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Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
9/26/22 2:27 p.m.

Someone mentioned it in another thread, and I know we've got a number of folks (myself included) who pick up heavy things and put them back down again in their free time. So let's get the discussion started here.

Stats, routines, records, progress photos, equipment reviews, home gym setups... Show me what you got!

tuna55 MegaDork
9/26/22 2:36 p.m.

Hey this could be fun. I started working out a few years ago, but the latest push has me actually making progress.

6'1" or so, graduated high school at around 155, am now around 180. I eat: Smoothie for breakfast with oatmeal, banana, sugarless PB powder and almond milk, yogurt and blueberries with granola for snack, leftover veggies and meat for lunch, and whatever Tunawife makes for dinner minus any bread or rolls. I drink water and black coffee exclusively.

My office chair is a recumbant stationary bike.

My three/week program is: 2K on the rowing machine, as close to 8:00 as I can get (I can do it every day, but if I do, I can't walk for a while or speak for an hour, and I hate life for 20 minutes), curls around 110 lb and 2 sets of ten, chest press around 90 lb 2 sets of ten, delts and pecs on that swing machine, 125 and 145 2 sets of ten each, then calves one leg each holding 40 lb for 2 sets of fifteen, ab bends holding 40 lb 2 sets of 15 per side, a plank routine for 4 minutes flipping around a bit, and repeat time allowing, and ten burpees with a pushup on the even numbers, repeat time allowing, then those situp things where you lift the legs and the upper body simultaneously, 2 sets of ten.


After doing this sort of thing I went from 170 to 185, gaining visible amount of upper body muscle, then lost about five back to 180 and you can see some ab action, though it's not a real 6 pack.

I've never taken a selfie, sorry. I'm 40.


Any tips?

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
9/26/22 4:33 p.m.

5'9", ~185 lbs., and 40y.o. Waffling about if I want to try to lose a couple pounds, but don't feel an urgency. Waist of my pants is the same as when I was 10 lbs lighter, just the butt and thighs are tighter.

Wife and I started lifting right before covid hit. Bought a rack and set up a home gym immediately when lockdowns started. Been working with a personal trainer for a while now. 2/wk at first and 1/wk now. He's been great.

My routine varies a lot, but focus around the Big 3, plus overhead press.

My PR's:

Squat 400
Bench 270
Deadlift 400
Overhead Press 155

I focus more on high weight and low reps. Mix in some hypertrophy days and some dynamic movements. Also do some rock climbing. Need to do mare skating.

Wife has done very well herself too. I won't list her weight here, but she dropped a bunch doing Weight Watchers and has added on 10-15lbs of mostly-muscle since lifting. She's struggled wrapping her head around the idea that adding weight is actually good for her. Doing rugby has helped with that and kinda pushed her towards wanting more bulk.

Her PR's:

Squat 170
Bench 110
Deadlift 205
OHP 82.5

Really want to get a second rack to make it easier for us to lift at the same time. Debating between a full rack or just a half rack. Leaning towards a Rogue Squat Stand plus safety arms.

Mr_Asa UltimaDork
9/26/22 4:41 p.m.

I need to get back into this.  I've made a good diet change and lost 20-25lbs since my last Dr checkup (March? June?)  Now I need to start lifting and get that part back in gear.

AMiataCalledSteve Reader
9/26/22 4:44 p.m.

I'm 6'3", a pretty lean 195lbs, down from 220. I used to be built like a stick for most of my life, started working out in college, and now the gym is my main break from my workday, since I go at lunch. For a while I was mostly focused on bulking up from said stick phase, but now I'm a little more focused on toning up a little without losing too much bulk. My workouts are pretty short, but over the last couple years I think I've slowly developed a pretty all-right build with just my workouts at Planet Fitness lol. I don't really have any PRs, I just try to work until I'm tired in the 8-12 rep range for most of my exercises. My current goals involve adding in some cardio and not skipping leg day quite so often haha.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/26/22 4:55 p.m.

I've been working with a personal trainer a couple of times a week for years. Not looking to be a powerlifter champ or anything, just looking to stave off old age and be able to do whatever I want to do. I tend to focus on functional strength instead of chasing PRs because it helps me not hurt myself when I pick up a transmission, so we usually work on combined movements instead of the standard bench/deadlift/squat. My biggest suggestion to anyone looking to get into the game is to work with someone who will tell you how to lift safely and get good form so you don't hurt yourself. My wife works out with me as well for similar reasons.

