A challenger appears!
I've had two short-lived accounts and logs in the Starting Strength section before: while I make no promises to stick with the programming reflected in the early days of this log, I am committed to a particular set of goals that will require adherence to something similar. Long story short, I am not getting a great deal of mileage out of the standard routine, largely owed to my own training ADD and have recently looked to the Greyskull LP for a means forward; the (at least theoretical) space for aesthetics, GPP and skill work is what I'm looking for while continuing to make the best strength gains a focus on recomposition will permit.
I am currently 20 years old, 5'10" and 197-201 pounds at 25% bodyfat give or take a couple points. My "best" lifts to date are as follows:
Squat: 175x5, 185x3
Bench: 140x5, 165x1, 115x12
Deadlift: 275x5, 285x2, 225x12
Pushups: 12, (14 or 16?)
My heaviest squat in the past seven or eight months was 165x5, but the rest are recent and relevant (as of this posting). My goals are as follows.
By June 27th:
1) Have weighed at under 195 in the preceding week.
2) Have confirmed a compound free weight lift or lifts that adequately substitutes low bar back squats. <6/5/12>
3) Run a mile.
4) Set a bench rep PR at 135. <6/11/12>
By August 15th:
1) Shirts don't hang onto any love handles.
2) Weigh under 190 at closer to 15% bodyfat, or roughly bellyless.
3) Have benched bodyweight.
4) Have chinned at least 15 consecutive reps.
5) Have completed at least 30 consecutive pushups.
6) Have developed strength in leg lift of choice equivalent to a 225x5 low bar back squat. ** Front squat bodyweight for sets across. Dunno how that scales.
7) Run a sub-8 minute mile.
8) Sustain a solid sprint for a quarter mile.
9) Palm a 9' ceiling.
With the use of a 36" foam roller and a 9' ceiling I've calculated my vertical at roughly 17 inches: higher than expected actually, I'd been thinking 12-13. A 4 or 5 inch increase might actually be doable this summer.
Anywho, the Greyskull LP template I'll be using soon will depend on what I decide with the leg lift. It's probably going to be between front squats/hip thrusts/kettlebell swings and the back squat, which I guess is already a pretty solid argument in favor of back squats. That experimentation will take place this week while I (probably) deadlift every session. Recovery shouldn't be an issue with no other heavy leg work and with 10 pound jumps back up it'll get me to 255 four weeks earlier than with standard Greyskull LP. I'll get to 5 pound jumps after the first major stall and will decide what deadlift frequency should be after this week; I'd like to keep it at 2x weekly with 5 pound jumps with a lighter leg workout in the middle of the week, but sufficient progress on the leg lift options might dissuade me.
That aside, I'll probably end up sticking to the LP as laid out. I was debating bench 2x weekly and pressing once, and since I've added in face pulls on bench workouts I think the shoulder health angle is fairly made up for, but I don't want to rush into a bench stall.
All said and done, I expect to be in objectively good shape by the end of the summer, be comfortable in my own skin for the first time in over a decade, and have blown all previous PRs out of the water. rarrrgh.
Last edited by chaybot; 06-24-2012 at 02:49 PM.
Reason: adjusting goals
Lat Pulldown (prone grip):
I'd planned on doing lat pulldowns with curls on bench days and chinups on press days, but now that I've finally tried the front squat, and at least at warmup weights found that it feels incredibly smooth, I'll leave my upper back as untouched as possible until I hit those. Unfortunately I had to leave before getting to find out what my work weight would be, but I suspect that for 3/3/3+ 135 would be a easy enough place to start. I like lower rep sets on squats and triples just feel more natural with these.
Edit: Bumping the front squats up to four sets of three and the AMRAP. I have my doubts that just two triples and an AMRAP won't be enough of a volume buffer.
The bench press was a pleasant surprise. I'd gotten 115 for 12 last session and had made the recommended 5lb jump, but I was expecting something much closer to 8 based on how the first two sets of 5 at 120 felt. I guess I'll be taking another 5lb jump to 125. I'm also certain now that I feel higher rep bench sets working in my pecs far, far more than I do in sets of 5. I guess that's the pump? I also forgot to do my face pulls, so meh.
