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Doug Robson Journal (vegandougie)

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Hi All,

Time to get started on this whether I win or lose the competition doesn't really matter - it's time i got started after a very long layoff due to back injury ( I won't bore any one with the details - unless you want me too of course). I thought I would start here not just because of the possibility of winning some goodies but because I respect alot of the people on this site for their ethics and generosity in giving support and advice. Something I might need from time to time


I wanted to start last year after getting and reading Roberts book as a 2010 xmas present but a relapse prevented me and then I got made redundant from my job. I have a new job now and my back pain is improving but like Robert some limits may be put on my initial training but hopefully as i grow stronger i shall be able to incorporate more exercises.


The program I shall follow is the one described by Derek Tresize:


Day 1: Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row, Dumbbell Shrugs


Day 3: Clean, Incline Dumbbell Bench Press, Dumbbell Row, Romanian Deadlift


Day 5: Weighted Pull Ups, Decline Dumbbell Pullovers, Push Press, Deadlift


In Between: Arms, Calves, and Abs

Two days OFF per week


I might have to sub squat with leg presses until my core strength improves but i like this routine and feel it is one i can stick with until i am ready to change it up a bit.


I shall be starting actual training on the 3rd as the gym i shall be using is close to my work (i have to commute) which means i can work out before starting work (it is the only 24 hour gym and one that fits in my budget i could find).


Tomorrow I shall post some stats such as my weight, height, bodyfat percentage etc. My main goal is to get some muscle size and strength but in the foreseeable future i would like to enter a competition - who knows maybe it's not to late for me to achieve my dream after all?

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Just to update this journal with some stats:


Height: 5ft8"

Weight: 75Kgs / 165.35lbs

BMI: 24% - i used one of those accu-measure calipers so I could be off a couple of percent, on the lower side I hasten to add


Not sure of my macro breakdown just yet. Shall post them when i have figured it out myself. Please forgive me if this post is quite short but I am just starting out and am very new to trying to put this together on a Vegan diet.


My main goal is to get stronger with some size, I want to try and keep the BMI down to lower percent but this might be a bit of trial and error. I might end up introducing high cal, low cal days or even adjust macro ratios. I am not sure how easy that is to do due to high carb nature of vegan diet but i shall give it a shot.


Tomorrow some cardio to start and training on weds shall post again tomorrow.

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Ok first proper entry. Just got back from work, my first day back since christmas break. I have just joined my gym and confirmed my personal entry pin.


Started of with cardio today as i want to keep my training traditional (tues and Thurs will be cardio days with Abs + calves) I have decided to take Richards advice (my mentor for this journey) and add arms when i have gotten used to the routine and if i don't feel quite so sore. Thanks again Richard for the emails, some really good advice.


Managed 20 mins on elliptical trainer - am officially cream crackered!!


Next was abs, sit ups 1X15, 2X10 and planks (only managed 2 sets of 60 secs roughly each - i know pathetic) and i will be honest here i missed doing calves but will not next time - i have had a long lay off so i feel i need to get my fitness levels up.


This post is pretty short but tomorrow morning before work i shall get my first weights session in. I am now off to prepare some hemp/soy shakes for training and lunch for work - have a great evening

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Ok some more info for you, I was up at 04:30am to get to the gym at 05:50 and completed by 06:45 then straight to work. what a day but i kind of enjoyed early morning training - anyway here is what i did today and please understand i have not trained for years so the weights might look dismal but i felt every Kg:


5 mins cardio warm up on elliptic trainer (this is my main choice of cardio equipment at the moment because of the low impact on my back and spine)


Squats 3x20 Kg 10 reps each

Bench press 2x10Kg plus 1 x 15Kg 10 reps each

Bbell Row 1x10 3x25Kgs 10 reps

I did bbell shrugs instead Dbell shrugs because their were some blokes by the dbell rack taking up the space and equipment - they seemed to be spending more time talking than training which kind of defeats the object especially considering it was early morning - why waste time, note to self get there a bit early to avoid equipment queues,

any way i did 1x15Kg and 3X25Kg.


