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Project Heavygan: Eat Plates To Move Plates


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Just to clarify, whatever programme I am running I nearly always stick to the basics and the outline of the programme.

 

I sometimes struggle with having my lifts pre-determined as I often have days where I'm varying in strengths (I'm Mr. Unconsistent in terms of my ability to knock out the same training poundages all the time) ?! This is why for me I'll work to the protocol but occasionally have to change the weights to suit my strength levels ~ nearly always reducing the weight. I can't recall once ever attempting a weight that was higher than what I was meant to be attempting.

 

Cheers guys, sorry for any confusion ?!

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This type of thinking was impressed onto me when I got back in a "proper" gym & it's something I'll always preach. I still don't believe in lifting to failure.

 

http://stevebackleyblog.napdesign.co.uk/?x=entry:entry120213-142557

 

Great advice and definitely what I meant in the Monday's Afterward when I said "I came out of the gym knowing I had accomplished some things but will accomplish even more as a result of this session. I trained for a purpose, to get stronger, not just for that day, but for the coming days as well – an excellent motivator and mood booster."

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03.14.12

5/3/1: Cycle One, Day Four

Boring But Big Template Test

 

Keep your eyes on YOU. It’s fine to get inspired by others’ physiques, but you have to set your own personal standards. People tend to fixate on their weaknesses, while at the same time obsess over the strengths of others. That’s a surefire way to stay eternally frustrated. It’s a healthier approach to acknowledge your own strengths, and use them as benchmarks by which to bring up your weaknesses. Learn to give yourself a pat on the back for the improvements you make. Keep your eyes on YOU, don’t let the achievements of others dictate your obsessions. – Alan Aragon

NUTRITION

56/134/210

 

PROLOGUE

It only took a week but my morning routine is finally coming together. I wake up and immediately put on my sweats, start making a PB&B sandwich, get amped for my session, and practically flip a coin to “decide” if I make coffee or not. My newfound whimsical approach to coffee has led me to believe that my affinity for it is habitual and driven by taste rather than necessity: it’s become increasingly easier and easier to forgo a cup upon waking. I’m pleased with this as, a year and a half ago, I was (even more of) a rat bastard without my morning cup of sludge.

What’s even more pleasing is exactly how pumped I was for this session – from the moment I woke up to the moment I loaded the plates for my last 5/3/1 set, I was in it – good vibes all-around for some reason. Must have been the spicy raspberry compote I threw on top of my PB sandwich. Must have been.

SESSION

Warm-up: “Intense” elliptical for two minutes; lots of stretching, predominantly hip flexors

 

Deadlifts

65x5

95x5

125x5

145x5

165x10 (PR)

After playing around with my stance during warm-up sets I think I’ve finally found the “sweet spot” for me feet and even though my hyperextensions aren’t done with heavy weight, I can feel how incorporating them has been making my back stronger. Really pleased with these.

 

BBB Deadlifts

95x10x5

Last set was paused, an addition I would plan on keeping if I choose BBB for my assistance work.

 

Back raises

25x10x5

Dumbbell side bends

35x15

25x15

30x15

 

Cool-down: Stretching. Lots. Of. Stretching.

 

AFTERWARD

Coming out of this session, I felt amazing. In fact, this was probably the best deadlifting, if not overall, session I’ve had in quite some time – form has finally come together (took a pointer from Chewy and put my feet closer together), I’m feeling stronger in my weaker areas (grip/lower back) and the combination of the 5/3/1 and BBB sets left me feeling accomplished but focused on the future.

The only negative about the day was I made a slight macro-miscalculation early in the day and had, oh, I don’t know, roughly 130 carbohydrates to consume when I got off work at 11:15 p.m. So … I had two servings of cereal and a sliced banana mixed into protein pudding. Maybe “mis” is looking at things the wrong way in that situation.

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Sounds like a great session. When I come out still pumped & full of energy/a buzz after lifting....job has been well done.

 

http://muscle-shred.com/jim-wendler-interview/

 

ps I ate a whole large take out pizza last night in about 15 mins....:/

 

Energy has been through the roof this past week - definitely pleased with that. Now I just need to make sure I have my assistance work planned out for this next week of running the Tate template for a week to see how I like it and the same with the loadable assistance for the third week.

