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  1. #1
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    The tale of picking up progressively heavier things - an AlexSays production

    The background you can feel free to skip

    Been lifting for multiple years, made mediocre progress, found this forum years ago, made better yet still mediocre progress blah blah blah

    Anyway...

    Am currently coming to the end of a cut which has lasted around 6 months, during which I lost around 37lb. If you're interested you can find the log at https://igoodies.000webhostapp.com/?viagra=showt...hp?t=178588631. The cut was prompted by around 9 months of a relapse into alcoholism at the end of 2019/beginning of 2020 and various bouts of self harm, stitches, medications, hospital visits etc. This resulted in some pretty rapid weight gain and a failure to lift for extended periods. Lockdown here in the UK only worsened the situation and by June I decided I should probably start undoing some damage or the damage would start undoing me.

    I built up my home collection of plates a little more and got hold of a cheap ass pullup bar and have managed to work out pretty solidly for the whole cut with some short, blissful periods of being allowed back in the gym. Of course that's all gone to chit now so it's back to home workouts for a while (for you UK brahs I'm in tier 4 lockdown for the foreseeable future). I got down to a pretty lean level, maybe around 13% (my avi) but over the course of Christmas and new year I managed to gain back around 5-7lbs. As this constitutes several months of bulking space lost, the first few weeks of this log will involve dropping those lbs back off and then transitioning to maintenance for a bit. This may be followed by concerted weight gain. Who kows.

    EDIT: Stats

    Height: 5 foot 10-11 (not quite sure)
    Weight: (updated in first workout post below)
    Age: 27
    Last edited by AlexSays; 01-05-2021 at 01:57 AM.
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  2. #2
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    THIS FUKKKING WEBSITE IS BULLCHIT

    So you're getting the frustrated and impatient writeup now because BB.com decided to deny my access and delete half my post


    The Method (or lack thereof)

    Over the years I have developed an ever deepening apathy for information, advice, studies, fitness guidance, practices etc. I've been through all the stages: brosplit 'optimizer', eating disorder obsessive, no carbs before bed, IIFYM, smug fierce 5er who DOES eat carbs before bed..... blah.

    My nutrition will be eyeballed and whatever I want with a common sense nod towards general health, satiation and adequate-ish protein hopefully more than 50% of the time. My meals will not have any particular timing, composition or criteria. My workouts will be compounds with very little isolation. No I am not doing a pre-prescribed program. My routine will probably be structured around a 3x full body AB pattern. This may devolve into UL 4x on occasion or a combination of both.

    During my cut there are several things I did not do and will continue not to do:

    - Count calories (after years of craziness it really isn't that difficult to judge)
    - Monitor macros (overrated)
    - time food, macros or anything else
    - restrict food, macros or anything else besides calories
    - stress or obsess
    - Lose any significant strength

    Several things I did do

    - drank like a fish too often (need to get a handle on this)
    - eat junk food and treats on a regular (often daily) basis
    - still lost fat just as quickly as anyone else

    My ethos is that you are more likely to be successful in the long run if you just give yourself a f*cking break in the day to day
    Last edited by AlexSays; 01-04-2021 at 03:29 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Trust you to come to the workout journal bit when I've just swapped back to the losing fat log section! Haha hope you had a good xmas and new year mate. I'll be following your progress as always
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    The pictures

    My equipment



    Me (good starting point, haven't worked out in 2 weeks, no pump, cold)



    Me tensed - because............... I like pictures of me tensed more than those of me not tensed EDIT: ew maybe not that one, but done is done



    The start

    So feel free to hop on, feel free to encourage or just chat or utterly ignore this thread entirely. Just remember if you have advice I'll be happy to listen but this isn't really an accountability log or a 'need guidance' log. I probably do need both of those things but remember, apathy.

