s your warm-up like? I like this one for an oly session https://www.t-nation.com/training/mobility-complex and https://www.t-nation.com/training/one-bar-warm-up as well (alternating between the two is great) The only thing I need to do extra is spend some time opening up my thoracic spine.

In for the log.

1 Like

Thanks. I feel better now even if I still have some issues like my work, but if I managed to pull it in these times of dismay I certainly can now. The goal is indeed to be at around maintenance and go for the slow and steady approach. But I just want to lay a baseline right now from which I can adjust, and feel better (I feel better physically when I eat like this, obviously, lots of veggies is better than macdonalds…). Honestly it isn’t that stressful for me to eat like that. And this time I’ll allow myself some cheats of course

My warm-ups are nothing special so I’ll try some of these routines! I usually just do my usual warm-up, then some band stretches for wrists and lats, and bar only movements.

I ate a pizza before training. Well that was my cheat teeheehee

Plyo push-ups 3 x 5
Bottoms up KB press 3 x 12 @Voxel


A. Clean and jerk 7 x 3 @70kgs

B. Bench press 4 x 3 @100kgs

C. Barbell rows 3 x 8 @90kgs

D1. Fat bar curls 1 x 10 @20kgs, 3 x 10 @25kgs

D2. Overhead rope triceps extensions 1 x 14, 1 x 10@35; 2 x 12 @30kgs

E. Front raises + Side raises + Rear delt raises 2 x 10 @10, 10 and 7kgs

So, a brutal workout which lasted a good 1h30. The jerks felt good enough, but I cath them a bit high (anxiety!). Of course my balance and footwork is not there (I have one foot in a varus, the other in valgus) and it can show. I also sometimes don’t commit to the lift (this is fearful!)

I have been having an elbow tendonitis for the last 2 months (work related) and I’m going back to supinated curls. the fat bar made them possible. It hurt but in a good way (like when your stretch). I can definitely feel my elbow now. I’ll try again but if the pain persists I’ll go back to the doc. Other exercises are pain-free. But it’s annoying. Unless I change job I fear it’ll never go away.

In purely for the Van Damme references of course


J’adore l’eau, dans 20 ou 30 ans y’en aura plus ! :laughing:

I’m in, we have almost similar statistics !

1 Like


I was really eager to go to the gym today, work was horrible and I felt ill. Terrible migraine to the point of puking, exhausted, and no hunger (whaaaat?). I really haven’t slept enough these past days. Anyway that’s okay since it was just some recovery work today.

A. Elliptical LISS 10 mins

B. HBT press with 8kgs DB 3 x 20

C1. Face pulls 3 x 12

C2. Petterson step-ups 3 x 10

D. Abs circuit Cable crunches 2 x 10 @70kgs
Hollow holds 30 secs
Knee raises x 12
Plank 30 secs
Roman chair crunches x max

E. Rowing LISS 12 mins

I wanted to do more rounds of abs and rowing but I was feeling not well. The HBT presses were so HARD! Maybe it was because this time I used a wooden bar instead of an olympic one, so maybe less stable, but it was wobbling like crazy! I hit my face a couple time lol. Definitely worked my shoulders.
I should do more petterson step ups and unilateral hamstring work. My left one is significantly weaker now and it can cause knee instability and pain sometimes.

Anyway after that I slept for 10h30 lol and now I feel great! Like every time I’m ill ahah.

In for the ride and hopefully as many JCVD references you can throw in.

1 Like

Do any of you guys watched Jan Claude Von Johnson? It was AMAZING. Been years since I did not burst out laughing watching something.

In for the log.

Looks like you’ve had a bit of a struggle man, good to see your right on track again.

Have you been teached the O-lifts or have you taught yourself?

I live in a small town, not much coaches around here. And no money lol. Like everything I taught myself, well I try to ahah


Snatch workout

High box jumps 3 x 5
Good girl / bad girl 3 x 12@23 and 18 kgs

A. Power snatch from hang 2 x 3 @50kgs, 4 x 3 @60kgs

B. Snatch-grip high pulls 4 x 4 @80kgs

C. Snatch-grip deadlifts 1 x 6, 2 x 8 @110kgs

D. Front squats 3 x 8@80kgs

So I’m trying to do all of my training facing away from the mirrors (except for squats since the rack is facing one lol). I can definitely feel more things, more muscles. In the video this is my last set of snatches, and the one that felt the poorest executed. But looking at the video it doesn’t look that bad. It is quite fast and tempo is okay even though it felt really heavy and slow. At the first rep at 60 I knew I had to pull hard. But it’s better.

