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theMasters Master Plan

Discussion in 'Fitness Journals' started by theMasters, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    I'm officially starting a journal today.

    Four months back the wife and I joined the Gym initially only to lose some weight and get away from TV. After a month I started lifting weights and was on a simple split routine. I spent more time on the treadmill though.

    I'm pretty happy with the progress I've made so far. I wish I had taken pictures and measurements then but didn't. What I do know is that I can now fit into a very old pair of size 32" jeans easily. I've also built up more muscle.

    My goal now is to build lean muscle mass. I stumbled on John's site looking for a new routine. I've decided to take up John's core and intensity workout (Bulking) with little modification. It looks challenging and interesting. It might not be ideal for me but I like the way it mixes strength training with hypertrophy. He switched to only Intensity but I need the Strengh part too. I will change exercises though in a few weeks.


    My diet is pretty meticulous now but not doing excess calories, sticking to around 2500-3000 roughly.
    Using Opticen from Atlarge, Xtend BCAAs and Animal Pak multi-vitamins as supplements.
    I'm 34, weigh 190pds, height 5’ 11", BF ~ 15% – 20%



    I’ll post my workout details to date soon.

    Happy lifting folks.
    theMasters
     
    #1 theMasters, Feb 4, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  2. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    Date: 2/2/2009
    Week: 1
    Type: Core

    Squat 160*5 170*5 175*5 185*2
    DB Deadlift 50 *5 55*5 60*5 65*2
    Incline crunch (Abs) 10*3

    The above doesn't include warmups.
    The routine calls for SLDLs but I needed to work on the form for it, so did DB deadlift for now. Will switch next week.

    Previously, I had never done Squats, very little lower body workout in general and WOW I can't believe I was missing out on the Squats. Ridiculous.
    The DOMS pas 2 days have been outrageos. I couldnt wear socks myself yesterday.
     
    #2 theMasters, Feb 4, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  3. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    Date: 2/4/2009
    Week: 1
    Type: Core

    Bench Press (Smith) 210*5 215*5 225*5 235*2
    DB Seated Press 35*5 40*5 45*5 50*5
    Skull Crusher 10*10 12.5*10 15*10 20*10
    Abdominal M/C 9 0*10 110*10 115*8


    Last BP set was too much. Couldnt maitain form. Won't increase until I get it right.
    I don't like skull crushers. Might switch to something else for the triceps.
    Struggling in getting in position with the ez bar for the skull crushers.

    theMasters
     
    #3 theMasters, Feb 4, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  4. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    I completed the first week of the "Core" workout, following John's 2008 bulk routine.
    Unfortunately as a newbie for the past 3 months I concentrated on shoulders, chest and arms only. The thinking was I'll do this for a few months put some muscle and don't need to bother with legs and back.
    As a result my squat and deadlift numbers are out of line with bench numbers. Oh well. As long as there is progress every core workout, its ok.
     

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    #4 theMasters, Feb 7, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  5. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    Just went over what I'm supposed to do tomorrow for the Intensity week:
    Leg press
    1x25 (light weight)
    1x25 (weight added)
    1x25 (more weight)
    1x20 (heavier)
    1x15 (more weight, harder)
    1x10 (more weight, very tough)
    1x10 (to failure)
    Leg extentions/lunges
    1x15 - Leg extensions
    1x10 - Leg extensions, superset with lunges (below)
    1x50 - DB Lunges, 50 per leg, superset with final set of leg extensions
    Lying leg curls
    1x20 (light weight)
    1x15 (weight added)
    1x12 (more weight)
    1x8 (heavy, to failure)
    1x5 (more weight, to failure)

    No idea how I'm going to do this. Legs are still sore from Friday's deadlift and I did some HIIT running today. 50 DB Lunges! I probably can't do 50 Lunges with no weights right now. There will be pain.
     
