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Thread: zen and the art of strength training

  1. #271
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


    • starting strength seminar february 2023
    • starting strength seminar april 2023
    • starting strength seminar june 2023
    Monday November 28

    Deadlift 10 x 1 x 315

    These were double overhand, all felt good.

    Thursday December 1

    Squat 3 x 5 x 185
    Weighted Carries

    Holy smokes my legs cramped during the squats and then I could barely walk on Friday. Hadn't squatted in about 2 weeks. These weren't hard in the sense that the lifts were easy, but the tightness was unbelievable.

    Saturday December 3

    Kettlebell Press 5 x (1,2,3,4,5) x 60

    This was five ladders, for 75 total reps, with the 60 pound kettlebell. Total time was under an hour, around 55 minutes. These felt good. Shoulders felt great, and I think this was much faster than the last time I did this.

    Sunday December 4

    Ruck: 7.6 miles, 1:55, 40 pounds

    Beautiful morning for a hike. Mid-40s, sunny. Felt good throughout, except for a little tightness in my left knee. This was the same trail and distance I did on October 9. Since then cut 5 minutes off the time and added 20 pounds, so pretty happy with progress. Planning to do 10 miles with a friend sometime the week between Christmas and New Years, if we get a nice day.

    I doubt I'll make much progress the rest of the year. Traveling for work this week, vacation the following week, and then the holidays. Want to try and get in a few lifts and hikes to hold off detraining, and then hit it consistently in 2023.

  2. #272
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


    Tuesday December 6

    15 rounds:
    Goblet Squat 5 x 45
    Pushups BW x 5

    I was traveling for work and this was done in the hotel gym. Basically only had a rack of dumbbells up to 50 pounds. Did this to get moving and not spend the whole trip sitting down.

    Thursday December 8

    Turkish Getups and Presses

    Can't remember what the weights were. I had a pretty narrow window to workout mid-day.

    Saturday December 10

    Squat 4 x 5 x 185
    Pushups BW x 30, 12, 12, 12
    Weighted Carries x 180

    On a family vacation to Cocoa Beach, Florida. Found a good gym less than a mile from where we were staying. One of my end of year goals was to do 30 pushups, so pleased I met that goal.

    Monday December 12

    Deadlift 5 x 2 x 275

    Can't remember how many pushups I did. I was not feeling great during this workout. Still on vacation.

    Wednesday December 14

    Squat 5 x 5 x 185

    Still on vacation. Had a terrible night of sleep the previous night and did not feel all that great overall. Probably been drinking too much. We got the kids up at 2 am to walk out to the beach to watch a space shuttle launch. It was very cool but I had a hard time falling back asleep. Did the squats but felt crappy; did some stretching and called it quits.

    Sunday December 18

    Ruck: 10 miles, 40 pounds, 2:36

    Back from vacation. Did this along a trail near my house. Felt pretty good throughout, though had some bad chaffing in my butt area. Need to figure out what underwear is best for this. Started around 8 am, it was in the high 30s and sunny, really good hiking weather. This was another end of year goal.

  3. #273
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


    Thursday December 22

    Squat 3 x 5 x 190
    Deadlift 5 x 1 x 335

    Monday December 26

    Kettlebell Swings 10 x 10 x 44
    KB Press 5 x 5 x 53
    Pushups 5 x 10

    I did these in a circuit in the evening: swing/press/swing/pushups/swing etc... Took my time, did some stretches between rounds.

    Tuesday December 27

    Squat 5 x 5 x 190
    Carries 5 x 190

    Squats felt good. Did five loops around the weight room with 95 pound dumbbells in each hand. Between each I did about 20 seconds of plank, squeezing everything as hard as I could. Also did plenty of stretching between rounds. This was a really good workout.

    Wednesday December 28

    Ruck: 10.6 miles, 40 pounds, 3 hours

    My friend that I've been doing this with texted me on Tuesday night to see if I wanted to go for a hike early on Wednesday. Our end of year goal had been to do 10 miles with 40 pounds in less than 3 hours. I didn't think our schedules would align, which is why I went ahead and hiked that distance on December 18. But I figured it wouldn't hurt to do it again, especially since we'd set that goal together. This was a crack of dawn hike along the C&O canal. We weren't setting any speed records, in part because I was sore from squatting the day before. The trail was also icy and it was very cold out. We stopped a few times to look at nature, including a nice sun rise over the Potomac. Good way to end 2022.