    I'll be starting the year with a 60 hour fast. Before anyone decides to grab their pitchforks just note:

    - I am interested in neither the 'super duper health benefits' nor the 'terrible catabawlikkk dangers' of fasting
    - Lets be real, it burns a **** load of fat quickly
    - My main purpose is re-establishing hunger control after a heavy holiday
    - I've never noticed significant strength loss after a fast
    - Most importantly I've done it several times before and I'm definitely going to do it now so no point complaining
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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by safcpaul View Post
    Trust you to come to the workout journal bit when I've just swapped back to the losing fat log section! Haha hope you had a good xmas and new year mate. I'll be following your progress as always
    Hahah I need to get myself up to date with everyone's logging! Guess we're destined never to meet

    What prompted the switchback?
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    Originally Posted by AlexSays View Post
    Hahah I need to get myself up to date with everyone's logging! Guess we're destined never to meet

    What prompted the switchback?
    I'm happy with the muscle I've put on and think I'd be happy with myself when im lean and then could lean bulk patiently from there. Also feel like I can still gain some strength in a cut
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by safcpaul View Post
    I'm happy with the muscle I've put on and think I'd be happy with myself when im lean and then could lean bulk patiently from there. Also feel like I can still gain some strength in a cut
    Good shout dude, seen the pics, you'll look awesome

    Body weight today: 71.9kg/158.5lb



    Workout

    First workout on this log, this is workout A of a very variable AB. As I haven't worked out in a couple of weeks and because I want to get some decent intensity in before the fast kills my stamina I've tried to get some volume in here and the weights are somewhat below my working weight. Hopefully I'll have loosened up by Wednesday's workout

    Weighted pressups

    BW: 15
    BW + 10kg/22lb: 12, 12, 12

    Lunges

    BW: 10
    BW + 30kg/66lb: 6, 6, 6

    Wide grip BOR

    27kg/60lb: 15
    52kg/115lb: 12, 12, 12

    Wide grip pullups

    BW: 7, 6, 6

    Will have to stretch amply today, have lost a lot of flexibility and my long standing back injury is going to start messing with me if I don't keep myself limber in line with continuing to work out. Today did feel surprisingly good though, perhaps a combination of being fresh and having full to bursting glycogen. Lack of food will soon take care of that little bonus.

    Sorry folks but for now the workouts won't get much more exciting than that!
    Last edited by AlexSays; 01-05-2021 at 01:56 AM.
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  8. #8
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    IN! good luck mate - not that you will need it!

    Those dumbbell handles look like they hold a load of discs! last ones i had only had short stubbs..i see the countrys going into full lockdown again:/
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    Goal 190 lbs at 15% bodyfat
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by RandyMcFlab View Post
    IN! good luck mate - not that you will need it!

    Those dumbbell handles look like they hold a load of discs! last ones i had only had short stubbs..i see the countrys going into full lockdown again:/
    Laverly to see you again dude! Thanks, hopefully will be a tale of success, however always find that the moment I start progressing properly life tried to bugger it all up :P The handles are garbage if I'm honest, I got them hoping exactly what you said, that they'd hold a decent number of plates. However if you look closely they are warped. If you try and load 30kg-ish or more they start to bend (the f*cking things are hollow!?!?!), it's dicey as hell. Useful to have some handles for lighter stuff though (stick to below 20kg per side).

    Today

    Rest day today and day 2 of fast.

    Weight: 70.4kg/155.2lb

    Most of this drop is obviously water coming off, my eventual (deflated) weight goal is back down to the 68.7kg/151.5lb that I reached before Christmas, so only 4lb or so more. Toyed with the idea of keeping a running weight record on every post in a list as I know myself and I know that tracking my weight during mass gain (when I change gears in a couple of weeks) is much more important for me than during a cut. I can gain much too easily. However given how long I intend this log to run for it would quickly become unwieldy. I'm going to settle for just making my weight entry very visible (as above) on each post. Might do a weekly average or something but depends on how likely I am to stick to that.