  6. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    The workout today as expected was cruel.
    Also as expected I couldn't do 50 DB Lunges, heck I couldn't do 50 Lunges without weights in one go. :o Had to break it up into 3 sets.
    My Lower body is behind in terms of strengh and it will take some time to catch up. As long as there is progress its all good.
    After leaving the gym today I was "walking funny" as they say. I had to make sure my leg could hit the brake before pulling out of the parking. But I love this kind of soreness. Can't wait for the DOMS tomorrow from this workout :D
     

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  7. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    Another gruelling session. Its been hours since the workout and I still feel the burn. For some of the exercises I've never done before, I'm establishing a benchmark this week and not following the routine to the dot.
    The intensity week is not easy at all. You really have to work with lesser weights for the super sets and reduced interval between sets. I had to do assisted dips but that and the straight bar pull down superset is a great tricep workout combo.
    I had planned to do some HIIT after the workout, but had nothing in the tank. Plus the routine itself had me sweating.
     

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  8. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    Today's workout was below par.
    First the heat was up too high in the gym. It was 77F at 5am. Then I messed up my left forearm in the powercleans. Also I switched to XTend this morning from liquid protein and did not have the same energy.
    I will switch back to liquid protein and banana pre-workout and XTend during.
    By the time I finished the DB rows, I couldnt even sit. Felt like throwing up. Plus my left arm was really hurting.
    So I left the gym and after resting for 30mins at home completed the bicep exercises with the only equipment I have at home; 15pd DB.
    Arm feels better now, so good to go for tomorrow. Bengay helps.
     

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  9. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    Today was the last day of the intensity week and turned out great. My left arm didn't bother at all, just a little pain. A little bengay goes a long way. I had never done calf exercise before so it was interesting. They are pretty sore right now. Shoulder workout was great. I love the seated DB press. Favorite exercise. Followed it up with the Giant set. Instead of wide grip barbell rows to the nose I used cable rows to the nose if thats the right term.
    I went back to liquid protein (EAS Shake) and a banana pre workout at 5am. and 2 scoops of Xtend during. This is followed by Opticen pwo.
    I'm also taking Animal pak but might stop. Nothing negative about it but I just hate gulping down 12 tabs. Just doesn't feel right. I plan on switching to Men's once a day and Fish Oil. I also plan to switch to RESULTS and NITREAN once my OPTICEN runs out.

    This completed 2 weeks on this new routine. I like it a lot. However for the next two weeks I will concentrate on form and not try to increase weights or reps. I was trying a lot of new exercises and did not have the form down in some cases.
    I will put in at least 3 HIIT sessions in too as this is core week.

    Gym Log is not an attachment anymore. I'll do that once every couple of weeks. Running out of space.

    Gym Log:
    Intensity Week1
    Delts & Calves:
    Seated dumbbell press 3x40x10
    Face Pulls (GS) 3x50x10
    DB Laterals (GS) 3x15x10
    Standing rows to nose (cable) (GS) 3x60x10

    Standing calf raises 135x30, 95x30, 95x30
    Seated Calf Raises 25x25, 25x25, 25x25, 25x25
    Toe Press (Leg Press m/c) 105x15, 90x15, 70x15

    Bicycle crunches 3x20
     
  10. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    Kicked off second week of Core nicely. Also did a 24min. HIIT session on Sunday. Will do two more similar sessions this week as there is not much cardio work in the core workout weeks.

    I am going to do RDLs in place of SLDL going forward. There is too much impact on lower back with SLDL and I want to leave the lower back for DLs on Wednesday.

    Sunday Measurements:
    Ht 70.5"
    Wt 193
    Waist(naval) 36.36
    Hip 40.5
    Forearm 12
    Calf 16
    Thigh 22
    Bicep 15.5
    chest 44

    Gym Log:
    Core Week 2
    Quads & Hams
    Squats 185x5, 195x5, 205x5, 215x2
    SLDL 135x5,185x5, 205x5
     
    #10 theMasters, Feb 16, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  11. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    Core Week 2

    Finished the Core chest, shoulders and triceps workout. Really exerted myself though. I really need to slow down to avoid an injury and do this for a long time. At this rate, I won't last more than a few months. In the gym though you just want to do more and more.

    After the core workouts, I added some isolation routines too. My left forearm near the elbow is really hurting. It gets better until a workout, and it flares up again. No idea what to do. For now, its really hurting and shaking.

    The BP (smith) went fine. 2 weeks back my 2 rep last set was 235 which I failed on. This week, I maxed out on 245 without fail. I add 45pds as the bar weight on the smith, this is probably not accurate and excessive, but I have no way of measuring it.

