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Old 04-07-2017, 02:59 AM   #1
Johnny Truant
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Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

Origin story;

2 years ago I watched the movie Bronson and, having a shaved head already, decided it would be a good idea to troll my wife by growing a mustache like Tom Hardy.

Sadly, I realized with the weight I had gained over the years I looked decidedly less like this:


Than this:



I used to work out in my 20s a lot, had active jobs and was pretty fit back then. I still thought of myself that way, just on a an extended break from my fit self, but it had been well over a decade and counting since I did any real training.There was the occasional flash in the pan in my 30s like using the C25K app, a few runs of circuit training using my bowflex dumbbell set up that only went up to 52.5lbs, or fitbit challenges, but nothing that made me feel athletic at all.

I went through my 30s assuming I would get back to the gym and get fit one more time before I got too old, but it was time to realize that the window was closing rapidly and soon I would be looking at just trying to not be overweight as my challenge. I was also beginning to feel my age, engineering how to get up off the ground when playing with the baby etc, and having more trouble lifting my 3 y/o off the ground. I had to get my **** together or I would get too out of shape to play with them as they grew.

So I joined a gym with a couple of buddies, one who had gastric bypass and dropped from around 400lbs to 250lbs rapidly recently and was at the point of being able to exercise, and another who had been going to the gym casually but regularly with no real program, mostly to keep his beer belly at bay. I had the most lifting experience of the three of us by far and took the lead of the group. Using my grossly outdated knowledge from the Men's Health and Men's fitness magazines I poured over in the late 90s early 2000s we eased into a 4 day bro-split. My expectations were low, and I anticipated being one of the older gents just tryna keep spry with no real gainz.

I don't have a good before pic, but the stats were:

Age: 40
Height: 5'4"
Weight: 170
Waist: 33"
Job:sedentary
Activity: Some walking with the family and a little fitbit competition averaging 12k steps a day.

The form cues I knew from back in the day were terrible and contrary to all conventional wisdom now. On bench, for example, I kept my back flat, feet up in the air, elbows flared, and got a deep "stretch" at the bottom of the movement with my shoulders compromised as **** under load. After three months of this ****, a cuff issue flared. It didn't get better on it's own after taking a few weeks off, so I Binged some rehab exercises and during my research discovered all the new bro-science that debunking the bro-science of my day.

Boom. Mobility drill warm ups, no plates under heels when squatting, tucked elbows, scapular retraction, and the diet stuff.....fat doesn't make you fat???? I started taking creatine and other than that just protein for sups.

Anyway, my shoulder got better and my results came fast with the tweaks and I soon surpassed what I expected to reach for body comp and strength. After just over year of pretty consistent workouts with a few injuries.

After one year in my old pants:



Age: 41
Height: Still manlet obv
Weight: 148
Waist: 29"
Job:sedentary
Activity: intense lifting 4-5 days a week...no cardio really but some heavy prowler sled on leg days
Bench: 265 max, 225x7
dl 355x3
squat: 275x5 with some in the tank...I never went higher than this or to failure before I effed my hip up

I liked working out with my friends for the social aspect, but they were slow and I was clearly the most motivated, dragging them along a lot. One of them moved further out from me, and the other lost interest in going hard for gainz, if he ever had it. The last year was fairly good, but had a few challenges. I got sick a few times, moved in autumn and fell out of my rhythm, but never off completely. I stopped taking creatine in October. I also ended up injuring my hip squatting deeper under load than I had earned the right to right around year one and that injury plagued me for almost a full year and still keeps me from squats.

I started to do deads with no coaching, working my way up to 355x3, and becasue of this forum I decided to record myself to post my form for critique. I never did post it because I was shocked and appalled at the bend in my back that had felt 100% flat to me. It scared me enough that I just decided to stop until i could get some coaching or find someone knowledgeable work out with, my buddies not being that. I have not done them since.

I have been consistent 4 days a week for the last three months I'd say. To avoid injury and just for kicks, I changed my rep range up to go lighter and longer with true 4 second negatives, 10 rep range and higher volume of sets on some lifts than I had been. I also went off my diet a bit and tried to semi-dirty bulk with no real cohesive plan other than eating more and being less strict. Really, too much of the dirty came in the form of bourbon. My wife cooks for us every night almost and pretty clean. I don't eat red meat and really have lost my sweet tooth for the most part. I gained some weight, some fat and some muscle I am certain, but the muscle feels less dense to me. That may be the lack of creatine or the lighter weight, or my test naturally dropping as I age, but I still am fine with it.

