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Hey @Mini Forklift, no pics, but there's a video of the prejudging on my site veganmuscleandfitness.com. And seitan is a mock meat made from wheat gluten. Easy way to add pure protein to your diet, which helps with carb depleting.


So... I was extremely pumped about the chance of getting into the finals for the 2013 Bodyspace Spokesmodel Search, but I didn't make the cut. Thank you all a ton for supporting me and voting for me, I think we did about all we could and I have to be happy with that. I still feel a little cheated though (I am very suspicious that 20 people got more votes than I did) so I'm all fired up for my training and the next event on the horizon - which may be a contest next summer with multiple vegan athletes! We'll be hearing more on that as time passes I'm sure, but I'd be super excited to compete alongside some of VBB.com's best!


I'm getting back on tracking my workouts for future reference, as well as motivation. As I've written many times in the past, I make by far the fastest gains in size and strength hitting everything about twice per week, but as I've accumulated injuries in the past few years my body doesn't seem to be able to take it without things flaring up. I'm testing a new split starting this week, and hopefully if all goes well i won't be reporting some major injury next month! My plan is the train 5 days per week, with a three day split - thereby working all but one workout twice per week, and the odd training day out would bump everything back the following week. This means in a 3 week span I should be able to train every muscle group 5 times - which would be awesome. In addition to the extra rest day I plan to take every 4th week as a Y3T Muscle Annihilation Week - hitting everything once instead of twice, and using lighter weight and super high reps to kill the muscles but let the joints recover. I'm hoping these two modifications will allow me to train a lot more frequently without getting hurt - this past week I started off with the burnout week, so we'll see what next week and beyond brings! Here's my basic plan:


Day 1: Chest/Back


Day 2: Shoulders/Arms


Day 3: Calves/Hams/Quads


Train Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Off Wed, Sun


And every fourth week for burnout work:


Day 1: Shoulders


Day 2: Legs


Day 3: Chest


Day 4: Back


Day 5: Arms


I'm also adjusting my training to be more proactive about safety. Through numerous repeated injuries, I've found that any heavy exercise requiring me to flex my hips more than 90 degrees with bent knees is guaranteed to badly aggravate my damaged abs and psoas, so no deadlifts from the ground, no squats to parallel, and no cleans or snatches. Writing that out kills me because those are all my favorites, but luckily I can still do rack deadlifts and can still squat a little past 90, so I'm getting some heavy work in! I've been getting deep tissue work done once a month too, which seems to be keeping my abs recovering nicely at my current level of training.

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How old are you Derek? I turn 36 in a few months and while I feel better than I did when I was in my 20's I definately need a little longer to recover from the heavy stuff.


I have always one ATG with squats as I found stopping at parallel was actually much harder on my knees. I still pull from the floor (kinda need to as I'm a competitive powerlifter), but I take a lot more time to warmup as well as using a few different muscle balms, foam roller etc etc.

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I'm 25, an started lifting seriously when I was 12. I've only been lifting as a bodybuilder (individual bodypart workouts, multiple sets to failure, etc) for about 5 or 6 years though, and while I've always had bad shoulders, in that time I've added a meniscus tear, a partial pec tear, and a bad/chronic ab and psoas strain to the list. Before that my weight training was geared towards athletics and martial arts.


A quick rundown of this weeks workouts, since each one (except for chest - my shoulder is flaring up so no pressing) made me sore for 3-5 days which felt awesome.


Monday: Shoulders

Seated DB Laterals: 3x60, pyramiding the weight up then back down in sub-sets of 12 reps, went up to 30s for heaviest 12

Seated DB shoulder Press: 3x15-20, using 50s

Bent laterals on incline bench: 3x40, 20 out at 90 degrees then 20 back at 45 degrees, using 20lbs

Overhead DB fly: 3x15 SS 1 arm laterals 3x10


Tuesday: Quads

Squat: 135x15, 185x10, 225x8, 275x8, 315x8, 365x5, 405x2, 355x10, 135x10 (decided to go heavy here)

