May 31, 2011

May 31, 2011 Cut Nutrition Update

OK, so I'm at Step 10 now, and on conditioning days I do low4.  I went much lower on fat than I had been.  I left those levels ridiculously high for some reason, I was so focused on carbs that I never thought about lowering my fat.  I think that's why my cut progress slowed down.  Step 9 was where I was at, and Low3 was where I was on conditioning days.  You can see the huge difference in fat.  I've been doing it for a week and I already can see a difference.

But that's what's great about experience.  Just like next time I cut I know I can drop calories much faster (if I ever go to 4000 again, which I doubt), and I know I should raise carbs more, not fat more next bulk, now I also know that when cutting I need to walk fat down as well.

May 31, 2011

weight: 213

  • BB Squats: 300*5 300*3
  • Leg Press: 450*10 540*7
  • Slow Standing Calf Press: 120*10
  • Elevated-foot Rope Pullups: 10, 10
  • Rope Pullups: 4,3
  • Battling Ropes: 20, 26
  • Rope Slams: 20

a bit burnt from Memorial Day. Nothing serious, but I'm still a bit dehydrated, and my legs almost cramped on the squatting. Decided to do some other stuff instead, I'll get back to business next week on squatting. The rope pullups were fun, I'm thoroughly enjoying them. Battling ropes and rope slams numbers are the number of times the rope hit the floor, in the case of battling ropes that's how many times each end side the floor.

May 29, 2011

  • 28 KG KB Swing Tabata: 12,12,12,12,12,12,12,11
  • High+Low Box Jumps (34"): 30, 25, 20 Caught shin under box on 16th jump of last set.
  • Palloff Presses: 50*3
  • Rope Slams: 30, 25

notes: Good tabata. Box jumps went well. It's still intimidating getting up the nerve to jump on them. I did a little research on what a decent vertical jump is, and according to this: The population average for vertical jumps is 19.5, and I'm doing 14.5" more than that for repeated plyos. All of them are done from a dead stop as well, so there's no double bouncing/jumping going on here either. It's very taxing, but I do like it. When I was about 170 several years ago I had my vert. tested and I hit 41.5". Still though, it's a bit scary because I have this box I gotta jump onto, and if I screw it up I could face-plant. I almost experienced this on my 16th jump of my last set here. as I came up I somehow caught my right shin flush against the underside of the platform, and ended up putting my hands on top of it to brace myself, which only meant the box didn't move as my shin smashed into it. I thought I snapped my leg for a few seconds there. My entire shin was black & blue within 20 seconds after, and couldn't really support my weight too well. I did a few more jumps but had to stop, truthfully I probably should've stopped after the injury. I moved on to other exercises, but kept it short. Oddly enough the bruising was completely gone within 8 hours, and all that remained was the damage to my skin from where the box tore it open.

May 27, 2011

  • BB DL: 335*10 345*10 355*10
  • DB Jump Deads: 40*6 40*7
  • Bat Wings: 30*6 30*5
  • Chins: BW*7 BW*5
  • Rope Slams: 25, 25

Well that was fun. I really enjoy jump deads, I feel explosive when I do them. The bat wings feel like they're helping as well. I think I'm noticeably standing up straighter when I sit at my desk and type. Probably should've done the chins first though, I was pretty taxed by the time I got to them here. I'm adding a metabolic component to each workout now as well, and since I love the rope I did rope slams here. I think even when this cut is done I'll still keep the metabolic stuff going, it's fun, I honestly think I like it as much as the weighted portion of my workouts.

May 26, 2011

Weight: 214 lbs

  • BB Incline: 210*11 210*8 215*6 220*4
  • Pullups: bw*9 BW*7 BW*5
  • DB Incline: 100*5
  • DB Rows: 110*6 110*6

Good workout! Really killed the incline work; I think it's because I didn't get to flat bench earlier this week...still felt great!

May 25, 2011

Sprints: 115m, 115m, 100m, 100m, 100m, 100m

So I woke up, drank some protein & water, then went to Harvard's track. It's pretty nice. I warmed up and then began sprinting. I had a bit of trouble interpreting the markings on the track apparently though. After the 2nd sprint I did I asked a coach who had his people running a bit on the other side of the track where 100m was, and apparently I was doing 15 extra meters. Whoops. Man I am slow. My 100s were around 15-16 seconds. That's ok though, I'll get better. After the first 115m I thought "hmm I'll have to go to the gym later for some more conditioning work". By my 3rd sprint that went out the window. Wow. Brutal.

On my 2nd to last sprint I was standing around after I finished it, feeling a cool breeze blowing across the track. A bunch of those helicopters that come off of maple trees fluttered towards me, like 500 of them. They were over my head and around me. I thought to myself that it was odd...then I noticed the buzzing. Yeah I was surrounded by a swarm of bees. I calmly walked a little ways away and then ran back to the start line. The bees left shortly thereafter. I did one more sprint, and was absolutely exhausted. I was still tired 45 minutes later after showering and having a shake. I sat in the air conditioning in my room and just relaxed. My legs, still a tad sore previous to running, were absolutely annihilated, especially at the insertion point of the quad at the knee. I immediately scheduled a massage for later in the day. The girl was this skinny chick and going in I thought "ah man...this ain't gonna work. As usual, I was completely wrong. This girl gave me the best deep tissue/ sports massage work that I've EVER had. I was almost in tears when she was working out the tense areas on my quads. I'm still sore now, but it's much more manageable.

May 24, 2011

  • BB Squats: 270*11 285*9 300*7 300*3
  • Pistol Squats: BW*2
  • Slow Standing Calf Press: 100*10 120*10
  • Feet Elevated Rope Pullups: BW*10 BW*9

Didn't work out yesterday on account of getting my Master's :). Getting closer on 300 for 10 on squatting. I feel like I'm still accumulating strength here. Next week 275, 285, and 300 I suppose. Pistol Squats....yeah can't do them for shit. Not sure if I'm going to keep doing them, kinda hurt my joints. The calf pressing was done suuuper slow. Did more pullups. I think I'm going to start doing sets of 5 reps of pullups between sets.

