To Beef or not To Beef To Beef or not To Beef

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Thread: To Beef or not To Beef

  1. #1
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    Yo, my name is Devyn, and I am an intermediate now, for the second time. Both LP attempts are catalogued here. The last intermediate attempt was a pretty sick fail, so we're sticking with conventional Starting Strength-related ideas this time around. I'm not entirely intermediate quite yet, but since I'll be making the transition for each lift pretty soon and my programming is changing, I figured I'd scoot on over a little early. I'll be following an HLM program that looks like this:
    Day 1(Saturday atm):
    Squat: 1x5, 4x5@90% of top set
    Bench: 1x5, 4x5@90%
    Deadlift: 1x5

    Day 2(Monday atm):
    Squat: 3x5@81% of top set
    Press: 5x5
    Chin-ups: 3xFail

    Day 3(Wednesday atm):
    Squat: 4x5@86% of top set
    Paused bench: 4x5@86% of top set
    Stiff-legged deadlift: 3x5

    The top sets of squat, bench, and deadlift, along with the 5x5 press and stiff-legged deadlifts, will be increasing each week. I will likely begin to cycle them with 3s, 2s, then singles as I begin to reach failure. The stiff-legged deadlifts are my biggest concern currently since I tend to not do well with variations because I can't keep myself accountable. My hope is that since the weight should be going up every week, I won't be giving myself any room to lower the weight unnecessarily. I'll also probably be playing with the percentages a bit, but I'll definitely be looking to increase those and will need a very good excuse to lower them, especially the heavy day ones.

    The reason I went for HLM instead of Texas Method is mainly because of recovery. I'm a rather busy college student with some stress about work, school work, and applying to DPT programs (coming up soon!), so my recovery is definitely not that of the unemployed 17-year-old football player that TM was originally designed for. On top of that, I'm planning on losing some weight here soon, so that's the bigger of the two issues. I also really like the idea of keeping the "overload event" as one single workout, as opposed to TM, where you're essentially setting 2 PRs per week, for as long as I can.

    As for my stats, I'm 19, will be 20 here in about 2 months. I'm 6'3" ~235 lbs. My best lifts are:

    Squat: 325x5
    Bench: 210x5
    Press: 138.6x3
    Deadlift: 365x5

    At the beginning of my most recent LP, I set these goals:

    1. Rehab left shoulder and be able to perform 135 on the squat painless by Christmas
    2. Stick with LP through at least one full reset. I think I cut LP a bit too short last time and had another 20-30 pounds on the lower body lifts for the taking potentially.
    3. Hit 405x1 (~350x5) deadlift on LP. Recently made a huge form change that I believe will make a big difference.
    4. Learn press 2.0 and hit that coveted 135x3x5 on LP.

    I would say I achieved all of these with the exception of #4. Tried the press 2.0 and didn't really like it/have any success, so I'm sticking with a strict press. I also did hit that 135x3x5, though I think I meant 135x5x3 at the time. Oh well, still hit it. I also still haven't hit 405x1 for deadlift, but I did hit 365x5, so perhaps once I cycle the deadlift rep ranges down to singles, I'll be around there. Now that I'm just about done with LP, I think it's time for some new goals. I'm thinking a little more long-term on these since I should be an intermediate for quite a while, but in the back of my mind, I'm hoping I can reach all of these while still making progress once a week.

    1. Cut down to ~215-220
    2. Bench 225x5 or 250x1x5
    3. Squat 365x5 or 405x1x5
    4. Perform 8 chin-ups at BW of ~215-220

    A 250 bench seems unattainable to me right now, but I'm hoping that that's just because I have been stuck for so long and haven't had any true intermediate programming to push progress forward. Anyway, goals are pretty simple, and I'll have a long time to work toward them. First workout, with intermediate programming for squat only, on Saturday!

  2. #2
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    02/02/2019

    Squat: 325x5 (Tied PR!), 295x5x4
    Press: 137.5x3x5 (PR!)
    Deadlift: 355x3

    Notes:

    Squat was hard. Most tonnage I've probably ever done in a workout. I'm hoping it will allow me to hit 330 next Saturday.

    Not sure why deadlift performance fluctuates so much for me. I guess it's possible that I'm not fully recovered from last Wednesday, but I don't know. Definitely going to move deadlift over to intermediate, but I'm not sure how to go from here. I guess I'll just stick with triples for a little while. We'll see how my bipolar pulling muscles feel on Saturday.
    Last edited by Devyn Stewart; 02-04-2019 at 09:53 PM. Reason: Wrong date

  3. #3
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    02/04/2019

    Squat: 265x5x3
    Bench: 213.4x5,5,4 (PR!)
    Chins: 4,4,3

    Notes:

    Chins were a success! Finally made a bit of headway, even though I weighed in pretty heavy today (234 in the morning). Definitely a victory there.

