Harder to Kill - 5 Pounds at a Time Harder to Kill - 5 Pounds at a Time

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Thread: Harder to Kill - 5 Pounds at a Time

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    51

    Default Harder to Kill - 5 Pounds at a Time

    • wichita falls texas december seminar 2020
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    • starting strength seminar april 2021
    Me. A 33 year old dad with a basement gym. I like nice guns, good food, and strong drink.

    My physical stats.
    - 6'0" in height
    - 236 pounds in weight

    Why do I train.
    - As I reach middle age, I want to be harder to kill.
    - I don't want to be broken down and fat at 45 like so many guys I know who just gave up.
    - I want my daughters to see their dad doing things that are hard.

    My training history.
    My barbell experience began pre-virus with a sub-optimal 5x5 novice program. Once the gyms closed, my reading about training led me to Starting Strength, and I started NLP once I had my home gym put together.
    See my NLP log here: A Blessing in Disguise - Starting Over the Right Way with NLP

    NLP Progress:
    Squat - 185 to 390.
    Bench - 135 to 225.
    Press - 85 to 148.
    Deadlift - 205 to 410.
    Power clean - from nothing to 180.
    Body weight - from 220 to 236.

    Where am I going?
    I plant to run out the three day Texas Method, and then I will likely use those 1RMs to try one of Andy Baker's percentage based HLM templates. As Andy suggests, I will start conservatively and aim for 5 rep PRs in week 4. I will also be training the bench and the press for volume and intensity in the same week according to Nick Delgadillo's advice.
    Last edited by readytheharpoon; 10-13-2020 at 06:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    51

    Default Texas Method - Running it Out

    Monday 9/14 - Volume Day
    Squat.........340x5x5
    Bench.........205x5x5
    Deadlift.......340x5x2

    Wednesday 9/16 - Recovery Day
    Squat.........275x5x2
    Press..........135x5x5
    Power Clean.170x3x3

    Friday 9/18 - Intensity Day
    Squat.........380x5
    Bench.........230x5
    Press..........150x1x5
    Deadlift.......400x5

    Starting to work in the hook grip.
    Last edited by readytheharpoon; 10-09-2020 at 06:43 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    51

    Default Texas Method - Running it Out

    Monday 9/21 - Volume Day
    Squat.........345x5x5
    Bench.........210x5x5
    Deadlift.......345x5x2

    Wednesday 9/23 - Recovery Day
    Squat.........275x5x2
    Press..........137x5x5
    Power Clean.175x3x3

    Friday 9/25 - Intensity Day
    Squat.........385x5
    Bench.........235x5
    Press..........152x1x5
    Deadlift.......405x5

    Hook grip is feeling better. I pulled all 5 reps at 405 with hook grip. My thumbs ache, but the pull feels better. I was getting some consistent SI joint pain a few weeks ago which is now totally gone - I think the unevenness of my mixed grip deadlifts might have been the problem.

    Friday was my first use of weightlifting shoes. I got the Rogue Do-Wins with the TPU heel. I can feel that my quads are more involved on squats and deadlifts. I thought the shoes made my squat feel harder, but on video I can see I'm just squatting deeper. I'll need to work on cutting off my depth by an inch or two now.
    Last edited by readytheharpoon; 10-09-2020 at 06:43 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    51

    Default Texas Method - Injury and Rehab

    Monday 9/28 - Volume Day
    Squat.........350x5x5
    Bench.........215x5x5
    Deadlift.......355x5x2 <--- Back tweak! Fuck!

    Wednesday 9/30 - Recovery Day
    Squat.........225x5
    Press..........139x5x5
    Deadlift.......135x5

    Friday 10/2 - Intensity Day
    Squat.........315x5
    Bench.........240x5
    Press..........154x1x5
    Deadlift.......225x5

    Tweaked my lower back on Monday's second set of deadlifts. God damn it.

    Background
    My lower back has gotten very fatigued over the last few weeks. Last weekend I moved a bunch of firewood and salt bags and then spent some time doing carpentry bent over a project on the floor. All my weekend activities hampered my recovery from last week.