May 22, 2011

  • 24 KG KB Swing Tabata: 12,12,13,12,12,12,12,12
  • Med+Low Box Plyo Jumps+10 lbs (27.75"): 20,18,15
  • High+low Box Jumps (34"): 1, 15
  • Palloff Presses: 60*3
  • Rope Slams: 20, 16

notes: Keep getting 13 on 3rd set of tabata last couple weeks. No clue why. Decided to make box jumping more challenging today, so I held a medicine ball while I did the 27.75" jumps. Made it MUCH harder. It's not just the weight I added, it's that I can't use my arms and swing them for momentum really. It becomes a total lower body explosive exercise. I tried working up to the high+low box jumps before I did the first set of med+low jumps, but kept getting scared when I jumped. I went back to it again, and did that first one and saw it wasn't that bad, measured it, and saw it was only 34" high. Considering several years ago when I was 168 I hit 41.5", 34" doesn't seem that bad for plyo work. So I went to town. Finished with some palloffs and rope slams and called it a day.

May 20, 2011

  • BB DL: 330*10 340*10 350*10
  • BB Suitcase Deadlifts: 95*4 115*4
  • DB Jump Deads: 40*5 40*6
  • Rope Slams: 15, 15, 20

notes: Absolutely torched after the deadlifting sets. Going to try 340, 350, and 360 next week. The suitcase deadlifts were just something I had been meaning to do. Interestingly, I saw someone doing the Cosgrove Evil 8 complex today. Never seen someone do that before besides me. The jump deads were supposed to be with the trap bar, but someone stole it from the gym. Seriously, how do you walk out with that thing and not have anyone notice? Rope slams were a blast.

May 19, 2011

  • BB Incline: 220*10 215*7 220*5
  • Pullups: BW*10 BW*7 BW*4
  • Cable Rows: 160*6 140*&

notes: I run out of steam on the bb incline quite easily.

May 18, 2011

  • 7 KG MB Slam Tabata (Alternate, less bouncy ball): 18,16,15,14,14,14,13,13
  • low>med>hi box jump series>10 10kg kb swings: 3,3,3
  • Incline Plyo Pushups: 5,5,5,4
  • Plyo Rope Pullups Climbers: 1
  • Wide Grip Rope Pullups: 7

I really like that rope. I decided to do a box jump series holding a kb, and at the end doing 10 swings with it. Was actually very taxing. The rope climbers were just me pulling myself up with my feet elevated holding the rope and exploding at the top and grabbing higher up on the rope

May 17, 2011

  • BB Squats: 260*11 280*10 300*6 300*4 270*4-f that. Exhausted
  • Elevated foot narrow grip rope pullups: 10
  • " " med grip " " : 8
  • " " wide grip " " : 6

notes: Squatting...going well. I've added about 30 lbs. onto my 10 rep max in the last few weeks. So that's always good. Taking a run at 300 for 10 now. Going to hopefully build up reps, going to go for 7 next week. The rope pullups are part of my 'do something for back/lats every day' rule I'm implementing. I don't know how else to describe what they are, I got them from this vid: (go to the 2:16 mark)

May 16, 2011

  • BB Flat: 270*5 275*4 280*4 285*3
  • Pullups: 10,6,5
  • DB Flat Bench: 110*4 110*4
  • Batwings: 30*6 30*5

notes: Building my 'rep-base' back up on benching. I did months of doing only singles and an occasional triple. Getting back into that 3-5 rep range here. If I hit 5, I up that weight the next week, so next week I'll start at 275, 2nd set will be 275 as well prolly. Did batwings again. These things are really intense but I feel like they're helping my rhomboids out. Also, feel like I have lost a slight bit of strength as I get deeper into this cut. May just be from lower leverage.

May 15, 2011

  • 24KG KB Swing Tabata: 12,12,13,12,12,12,12,12
  • Med+Low Box Plyo Jumps (27.75"): 40!!! NEW PR 35, 25 (100!!) NEW PR
  • Palloff Presses: 50*3

notes: I decided doing just the high box (22.5") was too easy and decided to challenge myself, and stack the med+low boxes on top of each other. Well....absolutely decimated that thing. Set new record for most jumps in one plyo set before I ran out of energy/breath, and a new high total as well. Felt great! Trying to get the courage to jump on the high & low stacked on each other for next week.

May 12, 2011

  • BB Incline: 220*10 225*6 210*8
  • Pullups: BW*9 BW*7 BW*6
  • Cable Rows: 160*7 150*8

'Light' upper day. Need to start with 210 next time instead of 220. Maybe go 210, 215, 220 next week. Pullups went well too. Felt a little gassed. Cut is going well.

May 11, 2011

  • 24 KG KB Swing Tabata: 12,12,12,12,12,12,12,12
  • Incline Plyo Pushups: 5,5,4,4
  • Battling Ropes: 50 reps, 40 reps

Didn't have a lot of time, so I didn't want to do a complex here, stuck with the tabata. Good stuff. Incline plyo pushups felt good, liked them better than the normal ones, softer on the landing. Battling ropes I counted the times a wave started in the rope, so each wave counted as 1 rep.

May 10, 2011

  • BB Squats: 250*12 260*11 270*10 280*8 290*5

Ooooooof. Not even going to pretend to be able to do anything after this. I found my 12 rep and 11 rep max on squats without a shadow of a doubt. I'd like to do some calf work, but over the years what keeps me from doing it more is that my calves cramp up VERY easily. Then they hurt for the rest of the week and I can't do conditioning/running

May 9, 2011

  • BB Flat: 265*5 270*5 275*5 280*3
  • Pullups/Dips S.S: BW*9/BW*7 BW*6/BW*6 BW*5/BW*6 BW*4/BW*4
  • Voyer Shrugs: 50*7 60*6

notes: I had never benched above 300 until recently, so I kept doing it pretty far into this cut, doing 1-3 rep sets. I need to keep my rep base up though and work in the 5 rep range. Followed up the flat benching with a pullup/dip super set. The dips hurt my clavicles sort of, not sure why. Trying Voyer Shrugs, and on other upper day I'm going to do bat wings to bring my rhomboids up, and hopefully cut back on the shoulder roll I have.

