Iím a 35 year old male currently weighing 153 pounds, and my height is 5í10. My primary goals are to cut stomach fat (still have a stubborn muffin top), have a more well-toned body, and get stronger. Long-term health and fitness as I continue to age is also very important to me.
Iím primarily focused on:
-Tracking daily macro + calorie intake (targeting ~1,850 calories per day)
-Weight training (workouts in spoilers)
-Running outdoors: 1-2 runs per week. Recently increased distance from 4 miles to 5 miles
Other info about me:
For most of my 20s, I weighed around 200 - 205 pounds. Then in 2016 my weight increased to 225 pounds. This was after living in Vegas playing poker for a couple years. My diet went off the rails, barely exercised, and had a terrible sleep schedule.
When I left Vegas and rejoined the working world, I focused on tracking macros + strength training. I dropped my weight to the low to mid 180s after ~8 months. I got back up to the high 190s, then shifted my focus to walking + better diet. That dropped my weight at one point to the high 140s, and for the past year or so Iíve been in the mid 150s.
After feeling like I plateaued, I started strength training again late last year.
I started this thread as a way to write up my thoughts and self-reflect on how my regimen is going, particularly weight training. Feel free to follow along and share any insight.
Finished the last workout for the week today. I flipped the lower and upper body workouts this week (did 2,1,4,3) so I had more lower body rest in between running sessions.
Today's exercises involving weights:
-40 pound DB goblet squat (up from 35 pounds last week)
-20 pound lateral step up (form could use work here. was starting with my leg to the back instead of the side. Will decrease the DB weight next time to focus on form)
-20 pound DB RDL (hadn't been doing this for a few sessions because I thought my form needed work. So started it again today and plan to increase weight next week)
-25 pound KB swings (next weight the gym has is 35. Might do that next week but form could use improvement so will likely stay at 25 again next week)
-35 KB goblet squat (could've done 40 today but last time I only did 25, and I prefer to slowly increase my weight each session to reduce injury risk)
I've noticed my lower body is much more sore compared to when I do the upper body workouts. Not sure what that's indicative of. I've increased the weight I've done with upper body over the last month, so there's still improvement happening.
Yesterday (5/2) did the first upper body workout of the week.
Barbell bench press 4x4: 115 pounds. So previously I was using a chest press machine and lifting heavier. The bench press equipment at the gym has a wobbly seat and it looks like a back injury waiting to happen, so I never use it. Fortunately, last week I saw a trainer do something more creative. He moved a flat bench under a squat rack and he benched that way. That's what I did yesterday and plan to do going forward. I expect to increase my weight next week, but slowly.
Single arm DB row 3x8: 40 pounds (up from 35 previous week)
DB slight incline bench press 3x10: 30 pounds (up from 25 previous week)
DB chest supported row 3x12: 30 pounds (up from 25 previous week)
DB single arm curl 3x6: 20 pounds (same as previous week)
Overhead tricep extension 3x15: 25 pounds (same as previous week)
Didn't get to the seated cable row 3x12. Machine was occupied and I had to get back home for a work meeting. Gym usually isn't that busy at that time (around noon on a Monday) but it was a lot more crowded than I expected.
Did the first lower body workout of the week today:
3x6 Lateral lunges: 15 pound DB per arm (up from 12 pounds previous week)
3x8 Reverse lunges: 20 pound DB per arm (forgot to track what I did last week, probably 15 or 20)
3x12 Goblet squats: 45 pound DB (up from 40 pounds previous week)
Barbell glute bridge 3x20: no additional weight (same as previous weeks). feel ready to add weight next time.
Quads were a bit sore going into the workout from running the past two days, but wasn't too bad. Didn't want to delay the first lower body workout of the week any further.
Weighed in at 152 pounds this morning (down from 153 last week).
5/6: Got bloodwork done in the morning so didn't do upper body. Did a 2.7 mile run in the early evening (planned on 4 miles but cut it short). Honestly would've been better off just walking to get steps in because I was already sore from doing lower body the previous day, and running the two days before that. Lesson learned. On a funnier note - a new BBQ restaurant just opened up along my running route, so now I get to smell delicious fatty meats cooking on the front and backend of my runs.
3x6 DB overhead press: 35 pounds (up from 30 pounds previous week)
3x 11/9/7 DB slight incline bench press (supposed to be 3x12): 35 pounds (up from 30 pounds previous week)
3x12 Standing DB lateral raise: 12 pounds (same as previous week)
3x12 Rope tripcep pushdown: 70 pounds (same as previous week)
3x12 Lat pulldown: 105 pounds (same as previous week)
3x6 Parallel grip chin-up: 25 pounds of assisted weight
2x 12/10 barbell curl (supposed to be 3x12): Upper back felt a little tight after the second set, and didn't want to push it for another set. I've felt fine since though.
