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.
Shoulders/Biceps (or Biceps and Shoulders)
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.
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.
Intraworkout carb powder
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.