May 8, 2011

  • 24 KG KB Swing Tabata: 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12
  • High Box Jumps: 30,30,31
  • Wheel Rollouts: 3
  • Palloff Presses: 45*3 50*3 60*2

notes: Enjoying this conditioning day setup very much! I have to take a few minutes after the tabata on account of being exhausted, usually I slump against a squat rack and just wait til my vision comes back to normal. If I was doing something like front squats on the tabata I couldn't do the box jumps. I cannot WAIT to start sprinting. The weather in Boston so far this month has been cold and rainy. I hope this isn't a repeat of the summer of 09.

Cut Numbers

Alright, I checked, here's my calorie breakdown:
  • Leg Days (Tues/Fri): 2649 Calories, 119F/113C(net)/258P
  • Upper Body Days (Mon/Thu): 2524 Calories, 118F/86C(net)/257P
  • Conditioning Days (Sun/Wed): 2616 Calories, 157F/43C(net)/237P

The conditioning on Sunday I do after I get up, having only taken one scoop of protein and water.

Cut Progress

Since I get questions about how the cut is going, I thought I'd post some thoughts before my workout this evening.

The cut is going well; the old axiom that the first place you add fat is the last place you lose it is holding true for me. My ass ends up plump first, even when I was at 10.5% bf and had red hawt myspace abbzz I still had a plump ass. After that I start to accumulate it on my hamstrings, then lower back, then stomach, then slightly on my arms, although the only way I can tell is I can't see the veins running down my biceps anymore. I can see them again now though, and the fat on my stomach is coming off, I can actually see my serratus again! Welcome back serratus, good to see you. Ass....still huge. I need to weigh in tomorrow morning, I think I'll be around 217-218. My old jeans STILL don't fit, and I'm starting to wonder if they ever will. It's not my ass, I can barely even get them up to my ass, it's my quads/hams that just too damn big for them! Same with a lot of my shirts. I don't really see any more fat on my arms/chest/upperbod that can come off, and many of my shirts still don't fit. Especially my button downs/dress shirts.

Re: Diet. Im really clamping down now, reducing fat as well as carbs. Cut out 1 Tbsp. of EVOO in my morning shake (I usually put 2 Tbsp in), also reducing walnut intake to 1 oz. per day instead of 2. Also, on upper body days I cut out the large apple I was eating that accounted for like 25g. of carbs. I don't have the exact numbers off the top of my head, but on conditioning days I'm around 2500 cals and 40 net carbs, and training days around 2600 & 80 net. Last week I also realized it's going to take some getting used to being that low on carbs...I felt like I was in a fog all week! This week's a little better. But I still may do a mini refeed on Tuesdays from now on. I do heavy upper body, and then high rep squatting on Monday and Tuesday respectively, so glycogen is probably pretty depleted after those two workouts.

What I would do differently: I definitely was too slow to strip off the calories for the first few steps of the cut. I could've definitely gone 4500-4000-3500 in the first 3 weeks. I just wasn't sure how used my body would be to the excess calories, or where my maintenance points would be, so I was cautious. I want to protect the LBM I gained :) So yeah, I expect results to amp up over this week, as I lock in the low carb and lower fat diet. Still aiming for around 205 @ 8% or so. I'll see how I look when I get to 210.

May 6, 2011

  • BB Deadlifts: 330*10 340*10 350*8 360*8

so. f'ing. sore.

May 5, 2011

Cincrow De Mayo

  • BB Incline: 215*10 220*6 205*7
  • Pullups: BW*9,7,5
  • DB Incline: 100*6 100*4
  • Cable Rows: 160*8 150*7

I think the low carb thing is finally starting to wear on me. All this week I've felt like I'm in a fog. No pop, no energy...listless. I'm at the point where I'm a shade under/at 100 net carbs on my high days, and around 50 net on my low days. First time in my life I've been this low on carbs for this long. I may do a refeed on Tuesdays from now on, just a small one, since my heavy upper and high rep squatting are done on Mondays & Tuesdays respectively.

May 4, 2011

  • Evil 7 Complex: 105 lbs.

did it a bit faster than normal, was gassed after. Next week my upper body plyo work will be done on this day after the complex.

May 3, 2011

  • BB Squats: 240*11 250*11 260*11 270*10 280*7
  • BB Calf Raises: 225*20

Well, last week I got 10 at 240, 10 at 250, and 8 at 270, so I'd say there's some progress here. Next week I'll start with 250. My short term goal is to be at 300 for a set of 10 in the next month or so. I did the set of calf raises just so this workout wouldn't just be 5 sets of high rep squats. My ass, quads, and hams were still sore a tad on Friday morning when I would deadlift, but it didn't effect my numbers any.

May 2, 2011

  • BB Flat: 295*2 300*2 275*2 265*3
  • BB Rows: 255*5 260*5 265*3.5 270*4
  • DB Flat: 105*5 105*7
  • Pullusp: BW*8 BW*6

Still a bit tired, felt flat here. I think maybe the plyo pushups the day before are taking the pop out of my Monday workouts last couple weeks. None of my other lifts are suffering with the cut, but my benching hasn't been doing too well. I think it's the plyos the day before though, I'll see how I feel next week.

May 1, 2011

  • 24KG KB Swing Tabata: 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12
  • High Box Jumps: 28, 28, 26
  • Plyo Pushups: 7,6,6
  • Wheel Rollouts: 3
  • Palloff Presses: 60*2 50*3

I think from now on I'm going to do my plyo pushups/ plyo-upper-body stuff on Wednesdays. I wonder if doing it on Sundays is taking away from my Monday benching. Rest of the workout went well. Swing tabata went very well! My abs were sore for 3 days after this one. 60 may have been a bit much on palloffs, may go 40-45-50 next time. Medicine is working, feel much better.

