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Betastas's Journal

Discussion in 'Fitness Journals' started by betastas, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    This is the start of a new progress journal. I gave up on my last one due to lack of need. This time I'm going to detail my workouts as best I can and track my strength progress.

    Goals:
    Gain to 170 lbs of mass. (Done)
    Break 1000 combined total. (Done)
    Improve my squat form and bench form to proper powerlifting style. (Done?)
    Include GPP and cardio on days that I'm not working out. (Somewhat-Done)

    Current Stats: (May 18, 2008)
    172-174
    All-Time Bests
    Deadlift: 501
    Squat: 545
    Benchpress: 400


    Well, the point of this is to get stronger and improve my work capacity. Right now I've been stuck on squat and bench for many months because I'm using improper form. For benchpress I have not learned to use my lats and triceps well, for I rely too much on shoulder rotation and chest (bad!). For my squat I have pretty good form until I get into the 1RM range, where I proceed to squat down instead of back. I can complete 295 although it is a serious quad effort instead of a hamstring and glute effort (bad!).

    For my benchpress:
    - Bring bar down so that elbows are directly under wrists at chest level.
    - Learn to recruit the lats to a larger degree.

    For my squat:
    - Sit backwards into the squat.
    - Use the glutes and hamstrings over the quads.
    - Arch my back properly to remove the neutral curve at the bottom.

    GPP:
    - Get an old tire and some 20kg bags of salt to drag around (sometime in January perhaps).
    - Continue using bands and introduce cardio if able to.

    This upcoming term I am looking at full time third year university. This is also the first time I will have to take five engineering courses, so I will have a lot of homework and a lot of labs. I have a feeling that I will have to fight to get to the gym four times a week, but I'll do it.:nope: :moon:

    Updated March 10, 2007:
    Current weight at 167. I am going to start cutting tomorrow. Hopefully will drop down to about 157 by the end of April. I really need to lose some fat so I can bulk again. I'll have some experience under my belt next time, so I'll be better prepared to avoid fat gain.
    Current Best lifts:
    Squat: 345
    Form is getting better. I figured out the low bar placement, now I need to strengthen my hips, glutes and hamstrings more.
    Deadlift: 435
    Will begin pulling conventional style for the next 6 to 8 weeks of training.
    Bench: 250
    Need stronger lats and triceps. Form is improved though, it's just an issue of strength now.

    Update March 14, 2007
    Bench: 265

    Update April 1, 2007
    Bench: 275
    Squat: 365

    Updated December 7, 2008
    Deadlift: 501

    Updated May 18, 2008
    Bench: 400
    Squat: 545
     
    #1 betastas, Dec 17, 2006
    Last edited: May 18, 2008
  2. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    Today:

    Went to the gym to do some cardio and band-GPP.

    Mini-Light Band (Purple)
    Tricep pushdowns: 30,30,30,20
    Back Fly: 20,20,20
    Standing shoulder pullovers: 8,8

    Medium bands (Green)
    Goodmornings: 25,25,25
    Standing Abs (band slung around top of rack, curl down): 10,10

    Cable Deadlift: 135 lbs, 20,20,20

    Elliptical: 25 min.



    Bands are incredible for GPP. They have such a different feeling then straight weight and are great for the greatly increased tension in the lockout of any movement. My favorites are the tricep pushdowns and the good mornings. I did a similar routine yesterday and tomorrow is lower body day, so I'll have to see how it goes in terms of strength and recovery. Louie Simmons and the rest of the Westside lifters advocate it, so I'd be a fool not to listen. I might have to tinker with the volume and weight though to find what works best for me.
     
  3. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Is your goal all on the same day? Or separate 1 RMs. You're going to get it either way, just a question of time.
     
  4. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    I will probably do them all on different days first, then get them done on the same day. The deadlift will be last (as in a meet) which is great because as it stands, I don't use nearly as much of the posterior chain in my squat as I should. Really, I should be able to squat more than I can, I just need to figure that out.
     
  5. George

    George Senior Member

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    I look forward to reading this journal. :tucool:
     
  6. dluc

    dluc Active Member

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    :nod:

    Very impressive lifts already Betastas:tu: You'll be at 1000 in no time.
     
  7. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    Well the goal is fairly achievable, but the main point is that I want to make it there doing the lifts the proper way: I could probably deadlift another fifteen, bench another ten and squat another twenty the same way I'm going now - but I don't want a quad dominated squat, an elbows flared benchpress (goodbye shoulders). I'm happy with my sumo deadlift style right now, though I may switch to a conventional later down the line.
    Anyways, I have a few ideas of what I can try, then when I hit 170 I'm going to cut down to 160 and resume mass building.
     
  8. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    Looking forward to reading this journal! Good luck!

    So how do you do these, if you don't mind me asking? Where do you hook the bands?
     
  9. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    You stand on the band, put the other end around the back of your neck. You adjust the tension by how much of the band you stand on.
     
  10. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    I was thinking you stood on the other end but wasn't sure. I've never tried this but I might. Thanks!
     
  11. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    Well you might be able to put it around your armpits, but I prefer doing them behind the neck and holding the band in my hands.
     
  12. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    Deadlift PR: 425

    Today was lower ME day.

