A Middle Aged Adolescent  (who cannot possibly be the only one) A Middle Aged Adolescent (who cannot possibly be the only one) - Page 2

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  1. #11
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    • phoenix arizona seminar date
    • texas seminar date
    Heavy-Light-Medium
    Week of: 11/28/16 3 sets of 1 rep week
    MONDAY
    1. Squat (3x1) Tom 425 JC : 187.5
    2. Press (3x1) Tom 190 JC: 97.5+
    3. Deadlift: Tom (1x1) 510
    JC 260

    4. 3 sets heavy pull ups 8-4-6 REP SCHEME
    5. 3 sets of 6 lying triceps extensions 25-10-10-2.5 for 4
    6. barbell curls: 117.5 for 4
    7. abs: banded pull downs

    TUESDAY - Conditioning
    12 quick marches 120 pounds; 30 second rests

    WEDNESDAY
    1. Squat (80% of the original (3x5) Monday’s weight) x5, 2 sets Tom: 292.5 JC: 117.5
    2. Bench Press (3x5, 3x3, 3x1) Tom: 285 JC: 135 - big steel!
    3. Power Cleans 3x3 Tom: 242.5, 245, 242.5 JC: 112.5
    4. 4 sets of heavy shrugs 515
    5. abs: hollow rockers

    FRIDAY
    1. Squats: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x5, 3x3, 3x1)
    Tom: 382.5 JC: 170
    2. Press: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x5, 3x3, 3x1)
    Tom: 180 JC: 90
    3. Romanian deadlifts (off rack) 3 sets of 5 -
    Tom: 360, 362.5 x2 JC 157.5

    4. 5r of 3 muscle ups
    5. 3 sets of dips 8-4-6 4 at 77lbs. JC: close grip bench - T-Bar, 25’s and 5’s
    6. 3 sets 12 dumbbell curls
    7. abs: T-bar sit ups

    SATURDAY - Conditioning
    row 6000 meters

  2. #12
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    It’s All in the Wrist

    Two headlines:

    1. I cocked my wrists while hook-gripping the bar for power cleans this week, and the improvement in my grip strength was significant.

    This is actually a throwback to my old weightlifting days 30 years ago, except I’m doing it right this time. I’ll have to see how it works with deadlifts.

    2. I have discovered a trick with those hard rubber FAT GRIPZ that might help people overcome wrist pain while lifting - specifically, pressing.

    My wife has ‘SLAC’ wrists. Actually, they’re anything but slack; they stiffening and deteriorating from arthritis, but we found a decent leverage to take some of the strain of the worst part of the joint.

    1 -
    I’ve not been enjoying the hook grip as much as I should be. While I consider myself pretty decent at power cleans, I tape up my thumbs and have never been truly pain free while gripping the bar and coming off the ground. I tried to deadlift with a hook grip, following the consensus of the experts here on the site, but a few hundred pounds into it, not even at the level of my work sets, the crushing between my thumb and middle finger is just too much. I’ve remained a mixed-grip guy.

    I realized recently that it was time to ask some hard questions about the hook grip, namely that if it was such hot stuff, enabling people to handle massive loads, why (a) was I so lousy at it, or (b) why was it not working for me?

    In the warm ups for my shrugs or Romanian deads, both of which I do with straps, 225 pounds feels so light I can practically curl it or throw it overhead like a kettle bell. Why, I began to wonder, were my cleans so much more difficult? 225 to 245 is my working range, but I couldn’t generate the kind of bodily speed with 225 on a power clean that I could tossing around a shrug warm up.

    It was the grip, I realized. The hook grip wasn’t allowing me to launch the way I really wanted.

    Here’s an analogy: on a very hot and sweaty day this past summer, I had to knock through a heavy set of five deadlifts. Reps one and two went just fine, but number three suddenly became very rough. I strained just to finish it. I was losing my grip, I realized; sweat was running down my arm and between my hand and the bar. Quickly, I dried off my arms and hands with a T-shirt, chalked up, and got reps four and five.

    That’s a proprioceptive phenomenon, I’ve learned somewhere on this website. My central nervous system and muscles were not quite willing to engage the weight because they sensed something - my grip - was about to give way. Once I had solved that problem, the last reps were easy by comparison.

    This last time around on my power cleans, I decided to try something I hadn’t bothered with since the 80’s. I cocked my wrists, which was an instruction from an old coach long ago and far away.
    Everything else was the same. It’s the same Rippetoe set up and approach; the hips are high and the hams are on. This time, after hooking my thumb with my middle finger, I turned the bar forward.
    Usually, when you take a hook grip, your second knuckles, halfway down your fingers, are pointed toward the floor. Cocking your wrists means those second knuckles are pointed aft. Your first knuckles, where your fingers join the back of your hand, are pointed at the floor.

    Everything else stays the same. Your chest and shoulders stay in position - and then you go.
    The difference was immediately apparent. I was faster, and it felt better than before. The weight sailed higher. The grip was stronger.

    Yes, this means the bar is resting on the flesh of the palm, at the bases of your fingers when you start the lift - but I don’t think it stays there. I’m pretty sure my wrists and hands yield after a split second, but that might mean that there’s a stretch reflex in my forearms as a result, working on one of two things, or maybe both:
    - my hook grip, the connection between my thumb and middle finger is much stronger - or I don’t feel the weight now;
    - and, possibly, my forearm is rebounding and cocking my wrist all the more on the way up - because my racking the weight is much smoother and higher than before.

    I swear I’m not bending my arms, at least purposely, during the rep. Also, the real test on this new position is to try some deadlifting with a hook grip and cocked wrist. Stay tuned.

    2 -
    SLAC stands for Scapholunate Advanced Collapse. It’s a nasty, painful wrist condition which can end any athletic career and interfere with everyday life. If my wife bumps or catches her hand on an item of furniture accidentally, she’ll go through the roof.

    As you can picture from X-Rays, the wrist joint is a perfectly piled set of little round bones with various supporting structures, like a mortared stone arch.
    SLAC is an arthritic deterioration of this arrangement, in which even the little bones can dissolve. A possible treatment is surgical fusion of the bones, but more than one doctor has told my wife that she’s beyond the point where that can help.
    It’s caused by injury or wear and tear over time. My wife was a gymnast.
    She’s remained a jock over the years, but lifting weights, specifically heavy barbells, as opposed to dumbbells or kettle bells, has been a challenge.

    Try this experiment as you sit at your computer:
    Put your hands out wide beside you as if you’re grasping a bar and bench pressing. Have your imaginary bar down at your chest.
    You’ll notice that the angle between your inner forearm bone and your thumb is pretty open in this position.

    Now, press the bar out in front of you. If your hands are wide, do you see now that this angle between the back of your thumb and your radius bone closes? That is a brutal, crushing force for a SLAC sufferer - right in the radial bone and thumb junction, which is apparently where SLAC does its most damage.

    Narrow grip bench presses are not a solution, since a pretty straightforward force on that region is bad enough already. Overhead presses, narrow by design, deliver the same kind of pain. That’s to say, a SLAC sufferer can’t really hit that first position you just did, with the imaginary bar at your chest and your wrists and fists in straight lines.

    However, imagine this: open your hands while the bench press bar is at chest level, close to your body. Rotate your hands outward a bit.
    That means - as if you’re about to high-five people on either side of you, pull your pinkies back and let your thumbs go forward - - NOT all the way - just 30 degree so or so.

    With your hands turned out, bench press. Push your arms forward. This time, the angle between the back of your thumb and the radius bone doesn’t close - doesn’t compress - so much, and like this, the SLAC sufferer can handle some weight.

    Quickly, Google FAT GRIPZ if you don’t know what these are. Some years ago, I saw an ad that these things really BLAST your ARMZ!!! so I ordered a pair. They’re thick rubber sleeves that make an ordinary bar ‘fat’, as if you’re handling an old axle-style strong man bar.

    My arms, sadly, were not blasted, but one day when the memsahib was complaining, I blundered into my discovery.

    Now, class, at your computers, look at the heel of your hand. What is that, your love-line or your life line, that little valley between the pads on the heel of your hand? What you’re going to do, when you lift, is put the FAT GRIP on the bar and against the outer pad (the pinkie side pad) of your hand. It cannot cross the line, the valley between the pads.

    When my wife grabs the bar for a press or a bench press, the FAT GRIPZ are largely outside her grip. The outer pads of her hands are against the rubber grips, and the inner pads - really, the thumb, forefinger, and middle finger - are against the bare metal bar. She drives with full force against both bar and pads, using all of each hand.

    Can you picture it? Try this: put the heels of your hands against the edge of your desk, fingers in the air. Rock your pinky-side palm pads up a half inch away from the surface.
    That’s what it’s like with the GRIPZ under the outsides of your hands.
    Now, lift your hands in the air. You’re back in that modified bench pressing position, where you won’t crush that ’snuffbox’ space between your thumb and radius bone as you extend.

    This is not a miracle cure-all. My wife still has the occasional stab of pain, but she’s learned pretty well how to work around her problem. This includes, by the way, a good set of Rogue wrist wraps to shore things up.

    I hope this is helpful to somebody. Rip’s main site has yet another article about strength training overcoming a hideous injury. We can’t let the bad things win.

  3. #13
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    Heavy-Light-Medium
    Week of: 12/5/16 3 sets of 5 reps week
    MONDAY
    1. Squat (3x5) Tom 367.5 JC : 147.5
    2. Press (3x5) Tom 157.5 JC: 82.5
    3. Deadlift (1x5) 450 JC 220

    4. 3 sets heavy pull ups REP SCHEME 8-4-6 (4 at 42.5)
    5. 3 sets of 6 lying triceps extensions (4 at 25 and two 10’s, and 2.5) [127.5? total]
    6. barbell curls: 3 sets (4 at 117.5)
    7. abs: banded pull downs

    TUESDAY - Conditioning
    12 sled quick marches 30-second rests 120

    WEDNESDAY
    1. Squat (80% of Monday’s weight) x5, 2 sets Tom: 295 JC: 120
    2. Bench Press (3x5) Tom: 237.5 JC: 110
    3. Power Cleans 3x3 Tom: 242.5, 245x2 JC: 112.5, 115, 112.5
    4. 4 sets of heavy shrugs 515
    5. abs: hollow rockers

    FRIDAY
    1. Squats: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x5)
    Tom: 330 JC: 132.5
    2. Press: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x5)
    Tom: 142.5 JC: 75
    3. Romanian Deadlifts - off rack - 3 sets of 5
    Tom 362.5 JC 160

    4. 8 rope climbs
    5. 3 sets of dips 8-6-4 4 at 80 (7.5) on the 72kb
    6. 3 sets 12 dumbbell curls
    7. abs: T-bar sit ups

    SATURDAY - Conditioning
    row, swim, sled: go long

  4. #14
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    De-Load Week

    Below is the plan for a reduced workload this coming week. I have to dash out of town, where training won’t be possible on Monday and Tuesday. This strikes right at the heart of the Heavy-Light-Medium program: Monday is when we hit our most important numbers, so we lose a chance to make and measure progress.

    I was about due for a de-load week, mainly because we usually take off Christmas week to visit family up in the mountains. Physically, I’m not sure I truly need one; my numbers are going up, and I seem to have found the work-rest algorithm perfect for me, even as I turn it over 5-3-1, 5-3-1 non-stop. Then again, maybe I’m more beaten up than I realize. I’ve just turned 52 and haven’t missed a day since July.

    In July we were in the wilderness for a full week, miles from the nearest weight room. When we came back, I decided to repeat the previous week’s 5’s. It was dicey, but I got all the numbers successfully. I did not feel as though my body had benefitted from any great rest that it needed. On the contrary, it seemed as if I had lost a little bit of ‘edge,’ or readiness to handle heavy weights.

    Since I’m coming home Tuesday night, I can do some lifting Wednesday and Friday. I need to keep that ‘edge’ for handling big weights, but in case I am a little beaten up, I’ll drop the volume. Hopefully that will be the best of both worlds.

    Below is the plan. The following week will be my 3-rep sets, so I’m following an important point Rip makes in SS or PPST3, that the neurological activation is more important than working the meat of the muscles. I’ll work up to performing a single rep of my 3-rep weights. That will keep the edge sharp in terms of motor-unit recruitment while letting the meat catch a break.

    We are not traveling for Christmas. Older Daughter’s European boyfriend is coming to visit. Not only should I be able to keep rolling with the program, I can show him that bone-splintering force is a pretty regular thing around here.

    DE-LOAD - week of 12/12/16

    WEDNESDAY
    1. Squat: work up to single rep (next week’s triples): Tom 397.5 JC 167.5
    2. Bench Press: work up to single rep (next week’s triples) Tom 252.5 JC 125
    3. Deadlift: work up to single rep (next week’s triples): Tom 480 JC 242.5
    4. abs: hollow rockers
    Conditioning
    12 quick marches 120 pounds 30 second rests

    FRIDAY
    1. Squats: [80% of original Monday 3x5] x 5 reps, 2 sets Tom: 295, JC: 120
    2. Press: work up to single rep (next week’s triples): Tom: 177.5 JC: 87.5
    3. Power Cleans: work up to single rep (next week’s triples) Tom 245, JC 115

    4. 2 sets of pull ups 6 reps: 35 pounds
    5. 2 sets of dips 6 reps: 67 pounds JC: close grip bench with T-Bar: 25’s and 5’s
    6. abs: T-bar sit ups

    SATURDAY - Conditioning
    pull sled 2 miles 45, 25

  5. #15
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    Not that anyone is paying any attention, but the plans have changed for this week. The snowstorm across the upper Midwest canceled the trip we had planned, so I dove right back into the 3-rep week in the 5-3-1 HLM format. Below is the plan for the week.

    The issue above was my not really thinking I needed a rest. Today, I hit my heavy triples successfully, though those third reps in the 397-pound squat sets were soul-searchers. However, that's been the case with my triples over the past . . . months, really.

    The template above is worth keeping for one of those situations when I do need a rest or real life interferes with a training week.

    An additional note: I wrote a week ago about cocked wrists helping in the power cleans and that I'd see if they had any effect on a hook grip deadlift. They did not. I picked up 315 pounds, the cocked wrists melted immediately, and the hook grip bloody well hurt. The hook grip's success is based entirely on a specific strength, and I ain't got it.

    Heavy-Light-Medium
    Week of: 12/12/16 3 sets of 3 reps week
    MONDAY
    1. Squat (3x3) Tom 397.5 JC : 167.5
    2. Press (3x3) Tom 177.5 JC: 90
    3. Deadlift: (1x3) Tom 480 JC 242.5

    4. 3 sets heavy pull ups 8-4-6 REP SCHEME 4 with 45
    5. 3 sets lying triceps extensions 4 with 25, 10-10 and 2.5
    6. barbell curls: 4 with 117.5
    7. abs: banded pull downs

    TUESDAY - Conditioning: sled pull
    12 quick marches 120 pounds 30 second rests

    WEDNESDAY
    1. Squat (80% of Mondayís weight) x5, 2 sets Tom: 295 JC: 120
    2. Bench Press (3x3) Tom: 252.5 JC: 125
    3. Power Cleans 3x3 Tom: 245 JC: 112.5
    4. 4 sets of heavy shrugs 515
    5. abs: hollow rockers

    FRIDAY
    1. Squats: [90% of Mondayís weight] (3x3)
    Tom: 357.5 JC: 152.5
    2. Press: [90% of Mondayís weight] (3x3)
    Tom: 160 JC: 80
    3. Romanian deadlifts (off rack) 3 sets of 5 -
    Tom: 362.5, 365, 362.5 JC: 162.5

    4. 4 sets of rows- horizontal body with 20 lb vest on
    5. 3 sets of dips 8-4-6 rep scheme 4 at 80 JC: close grip bench with T-Bar: 25ís and 5ís
    6. 3 sets 12 dumbbell curls
    7. abs: T-bar sit ups

    SATURDAY - Conditioning
    sled 2 miles 45, 25
    Last edited by Nunedog; 12-12-2016 at 10:34 AM.

  6. #16
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    Blinded by the Light

    Have you ever held one of those giant misapprehensions about something in life, only to discover years later just how wildly wrong you were? I’m on the verge of another one of those embarrassing moments, and I think, JC, based on your comment above, I might owe you a beer for helping me sort out a decades-long misunderstanding of the hook grip.

    I’ve had all kinds of misapprehensions in life, but here’s one of the least embarrassing: In 1977, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band came out with their version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded by the Light.” In it were a set of lines that I struggled to grasp:
    ‘Wrapped up like a douche
    On a rotor in the night’

    I was in Seventh Grade and hadn’t the slightest idea what a douche was, only that it had something to do with feminine particulars, and that getting it snarled in the workings of a rotor - in a white, toilet-papery, sodden mess, I always pictured - was a metaphor for somebody in a pretty bad fix.
    Good song, I always thought, but a strange choice of imagery to make a point.

    One day, after hearing the song in the car and liking it, my kid decided to punch it up on YouTube. The video she chose had the lyrics on it, and I happened to glance over her shoulder to see:
    ‘Revved up like a deuce
    Another runner in the night’

    Holy Cow, I realized, that’s a little deuce coupe, a hot rod, revved up and racing. The entire song is about the one person, an erotic dancer, who was absolutely blinded - overcome and inspired; revved up - by the brilliance of a musical performance. Yeah, I was pretty wrong in my original interpretation.

    I turns out that I’ve been similarly way off in my understanding of the hook grip, despite a number of years competing as an Olympic lifter. JC’s point above, that the hook grip lets the bar roll into the four fingers, struck me, quite honestly, as odd. No, I thought, the hook grip is about the hook, or ring, created by the thumb and middle finger. I wanted to write back, but I figured I should probably make sure I knew what I was talking about.

    To me the hook grip was always painful, and tenuous at best, because I would grab with my thumb under the bar. My middle finger would then close over the thumbnail. When I lifted the weight, all the pressure would come down on the thumbprint. With the bar on one side and my middle finger on the other, the lower half of my thumb was getting crushed. That’s why the 315-pound experiment the other day put a quick end to my hook grip deads. I was wrapped up like a douche on a rotor in the night.

    My epiphany came after a tour around the net and rereading Rip’s description in STARTING STRENGTH. You really have to do some looking to see this because A LOT of pictures are deceiving, but JC’s description above is correct. The bar does go forward into your four fingers because your thumb is behind the bar, not beneath it.

    The best pictures on the net show that when you grab the bar, your thumbs should bend at 90-degree angles, so that the lower halves, the thumbnail and thumbprint section, run parallel to the bar (and parallel to the deck.) THEN your middle finger comes around and makes contact with the thumbnail. The bar sits in the knuckles of your four fingers. That’s why Rip defined it as a ‘friction grip;’ it’s the friction of your middle finger against your thumbnail that keeps the four fingers in place - not friction keeping the thumb under the bar! It’s not compression, with your thumb being press-molded into your middle finger.

    At least, that’s as far as I can tell. I was down in the garage earlier with a bar in the rack, trying this out. Tomorrow is Power Clean day, so I’ll see how it goes for real. With any luck, I’ll be revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.

    Embarrassing as this discovery is going to prove, a trip around the net showed that I was not the only person making this mistake on the hook grip. People complain, people have questions, and some swear that the hook grip hurts like Hell, but they’ll do it anyway.

    Also, lots of people think the lyrics are, ‘Wrapped up like a douche . . . ‘ Even Bruce Springsteen admitted as much in an interview. Clueless as I might be, at least I’m in decent company.

    [IMG]hook.jpg[/IMG]

    The boyfriend is from Ireland.
    Last edited by Nunedog; 12-13-2016 at 12:45 PM.

  7. #17
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    Grog Night

    Tonightís brew will be hoisted in honor of JC, above, whose post on the hook grip made for a big improvement in todayís power cleans and bodes well for the future.
    Thank you, JC, for taking the trouble to say something, and put one for yourself on my tab. I think weíre on the verge of wading into a slight controversy, but Iím really not ready quite yet. I havenít tried any heavy deads with this new, improved version of the hook.

    Based on my description of the thumbís position [in my post just previous . . . that the thumbs are BEHIND the bar, bent, with the ends running parallel to the bar] I grabbed the bar at each lift, bent the thumbs, and watched as each middle finger came around and locked onto the thumbnail. My four fingers in front in each hand were bearing the weight. I never lost the hook grip, held on just fine, and knocked through some decent cleans. In fact, this felt great.

    Interestingly, this set up gives one a bit of a cocked wrist, like the position I described a few posts ago. At the time, I was recalling some advice from an old coach in an attempt to get the weight off my thumbs, since they were wrapped beneath the bar and being crushed by the weight. This makes me wonder: what was my coach driving at years ago? When he said, ĎCock your wrists,í was he trying to get me into a thumbs-behind-the-bar position, or initiate an off-the-thumbs-momentarily stretch reflex?

    Itís hard to find a definitive answer on the hook grip. In the Starting Strength Forums, even Rip mentions that one must handle the pain that comes with a hook grip. In his recent video, Rip does call it a FRICTION grip - and that makes sense when you see the bent thumb and the middle finger in contact behind the bar: you have to keep that middle finger coming all the way around the bar and not slipping off the thumbnail.
    However, in the video, his athlete grips in such a way that his thumbs look like theyíre a little bit Ďbeneathí the bar. (Heís half-hanging from a bar at chest height, so the thumbs are up and forward for the sake of demonstration - but it kind of looks like the ends are in for a bit of a squish.

    On YouTube, a lot, a lot of people are sticking pretty straight thumbs under the bar and clamping them. Deal with the pain, is part of the message.

    Like I said, Iím not ready to stir up trouble just yet, but the question seems to be shaping up into a pretty clear choice on how to hook:
    -thumbs behind the bar (thumbs are bent and do not bear weight - but will this hurt and will it be feasible with a heavy dead?)
    -thumbs under the bar (which frigginí hurts but makes for a solid lock)
    Last edited by Nunedog; 12-14-2016 at 11:53 AM.

  8. #18
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    Below is the plan for the upcoming week. First, a few notes:

    1. It was 19 degrees in the garage this morning, so I could stand around between sets with my hands on my hips, breathing smoke and looking determined like some old icon in a classic NFL game film.

    2. I was heaving 362 for some Romanian deadlifts, using straps because I like my central nervous system, but I did put it down on the ground at the end of things to try the new bent-thumbs-behind-the-bar hook grip on a regular deadlift. It didn't hurt, but my hands were coming apart at that weight. I stripped it to 315 and hit the reps just fine - without pain and without my thumbs running under the bar. It would appear that my only deficit now is grip strength. That's a fair proposition; I can work on that. Overcoming agony didn't seem a viable option.

    3. The wife is due for a reset on her upper body lifts. She's been cruising along pretty well for a long time, and hit a single bench with the big wheels, 135, a video of which thrilled and amazed her friends on Facebook. She's pushing toward a 200 pound squat as well, which isn't bad for an old lady. A week of singles isn't exactly time for a reset, but we'll see what we get and then drop her 5's ten percent or so.

    4. I'm gunning for a 510 pound deadlift, which I should have hit three weeks ago. The 425 pound squat singles were grinds, so I should have known to pretend I was at a power meet and save the deads for the second session of the day, after food and rest.
    I was warming up the deads, and 455 didn't want to move the first time I tried it. 'Uh oh,' I thought, so I girded my loins, got a little aggressive, and persevered. 'That was stupid,' I realized the second I put it back on the ground. 'Now I'm burnt. I should have waited.'
    If the 427's are slow Monday, I'll hold off on the deads until later.

    5. Fancy new hook grip notwithstanding, 245 pounds across is getting a little slow and heavy for the power cleans. I'm going to try a reset of sorts: the name of the game is speed, so I might drop the first round to a sprightly 225 and then work up to a respectable single around 250 before dropping for some fun and games again. I'm having a few too many dramatic Olympic moments - speaking of highlight films.

    Heavy-Light-Medium
    Week of: 12/19/16 3 sets of 1 rep week
    MONDAY
    1. Squat (3x1) Tom 427.5 JC : 190
    2. Press (3x1) Tom 192.5 JC: 97.5+
    3. Deadlift: Tom (1x1) 510 JC 260

    4. 3 sets heavy pull ups 8-4-6 REP SCHEME
    5. 3 sets of lying triceps extensions 25-10-10-2.5 for 4
    6. barbell curls: 117.5 for 4
    7. abs: banded pull downs

    TUESDAY - Conditioning
    12 quick marches 120 pounds; 30 second rests

    WEDNESDAY
    1. Squat (80% of the original (3x5) Monday’s weight) x5, 2 sets Tom: 295 JC: 120
    2. Bench Press (3x1) Tom: 287.5 JC: 135 big steel
    3. Power Cleans 3x3 Tom: 225, to 250, 225 JC: 112.5, 115, 112.5
    4. 4 sets of heavy shrugs 515
    5. abs: hollow rockers

    FRIDAY
    1. Squats: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x1)
    Tom: 385 JC: 172.5
    2. Press: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x1)
    Tom: 175 JC: 85
    3. Romanian deadlifts (off rack) 3 sets of 5 -
    Tom: 362.5, 365 x2 JC 162.5, 165, 162.5

    4. 5r muscle ups;
    5. 3 sets of dips 8-4-6 4 at 82 lbs. JC: close grip bench - T-Bar, 25’s and 5’s
    6. 3 sets 12 dumbbell curls
    7. abs: T-bar sit ups

    SATURDAY - Conditioning
    swim 1 mile, if I can find a pool open on Christmas Eve!
    Last edited by Nunedog; 12-16-2016 at 05:12 PM.

  9. #19
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    I think I might cash in that reduced workload template for Christmas after all. If I wasnít beaten up before, then I am now, after a battle with my single-rep benches the other day. Hold that thought.

    The big news this week is the wifeís squatting 200 for a lifetime PR. She has been working her way through the 5-3-1ís over the months, with slow and steady 2.5 pound increases and paying absolutely no attention to this landmark at all - which is probably a lesson to bear in mind, come to think of it. At any rate, her 190ís went up pretty fast, and she got that look in her eyes that I like. She said, ĎThrow a five on each side.í
    Now, thatís a sporting lass.

    I got the 427.5 pound squats and pulled the 510 pound deadlift feeling like I had more in the tank. I rested before the deads, as planned in the last post.

    The bent-thumb behind-the-bar hook-grip power cleans went just fine. If I didnít endorse that technique - that discovery - strongly enough last week, let me do so now: thatís the way to go, kids. It doesnít hurt, the grip is solid, and there must be a story here about an old weightlifting secret being lost in translation.


    The 287.5 pound bench presses didnít want to go, which was exasperating since Iíve been camped out on the doorstep of the 300 pound landmark for some time now. I canít complain; itís been climbing, creeping along slowly, though I should probably quit caring about it, like my wife with her 200 pound squat.
    I have a bit of a story here, but I might have blundered into another secret that can prove useful. Itíll sound like a gimmick - but bear with me: on your benches, and probably your presses, warm up your antagonist muscles a bit, especially if youíre going heavy.

    When 287 didnít budge, I dropped the weight to 265 for some consolation reps and otherwise pouted over the injustice and cruelty of it all. I hate that feeling when a bench doesnít go, your pecs pulling weakly across your chest with about a third of the firepower necessary.
    Hang on a second, I thought. My pecs are not supposed to be pulling toward one another across a flat surface. No wonder they barely feel involved.
    Theyíre supposed to be pulling down, almost like Iím doing a dip. Iím supposed to be arching my back, with my shoulder blades pulled back, feet planted and all that other stuff. I was as flat as a pancake, though. My first 265 was like that, even though I got it.

    Now, I knew full well what the technique was supposed to be. I was arching and breathing and going through all the motions, but my body wasnít responding. It was 30 degrees in the garage, and . . . yeah, well . . . full disclosure, we had been at the Hamilton the previous evening to see Los Lobos.
    The point is that while I had done all the usual reps climbing up toward 287, the rest of my body was not warming up. The muscles I needed to crank the shoulder blades and arch the back were still sleeping off the show. As this was dawning on me, the blood finally started flowing, and my next 265 flew up, when I actually teed everything up the way I was supposed to. I went to 275. It flew - and so did 280, but by then I was spent, so no miracles were going to happen.

    Damn. Thatís a workout Iíd like to have back, like the time I didnít rest enough between squat and deadlift maxes. I would warm up the antagonist muscles for the bench, mainly the lats and the backs of the shoulders. That would mean some horizontal rows, nothing strenuous, just enough to get the muscles firing and some blood running through them.
    (By horizontal rows, I mean me hanging below a bar with my feet on a bench, so I can pull myself up in Ďantií-bench presses. Iíd do two or three sets of 5, like I said, nothing strenuous, but just enough to be sure those guys in back are going to do all the cranking and arching I need, even on cold winter mornings.)

    Rip has talked about warming up the entire body with a few hundred easy meters on a rowing machine, particularly on cold winter mornings. That would very likely do the trick, though Iíd venture to say that a few rows might wake up a few more of the motor units Iíd need later.

    (Note: I just added a few rows and a set of pull ups to my work-up for the press this morning, and it seems to work, rows more than pull ups. It did feel like I could draw my shoulder blades back a little more effectively than usual as I un-racked the bar, and I had a greater sense of my traps lighting up at the top of each press. Was I just more aware of those muscles serving their regular purpose, or had I enhanced their contribution?)
    I think I enhanced their performance - or Iíd like to think I did. Who knows? Itíll take some time to form an honest judgment.

    Finally, Merry Christmas, everyone! Happy Hannukah and Kwanzaa - and Festivus. I hope Iím not leaving anybody out. Happy Naked Fire Jumping to celebrate the Solstice!
    Iíll think of folks strapping on their new belts Christmas morning, [my 12 year old tennis girl included] or standing in their pajamas looking down at their new weightlifting shoes.

    DE-LOAD - Christmas week
    12/26/16
    TUESDAY
    Conditioning
    12 quick marches 120 pounds 30 second rests


    WEDNESDAY
    1. Squat: work up to double rep (next weekís 5ís): Tom 370 JC 150
    2. Bench Press: work up to double rep (next weekís 5ís) Tom 240 JC 102.5
    3. Deadlift: work up to double rep (next weekís 5ís): Tom 455 JC 222.5
    4. abs: hollow rockers


    FRIDAY
    1. Squats: [80% of original Monday 3x5] x5, 2 sets Tom: 295 JC: 120
    2. Press: work up to double rep (next weekís 5's): Tom: 160 JC: 75
    3. Power Cleans: work up to double rep (next weekís 5's) Tom 225, JC 115

    4. 2 sets of pull ups 6 reps: 35 pounds
    5. 2 sets of dips 6 reps: 67 pounds JC: close grip bench with T-Bar: 25ís and 5ís
    6. abs: T-bar sit ups

    SATURDAY - Conditioning
    pull sled 2 miles 45, 25
    Last edited by Nunedog; 12-23-2016 at 11:10 AM.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    191

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    starting strength nutrition camp
    2016 has been a good year for strength training for yours truly, as it has for the wife and tennis playing, swim-team-member daughter. For the wife and me, settling on the Starr based HLM cycle (below) has made for the most improvement, this after the Texas Method had run its course - or we had run ours on it. The early part of 2016 was spent casting around a bit, namely lowering the volume on the TM to see what would happen, but March and April were when I really buckled down and studied PPST3 to come up with a solution.

    As the year comes to a close, these are my best 1-rep maxes (weighing 200):
    SQUAT - 427.5 pounds
    PRESS - 200
    BENCH PRESS - 287.5
    DEADLIFT - 510

    That represents improvements of about
    4% in the squat
    11% in the press
    8% in the bench
    12% in the deadlift

    What can I expect for 2017? Conservatively, I’d expect five percent increases. I’d love to continue at the 8, 11, or 12% level, but five percent would be the minimum amount to keep me from thinking anything is wrong.
    As you can see above, the squat was the lift that suffered from the higher volume work earlier last year. In April, starting the Starr HLM, I allowed myself a big 10% reset, and I’ve been improving slowly and steadily ever since.

    Five percent increases would mean numbers like:
    SQUAT - 450
    PRESS - 210
    BENCH PRESS - 302.5 or 305
    DEADLIFT - 535
    Those are all certainly feasible; the press and bench numbers in particular don’t look like much. (Please, God.) I think I can beat them. In fact, I fantasize about a press with two big wheels on each end of the bar - 225 - and a bench with three, or 315.
    I just have to hit that friggin’ 300 bench, that lifetime, passage-to-manhood goal that’s been eluding me, and for the press I should always be able to hoist bodyweight overhead, even if I gain weight.

    In the power clean I only have 245 to my credit as the most hoisted, though I’ve done it six or more times in a given workout. I’d love to hit something like 265, or dare I imagine 275?
    No, I don’t dare imagine that, but we’ll see. The power clean is a fickle girl. The best way to handle her is just be glad she’ll let you dally, and lift only what will be fast enough to keep her happy.

    It’s been a nice week of rest, but I’m ready to get back at it. Happy New Year!

    Heavy-Light-Medium
    Week of: 1/2/17 3 sets of 5 reps week
    MONDAY
    1. Squat (3x5) Tom 370 JC : 150
    2. Press (3x5) Tom 160 JC: 75
    3. Deadlift (1x5) 455 JC 222.5

    4. 3 sets heavy pull ups REP SCHEME 8-4-6 (4 at 45)
    5. 3 sets of 6 lying triceps extensions (4 at 25 and 25)
    6. barbell curls: 3 sets (4 at 117.5)
    7. abs: banded pull downs

    TUESDAY - Conditioning
    12 sled quick marches 30-second rests 120

    WEDNESDAY
    1. Squat (80% of Monday’s weight) x5, 2 sets Tom: 295 JC: 120
    2. Bench Press (3x5) Tom: 240 JC: 102.5
    3. Power Cleans 3x3 Tom: 225, to 250, 225 JC: 112.5, 115, 112.5
    4. 4 sets of heavy shrugs 515
    5. abs: hollow rockers

    FRIDAY
    1. Squats: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x5)
    Tom: 332.5 JC: 135
    2. Press: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x5)
    Tom: 145 JC: 67.5
    3. Romanian Deadlifts - off rack - 3 sets of 5
    Tom 365 JC 162.5, 165 x2

    4. 4 sets of rows, pull ups; 5r muscle ups; 8 rope climbs
    5. 3 sets of dips 8-6-4 4 at 80 (7.5) on the 72kb
    JC T-Bar bench presses - 25’s
    6. 3 sets 12 dumbbell curls
    7. abs: T-bar sit ups

    SATURDAY - Conditioning
    swim 1 mile

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