Current:

Age: 42
Height: Still manlet obv
Weight: 154
Waist: 29-30"
Job:sedentary
Activity: intense lifting 4- days a week, 45 second rest between sets
Bench: most recently 225x6
dl na
squat: na

Since I am going to be traveling next week I'm taking it as a deload week. I will be trying crossfit with a coworker one of the days, and may get some light workouts in the hotel gym depending on the facility and if I can deal with the time change. The following week I am going to get serious again, stay on the 4 day split with an occasional 5th, and get back on the diet and creatine. I'm going to be 43 this summer, and my goal is to be the dilfiest I can be before my T levels dive. I'm not going to track macros really, though I will sup protein, and I am not likely to max out again as longevity is more important to me now. That may change tho, as the desire to go heavy has snuck up on me when I got within striking distance of PRs. My bench PR in my 20s was 275 weighing 150, and I never thought I'd sniff it again. I tried it twice last year but didn't make it.

Anyway, I have been meaning to start this for a while. I have lurked in a few other's threads here an enjoyed it. Maybe having a thread all about me will help keep me from tryna make the other threads I participate in all about me, but I doubt it.

Last edited by Johnny Truant; 04-07-2017 at 03:09 AM.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:14 AM   #2
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

Good luck Johnny. I enjoy your posting in OOT so it will be nice to see your log and the progress you make
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:27 AM   #3
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

AM

Hanging leg raises.
14,12,12,11,8

PM

Pull-ups slow negatives 30 second rest
Wide grip
3x6
Neutral grip
4x5

Seated row 45 second rest
1x100x12
4x130x10 drop sets on the last two

Hammerstrength lat pull over 45 second rest
3x180x10,8,8
1x90x10

Hs lat pull down
3x55x10

Straight bb curl 1-4 45sr
2x40x10
3x30x10

Hammer curls drop sets to failure
1x25,22,20
3x20,15

Cable curl with rope
6 sets between 10-14 reps with drops didn't track
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:29 AM   #4
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

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Good luck Johnny. I enjoy your posting in OOT so it will be nice to see your log and the progress you make
Thanks! I saw you have a log too. I will catch up on it soon.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:30 AM   #5
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

Sick. Nice to see another short guy logging here. It would be better if you weren't light years ahead of me, but I'll take what I can get.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:32 AM   #6
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Thanks! I saw you have a log too. I will catch up on it soon.
Gah don't look at mine, you put me to shame lol. Definitely need to step up my game.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:53 AM   #7
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

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Sick. Nice to see another short guy logging here. It would be better if you weren't light years ahead of me, but I'll take what I can get.
Thanks! Manlets unite!

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Gah don't look at mine, you put me to shame lol. Definitely need to step up my game.
None of it. No shame. I felt like I had a long way to go when I started up again too, but looking back I should have enjoyed the victory of beginning more. It was the biggest hurdle, breaking that inertia. So give yourself credit! I have leaned on working out in my own battles with depression and have found for me the real relief has been in the action not the result.
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:49 AM   #8
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

Dumbbell oh press, x-1-4-1

2 warm up sets
1x50x10
4x40x10 paused third and fourth and drop to 35 on last set

Close grip dumbbells 2 incline 2 flat, x-1-4-1

1x60x8
3x50x12

Dumbbell skull crushers 2 flat 2 incline, x-1-4-1

1x25x10
3x20x10 with super set presses to burnout

Reverse cable fly 2 set high, 2 low, x-1-41

1x30x10
2x30/20x7/3, 6/4
1x20x10

Cable lateral raises 2 in front 2 behind x-1-4-1

3x30/20x10,8/2,8/2,7/3
1x20x10

Front cable raises with rope x-1-4-1

1x40x13
2x50x10,11

Cable kick backs
2x20x10

Tricep pull down ss with overhead extensions on rope

Forgot weight but two super sets.

