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  1. #1
    dreamer bulking stephanielynn76's Avatar
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    Stephanielynn's Journal: Finding the beauty in the beast

    Hi y'all. I've been feeling the need to keep better records of my adventures in the weight room so I decided it was time to start a journal. Before I get started, I'll give you the back story. How about I just pretend this is an interview and answer the obvious questions... k?

    Who are you?
    As you see there my name is Stephanie. I'm a 36 y/o married mother of 2 children. I work part time nights as an RN and I run a small photography business on the side. My kids are currently 8 (son) and 6 (daughter) years old.

    What initially motivated you? (question and answer copied from another thread)
    My initial motivation was the freshman 15 I gained in college. I started running and watching my diet to slim down again. I fell in love with "fitness." My venture into weight training started in my early 20's. My BFF in nursing school's husband was a natural BBing competitor. I trained with her for a bit while gawking at her husband's training partner... this really hot guy who I just celebrated 12 years of marriage with. My husband taught me how to set up a training schedule back when we were dating. I lifted weights for many years without making many strength gains or paying any mind to my nutrition. Despite my failure to make much progress, I was still fairly "fit" for a woman in her 30's with a couple of kids. Then I went through rough patch where I stopped training for around 8 months. It was the longest I had been out of the gym my entire adult life. I got "fat" ... which for me was up to 140lbs and a size 9. I decided I was going to get back down to business so I spent the next year hitting the weights hard. I did make strength gains but I still looked chubby. I was miserable and at that point (January 2011) decided it was time to clean up my diet. I lost 20lbs+ ... then bulked... then cut and did a show... now I'm nearing the end of bulk #2. To follow my journey and see progress pictures from the last 2 years check out my blog...
    My MyFitnessPal Blog

    How long have you been training?
    15 years total, 3 years with purpose/intensity

    Where are you now and what are your goals?
    I'm currently at 150lbs and 6-months in to my second "official" bulk. I have roughly 5 weeks left of this bulk then our family heads to Florida for our first ever trip to Disney World (yes, that was part of the inspiration for the title). The cut starts the week we get back from our vacation. I am planning to enter a figure contest in July. This will be my 2nd figure show. I did one June of '11 where I placed 3rd in both the "figure tall" and "masters figure" categories. My only goal is to get on stage looking better than I did last time.

    What routine/program are you currently running
    I started my bulk running PHAT and did that for around 12 weeks (with deloads). While I enjoyed the program, it proved to be too high-volume for me. My strength was improving but I was having major issues with CNS recovery. After Thanksgiving (upon the advice of my coach/friend) I started a much lower volume push/pull/legs split training 4 days/wk. I am LOVING it. It is based on the principles of DoggCrapp training. The workouts are shorter and I'm feeling and sleeping much better. (I have issues with insomnia). My goal in the next few weeks is to push my strength up as much as possible before my cut so I'll be working in lower rep ranges. I do 3 working sets for upper body exercises and only 2 working sets for major leg exercises. I will ONLY be documenting working sets, not warm-up sets. If you look at the training, it doesn't seem like much but I assure you, I am sore and my strength is increasing. I'm learning to appreciate the art of pushing myself to my limits with just a few exercises rather than burning myself out on many. I'm enjoying it!

    What is your current nutrition?
    Oy. I was afraid you'd ask that. The truth is, I haven't tracked calories since I started this bulk. Cutting for competition requires a lot of micromanaging of one's diet and when that is over I just need a break from it. I still eat mostly the same foods insofar as meals are concerned. I always make sure I'm getting adequate protein. I've just been throwing in extra snacks here and there (mmmmmmm peanut butter) and allowing for more opportunities to eat out and enjoy holiday treats. I've gained roughly 1lb/wk over the course of this bulk... might be a bit excessive but I'm ok with it. I will buckle down and get serious about the diet when the time comes.

    Well that'll work for an introduction I suppose... though I might edit to add more if I think of it.

