View Full Version : Nate's preparations

06-13-2009, 06:40 PM
I've been reading this site for a little while now and decided to start posting my journal on here. I have just recently started lifting and am enjoying it. On June 20th I'll be getting out of the Marine Corps. Right now I'm tall & lean, 6'1" 155-160 lbs. In the past I've been more interested in training for endurance for the long humps and occasional pack runs I was subjected to in the Marines. In 1.5-2 years I plan on going back into the military and into the Special Forces. Most of my long-term goals are aimed towards preparation for that.

I recently bought and read Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe and have been working on getting my form down on the big compound lifts as per his instruction.

Short(ish)-term goals:
-225x5 flat bench, 255x5 squat, 315x5 DL
-Increased core body & grip strength

Long-term goals(2 years):
-Thicken traps and delts to reduce strain on shoulders from heavy pack on long humps.
-Reduce likelihood of lower-leg injury by strengthening and improving flexibility
-Increased overall flexibility
-170 to 175 lbs. 10% body fat
-Even out muscular imbalances in the legs, shoulders and forearms.
-30:00 5-mile run, 100 sit-ups in 2 minutes, 100 push-ups in 2 minutes, 25 pullups.
-20x body weight: squat, DL, bench

Please feel free to critique any of this, I'm here to learn from you all.

06-13-2009, 06:46 PM
(June 11th is when I started Rippetoes routine)

June 4-

Flat BB bench: 185x5, 190x5
Incline BB bench:135x7, 135x10
EZ bar Skullcrushers: 55x10, 65x10
calf-raises: 185x20x2
squats: 95x10, 135x10, 155x10

5 June:
BB row: 95x10, 115x6, 135x6(form starting breaking down), 125x6x2
Push press: 95x6, 115x6x2
BB curls: 75x10x3

6 June
Tabata situps/pushups 8 minutes

7 June:
Flat BB bench: 135x10x3, 8x185 (*PR), 6x185(to failure)
incline BB bench: 135x8, 135x5
BB shrugs: 155x10, 165x10
Deadlift: 3x185, 3x205, 3x225
Calf-raises: 20x185, 20x205

9 June:
Inverted Rows: BWx6,8,11
BB rows: 115x6x3
Push Press: 95x6, 105x8x2
BB curl: 75x8, 85x7,x6

06-13-2009, 06:48 PM
Does anyone know of good alternative exercises to chins and back extensions? I was thinking good-mornings for the back extensions. I don't have a chin-up bar until June 21st and have been doing inverted rows instead.

11 June:
Squat: 115x5, 135x5, 155x5x3
Press: 95x5, 105x5x2, 105x3(to failure)
Deadlift: 95x5, 135x5, 185x5x3

13 June:
Squat: 95x5, 115x5, 135x5, 155x5, 165x5x3
Flat BB bench: 45x10, 115x5, 135x5, 165x5, 190x5x3
Inverted rows: BWx8, 10, 7

06-14-2009, 09:09 PM
Diet was good today. Spent the day packing, cleaning, and preparing for the move home. Looking forward to my last week in the Marine Corps!

06-15-2009, 08:01 PM
Recorded myself squatting and I think my form looks good and I am going below parallel. Weights are steadily increasing. Power cleans are seeming a bit tough for me to figure out. I'll keep working at them though. I seem to feel them alot in the forearms and I think that may be from using the arms more than I should be. I'll do some research but if anyone reads this and has some advice, please share.

Squats: 45x5, 95x5, 135x5, 175x5x3
Press: 45x5, 95x5, 110x5x3
Power Cleans: 45x10, 95x3, 95x5, 95x5

06-17-2009, 03:51 PM
Squats: 45x8, 95x5, 135x5, 185x5x3
Bench: 45x25, 135x5, 165x5, 190x5, 195x5, 195x4
BB Row: 45x5, 95x8x3

Also did 30 minutes of yoga with my wife...don't tell anyone.

06-21-2009, 10:22 AM
20 June:
Squats: 45x6, 95x5, 135x5, 190x5x3
Press: 45x8, 95x5, 115x5x3
DL: 95x5, 135x5, 205x5x2

Last set of squats was brutal but I feel I got a good fifth rep and was going as deep as possible. I'm feeling it in my glutes and thighs today. By the time I finished second set of DLs I was completely gassed. Tomorrow will be my last day in the Marines and at noon I'm headed home. I probably won't work out again until Tuesday.

06-26-2009, 03:36 PM
26 June- lifted for the first time since moving and felt weak. I think it's due to poor diet while on the road and lack of sleep. Going to eat better tonight, get some rest, and get back into it on the 28th.

