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TK2216's journal

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TK2216UKG
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2003/11/12 13:32:43 (permalink)

TK2216's journal

I've been weight training for about 12 years but only made significant progress in the year or so that I've been reading MT. I feel I've learned a lot from you all, and about time I posted a journal for ongoing analysis that any of your good selves might wish to share. :)

Currently working at my first real cut after bulking over summer. I want to get down to a decent BF percentage before throwing myself into another bulk in February. AS is an option at that stage, which I'm still contemplating.

I do my weight training on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I have a HIIT session three days (Tuesday morning, Wednesday evening, Thursday morning) and a 'normal' cardio session on a Saturday or Sunday morning. HIIT is 4 minutes on a stationary bike - I'm on a program that was posted recently on MT that will have this gradually increase to 12 to 14 minutes (depending on my ability). Cardio session is 30 to 40 minutes on a treadmill. Weights workout usually takes between 30 and 45 minutes.

Currently I'm 6ft tall, 200lbs at 17%BF. I want to lose 10lbs of BF which I figure will get myself down to 12%.

Typical day is:
7:00am - 30g Whey in water, 125g can of mackerel, small bowl of oats with raisins in skim milk.

If this is a HIIT morning I just have the whey about 20 mins before the workout. Following the HIIT I get ready for the day, then shovel down the mackerel and two Weetabix in skimmed milk.

8:15am - Training, followed by 40g whey in water, tablespoon of glucose and a teaspoon of creatine mixed in water.
10:00am - Large turkey or chicken breast. Plain - no dressing, no nothing.
12:00am - 30g whey in water.
2:00pm - Mixed veg, medium chicken breast, can of tuna. Mixed together with enough low fat salad dressing to stop the meal being dry.
4:00pm - 40g whey in water.
6:30pm - Beef steak/fresh fish/chicken/turkey in some kind of sauce (say, salsa sauce with kidney beans. That sort of thing.) I might throw in some turkey ham or cottage cheese at this meal. Basically just a mixture of something tasty, lean and low in carbs.
8:30pm - 30g whey in water.
10:30pm - 200g to 300g cottage cheese.


I started the HIIT in earnest for the first time last Monday at which time I weighed 202lb. Weighted myself last Monday and was 200lb at a lower BF (think I was just over 18% last week). Hopefully that's a sign of me doing something right but of course I'd be delighted to receive comments and advice.

Cheers,
Jonathan
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    TK2216UKG
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/02/09 16:16:40 (permalink)
    It's been a tough few weeks. Following a lower back injury I sustained at the Christmas break (getting out of bed, of all things!) I've had to take some time off training and have been easing myself back into things these past three weeks.

    Strength has definitely decreased, though this hasn't disheartened me as I know that I can get back to the weights I was lifting with a little time and effort. Besides, it's setbacks like this that sort of act like a reboot and provide a great opportunity to refocus on form.

    TODAY'S WORKOUT:

    Deadlifts
    SET1 5 x 122.5
    SET2 5 x 122.5
    SET3 5 x 122.5
    SET4 5 x 122.5
    SET5 5 x 122.5

    Happy with this as I managed 5 sets of 120Kg last week. Before the layoff I was doing 5 x 135Kg, though.

    Close grip chins
    SET1 4
    SET2 4
    SET3 4
    SET4 4
    SET5 3

    Never been great at these. I was managing 5 full reps on the first two sets two weeks ago but reckoned on levelling them out by saving the effort on the fifth reps on those sets for the later sets. Managed two reps on the fourth set last week, three on the last, so this is an improvement. If I can get four or five reps on the fifth set next week I'll be delighted and will start on five reps the week after, and so on on until all sets have five reps. (Then it's time to start thinking about hanging some weight from my waist.)

    Barbell Rows
    SET1 5 60
    SET2 5 60
    SET3 5 60
    SET4 5 60
    SET5 5 60

    I did exactly the same last week but struggled slightly on the last set, so thought it best to repeat this effort and take care of the lower back in the process. I'm glad to say that I feel like I blasted it this time so I'll be putting 2.5Kg on each side next week to get me up to speed.

    MEALS:

    I'm bulking, and here's today's diet which is pretty much what I've been eating this past two weeks. Meals are usually spread at most 2.5 hours apart, starting with breakfast at 7:15am
    1) Banana on toast. Can of mackerel. 30g whey in water.
    TRAINING (8:15am) Post workout 50g whey + heaped tablespoon of glucose in water. Sipping on a weak protein shake throughout the workout.
    2) Brown rice, peas, chicken, mixed with soy sauce.
    3) Pasta, homemade bean salad, can of tuna, mixed with low fat salad cream and dijon mustard.
    4) Can of tuna between two small wholemeal rolls.
    5) As above, but an apple as well.
    6) Medium rare beef steak with cous cous salad.
    7) Protein shake mixed with whatever I fancy (fruit, peanut butter)
    8) About 300g to 400g of cottage cheese. If I'm weight training the following morning I also have some porridge consisting of four heaped tablespoons of oats, two tablespoons of raisins, dash of cinnamon and a tablespoon of Splenda to sweeten. (An absolute treat.) Otherwise it's the cottage cheese on its own.

