Narvaez Family Starting Strength Log
Current Progress as of 10/28/11:
Start, Current: 8/1/11 --> 10/28/11
Latest workout (10/28): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPizXHwM1TE
Weight: 165lbs ---> 193lbs
9/25/11 ---> 10/31/11
Waist: 39.5" --> 38"
Neck: 16.5" --> 16.25"
Hips: 42" --> 42.75"
BF%: 26.3 --> 23.8 (Navy method estimate)
Shoulders: 50" --> 49.5"
Chest: 40.5" --> 40.75"
Thigh: 27.75" --> 27"
Upper Arm: 14.5" --> 15"
Squats : 205x5 ---> 367.5x5
Bench : 135x5 ---> 205x5
Deads : 225x5 ---> 365x5
Presses: 85x5 ---> 140x5
Cleans : 80x3 ---> 160x3
Pullups: 205x4 --> 217.5x5 (total weight)
Front Squat: 165
Athletic Training History:
As a kid, I didn't play a single sport. The only athletic pursuit I seriously excelled in was wrestling. I never participated in any organized wrestling, but fucked around with guys on my middle school team and always held my own. As a sophomore in high school, I gained experience in performing the Squat, Bench, and Deadlift with poor form.
As a college freshmen, I did the "Starting Strength" program from bodybuilding.com without cleans, with only slightly better form, and while "cutting". I dropped Starting Strength and competed in grappling and trained all the various aspects of MMA soon after. During this time, I was able to "achieve" a 285lbsx5 "thighs parallel" type of squat at a body weight of about ~145lbs.
About a year ago, I had accumulated a litany of injuries participating in MMA. Most of these probably occurred because I was ALWAYS trying to "cut" weight. Anyways, I strained one of the major ligaments in my knee during training. About the same time, I ended up moving out. Because of the injury and a new, tighter budget, I dropped MMA.
During the ensuing year, the only physical activities I participated in were semi-frequent pick-up basketball games and random grappling matches that occurred because my friends wanted to "train UFC" with me.
My goal is to get as strong and powerful as I can. Simply put, I'd like to participate in both powerlifting and weightlifting at one point or another.
Current Run on SS:
I started a new run of linear progression on August 1st, 2011. I was (am) determined to do it by the book this time. I have been drinking a GOMAD (whole) and sleeping 9 hours religiously. My biggest mistake has been waiting six weeks to add Power Cleans to the program.
9/25: I'm moving to an every-other-day training schedule. I feel like my pressing movements will greatly benefit from this and it will give me an opportunity to progress my cleans more quickly. I also expect better nutrient partitioning. I'm switching up my diet as well. I'm moving to skim milk instead of whole milk. On my off-days, I'm going to consume as few carbs as possible (besides the milk) and eat as much lean and fatty meats as I can get my hands on. On my workout days, I'm more or less going to eat a ton of carbs, which sort of translates to whatever I want. I'm going to try to keep the fat as low as possible on this day (within reason: 20% of my cals minimum).
10/24: Back to 3 days a week and dieting to get back to 165/148 and destroy the Washington State record books for those weight classes, nomsaiyan?
Here are the issues and adjustments I've made with the various lifts:
I contracted a case of bicep tendinitis from an incorrect carry position. I have been successful in treating this by following the five day ibuprofen protocol of 3200mg/day coupled with a deload in squat.
I was able to add ten lbs. every single workout to my squat until 345lbs. At this point, the point became too painful and I cut the Squat session off after the first rep. I planned a 10% deload, and warmed up to 305, but didn't perform 305. For my next workout, I performed one set of 305. My next workout will include all three sets of 5 at 305.
I love squatting with real shoes and a belt. I have been using Rip's shoes and the athletic belt from bestbelts.com.
9/25: I think I am going to reset and work my way back up by 5s. I want to make sure I can keep my knees out and my chest up coming out of the hole. This is going to take a lot of weight off the bar in the short term, but, long term, I think this is the right call.
