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Thread: IronGeek's Training Log

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    583

    Default IronGeek's Training Log

    • wichita falls texas june seminar date
    • las vegas nevada august seminar
    I thought I'd start a log. I've looked at other's logs as an inspiration. Maybe I can return the favor.

    Anyway, I'm a 44 yr old IT guy. I'm a geek (thus the name irongeek). The sum total of my physical activity at work is lifting a coffee mug to my mouth. I knew I had to do something when I took my 10 yr old son to a basketball practice. After practice I challenged him to do a ladder back and forth across the gym. When I hit the first rung of the ladder and had to reverse direction, I knew something was very wrong. I had zero pop back. There just was nothing there to propel me back. What used to be effortless was now very hard. I thought I needed to do something, because I didn't like where this was headed.

    I had heard about starting strength and got the book. I thought I'd try it as best I could with the equipment I had in the basement - I had some old standard weights with a crappy old exercise machine. I started with those as best I could. I ended up being able to deadlift all the weights I could (I est about 245 lbs) as best I could. I did Overhead presses as well and I have no idea what I was doing with the bench press on the machine. After a month or so of that I decided I needed to get to a gym. I was eager to try squatting. I found a place a few miles a way. Standard type of gym - in a small shopping plaza. But they had a squat rack and a decent amount of free weights. I signed up and went to my first workout.

    This is where I made my first mistake. I decided to find out where my work weights should be. I just kept adding weight to the bar and doing crappy squats. I ended up at 225 with bad form. I had read the book and watched videos on how to squat. But applying it takes time. 225lbs as a starting weight was just stupid. But I was enthusiastic and plowed along. I kept adding 10 lbs per session for a couple of sessions and then the weights got heavy real quick. And I noticed my hip flexors were starting to hurt.

    I did get some training from a SSC during this time. Black Iron Gym in Lansing MI. Spencer Irvin coached my wife and I on the basic lifts(got her into the idea of strength training. She liked it). I sure wish I had started with him instead of screwing around on my own!! Going to a SS gym was awesome. It was just wonderful to talk to like-minded people on how to get strong. They get it. While I thought my form was OK, Spencer pointed out a lot of problems and solutions. I did make some more gains after my coaching, but by then my hips were already too far gone. Plus, I'd jacked my wrist up on a sledding accident when I was sledding with the kids. I ended up just hurting all the time and just about everywhere. Between my wrist and hips, I couldn't do anything. I decided to take a break. I thought maybe I was deluding myself thinking that a 44yo guy could do this stuff. That was Feb, 2016.

    Early May, 2016 I started up again. I'll give it one more shot,I thought, but I'll take it slow. Like the program is supposed to be. I tentatively went to the gym and squatted at 135. I thought if I get the same tendonitis, I'll just quit -drop my gym membership and resign myself to old age. I just focused on form for a couple of weeks, adding small weights to the bar each session and focusing on form, form, form. The tendonitis never came back. My wrist is now nearly 100%. And I'm on a linear progression. A REAL linear progression. I can't tell you how fun this last month has been. Adding 5lbs to your squat every session. I think to myself every workout "Can I do another 5 lbs?" Then I try it. And I do it. And it didn't even seem very hard. Amazing. Same thing with presses and deadlifts. No more than 5 lbs for legs and 2.5 lbs for presses. I'm just doing the program. And it freaking works beautifully. Yes. I'm eating too - lots. Can't do it without food!

    This last gym session I was doing BP with some other gym members. Nice older guys like me with awesome bench presses. They were doing 350+ benches and spotted me when I was doing my work sets. They kinda laughed and my microload 1.25 lb plates and told me not to be afraid to go heavier. I just said I'm doing the program. I'm adding 2.5 lbs per workout. It'll add up....

    That's my story. Here's my first log entry:

    6/11/2016
    Squat - 305 - 3X5
    BP - 207.5 - 3x5
    DL - 350 - 1x5 Also did 365 - 1x2 afterward to give myself the mental edge for my next workout. I need to, as deadlifts are HARD.


