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Thread: Ancestral Strength

  1. #1
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    Jul 2007
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    Default Ancestral Strength

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    Greetings all. I'm liking this forum. Provides a much needed bastion against the stupidity and rampant idiocy of BB.com. So I figured I'd start keeping my journal here as well as on the dark side.

    A brief training history.


    I did lots of chins and pushups as a teenager. I've always been a pretty big guy. Right out of highschool I weighed in at 190-200 pounds with probably 10-12 % BF. My legs have pretty much always been really thick.

    I lifted weights on and off over the years, but I would always have lots of joint pain to contend with. Elbows and shoulders always bothered me. But, around 2.5 years ago I decided that I would make this a way of life, and I've been lifting ever since.

    I started with mostly some upper body stuff, twice a week frequency. I would do steady state cardio for my lower body. Best lift at that point was a dumbbell bench of 3X10X100's.

    Then around fall of 2005 I started doing deads and squats.

    Then, I started reading a lot on BB.com and became familiar with the writings of Madcow. Started the Single Factor 5X5 in January of 2006. Ran that for 5 months getting to 5X300 on bench, 5X350 on squat, and 5X405 on dead.

    Shortly after that I started a WSB influenced upper lower. Bench stalled like a big dog (and has been really ever since). But squats got to 425 for a single and deadlift 525 for a single. By this point I had been deadlifting for about a year. I did however bench 315 for 3 reps at this point though.

    Shortly after this I started the Coan & Phillipi deadlift program. Ran that for 4 weeks when I rounded on the second rep of a 510LB pull. Back has not been the same since. I've never had any accute pain. More general feelings of weakness and tightness.

    My stuff has been kind of jumbled up ever since. I'm using an upper lower at the moment. Lower body work is a lot of conditioning work, plus back rehab stuff. Still hoping to be able to pull and squat heavy again one day, but it won't kill me if I can't. I do some barbell complexes and very light sumo deads to provide my back some stimulus and reason to stay reasonably strong.

    My current long term goals are a 4 plate bench and a good 15 body weight chins and getting my back back into heavy shape.

    At my heaviest I was 275. I've been slowly recomping over the past 6 months. Down to 255 (ish). Pretty happy about that.

    Due to the lack of good structure to my program over the last 6 months, bench strength is off it's high. My current 3RM is around 290-295. Though I did bench 350 for a single 8-10 weeks ago. I've got a higher than normal distribution of fast twitch fibers, I believe. Just before I benched 350, I benched 315 for a double and failed the third rep.

    One common theme of my progress is that early in my lifting experience I used LOTS of dumbbells and progressed rapidly. Then, when I started the SF 5X5, I stopped using dumbbells for any length of time till the present. It was all barbell work for benching, workload and intensity. So, I recently decided to go back to using heavy dumbbells for the majority of my pressing work.

  2. #2
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    Rough outline for my CURRENT program looks something like this. (though tinkering is pretty common).

    Wednesday: Upper Body Repetition/Dynamic Effort (Workload Day)
    Flat Dumbbell Bench Press ( 2-3 warmups + 3-5 work sets + 1 burn )
    Chins Ladders
    Seated Barbell Military Press
    Hang Cleans
    Pushups
    Shoulder/Elbow Prehab

    (every third week, do this
    DE Bench, 8X3
    Chins Ladders
    Dumbbell Bench
    Hang Cleans
    Seated Barbell Military)

    Thursday: Conditioning

    Friday: Lower Body
    Barbell Complex
    1 Arm Barbell Curls
    Calf Raises
    Hypers 3X20

    Saturday: Off

    Sunday: Upper Body Max Effort (Intensity Day)
    Bench Press Max Effort
    Chins Max reps day
    Low Incline Dumbbell 3-4X6-10
    Cable Rows 4X10
    Shoulder/Elbow Prehab

    Monday: Conditioning

    Tuesday: Off

    Conditioning Choices
    Sled Dragging
    Barbell Complex (hang clean to a front squat to a push press)
    Pushups
    Supine Rows
    Grip Work

    ME Bench Variants
    Close Grip Bench
    Competition Grip Bench
    1-2 Board Press

    Also, from time to time I'll drop one of the conditioning days if I need more recovery.

