Strato's Pursuit of Strength Strato's Pursuit of Strength

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Thread: Strato's Pursuit of Strength

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default Strato's Pursuit of Strength

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    First things first: 27 years old, 6'5", 210 lbs, ~10% bodyfat.

    I've been training for several years with terribly screwed up priorities. Not until recently, after reading Ripp's books, 70sbig.com, and this forum, did I realize what I was missing by not sticking to the basics, lifting heavy, and training for strength. I'm ashamed to say I'm no stronger now than I was back in my college days. For too long I've been way too concerned with my abs.

    So, the plan is to finally train to get strong. I've been doing the Starting Strength program for the past 2 weeks. Eating enough to support the linear progression, but good quality food (meat, milk, cheese, eggs, veggies, fruit, nuts, etc.). At this point, I'm not doing GOMAD. I plan to gradually increase calories as my lifts and bodyweight go up. In other words, as needed to support the linear progression. If that means in a few weeks it's time for GOMAD, then so be it.

    Here is my workout log so far:

    11/23/2009
    Starting Bodyweight: 208 lbs
    Squat: 175x5x3
    Press: 105x5x1 (screwed up trying to figure out my starting weight)
    Chins: BWx10, 10, 8

    11/25/2009
    Squat: 185x5x3
    Bench: 175x5x3
    Deadlift: 255x5x3 (double overhand grip)

    11/27/2009
    Squat: 195x5x3
    Press: 105x5x3
    Pullups: BWx10, 10, 11

    11/30/2009
    Bodyweight: 209 lbs
    Squat: 205x5x3
    Bench: 180x5x3
    Power Clean: 145x3x5

    12/2/2009
    Squat: 215x5x3
    Press: 110x5x3
    Chins: BWx11, 9, 9

    12/4/2009
    Squat: 225x5x3
    Bench: 185x5x3
    Deadlift: 275x5x1 (double overhand grip)

  2. #2
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    Dec 2009
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    Sprained my ankle pretty bad sunday night playing basketball, so decided to rest monday and do this week's workouts on Tue/Thur/Sat instead of M/W/F. I went to the gym on Tuesday a little apprehensive about the ankle, but after I warmed up, it wasn't giving me any problems.

    12/7/2009
    Bodyweight: 210 lbs
    Squat: 235x5x3
    Press: 115x5x3
    Pullups: BWx11, 9, 8

    Squats felt really heavy compared to last Friday's workout of 225x5x3. It may be time to switch to 5 lb jumps from here on. I really hope the lifting belt I ordered last week comes in soon. I was able to borrow one for one of my sets last friday and could tell it made a huge difference in how solid I feel coming out of the hole. When I get some weightlifting shoes that will hopefully help out as well. Currently lifting in Chuck Taylors.

    Felt like a really solid workout.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strato View Post
    Sprained my ankle pretty bad sunday night playing basketball, so decided to rest monday and do this week's workouts on Tue/Thur/Sat instead of M/W/F. I went to the gym on Tuesday a little apprehensive about the ankle, but after I warmed up, it wasn't giving me any problems.

    12/7/2009
    Bodyweight: 210 lbs
    Squat: 235x5x3
    Press: 115x5x3
    Pullups: BWx11, 9, 8

    Squats felt really heavy compared to last Friday's workout of 225x5x3. It may be time to switch to 5 lb jumps from here on. I really hope the lifting belt I ordered last week comes in soon. I was able to borrow one for one of my sets last friday and could tell it made a huge difference in how solid I feel coming out of the hole. When I get some weightlifting shoes that will hopefully help out as well. Currently lifting in Chuck Taylors.

    Felt like a really solid workout.
    Welcome, sir. I would really recommend GOMAD as a baseline. In my own experience, I found it was fairly difficult to sustain linear progress without it. Those numbers on pullups are very impressive from anyone, let alone a tall 210lb guy.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2009
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    Thanks, Daniel. I'm actually finding that my appetite is increasing as the weights get heavier, so I've been drinking progressively more milk. Probably a little more than a half gallon/day right now. So I'll probably be at a full gallon within the next couple weeks, right about the time I set start setting some PR's (at least that's the theory).

    I actually put on weight fairly easily, so didn't want to GOMAD right out of the gate while the weights are still fairly light. But I'll be there soon enough I imagine

  5. #5
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    Aug 2009
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    hey Strato. looks like you've only gained 2 pounds in the couple of weeks since starting. that is VERY low at this stage in SS. Particularly at your height, weight and bodyfat.

    to give you some persective, Rip has recommended 6'4" guys be ~275 at the lowest to be properly filled out.

    up your calories and I will bet you those squats will get easier again.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by misspelledgeoff View Post
    hey Strato. looks like you've only gained 2 pounds in the couple of weeks since starting. that is VERY low at this stage in SS. Particularly at your height, weight and bodyfat.

    to give you some persective, Rip has recommended 6'4" guys be ~275 at the lowest to be properly filled out.

    up your calories and I will bet you those squats will get easier again.
    Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I remember Rip saying that. I guess my thinking was that I didn't want to go too overboard in the beginning with the eating since the workouts weren't too taxing.

    But as you pointed out, I need to gain a decent amount of weight. And now that things are starting to get heavy, I think I'll up the calories and start trying to get big.

    I'll admit though, 275 minimum seems almost excessively big to me. I mean, many D-1 football offensive linemen are in the neighborhood of 6'5", 300 lbs. Do I really want to be approaching that kind of size? I enjoy playing sports (basketball, softball, ultimate and racquetball) and would like to maintain a good bit of quickness to remain competitive. Don't get me wrong, the priority here is certainly strength, and I'm prepared to put on the weight necessary.

    I'll make my first goal to weigh 240 lbs. And then re-evaluate at that point.

  7. #7
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    Good luck hitting 240 today, Strato! Definitely looks like we are more or less in the same boat. Taking the difference in height into account (I'm 6'2") we are probably pretty similar in the amount of weight we need to gain to make this whole thing as productive as possible. I look forward to following your progress.

  8. #8
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    11/30/2009
    Squat: 240x5x3
    Bench: 190x5x3
    Hang Clean: 115x3x5

    Finally got my new belt today (Inzer, 10mm, single prong)! Strapped it on for the squats and knocked them out no problem. Felt heavy, but very solid. It was much less of a struggle than 235 (beltless) felt on Tuesday. Probably could have done 245 no problem as well.

    BUT, in between all of my squat sets my left elbow started to hurt worse and worse. After I finished my last squat set, it was really screaming. During the sets, it felt fine, but immediately afterwards the pain was right back and worse than the set before. I could get temporary relief by gripping something really hard or hanging from the chinup bar. I still managed to complete all of my bench press sets. Again, the pain would temporarily go away while I was benching.

    I was afraid this would happen. I tried a linear progression type program where I squatted 3x/week about a year ago and had to quit because the elbow pain became so bad that after squats I couldn't do any exercise involving my arms. This time around I've been doing all of the usual pre-hab type stuff, stretching shoulders/pecs, doing shoulder dislocations with PVC, self-myofascial release, etc. I've searched the forum to find out how others handled elbow pain and it seems to vary with the individual. When squatting, my hands are on top of the bar and wrists in alignment as described in SS:BBT. And I've tried varying the grip width. Not sure what I can do to fix this. I'm worried the pain is going to be even worse next time I squat. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Anyhow, I ended up doing hang cleans instead of power cleans because I'm really having trouble racking the bar correctly. I'm having a hard time shoving my elbows up and catching the bar on my shoulders instead of just in my hands. So did 5 sets of light hang cleans to try and drill the technique into my head (the sore elbows didn't help much here). The weight is super light and I feel like I could do 200x5x3 if I caught the weight in my hands (elbows down) instead of on my shoulders. But I want to get the technique right.

    So, I think for the next few weeks while I get my power clean form down and ramp the weight up to something fairly heavy, I'll deadlift every other workout and do power cleans the same day as pullups/chinups (depending on how the elbow holds up). This would only be for a couple weeks until I nail down my clean form and get back up to some heavier weights.

  9. #9
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    You are the ideal candidate for SS. Good luck.

  10. #10
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    I used to have some elbow pain from squatting. I had to do a few things, including dynamic stretching for my shoulder, using a wider grip, and making sure to keep my elbows up during the lift. I sometimes felt that the pain was related to strain on my biceps, so I have included the occasional set or two of barbell curls and that seems to have helped as well.

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