Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Week 21 Workout 1

So last week I didn't get workout #3 in. We had a friend's wedding Friday afternoon, and I went to an archery tournament on Saturday. So that's two weeks in a row I only got two workouts in. And this will be the third week as I leave for a big archery tournament in upstate New York tomorrow. I will do workout #2 tomorrow morning.

So to last night's workout. Not a great one. 240 lb squats, 135 lb bench presses, and 155 lb barbell rows.

On squats, the weight felt really heavy, but I was able to complete the first set. Second set I failed on rep #3. I then completed the last 3 reps. 5,2,5,5,5. Disappointing. I was hoping to blow through to 275 without any more stalls. I still did a 290 lb walkout after the 5th set.

Bench press. I went 4,4,3,3,2. Just didn't feel it right from the get go. Disappointing and I have a feeling that I will be deloading after two more attempts and going to 3x5 on this lift.

Barbell rows, I went 3, 5, 5, 5, 3. The middle 5s were probably more like 4s as my form was terrible on the last rep of each set. The two 3s were because I could tell my form was breaking down and I stopped the set.

Bottomline, I will be at these same weights next time on each lift. I am most concerned with the rows as the 155 lbs felt really heavy. I think I'll progress on squats, but the bench press is also up in the air.

My weigh in on Saturday was 182 lbs with 15.9% body fat. I was unable to stick to my nutrition plan all day Saturday, and only partially Thursday and Friday due to the wedding events. I weigned myself this morning and was at 183 lbs with 15.5% body fat. Since it was a morning weigh in you can add 2 pounds to that. Overall I like the way I have regulated as I felt I had put on too much fat previously.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Week 20 Workout #2

235 lb squats, 95 lb overhead press, and 250 lb deadlifts.

Again, as with last week's midweek workout, I felt a little tighter and stiffer last night. I did the first two work reps. Then on the 3rd I went below parallel on the first rep and couldn't save it. I came close, but just couldn't push up. But I reracked and finished the last 3 sets. So I didn't count that as failure. So I completed 5x5.

Also, the guy I talked to a couple weeks ago about squatting was there. He watched my form and gave me some pointers. He also encouraged me by saying it takes a long time to get the flexibility to do them perfect. I am going to try to get some off day practice in with a broomstick to see if I can't improve my form.

Overhead press was no problem at 95 lbs, 3x5.

Deadlifting. So I did my 1x5 135 lb warm-up. Then loaded 225 lbs like last time. I did one at rep at that weight. My hip felt pretty good. A little pain but nothing major. So I put 250 lbs on the bar. Watched the Tigers hold on to beat the Rangers on the TV above me, then managed to complete 5x5! Again, I was in my socked feet. I am considering going shoeless for squats too. We'll see.

So overall a good workout. I will do the final week 20 workout this Saturday (friend's wedding is Friday). Can't wait to attempt 135 lb bench press!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


It has been a while since I have discussed nutrition. So it is time we revisit that subject.

I have documented my struggles with nutrition, on and off, since I began this journey to a stronger, more well built body. And while I have achieved many of my preliminary goals, as a hardgainer nutrition is probably as important as lifting, maybe even more so.

I recently got impatient with my gains and switched from skim milk to whole milk. About that same time we had house guests and my diet slipped a bit from the high protein, high nutrition whole foods I had been eating, to a bit more processed foods. The combination of the two caused my fat gains to go up. I went up to 190 lbs with over 17% body fat.

Since getting back to cleaner eating, and going back to skim milk, I moderated back down to about 188 lbs, and just over 16% body fat. My 34" waist pants are fitting more comfortably. What all this tells me is that I am still gaining muscle, but I have been able to cut back on my fat stores with the cleaner eating.

Here is a typical day of eating for me:

6am: 1/2 cup oatmeal and 1 scoop whey protein in 6 oz skim milk
1 cup of orange juice

90am: 1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 banana
1 serving instant oatmeal

Noon: Venison and brown rice stuffed green pepper
serving of potatoes

3pm: sweet potato (I have recently began eating this with no toppings!)

Pre-workout: 1 scoop whey protein
Post-workout: 1 scoop whey protein and 1/2 cup oatmeal in 6 oz of skim milk.

6:30pm Venison meat-sauce and whole grain pasta
1-2 servings vegetable (usually corn or peas)
12 oz skim milk

9:30pm 2 servings of natural peanut butter and 2 slices whole grain bread

A buddy at work gave me a Muscle and Performance magazine. In an article on the myths surrounding high protein diets was a list of a "A Day In The (PROTEIN-FULL) Life. It goes:

Pre-breakfast: 1 scoop whey protein & 1 cup orange juice

Breakfast: 3 eggs, 1 cup cooked oatmeal, 1 cup raspberries

MidMorning Snack: 1/2 cup reduced fat Greek yogurt & 1 ounce walnuts

Lunch: Tuna salad sandwich(5 oz tuna, 1 tablespoon light mayo 1 cup romaine lettuce, 2 slices whole-wheat bread)

Preworkout: 1 scoop whey protein and 1 apple
Postworkout: 1 scoop whey protein, 1 scoop casein protein, 1 slice white bread, 1 tablespoon jam

Dinner: 8 oz top sirloin steak, 1 cup chopped broccoli, 2 cups salad, 2 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar dressing

Bedtime: 8 ounces cottage cheese and 1 ounce almonds.

The totals on this? 2,497 calories, 246 G of protein, 182 G of carbs, and 90 G of fat.

Not bad. So I will try to mimic this. I am not too keen on the low-fat mayo, nor the white bread in post workout, but I agree with everything else going on here. Sometimes you can go with chicken breast instead of the sirloin, or a salmon steak. Tuna fish straight from the can supplemented with a vegetable would work great in place of the sandwich too. The idea is to try and change it up as much as possible.

So I will continue to track my progress. Supplement wise I did add some L-Glutamine tablets to my daily regimen. And since I am over 40 am considering some DHEA supplementation.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Week 20 Workout #1

After skipping Fridays workout due to my left hip flaring up during Wednesday's workout, I was a little concerned about the 230 lb squats tonight. But after the first work set, the rest of the sets felt easy.

So for the squats at 230 lbs, I completed 5x5.

Now on to bench press, at 130 lbs. I had failed the last two times at this weight. I was a little leery about my chances because Sunday I had worked hard and had some muscle aches from freeing my garden tractor from our ditch. I ended up deadlifting the back end of the tractor, something I am not sure I could have done before Stronglifts!

The warm-up sets felt hard and I my confidence began to wane. The first couple of sets felt really difficult but I completed them. I remembered to squeeze the bar hard and to act like I was trying to bend it. The last rep of the last two sets came difficultly, but I completed 5x5! On to 135 lbs on Friday!

150 lb barbell rows. Remember I wasn't happy with how I did these last time, but I was able to complete these with relatively good form. The form broke down a bit on the last couple of reps of the last couple of sets, but I completed 5x5. That's the good news.

The bad news? My hip pain flared up again during the rows. And it stiffened up on my on the ride home. I'll have to keep an eye on it, but 250 lb deadlifting might not happen Wednesday at this rate.