A Middle Aged Adolescent  (who cannot possibly be the only one) A Middle Aged Adolescent (who cannot possibly be the only one) - Page 3

starting strength gym
Page 3 of 20 FirstFirst 1234513 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 198

Thread: A Middle Aged Adolescent (who cannot possibly be the only one)

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    190

    Default

    • phoenix arizona seminar date
    • texas seminar date
    All goes well. The plan for next week, below, contains all the notches upward that it should.

    Providing an important public service is unquestionably the aim of this blog, so today’s installment is about another body part and lesson learned.
    First, however, some observations based on previous lessons:
    -The bar speed this week was nice and crisp; the rest week was helpful after all.
    -The bent-thumbs-behind the bar hook grip is working well on the cleans; I managed to yank a 252.5 the other day.
    -Warming up the back muscles with those suspended rows, for the press and bench press, is working - psychologically or otherwise.
    -The wife is on a reset of her press and bench press. I’ve had to point out to her that dropping 10 percent is not simply a case of slacking off. It’s supposed to be an enhancement to training, something to make it more effective. Therefore, she should be improving her hip movement on the presses, for example, or working on bar placement and speed in the bench. The lighter weight is meant to afford her a chance to improve the technical side of the lifts.

    -The lesson this week is this: beware the power clean and its effect on your toenails.

    I went to the doctor yesterday, my head hanging in utter embarrassment that it must be some grotesque fungus making my big toenail ache.
    ‘It’s an ingrown nail,’ the Doc said, ‘not fungus.’
    Her explanation was that I’ve been wearing tight shoes, which rammed the skin surrounding the nail up and around it.
    Aha, I realized. My shoes of one kind or another aren’t bad. It’s the power cleans.

    My size 10 Adipowers are perfectly fine weightlifting shoes, but I have felt my toes slamming forward slightly when I hit a heavy clean. Lately, it’s been killing me. It’s the sheer force of impact driving my feet down the tiny hills created by my shoes.
    A 252.5 pound power clean is an act of violence. [If you happen to be impressed by a 252.5 pound power clean, you may stick with the word ‘violence.’ If that’s warm-up weight for you, then consider in my case that it’s an act of ‘desperation.’]
    I stick with the Rippetoe plan: touch the legs and jump, and when the weight is dicey I’m dropping a few inches and landing in a Kung Fu fighting stance, which jams the toes down and forward.

    I go in next week to have a shot of novocaine and get a hunk of nail gouged out of the corner of my toe. This makes me an unfortunate statistic: injured while following the STARTING STRENGTH regimen, and undergoing surgery.
    ‘You cut your damn nail too short,’ Rippetoe is going to say in court when I try to take him for everything he has. Unfortunately, that’s probably true.
    You have to let your nails grow out over the flesh of your toe a bit, the doctor said. Then cut them straight across. Don’t angle in at the corners.
    The risk then will be slicing through the fronts of my socks - or shoes - in my cleans, those moments of power and majesty, but I suppose that’s the price of greatness.

    Heavy-Light-Medium
    Week of: 1/9/16 3 sets of 3 reps week
    MONDAY
    1. Squat (3x3) Tom 400 JC : 170
    2. Press (3x3) Tom 180 JC: 82.5
    3. Deadlift: (1x3) Tom 485 JC 245

    4. 3 sets heavy pull ups 8-4-6 REP SCHEME 4 with 45
    5. 3 sets of 6 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
    12 quick marches 120 pounds 30 second rests

    WEDNESDAY
    1. Squat (80% of Monday’s weight) x5, 2 sets Tom: 295 JC: 120
    2. Bench Press 3x3) Tom: 255 JC: 115
    3. Power Cleans 3x3 Tom: 225, to 255, 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] (3x3)
    Tom: 360 JC: 152.5
    2. Press: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x3)
    Tom: 162.5 JC: 77.5
    3. Romanian deadlifts (off rack) 3 sets of 5 -
    Tom: 365, 367.5, 365 JC: 165

    4. 4 sets of rows
    5. 3 sets of dips 4 at 80 JC: close grip bench with T-Bar: 25’s
    6. 3 sets 12 dumbbell curls
    7. abs: T-bar sit ups

    SATURDAY - Conditioning
    row 6000 meters

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    190

    Default

    You’ll see two changes to this coming week’s template below.

    1. The wife’s deadlift single will move to Wednesday. To make room, her power cleans will go to Monday.
    Just as I discovered that after three heavy squat singles I’d have to wait until Monday’s second session to go after my deadlift, the wife cannot manage a max dead after her squats, particularly when she only does one session on Monday evenings. Before Christmas, when she hit that 200 pound squat, she couldn’t budge her deadlift a half hour later.
    We’ll keep the deadlift 5’s where they are. The 3’s are a judgment call; they might switch (for both of us) as well, but the singles definitely need some rest beforehand.

    2. I am changing two of my upper body assistance exercises, lying triceps extensions and dips, to partial presses and bench presses, done in the rack.
    I’ll miss the dips, mainly because I’ve always enjoyed knocking out a few reps with 80 pounds of kettle bells hanging from a judo belt. Come think of it, I’ll hit a few now and then. I owe them a great deal, but I also feel that I have wrung all of the possible benefit out of these exercises for the present time.
    They’ve stopped progressing. Yes, I know that assistance exercises are completely secondary to the big lifts. I’ve pushed them along very slowly, up two and a half pounds in one set out of three, week to week - if that. However, once that impetus died, the progression the big lifts stalled as well.

