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Posts posted by VeganEssentials

  1. Been out of commission this past few days. On Wednesday I was working in the warehouse for a bit and out of nowhere, boom, it felt like someone stabbed me in the side. Pain has been nagging for the past 3 days now, no idea what brought it on as I was just walking back to a packing station (admittedly, with a 22 lb. bag of cat food balanced on top of my head ), a minute later, it all came on without any straining, heavy lifting, or anything else. Since then, it's pretty much constant minor to major discomfort, can't do much other than sit or walk, and even those two things can be touch-and-go for how much they hurt at times.


    I felt a small tweak when I was doing my squats last week, didn't give me any grief at that time, but I may have strained or torn something in that time. Basically, if feels like someone is knifing me just underneath my bottom left rib from the back side, sometimes I'm fine then it'll knock the wind out of me and I'll wince in pain.


    Not a fun little thing to deal with, and I'm sure I'll be sidelined for a few more days, but that's life I guess. Lifting will resume once I'm back in action!

  2. Quick deadlift / shoulder workout last night -


    Did some alternating sets of GVT-style light deadlifts with standing overhead presses with the axle as follows:


    Warm up -

    Deadlift 1x5 @ 135 lbs., 1x5 @ 225

    Axle press 1x10 @ empty 55 lb. axle, 1x3 @ 145 lbs., 1x1 @ 165


    Working sets -

    Deadlifts - 10x10 @ 315 lbs.

    Axle presses - 9x5 @ 195 lbs., done in clusters of 3 reps, rest 30 seconds, 2 reps to finish, last set I was totally gassed for having any overhead pressing strength left and cut one set short.


    Wrapped up with just a bit of light assistance stuff -

    Core Blaster swings (like a kettlebell-style swing with T-shaped handle device), 2x15 @ 85 lbs.

    Cable tower kneeling ab crunches, 2x25 @ full stack

    Cable tower pull-througs with 2-handled Spud strap (more comfortable than 2 handled rope), 2x20 @ 120 lbs.

    DeFranco shoulder circuit x 3 (10 reps 45 lb. plate front raises, 10 reps 20 lb. DB side lateral raises, 10 reps DB shrug, clean and press @ 30 lb. DBs)


    Kept things moving pretty well, was totally spent afterward, will be in for upper back work again tomorrow!

  3. Changed gears with my upper back work last night, did some circuit stuff with shorter breaks to have fun and switch things up a bit -


    First circuit was 5 pull-ups, walk over to steel log and do 5 rows with 220 lbs., then walk to the stone loading platform and put the 190 lb. stone on the 4' tall platform for 5 reps. Did this for 5 sets with 2 minutes rest between each, definitely a good exercise in conditioning even though it wasn't terribly tough for the sets, they really kept me moving.


    Next circuit was V-handle seated rows with 10 reps @ 200 lbs, then Vogelphol pulldowns for 10 reps @ 100 lbs. (sort of a straight-arm style standing pulldown with 2-handled rope on cable tower), then face down on incline bench DB front raises for 15 reps @ 25 lb. DBs. Did 3 rounds with 90 seconds between sets.


    Third up was a shrug and upper trap focused circuit of 50 Safety squat bars Hise shrugs @ 330 lbs, then two handled rope on cable tower face pulls with 120 lbs. with a 3 second hold at full contraction for 10 reps, then dip shrugs for 50 reps @ bodyweight. 3 sets done with only about 60 seconds between sets.


    Wrapped up with two rounds of ab work (25 hanging knee raises) and 2 sets of DB hammer cheat curls, 1x15 @ 60 lb. DB each arm and 1x10 @ 70 lb. DB each arm.


    Got through everything in 1 hour flat, nice to have a shorter session, will be doing lower back and overhead pressing when I get back in this weekend!

  4. Hey, Robert!


    Would have been nice if I'd been able to make it to Expo, too bad I had to pull out at the last minute


    Didn't get to train for a week again, got in for some leg/chest work last night to try and pick up where I left off -


    Squats to parallel -

    1x5 @ empty bar

    1x5 @ 135 lbs.

    1x3 @ 225

    1x2 @ 275

    1x2 @ 315

    1x1 @ 345

    5x2 @ 375


    Flat medium-width grip bench with axle superset with close-grip bar with chains -

    1x10 @ empty 55 lb. axle

    1x5 @ 145 lbs.

    1x3 @ 195

    1x2 @ 215

    1x1 @ 235

    1x1 @ 255

    1x1 @ 275

    1x8, 7, 6 @ 220, after each set, would do 1x10 close-grip bench with 30 lbs. of chain resistance each side (about 85 lbs. bottom tension with some chain resting on ground, about 105 lbs. at lockout)


    Safety bar squats to below parallel, fast explode up every rep -

    3x10 @ 210 lbs.