    So off I go... training like a beast in the weight room to discover the beauty of having the body I've always wanted...
    Last edited by stephanielynn76; 01-06-2013 at 05:04 PM. Reason: clarify stuff...
    NPC Louisiana - 1st in Figure C class & 3rd in Figure Masters
    My Journal - Stephanielynn's Journal: Finding the beauty in the beast
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=150909103&pagenumber=
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  2. #2
    brb bulk-utting! nvrstopworking's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Beefcake! gobbles23's Avatar
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    Hey there! In!
    Team Cookies Give You Superpowers
    ***********************************************

    My Super Awesome SNS log- Lori Battles the Holiday Pudge (Finished):
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=140145363&page=2

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  4. #4
    dreamer bulking stephanielynn76's Avatar
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    Ok... I'm going to backtrack to December 31st for my training. I am only include WORKING SETS in my training... not warm-ups.

    MONDAY, DECEMBER 31st -PUSH

    Incline DB Bench
    50lb DB x 8
    50lb DB x 8
    45lb DB x 8

    Pull-pin Shoulder Press
    120 x 10
    130 x 9
    130 x 8

    Close-grip Bench Press on Smith machine
    70 x 10
    80 x 8
    85 x 6


    WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2nd - PULL

    Dumbbell Curls
    35's x 12
    36.5 x 10
    40's x 3

    Wide-grip Plate-loaded Lat Pulls
    90 x 10 Unilateral machine, weight PER ARM
    95 x 10 Unilateral machine, weight PER ARM
    100 x 7 Unilateral machine, weight PER ARM

    Seated Plate-loaded Row
    75 x 10 Unilateral machine, weight PER ARM
    85 x 9 Unilateral machine, weight PER ARM
    90 x 6 Unilateral machine, weight PER ARM
    NPC Louisiana - 1st in Figure C class & 3rd in Figure Masters
    My Journal - Stephanielynn's Journal: Finding the beauty in the beast
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=150909103&pagenumber=
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  5. #5
    dreamer bulking stephanielynn76's Avatar
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    FRIDAY, JANUARY 4th - LEGS

    Seated Calf Press
    90 x 13
    90 x 15
    90 x 15

    Butt Machine
    150 x 12
    160 x 10
    170 x 8

    Plate-load Squat
    290 x 6
    Widowmaker (high-rep) set 110 x 20


    SATURDAY, JANUARY 5th - PUSH

    Seated BP
    45 x 12 Weight per side
    60 x 7 Weight per side
    70 x 5 Weight per side

    DB Shoulder Press
    40lb DB's x 10
    45lb DB's x 6
    45lb DB's x 5

    Rope Cable Pressdown
    100 x 10
    110 x 8
    120 x 8
    NPC Louisiana - 1st in Figure C class & 3rd in Figure Masters
    My Journal - Stephanielynn's Journal: Finding the beauty in the beast
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=150909103&pagenumber=
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  6. #6
    dreamer bulking stephanielynn76's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by nvrstopworking View Post
    in b4 hundreds of subs and lurkers

    Originally Posted by gobbles23 View Post
    Hey there! In!
    YAY!!! I'm so excited!
    NPC Louisiana - 1st in Figure C class & 3rd in Figure Masters
    My Journal - Stephanielynn's Journal: Finding the beauty in the beast
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=150909103&pagenumber=
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  7. #7
    Registered User tina722's Avatar
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    I'm in as well! Nice numbers you are pushing.
    Training log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=136580641&p=1055775421&viewfull=1#post1055775421
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  8. #8
    directed energy beatha's Avatar
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    {waving} Hi 4th In. Looking forward to follow along.
    "It does not have to be a perfect workout; just be consistent" - my obi-wan

    "I may be fat, Miss, but in the morning I will be working out and you will still be ugly" Churchill w/obi-wan mod

    11/12* 276/171/347~794@164.6
    2/13* 298/182/364~843@161.2
    6/13* 265/193/375~833@153.0
    9/13 gym test 305/200/385~890@161.2
    11/13* 314/187/386~887@153.0
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  9. #9
    Maximum Ham thehobbes's Avatar
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    5rd!!! Saw your progress pics in another thread, mirin' hard. Saw incline db bench 50s... I am IN to see how this journey goes, awesome wts you're throwing up lady!

