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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:06 pm 
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Good log, apologise for not getting in here sooner !!

Congrats on the PR, sounds like you are doing great. 5/3/1 is a great programme if you are patient enough for the strength gains, simple but it works well.

Keep at it anyway, you are making great progress. Have a good weekend MF.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:07 am 
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Finch
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Posts: 9
Very interesting log. Keep it up, love it!

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:47 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:53 pm
Posts: 236
Location: chicago, il
Thanks for the encouragement guys!

I’ve got the apartment to myself this weekend due to my partner being out of town visiting some of her family, so I took my time at the gym today. I plan to get up early tomorrow and go hit squats and try to put some bigger numbers up there. I can already tell I’m going to feel this one tomorrow.

Bench Press
5x40lbs
5x45lbs
3x50lbs
3x65lbs
3x70lbs
3x70lbs
3x70lbs
4x75lbs

Military Press
7x40lbs
10x30lbs
8x30lbs
8x24lbs

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
3x10x15lbs

Alternating Hammer Curl
3x10x20lbs

Behind Head Skull Crusher
10x35lbs
10x40lbs
10x40lbs

Alternating Dumbbell Curl
3x10x15lbs

Dumbbell Shrug
3x10x40lbs

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
3x10x72lbs

Machine Chest Press
10x50lbs
10x65lbs
10x65lbs
20x35lbs

Usually I steer clear of machines but I made an exception today at the end of my workout… I just wanted to play around and maybe I’ll incorporate this chest press machine in from time to time to really exhaust the pecs. I liked that I felt comfortable enough to bust out a burn set at the end, too. I can feel it all across my chest still.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:00 am 
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Gorilla

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:40 pm
Posts: 606
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Wow, quite a workout there! I like to hit up the chest machine every now and then, mainly because the tracking on the machine really forces isolation. Nice work!

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:32 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:53 pm
Posts: 236
Location: chicago, il
Yesterday I got into the gym and essentially just did my OHP and bench reps and then I was out. Not too much to record. I was so excited to get home to my partner after her being gone all weekend that I kind of rushed through things, but at least I got in there and got the big lifts up.
Today I went to the gym over my lunch break because students have started trickling back onto campus and my usual time (5-ish) is starting to get busy. I’m lucky enough that I can come and go from the lab and as long as I’m there for 8 hours/day I can pretty much pick when those 8 hours are, and the gym is less than a five minute walk away so I cruised over during my lunch. In general I like training over lunch, especially on leg/back days, because then I don’t have to hop on my bike with my pack right away after lifting. I used to train over lunch all of the time at my old lab, so I know it’s a timing that works well for me. I also like lifting on a pretty empty stomach, and I’m emptier before lunch than I am a few hours after lunch so it’s a win/win. The only thing I took prior to lifting today was creatine. I’ll be taking all of my supps now with lunch (pad thai, eating as I type, excellent multitasking skills).
Anyway, last night I only slept for four hours because I was up waiting for the GTA V release and then playing GTA V and then lifted on an empty stomach and pulled 5x175lbs for the first time. It’s not technically a PR because that only calculates out to a 1RM of 197, but it’s still the heaviest I’ve actually ever picked up so I’m stoked on it. I also hit leg press today instead of squats because the squat rack was busy and I hate smith machines. I noticed a squat machine in the machine room after my leg presses so maybe I’ll make use of that in the future, although I really really like leg press. I can’t help it. After deads and leg press I pretty much just hit the things that I felt like hitting. I’m finding more and more that I’m following the spirit of Boring But Big but not necessarily the 5/3/1 template. I think that because I’ve only been lifting seriously for a year or so and four months of that was off time that my strength gains are coming along very quickly without me having to follow a strict template, so perhaps 5/3/1 is something that I would pursue more stringently when I feel that I am hitting a plateau and for the time being I will just continue in the BBB mindset, hitting two main compound lifts every time I go in and using one for work sets and one for assistance, then lifting around those sets with whatever else I think needs work or whatever else I feel like lifting that day.
I keep reminding myself that I do this for fun, and I shouldn’t get upset with myself for not following a strict template if I’m having fun lifting and seeing both strength and mass gains. It’s all good.
I can’t wait to go home and pop in GTA V again tonight.

Deadlift
8x95lbs
5x115lbs
5x135lbs
5x145lbs
5x155lbs
5x165lbs
5x175lbs
5x175lbs
6x145lbs

Leg Press
10x220lbs
10x220lbs
10x240lbs
10x260lbs
10x280lbs

Alternating Dumbbell Curl
10x25lbs
7x25lbs
10x20lbs

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
3x10x72lbs

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:53 am 
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Manatee
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Posts: 355
Location: South Wales, UK
I'm hearing you on GTA V. It arrived yesterday, but I've only had about an hour to play on it so far.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:33 pm 
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Manatee
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Posts: 236
Location: chicago, il
My girlfriend and I have been trading off playing time and I feel like all of our free time in the past 36 hours has been devoted to GTA. It's definitely harder than the last one but it's so pretty and fun. I've played for hours already and I've only done a couple missions because there's just so much to explore and do. Definitely taking advantage of extra GTA time for rest day today!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:58 pm 
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Gorilla

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:40 pm
Posts: 606
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
When you say "lab" do you mean computer, or science? If the latter, I have an old friend who worked in the NWU science labs (I believe), along with her sister. She recently moved though, to Cleveland (again, I believe). Maybe that is a good enough description without mentioning her name specifically.