 

"When it doubt, squat and run hills" might be the most straight-forward piece of advice ever given to a lifter.

 

I want pizza so bad now that you said that.

 

Detailed journal here!

 

Awesome stuff. All the best with training!

 

-Robert

 

Thanks for checking in, Robert - I know you're super busy so I really appreciate you popping in on my journal when you can. Keep killing it with your training as well!

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03.16.12

5/3/1: Cycle One, Day Five

Boring But Big Template Test

 

NUTRITION

44/145/215

 

PROLOGUE

As anticipated, Friday morning was spent leisurely. I woke up and brewed a half-pot of coffee for myself and my old lady and proceeded to work my way through some older T-Nation and Elitefts articles I'd been meaning to read instead of skim which led to me doing some additional research/reading until around 2:00 p.m. when I felt primed and ready to hit the gym.

 

SESSION

Warm-up: Jumping rope, dips and chins

 

Standing dumbbell shoulder press

15x5x2

20x5

 

Standing barbell shoulder press

45x5

50x13 (PR)

Felt strong as hell despite the low weight.

 

BBB Dumbbell shoulder press

15x10x5

I've noticed, at my gym at least, that many people neglect form when they use dumbbells, choosing to wail out their reps by any means necessary instead of using proper technique. Since these were extremely light in comparison to what I use press, I took the opportunity to focus on my form and note any unevenness in my shoulders. No surprise - one side lags a bit more than the other which inclines me to use DB presses as assistance work regardless of what template I choose.

 

Assisted dips

90x10x5

Didn’t add weight to these since I did them in between BBB shoulder press sets.

Rack chin-ups

5x10

Random assortment of grips for these.

 

Close-grip bench press

45x10x3

Super light weight for these to get in some extra tricep work.

 

Wide-grip lateral pulldowns

50x10x3

Same as above but for lats. Obviously.

 

AFTERWARD

Nothing "noteworthy" for anybody else, most likely, but I managed to do all of my favorite non-work day things (go for a walk, hang out with my old lady, read/write, get a cup of coffee, stop by my favorite local shops, etc.) in one afternoon so, as has been the trend, yet another solid day down in the books. Expect a lengthier update tomorrow regarding assistance work for the next two template try-outs as well as some planning ahead.

 

Misc.

Weird that there aren't any photos, right?

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Just remember bbb works off percentages of your training max, so if you go with dumbbells make sure to a degree these match up with that. Personally I'd ditch using dumbbells, they are a decent assistance but they hit more the middle shoulder. A strict military press works everything, just a thought.

 

If you're going to add things into the bbb template don't over do it. 

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Just remember bbb works off percentages of your training max, so if you go with dumbbells make sure to a degree these match up with that. Personally I'd ditch using dumbbells, they are a decent assistance but they hit more the middle shoulder. A strict military press works everything, just a thought.

 

If you're going to add things into the bbb template don't over do it. 

 

Used the percentages generated in the Excel sheet - don't really have much of an option if I want to stay with the percentages since we only have the 45lb bar at my gym. Something to think about if I pick BBB, though, so I really appreciate the input.

 

The pulldowns/CGBP were done with less than 65% of my max for both - so nothing major. It just felt completely foreign to only do dips and chins afterward.

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I know what you mean...when I tried bbb for a week on military day all the assistance is after bbb sets are chins. I was like; ermmmmmm I'm done after like 20-25mins.

It works for my pal who lifts before work early, so it means he doesn't have to keep moving about/ loading weights.

 

Looking forward to it after work

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On days when I have the 5:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. shift at work, getting done in 30 minutes wouldn't bother me in the slightest. It's the days when I'm off work completely that it would drive me nuts - like what happened on Friday.

 

Wendler's "training economy" has me looking at my program/goals so much closer and more critically. Pretty nice, especially since I'm currently working on a lengthier write-up about how I really want the rest of 2012 to go for me and what my big, long-term goals are for winter 2013.