Squats: 195x3, 185x4, 185x4
Bench: worked up to 185x4
dead-hang Chinups: x9, x8, x8

06-30-2009, 08:18 PM
28 June- Felt a little better than on the 26th.

Squats: worked up to 185
Press: 45x20, 95x5, 115x5x3
Power cleans: 45x10, 95x5x3

Still trying to figure out power cleans.

30 June- Good session today. Squats feeling stronger and I'm going to try and move up to 190 for 3 sets of 5 next time. Bench was good, hit a PR.

Squats: 45x10, 95x5, 135x5, 165x5, 185x5x3
Bench: 45x15, 95x10, 135x10, 165x5, 185x5, 195x5x2 (PR)
Wide-grip chins: x7, x5, x5, x5, x3

06-30-2009, 08:31 PM
Bent over rows, and rack pulls work wonders on your back, good mornings are fantastic as well, just make sure you're limber enough for those. As for bulking and such I would just increase your food intake by the equivilent of 1 meal a day and see where that gets you. You really just have to feal it out or count every last calorie you are going to eat. I got tired of counting so I just feel it out now, plus once you've got an idea of the protein and calorie content of your food counting becomes trivial. Best of luck to you. As I'm sure you know, dedication makes all the difference.

As far as bulking, from my perspective, I went from 170 to 220, and got to a lean (10-15%) 200. Then I went from 200 to 270 and now I am at 260. The first bulk I ate whatever. I felt it was pretty useless as my training was useless. The 2nd bulk, I was wayy more intense, I ate so much food it literally hurt. I was also lifting like a psycho. I did 5 sets for 5 rep for 5 exercises per body group every week (125 reps per session). I noticed a huge difference because when I bulked the 2nd time I ate only good food, chicken, fish, whole grains (minus corn), almonds, walnuts, no cashews since they were all deep fried (the ones I could find). I finally ended up at 270 and figured I could be 240 and about 10% but lo and behold I haven't gone below 260 in a long time and I am closing in on 10% now. Intensity was key in the weight room for me.

07-02-2009, 02:21 PM
Thanks Dynamo. I appreciate the suggestions and info.

07-02-2009, 02:33 PM
Hey man, I just saw your log. Thank you for your service in the marines. I have a world of respect and gratitude for anyone who puts on the uniform.

Good luck on your bulking goals. I bulked from 170ish to 210 last year by adding a couple of meals a day. I never got too crazy about counting calories, but rather just ate all the time. I could have done it cleaner I suppose, but I have been at or just over 200 for 8 months and have leaned out quite a bit. Many guys on this site have been very disciplined with their diets (counting everything) and have achieved outstanding results in short amounts of time. You'll just have to do what works for you.

07-02-2009, 04:01 PM
Thanks for the advice and encouragement, FFHill.

Weighed in at 168 lbs earlier. I'm off to lift now.

07-02-2009, 06:33 PM
2 July

Squats: 5x45, 5x95, 5x115, 5x135, 5x165, 5x185

Bench: 10x45, 10x135, 5x155, 5x165, 5x180

BB Row: 5x45, 5x95, 5x135, 5x155(form sucked so I dropped back down),5x135

Good-Mornings: 5x65, 5x95 - Just trying to get used to these, will do sets of 6-8 next time

Weighted Sit-ups: BW+25x10x2, BWx25, BWx25

07-02-2009, 08:29 PM
Here is what I set up for myself and gradually it morphed over time to a 5x5 type routine. The biggest thing was eating enough, and resting enough. I alwys listen to my body because no matter what, going light is better than being injured for 2 months. Of course you need to know when you're listening to your body and just being a pussy, but that'll come in time. I used the exrx website to find exercises: http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

And I am not one to go with a routine bc thats what it says. If I find an exercise isn't effective or if I find I just need variety, or I can't do my usual exercise bc too many people are hogging the equipment then I will substitute. I found with myself intensity is key. Doesn't matter how much I lift but as long as I go in there and give it 110% my body responds well. If I can't lift heavy I will go for ridiculously high reps. One way or another I get my intensity. Don't be afraid to take a week off after a bit, sometimes you need to. I have had quite a few times where I was just beat. I ended up taking two weeks off one month and I came back and beat all my old PRs. Just listen to your body, and certainly find what works for you. I do a 3x5x5 routine now, all compound exercises, thats because I don't eat enough to recover from the 5x5x5 an I don't need that volume. You also may want to check out the WBB weight lifting routines found on the WBB front page. I did the WBB 1 Lifting routine when I first got serious and I had good results with that as well.