    10" diameter log bench press in power rack, starting from bottom position, dead stop touching chest for 1-2 seconds every rep -

    3x10 @ 175 lbs.


    Lying plate-loaded leg curls -

    2x20 @ 100 lbs.


    DB flyes to stretch out -

    2x20 @ 25 lbs.


    That was it, not going nuts in the gym right now and taking it easy, but may start training more seriously for powerlifting again next month if my schedule opens up a bit more!

  5. Lost a week due to long work nights, got back in last night for some shoulders/upper back work -


    Standing overhead press with axle -

    1x10 @ empty 55 lb. axle

    1x5 @ 145 lbs.

    1x2 @ 165 lbs.

    Changed to cluster sets at this point, 3 clusters of 3 reps per set for 9 total reps each time -

    3 sets @ 185 lbs, 20 seconds between clusters

    2 sets @ 185, 30 seconds between clusters

    Realized I was close to 50 reps total, did 2 more clusters in 1 set and knocked out 51 reps in total.


    Barbell rows -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs.

    1x5 @ 185

    1x5 @ 235

    3x10 @ 255


    V-handle t-bar rows with barbell wedged into corner -

    3x15 @ 220 lbs.


    Face down on incline bench DB strict rows -

    3x20 @ 70 lb DBs.


    DeFranco shoulder circuit (10 reps 45 lb. plate front raise, 10 reps 20 lb. DB side raises, 10 reps DB shrug, clean and press)

    3 rounds with 2 minutes rest between each.


    That was it, just getting back in to get on course this week, leg training soon!

  6. Quick upper back day, tired and felt like I was sleepwalking until I was done, not the best, but it was all I could manage today -


    Pull-ups -

    1x5 @ bodyweight (215 clothed)

    1x5 @ 45 lbs. added

    3x6 @ 70 lbs. added (done as singles with 3-5 seconds between reps)

    2x15 @ bodyweight (done as 10, rest 10 seconds, 5 reps to finish each set)


    Prowler rows in parking lot with short straight bar handle -

    3x25 @ 600 lbs.

    1x50 @ 430 lbs. (had to drag it back uphill to where I started, did 35 reps, rest 15 seconds, 10 reps, rest 10 seconds, 5 to finish)


    Cable rows with straight bar, wide grip pulled to sternum -

    3x20 @ 200 lbs.


    Wrapped up with some light assistance work.


    Face down on incline bench front DB raises -

    1x10 @ 40 lb. DBs

    1x15 @ 30

    1x20 @ 20

    1x30 @ 10


    Band pull-aparts



    1-arm overhead DB shrugs -

    2x40 @ 80 lb. DB


    Called it a day, legs on Tuesday!

  7. Quick chest & lower back day -


    Pause deadlifts (pull to md shin, hold for 2-3 seconds, finish pull fast)

    2x5 @ 135 lbs

    2x5 @ 225

    2x5 @ 275

    5x5 @ 315

    Working on weak point assistance this week.


    Flat bench with axle -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs

    1x5 @ 195

    5x5 @ 235


    Good mornings w/ black band under feet and behind neck


    Superset with glute/ham raises



    Close-grip bench wit axle

    3x15 @ 150 lbs


    Hanging knee raises -



    Slingshot push-ups

    1x40 @ bodyweight


    In and out in an hour, will be doing upper back and event work tomorrow or Sunday!

  8. Very interesting. I know I have gained a good 2 pounds in the last two and a half weeks. This could be due to increase in glycogen stores, but I have not been staying hydrated which is horrible and I have not gained any fat. Now I am stagnant. I need money so I can buy food and get in the gym, or I will not get much bigger.

    Not staying hydrated can actually cause you to gain water weight, since your body is desperate to retain it. You can easily put on a few pounds that way, too.


    Very true. Water weight fluctuates so greatly from day to day, the only way to REALLY know lean mass gains are to get regular 6-site bodyfat calipers testing (or, one of the other methods that are accurate, though usually too expensive for most people). Water definitely factors in, as I can vary in weight by up to 6 lbs. in a 24 hour period just from a change in water retention or depletion without even trying. It's precisely the reason that most people should never use a scale frequently as a gauge of progress, since water throws the whole thing off by a considerable margin and often gets misplaced blame or consideration for being fat or muscle gain/loss when it's simply water, and that most people will see such a minor change over a week's time that it probably wouldn't register at all.

