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Thread: Powerlifting Past 40: Doing the Best I Can with What I Have

  1. #31
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    • starting strength seminar april 2024
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    Quote Originally Posted by Str8shutr View Post
    Nice lifts. You made the third attempts look light, too.

    Awesome work.
    Thank you! I definitely underestimated myself on the 3rd attempts. I'm going to kick myself for awhile over not going 2.5 kg heavier on anything, especially deadlifts - I would have won.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldster View Post
    Wow! Really enjoyed watching that, man! Congratulations!
    Glad you did. Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by skid View Post
    Congrats! Squats and bench moved fast too! Def more there!
    3rd attempts on both of them surprised me. 2nd squat felt harder than the 3rd for some reason. I've never had a good bench, so I'm really excited that it's moving forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Helton View Post
    Awesome stuff. Super strong.
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by codger View Post
    Incredible and inspiring!
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Meshuggah View Post
    Why haven't I noticed this log before?! Keep up the strong work!!
    Probably because I took a 4-5 month hiatus from posting. I'll try to keep the lifts AND log going. I hope you enjoy it.

    Thu. 3/29/18

    Ab Wheel: 5 sets of 10

    That's all I had time for today. I ended up going to my youngest daughter's school to help set up for an Easter party. I volunteered the first week of the school year, and forgot until my wife reminded me this morning. Then our oldest daughter had her softball season and career opener this afternoon, so I couldn't miss that. Then today was Orioles (and a lot of teams') Opening Day, and local Chick-fil-A restaurants were giving out free sandwiches until 7pm to people wearing Orioles gear. Even with fries, I couldn't pass up a post-game dinner out for $6, so blah blah blah... I hit the ab wheel at home. My wife has a sleep study tomorrow night, so I'm solo at home. Hopefully, I can squeeze some gym time in tomorrow between work and her leaving for the hospital. The Y is closed on Easter, and I really don't want to be out of the gym until Monday or Tuesday.

    NOTE TO SELF: It really might be time to start piecing together a home gym.

  2. #32
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    Great stuff Diesel. Awesome to see another 40+ competitor lifting heavy and conventional DL to boot. Keep it up.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrophy View Post
    Great stuff Diesel. Awesome to see another 40+ competitor lifting heavy and conventional DL to boot. Keep it up.
    Thank you! Note on my DL: I've flipped flopped on stance 4 times since I started competing, and have hit PR's with each change. I started conventional, went sumo, back to conventional, sumo again, and went back to conventional after my best DL started declining in meets since hitting my all-time raw PR of 262.5 kg (578 lbs) a few years ago. This run with conventional has me back to within 5 kg of my PR, and I'm convinced I could have pulled at least 2.5 kg more last Sunday. Perhaps most importantly, pulling conventional feels very comfortable and natural again, and I have confidence in the lift again. I was starting to expect misses on my 3rd DL, and that's no way to go about things.

    Sunday weigh-in: 222.6 lbs (-0.9 lb from last week)

    I didn't make it to the gym on Friday or Saturday. They were closed today, but I found myself in a hoodie and sweatpants at a playground with my children this afternoon. We have an automatic pitch machine, so I got some swings in (that was fun!) and chased their fly balls and grounders all over the place. Plus there were monkey bars of all types, so yeah, I'm counting it :

    Sun. 4/1/18

    1. Pullups: BW x 8 sets of 5, 1 set of 10 - used all kinds of grips (overhand, underhand, neutral, wide, narrow). Can't remember what sequence I went in.

    2. Toe-to-bar hanging leg raises: BW x 1 set of 5, 2 sets of 10. I'm determined to sneak more regular ab work in between now and Regionals in August.

    That was it. Here's my dilemma: I'm a huge wrestling fan, and next Sunday is WrestleMania 34. I don't want to miss the last Raw (tomorrow night) or Smackdown (Tuesday night) before WM, but I don't really want to wait until Wednesday to hit the gym again. What am I to do? I think I'll sacrifice the first 90 minutes to 2 hours of Raw tomorrow (8:00-9:30 or 10:00) and train, then catch the last hour. That's better than missing the entire show on Tuesday (ends at 10). Because of my work schedule and after school pickups, I don't usually make it to the gym until around 8 on weeknights these days. We'll see what happens.

