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Thread: Mailman Muscle: Story of The Bodybuilding Powerlifter

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default 1/25/24 Bonus Workout

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    Today was another long day - my route plus 1/3 of the route I left last July for my current one. It was good to see a few of my old people. My current route is mostly offices, retail businesses, and apartments. Itís not conducive to the same level of interaction that being the mailman for a residential neighborhood of single family homes. But it is saving me a lot of wear and tear on my joints. Plus I can finish fast, and take advantage of some down time at places like the Planet Fitness I deliver to.

    THURSDAY 1/25/24:

    Bonus Workout - Rear Delts, Planet Fitness

    Standing Straight Arm Cable Pull-Across
    10 lbs/15 reps left, 15 reps right
    15/15 left, 15 right

    Iíve never seen these done before. The rear delt machine/pec deck combo machine was in use, so I improvised. I named them what the movement is and looks like.

    Face Pulls - same cable station, switched to rope handle
    42.5 lbs/15 reps
    30/15 left, 15 right

    This took maybe 10 minutes or so. I havenít done one of these bonus workouts for rear delts before. I have been told by reputable sources that my shoulders are a weak point as far as physique goes. That may also explain my years of a relatively crappy bench press. I figured that this shouldnít be something that I wonít recover from by tomorrowís upper session.

    Tomorrow, the diet app and I will configure my macros plan for next week. I have to work on Saturday, so the gym we go to will be determined by what time we can go. If earlier in the evening, then Goldís. If later, then PF.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default 1/26/24 - Upper #1, Plus Video Update

    FRIDAY 1/26/24: 13,384 steps, 5.8 miles, 10 floors climbed

    Upper #1, Goldís - the last several times Iíve done this one were at Planet Fitness, so a few different exercises/machines

    Arnold Presses - luckily, dumbbells are universal; weights are per hand
    20 lbs/15 reps

    I think this is the heaviest Iíll be going for the remainder of the time that Arnolds stay in my rotation. For one, I can tell my elbows wonít like it if I do. Two, I donít want to go into a lower rep range on these right now. My wife did 2 sets, so rather than do a rest-pause or drop, I did the same thing. (That will be a theme)

    Hammer Strength Isolateral Front Pulldown - thatís what the label says; weights are per side
    80 lbs/8 reps
    105/11 left + 11 right - started using Versa Gripps here

    That first work set was the only one I did unilaterally. I typically donít like doing that, but sometimes I can tell Iím favoring one side over another. When I do, sometimes Iíll hit one side at a time depending on the exercise.

    Cybex Chest Press - the arms on this ďfloatĒ, meaning you can press in an arc, not just a straight line
    70 lbs/10 reps
    120/12 + 2 partials

    My wife liked this machine. I didnít like it so much. I actually like itís counterpart at PF better.

    Pullover - updated version of the Nautilus classic
    80 lbs/12 reps

    Pec Deck
    70 lbs/4 reps + 90 lbs/5 reps
    drop set: 145/4 + 130/4 + 110/4 + 90/8 the last rep on rounds 1-3, plus the last 4 reps on the final round were partials

    Cable Preacher Curl
    drop set: 70/3 + 60/4 + 50/5

    That was that.

    I made this 3 minute video that summarizes my first 5 weeks of this contest prep. Progress photos are in here, along with some training stuff and my first attempts at posing. ​😬

    Last edited by K.Diesel; 01-29-2024 at 10:45 AM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2019


    Looking great, Kaisheem! The work is paying off.

    And that smile tells the whole story.

    Keep at it!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default 1/29/24 - Lower #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anders View Post
    Looking great, Kaisheem! The work is paying off.

    And that smile tells the whole story.

    Keep at it!

    Thank you Bill! This has been a fun departure from my norm so far. Itís still early in the diet though. 🤞🏾 😬

    Note: The Ravensí season ended in an uninspired performance on Sunday night. It was a good example for me in how not to execute on game day after 20 weeks of preparation.

    Monday 1/29/24: 5,242 steps, 2.1 miles, 6 floors climbed

    Thatís from grocery shopping, and going up and down the stairs at the gym, which doesnít have an elevator. Speaking of the gymÖ

    Lower #2, Goldís - last time doing this was at Goldís on 1/20

    Standing Calf Raise
    100 lbs/15 reps
    100/7 + 8
    - brief pause to shake out pain in my extra flat feet

    If I didnít mention it before, sometimes I do these first because this machine is right outside of the locker rooms at Goldís, even on upper body days, and especially if Iím out of the locker room before my wife is.

