Welcome. This is the beginning of my journey to take back my life. Why do I need to take it back? Because over the past 4 years I have let it slowly be stripped from me.
Family problems have plagued my time and tortured me mentally and emotionally since high school. Physically though I continued to grow through lifting; two months ago that was taken from me. In a motorcycle accident I suffered a t1 and t4 vertebrae fractures, a fractured rib, and a collapsed lung. CT scans also showed that I had papillary thyroid cancer. Almost 2 months later I now have had my full thyroidectomy and the brace is now off.
Those 2 months while I dependent on those around me I did all I could; I made a promise. 6 months, 2 years, 10 years from now I would look back and know that I came out of this rut with more than just a healed back. I will become a stronger man.
Naturally this journal is going to serve as a training log. However, in my case I want it to be more. This journal is now a pact I have made with myself; a place where I can find motivation and remind myself what it is I am after. I hope that it might even inspire others as the community has inspired me over the past couple years. This journal is very overdue and apologize for being a lurker for so long!
--- GOALS ---------------
**KEEP WHAT IS MINE
**TAKE BACK WHAT IS MINE
*On 9/3/08 weigh in at a lean 200 lbs or more.
*On 11/30/07 have the neurosurgeon tell me I can resume more of my normal activities.
*Reduce LBM loss until I am healed and ready to put it on.
--- STATS ----------------
*BF: To be Calculated in a week hopefully
*Pictures At post #65.
*Weight: 180 lbs
*BF: 12%ish (Abs slightly visible)
--- JOURNAL -------------
Appointment with the neurosurgeon! Not going to lie... I had high hopes. I wanted to be told that I could lift practically anything I put my hands on. Little did I know that his initial reaction was that I should wear the brace for another month allowing me to take it off for sleep and showing. After explaining how I felt, a second look at the CT scans, and a feel of my back he decided I could stop wearing the brace. Activities that do not stress my spine are alright... curls, swimming and biking here I come!
At first I was very disappointed... I miss my deadlifts so much. But hey, I CAN DRIVE. Oh my! how nice it is! After having to be shipped around to class everyday and gaining back the ability to care for myself I am now ecstatic!
This is without a doubt the first chain broken that has been holding me back (no pun intended)!
Last edited by TopCat; 01-07-2008 at 04:59 PM.
Im looking forward to reading this journal dude. I am trying to get to a lean 200 as well later in the new year. Cant wait to see the workouts, good luck!
Not for self, but for others
Bench Press: 270 Squat: 250 Dead Lift: 365
TJ & Dgro
Thanks for best wishes and encouragement! I am pumped about the ride ahead as well!
I almost don't know how to start this... .... alright ya I do. WHAT A FREAKING DAY. Walking to the Rec never felt so good! I mean I really soaked it all in. I could care less that it was a miserable day outside, I went to the gym. But, ill get to the basics first then the rant!
*Pull-Ups 1x0 Ha! None... lowered myself and spine definitely felt stress
*Machine Curls 4x8 (medium-high intensity)
*Flys 2x10 (medium intensity)
*Tricep Machine 2x8 (medium intensity)
*HIIT on bike, 18 min/4 miles total with warmup and cooldown
*10 hours of sleep and trying to up my caloric intake and get an appetite.
I didn't bother to look at any of the weight this time around for two reasons. First, I wanted nothing to ruin this session at the gym. I could of curled 10 lbs or 100 lbs, didn't matter. Second I didn't want to try and compare my current lifts with my old lifts. Last thing I need is my mind trying to tell me what I can do instead of my back. Pull-ups were a no go; sharp pains in the spine while rising equals the "I-will-go-ape-****-if-I-hurt-my-back" lift. The flys were not that bad honestly. Because it was a machine I could sit up and keep a lot of the pressure off my spine, was cautious though and only did medium/low intensity. The biking.... damn, doing **** for 2 months really catches up with you!
Next time ill adventure a little bit more with my legs. I plan on doing a 4 day split of whatever the hell I can. If possible ill find a lift for each muscle group I can preform at any intensity . Split will be separated like so:
Day 1 - Back/bi heavy & chest/tri light
Day 2 - Quads/calves heavy & hams light
Day 3 - Rest
Day 4 - Back/bi light & chest/tri heavy
Day 5 - Quads/calves light & hams heavy
Day 6 - Rest
Day 7 - Rest
The order is really going to change from week to week as the intensity of each workout will dictate how the rest days are placed. Another option I am looking into is cutting out 1 of the rests days and moving into a 6 day cycle because my schedule is so flexible (that is a joke I don't have a schedule period right now).
