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Thread: Quest for Fire

  1. #1
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    Default Quest for Fire

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    Been lurking here long enough. Time to start the log. I decided to post under General Training, as I am not exactly DTP as written right now. Let's go back in time, shall we?

    Ahh, the fall of 2012. I remember it well... I was skinny as fuck after a strict paleo diet with caloric restriction. Not that I've ever counted calories, but rather that I gave up my membership in the 'clean your and everyone else's plate club'. The main goal was to stop snoring all the damn time, and it worked. My wife greatly appreciated it. She did not, however appreciate my aforementioned membership lapse. This was just not me.

    Stats October 2012:
    Male, 37
    5' 9 1/2" (I add the 1/2" because of my latent Napoleon Complex)
    190#
    BF: 15 - 20%?
    Lifts:
    Kettlebell stuff, yoga, & pushups

    so maybe not skinny as fuck, but after being a total ball of pudge at 230#, it was a definite transformation. I had visible abs, but didn't 'have an ice chest to put them in'. I was also getting hungry, and wanted a lifestyle to match my appetite. After copious amounts of internet research, I realized lifting was the way to go. I'ts the safest, it's the most controllable (titrateable), unlike other sports, it's something you actually get better at as you age, and, surprise! - it makes you strong. Like many skinny-fat desk jockeys, I found Stringlifts and started that way, then soon after, found StartingGodDamnStrength.Fuckingcom, and never looked back. Ordered SSBBT:3 right away and sponged it all up. Just ordered Practical Programming today, as a matter of fact.

    So, the lifts. From 10/29/12 to 1/29/13, I ran Stringlifts blending into Starting Strength:

    Squat: 45 --> 225, 5x5
    Deadlift: 90 --> 265, 5x1
    OHP: 45 --> 95, 5x5
    Bench: 45 --> 130, 5x5
    weight: 190 --> 199.5

    moderately successful as far as the numbers go. judging from how my wife sees me, it's highly successful. not a lot of hypertrophy other than the legs, hips, and butt, but I'm looking pretty dang solid, with just a little fluff around the middle.

    2/01/13 to 3/02/13 is dedicated to fucking around. lifting 2-3 times/week. lifts of note are:

    Squat: 235, 3x5 --> 239, 1x5
    Deadlift: --> 283, 4x1
    OHP: 100, 5x5
    Bench: 135, 5x5
    Power Clean: 110, 2x5

    No real change in bodyweight or composition noted.

    3/04/13 to 5/04/13, I switch to a TM template. ID lifts:

    Squat: 245x3 --> 280x3
    Deadlift: 298x5 --> 335x2 (I remember the day I pulled the 335. did one more rep after those two, and experienced VASOVAGAL SYNCOPE, beeyatches! I squatted atg as soon as my vision got gray & tunneled. I credit this with preventing me from crossing over into la-la land. After a minute of just breathing, I felt like I was a grizzly bear with giant eagle wings and laser beam eyes, and proved it by doing two farmer's walks around the circumference of the gym with a 50# DB in each hand. I want to bottle this up somehow and sell it.)
    OHP: 110 x5 --> 120x5
    Bench: 140x5 --> 165x5
    Power Clean: 121, 3x5

    Bodyweight still at 199.5. When will I be a real man?

    5/17/13 to 6/18/13 Not proud of this particular period. Got caught up in some kind of bodybuilding, fat shredding, 8x3, AMRAP thing with lat raises and curls.

    Squats: my AMRAP sets top out at 240 x 8, 9, 10. I get to 205 for 8x3, and 225 for 5x5.
    Deadlifts: last DL day was 140x5, 195x5, 225x3, 275x5, 275x1
    Chinups: I get to 4, 3, 3. I've never been any good at these, so it's something.
    Bench: AMRAP at 140x x 8, 5, 5, 120 for 8x3
    OHP: AMRAP 100 x 5, 5, 5, 90 for 8x3
    BB Curls: 55 for 2x15, 70 x 5

    I added LTEs to balance out the curls, and grew my arms a bit. I have visible shoulders now, so I regret (almost) nothing. Didn't weigh myself during this time, but now when I flex, my abz bubble up a little from under my armor (fat layer).
    The way I see it, all the science and empirical evidence in the world don't mean diddly if it don't apply to you, the n=1. So, I consider this my n=1 experience. What did I experience? I was sore all the time, and getting weaker. Fuck this noise; I wanna go back to real lifting.

    So, we're all caught up to the present day. If anyone has taken the time to wade through any of this, thank you. I've never blagged before.
    Last edited by Erok; 07-13-2013 at 11:26 AM.

  2. #2
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    Replying to my own post; is that how one does this?

    Anyway, present time: 6/24/13. Decide to run a LP, to see what happens.

