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SecondsOut 02-08-2013 02:21 PM

Just trying to get big
I've rarely ever done high volume workouts because I just like lifting heavier weights. As long as I got stronger, I didn't care much about size. Recently, though, I took a month out and trained 2 times per day (5x5 in the morning, 6x10 in the evening). I wasn't trying to put on mass, just get used to handling heavier weights for more than a few sets. But when I noticed myself getting bigger and when I noticed that even while taking in 5,000-6,000 calories my bf% didn't go up much, I knew that I was doing something right and that I wanted to continue packing on as much muscle as possible (without any supplements besides whey and occasionally creatine). Then I read "Donít Be A 165 Pound Weakling Ė A Rally For The Strong", and it reinforced what I experienced and got me even more motivated.

My Current Stats:
~180 lbs.
~15% bf

Squat: 315
Bench: 240
Deadlift: 420

A Few Photos
(The blur sucks, but you get an idea of the size of my delts, which is all I care about for this shot)

I've always done set programs and followed them closely, but that just doesn't feel right any more. Lately, I just go to the gym and do whatever sets/reps feel right. The goal is 4 workouts per week, plus or minus 1 depending on how recovery goes. Lately, my elbows (especially the left one) have felt shredded, so it's a little bit touch and go in terms of rest days. Also, it makes the negative on heavy presses really difficult, so I've been using lighter weights.

Day 1: Squat + Flat Bench
Day 2: Deadlift + Incline Bench
Day 3: Squat + Flat Bench
Day 4: Deadlift + Standing Press

I'm limited on time, so I don't do accessory movements, just lots of sets on the 2 exercises. Even if I have time, I still prefer additional compound movements over single-joint movements.

Here is last week's workouts (I never record the warm-up sets, but I usually do around 4 with low reps):

Sunday, 1/27
Deadlift = 13,815 lbs.

a) 4 x 340
b*) 7 x 315
c) 5 x 10 x 205

*After this set, I'd planned on doing a set of 9 and a set of 11, but I tweaked my back on rep 3 of the set of 9. It was just some freak thing that while I was on rep 3, I kind of twitched and rounded my back for a split second (I was using 290). I don't know why this happened; I must've gotten distracted. I stopped the workout, walked 4-5 laps around the indoor track, and then decided it was worth returning to try a much lighter weight. I definitely couldn't have lifted anything remotely heavy, but the 5 x 10 x 205 was easy and didn't make my back feel worse (I actually think it helped make it feel better).

Press = 4,500 lbs.

a) 6 x 10 x 75


Monday, 1/28


Tuesday, 1/29
Squat = 12,125 lbs.

a) 4 x 225
b) 7 x 205
c) 9 x 185
d) 11 x 175
e) 4 x 10 x 155

Flat Bench = 9,740 lbs.

a) 4 x 185
b) 7 x 170
c) 9 x 155
d) 11 x 140
e) 10/10/10/9 x 125


Wednesay, 1/3


Thursday, 1/31
Deadlift = 15,390 lbs.

a) 4 x 340
b) 7 x 315
c) 9 x 290
d) 11 x 265
e) 3 x 10 x 210

Incline Bench = 9,080 lbs.

a) 4 x 175
b) 7 x 155
c) 9 x 135
d) 11 x 130
e) 10 x 120
f) 3 x 10 x 115


SecondsOut 02-08-2013 02:24 PM

Sunday, 2/3
Squat = 12,785 lbs.

a) 5 x 6 x 205
b) 5 x 6 x 185
c) 7 x 155

I had wanted to do 10 sets of 6 with 225, but after my warmup sets, I knew that that wasn't going to happen. I used short rest pauses, ~1 min. That 7 x 155 was grueling; I was aiming for 10, but I was spent. I only attempted it because I'm in this habit of doing back-off sets, and even though I was tired, it felt weird ending on the last set of 6 x 185.

Flat Bench = 12,260 lbs.

a) 2 x 6 x 175
b) 2 x 8 x 135
c) 2 x 10 x 115
d) 6 x 10 x 95

I had wanted to do 10 sets of 6 with 175. Unlike squats, my warm up sets were solid. I went up to 215 for a single and felt like I could've done 3 reps pretty easily. But for some reason, I just didn't have it in me toward the back half of all these sets. My strength just drained so quickly, it was amazing. I banged out 6 x 10 x 135 about 2 weeks ago. I think the problem for me is taking too many days off; I felt stronger last Thursday. Also, I went out drinking all night Friday and then just sat around on Saturday (drank plenty of water and ate good). I still wanted to get in lots of volume, so I said screw it and threw on 95 lbs. for what was pretty much a second workout.

edit: wanted to take a break from measuring stuff for a few days, so I didn't do FitDay today.

SecondsOut 02-08-2013 02:26 PM

Monday, 2/4
Deadlift = 18,010 lbs.

a*) 7 x 6 x 275
b) 3 x 6 x 245
c) 10 x 205

*Wanted to do 10 x 6 x 275. After set 7, though, I just knew that I didn't have it, so I dropped to 245 for the last 3 sets. I closed with a back off set with ~50% of my max (I was so spent, I could barely straighten out on the last 2 reps).

Press = 6,145 lbs.

a) 4 x 115
b) 7 x 100
c) 9 x 85
d) 11 x 70
e) 10 x 65
f) 10 x 60
g) 4 x 10 x 55

*Started out feeling really weak on my first 2 warm up sets, but my last set with 135 felt solid (could've gotten 3 easily). I had taken a bigger rest before doing 135. For the working sets, I took short rests, ~1 min.