I've set myself up a new schedule as I am psychologically tired of my old one, but thats ok I think, i've been doing it for about 4 months now. Here is my new routine generally running monday through thursday but I do leave room for error bc as we all know stuff comes up and I may need to skip a day and pick up the next day.
Day 1

* Exercise Sets Reps
* Rack Pull 3 6 to 8
* Tbar Row 3 6 to 8
* Lat Pull Down 3 6 to 8
* Cable Row 3 6 to 8
* Bent Over Row 3 6 to 8
* H roll 3 5/5/5/5
* Face Pull 3 6 to 8

Hroll I say 5/5/5/5 bc usually the H roll is supposed to be an up/down movement but I added a circular motion to it where I go from bottom to my head then rotate my arms out to a T position and finish up in the starting position so I say one rep is from starting position back to starting position and I do the hroll 5 times then the h to t roll 5 times then hroll 5 times then h to t roll 5 times and that is one set.

Day 2

* Exercise Sets Reps
* Incline BP 3 8 to 10
* Decline BP 3 8 to 10
* Flat BP 3 8 to 10
* Pec Deck 3 8 to 10
* DB Flys 3 8 to 10

Day 3

* Exercise Sets Reps
* Standing Preacher Bar Curls 3 6 to 8
* Hammer Curls 3 6 to 8
* Cable Curls 3 6 to 8
* Machine Preacher Curls 3 6 to 8
* CGBP 3 6 to 8
* Rope Pull Downs 3 6 to 8
* Seated Tri Extensions 3 6 to 8
* OH Tri Extension Machine 3 6 to 8

Day 4

* Exercise Sets Reps
* Front Squats 3 6 to 8
* Squats 3 6 to 8
* Good Mornings 3 6 to 8
* SLDL 3 6 to 8
* DL 3 6 to 8
* Mil Press 3 6 to 8
* Shoulder Press 3 6 to 8

So I wil try this and if it seems like i am over training I'll cut back. I'm doing this high volume (compared to my old routine) bc I want to build up some muscular endurance.

07-02-2009, 08:37 PM
As for what I do now here it is

Day 1: Chest

Flat Bench 5x5
Dumbbell Bench Press 5x5
Pec Deck or Bench Machine 5x5 (I like machines towards the end, it ensures I can keep my intensity without losing my form form is more important that anything ever times infinity, don't do it if you can't keep good form. Next is range of motion aka ROM, you want to do your exercise with FULL ROM while keeping good form if possible)

Day Two Back/Posterior
Dead Lift 5x5 (Really I just try to get the reps in, if I'm pulling and I can't do a set of 5 but have no problem with my form, I will just do 1-2 reps til I hit 25 reps total)
Good Morning 5x5
Cable Row 5x5 (sometimes Rack pulls if my hands aren't in blistering red agony from the DLs)

Day 3 Rest

Day 4 Arms/Shoulders

Standing Military Press 5x5
Front Lateral Raise 5x5
Side Lateral Raise 5x5

DB Curl 5x5
Hammer Curl 5x5
EZ Bar Curl 5x5

Seated OH Tricep Extension 5x5
Rope Pull Down 5x5
Tricep Push Down machine 5x5

Day 5
Squat 5x5
Straight Leg Deadlift 5x5 (sometimes I do leg press or squat press in place of these)
Calf Raises 5x5 (sometimes I do 8x3 or 7x4)

And with all your exercises, just in case you don't know, start with the compound exercise first, the one that uses the most muscle groups as this will require more energy and your form will be more likely to stay on point than if you go from isolation to compound exercises. Hope this helps.

07-05-2009, 05:52 PM
Cool, thanks Dynamo.

5 July

Squat: 45x5, 95x5, 135x5, 165x5x2
Press: 45x5, 95x5, 105x5, 115x5x2(PR)
DL: 135x5, 185x5, 205x5, 225x5, 245x5

10 chins, 20 pushups, 20 situps x2

07-06-2009, 07:01 AM
Looking good nate, keep up the good work!

07-06-2009, 03:14 PM
Thanks Benno.

Spent a good portion of this morning and afternoon wakeboarding with two friends. It felt good and felt like I was working some muscles that aren't usually placed under as much stress.

Ran 20 minutes @ 7-8 minute/mile pace.

07-09-2009, 05:04 PM
8 July

standing Calf-Raises: 225x20x2
standing DB press: 50x9, 50x10, 50x8
cuban press: 25x10x2
Chins(alternated grip): BWx10, 8, 8, 5, 5
BB curls: 75x8x2
Farmer's walk: 2x 50lb DBs walked around for two minutes & for one minute

Ran a mile.

