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Thread: Once More. From The Top.

  1. #191

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    [2015-04-29, Wednesday, 167 lbs...]
    Olympic Squat, higher heels, sleeves

    45 x 16 x 2
    135 x 8
    225 x 4
    275 x 2
    295 x 1
    305 x 1
    315 x 2, 1

    So I had an unexpected few hours to kill this morning and I had slept for ten hours (went to sleep within minutes of stepping out the shower when I got home last night). So I figured that it was okay if I did a very low volume squat session. If It turned out I could get those reps with 315, then even better!

    I couldn't. And I was bummed about it. Till I got to my dad's shop and weighed myself on the calibrated scale. I'm just barely 167 lbs this morning. This shouldn't be as big a surprise as it is. I've been working hard, sweating a lot in hot attics. Yesterday I failed to eat much and went to sleep without dinner. So my squat strength is down about 10-20 lbs. I got a triple with 315 followed by a double last week. Today I got a double followed by a single.

    315 for ~3 puts me at 335 for a single...which means double bodyweight for me as I weigh 167 this morning. That's nice and all, but I really need to start doing volume again to put on weight and get to repping double bodyweight at a higher bodyweight. Another couple days of weight loss and I'll be back in the 74 kilo class...and that's not good if getting stronger is the goal. It's sort of weird to see and feel the difference in appetite, weight, and strength that comes with reducing volume.

    In other news, that TENS unit is magic. Clearing up lingering aches...and it has reduced that slight, persistent swelling in my left knee.

  2. #192

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    [2015-05-01, Friday, 167 lbs...]
    Olympic Squat

    45 x 12 x 2
    135 x 6
    225 x 3
    275 x 2

    Bench Press, touch and go
    45 x 20
    135 x 5
    185 x 3
    205 x 3

    One-Arm DB Row 100 x 12

    I thought I'd be able to go lighter and get some volume. But everything felt heavy. Both of my outer quads have been burning on squats over 80% and they were still feeling it today. I gave up on squats at 275 and tried benches. A triple with 205 was just about all I had. I don't know if this is the lag effect as my strength follows my decline in weight. I weighed just 167 again this morning. i'm feeling tired and wondering if i can pursue my strength goals while I have such a physically draining job. I will have to cut back to training each lift once per week, that's for sure. I know strength fluctuates and there are bad days. But this is just depressing. Just too bummed out to add much more today.

  3. #193

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    [2015-05-05, Tuesday, 172 lbs...]
    Bench Press, touch and go

    45 x 20 x 2
    95 x 10
    135 x 5
    165 x 3
    185 x 2
    195 x 6 x 2

    One-Arm DB Row 125 x 5 x 2
    Standing Press 135 x 1 x 2

    Okay, so as of right now I managed to get three days off per week all together in the middle of the week: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. So I figure it best to bench on Tuesday and then squat on Wednesday. This will allow me a full day away from work before and *after my squat day. That way I can be fully rested, hydrated, and fed prior to squatting...and then I can relax a day after squatting.

    I have been eating even when I don't feel particularly hungry. Keeping weight on as a cable contractor is a bit of a task. If I'm not careful I can drop 5-10 lbs in a week! I have to fight to stay hydrated and nourished. A few days ago after I realized I was down to 167 I consumed four meals in a day for about 5,000 to 6,000 kcalories. I've backed off since then, but I'm still eating a lot more than I had been. I'd say I'm between 3,000 and 4,000 kcals daily.

    I need to add 10 lbs of bodyweight in 10 weeks. That is the only way I can add 30-50 lbs to my bench and 50-80 lbs to my squat for the meet. I'm starting a new cycle here of once per week for each lift. The squat prescription once more is the Smolov template minus the 10 of 3 portion, but done once per week instead of several times per week. I love the percentages and volume here and the weekly frequency makes it much more useful and survivable. For peaking I'll just use the volume attenuation of the so called Russian Routine: 4 x 4, 3 x 3, 2 x 2, 1 x 1 (meet day). The drawn out, sensible Smolov will leave me at 315 or 325 x 5 x 7 which sets me up to start the peaking wave with 355 x 4 x 4 and end the wave with 415 x 1. That's meet day. And then I add the belt and new sleeves for my max attempts.

