Hey, guys. I'm starting this journal to motivate myself. I've hit a plateau, and my buddy just inspired me to try Mark Rippetoe's program. So I'm going to try it for a few months to increase my strength and muscle mass.
I'm currently 5'11", 189 lbs, about 18% body fat (using the hand held meter). I workout about 3 times per week. I have bad genetics, so I'm generally small framed. In my younger days, I maxed on bench at 315 (1 rep), squatted 405, shoulder pressed 225. My triceps, biceps, and back are pretty strong. (I can do about 33 pullups in a row on a good day). I tore my labrum in my shoulder about 2 years ago, so I can no longer use a barbell for chest or shoulders, so I use dumbells. I'm still pretty strong for my size, but I want to increase my strength slowly and safely. That's why I'm researching more scientific methods. In my younger days, I just piled weight on and went at it recklessly. That lead to 2 torn triceps and a torn shoulder labrum!
I'm coming off of a finger surgery, so I'll probably start tomorrow. The program is basically olympic type lifts, and it supposedly helps people gain size and strength pretty efficiently. I'm not so much interested in the size part. I'm okay with my weight now. But I want to increase my strength and do exercises that give me more big muscle work to maximize the cardio benefit as well.
So I'll keep this updated as much as possible. I'm doing this to try to keep me on track with the program. I'd appreciate any feedback you could give me about the program if you know about it. Thanks, guys!
I think you would make more gains if you do powerlifting type lifts, But hey give it a try or you will never know. Good luck!!
Well, between the initial post and yesterday, I decided to try something different. It's called S.A.I.S. training, and it goes along with some research I've been doing. It aims to target all 3 types of muscle fibers in a high intensity routine. It is a 6 week program, so I'll update it as I go. But here was my 1st day:
Warmup with 65 lb dumbells; flat bench press.
Set 1- 6 reps with 85 # dumbells, explosive up, 1 sec. pause at top.
Set 2- 6 reps with 90 #
Set 3- 5 reps 90 #; could not complete #6
Incline bench press-
Set 1- 10 reps, normal speed, half second rest at top with 60 # dumbells
Set 2- 8 reps, could not complete 9th
Chest Press machine- Goal- 20 very slow reps. Only completed 17 at 130. Arms and chest were on fire! (I've been off for 2 weeks after finger surgery)
Biceps- warmup- 20 reps of dumbell curls with 25 # dumbells
Set 1- 6 reps of shoulder width barbell curls with 75 lbs, explosive up, pause 1 second at top.
Set 2- 6 reps with 85 lbs
Set 3- 6 reps with 95 lbs
Seated dumbell curls-
Set 1- 10 reps with 25 lb dumbells, normal speed, half sec. pause at top
Set 2- 10 reps. Arms were on fire
Close grip EZ curl barbell-
Set 1- 20 reps with 55 lb- arms were dead at end.
I then ran 3 40 yrd dashes and a 100 yard dash for good measure.
I also worked my azz off this weekend mixing, pouring, and spreading cement, so I was still a little fatigued. But the workout was very good and intense. Legs are ready for tonight!
Legs- haven't worked legs with weights in 10 years. Blew my knee out 11/20/2000, and haven't done crap for them other than running and jumping. So here is my 1st leg workout in years!
Same idea as the other workout- explosive movements on 1st 3 sets, normal on the next 2, and slow HIT type on last set.
Dead lifts- warmup of 8 reps with 135 lbs.
Set 1- 6 reps at 205 lbs
Set 2- 6 reps at 205 lbs
Set 3- 6 reps at 205 lbs
Squats- warmup with 135 x 15.
Set 1- 6 reps at 205 lbs
Set 2- 6 reps at 225 lbs
Set 3- 6 reps at 225 lbs
Set 1- 10 reps at 200 lbs (100 lb plate on each side; not sure what sled weighs)
Set 2- 10 reps at 290 lbs
Set 1- 20 reps with just sled extremely slow and burning!
I took it very easy this time to gauge myself on my limits. As I said before, I haven't worked legs for years, so I needed to test my legs and back. Squats were kind of tough. I have squatted 405 (a week before I blew my knee out), so the weight wasn't too bad for my legs. But my stablity and technique is a little shaky. The leg press was pretty easy, but it put a bind on my lower back. And the hack squats were okay. Next week, I'll try to increase the weight a little more.