Dips

Bwx10
Seated machine
2x13x10
1x11x10

Prison push ups to ten
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:14 AM   #9
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

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None of it. No shame. I felt like I had a long way to go when I started up again too, but looking back I should have enjoyed the victory of beginning more. It was the biggest hurdle, breaking that inertia. So give yourself credit! I have leaned on working out in my own battles with depression and have found for me the real relief has been in the action not the result.
Thanks for the encouragement. It's easy to sometimes be very hard on yourself when you feel you aren't doing enough but you are right you have to start somewhere. Appreciate your kindness.
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:59 PM   #10
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

AM

12 toes to bar no kip (last two reps were ugly)
11,11 hanging leg raise
12,12 alternating side leg raise
10 hanging leg raise

Travel day. I had room for my generic Trx so I packed it and and will most likely not use it.

I'm looking forward to trying the crossfit with my coworker. I'm nervous but have no shame in taking it easy. Also looking forward to using creatine again when I return.

I don't eat red meat and have not for decades at this point, so I don't get much creatine through my diet. I have read that it is also being studied as a helpful sup for brain function and memory, which I would like more of.
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Old 04-22-2017, 10:06 PM   #11
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

So two plus two is blocked from my work network as a gambling site. This is understood, but even my pal at helpdesk can't explain why it is blocked on my laptop even when I'm not on the vpn or network. Why does this matter to my weak ass health blog? Because trying to update the sets and reps from my phone is tedious and I have lost posts twice already. So I'm not doing it. Which may mean this is not as helpful to me as I meant it to be.

Anyway, here's a narrative update. I went on my trip, my crossfit coworker was injured, both his wrist and his back. I am not glad he was injured but I am kinda glad to not have gone with him as I was intent on modifying the workout to ultra beginner levels...probably watering it down too much to even count.

I worked out in the hotel "gym" one day. They had 50lb dumbbells so I knocked out a 45 minute session trying to hit all upper body and jumped rope for a bit.

I restarted my workouts for real this week and hit my 4 day split. I went heavier than I had been for two sets on each exercise aiming for 6-8 rep failure, then finished with 10 rep four second negative with pauses as needed for the last one or two sets.

I also started taking creatine again. I gained 2-3 lbs (assuredly water) but it is all held in the muscle for me so I look fuller and more cut for sure. I don't have any issues with feeling bloated on creatine, and anecdotally I do seem to notice more mental energy. I for sure am stronger as well. I highly recommend it to anyone. If it doesn't work out for you, some people find it bloats them or just doesn't work well, you can always stop. Just expect to gain weight and understand why.

I feel healthier now than I can remember. My joints feel good, no nagging injuries, I feel strong and my recovery is fast but I'm getting some doms from the program. I have been using the same split for the last two years now, just changing out excerises, rep ranges, rest periods and intensity techniques, and while I do wonder if I would get a benefit from a complete program change it is hard to let go of the results I am seeing from this one. I am pretty happy where I am and don't really want to get way bigger or stronger.
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Old 08-18-2017, 11:56 PM   #12
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

I have not been chasing PR anymore and settled into a lot of dumbbell work rather than barbell. I still managed to get way stronger and suddenly broke through some plateaus without any real explanation.

The only thing that I purposefully changed in my routine or diet is that I stopped taking coconut oil in my protein shake in the morning because of all the hub bub re saturated fat. I was taking 1-2 tablespoons a day because I had found good results in my leanness and also for curbing cravings when I started the day with a high fat, high protein shake and no carbs, then introduced carbs later on. Well heart issues run in my family a little so even though I think the studies are super suspect on coconut oil I decided not to be a guinea pig and just stopped.

I replaced it with sardines in olive oil. I eat a can every morning now and while it's all anecdotal I feel better, am for sure stronger and leaner also. I tried barbell bench this week and didn't max out but got 8 reps of 225 which is the most I have done.

Highly recommend sardines. Sustainable fishery, low mercury, good protein and omegas and while I thought they tasted bad for some reason before it tried them, they are really more like tuna than I thought and tastier imo.
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:06 AM   #13
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

How do you eat them?
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:16 AM   #14
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

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I have not been chasing PR anymore and settled into a lot of dumbbell work rather than barbell. I still managed to get way stronger and suddenly broke through some plateaus without any real explanation.

The only thing that I purposefully changed in my routine or diet is that I stopped taking coconut oil in my protein shake in the morning because of all the hub bub re saturated fat. I was taking 1-2 tablespoons a day because I had found good results in my leanness and also for curbing cravings when I started the day with a high fat, high protein shake and no carbs, then introduced carbs later on. Well heart issues run in my family a little so even though I think the studies are super suspect on coconut oil I decided not to be a guinea pig and just stopped.

