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Old 11-15-2013, 06:02 AM   #1
GT55
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Default 6 months in

Its 7 months since I decided to do something about my lack of strength, and 6 months since I started on my journey proper. I'm writing this partly for selfish reasons of reminding myself where I came from and that the journey is long, and partly to help anyone who may be wondering where to start.

When I started, I was 78kgs but around 17 or 18% bf. as measured by the "experts" at my gym. First thing to decide was did I want to get stronger and a bit fatter, or did I want to trim the fat and start bulking from a lower bf. %. At 6"1 and 38yrs old, I was weak as hell and I didn't mind having mini love handles at my side, so I decided to start eating and getting strong. I'm glad I did, and I would encourage people to follow the advice I found on which was : 1. Build strength, 2. Build Mass, 3. Condition. Obviously if you're not happy with your b.f. or looks, you can reverse this. More than 20%b.f. as a fresh beginner, you should consider losing some weight first. What I cant do, and this seems to be the norm, is to build strength and lose fat simultaneously. Im aware that there may be people who can do this, but I certainly cant. For 2 months over summer I gained no weight, and virtually no strength either. As soon as i started eating more again, the strength gains came too. So as BtB says "trust the process".

Next advice I took was to pick a program and stick to it. BtB challenged beginners to stay on one program for one year. I picked a fullbody program from Wendlers 531 book. I picked this because it was simple, had all the major compound lifts and was easy to plan progression. The one thing it didnt have was much volume, so last month I failed BtBs challenge and jumped to a 5x5 fullbody with the same movements but obviously more volume. I now think that its ok to review your program and tweak things but limit this to as little as possible.

The hardest thing for me as a beginner to get my head around, and in my opinion why most fail, is that changing your body takes time. Superficial browsing of internet, magazines etc. leads people to believe that "6 weeks to big arms" and the like are the norm, with the unfortunate models chosen to promote these plans giving unrealistic expectations to the public.
Patience is key, its my weakness though, and the main reason Im writing this to myself and anyone whos interested. Theres a lot of info. on here related to genetic limits, expectations for muscle building etc, and although its easy to read and comprehend, its also easy to subconsciously believe that somehow you are different, and can add 15kgs of muscle in a year. You cant.
To help combat this lack of patience, I have to set goals long term, mid term and short term. Only a constant overview of progression staves off the nasty feeling that Im not getting stronger fast enough.

Which leads me to my own progress. When I started, I could bench 35kgs, had never squatted, or deadlifted. I set a one year goal of totalling 900lbs. This breaks down normally to around 200lb bench, a little over 300lb squat and a little under 400lb deadlift. Now I can bench over 90kgs, squat around 100kgs, and pull around 130kgs. That puts me at around 700lbs.
Ive added 10kgs bodyweight, and measure 20%b.f according to the same experts in the gym, whom I dont really trust. I'm on target to reach my one year goal, and want to thank MaB so much for the expert advice on here. Happy Lifting!
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:43 AM   #2
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goddamnit can people stop making my bench look like shit hehe. In all seriousness thats nice progress man, keep it up!
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:12 AM   #3
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Great job! Kudos for beginning the journey, you are in the minority.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:24 AM   #4
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Good job man, keep it up!
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:16 AM   #5
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That's great. Congratulations.
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:58 AM   #6
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Thanks guys! Don't feel like its good progress, especially on the squat, but I will stick at it. Off to the gym now!
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:38 PM   #7
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Nice work brother. Even when progress is slower than we would like, it's still progress. Keep your shoulder to the wheel and good things will happen.
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:15 PM   #8
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Nice progress! Keep smashing.
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