Latest posts

Forum Statistics

Threads
27,634
Posts
542,742
Members
28,581
Latest Member
RalfKelleh
What's New?

There and Back Again: A HOB's Tale

HOB_Fly2023

HOB_Fly2023

Member
Apr 27, 2023
26
26
Hey all, thanks for the warm welcome.

I've been training for 15+ years and worked as a personal trainer for about 4 years. Recently went through a rough divorce and lost motivation to eat properly and train for the last 6 months. I feel like I've lost a lot of progress and have made my way into "skinny fat" territory. I've been to the gym twice this week, so far, and have started eating well again. Looking forward muscle memory helping me to getting back in shape. The foundation I built is still there and I'm hoping the next 3 months see me getting back to 90% or so of my former self, just in time for summer.

Lifestyle and Activity:
I'm a commercial pilot and construction project manager, so my day to day physical activity is minimal. Whether I'm sitting in the cockpit, monitoring flight instruments, or sitting in a rental car, telling guys to put their hardhats back on, I am not very physically active most of the day. My hobbies aren't very physically demanding either. I am a licensed skydiver, a competitive shooter, and a musician.

Diet:
I burn through calories like a furnace and always have so, in my anecdotal experience, I need roughly 4500 calories a day to gain efficiently, and about 3,600 to maintain. As we all know, that is hard work and can get pricey.

Apart from my 1 cup of coffee in the morning, I only drink room temperature water.
Carbohydrate sources are mainly pasta, white rice, wheat bread, and a complex carb powder from Transparent Labs.
Protein comes from eggs, chicken, lean ground beef, and ribeye pork chops.
Fats come from nuts, avocados, olive oil, and butter.

Training:
I don't typically get super creative with my training and don't follow a certain Monday=A, Tuesday=B, schedule. Because of my body's way of processing calories so quickly and efficiently, my best results have come from practicing an "every-other-day" schedule. It ends up being a 10-day rotation.

I focus on slow, deliberate form, and train for aesthetics, not strength. My movements usually follow a 2 second or more count. I lift what I can lift in the 8-10 rep range, and never try to go heavier. Lifting heavy(1-4 reps), for me anyway, has only resulted in injury or nerve impingement. That's just me. To each their own.

Chicken Legs: Because of a severe lower back injury about 10 years ago, I haven't been able to do much leg work. Apart from calf work, everything was off the table. Even 135lb squats would set me back for 2 weeks or more. Lunges were less painful, but still resulted in a lot of inflammation and unnecessary pain. I eventually just embraced the truth, endured the merciless "chicken leg" and "someone skipped leg day" comments, and moved on with my life.


Back and rear delts
Rest day
Chest and Core
Rest day
Legs
Rest day
Arms, including forearms and grip strength training (Yes, I do an arms only day. It's a mental reward for me, personally, and I've seen significant growth in the last few years. :))
Rest day
Shoulders and upper chest
Rest day
----
Here's the weird part, but I swear on it: Every other month, or roughly 6 times a year, I take a week off. I come back stronger and break plateaus EVERY TIME. Try it!
-----
For back, my favorite, by far is wide grip pullups. I no longer go all the way down to a full extension, as it causes a lot of nerve impingement in my shoulders. T-bar rows with the smaller 25lb weights, so I can get the bar closer to my chest. Dumbbell rows and machine rows with various handle attachments. I usually finish with rear delt exercises, as they are normally toasted by this point anyway. I have seen a lot of growth in my rear delts by doing them at the end of back day and again on shoulder day. Cable rear delt flies and machine rear delt flies work best for me.

For chest, I only use dumbbells and cables. I don't use a bar, solely because I have always gotten nerve impingement issues from using a bar. I also only do incline bench. Quit flat bench about 5 years ago and haven't looked back. Cable flys in all directions work well for me and I feel a lot better mind-muscle connection than I do with dumbbell flys. I usually throw in some dips, too. Pushups have always been a great finish to my chest workouts. When I get home, I do about an hour of core work. I hate doing abs at the gym. My living room floor is much more comfortable.

Legs........ This is where I need the most work, without a doubt. My back will never be the same, but I am finally able to push 135lb squats and only suffer for 2 or 3 days, as opposed to 2 or 3 weeks. I have worked with a PT for years now and finally have his approval. I'm pushing 135 for 10 reps X 5 sets. Lunges, seated calf raises, and standing calf raises. I don't usually like extension machines, because they can be hard on your knees, but I am adding some light quad and hammy machine work, as well as leg press.

My legs are where I hope to see the most progress this summer!

Arms. I added this day about 5 years ago. I used to do the ol' chest/tris, back/bis split, but I hit a plateau on arm growth. I ended up splitting them up and giving my arms their own day. That was the best choice I ever made, and I've seen solid growth and shape in the last few years.

I like dumbbells for biceps. Curl holds work really well. I will bring one arm up to contraction and hold it until the other arm comes up, before slowly dropping the first arm, then bring the first arm back up and allow the second arm to slowly drop. Slow and steady is the key. This works for hammer curls and all other curl types.
Triceps get blasted with tricep dips, with my hands on one bench and my feet on another. I stack plates on my lap and usually put 160lbs or so. This is, by far, my favorite tricep builder. Various cable tricep extensions and pushups. Easy. Not to much thought needs to go into an arm day.