High pulls were really good, all at my throat level. SGDL beltless destroyed my quads and abs. I could have pushed harder on front squats but my knee wasn’t really happy, neither my right elbow after I kept a full grip on the first set.

For both these exercises the first sets were harder (that’s why only 6 DL) so I think I didn’t warmed up enough or waited long enough between exercises.


Okay so I’m waiting at the train station, should have started work 3 hours ago I’m gonna be so late. Yesterday was at a party with my friends before they leave for Asia for a year. We might have drank too much. I might have a horrible headache. My alarm might have not woke me up. And now I hear my train is 1 hour late. Oooooops. Anyways here’s yesterday’s session.

**activation **
10kgs ball overhead throw 3 x 5
Bottoms up KB press 3 x 12


A. Clean and push press 2 x 3 @80kgs, 3 x 3 @85kgs

B. Military press 2 x 3, 2 x 5, 1 x 6 @60kgs

C. Incline dumbbell press 1 x 12, 1 x 15 @30kgs, 1 x 10 @35kgs

D. One arm strict row 3 x 8 @40kgs

E1. Cable push downs 1 x 15 @40kgs, 2 x 12 @50kgs

E2. Reverse preacher curls 3 x 12 @ 25kgs

So I’m still doing the big lifts facing away from the mirrors. I was reamly satisfied with my power cleans even though I was in Chucks lol. As one can see, for OHP and DB presses the firsts sets were way harder. On the last one if going balls to the walls I could have done a 7, maybe even a 8 rep. This tells me I shouldn’t have gone directly from push press to OHP without warm-up or waiting more. After 6 months of BB with auto regulated rest periods, I think I have trouble waiting for upper body lifts especially. I need to rest longer. But that’s okay, I’m acclimating to the weights, next time will be more consistent.

On push presses it felt (and my ate said it was the case) that my dips were super shallow and quick. I used lots of upper body. But it didn’t felt much better when I tried deeper dips. So I guess I’m quite explosive with my quads

1 Like

Sounds like you had a good time with friends. The consequences are headache and lateness but I would say well worth it.

1 Like


So, the real program begins. It was brutal and humbling. I was still tired from friday and saturday (yeah I also went out a bit saturday, but how can you say no to 3 hot girls…) and waking up at 5 this morning so I wanted to take it easy but I actually pushed me quite hard.

High box jumps 3 x 5
Leg curls 3 x 20
One leg hip thrust 2 x 10


A. Front squat with 5 secs eccentric 1 x 5 @60, 70, 80, 2 x 5 @90kgs

B. Muscle snatches + Overhead squats 3 x 5 + 5 @50kgs, 1 x 5 + 5 @40kgs

C. Jerk from half split + Jerk 2 x 3 + 3 @50kgs, 2 x 3 + 3 @60kgs

D. Front squats with pauses at 1/4, 1/2, bottom 1 x 3@60, 70, 3 x 3 @80kgs

E. Unilateral leg curls 3 x 10 @7kgs

Okay so the front squats destroyed my abs ahah, and on the last set a bit my upper body. But technique and depths (ATG) felt super good. It was already hard at 90kgs but I had not done them in a while.

Muscle snatches and OHsquats were horrible. Not so sure about Muscle snatches technique, if I should keep the bar close or away from the body (I’ve seen olifters do both…) But I avoided hip contact. Last set at 40kgs to focus on technique and try the “bar away” like Torokthy technique. Overhead squats were super brutal, I was doing them slowly as balance was hard. I could really feel my body work nicely, despite the low weight, that’s a nice sensation.

Jerks are better, the limiting factor is balance/footwork. Some reps are perfect, some I just fuck ups. These two complexes were hard anyway and amped up the hearth rate lol.

Last front squats felt easier than eccentric. Could have gone maybe harder but wanted to keep a clean technique (I hit legs everyday…)

The complexes made me realize that I need to have a laser like focus, in that crowed commercial gym with no room for my lifts, or else the reps suffer from it. Not like machines! All in all a hard but good session.

On another note, the girl that added me on FB showed up at 7:30. She coame to see me and do “la bise”, but as I had finished and she was working out, and there was already the talkative guy of the gym talking to her during her sets, I left. Last message she sent me, on which I had answered a questioned she asked me she said (some stuff and intent lost in translation) “wow not motivated to answer to all that but thank you for the detailed answer! The best would be to talk about that face to face!”
Maybe I should ask her out?


Jesus , are you in high school, boy? :). If she is pretty and you want to f*ck her go ahead, A grown woman won’t play games and she will tell you face to face what she wants.

No, I just have no balls ahahah. But you’re right, what have I got to lose?

1 Like

Just some of your dignity but this is the life … It happens to all of us :).