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Old 07-17-2011, 02:42 PM   #1
Justin Arnold
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 102
Default Justin's (back)log

I've been meaning to start this for a long time, and now is that time. Wanted to put all of my prior strength training online so that it was archived and easily searchable. This will be that thread, with another separate thread planned for current (and recent) training to track progress.

Just in case anyone was wondering (and for context), my background is as follows: I graduated highschool over a decade ago with ZERO interest in anything sports related. Not long after that, I got tired of being lanky and weak, and started lifting weights with the goal of getting big (only goal). I went from 6'2" ~155 to ~190 over the period of about a year. I was doing typical bodybuilding stuff, eating a lot, and taking prohormones (these were legal at the time). I liked being in shape, but didn't find lifting fulfilling, so the first time I tried rock climbing, specifically Bouldering, I was completely hooked (and got my ass whooped, despite being 'in shape'). So i got into climbing and lost about 20lb.

I was "a climber" for about 8 years, slowly getting a little bigger. Ironically when I started running 4-5 years ago I gained 10lb very quickly.. but about 180-182 is where I started this adventure.

In August of 2009 I decided to quit my job and go to fire school in order to get a job as a Firefighter. In school, it quickly became clear that a basic aerobic base, plus some size, was FAR more effective at the type of work we need to do than someone small with incredible aerobic capacity. Probably the best confirmation of this was a guy in school that was a mid-15-minute 5k runner that weighed around 155#. I, at maybe a 21-minute 5k, and 185, would DESTROY this guy on our agility testing. Like often running times that were HALF of his.

So naturally, I needed to get bigger...

I tend to bounce around from program to program for one reason or another.. but am finally finding the wisdom of staying with something and see what happens. A big part of this was figuring out whether I really am a beginner, but not being sure if I could sustain the recovery required for something like starting strength at age 30 and with the physical demands of my work. I'm a little unique in that I don't want to get too big for a couple reasons.

1, I still enjoy climbing. at 200lb I'm a FAR worse climber than I was at 170. I also tend to get finger tendon injuries more often due to the increased stresses on them. I'm fine with not being quite as good at climbing, but if I end up weighing 250 or something I basically won't be able to climb at all.
2, I need to be "small" enough that anyone I'm working with in a fire can drag me out, should that be required. So again, 250 no bueno. 225 would be bad enough.

For those reasons, I often put strength in terms of relative to bodyweight.

In light of that, my goals are: 2xBW ass-to-ankles back squat, 1.25xBW Overhead squat, 1.5xBW bench, 2.5BW deadlift. I'm a long way off from most of this.. 100lb in more than one case. but those are my goals, and I'm convinced that a change in attitude, programming, and nutrition can bring about the novice gains that I never seemed to attain.

Anyway, here is all of the training I have logged on paper from December '09 to present.

-Justin
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