Grunt11's Training Log

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by grunt11, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    I figured I would start a training log to see if anyone can offer feedback on what I’m doing rather than try to reinvent it all myself.

    Some background. I’m just turning 50 next month and have spent the last 15 years running, the last 6 ultra running, averaging over 70 miles a week. Prior to that I powerlifted for about 2 years while I was a paid-on-call firefighter and before that was an avid runner though not ultra long distances.

    I decided to get back into lifting because I recently got sick and lot 15lbs down to 140lb. That combined with the testosterone hit I was feeling from age and running made me realize I should get back to building some muscle. Not to mention 2+ hours a day of running was taking up way to much time.

    Presently I am 145lbs at 5’6”.

    I don’t have a gym membership as I prefer to work out at home. I have a power rack with a lat pull/cable row station (plate loaded). An incline/decline bench with a leg curl/extension and preacher curl attachment. Two Olympic barbells, EZ-curl bar and enough Olympic plates to keep me busy for a while. I did go out and buy a set of Power Blocks for dumbell exercises and have to say I really love these things.

    I was sort of messing around with my weights for about 3 weeks prior to finding HST and must admit to jumping right into the program without doing a proper SD but as far as I can tell it hasn’t set me back this first time around.

    Right now I’m doing a full body workout in the AM on Monday through Thursday and Saturday for a total of 5 days a week. I work second shift so AM workouts are great for me.

    For 15s I did one set each for 2 weeks. For 10s I’m doing 2 sets but the second is only for 5 reps and I plan to do 3x5s when I get there but I’m also listening to what my bodies been telling me and adjusting things already. I plan right now on doing 2 weeks each and then starting a proper HST cycle with an SD. This was just suppose to be a trial run to see how I liked/tolerated the routines, volume and frequency but it’s working so well I’m going to see this first cycle through.

    I work out 5 days a week A/B for 15 reps per exercise 1x15, 1x10 + 1x5, 3x5 during each micro-cycle:

    Squat / Deadlift
    Incline Bench / Incline Bench
    One arm Dumbell Rows / Lat Pulls or Pull Ups (depending on reps)
    Shrugs / Upright Rows
    Barbell Curls / Weighted Bench Dips
    Calf Raises / Nothing

    I have a ruptured lumbar disk and so far found that bent over barbell rows and SLDL are out of the question at any weight. Perhaps later as I get in shape.

    When I first started all those lifts were combined into one day but I quickly found that squats and deadlifts the same day 4 days in a row were to much. I also felt that my arms weren’t getting any real workout during the 15s so I added the curls and bench dips but will drop or cut back on them if I feel they are hindering me as I progress through the 10s into the 5s.


    I’m getting around 1.5g protein per pound of body weight including a balance of carbs and healthy fats in 7 meals a day including an overnight shake. I’m trying to keep my calories at 500 over my daily needs based on daily activity level. So far in 5 weeks total I’ve gained 5lbs.


    Whey Protein
    Fish Oils

    Impressions so far.

    I love being able to work out almost every day. The thing I hated about my powerlifting routine before was only working out 3 days a week once per body part.

    My workouts from warm up to cool down take less the 25 minutes so far which beats the hell out of 1-2 hours running each day.

    I wake up every morning feeling pretty tired but as soon as I start my workout my energy starts flowing and I feel both invigorated and tired (that good relaxed sort of tired) for the rest of the day.

    My sleeping has gone from 5-6 hours a day to 7-8 hours a day.

    The sciatica from the ruptured disk has almost disappeared since I started deadlifting. It’s completely gone the days I deadlift and only really starts to come back on the two days off.

    I can feel that my testosterone level is up.

    Thanks for having this site and forum. Lots of great information here that you either won’t find or is hard to find elsewhere because of the way search engines seem to prioritize their results.