  4. #34
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    Default Mon. 4/2/18 - Back To the Grind w/Squat & Lower Body

    With USAPL Regionals still 4 months away, I figured this is a good time to experiment with a couple of things. First is going with a lower/upper split again, training 3-4 days per week, depending on life circumstances. Ever since I participated in Project Momentum with RTS 2 years ago, I was all in for training everything at each session. Training time has become a bit more constrained in recent months, so planning shorter, more focused sessions might help keep the gains coming. Also, post-meet is when I try to open up the playbook, so to speak. In the last 4-6 weeks before the meet, my gym sessions will start morphing into the Squat Bench & Deadlift Show. Finally, I'm going to tinker with some different set & rep schemes than what I've been doing. I just want to see how I respond.

    Fortunately, I caught a break yesterday on Monday between the time I got off work, school pickups, and Raw. Got to train and see more than half of the show. Here's what happened at the gym:

    Mon. 4/2/18, Total time - 1:31

    1. Squat

    135/6; 225/4; 315/2 - I did all 3 of these sets with on of Mark Bell's Hip Circles around my thighs. I used it for much of my initial warmup also. It was my first time using one. So far, I like it.

    385/1 - started using mouth guard here
    425/1 - started using wrist wraps here
    460/1 @6 RPE - started using belt here
    485/1 @7.5 RPE
    425/2 x 7 sets - This is 80% of my 3rd squat last week. From the end of the first set to the end of the 7th set, it took 16:45. None of the sets felt especially difficult, but the sum total of reps in that relatively shorter period of time felt really hard. I'd rate the first 5 sets as all between 6 & 7 RPE. The last 2 sets felt closer to an 8.

    2. Single Leg Curls, plate loaded (alternated sets with 3)

    50/10 each side;
    75/10 each side - started using mouth guard here
    87.5/9.5 left + 9 right + 5 left + 5 right - only rested long enough to switch sides. Inadvertently took the first segment to @10 RPE. Kept to rest to @9.

    3. Leg Extensions, plate loaded

    90/10
    135/10 - started using mouth guard here
    rest-pause set: 160/10 + 6 + 6 Took each segment to @9.

    4. Calf Presses, on leg press

    rest-pause set: 180/8 + 7 + 5 - Did all reps DC-style (very slow negative, hold in stretch position, fast press)

    5. Seated Cable Crunches, lat pulldown station. Never did these before.

    75/10
    60/10; 15

    I was going to do kneeling crunches at the tower where people do tricep pressdowns, but 3 dudes were already using that. I actually sat at the pulldown station to think of what I would do for abs, and this idea popped in my head. I think I like them.
    Last edited by K.Diesel; 04-04-2018 at 10:44 PM.

  5. #35
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    460/1 @6 RPE - started using belt here
    The whole session looks incredible.

    I never thought about using a mouth guard for squatting but I can definitely see the utility.

  6. #36
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    Default Wed. 4/4/18, Bench and Upper Body

    Quote Originally Posted by codger View Post
    The whole session looks incredible.

    I never thought about using a mouth guard for squatting but I can definitely see the utility.
    Thanks! Incredible is one way to describe it. I got through it without anything hurting, and nothing felt bad as I went through the early part of Tuesday morning at home or at work. I deliver mail for a living though, and reality set in by the 2nd block on my route. My glutes, lower back, and sides of my hips felt like I'd been beaten or something. I felt better at work and in the gym yesterday. Now today I'm off, and I'm feeling a sharp pain in my right knee, seemingly out of nowhere. I hope it's not related to anything I did on Monday. I'd like to try that template again.

    As for the mouth guard, I started wearing one several years ago on the advice of a dentist. He said it would keep my teeth from grinding together, and had nothing to do with performance. I used the 97 cent guards that Walmart sells for years. I switched to one that is supposed to help with performance (Brian Shaw uses this brand) about 3 years ago. They had a decent price on them at The Arnold. It might be a placebo effect for all I know.

    Wed. 4/4/18, Total time - 1 hour, 2 minutes

    1. Bench Press

    95/6; 155/4; 205/3; 245/2 - These are larger jumps than I'm usually take on the bench. They felt fine. Added mouth guard for the 245 set.
    270/1 @6 RPE - added wrist wraps here
    290/1 @7 RPE - started getting handoffs here
    305/1 @8.5 RPE - My opener at the meet was 137.5 kg (303 lbs). Making this lift after 3.5 hours of sleep and a full day of work was a nice confidence boost.
    265/2 x 8 sets - This is 81.5% of my 3rd bench from the meet. From the end of set 1 to the end of set 8 was exactly 16 minutes. RPE's fluctuated 8-9, and seemed to be dictated by how much rest I took between sets.

    2. Seated Cable Row, medium overhand grip

    75/10; 135/10; 165/6
    195/15 @9 RPE - I was going to do a rest-pause set, but about 5-6 reps in, I realized that I should have gone with 210. Instead of stopping, I just decided to keep going and see how many reps I could do here. At least I have a baseline now.

