MuscleBeard's Basement

MuscleBeard

Active member
Trusted Member

Why?

I've always been a big logbook guy and have been logging my workouts by hand pretty much since I started lifting, just over 10 years ago. This community has been awesome since I joined a few weeks ago and when I saw there was a section for members logs, I thought it would be a cool way to share my passion for lifting and all things bodybuilding/strength.

Background:​

I started lifting at 19, I had a rough first semester my first year in University, playing a ton of video games and barley eating. I came home to work during the summer break and I was a whopping 140lbs at 6'2. Like many lifters, I had a really poor body image and an undiagnosed eating disorder. Luckily, I started working out and fell in love with the pursuit of building muscle. My first few years of training were solely focused on gaining weight and building muscle. Around 2013 I went and watched a local powerlifting meet and then got hooked on the pursuit of strength for the next 5 years. I built some quality mass, all as a natural, and competed in multiple powerlifting meets in the 105kg (231lb) weight class, as well as one bodybuilding show. Although, that bodybuilding show was not drug tested and being natural, I got my ass handed to me, taking fifth in middleweight at the time.

My biggest accomplishments in the powerlifting scene were a 600lb deadlift and a 470lb squat, both in competition. Following a pretty rough quad tear in 2017 I found myself a little lost, burned out from pushing my body with low volume, super heavy weight all the time and looking for a new direction. During rehab for my quad, I did a lot more hypertrophy work and really fell back in love with bodybuilding. In 2019 I built my home gym and have been training out of my basement ever since. Right now my primary focus is on bringing up my weak points and adding as much muscle as possible. Future powerlifting meets and bodybuilding competitions are always a consideration.

In August I started my first cycle, 400mg of Test-E after a low T diagnosis. I always knew I'd make the jump over to enhanced eventually and I am happy that I got 10 years of lifting under my belt naturally before making the leap.

The Juicy Split:​

Given that I spent 7/10 years focusing on strength, I've decided to take advantage of the super physiological test levels and run a custom program designed to bring up the areas I feel need the most work, shoulders and biceps. This is a 4 days on, 1 day off split with two different workouts for each muscle group.

Chest/Triceps
Back/Traps
Legs
Shoulders/Biceps (or Biceps and Shoulders)
Rest
Repeat

Given my powerlifting background, I am pretty big on counting volume and using those metrics as a way to overload, either by adding sets or reps depending on recovery and progression. I realize this style of training is not for everyone and some may consider this overthinking, but I believe you cannot manage what you do not measure, so tracking my progression week to week and total set volume is how I like to do things. Most of my bodybuilding focused training as of late has been using a push/pull/legs/push/pull/legs/rest rotation and while this works well, it can be difficult to really hammer certain muscle groups as chest is often a priority on push days and back on pull, leaving things like rear delts, side delts, biceps and so on to be tagged on at the end of your workout. With this split I can prioritize delts and biceps and train them primarily, rather than an after thought. Everything gets hit 2x every 5 days so it is still a pretty high frequency program.

volume per completion of split rotation, for those that care about this sort of thing:

*note, volume only counted towards direct sets, obviously you do hit triceps with chest dips for example or biceps with pullups but I only count the volume towards the muscle group the exercise was intended to focus on.

Muscle GroupSets
Chest32
Back32
Side Delt16
Rear Delt8
Front Delt8
Traps16
Biceps28
Triceps24
Quads20
Hams10
Abs10
Neck10

For some this may be a lot of volume and for others it isn't. I would say overall this would likely fall towards the more advanced trainee. I may look at adding more ab work if I feel I can work it in and I am not too fatigued. You'll notice I have neck listed. I do direct neck work 2x per week. I've been doing this since 2019 and have added over 2 inches to my neck just using plate neck curls and neck harness curls. It can really improve your overall upper body look, especially in clothes.

Things I am doing different:​

Letting go of some of my ego. I have never trained without pause bench, low bar squats or sumo deadlifts because I have been married in a lot of ways to making sure I continue to practice competition form, however this is holding my physique back. This phase I will be high bar squatting to improve my quads. Using Romanian deadlifts and trap bar deadlifts to bring up my back and hams and I will not be pausing my press. I will also start one of my chest days with incline dumbbell bench, something I've never used as a primary movement. I think high bar squatting will be one of the bigger challenges for me as my low bar squat is just so much stronger. I am also implementing some intensity techniques such as drop sets and rest pause sets. Cardio wise, I just walk my dog most days of the week for 30 minutes or so.

