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  • Stuart's NLP Log

    • male
    • 182cm (6'0”)
    • 44 years old
    • no training experience
    • vegan
    • significant recent weight loss
    • Thailand
    Weight History:
    2013: 130kg
    2014: 119kg
    April 2018: 119kg
    September 2018: 102kg

    Completely sedentary until age 39 and 130kg. Retired and moved to another country, dropped to 119kg in first year due to improved diet and some gardening. Stuck at that weight for 4 years because beer.

    5 months ago I decided out of the blue to try eating vegan and remove all alcohol/refined sugar/oil/animal products from my diet.

    Since April, I have dropped to 102kg eating a minimum of 2,500 calories per day and sometimes significantly more. As I start training I will aim for a consistent 3,000 calories per day and see how I go from there.

    As I started dropping weight 5 months ago, I did 2 months of joint mobility work (e.g. learning to sit on the floor again, leaning on a fridge to get down into squat position), then 1 month of 10kg (22lb) dumbell presses and body-weight squats. For the last 2 months I have been doing kettlebell squats and kettlebell swings @ 16kg (35lbs) - 90 reps each every 2nd day and kept up the dumbell presses at similar volume.

    My self-prescribed obesity rehab is near complete, looking forward to getting under the bar.

  • #2
    Week 1

    SUN 23SEP2018
    Today I walked into a gym for the first time in my life.
    Body Weight: 102.4kg
    Squat: 40kg 5/5/5
    Press: 35kg 5/5/5
    Deadl: 60kg 5

    Squat felt light in lower body, but this is completely new for my upper body. From video, some reps just above parallel, various cues for consistency next time (eyes down, toes out) and also bar is creeping up onto my traps.

    Press feels heavy, this is expected as my upper body is much less developed, but form looks good on video

    For Deadlift I was nervous about this as was wondering how it would work with my short arms and long torso. Mercifully I have short legs to match my arms. Relieved I can basically do it. From video I have awful form, but should be easy to fix - I am just dropping hips way too low.


    TUE 25SEP2018
    Body Weight: 102.1kg
    Squat: 45kg 5/5/5
    Bench: 35kg 5/5/5
    Deadl: 58.5kg 5

    No video today. Deadlifts felt better with much higher hips - I found a better place in gym to do deads with more space. Pretty easy day.

    THU 27SEP2018
    Body Weight: 101.9kg
    Squat: 50kg 5/5/5
    Press: 40kg 5/5/5
    Deadl: 63.5kg 5

    Squat depth looks better on video, bar still creeping up onto traps is main problem to address.

    Press felt heavy - slow bar on reps 4 and 5 of work sets. It should have been 37.5kg but no small plates in gym so I need to go buy some. I see that my left wrist is extended but my right wrist is straight. Strange, but easy to fix.

    Deadlift looks good on video, much straighter back and higher hips than 1st day. I see that on last 2 sets I am holding the bar in slightly extended fingers, I am guessing this makes the setup feel more comfortable with my short arms, but obviously won't work with heavier weights. Will cue 'bar squeeze' next time, but might start experimenting with hook grip for fun sometime soon.

    Slightly fatigued at end of 1st week, but feeling elated and looking forward to week 2. Went to Sizzler to punish their salad bar in celebration of a solid start.
    Last edited by FlokiCNX; 11-19-2018, 12:31 PM.

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    • #3
      Week 2

      SUN 30SEP2018
      Body Weight : 101.7kg
      Squat: 55kg 5/5/5
      Bench: 45kg 5/5/5
      Deadl: 68.5kg 5

      This is the first squat session that took some lower body effort (last 2 reps of final work set slowed down). Happy with form and bar position.

      Deadlift feeling heavy too. Improved grip this time, also making sure not to bring shins to bar until after taking grip. Consistently putting bar down in same place now.

      TUE 02OCT2018
      Body Weight : 101.2kg
      Squat: 60kg 5/5/5
      Press: 42kg 5/5/5
      Deadl: 73.5kg 5

      Today was the 1st day I felt not 100% recovered from previous session - more soreness I think than fatigue. Whatever it was it was completely forgotten once I got into squat warm-up.