    What Happened
    I cruised the forum and watched all my deadlift videos from the last few weeks. The epiphany: I'm fucking up Step 4 of the deadlift setup. I focus on shoving my belly down, but I don't lift my chest hard and take the slack out of the bar. This is allowing my back to bend into flexion as I start the pull. I've gotten away with it so far with a hard valsalva, but I think the last straw was when I exhaled and lost my tightness before I set down the third rep of my second set of deadlifts on Monday. I didn't give 355 the respect it deserves, and the iron made me pay for my cockiness.

    The Plan
    I watched Alan Thrall's video about his back tweak and took a lot of inspiration from his story.
    - Keep rolling on bench and press; no pain there. My frustration at the setback is thus mitigated by the fact that I can still set bench and press PRs.
    - Keep moving. Get up from my desk and walk around a few times every hour. At home, stay off the couch.
    - Work up to a top set of 5 on squat and deadlift each day, letting pain be my guide. Warm up generously with sets of 5 and focus on setting the back. I'm hoping that I can do this LP style and make my back heal up in another week or two.
    Last edited by readytheharpoon; 10-09-2020 at 06:44 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    51

    Default Texas Method - Injury and Rehab

    Monday 10/5 - Volume Day
    Squat.........315x5x4 <--- Going for volume; 4 sets was enough
    Bench.........220x5x5
    Deadlift.......315x5

    Wednesday 10/7 - Recovery Day
    Squat.........275x5x2
    Press..........140x5x5
    DE Deadlift...175x3x3 <--- Decided to skip power cleans and just pull for speed

    Friday 10/9 - Intensity Day
    Squat.........385x5 <--- No pain, but more than normal low back fatigue
    Bench.........245x5
    Press..........156x1x5
    Deadlift.......365x1x5 <--- Very fatiguing to low back

    I'm almost back on track. I think I'm out of the woods on squats, but deadlifts are still not quite there.

    I tried pulling 405 and bailed an inch off the floor. It didn't feel right. With focus, the singles at 365 felt fine. I'm working on taking all the slack out before I pull and setting the bar down faster. I was doing a very slow and controlled eccentric before, and that probably led to a lot of unnecessary fatigue. Might switch to doing RDLs for my volume pull next week to focus on maintaining extension at a moderate weight.We'll see if I feel up to power cleans.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    51

    Default Texas Method - Injury and Rehab

    Monday 10/12 - Volume Day
    Squat.........350x5x5
    Bench.........225x5x5
    RDL............225x5, 275x5x2 <--- Titrating up

    Wednesday 10/14 - Recovery Day
    Squat.........275x5x2
    Press..........142x5x5
    Power Clean.175x3x3

    Friday 10/16 - Intensity Day
    Squat.........390x5
    Bench.........250x5
    Press..........158x1x5
    Deadlift.......375x1 <--- One successful single, then back popped on second attempt. GOD FUCKING DAMN IT

    Well fuck. Squats were back on track, hit new bench and press PRs, then hurt myself again pulling what should have been a moderate deadlift single. I am in a lot of pain today.

    On video, my deadlift form looks good - I'm keeping my back in extension better than ever. This is really discouraging. I might have to take a longer layoff this time and stick to lighter rehab weights. It's possible I'm just overtraining my low back, too - might be best to skip pulling on Wednesdays entirely.
    Last edited by readytheharpoon; 10-20-2020 at 05:51 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    51

    Default Texas Method - Running it Out

    Monday 10/19 - Volume Day
    Squat.........355x5x5
    Bench.........230x5x5
    RDL............280x5x3

    Wednesday 10/21 - Recovery Day
    Squat.........285x5x2
    Press..........144x5x5
    Power Clean.180x1x10 <--- Singles on a 30 second clock

    Friday 10/23 - Intensity Day
    Squat.........395x5 <---PR! Finally back in PR territory.
    Bench.........255x5
    Press..........160x1x5
    Rack Pull......315x5 <--- Feeling easy

    I'm not as far gone as I thought after last week. My back started to feel better pretty quickly. It still aches a lot, and I think it might be an SI joint sprain or strain or whatever.

    Power cleans for singles on the clock works better for me; 30 seconds is just enough time to catch my breath and set up carefully for the next single. I'm using a HIIT timer app on my phone.