    Here's the poop:

    ABA/BAB format, Mon, Wed, Fri

    A
    Squat 5x5
    Chins/Pullups 5x5
    Bench 5x5
    Forearm curls 2x15
    Rocking Calf Raises 2x15

    B
    Front Squats 5x5
    Rows 5x5
    OHP 5x5
    Deadlift 3x5
    Forearm Curls 2x15
    Rocking Calf Raises 2x15

    If this looks familiar to anyone, it's the Reg Park program as lifted from seriouspowerlifting.com (I think). It's more of a 3x5, because the first set is at 60%, and second set at 80% of that day's working weight. Deadlifts end up being one set of five at working weight.

    starting weights 6/24:

    Squat: 220
    Deadlift: 240
    Bench 130
    Front Squats: 75 (never done them seriously before, taking my time)
    Rows (yes I know it's not a real lift): 85
    OHP: 75
    Forearms: first set at 45, second set 65 for fifteen reps each. feeel da pomp!
    Calves: 1st set 55, 2nd set 70, fifteen reps each. too easy.

    latest B workout on 7/10:

    Front Squats: 90
    Rows: 95
    OHP: 80
    Deadlift: 270 (feels oh, so good. note to self: I need chalk)
    4arms, calves: you don't care.

    as of yesterday 7/12, I did:

    Squats: 240
    chinups/pullups: 5, 5, 5, 3, 3 best ever. this makes me feel manly.
    Bench: 145
    4arms: 70x15, 90x15. to pomp mee ahp.
    Calves: 85x15, 125x15 moar betta buhrning naow.
    at the end, I felt so good, I added a quick set of 'Victory' Squats: 125 x 10.

    I'm really liking this so far. The lighter Front Squat days are giving me recovery time, and my pullups are better than ever. I'm actually cheating on those, in the sense that I'm not doing all sets across. I'll do the first pullup set at the start of my workout, then do my squat warmup set, then bang out one set of chinups, do the work squats, switch back to chinups after that, set up for benches, then pullups, then bench, then chinups. or, I'll do pulls/chins/pulls/chins/pulls.

    I plan to run this until The third week in August, when the wife and I are road tripping. Maybe I'll try to sneak my kettlebell into the car.
    Last edited by Erok; 07-13-2013 at 11:27 AM.

  3. #3
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    How to quantify the work done Sunday? Had to do some landscaping for the father in law, which meant clearing all the pavers and gravel out of a 12' x 12' patio area, weeding it, laying down plastic, then putting back all the pavers and gravel. Oh well, his daughter's worth it.

    13 pavers: 7 are about 40lbs, 6 are 25 lbs. pry them out with a shovel, deadlift & carry each one about 12 feet, set it down gently - no dropping the weights, please.

    gravel: shovel into wheelbarrow, then tip load onto a tarp on the lawn. the tire on the barrow is totally blown out, so no travel with the full load (although partial loads can be pushed/pulled Prowler style) I dunno, maybe seven loads? It's a big pile of pea gravel.

    weeding: raking, pulling, digging out the bad ones.

    laying down plastic: easy. gravity works for us.

    re-seating pavers: replicate above deadlifts & carries, followed by several more sets of partial deadlifts as we rearrange them neatly and gently, as to not rip the plastic. not easy.

    procuring river rock from a former evergreen bed: these rocks go down deep around the stump. we have to get on our knees and scoop the rocks with our hands into a 5gal bucket. multiple one-handed farmer walks with between 30 - 50lbs for about 25 feet. These large rocks nestle nicely around the pavers.

    replacing gravel: she shovels gravel into the bucket, I farmer walk the 50-60lbs 12 - 15 feet, lift it to chest height and dump it where needed, AMRAP.

    Then magically, we're done! Get out the hose and spray everything & everyone down.

    It was 89 degrees, no shade, and we were out there 2 1/2 hours start to finish. Did I mention the wife was helping? Couldn't have finished it without her. She's stronger, and has more work capacity, than a lot of guys I know. Multiple short breaks to down water & duck into the garage for shade. I think I consumed about a gallon and a half of water. Afterwards, grab some beer, shower, & shuffle ourselves to my favorite restaurant, the local Mexican buffet. I consume mass quantities of beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, fish, peppers, onions, with sour cream & lime squeezed over everything. Finish up with a nice bowl of menudo for dessert. In bed asleep by 9pm. Oh, crap; did I just Crossfit? I guess not, my urine never got too dark.

    Woke up feeling not too bad. It's deadlift day today, though. I will be careful, warm up thoroughly, and be sure to blast the Black Sabbath extra loud.

    I have HUGE respect for professional landscapers & roofers, who would no doubt snicker at my attempts at usefulness.

  4. #4
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    Well, that wasn't so bad at all. Felt refreshed, even after a day at the office, and it's only 74 degrees in my basement, so I consider myself lucky.

    Deadlifts: 280 1x5 felt gooood. I was in such a zone at that point, that I lost count and may have done 6 reps. I logged it as 5 anyway.
    Front Squats: 100 3x5. Coming along, taking it slow.
    Rows, Presses, blah blah blah. Did fine.