  9. Are you talking about the Hack squat as in the "reverse deadlift" style with the bar behind you?


    If so, I can see how it might have a bit of a lat tug for some people, especially those with shorter arms and longer legs or torsos, as your leverages might give a different feel to the lift and cause a different sensation in the lats from the different positioning/mechanics of the lift.


    Tought to say, though!

  10. Lots of varying factors (age, genetics, diet, how you train, etc.), but on average, most people who train who have been doing so for a short time might be fortunate enough to put on a few lbs. per month in their first year, but will likely eventually slow to the normal rate of 0.5 to 1 lb. per month that most people eventually get to without tons of supplements, steroids, or eating so much that they get more fat than muscle.


    Pro bodybuilder Art Atwood (RIP) once told me, during his natural days about 18 years ago, that he was lucky to add 1 lb. per month, and this was a guy who weighed something like 225 with 6% bodyfat at about 5'7" at the time, he looked absolutely massive. Said that he eventually found a prohormone supplement that helped him put on 3-4 lbs. per month for 3 months before it stopped working (this was the mid 90s, no telling what was actually in them back then), but he always claimed that for anyone who isn't fairly new to training, 1 lb. of lean mass per month means most people are getting about all they can out of their training.

  11. Forgotten to log workouts for a bit, haven't been at my computer(s) as much lately, so updates are sparse.


    Leg day 3 days ago, worked up to 5x2 @ 375 for squats for heavier stuff and axle overhead presses done heavy, 5 cluster sets of 3 reps w/ 30 seconds between reps @ 210 lbs. That's all I remember from it, did some upper back work tonight -


    Barbell rows with 10" diameter steel log -

    1x5 @ 165 lbs.

    1x5 @ 195 lbs.

    3x15 @ 220 lbs., just tired and sucking wind at the end, but back felt plenty strong for more


    V-handle sled rows with Prowler in parking lot -

    3x30 @ 500 lbs., doing more of a middle back/lower trap squeeze on reps than pure lat rowing

    Alternated with

    4x25 red band pull-aparts while resting


    Split stance standing low cable row -

    3x20 @ 130 lbs. each arm

    Alternated with

    Safety squat bar Hise shrugs, 4x25 @ 420 lbs.


    Wrapped up with lighter weight stone loads, 170 lb. stone to 4' tall platform -


    Alternated with

    Face down on 20 degree incline bench DB front raises, 1x10 @ 30 lb. DBs, 1x20 @ 20 lb, 1x30 @ 10 lb.


    Called it a day after that, will be deadlifting on Wednesday!

  12. Forgot to log a leg session a few days ago, just did a fairly easy 350 for 5x5 squat session along with some mediocre benching (already forgot what it was) and that was it.


    Some upper back and other stuff today -


    10" diameter steel log rows -

    1x5 @ 125 lbs.

    1x5 @ 175

    1x12 @ 225

    1x12 @ 235

    1x12 @ 245

    1x12 @ 255, did 10, had to catch my breath for 10 seconds, 2 reps to finish


    650 lb. tire flips -

    2x10, 1x12 (last set, had to flip a few uphill back to the starting point, not fun for how tired I was)


    Weighted ultra-wide grip pull-ups -

    4x8 @ 30 lbs. added on


    Wanted to do some stone lifting, but was getting burned out fast at this point, so changed plans a bit -


    Circuit of v-handle rows with black thick bank tied to top of squat rack (about 110 lbs. at start, about 170 lbs. tension at finish of each pull)

    3x25, would do one set, then over to...


    Cable face pulls w/ 3 second hold and squeeze at top of rep -

    3x12 @ 150 lbs., then over to


    Red band pull-aparts, 3x25


    Rest only 60 seconds between circuits. Then it was a last superset for 2 rounds with


    Hangling knee raises from pull-up bar, 2x25 superset with

    10" steel log curls (75 lbs), 2x20


    Called it a day at that point, will be getting back in for some overhead work and deadlifts on Tuesday!

  13. Upper back and event work today.


    Wide grip pull-ups -

    3x8 @ bodyweight

    After each set of 8, I'd chalk up and do 12 barbell rows with the axle @ 225 lbs with about 20 seconds between the change, then 2 minutes rest between sets


    Prowler rows out it the parking lot -

    2x25 @ 525 lb loaded Prowler, one set with V handle, one with short straight triceps pressdown bar


    650 lb tire flips -



    Took my time after about 6 flips on each set, resting up to 10 seconds between flips as needed


    TRX style inverted rows -

    3x25 @ bodywieght, circuit with

    3x20 band pull-a parts, with

    3x25 overhead axle shrugs in the power rack @ 235 lbs., rest 90 seconds and repeat


    Wrapped up by dragging the 525 lb sled back to the facility for 150 feet with the Ironmind pulling harness, and I was wiped out.