3x8 DB Goblet squats: 45 pounds (up from 40 pounds previous week)
3x8 DB RDL: 25 pounds (up from 20 pounds previous week)
3x8 Russian twists
3x8 DB Lateral step ups: 10 pounds (down from 20 previous week). Form felt and looked much better this week
3x12 Hanging knee raises
3x15 KB swings: 44 pounds (up from 35 pounds previous week)
3x12 V up to Leg Grab
3x12 KB Goblet squats: 44 pounds (up from 35 pounds previous week)
On your goblet squats, how many reps do you feel you have in reserve at the end of set 1? i.e., if you went to technical failure, how many reps could you get?
I think I could do at least 20 before failure on the first set with the current 45 pound DB I'm using. FWIW, the workouts are supposed to be set up for me to go heavier with more limited reps. Didn't mention it in the OP, but my program was designed by an online fitness coach I worked with for about 5 months (I cut off the coaching a couple months ago since it's pricey and now I'm following the program on my own). So my plan is to keep gradually increasing weight while keeping the same amount of reps. That said, I've thought about swapping goblet squats for barbell back squats in workout #3 mentioned in the OP. Might help to do a different exercise, plus I think I'd get closer to failure on more limited reps.
New 4-mile PR yesterday @ 35:11 / 8:48 average mile.
Next week, the company I work at is doing a steps challenge that will run for a little over a month. I may cut out one of my weekly lower body workouts during the challenge, so instead I'd do 2 upper body workouts + 1 lower body workout in order to get more runs in.
-3x8 single arm DB row: 45 pounds (up from 40 last week)
-DB incline bench press: 3x10 target. Did 10/9/8 with 35 pounds (up from 30 last week)
-3x12 Chest supported row: 35 pounds (up from 30 last week)
-Single arm DB curl: 3x6 target. Did 6/5/3 with 25 pounds (up from 20 last week)
-DB overhead tricep extension: 3x between 15-20. Did 20/13/12 with 30 pounds (up from 25 last week)
-Arm row machine: 3x12 target. 12/12/9. Weight bars are labeled sequentially 1 - 20, but owner said he thinks they're each 15 pounds so we'll go with that. 90 pounds.
-3x6 Lateral lunge: 20 pound DB per arm (up from 15 last week)
-3x8 Reverse lunge: 25 pound DB per arm (up from 20 last week)
-Goblet squat 3x12: 45 pound DB (same as last week)
-3x 30 second planks
-DB Glute Bridge: 20 pounds. Usually do barbell glute bridge but equipment was occupied and I needed to get going
Weighed in at 151.2 pounds yesterday (down from 152 the previous week).
4x6 assisted chin-ups: 20 pounds of assisted weight
4x6 DB overhead press: 35 pounds
DB bench press: 3x12 target, did 12/8/9 with 35 pounds
3x12 DB lateral raise: 12 pounds
3x12 Lat pull down machine: 105 pounds
Barbell curl: 3x12 target, did 12/12/7
Rope attachment tricep pushdown: 3x12 target, did 12/12/8 with 80 pounds
3x12 DB Goblet Squat: 45 pounds
3x8 DB RDL: 25 pounds
3x12 Russian twists per side
3x8 Lateral step ups: 12 pound DB per arm
Hanging knee raises: 3x12
3x15 KB swings: 45 pounds
3x12 V up to Leg Grab
3x10 KB goblet squat: 45 pounds
I've had some lower back soreness and tightness recently, but I think it's more from bad posture than anything else, so I've started using my standing desk at home more when I'm working. Also stretching at least once per night, including foam rolling. On Saturday I slightly tweaked the right side of my neck/shoulder area doing DB lateral raises, but isn't too bad. I went straight to the 12 pound DBs instead of a lighter weight to warm up which I usually do, but thought to myself since they're only 12 pounds that warming up isn't as important. Lesson learned. Not planning to lift again until Wednesday anyhow, so should hopefully be better by then.
Weighed in at 150.6 pounds on Sunday (down from 151.2 a couple weeks ago).
Overall I missed three workouts while I was out of town, but got in three weight sessions + two runs since I got back last week. Didn't go quite as heavy on most lifts since I got back. Wanted to ease into it plus I was still recovering from a lot of partying.
