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Thread: 2003 Strength Journal

  1. #1
    Think Tank TMan's Avatar
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    2003 Strength Journal

    TMan's 2003 Strength Journal

    I decided to jump the gun a little bit and get an early start on a 2003 journal. I train primarily for strength and am currently focusing on the powerlifting lifts. Ironically, for the next 8 weeks or so I'll be cutting. My belly is getting out of control and I need to comfortably fit into my pants again. Here are some current stats:

    Age: 30
    Height: 6'1"
    Weight: 192 lbs.
    BF%: ?? (I'm guessing 20%, but who knows)
    Waist: 37 3/4 inches

    I don't really care about seeing abs or vascularity or anything like that. Getting down to 12-13% would be great for me but I'd settle for 15% right now. The plan for the next 8 weeks is this:

    Training
    I'm going to try out a "Wave" routine. This is a routine originally designed by Rick Gaugler and has been used by quite a few people with good results. The basic premise is that you gradually increase the weight on the major lifts (and assistance work) over the course of 4 weeks (this is one wave), then startover with slightly higher weight than what you started with on the first wave and do another 4 week wave. My routine is taken from a variation of Gaugler's original routine. If anybody is interested in this, I have an Excel spreadsheet of the routine.

    I'm going to try to avoid cardio during the cut but I may start doing it near the end.

    EDIT: I decided against the Wave routine. During the cut I want to make sure that my strength levels are still increasing. My strength gains may slow down (and that's to be expected) but I don't want them to stagnate or decrease. So I'll need to closely monitor them week by week. I've decided on a very simple routine that I'll explain in a post below. I've also decided to up the cardio and do some HIIT.

    Diet
    My plan for my cut is fairly simple and is influenced by Lyle McDonald. I'll be keeping the calories between 2300-2500 calories. I'm going to try to get 0.9 - 1.0 grams of protein per lb. of bodyweight. Also, 10% of my calories will be from EFAs and at least 20% of my calories will be fat (including the EFAs). Everything else is fair game. I'm going to try and keep it fairly clean and avoid sugar as much as possible. That's it!
    Last edited by TMan; 12-31-2002 at 09:07 AM.
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

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    Wave 1A - Bench

    Training Notes
    First week of first wave. All the exercises should be fairly easy this week. I train 4 days a week with one day each for Bench, Squat, Bench assistance, and Deadlift. Today was Bench day which is the lowest volume day of the four. I'll be following this workout with some grip work but I won't list it.

    Bench Press
    165x3, x3, x3
    No problem. I paused at the bottom just to make things a little interesting.

    2 Board Bench Press
    165x3, x3, x3
    I'll be using a medium grip (pinky on rings) for these. No problem here either.

    DB Press
    55x3, x3, x3
    I'll be keeping my hands facing each other throughout the movement. Fairly easy sets.


    Diet Notes
    Decent diet today. I'll be getting about 2500 calories today. Still adjusting to the cut so it wasn't a perfect day. Didn't get enough EFAs today and I had Frosted Flakes for breakfast.
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

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    Man, the holidays are screwing everything up! I've only lifted twice the past 9 days. Oh well, I was due for a small break anyway and my back needed time to heal. The diet has been okay but I'm not really worried about it at this point. As long as I continue to try to eat healthy, I'll be fine.

    I decided to change the routine 2 days into it. As I explained in my edit above I want to closely monitor my strength gains so that I don't stagnate or decrease the gains. I can't do this very well with the Wave routine. I decided to keep things simple routinewise and have adopted a routine from Dan Martin at the Garage Gym Forums. Here's a layout of the routine:

    Sunday
    Rest

    Monday
    Squats (Heavy) 5x5
    Squats 1x20 (back-off set)
    Military Press (Heavy) 5x5
    Pull-Ups (Heavy) 1 - 3 sets

    Tuesday
    HIIT

    Wednesday
    Bench Press (Heavy) 5x5
    Close Grip BP 1x3-8 (back-off set)
    Deadlift (Light) 3x3
    Pull-Ups (Heavy) 1 - 3 sets

    Thursday
    Rest

    Friday
    Deadlift (Heavy) 3x3
    Bench Press (Light) 5x5
    Squat (Light) 5x5

    Saturday
    HIIT

    Each workout day I'll also do abs and some grip work. On the light exercises I'll be concentrating on speed. I'm concerned about there not being enough tricep work so I may address this later on but I'm going to try this out for now. With this routine I can monitor my strength on a weekly basis as opposed to on a monthly basis with the Wave routine.
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

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    NOTES

    Happy New Years! I've got no big plans obviously since I'm updating this journal tonight. With a 3 month old we can't really go party. I'll probably stay up til midnight and watch New Years on TV but the Mrs. will probably crash early. We are so boring.

