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  1. #1
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Amy gets strong!

    Hi everyone! I've started this journal to track my weight lifting progress & communicate with other BBers.

    Me:
    I'm a 30 year old Aussie PhD student. I was an elite athlete in my teen years, did nothing in my late teens, swam & cycled recreationally and played sport through my early 20s, then had a back injury in early 2007 where I ended up with 3 bulging discs. Long story short, it was a long recovery, and I've spent the last couple of years being increasingly active renovating our house & taking ballet class but only picked up the weights again in August last year after a 6 year hiatus! I did the LiveFit trainer which was a great intro to Bodybuilding and ultimately led to me getting educated about nutrition & lifting.

    My mission:
    To improve my body composition, keep my stress levels low, be super fit and healthy and look fantastic.

    Added benefits:
    I'm addicted to endorphins and love my weights going up! I really look forward to the gym.

    Current stats:
    Height: 181cm
    Weight: 78kg
    Chest: 93cm
    Arms: 28.5cm
    Hips: 103cm
    Waist: 76cm
    Thighs: 54cm
    Calves: 37.5cm
    Forearms: 22.5cm
    Shoulders: 109cm

    Start of journal pic:


    Past Programs:
    LiveFit Trainer
    AllPro's beginner routine
    NROLW

    Current program:
    Currently doing a 4-day split (chest & triceps, back & biceps, legs, shoulders & abs) based on Jim Stoppani's 12 week program. No cardio at present. Debating whether to do the whole of NROLW.

    Nutrition:
    IIFYM. Currently eating 2600 calories, 180g protein, 80g fat and the rest carbs.

    Current goals:
    To gain muscle, particularly in my back & shoulders. To become stronger!
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  2. #2
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    This week has been a bit messed up in the gym. We had a public holiday and then my city flooded from the remnants of a cyclone and I couldn't get to uni (where the gym is) because public transport was out. Anyway, I lifted yesterday (Wednesday) and will do so again tomorrow and Friday. Obviously a 4-day split isn't going to work this week so instead I opted a slight variation on NROLW. Also felt like getting my heart rate up so did some HIIT, it had been ages!

    NB/ Everything in this journal is metric!

    Workout (W[kg],R x S):
    One-legged DB deadlift: 10/10 x 3
    Barbell overhead press: 20/10 x 3
    Assisted pullups: 25/7; 30/3; 30/10; 30/5; 35/5
    BB lunges: 20/10 x 3 (where 20kg is weight added to bar, not total weight including bar)
    Swiss ball crunch: 3 x 10

    10 minutes 30/30 HIIT on rower.

    Food:
    Didn't track today, ate enough, it was good
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  3. #3
    Registered User Anath156's Avatar
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    Nice work! You have a great figure.. keep it up. Will be interesting to follow your progress! I'm new at this forum and I find it really inspiring to read other people's journal entries :-)
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  4. #4
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Thank you! To be honest this bulking thing is screwing with my head. I keep thinking that I should lose body fat first to get a more accurate starting point for before/after comparison. But I push on... I just feel too amazing eating this much food. I have upped carbs considerably too (at the expense of a little protein, but that's okay). I have so much energy, such good sleep, no brain fog, it's beautiful! And it will be winter in a few months time

    Thursday had a rest day, Friday lifted NROL again:

    Workout (W[kg],R x S):
    Wide stance BB squats (weight on bar not total weight): 30/8; 30/4; 25/6; 25/10
    Pushups: 10 x 3
    Seated row: 35/10 x 3
    BB step ups: 30/10 per side x 3
    Swiss ball prone jackknife: 10 x 3

    Food:
    Will have to track soon, but didn't track this week at all, just ate what I felt like plus a big dinner and some icecream for dessert. Yum!

    Have a really sore elbow/forearm today, not sure if I twinged it in the gym or slept on it? Hopefully it chills out soon.
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  5. #5
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Just computed macros for the week (did a big cookup last weekend, ate pretty much the same thing every day). It came out right on target! Woohoo!

    Cals: 2645
    Protein: 171g
    Carbs: 306g (no wonder I feel so good!)
    Fat: 71g

    Percentages 27.2P/48.56C/24.24F

    Yay for food!
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  6. #6
    Registered User NatK's Avatar
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    Hey Amiaow, in on your journal!
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  7. #7
    Registered User moogs's Avatar
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    Hey there fellow Aussie! I am *IN*

    What are your goals? You said change body comp; are you doing it with a re-comp or a bulk?

    Best of luck, I will be following
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  8. #8
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Welcome Nat and Moogs!

