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  1. #1
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    Default Quest For Strength Training Log

    • phoenix arizona seminar date
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    First a little about me. I am 50 years old, 6’ tall, and weigh in at 230 pounds. I have been weight lifting on and off since high school. I have been a missionary at a Bible College for the past 10 years. During that time, I started to gain weight due to a less active life style. This obviously was an off time as far as weight training. About 4 years ago I resumed weight training and cardio to get back in shape before things slipped to far. I remember the tipping point quite clearly. It was when waste size 38 pants were getting tight and 40’s were inevitable unless I did something! Today 36’s fit comfortably and I am fine with that.

    My weightlifting consisted of benching 185X10X3 (with no progression) and curls with free weights. Leg press, shoulder press, lat pull downs, ab work, and a few misc. exercises were all done on machines. Cardio was done on a treadmill because it is easier on the joints then running outside on a hard surface. This resulted in me being fairly fit and the cardio reduced my blood pressure to 120/80. I even ran in a few 5k’s but never progressed in my weight training and was just in “maintenance mode”. No squats or deadlifts were done. I never even attempted it but I didn’t know any better at the time.

    Last summer I made the decision to take training seriously after watching people my age struggle through life not even able to do simple tasks, with no hope of getting better. I have seen so many people do the “diet and exercise thing” which not only doesn’t work, but they quit because it is not sustainable and end up heavier and worse off than before they started. Training and nutrition does work. It may sound like a play on words but the difference is one of mindset. I still have young kids 8,10, and 12 and want to stay fit so that I can do things like play basketball, go hiking/camping, and biking with them. I see this as just a part of being a more effective father. What kind of example would I be if I was a 375 pound tub of lard that got a workout from just trying to make it from the EZ chair to the bathroom!

    After doing research on the internet about weightlifting I came across Stronglifts and started a 5X5 program. The month of August 2017 was dedicated to stretching out my shoulders so that squatting was possible. Due to injuries in the past my shoulders were really tight. It took the whole month and the ripping of scar tissue just to be able to do a high bar squat. Even in the high bar position it was still painful to squat for the first two months. My first session was on 8/28/2017 and was the start of a 4 day split routine.
    Last edited by Ken_L; 05-10-2018 at 01:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    Here were my first 2 days of training to show where I started from.

    8/28/17
    Bench 205 5X5
    Chinups 10 with band assist, 5 sets
    Press 95 5X5
    Barbell Row 85 5X5

    8/29/17
    Squat 95 5X5
    Deadlift 135 5X5


    Here is the result after 5 weeks

    9/28/17
    Bench 220 5X5 (5,4,4,4,3)
    Chinups 10X5 unassisted
    Press 115 5X5 I went slow on the press due to my past shoulder injuries plus my form was not great.
    Barbell Row 170 5X5 I started way to light on these but that's ok.

    9/29/17
    Squat 170 5X5
    Deadlift 225 5X5


    After 5 weeks of 5X5 I had enough. It was too much volume and I could not recover from the work. Also my shoulders were starting to hurt. I knew that if I continued an injury would result. It was at this time that I came across Starting Strength. A note to all you that are quite removed from the date you were hatched, stay away from 5X5 splits. It is a young man’s program. The result will be overtraining and if run to long something will break!

    It is at this point that I made the switch to Starting Strength. There was this old obnoxious guy on Youtube that made a lot of sense. I bought the books and read them through within a week. It was refreshing to see the science behind why everything was done. I am the type of person that is not satisfied with something that works until I have my brain wrapped around it and understand why. The books gave me that understanding and helped me think logically about my training although I still have much to learn. In the next few posts I will share my Starting Strength journey up to the present along with some setbacks and then start a log from there.

  3. #3
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    The switch to SS was made on10/3/2017. I knew going in that I was going to progress slowly on bench since I already was not progressing linearly anymore.

    10/3/2017
    Squat 175X5X3
    Press 120X5X3
    Deadlift 235X5
    Chins 3X10

    10/5/2017
    Squat 180X5X3
    Bench 220(5,4,3)
    Deadlift 245X5
    Row 170X5X3

    10/8/2017
    Squat 185X5X3
    Press 125(5,4,5)
    Deadlift 255X5
    Chins 3X10

    10/10/2017
    Squat 190X5X3
    Bench 220(5,4,5)
    Deadlift 265X5
    Row 175X5X3

    I ran into trouble on my next workout. I started playing basketball at church on Thursday nights in the beginning of October. It was an outreach to the kids in the community. The kids were mostly teens and we only had enough people for two teams which meant a lot on running for this old guy that is trying to get strong. The added stress caught up with me and surpassed my ability to recover. Fatigue accumulated and I failed miserably.

    10/12/2017
    Squat 195X5X3 Finished it but it was much harder than it should have been.
    Press 125X5X3
    Deadlift 250X5 Anything heavier would not budge. 250 felt heavier than 265 did last time. In fact 265 was kind of easy!
    Chins 3X10

    Skipped the next workout as I was worn out and needed to recover. At this point I moved my workout schedule to Tues/Thurs/Sat and deadlifted twice a week. I could workout Thursday morning and play basketball that night but could not handle a Friday workout that was preceded by basketball.