    Saturday December 31

    Deadlift 10 x 1 x 315
    Pushups 6 x 12, 1 x 10

    Had initially planned to squat, but all the squat racks were occupied. Instead, decided to practice the deadlift. Did these in a super set, with plenty of time between each set. My original goal was to do 10 sets of 12 pushups, but I ran out of gas.
    Last edited by kopp; 12-31-2022 at 12:28 PM.

  4. #274
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default 1H 2023 Goals

    Primary Goals by July 1

    Squat 3 x 5 x 275
    Weighted Pullup 5 x 45
    Deadlift 5 x 365
    Bench 3 x 5 x 225
    Ruck: see below

    Workout Plan

    I've been reading Practical Programming and it has convinced me to stop messing around and just do a few months of basic linear progression.

    2x per week:


    Conditioning movements refer to weighted carries or the prowler. In addition, it is frequently the case that the squat rack and the bench press are occupied at my gym - there is only one flat bench and only one squat rack. On days when the squat rack is occupied, I am going to deadlift, adding 5-10 pounds to the bar each time. Similarly, when the bench is occupied I'll do kettlebell presses for overhead work. Although kettlebell presses are harder to structure due to inability to microload, they are easier on my shoulders than the barbell press.

    For the rucking, I will be going on a 2 1/2 day backpacking trip in Colorado with some friends in early June. We plan to cover about 30 miles, and traverse significant elevation. So my primary practical training goal will be to get prepared for that trip. I plan each week to focus on either: 1) speed, by doing 4-8 miles with 40 pounds at a faster pace than I've gone previously at that distance; 2) distance, in particular going past the 10 mile range; 3) weight, in particular by adding an additional 10 pounds periodically for 50 pounds total; and 4) elevation or terrain. For purposes of training goals, before I go out to Colorado I'd like to be able to A) do 12 miles with 40 pounds in less than 3:12; and B) hike along the Appalachian trail from Old South Mountain Inn to Weaverton Cliffs, which is about 13.5 miles and 1,700 feet in elevation, with 50 pounds.

    Year in Review

    Overall I'm pretty happy with how this year went. I feel better than I've felt in a long time. I don't have any aches and pains. My neck, which has bothered me periodically for a decade, has with a few exceptions felt good this year. My back feels good. I think I look pretty good. I'm squatting again for the first time since 2011-12 timeframe.

    Looking over the journal for the last year, the biggest thing is that I have to be consistent, which means staying injury free. Most of my lifts haven't really progressed since September, as a result of tweaking my back in October and then going a few weeks without squatting. I really need to focus on finding a way to get to the gym to squat twice a week, and focusing on the movements that I want to get better at. For the next six months, that means focusing on improving my squat as the number one priority.
    Last edited by kopp; 01-16-2023 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Edit to reflect switch to basic linear progression

  5. #275
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


    Tuesday January 3

    Squat 3 x 5 x 195
    Pullups 6 x 3
    Prowler 6 x 25m x 90

    I think I used the prowler once about 10 years ago. But aside from that, this was my first time with it. My gym has a prowler and a stretch of turf about 25 meters long. I put 90 pounds on there and pushed it for six lengths, resting as needed. I'll definitely add to repertoire moving forward.

    Wednesday January 4

    Turkish Getup: 5 x 20kg

    10 rounds:
    Kettlebell swing: 10 x 20kg
    Rest 1 minute
    Pushup: 10 x BW
    Rest 1 minute

    Pushups were the limiting factor. Had to break the last set up.

    Saturday January 7

    Squat 3 x 5 x 200
    Pullups 8 x 3

    3 rounds:
    Carries: 190 pounds
    Plank: 20 seconds

    Sunday January 8

    Ruck: 5 miles, 1:12:30, 40 pounds

    Felt really good throughout. This was around 14:30 mile pace, so the fastest I've gone for an extended period. Did this along the Annapolis-Baltimore trail; it was sunny and in the high 30s, low 40s, this morning. This is a minute and a half improvement over the same weight on the same trail compared to November 5, and I felt a lot better today than I did then.

    All in all, this is a great start to the year. In my perfect world, every week will look more or less like this.

