Strength gaining Success!!

  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    May 06, 2008 4:14 AM GMT
    Excuse me while I rave self-indulgently for a bit, but I'm thrilled with how my working out is going. Just in mid-January I started lifting weights for basically the first time in my life. I've been a rock climber, yogi, and cyclist for a long time but never really lifted and wanted to give it a shot.

    My general routine is to do about 5 sets each of 5 reps each of 4 different full-body exercises. Always squats and pull-ups (I'll switch between wide and narrow grip though) and some abs thing and some chest thing (dumbbell fly, dumbbell press, bench press, etc.)

    In four months my 5x5 set of pull-ups has gone from body weight minus 45 pounds to body weight plus 20 lbs! I just did 5 sets of 5 pull-ups yesterday at the gym with a 20lb dumbbell between my knees. Man, I feel a LOT stronger.

    And when I started I had nearly no chest muscle -- none of my sports really build the chest, just the back and legs. And now I can bench my weight.

    It's a little amazing it's happened so fast -- and, to be honest, I'd prefer more visible results but that'll take a bit of fat loss to really see. But my chest is definitely more defined and I'm MUCH stronger.

    So exciting!

    OK, I'm done. icon_smile.gif
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    May 06, 2008 4:55 AM GMT
    Oh, I would add, so this isn't just entirely self-indulgent, that I really appreciate the community here at RealJock. I certainly get inspiration from the guys I'm surrounded by as I work out at my gym (it's a pretty hardcore bodybuilder gym) but honestly this site and these forums and seeing you guys all staying in shape and doing the work is an inspiration and big source of motivation for me.

    So thanks, y'all!
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    May 06, 2008 4:55 AM GMT
    Well congratulation's! you are looking good. I tend to like the really basic and functional exercises like squats and pull-ups too.
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    May 06, 2008 5:21 AM GMT
    Thanks! That photo of me leaning back is from February, actually. I should try to take some new ones. Honestly, though, not sure there's a huge visible difference, since I'm still about 11% BF. That's my next challenge. I never get down to 6% like I say I'm gonna. icon_smile.gif
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    May 06, 2008 5:44 AM GMT
    yeah...I saw an article on bodybuilding.com touting a similar workout routine for building your chest and getting over a plateau.

    DO you have a plan of attack for once you plateau?

    Best of luck to you and keep up the awesome work!
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    May 06, 2008 1:29 PM GMT
    Congratulations and keep it up! icon_biggrin.gif Your new pic looks edible. icon_razz.gif
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    May 12, 2008 4:55 AM GMT
    Finally got around to taking some new pics. Top 4 are from today. Definitely significant changes since mid-January.

    I'm a little torn on what to do now. I want to drop another couple percent body fat -- 6% would be a good goal. But I started climbing again after hurting my shoulder and taking a break 3 months ago and, well, my grip strength is shot to hell, but even when it comes back, more muscle will only make climbing harder at this point. And any more upper body muscle will definitely make cycling harder, especially hill climbs, which at 205lbs I already have enough trouble with!

    It is certainly helping my yoga poses; my inversions are far more stable and I can hold them for much longer. Not that that's really the "point" of yoga, but it does make it easier to find some peace and stillness when I'm not shaking violently trying.

    Still, not sure. Guess I just have to be careful to keep my calorie intake down to break-even if I don't want to put on more muscle? But that means I can't resume eating ice cream every day? Damn it.
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    May 12, 2008 10:57 AM GMT
    Yes, the extra mass will unfortunately turn you into a hill-climb slug. Back when I competed, I weighed in at 185lb and around 4% BF. Had to briefly go on a see food diet when it dipped a little below that. It kind of sucks, but that's just a balance between enjoyment and competition. I'd love to average over 25mph through rolling hills again but it no longer fits in with my overall fitness plan.

    You will reel in the little guys on the flat and downhills though.