Leg Extension: 3x40, double drop set to 30 reps, then full weight for last 10

Leg Press: 2x50, 440lbs


Thursday: Back

Pull ups to fail: 25, 20, 15

St Arm Pulldowns SS Decline DB Pullover: 3x15 each w/ 50lbs

Yates Barbell Row: 3x15

Wide Grip lat Pulldown SS Underhand Pulldown: 3x15 @ each grip, 110lbs

Rack deadlifts: 2x20 @ 315


In the evening: Biceps

1-arm DB Preacher Curl: 20x10, 30x10, 40x10, 40x10, 40x10

Barbell Curl w/ slow negatives: 85x10, 10, 10, 10

Incline Zottman Hammer Curls: 20x10, 30x10, 30x10


Friday: Chest, went light due to shoulder pain

Pec Deck: 4x30 light

Cable Cross: 4x25 light

Smith bench Press: 4x30 light


Saturday: Calves, Hams

Bodyweight calf raise: 3x100 (20 at each angle + on each leg)

Donkey calf raise: 3x30 (training partner is about 190lbs right now)

Leg Curl 3x30, 25, 25 @ 60lbs SS Romanian deadlift 3x30 @ 135lns

Front Squat 3x15 @ 135lbs SS DB Lunges 3x15 on each leg @ 60s


Everything has been super sore, and right shoulder + psoas were really achy this week, but got my deep tissue today and feeling great as I write this! Tomorrow morning: Chest/Back!

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@MF No worries buddy! I feel old when everything's hurting, but that's only because my policy towards aches and pains for a long time was to beat them into 'submission', though they generally win in that battle of wills so I've learned to back off...


Workouts this week! Started doing the three day split this week and everything but my chest workout has gone great! Still going very easy on chest due to the shoulder pain, but it's getting better slowly. Here's where I'm at:


Monday: Chest/Back


Weighted Pullups: 0x10, 40x10, 60x10, 90x12, 90x10 drop to 0x10

SS Incline DB Press: 40x20, had to skip the rest

Underhand Pulldown: 90x12, 140x10, 10, 10

DB Pullovers: 60x12, 12, 12

SS Barbell Row (underhand): 135x15, 16, 16


Tuesday: Shoulders/Arms (had to stay away from front delts due to shoulder)

Bent Laterals: 20x12, 30x10, 10, 10

Behind the head press w/ band, rack press (no spotter): 95x15, 115x12, 10, 10

Seated DB laterals FST7: 20x12, 7 sets 30 seconds rest

EZ Bar Curls, 21s w/ band: 65x21, 21, 21

SS Cable Pushdown: 50x15, 70x12, 12, 15

Seated DB Curls: 40x10, 10, 10

SS DB Extension: 60x12, 12, 12


Wednesday: Legs (quad focus)

Squat: 135x15, 225x10, 315x10, 365x10 (awesome!), 375x4 (failed) drop 315x8 drop 225x10 drop 135x10 - dead!

Leg Press: 440x15, 490x15, 490x15

Leg Extension FST7: 100x12, 7 sets 30 sec rests


Thursday: Abs/Cardio - staying lean w/ 2 cardios a week, and trying to work abs in gently!

Bar Twists: 1x100

Twist Crunches: 3x15

Crunches: 3x15

Ceiling kicks: 3x15

Plank: 1x1min


20min fast paced run with hills


Friday: Chest/Back, shoulder still hurts so mostly back

Pull ups: 0x10, 45x10, 90x6, 90x9, 45x10, 0x10

Rack Deadlifts: 225x10, 315x10, 405x10, 10 - stoked!

Underhand pulldowns: 180x8, 8, 8

SS DB Pullovers (focusing on chest contraction): 65x10, 10, 10

Cable Cross: 25x20, 25x20, 30x15

SS Underhand Barbell Row: 135x12, 12, 10


Stoked on the squat and deadlift numbers this week! Shoulders and arms in the morning, woot!

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Keeping the journal up to date! Last week:


Saturday: Shoulders/Arms - whole workout got me really sore

Lying rear laterals + side laterals: 15x12 each, 20x10, 10, 10 - these were brutal!

Behind the head rack press: 95x10, 135x5, 155x5, 165x5, 165x4, 155x5 drop to bar x20

BB Shrugs FST7: 225x12, 7 sets 30 set rests

EZ bar curls w/ band (21 style): 65x21, 65x21, 65x21 - brutal!

SS Cable pressdown: 70x12, 12, 12, 12

Seated DB curl: 40x10, 10, 10

SS DB Extension: 60x10, 10, 10, 10


Sunday: Cardio and abs


Monday: Legs


Calf Press: 440x40, 40, 40

SS Donkey Calf Raise: 190x25, 25, 25

Leg Curls: 50x20, 60x15, 15, 15

SS Front Squat: 135x15, 185x15, 15, 15

Romanian deadlift: 185x20

SS DB Lunges: 60x15 - rough set! would have done 3 but ran out of time


(xmas!) Tuesday: Chest/Back (shoulder still hurting on chest work)


Pull Ups: 25, 20, 15, 15

Underhand Pulldown: 90x15, 140x15, 160x12, 10

SS Push ups: 25, 25, 25, 25

Barbell Row: 135x12, 12, 12, 12

DB Pullover FST7: 50x12, 7 sets 30 sec rests

Wimpy workout, but shoulder's feeling better so should be getting hardcore soon!


Wednesday: Cardio/abs


Thursday: Shoulders Arms - still able to go hard if I avoid my front delts


Bent DB Laterals: 20x12, 12, 12, 12

SS Seated Laterals: 20x12, 12, 12, 15

Behind the head press w/ band: 95x12, 135x10, 155x10, 9, 135x10 drop 95x10

BB Kelso Shrugs (leaning forward): 225x12, 12, 12 + 20 normal

EZ bar 21 curls w/ band: 65x21, 21, 21 - just as brutal as last time!

SS Cable Pushdowns: 70x12, 15, 15, 15

DB Hammer Curls: 40x10, 12

SS DB Skull crushers: 40x12, 10 - out of time!


Friday: Legs


Box Jumps: 36'' box, 5x5

Squat: 135x10, 225x10, 315x10, 365x5 (failed - got pissed), 365x8 drop 315x8 drop 225x10 drop 135x10 - felt redeemed for failing after that set!

Leg Press: 540x15, 15, 15, 15 - strict 1min rests so was rough

leg extension: 120x12, 150x12, 190x12, 230(full stack)x10, 10, 10 - needed rest pauses, these hurt!


Saturday: 'Gentle' chest/back with bro in law


Pull ups: 20, 20lbsx10, 50x8, 90x5 drop 0x10

SS Push Ups: 25, 25, 25, 25, 25

Barbell Row: 135x12, 12, 20, 185x12

SS Bench Press: 135x20, 20, 15, 185x10 - light weights for me, but shoulder felt solid!

Rack Deadlifts: 315x15, 375x12 - felt easy

SS DB Bench Press: 40x15, 50x20 - easy, no pain

OUT OF Time... sigh


One more week of 2x, then a burnout week!

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A Little behind on posting, as usual. Had a great lifting week last week and hit some good numbers. Don't remember all the workouts, but here's some favorites:



Squat: 135x15, 225x10, 3 sets of 7/4/7s: 315/365/315, 335/385/335 (stoked!), 315/365/315. These were brutal but I rocked them!

Leg Extension: 100x15, 125x15, 15, 15

Leg Press: FST7: 440x15, 7 sets 30sec rests


Shoulders: Don't remember the whole workout, but I hit Smith behind the head press with double discs for 6 reps!



Bench Press: 135x15, 15, 185x10, 10, 10 - best I've done lately with no shoulder pain.


This week for the burnout workouts I decided to skip chest and shoulders to hopefully let me shoulder recover a bit, so I hit:


1/7 Back:

Triple set: (killed lats!)

Pull Ups: 20, 18, 20

Straight Arm Pulldown: 50x15, 15, 15

DB Pullover: 60x15, 15, 15

Superset: (killed mid-traps/rhomboids!)

Close-grip overhand Yates Row: 135x18, 20

Supported DB Row: 40x12, 12

Rack Pulls: 315x25


1/9 Arms: This circuit always gives a wicked pump for like 2 hours


Preacher Curl: 75x20, 20, 20

Cable Push Down: 65x20, 85x20, 20

Cable Curl: 45x20, 20, 20

DB Extension: 50x20, 20, 25

DB Hammer Curls: 25x20, 20, 20

DB Kickbacks: 15x20, 20x20, 20


1/10/13 Legs: (felt off this morning, first time having caffeine in a week and I think it messed with me, got good numbers though!)

Romanian Deadlift: 45x50, 185x50, 185x40

Leg Extension: 50x15, 125x10 drop 100x10 drop 75x10 raise 125x10, 150x10 drop 125x10 drop 100x10 raise 150x10, 150x10 drop 125x10 drop 100x10 raise 150x10 (these down/up sets are always horrible)

Leg Press: 440x50, 50 (had to rest pause every 5 reps or so after 25, but wasn't toooo terrible)

Squat: 135x30


Hitting cardio and abs tomorrow, then deep tissue massage on Sunday and back to the heavy work on Monday!

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  • 6 years later...