    Reverse Hack Good Morning - I donít know the weight of the sled, but I doubt itís very much
    Sled/10 reps
    180+ lbs/10 reps

    Last time, I topped out at 320+ for 14, which was my first time using it for good mornings. I thought the 360+ set here would be a work set, but I stopped at 10 because I could tell I had way more in the tank. The 410+ was on the suggestion of my wife. I was toying with the idea of a jump to 450+. She told me to do the lighter weight with an even slower than normal eccentric, pause at the bottom, and explode my hips all the way through at the top. I took her advice. She was right.

    Reverse Hack Squat - same apparatus
    180+ lbs/10 reps

    This matched my top weight/reps from last time. However, last time I wore a belt, and cut my range of motion to a little past 90 degrees because my left knee - the one with the MCL sprain last fall - didnít feel so good. This time, I didnít wear a belt, and I sat on my ankles with a slight pause at the bottom. Iíll count that as an improvement.

    Prone Leg Curl - different leg curl machine than last time, but a good one
    90 lbs/10 reps
    drop-pause set: 140/11 + 110/12 + 110/6

    I guess itís a ďdrop-pauseĒ set if you do more than one round, and keep the same weight for at least 2 rounds before/after a drop. The last 2 reps of round 2, and the last 3 reps of round 3 were partials.

    Leg Extension - OLD SCHOOL! A chain driven Nautilus machine with bright red upholstery.
    90 lbs/10 reps
    150/4 + 200/10 + 170/9

    ďAdd/drop setĒ? After the first 4 reps, I could tell it was too light, so I bumped the weight, then dropped once I ran out of gas at 200. Partials on the last 3 reps of round 3.

    Donkey Calf Raise
    60 lbs/4 + 5

    Since my wife didnít do calves upstairs by the locker rooms, she did them on the main floor, and I hit them again with her. This was my first time on a donkey calf machine. I see why Arnold, Franco and those old school guys did them. The loaded stretch hits my calves harder on this than any other apparatus I remember using.

    ĒSuper AbsĒ Machine
    145 lbs/20 reps left, right, middle - my wife and I alternated sets on this, so there was a break after each of those sets

    When we did this workout on 1/20, it was after I got off work. On Monday, I didnít work, and my performance on everything was markedly better than last time. Does a day of urban hiking affect my gym performance that much? Typing this out is the first time in ages that Iíve compared data from a workout on a work day duplicated on an off day. Thatís something to keep an eye on.

    Upper #2 at Planet FItness tomorrow

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default 1/31/24 - Upper #2

    Wednesday 1/31/24: 15,875 steps, 7.3 miles, 9 floors climbed

    Today felt like a longer work day than normal, even though in hours worked, it has been the same as each of my last 3 work days (10 hours). The step count tells me that Iím not imagining things.

    Upper #2, Planet Fitness

    Cable Pulldown - underhand grip, short straight bar
    55 lbs/10 reps
    165/5 - started using Versa Gripps here

    That may be one of the best sets I have done on any exercise in months. A set extender like a drop or rest-pause would have been overkill.

    Smith Machine High Incline Press
    50+ lbs/10 reps
    120+/7 plus 1 negative

    After a near perfect call and execution on the first exercise, I overshot this one by a lot. The only exercise Iíve done with work sets of 6 reps or less since I started this prep is the deadlift when Iím at Goldís. I thought I would get at least 8 going into both sets. On the second set, since I knew I was done after locking out the 7th rep, I did a slow negative down to the lowest hook and racked it. Thatís one of the advantages of using a smith machine.

    Smith Machine Decline Press - propped up the end of a flat bench on 2 stacked 10 lbs plates
    50+ lbs/12 reps
    150+/10 plus 1 negative

    I did the same thing at the end of the set since I knew I was done with that exercise.

    Smith Machine Shrug - used Versa Gripps for both sets
    150+ lbs/8

    My wife didnít do these, so I went solo here. The bar felt like it was barely moving when I shut it down.

    Seated Cable Row - I donít know how to describe this handle. Itís neutral grip, and looks sort of like handlebars for a bicycle.
    100 lbs/12 reps
    drop set: 180/9 + 140/9 - that very last rep was more like a 1/2 rep

    Cable Pressdown - same short, straight bar used on the pulldowns
    40 lbs/13 reps
    drop set: 70/10 + 55/7

    Rear Delt Machine - the kind that doubles as a pec deck
    80 lbs/8 reps

    The post office is going to make sure that I work an 8 hour day either tomorrow or Friday, to avoid a scenario in which they have to pay me double time. Whichever day that is, Iíll go to the chiropractor.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default 2/1/24 - Active Rest Day; Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by K.Diesel View Post
    The post office is going to make sure that I work an 8 hour day either tomorrow or Friday, to avoid a scenario in which they have to pay me double time. Whichever day that is, Iíll go to the chiropractor.
    Thursday 2/1/24: 12,501 steps, 5.5 miles, 13(!?!) floors climbed

    As expected, I had an 8 hour day today, meaning just my route (office time and delivery time together). I wasnít rushed (thatís hard to be on my route), and did indeed make it to the chiropractor after work. I even got some time at my son & youngest daughterís wrestling practice, plus a trip to Starbucks. This felt very much like an active rest day. Tomorrow might be similar, but possibly with a longer work day.

    The dilemma is about the category that Iím going to enter at the show: bodybuilding, or classic physique. If you donít know the difference, the short version is that bodybuilding is the biggest, leanest, grainiest, most shredded level. Classic physique is supposed to be more about symmetry than overall size, separation without being shredded like the ďclassicĒ look from Arnoldís heyday.

    When I went to the posing clinic last month, the coach/judge there said I was undoubtedly best suited for bodybuilding (which is what my gut tells me). But today, my wife and I were on a zoom webinar with a coach/judge/promoter and afterwards, she sent our photos to him for his opinion (more for her, but she sent mine too). He said he thought Iím more suited for classic (whose trunks I would much rather wear), but as I lean out, that may change.

    I guess my best course of action is to enter bodybuilding as planned, and as I get closer to the show, switch to classic if Iím not going to be shredded enough for that category. Iíll probably have to order a pair of trunks for both so Iím not stuck with the wrong ones on show day. Iím going to another posing clinic on the 17th. Iíll get some more feedback from the same coach I worked with the first time. Iím not panicked or anything. Itís too far out for that. This is just something on my mind now that the 2nd opinion I got is different from the first.

    If you want to do a deep dive, here are the organizationís guidelines for each category.

    OCB Bodybuilding Guidelines

    OCB Classic Physique Guidelines

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2019


    It sounds like a good position to be in, picking and choosing the category depending on your situation and goals.

    Keep at it!

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default 2/2/24 & 2/3/24 - Catching Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anders View Post
    It sounds like a good position to be in, picking and choosing the category depending on your situation and goals.

    Keep at it!
    Yes sir - the good thing is that I essentially have to pass through the classic physique conditioning in order to reach the conditioning required for bodybuilding. So if I canít get lean enough for bodybuilding, I wonít worry about it and enter classic.

    Speaking of which, as of today I am now 14 weeks out from the show. My weight over the last 3 days has dropped a lot, relative to the previous week. From Jan. 24-31, I ranged from 192.0 to 193.8, and it went up and down pretty much every day. For the first 3 days of February, I have been 192.4, 191.6, and down to 190.2 today.

    Some of these changes are tripping me out. My waist measured 32.75Ē this morning. I canít remember the last time it was that small. Vascularity is increasing all over. I didnít really notice until my wife pointed it out in my shoulders/chest on Wednesday night in the gym. I came into this expecting that my lower body would lean out a lot slower than the upper, and so far thatís exactly how itís playing out. But most importantly, I donít think I have lost much - if any - lean body mass. The calculators I have been using to estimate my body composition say that I have gone from 16.6% bodyfat with 161.6 lbs of lean mass a few weeks ago, to 13.9% bodyfat with 163.8 lbs of lean mass today. Iíll probably do some pics/vids over the next 2 days.

    If I have indeed pulled off a recomp during this process so far, that is mind boggling. It defies everything that is typically said about recomp being possible, and who itís possible for. But maybe I stumbled onto the holy grail by accident. 🤷🏾‍♂️

    Two sessions to catch up hereÖ

    Friday 2/2/24: 14,460 steps, 6.4 miles, 8 floors climbed

    Lower #1, Goldís - This was an odd workout. Almost every piece of equipment Iíve been using for this workout at Goldís was in use, or out of service. As a result, everything between my first and last exercise was on a machine I have never used, or havenít used in years.

    Standing Calf Raise - right outside of the locker room, typical start
    10 reps each at 80, 100, 120 and 140 lbs.

    Hammer Isolateral Leg Press
    The vertical leg press was being used, so I tried this for the first time. After a lot of reps trying to feel this thing out, I determined that it sucks. I switched to the leg press that my wife had started warming up on.

    Wide Platform Leg Press - quadriceps emphasis, weightlifting shoes, feet low and shoulder width on platform
    360+ lbs/6 reps
    450+/11 (1:18)
    450+/11 (1:28)

    My wife suggested that I start keeping tabs on the time under tension for work sets. It may have some value, so Iíll give it a shot. This was my first time using this particular leg press, and I liked it a lot. The platform is huge, the top half of it is angled, and the back pad has several possible placement angles. I liked it so much that I decided to try it from a different angle to get more hamstring involvement.

    Wide Platform Leg Press - hamstrings emphasis, deadlift slippers, feet high and wide (almost sumo) on platform
    180 lbs + sled/8 reps
    270+/12 (1:12)
    270+/9 (1:00)

    Glute-Ham Raise
    I would count this as 2 sets of 10. This is a different GHR than the last one I used there about a year ago, and I didnít do as well on this as I did on the last one, or any other one Iíve ever used. I couldnít do a single rep through a full ROM, and could only raise myself up to parallel to the floor or just above it. Perhaps Iím just weak now. But I could feel some activation in the bottom of my glutes and the top of my hamstrings that I donít typically feel. Maybe ďglute ham raiseĒ isnít just a clever name for this apparatus. 😬

    Belt Squat
    90 lbs/12
    180/8 - kept switching foot placement to figure out how I need to do these
    180/11 (:55)

    ďSuper AbsĒ Machine
    145 lbs, 20 reps middle, 15 reps left, 15 reps right

    That took longer than hoped due to free styling on everything. But overall, it was productive. We found some things to add into the playbook. Finished with posing practice.

    Saturday 2/3/24: 14,021 steps, 6.3 miles, 7 floors climbed

    Bonus, Planet Fitness - I hit the one on my route after I finished delivering.

    -90 lbs/6 reps
    -45 lbs/6 reps
    bodyweight/10 reps x 3 sets

    Chin-ups - underhand, slightly angled inward
    -90 lbs/6 reps
    -45 lbs/6 reps
    bodyweight/6 reps, 6 reps, 8 reps

    Those -90 and -45 indicate assistance from the weight stack on the chin/dip station. I alternated sets between the 2 exercises to keep the pace up. It took about 10 minutes, definitely not more than 12. Monday is a full upper body workout.

    My son has a wrestling tournament tomorrow, likely against some very stiff competition. That should be followed by grocery shopping and meal prep.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD

    Default Upper #1 - Drop Sets Galore

    My son (age 13) ended up going 2-1 at his tournament. Between his school team and club team (Sundayís meet), he is a combined 12-9 on the season after starting 5-8. Iím proud of him for not giving up on himself and making some adjustments midway through. Who knows - he might end up being an example for me as I get deeper into this prep.

    Sunday 2/4/24
    : 3,652 step, 1.4 miles, 1 floor climbed

    Monday 2/5/24: 4,920 steps, 1.8 miles, 10 floors climbed

    Upper #1, Goldís - that place is sprawled across 2 floors, the locker rooms are on the 2nd floor, and they donít have an elevator. So if you do anything downstairs, youíre guaranteed a minimum of 4 flights of stairs climbed, and 4 flights descended (2 flights each way)

    Standing Calf Raise - itís right outside the locker room; canít hurt
    100 lbs/16 reps

    Arnold Presses - weights are per hand
    20 lbs/11 reps
    drop set: 65/8 (:40) + 45/5.5 (:25) + 20/13 (:55)

    T-bar Row
    45 lbs/10 reps wide + 7 reps neutral
    90/7 wide + 7 neutral
    135/5 wide + 5 neutral - started using Versa Gripps here
    drop set: 160/9 (:22) + 135/5 (:11) wide
    drop set: 160/8 (:19) + 135/6 (:13)
    - the last 2-3 reps of each round were probably partials

    Decline Bench Press - with Rogue multi-grip bar; I used a neutral grip, a few inches outside shoulder width; weighs 45 lbs
    bar/15 reps
    135 lbs/10 reps
    drop set: 205/8 (:27) + 185/4 (:17) + 155/4 (:13)

    My wife was spotting me, and she stripped the bar for the drops, so I never let go of the bar.

    Pulldown - medium width ďanchorĒ handle, so neutral grip just outside the shoulders; I love these handles
    100 lbs/10 reps
    drop set: 200/15 (:29) + 180/4 (:20) + 150/5 (:22) + 110/8 (:28)

    Standing Lateral Raise Machine
    50 lbs/10 reps
    drop set: 100/9 (:23) + 80/6 (:15) + 60/6 (:13) + 40/7 (:15)

    Some of the last few reps on rounds 2-4 were partials.

    Pec Deck
    90 lbs/8 reps
    drop set: 130/8 (:31) + 110/6 (:16) + 90/8 (:21)

    If you guessed that some of these reps were partials, you would be right.

    FYI - when I say partials, I mean from the most stretched position to somewhere near the middle of the ROM.

    Posing for 10 minutes, cut a bit short. A fire alarm went off, but we think it was a false alarm. We played it safe and left. Gyms on Monday evenings are horrible. This was ridiculously crowded, so I was in a hurry to get through this workout. Fortunately, we were able to get through without waiting for anything.

    Tuesday 2/6/24: 9,613 steps, 4.3 miles, 4 floors climbed

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD


    starting strength coach development program
    Wednesday 2/7/24: 11,223 steps, 4.9 miles, 6 floors climbed

    Early Workout, Planet Fitness

    Hammer Abs Crunch Machine
    50 lbs/10 reps
    drop set: 100/6 + 80/8 + 60/10 + 40/12 + 20/15

    This is like the one I call ďSuper Abs MachineĒ at Goldís, but itís all straight up/down, no angles. I still like that you raise your knees up while crunching down.

    Oblique Abs Machine
    100 lbs/25 reps right, 25 reps left

    I called this an early workout rather than a bonus, because I would have done one abs exercise during the lower workout that evening. But since I had extra time during the day, I went to the PF on my route and did 2 exercises, plus saved a few minutes on the planned workout. It was abs, so it wouldnít have a negative effect on the heavier stuff.

    Lower #2, Planet Fitness - FYI this is a different location than the one on my route

    Smith Machine Good Morning - did these in wrestling shoes
    bar/10 reps
    90+ lbs/8 reps
    140+/11 (1:06)
    140+/11 (1:02)

    Smith Machine Squat - relatively high bar, narrow stance, sitting on my ankles deep
    bar/5 reps
    90+ lbs/8 reps
    230+/7 (:47)
    230+/7 (0:55)

    For the work sets, I wore a back brace that my chiropractor suggested I use to help manage lower back pain. I would have used my belt, but itís a lever belt and now my waist is smaller than the setting I have it on. I didnít have a screwdriver or anything else to adjust it with, so I used the brace which is okay for walking and sitting, but doesnít help much with for squats. I suppose itís better than nothing.

    Seated Leg Curl
    100 lbs/10 reps
    drop set: 160/7 (0:25) + 130/9 (0:25) + 100/11 (0:25)

    Leg Extension
    100 lbs/10 reps
    70/15 - left leg only
    rest-pause set: 160/13 (0:30) + 8 (0:16) + 6 (0:11)

    Calf Press - done on the upright leg press machine
    Somehow, I didnít write these reps down. I must have recorded it, but canít access my phone at the moment. I know it was a nonstop set of 145 lbs/some # + 175/some # + static stretches with 205/some number

    Thursday 2/8/24: 12,109 steps, 5.4 miles, 7 floors climbed

    Bonus Workout, Planet Fitness - I was going there anyway. Iím literally their mailman.

    Hanging Leg Raise - propped on the elbow pads at one of those leg raise/dip things
    middle, angled right, angled left - 20 reps each

    Adductor Machine
    75 lbs/7-8 reps
    100/20 x 2 sets

    Abductor Machine
    100 lbs/25 reps x 2

    My weight increased a lot from Sunday/Monday (190.2 & 190.6 respectively), to 193.8 Wednesday. My diet app gives me a weekly review tomorrow, and plots out my next weekís macros. Iíll see what it suggests. My guess is a drop in macros.

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