My own Project HUGE

A few years ago Ben started his Project HUGE to improve his overall wellness. He has also been blogging about his progress during that time. I think this is a great idea and something that could help me stay motivated. I asked Ben if I could use Project HUGE as my inspiration and start blogging using the same title. He was all for it. I think Project HUGE is a great way of promoting strength and fitness to a more technical crowd who may, like me, lead more sedentary lifestyles.

I have always enjoyed weightlifting, but, I regret to say, it is not something I have always made time for. I lifted avidly while in High School, where I almost made it into the 300 Club (Bench Press 300 lbs) and while I was in the Coast Guard. But after leaving the Coast Guard I allowed myself to get too busy with other things, like children and CFML.

This last January I realized things were getting out of hand when I reached 292 lbs and I was feeling terrible. So I began working out again. I started with mostly aerobic and fat-burning exercise since I wanted to lose weight more than I wanted to build muscle, but it did not take long for me to find myself in the weight room after my aerobic workouts.

I started doing the typical bodybuilding style of workout. I did a lot of isolation exercises (bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, front shoulder raises, etc) and I did split workout routines (chest and arms one day, legs and shoulders another, etc). This was fine, and helped me see a lot of improvement, but it began to feel stagnant. Then Ben started blogging about the Huge in a Hurry program.

Huge in a Hurry by Chad Waterbury has been a real eye-opener for me. Huge in a Hurry, to me, is a new way of looking at working out and getting results. Mr. Waterbury does a fantastic job of explaining some of the science behind exercise physiology and the way the body works. I very much appreciate that he does explain the science behind his workout, instead of assuming that his readers are idiots who will simply do what they are told because it obviously works for him.

I'm not going to get into everything involved with Huge in a Hurry, because I have not completely finished the book and I have not completely implemented Waterbury's workouts into my own, but I have implemented some of the principles from his workouts.

  • Lifting Fast
  • Doing full-body workouts
  • Incorporating 1 upper body pulling, 1 upper body pushing, and one form of squat or deadlift in my full body workouts
  • Not doing spine-crushing exercises two workouts in a row (I learned this one the hard way this week and my back is sore for it)
  • Decreasing time between sets
  • Making form and speed a higher priority than weight and reps
  • Using free weights and cable machines instead of fixed-motion machines

I am still learning about the program and figuring out how it works for me. Mostly, I have am still trying to figure out what the correct weights are for me to hit the proper number of reps. It is difficult for me to gauge what weight will let me do, for example, 25 reps.

Also, I am not, for right now, worrying about Heavy, Medium and Light days. Unfortunately, with work and children, it is difficult for me to work out as regularly as I would like. There are times when I can workout Mon, Wed, Fri; and there are other times when the best I can hope for is Mon and Fri, or Mon, Fri, Sat. Who knows from week to week what I can get done. So I am doing as much weight as I am comfortable with for how I am feeling that day.

I have no doubt that my workout will evolve as I learn more about Huge in a Hurry and about weight lifting in general. But for right now, these things are working well for me. I am feeling good about these principles and about the full body workouts I have put together. I am going to list my workouts below. I'd love to hear what you think.

Full Body 1 (Spine Crushing)

  • Bar Dips (Using a weighted dip belt)
  • Squats
  • Flat Bench Press Seated Cable Rows

Full Body 2 (Non-spine Crushing)

  • Lat Pulldowns
  • Incline Press
  • Hip Sled/Leg Press

Full Body 3 (Spine Crushing)

  • Deadlifts
  • Sholder Press
  • Upright Rows

Full Body 4 (Non-spine Crushing)

  • Step Ups
  • Bent Over Rows
  • Decline Press

I also have a "Home Workout" that I do when I cannot get to the gym and on my off-days.

Home Workout

  • Crunches
  • Pushups
  • Wrist Rollers
  • Bent-over Rows
  • Scissor Kicks

As I said, I would love to hear what you think and I will gladly take in any advice or experience. I have been weightlifting since I was a teenager, but I have never tried to do it "right" until now. So I am still learning.