No gear at home other than a dusty rowing machine (my wife wanted it, then she started playing tennis constantly) and some of the world's best mounting biking just outside the door.

Making bulk is not a problem, I have a good set of genes on my side so it's easy for me to get strong. Also, no need for leg day because I have a kilt-ready set of legs from cycling and a Scottish background. I'm basically built like a rugby player. 

calteg SuperDork
9/26/22 4:56 p.m.

6'1", I ballooned up to 180lbs during COVID, used to walk around at a very lean 155-160lbs.  Basically been doing big 3 lifts + cardio every day.

A few tips, especially if you're looking to push through plateaus:

Slow walking at a decent incline burns almost as much calories as running, but it sucks a lot less and can be maintained for far longer. (I started at a 9% grade at 2.5mph, currently doing 10% at 3mph).

If you have the shoulder stability, Olympic ring workouts make a HUGE difference in strength in a short period of time. I was just doing dips and muscle ups and I saw an upper body transformation, even after a decade+ of dedicated lifting

Same for Turkish getups. Start with a very light kettlebell. Way lighter than you think. You'll be gassed before the end of the first set, but it's a phenomenal workout.

Visible abs are made in the kitchen, but consistent swimming definitely accelerates the process.


The_Jed PowerDork
9/26/22 5:12 p.m.

   I'm a 42 year old 5'7", 190-ish pound manlet who has been lifting weights off and on since the age of 13. In my adult life, my bodyweight has ranged from 220+ at my biggest to 159 at my leanest when cutting weight for a Judo competition. I've done quite a bit of grappling but, I still consider myself a boxing enthusiast. I try to hit the bags at least a few days every week. My diet has ranged from OMG EAT EVERYTHING when I was trying to be a powerlifter/strongman to intermittent fasting with an 1,800 calorie maximum and everything between.; keto, paleo, plant-based, etc.

My all-time best PR's:

Squat* = 405 x 3
Bench = 350 x 1 or 225 x 23
Deadlift = 495 x 1 or 405 x 8 or 315 x 17
Strict (Standing) OHP = 245 x 1 
Run One Mile = 6:57 (after lifting, not that I'm any faster when fresh. LOL)

* = I've never really felt comfortable squatting, this was touch and go to a box set at parallel height.  

   I've followed bodybuilding and powerlifting programs in the past and wound up injured and with very little mobility. I still enjoy strength training but I like to focus on more "functional" movements (as much as I've grown to dislike that term). Right now I'm trying to get my bodyweight back into the 170's which is where I feel the best; I'm light, agile, and still strong.  

My current program (subject to change LOL):

Day 1:
(warm up: walking lunges (200 reps or 1/10 mile), wood choppers, leg raises, lots of stretching, kb halo)
leg extensions=5x15
elevated foot split squat=3x10-15
face pull/reverse flye + bodyweight dips=100  reps
landmine/standing db ohp=5x5
pushup complex=100  reps
pressdowns + lateral raises

Day 2:
(warm up: same as day 1) 
kb swings=100  reps
single-leg rdl=3x5
chins/pullups=100 reps
farmer's carry=1/10 mile

Day 3:
(same warm up)
Turkish get up
kb windmill
heavy bag

Day 4:
(same warm up)
hex bar deadlifts=EMOM
heavy neutral-grip pulldowns=5x5
dumbell/machine bench press=5x5
kb/dumbell snatch=EMOM

The cycle repeats. If I feel I'm too sore to lift, I'll repeat day 3 for some active recovery between lifting days. If I'm really sore I'll ride my bike or go for a walk with my kids and/or wife.

The_Jed PowerDork
9/26/22 5:18 p.m.

In reply to calteg :

Turkish Get Ups are incredible! 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/26/22 5:23 p.m.

I have never really done any organized exercise as I have been too active all my life to want or need to, but with my current desk job I started getting a little rounder so I took up cross fit. I absolutely love it but I am very poor at all the power lifting components. I did discover I have a 45 inch box jump which was useless but cool for a chubby 56 year old. I have not been recording any of my weights because my form is so bad that I feel I need to sort that out first, but I do plan to get a lot stronger over the next few years. Since I never take anything on in small bits I was going 5 times a week so I should see some progress, but thanks to smashing in my ribs scapula and clavicle I had to stop for a while and I am sure any gains I made are now gone again. boo.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
9/26/22 5:23 p.m.
The_Jed said:

Strict (Standing) OHP = 245 x 1 


I just wanna do 167.5, which is the weight of a full keg.