Well, today is a rest day, and tomorrow is shoulders and triceps (my favorite!!). I'll give you the scoop on Friday!
Shoulders and Triceps this morning. (I haven't done barbell lifting for shoulders in about 5 years. I always used dumbells because of my torn labrum (which I had for years and didn't know about until it ripped about 3 years ago. So this is the first time I use barbells in years)
Behind the neck press
Warmup- 45lbs x20
Set 1- 6 reps with 95lbs (very very easy)
Set 2- 6 reps with 115 lbs
Set 3- 6 reps with 125 lbs (didn't want to push too hard. Really just trying to set my limits)
Set 1- 10 reps with 90lbs
Set 2- 10 reps with 100 lbs
Barbell shoulder press
Set 1- 20 reps with 95 lbs very slow, and it burned!!
Warmup with 95 lb pressdowns x 20
Set 1- 6 reps with 65
Set 2- 6 reps with 85
Set 3- 6 reps with 85
Set 1- 10 reps with 65
Set 2- 10 reps with 65
Set 1- 20 reps with 130. Arms are dead!!
I can probably go a little heavier on all these. I'm just trying to avoid any more shoulder problems. I didn't have surgery; I took a month off and a bunch of NSAIDS. So I'm taking it a little easy on the barbell stuff and things that I don't normally do (french press, skull crushers). If I can't lift heavy enough with barbells, I'll switch back to dumbells and do the same routines. But I want to give it at least 3 weeks just to give it a fair shake.
Tomorrow- Back and calves.
Back and Calves. I don't carry a pen and paper in the gym, so when working back, I have to use a different way of explaining the weight used for a set. Observe:
Warmup- lat pulldowns- 95 x 15
Set 1- 6 reps with 4 from the bottom
Set 2- 6 reps with 2 from the bottom
Set 3- 6 reps with 1 from the bottom
That was a lot of weight! In between sets, I did medicine ball twists- 1st set with #2, 2nd set with #4, and 3rd set with #5 for 35 reps on each side all sets.
Set 1- 10 reps with 4 from the bottom
Set 2- 10 reps with 3 from the bottom
In between, I did crunches- 1st set- 15 reps with 35 on machine, and 2nd set- rope with 45 on machine
One arm dumbell rows
Set 1- 20 reps with 45 lb dumbell- and my arms and back are spent!
Calves- warmup- 15 reps with half the rack on standing calf press machine
Set 1 - 6 reps with 2 from the bottom
Set 2- 6 reps with the whole stack
Set 3- 6 reps with the whole stack plus a 45lb plate
Seated Calf raises
Set 1- 10 reps with 2 45lb plates
Set 2- 10 reps with 2 45lb plates and 1 25lb plate
In between sets, I did roman chair situps- 3 sets of 15 reps each
Set 1- 20 reps with 70 lbs plus sled
After calves, I did hanging leg raises, 3 sets of 15 reps. Then, I did side bends, 1 set of 12 reps with 30 lb dumbells, 1 set of 12 with 35lb dumbells, and 1 set of 12 reps with 40 lb dumbells.
Good workout. I was sweating like a prostitute in church! Tomorrow and Sunday are rest days. Monday is chest and biceps again, and I'll be taking my 1st Muay Thai class Monday evening. Wish me luck!
Did not make Muay Thai. Will do it Wednesday or Friday.
I decided to use the same philosopy of the SAIS program, but mold it to my abilities. So I tweaked their cookie cutter routine and made my own. Same principal- basically hitting all muscle fiber types and kicking their azz. But I think working with the barbell the other day took its toll again. So I'm going to do what I know my body can handle.