    Drinking plenty of water while sat on my ass programming at work all day. Getting plenty of rest. Working and aiming for good gains over the next three or four months before a 2 to 3 month cut.

    Comments, please! :)
    #2
    TK2216UKG
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/02/11 12:29:15 (permalink)
    Damned good workout today. I improved on everything from the previous week, which has put me on a high for the day.

    Flat Dumbbell Bench Press
    5x42.5Kg, 5x42.5Kg, 5x42.5Kg, 5x42.5Kg, 5x42.5Kg

    Last week I got full fives from 40Kg, hence the increase in weight this week. It wasn't a pushover but as you can see, I managed full reps from the next heaviest weight available to me in my gym. Next week is going to be taxing as I'll be lifting the 45Kg dumbbells.


    Weighted dips(5x5)
    5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 4x20Kg, 4x20Kg, 4x20Kg

    Last week I managed 2 reps on the 4th and 3 reps on the fifth set here. I was aiming for some consistency across the last three sets and so planned four reps each there. That was just about as much as I could manage this week. Next week I'll be going for five reps on the third set and depending on how I feel at the time, hopefully five reps on the fourth too.

    Shoulder Presses(5x5)
    5x25Kg, 5x25Kg, 5x25Kg, 5x25Kg, 4x25Kg

    After the dumbbell bench and weighted dips I'm feeling fairly blasted but this week I managed an improvement on the shoulder press all the same. Just an extra rep on the fourth set but that should get me on the way to getting full reps on the fifth set, with me upping the weight the week after.

    Diet's been good this past three weeks. I attribute the weight improvements to the lay off time while recovering from my back injury and to the amount of energy I have from the amount of food I'm eating.

    Last time I weighed myself, about two weeks ago, I was 204lb at 17% BF. Will have to do a weight and BF measurement soon. :)
    #3
    TK2216UKG
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/02/18 13:29:26 (permalink)
    Things going well again. I managed the dumbbell bench press with the 45Kg dumbbells which are currently the heaviest in the gym though I've been assured that more are on order (the place was renovated recently). Although I did good on the bp it was a fair old battle so I'll be sticking to this weight next week.

    Flat Dumbbell Bench Press
    5x45Kg, 5x45Kg, 5x45Kg, 5x45Kg, 5x45Kg

    A minor improvement on the weighted dips which I'm happy enough with considering the effort taken on the flat dumbbell press. Managed another rep on the third set so the plan is to do the same on the fourth set next week.

    Weighted dips
    5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg

    Shoulder press was also a minor improvement on last week's but since I got full sets this time, I'll be tackling the 27.5Kg dumbbells next week.

    Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press
    5x25Kg, 5x25Kg, 5x25Kg, 5x25Kg, 5x25Kg


    Current stats:
    204lb @ 15.6% BF.
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    TK2216UKG
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/02/23 14:10:28 (permalink)
    Deadlifts weren't great today. I only managed two reps on the first set before I decided it was best to let them go for a week.

    I still have some DOMS in my hamstrings from last Friday's stiff leg deadlifts which I did after five sets of front squat. I pushed myself pretty hard on Friday so my thoughts are that my legs haven't fully recovered, hence the poor performance today. Best to let them fully rest and go hell for leather on them next Monday.

    Deadlift:
    2x125Kg

    Next up was close grip chins. A slight improvement overall. Looks like I'm inching closer to getting full fives for this which is a big goal of mine. All the same this improvement is most likely down to my back and arms not being exhausted from the deadlifts I didn't do.

    Close grip chins
    5, 5, 4, 4, 4

    Barbell rows next. I upped the weight by 2.5Kg today as I got full fives last week. I managed the same today so it'll be another 2.5Kg next week. The goal here is to get my pulling strength on a par with my push strength. Since I'm pushing 45Kg dumbbells in a press there's still a way to go, but things are getting there which is encouraging.

    5x65Kg, 5x65Kg, 5x65Kg, 5x65Kg, 5x65Kg

    Current stats:
    207lb @ 17.1%

    Something's up with the weight and bf measurements here. Strength has increased and while my bodyweight certainly has gone up, I couldn't say that it was equivalent to an increase in fat together with a decrease in lean body mass.

    I'm going to be more exacting with the bf measurements from now on. The above figure of 17.1% is from an average of three measurements with the calipers, which I didn't do last week. Next week's measurements will be interesting.
    #5
    TK2216UKG
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/02/27 16:52:06 (permalink)
    Didn't post a training log on Wednesday so I'll lump that in with today's log.

    WEDNESDAY:
    Well, I lifted the 45Kg dumbbells today again to gauge improvement over the past week. I'd have to say that I felt marginally stronger and more confident with these dumbbells on the flat bench.