    I’ll have more - something - to share on the partial presses once I figure things out. I’ve been studying the section in STARTING STRENGTH about them, and I’ll have to sort out my pin positions and weights in the weeks ahead. The first order is that I must be careful to avoid overdoing it with these.

    Heavy-Light-Medium
    Week of: 1/16/16 3 sets of 1 rep week
    MONDAY
    1. Squat (3x1) Tom 430 JC : 192.5
    2. Press (3x1) Tom 195 JC: 90
    3. Deadlift: Tom (1x1) 515 - in the second session
    JC power cleans: (3x3) 112.5, 115, 112.5

    4. 3 sets heavy pull ups 8-4-6 REP SCHEME
    5. 3 sets of partial presses [Tom] holes 2-4-6; . . . 125, 145,165
    JC: lying triceps extensions
    6. barbell curls: 117.5 for 4
    7. abs: banded pull downs

    TUESDAY - Conditioning
    sled pull 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: 140x1?
    3. Power Cleans (3x3) Tom: 225, to 255, 225
    JC DEADLIFT single 260
    4. 4 sets of heavy shrugs 525
    5. abs: hollow rockers

    FRIDAY
    1. Squats: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x5, 3x3, 3x1)
    Tom: 387.5 JC: 172.5
    2. Press: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x5, 3x3, 3x1)
    Tom: 175 JC: 85
    3. Romanian deadlifts (off rack) 3 sets of 5 -
    Tom: 365, 367.5 x2 JC 165, 167.5, 165

    4. 5r muscle up
    5. 3 sets of partial bench presses holes 17-13-9; . . . . 205-225-265?
    JC: close grip bench - T-Bar, 25’s
    6. 3 sets 12 dumbbell curls
    7. abs: T-bar sit ups

    SATURDAY - Conditioning
    swim 1 mile

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Just read your log, Nunedog. Enjoying your musings!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    190

    Default

    Thanks for the feedback, Newbie!

    In hindsight, it doesnít seem like a big deal. When I relay the news that I had a norovirus, a stomach bug attack, your thought will be, Yeah, too bad. Those things happen. Weíve all been there, and itís way too late to feel sorry for you now, buddy.

    Youíre exactly right, of course. Allís well that ends well, but at the time it sure seemed like the end of the world. Thatís probably because it was such a study in contrasts. Earlier Monday I had knocked out the 430 pound squats, the presses at 195, and the 515 dead. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself through the day, as I coached the kid through her fives and we tossed a football between sets. At 11ío clock at night, however, and for the next few hours, I found myself in the bathroom heaving out my heart and soul. The next morning, I was as weak as a lamb. I tried to check my e-mail but couldnít even summon the strength to sit upright at the computer. I had to sleep the day away.

    It all started with my bohemian older daughter. She and the European boyfriend were flopped out on Saturday night, so they ordered a pizza, which must have been completely feces laden. The next morning, she was blowing valves. The boyfriend, who turned out to be a pretty cool customer, flew out that night. He made it all the way across the Atlantic, sauntered from the airport into an assessment for one of his college classes, but then blew to pieces that night. Then it was my turn, and the next night Tennis Girl got it. The virus crept through the house like Edgar Allan Poeís Red Death.

    I have two points that are germane to STARTING STRENGTH training. First of all, Iím a lot stronger than I was the last time I came down with one of these bugs. Iím at least 30 pounds heavier, and Iím sporting a bit of a squatterís belly, that tire-tread of ab muscles we get from driving our guts against the belt during heavy reps. Monday night was the most unbelievably painful vomiting I have ever done. I know a good barf starts from within, but at some point, your main abs kick in - and I felt the Wrath of God. These were some 515-pound contortions, gut punches that whiplashed me down and doubled over in a split second each time.
    Iíd bet we all take those squatterís abs for granted, especially if you donít bother with too many sit-ups. Respect them, say I. Youíll be plenty surprised if you ever light up all those motor units at once.

    Secondly, I donít think this will have any major effect on my training program. Now, thatís obvious, and even ridiculous to bring up - but I do so in case anyone else is as insane as I am and prone to fearing that all this hard work can collapse like a house of cards. Thatís what I was thinking all day Tuesday as I was lying there dead: I am so-ooo worked over by the violence of last night . . . . every muscle from yesterday is so sore . . . . and now so depleted . . . . all those nutrients . . . gone . . . lost . . . Itíll take weeks to recover.

    Wednesday morning, when the coffee and eggs went down the hatch and seemed willing to stay put, I wandered out to the garage. Pretty soon I had 295 pounds strapped across my back for my light-day squats. What do you know, I thought. Harder to kill.
    Granted, it was not a day for breaking any records, though I did work up to a 275 pound bench. I probably really was depleted to some degree. Fatigue chased me out after about an hour.

    The 90 percent sets on Friday went just fine.

    Itís amazing how in the throes of my suffering, I lost all perspective. Iím still going back and forth about it. God, what a baby I was - thinking I was Mr. 430 and 515 Tough Guy, and then suddenly moaning dramatically on my deathbed like somebodyís Great Aunt: ĎJust bury me in my wedding dress . . . Ď
    Then again, itís been years since Iíve had one these viruses, and I was genuinely surprised and overwhelmed. Next time, I have to be tactically more aware of whatís happening. If I can get this in my head in the depths of my despair, Iíll say, Youíve been through this before. Weather the storm.
    Thatís the best way to handle all kinds of lifeís crises, putting them on the level of a hangover or a sleepless night. Take the long view; youíre going to be all right.

