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Thread: HCT12 Journal - Time to stop going through the motions!

  1. #1
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    Progress Progress and more Progress - HCT12 Modified slightly

    Hello all, so I've come to the decision to finally make a real workout log/journal. I've always felt that, in general, logging, blogging, journal-ing, writing down goals (vs storing them mentally) was a waste of time. I had always been confident that I mental fortitude and willpower to follow through on whatever mental plans/promises/goals I made to myself, however in only taking the briefest look through my workout history it's plain to see that (at least in this case), that was untrue.

    History

    I first started working out in 2005. It was after university (comp sci in case anyone was curious) and I started working. There was a gym in the building where I was working and a co-worker and I decided to check it out. The co-worker was a varsity basketball player in university and had some experience - I had none at the time. I worked out on and off for the next 4 years or so (which is to say I had a gym membership for the entire 4 years) - however I never really saw any gains during that time. Incidentally the co-worker is now probably my best friend and we still workout together when we can.

    In looking back at that time it's clear to me now that the reason was because I never really pushed myself. I could get a bit more technical then that, but I basically got to what I felt was my max and just stayed there.

    What happened next was I made the decision to go back to school (post grad diploma in GIS/Remote Sensing technologies). I managed to get my employed to lay me off so I could go on employment insurance and take a few months off before school. I sat on my ass, played video games, drank for the entire time and saw my biggest weight gain ever (was up over 260 at one point).

    Sept came along - and started back to school. I had no money for a gym membership (I didn't take a loan for school relied entirely on savings) and only had a set of plates and dumbbells I got from walmart to work out with at home. The school I was attending was tiny and it's "gym" consisted of a multi-gym type machine (which may have been broke) and some cardio machines. That being said - I lost a bunch of weight my first year (2 year program) due to playing a lot of basketball at lunch, and I did maintain as much of a workout routine as I could at home with my dumbbells.

    The summer between first and second year saw my biggest gains yet. I obtained summer employment and summer gym membership - which I was pumped about since it was practically next door to my office. I worked out a routine with my buddy (mentioned above) to continue to slim down and hopefully see some gains. I went to the gym mon-thurs after work everyday.

    I'll briefly illustrate the routine for comparative reasons. Essentially I pushed really heavy to failure on one main exercise per day, then did low weight high rep accessory exercises after that. All main exercises were dumbbell exercises since that was what I was used to and the one time I tried the barbell chest press I actually couldn't push as much weight. So it went:

    mon: chest (85's max)
    tue: back (70's max single arm BB row)
    wed: shoulders (65 or 70's max - can't really remember)
    thurs: bi/tri's (used too different exercises to really compare and get a definitive max)

    I was pretty happy with my progress and wanted to hopefully maintain it through the school year till I could get back to the gym. Two things happened that prevented that. Firstly, over the summer I had met what would soon become the girl of my dreams (we're engaged now), and secondly my second year at school was much much more intense then the first year.

    Meeting the girl wouldn't have been such a big deal except for that she lived about 95-100mins away from the school I was attending (and I lived somewhere in between). So the extra travel time on the weekends to go see her combined with being at school until sometimes 10p at night doing work (even basketball was out at lunch) basically killed any extra time I would have had to work out. By the end of the year I was back up to close to 240.

    So I finished the program this past May and started working again. The GF and I decided to get a membership at a rec center near where we lived which had a nice gym, pool, track, bball courts etc. It was a good deal, the only downside being that we would have to drive to get there. Basically that meant coming home after work, eating supper, then going to the gym - that was my first mistake. Motivating myself to go after supper and I'm home is next to impossible for me. But I did it probably 2 sometimes three times a week.

    The biggest problem was that since the times that I was going to the gym lacked consistency; so did my work outs. I had reverted back to the go into the gym "do whatever" no routine kind of thing. In spite of that, I got back to probably 85-90% of what I had been at the previous summer. The other good thing I started doing while at this gym was using BB moves instead of DB moves.

