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    It's like HF got slammed with Shakespeare in here

    Gains are coming miser, very nice
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    (Original post by Motorbiker)
    Nice training after a very disruptive weekend.

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    (Original post by AreebWithaHat)
    Your log posts are even more poetic than HFergusons used to be, and that takes some doing
    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    It's like HF got slammed with Shakespeare in here

    Gains are coming miser, very nice
    Thanks everyone. Like a lady with back pain, I appreciate all the support I can get.

    P.S. Couldn't find HFerguson's blog. Did he change his username?
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    (Original post by miser)
    Thanks everyone. Like a lady with back pain, I appreciate all the support I can get.

    P.S. Couldn't find HFerguson's blog. Did he change his username?
    beardbrah now.
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    Some people believe in love at first sight. Not me though. What a load of Disney tosh, I would think. Until I met her, at the gym. My nemesis. The bar.

    It's that time again!

    Chapter XVIII: The hunger for power

    Code:
    Workout A
    Squats			5x5	60kg	Good form
    Bench press		5x5	40kg	Decrease of 3 reps
    Bent over row		5x5	42.5kg	Decrease of 2.5kg
    Barbell shrugs		3x8	52.5kg	No increase
    Tricep extensions	3x9	35kg	Increase of 1 rep per set
    Straight bar		3x8	22.5kg	Increase of 2.5kg
    Sometimes I think I've really got my squats down. Other times I think down's the easy part - up is where it's at. But when it's just me and my personal trainer - his steely cool, determined eyes staring back at me in the mirror - I forget all earthly considerations of semantics, and squat like my internet cred depended on it.

    Yesterday's squats were good form. It's time to start amping up the weights again, keeping that form in check!

    Bench press. What a disappointment. I struggled with the first set, and on the third set apparently had to stop after 4 reps. I continued to push myself to the maximum anyway, managing another set of 5, then on my final set I could only achieve 3. What dastardly happening is this? Weakness!!!

    Bent over row. I made an error with this and went for 42.5kg instead of the 45kg from last time due to a mistake in my notes in my phone. It was hard going though. I don't think I would have managed 45kg. Not even rhythm could help me this time. Now I know what it feels like to be a white man in an RnB club.

    Barbell shrugs. I kept these at 52.5kg. My grip felt as weak as a kitten, except kittens can grip their bodyweight's worth whilst clinging onto vertical walls and defying gravity. This thought didn't make me feel much better. Luckily I managed to shrug it off. My grip sucks though and I need more power.

    Tricep extensions. I increased these by 1 rep per set, although in actuality I forgot how many reps I was supposed to be doing during my first set, so really I did 8, 10, then 9. Then I felt a rage bubble up inside of me as I saw kittens snickering and gripping their way up fences. I pushed for one more! Yeah! "Kittens suck," I said as I bro-fived myself in the mirror.

    Straight bar. My nemesis. It was time to up the ante and I added 2.5kg to the bar. I was doing it. Where I had failed 7 weeks ago, I could now lift. It was the feeling of power. All around me extended a glowing aura of radiant gold. I took a bow as I left the gym, the taste of victory on my lips.

    Cable crunches. All the machines that could pull 65kg were occupied and I was about to miss my train (despite having not had to queue for any equipment up until this point). I decided I'd skip it since my plan for sets of 14 reps each seems excessive anyway. Will need an exercise soon that can bring me back to 10 reps per set.

    My nutrition sucks. Must eat more! I'm still failing to eat 3000kcal a day and I'm not gaining weight. I bought a new protein shaker and I'll use it to drink more milk. This is the #1 area I need to sort, otherwise there will definitely be a ceiling on what my muscles are capable of, which I may or may not be reaching already.

    But I'm more motivated than ever. Feel the power, the fury! See my words make your monitor quiver. Watch me become an Adonis of the modern age!
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    You know that feeling. You're so pumped you just wanna dragon uppercut the air. You're ready to go. Maybe you just watched a YouTube video of some guy winning. You can feel victory inside you. You want it. You have the ambition. You feel the pressure well up. Everything's set! Almost... Better just browse the net a sec. Maybe just watch some more YouTube.

    What are you waiting for?
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    Chapter XIX: War paint

    I'm always trying to improve myself, and non-verbal gym skills are no exception. A lot of people think that exercise is all that counts. Wrong. When you're in the gym, the #1 most important thing is to have "presence". Chances are a few guys in your gym know this. This is why seasoned bros grunt. Hnnnrrruuuuughhhhh. HNNNNRRRGHHGGGHHHH. The minute you walk into the gym you need your gym face. The gym needs to feel you. It needs to know that when it tries to weigh you down, it's gonna lose, so it doesn't even try. Your presence decides everything. You win before you even tie your squat shoes.