    Current maxes for squat, bp, dl, row??
    Current PRs:
    Bench Press: 185x1
    OHP: 105x4
    Deads: 315x1
    Back Squats: 245x1

    *Lulzy Ham tees and workout gear - cafepress.com/hamtoons
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    *Log - There's a Ham in the Power Rack! http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=126233183
    *Scivation of Peace log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=160646771&p=1217296831
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  10. #10
    dreamer bulking stephanielynn76's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gobbles23 View Post
    Hey there! In!
    Originally Posted by tina722 View Post
    I'm in as well! Nice numbers you are pushing.
    Originally Posted by beatha View Post
    {waving} Hi 4th In. Looking forward to follow along.
    Yay! I've lurked all of your journals... perhaps I should actually start posting in them huh

    Thanks Tina. I'm trying to push those number up as high as possible before I cut as I know they will drop I ain't got NOTHING on some of you ladies...
    NPC Louisiana - 1st in Figure C class & 3rd in Figure Masters
    My Journal - Stephanielynn's Journal: Finding the beauty in the beast
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=150909103&pagenumber=
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  11. #11
    dreamer bulking stephanielynn76's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thehobbes View Post
    5rd!!! Saw your progress pics in another thread, mirin' hard. Saw incline db bench 50s... I am IN to see how this journey goes, awesome wts you're throwing up lady!

    Current maxes for squat, bp, dl, row??
    Whaz up strong lady!?! Ok well to tell you the truth, the rest of my lifts are very unimpressive. I blame my long limbs and small-frame genetics but that's really no excuse. I do low (below-parallel) box squats about 144lbs x 8-10 and DL around 188 X 8-10. I only do flat bench on the Smith (yes too chicken to use free weights without a spot) and put about 90lbs on there. My rows... I use a plate-load machine with about 90lbs per side. I just recently started with the strength emphasis and lower rep-range training but I'm going to keep my leg exercises in the mid-range instead of going too low. I think part of what holds me back with the bigger lifts is the FEAR... fear of getting hurt and/or humiliating myself. LOL!!!

    Thanks so much for coming by!!!
    NPC Louisiana - 1st in Figure C class & 3rd in Figure Masters
    My Journal - Stephanielynn's Journal: Finding the beauty in the beast
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=150909103&pagenumber=
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  12. #12
    Registered User Lina518f's Avatar
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    Im in too! Thanks again for the advice earlier on my thread. Im gonna be starting a journal also
    Proverbs 31:25
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  13. #13
    Training for IronMan megdaig's Avatar
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    Oh hell yeah! This'll be much easier to follow than MFP where you have to be on a computer to view the blogs Totally IN!
    "Don't hope...ensure..."


    ~-= My Training Journal...Oh snap....Meg-O's training for a Figure comp.... =-~
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=139228463


    Contest History:
    2012 Adela Garcia Classic -- 2nd Place Figure B
    2013 Phil Heath Classic -- 1st Place Figure B
    2013 NPC Jr. Nationals -- 8th Place Figure E
    2013 NPC Nationals -- Call it 16th?!?

    Upcoming:
    2014 NPC Nationals -- November 21-22 Miami, FL
    ....goin' for that Pro Card!
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  14. #14
    Training for IronMan megdaig's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by stephanielynn76 View Post
    Ok... I'm going to backtrack to December 31st for my training. I am only include WORKING SETS in my training... not warm-ups.

    MONDAY, DECEMBER 31st -PUSH

    Incline DB Bench
    50lb DB x 8
    50lb DB x 8

    45lb DB x 8


    Ok...just saw this. Fawk! I just bumped to 45s...

    Do you have a lifting partner or do you grab someone to spot you? I think if I could grow the ballz to ask someone to help spot me on getting the 50s up I could do them Instead I just resolve to look like a tard trying to get the 45s up on my own with lots of FAIL.
    "Don't hope...ensure..."


    ~-= My Training Journal...Oh snap....Meg-O's training for a Figure comp.... =-~
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=139228463


    Contest History:
    2012 Adela Garcia Classic -- 2nd Place Figure B
    2013 Phil Heath Classic -- 1st Place Figure B
    2013 NPC Jr. Nationals -- 8th Place Figure E
    2013 NPC Nationals -- Call it 16th?!?

