Toolmonkey - Strongman in the making
After 22 years of training and never really getting the results I wanted or believe I can achieve I thought starting a journal and tracking progress might help.
Started in the gym at 16 and did pretty well until I discovered booze, fags and women when I joined the military at 19. Carried on training but didn't really get anywhere for a couple of years and then it started to pick up again when I quit the fags and booze and met my future wife. Was at my strongest around the age of 22-23 and then my wife gave birth to triplets in 2000. Since then I have just been plodding along not really making any progress. In the first half of last year I became quite disillusioned with training, nothing felt right, all the lifts felt awkward and I was just going backwards.
Things all came to a head in June last year when my wife and daughter became ill at the same time. My daughter spent 4 months in hospital and my wife was diagnosed with a long term illness. All the kids have Autism and this, coupled with my wife and daughter being ill I fell apart, quite spectacularly. Severe depression, panic attacks (thought it was a heart attack), quite a bit of time off sick all lead to me becoming a couch potato and not bothering with the gym. What muscle I did have evaporated in to thin air.
Started medication and things started to pick up a little, finally got back into the gym straight after Christmas. Bit of a shock to say the least, never felt so weak. Took this as an opportunity to deconstruct all of the major lifts (squat, bench, deads, pendlay row, over head press) and start form scratch. First 6 weeks was just working on technique with very modest weight. Then went on to a 5x5 routine 3 times a week squats, bench, pendlay row and deads, over head press and dips alternated between workouts. Did this for 3 months and made some good progress, surpassing all the weights where they felt awkward last year. Since then I have been playing about with different set and rep schemes to try and figure out what works best for me. 6-8 weeks of 5x5 increasing 1.5 to 2.5 kg on the bigger lifts and .5 to 1kg on the smaller lifts per week followed by 4 weeks of higher rep lower weights with similar increases per session on the major lifts seems to be what works well. Once I go back to the 5x5 the weight is a little lower than the last session but I am usually able to cruise through the weight I previously stalled on.
So where am I now?
Current 1 rep maxes were tested a month or so ago, they were ugly as hell so I'm not that fussed to be honest. Don't try them very often, maybe once or twice a year. The main thing is the weights are increasing on a regular basis during my usual workouts.
10 rep maxes are - squat 150kg, deads 165kg, bench 110kg, over head press 65kg, pendlay row 100kg.
Body weight - 95kg circa 20% fatness
Diet - I'm not doing anything crazy. Just sensible 2300-2800 calories daily. Lots of fish, rice, pasta, sweet potatoes, chicken, vegetables, fruit, steak, eggs, nuts etc. all the good stuff. Protein around 130g, fats 110g and the rest from carbs. Weekends I usually have one meal on a Saturday and Sunday that is not so clean, maybe a beer and a chocolate bar.
Cardio - Hate it apart from cycling, cycle to and from work every day, 3 miles each way. Downhill most of the way to work, 2 miles up a 4-6% hill on the way home. I usually go balls out on the way home, takes about 8-10 minutes up the hill, sweating like a pig when I get home. Usually go out for 30-40 miles on a weekend, don't do hills on this, stick to the flat between 23-26 mph average. I think this is enough.
Goals - Trim up a bit, mostly strength orientated and some extra muscle as a bonus.
Going on a much needed holiday next week to Egypt for 2 weeks. Will train early in the morning as they have a gym, just some light work to keep me ticking over, cant sit around for 2 weeks doing nothing.
Will take some pics when I get back and have a tan, maybe, if I'm brave enough.
post edited by TOOLMONKEY - 2016/03/06 09:57:45