View Full Version : First Day of the Rest of my Life???

05-30-2010, 07:14 PM
Ok, hi again to everyone reading. I decided to start HCT12 and I always do better when I can track my progress.

I will give everyone a bit of a background on me since I am so new.

I am 6'2, 227 lbs, ~27% body fat.

2008 was one of the worst years of my life. My company forced me to move to Dallas, Texas, and the movers didn't do their job properly. They left almost everything in the Garage. When I was carrying stuff up the stairs, I reherniated the discs in my back, L4-L5, L5-S1.

After about 7 months of therapy, 3 epidurals, and a lot of money spent, I was finally feeling better. The day I got out of bed and it didn't hurt so much, I was about a week from being discharged from therapy. I tripped over my canister vacuum cleaner. I will remember that day forever.

My 8mm herniation exploded to about 4 cm (1.5 inches) which required surgery or I would have lost the use of my right leg. I had surgery a week before my 33rd birthday, and the pain was finally gone. It was so bad at times, that it would overshadow the urge to eat, drink or use the bathroom, and one time I think I had a mental breakdown due to the pain.

February 2009 I was cleared for exercise. I started that 90 day program you see on tv, you know, the Xtreme one. good program, but my back wasn't strong enough to support me for real pushups, and I am not strong enough for real pullups. I could only do about 3 of the ab exercises due to my hips popping. I was making it work, but I was having to travel a lot to Canada back then. After a day of training people, then coming back to the hotel and checking email, I didn't have the energy to do the program anymore.

So I decided to start running, I can burn a decent amount of calories doing that. the only problem was that when I tripped over my vacuum cleaner, I ended up jerking my right leg up and over to save myself from smashing head first into the wall. that caused the herniation to explode, but my therapist also says I have stretched out the ligaments in my hips, and they will never shrink back to normal. so, while plodding along on a treadmill, my left hip was slowly moving out of place. Fast forward to December of 2009, and my therapist was finally able to get my hip back into place.

So now I want to lose weight, but I want a nice upper body. My lower body has always been strong from playing basketball, I want balance.

GOALS: 200 LBS @ 10% Body fat

Calorie goal: 2800 Calories (as recommened by Dan) Protein requirements: 200 to 400 grams a day.

Exercises chosen (4 day split)


Vertical Pulling Lat pull down
Horizontal Pulling One arm dumbell row
Horizontal Press Flat dumbell press
Vertical Press standing dumbell press
Triceps Exercise Overhead dumbell


Quad dominant Leg press
Hip dominant Dead lift
Calf Exercise calf press on leg press
Biceps Exercise dumbell curl
Abs Cable crunch

I chose these exercises mostly for safety reasons, not only for my back/hip, but also because some of the hotels I have been staying at have some dumbells. They only go to 50 lbs, but it is something. I may not be able to do the dead lift, there may not be an olympic bar at my workout center.


I expect either lose up to 5 pounds in 5 weeks or gain upto 5 pounds. To me, it isn't the number on the scale, it is the body fat %, and how I look. it is going to be very fun to see myself losing weight without doing any cardio.


I have several different types of protein powders at home already, as well as fish oil, multivitimin, and creatine. My problem is those shakes fill me up for several hours. I have no idea how I am going to get my protein requirements in. I don't eat if I am not hungry.

Today is the first day. I will post my nutrition information later.

05-30-2010, 09:29 PM
Well, I almost had it perfect, but I forgot to add the cheese I had on my 3 bunless turkey burgers before I had a protein brownie

Before the cheese I was at 2355 calories, 2800 target, so I decided to eat a 30 gram protien brownie for dessert/more protien and to hit my calories for the day. it would have put me at 2745.

Then I remembered the cheese and ended up at 2925, 125 over for the day.

So, to recap:

Total Calories 2925, goal 2800 (+125)
Protien 275, goal 200-400 grams
Fat 108.5 goal 100
Carbs 206.5

Not bad for a first day. I am not going to beat myself up over 125 calories, I am just going to learn from the exerience. I need to eat breakfast early tomorrow. I ate breakfast at 9:30 am, didn't eat lunch until 3:30 pm, dinner at 8:30. I am pretty happy, I almost hit 300 grams of protein today.

Tomorrow, first day lifting weights. Also, first day taking 1 shake before lifting, 1 shake after.

05-31-2010, 05:31 AM
Hi mate,

Firstly well done for getting back into a gym after what seems like an impossibly unlucky series of events!

Secondly just a question, dont take it as a criticism everyone knows their own bodies, if you are concerned about your back could i just ask how Standing Overhead Press is going to work out for you?

Only its just that i also have had back problems before and i find that with the Deadlifts, Rows etc etc it is nice to sit and do OH press just to take the pressure off my spine for one more exersice.

As i said it is just an idea no one can tell your body better than yourself.

Enjoy the routine and good luck.


05-31-2010, 10:38 AM
Hi kiff

Thanks for the comments. You have to understand that I have started, and I will start this program light.

My upper body isn't very strong anyways, so my numbers aren't going to make anyone take notice. I was doing a swimmers press, basically bicep curl into overhead press. I think my PR is 70 pounds.

