New Day Rising Blog

Create and maintain your own personal online journal. Log your meals and/or workouts, and monitor your progress. Hold yourself accountable and receive support, suggestions, and be open to feedback.

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New Day Rising Blog

#1 Postby putt_77 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:00 am

Hi everyone. Been lurking around on here for a while, and finally decided to take the plunge and keep a blog. Maybe for me, maybe to keep me honest. But, definitely for all the great support I've seen on here. I was a bad lacto-ovo vegetarian for 7-years. I say bad because I felt I was a bad representative of the cause--relied too much on carbs, processed foods, and looked like hell. I was 5'10 and topped out at a bulbous 236 lbs on 9/12/10. That was the day I decided to take control of my life. I adopted a cleaner eating schedule, started exercising, and now I am 179 lbs and have decided it was time to bring weight-lifting into my life. I became fully vegan on the first of the year, and it has been the best choice I have ever made. After a bunch of research, I decided to do Stronglifts 5X5. In addition, I do Bikram yoga on the Tu/Thurs off-days because I enjoy the meditative aspects. I started last week, so I'll fill-in those days. My goal is to build strength and bulk and hopefully thin out the belly fat I'm still carrying around with me. Here we go:


Squat 5x5 @ 50
Bench 5x5 @ 50
Barbel Row 5x5 @ 65

I was tooling around with weights for a few weeks before I decided on this program, so I wasn't a complete weakling, and the yoga and exercise helped, too. So this wasn't difficult at all for me. I resisted the urge to go heavier, as if I've learned anything from reading blogs/forums about this workout, the weight progression becomes intense. Also, I recognized that I needed to practice my form as the BP was the only lift I was familiar with. I watched plenty of vids on the other two, though.

Squat 5x5 @ 55
OHP 5x5 @ 45
Deadlift 5x5 @ 90

Ok. I realized afterwards that I was supposed to do DL @ 1X5, not 5x5, but it still wasn't laborious for me to complete the 5x5. I also didn't recognize the warm-up sets, but I am a little confused on how to accomplish this. It looks like I should do a warm-up set at about 33-50% of max weight, then at about 65-75% max weight. Since the Olympic bar is 45-lbs alone, I don't know how this is possible for Squat and OHP. I would guess I could warm-up with body-weight squats, but the OHP eludes me. Any help? Anyway, this was all pretty easy for me.

Squat 5x5 @ 60
BP 5x5 @ 67
Row 5x5 @ 70

Again, pretty easy. The BP was still way too easy at a 5-lb increase, so I bumped it up to 67. I know it's an odd number, but the free-weights I have only could be configured to be 67-lbs since the smaller weights I have are 2.75 or 5.5, so a strict 5 or 10 lb increase wasn't possible.

Squat 5x5 @ 65
OHP 5x5 @ 50
Deadlift 1x5 @ 100

No problems today either. I warmed-up with just the bar on the first round of DL and at 78 (two 11s and two 5.5s) and with body weight on the squats. But, I still don't know about how to warm-up the OHP.

I also logged my meals for 9/24

6:00 AM Smoothie (banana, blueberries, strawberries, pea protein, almond milk)
323K 53gC 19.2gP 7.2gF

8:30 AM Orange
86K 22C 1.7P .2F

11:30 AM Brown Rice, Homemade Seitan Mock Chicken (Vital Wheat Gluten & Almond Flour and some seasoning), broccoli, and cauliflower
506K 66C 53.9P 6.4F

2:30 PM Vega One and Almond Milk
178K 13C 16P 7.5F

5:00 PM Post-Workout Meal Pea Protein and Almond Milk
110K 3C 16P 4.5F

8:30 PM Black Bean, Asparagus, Brown Rice and Red Bell Pepper Stir-Fry
709K 126C 35P 6.5F

2012K 283C 142P 32F

Any input on diet? I would like to be able to reach higher protein goals with less carb intake, but that seems to be difficult unless I eat nothing but the pea protein, as it's a 16:1 P:C ratio, and the Mock Chicken. All suggestions are gladly welcomed.

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Re: New Day Rising Blog

#2 Postby putt_77 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:53 am

Ok, day 5 of SL...

