Muscle Diary 101

Muscle Diary 101

Friday, 18 March 2016

Day 7 March 18

I love Friday's as I know that I have two whole days to recover after my workout. Therefore it's time to go hard and cut the rests between sets a little bit. Here is today's workout:


15 x 12.5kg (each dumbell)
3 sets of 15 x 20kg (each dumbell)

Bench Press

22 x 10kg
15 x 20kg
15 x 35kg
9 x 40kg


3 sets of 6,5,4 (feeling stronger on the chins but only 2nd time I have done them)

Seated Dumbell Press

15 x 7.5kg (per dumbell)
12 x 9kg
12 x 10kg

Dumbell Curls

10 x 12.5kg
8 x 12.5kg
10 x 12.5kg

The extra 2 reps in the last set came as I was talking to someone so recovery was a bit longer than normal


3 sets of 6, 5 & 7

Feeling stronger on the dips and again 2nd time I have done them but the form is better. 7 reps last set as I was talking during recovery again. The guy on dips before me did 4 x 8 reps. I'll be there soon!!!

Leg Raises

3 x 15

I had a few minutes spare so I did 2 sets of light deadlifts.


2 x 10 @ 20kg

So it was a nice workout overall. Now I am deciding whether I should buy more protein shake or stick to my own homemade shakes.

What do you think should I buy more protein supplement or go old school and make homemade protein shakes?

Here's a deadlift vid:

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Homemade Protein Shake Recipe

I am impressed to read that the 1950's and 1960's bodybuilders made their own protein shakes as, unlike these days, protein drinks weren't readily available to purchase.Appearently Reg Park made his own drink of milk, cream and honey. We could easily replicate this drink at home.

As I mentioned in an earlier post I bought my first protein supplement 2 weeks ago and, alas, despite paying a lot of money for it the supplement is already gone. So in my opinion protein supplements or mass / muscle builders and gainers are too expensive.

Here then is a low cost homemade smoothie which is good for you.

My eldest boy loves a smoothie called a 'Wakey-Shakey' which he makes from a kids cookboook that he bought. Basically the shake is made up of banana, milk and peanut butter. I've adapted the recipe and made some healthy additions.

The following recipe is a guideline recipe only. This means that I just open a bag or jar and tip the ingredients in without weighing them. So if you really like an ingredient add more, if you don't like an ingredient subtract some or leave it out.

Homemade Protein Shake

Makes 1 litre

3 bananas
4 Tbsp porridge oats
3 Tbsp sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp Cocoa
A dash of fish oil

Simply add all the ingredients to a 1 litre jug and mix with a hand blender.

Don't fill the jug all the way to the top. Leave a centimeter or two for the milk to splash around when mixing otherwise the jug will overflow.

As you can see the porridge oats,sunflower seeds and milk are full of protein while the sunflower seeds and fish oil are full of healthy omegas which are serious brain food.

How do you make your favourite homemade protein shake?

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Day 6 March 16

I did it! I took a pen and paper to the gym and wrote down my sets and reps. You know it's actually something that I don't mind doing.

I also weighed myself and came in at 90.90kg or spot on 200lbs (according to a google calculator that I just used!). The goal is to add lean muscle and therefore also weight. We'll see how we are next month.

So my programme today was marred by the fact that many weights were missing from the gym for some reason. Whether it was for cleaning I don't know but I hope that they'll be back on Friday.

So my programme:


15 x 30kg (too light) (total dumbell weight)
12 x 40kg (too light)
20 x 40kg

The squats were done with dumbells as the squat rack was busy.

Bench Press

12 x 30kg
10 x 35kg
8 x 40kg

I think that these weights were ideal for me (but hopefully that won't last too long ;-)

Chin Ups

3 sets consisting of 5, 6 and 5 reps.

Talk about tough. I didnt straighten out my arms when hanging but hopefully that will come.

Seated Dumbell Press

12 x 7.5kg (per dumbell)
15 x 7.5kg
15 x 7.5kg

There were no 10kg dumbells on the rack so I just did the set with the 7.5kg weights.

Barbell Curls

12 x 10kg
8 x 15kg
7 x 15kg

Ha ha what a shock to the system as I was used to doing curls with 10kg or 12.5kg dumbells. I guess it goes to show that the actual barbell weighs a bit.


3 sets consisting of 6 ,6 and 5 reps.

Talk about hard. I am sure that my form wasn't good. In fact I was shaking like a wet dog at the end of the sets. This is one exercise that I really want to improve. Good upper body strength is needed. Bring it on!!

Leg Raises

3 x 15

The whole routine took me just over an hour even though I thought my session would be shorter due to the dips and chins which didn't take as long as a usual bent over rowing set for example.

Anyhow I am pleased with today and the fact that I have set some goals to beat.

Now for a bit of inspiration let's pick.....Dorian Yates!

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Day 5 March 14 2016

Being inspired by Reg Park's 5 x 5 workout I decided to work up to heavier weights and less reps today especially after my easy-ish day on Saturday.

It's funny because the main compound movements in Reg Parks 5 x 5 programme are also the main movements in the Jim Stoppani programme that I am following right now.

Therefore it seems that THE exercises to do as a beginner are:

  • Bench Press
  • Squats
  • Rows
  • Standing Press
Stoppani has obviously added bicep and tricep work as well as ab work.

So basically my workout started with a set or two of each exercise to warm up. I then added real weight and worked up to the following:

Bench Press worked up to 2 x 5 @ 45kg

Single Arm Bent Over Row 2 x 8 @20kg

Squats 4 x 12 using only 16kg but I focussed on technique making sure that my knees didn't move as appearently I have a habit of moving my knees forward. So technique before weight.