But I will be keeping your tip in mind when I start putting up respectable amounts of weight.

To be honest, It wasn't on the program as a listed exercise, I didn't even think about it. I am kind of myopic like that.

Thanks again!!!

05-31-2010, 08:51 PM
My first lifting day of the program, I was so excited. Weight this morning 226 (minus 1 lb)

Let me tell you, this program is tough, even at the light weights I am doing. the program took about 40 mins, the same as my other workout, but I was sweating hard.

I don't know if it was the three people doing cardio, the fact that it was almost 100 degrees in Dallas today, or if it was all the hotties in bikinis just outside the weight room window, but I have never sweated that much lifting before. Like when I was doing my one arm dumbell row, the bench was covered in sweat from my hand and leg. that never happened on my other routine.

I was worried about taking 2 shakes in rapid succession today, pre and post workout, and I felt like crap afterward, very bloated.

I had a really good workout, even with light weights.

(Warmup reps not listed)

Flat dumbell bench press

50 x 6
60 x 6
70 x 6
80 x 6 +2+2+2

My PR is 140 lbs 4 times, but on a machine, so I don't think I have the stabilizing muscles yet, but soon.

Lat Pull Down

100 x 6
110 x 6
120 x 6+2+2+2

I kinda cheated on the 120s, I couldn't get the bar down the last inch I like to, to make it almost hit the top of my rib cage. PR is 130 twice I think.

Shoulder press

50 x 6
60 x 6+2+2+2

I might have been able to pull off 70, but I wanted to make sure I made it through the rest of the workout.

One arm dumbell row

20 x 6
25 x 6
30 x 6+2+2+2

I have never done these before, I think I was doing it right, just pull the weight up until it is parallel with your chest right? I know I could have done 35, don't know why I didn't.

Overhead Tricep Dumbell

20 x 6
25 x 6
30 x 6+2+2+2

I probably could have done 35 here as well, but I was pretty exhausted at the end of the workout. I decided not to risk another injury and just take it slow. I also noticed my arms were flaring a little more than I wanted, maybe I am just a little picky.

As far as food, today I am at 2460 calories, 300 protein.

Question: Should I go ahead and eat the other 340 calories just to hit my 2800 for recovery sake? I was going to eat some broccoli at 120 calories, then maybe a cucumber with some italian dressing to make up the rest of the calories.

I forgot to mention yesterday i spent 3 hours working on the lawn, weedeating and edging, and today an hour mowing. I don't know if it counts as cardio.

I also noticed when I was getting ready to do the cluster, that I just busted them all out in a row, 2, very short break, didn't even drop the weights, 2 more, again 5 second break, last 2. Am I doing it wrong?

Overall I have to say I am very impressed. I think this program will work. I just have to be reasonable in my expectations.

Off Road
05-31-2010, 11:31 PM
Nice job getting started. If you can do the clusters with that short of a rest, I think you need to use more weight.

06-01-2010, 08:43 AM
Hi Off Road.

I read your journal, it is freaking inspiring. I can't wait until I can do half of what you can do!!

I think you are right on the clusters. I will definately push myself harder next time.

Thanks for the help!

06-01-2010, 03:43 PM
Sounds like you're making progress already - good for you. One question though:

I was going to eat some broccoli at 120 calories

120 calories worth of broccoli? Man, unless you put cheese sauce on it or something, that's seriously a lot of broccoli. My calorie counter thing shows broccoli at 11 calories per 5" spear... so that's a big plateful.

Regarding lawn work, et al... it certainly counts in the sense that it's burning calories. Probably gets your heart rate up too. I wouldn't rely on lawn work as my only cardio (I would recommend also doing something that works you a little harder - swimming or row machine if your injuries keep you from running), but it's certainly a great thing to do for at least part of it.

Welcome aboard and keep up the good work...

06-01-2010, 06:36 PM
Sean, it was one of those new steam in bag vegatable things, 4 servings at 30 cals each. I would eat the whole bag, but I didn't last night. just kinda went to bed a little hungry. I have been really really thirsty lately, I guess it is the 100+ degree texas heat kicking in.

As far as cardio, I am actually not doing anything. In Dan's "to bulk or cut" article discussion, he mentioned that I shouldn't worry about cardio, and put my energy to lifting.

This is a 4 week trial for me, so I mention the yard work and such so no one can say, oh you did cardio or anything like that. Just trying to be official and scientific about it, trying to produce results that can't be argued with.

06-01-2010, 09:34 PM
well, I am not too sore, just a little bit from yesterday, so I think I need to hit it harder like Off Road said.

Today I did well, 2730 calories, 279 g protein. I saved some calories for my protein brownie, but then I realized I was out of them. :bang::swear:

So I had another protein shake, same calories, 34 g more protein, so I guess it was better, but it doesn't taste nearly as good.

Tomorrow is lower body, which should be interesting with my hip and back.

06-03-2010, 10:25 AM
Man, what a day from hell!!!! I was suppposed to teach a remote class via my work computer to group of students in Canada, from my home in dallas. No problem, I do it all the time.