April 28, 2011

  • BB Incline: 210*10 215*8 220*7
  • Neutral Grip Pullups: BW*9 BW*7 BW*4

So I found out why I've been dragging lately. This morning my lymph nodes were sore and I had a huge hard lump below the left one. Scared shitless I headed to the doctor who looked in my throat. Apparently that side was covered with pus (eww), and the lump was actually a 2nd lymph node that was active because of how bad the infection on that side was. Started on amoxicillin and literally 6 hours later I was already feeling better. Next day the nodes weren't even sore. I went to the gym right after the doctor. Good session!

April 26,2011

  • BB Squats: 230*11 240*10 250*10 260*10 270*8
  • Snatches: 135*3

Hmmm, I'm starting to think all I need for my lower body is squats & deadlifting....honestly my legs were almost cramping up after this session, so it's not like they didn't get obliterated. Still not use to high rep squats. Added a rep at 230 and also 270. May go 235, 245, 255, 265, 270 next week and see how that goes.

April 25, 2011

  • BB Flat/Pullups Superset: 310*1/BW*8 300*1/BW*6 285*2/BW*6 275*3/BW*5
  • BB Rows: 235*10 245*9 255*7
  • DB Flat: 100*9 100*9
  • Batwings: 35*5 40*5 45*5

So Friday I went home so I wasn't able to workout, and then Sunday was Easter, so no conditioning session. Back to normal this week though. I had a group meeting for a class after work though, so I ended up going to the gym an hour later than usual. I was starving, and honestly tired by the time I got there. This session pretty much represents the worst I can possibly feel at the gym and still be there. I was tired from the day and sooo hungry. I'm glad I pushed through, and I liked supersetting here. Hopefully next week I get my pop back in this workout and can get back to business on benching. Also continued doing batwings, again I enjoyed them

April 21, 2011

  • BB Incline: 205*11 210*6 215*7 220*7
  • Pullups: BW*8 BW*6 BW*5 BW*4
  • DB Incline: 95*7 100*8
  • Batwings: 25*5 30*5 35*5 40*5

High rep week continues....although I didn't take enough time after that BB Incline set. Should've waited a bit more. Also, enjoying the batwings, from the Dan John 'Reawaken your Rhomboids" article.I have the whole slouching/shoulders rolling forward as I sit at my desk thing going, so I decided to add these to my upper days. I did them with DBs, since my gym's KBs don't go up that high. WOW. Felt very interesting....almost like doing a facepull....For the rest of the day it felt like there was a taut band between my shoulder blades pulling them back and keeping my shoulders back. The day after when my shoulders would start to roll forward when I was sitting around I could feel soreness in my rhomboids, and my shoulders wouldn't go as far forward. So far, so good!

April 20, 2011

Evil 7 Complex: 105

I'm pressed for time so I didn't do any carries after this. Also I'm still fighting off this weird cough I've got. I've got a post-nasal drip going and it's making me cough, but the weird thing is I have no cold/sinus problems right now. Not sure if it's allergies or what. Slightly annoying, but I want to rest rather than have this turn to a full blown cold.

April 19, 2011

  • BB Squats: 230*10 240*10 250*10 260*10 270*7
  • BB Front Squats: 225*1
  • Snatches: 135*3 135*3
  • Reverse Hypers: 90*5

Honestly I was beat after doing the squats. I haven't done 10 rep sets on squats in a couple years. Felt great though. Next time I won't do the front squats though. Just snatches after, maybe hypers. Honestly I'm starting to feel like my legs would be fine just doing squats on these days. Maybe throw in some sumo squats after. Obviously my ass/hamstrings are famously huge in these parts.


I'm just doing an upper/lower heavy/light split; I think originally I was doing one outlined by Ripptoe, but that was a few years ago, and I've modified it for my own needs. I just rearranged the days of the split recently (not what I'm doing on them) to make scheduling easier. Last week, and this week I'm just doing everything high rep, for the fun of it really, and to give my lower back a break. It's been a great shock to my system because I neeeeeeeeeeever do higher rep squats, deadlifting, or flat benching eeeeeeeeeeeever.

It may look like there's a lot of variation week to week in what I do, but if you look closely you'll see that on certain days there are ALWAYS certain exercises going on. So for instance my upper/heavy workout will ALWAYS have flat barbell benching, and barbell rows in it. Unless I'm taking a week to shock my system and doing dumbbells or something, but those are only every couple months.

Quick side-note, I plan on keeping it pretty close to this when I'm done cutting, but I'll be carb cycling differently then. My conditioning days will still be low carb (around 50g net), but my upper body days will be medium carbs. Those days will be around 120 net. That's where I am now for my non conditioning days. The main difference though will be on my lower body days, which just absolutely drain me. I'll be higher on carbs for them, possibly as high as 250-300g, with fat intake greatly restricted.

Split...On non-conditioning days 4 sets typically on the first 2 movements, 2-3 on the later ones):

Sunday: Conditioning
Tabata of some explosive movement (ball slams, kb swings, ropes)
Plyo Jumps (I play basketball so this helps)
Plyo Pushups
Some sort of rollout movement
Palloff Presses

Monday: Upper/Heavy (3-5 rep maxes)
Flat BB Benching
Barbell Rows
DB Flat Benching
Pullup variation

Tuesday: Lower/Light (8-10 rep maxes)
BB Squats
Snatches (only do these in sets of 3 though)
Reverse Hypers

Wednesday: Conditioning
Complex (usually Cosgrove's evil 8)

Thursday: Upper/Light (8-10 rep maxes)
BB Incline Benching
DB Incline
Cable Rows

Friday: Lower/Heavy (3-5 rep maxes)
BB Deadlifts
Rack Pulls/DB Bulgarian Split Squats/Leg Press/Whatever
Honestly you've seen my legs, they basically grow just looking at weight, and deadlifting knocks me out so I just do whatever I feel like as a followup exercise.

Saturday: Off
Fat kid Saturday. Eat whatever I want. I still do my morning shake, and always have a 12" tuna grinder from Subway for lunch, dinner typically varies though, sometimes I'll still do my normal steak and then a meal out, other times just a meal out. The next day is a conditioning day, I figure after all my glycogen, etc. is restored by Saturday, any excess gets siphoned off by the conditioning work I do Sunday.

