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Thread: So it begins...

  1. #1
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    So it begins...

    I'm starting up again, after a long hiatus for some health issues and sheer laziness. Now that the health issues have been cleared up, I just have to contend with the laziness. Anyways, I'll be using this thread primarily to just help track my own progress and share it with anyone who cares to read it. I'm far from an expert so feel free to offer advice or critiques.

    I'm currently 24 and have been lifting on and off for maybe 6 years, I've made good gains in strength at times, but never have been able to build up the mass I've wanted. I'm doing this to build mass, but also for strength. I'm just not as concerned since I've always made decent gains in strength, solong as I hit the gym and did a decent diet.

    I have access to a decent but tiny apt gym with racks, cages, free weights, benches etc. I'm fairly set on a 3 day split, and will be posting my work out and maybe some of my diet. Here goes nothing:

    10/24: Chest/Tri
    Flat DB Bench: 3x8 @50lb, 1x8 @55lb
    Dips (BW): x7, x6, x7, x6
    Flat DB Fly: 3x8 @20, 1x8 @25
    Skullcrushers: 1x8 @55, 3x10 @55
    Tricep Cable Pulldown: 2x10 @80, 2x10 @90
    Tricep Dips w/ bench: 4x10

    Current weight: 202lb, 6'2"

    Crammed as much food as could for breakfast, 1 cup of dry oats, 2 eggs, and 1 cup of condensed milk mixed with water (will normally mix with fat free milk). I am planning on having this or a similar breakfast most morning just out of concerns for costs. I'm not poor but I need all the money I can get haha. Planning on eating chicken breast, yoghurt and the like for lunch. Dinner will be trickier since I live with my gf, and she leads me into sin. At least food-wise.

    I have a lot of goals, some of the ones I'll list:
    Fill out a Large-size shirt, not looking thin.
    Have thicker legs and squat/deadlift a respectable 300lb or higher.
    Be able to do 4x10 chin-ups.
    Have a wider back, better lats.
    Thicker arms, but not a priority (figure this will come with other lifts).
    Get back to benching 225 for reps.

  2. #2
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    Finaly got time again to post (in the morning)
    Hitting my back makes me nervous, as this is where my injury was. Starting off really low on these, making sure I take time with form.

    10/25 Workout

    Deadlift: 1x8 @45lb, 4x8 @115 lb
    Chinups: x5, x5, x4, x3 (all bw)
    Bent-over DB rows: 4x8 @35lb's
    Overhand Cable Pulldown: 2x8 @100lb, 2x8 @95lb
    DB Curls: 3x8 @25lb's


    10/27 Workout

    Squats: 1x8 45lb, 3x8 @115, 1x8@135lb
    Lunges w/ DB: 5x6 @35's lb
    DB Squats: 3x8 @40lb's
    Hanging Leg raises: 4x8


    Thoughts so far, I'm annoyed I find myself holding back on deadlifts and squats, but I'm pretty damn paranoid about another lower back injury. I got time to take it slower, but hopefully it won't be an issue. Aside from that, I'm thinking it's a good start considering I've been dragging myself outta bed at 6am when its raining out. Old me probably woulda quit already. Anyways, if anyone has feedback or critiques, feel free! I want to add more leg exercises, but I really just hate the sled and crap like that.
    7/3/12
    6'3"
    201lb

    Goals for 8/15/12
    Bench: 225x8
    Deadlift: ...work in progress...
    Squat: 245x12
    Pull-ups: 16(bw)
    Working towards a stronger squat/lower half. Looking to be able to do a respectable amount of pull-ups.

  3. #3
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    11/07 workout
    chinups: 3x5, 1x2
    Deadlifts: 4x8 @135lb
    Cable pulldown: 5x8 @100
    EZ curl bar: 4x8 @55lb
    Hammer curl db: 3x6 @30 dbs

    Lower back is feeling better, getting more comfortable with putting lightweight on it. Pretty umhappy with my chinups though haha. Feels horrible only being able do that little at my current weight and height. Aside from that, been pretty bad about posting my workouts. I skipped some but have been going. Tough to squeeze it all in in the morning. Gym opens at 6 and I gotta workout, eat, shower etc all in time to leave at 730. Ill try to get better (posting now from train to work). Anyways, thanks to anyone who bothers to read. Itll get better and maybe slightly more interesting. I promise haha
    7/3/12
    6'3"
    201lb

    Goals for 8/15/12
    Bench: 225x8
    Deadlift: ...work in progress...
    Squat: 245x12
    Pull-ups: 16(bw)
    Working towards a stronger squat/lower half. Looking to be able to do a respectable amount of pull-ups.

