Back to Basics

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Totentanz, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Recently started a new routine after taking a little over a month off from the gym, aside from a few random workouts, due to moving. Now I'm at a new gym with different equipment - they have the nautilus pullover machine, which is pretty cool but overall less equipment than my old gym. Oh well, they are cheaper.
    So I decided to start over with a relatively basic HST routine in order to get back into the swing of things. Low volume, starting off with the 15s. I've gained some fat since my layoff that I am going to have to cut back soon, but for now I'm attempting to bulk up anyway. This is my routine:

    *warmup prior to working set

    *Squat - one set
    Romanian Deadlift - two sets
    *Incline Bench - two sets
    Weighted Dips - one set
    *Seated Row - two sets
    Pullover - two sets
    BB Shrug - one set
    Pushdowns - two sets
    Curls - two sets

    That's it. Fairly low volume compared to what I've been doing for the last few years. So we will see how it goes. My beginning measurements are below. It is worth nothing that my bodyweight is a bit misleading due to my mutant bones. I have unusually dense bones that make me weigh a lot more than I appear to. Sounds cool because I've been through a lot of incidents where I should have broken something but I didn't, but it's actually a liability because I sink like a rock in the water. If I'm ever on boat that sinks and I don't have a life jacket, I'm screwed.

    Body Weight: 240 lbs
    Chest 44.75
    Bicep 16.2
    Forearm 13.5
    Neck: 17.5
    Thigh: 26.1
    Calf: 17

    Skin Folds:
    Ab 22
    Chest 8
    Thigh 12
    Bodyfat: 12.34%
    Lean Mass: 210.38 lbs
    fat mass: 29.62 lbs

    I'll keep updates on my measurements, and update with my meal plan once I finish finalizing it.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  2. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    While crafting my diet plan, I decided to attempt to cut down a bit instead. It is important for me to be able to eat dinners with my kids so I have to make allowances for that, which isn't a big deal. I ended up shooting for a plan of the following:

    Lifting Days: 2735 calories, 15 grams of fat, 350 grams of carbs and 300 grams of protein + dinner with the kids (calories variable)
    Nonlifting Days: 2000 calories, 11 grams of fat, 195 grams of carbs and 280 grams of protein + dinner with the kids

    I'm guessing dinner will end up being around 500 calories a night, possibly up to 1000 calories some nights depending on what I make. We don't go out to eat or eat any premade meals or anything, everything I make them for dinner is real food. I end up making them various pasta dishes a lot, I make my own sauces and everything for them, and when I make pizza, I make my own sauce and crust. So I think my dinners are mostly fairly healthy and not, like, overflowing in calories. But I just don't feel like figuring out the calories and macros in the dinners so unless I have zero fat loss, I don't plan to figure that out and track it. We are talking a maximum of 3700 calories on lifting days and 3000 calories on my rest days - that is plenty low enough for me to consistently drop weight.
    This will be the first time I've tried cutting on higher carbs. I've always gone low carb, moderate fat, high protein. I'm hoping this helps with my energy levels, I can't afford with my current life to have brain fog while cutting. My most successful bulks were when I finally started adding in the carbs, so we will see what happens when I add up the carbs while cutting.
    Sharpened27 likes this.
  3. Totentanz,

    interesting update.

    how much weight are you adding when you do your weighted dips and what would be your 5 RM? Dips with 240 lbs BW is already tough I guess.
    Also, what form are you using (triceps vs. chest dips)?

  4. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Chest dips. My 5 RM is BW + 100 lbs right now. I do end up using an assisted dip machine during 15s but that's because I figure my RMs based on total weight when I measure (bodyweight + added weight) and plan out my sessions based on that, so in the early 15s I am using slightly less than bodyweight for the first few sessions. I also weigh in at the beginning of each workout and figure out how much weight to add (or subtract) based on my current weight so it is as accurate as possible.
  5. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    Nice to see you logging again, Tot - looks like an interesting setup for an HST go-round.
  6. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not planning to log every single workout... I don't have enough time for that. But I will definitely log my measurements when I take them, and once I get into the post-5s I may log more of the workouts.
  7. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    Trust me, I get it. I'd be very interested in how this approach works for you with the reduced volume. Hopefully at minimum that will be a clear as you hit the post-5's.
  8. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    No measurements last week due to a vacation to Indiana for my sister's wedding. I was tasked with being the one to walk her down the aisle and give her away, so I was out of town for a few days.

    Bodyweight: 235 lbs - kind of surprised I haven't dropped more. Typically I drop closer to 10 lbs the first couple weeks. I'm guessing the higher carbs have resulted in less loss of water weight. I also have kept my fluid intake high due to a kidney scare earlier this year.