    ***Edit: Decided to switch to LP after this, which is why this structure doesn't line up with the previous post.
    Last edited by kopp; 01-15-2023 at 05:37 PM.

  6. #276
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


    Tuesday January 10

    Squat 3 x 5 x 205
    Pullups 10 x 3
    Prowler: 6 x 25m x 90

    Thursday January 12

    Turkish Getups: 5 x 20kg
    Weighted pushups 7 x 5 x 20

    One of my goals for the first half of the year is to be able to do 50 pushups. One way to logically progress toward this goal is to get stronger at pushups, so that each unweighted pushup is a lower percentage of maximum exertion. To that end, for the next few months my pressing day is going to focus on weighted pushups, either by adding weight, reps, or sets each week. Tuesday I did seven sets of five reps with 20 pounds in a goruck pack on my back. I'll add a rep next week. Once I can get maybe 7 sets of 7-8 reps I'll add 10 pounds and reduce volume.

    Saturday January 14

    Squat 3 x 5 x 210
    Pullups 6 x 4

    3 rounds:
    Carries: 190 pounds
    Pushups: 10

    Sunday January 15

    Ruck: 7.6 miles; 1:53:30; 40 pounds.

    This was 1:30 faster than the last time I did the same stretch on December 4. Very happy with the progress. It was pretty cold this morning (low 30s) and I momentarily considered not going out. But really glad I did.

    ***Edit: Decided to switch to LP after this, which is why this structure doesn't line up with the previous post.
    Last edited by kopp; 01-15-2023 at 05:37 PM.

  7. #277
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


    Wednesday January 18

    Squat 3 x 5 x 215
    Pullups 7 x 4
    Bench 3 x 5 x 145
    Prowler 6 x 25m x 90

    Squats were very challenging. I think the long Sunday rucks are interfering with my recovery. I am going to dial the rucking way back until I've done a legitimate round of linear progression. I am still going to ruck for shorter, slower sessions since I enjoy doing them.

    Sunday January 22

    Squat 3 x 5 x 220
    Pullups 8 x 4
    Bench 3 x 5 x 150

    Ruck: 3.5 miles, easy pace, 40 pounds

    This was a great morning session. Squats felt really good. Hardest part of this was the pullups. My arms were pretty sore by the end. My recovery this week was less than ideal, in particular I got only around 5 hours of sleep Wed, Thurs, and Fri nights. Last night went to bed early and my kids slept through the night, so managed 7+ hours.
    Last edited by kopp; 01-22-2023 at 10:21 AM.

  8. #278
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


    starting strength coach development program
    Wednesday January 25

    Squat 3 x 5 x 225
    Bench 3 x 5 x 155
    Deadlift 1 x 5 x 275

    Good all around lift today. I am going to start linear progression sets of 5 on the deadlift either at the end of the workout like today, or on days when the squat rack is occupied. Plan to do deadlifts once every 1-2 weeks. I wasn't sure where to start, since I've done mostly single for the last year. 275 was pretty conservative, these were double overhand and had no problem completing the set.

    Saturday January 28

    Squat 3 x 5 x 230
    Bench 3 x 5 x 160
    Pullups 10 x 4
    Prowler 8 x 25m x 90

    Friday night I got a bad night of sleep, older daughter wasn't feeling well and spent the night in our bed. Still, pretty good workout overall. One thing I need to work on with the squats is keeping my neck in a neutral position. I think I was tilting it back in a way that was making my neck feel some discomfort. Something to focus on in upcoming sessions. Bench is still pretty easy. Pullups were a challenge, arms were throbbing by the end of the workout. Going to drop the sets back and move up to 5 reps per set. The prowler felt considerably better than in previous sessions; I think I can safely add more weight there too.

    Sunday January 29

    Ruck: 3.5 miles, easy pace, 50 pounds

    Added another 10 pounds, don't plan to go any heavier than this. I think if I keep these under 4 miles and don't worry about going fast, that this shouldn't interfere too much with recovery, and may actually help by getting blood flowing. This wasn't too physically taxing, and I get a lot of mental benefit from Sunday morning hikes especially when the weather is nice, as it was today. Last night I fell asleep at 9:15 and got 8+ hours of sleep. I've also started supplementing my diet with a daily protein shake. Doubt that will be a game changer but an extra 30+g of protein per day shouldn't hurt.
    Last edited by kopp; 01-29-2023 at 10:11 AM.

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