    Upcoming:
    2014 NPC Nationals -- November 21-22 Miami, FL
    ....goin' for that Pro Card!
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  15. #15
    dreamer bulking stephanielynn76's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2011
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    Originally Posted by megdaig View Post
    Ok...just saw this. Fawk! I just bumped to 45s...

    Do you have a lifting partner or do you grab someone to spot you? I think if I could grow the ballz to ask someone to help spot me on getting the 50s up I could do them Instead I just resolve to look like a tard trying to get the 45s up on my own with lots of FAIL.
    LOL!!!! Nope I train solo most of the time but when I do have a spotter I like to force those extra reps! I actually get them up pretty good with hoisting them up there with my legs! The first and last reps are the hardest. I was stuck at 5 reps with them for a while but last week I finally pushed through and did 8! I was stoked. Brb hoping to make it to the 55's before I start cutting and my lifts suffer....
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  16. #16
    Muscle Bound! ms_mac's Avatar
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    Hi
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  17. #17
    dreamer bulking stephanielynn76's Avatar
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    MONDAY, JANUARY 7TH - PULL

    Plate-load Bilateral Preacher Curl
    65 x 10
    70 x 6
    70 x 6

    Reverse-grip Cable Pulldown
    130 x 10
    150 x 8
    160 x 5

    BB Deadlift
    155 x 10 Warm-up
    177 x 8
    188 x 4 Grip fail after 4 reps
    199 x 4 Grip fail after 4 reps

    ^^Ok... help/advice needed here. My grip is giving out before the rest of me. For a while I've used these "hooks" to help with my deads and while it allowed me to do more weight, it hasn't helped with actually BUILDING my grip. I've decided recently to forego the hooks and start trying to build up my grip some. My husband got me some Versa Grips for Christmas and this is what I used today. They help but they don't literally hold the bar for me like the hooks did... therefore my deads sucked. I was having to put the weight down and re-enforce my grip between reps. Blah. So... advice for building my grip strength? I know this sounds crazy but I wonder if my really long fingernails (natural, not fake) are impairing my grip to a degree because I'm not able to dig in as well with the ends of my fingers. It seems my grip was better when my nails were shorter. I guess this is what happens when you get a girlie girl in the weight room. LOL!!!

    Cardio: Zumba

    Oh and Hi ms-mac!
    Last edited by stephanielynn76; 01-07-2013 at 11:53 AM. Reason: forgot the Zumba
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  18. #18
    dreamer bulking stephanielynn76's Avatar
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    Oh and someone on MFP just added me because she said she found my picture on FB. I'm like WHAT??? WHERE??? I asked her to send me the link: *****://www.facebook.com/EM2WL?fref=ts <--I never know where my pictures/blog posts will end up.
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  19. #19
    Banned highiso's Avatar
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    Ahh you do have a journal. And I noticed that you're a graphic designer as well, same here. I don't know many people who are both nurses & designers. anyway now that I see you have I journal I'll definitely be dropping in.

    Your new pics in the O35 thread are awesome, you can still see veins, great bulk, you look great!

    Oh just noticed this journal is brand new, saw your name in the last post column and had to click. No stalker, srs lol! And btw your back shot comparison at 140 lbs. I think it was, is hot.
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    Banned highiso's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by nvrstopworking View Post
    in b4 hundreds of subs and lurkers

    Journal started: 3:26 pm
    You replied: 3:28

    Stalker
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  21. #21
    getting beefy! cmg1976's Avatar
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    Definitely following along- your progress is awesome
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  22. #22
    MOTIVATED. -H-'s Avatar
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    In!!

    Nice to see that you don't have a spot for those, gives me hope for the future-lol! I also workout solo, though am nowhere near lifting that amount.
    Excited to follow your journey!
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  23. #23
    dreamer bulking stephanielynn76's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by highiso View Post
    Ahh you do have a journal. And I noticed that you're a graphic designer as well, same here. I don't know many people who are both nurses & designers. anyway now that I see you have I journal I'll definitely be dropping in.