    Tomorrow is rest, then legs on Monday or Tuesday!

  14. Shoulder and deadlift work tonight -


    Axle power clean and press (clean once, press all reps)

    1x5 @ 145 lbs.

    1x3 @ 165

    1x2 @ 185

    1x4 @ 200

    1x3 @ 205

    1x2 @ 210

    Missed the clean on 215, stopped going up there, just did 2x5 @ 175 practicing power jerk technique and that was it for overhead today.


    Deadlifts -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs.

    1x5 @ 225

    1x3 @ 275

    1x3 @ 315

    1x2 @ 365

    3x8 @ 405


    Circuits of thoracic-focus safety squat good mornings alternated with ab work -

    3x30 @ 145 for the GMs

    1x20 ab wheel roll outs, 1x30 kneeling cable crunches @ 130 lbs., 1x25 hanging knee raises


    Done, in and out fast, upper back and event stuff in a day or two as soon as life slows down a bit!

  15. Everyone responds to varying macronutrient ratios differently - I'd feel like crap on 80/10/10 (similar macro plans years ago left me feeling bloated and sluggish all the time, I don't do massive amounts of carbohydrates well), but some people thrive on it. Only way to know if it will work for you is to experiment, but personally, I know it's a terrible plan for those like myself who fare much better with higher protein and fat intake and far lower on the carbohydrates.

  16. Had a mediocre upper back and shoulder workout a few days ago, didn't log, but only eventful thing was trying Landmine 1-arm overhead presses, worked up to 145x5 per arm(125 + estimated 20 lbs. of bar weight in hand), but that was about it, took the day pretty easy aside from that.


    Legs and chest for a pretty simple "get my ass back in gear" session last night, lots of sets, lower reps, medium weight, just hammering things home again to get back in the groove -


    Dumbbell flat bench press -

    1x5 @ 50 lb DBs

    1x5 @ 75s

    10x5 @ 100s


    Alternated with barbell squats to parallel -

    1x5 @ empty bar

    1x5 @ 135 lbs.

    1x5 @ 225

    1x2 @ 275

    10x5 @ 315

    Felt easy enough, just keeping up with the squats again after the layoff for a bit


    Also, did 5x20 band pull-aparts between the alternating squat/bench sets as well for good measure.


    Close-grip flat barbell bench press -

    2x20 @ 135 lbs.


    Lying down plate-loaded leg curls -

    2x20 @ 130 lbs.


    Hanging knee raises -



    Wrapped up with something different, heard of some Westside trainees who do hip belt squat walks for some added lower body stability work, basically, attach the hip squat belt to the EZ curl bar, squat it up about 6-8", then talk a walk with it. Definitely hits the glutes, abductors/adductors and lots of small musculature with it, did a 200 ft. walk with 220 lbs. and 150 feet with 290 lbs. before the belt kept slipping off, need to re-thread the whole thing again to keep it solid for next time.


    Will be doing some upper back and event work tomorrow or Wednesday, getting in some tire flips, sled drags and stone work whenever I get back in again. Weight is officially down to 211 and holding now, feels weird to be this "small" but fat loss is still going slow but steady so it's moving in the right direction. A few more months of clean eating and then it'll be time for putting on some quality mass again in the winter!

  17. Lower and middle back work tonight -


    Deadlifts off 5" blocks, bar just barely scraping the tops of my shoes -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs

    1x5 @ 225

    1x5 @ 315

    5x5 @ 370

    Tough, especially on the first rep, will be throwing these in from time to time


    Rack deadlifts from 16", about 4" below the top of the knee -

    1x2 @ 225 lbs

    1x2 @ 315

    1x2 @ 405

    1x1 @ 445

    1xfail @ 500, bar moved a bit but got dizzy and stopped there, too much caffeine today


    Safety squat thoracic good mornings (rather than pus hips back, more focus on rounding the upper back and then extending to flat back upright position)

    2x25 @ 150 lbs, done standing

    2x25 @ 150 lbs, done seated


    Cable face pulls with 5 second hold at end of pull -

    3x10 @ 150 lbs.


    Front squat holds (rack bar in front squat position, walk out from pins, hold for time and re-rack) -

    1x15 seconds @ 315 lbs

    1x15 seconds @ 335

    1x15 seconds @ 375

    1x15 seconds @ 400


    Called it a day after that, should be doing shoulders and upper back soon!

