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Getting Serious about Getting Big


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My dodgeball team won first place for the lower bracket of our dodgeball league on Friday, so I took Saturday off to rest and recover Sunday I went in and had to change things up a little because I'm not in my normal gym due to spring break. Food and nutrition are lagging a little this week, my head hasn't been totally in the game. I'm still putting up bigger numbers each week, though.

 

Sunday's Session

 

Chin Up (12lb assist)

3x6 (superset with)

Wide-Grip Pull Up (18lb assist)

3x5

 

Front Squat

10x85lbs

5x105lbs

5x110lbs

5x115lbs

5x120lbs

2x5x125lbs

 

Overhead Squat

2x10x45lbs

2x10x50lbs

 

Cable Row

3x10x108lbs (superset with...)

Leg Press

3x10x380lbs

 

Cable Curl

3x10x60lbs (superset with...)

Weighted Decline Sit-Up

3x15x25lbs

 

 

Monday's Session

 

Bench Press

15x45lbs

8x65lbs

5x75lbs

5x80lbs

5x85lbs

5x90lbs

2x4x95lbs (superset with...)

Face Pull

4x10x72lbs

 

Incline Dumbbell Press

3x10x30lbs (superset with...)

Roman Chair Straight Leg Raise

3x15

 

Dips (44lb assist)

3x10 (superset with...)

Lateral Raise

3x10x12lbs (superset with...)

Preacher Dumbbell Curl

3x12x15lbs

 

Straight-Arm Pulldowns

3x10x84lbs

(note: I like these 1000x better than Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns for hittin the lats, I feel the burn way more focused and practically not at all in my arms)

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Biggest struggle right now is eating - the hunger just isn't there. I'm hoping this is at least somewhat a result of this never ending winter that we're having, and that when the spring truly breaks and I'm outside more the eating will start coming more naturally. Still sitting ~2200 kcal/day but I know that's not enough right now for anything much more than maintenance. Pushed for some big increases on my snatch grip deadlift today in lieu of squatting big because there was a guy in the rack doing every variation of standing barbell lift I've ever seen and I just wasn't in the mood to bother asking to work in. Next week I'll be back in my regular gym with enough racks and benches for everyone, and I've started writing up some new programming to start integrating a little cluster training into my 5x5 lifts that I plan to start next week.

 

Snatch Grip Deadlift (4" deficit)

5x115lbs

5x125lbs

5x130lbs

5x135lbs

5x140lbs (started using straps here)

5x145lbs

5x155lbs

 

Leg Press

10x360lbs

10x380lbs

10x390lbs

10x400lbs (superset with...)

Cable Row

4x10x108lbs

 

One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curls

4x8x20lbs (superset with...)

Weighted Decline Sit Ups

4x15x25lbs (superset with...)

Straight Arm Pulldowns

4x10x86lbs

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Weight back down to 130. What a rollercoaster. I know I need to be eating more. Damn.

 

Close-grip Bench Press

15x45lbs

5x60lbs

5x65lbs

5x70lbs

5x75lbs

4x80lbs

5x75lbs (superset with...)

Dragon Fly Negatives (done slow as hell)

4x3

 

Flat Bench Fly

4x10x20lbs (superset with...)

Incline Reverse Fly

4x10x12lbs

 

Rope Pushdowns

4x10x60lbs (superset with...)

Barbell Rollout

3x10

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holy leg press..

 

Haha thanks! I just started working it back in a bit after having completely abandoning the leg press for squats awhile ago... but I like the extreme quad focus and there's nothing quite like putting up 400lbs in any way possible

 

Congrats on the dodgeball win, cool.

 

Hope you have had a good week, keep up the effort with your training MF.

 

Thanks MF, it was a really fun time! My team is staying together for flag football in a couple weeks, too, so we'll see how that season turns out!

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Saturday I went in for a long day. Hit conventional deads for the first time in a month... and it sucked. I'm really disappointed. I felt a lot weaker coming back into conventional deads after going snatchgrip from a deficit for the past month and I really hated it.

 

...Scratch that. THIS is why I keep a log. I just looked back at the last time I pulled conventional and I hit 2x225lbs then moved up for 1rep PRs. This weekend I pulled 3x225lbs pretty comfortably and called it there. I just need more confidence in myself. Maybe I didn't lose deadlift strength like I thought I did. I'm undecided about whether I'll go back to conventional for the month or if I'll go back to pulling snatchgrip. I'd work deadlifts in more days of the week to work on more pulling styles but deadlifting really takes the gusto out of me for the rest of the day (as much as I love it while I'm in the gym). Maybe I'll consider simplifying my programing a little bit to work in some more deadlifting. We'll see.

