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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:24 pm 
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Awesome work BnB. Really hitting the compound lifts hard. That will definitely help you grown :). Form looked good in the vids. You might be able to get a little lower on squats (as already mentioned), but I think it is fine. Some just aren't made to get below parallel. Myself included.

Do you know how many calories you are eating a day? Are you consistently gaining weight? Just wondering :). Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:56 pm 
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Location: chicago, il
Hey thanks! I actually dropped my squat weight for my working sets ~10% last week and I felt like I was able to get a much better ROM, so I think I'll be sticking with the slightly lower weight for a week or two before bumping back up. I can definitely get below parallel and it's a lot easier when the weight is lower, so I decided to back off the weight and focus on getting the form absolutely perfect before going back up. I figure if I'm not fully activating my gluts I might as well just do leg press, so I've gotta do everything I can to get low on those squats.

I eat around 2500 kcal/day, and for the past month or so (prior to last weekend) I was gaining pretty consistently and had gotten myself up to 125 which I was quite proud of. I know I'll get back there and be able to push further and get bigger, but this past weekend I had very little to eat at my parents house that wasn't a highly processed carb like bread or pasta. On my drive home Sunday I was feeling so veggie deprived that I made a stop at a convenience store and shot two V8s and one Green Machine down in the space of an hour or so, just to have some greens in my system that were easy to get in on the road. I've got my diet pretty dialed in, this weekend just did a number on me from the lack of adequate nutrition combined with a lot of stress. Oh well, I put on the weight once and I'll do it again! I have no doubt that I'll be able to get it back within a couple weeks :) and thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:57 am 
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Okay, so I fell off the wagon for a couple weeks. No, not the vegan wagon, but the lifting wagon. I've been having a lot of trouble fitting gym time into my schedule since I stared with a new lab, especially because I'm job hunting like crazy right now and that's a full-time job in and of itself. However, yesterday I decided it was time for no more excuses. I don't want to lose what progress I've made and I want to keep pushing harder and I'll get back into a gym as soon as I can. For the time being, I dusted off my copy of P90X and I'm going to make an attempt at sticking with it (or at least as close to the program as my schedule allows). This means I might be doing 2 a days on weekends to make up for some missed time during the week, but I figure it probably doesn't hurt for me to do a Yoga X session in the morning and upper body in the afternoon/evening.
Yesterday I stared Day 1 which is Chest, Back and Ab Ripper X. I didn't go quite as all-out as I could've because I haven't done the program before and I wanted to make sure that I could maintain good form and actually get through the entire 75 minutes. I read enough blog posts yesterday from people that couldn't get through Day 1, and I didn't want to make that mistake. Of course, I may be in slightly better starting condition than those people, but I didn't want to take that for granted. When I revisit this workout next week I will go harder, that's for sure. The whole workout is essentially variations on push-ups, pull-ups, and some weighted rows. Pull-ups are a weakness for me, so I did the first round un-assisted with low reps and allowed myself to use assistance and crank out more reps on the second round. The Ab Ripper X workout was also something new for me, as I don't usually do a lot of straight ab work. Usually I've done a little core assistance work on the roman chair and whatnot, but I feel like I get enough core workout from keeping everything tight and using good form for squats and deads. However, I kept at it and matched the trainers on-screen almost rep for rep throughout Ab Ripper X, but I've definitely got some room for improvement (that's the whole point, right?).

Anyway, right now my plan is to try to stick with this P90X for a couple weeks and if I find myself working out efficiently at home and enjoying it, at that point I'll try to find a few more plates to add to my at-home-gym arsenal. Currently I've only got 45 lbs in plates, an EZ-Curl bar, and a couple empty dumbbell bars, but it was enough for this first session. I had to keep my reps higher than I would've liked optimally, but it's a start and I don't necessarily want to invest the time/money in finding new plates if I'm not going to be able to keep up the motivation to work out at home.


BIGGER NEWS THOUGH: Yesterday I made a KILLER chickpea salad that functions like a mock tuna salad. Used homemade vegan mayo, a few cans of chickpeas (one processed into the mayo for thickness and one mashed up by hand for bulk), fresh grated carrots, celery, onion, and a few sheets of nori crumbled up and processed for that "ocean" flavor... so good. If anyone's interested I'll type up the exact recipe but I've gotta say that nori made all the difference and really elevated it from a boring chickpea salad to something much more exciting.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:23 am 
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Location: chicago, il
I've been following the first week or so of P90X pretty well, with a couple days of substitutions. Last night I took a 22 mile bike ride with my girlfriend down Lake Michigan, which was absolutely gorgeous and a nice light workout. I like P90X and all, but I also decided this weekend that it's time for me to actually join a gym. The gym at the school where I work is all torn up for the summer, so unless I join up somewhere I'm out of luck. I've been checking out the Y and a couple other gyms in the area, hopefully I'll make a decision and sign on this weekend so I can just get back to it. Until then, I'll push hard at home to keep my conditioning up and take advantage of the gorgeous weather for getting in some good runs and bike rides :) I'm sure my pittie could use a good run or two, as well hah