April 17, 2011

  • Battling Ropes: 30, 20,20,15,20 seconds
  • High Box Plyo Jumps: 24,26,25
  • Plyopushups: 6,5,7
  • Bird-Dogs: 2, also, these are gay.
  • Palloff Presses: 30*3 60*1

WHOOO jumping is getting easier, maybe cause I'm getting slightly lighter?? Tried a heavy set of palloffs, liked it. May do like 50 & 60 next time!

April 15, 2011

  • 24 KG KB Swing Tabata: 12,12,12,12,12,11,11,11
  • High Box Jumps: 23, 22
  • High Box Lateral Jumps: 16
  • Plyo Pushups: 7,5,6
  • Wheel Rollouts: 1,1,1
  • Paloff Presses: 30*3 40*3

Felt like I had a whole can of powerthirst before this workout. HOoollyyyyy shiiiiiiiiit. Explosive workout. The lateral box jumps felt like they were too great a risk to keep doing them, felt like it would be WAY too easy to blow out an mcl.

April 13, 2011

  • BB DL: 300*10 310*10 320*10 330*10

I am fighting something off, I was exhausted going in to this, and had a long day beforehand. Just wanted to get my deadlifting in and get out, which I did!

April 12, 2011

  • BB Snatches: 115*5 115*5 115*5
  • Trap-Bar Farmers: 200*2 200*2

tried something different for this conditioning session; olympic lifts & farmers. Not sure I like it.

April 11, 2011

  • BB Flat: 225*12 230*10 235*10 240*7
  • BB Rows: 225*10 235*10 245*10 255*10
  • DB Flat: 90*12 100*7.5
  • Wide-Grip Pullups: BW*3
  • Neutral Grip Pullups: BW*5

Good session! This week I'm trying to do everything in the 10 rep range. Good session! Wide-Grip Pullups felt weird, so nix those.

April 10, 2011

  • BB Squats: 225*10 235*10 245*10 255*10 265*10
  • Good Mornings: 135*6 155*4
  • Reverse Hyperextensions: 90*5 90*5

Wow. Haven't done higher rep squats in ages. Very taxed right now. Followed with some good mornings and hypers but I was pretty beat to be honest. Was going to do a widowmaker with 225 at the end of the squatting, but unracked it and it felt like a load of cement. Needless to say my body is not yet used to higher reps on squatting yet

April 8, 2011

223.5 lbs

  • Battling Ropes: 25 seconds, 20, 15,15,20
  • High Box Jumps: 20,16,21
  • Plyo Pushups: 4,6,4
  • Ball Rollouts: 1,1,1
  • Palloff Presses: 30*3 40*3

wow....soaked through my shirt on this one. The box jumps kill me but I love them. I suddenly have a lot more pop on the plyo pushups, which is good. Maybe because I'm lighter? Or just getting more explosive?

Thinking of Switching Up

I'm thinking of switching up my training just a bit. So I've been doing a upper/lower heavy/heavier split. But if you only do singles & triples....well you hit your high single of the's not like next week it's going up 15 lbs. But say on deadlifting I hit say 365 for 10 reps....maybe next week I get 12. And how does that translate out? I'm sure the 1RM would actually increase if I did it that way for a few weeks. so instead of doing a heavy/light upper/lower I'm thinking of doing like a upper/lower heavy/intense  where I do like 10-12 rep sets of squats, and deadlifts, and a widowmaker on the end of those two intense days

April 7, 2011

  • Incline Bench / Pullups Superset: 225*8/BW*7 225*5/BW*5 225*4/BW*4 225*3/BW*4
  • Rope Pullups:BW*2 BW*2 BW*2
  • DB Incline: 105*5 105*4
  • Neutral Grip Pullups: BW*5 BW*4

Wow.....loving the supersets. By the end my chest was hard as a rock. Not like flexing, just engorged with blood. And rope pullups...ouch. Love em I figured I'd get like 5 or 6 on a 1.75" rope. I got 2. and the 2nd might not have been a dead hang. I was like "wow this is easy...." and then started descending on the first one and felt my grip start to crap the bed. I'm committing to adding more pullups to my workouts, so I did more here too. 3 variations of them today.

April 6, 2011

  • Deadlift: 380*4 400*3 410*3 420*2 435*2-awful form
  • Snatch Grip Deadlift: 315*4 325*3
  • Lumberjack Squats: 135*6 180*6 225*3

I will neeeever use form that bad again while deadlifting. I looked like Quasimodo on the 435. I was shortening rest between sets again, plus I just wasn't feeling that energetic to be honest. Instead of going with what I had and just doing some lower weights, say 350/360/380/400/410/420 I went for 435 and should've put it down after one awful rep, but did it again. I'm lucky I didn't blow out a hernia. Snatch grip deads went well....but again my back was so taxed after deadlifting, and then those awful sets. Lumberjacks went good too

April 5, 2011

  • Evil 7 Complex: 105
  • Heavy Bag Shoulder Carries: 1
  • Heavy Bag Bear Hug Carries: 1, 1.5, .5
  • Trap Bar Farmers Walks: 200*1.5 200*1.5

I am destroyed after this. For the shoulder carries, took a heavy bag over one shoulder and walked with it. Bear hugs is just what it sounds like. the number indicates how many full laps down and back I did in my gym's hall. Probably like 100'. The complex killed me today. My shirt was see-through by the end of it :sneaky: The carries just devastated me, and the walks at the end polished off a great session.

April 4, 2011

  • Bench Press: 295*3 300*3 305*2 315*1
  • BB Rows: 285*3 290*3 295*3 300*3
  • DB Bench Press: 120*2 115*5
  • Neutral Grip Pullups: BW*7 BW*5 BW*4
  • Cable Rows: 180*4 190*3 200*1

Good session! Did a few extra sets, I'm trying to really work on my back some more. I like that my barbell row and bench press are almost equal, but I still want more width, so I'm doing pullups every non-conditioning workout for a while. Not sure why I only got 2 at 120 on flat benching this session, I was pissed. Otherwise, good sesh.

