T Nation

Weakling Fighting His Own Weakness

Hi all, I finaly decide to open a training log on T-Nation to benefit from your knowledge and advice.

Here is a brief history of my past training and difficulties.

I’m 29 and started lifting 3 years ago in 2013 at that time I came back from a severe anorexia of 10 years and weighted 41 kg (90lbs) for 1.70m (5’7). I had to fight back this fu… illness alone so progress was very slow cause I was eating aroung 1300kcal a day back in those days and had to struggle to add each kcal. Also had an hard time making progress due to multiple injuries (little broke in my arm and my wrist, tendons problem, multiple flue cause body was very weak and so on) as my body was - and still is – partially fucked up.

That being said, I manage to get to 64-65kg (145lbs) and here is the evolution :

After 1 year of training (+7-8kg)


My stats for the moment :

Squat : 5@117.5kg ; 10@100kg
Deadlift : 5@140kg ; 10@115kg
Bench : 5@90kg ; 10@75kg
OHP : 5@55kg ; 10@42.5kg
Pendlay Row : 10@55kg
Pull-up : 8-10

As you can see, I’m pathetically weak and quite ashamed of it. However, I will keep training as hard as I can cause at this point there are not many options, it’s either I keep going or I might end up being overflow by depression, so here I am …

As far as it goes, here are my mid-term goals (would love to hit them for my 30th birthday so in 4 month, I think that might be possible for bench maybe for squat, not likely to happen for Dead and imo impossible for OHP) :

Squat : 5@140kg (3 plates squat for 5)
Deadlift : 5@180kg (4 plates dead for 5)
Bench : 5@100kg (2 plates bench for 5)
OHP : 5@65kg (BW OHP for 5)
Pull-up : 10 at BW+10kg

I tried to train as seriously as possible but cannot say if I’m intense or not cause (i) I train alone and (ii) there is no strong guys in my gym (I mean I never saw a guy do 200kg or more Dead/Squat and so on, only a few guys have decent strenght on bench like 15 reps with 2 plates but that’s all).

Concerning my I program (I post it asap), I focus on big compound movements listed before and add some accessories to it, I train all main lift twice a week on 2 reps range (5 and 10).

I’m very strict on my diet and never cheat, I only eat chicken, low fat beef, fish, whey, rice, buckwheat oat, beans and peas, vegetables and fruits, oil, fish oil, cod liver (god I love that) and nuts. My maintenance is around 2400-2500kcal (300/180/55 on days on and 250/180/65 on days off) and I can detail it to you if necessary (will probably do that).

Things to take into consideration when it comes to my capabilities :

  • I still have quite low Test (TT is 410 ng/dl or 14.3 nmol/l and FT was 7pg/ml or 24.3 pmol/L) due to my past anorexia (I think I suffer from hypogonadism but I will post asap in the Therapy part of the forum to see if Ksman can help me on that ^^).
  • I have quite huge working hours as my regular day is 9am to 9-10pm and I work 6 days a week (only the Sunday is off but the Saturday has less hours since it is 10am to 6pm most of the time).

Saturday 02/04/2016

  • Squat : 5x5@115kg
  • Front Squat : 4x10@75kg
  • BP : 2x10@75kg and 3x10@70kg
  • Incline Dumbell Press : 4x10@28kg
  • Skullcrushers : 4x15@25kg
  • Pressdown : 4x20@23.5kg

Sunday 03/04/2016

  • Deadlift : 4x10@115kg
  • Pendlay Row : 4x10@55g
  • Pull-up : 4x6@BW
  • Lat-pull down : 4x10@41.5kg
  • OHP : 5x5@52.5kg
  • Wide Grip Upright Row : 4x10@35kg
  • Cable rear delt : 4x20@10kg

Feel free to comment, critic and so on, any help will be very much appreciated.

Also take the opportunity to thanks a lot of guys in this forum which workout are really motivating and give me the hope to not be a such a pathetic weakling in the future.

You’re really not. Those are plenty good lifts to start with.

Your mid-term goals are demanding, but you have a shot at two of them IMO, whichever you focus on. You may get three or four if you get everything right. Never say never.

I would suggest running Starting Strength, and use the GOMAD nutrition approach (gallon of milk a day). I understand how hard that may be given your history, but one way to massively boost your chances of achieving those goals is to pack in the calories. Don’t worry about keeping your diet super clean. Be sensible, but especially with your working hours just eat. I work long shifts too and it isn’t uncommon for me to train on little sleep (3 hours or so) - eating a bunch is what keeps me going.