Weight was 170lbs.

07-10-2009, 07:10 PM
10 July

12 inch box squats: 75x10x2, 135x10, 170x6, 175x6, 180x8 (PR)
Standing Calf-Raises: 180x30x2
Bench: 95x20, 135x12, 170x8x2
BB Row: 135x8x2
BB Shrugs: 135x10x3
Dips: BWx10, 20, 18(to failure)

07-11-2009, 03:19 PM
11 July

Rest day. UFC tonight!

07-12-2009, 07:36 PM
12 July

Deadlift: 135x8, 185x5, 225x5, 245x5, 265x5(PR)
Press: 45x10, 95x5, 115x5x2
Calf-Raises: 225x30, 225x26(to failure)
BB Shrugs: 165x10x2
Planks: 2x 60 seconds

07-13-2009, 07:49 PM
13 July

I decided to try a wide stance on squats tonight and felt good. I was able to keep my torso more upright and still get proper depth.

Squats: 45x5, 95x5, 135x5, 165x5, 185x5, 205x5(PR)
Close-Grip Bench: 85x10, 135x10, 175x4, 175x6
BB curls: 45x10, 75x10, 85x8, 85x6
Incline DB curls: 25x10/10x2
tricep/diamond pushups: 10, 10, 10, 10
Farmer's walk: 2:30(PR)

07-15-2009, 04:43 PM
15 July
Squats: bwx10, 45x5, 135x5, 185x5, 205x5, 215x5 (PR)
Calf-Raises: 215x30x2
Lunges: BWx30x2
Bench: 45x10, 135x5, 185x5, 205x5 (PR)

abs superset
hanging knee raises: 6, 6
bicycle crunches: 20, 35
4-count flutter kicks: 20, 20

07-18-2009, 04:23 PM
18 July:

I need to work on my grip strength. Going to start doing towel chins. Any other ideas to strengthen grip?

DL: 135x5, 205x5x2, 275x2, 275x0, 275x0 :bang: 205x5
Chins: 8, 8, 8, 9
DB Press: 50x12, 9, 4
Lat & Front raises/pushups superset: 10/10/10 x2
DB Row: 50x8x2

07-19-2009, 11:53 AM
when I need to work on grip strength I'll just hold the heaviest DBs I can find for as long as possible, counting the seconds just to do equal work per arm, usually after a nice set of DLs. You're using chalk right? Hows the heavy weights w/ low reps working for you?

07-19-2009, 04:07 PM
Thanks for the reply and suggestions Dynamo.

I've been lifting in my basement and don't have chalk, or for that matter, DBs heavier than 50 lbs. Maybe I'll just load up a barbell and hold on to that for as long as possible. Probably not ideal.

It seems to be going well for me though. I've made good improvements over the past month or two and am getting closer to accomplishing some of my goals. I have an old stress fracture in my lower right leg. Once that heals(should be very close now), hopefully I'll be able to start working on my endurance again.

07-19-2009, 04:23 PM
chalk definitely helps with grip. I bought 5 lbs of it off the web for 25 bucks. Even if you don't buy in bulk generally you can get 5-6 ounces for like 12 bucks at places like REI. I used to not use it until the bar kept ripping off my callouses. It lasts a long time too, I had a 2 oz chalk ball that lasted me almost a yr, but then again I only use chalk when I deadlift, so once a week.

07-19-2009, 08:22 PM
Ok cool. I'll look into getting some chalk.

July 19

Felt strong tonight. I was getting a little nausea during the lunges so I figure intensity was good.

Squats: 45x5, 135x5, 205x5, 215x3, 225x2x2(PR)
Calf-Raises: 225x15, 225x30, 225x29(about died on that 29th rep)
Lunges: BWx45, BWx47 ...ow
DB Curls: 50x6, 50x10, 50x8 (PR- not an exercise I'm real interested in setting PRs on but still good improvement)
BB shrugs: 185x8x3

07-23-2009, 06:45 AM
Had to go to a funeral and have been out of commission for two or three days. Getting back into it tonight.

07-23-2009, 07:15 AM
Dude, chalk is amazing. If you've never used it, I'd highly recommend getting started with it. I was stuck on 365 x 1 on deads for the longest time all because I couldn't grip the bar anymore. Since getting chalk a few months ago, I have sucessfully been able to pull 405 x 5. It literally gives you strength, lol.

07-23-2009, 04:20 PM
Well hopefully I have similar results =P. Thanks brihead.