I work out after work, so I'm usually a little fried in the brain by then. For some reason, when I was loading the bar in my head my math was ridiculously off (hey, I teach English). The bar had two 5.5s and two 2.75 on it already, so I had the idea to take those off and put on two 11s (for 67, which was what today should have been). When I went over to my rack, two 11s turned into two 22s (11X2 = 22? I'm guessing that's what I was thinking). Anyway, I put 89 on the bar. It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, these squats were insanely tough. I did them. Maybe not as clean as I should have, and with a 5-minute break between set 4 and 5. For my next session, should I go back to the 67 I was supposed to do, progress to 72, or simply make 89 my new starting point? Not sure I can hit 94 next time around, as I wasn't ready for 89, despite finishing the set. I'm guessing the smart answer is the 72, so I don't hurt myself.

Squat 5X5 @ 89 (I did two 3x5 with body weight and a 3x5 with the bar as warm-up???)
OHP 5x5 @ 50 (I warmed-up with dumb bells two 3x5 with 15 and a 3x5 with 25. Dunno if the dumb bells are a good idea???)
DL 1x5 @ 100 (warmed-up with bar)

No problem with the OHP. Still easy and I want to bump up quicker, but I'll stick with progression. The DL was fine, too. I think my form is really improving. Though now, about an hour after my workout that I am typing this, my lower left back is reacting a bit, to the squats, not doubt (I had some back surgery in the not too distant past, but I was cleared to exercise).


6AM: Green Smoothie (Spinach, parsley, celery, pear, ginger, jalapeno, homemade vegetable stock, flax seed, hemp protein)
409K 70C 24P 7.5F

8:30AM: Apple
84K 16.7C 0P 0F

11:30AM: Homemade hummus over mixed greens
258K 36C 15.1P 7.1F

2:30PM Blueberries
97K 25C 1.3P .6F

5:00PM Protein shake (Hemp, Pea and Vega One with Almond Milk)
418K 33C 41P 13.5F

8:30 2 Quorn Chicken Patties and Asparagus
360K 31C 20P 13.4F

Totals 1776K 218C 114P 62F 45%/24P/29F

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Re: New Day Rising Blog

#3 Postby C.O. » Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:44 am

Sounds and looks like you are on a solid working out and eating regiment these days. Nice work and thanks for sharing with us here on the forum. What is your name btw?


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Re: New Day Rising Blog

#4 Postby putt_77 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:30 am

Hi Dylan, thanks. I'm Blaine. Still worried about my carb/protein ratios, though.


Squats 5x5 @ 72
Bench Press 5x5 @ 72
Rows 5x5 @ 75

Well, after my math problems on Wednesday, I was extra-diligent with the numbers. My back is still pretty sensitive to the squats after the mistake in weight jump, but it wasn't pain while squatting, just soreness afterwards. The urge to add extra curls or dips into the routine is definitely coming up. I have to admit that I snuck in a few dips and push ups today. I hope that doesn't complicate the integrity of the SL routine. Anyone have some input on throwing in a few cheat exercises?

7:30AM Apple

9:00 AM Vega One and Pea Protein Shake

11:30AM 1.5 cup of lentils

2:00 PM 2 smart dogs with soy chili and daiya cheese

5:00 PM Vega one and Pea Protein Shake

7:30 PM two lentil-olive burgers (homemade)

2065K 277C 149P 40F

Man, I ate a lot today. After lunch, I felt stuffed. It was difficult eating this much food. Until I started lifting, I ate on average about 1200K/day; oftentimes, 900K. Not healthy, I know, but I did lose weight (and muscle).

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Re: New Day Rising Blog

#5 Postby C.O. » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:55 pm

What is your main concern with your carb/protein ratio?

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Re: New Day Rising Blog

#6 Postby putt_77 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:20 pm

@ CO I dunno. Maybe I'm reading too much into the carnivores and their go-go-protein mentality. I just want to make sure I'm maximizing my effort by dieting correctly. I'm finally at a decent height-to-weight, so I worry about my carbs being way above my protein. I don't want to gain fat-weight; in fact, I'm starting the training to try to trim that belly/chest fat.

10/1 Week 3!

I warmed up with 3x5 for all three exercises.

Squat 5x5 @ 77
Bench 5x5 @ 77
Row 5x5 @ 80

My attitude going in was great. I really look forward to this. I'm guessing it's no accident that this has gained popularity since it's easy in terms of time commitment and memorizing the routine and it has that great element of self-competition where you can't wait to add that extra weight. I'm disappointed I have to wait until Wednesday to lift again! It's going to be hard to resist sneaking in something.