I know this does not sound like much but i am finding my way at the moment and it does feel like a lot because as i type this the soreness is a reminder of my early morning session


This weekend i will be working on the food menus because at the moment it's all a bit spontaneous. I shall get some "before" photos taken as well, my wife said she would take them and promised not to laugh

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Hey man, don't worry about length of entry, just use the journal to keep track of what you've achieved and how you're feeling, what you're eating etc, write what you want


Getting back to training after a long break will always be slow, if you go straight in with heavy weights, you will cause yourself further injury, so you are doing the right thing. Your body will adjust to what you're lifting, and then you can increase and feel less soreness. As you say, the fact that you are sore right now means that you haven't been lifting too light

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Thanks Richard, glad i am on track.


Ok todays entry is cardio and abs day.


I did 10 mins in elliptic trainer - i wanted to do 20 but it was an intense 10 mins after a long day at work as well.


i als did x3 sets of 20 reps crunches and x2 sets of planks first set held for 40 seconds and second for 30 seconds (funny how a second seems like a long time when you are holding yourself in the plank position). I also added some of the physio stretches i had been shown after my back surgery to help stretch my sciatic nerve and also to keep the core muscles activated.


i shall say good night now - more updates tomorrow

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Ok i'll be honest here. I missed friday mornings workout - no excuses i overslept. I was still sore and tired from weds mornings workout. So idecided to make up for it by doing a home wokout today (sat 7th jan 2012).


I used my fitball which i purchased some time ago specifically to perform pilates/physio type exercises.


Heres a run down of exercises performed:


Started as ever with elliptical machine for an intense 20 min cardio workout.


followed by Push ups with my torso (stomach) on fit ball 1x12, 1x10 and 1x8 (found this difficult as chest still sore from weds)


Fit ball leg curls - lie flat on floor with feet on fit ball and curl in towards your butt, squeezing in as you do so 3x12


wall squats - with the ball behind back against wall (lean into it) squat down, 3x12, held and squeezed final rep of final set for 30 secs.


trunk curls - lie on fitball with small of back resting on it and perform a normal ab crunch 3x12.


That was pretty much it but i guess it is better to do something than to give up and not do anything at all


I shall not miss Mondays morning workout, i will make sure i get to bed earlier tomorrow night. will post another entry Monday evening.

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Hi doug,

Thanks for the words of encouragement. It good to see someone that went and is still going through what i am. The doctor told me that if i keep losing weight then that will help me but if gain then that will make it worse. I wish you the best of luck on your journey and that you also reach your goals.


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Hi kareno

Cream crackered is cockney rhyming slang for knackered which itself is British slang for "very tired" or "exhausted". Thanks for the kind words. I am working hard to achieve my goals and it is very encouraging to have such great support from so many fantastic people on this forum




I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=52.371107,-0.776122

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New post. Unfortunately i was unable to work out today, suffering with sciatic pain. Shall do something tomorrow if the pain eases up. If not then I shall opt for a similar workout I did Saturday With the fit ball.


Thanks Karen I am glad you liked it. As far as food goes I am eating what I have got in the cupboards at the moment such as beans, quinoa, rice, whole meal breads. A bit boring but until payday it's the best I can do, then I shall work it out better




I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=52.370989,-0.776060

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Sciatica easing up a bit but i thought i would keep it to body weight and cardio for now as per saturdays routine. I know this is going slow but i would rather build up gradually than do cause further injury



Started as ever with elliptical machine for an intense 20 min cardio workout.


followed by Push ups with my torso (stomach) on fit ball 1x12, 1x10 and 1x10


Fit ball leg curls - lie flat on floor with feet on fit ball and curl in towards your butt, squeezing in as you do so 3x12


wall squats - with the ball behind back against wall (lean into it) squat down, 3x12, held and squeezed final rep of final set for 30 secs.


trunk curls - lie on fitball with small of back resting on it and perform a normal ab crunch 3x12.


Tomorrow morning i see if i can manage the weights

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Ok today is not really a workout day but I wanted to share some thoughts with any one who wants to listen.


I have been a long term suffer of depression which can make it hard for me to stay motivated. The past couple of workouts I have done at home.


Two main reasons for this are: 1- I am still recovering from back surgery and I have been suffering slightly with it - nothing serious but I do not want to risk something, slow and steady to build up core strength and improve general fitness.