 

Also swapped in pin presses instead of bench presses today, which I think I'll be doing for at least the next month or so. My bench press is so weak, and I feel like I've been stuck for a couple months, so it's time to switch it up a bit. Pin Presses sucked but in a good way - hopefully they'll make me stronger.

 

Saturday's Session

 

Deadlift

10x95lbs (3" deficit)

5x135lbs (3" deficit)

5x175lbs (3" deficit)

5x205lbs (from the floor)

3x225lbs (from the floor)

 

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

10x15lbs

10x20lbs

10x25lbs

10x25lbs

14x25lbs

 

Leg Press

10x350lbs

10x370lbs

10x390lbs

10x410lbs (superset with...)

Cable Rows

4x10x108lbs

 

Kettlebell Swings

15x18lbs

15x22lbs

3x15x26lbs

 

Straight Arm Pulldowns

5x10x84lbs (superset with...)

Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise (on stairs for full ROM)

5x10x35lbs (superset with...)

Barbell Curls

10x45lbs

4x10x55lbs

 

 

Sunday's Session

Bikin outside in the wind - 12.42 mi (1:13 time)

 

Tuesday's Session

 

Pin Press

10x45lbs

5x65lbs

5x75lbs

5x85lbs

4x85lbs (superset with...)

Bent Over Rows

5x6x95lbs

 

OHS

3x10x55lbs

10x60lbs (superset with...)

Weighted Decline SitUp

4x15x25lbs (superset with...)

Lateral Raise

4x10x15lbs

 

Tricep Pushdown (straight bar)

10x70lbs

3x10x80lbs (superset with...)

Straight-Arm Pulldowns

10x70lbs

3x10x80lbs (superset with...)

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

4x10x25lbs

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I felt a little crunched for time today in the gym so I stuck with big lifts, and tonight at home I'll going to continue on with the calisthenics that I've been doing lately. I set up a "pay-the-toll" system for going into my closet a bit ago (which I do on and off, but I've been better lately!). Basically that means that I've got my pullup bar in the door frame and every time I go through I have to bust out a set. I'm attempting to match that with a pushup set whenever I can, and I started doing what are essentially rack pull ups by pulling up from under a table in my living room and taking out the ab roller now and then. I figure if I can go heavy in the gym 4 days of the week and work bodyweight stuff in at night/throughout the day I'll be lookin pretty good come summer, and hopefully a little heavier. It's just about nice enough for running to start being comfortable too, so that's good news. Biking is great but I can't wait to be able to run more too, especially because I can get the dogs in on that!

 

Squat

10x45lbs

10x95lbs

10x115lbs

10x135lbs

10x145lbs

10x155lbs (superset with...)

Barbell Hip Thrust

4x10x95lbs

 

Snatch Grip Deadlift (from the ground)

2x10x115lbs

2x10x125lbs (superset with...)

Barbell Curls w/Fat Bar

10x45lbs

10x50lbs

2x10x55lbs

 

Rack Pullup

3x10

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I picked a new program, because I've decided structure is good for me. Today I started on Bill Starr's 5x5 program, with very slight modifications (sub Snatchgrip Deads from deficit for conventionals, One-Arm Barbell Rows for bent over rows, and StraightLeg deads instead of weighted hypers). I will get bigger and stronger. This program is only 3 days a week, so I'm going to go all out lifting those days and still have plenty of time to work in calisthenics and yoga and football conditioning on "off" days or as 2-a-days. Volume is really pretty low, as well, so that will be something new for me, but I'm pretty stoked about squatting 3x/week. I'm recommitted to eating more. I just have to get it in. Drinking a post-workout shake as I type, even if the single serve chocolate shakes I have at work are not my fave. It's just fuel!

I started in on day 2 of Starr's program because I plan to work in Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, with Saturday being a longer session with a few more accessories and just general enjoying time in the gym.

 

Squat

10x45lbs

5x80lbs

5x100lbs

3x5x120lbs

 

Incline Bench

5x45lbs

5x50lbs

5x60lbs

5x70lbs

 

SnatchGrip Deadlift (3" deficit)

10x45lbs

5x95lbs

5x115lbs

5x125lbs

5x145lbs (w/straps)

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" I'm recommitted to eating more. "

 

Eat big to get big!

