Finding Out that the Iron Never Lies Finding Out that the Iron Never Lies

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Thread: Finding Out that the Iron Never Lies

  1. #1
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    Default Finding Out that the Iron Never Lies

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    I am starting a new thread here after having just completed my third powerlifting meet. I am 39 years old and have been competing in RAW 90 kg class. My numbers are not competitive to many of you here, but I think there are a few more experienced eyes here than in the Intermediate Lifter Logs, so I'm hoping for some pointers. My old log is here.

    http://startingstrength.com/resource...ad.php?t=23610

    My history:

    I didn't start serious weight training until about 22 months ago at age 37. From December 2010- April 2011, I made the following linear progress on SS, PP:
    BW 175- 200 lbs
    Squat 5 x 205 - 5 x 360 (I found out at 1st meet that I was too high).
    Press 5 x 80- 5 x 150
    Bench 5 x 185- 5 x 260
    Dead 5 x 155- 5 x 350.

    I switched to 5/3/1 for 2-3 cycles and found I was making limited progress on bench, press and deadlift but losing ground on squats. I then injured my back for about 2 months and shortly after recovering entered my 1st meet in October 2011.

    Meet 1: I squatted 150 kg (and found out I was training too high) benched 125 kg and deadlifted 170 kilos for a total of 981 lbs (445 Kilos) for a coefficient of 5.63.

    I then switched to Texas Method and did make pretty good progress until I burned myself out by jumping up volume weights too quickly. In April 2012, I entered my 2nd meet.

    Meet 2: Squats 165 kg ; Bench 130 kg; Deadlift 185 kg for total of 480 kilos (1058 lbs).

    I then went to a linear style of programming that used lots of backoff sets. I felt I made pretty good progress with this for about 4-5 months. Third meet this past weekend.

    Meet 3: Squats 182.5 kg, Bench 137.5 kg, Deadlifts 195 kg for a total of 515 kg or 1135 lbs.

    I am now ready to switch up my programming again, as I feel like it's a good time since I won't be competing again until April 2013. As everyone can tell, my weakest lift continues to be my deadlift, so I will try to fix that.

  2. #2
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    October 30 2012

    I'm going to try Isotonic/Isometric Training. I've read Bill Starr's articles and am very intrigued by it. It doesn't look like many lifters currently use it but that doesn't mean it doesn't work.

    I only list work sets- not warm ups.

    I am going to program this as follows:

    Day 1: Press 1 set of 5 RM, and backoff press of 1 set of 5 about 15% less. Squat Iso in 3 positions.

    Day 2: Bench 1 set of 5 RM and backoff set of 5 about 15% less. Deadlift Iso in 3 positions.

    Day 3: Squat 1 set of 5 RM and backoff set of 5 about 15% less. Press Iso in 3 positions.

    Day 4: Deadlift 1 set of 5 RM and 1 backoff set around 20% less ( I find it tough to do deadlift backoff set without big drop in weight). Bench Iso in 3 positions.

    I'll obviously need to adjust this as needed as this is completely new territory for me.

  3. #3
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    Oct 30 2012 1st Iso workout
    Bodyweight at 206 lbs.

    Press x 5 @ 165 lbs, 155 lbs. Easy. I dropped the weight since I haven't done press in about 2 1/2 weeks.

    Squat Iso w/ 185 lbs. These were harder than I though. My legs were shaking really bad by end of ten count at each position. I also had to figure out how to make it work in standard power rack. Essentially I squatted up from safety pins into weight pins that I put on upside down. It's tough since that only gives me about 1 inch of room in order to make sure it hits the upside down weight pins. I misjudged hand placement on 1st attempt and crushed about 1/2 inch of skin on little finger with weight, which really hurt. I'm following Starr's recommendation of let it hit twice then push it for extended ten count on 3rd time. It was very fatiguing considering how light 185 lbs should feel.

  4. #4
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    I'm noting that I'm doing Isotonic as opposed to Isometric Training. I'm trying to do the isotonics as described by Starr in http://startingstrength.com/index.ph...e#.UJBcJoY_xmM and http://startingstrength.com/index.ph...2#.UJBcQYY_xmM It's essentially moving weight into pins and holding it for 10 seconds.

    I will also add in accessory exercises when I feel up to it. I have been doing dips, hanging leg raises, weighted sit-ups and weighted chins.

  5. #5
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    Default Finding Out that the Iron Never Lies

    Interesting. My husband started an isotonic press program last week. I'm curious, so I'll be following along.