  4. #4
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    11/8 Workout

    Flat db bench: 1x8 @35's 4x8 @60's
    Dips: 4x7
    Skullcrushers: 4x8 @55lb
    Tricep cable pushdown: 4x10 @105 (this throws me off since if I try same exercise on other side of cables, its damn mear impossible for me at this weight)
    Flat db flys: 3x8 @25's

    Overall, felt good for me. A bit rushed towards end, but my bad for getting up later than normal. I'm excited for Squat day. Already reaping the benefits of better sleep from working out in morning. I'm going to set a day fpr maxing out, probably end pf December, for doing a 1rm for deadlift, bench, squat. Figure by then it wont be as depressing as if I tried now haha. Also gives me something to work towards, short term goal-wise.
    7/3/12
    6'3"
    201lb

    Goals for 8/15/12
    Bench: 225x8
    Deadlift: ...work in progress...
    Squat: 245x12
    Pull-ups: 16(bw)
    Working towards a stronger squat/lower half. Looking to be able to do a respectable amount of pull-ups.

  5. #5
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    11/11 workout
    Squats: 1x8 @115, 4x8 @135
    Lunges: 4x8 @35's
    Squats: 3x8 @30's
    Hanging leg raises: 4x8


    11/14 workout
    Squats: 1x8 @bar, 5x8 @135
    Lunges: 4x8 @35's
    Hanging leg raises: 4x8 (completed inbetween sets of lunges)

    Had a good weekend, drank and ate too much junk though. This morning sucked since I.literally had 25 minutes to workout... had to go into work an hour early. Crammed food down again and getting used to it. Overall looking forward to this week, feeling good post workout and think im finally on the path to consistenty.
    7/3/12
    6'3"
    201lb

    Goals for 8/15/12
    Bench: 225x8
    Deadlift: ...work in progress...
    Squat: 245x12
    Pull-ups: 16(bw)
    Working towards a stronger squat/lower half. Looking to be able to do a respectable amount of pull-ups.

  6. #6
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    11/15 Workout

    Flat BB Bench- 135x6, 155x6, 175x6, 185x4, 175x6, 225xFAILLLLL (0 reps, close but no cigar)
    Dips- x7, x8, x7, x6, x4
    Tri Cable Pushdown- 105lb 1x10, 2x8, 1x7, 1x6
    Skullcrushers- 2x8 @55, 2x7 @55

    The last two exercises were supersets. Workout felt good, called in sick to work (taking a "mental health day" ha). Sucks trying to do a workout in my gym past the 6-7am time period though. The weights area is the size of a large walk-in closet and they allow personal trainers which means it getttts shit-packed. As opposed to 6am when I am the only person there.

    Gonna go food shopping soon, gonna pick up more milk, powdered milk, eggs, oats, yogurt, cottage cheese, other random goodies. I'm playing around with the idea of mixing up my routine. We'll see.
    7/3/12
    6'3"
    201lb

    Goals for 8/15/12
    Bench: 225x8
    Deadlift: ...work in progress...
    Squat: 245x12
    Pull-ups: 16(bw)
    Working towards a stronger squat/lower half. Looking to be able to do a respectable amount of pull-ups.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bojackson's Avatar
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    look, im no genius, but i am a strength coach and a powerlifter(not world class, but not a slouch) in my early and mid 20's i was stuck trying to bench the world and never really got the "size" most people want. but when i started squatting and deadlifting with a serious mentality, the size came easily. i would put bench #3 on my lifts and start with squat #1, deadlift #2. and in all honesty, pull ups or bent rows would be my real #3. these lifts are tried and true as far mass and strength production. just my 2 cents. good luck
    I am not "the" Bo Jackson, i just stole his name.....
    6'1 230
    Squat 555 - belt only
    Bench 340 - raw(11.3.11)
    DL 540 - belt only
    "Dont confuse activity with progress." - Gene Stallings
    My Log - http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...35550-Bo-s-Log