    Ab: 20
    Chest: 6
    Thigh: 10
    Bodyfat: 11.13%
    Lean Mass: 208.85 lbs
    Fat Mass: 26.15 lbs

    I measure each skinfold 3-5 times depending on how the measurements come out. As long as they are all consistently the same, I only do 3, but if I have trouble then I do 5 and take the higher of the measurements. I also use the site to figure out bodyfat percentage based on the skinfolds. Obviously I know the bodyfat measurements aren't foolproof, so I don't treat them like they are the word of god or anything. It just gives a good idea of whether I am moving in the right direction or not. So far, my arms and legs are getting more defined and more vascular. I have visible veins on my calves and of course all over on my arms. It's hard to tell with definition on my thighs due to the overwhelming amount of body hair. My goal is to get sub-10% and pretty much stay there for the foreseeable future, since it is unlikely I will be able to add any significant muscle mass to my frame without some significant drug usage.
  9. Pretty good place to be!
  10. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    It's kind of depressing sometimes. There are times when I just don't feel like there is any point to lifting anymore, since I'm basically just doing it to maintain myself and attempt to continue to increase my strength.
    I looked at the max size calculator again today. It's kind of fun to come back to this periodically and see how you are doing. What sucks for me is that I'm pretty much maxed out on lean mass I think, and I'm not proportioned quite the way I would like to be.

    Here is what it gives me:
    Weight: 200.66 (203 lbs)
    Chest: 47.77 (44.75)
    Bicep: 17.10 ( 16.2)
    Forearm: 13.69 (13.5)
    Neck: 16.90 (17.5)
    Thigh: 24.73 (26.1)
    Calf: 16.72 (17.0)

    At 8% bodyfat, that puts me at almost 220 lbs. Not a bad lean weight to be. My lean mass is three pounds over what the calculator gives me, but I'm also fatter at almost 12% so to get to 200 lbs of lean mass @ 8%, I would have to lose almost all fat on my cut which probably isn't likely... I'm guessing I'll end up slightly under 200 lbs of lean mass when I finish cutting. The question is, how much will each measurement drop during the cut? I want a few more inches on my chest measurement and another inch or so on my arms. I really wanted 18 inch arms, but I don't think that's going to happen. Also, I think a lot of my chest measurement is due to my back thickness and my lats, not so much my pecs.

    Oh well. I guess nothing to do but continue this cut until I get to 8% and then compare it to the max size calculator.
  11. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    Once you reach your genetic potential in size, you ever think about going into powerlifting (if you aren't already) or strongman? That could be something you could do to maintain your interest in lifting - specialization.
    Sharpened27 likes this.
  12. Chavoworking

    Chavoworking New Member

    That is an impressive drop in BF. Are you doing cardio on top of HST? I have really struggled with fat loss lately. I would like to bulk up a little but I wish I could drop below 10% before I attempt it.
  13. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    @Chavo - I suggest going through Tote's previous workout blog. Essentially, you *have* to bulk properly for the size. You can't stay sub or about ~10% and bulk without chemical assistance. No need to become a fat bastard linebacker or anything, but you can't gain the muscle without some corresponding fat.
  14. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I am not currently doing any cardio. I really don't like doing cardio and rarely do it.

    It's all about having a meal plan and sticking to it. Figure out your calories and macros, then make a meal plan - all the stuff you will eat in a day to add up to that total. Then make a couple more so you have some variety. Then all you do is follow that. It just takes a little willpower is all.
    Obviously it's not all super easy, but if you just stick to your plan then you can't go wrong unless you figured too many calories for yourself. I'm probably not a great example as I lose fat very easily. Cutting is the one area where I seem to be genetically gifted. Now if only I was gifted that way when it came to muscle growth...

    But anyway, I don't think you need to drop below 10% before bulking. I think 10-12% is a fine starting point for bulking, stopping around 15-20%. Don't be too scared of the fat or you will compromise your gains considerably.
  15. Chavoworking

    Chavoworking New Member

    Thank you for the advice. I will try and cut to 10% and then try bulking.
  16. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ditched the gym. I just bought a power rack, bench, dip station and 300 lbs of weights from a guy that lives 20 minutes away. He was a cool guy, has a nice set of DBs that I might go back and buy from him too. I will obviously need more weight, but I'm trolling craigslist for more. Really wish I had not sold all my equipment I had before... I used to have almost 1200 lbs in weight, four high olympic bars, a leg press, a power rack, a smith machine, roman chair and a dip station but I sold it all for only about $1000 total a couple years ago. What a moron. Now I have to rebuild my gym again.

    But working out in the basement is way easier than getting in my car and driving 15 minutes to a gym that isn't that well equipped. I guess I got spoiled by the gym by my old place which was only a couple minutes down the road and had almost everything I could ever have wanted.

    I might try to get something for cardio too. An elliptical or something.
  17. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    ^^^Jealous of American houses that come standard w/a basement ... sounds like a good purchase though :)
  18. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah my last house didn't have one, so that's why I had to sell my stuff. I should have just stored it... but now I'm afraid if I had, I might have forgotten to pay a month or two, my home gym might have ended up on Storage Wars or something.
  19. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Question for you Totez: how many cals per day are you taking via protein shakes?
  20. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Right now I'm taking in less. I don't have my meal plan here in front of me but only probably 500 or so, but when bulking that can go up to 1500 calories or more.

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