  18. Felt good for the first time in weeks, had to get back in the gym and make use of it!


    Rows with 10" diameter steel log -

    1x5 @ 75 lb empty log

    1x5 @ 125 lbs

    1x5 @ 175

    1x8 @ 235

    1x8 @ 250

    1x8 @ 265

    1x8 @ 280

    1x20 @ 185

    Felt great with these tonight, quite happy with how it ended up


    Tire flips, 650 lb tire -



    V-handle rows with thick Elite FTS black band -

    4x20, tension about 130 lbs at start, about 180 at finish of pull

    Superset with cable face pulls, 4x20 @ 140 lbs


    Stone loads to 4' tall platform, chalk only -

    3x10 @ 170 lb stone, superset with band pull-aparts, 3x20


    Definitely a nice day of training, but I already feel sore as hell only 4 hours later, tomorrow ought to be fun!

  19. Legs and chest last night -


    Barbell flat benching with axle -

    1x5 @ empty axle

    1x5 @ 145 lbs.

    1x3 @ 195

    5x5 @ 220

    3x8 @ 200


    Squats to just below parallel, high volume to get form back after a few weeks off -

    1x5 @ 135

    1x5 @ 185

    10x10 @ 225, just lots and lots of light rep work


    Incline bench with axle -

    1x10 @ 150

    1x15 @ 125

    1x20 @ 105


    Wrapped up with 3 circuits of the following:

    Lying leg curls, 15 @ 150 lbs.

    Incline DB flyes, 25 @ 25 lbs.

    Hanging knee raises, 15 reps


    That was it, keeping simple for now, but might try something like The Cube program in a few weeks if I can get things together again!

  20. Experiment with stance more, drop the weight for a bit, and keep playing around with your footing until you REALLY find the position that works best for you. Sometimes a slight change to stance width and foot angle can make a really big difference, and some people never experiment enough to ever really find their optimal groove because they settle into sub-par positioning and keep with it.


    The wider the stance, the more important it is to angle feet outward, push the knees out, and learn to use your hips (squatting wide powerlifting style is almost nothing like a normal bodybuilding squat). Narrower stances are better for many people with feet only slightly angled, as too much flaring outward can shift things and cause knees to cave in. I've seen a LOT worse than what you have going on, I think that with more experimentation, you'll figure things out in due time.


    But, definitely do not skip the assistance work, be sure to roll out your quads/hams/hips before squatting, and trying things like paused bottom squats, partials, rock-bottom squats, etc will all help in their own way, but first things first, I'd suggest really working on your stance to find what's 100% most comfortable and you'll likely see some improvement as you build on it.

  21. Been away for a bit, life has been a bit rough lately for people/animals I care for/about, so I lost a few weeks of training due to various situations. Got back in two nights ago for upper back and shoulder work -


    Pull-ups -

    1x5 @ bodyweight (217 clothed)

    5x5 @ 45 lbs. added, dead hang all reps for 2 seconds at bottom


    Axle clean and press (clean once, press all reps) -

    1x10 @ empty axle

    1x5 @ 145 lbs.

    1x5, 6, 7, 8, 7, 6, 5 @ 170 lbs.


    Barbell rows with axle -

    3x10 @ 225 lbs.


    Incline bench with axle, 1 second pause on chest all reps -

    3x6 @ 165 lbs.


    Face down on 30 degree incline bench DB rows, both arms same time -

    3x15 @ 80 lb. DBs

    Superset with band pull-aparts, 3x20


    Keeping it simple and a bit lighter for a while, stress levels off the charts and not eating enough, gotta find my balance again and get things in place soon.


    Squatting tonight, maybe some chest work if I feel like throwing it in!

  22. Lower back day last night -


    Deadlifts -

    1x5 @ 135 lbs

    1x5 @ 225

    1x3 @ 275

    1x2 @ 315

    1x2 @ 365

    1x2 @ 405

    2x6 @ 430


    Snatch grip deadlifts off 6" blocks -

    2x10 @ 315 lbs


    Snatch grip deadlifts off blocks to high pull, shrugging as hard as possible on 2nd pull -

    2x12 @ 225 lbs


    Barbell hip thrusts, 2x15 @ 225 lbs, superset with dip shrugs 2x50 @ bodyweight (218.5 lbs clothed)


    Final work was 2 circuits of the following -

    Dimmel deadlifts, 2x35 @ 135 lbs

    Shrugs using handles on old bench press machine, 2x50 @ 350 (full stack)

    Hanging knee raises, 3x15


    Too hot to do anything else, gym was like an oven, will get to overhead pressing and other stuff tomorrow!

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