    My goals are to get much stronger (I do okay for a female but would really like to really improve, especially lower body strength, my upper body is stronger than my lower and I have giant levers being so tall so I seem to make slow progress. I am also working on hip instability issues and seeing big improvements which is great!). I'd like to build some more muscle but not too much, going for a fit physique and not 'bodybuilder' as such. I'd especially like to have great delts and more muscles in my back (though I can start to see them peeking through now, yippee!). I'd like to have low body fat but not to the point where I start to compromise my health but low enough to show a little muscle definition would be awesome.

    Right now bulking- slowly! I'm 100-200 calories above maintenance according to the TDEE calculator. Going to see how it goes, it is my first bulk and I'd like to keep the muscle:fat gains on the muscle side
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  9. #9
    Registered User moogs's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by amiaow View Post
    Welcome Nat and Moogs!

    My goals are to get much stronger (I do okay for a female but would really like to really improve, especially lower body strength, my upper body is stronger than my lower and I have giant levers being so tall so I seem to make slow progress. I am also working on hip instability issues and seeing big improvements which is great!). I'd like to build some more muscle but not too much, going for a fit physique and not 'bodybuilder' as such. I'd especially like to have great delts and more muscles in my back (though I can start to see them peeking through now, yippee!). I'd like to have low body fat but not to the point where I start to compromise my health but low enough to show a little muscle definition would be awesome.

    Right now bulking- slowly! I'm 100-200 calories above maintenance according to the TDEE calculator. Going to see how it goes, it is my first bulk and I'd like to keep the muscle:fat gains on the muscle side
    Nice! I am starting a slow bulk in 6 weeks so I will be along for the ride! Perhaps we can encourage each other and share what we find works for us. Keep it up!
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  10. #10
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Good plan, I like it! I am trying to be brave and keep my food up... but I have had a fairly crappo gym schedule in the last 4 weeks and today I feel like my guts are hanging out. Depressing. Once again, would want to cut except I just feel too good. Bulking is certainly a different mindset!

    Anyway, I was pretty busy over the weekend- did a lot of work in the garden and had a slack weekend diet, healthy food but didn't eat enough and I had the sleepies by this afternoon (and was hungry and didn't have any more food after eating all of mine). I have also twinged my bicep/elbow so decided to do legs today. I first twinged the elbow about four weeks ago doing DB flyes but rested it and it got better and all was fine again. I'm thinking maybe I killed it doing pullups on Friday, or maybe it was the gardening, I'm not sure. It hurts to extend it fully so I have the Voltaren gel out but it doesn't seem to be making much difference. Hopefully tomorrow it feels better again. I also woke up really stiff and sore today, what a nanna!

    Today's workout was alright except for squats. My squat form felt terrible, like my core wasn't connected to my spine or my legs and I had no hip drive, why does that happen?

    Workout (W[kg],R x S):
    Wide stance BB squats (weight on bar not total weight): 25/8 x 3
    Leg press: 80/10 x 3
    Leg extensions: 30/10 x 3
    Single leg DB deadlift: 10/10 x 3
    Lying leg curls: 20/10 x 3 (can increase next time)
    Fitball prone jackknife: 10 x 3
    Supersetted with fitball crunch: 10 x 3
    Stretch!

    Until tomorrow!
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  11. #11
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Got my hubby to take a progress pic for me, yay can see some baby muscles. Need to work on building muscles in my lower back now- how do I do that? Weighted extensions? Anything else? Was right about the chub too, but will deal with that later. Still look alright in clothes!

    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  12. #12
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Shoulder/ballet day today. Ballet & bodybuilding is a strange combination I know. Funnily, bodybuilding has helped so much with my stability that it has really improved my alignment in ballet. My legs also look super muscly, it's pretty cool Arms & upper body just looking bulky in ballet... still fine in real life... from an aesthetic standpoint, going to ballet makes me want to cut, if it was possible to cut from the hips upward- I'll keep my legs the way they are and lean out the rest. Haha!

    Took measurements this morning after breakfast. Nothing much has changed, gained 1cm in a few places, gained 300g but ate breakfast before weighing in so probably didn't gain 300g, my coffee weighed that much. Workout was good today, I am really doing my best to lift heavier!

    Workout (W[kg],R x S):
    Upright DB rows: 12.5/5; 10/5; 12.5/10; 12.5/10
    DB overhead press: 12.5/8; 12.5/8; 12.5/4; 10/4
    DB front raise: 7/10; 7/10; 7/10
    DB lateral raise: 7/10; 7/8; 7/8
    DB rear delt flyes: 6/10; 6/8; 6/8

    Elbow/bicep feeling pretty good today. Rest day tomorrow!
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  13. #13
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Rest day yesterday, chest & triceps today.