Ok quick post to record. I've had setback after setback for it feels like years now, but most recently I was getting back into heavy squats and deadlifts after a serious 3+ year hamstring strain, then I strained my hip flexor so I backed off that again for a bit. I've been making some progress on bench press as well after recovery from breaking my hand last spring. My recent best there is 260lbs x 5, and I've been consistently hitting 245lbs x 5. I'm keeping the reps low and focusing on barbell work for the most part because I'm also doing 100-200 push ups 3-4 days a week so I figure that's plenty of volume work. Today's lift was:


Bench press:

135 x 12

185 x 10

205 x 5

225 x 5

235 x 5

235 x 5

235 x 5


Incline Bench to lower chest:

135 x 10

135 x 10

155 x 10


incline DB Fly:

30 x 12, 12, 12


Push ups: 50, 30, 20


Barbell rock backs (ab exercise): 65 x 10, 10


wasn't feeling too strong, but I got it done!

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Sorry about the injuries and setbacks. I know how that goes.


In fact, I think most lifters who have been at it for decades kinda know how that goes. It tends to kind of go hand in hand with the sport of pressing, pulling, lifting, carrying, or moving as much weight as possible with full effort. Things are bound to happen every now and then, and muscles get pulled, strained, tweaked, or full-on injured.


How's the gym doing?


Sure seems like quite a while since I have been back out there! I used to tour the east coast a lot, but really haven't been there much in years, aside from Florida, and sometimes New England.


Hope to catch up in person again soon!


Keep after it!


And say hi to your family for me!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey RC! I completely agree. I know we've talked about it, but I still think athlete injuries/aches and pains are completely swept under the rug by people in most cases. I had no clue there wasn't something wrong with me when lots of things started hurting on a regular basis. Just a built-in cost of the process! Come visit sometime! Have you been to our gym since we renovated in 2017?


I didn't log the rest of last week, but it went well. I'm currently on a 5-day 'bro' split of Chest, Legs, shoulders, Back, and Arms in addition to training Capoeira once or twice a week for fun and extra cardio/mobility work.


This week so far:


Monday (Chest):

Bench Press: 135x15, 185x10, 205x5, 225x5, 245x5, 5, 5

Incline Bench Press, to lower chest: 135x12, 155x10, 10, 10

Push ups: 70, 50, 30

Barbell Hip Thrust: 155x15, 15, 15, 15

Gravity Boot inverted Sit ups: 10, 10


Tuesday (Legs): Lots or rehabby stuf, but got a decent burn!

Squat: 135x8. Tried more but L knee hurt so I stopped

Romanian Deadlift: 65x10, 10, 10 kept it light to test hamstring strain

Spanish Squat: 15, 15, 15

Standing Adductor sliders: 10/leg, 10/leg

Side Lying Hip Raise: 15, 15

Nordic Leg Extensions: 8, 8

Single Leg Calf Raise: 15, 15, 15, 15

Leg Press, Blood Flow Restricted: 180x 30, 15, 15, 15

Ab Wheel Roll Outs: 15, 15


Wednesday (Shoulders):

Walking on hands: 30 yds. Best streak was 15 steps (PR!)

Handstand pushups: 19, 15, 16, 15

Bent Over Laterals: 20x 12, 12, 12

Laterals: 20;x12, 12, 12

Arnold Press: 50x12, 60x10, 40x10, 20x10

Shoulder Horn External Rotations: 2.5x20


It's not anything impressive in a while, but I was squatting heavy again before this knee flare up so I'm optimistic I'll be back at it soon! In the meantime, doing what I can and staying accountable. I hope to compete this Summer, I missed the last two years from injuries and I'm ready to go!

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  • 1 month later...

Missed a couple weeks again, but I want a record so here's this week so far:


Monday: Shoulders/Back

Gravity Boot sit ups: 10, 10, 10

Pull ups: 20, 35x10, 35x10, 50x8, 50x10

SS Handstand Push Ups: 15, 15, 15, 10, 8

Arnold Press: 45x10, 65x10, 75x8, 75x8 (stopped due to shoulder pinch)

SS Sumo deadlift: 155x10, 245x8, 335x8, 385x8, 385x8

TRX Reverse Fly: 10, 10, 10

SS DB Row: 90x12, 12, 12

Various shoulder hangs for rehab


Tuesday: Chest and Arms

Incline Bench, bringing bar to low chest: 135x10, 185x10, 10, 10, 8

KB Fly: 35x10, 10, 10

Decline Pullovers: 65x12, 85x10, 10

BFR EZ bar curls: 35x30, 15, 15, 15

SS BFR Skull Crushers: 35x30, 15, 15, 15


I've tentatively decided on the Jay Cutler Classic on August 8th as my next show, so here's to hitting the grinding stone!

