Training Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Training Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

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Thread: Training Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

  1. #1
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    Default Training Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

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    All right folks, my name is John. I'm an EOD Technician in the Marine Corps, and I've gotten my lazy ass back in the gym. I bought SS, PP, and Starr's SSS years back and used them successfully until my best lift was a 400 pound deadlift. I lost sight of my goals after many moves, setbacks, and deployments.

    Fast forward to the present. After getting injured through the right scapula during a recent deployment, I found I was pathetically weak after healing. Now I've got a scar on my back that looks like a stitched up vagina-great... Upon my return to the gym two months ago, I went back to what I knew of- Squats, Deadlifts, and OHP/Bench...and the all important Marine Corps Pull Up.

    I've been training for two months now while still in Afghanistan. My SS and PP books are back at home, so I'll have to wait until I get home to implement the program but here are my current numbers:

    Age: 28
    Bodyweight: 205
    Height: 5' 10'

    Deadlift: I did 225 for 15 reps with good form so...365 1rm? We'll see.
    Squat: 260
    Bench: 235
    OHP: 155
    Power Cleans: Unknown, the barbell I use isn't trustworthy enough for that.
    Over Hand Pull Ups: 17

    My training goals are currently:
    Deadlift: 500
    Squat: 350
    Bench: 300
    OHP: 205
    Pull ups: I'll be satisfied with 25 straight.

    I'm already 20 pounds over the marine corps limit for my height, but I tape out around 17-18% so screw them. That percentage will go down as my traps go up... I will be watching carb intake while trying to gain lean mass. I hope to compete in some power lifting meets in the future once I build a strong foundation. I'd like to do it for the challenge, and to give myself something to strive for.

    So if you have any suggestions, questions, or insults please feel free to toss them my way. My first "SS" like workout will be posted tomorrow. I can't remember the program exactly, but I hope to build a decent foundation for it until I can get back to those books.
    Last edited by John2336; 12-23-2010 at 11:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    Workout # 1

    Just had a good workout. First time I've done three compound lifts in one workout in years...
    Here's the stats:

    Warmup (light calisthenics)

    Squat (high bar) 1 x 5 @ 135
    5 x 5 @ 225

    Flat Bench 1 x 5 @ 135
    1 x 3 @ 185
    5 x 5 @ 205

    Deadlift (narrow) 1 x 5 @ 185
    1 x 3 @ 225
    5 x 5 @ 255
    (Used double over handed grip)

    Pull Up pyramid to 5: Overhand ascending/ Underhand Descending
    total: 30 pull ups

    10 minute stretch

    (4 minutes of rest between each set of 5x5 lifts)

    The squat rack is in a gym with a dirt/gravel floor. My feet couldn't really find a flat surface for the squats, and I didn't like it. I'll need to go find some plywood somewhere and build a platform.
    I think I'll be able to push my weight on the squats up a bit once I do that.
    Last edited by John2336; 09-07-2010 at 12:39 PM.

  3. #3
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    Welcome John! Look forward to following your progress.

    You should consider joining our little end of year contest for 5/4/3/200 on DL/Squat/Bench/Press. Here's the link...

    http://startingstrength.com/resource...266#post161266

    Oh and stay safe.

  4. #4
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    Thanks Geoff, I believe I will look into that contest. I feel great to be hitting the big three lifts again. Working on the low bar squat still...

    It's easy to stay safe now I'm back on a huge base with a gym 20 feet from my tent and internet access 24/7. Can you believe your tax dollars are paying for this!

    edit: joined the contest. "500 dead, 400 squat, 300 bench, 200 press by years end" Lofty numbers, but it will be fun getting there.
    Last edited by John2336; 09-07-2010 at 09:59 AM. Reason: joined the contest

  5. #5
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    Glad you joined the contest!

    so when you started back a couple of months ago, did you do a Linear Progression to try to quickly regain your old strength--or just jump straight in to the 5x5?

    Also, they 5x5 Deadlifts sound brutal. Any particular reason you're doing that rather than 1 heavy set of 5?