    About a month ago we found out my GF (finance now) was pregnant. There's a gym here in the office building where I work now which is ok and we get a good discount on. But we had got the membership at the rec center for the pool and other amenities. Unfortunately with my gf pregnant she wasn't able to make use of many of these anymore so I made the decision to buy out the remaining time on my contract at the rec center and switch to the gym here in the building.

    Best. Decision. Ever.

    Unfortunately my gf miscarried and it was actually kind of a scary time for us (it turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy and she had to have surgery), but we got through it. Though I definitely took some time off from the gym during all that. Then we went away to Jamaica for my brothers wedding and I got back primed and ready with a gym in same building I worked which I knew I could easily goto 5 days a week if I wanted to. Now all I needed was a good routine.

    Present

    That's what brought me to this site. I started reading about HCT12 and I liked the science/research that was behind it, but more importantly it made sense to me. In coming to this site, the bigger motivating factor perhaps was reading journals here on the site. It seems as though people got very motivated by the gains and setting PR's. This was a foreign concept to me.

    I made the decision to do the HCT12 workout 4 days a week for now. I also decided to start logging everything in a spreadsheet so I could see the gains. I also committed to working my lower body, which has been perhaps one of the biggest mistakes in my past. I'm always nervous about working my legs because I have naturally big thighs and calves on their own.

    Current Stats

    Age: 31
    Height: 6'2"
    Weight: fluctuating between 223 and 228

    <will insert some measurements here later>

    Before starting this routine I was at the following weights:
    Bench: 185 (I had been pushing it to 225, but after reading a bit on this site realized that I wasn't going low enough so wouldn't count them)
    Squats: The odd time I had done them was on the smith machine usually with 2 plates on each side
    Deadlifts: Historically have scared me to death so I've avoided them like the plague. My family has a history of lower back issues and my lower back isn't "great" but I don't feel I have any major issues here.

    The Plan

    Like I said above, HCT12 pretty much by the book 4 days a week. I'll be going on my lunch break to do my weight workouts. Many times I have an hour or so wait after work before my fiance gets here to pick me up (she takes the car since it costs an arm and leg to park at my building and she can park for free). So in that time I'll return to the gym and do either low intensity cardio, or HIIT cardio depending on how I feel on a given day.

    Once I hit my current lifting goals - I'll want to cut down a good 5-8% body fat. This would put me at around 12% according to my scales at home which I know aren't that accurate but currently measure me at anywhere from 18-20%. Once I've cut down that amount I'll set new goals and keep moving forward in that manner.

    Goals
    Bench: 225x6
    Squats: 315x6
    Deads: ?? Not sure what a reasonable goal would be here. Short term it's just making sure I do them with proper form.

    Supplements/Diet

    My diet isn't the greatest in the world, but it's also not the worst either. I don't eat fast food, I stay away from a lot of bad snack food. I do tend to eat a lot of processed food (specifically chicken strips/nuggets/burgers, fish sticks, fries (I do bake them at least)) but have been making an effort to cut back on that. I'm also not a huge fan of vegetables or even really fruit. In fact the only way I usually eat them is stir fried in some kind of sauce.

    I don't (nor am I about to) count calories. I occasionally will approximate how much I've eaten to the best of my knowledge and generally will come in around 2000-2200 mark per day with around 150g of protein. Once my bloodwork comes back if there's no protein in my urine I'll increase that (no protein in the urine means that my body is using every bit that I'm taking in). If there is protein in my urine I doubt I'll dial it back any.

    I have naturally done IF even before I read it on this site. In fact, there have been days during school where I ate one huge meal a day in the evenings. I almost never eat breakfast (except on the weekends tho since I actually read about it on this site I cut that out too). So I will continue to do this and work out in a fasted state at lunch time.

    I've tried a lot of different supplements in an effort to get over what I perceived to be a plateau in the past in both muscle gains and fat loss. I feel like my body may be somewhat "immune" to a lot of supplements. I've taken a couple different test boosters in the past and seen no gains, but I also felt none of the other side-effects either. I've taken an EC stack before, in fact, up until the miscarriage I had been taking it (in cycles) since probably Oct of last year? So for about 4 months or so and only saw a 10-15 lb loss in weight in that time. Again none of the side effects, no sweating, jitteryness etc. Also have tried CLA before. Protein powder is and has always been a staple of mine.