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03.17.12

5/3/1: Cycle One, Day Six

Boring But Big Template Test Recap

 

NUTRITION

15/130/80 + whiskey and a beer

 

VIGNETTE

Since I work in a very public setting, there are some sacrifices I am forced to make. Example: despite finding it absolutely asinine to do so, I wore a green yesterday. The only green clothing I own, however, is what my old lady calls my “swag” shirt – a men’s medium 10 Deep tee. This description was pretty accurate when I purchased it a month ago as it was comically big on me – the sleeves practically hit my elbows since I couldn’t fill the shoulders out at all and, because of this, the bottom would go past the crotch of my jeans.

When I put it on yesterday, it fit quite a bit differently – noticeably snugger in the shoulders and, as a result, not nearly as saggy as it was a month ago. I most certainly don’t “fill it out” but I could definitely feel the difference.

Other than that, Saturday was pretty standard: after a relatively steady day at work, I came home and, though I was supposed to nail down my assistance work for the next two template tests, I ended up baking stout-cupcakes, watching movies with my old lady and her sister, and having a couple of drinks. So, the update I talked about posting regarding training and nutrition has been postponed a bit.

 

SESSION

Off

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03.18.12

5/3/1: Cycle One, Week One, Day Seven

Template Test Interlude

 

NUTRITION

49/150/215

As promised, the food pictured above showcases a bit more variety - falafel burger on a multi-grain bun and peanut butter and banana proats.

 

VIGNETTE

I might be getting a little “fanboy” over Jim Wendler. For the last few days, most of my spare time has been spent tracking down articles about or interviews of him as the ones I’ve read previously always include some nugget of information I’ve found to be exceptionally beneficial.

Among the gems I found over the last few days is Conditioning 101. After pouring over the 5/3/1 Handbook more times than any normal person running the program probably has, I became increasingly interested in adding conditioning into my routine. As Wendler explains the N.O.V. training program in the handbook, conditioning doesn’t have to be boring or spent on a stationary bike for hours – you run hills and you push a Prowler. Since I don’t have access to a Prowler, I figured my conditioning would consist of three-to-four 15-20 minute hill sprinting sessions and cycling whenever I felt like it throughout the week.

In the article linked above, however, Wendler pro/cons the different types of conditioning he has used in his training programs and, unlike in the handbook where the Prowler reigns as King Conditioner, other exercises become much more appealing. Hell, I even found out I’d been incorporating more conditioning in my program than I originally thought. Wendler talks about jumping rope in between assistance lifts which is something I’ve been doing on every upper-body day for the past couple of weeks – when I read this, I had a very Homer “D’oh!” moment – why the fuck wouldn’t that be considered conditioning?

Anyway, I had planned on doing conditioning after my workouts and keeping my rest days just that – rest days. However, for reasons unknown to me, I got off work Sunday afternoon with more energy than I imagined possible after working a pretty fast-paced shift. On the fifteen minute drive home, I seriously considered started Week Two a day early and getting my squat on. I knew such thinking was foolish as my body needs to grow accustomed to actually resting and growing so I tried to keep myself busy. I went grocery shopping, I called my mom, I did some reading. I even debated going for a bike ride despite the rain outside. Then, around 9:00 p.m. it occurred to me – this is an opportune moment to get in a conditioning session.

So I did and, to be honest, even though I “took it easy,” I was equally wiped as I was stoked about the results. The only major bummer is the substantial lack of Prowler in my life – I feel like it’s something I’d really enjoy adding into my routine. Hopefully one day. Until then – sprinting hills, jumping rope, drilling agility, and battling ropes it is.

SESSION

10 minute hill sprints at 4% incline, varying speeds between 7-8mph

5:00 minute jump roping

10:00 minute battle ropes

5:00 minute agility ladder

The battle ropes have the potential to either be a really nice addition to my routine or something I lose interest in rather quickly. I’m going to do more “research” into technique/routines and the pros/cons of their use. I forgot how into agility ladder drills I am - they were my favorite “cardio” during my high school strength and conditioning class as I actually progressed in them whereas with running my mentality was always, “Am I done yet?”