    Flat DB Bench Press
    5x45Kg, 5x45Kg, 5x45Kg, 5x45Kg, 5x45Kg

    It's a shame that my gym still hasn't got the heavier dumbbells in yet but the staff there reckon they should be delivered soon. Following some advice I'll be doing weighted dips first, then the db press next week in order to maximise usage of the available dumbbells.

    Weighted dip
    5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg

    Slight improvement there with a fifth rep on the fourth set.

    Due to getting full fives on the shoulder press with 25Kg dumbbells I upped the weight to 27.5Kg. This was a bit of a struggle but I'm happy in that this is the weight I was pushing before my back injury at Christmas. Incidentally, today is the first day where I could say that my lower back felt entirely pain free. The day off deadlifting on Monday may have helped a little.

    Standing DB Shoulder Press
    5x27.5Kg, 5x27.5Kg, 5x27.5Kg, 3x27.5Kg, 3x27.5Kg

    As you can see, this was a bit of a struggle. The goal is to get four reps on the last two sets next Wednesday and onto the 30Kg dumbbells on April 7th.


    TODAY (FRIDAY):
    Front squats are going good. They're proving to be a very rewarding exercise and the weight on the bar is increasing every week so far. Today I added 1.25Kg on each end of the bar.

    Front squat
    5x72.5Kg, 5x72.5Kg, 5x72.5Kg, 5x72.5Kg, 5x72.5Kg

    There's something about front squat compared to back squat that makes form so easy to visualise. Sometimes I feel that with the weight at the front of my body that it's easy to lapse concentration on form and start loading the weight on the ball of the foot. Now, that'll lead to injury and stress on the knee joint but as I said, form's easier (for me at least) to visualise and so correcting form in a controlled manner isn't a problem.

    Next week another 1.25Kg will go onto each end of the bar again.

    Still leg deadlifts also improved. I attribute this to seeing a demonstration of proper form on MuscleTalk. Previously I wasn't bending my legs at all - I was lifting the weight solely with the power of my lower back. I'm sure that this would lead to a worse lower back injury. Anyway, I corrected my form by slightly bending my knees on the return half of the lift, lifting the weight with my lower back and keeping tension on my hamstrings as my legs straightened.

    Stiff Leg Deadlift
    5x112.5Kg, 5x112.5Kg, 5x112.5Kg, 5x112.5Kg, 5x112.5Kg

    So that weight'll have to be increased next Friday. :)

    I feel that my abdominal area is fairly underdeveloped. At this point I'm not too concerned about that but I'll be putting more effort into that in the coming weeks as I feel my lower back's in better shape.

    Hanging Leg Raise
    10, 10, 9

    The aim here is to get up to 12 reps on each of the three sets.

    Eating like a horse all week. I've been keeping to the meal plan, which is great. Always feeling like I've got plenty of energy and rest for a morning's workout. I'm growing - the scales are testament to that, but I'll be glad for the end of April when I can shift training, alter the diet and star to shed some loose pounds.
    #6
    TK2216UKG
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/03/02 15:07:21 (permalink)
    Since I'm planning to change my training to shift from bulking to fat loss in the beginning of April, I've started doing some cardio in preparation.

    This morning was a whey fuelled 30 minute run on the treadmill which I got stuck into about a half hour after I woke. I'm going to be doing two of these per week for the next four weeks before I get stuck into a cardio and HIIT combination while decreasing my daily calorie intake.

    The calorie decrease will have to be planned too. I'm not going to be overly scientific about it. Right now I'm considering doing this by removing carbs from one of my meals per week. At this point I'm thinking that I'll stop decreasing the carb intake when the only carbs I'm taking are at breakfast and my post workout meal. If I end up getting too hungry I'll bulk up a meal with some veggies and see how that goes.
    #7
    TK2216UKG
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/03/19 16:43:41 (permalink)
    I haven't updated my training log for this week, so here it is in one go.

    This is the second week where I've introduced cardio into my training regime. Currently this stands at 2 sessions per week done in a weights off day and has increased from a 30 minute run per session to 35 minutes. Being the end of the second week I feel a little fitter thanks to doing some cardio with the usual weights, however, I've seen a slight decrease in my strength in lifting weights though I'm not certain whether this is attributable to cardio.

    My aim is to gradually decrease my calorie intake and increase the amount of cardio in my regime. The goal is to drop to 10% bodyfat over at most 16 weeks, though I am confident I will reach this target before then. For reference, <a href="/training/fatloss.html">this is the meal plan and training requirements</a> I've made to achieve this. As I said, the aim is to get to 10% bodyfat with as little loss of lean bodymass as possible. Therefore I'm keeping a weekly check of current bodyweight and lean body mass to determine how much weight needs to be shed in order to get to the target level of bodyfat. Currently that stands at 13lb.

    <b>Monday's routine:</b>
    Deadlift: 5 x 5, Close grip pullup: 5 x 5, Barbell rows: 5 x 5

    Deadlift:
    Last week: 5x125Kg, 5x125Kg, 5x125Kg, 3x125Kg, 3x125Kg
    This week: 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg

    This week I couldn't manage the 125Kg on the deadlift so had to drop to 120Kg. This was disappointing but I did manage to get 5 reps across all five sets.