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Trying to keep up with this so quickly here's yesterday/today:


Wednesday: Abs, Legs (L knee felt iffy so was careful)

Barbell Rockbacks: 65x10, 10, 10

SS Lying Side Hip Raise: 10, 10, 10

Single Leg Extension: 25x15, 15, 15

SS Single prone leg curl:25x10, 10, 10

Bulgarian Split Squat: 15, 35sx10, 10, 10, 10

Bodyweight Calf Raise FST7: 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15

BFR Leg Press: 180x30, 15, 15, 15


R hip flexor felt strainy the next day, so I'm guessing either the split squats or leg extensions got it fired up again. I'll skip them next time.


I was feeling a cold coming on so I took it pretty light/easy, but still logged some back and shoulders.


Foam rolled thighs/hip flexors

Walking on Hands: Wanted 30 yards, but made it about 5 and runny nose/headache stopped it. Next week!

Overhead Press: 115x10, 135x8, 8, 8

SS Close grip lat pull down: 100x12, 120x12, 12, 12

DB High lateral raise: 20x12, 12, 12, 12

Seated Cable Row: 120x12, 12, 12, 12

Was feeling worn out so called it there. Tomorrow!

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Felt better going into Friday and totally well by Saturday. Here's what I got in:


Friday: Light Chest and Arms

Incline Bench to low chest: 135x12, 155x10, 10, 12

Close Grip Bench: 155x10, 10, 10

SS Incline Cable Curls: 50x12, 60x12, 12

BFR Cable Curls: 60x30, 15, 15, 15

BFR Rope Pushdown: 60x30,15, 15, 15

Ab wheel roll outs: 12, 12, 12

side crunches: 20, 20


Monday: Legs (skipped R leg extensions and Bulgarian Split squats bc knee and hip pain last week, and no issues!)

Hanging Leg Raise: 12, 12, 12

Hip Thrust: 105x15, 15, 15, 15

SS Nordic Ham Curls: 10, 10, 10, 10

SS Single Leg Extension: 25x20, 20, 20, 20

Squat: 135x15, 225x12, 12, 12, 12 (felt good and minimal L knee pain)

SS Single leg calf raise: 15, 15, 15, 15

BFR Leg Press: 180x30, 15, 15 (ran out of time for the last set, plus I was dying)


Tuesday: Shoulders and Back

Walking on hands: 30 yds, longest stretch was 15 steps

Pull ups:22, 50x9, 10, 10, 11

SS Handstand Pushups: 15, 15, 15, 15

Sumo Deadlift: 155x12, 245x8, 335x4, 385x4, 425x4, 4, 335x10 (Probably a DECADE PR here! Definitely a post hamstring strain PR, which is 4+ years - pumped!)

SS Cable 1-arm laterals: 40x12, 12, 12 (caused L shoulder pinch so switched to dbs)

DB Laterals: 20x12, 30x10, 10, 10

Wanted to get rows and some rear delts in too, but ran out of time! I'm on a roll so I'm not complaining.

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Wednesday: Chest and Arms

Gravity boot sit ups: 10, 10, 10

Incline Bench to low chest: 135x10, 155x10, 185x8, 185x10, 185x9 drop 135x6 (shoulder felt pinchy so took slowly)

KB Chest Fly: 35x10, 10, 10

Decline Pullover: 85x12, 12, 12, 12

BFR EZ bar curls: 45x30, 15, 15, 15

SS BFR Skull Crushers: 45x30, 15, 15, 15


Thursday: Legs (did the exact same workout because it didn't bother knee or hip last time)

Single Leg Extension (L only): 25x20, 20, 20

SS Nordic Ham Curls: 10, 10, 10

SS Hip Thrust: 105x15, 15, 15

Squat: 135x10, 225x12, 12, 12, 12

SS Single Leg Calf Raise: 15, 15, 15, 15, 15

BFR Leg Press: 140x30, 15, 15, 15 (lightened the weight to force myself to get it all in - burnnnnn!)


Workouts are going really well for the last two weeks, but I'm noticing a few more pinchy feelings so I'm taking a deload in another week or two. I've been plagued by minor injuries enough that I think I'll deload every few weeks whenever I'm into hard training.

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