Barely slept last night after playing live pokerz into the evening so now my workout plan this week is to lift Wed & Thur, then Sat & Sun. Remind me not to play past 8:30PM and if I do, don't make a terrible play that's gonna keep me up at night.
5/24: ran 4 miles @ 36:42 total / 9:09 average mile
Barbell bench press: 4x4 115 pounds
DB rows: 3x8 45 pound DB
Alternating single arm DB curls: 4x6 20 pounds
Incline DB bench press: 1x10 35 pounds, then 2x10 30 pounds (didn't think my form was great on the 35 so went lower).
Chest supported DB row: 3x12 35 pounds
Reverse lunges: 3x8 15 pound DBs
Goblet squats: 3x12 30 pound DB
DB glute bridge: 3x20 20 pound DB
Usually I do lateral lunges + planks in this workout, but I was crunched for time and didn't get those in.
Chinups: 4x5 with 20 pounds of assisted weight
DB overhead press: 4x6 with 30 pound DBs
DB lateral raises: 3x12 with 12 pound DBs
Incline DB bench press: target 3x12, did 12/12/9 with 30 pound DBs
Lat pulldown machine: 3x12 105 pounds
5/30: ran 4 miles @ 36:34 total / 9:09 average mile
Weighed in at 151.2 pounds on Sunday (up from 150.6 the previous week). Got down to 149.8 a couple days before that and indulged on a few junk foods after breaking below 150 for the first time in a while.
Felt more fatigued than normal on the first two workouts last week without even going max weight on a few exercises. But the fatigue and lifting lower hasn't happened frequently enough for me to be concerned.
Barbell bench press: 4x4 target, did 4/3/4/3 @ 115 pounds
DB rows: 1x8 w/ 50 pound DB, then 2x8 45 pound DB
DB incline bench press: 3x10 target, did 10/10/8 @ 35 pound DBs
DB chest support row: 3x12 @ 35 pound DBs
Seated row: 3x12 target, did 12/10/8 @ 90 pounds
Overhead tricep extension: 3x15-20 target, did 17/12/10 @ 30 pound DB
Also ran 4 miles later that day. 35:49 total / 8:57 average mile
Currently weighing in at 149.8 pounds. Overall I've made slow but sure progress with weight training. I'm lifting heavier and my arms have gotten bigger. But main aesthetic goal has been to cut belly fat and there's still work to be done there, and I think I've got plenty of room for improvement with nutrition. My biggest challenge is a sensitive stomach and lots of foods give me issues (bloating, gas, and in worse cases constipation. sorry for the TMI folks) - doctor diagnosed it as IBS. Dairy and greasy food in particular gives me problems.
For a while, I had zero issues cooking poultry but over the last year, it's given me stomach issues. So trying to get more lean protein sources has been a challenge, but I did start eating seafood again recently which has helped. Tweaking my diet is something I feel like I constantly need to do.
Fitness over the last few weeks has been a bit of a whirlwind. I felt like I was on auto-pilot during the earlier weight training sessions, and my run times have been pretty bad. Probably in a bit of a mental funk but nothing major. Yesterday I had to really drag myself to the gym, but I ended up having one of the best sessions I've had in terms of lifting heavier and overall feeling good during and after the workout.
Barbell bench press: 4x4 115 pounds
DB single arm rows: 3x8 50 pounds
DB slight incline bench press: target 3x10, did 10/10/9 @ 35 pound DBs
DB chest supported rows: 3x12 35 pounds
DB single arm curls: 6/6/6/5 (I think 20 pound DBs. forgot to log)
Seated row machine: forgot to log this but target is 3x12. Did 90 pounds but didn't do 12 reps for each set
DB overhead tricep extension: forgot to log as well. Target 3x 15-20 reps, probably did close to 3x15 @ 25 pound DB
Also ran 3.37 miles. 31:20 total / 9:16 average mile
Ran 4 miles. 38:48 total / 9:42 average mile
Lateral lunge: 3x6 with 15 pound DBs
Reverse lunge: 3x8 with 15 pound DBs
Goblet squats: 3x12 with 40 pound DB
Planks: 3x/30 seconds
DB glute bridge: 3x20 with 20 pound DB
Chin ups: 6/6/6/4
DB overhead press: target 4x6, did 5/4/4/4 @ 40 pound DBs
DB front raises: 3x12 with 15 pound DBs
DB lateral raises: 3x12 with 12 pound DBs
Tricep rope attachment pushdown: 3x12 @ 80 pounds
Lat pull down machine: 3x12 @ 105 pounds
Barbell curls: 3x12
Goblet squat: 3x8 with 50 pound DB
DB RDL: 3x8 with 30 pound DBs
Russian twists: 3x12 per side
KB swings: 3x15 35 pounds
V up to leg grabs: 3x12
KB goblet squats: 3x10 45 pounds
Ran 3.14 miles. 30:56 total / 9:50 average mile
Barbell bench press: target 4x4, did 4/4/4/3 @ 120 pounds
DB single arm row: 3x8 50 pounds
DB front raises: 3x10 50 pounds
DB single arm curls: target 4x6, did 6/4/6/4 @ 25 pounds (not sure what happened that second set but going for the 5th rep on my right arm I felt like I couldn't go further)
Seated row machine: 3x12 90 pounds
DB overhead tricep extension: 20/15/15 @ 30 pound DB
Great progress! Do not stop and continue your journey!