Last edited by TopCat; 10-28-2007 at 07:15 PM.
Ahh another day without that forsaken brace! Didn't get a whole lot accomplished today, but did do some stuff. Went and got some food (woot!) so now I don't have to continue to starve myself and picked up some old paychecks. Most importantly started and caught up this journal! K, to the basics...
*Sleep: 10 hrs
Food consisted of:
-3 egg cheese omelet and toast with apple butter
-Protein shake: 2 cups milk, 2 scoops protein powder, Nat. PB, banana, olive oil
-Little bit of homemade giant pizza roll with cup of milk and 3 fish oil caps
-Yogurt, strawberry/low sugars
-French Hamwich (Imagine a ham samwich meets french toast) w/ 1 fish oil cap and 1 cup milk
Diet was kind of crappy today. Don't think I drank near enough water. Also I didn't get to run to Sam's to pick up some meat so had to resort to cheat meals to get it in which in turn gave me more saturated fat than id like. Either way tomorrow is a BIG DAY! Finally meet with my endocrinologist and plan on doing a pseudo-leg day.
*Sleep: 6 hrs (8 total but kept waking up)
*Cals / Fat/Carb /Pro
*1816/ 81 / 135 /143
*Didn't count large chicken cesar salad, 2 small pieces of pizza, and small piece of brothers cake. Gonna guess that all that is at least 700 calories and puts me at or around yesterdays intake. Breakfast was a shake, then had a PWO shake and then part of pizza roll and yogurt before taking off.
Sleep was kind of crappy, same with todays food. Oh well... it was my little brothers birthday. The endocrinologist took longer than expected and same with the birthday so I didn't get to buy the meat. In the end those are just excuses though. Know what? I'm also sick of making excuses to cover up my laziness. Tomorrow I am taking care of ****.
Workout - Legs
*Leg Extensions: 8x130, 8x150, 8x170, 12x190
*Leg Curls: 8x70, 8x110, 8x130, 3x150
*Seated Calve Raises: 12x135, 12x135, 12x135
*Walked about an hour so far today going to classes/gym/home
Workout was great. Started with low intensity and moved up to medium/high intensity based on how my back reacted. Stopped with the last set of leg curls for this reason. It's freaking nice that I can work all of my legs decently though this! Looks like arms and legs are beefing UP! Not a problem though, both could use some meat.
Last edited by TopCat; 10-29-2007 at 11:04 PM.
*Sleep: 8 hrs good, another 2 on/off
*Weight: 178 (not surprising much earlier and yesterday was with keys/sweats)
*Cals / Fat / Carb / Pro
*2619 / 122 / 209 / 185
Omelet, oatmeal w/ Nat PB and milk for breakfast. PWO (dextrose & protein) shake and then after lifting had another heavier shake with milk/banana/protein/Nat PB with fish oil. Later had a small slice of pizza and then french hamsamwich. Again, I've GOT to clean up this diet. Getting some meat to make real meals would do me a lot of good...
Workout - Upper Body
*Curl Machine: 8x70, 6x90, 6x90, 2x110 (damn you back!)
*Fly Machine: 10x90 (SDTB = Stopped due to back)
*Tricep Machine: 10x50, 8x70, 8x90, 6x110
*Lat Raises: 8x12, 8x15, 8x20 (SDTB)
Overall was happy with the workout! Turning up the intensity some on exercises when my back feels comfortable. I would love to workout my back but I just don't think I can... oh well like I said time to let my arms catch up!
**If anyone is looking over this should I increase volume on the only lifts I can do? Should I be doing 6ish good sized sets for each different muscle group I can hit?
So far so good. Got some different issues I really want to write about once I get the time. Today I got stuff done! YES! Well... er... no Sam's... but that will happen tomorrow or feel free to chew me out. Either way I am exhausted and already addicted to the feeling! Among other things hopefully will put up some of my thoughts tomorrow since I plan on taking a complete rest day.
*Sleep: 10 hours
*Diet/Intake: Not sure, between class today, driving around, Halloween and little bros birthday with my dad there were too many meals that I couldn't count calories. However, I did my best to make sure it would be an over and not under day.
