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Getting Serious about Getting Big


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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!!!

 

Haha Kora unfortunately I think it's all too common! I don't mind if the meatheads want to stand around and pat each other on the back for shitty squats (feels wrong to even call what they do "squats," tbh), but when it's impeding my ability to get a good session in I tend to feel a little hot under the collar

 

Got my squats today, though!! Stayed up in bodybuilding rep range and modified my normal session quite a bit... I burned my left hand pretty good cooking this weekend (that'll teach me to forget the pan cover was in the oven too... sheesh...) so I won't be deadlifting for a little while until the blisters are gone, I really don't wanna pop em. I used the hammer strength curl machine today too to try to take some stress off my fingers while still hitting biceps and it worked, although I'd very much rather be using free weights and I can't wait to get back to normal sessions. Oh well, letting it heal before hitting it hard will be a shorter wait than if I just went at it and ripped open the blisters, so I'll just have to exercise some patience and serious exercise modification for a bit I've been a little lax in the gym for the past month or so anyway, so I'll just relax through this healing process and come back at it harder than ever when I'm healed. The resting I've been doing has really helped with bulking - I'm back up to 139lbs and a little fluffy (not that I mind) but feeling solid and strong.

 

Squats

15x45lbs

10x135lbs

10x145lbs

3x10x150lbs

 

Incline Press

10x55lbs

4x10x65lbs

 

Straight Arm Pulldown

10x80lbs

4x10x90lbs

 

Hammer Strength Preacher Curls

10x50lbs

10x40lbs

10x35lbs

2x10x30lbs

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Also, I've been pretty good about getting in my daily pull ups lately, hitting around 30-40 pull ups/chin ups every day and they're feeling really strong. I'd rather do pull ups than almost any other upper back/arm exercise and I like that I can do em at home and spread them through the day whenever I feel like it.

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Also, I've been pretty good about getting in my daily pull ups lately, hitting around 30-40 pull ups/chin ups every day and they're feeling really strong. I'd rather do pull ups than almost any other upper back/arm exercise and I like that I can do em at home and spread them through the day whenever I feel like it.

 

I keep the bar up on the doorframe and do some whenever I walk by!

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Was supposed to rest today, got antsy and went in anyway. I'm tired of slackin at the gym. It's time to get back on track.

 

Front Squats

15x45lbs

10x85lbs

2x10x105lbs

10x115lbs

15x75lbs

 

Plate Front Raise

4x10x25lbs

 

Cable Curl

4x12x46lbs

 

Rope Tricep Pushdown

4x12x68lbs

 

Ab Crunch Machine

3x15x75lbs

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The powerlifting gym is closed for the week because Northwestern has a week of summer break (helloooo trimesters), so I had to go to the more bodybuilding-focused gym. I expected it to be pretty empty with most of the students gone... but it was full. Of powerlifters. Apparently everyone else from my gym had the same idea as me and we just took over. It was good to see a bunch of my familiar faces at a less familiar gym. Took it a little easy on deadlifts today to make sure my hand would hold up, also I really don't like the plates that this gym has for deadlifts. Anyway, all went well and I'll be back deadliftin full force next week in my regular gym.

Also, I need to pick and stick with a new program again. Everytime I slip, I slip entirely out of my program, but not entirely out of the gym. Might go back and pickup Starr's 5x5 again, I liked that shit.

 

Snatch-Grip Deadlift

10x45lbs

6x115lbs

6x135lbs

3x6x155lbs

 

Alternating Hammer Preacher Curls

3x10x20lbs

15x15lbs (superset with...)

Lateral Raise

3x10x15lbs

15x12lbs

 

Close Press

10x45lbs

3x10x55lbs (superset with...)

Straight Arm Pushdowns

4x10x84lbs

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Wow, It's been a while since I don't follow your journal, you've improved a lot oO

 

Thanks buddy! I've been workin hard!

 

Decided today to get back on Bill Starr's 5x5 and this time follow it to the letter, with the exception of increasing press volume (my body seems to adapt better with 8 rep sets instead of 5 reps with slightly lower weight). Only deadlifting once a week may not sound ideal to me, but I wanna grow and I'm gonna trust the pros. Squatting 3x/week is pretty excellent consolation for a once/week deadlift, though

Since I'm starting with lower weights that I've been usin to get myself ramped up, I focused really hard on form today. Every single squat was ass to grass. Deadlifts were full resets on the ground. I held each crunch for at least 3 sec. I will make this work for me, and I will get bigger. Weight down to 131lbs today, I don't know how I fluctuate so much constantly... I just wanna get set at 140 and stay there. I suppose it took me a year to put on 10lbs solid enough to stay put, though, so I should be patient. The size will come.

 

 

Squats

10x45lbs

5x85lbs

5x105lbs

2x5x125lbs

 

Incline Bench

8x45lbs

8x55lbs

8x65lbs

8x70lbs

 

Deadlift

8x95lbs

5x135lbs

5x165lbs

5x190lbs

5x220lbs

 

Crunch Machine

3x15x75lbs

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My favorite thing about Starr's 5x5 is that now both times that I've started it, my appetite has skyrocketed immediately. That's exactly what I need to keep gettin in these gainzzz

 

 

Squats

10x45lbs

5x85lbs

5x105lbs

5x125lbs

5x145lbs

3x170lbs

8x125lbs

 

Bench Press

8x45lbs

8x55lbs

8x65lbs

8x75lbs

5x85lbs

10x65lbs

 

Bent Over Row

5x55lbs

5x65lbs

5x70

5x85

3x100

8x75lbs

 

Dips (20lb assistance)

3x5 (superset with...)

Barbell Curls

3x8x60lbs (superset with...)

One Arm Tricep Extensions

3x8x15lbs

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Wasn't sure how today's session would go, went in on a pretty empty stomach and not a ton of sleep but I knocked this one outta the park. I love 5x5, I don't know why I ever let it slip. I've been getting such excellent range of motion lately - all sets of squats completely ATG except the set at 170, but I absolutely broke parallel. Performing all of my lifts much more slowly lately and I feel like it's making a big difference in my form and my development. Bench is steadily improving with my 8rep sets, so pleased. I love lifting so much.

 

Squats

10x45lbs

5x85lbs

5x105lbs

5x125lbs

5x145lbs

5x170lbs

 

Bench Press

8x45lbs

8x55lbs

8x65lbs

8x75lbs

8x80lbs

8x85lbs

 

Bent Over Row

5x55lbs

5x65lbs

5x75

5x85

5x100

 

Crunch Machine

4x15x80lbs (superset with...)

Weighted Hypers

3x10x25lbs

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Shit day in the gym today. I was feeling excellent, really strong. Pressing was easy and smooth. First sets of deadlift felt like they were flying off the floor.

Then I got tapped on the shoulder and told I couldn't lift in my socks. The ONE day I didn't bring backup shoes... so I got in almost no squats and I didn't get to hit my top set for deads and I was just kinda pissed. I understand if it's policy, but it's not posted, and I've been lifting in socks there for weeks now with zero issues. So I had to leave halfway through my session and I hate leaving things half done. I'm still kind of stewing about it, because I was feeling so strong today and I just knew I was going to fly through the rest of my lifts. Damn. Oh, the things I would do for a home gym... I kind of hope that in the next year I might move out of Chicago to somewhere that I can have a backyard for the dog and space to garden and at least a little corner for a rack and a bench. I love the city, but spending so much time out in the country this summer so far has made me really long for some more space in my day to day life...

 

Incline Press

8x45lbs

8x55lbs

8x65lbs

8x75lbs

8x80lbs

 

Deadlift

8x95lbs

5x140lbs

5x170lbs

5x200lbs

 

Squat

5x85lbs

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I kind of hope that in the next year I might move out of Chicago to somewhere that I can have a backyard for the dog and space to garden and at least a little corner for a rack and a bench. I love the city, but spending so much time out in the country this summer so far has made me really long for some more space in my day to day life...

 

This is our plan, almost exactly. I have 18 months until reciprosity kicks in, and we can get out of here. I simply cannot wait. Every time we leave the city, even to the burbs, my heart sinks as we return. I'm just not interested in any of the things one would appreciate while living in the city.

 

Where do you think you might go? We are thinking about Milwaukee, or surrounding area, even as far as Madison. I'm trying to build contacts there, so if there are any friendly law related professionals you know, and wouldn't mind introducing me to, I'd greatly appreciate the help!

 

Solid training btw; always impressive numbers.

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This is our plan, almost exactly. I have 18 months until reciprosity kicks in, and we can get out of here. I simply cannot wait. Every time we leave the city, even to the burbs, my heart sinks as we return. I'm just not interested in any of the things one would appreciate while living in the city.

 

Where do you think you might go? We are thinking about Milwaukee, or surrounding area, even as far as Madison. I'm trying to build contacts there, so if there are any friendly law related professionals you know, and wouldn't mind introducing me to, I'd greatly appreciate the help!

 

Solid training btw; always impressive numbers.

 

Yeah, I've been spending a lot of time in Michigan and Wisconsin with my girlfriend this summer, kind of camping everywhere and it's been just fantastic. I really do still love the city and all of the convenience and amenities and job opportunities... But I think the time is coming where I might be ready to try a little something else. The cost of living here is also just getting pretty obnoxious, and I even live way up in East Rogers Park where things are relatively cheap for the north side.

 

I'm actually from Madison and have quite a few friends up that way, I'll give it some thought to see if I can come up with anyone in a law related position and would be happy to pass along some contact info and help connect if I can! I've been thinking about a lot of different places and haven't really settled on just one... Michigan is a definite possibility, and I've thought about California or even Canada as well. The idea of skipping the country entirely and going overseas is really attractive to me too, but the quarantine protocols for emigrating with dogs are worrisome to me. I'm not sure my little guy could handle being separated from me like that, so it might not even be an option.

No matter which way I decide, my current position here at Northwestern is up at the end of September so that might be just the kick I need to get outta here

 

Also, regarding training, likewise! I always enjoy checkin up on your log!

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That would be so very well appreciated! Thanks for offering!

 

I grew up in SW Missouri, with all the camping, outdoor stuff, boating, etc. involved there. I realized just a few weeks ago that I hadn't mowed a lawn in over 17 years. We've taken a lot of trips out of the city in the past to places in Michigan, Madison, Milwaukee, etc., and I've noticed that I just feel all around better when I'm not in Chicago. I felt totally different about the city in my 20's, though. But now, like you mentioned, I am ready for something new.

 

No way I could make a move without our puppy! Maybe you can register them as therapy companions and bypass the whole quarantine thing. Not sure why it would apply to a full domesticated, and non-reproductive pet. Seems silly.

 

RE: The opportunity to leave . . . If you have the chance, and you're game, I'd suggest getting out. After being here for 15 years, I've come to the realization that the longer one is here, the harder it is to get away. That is, unless you just make a clean break and take off w/o a job or anything set up elsewhere. That's obviously a pretty big risk, and with age, I have become more risk averse. I'm sure your time at Northwestern will suit you well with respect to future employment.

 

Thanks for the remarks. I've been feeling kind of down on my training as of late, but I think I have a plan to re-ignite my interest!

 

Talk to you soon!

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Got in good today. My appetite is completely out of control - I'm constantly ravenous. This weekend is Pride so I'm sure I'll be getting a lot of my calories in liquid form but I'll do what I can to keep the beast fed. I actually just finished a huge sandwich post-workout and I feel like I may have to go in search of more food or at least pound down a protein shake... I just want to eat everything.

 

 

Squat

5x85lbs

5x105lbs

5x130lbs

5x150lbs

5x170lbs (was supposed to be 3x170 but I felt like I had more in me so I kept going)

8x130lbs

 

Bench Press

8x45lbs

8x55lbs

8x65lbs

8x80lbs

5x85lbs

3x90lbs

 

Bent-Over Rows

5x55lbs

5x65lbs

5x75lbs

5x95lbs

3x105lbs

8x75lbs

 

 

Dips (w/18lb resistance)

3x8 (superset with...)

Barbell Curls

3x8x55lbs (superset with...)

One-Arm Tricep Extension

3x8x15lbs

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  • 2 weeks later...

There is little more frustrating to me in the gym than wanting to use the ONE squat rack while some dude quarter reps out set after set and then drops the safeties and ROWS in the rack. Ugh bodybuilding gym. I just want my regular gym with it's three beautiful racks that people are generally smart and polite about using.

More than that I want to move out somewhere with a backyard and get my own squat rack and squat to my heart's content outside. My girlfriend and I are possibly lookin at Gainesville, FL, so if there's anyone here from that area holla! I hear it's full of hippies and vegans and musicians so it might just be paradise. Plus, rent is about... 1/4 of what it is here, and there are actual backyards.

 

Anyway, I took last week off the gym after spending the entirety of Monday and Tuesday sweatin moving heavy boxes and furniture up and down stairs and then the gym was closed Friday... but I'm back at it this week. I really miss the gym when I take that sort of time off, and I'm feelin a little fluffy but today's session was good. BW back at 132 lbs, but it feels so fluffy like a lot of it is water right now... I think I might want to start running a little bit again, just a 5k here and there. We'll see Bench still feeling more solid, a little bit of a grind at the end of the 85lb set but I know my form is spot on and I'm feelin strong.

 

 

Bent Over Rows

5x55lbs

5x65lbs

5x75lbs

5x95lbs

5x105lbs

 

Bench Press

8x45lbs

8x55lbs

8x65lbs

8x80lbs

8x85lbs

 

Crunch Machine

4x15x80lbs (superset with...)

Weighted Hypers

3x10x25lbs

 

Squat

10x45lbs

5x85lbs

5x105lbs

5x130lbs

5x150lbs

5x165lbs (was written out for 5x170, but at the end of my session I didn't think I could put that much up... really need to do squats first but so difficult when it's so crazy busy in the gym. doesn't everyone else know today is supposed to be their bench day so that I can work in my squats in peace? )

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Best thing I ever did after we moved was spring $250 on some plates, rack, olympic bar and ez bar off of Craigslist. I doubt I could ever go back to a regular gym, even with some of the extra equipment I used there that I don't have at home (like the battle ropes). I got so sick of the typica gym stuff, like the attitudes, disrespect of the equipment, etc. Even the extras at a gym cannot outweigh the freedom of being able to train whenever at home. Only problem is that buying more weights is expensive as hell.

 

My BW has been climbing over the last month or so as well, and I hope it's all muscle, but likely some fat as well. I have been thinking about adding in some running, or getting a bicycle. However, I'd be lying if I said I looked forward to running or riding anywhere near here. I'd much prefer riding in the burbs, or out at some place like Busiek Park (Schaumburg).

 

I don't know anyone in Gainesville, but I'll ask around if someone I know does. My parents live in Cape Canaveral and like it ok, but I think you'd prefer something a little more progressive. Did you think of anyone I could speak to in Madison? I'd still really appreciate any contacts you might be able to share.

 

Have a solid week!

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Best thing I ever did after we moved was spring $250 on some plates, rack, olympic bar and ez bar off of Craigslist. I doubt I could ever go back to a regular gym, even with some of the extra equipment I used there that I don't have at home (like the battle ropes). I got so sick of the typica gym stuff, like the attitudes, disrespect of the equipment, etc. Even the extras at a gym cannot outweigh the freedom of being able to train whenever at home. Only problem is that buying more weights is expensive as hell.

 

My BW has been climbing over the last month or so as well, and I hope it's all muscle, but likely some fat as well. I have been thinking about adding in some running, or getting a bicycle. However, I'd be lying if I said I looked forward to running or riding anywhere near here. I'd much prefer riding in the burbs, or out at some place like Busiek Park (Schaumburg).

 

I don't know anyone in Gainesville, but I'll ask around if someone I know does. My parents live in Cape Canaveral and like it ok, but I think you'd prefer something a little more progressive. Did you think of anyone I could speak to in Madison? I'd still really appreciate any contacts you might be able to share.

 

Have a solid week!

 

Yeah, the "typical gym stuff" can be such a downer. I just wanna get in and move some heavy stuff around, I don't mind working in and sharing equipment, but it seems like most people have such an attitude. Whatever, I'll have my own home gym soon enough and until then I'll work my ass off with what I've got

 

I ride every day for my commute but it's just not feelin like enough lately. I tried to take the dogs out for a quick 5K on Tuesday (up through Evanston - I also don't like running in the city), and they dragged so hard that it took us 45 minutes. Clearly they need conditioning too So I'm going to try to get them used to running with me and maybe I can get us down to my normal 5K time

 

My buddy from Madison that I was planning on hooking you up with has actually moved himself up to the Twin Cities, I found out last week. I'll keep thinking though!

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Wednesday's session was good. Paused all the squats, ass to grass. Press is feeling strong. I'm really enjoying 5x5 right now but finding myself looking for some more volume... I think after another month or two of this, especially if I'm somewhere where I can have a home gym and train at home, I might switch up to more of a 5 day bodybuilding program. We'll see

 

Squats

10x45lbs

5x90lbs

5x110lbs

2x5x130lbs

 

Incline Bench

8x45lbs

8x55lbs

8x65lbs

8x75lbs

8x80lbs

 

Deadlift

5x145lbs

5x170lbs

5x200lbs

5x230lbs

 

Roman Chair Leg Raise

3x10 (superset with...)

Lateral Raise

3x10x15lbs

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nice deadlift @ 5x230lbs!

did you use straps ?

 

Thanks!! And nope, no straps for that one. Here, I uploaded the video

I actually really dislike using straps and only use them if I absolutely have to, which usually only happens if I'm doing snatch grip deadlifts with heavy weights.

 

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Today was so good. I feel huge and awesome.

 

Bench Press

8x45lbs

8x55lbs

8x65lbs

8x80lbs

5x90lbs

10x75lbs

 

Barbell Rows

5x55lbs

5x65lbs

5x80lbs

5x90lbs

3x110lbs

8x95lbs

 

Squatsssss

10x45lbs

5x85lbs

5x110lbs

5x130lbs

5x150lbs

3x175lbs

8x130lbs

 

Tricep Dips (NO ASSISTANCE, I'M SUCH A BADASS)

3x5 (superset with...)

Barbell Curls

3x8x60lbs (superset with...)

One-Arm Tricep Extension

3x8x15lbs

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I've been feelin so strong, and getting bigger. Weight pretty stable around 135 these days, give or take a couple pounds. All my lifts are still going up. 5x5 is the best.

 

Squats

10x45lbs

5x90lbs

5x110lbs

5x130lbs

5x150lbs

5x175lbs

 

Bench Press

8x50lbs

8x60lbs

8x70lbs

8x80lbs

8x85lbs

 

Barbell Row

5x55lbs

5x65lbs

5x80lbs

5x95lbs

5x110lbs

 

Crunch Machine

4x15x85lbs (superset with..)

Weighted Hypers

3x10x30lbs

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Wednesday was big. Today was huge. I've been hitting it so hard. I am so, so sore today, and have been since Wednesday's session. The deadlifts really took it out of me, and despite rollin out for days I'm still sore. I'm sure it's a good idea to only hit deads 1x/week so that I can go really heavy and then recover, but I still miss deadlifting with higher volume. Oh well, I'm gettin stronger and that's what's important. I gotta trust the process.

 

New PRs this week for 3RM on squat and barbell rows. Press is feeling really strong, I know I'm getting better on it.

 

 

Wednesday's Session

 

Squats

10x45lbs

5x90lbs

5x110lbs

2x5x135lbs

 

Incline Bench

8x45lbs

8x55lbs

8x70lbs

8x80lbs

6x85lbs (shot for 8 and had to dump this one, but still happy with it, much improvement being made)

 

Deadlift

5x155lbs

5x175lbs

5x205lbs

5x235lbs

 

Crunch Machine

3x20x65lbs

 

 

Friday's Session

 

Squat

2x10x45lbs (2 sets, one back squat and one front squat while I waited for the rack to open up)

5x90lbs

5x110lbs

5x130lbs

5x155lbs

3x180lbs (hit parallel, so pleased, new PR!!)

8x145lbs

 

Bench Press

8x50lbs

8x60lbs

8x70lbs

8x80lbs

4x90lbs (was shooting for 5, but without a spotter didn't want to chance the fifth. still progress!)

10x75lbs

 

Barbell Rows

5x55lbs

5x65lbs

5x85lbs

5x100lbs

3x115lbs

8x85lbs

 

Tricep Dip

3x5 (superset with...)

Barbell Curls

8x60lbs

8x55lbs

10x50lbs (superset with...)

One-Arm Tricep Extension

3x8x15lbs

 

Lateral Raise

2x15x12lbs (superset with...)

Hammer Curls

2x15x12lbs

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Had kind of a shitty session today. Not entirely sure why, but I suppose if I have one off day when most of my days feel spot on, I should just feel happy about it. Haven't slept super well the past few nights, that probably has some effect. Oh well, went as hard as I could and I'll be back in Friday to smash some more. Went for the 5x5 with press today, and I might go back to that rather than the 5x8 that I've been running. It felt good, and I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable with weight over head so I think I'll be better equipped to handle heavier, lower rep sets now.

Deadlift warm up sets felt really good, but the last set was a rough one. I hit the first three reps with a little difficulty, but the fourth rep I broke off the ground and couldn't lock out. I've never had an issue of locking out after breaking the weight, every time I've previously failed a deadlift was due to not being able to break the weight off the ground. Of course I'll revisit 5x240lbs next week, hopefully with a better session goin.

Also, I still hate doing ab work.

 

Squat

10x45lbs

5x95lbs

5x115lbs

2x5x135lbs

 

Incline Bench Press

5x50lbs

5x60lbs

5x70lbs

5x80lbs

5x85lbs

 

Deadlift

5x150lbs

5x180lbs

5x210lbs

3x240lbs

 

Crunch Machine

3x20x70lbs

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