30 minutes before the class started, my work PC fried. I think the power supply shorted out, and destroyed the PC. so I was in panic mode most of the day, as I had to use my wife's pc, which of course doesn't have all the work software and stuff on it.

I missed lunch due to trying to get lab access, and I finished at around 5 pm, and I was having dinner with a friend at 6, so I didn't have time to lift, or get my protein in properly.

So I skipped the workout, had a cheat day, but I think i did good, we went to ghengis grill, so I had a lot of protein and veggies on the grill, no carbs, and only 3 small bites of a shared dessert. I had 2000 calories available for that meal, and I still probably over ate, but it was a really bad day.

today is the same, finishing up class. If i finish early I will eat properly and lift and see how i goes. I missed breakfast this morning due to an early morning meeting that ran long, no time to cook.

Should I possibly just start over next week? I would really hate to, but one missed day is bad, but not getting the right food today might be bad as well.

Any opinions? I have been fluctuating between 225 and 227 this week, which is expected, so maybe continuing isn't too bad?

Off Road
06-03-2010, 10:30 AM
So I had another protein shake, same calories, 34 g more protein, so I guess it was better, but it doesn't taste nearly as good.
What kind of protein are you using? At Large Nutrition (owner of this site) has a delicious tasting protein powder called Nitrean. It really is yummy, and I don't get paid to say that :)

Also, I noticed you said you were teaching an on-line class. Are you a teacher or is that just part of your job?

06-03-2010, 11:18 AM
Hi Off road,

yes, I am a technical instructor for a large telecommunications company, i basically teach the cellular providers (att, tmobile verizon etc etc) how to use and maintain our equipment so you can use your phone

I actually have three different types of protein powders, two from GNC and one from a grocery store.

I wanted to try the atlarge stuff, because I hear really good things about it, but my wife said I had to finish the stuff I already had before I could buy the good stuff :cry:

I also really like those brownies, they taste almost like a real brownie, like you might get from chick fil a, only with lots of protein. I have tried a couple other protein bars and they have horrible taste.

How are the atlarge protein bars? wife won't let me buy them yet either "why do you need bars if you have so much powder???"

06-03-2010, 05:28 PM
wow, just another great day for me. another subpar class because the lab tech couldn't figure out how to fix citrix. that goes against MY evaluation, thank you very much.

so my typical breakfast turned out to be lunch, due to a conference call with my boss about one of my employees.

Anywho, I took a protein shake before working out, but I don't think I can tolerate another one right now. i may throw up if I take another one.

I need some advice on new exercises as well.

Leg Press

100 x 6
110 x 6
120 x 6
130 x 6
140 x 6 +2+2+2

This wasn't hard, but I did feel a stretch in my lower back/hip area, so I was more worried than anything. machine maxes out at 150, I need another exercise here. I worry that my back won't be strong enough for squats.

Dumbell curl

50 x6
60 x6
70 x5+2+2+2

this is what off road meant by upping the weight. that 70 pounds was heavy


65x6 +2+2+2

I was disappointed here, maybe I was just plain scared, but my heart was racing after the first 6. that is just the olympic straight bar and 2 10 lbs weights. I didn't feel anything pull tear or give here, so I am going to slowly up the weight here

pulley ab crunch

50,60,70,80,90,100,110,120,130 x6
140 x6 +2+2+2

this was harder on my knees than anything, a guy had his two sons in the weight room and they were doing abs for a while using the cushions. Machine caps out at 150, i think I need another exercise here too.

Seated calf extension

140x6 +2 +2 +2

this was more of a calf stretch for me, the machine was still set from my leg press, and the weight was challenging, but not over all heavy.

in summary, I need a new leg, calf and ab exercise. Any opinions?

and I don't think I can do a shake before workout and one right after, any suggestions?

thanks again guys!!!

06-07-2010, 09:08 AM
Ok,My wife came home from her trip to Orlando, so things got a little hectic here.

Friday was a good lifting day, upper body, everything increased except lat pull downs, but those I noticed I got more full reps, and not as many of the cheat reps.

Saturday was lower body again, I added 10 pounds to my deadlift, curls are getting easier.

I switched back to my swiss ball situps with weights, i think that will work better for me. i used the self spotting rack for some trial squats, I just did the bar, and it was easy, so I think if I treat it just like the deadlifts and take it slow I will be doing good.

i overate this weekend I know it, and the scale shows it. back to 227, although it might be a little muscle weight in there as well.

is it too soon to notice results? because I think my arms are thicker, my stomach smaller, chest a little bigger.

Maybe I am just seeing what I want to see.

More upper body today, back to the strict diet again, well,as strict as possible, eatting dinner with my wife will be interesting.

06-07-2010, 03:40 PM
I know, I know... I've got this obsessive streak. But I have started measuring arms, chest, waist, etc. Because I always find myself asking the same question... am I really getting bigger or just seeing things?

06-07-2010, 03:53 PM
Sorry to hear about your back... I also have an L5-S1 herniation. I woke up at 4Am last night from a dead sleep in pain... which only happens when I push it too much. Hope your training goes well... lots of good ppl here to encourage and answer questions along the way.