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 Post subject: Whole Food....Whole Lotta Lifting
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:21 am
Posts: 11
Hey people. I'm going to start a diary here to help me track my progress.

Bit of background on me:

I'm 27 in a few days, have a fiance and a cat, live in Scotland (eurgh) and have a ballooned waist line.

Worked as a builder's labourer until i was 23, when i went to college and then onto uni. Wasn't really a socialite at uni, but i've always liked a drink. I absolutely LOVE German beer and consume far too much of it.

I went through a phase where i was drinking 8 cans of Carlsberg, EVERY day, for 2 years. EVERY day. Without fail. I wasn't an alcoholic - i never woke up needing it, and i never got the shakes or anything like that. I just built up a tolerance to it and after a while 8 cans was no problem, although i never drank any more than that per day unless at a party or whatever and never drank spirits or anything, even if i had them in the house (brother is a JD drinker so always has a bottle knocking about.)

Was a smoker between 15-21, averaging 60 rollies per day. I gave up for a year but then started again at 22 and smoked 60 per day again until August 2011, when i finally gave up for good. Auntie died at 42 and found out a girlfriend used me to help her get over her mum having cancer before chucking me for her uni mates :D hence my giving in the first time round.

Settled down now, but liked a drink still. Giving up smoking combined with little exercise means i've gone from 'classic V-shape' to kinda straight down flabby. I have photos somewhere i'm sure, and have photos of me recently where i posed for 'pre-workout regime' photos.

Over the last year or so, i've been reading up an awful lot about food, drink, packaging, the environment and all that jazz, and have come to the conclusion that my meat intake needs to be drastically reduced, and my whole-food, plant-based intake needed to go rightttttt up.

So my woman and i decided to make our diet 90% unprocessed wholefoods and free from dairy or animal produce. I've also started drinking a LOT more water. Our diet consists of mainly fresh fruit and vegetables in big quantities, and nuts, beans, grains and cereals. After a fortnight of 100% whole foods, we decided some dairy, the occasional bit of poultry and one bit of fish per week was ok.

So my diet now consists of egg (which MUST be 'free to roam and forage' otherwise i won't buy them), milk (MUST be at the very least local and organic), tiny amount of cheese (same standards as the milk) and loaaaaaads of veg. Tonnes of it. I also eat a lot of fruits and nuts, especially walnuts. They're tasty.

So even though i'm technically not a vegan, not even a vegetarian, i feel this is the best forum for me because i can't stand processed, manufactured, globalised, non-local produce. It's not for me, although i'm not going to judge what anyone else eats. I've come to the realisation that i am my own god, and my home and my family are my sanctuary, and what anyone else chooses to think or do is up to them - i try to think for myself. So to sum up my ethics, i basically choose not to eat minging meat or dairy that's come from mistreated animals mainly because i don't personally want that shoddy produce inside me. I hate the treatment of the real 'food industry' animals who are churning out loads of produce every year, but my choice of not eating it isn't really anything to do with that moral standpoint, it's more to do with choosing to eat quality produce, and you tend to get the highest quality in nutrients and texture, taste etc when the animals have been kept as nature intended, and have been killed in as humane a way possible (if there is such a thing.)

Either way, i very rarely eat fish or meat nowadays, once per week each in small portions at a huge push. It's expensive and i'm not a fan of eating Fukushima fish or battery chicken because i don't want to support that industry. I also have a carbon water filter machine coming next week (birthday present from my old man) and i cannae wait to taste the water that comes from it. So, there's the background. I'm not the healthiest or most moralistic or ethical person on the site....but frankly, i don't mind! My life works for me, and i'm pretty happy with it....all except, the body!

So i have decided that i want to get fit, healthy and strong. The first thing i've done is gotten rid of the beer. No more beer, AT ALL, until i'm at least in shape. Not had a drink since Sunday, and this coming week will be my first birthday since 16 that i've not had a drink. Looking forward to it strangely enough! The second thing i decided to do, was to research weights and training, lifting, crossfit, cardio, bodybuilding etc, and decided that powerlifting was for me. Strength training. I like the idea of being a little bit big and toned, but being strong as well. The whole big but no core strength thing doesn't appeal to me.

So i got myself a squat rack and some starter weights, up to 100kg which is plenty for now, and set about finding a routine. I was torn between 5x5 and 531, and eventually settled on 531 because i liked Wendler's no-nonsense approach. That guy doesn't pull punches.

The first thing i had to do is find my max lifts on each of the following 4 exercises:

Deadlift = 80kg
Bench Press = 50kg
Standing Military Press = 40kg
Squat = 70kg

Don't laugh, i realise there are 130lb girls on here who are currently stronger than me, and as a 5'10 naturally broad man i should be rather ashamed of myself! But i'm here to improve!