Nutrition:​

I follow a macronutrient based approach to nutrition. Honestly I mostly eat the same things everyday because I am a creature of habit and as you can probably tell somewhat neurotic. Having a macro split just helps make it easier when the wife wants to go out for dinner or I am on the go. In the past I have struggled with anxiety of not hitting my meal plan perfectly so by using macros I can follow a meal plan most days but keep my anxiety in check if I have to go off plan, knowing I can still hit my diet goal. I am currently weighing 224-225lbs and eating 285p/85f/550c or about 4100 calories. Being enhanced now it was difficult for me to decide what an appropriate rate of gain would be but currently my weight has actually been stalled for the last 2 weeks, bouncing back and fourth between 224-225 so I will have to increase calories if this continues. When I was natural, I would only shoot for .5-1lb gain per month because realistically with 10 years of training as a natural, if you're gaining 2+pounds a month, unfortunately a good amount of that will be fat.

I'm up about 12 pounds since starting my blast and honestly I think I look leaner, my lifting belt hasn't moved a notch which is always a good sign for keeping the waist in check. Just sent out my letsgetchecked to see how things are progressing in my cycle. I am about 8 weeks down at this point, going for a total of 16-20 weeks depending on bloodwork.

Supplements:​

Mens Multi
Glucosamine+MSM
Turmeric Curcumin
Vitamin D
Creatine Monohydrate
Intraworkout carb powder
Whey Protein
preworkout (sometimes)

No fish oil for me unfortunately. I have a bad drug reaction to capsulated omega 3s for some reason and break out in a rash. I eat salmon 3x per week to supplement this in my diet. I also buy omega rich eggs when possible.

Equipment:​

Like I mentioned, I train at home. I have a power rack with a lat pulldown/low pulley attachment as well as a landmine and dip attachment. I have a decline/flat/incline bench, powerblock dumbbells, bands, hyperextension bench, sissy squat machine and some specialty bars. I also have lever arms for my rack so I can do some machine pressing/rowing, using my bench as the chest/back support and of course ample plates. Really the only thing I am missing is a leg press or hack squat and a cable crossover. Overall, I have everything I need to build an awesome physique. I would really love a hack squat/leg press combo machine...maybe some day.

If you read all that, cheers! I hope you will follow along on my journey to building a more complete physique and gaining some new strength along the way.
 

MuscleBeard

Active member
Trusted Member
Chest Barbell Bench4x6-8
ChestIncline Barbell Bench Slight Incline4x8-10
ChestHex Press Drop Set4x10-15 Drop set on final set
ChestChest Dips4x8-10
TricepSingle Arm French Press4x8-12
TricepLong Rope Tricep Ext4x10-15
TricepClose Grip banded pushup3xFailureAfter Last set 3 rest pause sets

Today's chest and tricep workout. I was itching to train today, always a good feeling. Some family came to town for thanksgiving (don't tell the COVID police) so I got to follow this up with a awesome dinner.

Nothing too crazy in the workout, just the things that work and feel good really. I propped my flat bench up on a block to get about a 30 degree angle. John Meadows talks a lot about using very slight inclines or declines to still hit different parts of the chest but without a lot of shoulder strain and less front delt of course.

Nothing too notable for weights yet today. I recently picked up the vulcan cable attachment, it's essentially a long nylon rope that has multiple hand straps so you can do facepulls or rope pushdowns with it. Used that for the long rope tricep extension, felt really nice! Good pump today.

Tomorrow is back and traps and I put rack pulls back in the mix. Probably the first time in 7 years that I am doing rack pulls. These are a lat focused version where I will really engage my lats pre pull and pull into myself. The last time I rack pulled was in 2013 when I was doing Brandon Lilly's cube method. and implementing dynamic effort days with speed pulls/shorten range of motion pulls.

Happy Thanksgiving!

:)
 

MuscleBeard

Active member
Trusted Member
It gets the job done. Few small accessories but this the majority of my set up.


Sent from my SM-G988W using Tapatalk
 

Sorbate

Beta Male
Trusted Member
It gets the job done. Few small accessories but this the majority of my set up.


Sent from my SM-G988W using Tapatalk
Perfect.