Edited by vegansludge
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I absolutely hate that you can eat whatever the hell you want and still look like that! I know people say,"Life isn't fair"...and when I look at your food pics...its NOT! Paula Dean is whacked that you need Bacon...she hasn't seen any of your creations.

 

oh, and your arms look divine in the avatar! Girls with Guns! Love it!

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haha i accidentally wore green on friday 3/16. i was mad at myself. and i never wear green. celebrated st. patricks day with a burrito and was the designated driver.

 

I didn't even drink that much - the outlook I inherited from my mother's (pretty Irish) side of the family is: if you're really Irish, you don't need an excuse to drink; you just do it when you feel like it, which is generally often.

 

I used to DD my friends all the time in college - always entertaining and made me feel better knowing they not only asked for a DD but I could "make sure" they were safe.

 

I absolutely hate that you can eat whatever the hell you want and still look like that! I know people say,"Life isn't fair"...and when I look at your food pics...its NOT! Paula Dean is whacked that you need Bacon...she hasn't seen any of your creations.

 

oh, and your arms look divine in the avatar! Girls with Guns! Love it!

Don't hate! There's really no secret to it other than knowing my caloric needs and filling them however I want each day - that's the beauty of "following" IIFYM.

My food's not that impressive - I wish I was cooking more of a variety of food to be honest but I've just found it easier to cycle through the same things over and over again.

 

And thank you about the avatar! I wouldn't call them "guns," though, they're more like ... slingshots. Ha.

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03.19.12

5/3/1: Cycle One, Week Two, Day One

Interlude: The Future

NUTRITION

Since January, I have kept my calories at a flat 2,000 with static macros of roughly 56/150/225 which, around mid February, finally pushed me to 123-5lb range depending on all the well-known variables (hydration, sodium, food intake, etc.).

I failed to mention in this log, despite writing it down in my paper journal, that, upon starting 5/3/1 I would do weekly weigh-ins on the same day and with relatively similar circumstances (hydrated, with a pre-work out meal, and after my session). Last Monday, I weighed in at 125; today, I weighed the same.

As always, I went back-and-forth about how to approach this situation and deduced that I need to do two things, in the following order: first, recalculate my estimated caloric needs since quite a few factors have changed since I “reset” them in January. Secondly, I need to “bite the bullet” and buy a BodyMedia - not only find my “true” maintenance but also to, once and for all, shed my Former Fat Kid anxieties. If I know, instead of guess, my maintenance and can, therefore, know, instead of guess, how much I need to be eating to gain, there won't be any need for anxiety, fat gains will be kept to a minimum, and strength will continue increasing steadily without having to take three weeks to asses if a calorie bump is enough/too much ... however, until then ...

 

Recalculated maintenance is, in fact, approximately 2,000 calories. Guess what that means? Intake is going to be 2,200 for the next three weeks to “verify” this new estimation and will continuously be adjusted until I can afford the BodyMedia.

Macros will be a lot like they are now (0.45xBW for fat; 1-1.6gxBW for protein, fill the rest in with carbohydrates) but I might mess with the ratios a bit if I find the increase in carbs hard to stomach.

 

EQUIPMENT

When I first started squatting at my parents’ house, more often than not, I did so barefoot. I was born flat-footed and with an extra bone in each foot (I do not kid) so finding shoes for any specific “athletic” endeavor has always been a chore, from the time I played peewee basketball up until to my brief stint as Cardio Kid last summer. So, when I started StrongLifts 5x5, I would alternate squatting in my Chuck Taylors and without any shoes at all. As the weight got heavier, squatting barefoot always felt better.

However, as much as I wish I could have continued lifting sans-shoes, moving my sessions from my parents’ garage and into a commercial gym requires a little bit more discretion and adherence to “sanitary” practices. So, I went back to lacing up my Chucks before each session. For a while, this was all well and fine. Then my dear friend Osgood-Schlatter decided to remind me that he’s permanently set-up residence in my knees and, though he doesn’t make his presence known often, when he does, it is not at all pleasant.

Oh, yeah, I have Osgood-Schlatter disease. For those of you don’t know, the simple way to this is simply the fact I have bumps on my knees that hurt quite a bit from “overuse” – one of the key activities that exacerbate this pain is, you guessed it, squatting.

