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  1. #1
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    Sep 2009
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    Default Platus's Log

    • starting strength seminar october 2021
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    I met Strength Mill contributor K.Diesel at the local Y a few weeks ago and his helpful advice convinced me that I should make more of an effort to be involved in both the local and online lifting communities. So, henceforth, I will be posting my workout results on the Mill.

    I all but ceased regular exercise while in college and grad school, so I have started back from a pretty detrained state. I've been doing SS properly for about 3 months (and improperly, at home w/out a rack or bench, for two months prior to that). The results are as follows:

    height: 5'10"
    weight: 150 --> 185
    bf% (caliper measurements): 22% --> 15%

    PR's:
    squat (3x5) 120 --> 240
    deadlift: (1x5) 180 --> 315
    press: (3x5) 110 --> (1x3) 140
    bench: (3x5) 120 --> 170
    powerclean: (5x3) 95 --> 145

    I am planning to continue SS through the novice progression and begin using TM for intermediate progression (my press stalled about a month ago and I have already been doing TM for it). I have some interest in doing some recreational powerlifting once my numbers get more respectable. Based on my lousy vertical jump (19") and my history of mediocre sports performance, my expectations of my potential are rather low. But, I think competition would be a fun source of motivation.

    By early 2010, I would like to see my 1RM's get close to:

    squat: 275
    deadlift: 350
    bench: 190
    press: 155
    powerclean: 170

  2. #2
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    9/2/09:

    Light day - sort of a quasi-TM program. Lately I have been working fairly long hours doing physically demanding work (set construction for some local films); so it has been tough to recover from three rounds of heavy squats each week. A few of my lifts have nearly stalled, and I am curious to see if introducing a light mid-week workout to the novice progression of SS will let me get a little farther before I am forced to deload.

    Squats: 195x3x3 w/out belt
    Front Squats: 115x3x3
    Press: 140x1x3 heavy triple
    Weighted Chins: 15x3x5
    Cable abs: 140x3x10

    I had not tried front squats in a while, and they went pretty well. The back squats felt really good, like I had a lot of power coming back out of the hole. I had thought I might get more on the press, as I did 135x5 not long ago. But I think it really was a true triple: I tried to do a set of push presses at the same weight afterwards and couldn't get more than one.

    I am a bit puzzled on why my press is fairly strong in comparison to my bench. Either I am a good presser or a very poor bencher.

  3. #3
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    I forgot that the gym would be closed for Labor Day. I didn't want to get off schedule, so I dusted off the old 1" 'fitness' bar at home and tried to figure out what I could do without a rack. I doubt my squat is really at a point where speed work is necessary, but it was fun to try out. Getting the bar on my back from the floor for all of today's sets also gave me some good cleaning practice.

    Box Speed Squat: 135x10x2
    Press: 125x5x5
    Pullups to failure, five sets: 9, 7, 5, 4, 3

  4. #4
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    9/9/09

    Squats: 230x3x5
    Bench: 170x3x5
    Hang Squat Cleans: 105x5x3
    SLDL: 185x3x8

    Badge of honor?: K.Diesel and another lifter from the gym come over to take a look at my squat. I recently deloaded and above 230 I have had some trouble with keeping my back from rounding. I put the bar on my back and begin my decent. Just below parallel I hear a tremendous ripping sound. Stunned, I sink irreparably into the hole; K.Diesel bolts into place behind me and helps me to lift the bar back up. "Are you ok?" he asks with concern. I ask, "did I rip my shorts or my boxers?" After verifying that it was indeed the latter, I finished my set with improved form thanks to some good coaching.

    The cleans are also getting better. I turned them into squat cleans; at the current weight this is not very necessary, but I think it will help me get into the practice of getting under the bar properly, rather than trying to use my arms to rack the bar.

  5. #5
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    9/11/09

    Box Speed Squats: 135x10x2
    Press: 150x1x0
    Weighted Chins: 20x3x5
    Weighted Decline Situps: 65x2x10
    Triceps Pulldown: 90x2x8

    This session I decided to go for a 1RM on my Press. Unfortunately I accidentally added a pair of 5's instead of a pair of 2.5's; so, rather than attempting a tough but likely manageable 145, I wore myself out with an impossible 150. I almost made it, but I couldn't quite get the bar over my head. I will have to wait a couple of weeks before I can try again.