    That's why when I was greeted by a spider in the shower this week, I saw it as a prime opportunity to practise my gym face. The spider tried to resist but its little legs trembled in intimidation. The shower steam only amplified the effect, producing a threatening mist. Despite this he didn't run away. But the next day, of course he was gone, but who was in his place? A smaller spider. That's when I knew I was reaching a new level of gym. My gym face had shrunk an arachnid.

    These days I never enter a gym without my war paint. I see all these bros who think they can just grunt a few times and that's it. They don't have what it takes. Truth is the gym is a battlefield. Just because you're not fighting every second doesn't mean you're suddenly in a calm meadow with chirping birds inexplicably willing to do your housework. If you see an airborne creature you better be ready to shoot it out the sky with a gaze of pure anabolic intensity. You're on the battlefield, so you better be ready for anything.

    Code:
    Workout B
    Squats			5x5	62.5kg	Increase of 2.5kg
    Deadlift		1x5	67.5kg	Increase of 2.5kg
    Standing press		5x6	27.5kg	Increase of 1 rep per set
    Bent over row		5x5	42.5kg	No increase
    Close grip bench press	3x8	30kg	Decrease of 2.5kg
    Straight bar		3x9	22.5kg	Increase of 1 rep per set
    Cable crunches		3x14	65kg	Increase of 1 rep per set
    Squats. Increasing from last time's 60kg to yesterday's 62.5kg, I made sure to keep my form immacculate. Like it was choreographed by Jesus himself I radiated wisdom directly forwards and at right angles - the best views to appreciate technique. All the way down, all the way up. It made me feel great. But I let my guard down - it sowed the seed of pride within me, which would later come back to hurt me.

    Deadlifts. I increased these to 67.5kg. It was mildly challenging but I was doing them fine. Then I caught sight of myself in the mirror to the side. My back was curled over! It was so ugly. I thought this can't possibly be good technique. I made a note to re-watch some deadlift instructional videos, and was awash with self-pity.

    Standing press. Now here's something to blog about. Firing my guns into the air like a military parade I launched the barbell upwards above my head. I grunted with power. Sometimes I even grunted between sets. Then around the 4th set my spindly arms started to weary. They didn't just go up like before. But they didn't burn either. "UP" I thought. "UP" they murmured. And working as a team we kept going, achieving 5x6.

    Bent over row. It was a 10% day so I kept the weight the same as I lifted on Tuesday. I rowed up and down. Again I checked my form in the mirror to my left and thought my back could be straighter. I've never checked a bent over row form video so I'll have to do my research, but I feel I'm generating an intuition for what makes good technique. Achieving that vision is an on-going challenge. But I will make it.

    CGBP. Due to my successive failures with this exercise I downgraded the weight to 30kg. Much better. I controlled my form as best I could, and I think I did a good job. Elbows tucked in, bar travelling in a straight line. It was beautiful. A passerby shed a single tear of admiration and although I don't know his name, we bonded in that moment.

    Straight bar. My nemesis. It was time to up from 3x8 to 3x9. I didn't give the bar time to prepare. I launched straight into it and pumped one curl after the other. It was a blaze of controlled action - an event with the intensity to rival half an episode of 24. Then, midway through my final set, pride struck. That seed I sowed so many exercises ago had sprouted into a malevolent boabab, its branches wrapping like octopus tentacles around my guns. Hard as I might try, I couldn't curl. It it was a valuable lesson in humility. I knew what I had to do. I took a JCB to that vicious tree and cut it down before me. Hacked to bits, it was dead. I finished my set and, having slain my ego, achieved enlightenment.

    Cable crunches. 14 reps per set. 14 is a very hazardous number and I don't like the look of it. My every urge was to skip 14 and jump straight to 15, but my gym progress is the 25th most important thing in my life right now, and adhering to my aesthetic appreciation of numbers comes in narrowly at 26th. For this reason I accepted what I must do and crunched anyway. With ab-solute power I crunched 14 at a time for 3 sets. In my triumph I brought physical form to the tradename Jelly Belly. I was done.

    Next session on Sunday.
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    (Original post by miser)
    Deadlifts. I increased these to 67.5kg. It was mildly challenging but I was doing them fine. Then I caught sight of myself in the mirror to the side. My back was curled over! It was so ugly. I thought this can't possibly be good technique. I made a note to re-watch some deadlift instructional videos, and was awash with self-pity.


