GSDdad's training and nutrition log

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Hello everyone. Welcome to my training log.

I'm a nobody, been training off and on since I was in my 20s. More info in my intro thread.

My intention with this log is to track progress, nutrition, gear, what works /doesn't work, and hopefully input from the experience on the boards here.

Particulars:

38 years old
5'9"
186 lbs (7 day average)
188 lbs on the scale this morning
BP: 128/68

Training experience: I've been lifting off and on since my 20s. Never made a ton of progress, but in my mid 30s I discovered I had low testosterone (200s). I think this may have accounted for some (but not all) of my lack of progress. For the last few years I've been on trt, and have made some big improvements in body composition and muscle mass.

The plan:

This is my first cycle. I'm planning to run
500mg of Test-C per week for 14 weeks. (250mg Sunday, 250mg Wednesday)

.5mg of Arimidex twice a week.

(.25mg of Arimidex twice a week, keeps my estradiol around 40 on 200mg/wk of Test-C)

I have Anavar as well, with the idea that I might put it in the last 6 weeks of this cycle, depending on how things go.

Lab Work

I had an extensive blood panel drawn on 11-1-22 (out of pocket) and a smaller blood panel drawn on 11-2-22 (through TRT doc).

Some of the lab values are out of range a bit. But what's odd is that the labs drawn the very next day show them in range (the ones that overlap on both labs). Last injection was Sunday evening (36hrs before first labs, 2.5 days before second lab draw).

11-1 11-2
Hemoglobin 18.9 17.8 (ref range 18.5)
Estradiol 78 40 (ref range 60)


Test (total) 2068 1181


My hematocrit also showed high on the labs from 11-1, but I don't have hematocrit values from 11-2 to compare it to.

I live at 6000' above sea level, which can contribute to elevated hemoglobin and hematocrit. The 11-1 test was fasted, first thing in the morning, probably somewhat dehydrated. The 11-2 test was mid day, several meals and probably a half gallon of water in. That hydration may have affected the hemoglobin levels between the two tests. I'm wondering if the hematocrit was similarly affected.

As of now, I'm thinking I'll proceed with the cycle and this training block as planned, and recheck labs in 4-5 weeks, making sure to be hydrated for the labs. I'm also eligible to give blood again, so I'll do that this week. If blood markers are still high at 4 week lab check, then I'll re-evaluate and may pull the plug on the cycle until I can get them back where they should be.

Training

I am running a 5 day split, Sunday through Friday:
Upper, Legs (glute /ham focus) , rest, Push, Pull, Legs (quad focus).

2 working sets for most everything (some of the isolation movements I'll do more). Both sets taken to failure. This has been very effective for me over the last 8 weeks, so I'm going to continue with this type of programming.

I am currently doing two 20 min cardio sessions per week: Sunday, several hours after lifting, and Tuesday morning (rest day).

I'd prefer to be running a straight PPL split, but my work schedule makes that a problem, and this fixed schedule works best for me, for now.

Nutrition

At my leanest I was 178lbs in August, I was down to about 1700kcal. I've slowly added calories back in until I got to 3000 cals, which brought me up to about 183lbs.

In the last week I've upped the calories to 3400, and have seen my 7-day average weight jump up to 186 (I was 188lbs on the scale this morning).

I eat about 3400 cals /day right now. But I know this will need to go up.

250p/410c/80f

Typical day of eating looks like this:

Meal 1: overnight oats (oats, whey, geek yogurt, almond milk, raspberries)

Meal 2: 3 eggs, 3 pieces of wheat toast, 2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 cup oats, 150g blueberries

Meal 3: 5 oz chicken, 2c rice

Meal 4: Chicken fajita (4oz chicken, grilled bell peppers, 1 oz shredded cheese, salsa, large tortilla) 1.5c rice

Meal 5: 5oz chicken, 1/2c rice, 2 oz whole almonds.


Supplements:
4iu GH (5 on/ 2 off)
2.5g of fish oil daily
1g of Citrus Bergamot
Multivitamin
200mg of caffeine (pre-workout) /400mg on leg days
4g Beta-Alinine
6g L- Citruline Malate
5g melatonin (as needed)

I've attached some pics below. Shitty ring lighting underwear pics are from first thing this morning. I intend to post weekly "check-in" pics that are the same for progress. The lighting isn't great, but it will be consistent.

Pics aren't much to write home about. But it's a starting point.
 