    Currently I'm taking nothing but a multivitamin and protein powder. (BSN Syntha-6) I also have a product at home called Muscle Synergy (pretty much like ALN's Results http://www.fitnessone.com/muscle-synergy-p-308.html). I haven't started that yet. I got my doctor to send me for blood work since I haven't taken any real supplements in the past ~month or so. This way I can get a good baseline and then get it taken again after trying this supplement to see what's changing (if anything).

    I think that's everything, sorry I tend to be a bit wordy. Hopefully I covered everything. I've got exactly 2 weeks of work out logs so far. This is the start of week 3, so I'll post the data from the last 2 weeks.

    Edit:
    Now that I've been at this for about 2 months consistently I've made a few modification to the routine. I'm maintaining the general structure of the four day HCT12 workout. The four days are as follows:
    mon - 1A
    Tue - 1B
    Wed - C
    Thurs - 2A
    Fri - 2B

    Each of the primary A and B workouts focuses on one major lift (ala 5/3/1):
    1A = Bench
    1B = Squat
    2A = Standing Overhead Press
    2B = Deadlift

    These major lifts are done first following the same rep/set structure more or less as outline in HCT12 (I generally don't bother with many low weight warm up sets, but do ramp up my work sets and do the clusters). The other exercises performed during these workouts are exactly what HCT12 outlines, so for workout 1A I would add a horizontal pull, vertical pull and a triceps exercise, I may or may not add a light vertical pressing exercise (for volume) depending on how I feel.

    That same principal holds true for the other workouts. The point of this is so that I'm performing my main lifts once a week and assistance lifts twice a week usually.

    The other addition is a workout C, which is basically a do whatever day. I'm so used to going to the gym on my lunch at work now that I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I didn't go. So I use this day to get in exercises I wouldn't normally get in during my other workouts. I also do a lot of core work on this day as that tends to be a weak spot for me.
    Last edited by Rileigh; 04-18-2012 at 12:24 PM.

  2. #2
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    The last two weeks:

    Week 1:

    Monday

    Seated DB press
    45x6
    50x6
    55x6
    60x6
    65x6x2x2

    Pulldown Row
    90x6
    105x6
    120x6
    135x6x2x2

    Single Arm DB Rows
    50x6
    55x6
    60x6
    65x5
    70x6x2x2

    BB Skull Crushers
    30x6
    40x6
    50x6
    60x6
    70x6
    80x6x2x2

    BB Bench Press
    90x6
    145x6
    155x6
    175x6x2x2

    Tuesday

    Squats (smith)
    105x6
    195x6
    205x6
    215x6
    225x6
    225x2
    225x2

    Calf Raise (machine)
    90x6
    105x6
    145x6
    160x6 (max)
    160x2
    160x2x2x2

    BB bicept Curls
    40x6
    50x6
    60x6
    70x6
    80x6x2x2

    Crunchs (machine assist)
    BWx6
    BW+5x6
    BW+10x6
    BW+15x6
    BW+20x6
    BW+20x2
    BW+20x2

    DB Deadlifts
    55x6
    60x6
    65x6
    70x6x2x2

    Thursday
    Triceps Cable pull Down
    30x6
    40x6
    50x6
    60x6
    70x6
    80x6x2x2

    BB Bench Press
    130x6
    150x6
    160x6
    180x6
    200x4x2x2 (PR)

    Pulldown Row
    90x6
    105x6
    120x6
    135x6
    150x6x2x2 (PR)

    DB Military Press
    45x6
    50x6
    55x6
    60x6
    65x6x2x2

    DB Bench Rows
    50x6
    55x6
    60x6
    65x6x2x2

    Friday
    Squats (hack)
    90x6
    180x6
    230x6
    250x6
    270x6x2x2 (PR)

    Calf Raises (super set with squats)
    90x8
    180x8
    230x8
    250x8
    270x8x2

    BB bicep Curls
    40x6
    50x6
    60x6
    70x6
    80x6x2x2 (PR)