    BTW - did I say how awesome Black Iron gym in Lansing, MI is? I'll say it again. If you're in the Michigan region and need REAL coaching, get there. Wonderful atmosphere and Spencer and Chris REALLY know their stuff. I am planning on getting there again soon to get my power cleans worked on. Cleans are a big hole I need to fill in my program. I'm doing them. But I know I'm doing them poorly. Just wish I had a SS gym closer. But a 1 hr drive every few months is reasonable.

    Anyway, I'll leave it at that. Next workout Tuesday, 6/14.

    Sorry for the long post. Subsequent posts will be much more succinct.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Ocean City, MD
    Posts
    1,559

    Default

    Solid intro. Congrats on finding SS - sometimes we all just need that wake-up call to get us going. Mine was a couple years ago when life got so busy that I completely forgot to take care of my body. I got recruited last minute for a basketball league with no time to prepare. I showed up that first day, and I'll never forget, I had Charlie horses in both thighs, hamstrings, calves halfway through a 10 minute shoot around warmup. I labored up and down the court the entire game without being able flex my knees more than a couple degrees.

    You've worked up to some nice numbers already, especially given your age and physical background. What is your height and weight, and what was your starting weight? I recommend videoing your lifts and posting them for review, especially early on while your motor pathways aren't set in stone too much. Of course, in person coaching is the best. Chris K., the owner of that gym was my squat platform coach at the seminar I attended. I still remember the tactile cue he gave me when I couldn't grasp how to lean over properly.

    Welcome to the forums.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    583

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agilic View Post
    Solid intro. Congrats on finding SS - sometimes we all just need that wake-up call to get us going. Mine was a couple years ago when life got so busy that I completely forgot to take care of my body. I got recruited last minute for a basketball league with no time to prepare. I showed up that first day, and I'll never forget, I had Charlie horses in both thighs, hamstrings, calves halfway through a 10 minute shoot around warmup. I labored up and down the court the entire game without being able flex my knees more than a couple degrees.

    You've worked up to some nice numbers already, especially given your age and physical background. What is your height and weight, and what was your starting weight? I recommend videoing your lifts and posting them for review, especially early on while your motor pathways aren't set in stone too much. Of course, in person coaching is the best. Chris K., the owner of that gym was my squat platform coach at the seminar I attended. I still remember the tactile cue he gave me when I couldn't grasp how to lean over properly.

    Welcome to the forums.
    Thanks for the warm welcome, Agilic. I guess there are a lot of people like us where life catches up to us. I'm glad we got a wake up call so we can do something about it!

    Anyway, to answer your question, I'm 6'0" tall and currently 240lbs (yikes!). It wasn't always this way. I'm a "natural" 210 lb person when I ate "normally". My doc said I was overweight and I tried to get to a BMI level that would make me normal - about 185 lbs. I dieted my way to 200 about 1 year ago. I couldn't maintain it even for a few weeks and gave up. Back to my normal 210 lbs. That's where I started. When I started lifting at home I started to eat more and it helped. Then I joined the gym and continued to eat more and I got stronger until my (self-induced) injuries caught up to me. At that point I went back to "normal" eating. When I re-started last month I started to eat again per "the program". So now I'm up to 240. This weight is uncharted territory for me. Though I'm heavier than ever, I don't really look it. Most of it is in the "posterior chain" I think. For sure, all of my clothes are getting tight and some new purchases are in order.

    I plan on periodically posting a video if I think I'm going off course. Seems like people are friendly on this board. That might be soon as my next workout has planned cleans in it. You guys might have a laugh at my "powerclean"!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    583

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    6/14/2016
    Squat 310x3x5
    Overhead Press - 127.5x3x5
    Power clean - 155x5x3 - heh. I say power clean, but they're probably more like "power shrugs" or something - work in progress.
    Lying tricep extension - 75+bar x3x5 - I love these. I credit them with fixing some sort of muscle tear/pull I've had between my upper tricep / rear delt for months. After I did these for just a couple of training sessions, the pain is nearly gone.
    Chins 3 sets AMRAP

    Things I've noticed since I re-started SS:

    OP is super dependent on getting the bar above the head right away. Even 1 /2 inch too far in front of the head may cause a failed rep. I almostd failed a couple reps today because of bad form, but had just enough in the tank to recover.

