Deserts, Mountains, Muscles and Miles

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    atrain11b's Avatar
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    Deserts, Mountains, Muscles and Miles


    Training in Afghanistan. My one year Journey.

    Some know me on here, some don't. Not to worried about who follows this journey and who doesn't. All I care about for the next 365 days is how much progress I make in that gym.

    Basics of this Journey;

    First 30 days;
    Is to get back on track from a 90 day layoff from a good weight lifting routine I was running stateside to concentrate on bettering my overall run time for 2miles, 5ks, and Half Marathons. Weight training existed but was minimal. Therefore for the first 30 days I will be doing a total body routine.

    Next 6-7 Months;
    Train Hard Heavy and often while maintaining or improving my run time for the Half Marathon. Will be mixing up normal splits with a 5x5 type routine in the PM while running in the AM.

    Final 3-4 months;
    Cut, Goal is to leave Afghanistan cut with more muscle then I came with and be in a better cardio state to where I can run a half with a respectable time.

    Got all the food I need here in the chow hall. Got almost all the time I could ask for. So lets see where this year takes me.

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    Day 1


    Not the best workout ever. Knew I was going in weak, but didn't know just how weak. Goal this week is to regain form and concentrate on the movement both positive and negative reps. Slow and controlled. Running destroyed me. Got a lot of work ahead of me.

    Leg Press (3x12): 291/12, 290/12, 290/12
    Seated Leg Curl (3x12): 100/12, 115/12, 115/12
    Bench (2x10): 135/12, 135/10
    Stand Mil Press (2x10): 95/8, 95/6
    WA Pulldown (2x10): 100/10, 115/10
    BB Rows (2x10): 95/10, 95/10

    Tomorrow scheduled run day.
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    Day 3


    You know what the best part about making a come back is? The comeback itself. Spending each day thinking of where I was, and forcing myself to get there. Yet the best feeling is thinking I lost everything just to watch it come back each workout. That being said, numbers jumped as expected. Should be close to where I left off by day 30.

    Leg Press (3x12): 300/12, 325/12, 350/12
    Seated Leg Curl (3x12): 115/12, 130/12, 145/8
    Bench (2x10): 135/10, 155/10
    Stand Mil Press (2x10): 95/10, 95/6
    WA Pullups (2x10): 6, 4
    BB Rows (2x10): 95/10, 135/7

    Refuse to do arm work until the mass builders are up to par.
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    Day 5


    Leg Press (3x12): 350/12, 375/12, 400/12
    Seated Leg Curl (3x12): 130/12, 145/12, 160/6
    Calf Raise (3x12): 290/15, 290/15, 290/15 (Leg Press Machine)
    Bench (2x10): 155/10, 185/9
    Stand Mil Press (2x10): 95/10, 95/4
    WA Pullups (2x10): 5, 5
    BB Rows (2x10): 135/5, 135/5

    Starting to taper out on moving weight up. Going to keep trying to add plates. Previous weakness is still the same. Seeing where I need to concentrate; Shoulders and Pull Ups. Bench needs work too, but that will come. Right now form is key!

    Need to start logging my runs in here!
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    Day 8


    Not good, had a slight headache, migraine type. Always get them off and on when I hit a new country for the first month or so. Sinuses adjusting. Thought I could work through it, but with each push on the Leg Press the worst it got. Will be back in tomorrow and make up today!

    All I accomplished:

    Leg Press: 400/10, 425/6, 425/8
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    Day 9


    Continuation of yesterday. Did not go as heavy as planned so added more sets.

    Bench (2x10): 135/10x4
    Stand Mil Press (2x10): 95/8, 95/8, 95/5
    WA Pulldowns (2x10): 115/10, 130/8, 145/3
    BB Rows (2x10): 135/6, 135/5, 135/6

    Did not run today, no planned run in AM.
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    Day 11


    Leg Press (3x12): 400/12, 450/10, 500/5
    Seated Leg Curl (3x12): 130/12, 145/12, 160/8
    Leg Press Calf Raise (3x12): 300/15, 350/15, 400/15
    Bench (2x10): 225/1, 185/8, 185/9
    Stand Mil Press (2x10): 95/6, 95/6
    WA Pulldowns (2x10): 115/10, 130/5
    BB Rows (2x10): 135/6, 135/5

    Pretty well smoked after bench. No excuse, still a real good workout overall. Just out of curiosity, check on my 1 Rep Max for bench. Hit 225 just shy of 2, so I'll say 1. Then managed to push out 2 good sets of 185. Felt good to have a spotter to push me some. As usual made improvements in some areas, but fell back in others.
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    Day 13


    Day 13, maybe 13 is my lucky number. Best workout in a very long time. Decided to go heavy and progress to see where I stand to base the new routine off of. Finished my 2 week full body refresher, and went for broke.

    * = PR

    Bench: 95/10, 135/5, 225/3*, 185/7
    Squat: 135/5, 185/5, 225/5, 250/2, 275/2, 300/2*
    Seated Mil Press: 95/3, 135/2, 155/2, 165/2*
    Deads: 225/3, 275/1, 325/1, 350/1*
    BB Rows: 135/8

    Pretty much out of gas at the BB Rows. Tried 375 on the Deads but that was bad. Made the pull to mid shin, then a sharp pain in the neck. Released and called it quits on those.

    Got a good baseline now to build off of for the next 8 weeks. Will look into this workout, figured out short term goals (8 Weeks Out) followed by long term goals (Re-deployment) and post in here to keep me on track.
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    Short Term Goals (8-10 Weeks)


    Not going to do 1 rep maxes for goals. I like rep goals.

    Bench: 250/5
    Squat: 325/5
    BB Row: 175/5
    Dead: 375/5
    Mil Press: 185/5

    These feel reasonable. Average 20-25lb increase. Its a goal. If I hit 2 of the 5 above I will be happy as long as I increase in all lifts by 10+ Lbs.
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    Day 15


    AM: 2 Mile Run.

    PM: Chest
    Bench (3xWU 5x5): 135/5, 155/5, 175/5, 195/5, 225/4*
    Hammer Strength Incline (1xWU 3x10): 1pps/10, 2pps/7, 2pps/6
    Flat Flye (4x12): 20/12, 25/12, 25/12, 30/10
    Incline Flye: 15/12, 20/12, 25/10, 25/10
    Dips (3xFailure): 4, 3

    Plan to add 1 Mile to mile run every Monday, with speed work throughout the week. Next Mon will be 3, then 4, and so on.
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