So got the call from the endocrinologists (met with her this past monday...) scheduler today. I'll become radioactive man at the end of the month. Lately I've had mixed feelings about the whole cancer deal, though I usually don't bother to think about it. Honestly... it was really bizarre to hear the term stage 2 and 80% 10 year survival thrown around. But, let me back up. Because of my age I am either stage 1 (100% survival) or stage 2. Stage 2 would only be if the cancer had moved into my lungs. Though doubtful, it is a possibility since cancer was starting into my chest; i'll have thin slice CT scans soon to check it out.
Other thing, and this is FOR ALL YOU WHO CAN LIFT!!! Never, and I mean NEVER have a appreciated my ability to exercise, drive, and perform daily tasks. Material possessions is a different story, but next time your in the gym train with intensity. Why? Because not everyone can and it is something you should never take for granted! I know I wont! One thing I never want to forget about the past couple months is how bad I craved the ability to go pull, push, lift, or run as hard as I can. The intensity I desire is something I want to never lose. I plan on training like I will never see the gym again from here on out (that is once the neurosurgeon gives me the green light)
Last edited by TopCat; 10-31-2007 at 10:22 PM.
*Sleep: 9-10 hrs
*Cals / Fat / Carb / Pro
*2829/ 114 / 207 / 247
*Food was a move in the right direction. Tomorrow among other things I am hoping to take another step in the right direction. Eating clean makes me feel so much better.
*HIIT on stationary bike! 10.3 miles/35min including warmup/cooldown. 3 min warmup followed by 6 intervals of 30 sec fast/1.5 min medium. Continued medium pace for 17 min followed by 3 min cooldown. MAN this killed me, I mean I am exhausted... as I should be . No point in half ***ing it. I really wanted to cut an interval or 2 short.
No Sam's... aha! But wait! I went to a butcher and picked some meat up that was seasoned. Ended up paying more but it is something ill eat at the moment. I can not look at another plain chicken breast. So until I figure how to make it delicious enough for me to stuff myself I might go this route.
Today was also an amazing day because I felt inspired in every aspect of my life. During a lab a pharmacist taught who really made me want to get my studies under control. Physically reading several journals in here inspire me. Belial, KillaKurt, and BCC thank you all for at one point/currently keeping journals.
Last edited by TopCat; 11-01-2007 at 10:27 PM.
*Sleep: 11 hrs ( I really can't wait to get a higher level of synthroid)
Workout - Upper Body
*Machine Curls: 6x50, 6x70, 6x90, 6x110, 1x130
*Tricep Machine: 6x70, 6x90, 6x110, 2x110 (Put a lot of effort into 0x130...)
*Fly Machine: 6x90, 6x110, 6x130, 6x150 (Not gonna push my luck... yet)
*Lat. Raises: 8x20, 8x25 (Back said no)
*Neutral Grip DB Curls: 5x35
Great workout. Back was feeling a little tense throughout the workout. Curls and triceps I am able to nearly give 110%, just VERY timid to go that last little bit; maybe in a week. I upped the weight in my flys quite a bit, for some reason today my back wasn't pinching with them. Tomorrow I was hoping to hit my legs... might not. Full day of rest might be best after the increase in intensity yesterday and today.
Gonna study, ill add more later but wanted to put this in before I forgot.
Last edited by TopCat; 11-02-2007 at 03:45 PM.
good dedication man but you need to lay off the isolation exercises and hit the big stuff (squats, deads, bench)
2000 or bust
Oh, believe me I want to! Really REALLY bad. I meet with the neurosurgeon again at the end of November. For those just jumping in, I fractured two of my vertebrae 2 months ago and technically am suppose to still be resting... screw that! I am just doing lifts that I can without excessive risk of breaking the fracture.
In honesty though I got the impression that I could do limited exercises based on what puts stress on my back.
Stumprrp, your videos always make me wanna go lift like crazy. Honestly they have been torture to watch hehe. I love the video of your squat with all the bands and chains... running in like a crazy mofo, in time for me!
P.S. continue doing your stuff. Your helping yourself and the community with the lifts!
*Sleep: 9 hrs
*Cals...... / Fat / Carb / Pro
*2441(+) / 110/ 178 / 187
Ill post up finally numbers little later. Decided it was time to slightly bump up the calories as 2700ish has been keeping me around 180. Soooo after lifting I headed to my mother's house and on the way was gonna pick up some meat from the butcher. Got there 3 minutes too late, place was closed. I was already behind in meeting maintenance goals and eating something too plain wouldn't of helped. I really wanted to boost the calories today... so I decided to stop by wendys. What a mistake! I mean it got the macro-nutrients in, but after a triple and large fries I feel like ****. SCREW THAT PLACE. I remember why I haven't eaten at fast food in months. Hopefully I wont be writing down that crap in months again!