    Crunchs
    BWx6
    BW+5x6
    BW+10x6
    BW+15x6
    BW+20x6
    BW+25x6
    BW+30x6x2x2

    DB Deadlifts
    55x6
    60x6
    65x6
    70x6
    80x6x2x2


    Week 1: Summary. Loved the workout, loved seeing the gains - such a huge motivator for me. Using the barbell bench properly has seen a small decrease in my max weight, but I have no doubt I'll hit my goal here soon. Unfortunately I seen to be taking my lunch at a bad time a day. There's only one rack for deadlifts and squats at the gym and everytime I'm there there's a group of 3 guys using it the entire time. Very annoying. Will try taking my lunch an hour later next week to see if I can avoid them.

    Week 2
    Monday
    Dips
    BWx8
    BWx8
    BWx6x2x2

    BB Bench Press
    135x6
    155x6
    185x6
    205x6x2x2 (PR)

    Pulldown Row
    90x6
    105x6
    120x6
    135x6
    150x6x2x

    DB Military Press
    55x6
    60x6
    65x6
    70x5x2(PR)

    DB Bench Rows
    55x6
    60x6
    65x6
    70x6x2x2

    Tuesday
    Squats (real!)
    45x10
    135x6
    185x6
    205x6
    225x6x2x2

    Calf Raises (Leg press machine)
    90x10
    180x10
    230x10
    270x10
    360x10x6x5

    BB bicept Curls
    40x6
    50x6
    60x6
    70x6
    80x6x2x2

    Crunchs
    BW+10x10
    BW+20x10
    BW+30x8
    BW+35x8
    BW+40x6x3x3(PR)


    DB Deadlifts
    55x6
    60x6
    65x6
    70x6
    75x6x2x2

    Thursday
    Triceps cable Pulldowns
    30x6
    40x6
    50x6
    60x6x2x2

    BB Bench Press
    135x6
    185x6
    195x6
    205x6
    215x5x2x2

    Pulldown Row
    90x6
    105x6
    120x6
    135x6
    150x6
    165x5x2x2

    DB Military Press
    55x6
    60x6
    65x6
    70x6x2x2

    Lat Cable Row
    90x6
    105x6
    120x6
    135x6
    150x6x2x2

    Friday
    Squats (real!)
    45x10
    135x6
    155x6
    185x6
    205x6
    205x6x2x2

    Calf Raises (calf machine)
    90x10
    100x10
    100x10

    BB bicept Curls
    40x6
    50x6
    60x6
    70x6
    80x6
    90x4x2x2(PR)

    Crunchs
    BW+20x10
    BW+25x10
    BW+30x10
    BW+35x10
    BW+40x8x2x2

    Deadlifts (real!)
    45x6
    135x6
    155x6
    185x3x2x2

    Week 2 summary: Moving my lunch ahead an hour really helps with getting access to equipment, which is important since I'm only dealing with a limited amount of time. Finally got my first taste of real squats and deadlifts. I have to say I really like squats in the rack. When using the smith machine I'm usually left with a sore back (likely due to bad form), that doesn't exist with just a bar. I dialed them back a bit on friday because I wanted to make sure I was going low enough and try and concentrate on form (so were pretty slow reps).

    Deadlifts - ugh! Not sure what to think here. Lifting the weight was absolutely no problem, in fact I feel I could have easily lifted much more then that. My issue was in putting them down. About half way down I get a little twinge in my lower back. I've done a lot of reading about deadlift form since that workout and for my next lower body workout I'm going to try using much lower weight and concentrate on keeping my back straight as I'm fairly confident that's the reason.

  3. #3
    Senior Member GazzyG's Avatar
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    Good write up, Rileigh! You've got some good numbers to start with, particularly your bench.

    Deadlift takes practice - you need to make sure that you're not prematurely locking your legs out on the way up and that you bend them on the way down, lest you turn them into SLDLs. A sign that this is happening is when your hips rise first on the way up and drop last on the way down.