    CGBP. Due to my successive failures with this exercise I downgraded the weight to 30kg. Much better. I controlled my form as best I could, and I think I did a good job. Elbows tucked in, bar travelling in a straight line. It was beautiful. A passerby shed a single tear of admiration and although I don't know his name, we bonded in that moment.
    On the deadlift to help your form I've learnt to always keep your head up, so not straight but up, I was trying to teach my friend how to do it once and this advice helped him a lot.

    Also CGBP is one **** of an exercise, I started ICF 5x5 this week and was actually looking forward to it, have to say its the hardest thing on the program! It's prob cause my chest was sore from workout A but **** me it was difficult, on my 3rd set I barely came up on the last rep, I would've been ****ed if it wasn't for my spot.
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    (Original post by 0range)
    On the deadlift to help your form I've learnt to always keep your head up, so not straight but up, I was trying to teach my friend how to do it once and this advice helped him a lot.

    Also CGBP is one **** of an exercise, I started ICF 5x5 this week and was actually looking forward to it, have to say its the hardest thing on the program! It's prob cause my chest was sore from workout A but **** me it was difficult, on my 3rd set I barely came up on the last rep, I would've been ****ed if it wasn't for my spot.
    Thanks for the tip. Yeah it's one of the *****ier exercises. I've had to do the roll of shame from it a few times.

    Thanks for reading and have a good rest of your weekend. :yy:
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    Any progress pics?
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    (Original post by kka25)
    Any progress pics?
    No point to show any of these yet as there's no real visible progress made.
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    Shirked the gym to drink whisky all day.

    What a god damn shambles.
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    (Original post by miser)
    Shirked the gym to drink whisky all day.

    What a god damn shambles.
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    I listened this morning to a podcast that talked about Takeru Kobayashi and his success at professional eating competitions. In one tournament he was pitted against a bear to eat hot dogs. A new comer, the bear wiped the floor with world champion Takeru. What an inspiration.

    Stories like these help me keep sight of what's important when I'm packing down that granola.
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    I was a little low on my calories today so I've just eaten a 1,500 calorie strudel.
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    The romance period is over. There was a time when I thought about the gym and thought, "BRING IT ON!" Now I think of it and think, "URRRUGGHUUHHHUU." I want a hot bod but I don't want to work for it. "Just give it to me nowwww," I intone, laying in the squalor of weak character.

    My terrible attitude meant for the first time ever I missed a weekday's training this week. I had my driving theory test, in which I had to answer ridiculous questions about whether diesel was slippery, followed by clicking a mouse button every time I saw a pedestrian. Now when I'm hitting the open roads and a pedestrian walks out in front of me, I'll think, "CLICK!" and wonder why 5 years later I'm still writing letters to the DSA blaming them for my vehicular manslaughter.

    I got home later than I should have done due to walking around Bristol looking at all the different products I wouldn't let me buy. This included finding all the volumes for the manga I'm currently reading (Vagabond, it's about a bad ass samurai determined to be the best - great for getting pumped before gym) for sale at Waterstones' extortionate prices.

    When I did get home I didn't feel like walking 2 miles to the gym, so I sat my sorry ass down and finished watching Deadwood whilst swearing and drinking whisky. It was a good evening and I only mildly regret doing so.

    But I'm back at work now and it's time to get back on the horse. Even if the gym has become more mundane, I'll go! I will win!

    Chapter XX: The return

    Code:
    Workout A
    Squats			5x5	65kg	Increase of 2.5kg
    Bench press		5x5	40kg	Increase of 3 reps
    Bent over row		5x5	45kg	Increase of 2.5kg and 2 reps
    Barbell shrugs		3x8	55kg	Increase of 2.5kg and 2 reps
    Tricep extensions	3x10	35kg	Increase of 1 rep per set
    Straight bar		3x10	22.5kg	Increase of 1 rep per set
    Cable crunches		3x15	65kg	Increase of 1 rep per set
    Look at that. Look at it. I've never not gone to the gym for a whole week before, but damn!

    Started with squats. It felt heavy again now. My squats have changed from quick, uncoordinated lumps of crap, to slow, calculated manoevres of power. I concentrate on my form. It means I go down slow, and strain with all my might to push back up. No bounce. No stupid back curling. Magnificent.

    Bench press. I kept it at 40kg since last time I fell 3 reps short. This time I managed them all. I didn't rush either. Not having to do a roll of shame was liberating. I blew the smoke from my pistol fingers in the direction of a bro and moved on to the next exercise.