      I have some 1.25kg plates on the way by courier from Bangkok, for today I had to press 42kg using those 1kg velcro ankle weight thingies on the bar. It turns out this was enough weight anyway. I got through by focusing on a solid valsalva, and also fixed the left wrist extension thing from last week. Last rep of the day was a little wobbly but overall felt good.

      I tried some hook grips during deadlift warm-up for fun. Today I really focused on valsalva in addition to the 5-step setup progression - this made 73.5kg go up easier than I lifted 68.5kg last session. As a minor improvement I wore thick socks and pulled them up for deadlift so I am more inclined to make good contact with the bar on the way up.

      THU 04OCT2018
      Body Weight : 101.8kg
      Squat: 65kg 5/5/5
      Bench: 50kg 5/5/5
      Deadl: 78.5kg 5

      I have intentionally lifted my calorie intake as I was still dropping weight quite quickly over my first 2 weeks of training. I want to make sure I am eating enough BEFORE it limits my progress, and I want to get a good handle on exactly where 'maintenance' is for me at the moment.

      Squat no problems, I am confident I can keep adding weight and squat 'fahves' across the week as per the program.

      Reviewing a bench coaching video this week I realized that I have basically been doing 'close grip bench presses' up till now. Much easier with a wider (standard) grip now. My 1.25kg plates arrived, but stayed in my gym bag for now.

      For deadlift i had to breathe a few times between reps of work set. I may be approaching the point where I need 5lb jumps in weight instead of 10lb (i don't really know because this is all new to me). I have 3 days break now, so will try for another 10lb next session and see how it goes from there. I only practiced hook grip on 1 light set today, I am still a long way from needing this and I have plenty of other things I need to concentrate on for this lift at the moment.

      I tried out some power cleans with the empty bar, mainly getting comfortable with the rack and hang positions. I will keep the deadlifts going for 3 days a week until I can no longer progress each day.
      Last edited by FlokiCNX; 11-19-2018, 12:32 PM.

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      • #4
        Week 3

        SUN 07OCT2018
        Body Weight : 101.3kg
        Squat: 70kg 5/5/5
        Press: 42.5kg 5/5/5
        Deadl: 83.5kg 5

        Not sure if I can keep up the 5kg jumps on deadlifts. I have ordered some chalk from China, and am looking at belts.

        TUE 09OCT2018
        Body Weight : 101.1kg
        Squat: 75kg 5/5/5
        Bench: 55kg 5/5/5
        Deadl: 86kg 5

        This was my last 5kg jump on Squat and Bench, all lifts will now progress at 2.5kg jumps.

        I was planning to deadlift 88.5kg, but had trouble breaking 78.5kg off the floor in warm-up. For the workset I had a lot of difficulty getting started again with the 1st rep. I had been warming up with hook grip, but after the 1st rep of workset I changed to double overhand (one less thing to think about) and managed to grind out another 4 reps. I felt light-headed when finished.

        I have ordered a belt and some 1.25 lb plates from the US. Hopefully my chalk will arrive from China soon

        THU 11OCT2018
        Body Weight: 101.3kg
        Squat: 77.5kg 5/5/5
        Press: 45kg 5/5/5
        Deadl: 88.5kg 5

        I had an unpleasant feeling in right adductor, but it did not get worse in warm-up, so I pushed through the squats ok.

        Deadlifts felt better this time, I made a conscious effort to maintain solid contact with my legs on the way up.
        Last edited by FlokiCNX; 11-19-2018, 12:33 PM.

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        • #5
          Week 4

          SUN 14OCT2018
          Body Weight : 101.3kg
          Squat: 80kg 5/5/5
          Bench: 57.5kg 5/5/5
          Deadl: 91kg 5

          My belt arrived from US - instant gainzzz lol.

          I still have a problem with right adductor area, made squats and deadlift uncomfortable, hopefully will just go away and pushing on with training for now (wonder if I did this by practicing power cleans mid last week?).