2- I have been having some quite severe bouts of depression, I find the gym I decided to use was too busy and overcrowded. A lot of people tend to gather at machines and gossip rather than train. Because of the way I am I find it too intimidating and end up walking out before I do anything.


But I am determined to beat the depression so for the moment I am going to train at home. I don't no why I did not do this in first place as I have a bench, squat rack, Olympic barbell, dumbells, elliptical trainer and a fit ball.


I just need to clear out a usable space in the garage as it has become a dumping ground at the moment. I shall be doing this at the weekend.


I am going to stick to the routine outlined in my first post but I need to substitute something for pull ups (I don't have a pull up bar) - anyone got any suggestions?


Any advice or comments would be welcome, even just to cheer me up a bit . I know I sound a bit like a moany old git but I don't want to quit this time, I am determined to beat this thing or at the very least learn how to manage it better.


Anyone out there suffering with depression, I am sure will understand and after all fitness does include emotional and mental health as well. This is what this new year challenge, very generously offered by Robert, means to me




I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=52.371015,-0.776059

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Hey Dougie!

My friend Tim Van Orden from Running Raw. Tim is training for the Empire State building climb and is posting daily videos how he works through his depression. Really helpful but he gets on our level. Really genuine guy. I'll post a link later with the long boarding vids.

To be honest I had a time when I fought depression a really great story. I'll write about it soon or PM you it. It is possible to get over it I know because I've done it and without the drugs the Dr said I should have. I never have looked back. Just remember it's normal to feel down when you get an injury or your expectations are shot down. You are on the right track but you have to tell that voice inside to keep calm because somewhere inside you already have the answers. Keep strong and let's work through it together. D

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Thank you so much David. I shall have a look at those vids by Tim. Your message has already cheered me up.


My wife has been a great support but sometimes she finds it difficult knowing how to help, so the support from yourself and other people on this forum helps more than you realise.


It's good to know that you have beaten it without the drugs. I have been prescribed them and taken them myself in the past but stopped because I wanted to try to deal with it without them. Until I read your reply I was seriously considering seeing the dr and asking for them again but I think now that I shall muddle on and get on top of this without synthetic aids. I think the power of plants and exercise is the way to go. You are a diamond geezer as we say here in the uk. Thanks again




I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=52.370881,-0.776258

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I think training at home can really work for some people, just have to remain motivated and get into the mental zone of training, without being distracted. If I am really dedicated, I can do it, plan ahead and do a home workout. But if I just say to myself "ah, I'll do something at home later" - I can easily slip, so I think it's good to have a routine to stick to, even at home.


Regarding a chin up bar, do you have a door way you can put one in? They're really cheap, I advise getting one. I have seen videos of people doing pull ups on a door, but it looks a bit painful on the elbows (since they are pressing against the door).


Without a chin-up bar, I don't know what you can use as a substitute, since whatever it is will have to take your whole weight.


Is there anything in your garage you can grab hold of, a rafter or anything? At university in my corridor there were wooden rafters that went across the ceiling and I could do pull ups on those.


Regarding depression, my experience with medication was ridiculous... I was prescribed medication, then I said "I'd rather not take any medication like that", and the doctor straight away said "yes, I don't recommend them". Why did he prescribe them then...? Also had a psychologist prescribe drugs, and when I asked him what the side effects were, he told me to look it up on the internet... that's service! I'm still affected by depressive thoughts and concerns, but they don't control my behaviour anymore, and I'm glad I didn't take medication. But I think it really depends on the person, and the severity of the behavioural problems.

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Hi Richard thanks for the advice. I think with the home gym I shall be more motivated as I won't feel as intimidated. Plus I can move through workouts with a much better flow - no waiting for equipment to become free.


With the depression I am taking it one day at a time and feeling pretty good today. I think this beautiful sunny and frosty morning helped lift me. I also cycled today. I needed to sort the bikes for my wife and sister in law so they can start using them for the pet care business we are building, so had to take them out for a spin to make sure they were working correctly. I forgot how much I enjoy cycling so I shall be adding this to the mix but mainly at weekends.