    Good on you for getting started on the proper barbell exercises, though; one thing I've learned from the guys on this forum is that there's no substitute for them.
    Last edited by GazzyG; 03-05-2012 at 01:13 PM.
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    Best Lifts: | Goals:
    SQ167.5(368.5) | 180(396)
    BE112.5(247.5) | 120(265)
    DL205(451) | 220(484)

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  4. #4
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    Week 3 - Day 1

    Thanks Gazzy! I'm going to take this week and practice them with low weight and try to really work on form. Throwing out my back due to bad technique is not an option. There are the fixed barbells at the gym for up to 110 lbs I think. So I may just try working on my form with those. If I can cap those out next workout and with no pain I'll move back to the real barbell for the following workout. And if I'm still having problems I'll get my buddy to work on my form with me over the weekend and fix it up.

    Today's workout:
    BB Chest press
    135x6
    185x6
    205x6
    215x4x2x2

    Single arm DB rows
    55x6
    60x6
    65x6
    70x6
    75x6x2x2

    Seated DB press
    55x6
    60x6
    65x6
    75x6(PR)

    Dips
    BWx8
    BWx8
    BWx6x2x2

    Pulldown Row
    105x6
    120x6
    135x6
    150x6
    165x4x2x2

    I was expecting to hit 225 on bench today, but didn't happen. I'm ok with that. The seated press PR came out of no where. Someone was using the 70lb dumbbells when I started my first set of the press. And by the time I was ready to use them he had just started his second set. So I just f it and grabbed the 75's. Pretty happy about that. A few months ago back when I was doing random exercises I grabbed the 70s and couldn't even get them up to start the exercise without help.

    Definitely going to make sure I get some more dips in next time.

    Edit: looks like I'll be waiting around an hour today, so will hit the gym after work again and probably do some HIIT. Probably use longer rest intervals. Like maybe 45-60 seconds work, 3-5mins rest depending on how I feel.
    Last edited by Rileigh; 03-05-2012 at 01:23 PM.

  5. #5
    LuNa
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    Nice work already and i agree with Gazzy, you have good numbers to start with. Best of luck with everything.

  6. #6
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    Week 3 - Day 2

    Thanks Luna. I really do feel like I have a lot of potential here.

    Squats:
    135x10
    185x6
    205x6
    225x6
    245x6
    255x6x2x2(PR)

    Crunches (45 degree decline bench with torso rotation at the top):
    BWx10
    BW+25x6
    BW+25x6x2x2

    Calf Raises (leg press machine)
    180x10
    270x10
    320x10
    340x10
    360x10
    380x10x2x2 (held the last rep up for 5 seconds)(PR)

    DB Curls
    25sx6
    30sx6
    35sx6
    40sx6
    45sx5x2x2

    Deadlifts:
    115xlots and lots

    Was pretty happy with the squat PR, and I think I could have easily gone a bit higher. I think I'll see some pretty quick progression here maybe (see below). Calf raises, well I've always had calves like tree trunks. That wasn't even really all that tough, I think I'll see lots of increases here over the next couple weeks as well.

    Deadlifts are still kicking my ass. I used lower weight today and really was trying to concentrate on form. I did find that picking a spot in the distance and focusing on it helped. But there's still a specific point where I'm lowering the weight where I feel I sharp pain in my lower back. It's about 2/3rds of the way down right before I start to bend my knees (in fact I end up trying to bend my knees prematurely because I know the point is coming and try to avoid it). Once I get past the point I'm fine. Getting the weight up is absolutely no problem at all.

    My theory is that I either have a very very very weak lower back, a bad lower back or my form is still not great. I've been trying my best to keep my shoulders back, and my back straight with a slight arch in my lower back - but this seems to make it worse. The other possibility I was thinking off was that if my squat form is off a bit and that's hurting my back a little, but not enough to notice during squats, that might be enough for me to really notice it during deadlifts.

    My buddy is going to take a look at my squats and deadlifts on the weekend. But just to rule out the possibility I'll do deadlifts first on friday (my next lower body day) and see if the pain is there right from the get go or not which will at least rule out the squat causing the pain.

  7. #7
    WBB Team Captain Coke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rileigh View Post
    I really do feel like I have a lot of potential here.
    Indeed you do, can't go wrong so long as you keep at it over an extended period of time.