    Workout (W[kg],R x S):
    DB Bench press: 12.5/10 x 3 (increase for next week)
    DB Incline bench: 12.5/10 x 3
    DB Incline flyes: 9/10 x 3
    Pushups: 10 x 3
    Skullcrushers: 8/10 x 3
    Assisted (tricep) dips: 35/10; 35/8 x 2
    Triceps pressdown: 15/10 x 3
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  14. #14
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Back day today. Good workout, then came home and had two glasses of wine with my neighbours and ate lots of icecream. Hrmmm.

    Workout (W[kg],R x S):
    One-arm DB row: 15/10 x 3
    Wide-grip lat pulldown: 40/10 x 3
    Straight-arm pulldown: 30/10 x 3
    Cable row: 35/10 x 3
    Cable bicep curl: 30/10 x 3
    Hanging leg raise: 30/10 x 3
    Plank: 3 x 1 minute
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  15. #15
    Registered User moogs's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by amiaow View Post
    Good workout, then came home and had two glasses of wine with my neighbours and ate lots of icecream.
    Looks like your bulk is going well... lifting + wine + ice cream = gains
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  16. #16
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Haha, I think I need to lay off of the icecream actually... I went from putting it in a bowl to eating it out of the tub! Hello tummy!

    This week was an interesting one, went away with my hubby from Sunday to Tuesday and then to my field site on Wednesday. Yesterday was Thursday and I was back in the office so decided to lift NROL and get two days in. There was a young man at the gym yesterday who was grunting so loud he was practically screaming, that was interesting... I have never seen anyone scream doing lat pulldowns before

    Workout (W[kg],R x S):
    ATG BB Squats: Bar/10; 40/10 x 3
    Pushups: 10 x 3
    Seated cable row: 40/10 x 3 (woohoo!)
    Barbell Step-ups: 30/10 x 3
    Fitball prone jackknife: 10 x 3
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  17. #17
    HIT SQUAD FOUNDER dougefresh93's Avatar
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    keep up the good work. cheers
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  18. #18
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Hi dougefresh, thanks and welcome!

    Yesterday lifted NROL again, was good and the two full-body workouts in a row didn't seem to affect me so that was nice also! Weekend now, rest time (I mean, house renovation and gardening time!!).

    Workout (W[kg],R x S):
    Stiff-legged BB deadlift: 35/10 x 3
    BB OHP: 25/10 x 3 (new PB! woohoo!)
    Wide grip lat pulldown: 40/10 x 3 (yay!)
    Reverse BB lunge: 40/10 per side x 3
    Swiss ball crunch: 20 x 3
    Back hyperextensions: 20

    Now for bulking progress! Since beginning of bulk...

    Weight: 79.6kg (+2kg)
    BF%: Don't know, not asking!
    Chest: 93cm (no change)
    Arms: 29cm (+0.5cm)
    Hips: 103cm (no change)
    Waist: 76cm (no change)
    Thighs: 55.5cm (+1.5cm)
    Calves: 37.5cm (no change)
    Shoulders: 110cm (+1cm)

    Slow progress, which is good. Put on 400g in the last week without tracking calories. Muscles are looking fuller, lifts are increasing, and I still feel great. 2kg in one month is maybe too much? But my measurements haven't moved much. Aesthetically, I am happy with my legs, I am happy with my arms, I am nearly happy with my back, I would like to build more abs and more shoulders. Moar lifts!!
    Last edited by amiaow; 02-15-2013 at 02:57 PM.
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  19. #19
    ~~MsFit~~ Lou1se's Avatar
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    IN. Hi Ami, another Aussie Our goals are similar. You have a great body to work from and your back is looking great!

    Had to laugh at the young guy screaming with Lat Pulldowns, I remember a guy in his 40's doing the same

    Keep up the good work!
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  20. #20
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Welcome Louise!! Good to see more Aussies about the place
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  21. #21
    Oly lifter Worcestershire's Avatar
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    In as well Very nice job so far! I'm not sure if I translated this right, but did you really OHP 100lbs (25kgs plus bar) for ten reps (sorry, American, metric isn't my first language)? If so, HOLY COW.
    Last edited by Worcestershire; 02-17-2013 at 06:14 PM.
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  22. #22
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Hehe I wish!! I've been doing my OHP with the preloaded barbell so it is only 25kg. Multiply that by 2.2 and that makes 55lb which is a more reasonable feat

    I missed my workout yesterday as I had to pick up my car from the shop, but I got in 40 minutes of bike riding there and back, so will just fit in my 4 days from here until Friday. Gym schedule has been too messy lately, I want my 4 days every week!!
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  23. #23
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Chest & tris today:

    Workout (W[kg],R x S):
    DB Bench press: 15/10 x 3 (new PB! yay!)
    DB Incline bench: 15/10 x 3 (also new PB! Can BP more than I thought!)
    DB Incline flyes: 9/10 x 3
    Pushups: 10 x 3
    DB Skullcrushers: 9/10 x 3
    Assisted tricep dips: 35/10 x 3
    Tricep pressdown: 15/10 x 3

    By the time I got to dips I was counting down the sets!

