“Bridging the Gap”
“Bridge the Gap” is my Company motto. Everyone I know and am close to uses it to fake motivation or inspiration in something they would rather not do. If someone were to tell me to take out the trash, an appropriate response would be, “Bridge the Gap.” There is no false motivation when it comes to working out. It’s all heart here. Injury? I’m young. Size? I’ve got a great start. Time? I have all the time in the world. No longer is my battle cry a bastardized version of its original intent. Now it is my standard. A representation of the goals I have set for myself.
I’m driven by my envy of others who seem to have such natural ability. Even though I know some of them are not god gifted 300lbs benchers out of the box, it’s easy to become bitter after seeing douche bag after douche bag out lift you, most of them not having a clue what they are even doing. Whenever I start complaining to much my girlfriend always says, “OK. Let’s make a list of things we do like.” I feel she would be saying that here.
One thing I have in my arsenal is my ability to research. We just had a meeting and I found out google.com is now blocked on our work internet! I feel as though I had something to do with it! LOL Roughly the same time I have spent in the gym since being deployed I’d say I have dedicated to researching workouts, lifestyle, and most importantly diet! Having failed at my goals previously fuels my fire. Looking back in retrospect it is easy to see what I was doing wrong each of the 3 times. High school was my best attempt. I ate like a beast and was unconcerned about body fat. With plenty of sleep at night and top notch help from my coaches, I wish I had taken more advantage of the opportunity I had. In college working out was fairly easy till I fell into the drugs and alcohol world. My prior deployment went great! I was in the best overall shape of my life! I had some great help once again from two Soldiers in my unit. When we returned to the states, we all went a little crazy. The booze took away in a few months what took me a year to build to.
So, what needs to change? Lifestyle! Being physically unable to do something is a feeling that is unlike any other. Whether it’s not being to keep up in a run with friends or not hitting a lift goal you have set for yourself the feeling is the same. It sucks. After having that feeling a few to many times, no more excuses to myself. I no longer consider whatever this is an attempt. This is more of a change. Not for this deployment or while I’m still in the Army, but a positive change that will ripple throughout my life.
Without further a due, let’s get down to business.
Goal? Gain strength and lean muscle mass. What’s interesting and different about my first planned 6 weeks? Nothing.
Leg Ext Warm Up, 50 reps
Squat, 12 (Bar) 10 6 4 4 4 4
Leg press, 3x6
Push backs, 3x6
Leg abductions (in/out), 3x8/3x8
Leg extensions, 3x6
Seated calf raise, 3x6
Day 2- Chest/Tri’s
Flat bench, 12 (Bar) 8 6 4 4 4 4
Incline dumbbell press, 4x6
Decline bench, 3xMax (Failing at around 5 reps)
Assisted dips/Fly Machine (Superset), 3x8
Single flat bench triceps extension, 3x6
High cable triceps extensions, 10 8 6 4 4 8
Day 3- Back/Bi’s
Deadlift, 12 (Bar) 10 6 4 4 4 4 8
Assisted Pullups/Bent over barbell row (Superset), 3x8
Seated row, 4x6
Seated high row, 4x6
Upright row/barbell curls (Superset), 3x6
Preacher dumbbell curls, 3x5
Hammer dumbbell curls, 3x5
Day 4- Shoulders
Standing military press, 10 8 6 4 4 4 4
Seated dumbbell shoulder press 4x6-8
Front raises/lateral raises (Superset), 3x8
Day 5- Rest
Something about my leg day I am already aware of is my lack of hamstring attention. Without a leg curl machine, what am I looking at for options? I can do some stiff legged deadlifts… What else do I have to work with?
Next post I’ll be visiting my nutrition. As you can see from the “assisted” dips and pullups I’m still a weak bitch. I’ve noticed huge differences and am excited to see what happens!
Nice post! Do you have any actual #'s for ur goals? Like PR's for the big 3 or a size of arms in inches etc?
outstanding start to your journal. looking forward to following along!
