Commanding My Body
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Mens sana in corpore sano - A sound mind in a sound body
Well, the HyperPLASIA Challenge is over, and I enjoyed the journaling experience and decided to continue it here in the regular journaling forum. You can see my HyperPLASIA experience here:
I started lifting “seriously” at age 18. I had worked out for track & field and basketball during high school, but never seriously, in fact, my friends and I would try to ditch practice whenever possible. Senior Year of high school, I had serious body image issues and starved myself from 165 to 139 at my current height of 5’10.5”. Needless to say, I looked like a twig.
Therefore, I decided to bulk up. I took everything I knew at the time (which wasn’t much) and threw together a full body routine, done three times per week, one set until failure for all exercises (with the exception of bench, had to bench 3 sets, ha, ha, the typically high-school mind-set!). I think I got the idea of 1 set until failure from Dorian Yates, I didn’t know at the time that he warmed up! I never got hurt though, the glory of being young and having malleable joints.
It worked reasonably well, I got back up to 162 by the end of the summer eating tons of food whenever possible. I worked at a pizza shop and got to eat huge stromboli’s and make my own ice cream blizzards (yes, I gained some fat too!).
After that, I just gradually gained from 162 to about 180 over the next 10 years. I read a lot of information over those years. Unfortunately, I spent way too much time reading stuff like Muscle & Fitness and being distracted by pro-bodybuilders routines. I didn’t even know about natural bodybuilding or websites like ABC. I have learned more over the last 1 year, by sticking to ABC and reading about what other natural bodybuilders are doing, than the previous 10 years combined. But even still, after all of that learning, I can relate to Socrates better than ever: “As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.”
I am 29 now, and I desire to learn everyday. It has only been recently that I have made any significant push to get more mass. Today, I am 189 and (with the exception of being 196 during the challenge before Strep Throat caught up with me) I am the biggest I ever have been. Unfortunately, I still look pretty skinny.
Worse than being skinny, I recently have realized that I am terribly deficient in strength considering how long I have been training. I realized this has several causes;
1) I never built a solid foundation. I have been doing bodybuilding type routines my whole life and never just focused on getting my core lifts up. Yes, I use big compound movements and, yes, I use progression, but the focus was never on just getting stronger and building a good base.
2) Gaps in my training. I am a husband and father of two young boys and my training has taken a back seat many times to family life. As my boys get older, it has become easier to train and get into a routine. I don’t foresee much getting in the way of my training at this point.
With that said, I have decided to do the Rippetoe Routine as taken from this thread:
(I am too cheap to buy the book!)
I will be making as little modifications as possible. I plan on doing DB Inc Bench instead of Flat Barbell Bench and I will do Pendlay Rows instead of Power Cleans. I will not be Squating 3x5 both workouts, but rather I will do 3x10 and 3x5. Otherwise, I am sticking true to the program (the only substitution I did that was not approved according to the forum was the DB Inc Bench). I will gradually add in ab exercises as prescribed and eventually some dips and chins.
page 1-3 Starting Strength
page 14-30 Smolov squat routine - success
page 31-41 Coan/Phillipi Deadlift routine - fail
page 45 Results of 3 month diet, first experiment with cutting
page 46-50 Smolov base cycle
page 117-118 Results of 6 month diet, first serious cut
page 119-120 "Mock" contest week prep
page 132-174 Bulk for first bodybuilding contest: January 11, 2011 to December 4, 2011: 172.2 lb to 200.9 lb
page 169-170 HFS Experiment
page 175-191 Cut for first bodybuilding contest: December 5th 2011 to April 9, 2012: 200.9 lb to 174.7 lb
page 191-193 April 21, 2012, Contest results - 1st Novice Tall, 2nd Open Tall - losing to the Men's Open Overall Winner
My YouTube Videos
Last night’s workout:
Squat 200 lb 3x5
DB Inc Bench 78 lb each 3x5
Deadlift 343 lb 1x6 (only supposed to do 5, but I was feeling awesome)
Decline Leg Raises BWx12
I know, the squats are pathetic. I think they are my worst exercise, luckily, the weight was easy and I think I can add much weight to my squat over the next few weeks/months.