I have a question about the plato. This thing is demotivative, so how do you cope with it?
Thanks Julony. I assume you're referring to plateauing. It can be a little frustrating, but I am 75 pounds lighter than when I was my heaviest, and I'm more or less in the best shape of my adult life. So I think it's only natural that I will hit plateaus more frequently.
Recent lowlight: got a tetanus shot last Friday and 6 days later my arm is still sore. It is only mildly painful but lifting will aggravate my arm so I haven't done any upper body training the last week. Gonna go to the chiropractor on Saturday. I think it's unlikely there's a severe issue, but I just want to accelerate recovery so I can get back to my routine.
Recent highlight: made some nutrition adjustments with more home-cooked meals that fit my macros well and I'm down to 148.6 pounds as of today. If I can maintain this diet once I start lifting again when I'm burning more calories and am hungrier, then that should put me in a really good spot going forward.
Morning weigh-in was 147.2 pounds. Went to the chiropractor yesterday and he gave me the green light to do my normal workouts, so I got back at it this weekend. He also shared some arm/shoulder exercises to get back to 100%. I think my arm was a bit tense when I got my shot last week and that's why soreness has persisted. In hindsight I likely didn't need an entire week off from lifting but I err on the side of caution if I think there's an injury risk.
Lateral lunges: 3x6 @ 20 pound DBs
Reverse lunges: 3x8 @ 20 pound DBs
Barbell back squats: 3x6 @ 95 pounds
Barbell hip thrusts: 3x20
Plank: Did one 1:30 plank
6/20 (this was a few days after my Tetanus shot and did a lighter workout as a precaution)
146.2 pounds this morning and I'm happy overall with the scale weight going down. I was eating out close to at least once a day up until the last few weeks. Since then I've only had a couple meals that weren't home-made. I was likely under-estimating calories on most meals out whereas almost everything I have now has nutrition info readily available.
Sleep was not great the past week but this weekend has been good. Weight training has been a little inconsistent but got three sessions in this past week.
It's rare that I've got the holy trinity consistently working together of quality sleep, good diet, and consistent exercise. It's usually doing one or two and underperforming on the other(s). The one thing I'll need to keep my eye on with nutrition is having a bit more variety. What I'm doing right now is working but I'll likely get sick of it over time so I'll need to find more healthy foods to make that won't give me stomach issues.
Also haven't consumed any cannabis in over two weeks. Before I'd take between 1-3 gummies at night that are 5mg each. Ran out recently and just decided I didn't feel like spending more $ + deal with the hassle of buying it. I'm not swearing it off for forever but taking breaks is good.
Lateral lunges: 3x6 @ 10 pound DBs
Reverse lunges: 3x8 @ 10 pound DBs
Barbell back squats: 3x6 @ 95 pounds
Barbell hip thrusts: 3x20
One 1:30 plank
I was surprised looking back at my logs and saw I hadn't done this regimen since June 11. Goal is to do 4 sessions per week and this is one of the two regimens on the back-half. Did lower weights on a lot of sets today and didn't even get to max reps mainly due to (a) got 9k steps in before getting to the gym and I think that wiped me out a bit and (b) haven't done these in a while.
Between the 4th of July fireworks, a noisy neighbor, and a dash of the Monday scaries with work starting on Tuesday this week because of the holiday, I slept terribly two nights ago and skipped the gym yesterday and indulged in a burger + fries + ice cream for dinner. Delicious meal though and worth it despite the added calories. I at least got 17k steps in to do something productive.
Got 8 hours of sleep last night and feeling well-rested now. Planning to do the first of four strength workouts this week later this afternoon.