    Good luck with everything.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coke View Post
    Indeed you do, can't go wrong so long as you keep at it over an extended period of time.

    Good luck with everything.
    Thanks! That's one thing I've really lacked. The biggest difference between when I hit my peak in summer of 2010 (have surpassed that now) and every other moment up until now was consistency. That summer I went every day mon-thurs. Since I've switched gyms I've been there 9 times in the past two weeks and so far everyday this week.

  9. #9
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    Week 3 Day 3

    side plank
    30seconds each side x2

    reg plank
    30 seconds x2

    DB Lat shoulder raises
    10sx10
    12.5sx10
    15sx10

    DB Shrugs
    65sx10
    90sx10x10

    Leg Curls
    90x10x5

    Reverse Fly
    70x10x3

    Back Extensions (off the bench type thing, not sure what it's called)
    BWx10x3

    Cable Kneeling Chop (each side)
    30x10
    40x6
    40x6

    According to HCT12 this should be a rest day. However I wasn't sure what to do on my lunch if I didn't goto the gym. In reading about my issues with deadlifts I found that if it's not form that's the problem it could also be a weak core (which wouldn't surprise me). So I concentrated on some light accessory work and some core work. I have to say the back extensions felt really good. I felt like I was standing straighter and taller when I was finished them.

  10. #10
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    A note on nutrition and weight:

    I've been weighing myself everyday the past few days because we had a huge slab of left over birthday cake from my brother. So I've been having a piece every night with supper haha.

    My normal meals look something like:
    protein shake with milk plus sandwich right after my workout @ ~2p
    Large supper, this week so far has been chicken pot pie, protein pancakes and fried egg and smoked meat on a bagel. @ ~5-6p
    Snack of Cashews or cheese and crackers around 8p-9p

    Lunch is almost always around the 500-600 cal mark
    Supper varies, but it could be anywhere from 800-1400 calories
    Then probably 300-400 calories for a snack

    That puts me around 1600 - 2400 cals per day. The cake probably adds about 500 to those numbers.

    My weight (always weighed first thing in the morning) has been 227.6, 228.0 and 227.0 the past three days. So I'd say my maintenance number right now is around 2500. To me that seems a bit low for someone who's active at least 5 hours a week. (225lbs x16 = 3600 calories maintenance)

    shrug. Good to know I guess.

  11. #11
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    Week 3 Day 4

    Ended up my buddy had some free time today, so he came down to the gym when I would normally workout to give some deadlift and squatting pointers. Pretty positive it's a flexibility issue which is causing me to round my back a little during both exercises. So I've started doing hip/hamstring stretches in the evening. It only causes a mild annoyance with squats because I can't quite go as low as I would like without rounding my back, but it's more obvious with deadlifts as I can't get them to the floor without rounding my back.

    The solution? Other then adding stretches, my squats will just take awhile to get as low as I would like, so no real modification to the program there. They'll gradually get lower and lower. For Deadlifts, since I do them twice a week, the first day I'll do squats first, and lightweight deadlifts for form and mostly for the stretch. Second day I'll start off with rack pulls to get used to the weight and then move squats lighter/higher reps later in the workout.

    So after we had figured that out, I had time for a quick bench session before I went back to work and got:

    Bench
    135x8
    185x6
    205x6
    215x6

    After work was over, I came back and did:

    Seated DB Press
    60s x6
    65s x6
    70s x6
    75s x6 (couldnt get the clusters, I waited a minute but didn't have the energy to get them up into position)

    DB Rows
    60 x6
    65 x6
    70 x6
    75 x6x2x2

    Lat Pull down
    120x6
    135x6
    150x5.5x2x2

    Dips
    BWx8
    BWx8
    BWx6
    BWx6
    BWx4

    Close Grip Bench
    bar x alot
    95 x6
    115 x6
    135 x6
    155 x6x2x2

    Wide Grip Bent Over Rows (smith machine)
    105 x8 x3

    I had been feeling pretty tired all day, I wanted to fall asleep at my desk the entire day at work. Seemed ok at the gym in the sense that I was awake, but clearly was lacking energy. Lat pull down suffered. But got a few extra exercises in. I think I'm going to start alternating each week before DB rows and the bent over rows because I actually really like the bent over rows and I can feel them much more then the DB rows.