I thanks for your kind words, really appreciate it man :slight_smile:

I would not do GOMAD cause it would mess my head up too much, I already put some fat and that’s really hard for me to accept. Don’t take any offense of it, I just still had to struggle with inner voice and a “dirty bulk” like GOMAD would probably destroy me. However, I take your advice and will slightly up my calorie intake to put some quality mass, I tought I was high enough but 100-200kcal per day will not hurt much I guess.

Thursday 05/04/2016 :

  • BP : 3@90 kg (200lbs) ; 3x5@87.5kg (192lbs) ; 5@80 (175lbs) quite disppointed here, I had 5@90 last week and could not get it this week, I don’t understand those up and down on BP :’(
  • Squat : 3x10@95kg (210lbs) ; 2x10@90kg(200lbs)
  • Incline BP : 4x8@60kg (135lbs) so fucking weak on incline °_°
  • Bulgarian split squat : 4x12@45kg(100lbs) (4 sets for each leg)
  • CGBP : 4x15@50kg(110lbs)
  • Triceps Pushdown : 4x20@23kg(50lbs)

Wouldn’t dream of it mate, all good. I was just throwing it out there as an option.

You definitely won’t regret adding 100-200 calories a day. Honestly, finding a balance can take time. I’m still working on fine tuning. To put it in perspective, I’m (at a visual guess) around 20% bodyfat at 101 kg or thereabouts, and 1.83 m tall. This time last year I was around 88 kg, same bodyfat. That’s probably the lowest bf I’ve ever had. The last three months I’ve averaged maybe 3500 calories a day. Some days I’ll go over 4000; hell, there are a couple of days I’ve gone between 5000-6000. Yes, I could be leaner, but my concern is my total. As long as I’m not getting fatter I’m not worried if I keep getting stronger. If you’d told me two years ago what I’d be eating and how I’d look now, I’d have freaked out - even though I was flabbier and much weaker at around the same 88 kg mark.

Take from that what you will, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Eventually you’ll figure out how much of what you need to eat to recover well. Obviously because you’re smaller than I am you won’t need quite as much. Maybe 2500 calories?

If you think it’d be safe and wouldn’t take you anyplace bad you might try intermittent fasting to keep your bodyfat levels down. I did that for a year and it took me from a flabbier 85ish to a leaner 81 or so and back up to around 95 kg with pretty much no added bodyfat. There’s an article on here titled (I think) The 5/2 Diet for Lifters. Have a read. I based what I did around that. Once I hit the 95 kg mark the fasts got too hard and I started carb cycling. That helped me clean my diet up because things had gotten a tad messy on my non fasting days.

Anyway, if you’re fasting a couple of times a week you may find it easier to get comfortable with eating a bunch on training days.

What he said. I just started eating, from 2300 calories to about 3800 and I have gained weight but very little fat. My calories were keeping me from getting stronger and made it difficult to add lbm - I was afraid of getting fat. I’ve set a ceiling of 15% and when I get there, I cut (I use a scale and a handheld BIA device). I will cut to 13.5 and start bulking again. I added calories mainly by adding skim milk, about 1/2 gallon per day. I know this isn’t GOMAD, but for now, it’s working. When it stops, I’ll try something else.

Gotta eat!

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Thanks for the input guys, I have up my calories to 2500 and see how it goes.

Thursday 07.04.2016 :

•Deadlift : 4x10@115kg(253lbs) + 2x10@90kg(198lbs) with snatch grip to strengthen upper back.
•Yates Row : 4x10@65g(145lbs)
•Chin-up : 2x8 + 2x6@BW
•Lat-pull down : 4x10@47kg(103lbs)
•OHP : 3x10@42.5kg(95) + 2x10@40kg(90lbs)
•Lateral Raise : 4x20@6kg(15lbs)
•Cable rear delt : 4x20@10kg(22lbs)

Felt good on the workout, I feel like I have a decent progression on dead, row and OHP but I stall hard on my vertical pulling movement and don’t know what I could do about it, add more volume ? if anyone have a tip to improve number of chin-up/pull-up feel free to give it ^^ I was thinking of the grind the grove method but I can’t have a pull-up bar in my appartment :’(

I also edit the first post to add before/after pics especially the after if someone can confirm that I still can lean bulk for a bit before making a little cut to lose the excess fat.

