Years of In the Bubble Lifting

New here, Hello all.
Age: 44
Height: 6’4"
Weight: 265
Fat %… no idea
Quick background, started lifting half assed back in 1990… sheesh that feels forever ago. Now at 44 I’ve been consistent with one variation or another for the last 15yrs, prior to that it was in fits and starts of 6 months here with 6 months off etc… longest stretch was 5 yrs off and I got FAT! also because I stopped cycling as well, used to down hill mountain bike races and rode trails all the time, at age 20 I was a lightweight 195 and looked like I had an eating disorder, gaunt, thin, heroin sheek.

15 yrs ago when I got serious about lifting I dropped from 280 to 215 and put on muscle simply by looking at plates. When I gain weight it mostly mid section, but being tall it’s not as noticeable, never had a beer gut though. I don’t recall the exact routine I started with but it was with a buddy at the time who wanted to compete in an event and I worked out with him, he dropped weight and shredded fast, but got weaker, meanwhile I was hitting new maxes weekly and never got shredded, though I wasn’t trying as putting on muscle was my goal. I found early on that it was easy and honestly I got lazy, I could drop weight fairly fast and pack on muscle without much effort, so I cruised thru a lot of my yrs and routines.

fast foward, Iv’e been tracking my PR’s for the last decade and have noticed that while they are mostly all the same I’m not tracking up anymore, kinda sucks. Also not willing to injure myself so I’ve backed off.

I’m at a point where I want to thin down but still stay strong. for the last 3yrs my routine has been M/W/F. I’ve also been lifting in a bubble, home gym and other then reading Arnolds book ages ago I’ve just adapted what I like. Here’s been my latest routine for the last 3 yrs.

BB bench 5 sets 10,8,6,4,2
BB incline bench 5 sets 10,8,6,4,2
DB fly 3x10
DB incline fly 3x10
BB bent row 4x10
cable straight arm push down 3x10
wide lat pull 3x10
close grip lat 3x10
crunches 3x15
reverse crunches 3x15

Clean & Press 5 sets 10,8,5,5,2
DB, raises, front & lateral 3x15
DB laying rear raise 4x10
BB shrug 3x10
BB curl 4 sets 10,8,6,4 (Heavy)
EZ bar Tri 4x15
DB curl and tri 4x15
Wrist curls 2x15
hang grip, 1min x 3
crunches 3x15
reverse crunches 3x15

BB Squat 5 sets 10,8,6,4,2
BB single leg squat 4x5
BB calf raise 4x15
BB stiff leg dead 5 sets 10,8,6,4,2
DB ham curl 3x10
T-bar row 4x10
Crunches 3x10
Reverse crunches 3x10

Monday 2:
Pull ups 3x25
BB Deadllift 5 sets 10,8,6,4,2
BB Bench 5x8
BB incline bench 5X8
DB incline fly 4x10
Pushups 3x25
Cable row 3x10
Wide lat pull 3x10
crunches 3x15

From reading a bit more lately I think the above is high volume, I’ve never been fatigued from it, it takes on avg 90mins to get thru a routine. I do cardio on the off days by riding trails for an hr.
Here’s the thing though, I’ve gotten to where I don’t feel the need to push my PR’s and have decided to scale back and move to a 6 day program that is 45-60 minis at a time and far less accessory lifts, i prefer compound lifts and moving explosively. For example when squating, I struggle with slow tempo and heavy weight. I.e. slow tempo I max out at 315lb but If I move fast and rebound the bottom I’ll easily move 500lbs, same for bench, slow = max PR of 330, single reps done fast I can manage 420.
While I have isolation lifts in there I hate them, booring and once it starts to burn I lose strength, rest, rinse repeat. I’ve yet to find the limit on those lifts so I don’t bother pushing too hard but use them to fatigue a couple times and move on.

Hopefully I haven’t made too much of a mess of my lifting yrs… I’ll let you all know how the next chapter works out. Oh and feel free to critique and ask questions.

For those wondering, who knows, working weights on various lifts not PR:
Bench press 315
Squat 355
Dead 405
BB Curl 135
Oh and use a CoC #3 regularly, inherited a very strong grip from my dad, thanks pop.

I’d really like to trim down and loose weight but really don’t want to lose the strength I have.

Thanks for reading this far!

Solid grip!

Thanks, fortunately I’m just genetically gifted with a strong grip. Never needed straps or mixed grip or even hook gripping, just grab the bar and go. I also have large hands so while it makes the bar easier to fully wrap around it also has the side effect of causing pressure points in the palms on pushing lifts. Would love a BB that is 35~40mm dia. for those sets.

OK schedule thus far:
Monday was this routine:
BB bench press
DB incline press
4 sets 50x15
Pull ups
3 sets of 10 with 30secs rest between sets

Vertical Jumps 3 sets of 3
Balls out sprints for 15secs walk 45secs repeat for 30mins nonstop
rest 15min
BB Squat: started light on this program to get a feel for the new routine
DB jump squats (as it sounds, hold dumbbells and jump into the air) great reflex movement
4 sets 100x5
Hamstring ball roll:
3 sets of 10
Didn’t really care for this last one, thought I’d try something new but will revert back to good old Romanian deads.

So far it’s not bad, very light and no where as long as my last routine. Hopefully the 6 times a week will make up for the lack of heavy volume I’m used to and be more effective.