    Heavy-Light-Medium
    Week of: 1/23/17 3 sets of 5 reps week
    MONDAY
    1. Squat (3x5) Tom 372.5 JC : 152.5
    2. Press (3x5) Tom 162.5 JC: 77.5
    3. Deadlift (1x5) 460 JC 225

    4. 3 sets heavy pull ups REP SCHEME 8-4-6 (4 at 47.5)
    5. 3 sets of 5 partial presses [Tom] holes 2-4-6; . . . 135, 155, 175
    JC: 3 sets of 6 lying triceps extensions
    6. barbell curls: 3 sets (4 at 117.5)
    7. abs: banded pull downs

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

    WEDNESDAY
    1. Squat (80% of Mondayís weight) x5, 2 sets Tom: 297.5 JC: 122.5
    2. Bench Press (3x5) Tom: 242.5 JC: 105
    3. Power Cleans 3x3 Tom: 225, to 255, 225 JC: 112.5, 115, 112.5
    4. 4 sets of heavy shrugs 525
    5. abs: hollow rockers

    FRIDAY
    1. Squats: [90% of Mondayís weight] (3x5)
    Tom: 335 JC: 137.5
    2. Press: [90% of Mondayís weight] (3x5)
    Tom: 147.5 JC: 70
    3. Romanian Deadlifts - off rack - 3 sets of 5
    Tom 367.5 JC 165, 167.5 x2

    4. 8 rope climbs
    5. 3 sets of 5 partial bench presses holes 17-13-9; . . . . 225-250-300
    JC: close grip bench - T-Bar, 25ís
    6. 3 sets 12 dumbbell curls
    7. abs: T-bar sit ups

    SATURDAY - Conditioning
    pull sled two miles, 45, 25

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    190

    Default

    Damn: On a ‘5’ Week, I only managed a 5, 5, and 3 on my squats and a 3 on my deads.
    The only positive coming out of this is that maybe I should not be so embarrassed by my fear last week that a stomach flu was going to wreck my training.

    (The illness struck Monday night; I was out of commission all day Tuesday, but on Wednesday and Friday I was back in the gym, happy to be operating at 90 percent capacity or thereabouts.)

    Today, however, was horrible, the very first rep in my first set of 5 feeling like a max, and all the reps slow, slow grinds. That’s bad; that’s different. Three weeks ago, I bounced out of my 370’s for fives, and last week, just before the big drama, I came out of my 430-pound singles faster than my reps today.
    I’m not the only one off my game, however. As I write, it’s the day after the NFL’s Conference Championship games. According to the news, both losing teams, the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, had the norovirus sweep through their locker rooms last week.

    Sportswriters will have to ponder whether this cost them the games. The Atlanta Falcons, who beat Green Bay, are fearless and explosive, and swarm like wolves on many of their plays. The New England Patriots, who beat the Steelers, are, after all, the friggin’ Patriots, the New Model Army, capable of crushing any resistance.
    Green Bay prevailed in a thriller against a good Dallas team last week. Pittsburgh was capable of genius when they didn’t stall inexplicably, but neither team was going to do anything transcendent with numerous players on the mend.

    That’s the thing; the mending takes a while. It’s probably a good thing, evolutionarily speaking. After an initial shock wears off, the body can draw upon reserves and bounce back. Life - or the fight for survival - can resume at close to regular capacity.

    However, the body is now operating at a deficit. The intake of nutrients has been interrupted by a day or more of not eating. Many would-be energy stores were lost in the bathroom when the virus first attacked. The drawing upon reserves in the days afterward further reduces overall voltage.
    It’s going to take a while to bring these energy stores back to their highest levels. Not only will it take a ton of food, I’d imagine it’d also take some time to be molecularly converted to ready firepower.

    This matters little to the average person, but to the athlete operating at the edge of their performance envelope, it makes all the difference in the world.
    Depending upon who was sick among the Packers and Steelers, the quarterback had a little less zip on his passes, the receivers were a step or two behind on their patterns, or the linemen couldn’t quite bash their counterparts completely out of the way.
    I thought I was ready to rock and roll when I teed up that first set of squats, but I could barely make it back to the line of scrimmage on my first rep.

    The getting back up to full strength took too long. I was right to be worried. I wonder how many Packers or Steelers knew they were in trouble, too. ‘There goes the Super Bowl,’ they said when they spit out the residue and flushed the toilet.
    Last edited by Nunedog; 01-23-2017 at 04:55 PM.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    190

    Default

    On Wednesday, I managed to yank a power clean with 255 pounds, a significant number because it allowed me to slap some full-sized looking 15-pound bumper plates on top of the two big, fat 45-pound bumpers already on each end of the bar. Had any of the neighbors noticed me out on the driveway, they might have remarked, ‘Holy Cow, he looks just like Gennadi Ivanchenko.’* See below.

    Also, I’ve been settling on the best pin heights for my partial presses, both bench and standing, and I’ve blundered into another discovery, or at least another mystery.

    What if the Olympic Press has a bad rap, but actually contains an important technical point that I’ve overlooked?

    It’s a long story, but the crux is this: on my second set of partial presses, which I was doing seated, I discovered that my forearms were not vertical.
    Yes, I have sinned: my rack is too short for standing presses and using the pins (safety bars) inside, so I sat. My second sets are supposed to be at the sticking point, which is where my triceps are parallel to the deck. That puts the bar at my hairline or just above. However, these sets were surprisingly difficult, and it took me a while to figure out why.

