T Nation

Whitewater's Scrawny Ass Log

Alright, I finally got the balls to start a log.

I hope that by doing so I will get input from more knowledgable people and in turn this will be a catalyst for improvement.

33 Y/O Male
160 lbs at about 19% BF as measured by caliper/skinfold.

I work a deskjob and just recenly got back in the gym after about a 4 year hiatus. I’ve never been strong and honestly I’m just sick of looking at myself in the mirror and wondering where the little definition I had in my 20’s went.

My diet is pretty clean almost all whole food, I supplement with Low-Carb Metabolic Drive and some FFA’s, will be going with the Flameout once my current stockpile of flax seed oil and fish oil run out.

Typical breakfast is Bowl of whole grain cereal like Kashi with 1%. Blended protein shake consisting of 2 scoops, 1/4 - 1/2c frozen blueberries, 1/4-1/2c non fat plain yogurt, milk and water accordingly. 1 cup coffee (bit of half and half) and a banana on my way into work.

I snack on mainly citrus and bulk Almonds and Walnuts at my desk during the day, go through about 1 cup and 2 oranges of these while at work.

Lunch is typically a salad with mixed greens, 2 HB eggs, 1/2c tuna, broccoli, cucumber, raisins, tomatoe, sunflower seeds with low fat ranch on top. sometimes I throw in some beats as well.

Usually mroe nuts and a Spike before workout

Plain protien shake immed after weights

Dinner with meat(chicken breast, steak, ground turkey are the staples), veggies (salad or steamed typically) and either rice (brown or white) or pasta about an after workout. Glass or two of red wine. Water throughout the day.

My routine has been a whole body type plan for about the past 5 weeks, just trying to get all the bones and ligaments used to feeling some strain again. Standard for me is an hour in the evening doing the following. This was given to me by a trainer at the gym I go to. I honestly think the guy did a pretty good job of having me focus on form and setting me off in the right direction.

5 minutes on the treadmill to get my heartrate up.
Squat or Smith Squat 4x8x105
FM Chest Press 4x8x70
SS1 - Seated or lying leg curl 3x10x80
SS1 - Calf Raise 3x10x95
Dumbell Row 3-4x10x35
SS2 - Flat Dumbell Press 3x10x40
SS2 Hammer Strength seated Row 3x10x110
end with various Ab work, weighted crunches, Russian Twists and some core stabilization stuff on the swiss ball.

Now I know these numbers are piddly but hey I’ve got to start somewhere and this is where I am. My squat really makes me mad but being a long legged scrawny guy I’ve really got my work cut out for me here. I’m typically sore as hell for 2-3 days following.
I’ve been doing this 3 times a week every other day or so and doing a 30 minute cardio running on the treadmill on non weight days, taking a day off each week.

Cardio kills me since I smoked cigarettes for about 10 years (thank goodness no longer) I’m dropping these sessions to 2 or 3 a week to accomodate more weight days.

I’m now upping weights to 4 times a week but just can’t do it with this routine. I’ve started experimenting with Good mornings in preperation for dead lifts. Also started mixing some chins, dips, shrugs, military press in as well but it’s random at this point.


  • I have no training partner except my pregnant wife :slight_smile: who isn’t much help at the moment.
  • Softball season starts up again in a couple months, I’m a little worried about my hamstrngs due to nagging issues with them last year.
  • Bumb right shoulder from rodeo, quad, dirtbike and snowboarding accidents. (thing always takes the brunt I swear) No current real issues with it except a bit of soreness now and again.

Last night was 35 minutes on the treadmill at about 150BPM. Tonight I will do standard full body above but leave out leg curls. Hamstrings are sore as hell from Good Mornings last Tuesday. (running nearly killed me last night)

Damn, now that I wrote the first chapter of this book I hope someone reads it!
I’ll start adding logs from here on out and am open to your advice so please bring it!

felt good tonight, did squats on the Smith machine. 4 of 10 @105, only knocked 8 out on the 4th and my form went to crap (hips started pushing back) so I called it good. I’ll up the weight on Monday and shoot for 4x8

FM chest press - did one set of 10 at 70, that felt light so I bumped it to 80 and did 3 more sets, last couple reps were tough but form stayed good.

skipped any hamstring work because they are sore as mentioned above, will give them another day to rest.