    Food begins again tomorrow along with workout B
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by AlexSays View Post
    The handles are garbage if I'm honest, I got them hoping exactly what you said, that they'd hold a decent number of plates. However if you look closely they are warped. If you try and load 30kg-ish or more they start to bend (the f*cking things are hollow!?!?!), it's dicey as hell. Useful to have some handles for lighter stuff though (stick to below 20kg per side).
    I have a pair in no longer using - and they are totaly solid, I bet they could hold 40kg upward if you had the 10kg discs. You want them mate? free of course just let me know where to send them in PMs and there yours.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by RandyMcFlab View Post
    I have a pair in no longer using - and they are totaly solid, I bet they could hold 40kg upward if you had the 10kg discs. You want them mate? free of course just let me know where to send them in PMs and there yours.
    If you really don't want them I'd be happy to take them! (assuming they are 1" bar width), always after new equipment
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    yeah mate there 1" ones i rekt my credit card on fixed dumbells so they just arnt needed and at least you could use them confident they aint going to snap on you lol - they prob have the odd bit of light rust on them but there fine.
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  13. #13
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    Today

    yo, fast is finally over

    Weight: 69.3kg/152.8lb

    Big drop, I'm not getting too excited. Although it is near my final goal, my original lowest weight was not at quite this 'deflated' a point. Was operating on literally 0 glycogen by this morning. So Imagine this will jump back up and then stabilize at a higher weight. I'm aiming for slightly higher than cutting calories today but still below maintenance.

    Nutrition

    Small pack of cheese and onion crisps + small handful of chocolate buttons
    Bowl of chicken, chorizo and salmon gumbo (so much left over from my last batch)
    2x BBQ chicken mayo and bacon sandwiches + 1 pear
    No idea for dinner

    The chicken mayo was made with light mayo which I spiced up with about half a tsp of BBQ sauce and dashes of cayenne, paprika, cumin and pepper. Makes flavours a little more exciting while adding virtually no calories to the mayo. As mentioned before calories and macros are god knows what but will be the right amount in the end.

    Workout

    B workout today, still aiming for lower weight with a little more volume to get me back in the game this week

    BB overhead press

    27kg/60lb: 10
    42kg/93lb: 8, 8, 8

    Rear delt rows

    Never quite determined if this is the proper name for these. Essentially a dumbbell pendlay row (but weights don't touch the ground). Expend more energy on holding the position than I do actually lifting the weights but oh well. It's what you get for F-ing your lower back up for so many years.

    5kg/12lb plates: 15
    15kg/33lb DBs: 8, 8, 8

    Neutral grip pullups

    BW: 10, 6, 7

    RDL

    Another lift that is going to be limited by previous injuries, dont expect much from my squat when the gyms reopen either

    27kg/60lb: 15
    52kg/115lb: 10

    Started to get a twinge so abandoned the RDL. Better safe than sorry

    And that's all for today. In case anyone is interested in a before/after pic of a 60 hour fast, the before is first (and in the post above) the after is below (untensed and a bit more pump):


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    Last edited by AlexSays; 01-07-2021 at 03:27 AM.
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    Today

    Rest day today, only really checking in to log weight which has predictably bounced back up a little after ending fast:

    Weight: 69.8kg/153.9lb

    Food will hopefully be a slightly stricter deficit than yesterday

    Happy logging to you all

    EDIT: Nutrition

    Pretty sure I've got this worked out for today

    1x bowl of gumbo this morning
    2x sandwiches. One bacon and cheese w/ mayo, the other ham and cheese w/mayo + fruit in some form
    Dinner will be steak in some form, a posted picture in the nutrition section has given me a hankering
    Last edited by AlexSays; 01-07-2021 at 03:15 AM.
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    Today

    Went into the office today, god I love lockdown traffic

    Weight: 69.5kg/153.3lb

    Nice drop, happy.