I tried to really take things slow and concentrate on form. I recognize that, at week 3, the weight is going to start getting into zones I've never lifted before, so I want to make sure I'm as clean as possible with my movements. Although none of the lifts were difficult individually, I did notice that I was activating some muscles that I haven't felt activated in the previous workouts. During the squats I could really feel my bi's being worked...dunno if that's unusual or not...and after the squats, when I went to the bench, I could feel some burn in my abs. I guess this might be attributable to the total weight of the workout getting higher. Out of the three, the rows gave me the most trouble. I finished, but the on #4 and #5 of the last set I was working hard.

8AM Vega One/Pea Protein with Almond Milk

11AM Almonds and Walnuts

4PM Vega One/Pea Protein with Almond Milk

5PM Dates and a banana

7:30PM Tofu Stir-Fry with corn, black beans, and tomatoes served on a bed of spinach

Totals: 1879K 193C 159P 67F 38%C/32%P/30%F

Too much fat, I think, but none of it was bad fat. I was happy to be at 122% of my required iron intake, as I struggle to hit my daily goals with that. No carbs from anything white, so that was good (well, almond milk is white, but that doesn't count). Again, I feel really sated. Nearly 1900K is still a lot for me. I wonder on my off days if I should dial down a bit, or do I need to maintain the calories even on those days to maximize growth gains.

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Re: New Day Rising Blog

#7 Postby Lean and Green » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:41 am

Eating clean, consistently training + determined WIN! You got this putt_77 . I look forward to checking out your continued progress. :mrgreen: 8)
Where do you get your protein?

Joelk wrote:But as long as people stay away from our cooler bags with our meals and not ask silly questions, we're all pretty tame

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Re: New Day Rising Blog

#8 Postby putt_77 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:03 am


Squats 5x5 @ 83.5 (5x5 Warm-up with 45 3X5 warmup with 67)
OHP 5X5 @ 60 (5X5 Warm-up with 25 dumbells)
Deadlift 1x5 @ 110 (3x5 Warm-up with bar)

Well, nothing again was too hard. The squats were still manageable. I am working out at home, so I'm fearing I'm starting to near a weight that will become difficult to sort of clean and jerk over my head. I really don't want to join a gym solely based on squats, as my time is very limited, and I'm afraid it'll be an excuse for me. I'll keep my eyes on Craigslist and try to buy one if the price is right. I was focusing on keeping my back in-line and I could notice that but more burn into my abs. The OHP was nominally difficult when I got to the 5th set. I lost my balance a little bit on #5. I think I may have done 6 sets of this. I really need to mark the sets as I go along, as I think I've done 6 on a few occasions. Although I know it's not that heavy compared to some numbers I've seen on here, I was stoked to deadlift 110. I've never dead lifted in my life, so it was exciting to load two bigger plates on the bar. I work out after work, and before my night teaching gig, so when I came home at 9:00 I threw in dips @ 2x25. I cheated on the program a bit, but I've never done 25 solid, consecutive dips in my life, so that was cool. I am only three weeks in, but it looks like my body has changed a bit; I don't know if this is me projected hoped for gains on myself, or if this is enough time to actually see some results. Now, I am only three-weeks in to the SL program, but I was lifting for three weeks prior to this using a split routine, but I was still clueless as to a bonafide program.

8:00 AM Dates and Bananas
10:00 AM Hummus and Spinach
12:00 PM Strawberries
1:00 PM Soy crumbles, pinto bean, corn, and tomato concoction over a bed of spinach
4:00 PM Vega One/Hemp Protein/Pea Protein with Almond Milk
8:00 PM 2 Boca burgers with Daiya and spinach

1576K 219C 110P 36F 53%C/27%P/20%F

I have been relying on soy a little too much lately, but I've been so busy, it's been hard to play catch-up and construct homemade meals that meet my protein requirement. Things should calm down after this weekend (fingers crossed).

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Re: New Day Rising Blog

#9 Postby putt_77 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:20 pm

10/5 Last day of Week 3--25% through the 12-week program!

Been a long week where the periods I work out are my only downtime which, in a way, is good since I look forward to that time.