Yesterday's chest workout:
Warmup- chest press machine- 20 reps at 130
Set 1- 6 reps with whole stack
Set 2- 6 reps with whole stack plus weight
Set 3- 6 reps with whole stack plus weight
Incline dumbell press:
Set 1- 10 reps with 60 lb dumbells
Set 2- 10 reps with 65 lb db
Set 3- 10 reps with 65 lb db
Set 1- 20 reps with half stack on front machine
Set 1- 10 reps with body weight
Set 2- 10 reps with body weight
Set 3- 10 reps with body weight
Warmup- 25 lb dumbell curls x 20
Set 1- 6 reps at 85lb (ez curl bar, wide grip)
Set 2- 6 reps at 105 lbs
Set 3- 6 reps at 115 lbs
Dumbell Hammer Curls:
Set 1- 10 reps with 30 lb db's
Set 2- 10 reps with 30 lb dbs
Set 3- 10 reps with 30 lb db's
Preacher Curls (front machine):
Set 1- 10 reps with short stack plus 1, then decreased to entire short stack for 10 reps
I added dips because I started getting more gains on my chest when I put them in my workouts. My chest is the hardest thing for me to develop, so I don't mind adding a little. I also added an additional set into the workouts. I wasn't getting a good pump or soreness last week. And I also substituted hammer curls in the place of reg. dumbell curls because I like the results I get in my lower bicep. And they burned like hell!
I skipped legs today because my son kicked me all last night, and I barely got any sleep. Thursday will be shoulders and triceps. I will also be changing the workouts slighlty, but sticking to the cadence and doing 1 exercise using explosive movements, 1 exercise using moderate movements, and 1 exercise using extremely slow movements. I don't think that the type of exercise matters that much. I just know what my body responds to and what it can handle. So I'll cater the program to those exercises!
I will follow along. You should have givven starting strenght a shot. I am an advanced lifter, and when a major surgery set me back about a year ago, I used SS to get back on tract...it works. It actually made me stronger! Also, nice job on leg day, you will pay for it the next day!!! Haha keep at it man
Thanks for the advice, bigbear. Where can I find the starting strength program? My legs actually didn't feel bad at all the next day. But like I said, I can't push too hard right now. I'm tentative about my back and knee. I was kind of testing my strength, and I think I'll kick it up a little next time!
Last night, I did Muay Thai for the 1st time. The guy I trained with is a 4th degree BB in Tae Kwon Do, a 1st degree bb in Akido, and a 1st degree BB in Joe Lewis's system (he trained under Bruce Lee in the 70's). It is a combination of karate, traditional kickboxing, and Thai boxing. When we finished warmups, my calves were more worn out than they have EVER been. They hurt like hell this morning!
If I can make the money and time work, I'll join the class and pursue a black belt in that style. It will be tough, though. The whole night, my instructor had to keep deconstructing my karate background and trying to make me learn an entirely different style! For example, the stance for this style is a lot more compact. Weight is distributed on yor legs 50 50 instead of 70 30. The whole mechanics of the punches are 100 different. In Shotokan, the punches flow with the mechanics of the body. In boxing, the punches are evidently more in tune with the position of the opponent. And I have to learn to keep my off hand in my face and my elbows covering my ribs! In Shotokan, your off hand recoils to the hip for the next punch.
It was a hell of a workout that had me ready to throw up mid way. But it was awesome, and I hope I can continue. Tonight is back and triceps. I'll update tomorrow. And bigbear6708, if you can let me know about the starting strength program, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
Bigbear- I found the answer to my question on Starting Stregth- didn't realize it was the Rippetoe program's name!
Saturday- had to catch up for slacking last week.
Back, Shoulders, and Triceps:
Warmup with half stack on seated rows.
Set 1- 3 from bottom- 6 reps
Set 2- 1 from bottom- 6 reps
Set 3- 1 from bottom- 6 reps
Set 1- 10 reps
Set 2- 10 reps
Set 3- 10 reps
Set 1- 20 reps at 60
Warmup- Shoulder Press- 15 reps with 40lb dumbells
Set 1- 6 reps with 60lb dumbells
Set 2- 6 reps with 60lb dumbells
Set 3- 6 reps with 65lb dumbells
Set 1- 10 reps at 75lbs
Set 2- 10 reps with 85lbs
Set 3- 10 reps with 85lbs
Set 1- 20 reps with 17.5lb dumbells
Warmup- 20 reps with half stack
Set 1- 6 reps at 140
Set 2- 6 reps at 150
Set 3- 6 reps at 160
Set 1- 10 reps with 110
Set 2- 10 reps with 120
Set 3- 10 reps with 130
Body Weight Dips:
Set 1- 20 reps
My back, shoulders, and triceps were ridiculously pumped!
This afternoon- chest and biceps.
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