    10/17/2017
    Squat 200X5X3
    Bench 220X5X3
    Deadlift 250X5 Going to work these back up
    Row 180X5X3

    10/19/2017
    Squat 205X5X3
    Press 126X5X3
    Chins 3X11

    10/21/2017
    Squat 210X5X3
    Bench 221X5X3
    Deadlift 255X5
    Row 185X5X3


    Another change was made to help with recovery with the addition of a light squat day.

    10/24/2017
    Squat 215X5X3
    Press 127X5X3
    Deadlift 260X5
    Chins 3X11

    10/28/2017
    Squat 185X5X3 (light day)
    Bench 225X4X3
    Didn’t finish the workout. No gas left in the tank.

    10/31/2017
    Squat 220X5X3
    Press 128X5X3
    Deadlift 275X5
    Chins 3X11

  4. #4
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    At this point I had a lot of accumulated fatigue built up. It was surprising to me how much basketball was interfering with my lifting, mostly with legs. Guess that’s what happens with age. 20 years ago recovery would not have been an issue. I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted……not anymore!

    I decided to move to intermediate programming and place the recovery day on Saturday so that it would also aid in recovering from basketball. The structure was Thurs-volume, Sat-recovery, Mon-intensity. Deadlifts went to only once a week.

    11/2/2017 Volume
    Squat 225X5X3
    Bench 225X4, 200X5X4
    Row 190X5X3

    11/4/2017 Recovery
    Squat 185X5X2
    Press 130X1, 120X5X3
    Chins 1X10

    11/6/2017 Intensity
    Squat 230X5X1
    Press 130X3X1
    Bench 250X1, 230X3
    Deadlift 280X5
    Chins 3X12


    11/9/2017 Volume
    Squat 205X5X5
    Bench 225X4, 205X5X4 This is all I had time for today.

    11/11/2017 Recovery
    I was traveling but still at least did body weight squats to get blood flowing through my still sore legs.
    Squat Body Weight 3X10

    11/14/2017 Intensity
    Squat 235X5X1
    Bench 225X4
    Deadlift 285X5
    Chins 3X12

  5. #5
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    My shoulders were really hurting and needed a break. They still hurt from the 5X5 split that I started a few months ago. There was inflammation and impingement as a result. Something needed to change in my programming to allow my shoulders to recover. I didn’t know if the cause was too much volume or too much at high intensity or both. I started playing around with a lighter weight for more reps on volume day as an experiment. I know it goes against the reasons for 5’s but something had to change if I was going to physically be able to continue lifting to make progress. I was also very busy with work and took a week away from the gym to let my shoulders heal.

    I experimented throughout the rest of November up until Christmas. What I found was that too much time spent with weights that were a high percentage of my 5RM caused shoulder pain. I could get away with high intensity work once a week but not twice or my shoulders would flair up. I am not going to document this right now but the results will show in future posts.

    Right around Christmas time 2017 I had a series of setbacks starting with an abscessed tooth. Of course since it was the holiday season I was not able to get a dentist appointment right away. It was a grueling couple of weeks until I got some relief. Most of the time lifting was not going to happen. It turned out that the roots on the tooth were broken off years ago when I had braces because it was moved to fast. 35 years later it went bad.

    Next was an unexpected funeral that took me out of town for a week so no lifting.

    Then there was the flu followed by a stomach bug that the kids brought home from school. Kids love to share what they should not but refuse to share what they should.........

    This was followed by a second abscessed tooth. The dentist gave me some antibiotics and it cleared up. Unfortunately, it got infected again a week before the root canal was scheduled to take place. Another round of antibiotics followed by the root canal and everything was fine.

    Throughout this time (Christmas to the end of March) I only lifted an average of once per week. It was all that I could do and really made me mad because I should have made a lot of progress but instead regressed a little.
    Last edited by Ken_L; 05-10-2018 at 02:01 PM.

  6. #6
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    Starting in the last week of March I was able to get consistent again with a new workout plan that does not aggravate my shoulders. It is a derivative of the old man Texas method that is run for two full body workouts per week.

    I nicknamed the new program O.L.D. The letters stand for Overload, Load, and Dumb.

    Overload: is similar to T.M. volume day but with higher reps.
    Load: is similar to intensity day.
    Dumb: is for any accessories and also cardio which I hate but it is need to keep my blood pressure in check, hence why I call it Dumb!

    The higher rep volume day is very different than anything in S.S. For each exercise a number of sets is specified along with the total number of reps that need to be completed as a total of all the sets. For example, 3RG25 or 3 sets with a rep goal of 25 means that 3 sets are done and when the total number of reps reaches 25 it is time to add weight. The focus is adding reps each week until the goal is met then add 5 pounds. Every set is pushed to the point that failure would occur if another rep is attempted.

    This is what I found works for volume without causing my shoulders to hurt. It does not cause the inflammation like sets of 5 across. Combined with a 2 day a week schedule it allows my shoulders to rest and recover fully from workout to workout. What I am doing may not be the optimum but it lets me continue to make progress which is a good thing!
    Last edited by Ken_L; 05-15-2018 at 01:52 PM.