So following Wendler's system, for anyone that doesn't know, you take your Max Rep amount, and multiply it by 0.9 which gives you your 90% max. Then you take this as your 'training max' and perform a certain percentage of THAT percentage as your routine.

So the first week you perform 3x5, then second week 3x3 then the third week 1x5, 1x3 and 1x1. On the third set you can choose to do as many reps as possible, stopping just short of a failure rep. Fourth week is a light deload week.

Monday was my first day, and i chose Bench Press. On my third set i managed to take it to 11 reps at 40kg. After this, i chose my 'Boring But Big' (BBB) routine, which is the same exercise but with 5x10, and doing 40% of your training max weight, which for me was 20kg.

Then you choose an 'assistant' exercise, which i chose Dumbbell Rows using the weights bench as my leaning point.

My arms were absolutely smashed after this session, but after the warm up, the sets and the routine as it was laid out, and after so long of doing no exercise at all, i was feeling the burn in my arms.

Something else happened though - i got the bug. I couldn't wait until my next session. I felt great!

The next session was the Military Press day on Tuesday. I realise i should have alternated my upper body and lower body days, but due to not having the squat stand yet i had no choice but to either do the press or the deadlift, and i just for some reason decided on the Press.

My max on the third set was 11 reps again, at 27.5kg. I was relatively pleased with this, and the last few reps were an absolute killer. Standard for BBB, next up was the 5x10, again another killer but i was pleased i got through it without cheating. For my assistance work i decided on push ups. It says to do 5x10, but i was really badly struggling at around the 5th rep on the 3rd set, so i stopped at the 3rd set. Hopefully i can build up to the full 5 as i keep it going. I didn't want to injure myself (being a noob) or kill myself knowing i have another 2 days' training coming up. All in all pleased.

Next up was my favourite day so far - squats. I tried to find proper form lessons online and follow it, but the only way i'm gonna know if i was doing it properly is if i film myself and upload it to youtube or something :psycho: This gave me a sort of buzz unlike the other workouts. Something about squatting with heavy weight on my back just feels really good to me. On my 3rd set, i managed a massive (for me) 20 reps at 47.5kg. I completed BBB at 22.5, and then decided to do 5x10 sit ups for my assistance work. This killed my abs but i was pleased.

Today, deadlift. I managed 14 reps on my 3rd set at 62.5kg. Considering i felt like conking out at 8 reps, i was very pleased with this. I am a little worried about form on this lift though, it was erratic at best. BBB was completed and i chose 3x10 pull ups for the assistance work.

All in all, really pleased with the week so far and the only disappointment is that my next workout isn't scheduled until Monday!

Thanks for reading.


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 Post subject: Re: Whole Food....Whole Lotta Lifting
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:21 am
Posts: 11
Week 2

Bench Day today.

Warm up was 1x5 @ 20kg, 1x5 @ 22.5kg and 1x3 @ 27.5kg. I forgot i was only doing 3 reps on the third set so accidentally did 5. Whoops.

This was followed by a short rest and the main workout - 1x3 @ 32.5kg, 1x3 @ 37.5kg and 1x3 or more @ 42.5kg, at which i got 10 reps in.

This main routine felt a little....light for me. Nowhere near as strenuous as last weeks even though the weight is a bit heavier. I felt like i could have gone two more sets of 3 even after my 10 reps to near-failure on the third set. I suppose this is a good sign that my strength and/or endurance has already increased.

I then dropped the weight down to 20kg and did my 5x10 assistance work. Again, i felt like i could have done a 6th set at slightly heavier weight.

Final exercise was 5x10 per arm, bent over dumbbell rows. This was a little bit of a killer on the arms, shoulders and back.

All in all, felt really good to be back on the schedule after the rest time and can't wait for tomorrow.....squats baby!

Squats
Managed 15 for my third set, at 50kg. Now technically this means i've lifted less total weight than the first week and also have a lower max rep.

I have a theory for this - i believe that my stamina is lacking. I think as i've upped the weight, i can do less and less reps not because of the strength, but because i feel like my legs are burning by the end. However if i take a short rest period, i am then able to do more and more reps, something which i couldn't do for week 1. I may consider taking a new 1 rep max for the second month of this program.

Deads

Definite problems with form on this one. I think i need to book a session with a PT down the local gym just to get my form corrected. I do Elliott Hulse's version - slightly bent knees, thorassic extension where possible, hinge from the hip until the bar is level with my knees and then drop to the floor. I feel good after the workout but feel the form needs correcting. I managed 13 reps at 65kg. I feel like i could probably do more reps to failure with some of these exercises, or to near failure, but the problem is i'm unsure what my failure limit is. On some exercises i feel like i won't get past 5 reps but end up doing more than 10. My biggest issue is where my gym is - upstairs, in a room with wooden floorboards, and i only have me and my 8 stone (112lb) girlfriend here, so if i do go for that extra rep and can't manage it, there's a big chance of injury/damage to the floor, because she can't spot me.