    Workout

    Weighted pressups:
    BW: 15
    BW + 12.5kg/28lb: 12, 12, 12

    Wide grip BOR:
    27kg/60lb: 15
    54.5kg/120lb: 12, 12, 12

    Lunges:
    BW: 10
    BW + 30kg/66lb: 6, 8, 10 (no idea what happened here, it's like my legs just steadily caught fire and got loads of lunge energy and I loath lunges)

    Wide grip pullup:
    BW: 10, 8, 7

    Nutrition

    Bowl of gumbo
    2x shop bought sandwiches (chicken mayo and chicken and bacon)
    Pack of salt and vinegar crisps
    Not sure for dinner, maybe steak sandwiches



    Yesterday's dinner:

    Attached Images
    Last edited by AlexSays; 01-13-2021 at 06:01 AM.
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    Today

    Weight: 69.7kg/153.7lb

    Got drunk on Saturday but deficits on Friday and Sunday should buffer it out and am probably still holding some water. Had a good weekend, took a couple of walks along the river mouth and the coast with my gf, it really was beautiful



    Nutrition

    Doing a 36 hour fast so no food until tomorrow morning. Just 0 calorie drinks and electrolytes. Am fed up with fat loss and decided just to dynamite it today and reverse gears tomorrow. I find I really struggle to stick to a deficit if I know it's only for a short period. For some reason this just makes my motivation and commitment go out the window rather than thinking 'it's only another week, I can do this!'. So basically after this fast, even if I'm not at my weight goal, I will be close enough (hopefully within 1lb) that I'm happy. It's going to be strange consciously trying to eat more rather than less.

    Workout

    B workout today

    Standing OHP
    27kg/60lb: 15
    44kg/97lb: 8, 8, 8

    RDL (lowered weight this week after back twinge last week)
    27kg/60lb: 15
    47kg/104lb: 12, 12, 12

    Rear delt rows
    5kg/11lb plates: 15
    15kg/33lb DBs: 10, 10, 10

    Neutral grip pullups
    BW: 8, 8, 8
    Attached Images
    Last edited by AlexSays; 01-11-2021 at 03:07 AM.
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    Looks nice there mate, cant beat walks by the coast! I feel lucky to live near the sea and will always try to live close.

    Hope your fast goes well
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by RandyMcFlab View Post
    Looks nice there mate, cant beat walks by the coast! I feel lucky to live near the sea and will always try to live close.

    Hope your fast goes well
    Thanks broski Yeah it was gorgeous, only about 40 mins away as am a little inland.

    I've lived near the sea (or ocean) as long as I've lived bar the past several years, feels claustrophobic being away from water :/
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  19. #19
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    Just got my lockdown care package from Randy above!

    So f*cking chuffed will have the brownie after fast tomorrow morning!

    Somehow still managing to avoid getting 'too big'

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  20. #20
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    Great stuff mate! let me know how you get on with them - hopefully a decent upgrade from the others.
    Start weight 310lbs march 2020 @55+% bodyfat
    Goal 190 lbs at 15% bodyfat
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  21. #21
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    More of an upgrade than you can imagine mate! Might even just throw the other ones out. By the time you're making use of the handle length they're already threatening to dump plates on your head!

    Today

    Weight goal smashed.

    Weight: 68.1kg/150.2lb

    A good half that is water but still happy. End of cut/start of gain photos below as well as the protein brownie and strawberries I busted the fast with this morning :P

    Rest day today and for nutrition it will be time for carbs. However prefer to 're-glyc' over a couple of days so won't necessarily be going over maintenance. Maybe aim for maintenance

    Relaxed


    EDIT: for my future reference I've added this in from the next day, better posture and not depleted (also a little bloat) better for future comparisson



    Tensed


    Brownie! And (remains of) strawberries
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    Last edited by AlexSays; 01-13-2021 at 04:45 AM.
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    Nutrition update

    First day of non-cut and am already finding myself needing to reel myself in. Nutrition so far has been:

    Protein brownie + 5 strawberries
    4x Weetabix with skim milk
    A bowl of gumbo with 3 slices of buttered toast
    A bar of milk chocolate + a raspberry jammy dodger
    A bacon, cheese and (light) mayo sandwich