  3. #3
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    Last nights workout...

    Conditioning Workout, 8/13/2007

    Weight: 256
    Workout Time: 45 minutes

    1. Sled Dragging
    100LB sled X 18 minutes (1 breather)

    2. Pushups
    20 X BW
    20 X BW
    20 X BW
    alternated with
    3. Supine Rows
    12 X BW
    12 X BW
    12 X BW

    4. Sumo Deadlifts
    10 X 133
    10 X 133
    10 X 133

    + SMR & stretching

    Comments
    Excellent workout tonight.

    I've been thinking for a while that some of my lower back discomfort might be due to just pain weakness. So, I'm toying with the idea of using something core intensive, but for very light weight and high reps. Thus, some deads tonight. Also, I'm thinking the SMR, which I have still been doing, will probably be more effective if I've got a lower back pump going when I do it.

    So there you have it.

    VM

  4. #4
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    Glad to see you here! This is Pillager from BB.com.

  5. #5
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    One thing I have found to help with the shoulder/elbow/joint stuff is to do the prehab/warmup stuff before the lifting. Get everything good and warm, including using liniments, wrap it and it helps tremendously.

    good luck

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mike View Post
    Glad to see you here! This is Pillager from BB.com.
    Hey man. Good to be here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    One thing I have found to help with the shoulder/elbow/joint stuff is to do the prehab/warmup stuff before the lifting. Get everything good and warm, including using liniments, wrap it and it helps tremendously.

    good luck
    You know, I should have mentioned, I've pretty much sorted the joint pain issues. I used to do some high rep curls and extensions before benching. They haven't been needed in quite some time. Couple reasons for that. I started doing the prehab work, and the compounded affect of that has been very positive. I drink more water now, hydration is ALWAYS a good idea for dealing with joint pain. I took Cissus RX for a while last fall. Damn good stuff for dealing with joint pain. Actually helps strengthen connective tissue, or at least that's what it MUST be doing, cause the incedents of joint pain since I did the Cissus for a while has been probably 2-3% of what is was.

    I am still dealing with some small wrist and elbow quirkyness, but it never really hurts WHILE I'm lifting. Actually lifting usually makes any pain go away. My thought on the source of that is some imbalance in my forearm strength, and so I recently started doing more grip work, including some finger extension work.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2007
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    So, my goals... formal, and all written up

    Long Term
    4 plate raw bench
    15 BW chins
    245LB BW
    Get my back into heavy squatting and deadlifting shape

    Short Term
    get back to a 3 plate for reps bench
    8 BW chins
    253LB BW
    Put together a home made reverse hyper (for my back)

  8. #8
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    Oh, I suppose I could check in here and there.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misanthrope View Post
    Oh, I suppose I could check in here and there.
    Yeah, you won't even have to think of any new comments, just post the same thing in both places.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2007
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by VikingMan View Post
    I've been thinking for a while that some of my lower back discomfort might be due to just pain weakness. So, I'm toying with the idea of using something core intensive, but for very light weight and high reps. Thus, some deads tonight. Also, I'm thinking the SMR, which I have still been doing, will probably be more effective if I've got a lower back pump going when I do it.
    I've read this too. Namely, that if your goal is to ameliorate lower-back pain, then training the abdominals and lumbar region/posterior chain with more work capacity/endurance-oriented resistance training is the way to go. I'll be giving this a go too with my pulling, I think. I do know that hyperextensions done more for the stretch, and really feeling the static contraction at the top seem to have made a noticeable difference even if after one workout along with having had to stabilize the region for rowing. Granted, I've been sedentary, but I'm sure you'd see a similar result from the same principle.

    Oh right, subscribed. This journal will almost certainly be awesome.

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