Monday, 7 December 2015

Back to the gym part 1, 2 and 3

I have not been in a gym or lifted weights for 18 months. I blew my back out from a combination of car crash and squats and had a fully herniated disk in my spine which was due for surgery

you can see the disk at the l5-s1 joint protruding out of its normal position and pressing on the nerve which then goes down to my legs causing Sciatica which is pain down your legs due to damage to your nerve higher up in the body. (the disk above also looks pretty crap and is putting some more pressure on the spinal nerve and is pretty see through meaning normal Disk Degeneration disease, yeah!)

It crippled me. Litterly. Couldn't even sit. and got slightly addicted to painkillers.

Anyway, onto the point of this blog post.
I am back. (but still without a spine)
squats and deadlifts and anything that puts load onto my spine is out of the question. So over head presses are scary and not going to happen.

So bench, and seated rows and pull downs are all go.

Firstly where was I before the injury and where am i now?

Before the injury
managed 125kg

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and again 124kg and 60kg  for 24reps afterwards
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Pull ups
managed to do one with a full 36kg hanging from my waist  along with 10 reps with 10kg attached
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Current condition

Bench 60kg x5
pull up - 0 Pull down 50kg x2

Quite the drop in performance then.

So how am i going to get back into it.
I have joined a gym. It has all the stuff i need and even has showers so I can go in the morning before work (if i am not looking after or dropping off my 15month old at nursery)

Now if you read above there is a further complication, I have a 15month old legend (baby boy) and with that comes some further restrictions. Going for a massive gym session for a few hours and destroying my muscles and going past failure and deep into fatigue resulting in massive amounts of DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) and IOMS (instant onset) which will make me sore, tired irritable and weak for days afterwards is not a recipe for a happy marriage or dealing with a wriggling baby and a dirty nappy in a calm and adult manner.

So the connundrum is 1) how do I get my strength back as fast as possible and b) not end up divorced.
The good thing is I have a plan. and it may sound surprising.

MAX my Bench + Pull down EVERY DAY

This involves following a method I first tried with squats from a post on T-Nation regarding high frequency heavy weight exercise. Check it out for a read.

This also means other than my 7-10 min warm up on the stair machine (5 -7 min warm down), and 2-3 warm up sets on each exercise, I am going to do no more than 3 sets of a max of 3 reps each on each exercise) and my whole workout can be done in under 30mins, but trying to do that each day will be a full 3.5 hours of weights a week.

Rules when doing this

1) Dont get psyched up before working on the maxes
2) no pre-workout
3) Use perfect form. (If I can lift more but with bad form it is considered a fail)
4) After the maxes just go chill and stretch and do a warm down.

Results so far
day 1
routine of
bar x20 (warm up)
60kg x5
65 x 3
70 x 3
75 x 2
80 x 1

Back (didnt do)

From here on in, Consider that i have done the warm up reps and weights upto the max if i dont get 3 reps on it then I shall write it down. additionally all workouts are done at around 5pm after work, before my wife has picked up Logan from nursery.

Day 2
 same work up as before
75 x2
80 x 2
(then 60x12 for fun)
(Pull down)
73 x 1

Day 3
75 x 3
80 x2
60 x 8
(Pull down)
 73 x1

Day 4
Wednesday, Crap night sleep, starting to get a cough
60 x9 (good pause reps) then 5 pause reps
Pull down
73 x 2
45kg pause reps x 8
(very hard to resist not doing more exercises and reps as bummed that there has been no improvement, however must remind myself, this is only day 4 and the aim is to not tire myself out)

Day 5
Thursday (even crapper night sleep, annoying tickle cough)
warm up with some deadmill
80x 3 (last one was sketchy)
60kg x 10 Pause + 6

Pull down
(making sure i see the rope stop for each rep (not quite a pause rep))
66x 3
73 x2
45 x 10 Pause reps

Day 6
Friday Morning workout before work.
75x 3
80x 2 (felt good)
60 x 8(3 second pause reps) + 5

66x 3
73x 2
45kg x 9 (3 second pause reps)

Day 7
Life got in the way, looking after logan and by the time i was free the gym was closed on saturday at 8pm

Day 8
Morning workout at 10am, stairs, then deadmill then back first today.
Bench (slight change to the warm up sets, missed out 65kg, seems like an unnecessary set)
Bar (20gk) 20 Reps
60kg x 5
70kg x3
75 x 3
80kg x3 (WHOOP!)
82.5 x (20 second rest pause reps ) 3 (1+1+1)
60kg x (3 second pause reps) 7 + 5

Pull down
73x3 (whoop)
79 x 1

Felt good after workout so did some additional work
Rotary cuff (4kg)
bent over bicep curs (12 kg)
Standing unilateral arnold shoulder presses (8kg)

OverHead Squats (Bar) x 5 Very happy with this
and generally feeling more positive about my body shape today 

Day 9
Monday after work
85 x 1 (felt good, didnt have the balls to try a seond rep)
60kg x9 (3 second pause reps)

Pull down
(then did more over head squat, managed 6 with just the bar, then added 2x5kg plates for a 30kg and managed a few sets of 3-4 reps there