    You can follow this as you sit at your computer. For my first set, the bar was on pins just a half inch off my collarbones - so, put your hands up, and grab your imaginary bar at collarbone height. Partial presses are done from a dead stop each time, so you start down low, and drive the bar up. It rises close your face, and you feel your traps lock everything into position at the top.

    The second set has the bar right at hair level, so put your hands up and imagine the bar touching right where a baseball cap would rest, just above the hairline. It’s time for some reps, but these have been friggin’ hard - and no wonder: look at your forearms. If that bar is touching your head, your forearms are slanted back toward you.
    That’s a hideous leverage. You’d be decapitated if you bench pressed that way.

    Go back through the motion. At the bottom, the forearms are fairly vertical. You drive up, but if your fists stay near your head, the forearms are now tilting back because your elbows are rising and getting further out in front.
    Keep going, though - and you’re sitting up straight, by the way. As you finish the lift, the forearms don’t get vertical again until near the end. That’s half the entire motion done at a disadvantageous leverage.

    Stand up, or at least have some room behind you on the chair. I actually figured this out in the shower.

    Go back to the trouble spot, the bar at your hairline. If you want to have vertical forearms there, you’re going to have to lean back - so do that: keep your hands where they are and lean away far enough to make your forearms vertical. (Your hands stay in place, but you and your elbows slide back a few inches.)

    That’s the ‘layback’ of the Olympic Press.
    That’s why those guys were doing that, to keep their forearms vertical.

    Now, I’m not naive. The layback was part of all kinds of monkey business back in the competition days. Some guys bent themselves back into pretzels as the weight seemed to stay in place. Others tossed the bar with belly strength and and then reared back to catch it in a half-jerk of sorts.
    The judges couldn’t tell what they were looking at; they only knew that these guys were not delivering honest upward force against the bar.
    Any amateurs who tried these undulations would snap themselves in two.

    *Still, take a look at these lifts by Gennadi Ivanchenko: Ivanchenko and Kolotov - YouTube
    (If that link doesn’t work, hit YouTube and type in ‘Ivanchenko and Kolotov’ for a three minute bit.)
    Those are vertical forearms - and that’s a strong dude, if you hadn’t noticed. He’s power cleaning and pressing double bodyweight. Also, if you look at his cleans and snatches, this is very solid technique. There are no shortcuts. Ivanchenko is not slinging the bar up and hoping for a lucky catch. With whole-bodied movement he is executing lifts that are balanced throughout the beginning, middle, and end.

    So what do I do? Did this isolation drill reveal a flaw in the mechanics of my full presses?

    Let’s go back to that second set of partial presses, at the hairline. Now, I’m standing - I see the Light - and I’m using the hooks on the outside of the rack. If I stand straight up and my arms are at 90 degrees: triceps parallel to the deck and forearms vertical, the bar is far from my face and my whole body. I’m so out of balance that I’ll never budge any kind of weight.
    My feet have to be under the bar. If I want my forearms vertical, I’m going to have to lie back with my upper body. However, I’m not just leaning back; I’m compensating by extending my own center of gravity, my hips and belt buckle, forward.
    Now I can lift, because I’m balanced bodily, on both sides of the line of force that runs from the bar to my feet. Also, because I’m balanced, I can regain a vertical posture at the end of the lift. This part is critical. The lying back is not a case of relaxing anything - certainly not one’s lumbar spine area. It’s a driving forward of a very taut center of gravity area, the thighs, hips, and abdomen.
    Just as surely as you drove that forward, you should be able to draw that back.

    The recovery is the important part here. That’s the fail-safe ‘check’ function. It’s not correct technique, or not a safe lift if you can’t return to perfectly vertical.

    Try this: stand up and throw your belly out and shoulders back. Do you come back to standing balanced? In fact, screw it up on purpose: throw your shoulders way back. Do you see how you can’t come back up? That’s what people fear when they think of the layback; they go back, back, back with a ton of weight, and the lower spine gets killed.
    Now, instead of throwing the shoulders back, lock your knees, tighten the gut, and mainly throw your center of gravity forward.
    You’re back up in a flash. That’s a whole-bodied, balanced movement.
    In the video above, is Ivanchenko sending his shoulders back or his center of gravity forward?

    In the few reps I’ve done, the recovery at the top remains like the reps I described: the traps lock everything into place. There is kind of a front and back feeling to it. The closest analogy is taking your shirt off. If you criss-cross your arms and pull straight up, your arms and traps draw up and back the same way.

    How am I going to proceed? Very conservatively. I know what’s at stake with dramatic laybacks, so I’m going to avoid them. I’ve re-watched the Tommy Suggs videos on the Olympic Press.
    Mainly, I’m going to ask myself a question as I go: Can I change the mental orientation of the lift? The press has been this thing that happens up around my head, and which I feel in my hands and triceps. If I focus on moving my center of gravity, can I make this a total body event?