    I think I'm going to stick to rack pulls for a while on Intensity Day. I'll plan to work my way into the 400s and wait to pull heavy from the floor until my back is 100%.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    51

    Default Texas Method - Giving Up

    Monday 10/26 - Volume Day
    Squat.........360x5x5
    Bench.........235x5x5
    RDL............295x5x2 <--- Left lower back pop on the way up, immediate severe pain. Skipped third set.

    Wednesday 10/28 - Recovery Day
    Squat.........290x5x2
    Press..........146x5x5 <--- Standing is very painful.
    Cocaine DL..135x3x5 <--- Feels ok.

    Friday 10/30 - Intensity Day
    Squat.........400x1 <--- This was all I had. Failed 2nd rep.
    Bench.........260x4 <--- Feet up due to pain. Failed 5th rep.
    Press..........Skipped due to pain.
    Cocaine DL..145x3x5

    Fuck this. I'm injured and overtrained. I need a layoff and a reset.

    This time the pain is different and much worse. My low back feels fine (just a little stiff), but I can flex and extend my spine without pain. The pain has resolved to a very sharp pain in the side of my left ass cheek that is very bad when I'm standing and walking and better when I sit. It feels like sciatica. It radiates down to just below the knee on occasion, and a few times I think I've felt a slight weakness in my left leg. No tingling or numbness, and no weirdness in my foot. I have some swelling around the base of my spine but no bruising. Ibuprofen doesn't seem to make much difference.

    I went to the doctor on Wednesday. As expected, an X-ray showed nothing abnormal - straight spine, normal spacing, etc. I declined a steroid or a muscle relaxer, so I'm taking Indomethacin (prescription NSAID). I'm assuming I have either an inflamed SI joint (which is the doctor's opinion), some kind of piriformis issue, or an injured disc.

    It seems I can squat, and I can pull light. Standing up to press is very painful. Benching with feet on the floor is very painful; feet up feels fine. On Wednesday and Friday I felt somewhat worse after my workout, so maybe I need a rest.

    I tried piriformis release with a baseball - not much effect. A Figure 4 stretch on my left leg hurts like hell.

    Does anyone have any advice? Similar injury? My plan right now is to take a layoff, maybe as much as a few weeks, and then work up in sets of 5 on squats, presses, and cocaine deadlifts (top-down pause deadlifts). Might try to keep going in the meantime on feet-up bench and maybe seated presses if standing is still painful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    273

    Default

    Ten bucks says it's your SI joint.
    My wife had exactly this set of symptoms, down to the complications in the press and bench. The massage you need is your being belly down on a floor and significant pressure to your rear end. If your wife, partner, or kid, can't (or shouldn't) press hard enough with their hands, get them to stand on your butt. When that inflamed joint is ready, it will let go during one of these massages with an audible pop. This might take some time; quit if it hurts; don't make anything worse, etc., etc.

    Your problem is that you're not maintaining a decent lumbar curve in your lifts. I know you think you are in those top-down deads, but you're not. Your squats are suspect as well. Develop and practice the skill during the day of drawing giant, rib spreading deep breaths that drive your ribs up and forward. Hold your breath. teach yourself to maintain this position. Look in the mirror, and get cell phone images of yourself in this extreme, ideal position.
    When you deadlift, it can be hard to hit this position from the standard 'grab the bar, stick your chest out' approach. Instead, with your feet in the right spot, drop by putting your forearms on your thighs. Then draw your giant breath and hit that ideal back position. Holding it, drop your legs a bit to grab the bar and make the lift.
    You must train yourself to be as perfect as a ballerina. You must walk around drawing breath like you're Charles Atlas.

    If you need deadlift reps, do rack pulls - not with heavy weight. With the bar higher, closer to your knees than usual, it'll be easier to hit that upper body position.
    Film things with your cell phone. Don't quit training. Hit this position in your squats as well. Look up articles on thoracic extension.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    51

    Default

    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Nunedog View Post
    Your problem is that you're not maintaining a decent lumbar curve in your lifts.
    It's like you've been standing in my basement. I have been struggling with this for a while, especially at the bottom of a deadlift. I'll have to post some videos. Coaching would be great, but I live in the great northeastern SS desert.

    Dude, thank you so much for the insights. I'll try some focused pressure like you said and see if it helps.

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