    I tried close grip bench because I didn't want to do a normal bench session again, but I did want to get some more tri work in. Felt good.

  12. #12
    Senior Member GazzyG's Avatar
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    Good choice of exercises there.

    Also, hope the flexibility work helps with your squat and dead! I'm sure it will.
    Add me on Facebook: Gaz Pengelly

    Best Lifts: | Goals:
    SQ167.5(368.5) | 180(396)
    BE112.5(247.5) | 120(265)
    DL205(451) | 220(484)

    www.garethkpengelly.co.uk

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by GazzyG View Post
    Good choice of exercises there.

    Also, hope the flexibility work helps with your squat and dead! I'm sure it will.
    Thanks Gazzy, heading down to the gym in about 15-20mins, super pumped to try the rack pulls.

  14. #14
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    Week 3 Day 5

    Rack pulls
    bar x alot
    95 x6
    115 x6
    135 x6
    135 x6x2x2

    Squats
    bar x alot
    135 x6
    135 x6
    155 x6
    185 x6
    185 x6x2x2

    Crunches on decline bench
    BW +25 x10
    BW +35 x8
    BW +35 x8x2x2

    Calf raises on Leg Press machine
    270 x10
    360 x10
    380 x10
    410 x10x2x2(PR)
    (also threw in 3 reps of actual leg press after the last cluster)

    DB Curls
    25s x6
    30s x6
    35s x6
    40s x6
    45s x6x2x2

    Back Extensions
    BW x 10
    BW +10 x8
    BW +10 x8

    Finished the workout with no back pain. At least no "bad" back pain. Lower back certainly feels worked but that's it. Rack pulls felt tough, but good, made sure to get them done while keeping my back straight, I think these are going to clutch for getting used to the movement. Concentrated more at getting low with the squats then worrying about the weight right now. Just want to make sure my lower back and core is getting strong as opposed to how much weight my legs can actually push.

    Looking forward to getting off work and cracking a beer and resting up over the weekend

  15. #15
    Senior Member GazzyG's Avatar
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    Really good session, good selection of exercises. I love light Back Extensions at the end of heavy back sessions, it seems to flush out some of the acid and ease the pump.

    Good job on the crunches too - one thing I've learned from some people on the forum, notably NickAus, is that a strong core leads to a strong deadlift. Been slacking on my abs lately, gonna do some on Sunday when I'm next in.
    Add me on Facebook: Gaz Pengelly

    Best Lifts: | Goals:
    SQ167.5(368.5) | 180(396)
    BE112.5(247.5) | 120(265)
    DL205(451) | 220(484)

    www.garethkpengelly.co.uk

  16. #16
    LuNa
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    Nice lower session. At what height are you doing those rack pulls?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GazzyG View Post
    Really good session, good selection of exercises. I love light Back Extensions at the end of heavy back sessions, it seems to flush out some of the acid and ease the pump.

    Good job on the crunches too - one thing I've learned from some people on the forum, notably NickAus, is that a strong core leads to a strong deadlift. Been slacking on my abs lately, gonna do some on Sunday when I'm next in.
    Yeah, that's why I'm really trying to get a little extra core work in. I've never worked my core. Between that, flexibility issues and probably a weak lower back; my deadlifts are going to take a lot of work here to see much improvement.

    Quote Originally Posted by LuNa View Post
    Nice lower session. At what height are you doing those rack pulls?
    The bar ends up slightly below my knee. So probably about a foot off the ground, maybe a bit more then a foot. It's the lowest I can set the safety pins basically.

  18. #18
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    Week 4 Day 1

    DB Rows:
    65s x6
    70s x6
    75s x6
    85s x6x2x2(PR)

    BB Standing Overhead Press:
    bar x15
    95 x6
    105 x6
    115 x6x2x2

    Hammer Strength Triceps Extension:
    40s x6
    50s x6
    60s x6
    70s x6
    80s x6

    Bench:
    bar x alot
    135 x6
    185 x6
    205 x6x2x2

    Lat Pulldown:
    105x6
    120x6
    135x6
    150x6
    165x6x2x2

    Lots of people trying to get on the singular bench press at the gym today. Unfortunately I didn't get in to do my sets till practically the end of my workout. Made for a weak bench, I was kind of hoping to hit 225 today, but ah well. Got a PR on the DB rows.