    On the shoulder press, I knew I could add 5pds more and that went well. I just have to work on my technique to get the DBs in position. All videos I've seen, ppl use their legs to push the DBs up, I kinda swing my arms on the side and lift the DBs up. Thats probably putting unnecessary pressure on the forearm.

    Skull crushers also went well. I've had problems getting in position on these as well. Today I lifted the EZ bar to my chest before sitting on the bench and then laid back on the bench with bar already at chest. That worked. It sounds trivial, but after going max on BP and DB press, its not easy to lift the bar up after sitting, at least for me.

    At this point, I had a very good workout, increased my numbers from 2 weeks back but for some reason I felt like doing more. I now think its a mistake but I went back and did 3 sets each of cable cross over, lateral lifts and tricep pulldowns and ended the workout with bicycle crunches. The original plan was to run after the core routine, but at this point my arm was screaming and different parts of the body were shaking, so that was impossible.

    One more thing, I mentioned after Monday's workout that SLDL didn't seem to do much for the glutes and hams, but effected the lower back more. Well not entirely true. If I go by DOMS, then there was some decent stress on the hams and glutes for sure. However, I will still switch to RDLs next time and see if its more effective as I've been told.


    Gym Log:
    Core Week 2
    Chest, Shoulders & Triceps

    Bench Press (Smith): 225x5, 230x5, 235x5, 245x2
    Seated DB Press: 40x5, 45x5, 50x5, 55x3
    EZ-Bar Skull Crusher : 10x5, 15x5, 20x5, 25x5
    Cable cross-over: 20x10, 30x10, 40x10
    DB Lateral lifts: 15x10, 15x10, 15x10
    Tricep pulldowns: 60x10, 70x10, 80x10
    bicycle crunches: bwx20, bwx20, bwx20
     
  12. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    I missed my scheduled Friday workout due to the alarm not going off. Made it up today.

    It was the core back and bicep day but really the heavy DL day.
    I hit my max from two weeks back of 275 with 3 reps. Had to do 2 1 rep set of 295. First time tried it, couldn't, 2nd time, couldn't again. At this point I was ready to quit considering I did 3 reps instead of 1 at 275 so there was progress. But I went back and tried again and was able to hit it for 1 rep. Then again for 1 rep. Reason for doing this is the fear that if I don't progress, my "newbie gains" are over. Not sure it is newbie gains anymore but psychologically that pushed me to go for higher weight.

    Good news is that I should cross 300 in 2 weeks. Bad news is I won't hit 400 before I plan to start cutting in 3 months. Also I worry I'm losing form in the last heavy set, back isn't arched as it should be. I will try to video the lifts next time.

    After the rows and BB curls, I ended up doing some extra chin-ups. I'm trying to get to a point of at least 1 set without assist. Today I managed 4. Previous high was 3. Last month, I couldn’t do a single unassisted chin-up. This isn't easy as my weight is increasing these days. So overall a very satisfactory day. I was again shaking a bit when leaving the gym, which is actually very satisfactory, knowing you gave it all.

    Measurements tomorrow.

    Gym Log:
    Core Week 2
    Back and Biceps:

    Deadlifts 225x5 245x5 275x3 295x1 295x1
    Seated low Rows 90x8 110x8 120x6
    Barbell Curls 4x40x5
    Incline crunch 3xbwx10
    chin-ups bwx5
     
  13. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    Decent workout today. Didn't increase weights in most cases from 2 weeks back but got better form and reps. This time around, only went for bw lunges and was able to do them at one go.

    Added some chinups and shrugs after regular leg workout. For the first time ever completed a 8 rep set of chinups.

    Gym Log
    Intensity Week 2
    Quads and Hamstring:

    LegPress 90x25 110x25 130x20 150x20 175x15 210x10 230x10
    Leg Extensions (SS) 170x10 170x10(f)
    Lunges (SS) bwx50
    Sitting Leg Curls 30x20 50x15 75x12 90x8 110x3 (f)
    Chinups bwx8 bwx5
    Shrugs 55x15 55x15 55x10


    Measurements from Sunday:
    Age 34
    Ht 70.5
    Wrist 7
    Wt 194
    Waist (widest, naval) 36
    Waist (smallest) 35.5
    Hip 40
    Forearm 12
    Calf 15.5
    Thigh 23.5
    Bicep 15.5
    neck 17
    chest 44
    BF % (healthcentral.com) 16.60%


    Seems like all gains are in Legs right now (and neck?)
     