Day 10
Tuesday after work, Gym busy Did back first
70 x 3
80 x 3
85 x 2 (second rep was sketchy)
 60x9 (3 second pause reps)

Pull down

Day 11
After work, after Logie gone to bed (Bench First, bugger all warm up)
50kg x 10
60x 3
70x 3
80 x 3
85 x 2 (felt good, but didnt have the balls to go for a third yet)
60x 8 (3 second pause reps)

Shower then home

Day 12
bar x 20
60x 3
80 x 3
85x 3 (whoop Got it!)
87.5 x 1 (20 second rest pause reps) + 1 +1

Pull down
45 x5
59 x3
73 x3
79x 2

Day 13
(off, as kim had her xmas night out so no chance of going to the gym as she came back at midnight)

Day 14
Saturday Morning, before my xmas work party
90 x (20 second rest pause reps) 1+1
70 x 10
60 x (3 second pause reps) 7

Went to xmas party but didnt drink alcohol, only water. as I decided to drive. party was good but no chance of me going near a dance floor and felt like i wish i had drunk so as to have more fun but the thought of a hang over with a 15 month old child was off putting enough to just stick with water.

Day 15
sunday during logies dinner time (5.30-6.30pm)
Massive lie in this morning, totally knackered from yesterday which was (hospital with logie, shopping, cinima to see starwars, then xmas party till midnight)

60 -70- 80-
87.5kg x 3 (Whoop!)
92.5 x 1 + 1
70kg x amrap 10 reps
60kg x Amrap 15 reps

Neutral grip pull ups!
x2 + 2 +1 +1

Unilateral arnold presses)
10kg x 10
14 x 8
18 x 6
20 x5

Day 16
60 x 5
80 x 3
90 x 2
60x 9 (3 second pause reps)

Pull ups!
2 (Whoop!)
Pull down
45 x 5
59 x 3
73 x 3
79 x 1
(then another pull up
then 45 x 10 (3 second pause reps)

Day 17 
off Kims parents over so out for dinner straight after work

Day 18
Xmas eve (big session as off for 2 days afterwards)
Warm up
Step machine and Skipping
60 x 5
70 x 3
80 x 3
90 x 3 (whoop)
95 x 1 + 1
70 x 11reps (personal best by 1 rep)
60 x 7 (3 second pause reps)

Pull ups x 2
Pull downs
45 x 8 (coming to a stop each rep)
59 x 5
66 x 3

Seated Flys (machine)
59kg x 8 ( 3 second pauses) followed directly by
10 reps of (10 second pause, +rest pause reps)

Over head press
3 sets of 3 with 30kg

Unilateral Standing Arnold Press
12kg x 10
16 x 8
20 x 6
22 x 3

Hanging bicep curls
(3 second pause reps)
8kg x 5
14 x 5
18 x 4

Seated Unilateral Row (machine)
20kg x 6 (3 second pause reps)
30 x 5
35 x 4

Step machine to warm down
then 2 x pull ups
7 x dips on the way out

Day 19 + Day 20 
Off due to xmas and boxing day

Day 21
60 x 5
80 x 3
92.5 x 2 (second one sketchy)
97.5 x 1
60kg (for max reps) 17 Followed by triples rest pause style for 5 sets

Pull ups x 3 (whoop)

Unilateral arnold press
12 x 10
16 x 8

Hanging bicep curls
10 x 10 (3 second pause reps)
16 x 6

Day 22
60 x 6
80 x 3
92.5 x 2 (good second rep, just didn't have the balls for a third)
100kg x 1 (WHOOP!) Personal best by 2.5kg 
65 x 12 followed by triples rest pause style for 5 sets

Back 45x 10
73 x 6

Hanging bicep curls
12kg x 7 (3 second pause reps)
16 x 8

Seated flys (machine)
66kg x (3 second pause reps) 10 + (10 second max contraction pause reps) x 7

Pull ups x 3

Day 23, 24, 25, 26 
Off New year in highlands

Phase 2

Day 27
New year new start
After having such a long time off, I am starting my training a-new with a higher rep set of 6 reps. all pause reps.

60x 6 (all with pause reps)
70 x 6
75 x 6
80 x 6
82.5 x 3

Pull Ups

Pull downs
New year New start, going with ultra wide position on the pull down bar from here on in.
39 x 6
52 x 6 (bad)
45 x 6
(25kg single arm pull downs x 7)

Dips x 7

Day 28 day 29
Off Ill, Big sinus pain possible man flu.