    In my estimation that places me conservatively around 2200 calories. May have to have a light dinner on my first day of increased calories lol

    Edit

    Gf convinced me to have a few drinks last night so despite my light dinner I inevitably ended up 1000 cals over maintenance with other snacks lol. Ah well, the rest of the week will have to be just below/at maintenance again. God weight management is annoying
    Last edited by AlexSays; 01-13-2021 at 04:41 AM.
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  23. #23
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    Today

    Due to unfortunate drinking episode last night I did not weigh this morning. Won't get a reliable weight from alcohol bloat anyway. Intend to land roughly 500 cals under maintenance today which cuts yesterdays 1000cal surplus into 250cals per day surplus for the past two days. Am happy with that. I know it's the long term that matters but trust me, if I don't disperse these slipups as and when they happen they will mount up in a very short time. It's always been my failing before and I want to start as I mean to sustain.

    Workout

    back to A today

    Weighted pressups:
    BW: 15
    BW + 15kg/33lb: 12, 12 ,12
    This is progressing nicely, think higher reps might be the key for weighted pressups, was doing sets of 6 with higher weights previously and not getting anywhere

    Wide grip BOR:
    27kg/60lb: 15
    37kg/82lb: 12
    57kg/126lb: 10, 10, 10
    these felt a little awkard as lower back was stressed, may stick to this weight until everything catches up before progressing back to former working weight

    Lunges:
    BW: 12
    BW + 30kg/66lb: 10, 10, 10
    Actually starting to get a feel for lunges now, still hate them but they feel more 'right' on my legs

    Wide grip pullups:
    BW: 8, 8, 8

    Still keeping it simple. 3 sets, 4 exercises, reps 8-12. Double pull for every push, at least 1 exercise for each pull plane, a quad exercise (although lunges do feel like they actually activate hams and glutes to a great degree too), 1x posterior chain/hip hinge. That's all the programming effort I can be bothered with right now without a gym. Once it stops working I'll come up with something more sophisticated.

    Nutrition

    3x Weetabix with skim milk + 1x chicken thigh, skin + bone on + 1 pear
    Bowl of gumbo + 2 slices buttered toast
    Dinner will be medium sized.

    Gumbo has finally run out which sucks. Back to sandwich varieties for lunch. May be time to change cereal to something more calorie dense, however I am still in cut mode and still crave volume. Perhaps once my hunger signals have pissed off back to normal.
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    Today

    Rest day today and back to non-cutting calories (god that sounds so non-committal but demonstrates my desire to eat more without necessarily trying concertedly to gain weight at the moment). Yesterdays deficit seems to have done the trick:

    Weight: 69.1kg/152.4

    Hopefully today and tomorrow can bring me back to a fully non-depleted state and give me an accurate baseline weight.

    Nutrition

    3x Weetabix with semi skim milk + 2 sausages + pear
    25g whey isolate
    Lunch will be 2x sandwiches, one bacon cheese and mayo, one ham cheese and mayo
    Dinner not sure yet but kind of have a craving for a picnic meal. Cold meats, crackers, strong cheese (the fruit studded varieties), tomatoes, carrot sticks etc. Me and my girlfriend do this sometimes and it's always awesome
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  25. #25
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    Looking nice and lean mate, bet you will pack on some strength/muscle on non cutting calories
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  26. #26
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    Originally Posted by RandyMcFlab View Post
    Looking nice and lean mate, bet you will pack on some strength/muscle on non cutting calories
    Cheers man! Glad to be starting from a nice light weight, plenty of room/time for growth! Thank you for using the politically correct term for my calorie allowance lol

    Decided I'm going to do some abs work on rest days. Just a superset of weighted crunches, leg raises and weighted plank, 3 sets. I don't really believe in overdoing abs and I don't normally dedicate any time to them

    But guess now I'm actually hoping to gain muscle, there is a point
    Last edited by AlexSays; 01-14-2021 at 03:31 AM.
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    Today

    Kept yesterday fairly reasonable calorie-wise. Wouldn't have come out too far above maintenance