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:56 am 
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Location: chicago, il
Back in the game, after not having a gym for >two months.
First day of the first cycle of 5/3/1 was yesterday. For my starting approach, I’m going to keep things simple and use the Boring But Big version. Yesterday I realized that I have lost more strength over the past two months than I had anticipated, so I’ll have to modify my starting 1RMs, but that’s okay. I guess it’s better to start lower so that I have more room to grow, and so that I’m in a zone where I’m comfortable working on form and keeping myself really tight.

Pre-Supps
50 mg DHEA
1000 mg Trib
6 g Creatine
2 g BCAA
B-Complex

OHP
5x35lbs
5x40lbs
3x50lbs
5x45lbs
5x45lbs
(originally I was shooting for hitting >5x50lbs at the end but I knew I would hit failure and decided to leave it in the tank)

Bench Press
4x10x45lbs superset with…
Kroc Rows
10x45lbs
3x10x40lbs

Lat Pulldowns
3x10x75lbs

The overall plan is to keep things nice and simple and heavy, hit 5/3/1 4 days out of the week, and take as many bike rides and go for as many runs as I feel like. I’m riding ~7 mi a day just for my commute now, so it’s nice that I have that every day regardless of what else I might do for conditioning.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:55 am 
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Location: chicago, il
Tuesday is going to be Deadlift working sets with Squat assistance for power and then some ab work for vanity’s sake. Deadlift day always gets me all excited. I think that I probably underestimated my 1RM for deads a little but I’m not concerned, strength training being a marathon and not a sprint, blah blah. I still feel it this morning, so I know I pushed myself even if it wasn’t all the way out to my limit. Here’s what I got up to yesterday (pre-supps same, same post-training protein shake as always):

Deadlift
5x55lbs
5x75lbs
5x95lbs
5x105lbs
5x115lbs
10x125lbs

Squat
5x10x65 lbs

Machine Ab Crunch
3x10x50lbs

Dumbbell Side Bend
3x10x45lbs

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:50 pm 
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Location: O.C. California
Hey BnB, nice to see that you're back. Keep at it!

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:31 am 
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Location: chicago, il
Felt like a beast at the gym yesterday. Keeping the ramp up gradual, because that’s the idea with 5/3/1. The whole philosophy right now is to keep it simple and big, and to not fuck around with vanity lifts. I’m focusing hard on keeping my form precise and staying tight and explosive, especially with the high volume accessory lifts. Continually leaving the last rep in the tank. Staying on top of my eating and sups and hydration. Biking every day. Feeling wonderful. I’ve got a 5k coming up in a week, super stoked.

Deads
5x65lbs
5x85lbs
5x115lbs
5x135lbs
5x145lbs
5x145lbs
8x145lbs

Squat
5x10x70lbs

Roman Chair Leg Raise
3×15 (superset with…)
Dumbbell Side Bend
3x10x45lbs

Today is Bench, OHP for accessory and some messing about with upper body lifts. Bench press is without a doubt my weak point, so it’s time to hit it hard. I’m armed with new creatine and some builder bars today, no room for excuses.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:31 am 
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Location: chicago, il
When I started getting more serious about training a year ago, I loved chest/bi day. I loved the pump and I loved doing curls and it made me feel tough. My form was only so-so and I did leg press because I was convinced my back couldn’t handle conventional squat. Then I discovered powerlifting, and now all I want to do is deadlift all day. Oh well. Balance.
Also, I did my bench press with dumbbells today because all three of the benches were busy and my bench press isn’t strong enough to really require the barbell. I also feel like I can better squeeze and target my pecs when I use dumbbells, which I assume is an indication of an issue with my barbell press form, but I’m not sure how to correct it.

Dumbbell Bench Press
5x20lbs
5x25lbs
5x30lbs
5x30lbs
5x30lbs

OHP
5x10x45lbs

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
3x10x72lbs (superset with…)
21′s
3x21x35lbs

(this is a record of 8/30/2013)

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:36 am 
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Location: chicago, il
Wednesday was a rest day more or less, except for a 3.5 mile walk home from the bar at night with my girl. Sometimes we just get to talking and get too impatient for the bus so we just wander. Yesterday I got into the gym for bench day, and today I’ll be walking/light jogging a 5k with my partner for her birthday. It’s a run technically but she cracked a rib on her bike the other day so we’ll be just taking it easy.