*Meal 4 = post-workout

SecondsOut 02-08-2013 02:28 PM

Tuesday, 2/5
My legs felt sore, but I didn't feel right taking a day off. It felt like a good day to do some light sets, which I haven't done in weeks. Surprisingly, my shoulders and tris didn't feel sore even after yesterday's high volume press workout, so I figured I'd do light, low-volume squats and a regular bench routine.

Squat = 6,150 lbs.

a*) 3 x 10 x 160
b) 10 x 135

*Based on how I felt, I was going to maybe try 6 sets of 10 with 160. I felt great during the warmup sets; lower back and glutes felt particularly strong in the hole, like I could sit down there all day supporting the weight. After the 3rd set of 10, though, I knew my quads were burned out, so I just wrapped up with a back off set with 135.

Bad news: thought I had a stress fracture in my right tibia a couple months ago (I did long walks, and my tibialis pretty much just stopped working), and I think I did and still do. Bit by bit it's getting sorer, and it's not muscle pain. It really flares up when I'm in the hole during squats. It's not too serious, but I'll have to start compensating for it soon or even stop squats and deadlifts altogether for a while. I'm hoping real hard that it doesn't come to that!

Bench = 7,500 lbs.

a*) 3 x 10 x 135
b) 3 x 10 x 115

*I thought I had 135 for 6 sets of 10. I've done it before pretty easily. Just like squats, the warmup sets felt great, but my stamina just completely disappeared after a few sets. I dropped to 115 and finished the sets, but I started feeling like I couldn't wait for the workout to end. I never feel like this. So yeah, it's definitely time for a day off. I'll probably even go light next time just like I did today.


*Meal 5 = post-workout

SecondsOut 02-08-2013 02:29 PM

Wednesday, 2/6

I ride my bike ~4-8 miles ~4-5 times a week to work. It's flat, road surface riding. I don't have a set plan for the rides; if I feel like doing sprints, I do sprints, and if I feel like taking it easy, I go easy. Today was sort of middle intensity. I wanted enough to raise my heart rate and flex my legs but not cut into my strength for tomorrow's workout.

I don't count these rides as cardio, more like background metabolic activity. Just another small thing to get the blood flowing. Here's a pic of my bike:

I had a big chain ring put on. I forget how many teeth it is, but I remember that it's the same size as most outer rings on road bikes, which is huge for a single speed. Most single speeds/fixed gear bikes have mid-sized chain rings to create a balance between speed and ease of pedaling. I wanted a big one so that I could ride fast but also maybe make it more like a strength exercise than cardio.


SecondsOut 02-08-2013 02:29 PM

Thursday, 2/7
Felt tired again today, but not as tired as Tuesday. My legs felt better before the workout. Even though I'd eaten my 3rd meal not long before I started lifting, it had already been digested, so I was lifting on an empty stomach, which made me feel even more exhausted. Felt a bit dehydrated, too. I was surprised to feel hungry and thirsty because, as you can see from my logs, I never lack for calories. Guess my metabolism is high right now.

Deadlift* = 9,000 lbs.

a) 10 x 210
b) 10 x 230
c) 10 x 250
d**) 10 x 210

*The warmup sets felt ridiculously heavy. I actually had trouble standing up with 365, which I usually blast through.

**I was gonna do a Pavel Tsatsouline-style progression where you cycle through the weights a couple times (210, 230, 250; 210, 230, 250). I knew that I could force my way through the last two sets, but it felt like a better idea to end at set 4. I didn't have the stamina that I've had for the past couple months, and I didn't want to grind through the workout. I think I need to take the next few workouts to deload lower body.

Incline Bench = 6,785 lbs.

a*) 10/10/10/10/10/9 x 115

*Just didn't have that last rep on the last set. Had to lower the bar to my lap and then to the floor. This workout should've been doable if not easy, so it's safe to say it's time to deload upper body, too.

I've been eating plenty, and my muscles don't feel overly sore, so I'm pretty sure that only leaves my CNS as the problem (although I've been getting less than 8 hrs. sleep recently). Next workout I intend to go even lighter than the last two, like maybe 3 x 10 x 135 squat and 3 x 10 x 115 flat bench. Both of those numbers are below 50% 1-RM for me, so it's very light.


SecondsOut 02-08-2013 02:30 PM

Friday, 2/8
Just the deload workout I mentioned yesterday

Squat = 4,050 lbs.

3 x 10 x 135

Bench = 3,450 lbs.

3 x 10 x 115

I'm taking the weekend off from lifting.

1morerep 02-08-2013 02:36 PM

Good post. Have you try rest longer. I'm doing an accumulation training for my bench days. 10 X 10 and my first set after warm up was at 275 and the last one at 255. Of course, I wait 3 minutes between sets. You may need to do the same and wait longer than a minute if you want to increase the weight. Also a good spotter to unrack the barbell and don't waist energy in this manner.

Nice excel chart!!

BendtheBar 02-08-2013 03:17 PM

Love the detail. Subbed, and good luck smashing your goals. Going to have a read through of your posts.

SecondsOut 02-08-2013 03:46 PM


Originally Posted by 1morerep (Post 322406)
Good post. Have you try rest longer. I'm doing an accumulation training for my bench days. 10 X 10 and my first set after warm up was at 275 and the last one at 255. Of course, I wait 3 minutes between sets. You may need to do the same and wait longer than a minute if you want to increase the weight. Also a good spotter to unrack the barbell and don't waist energy in this manner.

Nice excel chart!!

thanks haha. so even with a high volume workout like that you rest longer? there were definitely some sets in the past couple weeks that i could've gotten if i'd rested longer. actually, i've been working on short rests for a while now, so switching up to longer rests sounds like a good way to add some variation.


Originally Posted by BendtheBar (Post 322416)
Love the detail. Subbed, and good luck smashing your goals. Going to have a read through of your posts.

thanks man! diggin this site a lot.

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