10/21: I'm switching over to Madcows 5x5 for Squats. I'll be Front Squatting 3x3 on Wednesdays.
I missed one bench workout because of my bicep tendinitis. Otherwise, I haven't had any real problems with it. I just received my 1.25lbs plates and I will be needing these to make jump rather shortly.
9/21: I decided to start benching with a belt. I've only done one set so far and it seemed to help just a little bit so I will go to this from now on.
9/30: I moved my grip in today because I didn't have a spotter and it was easier to unrack. I felt way stronger off the chest and I may just keep it this way. IDK yet.
I have insanely small hands. Seriously, they are barely bigger than most girls' hands. This limits my deadlift immensely. On two particular sets, I've gotten to the last rep and my right hand, which is the one I alternate on heavy weights, will get the weight half way up in a flash while my left hand will barely be able to get the other side off the ground. I'm doing everything I can to improve my grip, but it will probably always limit my deadlift.
I've started using a belt on these and has made a tremendous difference already.
10/28: I am moving to deadlifting x1/week now.
Until 9/8, the smallest plates I've had were 2.5lbs. Now, I have 1.25lbs and I expect this to make an enormous difference in my press progress.
9/25: Time for my first reset on these. I will go to a weight that allows me to tie my PR in two weeks to three weeks.
I haven't made any adjustment so far.
I plan to update this log after every workout. My goal, though it is ambitious, is to film ALL of my worksets and upload them to youtube. This process might take a while to get streamlined, but I want my form to be subject to scrutiny and evaluation on a regular basis.
Last edited by stef; 02-04-2012 at 06:08 PM.
My form was SHIT for these. I will be working a hell of a lot harder for my next set of Squats on Monday.
These looked and felt pretty good. I let a few get out in front and I think I may need to hurry up getting under the bar, but I'm not too terribly disappointed in this performance. PR too.
This was my first time Power Cleaning. I feel like the footage makes it seem like this was my first time squatting instead. These were "light". I had no trouble racking the weight and I expect to progress quickly on these (assuming I get the technique dialed in).
Last edited by Tom Narvaez; 09-12-2011 at 01:09 PM.
UPS just delivered my Rip's Shoes!
Thank God I won't have to lift in Jordan's or my socks anymore.. I can't wait to try these out for this afternoon's workout.
I decided to go up by ten instead of five because I never actually failed going up by ten and I've got a belt on the way, which I figure will allow me to make quite a few more ten pound jumps once I get used it. I've always had trouble with my left knee drifting about. I promise you that I am trying my best to shove it out on most of these reps. I just need to do a better job apparently. I had the bar roll up on me during the 3rd rep of the first set. I felt it and it sucked. The shoes made a HUGE difference. It was way easier to drive out of the hole. I can't wait till my belt gets here because core strength seems to be limiting the weight I can do with acceptable form.
All of these were uneven. I think because of the bicep tendinitis (which was in my left arm) I've been dealing with ,my left arm is a little hesitant to use a groove that requires a ton of bicep stabilization. However, my right arm, which is completely healthy, is fine doing this. I suppose the fix is to just focus on elbows out on the way down from now on.
Dammit. I failed on these again. After rewatching it, I probably could have round-backed the shit out of the fifth rep and got it. However, my lower back was already feeling it from my crappy form during the first four reps. My hips are clearly too low and my buddy probably didn't understand the cues he was giving me because he was telling me to pull from a bad position. Of course, this has nothing to do with him, I should know when I am in good position and I wasn't on any of these reps. It is pretty clear that my hips pop up immediately after the bar leaves the ground on every rep; I need to start with them higher. Oh, and I probably should look down more. In any case, I will just try these again next time with a belt. My small hands really suck and I have straps on the way. I'm not sure whether or not I should use them on heavy sets, but with my grip being a hugely limiting factor, I might have to. There is always time to specialize in grip once I am out of the novice stage.
Power Clean: 90x3
Just got a bunch of gear in the mail: TK knee sleeves, harbinger wrist straps, and harbinger velcro belt.