Need to add some Turkish getups. Need to play with the rings more. Was just doing like support position variations and dips and such. Want to get muscle ups, but the ceiling height makes that rough.

Trainer will be here in 10. Gotta go warm up.

ProDarwin MegaDork
9/26/22 5:30 p.m.

I'm 39, 6'0, 183.0lbs


Squat - 315  Similar to The_Jed above, I have never felt comfortable doing heavy squats.  Actually taking a break from anything heavy here now because my left knee does not like it.

Bench - 280

Deadlift - 405

No official record of what my OHP max is, but I would guess between 155-160 (got to 140x5 for 3 sets in starting strength)


Currently doing a variety of activities, and doing all the workouts in this: https://www.zeusmethod.com/ebooks/p/justabar

I'd really like to try and increase muscle mass, because despite being borderline overweight, I actually look pretty skinny.  I have some muscle definition and a 6 pack, but its skinny guy stuff, not muscular guy stuff. 

One of my biggest issues even when heavy lifting is I can never eat enough.  I should really be doing 3500+ calories a day and I am just not that kind of eater.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
9/26/22 7:12 p.m.

In reply to bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) :

I hope your crossfit place is one of those where they'll actually take the time to coach you and let you slow down doing powerlifting moves. Crossfit has a very bad reputation for pushing for speed over form to the detriment of health and safety. Smashing yourself with a bar is not good.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/26/22 7:43 p.m.

In reply to Beer Baron :

They are great. Max class size is 8 and they will stop you mid workout if your form is bad.

solfly Dork
9/26/22 7:50 p.m.

40. Fat. Work 50 hours a week and have a toddler. Coach flag football and play flag football. Minimal activity beyond that. Move around some at work but not enough. Need to eat better and find the time and motivation to workout. Maybe this will help, although realistically I need to focus more on cardio and weight loss.

The_Jed PowerDork
9/26/22 8:56 p.m.

In reply to solfly :

   Have you heard of the 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Challenge? To me, it seems like a great way for someone with limited time to build some muscle and improve their work capacity. I'm a big fan of heavy swings and kettlebells in general.
   Pavel Tsatsouline has some great kettlebell programs. Enter the Kettlebell is one of my favorites that I follow along with if I'm not particularly motivated or if I'm just looking for something different.

ProDarwin MegaDork
9/26/22 9:02 p.m.

My favorite limited time and equipment workout is:


tabata pushups, tabata squats, tabata pullups, tabata situps


less than 16 mins and you are wrecked



Also I just finished a kettlebell ladder from Enter the Kettlebell as tonight's workout, +1 to that recommendation.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
9/26/22 9:14 p.m.

In reply to solfly :

If you're limited on time, don't work out with a program like I have. (Unless your goal is, "Don't bother daddy for the hour he's in the gym.")

Easy bodyweight stuff or things you can do with a single kettlebell that you can grab snatches of when you need 30 seconds of time for yourself.

Get a pull up bar and/or rings and a kettlebell. Squats, pushups, pull ups... Put up a pull up bar and crank out a couple every single time you walk by.

The trouble with cardio is that it takes a lot of time unless you can combine it with like... jogging with the toddler in a stroller.

It needs to not be a chore. If you can find a way to gamify it or have a simple program where you're able to track and observe progress that you find fulfilling, that will go a long way to keeping things fun and novel.

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/27/22 5:35 a.m.

I'm 44, 5'10" and 165lbs.  Worked out consistently through college and for a few years after.  After marriage and (4) kids, let's just say I've been less than consistent with my strength training.  I've been pretty good from a running/biking perspective, and in general I'm pretty active, so I have a decent base.  When we bought our house it had a dedicated workout room, and I've added equipment on the cheap over the years (i.e. pre-Covid).  I really don't have any excuses, I need to be better about carving out time to work out.

I just started working out with weights again last Monday, so this great has some good timing.  I turn 45 in February, so I'd like to hit the following numbers by then:

- Bench - 185

- Squat - 200

- Deadlift - 225

My goal is to get back to some decent strength numbers, and protect myself from injury as I age.  Looking forward to seeing everyone's progress!

yupididit PowerDork
9/27/22 8:15 a.m.

This thread is motivating!

5'7" 199lbs. My whole childhood I was a folksyyle and Greco-Roman wrestler in peak shape. Then AF Special Operations. Broke my back (L spine) in Afghanistan in mid 2012 along with C spine damage. Was young stubborn and didn't do the right things to heal correctly and currently paying for it. Can't run or jump anymore. My hands are also ruined from  various injuries and carpal tunnel can't write for more than 4 or 5 minutes and turning wrenches and gripping weights is a painful. My a left thumb isn't 100% functional, I like to say it has erectile dysfunction lol. 

I can't squat heavy anymore and no DL anymore:

PR in my mid 20s.

DL: 450

BP: 375

Squat: 400

Currently I'm still in great shape with a little gut because I have a pastry and bread fetish.

I workout 5 times a week. 

15 min warmup on jacobs ladder. 

1hr of various compound lifts at moderate weight and max reps.

End my workout with light abs and then 15min on a bike.


If I lower my carb and sugar intake I usually lose about 8 lbs and my gut goes down. I still have huge glutes quads and arms even though I can't workout as intensely as I used to. 

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
9/27/22 9:14 a.m.
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) said:

I just started working out with weights again last Monday, so this great has some good timing.  I turn 45 in February, so I'd like to hit the following numbers by then:

- Bench - 185

- Squat - 200

- Deadlift - 225

My goal is to get back to some decent strength numbers, and protect myself from injury as I age.  Looking forward to seeing everyone's progress!

Those numbers should be very doable for you. February is probably reasonable for those squat and deadlift numbers. That bench number is definitely more aggressive.

Wasn't too much work hitting numbers like that with the Starting Strength program.

Building up to those type of numbers, I did have a minor speedbump when I hit squats over my body weight. Just a bit of my nervous system adapting and going, "WTF?"

My method when hitting a mini-plateau as a novice lifter was to dial back the weight and do sets of 8, instead of sets of 5. Then progressively build up adding 5 or 10 lbs each time. Dialing back reps as necessary as I progressed until I flew past my previous sticking point. No idea if that's the best system, but it worked for me. Doing a variation on that helped again just this past year recovering from tweaking something in my back. I crushed my previous squat record by the time I was recovered.

I highly recommend getting a trainer who knows lifting technique, at least at first. Dial in your form. We love our trainer.

fatallightning HalfDork
9/27/22 10:10 a.m.

I've been all over the place. 15 years ago I was 272 lbs fat, lazy college student. 10 years ago I was 170 lbs road racing cyclist. I hung the cycling shoes 3-4  years ago and have ballooned up to 260 lbs. I was doing the big 3 lifts maybe once a week, in a 3x5 scheme. But my cardio was in the E36 M3ter and I just felt unhealthy. I joined a Crossfit gym about 3-4 months ago just to get moving. I 've been pretty decent about going 3-4 times a week, and while I haven't lost a ton of weight, maybe 5 lbs, but I feel better. A year away from 40, by the way. We do cycle the big 3, and it was just to see 1RM numbers, which I've literally never tested before. 

Back squat 375. Bench 210 (ex cyclist with bad shoulders!). And I just ripped a 525 deadlift like 2 weeks ago. On the other end of the spectrum, I'm astonishly awful at olympic movements. I had reasonable powerliftin form from doing it on my own, and some pointer in the box have tidied it up, but I can't power clean or overhead anything worth a damn. I've been practicing with light weights to try and get the cues, but it's bad lol.

trigun7469 UltraDork
9/27/22 11:18 a.m.

Does anybody have a calisthenics/stretching routine? Do you just jump in on it? or cardio?

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
9/27/22 12:18 p.m.
yupididit said:

This thread is motivating!

5'7" 199lbs. My whole childhood I was a folksyyle and Greco-Roman wrestler in peak shape. Then AF Special Operations. Broke my back (L spine) in Afghanistan in mid 2012 along with C spine damage..... ... ...

Thank you for your sacrifice.   ( I don't know how else to type that, so it sounds more genuine. But I mean it. Thank you. )

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
9/27/22 12:19 p.m.

In reply to trigun7469 :

For a warm up I like to get on the rower for about 10 mins. 

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