My initial goal is flat bench 300lbs, squat 450lbs, deadlift 400.
I have a long ways to go but find myself closer and closer every week. Excited to see the challenges in my own fitness that I have read so much about! Staying motivated! Another leg day about an hour away!
It all began with a google search. Although I cannot recollect exactly what I searched for now, you can google the phrase, “supplements to grow on,” and you will see the article I am referring too. When I saw his supplement plan “to grow” I knew that my diet was jacked up. Eating every 3-4 hours was the eye opener. I was like, “Damn! All this time 3 meals a day wasn’t enough?!” By nature, I am a big bodied (fat, overweight) guy. I can go out to the wing bar, suck down 12 deep fried chicken tender smothered in hot sauce and blue cheese but when it comes down to eating clean in the cafeteria I find I cannot eat that much. Not sure if it’s my mind telling me not to overeat because I’m not enjoying what I am doing or what it is. Needless to say I knew that I was going to need a heavily supplemented diet to support muscle growth.
My first 2lbs can of whey protein lasted me quite some time. My epiphany had not yet occurred and I was only taking down a post workout protein shake. The person who wrote the article is named Brad Borland. He outlines exactly why you need each supplement he talks about and then gives you an example chart at the end to show in chronological order when to take the supplements. It was easy for me to digest. After reading the article several times, I made an online order.
The main item’s I was concerned with was whey protein and casein. Throughout the article he talks about maintaining a high metabolism and staying in an anabolic state. That was the greatest connection I could make with my failed weight lifting of the past. Also on the menu: creatine, weight gainer, BCAA powder, and glutamine powder. All together I was hitting on all cylinders he spoke of in the article with one exception, ZMA. Like I said earlier, I read the article several times. ZMA wasn’t worth my money as much as the other supplements were.
Being in Iraq affords me a unique opportunity of a cafeteria (DFAC- dining facility) open with many quality food options. The staff is manned by a contracting company from India. I never see the people that work there other than in the DFAC. They must simply sleep and work! Crazy! They have a rotating schedule with the same food choices each day of the week.
So, that means that dinner on Monday is always steak and fried shrimp night! Roughing it I know! I think lunch on Monday’s is meatloaf. They have a turkey or beef option. The main dish is meat with the exception of pasta night which is lasagna. No matter what the meat option is I will always get a double portion and do my best to finish it. If I can feel myself slowing down and getting full, I’ll switch gears to make sure I get my potatoes in for breakfast and lunch or my veggies in for dinner.
Normally with every meal there is a good potato option. Mashed or O’Brien potatoes or something like that. On soul food day I swap out for baked mac and cheese.
The mixed vegetables they have suck. They come from a can and are difficult to choke down. I will always get vegetables but if it’s the mixed stuff then normally can’t finish the serving. When they have fresh broccoli, carrots, corn, or peas I’ll suck down a double serving no problem. It’s beginning to manifest itself into an issue. The problem being that I don’t think I am getting necessary fiber and micronutrients in my diet of primarily meat and potatoes. This leads me to a question… Where can I get more fiber and micronutrients? Do I have to quit being a bitch and just swallow the veggies or is there an easier alternative?
Everything I eat is heavily salted by me. Could an over use of salt work against my growing goals? Most people I eat with are astonished and surprised at how much salt I will put on something especially meat like steak or chicken tit. It makes it easier for me to get it down with that taste. Potatoes and veggies are the same. I don’t know why. I have always been a salt guy.
So much like my workout plan I put up, let’s take a look at my diet:
Wake up- 0330- Whey shake with added glutamine and BCAAs
Breakfast- 0700- Scrambeled eggs, bacon slices, 2 deep fried Mc Donalds type hash browns, and a biscuit
Lunch- 1100- Main dish (Chicken, roast beef, catfish) x 2, potatoes, and veggie choice.