Mili Press

The least favourite of my exercises because it feels awkward and burns a lot, even though my form is O.K.

Only managed 7 reps at 30kg which again i think is down to stamina.


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 Post subject: Re: Whole Food....Whole Lotta Lifting
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:37 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:21 am
Posts: 11
Week 3

Just finished off Week 3 with Deadlift Day.

On my third set of the main exercise (1 or more reps) i managed 20 reps at 70kg (154lb) which i'm quite pleased with.

I've gained an incredible amount of flexibility, strength, stamina in every day life and my sleeping pattern is now pretty solid - bed time at around 10.30pm every night and up at 6.30ish alarm-free every morning.

All this week except Bench Press day, i tried to get a big meal down me approximately an hour to an hour and a half before my workout, along with my nutty protein drink and some distilled water. The result was that stamina and strength seemed to go up.

I took my original 1 rep max lift the week before i officially started.

So, my stats in terms of comparison between Week 1 and Week 3 (the last strenuous week in this cycle) are as follows:

Week 1


Bench Day
Actual 1 Rep Max: 50kg
Main Lift Final Set: 40kg x 11reps, Est. 1RM = 55kg
Assistance: Bench Press; 5x10 @ 20kg + Bent Over DB Row; 5x10 @ 15kg

Squat Day

Actual 1 Rep Max: 60kg
Main Lift Final Set: 47.5kg x 20reps, Est 1RM = 79kg
Assistance: Squat; 5x10 @ 22.5kg + Sit Ups; 5x10

Military Press Day

Actual 1 Rep Max: 35kg
Main Lift Final Set: 27.5kg x 11reps, Est 1RM = 37kg
Assistance: Military Press; 5x10 @ 15kg + 3x10 Incline Press Ups

Deadlift Day

Actual 1 Rep Max: 80kg
Main Lift Final Set: 62.5kg x 14reps, Est 1RM = 92kg
Assistance: Deadlift; 5x10 @ 30kg + 3x10 Pull Ups


Week 3


Bench Day
Main Lift Final Set: 45kg x 5reps, Est. 1RM = 52kg
Assistance: Bench Press; 5x10 @ 20kg + Bent Over DB Row; 5x10 @ 15kg

Squat Day

Main Lift Final Set: 52.5kg x 20reps, Est 1RM = 87kg
Assistance: Squat; 5x10 @ 22.5kg + Sit Ups; 5x10

Military Press Day

Main Lift Final Set: 32.5kg x 5reps, Est 1RM = 38kg
Assistance: Military Press; 5x10 @ 15kg + 3x10 Incline Press Ups

Deadlift Day

Main Lift Final Set: 70kg x 20reps, Est 1RM = 117kg
Assistance: Deadlift; 5x10 @ 30kg + 3x10 Pull Ups

So i've added weight to all of my lifts except the Bench Press. I seem to have better strength in my back and legs than in my arms. I have always had a naturally broad back and have decent shape arm-wise, but turns out that's all it is - good shape, but weak. Need to work on that but that will come as i develop through the programme i'm sure.

So next week is the 'deload' week which means that you basically do one massive warm-up set, taking it easy and light. I'm away next week, so i'm going to try and hit the local gym where i'm staying or merely do a bit of walking/jogging and some press/pull-ups and things like that.

If anyone's reading or even interested, the 1 Rep Max calculation that Wendler suggests is Weight x Reps x 0.0333 + Weight. This should give you your max lift based on the weight/reps - good for working out whether 5 reps of 100 is better/worse than 3 reps of 110, for example.

Can't wait to get started on the next cycle....and for once on a bodybuilding/fitness forum, we ain't talking steroids :D


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 Post subject: Re: Whole Food....Whole Lotta Lifting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:23 pm
Posts: 3179
Looks like youre off to a great start. Are your muscles burning yet? Push harder! hahaha


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 Post subject: Re: Whole Food....Whole Lotta Lifting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:33 am 
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Rabbit

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:21 am
Posts: 11
C.O. wrote:
Looks like youre off to a great start. Are your muscles burning yet? Push harder! hahaha

Not really burning as hard as they do with atrophy training, but it's mostly the day after. Can't walk up stairs to save my life! I couldn't get up out of my chair the other day without using arms as leverage hahaha.


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 Post subject: Re: Whole Food....Whole Lotta Lifting
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:23 pm
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hahahaha I can definitely relate.


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