View Full Version : Average Isn't Good Enough

06-14-2006, 02:44 PM
The new journal title says it all. Basically I got tired of how I was looking more and more average in the mirror. I like to feel I have set a far higher standard for myself. I started lifting yet again a few weeks ago after maybe 10 months off of lifting after a short-lived comeback. The main problem with the comeback was that my membership ran out and I sort of lost interest in going back due to the time off. Hopefully I will make sure not to have downtime in lifting so it doesnít take away my progress and discourage me from continuing. (I have always felt that my motivation for lifting has depended strongly on my momentum improvementwise)

Another thing I sort of thought about was how much time I wasted with playing Final Fantasy 11. That game sort of took over my lifting and there would be times where I would rather improve my character in there than my real life character in the gym. I have since mostly quit FFXI for World of Warcraft, but I kept thinking about how all the time spent getting 6 75s in FFXI is good for nothing now. At least something like lifting will stay with you for the rest of your life. Sure you will lose a lot of your gains from time off lifting, but I still probably have about half my progress from my 10 year lifting career with me as of right now, which doesnít count the hopefully rapid gains I will get the first few months of getting back into it.

On top of that, lifting is not nearly as time consuming as any online game to make progress and you arenít at the mercy of the people around you to progress as with guilds/linkshells in WoW and FFXI respectively. Just think if your progress depended on how good members of your gym were and if your progress was an average of the progress of your gym. Just think how much those cardio queens, bench press/biceps only people, or curlers in the squat rack would drag your progress down. Of course you have all those hours that you may not think about with diet and such, but it still is a less time consuming hobby and a far more beneficial one for real life.

Iíll make this as a new journal even though I donít think Iíll be as detailed as my past journals. Spending as much time updating my journal entries as the actual workout sometimes just made the whole workout thing that much harder to get back into. Itís great to make new journal posts when you are setting all-time PRs on lifts, but it seemed to be more so a chore while Iím trying to get back to where I was. I think I will just make this journal full of commentary and post whenever I want to without really pressuring myself into making a post after every workout. Updates may be daily, weekly, monthly, but hopefully not yearly. It all depends on how motivated I am to post.

06-14-2006, 03:42 PM
This average I'm talking about is coming in right around 5-9 169 13%. At my peak I was 5-9 169 at about 7%. Your average person might look at those numbers and maybe even at myself and say, "You haven't changed a bit". The trained eye will look at both stats and say that I have a lot of work to do. I'm motivated though and really really miss my old physique and hopefully I can get it back.

The tragic deadlift injury from over 2 years ago is still keeping me from doing deadlifts. I think it is a joint problem with whatever the joint is that connects the spine and pelvis on my right side. The link to the injury diagnosis thing on the WBB sticky seems to match up pretty well with where my pain is. The pain is getting better as in less pain, but still is not where I would like it to be to give deadlifts another chance. As a result, I'm without the best lift in my opinion for reclaiming progress and lean body mass. The good news is that the pain from picking up DBs and the pain from squatting no longer seem to be there and maybe there is some light at the end of the tunnel for getting deadlifts back. If I ever do seem to be able to deadlift again, I'll likely add a 3rd workout day to the week because it would be a waste to have both squats and deadlifts too close together. I'll maybe take a Tuesday or Wednesday to test somewhat light deadlifts to see if they have a chance of being back any time soon.

Iím going with a 2 day per week split with legs and back on Saturday and chest, shoulders, and arms on Sunday. I ideally would like to have the workouts spread out across the week like I have always done, but I have a harder time wanting to go to the gym on weekdays. Iím clocking in around 1:15 for these workouts which is sort of long, but all comes out about the same comparing to my previous 3 or 4 day routines. I believe I clocked in at around an hour each for the 3 day routines and clocked in at 45 minutes or so for the 4 day routines. So, I guess I cheat myself out of 30 minutes per week and Iím still a bit concerned about the quality of the workouts especially towards the end when I get more fatigued. Hopefully the back ends of my workouts arenít getting screwed in progress. Iíll have to keep track of that.

My Routine:
Saturday: (Legs/Back)
Pull Ups
Leg Curls
Rowing Machine
Leg Extensions

Sunday: (Chest/Arms)
DB Bench
DB Military
Tricep Extensions
Shoulder Fly Machine
DB Bicep Curls
Tricep Pushdowns

06-14-2006, 03:47 PM
Welcome back Ryan..
Good luck with your new goals..
And hopefully you will make some progress with that Deadlift injury & recovery..

06-14-2006, 07:12 PM
where's the hot chick report? Best of luck man.

06-18-2006, 04:07 PM
Sunday, June 18, 2006(Legs/Back)

*Note: Blue numbers will represent improvement since starting lifting a few weeks back. Black numbers will be no change numbers. Red numbers will still be PRs for the lift, but you probably won't be seeing them for awhile.