    Bent over row. Increased back up to 45. I remember previously it immediately felt too heavy. Not this time - if anything it felt too light. I did my first set without a problem. Second and third sets likewise. The fourth set was challenging, then the fifth set I put in all I could muster - which included 2 extra reps at the end.

    Barbell shrugs. I increased these to 55kg. Again, I remembered before how I had complained that my grip was too weak. Not anymore. With forearms of iron I gripped that bar, then held it soft and steady as I shrugged my shoulders. A lot of people go gung-ho into the gym and grip too tightly. In reality you must caress the bar. Win its respect. When I do a bench press, it's like I'm bench pressing a baby. Moisturise - make the bar feel as warm and safe as if it were being held by velvet gloves. I shrugged hard and managed not only 55kg at 5x5, but again another 2 reps at the end.

    Straight bar. My nemesis. I didn't want to abandon the bar so I did this exercise next. Increasing to 3x10 I pumped that iron, causing microcellular damage to my biceps on a scale I've never seen before - and still haven't due to my on-going lack of a microscope. But what's important is that I pushed myself to the max. We must work hard while we can. Even bros only live once. "BROLO!" I declared and the gym went silent, presumably everyone having been propelled into thoughtful contemplation.

    Tricep extensions. I increased these to 3x10 and set to work. I went all out. My spindly arms quivered at the final 4 reps. It was hard going, but within me is a storage locker of power, and I am only recently learning how to tap into it. One technique I have discovered is to pretend I'm in a crisis and the lives of several cute forest creatures depend on me. Owls, squirrels, woodpeckers. Seeing their faces, I had the strength to master my sets.

    Cable crunches. Increased to 3x15. Still considering alternative core exercises to bring my rep number back down. Managed all 45 reps. My belly was proud.

    Next workout on Sunday. Assuming I go.
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    Some call him Acala. To others, he is Búdòng Míngwáng. Yet more know him as Fudō Myō Ō. Classed among the Vidyārāja, he is pre-eminent among the Five Wisdom Kings of the Womb Realm. My muscles burning, gym compatriots on my every side, and not one rep left to give - I cried out! The gym was now reverberating in the sound of the ancient tongue. And then, as if a great fire came down from Heaven itself, all impediments to success were burnt away, and the path was clear for me to walk.

    Chapter XXI: The Immovable One

    Code:
    Workout B
    Squats			5x5	67.5kg	Increase of 2.5kg
    Deadlift		1x5	60kg	Decrease of 7.5kg
    Standing press		5x7	27.5kg	Increase of 1 rep per set
    Bent over row		5x5	45kg	Increase of 2.5kg
    Close grip bench press	3x9	30g	Increase of 1 rep per set
    Straight bar		3x11	22.5kg	Increase of 1 rep per set
    Cable crunches		3x16	65kg	Increase of 1 rep per set
    Squats. I tensed hard to stop myself bending forwards as had happened the last time I tried this weight. It worked. It was hard work and I liked it. The passion in my bones let loose. My body moved in a slow and controlled frenzy of pure power and majesty. The intensity could be felt by the whole of my being. Centred in my mind, the squat grew so large there was room for no other thought. I became the squat.

    Deadlift. I jacked it up to 70kg. Squatted down low ready to pick up the bar. I gripped. I corrected my posture. Then I lifted. ... Nothing. Keeping my back straight I felt I had no power. I adjusted the weight to 60kg and did fine. I'll need to watch some deadlift form videos again as surely deadlifts should be easier than squats.

    Standing press. Holding the bar against my chest, it was as if our hearts were as one. As my arms are an extension of myself, so too was the bar when held by my arms. An epiphany was brewing. I was on the cusp of a great discovery - I could see its form in front of me! But my soul was cloudy - I couldn't yet make it out. Pushing hard I pressed 5x7.

    Bent over row. Holding the bar now in front of my crotch, I bent over it. It occurred to me that while I have felt this exercise to place me in a position of acute sexual vulnerability, so might the bar feel likewise. With this insight, my soul felt slightly clearer. I rowed 25 times and with only a 1-minute break in between sets.

    Straight bar. My nemesis. I did this exercise next as the bench was occupied. It was my fifth exercise in a row with the same barbell. And somehow it felt harder to feel it to be my nemesis. Then I realised we had bonded. Suddenly my soul was clear! I felt as if a dazzling light shone through me. I could see! The bar wasn't my enemy. The bar and I were a team. The bar didn't want me to fail. It wanted me to become strong! And feeling this to be true I lifted - we lifted 3 sets of 11 in wonderous harmony, and the bar and I were at peace.