23 July
Squats: 45x8, 135x5, 205x5, 225x3
BB Lunges: 45x20, 95x12
Mili Press: 95x5, 115x5, 120x4(PR- failed after 4th rep)
Arnold Press: 50x5, 50x6
DB Shrugs: 50x10x2 5-count pause at top
Front/Lat raises: 15x10/10x2

07-24-2009, 08:12 AM
That's a good workout Nate, good luck with your goals.

07-24-2009, 11:50 AM
Thanks Cocoa

07-26-2009, 07:50 AM
25 July

Went for a short run to test out the leg. Feels pretty good.

07-26-2009, 08:10 PM
26 July w1-1

warm-up: 4 mins on stairmaster, 20 push-ups, stretching

DL: 135x8x2
205x10 (PR of sorts)

Farmer's Walk w/ 50lb. DBs: 2:30, 2:00, 1:42

Hammer Curls: 25x20, 25x16, 25x12

07-27-2009, 09:40 AM
27 July w1-2

Bench: 95x10, 135x10, 165x5, 185x5, 195x7(2 assisted)
close-grip bench: 105x10, 155x8(2 assist), 165x5, 175x3
BB Row: 95x10, 115x10, 135x8, 135x8
Pushups: 30, 20, 16

07-28-2009, 08:16 AM
Nice back-to-back sessions, covered a lot of ground bro.

07-28-2009, 09:48 AM
Thanks for the encouragement Coke. I finally talked one of my buddies into lifting with me. It's so nice having a workout partner.

07-29-2009, 10:58 AM
29 July

Squats: 45x10, 95x5, 95x8, 135x5, 185x5, 205x5, 225x4 (PR)
Lunges: 12x95, 12x105, 12x105
Calf-Raises: 10x105, 185x30, 205x25, 225x30
Shrugs: 185x10, 205x12, 215x8

07-31-2009, 04:44 PM
31 July

Mili press: 45x5, 95x5, 115x8, 125x5(5th rep I had help)(PR)
Arnolds: 50x8x3
Lat/front raise superset: 10/10, 10/10
Chins: 12, 11, 5, 4
Farmer's walks: 1:50, 1:30, 1:10 with 50 lb. DBs

finished with some abs-
planks(front, left, right): 60 seconds, 45, 30, 15
4-count flutterkicks: 20
4-count hello dollys: 10

08-01-2009, 10:43 AM
Props on the new PRs with your squats and military presses man.

08-03-2009, 09:36 PM
3 August

Deadlift: 45x10, 135x5, 205x5, 235x5, 255x5(PR), 275x3(PR- form broke down on 3rd rep-started to arch back)

DB Row: 50x10x3
Chins/Pushups superset: 8/25, 5/15

Finished with some abs:
plank superset: 70, 60, 45, 30, 15
4-count flutterkicks: 25
4-count hello dollys: 20
4-count mountain climbers: 15

08-05-2009, 10:40 AM
5 August

Bench: 45x10, 95x10, 135x10, 185x3, 205x3, 210x3(PR), 215x1
Close-grip bench: 115x10, 135x12, 165x6, 135x15
Calf-Raises: 50lb DBx30x3 standing on edge of stair

a couple sets of 21s, reverse curls, hammer curls.

Ended with abs:
Planks superset: 60 seconds, 45, 35, 25, 15
4-count flutterkicks: 35
4-count hello dollys: 35
60 seconds of mountain climbers

Pretty happy with the improvements on bench.

08-07-2009, 07:11 AM
6 August:

Was going to do legs, but my partner was having some pain in his groin during squat warmups so we decided to do shoulders instead. We'll hit legs on Sunday.

Mili press: 45x10, 95x5, 125x2/115x2, 115x5
Arnold press: 50x8, 50x7, 50x6, 50x7
Shrugs: 225x10, 225x8, 185x12
Lat/front raise superset: 10/10, 15/15
Farmer's walk: 1 min. x2

Finished with planks and situps.

With farmer's walks are you supposed to keep your shoulders shrugged the entire time or just hold on to the weight as long as possible with your shoulders relaxed?

08-09-2009, 01:03 PM
9 August

Squats: 45x10, 95x10, 135x5, 185x3, 205x3, 225x3, 230x2 (PR), 155x7
Lunges: BWx14, 95x12, 95x15
Chins: BWx12, 10, 8
Push-ups: 30x2 in 30 seconds

4 count flutter-kicks: 40
4 count hello dolly's: 30
misc. abs circuit: 2 minutes
planks: 60 sec, 50, 30