    Your new pics in the O35 thread are awesome, you can still see veins, great bulk, you look great!

    Oh just noticed this journal is brand new, saw your name in the last post column and had to click. No stalker, srs lol! And btw your back shot comparison at 140 lbs. I think it was, is hot.
    LOL!!! Welcome aboard!! Yes the nurse/photographer/graphic designer is a weird combo. I used to have a site just for my design work (lots of identity design stuff) but I kinda quit doing that. It got to be too much to do both design and photography so I had to choose one. I keep my photography biz part time taking a limited number of sessions so that I don't go crazy. Here is my site for that if you were curious http://www.stephanielynnphotos.com/blog/ What type of stuff do you design? Uhm and yeah... I got a lot of comments on that particular comparison shot. Brb low box squats working for me I guess... LOL

    Originally Posted by cmg1976 View Post
    Definitely following along- your progress is awesome
    Yay! I'm excited to see how you progress as well. I've read your posts in the bulking thread. Glad to have you on the gain train!

    Originally Posted by -H- View Post
    In!!

    Nice to see that you don't have a spot for those, gives me hope for the future-lol! I also workout solo, though am nowhere near lifting that amount.
    Excited to follow your journey!
    You know I still struggle with fear regarding pushing heavy weight without a spot. The potential for injury is real. I'm a stickler for good form so I always make sure I've got that down before progressing. You have to have balance... being brave enough to pick up those heavier weights while still maintaining a realistic view of the damage that can occur if your form is off. I do tend to be more aggressive when training with a partner though.
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  24. #24
    ...lover of WANGS taiga1's Avatar
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  25. #25
    Monsta Big_Sky_Guy's Avatar
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    Steph-

    Your grip strength will pick right back up if you go raw as long as possible in every workout. Straps / versas can be used for higher rep work, but try to just use chalk for anything under 8 reps.

    Say Deads- go double overhand and no straps / versa's until it affects your form or grip gives out, then move to mixed grip. Once you have fried your grip, then add in your straps / versa's.

    It should not take long for you to feel the difference. Good luck with prep!
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  26. #26
    dreamer bulking stephanielynn76's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Big_Sky_Guy View Post
    Steph-

    Your grip strength will pick right back up if you go raw as long as possible in every workout. Straps / versas can be used for higher rep work, but try to just use chalk for anything under 8 reps.

    Say Deads- go double overhand and no straps / versa's until it affects your form or grip gives out, then move to mixed grip. Once you have fried your grip, then add in your straps / versa's.

    It should not take long for you to feel the difference. Good luck with prep!
    Thank you so much! I'll try that!!!
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  27. #27
    Registered User toodlepip's Avatar
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    Seriously impressed with your lifts. Jeez...I wanna be like you when I grow up.
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  28. #28
    Registered User tina722's Avatar
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    In addition to what BSG said, long nails do hinder my grip on anything. Not sure if it's an unconscious fear of snapping them or actual pain of them digging in, but I have made the same observation.
    Training log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=136580641&p=1055775421&viewfull=1#post1055775421
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  29. #29
    dreamer bulking stephanielynn76's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by toodlepip View Post
    Seriously impressed with your lifts. Jeez...I wanna be like you when I grow up.
    thanks hun

    Originally Posted by tina722 View Post
    In addition to what BSG said, long nails do hinder my grip on anything. Not sure if it's an unconscious fear of snapping them or actual pain of them digging in, but I have made the same observation.
    I'm so glad you chimed in to say that! I suppose I'm not crazy and they DO make a difference. I was thinking back to the time I went to a local rock-climbing place and my long nails pretty much rendered me useless for climbing because I couldn't dig my fingertips in enough to get a good grip. Ah well... I will continue to work on my grip but I am not cutting my nails. I just got a great new shellac job done for pete's sake. When one of them breaks I'll cut them all off and then I'll see if they were truly holding me back.
    NPC Louisiana - 1st in Figure C class & 3rd in Figure Masters
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  30. #30
    Registered User Megan84's Avatar
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    Also following you. ( You are such a huge inspiration!!) :-)
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