    Close grip pullup:
    Last week: 5, 5, 5, 4, 3
    This week: 5, 5, 5, 3, 3

    I was hoping for 4 reps on the last two sets and was disappointed in only being able to manage three on each. The aim is for 4, 4 on the last two sets next week.

    Barbell rows:
    Last week: 5x67.5Kg, 5x67.5Kg, 5x67.5Kg, 5x67.5Kg, 5x67.5Kg,
    This week: 5x70Kg, 5x70Kg, 5x70Kg, 5x70Kg, 5x70Kg

    A decent increase there, seeing me get my target for this week.

    <b>Tuesday:</b>
    Increased cardio from 30 minutes treadmill to 35 minutes at a steady 5.7mph</a>

    <b>Wednesday's routine:</b>
    Flat barbell bp: 5 x 5, Weighted dip: 5 x 5, Standing shoulder db press: 5 x 5

    Flat barbell bp:
    Last week: 5x100Kg, 5x100Kg, 5x100Kg, 5x100Kg, 5x100Kg
    This week: 5x102.5Kg, 5x102.5Kg, 5x102.5Kg, 5x102.5Kg, 5x102.5Kg

    Got what I wanted out of that, though it was a struggle toward the end. I was happy that I managed all reps unaided, which bodes well for next week.

    Weighted dip:
    Last week: 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg
    This week: 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 4x20Kg, 3x20Kg

    Another performance decrease. As I struggled getting full fives last week I thought it best to do the same weight this week, hoping for an improvement. I was disappointed in not being able to repeat last week but hopefully things will be better next week.

    Standing shoulder db press:
    Last week: 5x27.5Kg, 5x27.5Kg, 5x27.5Kg, 5x27.5Kg, 5x27.5Kg
    This week: 5x27.5Kg, 5x27.5Kg, 4x27.5Kg, 3x27.5Kg, 3x27.5Kg

    This was a <i>real</i> struggle! A poor performance based on last week. I don't know why but I just wasn't able to lift as well as I did the week before. Thing is, shoulders were well blasted all the same and I could still feel the effects yesterday. So perhaps realistically not a bad performance all the same.

    <b>Thursday:</b>
    Increased cardio from 30 minutes treadmill to 35 minutes at a steady 5.7mph</a>

    <b>Friday's routine:</b>
    Front squat: 5 x 5, Stiff leg deadlift: 5 x 5, Hanging leg raise: 5 x 5

    Front squat:
    Last week: 5x77.5Kg, 5x77.5Kg, 5x77.5Kg, 5x77.5Kg, 5x77.5Kg
    This week: 5x100Kg, 5x100Kg, 5x100Kg, 5x100Kg, 5x100Kg

    I think I did well to get this increase as I've found front squats to be a very demanding exercise. I'm happy with the weight increase here and it certainly was taxing but I reckon that I'll be good for another weight increase next week.

    Stiff leg deadlift:
    Last week: 5x115Kg, 5x115Kg, 5x115Kg, 5x115Kg, 5x115Kg
    This week: 5x115Kg, 5x115Kg, 5x115Kg, 5x115Kg, 5x115Kg

    I tried, but there was just <i>no way</i> I was going to be able to lift the 117.5Kg I was aiming for. I could barely pick the weight off the ground and when I tried I swear I was going to have an aneurysm! So I dropped back down to 115Kg and repeated last week's effort, which was a consolation. I felt a little fatigued during this workout but not so much that I felt too drained to even be in the gym in the first place.

    Hanging leg raise:
    I skipped these as I felt worked enough as it was. Certainly my abs felt well hit due to this week's deadlifts.
    #8
    Yib
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/03/19 16:52:24 (permalink)
    doing well in the front squats...you'll get the SLDL next time

    ur progress is good,and so does ur routine, keep it up...how is ur diet at the moment?
    #9
    TK2216UKG
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/04/02 08:20:16 (permalink)
    Hey italianbabe. Thanks a lot for your comments. :) They're very encouraging.

    Diet isn't bad so far. I'm keeping strict to it, certainly within the week. At the weekends I don't really let myself go, but if I'm socialising I'll let myself have some drinks and enjoy myself. Being strict during the week lets me do that and not have a conscience about it. :)

    Today however I'm on a company function and won't be able to eat regularly, nor eat the food I should be eating. I won't beat myself up about it too much - can't have it 100% all the time. Besides, I can look at this as a cheat day (all the same, I won't be pigging out though!) and have the rest of the weekend to make it up to myself.

    This week's training started off fairly bad - I couldn't deadlift a thing. I guess this is down to the lack of daily calories. Rather than force myself to deadlift a lesser weight I decided to let it go and just leave deadlifting to next Monday, letting my legs recover for another week. The previous Friday was a pretty good leg session anyway.

    On Monday I also changed my pullup grip so that my palms are facing towards me. This will put more emphasis on the biceps, which I want to grow a little more. I'm still only lifting my own bodyweight, but that's still a decent amount ;)

    Pullups:
    5, 5, 5, 5, 4

    I was also fairly weak on barbell rows. All in all, this Monday wasn't a great session at all.