    I did Monday's workout tonight since I couldn't lift last night. No pullups tonight since I'll be doing Wednesday's workout tomorrow and I wanted my back to be rested.

    Squats
    95x5, 115x5, 135x5, 155x5, x5, 65x16
    Tough sets of squats tonight! The 155's were really tough but I got the reps I wanted. I was supposed to do 65x20 but it just wasn't happening. My legs were spaghetti and I was exhausted. I need to work on my conditioning. I hope the HIIT will help with this. I've gone too long without any cardio. I'm dumping the 20 rep squats for now.

    Military Press
    45x5, 65x5, 75x5, 80x5
    Haven't done these in about 6 months. I quite doing them originally because they started bothering my shoulders. Hopefully, they won't do it again but we'll see. I took it easy on them tonight since I'll be benching tomorrow.
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

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    Think Tank TMan's Avatar
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    I did a caliper test today. I do it myself and only do the 3 point test so it's not entirely accurate. I got a 16.7% at 191 lbs. Seems kinda low to me but I did it like 5 times. So a goal for me to shot for on this cut is 180 lbs. @ 12% BF and if I'm feeling really ambitious I could go for 175 lbs. @ 10% BF. But I'll get to 180 first and then decide.
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

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    NOTES

    Watched a couple hours of the WSM today. I taped 6 hours of it so I'll have plenty to watch later. Man, they are big and strong! They made the Farmer's Walk with 238 lbs. in each hand look like an afternoon stroll.

    Decent workout tonight. I'm liking the new routine so far.

    Bench Press
    120x5, 135x5, 150x5, 165x5, x5
    Did better than I expected. The 165's weren't that hard. I actually took the last set kinda slow to get a good burn.

    CGBP
    140x5
    This should have been fairly easy but for some reason I was struggling on the 4th rep then got the 5th rep just fine. Hmm, oh well.

    Deadlifts
    155x3, 175x3, x3, x3
    I tried to do these fast kinda like speed DLs. Weight may have been a little too low.

    Pull-Ups (palms facing away)
    BWx4, x3, x2 3/4
    Man, I stink at these! I'm hoping that as my BW goes down these reps will go up. Since I'll be doing these twice a week, I think I'll alternate between palms facing me and palms facing away.

    Followed this with crunches and grip work.
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

  7. #7
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    I am not sure if you mentioned it. But are you taking any supplements? (ex. Whey Protein)

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    I'm taking whey protein, multivitamin, creatine, glutamine, and ZMA. The glutamine is only during the cut and just because I got a very good deal on it. When I run out I probably won't use it anymore. Later on in the cut I'll use an ECA but I'm trying to avoid it for now.
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

  9. #9
    Energizer Bunnie
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    Congrats on starting a new journal.

    Good luck with all your goals and a Happy New Year to you!!

    "Happiness is not an accident. Nor is it something you wish for. Happiness is something you design." Jim Rohn

    A Work In Progress....II

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    Thanks, Franjipani! Happy New Year to you too! I've got big goals for 2003. I should post my goals for the year:

    Squat: 325 lbs.
    Bench: 285 lbs.
    Dead: 390 lbs.

    The squat goal is pretty ambitious but I really think this is the 'year of the squat'.

    My weight goal for 2003 is to be at 195 lbs. with 10% BF. Getting to 195 is not a problem but the 10% BF will be a challenge for me.

    My only other goal is to compete in at least one powerlifting competition this year. Most likely this will be the USAPL event they have here in Austin in the Fall. But if I find a comp. near me in the summer I may do it as well.
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

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    NOTES

    Decent workout tonight. I decided to tweak the routine just a little bit starting next week. I'll be following a different yet similar routine from Dan Martin at the GG, still very basic and focusing on the 3 lifts. I'm really starting to enjoy this abbreviated volume stuff.

