Beaverbob's Log: Implementing the ideas of those much stronger than myself
Started not really doing SS in late December, but didn't really get my act together until February 2012. I'll try to keep it interesting with notes, highlights and comments throughout. I've been a member of the SS forms for a few months now, initially as a lurker but contributing more now. This log is open to helpful advice and harsh doses of reality. I am Canadian, but after a few years in landscape construction, I've adopted a weird mix of imperial and metric. I'll use imperial here to be consistent.
200lbs (went from 200 down to 195, pretty much all of it lost fat due to cutting out processed carbs and getting back into the gym, now slowly working back up to 200 and beyond, mostly muscle this time.)
Lifts as of 15/04/2012 (all 5rm)
Power Clean: 125
I wasn't keeping proper records until a little while ago, so let's just say my starting numbers were about average for a guy my age and size.
Basic background: Like I mentioned, I have a few years experience in landscape construction lifting heavy awkward stuff, but now work at a desk. I play hockey, bike, golf, snowboard and am out canoeing/portaging/hiking/backpacking/surviving/ for a few days at a time pretty much all year round.
Diet: Paleo-ish but far from dogmatic. Lots of meat, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, avocado, protein powder. 60 eggs from Costco will usually last me 3 weeks. For post workout carbs I like rice, oatmeal or Red River (flax cereal).
Now to clear out the backlog of workout entries:
SQ: 210 5/5/5 (deload from 225 after hitting a wall)
OP: 120 5/5/5
DL: 255 5
Chins: BW 4/4/4
SQ: 215 5/5/5
BP: 165 5/5/3 (really starting to struggle with my bench)
PC: 105 3/3/3/3/3 (started this one late in the program, still getting the hang of it)
Here's what I have in my notes: "Disaster. Weakness due to severe hangover." Could barely muster lift #s from the 27th. Will re-do this workout.
SQ: 220 5/5/5
OP: 125 5/5/5
DL: 275 5/5/5
SQ: 225 5/5/5
BP: 165 5/5/4 (struggled again)
PC: 115 3/3/3/3/3
Hill sprints x10
Received my belt from Best Belts. Very well constructed. Tried out a belt from a guy at the gym, really liked stability, so I got my own. I realize it's not required at these weights, but I put in some overtime at work so had some extra money to treat myself. From here on in, using belt for last warm up and work sets for SQ, OP and DL.
SQ: 230 5/5/5
OP: 130 4/4/0 (can't really explain this one? I just lost all strength)
DL: 285 5
Chins BW 5/5/4
SQ: 235 5/5/5
BP: 165 5/5/5 (so finally got it, not sure if I should still deload or continue up in weight. Finished with 135 x 5 as insurance)
PC: 120 3/3/3/3/3
Back Ext: BW 10/10/10
SQ: 240 5/5/5
OP: 130: 5/3/0 (All aboard the deload train, next stop 115)
DL: 295 5 (First day switching to mixed grip. Weights were feeling great today, so I loaded up 315 just to test, pulled it for 2)
Dips BW 10/10/8
I realized I forgot to outline my goals for this year. When I initially started in late December last year and the weights were small but felt heavy, I thought if I could accomplish 1x bodyweight bench press, 1.5x bw squat and 2x bw deadlift I would be satisfied. Around January I finally got my head screwed on straight with regards to my diet and sleep and have been making acceptable progress. At current rates, those goals seem more than attainable before year end.
In the spirit of pushing myself, I'd like to set a new goal: join the 1000lb club by Dec 31, 2012. Translating my last 5rms into 1rms using the EXRX calculator my total is 794. My bench is the massive glaring weakspot (in comparison to my other lifts, I know all my shit is weak compared to most of the guys here) and will require special attention. Can I add 225lbs (just to be safe) to my lifts in 8 months? I think this is reasonable.
SQ: 245 5/5/5
BP: 155 5/5/5 (still felt heavy, I'm going to do a proper de-load back to 145 next workout. My triceps and shoulders were still smoking from my last workout with presses and dips. I'm going to have to be more mindful about my supplementary exercises)
PC: 95 x a lot (I recently taught myself PCs based on the book and YouTube videos. I thought I was doing them okay. Last night, I was warming up with 95lbs and one of the better personal trainers there - who is familiar with starting strength and 5/3/1 and generally a good guy - asked if I wanted some pointers. He was helping me with my hip extension and timing. Offered to film me on his phone so I could see the before and after and we critiqued my form. My knees were too far forward in setup and I had a loopy bar path. Overall, very helpful to see yourself on camera. Lots of points to work on, mainly in the first 2/3 of the lift. Also worth noting: helpful PTs do exist, at a non-profit gym of all places.)