          Shaky arms for 5th rep of each bench workset. Probably some form improvements still available for easy gains, but generally not feeling like I am getting much stronger - anyway will just trust the program for now and see what happens.

          For deadlift I did 5 rep sets for both 73.5kg and 83.5kg to focus on form - all good. 91kg was not easy, but also not as hard as I was expecting - think I have improved both form and strength over past week. Fingers are a bit raw, hopefully will have chalk for next session. All sets done double-overhand.

          TUE 16OCT2018
          Body Weight : 101.4kg
          Squat: 82.5kg 5/5/5
          Press: 47.5kg 4, then 46 kg 5/4/3, also did 5 in warm-up @ 45kg
          Deadl: 93.5kg 5

          Squat - not much to report but feeling generally confident un-racking without undue delay.

          Press - my first miss. Slightly painful right anterior delt from bench on Sunday, but to be honest this was just too heavy for me. I am confident I can get 46kg next time.

          Deadlift - I am now now able to get into better position with good lumbar extension (previously needed to almost do a stiff-legged deadlift), this gives me better balance and feeling stronger through full range of motion now.

          Finished off with some supine-grip lat pull-downs as my first step towards chin-ups.

          THU 18OCT2018
          Body Weight : 99.5kg
          Squat: 85kg 5/5/5
          Bench: 60kg 4, 57.5kg 5/5/5
          Deadl: 96kg 5

          Another upper body miss, this time on bench. Completed 3 sets at same weight as previous bench day.

          Deadlift close to body weight now!

          More supine-grip lat pull-downs
          Last edited by FlokiCNX; 11-19-2018, 12:35 PM.

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          • #6
            Review of 1st Month (decisions)
            • Move training log to Barbell Medicine site to avoid further distraction from forum toxicity and unprofessional behavior
            • Forget about power cleans and keep doing deadlifts 3 days per week
            • Start losing weight again (waist measurement currently 43")
            • Implement upper body 'plugin'.
            • Start assigning RPE after lifts.

            Week 5

            SUN 21OCT2018
            Body Weight : 100.3kg
            Squat: 87.5kg 5/5/5 (RPE 8)
            Press: 47.5kg 1 (RPE 8)
            40.0kg 4/4/4/4/4/4 RPE (6.5)
            Deadl: 98.5kg 5 RPE (8.5)
            ClseB: 48.5kg 8/8/8/8 (RPE 7)

            I wanted to hook-grip all deadlifts today. I taped up my thumbs at 63.5kg, but was just not feeling good about it, so finished warm-up and work set double overhand. I will try again next training session.

            Enjoyed the first day of upper body plugin. Decided not to do any lat pull-downs. Had to walk home from gym today.
            Last edited by FlokiCNX; 11-19-2018, 12:35 PM.

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            • #7
              TUE 23OCT2018
              Body Weight : 99.7kg
              Squat: 90kg 5/5/5 (RPE 8.5)
              Bench: 60kg 1 (RPE 8)
              51kg 5/5/5/5/5 (RPE 7.5)
              Deadl: 93.5kg 3 (RPE 8)
              101kg 1 RPE (8.5)
              Press: 40kg 7/5/5/5 (RPE 8.5)

              Squat is no longer significantly easier than other exercises, will move to smaller weight jumps.

              Left anterior delt pain started in bench warm-up and impacted bench/deadlift/press. Bench is generally feeling stronger, I think this extra volume will be good.

              Will attempt same deadlift weight next time for 5 reps - was just feeling a bit beat-up today.

              First work-set for press was without belt, though it would be easier to get 8 reps done - I was wrong.
              Last edited by FlokiCNX; 11-19-2018, 12:36 PM.

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              • #8
                THU 25OCT2018
                Body Weight : 100.6kg
                Squat: 92.5kg 5/5/5 @ 8.5
                Press: 48.5kg 1 @ 8
                41kg 4/4/4/4/4/4 @ 7.5
                Deadl: 100kg 5 @ 8
                101kg 2 @ 8.5
                ClseB: 50kg 8/8/8/8 @ 7 (first set) @ 8.5 (last set)

                Was planning to squat 91kg, but feeling good in warm-up so went higher. I think I have been anxious in part because I did not want my squat to overtake deadlift, which is a dumb thing to worry about.