Shoulders. This is one of my favorite days. Smith machine military press, cable lateral work, rear delts with cables or the machine, dumbbell or cable front raises, go home.
If I go too hard or overthink shoulder day, the old impingement problems come back, and have been known to set me back for weeks or months. My shoulder days are simple and quick.



I look forward to getting in shape again and moving forward with my life. I also look forward to sharing my progress and hearing new perspectives on my training and diet.

Here are some pics from 6 months ago. I will share some recent ones as soon as I get some.

2.jpg
4.jpg




6.jpg
 
genetic freak

genetic freak

VIP Member
Dec 28, 2015
2,630
3,358
Looking good brother.

On legs. You can develop some serious quads with extensions alone. If they are causing you knee pain, to be blunt, you are doing them wrong. Lighten the load, do single leg only, ensure you rotate the quad from the outside-in as you extend, squeeze at the top, 4 count negative and full range of motion; do not short yourself at the bottom. There are guys who have earned their pro cards doing only leg extensions due to back issues.

I would also suggest belt squats and Bulgarian split squats. Do the split squats in the cage and use your free hand to hold on to the cage for balance. Check out John Meadows' Bulgarian Split Squat Drop Set of Death on YouTube. I use it as a finisher sometimes and it can wreck your legs without putting strain on your back.

Of course, smash the hamstrings and adductors as much as you can. They will make your legs look so much bigger even if your quads are small.
 
HOB_Fly2023

HOB_Fly2023

Member
Apr 27, 2023
26
26
Looking good brother.

On legs. You can develop some serious quads with extensions alone. If they are causing you knee pain, to be blunt, you are doing them wrong. Lighten the load, do single leg only, ensure you rotate the quad from the outside-in as you extend, squeeze at the top, 4 count negative and full range of motion; do not short yourself at the bottom. There are guys who have earned their pro cards doing only leg extensions due to back issues.

I would also suggest belt squats and Bulgarian split squats. Do the split squats in the cage and use your free hand to hold on to the cage for balance. Check out John Meadows' Bulgarian Split Squat Drop Set of Death on YouTube. I use it as a finisher sometimes and it can wreck your legs without putting strain on your back.

Of course, smash the hamstrings and adductors as much as you can. They will make your legs look so much bigger even if your quads are small.
This is excellent advice, man. Much appreciated! I will try that tomorrow and post an update...if I make it down the stairs at the gym...
 
HOB_Fly2023

HOB_Fly2023

Member
Apr 27, 2023
26
26
Hit my first light legs workout today with 135lb squats. 5 sets of 10. Hammies on the machine and some seated and standing calf raises. Not trying to overdo it on the first go round. Looking forward to limping tomorrow, nonetheless.

Legs
*Squats - 5 sets of 10 reps (135lbs)
*Hamstring curl machine - 3 sets of 10 (100lbs)
*Standing calf raises on leg press machine - 3 sets of as many as I could do (200lbs)
*Seated calf raises on bench with 70lb dumbbells on each knee and 2 plates under my toes - 3 sets of as many as I could do (150lbs)

Arms and core day tomorrow to celebrate.
 
HOB_Fly2023

HOB_Fly2023

Member
Apr 27, 2023
26
26
Arms today (Forearms included) It was a good workout, and I saw some confidence building pumps. Hoping for some quick, muscle-memory progress before pool season opens up.

Preface: With the exception of leg day, I never count reps anymore. I go until I can't. My brain kind of subconsciously counts, and if I got around 6 or fewer reps, I know I need to go lighter. I find rep counts to be psychologically limiting for me. For example, let's say I am going for 10 reps, but I can do 12 or 13, why would I stop at 10? Thoughts?
That being said, I think counting reps is good for a beginner to intermediate lifter because you can more easily track progress with weight. Once you've gained a well-developed mind-muscle connection, I don't think it's as important to count. This is the reason I count reps for legs. Due to my back injury, I am new to working legs and I need to develop the M-M connection and track progress. I hope that makes sense.

*Bench dips, 3 sets, (Legs up with feet on a second bench)
-1st set with 2 plates on my lap
-2nd set with 3 plates
-3rd set with 3 plates
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Curl machine, 3 sets (Looks something like this:)
1683060392336.png

-135lb, 145lb, 145lb then immediately cut in half down to 70lb to burn out.
I really like this machine a lot. Hands are supinated and slightly outset from my elbows. I can get a full extension, under pressure, and the pump is always insane.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"W-shaped curl bar" tricep pulldowns, 3 sets
-80lb, 90lb, and 100lb for as many as I could do.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dumbbell curl holds, 3 sets
-50lb, 40lb, and 40lb then immediately cut in half down to 20lb to burn out.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Single hand cable tricep extensions, 3 sets
-35lb, 25lb, 20lb
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Forearm roll-ups, 3 sets to failure
45lb, 30lb, 45lb
I take a dumbbell in each hand, let it roll down to my fingertips, to the point I am about to drop it, then roll it back up into my grip and tilt my wrist up until my knuckles are parallel with my thigh. This smokes the flexor and supinator muscles brilliantly.
 
Who is viewing this thread?

There are currently 0 members watching this topic

Top