I replaced it with sardines in olive oil. I eat a can every morning now and while it's all anecdotal I feel better, am for sure stronger and leaner also. I tried barbell bench this week and didn't max out but got 8 reps of 225 which is the most I have done.

Highly recommend sardines. Sustainable fishery, low mercury, good protein and omegas and while I thought they tasted bad for some reason before it tried them, they are really more like tuna than I thought and tastier imo.
I actually brought some sardines last week. I have eaten them before but for some reason stopped buying them.

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How do you eat them?
With salad, on toast, with pasta, with couscous. Depends on what you like really.
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:35 AM   #15
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

Tuna is kind of a staple for me, but sardines are probably cheaper and healthier. I just mix a small can with 1.5 tbsp mayo and eat it on crackers. Could you do that with sardines in oil (sans the mayo since there's oil already)?
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:38 AM   #16
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

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How do you eat them?
Straight out of the can myself.

I read some bro science a while back about how starting your day with high fat and high protein with low carbs gives you less of a blood sugar spike which in turn keeps you from chasing more spikes the rest of the day. I have no idea if it is true, but I tried it. I would have a whey shake with water, no milk, and add a couple spoons of coconut oil and some instant coffee. It wasn't that I noticed a big difference from that, but one thing I did note was on the nights when I found myself craving chips or pretzels I could think back and I had almost invariably cheated by having one of the kids pancakes or something.

I heard a podcast about sardine breakfasts and how there is a group of people who swear by it, and I also got kinda grossed out by fish oil capsules so the idea of getting omega 3s from actual fish sounded better.

In my mind I thought sardines were more hardcore than they really are, I think I had them conflated with anchovies. Turns out my kids love them too, so every morning I crack a can and I give them bites while I eat the majority of it.
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:41 AM   #17
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

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Tuna is kind of a staple for me, but sardines are probably cheaper and healthier. I just mix a small can with 1.5 tbsp mayo and eat it on crackers. Could you do that with sardines in oil (sans the mayo since there's oil already)?
100%. You can also get them packed in water if you prefer the mayo route. I think they are healthier and less of a bad environmental impact if you care about that stuff too. I've tried two brands and they are a little different. Both from Costco but I know you can order them on Amazon for about the same price.
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:43 AM   #18
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

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Tuna is kind of a staple for me, but sardines are probably cheaper and healthier. I just mix a small can with 1.5 tbsp mayo and eat it on crackers. Could you do that with sardines in oil (sans the mayo since there's oil already)?
I also eat tuna on crackers but my tuna is in chilli oil so I don't add mayo. Sorry I went off track, yes sardines and crackers go well together. I like brown rice crackers, sardines and a dash of tabasco or the equivalent because I love chilli.
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Old 08-19-2017, 01:04 AM   #19
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

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I also eat tuna on crackers but my tuna is in chilli oil so I don't add mayo. Sorry I went off track, yes sardines and crackers go well together. I like brown rice crackers, sardines and a dash of tabasco or the equivalent because I love chilli.


I'm trying Tabasco tomorrow, that sounds good! There is a new scorpion pepper Tabasco I want to try but I have not seen it in stores yet. Any other hot sauces you recommend? I like this one a lot

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Old 01-24-2018, 08:08 PM   #20
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Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

I got the Tabasco scorpion sauce. Love it. It's is just on the edge of too hot.

Anyway I have stayed fairly consistent in the gym with a few breaks for travel and the holidays. I did go a little off the rails on the booze and cake for a few weeks due to Christmas and a bunch of birthdays in the family. I got back on tho. I gained about 8-10 lbs since the summer but some of that is muscle.

I went to the doctor for my physical yesterday. I just switched insurance and the doctor I saw a few months back put me on bp medication because I was showing pre-hypertension, but I had to start all over with a new doctor now. That was fine with me because I didn't like the last one.

The new one seems better but by a questionable amount. Basically after looking at my height and weight on the bmi chart, which is garbage for everyone but especially short people who lift weights, she told me if I start to diet and exercise and lose 10-15 lbs I may not need the meds. This is me today.



That chart says I should weight 125lbs. I weigh 157 right now. It is hard for me to trust a doctor about things I have no understanding of when they are so off on the things I do have some understanding of.