    5x70Kg, 5x70Kg, 2x70Kg

    I missed the last two sets. All this despite being well fed and rested prior to the workout. Guess it was just one of those days...

    Tuesday I did my 40 minute run on the treadmill at home. They're a good opportunity to mong out for a bit and the time seems to fly by.

    Wednesday saw another 2.5Kg increase on the bench press which brings it up to 107.5Kg. Everything was going great up until the last set. So that sees the end of the weekly 2.5Kg incrememnts - next week I'm going to have to push myself hard to get five reps on that last set with this weight.

    Bench press:
    5x107.5Kg, 5x107.5Kg, 5x107.5Kg, 5x107.5Kg, 2x107.5Kg

    Weighted dips - I'm still working hard to get full fives out of this but it's a struggle. I suppose this is because I'm continuously pushing myself on the bench press which is done beforehand. Once I beat the 107.5Kg I'll swap the order of these two exercises around for a few weeks. Still, this week's weighted dips were a slight improvement on those of the week before where I got an inconsistent 3 reps on the fourth set and 4 reps on the fifth.

    Weighted dip:
    5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 3x20Kg, 4x20Kg

    Thursday - another 40 minute run.

    Friday (today):
    Due to a company function I'm unable to train today. Since I'd be front squatting and deadlifting it's probably not going to do me any harm to look at this missed workout as another opportunity for my legs to rest for Monday's deadlifts. My guess is that all this running is taking its toll on my legs' ability to recover between lifting sessions. Some kind of alteration to my routine is probably in order.

    Cardio wise, things are going to go crazy as of next week as I'm adding two HIIT sessions in addition to the 40 minute treadmill sessions.

    Fat loss progress has been steady, which is encouraging. I've given in to my geekiness and used my fat loss data to produce a chart which shows how bodyfat has steadily decreased while lean body mass has stayed constant so far. Hopefully this will remain! :) Sure, it's geeky but it helps me to visually judge my progress.

    The second week as recorded in the table in graph indicates an error on my part of recording bodyfat levels. Since then I've learned how to use the bodyfat calipers properly, so best to really ignore the second week's record.

    Again, here's my plan - http://www.mcbrien.org/training/fatloss.html , this time with the chart at the bottom of the page.
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    Yib
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/04/02 13:24:54 (permalink)
    wow...you're so organized, thats a good thing

    you say you have the banana post WO...is that with or without the whey? I think it's better if you had the supps first and then half an hour later a meal with a c.c, source protein, and good fats...imo

    and what happened to training your shoulders, isnt that on push day with Chest?
    #11
    TK2216UKG
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/04/03 23:52:11 (permalink)
    Thanks. :)

    Yeah, the banana is blended into a water + whey shake with some creatine bunged in there too. That's taken just after my workout, then when I get in to work about 40 minutes later I have a chicken, mixed veg and brown rice meal.

    Is this close to what you were suggesting?

    Yeah, I train shoulders with chest since my thoughts are that shoulders get a fair old beating in the chest movements, so I approach that as the chest workout being a warmup for shoulders, so I do one shoulder exercise to work them directly. Besides, shoulders get worked at other times in the week as it is (deadlifts, etc.)
    #12
    Yib
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/04/05 12:37:16 (permalink)
    I would have just the whey in water for fastest absorption...about half an hour later, you can eat the solid meal...

    I asked about shoulders because I didnt see you doing anything for them...and you're right, they do take a beating on the other days...what are you doing for them?

    the progress on your front squats are good...its progress, thats what counts, keep at it...
    #13
    TK2216UKG
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/04/05 14:01:56 (permalink)
    Well, I certainly agree with you there about the faster absorption but I also like to get a carb source down my neck right after training. I'm sure that my muscles are screaming to have some energy replenished and I find the banana works well and is palatable with the protein shake which is all blended in water. :)

    Shoulders... Well, as I said I do them on chest day which is on a Wednesday. That day I do five sets of bench press followed by five sets of weighted dips. Then I finish my workout with five sets of standing dumbbell presses. And that's it! Currently I'm lifting 27.5Kg dumbbells and working hard towards getting five reps on each set. This would be a *really* big milestone for me and I'll whoop with joy when I get there. It's going to take a few more weeks yet as last week I managed 5, 5, 4, 3, 3.

    Cheers for your comments about front squats. :) They're a fantastic exercise which I'm really enjoying the challenge of. My thanks for J5 for suggesting them to me in another thread a few months back.

    I managed to deadlift today which I was happy with as last week I couldn't deadlift to save my life. I was deadlifting 125Kg a few weeks back but in the last deadlift session I managed five sets of 5x120Kg, so after the week layoff from deadlifts I thought it best to remain on this weight for one more week.