    He uses two sets of rails and sets the bar between them to avoid the target problem.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Jenica- I use a commercial gym that has two power racks that are incompatible with each other, each of which only has a single set of rails. I'll be ok pushing it up into rails for press and deadlift without any safety because I can always just drop the weight if I can't get it onto weight pins. For bench and squats I think I need the safety rails below the weight so I don't get pinned under it. I was surprised by how difficult a set of isotonics was with 185 lbs on squat as I was just above 400 this past weekend at the meet. I haven't seen many training logs where isos are used, so I am also curious how it works for your husband.
    Last edited by bustermonkey2; 10-31-2012 at 08:20 AM. Reason: Typo

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bustermonkey2 View Post
    Jenica- I use a commercial gym that has two power racks that are incompatible with each other, each of which only has a single set of rails. I'll be ok pushing it up into rails for press and deadlift without any safety because I can always just drop the weight if I can't get it onto weight pins. For bench and squats I think I need the safety rails below the weight so I don't get pinned under it. I was surprised by how difficult a set of isotonics was with 185 lbs on squat as I was just above 400 this past weekend at the meet. I haven't seen many training logs where isos are used, so I am also curious how it works for your husband.
    Really interested to see how you progress using ISOs for all the lifts. As Jenica mentioned, I'm on the second week of using ISOs for my press. The program is pretty simple. Tue. is bench followed by press ISO's and chins / or another back accessory. Saturday is Press (been doing 3-6 triples) followed by close grip bench and then another back assistance (heavy DB rows) and curls. Following an upper / lower split.

    So far I've been focused on the lower position and have done 3-4 positions starting from about mouth/nose level to the top at just above my head. I'm relying on all the close grip bench to work on my press lockout. But at some point i may try the ISOs above my head. I really like it so far and last nights session went much better now that I'm getting the hang of it and have a better idea of my wieghts.

    One thing I may change is that right now I've been keeping the lower pin at the same height and just moving the top pin. That means for the higher position I have to press it up the full distance and then hold it there. I think this might be harder but I feel like I'll press it up into my normal bar path this way.

    For some idea of how the weights have worked out for me, at nose level I held 235lb for a 12 count, at forehead level I held 205lb for 10 count, and I held 175 just above head for a 15 count (too loght). My last press session was 180lb x 3 x 3. I weight 230lb at 5'10". I'm hoping to press 225lb at BW of 225lb by the end of the year, so I have much work to do.

    Hope this helps. Picking the weights the first time through seems to require some guess work. Maybe i'll dust off my log on here and start updating it agan.

  8. #8
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    I'm also really guessing about weights, number of positions, etc. I am trying to hold it for about a 12 count (maybe 8-9 seconds) and hit three positions on each lift. I am very concerned about hitting normal bar path because I think it won't do much good if it's off, like using a smith machine in lieu of normal squats. Except for those 2 articles by Starr, there really doesn't seem to be much information out there. I too am hoping for bodyweight press, although I doubt I'll make it by end of the year.

  9. #9
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    Nov 1 2012

    Bench @ 275 lbs- 3 reps- Big Fail here as I expected a reasonable 5 reps. I was doing 292 for 5 reps about a month ago. I'm not sure what happened here- maybe not fully recovered from meet on 10/27? I know 18 lb weight cut had big effect on my bench but I was pretty sure I had bounced back a little by now and I got 303 lbs at meet with pause.

    Deadlift Iso w/ 225 lbs. I ended up doing this in 4 positions. I also pulled it off ground to where rails were placed to ensure more natural pulling range, as suggested by strong_over_matter. It actually didn't seem that bad. I needed to stand on platform for bottom position as the power rack's lowest setting is about a foot off the ground. I will increase weight next time.

    Dips w/ 45 lbs- 5 reps- easy.
    Dips w/ 70 lbs- 5 reps- still easy.
    Dips w/ 70 lbs- 10 reps- reasonably tough.

    I stopped bench after 1st set although I intended to do 1 backoff set. I'm really not sure what happened there-. Occasionally I have days where it just isn't happening on a particular lift for me, or I may not fully recovered, or I lost too much strength between cutting weight, or I took too much time off from benching due to vacation and meet. I am surprised how quickly I am finishing the iso workouts as I don't need much rest between positions and its only the one set per position. Hopefully it is going to be enough stimulus to drive progress.

  10. #10
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    Nov 3 2012

    Squats @ 350 lbs- 3, 3. I expected to get 5 of these. I am thinking at this point that even though I was only a little sore from squat and deadlift isos, that I wasn't fully recovered today. I did over 400 last weekend on squat and was doing 375 for 5 about a month ago before weight cut. I'll give this program at least a full month before I decide whether I need to make any changes. I am concerned the single set of isos isn't enough volume on squats.

    Press isos at 115 lbs- 4 positions. Pretty tough. I really did feel like I was bending the bar as described by Starr for the first time, although I clearly wasn't actually bending it.

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