    3. Incline Bench Press

    135/9
    185/8 @9.5 RPE - I used wrist wraps and got a handoff here. Given the amount of reps I did on flat bench, I'm not surprised at this. I'll take it.

    4. Standing DB Curls

    drop-set: 45's/5 @9 + 40's/5 @9 + 35's/5 @8

    I don't do curls often, but like abs, calves, and stretching, I'm going to start hitting biceps more frequently too. 1-2 sets of curls per week would be a lot based on the pattern I've set for myself.

  7. #37
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    Default Fri. 4/6 & Sun. 4/8

    Busy weekend and start to the workweek. Here's the recap from the last 2 training days.

    Fri. 4/6, Deadlift & Lower Body, Total time - 1 hour 33 minutes

    1. Squat Press - This is basically a leg press, but it doesn't travel along a track. I describe it as a "floating leg press". I'll post video soon.

    180/10; 360/10; 540/6 - I used the hip circle for my initial warmup, and these 3 sets.
    630/6 - I dropped the hip circle, and started wearing the mouth guard here.
    720/6
    810/6 @7 RPE; 6 @8.5 RPE
    then 4 reps each at 720, 630, and 540
    then 450/8

    2. Snatch Grip Deadlift - I do these in weightlifting shoes (elevated heel) to basically create a deficit deadlift while standing on the floor. Mouth guard in from the start.

    265/2, 2
    355/2 - I started using Versa Gripps here.
    425/1
    475/1 @7.5 RPE - I started wearing my belt here.
    500/1 @9 RPE - This was a 5 lbs PR on this lift, and of course my phone ran out of memory when the bar got to my knees. Perfect!
    445/1 x 6 sets - Took 6:10 from the end of #1 to the end of #6.

    3. Snatch Grip SLDL - The bar was already loaded and on the floor, so...

    265 for 3 sets of 10. RPEs were @8, @8, @9. Went beltless and used Versa Gripps on all sets.

    4. Calf Press Machine

    130/10 DC-style reps; 15 normal reps

    5. Seated Cable Crunch - back at the lat pulldown station. I really like these.

    60 for 3 sets of 15


    Sun. 4/8, Bench Press & Upper Body, Total time - 1:30 minutes

    1. Bench Press

    95/5; 135/5; 175/5; 205/5
    230/5 x 4 sets. 70.7% of my 3rd BP from the meet. Wore wrist wraps and mouth guard for these. RPEs were all @5.

    2. Push Press

    bar/5; 95/5; 135/5
    165/3 - I started wearing wrist wraps and mouth guard here.
    185/3 x 4 sets. RPEs were @8, @8.5, @8, @9.
    185/2 x 4 sets. RPEs were @7, @8.5, @8, @8. The 20 reps at 185 were done in 12:10.

    3. Pullups

    Full stack assistance/10 OH; 1/2 stack assistance/10
    BW/8, 10, 8, 5, 5, 5, 5, 4 - 50 total reps with a variety of grips. I should have kept track of how much time elapsed.

    4. Inverted Row, done on decline bench.

    BW/8 x 5 sets - First time doing these on a decline bench. The rack and Smith machine were both in use.

    5. Twisty Abdominal Thingy I feel like I should know the name of this. I did them on a back extension/Roman chair.

    BW/15 per side, 2 sets

  8. #38
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    Default Tue. 4/10/18 - Squat & Lower Body (technically)

    It turns out that I didn't give myself enough time to do the assistance work I had in mind. I got a whopping ONE set of leg curls in while literally on my way out of the gym (the machine is right at the edge of the gym floor). Still, I'm glad I got in there today. Here's how it all went down.

    Tue. 4/10/18, Total time - 58 minutes

    1. Squat

    135/6; 225/4; 315/2 - I did all of these with the hip circle on.
    385/1 - started wearing mouth guard
    435/1 - started wearing wrist wraps
    470/1 @7 RPE - started wearing belt
    495/1 @8.5 RPE - That's +10 lbs from my heaviest single in my last squat session 8 days ago. I'm planning on an opener of 225 kg (496 lbs) at Regionals in August. So far, I'm on track for that, if not a bit more.
    425/3 x 5 sets. RPEs were @8, @8, @9, @8, @8. From the end of set 1 to the end of set 5, it took 15:30. That's 1 more total rep, and 1:15 less time than 425/2 x 7 sets from last squat session.

    2. Seated Leg Curl

    150/12 - This was all I had time for. Hauled ass out of the gym to pick up my oldest daughter from dance. Should have more time for a bench/upper session either tomorrow or Thursday.