    Deadlifts
    5x120Kg, 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg

    Close grip chinup - same result as last week but since I worked hard on deadlift this still probably indicates a strength improvement. Next week I'm on a mission to get that five rep on the last set. Since changing the grip so that my palms are facing me I feel a whole lot more emphasis on biceps and to be honest the change has made this exercise a whole lot more enjoyable.

    Close grip pullups
    5, 5, 5, 5, 4

    Again, last week I wasn't worth a damn on barbell rows. This week at least I managed to work through the five set but still fell short of my personal best so far which was:
    5x70Kg, 5x70Kg, 5x70Kg, 5x70Kg, 4x70Kg

    This is how I worked out on barbell rows today:
    5x70Kg, 4x70Kg, 4x70Kg, 4x70Kg, 3x70Kg

    I'd say that I was a bit flaked out after the deadlifts and pullups. In any case my form was beginning to badly suffer on the last two sets so rather than cheat the bar up I prefer to keep it under control. My view is that the position needed to perform barbell rows correctly possibly increases the risk of a slight neck or lower back injury if cheating the row movement.

    As for this week's mass and bodyfat measurements... Well, I really hope that my measurements are accurate because if they are then it's been good news all round here. I always take five bodyfat measurements with the calipers and take the average of those five readings. I measured exactly the same as last week, really pinching the skin fold. Anyway, this week it works out at 12.96% (a decrease of just over 1%) and since I now weigh 201lb, it would appear that my lean body mass has increased by 2lb overall...

    I'm very suspicious about these measurements being accurate. An gain of 2lb of muscle in a week is a hell of a lot. In any event I have to go by the readings I take each week and continually adjust my goals as a result. Given this LBM increase (that I have to trust for now), my target bodyweight is now 192lb leaving me 9lb to go.

    My guess is that next week's measurements will see me adjusting the target again. ;) On the plus side I have lost weight and I certainly haven't lost any lean mass while doing so.

    Updated progress chart here: http://www.mcbrien.org/training/fatloss.html

    Tonight is the first HIIT session, which will be a killer!
    #14
    TK2216UKG
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/04/06 15:21:21 (permalink)
    The increase in cardio is a killer! It's satisfying to have it done but man, it's hard work.

    Getting home after yesterday's morning deadlift session I got stuck into 15 minutes of HIIT on the stationary bike at 7:30pm. This morning was an early start, getting onto the treadmill at 6:45am for a 40 minute run.

    HIIT is currently between 50kph and 63kph on the flat out phase with 30kph on the slow phase.

    Tomorrow's chest and shoulder day in the morning (weight training) with another 15 minute HIIT session in the evening.
    #15
    TK2216UKG
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/04/28 13:54:09 (permalink)
    I haven't updated my training notes in a while so here's an update of the last few weeks' progress. The last time I posted in my training log was on 6th April - just over 3 weeks ago. At that time I was whining about the increase in cardio taking its toll on me. Since then I've been coping fine except on days where the aftereffects of a gruelling leg session are taking their toll.


    Overall progress has been good. I've shed another 5lb in bodyweight and though I've missed a few scheduled cardio sessions I've made up for almost all of them within the same week. (See my training and diet schedule ( http://www.mcbrien.org/training/fatloss.html ) for details rather than me blabbing on about it here too.) The flab loss is consistent with my goals of shedding at least 1lb per week. At this time I've got another 6lb to get rid of to get to my target of 10% bodyfat. With regard to the bodyweight log I think there may have been a slight error in my recordings for week 5 as they showed a 2lb increase in lean mass, which is quite a lot. The good news though is that LBM right now is the same as when I started this regime back in March.

    Lean body mass has also stayed consistent and I've plateaued in a fair few exercises, notably upper body exercises such as bench press and shoulder press. I've made some progress in narrow grip chins and weighted dips though this is marginal (still good though), decent progress in front squat and deadlifts though I had to drop the weight from 125Kg to 120Kg a few weeks back and have built back up to it.

    I'm on a week's holiday from this Friday (a motorbike cruise round Ireland :) ) so I won't be able to eat the food I plan for myself, nor train though I'll throw in some pressups, situps and the like now and again in the B&B's I'll be staying in. Nothing too taxing but enough to ease my conscience. Although I won't be able to eat and exercise how I would for next week I won't beat myself up about it if I add a pound or two as I'd still be further on than when I started and I know what I have to do to get rid of that weight. Things should be fine though as although I'll be enjoying my holiday (and the odd pint of Guinness, of course) I won't be pigging out either.

    Since I'll be missing this Friday's squat, SLDL and ab exercises I'll treat this week as a complete week and summarise progress from the week beginning 2004-04-05.

    Monday
    Deadlift (2004-04-05): 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg
    Deadlift (2004-04-26): 5x125Kg, 5x125Kg, 5x125Kg, 5x125Kg, 5x125Kg

    Happy to be back lifting 125Kg in this. I felt I could do more so I reckon that week after next I should be able to lift 127.5Kg. The last time I attempted 125Kg before dropping down to 120Kg was on 8th April where I recorded this in my training log: "struggled to do anything on dl. Is this because of missing last week? No DOMS. Slight lower right back pain."