 

That's the plan!!! I've learned that I can really pack it in on my weekend off days and the scale will go up for a day or two and then come right back down as soon as I train through the week. It's a balance but if I can keep the numbers goin up slowly I'm still happy!

 

Took the whole weekend off in prep for starting out right for Starr's 5x5. I'm working on switching to suicide grip for my bench press, which I think in the long run will be for the best, but in the short run I overestimated my maxes for bench today because I'm gettin used to the new grip. If anyone's interested, I read a really interesting article about bench press that showed how a thumbed grip for bench press kind of forces your elbows out and you have to fight harder to keep them in, whereas when you use suicide grip it all stays in line much easier. I definitely felt like my elbows stayed in closer to my body without having to work as hard at it, but I felt more pressure on my wrists from completely supporting the bar in my palm. I may switch to a thick bar with the suicide grip, but I know I won't be able to use a thick bar in comp so I'm undecided if that's worth it.

 

Squat

10x45lbs

5x80lbs

5x105lbs

5x120lbs

5x145lbs

5x160lbs

 

Bench Press

10x25lbs (thick bar, much lighter than standard olympic bar, guessing on weight)

5x45lbs (standard bar from here on)

5x55lbs

5x70lbs

5x80lbs

3x90lbs

 

One-Arm Barbell Row w/landmine

10x45lbs

5x65lbs

5x75lbs

5x85lbs

5x95lbs

5x100lbs

 

Weighted Decline Sit Up

4x15x25lbs (superset with...)

Straight-Leg Deadlift

3x10x135lbs

 

Lateral Raise

10x10lbs

2x10x15lbs

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So far I really like Bill Starr's 5x5. I'm making modifications to the bench press recommendations, but I pretty much love the way it's set up otherwise. One-arm barbell rows with the landmine have quickly become one of my favorite moves for upper back, excellent range of motion and tension with that. I really like squatting 3x/week.

 

Friday's Session

 

Squat

10x45lbs

5x80lbs

5x100lbs

5x125lbs

5x145lbs

3x165lbs

8x125lbs

 

Bench Press (suicide grip)

10x25lbs

5x45lbs

5x55lbs

5x70lbs

5x80lbs

3x90lbs

8x70lbs

 

One-Arm Barbell Row (w/landmine)

5x50lbs

5x70lbs

5x80lbs

5x95lbs

3x105lbs

8x80lbs

 

Bench Dips (w/feet up on second bench)

3x15 (superset with...)

Hammer Curls

3x10x20lbs (superset with...)

Rope Tricep Pushdown

3x10x80lbs

 

 

Monday's Session

 

Squat

10x45lbs

5x85lbs

5x105lbs

5x125lbs

5x145lbs

5x165lbs

 

Bench Press (suicide grip)

8x45lbs

8x55lbs

8x65lbs

8x70lbs

8x75lbs

10x70lbs

 

One-Arm Barbell Row (w/landmine)

5x55lbs

5x65lbs

5x80lbs

5x95lbs

5x105lbs

 

SLDLs

10x135lbs

2x10x145lbs (superset with...)

Weighted Decline Sit-Up

4x15x30lbs

 

Lateral Raise

3x10x15lbs

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sleep is way off this week, but still pushin. i'm headed up to madison this weekend for easter festivities - super stoked because my family is making tofu stir fry instead of a traditional easter dinner because half of us don't eat meat any more. excellent.

forgot to write down my program before i went to the gym today so i hit it as close as i could remember.

 

squats

10x45lbs

5x85lbs

5x105lbs

5x125lbs

5x145lbs

4x165lbs

8x125lbs (ASSTOGRASS/SPEEDWORK)

 

bench press

8x45lbs

8x55lbs

8x65lbs

8x75lbs

6x85lbs

10x65lbs (speed work)

 

one-arm barbell row

5x55lbs

5x65lbs

5x80lbs

5x95lbs

5x105lbs

 

hammer curl

10x20lbs

2x10x25lbs (superset with...)

tricep pushdowns

3x10x80lbs

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  • 2 weeks later...

Super simple day today, hit a few big things and got a new 5RM on my conventional deads and then called it a day. Left some in the tank, that's for sure, but today felt really strong. Eating and sleeping are slowly getting back on track. Feeling pretty good and solid in general. I'm feeling really happy with my decision to up the volume on my pressing rather than sticking with the 5x5 - I can already feel myself getting stronger this way. Press has finally started to feel right, and I'm pretty ecstatic.

