Am I an Advanced Novice in just 9 weeks? Am I an Advanced Novice in just 9 weeks?

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Thread: Am I an Advanced Novice in just 9 weeks?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Default Am I an Advanced Novice in just 9 weeks?

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    I am from India, 38 yrs, Male, and 5' 4" tall. I am on my 9th week of SS NLP and I am getting stuck on the squat and the bench press with recovery becoming a big issue. I am planning to make a couple of programming modifications (based on the MED article by Matt Reynolds : (Minimum Effective Dose for Maximum Strength, Part 2 | Matt Reynolds) and also based on the knowledge I gained from reading SSBBT, Strong Enough?, hundreds of forum posts and articles and from dozens of videos. Of course, I have asked the Three Questions.

    Can someone please check if my understanding about the programming basics is correct and if the programming modifications proposed at the end are sensible? (I am yet to read PPST, sorry for that).

    First the stats during 9 weeks of my NLP:

    Body Weight (BW): 63 kgf (139 lbs) to 70 kgf (155 lbs) [11% increase]
    (Waist size 32" to 34").

    Squat 3 sets x 5 reps: 45 kgf (99 lbs) to 87.5 kgf (193 lbs = 1.25 x BW). Currently stuck at 90 kgf for 4, 4, 2 on Saturday and 4, 3, 3 today. I am a mess after the latest squat failure and I don't think I can do 3x5 on Wednesday, no matter what I do to recover. Rest between work sets: 9 - 10 mins. Increment: 2.5 kgf. (Previously stalled once at 77.5 kgf after a bout of food poisoning).

    Press 3x5: 20 kgf (44 lbs) to 42.5 kg (94 lbs = 0.6 x BW). Still going up pretty strongly. Rest: 3 minutes is enough. No, I am not push pressing. Increment: 1.25 kgf.

    Bench Press 3x5: 40 kgf (88 lbs) to 65 kgf (143 lbs = 0.93 x BW). Stuck at 66.25 with 5, 5, 3 two times a row. I had barely got past 65 kgf on the third attempt earlier. Rest: 8 mins. 1.25 kgf increments.

    Deadlift (1x5): 60 kgf (132 lbs) to 105 kgf (231 lbs = 1.5 x BW). Still going strong, but the grip is going to fail soon. Hook grip is not working because of small hands. Planning to get straps. Increment: recently switched to 2.5 kgf increments.

    Power Clean(5x3): 20 kgf (44 lbs) to 47.5 kgf (105 lbs = 0.68 x BW). I alternate PC and DL. Rest 2 minutes - technique sucks, but weights are easy and the bar always racks. 2.5 kgf increments.

    BW chins (from dead hang to chest to the bar): From (3, 2, 1) in August to (6, 4, 3) today. I usually chin after the Power Cleans.

    My gym does not allow videography (to protect the privacy of other members), but I sneak in my phone occasionally to get squat and deadlift videos - squat depth is okay and deadlift looks much easier in the videos than it actually felt.



    QUESTION 1a - Squat: Try 90 kgf again on Wednesday - I am almost sure to fail. Reset 10% if I cannot get it. Introduce a light squat day after I reach 90 kgf again. Is this okay at this stage?

    QUESTION 1b - I had initially thought of micro loading the squat. But then I remembered the advice of Coach Rip and Coach Andy Baker that a young male should never micro load the squat. But considering my small size and small numbers on the bar (both comparable to a female's), will micro loading work for me?



    QUESTION 2 - Bench Press: Since I nearly got stuck at 65 kgf and now again at 66.25 kgf, is it time to switch to triples? I meant the 5 sets of 3 as recommended by the Minimum Effective Dose article by Matt Reynolds referred above.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    The First Three Questions | Mark Rippetoe

    Answer them here, for us.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Sir,

    The answers are already in the original post. But it is easy to miss as it is a long post. So I will repeat.

    Question 1: Rest

    Squat: 9 to 10 minutes between work sets.
    Press: 3 minutes. Press is still going up pretty easily.
    Bench Press: 8 minutes
    Deadlift: Not Applicable
    Power Clean: just 2 minutes, because I am still at light weights.
    Chins: About 3 to 5 minutes depending on how I feel after each set on each day.

    *1 minute to 5 minutes after each warm up set - depending on weight and the lift.


    Question 2: Increments

    (1.25 kgf + 1.25 kgf) = 2.5 kgf for squat, deadlift and power clean.

    (0.625 kgf + 0.625 kgf) = 1.25 kgf (made from 2" washers) for Press and Bench Press. I have 0.31 kgf plates also if I need to further decrease the increments.

    Not strong enough to load the chins.

    Question 3: Food and Sleep

    I am allergic to milk, but I can tolerate raw, unflavoured whey in small doses. I make it a point to get 150 plus grams of protein a day, mostly from the real food and a little from whey (only exception is when my work takes me to the predominantly vegetarian parts of India once every month for two days). I don't count the other macros, but I am sure that everyday I eat way more than what I used to eat on the carboloading days before a marathon. 3000+ kilocalories for sure, perhaps 3500 (that is 43 to 50 kilocalories per kgf). As mentioned in the post, I have gained 7 kgf of bodyweight (11% of the beginning weight) and 2" in waist size, in spite of a bout of travel related food poisoning in the 6th week of LP that made me miss 2 workouts, a couple of kilos of body weight and caused a premature squat reset. But I had recovered from it quickly.

    Sleep: 7 hours on working days and 9 hours on weekends. I have a 2 year old daughter, hence it is disturbed sleep occasionally when she gets sick.


    Hope this helps.

    PS:. I now know that I should have ordered PPST before Strong Enough?.

  4. #4
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    Take your total calories to 4000 and protein to 175gm/day. Stay with this program. Take some caffeine before your next workout, and make damn sure you get your numbers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Sure, Up protein by 25 grams, calories by 500 and have a big mug of coffee before hitting the gym.

    No light squat day or bench triples for the time being.

    Thank you coach.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Failed at the squat again. 90 kgf x 4, 4, 3. This is my third failure in a row. It was a shitty day at work, but that is no excuse. Resetting to 80 kgf on Saturday.

    Bench Press is through. 66.25 kgf x 5 reps x 3. Will lift 67.5 kgf next time.

    Will keep the calories and protein up.

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