    For bench, I'm just going to try to keep the volume high and eat till I get to 180+. The weight gain will help the squat too, but it's a bit more important for the bench.

  4. #194

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    [2015-05-06, Wednesday, 170 lbs...]
    Olympic Squat, higher heels, sleeves

    45 x 20 x 2
    135 x 6
    185 x 4
    225 x 3
    255 x 6 x 4

    I should have used 235 if getting sets of nine was the goal. So I'm already off the template I outlined just yesterda. But it's okay. I'm starting with about 80% and I'm going to add weight for a few sessions then cycle back.

    The great thing about today is that the lighter weight and higher volume seem to have worked the kinks out of both my left and right vastus lateralis and illiotibial bands. I stretched my quads, hams, and adductors after I squatted then I left.

    I stuffed myself to the gills last night. Kept eating good, real food (rice and peas, chicken, fish, yam, potato salad, coleslaw) way beyond the point of being full. Yet I'm lighter this morning after my coffee-induced morning elimination. I'm just a bit over 170 in my underwear. The good news about that is that it makes my 255 squat exactly 150% of bodyweight and I got a bunch of sets of six with it. Now I have to gain over ten pounds and get to repping double bodyweight in the next 60 days.

  5. #195

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    [2015-05-12, Tuesday, 170 lbs...]
    Olympic Squat, higher heels, sleeves

    45 x 12 x 2
    135 x 6
    185 x 4
    225 x 3
    255 x 2
    275 x 1
    285 x 6 x 3

    Last set of six was rest-pause, essentially three sets of two. But rests were literally just three deep breaths. I had to do the third set because my best last cycle was two of six. Had to best that.

    Also note that this is a 30-lb jump over last session. 25% less total volume, but still six reps in a set. This is how a cycle should look...attenuating jumps...like the trajectory of a thrown object. Velocity approaches zero. So 30 lbs the first jump. 15 or 20 for the next, 10 for the next,* then a couple of five. Then reset.

    So I'd like to jump to 305 next session if only so I can then go to 315 after that. Finish with 325 for maybe a set of four before resetting. The jumps would be 30-20-10-5-5. The rep range is 4-6, starting at 6 now and going to 4 for the last couple sessions.

    It amazes me how a 30-lb jump is so manageable in the first week. Those sets of 255 x 6 were hard last time. No way I could have gotten 285 for that many. Now 285 x 6 thrice. I actually got stuck on my second rep in the last set, but was able to bounce out of the bottom after a couple tries.

    The exciting thing isn't that I got 285 x 6 a few times. The exciting thing is that I am doing it on day 2 of a cycle. I can do a couple more cycles before the meet and end up repping double projected bodyweight, i.e. 365 x 5 @ 182.

    I swear I will bench tomorrow.

  6. #196

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    [2015-05-13, Wednesday, 170 lbs...]
    Bench Press, touch and go

    45 x 20 x 2
    95 x 10
    135 x 5
    165 x 3
    185 x 2
    195 x 1
    200 x 6, 5

    One-Arm DB Row 100 x 14

    Not bad. I really wanted to get six reps on the second set, but it would have been a close call. I would likely have lost form even if I did manage to grind it out. Or I would have needed someone to run over and peel the bar off me. So I decided to leave it at five. I'm telling myself that the 195 and 185 warm ups helped make up for it. They might have sapped just enough strength from me that I couldn't get rep six on the second set, but I really feel like I needed those heavy warm ups this morning to prep me. Note that my warm up is a bit more extensive these days. I'm using the 95 on the bench and the 185 on the squat again.

    I'm surprised at how hard it is for me to put on any weight still. I'm consuming well over 3000 Calories per day. I try my best to take advantage of my three days off to pack in the food and fluids. It's not kicking in right now. But at least my strength is still going up.