    Bench was odd. Still milking LP, and the failure doesn't bode well, but I'm fairly sure it was due to a form error, not a lack of strength. In the video of the first, the strength is clearly there for 2 more sets. I just think I allowed my left wrist to extend and my bar path strayed too vertical without enough "float back". I think I'm going to go for 215 on Saturday since it was so incredibly close (failed rep was like a 7 second grinder that was just a hair away from breaking free), and the jump was higher than I wanted since kilos. I should theoretically get just about all the adaptation I would have gotten if I had completed it successfully since my body doesn't really know whether or not I hit it. I'll see and perhaps call an audible on Saturday to see if it's time for intermediate programming.

    In other news, I got into a bit of a heated discussion about the SRA cycle today on the forum. Rip and Scott Hambrick got involved and didn't seem too happy with me. Hopefully I didn't ruffle too many feathers, but I learned a thing or two, so that's something to be happy about!
    Last edited by Devyn Stewart; 02-04-2019 at 10:16 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devyn Stewart View Post
    In other news, I got into a bit of a heated discussion about the SRA cycle today on the forum. Rip and Scott Hambrick got involved and didn't seem too happy with me.
    You insolent young punk, how dare you. Hahaha

    Tell me more. I like drama.

    It's good to disagree and question what you read, even the smartest minds are wrong, more frequently than you would expect.
    Chances are they are probably right, but never let that stop you from questioning "authority".

  5. #5
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    Haha, I'm glad you think so!

    Basically, there was a troll who was talking about how the SRA cycle is fundamentally flawed due to the fact that muscle protein synthesis windows post-training decrease in length with advancement, while the SRA cycle is said to increase in length. There were many people explaining to the troll that MPS isn't the only factor in adaptation, but then I chimed in with, "I thought everyone agreed that the SRA cycle is flawed and gets worse at describing training as a trainee advances."

    Rip did not enjoy that statement.

    Basically, he told me to read the book, and when I told him that I had, he told me that I still don't understand it and have poor reading comprehension. After I mentioned that I thought similar thoughts were expressed in the Barbell Logic podcast, Scott Hambrick made a post saying that I was wrong and they never said what I was saying they had. I then posted a specific quote from the podcast that I was referring to, and I since haven't gotten a response from either on it.

    Basically, I learned that Rip believes that the SRA cycle can describe far more than I had originally thought. I still have my reservations about the simple "stress recovery adaptation" curve that is shown in the book; clearly advanced training plotted on a graph won't look like that, but I am still a strong believer in the principle.

    Buuuut yeah, I'm pretty sure being 19 didn't help, and what I thought was a respectful tone of mine was not being reciprocated. Oh well, life goes on; guess I'll just have to have thicker skin than the next guy.

    Thanks for asking!

  6. #6
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    I will try and listen to what was said in the podcast if you have a link.

    I don't have a problem with the SRA model.

    Muscle protein synthesis is only one small part of being able to perform more reps under the bar, especially for consecutive sets.
    There's the adaption of perfecting a new movement pattern, eg learning and being able to perform the lift with the correct technique, and doing it in a manner that is efficient.
    There's the body's adaption to dealing with lactic acid in the blood ie pH levels.
    There's the ability of the central nervous system to recover as the weight keeps getting heavier, etc.
    All of that affects adaption, so obviously as you advance there is less total adaption taking place, your coordination, timing and ability to perform the movement efficiently starts approaching perfection (or at least to your genetic potential) and the improvement in that area approaches zero.

    The muscle protein synthesis research just shows that the muscles should be stimulated more frequently than you see in bodybuilding splits and that 3 days a week is close enough to being optimal, which is what Rip generally recommends and much better than bodybuilding splits.
    Doesn't mean every workout should be performed with high intensity though or your body/CNS will be at risk of overtraining, this is real and I bet you may have experienced it (if not now then soon), that occurs regardless of muscle protein synthesis.
    HLM is not in contradiction with muscle protein synthesis research, you're still stimulating muscle protein synthesis during the Heavy, Light, and Medium workouts.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by positronbomb View Post
    I will try and listen to what was said in the podcast if you have a link.

    I don't have a problem with the SRA model.

    Muscle protein synthesis is only one small part of being able to perform more reps under the bar, especially for consecutive sets.
    There's the adaption of perfecting a new movement pattern, eg learning and being able to perform the lift with the correct technique, and doing it in a manner that is efficient.
    There's the body's adaption to dealing with lactic acid in the blood ie pH levels.
    There's the ability of the central nervous system to recover as the weight keeps getting heavier, etc.
    All of that affects adaption, so obviously as you advance there is less total adaption taking place, your coordination, timing and ability to perform the movement efficiently starts approaching perfection (or at least to your genetic potential) and the improvement in that area approaches zero.

    The muscle protein synthesis research just shows that the muscles should be stimulated more frequently than you see in bodybuilding splits and that 3 days a week is close enough to being optimal, which is what Rip generally recommends and much better than bodybuilding splits.
    Doesn't mean every workout should be performed with high intensity though or your body/CNS will be at risk of overtraining, this is real and I bet you may have experienced it (if not now then soon), that occurs regardless of muscle protein synthesis.
    HLM is not in contradiction with muscle protein synthesis research, you're still stimulating muscle protein synthesis during the Heavy, Light, and Medium workouts.
    Yeah, I'd agree with just about everything you said there. The portion I had quoted was a little after minute 24 of podcast 144. Matt Reynolds basically said that SRA isn't perfect, perhaps not even 80% correct, but the more we discuss it the more we learn about it and the better our understanding gets.