Thoughts on Cutting:

I thought I'd post some of the factors that went into deciding my most recent bulk, and what goes into it when planning. Not so much the technical parts; those have been covered on this site repeatedly. I meant more practical/personal issues to consider, that I think get overlooked sometimes.

Time: How much time do you have, or do you want to invest? If you have a year to invest, then you can go much cleaner than I did. If you have a short period of time to add the mass, then you may have to go dirty. I also didn't want to be 230 lbs. in the middle of July heatwaves in New England, so I had to start cutting by around March 1st, if I want to resvelten in time to be comfortable. This bulk for me skirted the line between dirty and clean. None of the food I ate was junk. As such I gained about 20 lbs. of LBM in 6 months, which is pretty freaking good for someone who has been training for over a decade. Now let's say I had done it much cleaner, over the course of a year....Maybe I gain 10 lbs. of lbm, and only 10 lbs. of fat. But that brings me to my next point

Metabolism/Ease of Cutting: How easy is it for you to cut? I don't have a sweet tooth, abhor soda and all junk food, and can completely change my diet over night without any pains. If you happen to have difficulty cutting, then a cleaner bulk may be for you. I gained around 25 lbs. of fat this bulk, but that doesn't bother me. I find cutting easy, so if I gain fat...big deal. My ultimate goal is LBM, the fat's easy enough to burn off for me. If you find it harder to shed fat, or get attached to junk food, again, go with a cleaner bulk. It'll be less of a struggle.

Looks: I don't particularly give a shit what I look like. I've never done a single rep of a single set of a single exercise in the 12 years I've been training on account of how I'd look to others afterward. Now the thought of walking around with slabs of fat on me in June wasn't exactly appealing, but it was more about comfort, and that's why I started my cut on March 1st. Don't get me wrong; there is NOTHING wrong with going to the gym hoping to impress someone with the results. If you are thinking about looks though, a clean bulk will be more in order. Again, I live in New England, and in the depths of winter the only time I'm unclothed is when I'm making sweet bang to a lady. The lights stay off.

Mental Makeup: It is HARD cramming that much food in. Plus doing it in such a way that doesn't shoot my endocrine system to shit as well. Some of those meals I listed would take me a half hour to eat (I didn't pound a 1/2 pound of PB in like 2 minutes). The last month I was so sick of eating, but I kept doing it. I hit 231 by mid February and then plateaud there. I was fine with that. I hit or got very close to all my goals, absolutely destroying my benching goal which is something I've chased for years. So it was worth it to me. But you have to ask yourself how much can you eat, how much can you hold down, and how much would make you miserable? I will NEVER eat 5000 calories again, because I'd know from the start what I was in for.

April 3, 2011

  • BB Olympic Squats / Hyper-Extensions Super Set: 315*3/90*5 315*2/90*5 300*4/90*5 300*3/90*4

I have an exam to study for so I couldn't stay too long. Experimenting more with super sets, and enjoying them quite a bit!

March 31, 2011

  • Incline Bench / Pullups Super Set: 235*6/BW*7 235*5/BW*5 235*4/BW*4 235*2/BW*4
  • Chins: BW*5 BW*5 BW*3
  • DB Incline: 105*5 105*4

I'm continuing my commitment to get more pullup variants into my workouts. My lats were quite flared after this. I'm down to 225 from 231 on March 1st, so that's 6 lbs. in 4 weeks of cutting so far. Diet REALLY picks up this week though, I'm going low carb on conditioning days, and lowering calories on my workout days slightly as well.

Current Cut Steps

Here's my current cut. I started at 5100 calories/day. I'm now on step 5. I'm at a low enough calorie amount that I can start swapping in low carb days on my conditioning days.

For anyone worried about doing them, you'll be fine. Honestly with all the fatty/fibery food I ate I actually had to force the food down on my schedule. It filled me up so much I wasn't even hungry by the time I was scheduled to eat again. I had to eat though because I had a workout coming out in an hour and didn't want to end up hungry half way through.

March 30, 2011

  • BB DL: 375*4 395*3 415*3 435*2
  • Rack Pulls: 455*3 495*3 515*2

Good session! Form on 435 could've been better. I'm really liking limiting my time between sets. My weights don't suffer, I work harder, sweat more, and get out quicker. This workout would've taken me an hour and fifteen minutes if I was waiting as long as I used to between sets. This one I entered the gym garage at 7:00, I was walking back into the garage at 7:55 today.

March 29, 2011

  • Evil 7 Complex: 105
  • High Box Jumps: 21, 19, 20
  • Plyo Pushups: 4,4,4
  • Wheel Rollouts: 3

I can't go to the gym on Friday, but I like doing plyometrics so I subbed my Friday conditioning workout in for my usual Tuesday one.

March 28, 2011

  • BB Flat Bench: 295*3 300*3 305*2 210*2
  • BB Pendlay Rows: 185*5 205*4 225*3
  • Narrowgrip Pullups: BW*7 BW*6 BW*4
  • Cable Rows: 190*3 170*4 170*3

well if I want that lat width I should be doing more pullups. So I will. Also Pendlay rows suck. They hurt my lowerback way too much. Not good times.

March 27, 2011

  • Barbell Squats: 300*6 320*5 330*3 340*2
  • BB Snatches: 135*3 145*2 155*x 115*5
  • Hypers: 100*4 105*4

Getting frustrated with the snatches, I need to get the form down. I tried jumping into heavy ones too soon. I dropped the weight down and much better form at 115. That's such a candy-ass weight though. Fucking humiliating.

March 25, 2011

  • 7 kg mb slam tabata: 23,22,21,20,20,21,20,21
  • High Box Jumps: 19, 14, 17
  • Plyo Pushups: 4,3,4,3
  • Ball Rollouts: 1,1
  • Palloff Presses: 30*3 35*3 40*3

The most comprehensive conditioning workout I've ever done. I look forward to these days each week now. I love them!