    Black Sabbath is the secret. Even the ballad-y stuff is harder than anything I can find on the radio. Really helps with the concentration. Except when Symptom of the Universe comes on, I have to take frequent air guitar breaks.

  5. #5
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    Wed 7.17. A hot, humid, mess.

    Squats are HARD. Oh, well. Drink more water and SQUEEZE.
    150x5, 195x5, 245x5,5,5. supersetted with pull/chinups, I bang out 4,5,5,4,3. not too bad. I want the 5x5, though.

    Bench: I need a towel on the bench to soak up the sweat. Yech.
    90x5, 120x5, 150x5,5,5.

    Thanks be to Black Sabbath.


    Fri 7.19. Another hot & humid one, but not as bad. Gallons of water.

    Front Squat: 60x5, 80x5, 100x5,5,5. patience.
    Rows: 75x5, 85x5, 105x5,5,5.
    OHP: 55x5, 70x5, 90x5,5,5. must press harder.
    Deadlifts: 170x5, 230x5, 290x5. Yes! been waiting for that all week. Chalk! Chalk! Chalk!
    still feeling good after the 4arm curlz & calf raises, so I get some more Victory Squats @ 135x10. I suspect these will drop off as the Front Squats get heavier.

    The weather does a funny thing while I'm in the basement, and cools the fuck off for the weekend. I emerge from my dudecave like a confused hedgehog.

    Saturday is spent weeding the entire yard and pruning all the crazy shrubbery with a herring. 5 hours.
    Sunday is spent drinking and eating, then more drinking and eating.

    Here I am Monday, psyching myself up for Squats @250 and a 155 Bench.

  6. #6
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    7.22. Ex-cellent.

    Squats @250 for 3x5. The last five, my legs felt like growing tree trunks. I could feel every muscle fiber from my toes up to my waist go "sproing!...grrroan."

    chinups are best ever: 5,5,5,5,4. that last four - just barely squeaked that chin up to the bar.

    Benching 155 3x5 - last set was a grind. bar was all over the place, and last two reps deflated my chest, as I brought my shoulders out of pack to get through the sticking point. oof. got the reps, though.

  7. #7
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    Didn't get to train Wed. - had to help a friend move. Push it back to Thursday, then. Black coffee. Black Sabbath. Black shorts.

    Front Squats are inching up: 105, 3x5
    OHP were pretty smooth: 95, 3x5
    'The meet doesn't start until the bar hits the floor.' Deadlift time. Been reading up on the hook grip. I try it for the warmup set @ 170, 1x5. pretty light. Set up for 240, 1x5. 3 reps in, I have to reset to overhand grip. Thumbs are ouch. Set up for 300, sip water, re-chalk, check breathing. By pure good timing, "Iron Man" starts playing. This is it. hook grip TIGHT, big breath, and sit back. OH GAWD THE THUMBS! MY BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL THUMBS! WHY DIDN'T YOU WARN ME!?!? Damned if that bar didn't just float up five times, though. Hit the assistance work, and treat myself to a pound of grass fed liver fried in lard with pan sauce. Well, 4/5 pound - the dog was behaving.

  8. #8
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    Saturday. Get to train earlier, 'cuz no work.

    Squats: Heavy. 255 3x5. I can feel my eyes bugging out. One thing I notice, when in the hole, I kinda pull-push? down on the bar with the arms, like I'm trying to climb up or something. Whatever it is, it helps keep the back locked and the chest up.
    I'm so pumped up for squats, I completely forget to super set the pullups. I only get 5, 5, 2.

    Bench: warm ups are fine, 95x5, 130x5. as soon as I get that 160 loaded, though... 4, 4, 5. try again next time.

    off topic: I go to open the garage door this morning, and the remote doesn't work. I figure it's not pointed correctly, and jiggle it around: nothing. Maybe the battery's going. I take it off the clip, point it out the kitchen door: nothing. At this point, I've crossed over into "I'm gonna keep hitting this button till it works" mode. Suddenly, I realize my neighbor's garage door is going up, stop, down, up, stop, down. Whta. Teh. Fcuk. Get out the manual (Raynor R-130, 310 MHz, installed 1990), look on the internet, mess around with the eight dip switches, but still can't find a combo that works on my door/doesn't work on my neighbor's door. I don't remember any electrical storm last night, or nearby comets, and I'm pretty sure I didn't work on my neighbor's garage door opener in my sleep.

  9. #9
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    Has your wife been spending anytime w/ your neighbor? J

  10. #10
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    Ha! That's a good question, but I don't think so. These people are even less socially graceful than we are. It's hard to know when they're even home, much less try to start a conversation. I'm thinking I'll just replace the radio transmitter/receiver to save myself the trouble.

    That Friday night, though, my wife had an unusual dream involving aliens performing dentistry on her, and when she woke up that morning, a few of her teeth hurt. This is the only clue I have, and no one else has come up with a better theory, so I'm officially attributing this one to: ALIENS.

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