I'll be in the woods on a solo hike from Thursday to Sunday night, so it looks like I'll have to miss two workouts. Maybe I'll OHP a fallen log or do some squats with my backpack. Good recovery time, mentally and physically. Weather is supposed to be rainy/snowy and -8 at night. So long, until next time.
Hey, through some detective work i discovered your log. Looks good, the only thing i would say is don't be so swift to deload. If you eat and sleep enough, the progress can be made week to week, even on bench.
Thanks Brian, most of my deloads have been in line with the "three strikes, you're out" policy. Occasionally I'll have day that's way off due to some specific event (hangover, illness) so I usually don't count that as a strike. I will take your advice though and rely on food a bit more. Thanks for the advice.
Been a week since my last workout, just got back from a 35k solo hike through Algonquin Park.
SQ: 250 5/5/5 (This one really burned my quads for some reason. Up to this point, I always feel it in my posterior chain, never quads. The squats felt good otherwise so evidence is inconclusive. I'll wait until my next squat workout to determine if my form is slipping or if quad soreness was a one-off thing.)
OP: 115 5/5/5 (Fresh off a deload, working back up. These felt easy, and I'm leaning back more and squeezing my glutes, learned this from watching form checks here.)
DL: 305 5 (Felt fine. Have a stupid cut on my shin that I keep opening up everytime I deadlift.)
This is going to sound stupid. I think I had a major breakthrough on my bench press on a non bench day. During my rest, I was spotting a gym-acquaintance on the bench. I noticed his hands were out past the knurl marks. He's an older guy (40s), in pretty good shape with decent bench #s and we got talking about grip width. I was under the impression that the marked rings on the bar were maximum allowed grip width. Turns out this is an olympic-marked bar. Basically I've been doing close(r) grip bench press this whole time. I am an idiot. At the end of my workout I did a few reps of 135 with my hands out wide enough so my forearms are perpendicular to the ground when the bar is at my chest. Man, what a difference. This could be the cause of my bench struggles. Really looking forward to next workout to figure it out.
Dont feel stupid. I think its safe to say we have all looked like idiots in the gym many times. Hell, i used to do side to sides with a dumbell whilst squatting on a swiss ball...
Originally Posted by beaverbob
Learn, train, gain. No one here will (/should) judge.
FYI it was kinda like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j75D-GvyPGg *shakes head*
Oh man, that's a whole new level of hilarious. At least with me, people probably just thought I was really focused on working my triceps. That ball business is must have earned you love from the "functional training" crowd though, because the the threat of an earthquake while squatting is always present. Good to know I'm not the only one out there muddling through this! Thanks SLMB.
Originally Posted by StrongLiftMyBalls
Functional crowds loved it, thought i was a jedi warrior or some shit (tbh i was pretty good at it, if its possible to be good at such a movement). However my knees hate me and decided to explode out of resentment.
SQ: 255 5/3/0; 225 5 (wasn't feeling fully recovered from Tuesday's workout. Pushing deadlines at work coupled with a few mandatory post-work events has cut into my sleep. Will repeat this weight tomorrow, feel confident I can get it for three after a birthday steak dinner and a good night's sleep tonight.)
BP: 155 5/5/5 (Easy breezy, now that widened up my bench grip a bit. I now have my index fingers on the rings whereas I used to have my pinkies on the rings)
PC: 115 3/3/3/3/3
SQ: 255* 5/5/5 (something about hip drive just clicked and everything felt good, weights went up relatively easily)
OP: 120: 5/5/5
DL: 315* 5 (suspect my form is slipping a bit, i.e. slight back rounding. Going to really focus on keeping my back in full extension on my warm up sets, hopefully it's a mind over matter thing. I can keep my back in extension in practice sets, but I just get so focused on lifting the heavy weights that I forget the little cues.)
* Denotes PR
After my workout I had a 90 minute RMT massage, paid for by work benefits. Oh man. It literally reversed all the usual tightness you feel after a workout, I felt ready to go to the gym again. I try to keep myself in good working condition with MobilityWODs, rolling out with a rumble roller, lacrosse ball and stretch band, but nothing compares to the deft touch of a professional. If you have the chance, I'd highly recommend it.