  7. #197

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    [2015-05-16, Saturday, 171 lbs...]
    Olympic Squat, higher heels, sleeves

    45 x 12
    135 x 8
    185 x 6
    225 x 4
    255 x 3
    275 x 2
    295 x 2
    305 x 5 x 2, ...1

    Bench Press, touch and go
    45 x 20
    95 x 10
    135 x 5
    165 x 3
    185 x 2
    195 x 1
    205 x 5 x 2, ...2

    One-Arm DB Row 100 x 16

    Okay...rest-pausing started on the first set. Had to take a breather before fourth and fifth reps of first set. Then before third rep if second. I really wanted one more set, but I knew after one rep that I had three left in me tops. Similar thing with bench. Still I got slightly more volume with these weights than my recent bests.

    I've developed a painful knot in my right IT band. I need to buy a section of PVC to roll it out. I don't know if I should press on to 315 x 5 on the squat or drop back to 275 and get some volume.

  8. #198
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    1,995

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    Could you do both? Say 310 x 5 or 315 x 5, then 275 for "x" of "y"..?

  9. #199

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    [2015-05-20, Wednesday, 172 lbs...]
    Olympic Squat, higher heels, sleeves

    45 x 16*
    135 x 8
    225 x 4
    255 x 3
    275 x 2
    295 x 2
    315 x 4 x 1, rest-pause

    The last rep of 315 was absolute failure. I had to rest before the third rep and rest even longer before the fourth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris McCarthy View Post
    Could you do both? Say 310 x 5 or 315 x 5, then 275 for "x" of "y"..?
    Heh. It's not a bad idea at all! But this time around 315 x 5 would have been an all out effort and I wouldn't have been able to squat much after it. As it was I only got 315 for four. I put 275 on afterward and walked it out and realized that I had maybe three ugly reps left in me at even that lighter weight.*

    Plus my VL feels like someone punched me in it. So I'm going to try to give it a chance to heal and then start a cycle with lighter weight and volume.

    I had well over 5000 kcals yesterday. I drank a third of a gallon of milk and several helpings of chicken, beef, rice, and pasta for dinner. I paid for it in the bathroom this morning, but I'd hoped I'd be more ready for the squat.

    My recent best with 315 in terms of volume was two sets of triples a couple weeks back. One set of four doesn't really indicate much in the way of improvement. My max is probably 340 +/-5. That's double bodyweight...and this is the lightest I've weighed while being able to accomplish that with high bar.

    My outlandish hope was to add 60 lbs to that for July. But of course my gains are slowing. It may take me a year to get to 2.5x bodyweight. I'm trying to add 10 lbs per week when 5 lbs per month is probably closer to my real limit.
    Last edited by Gary Gibson; 05-21-2015 at 02:37 AM.

  10. #200

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    starting strength coach development program
    [2015-05-21, Thursday, 169 lbs...]
    Bench Press, touch and go

    45 x 20
    55 x 10
    95 x 10
    135 x 5
    165 x 3
    185 x 2
    205 x 1
    210 x 3,2,2,1

    One-Arm DB Row, semi-supinated, left and right 115 x 6 x 4

    The only thing keeping me from extreme disappointment about my bench today is the fact that I weighed in at under 170 lbs after my session. So my weakness is somewhat excused.

    A few years back, however, I was weighing around 175 and repping 225 on the bench. Granted that was with an extreme arch a la Lamar Gant who is of similar build to me. But it just feels like I have lost the ability to weigh even that much! I will be 40 my next birthday and my test levels are about to enter freefall. My ability to hold onto muscle mass seems to be slipping in lockstep with my age. It's a bit depressing. Yet my ability to grow ass muscle seems to be increasing.

    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbi...8&ref=bookmark

    I've always maintained that I'd rather have horse legs than an apish upper body. And indeed my development is very much slanted toward my lower body. But I am mystified and frustrated at my lack of progress with the bench. One would think I just need more volume or something, but I've had no luck funneling volume into more strength lately.

    Then there's my job. It's super physical, involving me doing death march cable pulls, hangs and buries in Florida humidity. That surely cannot be helping in the recovery and growth departments.

    Update: I took 800 mg ibuprofen this morning. Quad pain greatly diminished. Took another 800 this evening. I'm hoping to wake up pain-free.
    Last edited by Gary Gibson; 05-21-2015 at 05:13 PM.

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