Deadlift was a PR for me. My max in August was 363 x 1 with horrible form. I plan on hitting 363 x 5 with in several workouts! Added bonus, I had been using straps as a crutch, but the Rippetoe advice was to not use them. So I went for it last night and pulled my reps strapless.
Finished with 10 minutes of GPP:
4 minutes of Front Squats - Tabata method (85 pounds)
6 minutes of sledgehammer work (I pound a tire with a 16 pound sledgehammer)
Musical motivation during the workout was provided by the Transplants (a side project of Rancid’s Tim Armstrong).
I believe this to be about my maintenance calories.
I have typically tried to follow John Berardi’s Massive Eating/G-Flux ideas for nutrition. I try to stick to protein/carb meals and protein/fat meals. The exception, as always, is dinner, where I eat whatever my wife cooks (I am blessed really!) which is healthy, but higher in carbs than I would like.
My current goal is to maintain current weight while gaining loads of strength. When I feel that I have stalled in my strength progression, I will likely add some calories and see if I can continue to make strength gains by adding some mass.
Fish Oil 12 grams/day
Vitamin C, E
I take Zinc, Magnesium and B6 for my own generic ZMA at night.
I forgot a few;
Apple Cider Vinegar
Green Tea, 3 cups
Sidenotes about myself:
I came to Christ in 2002 and have been trying to improve my walk with the Lord ever since. In addition to the Bible, I love to read books that bolster my faith, such as Lee Strobel’s Case for Christ and Case for the Creator.
I am also incredibly passionate about politics/history/economics. I feel they all intertwine. I love to devour articles and books on those subjects.
I have two boys, age 4 and 8. Both just got involved in gymnastics and it is very exciting for me to watch them learn to be physically coordinated and graceful.
I have been happily married for 6 years to a stay-at-home mom who paints children’s art, nursery furniture & wall murals, does graphic design, and she has also written a novel. She is truly a wonderful woman of God.
Favorite Music: Punk Rock, Christian Rap (but I listen to lots of other stuff as well)
None of that really matters for the journal, but I figured I would give my ABC friends a glimpse into my life.
Hey hey! Great work at the challenge, keep up the good work bro!
Nice leg workout btw...if u wanna see pathetic squats look at my 100lbs squats :) Just going up slowly..
Luck with the new journal!
Thanks bro, pathetic is definitely relative to the individual, for how long I have been at the Iron game, I should be pushing more weight than what I do. But it's all good, I am motivated to move some serious weight now!
Last night's workout:
Squat 3x10 175 lb
Military Press 3x5 150 lb
Pendlay Row 3x5 175 lb
For anyone who doesn't know, a Pendlay row is very similar to a Bent Row but you deload between reps. Military Press was HARD, but I didn't miss any reps. Rippetoe's suggestion if you stall is to go back 10%, I started at 140 and will attempt 155 next week, so even if I stall, at least I will not be going lower than my starting weight (155-15). But I don't plan on stalling!
Finished with 8 minutes of GPP:
Various bodyweight exercises
Barbell Complex with 65 lb (bent row, deadlift, SL DL, clean, front squat, military press, back squat good morning) 6 reps each exercise
Musical motivation: Rancid's fifth album....
Squat 210 lb 3x5
DB Inc Bench 80 lb each 3x5
Deadlift 353 lb 1x6 (only supposed to do 5, but like last time I did deadlifts, I was feeling awesome)
Decline Leg Raises BWx12
No GPP, I had to leave for a party. It was out in the boonies, a campfire, bring your dog, pumpkin carving party! Great time!
I am really psyched about the Deadlifts, on Thursday 11/6, I will attempt to lift my rep max from August, 363 lbs, 5 times! Squats still were easy, will bump up to 220 then I may have to slow down to 5 pound increments.
Music by Rancid "Let's Go":
Weight: 190 (steady)
Diet: continues same as listed above, no need to change anything yet.
I missed my GPP yesterday for two reasons; 1) I did praise and worship with 3,4 and 5 year olds at my church for 1 hour, trust me, that was good cardio! 2) I worked a midnight shift last night so I avoided the extra energy expenditure because I needed to stay awake.
LOGGED IN for the long haul
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