    Heavy-Light-Medium
    Week of: 1/30/16 3 sets of 3 reps week
    MONDAY
    1. Squat (3x3) Tom 402.5 JC : 172.5
    2. Press (3x3) Tom 180 JC: 82.5
    3. Deadlift: (1x3) Tom 490 JC 247.5

    4. 3 sets heavy pull ups 8-4-6 REP SCHEME 4 with 47.5
    5. 3 sets of partial presses [Tom] holes 8-11-14; . . . 135, 155, 175
    JC: 3 sets of 6 lying triceps extensions
    6. barbell curls: 4 with 117.5
    7. abs: banded pull downs

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

    WEDNESDAY
    1. Squat (80% of Monday’s weight) x5, 2 sets Tom: 297.5 JC: 122.5
    2. Bench Press (3x3) Tom: 257.5 JC: 115
    3. Power Cleans 3x3 Tom: 225, to 257.5, 230 JC: 112.5, 115, 112.5
    4. 4 sets of heavy shrugs 525
    5. abs: hollow rockers

    FRIDAY
    1. Squats: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x3)
    Tom: 362.5 JC: 155
    2. Press: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x3)
    Tom: 162.5 JC: 77.5
    3. Romanian deadlifts (off rack) 3 sets of 5 -
    Tom: 367.5, 370, 367.5 JC: 167.5

    4. 4 sets of rows
    5. 3 sets of partial bench presses holes 18-15-12; . . . . 225-250-325
    JC: close grip bench with T-Bar: 25’s
    6. 3 sets 12 dumbbell curls
    7. abs: T-bar sit ups

    SATURDAY - Conditioning
    swim 1 mile

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    190

    Default

    The presses are progressing, the result of adaptations taking place mainly above the neckline. In the rack, the partial presses went far better than the clumsy, blood vessel bursting disasters of a week ago.
    ‘Don’t worry,’ an old Judo sensei of mine used to say when I made a hash of things. ‘Your subconscious will work on it over the next few days. You’ll be fine.’
    That’s exactly what happened. They call it Anatomical Adaptation in the textbooks, referring to novices developing proficiency in new exercises.

    The Tommy Suggs videos on the Olympic Press have led to some whole bodied motion in my regular presses. The key is something he mentions early on, that the athlete should run his (or her) hips forward and hold the weight in that bowed position for a moment before they launch it upward.
    That makes all the difference. A second or two of holding the weight like that allows all those tightened components in my anterior chain get a feel for what they’re in for, in terms of load and where it should be heading. This also tells me where my center of gravity is going, right back to that same spot, as soon as I launch the bar.

    Rather than anything subversive, it occurs to me that I might just finally be doing the exercise right. At least it’s telling me that my previous version of rebounding off that forward tension was not working. For whatever reason, I was not recruiting enough horsepower.
    The whole event feels like a body wave, which is exactly the singular event I was looking for. The size of the wave would seem to be determined by the speed of the bar at its launch upward. A light weight flies, and I don’t have too much of a fore-and-aft wobble at all. My forearms can get vertical without a huge bodily displacement.
    Heavier weights do not seem to require significantly larger waves. In fact, when I screw up a heavier rep, it’s because I tried to create too large a motion. Initial speed seems to be the whole ballgame - but stay tuned.

    Heavy-Light-Medium
    Week of: 2/6/17 3 sets of 1 rep week
    MONDAY
    1. Squat (3x1) Tom 432.5 JC : 195
    2. Press (3x1) Tom 197.5 JC: 90
    3. Deadlift: Tom (1x1) 520 second session
    JC power cleans: 112.5, 115, 112.5

    4. 3 sets heavy pull ups 8-4-6 REP SCHEME
    5. 3 sets of partial presses [Tom] holes 8-11-14 . . . 137.5, 147.5, 155
    JC: 3 sets lying triceps extensions
    6. barbell curls: 117.5 for 4
    7. abs: banded pull downs

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

    WEDNESDAY
    1. Squat (80% of the original (3x5) Monday’s weight) x5, 2 sets Tom: 297.5 JC: 122.5
    2. Bench Press (3x1) Tom: 287.5 JC: 130
    3. Power Cleans 3x3 Tom: 225, to 257.5, 230
    JC DEADLIFT single 255
    4. 4 sets of heavy shrugs 525
    5. abs: hollow rockers

    FRIDAY
    1. Squats: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x1)
    Tom: 390 JC: 172.5
    2. Press: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x1)
    Tom: 180 JC: 85
    3. Romanian deadlifts (off rack) 3 sets of 5 -
    Tom: 367.5, 370 x2 JC 167.5, 170, 167.5

    4. 5r muscle ups or ring pull ups
    5. 3 sets of 5 partial bench presses; holes 18-15-12; . . . . 227.5 - 252.5 - 285
    JC: close grip bench - T-Bar, 25’s, 2.5’s
    6. 3 sets 12 dumbbell curls
    7. abs: T-bar sit ups

    SATURDAY - Conditioning
    row 6000 meters
    Last edited by Nunedog; 02-04-2017 at 10:18 AM.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    190

    Default

    Some new single rep max numbers rolled in this week:
    432.5 pounds - squat
    202.5 - press
    520 - deadlift
    257.5 - power clean; This was ugly, but I wrestled it into submission.

    The 432 pound squat is a new number, but I only got one of my three intended working singles, so I’ll repeat that weight in three weeks. I’m already repeating the squat 5’s, below, affected by that stomach bug during the last cycle.

    The wife matched her 255 pound max deadlift, but at a bodyweight of 10 pounds lighter than the last time around.

    For the power cleans, even if I’ve listed, ‘to 260,’ below, I’m not necessarily going to work my way up to a new max, unless I wake up with super powers that day. Power cleans are the one exercise that I’m allowing to be fun and reckless. Their speed and execution are more important than pushing the total tonnage, anyway. Rather than get all the way up to 260, I’ll probably hit a few with two-and-a-quarter and then try 240 or 245 to see if I can maintain the speed for two or three reps. The whole undertaking should be as careless as trying to bomb some three-pointers with a basketball.