Weight =170

Squats (230/7)
I upped the squats by 5 pounds and put on a rep along with that and still didnít feel like I was totally pushing the limits. Of course all this is expected improvement for the first month or two of lifting again, but it is always nice for it to actually happen.

Pull Ups (Bodyweight/7)
Pull Ups are progressing ever so slowly, but they have always seemingly been slow. Iím thinking most likely because you are hanging off your own weight even between reps and it requires more endurance making extra reps that much more effort.

Leg Curl Machine (95/17)
I upped the weight on this by 5 pounds and still did the same number of reps.

Row Machine (75/15)
I think this machine is 20 pounds or so off of what I have done at my peak, but that is consistent with all my other lifts.

Leg Extensions (140/13)
I only had a half a rep over the last week here, but I donít really take them that seriously compared to squats.

Pulldowns (120/16)
Iím sure I could have done more, but Iím kind of aiming for high reps on a lot of lifts and I just added this one fairly recently so Iím starting out light and slow. Itís also at the tail end of my lifting so Iím sure the 40 or so less pounds of what I was doing before is more because of fatigue and the mainly obvious reasons for not lifting in almost a year until recent weeks.

Other Stuff:
1. My weight is staying pretty much the same despite me wanting to cut a slight bit to make up for my increased bodyfat that took place of what used to be lean body mass (maybe cut like 5 pounds and nothing major) Iím not too worried though because if Iím not cutting, Iím probably gaining more lean body mass than if I would be so it probably all will even out.

2. Everything got bumped back a day because I was planning to lift after the World Cup game on Saturday, but forgot that the gym closed at 5 on Saturdays. (yet they are open until 8 on SundaysÖgo figure) I remembered before I left to go there though so I didnít waste a trip or anything. The nice thing though is that since Iím only on a 2 day per week schedule, this wonít disrupt my workouts rest-wise in any way and I can just do chest/shoulders/arms on Monday. (yeah yeahÖworst day of the week to do those lifts
Bearwolf: Thanks. I'm thinking about giving them a try again with a fairly light weight and maybe build off that. The back not bothering me on squats anymore gives me hope for deadlifts.

cphafner: I took it off due to the extra time and effort in updating my journal. I guess if a lot of people beg me to bring it back, I might.

06-19-2006, 05:39 AM
Awesome stuff, throwing back & legs together like me, lol...you'd sit down any sports commentator, glad you're back.

06-19-2006, 02:41 PM
Monday, June 19, 2006

Weight =Not taken

DB Bench (60/17)
This was a low weight but high reps. I improved 3 reps over last week which makes it 5 ½ reps improvement in the last two weeks. Of course improvements in a higher rep range are less significant than ones at lower rep ranges but either way it is the muscle memory that I have wanted to see while rebuilding my strength.

DB Military (45/15)
This was only a rep improvement but they can vary a lot depending on the amount of rest I had right after DB bench.

Tricep Extensions (75/11)
two rep improvement

Shoulder Fly Machine (100/15)
two rep improvement

DB Biceps (35/13)
I’ll probably take these to 15 or so before I up it to the 40s....two rep improvement here.

Tricep Pushdowns (100/15)
…yet another two rep improvement.

Deadlift Testing
I loaded up 155 on the bar…..no pain.
I upped things to 250….no pain.
Finally, I upped to 300….still no pain.

Things are looking promising with the fact that I was doing a moderately heavy weight without feeling any pain. I have no idea what I would actually be doing once I go all out, but I’d guess maybe 350-400 if things would be consistent with the strength lost on other lifts. So….300 is in the ballpark and I’m not feeling any pain at least during and after the lift. I’ll have to see how I feel tomorrow to be totally sure. I’ll probably still do a few more sessions of deadlifting to make absolutely sure that I’m safe to do the lift. The last thing I want to see is an injury from rushing things when I’m so close to being able to do them again. All that was noticeable on them were my stiff legs from my leg day yesterday.
CoCoa: Thanks

06-19-2006, 02:46 PM
Nice workout there man!
And good to see some improvemetns along the way! thats what its all about my friend ;)

06-23-2006, 09:44 PM
Thursday, June 22, 2006

Weight =170

I’m doing legs early in prep for my planned shift to a 3 day a week routine. Legs will probably migrate to Tuesday or Wednesday over the next couple of weeks with my chest/arm day staying the same and back day becoming Sunday. (may be Monday this week to keep the spacing between squats and deadlifts as legs move earlier in the week.

Squats (235/7)
I still may be using a bit more back than I should be using on these.

Seated Calf Lifts (180/5)
I don’t like where you put your feet on this. Every rep was more of me worrying if my feet would slip on the arched footing. I think I may just scrap squats and move biceps over to leg day since my chest/shoulder day is longer than the other 2 days.