(+)Also had a shake at night, some beans and small PWO shake not added in. Was most likely over 3k slightly.
Workout - Legs
Leg Extensions: 8x110, 6x150, 6x170, 6x190, 6x210, 6x230, 6x250
Leg Curls: 6x70, 6x110, 6x130, 6x150
Seated Calve Raises: 8x160, 8x160, 8x170
Squats: 8x45 (just the bar to go through the motion)
Great workout!... although I think I pushed myself a little too much and worried about my back a bit. Leg extensions I started too slow because I didn't plan on going up that high in weight today. Leg curls still seem to bother my back the most out of the lifts so I still haven't gone that extra step. Ugh, I really wanted to lift harder but I shouldn't be doing what I already am...
Last edited by TopCat; 11-04-2007 at 12:44 PM.
*Sleep: 9 hrs of crap
Needed sooo much. Last night my back was starting to hurt a little bit, I think I slightly overdid it.
Woke up today feeling like complete ****. Obviously caught some kind of cold/virus as I was achy all over, back felt odd, hurt to breathe, splitting headache and incoming fever I believe. Then again could be combo of hard workout/****ty food/cold outside/stayed up way to late.
Took some aspirin and ate some food, feeling slightly better. Have school work I have GOT to get done.
Hoping I feel better...
Glad to see you have so much dedication, but be very careful to not over do it.It would be awful for you to re-injure yourself. Good luck.
*Sleep: 10 hours
*Diet/Intake: Not enough
The day after my last post I was pretty sick for a couple days. I am not sure if it was just a virus or a combination of hard training/bad food/poor sleep or what. Either way my back felt bad... and it scared me. So I took 2 weeks off. Almost. Haven't done anything except arms 3 days ago.
You can expect regular posting again.
*Sleep: 8.5 hours... surprisingly still awake
*Diet/Intake: Around maintenance give or take
Workout - Upper Bodyish
Curl Bar: 8x65, 8x75, 8x85
Curl Machine: 6x110, 4x110
Fly Machine: 8x110, 8x130, 8x150
Tricep Machine: 8x70, 8x90, 6x110
Lat. Raises: 8x20's, 6x25's
Can't... wait... until... I meet with THE FREAKING NEUROSURGEON! Man if I don't hear good news I am going to be really sad. I am not keeping my hopes up because when I start to lift 'hard' my back does feel little odd. I am going to continue to think that it is to be expected to have some pains even when the vertebrae are fully healed. For those of you worrying don't... I am not really pushing myself
*Sleep: 9 hours on and off... pretty crappy quality
*Weight: 182 (very surprised it was not less)
Workout - HIIT
*Biked 10.6 miles/35 min
*7 intervals of 0.5 min very hard 1.5 min medium
*That includes 3 min warmup and cooldown. Very happy also about the pace, I believe I kept up with my last session if not did slightly better. Although I was HOSED at the end of the workout.
To school of pharmacy to get some more counseling worksheets done. Ill add bit more later.
Also a good friend is undergoing spine surgery today, please keep him in your prayers.
*Sleep: 9 hours, solid
*Diet/Intake: dirty but hit maintenance I'm sure
Had quite a bit of school work due today which went alright. Realizing now that I have a bunch to do for the next 2 weeks and I really need to take advantage of this couple day break
*Sleep: 8 hours
*Diet/Intake: behind right now
Workout - Arms/HIIT
Curl Machine - 8x50, 8x90, 8x110
Fly Machine - 8x150, 8x170
Tricep Machine - 8x90
Skull Crushers - 8x65, 8x75
Biked 7.4 miles/25 min
Includes 3 min warmup/cooldown
Kind of crapped out and only did 5 intervals instead of the 7 like I wanted.
*Sleep: 9 hours
*Diet/Intake: Pretty lousy. Had some pizza and freaking huge shake. 3 cups milk, serving of maximus, nat. PB, banana, olive oil.
Workout - Upper Bodyish
*Preacher Curls: 8x55, 8x65, 8x85
*Curl Machine: 6x110, 0x130
*Tricep Machine: 8x90, 6x110
*Close Grip Bench: 8x75
*Bench: 8x75, 6x135
First time I've done bench in 3 months... Felt very strange/hard at first since I have done almost no pressing movements. I did not even bother going up in weight because of my spine.