    Bench Press
    135x5, x5, 140x5, x5, x5
    Easy sets on these tonight. Tried to do them fast like speed work.

    Deadlift
    195x3, 205x3, 220x3
    Good sets here. The 220's were tough but I think I still had a few reps left in me.

    DB Rows
    60x5, x5
    These were no problem. I coulda/shoulda done more weight.

    As always, followed this with ab and grip work.
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

  12. #12
    Energizer Bunnie
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    Originally posted by TMan
    The squat goal is pretty ambitious but I really think this is the 'year of the squat'.
    Amen to that
    "Happiness is not an accident. Nor is it something you wish for. Happiness is something you design." Jim Rohn

    A Work In Progress....II

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    01/05 Workout

    Good workout tonight. Decided to change things up a little bit. I'll be doing two exercises a workout (not including abs and grip work). At least one exercise each workout will be 5x5 done the way I used to do them (5 heavy sets). I had good results with that a few months ago so I thought I'd try it again.

    I need to get serious with my diet. No weight change this week. I need to focus on my diet, clean it up more, and actually count calories and macronutrients and crap.

    Squats
    150x5, x5, x5, x4, x4
    Good tough sets here. I picked the right weight to start off with too. 3 months ago I did the exact same sets and reps with only 120 lbs. so I think my progress has been pretty good.

    Pull-Ups
    BWx4, x3, x3
    Tough sets here. Almost didn't get that last rep but I squeezed it out.

    Followed this with crunches and grip work.
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

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    01/07 Workout

    Ooops, I started to let the journal slide into oblivion. This workout was actually on Tuesday but with the board downtime and my hectic schedule I haven't had a chance to post it yet.

    Bench Press
    170x5, x5, x5, x5, x5
    Good tough sets but nothing I couldn't handle.

    DB Rows
    55x10, x9, x9
    Tough sets here. Could not get those 10th reps but I'll get 'em next time.

    Followed this with grip work (no ab work today).
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

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    01/08 Workout

    On Wednesday I was bored and so decided to test my squat and deadlift 1RM. I was pleasantly surprised. Keep in mind the old PR's were only done 3 1/2 weeks ago.

    Squat
    205x0, 200x1
    Old PR: 195

    I learned something new tonight: walkout is VERY important for 1RMs. With the 205 I walked out and spent about 5 seconds getting my stance perfect. Well, it cost me. I couldn't get it out of the hole and have to set the bar on the pins. With the 200 I did a quick walkout and a fairly easy rep. Had I been quicker with the 205 walkout I think I could have gotten it.

    Deadlift
    275x1
    Old PR: 260

    Wow! I kinda wasn't expecting to get this, just shooting for the moon. The 275 went up with no stalling or hitching. Totally wore me out though, there was no way I was going to try another.
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

  16. #16
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Interesting journal. It looks like you are stopping a bit short of failure on most sets. I have tried a 5x5 routine recently, but found it to be to much volume for me. If your gains are not satisfactory, you may try dropping a couple of sets (3 x 5, for example).

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    Thanks, Chris! I'm flattered that you checked out my journal. I stole this routine from Dan Martin (whom I'm sure you're aware of). I'm keeping the routine very abbreviated so that the 5x5 doesn't kill me. Only 2 (maybe 3) major exercises and only one 5x5 exercise a workout. I'm going to keep a close eye on the gains and will drop work sets on the 5x5 if necessary.

    Oh, and yes, I try not to train to failure.
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

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    01/10 Workout

    Decent workout tonight. I got the book 'Dinosaur Training' by Brooks Kubik yesterday. Awesome book! I'm really enjoying it so far. The book has inspired me to make Saturdays heavy awkward objects lifting day. I went to the hardware store and bought the stuff to make a heavy sandbag. I'm looking forward to trying it out tomorrow.

    Diet has been good so far this week. I've been following a somewhat isocaloric diet and keeping track of calories and macronutrients on fitday.com. I'm hoping to stick with this until the end of Feb. but we'll see.

    Deadlifts
    185x5, x5, x5, x5, x5
    I took it a little easy on the DLs tonight. My lower back was still a little sore from testing my maxes 2 days ago. So I took this opportunity to work on my form.

    CGBP
    135x8, x8, x8
    Tough sets here.