And the lime green eyesore means success, and I'll be doing that for the major lifts. Sorry.
Curls were curls. Thrilled as I was to discover I could curl 40 pounds once or twice a couple months ago, I suppose sticking to the higher reps is fine. My elbows feel funny at the top of the rep when I pull the dumbbell too far in, so I'll be careful about that.
Now, here's what today's workout would have looked like in an ideal world:
Bench Press: 5/5/5+
Front Squat: 3/3/3/3/3+
Face Pulls: 15/15/15
Now, I mentioned hip thrusts and kettlebell swings in the first post to accompany front squats, but if they're not necessary I don't want to do them and I don't think they're necessary so I won't. That said, some hamstring work on front squat days seems smart, but I don't want to do RDLs close to deadlifts and I don't have a GHR at my gym.
I think I'm going to add power cleans. Doing them as a warmup for deadlifts is fine, but I'd like to keep working them independently and at the weights I'm using 2x week power cleans shouldn't throw anything off. But doing them after an AMRAP front squat set might be problematic. I'll figure that out later.
Wednesday I want to stick with this:
If I decide it's important to add something in, I will.
Last edited by chaybot; 06-05-2012 at 08:49 PM.
Following just for the SSB reference (i think) and the similar age and weight. good luck in trying to lower your mile time and increase lifts at the same time! (genuine)
Much appreciated. The eight minutes won't be as much of a problem as just getting the gas for a mile; my legs can handle it fine, but my lungs can't.
And kudos on your own lifts. I'll be (slowly...) coming after some of those numbers.
Last edited by chaybot; 06-07-2012 at 01:43 AM.
Easy. Spaced them through the day, the last three were pretty close together but still nothing big. Widened my hands a little and felt a lot more chest involvement.
Also did 7/6 burpees. Not enough to matter.
Good day. I did 75x9 on the press last time, but I decided to use more of a strict press than I have been so I kept the weight where it was and lost a rep. That's fine. I also tried a push press at 95 just for kicks - 95 being my previous working set of 5 on the SSBT3 press - and felt a little twinge in my lower back as I leaned back. No discomfort since, but I won't be doing that again and I'll be content working towards a heavy strict press.
After the presses I could only manage 4 chins and decided it wasn't going to be worth it. I'll be doing those FM style, probably in ladders to save time, and might not do them during main workouts at all.
Deadlifts were great. Felt them in my hamstrings again this time starting from the first rep (as opposed to last week when I only really felt them during the last several reps) and didn't have a lower back pump at all; I used to get it after my first warmups at 135 (which also feels easy as hell now). Switched from double overhand to mixed after the fourth rep or so, just as a precaution. Ultimately got one more than I did at 225 with a really shaky lockout. Good stuff.
I really don't like how dumbbell curls make my elbows feel, so I switched over to the EZ-Curl bar. I understand it isn't the ideal biceps training tool, but it's good enough, it's more comfortable, it gets some more forearm work in, and I don't really care that much anyway.
Last edited by chaybot; 06-12-2012 at 09:28 AM.
Hell yeah. Based again on that first set I was sure I'd end up struggling hard to hit 8; even on the final set the reps weren't exactly easy, but they kept going up and I kept pushing until form iffed out on the 12th. This is going much, much better than I'd expected, I just hope I don't screw up diet or something and peter out again.
I stopped with five sets of three on the front squat because I figure if that's enough to drive progression, for the moment it should suffice not to do any more. I'm also working to make sure I don't lean forward too much and hip drive my way up while keeping the weight on my wrists; they don't hurt or anything, but the weight felt a little too easy and I know I was leaning farther forward than I should be.
Also from here out I'm going to restrict the green highlights to PRs, be those for weight or reps. I won't start doing it for front squats until I hit 180.
Last edited by chaybot; 06-12-2012 at 09:29 AM.