    When squatting, I've been letting the weight "take me" below parallel. I seem to get a nice little bounce out of the hole this way and I think I'm getting better depth too. Squats seem easier when I do this vs trying to decelerate the squat at parallel.

    As always,
    Have a satisfactory day

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
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    6/16/2016
    Squat - 315 x 3 x 5
    BP - 210 x 3 x 5
    DL - 355 x 1 x 5
    370 x 1 x 2
    Chins - 3 sets AMRAP

    Did 3 wheels on squat today! New PR!
    This was my first goal. I am aiming to be part of the 1,2,3, 4 club:
    - 1 wheel for work sets on OP
    - 2 wheels for work sets on BP
    - 3 wheels for work sets on squat (DONE!)
    - 4 wheels for work sets on DL
    That's the good news. Bad news is the bar is getting heavy! Last rep of last set was slow, but form was OK I think. Glad I'm going to see Spencer on Friday so I can talk to him about how to proceed.

    Have a satisfactory day...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    371

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    Welcome Irongeek. I'm an "IT" type guy too; no doubt, sitting inside at a computer for decades is tough on the body (and hormones).

    Just curious, were you an athlete in your younger years? Those are solid numbers!

    1,2,3,4 club...I like this!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    583

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsuma View Post
    Welcome Irongeek. I'm an "IT" type guy too; no doubt, sitting inside at a computer for decades is tough on the body (and hormones).

    Just curious, were you an athlete in your younger years? Those are solid numbers!

    1,2,3,4 club...I like this!
    Hey Kitsuma. Thanks for commenting!

    I wish I could say I was an athlete, but other than a lot of unorganized sports with a close group of friends (baseball/basketball/touch football in season), I would say no. In high school, my PE coach tried to get me to tryout for the football team because I had decent size - by no means big, but decent. I remember not liking anyone on that team, however, and wanted to stay as far as possible from those guys. I tended to run with the "nerds". I guess that's how I ended up in engineering which lead me to my IT job now.

    I've always felt I had it in me to do something like the SS program, but it didn't exist then. On and off throughout the years I've "dabbled" in weight training. For a while in college I was at a local "Powerhouse" gym and remember doing like most other ignorant kids did - try 3-5 sets of every stupid machine. I did get stronger for sure and remember even doing squats for a little while, but that was it. Funny thing is I see kids at the gym I'm at doing similar things. Maybe if they see some old guy getting strong, they'll ask questions. Who knows... All I know is this stuff works and it's been really fun going to the gym and getting PRs almost every day. I've never been this strong. I don't ever want to go back...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    371

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    Sounds like you were pretty athletic/active given your proclivity to run with the "nerds". The fact that you dodged high school football just means your joints/spine/etc are preserved and ready for strength later in life. Good luck moving forward!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    583

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    6/18/16

    Saw Spencer Irvin (SSC) yesterday. Good timing. He instructed me on the clean. I think I got the general hang of it, but will continue to practice. Also discussed where I should go with my programming now that my squats are getting really heavy. He suggested to take a recovery day between heavy squat days to start and keep the progress going on heavy days We'll see how it works - I don't think I could just keep adding 5 lbs every squat day any longer - the easy gains are drying up... Darn!

    Here's the stats:
    Squat - 250 x 2 x 5
    Overhead Press - 130 x 3 x 5 (had to grind out last reps of each set, but did it - getting heavy)
    Cleans - 155 x 5 x 3
    LTE - 70 + bar - 7,7,5
    Chinups - 1 set AMRAP.

    We'll see how heavy squat day works out next Tuesday.

    Have a satisfactory day!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    13

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    starting strength coach development program
    Good story, you've got an inspirational log yourself! That's so cool that you have access to a true SS gym. Keep up the good work.

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