    02/06/2019

    Squat: 280x5x4
    OHP: 140x1 quit
    Deadlift: 320x1 quit

    Notes:

    I have a rant that is building inside of me, and I have to let it out somewhere, so sorry if you hate whining because I'm about to do a lot of it.

    I am sick and tired of everything that is happening right now in my lifting life. I don't seem to be getting any stronger, and I seem to be accruing more and more injuries. My left shoulder hurts like hell right now, and it has ever since Saturday when I pressed 137.5. It hurts to press. My shoulders hurt. Always. I shrug, I keep over mid-foot, I record myself, I do everything I'm supposed to do, and it still just fucking hurts. Deadlift is the same damn way. I try so hard to get it perfect, but I'm just no good at it. My back is still never extended, and it just hurts and is never consistent. Hell, I'm not any good at any of the lifts. The only one I'm halfway decent at is squat, and it has given me nothing but tendinitis, shoulder pain, and knee pain for a 10 pound PR. This isn't how I expected to spend the end of my teens, and I sure as hell don't plan to spend my 20s with nothing but injuries and disappointments. My shoulder hurts so fucking bad atm that I don't know if I ever want to press heavy again. I'm tired of looking in the mirror and seeing a fatass. I'm tired of training the way that I do. I'm just not getting out of it what I put in, and I don't know what to do about it, but just sticking with it and trying harder isn't doing it. Maybe I just need a break from it or something; I don't know. It's just that for nearly the entire duration of LP after I squatted ~310x5x3, I've dreaded every workout I perform. I dread the fear of failure and the feeling that even when I hit my weights that I'm harming my body. I'm not even sure that's a feeling anymore; it feels just like an irrefutable fact. Like, how far am I willing to go for so little progress? If you would have approached me a year ago and told me that I would gain 40 pounds, ~8% body fat, too many minor injuries to count on one hand, some of which might be with me for the rest of my life (chronic shoulder pain), and only gain 20 pounds on my squat 5RM, I wouldn't have believed you. I wouldn't have believed that I would make such horrible decisions that that would be the outcome. What kind of self-loathing moron would make that trade? Not me, and I'm not so sure I want to do what I'm doing anymore. I want to believe that strength is for me and that Starting Strength methods are the way to get there, but it just hasn't been working. I don't know what I'm going to do or if I mean anything that I'm saying right now because I'm very upset, but if a big change happens, this is why.

  8. #8
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    You just proved my point. Hahaha
    Bloody hell mate, your body is truly run down, and full of inflamation.
    Take bucket loads of fish oil capsules, eg 10 a day.
    Do a massive deload for 2 to 3 weeks, to recover, just drop all weight by half, maybe even do some different exercises eg dumbell movements that don't hurt so much, then slowly start increasing weight starting in the 2nd or third week, depending on injury/how you feel.

    Don't let it get you down though, under the fat there is muscle that you didn't have before, maybe decrease your calorie intake by 500 calories a day but maintain protein intake.

    I have issues too, so I know how this can get you down, hang in there.

    I will check out the podcast.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devyn Stewart View Post
    Yeah, I'd agree with just about everything you said there. The portion I had quoted was a little after minute 24 of podcast 144. Matt Reynolds basically said that SRA isn't perfect, perhaps not even 80% correct, but the more we discuss it the more we learn about it and the better our understanding gets.
    Just listened.
    The SRA model was really intended to show in simple terms how the body reacts to exercise of varying intensity from novice through to advanced stages.

    There is nothing wrong with the model, it's how you adapt your programming to your stage of advancement and your ability to recover which is obviously going to be different for everyone due to age, gender, genetics, health.
    I don't see how you can improve on the model due to these variables being so uniquely different for each person. The model is essentially correct, the key is understanding where you are as an individual on the SRA model, to maximise growth but prevent over training.
    You are clearly in a state of overtraining right now.

  10. #10
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    Sorry to hear about feeling bleh with how things are going right now. I think pb is right about the deload. First goal should be to get yourself to a point where you aren't hating to lift.

    Have you thought about swapping your SLDL and DL, and perhaps as your first lift that day? It's a heavy day lift, but as a single set, the impact to your medium day lifts shouldn't be impacted too badly.

    Also, regarding SRA, I think in another post the response might have been calmer (though probably still blunt and leading to answers rather than giving them). That post became pretty charged.

    I think SRA is technically always in effect. However, as you progress beyond novice and early intermediate, applying SRA becomes less straight forward. The stress application becomes more precise, and if you do it wrong you may not drive adaptation regardless of recovery. This is compounded more by genetic limits on how far we can adapt. It isn't that SRA stopped working, it's just requiring more precise planning as you get closer to that genetic potential.

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