Nice workout the other day. I think its easy to fall into something that feels comfortable, and I guess that's ok to do if you force yourself to mix it up now and then; diet included. Now that you mention it, I might have to go pick up a copy of GTAV. I haven't bought any new games in years, and my birthday is right around the corner, so I'd say it is justified. :wink:

Edit! My friend moved to Ann Arbor, MI... Just to clarify.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:25 am 
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Manatee
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:53 pm
Posts: 236
Location: chicago, il
Science lab! I work with a group studying nanostructures and biomaterials for use in healing spinal cord injuries and locally distributing therapeutics for cancer. I love my job, and the Northwestern campus is just beautiful. It's nice to climb out of the city up here to the burbs for some open air every day :)
Yeah I'm trying to keep myself really open about my programming. I really like and tend to thrive on structure in my day to day life, but I think when I'm in the gym and have to work around other people it becomes better for me to just get flexible. I figure that if I have an idea of which body parts I want to hit and good knowledge of my own musculature and strength, I can throw together a plan for the day on the fly depending on how busy everything is and what equipment is getting used. I'm liking the option of using machines now and then, especially for just killin a burn set at the end of a workout. The tracking/isolation makes burn sets really easy and it makes me feel completely worked out.
I'd definitely recommend GTA V! Especially if you don't play many other games, and especially if you like open world RPGs. It's got hours and hours and hours of play value, so you get a lot of bang for your buck. The graphics are really stunning, as well, with really beautiful landscapes. Treat yo' self!

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:59 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:53 pm
Posts: 236
Location: chicago, il
Yesterday was a rest day, and an extremely needed one, at that. I felt pretty okay throughout the day but it just hit me like a ton of bricks when I got home and everything was sore. It’s okay though, I got some extra time in on GTA ;)
The worse throughout the day was my wrists and forearms. I’m going to start doing some rehab on my grip and focusing on grip strength overall in the coming weeks. Long story short, I’ve got some pre-existing stress injuries to my forearms and wrists resulting from a lot of bike riding for long distances with a really aggressive posture (I use bullhorns now and a bike with better fitting geometry, but I was young and foolish once) and playing bass in a metal band as if I was a lead guitar player… ugh. Oh well. My mother (who’s a PT but works more with seniors than athletes) helped me with some rehab but I fell behind on it and now that I’m starting to lift really heavy again the pain is really starting to flare up again. I got some good advice here about what I could do in terms of rehabbing my wrists or changing my lifting techniques. I’ll be working with a stress ball and doing a lot of squeezes throughout the day and I’m going to start doing bar hangs a few times a day with the bar I’ve got at home. After a couple weeks I’m going to start in with some static holds with ~95% deadlift 1RM. It’ll be slow but it’s the best thing to do. After my lifting today I think I’ve noticed that it’s really my deads that set it off and then any sort of bicep curls really exacerbate the situation.
So, rehab rehab rehab, and then when I’m feeling a little stronger I’m going to look into getting some Fat Gripz and working those in. I want my hands to be strong as heeeelllll. Marathon, not a race!

Bench Press
5x45lbs
5x55lbs
5x60lbs
5x65lbs
5x73lbs
5x70lbs

Military Press
10x35lbs
4x10x45lbs

Kroc Rows
3x10x40lbs

Incline Dumbbell Fly
10x12lbs
10x12lbs
10x15lbs

Machine Chest Press
2x10x60lbs

Rope Tricep Pushdown
3x10x36lbs

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:31 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:53 pm
Posts: 236
Location: chicago, il
missed gettin to the gym yesterday so i made up for it today, hittin deads with arms and shoulders. it was a big one.
wait for it. are you ready?
5x200lbs trap bar deadlifts. boom. ready to compete. let’s get it on.

Trap Bar Deadlift
10x125lbs
10x145lbs
10x165lbs
8x175lbs
5x200lbs
8x175lbs
8x175lbs

Military Press
3x10x45lbs (supersets with…)
EZ-Bar Curl
3x10x45lbs

Rope Pushdowns
10x36lbs
2x10x48lbs

Dumbbell Bench Press
3x10x20lbs (this one was burnin’ out from those pushdowns, my tri’s are going to be sore as hell)

I’m feelin really ready to register for a powerlifting meet (ideally a deadlift only meet just for starters, but I’d do all three if presented with the option), but all of the information I’m finding for Chicago seems to be outdated. Are powerlifting federations really horrible at having a web presence? I have a few friends that might know about competing in the area that I’m going to ask, but if any of you might have a notion of what my next step should be let me know!