    Had ballet tonight, was lovely, my calves are going to kill me tomorrow.

    Now, I know it has only been six weeks... yes, just six weeks... but I think I am ready for this bulk to end. I am happy, I think I am done. I am getting beefy. I really like the strength gains but I weighed 78kg at the start of this thing, which is more than any woman I know, I don't think I am lacking muscle as I look nothing like other women of my height and weight and I have definitely gained where I wanted to (back, which pretty much popped in a couple of weeks with food + lifting). I feel like would like my muscles to show a bit more relaxed, but then I take a pic and I can see them all, and can see them in real life and think I would just look better with a bit less fat on them. Lean & athletic is what I like and what suits me. Will contemplate this for a little while longer, but I think I will cut and see what I look like with less fat, and go from there. All feedback welcome, of course!
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  24. #24
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Back, biceps, abs today...

    Workout (W[kg],R x S):
    One arm DB row: 15/10 x 3
    Wide-grip lat pulldown: 40/10 x 3
    Straight arm pulldown: 20/10 x 3 (10kg less than last week, but on a different machine, confused!)
    Seated cable row: 35/10; 30/10 x 2
    Cable bicep curl: 20/10; 17.5/10 x 2 (again, 10kg lower than last week, used different machine, confused again)
    Hanging leg raise: 3 x 10
    Hyperextensions: 20
    Plank: 3 x 1 minute
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  25. #25
    Oly lifter Worcestershire's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by amiaow View Post
    Hehe I wish!! I've been doing my OHP with the preloaded barbell so it is only 25kg. Multiply that by 2.2 and that makes 55lb which is a more reasonable feat
    Okay, gotcha. Still, nice job for 10 reps!

    Originally Posted by amiaow View Post
    Chest & tris today:

    Workout (W[kg],R x S):
    DB Bench press: 15/10 x 3 (new PB! yay!)
    DB Incline bench: 15/10 x 3 (also new PB! Can BP more than I thought!)
    DB Incline flyes: 9/10 x 3
    Pushups: 10 x 3
    DB Skullcrushers: 9/10 x 3
    Assisted tricep dips: 35/10 x 3
    Tricep pressdown: 15/10 x 3

    By the time I got to dips I was counting down the sets!

    Had ballet tonight, was lovely, my calves are going to kill me tomorrow.

    Now, I know it has only been six weeks... yes, just six weeks... but I think I am ready for this bulk to end. I am happy, I think I am done. I am getting beefy. I really like the strength gains but I weighed 78kg at the start of this thing, which is more than any woman I know, I don't think I am lacking muscle as I look nothing like other women of my height and weight and I have definitely gained where I wanted to (back, which pretty much popped in a couple of weeks with food + lifting). I feel like would like my muscles to show a bit more relaxed, but then I take a pic and I can see them all, and can see them in real life and think I would just look better with a bit less fat on them. Lean & athletic is what I like and what suits me. Will contemplate this for a little while longer, but I think I will cut and see what I look like with less fat, and go from there. All feedback welcome, of course!
    Congrats on the PRs You can definitely see some muscles in your back. 6 weeks for a bulk is quite short...maybe hold on for at least another two weeks or so? I know I sometimes I'll have a bad day where I just feel meh, but it doesn't usually last, and it might be worth it to hold on for just a bit more.

    Anyway, I'm certainly no expert, so feel free to take or leave any of the above, and good luck with whatever you decide.
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  26. #26
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Thanks Worcestershire I think I have just realised that I don't want bigger muscles than I currently have. I started to bulk because I had been on holiday, lost weight and all of my muscles went flat, but now I am back in the gym everything is back to normal, I'm back to normal weight, and my muscles look muscular. I feel like I have reached a happy level of contentedness with my physique and now I would just like to lean out a little and then go back to maintenance. If I don't like the results, I can always jump on the bulk train again!!
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  27. #27
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    Originally Posted by amiaow View Post
    Chest & tris today:

    Workout (W[kg],R x S):
    DB Bench press: 15/10 x 3 (new PB! yay!)
    DB Incline bench: 15/10 x 3 (also new PB! Can BP more than I thought!)
    DB Incline flyes: 9/10 x 3
    Pushups: 10 x 3
    DB Skullcrushers: 9/10 x 3
    Assisted tricep dips: 35/10 x 3
    Tricep pressdown: 15/10 x 3

    By the time I got to dips I was counting down the sets!

    Had ballet tonight, was lovely, my calves are going to kill me tomorrow.

    Now, I know it has only been six weeks... yes, just six weeks... but I think I am ready for this bulk to end. I am happy, I think I am done. I am getting beefy. I really like the strength gains but I weighed 78kg at the start of this thing, which is more than any woman I know, I don't think I am lacking muscle as I look nothing like other women of my height and weight and I have definitely gained where I wanted to (back, which pretty much popped in a couple of weeks with food + lifting). I feel like would like my muscles to show a bit more relaxed, but then I take a pic and I can see them all, and can see them in real life and think I would just look better with a bit less fat on them. Lean & athletic is what I like and what suits me. Will contemplate this for a little while longer, but I think I will cut and see what I look like with less fat, and go from there. All feedback welcome, of course!
    Forget the scale. You are probably taller than most women you know anyway. I'm 67kg and you look fitter than me.
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  28. #28
    Oly lifter Worcestershire's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by amiaow View Post
    Thanks Worcestershire I think I have just realised that I don't want bigger muscles than I currently have. I started to bulk because I had been on holiday, lost weight and all of my muscles went flat, but now I am back in the gym everything is back to normal, I'm back to normal weight, and my muscles look muscular. I feel like I have reached a happy level of contentedness with my physique and now I would just like to lean out a little and then go back to maintenance. If I don't like the results, I can always jump on the bulk train again!!
    This made me laugh Anyway, if you don't want to build any more muscle at the moment, then it definitely makes sense to stop bulking. I'm actually starting my cut next week as well, and I'll keep an eye on your journal.
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  29. #29
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    And I will keep my eye on yours

    Thursday I was totally knackered for some reason and ended up going home instead of going to the gym. Friday I did legs and then my shoulder workout from Thursday. Met some new people at the gym which was great!

    I also shifted my squat stance from wide stance to normal stance for my third set and could easily lift a lot more weight (I upped it by 10 and it was easy). I have been doing the wide stance because I feel that my quads are so much stronger than my glutes & hammies but I have some problems with hip instability and some days my body would rather turn to jelly than be useful it seems, but my squat weight (or my hamstring curl weight) hasn't increased in all year and it's not exactly high so I don't know that I've actually made any progress at all. I'll have to do some research into this one!

    Workout (W[kg],R x S):
    Normal stance BB squats: 40/10 x 2, 50/10
    Leg Press: 80/10 x 3
    Leg extension: 30/10 x 3
    Single Leg DB deadlift: 10/10 x 3
    Lying leg curls: Forgot to do them when I went back downstairs
    BB Overhead press: 20/10 (25 bar in use), 25/10; 25/8; 25/2
    DB Front raise: 7/10 x 3
    DB Lateral raise: 7/10 x 3
    DB Rear delt flyes: 6/10 x 3
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  30. #30
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Decided to start the push/pull split this week- I have been wanting to do more full body workouts and compound-based stuff. So I made a push/pull using the template on exrx.net - it has a couple of things (adductors/abductors) that are probably superflous but the basics are all there which is great.

    It was first day of semseter yesterday and the gym was PACKED... I waited 20 minutes for a squat rack. Seriously, if you need 7 minutes rest between sets, you're doing it wrong. If I could lift enough, I would work in, but what can you do... hopefully they will develop some consideration soon!

    Workout (W[kg],R x S):
    BB step up: 30/10 per side x 3
    Dumbbell Bench: 15/10 x 3
    Dumbbell Flyes: 9/10 x 3 (meant to be incline bench but couldn't get an incline bench)
    ATG squats: 50/10 x 3 (progress, WOOHOO!)
    BB OHP: 25/8 x 3
    BB calf raise: 30/20 x 3
    Tricep pushdown w/ rope: 20/10; 17.5/10 x 2

    Nutrition
    1982 cals; 138P, 189C, 67F

    First day of cut went okay. In the morning I was half panicked thinking I was going to be a starving monster. After a few hours I got control over my brain. The only time that I was actually hungry was after dinner, and I ate a scoop of chocolate icecream and felt infinitely better. Today I am going for a little more protein (yesterday was 0.75g/lb) at the expense of a few grams of carbs. I've loaded a fair portion of my calorie intake around dinner time which will hopefully help with satiety- nothing like going to bed with a full tummy!
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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