    Deadlifts (sumo):
    135 x 3, 185 x 3, 225 x 3, 275 x 3, 315 x 3, 365x1, 405x1,425x1,435x0,435x0,405x1

    Good Mornings:
    225x6, 245x5, 245x6, 245x5

    Box Squats:
    225x5, 225x4, 225x2

    Pullthroughs:
    3x11x75
    Standing Abs:
    2x8x40


    Broke a deadlift PR. I know I had 435 in me but I spent it all on 425. Twice I almost broke it off the floor (once it's off the floor it's locked out), but I just wasn't able to get it. Popped off another 405 and called it quits. GMs and Squats were tough. I really did the posterior chain in on the deads. I will switch to a unilateral hip movement like step-ups next time. Pullthroughs and abs for the finish.

    It's all about the intensity. I probably could have managed to get 435 after 425, but I wasn't into it. I really needed to focus and get angry, but it's tough when you just broke a PR.
    Pretty tired now for the most part, but I'll go do some GPP tomorrow.
     
  13. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    Feeling good today. Less soreness than I anticipated. In fact I haven't been very sore since I started doing heavy good mornings. I swear good mornings are perhaps the best exercise I have ever had the pleasure of doing.

    My hands are mostly intact too (I don't use gloves or straps). No torn skin, no blisters, nothing. Always use a moisturizer in the winter.

    GPP:
    Kneeband Squats: 10,12 light band
    Band back flys: 15,20,20 mini-band
    Band tricep extensions: 20,25,25,20 mini-band
    Band good mornings: 25,25,25,25 medium band


    Didn't have time to go to the gym today so I did some band work at home.
     
  14. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    Upper Max Effort day

    Flat Bench DB warmups:
    40x6, 55x6,75x4,90x3,100x2 (meant to be 3... was feeling weak).
    Max Effort: Decline
    105x2

    That was a far cry from the 110x3 flat bench that I put up three weeks ago. When I was setting up for the decline I pitched forward a bit and almost lost my weights. Instead of pitching them I held on and hurt my arms. Stupid. Although I did finish the set.

    Tricep extensions with DBs and Bands lying on floor (Tricep Floor DB Band)
    6 x 8 x 15lb+mini-band

    Supported Row
    5 x 4 x 145 lbs

    Pullups:
    2 x 6 x BW (arms hurt too much to finish)

    Alright, so basically I hurt my biceps by curling the 105 lb DBs when I should have pitched them. Silly mistake, but now I know better. Decline ME DB isn't going to work in this gym, so I'll stick to the flats and the incline DBs. I plan to workout lower tomorrow then take a whole week off from everything so I should hopefully be all healed up by then. I think I'm going to switch back to barbell bench for a few cycles now.

    Oh yeah, to top it off I'm coming down with a cold. I had lower intensity at the gym today then normal, plus the whole sore throat and headache. I guess it's a good time to get sick, right before you take a week off. :tucool:
     
  15. dluc

    dluc Active Member

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    I just bought some the other day:nod: Not a good idea to apply before dips though:doh:
     
  16. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    No, most certainly not! Slippery Dips are a great way to get hurt. :lol:
     
  17. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    Dynamic Squat day (Thursday, Dec 21)

    Dynamic Box Squat: 9x2 @ 185+light bands
    Speed Deadlifts: 6 singles, 285
    Good Mornings: 4x245, 6x245, 6x245, 2x245

    I cut today's workout short. I felt sickly and wasn't really feeling the groove. There's enough wrong with my squats that I believe I will just be practicing the form for a good while.

    Problems:
    1. Not enough arch, partially due to not keeping the shoulders pinched.
    2. Not squatting back enough.
    3. Contracting quads before glutes and hamstrings as I come off the box
    4. Not leading with my head out of the hole while maintaining a proper arch.

    This is a little silly because I can good morning almost as much weight as I can squat. This leads me to believe that once I get the form down I could expect to see rapid gains.

    My elbows were a little sore from Wednesday's foolishness with the DBs. I plan to take 12 days off from the gym (it's closed 12 days) and recover properly. I don't expect to do anything for a week, then I'll start doing my GPP again until the gym opens.
     
  18. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    So far over the holidays I've been eating off schedule and off macro. It's the holidays though, so I don't really mind that much. I haven't been following my intake, but I don't think I'll have gained much weight when I come out of the holidays. Normally it takes me about 4000 cals a day to gain a little over a pound a week, so I'll have to wait and see. My weight entering the holidays was 165.5 (I think my initial measurement of 162.5 was off by a pound).

    My left tricep where the inner muscle joins the bone at the elbow is still a little sore at times. I am going to try to find a foam roller and a tennis ball to do some active restoration for both the arms and the rest of the body.

    I've been thinking about how close the 435 deadlift was and I might come out of Xmas and give it a shot. I really want to hit that soon because I know I have it in me.

    Anyways, hope everyone has had a good holiday.
     
  19. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    Damnit!

    I can't fit into half my pants anymore. I can now only fit into two pairs comfortably, and two pairs that are tight (and used to be roomy). The tightness is across my thighs and rear. In retrospect I've gained about 25 lbs since may so this is to be expected. Many of the old shirts I have I had to donate to Goodwill.

    I'll probably start cutting sometime soon. I'm only going to cut for 8 weeks regardless, namely because I really dislike cutting for the most part. In this time I should be able to drop 10 pounds of fat, which would put me ready for the next bulk. There is a bone ridge bump on my sternum that I use to keep track of how fat I am getting. There really is little muscle growth there and from what I can tell, it's almost covered.

    Anyways, everyone have a happy new year!
     
  20. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    Did some GPP work today.

    Shoulder bands (mini): 10, 10, 10
    Back Flys (mini): 15, 17, 20

    Medicine Ball Tricep Extensions: 26, 25
    Pushups: 25, 30

    Banded Good Mornings (medium): 22, 22, 22

    Can't wait until the gym opens tomorrow!
     

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