March 24, 2011

  • BB Decline/Pullup Superset: 300*6/BW*7 300*5/BW*5 300*4/BW*4 300*4/BW*4
  • Neutral-Grip Pullups: BW*5 BW*3 BW*4
  • DB Incline: 110*2 110*5

WHOOOOO. Loved this. Whole workout took 19 minutes. Wasn't sure how exhausted I was until I tried that db incline at the end. Can't wait to do this with BB Incline next week!

March 23, 2011

  • BB DL: 370*3 390*4 410*3 430*2
  • Lumberjack Squats: 205*5 225*5 235*2
Good session, I'm so tired after DL'ing I'm usually not in the mood for anything else too extravagant.

March 22, 2011

  • Evil 7 Complex: 105 lbs.
  • Trap Bar Farmers: 110*2.5 200*1.5 200*1. 250*1

notes: WHOOO! Upped weight on Evil 7 and it slayed me. Trap-bar Farmers went great too. Thoroughly enjoyed them

March 21, 2011

  • BB Flat: 290*4 295*3 300*3 310*2
  • BB Rows: 285*3 290*3 295*3 300*3
  • DB Flat: 120*3 115*5
  • Cable Rows: 190*5 200*3 210*3

notes: Tried building up to highest set on benching to see if it made a difference.....oddly it didn't. I did the same last week, but in reverse order LOLCOPTERROFLSKATESHURRRR. Did this with rows too. I think I need to lower the weight on rows a tad and work on the form, I may be raising my shoulders more than I want to here. I may do Pendlay rows for a couple weeks. Tied PR on cable rows.

March 20, 2011

  • BB Squats: 290*6 315*5 325*4 335*3
  • BB Snatches: 135*3 145*3 155*1
  • Hypers: 95*5 100*4

notes: Squatting felt great, really had a good rhythm and was getting down into a good groove on them. Limiting times between sets really makes them even more challenging. It also meant I was more sapped for the snatches...form was pretty shit on the last 2 sets!

March 18, 2011

  • 28 KG KB Swing Tabata: 12,12,11,11,11,10,8,7
  • High Box Jumps: 16,13,15
  • Ball Rollouts: 1,1,1
  • Palloff Presses: 25*3 35*3

notes: This may be my favorite workout of the week. The swings are exhausting but fun, as are the jumps. Plus I feel that the 21st century core training article by Mike Robertson has finally given me some decent ideas for core training, since I refuse to do situps and crunches.

March 17, 2011

  • BB Incline: 265*2 255*3 250*3 245*3
  • Chins: BW*9 BW*7 BW*5
  • DB Incline: 110*4 105*4
  • DB Rows: 110*7 115*6

notes: Good session. Subbed in chins for pullups this time. DB Rows at the end, going to start doing these again more.

March 16, 2011

  • BB DL: 370*3 390*3 410*3 430*2
  • DB Bulgarian Split Squats: 90*3 95*3
  • Leg Press: 450*10 540*6

notes: Good session! I started to hunch over a bit on the 2nd at 430, but I completed it. I forgot to mention earlier; this week I've started timing my rest between sets. I'm known for taking rests between sets roughly the length of a short ice age. I'm now capping it at 2 minutes between all sets. Hasn't hurt my wegihts, but I'm definitely working up more of a sweat during the sessions. Also it's nice to be in and out of the gym in under an hour; taking 4-5 minutes between sets in the past a workout like this would take well over an hour.

March 15, 2011 Ides of March

  • Evil 7 Complex: 95
  • Farmers: 80*2 80*1.5 80*1.5 80*1

notes: Thinking of upping the weight on the 7 exercise complex since I'm not using good mornings anymore. For farmers I think I'm going to start using the trap bar so I can really pile the weight on, although I'll still use DBs as well. PLUS! My gym finally got battling ropes! Time to take those for a spin this coming week.

March 14, 2011

  • BB Flat: 310*2 300*3 295*3 290*4
  • BB Rows: 305*3 295*3 290*3 285*3
  • DB Flat: 120*3 115*5
  • Cable Rows: 190*4 200*3 210*2

notes: Back to doing the full workouts, got my energy back too, CNS recovered apparently. Good session. Going to lead off with 315 next week on benching.

March 13, 2011

  • BB Squats: 285*5 310*5 320*4 330*3
  • BB Snatch: 115*3 135*3 145*3 155*1

notes: Got my bounce back. Feel much better as compared to last week. Not sure if it was the plyo work I did or just CNS recovering. Also, snatches, yay! Enjoyed doing these.

March 11, 2011

  • 28 KG KB Swing Tabatas: 13,11,12,11,10,9,8,8
  • High Box Jumps: 12, 11, 13
  • TRX Fallouts: 4,4,3,2
  • Palloff Presses: 15*3 25*3 35*3
  • Sauna: 170 degrees / 10 minutes

notes: GREAT session. The swings were only to parallel and not over my head. I figured this would conserve some energy for the rest of the actually made it harder. When I go over my head I guess momentum carries a lot of the movement. Plus the hardest part is the bottom of the movement, and because of the shorter range I had to do more of them. Box jumps were good. I've decided I'll put my upper body plyometrics here too. The core work was great. I realllllly like the pallof presses. Got them from the article here. It's a great read, well worth it if you're looking for good alternatives to garbage like situps. 

March 11, 2011

  • 28 KG KB Swing Tabatas: 13,11,12,11,10,9,8,8
  • High Box Jumps: 12, 11, 13
  • TRX Fallouts: 4,4,3,2
  • Palloff Presses: 15*3 25*3 35*3
  • Sauna: 170 degrees / 10 minutes

notes: GREAT session. The swings were only to parallel and not over my head. I figured this would conserve some energy for the rest of the actually made it harder. When I go over my head I guess momentum carries a lot of the movement. Plus the hardest part is the bottom of the movement, and because of the shorter range I had to do more of them. Box jumps were good. I've decided I'll put my upper body plyometrics here too. The core work was great. I realllllly like the pallof presses. Got them from the article here:

March 10, 2011

  • BB Incline: 265*2 255*3 250*4 245*2
  • Pullups: BW*8 BW*6 BW*5
  • Cable Rows: 180*4 190*3 170*4

notes: Just grinding out this week. Glad the weighted part is over.