    The bench press, by contrast, remains the friggin’ bench press. With a 287.5-pound best and hoping for a 300 some day, I feel like a mountain climber just below the summit, roped in and confronting a back-slanting wall of smooth, sheer granite.
    To use another perspective, I know it’s one of the definitions of insanity to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. My upper body progress stalled when my previous assistance lifts, dips and lying triceps extensions, did so first. Now that I’ve gotten the hang of my partial presses in the rack, I can ratchet up those numbers. I think - I think - I’m feeling some difference in the sets of reps, if not the bench singles just yet.

    That makes me like the mountain climber trying to swing a grappling hook up and over that rock face. Every time it scrapes along and then falls off the mountain, I have to coil up the rope and try again. At some point, the hook will catch.

    Heavy-Light-Medium
    Week of: 2/13/17 3 sets of 5 reps week
    MONDAY
    1. Squat (3x5) Tom 372.5 JC : 155
    2. Press (3x5) Tom 165 JC: 80
    3. Deadlift (1x5) 460 JC 227.5

    4. 3 sets heavy pull ups REP SCHEME 8-4-6 (4 at 50)
    5. 3 sets of partial presses [Tom] holes 8-11-14; . . . 140, 150, 160
    JC: 3 sets of 6 lying triceps extensions
    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: 297.5 JC: 125
    2. Bench Press (3x5) Tom: 245 JC: 107.5
    3. Power Cleans 3x3 Tom: 225, to 260, 230 JC: 112.5, 115, 112.5
    4. 4 sets of heavy shrugs 535
    5. abs: hollow rockers

    FRIDAY
    1. Squats: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x5)
    Tom: 335 JC: 137.5
    2. Press: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x5)
    Tom: 147.5 JC: 70
    3. Romanian Deadlifts - off rack - 3 sets of 5
    Tom 370 JC 167.5, 170x2

    4. 8 rope climbs
    5. 3 sets of partial bench presses holes 18-15-12; . . . . 230 - 255 - 290
    JC: close grip bench - T-Bar, 25’s
    6. 3 sets 12 dumbbell curls
    7. abs: T-bar sit ups

    SATURDAY - Conditioning
    swim 1 mile

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    190

    Default

    I have no news - fake or real - to report.
    I got my numbers last week. If I lift anything profound, I’ll let you know. My groupings are centered and tight. All is well.

    I’m also between stimulating sports reads, so I thought I might jot down a few thoughts of my own. That’s probably how a lot of books or articles are written: somebody can’t find a ripping’ enough yarn to hold their interest, so they spin their own.
    Married, with daughters, I’m stuck in a house with women. All the male neighbors around here - none of whom could do a single pull up, I’d wager - have concluded I’m mad as a hatter with all the weightlifting and sled pulling, so it occurs to me that I haven’t been around any genuine masculine aggression, other than my own, in a long time.

    I kept my eyes open for some yesterday, at a middle school swim meet. I was a timer, a parent volunteer at my 12 year old’s school, standing at the end of a lane with the electronic timing ‘plunger’ that fed into the giant digital scoreboard on the wall. I watched some of the big dogs, the biggest boys who were the freestyle or butterfly sprinters, and also found myself in the thick of some relay teams clustered around the starting blocks, but I didn’t really see much of the ‘Let’s kill these guys,’ kind of competitiveness. If anything, I heard a fair number of jokes along the lines of, ‘Dude, are you going to make it?’ at the prospect of swimming 25 yards down and 25 yards back.

    Yeah, it was a middle school meet, so I shouldn’t have expected too much, but it was enough to make me wonder if high school locker rooms are the brutal meritocracies they were in my day. Still, when I was in Seventh Grade, I was awash in angst, jealous and envious of the big dogs. Poolside, I kept my eyes open for some of that among the smaller boys but didn’t spot any.

    That burning angst led me into the prep school weight room. I’ve described this before: I was the skinny kid who couldn’t make the football team. The weightlifting coach, a history teacher largely ignored by the conventional athletic department, had been an All-American shot putter at Notre Dame, and in 1980 was one of the precious few human beings, let alone high school or college coaches in the United States, who knew anything about lifting heavy weights. The drill was linear progressions and lots of milk.

    The years went by. I tamed Moose Murphy the Bully. By senior year I was one of the strongest kids in school - second only to a friend who later played for the Philadelphia Eagles. I turned down the football coach who had snickered at me years before, since my time could be better spent in the weight room, but I had developed an interest in ice hockey.
    I played in the recreational league in my hometown - and since I had shipped off to a Catholic prep several towns away for high school, I was on the ice facing the ‘big dogs’ of my junior high school years. They hadn’t seen me in some time. I was as big as they were and very, very strong.

    I’d play defenseman, I decided about five minutes into my first practice, junior year, actually. I was in a scramble for the puck behind the net and caught a head butt right in the face mask. ‘So that’s how it’s going to go,’ I thought. I studied that: the crown of your forehead, driving right through a guy’s face mask, smashes his head back while his legs fly out from under him.
    I had squatted 405 the summer before senior year, weighing 175. I had no qualms about hitting guys much bigger than me; after all, I reasoned, it’s not like they were going to weigh me down.