Big week!... for a couple reasons. First I start my low iodine diet now, 12/5 I become radioactive man and kiss this cancer goodbye. THIS FRIDAY I MEET WITH MY NEUROSURGEON! Damn, I am hoping for good news. If he says I can deadlift, squat, bench or do whatever the hell I want ill hug the man.
But the otherside of the fence, I have a ton of school work to polish off this last week. It is going to be tiring.
Low iodine diet sucks... and by sucks I MEAN BLOWS NUTS. Wow, I have to do this for 2 more weeks and I am already almost anorexic. I can NOT eat:
*Over 6 oz of meat in 1 day
*Limited grain intake
Limiting me to:
*Vegetables and fruit
*6 oz of meat
*little bit of oatmeal
*home made bread and some other carbs
It is impossible for me to get my protein up and I am eating more and more PB. I'm not sure that I will be working out because I am scared that with such a low protein intake I wont be able to recovery from lifts let alone gain anything. Ugh.. this sucks
Strong strong bro.
You'll be back in no time.
What matters is that you are breathing and you got the time to slowly put the pieces back one by one.
Thanks for the kind words and I must say I agree. Going through all of this has really helped my appreciate everything I do! That and I need to keep it all in perspective; this is just a minor set back, nothing more. Also I ordered that protein book! Thanks for pointing it out in the threads.
**I'M BACK IN ACTION!!**
*Sleep: 9 hours
*Weight: 182 (slightly dehydrated)
*Diet/Intake: Today might have hit maintenance! Yesterday I told myself one way or another I'd meet my needs now that I can lift. Today consisted of a little over 1/2 a jar of Nat. PB (~1500 cal), orange juice, little granola and berries, ~1 lb steak before cooking (so less after cooking and a lot of fat/grim I didn't eat), mashed potatoes (2 potatoes worth) and some asparagus.. I'll snack on raw nuts shortly.
Workout - Chest/Tris
*DB Bench: 9x45s, 8x60s, 6x65s, 7x70s
*Standing Barbell Press: 6x85, 6x85
*Incline Barbell Press: 6x95
*Dips: BWx10, BWx10
*Lat Raises: 4x25s
*Close Grip Bench: 8x95
Man was I pumped to be able to lift whatever I wanted to again! However, by the end my back was really starting to irritate me. My doc told me the bones were completely healed but that I should still use my body as a guide over the next 3 months. By the time I got to the close grip bench my back was hurting, but more on my right side... I'll have to keep an eye on that.
Felt the volume was just a tad low. Would of preferred to stick another 2 sets in somewhere between incline/military.
A lot has happened within my last couple posts that I just have not had time to share.
First, after some bull**** with my endocrinologists office about them not being able to disclose MY lab results to me I find from my nuclear medicine doctor that my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is 14... it should be .1-.4 for me since... ya know... I don't have a gland. Nothing is done about it though, they will be raising my TSH next week with thyrogen injections. Looks like 125 mcg of synthroid isn't enough for me.
Second as stated, I meet with my neurosurgeon and HUZZAH I can lift/be active again! My back probably will not feel the same as before, which was expected.
When I met with my cancer doctor this past Tuesday about the treatment some scary **** discussed. One thing in particular is that he suggested I go to a sperm bank... apparently there is a chance I could be infertile after this WTF.
I'll rant more tomorrow. Because I actually ate a bit of food today, tomorrow I might try and work my legs.
Last edited by TopCat; 12-02-2007 at 11:34 AM.
12/02/07 - Rest Day
*Sleep: 8 hours
*Diet/Intake: same as other day pretty much. Yesterday I was gonna try powdered egg whites... BAD IDEA. That stuff was nasty. Today instead I added in 4 egg whites, though not much it is a start. I hope in a day or two to be able to stomach 8 post workout for some quality protein.
Workout - Legs
*Squats: 135x8, 165x8, 185x7, 205x4, 225x3
*Leg Curls: 110x8, 130x8, 150x8
*Leg Extensions: 170x8, 190x7, 210x8
*Calves: 90x12, 135x10, 160x10
For not having done squats for over 3 months I was very happy! I'm sure the numbers will catch up quickly over the next month and a half as well. I wanted to do good mornings but was pretty burnt and plan on hitting back tomorrow. In the future I plan on a tad bit more volume.
Crappy diet... also had an injection of thyrogen to bump up my TSH. Not much else is going on.