If you want a tri pull down, I built one from pulleys and cable from Home Depot and lag bolted it to the roof beams.
I think when I was done it cost like $50. I even made a rope attachment, lol.
You need two pullies, and I used a post holder that had rebar welded on the bottom (it was used to hold post on concrete forms) to hold the plates. Drilled a hole in the rebar and put on a eye hook from the cable. As long as you were strict with you movement not flailing, it didn’t swing around.

If you want when I go to homedepot later today I’ll take pics of what you need.
 

MuscleBeard

Active member
Trusted Member
Perfect.

If you want a tri pull down, I built one from pulleys and cable from Home Depot and lag bolted it to the roof beams.
I think when I was done it cost like $50. I even made a rope attachment, lol.
You need two pullies, and I used a post holder that had rebar welded on the bottom (it was used to hold post on concrete forms) to hold the plates. Drilled a hole in the rebar and put on a eye hook from the cable. As long as you were strict with you movement not flailing, it didn’t swing around.

If you want when I go to homedepot later today I’ll take pics of what you need.
Nice! That would be very much appreciated. I'm always open to new ideas, especially when I can cost save and build my own.
 

MuscleBeard

Active member
Trusted Member
BackOne Arm Barbell Row4x8-12
BackRack Pull 4x6-8
BackWide Banded Pull-up40 RepsFew sets as possible
BackChest-Supported Lever Row4x12-15
TrapProne Shrug4x8-12
TrapBench Supported DB Upright Row 4x-10-15
NeckHarness Neck Curl1x20, 4x10-15

Today's back and trap workout. This was a good one. I really used my lats during the rack pulls as I saw John Meadows suggest that you really pull into the lats when doing a bodybuilding specific rack pull, not necessarily for improving deadlift 1rm. I only worked 405 for sets of 6-8 on them. My lats were honestly on fire after the barbell rows. First time doing shrugs with my chest on the bench. Really isolated them and I had a pretty crazy trap pump.

Pretty long workout honestly, maybe 1.5 hours. There's a fair bit of setup in a home gym if you are doing rack adapted machines. The lever arms allow me to mimic a chest supported row machine but I have to set it up and it can take time.

Tomorrow I have legs. High bar squats. First time doing high bars in like 5 or more years. I am just significantly weaker high bar over low bar. I mostly did pause squats as my main squat accessory when I was powerlifting so I really don't have the groove for high bar. Either way, I am looking to bring my high bar to 405 over time.

Fueled by pumpkin pie!
 

MuscleBeard

Active member
Trusted Member
QuadHigh Bar Squat5 sets-12,10,8,6,6
QuadRack Supported Bulgarian Split Squat5x10-15
HamSafety Squat Bar Good Morning5x8-10
CalfStanding Calf Raise 5x8-12
AbsExercise ball between the Legs Pass5x10-20

Today's leg workout. Those high bars really kicked my ass. I prefer keeping leg training basic. Nothing fancy here, just movements that work and feel good. As a home gym adaptation, I use a dip belt and stand on a platform for standing calf raises. Nothing too crazy on high bars today, working with 285lbs. Fairly happy with that as it has been quite a long time since I last did any high bar work!

Tomorrow is biceps/shoulders.
 

pgmunn

Well-known member
Trusted Member
Power to you if you can do all that volume. See how you respond to it over time. Just revise it after a reasonable period of time if not working, if working keep with it.
 

MuscleBeard

Active member
Trusted Member
Power to you if you can do all that volume. See how you respond to it over time. Just revise it after a reasonable period of time if not working, if working keep with it.
For sure, I always go in waves with volume. Periods of high volume following more moderate volume. Every 12 weeks or so I do a lower volume more strength based phase.

Sent from my SM-G988W using Tapatalk
 

MuscleBeard

Active member
Trusted Member
BicepDrag Curl4x8-12
BicepDb Preacher Curl4x8-12Rest Pause
BicepIncline hammer curl4x10-15
BicepLying Cable Curl2x15-20
Shoulder Seated Side Lateral4x8-12
Shoulder Banded Shoulder DB Press4x8-12
Shoulder Head Supported Rear delt fly+Partials 4x15-20Partials after failure with full rom
Shoulder Y-Raise4x8-15


Oh boy. Crazy pump today. I think this may be my first time ever starting a workout with biceps and shoulders with a lateral raise instead of a press. Kept rest times to 1:30 or so and focused a lot on the contraction. Really enjoyed banded shoulder presses as well. I have never trained my shoulders this way so it was a nice new stimulus.