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:07 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:53 pm
Posts: 236
Location: chicago, il
went in did work moved heavy shit

Trap Bar Deadlift w/Shrugs
5x10x95lbs

Dumbbell Side Bend
3x10x45lbs (superset with…)
Alternating Dumbbell Curls
3x10x20lbs

T-Bar Rows
5x10x80lbs

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
3x10x72lbs

EZ-Bar Preacher Curls
2x15x35lbs
10x35lbs

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:53 pm
Posts: 236
Location: chicago, il
The weekend was excellent, I had a lot of rest time and a little bike ride with my girl on Sunday that was the cherry on top. A month or so ago I got her to start drinking protein shakes with me in the morning, and this weekend she said she wants to join my gym. I’m not gonna fight it! Also, Northwestern admins said I could put her on my gym membership as my spouse even though we do not have a civil union. So much excellence (also, A+ Northwestern, very good, I’m pleased).
I’ve been doin some research into how to get my biceps REALLY BIG. I know that it’s not a very good sign of functional strength and that bicep size is largely aesthetic, but it’s something I want. If I don’t have to sacrifice my dead/squat strength to get it, then I want it. Anyway, I went poking around and found some good evidence to completely quit using the EZ-Bar and to start working in one arm preachers: maximum isolating from the bench and then isolating only one arm to prevent the strong arm from overcompensating for the weak arm, causing the discrepancy to grow. I have noticiably more size and strength in my right arm than my left arm, and I know it will even out eventually but I’d like to coax it in that direction a little more directly. One-arm curls will help with that. I also worked in a straight barbell curl today and it feels wildly different from the EZ-bar. I fear that using the EZ-bar has further coddled my already weak forearms and wrists, and hopefully reverting to the straight bar at this point will help to counteract that. I’m still learning every day about my body and the functionality of my muscles. It’s just fascinating.
I also completely re-wrote out a new program for myself this morning, and we’ll see how it goes.

OHP
10x35lbs
8x45lbs
8x50lbs
8x55lbs
6x50lbs
6x45lbs

Dumbbell Bench Press
10x25lbs
3x10x20lbs (superset with…)
One-Arm Preacher Dumbbell Curls
4x10x15lbs

Barbell Curls
8x45lbs
8x45lbs
6x45lbs

Tricep Pushdown (straight bar)
10x48lbs
10x60lbs
10x60lbs (superset with…)
Dumbbell Front Raise
3x10x10lbs

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:53 pm
Posts: 236
Location: chicago, il
I took a little bit of an extended break last week after taking a good tumble off of my bike on wednesday. I still have quite a few angry looking bruises but nothing hurts too much any more. I went for another ride on Saturday to make sure that I got right back on the saddle and wouldn't be feeling nervous about it. Everything felt great and I got back into the gym on Monday. I've been noticing more and more progress lately and I'm so happy. I feel like my lifts have been going very well, weights are moving up, I'm putting on mass, and I just feel solid. I'm going to go watch my first powerlifting meet ever this weekend and I'm really excited about it. I know I'm not quite ready to compete yet but I really want to go see what it's like and what it's all about and just get a peek at what my local competition might look like. I think with my maxes right now I could be pretty competitive in my weight class, and even more competitive if I dropped to 124 lbs (sitting ~128 lbs right now).
Winning isn't even the point, though. It's just competing that's the point, and pushing myself. Everything about training just feels so good right now.

Monday's Session

Bench Press
10x45lbs
10x55lbs
10x65lbs
5x75lbs
5x75lbs
3x85lbs

Military Press
10x55lbs
10x50lbs
8x50lbs (switched from EZ-bar to standard barbell, feels different but better. it’ll take me a couple weeks to work up to my normal weights with the standard bar, i think.)

Barbell Bicep Curl
10x45lbs
10x50lbs
10x50lbs

Incline Bench Press
3x10x50lbs

One-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curls
13x15lbs
2x10x15lbs

Plate Front Raise
3x10x25lbs

Machine Chest Press
10x55lbs
10x60lbs
10x55lbs


Tuesday's Session

Squats
6x65lbs
6x95lbs
6x115lbs
6x135lbs
3x145lbs

Trap Bar Deadlifts w/Shrugs at the Top
10x105lbs
10x115lbs
10x135lbs
10x135lbs

Leg Press
3x10x300lbs

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns
3x10x84lbs

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 Post subject: Re: Getting Serious about Getting Big
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:13 am
Posts: 3840
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand.
Sorry to hear about your bike fall, I've had a few of them and they're never fun.

How is your grip strength coming along, you throwing any of those exercises into your workouts? If you are looking at a powerlifting comp then it's worth doing as by the time you get to DL's you are already pretty tired. Best place to search for meets (from what I hear) is this site here:

http://www.powerliftingwatch.com/node/4421

All the best with your training :)

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