March 9, 2011

  • BB DL: 365*3 285*3 405*3 425*2
  • Glute-Bridges: 315*5 365*3-ass too big??

notes: Still drained. I think I should've taken this week off, or done like a deloading week because I feel fried. OK, so on the glute bridges, you roll the barbell over your waist, making sure not to crush your junk, and find that spot above your dong where the bar can rest. Problem is now, even with the padding on the bar protector...I think my legs are just too big, as well as my ass. The weight is actually off the ground at the start of the movement and it puts AWFUL weight on my upper legs when I'm rolling the bar off me. It also hurts my lower abdomen since the weight is always in the air a bit. I may have to put weight plates on the ground to put the starting position up higher if I'm going to continue doing these.

March 8, 2011

  • Evil 7 Complex: 95
  • Waiter Carries: 25*3 45*2
  • Suitcase carries: 75*1.5 60*2
  • Plyo Pushup: BW*3 BW*4 BW*3 BW*3 BW*4 BW*3

notes: need to tweak this. The complex is the same as the evil 8, but I don't do good mornings during it. Just felt like I couldn't keep form up that late in the complex. Waiter carries...WOW. Actually taxed my lats pretty bad which was surprising. Suitcase carries went well too. Plyo Pushups hurt my wrists, need to practice landing softer. Felt like I didn't get a good explosion on them either. Probably going to need to rearrange some stuff in the coming weeks.

March 7, 2011

  • BB Flat: 225*8 265*4 295*2 310*2 300*2 285*3 275*5
  • BB Rows: 275*4 285*3 295*3 305*2
  • Hang Cleans: 115x1: 20

notes: Feel VERY flat. Tried warming up a lot before initial benching sets, but I just felt drained the whole workout. Probably CNS hangover from last week. Not good times. Lost a rep on a couple sets, but wasn't a complete disaster. Hang cleans really wiped me out too. Just getting form on them right now.

Cut Steps

Here's how the cut's going to go down. Steps 6 & 7 might change some more, but just a bit

March 6, 2011

  • BB Squats: 275*5 300*5 315*3 335*2 315*3
  • BB Snatches: 95:20x1

notes: Good session. Getting form down on the snatches, so I did 20 1 rep sets. Need to take a wider grip, I was WAY too narrow on them. Also on 5 of the attempts one of my feet ended up too far forward at the end of the movement.

March 3, 2011

  • BB Incline: 265*1 275*1 NEW PR!!
  • Pullups: 25*1 45*1

notes: PR Week ends with a new record on incline bench. I was going to try for pullups, but it makes more sense to try at the end of the cut when I'll be 25 lbs. lighter.

March 2, 2011

  • BB DL: 425*1 445*1 460*1 NEW PR!! 470*1 NEW PR!! 500*X juuuuust missed.

notes: GREAT session. I barely missed 500. I had it about 3" from lockout and could NOT get it higher for the life of me. It's ok, it gives me something to chase.

February 28, 2011 BEAST MODE

  • BB Flat: 305*1 320*1 NEW PR!! 315*1 325*1 NEW PR!! 330*1 NEW PR!! 340*1 NEW PR!!
  • BB Rows: 300*1 310*1 NEW PR!! 320*1 NEW PR!!

notes: M-M-M-MONSTER KILL. That has got to be the weirdest progression I've ever had for a PR attempt. So I got 320 on the bar, unracked it, and BARELY got it. So I'm thinking, cool, new PR. I felt like I had barely done any work though, so I decided to go for 315, which a few minutes earlier would've also been a PR. I absolutely exploded off the bottom, I thought my spotter had actually pulled it off me at first, but no I had just done it quite easier than I thought. My spotter said by the looks of it I could've had 1 or 2 more. So I figure, F it. I'll try 325. Same deal, REAL easy. 330, same thing. By that point I figured, screw it, I'll go for 340....unrack it, bring it down, press it up. Little bit of a hitch in the middle, but I got it fine.

As for the rows, that went much simpler. I'm actually happier with the row #...I've never seen anyone BB Row even 250 at my gym. I'm willing to be there's 10x as many people out there that'll bench 300 as there are that will row 300.

February 27, 2011

  • Squats: 360*1 375*1 385*1 400*1/2 NEW PR
notes: Record week begins! Worked up to 400 here, not sure if I got depth the 2nd time at 400, regardless 1 was hard enough. Feels great to be back at 400 on this, and I will hopefully actually continue to improve on this during my cut, since I just started squatting again in the last month.

First Post!

I'm starting this to back up journals I have online and on paper. There's also more editing options here as well.

OK, so, a brief background. For what would have been my junior year of high school I instead attended college full time; I was in an advanced program, where the classes I attended counted for high school credit as well. I would have enough credit to graduate from high school after that year. But I needed to fulfill my gym requirement. So in February 1999 I started lifting at the gym of my college, and had a manager sign off that I had worked out. Since then I've never gone more than 7 days without working out.

I'm 5 10, and I started at 138 lbs (with a 65 lbs. bench press lol). I progressed fairly easily to 170 over the ensuing few years, and chilled there. Over the years I've gradually changed training philosophies from one body part per day, to now where I generally do upper/lower splits, along with complexes, tabatas, powerlifting, sprinting and all kinds of training methods. I realized that I was as strong as I was going to be at 175 at the start of 2008 I went on my first bulk, and went from 178 to 213. I cut after that, got down to 187 at about 10% bf. I decided to do another bulk, starting on September 1, 2010 with a goal of 230 by March 1, and several strength goals. I hit 231 March 1st, and pretty much got all my goals. I'll post retroactively with the final week of that bulk.

My main goals were to add size to my pectoral region, increase my lat spread/thickness, and set several personal records, which I achieved. Among them were to bench 300 (My max was about 280 at the time) and I ended up hitting 340. I wanted to squat 400 again since I hadn't squatted consistently in a while. I hit 400 exactly. My other goal was to deadlift 500, I was around 405 when I started, and ended up hitting 470. It's ok, it gives me something to chase. I had 500 about 4" from locking out but just couldn't bring it home.