  9. #39
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    More incredible work. Plus squatting well over 400 without a belt!

  10. #40
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    Default Good Work, Bad News

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    Quote Originally Posted by codger View Post
    More incredible work. Plus squatting well over 400 without a belt!
    Thank you! It was almost by chance that I started going so heavy before putting on the belt. When squatting with heavy singles, I used to put the belt on around 375-385. Then it got up to 405 or so, and I left it there for several months, if not longer. I think I got under the bar once a few months ago with 425-430, and it wasn't until I unracked it that I realized I'd forgotten the belt. I decided to go ahead and see how it felt, and it was relatively "easy". So I've just kept nudging the beltless singles up little by little as well. Unfortunately, all of my singles might be on hiatus for a bit (more on that later).

    Thu. 4/12/18, Bench & Upper Body, Total time - 55 minutes

    1. Bench Press

    95/7; 155/5; 205/3
    240/2 - started wearing mouth guard
    265/1 @5 - started wearing wrist wraps
    285/1 @6
    300/1 @7 - started getting handoffs
    310/1 @8 - the lowest RPE I've ever given a 310 BP in training. I might be on the verge of benching 315 in a training session for the first time!
    275/6 @9.5 - no handoff here, and this either ties or sets a rep PR at 275.

    2. Incline Bench Press

    135/5; 185/4; 205/2
    rest-pause set w/225: 3 @8 + 3 @9 + 2@9 + 2.5 @10 + 2 @9. Total of 12 reps in 8 minutes. Used mouth guard and wrist wraps for these. Easily the most reps I've done with this weight on incline in the same session.

    3. Barbell Row

    185/12
    225/15 - wearing Versa Gripps

    Fri. 4/13/18, Lower Body (and maybe truly unlucky), Total time - 1 hour 2 minutes

    1. Squat Press (a.k.a. the "floating leg press")

    180/10; 360/10, 540/7 - wore hip circle for these sets
    630/7
    720/7 - started wearing mouth guard
    810/7 @7; 7 @8.5
    5 reps each w/720, 630, 540
    10 reps w/450

    Starting with the 540/7 set, I ended up doing 10 more total reps than the last time I did this exercise (+1 on each set going up then back down, and +2 on the 450 set).

    2. Seated Leg Curl

    70/10; 110/10
    150/10 @8
    170/8 @9

    3. Calf Press Machine

    150/15 @8; 10 @9; 5 @9. The rep speed was just a tad bit faster than when I'm doing them DC-style, and the rest period between the last 2 sets was very short.

    4. Abdominal Machine - basically an inverted sit-up machine. Resistance goes up to 305 lbs.

    150/15 - I've used this machine before, but I've largely ignored it for several years. I actually liked this a lot. I can see it being a part of the rotation.

    NOTE: This is the first session that I can remember in a long time in which I went to the gym and did not perform either a squat, bench press, or deadlift. It's also the first time in forever that I've had a machine-only training session.

    As for the "bad news" I mentioned in the title of this post...


    Fast forward to yesterday morning, and I had a sharp pain in my right knee that is still there. I felt it while walking straight, while going up and down stairs, and when making any directional changes. It also hurts to the touch in some spots. Even still, I delivered my entire route, plus 1/3 of another one (with a limp that led to pain in my hip and lower back), and went to an urgent care center after work. They gave me a 6-day steroid pack for inflammation, and Tylenol with codeine (that I haven't taken yet). But the x-ray showed no serious arthritis or anything else unusual. The doctor told me the pain from touching may be a sign of a ligament trouble, and if I'm not better when this steroid pack is done, then I should follow up with an orthopedist.

    I don't plan to wait that long. I'm calling my normal doctor tomorrow to see if she can write an order for an MRI, and if she won't do it from a phone call, then see if I can get in there on Thursday (my next day off) to see her and get the order. I need to see her for a follow up from a visit last month anyway. I can self-refer on my insurance plan, so tomorrow, I'm going to make an appointment with an orthopedist as well, with the idea of having the MRI images in my hand when I go for my first visit. Meanwhile, I have a pretty sturdy hinged knee brace that seemed to help a lot on a day off today. Hopefully, that continues to provide some relief.

    Needless to say, I'm pretty bummed about all of this. On top of making work miserable, I'm really worried about it derailing what has been a very good stretch of months in the gym and on the platform. I just hope it isn't very serious. Right now, I'm planning on doing my next scheduled gym day, which is an upper body day, on Tuesday or Wednesday. Assuming I don't feel any better and I go to the doctor on Thursday, I'll make further plans after that visit.

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