  7. #7
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    I will list my workouts from the point that I was able to be consistent again in order to catch up this log to the present. The first month was spent catching up to where I left off at in December. Today (5/10/2018) I am back to setting PR’s and even some lifetime ones!

    These were explained in the previous post. This program is a work in progress and will be tweaked as the weeks go on.
    O: Overload
    L: Load
    D: Dumb

    3/27/2018 O.
    Bench 3RG25 200(8,7,5-20)
    Squat 3RG25 195(9,7,7-23)
    D. Run 1 mile @ 6mph

    3/29/2018 L.
    Bench 3RG25 200(8,7,5-20)
    Squat 210X5
    Deadlift 260X5X2
    Chins 10,7,7

    3/30/2018 D. Run 1.5miles @ 6mph

    4/3/2018 O.
    Bench 3RG25 200(9,6,6-21)
    Squat 3RG25 195(10,8,7-25)
    Dumbbell Row 75(10,9,9)
    Press 3RG25 110(8,8,7-23)
    D. Run 2miles @ 6mph

    4/5/2018 L.
    Bench 3RG25 200(8,6,7-21)
    Squat 220X5X1
    Deadlift 265X5X2
    Chins 10,8,9

    4/9/2018 O.
    Bench 4RG30 200(10,7,6,5-28)
    Squat 3RG25 200(8,7,6-21)
    Row 3RG25 150(10,10,9-29)
    Press 3RG25 110(9,6,7-22)

    4/10/2018 D. Run 2 miles @ 6mph

    4/12/2018 L.
    Bench 225X3X2
    Squat 220X5
    Deadlift 270X5X2
    Press 115X5X3
    Chins 10,10,10

    4/13/2018 D. Run 2 miles @ 6.1mph

  8. #8
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    4/16/2018 O.
    Bench 3RG25 200(10,8,7-25)
    Squat 3RG25 200(10,8,7-25)
    Incline Bench 2RG20 105(15,15-30)
    Row 3RG25 155(10,10,10-30)
    Curls 2RG20 75(10,8-18)

    4/17/2018 D. Run 2 miles @ 6.1mph

    4/19/2018 L.
    Bench 220X5X1
    Squat 225X5X1
    Deadlift 275X5X2
    Press 3RG25 110(9,8,7-24)
    Chins 10,10,10
    Triceps L.E. 2RG20 70(10,10-20)

    4/19/2018 2 hours of Basketball

    4/23/2018 O.
    Bench 3RG25 205(9,7,6-22)
    Squat 3RG25 205(9,8,7-24)
    Incline Bench 2RG20 110(15,15-30)
    Row 3RG25 160(10,10,10-30)
    Press 120X6 5 felt too easy so I added a rep
    Curls 2RG20 75(10,9-19)

    4/24/2018 D. Run 2 miles @ 6.2mph

    4/26/2018 L.
    Bench 230X3X2
    Squat 230X5
    Deadlift 280X5X2
    Press 3RG25 110(10,8,7-25)
    Chins 11,8,11
    Triceps L.E. 2RG20 75(10,10-20)

  9. #9
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    4/30/2018 O.
    Bench 3RG25 205(10,7,6-23)
    Squat 3RG25 205(10,8,7-25)
    Incline Bench 2RG20 115(15,15-30)
    Row 3RG25 165(10,9,8-27)
    Press 125X5
    Curls 2RG20 75(10,10-20)

    4/31/2018 D. Run 2 miles @ 6.1mph This was a mistake and should have been 6.2mph, no wonder why it felt so easy.

    5/3/2018 L.
    Bench 250X1, 255X1 255 is a Lifetime PR!
    Squat 235X5X1
    Press 3RG25 115(9,8,7-24)
    Deadlift 285X5X2
    Chins 11,10,10
    Triceps L.E. 2RG20 75(10,10-20)

  10. #10
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    starting strength nutrition camp
    This post will bring the log up to date. From here on out I will make weekly updates. I am counting on you to keep me honest and would appreciate any constructive criticism. The order of a few exercises has been changed to help minimize fatigue during each session.

    5/7/2018 O.
    Bench 3RG25 205(10,7,6-23) This should have gone up by at least a rep from last week. I will chalk it up to all the 15-16 hour stressful days that I worked last week. I don’t think I ever fully recovered due to the crazy schedule.
    Squat 3RG25 210(10,8,7-25) Nailed it on the first week at this weight!
    Press 130X5
    Incline Bench 2RG20 120(15,15-30)
    Row 3RG25 170(10,8,7-25)
    Curls 2RG20) 80(8,8-16)

    5/8/2018 D. Run 2 miles @ 6.2mph

    5/10/2018 L.
    Bench 225X5, 225X4 225 for 5 reps is a PR!
    Squat 240X5
    Press 3RG25 115(10,8,7-25)
    Deadlift 290X5X2
    Chins 11,10,10 Next week I may try adding weight to chins
    Triceps L.E. 2RG20 80(10,10-20)

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