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bojackson View Post
    look, im no genius, but i am a strength coach and... ... just my 2 cents. good luck
    I think that makes sense, I def agree with you. One horrible habit I had was almost never working deads and squats. This was back in college and my lifting partner was totally against them. I wont lie that I was a bench jockey(?). I'm starting out with a heavier focus on squats and deads, i'm also taking it slow out of paranoia that I might aggravate an old back injury. Another thing that I agree with is the pullups/chinups. Ive always been pretty half-assed with them. Its frustrating because I can do so few I feel like I cant get a good workout from it. Do you think it would make sense to add an extra squat/dead/chin up day? Regardless, thanks for the feedback!

    Workout 11/16
    Chinups- x6, x4, x4, x3 (all wide grip)
    Deadlift- 1x6 @bar, 5x8 @135
    Overhand cbl pulldown- 1x8 @100, 4x8 @115
    Preacher curls- 2x8 @55, 1x8 @45, 1x9 @45

    Overall good workout. Horrible chinups though, i'm going to look into what I can do to help that.

  9. #9
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    Got good nights sleep. Rest day today, planning on hitting deads and chinups again tomorrow. Might thrown in some other stuff. I do feel like not going to the gym messed up my whole day though. Woke up late and was more frustrated during day. Could be imagining it but I think gym in morning puts me in a faaaar better mood. I feel like I actually accomplished something before work eats up my whole day.
    7/3/12
    6'3"
    201lb

    Goals for 8/15/12
    Bench: 225x8
    Deadlift: ...work in progress...
    Squat: 245x12
    Pull-ups: 16(bw)
    Working towards a stronger squat/lower half. Looking to be able to do a respectable amount of pull-ups.

  10. #10
    UnTouchable 2kool's Avatar
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    I know what you're going through with the paranoia of re injuring your back. I've injured mine a couple of times in my (short) lifting career. The worst one was the most recent. Had some discs herniated in the lumbar part of the spine. I had been irritating it off and on and it all finally came undone while deadlifting one day. I basically took 5 or 6 months off from heavy lifting (3 of those months without going to the gym at all) and have SLOWLY begun to get back in the right direction.

    What you're doing is good, taking your squats and deads at a really light weight and focusing on the movement itself (form). Just make sure you know the fundamentals of a proper deadlift or squat in and out like the back of your hand. Pay alot of attention to your form, making every single rep you do from here on out count as if its your last one youll ever get to do. I would usually start off a set right, but by the time I was a couple reps in, I knew I was slipping on some aspect of the lift.

    Knowing that my next rep may flare up my injuries (if done wrong) helps me to focus extra hard on performing it the best I can. Know how to listen to your body too. I was squatting a couple weeks ago and noticed a slight pull on my last rep. I knew what it was, and I stopped there. Took the next week to deload and let my body rest, and the week after I was good to go.

    Good workouts in here, keep up the progress and STAY CONSISTENT!
    I may have "Love" on my head, but i have Hate in my heart.

  11. #11
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    11/19 workout
    Chinups- x5, x5, x4, x1 (held for 15sec)
    Deadlift- stretched with bar, 4x8 @135, 2x8 @145, 1x8 @155
    Squats- 4x8 @135

    2kool, thanks for the response. Its reassuring to know that it happens to other people here. It can be frustrating since there have been times I wanted to jump the weight up a bit for deads and squats but just had my back injury haunting me haha. Like you said, its important for me just to keep at a slow pace until I build a solid base for my lower back.

    Overall, I felt good after this workout. I'm getting more and more comfortable putting weight and reps on the back amd used this day.just to help it along some more. Taking weekend off, gym again on monday.

  12. #12
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    11/21 workout

    Bench- 135x6, 155x7, 185x6, 175x6,x5
    Dips- x7, x8, x8, x7.5, x4
    TriCblPush- 3x10, 1x6 @105
    Skullcrusher- 2x8, 2x10 @55
    TricepDips- 3x10 (bw)

    Happy with the workout. I think triceps are by far my fav muscle to wprk out. Planning on adding some shoulder stuff to my squat/legs day.
    7/3/12
    6'3"
    201lb

    Goals for 8/15/12
    Bench: 225x8
    Deadlift: ...work in progress...
    Squat: 245x12
    Pull-ups: 16(bw)
    Working towards a stronger squat/lower half. Looking to be able to do a respectable amount of pull-ups.