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Numbers:
187.0 on the scale this morning.
186.2 - 7 day average


BG: 101 immediately upon waking.

My BG has been in the high 90s to low 100s the last two or three times I've checked it over the last week. Prior to bumping my calories up (and adding in a lot of carbs as part of that) my BG was usually in the mid 80s. (It was 88 on 11-1-22 as part of my fasted labs). I'm going to try moving the carbs from my last meal of the day to my post workout meal, and see if less carbs in the evening translates to lower BG in the morning.

Rest/Recovery:
Last week was a de-load week, in prep for starting this cycle and new training block. Sunday's Upper session felt amazing. The extra hour of sleep from day-light savings roll back probably didn't hurt, but coming off a rest day on the back of a deload, I was revved up and ready to hit it yesterday.

This morning I still felt really good, but maybe not quite as awesome. That's probably more a consequence of training at 6am, than anything else. I'd prefer to train mid-morning, but that's just the realities of life.

Food:
Food has been good the last several days. Feels like the body is adjusting to the increased calories, feeling less "full" all the time, and not struggling to get the last few meals down, at all. Water intake is right at 1 gallon/day. Going to keep steady at 3400 calories for a while since the scale is climbing.

Training:
Upper Day (Sunday)

Flat DB BP:
95s x 7*
75s x 12*
*both sets up 1 rep from last week

High Incline Smith Press:
1.5pps x 11
1pps+10lbs x 16

Lat Pull Down:
175lb x 7
145 x 13

Seated Cable Row
145 x 12
130 x 13

Seated Cable Curl
145 x 15
105 x 17

DB Shrug
85s x 13
85s x 12

Dips
+45lbs x 13
+45lbs x 10


Felt awesome all the way through this session. Felt like I got the most out of nearly every set possible. Really happy with this workout.


Monday Legs (Glute/Ham focused)

Seated Ham Curl
220 x 11*
180 x 19*
*up from last week

DB RDL (squat racks were full, so had to roll with DBs)
100s x 11
80 x 14

BB Hip Thrust
230 x 14
180 x 20

Smith Weighted Lunge
35lb/ea x 12
35lb/ea x 10

Calf Raise
180 x 15
180 x 11

Ab Vacuums

Intensity was good on legs today. Absolutely smoked by the end (right at 60 mins working time). Solid day.



A few pics, post Upper day. (Posing is shit. I have no idea what I'm doing.)
 

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Push Day

Numbers:
188.8 on the scale this morning.
186.6 - 7 day average

BG: 107 upon waking up

Rest/Recovery:

Felt pretty solid today waking up . Rested, excited to get into the gym, ready to work. Maybe a 7/10.

Yesterday was a cardio and recovery day (20mins on stair mill). 6.5 hrs of sleep last night.

Food:

Ended up eating my last meal late (9pm) due to a dust up at work that resulted in missing my meal 4 window. Still got it in, all good. Still eating right at 3400 calories. Weight is climbing kinda fast. 3.5lbs this week, but it's likely just water. Not going to change anything yet.

Strained my right thumb and left forearm in that dust up at work too. They're a bit sore, but nothing more. Didn't affect training at all today, so that was good.

Training:

Flat BB bench
215 x 6*
185 x 8
* +10lbs over last week

Incline DB bench press
90 x 6*
70 x 14
* +5lbs over last week

Cable Crossover
30 x 10
23 x 12

Lateral Cable Raise
13 x 19
17 x 8
ended up going up on the 2nd set, since it took 19 reps to get to failure. This is a big jump from previous weeks.

Pin loaded dip machine
245 x 12
205 x 12

Today's session was really good. I was very pleased with how the flat bench and DB bench weights were moving.
 
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Pull Day

Numbers:
188.4 on the scale this morning.
186.8- 7 day average


BG: N/A

Rest/Recovery:
6/10
6.5 hrs of sleep last night. I think the amount of sleep I can get is one of the biggest issues in my training, diet, recovery, supplementation pillars. But, I go to bed immediately upon getting home from work, and train first thing in the morning. Some things in life just aren't ideal. Still felt fine today, just didn't feel amazing. Going to grab a nap this afternoon though, so that will be nice.


Food:
No changes here. Weight (7 day average) is still moving up. I know it will eventually stall. When it does, I'll move calories up. Anyone have recommendations on how much to bump it by when it's time? +250kcal? +500kcal? more?

I don't want to move calories up unnecessarily high, but I also don't want to waste time futzing about sneaking up on a calorie surplus, when I could just make an adequate jump and continue to grow.