Here’s one day from the other week:
BB bench:
BB incline press
DB incline fly
3 sets 50x15
DB flat fly
3 sets 50x15
BB bent over row
Cable straight arm pushdown
3 sets 150x15
Wide grip lat pull down
3 sets 200x15
close grip lat pull down
3 sets 200x15

My goal is to shrink the ol waist down… It doesn’t hang over thankfully but I would like to get back down to a 34-35 waist that I had in my 20’s … It’s 38 now.
Reference… My quads are 26.5" and calves are 17.25" to me they look small, my wife thinks I’m crazy but that’s just how I see it. Freaking huge barrel chest and shoulders to me make my lower body look small.

Why not just run the HG in slight caloric deficit and throw in some extra cardio on your off days?

What is HG?
As to calorie deficit, yeah I already don’t eat enough. I have to remind myself to eat or what typically happens is I end up with ~2500 calories. Trying to hit 3k but avg 2800.
For those playing at home, my diet is actually really clean, I do not eat fast food, ever, no soda, no alcohol, no processed or boxed, bagged food.
Mediterranean cooking from scratch, red meat, seafood and chicken. Veggies etc… I’m not even a big bread eater.
And yes I actually tracked my macros for a bit because I was trying to figure out why my mid section refused to drop weight. I don’t eat enough and honestly don’t feel hungry most of the time, I could go all day without food and forget to eat, happened a lot.
For example…
Breakfast at 8:30 am… either plain oatmeal, steel cut 1cup dry or 4 eggs and an English muffin…
I’ll get to about 2:30-3pm and go, oh crap I need to eat lunch… Grill a chicken breast with 1/2 cup of beans… That will last till 8pm or so…

Oh forgot to add, I cycle daily for 30-45 mins in the hills.

I was referring to the Hard Gainer program.

Do you have any medical conditions?

Ahhh, thanks
No, no medical issues.

Hmmm. I wish I could be more helpful but losing weight usually boils down to… carolies in vs calories out.
Maybe somebody else will chime in with some suggestions.

Thanks, but that’s ok. I figured it was a combination of not enough calories and not enough sleep.
Slowly changing that, I mean sure it’d be great if it happened overnight… Nothing does though.
I’m going for moderate to high activity every day vs avg then very high rotation.

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Day 3,
Going with a cardio/high intensity day.
30 min of burst sprints
Followed by circuits of @5 reps for 30min with 45 sec between circuits
Vertical jump
Pushups, hands free in the air
Box jumps 24" (really need to build a bigger box, 24" is really low for me.)
Stone slam (lacking a medicine ball, but not lacking boulders, pick up Boulder and slam into dirt ~45lb)

Might change things up, just looking for explosive moves that are time sensitive and don’t really require plates. Picked up a bunch of resistance bands and will be using those as well. Been using chains for yrs… Try something new.

Day 4,
Chest day… Made this routine conservative to get a feel, will be adding more weight to the main sets next time. The finishing high volume was good and tough. Finished up with some accessory shoulder lifts and was done in 45 min.
This new split is nice, 6 day constant is much smoother then every other day that leaves me up/down recouping. Been 20yrs since I’ve done a 5-6 day routine.

Today’s lifts:
Warm up, banded reverse fly 3x10
Bench press warm up,
135x1, 155x1, 205x1, 255x1, 275x1, 315x1
Working sets
275x5 x2
295x5 x1
275x max reps, rest 15 sec repeat x3
275x9 (close grip x3, wide grip x3, reg grip x3) 3 sets 1 min rest

Band reverse fly for rear deltoids 15x3 25lb band
Superset of lateral and front fly, Max reps, 45sec rest 3sets, 25 lb dumbbell. Brutal finisher.
I take my Max reps to just before the burn, once that Burns hits I’m screwed and it’ll be an hour before I can hit that muscle, by stopping just before the fire pain I can rest and repeat to failure.

Day 5,
Was going for a leg day, wanted to really hit the quads so tried a bunch of front squats… yeah probably not going to keep them, tried zercher and much prefer that. Though I think I might scrap the whole idea and move it to a dead day and do traditional and trap deads.
front squats are not fun and my current flexibility sucks to where my arms and shoulders brunt the load more then my quads and I can’t get it right. There’s also the issue where it’s damn near choking me… nope don’t like. I’ll regulate them to very light load accessory lifts until form and flexibility improve.
Started with warm ups and stretching…
6 sets to 225lb
5x3 @ 185
max reps @ 135lb with 15 sec rest 3 times

moved to zercher
10x3 @ 205

goblet squat
15x3 @ 50

OK, curious I checked my arm length… yeah front squats are going to be a real PITA no matter what. wrist to elbow is the same as elbow to top of shoulder… adding in that ones wrist and hand add a bit more length there is no way for my elbows to get high enough to provide a stable front rack position, unless the bar was behind my head…
learn new things everyday…
radius/ulna longer then humerus…

If you have straps, you can loop them around the bar and then hold on to the tails for front squats.

If front squats are at all important to you, that is.

Thanks for the suggestion… Went and tried it… Much better but still a touch awkward. The other bit I’m not fond of now that it’s been a couple hrs… The sore spot where the bar rests on the shoulder… Yeah, not fond of it.
I’m going to get a trap bar and move to that. Thought I’d try something new and honestly not interested in causing adaptation pain for a lift. I can always add back sissy squats… Loved doing those yrs ago.

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