  13. #13
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    11/22 workout

    Chinups- x5, x5, x4.5, x3.5
    Deads- bar x6, 2x8 @135, 2x8@145, 2x8 @155
    CblPulldown- 3x8, 1x10 @115
    Preachers- 2x10, 1x12 @45bar, 1x10 @55

    I can tell its gonna be a real struggle to get those chinups higher.

  14. #14
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    11/22 workout

    Squats- bar warmup, 2x8 @135, 2x8 @145, 2x8 @155, 1x8 @165
    DB shoulder press- 6x8 @35's (supersetted with squats)
    Lunges- 2x8 @35's, with DB Lateral raises, 2x8 @15's
    Then I realized I could barely hold the 35's for the lunges due to supersetting it with the shoulders, so I finished by jeeping it separate.
    Lunges- 2x8 @35's
    DB lateral raises- 2x8 @15's

    I assume it was a good workout cuz I was sweating and tired by the end of it. Feeling more comfortable with more weight on my back. Taking tomorrow off, back on friday.

  15. #15
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    11/26 Workout

    Chinups- x6, x6, x5, x3 (held for as long as i could)
    Deadlifts- 2x8 @135, 2x8 @135, 2x8 @145, 2x8 @155, 2x8 @165
    cable pulldown- 5x6 @130
    Preacher curls- 5x6 @55

    Had to go into work early on Friday, so I went to gym today. Felt good, pullups felt really good at first then got bad real quick. Deadlifts were good, totally killed my grip, felt it in my forearms. Gym again on Monday.
    Last edited by Heracles; 11-26-2011 at 12:11 PM.

  16. #16
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    11/28

    Bench- 135x6, 2x7 @165, 2x6 @175, 155x7, 225=0
    Dips- 3x8, 1x7, 1x5
    Db fly- 4x8 @25's
    Skullcrusher- 3x8 @55, 1x8 @65
    TricepDips- 1x18

    Had trouble waking up this morning, felt it kinda carried over into my workout. Took longer than I should have to get in and out and rest. Not terrible but not good. Need to focus more next time.

  17. #17
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    11/30 workout

    Squats- bar warmup, 2x8 @135, 2x8 @155, 2x8 @165, 1x6 @185
    Lunges- 4x8 @40's
    Somr ab work

    Felt good overall. Finally able to get a good pump in my legs so that is promising. Held off on gym on tuesday because lower back felt overly sore and achey. Felt good this morning.

  18. #18
    Rob Schilke | GFX Designer thecityalive's Avatar
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    You should be fine deadlifting provided you do them right. The biggest flaw in trainee's deadlifts is the inability to maintain a locked lower back on the ascent.

    Perhaps it's just me, but I've seen better results doing pull ups vs doing lat pulldown variants. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to support your own weight. If those get easy, start adding weight...body pull ups will get easier with time. Not to mention your back will grow MUCH faster IMHO.

    Realistically, consider your own schedule. Some people squat multiple times a week under different volume and intensity. You may want to add another squat variant as an accessory lift somewhere in your routine. I've never been a fan of deadlifting for repeated effort...good mornings, hyperextensions, and other movements can help suppliment deadlifting. What is your current availability to train?
    My road to powerlifting:
    ===thecityalive is dead meat===
    Current RAW PRs:
    Bench: 255 (9/30/13)
    Dead: 515 (9/2/13)
    Squat: 435 (9/26/13)
    Total: 1205 lbs.
    twitter @thecityalive

  19. #19
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    Hey, thanks for the feedback. I agree that prob one of my biggest things I think about when I start the lift (in a deadlift) is how my back is, straight or hunched. I'm a little confused though, when you say doing pull ups instead of lat pulldown variants, does that mean in addition to the chin ups I do? I've never really been too sure of the difference between chin ups and pull ups. I hear ya on the body weight thing, its much more satisfying to feel yourself just lifting off the ground. Problem is, chin ups/pull ups are still really difficult for me, as far as getting a good number of reps and sets. I usually end up doing around 6, 6, 5, 3. I have kept meaning to throw in another leg workout but been lazy about it. Its something I'll work in for the next couple workouts.