Training:
Lat Pulldown
175 x 7
145 x 14*
* 1 rep improvement over last session

Chest Supported T-Bar
115 x 9
90 x 15

HS High Row
100 x 9
80 x 15

HS Row (stepped back/short pos. bias)
135 x 10
90 x 22
backing off 1 full plate was too much

DB Shrug
100 x 8
90 x 12

DB Curl
25 x 9
25 x 8

forearm pump/fatigue took me out of both sets before true bicep failure, even though I used straps for most of the pull movements to preserve grip/forearm strength. Next session I'll swap shrugs and curls and see if it makes a difference.

Notes: Overall a good, but not great session. Intensity and focus were good. Training partner was out sick, which was a bummer. But still got it done.

 
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Leg Day (Quad Focus)

Numbers:
190 on the scale this morning.
187.4 - 7 day average

BG: N/A


Rest/Recovery:
6/10
6.0nhrs of sleep last night. Not great sleep, but I worked over night last night and slept during the day. It is what it is. Still got a solid training session out of. The upside was I got to have more time between waking up and training, which was a nice change.

Food:
No changes here. Weight jumped up today. But the 7-day average (which I put more stock in that a single daily number) is up 3lbs this week. Mostly water, for sure. But glad it's moving. My abs are still sharp in the morning, less so as the day goes on, but that's part of pushing calories and growing, right?
Weekly average on calories is right at 3400. So that's good. Hitting my macros, food is going well.




Training:

Adductors
130 x 14
110 x 13

BB Squat
335 x 7*
255 x 11
* 2 rep improvement over last session. No idea what my 1rm would be. But the first five reps were really clean and moving fast. Really happy with this today.

Hack Squat
3pps x 6*
2pps x 12
*came up four reps short from the last time I hit this weight on Hacks. Might have just poured it out in the back squat. Not sure.

Standing Calf Raise
180 x 17
180 x 15

Leg Extension
165 x 14
125 x 12 (+5 partials, + iso hold)

Cable Crunch
120 x 20
135 x 10


Notes: Overall pretty good. I was pleased with the squats. A little frustrated at the drop in the Hacks, but I didn't sleep extremely well. It could absolutely have been that. Rest day tomorrow then we start over for week 2. So we'll see next Friday where the hack's shake out.

(didn't get video of this week's squat. This video is last week's 335x5. Similar today, but reps felt a bit better until 6 & 7. Those were a grind.)

 

CJ

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HS Row (stepped back/short pos. bias)
135 x 10
90 x 22
backing off 1 full plate was too much

I do the same thing, step back and stiff arm the chest pad for support. The travel arc of the handles stinks on the machine for hitting lats. If you have your chest into the pad, you're pulling up into your upper back and biceps. But if you step back, you get it on the downward path and you can really dig into the lats.
 
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I do the same thing, step back and stiff arm the chest pad for support. The travel arc of the handles stinks on the machine for hitting lats. If you have your chest into the pad, you're pulling up into your upper back and biceps. But if you step back, you get it on the downward path and you can really dig into the lats.
Exactly. I can't take credit for it. I stole it from Jordan Peters.
 

CJ

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Exactly. I can't take credit for it. I stole it from Jordan Peters.
I saw him do it as well, but I had already stolen it from some girl at my gym. 😂

I saw her doing it, she's pretty bad ass, so I tried it. JP validated it though.

Reminds me... I need to thank her.
 
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Beginning of week 2!

Upper Day

Numbers:
188.2 on the scale this morning.
187.6 - 7 day average

Scale weight was down a bit today. Due to food.

BG: 95 (upon waking up)


Rest/Recovery:
6/10
Had a bit of a later night than usual. Not a normal occurrence. Still got 7 hrs of sleep, so felt rested for the gym. Just didn't feel as strong today.

Food:
My weight is down because I didn't hit my calories the last 2 days. I was out for social functions both evenings, and got food. It just wasn't my normal meals and wasn't the usual amounts. This is not a normal occurrence, and prior to this I can't remember the last time I missed a meal. I expect my weight to be back on track in the next day or two. Overall, the 7 day average is still climbing.




Training:

BB Bench Press
220 x 5 (+1)
195 x 8 (+2)
*both of these sets are up from last week in weight, reps or both.