Day 30
60 x 6 (all with 2 second pause)
70 x 6
80 x 6 (barely)
82.5 x 4 (better than before i was ill so thats a plus)
60kg x 15

Super wide pull down
32 x 6
39 x 6
45 x 6
52 x 6 (good)
59 x 4
Pull ups x 3

Day 31
Wednesday 6th January
50 x 6 (good pause reps)
60x 6
82.5x 6 (really tough pause reps)
50kg (as many reps as possible) x 15

Pull ups
4 (WHOOP) Personal best by 1 rep
Pull down (super wide pause reps)
32 x 6
39x 6
45 x 6
52 x 6
59 x 6
32x 15

Day 32
50x 6
70x 6
85kg x 5 Good pause reps then last rep a bit fast
95 x 1 then x 3 reps Personal best by 2 reps
100kg x 1
Pull ups 4
Pull down
39x 6
52 x 6
66 x 1
32 x 11

Day 33
40, 60, 70, 80 all pause reps x 6
90kg x2
Pull ups
4, then 3

Day 34
60,70,80, pause reps x 6
90 x 3
100 x 2 (whoop) Personal best by 1 rep
60kg x max reps 22 Personal best by 5 reps
80kg triples (rest pause) x 5 sets

Day 35
40x 10, 70,80, pause reps x 6
90 x 3
70 x max reps 13 Personal best by 2 reps

Pull ups
2 +2

Day 36
50,70,85 x 6 pause reps
95 x 1
100x 1
102.5 x1
105x 1
107.5 x 1 (WHOOP) personal best by 7.5kg
70kg x 5 rest pause x 7 sets

Pull downs
32,39, 45,52, 59 x 6 reps
Pull ups

Day 37
60,70,87.5kg x 6 pause reps awesome
95x3 +1 +1

Pull ups 3

Day 38
60,70,80 x 6 pause reps
90x 3
105 x1
80kg Max reps x 13 (Whoop) personal best by 7 reps
pull ups x 3
Pull downs
45, 52,59,66 x 6 (whoop)

day 39
50,80 x 6
90 x 1
100x 1
105x 1
110x1 (whoop) Personal best by 2.5kg
85kg x max reps 9 Personal best by 3
80kg triples x 5 sets

Day 40

Day 41
90x6 (whoop) Personal best by 3 reps (awesome pause reps, felt fuzzy afterwards)
100x 3 (whoop) Personal best by 1 rep
105x 1
60kg x max reps 25 (whoop) Personal best by 3 reps

Day 42
92.5x6 (whoop)
100x1, 105x1, 110x1,
112.5x1 (whoop)
87.5kg x Triples x 5 sets

Pull ups x 4
seated row 20kgs x 10
30kgs x 5 second pauses x 3 reps

Day 43
60,70, 80x 6
90x3, 100x1, 105,107.5 x 1
70kg x 17 reps (whoop)
95kg pause reps 3

Pull ups x 5
seated row 27.5x6 reps x 4 sets

Day 44 (no warm up what so ever before this workout)
60, 80x6
90x 3
95 x 3 + 1 fast rep
100x1, 105x 1
80x13 (whoop)

Day 45 (feeling ill)
Started off with some deadlift
40kg x 6, 6, 10
Pull down next
45,52,59,66 x6
Benchpress last
60, 80 x 6
90 x 5

Day 46 (off, looking after logie)

Day 47
got a cough and had a crap night sleep
60-70-80 x 6 good pause reps
90x 3
95 x 4 (good ones)
105 x 2 (whoop)
107.5x1 (thought about doing a second)
110x 1
90 x 9 (whoop)

Pull down
Seated Flys
66kg x 3 second pause x 12 reps
+10s rest paus x 8
50kg x 5,5
Pull ups x 6 (whoop)
Arnold presses
22x 5
26 x 5 (whoop)

Day 48 (up in dundee before going out drinking)
85x triples  x 10 sets

Pull ups x 7 reps (Whoop)
Deadlift 60kg x 5
over head press 60kg x 5 (bit scary for my spine)
bicep curls 16x 5 (3s pause reps)
18x4, 20x3

Day 49 (hung over)
Day 50 with family

Day 51
60x6, 70,80
95x 5 good ones (whoop)
87.5x triples x 8 sets

Day 52 off sore

Day 53
60x 6
100x2 (good pause reps)
107.5x2 (whoop)
95 x 6 pause reps (Whoop)

Pull down 45 x 10

Day 54 Off

Day 55
60, 80,90,100,105, 107.5, 110
112.5kg x1 (Equal current max)
100kg x 5 (whoop) 
60x 22

x 8 (whoop)
Bicep curls
16x 7
18x 5
20x 4

Day 56
Sunday morning (fasted)
90x 5
97.5x (pause reps) x 4 good ones
102.5 x 2
107.5x2 (whoop)
90kg x Triples x 7 sets

Seated unilateral row
30s (3second pauses) x 5
32.5 x 5

Machine Flys
66x 15
86 x 5

Pull ups x 4

Day 57
115x1 (whoop)253LBS

 Day 58 

Day 59
115x1 (equal best)
80x 16 (whoop)

Arnold unilateral dumbell standing press
30x5 (a bit pushy)


Day 60- 67 Gym Closed due to flooding

Phase 3

This phase is for month 3. The first two months have been working on developing strength and form as fast as possible

Day 1 (Friday february 12th, 2016)


  1. hello i am wondering if i can do what you did for 2 days , but for 6 days. I'm in an insane hurry to lose weight and i am up for the challenge and i get that its not healthy but i would do another to drop as much as 12 kg in 6 days! plz plz help me out on a plan. female. 80kg. 22 y/o. 163cm height. i really hope you can help me I'm in a great hurry

  2. i am waiting on your reply plz help me

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