    P.S. I’m very Dyslexic (once forgot how to spell “of”) so please don’t be insulted if I often misuse simple words like “their” and “there” which unfortunately spell check doesn’t catch.
  2. OzMullet

    OzMullet New Member

    hi mate, my missus has a bulging disk. why do you think deadlifts help? i told her to maybe try them but she's worried it will aggravate it more. she rekons pilates helps. do you think i should suggest deadlifts to her again?
  3. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    I’ve been trying to figure out why they would make a difference myself. Everything I’ve ever read before says that decompressing not compressing the spine is what helps. So I figured that DL would make it worse so I started out very carefully. I didn’t notice the improvement until I started using a lifting belt which I admit using this time around at a much lower weight than before just because I was scared of hurting my back.

    Best I can figure right now is that it’s a combination of the strengthening of my core muscles (I hadn’t been lifting at all for years) and the tensioning of those muscles while executing the lift. It seems like the tensioning of my core muscles while lifting is helping push my vertebrae back into a better alignment.

    I noted in another thread that I felt something in my back when executing a lift at the end of my 15s. It felt almost like something moved or having a knuckle crack and the pain I was having from aggravating it at work a few days before was gone. In a way that worries me because if something can move like that when I was lifting it might also move in the wrong direction.

    I’ve got a mirror set up and even though I hadn’t lifted in years I still use perfect form when deadlifting and squating so it’s not putting any shearing force on my lumbar region. On the other hand I can’t even begin to attempt a straight leg deadlift or unsupported barbell row without it feeling like someone punched me in the kidney.

    I would say that if she does try it to start out slow with light weight and start using a lifting belt earlier that most would usually recommend. I really feel it’s the stability caused by the pressure of my core muscles against the belt that is stabilizing my spine. Also note that the belt is supporting exactly where my ruptured disk is located so mine might be a unique situation but everything I’ve read has said that the stronger core muscles almost always help with lower back pain.

    Cheers mate,

    P.S. You don’t sound like a POME, what are you doing in London?
  4. OzMullet

    OzMullet New Member

    ok cool thanks, yeah we both agree that strengthening her core should be number 1 priority, thats why she's doing 3 days a week pilates. she is worried about deads because she cant do any forward flexion. anyway thanks heaps for the info.

    i'm just an Aussie who's outstayed his welcome ;-)

    good luck with the training, i for one will be reading! your routine looks good. i would do 1*15, 2*10, 3*5 though. i found that works for me anyway. although you can't argue with 5lbs in 5 weeks.
  5. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    I will take your advice on the 2*10. I just started my 10s this week so I will move up today and see how it goes. I’m quite surprised at the gains in size so far. A couple coworkers have said I look bigger but they cant tell where or why because it doesn’t look like I’ve gained any weight. I haven’t told them I stopped running and started lifting again.

    Though I did have a 15 year SD for everything but my legs. I was surprised to see how fast my strength was coming back in the three weeks before I started HST. Yet to see if I’m gaining any strength on this HST cycle but should be able to tell soon. I can say that when I first started the 15s they kicked me in the backside.

    Tell your missus good luck with her back, I know how it feels, and keep us posted on how it’s going.

  6. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Somehow I tended to think of my back as mainly consisting of the spine. Thus I considered that deadlifts would hurt since I've had a disc problem that required surgery. Eventually I came to realize that there is a whole lot more beef and muscle there than bone. Deadlifts strengthen the muscle and take tension off the spine -- such is my view of the matter.
  7. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    That makes sense. I know that I certainly take for granted how strong the lower back and abdominal muscles are and didn’t really think that they are also fairly beefy since my waist has always been very small compared to the rest of me.
  8. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Well taking OzMullet’s advice I switched from 1x10 + 1x5 to 2x10 for my second round of 10s on the “B” split and boy can I feel it.