    Static Grip
    255 lbs. for 20 secs and 12 secs.
    I guess I'll go ahead and mention my grip work here. Mondays and Wednesdays I do gripper work on my Ivanko Supergripper and CoC Trainer (I plan on buying the CoC #1 soon). Usually 3 sets of 3-5 reps. Fridays I do static grips for 2-3 sets.

    Skipped ab work today.
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

  19. #19
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    Good job on the DLs tonight TMan, impressive. Keep up the hard work.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the support, MonStar!
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

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    01/11 Workout

    I did my first heavy awkward object training with sandbags today. It was hard work but fun. This is nothing like barbell training. The inyteresting part was figuring out how to hold the damn bag throughout the lift. I think I'll make this a permanent addition to my training for a while. I planned on doing more but it's been raining today so I was limited to what I planned on doing. Here's how the training session went today:

    50 lb. Sandbag Clean & Press - 4 singles
    Started off with a fairly easy weight so I could figure out what the hell I'm doing. The bag went up easy all 4 times so I upped the weight...

    75 lb. Sandbag Clean & Press - 4 singles
    Tougher. Lockout was a struggle and getting the bag cleaned to my chest was an interesting experience. Almost lost the bag once.
    Still not all that tough so...

    100 lb. Sandbag Clean & Press - 2 singles
    Wow, this was tough! Cleaning (and I use the word 'clean' very loosely here) that bag was a bitch! I was just trying to get that thing on my chest anyway I could! It wasn't pretty. Lockout seemed to be the easy part. Actually on the second lift I couldn't get the first press to lockout so I rested the bag on my head (is that allowed?) and locked it out on the second attempt.

    Sandbag Bear Hug Walk - 100 lbs. for 50 feet or so.
    I'm not sure what to call this but I basically deadlifted the bag, bear hugged it, and walked down the driveway and back. I'll extend this walk the next few weeks. LOL! The neighbors are going freak when they see me walking down the street bear hugging a heavy duffel bag!
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

  22. #22
    el imposible ectx's Avatar
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    The sandbag training seems like a riot. Where'd you get the idea? I still can't get over the sand bag bear hug. BTW, weather sucks at our side of the I 35 corridor too. Much suckage for a weekend that I was suppose to go camping on. *grumble grumble*...but I digress....sandbags....bearhugs....crazy.
    ecDoesIt

    "You're such a girl carbon. You're strong as hell, making wicked progress, and I post in your journal. WTF more could you want?"
    Anthony

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    My latest (and only) WBB article.

  23. #23
    Think Tank TMan's Avatar
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    Thans, ectx! I got the sandbag idea from the 'Dinosaur Training' book I'm reading. It's good training for stabilizer muscles that don't usually get worked that hard with BB/DB training or something like that. All I know is that it's tough and it works your body in ways that BB/DBs can't do. But it's also tons of fun.

    Yes, it's a sucky weekend. I had lots of plans this weekend and I won't get to do most of them. I really need to watch the weather forecast or something from now on. I had no idea this cold front was coming. Just to think it was 84 degrees here like two days ago and the high today is only supposed to be 39 degrees. Good 'ole Texas weather, huh?
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

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    01/12 Workout

    Good workout tonight. I decided to only do 3 heavy work sets on the 5x5. 5 heavy work sets for deadlifts was a bit much for me. So, I'll do two less heavy work sets and maybe throw in a 3rd exercise now and then. This comes from the suggestion of Chris Mason and the book 'Dinosaur Training' that I'm reading.

    Diet has been decent. I had a cheat day yesterday but I didn't blow it too bad. Today the diet was back on track. Man, I hate cutting!

    Squats
    125x5, 140x5, 155x5, x5, x5
    Good tough sets here. The last rep of the 4th set and the last 2 reps of the 5th set were brutal but I got them.

    Pull-Ups
    BWx1, x2, x3, x1 1/2, x1
    I thought I'd try and ladder these using Pavel's ladder technique. I'm not sure if I like this approach yet. I need to rest more in between sets, that's for sure. I'll give it another shot with a little more rest in between and see how it goes.

    Followed this with crunches and grip work.
    "Load the bar, do the set, forget about it until the next workout. It's not rocket surgery."
    - Dan Martin

    "Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness."
    - Henry Rollins

  25. #25
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    Nice work on the squats TMan! Impressive. What is your 1RM looking like for squats these days?

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