I think I might have actually missed a count of 1 rep on my first and third sets, but 20 reps is a very solid PR for me; I think all three sets might actually be more than I've ever hit before. The third set was completed with a few pauses, twice on the knees, but it doesn't really matter. This is progress. I'm also curious as to which is driving which more at this point, the pushups or the bench press; assuming my pushups use 60% of bodyweight, I'm working with about 120 pounds. This is close enough to my current work sets that factoring in the greater number of reps I think the workloads might be very similar.
Also, according to the only RM calculator I've seen that works with >10 reps, my deadlift max should be 342 and my bench max should be 178. I don't know exactly how much stock to put into those numbers, but they represent a 21 pound increase in previously calculated deadlift 1RM and a 13 pound increase over my only tested bench press 1RM. Considering I've only been doing the lifts Greyskull style for about a week, I'll take it.
I trust I won't be going for heavy singles in either for a long time, but seeing the projected numbers shoot up alongside my gym PRs will be fantastic.
Last edited by chaybot; 06-10-2012 at 08:20 PM.
Front squats were kinda tough today. Not "might miss this" tough, but there were a couple of slower reps. Early on made the mistake of resting the bar on the end of my clavicle instead of my meaty, meaty deltoids, but things were smooth after I sorted that out. Also made sure to keep the elbows up this time, and the reduced hip drive may actually have been part of the difficulty.
Presses were fine. Nothing to report. I suspect once I dip below 5 on strict presses I'll start doing them SS3 style, and my reset on that would take me back to strict.
Chinups blaarrrgh. I don't think they benefit from going after presses and front squats, but hopefully enough volume over time will rectify this. I have yet to start doing them via FM as Sheaffer suggests, so no complaints until that happens.
Why bench press? I was curious to see how 135 would feel now, and I was very pleased. I'm gonna go ahead and say the presses and chins and Sunday's pushups had enough effect that this wasn't an optimum maximal effort, but it's good to see nonetheless.
Last edited by chaybot; 06-13-2012 at 09:41 PM.
Bench was eh. I shouldn't be disappointed, and while I'm getting better at estimating how much I have left in me this is more than I was expecting to get. But it would've been nice to have eked out a safe 11. I guess I'm bummed that the projected RMs aren't as high as they were, but I shouldn't base my sense of success on those; I got more reps at 135 on Monday than I have before and I'm at way more pushups than I ever have been even at near peak bodyweight, so I'm making progress.
Deadlifts started getting kinda hard today. I switched to mixed grip after rep three, and honestly almost wussed out of the set around rep four knowing that I had to break ten; I think it's the first time in the gym I've told myself out loud not to be a pussy. I also might have been able to get twelve, but didn't want to risk it; when my quads quiver the way they do at the top of the last rep, I know it's time to call it a set. There was definitely some consistent, if very minor, rising of the hips before the bar breaks off the ground, but when I noticed I dealt with it. Little bit of a back pump today, and some serious lightheadedness when I was drinking water after the set. I had to sit down to make sure I'd be good. Incidentally, I never have problems with this during the set, only after.
Didn't feel like doing any more with the curls. Chins were screwed after deadlifts; I tried doing the ladder but it wasn't happening.
Incline DB Curls:
My strict presses = a strict press with a pause at the top with a shrug initiating the descent and a "bounce" at the bottom. My back and I like 'em. Also, pressing generates a very very different feeling when you're really locking your abs and quads. Also also, shoulders were sore as fuuuh.
Front squats got easier as I went along. Probably shouldn't do 50 pound jumps on the warmups, but I'm impatient and because of the number of worksets I want to get to them sooner. Also, distinctly felt the work in my upper back and shoulders when I racked the bar.
First time I'd done heavyish cleans in a while. Felt for the first time the shittiness that is a bad rack with 135, probably because my wrists and shoulders are already tired from the front squats. Shall thank the heavens for my youth and be more careful from here on out.
This is how I'll curl from now on, I think. Dunno about the EZ-Curl, but maybe whatever? Dat pump. I really do need to establish some coherent programming with these, but they're honestly a good deal of fun to screw around with.