    I wrote before about the difference strength training made in my daughter’s tennis game, which is an important point to keep in mind. When you’re one of the skinny kids who’s the last one to be picked for a team, you’re just out on the field, largely invisible, wishing you belong somehow. However, when you’re an athlete of some value, you grasp that people have expectations you. I had to protect my goalie. I was supposed to bang on the boards and bulldoze people out of the crease. A sense of purpose in an athletic arena was an absolutely new experience.

    I waged a campaign of destruction. Soon, teams were not enthusiastic about charging into our zone with the puck. I can remember a lot of individual hits; the idea was to be going for the puck ostensibly, leveling the opposing player just as he takes a pass. One hockey ‘fashion’ in the early 80’s was a careless look, probably modeled on Mike Bossy, the skates-barely-laced-up and cigarette-dangling-out-of-his-mouth scoring machine of the New York Islanders. The girls all loved this one kid, Derek, whose version of the Bossy look was the way his long blonde hair always fell into his sleepy eyes. As he grooved along in his open skates and picked up a pass, I cleared his sinuses right at the blue line.

    The refs had to pick him up off the ice. I went to the box for that one. In another game, turning away from a play, I was suddenly rocked by a forehead driven into my earhole. I staggered in a wild dance, my arms and legs flailing - but I didn’t go down, which was vital. At that same instant, I heard a cheer from the opposing bench. They had sent this guy after me. They had conspired.
    I was delighted. Holy Cow; I had a rep.
    He was a big dude. He and I bounced off one another a few more times in that same game, in a stalemate. Yeah, that was a good time.

    My wife looked at me aghast when I told her some of these stories one night.
    Anybody’s who’s weight trained with their wife has been through this: she misses a lift that is well within her capacity. You try to convince her she can suck it up and do this, but all you get are a pair of big, sad eyes.
    I had to expand on the concepts of ferocity and going for the gusto. ‘You gotta want this,’ I was saying. Weight lifting is all about enhancing capability, becoming awesome; driving your enemies before you and hearing the wailing and lamentations of their women. It’s what made all the difference playing hockey . . .
    ‘What did they ever do to you?’ she asked.
    ‘Nothing,’ I said, though I had to explain that this was precisely the point. These were the big dogs who ignored me when I was an undeveloped, pre-pubescent non-entity. I can remember this one kid Jeff, who was a gymnast. I used to sneak looks at his massive triceps. These were the guys whose football or hoop games we couldn’t even go near during lunch break. In gym class, they wouldn’t even pay attention to the game if one of us was up to bat. These were the confident guys the girls liked. Despite this, I still identified with the jocks and felt I should be right in there yukking it up, if only I hadn’t been trapped in my puny body.

    The hardest hit I ever delivered was on another one of those well built, lady-killer gymnasts. He was was coming along the boards with the puck, and I was right in the right place to line him up and pour on the speed. It was a shot that would have made Jack Tatum wince. He hit the glass with an echoing crash and collapsed at my feet.

    ‘There were absolutely no hard feelings,’ I explained to my horrified wife. ‘This was exactly what we signed up for. Everybody was bashing each other all over the place. These guys would have gladly done the same thing to me. I was hitting kids who had come from the other junior highs in town, not just the ones I knew.’
    ‘But those are the ones you remember.’
    That’s true. It was important that the big dogs knew their place in the universe had changed - or more accurately, mine had.

    By this point, any chance of convincing my wife to control her destiny and hit that lift was lost. The kids at that swim meet were far too young or polite to display any ferocity or angst in the presence of grown ups.
    I’m left to hope high schoolers are as red blooded as they were in my day, and I have to believe that there was at least one undersized Seventh Grader shrieking at the futility of his furious swims.

    Biggest Hockey Hits Ever - YouTube

    In the meantime, here’s next week’s attempt to re-order the universe:
    Heavy-Light-Medium
    Week of: 2/20/17 3 sets of 3 reps week
    MONDAY
    1. Squat (3x3) Tom 405 JC : 175
    2. Press (3x3) Tom 182.5 JC: 82.5
    3. Deadlift: (1x3) Tom 495 JC 247.5

    4. 3 sets heavy pull ups 8-4-6 REP SCHEME 4 with 47.5
    5. 3 sets of partial presses [Tom] holes 8-11-14; . . . 142.5, 152.5, 162.5
    JC: 3 sets of 6 lying triceps extensions
    6. barbell curls: 4 with 117.5
    7. abs: banded pull downs

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

    WEDNESDAY
    1. Squat (80% of Monday’s weight) x5, 2 sets Tom: 297.5 JC: 122.5
    2. Bench Press (3x3) Tom: 260 JC: 117.5
    3. Power Cleans 3x3 Tom: 225, to 260, 230 JC: 112.5, 115, 112.5
    4. 4 sets of heavy shrugs 525
    5. abs: hollow rockers

    FRIDAY
    1. Squats: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x3)
    Tom: 365 JC: 157.5
    2. Press: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x3)
    Tom: 165 JC: 75
    3. Romanian deadlifts (off rack) 3 sets of 5 -
    Tom: 370, 372.5, 370 JC: 170

    4. 4 sets of rows
    5. 3 sets of partial bench presses holes 18-15-12; . . . . 232.5, 257.5, 295 (L-5-8-11)
    JC: close grip bench with T-Bar: 25’s
    6. 3 sets 12 dumbbell curls
    7. abs: T-bar sit ups

    SATURDAY - Conditioning
    sled 2 miles

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    190

    Default

    starting strength nutrition camp
    I have a few decent results from the past week. It wasn’t perfect numerically, but trust me that the following is far from complaint. I got the 3-by-3 squats with 405 - four plates on each end, baby - but the 495 deads didn’t want to go.
    I power cleaned 260, in a sweet move and NOT a wrestling match, though I’ll get into that in a second. With the bench presses . . . . Hell, I don’t want to say anything, or get too excited, but the partial lifts might be kicking in. The 260 for reps is new territory.