Now, I have neglected to “divulge” this bit of information about myself largely because I often forget about it – after years of skateboarding, I started attributing my knee problems to bashing them against concrete, plywood, and stairs rather than some “mysterious” disease I was diagnosed with at the age of 11. Fast-forward 12 years and throw in some self-education about fitness and health, weekly heavy squatting and, soon-to-be-introduced, intense conditioning, and, well, my concern for addressing the condition properly has increased quite a bit.

In fact, the reappearance of good old Osgood prompted me to take a good look at how much effort I was really putting into my program outside of just lifting. Turns out, I’ve been a pretty piss-poor job making sure that I’m as healthy as I should be in order to perform at my best.

So, over the next few months, I will be acquiring things that I already should own or, in the very least, be in the process of owning - a foam roller (which I ordered today with the last bit of Amazon giftcard I forgot I had), squatting shoes and knee sleeves (to keep Osgood happy) and maybe even some compression socks for the hell of it.

 

GOALS

To be achieved within a year

100lb overhead press

125lb bench press

250lb deadlift

200lb squat

For reps.

 

Compete.

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Good going on the converse, I hope you wear those/barefoot for dead lifts. I go barefoot for deads. Squats I'm useless barefoot.

 

Heres a great diet to follow:

 

If you want to get lean, eat Paleo or Zone or whatever.  All the normal, mainstream diets are pretty much the same.

 

If you want to get big as fuck/strong as fuck, eat the above diets and then eat about triple of whatever they recommend and then have a large pizza every night.

 

Guess who said that haha

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Good going on the converse, I hope you wear those/barefoot for dead lifts. I go barefoot for deads. Squats I'm useless barefoot.

 

Heres a great diet to follow:

 

If you want to get lean, eat Paleo or Zone or whatever.  All the normal, mainstream diets are pretty much the same.

 

If you want to get big as fuck/strong as fuck, eat the above diets and then eat about triple of whatever they recommend and then have a large pizza every night.

 

Guess who said that haha

 

I've only ever lifted in Converse (when I don't lift barefoot) but the pair I have old and I can feel them starting to wear down, hence the reason I want to make the investment into weightlifting shoes. I found the Adidas Powerlift Trainers for 90.00 and, from what I've researched and talked to others about, they're a really great introductory shoe and they cost half of the other "good" ones. Problem is - they're definitely not vegan so I haven't decided if I should shell out the cash for them or look into other options.

 

Interestingly enough, my macros pretty much "align" with the Zone diet even though I, for whatever reason, never made the correlation between the name and the 40/30/30 ratio. I guess I just better start throwing in large pizzas more often.

 

pffft...not at all silly slingshots --the definition is beautiful-even in a teeny tiny photo!

 

and switch it to a jealous pacifist!

 

You are too kind! There isn't a lot of definition but there's a noticeable, at least to me, difference in size in both my biceps and triceps which is kind of cool considering I've always had really thin arms. I'm hoping that the way the assistance work is designed for this program that my shoulders will start coming in as well - not that I'm wholly concerned with aesthetics but 1.) I know I'm going to look weird as hell if my bis/tris keep growing but my deltoids never come in and 2.) muscle growth = strength gains.

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Here's my 2c (FWIW)...

 

DL's - great to lift barefoot, or at least with a shoe that puts you as low to the ground as possible. You can buy some deadlift slippers, they don't cost much and are mostly legal at meets.

 

Squats - ideally you want to lift in either a squat shoe or a heeled shoe.

 

http://forums.musculardevelopment.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=268303&d=1324071635&thumb=1

 

The benefit of squat shoes are that they have a wooden heel, this serves two purposes: a) the heel raises you slightly higher and opens your hips through the movement, slightly increasing your felxibility (great if you have tight hips and/or calves b) The wooden heels means you don't get any loss of power from when you start driving back up. With a normal rubber soled shoe you lose power on the ascent as the force is compressed into the rubber, therefore this translates into a loss of power (small I know, but you want all the advantage you can get). You might as well put yourself in the strongest position from the start

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