High Incline Smith Press
1pps + 35lbs x 6 (+1)
1pps + 25lbs x 8 (+1)

Lat Pull down
175 x 7 (+1)
145 x 11


Cable Row
145 x 15
155 x 10

Preacher Curl (pin loaded)
60 x 19
85 x 8
*first set was way too light

Tricep Push Down
60 x 10
50 x 13

Cardio: in place of my usual 20 mins AMRAP sled push. I did. 90 minutes at the trampoline park with the kids. HR was definitely between 120-130bpm for quite a while. That'll do for cardio today.


Notes: Solid day with some weights or reps added. Pretty happy with this, especially with the late evening last night. Looking forward to week 2.
 
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Leg Day (Glutes and Ham focus)

Numbers:.
190.2 on the scale this morning.
188.0 - 7 day average

Scale weight is right back up from the drop over the last 2 days. Currently averaging 2lbs/wk gain.

BG: n/a


Rest/Recovery:
6/10
Slept well last night (6hrs). Felt tired coming into the gym. But due to schedule crap, I was training at 5am. Might just be the earlier than normal time.

In a few more days and I'll be on vacation for the holiday. That should make training later in the morning much easier.

Food:
Got all my meals in yesterday. Ended up feeling really really full at the end of the day. So full it felt like it pushed my HR up (like when you over eat and sit there feeling like a fat piece of shit).

My resting HR is usually in the high 60s or low 70s, but last night after my last 2 meals, it was hovering in the 90s. The extra water I drank might also have contributed. I hydrated extra, because I did a blood donation yesterday.

As I write this my resting HR is back in the mid 70s though.


Training:

Lying Leg Curls
150 x 14*
110 x 17*
*got more reps for both sets this week.

BB RDLs
225 x 10
195 x 12

BB Hip Thrust
230 x 15
230 x 13

Weighted Lunge - Smith Machine
+25lbs/side x 12
+35lbs/side x 10

Seated Calf Raise
90 x 21
135 x 13


Notes: today's session was OK, not great. But the work got done. Tomorrow is a rest day. Hoping to come back Wednesday feeling recharged and ready to hit it.
 

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Push Day

Numbers:
191.2 on the scale this morning.
188.7 - 7 day average

Scale weight is still climbing, 7 day average still climbing. Still on track for averaging 2.0/lbs week.

BG: n/a


Rest/Recovery:
8/10
Yesterday was a rest day (just did a 20mins cardio session). Got extra sleep the last two nights. Between the rest and extra sleep I was feeling good and ready to go this morning, even though it was a 5am gym call.

Food:
Still getting all my food in. Weight is still climbing, so that's good.

I'm considering switching to a carb cycling type meal plan, similar to what @CJ is running. My fasted BG hasn't been below 95 since I started upping the calories and carbs. I'm wondering if cycling the carbs might help with some insulin sensitivity. Also, I'm finding toward the end of the day, after I've eaten 400g+ of carbs, I feel super full, my HR is up and I don't feel awesome. It's not so bad that I couldn't keep going like this. I'm just wondering if cycling the carbs might help feel a little less uncomfortable. It not, then I'll just power through.


Open to thoughts from those who have experience here.

Training
Flat DB Bench Press
100 x 4*
80 x 10*
*I've never used the 100s before. I was hoping for 5 or 6. But no partner /no spot today, 4 ain't bad.
*upped the weight on my back off set. Happy with DB BP this week


Incline Smith BP
2pps x 4
1pps + 25 x 11


Cable Crossover
30 x 18
30 x 14

Lateral Cable Raise
15 x 15 (tempo + 1 count pause)
20 x 8

Weighted Dips
45 x 12
45 x 8


Notes: Today felt solid. I was in one of the backup gyms, so the Smith and cables resistance was a bit different, so not really hung up with the numbers this week. But each set was good and I felt like I got a lot out of each one.
 
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Leg Day (quad focus)

Numbers:
189.8 lbs on the scale
188.9 - 7 day average

Weight is still going up


Rest /Recovery:
7/10
Today I felt better. Wednesday and Thursday I was feeling a bit run down. I'm hoping it's just a cold. I've felt a bit lethargic at times, head pressure, elevated HR. I'm keeping an eye on it, but I'm hopeful it's just a cold or something. Today I had a good leg session and did it on no caffeine.

Food:
Food the last few days has been easier to get down because I reduced the number of calories I was eating on regular training days (medium carb days) and upped it on leg days (high carb days). I didn't quite hit my carb and calorie goal today, but I'll keep working on it.