 

Squat

15x45lbs

5x95lbs

5x115lbs

5x145lbs

5x155lbs

 

Incline Bench

10x45lbs

10x55lbs

10x60lbs

10x65lbs

8x70lbs

 

Conventional Deadlift

5x135lbs

5x165lbs

5x195lbs

5x225lbs

 

 

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I was having some issues with my feet cramping up after hitting the gym so I decided to start lifting without shoes. I had been wearing just Chucks, but they're old and probably less help than hurt at this point. Lifting in just socks has been a game changer, though - I haven't felt any foot pain since I switched. It's pretty excellent.

I've also been going thumbless for basically every barbell movement except for deads, which I think has made a big difference. Suicide grip on the bench feels infinitely better than a thumbed grip for me and I'm really glad I've made the switch. Bench is really starting to feel good, which is great because it's the first time bench has felt good in the entire 1.5-2yrs I've been at this. It's about time!

 

Squat

15x45lbs

5x85lbs

5x105lbs

5x130lbs

5x150lbs

5x170lbs

 

V-Bar Cable Row

5x70lbs

5x90lbs

5x110lbs

5x120lbs

5x130lbs

 

Bench Press

8x45lbs

8x55lbs

8x65lbs

8x70lbs

8x80lbs

 

SLDL

3x10x145lbs (superset with...)

Decline Crunch (practically vertical, really)

3x15

 

Hammer Curls

3x10x20lbs (superset with...)

Lateral Raise

3x10x15lbs

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I've been feeling so strong lately. Scale's stalled again, back down around 130lbs but my lifts are going up so I'm not really complaining. I'll just continue to stuff my face.

New deadlift 5RM again this week - just smashin those lately. Incline press felt awesome today, too... Sessions have been great lately. Just fantastic.

 

Squat

10x45

5x85

5x105

5x130

5x130

 

Incline Press

10x45lbs

8x55lbs

8x65lbs

8x70lbs

8x75lbs

8x75lbs

 

Deadlift

5x135lbs

5x165lbs

5x195lbs

5x215lbs

5x235lbs***

 

Lateral Raise

3x10x15lbs (superset with...)

Hammer Curls

3x10x20lbs

10x15lbs

15x10lbs (apparently this is just how I like to end my sessions every time now haha)

Edited by BeansNBroccoli
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Squat

10x45lbs

5x85lbs

5x115lbs

5x130lbs

5x150lbs

5x170lbs (superset with...)

Hip Thrust

3x10x135lbs

10x155lbs

 

Bench Press

10x45lbs

8x55lbs

8x65lbs

8x70lbs

8x75lbs

8x80lbs

8x80lbs (superset with...)

Cable Row

4x10x100lbs

 

Lateral Raise

3x10x15lbs (superset with...)

Flat Fly

3x10x15lbs

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Nice work on the deadlifts up there! Looking strong! Your shoulders and traps really pop when you roll them back at the top of the lift. Hey, how about this weather... oh wait, nevermind it's cold again.

 

Man, I rode to work today in freezing rain. Wearing my thermals. In the middle of May. This is ridiculous and we deserve such a nice spring/summer for putting up with this hellish never ending winter.

 

 

Squat

10x45lbs

5x85lbs

5x105lbs

5x130lbs

5x135lbs

5x145lbs

 

Deadlift

5x135lbs

5x175lbs

5x205lbs

3x225lbs

 

Leg Press

3x15x360lbs (superset with...)

Cable Row

3x10x106lbs

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ran into some serious meatheads at the gym yesterday that were hogging the squat rack. By which I mean, when I asked him how many sets he had left while he was doing squats, he told me just a couple but then informed me that he still had press and deadlift to do (mind you, the deadlift platforms were both open). Silly me, I thought the squat rack was for, I don't know, SQUATTING. Ergh. I hit leg press instead and my quads are killin today, though, so I didn't let it get me too far down. I just don't like havin to skip squats, I like to get em in every day.

 

Leg Press

4x10x360lbs (superset with...)

Lateral Raise

4x10x15lbs

 

Decline DB Press

4x10x30lbs (superset with...)

Hammer Curls

4x10x20lbs

 

Straight-Arm Pulldown

4x10x80lbs

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My gym is full dumb asses doing curls in the squat rack, they do everything but squat in it. When they do squat it's generally a massively over loaded bar with some guy squatting a quarter of an inch and the rest of the minions standing around going awww!!!

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