End of April Update

After lifting seriously for 6 weeks, my numbers are:
  • Squat (5x5): 102.5 kg
  • Overhead Press (5x5): 52.5 kg 
  • Bench Press (5x5): 62.5 kg
  • Deadlift (1x5): 130 kg
  • Bodyweight: 127 kg

Two days after my last update, I stuffed up the last rep of a set of squats and had to bail. I tweaked my lower back in doing so, and had to take a week off the weights, as well as deloading my squat back to 70 kg. 

I started taking creatine monohydrate & fish oil, as well as using whey to hit my protein targets. I’m aiming for >120g of protein per day, and it’s a lot tougher than I thought it would be. I also got a weightlifting belt.

Recovering from my injury was frustrating as, but it taught me a lot. I’ve started doing 3-4 warmup sets before I hit my work sets, which has helped my squat form a lot. I was *just* making each set last time I was close to 100 kg, but second time round I’m making it comfortably. It’s hard work, but comfortable.

I log all my workouts on fitocracy, and usually leave notes there. I’ve found it a useful tool. I may switch to TheSquatRack.com when it comes out of beta though. I don’t have much time for the social aspects of fito, and TSR seems to have more support for lifters.

To hit my end of Q2 targets, I will need to make the following gains before end of June:

  • Squat: +20kgs (120kgs) - I should make this pretty comfortably.
  • Deadlift: +20kgs (150kgs) - no worries with this one. Switching to sumo stance has made a big difference.
  • OHP: +7.5kgs (60kgs) - I *should* make this one, but man OHP is hard work.
  • Bench & Rows: +25kgs (90kgs) - I don’t think I’ll make this one. I’d be stoked, but I’m tending to stall each time I attempt 5x5 at a new weight, which means it takes me 8 days to put on 2.5kgs to my bench. If that pattern continues, I’ll add ~18.5 kgs by the end of Q2.

See you end of May I guess.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

On lifting weights and other such things

Ok, so it’s the end of Q1, three months after my New Year’s Resolution to get swole. So how’s it going?

Well, what with the move and all, it’s been a slow start. I finally committed to a gym after scouting out a bunch here in Canberra, and have been back into a serious program of lifting for a grand total of two entire weeks! You mirin my dedication, I’m sure.

Anyway, after some experimenting, I’m settled on a 5am wakeup, giving me about 75 minutes at the gym before I’m having to get ready for work. At this stage I’m alternating between lifting and cardio. Lifting is absolutely my main focus, but I have like 48% bodyfat so I’m trying to get in 30+ minutes of treadmill every other day until that settles down to something less… well less. My nutrition is ok. I’ve got 5kgs of whey in the post, which will help hit my protein goals. I’ve just started to cut out most of the extra sugar I was getting (soft drink), so we’ll see how that goes. Two weeks in I’m loving the early starts. See the thing is it’s so early I run on auto-pilot. I’m basically at the gym before my powers of higher reasoning kick in. So yeah, if you find it hard to get out of bed in the morning, set your alarm even *earlier*.

After a couple of days I switched from Starting Strength back to Stronglifts 5x5. I’m the only one at the gym when I work out, and I’m not comfortable trying power cleans without coaching. I re-read Mehdi’s instructions, and realised I’d been neglecting warm-up sets, and just going straight into my work weight. Der. So yeah, now I usually do 2 warm up sets before my 5x5 at work weight. I’ll reassess at end of Q2.

I did a couple of sessions to work out a comfortable work weight, and started adding 2.5kg each session. I haven’t tried to find my 1RM for anything yet.

On to the numbers!

End of Q1 2013

End of Q2 Goal

All Time Goal

Overhead Barbell Press

45kg 5x5



Barbell Deadlift

110kg 1x5



Pendlay Rows

45kg 5x5



Barbell Squat

92.5 5x5



Barbell Bench Press

52.5 5x5



I also weigh between 120 & 130kgs, depending on whether I weigh myself first thing in the morning or last thing before bed.

If I can maintain linear progression for 12 weeks (that is, adding 2.5kgs to the bar each session), I will be squatting ~200kgs and deadlifting ~230kgs. I’m… sceptical that I can do that. However, it is not unheard of for noob gains to carry people over 12 weeks of linear progression, so we’ll see. I log my workouts on Fitocracy, if you want up to the minute news. :D Otherwise I’ll be posting stuff here when I feel like it.

But I have to tell you, my all-time goals seem insane and all over the place right now. I can see myself squatting 200kgs someday, if Brodin guides me. But benching 200? Man what was I thinking.

Anyway, consider yourself updated.

May your gains be lean and your traps as unto mountains.

So I joined a gym

First weights session in two months. I can barely walk.

On the upside, I get to log some data in Excel 2013 now and I am legit excited about that.

This is a good anti-speeding ad from WA.

My Resolution for 2013

2012 was a pretty good year for me, self-improvement wise. I finished my MBA and taught myself the basics of web coding through the codeyear programme. I also learned to play the banjo pretty well. Yehaw.

That codeyear thing was the first New Year’s Resolution that I’ve ever actually stuck with. So I was thinking about what to do next, now I’m in the habit. More coding? Maybe some Ruby, or more Python? Learn Mandarin? Arabic? Read a stack of books? Finish writing something? Learn clawhammer banjo? Finally get my blue belt in BJJ? Take a year off cause with the move and new job and all…

Nah, this year I want to get fit & strong. I got smart last year. This year I’ll get swole.

I’m a big guy. I’ll always be a big guy. I’m fine with that. I’m fine with wearing XXL shirts. I’m mostly ok with XXXL shirts. I’m not fine at all with not being able to get my shoes on easily because of my massive gut. I’m not fine with my wife running 10k faster than I can ride it. It’s just embarrassing!

Ultimate Targets:

This is where I’d like to be sooner rather than later. Targets represent the point at which I would be happy with my physical condition. Most of the targets are based on my bodyweight, which I guess will change.

  • Waist below 100cm - They say your waist is supposed to be below 94cm, but that seems literally impossible for me. Like, where are my organs supposed to go? My precious, precious organs.
  • Squat: 200kg (1.5xBW) I like squatting. It’s a fun exercise and you all should do it.
  • Bench Press: 200kg (1.5xBW) I hate benching but anyway.
  • Overhead Press: 90kg (2/3 BW) Actually I’d like to be able to literally press my wife overhead, but I’m not sure she’d be able to lie still enough. Maybe if I like got a board and got her to lie still on the board. While I lifted her like 9ft in the air. Hrm. Emily wanted me to stress here that she doesn’t weigh 90kgs. Not even close. Ha! Like it matters babe.
  • Deadlift: 270kg (2xBW) Man deadlifts are boring. Like you do all this work, and move the thing like 2ft.
  • Clean: 140kg? Not really sure, this is a new lift for me.
  • Cycle 20kms in <40 minutes. Why this? Well, it looks like our new house in Canberra is ~20kms from my new work. Haven’t travelled the route yet, but from Google Maps it looks pretty flat & fast, so yeah. I’d like to be able to make that trip in under 40 mins.

Targets for end of Q2 2013:

  • Squat: 120kg
  • Bench: 90kg
  • Overhead Press: 60kg
  • Deadlift: 150kg
  • 20kms on the bike - 60 minutes

Honestly I’d like to hit this by end of Q1, but with the move and a new job I have to be realistic.

Current Stats:

  • Height: 191cm / 6’3”
  • Weight: Not exactly sure, only scales I’ve used top out at 120kg. At a guess ~135kg / 300lbs. I really don’t care what I weigh, but if I’m going to top 300lbs, I’d at least like most of that to be beef rather than marbling.
  • Waist: ~130cm / 51”  - depending on how relaxed I am. This is the shamefullest.

Note: I’m still building my home gym equipment collection. At the moment, I only have enough plates for a max load of 67.5kg (inc bar). Olympic plates are expensive!

  • Current Squat: 5x5 @ 67.5kg - I can do this easily.
  • Current Bench: 1x1 @ 67.5kg - I hate benching, but I can do 5x5 @ 60kgs easily enough.
  • Current Deadlift: 5x1 @ 67.5kg - I can do this easily.
  • Current Overhead Press: 2x1 @ 60kg - I can do 5x5 @ 50kgs, just. For some reason I love pressing.
  • 20kms on the bike - 80 minutes. I dawdle on the bike. I like look at trees and stuff. I need to learn how to push myself. I ride a Trek 7.1FX with SPD clips and panniers.

I will be using a program from Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength. I was using Stronglift’s 5x5 program pretty well in 2011, but an injury in November 2011 and tight fiscal discipline in the Stacey household ie, no more plates :( pretty much knocked my progress dead so starting again. I will ride to work at least 3 days a week. I will lift 3 days a week. I will try to find a decent gym (for lifting), and I’ll probably take up American Football in Q3 2013 as well. I’m not looking to change my diet so much at this point. I really don’t like the idea of eating separate to the rest of my family.

Anyway, comments, critiques & tips are welcome. Hit me up on twitter (@tasfromtas) or email me tas.stacey@gmail.com

Paul Kelly - How to Make Gravy

It’s the 21st of December…

In accordance with the Rules of the University
Tasman John Campbell Stacey
has this day been admitted to the degree of
Master of Business Administration


In accordance with the Rules of the University

Tasman John Campbell Stacey

has this day been admitted to the degree of

Master of Business Administration

I’m rapidly becoming a single-issue voter.

It’s difficult to overstate how big a deal the NDIS is to me, and how much of difference it will make to my family. :-/