Training:

Adductor
130 x 14
110 x 11

Leg Press
6pps x 9
5pps x 14 +1*

Hack Squat
3pps x 11
2pps x 20 +1*
*I got absolutely buried by the final sets on both LP and Hacks. The backoff set on the LP was going good. At rep 13 I thought "I'm gonna get 20". At rep 14 I thought "oh fuck. I'm not gonna get 15". It went bad really fast.

Seated Calf Raise
135 x 15
90 x 17

Leg Extension
185 x 12
145 x 12 + 5 partials +2 iso holds



Notes: Wednesday and Thursdays workouts weren't awesome. But today's was really good, especially considering I skipped the pre workout caffeine that I usually take.

Really pleased with how week 2 wrapped up. I'm up about 4 lbs total in 2 weeks. I feel like that should be a bit higher, so I may increase my food intake. The next week is going to be done traveling to see family for the holidays, living out of a suit case and working out in gyms on the road. It's not ideal, but it is going to be fine. I'm bringing some food with me, but I can't take enough for the whole week. I'll reevaluate my calories at the end of next week.
 
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Push Day

Numbers:
Weight: n/a (no scale today)
BG: n/a
BP: 126/76


Rest/Recovery:
9/10

I woke up today feeling fantastic. Looks like all this elevated HR and raised BP stuff was from a cold. I'm starting to kick it and feel so much better. HRV on my Garmin was back in normal range for the first time in a week, and sleep was a lot better.

I hit the gym today ready to GO!

Food:
Food is going good. I brought about 4 days worth of meals which should keep me covered while I'm driving. I'll figure out food while I'm at the in laws, that shouldn't be too hard.


Training:
Flat DB bench
90 x 10*
75 x 15

Smith Incline bench
2pps x 5+1
1pps +25lbs x 10 +1

Pec Dec Fly
90 x 17
120 x 15

Lateral DB Raise
20 x 20
20 x 11 (first 6 +manual resistance)

Dip Machine
205 x 15
225 x 9


Today felt really really good. Not sure if I'm starting to feel the test (it's only the beginning of week 3) or it's just getting over this cold (probably more likely). Either way, today was a good session. 90 x 10 was an improvement.

Probably could have gotten more if I wasn't at an on the road gym. (The DBs only go up to 75. So to get 90, I had a set of 70s, and then my training partner set some 20s on top, janky ass Lincoln Log style. 🤣 Shady, but it worked!)

Notes: I've been keeping an eye on my HR and BP the last week. It's coming back down as I'm feeling better. So I'm thinking it was due to having a cold. That's good news. Really looking forward to the rest of this week.


This mornings BP was 126/76. Still higher than I'd like, but definitely down from earlier in the week. So trending in the right direction.
 

eazy

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feeling so nice, had to post it twice. :LOL:

glad you're feeling better.
 
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Pull Day

Numbers:
191.2 - on the scale this morning
190.0 - 7 day average

BG: n/a


Rest/Recovery
8/10
Felt good this morning. Slept well. Was ready to go.

Food:
Got all 655 carbs in yesterday, for a kcal count of about 4400. Managed to do it while driving 6 hours cross country for the holidays.

Weight is still climbing, but it's slowing down. This could just be the end of the water retention, or maybe not. Just going to have to watch and see.


Training:
Not too concerned with matching/beating numbers, since we're training on the road.

Yesterday's glute /ham day was mediocre. But today's pull day was solid, despite getting into a minor disagreement with a gym staff member over the amount of noise he thought we were making. 🙄

Still managed to stay focused and get good work done.



Notes:
My training partner is starting to notice changes, and I'm seeing some as well. I'll take some progress pics when I get home. At the end of the week.
 
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I was actually hungry between meals today, so I ate extra.

I can't remember where I heard it said(maybe from Dusty Hanshaw?) but it was basically: "if you're still hungry during a food push, take it. Eat more."

So I did.

Even though today was just a medium carb day, I ate extra. I figure if my body is telling me it can handle more food, I should probably listen.

Today's totals:
230p
480c
60f

That's about 175c higher than I had planned.
 
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I was actually hungry between meals today, so I ate extra.

I can't remember where I heard it said(maybe from Dusty Hanshaw?) but it was basically: "if you're still hungry during a food push, take it. Eat more."

So I did.

Even though today was just a medium carb day, I ate extra. I figure if my body is telling me it can handle more food, I should probably listen.

Today's totals:
230p
480c
60f

That's about 175c higher than I had planned.

Hunger is such a blessing.
 

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