    Today I did 2 sets each of:

    Deadlift (sumo always) 10x200
    Incline Bench 10x125
    Lat Pulls 10x110
    Bench Dips 10xBW+85
    Upright Rows 10x85
    Calf Raises 10xBW+85

    The deadlift was way easy. Incline Bench was tough but actually improved from yesterday where I only made it to 9 reps on the first set before breaking form. Today I made 10 reps on both sets w/o loosing form. The second set of 10 lat pulls was pushing close to the limit. After doing two sets of incline bench the bench dips were not fun. I think I might drop them down to one set of 10 if my incline bench stops improving.

    The upright rows are a mixed bag. The weight itself is easy but my left arm is recovering from some sort of carpal tunnel thing I didn’t realize was happening until I started lifting. Seems I was using the mouse to much with my left hand and when I started lifting certain lifts like curls, some angles of pullups and upright rows make it hurt like hell. Since I switched to using my right hand for the mouse the pain is dissipating but not gone and I really feel it as I increase the weight. I might have to switch to lateral raises if this keeps up.

    Also cheated and started doing calf raises every day now. Just don’t feel my calves are getting worked at all.

    I’m going to have to repeat some increments or slow down the increases for some exercises to make it through the 10s. When I first calculated things out I was planning to do 1 week micro-cycles since I was exercising 5 days a week rather than 3 but I want to stretch this first full cycle out so that my next SD will fall right as Christmas. So I think I will slow things down but keep pressing forward as long as I’m seeing improvement.
  9. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Try putting a little weight on those calves. When I do calf raises, I like to use the same weight that I use for my deadlifts and shrugs.
  10. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Likewise... I use loads much greater than I would use for squats. Just be careful on the eccentric that you don't bounce too much - I have heard of people getting injuries that way.
  11. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Right now I’m doing the calf raises one leg at a time holding a power block in one hand and stabilizing with the other standing on one of the power rack supports to get a little extra stretch. I’ve never really liked doing calf raises with a squat bar on my back especially using the edge of a platform to get a little extra extension. I guess I could practice that and develop the balance to do it. Or I guess I could hold the other power block in my other hand which could get me up to a total of +180 which should be enough for doing one leg, or just hold the barbell with weight on it. I'll try to see what works best and any other suggestions are welcome.
  12. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    You can also hold the bar as if you are at the top of a deadlift. It is a little more ackward than having the bar on your back, but it can work.
  13. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    That's what I did. I also made a raised platform to stand on out of some 4x2 so I could drop my heels down lower than my toes for a good stretch, and then, whilst holding the bar with straps (so grip wasn't an issue), I would lean slightly forward into my rack uprights so the bar was just touching them and I could use them as runners. This helped me keep my balance for the set. I clamped some strips of wood to the uprights so I didn't wreck my rack where the bar was contacting it! This worked a treat. Much more comfortable than those fancy calf-raise machines with the shoulder pad lever arms. Easy to make incremental changes to load too.
  14. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Thanks everyone for the info. I was just thinking about trying what you said except I hadn’t thought about the bar rubbing on the rack. I think I can have the guys at the fabrication shop at work make me a couple U-channels to slip over the uprights to protect them. I’ll have to try both the deadlift and squat hold to see which my back likes better.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  15. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    I try to kill two birds with one stone. First I do my calf raise with the method Lol describes. Then, using the same weight, I do my power shrugs.

    I found this to be especially workable when I was doing Max-Stim. I could rest the barbell on the safety bars of the power rack, thus getting the bar completely out of my hands for several seconds between reps.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  16. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Thanks that sounds like a good plan. I’m always looking for ways to streamline my workout also the reason I picked up a second Olympic bar so I can have them set up for different lifts.

    Something else I didn’t think to mention I like about HST so far is not having to change weights between sets of the same exercise. I also like the lower volume per workout since I think I’m focusing much more on making each rep count than I ever did before.

    I’m going to have to read up more on Max-Stim. Looks like something I might try after my 2 weeks of 5s just before I SD.
  17. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Good news and bad news, good first.

    Finished my first week of 10s and I feel great. Still doing 2x10 for each exercise and trying to get the most out of each rep. when I first started with 15s I was feeling a little DOMS but now I don’t feel any at all. Just a general tightness and feeling of having worked out in my muscles but not the aching soreness. Nice change from previous workouts.

