8 Months of Weighted Pull Up's, Dips, and Push Ups. (137 to 174 lbs)

pullupfighter

Level 1 Valued Member
I made a post about 4 months into my training with my progress and wanted to give an update on my progress and also take input from anyone and everyone who's been training longer than me. Any advice for improvement on my routine?

**Background:**

I'm 29 years old. I started training 8 months ago. My first 4 months, were nothing but non-weighted and weighted pull ups, dips, push ups, sit-ups, and band squats. I work a full time labor job, so my time in the gym is limited and I wanted to be as "efficient" as possible. Most of my lifts are compound movements, even today, with a little bit of isolation thrown in. However, my goal was "efficient training."

**My Goals:**
My goals are to go from skinny, to "thicker appearance" with more muscle and mass. My goal is to go from 137 lbs to 185 lbs. Once I get to 185 lbs, which I'm getting close, I plan to switch over to high rep pull ups, dips, push ups, and squats for a while. I'd also like to get my core looking better, however I'm not focusing on my core until I finish bulking.

**My Progress:**

8 Months Ago Weight: 137 lbs.
Today's Weight: 174 lbs.

8 Months Ago Bench: 150 lbs (Smith Machine)
Today's Bench: 290 lbs (Smith Machine)

8 Months Ago: 3 Body Weight Pull Ups
Today's Pull Ups: (2) 45 lb Plates - 3 Reps

8 Months Ago: 10 Body Weight Dips Max
Today's Dips: (2) 45 lb Plate Dips - 3 Reps

8 Months Ago: Hack Squats - 180 lbs - 5 Reps
Today's Squats: Hack Squats - 540 lbs - 3 Reps

My Training Info Today:
Most of my work outs today involve weighted pull ups, dips, push ups, bench, squats, and deadlifts. I still throw a few isolation exercises in for my trapz, biceps, and upper back. However, it's mostly all weighted compound movements. I've taken my training (VERY SERIOUSLY) over this 8 months. I've never missed any days other than days where I needed to "deload" for a day or two. I've been on a FULL ON HIGH CALORIE / HIGH PROTEIN diet the entire time. I haven't had a day go by where I ate less than 5k calories. I eat lots of brisket, steak, and fish daily.

Before Photo: (137 lbs clothes falling off of me.)


Today's Photo: (174 lbs and feeling more confident)


Weighted Pull Up's Photo: (5 Reps / Half My 1rm)
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Hack Squats: (5 reps - 460 lbs) 85% of my 1rm



**My training schedule / diet:**
 

pullupfighter

Level 1 Valued Member
Thanks to both of you, but the question is do any of you see anything I can do to keep getting stronger? I felt like I stalled for a while on the bench, so I went back to incorporating 220 weighted push ups on push days because I felt like they were helping a lot in the past. I'm hoping that will help get over the slump. I also started using a spotter to help me break over the barriers, but still feel like my numbers slowed a bit. My main goal is to keep getting stronger, then two, increase size.

As far as Planet Fitness, honestly, I'd prefer any other gym. But I took a lot of commercial contracts up in a factory / country / industrial area, and there's literally nothing around, but factories, a walmart, planet fitness, and few country cooking diners. I don't use much at planet fitness besides a few cables, squat machine, and a few others. But I try and do most of my work either on the floor or on the bars.

Also, I feel like I'd have a lot more progress if I had more time to sleep. But I'm hitting the gym from 3:00 am to 4:30 ish. Starting my landscaping job between 7 and 8 am. Get off at 4 pm, and start my second job from 4:30 pm to 9:30i'sh on most nights. So my sleep schedule is seriously lagging, and it's probably hindering my progress. I guess the only thing I have going is some DEDICATION because I haven't missed a gym day in 8 months other than days I felt the need to deload or days I felt the need for a little extra recovery.

I'd defiantly be interested in hearing more ideas if anyone has any on increasing numbers or anything else I should add into my routine?
 

mrdave100

Level 5 Valued Member
Hey Pullupfighter. That is some awesome progress you’ve made there. You may want to write that up as an article and submit it.

If you feel you’re stalling, the best workout is the one you’re not doing. You may want to consider eliminating some of those exercises for a time. On Monday, you do bench, push-ups, decline, and close grip pu. That’s a lot of redundancy. You’re also doing 10 sets of dips of 5 & 10. Then 100 reps of pu and declines. For the next month maybe scale it down to 10 sets of 3 reps each for bench and dips. Make similar changes to the rest of your workouts.

Again, there is nothing wrong with your routine, look at your progress! But eventually all routines stop working because our bodies adapt. I’m not suggesting you follow what I suggested, but an example of how to radically change what you’re currently doing.
 

pullupfighter

Level 1 Valued Member
Mr. Dave,
Hey Pullupfighter. That is some awesome progress you’ve made there. You may want to write that up as an article and submit it.

If you feel you’re stalling, the best workout is the one you’re not doing. You may want to consider eliminating some of those exercises for a time. On Monday, you do bench, push-ups, decline, and close grip pu. That’s a lot of redundancy. You’re also doing 10 sets of dips of 5 & 10. Then 100 reps of pu and declines. For the next month maybe scale it down to 10 sets of 3 reps each for bench and dips. Make similar changes to the rest of your workouts.

Again, there is nothing wrong with your routine, look at your progress! But eventually all routines stop working because our bodies adapt. I’m not suggesting you follow what I suggested, but an example of how to radically change what you’re currently doing.
Mr. Dave, thanks for the compliments and the help! Your response defiantly helped because it gave me a different angle to look at things. I was trying to think of ways to completely change up my routine, but perhaps your right, perhaps changing volume and intensity and swapping out a few workouts could also do the trick. I started doing some more research last night and came up with the idea to start swapping some of my weighted push ups out with resistance band push us again, as I feel they really helped me progress the first few months. I think that could also help my numbers as it trains a different strength curve obviously as the band stretches and gets harder more toward the lock out position, rather than the bottom position on my chest. So your post defiantly helped out and gave me a different angle to look at things.

As far as doing an article right up, that's actually on my agenda in the long term. A quick little background, I used to be into sports and travel the country as a kid playing AAU basketball and USSSA baseball. I broke both of my legs in a motocross accident. Then moved to Texas and got into the wrong crowd and found myself in prison for several years. There I started doing more of the prison style work outs. Came home, lost all my gains over the years, and fell back in a rut and got back involved with old gangs, and bad crowds. I tried to get away from it, but it wasn't until I found Jesus Christ. He came into my life, told me he had an opportunity for me. I thought I couldn't escape, but he gave me the opportunity to move out of state, start my life over. I met a beautiful wife, gave my life to Christ, started my own landscape business, picked up a bunch of contracts, than he put fitness in my life. Now fitness has pretty much became my entire life. I wake up early at 3 am and train hard. I recently got my wife into it and she's also waking up at 3 am to hit the gym.

Were currently saving to buy a new house and working two jobs. When in prison I studied anatomy and fitness training classes for years. And my dream is to become a Master Certified Trainer and be able to use my computer skills to write up online logs, training schedules, and do something with both fitness and computers. At the moment, I don't have the time outside of work and training to do it, but that's defiantly my goal over the next two years. One day I hope to design training programs, do write-up's, and even sell natural herbal supplements and training supplements. I feel one thing the industry needs is more motivation to the youth to use natural supplements, and do shy away from the anabolism and chemical world.

Back on subject, Dave, I appreciate your help and look from another angle, because you just gave me a complete list of new ideas!
 
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william bad butt

Level 6 Valued Member
In general, to get stronger, one must do more and more and more and more. Plateauing after time, just happens. Your bench press, for example, will go from 100 to 200 lb very rapidly (a couple months). It will take longer to go from 200 to 300 lb (maybe a couple years). And it might take the rest of your life to progress from 300 to 400 lb (a couple decades). It gets harder and harder to progress as time goes on. You must get smarter with your training! Because, the reality is, that you can't keep working harder or you will beat yourself up!!

I train for power lifting, so I use a power lift as an example, the squat (but I think this applies to your lifts as well). To get stronger at the squat, I must squat for more weight and more volume over time. The periodization scheme I use is pendulum based. There are other ways, but this is what I find that works for me.

For example, I may squat twice per week (I say this because per your image it seems like you have 2 workouts that you repeat twice per week). One day may be my "heavy day" and the other a "lighter day". This may be necessary because your body may not be able to handle the stress of pushing hard 2 days per week. The lighter day may be <80% of the intensity of the heavier day. Here is an example of how I use the pendulum system for my squat (I just kind of made this up on the spot, you would have to customise this for your lifts):

-week 1 - 3x5 (1 top set) volume at 6 RPE
-week 2 - 3x4(1 top set) volume at 7 RPE
-week 3 - 3x3 (1 top set) volume at 8 RPE
-week 4- Deload at 5 RPE, low volume (5sets x 1rep for example)
-week 5-3x3 (1 top set) add a few pounds on top of week 4
-week 6-3x3 (+3 top sets), same weight as week 5
-week 7-3x3 (+4 top sets), same weight as week 6
-week 8-Deload, just like week #4
-start over week 1! But this time add 5 or 10 pounds
 

pullupfighter

Level 1 Valued Member
In general, to get stronger, one must do more and more and more and more. Plateauing after time, just happens. Your bench press, for example, will go from 100 to 200 lb very rapidly (a couple months). It will take longer to go from 200 to 300 lb (maybe a couple years). And it might take the rest of your life to progress from 300 to 400 lb (a couple decades). It gets harder and harder to progress as time goes on. You must get smarter with your training! Because, the reality is, that you can't keep working harder or you will beat yourself up!!

I train for power lifting, so I use a power lift as an example, the squat (but I think this applies to your lifts as well). To get stronger at the squat, I must squat for more weight and more volume over time. The periodization scheme I use is pendulum based. There are other ways, but this is what I find that works for me.

For example, I may squat twice per week (I say this because per your image it seems like you have 2 workouts that you repeat twice per week). One day may be my "heavy day" and the other a "lighter day". This may be necessary because your body may not be able to handle the stress of pushing hard 2 days per week. The lighter day may be <80% of the intensity of the heavier day. Here is an example of how I use the pendulum system for my squat (I just kind of made this up on the spot, you would have to customise this for your lifts):

-week 1 - 3x5 (1 top set) volume at 6 RPE
-week 2 - 3x4(1 top set) volume at 7 RPE
-week 3 - 3x3 (1 top set) volume at 8 RPE
-week 4- Deload at 5 RPE, low volume (5sets x 1rep for example)
-week 5-3x3 (1 top set) add a few pounds on top of week 4
-week 6-3x3 (+3 top sets), same weight as week 5
-week 7-3x3 (+4 top sets), same weight as week 6
-week 8-Deload, just like week #4
-start over week 1! But this time add 5 or 10 pounds

William, I get what your saying. So when I first started going from 150 to 200, I was incorporating a lot of high volume weighted push ups for example. I kept adding volume. With pull ups and dips, I've focused on progressive overload week in and week out. But I do feel that adding volume and intensifying my work outs week over week is what forced me to keep progressing fast. Luckily, I never plateau at 200 lbs on the bench for example. I made it to 250 before I started feeling the plateau.

After I hit my first plateau on the bench again as example at 250, I got past it by using a spotter. I went from 250 to 265 for example, I then had a spotter to bump the bottom of the bar when I started to struggle. I did that for a week or two, until I was able to get the extra 15 lbs up successfully myself for two reps. After I could get it myself for two reps, I'd then work my way up to 3 reps. I've been using this method all the way up to 290 and I've been stuck at 290 on the bench now for the past month. I'm going to try to use resistance bands now to change up the strength curve a bit, and also start using a bit of explosive movements again, hoping to get over the 300 lb bench. I'm also going to try and do the same with the squats.

I like your routine a lot, and I'm actually going to print that out for future use. I will probably have to add a little more volume to a few of the weeks. I'm actually hitting each body part 3x a week. I dropped my training down to each body part 2x per week, and I felt that my gains slowed and I started stalling a bit. I actually switched over to the Arnold Split when this happen. Not that 2x a week isn't better for some, I just feel everyone's body is different, and a lot of us have different diets. Me for example, I was less muscular and had trouble at first adapting to heavier weight. However, I'm assuming from all the prison work outs and doing thousands of push ups, and etc. that my muscular endurance was pretty high. So I feel this might be the reason I started stalling when switching to 2x per week. Now as I go up on weight, my muscles are getting more and more sore by the week. Eventually, I'll probably have to revert back to 2x a week, but for now I'm still doing 3x a week for as long as possible.

With that said, thanks for sharing that, I'll defiantly be printing and using it as a template in the future!
 
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