                Deadlift attempted same weight this time, but completed all reps at 93.5kg this time, and got a 2nd rep done at 101kg so I can claim a small amount of progress. Also, I was happy with my form/balance at 93.5kg. I had to reset and wait 10s between the 2 reps at 101kg. I reset again for a 3rd but only made it to mid shin.
                Last edited by FlokiCNX; 11-19-2018, 12:37 PM.

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                • #9
                  Week 6

                  SUN 28OCT2018
                  Body Weight : 99.7kg
                  Squat: 95kg 5/5/5 @8.5
                  Bench: 61kg 1 @8
                  52.5kg 5/5/5/5/5 @8
                  Deadl: 93.5kg 5 @8
                  101kg 2 @8.5
                  Press: 40kg 7/6/6/7 @8.5
                  Lat Pull-downs

                  Bench is feeling easier.
                  Deadlift - grip was more of a problem than ever. I think next session I will do some power cleans and barbell rows - and think about what to do next for deadlift.
                  More reps complete at same weight. I think at least some of these sets could have been completed with improved form.
                  Last edited by FlokiCNX; 11-19-2018, 12:38 PM.

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                  • #10
                    TUE 30OCT2018
                    Body Weight : 99.1kg
                    Squat: 80kg 5 @ 8
                    90kg 5 @ 8.5
                    85kg 5 @ 8.5
                    80kg 5 @ 8.5
                    Press: 51kg 1 @ 8.5
                    41kg 4/4/4/4/4/4 @ 7.5 (same weight as last time)
                    PClean: 33.5kg 3/3/3/3//3 @ 6
                    BRows: 53.5kg 5/5/5 @ 7
                    ClseB: 51kg 8/8/8/8 @ 8 (first set) @ 8.5 (last set)

                    Planned for 1kg jump in squat to 96kg, but knew I was in trouble warming up at 80kg. I think I am just unrecovered from last time - no soreness but when squatting today felt really tired in adductors. Decided just to get my reps at w/e weight I could manage.
                    After poor start with squats, I decided to do my Press '4s' at same weight as last time.
                    I will see how deadlift and squat go next session before planning week 7. I will do my best, but if I miss these lifts it may be time to move to The Bridge.
                    Last edited by FlokiCNX; 11-19-2018, 12:39 PM.

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                    • #11
                      THU 01NOV2018
                      Body Weight : 99.7kg
                      Squat: 92.5kg 5/5/5 @8
                      Bench: 62.5kg 1 @8
                      53.5kg 5/5/5/5/5 @7.5
                      Deadl: 96kg 5 @8
                      Press: 40kg 8/8/6/6/4 @8.5
                      Weight-assisted chins on machine.

                      Squat - back on track with recovery and weight on the bar.
                      Bench all good.
                      Deadlift back on track too after mini deload, also discovered that the 20kg plates at gym are not 45cm diameter I HAVE BEEN DOING DEFICIT PULLS! Switched to 25kg plates and feel confident I can resume adding weight.
                      Last edited by FlokiCNX; 11-19-2018, 12:39 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Week 7

                        SUN 04NOV2018
                        Body Weight: 99.1kg
                        Squat: 95kg 5/5/5 @ 8
                        Press: 52.5kg 1 @ 8
                        42.5kg 4/4/4/4/4/4 @ 8
                        Deadl: 93.5kg 2 @ 7
                        98.5kg 1 @ 7
                        ClseB: 52.5kg 8/8/8/8 @ 7.5 to 8

                        Videoed squat for 1st time in 6 week. Bad news. I knew I was cheating depth on some heavy squats, but I see my depth is suspicious on nearly all reps. I think I am bending forward too much - I have a long torso so makes sense for me to be relatively upright even for low-bar squats. When I bend forward too much I lose balance, my hips stay high and I do a good morning.
                        Niggling pain in right lat. Deadlifts felt ok, but I chugged 3 shots of lukewarm espresso during warm-up and this kept bubbling up, had to cut pulls short because I did not want to squirt coffee through my nose.