Squats 5X5 @ 88 (2x5 @ 45 / 1X5 @ 67)
Bench 5x5 @88 (2X5 @ 45 / 1X5 @ 67)
Row 5x5 @85 (2x5 @ 45 / 1 X 5 @ 67)

Well, I am sort of glad that I miscalculated last week and inadvertently squatted 88lbs instead of 72 because it helped me gauge my strength this time around. When I mistakenly put that weight on the bar, I finished all 5 sets, but man it was difficult. I was pressing. This time around. It was worked the 88lbs with relative ease. So, that was cool. It was a tangible representation to me that I am doing something right! I notice that set 1 is always tight and getting my butt below my knees sends me into a bit of a groan, then sets 2 -3 (sometimes even 4) I seem to be popping up and down smoothly, then the groans return for 5. The bench, easy, and I am considering moving up 10?? Though, once again, I can see the strength gains. I fractured my sternum years ago, and my chest atrophied quite a bit and I was always reluctant to BP afterwards. Even 2-3 years later an audible pop could be heard when I BP'd. Anyways, my chest was always weak and even 4-weeks ago I couldn't bench 88lbs 5X, let alone 5X5. Rows still the toughest of the three exercises. By exercise three I'm struggling with #4 and 5.

1976K 249C 145P 55F 49%C/27%P/24%F

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Re: New Day Rising Blog

#10 Postby putt_77 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:44 pm

Week 4


Squats 5x5 @ 93
OHP 5x5 @ 60
DL 1x5 @ 120

I had written this all up, then I was called away from the computer. When I came back, it said I had to I'm just posting the short version! I did 3x5 warmups and 1X5 warmups for all three.

Squats 5x5 @ 100 (3x5 @ 56 / 1x5 @ 78)
BP 5x5 @ 95 (3x5 @ 56 / 1 x 5 @ 78)
Row 5x5 @ 90 (3x5 @ 45 / 1 X5 @ 67)

It was cool squatting a 100. Every day the routine is setting new records, so that's a great motivator. Finally got the squat rack figured out. I was nervous about the weird clean-and-jerk-like maneuver I would have to do to get the bar onto my shoulders, especially next week when the routine is going to be up at 120#. I think on Monday's routine I tweaked something doing it because my right shoulder hurts. So the problem is solved now. Got the rack. Bench, no problem. And, the rows, which had given me the most trouble, were easier today, too.

Not gonna post calories today, yet. I am on fall break (as a teacher, not a student), so I promised myself that I wouldn't leave the house at all today and focus on getting much needed chores done; that said, I need to go grocery shopping badly, and haven't had a lot to eat around. Honestly, I like workout more than eating. It's extremely difficult for me to get those calories down. On Monday I was more worn out trying to get food down my throat to meet my 2000K goal (which some tell me is still too little), than from the workout. I'm probably only at about 600/700K (2X vega one / pea protein with almond milk and two boca burgers) for the day, so it's going to be hard to hit 2000 without stuffing myself. I have one room left to paint to keep my promise to myself, so if I get that done sooner than later, I should be able to hit the Sprouts by 8PM.

I started working out with weights religiously about 7-weeks ago. When I began, I would fluctuate between 173-175lbs/daily. I weigh myself at least 3x/day (don't worry, my shrink works on my body dysmorphia issues!); currently, I bounce between 179 - 181.5. Of course, for me, that freaks me out, so I was wondering if putting on 6-lbs of muscle is possible in that time frame. My waist isn't any bigger, so that's good.

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Re: New Day Rising Blog

#11 Postby C.O. » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:12 pm

If you are working out regularly, which you are, your body needs the carbs and is using them. There are a lot of very cut people that take in very small amounts of protein and very large loads of carbs. From what you have posted it sounds like your ratio is pretty decent. I wouldn't stress over ratios. Just make sure your body is getting a variety of whole foods. It will preform better on real foods than if you are mostly just eating and drinking supplements. Supplements can be helpful but try not to focus or rely on them for the bulk of your intakes.