Now time to eat 1000+ cals. Busy ass day at work and I hardly had time to eat.


Tomorrow is a much needed rest day. I'll give the dog a nice walk and hang out with the wife.
 

MuscleBeard

Active member
Trusted Member
Nothing exciting today. Writing this from work, had to put in some overtime today so thankfully it was a rest day.

Tomorrow is chest and triceps again. Floor presses are on the menu and I'm excited. Haven't floor pressed in years so it'll be fun to get back to it. I'm also adding in some banded dumbbell flys so the pumps should be on point.

If you're reading this, I hope your week is going well!

Sent from my SM-G988W using Tapatalk
 

MuscleBeard

Active member
Trusted Member
Chest Incline DB Press4x8-10
Chest Floor Press 4x6-8
Chest Decline Dumbbell Press3x10-15 2 Cluster Set (rest 20 seconds)
Chest Incline Banded Dumbbell Fly4x12-15
TricepClose Grip Bench4x6-8
TricepIncline Dumbbell Skullcrusher4x8-12
TricepSingle Arm Pressdown4x12-15


Great workout today. Floor presses felt pretty strange as it has been so long since I have done them. Looking forward to adding weight to this movement over the coming weeks. I also have not done a ton of decline pressing recently and the contraction was fantastic. I am actually considering subbing something out on my other chest day for some decline barbell pressing. Something about that angle just really feels good. Nothing too crazy with weight today, feeling out some new movements and establishing some baselines to work from.

Tomorrow is back and traps. Looking forward hammering some back out before heading into the weekend. I smoked a nice big sirloin roast on my traeger this evening so I have some high quality protein for the next few days!

Wherever you are, I hope you are well :)
 

MuscleBeard

Active member
Trusted Member
Back Db row 4x8-10
BackMeadows Row4x8-10
BackTrap bar row drop set3x8-10Drop set
BackNeutral Pulldown4x12-15
TrapBarbell Upright Row4x10-15
TrapWide Grip Barbell Shrug 4x8-12Hold at top
NeckPlate Neck Curl1x20, 4x10-15

Great back and traps workout today! Really felt a great contraction on trap bar rows and holding the barbell shrugs at the top for a second made a world of difference in the contraction I felt.

Tomorrow is legs, primary lift being a barbell Romanian deadlift. Excited to progress that movement over the coming weeks. 6 weeks left of this blast. Going to make them count!
 

MuscleBeard

Active member
Trusted Member
GluteBarbell RDL4x6-8
QuadSafety Bar Squat4x8-12
HamHam focused hyperextension4x8-12
QuadBarbell Front Foot Elevated Lunge4x12-15Reps per leg
CalfSingle Leg Calf Raise 5x8-10
AbWeighted Crunch5x10-15

Not much to report today...More of a get in and get it done sort of day. Learning the ins and outs of e2 management and I think I overdid it on my AI so hoping it wont take too long to bounce back...having some joint pain and general lethargy today.

Tomorrow is Shoulders and Biceps.
 

MuscleBeard

Active member
Trusted Member
Shoulder Barbell Rear Delt Row4x10-15
Shoulder DB Lateral Partial4x15-20
Shoulder Between the Legs Cable Lateral Raise4x10-12
ShoulderStanding Lever Uni-Lateral Lever Arm OHP4x8-12
Shoulder DB Six Ways2x8-10
Bicepbarbell curl4x8-10
Biceprev Cable Curl3x10Triple Drop Set final set
Bicepincline db curl4x8-12
BicepEz Bar Full Rom Curl2x15-20


Not a lot to report today...Nice shoulder and bicep pump. This is now one full run through the new program. Tomorrow is a rest day and Tuesday is chest and triceps.

Forgive the shortness of my last few posts. Dealing with some low e2 right now lol so hopefully it rebounds soon. Took it somewhat easy on training today because the joints are not feeling great. All part of the learning process.
 

MacX

New member
Hopefully you get the e2 issues cleared up, planning to run my first cycle sometime in the spring leading into summer with simular dose, so looking forward to following along with how your cycle goes for you as well as the training.
 
Top