    I’m not going to think about it and get hopeful.

    All right: everybody friggin’ calm down about the benches.

    Before I go any further, I have a brief commercial break on behalf of the affective side of life. I went to the burial service for the father of an old high school friend and ran into some guys I hadn’t seen since we graduated 35 years ago.
    I have a personal issue I’ve identified only in the past few years: I really miss running with a gang of like-minded dudes. (I wrote about this, kind of, last week.) Nowadays, with kids and jobs and commitments, finding decent companionship or even any community to join is a hard thing. I’ve had it here and there, in martial arts, working out, or other pursuits, but it’s been fleeting.

    Adulthood just doesn’t compare to those years immersed in a Jesuit boys’ school. Some years ago, I was surprised to find myself frequently going back there in dreams. Every once in a while, if I get to thinking about it too much at night, I can’t go to sleep. Something urgent claws at me and makes my heart beat fast.
    The other day, after the handshakes and jokes, I jumped in the car (to drive up to the burial site) with a buddy I hadn’t seen since the day we graduated. ‘So how long you been married?’ he asked as we backed out of the spot.
    It was an amazing moment. It was the same voice, the same laid back delivery as ever, like we had never left, as if he was asking once more, ‘Hey, did you do the Latin?’ or, ‘You see the Ranger game last night?’

    As the afternoon progressed, we were all able to catch up on kids and careers and challenges. Life is pretty good, the vibe was, despite some of the things that can happen. Two guys had gone through divorces; one of them switched jobs and cities because he had to clear his head. We nodded and listened, completely without judgment. After all, we had pretty much sized each other up by the age of 15.
    None of these guys were weight lifters, by the way. The subject never came up.

    I had tried to convince myself that memories are beautiful things to have, but there’s no return to a world scattered to the winds. However, as I lay in bed that night, I realized it had taken mere seconds to land right back in 1982, and on rock solid ground. A line from a U2 song played through my head: ‘If the sky can crack, there must be some way back,’ That fist clenched around my heart again, so strongly that I sat straight up in bed.

    You can think clearly only when daylight comes. Somebody’s trying to tell me something. Who keeps grabbing me, the spirit of some kid who can’t make the football team, or a 52 year old who needs to find common cause with some other guys?
    I know I’m pretty decent at lifting weights. I can coach this stuff and create the kind of world that people need for real strength in their lives.

    Back to more mundane insights: the 495 pound deadlifts did not happen because I awoke with a tight lower back Monday. It was stubbornly tight, despite the 405 pound triples in the squat, which were gratifying enough, but the real culprit was my slacking on the abdominal work. Every once in a while, I remind myself the hard way: if I don’t do the abs, the lower back kinks up.

    Did I bench and then clean 260 because I was buoyed by seeing the lads the day before? Quite possibly.
    If so, forget anything I may say about the direct neurological stimulation in partial presses done from dead stops.
    I actually missed the 260 pound clean twice before I hit it. The problem with 260 is the difference you feel between that and 225, which makes you start pulling too hard too soon.
    ‘Dude, chill,’ I had to remind myself. ’Slow down. Hit every phase of the lift.’
    Another thought hit me: ‘The only reason you slapped this weight on is because you friggin’ got it, and you know it. You’ve been walking around like a 17 year old all morning.’

    I yanked it sky high and racked it like I was tying a bow tie.

    Heavy-Light-Medium
    Week of: 2/27/17 3 sets of 1 rep week
    MONDAY
    1. Squat (3x1) Tom 432.5 JC : 197.5
    2. Press (3x1) Tom 200+ JC: 90
    3. Deadlift: Tom (1x1) 525 second session
    JC power cleans: 112.5, 115, 112.5

    4. 3 sets heavy pull ups 8-4-6 REP SCHEME
    5. 3 sets of partial presses [Tom] holes 8-11-14 . . . 145, 155, 165
    JC: 3 sets lying triceps extensions
    6. barbell curls: 117.5 for 4
    7. abs: banded pull downs

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

    WEDNESDAY
    1. Squat (80% of the original (3x5) Monday’s weight) x5, 2 sets Tom: 297.5 JC: 125
    2. Bench Press (3x1) Tom: 277.5+ JC: 130
    3. Power Cleans 3x3 Tom: 225, to 262.5, 225
    JC DEADLIFT single 260
    4. 4 sets of heavy shrugs 525
    5. abs: hollow rockers

    FRIDAY
    1. Squats: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x1)
    Tom: 390 JC: 175
    2. Press: [90% of Monday’s weight] (3x1)
    Tom: 180+ JC: 85
    3. Romanian deadlifts (off rack) 3 sets of 5 -
    Tom: 370, 372.5 x2 JC 170, 172.5, 170

    4. 5r muscle ups
    5. 3 sets of 5 partial bench presses; holes 18-15-12; . . . . 235, 255, 300 (L-5-8-11)
    JC: close grip bench - T-Bar, 25’s
    6. 3 sets 12 dumbbell curls
    7. abs: T-bar sit ups

    SATURDAY - Conditioning
    swim 1 mile

Page 3 of 20 FirstFirst 1234513 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •