At the start of his fitness journey, Redditor situationalawareness was 5’7” and only 110 pounds. “At the time I didn’t think anything of my weight because I had always thought thatwas normal; I was a long distance runner for both the XC and track teams during high school and continued to run throughout my undergraduate years,” he explains in a post to Reddit’s Fitness subreddit, “I usually had always hovered around 110 lb. if not lower.”
However it wasn’t until a short trip to the beach that situationalawareness realized that he was “skin and bones,” and basically the same weight as the smallest (only 5’1”) girl there. Rather than gorging on junk food to pile on some easy pounds, situationalawareness took up lifting. “My roommates and I were all classmates, so we had already joined LA Fitness together,” he writes, however it wasn’t until January 2015 that they all began to take lifting more seriously than they had before. “Prior to this, we would just go to the gym 2-3 times a week and try to hit every major muscle group. We didn’t follow any specific program, we just kind of did our own thing.” Realizing it was go-time, he adopted the following lifting routine:
Day 1: Chest / Shoulders / Triceps
Day 2: Legs / Triceps / Core
Day 3: Lats / Traps / Posterior delts. I try to throw in single leg stability work as well to target more of the hip abductors.
Chest: Bench press, up-ward incline bench press, then flies. For the bench press, if I have my roommate to spot me, then I do one final rep to failure by lowering it as slowly as humanly possible for the eccentric contraction, with him helping me get it back onto the rack.
Shoulders: Either OHP, or the machine, followed by middle delt pull using a cable and a rope, ending with scaption movements with dumbells. Scaption, meaning it’s not completely shoulder abduction, my arm is slightly in front of me as well, say, 15-20 degrees from the frontal plane of my body, so the movement is in the same plane as my scapula.
Legs: Alternate between either focusing on squats or deadlifts, but the day includes both at some point. Squats, deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, front squats, leg press into heel raises after the presses, single leg ball tosses standing on an upside down bosu ball, single leg squats sitting down on a bench, scissor lunges.
Back: Pullups, cable lat pulldowns while kneeling, T-bar rows, rhomboid / middle trap machine, T position while prone on an exercise bar with dumbells, posterior fly, sometimes I swap one of the rhomboid/middle traps with inverse rows using the bar of a Smith machine.
Biceps: Hammer curls with dumbells, single arm using biceps machine, cable machine
Triceps: Weighted dips (50 lb for 10 RM at the moment), cable pull-downs, skull-crushers.
…Bench: 6RM – 170 lb (started at 65 lb)
OHP: 5RM – 95 lb (started at 45 lb). Definitely the hardest one for me. My pebbles still need to be molded into boulders.
Pullups: 20 lb weighted, 6 reps followed by a burnout to 9-10 reps after dropping the weight (started at 5 reps bodyweight)
I don’t do pendlay rows as of right now because the way I grip the bar irritates the nerves on my left hand; still trying to figure out a way to not piss them off.
Squats: 5RM 225 lb (started at 65 lb)
Deadlifts: 5RM 225 (started at 95 lb). I realize that this is also something I need to work on. My form is a bit off and my hamstrings need to be stretched out way more, since I basically start the movement with my back close to parallel to the ground, making my lower back the weak link. I am not willing to go heavier until I stretch out my hammies and fix my form to avoid rounding my back.(via)
As for his diet, situationalawareness says he “never really counted calories” and that he ate mostly “Chipotle, Wawa, protein shakes, nuts, and chicken and rice whenever I got off my lazy ass to cook stuff.”
After a year and a half of lifting, situationalawareness now weighs 152 pounds, a 42-pound weight gain from when he first started. He writes that he’d like his abs to show a little bit more since he has a small layer of fat around his stomach, however we think he’s doing just fine – these progress photos ain’t anything to sneeze at: