JPearson's Starting Strength log/introduction JPearson's Starting Strength log/introduction

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Thread: JPearson's Starting Strength log/introduction

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default JPearson's Starting Strength log/introduction

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    Hello everyone!

    My name is Josh Pearson and I live on Vancouver Island in BC, Canada. I bought Starting Strength a number of months ago and have read it twice cover to cover and read through the various chapters for information countless times. Unfortunately due to being away at work with no equipment I was unable undertake the program as soon as I had intended. Fortunately the money I earned working at the job I have recently been able to purchase my own squat rack, Olympic bar, weights, bench and digital camera. I am now very excited and enthusiastic to begin the regimen!

    Some other information. I am 18 years old, 5'7.5-5', and roughly 130-140 lbs. I would consider myself above average fitness, but not very strong. Exercise and fitness has been an important part of my life (as well as nutrition) for 2 years now probably and I have improved my health greatly in that time. Unfortunately my previous workouts have lacked focus.

    My goals for now are to complete the Starting Strength regimen (continue it until I would rank intermediate), decide if I would like to then follow an intermediate program or have taken up a sport for which I would like to augment my training to support. I would also like to increase my vertical jump.

    I do play badminton and volleyball each weekly but other than that my physical activity will probably be limited to Starting Strength and transportation (riding my bike or walking). I plan to follow the regimen as closely as I can, I might add some alternating pull-ups and chin-ups but for now I am just doing the A-B-A protocol.

    I hope it's ok to introduce myself in my own log, I thought it more efficient than two separate posts. I hope to become a part of the community here and expand my posting outside of my own log at some point, but I am a pretty quiet person (you can tell by the length of my post(sarcastic)). My intention for this log is to help motivate me and help me track progress.

    Today was my first workout! I started on a Wednesday so next monday will be an A workout.


    Squats:

    Bodyweight Knees Out Stretch 1x10

    Bodyweight Broomstick 1x10

    45lbsx1x5
    55lbsx1x5
    65lbsx1x5
    75lbsx1x5
    95lbsx3x5

    Bench Press:

    45lbsx1x5
    55lbsx1x5
    65lbsx1x5
    75lbsx1x5
    80lbsx1x5
    95lbsx3x5

    Deadlifts:

    95lbsx1x3
    115lbsx1x5


    Thoughts:

    Squats - I lack upper body flexibility, I did the low bar squat but found my ability to be rack was the limiting factor. I hope it will improve as my flexibility does, I know I can squat more than 95.

    Bench Press - My bench seems a *little* bit wide, I don't know if it will be a problem. It didn't feel like it was restricting my ROM that much.

    Deadlifts: I love deadlifting, yesterday when my weights first arrived I couldn't help but do a bit. I think I did 1x2 135 just to see if I was able to start at that weight. I think I could have, but that was fairly heavy for me so I did 1x5 115lbs today.

    Overall: It was a pretty good first day, I will push myself to try for more as I get more comfortable under the bar and more confident in my form. As I work out alone this is quite important to me.


    Thanks for reading!
    Josh

    Edit for mistake: Next Monday will be an A workout!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Second Workout!
    7/11/08

    Squats

    45lbsx10x1
    65lbsx5x1
    80lbsx3x1
    95lbsx1x1

    105lbsx5x3

    Press

    45lbsx10x1
    45lbsx3x1
    45lbsx2x1

    55lbsx5x1

    65lbsx5x3

    Power Clean

    3 sets of getting used to jumping with the bar.

    3 sets of hang clean practice.

    Thoughts

    Squat: I felt notable more flexible when racking the bar, I was able to bring my hands closer to my shoulders on the bar. I'm pretty happy about that. 105 felt like a decent weight also, I probably could have made a larger increase but I'm in no rush. Also according to the camera my depth was much better, last workout it looked like I would often stop just a touch above parallel or just at parallel. Today I seemed to have no problem making parallel. I also decreased the rest time from 5 to 3 minutes in between sets due to lower rep warm up sets.

    Press: Going in to this I expected my form to look a lot cleaner than it did. I feel I was able to sort it out or at least get a feel for how to improve it. The earlier sets I felt looked like I was trying to push the bar back over my head, oddly enough as the weight increased my bar path seemed to straighten out. I still need to focus on a straight bar path and moving under the bar smoothly.

    Power Clean: I had a feeling I was going to be given some grief by this one. It is one of my favorite of all the exercises and one I really want to excel at (I'd really like to improve my explosiveness and vertical jump). I have a feeling lack of lower body strength and explosiveness is one of the problems I am facing. I started with just getting used to jumping with the bar, then I tried to think about letting the bar rise after the jump (trying to sort of relax my hands after the jump/shrug to see how high it would go). After that I tried to do some hang cleans and get used to racking, that is probably where I will start next work out. I hope to have it to where I can add weight within the next 2-3 workouts.

    Overall: I am loving this program and very glad that I have started it and can't wait to do my workouts every day. How heavy the little numbers I am lifting feel really puts in to perspective how strong the people on this forum are! I look forward to bringing my numbers up and getting stronger!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Third Workout!
    10/11/08

    Squats:

    45lbsx1x10
    65lbsx1x5
    80lbsx1x5
    95lbsx1x4
    105lbsx1x1

    120lbsx1x3 (fail)

    115lbsx2x5
    115lbsx1x3

    Bench Press:

    45x1x10
    80x1x3

    105x3x5

    Deadlifts:

    135x1x5


    Thoughts:

    Squats: I was a little overzealous I guess, I am not eating a whole lot more than usual and still attending my usual activities so I will just go slower with the increases I guess. I noticed I was looking up too much while squatting as well as having some tracking problems with my left knee, it seems to be pulling in a bit when I ascend. Once I pulled my head forward and thought about having a tennis ball there I found racking the bar much easier.

    Bench Press: No problems here.

    Deadlifts: I'm not sure if it was alright to not do any warm up sets, I just find it really inconvenient to have to prop up the smaller plates. It went well despite the lack of warm up sets, the weight felt quite light. I expect I can follow up with another 15-20lb increase next Friday. (this has me wondering about my squat form, I might post a video and ask for some opinions if I can't figure out why it is not going as intended for much longer).

    Overall: I wish the weight on the plates would increase as much as my enthusiasm for this program does! I love it more each workout. I have been doing the knees out squat stretch and shoulder dislocations as a little circuit during week days to help with flexibility and such, I have noticed noted improvement on the shoulder dislocations. I need to be more consistent with the squat stretch and start doing it for time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    126

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    Don't worry about the weight not going up fast. What shocks me about SS is that the weight just keeps going up. No matter how hard 3x5 was last time, 3x5 is possible the next time at 5 lbs more. It's not the persistence of our ability to get stronger, not the rate, that's impressive.

    As for deadlift (and anything else from the floor) warmups, the gym Locutus and I train at has squat racks with spots for the safety pins all the way to the floor, and putting it in the lowest notch roughly simulates the height of the bar sitting on the floor with 45's on. So if you're lucky enough to have the same setup available, you can try using that for warmups. In fact, I was doing my work sets of power cleans in the squat rack too, until I recently got up to doing it with 60kg.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    7

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    That's a great idea regarding the deadlift warm up, thanks a lot! I am pretty sure my rack has low enough slots to allow that!

    Regarding the squat, I am going to practice my form with more warm up sets next time. I think what happened was my last friday workout wasn't *super* hard, so it probably didn't cause enough overcompensation to warrant a 15lb increase this time. But 115 was pretty hard, it felt really nice to put that much effort in to the lift. I just wish I had been able to maintain form better. I think I will try 3x5 at 120 next workout, do you think that sounds like a good idea?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    126

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    starting strength coach development program
    Yeah, I'd go for 120. I didn't get to 115 lbs till my 6th workout, and going from 115 to 125 was my last 10-lb jump. So you shouldn't feel bad about dropping to only 5-lb jumps, given that it took you a week less to get to 115 than it took me. Also, i'll bet if you hadn't worn yourself out with those few reps at 120, you'd have gotten 3x5 of 115 - you did 16 total work set reps.

    The first few weeks were a little weird. I had some digestive... "anomalies" due to eating so much, and some nights of fitful sleep, waking up in buckets of sweat. My body was complaining to me, but after a while, it learned that exertion and recovery were going to be the facts, so it had to shut up and take it. Anyway, my point is, if you can soldier through a few weeks, focusing on getting good form with weight that feels challenging, eating, and sleeping, you'll set yourself up to improve a lot in the coming months.

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