    I remember I couldn't even lift the weight once off the ground. Something was badly wrong there, most likely the remains of that lower back injury I had last month. Thankfully that's gone now, not the slightest bit of pain, and the lower back feels strong.

    Close grip pullup (2004-04-05): 5, 5, 5, 5, 4
    Close grip pullup (2004-04-26): 5, 5, 5, 4, 4

    I put the slight decrease in performance here down to the effort put into deadlift taxing my arms. I'm desperately working towards full fives here so that I can appease my vanity by wearing a weight belt while doing pullups ;) .

    Barbell rows (2004-04-05): 5x70Kg, 4x70Kg, 4x70Kg, 4x70Kg, 3x70Kg
    Dumbell rows (2004-04-26): 5x35Kg, 5x35Kg, 5x35Kg, 5x35Kg, 5x35Kg

    I changed from barbell to dumbell rows because I found that it was far too easy to cheat and lose form on the barbell movement. I figured that if I were to continue with this exercise that it may aggravate my lower back injury which by this time I had got over nicely. Also, it's far too tempting to cheat the weight upwards rather than lift it in a controlled manner. So I changed to dumbell rows which I find to be almost the same movement but easier to focus on form and control the lift.

    I find the 35Kg dumbell a little too light for this movement. Next workout will be with a slightly heavier weight. Still, the progress on the 5th April wasn't great considering I had full fives on that same weight three weeks earlier.

    Wednesday
    Flat bench press (2004-04-07): 5x107.5Kg, 5x107.5Kg, 5x107.5Kg, 3x107.5Kg, 2x107.5Kg
    (5,5,5,5,2 on previous week)
    Flat bench press (2004-04-28): 5x105Kg, 5x105Kg, 5x105Kg, 3x105Kg, 4x105Kg

    Flat bp has been an odd one. I'll lift full fives out of 105Kg one week, progress to 107.5Kg the next and find that it totally flakes me out so I drop the weight to 105Kg the week after that... and so on in this pattern. Progress has really stagnated here and without heavier dumbells (the heaviest in the gym is <i>still</i> 45Kg) my options are rather limited.

    The only decent strategy I can think of is to swap the order of flat bp and weighted dips. Perhaps this will help my weight dips develop to the point where that strength will apply to help breaking the flat bp plateau. I'll give it a try for a month or so starting with my next upper body workout on May 12th.

    Weighted dip (2004-04-07): 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg, 5x20Kg
    Weighted dip (2004-04-28): 5x22.5Kg, 5x22.5Kg, 5x22.5Kg, 3x22.5Kg, 3x22.5Kg

    Fairly happy with this progress. I added 2.5Kg to this on the 14th April and have been trying to beat that weight since. Things will start to get interesting in respect to this from May 12th.

    Friday
    Front squat (2004-04-09): 5x82.5Kg, 5x82.5Kg, 5x82.5Kg, 5x82.5Kg, 5x82.5Kg
    Front squat (2004-04-23): 5x82.5Kg, 5x82.5Kg, 5x82.5Kg, 5x82.5Kg, 5x82.5Kg

    Lifted this weight this past three weeks since I find that each week it takes a fair bit out of me. I can keep the form and weight under control but I never feel confident enough to try another 2.5Kg on it. Should be OK after this week's break so I'll do 5x5 on 85Kg on next session.

    Stiff leg deadlifts (2004-04-09): 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg
    Stiff leg deadlifts (2004-04-23): 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg, 5x120Kg, 3x120Kg

    Attempted 122.5Kg on the 16th but it nearly killed me! I only managed 3, 4, 3, 3 over four reps before deciding that it was best to rest SLDL that week. So I've been stuck on 120Kg...

    Hanging leg raise (2004-04-09): 10, 8, 8
    Hanging leg raise (2004-04-23): 12, 10, 7

    Overall, decent enough progress though I want to get that last set up to 10 reps. Still not using any weight on this exercise - I'll leave that until I get 12 reps across all three sets.

    Thera krunch (2004-04-09): 5, 5, 5
    Thera krunch (2004-04-23): 8, 8, 8

    This is a new one to me, advised to me by one of the gym staff (and a competitive bodybuilder) in the absense of a decline bench to do weighted situps. My abs are relatively weak and so three sets of five unweighted reps were as much as I could manage. It's a killer exercise. My mission is to get three sets of 12 before considering some weight on the machine. I reckon I should got there around 28th May.

    Overall
    I'd say that strength increases have certainly slowed right down (and in some cases, peaked) since coming off bulking, stepping up the cardio and decreasing the calories. While this can be frustrating at times it is, to my knowledge, an unavoidable side effect. Still, my goals are to maintain current LBM, keep the strength I have and decrease bodyfat. Things are progressing nicely overall.
    #16
    TK2216UKG
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/05/14 17:42:03 (permalink)
    This is my first week back after a week's holiday. I've always found that a week off now and again helps recovery and I usually lift like a bear when I return to the gym. This week was a different story though.