Leg Curl Machine (95/18)
…1 more rep over last time

Ab Machine Crunches (145/12)
I added abs here since back exercises have their own day.

Leg Extensions (140/13.5)
I’m usually tired in the legs by the time I get here so my effort is not always the best.
Goodwinm: Thanks

06-24-2006, 02:37 AM
Nice workout man. And about ur squats. cud uget a video up of doing them?
solid workout.

06-25-2006, 09:47 PM
Saturday June 24, 2006

DB Bench (60/19)
This was another 2 rep improvement over the previous week with the extra high reps.

DB Military (45/16)
My right shoulder seemed to be somewhat bothering me in the joint on this lift, but I seemed to be more careful on the later sets and it didn’t seem to bother me.

Tricep Extensions (75/12)
This was a so-so set, but was a 1 rep improvement.

Shoulder Fly Machine (100/17)
This was a nice and smooth set that was upped by 2 reps.

Tricep Pushdowns (100/17)
This was yet another 2 rep improvement.
Goodwinm: Thanks....I doubt I'll be posting any videos soon though mainly due to the hassle it is to film them and put them on the computer.

06-25-2006, 09:59 PM
Sunday, June 25, 2006

My body feels nauseous right now. I don’t mean as in sick to my stomach or anything. I just mean my body feels really tired from the workout. The last time my body felt this way was when I competed in a lifting competition at school and had to do the big 3 all in the same day.

Deadlifts (325/2)
Yes you read it right. Those are deadlifts for the first time in over 2 ½ years. The weight is definitely not something to be proud of, but the point is that I’m able to do them again. The only pain I’m really feeling is the good pain within the target muscles and not the bad pain in joints or whatever. I’m a bit worried about my high hips on the pulls though and tried to focus on lower hips the next few pulls. This may make me do a bit less, but I need to be very careful this time around since I’m getting a 2nd chance that I honestly didn’t think I ever was going to get again.

DB Military (45/16)
My right shoulder seemed to be somewhat bothering me in the joint on this lift, but I seemed to be more careful on the later sets and it didn’t seem to bother me.

Pull Ups (7.5)
This was maybe closer to 7 1/3rd reps but I’ll round it up to 7 ½. The grip was extremely rugged and really tore up my hands since I haven’t built up calluses. I think I’ll put on gloves for these next time.

DB Biceps (40/6)
The 35s were taken so I grabbed the 40s. This was not the rep range I wanted and I should have waited for the 35s.

Rowing Machine (75/16)
This is a rep improvement, but still a far cry from my best ever.

Pulldowns (120/17)
This was a rep improvement over the previous week.

Other Stuff:
1. Deadlifts really suck the life out of you with how taxing they are on your body, but that is why no lift comes close to the deadlift for a workout.

06-26-2006, 05:49 AM
It's gonna take some time to get to the numbers you appreciate, you're probably used to 4pps on deads and breezing through them at that...but all-n-all done very well with those weekend efforts.

Saint Patrick
06-26-2006, 12:18 PM
Welcome back, Ryan. Nice job on the deadlifts and the high-repping madness.

And like cphafner said, where's the hot chick report?

07-31-2006, 12:07 PM
I figured Iíd post an overdue update here because it may look like Iím not lifting right now. I actually have been lifting. In fact, I havenít missed any workouts on a 3-day routine since my last post. Iím very happy with the progress Iím making at reclaiming my old strength/physique. Iíd wager to bet that Iím about half way there after a 3 month period. I definitely notice quite a difference in the mirror compared to what I was a few months back. Iíd wager to guess Iím maybe around 10% at 170 right now. My abs are starting to show, but arenít ripped like they would be at 5 or 6%. Shaving 3% or so off my bodyfat in 3 months is something Iím very happy with considering that I have done it while staying at the same bodyweight.

Deadlifts are still a no-go. I did a set of them one week and didnít feel any immediate pain, but my back was bothering me a bit on squats the following workout, and I decided that it probably would be best to not to try to do deadlifts so I donít risk screwing over my squats also. The way I see it is that as much as I want to do deadlifts, I can still improve my deadlifts indirectly by improving on every other lift. I figure if I ever can do deadlifts again, Iíll make very rapid progress thanks to the strength I will gain on all the other exercises that work important muscle groups involved in the deadlift.

I still plan to post updates in this journal, but they will likely be spread out like this post. I donít want to be in the position where I feel I have to post a journal update for every workout because it sometimes ends up taking as long as my actual workout and I donít want 4-5 hours a week to turn into 8-10 hours per week and burn me out of lifting.

CoCoa: Thanks, I'm getting there.
Saint Patrick: Thanks; I took the HCR out of the journal mainly because it was more work to do.