    I’ve gained another pound for a total of 6 in 6 weeks (remember I messed around with my weights for 3 week prior to starting HST. Best of all since Thursday I’ve received 3 unsolicited complements about my fitness. On Thanksgiving I overheard two of my female second cousins commenting on how I never change and look the same as I did 15 years ago (I was 35 and powerlifting then). On Friday my boss and a coworker said I looked bigger but not like I’d really gained any weight. In both cases these people didn’t know I have stopped running and started lifting again. Then yesterday when talking about a supplement I saw a guy buying at a store he suggested a dose saying that I looked like I was about 170-175lbs. Depending on my hydration level at the time I was about 146-148. Talk about positive feedback to keep motivated!

    I didn’t think to take a before picture but doing a self assessment w/o actually measuring I think I’ve made the most noticeable size gains in my shoulders and traps followed by my arms, lats, upper back and a little in the chest (my chest sucks). My legs, and glutes look the same but then I was doing a lot of running including up and down a mountain for the last few years.

    In strength my forearms have w/o a doubt made the fastest gains. Then as far as lifts go deadlift, squat, bench in that order.

    Which brings me to the bad. I likely progressed to fast in the deadlifts and squats because Saturday I realized that I have a strained muscle in my front inner thigh. I discovered it when doing exercise specific warmups for the squat. My first warmup is a hot shower followed by BW or bar only reps of the exercise. While doing BW only squats I felt a twinge in my inner thigh. The more I did the worse it got so I stopped. Because the pain is minor and the fact that it’s onset was delayed I’m gauging it as a grade 1 strain. I already had a doctors appointment scheduled for Monday so I will just ask him about it then but I don’t think there’s much to do but RICE and keeping the inflammation down. No more squats and deadlifts this cycle and maybe the next depending on how it goes. Certainly will have to start off very light and progress slowly next time.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  18. OzMullet

    OzMullet New Member

    awesome progress mate. glad you took the advice about 2*10. tough luck with the strain, it sux to get injured. i think i've strained my obliques while doing 5s. i guess i'm lucky in that it's not too bad and came at the end of the cycle. although you should be able to start up again next cycle if it's only grade 1 shouldnt you? maybe take 2 weeks SD instead of 1.
  19. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    I’ve read anywhere from 2-6 weeks but that the biggest problems is re-injuring it because the underlying cause isn’t taken care of. Hell it’s possible I didn’t even do it while lifting, I could have just taken a bad step at work that I don’t recall because I didn’t feel it at the time. However based on where and how it hurts I’m pretty sure I did it squatting.

    So even if I can start again soon I’m going to take it very slow to build up all the muscles in the area equally. Also be doing other exercises to ensure one area being weak didn’t cause it.

    In a way it’s a mixed blessing in that I always focused more on my deadlift and squat so now I’m really forced to focus more on upper body lifts so I’ll try to use that to my advantage.

    At least it wasn’t something in my back that would end up screwing up all my lifts.
  20. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Started the second week of 10s today and everything is progressing well though I think doing inline bench every day is taking it‘s toll. Getting two sets of ten was close today and I’m still 15lbs off my 10RM. If I cant get to my 10RM I’ll probably start alternating the incline bench and bench dips. This was after all just suppose to be an experiment for me to see how things went so I don’t mind changing things up a bit this time so I can make a good plan for next time.

    Oz you may be right about my leg as I was able to do BW squats today with only a hint of the pain that didn‘t get worse as I did them like on Saturday. Probably try it out again tomorrow with BW only deadlifts and if the pain keeps subsiding will slowly increase the weight. In the mean time I can do leg curls and extensions so I’ve thrown them into the mix for now.

    Dr. visit confirmed I’ve gained 6lbs though I’ve still got a long way before I fill up my pants again after loosing the 15lbs.

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