    Thankfully although I ate what I wanted on holiday (within reason, though healthy-ish burgers and chips were back on the menu) I found that I didn't put any weight on. How good is that? :)

    The cardio routine suffered badly this week. Somehow I felt a little more fatigued all of this week than is normal. Some nights I was getting only 6.5 or 7 hours sleep which I'm sure explains part of it. Anyway, most of the time I couldn't face doing a forty minute run so I'd do a 20 minute HIIT session in its place. I've done three of those this week but I feel I should do more so tomorrow evenin or Sunday morning I'm planning a 40 minute treadmill session to at least ease my conscience.

    As for weights... Some of that was hit and miss too.

    MONDAY:
    A 2.5Kg improvement overall. I got 5x5 on 127.5Kg, so I'm happy. On Monday I'll be going for the same with 130Kg which will be the most I've ever deadlifted. If I get that I'll be over the moon as it'll be one more step to reaching my current goal of 133.5Kg which is 1.5 times my bodyweight.

    Close grip pullups were poor based on the previous session (two weeks prior). This time I did 5, 5, 4, 4, 3 compared to 5, 5, 5, 4, 4 the previous session. 5x5 even with my own bodyweight is a tough challenge.

    Dumbbell rows... I skipped 'em because I was knackered and I don't feel a bit guilty about it.

    WEDNESDAY:
    Flat barbell BP - I misread my journal from the previous week thinking I got 5x5 on 105Kg, whereas I didn't. The previous session was 5, 5, 5, 5, 4 on that weight. Anyway, I started on 107.5Kg and did five on that before realising what I'd done, then dropped it down to 105Kg and ended up getting 5, 5, 4 2. Two reps on the last set!! Awful...

    I was meant to do weighted dips before benching this time but thought with the break that I could tackle 105Kg this week. Totally unable to so they'll be swapped next week for a month or so, for variation at least. Weighted dips this week were 5, 5, 5, 0 with 22.5Kg. I just couldn't get one rep out on the fourth set so I moved on to standing barbell shoulder presses.

    On those I managed to get 5, 5, 5, 4, 3 out of 45Kg. Similar to the previous session but no improvement.

    FRIDAY:
    The last time I did front squats I got 5x5 out of 82.5Kg so this week was time to add another 2.5Kg to the total. I only managed 3 reps out of that weight on the first set so I dropped things back down to 80Kg where I managed to get 5 reps out of the remaining four sets. It was a bloody struggle trying to get them though.

    Based on that I skipped stiff leg deadlifts and ab work.

    Overall this week's lifting has been crap! I'm not letting it bother me though. I've had a week off so I'm looking back on this week as a breaking-in week. I'm going to get myself well rested over this weekend for next week's training and hopefully do a little cardio over the weekend too. Hopefully that will get me back up to speed to do some good lifting next week. On the plus side, total and lean body mass is unchanged from before holiday so I'm still on track to lose the remaining 6lb of flab by the end of June.
    #17
    TK2216UKG
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    RE: TK2216's journal 2004/05/21 13:01:53 (permalink)
    Things definitely better this week. Everything's back to form, I've made a change to one exercise, swapped some around and done all my cardio. Lifting better too!

    Monday saw the week starting well with me getting my personal best on deadlift - 5x5 on 130Kg. This is what I had planned for this week and next week will have me attempting 132.5Kg which should be well near 1.5 times my bodyweight - a big milestone for me.

    I also did a whole lot better than last week on close grip pullups, falling just short of 5 reps on the last set by getting 3 reps. Still, that full 5x5 is getting closer every week. :)

    I'm still trying to find a decent weight on dumbell rows. I increased the weight this week from 35Kg to 40Kg and I managed 5x5 without too much difficulty. Going for the next higher weight next week.

    I swapped bench press and weighted dips around this week. So I started off with my usual weighted dip weight of 22.5Kg and got 5x5 on that. Bench press as expected was a struggle after that, it really took a lot out of me, reps being 5 5 5 4 3 with 105Kg. Still, I totalled 7 reps on the last two sets so this isn't too bad, but I desperately want to move on from this weight.

    Barbell shoulder press was a slight improvement over last week, me getting 5 5 5 5 3 out of 45Kg.

    Finally Friday was a good workout. 5x5 out of 82.5Kg on the front squat which was an increase of 2.5Kg over last week's weight.

    I've recently found that five sets of still leg deadlifts after front squats is extremely taxing on me. Maybe this is due to the decrease in calories I've been forcing on myself this past two and a bit months... So I've replaced them with good mornings. Always good to have a change in the routine anyway. I built up to 40Kg for this and managed 5x5. I'll stick another 2.5Kg in total onto the bar for this next Friday.

    Cardio's been great this week with nothing missed. I'm not sure about any weight lost this week but I've ordered a load of casein which should do me for the next 3 months. I ordered the casein to replace my charge of cottage cheese that I have before going to bed. That'll save me the calories from about 12g of fat and 14g of carbs every night. It all counts at this point.

    Otherwise, things going good. I currently weigh 196lb which is a loss of 11lb from 9 weeks ago.
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