  6. #6
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    I just kind of hit the gym and avoided curls and mirrors. My first day back I had to leave halfway through because I was dizzy, nauseous, and disgusted with myself.

    I've been working out 3-4 days a week, 1 major compound lift per day plus related assistance exercises. As I got re accustomed to the movements, I just threw some weight on.

    That's a good question about the deadlifts... the best answer is that I can't exactly remember how starting strength worked with the reps. I do remember Bill Starr mentioning 5x5 in his book "the strongest shall survive."

    I called my wife last night and had her locate Starting Strength and Starr's book. Looks like I might need to buy Practical Programming though I swore I bought it years back.

    Do you recommend I scale down on the Deadlifts? I friggin love to deadlift and it's my strongest lift. Three days ago I DL'd 225 for 15 reps and could have kept going but my form was starting to go south. Today I had no problems with 5x5 at 255. I'm pretty sure I could be pulling in the low 300 ranges for 3-4 reps, but I'm worried that I'd be going too fast for my CNS to adapt. Getting to 400 too fast (and no stretching) is what put me out of the game years back with back spasms, and scared me away from my own power rack.

    I added up all the weight lifted with my 5x5 weights (bench,DL,squat) and it all added up to approx 17000 pounds for the whole workout. Am I overdoing it? Is that too much to continue doing every other day?

    I'm frustrated by lacking the required books... any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    My current goal is to just get a strong baseline for when i get home and can put together a solid SS program. I'd really like to compete in the future.

    Thanks for putting up with my rambling.
    Last edited by John2336; 09-15-2010 at 12:01 PM. Reason: I discovered myself telling "big fish" stories

  7. #7
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    I just answered my own questions... I found this on starting strengths wikia:


    3x5 Squat
    3x5 Bench press / Press (Alternating)
    Chin-ups: 3 sets to failure or add weight if completing more than 15 reps

    Wednesday
    3x5 Squat
    3x5 Press / Bench Press (Alternating)
    1x5 Deadlift

    Friday
    3x5 Squat
    3x5 Bench Press / Press (Alternating)
    Pull-ups: 3 sets to failure or add weight if completing more than 15 reps

    I'm going to assume that I need to use my 5RM. Hopefully the bar Ive been using will stay together during the power cleans.
    Looks like I was a little overzealous with the deadlifts, I'll scale those down, but 5 reps a week seems a bit low.. Thanks again for the heads up man.
    Last edited by John2336; 09-07-2010 at 12:49 PM.

  8. #8
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    No problem man. You can always alternate DLs and chins every other workout until the DL get's heavy enough that its hard to recover from. Then move it to once per week. Pretty sure Rip outlines that as a viable option for those starting out on LP.

    You might think about starting at 255 x 5 and then moving up 10 pounds every other workout until it starts to get heavy. In three weeks you'll be up to 305 x 5. Just a thought.

  9. #9
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    I just went through the whole FAQ section on Starting Strength Wikia page. I just remembered a whole lot of forgotten stuff....techniques and otherwise. I think I'm going to drop my weights down about 10-15 percent and continue working out with the 5 and 10 pound increases. I need a pad of paper to plan this all out, lol. I was trying to find my 5RM without realizing that isn't where I should be starting. I'll back it off because my bar speed for the squat and bench are already pretty slow. I don't want to "stall" in my first two weeks of SS. Hopefully, I'll be at a 305 DL soon, as long as I get there the smart way. Thanks again Geoff. Time to get my internet addicted butt to bed!

  10. #10
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    Workout #2

    I had a loooong day in the Sun, but I'm glad I ended it in the gym. Kept weights around the same and work on the low bar squat and keeping my back tight during bench.

    Squats (low bar) 1 x 5 @ 135
    1 x 5 @ 205
    3 x 5 @ 225

    Bench Press 1 x 5 @ 135
    1 x 5 @ 165
    3 x 5 @ 205

    Chin Ups ( 3 sets to failure)

    14-11-9


    The low bar squats felt great, My back has never felt so stable during squats.

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