    Cable crunches. The bench was still occupied so I went to start crunching. Now up to 16 reps per set, my belly relished this chance to show me its strength. Down and up it crunched, crunching harder even than that rubbish compactor in Star Wars. It was a magnificent performance and in that moment I felt truly grateful to have a belly apparently so committed to the cause of one day impressing chicks.

    CGBP. Last exercise. I was totally pumped! I was ready for it. The bar felt the slightly more enlightened nature of my spirit. I pushed for 3x9. It was the final rep of the final set - my arms were jelly. If I took the bar back down, there was the distinct possibility it wouldn't come back up. I stared at the ceiling for a moment, then I pushed with a tremendous burst of wisdom and compassion - the force of my spirit was so great that a door was unlocked. I was transported to the Womb Realm.

    I was seated on a rock amidst a waterfall of flames, and sat by my side was Fudō Myō Ō. I was immovable. I was indestructible. And the bar moved back onto the bench rack.

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    Provide deadlift video. I'll help even though i suck at deadlift. Well, 190kg*5 but still. Not that brilliant.
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    (Original post by Motorbiker)
    Provide deadlift video. I'll help even though i suck at deadlift. Well, 190kg*5 but still. Not that brilliant.
    I'll investigate the possibility.
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    Uruuururuuu... I did not feel motivated or pumped to gym it at all! I just wanted a nap really. I wasn't particularly short on sleep or anything like that, but for some reason I hadn't got much energy.

    Oh well. I know the drill. It was time to punch that hesitancy in the face!

    Chapter XXII: Jungle fever

    Code:
    Workout A
    Squats			5x5	70kg	Increase of 2.5kg
    Bench press		5x5	40kg	No increase
    Bent over row		5x5	47.5kg	Increase of 2.5kg
    Barbell shrugs		3x8	57.5kg	Increase of 2.5kg
    Tricep extensions	Data unavailable
    Straight bar		3x12	22.5kg	Increase of 1 rep per set
    Cable crunches		Data unavailable
    There I was in the gym. A steady mist surrounded me. Ominous howls issued from unseen places and the occasional jungle cat prowled in the distance. Danger was present. Such are the risks we take to one day be strong.

    I loaded 70kg onto the bar. Squat! It was hard. Really hard. Increasing the weights didn't use to be this hard. I pondered my situation as I struggled for 25 reps, eventually placing the bar back on the rack. A jungle spider sprung out from behind a dumbbell and took out one of the gym bros.

    Bench press began optimistically. I increased my load to 42.5kg. I pressed for 5, but good God, I almost failed on the 5th rep. Clearly it was too heavy. I went back down to 40kg and managed the other 4 sets like this - barely. I realised I was feeling a bit funny.

    Bent over row. Alright, this time I mean business! Upped to 47.5kg. I rowed with the might of a burly sailor. 47.5kg? No problem! For some reason I could manage this one. A snake hissed at me with words of encouragement.

    Barbell shrugs. 57.5kg. My grip strength is becoming a bottleneck for my progress in this exercise. I was worried I was going to drop the bar bell. Shrugging was not an issue. It helped me to think about Martin Luther King and his I Have a Dream speech. This became even more effective when I pretended I was black.

    Straight bar. 22.5kg for 3x12. Lifting this required every fibre in my biceps working as a single cohesive unit. MLK had inspired within my 'ceps a feeling of universal brotherhood, unmatched by the measly 22.5kg trying to pull them down. It got pretty tough near the end but I bared my teeth and grunted, which worked.

    By this point I was feeling naffer than ever. I just felt so weak. My throat had an uncomfortable lump in it and my nose was running for some reason. Both the cable machines in the gym were in use and I ran out of oomph. I decided to pack it in and go home.

    Today I feel even worse. Jungle fever. Vague muscle ache, no energy, sneezing and a sore throat. Why does my gym have to be in a jungle? It wasn't fair I thought. But I suppose what doesn't kill me makes me stronger (this is also the reason I eat ice cream). Hopefully I'll get better again soon. Jungles are the worst.
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    Usually I avoid checking myself out in the mirror due to issues with getting jealous of myself, but the other day I was half-naked and happened to be in front of the mirror, so I thought it was okay if I took just a quick peak.

    After about 45 minutes I had worked my way up to my guns, when I realised they were bigger than before. Visible improvement. Nice! :yy:
 
 
 
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