    I used to do the same general workout routine: 3-4x a week, with 3 main days: Chest/Tris, Back/Bis, Legs/Abs. I also used to alternate the weight and reps/sets every other week. So I would do 3x6 at heavier weights one week, then the next week I'd do maybe 4x8-10 at lighter weight, doing the same exercises. I got decent strength gains out of it. I could definitely see myself going back to that, once I get what I determine to be a more solid base in the squats and deadlifts.

    As far as availability, I get about 1 hour in the morning, Monday-Friday, 6am-7am. Lately I've been going 3-4x a week.



    12/1 Workout

    I didnt go this morning, so I squeezed it in after getting home early from work. Wasn't a very focused workout, lots people cluttering the place.
    Chinups- x6, x5, x5, x3
    Deadlifts- 2x8 @135, 2x8 @155, 2x8 @165, 2x6 @175
    Bench- 1x6 @135, 225x2 (I did this mostly because for once I actually had a spotter)

  20. #20
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    12/7 workout

    Chinups- x6, x5, x5, x5
    Deadlifts- 135x8, 155x8, 165x8, 175x8, 185x6
    Preacher curl- 5x8 @55 (supersets with the deadlifts)
    Lat pulldown- 3x6 @130, 1x7 @130

    After a long hiatus (1 week) due to a trip to DC and poor sleep on Monday and Tuesday, I got back to gym. Felt good, considering the break. i did notice that during these deadlifts I miggt not have been using my legs enough, ill have to make sure to keep an eye on that next time. I think it helped me to eat a tiny bit before the workout this morning, as I normally go on an empty stomach at 6am. Hard to find will to eat haha.

  21. #21
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    12/8 Workout

    Bench- 135x7, 165 2x8, 185 2x5, 135x8
    Dips- x8, x8, x8, x7, x7
    SkullCrusher- 4x8 @65
    Bench dips- x8, x8, x8, xfail
    (skullcrushers and bench dips were supersets)

    Felt good. Was pretty cold out, sucked walking to gym. Gonna have to get used to that haha.

  22. #22
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    12/9 workout

    Squats- 135 x8, 155x8, 165x9, 175x8, 2x8 @185
    Sled- 5x8 @225
    Lunges- 4x8 @40's

    Looking at it, it doesnt seem like much but it took me a good 45 min. Prob need to make better use of my time, try to get other stuff in. Squats felt good though, back still held up. Starting to increase the weight steadily.

  23. #23
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    12/12 workout

    Chinups- x6, x5, x5, x5
    Deads- 135x8, 155x8, 175x8, 2x8@185
    Preacher curl- 5x8@65
    Lat pull- 4x8@130
    Deadlifts and preacher curls were supersets.

    Felt good, I feel like I should done an extra set of deadlifts bu.i felt lazy about it. Overall definitely felt like a good workout though. I need to start a good stretching routine though. I think that would prove invaluable, especially since I go straight from bed to gym and need to limber up a lot.
    Last edited by Heracles; 12-12-2011 at 06:00 AM.

  24. #24
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    12/13 Workout

    DB Bench- 50's 1x8, 65's 4x8
    Dips- 4x8
    BB Bench- 135x4, 225x1, 135x7
    Skullcrushers- 55lb 4x8
    Tricep Dips- 4x10

    The Skullcrushers and tricep dips were supersets.

    Workout was decent, had to go after work (got out of work early). Gym was crowded and annoying.
    Last edited by Heracles; 12-13-2011 at 03:50 PM.

  25. #25
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    12/15 workout

    Squats- 135x8, 155x8, 175x8, x8, 185x8, x8
    Lunges- 40's 4x8
    Sled- 225 4x8 (+? Not sure how much device weighs)

    Good workout, squats got pretty tough at the end, which made for some brutal lunges. I'm going to pick a day to max out on squat/deadlift/bench just to see where im at and reevaluate my goals and training. I figure sometime before New Years.

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