    Weight: 69.5kg/153.3lb

    Feel like I'm homing in on a decent new baseline. Was expecting it to come out around 70kg but maybe it'll be a little lower

    Workout

    Decided I want to hit my upper chest more effectively (always a weak spot) so have added in leg-elevated-pressups and an extra pull to balance out (upright rows). Next week I will incorporate the new press into my A workout with the other pressups and leave the upright row in B so I'm still running the same number of exercises for each workout

    OHP:
    27kg/60lb: 15
    47kg/104lb: 5, 6, 6
    Will see how these are next week, if there's no improvement to 8-12 rep range even with increased calories I'll hop back down and work up again

    Upright rows:
    5kg/11lb plates: 15
    15kg/33lb DBs: 10, 10, 10
    These actually felt pretty heavy. Kind of makes sense as haven't included them recently

    Rear delt rows:
    5kg/11lb plates: 15
    15kg/33lb DBs: 10, 10, 10
    Don't have the plates to increase this one properly, they're starting to feel more stable now. May increase reps or increase with asymmetrical dumbbell loading

    RDL:
    27kg/60lb: 15
    47kg/104lb: 12, 12, 12

    Elevated pressups:
    BW: 15
    BW +10kg/22lb: 10, 10, 10
    Have to get used to these again

    Neutral grip pullups:
    BW: 8, 6, 6
    These are slipping

    Nutrition

    4x Weetabix with semi skim + apple
    1 pork pie + 4 crackers with pate, cheese and ham
    50g whey + handful of tomatoes
    2 piece toast with pate, cheese and ham
    No idea what else, playing by ear lol
    Last edited by AlexSays; 01-15-2021 at 04:23 AM.
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  28. #28
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    Great starting position for your bulk. Looking forward to see where you get
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    Today

    Heeeeeeeeeeaaaavy weekend alcohol-wise. Probs have 3-4000 cals of surplus to iron out. Not ideal but this is why I cut down so light:

    Weight: 71.4kg/157.4lb

    Will be reigning back this week to compensate. Doubt I will make much progress this way. Binges followed by moderation aren't exactly optimum for steady protein synthesis (neither is booze I guess haha). Need to get discipline back. It's harder as cutting does involve consistency, but the only consistency that is required is a calorie deficit over time, with all else being secondary. There are so many more primary factors in muscle building which, if thrown out of whack, just scupper the whole thing.

    Workout

    Weighted pressups
    BW: 15
    BW +10kg/22lb: 10
    BW +17.5kg/39lb: 12, 12, 12
    Wasn't exactly strong on the working sets. More strain than real lift power. May stick here until these are better (hopefully once I get my nutrition under a controlled surplus)

    Wide grip BOR
    27kg/60lb: 15
    37kg/82lb: 12
    57kg/126lb: 12, 12, 12
    Increased reps here but still not quite happy with form. It isn't feeling quite right. Again may stick to this weight until things are smoother

    Lunges
    BW: 10
    27kg/60lb bar: 10, 10
    32kg/71lb bar: 10
    Switching out for barbell from now on. Prefer the DBs but can't load them properly past 15kg per side and managed to clear enough space to do with the bar.

    Weighted elevated pressups:
    BW + 10kg/22lb: 12, 12, 12
    Getting back in the zone with these, will increase on friday

    Wide grip pullups:
    BW: 8, 8, 7

    Nutrition

    2x Weetabix + skim milk
    Bowl of spicy soup I burned and then froze the other week.
    2x tacos, BBQ mince with red pepper, onion, salsa, sour cream and guacmole (the last two from a squeezy bottle but surprisingly good)
    No idea for dinner
    Somehow still managing to avoid getting 'too big'

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    Originally Posted by safcpaul View Post
    Great starting position for your bulk. Looking forward to see where you get
    Cheers man, I think the only thing I'm struggling with at the moment is getting anywhere at all lol. As mentioned in latest update, cutting is so much simpler
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