Note- My work shift depending on the day gets off at 1300, 1500, or 1700
Afternoon Delight- 1500- Whey shake with added glutamine and BCAAs (Depending on the day I’m either still at work or waking up from a nap)
Pre-Workout- 1700- 1 scoop weight gainer (40g carbs/14g protein) with ½ scoop whey (12g protein)
Post-Workout- 1730- 3 scoops weight gainer (120g carbs/42g protein) with 1 scoop whey (24g protein)
Dinner- 1930- Main dish (Chicken, roast beef, catfish) x 2, veggie choice, and potatoes (if I can eat them.)
Note- After dinner it’s bed time. I’ll try to piss as much as possible, wash my shakers, and try to relax and fall asleep to a South Park or a movie.
Wake up to piss- 2300-2400- Casein shake
All in all I figure a reasonable estimate for an average is near 4200 calories each day spread over the full 24 hours. The above just shows supplements that directly impact my diet. My other supplements I didn’t list for two reasons. One, I don’t know exactly what the forum rules are in saying what your taking. I don’t want to get banned for advertising for some company. Second, my focus on this post was diet. I felt the need to include the supplements I take that directly impact my ability to grow based on eating or sucking shakes.
So, there it is. I appreciate and welcome all advice! I look forward to keeping a daily log in the future. Stay tuned!
Foods that are more dense in nutrient value will bring you to satiety faster than a plate of dog shit.I can go out to the wing bar, suck down 12 deep fried chicken tender smothered in hot sauce and blue cheese but when it comes down to eating clean in the cafeteria I find I cannot eat that much.
IMO cut back on the supps... A shake won't do as much as whole foods for you and if you want to continue to grow and get stronger, you're gonna need to learn how to eat.
There's also some good routines designed to increase those big 3 lifts witch have less volume and more rest.... Something to at least research for yourself while you work with the outline you have now. If you platu before you hit those goals or start to burn out, really consider it.
Many variations of 5x5 etc
i agree with II on the hammy exercises and will add one more. lunges with a VERY long stride will smash glutes and hams solidly. when i did them it was with a barbell and higher reps(usually 12-20). although DBs are still and option.
also, like POB i would highly suggest more food and less supps. i am not anti supp by any means but i noticed my best strength and mass gains when i got off the shakes and into the steaks
the food you have on your diet i recognize from somewhere..... oh yeah they serve it at my galley too lol. honestly go with that baked chicken. put whatever damn seasoning or condiment you would like(Heinz 57 does wonders) to make it bearable but that is by far the healthiest food i have noticed the military gives us. and if your cooks are good then it shouldnt be too bad.
lol you are a brave man for eating those damn hashbrowns! you must have better cooks than i do because the hashbrowns i am used to drip with grease!!!
i wish i could help you more on diet but at this point i am trying to figure out what works for me. BTW, mixing those scramble eggs with some chicken is a good way to start the morning!
Yup cut out so many shakes and spend more on foods. Who knows how much of a shake your body actually uses. I do a shake post w/o and when I get home I start cooking. So normally I eat 1-1.5hours after my post w/o shake and thats the only shake i consume.
@Gstacker- Seems like the 5x5 is the tried and true for strength gains. I've had limited time to research but see where your going.
Changing my breakfast up by not getting the bacon and browns. I tried an egg white omelette from the DFAC before and it felt/tasted like rubber but today I will try again. Eating more real food is difficult for me but I will try to adapt.
Thanks for all the help so far!
My Tuesday was leg day. It went well and I saw massive gains on my working squat sets. My third work set I had a bad start and it messed up my set. What I should of done is just rack the weight, take a breather and start over but for whatever reason I didn't. Not that I crashed to the floor or anything but my form was comprimised. Still a solid day showing real improvement.
Yesterday (Wednesday) was chest and didn't go as well as leg day. Maybe not focusing and concentrating enough in the gym. My workout partner and I stayed for an extended session. We both got a surge of energy about 40 minutes which was a nice change of pace from leaving about 45 minutes deep.
Today is back with some hamstring make ups and testing!
Even POG dfac's have hard-boiled eggs....throw a couple of them in the mix. Those little peanut butter containers make a good snack in the day too.