Related Blog Entries

Ben Nadel's Gravatar Awesome stuff Jason! Looking forward to reading more about your Huge experiences and to motivating each other. Rock on.
# Posted By Ben Nadel | 7/6/09 1:49 PM
Seth Bienek's Gravatar Intriguing! Thanks especially for posting your routine, `cause I'm trying to refine my own. Am I to understand that you only do 3 resistance exercises during your workouts? How many sets/reps are you typically doing?
# Posted By Seth Bienek | 7/6/09 1:59 PM
Ben Nadel's Gravatar I had the same reaction when I started Huge in a Hurry; don't worry, it wipes you out!
# Posted By Ben Nadel | 7/6/09 2:03 PM
Jason Dean's Gravatar @Seth, Yes, only three. But the three compound exercise are put together to try to produce a total body workout.

For example, in my first workout:
Bar Dips - Triceps, anterior deltoids, and pectoralis
Squats - Quads, Gluts, Calves, Hamstrings, and many other muscles
Seated Cable Rows - Traps, Lats, Brachialis, biceps, pecs

All of these exercises also work stabilizer muscles.

So as you can see, from these three exercises, a LOT of work gets done.

One thing I like to do is look at the total weight lifted when doing compound exercises versus isolating exercises. When doing isolating exercises, my biggest workouts would total about 5000-9000 lbs. With compound exercises, I will get workouts between 19,000 and 30,000 lbs in the same amount of time. I had one workout that totaled 51,000 lbs.

BTW: I just added the seated cable rows to the entry. I didn't notice that I had accidentally put two pushing exercises in the same workout.
# Posted By Jason Dean | 7/6/09 2:25 PM
Jason Dean's Gravatar Oh and as for the number of sets/reps. I do what I can. I don't have a set amount, I go until I can't anymore or until I feel like I will get hurt if I do more.

I will try to post some of my actual workout numbers so that we can actually see my progress over time. But as an example, here is a workout I did recently.

Leg Press: 16x285, 8x375, 6x465, 6x555, 4x605, 16x375 = 20,289 lbs.
Shoulder Press: 6x195, 4x205, 4x225, 8x195, 24x105 = 6970 lbs.
Upright Rows: 8x95, 6x105, 4x115 = 1850 lbs.
# Posted By Jason Dean | 7/6/09 2:32 PM
Seth Bienek's Gravatar Thanks, Jason and Ben, this is good stuff.

I ordered the book from Amazon, so hopefully this will help me step up my game. Thanks again for the inspiration, and for sharing!
# Posted By Seth Bienek | 7/6/09 2:58 PM
Steve's Gravatar I just started a routine called P90X Home Workout/Diet Plan. I'm a week in, and It is definitely some of the hardest working out I've done in my life. If you really want to get shredded and lose weight, I would suggest you try it. The package comes with 12 DVD's and a list of recipes that improve your overall performance over a 90 day period. It was recommended to me by a personnel friend and college athlete.
# Posted By Steve | 7/7/09 10:06 AM
Jason Dean's Gravatar @Steve, I'll be interested to hear what you think about P90X. As with most things, I am skeptical of anything that makes extraordinary claims, and I would say that a system that can make you "absolutely ripped in 90 days" is making just such a claim.

As a skeptic the first thing I wonder about is the mechanism of such a workout is: HOW can it possibly do something like that? How can you get "ripped" in just 90 days? Is the body capable of such a transformation? Is it possible that this is another fad diet that is combined with a workout?

Personally, I would love to something like P90X actually work, and I am certainly not trying to bring you down or criticize the workout itself. I don't really know anything about it. But my first reaction is to be skeptical because I just cannot understand how what they claim could be possible.
# Posted By Jason Dean | 7/7/09 10:29 AM
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