Dumbell Shoulder Press 2 x 10 @ 10kg

Tricep Pushdown 2 x 10 @ 9kg

Dumbell Curl 2 x 7 @ 15kg

Leg Raises 3 x 15

Stop The Press

So I bought my first muscle mag yesterday as well and inside the March edition of Flex magazine, on page 14, is an excellent article by Chris Lund about bulking up. In the article Chris describes both the exercises you should follow as well as the diet.

Anyhow the article is very timely as the main exercises I am doing anyway but he also lists a few different, and better, exercises to do.

So now I might change the Stoppani programme slightly.

I'll keep the Stoppani programme exactly the same on Wednesdays but on Monday and Fridays I will change:

Bent Over Rows to Chin Ups
Barbell Shoulder Press to Seated Dumbell Press
Tricep Pressdown to Dips

Though I might try the new regime tomorrow as I am excited about it.

Amount of Reps

I will also try Chris' recommendation of decreasing reps but adding weight so benchpress might look like:

1 x 15 @ 15kg
1 x 12 @20kg
1 x 10 @25kg

and 12, 10 and 8 for the other exercises. Obviously for the dips and chin ups I'll try to do as many as I can for each set (which probably won't be many!).

Bring on tomorrow!!

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Day 4 March 12

So I didn't go to the gyn yesterday as my back and lats were still too sore from Wednesday when I did chin ups. The chin up muscles hadn't been used in quite a while so no wonder I had a good case of DOMS!

Anyhow I worked out at home this morning and it made for a nice change. Two weeks ago I bought some weights from Aldi so I have a barbell and two dumbells. The weights are massive - not!

They comprise of:

  • 4 x 2kg
  • 4 x 1.25kg
  • 4 x 1kg
No great shakes really so for some exercises I just did more reps. Anyhow snce I am new to weight training it pays to have a light day every so often.

I started with some push ups which I hadn't done in a while:

3 sets of push ups ( 10, 15, 20 reps)


3 x 20 bent over row
3 x 5 deadlifts

This was an interesting super set as the weight was too light for BOW but ideal to add a few deadlifts to the end of the set.

For the deadlifts I just concentrated on perfect form and was happy that the weight was light.

3 x 12 Squats

3 x 12 Babell shoulder press

3 x 12 tricep dips using a chair


3 x 12 barbell bicep curls
3 x 25 calf raises (on the stairs)

I was cautious to engage my core during the workout but to finish I also did the plank for around a minute.

My big takeway is that I need to buy a few more weights if I want to work out at home properly. Working out at home makes for a nice pace of change from working out in the gym and I'd recommend it if you are after a light workout.

The Barbarian Twins

I remember being in the gym when I was younger working out to get stronger for triatlhons and aquathons.

I tihnk that it was in a Muscle & Fitness magazine that I saw an article about the Barbarian Twins.

The Barbarian twins are actually David and Peter Paul and you can read more about them here on

Here is Lee Priest talking about the Barbarian Brothers:

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Day 3 9 March 16

Today I felt like doing something different so I did. :-)

I made sure to cover the whole body as I have been doing. Remember that although this is Day 3 of the blog I had been working out the whole body for a small bit longer. A 3 day whole body routine actually suits me down to the ground as currently I think that is all my body can handle plus I get to spend time on my websites. :-)

Anyhow here's today's workout.


3 sets bench press and 3 sets chin ups.

For bench press I did 1 flat, 1 at the next incline and another at the incline after. All with 20kg so nothing too taxing although I want to make sure that I don't hurt my shoulder (which I hurt in the pool last year and hasn't fully recovered.

After the superset I did 2 x 12 flat bench press with 30kg & 35kg.

3 x 12 Squats @ 35kg

3 x 12 dumbell shoulder press with 6kg, 7.5kg and 10kg for each dumbell (again watching the shoulder so that it doesn't get injured)

3 x 12 tricep pushdown @ 7kg

1 x 12, 1 x 10, 1 x 8 standing dumbell curls with 12.5kg each dumbell

The calf raise machine was taken so I did 3 x 12 leg presses working up to 230 pounds.

1 x 5 chin ups as I was waiting for the hanging leg raise machine

3 x 15 hanging leg raises.

Within half an hour I had eaten 2 whole eggs, 2 egg whites, a slice of wholemeal bread and 500ml protein shake.

Recovery time again and I can't wait till Friday.

Here's more motivation!

Day 2 7 March 2016

This was my workout from 2 days ago. Again from memory. I'd feel like such a clutch walking around the gym with a notepad recording everything I do.

3 x 12 Bench Press working up to 35kg

3 x 12 Bent Over Row working up to 35kg

3 x 12 Squats working up to 30kg (I still don't like the feel of the machine. I'd rather do these with free weights)

3 x 12 Barbell Shoulder Press with 4kg!! (heavy bar ;-)

3 x 12 Tricep Press Down working up to 8kg

3 x 12 Barbell Curl working up to 20kg

3 x 15 Calf Raises Wotking up to 80 pounds

3 x 15 Hanging Leg Raises

In some exercises I didn't do 12 reps for the final set but the above it a general guide to the workout I did.

I recently discovered Eleanora Dobrinina who will be competing in her first IFBB competition in around 2 1/2 months.

Here is a video of Eleanora working out:

Also I really should take a few photos of myself so that I can compare the period from when I first started (now) to a later period.

We'll see!!