                        TUE 06NOV2018

                        Aggravated my lat pain with a bad massage, needed panadol 1 night to sleep, painful to cough or sneeze.

                        Body Weight: 99.2kg
                        Squat: 95kg 5/5/5 @ 8
                        Bench: 63.5kg 1 @ 8
                        55kg 5/5/5/5/5 @8
                        PClean: 23.5kg 3/3/3/3
                        33.5kg 3
                        Press: 40kg 7/x/x/x

                        Squats - back to good squat depth with more upright back. I did most of the warm-up as paused squats to make sure I knew where bottom was.

                        Lat was painful whole session, but only started to be a real problem with power cleans when I went to 33.5 kg.I had planned to do some barbell rows as well but decided this was a bad idea - heavy deadlifts would have been impossible too. Cut short the presses after 1st work-set, painful lat when lowering weight so thought safest to call it quits for the day.
                        Last edited by FlokiCNX; 11-19-2018, 12:40 PM.

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                        • #13
                          THU 08NOV2018
                          Body Weight: 98.8kg (waist 40")
                          Squat: 96kg 5/5/5 @ 8
                          Press: 53.5kg 1 @ 9
                          43.5kg 4/4/4/4/4/4 @ 8
                          ClseB: 53.5kg 8/8/8/8 @ 8 to 8.5
                          Deadl: 63.5kg 5 @ 6

                          Squats feeling really good now, and with consistently good depth.
                          Upper back pain much improved, but the one problem it is causing is that I can't deadlift. This makes it seem likely that I injured myself originally doing a pull of some sort. Frustrating, because lower back and hamstrings feel as strong as ever.
                          Finished off with some supine-grip lat pull-downs.
                          Last edited by FlokiCNX; 11-19-2018, 12:41 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Week 8
                            SUN 11NOV2018
                            Body Weight: 99.5kg
                            Squat: 97.5kg 5/5/5 @8.5
                            Bench: 65kg 1 @8
                            55kg 5/5/5/5/5 @8
                            Deadl: 93.5kg 5 @9
                            Press: 40kg 8/8/8/8 @8.5

                            Squat is on-track, just need to progress with small jumps now.
                            Deadlift - mostly recovered from back pain, but still not making progress - Maybe I need 1 day a week where deadlift is my first lift with a squat variation at the end. Looking at the barbell I have been using, it is 13.5kg, not 20kg (I have updated all logs above to correct for this). Iwill borrow the 20kg barbell from decline bench for future deadlifts.

                            Last edited by FlokiCNX; 11-19-2018, 12:52 PM.

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                            • #15
                              TUE 13NOV2018
                              Body Weight: 98.3kg
                              Squat: 98.5kg 5/5/5 @8.5
                              Press: 53.5kg 1 @8.5
                              45kg 4/4/4/4/4/4 @8
                              Deadl: 100kg 3 @9
                              ClseB: 53.5kg 8/8/8/8 @8
                              Cardio: 7m steady-state @7

                              1st squats above body weight!
                              Deadlift, started using a full-sized olympic bar. It is at lest 5kg (maybe 6.5kg heavier than the bar I was using previously). With standard knurling spacing on this bar I am placing my hands on the inner edge of the knurling which is a wider grip than previously and I widened my stance a little to match - I think this setup is better for stability and force production vs. the floor. Another big improvement was I realized that in thinking about dragging the bar up my shins while preparing to pull my weight has shifted back onto my heels and my shoulders are not in front of the bar. I am now concentrating on balancing over mid foot as I brace for the pull. The 3rd improvement today was warmups at 70kg/80kg/90kg, whereas before I was squeezing in an extra set closer to work weight and this was leaving my fatigued for the final set. Today I could not lock out the 4th rep, but feeling positive about getting the 5 next time then moving up to higher weight next week.
                              Last edited by FlokiCNX; 11-21-2018, 04:48 AM.

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