I got the sleeves just for added knee protection. Anything that keeps the joints warm is good by me. I know first hand how crappy knee injuries are and I like the idea of lessening my chances of having another one.
The harbinger stuff is primarily intended for deadlift. I have a sweet belt on the way from the guys at bestbelts.com, but it isn't here yet so I'll probably just the velcro for Squat today as well.
Because I got the harbinger gear from Bodybuilding.com, I got...
NOXPLODE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol, I'm definitely going to use it all today. I won't be able to sleep tonight because of my caffeine sensitivity, but who gives a damn when I can get teh pump!?
These sucked. It wasn't even heavy and I still managed to have shit form. Today just wasn't a great day in the weight room all the way around. Wearing a belt was pretty cool, but I wasn't used to it and adjusted it way too much. I REALLY, REALLY need to keep my knees out and my core tight.
Sloppy form. Whatever. I know I can fix these next time. It shouldn't have taken as much effort as it did, but I was letting these get way too far out in front and I wasn't getting under it soon enough.
I take too long between reps on these. I seem to be "banging" the bar away. There is a definitely loop. These just felt slow. I think I simply need to pull faster, harder, and jump higher. This is basically warm-up weight anyway.
Overall, this was not a workout to remember. My energy sucked and technique was lacking. I can't wait to do much better on Friday.
9/16/11, Workout A:
These were actually pretty damn light. I have to fix that knee drift. Knees out! I have to remember to keep my set my lower back because I always "forget" in the heat of the moment. I'll get my spotter to yell at me next time.
Left bicep was bothering just a little after squats. I couldn't find a good groove and I couldn't plant my legs well. I stopped being a pussy for the second and third set. Interestingly, I seemed to get stronger and stronger as the sets went on. That's cool. I still need to work on getting my elbow tuck to be the same degree on both sides. I tend to have WAY more tuck on the right side and it results in the left side going up first. Maybe I'm trying to protect my "weak" arm by loading the right side more?
Form could have been wayyyy better. Oh well. I'm pretty damn happy that I was able to get 355 even though I only got 345x4 last time. I felt strong so I said, "Fuck it. Throw 355 on there." Success. I will have to be more conscious of my lower back next time. I will get my spotter to yell at me.
Squat: 345x5 (PR)
Press: 132.5x5 (PR)
9/19/2011: Workout B
Knee drift. Damn, my squats feel strong as hell lately. I probably should have focused more on knees out on this one. I had one rep roll up on me in my first set (third rep). These feel better than they did last week. I don't have much to say because I'm kind of feeling lazy on the keyboard right now.
I was trying to incorporate hip movement into these and they turned out a bit awkward. I was letting too many of these get out in front. I need to be more conscious of my core on this lift so I can get more out of it strength-wise.
These suck. My donkey kick is strong. I need to fix those ASAP. I guess I need to jump higher and harder.
OK, Izzy. You're looking pretty strong there.
You need to keep yourself tighter on your squats. Keep your chest up and knees out. You need to have that concentration and sense of awareness of your body without having someone yell at you. If you don't you are going to get injured as heavy as you are squatting.
Way to gut it out on that last rep on the press.
Stop over thinking the cleans. They don't suck that bad. Once you stop farting around between reps, they actually look pretty good. Just rip that thing off of the floor and rack it. You had some little wierd hitch in the middle on a couple of the reps. Think smooth.
Good job overall.
Thanks for the advice!
With squats, I always know exactly what I'm doing wrong because it pulls me out of my groove and the rep is just harder. I'll just have to continue to put more focus into my form on squats.
I'm definitely overthinking the cleans. I tried to focus on eliminating the donkey kick and some of them just felt awkward. When I stopped thinking about that, they felt more natural, but the kick was still there either way. I guess I'm just being overly critical on these because I don't have the experience or kinetic sense of what a good rep is and what a bad rep is. Almost all of them just feel kind of wrong.