Sami's Starting Strength Experience Sami's Starting Strength Experience

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Thread: Sami's Starting Strength Experience

  1. #1
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    Default Sami's SS

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    Hi guys, I started SS about 3 weeks ago. Here's a little bit about how it's going.

    I'm about 5' 9" / 175cm and weighed 163 lbs / 74kg before going to the gym. I just started going to the gym last November, mainly just fucking around not knowing what I was doing. My goals were to gain weight and get stronger. From November to April I gained about 5lbs / 2.5kg and was a little stronger.

    Then I found Starting Strength.

    I have been following SS to the letter. Power cleans, big macs/whoppers, GOMAD etc. I think I may have slightly overdone the diet too early on. I started eating about 6000kcal on training days and 5000kcal on off days right from the very beginning, even before everything started getting heavy. In less than a month I've gone from 168 lbs / 76 kg to 179 / 81 kg. A lot of that has been fat! But I don't really mind. I am now to the point where all my lifts have surpassed my previous personal bests and I haven't stalled yet.

    Once I get to around 85 kg in body weight I'll start to pay more attention to diet and see what works. I'd like to get to around 90kg but we'll see.

    Before SS I had done a previous best of:

    Squat: 80kg for 3 sets of 5. (that was very hard)
    Bench Press: 50kg for 2 sets of 5
    Deadlift: 70kg 3 sets of 6.

    After dropping the weight and progressing according to SS:

    Squat: 90kg 3 x 5 (not too difficult)
    Bench Press: 60kg 3 x 5
    Deadlift: 92.5kg 1 x 5
    Power Clean: 50kg 3 x 5
    OH Press: 37.5 kg 5 x 3

    I have to take a little break from training for a week or so. I've got intense exams at the moment and I have to focus on that right now. After exams I will probably drop the weights by 5% and start again. I will be able to do SS much better as I will be getting more than 4-5 hours of sleep every night.

    I have to find a local gym for the summer that has a squat rack. I've been going to the university gym but won't be able to during the summer holidays.



    THE END

    Well, I'm wrapping up my novice log now. Some info:

    Squat: got to 150kg, but I'm stronger and lighter now and have done 137.5kg 3x5. Probably good for 155-160kg now, maybe.
    Bench: got to 90kg, but I'm stronger now and have done 85kg x 5. Probably good for 95kg?
    Deadlift: got to 170kg, but I'm stronger now and just did a very easy 165kg x 3. Probably good for 180-185kg?
    OHP: have done 52.5kg x 2. Probably good for 55kg x 1.
    Bodyweight: I got up to 93kg, but was fat. I'm now 85kg and am stronger than I was at 93kg.

    I've had MANY stops and set-backs due to exams and life. But I've now got a home gym so training will be much more consistent from now on.

    I'll probably do some 1RM tests here shortly to see how I've done on SS.
    Last edited by Sami; 11-28-2010 at 08:10 AM.

  2. #2
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    Oh a few other things.

    I'm really glad I found SS and how it teaches good form. About 3 years ago I had a herniated disc from lifting a suitcase. I suffered from lower back pain and sciatica for about 2 years before it went away on it's own. This had me a little concerned about deadlifts in particular. In fact, before SS I was doing 60-70kg pulls with not so great form and again suffered some bad back pain. I couldn't stand up straight for almost 2 weeks! That's when I found this site and SS and started doing the Starr recovery method. It worked brilliantly and I've never had back pain from DL's so far.

    I've made people around me a little concerned with my diet. I'm never seen without a bottle of milk. I consume more calories after sessions than most people do during the whole day. My friends haven't really seen anyone eat 4 double cheeseburgers or a triple whopper. It's kind of funny really.

    Everything is bigger. My shirts are tighter. My watch is tighter. I have to get new boxers as my thighs barely fit and they don't stretch. Most of my jeans aren't fitting properly around my legs either. My gut has become a little bigger but I can live with that at the moment.

  3. #3
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    Must remember not to eat too much during this little off period. I'm hungry!

  4. #4
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    I think I'm going to do some clapping push ups and jump body weight squats until I can get back in the gym to maintain some strength.

  5. #5
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    Did 3 sets of 10 clapping push ups.

    Emailed a local gym to ask if they have barbells and a squat rack and I got two replies. One person said they have a squat rack and bench press stations but no barbells. And another person, from the SAME gym, said they have barbells but no squat rack, just a Smith machine where "people do squats". What a joke. I think I'll still go for a walk in and see for myself what they have; they obviously don't really know.

    I'm also about to order some fractional plates. My press is probably going to start stalling soon with 2.5kg increments. I found a UK company that sells 0.5kg plates for about ?11.00 EACH, so about $36.00 for a pair. Then I found a US company that sells them for about $1.72 for the pair! Even with the extra shipping costs, it'll be drastically lower. I'm going to also get a decent belt from them too as I've only got a really shitty cheap one at the moment.

    The only problem is this US company wanted to charge over $100.00 for shipping to the UK!! Ridiculous. Luckily my family are all in Texas so I'm getting them to ship it there then my mom will USPS it to me here in London. It'll still come out cheaper than buying here, just will take longer.

    One tip for anyone going to the White Cliffs of Dover in the UK; chalk! I know chalk isn't really expensive but the White Cliffs are all chalk and it's literally scattered all over the place and you can just pick chunks of it up off the ground. It's not 100% but it works great and doesn't cost anything. Worth considering if you're going there anyway.

  6. #6
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    This is getting frustrating. I phoned about 4 gyms within a 5 miles radius and none of them have a squat rack or Olympic bars. "We have a Smith machine so you can use that!"

    After some digging, I may have come across what sounds like what I'm after. It's called "The Basement Gym". Apparently it is an underground (literally) gym that was built in a WW2 bunker under a multi story car park. Very old school supposedly. One of those places that you would never know about or find unless it was shown to you. You can barely find the door. The only thing is I heard it was mainly a bodybuilder's gym but I'm not too concerned so long as they've got decent equipment. LIKE A FUCKING SQUAT RACK!!!!!

    After my exams I'm going to hunt it down. It sounds kinda cool.

  7. #7
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    While I'm at it, anyone in Buckinghamshire sort of area no any decent gyms?

  8. #8
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    Still haven't found a gym yet; haven't really been looking tbh. Really want to get back in the gym and it's only been a week! I won't be able to start back up again at least until the 15th! Might just re-start SS altogether.

    God I want these exams to be over with. I want them to be over with almost more than I want to pass them. If I fail them I have to re-sit in August and I don't want to do that. It's 3:20 AM here and I'm studying!

  9. #9
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    One more exam left, then FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!

    And back to training. 2 weeks off and shitty diet has bound to have royally fucked up my lifts.

    Still need to find a gym, Monday I go on the hunt.

  10. #10
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    starting strength nutrition camp
    Wow you eat a lot bro! I experimented with different levels of bulking in the past, but I've personally found that once I go past a certain calorie level, basically no strength is gained and seemingly 100% of it gets turned into fat. This time I'm coming at it the other direction, picking a calorie level that gets me gaining 1-2 pounds a week, and increasing that carefully. But hey, there are many paths up the same mountain.

    Also there are some cheapskate ways to make or obtain "microplates" that I myself am currently looking into... try this page: microloads. They might not be pretty or precise but they'll get the job done for what amounts to a few bucks, and save you the hassle of getting your family to ship the plates over. Give it some consideration.

    Good luck!

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