Strength Training of a Former Pro Ballerina, Cassandra Strength Training of a Former Pro Ballerina, Cassandra

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Thread: Strength Training of a Former Pro Ballerina, Cassandra

  1. #1
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    Default Strength Training of a Former Pro Ballerina, Cassandra

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    I'm going to just start this log off with a link to the video of my first meet, the SPF Cell Block Classic on 5/19/12. This was after about nine months of training. For each lift, I've followed a program that I find works best for me. My bench doesn't seem to progress with traditional methods; maybe it is because I'm a female that has pratically no pecs or shoulder muscles to begin with? It is hard to strengthen a muscle that doesn't exist. I'm trying something new with my bench during my current cycle.

    So at the meet, I accomplished a 630 raw total at 139 lb bodyweight (I decided not to cut weight for a my first meet) via a 230 squat, 120 bench, and a 280 deadlift.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jF4EnkzasA

    My squat of 225, 3x3 this past Tuesday and my deadlift of 270x3 this past Friday should mean that my max squat is somewhere around 250 and my max deadlift is around 300. Hopefully this is an accurate estimate. We'll find out soon.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the competitive lifter board, Cassandra! Always good to have more women who lift and compete here.

    Looks like you lift using a different model than that described in Starting Strength. Wondering if that's a specific, conscious choice or if you haven't read the book or otherwise been exposed to the SS Model?

  3. #3
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    I have not read the book, but I was exposed to powerlifting through my boyfriend. He has read the book and based my starting training (and his training) off of it. I can't tell you specifically what the SS model is since, at the start of my training, my boyfriend basically just told me what to do. As I got to understanding the patterns of what I was doing, we adjusted what I felt wasn't working for me; I knew it wasn't working when I repeatedly failed lifts without making any progress. Since different bodies recover at different rates, have different make-ups, etc, we believed it possible for one method to work better for one person and another to work for another.

    For instance, all my lifts used to go: one week I did x amount of weight for 3x5. The next week I would do x amount of weight for 3x6, and the next week that weight for 3x7 (except with squats I lifted twice weekly). Then, the next week, I'd do x+5, 3x5, x+5, 3x6, x+5, 3x7. Next week, x+10, 3x5, x+10, 3x6, x+10, 3x7, etc. As I got up higher in weight following this pattern, I eventually couldn't do 3x5 with a weight and had to start with 3x4; the starting reps continued to go down. Eventually, I could only do the a weight for one rep, so I maxed out. I started the cycle over again about twenty pounds heavier than the cycle before but starting with the same number of reps and at the end of this cycle, my max would have increased. This was the initial model. But, we made some adjustments.

    With squats, we found I progress better by doing only one workout a week and following this pattern: 8, 8, at least 8, next week +5 pounds, 8, 8, at least 8, adding five pounds until I could only manage 8, 8, 8, then adding five pounds the next week and doing 7, 7, at least 7, etc. Once I max out, I go back down to a weight twenty pounds heavier than the first cycle and repeat the pattern. I used to work in a restaurant that required repetitive heavy lifting during sidework. I found that I couldn't do many deadlift reps in one workout without pulling muscles because of the chronic fatigue from work, so we changed my deadlift to a single lift each week, going up five pounds. Since I quit that job, I do very well with a single set starting at n number of reps, going up five pounds and decreasing reps as needed until I max out and cycling back down in a similar way to all the other lifts I do. But, with bench press, we haven't figured out what works; I have been stuck on a weight for a long time. I recently discovered that doing a weight for 3x7 doesn't mean I could go up 5 pounds and do that heavier weight for 3x5; 5 pounds is too great a percentage of my total strength. It would be best if I could add 2 pounds to the bar, but that isn't possible. So I've realized I have to get up to 3x10 before I can possibly add five pounds for 3x5...or at least that's what I'm thinking. Also, I think I need to do some body building type exercises just to have some sort of mass of muscle in my pecs that I then can strengthen. Hopefully this is all clear.
    Last edited by Powerliftinggirl; 08-19-2012 at 01:11 AM.

  4. #4
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    Welcome to the board! It's good to see another woman and another former ballerina (my lifter TinyDancer has a log in this section).

    Gillian Ward on this board, who also has a log in this section, would be a good resource in terms of bench.

  5. #5
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    I too am a former ballerina! Welcome to lifting!

  6. #6
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    Wow, that is cool about Tinydancer. I will have to check out Gillian Ward.

  7. #7
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    How old are you? When did you last dance?

  8. #8
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    Another girl log, awesome!

  9. #9
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    I am 24 years old. I last danced May 2011.

  10. #10
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    starting strength nutrition camp
    Thank you for posting you meet, that was cool to see. Loved the long socks.

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