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Re: New Day Rising Blog

#12 Postby putt_77 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:23 am

10/12 End of Week 4

Squats 5x5 @ 105 (3x5 @ 56 / 1 x 5 @ 89)
OHP 5 x 5 @ 70 (3x 5 @ 45 / 1 x5 @ 67)
DL 1 x 5 @130 (3x5 @ 67 / 1x5 @ 100)

Squats are getting tough. I was struggling through them. I finished, and it felt good, but I gotta say, I was pushing. I essentially did 6 sets of OHP since the warm-up set was only 3 lbs difference and higher than Monday's reps (65#). I thought I might not be able to finish them, but ironically, I seem to get stronger as I move on. Always on the first set, regardless of the exercise, I seem to struggle and think, "Oh crap...I'm never gonna make 5." But, I always have.

9AM Almond Milk, Vega One, Pea Protein

11AM Apple, almonds

1:30 PM Sprouted bread, almond butter, banana

4:00 PM Almond Milk, Vega One, Pea Protein

8:00 PM Mixed mushroom stirfry with spinach and quinoa

2323K 287C 136P 86F 47%C/ 22P/ 31F

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Re: New Day Rising Blog

#13 Postby putt_77 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:24 am

Thanks for the input, Dylan. Maybe I'll try to wean myself off of the supplements. It'll definitely be more cost effective because they get pricey.

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Re: New Day Rising Blog

#14 Postby putt_77 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:48 am

Week 5 10/15

Squat 5x5 @111 (Warmup 3x5 @ 56/67/89)
Bench Press @ 100 (Warm 3x5 56/67/78)
Row @ 95 (Warmup 3x5 @ 56/56/67)

Got a late start today, as I worked out my son at third-base for about an hour after school. Normally, I hit my workout at around 4PM, but that got delayed, then I had to teach my night class, so I didn't get it in until 9PM. Now I am kind of wired, and there's no way I am getting in 8-hours of sleep. My sleep is notoriously poor. I have never been a good sleeper. I think this will be my next goal--try for 8-hours/day. My hip has been a bit tender, but I've been able to work through it. I don't actually feel pain while squatting, but it is stiff afterwards.

7AM--Gala Apple
9AM--Navel Orange
Noon--Vega one/Pea Protein
1PM--Sweet Potato
5PM--Brown Rice, mushroom, broccoli, and chicken seitan stir-fry
9PM--Vega One/Pea Protein/Almond Milk

1325K 164C/117P/26F 48%C/34%P/18%F

Yeah, my calorie intake was on the low side today. This is actually closer to what I am used to eating each day. I like my splits more today. Maybe I am subconsciously on the low side because I weighed in at 184.5-lbs today which is about a 10-lb increase from when I started back in late August. I am sure some is water weight and some is muscle gain, so I shouldn't obsess, but that is my nature. I am willing to play this out because I know I am not even 50% through the program. My biceps are noticeably bigger. Which, considering I am not doing all kinds of isolation exercises on the biceps, is awesome. I'm not really sure how they are increasing so, since I never experience any sort of burn or strain in them. I was wearing a short-sleeve shirt at work today and one of the (female) co-workers commented in quite the exclamatory manner that my arms looked big(ger). So that was cool. And, my legs...well, there's no doubt they have increased in size. My hamstrings are at a size that they've never been before and the vastus medialis (yeah, I Googled that) is bulging (well, at least in my mind!). I'm digging it. I am curious about proportions: my right bicep is bigger than my left, but my left tricep is appreciably bigger than my right, as is my left pectoral muscle. Is my body just gonna play catch-up?

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Re: New Day Rising Blog

#15 Postby putt_77 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:01 am

Week 5 10/17

Squats 5x5 @ 116 (warm-up 1X5 @ 56/1X5 @ 67/ 1x5 @ 89/)
OHP 5x5 @ 78 (warm-up 1x5 @ 45/1x5 @ 56/ 1x5 @ 67)
DL 1x5 @ 140 (warm-up 1x5 @ 78/ 2x5 @ 111)

Ok, first-off, coolest thing was loading the two 45's on either side of the bar. Have never busted out the big guns before. This is the first day-after where I feel a bit worked over. The weights are getting officially heavy at this point for me. Still need to work on getting more sleep. 6-hours last night. And, maybe 5.5 the night before. I was extremely tired for yesterday's workout.

7AM Apple

9AM Sprouted bread with pumpkin butter and almond butter

11:30 raw revolution bar, almonds

4PM Dates

6PM Almond milk, pea protein, Vega One

8PM Mushroom, spinach, carrot and tofu stir fry

1746K 170C/106P/81F 37%/23%/40%

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