    Not helping matters: As I was waiting in preparation for my ill-fated 1RM press attempt, a guy I've never seen before goes, "watching the clock is no way to spend your time in the gym." I replied, "I'm just resting before I attempt a 1RM." "Do you want a spot?" he asks. The fact that I was in a cage notwithstanding, I was confused by the very proposition of a spot on the press. Is that even done? How could it be done safely? The answers to these questions came quickly. When I looked across the room I saw a young guy spotting his friend as he did seated overhead presses. In the smith machine.

  6. #6
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    9/15/09

    Squat: 235x3x5
    Deadlift: 320x5
    Bench: 172x3x5
    DB Rows: 45x2x20
    Triceps Pulldown: 100x2x10

    My squat has definitely improved thanks to some coaching last week; I feel confident that I will be able to continue making 5lb. jumps for at least a couple more weeks. The deadlifts are another story. When I first started doing deadlifts my problem was leg strength, then it was back strength, and now it is grip strength. I had trouble getting the bar to lockout because it was slipping out of my fingers. I did some double-overhand backoff sets at 275 to try and work on my grip, but different measures may be necessary.

    I have found that doing db row assistance work has helped with my deadlift; the extra triceps work has been helpful with my pressing movements.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Platus View Post
    Not helping matters: As I was waiting in preparation for my ill-fated 1RM press attempt, a guy I've never seen before goes, "watching the clock is no way to spend your time in the gym." I replied, "I'm just resting before I attempt a 1RM." "Do you want a spot?" he asks. The fact that I was in a cage notwithstanding, I was confused by the very proposition of a spot on the press. Is that even done? How could it be done safely? The answers to these questions came quickly. When I looked across the room I saw a young guy spotting his friend as he did seated overhead presses. In the smith machine.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! I am literally LOL, re-reading it just to relive the hilarity of that scene because I can so see this happening. Please don't tell me it was the new guy that works at the desk asking you that - few inches taller than me, wears toe-slippers and usually has the black fitness staff shirt. That guy is a trip. In only 2 weeks, I already have some funny stuff to tell you about him (assuming this is the guy).

    Man, oh, man. Where would we be if we hadn't evolved from grimy old gyms to the wonderful world of fitness centers?

  8. #8
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    I agree, we would be marooned on an island of muscle with no laughs in site were it not for the development of the planned inefficacy of the modern gym-industrial complex.

    Luckily, for the reputation of the Y, the guy in question did not appear to be staff. He did, however, appear to be desperate for attention. Before each set he would clap his hands several times - like a crowd claps with increasing frequency when they are waiting for a band to come on stage; except, you know, he was just clapping by himself. And, when a woman asked if she could work in with him on the cable pulldown station, he took the opportunity to explain to her in detail how he was working his "laaaaats." Really, that's the way he pronounced it.

    Unfortunately, for the reputation of the Y, a really young trainer was teaching a man to quarter-squat in the smith machine. Despite my druthers, I felt compelled to step in and add my two cents. As I got into position to show him how the bottom of the squat should look, there was an audible sound of my boxers ripping a little bit. This is becoming a problem. I'll have to spring for a new, stretchier wardrobe.

  9. #9
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    I wonder if that's the guy I call Laps. He does a set, then does a lap or two around the whole gym. Usually wears bright yellow sweatpants. Sometimes with dress shoes. Tall guy who is pretty strong up top, but often needs to be saved on the bench. Actually, I think I told you about this guy. Another great bench hogging character who never squats or deadlifts.

    Sadly, almost no one else on staff at the Y would have said the young trainer was wrong with that quarter squat BS.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    No, this is Laps:

    Right after I do my first warm up set of benches I see this big, lean guy, maybe 6'4," come in wearing a camo wife beater. I expect to see him drop into the pec deck or the leg press machine. Instead, he walks right up to the neighboring bench press station and loads the bar with 360 pounds. Did he arrive before me? Did he complete his warmup and run off to relieve himself before attempting his work sets? Intrigued, I offer to spot him. As I stand at the ready he raises the bar, lowers it about 6 inches, and knashes his teeth as he struggles to lock out the bar. When I try to help him he shakes his head. After a tense few seconds he manages to return the bar the pins. "Were you trying for a 1RM PR?" I ask. "No," he responds, "that was my warmup." Then he looks me in the eye and says, "some people around here are jealous of my strength."

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