Bench Press
5x45lbs
5x45lbs
6x55lbs
5x65lbs
5x65lbs
3x75lbs and dumped the bar

Overhead Press
10x45lbs
5x55lbs
6x55lbs
6x55lbs
6x60lbs
(loaded this one similarly to an OHP working day because I couldn’t get into the gym on monday)

Machine-assisted Dips
3×10 @85lbs

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
3x10x20lbs

Bench press is so difficult for me and yet I don’t get the satisfaction of a good sweat like I do with deads and squats. So much work to be done.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:39 am
Posts: 324
Location: South Wales, UK
I find bench press ridiculously hard too, and strict press. Keep at them though.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:08 pm 
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Manatee

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:40 pm
Posts: 420
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
BeansNBroccoli wrote:
I've been following the first week or so of P90X pretty well, with a couple days of substitutions. Last night I took a 22 mile bike ride with my girlfriend down Lake Michigan, which was absolutely gorgeous and a nice light workout. I like P90X and all, but I also decided this weekend that it's time for me to actually join a gym. The gym at the school where I work is all torn up for the summer, so unless I join up somewhere I'm out of luck. I've been checking out the Y and a couple other gyms in the area, hopefully I'll make a decision and sign on this weekend so I can just get back to it. Until then, I'll push hard at home to keep my conditioning up and take advantage of the gorgeous weather for getting in some good runs and bike rides :) I'm sure my pittie could use a good run or two, as well hah



Hey neighbor, what part of the city do you live in? You might try Charter Fitness on Belmont (my gym). It's usually not that busy during the day, but can be around the regular rush hour times. The good(?) news is that there is an XSport just down the street, which seemed to draw away a lot of the jerks milling around. That being said, there are some not-so-great people remaining. Hey, it's cheap ($19.99/mo) for Chicago.

Chris

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:53 pm
Posts: 189
Location: chicago, il
Hey Chris! Thanks for the tip. I actually landed a gig at Northwestern a couple months back so I've been able to work in at the school gym, but I will keep that in mind if anything changes! I looked around at a lot of gyms and was just really disappointed with the lack of powerlifting set-ups (including a "trainer" at the High Ridge YMCA who looked at me like I was a crazy person when I asked if there was floor space to deadlift). Luckily, there's always powerlifters at universities! Northwestern has some pretty good space and nice plates (which may sound silly, but they've got handles on them which make them really easy to move around), and they haven't seemed to be too busy to work in so I'm happy for the time being :)

Last friday was the 5k, and according to RunKeeper our group ran/walked a total of 10.2 miles that night. The closest train stop to the run start was about 2 miles away, which we chose to walk as a warm up instead of waiting for the bus, and then we walked around a LOT after the run. My partner managed to run the entire way because she’s such a badass. No cracked rib holdin’ that girl down. So proud of her. We all ate like crazed beasts at the end of night.
Yesterday was OHP + Bench assistance. Hit bench with dumbbells. I think I’m starting to identify my problem areas with the barbell bench – namely TOO much arch, not enough drive downward from the scapula. I’ll try to keep that in mind on Thursday when it’s bench day.
An update on supplements, as well – I started a microgreen supplement that contains milk thistle to help support my liver and kidney as I’m loaded with DHEA and the Trib. So far so good with the DHEA and Trib, I really do feel as if they’re helping with muscle growth, and there’s no question that my vascularity is increasing. I feel like I see a new vein every single time I’m pumped. Fantastic. I’ll keep on for another month or so and then have a month off cycle.

OHP
5x30lbs
5x35lbs
5x40lbs
5x45lbs
5x50lbs
5x55lbs
5x60lbs
5x60lbs

Dumbbell Bench Press
5x10x20lbs

Kroc Rows
3x10x40lbs

Alternating Hammer Curl
5x25lbs
3x10x20lbs

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
3x10x72lbs

Today hittin deads w/squat assistance. My favorite day of the week.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:33 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:09 pm
Posts: 248
what a sexy guy :D

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:34 am 
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Posts: 189
Location: chicago, il
I took a couple days off and got into the gym yesterday. Right back in for deadlifts and hit a PR of 10x155lbs, roughly 1RM of 207 @125lbs (1.66xBW). Felt really good and I’m not too sore today because of it. Right on. I’ve been modifying my schedule a lot because I’ve been busy, but I’m still getting in there and hitting it whenever I can. Yesterday had to be quick so I just got in went hard on my deads to get that PR then worked out some more big compound movements with some squats and RDLs and called it a night.

Deadlift
5x95lbs
5x95lbs
5x115lbs
5x115lbs
3x135lbs
3x145lbs
10x155lbs
10x135lbs (I felt like I still had a deload set in me so I went for it)

Squats
10x65lbs
10x65lbs
10x75lbs
(This weekend I’m going to work in some heavier 3 or 5 rep sets because all of this higher volume low weight work I’ve been doing with the squats has my confidence up)

RDLs
3x10x95lbs
(Forgot how much I love RDLs. These’ll be back a lot more)

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