    Switched from doing the seated DB press to standing BB press. Doing my sets seated is no problem at all, but my issue is that when it comes to doing the clusters it ends up taking too much energy to actually get the DB's up into position. Doing overhead press in the rack means it starts out in position saving a little energy. Plus just looks cool when you're doing it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member GazzyG's Avatar
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    You've got strong upper body movements, mate! Impressive benching and overhead pressing.
    Add me on Facebook: Gaz Pengelly

    Best Lifts: | Goals:
    SQ167.5(368.5) | 180(396)
    BE112.5(247.5) | 120(265)
    DL205(451) | 220(484)

    www.garethkpengelly.co.uk

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GazzyG View Post
    You've got strong upper body movements, mate! Impressive benching and overhead pressing.
    Now to catch my lower body up to my upper body.

  21. #21
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    Week 4 Day 2

    Squats:
    bar x10
    135 x6
    205 x6
    225 x6
    245 x6
    265 x6x2(PR)

    Calf Raises (leg press machine):
    270 x10
    360 x10
    430 x10
    450 x8x2x2(PR)

    BB Curls:
    40 x6
    50 x6
    60 x6
    70 x6
    80 x6

    Decline Sit Ups:
    BW x10
    BW+25 x10
    BW+35 x8
    BW+35 x6x2x2

    Lower Back Extensions:
    BW x10
    BW+10 x10
    BW+25 x8
    BW+35 x6x2x2(PR)

    Was hoping to do some lightweight deadlifts from the floor today, but had an impromptu meeting called right before I left for the gym so didn't have time and just belted out the lower back extensions instead (and my lower back and core is what's holding my deadlift back anyway)

    I'm doing this lower body workout twice a week. So my goal is to alternate, first day do heavy squats, light weight deadlifts from the floor. Second day is going to be heavier rack pulls and lightweight squats. The reason I mention this is because my squats aren't quite as low as they could be. I'm barely hitting parallel. So the light squat day is going to focused on really working on getting deep. The problem is if I start to get too deep with the heavy weight it's no my legs which is the problem, I tend to start bending at the lower back.

  22. #22
    Senior Member GazzyG's Avatar
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    Good work on the squat PR. Sounds like a good idea alternating the squats and deads.

    The lower back issue on the squats is very common.
    Add me on Facebook: Gaz Pengelly

    Best Lifts: | Goals:
    SQ167.5(368.5) | 180(396)
    BE112.5(247.5) | 120(265)
    DL205(451) | 220(484)

    www.garethkpengelly.co.uk

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by GazzyG View Post
    Good work on the squat PR. Sounds like a good idea alternating the squats and deads.

    The lower back issue on the squats is very common.
    Thanks bro!

  24. #24
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    Week 4 Day 3 - accessory day

    Side/front Plank:
    30 secs each side/front x2

    Hanging Leg raises:
    6 x3

    Lat Shoulder Raises (machine):
    110 x6
    120 x6
    130 x6
    140 x6x2x2

    Leg Curls (machine):
    90 x6
    100 x6
    110 x6
    120 x6x2x2

    Decline Bench (smith):
    bar x15
    135 x15 x3

    Just a quick workout for something to do. I'm going to keep doing light accessory work on wed's even though the program dictates this to be an off day.

    Crazy burn on the decline bench!

    Probably go back to the gym after work for some HIIT

  25. #25
    Senior Member GazzyG's Avatar
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    Nice job getting in there and getting a session in. Diggin the ab work.
    Add me on Facebook: Gaz Pengelly

    Best Lifts: | Goals:
    SQ167.5(368.5) | 180(396)
    BE112.5(247.5) | 120(265)
    DL205(451) | 220(484)

    www.garethkpengelly.co.uk

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