Bent Over DB Row 4x10x40, form still needs work but I can really feel it mainly in my right lat which is good. I’m going to keep it at this weight until I’m more confident on my form.

SS1 - Flat DB press 3x10x40 - felt light will bump to 45.
SS1 - Seated Hammer Row - 3x8-10x140, busted 10 on 1st set and squeezed 8 on next two.

At this point I started goofing off and did some DB shrugs 3x8x70
also did some overhead DB tricep curls at varying angles w 25lbs
2 sets of crunches, some leg raises, 1 set of Russian twists with 9lb ball and some upright leg lifts (not sure what they are called)
Overall it was a good workout, My chest is certainly making improvement and I need to start incorporating some real bench work. My back is getting stronger as well, my legs are constantly sore but I still lack confidence with my squat. I barely feel like I did anything if I don’t squat while I’m there.

I’m confused, are you doing a 3 day a week whole body or some other type of split? If you want to work 4 days/week split upper/lower and 2 days of each every week. You need a day off between squats.

Ditch the smith machine. Do you have a squat rack or power cage? You don’t need a spotter if you set the pins right.

Try front squats and overhead squats from time to time. It really helps with your form. Make sure you put in a deadlift, either conventional or stiff legged. That will help your squat in the long run. Do them after your squat.

I read your story. Is it a comedy or tragedy? : P just kidding. Your diet looks good to me. I might change the Kashi for old fashioned oatmeal (boil it) or egg omelets. I won’t be harsh on your routine because you’re trying to jump back into the game. When you’re done after a couple of weeks of this, please give either of these a try:

Fantastic programs that will get you on the right track. Just so you don’t think you’re getting advice from a 19 yo punk, I’ll be turning 30 this summer. I’m not an Internet health guru, have only trained for 3 years total, but I’ve read and put into practice a lot of methodologies. Anyway, keep up the work.

Don’t fear the deadlift! It’s probably the most natural of all exercises - walk up to something heavy, grab it and pick it up. Just start light and keep your form good. It’ll give you more confidence with the squat, too.

I started shortly before my 32nd birthday, btw, and I’ve been able to make good progress. Just lift a little more each week than you did the week before.

The honest answer to your question is… some other type of split… I guess.
I don’t really have a good plan at the moment and that is why I’m posting. Your advice on the upper/lower split is one that I will take. I also understand the weakness of the smith machine and guess I was hoping it would help me as I’m getting started but it is time to get away from it now.
We do have a type of squat rack that I will begin using instead. I’ll also experiment with the overhead and fronts.

I’ve got a busy weekend of traveling so I will begin the upper/lower split starting either Sunday or Monday. I’ll browse the forums and articles and try to put it together.

This is exactly the kind of advice I’m looking for and I thank you!

The problem with the smith machine is that it forces you into an unnatural path that can actually cause injury. Also, doing a free squat you have to stabilize the bar in 3 dimensions so it makes it a full body exercise.

Ran to the gym after getting home from a long drive today. Had about 40 minutes before they closed so I decided to experiment a bit.
I put 95 measly lbs on my back and barely squeezed out 3 sets of 8 squats. Damn I am embarrased to post this but I must for improvements sake. I felt like I was using my glutes a lot more without the smith machine and my glutes probably need the work!
So after the obvious snickers from the crowd I saunter meakly over to where I plan to do my deadlifts. I load up a 35 on each side since I haven’t done a deadlift in 5 years or so. Overhand grip both hands, right up against my shins, arch in my back, chin up, tight mid section and I’m off!
Holy crap I was embarrased to barely pull 5 of these. I did 3 sets of 5. put the weight away and then crawled over to the leg press in an attempt to hide.