  14. TheRyanator

    TheRyanator Well-Known Member

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    Morning TM, great to see that you have been so consistent in your plan and have taken the time to track it so closely. Sounds like your lifting is paying off. You mentioned several days back the DOMS after your first squat session...I also remember that experience years ago...legwork has been a part of every plan I have used since...the effect of working your legs hard is un-paralleled by any other method, whether bulking or trying to get lean.
     
  15. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    Thanks for checking in Ryanator. Yeah, the Journal is a good tool to remain focused.
    I agree about the leg workout. I wasted the first two and half months going to gym and doing zero leg and little back work, two things immensely important for overall strength and body shape.
    Slowly will catchup.
     
  16. Sea2Sea

    Sea2Sea Active Member

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    Good day, I was reading your jornal with great interest, we are almost the same size weight and body fat. I have about six years or so on you. But your reoutine is great. I am two weeks into a cut. but may borrow a couple of your workouts to change things up. thanks for being so detialed.
    Good luck.:claphigh:
     
  17. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    Hey Sea2Sea, yes some of those workouts are cool. But I borrowed most from J Stone's original 2008 bulk program (he later dropped the core workout). I would never have come up with some of those routines and also would not have incorporated them the way he did. Once you do those super sets, giant sets,etc you see that there is a method to the madness, so to speak.
    Also alternating between a strength and intensity workout is great longer term body recomposition solution IMO as you get the strength gains without losing out on hypertrophy and how each week brings a different set of challenges.
     
  18. Sea2Sea

    Sea2Sea Active Member

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    I agree Johns, work out logs and diet have given me some great starting points. Its then fun to branch out from there and try differnt things. Any thought on a new arm routine ?
     
  19. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    I can tell you whats worked for me and whats not.
    On the strength side, fewer reps, more weight, using a barbell is dead right IMO. So Barbell or EZ bar curls for bicep and skull crushers for triceps.
    On the hypertrophy side, his bicep routine which involves Dumbells and supersets is pretty cool but very aggressive. A Giant set of:
    3x6-10 Straight bar preacher curls
    3x6-10 Hammer curls
    3x6-10 Alternating DB curls

    destroys the biceps.

    For tricpes, the only thing that hasn't worked for me is the tricep dips, maybe b/c by the time I hit that in my routine, I can only do assisted dips :o
    One thing that does work is the Reverse-close grip smith machine bench press. Its a weird setup, but if you lookup a few videos on how to do it properly, its very effective IMO.
    Hope this helps.

    Cheers.
     
  20. theMasters

    theMasters Active Member

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    Intensity Week 2

    Cool workout. Cable cross-over, flys super set combo works!
    Pecs just scream. The chest workout below is great for hypertrophy.

    For the triceps, I'm going to replace the tricep dips with something else next time around. Don't feel too much pressure where it should. Felt like I didn't do enough with triceps at the end, although I really like the press downs and the reverse grip smith. Maybe will make the reverse grip into a proper 3 set and add a tricep extension next time.
    Planned to do some shrugs, but forgot.

    Left arm flared up again. Its perfectly normal in a couple of hours but by the end of the workout, its really painful.

    Thursday is the toughest workout of the entire cycle for me (Core DL day is close second). I literally dragged myself out of the gym last time without completing everything. Hope to do better.

    Supplement: 4 Xtend Scoops during workout, Nitrean pwo, Animal Pak

    Gym Log:

    Week 2
    Intensity
    Chest and triceps:

    Cable Cross Over (SS) 30x10 30x10 30x10
    Flat Bench flyes (SS) 35x10 30x10 25x10
    Smith Low Incline BP 135x6 135x9 135x12 135x15
    Flat DB BP (Triple Drop Set) 45x8 40x8 35x8
    Incline DB Press 25x20(f)
    St. bar tricep pull down (SS) 64x12 65x12 65x15
    Tricep Dips (SS) 40(At)x8 40(At)x8 40(At)x8(f)
    Reverse close grip Smith BP 95x20 95x12 (f)
    bicycle crunches bwx15 bwx10
     

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