As far as I can tell you’ve got little to no fat to cut. I would recommend avoiding any cut of any kind for a year at least. Keep training hard and gradually increase your calories until you hit around 4000 (add maybe 200 calories every two to three weeks) or really anything that has you gaining about 0.5-1 kg a week. DON’T do extra cardio to counter the calories. Do a couple of conditioning sessions twice a week, something like sprints. That’ll do plenty.

Add some heavy three to five rep sets on your main lift training to stress your body differently.

I know this will freak you out. I understand. However, I’m not going to sugar coat it: if you want those numbers on the bar, you need to add muscle. To add muscle you need to eat and to accept that you’ll gain some fat (but nowhere near as much you’d think).

Little update of my last training

Saturday (09.04.2016) :

-Squat : 4x5@117.5kg (260lbs) + 5@115kg(250lbs) I add to rerack take a
breath to finish the 5th rep of the 4th set so I decided to decrease the
weight for the last set.

  • BP : 3@75 kg (165lbs) + 2x10@70kg (155lbs) 1 second pause rep

  • Front squat : 4x10@70kg(155lbs)

  • Incline dumbell press : 4x8@30kg (66lbs)

-Triceps Pushdown : 4x20@25kg(55lbs)

Sunday 10.04.2016 :

-Deadlift : 2x10@117.5kg(260lbs) + 10@110kg(242lbs) + 10@100kg (225lbs)

-Pull-up : 8/8/6/6 Jesus I’m so weak on pull-up can’t understand why those damn pull-up ain’t go up :’( :’(

-Dumbell Row : 4x12@28kg(62lbs)

-OHP : 3x5@55kg(121lbs) + 2x5@50kg(110lbs)

-Upright row with wide grip : 4x10@35kg(77lbs)

-Rear delt : 4x20@22.5kg(48lbs)

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I wish I could go 8/8/6/6 my friend. Just keep chipping away.

Hi, Azkean, welcome aboard. I am glad to see that you have taken up this hobby.

I personally have never been anorexic, but have had some unhealthy body/food related views, at my lightest I was like 132 which was the absolute bottom of the healthy range for my height at the time, and looking back was extremely gross looking on my big frame. So I can’t say I’ve been in your shoes, but I can definitely empathize with you a bit.

You are definitely not weak, in fact you are really good for your weight and history. Advice wise, try your hardest not to freak out about eating, or fat gain. With me, that was definitely the hardest part early on. Don’t freak out, but you may be bloated at times, or gain some fat , but it is okay. Eat plenty of fat and carbs (especially the fat) and eat at least one gram of protein/pound of bodyweight. Eat plenty of fruit, and vegetables. Try to gain about 2-3 pounds of bodyweight per month, and do that for at least a year. You’ll feel so much better physically from more nutritiants/dietary fats, and with the added muscle you can be much looser with your eating while staying lean. Do linear progression until it no longer works ( you stall a few times) then go do something like 5/3/1.

I wish you luck, and if you ever need advice, or someone to talk to about literally anything (that wouldn’t get me into legal trouble), I am always available. I’ll be following the log, but messages in my log get my attention quicker.

Nice pull ups by the way, the average person can barely do one.

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Tuesday 12.04.2016 (“heavy bench”, light squat) :

  • BP : 2x5@90 kg (200lbs) + 2x5@87.5kg (192lbs) + 5@80 (175lbs) Finally able to do some sets at 90kg on the damn BP, still grinding on the last rep but hell a rep is a rep haha.
    -Squat : 3x10@100kg (225lbs) + 10@90kg(200lbs) Progression on the squat as it’s my first time doing sets of 10 at 225lbs. I also decrease the volume and intensity to take all the advice into account so I did 3 main sets and 1 back off sets more control and with a little pause instead of 5 working sets.
    -Incline BP : 4x8@60kg (135lbs) no progression on that lift, I guess I was already fatigue by the improvement on BP.
  • Bulgarian split squat : 4x10@50kg(110lbs)
    -Triceps extension : 4x15@10kg(22lbs)

Thursday 12.04.2016 :

-Deadlift : 3x10@115kg(265lbs)
-Pull-up : 8/8/6/4@BW
-T-bar Row : 4x10@55g(12lbs)
-Lat-pull down : 4x10@47kg(103lbs)
-OHP : 3x10@45(100lbs) + 1@65kg so I was pretty happy as I can OHP my bw with a little leg drive
-Lateral Raise : 4x12@8kg
-Cable rear delt : 4x20@10kg(22lbs)

This last workout felt really good :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot for your kind words Destrength and MarkKo really appreciate your support guys.

That’s what we’re here for mate.

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