As for the meds, I am going to hold off for now. There are so many good people here working hard just reading their posts gives me a boost, so for the moment I feel strong enough to do this clean As you know depression is a funny thing one minute you feel 'super fantastic' and on top off the world but the next it's the extreme opposite. I recognise this so I enjoy these moments when everything is fine and deal with the bad when it happens. Sometimes though it only takes one kind word of support though to lift the black veil.


So thanks to all the support from you all.


P.S. does my little cycle ride count towards a journal entry

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Hey Doug! So, I wanted to share two things with you:


1) thank you for the wonderfully kind and uplifiting post you made on my journal the other day. I had several days of feeling pretty low, and it's so amazing to get supportive and understanding messages from others.


2) I just read your previous posts above about your own battle with depression. I cannot thank you enough for having the courage to share this with the forum community at large. I, too, have dealt with depression and anxiety my whole life and have taken meds on and off since 2004. I couldn't bare to go to the gym today either, and had to call up my friend to ask if I could use the quiet and small fitness room in her apartment complex, since I couldn't bare the idea of the noise, people, and intimidation of the gym today. Just happens that way sometime. Anyway, everyone's different, of course, but I understand how you feel as well as anyone can. Thanks again for sharing your honest story with us. You rock!!!!!!


OH! And I saw some new expressions you used that I've never heard before and really like! "a moany old git" and "diamond geezer"! Hahaha! Not sure exactly what they mean, but I love them!


Happy Monday, Doug!



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Hi Karen,

Firstly i have posted my workout log below but i just wanted to respond to your previous post first.

Thank you for you kind words. I must admit I felt a bit nervous of posting about my depression as i was'nt sure of the reaction i was going to get but i realise now i should'nt have worried. This is great forum with great people on it so if you feel the need to share as well then don't be afraid. We are all here to support each other. After all emotional fitness is just as important as physical fitness.


I am glad to see that you found an alternative to the gym rather than miss the training, that shows real determination. One of the main reason I sorted out my home gym in the garage was because of the exact same reasons you described in your post.


Now to explain the latest expressions for you: "moany old git" is negative description (in this case of myself) of someone, usually male and of more mature years (not that i am that old of course ) who moans or complains about things in a grumpy fashion. Git is a slang derogratory expression for example 'that man is a bit of a git'. Er hope that explains that one.


Diamond geezer is sort of cockney, i think it came from a very popular sitcom called 'only fools and horses' (check it out on google) and found it's way into british language (more london areas though). Geezer means man. So i could say say look at that geezer over there he is a right moany old git . So if i was to say diamond geezer what i am saying is that man is a really fantastic person. So you are a 'diamond lady' and i hope yours was a hppy monday as well


I hope i explained it all - sometimes i confuse myself!!


Now I shall post todays workout which was performed in my brand new garage gym - horay


10 mins warm up on eliptical trainer


I haven't added the olympic barbell weight to these figures as i have not got a clue who much it ways - perhaps i should research this later.



x2 sets of 12 reps bar only warm up.

working sets: 10 reps @ 20kg, 10 reps @ 25kg and 12 reps @ 25kg (working out home made such a difference and i felt pumped)


Bench Press (barbell)

x2 sets of 10 reps @10kg warmup

Working sets: x2 sets of 8 reps @ 20kg and x1 set of 6 reps @ 20kg


Bent over row (barbell)

x2 sets of 12 reps bar only warmup

working sets: x1 set of 8 reps @ 20kg (i had bad form on this set hence why 8 reps)

x2 set of 10 reps @ 20 kg (corrected my form)


barbell shrugs

x2 sets of 10 reps bar only warmup

working sets: x3 sets @ 25kg


I finished of with a soy/hemp shake. I felt really good about my training today and still feel uplifted and positive after. My good mood started after i finished the eliptical warmup as i did feel quite depressed earlier in the day on a scal of 1 to 10 (10 being suicidal) i was at about a 4. Now i am at 1.


Oh i have decided to record my moods as well as i wish to track how i am coping with the depression and whether or not exercising is having some benefits. Until tomorrow - Goodnight

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Hahaha! I love it!!! Thanks for teaching me some new expressions! I'll try to say them in my not-so-good British accent! Or, no, it'll be even funnier if I just use those expressions in my plain ol' USofA accent and let people wonder!


Have a great day, Doug!

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