I know I’m just getting back into it but I’ve got to admit that I was genuinely embarrased and for some reason it got to me. While doing the deads I noticed one dipshit watching me, this threw my concentration and I couldn’t tell if the snicker on his face was because of the puny qty of weight, a flaw in my form or a combination of both.
At this point I’m frustrated and it’s only going to be more difficult to get up the guts to try these again. I will but it ain’t gonna be easy…

I’m sure it sucks, but you have to use this as motivation to improve. You’ve got to start somewhere.

Ha, you think that is embarrassing, when I started squatting at age 14, I could barely squat my own weight, meaning no weights. I weighed a measly 75lbs I was 4"11. Pretty pathetic. Do not feel bad at all. Think of it like this. “Always be at war with the weights”. Never ever give up.

Once you go through those boundaries you will be so glad and then you will want to go further and then you transform. Just like those Body Builders. Ha ha. Good Luck in your search of becoming a strength master!!

You will make quick progress. really, no one cares how much you squat or deadlift except you. In most gyms, you rarely see anyone doing them so you are already ahead of 90% of the rest of them. The only one you have to compete against is yourself and the experienced lifters respect anyone making a serious effect regardless of their level. If they’re snickering, they’re not important.


Stu is the man!!

Took Sunday off.
Thanks again for the good words… It helps!

Same Brother, Currently I am at War with my Legs. I am just beating them down every other day!!

Still don’t have a solid routine or plan so it went more or less like this today. I’m going from memory. I’d like to keep a log book for awhile to start tracking progress.
Warm up on treadmill 4 minutes.
Bench Press Barx20, 105x10, 135x8, 135x8, 105x8
Chins OH BWx4, A30x8, A40x8, A40x8 (A=Assisted)
Bent over BB Row, 65x10, 65x10, 65x10, 65x8
Military Press, 65x10, 70x8, 70x8, 70x8
Upright Row, 45x8, 45x5, 40x8
Incline DB press 45x8, 40x8
Hammer Press 90x12, 90x12
DB Shrug 70x8, 65x8, 65x8
Back Extension, ~85x10, 85x10, 85x10

25minutes treadmill at around 150BPM after.

Thats it. It’s all over the place I know. Really need some upper body direction. One goal I really want to set is to get to 10 BW chins by the middle of June.
started using fitday to track my diet. Ate ~3000 cal.
40%fat - mostly nuts
30% protein
30% Carbs

Try gymjournal.com

I use these http://www.baye.com/downloads.php Download and print.

Legs tonight, ate good today, about 2700 calories. 241g Protein, 126g Fat, 150g Carbs all whole clean food except the protein shake.

Front Squat - 10/45, 8/85, 5/95, 8/85, 8/85
Deadlifts OH - 8/95, 8/95, 8/95, 8/95, 8/95
Goodmornings - 10/45, 10/65, 10/85, 10/85

A couple notes. I had planned to do lunges but couldn’t get to them in time, also had some calf work planned but didn’t get to it either.
I don’t feel so bad about my low weight on the squats anymore because I realize that I do my squats ATG and most others I see doing them with big weight only go down about half as far so screw em. My numbers will go up in time, I already feel improvement.
I will up the weight on the deadlifts but I really wanted to work on the form. I ended up stacking two 35lbs plates to rest the weight on because at the very bottom is where I’m screwing up my form and not going down all the way really helped.
Any ideas what might be happening and what I can do to feel more comfortable in the bottom section of the lift?

Thanks for the gymjournals link and the link to the printouts. I used them both tonight.

Goodmornings work the same muscles as deadlifts. You probably don’t want to do them the same workout. Right now, its probably ok but as the weight goes up you will have trouble. Put them on a non-deadlift day.

The bottom of the deadlift requires flexibility in the hamstrings. Goodmorning and stiff-legged deadlifts will help (not in the same workout). Your squat will improve as well.

My hamstring flexibility has been poor all my life. I will work on stretching them. Point taken on the good mornings and DL’s in same workout.
Yesterday would have typically been cardio but I didn’t get to the gym so I snuck in a 30 minute hike up a hill, didn’t really break a sweat though.
Also incorporated a cupcake and a lite beer into my food choices(BAD) was also low on the protein intake.
Ended the day at about 2500 calories 129g F 187g C 140g P