Anyway I plan to up my cardio work a bit just on general principle.
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:03 PM   #21
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

Damn, looks like we got a pocket Hercules over here.

What's the lifting routine like these days?
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:30 PM   #22
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

Haha! Thanks.

4 day brosplit. I have been doing two heavy sets, a heavy to medium dropset and a light set or some similar variation lately.

Chest-Incline db, flat db, dips, and cable cross low, high and medium.

Back and biceps- pull-ups, seated row, straight arm pull downs and some other variation on a machine, straight bar curls, incline/spider super sets, hammer curls and some other variation.

Legs-hack squat, leg press, weighted lunge drop sets, leg extensions, calf raises and some hamstring variation

Shoulders/triceps- oh press, close grip bench, skull crushers, dips, cable reverse fly, cable lateral raises, front raise variation, triceps pull down variation and finish with prison push ups.

I want to start doing deadlifts again and maybe squats as an extra day. I do abs in the morning as hanging leg raise variations and trx plank variations and mountain climbers but I fell off that for a while and am just starting again.

I also started doing a longer warm up. Instead of 5 minutes of rope jumping or rowing I am doing 15. I'm also adding a day of rowing here and there for a half hour minimum and starting to do some challenging hikes.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:06 PM   #23
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

Did barbell squats for the first time in at least 1.5 years today. I really ****ed up ny hip flexor back when I quit by being stupid, forcing my rom under load and continuing a set after feeling a pop. I have been working on mobility all this time and mostly thinking I was done squatting, but lately my hip has felt great and I started working on air squats and goblet squats, hack squats and then smith machine squats.

Today was the day. I went super light and low volume with two long warm up sets on an empty bar at 45lbs, one with 65lbs on each side which is my wife’s working set weight, and one working set of 16 reps at 105. It felt pretty good!

I followed up with heavy leg presses, calf raises, hyper extensions, hamstring curls and leg extensions. I skipped lunges because I want to see how the squats leave me feeling over the next few days.

On another note, the community center we belong to revamped their gym so I have been going there the last few weeks instead of my local globo style gym. They got all new equipment including dumbbells. I used the heavier ones for the first time yesterday for bench and something is off.

I usually get 5-6 reps with 100s on my first working set. Maybe 4 if Im having an off day. Yesterday I was not close to hitting a single. Either the weights at the gym I usually go to are lighter than marked or these ones are heavier. I couldn’t be arsed to take one into the scale in the bathroom yet to check, but the discrepancy is not minor.
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Old 03-23-2018, 07:09 PM   #24
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

Hip seems....okay. Feels fine now but I got up in the middle of the night to let the dog out and I have a mild recollection of feeling something there.

Also eliminated one variable on the dumbbell mystery. I took one of the 100lb bells into the bathroom at the community center and it was 100lbs on the nose. Either the gym has light ones, or I had some kind of freak day on Monday. The bench is a little different than Iím used to, and I suppose I could have had an off day also, but I canít recall a day where I expected to get 5-6 reps and did not get close to even one.

I keep reading about full body, lower volume, higher frequency workouts being better for natural lifters and Iím considering it. The thing is I donít know that I need a lot better results than I am getting from my bro split and a big change seems scary. Iím leaning toward trying it though.

Wife hooked up a bad ass lunch today.
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:57 PM   #25
Johnny Truant
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Re: Johnny Truant's quest to spend more time on 2+2 log. And fitness.

I started a modified “pay the toll” protocol for chin ups to up my frequency on arm work without changing my beloved split too much. Basically I do 1-5 sub failure sets of chins throughout the day on most days. For me that is 10 strict, slow chin ups with legs fully out in front and abs contracted.

**** works. Two weeks in and I added 1/2 of an inch to my arms which I only know because my bp monitor cuff is too small now.

Third week of squats yesterday. Still going light weight for a while but holy moly my hips feel so much better! Yesterday I did two bar only warm up sets, one set with 95lbs, one set of ten at 135, one set of ten at 155, then a 20 rep set at 135.

I’m really resisting testing the heavier weight for now.

Going to reintroduce deadlifts in the next few weeks. I’m feeling great and am pretty certain I’m at my biggest muscle mass lifetime. I’m going to take a body comp test this week at a center that does it for $25 with a full read out.

Just want to stay smart and injury free.
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